Raid election might turn into a nightmare for the ‘two party coalition

It is very clear that the AKP-MHP partnership has been preparing itself for an election since last year with a ‘raid election plan’.

Just hours after the “raid election” election was declared by the Erdoğan – Bahçeli coalition, the state of emergency was prolonged for another 3 months by the Turkish Parliamentwith the support of AKP and MHP MPs. Thus, AKP-MHP coalition has written one of the darkest pages in the Turkish political history.

Turkey which has been moving towards an election for the past year has found itself in the home stretch. While this home stretch is indeed a “home stretch” for the government, it constitutes a barrier for the opposition.

The substantial reasons which make it rough are the facts that it is a raid election, the opposition has been caught off balance, the election will be held under the conditions of state of emergency, the possibility of being faced with a fait accompli through the adjustment of laws and compromising the integrity of the electoral process is very real.

THE COALITION IS READY FOR THE ELECTION, BUT THE OPPOSITION IS NOT

It is very clear that the AKP-MHP partnership has been preparing itself for an election since last year with a “raid election plan”. As a matter of fact, many methods were utilised as part of this plan so far including exploitation of domestic and cross-border military operations in order to provoke a chauvinist-nationalist wave, exploitation of religion, misuse of state of emergency to suppress the opposition and the distribution of bribes in the names of “public tender”, “normal and super incentives” and “social aid”. No matter how the opposition threw down their gauntlets in reply to government’s decision for snap election with battle-cries, this does not mean that CHP or HDP areactually ready for an election, particularly considering the fact that neither of these principal opposition partners has a candidate for presidency nor a strategy for the election. This is exactly why Erdoğan – Bahçeli partnership has decided to hold a “raid election”.

IN FACT, THE OPPOSITION HAS MORE OPPORTUNITIES THAN THE GOVERNMENT

Nevertheless, it is also evident that;

– Financial parameters are giving indications of disruption,

– Domestic and foreign policies are at a dead end,

– A significant proportion of the public demonstrated their opposition to “one party, one man” rule in the referendum held just a year ago; and these facts constitute substantial advantages for the opposition and a considerable handicap for the government.

Since 16 April, there is also likely to be a growth in the adverse reaction against the government rather than increased support since the government is not in such a powerful and trouble-free position as they had expected to be considering the massive state and media power they monopolize.

Thus, although the opposition is at a disadvantage, they are not doomed to lose the election. On the contrary, they might succeed the election if they were less coy in encouraging the masses to pouronto the streets and if they could take firm actions to reorganize a campaign against the “one party, one man” rule. If the opposition stopped limiting their strategy to simply saying “vote for me, and I will save you” and if their members could organize amongst the masses with cross-cutting demands and use the streets and public spaces for this purpose, they could achieve the dynamism to secure the integrity of the elections and they could even show that they have the power to circumvent an Erdoğan – Bahçeli alliance in the election. Of course, if only they rolled up their sleeves to take action by placing “factionalism”, “turfism”, “egocentricism”, “sectarianism”, “exclusionism” biases aside!

THE STRUGGLE TO CIRCUMVENT “ONE PARTY, ONE MAN” RULE

When we look at the purported reasons for the election together with the conditions our country has been in, it is clear that the demands for an end to the “One Party, One Man” administration and for a “Democratic Turkey” will be at the heart of this electoral period. Naturally, this struggle will be demanding the “abolishment of the state of emergency conditions and cancellation of government decrees”, “freedom of the press”, “right to a fair trial”, “fair and democratic elections”, “combating with unemployment, poverty and inflation” and “use of the budget for social policies instead of armament”.

Due to all these reasons, the success of the opposition election campaign will depend on the systematic exposure of the demands stated above and the active endeavour of the working class in election campaigns. Pursuing activities such as calling for workers from a broad range of opinions to a collective struggle and organizing election rallies with the broadest participation possible in the context of a comprehensive election campaign would have a great effect on the outcome of the election.

The first condition of turning “raid election” into a nightmare for the government, is to mobilize efforts for the masses as soon as possible.

It is of great importance that the period coming up be utilized, to bring together the economic, political and social developments with the electoral demands and aims in an organized movement, including using 1 May as a means to popularize the demands and slogans of the election.

Article written by Ihsan Caralan

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Another ‘election crisis’ with Europe?

Tensions with Europe are rising again in the build-up to the election. Germany, Austria and Netherlands will not permit election campaigns.

The election campaign and voting in the Turkish elections, to be held on 24 June, is again planned to start with Germany and other European countries. Approximately three million voters originating from Turkey have the right to vote in overseas ballot boxes; these votes have a small impact on the number of MPs.

Politicians that are planning to run a campaign in overseas territories are already receiving unfavourable messages from the governments of Germany, Austria and Netherlands.

Prior to the referendum in Turkey, held on 16 April 2017, especially AKP cabinet members’ attempts to join election campaigns in Germany received a backlash and campaigns were not permitted. Many venues had cancelled previously confirmed permits for rallies at the last minute. Erdoğan and AKP representatives then blamed European governments for being ‘Nazis’ and used these bans to domestically incite nationalism.

THE FIRST STATEMENT FORM AUSTRIA

Austria was first to state that politicians that are likely to come from Turkey will not be given permission to canvas in the country. Prime Minister Sebastian Kurzstated in a statement to radio station Ö1 that “Politicians from Turkey will not be allowed to stir up our country”. There are 117 thousand voters in Austria.

GERMANY WILL NOT PERMIT POLITICIANS

Germany, where most voters reside, also stated that, just like in the eve of 16 April, AKP cabinet members arriving from Turkey will not be given permission to canvas in the country.

It is claimed that President Erdoğan wants to meet with the German President Frank Walter and follow it with an election rally. A news story in Der Spiegel stated that the President’s Office can only meet with Erdoğan after the elections. Steffen Seibert – spokesperson for the Federal Government – stated that there is no planned visit to Germany by Erdoğan at the moment.

On the other hand, German Foreign Secretary Heiko Mass, at a summit of Foreign Secretaries in the city of Toronto in Canada, said “Our stance on this matter is clear. Three months prior to an election to be held in a foreign country, there will be no election campaign ran in Germany.” Maas added that “This is true for everyone, regardless of what country they are from.”

Emphasising that he does not want the arguments with AKP witnessed last year to be repeated, Maas said “The arguments did not benefit either side.”

NETHERLANDS: WE DO NOT WANT TO IMPORT PROBLEMS

Netherlands, also refused AKP cabinet members’ canvassing prior to the referendum on 16 April, stated that canvassing will not be permitted before the elections of 24 June. In his statement, Prime Minister Mark Rute said “We do not want to import problems from abroad.”

WILL ERDOĞAN USE THIS IN THE ELECTION?

In a recent TV programme, President Erdoğan stated that they hired a venue with a capacity of 10-11 thousand but did not say in which country this venue was. Following the decisions by Germany, Austria and Netherlands, it is presumed that the venue is either in France or Belgium. Following this stance of the European countries, it is predicted that Erdoğan will escalate anti-European rhetoric in an attempt to gain the overseas vote.

Article by Yücel ÖZDEMİR

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Cumhuriyet’s 14 journalists and executives sentenced to jail

The court sentenced 14 journalists and executives from Cumhuriyet newspaper to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges.

The 27th High Criminal Court of İstanbul on Wednesday sentenced 14 journalists from Cumhuriyet daily to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges.

Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, CEO Akin Atalay, and Orhan Erinc, plus journalists Ahmet Sik, Aydin Engin, and Hikmet Cetinkaya, got prison terms of six to eight years on charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist group without being members.

Atalay, however, was released in light of his time already served.

Eight journalists — Bulent Utku, Kadri Gursel, Guray Tekin Oz, Haci Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Onder Celik, and Yusuf Emre Iper — were given up to four years in prison on the same charges.

At the first hearing in the case in July 2016, the suspects were indicted for sponsoring the PKK, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), and leftist DHKP/C terrorist groups.

The court also sentenced Twitter user Ahmet Kemal Aydogdu, who used to handle @JeansBiri, to 10 years in prison.

Aydogdu was detained in October 2016 on charges of spreading disinformation through the Internet.

Aydogdu, said to be a teacher at a local school, was charged with armed terrorist group membership. During the course of their investigation, authorities also found a large sum of money at his home.

The court also ruled that that case against the prominent journalist Can Dundar, previously the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, would continue separately.

AMNESTY: VERDICTS AGAINST JOURNALISTS DEFY LOGIC AND JUSTICE

Following the sentences handed down to 13 journalists and executives of the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet on charges of “acting on behalf of a terrorist organisation or making the organisation’s propaganda, Milena Buyum, Amnesty International’s Turkey campaigner, said:

“Since the start of this trial, it has been journalism itself that has been in the dock and today’s verdicts defy logic and offend justice.

“Throughout the nine-month course of this trial, the prosecution has failed to produce a shred of evidence of any criminal wrongdoing. These politically motivated sentences are clearly intended to instill fear and silence any form of dissent.

“This is a shocking affront to press freedom and for justice in Turkey and sets a chilling precedent for scores of other journalists facing trials on similar trumped-up terrorism related charges.”

A recent European Commission report said that under the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the coup bid, more than 150,000 people had been taken into custody, 78,000 arrested and over 110,000 civil servants dismissed. Turkish authorities say that some 40,000 have been reinstated in the process.

Turkey’s Western allies have repeatedly condemned the Turkish government’s detentions and purges after the coup attempt.

Local and international rights groups accuse the government of using the coup bid as a pretext to silence opposition in the country.

The government says that the purges and detentions are in line with the rule of law and aim to remove Gülen’s supporters from state institutions and other parts of society. (EVRENSEL DAILY)

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Arbitrary use of anti-terrorism laws in Turkey: The case against the school teacher Ayşe Çelik

A school teacher, Ayşe Çelik, who said ‘do not let children die’ was sent to prison with her baby daughter in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır.

Ruken SÜPHANDAĞ

THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASE

On 08.01.2016, a school teacher by the name of Ayşe Çelik called a popular talk show presented by Beyazıt Özturk on Kanal D, one of the most viewed non-state TV channels in Turkey.  Ayşe Çelik talked about the clashes that had been raging for months between Kurdish militants and Turkish security forces in Diyarbakır, the largest city of the mainly Kurdish southeast. She pleaded for more media attention to killings and other human rights abuses carried out against civilians across south-eastern Turkey and she said:

“Are you aware of what is going on in the southeast of Turkey? Unborn children, mothers, people are being killed here. You should say stop! There are miserable people who are glad to hear that children are dying. The things happening here are reflected so differently on TV screens or in the media. Do not remain silent. As a human being, have a sensitive approach. See, hear and lend us a hand. It is a pity, do not let those people, those children die; do not let the mothers cry anymore. I cannot even speak over the sounds of the bombs and bullets. People are struggling with starvation and thirst, babies and children too. Do not remain silent.”

The host of the program, Beyazıt Öztürk, had the audience applaud her by saying: “We are trying our best to make it heard. Your words have been a lesson for us. We will continue to do more. Hopefully your wishes for peace will be realized as soon as possible.”

CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS AGAINST AYŞE ÇELİK

Following this call, the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor started an investigation against Ayşe Çelik for ‘praising terrorism and a terrorist organization,’ and the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor initiated a separate investigation against both Beyazıt Öztürk and Ayşe Çelik on similar charges.

On 14.01.2016 Ayşe Çelik was questioned by the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor on the alleged suspicion of being a member of the PKK listed as a terrorist organisation under Turkish law. During the questioning, Ayşe Çelik denied that she belonged to an illegal organisation. Ms Çelik contended that she had not praised an illegal organisation in her speech and that she had not intended to disseminate propaganda.

On 20.04.2016, the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor filed a bill of indictment against Ayşe Çelik and Kadir Tunali, an executive director at Kanal D who was responsible for the show. Ayşe Çelik was charged with disseminating propaganda in support of PKK under Article 7 (2) of the Law on Prevention of Terrorism (the Law No 3713), and Article 53 of the Turkish Penal Code on account of her speech on the live broadcast of Kanal D. The public prosecutor submitted that the following passages in the speech constituted propaganda in favour of an illegal organisation:

“Are you aware of what is going on in the Southeast Turkey? Unborn children, mothers, people are being killed here. You should say stop. The things happening here are reflected so differently on TV screens or on the media. Do not remain silent. As a human being, have a sensitive approach. See, hear and lend us a hand. It is a pity, do not let those people, those children die; do not let the mothers cry anymore. People are struggling with starvation and thirst, babies and children too. Don’t remain silent. “

At the material time, Article 7(2) of the Law on Prevention of Terrorism read as follows:

“Any person who disseminates propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation shall be liable to a term of imprisonment of between one and five years.”

The Bakırköy Public Prosecutor decided not to prosecute against television show host Beyazıt Öztürk on the ground that ‘Beyazıt Öztürk did not know that the guest on the phone would go beyond the agreed extent of the conversation, later lost control of the course of events in the programme and there was therefore no solid evidence pointing to any deliberate action by Özturk.’

In support of the indictment, the public prosecutor submitted video records of the television show, report by experts examining the video records, the statement of the defendant to the police, decision 2016/103 of the Supreme Council of Radio and Television (RTUK) which took action against the host of the programme Beyazıt Öztürk, and Kanal D for violating TV broadcasting regulations.

On 23.08.2016, the first hearing was held at Bakırköy 2nd Assize Court where Ayşe Çelik made her defence submission. She was represented by Mr Mahsuni Kahraman, a lawyer practising in Diyarbakir. She stated that she stood behind her words and argued that, this case infringed her right to liberty and security and her right to freedom of expression .The defendant submitted that the accusation pursuant to Article 7(2) of Law No. 3713 had been in breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) because her speech had not contained any elements that could be considered an incitement to violence. During the hearing the defendant denied having committed any criminal offence. The defendant contended that she had not intended to disseminate propaganda. She also thanked all scientists, politicians, intellectuals, artists and lawyer friends, who believed her innocence and embraced her words.

Ayşe Çelik received a wide support from the human rights community including scientists, politicians, intellectuals, artists, and lawyers. 38 individuals, for instance, signed a copy of Ayşe Çelik’s statement, denouncing themselves to the Bakırköy Public Prosecutor as ‘accomplices of Ayşe Çelik in this crime, if her words indeed constitute a crime.’ The public prosecutor accused them for the same act.  They stated in their joint defence at the court that, “Neither Ayşe Çelik, nor us are on trial in this case; a peace demand and the truth is on trial. Humanity and conscientious sensitivity can not be punished. We have protected the cry of Ayşe Çelik, we have joined the voice of the truth. This voice can not be a crime.” The defendants, who were represented by a number of lawyers, also submitted their written statements to the court setting out the principles of protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression.

On 01.03.2017, the public prosecutor filed his submissions on the merits. He sought the defendant’s conviction for the offence with which she was charged. The prosecutor demanded a prison sentence for Ayşe Çelik based on Article 7(2) of the Law No. 3713, claiming that she had ulterior motives in calling the show, and that she acted in line with PKK’s objectives, trying to portray Turkish Armed Forces as being responsible for what was going on in the southeast. The public prosecutor further noted that Ms. Çelik, in her expression ‘Do not let children get killed’ used the same language as the PKK, and that she aimed to justify the actions of the PKK by portraying the military operations against the PKK as ‘actions causing the death of innocent civilians.’

The public prosecutor demanded acquittal for Kadir Tunali and 38 other defendants for charges of ‘disseminating propaganda’ under Article 7(2) of the law No. 3713 due to lack of evidence.

In their final defence submissions, relying on international human rights standards including freedom of opinion and expression and fair trial rights, the defence lawyers demanded acquittal of all defendants.

On 26.04.2017, at the end of the fifth hearing, the Bakırköy 2nd Assize Court convicted the defendant Ayşe Çelik of disseminating propaganda in support of the PKK under Article 7(2) of Law No. 3713 and sentenced to a total of 1 year 3 months in prison.

In its reasoned decision, the court first gave a summary of the defendant’s defence submissions, the public prosecutor’s observations on the merits of the case and the evidence in the case file which included the defendant’s statements to the police and the judge, reports by experts on the examination of the video records, the defendant’s identity documents, and a document showing that she had no previous criminal record.

Bakırköy 2nd Assize Court further noted that during the television broadcast , the defendant’ s speech had subsequently turned into propaganda in favour of the PKK and in her expression ‘Do not let children get killed’ she had used the same language as the PKK, and that she aimed to justify the actions of the PKK by portraying the military operations against it as causing the death of innocent civilians. The court noted that those who disseminated propaganda in favour of the PKK were expressing their support and approval for the PKK, whose methods were those of terrorism and violence. On the arguments by Ayşe Çelik, the court contended that the expressions she had used had gone beyond the limits of freedom of expression in that they had undermined the rights of the official authorities and endangered social peace and public order. The court considered that the defendant had acted on behalf of the illegal organisation PKK, acting in line with their goals and activities, and that she should therefore be punished for disseminating propaganda in favour of the illegal organisation .The court acquitted the defendants including Kadir Tunali and 38 others on lack of evidence.

On 02.04.2017, the defendant’s lawyer appealed before Istanbul District Court of Appeal. He stated in his appeal that Ms Çelik’s conviction pursuant to Article 7(2) of the Law no. 3713 had constituted a violation of her right to freedom of expression which is protected under Article 10 of the ECHR. He continued by arguing that “[With this case] not only freedom of expression but freedom of thought is being prosecuted. … The violation went beyond the freedom of expression …. Because, not her words but rather the intention behind her words has been questioned [by the judicial authorities]. Through entering into a discussion about what she might have meant and aimed for with her expression, her thoughts have been prosecuted and a hypothetical decision has been made on that ground.”

Istanbul District Court of Appeal rejected the appeal request on 27. 09.2017. The conviction became final. Ms Çelik’s lawyer submitted an individual petition before the Turkish Constitutional Court arguing that fundamental rights and freedoms Ms Çelik is entitled to under the Turkish Constitution and the ECHR were violated with the unlawful process carried out against his client. The case is still pending before the Turkish Constitutional Court. However, her sentence was postponed to April 20, 2018 on grounds that she was pregnant.

On 20.04.2018, Ayşe Çelik was sent to prison with her baby daughter in the south eastern province of Diyarbakır after the court overturned her lawyer’s request for an additional period of delay.

(Evrensel Daily)

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Selahattin Demirtaş’s defence and Turkey’s trial with peace

Demirtaş’s trial and his defence is very important and should not be lost within the wide range of other ongoing issues.

At a time when Turkeys, ‘security’ policies are aimed at decimating the limited freedom that is left in the country, the century-old Kurdish Question is going through a critical period in terms of its distance to a peaceful solution.

It is well known that policies which reduce the Kurdish Questionsolely into “fighting terrorism”, have over time deepened the issue and turned this into a regional problem. Despite this centuries-old truth, which the state authorities intermittently accept, we are at a time when the same ominous policies are in place.

For a while, defending peace has meant taking a risk. In recent times, three key points stand out in relation to defending peace. One of the includes academics who were expelled from their post at universities and whose trials are ongoing for signing a peace declaration. The second issue which comes to light is in relation to the HDP party which received 6 million people’s votes. It is the largest third party in parliament and still, its co-chairs, MPs, deputies and mayors are kept behind iron bars. Thirdly, through the appointment of administrators and arrests, the Kurdish media is being prevented from publishing and broadcasting.

Considering these current issues, Demirtaş’s trial and his defence is very important and should not be lost within the wide range of other ongoing issues.

Demirtaş, at his hearing on 11 April in relation to the Kobane incidents which took place between 6-8 October, said that they contacted the Minister of Internal Affairs, Efkan Ala, through Sırrı Süreyya Önder and that they expressed their endeavour to make a coordinated effort to prevent any deaths. Demirtaş explained that Efkan Ala had replied that “there are security forces which we cannot control” and requested that Efkan Ala to be called as a witness.

Demirtaş, continuing his defence on 12 April stated that he continued to oppose the digging of trenches and barricades and made speeches in various districts, stating that “the speeches we made in these districts, interestingly were not covered by the mainstream or the Kurdish media.”

Of course, the question of “why there was no coverage given?’ has a significance which needs to be noted by those concerned.

Demirtaş reminded (the court) that the first trench-barricades were discovered towards the end of 2014 on the motorway path between Diyarbakir-Bingöl cities and in Cizre while peace talks were on-going. He went on to say that İdris Baluken, Sırrı Süreyya Önder, Pervin Buldan and co-chair of DTK, Hatip Dicle – who were part of the peace talks at the time – made an effort and were persuasive in bringing an end to the trenches.

In the summer of 2015, I went to Cizre, Silvan, Nusaybin, Sur and various other districts and witnessed the efforts made by HDP representatives in reducing the tension and in bringing an end to the deaths. This was covered within the media.

When we look back, we remember that the HDP’s winning of 13.1% of the vote in the national elections on 7 June 2015, meant that the HDP had become a political power able to prevent the AKP becoming a majority government.  Erdogan and his party dismissed these election results, dragged the country into a further election 1 November 2015 and during the interim abandoned the peace negotiations and applied a strategy of increasing tensions. During this period the “fighting against the trenches” was a key lever and was how the government changed the parliamentary balance in its favour and resulted in the election results on 1 November. Over time, the psychological barriers to defending peace were overcome and a period began when sections of society most ready to pay a price took on the cause and continued the struggle for peace.

As a politician during a difficult and special period, Demirtaş took on an important role and took responsibility for critical negotiations, and through his testimony, he portrays a photo of that period.

Erdogan has said that from now on negotiations have been frozen and his photos, despite not being in the pre-election period, have been plastered on billboards across cities and the metro. In this context, is it necessary to even search for a legal reason why Demirtaş – who had said clearly ‘we will not let you be president’ – is in prison?

Demirtaş’s rhetoric even made those under the influence of nationalist propaganda question their own language, and his imprisonment is a way to punish everybody defending peace and taking the initiative towards this end.

And it is for this reason that those defending peace must take the price paid by Demirtaş and other MPs personally.  Of course, it is no crime to defend peace during comfortable less risky periods. But we know that peace does not come to those who do not fully defend it in hard times.  It is precisely for this reason that Demirtaş’s defence and trial is a part of Turkey’s trial with peace.

 

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EMEP: The government is once again trying to deceive the people

EMEP Chairwoman Selma Gürkan: We call on the working class and all other oppressed and exploited classes to teach a lesson to the Government.

The statement released, regarding the decision to go to a snap election on 24 July, from Selma Gürkan, chairwoman of EMEP, read:

“Turkey entered a hurried election period with a decision from the Presidential Alliance. Despite repeated protests since the beginning of OHAL (state of emergency) against antidemocratic conditions, Erdoğan ve Bahçeli took the erroneous decision of going to an election. This is a demonstration of how uninterested they are in a democratic election process and a democratic environment that reflects the will of the people.”

“With this decision, they demonstrate their complete disregard for rule or legislation in pursuit of a one-man and one-party government. Through this election, they hope to overcome the hardship brought on by their domestic and foreign policies. This is not possible! Those claiming that Turkey’s problems at home and abroad will be resolved with this election are once again trying to deceive the people.”

“Nevertheless, let it be known that the people are learning, through their daily experiences, about the destruction caused by the one-man, one-party state.“

We call on the working class and all other oppressed and exploited classes to teach a lesson to the Presidential Alliance led by Erdoğan and Bahçeli, the architects of the policies that push the country further towards a dead-end. As of today, the fight to further democratic rights and political freedoms became a more urgent responsibility. (EVRENSEL DAILY)

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Turkey to hold early elections on 24 June, says President Erdoğan

President Tayyip Erdoğan announced early elections in Turkey on June 24, 2018.

President Tayyip Erdoğan announced early elections in Turkey on June 24, 2018. Erdoğan says the legal process for early elections, including preparations by Supreme Electoral Council, to begin immediately.

Erdoğan made this announcement after he met with his ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli at the presidential palace.

The meeting, came after Bahçeli made a call on Tuesday for early elections in Turkey.

Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group in the capital Ankara, Bahceli had said: “It should be known that the MHP wants early elections after the [constitutional] adjustment laws are enacted. Electing the president on Aug. 26…is the most rational and reasonable way forward.”

On April 16, 2017, Turkey held a referendum during which the ‘majority’ of voters (controversial) decided in favour of an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections are currently scheduled to take place in November 2019. (Evrensel Daily)

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EMEP: Troubled government seeks a solution in early election

EMEP Chairwoman Selma Gürkan criticised MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli’s call for early elections: Troubled government seeks a solution in early election.

Labour Party (EMEP) Chairwoman Selma Gürkan criticised Erdoğan’s ally, Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli’s call for early elections.

Selma Gürkan’s statement is here:

“Call for an early election made by government partner Bahçeli is actually a call for a raid election. While inconvenience of going to an election during a political environment with state of emergency, conflict and war-ridden conditions, Bahçeli, just as he had fired the debates during 16th of April referendum, put raid election to the agenda.

It is not known yet whether these statements are his own sortie, or they have been demanded to be said by the government partner, and this is also beside the point. What is essential is to see what kind of motives this election would be held.

There is an ongoing highly debated process occurring regarding financial policies. Despite a record-setting growth rate of 2017, parameters such as high unemployment rates, low purchasing power, inflation and foreign exchange rates argue against this growth argument.

People, who are struggling to make the ends meet are and workers who feel insecure about the future both are striving with financial and social setbacks are prioritising struggle to live. Government’s foreign affairs and Syria conflict centred Middle East politics also have their predicaments.

On the other hand, government’s social policies, primarily gender and youth policies which are used as-as a base to reinforce political reactionism is not welcomed by the public, on the contrary, they get a rather different reaction. The government tightened in financial, domestic and foreign policies might be seeking refuge in an early election whether calculating the probability of a breaking out in the alliance or by not risking a possible loss of the elections.

The opposition, by which I refer to all the opposing group within parliamentary or extraparliamentary resisting against the shift to “one man, one party” government, should get ready for a possible raid election and should form a platform accordingly.” (Evrensel Daily)

 

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Nationalist Movement Party leader Devlet Bahçeli called for early elections

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli called for early elections on Aug. 26, 2018.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli called for early elections on Aug. 26, 2018.

“It should be known that the MHP wants early elections after the adjustment laws are enacted,” said Bahçeli, speaking at the party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday.

“Electing the president on Aug. 26,…, is the most rational and reasonable way forward,” he said.

President Tayyip Erdoğan and Devlet Bahçeli will meet tomorrow.

On April 16, 2017 Turkey held a referendum which asked voters to decide on an 18-article bill to switch from a parliamentary to a presidential system.

The parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled to take place in November 2019.

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EMEP: We condemn the attacks on Syria initiated by the US, Britain and France

Labour Party: These attacks aim to materialise their imperialist interests in Syria and in the Middle East, and they target the peoples of the region.

The Labour Party (EMEP) condemned the attacks on Syria initiated by the US, Britain and France.

EMEP’s statement is here:

“In the early hours of Saturday, 14th April, the US, British and French warplanes and missiles hit Syria. These attacks had no justification. Imperialist powers once again attacked another country without presenting any concrete evidence, as was the case in Iraq.

These imperialist aggressors claim to represent the international community and state that they punish the Assad regime on their behalf. In fact, these attacks aim to materialise their imperialist interests in Syria and in the Middle East, and they target the peoples of the region.

These attacks and the fact that Russia, which backs Syria, had stated that it would retaliate against any attack but kept quiet afterwards has proved once again that when you fight against an imperialist country you cannot rely on another imperialist.

Turkey expressed its support. This was not surprising because the AKP government had called the US to act in the past to topple the Syrian government.

This support shows that the AKP government could switch easily from its collaboration with Russia in Syria to a collaboration with the US and Western imperialists. Russia would question Turkey’s trustworthiness and this will make it harder for Turkey to manoeuvre around in Syria.
Turkey’s call for further action serves to justify the imperialist interventions in the region and is the continuation of its collaborationist position.

Recent developments in Syria also bring to question Turkey’s agreement with Russia for the purchase of S-400 air defence systems. Russia could re-evaluate its relations with Turkey following its support for the attacks in Syria, or Turkey could retract from the purchase arguing that these air defence systems are ineffective.
Whatever the consequences of these attacks might be they clearly show a hightened tension in inter-imperialist relations.

The imperialists are trying in vain to present their actions as a requirement of the interests of the humanity as a whole rather than their own. But these lies are no longer convincing.
In the face of these and similar attacks, the peoples of the world must defend the right of every country to self-determination and fight against the imperialist aggression, war and the danger of a regional war, knowing that collaboration with an imperialist country against its rival is not the solution.
Down with imperialism, long live the fraternity of peoples!” (EVRENSEL DAILY)

 

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