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Charity linked to Erdogan's son received $100 mn in aid

A charity at which Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son sits on the board, received more than $100 million of aid over a four-year period, the government said on Thursday amid graft claims roiling the government. In a written answer to a parliamentary question, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said that Turgev received $99 million (72 million euros) of financial aid from abroad between 2008 and 2012. Domestic donations to Turgev -- which builds and runs student residences -- totalled $14 million, Arinc added, without disclosing the sources of the funds.

Opposition loses bid to annul election in Turkish capital

Turkey's top elections authority on Wednesday rejected a bid by the country's main opposition party to annul a controversial mayoral vote in the capital Ankara, local media said. The Supreme Electoral Board unanimously rejected the request from the Republican People's Party (CHP), which alleged the incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) had won by rigging votes. The decision is the latest blow to the CHP, which lost a bid for a vote recount of the March 30 poll last week.

Turkey opposition leader punched by assailant in parliament

The leader of Turkey's main opposition party was attacked as he entered parliament Tuesday by a stranger who punched and kicked him several times, local media reported. The assault occurred as Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was heading to a weekly party meeting to assess results of local polls on Sunday that were handily won by the ruling Justice and Development Party. Kilicdaroglu's bodyguards immediately overpowered the attacker, who was taken to a police station for questioning, the newspaper Radikal reported.

Turkey's Erdogan says lifting of Twitter ban should be overturned

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday a constitutional court ruling lifting a ban on Twitter was wrong and should be overturned. "The constitutional court's ruling on Twitter did not serve justice. This ruling should be corrected," Erdogan told a parliamentary meeting of his AK Party.

Turkish election board rejects call for Ankara recount

ANKARA (Reuters) - The local election board in the Turkish capital Ankara has rejected a call from the main opposition CHP party to recount the results of Sunday's local election in the city, a source in the CHP told Reuters on Friday. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist-rooted AK Party largely dominated Turkey's electoral map in the local polls, keeping control of the main cities including Istanbul and Ankara, where the CHP had challenged the result. The source said the CHP would appeal the election board's decision.

Erdogan urges Turkey's central bank to cut rates

Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the country's central bank Friday to cut interest rates in order to stimulate the economy after months of political crisis. "The central bank should hold an extraordinary meeting to cut (interest rates) ... just as they met previously to raise them," Erdogan told a press conference. The central bank, which is officially independent, aggressively raised its key interest rates in January in a bid to stem a steep drop in the country's national currency the lira.

Turkey's Erdogan says favours keeping three-term limit for MPs

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he favored keeping a three-term limit for deputies in his ruling AK Party, comments which suggest he may not himself seek a fourth term and could instead be a candidate in August presidential elections. Erdogan also said he had no plans to combine general elections, due in 2015, with the August presidential polls. There has been speculation in Turkey that the general elections could be brought forward.

Turkey's top court rules Twitter ban violates rights

Turkey's top court ruled Wednesday the government violated people's rights by banning Twitter, ordering authorities to unblock the site used to spread corruption allegations against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Constitutional Court unanimously ruled that the ban was a breach of free speech safeguarded by the constitution, sending a statement both to the country's telecommunications authority and the communications ministry to "do what's necessary", Turkish television reported.

Police fire water cannon in Turkish capital at election protest

By Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) - Riot police fired water cannon in the Turkish capital on Tuesday to disperse thousands of people protesting outside the Supreme Electoral Council (YSK) against local election results which saw the ruling party dominate the electoral map.

Erdogan targets enemies after poll triumph

By Humeyra Pamuk and Nick Tattersall ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan looked a step closer to a presidential bid and to gaining the upper hand in a bitter power struggle on Monday, casting strong local election results as a mandate to hunt down enemies within the state "in their lair."
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