Tag Archives: Turkey

Dutch-Turkish Diplomatic Rows Escalate

This mess started because Erdogan is looking at the large number of Turks living in Europe, especially in Germany and the Netherlands, to help secure victory in the April 16 referendum that would amend the Turkish constitution and would give the presidency sweeping new powers.

Video: Turkish minister expelled as Dutch police break up pro-Erdogan protest

The Netherlands, which holds general elections on Wednesday, had repeatedly said Cavusoglu was not welcome to campaign for Turkey’s April referendum in the country and refused his plane permission to land.

The Dutch decision to ban Cavusoglu from visiting came after Germany and other European nations also blocked similar campaign events. France24

The Netherlands’ refusaled to grant Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s airplane landing permission Saturday in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, where he was scheduled to address a “yes” rally.

But later, Turkey’s Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya appeared at the scene after reportedly travelling by car overland from Germany.

She was stopped just outside the consulate by Dutch police, and after several hours of negotiations escorted back to the German border.  France24

Tensions simmered Sunday as the Dutch authorities expelled Turkish Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya, sparking protests in Rotterdam Sunday. France24

Erdogan Reacts

On Saturday, Erdogan reacted angrily to the decision, accusing the Dutch of being “the vestiges of Nazis”.

“They are the vestiges of the Nazis, they are fascists,” Erdogan told an Istanbul rally on Saturday, days after he angrily compared moves to block similar rallies in Germany to “Nazi practices”.

The war of words continued Sunday when Erdogan called on “all international organisations” to impose sanctions on the Netherlands, who he said was behaving “like a banana republic”.  France24

Video: Dutch riot police break up pro-Erdogan demonstration in Rotterdam

Russian Ambassador To Turkey Dies After Gun Attack In Ankara

Tensions have escalated dramatically between Russia and Turkey over last few years.  Turkey has aided and backed ISIS terrorist for years.  Russia views the attack as a terrorist act.  The gunman has been identified as Mert Altintas a Turkish police officer.

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara,”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday evening.  The assault on the Russian ambassador is an “act of terrorism,” she added.  The ambassador, Andrey Karlov, was shot after he was about to deliver a speech on the opening of the exhibition “Russia in the eyes of Turks.”..

The perpetrator, who was wearing a suit and a tie, shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ (‘God is great’ in Arabic) during the attack, AP reports, citing their own photographer.

The attacker also said several words in Russian, according to the news agency, and damaged several of the photos at the expo.

Turkish NTV broadcaster says that three other people were also injured in the attack on the ambassador.

The attacker has been killed by Turkish Special Forces, Turkish Anadolu news agency reports. Russian Interfax news agency, citing a source in the Turkish military, also confirms that the gunman was neutralized…

The attacker reportedly identified himself as a police officer as he entered the exhibition, a Turkish military source told Interfax.

“We have information, from one of the witnesses, that the attacker presented himself as a police officer, showing the relevant ID at the entrance. This information is being checked right now,” the source is quoted as saying. RT

Twin Blasts Rock Istanbul

Twin attacks in Istanbul, Turkey by a suicide bomber and a car bomber near a soccer stadium Saturday night killed 38 people and wounded 166 others.

The blasts occurred just hours after Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party unveiled a draft constitution that would strengthen Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency and potentially allow him to rule the country until 2029. The party said it was designed to help the president fight these and other threats to the country.

Had the bombs exploded earlier, the death toll could have been significantly higher, killing fans as they streamed out of the 40,000 capacity stadium at 9pm. FinancialTimes

Twin blasts rocked Istanbul this evening, with a car bomb detonating at a football stadium as a suicide attacker struck at a nearby park, killing 38 people and injuring 166 more.

‘Two bombings may have taken place according to our understanding: one outside the stadium… the other at Macka Park,’ Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

‘The explosion at Macka Park is believed to have been carried out by a suicide bomber,’ he added.

The Turkish government imposed a media ban in the wake of the blasts, citing ‘national security’ concerns.

The car bomb rocked the streets near Istanbul’s Besiktas sports stadium late this evening, which lies on the European side of the city.

The blast in central Istanbul wounded at least 166 people after the end of a match between two of Turkey’s top teams, the Interior said.

The bomber was said to have targeted a riot police bus stationed near the stadium of Istanbul’s Besiktas football club.

The park where the suicide attack happened lies just one street east of the stadium, in central Istanbul.  DailyMail

DNC Official Shared Political Intel With Turkish Government Officials

Murat Guzel owns Nimeks, an organic juice company based in Pennsylvania.  He has written op-ed  endorsements for Hillary under his title as chairman of the DNC’s heritage council and as an officer with the National Democratic Ethnic Coordinating Council.

He has contributed  large donations to to committees that supported Hillary Clinton for president and various Democratic politicians; he also has visited the White House.

A Turkish-American businessman who is head of the Democratic National Committee’s Heritage Council claimed to have paid a former GOP congressman to write a pro-Turkey op-ed last year and also provided secret updates on his own political activities to members of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inner circle, newly released emails reveal.

The businessman, Murat Guzel, was also interviewed by the FBI earlier this year along with several Turkish nationals linked to its government, other emails indicate.

The bombshell revelations come from the hacked email account of Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s energy minister and Erdogan’s son-in-law. The emails, which number more than 57,000, were originally released by a hacker collective called RedHack, but they received little attention in the American press until they were published on Monday by WikiLeaks…

But in addition to his steadfast support for Democrats and his official positions with the DNC, the emails hacked from Albayrak’s account suggest that Guzel, who is a naturalized American citizen, also appears to have strong allegiances to his native land and to Erdogan…

Guzel, who is a director at MÜSİAD-USA, a Muslim business association that represents Turkish companies, is seen in the emails reporting his activities to Albayrak as well as to Bilal Erdogan, the son of Turkey’s president, and Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s press secretary.

Some of the emails show that Guzel asked the Turkish officials for help in coordinating his political activities in the U.S. In turn, he was directed to coordinate with other U.S.-based operatives to push Turkey’s political issues.  DailyCaller

Turkey Sacks 10,000 More Civil Servants And Shuts Down 15 More Media Outlets

erdogan-cabinet-meetingTurkey is not a democracy, it is a Islamic dictatorship.

Turkey has sacked another 10,000 of its civil servants and shut down 15 more media outlets they claim supported a failed military coup in the country earlier this year.

The government has dismissed the officials and closed down the organisations saying they have suspected links to terrorist organisations and US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Ankara has blamed for the failed uprising.

More than 100,000 people had already been sacked or suspended and 37,000 arrested since the failed coup, in an unprecedented crackdown the government says is necessary to root out all supporters of Gulen from the state apparatus…

The decrees have ordered the closure of 15 more newspapers, wires and magazines, which report from the largely Kurdish southeast, bringing the total number of media organisations closed since the emergency rule in July to nearly 160.DailyMail

Ankara Plans To Repeat Syria Success In Iraq

mosul-offensive-turkey

 

Turkey has been in a row with Iraq’s central government over Turkish troops near Mosul.  Erdogan has warned of  bloodshed if the Iraqi army uses Shiite militia to retake Mosul, which is a largely Sunni city.

Turkey and Iraq have reached an agreement in principle that could eventually allow a Turkish role in the campaign to retake Mosul from Islamic State, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Friday after talks with President Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan has previously voiced frustration that NATO member Turkey has not been more involved in the U.S.-backed assault on the Iraqi city, once part of the Ottoman empire and still seen by Turkey as firmly within its sphere of influence.

Iraq, meanwhile, views Turkish military moves on its territory with apprehension, and any agreement on Mosul would defuse a major source of tension between the neighbors. Reuters

What is Ankara’s strategic thinking about the battle for Mosul in Iraq, even as Turkey unleashes airstrikes on US-backed Kurds in Syria? One undeniable fact: Ankara feverishly wants to be in Mosul when the cards in Iraq are reshuffled.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, responding to Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s ultimatum that Turkish soldiers can’t enter Mosul, said Oct. 17, “How can you keep me out? I have a 350-kilometer [200-mile] border there. Those who have nothing to do with the place are entering Mosul. Why? Because Baghdad is supposed to have invited them. … We will be there for the operation and at the table.”

The next day, newspapers close to Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government reported his words in banner headlines. Erdogan has thus made Mosul an important domestic political issue in Turkey. al-monitor

Lawsuit Launched to Stop Bucharest Mega-Mosque

The drawings depicting a proposed mega mosque and Islamic Centre in Budapest.- HungarianFreePress.com
The drawings depicting a proposed mega mosque and Islamic Centre in Budapest.- HungarianFreePress.com

The mosque will mimic Ottoman-era architecture, was greeted with outrage in a country that was under Ottoman Turkish domination for nearly five centuries until 1877.

In 2015, Romanian prime minister at the time, Victor Ponta made a mutual exchange deal with Turkey that had been in the works for decades.   A Turkish mega-mosque would be built in Romania’s capital and Romania would build a new Orthodox Church in Istanbul.

The Istanbul church project was abandoned because it is “not allowed under Turkish law.”  Deal broke, no deal?  Nope the largest mosque in Eastern Europe — second only to the Blue Mosque in Istanbul is still going to be built in Budapest. “Ponta approved the Bucharest mosque project anyway, saying it was a multicultural symbol of Romania’s acceptance of the Muslim community.”

Historian Ionut Cojocaru: “It is a bit surprising, building such a big mosque in a country where the number of Muslims is very small…

Critics say the large size of the mosque is out of proportion to the small size of Bucharest’s Muslim population. The 13,000 square meter (140,000 square foot) project, to be situated near the Romexpo trade fair grounds, includes a mosque for 2,000 worshippers, a Koran school, a library and a recreational center…

“Turkey attempts a symbolic conquest of Europe through these mosques,” said Tudor Ionescu, leader of the anti-immigration Noua Dreaptă (New Right) party. “I don’t know why we are the recipients of such a ‘blessing.'” Noua Dreaptă has organized protests against the project where people have chanted, “Romania is not a Turkish province.”

Lawsuit

Opponents of a proposed Turkish mega-mosque in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, have filed a lawsuit against the government in an effort to halt the project.

The property, valued at more than four million euros ($4.4 million), is being provided for free by the Romanian government, while the construction costs, estimated at three million euros ($3.3 million), are being paid for by Turkey.

Ponta said the mosque will reap economic benefits for Romania because Turkey is the country’s leading non-EU trading partner. The mosque’s critics, including an array of Romanian academics, historians, politicians, anti-immigration groups and even some Muslims, counter that not only will it increase Turkish influence over Romania, it will also encourage Muslim immigration to the country.

Government gave a grant of free land for the mega-mosque, land once belonged to ” the family of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, who was beheaded by the Turks” on August 15, 1714.

“We consider the disposal of free land which, ironically, belonged to the family of Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, who was beheaded by the Turks on August 15, 1714, to be a betrayal of the Romanian people. In the current context in which all of Europe is being brought to its knees by terrorist attacks by Muslim extremists, we are entitled to fear the establishment of Islamic learning schools. We believe the Romanian state is unable to ensure the security of its citizens, and approving a mega-mosque in Romania could set a precedent with unintended catastrophic consequences.” GateStoneInstitute

 

ISIS Loses Town Of Dabiq, Where It Hoped To Usher In The Final Battle With The West

ISIS  believe the town of Dabiq, Syria will be the site of the end-times battle, a final ‘apocalyptic’ battle,  in which Muslims will battle and defeat the ‘infidel horde’.

isis-at-dabiq

Isis has lost control of the symbolically important town of Dabiq to a group of Syrian rebels following a short battle.

Syrian opposition fighters backed by Turkey said they took the town after meeting with “minimal” resistance from the jihadists.

According to Isis propaganda, Dabiq was to be the scene of an apocalyptic final battle between Muslims and Christians, heralding the end of days. Isis named its English-language propaganda magazine after the town, and the looming fight had featured prominently in jihadist media outlets.

Located between Aleppo and the Turkish border, Dabiq holds little strategic significance. Isis is nonetheless reported to have stationed some 1,200 troops in the town since it took control in 2014, thanks in no small part to its prophesied importance.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Isis withdrew its forces. A commander of the Syrian opposition Hamza Brigade said they captured the town on Sunday morning, and that Isis had retreated towards the much larger town it still holds to the south-east, al-Bab. Independent

Turkey-Syria Border Wall

Turkey has completed a 200-kilometer section   “security wall”  along their border with Syria.  Now onto the remaining 700-kilometer “security wall” section.

turkey-syria-border-wall

Turkey has undertaken the construction of the remaining 700 kilometers of the wall being built on Turkey’s border with war-torn Syria, after the construction of the initial 200-kilometer-long concrete wall on the border was completed jointly by the Defense Ministry and neighboring provinces governor’s offices.

After completing the tender process for a 200-kilometer-long section of the to-be built wall and preparing works for the remaining section, TOKİ was expecting to finish the “security wall” in five months, its head, Ergün Turan, said. The wall is expected to block uncontrolled human passage across the border.

“As far as our national security is concerned, the increase of border security with Syria carries huge importance. With the completion of the wall, our border will become more secure,” said Turan, adding that the concrete blocks would cover the entire border with their two-meter-wide and three-meter-high dimensions. Turan said the sections of the walls in the southeastern provinces of Hatay and Şanlıurfa were mostly completed and work was ongoing on other sections. He added that the blocks were portable, weighing seven tons each, and their tops were being covered with razor wire.  hurriyetdailynews

A lot of walls going up.

When the Berlin Wall was torn down a quarter-century ago, there were 16 border fences around the world.

Today, there are 65 either completed or under construction , according to Quebec University expert Elisabeth Vallet. Dailymall

 

Joel Richardson: Fethullah Gulen, President Erdogan, and Turkish Islam

In this episode, Joel reviews the history and development of Turkish Islam and explains why it is so dangerous.


Recommended Resource:

A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East by David Fromkin available at Amazon.

Turkey Post-Coup Crackdowns Continues

erdogan-cabinet-meeting
July 25, 2016: Under a portrait of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk,Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan chairs a cabinet meeting (Presidential Press Service)

Erdogan continues to tightened his grip on Turkey and continues to wage a crackdown on dissent.  More than 2,250 social, educational and health-care institutions have been seized amid claims by Erdogan that they pose a threat to national security.

Fethullah Gulen

Authorities also detained a nephew of Fethullah Gulen, the Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the quashed July 15 coup, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

Muhammed Sait Gulen was detained in the northeastern Turkish city of Erzurum and will be brought to the capital for questioning, Reuters reported. Among possible charges that could be brought against him is membership of a terrorist organization.

Fethullah Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile Saylorsbug since 1999, denies any involvement in the failed coup NYPost

Closures – Private schools, charities….

In his decree, Erdogan extended to a maximum of 30 days from four days the period in which some suspects can be detained. It said this would facilitate a full investigation into the failed coup, Reuters reported

The decree authorizes the closure of 1,043 private schools, 1,229 charities and foundations, 19 trade unions, 15 universities and 35 medical institutions over suspected links to the Gulen movement, the Anadolu agency said. NYPost

Closures – Media

Turkey’s government has decided to close down dozens of media outlets, including 45 newspapers and 16 television stations in the wake of a failed military coup, the country’s state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

CNN Turk reported that 130 media organizations had been shuttered in a widening crackdown by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. The list also inlcuded 23 radio stations, three news agencies and 15 magazines. Many of those targeted were regional media outlets as well as several organizations that had already been seized by the state over alleged links to Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric accused of being behind the failed uprising. FoxNews