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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Turkey's election system becomes graveyard for political parties

Turkish political parties are a numerous and colorful lot, but the four major parties currently represented in parliament will be the only real contenders in the June 7 legislative elections. According to official figures released March 31, no fewer than 97 parties are active today. The leaders of the Sept. 12, 1980, military coup had outlawed all political parties after taking over, so the parties today were all founded in the years since the coup. The 13-year rule of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has seen a real boom in parties, with 57 new ones established since 2002.

Read more: Turkey's election system becomes graveyard for political parties

The Greek Melodrama, or Who Really Wants What?

 

 

 

By any definition, what is going on in Greece today, or rather what is going on between Greece and outside countries and institutions, is a melodrama, a melodrama of epic proportions. What we mean by a melodrama is a dramatic encounter that is deliberately overacted by the many participants.

Read more: The Greek Melodrama, or Who Really Wants What?

Party Battles Threaten Bosnia Federation Govt

 

 

 

Turf wars over the control of lucrative public companies prompt Bosnian Croat officials to walk out of the Federation entity government session and create a new political crisis.

Read more: Party Battles Threaten Bosnia Federation Govt

Ahmeti Tried to Negotiate End to Macedonian Carnage

 

 

 

Macedonian Albanian leader Ali Ahmeti reveals he maintained telephone contact with the Kumanovo gunmen who shot dead eight police last weekend (09.05.2015), trying to convince them to surrender.

Read more: Ahmeti Tried to Negotiate End to Macedonian Carnage

Kosovo: No Dialogue Until Serbia Fulfils Agreements

 

 

 

Pristina said that top-level Kosovo-Serbia dialogue in Brussels will not continue until the agreements already reached during the normalisation talks have been fulfilled.

Read more: Kosovo: No Dialogue Until Serbia Fulfils Agreements

Erdogan Takes War on Gulen Movement to Albania

 

 

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Albanian authorities to deport followers of the controversial preacher Fethullah Gulen, calling his movement a terrorist organization.

Read more: Erdogan Takes War on Gulen Movement to Albania

Opposition: Tapes Show Macedonian Ruling Party Ran Rackets

 

 

 

Newly released conversations allegedly show how top officials were involved in schemes to pump cash out of companies for the ruling party- and how the PM secretly bought a luxury limo for almost 600,000 euro.

Read more: Opposition: Tapes Show Macedonian Ruling Party Ran Rackets

New Ministers Fail to Quell Unrest in Macedonia

 

 

 

Macedonia's parliament on Wednesday (13.05.2015) quickly approved two new ministers after the interior and transport minister suddenly resigned - but the atmosphere of political turmoil continues.

Read more: New Ministers Fail to Quell Unrest in Macedonia

Erdogan ends discussion on 'Armenian opening'

 

 

 

While world leaders recalled the deportation and mass murder of Ottoman Armenians a century ago that many define as genocide, others recalled on or about April 24 a lost opportunity that could have been the start of a reconciliation between Turks and Armenians: the “football diplomacy” that began between Ankara and Yerevan in 2008, and subsequent “protocols” the two capitals signed in Zurich in October 2009.

Read more: Erdogan ends discussion on 'Armenian opening'

FYROM bid to bypass Athens on name spat

 

 

 

An attempt by Gjorge Ivanov, the president of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, where ethnic strife reignited over the weekend, to blame Greece for the Balkan nation’s stalled efforts to join international alliances has not surprised Greek diplomats, Kathimerini daily understands.

Read more: FYROM bid to bypass Athens on name spat

EU, US 'cast serious doubt' on Macedonia's commitment to democracy

 

 

 

The United States and major European powers on Monday (11 May) questioned the Macedonian government's commitment to democracy and European values over its failure to address allegations of abuse of power, piling pressure on leader Nikola Gruevski following a weekend of bloodshed.

Read more: EU, US 'cast serious doubt' on Macedonia's commitment to democracy

Hahn, Vučić discuss resuming Serbia negotiations

 

 

 

Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn's visit to Serbia on 7 May was marked by the question as to why the accession negotiations process is stalled, with no chapters having opened more than a year after their official launch. As it emerged, Belgrade and Brussels have opposing views on the situation.

Read more: Hahn, Vučić discuss resuming Serbia negotiations

Croat Party Boycotts Bosnia Federation Govt

 

 

 

Ministers from the main Bosnian Croat party boycotted the session of the Federation government Thursday (08.05.2015), raising concerns about the stability of the ruling coalition in the entity.

Read more: Croat Party Boycotts Bosnia Federation Govt

Romania Social Democrats Woo Ally to Secure Power

 

 

 

The main ruling Social Democratic Party has signed a new partnership deal with a junior ally in order to bolster the government's majority in parliament.

Read more: Romania Social Democrats Woo Ally to Secure Power

Will Erdogan's backtracking torpedo PKK disarmament?

 

 

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent outbursts against the peace process with the Kurds have led to a profound confusion: Is Turkey gearing up for a new war with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in the run-up to the general elections?

Read more: Will Erdogan's backtracking torpedo PKK disarmament?

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