Turkey / by Alistair Galloway

President Erdogan claimed a victory in the Turkish referendum, designed to alter the constitution to drastically increase the president’s power in the country, though opposition parties have demanded a recount. A report from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe and the Council of Europe found that up to 2.5 million votes could have been manipulated in the referendum. The European Union has decided not to suspend Turkey’s bid to join the EU. Several prominent European politicians have spoken out in favor of suspending Turkey’s membership talks, a move that would freeze the annual payment of approximately 650 million USD of EU pre- accession funds to Turkey. For some EU member states, the last threshold to end membership talks with Turkey would be Ankara’s reinstatement of the death penalty, something that has been discussed since Erdogan’s referendum victory. The Turkish government blocked Wikipedia in the country, stating that Wikipedia refused to remove content that suggested Turkey was in cooperation with “terror groups”. Turkish authorities arrested more than 1,000 people throughout the country for suspected ties to the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen. At least 38 people were arrested following protests throughout Turkey against the referendum’s passing vote. According to US officials, Turkey gave coalition forces “about 20 minutes notice” before launching airstrikes on Kurdish troops in Syria, potentially putting American and other coalition forces in the area at risk. Turkey’s central bank has continued to tighten monetary conditions by raising its liquidity lending rate to its highest level since 2015. Consumer price growth has reached its highest point in the country since 2008.