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Entries in Recep Tayyip Erdogan (67)


Turkey Election Special: The "Kurdish Problem" and the Problem of Protests

In less than a week, Turkey will have a new government.

Anticipating the Parliamentary elections on Sunday, EA takes a look at the differences between the parties on key issues. Today: Protest and the Future of the Kurds.

Prime Minister Erdogan Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, “There is no Kurdish problem but there are problems of Kurdish people”. After the killing of 12 members of the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) on 14 May, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc offered a more confusing formula, “There is a Kurdish problem but it is not productive to say that there is a problem as it is in the solution process."

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: An Aid Corridor for the Mountains

2130 GMT: After his refusal to sign a deal for transition of power, Yemen's President Saleh has telephoned Gulf leaders, including the heads of the Saudi, Bahraini, Kuwaiti, and Omani regimes.

Saleh blamed the opposition Joint Meeting Parties for the stalemate, saying they refused to sign the Gulf-brokered initiative "within the framework of transparency and openness".

The JMP had signed the agreement on Saturday night but balked at Saleh's insistence that they come to the Presidential Palace and sign again.

Saleh told the Gulf leaders that he was still ready to accept the initiative.

1955 GMT: Security forces charge a pro-reform demonstration in Tangier in Morocco today:

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The Latest from Iran (10 May): Ahmadinejad's Welcome Distraction

1820 GMT: Book Corner. Radio Zamaneh reports that all works of the prominent author Ali Ashraf Darvishian have been removed from the Tehran Book Fair.

1810 GMT: Parliament Watch. Back from a break to summarise latest developments in the tug-of-war between Parliament and the Government.

On Monday, the Majlis finally confirmed the 2011/12 Budget --- after a debate and delays of more than two months --- but the affirmation was far from resounding: only 144 votes of the 290 MPs voted for the package. There were 29 votes against, 12 abstentions, 23 "presents", and 82 absences.

Now a new battle is brewing: MPs, including Speaker of Parliament Ali Larijani, are claiming that the Government may be breaking the law in its plans for the merger of nine Ministries. On Monday, Parliament had warned that former Ministers could not continue to serve in the new Ministries.

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Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Occupation

2110 GMT: Witnesses and an activist report that two divisions of the Syrian army clashed with each other on Monday as the military occupied the southern town of Daraa.

Battalions of the 5th Division reportedly were trying to protect civilians and clashed with battalions of the 4th Division, commanded the President's brother, Maher al-Assad.

The battle reportedly lasted for several hours.

2100 GMT: Two photos from a protest today in Nawa, near the occupied town of Daraa in southern Syria. Posters include "80,000 people are under siege for five days, No water, no food, no electricity, no communications" and "No water, no medicine, no food":

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Turkey Analysis: The Shortcomings of Prime Minister Erdogan's "The Best Defence is a Good Offence"

UPDATE 22 APRIL: The Supreme Election Board, after eight hours of discussions, has reinstated the candidacy of seven independent candidates.

The Baord had vetoed 12 mostly Kurdish applicants, including two current MPs.

Six Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) candidates and one independent were re-instated. There was no word about the other five who had been blocked.

Protests broke out in several cities across Turkey, with at least one person shot and killed by police on Wednesday, after the board's initial decision.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in Strasbourg, France last week, taking questions from the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly. When French MP Muriel Marland-Militello, whose grandfather was an Armenian born in Istanbul and escaped Turkey in 1915, asked how he would guarantee freedoms for religious minorities in Turkey, Erdogan said, “I believe this friend is French. She is also 'French” to Turkey', which is a saying in Turkish meaning that 'you don’t know anything about it'."

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Getting Organised?

2110 GMT: Bahrain State TV is reporting that the Bahraini regime has shut down Al-Wasat, the only independent newspaper in the country.

In preparation for the move, State television has been broadcasting all night on the supposed plagiarism and distortions of Al-Wasat.

2005 GMT: In Libya, the opposition National Transitional Council has named a "crisis team" to political and military positions.

On the political side, Mahmoud Jebril will head the group taking its direction from the NTC. Omar Hariri is in charge of the military department, with General Abdel Fattah Younes al Abidi, Muammar Qaddafi's former ally and Minister of Interior, as Chief of Staff.

The economics and finance portfolio is held by Ali Tarhouni, a U.S.-based academic who returned to Libya to help the uprising. Appointments were also announced for a new National Oil company and a Central Bank.

Other positions filled included foreign affairs, infrastructure, information, and justice.

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Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Breakthrough?

1820 GMT: The Egyptian stock market has rised for a second day in a row, after almost two months of suspension and then a sharp fall on re-opening last week.

The EGX 30 Index rose 0.8% to 5,251.3 at the close. It has fallen 26% this year amidst the uprising against the Mubarak regime.

1715 GMT: British Tornado jets attacked and destroyed regime ammunition bunkers in the Sabha area of the southern desert early Monday.

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Turkey Special: A Hard Look at Ankara's Policy of "Romantic Realism"

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu wrote for The Guardian of London about his approach to foreign policy.

The context, Davutoglu explained, was a “natural” history, “flowing” from “abnormalities”  --- such as the division of peoples of the region by colonialism and Cold War --- to democracies spreading in the Middle East. In the course of time, he says, an ordinary Turk or Arab can change the history but you are bound to lose if you resist the “momentum of the history” which is giving the “dignity” of this region back.

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Latest from Turkey: The Insurgent PKK, Relations with Russia, the New Middle East, and Israel

Latest developments in Turkey....

What Next with the PKK?

The Kurdish separatist group, PKK, ended its unilateral truce on 28 February. Last week, its life-long-imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan said: “I will make the evaluation in the coming days in March. If something positive happens, the current state of inaction will continue until elections. If not, I am out, I will fade from the scene. My health situation is already not good enough to carry on this work.”

On the following day, three PKK guerillas/terrorists were killed by Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) in Sirnak. On Friday, TSK clashed with PKK members in Bingol --- four PKK members and two village guards were killed. Was this a reaction to Ocalan by PKK ’s senior officials or an organized response by PKK with Ocalan’s permission before the Turkish New Year (Newroz)?

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Turkey Special: Erdogan Government Reaches Out Abroad, Talks Tough at Home

Prime Minister Erdogan is striking a conservative posture at home, even as it holds out the unclenched first abroad. This does not mean he is seeking confrontation as an election strategy: there is no desire for a military clash with PKK, any more than there is a wish to use Iran and Syria against the US, but he is going to the leave no doubts. He is the man in charge.

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