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.
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.