Dutch NOS TV writes (translated) about this 23 August 2015 video from Turkey:
Grieving Turkish soldier angry about Erdogan’s war
By correspondent Lucas Waagmeester
Lieutenant Colonel Mehmet Alkan falls down on the coffin of his brother. The Turkish flag is draped over it. “Ali, Ali,” he cries weeping. Then he raises himself up and starts a speech against the Turkish government.
“Who killed him? Those who first talked about a peace process, and now only talk about war!” He is referring to the Turkish President Erdogan, who at first started the peace process with the Kurdish terrorist organization PKK.
‘Terrorist’ according to the Turkish government, and according to NATO and Australian governmental allies of that government. However, the PKK and their Syrdian Kurdish allies are the only effective force against ISIS terrorism.
Now that it is politically more convenient, Erdogan chooses war against the same PKK.
It happened Sunday at the funeral of Ali Alkan, but the images are still repeated on Turkish television. In front of dozens of cameras Ali’s brother Mehmet uncovered the growing discord in Turkey: is the fight against the PKK a genuine “war against terror“? Or is it a sleazy political ploy by Erdogan?
Erdogan’s AK party lost the elections in June for the first time in twelve years, they lost their absolute majority. Coalition negotiations failed and this week, Erdogan announced there would be new elections in November.
His opponents say that after he lost the elections he has consciously sought conflict with the PKK again. It would be an attempt in the run-up to the elections to turn the political tide.
But since one month ago, the conflict between the PKK and the Turkish army has flared up again, more often overt criticism is heard. More than sixty Turkish soldiers and police officers have been killed in attacks by the PKK. At their funerals sometimes the government gets unusually strong criticism.
‘They say they would like to be martyrs, but they have palaces with thirty bodyguards and armoured cars’. Mehmet Alkan, brother of killed soldier
When Ali Alkan was buried on Sunday, it was no different. Two MPs of the AK party, who during the ceremony wanted to pay their last respects to the victim were turned away by the attendees. “Villains, you have no business here, go away.”
Hanging over the coffin of his brother Mehmet Alkan expressed his anger over government members who previously said they would like to die in the war on terror. “They say they want to be martyrs, but they hang around in palaces with thirty bodyguards and armoured cars.”
In government media there is nothing about the incident at the funeral. But on social media supporters of the AK Party went on a rampage. Alkan was called a PKK sympathizer, a terrorist and an Alevi. The latter is a religious movement in Turkey, but it is commonly used among the Sunni supporters of the AK party as an insult.
Twitter users responded with #YarbayMehmetYalnızDeğildir: Lieutenant Colonel Mehmet is not alone. Earlier in the week, the Health Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister were booed while attending the funeral of a dead soldier.
The mood in Turkey about the termination of the peace process with the PKK is crucial for Erdogan. He hopes in November to get an absolute majority for the AK party again. When a country is at war, that may possibly benefit those in power.
But if a majority of Turks see the new ‘war on terror’ as a political stunt, then the election may as well go wrong for Erdogan. The anger of Mehmet Alkan is an omen, the President has not won yet.
Turkish media reported yesterday evening that the army is currently investigating whether disciplinary action against Mehmet Alkan should be taken.
Wednesday 26th August 2015
posted by James Tweedie in World
TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek unprecedented powers for himself in coming elections, peace campaigners said yesterday.
Mr Erdogan formally called for a new election late on Monday, following the failure of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) to form a coalition government.
Mr Erdogan’s hopes for a parliamentary super-majority of 400 MPs in the 550-seat parliament — enabling amendments to the constitution to establish a US-style presidential system of government — were dashed in June when voters returned a hung parliament.
The conservative president has been criticised for flouting constitutional rules on the neutrality and independence of the presidency from partisan politics.
The Pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) exceeded the 10 per cent threshold for parliamentary representation for the first time, winning 80 seats.
But last month the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) killed two police officers who it claimed were working with Islamic State (Isis) militants who bombed a Kurdish youth gathering in the southern town of Suruc.
The AKP has repeatedly been accused of allowing arms and recruits to flow unimpeded to Isis in Syria.
The government responded with a crackdown on the PKK both in Turkey and Iraq under the cover of fighting Islamic State (Isis) militants.
However, the HDP is the only opposition party not to have ruled out joining the interim government.
Peace in Kurdistan campaign representative David Morgan argued that holding an election amid the anti-PKK campaign was just part of Mr Erdogan’s power-play.
“The June result effectively blocked Erdogan’s attempts to transform the Turkish constitution into a presidential system of government, which many believe is a great threat to democracy given Erdogan’s increasingly intolerant politics and drift to authoritarianism,” said Mr Morgan.
“Erdogan is no doubt now hoping that the new election will see a fall in the HDP’s support base and that social tensions in the country will be a deciding factor on how people will vote.
“It is by no means certain, however, that tensions will work in Erdogan’s favour.”
Mr Erdogan appointed sitting AKP Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu yesterday to head an interim government until the elections in two months’ time.
The provisional election date of November 1 must be confirmed by the High Election Board.
Wednesday 2nd September 2015
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain
JOURNALISTS called yesterday for the immediate release of two British reporters charged and held over terrorism allegations in Turkey.
Vice News reporter Jake Hanrahan and cameraman Philip Pendlebury are in pre-trial detention accused of assisting the self-proclaimed Islamic State (Isis) and banned socialist group the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The two were arrested on Monday in Diyarbakir, south-eastern Turkey, along with a Turkish colleague who has not been named after filming clashes last Thursday between police and young PKK members.
They have been accused of “committing a crime in the name of an illegal organisation.” A date has yet to be set for a trial.
Vice’s head of news programming in Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe, said the charges were an “attempt to intimidate and censor their coverage” and “silence reporters.”
The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) warned that Turkey should observe ECHR rules on freedom of expression.
General secretary Michelle Stanistreet said: “The NUJ continues to be alarmed at the scale of attacks against press freedom in Turkey, a member of the Council of Europe, and the government should abide by article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights on freedom of expression.
“They are not terrorists, they are journalists and should not be treated as criminals,” she added.
Both the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) backed the NUJ in demanding that authorities release the detainees.
IFJ president Jim Boumelha said that the charges brought without evidence were “unsubstantiated, as it makes no sense why professional journalists would collude with terrorist organisations.”
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