Daniel Thorpe

Daniel Thorpe is an Istanbul-based journalist covering politics and economics in Turkey and Eastern Europe

The Besiktas nightclub fire was tragically inevitable

At least 29 workers died and two were seriously injured yesterday in a fire at an Istanbul nightclub. The Masquerade club is in the basement of a 16-storey building in the Turkish city’s Besiktas district, known for its nightlife, and was being renovated. Nine people have been arrested in connection with the blaze. The fire has shone a spotlight on the dangers to construction workers in Turkey. Last

Is this the beginning of the end for Erdogan?

President Erdogan’s political star rose when he won the local elections in Istanbul exactly 30 years ago. ‘The one who wins Istanbul wins the whole of Turkey,’ he once said. His famous sentence is now back to haunt him. People already talk about ‘the beginning of the end’ for Erdogan In Istanbul yesterday, tens of

Will Erdogan ever get to grips with Turkey’s sky-high inflation?

Inflation and the cost-of-living crisis dominates the agenda in Turkey, ahead of local elections at the end of March. Year-on-year inflation reached 67 per cent in February, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, breaking a 15-month record and puncturing hopes that high interest rates would put a lid on rapidly increasing prices. For years, president

Is Orban’s family policy coming unstuck?

Hungary’s governing Fidesz party is in crisis over an issue it has staked its credibility on: the defence of the traditional family. One of the ministers who pioneered Viktor Orban’s family policy and served as president of Hungary, Katalin Novak, has been forced to resign over a paedophile scandal. Novak resigned on 10 February after

Erdogan’s debts are piling up

President Erdogan once again emerged victorious in Sunday’s presidential elections. In the highly contested race, he secured 52 per cent of the votes, beating his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu by four points. With challenges mounting from his previous terms, the next five years will be one of the most challenging for President Erdogan. The biggest and

How president Erdogan defied the odds – again

The results of yesterday’s election have come as a sobering shock for many in Turkey. Although president Erdogan fell just short in the first round of the 50 per cent he needed to automatically secure another term, a parliamentary majority remains within his grasp. Erdogan is now expected to comfortably win the run-off. Even before

Erdogan is unlikely to go quietly

The Turkish election is just hours away, and an opposition victory seems more likely than ever under president Erdogan’s rule. Everywhere from cafés to the civil service, from social media to newspapers, the big question on everyone’s lips is whether Erdogan will concede after 21 years in power. Fears of escalation and violence on the

It would be foolish to rule out an Erdogan victory

With only a few days to go until Turkey’s election, the opposition continues to lead in most polls. But there is a growing feeling in Turkey that president Erdogan might defy the odds and win again. A striking image of a rally in Istanbul – Erdogan’s biggest so far – shows Turkey’s leader continues to

Is this the man who could topple Turkey’s president Erdogan?

After months of negotiations and a week of drama, the Turkish opposition bloc has announced Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), as their joint presidential candidate. The general election in May looks set to be the biggest challenge president Erdoğan has faced since coming to power in 2002. An unusual scene

Syrian earthquake survivors are being scapegoated in Turkey

It’s been over a week since the devastating twin earthquakes struck Turkey and Syria and the death toll continues to rise. The number of known casualties has passed 30,000 and tens of thousands more are injured. Hundreds of thousands people have lost their homes. Alongside the plight of the Turkish population, Syrian refugees in southern

Thousands may still be trapped under the rubble in Turkey

Five days after Monday’s massive earthquakes, the combined death toll in Turkey and Syria has passed 20,000. Local aid workers say around one-third of the casualties are in the Hatay province. The regional capital, Antakya, built on the ancient city of Antioch, is a popular tourist destination famous for its cuisine and cosmopolitan multi-ethnic atmosphere. Many

Time is running out for Turkey’s earthquake victims

The confirmed death toll from the two huge earthquakes which struck southern Turkey and northern Syria on Monday has now passed 9,000. Aid officials fear the final toll could reach 20,000. Rescuers continue to work around the clock to save people, but many locals are angry over the inadequate response from the Turkish authorities. Antakya