Saudi admission of Khashoggi death leaves turmoil in Riyadh, fallout on Saudi-US relations

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President Donald Trump saw this when he said: “Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable. It’s a big first step, only a first step.” He also announced he would work with Congress on the response.

There are too many fingers in the pie and open questions for the scandal to die down any time soon. For one, what happened to the body of the dead journalist? The Saudis now report that it was handed to an unnamed “local collaborator.” This mysterious person either got away, was smuggled out of Turkey by Saudi agents or is no longer alive. This may explain the sweep Turkish police have been conducting in the woods near the consulate and other parts of Istanbul. Continue reading

Neo-Ottomanism Surges in Middle East Politics

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The fate of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hangs in the balance. The common perception is that everything depends on which way President Donald Trump moves – go by his own preference to bury the scandal over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance or give in to the rising demand that Saudi-American relations can no longer be business as usual. Trump’s mood swing suggests he is dithering. Continue reading

Meet Turkey’s New Sovereign Wealth Fund Chairman, Who Has “Now Taken Public Companies Prisoners”

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What does a man who already controls pretty much everything in his country  from politics to the judiciary to defense  give to himself? How about direct takeover of his country’s sovereign wealth fund?

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has appointed himself chairman of Turkey’s sovereign wealth fund after recent promises to exert greater influence over the economy. He’s nixed the old guard management and hand-picked their replacements, in a move his political rival, presidential candidate who lost the June election, Muharrem Ince, has aptly described as taking “public companies prisoners”.

And not to be one to break medieval sultanate tradition, he’s further named his son-in-law and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak as deputy chairman. Continue reading

Turkey’s Latest Power Grab a Naval Base in Cyprus?

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Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.” Pictured: The Turkish Navy frigate TCG Oruçreis. (Image source: CC-BY-SA-3.0/Brian Burnell via Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • The possibility of a Turkish naval base on Cyprus does not bode well for the chances of a Cyprus reunification deal, particularly after the breakdown of the July 2017 peace talks, which were suspended when “Turkey had refused to relinquish its intervention rights on Cyprus or the presence of troops on the island.” Turkey has 30,000 soldiers stationed on Cyprus, the northern part of which it has illegally occupied since 1974.
  • “If Greek-Turkish tensions escalate, the possibility of another ill-timed military provocation could escalate with them… Moreover, such a conflict might open up an even greater opportunity for Russian interference.” — Lawrence A. Franklin.

Turkey’s Naval Forces Command has “submitted a proposal to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stating that Turkey should establish a naval base in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” according to Turkey’s strongly pro-Erdogan daily, Yeni Safak, which recently endorsed the proposal for the base in an article entitled, “Why Turkey should establish a naval base in Northern Cyprus.” Continue reading

Erdogan Warns Trump That Alliance Is at Risk as Tensions Climb

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U.S. President Donald Trump, left, walks with Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s president, ahead of an event in in Brussels, Belgium. (Photographer: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg)

 

(Bloomberg) — Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned the U.S. that its decades-long alliance with the country is at risk after rising political tensions between the two nations erupted and helped stoke a financial crisis that shook global markets.

Erdogan, in an editorial Friday in the New York Times, cited Turkey’s cooperation with the U.S. dating back to the Cuban missile crisis and the Korean War as evidence of a long-standing partnership between the NATO allies. But he added that more recent disputes over a failed 2016 coup, the conflict in Syria and sanctions imposed this week against top Turkish officials and the country’s steel industry were straining that alliance to its breaking point.

“Before it is too late, Washington must give up the misguided notion that our relationship can be asymmetrical and come to terms with the fact that Turkey has alternatives,” Erdogan wrote. “Failure to reverse this trend of unilateralism and disrespect will require us to start looking for new friends and allies.” Continue reading

World War 3: Turkey THREATENS US as it calls Trump’s sanctions a ‘HOSTILE STANCE’

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Turkey called on the US administration to walk back from its hostile stance (Image: Getty)

 

TURKEY has issued a chilling warning to the US after the Trump administration sanctioned two Turkish officials for their roles in the arrest and detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, inflaming tensions that were already simmering over a series of disagreements.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu claimed on Wednesday the extraordinary use of financial sanctions against Ankara, which is a US allied government, would not be left without retaliation as it constitutes a “hostile stance”. Continue reading

Europe Cannot Cope With Any Further Armed Conflict On The Continent

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European leaders are not only unable to counteract the demographic crisis on the Old Continent, but are also losing ground in terms of defense. President Trump’s skepticism and reservation about the military ideas of European bureaucrats, Ankara’s increasingly aggressive actions towards Cyprus and Greece, and the rapprochement between Turkey and Russia highlight NATO’s weakness on the eve of its summit in Brussels.

Europe stands no chance if forced to face conflict on three fronts. Two of them are of conventional character: on the eastern flank, where there are continuous tensions with Russia, and in the Balkans near the border with Turkey. The third concerns the Mediterranean area, where young and strong men from Africa and Central Asia cross European borders with the support of a thousand people from the continent’s heartland. Europeans are also militarily involved in Afghanistan, Syria and take part in the growing conflict in Mali. Continue reading

Is Turkey Playing a Double Game with NATO?

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Pictured: A Russian S-400 missile battery. (Image source: Vitaly Kuzmin/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • Why would Turkey first order a Russian defense system and then turn around and make a cooperation agreement with Europe for the same purpose?
  • This goes back to America’s apprehension that if Turkey uses the S-400s along with the U.S. F-35s, Russia could gain access to information about the aircraft’s sensitive technology.
  • If Turkey is playing a double game with NATO, let us hope that the United States does not fall prey to it.

In January, 2018 Turkey reportedly awarded an 18-month contract for a study on the development and production of a long-range air- and missile-defense system to France and Italy, showing — ostensibly — Turkey’s ongoing commitment to NATO. The study, contracted between the EUROSAM consortium and Turkey’s Aselsan and Roketsan companies, was agreed upon in Paris, on the sidelines of a meeting between French President Emmanuel Macron and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading

Russia And India Ditch Dollar In Military Deals

With the US increasingly willing to use the dollar, and SWIFT, as a strategic weapon against the country’s sovereign enemies (as Iran learned every 5 or so years), Russia and India are preparing to bypass US sanctions on Moscow by using the rupee and the ruble in bilateral trade involving military deals, the Economic Times reported.

Some $2 billion in weapons deals between India and Russia have been hit as a result of the recent US sanctions, as payments get stuck. The countries are seeking to bypass such monetary bottlenecks this by switching to settlements in domestic currencies and ditching the greenback. Continue reading

A US senate majority blocks F-35 stealth planes to Turkey

As mentioned in a previous post, look for Turkey to align itself with the axis powers, and even likely the Shanghai Cooperation Organization — a worldwide war axis that masquerades itself around as a political organization. NATO is finished and Europe, ran by Berlin, is looking to defend itself with its own European Army under construction.

 

A the last minute, by a large majority of 85 to 10, the US Senate blocked the sale of the advanced US F-35 stealth planes to Turkey until a detailed plan is presented to prove that Ankara would not have access to US technology for its home manufacture of components. Continue reading

Turkey May Purchase Russian Stealth Fighters If Delivery Of US F-35s Is Halted

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A U.S. Senate committee swiftly passed the latest version of a $716 billion defense bill last week, including a hard-hitting measure to block Turkey from acquiring Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jets.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Senator Thom Tillis are responsible for the new amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would eliminate Turkey from the F-35 program over its recent purchase of Russian S-400 anti-missile system.

In response, Turkey pivoted towards Russia, and is expected to acquire Sukhoi SU-57 fifth-generation fighter jets, if Washington chooses to suspend Ankara from the F-35 program. Continue reading

Turkey urges Islamic world to unite against Israel, calls summit

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A protester holds a placard reading “Al-Quds (Jerusalem) belongs to the Muslims” as he shouts slogans among people holding Palestinian flags while they all take part in a protest march at the Istikilal avenue in Istanbul on May 14, 2018 (Photo by AFP)

 

Turkey has urged Islamic countries to review their ties with Israel after dozens of Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire on the Gaza border.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told his ruling party in parliament that Ankara would call an extraordinary summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

“Islamic countries should without fail review their relations with Israel,” Premier Yildirim said, adding, “The Islamic world should move as one, with one voice, against this massacre.”

Yildirim said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who currently holds the rotating chairmanship of the body, called the OIC summit on Friday. Continue reading

Moscow’s “Eye In Turkey”: Transfer Of S-400 Missiles Will Open Turkey To Russian Spying, NATO Warns

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The German language Der Spiegel magazine in a recent editorial attempted to sound the alarm of encroaching Russian influence in NATO connected with Russia’s advanced S-400 anti-aircraft systems.

“The Turkish government wants to buy the state-of-the-art Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system. NATO considers this a serious provocation: the system is not only incompatible with the alliance’s existing defenses, but it could also expose secrets of the new US F-35 fighter jet to Russia, which Turkey also wants to buy,” according to a rough translation from the German.  Continue reading

Trump’s Three Conditions for Fixing the Iran Deal Are Now Imperative

Pictured: Two images from Iran’s secret nuclear archive, as presented publicly by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on April 30, 2018. In possibly the greatest coup in the history of espionage, Israel’s Mossad acquired over 100,000 documents from the archive of Iran’s program to create nuclear weapons. (Photo by Israel GPO)

 

  • What the assorted apologists for the Iran nuclear deal have failed to grasp is a simple distinction: the difference between suspicions and confirmation. The IAEA based its assessments on “over a thousand pages” of documents; now we have a hundred thousand.
  • Moreover, these are in effect a hundred thousand signed confessions of the Iranian regime that it intended to create nuclear weapons and load them on missiles manufactured by itself. The miniature minds of the apologists are simply incapable of grasping the historic magnitude of the Mossad’s discovery.

The picture of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu standing before two displays, one of file folders and one of compact discs, symbolizes possibly the greatest coup in the history of espionage: the Mossad’s acquisition of the archive of Iran’s program to create nuclear weapons. A runner up for that title might be the advance information about Operation Overlord, the Allied landing in France at the end of World War II, supplied by Elyesa Bazna from Ankara and Paul Fidrmuc from Lisbon. Continue reading

Turkey Will Repatriate All Gold From The US In Attempt To Ditch The Dollar

 

After VenezuelaGermanyAustria and the Netherlands prudently repatriated a substantial portion (if not all) of their physical gold held at the NY Fed or other western central banks in recent years, this morning Turkey also announced that it has decided to repatriate all its gold stored in the US Federal Reserve and deliver it to the Istanbul Stock Exchange, according to reports in Turkey’s Yeni Safak. It won’t be the first time Turkey has asked the NY Fed to ship the country’s gold back: in recent years, Turkey repatriated 220 tons of gold from abroad, of which 28.7 tons was brought back from the US last year.

According to the latest IMF data, Turkey’s gold reserves are estimated at 591 tons, worth just over $23 billion. This makes Ankara the 11th largest gold holder, behind the Netherlands and ahead of India. Continue reading