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Turkey's Ruling Party Wins Election PDF Print E-mail
2011-06-12 22:26:39
Image ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's ruling party surged to a third term in parliamentary elections Sunday, setting the stage for the rising regional power to pursue trademark economic growth, assertive diplomacy and an overhaul of the military-era constitution.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters gathered in front of his Justice and Development Party headquarters in Ankara, Turkey, late Sunday.

However, the Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan fell short of a two-thirds majority in parliament, a shortcoming that will force it to seek support for constitutional change from other political groups. Despite a record of democratic reform, the government has faced increasing criticism that it has sought to consolidate power at the expense of consensus-building.

Erdogan sought to allay those concerns in his victory speech, delivered from the balcony of the ruling party headquarters to thousands of ecstatic supporters who gathered below, chanting slogans and waving Turkish flags.

"We will be humble," said Erdogan, who pledged to start work on a new constitution. "We will be seeking consensus with the main opposition, the opposition, parties outside of parliament, the media, NGOs, with academics, with anyone who has something to say."

Erdogan's party won 50% of the votes, according to TRT, the state-run television. It said the Republican People's Party, the main opposition group, had 26% of the vote.
Last Updated ( 2011-06-12 22:27:20 )
 
Hope Is High for Man Who May Become Turkey's First Christian MP for 50 Year PDF Print E-mail
2011-06-10 20:09:35
Image İstanbul - A 47-year-old former refugee has a chance to become the first Christian member of the Turkish parliament in half a century.

If he succeeds in parliamentary elections on Saturday, Erol Dora, an attorney, could also go some way in adjusting the electoral status quo in this mostly Muslim nation that critics say does not provide its religious minorities with fair representation.

"There has not been a Christian MP since the 1960s," Mr Dora said in an interview from his campaign in the south-eastern city of Mardin this week. "I don't think that's normal."

Mr Dora is a Syriac Christian, an ancient community that numbers about 13,000 in Turkey and that still uses Aramaic, the language spoken by Jesus.

The region around Mardin is the traditional home of Syriac Christians, but many fled to Istanbul or western Europe when Turkey's south-east became a battleground between Kurdish rebels and the government in the 1980s.

If elected, Mr Dora has promised to speak for Syriac Christians in the national assembly and "work for democracy as a Turkish citizen".

Mr Dora is running as an independent backed by the Party for Peace and Democracy, or BDP, Turkey's main Kurdish party.

Political parties in Turkey must gain at least 10 per cent of the national vote to enter parliament, but that clause does not apply to independent candidates.

The BDP, which holds 5 to 6 per cent in the polls, hopes to send deputies to Ankara by having them run as independents.

In Mardin, a region with an ethnic and religious mix of Turks, Kurds, Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Yezidis, Mr Dora has a chance of being among the five deputies the province will send to Ankara.

His life story resonates with voters in the region. Mr Dora was born in a Syriac village that was evacuated by the military during the fighting between rebels and soldiers in the 1990s.
Last Updated ( 2011-06-10 21:21:11 )
 
Online Sex Videos Force Resignations of Six Members of Turkish Opposition Party PDF Print E-mail
2011-05-21 18:44:55
Just weeks before general elections in Turkey, six leading members of an opposition party were forced to resign from Parliament on Saturday after sexually explicit videos of one of them were posted on the Internet.

The Web site that posted the videos had threatened to release others that it said showed the five other members who resigned.

The resignations could severely weaken the Nationalist Movement Party, the second largest opposition group in Parliament, which is struggling to win the minimum of 10 percent of the vote required to be seated in Parliament.

Four members of Parliament from the same party resigned earlier this month after similar videos were posted on the same Web site.
Last Updated ( 2011-05-24 18:41:46 )
 
Turkey Denounces Obama's Remarks on 1915 Events PDF Print E-mail
2011-04-25 01:47:13
ImageTurkey has denounced the U.S. president’s annual statement marking the deaths of Ottoman Armenians in 1915 as “one-sided,” criticizing Barack Obama for issuing the remarks on Turkey’s National Sovereignty day.

"Obama's statement is one-sided and it reads history from a single perspective,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Sunday.

“I want to remind everyone that the statement was made on the same day that our nation was marking National Sovereignty day and the 91st anniversary of the national Parliament; it would be better if this had been noticed by the American side," the minister Sunday said in northwestern province of Çanakkale, where he was participating in a joint press conference with his New Zealand counterpart, Murray McCully, to mark the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign in World War I.

The U.S. president traditionally releases a statement on April 24, “Armenian Remembrance Day,” but Obama chose to issue his statement this year on April 23, which is marked as National Sovereignty and Children’s Day in Turkey.
Last Updated ( 2011-04-25 02:53:16 )
 
Congress Celebrates Turkish Caucus Day PDF Print E-mail
2011-04-02 22:58:25
Image The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) celebrated the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Caucus on US-Turkish Relations and Turkish Americans with a lunch and an evening reception.
 
28 Members of Congress and nearly 300 congressional staffers attended the events, which were co-hosted by TCA with Caucus co-chairs Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN/9th), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA/11th), Rep.Virginia Foxx (R-NC/5th) and Rep.Ed Whitfield (R-KY/1st). TCA was particularly honored to host Rep.Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL/18th), Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee at the event.
 
The lunch, held in the Cannon House Office Building, was overflowing for 2 hours, as Congressional Members and their staff stopped by to learn about Turkish-Americans, Turkish history and the importance of Turkey to the United States in foreign policy, business and other key issue areas.
 
 
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