TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

TURKEY

Feb 23 08:49

Turkey's Eternal Crusade On PKK Continues

Ankara’s forces carry out frequent operations within and without the country, targeting both the Kurdistan Worker’s Party’s (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG)’s interests and members. The Turkish government dubs both groups as terrorists, and does not shy away from invading the sovereign territory of other countries to pursue and “eliminate” their members and positions.

As a result, Turkey frequently encroaches on Syrian and Iraqi territory, and even has observation posts set up to target its Kurdish enemy.

It strongly opposes the Syrian Democratic Forces, a group whose core is comprised of the YPG, and receives heavy US support.

Feb 22 11:22

Neo-Ottoman Turkey signals sweeping regional ambitions

James Dorsey analyses the significance of a recent broadcast by a Turkish TV station with close ties to President Erdogan depicting Turkey's sphere of influence in 2050 as stretching from southeastern Europe, through Libya, the Gulf and the Levant, and to the Caucasus and Central Asia.>>

Feb 19 11:59

Turkey space programme to launch from Somalia to cost over $1bn

Turkey's plans for its own space programme will cost over $1 billion and will begin with a rocket being launched from a site in Somalia, it has been revealed. It is hoped that it will culminate in a shuttle craft being used to conduct scientific research.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan released a timetable for the country's recently-announced space programme last week. A hard landing on the moon is planned for 2023 using a locally-produced hybrid rocket on the anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic. By 2028, it is hoped to be able to make a soft moon landing.

Feb 17 07:46

Turkey planning wider cross border operation

Turkey is planning to launch a new cross border operation against PKK terrorists in response to a recent attack by the group which left 13 Turkish citizens dead.

Turkish president vowed that the cross border military operations that Turkish military is conducting against PKK will continue, as he confirmed Ankara’s willingness to expand areas of operations from which threats against Turkey are coming.

Assuring that the death of 13 Turkish citizens who lost their lives in the Gara attack will strengthen the government’s determination to eliminate terrorist groups.

Feb 16 09:05

US seeks to defuse diplomatic spat with Turkey

The United States has attempted to de-escalate a diplomatic dispute with NATO ally Turkey, which had earlier summoned the US ambassador about a statement on the killing of 13 kidnapped Turks in Iraq.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had lashed out at the State Department’s initial hesitance to blame the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) for the deaths, calling the initial US statement “a farce”.

Feb 16 09:03

Turkey rejects US demands, commits to Libya troop presence

Turkey has confirmed that its troop presence in Libya will remain in place pending Libyan government approval and the status of the 2019 Ankara-Tripoli bilateral military agreement.

Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin confirmed the decision in an interview with state broadcaster TRT.

On Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that Turkey is preparing to send new Syrian mercenaries to Libya amid international calls for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters in the country.

The presence of thousands of Turkish-affiliated troops in Libya is stirring debate about the success of the interim government in the transitional process taking place under the watch of the UN.

Feb 16 09:02

Turkey arrests hundreds over alleged Kurdish militant links in Iraq executions

Turkey on Monday announced the detention of 718 people it accuses of being part of a Kurdish militant group it says executed 13 Turks in northern Iraq.

And Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan berated the new US administration for failing to immediately accept its version of the incident.

The mass arrests were announced a day after Ankara said Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels had executed the 13 captives. The PKK blamed Turkish airstrikes on their bases for their deaths.

Most of the captives were soldiers and police abducted in southeast Turkey and kept in an Iraqi cave.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 thought to have left tens of thousands dead.

Feb 15 11:16

Rise of a “Drone Superpower?” Turkish Drones Upending Russia’s Near Abroad

Though 2020 will be defined in the history books by the COVID-19 pandemic, a story that ought to not go unnoticed is the ascendance of Turkey as a ‘drone superpower.’ This rise was by no means peaceful and comes as a result of various confrontations between Russian and Turkish proxies in the Near East. Initially, the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) struck at Russian-backed forces in the Libyan and Syrian civil wars. However, the successful usage of the Bayraktar TB2 UAV by Azeri forces in the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War demonstrates a paradigm shift for the Russians whereby Turkey is competing with them in what is called the ‘near abroad.’ According to Russian foreign policy thinkers, the ‘near abroad’ is comprised of all the post-Soviet states and is Russia’s ‘sphere of influence.’ Turkey’s ability to influence the affairs of Armenia and Azerbaijan, both post-Soviet states, brings into question Russia’s influence in the post-Soviet space.

Feb 15 09:54

Duhok farmers can’t access fields as Turkey-PKK clashes rage

Farmers in Duhok’s Mount Gara area are unable to tend to their animals and fields as a conflict between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rages nearby and their villages have been targeted.

“People cannot leave Chamanke in order to visit their villages for farming purposes. Our villages are 4-5 kilometers away from Chamanke,” farmer Jambali Omar told Rudaw’s Ayub Nasri on Friday.

Chamanke is located 15 kilometres from Mount Gara where on Wednesday Turkey launched a new operation, dubbed Claw Eagle-2, against the PKK.

Heavy clashes were ongoing on Saturday morning and PKK-affiliated media Firat News Agency (ANF), citing fighters, reported the PKK had “besieged” Turkish soldiers on the mountain.

Alend Amir, mayor of Chamanke, told Rudaw, “Seven villages of Chamanke sub-district have been bombarded by Turkish aircraft.” There are no reported casualties as the residents had already left the villages, though many animals have been left behind.

Feb 15 08:33

Erdogan Says US Must Stop Supporting 'Terrorists', Either Stand With Turkey or Against It

Turkey's Defence Minister said on Sunday that 13 Turks have been kidnapped and executed by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq after Ankara had launched a military operation against the party earlier in February.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Washington must stop its support for Kurdish "terrorists", as he accused the United States of standing "behind Kurdish militants who killed Turkish forces in Iraq."

"Weren't you standing with the terrorists? Weren't you standing with the PKK and YPG?", Erdogan called on the White House during the AK Party Congress, in a reference to the Syrian Kurdish YPG force also known as People's Protection Units, which it considers to be an arm of the Kurdistan Workers Party.

Feb 15 07:42

Iraq MP: Turkey Doesn’t Have Permission to Deploy Large Numbers of Troops Here

Iraqi MP Abbas Sarout, a member of the nation’s defense committee, told reporters on Friday that the “blatant Turkish incursion” into northern Iraq was unacceptable, and that chasing down PKK members was just “an excuse.”

Sarout says Turkey does not have permission to deploy large numbers of troops into Iraq, and urged the government to take diplomatic measures to protect Iraqi sovereignty.

This has been an ongoing problem for Iraq since the 2003 US occupation, as Turkey has been intermittently coming into the country to hunt Kurds of various stripes ever since. Iraq’s central government has objected, but that’s usually the beginning and end of the exchange. Turkey has reported the latest operations a success, but that’s at most a brief prelude to announcing another operation.

Feb 13 07:07

'An anti-Turkey alliance': Ankara slams Greece for hosting 'hostile' meeting with regional countries

Turkey has slammed a forum hosted by Greece in Athens along with six other nations, declaring it an attempt to form a “hostile” alliance against Ankara.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry specifically named Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, accusing him of "slandering" Turkey at the meeting, which took place in Athens with the participation of Egypt, France, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Cyprus.

“The baseless accusations and slander against Turkey voiced by the foreign minister of Greece during the press conference held at the conclusion of this forum, which is allegedly 'not pitted against anyone', demonstrates that this initiative is in fact an attempt to form an alliance built upon hostility towards Turkey, rather than 'friendship' as stated,” the ministry statement said.

Feb 11 08:57

US senators urge Biden to press Turkey on human rights and 'combative' foreign policy

A bipartisan majority of the US Senate called on President Joe Biden to push Turkey to do more to protect human rights and end Ankara's "belligerent and combative" foreign policy.

Fifty-four senators signed a letter sent to Biden on Tuesday, which accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of marginalising domestic opposition, silencing critical media, jailing journalists and purging independent judges.

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken the country down an increasingly authoritarian path. He has systematically marginalized domestic opposition, silenced or coopted critical media outlets, purged independent judges and replaced them with party loyalists and jailed scores of journalists," the letter said.

Feb 08 07:38

Turkey’s student protests: New challenge for Erdogan

Over the last month, protests at a university overlooking the Bosphorus have spiralled into a challenge that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has compared with nationwide demonstrations that threatened his government eight years ago.

Student outcry against a government-appointed rector at Bogazici University, one of Turkey’s most prestigious, has also spilled into the international arena, jeopardising Erdogan’s efforts to build bridges with the new administration in Washington, DC, and repair relations with the European Union.

Feb 05 07:48

Erdogan compares Turkish student protesters to ‘terrorists’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government will not allow month-long demonstrations at a Turkish university to grow into anti-government protests similar to those in 2013, calling the protesters “terrorists” and slamming the LGBTQ movement as incompatible with Turkey’s values.

Defying a government ban on demonstrations, students and teachers at Istanbul’s Bogazici University have protested against Erdogan’s appointment of Melih Bulu, an academic and former political candidate, as rector.

Feb 02 09:19

Turkish police detain 159 people at protests over Erdogan-appointed university head

Turkish police on Monday detained 159 people over protests in Istanbul against President Tayyip Erdogan’s appointment of a new rector at one of the country’s top universities, the Istanbul Governor’s office said.

Students at the Bogazici University in Istanbul began their protests nearly a month ago, saying the appointment of Melih Bulu as rector was undemocratic. Teachers at Bogazici have also protested Bulu’s swearing-in.

Protesters chanting slogans such as “Police, get out” and “Universities are ours” clashed and scuffled with the police on Monday.

In a statement, the Istanbul Governor’s office said 159 people had later been detained for “not ending the demonstrations in front of the Bogazici University despite warnings,” and added that an investigation had been launched.

Jan 30 23:35

Cargo ship breaks in two and sinks, killing 3

Onboard cameras captured the shocking moment a cargo ship was broken in two by a huge wave off Turkey's coast earlier this month.

Three sailors died when the Ukrainian-owned ship sank in heavy seas on January 16th after the wave snapped its keel near the bow.

The Turkish Maritime Authority released this video, which also recorded crew members making a mayday call for help on the voyage between Georgia and Bulgaria.

A search operation rescued the other members of the mainly Ukrainian crew.
(Embedded video in Web page)

Jan 26 07:32

Turkey and Greece resume talks over eastern Mediterranean after five-year hiatus

Turkey and Greece resumed talks on Monday after a five-year hiatus, in an attempt to end a long-running dispute over maritime borders in the eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara and Athens are at odds over who owns energy rights in the region, airspace and status of some islands in the Aegean Sea.

But little progress has been made, despite 60 rounds of talks between 2002 and 2016.

Jan 25 06:37

Syria: Are water supplies being weaponized by Turkey?

Around 1 million people in the Kurdish-governed region of Al-Hasakah in Syria's northeast have again had their water supply cut off — as they have around 20 times in the past 12 months.

"This is a humanitarian disaster," Sara Kayyali, a Syria researcher at Human Rights Watch, told DW. As of this Sunday, some parts of the region are experiencing the eighth straight day without water.

Problems with the supply from the nearest water station, Alouk, have been growing since Turkish forces and their Syrian rebel proxies took charge in October 2019, after the so-called Operation Peace Spring that targeted the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the region. While the water station has been under Turkish control since then, it relies on the SDF-controlled Mabrouka Electricity Station for its power. Turkey's objective behind Operation Peace Spring was to create a 30-kilometer (19-mile) wide "safe zone" under Turkish control inside Syria.

Jan 21 06:47

‘Not acting as an ally should’: Biden’s secretary of state nominee mulls new sanctions against Turkey over Russia’s S-400 deal

New US President Joe Biden’s nominee for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has lashed out at Ankara over its purchase of the Russian S-400 defense system, saying Washington could consider additional sanctions against Turkey.

“The idea that a strategic – so-called strategic – partner of ours would actually be in line with one of our biggest strategic competitors in Russia is not acceptable,” Blinken told the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearing.

The man chosen by Biden as America’s next top diplomat said Washington would need to “take a look to see the impact that the existing sanctions have had” on Turkey to determine if any additional measures needed to be taken.

Jan 19 07:08

WHY PEOPLE WILL START DYING A FEW MONTHS AFTER THE FIRST MRNA "VACCINATIONS"


Delores Cahill explains the significance of a 2012 paper on SARS immunisation which revealed subsequent deaths among animals and children that had received the vaccine.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335060/pdf/pone.0035421.pdf

Jan 07 07:02

Turks Fear Russian Advance On Syria’s Al-Bab

The Turkish Army has been increasing its military presence in Greater Idlib despite the recent withdrawal of observation posts, which had been encircled by the Syrian Army.

Recently, the Turkish military deployed major reinforcements to Mount al-Zawiya. Turkish military convoys deployed to the area included battle tanks and BMC Kirpi armoured vehicles. Mount al-Zawiya is controlled by al-Qaeda-affiliated Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham together with its supposedly ‘moderate counterparts’ from the Turkish-created National Front for Liberation. Turkey has been reinforcing its troops in the Mount al-Zawiya region for the last two months. It has also established several permanent positions in the area.

Dec 31 06:55

Turkey Takes Command of NATO Task Force as It Confirms Russia Arms Deal

NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) will be led by Turkey in 2021, the military bloc said on Wednesday. The news came on the same day Turkey confirmed it will snub NATO-ally U.S. and pursue major arms deals with Russia.

The quick-deployment unit of 6,400 personnel was previously the responsibility from Poland and the new command will begin on Jan. 1, a NATO statement said.

UPI reports the VJTF places soldiers on standby status and ready to deploy, with leadership rotated annually among NATO members, with the majority of the force’s personnel comprised of units from the lead country.

The approximately 4,200 troops of Turkey’s 66th Mechanized Infantry Brigade Command, and about 2,200 more from Albania, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Britain and the United States, will serve in the unit.

Dec 29 07:50

Escobar: Turkey Pivots To The Center Of The New Great Game

When it comes to sowing – and profiting – from division, Erdogan’s Turkey is quite the superstar.

Under the delightfully named Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the Trump administration duly slapped sanctions on Ankara for daring to buy Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defence systems. The sanctions focused on Turkey’s defence procurement agency, the SSB.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s response was swift: Ankara won’t back down – and it is in fact mulling how to respond.

Dec 29 06:44

Lavrov: Russia, Turkey to Continue Expanding Defence Industry Cooperation Despite US Sanctions

On Monday, the US House of Representatives overrode Donald Trump's veto on the 2021 National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), a massive defence spending bill which includes within it sanctions against Turkey over its purchase of the S-400, an advanced Russian mobile air defence system.

Moscow and Ankara will continue to expand cooperation in the defence sector despite the threat of US sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has said.

"We also confirmed our mutual focus on the development of military industry cooperation. We appreciate, as President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly noted, the principled disposition of our Turkish colleagues to continue cooperation in this area, despite the continuing illegitimate pressure from Washington, which openly lobbies the interests of American manufacturers using illegitimate, non-market methods", Lavrov said, speaking to reporters following talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, in Sochi on Tuesday.

Dec 28 09:47

Israel's plan to dismantle Turkish influence in Jerusalem for the benefit of Gulf states

In light of the ongoing wave of normalisation agreements between Arab states and the occupation, Israel is trying to lure Gulf countries, especially the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, with a potential role in supervising the holy sites in occupied Jerusalem. Thus, competing with Jordan and the Palestinians to take over this important task.

Israel's move in this direction sparked political tension between the involved parties, while camouflaging its real plan that consists of giving these countries a new role and an opportunity to contest the escalating Turkish influence among Jerusalemites – a demarche that raises questions about the success or failure of the Israeli endeavour.

Dec 24 07:43

Turkey: Nearly 1000 Children Stood Trial for ‘Insulting’ Erdogan in 6 Years

The Saudi news network al-Arabiya cited official Justice Ministry statistics Sunday to reveal nearly 1,000 children in Turkey between 2014 and 2020 have suffered prosecution on charges of “insulting the president,” a crime in Turkish law.

Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has regularly used “insulting the president” accusations to persecute dissidents and civilians overheard mocking or criticizing his rule, both filing criminal charges and civil charges meant to bankrupt defendants. Turkey’s penal code criminalizes several forms of speech — including insults towards the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who Erdogan has disparaged with impunity.

Al-Arabiya reported that 903 Turkish minors went to trial over allegations they had insulted Erdogan. The youngest to be prosecuted were 12 years old; 264 of those prosecuted were between the ages of 12 and 14.

Dec 24 07:29

Turkish Journalist Who Reported Erdogan-ISIS Ties Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison

Can Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of the anti-Islamist Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet, received a 27-year prison sentence Wednesday for allegedly aiding a terrorist group by publishing a news story.

Dündar left Turkey in 2016, stepping down from the top post at Turkey’s oldest national newspaper, following a public assassination attempt on the steps of the courthouse. Cumhuriyet has endured police action and prosecutions at all levels — from editor-in-chief to cafeteria cook — for publishing stories unfavorable to Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Dec 21 08:30

Preparing For War? Greece Increases Military Spending 57% Amid Row With Turkey

Greece has increased military spending by 57% to 5.5 billion euros, amid increased tension with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, a new report has revealed.

To strengthen their forces, Greece intends to complete the purchase of 18 French-made Rafale fighters, and to acquire new frigates, helicopters and drones.

Greece also intends to modernize its old fleet of F-16 fighters and increase its troop numbers by 15,000, Reuters reported last week.

Dec 17 11:29

TURKEY's LUCK RUNS OUT- U.S IMPOSES SANCTIONS FOR BUYING RUSSIAN S-400 ! INDIA COULD BE THE NEXT

Dec 17 07:19

Turkish media vows to take over Tel Aviv, calls opposition ‘terrorists’

Turkey has in the last few weeks sought to use media connections abroad to push narratives about how it wants reconciliation with Israel, even as its own media pushes extremist anti-Israel comments. One commentator, according to T24 Turkish media, said that Turkey could “enter Tel Aviv in 48 hours.” He claimed, “we are not like the Arabs,” an apparent reference to the inability of Arab armies to defeat Israel in 1948 and 1967.

The commentary on Turkish television was not abnormal. Hatred of Israel and vows to destroy Israel, invade Jerusalem, “liberate Al-Aqsa” and spread extreme nationalist, anti-Zionist or antisemitic comments have become increasingly normal in Turkey. Most journalists who are critical of the ruling party in Turkey have been silenced, forced to flee the country or imprisoned. Turkey is considered the largest jailor of journalists in the world under the AK Party.

Dec 16 07:23

Moscow Condemns US Sanctions on Turkey Over Russian Missile Purchases

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday condemned US sanctions against Turkey over the purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defense missiles as “illegitimate.”

“This is, of course, another manifestation of an arrogant attitude towards international law, a manifestation of illegitimate, unilateral coercive measures that the United States has been using for many years, already decades, left and right,” Lavrov said according to Russian news agencies.

“And, of course, this does not add, I think, to the credibility of the United States in the international arena as a responsible participant… including in the field of military-technology cooperation,” Lavrov added.

Dec 16 07:06

Stoltenberg Laments "Situation Where NATO Allies Impose Sanctions On Each Other"

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged a "positive solution" following the US decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over its S-400 missile defense system purchase from Russia in statements Tuesday.

He also lamented such deep cracks in the military alliance during a press briefing in Brussels:

"I urge all NATO allies and Turkey and other allies to look into whether there are ways to find a positive solution," Jens Stoltenberg told a joint news conference with Prime Minister of Montenegro Zdravko Krivokapic in Brussels.

"I regret that we are in a situation where NATO allies have to impose sanctions on each other," the NATO chief added.

Dec 14 10:14

Ankara and Azerbaijan put their differences aside in pursuit of a military victory over Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh. The outcome is a huge geopolitical shift in Turkey's favour

It took 44 days for Azerbaijan to defeat Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and make Turkey one of the fundamental players in the Caucasus.

And today, Turkey's power in the region could not be clearer.

Dec 14 09:38

NEW DOCUMENTS SHOW HOW THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT SECRETLY CREATED 'REGIME CHANGE’ PROTESTS IN LEBANON

Three month ago we reported on documents obtained from of 'Her Majesties Government' in Britain which revealed the intense involvement of the UK government in organizing, financing and propagandizing 'Syrian rebels' since the start of the war on Syria. These programs were coordinated with the CIA's and the Gulf Arab's arming of the various Jihadis:

Most of the documents are detailed company responses to several solicitations from the Foreign Office for global and local campaigns in support of the 'moderate rebels' who are fighting against the Syrian government and people.

The documents lay out large scale campaigns which have on-the-ground elements in Syria, training and arming efforts in neighboring countries, command and control elements in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as global propaganda efforts. These operations were wide spread.

Dec 14 08:00

Turkey again cuts water to northeast Syria amid increased Turkish attacks on SDF positions

Turkey and Turkish-backed groups have yet again cut off drinking water to the northern Syrian city of Hasakah, a local official told Kurdistan 24 on Sunday.

Sozdar Ahmed, the co-chair of the Water Directorate of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria (AANES), explained to Kurdistan 24 that Hasakah city has now gone 25 days without water supply.

As a result, Ahmed added, civilians are forced to buy water at elevated prices or depend on local authorities or humanitarian organizations to truck water to the city.

One civilian from Hasakah confirmed to Kurdistan 24 they have had no water supply for weeks. “Water has been cut off from our city. The water we buy is also costly for us. The water around the wells around Hasakah is also bitter and not suitable for drinking. ”

Dec 10 06:51

EU split on Greece’s calls for arms embargo on Turkey. Apparently principles aren’t so important when there are PROFITS to lose

It would seem to be a straightforward proposition: two member states of the European Union – Greece and Cyprus – are protesting breaches of territorial waters by Turkey. So how about some EU solidarity?

One idea being put forward by Greece is for the 27-member bloc to impose an arms embargo on Turkey. However, as EU leaders gather for a summit this week, foreign affairs commissioner Joseph Borrell is playing down such a move for collective sanctions against Ankara.

Greece has censured Germany – which currently holds the rotating EU presidency seat – for failing to show leadership. Athens complains that the bloc has a common defense commitment and that European nations should not be supplying weapons to a country which could use those munitions against EU members.

Dec 08 07:33

Turkey: Erdogan denounces ‘threats and blackmail’ over sea rights

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will not “bow down to threats and blackmail” in a row with Greece over undersea resources as a European Union summit tackles the dispute this week.

Any plans or maps excluding Ankara from its rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea were unacceptable, Erdogan said on Monday.

Dec 08 07:22

Greece Continues 'Provocative' Steps Despite Turkish Diplomatic Efforts, Ankara Says

Relations between Turkey and the EU have been strained in recent months amid a row over drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, with Greece and Cyprus opposing Turkish operations in the disputed waters.

Greece has continued "provocative" steps despite diplomatic efforts made by Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a joint news conference with Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Ankara on Tuesday.

The minister added that "problems with the EU can only be solved if they act with common sense at the EU summit and later". Cavusoglu went on to say that Ankara expects the EU to act as an objective mediator in the dispute.

Dec 05 08:22

Sanctioning Turkey over the S-400 would be mandatory in new defense bill

The final version of the must-pass annual defense policy bill unveiled Thursday mandates the U.S. president sanction Turkey for its acquisition of the S-400 air missile defense system.

Though President Donald Trump has held off sanctioning Turkey for the purchase under the 2017 Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act, or CAATSA, the defense bill would order that five or more sanctions under CAATSA be imposed within 30 days.

The duty would fall to the Trump administration unless the bill is signed after next week. Otherwise it would fall to President-elect Joe Biden, who is due to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

NATO says the S-400s pose a threat to the military alliance and particularly endanger the technical secrets of the F-35 aircraft.

Dec 05 08:22

Turkey is preparing Syrian mercenaries to fight in Kashmir: report

Turkey, which has previously sent Syrian mercenaries to Libya and Azerbaijan, is preparing to send fighters to Kashmir to fight against India.

According to ANF News, which quoted local sources in northern Syria, Abu Emsha, the head of the Turkish-backed Suleyman Shah Brigades terrorist organization that is a part of the so-called Syrian National Army, informed his members five days ago that Ankara wanted to reinforce Kashmir.

The head of the terrorist groups, Abu Emsha, said that Turkish officers would later ask the commanders of other terrorist groups to list the names of those who want to go to Kashmir.

Abu Emsha stated that those who will go from his terrorist group will be registered in a list and they will receive $2000 in funding. Abu Emsha told the militant fighters he met that Kashmir is a mountainous region like Artsakh.

Dec 05 08:20

Turkish lira slips as U.S. moves closer to sanctions over S-400s

Turkey’s lira briefly slipped on Friday after U.S. lawmakers included mandatory Turkish sanctions in a defence spending bill that moves Washington a step closer to punishing its NATO ally for buying Russian S-400 missile defences last year.

The final version of the $740 billion annual U.S. defence spending legislation would oblige the White House to select from a list of sanctions over the S-400s, which Washington says are incompatible with NATO operations.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who is set to step down next month, has said he will veto the bill over separate provisions. But he may need some support in Congress and it would be the first such veto in nearly 60 years.

Dec 02 13:45

CHICKEN KIEV MEETS COLD TURKEY: BLACK SEA AXIS EMERGES?

On the face of it, an alliance between Turkey and Ukraine seems like a rather odd creation, yet one that may surprisingly durable simply because neither country has anywhere else to turn. What practically dooms them to a partnership if not an outright alliance is their unenviable geographic and geopolitical position of occupying the strange “no man’s land” between Russia, NATO, and the Middle East. It is, of course, largely a predicament of their own making. Ukraine, with considerable Western backing and encouragement but nevertheless mostly through efforts of a faction of its own oligarchy, opted out of the Russia-centered network of loose alliances, trade partnerships, and other forms of cooperation that were mutually beneficial to the two in the previous two decades. But that defection was not rewarded by the West in a way the likes of Poroshenko, Yatsenyuk, Avakov, Parubiy, and other architects of the Maidan coup expected.

Dec 02 08:42

‘Like horse-mounted cavalry against tanks’: Turkey has perfected new, deadly way to wage war, using militarized ‘drone swarms’

From Syria to Libya to Nagorno-Karabakh, this new method of military offense has been brutally effective. We are witnessing a revolution in the history of warfare, one that is causing panic, particularly in Europe.

In an analysis written for the European Council on Foreign Relations, Gustav Gressel, a senior policy fellow, argues that the extensive (and successful) use of military drones by Azerbaijan in its recent conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh holds “distinct lessons for how well Europe can defend itself.”

Dec 02 08:05

Turkey, Azerbaijan drone success should worry Europe, says European Council analyst

The success in drone warfare conducted by Turkey and Azerbaijan is a cause of concern for Europe and should force it to consider its options, a senior policy fellow and analyst at the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has warned.

In the analysis written by Gustav Gressel, he noted that Azerbaijan's victory over Armenia in the renewed conflict for the Nagorno-Karabakh region offers "distinct lessons for how well Europe can defend itself".

During that 44-day conflict, in which Armenia and its militias suffered the loss of thousands of troops and military vehicles, one of the key decisive factors which granted Azerbaijan superiority were the Turkish drones used by the Azeri military.

Those drones, along with the methods of warfare developed through their use in other fronts, enabled Azerbaijan to capture the strategic city of Shusha and force Armenia's surrender on 9 November, leading to the Russia-brokered ceasefire deal which returned the territory to Baku.

Dec 02 02:42

US and Turkey target each other in NATO meeting

Outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo slammed Turkey during a virtual meeting of NATO foreign ministers on Tuesday, accusing Ankara of stoking tensions with fellow allies in the Mediterranean and of giving a gift to the Kremlin by purchasing a Russian-made anti-aircraft system.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu fired back, accusing Pompeo of phoning European allies and urging them to gang up on Turkey, of siding blindly with Greece in regional conflicts, and of refusing to sell Ankara U.S.-made Patriot anti-aircraft weapons.

Çavu?o?lu also accused the U.S. of backing Kurdish “terrorist organizations” in Syria, while Turkey fought the Islamic State, and insisted that the U.S. and France had worsened a conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh by backing Armenia in a war that Azerbaijan won with Turkish military support.

Nov 27 06:53

Turkey backs Libya government

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has pledged that Turkey would continue to support Libya’s United Nations-recognized government during closed-door talks in Istanbul, his office said.

Erdogan met with the head of the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA), Fayez al-Sarraj, for talks on the most recent developments in Libya, as well as bilateral relations and regional matters.

During the meeting, Erdogan “stated that Turkey will continue to stand in solidarity with Libya’s UN-recognized legitimate government, and reiterated that Turkey’s priority is to restore Libya’s stability, without further delay,” the presidency said.

Nov 27 06:52

Watch: Moment German Commandos Intercept & Raid Turkish Ship Bound For Libya

The Turkish media published a video this week showing the interception and search of a Turkish cargo vessel by German forces which happened Sunday as part of the European Union's "Irini" operation in the Mediterranean.

According to reports, the Turkish merchant ship was bound for the Libyan coast before it was stopped by the German naval forces in the eastern Mediterranean.

In the video shared by RT, the German forces can be seen approaching the vessel with its warship and helicopters, as they later entered the ship to search its contents.

On Monday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Germany’s attempted inspection, calling it a violation of international law.

Nov 25 07:59

MAJOR: Russia Could Soon Intervene As Azeris And Turks Start Settling 4000 Terrorists In Artsakh (Karabakh)

Sources close to the government of the Syrian Arab Republic have managed to obtain information that Turkey, in cooperation with Azerbaijan, provided documents for the legal settlement of the first group of no less than 4,000 Turkmens (who came to Azerbaijan as terrorists and mercenaries) who will soon settle in towns and villages in southern Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh).

These towns and villages were formerly populated by Armenians, who were forced to leave the area after the Azeri attack on September 27. Since these “settlers” are mostly terrorists and extremists who fought in Jihadist organizations such as Jabhat al-Nusra and even the Islamic State, the formation of Wahhabi strongholds in the border area with Armenia, especially on its southeastern border, cannot be ruled out.

Nov 24 06:14

Nagorno-Karabakh: victory of London and Ankara, defeat of Soros and the Armenians

The Pentagon, which had planned the war in Nagorno-Karabakh, was overtaken by its British allies. But none of the great powers worried about the deaths it would cause. Moreover, while London and Ankara renewed their historic alliance, Washington and Moscow gained nothing, while George Soros and the Armenians lost much.

Nov 18 08:13

Turkey’s Parliament Approves Peacekeeper Deployment to Azerbaijan

Turkey’s parliament approved a motion on Tuesday to allow soldiers to be deployed as peacekeepers to monitor the Nagorno-Karabakh ceasefire. The mandate grants Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan permission to deploy soldiers for up to one year to a joint Turkish-Russian monitoring center in Azerbaijan.

Nov 18 08:12

'They destroyed our life': Iraqi Kurds fear Turkey's drones in PKK mountain war

Fighting a guerilla movement in the mountains of northern Iraq is not an easy endeavour, even for Nato’s second largest army.

While the usage of sophisticated drone technology has given Turkey an aerial advantage, it has not proven enough to take down the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

But the ongoing military campaign in northern Iraq has succeeded in stoking tensions between different factions in the country's autonomous Kurdish region, as well as having a catastrophic impact on the civilian population.

Middle East Eye was able to speak with inhabitants of the areas where Turkey has deployed and maintains strict surveillance of the countryside with drones.

Nov 16 10:33

During Russian air raids 78 Turkish supported military recruits are killed in the Syrian camp.

Russian air strikes killed at least 78 Turkish-backed recruits in a Syrian training camp and potentially injured 90 more, the UK-based Syrian Human Rights Observatory said Monday.

Russian missiles targeted an al-Sham Corps camp in the rebel-held Jabal al-Dawila region of Harem, northwest of Idlib, the agency said.

Thousands of Idlib residents took to the streets to mourn the recruits who completed their military training this week.

The al-Sham Corps is a Sunni Islamist rebel military unit supported by Turkey.

Nov 16 06:55

Turkey sends second drillship to Black Sea for mission

Turkey's drillship Kanuni sailed from Istanbul on Friday to the Black Sea to start its first mission, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Fatih Donmez announced.

Kanuni will carry out drilling activities at the Sakarya Gas Field off the northern province of Zonguldak after having some maintenance at the Port of Filyos at the province, Donmez said at a ceremony at Istanbul's Haydarpasa Port before the vessel's departure.

The ship will begin its first drilling in the first months of 2021, according to the minister.

To be able to pass under the three bridges of the Bosphorus Strait, the ship towers had been dismantled at Haydarpasa Port.

Nov 15 17:26

German Turkish Couple Who Helped Develop Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine Doesn't Even Own a Car

Scientists Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci, who have dedicated their lives to finding cures for infectious diseases and cancer, helped develop the Covid-19 vaccine that is being developed by Pfizer.

Nov 03 13:19

TURKISH RISK INVESTMENTS IN LOCAL CONFLICTS AND PROSPECTS OF ARMENIAN COUNTER-OFFENSIVE IN KARABAKH

In early November, the Azerbaijani-Turkish advance in the directions of the Lachin corridor and the town of Shusha in the Nagorno-Karabakh region slowed down.

The main factors are the fierce resistance of Armenian forces, the complicated terrain, deteriorating weather conditions and overextended communications that run through recently captured territories, where Armenian sabotage units are still able to deliver regular attacks. 9 villages, the capturing of which Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev announced recently, are in fact located inside the territory captured by Azerbaijani forces earlier. This showcases the lack of progress of Baku’s forces in the recent battles.

Nov 03 07:47

France to ban Turkish ultranationalist Grey Wolves group

France plans to ban Turkish far-right nationalist group, the Grey Wolves.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin described the organisation as “particularly aggressive” and told legislators on Monday that he would be seeking its dissolution at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Nov 01 07:53

Report: Armed Turkish Soldiers Prowling Greek Border in Civilian Dress

CNN Greece has published video which they say shows armed Turkish soldiers in civilian clothing probing the Greek border.

According to CNN Greece, the Greek border authorities spotted five men armed with automatic weapons in the Gemisti area of the Graeco-Turkish frontier, prowling the banks of the Evros river which demarcates much of the land border between the two countries along with four others.

CNN Greece reports that they fled the scene after realising Greek border guards had discovered them, with any attempts at crossing the border of facilitating illegal immigration undetected having been foiled.

Nov 01 07:43

Armenian Prime Minister Warns on Erdogan Aggression, Says EU ‘Should Expect Turkey Near Vienna’ in Future

The Prime Minister of Armenia has warned the European Union on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s increasing aggression, saying that it “should expect Turkey near Vienna” in a “not so distant future”.

Prime Minister Nikol Vovayi Pashinyan was talking to outlets including the Europen Post, the Telegraph, and Il Giornale on the ongoing conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, or Artsakh, a breakaway province of Azerbaijan populated by Christian ethnic Armenians.

Muslim-majority Azerbaijan, backed by Turkey, has been seeking to bring the unrecognised but hitherto de facto independent Republic of Artsakh to heel by force of arms, while Armenia — like Azerbaijan a former Soviet Socialist Republic — has been assisting the separatists’ efforts to resist them.

Oct 31 07:14

Erdogan wanted to scare France. He ended up sinking his own currency

Oct 31 07:03

France Dissolves Islamist Group, Founder Requests Political Asylum in Erdogan’s Turkey

The former head of the Islamist NGO Barakacity, which was dissolved by the French government, has requested political asylum from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The founder and former head of the now-defunct Islamist NGO, Idriss Sihamedi, took to Twitter to speak about the aftermath of the government ban.

“The French state decided to dissolve the humanitarian aid and human rights organisation Barakacity, which operates for two million poor people in 26 countries. This is despite there being no real charges in the files after a three-year investigation,” Sihamedi wrote in Turkish.

He went on to address President Erdogan’s Twitter account directly, asking: “I would like to request political asylum for myself and my team since I am not safe in France on behalf of our NGO.”

Oct 29 08:37

Western Countries 'Attacking' Islam Want to 'Relaunch the Crusades', Says Erdogan

Turkey said earlier that diplomatic and legal action will be taken as a response to the caricature of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was published by French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that western countries want to "relaunch the crusades" by attacking Islam. The comment was made as Erdogan addressed members of his AK Party in parliament.

"France - and Europe as a whole - does not deserve this provocative, dirty, hateful and divisive policy pursued by Macron and those who share his views", Erdogan said during his speech, after relations had worsened between Erdogan and his French counterpart this month.

Oct 29 07:38

Turks ‘search’ for Armenians in Lyon, France amid ethnic tensions over Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Turkish nationalists marched through the outskirts of Lyon, France, following violent clashes with ethnic Armenians who had blocked a roadway to show their support for Yerevan in its war with Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Members of the ‘Gray Wolves’, a Turkish nationalist group, took to the streets of a Lyon suburb and a nearby commune on Wednesday night, after several Turks were reportedly injured earlier in the day by Armenian demonstrators.

France’s Independent Union of Police Commissioners said in a tweet that 150 “overexcited individuals” had participated in a “punitive expedition in search of Armenians” in Vienne, a commune 35 kilometers (22 miles) south of Lyon. Footage posted to social media shows a group of people shouting and waving Turkish flags while moving through Vienne, as a police cruiser retreats.

Oct 29 07:20

Russian air strikes kill dozens of Turkish-backed rebels in Syria, monitor says

Air strikes by Damascus regime ally Russia killed 78 Turkey-backed rebels in northwestern Syria on Monday, a monitor said, in the bloodiest surge in violence since a truce almost eight months ago.

More than 90 others were wounded when Russian warplanes targeted a training camp of the Faylaq al-Sham faction in the Jabal Duwayli area in Idlib province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

In early March, a truce brokered between Moscow and Ankara stemmed a deadly months-long Russia-backed regime military offensive on the country's last major rebel stronghold in Idlib.

That onslaught from December had displaced almost a million people from their homes in one of the worst humanitarian crises of the nine-year civil war.

Oct 29 06:31

Erdogan Threatens New Invasion of Northern Syria Over Kurdish Presence

Tensions are once again soaring on the Syria-Turkey border, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan now declaring he has “legitimate reason” to re-invade northern Syria, and that such an option could happen “at any moment.”

This would be the latest of several invasions, and countless threats of invasions in recent years, and comes after a Russian airstrike targeted Turkish-backed rebels earlier this week. That’s part of the escalation of tone, but not being used to justify the invasion.

Instead, Erdogan is back to complaining about Kurds along the border, saying he’d been promised they’d be removed, and that they still haven’t been, and that that justifies Turkey going in and removing them themselves.

Oct 29 06:29

US says 'very real' risk of Turkey sanctions over Russian arms

A US official warned Wednesday that NATO ally Turkey faced a risk of sanctions after it defiantly tested Russia's S-400 air defense system.

"That risk is very real because they... continue to pursue the S-400," said R. Clarke Cooper, the top State Department official in charge of arms sales.

"And, of course, with the testing of it, sanctions is very much something that is on the table," he told a small group of reporters.

Turkey has confirmed the first test of the S-400 despite months of warnings from the United States that the system was incompatible with membership in NATO and could help Russia hone skills in shooting down Western fighter jets.

Oct 28 05:17

Turkey Prepares to Take Dutch Populist Geert Wilders to Court over Cartoon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced a lawsuit Tuesday against one of Europe’s best known populist leaders, Geert Wilders, on charges of “insulting the president,” a crime in Turkey.

Wilders joins thousands Erdogan has so prosecuted for insulting him since coming to power. The lawsuit follows a war of words triggered by France’s crackdown on radical Islam after the beheading of a teacher.

Wilders – who leads the official opposition party in the Dutch Parliament – had published a cartoon of Erdo?an wearing a bomb in a turban on Friday, his response to Turkey’s increasingly forceful attacks on France. Last week, Erdogan had insulted French President Emmanuel Macron by saying the leader needed mental health treatment for his reaction to this month’s Islamist terror attack in a Paris suburb. Macron objected to the attack.

Oct 27 09:31

Russian Airstrike Hits HQ of Syrian Islamist Group Close to Turkey; 80 Killed

Russia has attacked the HQ of Faylaq al-Sham, Turkey's favorite armed group in Idlib, and the leading faction of the NLF of the SNA.

Faylaq al-Sham is also present in the Astana process and the constitutional committee.

Claims that up to 50 Faylaq members died in the attack.

Oct 27 06:21

Russia knocking Turkish drones from Armenian skies

The electronic warfare system is known as “Belladonna”, a poisonous plant that gets its name from Renaissance women who used its extract for tinctures to dilate the pupils of their eyes, ostensibly to make them more attractive.

While Belladonna translates to “beautiful woman” in English, in Russian it has a second meaning: it is the name of a Russian electronic jamming system now credited with knocking out at least nine Turkish Bayraktar armed drones used by Azerbaijan to target Armenia.

If true – and no one has denied it – the system is now operating around the sensitive Russian military base at Gyumri in Armenia, far from the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict area.

Oct 27 06:21

Russian Airstrikes Kill Dozens of Turkish-Backed Fighters in Syria

Russian airstrikes killed dozens of Turkish-backed fighters in Syria’s northwest Idlib province on Monday. The strike targeted a camp for Faylaq al-Sham, one of the larger Turkish backed groups in Idlib.

According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), 78 fighters were killed, and more than 90 were wounded in the airstrikes.

Turkey sent thousands of fighters into Idlib earlier this year to halt a Syrian government offensive to retake Idlib, which is mostly controlled by Hayat Tahir al-Sham (HTS), an al-Qaeda affiliate formerly known as al-Nusra Front.

Russia and Turkey brokered a ceasefire in March to halt the violence in Idlib. While there has been shelling and minor offensives by both sides, the ceasefire has held relatively well. Monday’s airstrikes appear to be the largest Russian operations since the truce was reached.

Oct 27 06:09

Turkey's Erdogan says it's time for two-state solution in Cyprus

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday it was time for a realistic proposal about a two-state solution on the divided island of Cyprus to be discussed, and added that the parameters of the current talks were not sustainable.

Cyprus was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The European Union admitted the island into the bloc in 2004, represented by the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government in the south.

Its north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state only recognised by Ankara.

Oct 27 06:06

Biden Appeals to Bosnian Muslim and Albanian Voters Reveal Democrats’ Plans in the Balkans

US Democrat Presidential Candidate Joe Biden has been on a whirlwind campaign in an attempt to defeat President Donald Trump in next month’s election. Published policy papers has shown Biden’s strong support for Greece, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Albania and Kosovo as he seeks to win over millions of Diaspora votes. The candidate has taken a very strong anti-Turkey position in his bid to win over Armenian and Greek Diaspora voters at a time when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an makes daily threats of war against Greece and is directly sponsoring, arming and facilitating the Azerbaijani invasion of Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh.

However, away from Greece and into the heart of the Balkans, Biden is also appealing to the greatest enablers of Turkish expansionism into the region – BiH, Albania and Kosovo.

Oct 27 06:05

Recep Erdogan: Turkey’s Meddlesome and Mischievious Neo-Ottoman Sultan

Turkish President Recep Erdogan’s recent comments regarding his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron’s mental state has led to the recall of the French ambassador from Ankara. His assertion that Macron was “in need of mental health treatment” was not his first barb aimed at the French president. Back in August, he accused Macron of having “colonial aims” in Lebanon and referred to Macron’s visit to Beirut as a “spectacle”. But if there is any truth to Erdogan’s accusation, it is almost certainly a case of psychological projection. Erdogan himself has been explicitly engaged in a perennial quest aimed at restoring Turkish grandeur and influence to the great cost and the irritation of his country’s neighbours and traditional allies.

Oct 27 05:26

Russian Airstrikes Obliterate Turkish-Backed 'Rebel' Camp In Idlib, Killing Over 60

Though Syria has long fallen out of featured coverage in international media, it appears the war to take back Idlib province is heating up once again. Recall that on prior occasions over the past few years Washington has threatened some level of military intervention each time Syria and Russia prepared to finally liberate the northwest region from al-Qaeda and Turkish-backed jihadists (especially connected with 'rebel' claims of chemical weapons usage by government forces).

On Monday Russian jets pounded a camp full of Turkish-backed militants in Idlib, killing at least 60. Some media sources are reporting possibly over 70 killed and 100+ injured, making it one of the single deadliest airstrikes of the entire almost decade long war.

"The strike targeted the group Faylaq al-Sham, whose base is near several refugee camps in the heavily populated province of Idlib," The New York Times reports.

Oct 26 07:31

France Recalls Ambassador After Erdogan Said Macron "Needs Mental Help" Over "Islamist Terrorism" Label

It's been a weekend of a ratcheting diplomatic tit-for-tat angry statements between Turkey and France. Relations between the two NATO members were already on edge given France's strong backing of Greece's attempts to keep Turkish oil and gas exploration vessels out of its territorial waters in the eastern Mediterranean.

Paris has now recalled the French ambassador to Turkey in the biggest escalation to date as of late Saturday. It started with President Erdogan taking exception to how Emmanuel Macron characterized the brutal murder of middle school teacher Samuel Paty, beheaded outside Paris on October 16 by a young Chechen refugee angry the teacher had shown cartoon images of Muhammad.

Oct 26 07:07

‘US doesn’t know who it’s dealing with!’ Erdogan dismisses Washington’s threats over S-400 deployment

Turkey is not a “tribal state” that can be pushed around, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, dismissing the American warnings over its procurement of Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

Ankara will see through the deployment of its S-400 systems, which will not be disrupted by any threats or sanctions, Erdogan made clear, speaking in the eastern Turkish city of Malatya on Sunday. The Turkish leader even dared Washington to go ahead and introduce any S-400-related sanctions it might be planning.

You don't know who you’re dealing with. Whatever sanctions you have, don’t keep us waiting – introduce them. We paid for the F-35. You threatened us. You said, ‘Send the S-400s back to Russia.’ We are not a tribal state. We’re Turkey.

Oct 26 06:00

Is NATO ally Turkey forcing a dangerous US-Russia confrontation?

Armenia and Azerbaijan announced on October 20 that their foreign ministers would meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Washington this week in an effort to end the heaviest fighting between the two countries since the 1990s. It’s a worthy mission, but the Trump administration needs to exercise caution.

Oct 26 06:00

Turkish president dares U.S. to impose economic sanctions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged the United States to impose sanctions against his country while also launching a second personal attack Sunday on French President Emmanuel Macron.

Speaking a day after he suggested Macron needed mental health treatment because of his views on Islam and radical Muslims, Erdogan expanded his range to take aim at foreign critics.

“Whatever your sanctions are, don’t be late,” Erdogan said, referring to U.S. warnings for Turkey not to get directly involved in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh, where Ankara supports Azerbaijan against ethnic Armenian forces.

The Turkish leader also mentioned Washington’s threat of sanctions after Turkey tested the Russian-made S-400 air defense system. The purchase has already seen Turkey kicked off the F-35 stealth fighter program.

Oct 26 05:58

Turkish president threatens Syrian Kurds amid increasing clashes in northeast Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an delivered remarks at the 7th Ordinary Provincial Congress of the Justice and Development (AK) Party in Kayseri and the key handover ceremony of Kayseri Urban Transformation Project, the website of the Turkish presidency said.

“Recently, we have seen that the efforts for a new terrorist formation near the Iraqi border in Syria have been accelerated. Let me say this more clearly; there is an effort to establish a terror state there. I would like to say this without beating around the bush: Turkey will never allow the establishment of a terror state right beside its borders. We will do whatever is necessary and drain this swamp of terrorism.”

Oct 26 05:36

Karabagh: NATO supports Turkey while seeking to eliminate President Erdo?an

In the Karabakh War, contemporary law is contradictory depending on whether it is interpreted in terms of ownership of the territory or the self-determination of the people. Taking advantage of this equivocation, the Turkish people (i.e., both Turkey and Azerbaijan) have just attacked this territory, self-proclaimed independent (Artsakh) although de facto linked to Armenia. Russia has already made it known that, according to the treaties, it will defend Armenia if it is attacked, but that its national security is not concerned by what is happening in Karabagh. Therefore, the only question is to establish whether Turkey has acted on the orders of the West, or whether it has taken an initiative that its own allies are likely to turn against it.

Oct 26 05:25

'Washington Has No Idea About Who It Deals With': Erdogan Brushes Off US Criticism Over S-400

On Saturday, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar stated that the country’s military is checking its S-400 air defence systems and preparing them for deployment.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made it clear once again that Ankara does not intend to abandon the S-400 missile systems purchased from Russia.

"The United States does not know who it is dealing with. You told us to send the S-400s back to Russia. But we are not a tribal state, we are Turkey", Erdogan told a meeting in the city of Malatya on Sunday.

Oct 25 06:59

Turkey Continuing to Check and Prepare Russian-Made S-400s for Deployment, Defence Minister Says

A day before, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that Ankara won't be holding any consultations with the US regarding tests of the air defence systems.

The Turkish military is checking the S-400 air defence systems and preparing them for deployment, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar stated on Saturday.

He stressed, however, that "the purchase and planned check-ups of the air defence systems do not mean that the country is alienating itself from NATO".

Oct 25 06:26

Erdogan says Macron needs ‘mental health treatment’ and doesn’t understand freedom of religion

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of “mistreating” millions of Muslims after officials announced a crackdown on radical mosques and Islamic extremism across France.

“What is Macron's problem with Islam and Muslims? He needs mental health treatment,” Erdogan said at a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party on Saturday, Turkish media reported.

What else can be said to a head of state that does not understand the freedom of belief and treats the millions of members of a religious minority in his country this way? First of all, he needs [a] mental check.

Oct 25 05:52

Turkey’s Relationship with ISIS Proves It Is Deserting Its European Allies

ISIS was so successful in 2014 in part because President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an of Turkey is a vocal supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. Any distance Erdo?an has placed between himself and ISIS is attributable to pressure from Russia, the US, and Europe, not to his rejection of the group’s Islamist ideology.

In view of Turkey’s increasingly divisive and destabilizing influence in the Middle East, the region’s biggest concern for the West could be President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an’s burgeoning Islamist tendencies. In order to understand the Turkish role in the threat of ISIS, borne from the Muslim Brotherhood, it is necessary to rewind six years.

Oct 24 07:34

Pentagon warns Turkey of 'serious consequences' over missile system test

The United States military has warned Turkey of “serious consequences” after Ankara confirmed that it has tested a Russian-made missile defense system.

"The US Department of Defense condemns in the strongest possible terms Turkey's October 16 test of the S-400 air defense system," Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement on Friday.

"We object to Turkey's testing of this system, which risks serious consequences for our security relationship," Hoffman said. "We have been clear and unwavering in our position: an operational S-400 system is not consistent with Turkey's commitments as a US and NATO Ally."

This came after the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed that his country tested the missile system last week.

Oct 23 11:23

US Embassy In Turkey Suspends All Services, Citing Credible 'Terror Threat'

There's been a huge development out of Turkey at a moment the country is under US scrutiny after conducting major Russian S-400 missile defense system tests for the first time, which have run late last week into this week on the Black Sea coast.

The United States Embassy in Turkey says it has temporarily suspended all citizen and visa services based on a significant security alert.

Oct 22 10:44

UKRAINE IS BECOMING LOGISTICAL HUB FOR TURKISH WEAPON SUPPLIES TO AZERBAIJAN

The cargo plane of the Azerbaijani airline Silk Way West Airlines Boeing 747 announced that it will fly from Kiev to Milan, but ‘somehow’ appeared at the airport in Azerbaijan’s Baku, according to the flight path tracked by the Flightradar24 website.

Such an ‘accident’ and the state of secrecy surrounding it led to a reasonable concern that in fact the plane was transporting weapons or military and dual-use goods from Ukraine to Azerbaijan, which is de-facto in the state of war with Armenia. Right now, Azerbaijani troops are clashing with the Armenians in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Furthermore, earlier, Silk Way West Airlines was repeatedly spotted as a part of weapons-trading network that delivers various weapons and ammunition to conflict zones in the Greater Middle East. Later, such weapons often appear in the hands of terrorist groups.

Oct 22 06:04

Turkey Ready to Send Troops to Help Azerbaijan if Requested

On Wednesday, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said Ankara would not hesitate to send troops to support Azerbaijan in Nagorno-Karabakh if requested. Oktay added that at the moment, no such request had been made.

Since clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces broke out in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 27th, Turkey has been outspoken in its support for Baku. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called for Armenia to end its “occupation” of Azeri territory.

Turkey has been supporting Baku militarily through weapons sales. Turkish arms exports surged just before the fighting began. Sales rose from $278,880 in July to $36 million in August and jumped to $77 million in September.

Oct 22 05:51

Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean waters to Oct. 27

Turkey said on Wednesday it extended the stay of its Oruc Reis survey vessel and two other ships in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until Oct. 27, in a move likely to further escalate tensions in the region.

Two other vessels, the Ataman and Cengiz Han along with Oruc Reis will continue work in an area southeast of the Greek island of Rhodes until Oct. 27, Turkey's Navy said in a maritime notice. The vessels had previously been scheduled to work until Oct. 22.

NATO members Turkey and Greece are at odds over conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean and overlapping views on the extent of their continental shelves. Tensions flared in August when Ankara sent Oruc Reis to waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

Oct 21 07:17

Turkey Withdraws From Military Outpost in Syria Surrounded by the Syrian Army

Turkey has evacuated an observation station in Syria’s northwestern Hama province that had been encircled by Syrian government forces.

The outpost in Morek had been Turkey’s largest in the province, which is now under the control of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Assad’s troops encircled it last year after an offensive on the province of Idlib, which is the last opposition stronghold in the country.

“After midnight Turkish forces began to evacuate Morek, and this morning a large convoy left” the area, an Ankara-backed Syrian rebel commander told AFP.

He said the troops would be redeployed to Turkish outposts in Idlib.

Oct 20 07:15

Former Democratic Presidential Candidate Tulsi Gabbard Urges US Congress to Expel Turkey From NATO

The predominantly Armenian-populated Nagorno-Karabakh region declared independence from Azerbaijan in 1991 and announced plans to join Armenia. This led to a major war between Yerevan and Baku that lasted until 1994, when the sides agreed to start peace talks on the dispute mediated by the OSCE Minsk Group, headed by Russia, the US, and France.

US Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has submitted a resolution to the US House of Representatives calling for the expulsion of Turkey from the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO), the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) said on Facebook.

The document published by ANCA claims that Turkey is openly supporting Azerbaijan in the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh, an breakaway enclave that proclaimed independence from Baku after the breakdown of the Soviet Union and has since sought international recognition.

Oct 20 06:00

Turkey to Scrap Idlib Observation Post

The Turkish military has begun withdrawing from the Morek observation post in Idlib, Syria. They set up the post in 2018 and have reinforced it, ruling out ever abandoning it. Officials now say it has no military value and that they are dismantling the base.

This was one of 12 posts which were meant to support Syrian rebels in Idlib. Though Turkey isn’t saying so, this may reflect the rebel weakness in the area, and al-Qaeda’s dominance in Idlib.

Some Turkish officials are reporting that four observation posts and two military sites in Idlib will be going. The sites are said to be inconvenient to defend, and of little use to the rebels.

Oct 19 07:58

US Condemns Turkey's S-400 Test 'In Strongest Terms', If Confirmed

Earlier in the day, a video began circulating in Turkish media showing what appears to be the trail of a missile launch in the city of Sinop, which was thought to be the result of an S-400 air defence system test. Ankara previously announced plans to hold firing exercises in the region between 13 and 17 October.

The United States condemns "in the strongest terms" Turkey's test of S-400 air defence systems, if this really took place, spokeswoman for the State Department Morgan Ortagus said Friday.

Washington has already expressed its protest to the Turkish authorities over the test launch and warned about the "potential serious consequences" of the move, Ortagus added.

Oct 18 07:42

Turkey tests Russian-made S-400 defence system: Reports

A missile has been fired into the sky on Turkey’s Black Sea coast where the military was expected to test its Russian-made S-400 defence systems, according to a video seen by Reuters.

The video, taken in the coastal city of Sinop on Friday, showed a narrow column of smoke headed high into the blue sky.

Oct 17 08:19

EU gives Turkey until early December to de-escalate, chairman says

European Union leaders regret Turkey’s decision to send a natural gas exploration ship to contested waters in the Mediterranean, the bloc’s chairman said on Friday, reiterating that the EU would consider its options in December.

“We plan a summit in December. And we have planned, indeed, to tackle again and to assess the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and in Turkey,” European Council President Charles Michel told a news conference after an EU summit in Brussels.

“We deplore the unilateral actions and provocations by Turkey,” Michel said.

Oct 17 08:13

Turkish and Israeli Weapons Fueling Conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh

Weapons-makers — aka merchants of death and mass destruction — fuel conflicts when occur.

The US by far dominates the global arms trade.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US accounted for 36% of major conventional weapons sales from 2015 – 2019.

Throughout most of the post-WW II period, the US dominated the global arms market.

Arms and security expert William Hartung explained that for 25 of the past 26 years, “the United States has been the leading arms dealer on the planet, at some moments in near monopolistic fashion.”

Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries are major buyers of US arms.

In areas where large amounts of heavy weapons are sold, wars often follow.

Oct 17 07:47

US threatens ‘serious consequences’ if Turkey puts into operation its Russian S-400 missile systems

The US State Department has warned the Turkish government of “potential serious consequences” to the two nations’ security relationship should reports of Ankara testing the Russian S-400 air defense systems prove true.

“If confirmed, we would condemn in the strongest terms the S-400 test missile launch as incompatible with Turkey’s responsibilities as a NATO ally and strategic partner of the United States,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said on Friday.

Ortagus insisted that the air defense system “should not be operationalized,” adding, “We have also been clear on the potential serious consequences for our security relationship if Turkey activates the system.”

Washington’s reaction comes after a Reuters report showed “a narrow column of smoke headed high into the blue sky” near the city of Sinop in northern Turkey. According to the outlet’s defense analyst Turan Oguz, the smoke pattern suggested it was a missile launch of the Russian-made S-400.

Oct 17 07:27

Full Interview: Turkey is the Main Sponsor of Nagorno-Karabakh War, Armenian PM Pashinyan Says

The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, which escalated at the end of September, has reportedly claimed several hundred lives. Despite the reached agreement mediated by Russia, there is no sustainable truce yet. Sputnik head Dmitry Kiselev spoke with both Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders in parallel interviews.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan explained in an interview to Rossiya Segodnya Director General Dmitry Kiselev how he sees the situation, the number of casualties Yerevan has taken and commented on the presence of foreign mercenaries in the region. He also spoke about who is behind the current aggravation of the conflict and why, what compromises the Armenian side is ready to make and what it will not accept under any circumstances.

Oct 17 07:12

Nagorno-Karabakh: Turkey Instigates An Old War With Older Ambitions

For more than ten hours, from Oct. 9 to Oct. 10, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov presided over tough and grueling negotiations between Armenian foreign minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan and Azerbaijani foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov. The talks focused on ending the recent war over the breakaway republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (known by Armenians as Artsakh). They resulted in a humanitarian ceasefire and a commitment to further peace talks. It seemed to be a remarkable feat for Moscow’s veteran diplomat. At the time of this writing, the ceasefire has “largely held,” albeit by a thread.

Oct 15 12:48

WAR IN KARABAKH: TURKISH PROXIES ARE ALLEGEDLY TOO SCARED TO FIGHT ARMENIANS

About 1,000 members of Syrian militant groups deployed by Turkey to support the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno-Karabakh region have laid down their arms and refused to participate in hostilities, Armenian media outlets and military-affiliated sources claimed. They insist that Syrian militants were just used as cannon fodder and did not receive their promised money. According to sources loyal to the Syrian opposition, the number of Turkish proxies that died in the war with Armenia has exceeded 110.

Earlier, reports appeared from Syrian sources , claiming that about 400 members of Turkish-backed militant groups deployed in Syria’s northwest had refused to go to Azerbaijan. At least 16 of them were arrested by the so-called Hamza Division for complaining too much and for leaking information to the public.

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