Sunday, April 29, 2012

Turkey Trot: Turkey starts illegal drilling in N. Cyprus update

John Ward has an analysis of the situation (and while we're at it, might as well have a look at the rights situation: letters from political prisoners (where's Amnesty when you need them?)) -

The Slog: "MED ENERGY WARS: UK Foreign Office slumbers on as Israel/Turkey showdown grows ever nearer"

Veteran Sloggers are well aware of Erdogan The Mad: Turkish leader, free-speech crusher, Kurd-basher, Holocaust denier, energy thief, and best friend of Iran and David Cameron at one and the same time.

They’ll also know from earlier in the week that, ignoring existing territorial waters ratified by the UN, Rabid Recep and his Erratic Engineers have plonked a drilling derrick right next to Cyprus (having earlier this year threatened to annex it) and got right down to the task of tapping into other people’s oil.

Now the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is denying Greek media reports that a Turkish Petroleum Company is carrying out oil exploratory works along the Greek continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea. (...) >>>

Apr 29, 2012

Athens News: "Greece condemns Turkish drilling in Cyprus"

The Greek foreign ministry on Thursday sharply condemned the exploratory drilling launched by a Turkish firm in the region of Sygkrasi (Sinirustu in Turkish) near the town Famagusta in the Turkish-occupied northern third of Cyprus.

Foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras, referring to the drilling by a Turkish petrol company, stressed that this is another illegal Turkish move, blatantly violating the UN Security Council resolutions that call on all countries to respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus. (...) >>>

Apr. 26, 2012

Neo Ottomanism is taking shape -

Occidental Libertas: "Neo-Ottomanism:Turkey is back and it is not going to return to Kemalism"

One of the biggest winners of the Arab Spring besides the Muslim Brotherhood, Iran and the Wahhabi movements which are supported by Saudi Arabia is the Islamist government in Ankara which is led by Prime Minister Recep Ergodan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu and President Abdullah Gul which together with the rest of the AK Party are reviving the Ottoman Empire which ruled North Africa,the Balkans and the Middle East for centuries. Turkey has abandoned the principles of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk which somehow has kept Islamist forces under control in which the military had a right to intervene if the secular system was under threat. Recently Ilker Basbug which is the former chief of the Turkish Army was arrested and it is going to be trialed because he wanted to topple the Islamist government. (...) >>>

Feb. 23, 2012

War drums and a bubble ready to burst -

Erdogan's sabre rattling over Gaza and Cyprus gas exploration may have something to do with an imploding economy -

YNet: "Turkey’s economic lie"

Some refer to him as “the Middle East’s new sultan in a neo-Ottoman empire” – yet the truth about Erdogan’s kingdom is utterly different. We are not facing an economic power, but rather, a state whose credit bubble will be bursting any moment now and bringing down its economy.

The budget deficit of the collapsing Greece compared to its GDP stands at some 10%, and the world is alarmed. At the same time, Turkey’s deficit is at 9.5%, yet some members of the financial media describe the Turkish economy as a success story (for comparison’s sake, Israel’s deficit stands at some 3% and is expected to decline to 2% this year.) (...) >>>

Sept. 19, 2011

Turmoil in the East Med -

As Turkish foreign policy appears to be in shambles and its sharp economic downswing undercuts its regional status, Erdogan is backtracking on a provocative Gaza visit -

More on "The Flotilla Tactic"

INN: "Turkish Prime Minister Scraps Visit to Gaza"

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyep Erdogan is bypassing Hamas-controlled Gaza on his way to visit Egypt next week. A government spokesperson, responding to news reports that Erdogan would visit de facto Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said the timing is not right.

Erdogan has been overtly pro-Hamas, even declaring that it is not a terrorist organization. He has quickly moved away from once-friendly relations with Israel during the past three years and has created a diplomatic alliance with Syria and Iran. (...) >>>

Sept. 5, 2011

Getting cozy with the mullahs -

Kuwait News Agency: "Iran, Turkey can make region political, economic, cultural hub - Ahmadinejad"

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday cooperation between Iran and Turkey would transform the region to an economic, political and cultural hub "very soon." Ahmadinejad, in a statement after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul, said they have discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest.

He described as "solid, brotherly and long-lasting" the bilateral relations with Turkey, noting that trade exchange between Tehran and Ankara witnessed remarkable progress last year. Ahmadinejad commended Turkey's support for the right of the Iranian people to using nuclear technology for civilian purposes, as well as its hosting of the nuclear talks between Iran on one side and the P5+1 on the other. (...) >>>

Killing the secular watch dog -

American Thinker: "Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan moves against the military" Rick Moran

Since the time of Ataturk, the Turkish military has acted as a bulwark against Islamic extremism. Several times since the end of World War I, the military has overthrown a civilian government - often because they felt that a secular Turkey was under threat from fanatics. (See Stephen Green's excellent piece at PJ Media about the military's role in post World War I Turkish history).

The election of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2002 has brought dramatic changes to Turkey. Erdogan has instituted what some are calling "soft Sharia" by incrementally altering Turkish institutions and society to reflect a more Islamist approach to government. And now, Erdogan is moving against the one force that can stop Turkey's slide into extremism. (...) >>>

Feb. 14, 2011

What if Obama had a backbone? -

Hudson NY: "How WikiLeaks Influence the Middle East", by Harold Rhode

The Middle East has its own logic: people there believe that the US is all-powerful, and when it chooses to, enforces order as it sees fit. To them, whatever the US does, it does deliberately and calculatedly. By this logic, the release of the WikiLeaks classified documents was intentional: most Middle Easterners would have great difficulty believing otherwise.

Among many foreign leaders mentioned in these documents is Turkish Prime Minister Prime Minister Erdoğan. Before the leaks, Erdoğan seemed to be able to get away with doing everything he could to undermine Israel and the United States both in the Middle East and throughout the world. From a Turkish point of point of view, there are two explanations for America's apparent acquiesce (...) >>>

Dec. 12, 2010

Cumhuriyet: "Turkey 'will not remain silent' if Israel attacks Lebanon"

Turkey will not remain silent if Israel attacks Lebanon or Gaza, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Beirut on Thursday, as ties between the longtime allies remained at an all-time low. (...) >>>

Nov. 27, 2010

Stirring the Balkan powder keg -

Int'l Analyst Network: "Turkey's reach in Kosovo", by Ioannis Michaletos

he Turkish foreign policy over the last few years has witnessed a dramatic shift, that promotes its "Ottoman legacy" and especially in the Balkan region, where it already influences a considerable segment of the Muslim population. Moreover its increased cooperation with Syria and Iran, further highlights Turkish moves since there is always the likelihood of an eventual clash between Turkish ambitions and the rest of the regional political actors that will most certainly have an impact on the Balkan political scene.

Turkey in Kosovo specifically forms a "soft power policy" aiming at promoting the Albanian ambitions, so as to have a strong base in a strategic point in the region. That obviously means, that any clash between Turkey and NATO for instance over the close relationships of Ankara with Teheran, will reflect in the Balkan affairs with possible upturns, even the probability of a conflict in an area full of ethnic animosities and vicious competition between various state interests.

An outline of the main Turkish initiatives and strong-points in Kosovo is presented below, by bearing in mind that developments in a distant field (Middle East) could have a direct consequence in the domestic Kosovo affairs within the short-term period. (...) >>>

Oct. 25, 201

Iran's finger in the Islamist pie -

HotAir: "Great news: Iran now sending millions to Islamist Turkish government"

Western diplomats say they are alarmed by reports that Mr Erdogan has negotiated a deal with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for Tehran to make a substantial contribution to the campaign funds of Turkey’s leading Islamic party.

Under the terms of the deal Iran has agreed to transfer $12 million to the AKP, with further payments of up to $25 million to be made later in the year. The money is to help support Mr Erdogan’s campaign for re-election for a third term in next year’s general election…

Western diplomats now fear that the AKP’s deal with Iran will heighten fears among Turkish secularists that Mr Erdogan will exploit the government’s new powers to drive through the AKP’s radical Islamic agenda. (...) >>>

Sept. 15, 2010

Ataturk in retro - The stupidity of the progressivist kneejerk in the US and EU is breathtaking. They actually hail the referendum on the Constitution as "a step in the right direction". It is, if you think that Islamization is way to go. The traditional watchdog, the military, put there by Ataturk, has been consigned to the doghouse and may be brought to Court. The judiciary will be loaded with AK party cronies. And these imbeciles welcome it as it brings Turkish EU membership a step closer -

Radio Free Europe: "U.S., EU Welcome Turkish Referendum Results"

The United States and the European Union have hailed the results from Turkey's referendum on a package of changes to the country's military-era constitution. The High Election Board is expected to announce the official results later today. With nearly all votes from the September 12 referendum counted, some 58 percent of Turks voted in favor of the 26 proposed amendments, which would curb the military's power and reshape the judiciary. Turnout was 77 percent. Hailing the results, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkish democracy was the "winner." (...) >>>

Sept. 13, 2010

Turning the tide? -

PJM: "Will Turkey Turn Back Toward the West Next Year?", by Ryan Mauro

Turkey is lost under Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP). They are firmly in the camp of Iran despite their competition over the title of reigning anti-Israel champion. Israel has labeled the IHH — the group that tried to break the Gaza blockade with the Marvi Marmara — a terrorist group, which indirectly labels Turkey a state sponsor of terrorism because of the AKP and Erdogan’s close ties to the IHH. Luckily, this may only last for a year.

The AKP and Erdogan are still popular in Turkey, but the main opposition group, the Republican People’s Party (CHP), has chosen a new leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, who is being well-received. Assisted by Erdogan’s overreaching domestically and internationally, the CHP may ride a backlash that leads to defeat or clipped wings for AKP during the next general election scheduled for July 2011. (...) >>>

Jul 6, 2010

Propflot remorse -

Hudson: "Turkey in Crisis", by Harold Rhode

Events in Turkey indicate that much of the Turkish public increasingly believes that their Prime Minister blundered by unnecessarily provoking a crisis with Israel.

If crises often provide opportunities, however, the long-term results of the flotilla incident might be just the opportunity to restore Turkish-Israeli relations to where they were before Turkey's current Islamist government took power.

It now appears that the average Turk -- for lack of a better term - approximately 70% of the population who is not part of the political establishment, the academic establishment, or the media -- now understands that this crisis has hurt Turkey internationally and politically and that there was no reason for Turkey to provoke Israel. (...) >>>

Jun 23, 2010

Good riddance -

American Spectator: "Who Lost Turkey? Not Europe", by Doug Bandow

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is upset. And he is vocal with his complaints. Not with the North Koreans or Iranians. Not with the Chinese or Russians. Not with the Palestinians or Israelis. And not with the Turks.
He is upset with the Europeans. Because they have mistreated the Turks. (...) The solution? "We have to think long and hard about … what we might be able to do to … make the stronger linkages with the West." Meaning, presumably, European Union membership. It was an astonishing performance. (...) The argument, while not quite absurd, is flawed at several levels. Give the Turks their due. They are serious people; their country is a serious regional player. They have a lot of interests and face a lot of pressures completely unrelated to what transpires in Brussels.

First, the transformation of Turkish politics over the last decade has been dramatic. Secular nationalists of various ideological stripes have crashed and burned. Moderate Islamists have taken firm control.
Equally important, elected civilians are finally pulling the controls of government away from the hands of the military and other members of the unelected elite which saw itself as the guardian of the Turkish republic and the vision of its founder, Kemal Ataturk. Whether this is good or bad is a matter of bitter dispute in the West -- outsiders generally choose between the "democracy" and "secular" teams, with the former doing most of the winning these days.

Second, the transformation of Turkish foreign policy is following a similar course. Ankara's vote against the Iran sanctions resolution is merely the latest evidence of Turkey's increasingly independent course.
But to talk about "losing" Turkey erroneously assumes that nation was America's, or the West's, to lose. That's never been the case. Only during the Cold War was Ankara tightly allied with America and Europe. The collapse of the Soviet Union dissolved that important glue bonding Turkey and the West.

For a complex mix of reasons including power politics, ideology, and religion, Turkey has become a less reliable U.S. and European ally. Explanations range from more benign (Ankara simply has different interests) to more malign (the ruling party plans on creating an Islamic state). But the status of EU accession talks is not a terribly important factor. Third, EU membership is not Washington's business. (...) Imagine Iran sitting in European councils. (...) >>>

June 14, 2010

The foreign policy paradigm shift - supporting Islamist terror -

The Weekly Std: "A Turkey of a Policy - Obama makes the Middle East an even more dangerous place", by Elliot Abrams

The Gaza flotilla incident is not over. American demands for some “international role” in investigating Israel’s conduct (but not, it seems, Turkey’s) and for a new system of getting humanitarian aid to Gaza will be imposed on Israel one way or another before the episode will be behind us. But however they play out, this incident clarified several major trends in the region—all of which are dangerous for the United States and for our allies in the Middle East.

First, it’s obvious that our formerly reliable NATO ally Turkey has become a staunch supporter of the radical camp. In the flotilla incident, it not only sided with but also sought to strengthen the terrorist group Hamas—a group that is anathema not just to the United States and Israel, but to the governments of Jordan and Egypt. The recent photo of Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Bashar Assad in Damascus is an emblem of this change, and Turkey’s work to undermine U.N. sanctions against Iran shows its substance. Turkey’s U.N. Security Council vote against the newest round of sanctions this past week put it in Iran’s camp against Europe, the United States, Russia, and China. That’s quite a realignment for a NATO ally. (...) >>>

Jun 13, 2010

Soros ICG deny the Turkish foreign policy paradigm shift on the basis of 'trade' statistics, but that's obviously baloney -

WSJ: "Erdogan Calls Israel 'Threat' to Peace - Turkish premier's remarks further strain countries' alliance as analysts ponder nation's foreign-policy leanings"

Relations between Turkey and Israel, already at a low point, took a further battering Wednesday when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan described Israel as "the principal threat to peace" in the Middle East. The remarks, made to reporters on a visit to Paris, came after Israel's foreign minister had compared Mr. Erdogan to Venezuela's Hugo Chávez and Moammar Gadhafi of Libya earlier this week.

Israel responded quickly. "We are interested in good relations with Turkey and regret that Mr. Erdogan chooses time after time to attack Israel," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after a news conference in Jerusalem, adding that such remarks would do nothing for Middle Eastern stability.

This promises to be a tough month for Mr. Erdogan's relationships with some of his most important Western allies, as he seeks to balance Turkey's interests in boosting trade and political relations with its immediate neighbors—including Iran, Syria and Azerbaijan—with the conflicting goals of Western policy makers.

Mr. Erdogan's clashes with Israel and rapprochement with Iran and Syria have led some analysts to believe Turkey is making a fundamental foreign-policy shift away from its Cold War partners in the West, in particular the U.S., and toward Middle Eastern powers such as Iran. At a recent meeting of foreign-policy analysts in Istanbul held by the Turkish Policy Quarterly, Israeli and Turkish analysts agreed on one point—the alliance those two countries built on shared security concerns in the 1990s is probably unsalvageable. (...) >>>

Apr 10, 2010

Erdogan's revenge on Armenians -

Now one begins to understand how the Armenian genocide could have happened. And that, in spite of the Turkish diaspora, causing no end of problems to the host countries -

BBC: "Turkey threatens to expel 100,000 Armenians"

Turkey's prime minister has threatened to deport 100,000 Armenian migrants, amid renewed tensions over Turkish mass killings of Armenians in World War I. Recent resolutions in the US and Sweden have called the killings "genocide". Recep Tayyip Erdogan told the BBC that of 170,000 Armenians living in Turkey "70,000 are Turkish citizens".

"We are turning a blind eye to the remaining 100,000... Tomorrow, I may tell these 100,000 to go back to their country, if it becomes necessary." Thousands of Armenians, many of them women, work illegally in Turkey. Most do low-skilled jobs such as cleaning. (...) >>>

Mar 18, 2010

Dire warnings amidst denial

WND: "Surprise! Guess who's biggest Islamic threat", by Michael Carl

Famed PLO terrorist-turned-Christian Walid Shoebat is warning that the United States needs to be watching not Iran, Syria or even Hamas and Hezbollah as closely as it needs to follow the actions of the Islamic leaders of Turkey. It was just a few months ago when Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin reported Turkey appeared to be seeking the restoration of the old Ottoman Empire. The report said Turkey's increasing disinterest in the European Union combined with its efforts to re-establish its influence in Turkic countries of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and its outreaches to Russian, Syria and Iran are cause for concern. At the time, the shift by Tayyip Recep Erdogan, Turkey's leader, from West to East was obvious, because Turkey announced it was cutting Israel out of annual military exercises involving NATO forces while it sought out military exercises with Syria. (...) >>>

Mar 12, 2010

Beware of ergenekons under the bed ...

Uykusuz Kapak ErgenekonImage by farukahmet via Flickr
After we were informed last week that a handful of officers were arrested in a "coup plot"  this story now appears to be caught up in the positively paranoid, 'nationalist' Ergenekon affair -

Enduring America: "Confusion in Turkey: Ergenekon and the “Military Coup”"

Since 20 October 2008, the Turkey Government has been occupied with Ergenekon, a neo-nationalist group accused of plotting against the State.

It all started with 27 hand bombs, TNT moulds, and detonators found in a house on 12 June 2007. Since then, evidence from wiretappings, weapons taken from excavations, and purported assassination plans allegedly show a “grand project” pursued by the “deep state”. According to an indictment which is now more than 2500 pages, arrested politicians, journalists, lawyers, intellectuals, and generals formed a “terrorist” organization to create chaos weakening the ruling Justice and Development Party and justifying a military coup.

Retired Gendarme Brigadier General Veli Kucuk, retired Gendarme General Sener Eruygur, retired General of the 1st Army Commandership located in the Western Turkey Hursit Tolon, former Chancellor of the University of Istanbul Kemal Alemdaroglu, Vice President of the Labor Party Dogu Perincek, columnist Ilhan Selcuk, Ankara Chamber of Commerce Sinan Aygun, retired Brigadier General and former Head of Gendarme Intelligence Centre Levent Ersoz and even former AKP MPs Turhan Comez and Emin Sirin are among the more than 150 people who have been accused of membership in a “terrorist” organization.

Last Friday, in the 137th hearing of the Ergenekon investigation, 20 prisoners including the leader of the Labor Party, Doğu Perinçek, and retired Gendarme Brigadier General Veli Küçük made their defenses against the claims. As in the other 136 hearings, no verdict was released. (...) >>>

Mar 3, 2010

If you believe this is good news, try again -

WSJ: "Turkey Charges 11 More in Coup Plot"

President Abdullah Gül of Turkey sought to assuage fears of political instability Thursday, pledging that a growing confrontation with the country's military would be resolved within the constitution. Mr. Gül issued his statement after a rare three-hour, three-way meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and army chief Ilker Basbug. Hours later, the two most senior of some 50 military officers detained Monday on charges of plotting a coup—a former chief of the air force and of the navy—were released without charge.

But it was far from clear that the meeting would resolve tensions. Eight current and former officers were formally charged Thursday with having plotted a coup in 2003, and were jailed pending trial. (...) But Monday's arrests also underscored the deepening power struggle between the Islamic leaning Justice and Development party, or AKP, and the traditional secular elite, above all the military, which has long seen itself as the guardian of Turkey's secular order.

A similar battle is being fought out within the judiciary, a body that is charged with defending Turkey's secular constitution and that has become starkly split between pro- and anti-government justices and prosecutors. The government has said repeatedly that it wants to redraw the country's constitution, drafted after a military coup in the 1980s. (...) >>>

Feb. 26, 2010

Turkey denies foreign policy shift, but the signs are undeniable -

CNSNews: "As Turkey Tilts Away From the West, Obama Hails Erdogan As ‘Friend’", by Patrick Goodenough

(...) Speaking after their meeting – which Turkish media noted with enthusiasm had lasted for two hours – Obama praised Turkey for its “outstanding contributions” in Afghanistan. (...)
The warm words at the Oval Office came despite recent trends in Turkey, including its criticism of the West’s handling of the Iran issue and a significant cooling in relations with Israel since last winter’s military offensive against Hamas in Gaza.

At a time when the West is edging closer to tightening sanctions against Iran, Turkey is pushing in the other direction. Erdogan’s government last week did not support an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) resolution censuring Iran for its uranium enrichment activities and referring the matter to the U.N. Security Council. (...)

Erdogan’s White House visit comes towards the end of a year that has provided numerous examples of his government taking positions at odds with those of the U.S. (...) Ankara has rejected criticism that it is shifting orientation away from the West and closer to the Middle East. “Turkey is expanding its relations; it’s not changing its direction,” Turkey’s Today’s Zaman daily quoted foreign ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin as saying in late October. (...) >>>

Dec. 9, 2009

The explosive headlines that never were ...

Israeli journalist Caroline Glick on this PJTV interview with Bill Whittle updates us on some explosive news that somehow failed to make the headlines this week:

- The Anatolian Eagle air exercises which have been held nearly every year since 2001 with the participation of Turkey and Israel under NATO auscipes got canceled this week. After the Turks rejected the participation of Israel, NATO pulled out:

Haaretz: "Turkey PM: My people rejected Israeli participation in NATO drill"

- As if that's not enough to derail the Turkish EU entry talks, perhaps this is (that this is not limited to a series of trade agreements, but an engagement that makes the relationship between Turkey and Iran's proxy Syria real cozy, is witnessed by this article in Today's Zaman: "Syria border, once associated with terror, now a path to integration" ... integration! the articles speaks of a "symbolic gesture reflecting remarkable progress in bilateral relations between the two countries with the signing of a historic deal "):

NY Times: "Turkey and Syria Signal Improved Relations"

Oct 18, 2009

JP Blog In the Trenches: "Dear Prime Minister Erdogan", by David Harris

I write as a friend of Turkey. These days, though, I'm finding it harder to feel well-disposed. I've been stunned by things I've heard, seen, and read in recent weeks. The outburst of animosity for Israel and the anxiety awakened in the Turkish Jewish community make me wonder what's going on and what the future holds. (...) you have described Israeli policy in Gaza as a "massacre" and a "crime against humanity" that would bring about Israel's "self-destruction" through divine punishment.

These words are inflammatory, and they are wrong. You seem to believe that Israel had other ways to deal with the relentless barrage of missiles and mortars fired at its civilians, even though months of restraint accomplished nothing. You contend that Hamas is a reasonable negotiating partner. You even invited its leaders to Ankara, though it had not met the Quartet's demands to recognize Israel, renounce violence, and abide by previous agreements. It still has not done so, and it still seeks Israel's destruction with weapons imported from your neighbor, Iran. You have accused Israel of deliberately seeking to kill civilians.

In reality, as British Colonel Richard Kemp told the BBC, "I don't think there has ever been a time in the history of warfare when any army has made more efforts to reduce civilian casualties. ... Hamas has been trained extensively by Iran and by Hizbullah to use the civilian population in Gaza as a human shield." Even if you disagreed, you might have been respectful of such public criticism of Hamas, whether from Col. Kemp, EU official Louis Michel, Egyptian and Saudi leaders, or, in more hushed tones, some Gaza residents themselves. Instead, you accused "Jewish-backed media" of spreading falsehoods.

Mr. Prime Minister, Israel yearns for a secure and lasting peace. No one has more fully embodied that hunger for peace, or worked more tirelessly to achieve a new start for the Middle East, than Shimon Peres - Israel's president, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, and your fellow panelist at Davos last week. Yet, in your remarks, you essentially called him a child-killer. And, inexplicably, you quoted an obscure ex-Israeli who has turned into a rabid anti-Semite. And then you left, claiming that the moderator had been unfair.

(...) you did your country no service by your unstatesmanlike behavior. Mr. Prime Minister, I wonder what Turkey would do if its population was targeted, day after day, by merciless enemies determined to wreak havoc, terrorize, and intimidate. But wait. We know exactly how Turkey would act if it saw its national interests endangered. When Turkey feared union between Greece and Cyprus, it rushed troops to the northern part of the island in 1974. A new government was declared. (..)

The Turkey I know and admire would recoil from partners like Iran and Hamas. Their central beliefs are antithetical to everything that modern, democratic Turkey ought to stand for. And so, even as I worry, wonder, and despair, I'll be watching, waiting, and, yes, hoping.(...) >>>

Feb 2, 2009

Financial Times: "Turkey’s AKP survives court fight"

Turkey’s ruling party survived an attempt to oust it from power in a landmark court judgment on Wednesday, pulling the country back from a bitterly divisive battle over Islam and Turkey’s secular constitution. The constitutional court rej­ected a prosecutor’s demand that the Justice and Development party, the AKP, be closed after he accused it of undermining Turkey’s secular state with a stealth agenda to impose sharia law. The court found the party guilty, but imposed only financial penalties. >>>

Updated: 31st July 2008

Turkish Daily News: "Cyprus passports become invalid in Turkey"

Turkish Cypriot holders of a Republic of Cyprus passport are not being allowed to exit Turkey for a third country unless they have a “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” or TRNC passport, daily Cyprus Mail reported Friday, quoting officials from the north. (...) A number of families going on holiday were not allowed to leave Turkey with their Cyprus passports and did not have TRNC ones so they could exit ports and airports in Turkey. (...) >>>

Updated: 20th July 2008

- Related: Memri Turkey Blog

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