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turkish-automotive-executive-to-run-fiats-new-us-plant govt-slams-oppositions-controlled-coup-claim cyprus-talks-break-up-over-enosis-row turkey-is-not-at-risk-of-civil-war- undecided-voters-to-lean-toward-yes-vote-in-referendum can-dundar-launches-news-portal-in-germany four-hdp-lawmakers-detained citizens-seek-change-referendum-turkish-pm becoming-turkish-in-early-republican-turkey referendum-result-will-be-no-chp-leader-says

A top executive of Tofaş, a joint venture between Turkey’s Koç Holding and Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA), has been transferred to run FCA’s new U.S. factory in Michigan.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım have strongly reacted to the main opposition leader’s claims that the July 15, 2016, coup attempt occurred within the knowledge

Peace talks aiming to find a peaceful solution to the more than 40-year-old Cyprus issue collapsed on Feb. 16 over a row between the Turkish and Greek sides stemming from the latter’s recent

Turkey is not at risk of civil war over April polls: Main opposition leader

Voters who have yet to decide whether to support or oppose controversial constitutional amendments that would usher in an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the head of state will

Renowned Turkish journalist Can Dündar launched a new Germany-based online news portal on Jan. 24, titled “Özgürüz” (We Are Free).

Four lawmakers from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were detained on Jan. 25, including Diyarbakır MP İmam Taşçıer, Sanlıurfa MP Osman Baydemir, Iğdır MP Mehmet Emin

Turkey’s citizens are awaiting major changes with a new constitution that is set for a public vote, according to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

The era of Kemalist reforms after the declaration of the Turkish Republic in 1923 seems very distant today. Approaching the Republic’s 100th anniversary, the talk is of regime change as the

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (MHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has expressed confidence that contentious constitutional changes will be rejected in an upcoming referendum,

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Turkish automotive executive to run Fiat’s new US plant

A top executive of Tofaş, a joint venture between Turkey’s Koç Holding and Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA), has been transferred to run FCA’s new U.S. factory in Michigan.

govt-slams-oppositions-controlled-coup-claim

Gov’t slams opposition’s ‘controlled coup’ claim

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım have strongly reacted to the main opposition leader’s claims that the July 15, 2016, coup attempt occurred within the knowledge of the government and was therefore a “controlled coup,” accusing the opposition leader of insulting the Turkish people after 250 were killed on the night of the putsch.

cyprus-talks-break-up-over-enosis-row

Cyprus talks break up over ‘Enosis’ row

Peace talks aiming to find a peaceful solution to the more than 40-year-old Cyprus issue collapsed on Feb. 16 over a row between the Turkish and Greek sides stemming from the latter’s recent decision to introduce the commemoration of a vote for “Enosis” in Greek Cypriot public schools.

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Turkey is not at risk of civil war

Turkey is not at risk of civil war over April polls: Main opposition leader

undecided-voters-to-lean-toward-yes-vote-in-referendum

Undecided voters to lean toward ‘yes’ vote in referendum

Voters who have yet to decide whether to support or oppose controversial constitutional amendments that would usher in an executive presidency with vastly enhanced powers for the head of state will start leaning toward the “yes” side, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş has said.

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Can Dündar launches news portal in Germany

Renowned Turkish journalist Can Dündar launched a new Germany-based online news portal on Jan. 24, titled “Özgürüz” (We Are Free).

four-hdp-lawmakers-detained

Four HDP lawmakers detained

Four lawmakers from the opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were detained on Jan. 25, including Diyarbakır MP İmam Taşçıer, Sanlıurfa MP Osman Baydemir, Iğdır MP Mehmet Emin Adıyaman and Muş MP Ahmet Yıldırım.

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Citizens seek change referendum: Turkish PM

Turkey’s citizens are awaiting major changes with a new constitution that is set for a public vote, according to Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

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‘Becoming Turkish’ in early republican Turkey

The era of Kemalist reforms after the declaration of the Turkish Republic in 1923 seems very distant today. Approaching the Republic’s 100th anniversary, the talk is of regime change as the religious nationalist government bids to transform the country's political system into an executive presidency. But as Southern Illinois University assistant professor Hale Yılmaz’s “Becoming Turkish” shows, the early republican period can actually shed an interesting light on the present day.

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Referendum result will be ‘no,’ CHP leader says

Main opposition Republican People’s Party (MHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has expressed confidence that contentious constitutional changes will be rejected in an upcoming referendum, criticizing opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli for being indifferent to the discomfort of the MHP base.

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Astana talks a success: Turkish PM Yıldırım

Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has described the Astana meetings on Syria as a “diplomatic success,” expressing his hope that the process will continue in Geneva through talks for a political solution.

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At least 39 killed in terror attack on Istanbul nightclub

A gunman opened fire on New Year revelers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul’s Bosporus on Jan. 1 killing at least 39 people, including many foreigners, before fleeing the scene.

erdogan-us-led-coalition-gives-support-to-terrorist-groups

Erdoğan: US-led coalition gives support to terrorist groups

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he has evidence that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Syrian Kurdish forces.

truce-declared-in-syria-on-turkish-russian-plan

Truce declared in Syria on Turkish-Russian plan

Turkey and Russia have brokered a nationwide cease-fire between the regime and opposition forces in Syria with hopes that it will be followed by talks for a negotiated political solution in the war-torn country.

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Prosecutor seeks sentence for HDP co-chair, lawmaker

A prosecutor in Istanbul has prepared an indictment against a co-chair and a deputy of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), demanding five years in prison for each on terrorist propaganda charges. The deputy chief prosecutor of Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, Kadir Yılmaz, prepared an indictment for HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş and Ankara deputy Sırrı Süreyya Önder for allegedly making terrorist propaganda during a Nevruz address at Kazlıçeşme in Istanbul’s Zeytinburnu district on March 17, 2013, Anadolu Agency reported Aug. 12. Two people were listed as plaintiffs in the indictment, filing a complaint to the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office regarding the rally organized by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Congress (HDK). The investigations into Demirtaş and Önder, which were launched after the plaintiffs’ complaints, were handled separately from others being investigated because the two are lawmakers. Slogans in support of Abdullah Öcalan, the leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), were chanted during the rally, which also included pictures of Öcalan. Demirtaş and Önder allegedly praised him and the PKK, the indictment stated. “The suspects are lawmakers of a party represented in the parliament. Some of the speeches made in the rally in Istanbul praised the PKK/KCK [Kurdistan Communities Union], which aims to form an independent Kurdistan based on Marxist and Leninist values and which has staged armed attacks since 1984,” the indictment read, adding that the state “has the right to expect political figures to stay away from statements praising and legitimizing terrorist attacks.” The indictment sent to the Bakırköy 2nd Court of Serious Crimes is currently in the process of examination.

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Turkish President Erdoğan slams EU's 'lack of solidarity'

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has criticized European leaders for failing to show solidarity with Turkey during a recent coup attempt, while instead they raised concerns about the rule of law. Erdoğan told Germany's RTL television on Aug. 12 that German Chancellor Angela Merkel called him three days after the July 15 defeated coup to condemn the attempted overthrow but she also expressed fears regarding investigations into the overthrow attempt. “All these make us sad. Let them leave it to us to do what is necessary in line with our domestic rule of law. We are doing nothing out of desire for revenge,” he said, emphasizing that all measures taken after the coup attempt comply with relevant laws. Erdoğan expressed regret that there has not yet been any high-level European visitor to Turkey since July 15, while the coup attempt, which was one of the greatest attacks to Turkish democracy, was defeated by the Turkish people. Erdoğan renewed Turkish commitment to a EU-Turkey refugee deal signed earlier this year, but during the interview he also emphasized that the future of the agreement would depend on the EU's concrete steps to fulfill its promises made to Ankara. “Visa liberalization and readmission are very important, currently the process is ongoing. Of course these will be simultaneous steps. But unfortunately Europe has not yet delivered on its promises,” he said, in remarks translated to German from Turkish. Erdoğan criticized the EU's reluctance to make progress on visa liberalization for Turkish citizens, despite promises made as part of the deal. The EU-Turkey refugee deal aims to discourage irregular migration through the Aegean Sea by taking stricter measures against human traffickers and improving the conditions of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. The deal also allows for the acceleration of Turkey's EU membership bid and visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, on the condition that Ankara meets 72 requirements set by the EU. Ankara has met most of the requirements, but the EU's demands for change in Turkey's anti-terrorism law have led to a deadlock in negotiations.

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Turkey, Russia agree to build strong Syria mechanism: FM

Turkey and Russia have agreed to build a mechanism on Syria which includes intelligence members, diplomats and military representatives, Turkey’s foreign minister has said, underlining that the first bilateral meeting of this mechanism will take place in St. Petersburg on Aug. 11. “In the past, we had separate mechanisms with Russia on Syria. Now, we are bringing intelligence, Foreign Ministry and military mechanisms together,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told Anadolu Agency in an interview on Aug. 10. The formation of this mechanism was agreed to during President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in St. Petersburg, Çavuşoğlu said. National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan and representatives form the Foreign Ministry and Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will depart for Russia late on Aug. 10 for the meeting in St. Petersburg, he added.

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Coup plotters are not Kemalists: PM Yıldırım

None of the July 15 coup plotters is a Kemalist, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said in a Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group meeting on Aug. 2. “Every coup attempt has wounded primarily the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and the National Assembly which he pioneered its inauguration. None of the coup plotters is either Atatürkist or Kemalist. They are not a member of the armed forces and do not even belong to this country,” Yıldırım said. Yıldırım especially noted that parliament was bombarded on the night of the coup attempt, a first in its 96-year-old history. The premier also noted that thousands military officers and non-commissioned officers were discharged from the army, stressing that the moves were aimed at further strengthening the army amid a mass restructuring process. “We are further strengthening our Turkish Armed Forces which was weakened by blows after the coup with these regulations. We are making it more ready for war. We are making it feel its primary duty which is preparation for war, operations and dissuasive power,” Yıldırım said, adding that the coup plotters aimed at paralyzing the army, as well as the country’s political and economic system. As such, a number of factories and shipyards have been brought under the Defense Ministry’s control. Yıldırım also said the military judiciary would operate under the Defense Ministry as the High Military Administrative Court and Military Supreme Court would be abolished to maintain unity in judiciary. The premier also clarified that war schools had not been shut down but that high school departments and military colleges had been closed while restrictions on applications to war schools had been lifted. Yıldırım reiterated that the Akıncı Air Base in Ankara, which was the center of the coup attempt, would be closed and that military barracks in Istanbul and Ankara would be moved out of the city centers. At the same time, the army aviation school in Güvercinlik will be closed and military build-ups will only be permitted in border regions to provide full security against foreign threats. Yıldırım said a total of 35 health institutions, 1,045 educational institutions, 104 foundations, 1,125 associations, 15 universities, 29 unions, federations and confederations were shut down for alleged links to the Fethullahist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which has been blamed for the coup attempt. He said the country literally stood on the edge of the abyss on the night of the failed coup attempt. “Had the July 15 coup attempt succeeded, there would be neither constitutional and judicial process nor the parliament. Political parties would have been shut down and the political system would have been completely destroyed. There would be no mention of a free press, human rights and freedom of expression,” Yıldırım said, pledging that the fight against FETÖ would continue. Commenting on the declaration of the state of emergency, Yıldırım said it was directed at the government, not at the nation, while adding that there would be no toleration of the slightest unlawfulness or violation of law and freedom. Yıldırım said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would organize a huge “Democracy and Martyrs” rally at Istanbul’s Yenikapı on Aug. 7, adding that the leaders of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) had already been invited in a bid to “show unity and brotherhood solidarity to the nation in the best way.”

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Gülen issue raises questions over US: Turkish PM

The fact that Fethullah Gülen, the man accused by Ankara of orchestrating the failed coup attempt on July 15, still resides in Pennsylvania raises question marks over U.S. involvement in the coup plot, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has told the British press. The United States, meanwhile, has insisted on “concrete evidence” linking Gülen to the plot as a condition to extradite him. “Turkey and the U.S. have had friendly, amicable relations, [they have been] allies and strategic partners for a very long time, and we do not believe that they [the U.S.] are going to stand by the leader of this terrorist organization,” Yıldırım said in an interview with The Guardian published July 26. Turkey is a NATO member and hosts the İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana where U.S. operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are conducted. Ankara accuses Gülen, who had been a close ally of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan until recently, of infiltrating public institutions and creating a “parallel state” with the aim of toppling the country’s democratically elected government. For its part, Washington demanded “solid evidence” linking Gülen – who has been residing in the U.S. since 1999 – directly to the coup plot instead of secondary evidence or allegations. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, said “legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny” would be required of Turkey for Gülen’s extradition. “The files pertaining to their [Gülenists’] involvement in this coup attempt have not been sent yet. They will be sent and will leave no doubt whatsoever as to their involvement in this,” Yıldırım said, adding the coup plotters started to “sing like hummingbirds” after the attempt failed. In a separate interview, this time with The Wall Street Journal published on July 26, Yıldırım said Ankara was “heartbroken” over Washington’s attitude with regards to Gülen’s extradition. “The evidence is crystal clear. We know the terrorist cult responsible for vicious attacks against us and the Turkish people,” Yıldırım said. “We are heartbroken at the way that the U.S. has treated this matter. We simply cannot understand why the U.S. just can’t hand over this individual.” Meanwhile, Elizabeth Trudeau, a spokesperson for the State Department, defined the extradition process as technical and legal, adding they were going to let the extradition treaty, which has been in effect between the U.S. and Turkey since 1981, “play out.” Insistent U.S. demands for direct evidence were dismissed by Yıldırım as a formality, adding that the testimonies of the plotters were clear enough. “America keeps asking us for documents and documents. What documents do you need, when 265 people have been killed, bombed from jets and run over by tanks?” he asked. “The evidence is clear. We have testimony by suspected members of the coup that they took orders from this person [Mr. Gülen].” The Turkish government has sought the extradition of Gülen for over two years, but this was the first time a formal request had been made on the issue which has strained Turkish-American ties. July/27/2016