Middle East

Turkey has invested $35 bln in defense industry in 15 years: PM Yıldırım

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State investment in the defense industry has exceeded $35 billion in the past 15 years, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said. Hurriyet “We have made investments worth $35 billion over 15 years and we are now an exporter country in the field of the defense industry. The volume of our exports is over $2 billion,” Yıldırım said in an address at the National Defense University on March 2. “Our state continues to provide all sorts of technological opportunities for the ... Read More »

922 cases of war crimes documented in Turkish attacks on Afrin

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A group of lawyers documented 922 cases of war crimes since the beginning of Turkey’s invasion attacks against Afrin on January 22. ANF A group of lawyers in Afrin held a press conference to release the information about war crimes committed by Turkish state. According to the statement, Turkish army and Al-Qaeda affiliated gangs committed 922 war crimes and all of these have documented by canton officials in Afrin. Here are some highlights from the report released by… 922 cases ... Read More »

Countering Jihadist Militancy in Bangladesh

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With political polarisation reaching historic highs and local jihadist groups forging links with transnational movements, new forms of militancy threaten security and religious tolerance in Bangladesh. ICG The government should reinforce the capability of law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, and build political consensus on tackling the menace. What’s new? Two groups, Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh and Ansarul Islam, dominate Bangladesh’s jihadist landscape today. Attacks since 2013 have targeted secular activists, intellectuals and foreigners, as well as religious and… Countering Jihadist ... Read More »

Why Turkey Wants to Invade the Greek Islands

SEDDULBAHIR, TURKEY - APRIL 24:  Soldiers march in front of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the Turkish International Ceremony at Mehmetcik Abidesi Martyrs Memorial to commemorate the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign on April 24, 2015 near Seddulbahir Turkey.. Allied and Turkish representatives, as well as family members of those who served, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the campaign with ceremonies scheduled for April 24-25. The Gallipoli land campaign, in which a combined Allied force of British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops sought to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula and the strategic Dardanelles strait during World War I, began on April 25, 1915 against Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies, unable to advance more than a few kilometers, withdrew after eight months. The campaign cost the Allies approximately 45,000 killed and up to 200,000 wounded, the Ottomans approximately 85,000 killed and 160,000 wounded. on April 24, 2015 in Eceabat, Turkey. Allied and Turkish representatives, as well as family members of those who served, will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the campaign with ceremonies scheduled for April 24-25. The Gallipoli land campaign, in which a combined Allied force of British, French, Australian, New Zealand and Indian troops sought to occupy the Gallipoli peninsula and the strategic Dardanelles strait during World War I, began on April 25, 1915 against Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire. The Allies, unable to advance more than a few kilometers, withdrew after eight months. The campaign cost the Allies approximately 45,000 killed and up to 200,000 wounded, the Ottomans approximately 85,000 killed and 160,000 wounded.  (Photo by Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

There is one issue on which Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its main opposition, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), are in complete agreement: The conviction that the Greek islands are occupied Turkish territory and must be reconquered. Uzay Bulut Gatestone Institute  So strong is this determination that the leaders of both parties have openly threatened to invade the Aegean. The only conflict on this issue between the two parties is in competing to prove which is more ... Read More »

Congress, State Department divided on sanctions against Turkey

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As the US Congress continues to weigh potential sanctions against Turkey over its unremittingly hostile stance toward the United States, there is growing debate within the policy community about the merits of such action, with some arguing it could bow Turkey into submission and others insisting it will make the problem even worse. Amberin Zaman Al-Monitor Fury at what Washington calls the unlawful detention of US consular staff and US citizens, in particular that of North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson ... Read More »

Anger mounts as Israel begins detention and deportation of African asylum seekers

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Around 20,000 Israelis and African migrants took to the streets in Tel Aviv on February 24, protesting against a government policy of detaining and deporting African asylum seekers who refuse to leave the country. Tanja R. Müller The Conversation A few days earlier, a group of Eritrean asylum seekers held at a detention centre in Israel went on hunger strike in protest against their imminent expulsion from the country. In early Feburary, Israel began issuing expulsion orders to African migrants ... Read More »

North Korean “Cyber – Songun”

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The main trends in the development of telecommunication technologies determine the continuous increase in the dependence of modern society on transnational network resources. International Security Forum The global information space consists of personalities as well as resources of civilian and military infrastructure. At the same time, today there is practically no legal regulation in this sphere. This situation creates ideal conditions for the work of “computer burglars” – the well-known hackers. Despite the constant perfection of means of protection, it ... Read More »

The U.S. and Turkey Go Their Separate Ways

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently said what many analysts have long been thinking: The relationship between Turkey and the United States has reached a “crisis point.” By Sinan Ciddi Stratfor The two countries’ strategic partnership has been increasingly rocky as Washington and Ankara take diverging approaches to the Syrian civil war. But more than protracted policy disagreements, the decline in U.S.-Turkish relations owes to a fundamental loss of trust. Visits by key U.S. government personnel — including Tillerson ... Read More »

US welcomes Saudi-led coalition’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen

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JEDDAH: The US on Saturday has welcomed the Saudi-led coalition’s humanitarian efforts in Yemen. Arab News A statement from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “The coalition released a humanitarian operations plan on Jan. 22, 2018, and as part of that plan, it has agreed to transfer $930 million to United Nations agencies in support of the 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan by March 31. Four World Food Programme (WFP) mobile cranes funded by the United States have ... Read More »

Turkey’s march on Manbij stalled by wall of reality

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Turkey’s Syria adventure is heading into deeper uncertainty, facing obscure American and Russian moves and the bitter realities of the field. Fehim Tastekin Al-Monitor The idea was to finish the operation against the Kurds in Afrin quickly and march on to Manbij Then, Turkey’s military planned to cross to the eastern side of the Euphrates River and deliver major blows to the main body of the Kurdish “democratic autonomy” in areas like Ras al-Ain and Tell Abyad, where Kurds do ... Read More »

Syria: ‘Unlawful’ civilian deaths in Afrin condemned as Assad forces raise stakes in Kurdish-Turkey conflict

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More than 100 civilians have died in month-old-offensive, Human Rights Watch says, as new presence of Syrian government allied forces complicates battle Bethan McKernan Beirut Independent Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned Turkey’s offensive on a Kurdish held area of northern Syria as causing unnecessary civilian casualties, as some counts put the toll as high as 120. The statement on Friday cited three attacks in the contested canton of Afrin in late January that killed a total of 26 civilians, including 17 children. The Turkish military… Syria: ‘Unlawful’ civilian… Read More »

Report: Eni moving drillship to Morocco after Turkish navy ‘threatens force’ in Cyprus

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Turkish navy on Friday reportedly threatened to use force against Eni-operated Saipem 12000 drillship, after the rig’s captain tried to move the drillship to the Block 3 offshore Cyprus. Offshore Energy Today The drilling vessel, which recently struck a potentially large gas discovery off Cyprus, has been blocked from moving to the offshore Block 3 for two weeks now, after the Turkish warships placed themselves in its way on February 9, on the grounds of conducting naval exercises in the area. According to ... Read More »

EU-Turkey Varna summit becomes conditional

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The Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades succeded on Friday (23 February) in convincing his colleagues at the EU summit to make a planned “leaders’ meeting” with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Varna conditional on stopping “illegal violations” in the Cypriot economic zone. By Georgi Gotev EURACTIV Although the summit is informal and at 27, it was planned that Anastasiades would inform EU leaders of military activities by the Turkish navy aimed at discouraging Cyprus from offshore gas exploration activities. Speaking after ... Read More »

Dutch parliament recognizes 1915 Armenian ‘genocide’

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The Dutch parliament has voted to recognize the deaths of Armenians during World War I as genocide. The decision is likely to enrage Turkey amid already strained relations with the Netherlands Chase Winter (with AFP, dpa) DW The Dutch parliament has overwhelmingly voted to recognize the World War I massacre of Armenians as genocide, in a vote that may stoke further tensions with Turkey. Dutch lawmakers voted 142 to 3 “that parliament in no uncertain terms speak about the Armenian genocide.” ... Read More »

U.S. Moves to Halt Turkey’s Drift Toward Iran and Russia

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But Washington struggles to find a way to address Ankara’s chief grievance WASHINGTON—Five months ago, President Donald Trump hailed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a friend and said the two North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies had never been closer. By Dion Nissenbaum WSJ But Mr. Trump’s optimistic view masked a more complicated reality: Turkey quickly has become one of the Trump administration’s most vexing relationships. Relations between the two countries, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson conceded last week, are at a ... Read More »

Turkish genealogy database fascinates, frightens Turks

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During the days when Turkey still hoped to join the European Union, its people were becoming willing to question their ethnic and religious ancestry. Fehim Tastekin Al Monitor Since then, the country has reverted to a time when people were disgraced and denigrated, with the government’s blessings, as “crypto-Armenians.” Hrant Dink was the editor of the Armenian-language newspaper Agos in 2004 when he wrote that Sabiha Gokcen, the first female military pilot of the Turkish Republic, was of Armenian parentage. Because of this and other articles he penned, Dink found himself ... Read More »