Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan faces off against UAE minster Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahayan in latest Twitter war. This latest diplomatic spat between newly formed Turkey-Qatar-Iran alliance and the US-backed Saudi-UAE-Israel (tentatively with Egypt on board) axis power bloc – is indicative of where some of the regional fault lines are at present. You can be sure that the US, Israel and Britain will work to exploit these differences in order to gain whatever economic and geopolitical advantage they can from the discord. Reuters reports… A senior UAE diplomat said Wednesday the Arab world would not be led by Turkey.
Once again, Turkey’s leader has thrown a spanner into the Astana peace process, as he dog whistles to the Muslim Brotherhood support base. This week, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan performed yet another u-turn by declaring that Syrian President Bashar Assad is ‘a terrorist’ during a news conference in Tunis. ‘Assad is definitely a terrorist who has carried out state terrorism,’ Erdogan said. ‘It is impossible to continue with Assad. How can we embrace the future with a Syrian president who has killed close to a million of his citizens?’
Do you know Binomo?’ the impersonator asked. ‘They have declared independence. They had elections, and we suppose Russians had its intervention.’ ‘Yes, of course they did, absolutely,’ Haley confidently replied. And with that US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley got punked by well-known Russian comedians and professional pranksters Vovan and Lexus (Vladimir Kuznetsov and Alexei Stolyarov) – sometimes called “The Jerky Boys of Russia” – who had previously phone pranked figures ranging from Elton John to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Rep. Maxine Waters to Senators Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain. The duo reportedly phoned Haley’s office hours after the UN voted to condemn Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on Thursday, pretending to be Mateusz Morawiecki, the prime minister of Poland, in what ended up being a 22-minute conversation.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 24, 2017.
Two weeks ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won an important concession from President Donald Trump when, in a phone call, Erdogan coaxed a promise from his American partner to stop arming US-backed Kurdish resistance fighters in Syria. But that gesture of goodwill could be swiftly forgotten if Trump follows through with a plan to officially declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel – an act that Erdogan and many other Muslim leaders have said would be a ‘red line’ that could force Turkey and several other Muslim states to break off diplomatic relations with Israel. In a speech, Erdogan said the recognition of Jerusalem by the US would force Turkey to call an Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit and consider severing ties with Israel. “Jerusalem is the red line for Muslims. Such a decision will be a heavy blow for all mankind. We will not leave it. We will fight to the end. We may even reach a severance of diplomatic relations with Israel. I once again warn the United States not to take steps that will further deepen the crisis in the region,” Erdogan said. Israel has long claimed Jerusalem as its capital. The city hosts much of the infrastructure of the Israeli government. But the ancient city – which contains the venerated Al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam – is also viewed as the logical capital of a Palestinian state. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as their rightful capital, while Israeli’s claim the whole city, according to the Telegraph.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
Authord by Burak Bekdil via The Gatestone Institute, “Erdogan’s claims that ‘There is no Islamic terror’ have left several Islamic terror organizations heart-broken. A press release from al-Qaeda’s press office read: ‘The prime minister’s remarks are very discouraging. We are doing our best!’” – Zaytung (satire website). In 2010, Barack Obama referred to Turkey as a “great Muslim democracy”. Obama should have seen that a democracy is a democracy — without any religious prefix. He would see in later years the difference between a democracy and a Muslim democracy. Turkey’s strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, may have exhibited all possible features of political Islam since he came to power fifteen years ago, but at least he has been bold and honest about his understanding of Islamism: There is no moderate Islam, he recently said again. This comment does not mark any U-turn, or a radical deviation from his earlier freshman-self back in the 2000s. The problem is that his Western “allies” have stubbornly preferred to turn a blind eye to his poster-child Islamism. Worse, they still do. Several years ago, Erdogan’s ideological-self clearly stated that “Turkey is not a country where moderate Islam prevails.” In the same speech, his pragmatic-self — the one that wanted to look pretty to a chorus of Western praise — added that, “We are Muslims who have found a middle road”. But which “middle road?” In the several years that followed, Erdogan proudly exhibited another feature of Islamism in a make-believe assertion: Muslims never do wrong; if a Muslim does wrong then he is not Muslim.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 5, 2017.
Statement from the U. S. Mission to Turkey pic.twitter.com/RjTU3BfSXZ — US Embassy Turkey (@USEmbassyTurkey) October 8, 2017
On Friday, we reported that in a move that looks suspiciously like retaliation, Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and trying to overthrow the government. The arrest stemmed from the man’s alleged support for Erdogan’s scapegoat for “fill-in-the-blank“, US-based Cleric Fettulah Gulen, who was blamed for 2016’s fake coup attempt and pretty much everything else that’s wrong in Turkey. Predictably, the US government slammed the crackdown, with embassy officials telling the WSJ that ‘these allegations are wholly without merit” adding that ‘baseless, anonymous allegations against our employees undermine and devalue this longstanding partnership.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 8, 2017.
Authored by Zainab Calcuttawala via OilPrice.com, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey are taking a unified stance against Kurdistan’s oil sector after the region elected to seek independence from Baghdad in a referendum in September, according to a new report by Rudaw. ‘In the case of northern Iraq; Iran, Iraq and Turkey will form a tripartite mechanism and will decide on shutting down the oil,’ Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after a meeting with leaders from the other two nations on Thursday. A day before the vote, the Iraqi central government issued a statement calling on ‘neighboring countries and countries of the world’ to stop buying crude oil directly from Kurdistan and only deal with Baghdad. Turkey’s Ceyhan port provides an outlet for the Kurdish Kirkuk oil to meet international markets without interference from Baghdad. Erdogan, Tehran and other members of the international community had censured Erbil for proceeding with the independence referendum as Iraq recovers from a three-year war against the Islamic State (ISIS). The Turkish leader had previously threatened to cut Kirkuk off from Ceyhan, but did not provide details on how such a measure would be carried out. Russia’s oil majors side with Kurdistan in its quest for an independent fossil fuel establishment. Rosneft signed off on a $1 billion gas pipeline deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) a week prior to the historic vote, signaling Moscow’s approval of a hypothetically separate Kurdistan. Both Iran and Turkey house sizeable Kurdish populations, so the referendum raises fears that Kurds from other nations may seek similar political solutions. Kurdistan produces around 600,000 bpd of crude oil, or about 15 percent of Iraq’s total output. After the votes were counted, the KRG said that the ‘Yes’ to independence option won at the polls, with 92.73 percent of voters opting to grant Erbil its own regime.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 6, 2017.
In a move that looks suspiciously like retaliation, Turkish police on Wednesday arrested a local employee of the US embassy in Istanbul and charged him with espionage and trying to overthrow the government, the Wall Street Journalreported, citing local media. The arrest stemmed from the man’s alleged support for US-based Turkish Cleric Fettulah Gulen, a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who escaped to the US nearly two decades ago after he and Erdogan had a falling out. The president has accused Gulen of orchestrating last June’s attempted coup from his home in Pennsylvania, and his administration has relentlessly purged suspected supporters from nearly every institution in Turkish society.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 5, 2017.
Via KeepTalkingGreece.com, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey no longer needs EU membership. His son Bilal who plays an important role in Turkey’s politics went even further and described the Europeans as ‘gavur’ (indifels). The comments come after 12-year-long accession talks with Brussels grind to a halt. ‘We will not be the side which gives up. To tell the truth, we don’t need EU membership anymore,’ Erdogan said. Turkey’s 12-year-long accession talks have ground to a halt, with the EU especially critical of Ankara’s crackdown following a failed coup last year. Tens of thousands of people including teachers and journalists have been detained.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.
Several months after an unprecedented collapse in relations between two NATO member states, on Thursday Germany’s military announced it has finished its withdrawal from Turkey’s strategic airbase Incirlik, which as a reminder was prompted by Ankara’s refusal to allow visits by German parliamentarians. Going forward, Bundeswehr planes will instead be based in Jordan. As we reported at the time, in June Germany’s parliament, which ultimately decides on deployments, voted overwhelmingly to leave Incirlik amid a multifaceted dispute with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his post-coup crackdown. As a “parliamentary army,” the Bundeswehr requires a vote of approval from Bundestag lawmakers for each foreign deployment and a parliamentary committee regularly evaluates Germany missions abroad. As Deutsche Welle reports, Germany’s transfer of reconnaissance and refueling aircraft from Incirlik to Jordan’s al-Asrak airbase had been “an unprecedented, mammoth task” according to German contingent commander Stefan Kleinheyer said Wednesday.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.
Authored by Nick Cunningham via OilPrice.com, Turkey and Iraq have stepped up the pressure on Kurdistan after the semi-autonomous region of Iraq voted for independence. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to block Kurdish oil exports through Turkish territory, while Baghdad called for an international boycott of Kurdish oil sales. The Kurdish people appeared to have voted overwhelmingly for independence on Monday, pending final results. But the Kurdish Regional Government has said that the vote, which won’t be recognized internationally, will be a starting point for negotiations with Baghdad, and not the culmination of real independence. Turkey’s President called the referendum ‘illegal, null, and void,’ and threatened to shut down exports through the pipeline that runs from Kurdistan to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. ‘Let’s see where they are going to drain off the petrol – we control the valve,’ he said. ‘Once you turn off the valve, it will be over.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 28, 2017.
21st Century Wire says… After seven years of war in Syria, and three years of ISIS marauding through Iraq, one thing is for sure: Iraqi Kurdistan is not what it was five years ago – when its geopolitical chaperone in Washington was still militarily occupying Iraq, and with oil pegged above $100 per barrel and its capital Erbil was a booming economic powerhouse. Back then, unimpeded progress was the order of the day. Not so today. Politically and economically, Iraqi Kurdistan is fractured, which opens the door for a number of issues yet to unfold after this week’s historic move for independence. As writer Adam Garrie points out in this piece below, the referendum is only the first step. Afterwards, some very serious problems are likely to follow. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has promised heavy sanctions against parts of northern Iraq, should Kurdish secessionists go through with their threat to hold a referendum for ‘independence’ in two days time.
Once again supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have roughed up American protesters on American soil. As Erdogan delivered a speech to supporters in New York City at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square on Thursday, a handful of protesters began holding up signs and yelling anti-Erdogan slogans. Men in black suits immediately rushed the protesters and began violently removing them while the crowd punched and shoved those being carried out. Video released by Turkish media present at the event clearly shows at least two of the protesters being repeatedly punched in the face by Erdogan supporters as they were taken out of the room. And it appears that Erdogan actually encouraged the violence from the podium, calling the protesters – which included Americans – “terrorists”.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 22, 2017.
Confirming, and sending the clearest sign of his previously discussed pivot toward Russia and away from NATO and the West, on Tuesday President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey had signed a deal to purchase a Russian surface-to-air missile system, and paid the first installment. The deal cements Turkey’s recent rapprochement with Russia, despite differences over the war in Syria, the downing of a Russian fighter jet over Turkey in late 2015 and the assassination of a Russian ambassador earlier this year, and comes as Turkey’s ties with the United States and European Union have become strained to the point of breaking. Although the missile purchase from Russia was made public several months ago, Erdogan’s announcement was the first confirmation that Turkey had transferred money to pay for the S-400 missile system. ‘Signatures have been made for the purchase of S-400s from Russia,’ Erdogan said in comments published in several newspapers on Tuesday. ‘A deposit has also been paid as far as I know.’ As the NYT writes, “the purchase of the missile system flies in the face of cooperation within the NATO alliance, which Turkey has belonged to since the early 1950s. NATO does not ban purchases of military hardware from manufacturers outside the American-led alliance, but it does discourage members from buying equipment not compatible with that used by other members.”
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 13, 2017.
Authored by Soeren Kern via The Gatestone Institute, Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. This summer, even more than in previous years, it has become plain that some of the NGOs working in the Mediterranean are acting as something more than intermediaries. Many have in fact been acting as facilitators. This makes the NGOs effectively no more than the benign face of the smuggling networks. Undercover workers have also discovered NGOs handing vessels back to the smugglers’ networks, effectively helping them to continue their criminal enterprise indefinitely. A group that which seeks to oppose Europe’s current self-destructive insane trajectory can now not even source independent financial support. Groups, however, that continue to push Europe along its current trajectory continue to get all the official support they need. In the difference in reaction to these two groups lies a significant part of the story of the ruin of a continent. Sometimes it is in the gap between things that the truth emerges. In recent years Europe has been on the receiving end of one of the most significant migrant crises in history. In 2015, in just a single year, countries such as Germany and Sweden found themselves adding 2% to their respective populations. Although much of the public continue to labour under the misapprehension that those still coming are fleeing the Syrian civil war; in fact, the majority of those now entering Europe are from Africa, particularly from sub-Saharan Africa. Although the European Union successfully bribed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last year — inducing him to slow the flow of migrants heading through Turkey into Greece — Italy has received almost 100,000 people so far this year. Spain — which had ducked much of the movement of recent years — now finds itself receiving thousands of people who are sometimes (as in this memorable footage from earlier this month) simply landing on the country’s beaches and running straight into the country. In doing so, they are not only breaking into Europe in a fashion that is illegal, but flouting all the asylum protocols, and other protocols, however inadequate, that are meant to exist.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 4, 2017.
As tensions soar between Ankara and Berlin, following Germany’s angry response to Erdogan’s call for those of Turkish descent to vote against Merkel, a coincidentally huge wave of refugees has suddenly started appearing on Greek coasts, making some wonder if Erdogan has broken his EU-Immigration deal. *** The last six days have seen over 1,200 refugees and migrants arrive Greece from Turkey. New Arrivals: August 18: 105 August 19: 308 August 20: 136 August 21: 397 August 22: 250 August 23: 174
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 24, 2017.
Two United States MQ-1 Predator drones have crashed in Turkey within four days, possibly cutting the Air Force’s operational fleet of drones at NATO’s main Turkish base down to half. This comes at a moment when the future of US drone operations in the region remain in question due to heightened political tensions with the Erdogan government and the uncertain future of the war in Syria. On Monday Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base, which hosts US and other NATO personnel conducting operations over Syria and Iraq, released a statement confirming the crash of the drone in southeast Turkey at around 11:50 a.m. (0850 GMT), with no further details given. Incirlik had confirmed an earlier Predator drone crash just last Thursday (8/17) near the air base. Last week’s statement quoted a US military spokesman as saying: ‘At this time the safety of our host nation civilians and the recovery and security of our asset is paramount,’ said Col. David Eaglin, commander of the 39th Air Base Wing. ‘Our Airmen train continuously to respond to incidents such as this, and we are working closely with our host nation partners to ensure this is resolved without conflict.’
This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 22, 2017.
While the Democrats want to make a huge issue out of Russia hacking their files and releasing evidence that they were truly corrupt and how Clinton was just a liar blaming Russia rather than themselves, interference in the elections of other countries is par for the course. I have reported how Obama has interfered in Canada, Britain, and France. This is standard operational procedure. Now Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan publicly told all Turks living in Germany to vote against Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats on September 24th. For Erdogan to publicly try to influence the German elections as Obama did in Britain tell them to get to the ‘back of queue’ if they voted for BREXIT, demonstrates the lack of unity between the NATO allies and major trade partners.
21st Century Wire says… This is a potentially incredible breakthrough in the painful 7 year-long Syrian conflict. As 21WIRE has pointed out previous, aside from Turkey’s key part in facilitating the creation and supply of anti-Syrian terrorist enclaves over the last 7 years, it has also played the central role in the dismantling of Syria’s manufacturing sector centered around the now devastated industrial hub of Aleppo. That’s what makes this latest news almost unbelievable. Since 2011, the leadership in Ankara has committed much of its southern territory, a good portion of financial and military resources, as well as nearly all of its diplomatic credibility… for one goal: to destabilize its neighbor and achieve regime change in Damascus. Perhaps its renewed dialogue and a lucrative Southstream energy partnership with Russia, along with the relative success so far in the Astana Peace Process – and Washington’s disruptive military and financial backing of a prime Turkish arch-enemy, the Kurdish militia in northern Syria, has made Turkish President Erdogan and his inner circle realize that it’s time to reverse course on a 7 year failure, and immeasurable social, civil and economic destruction of their southern neighbor.
Germany is now pushing the EU towards a much more tougher policy in its relations with Turkey as Erdogan moves the country ever closer to a full-blown dictatorship. Erdogan has rejected democracy and the rule of law and since the strike of the Putsch, which is characterized by the dismissal of thousands of government officials, mass arrests without legal procedures, and the prosecution of independent media and critics, it is clear that he is not tolerating opposition. This implies a departure from the European model of democratic values -and principles of the rule of law and the actions of Turkey are at odds with the fundamental principles of membership in the EU and NATO. Armstrong Economics