Archive for March, 2015|Monthly archive page

Press Release on Tim Sebastian’s Monday debate: Turkish democracy is in grave danger

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 17:49


Turks say their democracy in grave danger

Istanbul, March 30, 2015 – Ankara’s human rights and media record came under sustained attack at a public forum here as a majority-Turkish audience warned against growing totalitarianism ahead of the June parliamentary elections.

The New Arab Debates, held at the Bosphorus (Bogaizici) University overlooking the historic waterway on Monday (30 March 2015), provoked heated arguments between panelists and the audience before 76% voted in favor of the motion: “Turkish democracy is in grave danger”.

The mostly young audience criticized the policies of both the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the opposition, whom one audience member said were unable to form a “shadow government”.


nad1 - turkey

Speaking for the motion, Dr. Binnaz Toprak, member of parliament since 2011 for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) said Turkish democracy amounted to “elected authoritarianism” in a polarized society.

“There are elections yes. But that is almost it,” said the former political science professor. “Separation of powers is problematic and so is rule of law. There is very little accountability, no transparency, restrictions on freedom of speech, on peaceful protests, on free press, media and social media,  problems with secularity, most appointments are no longer based on merit and  gender equality is a problem,” said Toprak.

The opposition is “doing poorly” because the AKP dominates parliament, the government is not in listening mode and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s does not tolerate dissenting voices.



Toprak warned democracy will end if Erdogan succeeds in moving Turkey towards an executive presidency via the ballot box.

Arguing against the motion,  writer and journalist Etyen Machupyan, who was appointed senior adviser to Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in October 2014, said Turkey is a “democratizing country”, not a democracy. He said there was room for much improvement.

“This is a normalizing place not a normal place yet,” he said, citing challenges posed by a multi-party system under “bureaucratic tutelage” and an impartial judiciary.

He said he too was critical of many of the AKP policies but added that the party continued to do well in successive elections.

“Eighty years of history is on the verge of change, there is no way back, and there are many enemies,” he said. “AKP is the only party which can deal with a future that is meaningful to the public and that is why they are getting those votes,” he said.

“There can be no dictatorship in this country,” he said.

A 23-year-old female student drew applause when she told Machupyan she wanted democracy today. “I do not care about the history of parliaments and the people who are already dead… I want democracy now while I am still alive.”

The NAD was founded in 2011 to stimulate free speech across the Middle East and the Levant. The fourth season of the Debates is supported by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry.

The debate will be transmitted for the fourth year on Deutsche Welle TV in English along with its global network of partners.

Twitter hashtag is #newarabdebates





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New photo from Facebook March 31, 2015 at 05:48PM

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 16:57

Tarayıcı savaşlarının seyri… via @reddit via Facebook Pages

The Turkish army is back. “236 acquitted in Balyoz coup case

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 16:17

236 acquitted in Balyoz coup case


All 236 suspects in the ‘Balyoz’ coup plot case were acquitted March 31 after the case’s prosecutor argued that digital data submitted as evidence was ‘fake’
The Turkish General Staff has filed a criminal complaint over the permitting of top secret information to be passed to unauthorized people during an investigation into an alleged assassination attempt against Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.

Mehmet Selim Kiraz was investigating the killing of 15-year-old protester Berkin Elvan, who died in March last year after spending 269 days in a coma


Media coverage of Istanbul’s hostage crisis banned


A hostage situation in an Istanbul courthouse has led to another gag order for Turkish media
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted found Turkey in the case of Öner and Türk where two Kurdish politicians were sentenced to prison within Anti-Terror Act.


Japanese firm wants unpaid Marmaray bill


The Japanese company TAISEI has pressured top Turkish authorities for payment of the company’s additional costs to finish the Marmaray line in Istanbul earlier than planned
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has described his presidential system as “pro-freedom, human-focused and based on the separation of powers”
PM Davutoğlu has submitted the ruling AKP’s draft election manifesto, which includes the adoption of the presidential system
France 24, 27/03/2015                                                                                         Français Türkçe by Marc Perelman In an interview with France 24 on Thursday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey supports the Saudi-led mission to […]
Another mass grave was discovered in the southeastern district of Dargeçit. Families of the disappeared people applied to court for further investigation.


No change in my visit to Tehran: Turkish President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said there was no change to his scheduled visit to Tehran at the moment, despite calls from the Iranian parliament to cancel the visit after his criticism of Iran’s interference in Yemen.

Power Outage Grips Turkey

A power outage gripped several cities in Turkey. Turkey’s Electricity Distribution Company announced that the outage occurred due to a system failure.
The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Turkey has denied reports that claim that Fethullah Gülen is a Freemason


Turkey’s opposition is up in arms as parliament passes a bill granting the president a secret fund to spend as he deems necessary


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Turkey after the security bill…



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Turkey never sleeps. #BerkinElvan trial prosecutor taken hostage right at Çağlayan Court

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 13:22

DHKC accounts claim that they had taken hostage the prosecutor…

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New photo from Facebook March 31, 2015 at 01:25PM

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 12:27

1960 Bodrum’da elektriğin ilk defa gelişine sevinen halk. via @Arsipeli via Facebook Pages

New photo from Facebook March 31, 2015 at 12:35PM

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 11:40

#BuradaElektrikYok via @incicaps via Facebook Pages

Massive power blackouts hit Turkish cities #BuradaElektrikYok

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 11:16

I am sure the government will accuse Gülen movement or Occupy Gezi activists for the blackout… 
Several provinces, including Istanbul and Ankara, were hit by massive power blackouts on March 31.
Turkey’s economic growth weakened last year to 2.9 percent, well down on 2013 and creating worries for the government

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New photo from Facebook March 31, 2015 at 11:41AM

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2015 at 10:53

Bazı rivayetlere göre Avrupa’nın en iyi üniversiteleri. @AlperUcok via Facebook Pages

New photo from Facebook March 30, 2015 at 11:23PM

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2015 at 22:28

Görüntü de var. via @birgün_gazetesi via Facebook Pages

“Three Istanbul streets make world’s top 10 for rent hikes in 2014″ Istanbul news roundup…

In Uncategorized on March 30, 2015 at 18:07

According to data in the annual real estate report of international real estate consultancy firm Cushman & Wakefield, Istanbul’s İstiklal Avenue, Bağdat Avenue and Abdi İpekçi Avenue ranked in the top 10 streets for rent increases in the world.
Istanbul’s new creative hub retains Ottoman flavour – for now

Like the rest of Istanbul, Fener-Balat is changing. Unlike much of the rest of the city, though, the changes don’t – yet – involve condominiums and
Istanbul Film Festival to honor veteran filmmakers

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World’s 4th most expensive home in İstanbul bought by Qatari emir for wife

The Emir’s family is claimed to have seen the mansion while touring Istanbul as the Emir was meeting with Turkish officials earlier this month, with Emir
Mirrored – a Photographic Dialogue Between Sydney andIstanbul

Markus Andersen is back at it again on the streets of Sydney, Australia… but this time he has teamed up with fellow street photographer Elif .
The Syrian odyssey in Istanbul

As the Syrian war enters its fifth year, Turkey’s economic centre, Istanbul, has seen the population of distressed Syrians swell. The patience of the local ..
Photographer documents İstanbul’s little-known treasures: libraries

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Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner is first to film insideIstanbul’s Blue Mosque

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Istanbul Jazz Festival announces program

The 22nd Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (IKSV), will be held from June 27 to July 15. The festival will
Mosques, markets: An Istanbul primer

There are many ways to describe Istanbul: exotic, teeming with life, a tourist mecca, a business city, an amazing historical city. Turkey’s largest city .
Historic fact or stories related on a winter’s night around a camp fire? There’s no end to Istanbul’s extraordinary life
Pro-ISIS magazine in Istanbul bombed

ISTANBUL (CNN) — A bomb blast ripped through the Istanbul offices of a radical, pro-ISIS magazine killing a writer and wounding its editor-in-chief as
A tribute to İstanbul’s bygone theaters

Here’s a look at İstanbul’s major theaters of old that used to be important milestones in Turkey’s cultural history, based on the inventory compiled by …
Best Street Style at Istanbul Fashion Week Fall 2015

Burcin Unaldi poses wearing a dress by Gulnur Gunes and a hang bag by Chuchu during Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Istanbul FW15 on March 16,

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