Turkey retaliates after US move to suspend visa service
Okunma Sayısı : 711   
9.10.2017 00:46:06

The Turkish Embassy in the U.S. on Sunday announced that processing non-immigrant visa applications have been suspended.

"Recent events have forced Turkish Government to reassess the commitment of the Government of the United States to the security of Turkish Mission facilities and personnel," said the Turkish mission in a statement. 

"In order to minimize the number of visitors to our Embassy and Consulates while this assessment proceeds, effective immediately we have suspended all non-immigrant visa service at all Turkish diplomatic facilities in the US.

"This measure will apply to visas and passports as well as e-Visas acquired at the border," read the statement.

Turkey's move comes as an retaliation to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara which said it suspended all non-immigrant visa operations in Turkey. 

Earlier, Turkish national Metin Topuz, confirmed by the U.S.’ Istanbul Consulate as a local employee, was remanded in custody over terror charges by an Istanbul court on Wednesday.

Topuz is linked to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind last year’s defeated coup in Turkey, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the attempted coup, which left 250 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Topuz has been linked to a number of FETO suspects, including police commissioners and former prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, a fugitive accused of attempting to overthrow the government through the use of force, added the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media. 
Anadolu Agency.




Turkey says major operation underway in Syria's Idlib
Okunma Sayısı : 838   
8.10.2017 03:16:20


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday "a serious operation" was beginning in Syria's Idlib and a Syrian rebel official said his group was preparing to enter the area with the backing of Turkish forces.


"Today there's a serious operation in Idlib and it will continue, because we have to extend a hand to our brothers in Idlib and to our brothers who arrived in Idlib," Erdogan said.


"Now this step has been taken, and it is underway," he said, adding that Turkish forces were not yet involved and that it was a rebel operation so far.





Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups who play a major role in Operation Euphrates Shield that Ankara launched in northern Syria last year, are ready to cross into northwest Syria from Turkey, Mustafa Sejari, a senior official in the Liwa al-Mutasem group said.


Erdogan, who was speaking at his AK Party's 26th Consultation and Assessment meeting said that, "We will never allow the formation of a terror corridor along our Syrian border.


We are now in the process of taking further steps towards securing Idlib after expanding the Euphrates Shield Operation."


Erdogan said that Russia is backing the operation from the air and Turkish soldiers from inside the Turkish border. 





Earlier on Saturday, Turkey continued to build up its number of troops on the southern border with Syria, close to the earmarked de-escalation zone near the city of Idlib. 


Last month, Turkey agreed with Iran and Russia to establish de-escalation zones in northwestern Syrian province as part of the Astana peace deal. 


The joint mission aims to promote an end to conflict in the region, fight al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat Fateh al Sham and Daesh. 


TRT World's Sara Firth, who's in Reyhanli in Hatayi province, near the Turkey-Syria border, explains the latest efforts to build safe zones in northern Syria.




Focus on Hayat Tahrir Al Sham


Idlib had been a centre of fighting between Russia and Iran-backed regime forces and Turkey-backed opposition forces until July this year when Hayat Tahrir Al Sham took control of a large part of the province. 


Hayat Tahrir Al Sham alliance is led by Jabhat Fateh al Sham, or the Nusra Front, which publicly shed its status as al Qaeda's Syrian affiliate in 2016 and rebranded to head the Hayat Tahrir al Sham amalgam.


The US maintains that the group is still linked to al Qaeda, however. 


The alliance controls most of the northwestern province of Idlib after expelling former allies earlier this year.


The group on Saturday decried the operation saying it would "not be a picnic" for the FSA.


"The lions of jihad and martyrdom are waiting to pounce on them," it added in a statement posted on a social media site.



Strategic importance


Idlib has strategic importance for all parties involved in Astana deal, and has shown little signs of de-escalation.


According to the agreement on the Idlib de-escalation zone, Russia's military  policemen will maintain security outside Idlib and Turkey will  deploy its troops inside Idlib.     


Earlier this week, sources from Turkey-backed opposition in Idlib, who spoke to TRT World on condition of anonymity, said that Iranian observers will be positioned along the southern borders of Idlib to create a practical buffer zone between Syrian regime forces and the opposition forces.   



TRT World's Andrew Hopkins has more from Turkey's capital, Ankara.  



Air strikes kill over a dozen civilians 


Two waves of air strikes on Idlib killed at least 13 civilians over the past 24 hours, a Britain-based monitoring group said on Saturday.


Four children were among the dead in the early morning strikes on the Idlib province town of Khan Sheikhun on Friday and Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the strikes were probably carried out by the Syrian regime air force, which has been carrying out an intensifying bombing campaign against opposition targets in Idlib province alongside aircraft from ally Russia


Source: TRTWorld and agencies

Opposition party leader backs Erdogan's Idlib policy
Okunma Sayısı : 810   
8.10.2017 02:27:38


The leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Saturday backed the stance of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Syria’s Idlib province.


In remarks made to the media, Devlet Bahceli said "the MHP will side with the president as long as consistent policies continue and counter-terrorism efforts are not dismayed."


The remarks came as reports emerged of deployment of Turkish commando units along western Syrian border.


Earlier Saturday, Erdogan said the Free Syrian Army (FSA) is currently engaged in operations to secure Idlib while Turkish soldiers are “not there yet”.


"We intend to further enhance our steps in providing safety to Idlib now. There is a serious operation in Idlib today and it is going to continue," the president said.


Bahceli said: "It is evident that there is consistency in the president's policies on Syria and Iraq. It is understood that when the time comes all efforts would be made. In this respect, I believe the developments in Idlib occurred following necessary consultations."


"Turkey has taken all means of measures there not only for its own security but also for the security of those people living there, and closely following developments there via security forces. We believe that this will continue," he added.


Idlib is under the control of anti-regime armed groups and some opposition groups.


During a meeting in Kazakh capital Astana on May 4, the guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, which included Idlib in northwestern Syria, on the Turkish border.


After intensive negotiations between Turkey, which backs the Syrian opposition, and the guarantor of the regime, Russia, the deal came to the implementation phase.


Anadolu Agency 



5 questions on Turkish military's plan in Syria's Idlib
Okunma Sayısı : 452   
8.10.2017 00:38:37


Elements of the Turkish military are not aiming for an operation but seek deployment in Syria's Idlib. They are not seeking conflict with the Assad regime or local elements in the area.


According to the deal between Turkey, Iran, and Russia, preparations for the deployment of some elements of the Turkish Armed Forces to Syria’s Idlib province is now almost complete.


Turkey wants to ensure security in Idlib, a region where the most violent conflicts have taken place between anti-regime armed groups and opponents, including Damascus-based Bashar al-Assad regime.


During a meeting in Kazakh capital Astana on May 4, the guarantor countries -- Russia, Turkey, and Iran -- signed a deal to establish de-escalation zones in Syria, which included Idlib in northwestern Syria, on the Turkish border.


After intensive negotiations between Turkey, which backs the Syrian opposition, and the guarantor of the regime, Russia, the deal came to the implementation phase.


Idlib is under the control of anti-regime armed groups and some opposition groups.

What will the Turkish army do in Idlib?

Elements of Turkish Armed Forces, also known as TSK, will be positioned within the borders of the tension reduction zone determined for Idlib.

Their task will be to make the truce between the regime and the local military elements more permanent. For this purpose, the TSK elements will form control and observation points.


Is the Turkish army organizing an operation? If so, then against whom?

Military and diplomatic sources point out that the actions of the elements of the TSK are not an operation but a deployment.


No conflicts with local elements or the Assad regime are aimed at during and after the deployment.


However, the Turkish military has taken all possible security risks into account during preparations.


What is expected from the deployment?

For the deployment to happen without trouble, the situation of local armed groups is being evaluated.


Tahrir al-Sham, an anti-regime group, has come to the forefront with increasing activity in Idlib recently.


The group has had considerable armed power in spite of the large number of its components getting separated in the last few months.


Tahrir al-Sham has not made a direct statement against the deployment of Turkish troops to the region.


On the other hand, the group and some opponents oppose the entry of various Free Syrian Army groups to Idlib, which are prepared to come from the Euphrates Shield Operation Area.


The group justifies the opposition, saying that other groups expected to arrive in the region get support from the United States.


The TSK also assesses the sensitive situation in the region and expects the safest conditions for the transfer to be achieved.


Why is Idlib so important?

Idlib is one of the regions where the biggest wave of violence has been witnessed during the ongoing Syrian civil war.


After Idlib went out of the Assad regime’s control and Russia entered the conflict in October 2015, airstrikes in the area began.


On the other hand, Idlib became an area where millions of people were pushed into, when civilians fleeing inner areas of Syria sought refuge there.


It is considered certain that the Assad regime, Russia and Iran-backed powers will start a big wave of violence in the near future in Idlib, if the cease-fire is not protected.


In that case, millions of people are expected to be pushed to the border seeking entry into Turkey.


More than 1 million people are already living in camps in a belt that can be called zero point along the border.


According to local civilian administration records, 2.4 million local population and 1.3 million internally-displaced people are living in Idlib.


The deployment of Turkish Armed Forces will protect the cease-fire in Idlib and prevent the possible migrant wave by providing security to civilians.


How is Idlib linked to PKK threats?

Afrin town of Aleppo, located northeast to Idlib, has been under the PKK/PYD terror organization’s occupation since 2011.


The organization needs to get parts of Idlib under its control in order to secure a corridor to the Mediterranean.


As part of Turkey’s Astana deal, the military line formed in Idlib will also serve as a security wall to stop the terror group to pass into Idlib.


The three guarantor states, as well as representatives of the Damascus-based Assad regime and some opposition factions, met in Astana in September for a sixth round of talks aimed at ending the six-year conflict.


A December cease-fire in Syria brokered by the three countries led to the Astana talks, which are being held in parallel to UN-backed discussions in Geneva, to find a political solution to the six-year conflict.


Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.


Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, according to the UN.


Anadolu Agency

16th Century Genius Matrakçı Nasuh
Okunma Sayısı : 1113   
29.9.2017 05:17:28


United States of America witness the Ottoman expeditions by the miniatures of the 16th Century Genius Matrakçı Nasuh.



The “16th Century Genius Matrakçı Nasuh” project, designed by “İKASD İstanbul Intercultural Art Dialogues Association” under the aegis of T.R. Presidency, is in the DCA Museum, Maryland as hosted by the Washington Embassy of the Republic of Turkey and T.R. Religious Affairs Administration.


The “16th Century Genius Matrakçı Nasuh” exhibition, designed by İKASD İstanbul Intercultural Art Dialogues Association under the aegis of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, is being offered to the art-lovers in Washington DC during October 6 / 13, 2017 following Sarajevo, Belgrade, 2015 G20 Antalya summit , Istanbul, Wien, Tokyo, Paris and Rome.


The “Matraki an Ottoman Star” documentary film prepared within the scope of the project will be screened in Washington DC on October 4, 2017 for the first time, as hosted by Mr. Serdar Kılıç, Washington Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey.


41 works in total narrate our history and art to the world in the project exhibition curated by Beste Gürsu, where a selection from the east and west expedition city maps in Matrakçı Nasuh's works titled “Beyan-I Menazil Sefer-I Irakeyn” and “Tarih-I Feth-I Şikloş Estergon ve İstol Belgrad” are exactly transferred onto tile panels by 12 female artists under the leadership of Muralist Sevim Ersoy, a selection from Matrakçı’s verses are transferred into diwani scripts, and several of his qualifications are transferred onto canvas with a modern interpretation.


While the qualifications of Nasuh, who is one of the hidden geniuses of our history, are narrated in different disciplines of art, the viewer will be able to follow the routes of the expeditions together with Matrakçı through his miniatures, and find the opportunity to explore the Ottoman Empire of the 16th Century both in the chronological and historical sense with this exhibition.


In order to ensure the sustenance of the project, the Topkapı Palace Rewan Script No. 1272 Matrakçı Nasuh ‘‘Tarih-i Sultan Bayezid’’ masterpiece has been transferred from Classical Turkish and has been prepared as a replica print by the Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey within the scope of the project. The T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Fine Arts has published the ‘‘XVI. Century Turkish Music’’ album specially in commemoration of Matrakçı Nasuh; PTT Inc. has published a special Matrakçı Nasuh commemoration stamp and postcard; and UNESCO Turkey has published the project catalog. And, “Matraki: An Ottoman Star” documentary film has been prepared by Art and Life Production, with the support of the T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism General Directorate of Cinema.


Matrakçı Nasuh has been included within the scope of the “Commemoration and Celebration Anniversaries” by UNESCO on the 450th anniversary of his death.


The project planned to be realized in 3 continents, 9 countries and 10 cities with the supports of the T.R. Prime Ministry Promotion Fund, T.R. Ministry of Foreign Affairs, T.R. Ministry of Culture and Tourism, UNESCO Turkey National Committee, Touring and Automobile Association of Turkey, Turkish Airlines, PTT Inc., Daily Sabah, A News, Sabah, Art and Life Production, İnsanveSanat, CC Translation, and the Global Communication partner Anadolu Agency, will be exhibited at the National Museum of Hungary in Budapest (Magyar Nemzeti Múzeum ) as its final stop, following Washington DC, during November 22 / December 28, 2017.


PROJECT: İKASD Istanbul Intercultural Art Dialogues Association / CURATOR: Beste Gürsu TILE ARTISTS: Sevim Ersoy - Deniz Mutlu Erdoğan - Ebru Şengül - Erman Özcan - Fatma Çakır – Günseli Devrim – Muhterem Pakyürek – Sibel Dileksiz - Sibel Gürgener – Yeşim Ufukşen / CALLIGRAPHER Hülya Cansız Gür – PAINTER Sema Bicik


The exhibition may be viewed at the DCA Museum during October 6 / October 13, 2017.




CONFERENCE & DOCUMENTARY FILM SCREENING: OCTOBER 4, 2017 Wednesday / Time 06:30 p.m. – 08:00 p.m.




“MATRAKI AN OTTOMAN STAR” Documentary film screening and conference titled “MATRAKÇI NASUH & HIS CITIES” by Dr. Sinan Genim.


EXHIBITION OPENING OCTOBER 6, 2017 Friday / TIME 02:30 p.m.


Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin meet in Turkish capital Ankara
Okunma Sayısı : 693   
29.9.2017 04:45:38


President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Vladimir Putin addressed a joint press conference after holding a meeting at the Presidential Complex in Ankara. The two leaders spoke about bilateral trade and regional issues including Syria and Iraq.


Ankara and Moscow agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said while addressing a joint press conference with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday. 



The joint press conference followed a meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents at the Presidential Complex in Ankara. 


"We have discussed regional issues including Iraq and Syria. We both agree on the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria," Erdogan said. 


"As Turkey and Russia, we have reconfirmed our determination to maintain our joint will and close cooperation to find a political solution for the Syrian conflict," he further said. 


Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ankara and Moscow would work to "deepen coordination" on ending the over six-year civil war in Syria. 


He said the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria had given "significant momentum" to the Geneva process, referring to the peace talks between the Syrian regime and opposition envoys.



"It was really difficult to carry out the workings of these de-escalation zones," Putin said, adding however, an important achievement had been made thanks to Erdogan's efforts and will in this regard.


He further said that the "necessary conditions" now existed for the conflict to end.


Commenting on the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) referendum in northern Iraq, Turkey's president Erdogan reiterated that it had "no legitimacy" in terms of Iraqi constitution and international law. 


The referendum saw Iraqis in KRG-controlled areas - and in a handful of territories disputed between Erbil and Baghdad, including ethnically mixed Kirkuk and Mosul - vote on whether or not to declare independence. 


Official preliminary results revealed that 93 percent of voters backed the KRG, although the vote was widely criticised by the international community.


Along with Iraq’s central government, Turkey, the US, Iran, and the UN had spoken out against the poll, warning it would distract from the ongoing fight against Daesh and further destabilise the region.



Turkish parliament ratifies motion on Iraq, Syria
Okunma Sayısı : 1323   
24.9.2017 02:39:10


Turkey’s parliament on Saturday ratified a motion to extend for another year approval for the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq and Syria.



The motion was approved by a large majority in the assembly.


Deputies from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) joined ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party deputies in backing the motion, while opposition People's Democratic Party (HDP) deputies voted it down.


Parliament's decision in an extraordinary session came after northern Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) refused to cancel its plans for an independence referendum, set for next Monday, Sept. 25.


The motion -- submitted by Premier Binali Yildirim's AK Party government -- had previously allowed the Turkish military to carry out cross-border operations from Oct. 2, 2016, until Oct. 31, 2017.


The motion stated that Turkey places great importance on the protection of Iraq's territorial integrity, national unity, and stability.


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 to secede 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.


The KRG’s leader, Masoud Barzani, has said approval of the referendum would not result in an automatic declaration of independence but would simply lead to further negotiations with Baghdad.

Turkey's Security Council warns KRG not to proceed with referendum
Okunma Sayısı : 240   
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.



Turkey: Kurdish referendum threatens national security
Okunma Sayısı : 721   
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.



Turkey continues military exercise on Iraqi border
Okunma Sayısı : 885   
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.







Turkey, Iraq, Iran's united front on Kurdish referendum
Okunma Sayısı : 628   
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 : 287   
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 : 281   
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.





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.




“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, 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.”




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.”




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 : 749   
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.



German FM's remarks on arms sales only serve to bolster Turkish defense industry: FM Çavuşoğlu
Okunma Sayısı : 1477   
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




Gulnur Aybet Says Merkel Bending to Populism With EU Accession Threat
Okunma Sayısı : 810   
6.9.2017 03:08:59


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 : 872   
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. 






Why is Turkey’s military operating in Syria?
Okunma Sayısı : 743   
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.






We Will Continue to Work for Our Country and the World
Okunma Sayısı : 421   
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.”





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.”




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.”




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.




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.




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.”




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 : 674   
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.


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