Tag Archives: democracy

Electoral Reform in the UK NOW!

By Ralph Underhillelectoral-reform1


Make or break for Turkey?

Is it make or break for Turkey?

Shoeboxes a symbol of corruption.

Shoeboxes, a symbol of corruption.

These are very turbulent times for Turkey and its authoritarian (and often paranoid) Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The ongoing corruption scandal that has gripped the AKP government which has ruled Turkey for the last 11 years has already claimed 3 MPs with their resignations and the PM’s son Bilal Erdogan has been ordered to testify in court (which he hasn’t done).

Hitting out at the corruption investigations the PM will take on Turkey’s (theoretically) independent judiciary, limiting their powers, effectively overriding Article 138 of the constitution which dictates that the judiciary must be independent.

Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek has deplored the end of judicial independence in Turkey citing that “Article 138 of the Constitution is not functioning”

Meanwhile PM Erdogan in his usual paranoid authoritarian way has said that the blatant corruption scandal (millions of dollars found in shoe boxes in peoples homes) is a conspiracy against him and his government and a coup plot.

There are two main choices for Turkey, the path of democracy, secularism and Europe or the path of authoritarianism, strict Islam and a future away from Europe.

EU patience with Turkey running out

Turkish corrupt flagIt often seems like the European Unions patience with Turkey will go on forever, tolerating the blatant lack of democracy, human rights abuses, the illegal occupation of Cyprus and support of Islamic dictators.

So much to the delight of many both inside and outside of Turkey the EU has finally been more direct with its criticisms of Turkey and its leader Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan due to his interference in the current high-level corruption probe griping the country.

Ankara Dec 2013

Ankara Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

Istanbul Dec 2013

“The latest developments, including the sacking of police chiefs and the instructions to police to inform authorities on investigations, raise serious concerns as regards the independence, efficiency and impartiality of the investigations and the separation of powers,” said a spokesman for Stefan Füle, the European commissioner for enlargement.

More of this from Hurriyet click here.

The Telegraph furthers this by also saying about the ongoing protests and riots on the streets of Turkey’s main cities.

From the Telegraph:

Mr Erdogan has sacked around 1000 police officers who were helping to carry out a bribery inquiry that engulfed the upper echelons of his party last week.

Other officers have now been ordered to brief government officials on the progress of the corruption probe, which critics say will allow suspects to be tipped off in advance.

While the prime minister claims that the probe is part of a politically-motivated smear campaign, the inquiry has already led to a repeat of the anti-government rallies that took place earlier in the summer.

On Monday, the European Union warned Mr Erdogan that he was in direct breach of EU rules safeguarding the independence of the judiciary, which is also a key condition for Turkey’s EU membership bid.

Turkey; Things go from bad to worse

Turkish corrupt flagFollowing on from the corruption raids yesterday that saw prominent people and family of ministers arrested the obvious corruption continues as the police chiefs (5 of them) that oversaw the raids have been fired.

Yes that’s right, corruption in Turkey was exposed and those who exposed it lost their jobs in true farcical manner.

The arrest count has since gone up with the latest reports said to be up to 84 people.

In a continuation from that story 4.5 million dollars was found in shoe boxes in the home of the arrested Halkbank manager.

Istanbul’s historical region mayor Mustafa Demir has been accused of putting money people peoples safety in allowing construction projects to go ahead and turning a blind-eye to dodgy developers in exchange for cash.

These are truly chaotic times for Turkey, the AKP, PM Erdogan and its fake democracy.

The European Union (EU) should take note of these goings on and not allow the visa free movement of Turkish citizens within its territory which is expected to happen within 3 years.
Certainly with the huge democratic deficit in Turkey their EU entry application should be put on hold indefinitely.

Corruption in Turkey runs deep

No to Turkey in the EUIt’s useful to have friends (or family) in high places and that’s exactly how Turkey’s political system works.

Friends, family and political allies strategically placed in industry to help AKP and its leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stay in power.

From the once independent Sabah newspaper that was seized and then handed over to Erdogan’s son-in-law to a financial body solely consisting of Erdoğan’s appointees that seized one of the last conglomerates which owns independent newspapers and television.

In the latest attack on democracy and blatant corruption the main opposition political party is being blocked from advertising due to being “over-critical” of the government and of course who owns the advertising companies… friends of Erdogan!

“A majority of those companies are close to the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP]. Some of them are even conducting public relations campaigns for the AKP. Now, I’m appealing to the Supreme Election Board [YSK]. It should do its duty … Who can explain this scandal?” CHP Deputy Chair Gürsel Tekin said at a press conference Dec. 12.
For more details on this, click here.

“Europe’s” worst human rights violators

Council_of_Europe_logo.svgThe European Court of Human Rights  (ECHR) covers all countries in Europe who are members of the Council of Europe, this is currently 47 countries with only 3 “European” countries not signed up which are: Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Vatican City.

Yellow: Founders. Blue: Members.

Yellow: Founders. Blue: Members.

I say “European” because are Russia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan part of Europe? As with my previous post(s), I wouldn’t say so.

Every year the ECHR produces a report on the number of human rights judgements a countries have had against them.

From 2009 (at least) to 2012 Turkey and Russia have been the worst two violators of human rights. That’s right, the most consistently worst countries in Europe for human rights violations are not even proper European countries.

For Russia this is of less concern perhaps as Russia has no European Unions ambitions (either genuine or otherwise) however with Turkey being the number 1 worst country for human rights violations (in “Europe”) from 1959-2012 with a total 2870 judgements against them should the EU even be considering their application?

Turkey’s lack of democracy is highlighted as most violations from the country are due to the ‘Right to a fair trial’ which the government doesn’t give when people stand up against them (such as journalists).

Turkey has no place being in Europe or the European Union with its fight against secularism and constant disregard for human rights.

Turkey’s EU accession bid

Turkey EU flagTurkish newspaper, Hurriyet’s ‘Daily News’, has an article on Turkey’s European Union (EU) accession bid featuring comments from former British foreign secretary Jack Straw (labour) and Turkey’s Under-secretary of the Ministry of EU Affairs Haluk Ilıcak.

The article title is a bit misleading, as is to be expected from today’s ‘journalism’. The article implies that Turkey isn’t that interested in the EU accession bid but just wants to raise Turkey to the same level of European standards but Haluk Ilıcak says “Our aim is to achieve a smooth accession process” (to the EU).

‘Once Turkey succeeds in completing the chapters and improving itself to reach European standards, the actual accession is not that important, and could be debated’

When Turkey completes the chapters and reaches European standards?? Sounds like someone is living in a fantasy land…
Turkey, at its current rate of ‘progress’ will NEVER reach European standards, if you are going backwards you cannot reach something ahead of you!

‘Ilıcak said some of the chapters were politically blocked, but Turkish authorities were doing their bests to tackle as many chapters as possible, seeing them as steps of necessary improvement.’

Political/general blocks…

1) Cyprus, the Turkish military invaded the island and continues to hold half of the country, unrecognised internationally.
2) Adherence to democratic values.
3) Human-rights/women’s-rights record
4) Failure to recognise the Armenian genocide
5) Media censorship, especially ‘Article 301’
6) Territorial border dispute with Greece (Turkey’s inability to secure its borders.

‘Ilıcak added that accession attempts had allowed “democratic reforms to be put into place.”’

Really? Such as? Reforming policy away from democracy doesn’t count as democratic reform!

State Secretary of the Swedish Foreign Ministry, Frank Belfarge, one of the remaining guests on Ilıcak’s panel, also spoke on Turkey’s accession, saying a ‘new momentum’ was expected this year.

“A new momentum in the EU-Turkey relations could be achieved this year,” Belfarge said.

Indeed there could be provided that the protesters and demonstrators around Turkey are successful in their attempts to change Turkey into a democratic, secular state, which it isn’t currently.

Meanwhile, former British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw said that Turkey had so far had a “torturous” accession process with the European Union.

The countries of the union needed to admit that they have discriminated against Turkey when compared to the remaining accession processes, which have progressed far faster than with Turkey, Straw added, where the union gave “some countries the benefit of the doubt.”

Good use of the word ‘torturous’ Jack! Would that be torture carried out by the Turkish authorities against the Kurds/refugees/protesters etc?

Discriminated against? Oh Jackie boy, you are a twat. Turkey hasn’t been discriminated against, Turkey’s EU bid has been so slow because they discriminate, against non-religious people, because they fail continually to meet EU standards and the country isn’t secular nor a democracy!

Turkey’s attempts at improving itself and catching up with chapters were impressive, Straw added

Yes, it’s very impressive how Turkey continues to go backwards while the rest of the secular world goes forward.

Europe stands for everything that Turkey doesn’t.