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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

How the EU helped to erode Turkish democracy

How the EU helped to erode Turkish democracy

By Eszter Zalan
BRUSSELS, Today, 19:50

Turkey is strong, Europe is weak.

That is the image promoted by the Turkish government at a time when the EU has little political leverage on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan due to refugee crisis.

More:How the EU helped to erode Turkish democracy

Turkey lets Europeans travel visa-free as part of new refugee deal | Fox News

Turkey lets Europeans travel visa-free as part of new refugee deal
Published May 03, 2016 Associated Press

BRUSSELS – The European Union is set to take a big step Wednesday toward ending visa requirements for Turkish citizens, as a widely criticized deal to get Turkey to stop migrants entering the EU gathers pace.

More:Turkey lets Europeans travel visa-free as part of new refugee deal | Fox News

The Turkish Rug Market That's Not About Carpets - Roads & Kingdoms

The Turkish Rug Market That’s Not About Carpets
by Lorena Rios

EsteWorld is an institution. The cosmetic surgery mammoth has three specialized hospitals that perform operations ranging from hair, mustache and beard transplantation, to Botox, cosmetic surgery and dental whitening. EsteWorld clinic in Uskudar, a suburban neighborhood on Istanbul’s Asian side, houses a café that also serves as a waiting area. Inside, luggage sits in a corner next to a group of striking veiled women and their Michael Kors shopping bags. There is nothing surgical about the clinic. Instead, the compound is more reminiscent of a cosmetic surgery fairyland, where bald men magically walk out with newly implanted hair and women walk out with larger breasts.

More:The Turkish Rug Market That's Not About Carpets - Roads & Kingdoms

Erdogan has failed to export his sense-of-humour failure. You’ve got to laugh | Liz Cookman | Opinion | The Guardian

Erdogan has failed to export his sense-of-humour failure. You’ve got to laugh
Liz Cookman
The Turkish president’s attempts to use archaic lese-majesty laws to stop German and Dutch comedians insulting him have prompted governments to repeal them

More:Erdogan has failed to export his sense-of-humour failure. You’ve got to laugh | Liz Cookman | Opinion | The Guardian

Turkish Nobel laureate says Erdogan's insult charges aimed at silencing dissent - Channel NewsAsia

Turkish Nobel laureate says Erdogan's insult charges aimed at silencing dissent

Turkey is using the charge of insulting President Tayyip Erdogan to intimidate his opponents and silence dissent and European leaders must take a tougher line with Ankara on free speech, Nobel prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk said on Tuesday.

More:Turkish Nobel laureate says Erdogan's insult charges aimed at silencing dissent - Channel NewsAsia

Human rights blow to Turkey’s visa-free travel hopes — FT.com

Human rights blow to Turkey’s visa-free travel hopes

Ankara falls short of EU standards by failing to change laws on terrorism and organised crime

More:Human rights blow to Turkey’s visa-free travel hopes — FT.com

Alternative media on the rise in Turkey | Europe | DW.COM | 03.05.2016

Alternative media on the rise in Turkey

Many Turkish journalists use independent internet platforms as a way to counteract Turkey's homogenous media. But they are facing various problems - not only on the financial level.

More:Alternative media on the rise in Turkey | Europe | DW.COM | 03.05.2016

Davutoglu’s future hangs on success of EU-Turkey visa deal — FT.com

Davutoglu’s future hangs on success of EU-Turkey visa deal

Prime minister’s initiative fuels talk of a rift with a president eager for more power

More:Davutoglu’s future hangs on success of EU-Turkey visa deal — FT.com

Monday, May 02, 2016

How I Became Another Victim of Erdogan’s Press Crackdown | Foreign Policy

How I Became Another Victim of Erdogan’s Press Crackdown

I used to think I couldn’t be affected by Turkey’s shrinking press freedom. I just discovered how wrong I was.

More:How I Became Another Victim of Erdogan’s Press Crackdown | Foreign Policy

Crucial Steps Lie Ahead for EU-Turkey Relations | Stratfor

Crucial Steps Lie Ahead for EU-Turkey Relations
Geopolitical Diary
May 2, 2016 | 21:40 GMT Text Size

The coming days will provide an important gauge on the future of relations between the European Union and Turkey. The Turkish parliament is working to pass a series of reforms requested by the European Union in exchange for its lifting of visa restrictions on Turkish citizens. The European Commission will publish an assessment of Turkey's progress on Wednesday, but the final decision on whether to introduce a visa-waiver scheme for Turkey will be made in late June by EU member states and the European Parliament. If they fail to introduce the scheme, it would seriously jeopardize EU-Turkey cooperation on migration in the Aegean Sea.

More:Crucial Steps Lie Ahead for EU-Turkey Relations | Stratfor

Appeasing Ankara | The Times

Appeasing Ankara

Turkey is getting incentives to help to ease Europe’s refugee crisis but is giving little

Europe faces an immense migration crisis. Instead of easing it Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, is aggravating it in an effort to secure the co-operation of the Turkish government. Her attempts to reach a short-term fix with President Erdogan will not fix the problems of the present. By incompetence, inattention and an urgency to appease, she is storing up problems for the future for Germany and for its EU partners

More:Appeasing Ankara | The Times

Will Turkey get preferential treatment for visa-free travel? | Europe | DW.COM | 02.05.2016

Will Turkey get preferential treatment for visa-free travel?

The EU Commission might make concessions to Ankara on visa-free travel to save the migrant deal. Is the EU about to make an uneasy compromise that would erode its refugee pact with Turkey?

More:Will Turkey get preferential treatment for visa-free travel? | Europe | DW.COM | 02.05.2016

Suspected Islamic State suicide bomber kills two police in southeast Turkey - sources | Reuters

Suspected Islamic State suicide bomber kills two police in southeast Turkey - sources
GAZIANTEP, Turkey | By Seyhmus Cakan

Two police officers were killed and 22 people wounded in a suicide car bomb attack in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep, the governor and police sources said, in one of three attacks on the security forces on Sunday.

More:Suspected Islamic State suicide bomber kills two police in southeast Turkey - sources | Reuters

Turkish Stadiums: A Contested Political Battleground

Turkish Stadiums: A Contested Political Battleground
05/02/2016 02:13 pm ET | Updated 2 hours ago

James Dorsey
Senior fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

Last month’s opening of storied Istanbul soccer club Besiktas JK’s renovated Vodafone Arena stadium was laden with political symbols ranging from clashes between police and militant fans, to fans being banned from attending the opening, to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan using the event to his political advantage.

More:Turkish Stadiums: A Contested Political Battleground

In Turkey, Secularism Is Much More Than a Word

In Turkey, Secularism Is Much More Than a Word
05/02/2016 04:03 pm ET | Updated 56 minutes ago

Kaya Genc
Turkish Novelist and Essayist

ISTANBUL — In September 2011, Turkey’s then prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was greeted at Cairo airport by members of the Muslim Brotherhood who cheered him as his cortège moved along a road covered by billboards with his image. While there, Erdoğan gave a speech at the Cairo Opera House in which he talked about his vision of the Middle East.

More:In Turkey, Secularism Is Much More Than a Word

Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl

Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl
Source: Reuters - Mon, 2 May 2016 19:34 GMT
Author: Reuters

By Gulsen Solaker and Yesim Dikmen

ANKARA, May 2 (Reuters) - Members of Turkey's ruling AK Party and the pro-Kurdish opposition traded kicks and punches and threw water at each other in parliament on Monday, halting talks about lifting parliamentarians' immunity from prosecution.

More:Turkish parliament debate on lawmakers' immunity ends in a brawl

Turkey shells Islamic State in Syria, claims dozens killed | EUROPE ONLINE

Turkey shells Islamic State in Syria, claims dozens killed
Europe
02.05.2016
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online auf Facebook posten Auf Twitter posten
Istanbul (dpa) - Turkish state media claimed Monday that more than 60 Islamic State militants died the previous day after they came under fire in northern Syria from Turkish and US coalition forces operating in Turkey.

More:Turkey shells Islamic State in Syria, claims dozens killed | EUROPE ONLINE

It's getting more and more dangerous to criticize the Turkish government - LA Times

It's getting more and more dangerous to criticize the Turkish government

Glen Johnson

Turkish journalist Erdem Gul was locked up in a high-security prison for 92 days, nearly half of those in solitary confinement. But looking back on it, he allowed himself a wry smile, eyes crinkling at the corners. “For the sake of journalism, it was actually quite beneficial,” he says. There was “a lot of time to read and write.”

More:It's getting more and more dangerous to criticize the Turkish government - LA Times

Turkey says prevented 85 security 'incidents' since January | Daily Mail Online

Turkey says prevented 85 security 'incidents' since January

By Reuters

Published: 11:36 EST, 2 May 2016 | Updated: 11:36 EST, 2 May 2016

ANKARA, May 2 (Reuters) - Turkey has prevented 85 would-be "incidents" since January, 49 of which involved live bombs, government spokesman Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday.

More:Turkey says prevented 85 security 'incidents' since January | Daily Mail Online

US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks?

“The Kurds have no friends but the mountains.” This well-worn adage conveys the Kurds’ isolation in the face of centuries of suffering under successive rulers. In Turkey, Iran and Iraq, where the largest concentration of Kurds live, there are plenty of mountains that have provided sanctuary to Kurdish civilians and rebels alike. Not so in Syria, where some 2 million Kurds are largely confined to the arid plains bordering Turkey, putting them at the mercy of their oppressors and the flat terrain.

More:US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks? - Al-Monitor: the Pulse of the Middle East

Turkey on course for visa-free travel to EU despite not meeting key targets

Turkey on course for visa-free travel to EU despite not meeting key targets

Matthew Holehouse, Brussels

2 May 2016 • 2:35pm

Turkey is on course to be handed visa-free travel to the European Union for its 75 million citizens, despite not meeting a series of key targets.

More:Turkey on course for visa-free travel to EU despite not meeting key targets

Turkey’s Economy Survives and Thrives, Even in the Face of a Perfect Storm

Turkey’s Economy Survives and Thrives, Even in

Despite strife in neighbouring countries, domestic political turmoil, and an uncertain global recovery, Turkey’s economy remains resolute.

All the positive actions taken at G20 level under the Turkish Presidency cannot hide the fact that 2015 has been a turbulent year for the global economy, as markets have grappled with the twin spectres of a Chinese economic slowdown and an expected hike in U.S. interest rates. In September, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) cut its global growth forecasts from 3.1% to 3% in 2015, and from 3.8% to 3.6% in 2016.

More:Turkey’s Economy Survives and Thrives, Even in the Face of a Perfect Storm