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Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

Antonis Samaras, Prime Minister of Greece / Flickr Creative Commons

Turkey's ruling party nominated Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to run in Turkey's first directly elected presidential race in August before thousands of cheering supporters on Tuesday.

Erdoğan, in power since 2003, is barred by party rules from running as prime minister again. His candidacy for president could put him at Turkey's helm for five more years.

Rebecca Cruise and Suzette Grillot discuss the French inquiry into former President Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign fundraising, and Japan’s constitutional reinterpretation that allows it wage conflicts on foreign soil for the first time since World War II.

Later, a conversation with Marmara University in Istanbul political scientist Barış Doster about Turkey, its neighbors, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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Suzette Grillot starts a month-long European trip in London, and talks about Turkey's coal mine disaster and how that relate's to the United Kingdom's energy industry with University of Oklahoma Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Clarke Stroud.

Later, Rebecca Cruise discusses so-called 'dark networks' with University of Arizona political scientist H. Brinton Milward.

Paul Glazzard / The Geograph Britain And Ireland Project/Wikimedia Commons

World Views host Suzette Grillot starts a three-country, four-city, five-week tour of Europe this week for her work as the Dean of the College of International Studies at the University of Oklahoma. This week she’s in London with OU Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Clarke Stroud.

Turkey's Mining Disaster Resonates in England

Rebecca Cruise explains why Russia's ouster from the Group of Eight industrialized nations is mostly symbolic with little consequence, and Joshua Landis discusses the implications of the murder convictions of more than 500 supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.

Later, a conversation with political scientist Fevzi Bilgin about allegations against Turkey’s prime minister, and political instability ahead of Sunday's local elections.

Riot police cleaning Taksim Square after protests - June 16, 2013
Mstyslav Chernov / Wikimedia Commons

Turkey’s main opposition party recalled parliament this week for an extraordinary session to discuss allegations of corruption against four former ministers that have damaged Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government ahead of Sunday’s local elections.

Fevzi Bilgin is the executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Rethink Institute, and an expert on his home country’s politics. He says the allegations involve billions of dollars in money laundering through international businessmen, and government officials receiving kickbacks from those operations.

Suzette Grillot continues to host the program from Istanbul. A week since protests broke out across Turkey, she and Joshua Landis discuss where things stand in the normally peaceful and stable country.

On Friday June 14 Iranians head to the polls to elect a successor to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The Tehran Bureau founder and editor Kelly Niknejadjoins World Views for a look at the elections, and a conversation about Western journalism in the Islamic Republic.

Suzette Grillot / KGOU

Tens of thousands of Turks have joined anti-government protests expressing discontent with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 10-year rule.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says the protests started over green space in the middle of Istanbul’s Taksim Square. Developers, with the backing of Erdoğan, want to build a large shopping mall.

“Very quickly political parties and the opposition parties joined in,” Landis says. “But much more than that, lots of middle-class people and particularly young students began to crowd into the squares.”

Suzette Grillot / KGOU

Monday marked the fourth day that riot police used tear gas in Istanbul and Ankara against protesters.

Demonstrations started Friday over plans to rip out trees and redevelop an area of Taksim Square in Istanbul, but quickly spread as urban, secular Turks vented frustration that prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is an authoritarian figure who wants to force his religious outlook on them.

KGOU's World Views host Suzette Grillot is in Ankara leading the University of Oklahoma College of International Studies "Journey to Turkey" program.

"We are half-a-mile away from the protests in Ankara – we can hear them from our hotel,” Grillot says.  “But interestingly, life continues as usual outside the protest areas with people shopping and eating at outdoor cafes with little interest in what is happening."

After more violence overnight, protesters and police clashed again in Istanbul on Monday. As the BBC writes:

"Police used tear gas to stop a group of demonstrators marching on the prime minister's office in Istanbul, the private Dogan news agency reports."

Suzette Grillot reports from Antalya, Turkey, where she speaks with Middle East expert Joshua Landis about Turkey’s booming economy and domestic anxieties.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Anna Somers Cocks join the program to discuss art appreciation in the 21st century. Shawe-Taylor is the Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, overseeing nearly 7,000 oil paintings and 3,000 miniatures from the British Royal Collection. Somers Cocks is the founding editor and CEO of The Art Newspaper.

Joshua Landis / Facebook

Over the last decade, Turkey has averaged at least five percent growth of gross domestic product per year with a per capita income now more than $17,000, according to the country’s Ministry of Finance.

Those numbers are only expected to rise, even as a revolution continues to boil over next door in Syria, Iran faces severe economic sanctions, and economies in Greece and Cyprus melt down.

Joshua Landis, the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says after Turkey’s attempt to join the European Union failed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan forged a new path, facing neither East nor West.

World Views: May 24, 2013

May 24, 2013

Suzette Grillot reports from Istanbul, where she speaks with University of Oklahoma economist Firat Demir about the international response to Monday's deadly tornado in Moore, Okla., and political problems facing Turkey.

University of Oregon political scientist Richard Kraus joins the program for a conversation about how art and culture become a testing ground between the United States and China. He's the author of author of Pianos and Politics in China: Middle-Class Ambitions and the Struggle over Western Music.

FreedomHouse2 / Flickr

After decades of fighting, the conflict between the Kurdish nationalist group the PKK and the Turkish government finally drew to a close with a ceasefire in March.

Peace in Turkey may be short-lived, though. Violence in neighboring Syria is steadily intensifying, forcing a reluctant Turkey to respond and possibly putting citizens at risk.

“Most people among the Kurdish population are very optimistic,” says Firat Demir, a University of Oklahoma economist. “The last thing now that a citizen of Turkey wants is to have another civil conflict after this 80-year-old bloody conflict that is ending.”