Turkish journalist Ali H. Aslan: Erdogan has become more powerful than ever / He used the coup attempt to finalize his Islamist revolution ​Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "has become more powerful than ever"following the attempted coup last week, says in an interview with Ali H. Aslan, a Turkish journalist who has worked for Zaman newspaper. Aslan said Turkey might have faced the risk of civil war if the coup plotters had succeeded, but now there is a lot of fear among the opposition. Despite mutual threats, neither NATO nor Turkey would threaten their relationship, Aslan believes. On Fethullah Gulen, he believes the US would not extradite him unless the Erdogan regime provides clear evidence against him.
​VIDEO INTERVIEW Nigel Farage answers why he is still in the European Parliament - a "turkey who voted for Christmas". Plus: his position on Article 50 and racist outbursts in Britain UKIP leader Nigel Farage says in an interview given to on Wednesday morning that he would not leave his seat as a MEP because he has to watch "like a hawk" what happens to the outcome of leave negotiation, in the wake of the Brexit referendum. He says that unless Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which marks the formal launch of the EU exit procedures, is invoked quickly, "there will be a lot of anger". And he dodges questions about his feeling responsible for a recent wave of anti-immigrant, racist outbursts in British society.
Exit Polls: ​Social Democrats lead in Romania local elections, with key win in Bucharest. Surprises across the country despite strong apathy Social Democratic (PSD) candidate Gabriela Firea would become the first woman to serve as mayor of Romanian capital city Bucharest, according to exit polls for local elections announced on Sunday evening. Romanians voted their local administration across the country today, despite massive apathy, and their ballot offered several surprises. Bucharest fared worst among major cities in terms of voter turnout, with only a third of its voting population showing up at polling stations. And a newly formed party claiming to represent those who lost trust in traditional parties and corrupt politicians faired way better than the the second biggest political party in Bucharest.
Apathy-hit ​Romanians vote in local polls marked by fight against corruption and seen as test for upcoming parliamentary elections ​Some 18 million Romanians are invited to cast their votes in local elections due to take place across the country on Sunday. The ballot comes amid significant voter apathy caused by increasing general distrust in politicians and, particularly, by discontent with the people that parties have pushed forward to run for mayoral seats. The poll is seen as a test for parliamentary elections later this year and analysts warn it may have an impact on the current technocratic government in Bucharest.
Romanian court issues  arrest warrant against Israeli billionaires Beny  Steinmetz, Tal Silberstein and Shimon Shevez A Romanian court has approved arrest warrants against Israeli businessmen Tal Sliberstein, Shimon Shevez and Beny Steinmetz, indicted in a major illegal land retrocession case. The decision to issue the warrants may be appealed, but should it become final they would become targets of international pursuit.
The balance of navy power at the Black Sea: How do the fleets of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey compare to that of Russia The Black Sea has become a hotspot in the still tenser relations between NATO and Russia and questions have been rising what countries like Romania can do against a possible Russian aggression. Romanian PM this week called for an active NATO presence in the Black Sea, while the Romanian Defense Ministry has launched a debate on the prospects of creating a joint NATO fleet in the region. But how do the fleets of countries such as Romania, Bulgaria or Turkey compare to Russia's?
Romanian Justice minister gives first sign that anti-graft head Kovesi's term in office may not be extended ​Romania's new Justice minister Raluca Pruna has said in an interview published by Romanian newspaper Romania libera that while there is a legal possibility that a person be re-invested as chief prosecutor "the Romanian society is rather antagonistic currently" and a re-investment may lead to criticism. Minister Pruna's allusion to Laura Codruta Kovesi, the head of the National Anti-corruption Department which has led a major crusade against high level graft for years, is quite transparent and may be seen as a first signal that Kovesi's term in office may not be extended.
Romanian designated PM Dacian Ciolos announces full government team Diplomats, business people, NGO representatives, people who have worked with European bodies and just a handful of political appointees form the new, technocratic government that Romania's prime minister designate Dacian Ciolos announced on Sunday. Earlier this week, Ciolos, a former European Commissioner for Agriculture, was chosen by President Klaus Iohannis earlier this week to form a new government to replace the Social Democratic government led by Victor Ponta, who resigned a week before in the wake of a deadly nightclub fire in Bucharest and subsequent massive protests against corruption.
Two Romanian dead in Paris terrorist disaster. Romanian authorities condemn attacks ​Two Romanian citizens died in the bloody terrorist attacks that hit Paris killing nearly 130 on Friday night, Romanian Foreign ministry announced on Saturday, as Romanian authorities stated their solidarity with France and condemned the attacks. Security measures were strengthened around all French institutions in Romania, according to a press release of the French Embassy to Bucharest. All cultural events scheduled by te French Institute between November 16-20 have been cancelled or postponed.
Romanian President Iohannis names Education minister as interim prime minister in wake of PM Ponta's resignation​ ​Romanian President Klaus Iohannis accepted PM Victor Ponta's resignation on Wednesday and decided to name incumbent Education minister, Sorin Campeanu, as interim prime minister, he said on Thursday. Iohannis also announced that for the first time ever he planned to invite a new entity to political consultations over the formation of a new government - the civil society.
New wave of massive protests in Bucharest and other cities as Romanians show prime minister's resignation is not enough in wake of nightclub fire disaster Some 35,000 people joined another wave of protests against Romania's political class in Bucharest and other major cities across the country on Wednesday, showing that the resignation of prime minister Victor Ponta with his government and of a prominent mayor of a Bucharest district was not enough of a change. It was the second night of protests, sparked by public outrage in the wake of a nightclub fire that killed dozens and injured over 100 on Friday - an accident blamed ultimately on corruption and abuse in office.
Romanian PM Victor Ponta resigns: I'm "giving up my mandate" in wake of deadly nightclub fire and major street protests. Romanian PM Victor Ponta announced on Wednesday he was giving up his mandate and the mandate of his government. He made the statement following a major march in Bucharest on Tuesday night, which saw 25,000 people protest his government and other authorities in the wake of a nightclub fire on Friday that killed 32 people and injured dozens of others.UPDATE Following Ponta's announcement, both the Social Democrats and deputy PM Gabriel Oprea's UNPR party announced they would want to remain in government, but Oprea dismissed the possibility of him retaining a government job. The opposition Liberals said they wanted early elections.  New protests are planned for Wednesday evening.UPDATE 2 President Iohannis said in a statement on Wednesday afternoon that the resignation of the government came "way too late" and that people had to die for it to happen. And he said he would start consultations with political parties tomorrow or the day after tomorrow
VIDEO Major march against Romania's corrupted political class in Bucharest in wake of nightclub fire disaster that killed 32 Some 25,000 people marched through Bucharest on Tuesday evening in one of the most intense protests the capital of Romania has seen in years. The march, organized mainly on social media, came in the wake of a fire disaster that killed 32 nightclub goers on Friday night, an accident that many have come to blame on widespread corruption. Throngs of people took to the streets in what became a protest against the whole political class.
The Bucharest Colectiv Club fire disaster: Public outrage as #corruptionkills "Coruptia ucide" is the Romanian wording for "corruption kills". The hashtag #coruptiaucide is becoming ubiquitous in Romanian social media as outrage engulfs the public in the wake of the bloodiest event the country has seen in 20 years: the fire that killed 30 and injured at least 180 in a Bucharest nightclub on Friday. As sadness turned to fury, the causes of the Colectiv Club incident are channeling people's anger towards authorities in a country where corruption is leaving people hopeless despite the ongoing, unprecedented fight against it.
Two Spaniards, one Italian wounded in Bucharest tragedy that saw 27 killed, up to 200 injured in music club fire At least 27 people, mostly teenagers and young adults, died in a fire that engulfed a music venue in Bucharest on Friday night, while other up to 200 people were injured, according to official figures available by noon on Saturday. Two Spanish citizens and an Italian were identified among the injured, according to Romania's Intelligence Service. The fire took place during a concert as fireworks were let off to mark the launch of a rock band's album.
Romania's governing party elects leader with crushing 97% of votes The man who has led Romania's governing Social Democratic Party (PSD) for the past several months, Liviu Dragnea, was elected party president officially with a crushing 97% of votes from party members on Sunday, according to official figures announced today. Dragnea was the sole runner for the top seat within the party, in a mock election which, according to PSD figures, saw more than 400,000 party members go out and vote on a bleak, rainy Sunday.
UPDATE Censure motion against Ponta government fails in Romanian Parliament. Thousands protest against prime minister in Bucharest The Romanian Parliament debates on Tuesday a Liberal-supported censure motion against the Social Democratic-led government of PM Victor Ponta, who the opposition says is a "compromised prime minister". Should the Parliament pass the motion, the government is dismissed, but the Liberals have very little chance of success as it failed to secure a majority on the vote. Meanwhile, thousands of people defied heavy rain in Bucharest in the morning to join a protest against Victor Ponta.UPDATE The censure motion has failed, with only 207 votes in favor of the total 275 needed for it to pass
​PHOTO FEATURE Refugees: a journey through Serbia It’s Monday. After a six hours' drive, I get to the border. The customs officer has me open the trunk, asks me where I am headed to and bursts out laughing when I tell him about the Belgrade refugees. I am puzzled by his reaction, still he waves at me to keep going. The Serbian customs officer, on the other hand, is in no mood for jokes, he gives me a serious look, straight into my eyes, for half a minute or so. I suddenly feel guilty and try not to blink, he might just allow me to go on. He wins though, I am the first one to blink. I expect he’ll order me to take everything out of the car, but he suddenly turns his back at me without another word. I mumble a very timid "can I go now?" , but no answer comes, so I cautiously drive on.
Disputes flare as Hungary prepares to build anti-refugee barbed wire fence along Romania border Bilateral relations between Romania and Hungary got tense on Tuesday as the government in Budapest announced plans to build a fence along the border with Romania, similar to that along the Serbian border aimed at putting a halt to the flow of migrants. The Foreign Ministry in Bucharest said it was a "politically incorrect gesture", while a top Hungarian officials accused the Romanian PM of extremist and false statements regarding Hungary's treatment of migrants.
Most prominent radical nationalist in post-communist Romania Corneliu Vadim Tudor has died Corneliu Vadim Tudor, for a long time the notorious leader of radical nationalists in Romanian politics, died in a medical on Tuesday, news agency Mediafax has reported. Tudor, 65, was hospitalized on Monday morning following a heart attack. He died several hours after undergoing a surgical intervention.


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