Turkey’s Erdogan – From Haga Sophia to the Shores of Tripoli and Beyond | New Eastern Outlook

turkey’s-erdogan-–-from-haga-sophia-to-the-shores-of-tripoli-and-beyond-|-new-eastern-outlook

30-07-20 08:07:00,

TU342342

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has clearly decided to launch an offensive on multiple fronts, taking advantage of what he clearly perceives as a geopolitical vacuum. From his recent call to Islamic prayer at the Haga Sophia in Istanbul, to his breaking of the arms embargo to back the Tripoli regime against the advance of General Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army in the East, from continuing military presence inside Syria to refusal to stop drilling for oil and gas in waters off Cyprus, as well as actions in Africa, Erdogan is clearly in an aggressive mode. Is there a larger strategy behind all this, far more than as a diversion from domestic Turkish economic problems?

In recent weeks the Erdogan government has made aggressive moves on multiple fronts that have led many to question their overall aims. In Libya Turkey’s Erdogan has boldly made moves to give arms, soldiers and other support to the embattled Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli of Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj.

In December 2019, Erdogan signed a military cooperation pact with the UN-recognized and highly unstable Tripoli government to counter the offensive mounted by Gen. Haftar’s Libyan National Army, based in the oil-rich east of Libya.

On June 7 the Cirkin, a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship, sailed from Turkey to the Libyan port of Misrata. It was joined by three Turkish warships, leading France and others to believe it was smuggling arms to Tripoli to fight Haftar, a violation of the UN arms embargo. When a Greek (NATO) helicopter sought to board Cirkin to check if arms were being smuggled, the Turkish warships refused, leading a French (NATO) frigate, Courbet, part of a NATO maritime security operation, to approach the Cirkin. Turkish warship radar immediately light up the Courbet with its targeting radar forcing the Courbet to withdraw and the Cirkin landed in Libya. France has filed an official complaint with NATO about the Turkish (NATO) hostile actions. The details remain murky and chances are NATO will try to keep things quiet rather than force a rupture within the alliance.

Significant to note is that Haftar’s military move on Tripoli to end the division of the country is backed by Russia, UAE and Jordan. Since the US-initiated Arab Spring series of destabilizations from Egypt to Tunisia to Libya and,

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France, not Turkey, plays ‘dangerous game’ in Libya by sending it into chaos – Ankara

france,-not-turkey,-plays-‘dangerous-game’-in-libya-by-sending-it-into-chaos-–-ankara

23-06-20 03:49:00,

Turkey has responded to President Emmanuel Macron’s claim that Ankara is dangerously shattering peace in Libya, saying in a tit-for-tat statement that it is France pulling the war-torn country into further chaos.

Paris, which supported “illegitimate structures for years” on Libyan soil is a major actor playing “the dangerous game” there, the Turkish Foreign Ministry proclaimed on Tuesday.

Advising Emmanuel Macron “to activate his common sense,” the ministry noted that the French had been supporting General Khalifa Haftar, who leads the Libyan National Army (LNA), for quite a long time.


Macron accuses Turkey of playing ‘dangerous game’ in Libya, calls its standoff with French ship example of NATO ‘brain death’ 

The people of Libya “will never forget the damage France has inflicted on this country in line with its selfish interests and collaborators’ goals,” the fiery statement continued.

Striking a lighter tone, Ankara called on Paris to stop risking “the security and future of Libya, Syria and the Eastern Mediterranean” and start acting “on the basis of our friendship and allied relations.”

One day prior to Turkey’s rebuke, French President Macron said his country will not stand back and watch Ankara “playing a dangerous game in Libya.”

Macron insisted that Turkish involvement runs contrary to the outcomes of the 2020 Berlin conference, which endorsed a major ceasefire between Haftar’s LNA and the internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).

Tripoli-based GNA forces, benefiting from Turkey’s sizable military support, gained the upper hand in the war with its rival LNA, backed by Egypt and a host of other nations. Recently, Paris accused Turkey of breaking an international arms embargo by funneling troops and equipment into the North African country.

The spat between the two NATO allies escalated last week after a French Navy ship tried to interdict a freighter suspected of smuggling arms into Libya. The vessel, guarded by a pair of Turkish frigates, refused to report its route while the escort ships highlighted the French one with their radars.

NATO then vowed to inquire into the mid-sea standoff, sure to produce more cracks in the relationships within the military alliance.

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NATO launches PROBE into France-Turkey naval standoff over Libya after Paris complains

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Turkey Begins its “Hunt” in Iraq | New Eastern Outlook

turkey-begins-its-“hunt”-in-iraq-|-new-eastern-outlook

18-06-20 07:32:00,

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After becoming actively involved in conflicts in Syria and Libya, on June 14, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan launched operation Claw-Eagle in Iraq against PKK’s (the Kurdistan Workers’ Party) bases in the Qandil Mountains (in northern Iraq) as well as in the town of Sinjar and several other settlements.  Anadolu Agency (an international news outlet headquartered in Ankara) reported that as a result of air strikes carried out by the Turkish Air Force, 20 bombs were dropped on PKK’s facilities and fighters’ mountain shelters were destroyed. So far, no information has been provided about the number of individuals who were wounded or killed because of the attacks.

Considering the fact that aside from Turkey’s Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar, Yaşar Güler, the Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Land Forces Commander Umit Dundar, Air Forces Commander Hasan Kucukakyuz and Naval Forces Commander Adnan Ozbal are also to direct the operation, it is possible that the Claw-Eagle will not be limited to air strikes only.

No official statements from the United States followed the opening of a new front in Iraq by Ankara recently. In addition, there has been no mention of the fact that the Kurds, Washington’s former trusted allies in the Levant who were once more been abandoned by the United States, were again being attacked.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent comments, following his telephone conversation with Donald Trump on June 8 focusing on the situation in Libya and the region at large, could, to a certain extent, indicate that Washington and Ankara had previously discussed the possibility of staging the Claw-Eagle operation. National broadcaster TRT reported that the Turkish leader said: “After our call this evening, there could be a new era between the US and Turkey regarding the (Libya) process, we had some agreements”. And it is not out of the question that they agreed on actions that both nations will take in Iraq in the nearest future.

In this context, it is also worth noting that numerous discussions about the possible withdrawal of a substantial number of US servicemen from Iraq have elicited all forms of disagreement in the United States itself. Although the President of the United States has, on more than one occasion,

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Turkey Plans To Send Fresh Wave Of COVID-Infected Migrants To Europe, Report

turkey-plans-to-send-fresh-wave-of-covid-infected-migrants-to-europe,-report

15-04-20 10:27:00,

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

Voice of America reports that Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan is planning to send a fresh wave of migrants to Europe, with officials fearing many of them will be infected with coronavirus.

“Greek forces are on heightened alert as reports have surfaced that Turkey is preparing to push through a fresh wave of migrants to Europe. Officials in Athens say, they fear that refugees infected with the coronavirus may be among the new wave of asylum seekers,” reports VOA.

Intelligence has been produced showing how Turkish authorities have moved migrants from inland areas to the shore, where smugglers are waiting to ferry them to Europe.

Greece’s coastguard, Air Force and Navy have stepped up patrols against what they see as another organized effort to unleash thousands of migrants as a political weapon.

Back in February, President Erdogan announced that Turkey would be re-opening its border and encouraging millions of migrants to invade Europe.

During the incursions, Christian churches were trashed and thousands of precious olive trees were chopped down as part of an economic attack.

Thanks to a strong response from Greek security forces and a massive revolt by the Greek people, there has been no repeat of 2015, when up to 2 million migrants eventually reached Europe.

Erdogan initially agreed to hold back the migrant tide in 2016 after the European Union paid Ankara €6 billion, but the Turkish leader is now using the threat of re-opening the floodgates to push for more money and concessions.

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Turkey Arrests 64 For ‘Provocative’ Coronavirus-Related Social Media Posts

turkey-arrests-64-for-‘provocative’-coronavirus-related-social-media-posts

22-03-20 11:57:00,

Turkey has established a well-known pattern of shutting down entire social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter the moment there’s a crisis in the country which could make Erdogan’s decision-making look bad or come under intense public scrutiny.

Recent events related to Syria, or Turkey’s war on the Kurds, are prime examples which have seen either Twitter blocked inside Turkey, or in some cases internet access to non-state sources temporarily halted altogether.

So perhaps this is entirely to be expected amid the coronavirus pandemic: Turkey has detained 64 people over “provocative and baseless” social media posts about the new coronavirus pandemic, the interior ministry said, regional media has reported.

Image source: Al Jazeera/EPA

Press freedoms in Turkey are already ranked among the world’s lowest, with hundreds if not possibly thousands of journalists locked up across the country. But now citizens need to worry about potential arrest should they post coronavirus-related information that runs afoul of Ankara’s official narrative.

“We have found 242 suspects making baseless and provocative coronavirus posts on social media, and 64 have been detained,” the ministry announced on Twitter Thursday, according to AFP.

Similar to other countries in the region, Turkey has recently enacted a nation-wide bad on public gatherings, shuttering everything from schools to cafes to universities. This as at least 359 Covid-19 cases have been confirmed, including four deaths.

But also similar to other regional countries, Turkey has been accused of downplaying and/or covering up the true levels of the outbreak. Syria to the south has been a prime example of this: the Assad government has ordered the closure of all schools, restaurants, theaters and public places, and yet is still officially reporting zero cases. However, it could also be the case they acted quickly enough, with WHO officials looking on and administering tests, amid all but the Lebanese border being for years shutdown due to war.

Lest anyone think Turkey will be the the only country to began actual legal investigations over citizens’ social media posts related to the pandemic, governments across the globe, especially Israel for example,

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Turkey Sends 1,000 Special Forces To EU Border To Prevent Migrant Return

turkey-sends-1,000-special-forces-to-eu-border-to-prevent-migrant-return

06-03-20 09:33:00,

Starting last week multiple journalists published proof that Turkish authorities were actively facilitating refugee and migrant movement toward EU borders after Erdogan began making good on his prior threat to ‘open the gates’ — angry over the unfolding Idlib crisis. This included footage of buses staged in Istanbul and other cities to take thousands to the land border with Greece.

And now Ankara is now openly saying it’s implemented a policy of not only pushing migrants to the border, but ensuring they won’t come back — even after Greece shut its border and has been seen using harsh tactics to keep people from entering in a heightened militarized response.

Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu announced Thursday the deployment of 1,000 special operations police officers to ensure migrants can’t return.

Greek riot police stand guard as migrants try to enter Greece from Turkey, via AP.

“Turkey will deploy 1,000 special operations police officers to prevent migrant pushback at the border,” the minister said, according to Turkey’s Daily Sabah

The newspaper reported further: “Soylu told reporters that the European Union’s border protection agency Frontex and Greece have pushed 4,900 migrants back to Turkey since March 1.” He also claimed 164 migrants had been injured by Greek border security and Frontex.

The interior minister also estimated that almost 140,000 migrants are in the first wave headed toward Europe, which began departing Turkey last Friday.

This provocative Turkish move is sure to heighten charges out of Europe that Erdogan is weaponizing the vulnerable refugee and migrant population to blackmail the EU.

Footage shows Turkish boat escorting migrant dinghy https://t.co/LpDDSJ2X4p pic.twitter.com/HuTIwaqdi0

— Kathimerini English Edition (@ekathimerini) March 2, 2020

EU ministers met Wednesday in Brussels and issued a statement saying the bloc “strongly rejects” the “use” of migrants by Turkey’s government, saying that the “situation at the EU’s external borders is not acceptable.”

“The EU and its member states remain determined to effectively protect EU’s external borders,” the statement affirmed.

Migrants try to remove fences during the clashes with Greek police,

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Turkey in Syria: Down a Blind Alley in an Unwinnable War? | New Eastern Outlook

turkey-in-syria:-down-a-blind-alley-in-an-unwinnable-war?-|-new-eastern-outlook

02-03-20 01:32:00,

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Fighting in northern Syria has escalated as Syrian forces retake the last remaining bastions of foreign-funded militants and encircle, cut-off, and in some cases catch in the crossfire their Turkish backers.

Turkey had been making some promising steps in the right direction since Washington’s disastrous proxy regime-change war in Syria began unraveling – yet it still maintains a problematic position inside Syrian territory, backing what are unequivocally terrorists and obstructing Syria’s sovereign right to recover and restore order within its own borders.

The latest and most dangerous manifestation of this untenable policy is the increasingly frequent and fierce clashes between Turkish forces occupying Syrian territory and Syrian forces themselves moving deeper into the northern Syrian governorate of Idlib.

The BBC in its article, “Syria war: Turkey will not let Syrian army advance in Idlib, says Erdogan,” would summarize the Turkish position amid recent hostilities, reporting:

Turkey will not let Syria’s government gain more ground in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says.

Mr Erdogan told reporters that Russian-backed pro-government forces were “driving innocent and grieving people in Idlib towards our borders”.

More than half a million civilians have fled their homes since the government launched an offensive in December.

Mr Erdogan’s warning came after eight Turkish military personnel were killed.

Indeed – hostilities in Idlib will undoubtedly drive fleeing militants and their families toward the Syrian-Turkish border and inevitably compound Turkey’s already large refugee problem. Yet this is not Syria’s doing, nor that of Syria’s Russian and Iranian allies. It is the doing of malign US foreign policy that Turkey had initially played a key role in facilitating – and at times still appears to be eagerly abetting.

The refugee crisis in Turkey itself was cynically used several times in the past by Ankara and its Western allies at the time for political leverage in demonizing Damascus and to justify more direct Western intervention against Syria.

But pursuing genuine peace was and still is the obvious solution to the refugee crisis – a solution Turkey has so far refused to fully commit to.

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Are Russia and Turkey on a collision course?

are-russia-and-turkey-on-a-collision-course?

28-02-20 08:13:00,

The murder of the Iranian hero-martyr General Soleimani created a situation in which a war between Iran and the Axis of Kindness (USA/Israel/KSA) became a real possibility but, at the very last minute, Uncle Shmuel decided that he had no stomach for a full-scale war against Iran. Wise decision.

This, however, does not at all imply that the AngloZionist Empire decided to stand by idly, far from it. The need to take quick and determined action became particularly acute following the huge anti-US demonstrations in Iraq (well over one million people in the streets!) which directly put at risk the US occupation (the MSM would call it “presence”) in both Iraq and Syria.

At the same time, Turkish President Erdogan’s refusal to remove all the “bad terrorists” from the Idlib province eventually resulted in a joint Syrian-Russian offensive to liberate the province. That offensive, in turn, clearly infuriated the Turks who warned of a major military operation to prevent the Syrians from liberating their own country.

This begs the question: are Russia and Turkey really on a collision course?

There are certainly some very worrying warning signs including a number of very harsh statements by Erdogan himself, and a suddenly re-kindled Turkish interest for the US “Patriots”.

On the ground in Idlib, the Turks have clearly provided the “bad terrorists” with a lot of support including equipment, MANPADs, tanks and armored personnel carriers. The Turks actually went as far as sending special forces to assist the “bad terrorists” directly. Finally, from footage taken by Russian and Syrian drones, and even the “bad terrorists” themselves, it appears undeniable that Turkish MLRS and regular artillery provided the “bad terrorists” with fire support.

Both sides also agree that a number of Turkish personnel were killed (they only disagree on how many and what these Turks were doing in Syria).

Finally, and most ominously, there is even a video circulating on the Internet which appears to show a US “Stinger” being fired by the “bad terrorists” at a Russian aircraft which, thank God, managed to evade it (unlike 2 Syrian Army helicopters which were shot down).

So the first conclusion that we can come to is that the Turks are already engaged in combat operations against the Syrians.

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Turkey: Why is the ‘Sick Man of Europe’ itching in Syria? | New Eastern Outlook

turkey:-why-is-the-‘sick-man-of-europe’-itching-in-syria?-|-new-eastern-outlook

26-02-20 10:35:00,

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If Turkey’s Erdogan had some ‘neo-Ottoman’ dreams, they seem to have been almost fully shattered by the fast-pace Russia-Syria offensive in norther Syria and recovery of the territory hitherto being controlled by the so-called ‘rebel’ forces, including those being funded by Turkey ever since the beginning of the ‘civil-war’ in Syria. An analysis of the evolution of Turkey’s policies in Syria shows that it has been a massive failure. Starting with the objective of ‘sending Assad home’, which ultimately meant to allow Turkey to extend its influence in Syria and thereby impose a ‘permanent solution’ on its Kurdish problem, to collaborating with Russia, Iran and Syria in Sochi and Astana processes, Turkey’s primary motivation has always been to raise its regional strategic profile in a way that allows it to become a new regional hegemon. It has been trying to maintain a calculated distance from the US/NATO, considering that the US support for the Kurds remains the key element of its Middle Eastern policy, and it has been maintaining a calculated relationship with Russia—Syria in the hopes of finding the same ‘permanent solution’ to its Kurdish question through a direct control of large swaths of Syrian territory.

As long as it looked possible for Turkey to retain control of norther Syria, everything was fine. However, its inability and perhaps unwillingness to remove jihadi elements from Idlib has led Russia and Syria to shore up their offensive to liberate the whole of Syria from jihadi elements, including those being funded by Turkey. This offensive has most certainly sabotaged Turkish interests, forcing it to lose control of some of the key strategic territorial points in Syria, including the all-important M-5 highway, a road that is at the heart of the future of Syria’s territorial integrity and its politics and economy. The M-5 highway connects the Syria’s economic hub, Aleppo, with the capital and other key areas, including the border with Jordan.

For Turkey, the road is important because it also connects Syria with Turkey’s southern city of Gaziantep, an industrial hub and a centre for imports and exports. Even according to Turkish state media reports, if the highway had remained under [Turkey backed] groups, it would have meant a permanent physical inability of Syria to establish its authority over all of the country.

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Russia and Turkey, “Allies” Fighting One Another: On Opposite Sides of the War on Syria – Global Research

russia-and-turkey,-“allies”-fighting-one-another:-on-opposite-sides-of-the-war-on-syria-–-global-research

21-02-20 06:26:00,

US forever war in Syria shows no signs of ending because restoration of peace and stability to the country would be a major strategic blow to Washington’s aim for controlling the Middle East — NATO and Israel serving as junior partners in its project.

Turkey’s Erdogan is a significant obstacle to resolving years of war in Syria because of his revanchist aims — what his support for ISIS, al-Nusra, and likeminded jihadists is all about, using them as proxies (earlier and now) in northern Syria.

His aims and Russia’s in the country are world’s apart. Negotiations between his regime and Moscow on the conflict are uneasy at best.

Multiple recent rounds failed to resolve differences, further talks planned, including a possible summit involving Putin, Iranian President Rouhani and Erdogan.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova slammed his support for jihadists in Syria, saying:

“We are expressing significant concerns over such support for (these elements) from the Turkish armed forces.”

It “violat(es) the Russian-Turkish agreements on separating armed opposition from terrorists, and creating a demilitarized area, and it may provoke a further escalation in the conflict in this part of the Syrian national territory,” adding:

“On February 20, the Russian center for reconciliation of the conflicting sides in Syria reported several mass attacks with the use of a large amount of armored vehicles at the positions of the Syrian army in the Idlib de-escalation zone carried out by terrorist units.”

“At the same time, the actions of (jihadists) were supported by artillery fire by the Turkish forces, which allowed terrorists to breach Syrian army’s defenses” before being repelled with Russian aerial support, a statement by its military saying:

“In order to prevent terrorist groups from advancing deep into Syrian territory, Su-24 aircraft of Russia’s Aerospace Force delivered a strike at the request of the Syrian command against the terrorists’ armed formations that had penetrated the area. This helped the Syrian troops to repel all the attacks successfully.”

A Russian reconnaissance drone filmed Turkish artillery providing support for al-Nusra terrorists near Nayrab village in southern Idlib province.

AMN News reported that Russia’s aerial response was “devastating,” repelling Turkish-supported jihadists,

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Where does Turkey stand in the Syrian Endgame? | New Eastern Outlook

where-does-turkey-stand-in-the-syrian-endgame?-|-new-eastern-outlook

13-02-20 05:51:00,

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Whereas the mainstream western and Arab media have been claiming a ‘serious rift’ between Russia and Turkey over the death of Turkish soldiers in a Syrian offensive in Idlib, this is far from the case. While there is no gainsaying that Russian and Syrian interests do not always converge fully and that there are some contentious areas, this then is also quite equally true of Turkey’s relations with the US/NATO as well. Therefore, expecting Turkey to take a full wheel U-turn to the US/NATO as a result of the so-called ‘serious rift’ with Moscow/Damascus is not only an extremely unlikely event to happen but also geo-politically an unrealistic assumption; for, the major disagreement, as it stands, does not exit between Russia and Turkey per se, it exists, if at all, between an increasingly assertive Syrian army, ambitiously advancing to regain control of their country, and a Turkish a resolve to prevent the emergence of a ‘Kurdistan’ along its border with Syria.

Whereas both Syria and Turkey, as also Russia, aim to prevent the establishment of ‘Kurdistan’ along Syria-Turkey border, the disagreement remains over who will prevent this i.e., whether Turkey will do this through a direct military presence or the Syrian army through directly taking control of the territories.

It was this political disagreement that was at the heart of Putin’s visits to Damascus and Istanbul in the end of January 2020. As the reports suggest, the Russians had ‘strongly advised’ the Syrian army to halt their offensive and allow Turkey to relocate its troops. Assad, while he agreed to halt the offensive, did not want to break the momentum of battle ground victories. At the same, Moscow does not think that allowing al-Qaeda affiliate groups to continue to operate from Idlib and attack Syrian and Russian interests is going to work for them; hence, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s calculated response to the tensions arising out of the clashes between Turkey and Syria.

In particular, he stated:

“We don’t agree with this view [of Erdogan about attacking Idlib]. Russia is in full compliance with the Sochi agreements on the Idlib zone. At the same time, we regret to say that the situation is far from perfect”, adding further that “a large number of terrorists remain in the area and continue aggressive attacks on the Syrian army and Russia’s Hmeymim air base.

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Turkey Sends Reinforcements to Protect ISIS-Daesh in Idlib, Syria – Global Research

turkey-sends-reinforcements-to-protect-isis-daesh-in-idlib,-syria-–-global-research

12-02-20 08:04:00,

Throughout nine years of preemptive US war in Syria, Turkey supported ISIS other jihadists, pretending otherwise.

Earlier in the war, Ankara colluded with ISIS in transporting, refining and selling stolen Syrian oil – Erdogan and other regime officials profiting hugely.

Evidence supplied by Kurdish sources in northern Syria showed “detailed invoices used by IS to calculate daily revenues from their oil fields and refineries, as well as the amount of oil extracted there,” adding:

“All the documents had Islamic State’s symbol at the top.” They showed ISIS “kept very professional records of their oil business.”

Syrians forced against their will to aid ISIS’ oil trade said “extracted oil was delivered to an oil refinery, where it was converted into gasoline, gas and other petroleum products.”

“Then the refined product was sold. (I)ntermediaries from Raqqa and Allepo arrived to pick up the oil and often mentioned Turkey.”

According to a captured ISIS jihadist at the time, “the reason why it was so easy for him to cross the Turkish border and join IS was, in part, due to the fact that Turkey also benefitted.”

Ankara let anti-Syria jihadists move freely cross-border between both countries, giving them safe haven in Turkey.

The Erdogan regime continues supporting these elements, using them to advance its revanchist aims in northern Syria.

The same goes for the US, NATO, Israel and the Saudis — on the side of the devil in stark contrast to Russia and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, aiding Damascus combat this scourge.

In response to significant advances on the ground in Idlib by Syrian forces, Turkey beefed up its illegal cross-border presence.

According to Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen television, the Erdogan regime sent scores of tanks, armored vehicles, other military equipment, and accompanying troops into northern Syria — to aid jihadists against Syrian forces.

On Monday, five Turkish soldiers were reported killed, others wounded by Syrian strikes on jihadists’ positions.

Southfront reported that al-Nusra terrorists in Idlib attacked Syrian forces, “supported by Turkish rocket and artillery strikes.” Retaliation by government troops resulted in Turkish casualties.

Ankara and jihadists its supports are aggressors, Syrian forces involved in defending their homeland,

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Turkey and Israel: Enemies or Allies? | New Eastern Outlook

turkey-and-israel:-enemies-or-allies?-|-new-eastern-outlook

27-12-19 01:52:00,

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After Israel was created in 1948, Turkey became its most important partner in the Middle East. Ankara recognized the Jewish state as far back as 1949, establishing official diplomatic relations with it, which clearly illustrated the direction of Turkey’s foreign policy. The first two Israeli prime ministers, David Ben-Gurion and Moshe Sharett, spoke Turkish.

However, relations between the two countries over the past decades have often been characterized by periods of both rapprochement and distancing, the latter even leading to the emergence of a very significant wave of anti-Israeli sentiment in Turkish society. This was especially evident after the 2010 Gaza flotilla raid, when a convoy of ships tried to break through the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Upon reviewing the history of relations between Israel and Turkey, one can say that the first significant blow to them occurred after 1973, when Ankara distanced itself from Israel because of the Arab oil embargo. The cool relations persisted for over two decades. In the 1980s, anti-Semitic sentiments in Turkey intensified and began to appear in official party platforms. The main ideological source of anti-Semitism in Turkey was Islamism, left-wing anti-Zionism and right-wing nationalist extremism.

Afterwards, Ankara aimed for rapprochement with Israel once more after the 1993 agreement between Tel Aviv and the PLO. Both parties hoped that the revival of their alliance would help change the strategic balance of power and the geopolitical situation in the oil-rich Middle East. In addition, Israel saw this as an opportunity to exit political and economic isolation, in the hope that other Muslim countries would draw closer to Tel Aviv as well.

However, despite the West’s support for this renewal of friendship, other countries in the region, such as Greece, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian National Authority began to accuse Ankara of a ‘Zionist and imperialist conspiracy’, especially with regard to its stance on the Middle East peacemaking process. Nevertheless, during this period Turkey saw its ties to Israel as more important than those to the Islamic world, hoping to gain access to new military technologies based on rebuilt relations. This was facilitated by the establishment of a close bilateral military strategic partnership. Israel, in turn, never stopped perceiving Turkey as a partner which it influenced in cahoots with the United States.

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Erdogan says Turkey can’t handle Syrian migrant influx, warns Europe of new refugee wave

erdogan-says-turkey-can’t-handle-syrian-migrant-influx,-warns-europe-of-new-refugee-wave

22-12-19 08:31:00,

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned that his country is ill-equipped to handle a wave of Syrian migrants from Idlib, and warned that Europe will feel its impact next, unless the bombing of Idlib stops.

Speaking at an awards ceremony in Istanbul on Sunday, Erdogan said that Turkey “will not bear the burden alone” of the 80,000 migrants currently marching toward its borders from Idlib, in north-western Syria.

The Turkish leader added that Europe will see a repeat of the 2015 migrant crisis – which saw more than a million migrants enter Europe in less than a year – if its leaders do not intervene to stop violence in the region. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is currently attempting to recapture Idlib, with Russian support, from the remains of Islamic state.

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Turkey ready to increase military support to internationally recognized government in Libya – Erdogan

Erdogan said he is doing everything possible to work with Moscow to stop the attacks on Idlib, and announced that a Turkish delegation will fly to the Russian capital on Monday for talks aimed at ending the violence.

Turkey is currently hosting more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees, and past negotiations with European leaders have seen Erdogan threatening to release them into the continent. Most recently, he promised to “open the gates” should European leaders label his military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Syria an ‘occupation’. 

Erdogan’s operation against the Kurds is aimed at the creation of a ‘safe zone’ inside the Syrian border for the resettlement of some of the 3.6 million refugees currently in Turkey. Under pressure to relieve the refugee burden, he has pledged to press ahead with establishing the safe zone – with or without international support.

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Atrocities by terrorists against Syrian children ignored by Western media covering conflict from comfort of offices elsewhere

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Russia and Turkey Struck a Game-Changing Deal on Syria and Beyond | New Eastern Outlook

russia-and-turkey-struck-a-game-changing-deal-on-syria-and-beyond-|-new-eastern-outlook

24-10-19 12:14:00,

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On Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, a game-changing meeting between the Russian and Turkish presidents ended after six hours of negotiations. This was the eighth face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since the beginning of the year, and it’s been reported that Syria wasn’t the only topic discussed, as a number of regional issues also required the attention of Presidents Putin and Erdogan, together with the discussion of the future of strengthening bilateral ties between Turkey and Russia. This meeting was a logical continuation of  attempts to promote a political settlement in Syria, which were presented at a recent meeting in Ankara by the leaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran.

The overall complexity of the ongoing Syrian settlement became even more challenging after Turkish began new military operations in northern Syria. Some political figures would even claim that the events in Syria “took an undesirable turn”, which left little to no room for optimism. On top of Syria, Russia, Turkey and the United States being concerned about the overall deterioration of security in the region, both Iran and Iraq would also express their concerns. However, the parties had conflicting opinions about how this issue should be addressed.

One must not forget that the settlement of the Syrian conflict complicated by the launch of Turkey’s most recent military operation, was closely linked with the need to find a solution to the “Kurdish problem.” According to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Moscow’s goal is to achieve a situation where all armed Kurdish units within Syrian territory are integrated into the legal framework of the Syrian Arab Republic, per the Syrian constitution. This would ensure there would be no illegal armed groups operating across Syria that could represent a threat to the security of the Turkish Republic.

Earlier, American officials would claim it was impossible to push Kurdish units away from the so-called “security zone” in northern Syria. Thus, US Special Representative for Syria James Franklin Jeffrey at a hearing before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee argued that it was unlikely that Moscow could drive the Kurds out of this area. However, Moscow’s step-by-step approach toward negotiations with the Kurds resulted in the Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF) informing the Pentagon that they fulfilled all their obligations to the US and,

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Jean Stoltenberg on Turkey, by Jens Stoltenberg

jean-stoltenberg-on-turkey,-by-jens-stoltenberg

15-10-19 09:58:00,

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Joint press conference with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg visited Turkey on Friday (11 October 2019) to discuss preparations for the NATO leaders’ meeting in London this December, marking NATO’s 70th anniversary. Mr. Stoltenberg met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They discussed the Alliance’s continued adaptation and the security situation in the region. In his meeting with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, the Secretary General thanked Turkey for its commitment and many contributions to NATO.

In his meetings in Istanbul, Mr Stoltenberg also discussed the situation in Syria. He underlined that “while Turkey has legitimate security concerns, I expect Turkey to act with restraint.” Mr. Stoltenberg expressed his “serious concerns about the risk of further destabilising the region, escalating tensions, and even more human suffering”. He emphasized that “We have a common enemy – Da’esh. A few years ago, they controlled significant territory in Iraq and in Syria. Working together in the Global Coalition, we have liberated all this territory and millions of people. These gains must not be jeopardized.”

“Turkey is a great power in this great region”, the Secretary General stressed, “and with great power comes great responsibility”. Mr. Stoltenberg urged Turkey to avoid any unilateral actions that may further destabilize the region and escalate tensions.

During his visit, the Secretary General had also discussions with Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar.

Jens Stoltenberg

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SYRIA: Turkey, the Kurds and NATO explained – Dutch Anarchy

syria:-turkey,-the-kurds-and-nato-explained-–-dutch-anarchy

10-10-19 12:57:00,

There is a growing confusion over the situation in the north-east of Syria – Turkey, a NATO member state, is de facto challenging other NATO member states by attacking a U.S proxy force occupying the region. The Kurdish contras and separatist factions that make up the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) are the apparent target.

I have compiled a list of articles and videos that may enable people to untangle the complex and extremely precarious conflict that is developing east of the Euphrates. I will add to them and update this article as and when I am able to.

  1. Kevork Almassian of Syriana Analysis

2. Syrian Girl – Kurds did not protect Christians, they persecuted them.

3. Where White Helmets failed, will SDF succeed in securing a NATO “no fly zone” in the region which is translated into a NATO “free-for-all” and will escalate the conflict while ensuring greater bloodshed among the civilian population:

Report from South Front.

4. Sarah Abed – Turkey’s Safe-zone and Refugee Peace-corridor in Syria Is a Cover for a Violent Demographic Re-engineering

It’s worth noting that the Syrian government has been vocal in their opposition to the creation of a Turkish safe zone or peace corridors on its land as well as joint patrol operations. Damascus knows that Turkey’s true intentions are expansion and changing the demographics and forcing the return of millions of Syrian refugees to areas in northern Syria where they do not originate from.

[…]

.. if Turkey is truly worried about their national security they can establish a safe zone on Turkish land to protect themselves but they do not have a right to encroach on Syrian land.

[…]

Turkey has drawn out a detailed plan for resettling two million Syrian refugees in the safe zone and many are concerned that once these Turkish loyalists have resettled on Turkey’s border, Ankara will claim ownership on Syria’s northern region. Turkey’s plan would cost roughly $27 billion and Turkey is not planning on footing the entire bill and has asked for other nations to assist funds to carry out its plan.

Turkey’s plan includes establishing 140 villages, 10 towns, a Turkish university with three faculties including an Islamic Sciences faculty in Azaz,

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US and Turkey Collude to Steal Northern Syrian Territory – Global Research

us-and-turkey-collude-to-steal-northern-syrian-territory-–-global-research

09-08-19 09:20:00,

Troops of both countries illegally occupy northern Syrian territory bordering Turkey, including its oil rich area.

On the phony pretext of protecting Turkey’s security, President Erdogan is intermittently battling Kurdish YPG fighters cross-border in Syria — despite their posing no threat to Ankara.

His real aim is wanting the territory annexed. The same goes for Kurdish controlled/oil-rich northern Iraq.

The US seeks regional control, including over its oil and gas resources.

In late July, Russian General Staff/Main Operational Directorate commander General Sergey Rudskoy accused US and allied forces of “highjack(ing)” Syrian oil from ISIS, profiting from its sales — perhaps shipping it cross-border to Turkey and/or elsewhere, the Trump regime running a black market operation with looted Syrian oil, adding:

US-supported ISIS and other jihadists were also trained to destroy Syrian (and perhaps Iraqi) oil and gas infrastructure, along with continuing attacks on government forces and civilians, using heavy and other weapons supplied by Western and regional countries, including Israel, Turkey, the Saudis and UAE.

Rudskoy added that the Trump regime is arming Arab and Kurdish fighters, working with them as well in the illicit trafficking of stolen Syrian oil.

On Wednesday, the Trump and Erdogan regimes agreed on establishing a so-called “safe zone” in northern Syria, a pretext for the US and Turkey to pursue their imperial interests.

Turkey’s war ministry said a Joint Action Center will be set up “as soon as possible,” falsely claiming a “corridor of peace” will follow to let refugees return home — Syrian victims of US aggression, Washington and Ankara indifferent to their rights and welfare.

Damascus denounced the move, calling it a “blatant attack” on the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, along with a “dangerous escalation and a threat to peace and stability in the area.”

A Syrian source added that “the agreement has very clearly exposed the US-Turkish partnership in the aggression against Syria which serves the interest of the Israeli occupation entity and the Turkish expansionist ambitions, and it unequivocally exposed the misleading and evasiveness which govern the policies of the Turkish regime.”

It’s unclear if Kurdish YPG fighters will agree with the US/Turkish scheme, details of how it’s to be implemented unclear so far.

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Turkey will not align itself with either NATO or the CSTO, by Thierry Meyssan

turkey-will-not-align-itself-with-either-nato-or-the-csto,-by-thierry-meyssan

06-08-19 08:50:00,

After three years of relative withdrawal from the international scene, Turkey has specified its direction. While still remaining a member of the Atlantic Alliance and its integrated command structure, it intends to express its independence. It will not receive orders either from the Atlantic Alliance or the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. On the interior, while defining itself as Muslim, it wants to integrate the minorities on a national basis and fight the elements which are under the orders of the United States.

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Under the portrait of the layman Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of modern Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attempts to continue the recovery of Turkey.

Turkey is changing, and the projections of George Friedman, founder of Stratfor, are shown to be wrong. If the ex-Ottoman empire is to develop, it will not be as a vassal of the United States.

Rather than judging Turkey from the point of view of Western standards, and mocking its « new sultan », we need to understand how « Europe’s invalid » is attempting to bridge its cultural gap from modernity and its defeat in the First World War, without denying its historical and geographical specificity. Indeed, a century later, the plan hinted at by Atatürk has not yet reached a conclusion, and the problems persist.

We thought that with the AKP, (Justice and Development Party), Turkey was becoming an inclusive Islamic democracy, comparing its doctrine to that of European Christian-Democracy. Progressively, it reconnected with its Ottoman splendour by becoming the spokesman for the Muslim world. Supported by the United States, it was destined to become a first-rate economic power. Pursuing its modernisation and its Westernisation, it turned its back on its most important client, Libya, then on its economic partner, Syria, and increasingly strengthened its relations with the West.

However, the attempted assassination in Marmaris of newly-elected President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on 15 July 2016, which morphed into an improvised coup d’État, failed miserably to change the state of things. For three years, the AKP struggled to manage the situation. It began to examine its policies. It instituted the third anniversary of the coup d’État, in order to clarify its positions.

First of all, contrary to what we had believed, modern Turkey is neither with the West nor the East.

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Margolis: Turkey Calls Trump’s Bluff

margolis:-turkey-calls-trump’s-bluff

15-07-19 09:56:00,

Authored by Eric Margolis via EricMargolis.com

Turkey has just called Donald Trump’s bluff by going ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. The outrage in Washington is volcanic. Trump is vowing to rain fire and brimstone sanctions down on the disobedient Turks.

The S-400 is Russia’s premier anti-air missile. It is believed highly effective against all forms of aircraft – including stealth planes – cruise missiles, medium range ballistic missiles, drones, and some other types of missiles. It offers the choice of a self-directing version with its own radar seeker, or a less expensive, “semi-active” version that is guided by its launch-battery radar.

Russian military plane unloading first batch of S-400 components near Ankara. Image source: Turkish Defense Ministry via AP

What makes this AA missile (SS-21 in NATO terminology) particularly deadly is its remarkable 400 km range. The S-400 is said by Russia to be able to unmask stealth aircraft. I’ve been told by Soviet security officials as far back as 1990 that their radars could detect US stealth aircraft.

The missile’s remarkable range and detection capability puts at risk some of the key elements of US war fighting capability, notably the E-3 AWACS airborne radar aircraft, US electronic warfare aircraft, tankers and, of course, fighters like the new stealth F-35, improved F-15’s, F-22’s and B-1, B-2 and venerable B-52 heavy bombers used to carry long-ranged cruise missiles.

The Russian AA system can “shoot and scoot” – firing and then quickly moving. Even more important, the S-400 system costs about half the price of its leading competitor, the US Patriot PAC-2 system. The S-400 may also be more reliable and accurate. The Great White Father in Washington is not happy.

The Trump administration brought heavy pressure on Turkey not to buy the S-400, threatening to cancel Turkey’s order for 100 of the new, stealthy F-35’s. Few thought the Turks would defy the US on this issue, but they failed to understand the depths of Turkey’s anger at the US.

Most Turks believe that the US engineered the failed 2016 coup against the democratic government in Ankara working through a shadowy religious organization run by the spiritual-political leader,

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Turkey Calls Trump’s Bluff

turkey-calls-trump’s-bluff

13-07-19 05:57:00,

Turkey has just called Donald Trump’s bluff by going ahead with the purchase of Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missiles. The outrage in Washington is volcanic. Trump is vowing to rain fire and brimstone sanctions down on the disobedient Turks.

The S-400 is Russia’s premier anti-air missile. It is believed highly effective against all forms of aircraft – including stealth planes – cruise missiles, medium range ballistic missiles, drones, and some other types of missiles. It offers the choice of a self-directing version with its own radar seeker, or a less expensive, ‘semi-active’ version that is guided by its launch-battery radar.

What makes this AA missile (SS-21 in NATO terminology) particularly deadly is its remarkable 400 km range. The S-400 is said by Russia to be able to unmask stealth aircraft. I’ve been told by Soviet security officials as far back as 1990 that their radars could detect US stealth aircraft.

The missile’s remarkable range and detection capability puts at risk some of the key elements of US war fighting capability, notably the E-3 AWACS airborne radar aircraft, US electronic warfare aircraft, tankers and, of course, fighters like the new stealth F-35, improved F-15’s, F-22’s and B-1, B-2 and venerable B-52 heavy bombers used to carry long-ranged cruise missiles.

The Russian AA system can ‘shoot and scoot’ – firing and then quickly moving. Even more important, the S-400 system costs about half the price of its leading competitor, the US Patriot PAC-2 system. The S-400 may also be more reliable and accurate. The Great White Father in Washington is not happy.

The Trump administration brought heavy pressure on Turkey not to buy the S-400, threatening to cancel Turkey’s order for 100 of the new, stealthy F-35’s. Few thought the Turks would defy the US on this issue, but they failed to understand the depths of Turkey’s anger at the US.

Most Turks believe that the US engineered the failed 2016 coup against the democratic government in Ankara working through a shadowy religious organization run by the spiritual-political leader, Fethullah Gulen, who lives in exile in the United States. Turkey’s elected president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had been too independent-minded for Washington, clashing over US policy to Syria and the Gulf. He had also incurred the wrath of America’s Israel lobby for demanding justice for the Palestinians.

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‘US must choose between Turkey and terrorists’: Ankara slaps Pence with counter-ultimatum

us-must-choose-between-turkey-and-terrorists-ankara-slaps-pence-with-counter-ultimatum

04-04-19 08:00:00,

Turkey’s vice president said his US counterpart must choose between an alliance with a loyal NATO partner or siding with terrorists, after Mike Pence issued an ultimatum for Ankara to pick its F-35 jets over Russian S-400 systems.

“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, in response to Mike Pence’s demands.

The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?

— Fuat Oktay (@fuatoktay06) April 3, 2019

Earlier on Wednesday, the US second-in-command demanded that Ankara “choose” whether it wants to remain a “critical” NATO partner or jeopardize its alliance membership by “reckless decisions” such as the purchase the Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Also on rt.com
Turkey must choose between remaining NATO partner or buying Russian S-400 – Pence

The Twitter battle between two top politicians erupted two days after the Pentagon stopped shipping equipment related to the F-35 fighter jet to Turkey. The DoD made clear that deliveries will not resume unless Turkey abandons its purchase of Russian hardware.

Turkey, which has been a vital partner in the F-35 program, once again reminded the US on Wednesday that its S-400 purchase was a “done deal.”

“[S-400s] will not be integrated into the NATO system,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday, advocating the setting up of a multi-party technical group that would ensure the air defense system “will not be a threat” to either the F-35 or other NATO systems. He also hinted that the issue will most likely be resolved between President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Also on rt.com
Russian S-400 purchase a ‘done deal,’ despite US freeze on F-35 deliveries – Turkish FM

Turkey has long insisted that, as a sovereign nation, it has the right to choose its trade partners and arms suppliers,

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Is Turkey “City Zero” In Global Contagion

is-turkey-8220city-zero8221-in-global-contagion

30-03-19 01:08:00,

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Last year Turkey’s lira crisis quickly morphed into a Euro-zone crisis as Italian bond yields blew higher and the euro quickly reversed off a major Q1 high near $1.25.

It nearly sparked a global emerging market meltdown and subsequent melt-up in the dollar.

This week President Erdogan of Turkey banned international short-selling of the Turkish lira in response to the Federal Reserve’s complete reversal of monetary policy from its last rate hike in December.

The markets responded to the Fed with a swift and deepening of the U.S. yield curve inversion. Dollar illiquidity is unfolding right in front of our eyes.

Turkish credit spreads, CDS rates and Turkey’s foreign exchange reserves all put under massive pressure. Unprecedented moves in were seen as the need for dollars has seized up the short end of the U.S. paper market.

Martin Armstrong talked about this yesterday:

The government [Turkey] simply trapped investors and refuses to allow transactions out of the Turkish lira. Turkey’s stand-off with investors has unnerved traders globally, pushing the world ever closer to a major FINANCIAL PANIC come this May 2019.

There is a major liquidity crisis brewing that could pop in May 2019.

Martin’s timing models all point to May as a major turning point. And the most obvious thing occurring in May is the European Parliamentary elections which should see Euroskeptics take between 30% and 35% of seats, depending on whether Britain stands for EU elections or not.

That depends on Parliament and the EU agreeing to a longer extension of Brexit in the next two weeks.

Parliament has created “Schroedinger’s Brexit,” neither alive nor dead but definitely bottled up in a box no one dares open. And they want to keep it that way for as long as possible. Their hope is outlasting Leavers into accepting staying in the gods-forsaken fiscal and political black hole that is the European Union.

But back to Turkey. To me this looks like a very dangerous game that Erdogan is playing with the markets to remind everyone just how fragile the financial system is. Now that a real Brexit back on the table thanks to the British Parliament his gambit takes on even more significance.

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The CIA is using Turkey to pressure China, by Thierry Meyssan

the-cia-is-using-turkey-to-pressure-china-by-thierry-meyssan

19-02-19 09:00:00,

While Turkey has fostered economic links with China in order to solve its economic crisis, it has also publicly denounced the repression of the Uyghurs, basing its accusations on false information. Beijing sent a very cold reply. Everything is happening, now that Daesh has disappeared from Iraq and Syria, as if Ankara was once again running secret operations on behalf of the CIA, this time in Xinjiang.

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Chinese Uyghur jihadists in Syria.

For the last few weeks, the Turkish Press has been talking about the fate of the Uyghurs, the Turkish-speaking Muslim population of China. The political parties of the opposition, including the Kemalists, have been outdoing one another to condemn the Han repression of this minority and its religion.

This effervescence follows:
- The report by the Jamestown Foundation on the « 73 Chinese detention centres » [1] ;
- The Radio Free Asia campaign, which broadcast a number of interviews with ex-prisoners of the Chinese camps, and went so far as to pretend that China had outlawed the Coran (sic) [2] ;
- The campaign launched on 13 November 2018 by the United States and their allies of the Human Rights Council in Geneva against the repression of Islam in China [3] ;
- And the hearing, organised in Washington on 28 November 2018 by Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, (CECC), on « the repression of religions by the Chinese Communist Party » [4]. Thus we learned that between one and three million Uyghurs are being submitted to electrical torture in the re-education camps. These accusations have been reprised by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

It was in this context that the spokesman for the Turkish Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hami Aksoy, published a communiqué on 9 February 2019 officially condemning the « Chinesation » … of « the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of the Turkish Uyghurs » and the death in prison of the famous poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was serving an « eight-year » sentence of confinement for « one of his songs » [5].

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What Are Russia and Turkey Preparing for Syria? A Disagreement in Sochi – Global Research

what-are-russia-and-turkey-preparing-for-syria-a-disagreement-in-sochi-8211-global-research

14-02-19 09:00:00,

The 14thof February meeting in Sochi between the three Presidents (Russia, Turkey and Iran) is not expected to find solutions agreeable to all parties about the two main problem areas left in Syria: northeast Syria (Manbij to Qamishli/al-Hasaka), currently occupied by US forces, and Idlib city and its rural areas occupied by jihadist groups friendly to Turkey. 

There are fundamentally different points of view. At the top of the agenda, the gathering is expected to have further discussions on a possible US withdrawal in the coming weeks – the month of April seems plausible – as announced by officials in Washington.

All parties are agreed, however, that US withdrawal is a priority and will be a relief to the Levant. Therefore, any step that help to reach this objective smoothly should be taken. Nevertheless, the main differences are triggered by the Russian desire and intention to conclude a “temporary deal” with Turkey over North-east Syria’s status after the US withdrawal. These differences are related to the price Syria should pay to see US forces out of the country.

Sources among decision makers in Damascus said “Russia is trying to find an excuse for Turkey to move into north-east Syria, within a “buffer zone” of 12,000 sq km out of the 42,000 sq km that represent the zone east of the Euphrates under US occupation, reviving the 1998 Adana agreement between Ankara and Damascus”.

On January the 23rd, President Putin said the 20-year-old agreement was still binding. A Syrian source reports,

“The Russian President is trying to open the road for Turkey to regain a direct relationship with Syria on a higher level. Russia believes the temporary presence of Turkey is acceptable as long as the unity of Syria is non-negotiable. But we in Damascus believe that if Turkey moves in, it will be difficult to dislodge its forces ever again”.

Russia has never abandoned the idea of Syrian unity and considers it important for the entire geographic area to return under the control of the central government. Nevertheless, Moscow believes the danger from the US is greater, and that it is worth seeing Turkey replacing the US forces temporarily if this is what Washington wants.

On the other hand,

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Turkey reveals the position of French troops in Syria

turkey-reveals-the-position-of-french-troops-in-syria

02-01-19 10:40:00,

Andolu, the official Turkish press agency, has published a map that reveals the military bases of the French troops in Syria.

From the beginning of the 2005 Anglo Saxon operation against Syria, in particular from the beginning of the military operations against the Syrian Arab Republic in 2011, France has been hoping to re-establish a mandate over its former colony. This plan had been clearly articulated by President François Hollande during a trip to the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

According to the map above, published by the Turkish agency on 28 December 2018, France has nine secret military bases in Syria. One of these is in the governorate of Aleppo, in north Manbij. Now, the pro-US Kurds have just appealed to Damascus to fight on their side against the Turkish army. Currently the Syrian troops are taking control of the region, fighting on the side of the pro-US Kurds. Very soon, the French soldiers are going to be encircled by their former allies.

Translation
Anoosha Boralessa

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Turkey Now Controls Syria’s Jihadists

Turkey Now Controls Syria’s Jihadists

27-09-18 02:45:00,

Originally posted at strategic-culture.org:

Because of the US Government’s repeated threats to start World War III against Russia on Syrian territory if Russia will assist Syria’s Government to eliminate the jihadists who control Syria’s Idlib province, Russia’s Government agreed, on September 17th, with Turkey’s Government, that Turkey’s Government will control Idlib, which is Syria’s most jihadist-friendly province.

Consequently, the threatened US-and-allied bombing campaign to overthrow Syria’s Government and replace it with one that would be controlled by the royal family of Saudi Arabia (the Sauds) has been placed on hold, because such a bombing campaign would now mean the US going to war against not only Syria’s Government and Russia’s Government and Iran’s Government, but also against Turkey’s Government, which is a NATO member and (because of its location) has been an essential part of the American Empire.

Turkey is thus now balanced on a knife’s edge, between the US and its allies (representing the Saud family) on the one side, versus Russia and its allies (representing the anti-Saud alliance) on the other.

Historically, the Sauds have competed against the Turkish Government for leadership of the world’s Muslims. Gradually, the Sauds came to ally themselves first with the British Empire, and then with the rising American Empire, which two Empires merged into one right after World War II.

Turkey was the head of the Ottoman Empire — that was actually the Turkish empire — and Turkey became defeated in World War I by the British side, including the leader of the Saud family. As a result of the epoch-making September 17th agreement about Idlib, Turkey, which for nearly a hundred years was an important ally of America, no longer is a US ally, but is vacillating between alliance with Russia, versus alliance with the US

The Historical Background

Some historical background is helpful for understanding where we’re coming from, and where we are heading to, here:

In 1811, the fundamentalist-Sunni Wahhabis of Arabia, led by the Saud family, revolted against the non-fundamentalist Sunni Ottoman Turks, and were crushed by the Ottomans.

In 1830, “The Great Game” started, in which the British Empire unsuccessfully tried to colonize Afghanistan next door to the world’s most natural-resources-rich land,

 » Lees verder

Ron Paul Warns “Turkey Now, America Later”

Ron Paul Warns “Turkey Now, America Later”

28-08-18 05:25:00,

Authored by Ron Paul via The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity,

President Trump recently imposed sanctions on Turkey to protest the Turkish government’s detention of an American pastor. Turkey has responded by increasing tariffs on US exports. The trade war is being blamed for the collapse of Turkey’s currency, the lira. While the sanctions may have played a role, Turkey’s currency crisis is rooted in the Turkish government’s fiscal and (especially) monetary policies.

In the past seven years, Turkey’s central bank has tripled the money supply and pushed interest rates down to 4.5 percent. While Turkey’s government did not adopt Ben Bernanke’s proposal to drop money from helicopters, Turkish politicians have taken advantage of easy money policies to increase subsidies for key voting blocs and special interests.

The results of the Turkish government’s inflation-fueled spending binge are not surprising to anyone familiar with Austrian economics or economic history. Turkey is now plagued with huge deficits, a collapsing currency, and a looming economic crisis, making it the next candidate for a European Union or Federal Reserve bailout.

Turkey’s combination of low interest rates, money creation, and massive government spending to “stimulate” the economy parallels the policies the US government has pursued for the past ten years. Without drastic changes in fiscal and monetary policies, economic trouble in America is around the corner.

The very large and growing federal debt will cause a major crisis as the government’s debt burden will be unsustainable. Instead of cutting spending or raising taxes, politicians can be expected to pressure the Federal Reserve to do their dirty work for them via inflation. We may even see the Fed “experiment” with negative interest rates, which would punish Americans for saving. The monetization of the federal debt will erode the dollar’s purchasing power and decimate middle-and-working-class Americans who are already seeing any gains in their incomes eaten away by inflation.

If we are lucky, the next Fed-caused downturn will cause only a resurgence of 1970s-style stagflation.

The more likely scenario is the type of widespread economic chaos not seen in America since the Great Depression.

The growth of cultural Marxism, the widespread entitlement mentality, and the willingness of partisans of various sides to use force against their political opponents suggests that this economic crisis will result in civil unrest that will be used to justify new crackdowns on individual liberty.

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Will Turkey Back or Break Militants in Northern Syria? | New Eastern Outlook

Will Turkey Back or Break Militants in Northern Syria? | New Eastern Outlook

18-08-18 11:50:00,

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Syria once again finds itself at another critical juncture. Having secured virtually all territory in the nation’s southwest, Damascus’ attention is now fixated on Idlib in the north.

Reuters has recently reported on a so-called “National Army” based in northern Syria that appears poised to confront Syrian efforts to restore peace and security nationwide.

In an article titled, “Syrian rebels build an army with Turkish help, face challenges,” Reuters would claim:

A “National Army” being set up by Syrian rebels with Turkey’s help could become a long-term obstacle to President Bashar al-Assad’s recovery of the northwest…

Reuters would also report:

The National Army compromises some 35,000 fighters from some of the biggest factions in the war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people and forced some 11 million people from their homes over the last seven years.

And:

Assad, backed by Russia and Iran, has vowed to recover “every inch” of Syria, and though he has now won back most of the country, the Turkish presence will complicate any government offensive in the northwest.

The idea of having NATO military forces on the ground in Syria, providing protection for Western-backed militants in safe-havens has been stated US policy since the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

Seeking Safe-Havens Since 2012

The Brookings Institution – a US-based corporate-financier funded policy think tank – in its March 2012 “Middle East Memo #21″ titled, “Saving Syria: Assessing Options for Regime Change” (PDF), stated explicitly that (emphasis added):

An alternative is for diplomatic efforts to focus first on how to end the violence and how to gain humanitarian access, as is being done under Annan’s leadership. This may lead to the creation of safe-havens and humanitarian corridors, which would have to be backed by limited military power. This would, of course, fall short of U.S. goals for Syria and could preserve Asad in power. From that starting point, however, it is possible that a broad coalition with the appropriate international mandate could add further coercive action to its efforts.

The document would also state in regards to a NATO invasion of Syria that:

Turkey would have to be willing to provide the logistical base and much of the ground troops for the operation.

 » Lees verder

Is Turkey Sleeping with the Enemy? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Is Turkey Sleeping with the Enemy? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

10-08-18 09:02:00,

Donald Trump has just sent a dirty message to the president of Turkey.

Why?

What is the objective of Trump’s statement?

US-Turkey military cooperation (including US air force bases in Turkey) dates back to the Cold War.

While Turkey is officially a member of NATO as well as a firm ally of the US, president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been developing “friendly relations” with two of America’s staunchest enemies, namely Iran and Russia.

Sleeping with the enemy:  “Our relations are not good with Turkey” says Trump.

 Turkey is sleeping with both Iran and Russia. 

Trump’s response takes the form of both military threats and economic sanctions war coupled with financial manipulation of foreign exchange markets directed against Turkey’s Lira.

And their  currency “slides rapidly downwards against our very strong dollar”, says Trump.


Turkey has developed an alliance of convenience with Iran. And Iran in turn is now supported by a powerful China-Russia block, which includes military cooperation, strategic pipelines as well extensive trade and investment agreements.

But there is more than meets the eye.

While the US and Israel have for several years been contemplating military action (including the preemptive use of nuclear weapons) against Iran, this military agenda which relied heavily on a longstanding military-intelligence alliance between Israel and Turkey is currently in jeopardy.

The Israel-Turkey alliance dated back to the Security and Secrecy Agreement (SSA) signed under Turkey’s  Tansu Çiller government in 1993-94 included:

…A 1993 Memorandum of Understanding led to the creation of (Israeli-Turkish) “joint committees” to handle so-called regional threats. Under the terms of the Memorandum, Turkey and Israel agreed “to cooperate in gathering intelligence on Syria, Iran, and Iraq and to meet regularly to share assessments pertaining to terrorism and these countries’ military capabilities.”

“Turkey agreed to allow IDF and Israeli security forces to gather electronic intelligence on Syria and Iran from Turkey. In exchange, Israel assisted in the equipping and training of Turkish forces in anti-terror warfare along the Syrian, Iraqi, and Iranian borders.” (see Michel Chossudovsky, 2004)

The SSA agreement was a carefully designed instrument of US foreign policy which set the stage for a firm and close Israel-Turkey relationship in military and intelligence cooperation,

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Turkey: Hyperinflation And Mass-Migration Crisis Inevitable

Turkey: Hyperinflation And Mass-Migration Crisis Inevitable

12-07-18 07:25:00,

Authored by Mike Shedlock via MishTalk,

Turkey isn’t close to hyperinflation yet. But the path it’s on is a guaranteed way to get there.

As Erdogan tightens his grip on finance and the central bank, Investors Fear Turkish Currency Crisis.

The Turkish lira fell around 4% against the dollar late Monday after Mr. Erdogan appointed his son-in-law as finance minister and put in place measures that could curb the independence of the country’s central bank. Investors also sold Turkish shares and debt, with yields on its dollar bond maturing in October 2028 rising from around 6.8% last week to about 7.15% recently, according to Tradeweb. Yields rise as prices fall.

“There’s a real risk that this spirals into a full-blown currency crisis,” said Paul McNamara, a portfolio manager at GAM Holding . “It’s got so many red flags that we’ve associated with economic crises…in the past.”

In such a crisis, a sharp slide in a currency threatens the government and local companies’ ability to pay foreign debt. Turkey has one of the highest levels of external debt for a developing country, at 53.4% of gross domestic product, according to data from the International Monetary Fund. Local companies have raised billions of dollars, leaving them and the wider economy vulnerable to a slide in the lira, which would make paying off that debt more expensive.

The lira has lost a fifth of its value this year as investors sold ahead of Mr. Erdogan’s June re-election, concerned he would erode the central bank’s independence and usher in looser monetary and fiscal policies. Mr. Erdogan has described high interest rates as “the mother and father of all evils,” stoking fears that his preference for lower rates could prevent the central bank from supporting the currency and tackling inflationary pressure.

Mr. Erdogan fanned those fears on Monday. After taking the oath of office for a new five-year term, the government issued a decree that stipulated that the president would appoint the central bank governor, deputies and monetary policy committee members for four-year mandates.

Just a Start

Al-Monitor reports Erdogan Son-in-Law Takes Finance Ministry Post with Promises,

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Turkey Establishing Long-Sought US “Safe Haven” in Northern Syria | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Turkey Establishing Long-Sought US “Safe Haven” in Northern Syria | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

05-02-18 09:26:00,

Turkey’s recent incursion into northern Syria is poised to finally establish the long-sought after “buffer zone” or “safe haven” called for by US policymakers since as early as 2012.

While the US and Turkey are currently feigning a diplomatic row over the incursion – with Turkey’s targeting and displacement of Kurds allegedly backed by the United States – it is clear that recent claims by the US regarding its expanding support of Kurdish militias it has been arming and backing in Syria was done as an intentional pretext for Turkey to justify an otherwise indefensible invasion of Syrian territory.

No Pretext 

Turkey cited  sensational statements made by the US regarding the creation of a supposedly 30,000 strong Kurdish-led “border defense force” in northern Syria as the pretext for its current operations. Yet at the time the statement was made by Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman US Army Colonel Ryan Dillion, fewer than 300 of the alleged force were reportedly trained – indicating that if the force existed at all, it would be years before being stood up at full strength, if ever.

By the time Turkey began its incursion, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied altogether plans for such a force, according to Reuters in a report titled, “Tillerson says U.S. has no intention to build border force in Syria.”

Going in Anyway

Regardless, Turkey’s incursion – referred to as “Operation Olive Branch” – is creating precisely the zone of control described by US policymakers in 2012 with precisely the same US-armed and funded militant groups described in US policy papers meant to occupy the “safe haven.”

Having tried and failed to maneuver geopolitically to establish the “safe haven” over the past 6 years – including through the citing of “humanitarian crises” and false flag attacks on Turkish territory – the US and Turkey have finally created a sufficiently chaotic intersection of mission creep, proxy groups, and opposing interests to justify the invasion. Turkey had been incrementally invading and occupying Syrian territory while bolstering an army of militants drawn from designated terrorist organizations including Al Qaeda for years in preparation for this recent invasion.

While the Western media and Turkey itself maintains that Operation Olive Branch is aimed at the Kurds,

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