Tuesday, January 2, 2018

An eye on Turkey for the month of December ....

hoping for arrogant Erdogan's downfall.  By uttering those dreadful words  "Assad has to go" he has exposed himself to the now famous curse which will see his downfall ... long, long before Assad goes anywhere.

Erdogan's Insomnia And NATO's H-Bombs In Turkey

Recently, Pravda newspaper of Russia has reported that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been suffering from serious sleep deprivation and that he was yawning and dozed off during a press conference with the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko while on a state visit to Kiev, and the video of the incident has been going viral over social media.
Though this might appear as a minor diplomatic gaffe but bear in mind that insomnia is a serious psychiatric disorder, cognitive functions of sleep-deprived individuals are severely hampered, and such people are prone to committing rash and reckless acts.

Moreover, readers who have been keenly watching Erdogan’s behavior since the July 2016 coup plot must have noticed in his recent TV appearances that his facial expressions have become quite bland lately, he has been lacking in any warmth even when he is hugging and kissing children for public relations’ photo ops, and he has the look of a madman in his eyes.....

Jerusalem: Turkey warns Trump against crossing 'red line'

Turkey's president has warned it could sever ties with Israel if the US recognises Jerusalem as its capital.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said such a move would cross a "red line" for Muslims.

Donald Trump called Middle Eastern leaders on Tuesday amid growing warnings against taking the step. .......

Is corruption in Turkey so commonplace even journalists are inured?

The US trial of Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla, featuring the notorious Iranian-Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab as a witness, has Turks glued to twitter. Zarrab testified Nov. 29 that he bribed Turkey's former Economic Minister Mehmet Zafer Caglayan in 2012 by paying him more than $50 million to help Iran evade US economic sanctions.

The amount of alleged bribes would most likely be sufficient to generate serious political turmoil in any given democracy.

‘Afraid of US’: Turkey slams ‘weak’ response of some Arab countries to Trump’s Jerusalem move

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized the Muslim countries which failed to show a strong response to Washington’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, accusing them of being afraid of the US.
“There was a lot of strong reaction, reaction from the highest level. Some countries, however, have shown a very weak response. It seems that some countries are very timid, since the decision came from that country [the US],” the Minister told NTV broadcaster on Tuesday, adding that such countries were afraid of challenging the US and its “superpower mentality.”
The remarks came ahead of an extraordinary Summit and Ministerial meetings of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on the Jerusalem issue, scheduled to take place in Istanbul on Wednesday. Several countries, namely Egypt and the United Arab Emirates will send only foreign ministers to the meeting, according to Cavusoglu, while Saudi Arabia and some others still have not decided how they would participate........

Muslim leaders at Erdogan-led summit declare East Jerusalem Palestine's capital

Leaders of the world’s Muslim countries announced on Wednesday that they recognized East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and called on the United States to reverse its decision recognizing the contested city as Israel’s capital, firing a salvo in the bitter dispute over the ancient site claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians.

The decision, made at an Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit in Istanbul, followed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to the group to acknowledge Jerusalem as the Palestinians’ rightful capital.

CPJ: Record number of journalists jailed in 2017

For the second year in a row, the number of journalists in jail has hit a historical high, with 262 behind bars.

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) says in its annual report that Turkey, Egypt and China are the worst offenders.........

Trial of Turkey opposition newspaper staff resumes

Seventeen staff members from Cumhuriyet newspaper are accused of supporting 'armed terrorist organisations'
The controversial trial of staff from Turkey's main opposition newspaper accused of terror links resumed on Monday, in a case which has raised alarm over press freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Seventeen current and former writers, cartoonists and executives from Cumhuriyet ("Republic") are accused of supporting three "armed terrorist organisations". ....

Turkey & Ukraine unlikely to join EU in near future – German FM 

 German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said he doesn’t see either Turkey or Ukraine joining the 28-member bloc anytime soon. Gabriel envisages other forms of cooperation instead, modelled on what he called a “smart” Brexit deal.

Speaking to the German press on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Gabriel said he cannot imagine Turkey and Ukraine as members of the European Union in the years to come. The bloc may choose instead to invent other forms of cooperation, including those modelled on the EU’s post-Brexit relations with Britain.....

Assad Must Go, Erdogan Says, as Syria War Winds Down

 Turkey’s leader denounced President Bashar al-Assad of Syria on Wednesday as a terrorist mass murderer with no place in that country’s postwar future, scrapping a softened approach that Turkish officials had taken toward Mr. Assad in recent years.

The statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey came as Mr. Assad seemed more confident than ever that he has won the war and will remain Syria’s leader for the foreseeable future. It also came against the backdrop of maneuvering by many powers — most notably Russia and Iran, Mr. Assad’s most important allies — to influence the outcome of a devastating conflict that has reshaped Middle East politics.

One of the first leaders in the region to condemn Mr. Assad when the conflict began in 2011, Mr. Erdogan had in recent months signaled a willingness to accept Mr. Assad’s political longevity.....

Greece moves to cancel Turkish soldier's asylum

Greece's government has filed a request to cancel the granting of asylum to one of eight Turkish soldiers who fled their country during last year's failed coup attempt.

The move on Saturday came hours after a Greek administrative committee ruled in favour of the man's appeal against his earlier application for asylum.....

Fearing New Year's Eve attacks, Turkey arrests 20 suspected IS militants

Police in Istanbul will be doubled for New Year events after a shooting last year killed 39
Turkish police have detained 20 people, including 15 foreign nationals, suspected of links to Islamic State in Istanbul, as security tightens ahead of the anniversary of a New Year's Eve nightclub attack in which 39 were killed.
The raids by the anti-terrorist branch of the Istanbul police took place on Saturday and targeted four locations across the city, the police said in a statement on Sunday. They did not give the nationalities of the foreign suspects, who are believed to have fought in Syria, according to the Dogan news agency.....

Turkey to pursue ‘more active and if needed risky’ foreign policy in 2018 – Erdogan 

 Ankara is set to embrace a “bold and risky” foreign policy next year, Turkish President Recep Erdogan has promised in his New Year's message. He said Turkey will play an active role in the Middle East and on the Jerusalem issue.

“Turkey will not be able to secure its future without resolving problems in its region,” Erdogan said in his message published on December 31. “This leads us to pursue a more active, bold, and if necessary, more risky foreign policy,” he added, as cited by Hurriyet newspaper.
The Turkish president said Ankara cannot hold negotiations with other actors on the international arena and play a particularly active role in the Middle East “without being [active] in the field.” He then listed Turkey’s recent actions that allowed it to take on a more prominent role among regional powers.....

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