June 24 - Critical Elections in Turkey; Conditions in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico Are the Source of Our Border Crisis; An Independent Russian Journalist on the World Cup

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Part 1

We begin with today’s snap elections called by Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian leader Erdogan who is seeking more power but now faces the biggest threat to his 15 year rule.  Asli Bali, the Director of UCLA’s Center for Near East Studies and a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law joins us to discuss the results of today’s critical election as they come in which will decide the fate of democracy in that divided country and whether Turkey remains a credible member of the NATO alliance. We will discuss Erdogan’s tough challenger the center-left candidate Muharrem Ince who has revived Turkey’s demoralized opposition which is forced to operate under a state of emergency with little access to the media dominated by Erdogan and his ruling Islamist party. With Turkey’s economy in a steep downturn since Erdogan called for the election he expected to win, we will assess how the Kurdish vote for their candidate who is in prison is key but subject to government repression, in a country polarized between Kurds and nationalists and the religious and secular. And with six journalists jailed for life, according to press monitoring groups, Erdogan’s Turkey has become the world’s biggest jailer of journalists.

Asli Bâli

Part 2

Then we investigate the source of the immigration crisis on our southern border which stems from the lack of personal security, the rule of law and citizen-based governance in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Mexico, countries rife with corruption and beset by narco traffickers and criminal gangs.Guadalupe Correa-Cabrera, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley and the author of “Los Zetas Inc: Criminal Corporations, Energy and Civil War in Mexico” joins us to discuss her study at The Wilson Center “Trafficking in Persons, irregular immigration and Transnational Organized Crime in Central America and Mexico”.

Part 3

Then finally we  go to Moscow to speak with an independent journalist Alexey Kovalev, who writes about propaganda, fake news and Russia State media. He joins us to discuss his article at The New York Times “The World Cup is Fun. Except for the Russians Being Tortured” and how Putin, who has unleashed the FSB secret police on so-called dissidents, is using the popular success on the World Cup among Russians who are welcoming foreign guests as a cover for introducing unpopular pension reforms.

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