Be Alert!

Moriel Ministries Be Alert! has added this Blog as a resource for further information, links and research to help keep you above the global deception blinding the world and most of the church in these last days. Jesus our Messiah is indeed coming soon and this should only be cause for joy unless you have not surrendered to Him. Today is the day for salvation! For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, - Psalms 95:7

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Erdogan’s Party Wins Third Term in Turkish Elections

NEW YORK TIMES [NYTimes Group/Sulzberger] - By Sebnem Arsu - June 12, 2011
ISTANBUL — The conservative party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a clear victory in parliamentary elections on Sunday with a strong showing that critics worry might be used to further consolidate its power after nearly a decade of rule and to circumscribe civil liberties and its political opposition.

With 99 percent of the returns counted, Mr. Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party won about 50 percent of the votes, according to the semiofficial Anatolian News Agency. The main opposition group, the Republican People’s Party, won nearly 26 percent, and another opposition party, the Nationalist Action Party, had 13 percent, the agency said.

The returns give the pro-Islamist Justice and Development Party, known as the A.K.P., its third term in office since it first won a parliamentary majority in 2002. The results, however, failed to provide the absolute majority that the party wanted to push for major changes, including a shift to a presidential system and the drafting of a new constitution. The party will now have to work to forge consensus with its opposition. …

The current Constitution was prepared after a military coup in the 1980s, and many here believe that it elevates protections for the state above those of citizens, at the expense of individual rights and freedoms. Under Mr. Erdogan’s stewardship, the government restored political and economic stability after years of turmoil, though opponents say the gains have come at the price of an increasingly autocratic exercise of power.

Supporters credit Mr. Erdogan with elevating Turkey’s profile in the Middle East, turning the country into an increasingly assertive regional player at a time when several of its neighbors are locked in sometimes violent struggles for democracy. One of most violent, in Syria, Turkey’s neighbor to the southeast, has sent thousands of refugees spilling over the border.

Mr. Erdogan has moved the country further up the road, although sometimes a bumpy one, to European Union membership. His party has brought the country strong economic growth of 8.9 percent, though unemployment remains stubbornly high at nearly 12 percent and income distribution remains uneven.

But his party has moved from the reformist approach it took in the early years of its rule, leaving an opening for opponents like the Social Democratic Republican People’s Party, which had some success in the current balloting for 550 seats in Parliament in winning back centrist Turks wary of the conservative tack the ruling party has taken.

“I support some of the party’s politics for stability in the country,” Bahar Forta, 62, a dermatologist, said as she was leaving a polling station at a high school in Sisli, an upper-middle-class neighborhood in Istanbul. “However, I also see that the power they hold — almost like a single-party system — will ultimately pave the way for an autocratic regime.”
For many younger voters, their biggest concerns were violations of civilian liberties.

“There is a thin line between stability and democracy,” said Mustafa Guler, 27, a computer technology consultant, who was on his way to vote.

“Freedom for minorities is still an issue, alcohol use is controlled by a government agency,” he said, adding: “Even leave all that aside — what can be more absurd in this day and age than to close down YouTube? My vote is to break their majority.”

Many Web sites, including YouTube, have been blocked in recent years by the government Internet Monitoring Agency, often without explanation.

Critics point to the fact that Turkey currently has more than 60 journalists in jail, many charged with crimes related to their published work, according to the Turkish Press Association.

At least two — Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, both investigative journalists critical of the A.K.P. and supportive Islamic organizations — have not been notified of their charges since their arrests in March.

Despite these shortcomings, some liberal circles have praised government efforts in challenging the status quo of the powerful military, which has staged three coups and until recently maintained a virtually untouchable place in Turkish politics.

The government oversaw a controversial trial of a group accused of plotting a coup against the ruling party in 2003. The investigation included the arrests of hundreds of officers, retired as well as active duty, tarnishing the military’s image and effectively eliminating it from politics.

Edited :: See Original Report Here

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