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How authoritarian will Turkey get?

Twitter accounts of critical journalists are being blocked and government opponents in the security apparatus arrested. President Erdoğan has chaired his first cabinet meeting – normally the job of the prime minister. Will Erdoğan secure total power for himself?

Main focus of Thursday, 2. April 2015

Attacks in Istanbul

A day after the fatal hostage taking in Istanbul, armed assailants attacked the city's police headquarters on Wednesday. One attacker was killed, while her accomplice ... » more

La Stampa - Italy | Thursday, 2. April 2015

Erdoğan has created his country's problems

In the wake of the attacks in Istanbul Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Wednesday that the country would resist such terrorist assaults. But Erdoğan himself created the system that is producing the terror, the liberal daily La Stampa harshly concludes: » more

Der Standard - Austria | Monday, 16. March 2015

Erdoğan's hypocritical anti-Twitter campaign

Three people have been arrested in the last week in Turkey for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter. Hardly any other country in the world prosecutes social network users so frequently, the left-liberal daily Der Standard criticises, seeing this as part of a hypocritical campaign: » more

Sözcü - Turkey | Thursday, 12. March 2015

Turkish spy chief to serve AKP election campaign

Hakan Fidan has been reappointed as head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MIT). He had resigned the post a month ago to run for the ruling party AKP in parliamentary elections, but has returned to his old position following protests from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Such blatant entanglement between the intelligence service and politics is unacceptable, the government critical daily Sözcü argues: » more

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey | Wednesday, 11. March 2015

Turkish intelligence chief divides government

Hakan Fidan, the former head of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation, announced on Monday that he wants to return to his former post. He resigned a month ago with the approval of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to run as the candidate for the governing AKP party in the parliamentary elections in June. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who was annoyed by Fidan's resignation, has now won this power struggle within his party, the liberal paper Hürriyet Daily News contends: » more

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey | Wednesday, 25. February 2015

Security package shows Erdoğan's tough hand

Despite protests from the opposition, human rights organisations and lawyers, the parliament in Ankara had passed 16 paragraphs of the controversial security package by Tuesday. An ominous extension of police rights, the liberal daily Hürriyet Daily News believes: » more

T24 - Turkey | Wednesday, 11. February 2015

Political system limits Erdoğan's power

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan voiced his displeasure at the resignation of the head of the Turkish intelligence service Hakan Fidan on Sunday. Fidan stepped down last week with the approval of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in order to run as a candidate for the ruling AKP party in the parliamentary elections in June. This internal party conflict is showing Erdoğan the limits of his power, the liberal online daily T24 comments: » more

Radikal - Turkey | Monday, 9. February 2015

Even AKP worried about Turkey's polarisation

Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has warned of the division of Turkish society. One half elects the ruling AKP party while the other half detests it, he said in an interview with CNN Türk on Saturday, and urged the AKP to adopt a conciliatory rhetoric. The liberal online paper Radikal is surprised at his openness: » more

Sabah - Turkey | Thursday, 5. February 2015

Gülen no longer calls the shots at Bank Asya

Turkish authorities on Tuesday took over control of Bank Asya, which has close ties with the movement of the anti-government preacher Fethullah Gülen who is currently living in the US. This will finally cleanse the bank of the Gülen movement's political influence, columnist Şeref Oğuz writes in the pro-government daily Sabah: » more

Cumhuriyet - Turkey | Wednesday, 4. February 2015

AKP security package ends democracy

The Turkish parliament will discuss today a security package put forward by the governing AKP party which would strengthen the powers of the police in searches and arrests. This is the end of democracy, the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet warns: » more

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey | Wednesday, 28. January 2015

Erdoğan going too far in fight against Gülen

During a state visit to Ethiopia last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for schools run by the Gülen movement outside Turkey to be closed down. This is simply going too far, the liberal English-language Hürriyet Daily News comments: » more

Agos - Turkey | Friday, 23. January 2015

Ankara fabricating foes at will

A high-ranking police officer was arrested in Ankara on Wednesday on suspicion of being involved in the killing of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink eight years ago. He is said to have close ties to the Gülen movement. This doesn't bring us any closer to the truth about who was behind the murder, the weekly of the Armenian minority Agos comments: » more

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey | Thursday, 22. January 2015

Erdoğan gathering young generation around him

The Turkish parliament, helped by the votes of the ruling AKP party, decided on Monday not to put four ex-ministers who were under investigation for corruption on trial. For the liberal Hürriyet Daily News this marks the start of a new era for the party: » more

Sabah - Turkey | Wednesday, 21. January 2015

Only a strong leader can move Turkey forwards

The Turkish opposition has concluded that Turkey's first cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday is a test run for Erdoğan's ambitions to establish a presidential system in the country. Turkey only stands to gain from having a strong president, the pro-government daily Sabah comments: » more

Radikal - Turkey | Tuesday, 20. January 2015

Erdoğan demotes government to bit player

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan led a cabinet meeting in his role as Turkish president for the first time on Monday. Normally it is the job of the prime minister to lead cabinet meetings. This confirms people's worst fears, the liberal Internet paper Radical comments: » more

Cumhuriyet - Turkey | Monday, 19. January 2015

Cumhuriyet abused for AKP election campaign

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said last week that Turkey would "not allow the Prophet to be insulted". In the wake of investigations into the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet for reprinting Muhammad cartoons, the newspaper detects a clear strategy behind the prime minister's statements: » more

Hürriyet - Turkey | Friday, 16. January 2015

Freedom of opinion stops at religious insults

The Turkish prosecution has been investigating the daily Cumhuriyet since Thursday after it reprinted the front page of the latest issue of Charlie Hebdo. Banning its publication was the right move both legally and morally, columnist Taha Akyol writes in the conservative daily Hürriyet: » more

Cumhuriyet - Turkey | Thursday, 15. January 2015

Freedom of expression more sacred than prophet

The distribution of the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet was impeded on Wednesday because it was the only Turkish media outlet to reprint certain sections of the current issue of Charlie Hebdo as a supplement. Two journalists who had featured the cover of the satirical magazine in their columns also received threats. One of them, Ceyda Karan, explains in Cumhuriyet why she doesn't regret her decision: » more

Hürriyet Daily News - Turkey | Wednesday, 7. January 2015

New attack on Turkish press freedom

The Turkish police on Tuesday searched the Dutch journalist Frederike Geerdink's house in Diyarbakir and interrogated her on charges of helping terrorist organisations. Geerdink's news reports had focused primarily on the Kurdish issue in recent years. Once again the freedom of opinion is under attack in the country, the liberal daily Hürriyet Daily news writes with concern: » more

T24 - Turkey | Tuesday, 6. January 2015

Erdoğan trampling on the law

Four ministers in Turkey who were under investigation for corruption must not stand trial, a parliamentary committee of inquiry decided on Monday. The liberal Internet paper T24 sees President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan behind the decision: » more

Radikal - Turkey | Monday, 5. January 2015

AKP wants to exclude women from society

The Turkish Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoglu said on New Year's Day that women shouldn't have careers but dedicate themselves to being mothers. Yet again the conservative government is interfering in the lives of women, the liberal web portal Radikal complains: » more

Cumhuriyet - Turkey | Monday, 29. December 2014

Turkey moving further away from EU

Turkey has embarked on a worrying course this year, the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet complains: » more

Zaman - Turkey | Monday, 22. December 2014

Preacher Gülen is a democrat

A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant against the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen on Friday. He is accused of founding and leading a terrorist organisation. Turkey's AKP government is once again behind this latest absurd accusation, the pro-Gülen daily Zaman writes angrily: » more

Hürriyet - Turkey | Thursday, 18. December 2014

Beşiktas fans may win coup trial

The trial against 35 fans of the Istanbul football club Beşiktas began on Tuesday. The "Çarşı" fan group is accused of planning to topple the government during the Gezi Park protests and its members face lifelong prison sentences. But the evidence against them is so flimsy that the politicians won't push through harsh punishment, columnist Kenan Başaran contends in the conservative daily Hürriyet: » more

Dagens Nyheter - Sweden | Tuesday, 16. December 2014

Turkish press freedom severely undermined

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected the EU's criticism of the mass arrests of government-critical journalists. The liberal daily Dagens Nyheter warns: » more

Sözcü - Turkey | Tuesday, 16. December 2014

Gülen arrests cover up AKP corruption

The mass arrest of journalists and government critics is an attempt to divert attention from the corrupt past of the AKP government, the government-critical daily Sözcü comments ironically: » more

Blog Gianni Riotta - Italy | Monday, 15. December 2014

West must reach out to Ankara

The EU and the US have been quick to criticise the raids and arrests of journalists in Turkey but they should also make overtures to Ankara, Gianni Riotta writes in his blog: » more

Cumhuriyet - Turkey | Monday, 15. December 2014

Pity for arrested uncalled for in Turkey

Turkish law enforcement officers arrested dozens of journalists and government critics who are allegedly members of the Gülen movement on Sunday. They are accused of plotting to establish a parallel state. Mockery is just as misplaced as sympathy in reaction to these developments, the Kemalist daily Cumhuriyet warns: » more

Star - Turkey | Tuesday, 9. December 2014

Ottoman is the key to Turkish identity

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Monday for mandatory classes in Arabic-alphabet Ottoman language in schools. The founder of the Turkish Republic Atatürk was wrong to replace the Arab script with the Latin alphabet in 1928, the pro-government daily Star writes: » more

T24 - Turkey | Friday, 5. December 2014

Turkey turning its back on secularism

Turkey's Education Council approved on Wednesday a proposal by the conservative teachers' trade union Eğitim Bir-Sen to introduce religious and ethics instruction at kindergartens and primary schools. Although the measure won't come into effect until it has been approved by the Education Ministry the liberal online paper T24 fears Turkey is moving more and more towards religion: » more

Corriere della Sera - Italy | Tuesday, 25. November 2014

Erdoğan's religious zeal endangering Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected gender equality saying that equality between men and women was 'against nature' at a summit on Monday. Unbelievable, the liberal-conservative daily Corriere della Sera comments: » more

Taraf - Turkey | Friday, 21. November 2014

Gezi referendum only democratic at first glance

Istanbul's mayor Kadir Topbaş announced on Wednesday a referendum on the future of Gezi Park. But that sounds more democratic than it really is, the liberal daily Taraf observes: » more

Radikal - Turkey | Tuesday, 12. August 2014

Pro-Kurd candidate Demirtaş inspires hope

The candidate of the pro-Kurdish HDP party Selahattin Demirtaş won almost ten percent of the vote in the Turkish presidential elections on the weekend - a 55 percent increase compared to the last elections. For the liberal daily Radikal Demirtaş has become a genuine political alternative: » more

Kurier - Austria | Monday, 11. August 2014

Elected out of gratitude

The liberal daily Kurier is unsurprised by the election results and hopes for long-term changes in Turkey's political system: » more

Star - Turkey | Monday, 11. August 2014

The people's will has won

This was the first time that the Turkish president was elected directly by the people, making Erdoğan's success a success for the Turkish nation, the pro-government daily Star believes: » more

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | Monday, 11. August 2014

A frightening struggle for power

As future president Erdoğan will no doubt radically transform Turkey's political system, the left-liberal daily Süddeutsche Zeitung fears: » more

Jutarnji list - Croatia | Monday, 11. August 2014

New president is cynical realist

Erdoğan owes his political success above all to his country's economic progress, the liberal daily Jutarnji List comments: » more

Blog euinside - Bulgaria | Monday, 11. August 2014

EU must rethink its relationship with Turkey

After Erdoğan's victory in the Turkish presidential elections the EU needs to drastically rethink its relationship with Turkey, the online portal euinside writes: » more


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