Tag: Erdogan, Recep Tayyip

Battered Turkish Economy Puts a Powerful Erdogan to the Test

ISTANBUL — Hobbled by restrictions on his tobacco shop, Ozgur Akbas helped organize a demonstration in Istanbul last month to protest what he called unfair rules imposed on merchants during the pandemic. “There are many friends who have shut down,” he said in an interview. “And some are on the verge of suicide.” Turks had […]

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Turkey Jails Hundreds for Life Over 2016 Coup Attempt

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court sentenced the accused ringleaders and hundreds of others suspected of involvement in the failed 2016 coup to multiple life terms on Thursday, at the culmination of one of the most important mass trials in the plot to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The trial of 475 defendants focused on a […]

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An End to Armenia and Azerbaijan’s Dangerous War

The cease-fire brokered by Russia in Nagorno-Karabakh has silenced the guns and driven off the drones. That is good. But the deep-rooted feud between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the remote South Caucasus enclave has only been updated for an altered balance of power, not resolved. The burning houses of fleeing Armenians promise that it will […]

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Erdogan’s Visit to Northern Cyprus Stokes Decades-Long Dispute

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Sunday visited disputed territory in northern Cyprus that is occupied by Turkish forces, angering Cypriot and Greek leaders and stoking a decades-long conflict. Mr. Erdogan said he supported a two-state solution to the dispute over Cyprus, which has effectively been partitioned since 1974, its Greek and Turkish communities […]

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Biden Speaks to European Allies as Strongmen Stay Silent on U.S. Vote

WASHINGTON — President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. fielded congratulatory calls from European leaders on Tuesday, even as some of President Trump’s authoritarian allies maintained a conspicuous silence about the election that could foreshadow coming tensions with the Biden administration. Mr. Biden spoke on Tuesday with President Emmanuel Macron of France, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, […]

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Authoritarians From Mussolini to Trump

STRONGMENMussolini to the PresentBy Ruth Ben-Ghiat Ever since the 2016 election, observers like Timothy Snyder, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt speculated that Donald Trump could undermine American democracy and move the country in an overtly authoritarian direction. That possibility grew more plausible over the years of the Trump administration, as he sought to undermine a […]

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Armenians Erupt in Fury Over Defeat in War With Azerbaijan

MOSCOW — Russian peacekeeping forces were deployed to the disputed ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh on Tuesday after Armenia and Azerbaijan signed a Russian-brokered deal to end a six-week war that had already killed thousands. Some Armenians were furious that Nikol Pashinyan, the country’s prime minister, signed the accord, which cedes to Azerbaijan a broad […]

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Turkey’s Finance Minister Resigns Amid Pressures of Sliding Economy

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s finance minister, Berat Albayrak, the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced his resignation Sunday evening amid escalating fallout over the country’s collapsing economy and plunging currency. Mr. Albayrak said in a personal letter posted on Instagram that he was stepping down for health reasons after five years as finance minister under […]

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When It Comes to Democracy, the U. S. Is Showing Its Age

As this Tuesday’s consequential election nears, my fellow democracy experts and I have often been asked: What is the right historical analogy to America’s current crisis? The truth is, there is no precedent. We have never seen such a longstanding democracy in such a rich country break down before — never. But it could happen […]

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Why India’s Muslims Reach for Liberalism

By now, the world knows that Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India and his Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (B.J.P.) have eroded the liberal principles of the Indian Constitution and are turning the country into an increasingly illiberal democracy. It is common knowledge that Mr. Modi thrives on the grievances and bigotries that pit privileged […]

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Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump

WASHINGTON — ​Geoffrey S. Berman was outraged. The top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, Mr. Berman had traveled to Washington in June 2019 to discuss a particularly delicate case with Attorney General William P. Barr and some of his top aides: a criminal investigation into Halkbank, a state-owned Turkish bank suspected of violating U.S. sanctions law […]

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Muslim Countries Denounce French Response to Killing of Samuel Paty, Urge Boycott

BRUSSELS — Since a young Muslim beheaded a French schoolteacher who had shown caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in a class, France has conducted dozens of raids against suspected Islamic extremists, closed a major mosque and shut down some Muslim aid groups. In France, a nation still traumatized by some 36 Islamic State-inspired terrorist attacks […]

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Donald Trump’s Incompetent Foreign Policy

Stefani Reynolds for The New York Times For all the sound and fury, Trump’s foreign policy has few accomplishments. Oct. 16, 2020 Kathleen Kingsbury, acting editorial page editor, wrote about the editorial board’s verdict on Donald Trump’s presidency in a special edition of our Opinion Today newsletter. You can read it here. This month, with […]

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Turkey Moves Closer to Activating Its Russian Air Defense System

ISTANBUL — Turkey fired a missile as a test of its Russian-made air defense system on Friday, a United States official confirmed, a move that breaks an agreement with the Trump administration and risks the imposition of sanctions by Congress. The Turkish military tested the air defense system, known as the S-400, in the Black […]

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How Turkey’s Military Adventures Decrease Freedom at Home

ISTANBUL — A procession of cars filled with men waving the flag of Azerbaijan, honking and whistling drove through the Kumkapi area in Istanbul, which is home to the Armenian Patriarchate of Istanbul and many Armenian families. The car rally, on Sept. 28, was a provocation, a threat that filled my community, the tiny Armenian […]

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Turkish Defector Says He Was Ordered to Kill Politician in Austria

One afternoon last month, a man claiming to be a Turkish intelligence operative walked into a police station in Vienna. His confession was explosive: The man said he had been ordered to shoot a Kurdish-Austrian politician, which he did not want to do, and asked for police protection. He also said that he had been […]

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The Trouble in the South Caucasus Extends Far Beyond One Small Enclave

Once again, the bitterly contested claims to the mountainous region of Nagorno-Karabakh in the South Caucasus have erupted into violence. What exactly is going on is difficult to glean from the exaggerated statements and propaganda of the feuding Armenians and Azerbaijanis, but hundreds have been killed, rockets have struck both the capital of the enclave […]

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Turkey Jumps Into Another Foreign Conflict, This Time in the Caucasus

ANKARA — When a long-simmering conflict in the south Caucasus burst into open warfare this week, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first world leader to jump into the fray. His mission was not to calm tensions between the warring parties, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Instead, he declared all-out support for the Azerbaijanis, close Turkic […]

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Human Rights Are Like Fire Departments. You Really Need Them.

HAMBURG, Germany — A Turkish friend told me the other day about his summer travels to his home region in southeastern Anatolia, a particularly poverty-stricken part of Turkey. Under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, things have improved. My friend’s cousin showed off his new Mercedes-Benz, bragging about the state aid his family received […]

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With Freedom at Stake, Courts Are Collapsing

NEW DELHI — The rise of right-wing populist leaders in several countries has brought immense attention to the use of executive power, in popular debate and among constitutional scholars across presidential and parliamentary systems. Along with the rise of executive power, there has been a corresponding but less studied phenomenon: the decline in judicial power. […]

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Turkey and Greece Have Let Their Latest Feud Get Too Hot

As if there wasn’t enough trouble around the world, two NATO allies, Greece and Turkey, have lit up a new and dangerous crisis, dragging in countries near and far. In this game of thrones, only Germany seems to have the sway to mediate a return to sanity. At the core of the crisis, as in […]

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Turkey Braces for Yet Another Currency Crisis

When the Turkish lira plunged to a new low against the dollar and euro this month, Hakan Bulgurlu did not panic. This was not the first time that Mr. Bulgurlu, the chief executive of Arcelik, a Turkish maker of home appliances, had steered through a currency crisis. “We’re doing business in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, in […]

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Turkey Considers Leaving Domestic Violence Treaty Even as Abuse Surges

Pinar Gultekin, a 27-year-old university student, was strangled before her body was crammed into a barrel and set ablaze. “It was a barrel that we use to burn garbage,” the accused killer, Cemal Metin Avci, a 32-year-old nightclub owner, would later tell prosecutors, according to local media reports. He said he had filled the barrel […]

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Turkish Aggression Is NATO’s ‘Elephant in the Room’

BRUSSELS — The warships were escorting a vessel suspected of smuggling weapons into Libya, violating a United Nations arms embargo. Challenged by a French naval frigate, the warships went to battle alert. Outnumbered and outgunned, the French frigate withdrew. But this mid-June naval showdown in the Mediterranean was not a confrontation of enemies. The antagonists […]

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Turkey Passes Law Extending Sweeping Powers Over Social Media

Turkish lawmakers on Wednesday morning passed legislation that would give the government sweeping new powers to regulate content on social media, raising concerns that one of the few remaining spaces for free public debate in the country could fall under greater government control. The measure orders social media platforms with over one million users per […]

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The Next Global Flash Point

PARIS — While many American foreign policymakers are focused on China and the South China Sea, some should take a closer look at Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean, which could be the next geopolitical flash point for Europe and NATO to confront. To some extent, a similar dynamic is at play. Just as China makes […]

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Erdogan Reopens Turkey’s Hagia Sophia as a Mosque

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sealed his long-stated desire to restore the historic Hagia Sophia as a working mosque on Friday, opening the magnificent Byzantine structure built in the sixth century as the world’s largest cathedral to thousands of Muslim worshipers for the first time in nearly nine decades. Huge crowds began gathering even […]

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The Hagia Sophia Was a Cathedral, a Mosque and a Museum. It’s Converting Again.

On Friday, after 86 years as a museum, the great Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will once again echo with Muslim prayers. To Turkish Islamists, the conversion marks the fulfillment of a long-held dream of restoring a symbol of Ottoman grandeur. For many others around the world, the change is a dismaying setback for one of […]

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Would Muhammad Convert Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque?

The recent decision by the Turkish government to reconvert the majestic Hagia Sophia, which was once the world’s greatest cathedral, from a museum back to a mosque has been bad news for Christians around the world. They include Pope Francis, who said he was “pained” by the move, and the spiritual leader of Eastern Christianity, […]

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Why Erdogan Wants Hagia Sophia to Be a Mosque

IZMIR, Turkey — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on Friday issued a decree ordering the Hagia Sophia, a majestic 65,000-square-foot stone structure from the sixth century in Istanbul, to be opened for Muslim prayers. The same day, a top Turkish court had revoked the 1934 decree by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the […]

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