Turkey will not wait at Europe’s door forever and is ready to walk away from EU accession talks if rising Islamophobia and hostility from some member states persist, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told Reuters in a wide-ranging interview on April 25.Speaking at his presidential palace less than two weeks after scoring a tight victory in an April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments, Erdoğan said a decision by a leading European human rights body to put Turkey back on a watch list was “entirely political” and that Ankara did not recognize the move. The Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) said it put Turkey back on review over its wave of arrests since the July 2016 coup attempt, rights violations and concerns about Erdoğan’s increased grip on power.
The referendum result is dubious and the office that cast doubt on the referendum is the Supreme Board of Elections (YSK), main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said, accusing the election watchdog of violating the constitution and manipulating the poll results. Slamming YSK’s earlier decision that deemed unsealed ballots valid on the referendum, Kılıçdaroğlu accused the members of the top election board for being influenced by a political authority. He said the decision was against the bylaw which “clearly states that the unsealed ballots will not be deemed valid”.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu of being in contact with the coup plotters on the night of the attempted putsch in July 2016. Erdoğan recently accused the CHP leader of being “in contact with the coup plotters” after pro-government private broadcaster A Haber aired footage of Kılıçdaroğlu’s departure from Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport in the early hours of the coup attempt.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the first phase of Turkey’s military operation in Syria, dubbed the Euphrates Shield, has ended while heralding that new operations will follow. “We have completed the first phase of the Euphrates Shield Operation with the cleaning of Syria’s al-Bab from terrorists. It is now over and there will be [operations] from now on. Right now, we are preparing for new operations to walk all over terror organizations in other regions. We will give new names to new operations. We have very good surprises for all terror groups, including the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] YPG [the People’s Protection Units], DEASH [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant], FETÖ [Fethullahist Terror Organization], waiting for the spring. With God’s will, the upcoming months will be the dead winter of terrorists while it will be the spring of Turkey and the Turkish nation”, Erdoğan said April 3.
Turkey’s Kurdish region,— Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan described himself as a “guardian of peace” on Saturday as he called on Kurds in Turkish Kurdistan to vote ‘yes’ in a referendum in two weeks time on reforms that would grant him sweeping new powers. Since July 2015, Turkey initiated a controversial military campaign against the PKK in the country’s southeastern Kurdish region after Ankara ended a two-year ceasefire agreement. Since the beginning of the campaign, Ankara has imposed several round-the-clock curfews, preventing civilians from fleeing regions where the military operations are being conducted.
Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan said he hopes Newroz become a portent of peace and stability to the world in a statement released in various languages, including Kurdish. “On this occasion, I congratulate my sisters and brothers on Newroz day”, Erdogan said in a statement in the Kurdish language posted to Twitter to commemorate the holiday. “I hope Newroz becomes a portent of peace, stability and luxury”. His message comes as millions celebrate Newroz, the spring festival, in Diyarbakir in the southeast of Turkey amid tight security after months of fighting between security forces and Kurdish fighters.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said on March 20 that her demand that Turkey cease drawing Nazi comparisons with Germany and its allies applies “without ifs or buts”, and pointed to a government threat last week that it could prevent Turkish politicians from entering the country. Merkel’s comments came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused her personally of “committing Nazi practices”. Erdoğan’s comments were the latest escalation in a string of comments by Turkish officials drawing Nazi parallels with present-day Germany and the Netherlands in a dispute over restrictions on Turkish ministers campaigning there for an upcoming referendum. Merkel pointed to a Foreign Ministry note sent to Turkey last week allowing Turkish referendum polling stations in Germany, in which Ankara was told that appearances by Turkish politicians must respect the principles of the German constitution, and that Berlin otherwise reserves the right to “take all necessary measures”.
“Hooliganism” will soon be a thing of the past in both Turkish football and Turkish politics, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said March 20 at a symposium on football in Istanbul ahead of the April 16 constitutional referendum, suggesting that “violence” and “coups” would no longer get people anywhere. “As the quality of politics improved, our nation eliminated those who believe in getting power via rigging, cheating, coups, threats, destructive politics and no elections”, the president told the meeting of top football players and administrators. We have still not been able to bring the Olympics to our country; but you know what intrigues we went through then. Even though we deserved it, we were not given the Olympics”, he said.
French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said Turkey should obey French and German laws in campaign rallies for the upcoming referendum on shifting to an executive presidential system. Hollande said on March 16 that he agreed with Merkel that future events organized in the two countries for the Turkish referendum campaign could take place “provided they adhere to French and German laws”. Germany banned several planned rallies by Turkish ministers, triggering a diplomatic spat between the two countries, with Turkish President RecepTayyipErdoğandescribing the bans as “fascist”. He has also decried the Dutch authorities as “Nazi” for blocking a Turkish minister’s meeting last weekend.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the top EU court of commencing a struggle between the “Christian cross and the Muslim crescent” following a ruling that allows companies to ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols. “Where is the liberty of religion? They have commenced a struggle between the cross and crescent. There is no other explanation than this. I am saying this clearly: Europe is heading toward the days just before World War II”,Erdoğan said March 16 at a rally in Sakarya. The European Court of Justice ruled on March 14 to allow companies to ban employees from wearing the Islamic headscarf, “but only as part of prohibitions including other religious and political symbols”.