Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey condemns Syria regime's 'inhuman' assault on Daraa

Turkey condemns Syria regime's 'inhuman' assault on DaraaTurkey on Friday condemned regime attacks on rebel-held towns in southern Syria as “inhuman”, calling on Damascus’ allies to stop the offensive that has killed dozens of civilians. With Russia’s help, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army has battered Daraa province for over a week with air strikes, rocket fire and crude barrel bombs. Thursday was the bloodiest day yet after dozens of strikes identified as Russian killed 25 civilians, mostly in the town of Al-Mseifra, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.



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Erdogan declared winner of Turkey presidential polls

Erdogan declared winner of Turkey presidential pollsTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has won tightly-contested presidential polls, the election authority said Monday, extending his 15-year grip on power as the opposition complained bitterly about the conduct of the vote count. Turkish voters had for the first time cast ballots for both president and parliament in the snap elections, with Erdogan looking for a first round knockout and an overall majority for his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The stakes were particularly high as the new president will be the first to enjoy enhanced powers, without even a prime minister, under a new constitution agreed in an April 2017 referendum strongly backed by Erdogan but which opponents say grants autocratic powers.



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Erdogan rival accepts election results as he warns of Turkey becoming 'one-man regime' 

Erdogan rival accepts election results as he warns of Turkey becoming 'one-man regime' International election observers said Monday that Turkey's election was unfair, with the opposition having "no equal opportunities" to make their case against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but did not find evidence of widespread vote rigging. The observers’ report was issued hours after Muharrem Ince, Mr Erdogan’s main challenger, formally conceded defeat in the election and warned that Turkey was becoming "a one-man regime”. Britain and other Western governments said they accepted Mr Erdogan’s victory despite the opposition’s complaints and would continue to cooperate with Turkey on migration, Syria, and other issues.  Observers from the Organisation for Security Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said that voters had a “genuine choice” in the election but that the opposition was not able “to compete on an equal basis”. The OSCE team said that Mr Erdogan had benefitted from “excessive coverage” by state and private media. It also said that emergency laws Mr Erdogan imposed after a failed coup in 2016  “limited fundamental freedoms of assembly and expression”. The report focused on the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party, which faced “a number of attacks and disruptions”. The party’s presidential candidate, Selahattin Demirtas, is in prison and “could not campaign freely,” the report said.  “There is some work to be done by the authorities to ensure that future elections in Turkey are in line with democratic standards and commitments,” said Audrey Glover, the head of the observer mission. Thousands of people gathered outside the party headquarters to watch Recep Tayyip Erdogan's victory speech from the balcony Credit:  Anadolu However, the observers said that election day procedures were “generally followed” and did not report any widespread vote rigging, as some opposition parties had feared would happen.  Mr Ince made similar complaints as he spoke in Ankara on Monday but said he did not believe that voter fraud had tipped the balance of the election. “Did they steal votes? Yes, they did. But did they steal ten million votes? No,” he said.  He warned about the new executive presidency system which will come into force after the election. ”Turkey has cut off its links with democracy. It has cut off links with the parliamentary system. It is transitioning toward a one-man regime,” he said.  Mr Ince also apologised for not addressing his supporters on Sunday night and instead texting his concession to a Turkish news anchor, who read it out on live television. "An experienced politician like me shouldn't have done that,” he said.  Some supporters remained furious with Mr Ince and his Republican People’s Party (CHP) for not contesting the election results. “You were suppose to be a hero, Ince? F – - – the CHP and what they do,” one Ince voter wrote on Facebook. Profile | Recep Tayyip Erdoğan A spokesman for Theresa May said the UK looks forward to continuing a "close association" with Turkey following Mr Erdogan’s election victory.  "Turkey and the UK have a wide range of shared interests, including regional security, counter-terrorism and bilateral trade and investment,” he said. Downing Street declined to comment on claims the election was not fair. The Liberal Democrats criticised the government for its ties with Turkey and said it “must stand up to Erdogan and explicitly condemn his authoritarian regime”.  There were recriminations in both Germany and Austria after the results showed that Turkish voters living in both countries had voted overwhelmingly for Mr Erdogan.  Nearly two-thirds of the Turkish community in Germany 65.7 per cent voted for Mr Erdogan, a stronger show of support than in Turkey itself, where Mr Erdogan just over half the vote. Around 475,000 people of Turkish origin are thought to have cast votes in Germany. Cem Özdemir, a Green MP who is originally from Turkey, criticised Turks who took to the streets of German cities to celebrate.  They “not only celebrate their autocrat,” but they also “express their rejection of our liberal democracy,” Mr Özdemir said, comparing them to supporters of Germany’s far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.     



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Erdogan, rival Ince trade blows on eve of crunch Turkey polls

Erdogan, rival Ince trade blows on eve of crunch Turkey pollsPresident Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his main rival Muharrem Ince on Saturday traded blows in mass rallies on the final day of campaigning for Turkey’s most fiercely contested elections in years. After mega meetings by Ince in Izmir and Ankara over the last two days, hundreds of thousands packed the vast Maltepe shoreside on the Asian side of Istanbul for his final rally. Ince claimed that five million people had surged to the Istanbul rally but it was not possible to immediately confirm the numbers.



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Turkey says its air strikes kill 35 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq

Turkey says its air strikes kill 35 Kurdish militants in northern IraqTurkish warplanes killed 35 militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq’s Qandil mountain region on Friday, the Turkish military said. Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan had said on Saturday that Turkish warplanes had struck a meeting of the outlawed PKK in Qandil, where he believed high-profile militants had been hit.



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Erdogan says Uber 'finished' in Turkey

Erdogan says Uber 'finished' in TurkeyUber faces being banned in Turkey after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the ride hailing app was “finished” on Saturday following an intense lobbying campaign from Istanbul taxi drivers. Erdogan’s comments, in a late night speech Friday in Istanbul, came after the government agreed new rules that are expected to severely complicate Uber’s operations in Turkey. Drivers of Istanbul’s yellow taxis have over the last months waged an intense campaign to have Uber banned, saying the company is eating into their business without having a proper legal basis for work.



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British passenger dies after falling from plane at Dalaman airport in Turkey

British passenger dies after falling from plane at Dalaman airport in TurkeyA British man died after falling from a plane on to a runway at Dalaman airport in south-west Turkey early on Tuesday morning. Local media reported that staff were trying to remove the 30-year-old when he fell from a door. The unconscious passenger was taken to hospital where he was found to have broken ribs. The man – named by a relative as Andrew Westlake – never regained consciousness before dying later that day, according to Hurriyet newspaper. It reported that the man had spent three days at the airport waiting for a flight home after losing his ticket. After finally boarding the aircraft at 3am he became argumentative with cabin crew and was ordered off the plane as a risk to flight safety. Dalaman airport serves the south-west of Turkey, including resorts such as Marmaris Credit: Alamy Stock Photo An investigation has been launched. A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Turkey and are in touch with the local authorities.” Dalaman airport is one of the country’s busiest and serves seaside resorts including Marmaris and Fethiye, which are popular with British tourists. Some four million passengers pass through the airport each year, and it handles airlines including EasyJet and seasonal charters operated by Thomson Airways.



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Turkey says US shares blame for Gaza 'massacre' as thousands protest

Turkey says US shares blame for Gaza 'massacre' as thousands protestTurkey on Monday accused the United States of sharing responsibility with Israel for a “vile massacre” along the Gaza border in which 52 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Thousands marched through central Istanbul in an angry protest to denounce the bloodshed as the US moved its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in defiance of outrage in the Islamic world.



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Turkey says US shares blame for Gaza 'massacre' as thousands protest

Turkey says US shares blame for Gaza 'massacre' as thousands protestTurkey on Monday accused the United States of sharing responsibility with Israel for a “vile massacre” along the Gaza border in which 52 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire. Thousands marched through central Istanbul in an angry protest to denounce the bloodshed as the US moved its Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in defiance of outrage in the Islamic world.



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US pastor faces terror charges in fraught trial in Turkey

US pastor faces terror charges in fraught trial in TurkeyIZMIR, Turkey (AP) — An American pastor imprisoned in Turkey is going on trial for alleged terror ties and spying in a case that has increased tensions between Washington and Ankara.



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