Boats carrying Turkish asylum-seekers land in Greece

Mainly Turkish civil servants and military personnel have been seeking political asylum since the 2016 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. (AFP file photo)
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Updated 30 August 2020

Boats carrying Turkish asylum-seekers land in Greece

  • Turkish citizens seeking political asylum claim are being persecuted by the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

CHÍOS, Greece: Two fishing boats carrying 26 Turkish asylum-seekers have reached the Greek island of Chios, Greece’s coast guard said Sunday.
The group, which included children, was rescued by the Greek coast guard as it approached the shore on Saturday.
According to the local news site politischios.gr, the Turkish citizens were seeking political asylum from Greece, claiming they were being persecuted by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Two passengers had drilled holes in the boat as it approached the island to prompt a rescue operation. The pair were later arrested.
The group was tested for coronavirus and transferred to a quarantine center in Lefkonia.
Another boat with 23 Turkish citizens seeking asylum had reached Chios three weeks ago.
Incidents of Turkish people, mainly civil servants and military personnel, reaching the Greek islands and illegally entering via the land border along the Evros River have been reported since the 2016 failed coup against Erdogan’s government.
Greek-Turkish relations are at a boiling point after the deployment of the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis into Greek waters accompanied by Turkish warships on August 10.
The confrontation has reignited a longstanding rivalry over disputed maritime rights and gas resources between Greece and Turkey and they have begun staging competing naval drills.
Greece and Turkey were already divided on issues including migration, Byzantine heritage in Istanbul and tensions over the island of Cyprus.


Algerian parliament vote ‘before year’s end’

Algerians walk across from the People's National Assembly (parliament) building during a voting session on constitutional reforms in the capital Algiers, on September 10, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 22 September 2020

Algerian parliament vote ‘before year’s end’

  • The term of the widely discredited current lower house, elected in 2017, was originally set to end in May 2022

ALGIERS: The Algerian president says early legislative elections aimed at opening parliament to civil society will be held before the end of the year to give a new face to a parliament long dominated by a single party.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune did not set a date but indicated on Sunday evening that the parliamentary voting would follow a national referendum on a constitutional revision to be held Nov. 1, a highly symbolic date marking the start of this North African nation’s seven-year war with France for independence that began Nov. 1, 1954.
The next National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, which “will be made up of lawmakers from universities, civil society, will serve as the base of the ‘New Algeria,’” Tebboune said in an interview with two Algerian newspapers.
“If the people want change, it is time to work to not remain in the ambiguity that prevailed earlier.”
Tebboune was referring to the corruption that highlighted the 20 years of power of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced to resign in April 2019 amid growing peaceful street protests and a push from the then-Army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, who died in December.

If the people want change, it is time to work to not remain in the ambiguity that prevailed earlier.

Abdelmadjid Tebboune, President of Algeria

Tebboune was elected promising change, including a new parliament, though the vote was largely boycotted by the protest movement, the Hirak.
The term of the widely discredited current lower house, elected in 2017, was originally set to end in May 2022.
A new electoral law foreseen in the constitutional revision “will put in place safeguards to keep dirty money out of politics,” the president said, adding that with the constitutional revision Algeria would “truly be at the service of the citizen and not at the service of a group exercising domination.”
Numerous business leaders and two prime ministers have been jailed on corruption charges since the downfall of Bouteflika. During a trial last week, lawmaker Baha Eddine Tliba admitted to paying the former chief of the powerful FLN party Djamel Ould Abbas, to be placed on his list of candidates to ensure him a parliamentary seat.