Russian South Stream 2.0 Comes Out of the Shadows

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Source: Kommersant

 

Russia and Turkey have announced that the two countries have reached significant progress in reviving the November 2014-shut down South Stream gas pipeline intended to land Russian gas across the Black Sea. The project is the part of the already secured open tender contracts for purchases of gas signed between Gazprom, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Slovakia and Austria.

The new Black Sea gas pipeline Turkish Stream will run under sea from Krasnodar to a landing hubv just west of Istanbul. On November 19, presidents Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Istanbul to announce the completion of pipeline’s off-shore section. Continue reading

Britain knew of Saudi plan to target journalist, warned Saudis against it

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Now a new report claims that Britain’s external intelligence agency, the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), was aware of a plot by the Saudi government to kidnap Khashoggi in order silence him. British newspaper The Sunday Express says it has evidence from “high ranking intelligence sources” that MI6 was in possession of communications intercepts containing conversations about Khashoggi. The conversations were between Saudi government officials and officers of the General Intelligence Directorate (GID), the Kingdom’s primary spy agency. In the intercepts, a member of the Saudi royal family is allegedly heard giving orders for the GID to kidnap Khashoggi from Turkey sometime in early September. He also instructs the GID to secretly transport the dissident journalist to Saudi soil where he could be interrogated. During the conversation, a discussion took place about the possibility that Khashoggi would physically resist his abductors. At that point in the conversation, the high ranking intelligence source told The Express, the royal family member “left the door open for alternative remedies […] should Khashoggi be troublesome”. Continue reading

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

Turkey Will Be Ground Zero in the Next Global Debt Crisis

(Shutterstock)

 

Turkey is a beautiful country with a rich history including Greek, Roman and Muslim influences that make it one of the most fascinating places on Earth. It is literally a bridge between East and West: The mile-long Bosporus Bridge just north of Istanbul connects Europe and Asia across the Bosporus Strait.

Turkey has been a magnet for direct foreign investment from abroad and dollar-denominated loans by international banks to local enterprises. This investment enthusiasm is understandable given Turkey’s well-educated population of 83 million and its rank as the 17th-largest economy in the world, with a GDP of just under $1 trillion. Continue reading

China and India sail into choppy waters in New Great Game

Looking out at the port of Chabahar. Photo: Reuters / Raheb Homavandi

 

This shadow play is a heady vortex, churning with power projections, spheres of influence, security and commerce

The New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), will weave and interconnect six major economic corridors. At 12,000 kilometers, the Eurasia Land Bridge Economic Corridor is a rail network from eastern China to western Europe via Kazakhstan, Russia and Belarus.

Then there is the China-Mongolia-Russia Economic Corridor, while the China-Central Asia-West Asia Economic Corridor runs from Xinjiang to Istanbul. Nine new road links in the Greater Mekong help make up the China-Indochina Peninsula Economic Corridor. Continue reading

Germany Warns Its Citizens: They Risk Arrest If Traveling To Turkey

 

Escalation of the diplomatic row between Berlin and Ankara ended in a clear message. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned German citizens that they risk arrest if they travel to Turkey.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Germany had revised its travel advice in the wake of the recent arrests of several human rights activists, including German national Peter Steudtner. Continue reading

Erdogan calls on Muslims to flood Jerusalem’s iconic mosque and protect its Islamic identity

President Erdogan also warned the Trump administration not to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (Umit Bektas/Reuters)

 

The Turkish president compared Israel’s policies to South Africa’s Apartheid system.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Muslims around the world to visit Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem to protect the site’s Islamic identity. The Turkish leader also took the opportunity to heap scorn on Israel, likening the country’s policies to South Africa’s Apartheid era.

Speaking in Istanbul at a charity conference discussing Palestinian economic development, Erdogan lashed out at Israel regarding its settlement plans in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Continue reading

Turkey Turns To Russia’s Most Advanced Air Defense System Instead Of Buying From NATO

Turkey has declared itself an enemy of not only NATO by purchasing Chinese military hardware, but an enemy of America when it decided to hold American soldiers hostage at Incirlik airbase… and more than once.

What Turkey is now doing is strengthening their defense positions in preparation of jumping ship from the western alliance and in turn jumping on board the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Russia and China’s world-war axis and counterweight to NATO and the West.

For further information, see the following articles:

US combat units on “high alert” after Incirlik surrounded

TURKEY TO U.S.: “Give Turkey Your Nuclear Weapons at Incirlik Air Base or Turkey will Take Them!”

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

Erdogan locks US airmen, nuclear arms in Incirlik

Ankara threatens to ground US fighters at key Turkish air base

U.S. Nukes at Turkish Airbase at Risk of Being Seized by ‘Hostile Forces,’ Report Says

Turkey could choose China’s missile defense system by end of year: report

Ankara’s move to Chinese air systems appals NATO allies

 

Russian S-400 Triumph medium-range and long-range surface-to-air missile systems drive during the Victory Day parade, marking the 71st anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two, at Red Square in Moscow, Russia, May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

 

NATO ally Turkey is in the midst of finalizing a deal with Russia to purchase the S-400 air defense system, as tensions between the U.S.-European alliance and the Kremlin are reaching a fever pitch.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan are expected to discuss the S-400 contract during a visit to Sochi, Russia, on May 3, according to Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik.

“I suppose after Erdogan’s talks with Putin a joint decision will be made on further steps for purchasing Russia’s missile system,” said Isik, as quoted in Russia’s TASS news agency Monday. Continue reading

Putin teams up with Turkey’s ERDOGAN as threat of WAR between Russia & the West increases

RUSSIA has teamed up with Turkey to announce a coordinated military strategy for Syria and the construction of a new gas pipeline running between the two countries.

The collaboration between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan comes amid growing tensions between Russia and the West.

The ruthless leaders met in Istanbul on Monday to discuss the Turkish Stream gas pipeline and a joint military strategy in Syria, resulting in an agreement to share intelligence and the joint provision of humanitarian aid.

Continue reading

London streets to have 600 marksmen for ISIS

Metropolitan Police chief Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe said that, following the terror attacks in Europe, more marksmen were trained and operationally ready for public patrol up to a total of 1,500 firearms officers.

Although British cops are proud of traditionally not carrying firearms, the Met chief said “I think people understand that where you are going to have people as enemies who’ve got guns, we’ve got to have guns.” Continue reading

Failed Turkey coup deepens conundrum of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s power

And so another cot-case nation is born. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan already has begun consolidating in the wake of Friday’s failed coup, with a vengeful purge of the military and the judiciary to help drive home a ruthless bid to package virtually all power in his strongman presidency.

Critics argue that his Putin-like shift from the office of Prime Minister to the presidency is a threat to democracy in Turkey. But the failure of the coup likely will cause Erdoğan to redouble his efforts, which he will parse as an essential antidote to instability. Continue reading

Turkish Prime Minister Says Attempted Military Coup Underway, Local Media Reports

Sky News Live:

 

 

Additional headlines:

Turkey ‘coup’: Live updates as explosion and gunfire reported in capitol Ankara (The Mirror)

Shooting heard in Ankara, military jets & helicopters flying over city – witnesses (RT)

Gunfire, Troops On Streets Reported In Turkey (Radio Free Europe)

What’s Going on in Turkey? (The Atlantic)

Turkey coup attempt: gunfire in Ankara as military aircraft fly over capital – live (The Guardian)

More to come as updates roll in.

 

This is a developing story: Military jets and helicopters seen flying low over Ankara and tanks reported in the streets, as two major bridges in Istanbul are closed to traffic.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a military coup attempt is currently underway and that military action has been taken without a chain of command, according to local media NTV. Continue reading

Former Obama Intel Chief: ‘We Are Losing’ Against ISIS: ‘We’re In A War’

President Barack Obama’s former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency believes the United States is “losing the war” on and off the battlefield against the Islamic State.

“The enemy has more than doubled in capacity and capability and geographical footprint around the world,” said Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn in an interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. “We’ve lost the strategic initiative in this war. And the enemy has the strategic initiative.”

Flynn told TheDCNF that ISIS, which has slaughtered thousands of Iraqi and Syrian Christians, Yazidis and Shia Muslims, now has momentum as it deploys 30,000 troops in Iraq and Syria.

Continue reading

Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues

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The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Middle East is full of churches and synagogues turned into Islamic sites. Today, every traveler in a modern European city can notice the new mosques being built alongside abandoned and secularized churches, some converted into museums. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

 

  • In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. In Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel now stands. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers.
  • “The French will not wake up until Notre Dame becomes a mosque.” — Emile Cioran, author.
  • Germany is literally selling its churches. Between 1990 and 2010, the German Evangelical Church closed 340 churches. Recently in Hamburg, a Lutheran church was purchased by the Muslim community.
  • “History teaches us that these transformations are rarely innocent.” — Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, assistant to Marine Le Pen.

Last year, at the famous Biennale artistic festival in Venice, Swiss artist Christian Büchel took the ancient Catholic Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia and converted it into a mosque. The church had not been used for Christian worship for more than forty years. Büchel decorated the baroque walls with Arabic writing, covered the floor with a prayer rug, and hid the crucifix behind a prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca, the holy city of Islam. It was a provocation.

Continue reading