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Kurdish Politician Says Erdogan Behind Latest Crackdown

Co-Chair of pro-Kurdish People’s Democracy Party (HDP) pointed to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as someone who pulled the strings behind a massive crackdown that targeted more than a 100 politicians and journalists in the latest wave last week.

In simultaneous raids, the Turkish police raided offices and houses of tens of politicians linked with HDP and a group of journalists in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir and other cities. The clampdown has aroused international and national criticism.

Sezai Temelli accused Erdogan of giving the order for the latest move that inflicted a new blow to the party already bleeding in the face of incessant waves of the crackdown. Former co-chairs Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag were imprisoned in late 2016 and are still in jail over terrorism charges. Thousands of party members have been jailed over similar charges.

This week saw another phase. The Turkish government has already taken over the administrations of more than 100 Kurdish-run municipalities. The president has repeatedly shown no signs of backing down and signaled a further escalation of crackdown amid armed clashes between Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Turkish security forces.

A fragile truce between the PKK and the Turkish military collapsed in 2015 and renewed urban fighting gave Erdogan additional tools and excuse to crack down on the Kurdish political party which he portrays as the political wing of the armed militants.

The HDP rejects such blanket definitions and refuses association with PKK, which has been fighting the Turkish state since the early 1980s to carve out an autonomous zone for self-governance in southeastern Turkey.

A round of peace negotiations in 2015 came to an abrupt end when Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its majority in Parliament in June 7 elections. When Demirtas cruised HDP to Parliament after an upsetting electoral victory that denied AKP the chance to form another single-party government. HDP’s unexpected triumph appeared to be a turning point after the president altered his policy course regarding the Kurdish conflict and adopted a security-first approach to resolving the decades-old issue.

The military solution, although tried during countless different governments over the past four decades, has ultimately proved to be elusive and untenable. The latest bout of violence reduced cities to rubble in many parts of southeastern Turkey, leading to the displacement of nearly half a million people. Both Human Rights Watch and the United Nations well documented the scale of devastation that swept the entire region, revealing the scope of its social and economic cost in fullest form.

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Phone stalker accuses socialist actor of being Gulenist, threatens to report to police

The veteran, socialist actor İlyas Salman has become the latest victim of intimidation environment engulfing Turkey especially after the failed coup attempt.A phone stalker threatened to lodge complaint about Salman’s alleged ties to the Gulen Movement after her successive calls were refused by the actor.Filing a counter-complaint to an Istanbul prosecutor, Salman said he received an SMS after several phone calls from a woman named Öznur which read: “I am very sorry. Don’t pick up the phone. I will inform against you as a pro-FETO.”

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Veteran legal expert says ops targeting Gülen movement remind him of Hitler’s Germany

Metin Günday, Professor of Administrative Law at Ankara University, has said that detentions and arrests carried out as part of operations targeting Gülen movement – a grassroots initiative inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen – reminds him of the practices in Hitler’s Germany.

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Erdoğan accuses US of being ‘superior mind’ behind ‘parallel state’

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the US government of being the “superior mind” behind the so-called “parallel state”, which is a term coined by Erdoğan in December 2013 to refer to people believed to be inspired by the ideas of Gülen, especially those within the state bureaucracy.

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Politicians react against move to frame Gülen movement as “terrorist organization”

A number of politicians have spoken out against politically motivated move to frame Gülen movement — a grassroots initiative comprising people inspired by Turkish Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen – as a “terrorist organization.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced on Friday that he is expecting a Cabinet decision that will officially declare sympathizers of the Gülen movement as a “terrorist organization” in order to put them on trial, in what is widely considered a move by the president of acting like the judiciary.

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Turkish consulate in Rotterdam asks to be informed about Erdoğan insults April 22, 2016

The Turkish Consulate General in Dutch city of Rotterdam has sent e-mail to Turkish expats as well as some civil society organizations in the country, requesting them to notify the consulate general about individuals who insult Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey in general and the Turkish people.

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