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Turkey’s anti-Gulen campaign: strengthening militants and jihadists

A Turkish demand that Pakistan close 28 primary and secondary schools associated with controversial, self-exiled Turkish preacher Fethullah Gulen has put the government in Islamabad in a quandary as it attempts to get a grip on an education sector in which militant Islamists and jihadists figure prominently. Turkish ambassador to Pakistan S. Babur Girgin’s demand …

James Dorsey

Turkish soccer brawls: the battle for the future of the Kemalist state

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan dresses up his increasing authoritarianism with nationalist and religious overtones, sparking battles over the future of the Kemalist state. Those battles, pitting nationalist and conservative forces against secularists and Kurds, are nowhere more evident than on Turkish soccer pitches. A series of incidents in recent months highlighted the mounting tensions …

James Dorsey

Turkey and Egypt: the battle to control dissent pitches fans against autocrats

Battles for the control of stadiums and other public spaces in Turkey and Egypt have pitched militant soccer fans against authoritarian leaders determined to limit supporters’ ability to challenge their authority. As a result, a struggle that comes on the back of years of confrontation in the stadiums and mass, watershed anti-government protests that in …

James Dorsey

Turkish stadiums: a contested political battleground

  Last month’s opening of storied Istanbul soccer club Besiktas JK’s renovated Vodafone Arena stadium was laden with political symbols ranging from clashes between police and militant fans, to fans being banned from attending the opening, to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan using the event to his political advantage.   Celebrations of the opening reflected …

James Dorsey

Turkish football: Illiberal President Erdogan’s latest victim

By James M. Dorsey Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s illiberal policies have targeted the media, the judiciary, the police, militant football fans, and anti-government protesters. Now they threaten to claim yet another victim: the game of football itself. In a major blow to troubled Turkish football, Yildiz Holding, a conservative conglomerate known for its confectionary and biscuit business and …

Daily News Egypt

BREAKING: Turkey PM warns of crackdown if protesters defy ban

AFP – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Saturday police would clamp down on anyone defying a ban on demonstrations at Istanbul’s Taksim Square on the anniversary of a wave of mass protests last year. “If you go there, our security forces have received clear-cut instructions and will do whatever is necessary from A to Z,” Erdogan …

Daily News Egypt

Turkey PM puts death toll from mine disaster at 232: TV

AFP – Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan put the death toll from a mine explosion at 232 on Wednesday, local media reported. Erdogan was inspecting the site of the accident in the western town of Soma, about 150 miles south of Istanbul in Turkey’s Aegean region.  

Daily News Egypt

Turkish football’s financial crisis potentially sharpens political divide

By James M. Dorsey Financially stressed Turkish football clubs are becoming pawns in the political struggle between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and militant football fans who rank prominently among his detractors as football pitches and university campuses emerge as major battlefields between the government and its detractors. Critics of Mr Erdogan charge that the …

Daily News Egypt