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Mar 30, 2014

Strong Turkish vote result seen emboldening scandal-hit Erdogan

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP party appeared on Sunday to be heading for a clear victory in local polls that have become a referendum on a prime minister facing corruption scandals and security leaks he blames on “traitors” embedded in state bodies.

With about half of votes counted, results cited on Turkish television put his Islamist-rooted AK Party ahead with 44-46 percent, the main opposition CHP on 23-28 percent. If that result were borne out, Erdogan might claim at least for now to have ridden out the biggest challenges to his 12-year rule.

Mar 23, 2014

Turkey shoots down Syrian plane it says violated air space

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish armed forces shot down a Syrian plane on Sunday that Ankara said had crossed into its air space in an area where Syrian rebels have been battling President Bashar al-Assad’s forces for control of a border crossing.

“A Syrian plane violated our airspace,” Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told an election rally in northwest Turkey. “Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard.”

Mar 22, 2014

Turkey says Twitter “biased”, did nothing to stop “character assassinations”

ISTANBUL, March 22 (Reuters) – Turkey said on Saturday that
Twitter was “biased” and had been used for “systematic
character assassinations” of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s
government, a day after Turkey’s ban on the site prompted an
international outcry.

The Turkish authorities blocked Twitter late on Thursday,
hours after Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the social media service
during the campaigning period for local elections on March 30.

Mar 22, 2014

Turks face new Internet restrictions after Twitter block

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turks faced fresh difficulties in accessing the Internet on Saturday after the government blocked access to Twitter, the site where tweets on a corruption scandal have angered Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

Twitter was blocked late on Thursday, hours after Erdogan vowed to “wipe out” the social media service. Leading international condemnation, the White House said the Twitter ban undermined democracy and free speech.

Mar 17, 2014

Turkish cleric says Erdogan crackdown worse than army coup era

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen said a crackdown on his followers by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was “ten times worse” than anything meted out after coups by the secularist military.

Erdogan has accused Gulen’s Hizmet (“Service”) network, which has built quiet influence in the police and judiciary over decades, of orchestrating a graft investigation which has grown into one of the biggest challenges of his 11-year rule.

Mar 13, 2014

Turkey’s Erdogan condemns protesters as deaths fuel tensions

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned anti-government protesters on Thursday as “charlatans” bent on sowing chaos in the run-up to local elections after Turkey’s worst civil unrest since mass protests last summer.

Two people died during protests on Wednesday, including a police officer in eastern Turkey who suffered a heart attack and a 22-year-old man shot in Istanbul in an apparent stand-off with a group of anti-government protesters.

Mar 13, 2014

Turkey’s Erdogan condemns protesters after boy’s funeral

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused protesters on Thursday of trying to sow chaos to influence local elections after Turkey’s worst day of civil unrest since anti-government demonstrations swept the nation last summer.

Late on Wednesday, a man in Istanbul was shot dead and a police officer in eastern Turkey suffered a fatal heart attack. Erdogan said demonstrators had “burned and destroyed” offices of his ruling AK Party in Istanbul.

Mar 11, 2014

Death of Turkish boy hurt in protests rekindles unrest across country

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Protesters clashed with police in cities across Turkey on Tuesday after the death of a 15-year-old boy who was hit in the head by a tear-gas canister during anti-government demonstrations last summer.

Police unleashed water cannon and tear gas on thousands of demonstrators, another pre-election headache for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as he battles a corruption scandal that has become one of the biggest challenges of his decade in power.

Mar 7, 2014

Turkey’s former army chief freed from prison

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Former army chief Ilker Basbug was released from a life sentence following a court decision on Friday, adding to uncertainty over the fate of court cases trying coup plots against Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

The decision to release the former general came after Thursday’s constitutional court ruling that Basbug’s incarceration for his alleged role in the ‘Ergenekon’ conspiracy to overthrow the government violated his rights, as the court trying him had failed to publish a detailed verdict on the case.

Mar 7, 2014

Turkey local election holds key to Kurdish peace talks

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, March 7 (Reuters) – The face of jailed
Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan briefly beamed down from
billboards in southeast Turkey until police tore down the
posters, a mark of official unease over his enduring influence
among Kurds as local elections loom.

Ocalan’s supporters see the vote as a make-or-break moment
for stalled peace talks aimed at ending 30 years of conflict
between Ocalan’s separatist fighters and the Turkish state.

    • About Daren

      "I am based in Istanbul where I cover a broad range of financial and general news. I joined Reuters in Ankara in 1996 and left Turkey to work in London in 2000. I returned to Istanbul in 2003."
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