Turkey’s Erdogan approves constitutional reform bill
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved the constitutional reform package and passed it to the prime ministry. This clears the way for a national referendum for constitutional reform. Turkish citizens will now head to polls to show whether they give approval of the constitutional changes. The referendum is expected to take place on April 16.
A shocking statement came from Kremlin regarding the airstrikes that have martyred three Turkish servicemen. The statement suggested “the deathly strikes were a result of coordinates given to them by the Turkish army.”
“Turkish servicemen should not have been present on those coordinates,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“As for the reasons, they are clear. The situation is evident: unfortunately our military relied on coordinates provided by its Turkish partners when conducting the airstrikes. Turkish servicemen should not have been present at that location,” he added.
Lack of ‘apology’ to Turkey drew great attention.
Kremlin confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin made a phone call to his Turkish counterpart Erdogan, to express his condolences for the “tragic incident.”
Russia only used the term “tragic incident” to explain that “a lack of coordination” caused the incident. As the Turkish Armed Forces did in the past, no expressions such as “accidentally” or “mistakenly” were issued from the Russian side.
Concerning the three Turkish soldiers martyred in the “accidental” Russian airstrikes, Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said, “the martyrdom of our soldiers is an important incident that can not be passed with a dry condolence by Russia.”
The new state of emergency decree which expelled 330 academics from universities caused unrest at AKP’s group board meeting.
As a response to escalating criticisms, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said the list will be sent to the Higher Education Board (YÖK) for re-evaluation and appeals.
Some members of the party reacted to the academics being sacked by saying, “what we claimed that we were subject to in the past is now being done to others.”
Critical U.S. travel ban ruling
A court refused to reinstate U.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order.
A three judge panel on the San Francisco Ninth Court of Appeals unanimously ruled to uphold the verdict of the lower court which barred Trump’s travel-ban enforcement.
Trump had banned refugees and citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries to enter the U.S on basis that “the threat of terrorism risks national security.”
Trump lashed out the appeals court decision. He tweeted in capital letters, “See you in court, the security of our nation is at stake!”
Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu said, “If there are over 150 journalists in jail, could you say that country has democracy? No one in this country has life or property security. Any person can be arrested at any moment.”
Speaking at the party council meeting, Kilicdaroglu reacted to the government’s actions in the pretext of the July 15th betrayal. He said, “They used the rights not permitted in the parliament during the state of emergency. Turkey is a semi-open prison at the moment. Everyone’s passport is being confiscated.”
While mentioning 4 thousand 811 academics being discharged following July 15th failed coup attempt, he indicated “the first problem is the Higher Education Board (YÖK). It doesn’t support scholarship. Nobody is reacting. It is the mission of the intellectual to lead the society.”
He added, “ All of these are done in accordance to the current constitution. Consider what will happen if the constitutional amendments are accepted.”
European Christian Democrats EU draft resolution to anger Turkey
The Christian Democrats in the European Parliament have prepared a new draft resolution calling for structural changes within the EU. The draft also opposes Turkey’s full membership to the EU.
The draft resolution titled, “Our life insurance for our world in a dramatic change,” foresees the EU Commission to downsize and reject Turkey’s full membership into the EU.
The Christian Democrats, who form the European People’s Party, oppose providing any further hope of full membership to Turkey.