Tag: Turkey

Leader of Iranian opposition killed in Istanbul
Middle East & Africa

Leader of Iranian opposition killed in Istanbul

Two senior Turkish officials told press that two intelligence officers at the Iranian consulate in Turkey incited on the killing of an Iranian dissident in Istanbul last November, he was criticizing the Islamic Republic’s military and political leaders.

Masoud Maulvi Wardanjani was shot dead on a street in Istanbul on November 14, 2019, just over a year after he left Iran, according to the Turkish officials.

A police report on the killing, published two weeks ago, stated that Wardanjani was working in the electronic security of the Iranian Defense Ministry and turned into a strong critic of the Iranian authorities.

The report added that Wardanjani posted a message on social media criticizing the Iranian Revolutionary Guards in August, three months before he was killed.

“I will eradicate corrupt mafia leaders,” the message said. “I hope they won’t kill me before I do so.”

The situation of Wardanjani at the Iranian Defense Ministry or his posts on social media could not be verified. No one at the Iranian embassy or consulate in Turkey responded to calls to comment on the background or the killing of Wardanjani.

In response to a question about the possible involvement of the Iranian government in his killing, a spokeswoman for the Istanbul police said the investigation was continuing. She declined to comment further.

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The Turkish government has not openly accused Iran of involvement in the killing of Wardanjani. But the two senior Turkish officials have said that the government will talk to Iran about his death. One of them said that Turkish prosecutors were also following the case.

The first official said that the suspected gunman and several other suspects, including Turks and Iranians, had been arrested in the weeks following the incident, informing the authorities that they had acted on the orders of two intelligence officers at the Iranian consulate.

The second official said that evidence that included the suspects’ accounts indicates that “Iranian citizens played a dangerous role in incitement and coordination” in the killing.

The officials said that Ankara would soon provide Iran with an official response regarding the killing of Wardanjani and the role played by officials holding diplomatic passports.

Two Iranian security sources said that Wardanjani defied a Revolutionary Guards warning against cooperating with Turkish companies in projects related to drones, without further details. They said he also called the United States and European countries to work with them.

One of the Iranian sources said that Wardanjani published documents on the Internet that he carried out as an electronic infiltration or obtained information from contacts in Iran and that he ignored requests to contact the Iranian embassy in Ankara and met with Americans and an Israeli diplomat. The source did not give details about the documents or its meetings.
The second Iranian source also said that Wardanjani had been warned about the consequences of his contacts with foreign diplomats.

The Turkish officials said that the companion who was walking with Wardanjani established friendship with him after his arrival in Istanbul from Tehran in June 2018 and conveyed information about him to Iranian intelligence.

The morning before his death, this friend, who reports to the Turkish police and two Turkish officials that his name was Ali Esfanjani, went to the Iranian consulate. The two officials said that he later met with the gunman to discuss the details of the operation.

The police report describes Esfangani as the team leader who carried out the assassination of Wardanjani.

The first Turkish official said that Esfangani was transported across the border to Iran three days later, as a copy of a bus ticket he used under a pseudonym appears to reach the AGRI area on the eastern border of Turkey. He was transferred with the help of an Iranian smuggler.

An investigation of BBC confirms Turkey sends new arms shipments into Libya
Middle East & Africa

An investigation of BBC confirms Turkey sends new arms shipments into Libya

Although the new coronavirus, COVID-19, is bringing Turkey to its knees, the Turkish president and head of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist movement, Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his insane venture in Libya. In recent days, the BBC has released a new video containing satellite images and other evidence of the cargo ships loaded with weapons, ammunition and armoured vehicles sent by Turkey in Libya, in a clear violation of the embargo provided for by United Nations resolutions. The BBC, thanks to the footage obtained by the investigation team and the Italian authorities, has shown that a ship carrying armoured combat vehicles, self-propelled guns and anti-aircraft defense systems – now installed in Tripoli and Misurata – sailed from the Turkish port of Mersin towards Tunisia, then disappeared from the localization systems to head to Tripoli on January 27th, 2020.

The satellite images show three ships north-east of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with one ship in the middle corresponding to the size and colour scheme of the Turkish ship, called BANA. Meanwhile, the other two ships that escorted BANA were G-class frigates, which are used only by the Turkish navy. “The clearer satellite images taken on the same day complete the picture. It shows the BANA docket in the port of Tripoli”, affirms the BBC report confirming the news and images disseminated by civilians on social networks in those days. After making a stopover in Tripoli, the ship reached the port of Genoa in Italy three days later. the local media report, here a sailor offered information to the Italian authorities on the illegal arms trade between Turkey and Libya in exchange for international protection. The BBC was able to show the images taken by the sailor in the hold of the ship which match with videos filmed by the militias upon arrival in the port of Tripoli. The Islamist militias, affiliated to the Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli, are used to broadcast videos of this kind to frighten the enemy.

After losing international support, with most of the countries that have opened to Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, head of Libyan National Army (LNA), especially after the evidences of an involvement with terrorist groups across Libya by the Government and the authorities of Tripoli and Misrata, Turkey remains today the main supporter of the Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj with whom Erdogan signed two agreements on security and jurisdiction of the eastern Mediterranean on February 28, widely rejected by the Libyan people and the international community. The Arab League, the European Union, the African Union and the main countries interested in the Libyan file have in fact asked Erdogan at the Berlin Conference to stop any transfer of weapons and mercenaries to Libya, opting for the formation of a joint aero-naval force that guarantees respect of the embargo according to UN resolutions.

Turkey, which threatened the EU with open borders, closes them due to coronavirus
Middle East & Africa

Turkey, which threatened the EU with open borders, closes them due to coronavirus

Turkey, which has been blackmailing the EU with open borders and threatening to “flood” Europe with refugees, is closing border crossings as part of its response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Turkey will close its crossings on the borders with Greece and Bulgaria at midnight. Passengers will not be allowed to cross them either at the entrance or exit.

Also, Turkey has banned entry into the country for third-country nationals located in Greece and Bulgaria over the past 14 days.

In addition, ferry services between the Turkish coast and the Greek islands in the Aegean have already been stopped.
As exceptions, freight can pass through the border with the EU.

Turkey has already stopped flights to many European countries and closed the border with Iran at the end of February due to fears of the coronavirus. The country recorded 98 cases of coronavirus and first death.

The news of the closure of the border by Turkey may help Greece.

Thousands of migrants arrived at the Greek-Turkish land border earlier this month after Ankara said it would no longer stop their attempts to break into the EU.

On Wednesday night, clashes resumed on the Greek-Turkish border after about 500 migrants tried to break the border fence and enter Greece.

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Turkey’s Erdoğan, EU leaders, and British PM held a video conference to discuss Syrian refugee crisis and coronavirus pandemic
Middle East & Africa

Turkey’s Erdoğan, EU leaders, and British PM held a video conference to discuss Syrian refugee crisis and coronavirus pandemic

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Britain’s PM Boris Johnson, French President Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, held a video call to talk about Libya, the Syrian refugee crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. The four leaders were initially supposed to meet in person in Istanbul. However, the summit was held virtually due to travel restrictions.

Turkey has urged the four leaders in the conference to make new cash pledges to keep thousands of refugees from leaving the nation and attempting to arrive in Europe amid a Russian-Syrian assault in north-west Syria.

After a severe shelling in Idlib area a month ago, Turkey’s leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, encouraged thousands of refugees in the nation to proceed towards the borders of Greek islands and the Baltic.

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That push finished when the EU gave Turkey €6bn to dwell the displaced people in Turkey.

The leaders talked about the chances of a new refugee deal, ways to battle the continued Russian warning in Idlib, and the dread that coronavirus could spread the refugee camps flanking Syria in Turkey, Jordan, and Lebanon, The Guardian reported.

The EU has likewise offered an enormous cash amount to the refugees to leave the Greek camps and come back to Turkey. About 13,000 refugees, as indicated by the UN, are stranded on the border with Greece and Bulgaria in Turkey’s Edirne region.

A couple of days back, Turkey announced that refugees inside its borders were free to go, and they accumulate along the Greek borders. The decision shocked the EU and compelled them to aid refugees and to help end the Syrian crisis.

EU leaders criticized the move as blackmail even as they scrambled to pacify Erdogan, The Guardian published.

Article Credit: The Guardian/Al-Monitor

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Even the coronavirus doesn’t stop Erdogan expansionistic plans
Middle East & Africa

Even the coronavirus doesn’t stop Erdogan expansionistic plans

Not even the Coronavirus emergency stops the Turkish plans on the energy dossier, with a series of chain risks that the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking personally to continue his expansionistic plans in the region. The Kanumi, the third offshore drilling vessel that joins Fatih and Yavuz from England, has arrived in Turkey and has been quarantined for the novel virus COVID-19. Last February, Ankara announced that the new ship would likely operate in the eastern Mediterranean. It is easy to speculate that it follows Ankara’s gas strategy in Cyprus, where Turkey’s illegal activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone have been condemned by the EU and the US, but in fact have not stopped. While Erdogan continues to fight alongside terrorists in Syria and Libya, in parallel with the provocations with migrants in Evros, the Turkish president and head of the International Muslim Brotherhood continues his illegal action to take over gas in Cyprus. The Fatih and Yavuz ships have operated within the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus (EEZ) since last May breaking international laws and treaties, and for this reason Ankara made them escort by two warships in a handkerchief of waters where other ships also transited, such as the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle, the French frigate Fremm and various American, Egyptian and Italian military vessels. Erdogan’s plan has expanded to Libya since February 2020 with the signing of two agreements with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli for military collaboration and maritime jurisdiction.

The Memorandum signed by Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Serraj – strongly rejected by the Libyan people- created an exclusive Turkish area of expertise in the eastern Mediterranean that violates the interests of third countries, in particular Greece, Cyprus and Egypt. In Libya, Turkey plans to extend its gas search to the territorial waters of the North African country in exchange for military support for the militias and armed groups affiliated to the GNA. Erdogan has also started a dispute with Greece for the island of Kastellorizo. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis affirmed that “Turkey’s attempt to abolish the maritime borders of islands such as Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos and Kastellorizo with escamotages will not produce legal results internationally”. Of the islands he mentioned, Kastellorizo is located only 2 km from the Turkish coast. The Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who still attacks the Treaty of Lausanne replied: “Greece has illegally militarized 16 of the 23 islands under the Treaty of Lausanne since 1936. On the other hand, it claims a continental shelf six miles, claiming it has a 10-mile airspace, never seen before in history. That doesn’t make sense”. All this created a reaction from Athens not only diplomatic, expelling the Turkish and Libyan ambassadors, but also military with a large military deployment and joint training operations with its allies. It is clear that Erdogan’s criminal policy threatens the economy, stability and peace in Europe and in the whole region.

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Another 200 terrorists previously transferred from Turkey to Libya reached Europe
Middle East & Africa

Another 200 terrorists previously transferred from Turkey to Libya reached Europe

The Syrian Observatory for Human reaffirms that in these days 200 pro-Syrian fighters arrived in Europe after have been transferred to Libya by Turkey. According to the Observatory report: “200 pro-Turkish mercenaries have emigrated across the Mediterranean from the coasts of Libya to Europe and have already reached the countries in southern Europe”. Also, according to the study, the fighters were members of factions of the North Falcons Brigade, of the Sultan Murad Brigade, of the Mutasim Division, of the Hamzat and Suleiman Shah militias. To these fighters, the NGO adds 117 others killed in Tripoli during the clashes with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who has tried to seize the capital since April 4, 2019. The Observatory added in a statement that the killed mercenaries were brought by the Turkish government to Tripoli to support the ranks of the Government of National Accord (GNA) forces.

The number of Syrian fighters who have reached Tripoli so far has increased to 4,750, while more than 1,900 others are being trained in Turkey to join their comrades in Libya soon added the same source. “Reliable sources have informed the Syrian Observatory that about 40 militiamen from Hamzat and other factions have fled to Italy in the last hours “. Egypt has also launched an appeal before the United Nations asking not to underestimate the recruitment and transfer of foreign fighters from Syria to Libya. Egypt’s permanent ambassador to the UN, Mohamed Edris, expressed concern about: “the blatant violation of international peace and security, including the relevant UN Security Council resolutions”. Edris then urged the United Nations Security Council to assume its responsibilities, maintaining international peace and security through the application of UN resolution 2396 which prohibits the movement of terrorists to other countries. It seems clear that Turkey is continuing to destabilize the whole Middle East, which could favour terrorist infiltrations across Europe for its long-term purposes.

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Al Qaeda thanks Turkey for protecting it from Russia and Syrian army
Europe, Middle East & Africa

Al Qaeda thanks Turkey for protecting it from Russia and Syrian army

Turkish soldiers are fighting along jihadists in Syria and the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lost many of his man in the last 2 weeks, as the coalition formed by Russia and the Syrian Army targeted many terrorist positions in the Idlib area. On March 7th, Al Qaeda’s now largest branch, Al Nusra Front, praised Erdogan because his Government stands beside Al Qaeda, and for other jihadist organizations which are trying to overthrow Syria’s legitimate Government of Bashar al-Assad. Al Qaeda in Syria now calls itself Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham, which recently reaffirmed to continue 9-year war against Syria’s Government, and it especially damns Russian president Vladimir Putin for assisting that secular Government’s efforts to destroy Al Qaeda and other jihadist organizations in Syria. It’s clear that al-Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood’s leader Erdogan have the same goal, replace any man-made government with one made by God, so to apply the Islamic sharia law toward the creation of an Arab Islamic State.

“The jihad and resistance are a legitimate path for the peoples whose abode has been usurped, and freedom taken captive, and sons bound behind bars, so let them defend themselves and their land by force and arms and patience and insistence and in that the rights are regained, and the fate of the lands is that they should return to their people however long the night of the oppressors lasts and the occupier through its grip takes root over the hearts of the defenceless peoples”. Wrote Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, described by experts as a pro-jihadist ’scholar. In a statement titled “The Moscow Agreement: A New Mirage”, Al-Tamimi condemns what he calls as “the criminal gang in Damascus, supported by Russia” and praise Turkey to support rebels and terror organizations. “We thank the Turkish government for clearly standing with and supporting the Syrian revolution and participating with it in defending the civilians and protecting them in the recent battle.”

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EU to offer migrants €2,000 to return home from the Greek islands
Europe

EU to offer migrants €2,000 to return home from the Greek islands

EU is going to offer migrants €2,000 (£1,764) per individual to return home under a deliberate plan to try and ease desperate situations in camps.

The amount is more than what is usually offered to migrants to assist them with reconstructing their lives in their nation, under voluntary returns programs run by the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM), The Guardian reported.

The proposal will last for a month, as the commission worries that an open-ended plan would pull in more migrants to Europe. It won’t apply to refugees who have no homes to return to but are intended to incentivize migrants’ expectations for a better life and replace their homes.

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The plan was “an opportunity for a specific group,” including that the IOM would run the program with the EU border agency Frontex, EU’s home affairs commissioner, Ylva Johansson stated. She included that the plan could be a fast method to calm the pressure on camps on the Greek islands, where conditions are “absolutely unsuitable.”

The commission said it expected 5,000 individuals would take up the offer, although it recognized it needed insights on what number of individuals on the Greek islands were “economic migrants,” instead of exiles. Migrants in the Greek region were probably going to be offered additional cash to leave – substantially less than €2,000, yet higher than the typical resettlement entirety of €370.

The additional cash will originate from the €700m emergency aid for Greece from the EU spending plan guaranteed by the commission recently after Turkey reported it was “opening the doors” and sending migrants to Europe.

As per The Guardian, the EU official is additionally attempting to convince more governments to take in abandoned children on the Greek islands.

Article Credit: The Guardian/Reuters

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Erdogan intentionally provoked the migrant’s humanitarian tragedy, tensions increase between Turkey and EU
Europe

Erdogan intentionally provoked the migrant’s humanitarian tragedy, tensions increase between Turkey and EU

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan left Brussels on Monday without an agreement with EU leaders on the current migrant crisis. Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel, warned Erdogan to respect the terms of a previous deal to keep migrants away from Europe’s borders, after the Turkish leader requested more support in Syria. Can Baydarol, Turkish political scientist, expert in Turkey-EU relations, vice president of the EU and Global Studies Association (ABKAD) commented in an interview with ‘Sputnik’ on the issue of refugees on the border between Turkey and the EU, stressing that the solution to the crisis is possible in the event of a large number of technical difficulties and divergences between the parties, and according to the current situation, Turkey and the EU are far from the definitive solution.

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“Following the outcome of the contacts held in Brussels, it was made known that the negotiations on the migrant crisis have taken place constructively, but there are a large number of various technical difficulties and issues that require further discussion, therefore political dialogue on this theme will proceed”. Affirmed Baydarol, adding that the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in his statement pointed out that technical meetings will be held between the parties, in the framework of which the refugee agreement reached between Turkey and the EU on 18 March 2016 will be reviewed and updated. In the meantime, there is no information on how the document will be modified.

“For now, it seems to me – the expert added – it is too early to talk about a particular possibility of solving the migrant crisis. It is possible to find a formula that will satisfy Turkey, but it is difficult to say exactly when it will happen. Furthermore, a press conference following the talks in Brussels took place without Erdogan. This, in my opinion, shows that a consensus was not reached between the parties, otherwise Erdogan would have been present at the press conference”. The current migration crisis started from Erdogan is the greatest humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century. Most of the people who find themselves on the border are refugees from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan, to whom, unlike Syrian citizens, the right of asylum is not granted by the Turkish authorities. Turkey intentionally provoked this humanitarian tragedy, contributing to the massing of thousands of migrants on the border. It must be said that Erdogan is fighting along with terrorist groups in Syria and Libya, transferring thousands of Syrian fighters from Idlib to Tripoli with the possibility that some terrorists infiltrated between migrants reached European coasts.

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Turkish Defence Ministry confirms the killing of five senior PKK members via airstrikes in northern Iraq
Middle East & Africa

Turkish Defence Ministry confirms the killing of five senior PKK members via airstrikes in northern Iraq

On Thursday, five senior members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) were killed in an airstrike in Northern Iraq, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported.

Prior in the day, the Defense Ministry announced that three PKK individuals were killed in the Metina and Gara districts after being identified by observation and surveillance devices. It is unclear if the two episodes are connected. The announcement said one of the slain individuals was a female.

The declaration goes ahead the impact points of heightened Turkish air attacks in the area, with the Defense Ministry certifying yesterday their tasks against the PKK will proceed “unflinchingly.”

One day earlier, four PKK members were killed by Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq‘s Hakurk district as Turkey has been carrying weekly airstrikes on PKK targets, The National reported.
Turkey and the PKK have been caught in a progressing insurgency against Turkey over Kurdish rights and self-rule for more than 30 years. A dispute that has resulted in the demise of over 40,000 people on both fronts. The Kurdish PKK group is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the European Union, and the U.S.
On Monday, a Turkish court condemned the ex-mayor of a famous Kurdish city to over nine years in jail after sentencing him for “membership in an armed terror organization,” The National reported.

Turkish authorities expelled 31 mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) a year ago over supposed connections to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), only months after they won local polls in March.

Analysts state the suspensions were planned for evacuating political restriction to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party in the nation’s southeast following lousy election results.

Article Credit: The National

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