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CHP report exposes Turkey's high poverty levels

Following revelations that the Turkish government has profiled the entire population, the main opposition responds by “profiling” alarming poverty among the masses.
A Syrian refugee boy pauses as he carries his sister to their house in Hacibayram district of Ankara November 21, 2014. Syrian refugees across the Middle East, some in exile for a fourth winter, face freezing temperatures, hunger and increasing hostility from locals as governments struggle to cope with the humanitarian crisis. Lebanon and Jordan are tightening their borders to stem the flow of those trying to escape whilst in Turkey, widely praised for hosting around half Syria's estimated 3.2 million refug
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Ahead of every election in Turkey, political parties make myriad promises to the jobless and the poor, pledging social benefits for low-income families and retirees and housing projects for the homeless. The promises are typically forgotten after a government is formed and then everything goes about as usual. Ahead of the June 7 parliamentary elections, however, two issues appear bound to persist and keep fueling debate:

  • It has emerged that the authorities have secretly profiled all of Turkey’s 77 million citizens, with all sorts of personal information included.
  • The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has come up with an alternative “profiling” that draws up a comprehensive picture of poverty in Turkey.

The revelation that police have secretly profiled all Turkish citizens was made by CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu during a party meeting in parliament March 17. Kilicdaroglu based his claim on a document penned by the intelligence department of the directorate-general of police, which he showed at the meeting. According to the CHP chairman, two data analysis programs, called Deva 1 and Deva 2, were used to collect information, with their databases now containing personal details about every person in the country. “Since we are politicians, I can see why we are being profiled. But why are you profiling taxi drivers, for God’s sake?” Kilicdaroglu said in his speech, addressing Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

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