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Re: Opposition beats Erdogan’s candidate in Istanbul electio

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:11 am
Author: Piling
Soon Erdogan will invent a plot and a coup from CHP and will send in jail all his lucky rivals :D

Re: Opposition beats Erdogan’s candidate in Istanbul electio

PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:33 pm
Author: Anthea
Piling wrote:Soon Erdogan will invent a plot and a coup from CHP and will send in jail all his lucky rivals :D

I have been wondering what Erdogan will do next

Could he shut down the CHP because it supports Kurdish rights

The one thing we can be sure of - Erdogan must be furious =))

Re: Erdogan lost Istanbul election what do YOU think he will

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 12:34 am
Author: Anthea
We should congratulate the AKP
for its loss in the Istanbul election

On Sunday Turkish president Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) suffered a decisive loss in the re-run of the Istanbul municipal election. Republican People’s Party (CHP) opposition party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu defeated AKP former Prime Minister and Erdogan loyalist Binali Yildirim by some 775,000 votes (54% to Yildirim’s 45% of the vote)

The loss is especially bitter for the AKP, given it was Mr. Erdogan himself who stated several years ago that “whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey”. Opposition supporters are celebrating en masse now. They hope that the AKP’s defeat in Turkey’s megalopolis, won with a positive, hopeful message from Imamoglu, sets the stage for finally displacing almost two decades of AKP hegemony.

To be honest, this columnist did not expect Mr. Erdogan or his party to allow the opposition to win Istanbul.

The re-run of the Istanbul poll itself appeared quite illegitimate, following pressure exerted by president Erdogan on Turkey’s electoral council to annul the earlier CHP Istanbul victory in March. This column on April 10, even ran the headline of “Turks can vote – as long as it’s for the AKP.”

At the time, I wrote that “The electoral campaigns are thus always full of sound and fury, even as they signify nothing… That the opposition was still able to win Istanbul despite…irregularities, a government dominated media that gives the opposition virtually no air time, the movement of large numbers of security forces to swing electoral districts (where they vote for the ruling party) and other shenanigans is a small miracle. A miracle that will not be allowed to stand, of course, with re-do elections in Istanbul slated for June.”

Now that the June re-run election resulted in a decisive opposition victory, I am extremely pleased to admit my error. Democracy still has a pulse in Turkey. I look forward to being wrong again in future, more important parliamentary elections in Turkey as well.

Despite all the Turkish institutions eviscerated by Mr. Erdogan, despite his government’s control of some 95% of Turkish media, despite the gutting of judicial independence in the country, and despite the arrest and incarceration of hundreds of thousands of political opponents in Turkey, a shadow of democracy somehow limps on.

For this Mr. Erdogan and his party should be congratulated. Simply put, they allowed the opposition to win a significant victory and Turkey’s future instantly became brighter for it. It took little time following the announcement of preliminary electoral results for both Mr. Erdogan and Mr. Yildirim to concede, with Erdogan tweeting “I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu who has won the election based on preliminary results.”

The AKP government might also consider restoring Turkey’s legal system and abolishing laws prone to political abuse now, with a view to a day in the future when they might no longer rule the country. For an electoral democratic system to remain healthy, the opposition needs some assurances that they will not face undue harassment.

The AKP might start with getting rid of overly ambiguous laws against “spreading terrorist propaganda.” These laws have been used by Mr. Erdogan to jail hundreds of thousands of opponents. In the case of Kurds in Turkey, thousands were imprisoned for calling for an end to Syria’s offensive in the Afrin region of Syria, with prosecutors claiming they were repeating a peace call by Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and therefore “spreading terrorist propaganda.”

Just before Sunday’s re-do election in Istanbul, however, pro-government media and high government officials brandished a letter written by Mr. Ocalan from his prison cell calling on his [mostly Kurdish] supporters to not take sides in the Istanbul election. This contradicted a statement from former Peace and Democracy (BPD) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas (also made from a prison cell in a different Turkish prison) calling on supporters to back CHP candidate Imamoglu.

By referring to Ocalan’s statement to buttress their political outlook in Istanbul, Mr. Erdogan and his AKP appear as guilty of “spreading terrorist propaganda” as anyone else they imprisoned for this crime. They can therefore apply the law now and arrest themselves, or abolish it and free the countless innocent political prisoners in Turkey. :o)

I was correct in thinking that Ocalan is being manipulated by the Turkish government - we must remember this fact any time Ocalan passes any letter or information to his supporters - Ocalan's words are Erdogan's words

The latter course of action should make the AKP’s time in opposition, should that day ever come, much more comfortable.

Re: Erdogan lost Istanbul election what do YOU think he will

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 5:44 am
Author: Piling
By using Öcalan as a puppet to prevent a HDP & CHP alliance, AKP tries to keep its large majority. The fact that all Kurdish parties (HADEP/DEHAP/HDP etc.) have always been harmed by Öcalan or the PKK or both of them is a constant factor. A powerful political Kurdish party is dangerous for AKP and PKK.

But I doubt that a Kurdish party could stay a long time as a main opponent : soon or late it is infiltrated by Intelligence and collapsed.

Re: Erdogan lost Istanbul election what do YOU think he will

PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2019 7:16 pm
Author: Anthea
Istanbul's new mayor says 'no individual
or power' can threaten democracy

New Istanbul Mayor: No one can ignore the people

The winner of Istanbul's mayoral election re-run has issued a thinly veiled warning to Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to respect democracy, and that whoever "decides not to serve the people and prioritizes their political future" will be exposed.

Speaking exclusively to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, days after his decisive nine-point victory over Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu said the race was an "extraordinary test" of Turkey's democratic tradition.

"June 23rd showed us that no one, no individual or power, can stand in the way of the will of the people, no politician has the luxury to ignore that fact," said Imamoglu, who dealt Erdogan's ruling party a humbling defeat on Sunday. "That is not a threat. It is how things should be.

"I hold the view that we have passed that test successfully," he said of his win, which was seen as a damning indictment of AKP's long reign by Istanbul residents, many of whom blame Erdogan for the economic crisis, double-digit unemployment and Turkey's plummeting currency, the lira.

Imamoglu, who emerged from relative obscurity to become the star of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), had to run twice after AKP challenged the outcome of the first vote in April claiming fraud.

Sunday's victory saw how "the people of Istanbul demonstrated the legitimacy of the election and the election was protected. No one will be able to interfere with elections to such an extent again," he said.

Celebrations lasted into the night at Kadikoy in Istanbul after results came in from the election re-run.

'Whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey'

Erdogan has cast a long shadow over Turkish politics during more than a quarter-century in politics. He has consolidated power in his person to what many say is the detriment of Turkish democracy, but his legitimacy is based on his uncanny ability to win elections.

The President was not a candidate in this election, but the loss is still personal. Istanbul is his birthplace and the city where he launched his political career -- often saying "whoever wins Istanbul, wins Turkey." =))

The city has become a concentrated source of wealth and power for Erdogan's party, oiling the rest of Turkey's political machine. Losing control of it means losing funds and resources that subsidize pro-government media, businesses, contractors and the AKP apparatus at large.

Erdogan's catchphrase is something Imamoglu has no time for. "What I am interested in is serving Istanbul successfully, and ensure that Istanbul wins in return."

When asked whether he would be investigating the alleged cronyism and corruption from AKP officials, Imamoglu said his first business as mayor will be tackling allegations of municipal corruption to the "the scrutiny of auditing companies with international experience."

The 49-year-old did not think the allegations referred to "Erdogan as an individual," but added "they may relate to his party or to the administrators of his party. How the process would progress is a matter for the judiciary, not my personal responsibility, of course."

Erdogan congratulated the new mayor on his win in a Twitter post Sunday, saying "the national will has appeared once again today. I congratulate Ekrem Imamoglu, who has won the election, according to unofficial results."

Imamoglu hopes Erdogan will shrug off the loss of Istanbul. "I do not believe Mr. Erdogan would continue to hold political gain as his priority after this juncture. Extending the hand for peace would be to the benefit of the country." ... index.html

Re: Erdogan lost Istanbul election what do YOU think he will

PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 1:12 am
Author: Anthea
Huge crowd flocks to Istanbul mayor inauguration

A vast crowd gathered at Istanbul’s town hall on Thursday to see the inauguration of new mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, whose landslide victory has boosted the opposition for the first time in years

“Today is a celebration of democracy, a celebration of Istanbul,” he told a sea of Turkish flags in the city’s historical centre.

None of Turkey’s main television channels, seen as cowed by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, carried Imamoglu’s speech.

It is the second time this year that Imamoglu, of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has been handed the keys to the city.

His first election victory in March was annulled after controversial claims of rigging by Erdogan and the ruling AKP.

But he won a decisive victory in the re-run last Sunday, increasing his margin of victory from just 13,000 in March to more than 800,000 against Erdogan’s chosen candidate, Binali Yildirim.

“The people of Istanbul taught a lesson to a handful of people who wanted to harm democracy,” Imamoglu said.

The 49-year-old former district mayor has electrified the opposition by eschewing the usual aggressive trash-talking of Turkish politics.

“He speaks a language we have been missing for years. That’s why we are here,” said Erol, a supporter in the crowd.

Erdogan – who once said that winning Istanbul was like winning all of Turkey – appears to have accepted the victory.

“We don’t have the luxury of turning a deaf ear... to the message given by our people,” he told party members on Wednesday.

The defeat is seen as especially sensitive for the Turkish leader, who grew up in one of its working class neighbourhoods and launched his political career as Istanbul mayor in the 1990s.

It comes against the backdrop of an economic slowdown and double-digit inflation which analysts say contributed to the ruling party’s losses in major cities including Ankara in the March local elections.

However, the results showed Erdogan’s party remained the most popular nationwide, with the president still credited for the economic boom of the early 2000s and for giving religious conservatives a seat at the table.

There have been fears the government may try to curtail mayoral powers in opposition-run cities.

The opposition Cumhariyet newspaper reported this week that Ankara had removed municipalities’ power to appoint the heads of city-run companies, although this has not been confirmed.

“Istanbul is a metropolis and has a vast budget. It is possible that Erdogan may try to block its funding opportunities, but... it has many opportunities to generate and develop its own funding,” Unal Cevikoz, deputy head of the CHP, told AFP.

Re: Huge crowd flocks to Istanbul mayor inauguration

PostPosted: Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:34 pm
Author: Anthea
Turkey reinvigorates Operation Claw
in Kurdistan Region against PKK

Turkey has begun its second wave of Operation Claw against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerillas in the Khakurk area south of Turkey’s border with the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The first phase commenced in late-May

“On the evening of July 12, a new operation named Claw 2 was launched with our Commando Brigades in the north of Iraq to destroy caves and shelters used by a terror organisation. This is a follow-up on the successfully ongoing Claw 1 operation in the Hakurk [Khakurk] area which revealed new information on terrorist activity,” read a statement from the Turkish Ministry of Defense that was released on Saturday.

Ankara is branding the new offensive ‘Operation Claw 2.’ Hakurk is in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, close to the borders with Turkey and Iran. It is located just north of Qandil, where the PKK is headquartered about 52 kilometers northeast of the regional capital city of Erbil.

“The operation continues as planned,” it added, detailing Turkey is supporting it with Air Force planes, ground fire support vehicles, TAI/AgustaWestland (ATAK) attack helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

The ministry has claimed it “neutralized” dozens of PKK fighters in the framework of Operation Claw, but the Kurdish group has refuted the figure.

Ankara uses the word neutralized to refer to those killed, wounded, or otherwise removed from the battlefield. The PKK has also claimed the lives of a number of Turkish soldiers. The two figures rarely match.

Both sides have been locked in a four decade-long, often armed conflict, resulting in the death of roughly 40,000 people, including civilians.

They reached a ceasefire deal in 2013 which lasted for more than two years, but deadly fighting soon resumed in the Kurdish provinces in southeastern and eastern Turkey.

Some 4,472 people have been killed since the peace process fell apart on July 20, 2015, according to the most recent figures from the International Crisis Group (ICG).

On the 38th anniversary of the July 14 event in a Diyarbakir prison, the PKK announced “Halat Retaliation Year” on Saturday. It is a reference to the killing of senior PKK leader Diyar Ghareen, known as Halmat by his comrades, during Turkish operations on July 5.

A group of Kurds were held in Diyarbakir prison after a 1980 military coup in Turkey. Abused in the jail, a group of the prisoners went on a hunger strike. The incident is commemorated by sympathizers remembered every year. A film about it called ‘14 Temmuz’ (July 14) has sometimes been banned by the Turkish state.

Firat News Agency (ANF), media affiliated with the PKK, published footage on Friday, purportedly showing Turkish military bases and convoys being attacked by guerillas in different areas on the Turkish side of the border with the Kurdistan Region.

The attacks took place on June 21 in Hakkari, on June 29 in Avasin, and on July 5 in Uludere, killing six soldiers, according to ANF.

The People's Defence Forces (HPG), the armed wing of the PKK, released photographs of two of its fighters who it claimed were killed in clashes with the Turkish Army inside Turkey in mid-May. The HPG typically announces their deaths weeks or months later.

The Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraqi federal government repeatedly have called on armed groups not to launch attacks against neighboring countries from within the country.

Kurdish groups opposed to the Iranian regime have also come under retaliatory attacks in recent days by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in areas just south of Hakurk and Qandil in recent days.