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The two boys, aged 12 and 13, could be sentenced a prison term of up to 28 months because they teared down posters showing the Turkish President on May first.

 

 

 

Sunday’s crucial parliamentary elections gets closer, Turkish authorities arrested two boys, aged 12 and 13, for tearing down posters showing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 1st.

Read more: The two boys, aged 12 and 13, could be sentenced a prison term of up to 28 months because they...

65 US lawmakers to Obama: Make sure Turkish polls are free and fair

 

 

 

Sixty-five members of the US Congress have asked President Barack Obama in a letter to encourage Turkey to take all necessary measures to ensure that elections slated for Nov. 1 are held in a "truly free" environment.

Read more: 65 US lawmakers to Obama: Make sure Turkish polls are free and fair

Montenegro PM Says He Will Not Bow to Protests

 

 

 

Milo Djukanovic has said he will not resign in face of protest demands and accused opposition parties in Serbia opposed to the country's independence of attempted destabilization.

Read more: Montenegro PM Says He Will Not Bow to Protests

Macedonia Crisis Deal in Mortal Danger, EU Warns

 

 

 

EU mediator says crisis deal will be dead - and Macedonia may find itself as isolated as Belarus - if leaders fail to agree on the key reforms by the weekend.

Read more: Macedonia Crisis Deal in Mortal Danger, EU Warns

Bosnian Serb Opposition Challenge Controversial Loan

 

 

 

Bosnian Serb opposition bloc pledges legal challenge against government for taking out a loan from a little-known source without the assembly's approval.

Read more: Bosnian Serb Opposition Challenge Controversial Loan

Macedonia Gridlock Leaves EU's Hahn Frustrated

 

 

 

After 12-hours of talks with political leaders in Skopje, European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said he was disappointed there was no deal on reforms.

Read more: Macedonia Gridlock Leaves EU's Hahn Frustrated

Erdoğan's Tough Talk May Pay Off at Turkey

 

 

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's gamble to hold a snap election just months after voters denied his party a parliamentary majority may pay off, but only just, according to pollsters.

The combative president's Justice and Development Party (AKP) appears to be regaining the approval of nationalist voters in the run-up to next month's crucial parliamentary elections – thanks mainly to tough nationalist talk, including bruising rhetorical attacks on the West, and the government's counter-terror operations against separatist Kurds.

Erdoğan has promised his counter-terror fight will continue until 'not one terrorist is left". And by talking tough on the Kurds, the AKP hopes to win back voters who either didn't vote in June or switched to other parties.

Ankara-based pollster Mehmet Murat Pösteki says his analysis suggests Erdoğan's counter-terror fight focused on the Kurds is "paving the way for the AKP to regain votes that shifted to the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).' He thinks the AKP at the moment is short just one seat to be able to form a single-party government.

Rhetoric

With just 12 days to go to the November 1 polls, Erdoğan and top party officials have intensified their belligerent rhetoric, lambasting Europeans and the West in general and maintaining an 'us-verses-them' view of the country. The Kurds, members of other minority communities, leftists and opposition activists are being relegated to 'them' status in a politics of polarization which will make it highly difficult to agree on a coalition government after the November 1 polls, if the AKP fails to secure a majority.

At an election rally last week heralded as "Millions of Breaths as One Voice against Terror," Turkey's president implored Turks to vote on November 1 for "domestic" candidates.

"I think you understand what I mean, don't you?' he thundered at the rally held in Istanbul's working-class district of Yenikapi. Erdogan's target was clear: the pro-Kurdish opposition, the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), that helped deny the AKP a majority in June.

In a report earlier this month the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington-based think tank, said Erdoğan's muscular nationalism would likely secure the AKP the 276 seats required for a parliamentary majority.

Loss of support

Some pollsters say the AKP lost some ground in the immediate wake of the twin suicide bombing in Ankara 10 days ago that left 102 people dead.

Accusations of government incompetence – and even collusion leveled by some pro-Kurdish leaders – hurt the party's standing among swing voters. But overall the Erdoğan electoral playbook may work this time round.

In June it didn't. The nationalist MHP picked up some traditional AKP voters and enough centrist voters moved from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to the pro-Kurdish HDP to deny Erdoğan's party a majority, dashing the President's hope of re-writing the country's constitution.

Pre-election surveys by pollsters Gezici Research suggested the AKP lost significant popular support because of President Erdoğan's nationalist rhetoric.

But with the breakdown of a two-year-long peace process with the Kurds and separatist attacks in southeast Turkey continuing despite an election cease-fire declared by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), "anti-Kurdish sentiments have skyrocketed since the June 7 election," says Lisel Hintz of Cornell University's Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies. Six more Turkish soldiers were killed at the weekend in two separate incidents.

Disapproval of West

Not content with taking aim at the Kurds – both with airstrikes and verbal broadsides – Erdoğan and top party officials have maintained a steady beat of disapproval of the West, in the past week symbolized by the European Union.

The visit to Turkey at the weekend by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who was seeking to calm a dispute between Ankara and Brussels over a draft deal between them to stem the refugee flow from Turkey into Europe, was used as an occasion by Erdoğan to launch some vintage broadsides.

Erdoğan mocked the Europeans for "insincerity" over a promise to re-energize accession talks and introduce visa-free travel to Europe for Turks. Erdoğan seemed to demand instead immediate Turkish membership in the European Union – an unrealistic stance that is likely to antagonize some European politicians, who have already argued Ankara is trying to use the refugee crisis to blackmail the European Union into agreeing visa-free travel for Turks.

On Sunday in an interview with the BBC, HDP leader Selahattin Demirtaş said he remains "confident that the [November] election will see a re-run of the June."

Either way, "Turkey is at a critical juncture in its history," according to Kati Piri, an EU lawmaker and member of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee. She told reporters here last week: "One of the problems is that Turkey is so polarized that it would need a president at this moment … who will play the role of bringing groups together. I see a president who is very good in dividing groups."

Jamie Dettmer

Source: http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/turkey/turkey-151019-voa01.htm

Read more: Erdoğan's Tough Talk May Pay Off at Turkey

Turkey: Europe's Offer of Migrant Deal 'Insincere'

 

 

 

European Union leaders, at a meeting in Brussels, have agreed on a plan to offer Turkey $3.5 billion, together with visa-free travel and renewed accession talks, in return for stopping the flow of refugees and migrants into the EU. But the offer is getting a lukewarm reception in Ankara.

Read more: Turkey: Europe's Offer of Migrant Deal 'Insincere'

‘Outsider’ Parties to Influence Croatia Poll Outcome

Parties outside the two major political blocs will have a major influence on forming the next government, with regional parties and ones with local strongholds profiting the most, experts predicted.

Read more: ‘Outsider’ Parties to Influence Croatia Poll Outcome

Minister: 86 killed in Ankara attack

Twin explosions that hit a rally of hundreds of pro-Kurdish and leftist activists outside Ankara's main train station on Saturday (10.10.2015) killed 86 people, Health Minister Mehmet Müezzinoğlu said.

Read more: Minister: 86 killed in Ankara attack

Anti-Government Rallies Spread in Montenegro

 

 

 

Anti-government demonstrations will continue on Monday (05.10.2015)  in 15 towns, although police said that the opposition had no permission to hold protests outside the capital.

Read more: Anti-Government Rallies Spread in Montenegro

Erdogan in Brussels, teaching Europe a “ lesson on humanity”

 

 

 

Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday (04.10.2015) accused European nations of “confining refugees into the depth of the Mediterranean” in a reference to refugees who drown while trying to reach Europe.

Read more: Erdogan in Brussels, teaching Europe a “ lesson on humanity”

Greek PM sets out policies as finance minister unveils tough budget

 

 

 

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras set out his policy priorities in Parliament on Monday night (05.10.2015) just hours after Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos met with his eurozone peers in Luxembourg to discuss a raft of prior actions that Greek authorities must pass into law to clinch rescue funding.

Read more: Greek PM sets out policies as finance minister unveils tough budget

Pressure Grows on Romanian PM to Resign

 

 

 

The President and opposition parties have urged Victor Ponta to resign following his indictment for a range of crimes for which he will have to stand trial.

Read more: Pressure Grows on Romanian PM to Resign

Hahn Revives 'Accession Dialogue' in Macedonia

 

 

 

Implementation of the agreement on ending Macedonia's political crisis will be crucial for the next European Commission Report on Macedonia, Enlargement Commissioner Hahn warns.

Read more: Hahn Revives 'Accession Dialogue' in Macedonia

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