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Turkey Operation Claw 2 in Kurdistan Region Against PKK

A place for discussion and exchanging ideas about Kurdistan issues here, also a place for sharing article & views and analysis about Kurdistan .

Turkey Operation Claw 2 in Kurdistan Region Against PKK

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Mar 31, 2019 6:39 pm

KURDS SHOULD VOTE:

Kurdistan Democratic Party - North
Partiya Demokrat a Kurdistan - Bakur (PDK Bakur)


I like this party because it welcomes free thinkers from from different points of view and ideologies

This is in contrast to other parties that defend a determined ideology and seek voters who adhere to that ideology and convince people towards it

Also, PDK Bakur are willing to work with other political organisations to gain Kurdish Freedom :ymapplause:

Today is an extremely important for the PDK because today is the day that the founder of the original PDK in Iran, Qazi Muhammad, was hanged 72 years ago =((
Last edited by Anthea on Sat Jul 13, 2019 5:36 pm, edited 21 times in total.
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Turkey Operation Claw 2 in Kurdistan Region Against PKK

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Re: Who do YOU want to win the local elections in Turkey?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:27 am

I am extremely glad that the HDP decided not to stand in areas where they had no hope of winning

They were stupid in the general election because they had no chance of winning but instead of supporting the CHP, Kurds wasted their votes 8-|

This time Kurds have woken up to the FACT that voting for the CHP will bring about some real changes

CHP have often stated that they believe Kurds should govern their own land
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Re: Who do YOU want to win the local elections in Turkey?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 02, 2019 11:43 am

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) experienced a revival in eastern and southeastern provinces, clinching the municipalities of Bitlis, Şırnak and Ağrı province centers from the HDP.

In Tunceli province center, the party lost to Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) candidate Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu.
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Re: Who do YOU want to win the local elections in Turkey?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:35 pm

Turkey’s biggest election losers?
Erdogan’s AKP and pro-Kurd HDP


Turkey’s municipal elections on Sunday were full of surprises – great for some and downright concerning for others

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on paper appeared to be the winner with the most votes overall.

But with the loss of Turkey’s great cities of Ankara, Izmir, and possibly even Istanbul to its main opposition rival, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), this is a mutilated victory for Erdogan’s party.

Meanwhile, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) suffered its own setbacks in Kurdish-majority areas of the country.

The pro-Islamic AKP seems very pleased with its result in eastern and southeastern parts of the country after grabbing key Kurdish areas from the HDP, including Agri, Sirnak, and Bitlis, according to unofficial results published by state media.

“I want to talk about a very important thing. I thank all my people, typically our Kurdish brethren, for feeling responsible for our [national] survival,” Erdogan told supporters in Ankara as results trickled in late Sunday.

Erdogan however refrained from commenting on his party’s waning support in Ankara, Izmir, and Istanbul. He even omitted mention of the AKP’s candidate for Istanbul, Binali Yildirim, who gave up his job as parliamentary speaker in order to run for mayor.

Known as Erdogan’s “yes man,” Yildirim was quick in announcing his “victory” on election night. With unofficial results yet to be declared in this marginal seat, he may have spoken too soon.

AKP’s losses in Ankara were widely expected. But Istanbul, which the party has held for 15 years, was seen as a safe bet. Erdogan was confident Yildirim would beat the CHP’s Ekrem Imamoglu, who was relatively unknown before his nomination.

There are those still questioning the Ankara result, however, including the AKP’s general secretary Fatih Sahin, who tweeted late on Sunday: “There are invalid votes and irregularities” in most of the more than 12,000 polling stations in Ankara.

CHP, MHP: the real winners?

CHP performed poorly in the presidential and parliamentary election of June 2018 – its presidential candidate Muharrem Ince roundly trounced by Erdogan.

However, in local polls the party has enjoyed a boost, with potential wins in the big cities softening the blow of more lackluster performances elsewhere.

Established by the founder of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, the CHP was long the natural party of government and a champion of Ataturk’s secularism.

HDP did not field candidates in Istanbul and Ankara and urged its supporters to back CHP against AKP.

Dilan Dirayet, an HDP lawmaker, told Rudaw English the party’s strategy to defeat AKP in the big cities had succeeded.

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which forged an alliance with AKP, also seems satisfied with its result.

Devlet Bahceli, the MHP leader, said late Sunday that Turkey “has passed through an historical process and shown that domestic democracy is strong despite foreign traps.”

Ziryan Rojhalati, a researcher at Rudaw Research Centre, said both nationalist parties can be considered the real winners of the election.

“The first winners are CHP and MHP. MHP has increased its votes and the CHP was able to make a change through its alliance [with opposition parties]. It made a hope for its voters that it can have the chance of a great victory in coming elections.”

AKP’s “alliance with the MHP has mostly benefited the MHP,” he said. AKP and HDP meanwhile were “the main losers.”

What about HDP?

Despite its alliance with a number of Kurdish and pro-Kurdish parties, the HDP does not seem to have secured the result it had hoped for, actually losing key provinces.

Its Kurdish allies also made few gains.

HDP’s biggest loss is Agri, which has been held by the party for years.

Dirayet, who represents Agri in the Turkish parliament, told Rudaw English the party admits it has faults that need to be addressed. However, she also blamed government pressure and “threats” for reducing the turnout of its traditional supporters.

She also accused pro-government trustees, installed by Ankara to replace the HDP mayors arrested for alleged terror offenses, of waging a “psychological war against HDP voters by telling them no matter who they vote for, finally the AKP will win.”

This left people feeling “discouraged.”

She also said “the campaign was not democratic” because Turkish media ignored HDP election ads – fearing AKP reprisals.

Another factor that undermined HDP’s performance was the shortage of “skilled and influential” candidates, Dirayet confessed. Stronger HDP candidates were rejected by the electoral commission (YSK), again under AKP pressure, she alleged.

Rudaw Research Center’s Rojhalati is not convinced the HDP strategy of backing CHP candidates against the AKP in the country’s west had succeeded. “This could only be considered a victory if it [HDP] maintained its own votes. Each party will do politics for itself, not to make another party win.”

HDP did have some victories, narrowly taking Kars from MHP.

Addressing supporters late on Sunday in Diyarbakir – where the party beat AKP by a large margin – HDP co-chair Pervin Buldan said “democratic forces and Kurds have won in all places.”

Buldan also accused rivals of fraud.

“Dear people, we have not lost Sirnak, Dersim, and Agri because all sort of games and frauds were committed in these cities,” she said.

“Today only in Sirnak, 12,000 people were brought in to vote, meaning that Sirnak was totally occupied,” Buldan alleged.

“Therefore, we do not say that we lost Sirnak. The people of Sirnak, Dersim, and Agri have won,” she added.

The party has filed a complaint to the YSK, claiming it may have lost Mus as a result of fraud.

According to Turkey’s state-backed Anadolu Agency, HDP won fewer votes in most Kurdish provinces compared to the 2014 local elections.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/analysis/01042019
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Re: Local elections in Turkey? Who were the real winners?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:47 pm

Erdogan’s Party Demands New Vote
in Istanbul After Losing Election


Trying to reverse a stinging setback, Turkey’s ruling party on Tuesday demanded a redo of last week’s election for mayor of Istanbul, the country’s largest city and long a source of power and prestige for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The extraordinary stance came as it became increasingly clear that a days-long recounting of ballots would not change the result that Binali Yildirim, the candidate of Mr. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., had lost to the opposition candidate, Ekrem Imamoglu, in the March 31 election.

Mr. Erdogan’s party had already demanded a recount of spoiled ballots in all of Istanbul and a full recount in some of the city’s districts. When that did not change the result, it called for a recount of the entire Istanbul vote, which the High Election Council refused.

The latest demand now puts the High Election Council squarely on the spot and threatens to precipitate a crisis for both Istanbul and the entire country, becoming the latest test of democratic institutions already groaning under the authoritarian strains of Mr. Erdogan’s 16 years in power.

“I find the chances extremely high that the election board will accept A.K.P.’s request to repeat the elections,’’ said Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

‘‘Far from being independent, the election board, like other institutions, has fallen under Erdogan’s power, and I would say the board has thus far taken steps to facilitate Erdogan’s each and every next move,’’ he added.

He noted that the council had already allowed a recount of invalid ballots, even though the A.K.P. presented no credible evidence, other than a narrow margin, that there had been irregularities.

That has not stopped the party or the president from alleging that the irregularities were systemic in Istanbul, where the candidates are separated by less than 0.3 percent of almost nine million votes cast.

“We will use the extraordinary appeal grounds and say we want to renew the elections in Istanbul,” Ali Ihsan Yavuz, the deputy head of the party, said at a televised news conference in Ankara, the capital. “Everywhere in Istanbul, organized acts were done. That is why we called it organized irregularity.”

Mr. Erdogan himself has cast doubt on the election and pressed the case for a do-over by citing examples of American elections where the margin was so narrow that the balloting was redone.

“Irregularities are not just a few, almost entirely it is irregular,” he said on Monday of the election in Istanbul, speaking at Ataturk Airport before leaving for a visit to Moscow.

Murat Yetkin, formerly the editor in chief of Hurriyet Daily News, wrote on his blog this week that even those in the president’s circle were divided about how far to push the challenge, with a small, determined group urging the president to “put his weight for renewing Istanbul elections.”

A second, larger group of more experienced politicians have argued to accept the results, because the challenge is actually benefiting Mr. Imamoglu by elevating his stature.

Judging by Mr. Erdogan’s statement this week, the hard-liners may be carrying the day, though it may also be a way for the president ‘‘to manage the trauma,’’ said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the Ankara director of German Marshall Fund.

‘‘This looks like more to redefine the defeat in Istanbul as if it was actually won but stolen by illegitimate means,’’ said Mr. Unluhisarcikli, who noted that a new election would actually be quite risky for the president as the economy continues to deteriorate.

“I do not believe that Erdogan actually wants to renew the elections,’’ Mr. Unluhisarcikli said. ‘‘The economic realities do not allow this. It would be a huge gamble.’’

The result in Istanbul carries enormous weight, however, and there are clear incentives for the president and his party to fight a loss.

With 15 million people, most of them on the European side of the Bosporus, Istanbul is the most populous city on the Continent and Turkey’s economic capital. It is also Mr. Erdogan’s hometown and has long been a base of support for him.

Just as important, the opposition and some analysts say, the city has become a vital source of wealth in a network of cronyism and nepotism that has benefited from the awarding of municipal contracts and the distribution of city funds to charitable foundations with links to the president’s family.

Even before he has been officially declared the winner, Mr. Imamoglu, who ran for the opposition Republican People’s Party, has vowed to open the books of the city, which Mr. Erdogan and his party have controlled since 2002, to expose long-simmering accusations of corruption.

“The result of this election is clear,’’ Mr. Imamoglu said at a televised news conference on Tuesday, when he repeated his desire to take office and start working immediately. ‘‘The streets accepted the result. You can work hard, and win five years later. We have won, admit it.”

Last week, Mr. Imamoglu said that with its continuing challenges to the result of the election, Mr. Erdogan’s party was stalling for time so that it could erase City Hall records from computers before independent auditors could carry out the review he promises.

Such allegations have taken on more weight with voters as the Turkish economy falters, undercutting the president’s long record of nearly unbroken economic growth. Turkey entered recession this year, and the currency, the lira, has continued to slide amid increasing worry by investors and markets.

The opposition party also won a close mayoral election in Ankara, a result that the election council has finalized. The potential loss of Istanbul would place both the country’s political and financial capitals in opposition hands.

Taken together with rest of the results from the March 31 elections, the balloting reflected increasing discontent among voters with Mr. Erdogan, who has concentrated executive powers, carried out a sweeping purge of opponents after a failed 2016 coup, and brought a once-vibrant news media to heel.

The High Election Council must consider the request by Mr. Erdogan’s party for a new election, but the opposition party insisted that the result was legitimate and clear.

“Both legally and conscientiously, there is no obstacle to giving Ekrem Imamoglu his mayoral certificate,” Faik Oztrak, the opposition spokesman, said in televised remarks. “Mr. Imamoglu is right now the elected mayor of Istanbul, as he was on the morning of April 1.”

He pointed out that Mr. Erdogan’s A.K.P. party had won many districts in Istanbul as well as other towns across the country, results that were not being challenged.

“So when A.K.P. mayors are elected it is the national will, but when the votes go to Imamoglu, it is dubious,’’ Mr. Oztrak said. ‘‘Even crows laugh at that. They should leave the nation alone.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/09/worl ... -vote.html
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Re: Erdogan’s Party Demands New Vote in Istanbul After Losin

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:19 pm

Turkish police going door-to-door
asking who residents voted for


As a controversy over the İstanbul mayoral election continues, the Turkish opposition has claimed that the police are going door-to-door in the Büyükçekmece district, asking residents who they voted for, the Artı Gerçek news website reported on Tuesday

The allegation was made by Engin Altay and Seyit Torun, top officials from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), whose candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, won the run for mayor of İstanbul according to unofficial results of the March 31 polls.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has repeatedly objected to the İstanbul election, demanding several recounts and even calling for a new election.

“The police are going door-to-door in Büyükçekmece. ‘Which party did you vote for?’ they ask,” Altay said, condemning what he refers to as state-sponsored terrorism perpetrated on citizens because of their political choices.

An investigation was launched into locations in Büyükçekmece based on allegations that voter registries were altered immediately before the election.

The claims were supported by Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu, who on Tuesday expressed support for the calls for a new election.

https://www.turkishminute.com/2019/04/0 ... kbpKvyICyg
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Re: Turkish police going door-to-door asking who residents v

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:12 am

Turkey to do re-vote in northeastern district

Turkey’s election body announced they will redo the election in Yusufeli district, Artvin province in the country’s northeast where the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s candidate leads the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) with just three votes, reported Anadolu Agency on Wednesday

The Turkish Supreme Election Council (YSK) made the decision after CHP challenged the result. The do-over vote will be held on June 2.

According to unofficial results from Anadolu, CHP won in seven of Artvin’s nine districts while the AKP took the remaining two with a slim margin.

This is the only re-vote the YSK has agreed to so far, despite calls from multiple parties for new elections to take place in hotly contested areas, including a request from AKP for a new vote in Istanbul. The YSK has conducted many recounts in Istanbul on AKP’s request, but has so far not agreed to authorize a new vote.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP lost three key cities – Ankara, Istanbul, and Izmir – to CHP per unofficial results, while taking some significant provinces – such as Agri and Sirnak – from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the east.

Races across the country were tight and parties from all sides submitted requests for recounts. The impartiality of the electoral authority was questioned after it approved most recount requests from the ruling parties and few from the opposition.

The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) said late on Wednesday that seven of their winning candidates were denied official recognition and accused YSK of becoming a “tool for the AKP that has acted against the will of voters.”

The YSK decided not to certify winners who had previously been removed from their posts during the state of emergency, Cumhurriyet newspaper reported. The decision mainly affects HDP candidates. Tens of HDP mayors had been removed in 2016 and replaced with pro-government trustees.

The party questioned why the candidacies of their members were accepted just to have them deemed ineligible after winning the poll.

Responding to accusations his party was putting pressure on the YSK, AKP spokesperson Omer Celik said they too have had requests refused by the election body.

The opposition “said that we have threatened and pressured the YSK, compelling them to do recounts. Now, our complaint has been denied by the YSK,” he told journalists in a press conference on Wednesday after the YSK rejected AKP complaints from Ankara.

Celik claimed that all their complaints have been “legal” and said they have accepted all of YSK’s decisions because “we respect the people’s will.”

While parties jostle for the top positions, HDP in Mus’ Rustemgedik district refused a YSK decision that gave their candidate the mayoralty after the winning CHP’s candidate secured the most votes but was ruled ineligible because of the existence of a criminal record.

“The YSK cannot reject those chosen by the people due to a criminal record. There should be a re-vote here,” HDP tweeted.

Earlier in the day, YSK rejected HDP’s request for a re-vote in in Mus province’s Malazgirt district “where the difference is only three votes” between HDP and AKP, the party stated.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast ... /100420191
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Re: Turkish police going door-to-door asking who residents v

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:35 pm

AKP’s scandalous objection to Ahmet Turk

A scandalous objection was filed against HDP’s Ahmet Turk, who was elected co-mayor of Mardin Metropolitan Municipality in the local elections held on March 31. The AKP Provincial Chapter appealed to the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK) with an 8-page scandalous petition

The petition mentioned Turk’s temporary removal from office by the Interior Ministry on November 16, 2016 and argued that the removal constitutes an obstacle for Turk to receive his mandate and assume his position. The petition also mentioned the ongoing 14 separate lawsuits, investigations and procedings against Turk.

The petition demanded that the mandate be given to the AKP’s Mehmet Vejdi Kahraman.

The AKP petition, in a complete disregard of the law, said: “Even if Ahmet Turk wasn’t removed from office by the Statutory Decrees (KHK) No.692 and 697, his actions are covered by said decrees. It is clear that Ahmet Turk is one of the persons in contact and junction with the terrorist organization.”

“HIS HEALTH IS BAD, AND HE WOULD BE ARRESTED IF IT WASN’T”

The petition continued to say that Turk was released from prison as he was on remand on a case for his health issues, and added: “It is clear that if his health permits, he will be arrested again and sent to prison.”

The petition claimed that Ahmet Turk’s health making him unable to remain in prison would also make it impossible for him to serve as mayor and continued: “If Ahmet Turk’s health is well enough that he can serve in the challenging post of Mayor for a city like Mardin, he will be arrested again and sent to prison.”

“THERE CAN’T BE ANOTHER TIME AS VILE AS THIS”

Turk’s advisor Enver Ete issued the following statement:

“We cannot fathom where the AKP comes up with such ridiculous reasoning. They object on nonsensical grounds. There has never been and can never be another time as vile as this. If they openly said they don’t accept the election results, that would make more sense. Then they wouldn’t have to list their ‘reasons’ either. But arguing that his ‘actions are covered by the KHK’, he himself is old…

We cannot believe that the people who prepare such ridiculous objections are actual men of the law. We are waiting for the process to conclude. Turkey is going through a great test for democracy now. We see that there is no rule of law left to speak of. Everybody should support this struggle for democracy and act accordingly.”


Ahmet Turk is a widely respected Kurdish leader who has been involved in politics for many years - long before the HDP materialised
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Re: AKP’s scandalous objection to Ahmet Turk

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:09 am

Pro-Kurdish party slams Turkey
ban on elected mayors taking office


DIYARBAKIR, Turkey — Turkey's main pro-Kurdish party on Thursday said it would appeal to electoral authorities to annul elections in five districts and towns after some of its successful candidates were blocked from taking office after a March 31 local vote

The Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) on Wednesday ordered that individuals sacked by an emergency decree during purges after a 2016 failed coup could not take up their posts despite being elected.

The candidate who came second would be able to serve in the post instead.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has often accused the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) of ties with PKK Kurdish militants, a charge the party denies.

The HDP said the YSK decision affects many candidates who had already been authorised to stand in the ballot by the same electoral council.

HDP MP Mithat Sancar later told reporters that the party "would launch extraordinary appeals" for the vote to be annulled in five districts and towns where the party's victorious candidates in the Kurdish-majority southeast were affected.

The five candidates have not yet received their certificate of election.

The YSK's decision was "a blow against the elector's will, actually a blow against the future of democracy in Turkey," Sancar said, adding the move was unconstitutional.

"This step taken by the YSK is part of a deliberate political conspiracy, nothing else" by the ruling AKP and its coalition nationalist MHP partner, HDP spokesman Saruhan Oluc said earlier on Thursday. "Show respect to the people's will," he said.

Erdogan's AKP won most seats nationwide in the election, but in a setback lost the capital Ankara and was narrowly defeated in Istanbul, though the party said it will challenge those results.

'Pressure from government'

Hundreds of HDP members and around 40 of its mayors are currently in detention, accused by authorities of ties to PKK militants who are fighting a decades-long insurgency in Turkey.

Other HDP officials said there were other candidates impacted including the party's candidate for Diyarbakir's Baglar district, who won with over 70 percent of the vote.

Nearly 100 supporters including HDP officials tried to enter Baglar authority's building in Diyarbakir on Thursday but were stopped by police, an AFP correspondent said. Some HDP members including MPs then held a sit-in protest instead.

There were chants of "the authority is ours, it will be ours" and "the pressures will not deter us" during the protest, the correspondent said.

"There is pressure from the government, it happens every time," Zeyyat Ceylan, HDP candidate for Baglar, said who attended the protest.

"This is a process in which our people's will has been given to another party, to the AKP... Neither we nor our people approve this," Ceylan added.

The candidate who came second in Baglar was from Erdogan's AKP, with 25 percent. In most of the areas affected, the second candidate is from the AKP.

More than 140,000 people were sacked or suspended from the civil service or public institutions after the 2016 failed overthrow of Erdogan, blamed by Turkey on US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. Gulen denies Ankara's accusations.

The majority of those sacked including teachers are accused of links to Gulen but several thousand are suspected of Kurdish militant links.

After the failed coup, the government installed local administrators to replace 95 of the 102 municipalities held by pro-Kurdish mayors elected in 2014.

Before the vote last week, Erdogan threatened to do the same again, replacing mayors linked to "terrorism", he said.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast ... /120420191
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Re: AKP’s scandalous objection to Ahmet Turk

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Apr 14, 2019 12:21 am

In high-risk move, Erdogan calls
for Istanbul election to be annulled


Erdogan’s stance could become costly for the AKP because many of its voters would be hard to motivate for another election

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not accepted his party’s defeat in local elections in Istanbul and may call for a rerun of the vote in a high-risk move that could undermine his 16-year grip on the country.

Official results indicate that Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) narrowly lost the mayoral race in Istanbul during countrywide municipal elections March 31 against the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).

Ekrem Imamoglu, the CHP candidate, defeated the AKP’s Binali Yildirim by less than 20,000 votes in a city with 10 million registered voters.

The loss was a bitter blow for Erdogan, whose rise to power began when he was elected mayor of Istanbul 25 years ago. The 65-year-old president has refused to concede, arguing that foul play by the opposition distorted the result. Some analysts said Erdogan’s stance could become costly for the AKP because many of its voters would be hard to motivate for another election.

Speaking during the return trip from Moscow, Erdogan said election regulations had been violated. “Our colleagues have established this. Naturally all this casts doubt. If they take a sincere view, this will lead to annulment,” he said.

AKP Deputy Chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz called for new elections in Istanbul, which would probably take place in June, news reports said. The decision to schedule a new election rests with Turkey’s Supreme Electoral Council (YSK). There has been no announcement by the board that an official request for new elections had been made.

Erdogan met his political partner, Devlet Bahceli, leader of the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party, April 10 but did not say whether the AKP would ask the YSK to renew the Istanbul vote.

A repeat election could produce an even worse result for the AKP because people were critical of Erdogan’s decision not to accept the outcome of the March 31 poll.

CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said the YSK should reject efforts by the AKP to change the election outcome in Istanbul. “The YSK must stand up to the leaders of the government who want a Turkey without elections instead of democracy,” he said. A decision by the YSK on new elections in Istanbul would “lead Turkey towards the light or throw it into chaos.”

Reports said there was unease within the AKP regarding a possible rerun. Some party officials were reportedly concerned that Imamoglu would present himself as the victim of AKP pressure during a new election campaign, the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper said. Kemal Ozturk, a columnist for the pro-Erdogan Yeni Safak newspaper, wrote that the opposition would be “unbelievably motivated” in a rerun election.

If the YSK does schedule a new election in Istanbul, Erdogan would lead the AKP into a new campaign in the middle of an economic crisis. Turkey’s economy is in recession and facing rising unemployment and inflation as well as jittery investors. There are also rising tensions with the United States over Erdogan’s plan to buy a Russian missile defence system that Washington say could make NATO military assets vulnerable to Russian spying.

Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, a son-in law of the president, has presented an economic reform programme that includes stronger state support for the banking sector.

However, the government may be powerless to prevent an even worse economic downturn if a decision to renew the Istanbul election triggered a negative response by the international community and by investors concerned about growing authoritarianism in Turkey.

“There will be reactions by the US and the EU and there will be reactions by the markets,” Emre Deliveli, a Turkish economist, said by telephone.

Deliveli said efforts by the Turkish government to prop up the economy before the March 31 elections by asking companies not to raise prices and other measures were not sustainable. “They were trying to hold the economy together before the election,” he said. “They cannot keep that up for another few months without risking a wave of bankruptcies.”

Given those risks, observers said Erdogan might not be preparing a formal call for a new vote in Istanbul.

Instead, the president’s statements could serve the purpose of creating a “narrative of victimhood,” said Kristian Brakel, Turkey representative of the Heinrich Boll Foundation, a think-tank close to Germany’s Green party. It was possible that Erdogan was trying to present the AKP as a victim that has been cheated by its political adversaries, Brakel said by telephone. “After all, Erdogan has been using the narrative of victimhood for years.”

Some observers wondered whether Erdogan, who has dominated Turkey since the AKP’s first election victory in 2002, has lost his touch.

Rusen Cakir, a respected journalist and expert on the AKP, said Erdogan made a series of strategic mistakes, the most important of which was to polarise society with his sharp rhetoric.

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Re: Erdogan calls for Istanbul election to be annulled

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Apr 15, 2019 1:49 am

Turkish government no longer cares about lawfulness

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) does not care about remaining in the confines the law anymore and the 31 March local polls marked a radical fracture exposing that ongoing situation, renowned political scientist and historian Hamit Bozaslan said in an exclusive interview with Duvar news site

The AKP and the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan received a major blow in local elections, losing the control of four of the five most populous provinces in Turkey that account the more than 50 percent of the wealth in the country.

The AKP plans to request a do-over election in İstanbul, the country’s major business hub, where the opposition candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won the mayoral race by a very low margin.

Following the collapse of a peace process in 2015 launched to solve the three-decade long Kurdish conflict in the country, the AKP government replaced more than 90 elected mayors of the predominantly Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) with state-appointed administrators using the powers of the two-year emergency rule declared following a coup attempt in 2016

In local elections in March, the alliance between the AKP and the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) won mayoral races in some southeastern provinces like Şırnak and Muş, while the HDP won 71 mayoral seats. Yet, more than half of those elected mayors still await their authorisations. The Supreme Election Council (YSK) this week announced that elected mayors who were previously dismissed from public sector via government decrees would not receive their certifications of election required to take office.

The HDP also gave support to opposition candidates in the western part of the country and according to analysts the Kurdish votes played a pivotal role in the AKP’s defeat

This happened despite a harsh rhetoric of the government during the election campaign, saying that the survival of the nation was at stake and the opposition was under the control of terrorist groups.

According to experts, by seemingly not accepting election results in Istanbul, the AKP might lose electoral legitimacy.

“First of all, neither the AKP nor the system cares about legality anymore. Yes, they do not destroy legality technically, but they absolutely reject legality beyond plebiscite and openly show that they do not need to abide by it. It is certain that a radical fracture happened on March 31 in relation to that, but this in fact is not something new,” said Bozaslan, known for his studies on the Middle East.

The AKP’s “Erdoğanism” is based on the assumption that there is an organic unity between the people and the “chief”, Bozdağan said. According to Erdoğanism, this organic unity cannot be destroyed without treason or fraud.

“This is the fact that forms the basis of Erdoğanism’s systematic destruction of institutions and legality,” Boazaslan said. “If the people and their chief is the only source of legitimacy and this legitimacy requires and organic association between the two, then any challenge to this legitimacy inevitably interpreted as treason.”

Despite positive outcomes of the March 31 elections from the perspective of the opposition, social collapse in Turkey continues, according to Bozaslan. “We can see in everything, from politics the education, from the economy to the daily life that the rhetoric is established over hatred and brutality. We can also see that from people losing confidence in time and space,” he said.

The system in Turkey can not maintain itself without further polarisation, Boazaslan said.

“Yet, though we can not predict how society will respond to that polarisation, how outside factors will readdress that situation, and what the economic crisis will bring, we know that it is difficult for the system to maintain itself in the absence of a new crisis,” he added.

https://ahvalnews.com/recep-tayyip-erdo ... s-academic
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Re: Turkish government no longer cares about lawfulness

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu May 02, 2019 7:05 pm

Prosecutors open Istanbul elections probe
re-run still looms


Turkish prosecutors launched 32 investigations into allegations of irregularities in Istanbul’s local elections and summoned more than 100 polling station officials for questioning as suspects, state-owned Anadolu news agency said on Thursday

The main opposition secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), in alliance with smaller parties, won the mayoralty in Istanbul and Ankara, ending a quarter century of control by President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party and its Islamist predecessors.

Erdogan has called for the annulment and re-run of the Istanbul vote, a prospect that has kept Turkish financial markets on edge since the March 31 elections.

The High Election Board (YSK) is yet to rule on the AKP challenge to the Istanbul election result, but it has ordered district electoral officials in Istanbul to carry out inspections into their respective ballot box officials in its interim rulings.

Anadolu said the investigations focused on Istanbul’s Maltepe, Kadikoy and Atasehir districts, all three of which were won by the CHP.

The suspects are being questioned over allegations of violations of election law and abuse of position in counting votes and entering dates, it said.

Part of the criminal complaints were filed by the AKP and its ally, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), while others were filed by district election boards, it said.

The Istanbul prosecutor’s office declined to comment.

AKP deputy chairman Ali Ihsan Yavuz said biased individuals were selected as ballot box officials ahead of the election as part of an orchestrated effort.

“We very clearly see that there have been some fully organized work and operations to cheat at the ballot boxes, starting from two years ago,” he said, adding that criminal complaints would be filed against others as well.

The CHP said the probes did not indicate any irregularities or unlawful acts had taken place and added that the inspections provided no reason for annulment.

“As a result of the inspections completed by the District Election Boards after the YSK’s interim rulings, there are no findings that require an annulment of the elections,” the CHP’s legal commission said.

“Prosecutors seeking testimonies as part of the appeals is routine and does not mean there were irregularities in the elections,” it said on Twitter.

A potential re-run of the elections in Istanbul was initially scheduled for June 2, but the YSK may choose a later date if it rules that way.

Separately, Erdogan ordered for a monthly cut to some funds transferred from the Treasury to municipality budgets in a presidential decree published in the Official Gazette.

According to the ruling, the Treasury will deliver a monthly cut of 5 percent to transferring the revenues obtained from the metro systems built by the Transport Ministry and operated by the municipality.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turk ... SKCN1S80KC
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Re: Prosecutors open Istanbul elections probe re-run still l

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue May 07, 2019 8:42 pm

Turkish electoral body orders
re-do of Istanbul election


Turkey’s Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced on Monday that they have rejected the March 31 local election result for Istanbul and ordered a new vote to be held on June 23

The winner of the election vowed he will fight the decision

Not a surprise 8-}

The opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Ekrem Imamoglu won the election for mayor of Istanbul by a very slim margin over the rival candidate, the Justice and Development Party (AKP)’s Binali Yildirim. AKP, the ruling party of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appealed to the electoral body to re-run the election, alleging irregularities.

Imamoglu’s win was officially confirmed by the electoral body in mid-April, despite the pending appeal from AKP. In an interview with Rudaw, he vowed to eradicate partisanship, saying “I want to be the most democratic and innovative mayor of Istanbul.”

The YSK said it made the decision to hold a new vote because some polling station staff were not authorized as they were civil servants, Anadolu Agency reported.

Imamoglu told his supporters on Monday not to be “disappointed and give up” their struggle. "We will win and everything will be very fine," he said, in a video he streamed live on social media.

His rival, Yildirim, told journalists that he welcomes the decision. He confirmed that he will stand in the do-over election, but said the most important thing is to "provide the best service to Istanbul."

Imamoglu’s party slammed the ruling. "Running against the AKP in election is allowed, but winning against it is prohibited,” CHP deputy leader Onursal Adiguzel said in a sarcastic tweet.

"This is neither democratic nor legitimate. It is downright dictatorship," he said.

The pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also condemned the decision, accusing the electoral body of bowing to pressure from AKP.

The YSK "has made an illegitimate, undemocratic decision – violating the law, denying itself, and kneeling to the ruling party's pressure," the party said in a tweet.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast ... /060520191
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Re: Turkish electoral body orders re-do of Istanbul election

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri May 10, 2019 12:28 am

Are the Kurds cutting a deal with Erdoğan?

Turkey’s March 31 local elections gave a narrow victory to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in Turkey's biggest city Istanbul ending 25 years of control by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its Islamist predecessors

My party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), did not contest these elections. Instead, we urged our supporters to take a principled stance against the authoritarian quagmire the country has been moving towards under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his alliance with the darkest forces in Turkey’s political domain.

When CHP mayoral candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu was handed his mazbata, a paper that formally granted him the mandate as city mayor, crowds cheered every time he mentioned the HDP in an emotive speech. Without discrediting İmamoğlu’s inclusive and reconciliatory campaign, everyone listening to him that day was still well aware of the HDP’s contribution to the AKP’s defeat.

However, Erdoğan and Istanbul’s AKP establishment immediately pushed for the electoral authorities to annul the Istanbul voting, citing what they said were irregularities in the appointment of ballot box officials.

Perhaps inevitably, Erdoğan got his wish. On Monday, the High Election Council (YSK) ruled seven to four in favour of the AKP, calling for a new vote. The move was widely acknowledged as the latest example of Erdoğan’s authoritarian impulses. It was also decried as a blow to Turkey’s so-called “democratic foundation”— one that, to the Kurds and oppressed segments of Turkish society, has always stood on shaky ground.

But in the few hours before the expected YSK statement, something else happened that temporarily occupied the headlines: the lawyers of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), read out a letter they had received after their visit to the island on May 2nd— something the government had arbitrarily and illegally blocked for eight years 8-|

In an April 22 report, Turkey’s Human Rights Association said that at least 3,000 prisoners in 92 jails across Turkey were on hunger strike to demand the end of Öcalan’s isolation. In his letter, Öcalan called on the hunger strikers not to take their actions to a point that threatens their health or results in death.

He also called for a "democratic negotiation" between Turkey and the Kurds, and expressed his continued commitment to the “Newroz 2013 statement” in which he had outlined his approach to the then-promising peace process.

One would think that any development that could potentially lead to the solution of a conflict that has claimed almost 50,000 lives and spanned the best part of four decades would be met with nothing but joy. However, this celebration lasted only until the YSK announced its decision to annul the Istanbul mayoral contest and set a new election for June 23. Suddenly, electoral arithmetic in Istanbul was more important than a development that had thousands of people on hunger strike, including our member of parliament Leyla Güven — who has been starving herself for 183 days!!!!!

Unashamedly, the questions of the day became: Will the HDP and AKP cut a deal in which Istanbul is gifted to the AKP and the Kurds get a peace process in return? Will the Kurds sell out the CHP and İmamoğlu? Are the Kurds going to gift Istanbul to the AKP? X(

The Kurdish people have been massacred, assimilated, suppressed and disenfranchised since the establishment of the Republic of Turkey. This is what we all know as the Kurdish question. There is arguably no community in Turkey that is more existentially invested in the democratisation of the country and, conversely, none more existentially threatened by its authoritarian downturn.

The Kurds owe no one anything. But they are owed respect, dignity and justice for their own struggle against a state that has oppressed them for almost a century, for their contribution to the democratisation of the Republic of Turkey, and for their wider resistance against authoritarianism across the region.

If this reality were open to give-and-take negotiation, then close to 6,000 members of the HDP - including our former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yuksekdağ - would not be behind bars today.

The Kurds want nothing more than a resolution to the Kurdish question, a dignified end to the conflict between the PKK and the state (public support for the peace process was at 81 percent), and the freedom of all political prisoners – what the opposition thinks about these questions is the more important for the future of Turkey. But the Kurds also know that all of this is only possible through the real democratisation of Turkey and a redefinition of the republic.

Therefore, though the questions listed above are shameful and unfounded and answering them may inadvertently be legitimising them, here they are: no, no, and no.

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Re: Is Erdogan trying to get Kurds to support AKP not CHP?

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat May 11, 2019 12:47 am

Turks can vote:
As long as it’s for the AKP


A recent op-ed in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper described Turkish democracy today as “performance art.”

Most people already know that Turkish elections, with over 90 percent of media controlled by the ruling party and its sycophants and scores of key opposition candidates behind bars, have not been fair for some time. Yet even relatively unimportant municipal elections in this medium-sized country continue to make international headlines.

According to Cinar Kiper, the Turkish “performance art” centers not on offering Turkey’s people a real choice come election time, but rather symbolism useful to the ruling party. The elections give the government legitimacy by creating the illusion of a real challenge to president Erdogan every cycle.

For this reason we hear the same discourse every year [at least it seems that Turkey has some sort of election or referendum every year]. We hear that this year’s election is key, that the polling serves as a test for a finally vulnerable and increasingly desperate Erdogan.

The electoral campaigns are thus always full of sound and fury, even as they signify nothing. If anyone remains unsure of this, they need only look to what happened after the March 31 municipal elections. Last week Turkey’s Higher Election Board (YSK) annulled the vote in metropolitan Istanbul, which the Republican People’s Party (CHP) opposition candidate barely managed to win following a recount.

The YSK annulled this vote under dubious justifications related to electoral irregularities, such as suspicious numbers of newly registered voters (1,108 new voters in a single Istanbul apartment in one case) and local election councils not entirely composed of authorized officials. In a study of the irregularities, however, Rice University’s Abdullah Aydohan demonstrates in his recent Washington Post piece that the irregularities benefited Erdogan’s ruling AKP party rather than the opposition.

That the opposition was still able to win Istanbul despite such 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.

CHP opposition leaders also correctly pointed out that the YSK only annulled the Metropolitan Istanbul vote for mayor, but not district mayoral and municipal council elections that people voted for at the same polling booths with the same voting envelopes overseen by the same “suspect” local election councils. Unsurprisingly, the district mayoral and municipal council elections that were not annulled were won by the ruling AKP.

The CHP Istanbul winner (for now), Ekrem Imamoglu, also pointed out that “the 2017 constitutional referendum and the 2018 presidential election should also be canceled as the same local election councils worked and the same procedures were followed during those elections.”

Turkey’s apparently government-controlled YSK pulled off an even more ironic feat of logic when it came to several mayors races won by the pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) on March 31. Before the elections, the YSK certified the eligibility of all the candidates. After the election, it revoked the certification of eight Kurdish elected mayors in the southeast under the justification that they were civil servants dismissed by the Erdogan government from their posts following the 2016 attempted coup (which they had nothing to do with). Their votes were given to the second place party in their districts, which was, again, Erdogan’s AKP.

Using his emergency powers, President Erdogan dismissed more than 100 elected HDP mayors after 2016. Turkey watchers estimate that one in three HDP members and officials have been detained over the past 4 years, including the HDP’s former charismatic co-leader Selahattin Demirtas, who remains in prison today.

If there exists any silver lining to this cloud of “democracy as performance art,” it might be that Kemalists are now feeling the sting of policies and games they played with the Kurdish opposition since Turkey became “democratic” in 1950. If any empathy results from the experience, reconciliation could be found somewhere on the horizon.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/opinion/10052019
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