Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey: Opposition stages massive rally in a show of strength against Erdogan

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Tens of thousands of Turks came out in force in an Istanbul suburb Sunday in a direct challenge to their president as they called for an end to a state of emergency that has been in place since a failed coup in July 2016. The mammoth protest — organized by the opposition Republican People’s Party, or CHP — was a rare display of public dissent in a country where tens of thousands have been jailed as part of a systematic post-coup purge of dissidents and other government opponents. Even small demonstrations in central Istanbul have often been met with a harsh police response. But Sunday’s rally, which organizers claimed drew more than a million people, marked a triumphant end to a march started by opposition leaders in Ankara three weeks ago." (07/10/17)


Turkey: Erdogan vows to fight US arrest warrants for his entourage of thugs

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he will fight US arrest warrants for his security team over a brawl last month in Washington. He said he would politically challenge a dozen arrest warrants issued by local police, CNN Turk quoted him as saying. Violence erupted between protesters and the president's security personnel outside the Turkish ambassador's residence during Mr Erdogan's visit. … Eleven people were hurt in the fracas, nine of whom needed hospital treatment. The US complained to Turkey about the incident and confirmed that Turkish security guards were involved. However, the Turkish Embassy said protesters had provoked Turkish-Americans who were there to greet the president, and they in turn responded in self-defence." (06/15/17)


Erdogan: Qatar isolation violates Islamic values

Source: Reuters

"Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan denounced the isolation of Qatar by neighboring states as a violation of Islamic values and tantamount to a 'death penalty' against Doha in a crisis reverberating through the Middle East and beyond. Erdogan's comments marked the strongest intervention yet by a powerful regional ally of Doha eight days after Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it." (06/13/17)


The Qatar crisis

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

"Qatar is negotiating with both Iran and Turkey for food and water supplies in response to the Saudi-Emirati-led attempt to blockade and isolate the country. Iran’s foreign minister is in Ankara to meet with President Erdogan today. Both governments have an incentive to help Qatar out of its present jam. Iran stands to gain influence and improve its ties with Qatar while frustrating the designs of the Saudis and Emiratis, and Turkey has an interest in keeping Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood in place, and both have their own reasons to be opposed to Saudi-led power plays in any case. The Saudi-led bloc may have assumed that it could present Qatar with a fait accompli and force it to make concessions without much difficulty, but if these moves are any indication Qatar’s government is not going to capitulate so easily. Once again, the Saudis and their allies have assumed they could rack up an easy victory and haven’t considered how things could go wrong. " (06/07/17)


Germany: Regime to pull troops from Turkish base in spat with Ankara

Source: New York Daily News

"Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet decided Wednesday to pull German troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey's Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let lawmakers visit them. … Germany has about 270 troops stationed at Incirlik, near the Syrian border, with Tornado reconnaissance aircraft and a refueling plane. They will redeploy to a base in Jordan, but the move may take around two months and Germany acknowledges that flights by its planes will be interrupted for a time. The German troops are part of the international coalition against the Islamic State group." (06/07/17)


Syria: Trump regime begins arming Kurdish fighters for Raqqa assault

Source: Stars and Stripes [US state media]

"The United States began providing weapons to Syrian Kurdish fighters for the first time Tuesday, a Pentagon official said, equipping the group to participate in the impending assault on the Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa despite objections from American ally [sic] Turkey. The United States started distributing rifles, ammunition and vehicles to the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit, known as the YPG, about three weeks after President Donald Trump approved arming the group, said Eric Pahon, a spokesman for the Defense Department. The YPG make up about half of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the U.S.-backed militia force charged with destroying ISIS in Syria." (05/30/17)


Turkey: Regime pouts, says Erdogan's guards should be allowed to attack protesters in America

Source: Washington Post

"Turkey’s Foreign Ministry lodged a formal protest Monday with the U.S. ambassador over 'aggressive' actions by American security personnel during a visit to Washington last week by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that was marred by a violent clash between Turkish guards and protesters. … Local police said the Turkish guards savagely attacked a peaceful protest outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence as Erdogan was visiting. Footage of the melee showed what appeared to be Turkish security guards kicking and choking protesters as police struggled to contain the unrest. It also showed Erdogan watching, from a distance, as the fighting raged. … But Turkish diplomats faulted the local police, saying they had failed to quell an 'unpermitted' and 'provocative' demonstration." (05/22/17)


DC: Blood clash outside Turkish embassy sends nine to hospital

Source: New York Daily News

"The lawn outside Turkey’s D.C. embassy turned into a war zone just moments after President Trump welcomed his Turkish counterpart at the White House Tuesday afternoon. The surreal scene pitted opponents to President Erdogan's recent consolidation of power against the leader’s supporters around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. A suited man stomped a bullhorn-toting protester in the head, according to video of the chaotic melee. An officer with the Metropolitan Police Department was forced to repeatedly bash several assailants with a baton just to stop them from driving their feet into a woman's back. In total, nine were taken to the hospital following the bloody battle. Two were seriously hurt. Flint Arthur, a protester from Baltimore, told CNN that Erdogan backers had broken the police lines to attack his fellow protesters." (05/17/17)


Syria: US to arm Kurds fighting Islamic State despite Turkish opposition

Source: ABC News

"President Trump has authorized the U.S. military to arm Syrian Kurdish rebel forces to support the future offensive on Raqqa, the de facto capital in Syria for ISIS. The move has been long opposed by Turkey which sees the groups as an extension of Kurdish terrorist organizations that have conducted attacks inside Turkey. 'Yesterday, the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa, Syria,' said Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokesperson, in a statement." (05/09/17)


Putin pushes Syria "deconfliction zone" proposals in talks with Erdogan

Source: Washington Post

"Russian President Vladimir Putin expanded a diplomatic blitz over the war Syria on Wednesday, meeting with Turkey’s president as the Kremlin pushes a proposal to create 'deconfliction zones' in Syria with apparent U.S. support. The talks with Turkish Prime Minister Reçep Tayyip Erdogan reflect possible growing cooperation between nations once deeply at odds over Syria’s conflict — with Turkey backing rebel factions and Russia providing key military support to Syria’s government." (05/03/17)