After 11 years as Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected on August 10th President of the Republic of Turkey. 53 million Turkish voters were eligible to cast their ballots in this first ever direct universal suffrage elections of the country’s history, which led to a rare first round victory of Erdogan. He received 51.95% of the votes, despite growing opposition to his authoritarian style and allegations of corruption in the government. Despite a low turnout, his coming presidency is likely to transform the country’s balance of powers in favour of the executive.
The Kazakh government was reshuffled on Wednesday 6 August by President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Two main priorities were put forward : the reduction of the number of ministries and the creation of a super-sized Energy Ministry. These decisions reinforce the position of personalities close to the President while trying to limit the impact of Western sanctions on Russia.
Afgelopen weekend (1-3 augustus) organiseerden wij, in samenwerking met de lokale partner de Democratische Partij van Moldavië (DPM), een training voor jongeren in Moldavië. De training vond plaats in Orhei, ongeveer 40 km van de hoofdstad Chisinau. Aan de trainingen deden 25 jonge enthousiaste deelnemers mee.
A Siberian independence march that was planned in Novosibirsk for 17 August was banned by the Russian government yesterday. In parallel, authorities have threatened to block BCC’s Russian version over its reports on separatist protests and more precisely an interview of the march’s organiser, Artyom Loskutov. They declared his intervention "calls to mass unrest, extremist activities or participation in illegal public events", which is legally forbidden in the Russian Federation. The event contradicts Moscow’s recent support to independence movements in former Soviet states such as Ukraine and Moldova.
Twenty-nine days after the beginning of the “Protective Edge” operation launched by the Israeli Army, Tsahal, Israel has started withdrawing its soldiers from the Gaza Strip. After several failed attempts to install a ceasefire, both sides have agreed to indirect negotiations under Egyptian conditions. Israeli and Hamas delegations should start peace talks in Cairo today.
Caucasus is under strain of renewed tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh. An outbreak of fighting in Azerbaijan’s breakaway region left more than fifteen soldiers dead, while both Armenian and Azeri government accused each other of fuelling clashes. Recent events have been the deadliest since the 1994 ceasefire and raise concern about a degeneration of the conflict.
Senior Kosovo leaders face indictment for crimes against humanity after a report by US prosecutor Clint Williamson was released on 29 July. The charges include killings, abductions, disappearances, sexual violence and other forms of persecutions against Serb and Roma minority populations, as well as political opponents, since the end of the conflict with Serbia in 1999. Although the suspects are not named, they are referred to as "senior officials of the former Kosovo Liberation Army" (KLA), who fought against Slobodan Milosevic’s Serbian regime. The EU special investigative task force (SITF) which led the investigation is likely to prosecute some top figures of Kosovo politics, who accessed leadership positions after the country’s independence in 2008.
The Hague’s Permanent Arbitration Court sentenced Russia to pay the historically high amount of USD 50 billion to oil company Yukos shareholders on Monday 28 July. This sum represents a compensation for the breaking up and nationalisation of the company in 2005. Most of its assets had been transferred to majority state-owned Rosneft, one of the companies that have been targeted by the United States’ latest sanctions against Russia. The ruling may have big consequences on Russia’s economic stability while the country is on the verge of recession.
Afgelopen weekend organiseerden wij samen met de UK Labour Partij een regionale training in Chisinau, Moldavië, waar jongeren uit 5 landen aan meededen. De lokale organisatie was in handen van de jongeren van de Democratische Partij van Moldavië.
Two Ukrainian parties left the majority coalition in Parliament today. The Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) and the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda declared they would leave Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s government in order to call for new elections and clear what the leader of Svoboda called “Moscow agents” in the chamber. The news could put an end to dissolution of the Ukrainian Communist Party that was agreed on by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Tuesday 22 July. The decision was contested by the Communist Party which filed a complaint, and declared that it underlines the "lawlessness prevailing" in Ukraine.