April 23, 2019

SULTANS GOTTA SULTANATE: Erdogan Cracks Down on Dissent in Turkey Despite Pledge for Unity.

Mr. Erdogan said last week that the time had come to turn the page on a prolonged sequence of electoral contests and focus on repairing an economy mired in recession. While he and his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, prevailed in the June presidential and legislative votes, the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP, claimed the two biggest prizes in the March 31 municipal elections, Istanbul and Ankara, the capital.

The political climate in Turkey remains volatile. In the past few days, a schoolteacher was returned to prison for having urged the government to spare children’s lives during the fight against militants from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party; the AKP filed a second package of fraud claims with Turkey’s national election board, seeking a revote in Istanbul; and the leader of the CHP was attacked during a soldier’s funeral.

Kati Piri, a lawmaker with the European Parliament and the Turkey rapporteur, blamed hostile rhetoric by ruling-party officials for the tense climate. Referring to Sunday’s attack on CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu, she said in a tweet: “Likely inspired by hate speeches of ruling politicians. This radical polarization must end.”

Not so long as they think it furthers their power, it won’t.

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