Dhaka Courier

Turkey’s opposition won a high-stakes rerun of the Istanbul mayoral election


Turkey’s opposition won a high-stakes rerun of the Istanbul mayoral election, a serious blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and a landmark victory in a country where many feared democracy was failing. Shortly after initial results pointing to a landslide win for the opposition coalition candidate, Ekrem İmamoğlu, started emerging, the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), Binali Yıldırım, conceded and congratulated his rival.

The repeat election, designed to undo İmamoğlu’s narrow surprise win in the 31 March contest, was an unprecedented test for both Turkey’s fragile democratic institutions and Erdoğan’s political future. Initial results showed that with 99% of ballots counted the People’s Republican party (CHP) candidate had increased his lead in March, of 13,000 votes, to an astonishing 777,000, or 54%.


Facebook’s fledgling cryptocurrency faced mounting scrutiny on Tuesday as European central bankers and regulators demanded more detail on the social media giant’s Libra project. Britain’s top financial regulator said there was not yet enough information to understand Libra, adding that the project could be very significant for public policy and that it would not easily get the go-ahead without further disclosure.

Facebook last week announced plans to launch Libra within the first half of 2020, part of an effort to expand beyond social media to e-commerce and digital payments. Cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin remain one of the least-regulated areas of finance.


A US-designed economic blueprint for Israeli-Palestinian peace was launched in Bahrain on without the participation of either Palestinian or Israeli officials. The Palestinians boycotted the conference and a late decision was taken not to invite Israelis. A handful of Palestinian business leaders did make it, for what is widely seen as a “vanity project” for Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Kushner’s “peace to prosperity” plan envisages $50bn being spent on investments in the occupied territories and neighbouring countries hosting Palestinian refugees. Kushner believes the plan would create a million jobs, halve Palestinian poverty and double the size of the Palestinian economy. However, the whole plan is contingent on a political solution to the seven-decade conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, which looks further away than ever.


Some 250 migrant children have been moved from an overcrowded border station in Texas where they had been held for weeks. Lawyers given access by a judge said the children were "severely neglected". One of them told the BBC that children were "locked up in horrific cells where there's an open toilet in the middle of the room" where they ate and slept.

Many parents crossing the US border, most of them from Central America, were separated from their children in 2018. Separately, border patrol in Texas reported the deaths of seven migrants this week who had apparently attempted to circumvent the immigration system – including two babies and a toddler. In a statement, the border authority acknowledged that the Clint facility was not suited to the task.

  • DhakaCourier
  • Issue 51
  • Vol 35
  • World this week

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