TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


TURKEY

Aug 20 09:37

Turkish Army, Allied Militants Set up New Bases in Northern Syria

The Turkish Army and Ankara-backed militants set up more bases in occupied Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo on Sunday.
The Ankara forces established a number of bases in villages in a border region near the town of Bolboleh in Northern Afrin.

In the meantime, the Turkish troops and allied militants turned several trade centers in Bolboleh into military bases.

Also, Jeish al-Islam said on Saturday that they set up five military bases between the towns of al-Bab and Afrin after withdrawal from Eastern Ghouta.

On Saturday, the Turkish army dispatched a long convoy, including tanks, advances weapons and military vehicles to Hatay province at the border with Syria's Idlib province.

Aug 20 09:29

Gold Leaving US Vaults: Signs of Upcoming Currency War and Armed Conflict. Turkey Repatriates its Gold

The Turkish government has made the decision to repatriate all of its gold reserves that are currently housed in the US Federal Reserve System (FRS). Overall Turkey was storing 220 tonnes, valued at $25.3 billion, in the US, which it repossessed on April 19, 2018.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has toughened his stance against the US dollar (USD), declaring that international loans should be made in gold instead of the American currency. Ankara is seeking to reduce dependence on the US financial system. The gold’s homecoming was partly prompted by the US threats to impose sanctions if Turkey goes through with the signed deal to purchase Russian S-400 missile defense systems.

Aug 20 09:27

'Squirrels' Everywhere - Distract, Distract, Distract

I had suggested last week that a retest of support at 2800 would be a possibility as the market had gotten very overbought as it approached the January highs.

“With moving averages rising, this shifts Pathway #2a and #2b further out into the August and September time frames. The potential for a correction back to support before a second attempt at all-time highs would align with normal seasonal weakness heading into the Fall.

As shown in the updated “pathway chart” above, the market did indeed attempt to test all-time highs in the market. But, as I noted, the overbought condition provided the fuel for a correction given the right catalyst.

That catalyst appeared on Friday as the Lira plunged and Turkey edged closer to an economic crisis.”

Aug 20 08:53

Turkey lodges WTO complaint against US tariffs

“Turkey has requested WTO dispute consultations with the United States concerning additional import duties imposed by the United States on steel and aluminium products. The request was circulated to WTO members on 20 August,” the WTO said on Monday.

In its petition to the WTO, Turkey said the US violated free trade rules when it initially imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports in June for most countries. Doubling them is an additional violation, according to Ankara.

Aug 20 07:39

Shots reported outside U.S. embassy in Turkey

Three bullets hit a security booth outside the U.S. embassy in Turkey early Monday morning, according to an Associated Press report.

No one was hurt, the AP reported.

According to the Ankara governor's office, suspects in a moving white vehicle fired six times towards the embassy in Istanbul. The incident is under investigation and officials are working to identify suspects, according to the AP.

Aug 19 07:35

What’s Really Behind US-Turkey Crisis?

Aug 18 12:18

S&P Downgrades Turkey To B+, Forecasts "Recession" And "Hard Landing"

Moody's downgraded Turkey's long-term foreign debt rating to Ba3 from Ba2. Additionally, Moody's shifted the outlook to negative from watch negative.

Aug 17 09:14

A US trade war with Turkey over a little known pastor? Don't believe a word of it

Erdogan’s real crimes are buying the Russian S-400 missile system for Turkey, refusing to accept US support for America’s Kurdish YPG allies and allowing Islamist fighters to pour over Turkey’s border into Syria along with a load of weapons, mortars and missiles

Aug 17 09:13

Erdogan Claims CIA, Mossad Planning to Rescue US Pastor Andrew Brunson

Turkey's president claims the CIA and Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency, are planning a rescue mission of American pastor Andrew Brunson.

Turkey's president Recep Erdogan reportedly told A-Haber TV, a channel owned by Erdogan's son-in-law, that members of the CIA and Mossad are staying in houses and apartments near Mr. Brunson's home.

Aug 16 15:20

Turkey Stocks, Lira Slide After Mnuchin Threatens More Sanctions

The Lira and Turkish stocks are sliding notably after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin warned that Washington is preparing more sanctions for Turkey due to the lack of progress on the release of Pastor Brunson.

Following a Turkish court's refusal yesterday to release American pastor Andrew Brunson, Mnuchin warned at a White House cabinet meeting today that U.S. has more sanctions prepared for Turkey if Brunson isn't quickly released.

Additionally, as Bloomberg reports, President Donald Trump said during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on Thursday that Turkey hasn’t turned out to be a great friend to the U.S., and he complained that his administration secured the release of a Turkish citizen from an unnamed country on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s behalf.

“We got somebody out for him,” Trump said, from “some place,” but Turkey continues to hold pastor Andrew Brunson. It’s “not right” and a “terrible thing,” he said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I might suggest that Turkey's Edrogan back down here; if economic destabilization does not work, look for DC to try something more drastic.

Aug 16 14:45

Turkey Ready for War, Says Erdogan, US Involved in Financial Warfare against Turkey

According to the Islamist Turkish newspaper Yeni Akit quoted by Ahvalnews, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is ready for war.

“The secret to successful states is their readiness for war. We are ready with everything we have,” said Erdo?an on Monday in a meeting with ambassadors in Ankara.

According to reports, the US has instrumented a currency war targeted against the Turkish lira.

“Erdo?an’s comments come as the Turkish currency continues to slide against the U.S. dollar following Washington’s announcement of sanctions against Ankara this month”. Ahvalnews

The decline is indicated in the chart below (Bloomberg), from 4.85 Lira to the dollar on July 16 to approximately 5.94 Lira to the dollar on August 16.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Erdogan, a word, please: if one follows the injunction of Hammurabi's code, which advocated "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth", one winds up with a population which is blind and toothless.

So please, let's take a step back from the brink; you cannot get your NATO brothers to stand with you against the US; you do not have the resources
or wherewithal to fight the US militarily; so the only issue with which to "fight", if one can use that word, is economic.

And on that ground, you are losing, mightily.

I would respectfully suggest that Turkish and American ambassadors start speaking with each other, to ratchet down this war of words.

In the end, this posture on your part will only serve to cause the US government to attempt more destabilization against your country, possibly by inciting your Kurdish population to revolt; and if that were to happen, what would happen to your power base?!?

Aug 16 11:10

Qatari emir vows $15bn Turkey investment after Erdogan meeting

Qatar pledges to make direct investment in Turkey, currently hit by currency crisis amid a diplomatic standoff with US.

Aug 16 09:52

Fake American Pastor Is The CIA’s Turkey Station Chief

The U.S. Evangelical pastor at the center of heightened tensions between Washington and Ankara is CIA’s Turkey chief under the guise of a clergyman, wrote pro-government Yeni ?afak daily columnist Tamer Korkmaz.

U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested in Turkey 19 months ago and is currently on house arrest, faces a possible life sentence on charges of membership of banned terrorist organisations.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence last Thursday threatened NATO- ally Turkey with imposing large sanctions unless Brunson is released.

Aug 16 08:38

Russia to open Black Sea ferry line from Crimea to Turkey

The Crimean peninsula is ready to launch a ferry service to the Turkish Black Sea coast.

“Negotiations with the freight-shipping agents have been carried out. The Crimean ports involved in the Turkey-Crimea-Turkey ferry line will be announced soon,” said CEO of Crimean Sea Ports Aleksey Volkov. The line will be opened this fall, he added.

Aug 16 00:51

Turkey and USA take their relationship to breaking point

The actions that the United States has recently taken against Turkey have resulted in the nearly total termination of relations between the two countries. Ankara is deeply disappointed with the situation in the US-Turkish relationship, official spokesman for the Turkish president, Ibrahim Kalin said. "Just because of one pastor, the US has taken the relationship with a country like Turkey to a breaking point. They know very well our attitude to the PKK (the Labor Party of Kurdistan, banned in Turkey - ed.) and promise to do something, but in reality they act in a manner that does not seem satisfying to us. [...] Our disappointment is profound, "the politician said during a meeting with journalists in Ankara. The Turkish authorities arrested US pastor Andrew Brunson in 2016. In response, the United States introduced a new package of sanctions on Turkey.

Aug 15 10:04

US-Turkish alliance reaches the point of no return

The Turkish lira fell 22% on Friday before recovering to 17% on the backdrop of the Trump administration’s announcement to double the tariffs on imports of Turkish steel and aluminum.

The tariffs affect Turkish exports worth more than $1 billion in trade with the United States.

The US was the top destination for Turkish steel exports in 2017. Turkey came in sixth place among the countries the US imported steel from last year, while the share of Turkish steel was 7% of total US steel imports.

More to the point, President Trump brazenly hinted that this was a political decision and he tauntingly noted that he also kept an eye on the Turkish lira’s exchange rate.

Trump tweeted: “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar! Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

Aug 15 08:02

Turkey favors switching from dollars to national currencies in trade with Russia & China

Ankara has given a green light to Moscow’s proposal to switch to ruble-lira trade between the countries. Turkey also has similar plans for trade with China and other countries.

Aug 14 09:31

EU Banks Exposed To Turkey

Aug 14 09:19

America’s Economic War on Turkey Has Killed Off The Possibility of Direct Talks With Iran

Donald Trump has repeatedly stated that he is willing and in fact happy to engage in direct talks with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani about a would-be JCPOA 2.0 – a revision of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated at the time by Barack Obama with his counterparts from Iran, China, Russia, the European Union, Germany, France and Britain. While members of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were predictably hostile to such overtures from Washington, President Rouhani himself said little to indicate a definitive ‘yes or no’ position on entering talks with Donald Trump.

Aug 14 08:01

Turkey to boycott iPhones & other US electronic products - Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a boycott of American electronic products in response to Washington’s economic pressure against Ankara after the detention of a US pastor in Turkey.

“There is an economic attack against Turkey. Earlier such things were done in secret, and now they are open to us. We can react in two ways: economically and politically,” Erdogan said in Ankara Tuesday.

“Our Ministry of Finance and the Treasury are working day and night…we will boycott electronic goods from the United States. They have iPhones, but on the other hand there are Samsungs. We have our local brand Venus Vestel, we will use it," the Turkish president added.

Aug 13 13:40

Turkey sees long-term partner in China

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, his nation’s currency in free fall, on Friday criticized “unilateral actions against Turkey by the United States, our ally of decades.” In an op-ed in The New York Times, he said that if such actions continue, Turkey will be required “to start looking for new friends and allies.”

China is surely one of those potential “new friends,” as evidenced by the fact that economic relations between the two countries, fueled by increasing expectations triggered by the Belt and Road Initiative, have been on a significant rise recently.

Aug 13 08:32

US, TURKEY DECLARE ECONOMIC WAR

Relations between the US and Turkey — a key American ally and home to NATO’s second-largest army — hit a new low on Friday, with the presidents of both countries rhetorically declaring economic war on each other. And over the course of a single day, the Turkish lira lost 17 percent of its value.

Within hours, early signs of panic spread to world financial markets. A European currency trader, who asked that his name not be published, told WhoWhatWhy on Sunday that he had never seen so much trade and volatility over a weekend, blaming it on the Turkey events.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

American foreign and economic policies should be used as a feather; rarely as a club.

Unfortunately, President Trump, DC's Merchant of Death in Chief (chief supporter of US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, for its genocide in Yemen) believes in the power of a "bully pulpit" from which he can force "Pax Americana" on an increasingly unwilling and hostile world, without really paying attention to the condition in which the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, finds itself, in this part of the 21st century.

We are a nation in decline; nearly destroyed by a National debt which can never be repaid; with US infrastructure crumbling, and a pronouncedly "third world" feel to our inner cities, primarily due to massive illegal immigration.

The US continues to do what has always done well, in the immortal words of George Carlin (paraphrased); we continue to kill brown people, because we're good at it!

And this is all in the name of expropriating resources, to which the US government has no moral right; regime change to insure that governments are US centric, and that those resources stolen from their countries of origin, will only be sold in US dollars.

And I have to wonder, with this feud between Erdogan and President Trump; did anyone happen to mention to him, that such activities were nearly bound to push Turkey into the economic/military sways of both China and Russia?!?

Was this the outcome actually wanted?!?

And if not, why the hell didn't someone around him suggest this possibility, which is about to morph into some huge embarrassments for the US in the Middle East and beyond?!?

Aug 11 09:36

Erdogan urges Turks to dump dollar to support lira

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the country’s citizens to sell foreign currencies to support the lira which has seen a record plunge against the US dollar amid a diplomatic conflict with Washington.

"Change the euros, the dollars and the gold that you are keeping beneath your pillows into lira at our banks. This is a domestic and national struggle," Erdogan said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

Aug 11 09:07

China will buy Turkey on the cheap

Like the fall of the Ottoman Empire after World War I, Turkey’s present financial collapse has been expected for years. The sloth of credit rating agencies and the laziness of bank credit committees allowed Turkey to struggle on a year or two longer than it should have, but the collapse of the Turkish lira this week after a long, sickening decline surprised no-one.

Turkey’s volatile president Recep Tayyip Erdogan might have put off the crisis, but instead decided to butt heads with US President Trump over the arrest of an American Protestant minister for alleged terrorism.

Aug 10 14:01

ECB Fears Contagion from Turkish Lira Collapse, Bank Stocks Plunge

Turkish lira in free-fall, down 18% in two days.

Aug 10 10:06

Turkish lawyers want to raid ?ncirlik Air Base and arrest U.S. Air Force officers

A group of pro-government Turkish lawyers have reportedly filed charges against U.S. Air Force officers associated with ?ncirlik Air Base based on allegations that they are connected to a movement that attempted a coup d'état against Turkey’s government in July 2016.

The lawyers are seeking a temporary halt to all flights leaving Incirlik Air Base — an important staging point for combat operations against the Islamic State group — and access to the base via a search warrant, according to court documents unearthed by the Stockholm Center for Freedom, a group of exiled Turkish journalists.

Aug 08 08:23

Erdogan to pay state visit to Germany – Steinmeier’s office

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a state visit to Germany on September 28-29, a spokeswoman for German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Tuesday. The spokeswoman did not say if Erdogan would also hold talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Reuters reported. Merkel’s office has not commented on the statement.

Aug 08 07:48

Europe Seeking to Boost Ties With Russia, Turkey Apart From the US – Analysts

Turkey is seeking to host a new Syria summit without the US, which indicates the beginning of the end of Washington's influence in Syria, Turkish analysts told Sputnik, further suggesting that France and Germany are also interested in expanding ties with Russia and Turkey.

The upcoming Istanbul summit on the Syrian crisis will leave Washington out in the cold, Turkish analysts told Sputnik Turkey.

According to Can Unver, a Turkish security analyst, the summit that will take place on September 7 will become "one of the most important diplomatic and political steps of the last period of time, carried out without the participation of the United States."

Aug 08 06:27

Turkey plans to continue buying natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions

Ankara will continue to buy natural gas from Iran despite US sanctions, Turkey’s energy minister said on Wednesday. The statement came a day after President Donald Trump threatened that anyone trading with Iran will not do business with America. Fatih Donmez said Turkey would continue to buy gas in line with its long-term supply deal with Tehran, and added that planned talks in Washington could produce a solution for the issue, Reuters reported.

Aug 07 12:11

Goldman Warns Turkish Banks Will Be Wiped Out If Lira Hits 7.1

After its worst day in 10 years, the Turkish Lira's early rebound is already starting to fade amid denied rumors of US officials predicting Lira's demise, a record high yield at its bond auction, and Goldman warning of the collapse of Turkey's financial system.

With tensions remaining high, the U.S. Embassy in Turkey has denied news in Turkish media that a U.S. official predicted the lira would weaken to 7 per dollar, calling the claim an entirely baseless "lie." In two tweets, the Embassy said:

"Despite current tensions, the United States continues to be a solid friend and ally of Turkey. Our countries have a vibrant economic relationship."

"For this reason, it is unfortunate and disturbing that an American official, who estimates that the U.S. dollar will be $7 TL, is completely unfounded and irresponsible in the Turkish media. It's a fabricated and baseless lie."

Aug 05 09:06

Pompeo Tells Turkey Time Has Run Out to Resolve Pastor Dispute

Meeting with his Turkish counterpart on Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that “the clock had run out” on Turkey to meet US demands to release an American pastor detained since 2016. He says Turkey is now “on notice.”

Brunson, like a lot of people, was arrested after the failed coup d’etat in Turkey, and the government has accused him of having ties to banned cleric Fethullah Gulen. The US insists the claim is false, and insists Turkey must release him, and every other American currently held.

While Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu had agreed to resolve the situation in a meeting with Pompeo, he also says that the threatening language and sanctions from the US won’t get them anywhere.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, what is the US government going to do, invade Turkey because it refuses to hand over these Americans, and will continue to buy its oil from Iran?!?

Secretary of State Pompeo is treading on some very dangerous ground here, and their implications for the future of the region are not good.

Aug 04 09:30

Turkish lira plummets to all-time low as US sanctions begin to bite

Investors are dumping Turkey’s national currency, the lira, after Washington imposed sanctions relating to the trial of an American pastor accused of backing terrorism.

The lira hit an all-time low of 5.11 versus the dollar on Friday after the US sanctioned two of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ministers who played a key role in detaining American pastor Andrew Brunson. Turkish authorities are accusing Brunson of aiding the attempted military coup in Turkey in July 2016.

Aug 04 09:26

‘We had patience until yesterday’: Erdogan orders US asset freeze amid Pastor Brunson row

The Turkish president has ordered a freeze on assets of the US Secretaries of Justice and Interior in a tit-for-tat response to sanctions Washington imposed on Ankara. Turkey’s patience is now over, he said.

Turkey will freeze assets of the Secretaries of Justice (DoJ) and the Interior, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday. The announcement comes after Washington slapped its NATO ally with sanctions targeting Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul and Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu over the detention of American Pastor Andrew Brunson.

Aug 01 08:52

Turkey Flips to BRICS while Assad Just Flips off Bibi

There is nothing more frustrating in American politics than discussing Israel. Nothing. It is difficult to maintain a balanced view of the situation when many people are ready to lynch you for putting a word wrong in relation to ‘our greatest ally.’

And like many of the real issues underlying the Culture War between the Overly-Woke and The Deplorables, these ab-reactions are meant to stifle debate rather than discuss uncomfortable and inconvenient truths.

I don’t feel like I have many of the answers as to why Israeli officials act the way they do. Sometimes I get feedback from folks who truly want to engage but more often than not what I just described is what happens.

Jul 31 12:10

BRICTS: Turkey Is Getting Off The US Reservation

This year’s BRICS Summit was a big show. No question. The main event was provided by Turkish President cum Dictator Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan wants to a a “T” to the acronym, making them the BRICTS.

Erdogan also made it very clear Turkey’s shift away from the West will proceed faster if the bullying and marginalization continue. For months now, Turkey has struggled with a crashing Lira and sovereign bond market.

The poster child for the unfolding sovereign debt crisis.

The Trump Administration knows that Turkey is slipping from its grasp. Do you ever wonder why certain countries’ currencies get trashed when others with worse balance sheets or balance of trade don’t?

You should. Because asking that simple question will lead you to asking “Why X? Why Now?”

And in Turkey’s case it is for many reasons.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Congratulations, Trump Administration; by pushing Turkey away from the US, you are driving them into an ever-growing relationship with Iran; China; and Russia. Bravo there, well done!!

Jul 31 12:03

Child Brides In Turkey

Authored by Burak Bekdil via The Gatestone Institute,

Where would you like your daughter to be when she is 13? In school, or in bed with a grown man? The answer to this question is largely beyond argument in much of the world. In Islamic societies, however -- including non-Arab and theoretically secular Turkey -- the answer is anyone's guess. Usually in such states, the police power of the government does not fight the patriarchal tradition; instead, it supports it.

Turkey's president from 2007 to 2014, was a 30-year-old man when he married his wife Hayrünnisa (right) when she was 15 years old. (Photo by NATO press office via Getty Images)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Turkey seriously wants to become fully accepted into the family of 21st century nations, this practice has got to stop, period, end of discussion.

Jul 31 10:21

US-Turkey to Conduct Joint Patrols in Syria, Pentagon Head Mattis Says

The United States and Turkey will start joint military patrols in Syria in a matter of weeks, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis told reporters on Friday.

"I mean, you got to do the training… I think that we’re talking about weeks," Mattis said. "I don’t know how many. Two, four, six, but I don’t think we’re talking months."

Mattis noted there are already Turkish and US patrols on the ground, but they are separate.

"It’s already happening on opposite sides where the two of the patrols go along, and they get to certain points, they wait for the other one to get there," Mattis said. "If somebody gets there first and then they do recognition signals back and forth and they move onto the next one."

Mattis explained all the conditions for establishing joint patrols are being set for them to go forward, and the Turkish and US militaries have put together all the planning while the training equipment has landed at the Incirlik air base in Turkey.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apparently, Mattis and Edrogan believe that there is no such thing as Syrian territorial integrity.

And what happens when they run into either Syrian or Russian forces?!?

It looks as though the US and Turkish governments are hell-bent to prevent any possible real peace here.

Jul 30 10:28

Mike Pence Spoke With Pastor Andrew Brunson, Threatens Turkey With Sanctions If Not Released

Vice President Mike Pence said Thursday that he has spoken with jailed pastor Andrew Brunson and warned Turkish leaders that if they don't release the church leader the country will face "significant sanctions," a promise President Donald Trump has seconded.

Pence, who first tweeted the ultimatum to Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an Thursday morning, doubled down on his threat when he gave a keynote speech at the State Department's first-ever three-day Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom.

Jul 30 08:38

Talk Turkey: Erdogan suggests adding ‘T’ to BRICS

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on leaders of BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) to allow Turkey’s accession to the group.

“We are in the G20 with five of those countries. I wish they would take the necessary steps to let us in and we could take our place in BRICS,” the Turkish president told the Hurriyet Daily News on the sidelines of the group’s forum in the South African city of Johannesburg. “If you take us in the name of the platform would become BRICST.”

Jul 28 10:53

Turkish firm refuses to build US embassy in Jerusalem

A Turkish firm has declined to take part in the construction of the new US embassy in Jerusalem even though a partnership it is involved in won the contract for the project.

Earlier this month, the US government awarded a $21 million contract to “upgrade” the embassy compound in the Arnona neighborhood of Jerusalem to a partnership called Desbuild Limak D&K JV LLC.

The owners of the partnership include the Maryland-based contractor Desbuild and the Turkish construction giant Limak Holding. This led to media reports that Limak will build the embassy.

Last week, however, Limak denied any role in the project.

Jul 26 10:52

Turkey vows to keep buying Iranian oil: 'We will not obey'

Turkey plans to keep purchasing Iranian oil in defiance of American sanctions on the rogue regime, according to the NATO ally’s top diplomat.

“We buy oil from Iran and we purchase it in proper conditions,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Tuesday. “What is the other option?”

Cavusoglu’s comments raise the specter of yet another clash between the U.S. and Turkey, which is also in the final stages of an arms deal with Russia that could trigger American sanctions. Turkish officials, in both cases, have dismissed the U.S.' threat of sanctions to constrain the choices of other countries.

Jul 25 10:37

Turkish President Erdogan says 'spirit of Hitler has re-emerged in racist Israel'

The Ankara chief's words were in response to Israel's new "nation-state" law, with Erdogan branding Israel the "most Zionist, racist and fascist country".

He argued the new law legitimises "unlawful actions and oppression".

The "nation-state" law has been criticised for effectively ruling out a two-state solution to the long-running Israel-Palestine conflict.

Palestinians have threatened to go to the International Criminal Court and the UN to protest against the new legislation.

Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu has hit back, saying Turkey has become a "dark dictatorship" under Erdogan.

Jul 25 06:14

US lawmakers defy defense secretary, greenlight delay in F-35 sales to Turkey

The US Congress moved closer to an outright ban on sales of F-35 jets to its NATO ally, Turkey for its decision to buy Russian S-400s. Lawmakers have now OK’d a delay to the delivery, despite warnings from the defense secretary.

Jul 24 12:32

UK Favours Extremism Over Democracy in Syria

By propping up Turkey's Afrin operation, the British government has once again supported Islamist-backed military conquest over more liberal forces.

How does a British government respond when an allied state invades another territory with the backing of jihadists, overthrows a democratic experiment and consolidates an occupation? Judging by what Turkey is doing in the Afrin district of northern Syria, the answer is: by supporting it.

Britain, far from helping to defeat terrorism in Syria, is once again aiding it.

As Britain arms Turkey, there is a real risk that such military equipment can end up in the hands of jihadists. Yet the British government defines Turkey as a priority market for promoting arms sales that have been worth more than £200 million ($265m) since 2016, including aircraft, helicopters, drones, grenades, small arms and ammunition.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Congratulations to Prime Minister May to have become the UK's own Merchant Death, this time with Turkey as the primary recipient of the UK's military weaponry.

That you even believed, for one second, that Erdogan, whose meglomania and paranoia is growing by the day, is a force with whom you could reason, for economic gain, I would politely suggest that you think again; you do not know where the weapons you have sold the man will actually wind up, and against whom they will be used.

Or maybe, you didn't give a damn when you sold him those weapons.

Jul 20 09:03

Why is Israel targeting Turkey’s presence in Jerusalem?

Israel is targeting the presence of Turkish activity in occupied Jerusalem. It began with a suspicious leak to Haaretz newspaper on 28 June about a Palestinian and Arab complaint to Tel Aviv regarding the growing Turkish activity in Jerusalem and the demand for it to be restricted. The matter then developed with the Israeli media publishing plans and strategies to confront this presence, and then reaching practical implementation with the arrest of Turkish citizen Ebru Ozkan for several weeks on baseless charges and accusations. Finally, TIKA official in Gaza, Mohamed Murtaja, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment on the pretext of providing assistance to Hamas in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Jul 18 11:55

Tintagel Castle on the bluffs of Cornwall is revealing its surprising secrets

On the rocky north coast of Cornwall stands what is left of Tintagel Castle, built more than 1,000 years ago to house a royal family that lived lavishly on provisions and food imported from Turkey, Spain, and other countries on the Mediterranean.

An ongoing archaeological dig at the castle has unearthed pieces of French and Spanish glassware, top quality tableware from Turkey, and wine, oil, and amphora from Greece. Unearthed bones show sheep, goats, pigs, and cows were regularly butchered and cooked. Seafood such as fish and oysters also filled in the diet of the people who lived there in the 5th to the 7th centuries, people who historians believe may have been rulers of Cornwall.

Jul 17 09:47

TURKEY BANS MY BLOG …. WHAT AN HONOUR!

A Turkish authority has issued an order to block your WordPress.com site: https://desertpeace.wordpress.com/

As a result of this order, your site is now inaccessible for Internet visitors originating from Turkey. They will instead see a message explaining why the content was blocked.

Visitors from outside of Turkey are not affected.

Jul 12 08:54

Russian S-400 first batteries to be delivered to Turkey in late 2019: FM

Russia will deliver first batch of S-400 anti-missile defense system batteries to Turkey in late 2019, Turkish Foreign Minister said on Wednesday.

Western allies should not question about Turkey's purchase of Russian S-400 defense system, Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters in Brussels ahead of a NATO Summit.

"New batteries will arrive towards the end of next year," Cavusoglu said. "Finally, there is no need to question this anymore."

"Not only the United States, but some other NATO allies also express concerns about the deal," the minister said, adding that Ankara understands their technical worries such as "if S-400 systems will detect NATO systems as a foe."

Jul 11 08:37

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JULY 11, 2018: YPG CARRIES OUT SERIES OF ATTACKS AGAINST TURKISH-BACKED FORCES IN AFRIN

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have claimed that their cells carried out a series of hit and run attacks against Turkey-led forces in the northern Syrian area of Afrin from July 5 to July 8.

One Turkish-backed fighters was reportedly killed by YPG sniper fire at a military point between the settlements of Jinderes and Atma on July 5. Three members of the Hamza Brigade were killed on the road between Rajo and Afrin on July 6. A commander of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA), Mohmmad al-Souleiman, was killed in the Bibil district and an IED explosion killed two fighters in the Shara district on July 7. Two Turkish Army soldiers were reportedly killed in in the Rajo district in a separate attack on the same day.

On July 8, the YPG allegedly carried out a bombing attack on a convoy in the Mabata district killing two fighters.

Jul 10 09:04

Erdogan gains power to appoint Turkey’s central bank governor

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has gained the power to appoint the governor of Turkey’s central bank and hundreds of other senior officials, unnerving markets as the country’s new executive presidency comes into force.

The Turkish leader issued his first set of presidential decrees just hours after being sworn into office, triggering the transition to a muscular system of governance that Mr Erdogan has sought for years. The new model, which was narrowly approved by a contentious referendum last year, has abolished the role of prime minister and given unprecedented powers to the president.

Turkish stocks and bonds tumbled as investors fretted about the new system and Mr Erdogan’s decision to appoint his son-in-law Berat Albayrak to head the newly formed treasury and finance ministry while sidelining Mehmet Simsek and Naci Agbal, two market-friendly figures who held senior posts in the previous government.

Jul 09 09:28

Turkish MPs take oaths as Erdogan assumes sweeping new powers

Turkish lawmakers have taken oaths of office as Recep Tayyip Erdogan starts a new term as president with sweeping new powers granted in last year's narrowly-won referendum.

Members of the Turkish parliament began to take their oaths at the 600-seat legislature in Ankara on Saturday, with the process expected to end on Wednesday.

The new parliament features 295 lawmakers from Erdogan Justice and Development Party (AKP) and 49 from the allied Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

The main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 146 seats while the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) exceeded the 10-percent threshold needed to enter the parliament. With 67 seats, the HDP forms the chamber's second-largest opposition faction.

The number of lawmakers has increased by 50 seats in the new Turkish parliament and thus a majority in the legislature requires 301 votes.

Jul 06 05:09

One Killed, 19 More Wounded in Bomb Blast at Anti-Turkey Protest in Manbij

The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported on Thursday that residents of al-Haya region in Manbij held protest rallies against the Turkish and US military forces' deployment. It added that at least 1 civilian was killed and 22 others were wounded in the explosion. The US and Turkish forces started the 9th stage of their patrolling mission in the region on Wednesday based on a roadmap on Manbij. Last month, the US and Turkish forces started joint patrolling missions in the outskirts of Manbij in Eastern Aleppo. Turkey's Daily Sabah newspaper reported that a convoy of Turkish forces, supported by the US helicopters, has entered Manbij in Northern Syria. Meantime, Sky News also confirmed the start of joint patrolling operations.

Jul 06 05:07

New Turkish Military Convoy Sent to Syrian Borders.

A Turkish military convoy was sent to the borders with Syria to reinforce its positions in occupied Afrin region in Syria's Aleppo province. Turkish news sources reported on Thursday that a large number of military equipment was transferred from Sanliurfa region to Gaziantep in Southern Turkey. They added that the military convoy consisted of 30 military vehicles and personnel carriers moving from Gaziantep to the borders in Syria. Syrian field sources also underlined that the military convoy was sent to reinforce the Turkish army positions in occupied Afrin. The Turkish army is now training 1,000 affiliated forces in Northern Syria to be used in 'Afrin police'. The development came as the Kurdish militants have expressed willingness to cooperate with the Syrian government to force the occupying Turkish forces out of the Northern parts of the country...

Jul 06 02:29

Syrian opposition submits list of constitution committee candidates to UN special envoy

The opposition Syrian Negotiation Commission has prepared jointly with Turkey a list of 50 candidates to be included in the Syrian Constitutional Committee, and submitted it to UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. "On 5 July, the Syrian Negotiation Commission (SNC) submitted to the UN Special Envoy for Syria the list of 50 candidates, prepared in coordination with Turkey, for members who will represent the opposition in the Constitutional Committee," Spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hami Aksoy said. "On the same day, Turkey officially confirmed in writing to the UN Special Envoy for Syria that it supports the list prepared by the SNC," he added. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress, held in Sochi on 30 January 2018, called for the establishment of the 150-member Constitutional Committee, with equal quotas for the Syrian government, opposition and the civil society.

Jul 05 09:25

Kurdish Forces Willing to Cooperate with Damascus to Expel Turkey from Northern Syria

Kurdish militants have shown willingness to cooperate with the Syrian government to force the occupying Turkish forces from the Northern parts of the country.

Field sources referred to the Turkish army's continued occupation of Northern Syria, and said that the Kurdish forces fully agree with the Syrian government's position to drive them out of occupied lands.

Meantime, Sihanouk Dibo, a senior adviser to the Syrian Kurdish leader Salih Muslim in Qamishli, told the Arabic website of RT news channel on Tuesday that Turkey continues its occupation of Afrin, Jarabulus, al-Bab and certain areas in Idlib in Northern Syria, stressing the need for cooperation between the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Damascus government to retake sovereignty of Syrian territories.

Meantime, analysts said that the Turkish army's occupation of Northern Syria means interfering in another country's affairs, and meantime increases tensions in the region.

Jul 03 15:16

Saudi religious diplomacy targets Jerusalem

James Dorsey analyses Saudi-UAE efforts to seize control of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem’s Islamic sites from Jordan, which include overtures to Israel and coopting Palestinian collaborators, foremost disgraced former security official Muhammad Dahlan. >>

Jun 29 08:52

More Countries Start Exploring Alternatives To The US World Order

There are two countries that more than others show how the Western world order is undergoing a profound change. Japan and Turkey occupy two distinct and diverse geographical areas, yet they share many of the same strategic choices about their future. Their geopolitical trajectory is increasingly drifting away from Washington and moving closer to China, Russia, India and Iran.

Jun 28 12:36

Russia and Turkey Diversifying Into Gold As The U.S. Borrows Faster Than Entire World Saves

The Russian reduction of Treasury holdings, to $48.7 billion in April 2018 from $102.2 billion in December 2017, has been nothing short of dramatic, though it wasn’t a huge blow to the U.S. Russia’s holdings of American government bonds have long been dwarfed by those of China and Japan, as well as Brazil and some European countries. The U.S., with a debt of almost $21.2 trillion, can afford not to notice fluctuations in the tens of billions of dollars by an authoritarian state’s damage-control efforts and attempts to get away from the dollar.

U.S. Borrowing Faster Than the World Saves

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This impending insolvency is going to hit this country like a ton of bricks, and nothing can be done to stop it, except for its potential confiscation of corporate, and private financial accounts; but even that won't be able to duck this insolvency completely.

Jun 27 11:58

Who Will Call The First Bluff? US Threatens Turkey With Sanctions Over Russian S-400 Purchase

Despite an ostentatious "roll out" ceremony by Lockheed Martin last week in Fort Worth to mark the handover of the first F-35-A Lightning II jet bound for Turkey, the advanced stealth multi-role fighter isn't going anywhere anytime soon as we previously explained after the Senate passed a draft defense bill for FY 2019 that would halt the transfer until the secretary of state certifies that Turkey will not accept deliveries of Russian S-400 'Triumf' air-defense systems.

Following upon previous warnings, the US State Department has again threatened that Turkey will be targeted by sanctions if it receives the S-400 from Russia under a contract finalized between Ankara and Moscow at the end of 2017, said to be worth $2.5 billion.

Jun 26 11:35

Erdogan’s Unsurprising Win May Embolden Turkey’s Anti-Kurdish Aggression

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Sunday election victory will most likely translate into a more aggressive operation in Syria to expel Kurdish rebels from the country, said Nevzat Evrim Önal, a journalist with the Turkish newspaper SoL, and Max Zirngast, an independent writer in Istanbul, in an interview with Radio Sputnik.

Following his victory, in which he secured an absolute majority of votes, Erdogan that his government would continue to respond to those who threaten Turkey via terror organizations. He called on Turks to focus on the future after the election, and renewed his determination to improve rights and freedoms in the country.

Jun 26 06:26

Erdogan's re-election to test Kremlin’s Middle East ambitions

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s landslide victory in Turkey’s presidential election might pose serious problems for Russia’s leadership, Nezavisimaya Gazeta wrote. Speaking to his supporters in Ankara, Erdogan promised to continue the ‘liberation’ of Syrian lands. Experts told the newspaper they do not rule out that Moscow might have to brace for a rocky road ahead in its relations with Ankara. The Kremlin’s geopolitical and economic projects in the Middle East may face risks from Ankara’s unpredictable policy. The Turkish expert community believes that changes in the country’s foreign policy are indeed possible, and can trouble Russia. "Turkey's foreign policy will certainly undergo some changes.

Jun 26 06:21

Gazprom resumes construction of second line of Turkish Stream pipeline

Russia’s state-run gas giant Gazprom has resumed the laying of the second line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline on Tuesday, the project’s operator reported. On Tuesday, the Pioneering Spirit vessel resumed the laying of the second line of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, moving towards the city of Kiyykoy in Turkey, the project’s operator said. After entering the Black Sea on June 20, Pioneering Spirit completed the preparatory work, including launching the stinger and inspecting the pipe laying equipment. In April, the construction of the first line of the sea part of the pipeline was completed. To date 1,161 km of pipes have been laid, which is 62% of the pipeline’s length...

Jun 25 12:06

India devises way to bypass US sanctions, pay for Iran oil

The government is set to revive an alternative payment mechanism to settle a part of its payments for oil imported for Iran over the next few days in a bid to counter the impact of US sanctions imposed on Tehran.

While one option is to go back to the earlier barter-type arrangement that had the tacit approval of the US, the government is also looking at the option of routing the payment through a third country like Turkey, a senior government official told TOI . A similar arrangement had to be dropped when Iran faced sanctions the last time round, prompting the rupee-Iranian rial arrangement, where UCO Bank played a key role in helping Indian refiners such as MRPL and Essar Oil meet their requirements.

Jun 25 09:52

Turkish Army, Allied Militants in Panic over Kurds' Attacks in Northern Syria

The Turkish Army troops and allied militants are reportedly in panic over the Kurdish militias' imminent heavy offensives in Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo as tensions between the Kurds and Ankara forces are rising, local sources said on Sunday.
The sources said that the Ankara forces have started closing off all the streets across the town of Jandaris in Northeastern Aleppo.

The sources pointed to anguish felt by the Turkish soldiers and their allied militants over the Kurdish militias' surprise attack, adding that the Ankara forces prefer not to wear military uniforms to avoid becoming the target of Kurdish attacks.

The sources further said that the Kurdish militias launched eight heavy offensives against Turkish troops and their allied militants in the region in the past week.

In the meantime, local sources in Rajou in Afrin reported that the Ankara forces have plundered three power generators and telecommunication masts.

Jun 25 08:41

Turkey elections votes RIGGED: Police find car full of FORGED ballot papers

POLICE in Turkey have arrested three people after sacks overflowing with sealed ballot papers were found in a car they were driving adding fuel to speculation today’s election was rigged.

Jun 24 12:12

Erdogan on track to secure 2nd term as president – preliminary results

Incumbent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has secured a comfortable lead in the election, preliminary results indicate. The parliamentary election results so far are similar, with a substantial lead for the ruling AK Party.

The initial official results of the Turkish presidential and parliamentary election, held on Sunday, have emerged, signaling an expected win for the incumbent president and his party. To achieve an outright victory and avoid a second round, Erdogan needs to secure more than 50 percent of the vote.

He is currently leading in the polls with 53 percent. In the parliamentary election, his AK Party is also in first place with over 45 percent. Turnout was at 87 percent for both polls, preliminary data shows.

Jun 24 09:43

Turkish Presidential Opponent Sees TV Blackout of Huge Rallies Ahead of Vote

The primary opposition rival for the presidency of Turkey in Sunday’s election held final rallies in the nation only to see state-run telecommunications networks black out his events, said to be attended by millions.

Muharrem Ince, an increasingly popular presidential candidate running against three-time incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has seen his rallies censored even as his candidacy has gained strength over the past several months.

Turkish Election Likely to Have 2 Rounds, End in Erdogan's Victory - Analysts
The June 24 elections for the both the presidency and the parliament will set the stage — according to Ankara experts — for the nation to rejoin the West, if the increasingly autocratic incumbent Erdogan can be prevented from attaining a fourth term, according to The Atlantic.

Jun 20 08:34

Turkey to receive first F-35 fighter jets despite US Senate decision: FM

Turkey expects that the United States will deliver the first F-35 joint strike fighters on June 21 with a ceremony despite the U.S. Senate decision to block the procurement of the aircraft to the Turkish government, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu has said.

“There have been attempts in the U.S. parliament regarding the F-35 delivery. Two fighters will be delivered to us on June 21 and there are also attempts [to block this delivery]. We can’t sustain a healthy relationship as such,” Çavu?o?lu said on June 19 during a live interview with the private broadcaster NTV.

“Come and let’s talk like we did in Manbij. Turkey is an important ally and it cannot be in any entity that would risk NATO. They should not test sanctions by making an excuse of it,” he added.

Jun 19 11:13

As Tensions Rise, Greeks See Sudden 90% Surge In 'Asylum-Seekers' Across Land Border With Turkey

In the last few months, tensions between two NATO member states have escalated dramatically - Turkey has threatened to invade Greek islands, Greece has responded, Turkey has violated Greek airspace 100s of times, and Greeks now see Turkey as the greatest threat to their existence.

And now, in the first five months of 2018, KeepTalkingGreece.com reports that Greece has been Europe’s top entry point for refugees and migrants. According to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, Frontext, over 19,800 people entered Greece during January – May 2018. At the same time, the land border crossing from Turkey to Greece increased by 90 percent. The majority of these people were Syrians and Iraqis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In light of the fact that both countries are NATO members, it would seem that the guy for the job here would be none other than NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, if he really wants NATO to get its MOJO back.

Stop the squabbling here, get Turkey to behave itself, and not ratchet up international tensions any more than they already are.

Jun 19 10:25

Turkey Finishes Massive Wall On Syrian Border, Paid For With EU Funds

While leftists are throwing a fit over President Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico, they couldn't care less about Turkey's new massive 764-kilometer border wall with Syria paid for with European Union funds.

Jun 19 10:19

No F-35s for Turkey: US Senate blocks sale of fighter jets to Ankara

US Senators have voted to block the sale of F-35s to Turkey, slamming their NATO ally for plans to buy Russian S-400 missile batteries. Ankara warned of “an alternative” should the deal be called off.

The first of the 100 US-made F-35 fighter jets were to be delivered to Turkey on June 21 but now the whole deal might be off as the US Senators voted to kill the sale. The bill, which is yet to be approved by President Donald Trump, passed the Senate floor on Monday, with 85 votes in favor and 10 against.

Jun 18 09:28

Turkish Airstrikes Kill 35 Kurdish PKK in Northern Iraq

Turkish warplanes carried out a Friday night attack in the northern Iraqi region of Qandil. Officials say the airstrikes were directed at the Kurdish PKK movement, which Turkey accuses of having a large presence in this region.

The PKK is considered a banned terrorist group in Turkey. During a ceasefire i recent years, many PKK fighters relocated to northern Iraq, to wait for the results of peace talks. The talks ultimately collapsed, and Turkey resumed strikes on PKK in Turkey, and those who remained in Iraq.

Jun 18 09:05

TURKEY FINISHES MASSIVE WALL ON SYRIAN BORDER, PAID FOR WITH EU FUNDS

While leftists are throwing a fit over President Trump's proposed border wall with Mexico, they couldn't care less about Turkey's new massive 764-kilometer border wall with Syria paid for with European Union funds.

Jun 17 10:10

US-Turkey row: American lawmakers urge Mattis to immediately halt ‘inconceivable’ sale of F-35s

A group of US congressmen has urged Defense Secretary James Mattis to scrap F-35 sales to Turkey, over national security concerns about the NATO ally’s plan to buy Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system, despite Washington’s pressure.

Jun 16 11:28

US Threatens ‘Measures’ Against Syria for Offensive in Southwest

With the Syrian government saying that any more failures to take back the country’s southwest diplomatically would lead them to launch an offensive, the US State Department is threatening “firm and appropriate measures” to punish Syria for any such attempt.

Syria has been expected to launch such an offensive for awhile. Russia negotiated with Israel to get them to agree to keep out of the fighting, in return for Russia urging Iran and Hezbollah to remain out of the border region. The assumption has been for some time this cleared room for the push.

US officials, however, say that Syria would be violating the previous de-escalation deal made between the US, Russia, and Turkey, as some of the offensive would take place in that area. Other de-escalation zones have effectively been erased by government gains, or the wiping out of certain rebels by others.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Notice that this alleged "de-escalation deal", for some bizzare reason, does not seem to involve the sovereign state of Syria; only Russia, Turkey, and the US appear to be named.

But we all understand the simple translation of these Washingtonese statements; the US government is looking for any excuse with which to justify a full-scale invasion of Syria, and to affect regime change in Damascus.

However, there is a 600 lb gorilla, draped across the Bosendorfer grand in the living room here, and that is is Russia; the possibility of a misunderstanding, leading to a "hot confrontation" between Russia and the US military in Syria, excalates exponentially, every day the US forces stay on Syrian soil.

Jun 16 08:44

America’s military presence in Syria and its priorities

America’s military presence in Syria has a number of goals, the most important of which are to surround Iran and limit its influence in the region; to ensure a bigger share for Washington and its allies — the Kurdish movement — in any final deal over Syria, as expressed frankly by Mattis; and to curb Turkey’s activity in northern Syria, which always comes at the expense of the Kurds, especially its presence east of the River Euphrates.

Jun 15 07:41

SYRIAN WAR REPORT – JUNE 15, 2018: RUSSIA, TURKEY REPORTEDLY REACH AGREEMENT ON TELL RIFAAT

Russia and Turkey have reached an agreement on the situation in the town of Tell Rifaat in the province of Aleppo, the London-based newspaper al-Araby al-Jadeed reported on June 14.

Under the agreement, units of the Turkish military will allegedly be deployed in Tell Rifaat side by side with the Russian Military Police, which was deployed there a few months ago. The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) will withdraw from the town. Members of Turkish-backed militant groups will not be allowed to enter the area.

The agreement is allegedly aimed at de-escalating the situation and allowing civilians to return to their houses in the town.

Jun 14 19:59

Erdogan hopes for ‘joint production’ of S-500 with Russia, even as S-400 is still being delivered

It seems the threat on sanctions for not buying US weapons didn't work.
Info on the S-500:
RUSSIAN S 500 BREAKS 'GROUND TO AIR' STRIKE RECORD

Jun 14 08:28

Turkish President Warns of War Between Islam and Christianity

The world may be heading “towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” warned Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan (shown) in a Saturday Istanbul speech. Erdogan, an Islamist in a Western suit who’s given to scimitar-rattling, was responding to recent measures Austria took against jihadism. As the AFP reports:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday strongly criticised Austria's move to close mosques and expel Turkish-funded imams, slamming the decision as anti-Islamic and promising a response.

“These measures taken by the Austrian prime minister are, I fear, leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent,” Erdogan said in a speech in Istanbul.

The crescent is a symbol associated with Islam.

His comments came the day after the Austrian government announced it could expel up to 60 Turkish-funded imams and their families and would shut down seven mosques as part of a crackdown on “political Islam”, triggering fury in Ankara.

Jun 13 12:23

TURKEY IN CONTACT WITH IRAN OVER QANDIL OPERATION, MINISTER SAYS

Turkey is in contact with Iran about conducting a possible military operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants in the northern Iraq region of Qandil, close to the Iranian border, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

"We are in contact with Iran," Cavusoglu told broadcaster Haberturk. "PKK is a threat to them as well. Qandil is very close to the Iran border...We will improve cooperation with Iran."

Jun 12 14:15

How U.S. And Turkey Determine The Fate Of Kurds

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu during the meeting with his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo agreed on Syria’s city of Manbij roadmap, providing for the withdrawal of the Kurdish militia linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party or PKK on June 4.

Jun 12 11:57

The “Manbij Model”, Turkey-US Deal for Northeastern Syria

So far, so good, but the problem is that the SDF militia that would prospectively continue to administer “Rojava’s” “layered decentralization” is nothing more than a thinly “diverse” front of Arab collaborators barely concealing the reality of a Kurdish-run “deep state” (or permanent military, intelligence, and diplomatic bureaucracy) protected by over 20 American bases and an undisclosed number of French ones. Ironically, the Kurds took up arms against the democratically elected and legitimate Syrian government on the supposed basis that the minority Alawites had hijacked the country’s “deep state” and were exploiting it for their own self-interested ends at everyone else’s expense, though the fact of the matter is that it’s now the Kurds – and never was the Alawites – who are actually doing this via the “federalization” of “Rojava” as enforced by the US-created SDF.

Jun 12 10:01

‘Will use if needed’: Erdogan says Turkey didn’t buy S-400 from Russia ‘to keep them in store’

Turkey didn’t acquire the Russian-built S-400 air defense systems for them to collect dust and may use them, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said, adding the purchase was to reduce Ankara’s dependency on US arms supplies.

Jun 08 09:57

Erdogan Vows to Strike Iraq if Government Can't Clear Kurdish Militants

Turkish forces will attack areas in Iraq if the government in Baghdad is unable to "clear" them of armed Kurdish groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with CNN Turk Thursday.

Qandil, Sinjar, and Makhmur will be targeted by Turkish forces should Baghdad not rid them of Kurdish forces, Erdogan said.

On Thursday, polling group Gezici said that Erdogan is unlikely to attain a first-round win in Turkey's upcoming elections and that the president's AKP Party is projected to lose its majority in Parliament when Turks go to vote on June 24. In April, the Turkish leader called for snap elections in order to expand the authority of the Turkish executive branch.

Jun 08 06:48

Erdogan says Turkey will strike northern Iraq if Baghdad does not clear Kurdish militants

Turkey will strike Kurdish militant camps in the mountains of northern Iraq in Qandil, Sinjar and Makhmur if the Iraqi central government does not clear the area of militants, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

Speaking in an interview with broadcaster CNN Turk, Erdogan said Turkey may strike Qandil “at any moment one evening.”

Turkey regularly carries out cross-border operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, where the group is based in the Qandil mountains. Ankara has also threatened to launch military operations in northern Iraq’s Sinjar region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Iraq is still in chaos, due to both the horrific fighting it has experienced, and a recent election, which has gone (at least, from the US government perspective), shambolically bad, potentially featuring a majority voting block controlled by Muqtada Al Sadr.

I have to wonder if Erdogan believes that this is the pivotal moment when he can snip off some Northern Iraqi territory, after the Kurds are "neutralized", and claim it as Turkey's own, as it has with bits of Syria.

Jun 06 08:53

Turkey Uses Gold Bullion To Stabilise Its Currency And Economy

Turkey’s economy has been in a tailspin with an inflationary currency, but the country is using something rare to help stabilise itself: gold.

In late 2011, Turkey started to allow commercial banks to use gold instead of the Turkish lira for their required deposits at the central bank. These deposits are known as reserve requirements and help ensure that the banks are capitalised.

Over the past six-or-so years, Turkey’s central bank has accumulated an additional 400 metric tonnes of gold. That’s a lot of yellow bricks – more than what Britain has – and the sizeable stash has the possibility to take the edge off the crisis.

To put the Turkish gold haul in perspective, there are 10 million ounces of gold – roughly 311 tonnes – at the Bank of England, according to the New York-based financial consulting firm CPM Group.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA