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Turkey’s Erdogan equates deadly Gaza violence to ‘genocide’

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan talks to media after prayers for the Muslim Eid al-Adha celebration in Istanbul, Turkey September 1, 2017. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS


Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called the actions of the Israeli forces on Monday as a “genocide” and Israel as a “terrorist state”.

This, after Israeli troops, shot dead dozens of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border as the United States opened its embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

In the bloodiest single day for Palestinians since 2014, Palestinian health ministry officials said 55 protesters were killed and 2,700 injured either by live gunfire, tear gas or other means.

Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of the U.S. move and the violence in Gaza, with the government declaring three days of mourning for those killed. — Reuters

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Turkey to re-run Istanbul election lost by Erdogan’s AKP

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 7th, 2019

AK Party representative of high election board Recep Ozel saying fresh Istanbul mayoral election will be held on June 23, 2019. | Courtesy: Reuters

Turkish authorities on Monday (May 6) scrapped the result of a vote for Istanbul mayor lost by President Tayyip Erdogan’s candidate, responding to calls by his AK Party for a re-run, in a move that hit the lira and drew opposition accusations of “dictatorship.”

The High Election Board ruled that a fresh Istanbul mayoral contest will be held on June 23. The AK Party representative on the board, Recep Ozel, said the decision was based on unsigned results documents from the March 31 election and on some ballot box officials not being civil servants.

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), which narrowly won the mayor’s office in the country’s largest city, called the ruling a “plain dictatorship.”

Ekrem Imamoglu, the CHP mayor who officially took office after a smattering of recounts were completed across Istanbul last month, also condemned the YSK for annulling the results under AKP pressure.

Reuters witnesses said people were banging on pots and pans in protest against the ruling in several Istanbul districts.

The AKP had appealed for an election re-run after initial results and a series of recounts showed it had lost control of Istanbul for the first time in 25 years.

It was a shock loss for Erdogan, who in the 1990s served as the city’s mayor and had campaigned hard ahead of the nationwide local vote, his first electoral test since last year’s sharp currency crisis tipped the Turkish economy into recession.

Turkey held a re-run of general elections in 2015 when the AK Party failed for the first time since its founding to form a single-party government. In a repeat election, AK Party found the support to form it again. (REUTERS)

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9 dead in high-speed train crash in Ankara

by admin   |   Posted on Friday, December 14th, 2018


Train wreckage in Ankara, Turkey | Reuters

At least nine people were killed and 46 others injured in a high-speed train accident in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Thursday morning, the Ankara governor said.

According to Governor Vasip Sahin, three of the injured are in serious condition.

The high-speed train traveling from Ankara to the central province of Konya collided with an empty commuter train, the governor told reporters.

Two carriages overturned as the train crashed into a locomotive and derailed.

Ambulances and fire and rescue teams were dispatched to the scene. Rescue efforts are still ongoing.

Prosecutors have launched an investigation into the crash.

In November, at least 15 people were injured when a passenger train collided with a freight train in Turkey’s central province of Sivas.

In July, a passenger train derailed in northwestern Tekirdag Province because the track subgrade was eroded by heavy rains, leaving 24 dead and more than 120 others injured. — Reuters

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Duterte: PH to buy arms only from Israel

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) stands next to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during their meeting in Jerusalem September 3, 2018. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/Pool


During his meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) will only buy weapons from Israel.

“My orders to my military, that in terms of military equipment, particularly intelligence gathering, we only have one country to buy from – that is Israel,” he said.

He also said that the United States is a “good friend” but added that buying from them entails limitations, and it’s the same with China and Germany.

“If they (United States) sell you something, they would also be listening, so will China and everybody else, Germany,” said Duterte.

In mid-August, three prominent members of US President Donald Trump’s Cabinet signified through a letter the Trump administration’s intention to enter into an arms deal with the Philippines.

But Duterte challenged the U.S. government’s sincerity especially after the U.S State Department called off the procurement of assault rifles to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2016 citing concerns of human rights violations in line the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

“Bumili tayo ng 23,000 rifles. What happened? Binara ng isang congressman, ilang senador, ng Congress nila so I was forced to go to China (We bought 23,000 rifles. What happened? A congressman and several senators blocked the sale. So, I was forced to go to China),” the President had said. — Rosalie Coz

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