TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


TURKEY

May 19 20:36

‘No other options’: US will deliver F-35s, while Turkey will get S-400… and S-500, Erdogan says

The US will ‘sooner or later’ have to face reality and understand that Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 systems is a done deal, President Erdogan said, noting that the current agreement is just the beginning.

“We’re done with the S-400. There is absolutely no question of stepping back on the S-400. It is a defense system, not an attack system,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday during a televised question and answer session with university students in Istanbul, adding that the first deliveries of the Russian anti-aircraft weapon system are expected in July.

Explaining that Russian military hardware is offered on “very favorable terms” and with no strings attached, Erdogan said that Ankara is also potentially seeking to acquire the next generation S-500 systems – or even engage in co-production partnership – once Russia completes development of its newest mobile surface-to-air missile system.

May 17 11:51

Turkish Lira Tumbles After Trump Terminates Preferential Trade Agreement In Retaliation For S-400 Order

For months, the Trump administration had been warning, at first, then outright threatening Turkey against following through with an agreement struck last year to purchase the advanced Russian S-400 missile defense system, and despite several "fake news" reports that Erdogan had canceled the deal with Moscow, Turkey ultimately said it would go ahead and receive the Russian missiles, demonstrative flipping off its NATO allies.

But if Erdogan was hoping that Trump would be all bark and no bite when it comes to retaliating against this painfully obvious snub of its "western" allies, well he had another thing coming.

Late on Thursday, the Turkish lira suddenly tumbled when Washington made it clear that this aggression will not stand, and the White House said it had terminated a preferential trade agreement with Turkey, finding the country no longer needed help as a developing country. However, the US did halve tariffs on Turkish steel from 50% to 25%.

May 17 07:31

Retaliation over S-400? Trump cancels Turkey’s preferential trade status

Donald Trump has terminated the preferential trade agreement which provided Turkey with partial tax-free access to US markets, in a move some see as Washington’s retaliation for the NATO ally’s increasingly independent policies.

More than two months after the United States threatened to end Turkey’s participation in Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) program, President Donald Trump on Thursday cut off Ankara’s access to the program, noting that the country is no longer a developing state.

May 14 09:43

Syrian gov't 'seeking to sabotage' Turkey-Russia relations

Turkey's Erdogan says de-escalation deal signed with Russia at risk as Syrian government presses on with Idlib assault.

May 14 09:06

ISIS burns alive two Turkish soldiers in eastern Aleppo

The so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) released a video on Thursday showing two Turkish soldiers being burnt alive in eastern Aleppo.

The two Turkish soldiers appeared in the video inside of a cage while still wearing their battle fatigues; they would then answer questions from their captors before being burnt alive minutes later.

May 13 11:03

SYRIAN ARMY ONCE AGAIN SHELLED TURKISH OBSERVATION POST IN NORTHWESTERN HAMA: OPPOSITION SOURCES

The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) shelled an observation post of the Turkish military around the town of Shir Mughar in the northwestern Hama countryside with more than 13 artillery rounds in the noon of May 12, according to claims by several opposition sources.

The sources released a photo showing white smoke raising from the post’s outskirt. However, they are yet to provide an evidence confirming that the army was being the shelling.

May 09 10:57

Is The Lira Doomed: Turkey Emergency Currency Intervention Fails In Under Two Hours

Turkey's economic and currency implosion is getting worse by the day.

With investors increasingly concerned about Turkey's level of FX reserves and ability to defend the currency, on Wednesday ABN-Amro analyst Nora Neuteboom poured gasoline on the fire saying what everyone else already knows, namely that "given the relatively low reserves, Turkey cannot afford to deplete its reserves further by defending the currency," adding that "as investors are well aware of this fact, a little spark in, for example the tensions with the U.S., could easily trigger another lira sell-off."

Of course, with the Turkish lira already in freefall, we may not even need a spark, as the rout gets worse with every passing day.

May 07 11:14

Is Turkey The Snowflake That Unleashes The European Banking System Avalance?

Turkey’s debt problem, coupled with the plummeting lira, is arguably the most important risk factor for the nation’s economy.

To make matters worse, far from it posing a threat just to Turkey itself, it also has the potential to inflict significant damage elsewhere too, starting with key economies in the Eurozone.

At first glance, the situation in Turkey might resemble many past similar scenarios of a heavily indebted nation with a plummeting currency that descends into a severe recession and eventually gets bailed out, like Greece.

May 06 12:21

Turkish Lira Collapses After Election Board Nullifies Istanbul Mayor Vote

Turkey's state media says election officials ordered Istanbul's mayoral election redone, nullifying the opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu's win.

“Istanbul elections are being renewed," Recep Ozel, the ruling party’s representative on Turkey’s elections board, says via Twitter.

As Bloomberg reports, the High Election Board’s verdict, which is final, came after a vote on whether to nullify the vote based on the ruling party’s allegation that there were widespread irregularities in the March 31 vote, which Erdogan’s candidate lost. The decision fueled concerns about the democratic foundations of Middle East’s largest economy and the prospect of more political turmoil.

The result is dramatic and immediate - a collapse in the lira...

May 06 11:04

Turkey ‘may go into Syria region despite Russia deal’

Turkey has hinted that it may send in military forces to the Syrian border region of Tel Rifaat despite an agreement with Russia to stay clear of the area.

Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay made the comments in an interview with broadcaster Kanal 7 on Sunday, a day after cross-border fire from the region claimed the life of a Turkish trooper.

“The agreement was for us to stop there (Tel Rifaat), but if these attacks continue, this may take a different shape. We are discussing this with Russia,” Oktay said, without providing further details.

May 06 09:50

US urges Turkey against drilling operations off Cyprus

The US has urged Turkey to reconsider its decision to start offshore drilling operations in Cyprus, according to a statement, reports Anadolu Agency.

“The United States is deeply concerned by Turkey’s announced intentions to begin offshore drilling operations in an area claimed by the Republic of Cyprus as its Exclusive Economic Zone,” Morgan Ortagus, spokesperson for the US Department State said in a statement on Sunday.

“This step is highly provocative and risks raising tensions in the region,” Ortagus added. “We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint,” it said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Always about the oil!

May 06 09:12

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – MAY 6, 2019: TURKEY-LED FORCES SUFFER CASUALTIES IN FAILED ATTACK ON YPG POSITIONS

The Idlib de-escalation zone and the northern part of Aleppo province are now two main sources of instability in Syria.

On May 4, the pro-Turkish National Syrian Army (NSA), backed by Turkish special forces, launched a surprise attack on positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Aleppo. The NSA briefly captured the town of Ma’arnaz, but then were forced to retreat under pressure from the YPG.

Later on the same day, the so-called Afrin Liberation Forces (ALF) released a statement claiming that at least 40 NSA members were killed and 30 others were injured in clashes for Ma’arnaz. These claims are not based on any visual evidence.

May 04 09:41

US will move F-35 work out of Turkey if Ankara buys S-400: Pentagon

The Pentagon says it will halt manufacturing support for the F-35 fighter jet in Turkey unless Ankara scraps its plan to buy a Russian missile defense system.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said the US was vehemently opposed to Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft technology.

"If Turkey decides that the S-400 is a decision they want to go forward with, then we have to move work out of Turkey," Shanahan said.

May 03 15:51

Russia ready to replace American F-35s with own Su-57s if Ankara’s deal with US fails

Russia’s fifth-generation Su-57 fighter jets could be sold to Turkey if Ankara’s F-35 deal with the US fails, the chief of a Russian state tech corporation said as Washington halts plane deliveries following the S-400 standoff.

Sukhoi’s “fifth-generation Russian fighter jets [Su-57s] have outstanding qualities, and show promise for export,” Sergey Chemezov, head of a Russia’s state-owned defense conglomerate, Rostec, told Anadolu on Thursday.

Moscow is “ready to cooperate” if Ankara shows interest in purchasing the Russian planes, he added.

Apr 29 09:48

Turkey Indicts Third US Consulate Worker In Istanbul On Terrorism Charges

Turkey has indicted a third US Consulate employee and his wife and daughter on charges of membership of a terrorist group, according to a copy of the indictment seen by Reuters, a move likely to further strain ties between Ankara and Washington.

Apr 29 08:49

SUSPECTED UAE SPY WITH POSSIBLE TIES TO KHASHOGGI CASE FOUND DEAD IN TURKISH PRISON

One of two Emirati men detained in Turkey on suspicion of both spying and having possible ties to the Jamal Khashoggi embassy murder case has reportedly taken his own life in prison, according to government and media sources.
The man was arrested by Turkish authorities 10 days ago and was later formally charged with “military and political” and “international espionage.” He was found dead having apparently hanged himself in his cell in Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul on Sunday.

Turkish authorities are now launching an investigation into the suspicious circumstances of the man’s death as he was being detained in solitary confinement.

The two men claimed they were Palestinian nationals but admitted to working on behalf of UAE intelligence, reports Al Jazeera. One of the two alleged UAE spies reportedly arrived in Turkey just two days after Khashoggi’s murder.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How "convenient" for Saudi Arabia, that this one "loose end" to the Kashoggi case, has been "neutralized".

Apr 27 10:39

Turkey indicts third US Consulate worker in Istanbul on terrorism charges

Turkey has indicted a third US Consulate employee and his wife and daughter on charges of membership of a terrorist group, according to a copy of the indictment seen by Reuters, a move likely to further strain ties between Ankara and Washington.

Nazmi Mete Canturk, a security officer at the US Consulate in Istanbul, and his wife and daughter are accused in the indictment of links to the network of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric blamed by Ankara for a failed 2016 coup.

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking jail sentences for all three on charges of membership of an armed terrorist organisation, according to the indictment, which was completed on March 8 but has not been made public.

Apr 27 10:07

Russia, Turkey & Iran condemn US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

The guarantor states of the Astana process declared their intention to counter separatist plans against Syria this country, according to the joint statement of Russia, Iran and Turkey. It was released on Friday after a regular round of negotiations in Nur-Sultan, TASS reports. The three states confirmed their commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria.

Apr 25 08:58

Russia to start S-400 missile defense shipments to Turkey in July — report

A Russian official said Wednesday that Moscow will start delivering its S-400 missile defense systems to Turkey in July.

“Everything has been already discussed and agreed,” Alexander Mikheev, the head of Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport, told the Interfax news agency.

Apr 24 10:26

Is the Turkish-Russian S-400 Missile Deal Sabre Rattling Among Superpowers?

Vice President Mike Pence expressed his dismay with Turkey's decision to purchase an S-400 anti-aircraft missile defense system from Russia, revealing just how much this arms deal is an existential threat to NATO and U.S. dominance.

“Turkey's purchase of a $2.5 billion S-400 anti-aircraft missile system from Russia poses great danger to NATO and to the strength of this alliance,” Pence said. “Turkey must choose: Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in the history of the world? Or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making reckless decisions that undermine our alliance?”

Apr 23 10:32

US Delivering Excavation Equipment to Syria’s Kurdish YPG

In a move that is likely to rile up NATO member Turkey, the US has made a huge delivery of equipment to the Syrian Kurdish YPG, a group Turkey considers terrorists, and have long threatened to invade.

200 trucks crossed into Syria’s Deir Ezzor from neighboring Iraq. This is not a military shipment. Rather, it is building material and construction equipment intended to allow for reconstruction after the defeat of ISIS.

That’s the US version at least, but the inclusion of substantial excavation equipment is fueling concern, particularly in Turkey, that this is going to be used for mass tunnel digging across Syria, in anticipation of the Turkish invasion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The issue of timing here, is critical.

This delivery of construction equipment to the Kurds, signals that the US is favorable to trying to bring about an independent Kurdistan, and Turkey is going to become totally ballistic if this happens.

So let's take the scenario to the next step; If Kurds start attacking Turkish troops, who are NATO allies, as are our troops, what is the US government's position be?!?

This comes to us today, through the courtesy of the US's Department of "You can't make this stuff up!"

Why are the military and civilian leadership of this country, never able think something through to the end of its most logical scenarios?!?

Apr 22 12:22

Rebellion Erupts In Turkey As Erdogan Faces Unprecedented Challenge By Former Prime Minister

Just days after the shenanigans of the Turkish central bank were exposed for the entire world to see, when as the FT reported - at great danger to its Turkish subscriptions and the freedom of its reporters in Turkey - that the country's real FX reserves of $12 billion were half of the $24 billion represented if one stripped $12 billion in short-term swap-based borrowings from local central banks...

Apr 22 12:00

UPDATE: U.S. Continues Supplying Kurds To Counteract Turkey

The mass media has been widely covering the details of the disastrous humanitarian situation in Rukban refugee camp over recent months. By the way, the crisis in other sites deserves more considerable attention. Al-Hol refugee camp located in Al-Hasakah province and run by the Syria Democratic Forces is one of them.
image – shipment of the U.S. military hardware on the way to Al-Hol

Every single day from 10 to 20 people, mainly women and children die due to the lack of drinking water, essential goods, and medicine. Only for the past two months, 250 children passed away in the camp. According to estimates, now more than 50,000 refugees reside there, although initially it was designed only for 25,000.

It turned out that the catastrophe of Al-Hol residents is caused by the illegal actions of the U.S. authorities. Their homes and shelters in the northern and north-eastern part of Syria have been destroyed by the indiscriminate airstrikes of the U.S.-led international coalition.

Apr 17 06:44

Ankara Deeply Concerned over US Arms Shipments to Syrian Kurds

A prominent Turkish political analyst underlined Ankara's concerns about Washington's continued arms shipments to the Kurdish militia, warning of the US plans against Syria's territorial integrity by setting the stage for Kurdish
independence.

The Arabic-language service of Sputnik quoted Turki Mahmoud Othman as saying on Tuesday that the US has supplied the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with a large amount of weapons and military equipment.
***
Othman claimed that the US intends to protect and support the SDF with the help of the European forces as it promises Turkey to create a demilitarized zone in Northern Syria to buy time, and warned that the demilitarized zone is likely a trap for Turkey by Washington.

>>>


US To Increase Pressure On Defiant Turkey Over S-400 Deal

Apr 16 03:52

Turkey & the Real Risk of a Debt Crisis

Apr 10 08:37

Now Turks Are Rubbing It In.

My main question here is if Turkey knows that F-35 is a....turkey? I am pretty sure Turks do. Of course, behind all this back-and-forth on S-400 are things much more substantial than even top-notch air defense for Turkey--namely massive economic developments in Eurasia. It is also obvious that Turks are now in the bargain mode with Russia across the whole spectrum of issues--gas, nuclear power, military, tourism, agriculture, to name a few--and that could be indicative of a tectonic shift in Turkey's geopolitical orientation but we cannot be sure 100% yet. On F-35 issue, however, one should not discount the possibility of Turks getting off at the last opportunity from this program in order for a bigger, better thing. This thing are SU-35 of latest modifications and SU-57 which is hitting serial production in 2020 and China expressing interest in this aircraft while already operating full Russian versions of SU-35.

Apr 10 05:20

Turkey: Delivery of Russian S-400 may be brought forward

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country’s purchase of Russia's S-400 is a “done” deal, and that the delivery of the missile defense system may happen sooner than the date set.

Erdogan made the remarks to reporters on his plane while returning from a trip to Russia, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The Turkish president said that he and his foreign minister were frequently asked about Ankara’s decision on the purchase of the S-400 system from Moscow.

“We answer that ‘this deal is done, everything is settled.’>>>

Apr 09 10:46

After Losing Istanbul Vote, Turkey’s Erdogan Wants a Do-Over

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not handled his party’s poor performance in local elections well, and is continuing to try to find a way to fix the results, particularly in Istanbul. On Monday he suggested that the city may need to revote entirely.

Erdogan’s original plan was to recount all votes in Istanbul, but the High Election Board has rejected the bulk of the recount, allowing for only 51 total ballot boxes to be recounted in 21 districts.

Though Erdogan’s AKP actually did win a slim majority across the nation, the loss of Istanbul and Ankara was particularly embarrassing. Erdogan’s start as a mayor in Istanbul meant his party losing that city was quite a blow.

Apr 09 10:26

Pence Issues Turkey Ultimatum: "Choose Between Remaining NATO Member Or Buying Russian S-400"

Two days after we reported that the US had halted delivery of equipment related to the stealthy F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey as part of the ongoing rift over Erdogan's plans to move forward with taking delivery of the advanced Russian S-4000 anti-air defense system, on Wednesday the US escalated the war of words with its NATO ally when Vice President Mike Pence threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against "reckless decisions," like following through with the purchase of the Russian-made air defense system.

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Apr 07 08:33

Trump's Neocons See Erdogan as Their Ticket to a Region-Wide M.E. War

Turkish troops and armored units are massed along Turkey’s southern border awaiting orders to invade northern Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to clear a ten mile-deep swath of land east of the Euphrates River in order to remove terrorist-linked militants (YPG) currently occupying the territory. The proposed offensive would put US Special Forces in the line of fire which significantly increases the likelihood of US casualties. If American troops are killed or wounded by the Turkish operation, Washington will respond in force leading to a potentially catastrophic face-off between the two NATO allies. The possibility of a violent clash between Turkey and the United States has never been greater than it is today.

Apr 06 09:22

SECRET F-35 Tech Will Be Compromised Should Turkey Buy S-400, US Media Claims

The US has reportedly halted all shipments to Turkey, related to the procurement of F-35s as Ankara continues to refuse to ditch the S-400 deal with Russia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently indicated that it happened because the US failed to make a better offer than Russia on air defence systems.

Apr 05 12:39

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

Turkey’s vice president said his US counterpart must choose between an alliance with a loyal NATO partner or siding with terrorists, after Mike Pence issued an ultimatum for Ankara to pick its F-35 jets over Russian S-400 systems.
“The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?” Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, in response to Mike Pence’s demands.

The Turkish official did not make clear what “terrorists” he was talking about. Ankara is at odds with Washington over the military support it provides to Syrian Kurdish militias which are designated as terrorist organizations in Turkey.

That aside, self-exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose entity Turkey accuses of plotting the 2016 coup attempt, has found a safe haven in the US which also poisons relations between the two NATO allies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It appears that Pence has fully accepted his position as the Vice"merchant of death in Chief", when it comes to hawking US weapons systems other countries really don't want to buy.

But that he threatened Turkey in this very public way, is not going to get him any favors from Turkey, which may be thinking seriously about resigning their NATO membership, and that really poses a problem for NATO.

Because of it bordering both Europe and Central Asia, straddling the Black Sea and Mediterranean Seas, along with bordering Bulgaria; Iran; Syria; Cypress; Armenia and Georgia, Turkey is strategically vital to NATO's operations.

And I have to wonder; after a not so lustrous showing in Turkey's general elections, will NATO decide that Turkey needs a "regime change"?!? Were I Edrogan, I would want to think about this very, very carefully.

Apr 05 12:22

Ankara says US State Department ‘failed to report’ true content of Pompeo talks

Ankara has accused the US State Department of making false claims after a meeting between top US and Turkish diplomats. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held talks on Wednesday during the Turkish official’s visit to Washington as part of 70th anniversary celebrations of the NATO alliance.

Apr 04 08:23

Turkey Issues Counter-Ultimatum To Pence: Either Stand With Us Or With The Terrorists

In the latest in the continuing fallout between the US and Turkey over Ankara's plans to install Russia's S-400 missile defense systems — for which the United States this week finally halted delivery of not only the jets but also equipment related to the stealth F-35 fighter aircraft, and canceled all future shipments of F-35 related material — Turkey has issued its own counter-ultimatum: you are either with us or with the terrorists.

In response to yesterday's threat by Vice President Mike Pence putting Turkey on notice to either scrap the S-400 deal with Russia or say goodbye to the Lockheed F-35, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay tweeted, “The United States must choose. Does it want to remain Turkey’s ally or risk our friendship by joining forces with terrorists to undermine its NATO ally’s defense against its enemies?”

Apr 04 05:22

Turkish FM says no turning back from Russia arms deal

Turkey will not turn back from a major arms deal with Russia despite the US suspension of Ankara from the F-35 fighter-jet program, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday.

"The S-400 deal is a done deal and we will not step back from this," he told a think-tank forum in Washington, where he is taking part in 70th anniversary celebrations of NATO.

The United States said Monday that it was halting shipment of F-35 parts of Turkey as well as joint manufacturing work due to Ankara's purchase of the S-400 missile defense system from Russia.

>>>

(*Art of The Deal = written by ghost writer )

Apr 03 11:58

Turkey must choose between remaining NATO partner or buying Russian S-400 – Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence has threatened Turkey’s future role in the NATO alliance, warning it against “reckless decisions,” like pressing ahead with the purchase of the Russian-made S-400 air defense system.

“Turkey must choose. Does it want to remain a critical partner in the most successful military alliance in history or does it want to risk the security of that partnership by making such reckless decisions that undermine our @NATO alliance?,” Pence tweeted on Wednesday, after making similar remarks at a NATO summit in Washington.

Turkey has insisted on purchasing the Russian weapons system, despite repeated warnings from the US. Even after the Pentagon halted deliveries of the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet and related equipment to Turkey, Ankara remained defiant, with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telling the NATO summit that the purchase was “a done deal.”

Apr 02 12:09

Turkey’s Ruling Party Loses Big in Local Votes; Expects to Reverse Results on Appeal

Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, lost in a big way in the weekend’s local elections, results that had many suggesting that President Erdogan’s attempt to make local voting a referendum on his rule a strategic error.

The AKP, however, is spinning the losses as simple “mistakes,” and with major losses in the big cities of Istanbul and Ankara, the results are being presented as temporary, with AKP fully expecting to appeal enough to get handed those cities in court

Appeals are expected in every distinct of the capital city, as well as in much of Istanbul, where the loss came down to an estimated 0.28 percentage points. Officials see any recounts or appeals as virtually certain to benefit the incumbent party.

With turnouts well above 80%, this was clearly a major election for Turkey, where Erdogan has increased his own powers while severely limiting the parliament, and local officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the long run, Erdogan has not been great for the Turkish people, or for its minority Kurdish populations; the Turkish people deserve far better leadership than they have had under Erdogan's watch.

Apr 02 12:02

Pentagon halts F-35 fighter jet equipment deliveries to Turkey

The Pentagon has suspended deliveries of equipment related the F-35 fighter jets to Turkey unless Ankara refuses to take a delivery of a Russian missile defence system.

The United States has repeatedly warned Turkey that the Russian S-400 system it aims to buy would compromise the security of the F-35 aircraft, which is made by US company Lockheed Martin.

US officials speaking to Reuters news agency on the condition of anonymity said the next shipment of training equipment and all subsequent shipments of F-35 materials have been cancelled.

"Pending an unequivocal Turkish decision to forgo the delivery of the S-400, deliveries and activities associated with the stand-up of Turkey's F-35 operational capability have been suspended while our dialogue on this important matter continues with Turkey," the spokesperson said on Monday.

Mar 27 07:33

"I’ve Never Seen A Move Like This In The 21 Years I’ve Been Watching This Market"

In Turkey's ongoing attempt to crush currency manipulators, yesterday we reported that in addition to launching a "probe" against JPMorgan, the biggest US bank, for daring to cut its TRY price target, as well as threatening unnamed "manipulators", on Monday Turkish authorities took a page of the Chinese currency manipulation playbook, when they made it virtually impossible for foreign investors to short the lira as they soaked up virtually all intermarket liquidity, potentially threatening to kill the economy.

As we reported yesterday, the overnight swap rate on Monday soared more than ten-fold over the prior two sessions to more than 300%, the highest spike on record going back to the nation’s 2001 financial crisis as offshore funds clamoring to close out long-lira positions failed to find counterparties and the cost of a lira short exploded.

Think Volkswagen short squeeze but for a currency, or FXwagen.

Mar 25 08:50

Erdogan says Turkey will take issue of Golan Heights to U.N.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Turkey will take the issue of the Golan Heights to the United Nations.

In an interview with broadcaster TGRT Haber, Erdogan said U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement on Golan Heights was a “gift” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of elections there.

Trump moved on Thursday to recognise Israeli sovereignty over the territory seized in war, marking a dramatic shift in U.S. policy.

In a speech at a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Friday, Erdogan said the legitimisation of the occupation of the Golan Heights cannot be allowed.

Mar 22 10:12

Turkish FM slams US decision on Golan Heights

Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday slammed US President Donald Trump’s tweet on the occupied Golan Heights, Anadolu reports.

“The territorial integrity of states is the most fundamental principle of international law,” said Mevlut Cavusoglu in a tweet.

Attempts by the US to legitimize Israel’s actions against international law will only lead to more violence and pain in the region. Turkey supports Syria’s territorial integrity,

Mar 21 10:35

Turkish intervention could trigger Syria's 'second great war'

After a bloody and protracted five-year war, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the US-led coalition are on the verge of declaring victory against the Islamic State after the fall of its last crumbs of territory in Baghuz. With Islamic State cells continuing to operate to deadly effect in Syria and neighboring Iraq, it's too early to say "mission accomplished," cautioned Mazlum Kobane, the commander in chief of the SDF, in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor March 10 at a heavily guarded complex near al-Omar oil field in eastern Syria. The charismatic 50-year-old Syrian Kurd, whom coalition officials address as “general,” is seen as one of the chief architects of the battle against the jihadis.

Mar 21 07:39

Turkey announces joint raids with Iran against Kurdish rebels

Turkey and Iran have launched a joint military operation against Kurdish rebels along Turkey's eastern border, according to an official.

Suleyman Soylu, Turkey's interior minister, said the offensive on Monday targeted the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

"As of 8:00 this morning, we started an operation with Iran aimed at the PKK on our eastern border," he told a crowd in the Mediterranean city of Antalya. "We will announce the outcome [later]."

Mar 21 07:24

WAPO GIVES CAMPAIGN SPACE TO MAIN SPONSOR OF ISIS WHO ALSO JAILS MORE JOURNALISTS THAN ANYONE ELSE

There is of course a big difference. While the murderer in New Zealand, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, visited fascist groups in many countries including Turkey, he was not part of a larger organization or even a terrorist state. There is no evidence so far that he had any big sponsors.

Mar 20 09:27

Turkish Occupation Continues to Erase Cyprus’ Heritage

Since the military invasion of Cyprus by the Turkish army during the summer of 1974, countless reports have been published about the atrocities the Turkish invaders committed on the beautiful Mediterranean island.

But less known is the continuous effort by the Turkish occupiers to drastically alter the cultural identity of the northern half of Cyprus, an area with thousands of years of rich history.

Since 1974’s violent displacement of hundreds of thousands of Greek-Cypriots, the northern part of Cyprus has occupied not just by Turkish-Cypriots, from whom the vast majority were already living in the island.

Mar 19 15:43

Top US General Denies Plans to Leave 1,000 Troops in Syria

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford issued a statement Monday denying weekend media reports that the US plans to leave around 1,000 troops in Syria, saying the reports are “factually incorrect.”

Dunford presented the current planned “residual force” as 200, saying that this hadn’t changed since February. The US announced 200 would stay on February 21, but on February 22 officially increased that number to 400.

It’s not clear from Dunford’s statement where the “incorrect” aspect of the new report, which came out of a Wall Street Journal, exists. That report suggested that the 1,000 figure was not yet finalized, but was being discussed. Dunford’s comments didn’t include any details on what is actually being discussed, but just that nothing was finalized.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I think the multiple troop numbers being given, are simply a way of creating confusion about how many US troops the US does have in Syria.

Mar 19 09:23

Erdogan slams Israel PM and son over anti-Turkey tweets

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his son for verbally attacking Turkey.

On Saturday Erdogan called on Netanyahu to “twist the ear” of his son, Yair, as punishment for “calling Istanbul Constantinople”, warning that he had “other ways to educate Israel” if Netanyahu or his son continued with their rhetoric.

Erdogan’s remarks came in response to a tweet by Yair in which he said “I will remind him that Istanbul is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more then [sic] a thousand years before Turkish occupation!”

Mar 14 09:58

Erdogan: Netanyahu is a ‘tyrant’ who kills children

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said yesterday that his country would stand up for Al-Aqsa Mosque against any Israeli attack; describing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a “tyrant, who massacres children”, local media reported.

While speaking at the inauguration of new public service programmes in Ankara, Erdogan said that the Turks would not remain silent regarding the dangers facing Al-Aqsa Mosque even if the world does.

Mar 13 10:03

Turkey urges world to react against Israeli aggression

Turkey’s foreign minister on Tuesday called on the global community to stand against Israeli aggression in the sacred places of Islam, Anadolu Agency reports.

“Unfortunately, today, Israel’s aggression has increased with encouragement from the US We talk about all these issues and will not give up our sacred and national causes,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said, speaking at a public gathering in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.

Referring to raids in East Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex, he said: “It is time to put a stop to Israel’s recklessness. We can’t tolerate brazen attacks on our holy places and the world must react to this.”

Mar 13 08:04

S-400 Delivery Not Connected to Security of NATO, US, F-35 in Any Way – Erdogan

Earlier, a Pentagon spokesperson warned Ankara that if it went ahead with the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defence system, there would be "grave consequences" for the defence relationship between the Washington and Ankara.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected the Pentagon's ultimatum on Ankara's purchase of the S-400.

"The S-400s we're buying are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 in any way," Erdogan said, speaking at a rally in Diyarbakir on Saturday, according to Turkish television channel TRT.

Mar 12 08:54

Turkey says done deal on Russia missile ignoring U.S.' warning

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Turkey's deal to buy Russian S-400 missile defense systems had "nothing to do" with the security of the U.S.

He said in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir that it is very clear why Turkey has bought this air defense system, under what conditions it has bought them and how it will be used, adding that the "issue was not about the S-400s" but about Turkey "taking actions on its own accord," especially in Syria.

Mar 09 11:25

No Patriots, no F-35s: Pentagon to empty Turkish army’s shopping cart if it goes on with S-400 deal

Neither the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet nor the Patriot air defense system will be available to the Turkish military once they get the Russian-made S-400 surface-to-air missiles, a Pentagon spokesman threatened.

“I can tell you that if Turkey takes the S-400s there would be grave consequences in terms of our military relationship with them,” Charles Summers, acting chief spokesman for the Pentagon, was quoted by US media. “If they take the S-400s, they would not get the F-35s and Patriots,” he told an informal press briefing.

Mar 07 12:22

Turkey says to conduct joint raid with Iran against PKK

Turkey says it is planning to carry out a joint attack with Iran against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-and-a-half decade armed campaign against Ankara for independence.

"God willing, we will carry out a joint operation against the PKK together with Iran,” Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu told Anadolu news agency Wednesday.

He did not specify which PKK positions were going to be targeted in the planned operation or when the attack would take place. However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has in the past indicated that he would order the military to attack militant hideouts in Iraq.

Mar 06 12:20

Turkey’s Purchase of S-400 to Result in Reassessing F-35 Program - US State Dept

The United States has warned Turkey that its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system would put at risk Ankara’s participation in the F-35 jet program and could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on Ankara, US Department of State spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a press briefing.

"We've clearly warned Turkey that its potential acquisition of the S-400 will result in a reassessment of Turkey's participation in the F-35 program and risk other potential future arms transfers to Turkey, as well as lead to potential sanctions under the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act," Palladino said on Tuesday.

Mar 05 11:23

US Attempting to Prevent Revival of Adana Agreement Between Turkey, Syria

The US is attempting to block efforts to revive the Adana agreement signed between Ankara and Damascus in 1998 days after Turkey did not oppose Moscow’s proposal for deployment of the Russian forces at the bordering areas between Syria and Turkey.

The Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted the UAE’s ‘The National’ as reporting that the administration of US President Donald Trump is after creation of an international force consisting of 2,000 NATO soldiers instead of the safe zone desired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Northern Syria.

Analysts referred to the recent remarks by Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Chavushoglu on the possibility for the deployment of Russian forces at the bordering areas in Northern Syria, saying that it means success of Russia’s efforts to persuade Ankara to return to the Adana protocol.

Mar 04 13:09

Trump Move on US Troops In Syria Does Not Bode Well For US-Turkey Relations

News recently that President Trump has once again done a U turn on his Syria policy – and will keep US forces in the north with their SDF (mainly Kurdish) allies – couldn’t have been more felt than in Turkey. Trump’s decision to listen to his military advisors and even titans in Congress like Lindsey Graham to keep a contingent of US troops in the north with the SDF and in the south east at Al Tanf is hugely important in that it keeps other allies there – namely France and the UK – on board and retains America’s barrier to Iran taking the east of the country as a key corridor all the way to Lebanon. It also keeps Saudi Arabia and Israel happy who were particularly vexed by the hasty decision which would have dramatically changed the Syria War chequers board.

Mar 04 12:52

Greek police pelted with PETROL BOMBS as masked attackers take to Turkish consulate (VIDEO)

It was a tense night in the Greek city of Thessaloniki as dozens of masked assailants attacked police guarding the Turkish consulate with Molotov cocktails. Officers responded with tear gas and stun grenades.
The violence broke out after dark on Saturday when around 50 males, whom the Greek media described as “anarchists,” assaulted the police.

Dozens of petrol bombs were tossed before the officers forced the attackers to retreat. There was a chase, but no arrests were made. The perpetrators hid on the grounds of the local Aristotle University, which is off-limits to the law enforcers. No injuries were reported, but firefighters were called in to extinguish several small blazes caused by the Molotovs.

Mar 03 10:14

Turkish Army Resumes Attacks on Kurdish Positions in Aleppo Province

The Turkish Army resumed its offensive on the Kurdish fighters' military positions in Northern Syria after reinforcing and dispatching 70 armored vehicles to Aleppo province.
The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants heavily pounded the military positions of Kurdish Al-Bab Military Council in the village of al-Baqouz East of the city of Al-Bab. The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants were stationed in the village of Olashli West of the city of Manbij in Northeastern Aleppo.

Meantime, battlefield sources said that the Turkish Army has dispatched around 70 military vehicles comprising military and logistic supplies as well as a number of soldiers to the war fronts in Northern Syria.

Mar 01 12:00

US Attempting to Prevent Revival of Adana Agreement between Turkey, Syria

The US is attempting to block efforts to revive the Adana agreement signed between Ankara and Damascus in 1998 days after Turkey did not oppose Moscow's proposal for deployment of the Russian forces at the bordering areas between Syria and Turkey.

Feb 28 12:10

100+ warships in 3 seas: Turkey flexes military muscle with largest naval drill in its history

Turkey is conducting an unprecedented three-sea naval drill, the largest in its history. This is also the first time Turkish air and ground forces have taken part in a military exercise on this scale.

The four-day Mavi Vatan ("Blue Homeland”) 2019 drill, involving 103 navy ships, began on Wednesday in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean simultaneously, giving Turkey a chance to show off its recently-upgraded fleet, which includes over a dozen assault boats and frigates in addition to corvettes, mine hunting boats, patrol boats, and submarines.

Turkish-made Bayraktar and ANKA drones and jet fighters will also participate. The drill was planned six months ago, in accordance with NATO regulations.

Feb 27 08:22

Russian S-400 defense system purchase done deal: Turkey

Ankara's purchase of Russia's S-400 missile defense system is a done deal, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday, despite Washington's efforts to persuade Turkey to buy the U.S. Patriot system instead.

U.S. and NATO officials have warned Ankara that the Russian system cannot be integrated into the NATO air and missile defense system and that purchasing the S-400 system would jeopardize Turkey's purchase of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and possibly result in U.S. sanctions.

Feb 25 11:42

Erdogan warns US-planned Syria safe zone must be under Turkey’s control

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the United States and allies operating along the Syria border that any safe zone planned for the area should be under Ankara’s control.

Erdogan said in an interview aired late on Saturday that plans by the US and European military forces to set up a safe zone along Syria’s border with Turkey should be coordinated with Ankara, reiterating that the Turkish military should have control over such initiatives.

“If there is to be a safe zone along our border then it must be under our control. Because that is my border,” Erdogan told broadcaster CNN Turk.

Feb 25 10:42

Syrian Kurds Vow to Fight 'to Death' in Event of New Turkish Op in Syria - SDF

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have promised to fight "to the death" in the event of a new Turkish operation in northeastern Syria, SDF spokeswoman Jihan Sheikh Ahmed told Sputnik on Friday.

"We will defend the north and the east of Syria to the death," Ahmed said commenting on the SDF response on a possible operation.

The spokeswoman added that the SDF would not like to see a situation similar to what happened earlier this year in Afrin, where Ankara conducted a military operation.

Later in the day, Syria's main Kurdish parties and other allied groups issued a joint statement on the issue, calling Turkish plans a "declaration of war" and calling on world powers to prevent an assault on the region.

"All the forces in the north and east Syria…are asked to agree on strategies to confront this aggression," the statement read.

Feb 23 09:19

IRAN FIGHTS TO GET AROUND US SANCTIONS IN IRAQ, TURKEY, RUSSIA AND SYRIA

“Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday that Moscow will continue all-out cooperation with Iran, including in the area of nuclear energy," Iranian media reported.

Feb 20 12:17

Why won’t Turkey abandon the S-400 deal with Russia?

Washington’s first deadline for Turkey to respond to its offer to buy the Patriot missile defence system passed last Friday with no progress made. Only one day after the deadline, US Vice President Mike Pence raised the issue once again with Ankara regarding Turkey’s recent deal to acquire the Russian S-400 missile defence system. In his speech at the Munich Security Conference last Saturday, Pence threatened Turkey, without mentioning it explicitly, when he said, “We’ve also made it clear that we will not stand idly by while NATO Allies purchase weapons from our adversaries. We cannot ensure the defence of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

Feb 18 07:46

US ‘won’t stand idly by’ as Turkey buys S-400: Pence

US Vice President Mike Pence has repeated warnings to Turkey against purchasing of Russia’s S-400 missile defense systems, arguing that doing so puts other members of the NATO military alliance in danger.

Pence raised the issue during a speech at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, saying Washington would continue to pressure Ankara to call off the deal.

“We will not stand idly by while NATO allies purchase weapons from our adversaries,” he said. “We cannot ensure the defense of the West if our allies grow dependent on the East.”

The fiery remarks came a day after Turkey dismissed the first of two US deadlines to cancel the controversial purchase.

Feb 18 04:17

Flashback: The Complete Unexpurgated AIPAC Tape

Following is a transcript of the Oct. 22, 1992 conversation with President David Steiner of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) recorded without his knowledge by New York businessman Haim (Harry) Katz. Its existence was first revealed to the Washington Times and its release triggered Steiner's resignation.

Feb 17 09:52

EXCLUSIVE: Lindsey Graham Pitches Syria Safe Zone to Prevent ISIS Reemergence

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Breitbart News that he is proposing a plan to keep a “small percentage” of U.S. troops in Syria, after the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s (ISIS) caliphate is destroyed.

“The bottom line is we can reduce our presence, but there needs to be some U.S. forces — a small percentage compared to what we have today, making sure our gains are maintained,” he said in an interview Friday at the Munich Security Conference.

Graham is hoping to get allies and partners onboard with creating a stabilizing force that could maintain a safe zone in northern Syria, along its border with Turkey.

Feb 13 10:02

Turkey's president says Venezuelan gold to be processed in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday that Venezuela's gold will be refined in central Turkey's Corum.

"Venezuelan gold will be refined in Corum ... We will develop Corum for the gold trade and the city to a better position in this field," Erdogan said during an election rally ahead of March 31 municipal elections in this city located east of capital Ankara, CNN Turk news channel reported.

Turkey, a NATO country, aligned itself with those behind Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in a bitter crisis in which he is opposed to National Assembly leader Juan Guaido who declared himself Venezuela's rightful president last month.

Erdogan traveled to Caracas last December and met Maduro.

Feb 13 10:02

Turkey orders 1,112 arrested over links to cleric Gulen - state media

Turkey launched on Tuesday one of its largest operations against alleged supporters of the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of leading an attempted coup in 2016, ordering the arrest of 1,112 people, state media reported.

Feb 11 14:35

International law under threat

Lawrence Davidson warns against the steady demise of international law, where the US and its allies are undermining the world climate change control regime, the International Criminal Court and Interpol, paving the way for the return of the barbarism that blighted the earth before 1946.>>

Feb 06 12:11

In Your Dreams! Pompeo Infuriates Turkish Netizens With Map of Divided Turkey

It's so far unclear why the map, published by the US Secretary of State on Twitter, has a border dividing Turkey in two. The State Department and other US officials haven't commented on the publication yet.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shocked Turkish netizens in one of his latest tweets, where he showed the map of countries, supporting Juan Guaido, who recently proclaimed himself an interim president of Venezuela. But it was not the support for Venezuela's opposition that angered social media users, but the map that featured Turkey divided into two unequal parts with a border.

Feb 01 12:42

U.S. Mulls Sanctions Against Turkey over Trade with Venezuela

The United States is currently investigating if Turkey’s deepening relations with Venezuela constitute a violation of its sanctions against the Maduro regime, Reuters reported Thursday.

U.S. officials are reportedly examining whether Turkey’s trade in Venezuelan gold represent a violation of sanctions imposed by the U.S. against Venezuela in November.

The White House has stepped up its efforts to remove Maduro’s illegal hold on power and replace him with 35-year-old opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó until free and fair elections are held.

Jan 31 11:23

Google erases Kurdistan from maps in compliance with Turkish gov.

Google incorporation removed a map outlining the geographical extent of the Greater Kurdistan after the Turkish state asked it to do so, a simple inquiry on the Internet giant’s search engine from Wednesday on can show.

“Unavailable. This map is no longer available due to a violation of our Terms of Service and/or policies,” a note on the page that the map was previously on read. Google did not provide further details on how the Kurdistan map violated its rules.

The map in question, available for years, used to be on Google’s My Maps service, a feature of Google Maps that enables users to create custom maps for personal use or sharing through search.

Because the map was created and shared publicly by a user through their personal account, it remains unknown if their rights have been violated or if they will appeal.

Jan 28 11:21

Turkey shells YPG positions in Tal Rifaat for third consecutive day - Anadolu

Turkish forces shelled YPG militia positions in the northern Syrian region of Tal Rifaat for a third consecutive day, state media reported on Friday.

Tal Rifaat is located some 20 km east of Afrin, which has been under the control of Turkey and its Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies since an operation last year aimed at driving out the YPG militia.

The YPG still controls the small region of Tal Rifaat, wedged between an area under Turkish control to the north and areas controlled by the Syrian government and anti-Syrian government rebels to the south.

Jan 28 10:48

Turkish Master Plan: Crush Kurds, Brush Aside US, Re-Claim Caliphate

The two presidents, Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, are meeting to discuss their long-term strategic-economic relationship. Nevertheless, the situation in Syria and the US claimed withdrawal from the occupied northeast of the Levant is expected to occupy the greater part of their discussion. Both presidents are aware of the critical situation, particularly the US objective of setting Turkey against Russia and, at the same time, leaving the US allies, i.e. the Kurds of the YPG and SDF, in the eye of the hurricane.

Jan 28 10:47

'Brother, We Are With You': NATO Turkey Emerges as Staunches Defender of Maduro Against Trump

Turkey, Russia, and China came to the aid of Venezuela's leader on Thursday after the United States declared Nicolas Maduro was no longer its president.

The pledges of support came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an address to tens of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, Caracas.

Jan 28 10:12

Turkish Soldiers flee while Kurdish Protesters occupy their Base; Shiladze, North Iraq, January 2019

People are furiously protesting against the Turkish attacks on civilians in the region. Duhok is the capital of Duhok Governorate in Iraqi Kurdistan. Shiladze is a Village in Iraq's northern province of Duhok, some 70km north of Mosul.

Jan 28 09:02

SYRIAN, IRAQI WAR REPORT – JAN. 28, 2019: KURDISH LEADERSHIP AT CROSSROADS BETWEEN TURKEY AND ASSAD

On January 25, hundreds of Kurdish protesters stormed a Turkish military base near the northern Iraqi city of Dahuk in response to Turkish airstrikes that killed two Kurdish civilians on January 23. According to the pro-Kurdish NRT TV, Turkish soldiers opened fire at the protestors killing at least one and injuring many others. Despite resistance, protesters managed to breach the base and set it on fire. Protestors captured most of the Turkish soldiers who were inside the base and several units of military equipment. Two agents of the Turkish National Intelligence Organization, known as MIT, were injured. Later, the captured Turks were reportedly handed over to Peshmerga, a force of the Kurdistan Regional Government.

Jan 26 11:57

CIVILIANS STORM & BURN TURKISH MILITARY BASE IN NORTHERN IRAQ (PHOTOS, VIDEOS)

A mob of angry civilians has attacked a Turkish military camp near the Iraqi city of Dohuk, burning equipment and vehicles. The incident comes in response to the deaths of civilians during Turkish airstrikes, local media reports.
The incident occurred in northern Iraq on Saturday, when a large mob of civilians attacked a Turkish military encampment located in the predominantly-Kurdish region of Dohuk.

Footage from the scene which surfaced online shows civilians at the military encampment with Turkish military vehicles and tents burning in the background. At least one person died and 10 were reportedly wounded during the incident. It remains unclear if the Turkish Army sustained any casualties - servicemen are nowhere to be seen in the footage.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF Turkish President Erdogan thought, for one second, that the Iraqis were going to "throw roses at the feet" of their new overlords, I hope he understands that he was thoroughly mistaken.

Unfortunately, this is most probably going to cause more Turkish attacks of greater intensity against these Iraqi villages.

And BTW, where the heck is Muqtada Al Sadr while all of this is happening?!? Sir, your Iraqi citizens need to know that you have their back, and right the heck now. And I say this, because Al Sadr is now characterized as one of the most powerful elements in the current Iraqi government, yet holds no office of his own.

I hope that something can be done, to get the Turkish bombing to stop.

But notice; the US government requested, and got, an emergency meeting today at the UN regarding Venezuela.

So, why the heck was an emergency meeting not called regarding the Turkish shelling of Iraq?!?

To paraphrase a line from George Orwell's "Animal Farm";
Apparently, for the US government, "Some crises... are more precious than others."

Jan 26 11:46

US MAY BE PLOTTING TO SOW DISCORD BETWEEN RUSSIA AND TURKEY IN SYRIA: RUSSIAN TOP DIPLOMAT

Washington’s troop pullout from Syria may well be an attempt to pit Russia and Turkey against each other in the region, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov said in an interview with the International Affairs magazine issued on Thursday.

“Something like that is quite plausible,” he said when asked whether he believes that the US is likely not to remove all of its troops in the end, but rather just clear enough space for Russia and Turkey to lock horns with each other. “We, as well as our colleagues in Ankara and others – we all understand perfectly well that this aspect is also possible. This is also part of the equation that we will have to solve,” the diplomat specified.

Jan 26 11:42

SearchSearch'Brother, We Are With You': NATO Turkey Emerges as Staunches Defender of Maduro Against Trump

Turkey, Russia, and China came to the aid of Venezuela's leader on Thursday after the United States declared Nicolas Maduro was no longer its president.

The pledges of support came after opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim president of Venezuela in an address to tens of thousands of people on the streets of the capital, Caracas.

Jan 24 10:57

Russia, Turkey agree to take steps to 'stabilise' Syria's Idlib

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recept Tayyip Erdogan say they have discussed steps needed to stabilise the situation in Syria's Idlib province where the joint battle against "terrorist" organisations will continue.

Erdogan arrived in Moscow on Wednesday with several of his cabinet members for a day-long visit.

Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian foreign ministry said the situation in the region, where Moscow and Ankara have tried to create a de-escalation zone, was rapidly deteriorating and that it was almost under the full control of Hay'et Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) - a rebel group that was previously linked to al-Qaeda.

"Unfortunately there are many problems there and we see them," said Putin, standing alongside Erdogan at a joint press conference following the meeting.

Jan 24 10:19

Iran, Turkey, Russia warn US against meddling in domestic affairs of Venezuela

Iran, Turkey and Russia throw their weight behind the Venezuelan government against a bizarre move by the US-backed opposition leader to proclaim himself “president,” warning Washington against interfering in domestic affairs of the South American state.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said the Islamic Republic “backs Venezuela’s nation and legitimate government in the face of any foreign meddling in the country’s domestic affairs or any illegitimate and illegal measure such as attempts for a coup or moves against the people.”

“We hope that any disagreement and political problem in Venezuela will be resolved by the country’s own people and government as soon as possible via legal and peaceful solutions,” he added.

Jan 23 09:20

Is a Land Swap Between Turkey and Syria Being Brokered by Russia?

The regions currently being administered by the Kurds in Syria include the Kurdish-majority Qamishli and al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria along the border with Iraq, and the Arab-majority towns of Manbij to the west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria and Kobani to the east of the Euphrates River along the Turkish border.

The oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate in eastern Syria has been contested between the Syrian government and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, and it also contains a few pockets of the remnants of the Islamic State militants alongside both eastern and western banks of the Euphrates River.

Jan 23 02:09

Trump Successfully Erodes Russia-Turkey Axis in Syria

Graham used to be the best buddy of late Sen. John McCain (an inveterate Russophobe) and a maverick who broke party stereotypes and was among the loudest Republican critics of the president, but today he’s perceived as a leading Trump ally.

Most certainly, Graham undertook the mission to Ankara on behalf of Trump. The Turks understood this and he was well received by President Recep Erdogan. He also had meetings with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. Only last week, Turks had cold-shouldered US National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Erdogan refused to receive Bolton.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Syria seems to be still much in play, and it appears that there is still a great deal which will have to be done to get and keep things stable here.

Jan 22 11:11

Erdogan: Turkey not to allow Syria safe zone to turn into ‘swamp’

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the country will never allow the implementation of a militant-free safe zone in Syria to be turned into "a swamp" like the one in northern Iraq, where US-backed Kurdish militants launch attacks on Turkish soil.

Erdogan made the remarks at an official event in the Turkish capital Ankara on Monday.

Jan 22 11:01

Report: Erdogan Urges Trump in Phone Call to Let Turkey Control Kurdish Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again attempted to convince his American counterpart, President Donald Trump, to allow Turkey to control Manbij, a region in northern Syria under the auspices of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), in a phone call Sunday.

The YPG is one of America’s closest and most reliable allies in the country, responsible for eliminating much of the Islamic State presence in Syria and keeping the terrorist group out of Manbij and much of Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava). The Turkish government considers YPG fighters “terrorists” indistinguishable from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Marxist, U.S.-designated terrorist group.

Jan 22 10:46

US-Kurdish patrol attacked in Syria as Erdo?an offers to step in

The threat of a growing security vacuum in Syria as a result of Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops has been underlined by an attack on a joint US-Kurdish patrol, which reportedly killed five people and injured at least two American soldiers.

The attack on Monday, in which a suicide bomber drove a car into a checkpoint, emphasised the vulnerability of American troops since the US president declared he was withdrawing 2,000 soldiers from northern Syria on the grounds that Islamic State has been defeated.

The bomber targeted a joint patrol by US forces and the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the Hasakah countryside of north-east Syria.

Kurdish forces later claimed none of their number had been killed.

Jan 19 10:08

Turkey says Syria regime forces shouldn't be allowed in Manbij

Turkey on Friday insisted Syrian regime forces should not be allowed in Manbij as US troops withdraw, as proposed by a US-backed Kurdish militia viewed as terrorists by Ankara.

The strategic northern city has been held by the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militia since 2016 after they recaptured the territory from Islamic State jihadists.

But Ankara, who says the YPG is a "terrorist offshoot" of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has repeatedly called for the militia to leave the city.

"The YPG's efforts to stick the regime in Manbij must absolutely not be allowed," Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy said during a press conference in Ankara.

Backed by Washington, the militia has spearheaded the fight against IS but was taken aback when President Donald Trump made the shock decision to pull out 2,000 American ground forces from Syria.

Four Americans, including two US soldiers, were killed this week in Manbij in a suicide attack claimed by IS.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know precisely what Erdogan is thinking here, but.... if, in fact Manbij is, technically, Syrian territory, it should be ceded to the Syrian military.

This is a very delicate balancing act between Syria, Turkey, Russia, and the US, and if not handled with a great deal of diplomatic finesse, could easily explode into more violence.

And I seriously would like to hope and pray, that the world leaders involved in this standoff, will come to their collective senses, and not cause any more misery for the Syrian people than they have already been dealt, courtesy of the jihadis, and those who trained, funded, aided them medically, and supported them.

Come on, guys; the world knows who you are at this point!!!!

Jan 16 12:57

The US Five-point ‘Non-Paper’ for Syria Delivered by Bolton to Turkey

US diplomats and military officials failed to present any specific details to their Turkish counterparts about Washington’s plans to withdraw its forces from northern Syria during National Security Adviser John Bolton‘s visit to Ankara on Tuesday, Middle East Eye has learned.

Turkish officials had been expecting Bolton and his entourage to bring with them draft plans for the withdrawal of about 2,000 soldiers deployed as part of the US-led campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants following US President Donald Trump‘s announcement last month of his intention to pull them out of Syria.

But the US delegation instead delivered what Turkish officials described as a “non-paper”, an unofficial diplomatic note listing a country’s position on certain matters which is open for discussion.

Jan 16 11:37

Venezuela And Turkey Unite To Refine Tons Of Gold Amid US Sanctions

Venezuela and Turkey are working on a deal to ship tonnes of gold to refine and certify in the Turkish city of Corum this year.

Facing sanctions and international pressure, Venezuela is increasingly turning to Turkey as a partner in the Middle East. Ankara will provide a host of services to Caracas, including building hospital and schools and providing humanitarian aid as a part of the gold refining deal.

Venezuelan Minister of Industries and National Production Tareck El Aissami will finalise a deal on the gold trade during a visit to Turkey on Wednesday. He will also tour an industrial complex in Corum, where Ahlatci Metal company has a refinery with an annual capacity of 365 tonnes, according to a spokesperson from the Turkish precious metals company.

Jan 15 07:17

Erdogan, Trump consider setting up 'security zone' in Syria

Two leaders discuss situation in Syria over the phone amid growing tensions over the fate of US-allied Kurdish fighters.

The conversation on Monday came a day after Trump threatened on Twitter that he would "devastate" Turkey's economy if its forces attacked the US-backed Kurdish fighters, who helped Washington in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The war of words between the two NATO allies is the latest consequence of Trump's surprising decision last month to withdraw US troops from northern Syria, potentially leaving the Kurdish militia under threat as Ankara weighs a new offensive there.

>>>

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