News

Turkey moves to supervise online content, tightens grip on media

Mar 22 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Reuters UK

Turkey’s parliament has approved a bill granting the radio and television watchdog authority to regulate online content, fuelling concerns about further restrictions on the media. The move closes a loophole under which some Turkish broadcasters have sought refuge from censorship and strict regulations by moving to online streaming platforms.

It follows sharp criticism by rights groups and Turkey’s Western allies of restrictions on the media following the 2016 failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish parliament approves key changes in electoral regulations during nightlong session

Mar 13 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

A substantial law that gives the green light to political parties to form pre-election alliances and overhauls electoral regulations on the eve of 2019 polls has been approved at parliament after a marathon nightlong session, which included a physical fight between ruling and opposition lawmakers.

The 26-article law was approved by a majority vote led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). The two parties have already announced an agreement to form what they have dubbed the “People’s Alliance.”

Turkish gov’t has detained one in three HDP members since 2015

Mar 11 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Turkish minute

The Turkish government led by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has detained about a third of all pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) members since July 2015, the pro-Kurdish Mesopotamia news agency reported.

According to the report, 11,631 of the 37,551 members of the HDP have been detained thus far, and 3,382 have been formally arrested by a court.

RSF calls Turkish journalists’ convictions ‘an act of political despotism’

Mar 09 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Turkish minute

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) on Friday condemned the sentences ranging from two to seven years in prison that 25 Turkish journalists received on March 8 in a political mass trial in Istanbul targeting opposition journalists.

The sentences were issued after the 25 journalists were convicted of supporting or being members of a movement led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gülen, regarded by the Turkish government as a “terrorist organization” and blamed for an attempted coup in July 2016.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister says ‘there will be no snap elections’

Mar 01 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ has denied rumors the government would call a snap election, saying that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) always favors polls to take place on their planned dates.

Elections in Turkey will be held on time. There will be no snap elections; there will be elections held on time,” Bozdağ told reporters after a meeting in Ankara on March 1.

Turkey is scheduled to hold local eletions in March 2019 and parliamentary and presidential elections in November 2019.

Two more HDP deputies lose seats in Turkish Parliament

Feb 27 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Two more Kurdish issue-focused Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputies have been stripped of their parliamentary status following criminal verdicts against them were read out at a parliamentary session.

The summaries of proceedings against MPs Ahmet Yıldırım and İbrahim Ayhan included the final verdict of separate legal cases against them and was read aloud at parliament’s General Assembly on Feb. 27.

CHP submits motion to abolish 10% electoral threshold after AKP-MHP alliance move

Feb 23 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has submitted a draft bill to abolish the 10-percent election threshold as a reaction to ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Nationalist Movement Party’s (MHP) joint legislation move for election alliances.

“All discussions on alliances indicate that in order to ensure a right system of representation in parliament the electoral threshold should be abolished immediately,” read the draft bill submitted to the Parliamentary Speaker’s Office on Feb. 23.

Turkish opposition sounds alarm over proposed voting law changes

Feb 22 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Reuters UK

Turkey’s opposition said on Thursday new electoral regulations proposed by President Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party and its nationalist allies could open the door to fraud and jeopardise the fairness of 2019 elections.

Under a draft law submitted to parliament on Wednesday, security force members will be allowed into polling stations when invited by a voter, a measure the government says will stamp out intimidation by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the mainly Kurdish southeast.

BBP leader voices support for AKP-MHP alliance

Feb 21 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Great Union Party (BBP) leader Mustafa Destici said they support the pre-election alliance between the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. 

“We have made it clear since the beginning that we would support and join the alliance. For now, everything is going well for us to be in the alliance,” he said in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk late on Feb. 20.

786 people detained to date over critical stance on Afrin offensive

Feb 19 2018
Turkey
Source: 
Turkish minute

Turkey’s Interior Ministry on Monday announced that 786 people have been detained on terror charges due to their protests or posts on social media critical of a Turkish military incursion in the northern Syrian town of Afrin, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin against the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

CHP leader calls for early presidential, parliamentary and local elections

Oct 27 2017
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has once again called on the government to bring forward all three elections slated to take place in 2019, including local, parliamentary and presidential polls, in a bid to avoid further deterioration of democracy in the country.

“Today Turkey is not being governed. I know their [ruling Justice and Development Party – AKP’s] biggest anxiety. The economy will worsen… I challenge them,” Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with private broadcaster CNN Türk on Oct. 26.

Turkey, Iraq say KRG poll results must be annulled

Oct 26 2017
Iraq
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Both and Turkey and the Iraqi central government said on Oct. 26 that the results of an independence referendum held by Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) last month should be annulled.

The damage caused by the independence vote is “unrecoverable,” Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said on Oct. 26, while earlier in the day, his Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi vowed that Baghdad “will not accept anything but the cancellation of the referendum.”

Akşener hints at run for presidency in 2019 as she forms ‘Good Party'

Oct 25 2017
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet Daily News

Meral Akşener, an experienced right-wing politician and former interior minister, formed her long-anticipated political party under the title of the “Good Party” on Oct. 25, hinting at a run for Turkey’s presidency against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2019.

Akşener submitted a petition for the formation of the Good Party to the Interior Ministry earlier in the day before she held her first meeting with the founders and sympathizers of the new party.

Political, financial leg of coup left in the dark: Opposition MHP

Jun 12 2017
Turkey
Source: 
Hurriyet daily news

The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has criticized a draft report prepared by a parliamentary commission formed to investigate the July 15, 2016 coup attempt, saying that the political and financial leg of the coup attempt was not revealed by “obstacles put by AKP [ruling Justice and Development Party] members of the commission.”

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