Turkey arrests 12 for ‘cursing Erdogan’ before opposition rally


Erdogan and AKP supporters have dismissed allegations they will tamper with the election results, highlighting that those claims contradicted the opposition's insistence that the AKP will lose its majority. "With the presidential system, Turkey is seriously raising the bar, rising above the level of contemporary civilizations".

Turkey, NATO's second-largest member, is bracing for further violence and chaos following the victory of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an election that cemented his near-dictatorial powers. Or when Erdogan, who spent years proclaiming coalitions to be the fundamental evil of politics, suddenly began considering them shortly before the election.

Prime Minister Nasir-ul-Mulk on Wednesday called President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on his victory in the Presidential and parliamentary elections held in Turkey on June 24.

With more than half of ballots counted, Erdogan had 56 percent of the vote to 29 percent for his closest challenger, Muharrem Ince of the secular Republican People's Party, or CHP, according to the official Anadolu news agency. However, this electoral race was tighter than first meets the eye. An opposition majority would mean Erdogan facing greater opposition from parliament and potentially an attempt to revert to a parliamentary system.

"We were in favour of waiting until November 2019 for the elections". Much of this nervousness can be attributed to the problems with the economy.

The Kurdish-led left-wing People's Democratic Party (HDP) - which has been strongly persecuted by Erdogan's regime and with leaders and many activists in jail - broke the 10% threshold needed to enter parliament, winning 11%. In addition, there are reports of widespread corruption and all its associated heavy burdens.

Around 531,007 security personnel, including 264,526 police officers, 195,695 gendarmerie officers, 50,793 village guards and 19,993 voluntary village guards were on duty.

Analysts say the opposition's performance is all the more troubling for the authorities given how the campaign has been slanted in favor of Erdogan, who has dominated media airtime.

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He advised Erdogan "not to act as head of AKP but the president of all Turkey".

However, Erdogan's rivals received nearly no air time, in a country where media are tightly controlled, and state-of-emergency decrees have limited the freedom of assembly and speech. We fear that his only objective is to consolidate authoritarianism in Turkey.

If Bahceli were to push Erdogan too hard regarding Russian Federation, the YPG, or any other difficult issue, the Turkish president would have no difficulty in demonizing and defeating the MHP. In the capital Ankara, municipal trucks loaded with sand blocked a road outside Erdogan's presidential palace.

Another foreign policy matter that may require some recalibration and that has political and economic components is relations with the Arab Gulf states.

Turkey began European Union membership talks in 2005, but the discussions have been at a standstill in recent years. Coupled with various other joint Turkish-Qatari activities in the Red Sea and East Africa, the leap toward Doha could run the risk of looking like a definitive choice of sides.

March 2014 - After Erdogan threatens to "eradicate" Twitter at a campaign rally, Turkey bans the social media site, and a two-week countrywide blackout ensues.

Dr. Muharrem Eksi, vice head of worldwide relations department at Kirklareli University, predicts that Turkey's new minister of foreign affairs will be Ibrahim Kalin, the current presidential spokesperson, and that he will have the support of the MHP. He should further be expected to issue decrees as he sees fit, fully subordinate the judiciary, and use the military to intimidate any of his neighbors and threaten others.