Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

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UlanBatori
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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby UlanBatori » 17 Jan 2015 12:56

government immediately obtained a court injunction banning all reporting about the affair.


The key point. Sooo Pakistani. Turkey is today channeling US/Oiropean weapons to the Daeish-ITs. And anyone reporting on it is either "accidented" or mugged or now court-injunctioned.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Agnimitra » 17 Jan 2015 13:44

Will be interesting to watch how the 'split' between US-based Gulen and Erdogan plays out.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby vijaykarthik » 18 Jan 2015 16:06

Hakan Fidan will surely do it, wouldn't he?
Slimy snake

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rony » 05 Mar 2015 21:28

Turkey’s regional ambitions evaporate along with friendships

Erdogan embraces solitude but wonders why no one comes around any more

“We do not care about being alone in the world . . . What we care about is what our people think about us.” So said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkish president, as he flew back from a trip abroad. So much for Turkey’s ambitions to be a big power.

Only three years ago. Ahmet Davutoglu, then foreign minister and now prime minister, exulted in Turkey becoming the “master, leader and servant” of a new Middle East.

But the country’s ties with allies and neighbours alike have been strained — whether over Mr Erdogan’s personalised style of diplomacy, Ankara’s support for Islamists elsewhere or the knock-on effects of a feud between Islamic factions inside Turkey itself.

Ankara has no ambassadors in Egypt, Israel or Syria. Cairo is to abandon a valuable agreement to transport Turkish trucks to markets in Africa and the Gulf. Libya said last week Turkish companies would be excluded from state contracts, once a healthy source of revenue for the Turkish construction sector. Last month Turkey closed its embassy in Yemen after telling citizens to leave.

The UN security council is one measure of Turkey’s declining international fortunes: in 2008 it was triumphant about being elected to a seat, but it failed to replicate the achievement six years later.

One of the chief sources of tension in the Middle East is Ankara’s support for Egypt’s elected-then-ousted Islamist government and for the broader Muslim Brotherhood movement, which Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates denounce as a terrorist organisation.

A move towards reconciliation came this week when King Salman of Saudi Arabia greeted a visiting Mr Erdogan at Riyadh airport. But the rift on Egypt remains.

Tensions have spread across the Atlantic as well as the Gulf. Gone are the days — also in 2012 — when President Barack Obama named Mr Erdogan as one of five international leaders with whom he had “bonds of trust”.

It is not just that the state department has repeatedly expressed its concern for civil liberties in Mr Erdogan’s Turkey. James Clapper, the US intelligence chief, complained last week that Ankara had priorities other than tackling the jihadis of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — although Turkey, a Nato member, subsequently sent two aircraft carrying military equipment to Iraq for its push against Isis.

Mr Erdogan’s own rhetoric has become increasingly Islamist — at least in terms of pitting the Muslim world against the west. “They look like friends but they want us dead, they want to see our children dead,” he told a gathering of the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation last year.

While he prides himself on bolstering ties with Africa, here too not all is well. The president has been campaigning for other countries to crack down on schools, many in Africa, run by the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a former ally he accuses of plotting against him.

A few countries have closed Gulenist schools but several others have spoken out in their defence. Last week the African Union even announced a deal to co-operate with one of Mr Gulen’s main foundations. It shows how hard it is for the Turkish government to compete with Mr Gulen’s international network.

Turkey remains a strategically important state. Its long border with Syria makes the country an essential interlocutor for the west in the battle against Isis. Diplomats acknowledge his fiery rhetoric may primarily be intended for consumption by a pious political base.

Mr Erdogan himself appears puzzled by his country’s lack of friends. Last month, he said if Turkey appeared isolated it was because other leaders were jealous, although he did not say of what. “When Obama came to office we got along very well,” he added. “Afterwards things began to change and I don’t know why.”

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Agnimitra » 10 Apr 2015 10:08


arun
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 23 Apr 2015 21:27

Tomorrow will mark the passage of 100 years since the start of the genocide carried out by Mohammadden’s targeting fellow Abrahamic Christists in Armenia.

To mark this deplorable act of Mohammadden Genocide, CNN carried this report :

8 things to know about the mass killings of Armenians 100 years ago

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Agnimitra » 31 May 2015 04:56

X-post from Islamism & Islamophobia thread:

From Turkey, where the wave of Islamism succeeded in overwhelming the secularists, and then promptly split into two factions vying for totalalitarian power to create a "perfect" state -

Turkish religious thinker ponders future of Islam
In an article on Dec. 28, Gultekin went beyond the Erdogan-Gulen acrimony and raised a more basic question: Why have Muslims failed so spectacularly for 1,400 years to establish just, prosperous and peaceful societies? In the article, Gultekin challenged those Muslims who fall back on the tired excuse of “but this isn’t real Islam” when confronted with extremist groups such as the Taliban, al-Qaeda and the Islamic State. “Which one is real Islam?” he asked, and lamented how “as people’s religiosity increased [in recent years], so have their sinfulness.”

“So, do you think ascending to power has stained the Islamist movement?” I asked. Gultekin corrected me, saying, “Gaining power has not stained Islamism — it has destroyed Islamism. Islamism has nothing to give to society anymore because Islamists have nothing left to say.”

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Agnimitra » 26 Jun 2015 23:58

Tracking shifts in the leadership of anti-Jew ghazihood among the Islamic Master Races:

"One of Hamas's most dangerous operatives seems to have found a comfortable new home in Turkey (after things turned sour with Iran due to the Syria imbroglio)."

http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/12/08/ham ... lami-iran/

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Multatuli » 06 Jul 2015 16:11

Turks protesting against China attack Koreans 'by mistake'

Turkish nationalists protesting China's treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims attacked a group of Korean tourists in the heart of Istanbul's old city on Saturday, mistaking them for Chinese nationals.

Hundreds of angry protesters marched towards the Topkapi Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in a show of solidarity with the Turkic Uigurs, who complain of cultural and religious suppression under Chinese rule.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is the Greatest), they attacked some Koreans outside the Topkapi Palace, which is visited by thousands of tourists every day.

The tourists were rescued by riot police, who fired tear gas to disperse the attackers, members of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves closely affiliated with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Video footage by Dogan news agency showed a distraught Korean tourist telling reporters: "I'm not Chinese, I'm Korean."

http://news.yahoo.com/turks-protesting- ... 16278.html

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby arun » 21 Jul 2015 06:55

X Posted from the Islamism thread.

Suicide bombing conducted by suspected member of Mohammadden Terrorist group Islamic State aka IS aka ISIL kills 31 in Turkey.

Turkey is finding out the hard way that playing “tactically brilliant” game of fomenting Mohammadden Terrorism to attack neighbouring countries, like their close brotherly allies the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, comes at the high cost of blow back. On Turkey playing footsie with ISIL : The latest sign Turkey may still be playing a double game with ISIS. Turkey should take heed of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clintons advise to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ““You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in their backyard”.

Is this the first Green on Green Intra-Mohammadden suicide bombing since the end of the Mohammadden holy month of Ramadan which witnessed wholesale violence? Rather difficult to keep track with the steady drumbeat of Mohammadden religion instigated violence taking place in recent times:

Suicide bomber kills 31 in Turkey blast

arun
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 21 Jul 2015 06:58

X Posted from the Islamism thread.

Suicide bombing conducted by suspected member of Mohammadden Terrorist group Islamic State aka IS aka ISIL kills 31 in Turkey.

Turkey is finding out the hard way that playing “tactically brilliant” game of fomenting Mohammadden Terrorism to attack neighbouring countries, like their close brotherly allies the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, comes at the high cost of blow back. On Turkey playing footsie with ISIL : The latest sign Turkey may still be playing a double game with ISIS. Turkey should take heed of former US Secretary of State Hillary Clintons advise to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, ““You can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbours. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in their backyard”.

Is this the first Green on Green Intra-Mohammadden suicide bombing since the end of the Mohammadden holy month of Ramadan which witnessed wholesale violence? Rather difficult to keep track with the steady drumbeat of Mohammadden religion instigated violence taking place in recent times:

Suicide bomber kills 31 in Turkey blast

deejay
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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby deejay » 21 Jul 2015 09:01

^^^ I read a tweet from Tarek Fateh that this could be (Erodogan?) sponsored attack on Turkish Kurds and not some ISIS attack on the Turks.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby vijaykarthik » 24 Jul 2015 15:11

pretty much debunks the theory that Turkey overtly supports IS.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-33646314

So US can use Incirlik airbase to launch attacks against IS afterall. And Turkey has started strikes against IS inside Syria. Interesting devs both.

So it leaves the Suruc attacks as either an IS attack or a Kurd attack to push Turkey [or a false flag opn by the Coalition of the billing to push turkey?]

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 26 Jul 2015 11:38

X Posted from the “West Asia News and Discussions” thread.

Today’s papers carry news of Turkey and Saudi Arabia bombing insurgents.

Mohammadden majority countries it seems have little inhibition in applying disproportionate and relatively indiscriminate force by use of weapons with a good prospect of collateral damage when it comes to anti-insurgency operations that involve fellow Mohammaddens. For a religion whose adherents go to great lengths to claim that theirs is “The Religion of Peace” this is indeed strange. Off course countries whose majority population follows the other two Abrahamic religions, namely Israel / Judaism and the US / Christism, also seem to have little inhibition in doing the same thing though it must be said that they do not target co-relgionists nor tout, anywhere close to the same degree as do Mohammaddens, that theirs is the ”Religion of Peace”.

Another thing to note is that Mohammadden majority countries seem to think nothing of violating the territorial integrity of other Mohammadden countries. Turkeys counter insurgency operations violated territory of Syria and Iraq while Saudi Arabia violated that of Yemen.

Hope our Ministry of External Affairs have taken note of this fact to mute the inevitable criticism from some Mohammadden majority countries when India opts to do the same in order to counter Mohammadden Terrorism:

Turkish Air Force Strikes Kurds In Iraq, Islamic State In Syria

Saudi-led airstrikes kill 120; deadliest in Yemen conflict

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Lalmohan » 29 Jul 2015 10:41

There is far too much blurring between anti-Assad groups secular and Islamist - Turkey has indeed been raising snakes in its back yard

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Rony » 29 Jul 2015 22:48

Ozdemir is Turkish born German Green party politician

Özdemir warns of 'Mini-Pakistan' in Turkey as Germany sharpens travel advisory

The co-chair of the Green party in Germany's Bundestag, Cem Özdemir, issued strong words Wednesday against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying Turkey would be "plunged into chaos" under his leadership.

His comments followed Turkey's retaliation against attacks on its soil by launching airstrikes against the "Islamic State" ("IS") militant group in Syria, but also against the minority Kurdish militiant group PKK's headquarters in northern Iraq. A peace process to end some 30 years of deadly violence between the outlawed PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) and the Turkish government, which had been underway since 2013, was called off by Erdogan this week.

"We cannot look away when a country, which until yesterday wanted to join the EU, is transforming under Erdogan into a mini-Pakistan with an authoritarian ruler, right on the European border," Özdemir, who was the first person of Turkish heritage to become a member of Germany's parliament back in the 1990s, told the "Passauer Neuen Presse" newspaper.

According to Özdemir, the long-time Turkish leader had been turning a blind eye to "Islamic State" and Turkey's actions against the group were merely symbolic.

"It's to deceive us in the West. Hardly any positions from ISIS are being attacked and relatively few ISIS supporters have been arrested," he said,
using an alternative name for IS.

Travelers urged to be vigilant

Meanwhile, the German government has warned its citizens of an increased risk of terror attacks in Turkey, especially in the city of Istanbul, in the wake of Ankara's assault. The foreign office has updated its advice to citizens planning to travel there and is urging them to monitor the situation carefully.

"There could be increased attack activity by the PKK," the foreign ministry said in a statement on its website.
"Beyond that there are indications of possible attacks on the underground rail network and bus stops in Istanbul," the ministry added.

Data from Turkey's tourism ministry, released Wednesday, showed the number of foreign visitors fell by 2.25 percent during the first six months of this year, news agency Reuters reported. During that time 14.89 million people visited Turkey.

Germany is a NATO partner of Turkey and home to about 3 million people of Turkish origin.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Agnimitra » 29 Aug 2015 14:19

Bangkok blasts suspect is reported to be Turkish.

kit
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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby kit » 29 Aug 2015 20:12

Quite possible that Turkish intelligence agencies are comrades in arms with the ISI !

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Tuan » 29 Aug 2015 22:01

Turkey Launches First Airstrikes Against Islamic State As Part Of US-Led Coalition
http://www.ibtimes.com/isis-airstrikes- ... us-2074023

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Tuvaluan » 30 Aug 2015 09:27

The turkey strikes against IS are a complete sham. IS flags openly fly in turkish cities and we are supposed to believe the turkish govt. is actually bombing IS? effing farce.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Multatuli » 07 Sep 2015 01:47

Several Turkish soldiers killed in major PKK attack

Ankara (AFP) - Several Turkish soldiers were killed on Sunday in a major attack in southeastern Hakkari province suspected to have been carried out by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, reports said.

There was no immediate official casualty toll but in a sign of the gravity of the situation Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu broke off a trip to Konya to watch a national football game and summoned an emergency security meeting in Ankara, the official Anatolia agency said.

...

The PKK claimed the attack as an "act of sabotage", in a statement on the website of its military wing, the People's Defence Forces (HPG).

The group -- which is known for on occasion exaggerating tolls of the security forces -- said 15 Turkish soldiers had been killed.

http://news.yahoo.com/several-turkish-s ... 54166.html


Turkish PM slams refugee policy of 'Christian fortress Europe'

Berlin (AFP) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu on Sunday criticised the "ridiculously small" share of refugees the EU is accepting, labelling the continent the "Christian fortress Europe."

Turkey had taken more than two million people alone from war-torn Syria and Iraq, creating "a buffer zone between the chaos and Europe," Davutoglu wrote for Monday's edition of Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

He criticised as low the financial contribution the EU had made in support of Turkey's effort, according to excerpts pre-released in German by the conservative newspaper Sunday.

There seemed to be the "convenient reflex" to load the refugee problems on the shoulders of Turkey and to build a "Christian fortress Europe," he wrote.

Such an approach contradicted European values, and Turkey as an EU candidate nation could not imagine it had the support of majority of Europeans, wrote the prime minister.

For Europe, it was time to finally act collectively on immigration, he added, saying that Turkey was ready for a coordinated cooperation with "our European partners."

http://news.yahoo.com/turkish-pm-slams- ... 33869.html

sanjaykumar
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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby sanjaykumar » 07 Sep 2015 04:15

I suppose he is satisfied with the generosity of the umma.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Multatuli » 07 Sep 2015 17:54

A Dutch newspaper reports that PKK attacks killed 31 people on Sunday, 6th of September. One of the dead was a colonel. Turkish armed forces admit 16 dead. Attacks were close to the border with Iraq in Hakkari province. The Turkish air force attacked 13 PKK positions and they also deployed commando's.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby ramana » 10 Sep 2015 04:14

X-post...
Tuan wrote:Surprise, surprise: Egypt is now arming Assad Regime:

https://now.mmedia.me/lb/en/NewsReports ... ria-regime

Retired general: Egypt arming Syria regime
Rebels have claimed the Syrian army is shelling Zabadani with Egyptian-manufactured missiles.



and

{quote="SSridhar"}An IDSA Commentary

Turkey, IS, US, Syria - K.P. Fabian

There is a sudden and dramatic change in Turkey’s policy towards the Islamic State (IS). For long, Turkey has permitted, and even facilitated, the flow of young men and women from various countries to Syria to join the IS. It has bought oil from the IS and even permitted the shipment of arms into Syria meant for the IS. But, on July 24, Turkey started bombing IS targets in Syria and agreed to the pending US request for use of the Incirlik air base for bombing operations against the IS.

What is the reason for Turkey’s change of policy and what might be the calculations behind it?
The official explanation, endorsed by the majority of the Turkish media, is that the July 20 attack carried out by an IS suicide bomber in Suruc, a town hardly 10 kms from the Syrian border, resulting in the death of 33 with over a 100 wounded, left Turkey with no choice but to hit back at the IS. The victims of the attack were young Kurds whom both Turkey and IS hate for different reasons. In Turkey’s view, Kurdish youth support autonomy/independence for their people. For its part, the IS viewed the youth assembled at the centre as planning to help re-construct Kobane, a town in Iraqi Kurdistan which the Kurdish fighters recently prevented the IS from capturing.

While a majority of the Turkish media and even the international media have concluded that the young man who carried out the attack was sent by the IS, there are reasons to suspend judgment until more evidence comes in. The Turkish government interrupted the Twitter service temporarily and forbade publication of photos or videos of the attack for a while. IS, normally prompt in acknowledging and boasting about such operations, has not yet made any claim for the attack. Some observers in Turkey believe that Turkish intelligence might have been behind the attack.

Apart from a change in policy towards IS, there was change in Turkish policy towards the PKK (Partiya Karkeren Kurdistan, Kurdistan Workers Party) as well. PKK, founded in 1978 by Abdullah Ocalan, has conducted, since its inception but with interruptions from time to time, an armed struggle in Turkey seeking autonomy/independence for the Kurds. There are 14.5 million Kurds in Turkey according to the CIA Fact Book. In fact, Turkey accounts for 50 per cent of Kurds in the region, with Iran and Iraq accounting for six million each and Syria for two million. (Population figures for Kurds are much contested and the CIA estimates might be reliable.) Ocalan has been in jail since 1999. He was apprehended while on a visit to Nairobi. Kenya, under pressure from the US, extradited him to Turkey. Ocalan was tried and sentenced to death but, in order to qualify for EU membership, Turkey abolished the death penalty. Turkey has been conducting negotiations with Ocalan and in March 2013 Ocalan announced the end of the armed struggle, a cease fire, and peace talks.

That was the time Prime Minister Erdogan was preparing the country for his candidature in the 2014 Presidential election. The agreement with Ocalan helped project Erdogan as a leader with vision who can put an end to the Kurdish revolt, which has cost about 40,000 lives. Erdogan won the 2014 election in the first round itself with 51.79 per cent of votes. But the parliamentary election in June 2015 upset Erdogan’s plans for changing the law to enhance the powers of the presidency. His Justice and Development Party (AKP, Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) lost its majority for the first time since 2002, winning only 258 out of the total of 550 seats. Subsequently, the AKP also found to its chagrin that other parties were not keen to form a coalition government with it. There was one more reason for Erdogan to be upset with the parliamentary election result. HDP (Halkarin Demokratik Partisi, People’s Democratic Party), which advocates reconciliation with Kurds and supports their aspirations for equal treatment, won 80 seats. Till now afraid of falling below the qualifying threshold of 10 per cent of the popular vote, the party had put up only independents. But this time it gained 13 per cent of the popular vote.

With the AKP finding itself in a difficult situation, Erdogan concluded that it was necessary to change the country’s political situation. He wanted to create a situation where other parties might feel compelled to join an AKP-led coalition in view of the perceived threat to national security from IS and PKK. If f that does not work out, fresh elections can be called, thus making it possible for the AKP to win a proper majority. As of now, AKP’s efforts to form a coalition have not succeeded and Turkey might have fresh elections. Erdogan's hope of winning a majority for his party might or might not be realized.

Immediately after the Suruc attack, tension mounted between the government and PKK, leading to violent incidents. On July 24 Turkey started bombing not only IS but also PKK targets in Iraq. In fact, there have been more strikes on PKK than on IS. Turkey has proposed, and the US appears to have agreed to, the establishment of a ‘safe zone’ about 60 km long and 40 km wide in Syria near the border with Turkey. This has been a Turkish proposal for a long time. Turkey has said that it could transfer the 1.7 million Syrian refugees in its territory to this zone. The proposed zone is now controlled mainly by the IS and the YPG (Yekineyen Parastina Gel, People’s Protection Force) – an affiliate of PKK. Turkey is worried that an independent or autonomous Kurdistan in Syria will embolden the Kurds in Turkey and that eventually an autonomous or independent Kurdistan would be formed within its territory as well. The ‘safe zone’ idea is a work in progress and we cannot say what shape it might assume or even whether it will materialise. Incidentally, Jordan with 625,000 refugees from Syria, has been signalling that it might establish a similar zone in the south along the Syrian border. The only difference is that Jordan might do so in consultation with President Assad.

This brings us to the question of Assad’s diminishing hold on Syria. According to some reasonably reliable estimates, he holds only one-sixth of Syria. For months, he has been losing territory and facing manpower shortages. In a televised interview on July 26, Assad admitted that it might be necessary to pull out from some territories that are difficult to hold and concentrate available military power to tightly hold the Damascus-Homs-Hama-Latakia coastal belt. As of now, IS holds half of Syrian territory, though much of it is desert. The rest is held by the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra, the Kurds, the ‘moderates’ fighting Assad, and others. In short, Syria no longer exists; it is already dismembered into a number of fiefdoms.

How long will the IS last? On September 10, 2014, President Obama said “We Will Degrade and Ultimately Destroy ISIL”. As a matter of fact, IS has been hardly ‘degraded’ and the bombings carried out by the US and its allies for nearly a year have not seriously crippled it. General Robert Neller, head of operations against IS, has told the Senate Armed Forces Committee that there is a “stalemate’ in the war between US and IS. US plans for training 5,000 Syrians to fight against Assad, announced a year ago, have failed miserably. So far only 60 Syrians are being trained. :rotfl:

Turkey’s new policy will make it difficult for IS to get new recruits, but it claims to now have 20,000 fighters from 100 countries. There might be a degree of exaggeration for propaganda purposes in the claim. But the fact remains that IS has attracted thousands of young people from all over the world already, and with the closure of the Turkish border those who want to leave might find it difficult or impossible to do so. IS treats women mainly as sexual objects and its strict imposition of the Sharia will alienate many, if such alienation has not already taken place. But IS leaders are dedicated to their cause and are prepared to die for it. There is no possibility of sending a sufficiently large ground troop contingent as of now and air action can only inflict damage but not bring down the regime. Meanwhile, IS has started acting like a state by issuing fishing licenses and identity cards. As of now, it is not possible to determine the life-expectancy of IS.

For its part, a virtually dismembered Syria might see a cease-fire agreed to by the exhausted, if the external powers pumping in money, weapons, and fighters come to the conclusion that there is a real stalemate. In any case, sooner or later, sooner rather than later, the external donors fuelling the conflict – Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Russia and US, to mention only the more prominent – will have to sit down and talk with or without the UN as a facilitator.

{/quote}

and


SSridhar wrote:Full interview with the Syrian Ambassador to India
Turkey knows better how many Indians have joined IS: Syrian envoy - The Hindu

Four years of civil war has turned Syria into a humanitarian tragedy. Tens of thousands of Syrians have lost their lives and millions have been rendered refugees. The chaos created by the war has helped the rise of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State. In an interview with The Hindu, Riad Kamel Abbas, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s envoy to India, speaks of the war, the growing Indian presence in the terror groups in Syria and the war-torn country’s future.

Q: Two years ago, your remarks that Indian jihadists were fighting in Syria had triggered a controversy. But now, government officials say several Indians have joined the Islamic State [IS] in Syria and Iraq. How many Indians, according to your government, are estimated to have gone to Syria to join the war?

Riad Kamel Abbas: I had this information from different sources in my personal capacity. It had nothing to do with the official channel. I said about it then because I wanted India to be more cautious. It saddens me now when reports come out about increasing Indian presence in the Syrian war. Now the Indian intelligence and India’s home ministry are in touch with their counterparts in Syria. They are already coordinating to tackle this challenge. We are exchanging available information with the Indian side, and the Indian government will take care of it. We don’t know exactly how many Indians are there. Because some people are going there from India and some are going from the Gulf states who were brainwashed by certain groups. If you want exact numbers, you can check with the Turkish government. They will know it better than us. Turkey has kept its border open for militants to cross into Syria; they have set up infrastructure for the terrorists; and they are sheltering and arming them. And some Indians held while trying to enter Syria have confessed to Indian authorities that they went to the Turkish border to cross the border into Syria.

Q: Though India has raised concerns about the humanitarian situation in Syria, it hasn't joined the 'regime change' outcry. How do you look at India's Syria policy?

Riad Kamel Abbas:We highly appreciate the Indian position. Frankly speaking, I have already said this that if everybody has done what India has done, we wouldn’t have any problem in Syria. India adheres to the UN Charter. It’s a champion of the principle that there should not be any external interference in the internal affairs of a country. And Mr. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi has made it very clear that there’s no bad terrorism and good terrorism. There’s only terrorism. We should all join hands together to fight terrorism.

Q: Are you suggesting that India has to join the war against the IS?

Riad Kamel Abbas:It’s India’s sovereign decision to take whether they should join the fight against terrorism or not. And India should take a position on those countries supporting and sponsoring terrorism as well.

Q: How, in your view, IS became such a powerful terror group within a few years?

Riad Kamel Abbas:Tell me who created al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and why? It’s very clear that the Americans created al Qaeda with the support of some of the Arab Gulf countries because they wanted to defeat the Soviet Union in Afghanistan {He carefully omits the biggest of them all, Pakistan. Anyway, that is besides the point here}. When the Americans invaded Afghanistan, they had lots of coffins going back home. After years of war, they have realised that there’s no point in using any soldier in the ground. So it’s better to support and sponsor some kind of terrorist organisation who can do the dirty job in other countries. And that’s how IS was created. The Saudis, Qataris and Turks also supported this move. The IS is very strong now. Why they are strong? Because they are getting external support. My personal view in this matter is that the [b]Americans are not serious about fighting IS. They don’t want to defeat them, they just want to contain them. When the IS started attacking Erbil in the Iraqi Kurdistan, the Americans immediately drew a redline and they didn’t let them cross. And then IS expanded towards the Western parts of Syria.[/b]

[Editor’s note: Iraqi Kurdistan is an ally of the U.S. America has a fully-functional consulate in Erbil]

Q: In the recent conflicts, the government forces in Syria seem to have suffered some setbacks. Is President Assad losing the war?

Riad Kamel Abbas:This is a war. There are battles you win and you lose. The war is not over yet. You lose some ground in certain battles to win bigger ones. There are people from around 100 countries all across the world fighting in Syria today. There are 1,50,000 mercenaries inside our country. So the Syrian government has made a strategy that that it would retain control over the most populated and strategic areas. The mercenaries control parts of Syria which are less-populated. In every war, there’s winning and losing. But in this war, we can assure you that there’s no geographical area the IS is totally in control. The Syrian government can enter any place they want to and they can finish the war once there’s an international will to support the government and fight against terrorism. [b]The reality is that nobody is fighting the IS but the Syrian Army.[/b]

Q: How do you look at Turkey’s recent declaration of war against IS?

Riad Kamel Abbas:It’s a game plan. And it’s for the public consumption. There are more than 10,000 Turkish nationals fighting alongside the IS in Syria. Among them are some officers of the Turkish Army. We know it and some of them are getting killed in Syria. We have evidence for Turkey’s involvement. When the IS took members of the Turkish consulate in Mosul [Iraq], all of them were released immediately. None of them were harmed. That indicates that there’s collaboration between the IS terrorist organisation and the government of [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan [Turkey’s President]. Because of the international pressure, and as Turkey’s role in helping IS is now more open, the Erdogan government is coming up with a pretext of fighting the IS. But they are actually fighting the Kurdish people.

Q: More [then] 2 lakh people are estimated to have been killed since the outbreak of the crisis in 2011. At least 4 million Syrians have been displaced. How do you look at this humanitarian situation?

Riad Kamel Abbas:We have noticed that the Syrian humanitarian crisis is of such a large scale. And it has attracted the attention of the international community. And India has also taken steps to help the Syrian people. We expect most of the international community to come forward and help the Syrian people in this regard. The main objective of Syria’s enemies from day one of the crisis was regime change and destabilisation of the country. That’s why we have this humanitarian situation now. We have lost several people in the war. Many people are losing their lives because they are being subjected to ethnic cleansing by terrorist groups.

Q: What solution do you think can be found for the Syrian crisis? What’s the future of the country?

Riad Kamel Abbas:This is what our President said from the beginning of the crisis. The real solution can be found by the Syrian people themselves. They can sit down across the table to find a political solution to the crisis, and there’s no need for arms, killings and fighting. Now there’s a clear line has been drawn in Syria. On the one side, there’s the government of Syria and on the other side there are two terrorist organisations—IS and Al Nusra Front. So for the people for Syria, they have the choice of joining either with the government and find a solution or join the terrorist organisations and destroy the country. The solution is very simple. Stop arming the mercenaries, close the borders and there should be an international will to fight terrorism. Unless and until you close the border and remove the terror infrastructure, you can’t defeat them. So you must put pressure on those countries supporting and sponsoring terrorism, specially Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These countries should immediately be stopped from funding, arming and training terrorists. Five years ago, Syria was the most stable country in the most turbulent region in the world. It had been so for decades. In Moscow, the Saudi Foreign Minister [Adel al-Jubeir] recently said President Assad is not part the solution. In some sense he’s right. President Assad is not just part of the solution. He’s the solution. There’s no solution to the current Syrian crisis without the current president and the government.


Erdogan Turkey wants Syria as first step to become relevant in West Asia.

They latched on to the KSA-Qatar project to overthrow Assad.
While ostensibly its a Sunni move to contain Shia Iran, Erdogan Turkey sees it as a stepping stone to re-establish Grand Turk.

Loss of Syria was a grievous hurt of Ottomans.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Multatuli » 13 Sep 2015 22:37

Turkey lifts nine-day curfew in Cizre revealing devastation caused during massive military operation against suspected Kurdish rebels

Turkey has lifted a nine-day curfew in the southeastern city of Cizre, revealing the devastating damage sustained during a massive military operation against suspected Kurdish rebels.

Dozens of civilians are thought to have been killed, several buildings were destroyed and others pock-marked with bullet holes during the curfew, which was imposed late on September 4.

People were being allowed to move in and out of the city today despite continued army checks at roadblocks, said the correspondent who entered the city after the restriction was lifted at 7:00 am (0400 GMT).

...

During the curfew, outsiders had not been allowed to enter in what Kurdish activists termed a blockade akin to Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip.

'There is no water, electricity and our provisions are running out,' Guler added, saying that even the call to prayer had stopped for the duration of the curfew.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ebels.html

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Multatuli » 21 Sep 2015 23:45

Syrian refugee count nears 2 million in Turkey, down in Iraq, Lebanon

The numbers of Syrian refugees in Iraq and Lebanon fell in August, while the number in Turkey has risen to almost 2 million and asylum applications in Europe have leapt, the U.N. refugee agency said.

The Syrian refugee count in Turkey has jumped by more than 200,000 since June, having risen by just 14,000 in the previous three months, UNHCR spokeswoman Selin Unal said.

From Turkey, tens of thousands of refugees try to reach Europe by attempting the short sea crossing to Greece, though many have drowned on the way.

Unal said Turkish authorities were trying to stop people reaching Europe. Syrians who were found making their way through Turkey were stopped and registered as refugees.

However, she said it was impossible to say that the spike in refugee numbers in Turkey was due to people moving towards Europe. It could have been caused by Syrians who had been in Turkey for some time deciding to register as refugees.

In Lebanon, a recount of refugee numbers last month removed almost 60,000 from the tally of Syrians there, taking the total down to 1,113,941.

In Iraq, the decline in the numbers was small -- 3,747 left while 3,151 arrived during August -- leaving the population of Syrian refugees at 249,463. But any fall in refugee numbers is unusual because of the relentless outflow from Syria, where the war shows no sign of stopping after more than four years.

Unlike Lebanon and Jordan, which have effectively closed their borders to new Syrian refugees, Iraq is still open to those fleeing from Islamic State or fighting between the government and opposing armed groups.

Read further: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/ ... 0M20150915

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby ramana » 22 Sep 2015 22:32

I saw a few Syrian children in Istanbul begging on the streets. The Taxicab driver was very vehement about Syrian refugees ruining Turkey.

Considering Turkey contributed a lot to the Syrian misery by supporting Al Nusra and ISIS, I felt it was too rich!!!

I gave quite a few Turkish Lira to a group of Syrian refugees kids.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Abhay_S » 09 Oct 2015 23:15

Pakistanisation of Turkey

http://crss.pk/story/pakistanisation-of-turkey/


Will the Syrian crisis and two million refugees have the same impact on Turkey as the Afghan jihad and the refugee exodus from Afghanistan had on Pakistan? This question has started doing the rounds among Turk intellectuals and political analysts.

But first let’s look at the context that has triggered this question. This relates to what the ruling Justice Party has ‘achieved’ since it took over in 2002. Based on discussions with local intellectuals, former diplomats and army officials, one can safely conclude that — as of now — Turkey is no longer the secular and democratic country that it was when the Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP swept into power, promising economic and political stability. It delivered on the promise, stabilised the economy, raising Turkey’s per capita income to above $14,000, helped boost foreign direct investment to over $13 billion in 2014, with six million new jobs created since 2009.

But what has been scary for most rivals and the civil society is the authoritarianism with religious trappings that has accompanied the economic development. Most Turk intellectuals think the AKP has emasculated the bureaucracy, judiciary and the media. It has also attempted to tinker with Turkey’s fundamental identity through administrative changes and a greater religio-centric policy. Today, Turkey has over 85,000 active mosques, one for every 350 citizens — compared to one hospital for every 60,000 citizens — the highest number per capita in the world. With 90,000 imams, there are more imams than doctors or teachers in the country. It has thousands of madrassa-like schools and around 4,000 more official state-run religious schools, not counting the unofficial religious schools, which may expand the total number tenfold. According tohttp://www.meforum.org/2045/fethullah ... n,spending by the governmental Directorate of Religious Affairs grew fivefold, from 553 trillion Turkish lira in 2002 to 2.7 quadrillion Turkish lira during the first four-and-a-half years of the AKP government. This ministry has a larger budget than eight other ministries combined. Erdogan and his party have increasingly projected a predominantly religious argument even when discussing issues such as the alleged Iranian role in Yemen and Syria.

On the foreign policy front, Erdogan has turned Turkey away from Europe and towards Russia and Iran, and reoriented the country’s policy in the Middle East more towards friendship with Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria. Anti-American, anti-Christian and anti-Semitic sentiments have increased. This also explains why the Turkish government leapt in support of all the anti-Bashar al-Assad forces a few years ago. This support included Turkish money and weapons for the artificially created rebels who eventually morphed from al Qaeda into the al Nusra Front and then into the Islamic State (IS) — the unwanted consequence of the desire to sweep away Assad from power.

Now , with the IS intimidating all and sundry and the Turkish government worried about the two million Syrian refugees, intellectuals and political opposition wonder and worry about the consequences of a policy that flowed more from a religious world view than from a pragmatic secular handling of the anti-Assad campaigners.

Quite ironically, many liberal Turk intellectuals have coined the phrase “Pakistanisation of Turkey” when discussing the fallout from the Syrian crisis. They are afraid that a protracted civil war in Syria could invariably result in the scourges of sectarianism, crime, terrorism and religious militancy — all ills that they think plague Pakistan because of its involvement with and proximity to Afghanistan, which continues to reel from two foreign interventions (anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s, and the questionable war on terror starting in 2001) — become all too prevalent in Turkey. At the heart of all this was the deployment of religion as a foreign policy tool (by the US and General Ziaul Haq) and unqualified support for non-state actors.

How can a country that has seen increased religiosity since 2002 stay unaffected by the consequences of using religion as a political ideology? Using Pakistan’s troubles since the early 1980s as a metaphor for internal instability, the Turk intelligentsia is fearful that their country could also face similar socio-political upheaval if their government continues to handle issues with religious/sectarian tools. Even the ongoing fight against Kurdish separatists is coloured by religion. In addition, Erdogan declared 311 miners killed in the worst-ever coal mine accident in May 2014 in Soma, Manisa as martyrs to cover up administrative lapses. Instead of launching investigations, the government sent dozens of imams to the area to comfort the affected families.

It will be interesting tosee if the Syrian crisis affects Turkey the way the Afghan crisis impacted Pakistan.

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby Ashok Sarraff » 10 Oct 2015 14:45


arun
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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby arun » 11 Oct 2015 07:34

^^^ X Posted from the Islamism thread.

Death toll has climbed to 95.

Notwithstanding the involvement of pro-Kurdish elements in the rally, given that Turkey is an overwhelmingly Mohammadden country and the modus operandi of this attack, namely use of suicide bombers, I will not at all be surprised that this attack in Ankara will be revealed to be an act of Mohammadden terrorism:

At least 95 killed in twin blast in Turkey's Ankara ahead of peace rally

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 11 Oct 2015 07:36

X Posted from the Islamism thread.

Notwithstanding the involvement of pro-Kurdish elements in the rally, given that Turkey is an overwhelmingly Mohammadden country and the modus operandi of this attack, namely use of suicide bombers, I will not at all be surprised that this attack in Ankara will be revealed to be an act of Mohammadden terrorism:

At least 95 killed in twin blast in Turkey's Ankara ahead of peace rally

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 11 Oct 2015 07:38

Mods,

Do we need 2 threads on Turkey?

This one and Monitoring Turkey

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Re: Monitoring Turkey

Postby arun » 11 Oct 2015 07:46

Mods,

Do we need 2 threads on Turkey?

This one and Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby ramana » 13 Oct 2015 23:57

X_post....
Shanu wrote:
ramana wrote:I think we will soon add Turkey to the Levant crisis.

Erdogan is now reaping the whirlwind that he sowed.
Very Biblical!!!


Very timely post indeed, Sir. Came across this report from the Atlantic. read on to have a little more clarity on the coming Turkish whirlwind.

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/turkey-ankara-bombing-kurds/410299/

Snapshot..
Today, the conflicts roiling Turkish society include:

The Justice and Development Party (AKP) vs. the Republican People’s Party (CHP);
The AKP vs. the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP);
The AKP vs. the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP);
The AKP vs. the Gulenists;
The HDP vs. the PKK;
Everyone vs. the PKK;
The MHP vs. the HDP;
Everyone vs. the self-proclaimed Islamic State (though there are persistent questions about the government’s position on this group and other extremists); and
Alevi Muslims vs. orthodox Sunni Muslims.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2015 09:41

Will Turkey elect a new Ottoman "Sultan" Erdogan on Sunday? The would-be Sultan has already built for himself the grandest palace of any current potentate,rivaling the excesses of one N.Ceausescu,the late Romanian dictator,who came to an ugly end after being overthrown by the people.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world ... 11106.html
Turkey election: Could bitterly divided nation be only a few steps away from a dictatorship?
Fears that if President Erdogan wins a simple majority of 276 seats in the 550-seat parliament, he will establish an authoritarian presidential system

Patrick Cockburn Turkey

Supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP at a rally in Istanbul in the run-up to the Turkish general election which takes place on Sunday Getty Images

Turkey goes to the polls on Sunday in a parliamentary election that threatens to increase polarisation in a country that is already deeply divided.

At stake is the extent to which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), which has ruled Turkey since 2002, can establish one-party rule and near monopoly of political power.

The election is still in the balance, but inside Turkey the campaign has widened the fault lines between Kurds and Turks, secular and Islamic, Sunni majority and Alevi minority. Abroad, the results may determine the degree to which Turkey becomes further embroiled in the civil war in Syria and Iraq.

Turkey's President Erdogan vows to confront Kurdish militants

Many people have put decisions on hold until they know the outcome of the election. Ersin Umut Guler, an actor and theatre director, is waiting to see if it will reduce political tensions, allowing him to bring back the body of his brother Aziz to Turkey from northern Syria where he was killed fighting Isis on 21 September when he stepped on a mine.

The Turkish authorities refused to allow Aziz’s remains to be brought across the Syrian-Turkish border because it denounces the Kurdish opponents of Isis in Syria as “terrorists” linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) against whom it has been fighting a guerrilla war since 1984.

“It is like something out of Antigone [who was forbidden to bury the body of her brother killed in battle],” says Mr Guler. “It is an arbitrary decision taken because Turkey’s war with the PKK has started again and they are not allowing any of the bodies back from the Syrian border.” He points out that Aziz was a Turkish citizen and had gone to fight Isis as a member of a socialist group and was not a member of the PKK. Aziz’s father has gone to Syria and is refusing to return to Turkey until he can bring his son’s body with him.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeals to voters who crave stability, but the election has unleashed divisive forces (AP)

The four-and-a-half-month siege of Kobani and the aftermath of the last general election, on 7 June, have both served to reignite armed conflict between the Turkish state and the Kurdish minority.

Ankara has been appalled to see the rise of a de facto Kurdish statelet in northern Syria and is accused by Kurds of favouring the Isis attack on it.
Read more

Erdogan shames EU with Turkish stance on Syrian refugees
Erdogan's double-edged war brings accusations of electioneering
Erdogan licks his wounds while Kurds hope peace process will resume
The beginning of the end? Turkish president Erdoğan's worst moments
Recep Erdogan profile: The President of Turkey... who would be sultan

This has alienated conservative and religious Turkish Kurds, who had previously voted for the AKP but switched to the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic party (HDP) in the last election. This enabled the party to exceed the 10 per cent of the vote requirement to win representation in parliament and robbed Mr Erdogan and the AKP of their majority for the first time in 13 years.

Relations between the government and the Kurds deteriorated rapidly as Mr Erdogan and AKP leaders repeatedly accused the HDP, which favours a ceasefire, of being a cat’s paw of the PKK.

On 20 July an Isis suicide bomber at Suruc killed 32 young socialists on their way to aid reconstruction at Kobani. After two Turkish policemen were killed in retaliation, the Turkish army and air force resumed attacks on the PKK in south-east Turkey and Iraq.

On 10 October another Isis suicide bombing killed 102 people demonstrating for peace in Ankara in Turkey’s worst terrorist attack. Opposition parties accuse the authorities of not defending them against Isis and have cancelled all pre-election rallies.

The election campaign has been extraordinarily violent with demonstrators attacking HDP offices and opposition newspapers. Murat Yetkin, a leading journalist on the liberal and secular daily Hurriyet, recalls how mobs twice attacked the office of his newspaper in September, smashing all the windows. A columnist was later assaulted and had his nose and ribs broken.

This week workers were constructing sturdier defences in the forecourt of the building, but there is a sense that all institutions critical of Mr Erdogan are under permanent siege.

Mr Yetkin says that polarisation in Turkey is at its zenith with a danger that, if Mr Erdogan wins a simple majority of 276 seats in the 550-seat parliament (the AKP currently has 258 seats), then he will establish an authoritarian presidential system.

Polls show that the four main political parties’ share of the vote has not changed much since the last election in June, with the AKP hovering at just over 40 per cent. This puts it within a few seats of an absolute majority, failing which it might seek a coalition with the more secular Republican People’s Party (CHP) or the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

But Mr Erdogan has never shown any liking for coalitions or for diluting his own power.

His chances of success may be greater than they look because so many institutions and centres of power, such as the army, judiciary and much of the media, have been tamed and brought under his control.

Tempers flare at a protest against the Turkish government's crackdown on media outlets, in Istanbul (Getty)

Only this week in Ankara, police forced their way into the headquarters of the Koza-Ipek Holding company, which owns two newspapers and two television channels, to enforce a court order appointing a panel of trustees.

The AKP has an overwhelming advantage when it comes to campaigning and influencing the electorate. A survey of the state-owned TV channels shows that, over the past 25 days, they have given 30 hours of coverage to the AKP and 29 hours to Mr Erdogan’s activities, while the CHP received five hours, the MHP one hour and 10 minutes, and the HDP 18 minutes.

Mr Erdogan may also benefit from a sense among many voters that the AKP represents stability, even if it involves a shift towards dictatorship, and all the other alternatives mean economically damaging instability and uncertainty.

The Turkish economy no longer produces the spectacular growth seen up to 2012. Well-educated graduates are finding it difficult to get a job or, when they lose their job, to find a new one.

Dilsah Deniz, a woman in her twenties with a degree in international relations, used to work as a manager in a company making weapons, but the sharp decline in the value of the Turkish currency over the past year meant that it could no longer afford to buy raw materials in Europe. Its two factories closed, she lost her job and has been unable to find one since.

She says that many companies have stopped interviewing job applicants until they know the outcome of the election. She hopes that greater stability will improve her chances of employment.

She may be disappointed whatever the election result. The violence that is convulsing Syria and Iraq is spreading to Turkey, and Isis bomb attacks have poisoned relations between Turks and Kurds.

Worse, Turkey’s engagement in Syria has not stopped the creation of a new Kurdish quasi-state stretching along 250 miles of Turkey’s southern frontier, which is today run by the Syrian branch of the PKK.

Turkey, which was poised to be a major power in the Middle East in 2012, has now been all but excluded as an influence in much of the region. A further advance along the border by the Syrian Kurds might lead Ankara to consider direct military intervention.

The result of the election on Sunday is unpredictable, but it has already unleashed or exacerbated powerful divisive forces. Mr Erdogan may want to bring these under control after the election, but he will find it difficult to do so.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2015 09:46

Follow on from the previous post:
Is Erdogan a modern Attaturk or a new Islamic zealot? From the report below ,and current Turkish covert support for ISIS,sadly it appears to be the latter. If Erdogan is displaying on his coat sleeve his Islamic credentials,could ISIS be his 5th column,who would one day hail him as their leader of a new Ottoman empire? The truth could b stranger than fiction.

Recep Erdogan profile: The President of Turkey... who would be sultan

He promised Turkey a hopeful merging of Islam and modernity. Now he is becoming an all too familiar autocrat
Peter Popham

He promised Turkey a hopeful merging of Islam and modernity. Now he is becoming an all too familiar autocrat Getty

Tall and slim, still with a full head of hair at 61, President Recep Erdogan has survived 12 torrid years at the apex of Turkish politics with little obvious damage. His chin is smooth, his uniform the same sombre suit and tie he has always worn; nothing about his appearance would cause one to doubt that this was a modern, secular politician, playing by the same rule book as the men in Brussels, who in recent memory were eager to install his nation among the EU’s stars.

His look is unchanged from the great occasion three years ago when President Barack Obama, paying his first presidential visit to a Muslim country, described him as one of his five closest international allies and hailed him as an example of how a leader could be Islamic, democratic and tolerant all at once.

But today this smooth and solemn man has a different message. On a platform in his native Istanbul last Saturday, as hundreds of thousands of Turks watched fighter jets paint the national flag with coloured smoke in the sky, he celebrated the anniversary of the overthrow of Christian Byzantium by Muslim armies and the creation of the Ottoman Empire, 562 years ago.

For his millions of adoring supporters, Erdogan’s achievement is to have reunited Turkey with the Islamic heritage that Kemal Ataturk ditched in the name of modernisation. Quoting from the Koran, he shouted defiance at those who resent his assault on Turkey’s secular tradition. “We will not give way to those who speak against our call to prayer!” he vowed. “Allahu Akbar!” the crowd responded.

The storming of Constantinople was a conquest, he said – one to which his own achievement as modern Turkey’s long-serving leader was comparable. “To reverse this nation’s ill fate for 12 years is a conquest. To successfully pass this turning point on the way to a new Turkey is a conquest,” he told the crowd. “Inshallah, 7 June will be a conquest.”

The “conquest” in question tomorrow will be the winning of enough parliamentary seats by the party he founded, the Justice and Development Party or AKP, to change the constitution, allowing him to transform the ornamental presidency he has occupied since last August into an executive one. This, in turn, will allow him to rule – with far fewer constraints – for another 1o years. It is an ambition that is profoundly polarising.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has never made any bones about his Islamic piety. He was raised in an observant family in Istanbul and his faith was reinforced at religious high school, and he brought it into his first experiment in politics, as a prominent young member of the Islamist National Salvation Party. But back in the 1970s, the secularist rules imposed 50 years before by Ataturk, designed to drag Turkey into the modern world, were still all-powerful; challenging them seemed the guarantee of a career on the lonely and powerless margins.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's craziest quotes

8 show all



But after the Islamic revolution in neighbouring Iran, the mood around Islam and politics began to change. Erdogan was elected to parliament; prevented from taking his seat, he stood instead for mayor of Istanbul and won. Opponents feared he would clamp Sharia on Turkey’s most freewheeling city; instead he disarmed critics by proving a resourceful and energetic executive, taking drastic and effective measures to transform its rubbish collection, public transport and water supply. But his fundamental passion was unchanged.

In 1997, the fundamentalist Welfare Party to which he now belonged was threatened with closure for being unconstitutional, and Erdogan, still the city’s serving mayor, took to the streets to demand that the authorities leave it in peace. “The mosques are our barracks,” he recited at one demonstration, “the domes are our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers.” For that he was arrested, convicted of incitement to religious violence, and sentenced to 10 months in jail, of which he served four months. With Turkey’s secular establishment under steadily increasing pressure from the rising tide of Islamism, the sentence caused him no lasting damage.

And Erdogan’s twin faces – his sincere and unabashed piety on the one hand, his technocratic flair as a modern administrator on the other – placed him in pole position to lead a country increasingly restless under the old Ataturk rules.

Founding the Justice and Development Party in 2001, Erdogan cruised to a landslide election victory the following year, and after several bruising rounds with a secular establishment desperate to keep him down, became Prime Minister for the first time in 2003.

Coming to national power in the wake of a financial crisis that forced the country into an International Monetary Fund bailout programme, he re-affirmed his skills, transforming Turkey’s economic prospects, turning it into a major exporter with Chinese-style growth rates of up to 8 per cent. He succeeded in forcing the military – secular through and through – out of its hidden but powerful role in politics, and used his position of unrivalled power to do what no Turkish politician had previously dared: to put out olive branches to the 15 million-strong Kurdish minority concentrated in the south-east, initiating peace talks.

But his 12 years at the top have had a disastrously inflationary effect on Mr Erdogan’s ego. The most obvious symptom of this is the presidential palace recently completed in Ankara for a sum in excess of $600m, said to include a laboratory where a team of scientists works day and night ensuring that the President is not poisoned. The palace, 30 times the size of the White House, has more than 1,000 rooms. It may also have gold-plated fixtures in the bathrooms – though when a rival politician mentioned it, Mr Erdogan sued for slander.
Read more

Where now for Turkey?
Two dead and 100 injured in election rally blasts
Robert Fisk: A positive step on an Istanbul street?

His pharaonic tendencies have also seen him become increasingly authoritarian, lashing out with threats and law suits at those in the media who attack him, closing down social media, and sending riot police to disperse demonstrations against the building of a shopping mall in Istanbul’s Taksim Square. That provoked far more widespread protests against him. He responded with increased police powers and heavier penalties for illegal demonstrations.


Erdogan-AP_1.jpg
'His 12 years at the top have had a disastrous effect on his ego'

His Islamism, his growing authoritarianism and his ever-increasing sense of his own importance are the reasons why many fear that if AKP wins 60 per cent of the seats in tomorrow’s election, enabling him to push through constitutional reform, Turkey could become “the land of Erdogan”, with its fragile democratic traditions increasingly under threat.

The one bright hope of that not happening is, ironically, the man whose rise to prominence came through Erdogan’s attempt to bring Kurds into the national mainstream. Selahattin Demirtas is the leader of the People’s Democratic Party or HDP. Although its bedrock support is Kurdish, it is hoping to attract mass support from those frightened and alienated by Erdogan’s bid for total power. Rules devised to keep the Kurds on the sidelines mean that HDP must pass a threshold of 10 per cent of support to get into parliament at all. If they succeed, Erdogan’s hopes of rewriting the constitution will be greatly weakened; and the land of Erdogan, for which many yearn but which many dread, will remain a long way off.
A life in brief

Born: 26 February 1954, Istanbul, Turkey.

Family: Father Ahmet Erdogan, was a coastguard. Married to Ermine; they have four children.

Education: Islamic school in Istanbul before graduating from Marmara University with a degree in management.

Career: Mayor of Istanbul, 1994-98. Founder of JDP, Islamic Truth and Development Party, 2001. Prime Minister of Turkey, 2003-14. In 2014, he became the country’s first directly elected President.

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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby arun » 15 Nov 2015 07:22

X Posted from the STFUP thread.

Falijee wrote:Maulvis Attack Ganja Sharif For Calling Pakiland A Liberal Country :roll:
Religious leaders criticise PM for calling Pakistan ‘liberal’

………..{Snipped}…………..

The programme was attended, among others, by Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Senator Sirajul Haq, patron-in-chief of Ansarul Ummah Maulana Fazlur Reham Khalil, Abdullah Gul (son of late Hamid Gul), deputy ambassador of Turkey Yaseen, Pakistan Shariat Council chief Fidaur Rehman, Hafiz Hussain Ahmad, Qari Mohammad Usman of Karachi, JI’s provincial chief Mushtaq Ahamd Khan and Yaqoub Sheikh of Jammatud Dawa.


List includes a Who's who of the keepers of the faith,in Pakiland.

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed said America was trying to hide its defeat in Afghanistan by calling for action against the Haqqani network.


………..{Snipped}…………..


Presence of Deputy Ambassador of Turkey at an event where UN Designated Terrorist, Hafiz Mohammad Saeed was also present must be raised and strongly protested by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Turkish hosts during his present visit to that country for the G-20 Summit at Antalya.

JE Menon
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby JE Menon » 15 Nov 2015 09:58

http://swarajyamag.com/world/the-turkis ... -the-same/

Don't remember if I posted this link here or in some other thread...

chetak
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby chetak » 15 Nov 2015 23:13

Multatuli wrote:Turks protesting against China attack Koreans 'by mistake'

Turkish nationalists protesting China's treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims attacked a group of Korean tourists in the heart of Istanbul's old city on Saturday, mistaking them for Chinese nationals.

Hundreds of angry protesters marched towards the Topkapi Palace on the banks of the Bosphorus Strait in a show of solidarity with the Turkic Uigurs, who complain of cultural and religious suppression under Chinese rule.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is the Greatest), they attacked some Koreans outside the Topkapi Palace, which is visited by thousands of tourists every day.

The tourists were rescued by riot police, who fired tear gas to disperse the attackers, members of the notorious far-right Grey Wolves closely affiliated with Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

Video footage by Dogan news agency showed a distraught Korean tourist telling reporters: "I'm not Chinese, I'm Korean."

http://news.yahoo.com/turks-protesting- ... 16278.html


effing jehadi aholes :-? . don't know their ass from their elbows.

A_Gupta
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Re: Turkey News, discussions, India Turkey Relations

Postby A_Gupta » 26 Nov 2015 00:11

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/origina ... rfare.html
"How some southeast Turkey residents are struggling with mystery murders, urban warfare"

At first glance, the town of Silvan in southeastern Turkey with 86,000 residents and modern buildings looks like a beautiful and serene town. But once inside the Mescit neighborhood, a war zone reveals itself with businesses turned into rubble and every single building riddled with bullets. Residents are trying to salvage whatever is left of their belongings.


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