Erdogan’s ruling AKP ready to accept Turkey's election recount results

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP will accept the results of local election recounts in Ankara and Istanbul. (File photo/AFP)
Updated 06 April 2019
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Erdogan’s ruling AKP ready to accept Turkey's election recount results

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling AKP will accept the results of local election recounts in Ankara and Istanbul no matter which party is declared the winner, a party spokesman said on Saturday.
The AKP won most votes nationwide in last Sunday’s election, but results showed the ruling party lost Ankara and was also narrowly defeated in Istanbul in what would be one of their worst setbacks in a decade and a half in power.
Electoral authorities are conducting a recount in scores of districts in Ankara and in Istanbul where tallies showed the opposition CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu with a very slim lead over the AKP.
“At the end of the day, we will accept the final result regardless of whether it is to our advantage or disadvantage,” AKP spokesman Omer Celik told a briefing for the foreign press in Istanbul.
Voters may have punished the AKP at the ballot box, with Turkey’s economy in recession after a currency crisis last year that hit Turkish households hard when the lira lost 30 percent of its value.
Losing Istanbul would be a blow to Erdogan, who built his political career as mayor of the city before becoming prime minister and later president.
In Istanbul, CHP candidate Imamoglu and the AKP’s Binali Yildirim both declared victory when preliminary results showed them in a dead heat.
The AKP later appealed saying it had found irregularities in tens of thousands of votes.
Imamoglu’s party said on Saturday he was still ahead by close to 18,000 votes with half of the recount completed. He has said he expects the recount to be finished by the end of the weekend, but the AKP could still appeal again to the Supreme Electoral Council.
Celik said the AKP would still control districts and municipal councils in both of the key cities even if they lost the mayor’s offices. But he said the party would not deliberately block opposition mayor’s agendas.
Erdogan, in power for 16 years, fought hard before the vote, holding rallies across Turkey where he described the election of mayors and district councils as a battle for the nation’s survival.


Israel says 12 Palestinian buildings destroyed in controversial demolition

Updated 1 min 22 sec ago
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Israel says 12 Palestinian buildings destroyed in controversial demolition

  • EU and UN officials disapproved of Israeli demolition of Palestinian homes
  • Palestinian Authority said the buildings are located under their control according to 1990s Oslo accords
JERUSALEM: Israel said Tuesday a total of 12 Palestinian buildings it considered illegally constructed were demolished in a controversial operation the previous day, while a UN preliminary assessment showed 24 people displaced.
The demolitions of Palestinian homes, most of which were still under construction, drew condemnation from the European Union and UN officials.
Israel says the homes south of Jerusalem were built too close to its separation barrier cutting off the occupied West Bank, posing a security risk, and the demolitions were approved by its supreme court following a lengthy process.
Palestinian leaders expressed outrage at the demolitions in the Sur Baher area, which straddles the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem.
They note that most of the buildings were located in areas meant to be under Palestinian Authority civilian control under the Oslo accords of the 1990s.
Before dawn Monday, hundreds of Israeli police and soldiers sealed off buildings in the area while residents and activists were dragged out.
A statement from Israeli defense ministry unit COGAT said “12 buildings and two building foundations were demolished,” adding that they were “built illegally.”
Israel’s supreme court “ruled that the buildings may be demolished as they constitute a security danger to the area of the security fence,” the statement said.
UN humanitarian agency OCHA said a preliminary assessment showed 24 people, including 14 children, were displaced.
More than 300 people were affected by the demolitions, it said.
Prior to the demolitions, OCHA said the buildings were to include some 70 apartments. It said those being displaced were from three households.
On June 18, a 30-day notice was given by Israeli authorities informing of their intent to demolish the buildings.
Residents fear another 100 buildings in the area in a similar situation could be at risk in the near future.
Israel occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.
It began construction of the separation barrier during the bloody second Palestinian intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s and says it is necessary to protect against attacks.
Palestinians see it as an “apartheid wall” and a potent symbol of the Israeli occupation.