Istanbul voters dealt Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a tremendous blow last Sunday when they resoundingly rejected the country’s former prime minister and close Erdogan ally, Binali Yildirim, in his bid to become mayor of Istanbul and maintain the quarter-century grip on Turkey’s largest city that Erdogan and his allies had held. New Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu defeated Yildirm 54 percent to 45 percent in the re-run of a vote in March that Imamoglu narrowly won. The loss amounted to Erdogan’s first major electoral defeat of his political career and a serious blow to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which Erdogan co-founded. The Turkish president and his allies had controlled Istanbul since Erdogan was elected mayor of the Turkish metropolis 25 years ago. A variety of
If you looked at the results of the elections for European parliament in Germany, you’ll get a very adequate picture of what happened in Germany, which, while a meaningless tautology, is quite characteristic of what the mainstream media appear to be doing. To wit: the long-established parties, left and right, are losing their grip on the population to the Greens, which ultimately means more of the same in the EU – more Europe, more renewable insanity and more political domination by the Brussels elites, which are neither left nor right, but an increasingly amorphous power blob that sees itself as the virtuous and self-appointed leaders of the great unwashed masses. To that extent, the pundits are right, nothing much has changed and it matters not whether a socialist or
Next week’s elections for European parliament are likely to be treated as irrelevant by most European voters with considerably less than 50% expected to turn out at the polls. Nonetheless, they are watershed elections even though you wouldn’t know that by reading the European press. The reason for that is that both the press and most politicians strenuously avoid discussing what is really at stake in European politics. Instead, they conjure up doomsday predictions of the rise of supposedly anti-European “nationalists” and “populists.” In fact, the “nationalists” are anything but anti-European. Expected to win between a quarter and a third of the vote, few if any of them want to leave the European Union and in most ways they are much more representative of traditional European values than the
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Vladislav Surkov has enlightened us on the state of mind at the Kremlin. He has been on and off at the top of Putin’s confidants’ list, yet his current status is nowhere near the peak of his influence, some 15 years ago, when he was perceived as the guru in Putin’s entourage, akin to Mikhail Suslov in the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party. Those days are long gone, and the article published in Nezavisimaya Gazetta, although carrying some weight and deserving attention, does not go far enough to challenge the perception of a falling star. The title, The Deep State of Putin (Dolgoe Gosudarstvo Putina), would certainly prompt analytical work in the Russian and Western media, much like in the old days of the Soviet Union, when
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On November 6, Americans will head to the polls to elect all 435 members of Congress and a third of their senators, as they do every two years. This year, however, the coming elections have been subject to especially heavy speculation and infighting because of the heavily polarized nature of American politics since the election of Donald Trump in 2016. To put it simply, Trump has divided the American electorate in two nearly equal halves that are barely on speaking terms any more. On one side are the democrats that unexpectedly lost the 2016 elections under Hillary Clinton, which they had been told by all pollsters, they would easily win. This has led to all kinds of recriminations and efforts to explain the sudden loss with assorted conspiracy theories
Istanbul’s Taksim Square has a new feel. A giant mosque — not yet completed — now towers over a monument to the Turkish Republic in the center of the square. The monument glorifies Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the secular Turkish Republic. On Sunday night, supporters of Erdogan celebrated the president’s election victory, gathering around the busts of Ataturk, screaming “Allahu akbar” (God is great), Palestine is for Arabs and other chants, including singing a song glorifying Erdogan. They paused their celebration briefly during the call to prayer. Down the street on Istiklal Avenue — a hub for bar and entertainment venues — the tourist contingent is dominated by people from the Middle East and the Muslim world. While tourism appears to be picking up in Turkey,
The article first published in americanthinker.com on 06/26/2018. By far the most interesting thing about yesterday’s Turkish elections were the endless speculations by pundits left and right about what would happen if Erdogan were to lose. These clueless if numerous pontificators forgot to ask themselves a simple question: when was the last time an Islamist dictator in full control of state power lost an election? Mindless as they are, these idle meditations have little to tell us about Turkey, but a lot of the West’s (and Europe’s especially) failure or unwillingness to understand what Erdogan is and was all about. For NATO and the West, the inevitable harsh payment due is just around the corner. In the meantime, Turkey has a new sultan that can and will do whatever