Concerns about the Turkish presidency’s power

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On Sky News’s All Out Politics with Adam Boulton, 17 July 2017

Lots of people in Turkey are very uncomfortable, even within his own party, about how authoritarian President Erdoğan has become and how much power is being concentrated specifically around him rather than the institution of the presidency.

 

Michael appeared on Adam Boulton’s Monday morning politics show to discuss the state of Turkey one year after the failed coup attempt, the continuing implications for Turkish domestic politics and what support President Erdoğan retains abroad.

 

After the coup, Turkey divided ‘right down the middle’

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“Turkey is divided right down the middle, even though we’re getting these pictures of flag-waving people in the streets defending Turkish democracy. It just isn’t the full picture.”
Me discussing a year since the Turkish coup on BBC News earlier this evening.

BBC News channel, 15 July 2017

BBC World News, 15 July 2017

Turkish referendum aftermath

BBC News channel

On 16 April, a referendum on a “Turkish-style” executive presidential system in Turkey produced a narrow victory for Yes, although the No camp refused to concede and said it would challenge the outcome.

In a number of appearances the following day on the BBC, Michael explained how the Turkish electoral authorities’ decision regarding a missing official stamp had led to widespread claims of electoral fraud in the vote.

He also explained how the new “Turkish-style” executive presidency system would make it a lot harder to scrutinise the office holder of the presidency.

BBC News channel, 17 April 2017

Outside Source, 17 April 2017

‘Ballot papers could have been printed at home’

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On Sky News, 17 April 2017, following the previous day’s executive presidency referendum in Turkey which resulted in an unofficial Yes result.

“Ballot papers need to carry an official seal. That seal is from the president of the polling station, the person who’s in charge of running things around that ballot box.

“What the election authorities in Turkey said yesterday, just as the ballot boxes were closing, was that any ballot that does not carry that official seal will be considered valid.

“That notionally means that somebody could at home have printed reams and reams of ballot papers, pre-stamped them Yes, and forced them into people’s hands as they entered the polling station – which does infringe on the privacy of the ballot box and makes the result potentially not healthy.”

‘One person is dying daily’

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Contributing to a report on Sky News, 5 January 2017, following a bombing in İzmir.

“In the last 18 months there have been dozens of bombings, shootings and attacks on security personnel – that’s resulted in the deaths of 500 people. That’s one person a day. That’s the context of Turkey’s security problem.”

Istanbul bombing: civil society perspective

BBC World News

39 people were killed and at least 70 were injured when a gunman opened fire at a high-end nightclub in Istanbul in the first few hours of New Year’s Day 2017.

In a number of appearances on BBC World News and the Outside Source programme, Michael brought some context to the growing security problem in Turkey, a country under attack on multiple fronts.

But there is also a civil society perspective, he said, because few people in the country feel able to ask awkward questions of their superiors.

Outside Source, 2 January 2017

BBC World News, 2 January 2017

BBC World News, 1 January 2017

No-one in Turkey asks awkward questions any more

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On Sky News, 1 January 2017, following a night club shooting in Istanbul.

“How is it that somebody could come into the centre of Istanbul with such weaponry and commit such an atrocity?

“The problem is your correspondent can ask those questions but in Turkey very few people are.

“People are afraid for their jobs, people are afraid for their liberty and so awkward questions are not being asked and awkward questions are what functioning societies really operate on.”

Parallels: the PKK and the IRA

LBC Maajid Nawaz

Early on Saturday 17 December, more than a dozen Turkish soldiers on day leave were killed in a suicide bombing in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. In an appearance on LBC’s Maajid Nawaz programme later that day, Michael explains the situation in Turkey to a UK audience by drawing comparisons to the IRA in the 1980s.

      Michael Daventry with Maajid Nawaz, 17 December 2016 - LBC

‘Most astonishing night I’ve ever witnessed’

LBC Andrew Castle

The morning after a section of the military attempted to seize power in Turkey, Michael appeared on LBC radio’s Andrew Castle show to try and make sense of a bewildering night.

      Michael Daventry with Andrew Castle, 16 July 2016 - LBC