Pro-Kurdish Green Left Party candidate Ceylan Akca says Turkish security forces are terrorizing Kurdish voters but will fail
Turkey's Kurds are poised to swing the outcome of the May 14 presidential and parliamentary elections. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing the biggest challenge in his 20 years in uninterrupted power. Kurdish parliamentary candidate Ceylan Akca says that despite his government's attempts to intimidate Kurdish voters, the opposition will prevail.
Iraq expert Bilal Wahab says Turkey wants guarantees from Baghdad before allowing Kurdish oil exports to resume
Turkey and Iraq have been mired in a legal dispute over the export of Iraqi Kurdish oil through Turkish export terminals. Baghdad says the deal struck between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds to sell oil is illegal. The International Chamber of Commerce's international arbitration fined Turkey for breach of contract. Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurds have since agreed to resume exports on new terms that gives the central government a greater say. However, Ankara has not allowed the exports to resume.
Turkey analyst Merve Tahiroglu says Kurds will back opposition presidential candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu to unseat Erdogan in first round
Turkey’s watershed elections, on which the future of its crippled democracy hangs, are due to be held on May 14. Opinion polls continue to point to a tight race, making the outcome of the presidential and parliamentary polls difficult to call. Election security remains a big concern and there is little doubt that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will stop at little to win. The largest pro-Kurdish bloc, however, dealt him something of a blow this week declaring it would not field its own candidate for the presidential race.
Kurdish academic Mashuq Kurt says Erdogan's electoral alliance with Turkish Hizbullah offshoot a risky step
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan risks losing power for the first time in 20 years in elections that are to be held on May 14. He has turned to Huda par, an Islamist Kurdish party that has roots in Hizbullah, a violent group that waged a bloody war against the PKK and its sympathizers in the 1990s. London-based academic Mashuq Kurt is the author of a widely acclaimed book on Turkey's Hizbullah. He says violence between Huda Par and PKK supporters could be reignited should the election results be contested.
Turkish commentator Cengiz Candar says Turkey's opposition will win elections overwhelmingly with Kurdish backing
Turkey will hold parliamentary and presidential elections on May 14. The outcome will determine whether Turkey can return to a more democratic path or plunge into full blown autocracy, or worse dictatorship, some say. For the first time the opposition appears to have a chance of winning, despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's tight grip over the media, the judiciary and the country's Supreme Electoral Board. Turkish commentator Cengiz Candar argues that Turkey's recent earthquakes have not only wrecked an area the size of Portugal, but Erdogan's career with it.
Tunisia expert Monica Marks warns Tunisia's march towards dictatorship could turn bloody
Tunisia's autocratic President Kais Saied, since his dramatic power grab in 2021, has increased the volume of repression in the north African nation, arresting scores of opposition figures as well as civil activists and journalists. The country's fledgling democracy is on life support. Yet Western governments are supporting Saied, believing that his iron grip can stave off a fresh exodus of illegal migrants from Europe and that financial assistance will hold Russia and China at bay.
Iran expert John Raine says Iranian hardliners want a military pact with Russia for the survival of the Islamic regime
Cooperation between Iran and Russia has been growing since Russian forces intervened in Syria to help rescue Iran's top regional ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2015. Military ties between the two countries have now expanded to Ukraine, where Russian forces are using drones supplied by Tehran. The deepening alliance is disrupting regional balances and causing worry among Gulf monarchies and Israel.
Middle East Institute Turkey director Gonul Tol says one man rule, corruption increased deaths in killer earthquakes
Public anger is mounting over the Turkish government's slow response to the massive earthquakes that shook the country's southern regions on Feb. 6. The death toll is rapidly climbing as an unknown number of people remain trapped under the rubble in freezing temperatures in Turkey and Syria alike. Many blame the high number of deaths on the Turkish government's lack of preparedness and lax safety standards. Others say the fact that power is concentrated in the hands of a single person, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has made things worse.