Friday, October 20, 2017

Tag: Erdogan

EU summit lines up against Russia

On Thursday, the 28 leaders of the European Union gathered in Brussels at their final summit of the year. The EU is in deep crisis. Following the British decision to leave the EU, the election of Donald Trump as US president, and the rise of right-wing nationalist forces in...

Shiite Militias Are Crashing the Mosul Offensive

Pro-Iran militias are looking to settle an old grudge in one of the Islamic State's strongholds in northern Iraq. One of the mysteries about the ongoing offensive in Mosul, where Iraqi security forces are now pressing into the northern, eastern, and southern edges of the city, has been the apparent...

What to Do About Fake News

In the wake of Donald Trump's victory, a hot new issue – raised by President Obama in an international setting on Thursday and touted on The New York Times’ front page on Friday – is the problem of “fake news” being disseminated on the Internet. Major Internet companies, such as...

Turkish Client Paid Trump Adviser Michael Flynn’s Company Tens of Thousands of Dollars for...

Donald Trump has repeatedly promised to “drain the swamp” of Washington corruption. The new ethics pledge he announced Wednesday would prohibit registered lobbyists from working for his transition team or administration. But Trump's supposed aversion to lobbyists has not harmed the fortunes of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, one of Trump’s...

What is Turkey up to in northern Syria?

The Oct. 25 bombing by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) against the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is leading Operation Euphrates Shield, is symptomatic of the struggle currently taking place in northern Syria on the al-Bab/Manbij axis. It also underlines the geopolitical conflict pitting...

What Turkish raid on Syrian Kurds means for Ankara-Washington ties

Turkish jets pounded US-backed Syrian Kurdish-led forces during the early hours of Oct. 20 in an apparent attempt to prevent them from establishing a long-coveted corridor to link up territories under their control in northern Syria. The Turkish attacks follow sustained threats from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to take further action against the...

Erdogan talks with Putin on Al-Nusra withdrawal from Aleppo

Russia tells US to separate rebels from terrorists. MOSCOW, OCTOBER 19 - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone on Tuesday evening with Russian President Vladimir Putin about an accord to make troops of Al-Nusra Front, now known as Fateh al-Sham Front, withdraw from Aleppo "as requested" by Moscow...

Europe Wishes to Inform You That the Refugee Crisis Is Over

Greece - Skala Sikaminias is a little beach town on the northern coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. A year ago, rickety wooden boats and dinghies packed with Syrian refugees began plowing into the narrow stretch of beach next to the taverna in the town square. Within days, the flotilla had swelled to vast proportions; as many as 7,000 Syrian refugees were landing on Lesbos every day.
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President Bashar Al-Assad’s interview given to Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda

Question 1: Thank you very much, Mr. President. It's a big happiness for me, and I'm very proud. Okay, I will start from my questions. The situation in Syria become more dangerous and more unpredictable. Why? Because this conflict draws inside more participants and more players. For example, who...

Turks cry economic warfare as Moody’s lowers credit rating

On a rainy day in May 2013, US President Barack Obama and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan stood together under umbrellas in Washington praising the strategic partnership between their countries while Moody's Investors Service was upgrading Turkey’s credit rating to good. But since that heartwarming meeting of two leaders, black clouds have drifted over US-Turkey...

Turkey-US ties could fray further as Pentagon mulls arming YPG

Turkey's fraught relations with the United States over the US alliance with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the war against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria have taken another turn for the worse as the Pentagon considers providing more arms to the Syrian Kurdish militia while continuing to...

Are Ankara, Washington on collision course in Syria?

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's supporters were awed once again by his performance at the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. He spoke at the summit about Syrian refugees and touched upon nearly every issue on in his agenda, as if he was addressing an admiring domestic audience in...

Russia Trumps USA Energy War in Mideast

In a fundamental sense the entirety of the five-year-long war over Syria, as well as the entire Arab Spring from Libya to Egypt to Iraq has been about control of hydrocarbon resources—oil and natural gas– and of potential hydrocarbon pipelines to the promising markets of the European Union. Dick...

Whistleblower exposes how NATO’s leading ally is arming and funding ISIS

“I am the police chief who was asked to guard ISIS terrorists”. A former senior counter-terrorism official in Turkey has blown the whistle on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s deliberate sponsorship of the Islamic State (ISIS) as a geopolitical tool to expand Turkey's regional influence and sideline his political opponents at...

Turkey demands role in Mosul battle, but coalition unconvinced

With US-led operations against the Islamic State’s strongholds of Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq looming, Ankara and Washington are engaged in intense talks to determine Turkey's involvement in them. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has indicated that Turkey wants in on both operations, declaring that US President Barack Obama called for...

Turkey’s emergency rule stokes Kurdish separatism

Five days after the July 15 coup attempt in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened back-to-back meetings with the Council of Ministers and the National Security Council, installing a nationwide state of emergency. According to what he said at the time, the state of emergency, which empowers the government...

Kurds become new target of Ankara’s post-coup purges

While Ankara's post-putsch crackdown on Gulenists is increasingly called into question — most recently by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself — the purges are now expanding to Kurdish quarters accused of backing the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a designated terrorist group. Days after some 11,000 teachers were suspended with...

Will Russia and Turkey Change the Energy Map of Europe?

The meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the G20 Summit in Hangzhou has given fresh impetus to bilateral relations and joint projects. This primarily relates to the construction of the Turkish Stream pipeline, which may become one of the key elements of...

ISIS fighter reveals group’s plan to spread even after defeat in Iraq and Syria...

Patrick Cockburn interviews an Isis militant who claims the movement will rise again in North Africa, that Turkey turned a blind eye to shipments of weapons across the border and that Isis fighters are still present in Jarabulus. Isis will flourish and survive even if it is defeated in the...

Turkey reaches critical crossroads in Syria

Now that control of the Turkey-Syria border has been wrested from the Islamic State (IS) between al-Rai and Jarablus, what will Ankara's next target be: IS in al-Bab or the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Manbij? On Sept. 4, 12 days into Operation Euphrates Shield, Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements...

Turkey’s Erdogan Announces Largest Operation in History Against Kurds, as 11,000 Teachers Suspended

Crackdown against Kurdish affiliates comes amid separate operations against suspected followers of cleric Fethullah Gulen. Turkey is waging the largest operation in its history against Kurdish militants and the removal of civil servants linked to them is a key part of the fight, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday, as...

New Expectations for Turkish Stream and More

Plans to build the Turkish Stream gas pipeline have reappeared on the political agenda of Moscow and Ankara. After the July 26-27 talks between Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich and his Turkish counterpart, Mehmet Şimşek, both parties confirmed their willingness to resume a dialog on issues of mutual...

Is Turkey falling into its own Syrian trap?

The sentiment in Turkey is that, with "Operation Euphrates Shield," the country has made a thunderous return to the Middle East. But in a topography where nobody knows who is fighting who and what will tomorrow's alliances look like, there are serious traps awaiting Turkey. During the first week of the operation,...

How Ankara, Washington plan to achieve regional energy security

When US Vice President Joe Biden recently met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara, Turkey’s recent attempted coup, Fethullah Gulen and Syria were the main items discussed. However, in a press conference following the meeting with the prime minister, Biden highlighted two other points: The United States...

Turkey Is Finally Bombing Syria, But It’s Not Hitting Who the U.S. Wants

Ankara has sent tanks and commandos across the border, but its primary focus isn't ISIS — it's the Kurds trying to seize territory along its border. Turkey has a name for its newly launched military incursion into neighboring Syria: Operation Euphrates Shield. It sums up Ankara’s overriding priority when it...

Here’s How to Stop Turkey’s Anti-American Turn

Turks are wondering if the United States was behind the coup to overthrow Erdogan. And Washington should realize they have good reasons to worry. Most foreigners seem to have difficulty understanding just what a watershed event last month’s failed coup was for Turkey. My country has had four military coups...

Turkey PM: Russia can share Incirlik airbase with US if necessary

But Moscow doesn’t need key facility used by US-led coalition to launch airstrikes against Islamic State in Syria, says Binali Yildirim. Ankara has given Russia the go-ahead to use its Incirlik air base for operations in Syria, though no official request from Moscow to use the strategic military facility has...

Russia could use Incirlik airbase if necessary – Turkish PM

Ankara wouldn’t mind it if Russia used the Incirlik airbase for its anti-terror missions against Islamic State terrorists in Syria, Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim hinted on Saturday, but acknowledged that no such requests have been made. Turkey opened Incirlik airbase to fight Daesh terrorists. It is being used...

Is Turkey abandoning NATO or vice versa?

A piece I wrote in October 2014 titled “Is NATO membership shackling Turkey?” was about the Turkish public opinion debate over NATO. Today's article asks whether NATO might find Turkey's membership burdensome. There is a growing perception in Turkey that NATO has been apathetic in the aftermath of the July 15 coup attempt and hasn't...

Will road to Moscow lead Ankara to Damascus?

Turkey's diplomatic initiatives to overcome its long-felt isolation internationally and in the Middle East have begun to yield results. After reconciling with Israel and Russia and sending friendly messages to Cairo, Ankara appears to have extended its initiative to Damascus, taking its pulse for a possible reconciliation. Ismail Hakki Pekin is the one name associated...

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