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Divided Turkey: Erdogan Leads His Country into the Abyss

Der Spiegel International

Nothing can hold them back. On Tuesday evening, several thousand demonstrators marched through Istanbul, a diverse group including students, pensioners, women in headscarves and punks, and many of them held up signs as they walked: "No to the presidency!" Erdogan!" And: "This is just the beginning. The protests began on Sunday, just a few hours after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in the referendum that grants him significantly expanded powers and the demonstrations have become larger on each successive day since then, spreading to more than three dozen cities. People in Ankara and Izmir, in Adana and Mersin, in Edirne and Canakkale have taken to the streets in opposition to Erdogan, accusing him of having manipulated the vote on the constitutional referendum. According to media reports, the country's electoral commission accepted up to 2.5 million ballots despite their not having been stamped in accordance with the rules.


Turkey 'detains hundreds' in major anti-ISIL operation

Al Jazeera

Turkish police have detained hundreds of suspected ISIL members in nationwide raids, according to state media, in the biggest roundup to target the armed group in Turkey. More than 400 suspects, most of them foreign nationals, were arrested during operations conducted in at least 18 provinces, Anadolu news agency reported on Sunday. At least 60 people were detained in the capital, Ankara, while 150 were arrested in Sanliurfa in the southeast and a further 47 in the nearby city of Gaziantep close to the Syrian border. In the Aegean province of Izmir, security forces also held at least nine suspected ISIL members who were allegedly preparing for an attack. Another 18 people were detained in Istanbul and the neighbouring province of Kocaeli on suspicion of planning attacks.


Turkish Air Strikes 'Neutralize' 15 Kurdish Militants: Military

U.S. News

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Air strikes by Turkish warplanes "neutralized" at least 15 militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq as well as in Turkey's eastern provinces of Tunceli and Siirt, the military said on Saturday.


Erdogan: Turkey might hold referendum on EU membership

PBS NewsHour

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attends a ceremony marking the 102nd anniversary of Battle of Canakkale, also known as the Gallipoli Campaign, at the Turkish memorial in Canakkale, Turkey, March 18, 2017. ISTANBUL -- Turkey's president said Saturday the country might pursue a Brexit-like referendum on whether to pursue European Union membership and also lashed out at a critical protest in Switzerland. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought up the proposal at a Turkish-U.K. forum in the southern city of Antalya, referring to the British departure from the EU and saying Turkey "might" hold a similar referendum after the April 16 vote to expand the powers of the Turkish presidency. The negotiation process for Turkey's EU membership began in 2005, but has been at a standstill for years. Tensions between Ankara and several European capitals have been escalating ahead of the contentious April 16 referendum.


Turkish police search Saudi hit squad-linked villas in Jamal Khashoggi murder probe

The Japan Times

ANKARA – Police searched a mansion in northwestern Turkey belonging to a Saudi citizen on Monday after investigators determined that the man had been in contact with one of the suspects in the slaying of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish officials said. Crime scene investigators and other officials, aided by sniffer dogs and a drone, scoured the luxury villa near the town of Termal, in Yalova province, and later expanded their search to the grounds of the neighboring villa, the state-run Anadolu agency reported. Police spent around 10 hours searching the two villas for the journalist's remains, Anadolu reported, without saying if any evidence or trace had been found. The Istanbul prosecutor's office said Mansour Othman Abbahussain -- a member of a 15-person squad sent from Riyadh to kill Khashoggi -- had contacted the mansion's owner, Mohammed Ahmed Alfaozan, by telephone a day before Khashoggi's Oct. 2 killing. "It is being assessed that this conversation was geared toward the disposal (or) the hiding of Jamal Khashoggi's body after its dismemberment," the prosecutor's statement read.