Turkey's Security Council warns KRG not to proceed with referendum
Okunma Sayısı : 206   
23.9.2017 02:47:21

 

Turkey says it will reserve its rights stemming from bilateral and international agreements if the KRG holds its planned independence referendum despite all warnings, signaling an extension of the military mandate in Iraq.

 

 


Turkey's National Security Council warned the autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq on Friday against holding a referendum on independence, saying such a move would create grave results.

 

In a statement released following a meeting at the presidential palace in capital Ankara, the council said that Turkey reserves all options arising from bilateral and international agreements if the referendum is held on September 25.  

 

 

''It is strongly emphasized that this attempted Kurdish referendum is a grave mistake which directly threatens the security of Turkey and the peace, security and stability of the region as well as Iraq's territorial unity and territorial integrity,” the statement said.

 

The council called on the KRG to cancel the referendum and search for solutions in line with Iraq’s constitution.  

 

Turkey is ready to mediate between Iraq's central government and the Kurdish regional administration to resolve disputes on constitutional basis and through dialogue, the statement added.  

 


The non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas - and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad - vote on whether or not to declare full independence from Iraq.  

 

Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the US, Iran and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.  

 

Iraq's central government has even threatened to intervene militarily in the event that the vote leads to violence.  

 

The KRG's President Masoud Barzani, for his part, has said that a “Yes” vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

 

TRT WORLD

Turkey: Kurdish referendum threatens national security
Okunma Sayısı : 583   
23.9.2017 02:19:07

 

Turkey calls for referendum to be cancelled, not postponed, says deputy prime minister

 


A Kurdish independence referendum is illegitimate and poses a direct threat to Turkey's national security and Iraq's territorial integrity and national unity, Turkey’s deputy prime minister said late Friday.


The statement by Bekir Bozdag came after a Cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the presidential complex in Ankara.


Bozdag also emphasized that Turkey is calling for the referendum to be cancelled, not postponed.


"We are also against its postponement. Postpone means to allow it to happen in the future. This referendum must be canceled in a way that will not be repeated again," he added.


Earlier Friday, Turkey’s National Security Council warned northern Iraq against holding a referendum on independence, saying such a move would create “grave results”.


“Turkey reserves all options arising from bilateral and international agreements if the Kurdish regional referendum is held,” the council said.


It called on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to cancel the referendum and search for solutions in line with Iraq’s Constitution.


“Turkey is ready to mediate between Iraq’s central government and the Kurdish regional administration to resolve disputes on a constitutional basis and through dialogue.”


The non-binding referendum will see Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas -- and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad -- vote whether to declare full independence from Iraq.


Along with Baghdad, Turkey, the U.S., Iran and the UN have all spoken out against the poll, saying it will only distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilize the region.


Iraq’s central government has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote leads to violence.


KRG’s leader, Masoud Barzani, has said a “Yes” vote would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

 

A.A.

Turkey continues military exercise on Iraqi border
Okunma Sayısı : 711   
22.9.2017 22:23:24

 

Turkish Armed Forces continue their military exercises on its fifth day in the Silopi and Habur areas on the Iraqi border on September 22, 2017 in Sirnak, Turkey. The manoeuvers come a week before northern Iraq’s Kurdish region is due to hold an independence referendum that is opposed by Turkey and the wider international community. The area sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders and contains the Habur border crossing, which provides the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq with its main access point to the outside world.

 

 

 

 

 

NEWS GALATA

Turkey, Iraq, Iran's united front on Kurdish referendum
Okunma Sayısı : 482   
21.9.2017 23:01:15

 

 

Turkey, Iraq and Iran have united in opposition to the planned Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq, warning of coordinated "counter-measures" to the vote.

 

 

Foreign ministers Mevlut Cavusoglu, Ibrahim al-Jaafari and Javad Zarif met in New York to discuss their response to the referendum due Monday.

 

In a joint statement issued Thursday, the ministers said their governments were "unequivocal" in their opposition to the referendum proposed by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) and said it would not benefit Kurds or the KRG.

 

They also agreed "to consider taking counter-measures in coordination" although the statement did not elaborate on possible measures.

 

The non-binding referendum will see residents of Kurdish-controlled areas of northern Iraq vote on full independence from Baghdad.

 

The U.S. and UN have also spoken out against the poll, saying it would distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater regional instability.

 

Baghdad has threatened to intervene militarily if the vote results in violence. KRG President Masoud Barzani has said a Yes vote would not initiate a declaration of independence but would led to negotiations with the Iraqi government.

 

In their meeting late Wednesday, the ministers added that the referendum would be unconstitutional and reaffirmed their "strong commitment to the territorial integrity and political unity of Iraq".

 

The statement said the proposed referendum "puts Iraq’s hard-earned gains against Daesh under great risk… and runs the risk of provoking new conflicts in the region, that will prove difficult to contain".

 

They called for "dialogue within the Iraqi constitution" to resolve differences between Baghdad and Erbil, the KRG capital, as well as international pressure to persuade the KRG to abandon the referendum.

 

The ministers also welcomed the recent liberation of Nineveh province, which includes Mosul, from Daesh. 

 

Turkey 'will not allow' independent state in northern Iraq

 

The chairman of Turkish Parliamentary Constitution Committee told Anadolu Agency on Thursday that they expect the referendum to be cancelled. 

 

Also a lawmaker for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party from Istanbul, Mustafa Sentop said that Turkey had been standing by the people in the region since the beginning of the 1990s, and providing economic aid to Barzani-ruled northern Iraq.

 

"It is sad that the Barzani administration, which asks for Turkey's help whenever it is in need, has made such a move despite Turkey," Sentop said, adding it would be "impossible" to hold such a vote with the aim of establishing an independent state in northern Iraq despite Turkey's objections.

 

"Turkey would not allow this," he said.

 

Anadolu Agency

Ending EU Turkey talks would be 'fatal mistake'
Okunma Sayısı : 258   
20.9.2017 01:11:45

 

 

Secretary-general of European Parliament's Turkey Forum says axing talks would be a 'lose-lose situation'

 

 

Ending Turkey's EU bid would be a "fatal strategic mistake," the secretary-general of the European Parliament’s Turkey Forum has told Anadolu Agency.

 

"Turkey's accession process should not be suspended nor ended. This would be a fatal strategic mistake of the EU side," Laura Batalla said in Brussels earlier this week.

 

Ending talks would be a "lose-lose situation" because Turkey and the EU are "extremely interlinked," not only economically but also politically, she added.

 

After tension arose between Turkey and some EU states following last year's defeated coup attempt, some German politicians publicly proposed halting accession talks amid a non-binding vote by the European Parliament on shelving discussions.

 

The European Council will discuss Turkey's negotiations next month, although some member states like Hungary, Finland, Lithuania and Ireland have openly opposed German proposals to suspend talks.

 

Batalla said ending the negotiations officially is "not likely" as unanimity is needed to ax the talks.

 

In response to Turkey's insistence on opening new talks chapters -- especially Chapter 23 on the judiciary and fundamental rights and Chapter 24 on justice, freedom and security -- Batalla said the EU should make progress on accession negotiations.

 

Turkey should be supported in terms of human rights and the rule of law, something which the European Parliament has said it is concerned about.

 

The best way to overcome these issues is by opening new chapters, Batalla said, describing them as the “best tool” the EU has to create “a transformative impact on a democratization process of Turkey".

 

Batalla also said the technical process of joining the EU had become "politicized".

 

 

Anadolu Agency 

“We Need to Develop a New Perspective in Order to Promote World Peace”
Okunma Sayısı : 255   
20.9.2017 00:40:28

 

Speaking at the 72nd UN General Assembly, President Erdoğan said: “We need to develop a new perspective in order to promote world peace. No crisis or threat can be resolved by letting them play out on their own. To build a safer and more prosperous world, we all must shoulder the burden. It is this perspective that informs Turkey’s active and humane foreign policy.”

 

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

 

“WE FOLLOW WITH GRAVE CONCERN THE VIOLENT ACTIVITIES OF RADICAL MOVEMENTS”

 

 

Voicing his hope that this year’s session of the General Assembly, which is built around the theme of “Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet”, will bring goodness to all of the world’s peoples, President Erdoğan said global peace and stability had unfortunately further deteriorated over the time that had passed since the last General Assembly.

 

“We continue to see the ugly face of terrorism and war in various parts of the world. Feeding off violent conflicts, terrorists continue their activities and expand them into new territories,” the President said, and added: “We follow with grave concern the violent activities of radical movements that are united by xenophobia, cultural racism and Islamophobia.”

 

“The most effective way to turn around this negative situation is for all of us here to engage in genuine cooperation under this roof. We need to develop a new perspective in order to promote world peace. No crisis or threat can be resolved by letting them play out on their own. To build a safer and more prosperous world, we all must shoulder the burden. It is this perspective that informs Turkey’s active and humane foreign policy,” President Erdoğan said.

 

“THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY HAS LEFT ALONE THE SYRIAN PEOPLE”

 

“Currently in its seventh year, the Syrian crisis has inflicted deep wounds in the country, in the region and around the world. In Syria, not only civilians and innocent children but also an entire civilization faces annihilation. Fueled by instability and oppression, terrorism, which wreaks havoc through Syria, extends beyond the country’s borders to spread like cancer,” President Erdoğan said. “Unfortunately, the international community has left alone the Syrian people, who took action to demand democracy, liberty, justice and a bright future.”

 

“Turkey could not remain indifferent towards the tragedy that those people –whom we consider our brothers and sisters regardless of their backgrounds and creed, and with whom we have deep-running historical ties— had to endure. Since the Spring of 2011, when the conflict in Syria started, we have made all humanitarian and political efforts to resolve the crisis. And we continue to do so. Today, we host more than three million Syrian and over 200.000 Iraqi refugees within our borders. To establish lasting truce in Syria and to subsequently bring peace to the country, Turkey, in cooperation with Russia and Iran, launched the Astana talks – in which all parties participated. In the wake of our efforts, the Geneva Process, which had long come to a halt, was revived. Within the framework of the agreement reached in Astana, we are implementing a new plan to promote security in the Idlib region. We support all steps taken towards building a stable and prosperous Syria that upholds the principle of territorial integrity and respects the democratic demands of the people,” President Erdoğan said.

 

“WE HAVE TAKEN ALL NECESSARY STEPS TO PREVENT THE FLOW OF REFUGEES”

 

“We have taken, and continue to take, all necessary steps to assist the refugees who arrived at our country in the wake of the Syrian crisis and to prevent the flow of refugees to Europe. We meet all of the refugee community’s needs – including housing, food, clothing, healthcare and education – and provide high living standards that earn the appreciation of everyone who visits our country,” President Erdoğan said, pointing out that Turkey had not received sufficient support from the international community, especially the European Union, in its endeavors.

 

Noting that expenses made by Turkey to address the needs of refugees, who reside at housing centers and in our cities alike, exceeded $30 billion, President Erdoğan said: “By contrast, the European Union merely contributed €820 million despite pledging €3 billion and an additional €3 billion. Meanwhile, the international community’s contributions through the United Nations amount to approximately $520 million.”

 

“TURKEY PROVIDES HUMANITARIAN AID TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD”

 

Drawing attention to the fact that no share of the contributions intended for Syrian refugees goes to our government’s budget and that the entire amount is being delivered by the UN’s relevant agencies and through aid organizations to those in need, President Erdoğan said: “In the presence of all the world, I would like to take this opportunity to call on all countries and international organizations, which let the burden of 3.2 million refugees to Turkey’s shoulders alone, to keep their promises.”

 

Stating that Turkey is a country that provides humanitarian and development aid to people around the world, President Erdoğan said: “We do not just welcome refugees arriving at our country. We also rush to the aid of everyone who has been aggrieved or victimized anywhere in the world through public institutions such as the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA), the Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) and the Turkish Red Crescent, along with a number of non-governmental organizations.”

 

“TURKEY CONTRIBUTED $6 BILLION TO HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN 2016 TO BECOME THE WORLD’S SECOND DONOR”

 

Noting that Turkey spent $1 billion for the rebuilding of Somalia through official institutions and non-governmental organizations, President Erdoğan said: “Our efforts and accomplishments in Somalia could truly set an example to future endeavors. As a matter of fact, according to OECD statistics, Turkey contributed $6 billion to humanitarian assistance in 2016 to become the world’s second donor in terms of net contributions and top contributor in terms of GDP.”

 

“Having spent %0.08 of its national income to humanitarian assistance, Turkey became one of six countries that could meet UN goals. As you can see, our country works hard for a ‘sustainable world’ – which is the General Assembly’s main message. Moving forward, we will continue to act with the same level of sensitivity.”

 

 

Turkey launches military exercise near Iraqi border
Okunma Sayısı : 606   
22.9.2017 00:26:21

 

Manoeuvers in Silopi come a week ahead of Kurdish independence referendum

 

 

Turkey launched military exercises on the Iraqi border on Monday, the military said in a brief statement.

 

The manoeuvers come a week before northern Iraq’s Kurdish region is due to hold an independence referendum that is opposed by Turkey and the wider international community.

 

In a brief statement on its website, the Turkish Armed Forces said exercises had begun in the Silopi and Habur areas of Sirnak province.

 

The area sits to the north of the Syrian and Iraqi borders and contains the Habur border crossing, which provides the Kurdish Regional Government in northern Iraq with its main access point to the outside world.

 

Across the Syrian frontier from Silopi lies territory controlled by the PKK/PYD. Counter-terrorism operations targeting the PKK on the Turkish side of the border are ongoing, the statement said.

 

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the EU and U.S. as well as Turkey, although only Turkey has designated the PKK/PYD as a terror group in Syria, where it is used by the U.S.-led coalition to fight Daesh.

 

Turkey, the U.S., Iraq, and the UN have all spoken out against the Sept. 25 referendum in Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq, saying the vote will distract from operations against Daesh and lead to greater instability in the region.

 

A.A

 
German FM's remarks on arms sales only serve to bolster Turkish defense industry: FM Çavuşoğlu
Okunma Sayısı : 1164   
13.9.2017 02:59:25

 

 

 

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel's comments about halting arms exports to Turkey are not appropriate for a foreign minister, and will only bolster Turkey's defense capacity and the local arms industry, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Tuesday.

 

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Monday that his country put most arms exports to Turkey on hold amid ongoing tensions between the two countries. However German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday rejected a total ban.

 

Speaking to reporters after a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Khawaja Muhammad Asif in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu asserted that such moves would only serve to strengthen the local Turkish arms industry.

 

"These kinds of approaches actually help to strengthen our own defense industry," he said.

 

"And in this sense, we are increasing national and local production in all areas. We're producing our own fighter jets and helicopters. Turkey is never desperate."

 

Çavuşoğlu also added that he found Merkel's stance more suitable, underscoring that attempts to drum up support by attacking Turkey ahead of Germany's election later this month would yield no result.

 

Gabriel's Social Democratic Party is a partner in the Angela Merkel-led Christian Democratic coalition government.

 

"We understand they [Gabriel's Party] started with 30 percent in the polls and now his party's support fell to 22 percent. But I'm not responsible for this. He's responsible for it, he was the head of the party until recently," he said.

 

Merkel, whose Christian Democratic bloc (CDU/CSU) is leading in the polls, has been under growing pressure by its main rival the Social Democrats and opposition parties to sharpen its tone towards Turkey, due to recent political tensions.

 

Sales by top Turkish arms companies rose by more than 10 percent in 2015, according to an analysis released last December which also put Turkey's ASELSAN and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) among the world's top 100 arms firms.

 

Turkish defense and aviation industry exports to Germany alone rose 17 percent year-on-year in the eight months of 2017, the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) announced last week.

 

Turkey plans to use only locally designed defense industry technology by 2020, Ismail Demir, undersecretary for the Turkish defense industry, told Anadolu Agency in June.

 

Ties between Turkey and Germany have been strained since last year, as Turkish leaders slammed Germany for not showing strong solidarity with Ankara against the July 15 coup attempt, and for turning a blind eye to the continued activities of FETÖ in the country.

 

Ankara has singled out Germany among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ. A report titled "The FETÖ Settlement in Germany and Germany's FETÖ Policy," says that FETÖ has been using Germany as its main functioning center and that German authorities have embraced the structures of the group with open arms

 

 

DailySabah

Gulnur Aybet Says Merkel Bending to Populism With EU Accession Threat
Okunma Sayısı : 670   
6.9.2017 03:08:59

NEW YORK


A top adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed “populist” exchanges during Germany’s election campaign after Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’ll urge European Union leaders to decide whether to suspend or end Turkey’s accession to the bloc.

 

 

 


The Turkish lira and bonds dropped on Tuesday as Merkel told the lower house of parliament in Berlin that she’ll bring up the future of Turkey’s bid to join the EU with fellow leaders in October, raising the prospect of a formal end to Turkish accession. Her comments expanded on remarks she made on Sunday in a televised debate with her main election challenger, Martin Schulz, when both candidates criticized Erdogan.

 


German politicians are using Turkey as political fodder to win votes in the Sept. 24 federal election, according to Gulnur Aybet, a senior adviser to Erdogan on foreign policy.

 


“Obviously populist banter in which candidates vie with each other over who can bash Turkey more effectively sells better in German politics than the real issues concerning the EU, like Brexit,” Aybet said in emailed remarks to Bloomberg.

 


Hostile Relations

 


While EU talks with Turkey are effectively stalled, the escalating rhetoric risks further stoking tensions with Erdogan who has made repeated references to Germany’s Nazi past and said that Germany is becoming “racist.”

 


Relations between Turkey and its largest trading partner turned hostile after Turkey arrested a German-Turkish journalist in February and Germany refused to allow Turkish ministers to campaign for expatriate Turks’ votes before a referendum in April that expanded Erdogan’s powers. Germany moved its troops from the Incirlik air base to Jordan after Turkey refused to allow visits by German lawmakers.

 


In her speech to lower-house lawmakers, Merkel referred to further arrests of German nationals in Turkey and said that her government will push at all levels for their release.

 


“I will recommend that we discuss the future status of Turkey, including whether to suspend or end” membership talks, Merkel added. “This is a process that needs to be considered resolutely, but also carefully.”

 


Lira Slips

 


The Turkish lira slipped 0.3 percent to 3.4448 per dollar at 1:47 p.m. in Istanbul, after sliding as much as 0.4 percent earlier in the day. The benchmark stock index declined as much as 1 percent during the morning trading, the most since Aug. 23. Ten-year government bond yields rose four basis points to 10.66 percent at 1:54 p.m.

 


“Germany is not the EU. No matter what disagreements it has with Turkey, the EU doesn’t want to lose Turkey,” Aybet said. “Turkey is not just a candidate but also a strategic partner for EU.”

 

 

Merkel warned that EU leaders must deliberate over Turkey carefully so as not to display any differences in public as Erdogan looks on. The chancellor last week pledged to respond “more decisively” to Erdogan’s government after two more German citizens were taken into custody.

 

 

Merkel, whose party officially opposes Turkish membership in the EU, said she has always pursued talks with the government in Ankara according to the principle of “pacta sunt servanda,” meaning agreements must be kept.

 

With assistance by Taylan Bilgic www.bloomberg.com

Turkey tells Bangladesh: Open your doors to Rohingya
Okunma Sayısı : 677   
2.9.2017 00:00:00

 

Turkish Foreign Minister called Bangladesh on Friday to open its doors for Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state.

 

 

Speaking at an AK Party Eid al-Adha celebration event in Mediterranean province of Antalya, Mevlut Cavusoglu said they told Bangladesh to open its doors for Rohingya people fleeing Myanmar and Turkey would pay the expenses.

 


"We also mobilized the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. We will hold a summit regarding Arakan [Rakhine state] this year. We need to find a decisive solution to this problem," Cavusoglu added.

 


He said no other Muslim country than Turkey is showing sensitivity for the massacres happening in Rakhine state.

 


Cavusoglu also spoke on the phone with former UN Secretary General and head of Advisory Commission on Rakhine State Kofi Annan on Friday, according to diplomatic sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on talking to the media.

 


Violence erupted in Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Aug. 25 when the country’s security forces launched an operation against the Rohingya Muslim community. It triggered a fresh influx of refugees towards neighboring Bangladesh, though the country sealed off its border to refugees.

 


Media reports said Myanmar security forces used disproportionate force, displacing thousands of Rohingya villagers and destroying their homes with mortars and machine guns.

 


The region has seen simmering tension between its Buddhist and Muslim populations since communal violence broke out in 2012.

 


A security crackdown launched last October in Maungdaw, where Rohingya make up the majority, led to a UN report on human rights violations by security forces that indicated crimes against humanity.


The UN documented mass gang-rape, killings -- including infants and young children -- brutal beatings, and disappearances. Rohingya representatives have said approximately 400 people have been slain during the crackdown. 

 

A.A

 

 

 

Why is Turkey’s military operating in Syria?
Okunma Sayısı : 614   
28.8.2017 00:00:00

 

Turkey ended its Euphrates Shield Operation in northern Syria on May 30, 2017. It was launched on August 24, 2016, after a series of terror attacks threated the country’s national security. The aim was to push Daesh away from its border and stop the advance of the PKK and its affiliate, the YPG.

 

 

 

 

TRT WORLD

We Will Continue to Work for Our Country and the World
Okunma Sayısı : 291   
21.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 

Making a speech at a ceremony marking the 16th anniversary of the foundation of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), President Erdoğan said: “The AK Party is making history in solidarity with the nation. The notions of ‘justice’ and ‘development’, which make up the name of our party, continue to illuminate our path just like a lighthouse which shows us the direction we should follow. There is no resting to us until the day when we will provide justice and development not only in Turkey, but also in the entire world.”

 

 

“AK PARTY’S CAUSE IS TURKEY’S CAUSE”

 

Pointing out that 16 years have passed since they first set out on August 14, 2001 to serve the country and the nation, President Erdoğan thanked all of those who had taken on various duties within the AK Party organization since its foundation, and wished Allah’s mercy upon those who had passed away.

Underlining that “AK Party’s cause is Turkey’s cause,” President Erdoğan said: “I can’t thank my Lord enough for having bestowed upon me such companions of struggle and work. We are today celebrating the 16th anniversary of the establishment of the AK Party as a corporate structure. However, the cause the AK Party has been fighting for dates back thousands of years. The AK Party is a party which is an aspirant to being the present-day standard-bearer and servant of a lofty civilization that illuminates the world like a sun. The AK Party is a party which has been working day and night in order to keep alive the Republic of Turkey, which is the current name of the Turkish nation’s sequence of states that has been going on uninterruptedly for thousands of years.”

 

“WE WILL CROWN OUR ACHIEVEMENTS WITH OUR GOALS FOR 2023”

 

Noting that they won the hearts and minds of the nation with the services they rendered in the fields of education, healthcare, justice, security, transport, energy, mass housing and social aids, President Erdoğan stated that Turkey became more competitive globally as a country which manufactures, exports, creates employment, focuses on high quality and attaches importance to technology. “We will crown our achievements with our goals for 2023. And then, we will focus all our energy and strength on our vision for 2053 and 2071,” the President underlined.

 

“We will be in Malazgirt on August 26 to mark the Victory of Malazgirt and from then on we will be sowing the seeds of 2071 by being in Malazgirt on every August 26,” President Erdoğan stated, and continued: “The AK Party is a party which serves as the architect of all these achievements with the strong bridge it has built between the past and the future. We have a big responsibility; yet, we also harbor the means, will and determination to shoulder this burden with our nation’s support and Allah’s help. What we only need is to always keep in mind where we have come from, where we stand, and where we are going to. Rest assured, as long as we don’t go astray off our path, it is easy for us to overcome the obstacles that are put in our way.”

 

“MEMBERS OF FETO TREASON GANG ATTEMPTED THE MOST HEINOUS COUP OF OUR HISTORY”

 

Describing 2016 as a year when they carried out a resolute fight against separatist terrorist organization and when they worked to eradicate the FETO from Turkey in every sphere, President Erdoğan said: “Members of the FETO treason gang within the military attempted the most heinous coup of our history. But we managed to defeat these FETO-member terrorists who pointed their weapons at the nation and who dropped bombs on the people, thanks to a resolute resistance we put up in solidarity with our nation. The strong will the Turkish people displayed to defend their flag, adhan, freedom and future, putting their lives at risk, amazed the entire world.”

Underlining that Turkey, drawing strength from this resistance, conducted the Operation Euphrates Shield, which was stabbed like a dagger in the heart of the state of terror tried to be established in Syria, President Erdoğan stated that the year of 2017 was a year when the fight against terrorist organizations, especially the FETO and PKK, continued in an uncompromising fashion. “We have raided PKK’s lairs in Gabar, Cudi, Tendürek, Bestler, etc. We have been eradicating the PKK from these locations. We will continue to raze them to the ground,” the President added.

 

“TURKEY HAS PASSED TO A STRONGER DEMOCRACY WITH THE APRIL 16 REFERENDUM”

 

Underlining that significant progress was made toward re-establishing the economic balances that got disrupted because of the troubles that had been lived one after another over the recent years, President Erdoğan said: “The April 16 referendum marks a milestone when we radically changed our system of governance directly with the decision of the nation for the first time in our history. As a result of this change, Turkey has passed to a stronger democracy in which the executive power belongs to the president, the legislative power is vested in the parliament and the judicial power is exercised by independent courts.”

“Recounting each of the last 15 years even with a few important headings shows what kind of a ring of fire Turkey has been going through,” President Erdoğan stressed, and underlined that they, in solidarity with the nation, have been putting up a historic struggle against the acts of terror, which have intensified a lot over the last 4 years, as well as against the coup attempts and political, economic and diplomatic assaults. “AK Party is the engine of this struggle. I believe that we, with the help of Allah, will come victorious out of this struggle together,” the President said.

 

“WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK FOR OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD”

 

Wishing success to those who will take on new duties at AK Party congresses and thanking those who will hand over their offices to other members for their services, President Erdoğan said: “Dear brothers and sisters, the AK Party is making history in solidarity with the nation. The notions of ‘justice’ and ‘development’, which make up the name of our party, continue to illuminate our path just like a lighthouse which shows us the direction we should follow. There is no resting to us until the day when we will provide justice and development not only in Turkey, but also in the entire world. We will continue to work for our country and the world, constantly serving as the engine of justice and development without being a wagon to anyone. Unlike the ones who want to turn the world into hell for everyone other than themselves, we will make every effort in our power in service of human being, the most dignified of the creatures. We have taken our every step so far with the understanding that ‘make the human live so as to make the state live,’ and so will we continue.”

 

President Erdoğan stressed determination to fully close the era when the gains the nation obtained on the ground with strenuous efforts used to be wasted at the table, and added: “Thanks be to Allah, we today have turned the country, which, when we took over it, was grappling with IMF prescriptions, shackles of high interest rates, the quagmire of bribery and corruption, and infertile political disputes, into world’s 17th biggest economy.”

 

Noting that those, who try to block them with crises and chaoses, have become unsuccessful so far, President Erdoğan stated: “It is our duty, the duty of AK Party members, to make sure that such games become unsuccessful in the future as well.”

 

“WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO ACHIEVE THE GREAT TURKEY WHICH WE HAVE CONCRETIZED WITH OUR GOALS FOR 2023”

 

President Erdoğan continued: “Don’t forget that as Turkey gets bigger, the problems and troubles it faces get bigger too. We have a responsibility to achieve the great, powerful and prosperous Turkey, which we have concretized with our goals for 2023. This is a commitment we have undertaken towards our nation. We made this promise to our nation wherever we went to during our campaign in the run-up to the April 16 referendum. We will achieve these goals so as not to be embarrassed toward the July 15 martyrs and martyrs of anti-terror fight as well as toward Eren, our 15-year-old kid who became a target of treacherous bullets in the Blacksea region. Therefore, we will renew our agreement, which we have been constantly renewing with the nation since 2002, in the 2019 elections once again and in a much stronger manner.”

 

 

Turkish military kills 3 PKK terrorists in N.Iraq
Okunma Sayısı : 552   
16.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 

Three PKK terrorists were killed Tuesday in airstrikes in northern Iraq, according to Turkey’s military.

 

 

The terrorists were planning attacks on Turkish security checkpoints along the border with Iraq, according to the Turkish General Staff that said the air operation was launched in the Zap region and destroyed the terror group's shelters and weapon emplacements.

 

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.

 

Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, women and children.

 

News Galata English

Erdoğan, laid the groundwork for a sixth successive election victory in 2019
Okunma Sayısı : 528   
16.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 

Celebrating the AK Party's 16th anniversary in Ankara with a modest event, party chairman President Erdoğan, reiterated his call to party members to put Turkey and the party's interests first and work harder ahead of the 2019 elections

 


Nothing will ever be the same in Turkey from today onward," the leader of the recently founded party said on Aug. 14, 2001. The Turkish economy was crumbling at the time and politics had been long devoid of stability. Yet, the party was only slightly more than a year away from recording one of the most astonishing political triumphs in recent Turkish history. Addressing the nation in Ankara's historically symbolic district of Sincan exactly 16 years later, on a hot summer night, the chairman of that party, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, laid the groundwork for a sixth successive election victory in 2019.

 

The number of invitations for the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) 16th anniversary celebrations exceeded 6,000. Dozens of party veterans were also welcome. As they paraded through the crowd, ancient memories were revived. The likes of former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and former deputy prime ministers Bülent Arınç, Ali Babacan as well as Mehmet Ali Şahin, were all present at the ceremony as the party stoked the flames of a march toward the 2019 elections.

 

The crowd was packed shoulder-to-shoulder in the stands. The audience erupted in excitement as the well-known jingle for President Erdoğan, called Dombra, was played at full volume. Thousands of people chanted his name as Erdoğan sang along.

 

However, the president does not take people's love for him for granted. Well aware of the need to exceed the 50 percent threshold in the 2019 elections following the constitutional changes in April, Erdoğan has no intention of letting go of the grip.

 

Minutes before Erdoğan's speech, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım spoke of 11 million AK Party members. Echoing the statistic, the president made a historic appeal to his fellow voters. "Are you ready to double this in March 2019 and November 2019," he said, referring to the local elections and presidential elections that year.

 

Complacency within the party seems like President Erdoğan's most formidable foe. Though Turkish citizens have two long years before heading to the ballot boxes, he has already been traveling from district to district to address precious voters.

 

"We must get 50 percent plus one vote for the victory. Are we ready for this? … Are you in to go from door to door? Are we ready for this?" Erdoğan asked last week in the northern province of Giresun. He questioned his fellow party members' readiness and eagerness to exert more effort than ever to come through.

 

Deputies, mayors and party members from 81 provinces were all ears as the president bashed some of them for their arrogance. His message was clear: "Our path is clear if we are able to swallow our pride." He had another message: "What the AK Party brought to Turkey is of course very significant. However, no one should count himself responsible."

 

In his struggle against complacency and arrogance within the party, Erdoğan has even called on those who do not have enough willingness to work for the 2019 elections to step aside. "The party has undergone a lot of changes over the last 16 years, but this time we need a more radical change," he argued on Monday night.

 

The president concluded his speech as the clock nearly hit 10:30 p.m. Thousands of jubilant AK party supporters walked back home with the soothing thought in mind that Erdoğan is and will be in charge. That being said, he recognizes that many actors and elements must change if he is to be re-elected in 2019 with overwhelming support.

 

Daily Sabah

US: Emergency declared as clashes erupt at hate rally
Okunma Sayısı : 525   
13.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 


Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Saturday amid violent clashes between hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville. 

 

 

Riot gear-clad police officers ordered protesters to disperse after clashes quickly escalated in the southern city's Emancipation Park. But as the climate calmed a car plowed into a group of counter-protestors, killing one and injuring several others. 

 

Mayor Michael Signer confirmed the fatality on Twitter, urging "all people of good will" to return home. 

 

It is unclear if the driver targeted the group or was involved in a traffic-related accident.

 

Video of the incident shows a car speeding down a narrow street filled with protesters before slamming into protesters and sending them ariborne, ultimately stopping only when it hit a line of cars. The driver then put the car in reverse and zoomed away.

 

It is unclear if the driver has been taken into custody. 

 

Speaking from his New Jersey golf club, President Donald Trump condemned "this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides".

 

White nationalists were protesting the looming removal of a Robert E. Lee monument from Emancipation Park.

 

Lee was the rebel confederacy's top general in America's civil war, and calls have grown for confederate symbols to be removed from public spaces after a series of violent attacks that have been tied to white nationalists/supremacists, which regularly use such imagery. 

 

On Friday night they marched through the University of Virginia campus holding torches in a scene reminiscent of Ku Klux Klan gatherings that haunted America's civil rights movement. 

 

“You will not replace us”, and “Jew will not replace us” were chanted as an eerie torchlight glow enveloped the campus. 

 

Former Klan Imperial Wizard David Duke attended the rally as well as other prominent white nationalist leaders. 

 

University President Teresa A. Sullivan strongly condemned the rally, saying in a statement she was "deeply saddened and disturbed by the hateful behavior displayed by torch-bearing protestors that marched on our Grounds".

 

The two-day protest is thought to be the largest recent gathering of white nationalists.

 

Activists have warned of an emboldening of the group since Trump won last year's presidential race. And hate incidents targeting minorities have soared this year. 

 

A.A

Turkey seeks return of Ottoman lands in Occupied East Jerusalem
Okunma Sayısı : 1145   
13.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 

In the 1967 Six-Day War, Israel destroyed an 800-year-old neighbourhood that had belonged to the Ottoman Empire for centuries. Now Turkey wants that hotly contested land back, and is lobbying for regional support for the initiative.

 


ISTANBUL, Turkey — Maghariba, or Moroccan Quarter, was a centuries-old bustling neighbourhood in the heart of Jerusalem. That was until 1967. When the war broke out between Israel and Arab states, the Israeli army erased the entire area, knocking down houses and shops with bulldozers.

 

The 800-year-old neighbourhood existed next to the Western Wall, the last remains of the Temple of Solomon, in East Jerusalem. Israeli forces flattened it ruthlessly, turning the entire area into a prayer pavilion for Jewish worshippers.

 

Although the Maghariba neighbourhood has been largely forgotten by the Western world, it is remembered by Palestinians. The area’s history is equally well-remembered several thousand kilometres away, in Turkey.

 

In early May, the Turkish government hosted a two-day global conference to recall the role of the Ottoman Waqf, a charitable trust that ran properties under the Ottoman Empire. And the Maghariba was one of the Ottoman Waqf's possessions.

 

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami el Hamdallah, top government officials from Jordan and Morocco, along with Yousef bin Ahmad al Othaimeen, the secretary-general of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, attended the conference. Each speaker reproached Israel for trying to eradicate the Arab-Muslim identity of Old Jerusalem, and the rest of Palestine, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.

 


The event was organised by the office of the Turkish presidency. In his address, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the original Jerusalem Waqf was founded in 1552 by Hurrem Sultan, the wife of the then Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and ever since it has "distributed food to the poor for centuries and continues to do so."

 

The remaining Jerusalem Waqf still oversees Al Aqsa mosque, and is today formally administered by Jordan.

 

“Waqfs have played a critical role in terms of preserving the Al Aqsa Mosque and our other mosques," Erdogan told those present.

 

The Turkish government is stepping up rhetoric to challenge Israel over its seizure and the dismantling of Waqf properties after the 1967 war.  "We will share our [Ottoman] registry records with our Palestinian brethren," Erdogan said.  

 

The conference was timed just a month ahead of the anniversary marking fifty years of Israeli occupation of those Palestinian lands it seized in 1967. The conference was focused on discussing ways to reclaim the lost Ottoman properties and handing them back to their true inheritors. Legally speaking, the properties belonged to the Ottomans, but their holders and occupants were Palestinian.

 

Before Israeli forces captured the wall, the neighbourhood was lively, with hundreds of Palestinian inhabitants. Two days after the raid, they were all forced out of their homes in the middle of the night.

 

Israel's military commander Yitzhak Rabin described the capture of the wall as "the great victory."

 

Then Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Dayan paid a visit to the wall on June 10, 1967. He justified the actions of Israeli military in biblical terms, "Today, we have reunited Jerusalem. We have returned to all that is holy in our land. We have returned, never to be parted from it again."

 

But three decades later, as Rabin, the military commander, became the country’s prime minister, he started a peace process between Palestinians and Israelis. He favoured the withdrawal of Israeli troops from certain Palestinian territories, a position that triggered a backlash from the far-right.

 

Rabin signed the ill-fated Oslo Accords in 1993. He was assassinated two years later by Yigal Amir, a right-wing Israeli activist. Israel's far-right strongly opposed Rabin's plan to free the Occupied Territories. Benjamin Netanyahu, now the country's prime minister, was part of the anti-Rabin movement — part of the ever rightward drift of Israeli politics.

 

With Rabin's killing, the peace process failed, as did the political will to return Palestinian properties to Palestinians.

 

But the return of the Western Wall was out of question even for a moderate leader like Rabin. He believed that Israel should always maintain a tight grip over the wall and the area around it.

 


Now Turkey's initiative to initiate dialogue over the Ottoman Waqf, and its land and building rights in Occupied Palestine, comes at a time when Israel has the most right-wing government in its history.

 

What is the origin of Turkey's claim on Maghariba?

 

The neighbourhood was named as Maghariba, which is plural of Magharib, meaning the Westerners in Arabic, after the soldiers from North Africa and the south of Spain who were first settled there. Sultan Saladin Ayyubi rewarded them for having participated in the conquest of Jerusalem and Palestine with parcels of land and properties around the Western Wall in the 12th century.

 

The neighbourhood was further developed by Saladin's son, Al Afdal  Ali. It was declared as a property of the waqf, a non-transferable charitable trust under Islamic law. The institution of waqf was designed to legally maintain areas as a public good in Islamic law, preventing the transfer of ownership or privatisation.

 

After the Ayyubids, the ownership of Jerusalem passed to several successive Muslim states, including the Mamluks and, finally, the Ottomans. Jerusalem’s waqfs were continued by each of these regimes. A commission established in 1929 by the occupying British government and approved by the League of Nations, reached the conclusion that the entire neighbourhood, including the Western Wall, was solely owned by the same Waqf.  

 

Yasser Arafat, co-founder and longtime leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO), who notably led the Palestinian delegation during the negotiations for the Oslo Accords, repeatedly referred to this international commission to prove Palestinians historic claim to Old Jerusalem, including the area around the wall.

 

The residents of the Maghariba neighbourhood had lived a peaceful existence for centuries, until the British occupied Palestine in 1917. The Balfour Declaration favoured “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." With the British occupation, more and more Jews settled in Jerusalem, and their presence started to grow around the Western Wall too.

 

It wasn’t long before unofficial secretive talks on Zionist aspirations to take control of the wall, its adjacent pavement and more significantly, Maghariba itself, began between the British authorities and Jewish leaders. During the late 1920s, violent skirmishes between Palestinians and Jews broke out.

 

In 1948, the First Arab-Israeli War led to the formation of Israel as a separate country in Palestine. At this point, however, East Jerusalem — including the wall and the Maghariba neighbourhood — remained under Jordanian rule.

 

“1967 is the date when an 800-year-old neighbourhood, which was not only a monument of Islamic heritage but also a monument of world heritage, was destroyed with the annexation of Jerusalem by Israel. The Israelis showed no respect for either international or waqf law,” said Hasan Huseyin Gunes, a history professor at Bartin University.

 

Gunes’ doctoral thesis was on the history of the Maghariba neighbourhood and since then, he has worked on the Ottoman Waqf, examining historic records.

 

“There were two old schools inside the neighbourhood. They were the Fakhriya Madrasa and the Afdiliyeh Madrasa, which was founded by Al Afdal, Saladin’s son and heir,” Gunes explained.

 


The Afdiliyeh Madrasa, one of the rare Islamic schools which dates back to Saladin's time, along with the Sheikh Eid Mosque, were levelled to the ground right after the capture of the wall in 1967. In the next two years, Israelis bulldozed the rest of the neighbourhood along with the remnants of Fakhriya.

 

Forever reliving the trauma

 

Sheikh Abdulhak, a 75-year-old Palestinian man, witnessed the entire demolition drive. Gunes interviewed Abdulhak in 2012 to learn about what had happened on the night when Israel began dismantling the area. After his house was flattened, Abdulhak ended up being forced from many other houses, in round after round of demolitions.

 

“In total, he was forced out from five different houses [in different locations in Jerusalem] all of which were demolished by Israeli authorities," Gunes told TRT World.  "Most of the court documents concerning the demolished neighbourhood were also lost during his moves.”

 

When Gunes met him, Abdulhak lived in a tiny, two-room apartment, a few minutes away away from the Islamic holy site known as Haram al Sharif, or Temple Mount — which remains under the control of a Waqf. There were cameras installed outside his house. Gunes said, giving him the impression that the elderly man was under Israeli government surveillance.

 

His house was so small that its rooms didn't even have shelves. "In one room, all the documents were randomly piled in one corner," Gunes said.

 

Abdulhak was a visibly tired man when Gunes saw him first. But as they spoke, Gunes was impressed to see his stern dedication towards the cause of winning back the property rights of the people who once lived in the Maghariba neighbourhood.

 

He had attempted multiple times to take the case before the Israeli courts but hasn't yet had any success.

 

"As he walked around his old neighbourhood, all of his bad memories came back," Gunes said. "Everyday, he lives with those scenes of destruction; how his family was forced out of the neighbourhood … and the destruction of their cultural heritage."

 

Israeli “pride”

 

Yet for the Israelis who demolished the whole neighbourhood with their bulldozers, it was a proud moment. They believe that their actions were righteous, even after 50 years.

 

The Israeli government had dispatched 15 contractors to destroy houses that fateful night, according to an article published in June by Haaretz, a left-leaning Israeli newspaper. The newspaper recently interviewed some of them to figure out “how a small group of Israelis made the Western Wall Jewish again.”

 

“I was sky-high, it was a pleasure,” Sasson Levy, one of the contractors, told Haaretz when he was asked to describe how he felt as he was razing the historic buildings.

 

Yosef Schwartz, another contractor, who is dead now, took pride in demolishing the houses because “he felt that he was carrying out a great mission for the Jewish people,” according to his daughter, Zehava Fuchs.

 

“No written documents remain concerning the decision, except for a hand-drawn map on a piece of paper that marked the boundaries of the area to be demolished,” the author writes.

 

Yet whoever gave the command, in practise the demolition operation was overseen by Theodor “Teddy” Kollek, who was mayor of West Jerusalem from 1965 to 1967, and then of “unified” Jerusalem until 1993.

 

“It was the greatest thing we could do and it is good we did it immediately,” commented Kollek, despite being lauded by many as representing the more “liberal” face of Zionism.

 

Israeli demolition drives were not limited to the Ottoman properties. Knesset, a neighbourhood where the Israeli parliament and the residences of the country’s president and prime minister are now built, was a property formerly belonging to the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem.


A new door opens

 

Yet there are some occasions when the Israeli government returned land.

 

During the Soviet era, Israel bought the properties that had belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church properties from the communist Khrushchev government in exchange for oranges.

 

Since 2005, however, the Russians refuted the legality of that deal. Following President Vladimir Putin’s first visit to Jerusalem, the Russian government made a legal and diplomatic bid to reclaim Saint Sergius Church and its lands, where the offices of Israel's agriculture ministry and other government agencies are currently built. Israel agreed in 2010 to return the property to the Russians.

 

Since the Israeli government agreed to return the Russian properties, it has opened the window for others to reclaim their properties — a prospect about which many Israeli politicians are hardly happy.

 

"I believe that this move represents a dangerous precedent of transferring properties in the heart of Jerusalem and is in violation of the city's interest, since this is not the only property being contested by foreign sources," said Nir Barkat, one of the mayoral candidates for Jerusalem, in 2008.

 

One of those “sources” could be Turkey, the successor state of the Ottoman Empire. It won’t come easily, however.

 

“When I have raised these property and Ottoman waqf issues in Jerusalem [and at large in Palestine], many people say that we cannot get any kind of tangible legal results under current Israeli justice system,” Gunes said.

 

“But I tell them that it should not prevent us from making the necessary legal and political preparations. When we have enough leverage and power, at the right time, we could go ahead and make our case at the national and international levels to get back our properties in the Holy Land.”

 

The sentiment rings strongly in Turkish bureaucracy. 

 

“We want to initiate an academic discourse on this particular subject,” Adnan Tuzen, one of the top officials in Turkey’s Directorate General of Foundations, told TRT World. The erasure of Ottoman properties from Palestine is etched deeply in Turkey's institutional memory — and that is something which the Turkish government won’t forget, he said.

TRTWORLD

Turkey and regional stability: Weaving the past's moral hinterland with today's realpolitik
Okunma Sayısı : 630   
10.8.2017 00:00:00

 

 

 

 

When we look at the broad spectrum of factors that drive either hostility or cooperation between Middle Eastern countries, we can see a common thread of thematic issues that crop up time and again across all of their relations: foreign military bases, border disputes, sectarian favorites, sectarian fears, proxies and differing relations of patronage between the United States and Russia. Notably, Turkey is the one country that does not fit into this seamless web of factors that determine relations between the countries in the region.

 

As a NATO member, it has a strategic relationship both with its NATO allies and the U.S., but as a regional power it also has a pragmatic realpolitik relationship with Russia and to some extent Iran, especially regarding Syria at the Astana talks. As a former imperial power in the region, it has a knowledge of its history and the factors that shaped it, although it does not share the common trauma of uncertain borders drawn by outsiders and the creation of nation-states out of tribal realities.

 

 

Throughout the modern history of the Middle East, outside players, most notably the U.S., have tried to weave a course that serves their regional and global interests the best amid a ceaselessly changing landscape colored by age old feuds, changing societies and uncertain borders. It has to a large extent been a futile attempt, much like attempting to create neatly compartmentalized pockets in a desert of ever changing sand dunes. Yet the mistakes of the past are being repeated because of a lack of vision to guide policy insight. What the U.S. is attempting looks like a strategy, yet it is nothing more than a series of disjointed tactical moves, ranging from arming a terrorist group, the Democratic Union Party's (PYD) People's Protection Units (YPG), which are offshoots of the PKK, recognized as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

 

 

Struggle with regional turmoil

 

 

Turkey, on the other hand, has been steering through the several crises of the region, by managing relations on three fronts: Global powers, regional powers, local actors and international forums. As if being previously rife with changing landscapes and age-old feuds were not enough, the region is now gripped with a storm of change. The fallout from waning U.S. interest in the region, the Arab uprisings, former U.S. President Barack Obama's administration's nuclear deal with Iran, Iran's subsequent efforts to increase its influence, the rise of China and the Syrian war and the ongoing instability in Iraq have all contributed to kneejerk reactions to these changes. The most notable manifestation of these reactions has been the recent Qatar crisis, fueled by an increasingly alarmed Saudi Arabia and its close allies.

 

 

In the midst of this storm, Turkey balances its realpolitik, state-to-state relations with its soft power of reaching out to what President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan calls Turkey's "moral hinterland." In fact, Turkey is the only country in the region that can pursue both policies in tandem. The recent Qatar crisis is a good example of this. At the inter-state level of diplomacy Turkey has kept its realpolitik outlook in trying to mediate between all parties, and supporting Kuwait's mediation efforts. It has also not backed down from proceeding with deployments to a military base in the Qatari capital, Doha, agreed to over a year ago. At the "moral hinterland" level, Turkey has signaled its determination to stand by the Qataris by stepping up food exports and other necessities to alleviate the effects of the blockade while asking Saudi Arabia and its allies to behave in accordance with Islamic traditions of mercy and understanding during the holy month of Ramadan.

 

In fact, Turkey is supported by a robust infrastructure of aid and humanitarian relief agencies in pursuing its moral hinterland policy. The Presidency of Religious Affairs (DİB), the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD), the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TİKA) and the Turkish Red Crescent are among the main actors in providing aid and humanitarian relief in Syria, Iraq and Somalia, among other places throughout the world, as well as taking care of nearly 3 million Syrian refugees within Turkey.

 

 

"Moral hinterland" refers to Turkey's historically shaped relations with the peoples of the region, embedded in responsibility and cultural and religious affinity. This is not to be mistaken with irredentism. These are invisible borders based on age-old understandings between people and societies, much more intertwined and intricate than can be clearly discerned with a naked Western eye. In terms of realpolitik, Turkey's relations with global and regional powers are kept separate from its moral hinterland. Take Russia, although at odds with Turkey over Syria with regards to the Assad regime, and despite a year long rift after the accidental downing of a Russian jet, Turkish-Russian relations have reached a new, heightened cooperation in Syria with the Astana talks and the agreement to create de-confliction zones in cooperation with Iran.

 

 

Bilateral cooperation is further strengthened with the Turkish Stream project, a pipeline that will carry Russian gas to Europe through Turkey, and the nearing possibility of Turkey purchasing the S-400 missile defense system from Russia, much to the chagrin of its NATO allies, who were not able to offer a satisfactory solution to Turkey's needs in this area. Relations with China are also on a new par because of the significant projects such as various tunnels, bridges and railway routes Turkey has integrated itself with and is set to be a natural hub of China's One Belt One Road initiative.

 

Relations with the EU, meanwhile, may have become strained, but both Turkey and the EU know that the future has to ensure some kind of relationship where both parties can at least discuss and collaborate on the wide-ranging issues governing their mutual security and economic relations. This is more than likely to evolve into a strategic dialogue as envisaged in the 12-month roadmap, which is not confined to the acceptance/rejection impasse of membership talks.

 

 

Turkey's ties with the United States

 

 

When it comes to relations with the U.S., both Turkey and the U.S. need each other in managing change in the region. Despite serious divergences in interests, President Donald Trump's administration has gone out of its way to assure Ankara that the support given to the YPG for the Raqqa operation is tactical and not strategic and that it is Turkey, its NATO ally, that it wants to work with on the broader strategy of mapping the future of Syria. The use of Turkey's İncirlik Air Base by the U.S. and several NATO allies in the coalition against the Daesh terrorist group is also an important factor that makes Turkey an indispensable NATO ally, in the region.

 

 

Turkey's expertise as a NATO ally is also indispensable for post-conflict reconstruction in Syria. Turkey has a long-standing success story in peace building with its role in NATO's Afghanistan mission, taking command of the NATO force twice in that country. Turkey's successful non-combat role in that mission earned the trust, respect and love of the Afghan people, a rare source of legitimacy these days in a predominantly Western-driven mission of military intervention.

 

 

This does not mean that Turkey does not have an equally successful track record in combat roles for securing stability in the region. Operation Euphrates Shield, which commenced in August 2016 and ended in early 2017, has cleared 2,500 square kilometers of territory from Daesh, creating a pocket of stability and safety for the return of refugees.

 

 

Therefore, as a balancer of realpolitik diplomacy and with the infrastructure for effective deliverance of humanitarian aid as part of its moral hinterland policy, an active player in all international forums dealing with peace and stability in Syria, as well as a track record of successful combat and non-combat peace building missions, Turkey is best suited to provide stability through its various endeavors in a region that badly needs all the help it can get.

 

 

Senior adviser to the president of the Republic of Turkey and a professor of international relations at Yıldız Technical University

 

Daily Sabah

Turkey pledges to ensure the safety of tourists with reinforced tourism police forces.
Okunma Sayısı : 638   
9.8.2017 00:00:00

 

Istanbul is a city, which once hosted 12 million tourists a year, but those numbers have dropped. 

 


In an effort to revive the tourism sector, the city’s police department has expanded its tourism police forces to a large margin to ensure the safety and comfort of visitors. 

 

 

At Istanbul’s main international airport, with their bright orange vests and speedy segways, the tourism police officers are out in full force, making themselves known to arriving guests.

 

News Galata

Russia’s sale of S-400 to Turkey is making the US uncomfortable. Why?
Okunma Sayısı : 1432   
6.8.2017 00:00:00

 

For a year now, Ankara has been negotiating with Moscow to the S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system. Russia’s sale of S-400 to Turkey is making the US uncomfortable. Why? 

 

 

Education minister loses fight against Amsterdam Islamic high school
Okunma Sayısı : 1287   
27.7.2017 00:00:00

The Netherlands’ highest administrative court on Wednesday ordered the education ministry to fund a second Islamic high school in the Netherlands. 

 

 

The Council of State ruled that junior education minister Sander Dekker must provide funding for the school, which the Amsterdam Islamic education foundation SIO wants to set up. 

 

State-funded faith schools are sanctioned in the Netherlands under freedom of education rules, if they have sufficient pupils and meet the proper standards. 

 

Photo Haber Galata

Dekker refused to allocate funding for the school last year, because a board member who has since left, is alleged to have shown support for IS on Facebook. ‘We cannot use taxpayers’ money to support a school where children learn to reject the Netherlands rather than become part of it,’ the minister said at the time. 

 

The court ruled on Wednesday that the minister’s fear children may be exposed to pro-IS ideas were not properly grounded and that there is no reason to assume the school would not meet the conditions for state funding. The SIO has distanced itself from the comments as well as extremism and terrorism, the court said in its ruling. 

 

Amsterdam city council initially refused to allocate a suitable location to the school after Dekker withdrew funding but has since set aside a piece of land in Sloterdijk after being ordered to do so by judges in 2015. 

 

The SIO was given permission by the government to set up the school in 2011 and has to complete the process within six years, meaning the school should open for pupils this September. DutchNews.nl has contacted SIO for comment. 

 

There has not been an Islamic secondary school in Amsterdam since 2010, when the one school was closed for poor standards. 

 

There is one Islamic secondary school in Rotterdam and several dozen primary schools nationwide. 

 

Turkish school Meanwhile, Turkish organisation Millî Görüş has said it is working on plans to open the first Iman Hatip school in the Netherlands. ‘Our education arm was asked to open a Iman Hatip school and we have decided to work on this,’ the statement said. ‘Sign-ups and all other procedures will proceed via the website of the Turkish ministry of education.

 

Iman Hatip schools are religious vocational schools and one of four types of secondary education offered in Turkey. Turkish media first reported in 2012 that there were plans to set up Iman Hatip schools in the Netherlands. 

 

Turkish media have also reported on the new plan. It is not clear if there is a connection between the Millî Görüş plans and the SIO school. DutchNews.nl has approached Millî Görüş for comment.

 

DutchNews.nl


134 tane Haberden 41 - 60 arası gösteriliyor
Sayfalar :1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7Geri · İleri
Sayfalar
Anketler
Turizm'de sorunlarımız nelerdir?