The Malta Files: a European version of the Panama Papers, revealing a global web of corruption

On Friday, a variety of news outlets around the world published the Malta Files, a cache of 150,000 documents leaked "from a Malta-based provider of legal, financial and corporate services," revealing, among other things, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was secretly given a $25M oil tanker (!) by Azeri billionaire Mübariz Mansimov, a "friend" of Trump's who was present at the inauguration. Read the rest

Video shows Turkey's Erdogan watched from limo as his guards bashed protesters in Washington, D.C.

New video hit the internet today showing the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, looking on as armed security guards from his entourage violently attacked protesters demonstrating outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington.

Read the rest

As Trump adviser, Flynn stopped a military plan Turkey opposed after being paid $500K as its agent

As Donald Trump's national security adviser, one of the first moves Michael Flynn made was aligned precisely with the wishes of Turkey. But Flynn had a secret. He'd been paid half a million dollars to represent the interests of the Turkish government. And team Trump knew.

Read the rest

'Erdoğan's bodyguards' beat up protesters in D.C. while Turkish leader met Trump at White House

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House today.

While the two authoritarian heads of state chatted, Erdogan's thugs beat the crap out of Kurdish protesters nearby.

Read the rest

On eve of Erdogan-Trump White House visit, Turkey orders arrests of 85 energy and education staff in post-coup probe

Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to meet with the classified-information-leaking U.S. President Donald Trump one day after this story breaks.

Read the rest

Turkey blocks Wikipedia

The online encyclopedia Wikipedia is inaccessible in Turkey, with officials saying it was blocked as an "administrative measure" thereby explaining why the courts weren't involved. Turkish media says the government asked Wikipedia to take stuff down, but was ignored.

"After technical analysis and legal consideration based on the Law Nr. 5651 [governing the internet], an administrative measure has been taken for this website," Turkey's Information and Communication Technologies Authority was quoted as saying, giving no further details. However, the Hurriyet daily newspaper said Wikipedia had been asked to remove content by certain writers whom the authorities accuse of "supporting terror" and of linking Turkey to terror groups. The site had not responded to the demands, Hurriyet said, and the ban was imposed as a result.

The BBC's Mark Lowen says website blocking is common in Turkey, with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube among past targets. Twitter reports that Turkey, whose notoriously thin-skinned president Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently assumed greater powers, is the origin of more than half the requests it receives to remove tweets. Read the rest

The world recoils as Turkey's president steals dictatorial powers (but Trump congratulates him)

Though Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan presides over a nominal democracy, he has surrounded himself with all the trappings of dictatorship: spending more than a billion tax-dollars on a "palace" for himself, hiring the mafia to smuggle his money-laundering kid out of Italy ahead of the police, conspiring to launder millions himself, brutalizing protesters, jailing critics and comedians, arresting and purging public institutions of his opposition, and more. Read the rest

Brawl in Turkish parliament

After 2016's bungled coup and as part of his subsequent crackdown on political enemies and the media, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants new powers to hire and fire government ministers. The debate in Turkey's parliament got out of hand, with members of the ruling AK Party and opposition Republican People's Party getting into fisticuffs. Read the rest

Chestburster roast turkey

Prepare a turkey as usual, but add a prosciutto-wrapped pork loin with spaghetti teeth into the just-split chest cavity of the bird, garnished with dye-enhanced gravy and cranberry sauce -- YUM! Read the rest

Turkish dictator fires 15,000 more public workers, shuts down 375 more NGOs and 9 more news outlets

Turkish dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his massive, authoritarian purge of his country's public institutions, news media and civil society groups with a fresh wave of public-sector firings, bringing the total number of jettisoned public servants to 100,000. Read the rest

Turkish court fines bystander/tourist who sued police for shooting out his eye

Shavkatbek Saipov was vacationing in Turkey in 2013 when he was hit in the eye by a teargas cannister fired by police during the brutal crackdown on the Occupy Gezi protests; he lost the eye and sued the Turkish police. Read the rest

Wikileaks' dump of "Erdogan emails" turn out to be public mailing list archives

Earlier this month, Wikileaks published a database of six years' of email from AKP, Turkey's ruling party -- but as outside experts have plumbed that database, all they can find is archives from public mailing lists, old spam, and some sensitive personal information from private citizens. Read the rest

UPDATED: Wikileaks dumps years' worth of email from Turkey's ruling party

Update: This dump turned out to primarily consist of public mailing list traffic; Wikileaks promotions of the dump included links to spreadsheets containing thousands of Turkish women's sensitive personal information, and the organization has largely ducked responsibility for its mistakes, attacking those who point out its mistakes.

Wikileaks have just published the Erdoğan Emails, which is claimed to represent years' worth of email from the APK, the Turkish ruling party, with messages dating from 2010 to as recent as July 6. Read the rest

Turkey: 6,000 arrested following coup, but that doesn't make it an inside job

The failed military coup in Turkey was bizarre, even (especially) by the standards of Turkish military coups (which is a surprisingly large data-set), and in the wake of the coup, 6,000 people were promptly rounded up and arrested including respected judges, powerful military leaders, prosecutors, and a whole list of others whose names seem to have been put on an enemies list long before any coup. Read the rest

Turkey: Military junta takes over CNN Turk studios, but broadcast continues and it's surreal

Turkey is in the throes of an attempted military coup at the time of this post.

Military officials aligned with the junta tried took over CNN Turk in Istanbul, minutes after the news network reported the death toll from Parliament, and word that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was flying back to the city after being briefly (?) sort of ousted from control.

Read the rest

Turkey coup: military says it controls country

An attempted coup is underway in Turkey. Earlier today, barricades were erected on bridges in Istanbul and jets were spotted flying low in Ankara; by 11:30 p.m., the Prime Minister said that the government remained in charge; shortly before midnight, the military—or at least part of it—said it was. Read the rest

German court bans Erdogan insult poem

When German chancellor Angela Merkel allowed the prosecution of a comedian who had insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, some thought it was strategic: that by doing so, it exposed the country's ancient ban on insulting heads of state to broad legal scrutiny.

A court in Hamburg, however, has now banned most of the insulting poem from being read in public there, further rattling those worried about free speech in Germany.

In Tuesday's ruling the court found that "Erdogan does not have to put up with the expression of certain passages in view of their outrageous content attacking (his) honour."

The court found that such material overstepped the boundaries of decency in attacking the Turkish leader.

[Comedian Jan] Boehmermann has indicated his poem was a response to Ankara's decision to summon Germany's ambassador to protest a satirical song broadcast on German TV which lampooned Erdogan in far tamer language.

This line, from the court, really sums up the problem: "Through the poem’s reference to racist prejudice and religious slander as well as sexual habits, the verses in question go beyond what the petitioner [Erdogan] can be expected to tolerate.”

"Germany's Ai Weiei," Boehmermann's clever self-appellation, has a good ring to it, but is surely inaccurate. How often does China interpret its laws for the tolerance of a foreign head of state? Read the rest

More posts