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Balkan Developments

Three years since failed military coup in Turkey

Photo: ReutersIt is three years, on 15 July, since the failed military coup in Turkey in 2016. At the initiative of President Recep Erdogan the date has been declared a national holiday and has been dubbed Democracy and National Unity Day. In the resistance against the coup, 251 people were killed and over 2,200 wounded. In its wake more than 130,000 people were fired, most of them accused of ties with the movement of the alleged organizer of the military coup Fethullah Gulen. Numerous private schools, universities, over 40 TV and radio stations, 70 newspapers, and almost 1,800 associations were closed.

Turkey launches anti-terror operation in Iraq

Photo: Anadolu AjansıTurkey’s Ministry of Defence has announced that it has launched an anti-terror operation – Claw-2 – in Northern Iraq, dealing blows against targets of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), declared a terrorist organization. Artillery, helicopters and drones were used in the operation. Operation Claw-1 was launched on 27 May, in which, according to the Turkish authorities, 61 terrorists were annihilated.

Tsipras calls for transforming SYRIZA party into a movement “of the masses”

Photo: EPA/BGNESGreece’s ex-PM and leader of SYRIZA Alexis Tsipras has called for the party’s “transformation” into a broader movement which would be home to “progressive and democratic forces”. In Tsipras’ words such a change would not mean “lowering the flag of our ideas” but turning SYRIZA into “a party of the masses” and “the main voice of the country’s progressive forces”.

Christian Orthodox graves desecrated in Kosovo

Photo: rtg.rsAs tension between Belgrade and Pristina mounts, reports came in on Sunday that more than 20 gravestones in a Serbian Christian Orthodox graveyard had been destroyed. Belgrade called the act of vandalism an illustration of the “ideology of hatred”. The act was also condemned by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe which demanded that the Kosovo authorities launch an investigation promptly.

Albanian President clashes with Albanian Academy of Sciences over appointment of Academy President

Photo: gsh.al

The President of Albania Ilir Meta refused to sign an ordinance for the appointment of Skender Gjinushi as President of the Albanian Academy of Sciences. The Academy’s executive council stated that the President’s refusal was in contravention of the law and pushed the academy into a corner, as Gjinushi had been legitimately elected by its general assembly. One of the motives for President Meta’s refusal is that Gjinushi was chairman of a political party at the same time as he was a member of the Albanian Academy of Sciences, which is against the law. Academician Skender Gjinushi was the only candidate and was elected in May by 35 votes “for” and only 6 “against”.

Compiled by Stoimen Pavlov

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