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World - Twitter executives meet Turkish officials amid free speech row

Twitter executives met Turkish government officials for talks Monday amid accusations of tax evasion by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a row over content on the social media site. They are the first direct talks since Ankara banned access to the site last month over leaks on the social network implicating Erdogan`s inner circle in corruption, and accusations by the government that Twitter ignored various court orders to remove some links deemed illegal. `We will specifically ask Twitter to follow court orders,` Tayfun Acarer, the head of Turkey`s Communication Technologies Institution (BTK), was quoted as saying by the private NTV television as he headed to the meeting in the capital Ankara.

Monday, April 14, 2014  16:22


World - Turkey`s humbled secular opposition seeks to shed elitist image

By Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) - Chastened by its failure to dent Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan`s domination at the ballot box, Turkey`s main opposition is looking to the conservative religious heartland it long shunned and trying to shed its image as bastion of an old secular elite. Erdogan, arguably Turkey`s strongest leader since Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founded the secular republic on the ashes of the Ottoman Empire, has all but monopolised politics for a decade, aided by the virtual absence of an opposition able to command anywhere near his Islamist-rooted AK Party`s mass support. The AKP increased its share of the national vote and held the key cities Istanbul and Ankara at March 30 local polls. The CHP`s mild-mannered leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, puts on a brave face.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014  16:10


World - Election board rejects Turkish opposition call for Ankara re-run

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey`s High Election Board on Thursday refused an appeal by the main opposition Republican People`s Party (CHP) for the cancellation of local election results in the capital Ankara, local media said. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan`s Islamist-rooted AK Party largely dominated Turkey`s electoral map in the March 30 nationwide municipal elections, but the CHP challenged the result in Ankara, which was a particularly close race. (Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014  15:45


World - Homosexual prisoners in Turkey segregated for `protection`: minister

By Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish rights activists reacted angrily to a government measure that has led to the segregation of lesbian, gay and transsexual prisoners to protect them from harassment and attacks while in jail. Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag announced the `protecting convicts` measure for openly homosexual prisoners in a written response to a parliamentary question from an opposition lawmaker. Turkey`s political landscape has in recent months become increasingly polarized between the opposition and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan`s Islamist-rooted AK Party government, seen as pushing a more conservative agenda on a range of issues. The statement was dated April 3, but the issue only sparked widespread debate in Turkey this week after the lawmaker who tabled the question expressed concerns over the policy.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014  13:44


World - Turkey PM accuses Twitter of tax evasion

Ankara (AFP) - Turkey`s prime minister accused Twitter Saturday of tax evasion after the micro-blogging site was used to spread a number of damaging leaks implicating his inner circle in corruption scandals.

Saturday, April 12, 2014  14:38


World - Moody`s, Turkish court decisions mark twin setback for Erdogan

By Gulsen Solaker and Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan suffered a double blow on Friday when a court rolled back his government`s efforts to tighten its grip on the judiciary and Moody`s cut its outlook for the economy on which for many his reputation stands. Erdogan has divided opinion at home and unnerved Western governments with his response to a corruption scandal swirling around his inner circle since December, removing thousands of police and judiciary officials and blocking social media sites. His ruling AK Party`s victory in municipal elections on March 30, despite the scandal, reassured nervous financial markets, but also raised the political stakes ahead of an August presidential election and parliamentary polls next year. Cutting its sovereign outlook on Turkey to negative, Moody`s said political uncertainty would weigh on weak points in its economy, notably its high external financing needs, throughout the voting cycle, damaging its growth prospects.

Friday, April 11, 2014  16:17


World - Top Turkish court annuls part of law tightening judicial control: media

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey`s Constitutional Court annulled parts of a law tightening government control of the judiciary, Turkish media reports said on Friday, dealing a blow to a reform seen as part of a bid by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to snuff out a corruption scandal. The court canceled articles granting the justice minister powers over the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, according to the reports carried by broadcasters CNN Turk and NTV, which could not immediately be confirmed. (Reporting by Gulsen Solaker; Writing by Daren Butler, Editing by Seda Sezer and Alison Williams)

Friday, April 11, 2014  09:32


World - Turkish court annuls parts of controversial judiciary law: TV

Ankara (AFP) - Turkey`s constitutional court on Friday overturned sections of a controversial reform tightening the government`s grip on the judiciary, local media said.

Friday, April 11, 2014  09:32


World - Turkey seeks wider spy agency powers amid Erdogan power struggle

By Gulsen Solaker and Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey`s government sought parliamentary approval to boost the powers of the secret service on Thursday, a move seen by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan`s critics as a bid to tighten his grip on the apparatus of state as he wages a bitter power struggle. Control of the NATO member`s security apparatus goes to the heart of a feud between Erdogan and Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally based in the United States whose network of followers wields influence in the police and judiciary. Erdogan accuses Gulen`s Hizmet (`Service`) network of orchestrating a plot to unseat him, tapping thousands of phones, including his own, over years and using leaked recordings to unleash corruption allegations against his inner circle in the run-up to a series of elections. According to an initial draft, seen by Reuters, proposals before parliament include giving the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) more scope for eavesdropping and foreign operations, as well as greater immunity from prosecution for top agents.

Thursday, April 10, 2014  14:52

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