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Turks divided over President Erdogan calls for U.S. electronics boycott

by admin   |   Posted on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

 

 

iPhone 7 smartphone | REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Turks expressed differing opinions on Tuesday (August 14) after President Tayyip Erdogan called on the nation to boycott electronic products from the United States, particularly iPhones, retaliating in a dispute with Washington that has helped drive the lira to record lows.

Hours after Erdogan‘s call, iPhone user Ayse Orga bought a new phone for herself at a bazaar selling electronics. Shopkeeper Umit Yilmaz voiced support for Orga.

“I have a 16-year-old daughter. Take her iPhone away from her, if you can,” Yilmaz said.

Another shopkeeper, Arif Simsek disagreed.

“We fully support this decision. We supported him with our lives on July 15 and now we will support him with our goods,” Simsek said, referring to the failed coup attempt in July 2016.

The lira has lost more than 40 percent this year and crashed to an all-time low of 7.24 to the dollar early on Monday (August 13), hit by worries over Erdogan‘s calls for lower interest rates and worsening ties with the United States.

The weakness of the Turkish currency has rippled through global markets. Its drop of as much as 18 percent on Friday (August 10) hit U.S. and European stocks as investors fretted about banks’ exposure to Turkey.

Erdogan says Turkey is the target of an economic war and has made repeated calls for Turks to sell their dollars and euros to shore up the national currency. — Reuters

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Pentagon removing Turkey from F-35 program after its purchase of Russian missile defense

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, July 19th, 2019

F-35 Fighter Jet | Courtesy: Lockheed Martin / Reuters

The United States said on Wednesday (July 17) that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move that had been long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week.

The first parts of the S-400 air defense system were flown to the Murted military airbase northwest of Ankara on Friday, sealing Turkey’s deal with Russia, which Washington had struggled for months to prevent.

“The U.S. and other F-35 partners are aligned in this decision to suspend Turkey from the program and initiate the process to formally remove Turkey from the program,” said Ellen Lord, the Undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Used by NATO and other U.S. allies, the F-35 stealth fighter jet is the world’s most advanced jet fighter. Washington is concerned that deploying the S-400 with the F-35 would allow Russia to gain too much inside information of the stealth system.

“The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian intelligence-collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced capabilities,” the White House said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.

Washington has long said the acquisition may lead to Turkey’s expulsion from the F-35 program.

The Pentagon had already laid out a plan to remove Turkey from the program, including halting any new training for Turkish pilots on the advanced aircraft. (REUTERS)

(Production: Labib Nasir)

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Algerian man saves baby falling from 2nd-floor window in Turkey

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Thursday, June 27th, 2019

CCTV footage of Feuzi Zabaat on the street looking up and catching 2-year old Syrian, Doha Muhammed as she falls | Courtesy: Image grabbed from a Reuters video

Dramatic CCTV footage shows the moment a two-year-old girl was caught as she fell from an apartment window in Turkey.

The Syrian toddler Doha Muhammed was caught by 17-year-old Algerian immigrant Feuzi Zabaat who noticed she was about to fall from the window of her home in the Fatih district of Istanbul.

Zabaat, who was working in a frame workshop on the same street, positioned himself underneath the second-floor apartment window and caught the girl before she hit the ground.

Muhammed survived the accident without any injuries.

According to local media, the toddler approached the open window of the apartment while her mother was cooking in the kitchen.

Muhammed’s family has hailed Zabaat as a hero and rewarded him 200 Turkish Liras (35 U.S. dollars). (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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