23 March 2018
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  • » 04/18/2017, 09.37


    Erdogan’s victory applauded by Trump, criticized by Europe

    A narrow victory of 51.4%. Congratulations also from Saudi Arabia. The Republican and pro-Kurdish opposition accuse fraud. It promises an Erdogan presidency until 2029 and the introduction of the death penalty.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - President Recep Tayyep Erdogan has rejected all criticism that has rained down upon him following his marginal victory in the referendum he wanted. He was criticized by the opposition inside but also by European organizations such as the OSCE Human Rights Office (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the Council of Europe. In return, he received compliments from Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia.

    The result is a narrow victory: 51.4% voted in favor of the referendum and constitutional reform; the 48.59 voted "no." The big cities - such as Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara - voted "no".  Instead Erdogan won mostly in Anatolia.

    The vote marked the start of constitutional changes that give the president greater powers: it eliminates the figure of the Prime Minister, gives the Erdogan administration power to choose ministers and judges. The new rules will come into force in November 2019 and since the president can be elected for two rounds of five years, it is possible that Erdogan to stay in power until 2029.

    The two main opposition parties, the Republican CHP and pro-Kurdish HDP say the referendum was rigged, but the Election Committee has declared it valid. Meanwhile, the government has extended a state of emergency for another three months. The measure had been introduced after the failed coup d'etat in July and was to end in two days.

    The OSCE and Council of Europe, although they have not challenged the referendum vote, have criticized the campaign. The two choices (the "yes" and "no") did not have equal opportunities to be presented; the "yes" was defended by the president and other dignitaries of the government on all media: the supporters of the "no" were treated as supporters of "terrorism", linked to the rhetoric of the failed coup d'état; some essential freedoms were trampled.

    The referendum is a turning point in Turkish politics. Erdogan said that soon the country will hold a referendum on its possible membership in the European Union, which is likely to be rejected, after decades of waiting on the side-lines. In addition, the president said the legislation will soon introduce the death penalty. This would put an end to the negotiations between Ankara and the EU.

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    See also

    15/04/2017 12:27:00 TURKEY
    Turkey divided over tomorrow's referendum

    Erdogan wants to become the new "Caesar" and make his country leader of the Middle East. Emphasis on nationalism and organized "terror" with the control of the media and society. Doubts within the AKP itself. The resistance of the Kurdish minority and the Kemalist party. 

    06/02/2018 15:09:00 TURKEY - VATICAN
    Erdogan's acrobatics and the art of bartering

    The political aims of the Turkish president’s Vatican visit. The alliance with Putin and purchase of weapons from Russia while remaining in NATO. The Sultan wants to take full advantage of Turkey's geopolitical position in the migrant flow to Europe; as a basis for a possible attack on Iran. But everything according to his personal ambition.

    20/07/2016 17:09:00 TURKEY
    Erdogan purges target military, academics, teachers

    At least 99 generals and admirals, 1577 university deans, 21 thousand teachers, 15 thousand employees of the Ministry of Education have been questioned, arrested, forced to resign. All are suspected of being close to Fethullah Guelen, accused of being the mastermind of the plot.

    23/06/2016 13:05:00 TURKEY
    Ramadan, the battle for prayer in St. Sophia a sign of Turkey’s Islamisation

    In the month of fasting and prayer every day a Muslim imam reads passages from the Koran in the gardens of the former church, now a museum. Heeding the demands of the lunatic fringe, the government wants to turn the building into a mosque. The clash with the Greek government and the strategic relations between Ankara and Athens on immigration.


    30/05/2016 09:36:00 TURKEY
    Muslims in front of the St. Sophia "mosque" for the conquest of Constantinople and the neo-Ottoman glory of Erdogan

    Prayer in front of the basilica, now a museum, led by a Saudi imam from Mecca. An attempt to collect petition with millions of signatures to force the government to re-open it as a mosque. The celebrations of the conquest of Constantinople began in the 1950s with Adnan Menderes, who was deposed in the 1960s and hanged. Erdogan restored the festival in memory of the conquest to realize his neo-Ottoman dream.

    Editor's choices

    Putin's victory seen from West and East

    Xi Jinping sent a highly congratulatory message. Japan and Germany issued polite words. The Observatory for Security and Cooperation in Europe criticised restrictions on fundamental freedoms. Tensions with Britain remain over the ex-spy poisoning. For Chinese scholar, as the West continues to attack Russia and China, the two will move closer.

    NPC: silence on constitutional amendment, scripted media coverage

    John Ai

    Spokespeople provide scripted answers to scripted questions. Various “foreign” media are funded by China as propaganda tools. The end of term limits for Xi Jinping is the will of the people even though the people did not know about it.


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