Qatar Saudi Terror Row Deepens as Turkey Commits Troops

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan poses with commandos following a fast-breaking iftar dinner at the 1. Commando Brigade in Kayseri, Turkey, June 8, 2017. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

On Friday the diplomatic split between Qatar and an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia deepened as 18 Qataris were placed on a terrorism blacklist and Turkey committed troops, warships and planes to defend their ally.

(DUBAI/DOHA) The developments intensified a confrontation between tiny-but-wealthy Qatar and a group of Arab nations led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt that accuse it of fomenting instability. The dispute has created a major diplomatic test for the United States, which is close allies of the countries on both sides.

In an apparent escalation of the crisis, staff at Al Jazeera, Qatar’s influential satellite television news channel which often infuriates the rulers of the Arab world, said on Thursday its computer systems were under cyber attack. Continue reading

Turkey Seeks Advanced S-400 Anti-Air Missiles From Russia

Russian S-400 air defense missile systems roll along Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, on May 7, 2017. Ivan Sekretarev/AP

 

Turkey and Russia are haggling over the price for Turkey’s purchase of advanced long-range S-400 anti-air missiles, billed as F-35 killers by Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed on the outlines of an S-400 deal in May 3 meetings in the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. Continue reading

Assassin of Russian ambassador had guarded Turkey’s President Erdogan

Mevlut Mert Altintas. /AP

 

The assassin who gunned down Russia’s ambassador to Turkey had served on security details to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan several times prior to the Dec. 19 assassination of Andrei Karlov.

Mevlut Mert Altintas, 22, served on police details backing up Erdogan’s personal body guards eight times since the July 15 failed military coup in Turkey, according to a Hurriyet report on Dec. 21. Continue reading

Fed up with EU, Erdogan says Turkey could join Shanghai bloc

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, November 16, 2016. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

 

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Sunday as saying that Turkey did not need to join the European Union “at all costs” and could instead become part of a security bloc dominated by China, Russia and Central Asian nations.

NATO member Turkey’s prospects of joining the EU look more remote than ever after 11 years of negotiations. European leaders have been critical of its record on democratic freedoms, while Ankara has grown increasingly exasperated by what it sees as Western condescension.

“Turkey must feel at ease. It mustn’t say ‘for me it’s the European Union at all costs’. That’s my view,” Erdogan was quoted by the Hurriyet newspaper as telling reporters on his plane on the way back from a visit to Pakistan and Uzbekistan. Continue reading

Reports Turkish troops have sealed off Incirlik US/NATO nuclear air base

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/58c1cdd1279d3a6c0331e8dcffc17845

The NATO air base and nuclear weapons store at Incirlik, Turkey. Picture: Google MapsSource:Supplied

 

TURKISH citizens and police have ‘surrounded’ the Incirlik air base it operates with the United States — and where a large stockpile of NATO nuclear weapons is held — ahead of a visit by a senior US official tomorrow.

Reports out of Turkey suggest all entrances to the air base have been blocked by heavy vehicles and police sent to secure its peremiter.

The unusual nigh-time move sparked rumours of a second coup attempt on Turkish social media, with concerned citizens rushing to the air base to join the blockade. Continue reading

Turkey under cyberattack by Russia: Report

https://i2.wp.com/www.hurriyetdailynews.com/images/news/201512/n_92685_1.jpg

 

Several Turkish websites have been under cyberattack for four days, with Russian hackers claimed to be prime suspects behind the attack, daily Hürriyet has reported.

Among the websites who have been under cyberattack since the morning of Dec. 14 were those of governmental bodies whose extension is “.tr.” The cyberattack has brought about a serious halt in official processes as well as financial losses of private business organizations. Continue reading

Turkey’s Thugocracy

  • As in 1908-1912, journalists are at the center of the government’s rage.
  • “They [journalists from Turkey’s leading newspaper, Hurriyet] had never had a beating before. Our mistake was that we never beat them in the past. If we had beaten them…” — Abdurrahim Boynukalin, Member of Parliament from the governing AKP Party.
  • Last week, Ahmet Hakan, Hurriyet’s popular columnist, who has 3.6 million Twitter followers, was beaten by four men, three of whom happened to be AKP members. Hakan had to undergo surgery. Of the seven men involved in allegedly planning and carrying out the attack, six were immediately released.
  • The mob confessed to the police that they had been commissioned to beat Hakan on orders from important men in the state establishment, including the intelligence agency and “the chief.”
  • Hundreds of Turkish and Western politicians have publicly condemned the attack on Hakan. Except President Erdogan. Hardly surprising.

In 1908, the Ottoman Empire, under the new name of The Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), transformed into an autocratic establishment openly threatening its critics, especially journalists. In 1910, three prominent journalists, Hasan Fehmi, Ahmet Samim and Zeki Bey, who were leading opponents of the regime, were murdered. Several other journalists were beaten by thugs commissioned by the CUP. Continue reading

Turkey Reinforces Syria Border as Erdogan Backs U.S. Attack

Turkey deployed tanks and anti-aircraft guns to reinforce its military units on the Syrian border, as the U.S. considers strikes against Syria.

Convoys carrying tanks and rocket-launchers headed to border areas in Hatay, Gaziantep and Sanliurfa provinces today and yesterday, according to Hurriyet newspaper and Anatolia news agency. Tanks, missile launchers and anti-aircraft guns on hilltops near the border town of Kilis were aimed Syria, state-run TRT television said. F-16s, tanker and cargo planes as well as at least one drone landed at southern Incirlik Air Base, Anatolia said.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has expressed a willingness to join any international coalition against Syria, yesterday vowed to respond to any attack from its southern neighbor. He spoke after Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Mekdad was cited by the Wall Street Journal as saying that Syria will strike U.S. allies Israel, Jordan and Turkey if the Obama administration attacks his country over its alleged use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21. Continue reading