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Entries in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (72)


The Latest from Iran (12 April): Strike a Diplomatic Pose

See also Iran Feature: Maya Neyestani --- Challenging Repression Through The Cartoon
The Latest from Iran (11 April): Targeting Ahmadinejad

2040 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Activist Kouhyar Goudarzi, of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters, has been released after 8 1/2 months in detention.

1930 GMT: Reformist Watch. An interesting push by MP Mohammad Reza Khabbaz after the debate among reformists whether to boycott March's Parliamentary system....

Even through the reformists have been reduced to a token group of about a dozen in the Majlis --- and even though reformist parties have been suspended or broken up by the regime --- Khabbaz wants a new effort to work within the system. He has said that they can regroup to engage in political activities for the 2013 Presidential election if former President Mohammad Khatami leads the campaign.

Khabbaz said that Khatami's decision to cast a ballot --- a move criticised by many reformists and activists --- had paved the way for his return to the country’s political stage.

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Turkey Live Coverage (12 April): Erdogan "If the UN Does Not Follow on Syria, What Will It Follow Through?"

1820: Speaking at the joint press briefing with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Erdogan said that they see no implemantation of the Annan Plan and no improvement of the situation in Syria. Erdogan said:

The Annan Plan is a six-point plan; not an extended broad plan [to solve the crisis]. In my opinion, it is not being implemented.

However, we are saying from the very beginning that we want an outcome. And for this outcome, the tanks must be withdrawn from cities first and foremost. They say 'we have withdrawn from cities and placed them in rural areas. No, where they belong is crystal clear. They belong to barracks. The administration must give confidence to the people by this action which is not the case now.

From the beginning, what we want is conforming to the people's demands. This can be done by bringing ballot boxes in front of the people. Whoever wins at the elections, the international community will respect that. We, as Turkey, are against any totalitarian, authoritarian and autocratic regimes.

No one can ask why Turkey is talking a lot. Our borders are violated and we have 25,000 refugees along with a 877 km of border with Syria. 

1700 GMT: According to Turkey's Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, exportation to Syria has been decreased by 77 percent in March and it is also 56.1 percent less compared to last year's January-March period. It is reported that the number of transportation trucks has been diminished from around 250 to 10-15 a day.

1620 GMT: Minister of Finance Mehmet Simsek said that the southerneastern and eastern parts will become Turkey's China, thanks to the economic stimulus package announced last week. Simsek continued:

Wherever you invest across Turkey, there are strong supports you will have. Tax rates are already set to zero in the sixth region [two regions mentioned above] 

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Turkey Live Coverage (11 April): Erdogan Taking the Lead on Syria?

1820 GMT: It is reported that an investigation committee on military coups and memorandums is to be set up in the parliament. As known, the judicial process has already begun on the 1980 military coup and the parliament itself is a co-plaintiff of the case now. 

1730 GMT: The Turkish Foreign Ministry denied media reports in Iran claiming that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu apologized over Turkish Premier Erdogan's recent remarks, accusing Tehran of being "not honest".

1645 GMT: Human Rights Association of Turkey reveals human rights violations of 2011. According to the report, 12,685 people were taken into custody, 2,922 were arrested and 3,252 were tortured.

Having drawn attention to the increasing figures of Turkey's humans rights violations, the head of the Association Ozturk Turkdogan said: "The political power is establishing a police state!"   

1620 GMT: Military operation backed by 2,000 soldiers and Cobra helicopters against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is continuing the province of Tunceli. Two shelters and one cave were detected. In these cells, kilograms of explosive materials were captured.

1550 GMT: Speaking at the group meeting, Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said:

All circles in the country are working for Justice and Development Party (AKP). Governors, district governors, soldiers, chief constables, heads of tax offices... all work for AKP. We are not just struggling against AKP; but also against the status quo it created. Do not listen to what he is saying about 'the nation'. For him, 'the nation' equals to Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They emptied the meaning of nation completely. They became pharaohs in ten years. They created their own status quo.

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Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deadline? What Deadline?

Iranian cartoonist Maya Neyestani on the Syrian crisis

See also Bahrain Propaganda 101: Former Times Editor, Turned PR Man, Tries to Sell the Regime's Grand Prix
Turkey Live Coverage (11 April): Erdogan Taking the Lead on Syria?
Tuesday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Deadline Passes as 160 Die

2033 GMT: The White House has issued a general statement about Bahrain, with specific reference to the condition of detained activist Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, who is on Day 63 of a hunger strike:

The United States continues to be deeply concerned about the situation in Bahrain, and we urge all parties to reject violence in all its forms. We condemn the violence directed against police and government institutions, including recent incidents that have resulted in serious injuries to police officers. We also call on the police to exercise maximum restraint, and condemn the use of excessive force and indiscriminate use of tear gas against protestors, which has resulted in civilian casualties.

We continue to underscore, both to the government and citizens of Bahrain, the importance of working together to address the underlying causes of mistrust and to promote reconciliation. In this respect, we note our continued concern for the well-being of jailed activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja and call on the Government of Bahrain to consider urgently all available options to resolve his case. More broadly, we urge the government to redouble its ongoing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and renew our call for the government, opposition parties, and all segments of Bahraini society to engage in a genuine dialogue leading to meaningful reforms that address the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.

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Turkey Live Coverage (9 April): Strong Language and Diplomacy Over Syria, Iran, and Kurdistan

1840 GMT: Co-chairman of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), Selahattin Demirtas says:

If Prime Minister wants to talk about the Kurdish problem, he can talk anything with BDP, including education in mother language, the new constitution, constitutional citizenship and legal amendments. 

However, Prime Minister's problem has nothing to with Kurdish people's rights and freedom. Prime Minister always wants to talk about the armed conflict. The problem in his head is only the problem of arms.

1825 GMT: Turkey's famous columnist Nuray Mert writes about Ankara's plans on the Kurdish issue within the context of the Syrian crisis. Mert agrees with our snap analysis so far, arguing that Ankara is paying attention to the structure of the Syrian opposition due to its fear of facing a stronger Kurdish presence in Syria.

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The Latest from Iran (8 April): We Love Nuclear Talks, We Love Them Not

See also Iran Propaganda Special: US Intelligence "Trust Us --- We Know Everything"
The Latest from Iran (7 April): Nuclear Confusion

2113 GMT: Picture of the Day. The Supreme Leader with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hashemi Rafsanjani after Ayatollah Khamenei and the President joined today's meeting of the Expediency Council:

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The Latest from Iran (7 April): Nuclear Confusion

1435 GMT: The Battle Within. Mehr reports that President Ahmadinejad has again refused to attend a meeting of the Expediency Council, chaired by his political rival Hashemi Rafsanjani.

1400 GMT: All-is-Well Alert. Iranian officials assert that Tehran's non-oil exports rose 29% to nearly $44 billion in the year to mid-March, with a further $4.2 billion for technological services.

Almost all of the increase came from petrochemical products and gas condensates, according to the customs offices. The two products have risen in value because of higher oil oil prices.

The export of petrochemicals rose 55% to $15 billion, and that of gas condensates by 36 percent to $10 billion.

China, the United Arab Emirates --- which is the hub for the re-export of goods to Iran --- Iraq, and India were the main customers for non-oil goods.

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The Latest from Iran (6 April): Is Tehran Pulling Out of Nuclear Talks?

Iran Special: Forget the News --- Let's Tell Scary Stories
Iran Feature: Bush Administration Trained MKO "Terrorists" From 2005
The Latest from Iran (5 April): How Serious Are the Economic Problems?

1845 GMT: All the President's Men. Mohammad Dehghan, a member of the Presiding Board of Parlament, has declared that if the Arbitration Council asks Saeed Mortazavi --- the Presidential aide recently named head of the Social Security Fund --- to resign, he must do so.

Mortazavi's appointment has been challenged because he was the Tehran Prosecutor General during the abuses and killings at the Kahrizak detention centre in summer 2009.

Dehghan and other MPs have called for the impeachment of Minister of Labor Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, who has supported Mortazavi, if the Presidential aide does not stand down.

1815 GMT: Rafsanjani Watch. See if you can spot the common theme in Friday Prayers across Iran and the Number One person who is being addressed: "Political Arrogance of the Foreign Anti-Iran Movement"; "America's Involvement with Arrogance"; "America's Threats"; "Bringing Up The Topic of Negotiations With America is Tragic"; "We Cannot Deal with America"; "Negotiating with America Does Not Have Any Meaning".

Former President Hashemi Rafsanjani, are you listening?

Just to drive the point home, Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami said in Tehran Friday Prayers, "[Making decisions on] the case of the U.S. falls within the authority of the Supreme Jurisprudent [Supreme Leader], and no person is in a position to express views in this regard and take action. I believe those who think that we should negotiate with the leading (member) of the (global) arrogance, namely the U.S., either have a simplistic view or have been intimidated.”

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Turkey Live Coverage (4 April): A "Casus Belli" for Syria?

1830 GMT: Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc spoke about the "importance of press in counter-terrorism." Arinc continued:

Freedom of press is essential and it should not be censored. However, the limits of this freedom is clearly written in the European Convention on Human Rights. We shall think that every country also needs to pay attention to these limits. However, there should be a mentality expanding these borders and interpreting freely so that the press can work more freely and more comfortably.   

1745 GMT: A 4.3-magnitude earthquake hit Turkey's Bingol province. No injuries reported yet. 

1700 GMT: President Abdullah Gul commented on the ongoing coup trial. Gul said:

We are living a period of our political history from which lessons must be drawn. This will lead to a very important mentality change that there will be no such attempts anymore.

1620 GMT: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized all opposition parties in the Parliament, Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for their previous positions on the government's plan to bring the 1980 coup makers to justice.

Erdogan said that all parties issued statements against the 12 September referendum, claiming that Justice and Development Party (AKP) couldn't bring them on trial and that it was a big lie. 

1540 GMT: Thousands of Kurds have gathered in Strasbourg, in front of the central building of the Council of Europe. Protesters want the Council to take an initiative on the Kurdish issue and to bring the problem forward in talks with Turkey.

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The Latest from Iran (3 April): Protesting Discrimination

Young Iranian men criticise racism against Afghans, with one of the signs declaring, "I am also an Afghan" (see 0610 GMT)

See also The Latest from Iran (2 April): Talking About Oil

1840 GMT: Political Prisoner Watch. Student activist Peyman Aref has been released from prison.

Aref, held on six occasions since the disputed 2009 Presidential election, was released in October 2011 after serving a year and receiving 74 lashes, but he was seized again in mid-March.

1805 GMT: Tough Talk of the Day. Masoud Jayazeri, the deputy head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has declared, "In the face of any attack, we will have a crushing response. In that case, we will not only act in the boundaries of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, no place in America will be safe from our attacks."

Jayazeri added that Iran would not strike any country first.

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