Thursday Headlines


Turkey Preparing For Another Round Of Elections
On November 1, Turkey will hold its second parliamentary election in just five months. As in the previous contest, the outcome is proving tricky to predict, but many hope it will not be followed by kind of violence that marred June’s elections. That concern is heightened by reports that the government has been cracking down on the media and has taken over two television stations critical of the government in recent days.

The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, lost its aura of invincibility along with the collapse in Kurdish support in June, and Kurdish voters may once again hold the key on Nov. 1.

The elections will certainly change the political situation in Turkey, but a unifying majority is unlikely to emerge, say some analysts.

“Unless there is a totally unexpected turn of events, the greatest probability is another split parliament that will make rule by coalition necessary. A lesser likelihood is an AKP Party majority, but not one big enough to enable them to change the constitution. In either case, the political situation in the country will be redefined. No one would insist that another election be held within three months,” predicts Iter Turan of the German Marshall Fund.

The Guardian offers a guide to the respective political parties, the latest polls and candidates.

Indonesia Tries To Build Ties On US Visit
On his brief U.S. visit, Indonesian President Joko Widodo signaled the country’s intention to join the Trans Pacific Partnership but it remains unclear whether Jokowi can deliver.

Appearing before an audience at the Brookings Institution, Indonesian President Joko Widodo clearly stated that his country has no role in the current scuffle in the South China Sea between the U.S. and China, but conceded that “we have legitimate interests in peace and stability there.”

He also traveled to the White House for discussions about an array of issues, including building stronger alliances against climate change and maritime security cooperation. More notably, the Indonesian president announced that Indonesia intends to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

“Indonesia is an open economy and with a population of 250 million, we are the largest economy in Southeast Asia,” he said.

Short Takes:

The Chinese government Beijing has decided to end its 35-year-old policy of restricting couples to one child in response to a rapidly aging populace.

Simon Nixon reports in the Wall Street Journal on the Bank of England’s argument in favor of more European integration.

The simmering conflict over China’s construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea is just the beginning.


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