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Military coup underway in Turkey

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:03 pm

Ah yes! And the Marcos! Oh - the Perons.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:08 pm

RIP Turkey, 1921 – 2017

Recep Tayyip Erdogan didn’t just win his constitutional referendum — he permanently closed a chapter of his country’s modern history.

On Jan. 20, 1921, the Turkish Grand National Assembly passed the Teşkilât-ı Esasîye Kanunu, or the Law on Fundamental Organization. It would be almost three years until Mustafa Kemal — known more commonly as Ataturk, or “Father Turk” — proclaimed the Republic of Turkey, but the legislation was a critical marker of the new order taking shape in Anatolia.

The new country called Turkey, quite unlike the Ottoman Empire, was structured along modern lines. It was to be administered by executive and legislative branches, as well as a Council of Ministers composed of elected representatives of the parliament. What had once been the authority of the sultan, who ruled alone with political and ecclesiastic legitimacy, was placed in the hands of legislators who represented the sovereignty of the people.   Link.

foreignpolicy.com/2017/04/16/rip-turkey-1921-2017/
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:26 pm

Thanks, LL - rather depressing.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:07 pm

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Turkish holiday industry collapses.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  lily on Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:52 pm

Eek Eek   So it does..... Hide
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Apr 18, 2017 7:20 am

Turkey referendum: Trump congratulates Erdogan.

Donald Trump has congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his victory in Sunday's referendum that gave him sweeping new powers.

In a phone call, the US president also thanked Mr Erdogan for supporting America's missile strike on a Syrian government airbase on 7 April.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-39626116
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:08 am

Turkey's president Erdogan fulfills ambition, but at a cost.

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has finally fulfilled his long-held ambition to expand his powers after Sunday's referendum handed him the reins of his country's governance. But success did not come without a cost.

His victory leaves the nation deeply divided and facing increasing tension with former allies abroad, while international monitors and opposition parties have reported numerous voting irregularities. An unofficial tally carried by the country's state-run news agency gave Erdogan's "yes" vote a narrow win, with 51.4 percent approving a series of constitutional changes converting Turkey's political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one. Critics argue the reforms will hand extensive power to a man with an increasingly autocratic bent, leaving few checks and balances in place.

Opposition parties called for the vote to be annulled because of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots that did not bear official stamps, as required by Turkish law. Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, who also listed numerous irregularities, said the move undermined safeguards against fraud.

The referendum campaign was heavily weighted in favor of the "yes" campaign, with Erdogan drawing on the full powers of the state and government to dominate the airwaves and billboards. The "no" campaign complained of intimidation, detentions and beatings.

https://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/5121256-turkeys-president-erdogan-fulfills-ambition-cost.html#.1258-stage-hero1-2
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:43 am

Turkey’s Vote Makes Erdoğan Effectively a Dictator.
By Dexter Filkins April 17, 2017

Fifteen years ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was the hope of the Islamic world. He was an Islamist, of course, but that was part of his appeal. As the mayor of Istanbul, one of the world’s great cities, Erdoğan had governed as a charismatic and smart technocrat. He’d served time in prison, in 1999—for reading a poem that seemed to celebrate militant Islam—but his jailers had been the country’s rigid, military-backed secular leaders who, by then, seemed as suited to the present day as dinosaurs. When Erdoğan became Prime Minister, in 2003, every leader in the West wanted him to succeed. In a world still trying to make sense of the 9/11 attacks, he seemed like a bridge between cultures.

On Sunday, Erdoğan declared himself the winner of a nationwide referendum that all but brings Turkish democracy to an end. The vast new powers granted to Erdoğan—wide control over the judiciary, broad powers to make law by decree, the abolition of the office of the Prime Minister and of Turkey’s parliamentary system—effectively make him a dictator. Under the new rules, Erdoğan will be able to run for two more five-year terms, giving him potentially another decade in power, at least. With a vote by the now truncated parliament, he would be able to run for yet another term, one that would end in 2034. By then, he’ll be an old man.

The voting took place in a government-created atmosphere of violence, intimidation, and fear. Turks campaigning against the referendum were attacked and even shot at. For much of the past year, Erdoğan’s government has been working to stamp out what remained of the democratic opposition to his rule. Since July, some forty thousand people have been detained, including a hundred and fifty journalists. A hundred thousand government employees have been fired, and a hundred and seventy-nine television stations, newspapers, and other media outlets have been closed. Many opposition leaders are in jail. That’s not an environment conducive to asking a populace what it wants.

The vote was close—very close—and there are many accusations of fraud. It did seem hard, in the lead-up to Sunday, to imagine that Erdoğan would allow himself to lose. (He did not even permit international observers to monitor the vote.) In the end, to solidify his position, Erdoğan was compelled to strike an unlikely deal with the M.P.H., an ultra-nationalist party that had previously opposed him. Without the ultra-nationalists, who can’t be expected to be enduring Erdoğan allies, the referendum vote may well have failed. Not that it will matter much now—the margin may have been close, but you can expect Erdoğan to exercise his new prerogatives fully. “It means the country is totally split,’’ James Jeffrey, a former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, told me. “Half the country loves him, and half the country loathes him.”

The secret to Erdoğan, I think, is that his Islamism has always been a diversion; what he cares about is not so much the power of his religion as power for himself. This has been true at least since the beginning of his second term as Prime Minster. It was then, in 2007, that his government opened the first in a series of investigations aimed at rooting out what he described as a vast, secret cabal—dubbed “Ergenekon”—composed of the secular élite that had historically dominated Turkey. As it turned out, Ergenekon was just another name for the democratic opposition and members of the military who regarded Erdoğan with suspicion. At the time, the Ergenekon prosecutions made a certain sense: in Turkey, the secular élite and its allies in the military had such a history of repression that much of the world seemed prepared to believe Erdoğan, or at least to give him the benefit of the doubt. But the trials—which began the dismantling, which continues to this day, of the secular democratic opposition—were a farce.

Since then, Erdoğan has used one trumped-up enemy after another to justify his drive for absolute power. In 2013 came the Gezi Park protests, where Turkish police cracked down on peaceful demonstrators, killing several people and injuring thousands more. Then, last July, Erdoğan beat back an attempted military coup against him, then exploited the crisis to neutralize any remaining opposition. Erdoğan’s strongman tactics worked in no small part because of the acquiescence of the United States and Europe, whose governments have held off criticizing Erdoğan for fear that he might get worse.

For years, Erdoğan’s critics attributed to him a damning quotation that, they said, revealed his true intentions. “Democracy is like a train,’’ Erdoğan was said to have remarked. “You get off once you’ve reached your destination.” It’s not clear that Erdoğan ever actually said this. But it seems, in 2017, to reflect precisely what he has had in mind all along. After fifteen years of riding the train of democracy, Erdoğan and Turkey are finally stepping off.

http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/turkeys-vote-makes-erdogan-effectively-a-dictator
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:25 pm

Luxury-loving tyrant with a palace 30 times the bigger than the White House: Guy Adams reveals the opulence of Erdogan's £500million official residence.

Ak Saray - which translates to White Palace - was finished in 2014 outside Ankara
It boasts an 1,100 rooms and some 250 are for the sole use of President Erdogan
Massive palace is decked out in green marble flooring and acres of red carpet
At 30 times the size of the White House, it's the biggest palace built in 100 years

Even before the result of this week’s referendum, Turkey’s autocratic President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan enjoyed the trappings and lifestyle of an aspiring dictator.

Take, for example, the lavish official residence he had built on the outskirts of Ankara, the capital, at the expense of his ever generous taxpayers.

Perched atop a hill overlooking the city and completed three years ago, the Ak Saray — White Palace — extends to an astonishing 1,100 rooms, some 250 of which are for the sole use of the moustachioed 63-year-old and his immediate family.

Decked out in every despot’s favourite style, with marble floors, gold fittings and acres of red carpet, it’s 30 times the size of the White House and is believed to be the largest palace built, anywhere in the world, for more than 100 years.

President Erdogan's official residence in Ankara, the Ak Saray — White Palace — extends to an astonishing 1,100 rooms

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan poses inside the new Ak Saray presidential palace (White Palace) on the outskirts of Ankara back in 2014

Two double doors open up into one of many wide hallways found inside the £500million palace
A reported £7 million went on those carpets and another £5 million on 400 pairs of 10 ft high double doors. Huge quantities of silk wallpaper were sourced at £2,000 a roll, while each drinking glass is said to have cost £250.

And there are so many spas, swimming pools, bathrooms and Turkish steam rooms in Erdogan’s quarters that the heating bill alone runs to £500,000 each winter.

And the cost of this vanity project? An estimated £500 million on construction alone.

That’s not bad going in a country where, according to Istanbul’s Bachesir University, two out of every three children live in abject poverty and more than two million people scrape by on less than £3 a day.

Set in ornamental gardens and floodlit at night, the White Palace sends a clear message: President Erdogan covets absolute, unquestioned power
More pictures at:   http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4419762/A-tyrant-palace-three-times-White-House.html
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:31 pm

How much of that did the EU pay for?

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:02 pm

Austrian leaders say Turkey's EU membership prospects are 'buried' .

Austrian leaders said the European Union should end talks over Turkey's 30-year-old bid to join its ranks after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a controversial referendum on gaining further powers.

"With what happened yesterday, (Turkey's) membership prospects are buried, in practical terms," said Chancellor Christian Kern.

"We are entering a new era," the Social Democrat told reporters in Vienna.

EU aid to Turkey to help it advance towards membership was now "obsolete," he added.

Like other European leaders, Kern also spoke out against any move to restore the death penalty in Turkey.

Separately, Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that after the Turkish referendum, "we can no longer simply return to business as usual."

"We must be honest about the relationship between the EU and Turkey," Kurz said in a tweet.

"We need to end the EU entry negotiations and instead work to establish a neighbourhood agreement" with Turkey, he said, referring to relations that are close but lie below full membership.

Sunday's referendum focussed on a proposal to reinforce the powers of the Turkish president -- a move that critics say may worsen the country's rights record and steer it towards dictatorship.

The "Yes" campaign won by 51.41 percent, according to near-complete results released by the election authorities.

Angry opposition groups have cried foul and demanded a recount.

International observers on Monday said the referendum campaign was conducted on an "unlevel playing field".

On Sunday evening, Erdogan suggested he would back moves to bring back capital punishment which had been abolished in 2004 as part of Turkey's bid to join the EU.

Brussels has made it clear that any move to restore it would scupper Ankara's efforts to join the bloc.

Ankara's relations with Europe had been tense in the months leading up to Sunday's vote, driven by the government's crackdown after a failed coup last July.

Turkey has had an association agreement with the EU since 1963 and formally applied to join the bloc on April 14th 1987.

The talks have made only slow progress, hamstrung by questions in Brussels over human rights and democracy in Turkey.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Tue Apr 18, 2017 4:09 pm

Austrian leaders say Turkey's EU membership prospects are 'buried' .

I very much hope so....

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:40 pm

Turkey's premier warns opposition against street protests

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's opposition parties have the right to file objections to the outcome of a recent referendum on expanding presidential powers, the prime minister said Wednesday, but he warned that calling for street protests was unacceptable.

Binali Yildirim said the electoral board would rule on the main opposition Republican People's Party's request for the referendum's annulment. Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law.

Yildirim said the "the path to seek rights" should be limited to legal objections. "Calling people to the street is wrong and is outside the line of legitimacy," Yildirim said, adding that "we expect the main opposition party's leader to act more responsibly."

Thousands have protested in Istanbul and Ankara since Sunday's referendum, which has set into motion the transformation of Turkey's system of government from a parliamentary to a presidential one. Unofficial results show a narrow win for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's "yes" campaign, which won 51.4 percent of the vote.

"The main opposition party not recognizing the results is not an acceptable thing," Yildirim said. Electoral board head Sadi Guven said the objections would be evaluated Wednesday. The Istanbul Bar Association announced it had filed a criminal complaint Wednesday against Guven for "wrongful conduct" and "altering the result of the election."

A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Guven. International election monitors, including from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, also noted a series of irregularities, and said the decision to accept as valid ballots without official stamps undermined safeguards against fraud and was contrary to Turkish law.

Germany also expressed concern. "The German government takes the report by the OSCE and the Council of Europe very seriously, and we expect Turkey to do so," government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer told reporters in Berlin. "We will follow closely how Turkey behaves on this. From the German government's point of view, Turkey must ... clear up the questions that have been raised."

Erdogan has dismissed the criticism from the observer mission, telling the monitors that they should "know your place." "That the Turkish leadership didn't like the criticism by the OSCE's election observer mission isn't a surprise to anyone," German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said.

"What matters for us is not so much the first reaction from whomever in Turkey, directed more at domestic politics, but whether the responsible Turkish authorities really deal seriously with the criticism voiced publicly by the OSCE election observer mission, which was meant seriously and researched seriously."

The U.S. response has been different, with President Donald Trump calling Erdogan shortly after the referendum to congratulate him on his win. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan and Trump would meet in person next month, before a NATO summit. Cavusoglu said that he and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson would finalize the date according to the two presidents' schedules.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:59 pm

This doesn't bode well at all.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:39 am

Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's electoral board on Wednesday rejected petitions by opposition parties to annul the outcome of the weekend's referendum on expanding presidential powers because of voting irregularities. The decision led protesters in Istanbul to call for the resignation of board members while the main opposition party said it would take the decision to Turkey's top court.

The High Electoral Board announced in a written statement its decision by a 10-1 vote to reject three requests by the opposition. Mehmet Hadimi Yakupoglu, the main opposition Republican People's Party's representative at the board, said they would take the decision to the constitutional court and then to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary. "We will demand the rights of the voters until the end," he said.

Opposition parties have complained of a series of irregularities, particularly an electoral board decision to accept ballots without official stamps, as required by Turkish law. The board, however, published past rulings on the validity of unstamped ballots.

The Istanbul Bar Association on Wednesday filed a criminal complaint against electoral board head Sadi Guven for "wrongful conduct" and "altering the result of the election." A prosecutor will now consider whether to press charges against Guven. Link.

https://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/5126744-turkey-electoral-board-rejects-request-to-annul-re.html#.1258-stage-hero1-6
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:04 am

Turkey electoral board rejects request to annul referendum

I wish I could say I'm surprised.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:45 pm

Does Turkey's path build on the legacy of founder Ataturk?

Since Turkish voters narrowly approved the expansion of the powers of the president, protesters have been out on the streets of several cities, and some have been evoking the memory of the country's founder to rally opposition.

Arguably, however, the changes in Turkey's governing system merely extend tight state control and national polarization that can be traced back to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the former army officer who founded a nation from the crumbling Ottoman empire in 1923.

Although Ataturk introduced a parliamentary system, multi-party politics did not take hold until after he died in 1938. While Turkey, a Western ally with a mostly Muslim population, has a long record of elections despite periodic military coups over the decades, a culture in which the interests of the state dominate those of the individual has prevailed.

Strong currents of nationalism, as well as both hardline secularism and religious piety, have also shaped Turkey through the generations, bolstering leaders whose strongman postures belied a nearly constant struggle to hold together the country's factions in a region prone to violent conflict.

The culmination of this trend is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose populist drive to expand his powers as president exposed increasing rifts in a nation hosting several million Syrian war refugees, enduring militant attacks and navigating tense ties with the West. Link.

https://www.mail.com/int/news/europe/5132798-turkeys-path-build-legacy-founder-ataturk.html#.1258-stage-hero1-6
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:54 am

Turkey's justice minister says contesting referendum moot.

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's justice minister slammed the main opposition party on Saturday for contesting the outcome of Sunday's referendum on expanding presidential powers and said there is no judicial path to reverse the ruling.

In a series of tweets, Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said all decisions on electoral issues, including complaints and fraud allegations, are in the purview of Turkey's electoral board. "Applications against the High Electoral Board's decisions cannot be taken to any court or authority, including the Council of State and the Constitutional Court," he tweeted. Bozdag said these judicial organs would reject such applications based on Turkish laws.

Bozdag's comments follow an application by the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to the Council of State on Friday, seeking to overturn the electoral board's decision that unstamped ballot papers were valid.

International monitors say that the electoral board's decision removed an important safeguard against fraud and was "contrary to law." The board, however, published past rulings on the validity of unstamped ballots.

The controversy on unstamped ballots formed the basis of applications by the CHP and two other opposition parties to annul the referendum, which the electoral board rejected Wednesday with a 10-1 vote.

CHP officials said they would contest the decision at the Constitutional Court and if necessary, the European Court of Human Rights. The justice minister said the CHP was showing contempt for the people's will and tweeted, "No court can undo/change the decisions of the nation."

Unofficial results show Erdogan's "yes" campaign garnered 51.4 percent of the vote.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:00 pm

Sadly, I suspect it's a lost cause, LL. Erdogan has seized absolute power, and he isn't going to give it back.

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:10 pm

Voters describe intimidation in Turkey’s referendum.

Turkey’s referendum to expand presidential powers passed by a slim margin, but results are marred by claims of electoral fraud, which the government has so far dismissed. Diego Cupolo reports from Ankara.

On Sunday, Serkan went to cast his ballot for Turkey's referendum and found someone had already voted using his name. Normally, Turkish voters sign off on a spreadsheet after submitting their votes, but when he arrived at his polling site, Serkan noted the same signature next to dozens of names, including his own.

When he asked the onsite electoral staff what happened, they said an official with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had visited the polling site beforehand and may have cast ballots that had not been used.

"They didn't let me vote," said Serkan, who gave only his first name for security reasons. "I went to the poll at 1 p.m. Voting closed at four and they probably thought I wouldn't come because I'm a student in Istanbul," he told DW.

Serkan filed a complaint with the district electoral board, but by the end of the voting period, he was unable to cast a ballot. His claim of voter fraud is one of thousands that have tainted the results of the Turkish referendum, which passed by a narrow 51.4 percent to concentrate governing power under the presidency, currently held by Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Attempts by Turkey's main opposition party, the Republican People's Party (CHP), to have the referendum result annulled have been dismissed by the country's electoral commission. The party has now filed a court appeal against the electoral body's decision to accept un-stamped ballots.

Observers obstructed

The referendum put forth a simple "Yes" or "No" vote on whether to pass 18 constitutional amendments, but results have been met with scrutiny and further questions from opposition parties and international observers.

The vote took place under an ongoing state of emergency following last year's coup attempt, and campaigns in the lead up the referendum were found to be conducted on an "un-level playing field" that favored the "Yes" vote, as stated by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

"It's not only the election, it's the whole process to the election. The whole campaign was imbalanced," said Andrej Hunko, a Council of Europe observer during the referendum. "All the irregularities together may have changed the outcome."

Hunko, an MP with Die Linke, told DW he was temporarily barred from entering polling sites twice in southeast Turkey, despite being invited by the government to monitor the referendum. He also reported the presence of armed security forces at many polling sites, which may have intimidated voters.

Observers with Turkish opposition parties were also reportedly barred entry or removed from certain polling sites, according to the Pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP).

Nihat, an HDP monitor in Sanliurfa who gave only his first name, said people were voting openly, outside of curtained areas at his polling site, advertising their choices and taunting other voters. When Nihat informed the voters that such conduct violated voting laws, he said the voters physically assaulted him.

"They punched and kicked me and my friend," Nihat said, who was forced to leave the polling site and abandon his observing duties.

He eventually returned later in the day to cast his own vote, and found people were still casting ballots openly. By the end of the day, his polling site would register 356 "Yes" votes and 47 "No" votes.

"There should have been more 'No' votes, but people were scared to show who they supported because of the threats and the pressure," Nihat told DW.

Questions of validity

In another polling station in rural Erzurum, Newroz, also an HDP observer, said he hadn't "seen so many irregularities and pressure in past elections." Before the referendum day, he said security forces had told villagers they would not be allowed to graze their livestock if they voted "No."

While looking over the voting logs, Newroz also said he discovered that a recently deceased town resident had cast a ballot on Sunday.

"So many people submitted more than one vote," Newroz told DW. "Some people voted on behalf of their family members."

More uncertainty was cast on the referendum when the High Electoral Board (YSK) made a last-minute change to the ballot validity criteria. As voting was underway on Sunday, the board said it would accept ballots without stamps, which were used to trace votes back to the ballot boxes in which they were submitted.

Without providing a rationale at the time of the decision, the YSK stated un-stamped ballots would be deemed valid, "unless it can be proven that they were brought from outside the voting room." YSK officials have since stated the ruling was made to insure voters weren't disenfranchised.

Hunko, with the Council of Europe, said the exact number of un-stamped ballots counted in the referendum remains unclear, but their potential impact is cause for concern.

"I've seen a map of the distribution of un-stamped ballots and most of them were in the southeast," Hunko said. "We did not observe any concrete manipulation, but this, of course, opened the door."
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:09 pm

Turkey targets police in latest anti-Gülen raids. 4/26/17, 9:55 AM CET

The operation is the largest in months and comes weeks after Turkey’s controversial referendum.

Turkish authorities have issued arrest warrants for a thousand people, mostly in the police force, and taken 803 of them into custody over alleged links to cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for last year’s failed coup, Reuters reported Wednesday.

The operation, launched overnight, was one of the largest in months and involved 8,500 officers in all of Turkey’s 81 provinces, according to the country’s state-run Anadolu Agency.

It comes in the wake of a controversial referendum that expanded the powers of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. While Erdoğan won the referendum, the vote was tight, with 51.4 percent voting in favor of the increased powers and 48.6 percent against.

Since the attempted coup in July 2016, Turkish authorities have arrested more than 47,000 people on suspicion of terrorism links.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:28 pm

Turkey detains dozens for suspected links to US-based cleric

ISTANBUL (AP) — Twenty-five people were detained in Turkey and more than 200 police officers temporarily suspended for suspected links to U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen according to reports Thursday, as part of a massive sweep on the network of the alleged coup plotter.

Gaziantep governor's office in southeastern Turkey announced in a statement that more than 70 raids took place to apprehend 106 Gulen operatives called "secret imams" in the last two days. The detained are being held on suspicion of "membership in an armed terror organization" and "recruiting members."

Forty-one suspects were still on the run, according to the statement. Five are abroad. On Wednesday, 1,120 "secret imams" accused of directing followers within the police were detained in simultaneous police operations in all of Turkey's provinces.

The official Anadolu news agency announced that 1,157 people have been detained. The Daily Hurriyet newspaper reported that Turkey's intelligence agency cracked a microchip retrieved during a previous detention, which allegedly contained a 7,000-person list of "secret imams" and other Gulen followers working in state institutions.

Anadolu reported the suspension of 236 police officers from their jobs in seven provinces Thursday. Anadolu said they were being investigated for connections and communications with the Gulen network, which Turkey deems a terror organization threatening national security.

Turkish police announced late Wednesday the suspension of 9,103 police personnel. It was unclear if the 236 officers were part of the wider suspension. The moves are part of a massive crackdown following last summer's failed coup attempt, which Turkey says was orchestrated by Gulen's movement, leading to the arrest of more than 47,000 people and the dismissal of an estimated 100,000 civil servants. Gulen has denied the accusations.

The German government slammed the detentions Wednesday, and Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliament Thursday that "there is no question that the developments of the past weeks have strongly strained German-Turkish and European-Turkish relations."

At this rate there are going to be more Turks in prison than outside it. LL
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Thu Apr 27, 2017 2:56 pm

What's he doing with all these people? Just bunging them away in some hellhole prison and forgetting about them?

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  lily on Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:26 pm

That is the most likely thing.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:16 pm

Erdogan opponents 'monitored' by embassy in Denmark: report.

An advisor at the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen has confirmed that it collected information on suspected supporters of the Gülen movement based in Denmark.

Four men and fourteen schools in Denmark have been reported as being connected to the Gülen movement in a document sent to Turkey last autumn, reports newspaper Kristeligt-Dagblad.

The Gülen movement is a religious and social movement named after Fethullah Gülen, a former imam accused by Turkey of being behind a failed military coup attempt in the country last July. Gülen denies his involvement.

Turkey’s embassy in Copenhagen has not previously given any official response to the document, according to Kristeligt Dagblad, which has since gained access to the report.

Adnan Bülent Baloglu, religious adviser at the Turkish embassy in Denmark, defended in an interview with newspaper Kristeligt Dagblad the information in the document, which shows that the embassy collected information on 14 schools and four individuals in Denmark thought to be connected to the Gülen movement.

No specific schools or names were given by Baloglu in the interview.

“This gathering of information is the reflex by a state to a terrible coup attempt in which several people were killed. If these people are running freely amongst us, we need to know about it,” Baloglu told Kristeligt Dagblad.

The official’s role as religious advisor at the Turkish embassy encompasses responsibility for Turkish religious matters in Denmark, news agency Ritzau reports.

One Danish school, which is one of 14 previously linked to the movement on Facebook last year, said that it would consider legal action against Baloglu.

Phønix school in Horsens - an extra-curricular school for young adults known in Denmark as an efterskole - also denied any connection to the Gülen movement.

"This is certainly an issue that I personally beleive we should follow up on... I think action should be taken against people that have confirmed we are on a list," the school's head Harun Güler told DR.

Baloglu said that he saw nothing wrong with the collection of information by the Turkish authorities.

“Have any of these people come to any harm after the collection of information?” he told Kristeligt Dagblad.

He added that the information was collected by the Turkish embassy and not by the imams themselves.

German security services have previously reported that at least 13 Turkish imams in Germany have provided information about Germany-based Turks to state authorities in Turkey, reports Ritzau.

Last month, Denmark’s government sought clarification from Ankara after several high-profile Turkish-Danes said that they feared being denounced to Turkish authorities as national traitors and terrorists.

Prior to that, Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen requested that his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim postpone a planned visit after Turkish government representatives were barred from holding referendum campaign meetings in Germany and the Netherlands, to the fury of Erdogan and his government.

The April 16th referendum in Turkey resulted in 51.4 percent of the country voting to give wider-ranging powers to Erdogan’s presidential post.
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