Bianet: Police detains children on Children’s National Day

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Police detained 4 children for chanting “Berkin Elvan is immortal” during Istanbul’s official April 23 celebrations attended by Governor Mutlu. Police detained 4 children for chanting “Berkin Elvan is immortal” during Istanbul’s official April 23 celebrations attended by Governor Mutlu. The incident took place as Governor Mutlu headed toward the podium for an award ceremony. The aforementioned children initially faced [...] → Read the full article…

The Independent: Turkey’s actions in Syria see PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan go from model Middle East ‘strongman’ to tin-pot dictator – Robert Fisk

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Erdogan sent in the police to crush the demonstrators of Gezi Park last year, went berserk when it was suggested his party and relatives were involved in corruption scams, and fired or removed hundreds of police and security officers. Then he promised to wipe out “social media” before the municipal elections which he inevitably won, and uttered the kind of [...] → Read the full article…

Project Syndicate: Turkey’s Electoral Dictatorship – Timur Kuran

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In the run-up to Turkey’s municipal elections on March 30, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared that the popular vote would serve as a referendum on his scandal-plagued leadership. With the help of his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which centered its campaigning on him, Erdoğan was able to redefine the elections. His opponents blindly played along, hoping that the [...] → Read the full article…

Hurriyet Daily News: Interior Ministry report on Gezi protests clears police and governor

The report said there was no need for an investigation as 'no act contrary to law was found' during the countless police raids and interventions. Daily News Photo

  Both the police department and Istanbul’s governor have been cleared of using excessive violence against protesters during last year’s Gezi events in a report from Interior Ministry inspectors assessing their response to the demonstrations, daily Radikal has revealed. In the report dated Sept. 18, 2013, those responsible for the escalation of the local protests into nationwide demonstrations were declared [...] → Read the full article…

Jadaliyya: Digital Platforms, Analog Elections: How Civic Groups Are Trying to Bring Back Democracy in Turkey

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When Gezi protesters occupied the park last summer and took their frustration with the government to the streets, Prime Minister Erdoğan told them to “be patient and face off at the ballot box.” It was exactly Erdoğan’s reductive framing of democracy, which limits political legitimacy to elections and takes an uncompromising, polarizing stance against opposition, that Gezi protesters stood against. Nonetheless, unlike [...] → Read the full article…

Vice: We Quit Working for Erdogan’s Propaganda Mouthpiece – Kate O’Sullivan and Laura Benitez

Police crack down on a free speech protest in Istanbul in February. (Photo by Charles Emir Richards)

  “Journalists wanted for international news agency,” read the Guardian job ad. As an editor in an industry where opportunities seem to be fading away by the day, you apply for pretty much any full-time job you see. A couple of months later, we arrived in Ankara, Turkey, ready to “write history” as the first international journalists to be welcomed [...] → Read the full article…

Washington Post: ‘No Opposition, No Democracy’ in Turkey’s elections – Lisel Hintz

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Not just the mobilizational power but also the spirit of Gezi pervades objections to electoral manipulation, defying the AKP’s attempts to snuff it out. The wickedly humorous wit and creativity used to critique the AKP’s brutal police crackdowns that drove millions of people to the streets during the height of the Gezi protests in 2013 are being deployed in full force to [...] → Read the full article…

Al-Monitor: Erdogan plays Egypt card in ‘ballot box’ victory – Semih Idiz

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan greets his supporters with his family members in Ankara

It is evident from the 45% of the overall vote the AKP won in the local elections that Erdogan’s strategy of converting the “Dec. 17 corruption scandal” into the “Dec. 17 coup attempt” was also successful. With the aid of a pro-government media, reinforced after the AKP’s business cronies began buying mass circulation dailies at Erdogan’s behest, the conservative masses — which still constitute [...] → Read the full article…

The Economist: The battle for Turkey’s future

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On March 30th the prime minister’s support among Turkish voters will be put to the test, for the first time since the Gezi protests and the corruption probe, in municipal elections. Mr Erdogan has explicitly turned these into a referendum on himself and his party. If AKP does well, which most analysts reckon means winning over 40% of the vote and [...] → Read the full article…