Erdogan accuses opposition of working with Biden
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held his last election rallies in Istanbul on Saturday, accusing the opposition of working with U.S. President Joe Biden to topple him while making a final appeal ahead of the biggest challenge to his 20-year rule.
Polls show Erdogan trailing the main opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu a day ahead of one of the most consequential elections in Turkey’s modern history. However, if neither of them win more than 50% of the vote and secure an outright win, the vote will go to a runoff on May 28, Reuters reported.
Voters will also elect a new parliament, likely a tight race between the People’s Alliance comprising Erdogan’s conservative Islamist-rooted AK Party (AKP) and the nationalist MHP and others, and Kilicdaroglu’s Nation Alliance formed of six opposition parties, including his secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP), established by Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.
Polls will open at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) and close at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT). By late on Sunday there could be a good indication of whether there will be a runoff vote for the presidency.
Erdogan’s campaign over the past month has focused on his government’s achievements in the defense industry and infrastructure projects, and his assertion that the opposition would roll back such developments.
One of his talking points has been that the opposition is receiving orders from the West, and that they will bow down to Western nations’ wishes if elected.
At a rally in Istanbul’s Umraniye district, Erdogan recalled comments made by U.S. President Joe Biden and published by the New York Times in January 2020, when he was campaigning for the White House. At that time, Biden said Washington should encourage Erdogan’s opponents to defeat him electorally, stressing he should not be ousted in a coup.
The comments, which resurfaced later that year in a video that made Biden the most popular topic on Twitter in Turkey, were condemned by Ankara at the time as “interventionist.”
“Biden gave the order to topple Erdogan, I know this. All my people know this,” said Erdogan, 69. “If that is the case, then the ballots tomorrow will give a response to Biden too,” he added.
Erdogan also criticized Kilicdaroglu for his comments on Russia, calling Moscow an important partner for Turkey. “Russia has been one of our most important allies regarding agriculture products,” he said.
Turkey’s Western allies have been irked by closer ties between Ankara and Moscow under Erdogan. Turkey is a member of NATO, which has stood staunchly behind Kyiv since Moscow invaded its neighbor last year but it has not imposed sanctions on Russia.
Kilicdaroglu told Reuters on Friday that his party has concrete evidence of Russia’s responsibility for the release of “deep fake” online content ahead of Sunday’s elections. He did not present the evidence and Reuters could not independently verify it.
But he added that if he wins the presidency he will maintain Ankara’s good ties with Moscow.
Pakistan, Russia launch direct shipping service
Pakistan and Russia have launched a direct shipping service, for their first time in their bilateral trade history, which Islamabad and Moscow hope will boost trade ties between the two countries.
On Saturday, following an inauguration ceremony, a cargo ship carrying 36,000 tons of goods left Karachi port for St Petersburg. The ship is expected to arrive in the Russian port city in 18 days.
Later this week, a tanker carrying Russian crude oil is expected to reach Karachi.
Pakistan’s minister of state for petroleum and energy, Musaddik Malik, told the media that this is the first direct shipping line between the two countries.
“We want to make it clear Pakistan is not in anyone’s camp. We try to do trade with the USA, we are told we are in the USA camp. We do business with China, we are told we have aligned with China. The truth is we are only doing what is in the interest of Pakistan,” Malik said.
“We are only trying to get cheap oil for our energy needs from Russia,” he said.
Over 3,600 boxes of silkworms distributed to Herat farmers this year
Herat Directorate of Agriculture and Livestock says more than 3,500 boxes of silkworms have been distributed to farmers this year in Zinda Jan, Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts of the province.
This directorate has said that 80 percent of silk work is done in Zinda Jan district.
“We were able to grow about 3,600 boxes with the help of institutions, about 80 percent of which we have grown in Zinda Jan district,” said Khalil Ahmad, general director of Herat agriculture directorate.
“About 20 percent of silkworms have been grown in Injil, Guzara and Pashtun Zarghun districts, which has had good results and the financial status of the farmers has improved.”
The local officials said most work in the silk industry is done by women.
“Almost 60 percent of the silk industry is done by women,” said Ahmad Shah Qawami, head of the silk workers’ union for Zinda Jan district.
This year, the families who are engaged in raising silkworms hope to have good production, now that the silk season is over and many are working to separate the silk thread.
However, the farmers are not satisfied with this year’s market conditions.
“The silk market is weak this year, it was good last year, it was very advanced,” said a silk worker.
The silk industry in Herat has a history dating back 600 years, and many families have preserved this ancient profession.
Silkworms usually feed on the leaves of mulberry trees, which grow in these regions. The industry also provides a livelihood to hundreds of men and women in the area.
Two die of Congo fever in Balkh Central Hospital
Two patients died of Congo fever in Abu Ali Sinai Balkhi Hospital in Mazar-e-Sharif city, health officials said.
Reports of an outbreak of Congo fever have been recorded in a number of provinces in the north of the country.
Najibullah Tawana, head of public health of Balkh, announced the death of two people in the meeting of sectorial coordination to prevent and reduce diseases between humans and animals in the province.
“Last week, 10 cases of Congo disease were confirmed in Faryab and Jawzjan and [patients were] transferred to Abu Ali Sina Balkhi seminary hospital, but two of them have died,” said Tawana.
Meanwhile, Mawolavi Mohammad Nasim Abid, the deputy mayor of Mazar-e-Sharif, said that they monitor the cleanliness and compliance of butchers every day, and that animals are slaughtered in slaughterhouses built by this department.
According to him; standard facilities have been established for the slaughter of chickens to prevent the spread of various diseases.
Mawolavi Zabihullah Noorani, the head of Balkh culture and information, also asked the media to inform the people about the prevention of this disease and inform them about the harm of this deadly disease.
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