AKP projected to win majority in 2nd Turkey election of 2015


After an election campaign filled with violence and crackdowns on opposition media, it looks like we have a different result from the June election…

BBC – “Turkey election: Ruling AKP ‘heads for majority'”:

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) looks likely to claim a majority in a critical parliamentary election, results indicate.

With 95% of all votes counted, state-run Anadolu Agency said the party was on 49.5%, with the main opposition CHP on 25.3%.

The pro-Kurdish HDP and nationalist MHP appear likely to cross the 10% threshold needed to claim seats.
Current projections indicate the ruling party will gain substantially more than the 276 seats needed to gain a majority.

However, projections show it will fall just short of the amount of seats needed to call a referendum on changing the constitution and increasing the powers of the president, AKP founder Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


CPJ: “In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies”

Arsenal Bolt: Quick updates on the news stories we’re following.

“In times of war, Pentagon reserves right to treat journalists like spies” – Committee to Protect Journalists:

The Pentagon has produced its first Department of Defense-wide Law of War Manual and the results are not encouraging for journalists who, the documents states, may be treated as “unprivileged belligerents.” But the manual’s justification for categorizing journalists this way is not based on any specific case, law or treaty. Instead, the relevant passages have footnotes referring to either other parts of the document or matters not germane to this legal assertion. And the language used to attempt to justify this categorization is weak at best.
At 1,180 pages long and with 6,196 footnotes, the manual includes vague and contradictory language about when and how the category of “unprivileged belligerents” might be applied to journalists. It ignores the most relevant cases where the U.S. military detained war correspondents and accused them of being — using the term coined by Pentagon officials in the 2000s — “unlawful combatants,” without producing evidence or bringing even one accused journalist to trial. The manual mentions international human rights treaties and declarations, but ignores the most important one, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which deals most clearly with the right to free expression and the press.
The manual devotes attention to “classes of persons” who “do not fit neatly within the dichotomy” between combatants and civilians, and replaces the term “unlawful combatants,” which U.S. officials used to refer to terrorist suspects held under extra-legal circumstances in the wake of September 11, 2001 attacks, with “unprivileged belligerent.”

“Unprivileged” means the suspect is not entitled to the rights afforded to prisoners of war under international law and can instead be held as a criminal suspect in a category that includes suspected spies, saboteurs, and guerrillas.

Read the full report from the Committee to Protect Journalists.

You tried it though.

Over the years, many a high school principal or administrator has tried — with varying degrees of success — to suppress something their high school’s student newspaper would like to print. Generally, the content in these cases is inflammatory or inappropriate in some way and occasionally even potentially dangerous. Sometimes, the school officials are actually trying to cover something up.

In many cases, the courts have smacked down these administrators for unconstitutional infringements of students’ rights to free expression and free press (such as it is). Whereas other forms of expression can sometimes be limited for being overly disruptive to the learning environment, the courts seem to feel that broadly speaking, student newspaper content is pretty harmless, however important it might seem in the heat of the moment to students and staff inside a little bubble.

Most administrations would probably be better off ignoring anything that’s not outright criminal or endangering someone’s safety, because the suppression — much like the proverbial coverup — is nearly always worse than the “crime” and blows something tiny into a national story.

And that brings us to this week’s openly mockable student newspaper suppression attempt by a misguided high school principal. The reasonably successful high school football team of Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, PA is called the “Redskins,” like the Washington NFL team and the teams of many other backward schools nationwide. In an effort to protest the highly offensive nature of the team’s name, the staff of the student newspaper vowed not to print the school’s team name — following the lead of a number of major real newspapers for the real football team.

Principal Rob McGee responded initially, in November during state playoffs, by informing the student paper that they “[didn’t] have the right to not use the word Redskins.”

A truly laughable attempt. In what way did the principal think he was going to keep a school paper from not printing the name of the school’s football team? There’s no way that order passes constitutional muster. There’s clearly no public harm or student harm in not printing something in a school paper.

I’m fairly certain that any case where the courts have ever ruled against a student newspaper has been to tell them they did not have a right to print some controversial thing. I doubt there’s ever been a ruling saying they had to print something — short of perhaps some discrimination/equal opportunity case.

Unsurprisingly, the students running the paper now have legal representation and plan to reinstate their policy of refusing to use the term. Good luck stopping them, Principal McGee. You tried it though.