James Mattis: S-400 deal a 'sovereign decision' for Turkey
Okunma Sayısı : 594   
15.11.2017 03:54:28

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has raised concerns over Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 air-defense system from Russia, saying it is “not interoperable with NATO.”


Addressing journalists at the U.S. Department of Defense, Mattis referred to the Turkey-Russia S-400 deal, saying: “That's a sovereign decision for Turkey. Clearly, it will not be interoperable with NATO.”

“So they're going to have to consider that if they go forward,” he added.


Turkey has completed the purchase of the S-400 air-defense system from Russia, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Saturday.


The S-400 is Russia’s most advanced long-range anti-aircraft missile system and can carry three types of missiles capable of destroying targets, including ballistic and cruise missiles.


It can track and engage up to 300 targets at a time and has an altitude ceiling of 27 kilometers (17 miles).


Anadolu Agency

Turkish court releases Buyukada meeting suspects
Okunma Sayısı : 686   
27.10.2017 23:53:09

A court in Istanbul on Wednesday ordered the release of eight suspects from prison pending trial who were arrested in a police raid during a meeting on Buyukada Island off Istanbul in July.


According to a judicial source who spoke on condition of anonymity, a total of 11 suspects, eight of whom were held in jail, were accused of being members of and aiding an armed terror organization.


Three of the suspects are on trial without arrest.


The suspects are German national Peter Frank Steudtner, Swedish national Ali Ghravi and nine Turkish nationals, namely Amnesty International Turkey Director Idil Eser, Veli Acu, Taner Kilic, Nalan Erkem, Ozlem Dalkiran, Ilknur Ustun, Gunal Kursun, Nejat Tastan and Seyhmus Ozbekli.


The court also ordered travel bans for the suspects Ozlem Dalkiran, Veli Acu, Nejat Tastan and Seyhmus Ozbekli, the source said.


One of the suspects, Taner Kilic, a representative of Amnesty International in Turkey, had been detained earlier for using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app used by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured.


Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.


The court has postponed the hearing until Nov. 22 to hear the witness testimony of the manager of the hotel where the meeting was held.


A senior Turkish minister on Friday denied media reports that the release of the Buyukada terror suspects was part of any negotiations between Germany and Turkey.


Turkey’s Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul told reporters in Ankara that the decision was taken independently by the judges holding them on trial.


“The Turkish judiciary is independent and impartial,” Gul said prior to a ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party meeting.


“Turkey is a state of law…Our judges are independent and impartial in their judgment,” Gul added.


An Istanbul court on Wednesday released eight suspects, including two foreign nationals, who were accused of being members of and aiding an armed terrorist organization.


Eleven suspects were arrested in a police raid during a meeting on Buyukada Island off Istanbul in July.


They included German national Peter Frank Steudtner and Swedish national Ali Ghravi and nine Turkish nationals.


Amnesty International’s Turkey Director Idil Eser was also among the suspects who has been released.


Taner Kilic, another representative of Amnesty International, is still in detention for allegedly using ByLock, an encrypted messaging app used by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) members during and after last July’s defeated coup attempt.


FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup attempt of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured


Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.


Anadolu Agency

Turkish court begins trial for Buyukada terror suspects
Okunma Sayısı : 720   
25.10.2017 14:50:47

The first hearing for 11 terror suspects – who were arrested in a police raid during a meeting on Buyukada Island off Istanbul in July – began on Wednesday.


Prosecutors seek up to a 15-year-jail-term for the suspects, who were accused of being members of and aiding an armed terror organization.


All of the suspects, including Amnesty International Turkey Director Idil Eser, Amnesty International Turkey Chairman Taner Kilic and German national Peter Frank Steudtner, attended the hearing held at Istanbul’s Caglayan Courthouse.


Mustafa Yeneroglu, deputy of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and chair of the committee on human rights inquiry of Turkish Parliament, Garo Paylan, Istanbul deputy of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (HDP), Ozcan Mutlu, a Turkish-German politician, and a number of international journalists witnessed the court proceedings.


The indictment by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office seeks a jail term of 7.5 to 15 years for the suspects including Kilic -- who had allegedly communicated with senior Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) figures abroad through the ByLock smartphone messaging app, an encrypted software used by FETO members before and during a deadly coup attempt last year.


Kilic was remanded in custody on June 10 in Izmir province, western Turkey.


Kilic's brother-in-law, Mehmet Kamis, was serving as the deputy chief editor of the now defunct Zaman newspaper, owned by FETO, and is currently at large, the indictment reads.


FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 250 people martyred and some 2,200 injured.


Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.


According to the indictment, a secret meeting was organized on Buyukada, one of Istanbul’s Princes’ Islands, during which illegal activities were discussed.


The suspects were allegedly planning provocative events meant to fuel unrest across Turkey similar to the 2013 Gezi Park protests.


The suspects' WhatsApp messages over their attendance to the meeting as well as their posts on social media and links to the terrorist organizations were also included in the indictment.


According to the indictment, one of the suspects warned the other participants of the meeting to shut off phones and laptops, saying in a whatsapp message, “Your first homework is to shut all your technological tools off before boarding the ferry [taking them to Buyukada].”


“… You shall not turn them on until you will enter the hotel,” the suspect adds.


Among a set of materials seized during a police raid and body search of Eser, some documents were found related to Semih Ozakca and Nuriye Gulmen, who were arrested for allegedly being members of a terrorist organization, the far-left group DHKP-C, the indictment reads.


Amnesty International has denied the charges and has called for immediate release of its staff, which it says was attending a routine training event on the island.


Anadolu Agency

Uzbek leader's visit to Turkey 'historic', analysts say
Okunma Sayısı : 876   
25.10.2017 14:37:56

Turkish analysts are describing Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's official visit to Ankara on Wednesday -- the first by an Uzbek leader in nearly 20 years -- as being of “vital importance”.

Mirziyoyev will meet his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss bilateral relations and regional developments. A news conference will follow the two leaders’ meeting.

Hasan Ali Karasar, a professor at Kapadokya University in Turkey, told Anadolu Agency Mirziyoyev's visit had “vital importance”.

“We regard this as a historic visit to determine the next five to 10 years in Turkey-Uzbekistan relations," he added.

According to international observer estimates, Uzbekistan will be a rising country over the next 10 years both in Central Asia and in Eurasia.

"Until now, relations [between Ankara and Tashkent] could not be brought to the desired level," Karasar said.

He said bilateral trade was worth about $1.3 billion: "A goal was set to increase it to $5 billion in five years and to $10 billion in 10 years."

"Uzbekistan has a strategic position. Uzbekistan's enrichment and prosperity are not only important for Turkey, but also for whole world," he added.

Mitat Celikpala, a professor in the International Relations Department at Istanbul-based Kadir Has University, said better relations were "highly important" for Turkey's regional effectiveness in Eurasia.

"We were experiencing both unfair and unnecessary, as well as prolonged, coldness. This visit is very important in terms of overcoming this and proceeding with new steps," Celikpala told Anadolu Agency.

Oktay Tanrisever, a professor in the International Relations Department of Turkey’s Middle East Technical University, said Mirziyoyev's visit would be a "vital" opportunity to strengthen relations.

"This historic visit will have a crucial place in enhancing of relations between two brotherly countries," Tanrisever said.

He said bringing together the capacities of Ankara and Tashkent would have the potential not only to accelerate cooperation in the Turkic world, but also to solve many problems in Central Asia and Southern Asia.

Mirziyoyev, 60, became Uzbekistan's leader on Dec. 14 last year after his long-serving predecessor, Islam Karimov, died in September after 27 years in office.

After becoming president, Mirziyoyev launched a five-year plan -- the "Strategy of Action" -- to run until 2021.

"This strategy will encompass the five top priority directions related to state building, improvement of the judicial system, liberalization of the economy, acceleration of development of the social sphere and implementation of an active foreign policy," he told parliament on Dec. 14.


Anadolu Agency

Erdogan urges more UN cooperation against terrorism
Okunma Sayısı : 751   
25.10.2017 01:13:52

Turkey’s president said on Tuesday that the Turkish military operation in Idlib, northwestern Syria is all but concluded.


Speaking to his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's parliamentary group, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: "The operation in Idlib was largely completed."

"The Afrin issue is ahead of us," he added, referring to a city in northern Syria, and repeated an earlier statement on keeping regional peace: "We can come suddenly at night. We can suddenly hit at night."

Under the operation, in line with agreements reached at peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan, Turkish troops were tasked with monitoring a cease-fire and establishing a series of observation posts along the line between the Syrian areas of Idlib and Afrin.


After crossing the frontier, Turkish troops were initially deployed near Afrin, which is situated along the Turkish border and is currently being held by the PKK/PYD terrorist group.

Since the PKK -- the PYD’s parent group -- launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, some 40,000 people have been killed, including 1,200 since July 2015.

Turkey’s deployments are in line with agreements reached in Astana by the three guarantor states: Turkey, Russia and Iran.

During the deployment, Turkish troops were expected to set up more than 10 observation posts in Idlib.


While the Turkish military has been tasked with establishing observation posts in central Idlib, Russia has been tasked with doing the same in outlying areas. 

US’ ally in Syria, arrest warrants

Turning to tensions with the U.S., Erdogan spoke on the banner of PKK terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan that was unfurled last week in Raqqah, Syria after it was retaken from Daesh.


After the incident, the U.S. Embassy condemned the banner, adding that Ocalan “is not worthy of respect.”

The force retaking the city, the SDF, includes the PKK/PYD, the Syrian offshoot of the terrorist PKK. Turkey has strongly objected to the U.S. recognizing the PKK as terrorist yet arming and equipping its “reliable ally” the PKK/PYD, which it does not recognize as a terror group.


Slamming the embassy statement as an attempt to cover the U.S.’ mistakes, Erdogan said, "What kind of remark is that? Does this suit a country like you? Well, you have been the cradle of democracy."  


Erdogan also criticized the U.S. over issuing arrest warrants for his security guards over a brawl this May when he visited Washington, D.C.

"You are just strong enough to issue arrest warrants for my 13 security guards, most of whom have never seen America before," said Erdogan.  



Erdogan urges more UN cooperation against terrorism

President Erdogan on Tuesday urged more UN cooperation and solidarity against terrorism around the globe in his United Nations Day message.


"Daesh, al-Qaeda, YPG, PKK, DHKP-C, and FETO are all a great risk not only to our country's security but the security and stability of our region and the whole world," Erdogan said.


"No excuse or plan can legitimize terror and arming the terrorist organizations," he said. "It is high time that cooperation and solidarity should be increased [among the] UN against terrorism."


Oct. 24, 1945 was when the UN Charter came into force and is celebrated annually as United Nations Day. In 1971, the UN General Assembly recommended the day be observed by member states as a public holiday.


Erdogan reiterated his repeated call for UN reform: "Reform at the UN is needed, which cannot be delayed, neglected, or ignored."


Recalling his famous slogan "the world is bigger than five" -- a reference to the five permanent Security Council members China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- Erdogan asked: 


"As long as the current injustice at the UN Security Council is not fixed, will it be possible to establish world peace and to achieve a complete UN reform successfully?"


He said Turkey would continue to offer support for reform which he said would turn the UN into a more "fair, democratic, transparent, effective and accountable" structure. 


About his country's "significant contributions" to UN efforts, Erdogan recalled how Turkey cared for more than three million Syrians fleeing war in their homeland.


Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, in his UN Day message, called for international cooperation against terrorism “which constitutes a threat to the security and peace of all humanity”.


“As the prime minister of a country which has struggled with terrorism for years, I believe that the fight against terrorism can only be achieved by international cooperation and solidarity,” Yildirim said.



Europe died in Bosnia and was now buried in Syria.
Okunma Sayısı : 639   
23.10.2017 19:33:33

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged European leaders to use their "common sense" and give full membership to Turkey in the EU that would in turn help the bloc in overcoming its problems.


Erdogan strongly criticized the EU states at an event in capital Ankara to commemorate Alija Izetbegovic -- the founding president of modern Bosnia who died 14 years ago.


Europe died in Bosnia and was now buried in Syria.


"You should know that innocent children whose bodies washed ashore are the gravestones of the Western civilization. Unfortunately, in the last seven years, European values have been discredited and destroyed one-by-one by the very owners of those values," the president said.


He recalled the Western states' position on Bosnia during the 1995 war.


"Human rights, democracy, national will and freedom were considered too much for Bosnians.


“Today, these are seen as luxury for Syrians, Palestinians, Libyans. Though the oppressed and tyrants have changed, those watching the oppression from sidelines have not."


About the harassment of Turkish passengers in Austria's Schwechat Airport on Oct. 13, he said: "They search my citizens coming from the west to Turkey with dogs. How can such a disgrace happen?"

He urged European leaders to use their "common sense" when dealing with Turkey.


"Escalating xenophobia will not benefit anyone. Dreaming of power through Islamophobia will not bring anyone anywhere.


“A Europe without Turkey will only reach isolation, desperation and civil strife. Turkey does not need Europe. Europe is the one that is in need [of Turkey].


“Though they do not want to see it, Turkey and its full membership is the cure for their chronic problems.”


Turkey applied for membership in the European Economic Community (a precursor to the EU) in 1987. It became eligible for EU membership in 1997 and accession talks began in 2005.


To gain membership, Turkey has to successfully conclude negotiations with the EU in 35 policy chapters that involve reforms and the adoption of European standards.



Five PKK terrorists killed in southeast Turkey
Okunma Sayısı : 677   
23.10.2017 02:28:41

Five PKK terrorists were killed in southeastern Turkey, the provincial governor's office said on late Saturday.

According to a statement from the Hakkari Governor's Office, Turkish air operation on Saturday killed five terrorists near Catalca village of Semdinli district after the drones located the terrorists in the rural area.

A Judicial investigation is underway regarding the issue, it added.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of around 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.

Turkey also suffered from a number of attacks by Daesh, including the Ankara train station bombing in October 2015 that killed more than 100 people.



Erdogan says US cannot be 'civilized country'
Okunma Sayısı : 593   
22.10.2017 01:52:10

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday the U.S. could not be called a civilized country.

What do they call America? The cradle of democracy. Such a thing cannot be a democracy and its name cannot be democracy, he said at the Civilizations Forum at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul.

If America issues arrest warrants for my 13 bodyguards in a country where I went upon invitation, I'm sorry, but I will not say that country is civilized, Erdogan said at the Civilizations Forum at Ibn Haldun University in Istanbul.

On June 15, the U.S. issued arrest warrants for 16 people including Erdogan's bodyguards allegedly linked with a brawl outside the Turkish embassy in Washington during the Turkish president's visit in May.

The president said he and his security team faced threats during his visit. "They [security guards] took measures for us. And even two of them [guards] were not even there. Can there be such justice?" he added.

Erdogan criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's policy regarding Muslims saying Turkey never closed its doors to people who thought differently.

Muslims in America are facing expulsion so it means there is a problem in the country, he said, adding he had doubts on Trump's ability to "judge" a civilization. 

Trump uses 'terrorist' only for Muslims

The Trump administration laid out late last month new restrictions to replace Trump's previous travel ban, which was set to expire, adding two non-Muslim-majority countries to the list of designated nations while dropping Sudan.

The countries that face travel restrictions under Trump's new order are Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Venezuela and Yemen.

This latest attempt to curtail immigration to the U.S. was dealt a legal setback after a Hawaii judge ruled Tuesday that it suffers from the same legal deficiencies as his previous directives.

Erdogan also said the U.S. president used the term "terrorist" solely for Muslims.

Here you are, the Buddhists in Myanmar killed Muslims of Rohingya. Can they call the Buddhists in the same way? No. Why? Because they do yoga. Could it be such a nonsense? Do they say the same thing for Christians or Jewish terrorists? No," he said.

Rohingya in Myanmar have been described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people. Since Aug. 25, around 589,000 Rohingya have crossed into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The president also said that Turkey was the country that had done the most to fight Daesh.

And while we fight, we say that Daesh has nothing to do with Islam.We are saying that Daesh is not related to Islam in interviews [...] at every international meeting.

But you cannot make them understand and unfortunately they make Muslims kill Muslims," Erdogan said. "They also supply free weapons. We want weapons with our money to defend [ourselves], they do not give us weapons. We are in such a strange world

Anadolu Agency

Turkey helps restore Ottoman tomb in Hungary
Okunma Sayısı : 727   
21.10.2017 00:29:12

A renovation project to restore a nearly 500-year-old Ottoman-era tomb in Hungary will end next month, Turkish officials have told Anadolu Agency.

The octagonal tomb of Gul Baba [Father of Roses], an Ottoman Bektashi dervish poet and companion of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, was built between 1543 and 1548 in Budapest.

As one of the few remnants of Turkish rule in central Europe, the tomb has been protected by the Hungarian authorities to date.

It was initially restored by Hungarian experts in 1963 after being damaged during World War II. Since then it has been designated as a museum and opened to the public.

The newest renovation project in partnership of the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and the Hungarian authorities began in August last year.

TIKA's country coordinator in Hungary, Suleyman Kiziltoprak, said the project is a "sign of Turkish-Hungarian friendship".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to participate in the inauguration ceremony, the Hungarian government said in a statement.

TIKA has completed about 60 projects in Hungary since 2014, which were mostly linked to social and cultural cooperation, education and health.

The Turkish agency has been also carrying out extensive restoration work on Ottoman heritage in the Balkans as well as implementing development and aid projects.

Banner of terror leader harms alliance with US: Turkey
Okunma Sayısı : 691   
21.10.2017 00:14:44

Washington’s indifference to a terror group displaying a huge banner of its convicted terrorist leader in the Syrian city of Raqqah will damage the U.S.-Turkish alliance, Turkey’s prime minister said on Friday.

“Such images are a great misfortune,” Binali Yildirim told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

“We have constantly told our ally, the United States of America, [and] the latest image shows the regretful consequences of cooperating with one terrorist organization to destroy another.”

When the eastern city of Raqqah was retaken earlier this week by forces including the PKK/PYD and PKK/YPG -- the Syrian branches of the terrorist PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years -- the group unfurled a huge banner bearing the image of jailed terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan in the main square.

“What else does the U.S. want to see to understand that the YPG and PYD are terrorist groups? We are curious about this,” added Yildirim, warning that the incident would damage Turkish-U.S. ties.

Against strong Turkish protests, the U.S. has long armed the SDF who uses the name of PKK/PYD, calling it a “reliable ally” and denying that it is a terrorist group.

The PKK itself is widely recognized as a terrorist group, including by the U.S. 

‘Banner disproved US claims’

Separately, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag also addressed the issue in the central Yozgat province.

“This image disproved all the U. S. claims, claims like, ‘We’re not coordinating with terrorists, there are no terrorists there, there is the Syrian Democratic Forces’ and the terror organization also disproved it by showing its presence there with the banner.”

The U.S. earlier Friday declined to comment on the matter.

Asked about “a victory enabled by the U.S. that is dedicated to a terrorist group”, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White said: “We work with the SDF [PKK/PYD]. And we work to help them focus on fighting ISIS [Daesh]. That is our sole responsibility. That's our sole commitment. And we'll continue to work by, with and through the SDF to ensure that we defeat ISIS.”

In a declaration of victory in Raqqah-- considered Daesh’s de facto capital -- the PKK/PYD also released a video dedicating the triumph to Ocalan, who founded the PKK in 1978. The head terrorist was jailed for treason in Turkey in 1999.

Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in Turkey in 1984, more than 40,000 people have been killed.



EU wants to 'keep door open to Ankara'
Okunma Sayısı : 706   
21.10.2017 00:09:32

Despite speculation, EU leaders meeting in Brussels this week have made no decision about suspending or ending Turkey's EU membership bid.

At a news conference following a European Council meeting, the organization's president, Donald Tusk, told reporters they had to "reflect on whether to cut and re-orient pre-accession funds".

There was no mention of ending or freezing membership talks, a proposal which had generated some support in a number of EU member states this year.

Tusk said Europe wanted to "keep the door open to Ankara" but acknowledged strained ties with Turkey.

"It was also stressed that Turkey needs to respect all member states in its relations with the EU, including when it comes to the implementation of the existing Customs Union agreement," he added.

Ahead of the summit on Thursday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had suggested reducing EU pre-accession funds to Turkey instead of calling for an end to Ankara’s EU membership process.

Despite calls by German social democrats and liberals to immediately halt Ankara’s EU membership talks and freeze €4 billion ($4.68 billion) in pre-accession funds, a majority of EU member states have turned down such proposals, and backed dialogue with Ankara.

Any decision to terminate Turkey’s membership talks would require unanimity among all EU member states. So far only Austria has openly backed freezing Turkey’s EU membership talks.



'US, Europe not supporting Turkey's war on terror'
Okunma Sayısı : 825   
20.10.2017 22:47:14

Turkey’s president on Friday lashed out against the U.S. and some European countries for failing to support Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

Speaking to reporters after the D-8 summit in Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan singled out recent public displays in support of terrorist groups and terrorist group leaders.

Referring to a banner of convicted terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan being displayed by U.S.-supported forces after taking the city of Raqqah, Syria, this week, Erdogan said: “They [PKK/PYD] hung a poster of the terrorist leader somewhere there in Raqqah. How can America explain this? When you speak, you say the PKK is a ‘terrorist organization’.”

Despite recognizing the PKK as a terrorist group -- and against strong Turkish protests -- the U.S. has long armed and equipped the Syrian PKK/PYD, calling it a “reliable ally” in its war against Daesh.

Referring to a weekend incident in which supporters of the PKK terrorist organization hung a poster of Ocalan from the Paris headquarters of a major news agency, Agence France Presse (AFP), Erdogan added: “France also hung a poster of the terrorist leader from a building of its own state TV. Police watched it [happening] from there. How can they explain this?”

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and U.S. -- has killed more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians since July 2015.

Erdogan continued: “They [the PKK] march in Germany. During the march, under police supervision, there is every kind of chant, and they march together with those posters.”

On Monday, around 500 pro-PKK demonstrators gathered at Kennedy Square in Frankfurt and shouted anti-Turkey slogans, without any confrontation from the police.

Some of the PKK sympathizers carried banned posters and flags of the terrorist group, although Germany’s Interior Ministry prohibited such posters and flags earlier this year.

'We do not believe you'

Erdogan added: “When we hold bilateral talks, they say, ‘We stand by you in fight against terrorism.’ We do not believe you. You do not stand by us.

“If you stood by us, you would not protect all of these with the police.”

Erdogan added that the states of the D-8 -- an economic group consisting of eight emerging economies from the Muslim world -- are resolved to help Turkey fight terror groups such as Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and the PKK.

He said that especially on FETO and the PKK, D-8 members are determined to show solidarity and offer cooperation, including intelligence-sharing.

The FETO terror group and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.


Anadolu Agency

President Erdogan visit to Poland on Tuesday
Okunma Sayısı : 808   
16.10.2017 10:03:43

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's upcoming visit to Poland will boost trade and investment between the two countries, business leaders from both countries said Sunday.

“Poland is the most important trading partner for Turkey in Central Europe, with bilateral trade reaching nearly $6 billion last year," Kemal Guleryuz, president of the Turkish-Poland Business Council of the Foreign Economic Relations Board, told Anadolu Agency.

The trade volume has more than doubled over the last 10 years, shooting up from $2.49 billion in 2006 to nearly $6 billion in 2016, according to Turkish Economy Ministry data.

Bilateral trade is in favor of Poland with imports from Turkey being much less. Turkey's exports to Poland stood at $1.9 billion while its imports from the country were more than $2.1 billion in January-September 2017, said official data. 

Polish exports to Turkey hit a high of $3.24 billion last year, up from $1.43 billion in 2006, while Turkish exports stood at $2.65 billion, up from $1.06 billion in 2006.

"I strongly believe that the volume of trade will reach higher levels in the coming period with exports and investment support by Turkey’s Economy Ministry," Guleryuz said.

Guleryuz argued that Poland has potential for Turkish investors as the country attracts foreign capital investments and has EU financial support.


$10B trade in near future

"There are significant opportunities for Turkish firms in large-scale construction projects in Poland, such as housing, telecommunications, hotels, hospitals and business centers," Guleryuz said.

"With a population of 40 million, Poland is a large market and well-positioned to facilitate easy access to other regional markets. This makes it an ideal location for Turkish companies," he added.

The Polish-Turkish Business Forum to be held on Oct. 17 during Erdogan’s visit to Warsaw will help increase trade and investment relations between the two countries, he added.

Erdogan will be visiting Poland on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations including trade. He is scheduled to meet his Polish counterpart Andrzej Duda. The two countries’ leaders are also expected to attend the Polish-Turkish Business Forum, according to the Turkish Presidency's press office on Saturday.

The one-day visit will also include talks with Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło, as well as speakers of both houses of the Polish parliament, the Senate and Sejm, the press office added.

Turkey's Foreign Ministry says Ankara and Warsaw have no political problems, and they share similar approaches to regional and international issues. Turkey’s support for Poland’s accession to NATO in 1999, as well as Poland’s support for Turkey’s EU accession process boosted political relations.

"Turkey is the world's eighteenth and one of the fastest growing economies. The goal of Turkey’s economic strategy is to reach the tenth position by 2023," said Dariusz Oleszczuk, co-chairman of Polish-Turkish Business Council at the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Poland.

Great trade potential

He agreed with Guleryuz that the trade potential is much greater between Turkey and Poland.

"Polish exports from Turkey are just 1.5 percent of the total Polish exports which are around $200 billion, ... the potential is much greater. Some Polish and Turkish experts estimate it at 10 billion euros [$11.82 billion] in the near future," he said.

Oleszczuk said Poland's strategic location is a critical factor for any country, such as Turkey, seeking a gateway to the EU.

Poland can be competitive and have a leading role in the global economy in the following branches of industrial specialization: aviation, arms industry, car components, shipbuilding industry, IT, chemical industry, furniture and food processing, according to the Polish government.

"Clearly these sectors present many potential opportunities for Turkish companies, the Turkish president's visit will help us to boost trade ties between two countries," Oleszczuk added.

Tourist arrivals from Poland have risen by over 33 percent to 204,834 in the first eight months of this year, according to Turkey's Culture and Tourism Ministry data.



Both the system of international law and the culture of interstate dialogue have been eroded
Okunma Sayısı : 590   
14.10.2017 23:49:14

Russian President has addressed participants and guests of the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU) in St. Petersburg.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the 137th Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly (IPU) that imposing sanctions against lawmakers is a counterproductive step.

"Unfortunately, we see that the attempts to limit the direct contacts and communication among lawmakers have been made more and more often recently, I mean the practice of imposition of discriminatory restrictions and sanction lists, which often include lawmakers. We regard this practice as inadmissible, harmful and just foolish," Putin said.


Both the system of international law and the culture of interstate dialogue have been eroded, he said.

"The parliaments all around the world, as the representatives of the people's will, play a landmark, important, sometimes a major role in the elaboration of national development models and, of course, in the search of adequate responses to the modern challenges and threats that are common to us all. I attribute to them [challenges and threats] the erosion of international law and the culture of interstate dialogue among them."

"We [Russia] will steadily follow the path toward the development of democratic, representative institutions, to increase the authority and the importance of the judiciary," Putin said.


Fight Against Terror in Syria


When commenting on the Russian operation in Syria, the Russian president has reiterated his call for creating a united front against terrorism.


The fight against terrorism should be conducted wihout resorting to double standards and use of radicals, Putin said.

"We are confident that it is necessary to fight against terrorism without double standards, without hidden agendas, without the use of radicals for anyone's political interests and, of course, only by joining hands, only together," he said.


He said that attempts to interfere in internal affairs of other countries bring "chaos" in the Middle East and provoke the rise of a terror threat.


"There are no and could not be patterns of development in the modern world. Every state has its natural and incontestable right to define its fate on its own, as it is formalized in the UN Charter. Attempts to interfere in the life of sovereign states without understanding and taking into consideration the national features lead only to chaos. Such ill-considered foreign interference has resulted in the destabilization of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, in the escalation of tensions in the region and the growth of terrorist threat," he said.


The international community should think about the after-war reconstruction of Syria and the amount of assistance to the crisis-torn state, Putin said.




Turkish army’s multi-faceted security mission in Idlib
Okunma Sayısı : 1682   
14.10.2017 10:42:22

Turkey has continued to deploy troops to Syria's Idlib province in order to set up observation posts to monitor the cease-fire, following up on an international agreement to establish de-escalation zones in the war-torn country.


Military convoys, which departed from the Reyhanli district in Turkey's southern Hatay province, arrived in northern Idlib late Thursday.


The troops have initially been deployed near Afrin, an Aleppo district near the Turkish border held by the PKK/PYD terrorist organization.




The deployment will continue along the border of Idlib and Afrin, under rules of engagement agreed to in May among guarantor countries Turkey, Iran and Russia. Ankara backs groups opposed to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, while Russia and Iran support Assad’s regime.


Turkish armed forces will eventually set up observation posts in more than 10 areas, beginning in northern Idlib and gradually extending to the southern part of the province.


The mission, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Free Syrian Army, aims to monitor the cease-fire in Idlib, while Russia will set up observation posts outside the province for the same purpose. 



Halting refugee influx

The Turkish troop deployment also aims to create the necessary conditions to maintain the cease-fire between the Syrian regime and opposition groups, end conflicts, allow humanitarian aid to reach those who need it, and ensure the return of displaced persons to their homes.


It also aims to prevent a fresh influx of Syrian refugees into Turkey.


There were concerns that the Assad regime, backed by Iran and Russia, would launch more attacks in Idlib if the cease-fire failed to hold. In such a case, it was feared that millions of people might flood across the border into Turkey. 


More than 1 million people are already living in camps near the border between Turkey and Syria.


The Turkish deployment also aims to provide safe shelter for civilians.


By deploying forces, Turkey will also be establishing a security barrier to prevent the spread of the PKK/PYD, which is currently controlling Afrin.


The terrorist organization, which has occupied Afrin since 2011, needs to establish control over parts of Idlib in order to secure a corridor from the Iraqi border to the Mediterranean.



Idlib, which is located in northwestern Syria on the Turkish border, faced intense attacks by the Assad regime after a vicious civil war broke out in 2011.


After March 2015, Idlib was no longer under the control of the Assad regime and was dominated by military opposition groups and anti-regime armed organizations.


With a previous population of around 2.5 million, the city is now crammed with about 4 million people, following the arrival of civilians who fled violence in central Syria. 


The most effective military opposition groups in Idlib, Ahrar al-Sham and Tahrir al-Sham, both withdrew from the city nearly three months ago. Idlib is currently governed by a local council headed by civilians.



The Syrian Interim Government provides the services that the council offers the public.


There are no armed groups or organizations in the city; rather, these elements are currently based in rural areas and checkpoints set up around the city.


In recent months, the influence of Tahrir al-Sham has increased in the area. There are also many local groups in Idlib operating under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army.


During recent peace talks in Kazakh capital Astana, the three guarantor countries agreed to establish de-escalation zones in Idlib and in parts of the Aleppo, Latakia and Hama provinces.






Turkish-US relations hit new low during John Bass era
Okunma Sayısı : 978   
14.10.2017 09:38:26


The outgoing U.S. ambassador to Ankara, John Bass, has faced criticism during his three years in the Turkish capital for interfering in domestic issues, including political and judicial issues.


Recent remarks by Bass, who is expected to end his Turkish posting this weekend, on the arrest of Metin Topuz, an employee at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, are an apparent attempt to interfere in the Turkish judiciary.


Topuz was arrested under an ongoing investigation against a 2013 plot by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization -- the group behind last year’s defeated coup attempt in Turkey -- known locally as the Dec. 17-25 incidents.


As Topuz is accused of attempting to topple the constitutional order, spying, and attempting to destroy the government of the Republic of Turkey, Bass came under fire for commenting that the accusations were motivated by “revenge”.  



No explanation of FETO ties

Bass was the highest representative of his country in Turkey during FETO’s July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt, one of the most critical incidents in Turkish history.


But he failed to explain to his bosses in Washington the importance Turkey places on the extradition of U.S.-based FETO members, most especially its leader Fetullah Gulen.


Moreover, when reports emerged that Adil Oksuz, one of the top suspects in the coup bid, made a telephone call to the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul just days after the defeated coup attempt, the U.S. mission claimed it was a “visa-related” conversation.


Furthermore, several telephone conversations between suspects in the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) trucks case and the U.S. diplomatic missions in Turkey were documented in an indictment on the case prepared by the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s office.


Despite a request by the prosecutor’s office, the U.S. missions have yet to offer an explanation.


Though Bass used to issue rapid reactions on Turkish-related issues, his comments over the deadly coup attempt were lagging, coming three days after the critical events.


Denies assistance to PYD

The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the EU, has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, during which more than 40,000 people have lost their lives.


The PKK/PYD and PKK/YPG are the group’s Syrian offshoots.


Bass has repeatedly rejected reports that his country has been providing military aid to the PKK/PYD terrorist organization in Syria.


However, photos and videos contradicting Bass’ assertions have appeared many times.


After Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan charged that the U.S.-led coalition is supporting Daesh as well as the PKK/YPG and PKK/PYD, Bass said, “The United States government has not provided weapons or explosives to the YPG or the PKK -- period.”


His statement drew a strong reaction from Ankara. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu rebuffed him, saying, “The U.S. provides weapons to the YPG -- period.”


Moreover, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Thursday that the U.S. weapons and ammunitions contributions to the PYD terrorist organization are so large, they could equip a force of 40,000-50,000 troops.


Belittling the media

Bass' recent statements, especially in the runup to his departure, became a controversial issue in Turkey. One of these incidents happened in Istanbul last week when he called "only a group of journalists" for a press conference.


He blacklisted some press institutions at this press conference, breaking the precedent of earlier U.S. ambassadors who met with the full range of media organizations in Turkey. Thus, just before leaving, he struck a huge blow to the freedoms of press and information, subjects he often stressed during his term.


Arguing for accreditation of the Turkish press during his meeting, Bass said he wanted to meet with representatives of "serious" media organs, and claimed that others published fiction, not facts. Bass was criticized by the Turkish press for saying, "I can’t see them as journalists."


A few days ago, he invited representatives of a few press organizations to his farewell reception at his residence in Ankara, where he showed an attitude unlike his statements on freedom of the press.


‘Over nine months with no terror attacks’

Bass’ remarks at a farewell meeting with diplomatic correspondents in Ankara this week recall the campaign claims of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump that then-President Barack Obama and Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton were the "founders” of the Daesh terrorist organization.


Bass suggested that the fact that Daesh hasn’t mounted a significant attack in Turkey in nine-and-a-half months resulted from the cooperation between Turkey and the U.S.


He said: "Fortunately, this country has not experienced any significant attacks by Daesh in nine-and-a-half months… The absence of attacks is not a result of Daesh deciding it no longer wanted to try to conduct attacks in Turkey. It’s a result of Daesh no longer being able to conduct these kinds of attacks.”


In Turkey, these remarks were seen as a threat by Bass.

Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesman Bekir Bozdag said that the outgoing ambassador must explain what he meant by those words.


Interference in the judiciary

Using the excuse of the freedom of the press and expression, Bass had made statements on many issues that were going through Turkish courts.


On Nov. 27, 2015, Bass posted a black image on his Instagram account related to the arrest of Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, its Ankara bureau chief, who were accused of political/military espionage, revealing state secrets, and helping a terrorist organization knowingly and willingly without joining the group.


He once again interfered in a domestic Turkish issue and the judiciary by commenting underneath the image: "Deeply disturbed to see more voices of independent media in Turkiye silenced today.”


After Turkish authorities launched an investigation against 1,100 academics -- who called themselves the “Academics for Peace Initiative” and in January 2016 signed a joint declaration supporting the terrorist PKK -- the ambassador diplomatically said, "Turkish democracy is strong and resistant enough to embrace disturbing ideas freely.”


Visiting offices of FETO-linked detainees

Following the detention of the Amnesty International’s Turkey branch head Taner Kilic and its director Idil Eser, who were arrested after it emerged that they used ByLock, an encrypted messaging app used by FETO members, Bass visited the Istanbul Amnesty International office this July.


Around the same time, Bass argued that they would continue to work “very closely” with Turkey "with the same spirit and determination" on the extradition of FETO leader Fetullah Gulen. However, the U.S. has taken no concrete steps on the extradition process since the 2016 defeated coup attempt.



Turkish forces enter Idlib as per Astana agreement
Okunma Sayısı : 1378   
13.10.2017 14:32:00


Turkish Armed Forces on Thursday, October 12, began setting up observation points in Syria’s northern province of Idlib to implement a de-escalation zone as agreed upon during the Astana peace talks, the Turkish military said on Friday in a statement.


The mission’s aim is to ensure proper conditions for the establishment, surveillance and continuation of the ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid and the return of those displaced to their homes. 


Turkey's President Erdogan explains the military's mission in Idlib after troops crossed into Syria overnight https://t.co/IL7OEId1oV pic.twitter.com/nxW5R0JTlB

— TRT World (@trtworld) 13 Ekim 2017

The mission is a result of the Astana agreement reached on September 15 between Turkey, Russia and Iran in Astana, Kazakhstan.


Details of the mission

A convoy of around 50 armoured vehicles crossed the border from Turkey's Hatay province on Thursday night. More than 100 Turkish soldiers have been deployed, including special forces.


According to reporters in the region, the military convoy passed through Turkey's Cilvegozu border in Reyhanli and Hatay into northern Idlib.


Turkey will establish more than 10 observation posts inside Idlib province while the guarantor countries will create a peacekeeping force to reduce the chance of conflict under the Astana deal.


As per the deal, the three countries will set up four de-escalation zones in Syria, mainly in opposition-held areas which have been facing in-fighting between rival Syrian opposition groups who are battling each other for control, as well as fighting the Syrian regime.


This is the second time Turkey has entered Syria. The first was in 2016 during

Operation Euphrates Shield.


De-escalation zones

Last month Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed to set up four de-escalation zones in Syria, including Idlib province, which is one of the last main opposition strongholds in the country.


As part of the deal, Turkey announced on Saturday the beginning of a mission by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by the Turkish military, to re-impose security in Idlib and northwestern Syria.


Initially the aim was to send forces to north of Idlib, close to Afrin which is controlled by the YPG – the Syrian wing of PKK which is listed as terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.


The PKK has waged an armed campaign against the Turkish state for most of the period since 1984. 


It resumed its armed struggle in July 2015 after a brief suspension of hostilities. Since then, authorities say it has killed around 1,200 people, including women and children.


The mission not only aims to protect civilians but also prevent the flow of refugees into Turkey, as well as a conflict in the region that might arise in the absence of de-escalation zones.


Firewall against PKK-PYD

Turkey’s military cordon in Idlib will provide a safe zone and prevent the PKK- PYD from extending their sphere of influence to Aleppo’s Afrin town in the northeast of Idlib.


The terror group has been occupying Afrin since 2011, a strategic move to give it access to the Mediterranean from the Iraqi border.


Situation in Idlib

Syria’s Idlib, which lies northwest of the Turkish border, has been a focal point of the Syrian civil war which began in 2011 following a crackdown on anti-regime and pro-democracy protesters.


In March 2015, Idlib came under the control of opposition military forces and armed opposition groups who were opposed to Syria's regime leader, Bashar al Assad.


The population of Idlib has increased from 2.5 million to four million as a result of other civilians taking refuge in the city.


Three months ago, the city’s most active opposition militant group, Ahrar al Sham and armed opposition, Hayat Tahrir al Sham, withdrew from Idlib’s city centre.


A Local Assembly, a local governance body which is formed by civilians, rules the city centre and provides public services through Syria’s provisional government.


During the Astana talks, Turkey, Russia and Iran had agreed on four de-escalation zones which include  Idlib, Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia. 


Aid corridor

Ankara said its troops also will secure roads for charity organisations to deliver aid to thousands of people in the province.


It said Turkish troops will not launch any ground offensives and will only support the FSA if the de-escalation zone deal is violated. 



Turkish President accuses US of sacrificing its strategic partnership
Okunma Sayısı : 775   
13.10.2017 03:37:10

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said the US was in danger of "sacrificing" its relations with Turkey, as he blamed the American envoy to Ankara for the crisis in relations between the NATO allies.


"It is the ambassador here who caused this," Erdogan told a meeting in Ankara, referring to the outgoing US envoy in Turkey, John Bass.


"It is unacceptable for the United States to sacrifice its strategic partner like Turkey for a presumptuous ambassador," he said.


The dispute erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the US consulate in Istanbul on suspicion of links to Fetullah Gulen, a US-based cleric who Ankara blames for last year's failed coup. 


In response, Washington halted issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the US to hit back with a tit-for-tat move.


Although Turkish officials blamed the ambassador for the spat, the State Department said Bass had been operating with the full authority of the US government. 


Bass is due to leave Turkey at the weekend after he was named the US envoy to Afghanistan earlier this year.


"If the giant America is ruled by an ambassador in Ankara, what a shame," Erdogan said.


On Monday, Turkish prosecutors summoned another local employee working at the US consulate in Istanbul. 


Erdogan on Thursday claimed that he was hiding in the consulate, but Bass had denied this the day before, telling reporters: "No one's hiding at any of our facilities."


Turkish authorities this week detained his wife, his son and his daughter.


In his speech, Erdogan also brought attention to the deputy general manager of the Turkish bank Halkbank arrested by the US, who was not guilty, said Erdogan. 


Erdogan also added that Ankara knew the US delivery of weaponry to the YPG was not about supporting democracy and said that the Turkish police were not going to use US-made "Sig Sauer" weapons anymore.


Ankara wanted to open a new page in relations with the US under President Donald Trump but a spate of issues have raised tensions, including the US refusal to extradite Gulen and American support for Kurdish militias in Syria.


Erdogan said the US response to the arrest of the consulate employee was "unfair" and "disproportionate," and urged common sense.



Turkish security forces foil 515 terror attacks
Okunma Sayısı : 774   
12.10.2017 03:03:29

FILE PHOTO - Turkey's Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu


Turkey has conducted more than 68,000 counter-terrorism operations over the last year and 515 terror attacks have been averted, Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said Wednesday.

Following these operation, 30,167 suspects are in jail awaiting trial for terror offences, he added.

Speaking at a meeting of provincial governors in Ankara, Soylu said the 68,464 anti-terror operations targeted the PKK, Daesh, the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and far-left terror groups such as the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

There were 40,215 operations targeting the PKK and 25,818 against FETO, which Ankara holds responsible for last year’s attempted coup.

Soylu said 2,242 terrorists were neutralized -- a term that the Turkish military often uses to refer to killed terrorists.

Nearly 300 terrorists had been killed over the past 9 months by aerial drones operated by Turkish security forces. Turkey has increasingly turned to using armed drones, particularly against the PKK in rural areas, in recent months.

The PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU -- resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians.

Nearly 92,000 anti-drug operations across Turkey in the year to Sept. 30 led to the confiscation of 9.7 tons of heroin and 212 tons of cannabis as well as large-scale seizures of cocaine.

Soylu also addressed border security on Turkey’s southern frontier.

He said a concrete wall built along the Syrian border now extended for 755 kilometers (469 miles) and construction, which began in 2015 along the 911 km (566 mile) border, is continuing. A 38 km (24 mile) security fence had also be erected on the border of Hatay province, Soylu added.

Under measures to combat smuggling and illegal crossings, the 3 meter (10 foot) wall is topped with razor wire and incorporates watchtowers, electronic surveillance, thermal cameras, radar, remote-controlled 


Anadolu Agency

Turkey wins European amputee football championship
Okunma Sayısı : 1154   
9.10.2017 22:31:18

Turkey's national amputee football team defeated England 2-1 Monday evening in Istanbul's Vodafone Park to become European champions.

An emotional evening in Besiktas's home stadium proved to be a title night for a Turkish amputee football team that scored the winning goal in injury time to claim the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) championship.

Turkey led 1-0 at halftime thanks to a goal in the 25th minute by Omer Guleryuz.

Although the dominant display from the Turkish team continued until the final minute, England's Ray Westbrook still managed to tie the game in the 50th minute.

However, Turkish team captain Osman Cakmak scored two minutes later to give Turkey the title. Amputee football games are 50 minutes long -- two halves of 25 minutes.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressend his congratulated in a telegram and in a Twitter message by, the Presidency said in a statement.

"I wholeheartedly congratulate the amputee national football team who became Europe champion by defeating England. Turkey is proud of you!" Erdogan wrote in his Twitter account.

According to the Prime Ministry, the premier Binali Yildirim also congratulated Ugur Ozcan, the team's coach, in a phone call.



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