Tag Archives: Turkey

Putin pushes Syria "deconfliction zone" proposals in talks with Erdogan

Source: Washington Post

"Russian President Vladimir Putin expanded a diplomatic blitz over the war Syria on Wednesday, meeting with Turkey’s president as the Kremlin pushes a proposal to create 'deconfliction zones' in Syria with apparent U.S. support. The talks with Turkish Prime Minister Reçep Tayyip Erdogan reflect possible growing cooperation between nations once deeply at odds over Syria’s conflict — with Turkey backing rebel factions and Russia providing key military support to Syria’s government." (05/03/17)


Turkey: Regime announces plan to abduct more on suspicion of disloyalty to Erdogan

Source: International Business Times [India]

"Turkey issued detention orders for around 3,224 people on Tuesday over their alleged links to a failed coup attempted in July last year. Reports state that more than a thousand people have already been detained by authorities for their suspected association with US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the coup, NTV reported. … The fresh round of detentions came 10 days after voters in Turkey backed Erdogan in a referendum to reform its constitution to give sweeping powers to the Turkish president." (04/26/17)


Turkish forces attack Kurds in Iraq, Syria

Source: Deutsche Welle [Germany]

"Turkish warplanes have carried out airstrikes on Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) militants near Iraq's Sinjar mountains and in northeastern Syria, a statement from the military said on Tuesday. The statement said the strikes were aimed at preventing the outlawed group from sending weapons, explosives and fighters for attacks inside Turkey. … In Iraq, Kurdish sources said that six Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga fighters were killed by accident during a Turkish strike on a nearby PKK position. In a statement, Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region said the Turkish airstrikes on the peshmerga were 'unacceptable,' but that the apparent accident should be blamed on the PKK, whose affiliates were the target of the strikes." (04/25/17)


Trump commemorates Meds Yeghern, stops short saying it in English ("Armenian genocide")

Source: Yahoo! News

"The United States irked its key ally Turkey on Monday, criticizing 1915 massacres in Armenia as 'one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,' although stopping short of calling them genocide. … Former president Barack Obama had promised to recognize the killings as a genocide. But over eight years in office, in need of cooperation from Turkey, he did not follow through. New President Donald Trump issued a statement saying bluntly that 'today, we remember and honor the memory of those who suffered during the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century.' … Amid sharp Turkish criticism for the remarks, the State Department noted that the US president, in fact, had made no mention of genocide. … In Istanbul, the foreign ministry [whined that] Trump's remarks on the remembrance day were 'misinformation' and 'false definitions.'" (04/24/17)


Turkey: Opponents seek to annul referendum result as Erdogan's new powers become reality

Source: Reuters

"Turkey's main opposition began a battle on Tuesday to annul a referendum handing President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, while the bar association and an international monitor said an illegal move by electoral authorities may have swung the vote. A defiant Erdogan, whose narrow victory exposed the nation's deep divisions, has said Sunday's vote ended all debate on the more powerful presidency he has long sought, and told European observers who criticized it: 'talk to the hand.'" (04/18/17)


A mockery of democracy

Source: spiked
by Jacob Furedi

"When, on Monday morning, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retired to his newly built $600million, 1,100-room presidential palace, his sense of victory would have been somewhat muted. Yes, he had secured victory in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, but it was close: only 51.4 per cent of Turks voted for Erdogan’s proposed changes, while 48.6 per cent stood up to the president with a resounding No. Of course, a victory — however slender — is still a victory, and Erdogan now has a mandate to make 18 amendments to the constitution. By 2019, the office of prime minister will be abolished, and Erdogan will be handed executive power. … this referendum was never truly democratic. Ever since the referendum was proposed, the debate has been undermined by the government’s brutal censorship of its critics. In Turkey, opposition to the government is equated with terrorism. Since the attempted coup last July, 100,000 Turkish officials have been dismissed, and 228 journalists have been thrown in jail — more than in any other country — for questioning the government." (04/18/17)


Turkey: International monitors deliver scathing verdict on referendum

Source: CNN

"International election monitors have delivered a scathing verdict on the conduct of Turkey's controversial referendum to grant expansive new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Representatives from a coalition of international bodies said the vote took place on an 'unlevel playing field' with the 'yes' campaign dominating media coverage. Voters were not provided with adequate information, opposition voices were muzzled and the rules were changed at the last minute, they said. … Erdogan's margin of victory in the referendum was razor-thin. Despite a state of emergency and a widespread crackdown on dissent, he succeeded in persuading only 51.4% of voters to back his constitutional upheaval." (04/17/17)


Turkey needs some Brexit spirit to defeat Erdogan's tyranny

Source: spiked
by Brendan O'Neill

"Some European observers, who, post-Brexit, view every referendum as a threat to stability, if not a Hitlerian device of mayhem, are talking about Erdogan’s referendum to give himself sweeping powers in the same breath as the Brexit referendum. Both the 'Brexit and Erdogan referendums are illegitimate,' says philosopher turned anti-democrat AC Grayling. A Europe 'traumatised by Brexit' hasn’t a leg to stand on when it comes to challenging the authoritarian Erdogan, says a writer for the Guardian. These attempts to link Brexit with Erdogan are beyond wrong. In truth, Erdogan’s campaign to weaken parliamentary democracy in order to sideline pesky oppositionists and to streamline political decision-making is far more in keeping with the Remainer / EU worldview than with Brexit. It’s another expression of the 21st-century elite turn against democratic ideals that the anti-Brexit sentiment, the establishment fury with the Trump throng, and Brussels’ power-grabbing constitutions — rejected by millions of Europeans — also express and embody." (04/17/17)


Democracy more dead

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"'Turkey’s democracy died today,' CNN headlined its report on yesterday’s national constitutional referendum. The measure contained 18 significant changes designed to further empower the country’s already seemingly all-powerful President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. CNN is behind the times. Turkey hasn’t been a real democracy for some time." (04/17/17)


Turkey: Erdogan declares referendum victory, opponents plan challenge

Source: Reuters

"President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result. Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote 'No' after a bitter and divisive campaign. Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal to replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency, giving the 'Yes' camp 51.5 percent of the vote." (04/16/17)