Coup and ‘countercoup’ disrupt Turkish state

first_imgPeoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) held July 23 rally in Istanbul, saying ‘No to coups, democracy now.’Aug. 1 — Two weeks after the collapse of an attempted coup, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Development and Justice Party (AKP) have yet to stabilize the Turkish government and state.The AKP regime has concentrated its repression on those it considers members of the Hizmet organization, led by Fethullah Gülen, who Erdoğan blames for organizing the coup. Gülen has been living in exile in the United States since 1999. Before 2013 he and his group were allied with Erdoğan and the AKP.Neither the Erdoğan nor the Gülen forces represent the working class nor any real anti-imperialist position. They both stand for the continued oppression of the Kurdish community, who make up 18 percent of the 80 million people living in Turkey.On July 24, the CHP — a former ruling party representing the followers of Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey in the 1920s, and now second in parliamentary seats — held a demonstration in Istanbul’s Taksim Square of hundreds of thousands supporting the AKP against the coup makers. AKP speakers also participated. The labor union confederations DISK and KESK supported this action.Erdoğan met with and got support from the leaders of the CHP and also the MHP, the ultra-right party that is fourth strongest in Parliament. He has not sought a meeting with the social-democratic, pro-Kurdish HDP coalition, even though this party spoke against the coup.On July 23, the HDP held a demonstration in Sultangazi Park in Istanbul against the July 15 coup, but also against the “countercoup,” the repressive moves by the AKP ­government.On July 31, Erdoğan said he would have the legal authorities drop charges of “insulting the president” against 2,000 people, many of them journalists. Erdoğan’s government, in office for a decade, has increasingly repressed media coverage in the past few years.Erdoğan consolidates ­authority, weakens stateWhile it is impossible to rule out future attacks on the opposition parties, especially against the social-democratic HDP, or repression of the media, as of now the AKP has struck hardest against members of the military, police, government officials and educators.Since the coup failed, the Turkish regime has detained, removed or suspended “more than 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and schools” over suspected links with Gülen’s organization, according to a July 31 Reuter article. About 150 generals and admirals — 40 percent of the top officers — have been forced to accept dishonorable discharges, along with nearly 1,400 midlevel officers and nearly 9,000 ordinary soldiers.While the AKP and Erdoğan have been able to consolidate political authority and bolster executive power with a 90-day state of emergency declared in the wake of the coup, it is at the cost of disrupting the command structure of the army and the police.Turkey, a regional power across West and Central Asia, also has the second-largest army in NATO. The fate of Turkey’s army concerns the Western imperialists. The Pentagon, which has trained Turkish officers since the 1950s, depends on Turkey as a military ally against Russia and Iran that provides important bases, like the airbase at Incirlik, which enable the U.S. to intervene in the region.By all indications, the July 15 coup attempt, though a serious bid to seize power — hundreds died, thousands were wounded — was launched prematurely in anticipation of Erdoğan and the AKP carrying out a purge. This begs the question: Who within the military might have supported the coup had it been launched decisively and appeared to be winning?Voices close to Erdoğan blame U.S.The Turkish daily newspaper Yeni Şafak, which is reputedly close to the AKP, reported last week that retired U.S. General John F. Campbell, who commanded U.S. troops in Afghanistan, had over the past year funneled $2 million to Turkish generals to support a coup by the Gülen forces. Campbell and the U.S. government deny this.Former CIA officials urged the U.S. government to approve Gülen’s first application for residence, indicating a possible working relationship. It is standard for U.S. agencies to establish contacts throughout society in any important country, and in Turkey the U.S. trained much of the military.Turkish government spokespeople have demanded that the U.S. extradite Gülen back to Turkey. Their implicit message is that by deporting Gülen the U.S. can show good faith with the Turkish government. Otherwise, they say, we have a problem.Erdoğan’s criticism of the U.S., along with the criticism he faces from other NATO members in Europe, gives him the appearance of independence from imperialism. This may help him win support from the population, which is much more anti-imperialist than his regime.Erdoğan and the AKP have recently taken steps to win more room to maneuver Turkish foreign policy in defense of perceived Turkish national interests. This includes apologizing for shooting down a Russian plane on the Turkish-Syrian border. The Turkish ruling class is bound to world imperialism by economic, diplomatic and military ties, however, and Erdoğan’s rule won’t change this.FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Hess slashes 2020 budget by $800m amid declining oil prices

first_img US oil and gas firm Hess originally announced a $3bn budget for 2020. (Credit: Hess Corporation) US oil and gas company Hess has reduced its capital and exploratory budget for 2020 by $800m, owing to the sharp decline in oil prices.The company’s budget for the year now stands at $2.2bn, compared to its previously  announced spending of $3bn.Additionally, the company has entered into a new $1bn loan agreement with a term of three years, which was signed with JPMorgan Chase Bank.The term loan has provisions that need the oil and gas producer to reduce the initial funded amount from JPMorgan, which it plans to do by syndicating the loan to other banks.The US oil and gas firm said that its actions are aimed at further bolstering its cash position and financial liquidity amid the falling oil prices. Hess CEO comments on the revised budgetHess CEO John Hess said: “With 80% of our oil production hedged in 2020, our significantly reduced capital and exploratory budget and our new three year loan agreement, our company is well positioned for this low price environment.“Our focus is on preserving cash and protecting our world class investment opportunity in Guyana.”In Guyana, the US oil and gas company is undertaking the $6bn Liza Phase 2 development alongside ExxonMobil in the offshore Stabroek block. The partners have made a series of oil discoveries in the Stabroek concession.In order to stick to the revised budget, the company’s primary move will be to shift from a six-rig programme in the Bakken formation to just the one rig, with the campaign to be wrapped up by the end of May.The company expects its net production from the Bakken formation following the revised budget to average nearly 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2020, compared to the original guidance of about 180,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.Hess has decided to postpone most of its discretionary exploration and offshore drilling activities with the exception of Guyana.It said in a statement: “In 2020, approximately 80% of the company’s oil production is hedged by put options, with 130,000 barrels a day at $55 per barrel West Texas Intermediate put options and 20,000 barrels a day at $60 per barrel Brent put options.”The company has revised down its forecast for net production in 2020 to 325,000-330,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day with the exclusion of Libya. In January 2020, the company expected to see a net production range of 330,000-335,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Hess has revised its budget for 2020 from $3bn to $2.2bn with plans to reduce its activities in the Bakken formation in the USlast_img read more

Report: Lakers won’t hire new team president to replace Magic Johnson

first_img Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Magic Johnson has always been a hard act to follow.After the 59-year-old Hall of Famer resigned last month as Lakers team president, the franchise has decided not to appoint a successor.An ESPN report outlines that the Lakers will keep their power structure as it’s been operating since April 9, with General Manager Rob Pelinka as the chief basketball decision-maker. He’ll report directly to team owner Jeanie Buss.While the Lakers haven’t shown a pressing concern to replace Johnson, the report is the most definitive indicator yet that the Lakers aren’t searching for a new team president. The streamlined power structure would both serve to increase Pelinka’s influence in the organization, as he previously reported to Johnson, while also increasing his accountability for the Lakers’ state of affairs. The Lakers are preparing to publicly introduce Vogel on Monday. Since his hiring became official earlier this week, the 45-year-old former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic coach has been in Chicago with other Lakers officials for the NBA Draft Combine conducting interviews and evaluating prospects.TOP DRAFT TARGETS PLAY COY AT COMBINEIf it feels like there’s not a lot of information available about the Lakers’ potential targets at No. 4 following the NBA Draft Combine, get used to it.It’s a commonly used tactic at the top of the draft to withhold information, in the interest of protecting one’s stock, rather than sharing. With the Lakers slotted for a top-five pick, many of the players who have been rated in their draft range are participating only in portions of the league’s annual meat market in Chicago.Related Articles How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Several top prospects, including Duke’s Zion Williamson, Murray State’s Ja Morant, Duke’s R.J. Barrett, Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland and Virginia’s De’Andre Hunter opted out of testing altogether. Others who might be on the Lakers’ radar were more choosy: Duke’s Cam Reddish and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver did body measurements but opted out of athletic testing and shooting. Most of the projected first-round prospects did not participate in the Combine scrimmages Thursday and Friday.It’s a path that is well-tread by the Lakers, who have had the No. 2 overall pick in three of the previous four drafts, picks that became D’Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball. Top prospects generally schedule private workouts for the teams in position to select them.Reddish, one of the vaunted Duke trio who is expected to be taken in the top 10, said he had met with the Lakers among many other teams.center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersThe team’s urgency is building to return to the postseason after a six-season absence. Among the more impactful decisions Pelinka will be charged with include how to use the Lakers’ No. 4 overall pick in the draft on June 20, as well as how to recruit from a heralded class of free agents hitting the market on July 1.Pelinka, 49, has been general manager since early 2017 when he was brought in by Buss to work alongside Johnson. The larger bulk of his professional experience has been as an agent, when his most high-profile client was Kobe Bryant.Buss and other front office figures have largely been tight-lipped since Johnson departed in dramatic fashion, with an impromptu press conference before the Lakers’ regular-season finale on April 9. While Buss, team advisor Kurt Rambis and other top officials have been heavily involved in the team’s coaching search which eventually yielded Frank Vogel, only Pelinka has so far spoken to reporters on the record, most recently after the Lakers’ secured the No. 4 pick at the NBA Draft Lottery in Chicago.Pelinka insisted on Tuesday night that his role as GM hadn’t changed for draft preparations despite Johnson’s abdication.“My role as the GM right now is the same as it was when we selected Lonzo Ball (in 2017) with the second pick, which is our last high pick,” he said. “My role hasn’t changed since then.” Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Yahoo Picks Week 5: NFL DFS lineup advice for GPP tournaments

first_imgIt’s 2019, and our Week 5 Yahoo daily fantasy football GPP lineup is going to prominently feature Andy Dalton and the Bengals. No, this isn’t a trip back in time — it’s just a juicy matchup with the Cardinals. A Bengals stack, including Auden Tate as a value sleeper, provides some room for big names to fill out this lineup. We have four studs in Dalvin Cook, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Zach Ertz and Michael Thomas to help dominate NFL DFS tournaments.Week 4 was a weird week for fantasy scoring, but we put together a decent lineup. Kyler Murray saved his day with a rushing touchdown, but in general we were wrong that Arizona’s offense would function well against Seattle. Austin Ekeler and Will Dissly were the two obvious plays that faced too high of ownership to carry a GPP lineup, but at least they both delivered. After a slow start, so did Cooper Kupp. MORE WEEK 5 DFS: Stacks | Values | Lineup builderFLEX Michael Thomas, Saints vs. Buccaneers ($29). This game should have a ton of passing yards if Bucs-Rams in Week 4 is any indication. Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t throw downfield a lot, so Thomas should get bombarded with short passes and wind up with a double-digit catch performance.D/ST Oakland Raiders vs. Bears in London ($10). We had to pay down here to fit the rest of this lineup together. Oakland’s defense isn’t strong, but a matchup with Chase Daniel across the pond has some potential for a few turnovers and maybe a sloppy game overall. WEEK 5 NON-PPR RANKINGS:Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | KickerNFL DFS Week 5: Yahoo GPP Lineup PicksQB Andy Dalton, Bengals vs. Cardinals ($29). The Red Rifle better be locked and loaded for this one because the Cardinals’ defense has allowed at least 300 yards passing in three of their first four games. Dalton’s had a surprisingly good start to the season without A.J. Green, and he has an interestingly inflated price this week, which should push down his ownership.RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings @ Giants ($40). Sometimes, you have to play the highest-priced player on the slate. Cook was shut down by the Bears, as expected, but no one else has been able to slow down Minnesota’s workhorse. The Giants won’t slow him down, either, and he might see the highest volume of touches on the slate, too.WEEK 5 PPR RANKINGS: Running back | Wide receiver | Tight endRB Ronald Jones, Buccaneers @ Saints ($13). This backfield is kind of like throwing darts, but Jones just keeps looking good when given opportunities. The Bucs will probably prioritize passing, but Jones should get a few cracks at the end zone.WR Tyler Boyd, Bengals vs. Cardinals ($21). With Ross out, we’re still going to stick with the double Bengals wideout pairing with Dalton and plug Boyd into the lineup, as we had a few dollars to spare on the original construction.WR Auden Tate, Bengals vs. Cardinals ($10). It also feels like the Bengals should put up a ton of points against Arizona, and so we’ll take the cheap Tate, too. Cincinnati has run three-wide a ton this year, and Tate should be heavily involved in the snaps. In a game where passing should work, that should translate to air production, too. WEEK 5 DFS LINEUPS:Y! cash | Y! GPP | FD cash | FD GPP | DK cash | DK GPPWR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Steelers vs. Ravens ($28). Getting JuJu for a slightly depressed price is never a bad option. The Ravens have been vulnerable against good receivers this year, so if Mason Rudolph has any success through the air in Week 5, it will be to Smith-Schuster.TE Zach Ertz, Eagles vs. Jets ($20). Ertz is the sixth highest-priced TE on the slate. There’s an argument to be made for Tyler Eifert against the Cardinals’ terrible TE defense, but that’s too chalky for a GPP so we went with the double Bengals’ WRs. Ertz is at a fair price point despite a statistically difficult matchup.last_img read more