Women’s march — in Turkey

Hulya Sen; she was working as a family doctor in Istanbul before April 16, presidental referendum of Turkey, but after April 16, she resigned from her office and began a march to Ankara, the capital city of Turkey for the annulment of the referendum. Dr. Hulya Sen has said about the start of the march […]

via Women’s march — unnecessary news from earth

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Venezuelan people wants peace, stability and progress – Not violence!

It Takes a Lot More Than Votes to Govern

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Right-wing opposition violence in Venezuela

Maduro: Opposition Activists Confess Being Paid to Promote Violent Protests

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Statement: Communist Party of Turkey on The Referendum

Communist Party of Turkey : ‘There is no legitimacy of political power anymore’

There is no legitimacy of the referendum results which have been determined by oppression, fraud and thefts

Published Sunday, 16 April 2017 – news.sol.org.tr

The CC of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) released a statement on the devious results of Sunday’s referendum.

The statement declared Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and AKP government as illegitimate since the referendum results “are designated with tyranny, cheating and stealing”.

Reminding that a political power does not receive its legitimacy only with votes, the Communist Party of Turkey’s statement declared the celebrations of the ruling AKP government an act of “mocking” the people. The ruling AKP government has long been illegitimate with its reactionary character and practices against the people, the statement said, calling the referendum results “a confirmation of illegitimacy”.

“This election has the marks of tyranny and cheating”, the statement declared, referring to the decision of Supreme Committee of Elections to accept unsealed voting papers and envelopes as valid.

Confirming that the governing party’s ruling capability is destroyed, the Communist Party of Turkey reminded that the AKP government lost most of larger cities and city centers where no votes overwhelmingly prevailed. Therefore, ” there is zero chance for the society to accept a ‘yes’ result to be declared”, the statement said.

The Communist Party of Turkey called on the people “to unite, to act organized and not to accept ‘fait accompli'”.


A friend of mine from Turkey wrote this:

This referendum result is fraudulent. All around Turkey according to serious claims of CHP and HDP and Nationalist Meral Aksaner, about 2,5 millon votes were warped.

Already there are many videos about how many AKP officers made cheating with voting boxes. There are incredible manipulations in here. The Supreme committee of elections in Turkey about 5.30 pm, about half an hour before the voting process was over, changed very important rules on the referendum. They canceled the necessary seals of the Supreme committee of elections which needs to be on all envelopes stated that the voting paper have to be inside it. Where the votes came from are therefore, uncertain.

In the biggest three cities of Turkey – Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir – the voting figures almost equalled 30 small cities in the middle of Turkey. “No” votes were high in these three biggest cities:

Istanbul, 51,3 % – NO

Ankara 51,1 % – NO

Izmir 68,8 % – NO

Also, in the other big cities, the situation is the same, “no” votes are high, but incredible cheatings are being made.

Tayyip’s presidentship is illegal!

Ivar Jordre

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Referendum fraud in Turkey – The dictator smiles

Erdoğan Claims Ultimate Power in Turkey After Nearly Split Vote

As one opponent of the referendum noted: “Threats, oppression, imprisonment, censorship, defamation—and yet half of the people of Turkey voted” against.

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In a very close—and closely watched—referendum vote, Turks on Sunday handed President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan what many say is authoritarian rule.

With more than 99 percent of ballots counted, Erdoğan claimed a win with 51.36 percent voting in favor of the referendum and 48.64 voting against.

However, the Guardian reported,

disparities persisted into Sunday evening, with the opposition saying not all ballots had been counted and they would contest a third of the votes that had been cast. [Sadi Guven, the head of Turkey’s high electoral board, or YSK] said the YSK had decided to consider unstamped ballots as valid unless they were proved to be fraudulent after a high number of complaints—including one from the ruling AK Party—that its officials had failed to stamp some ballot papers.

The no campaign said the YSK’s last-minute decision raised questions about the validity of the vote. […]

If confirmed, the vote will “transform Turkey into a presidential republic, in what would be one of the most significant developments in the nation’s history since its founding after the collapse of the Ottoman empire,” the Guardian reported earlier Sunday.

The referendum includes a series of constitutional amendments that would dissolve the role of the prime minister, centralizing state bureaucracy under the president while also giving him control of the judiciary. Further, it would allow Erdoğan to run for two more election terms and essentially “rule by decree,” as Common Dreams previously wrote.

Polling ahead of the election had been close. However, as observers noted, many against the changes were afraid to speak out due to the widespread crackdown on dissent imposed by Erdoğan after last summer’s failed coup attempt, which included the jailing of top political opponents and dozens of journalists.

While proponents of the referendum dominated the newspapers and airwaves, a split opposition led by Turkish citizens, largely the women, spread their message on social media using the hashtag #hayir (or “no”).

Indeed, while the ruling Justice and Development Party (or AKP Party) celebrated, many took to social media to express their dismay at the declared results and to point out that nearly half of the voters did not support the consolidation of power.

Further, the three largest cities—Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir—all voted against the referendum as did the majority of Kurdish voters indicating, as the Guardian observed, “a general decline in the ruling party’s support.

Highlighting the fierce divisions over the vote, Turkish journalist Ali Bayramoğlu was reportedly “attacked by a group of around 30 people” when he went to cast his vote. Bayramoğlu, who Hurryiet noted was formerly a “supporter of the ruling [AKP Party] but a vocal ‘No’ supporter in this referendum, was verbally and physically assaulted at an Elementary School polling place in the Gayrettepe district of Istanbul.

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Erdoğans way to despotic rule by referendum

Will Turkey Hand Erdoğan Authoritarian Rule With Referendum Vote?

Polls show the public is split ahead of historic vote, but the government’s crackdown on dissent has silenced the opposition

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Turkish women are leading the opposition. This is not a coincidence," writes author and activist Elif Shafak. "When societies slide into authoritarianism, ultranationalism and fanaticism, women have much more to lose than men." (Photo: Guido Menato/cc/flickr)

Turkish women are leading the opposition. “This is not a coincidence,” writes author and activist Elif Shafak. “When societies slide into authoritarianism, ultranationalism and fanaticism, women have much more to lose than men.” (Photo: Guido Menato/cc/flickr)

Turkish citizens head to the polls on Sunday to vote on a historic referendum that could potentially cement autocratic rule in the nation, consolidating power for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

If the referendum passes, “it will abolish the office of prime minister, enabling the president to centralize all state bureaucracy under his control and also to appoint cabinet ministers,” AFP reports. Erdoğan would also “control the judiciary” and essentially “rule by decree,” Foreign Policy in Focus columnist Conn Hallinan further noted.

There is little disagreement on how pivotal that change could be. AP observed that the vote “could change the course of [Turkey’s] history,” while AFP reported that referendum is being regarded “as a crossroads in the modern history of the country that will affect not just the shape of its political system but also its relations with the West.”

The vote is taking place against the backdrop of a widespread crackdown on dissent, with tens of thousands of people arrested under the ongoing State of Emergency declared by Erdoğan after last summer’s failed coup attempt.

Recent polling has shown that the public is split. According to AFP, “A poll by the Konda group showed ‘Yes’ ahead at 51.5 percent but the Sonar group has projected a ‘No’ vote of 51.2 percent, and with other polling companies producing different figures the outcome remains uncertain.”

But observers note that surveys could be misleading, given the climate of fear and repression. “[P]redictions cannot be trusted,” Turkish author and activist Elif Shafak wrote Friday. “The truth is, many people in Turkey have two opinions: a public opinion and a private opinion. Out of fear, many citizens refuse to share their private opinions with pollsters.”

On Thursday, four United Nations special rapporteurs criticized the Turkish government, issuing a statement warning that the security crackdown “had undermined the chance for informed debate on the referendum. They said a state of emergency imposed after the abortive putsch had been used to justify repressive measures that might well intensify if Erdoğan’s powers are enhanced,” Reuters reported.

Hallinan also recently outlined how Erdoğan has “stacked the deck” for the vote:

Using last summer’s failed coup as a shield, he’s declared a state of emergency, fired 130,000 government employees, jailed 45,000 people—including opposition members of parliament—and closed down 176 media outlets. The opposition Republican People’s Party says it’s been harassed by death threats from referendum supporters and arrests by the police.

Meanwhile he’s deliberately picked fights with Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands to help whip up a storm of nationalism, and he charges that his opponents are “acting in concert with terrorists.” Selahattin Demirtas, a member of parliament and co-chair of the Kurdish-dominated People’s Democratic Party, the third largest political formation in Turkey, is under arrest and faces 143 years in prison. Over 70 Kurdish mayors are behind bars.

Erdoğan’s AKP government, Shafak further noted, “is supported by the far-right and Euro-skeptic MHP (the Nationalist Movement party). Together they form the largest bloc in the parliament.”

“The opposition is fragmented, disorganized,” she added, noting that it includes the secularist CHP (the Republican People’s party), the Kurdish community, and Turkish conservative leader Meral Akşener.

“But the staunchest opponents of the AKP-MHP bloc are ordinary Turkish citizens,” Shafak said: “Students, professionals, artists, minorities, and especially feminists. The women’s movement in Turkey is going through a transformation and revival. This is not a coincidence. When societies slide into authoritarianism, ultranationalism and fanaticism, women have much more to lose than men. Women have been holding anti-AKP rallies. They organize campaigns on social media, writing hayir (no) with their bodies, urging everyone to hang purple cloth from their windows and balconies as a sign of support for gender equality.”

If the referendum passes, the changes will take effect with the next general elections, which are slated for 2019.

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The Nuclear Mafia and Their Accomplices

Nuclear Power Bums, Bailouts, and Bankruptcy

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The James A. Fitzpatrick Nuclear Power Plant in Scriba, N.Y. (Photo: Entergy Nuclear/flickr/cc)

You have to hand it to the nuclear industry for socializing costs and privatizing profits. Last year, lobbyists for operators of dirty, deadbeat old reactors won massive public subsidies — bailouts — in New York and Illinois that will keep decrepit, retirement-age reactors from shutting down.

Instead of turning off the rattle traps — and investing public funds in renewables – state-sponsored electric ratepayer handouts in the two states will total $10 billion over 12 years. Remember Reagan’s mythical “welfare queens”? These utilities are welfare gods, propping up decrepit reactors by buying entire state legislatures that in turn legalize monthly electric bill increases.

In New York, the Fitzpatrick reactor (Entergy Corp) and Nine Mile Point station (Exelon Corp) join the Ginna reactor in foisting rate hikes on customers, giveaways that will keep the failed reactors spewing “allowable” radioactive emissions to the air and water indefinitely.

Tim Knauss, reporting for the Syracuse Post-Standard wrote, “The once money-losing nuclear plants are now expected to add millions to the profits of parent company Exelon Corp.” The windfall for the dividend-earning class is considerable. A single large power reactor can draw $1 million in profit every month for the owners and shareholders.

In Illinois, the Clinton and Quad Cities reactors will be saved from the axe by a similar bailout engineered by Exelon Corp last December. Like clockwork, Exelon told it investors in February that “cash flow and profit outlook have improved thanks to the New York nuclear subsidies and a similar program adopted in Illinois,” Knauss reported. Dave Kraft, director of Chicago-based Nuclear Energy Information Service, explained the downside in an email: “Mortgaging our energy future by bailing out the energy past deliberately stifles the real energy and climate solutions we need: more energy efficiency, and aggressive use of renewables. The utilities that rationalize ‘bailout’ have no real concern for either climate change relief or consumers’ pocketbooks — only their own corporate bottom line. Legislators who think otherwise are either naïve and ignorant or bought-and-paid-for — or both.”

It gets worse. According to Prof. Karl Grossman, the nuclear “industry hopes that if New York succeeds, it could pressure other states to adopt similar subsides.” One Reuters headline was: “New York could show the way to rescue US nuclear plants.” Case in point: in Ohio Apr. 26, Sen. John Eklund (R) put up Senate Bill 128 which, if enacted, will add a hefty tax to electric bills and bail out FirstEnergy, saving its otherwise bankrupt Davis-Besse and Perry reactors from closure. Ohio citizens’ groups and others are fighting this corporate welfare. AARP Ohio said the give-away would raise electric bills “almost $60 a year for up to 16 years — a real burden for people on fixed incomes.” The Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, the American Petroleum Institute-Ohio, the Alliance for Energy Choice, and the Electric Power Supply Association all argue that the bill only pads FirstEnergy’s bank account while other states –including Wisconsin, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Nebraska — have opted to let insolvent reactors close for good.

To postpone nuclear power’s inevitable demise, the failed industry needs to take the subsidies nationwide, according to Tim Judson, Director of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS) in Maryland. Judson warned April 4 that, “The price would be outrageous. If reactor subsidies go nationwide, it could cost $130-$280 billion by 2030.” Bailout legislation for dilapidated reactors is now pending: in Connecticut, for Millstone 2 & 3; in New Jersey, for Salem 1 & 2 and Hope Creek; in Texas, for South Texas 1 & 2 and Comanche Peak 1 & 2; in Maryland, for Calvert Cliffs 1 & 2; and for nine reactors in Pennsylvania including Beaver Valley 1 & 2, Three Mile Island 1, Susquehanna 1 & 2, Limerick 1 & 2, and Peach Bottom 2 & 3.

Buddy Can You Spare a Billion Dollars?

At the other end of current nuclear biz, reactor construction delays and cost overruns have now bankrupted Toshiba’s Westinghouse Electric. Westinghouse, as the New York Times said, is “a once-proud name that, in years past, symbolized … supremacy in nuclear power.” That was then; before David Shipley, writing for Bloomberg, reported that the March 29 “bankruptcy of Westinghouse Electric Co. is yet more evidence, if anyone needed any, that the economics of nuclear power are not good… nuclear energy can’t compete against cheap natural gas and ever-cheaper renewables.”

Toshiba/Westinghouse has lost over $6 billion trying to build four new reactors in the United States, two in Georgia and two in South Carolina, which may now be abandoned. The Vogtle project in Waynesboro, Georgia was first projected to cost $14 billion: no bargain at all considering the plummeting cost of solar, and wind, and the “negawatts” produced by conservation and efficiency. Now three years behind schedule and with Westinghouse buried under a mountain of law suits, one utility expert testified the actual cost will be over $21 billion. “Too cheap to meter” was always too pricey to fathom. On March 30, Toshiba said Westinghouse had total debt of $9.8 billion.

As Judson at NIRS says, “It’s imperative that environmental, consumer, and clean energy advocates get active — both to stop these bailouts from coming to more states and to make sure [Trump] doesn’t rubber-stamp a massive national reactor bailout, like state utility commissions did in the 1990s. … We can’t afford to let that happen again.”

John LaForge is on the Nukewatch staff and edits its Quarterly.

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