The European Union for the first time is planning to draw a road map to completely remove visa requirements for Turkish citizens, while in the meantime the union will take steps to ease visa procedures, according to Cecilia Malmstrom, European Commission representative for interior affairs.Source: Hurriyet
The process will start in the fall and will have five steps starting with granting longer visas, then multi-entry visas, then shortening the processing time, then reducing the paperwork required, and then extending again or even eliminating visas for certain sectors.
Turkey’s European Union Minister Egemen Bağış on Wednesday participated in a session of the European Parliament discussing the union’s visa regime for Turkish nationals. The EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting on Wednesday was the first high-level meeting between Turkey and the EU on what Ankara hopes will lead to further negotiations to remove visa requirements for Turks visiting EU member countries.
“We are about to embark on a journey. But it will take time. And to begin with, we will ease visa procedures,” said Malmstrom, adding that the EU member countries would issue longer-stay, multi-entry visas with shorter issuance periods and less paper work, as well as indefinite visas for certain sectors.
“We have seen the light at the end of the tunnel. All we ask for is an end to the discrimination and equal treatment with other candidate countries,” Bağış said.
Bağış denied allegations that a wave of migration from Turkey to the EU would follow visa exemption, saying that a reverse migration was already underway.
“As a matter of fact, nearly 30,000 Turks returned home within the past few years,” he said. Responding to a question by a parliamentary lawmaker about Turkey’s decision to freeze relations with the EU term presidency when the Greek Cypriot administration assumes the helm if a settlement on the Cyprus issue has not been found, Bağış said membership negotiations could wait for six months without opening another chapter.
“It isn’t the end of the world if we don’t open a new chapter in accession talks for another six months,” Bağış said.
Friday, 30 September 2011
When they're feeling really, really bold, western politicians occasionally murmur about the prevalence of foreign imams in mosques. It's a barrier to integration, they say, having foreigners from countries with alien traditions in charge of religious affairs.
What, though, if the western governments didn't complain? What if they even hosted receptions to welcome the new religious officials coming from abroad? And what if this gratitude was effusively expressed even though the new sacerdotes were in the pay of a foreign government and didn't speak a word of the native language?
This is exactly what has just happened in Austria. The Turkish government in Ankara, through its Office for Religious Affairs (Diyanet) has just appointed 9 new religious commissars to be dispatched to Austria. There they will remain in the pay and under the authority of the Turkish government and will play a dominating role in the religious lives of Muslims living in Austria. Most of the mosques and Islamic religious organisations there are effectively controlled by ATIB (Avusturya Türkiye İslam Birliği), the Turkish-Islamic Union for Cultural and Social Cooperation, and, through it, the Turkish government. Austrian imams literally have their sermons written for them in a government office in Ankara.
However, the Turks have graciously agreed to undergo training in Austrian culture and have expressed a "motivation" to learn German! For this, the Austrian Foreign Affairs Ministry is deeply grateful. Its official statement reads:
In the "Socio-cultural training sessions", which will be held once per year in Vienna on the initiative of the Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the new religious commissioners will be given tuition in the history, politics, society and culture of Austria. In this, themes such as democracy and the rule of law, religious pluralism and freedom of religion and conscience will be touched on, as well as questions relating to integration and participation in presentations and discussions.
The extent to which Austria has descended into dhimmitude and abased itself in front of these Muslim Turks is simply astounding. It's almost a reverse of 19th century imperialism when western powers would extract special "concessions" and privileges for their nationals in weak, oriental despotisms.
Source: SOS Heimat
Thursday, 29 September 2011
"I think that now the international community, and especially our partners in the European Union, have started witnessing now the real face of Turkey."
Full transcript below:
A memorandum of understanding for the secondment of Turkish officials at the European Commission is signed in Strasbourg on the 28th of September, 2011 by the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Mr. Egemen BAĞIŞ and Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of Inter Institutional Relations and Administration Mr. Maroš ŠEFČOVIČ.Source
As agreed between Turkey and the European Commission, Turkish national experts will be employed at the Commission as "Seconded National Experts" and "National Experts in Professional Training". This recent development is a ‘milestone' for Turkey-EU relations since through this secondment, Turkish bureaucrats will work together with the Euroaucrats in policy making and implementation of the EU politics. In other words, Turks will have a role in shaping EU's future politics and legislation.
The network created in the corridors of the European Commission and other European institutions between Turkish bureaucrats and Eurocrats, will not only contribute to mutual learning and socialization, it will also remove misperceptions and misjudgments against Turkey's membership in the minds and hearts of some Europeans.
Only Geert Wilders and Barry Madlener of the PVV party in the Netherlands seems to have reacted to this extraordinary announcement.
Wilders: "Erdogan recently threw off his mask, and behaved like a common war-monger. The European commission has evidently lost its mind in letting in this islamic Trojan horse at this time and letting Turks co-write EU legislation to be implemented in the Netherlands. It is time to end once and for all this charade and tell the Turks they are not welcome in the EU. Not now, not tomorrow, not ever".Source: KleinVerzet
Madlener: "It is an outrageous scandal that, in a time when Turkey is a security risk in the region, the European Commission tries to hasten the accession of Turkey. Turkey has been occupying for decades now a large part of full EU member state Cyprus and recently has sent warships to the European outer border. Letting in these wolves in sheeps clothing is a tragic low point in the futile negotiations currently being held. Those negotiations should be ceased definitively and the commission should withdraw this idiotic plan".
Turkey officially accepted delivery of its first domestically manufactured warship Tuesday at a ceremony that underscored the country's push to become a regional power.Source
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the occasion to criticize oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean by Greek interests. He pointedly noted that the ceremony took place on the 473rd anniversary of the Battle of Preveza in northwestern Greece, where a fleet from the Ottoman Turkish empire defeated a much larger Christian force.
"I recommend the international community take the necessary lessons from the Preveza victory", Erdogan said. "Turkey's national interests in the seas reach from its surrounding waters to the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean."
President Abdullah Gul said the delivery of the ship showed that Turkey was now capable of developing its own weapons. He urged his country to make greater efforts to develop an independent arms capability, no matter how much work that might require.
"Even countries whose national income is much below ours decided to make nuclear weapons because their rivals have them," Gul said. "They made it happen after deciding to do so."
Turkey has been critical of both Greek and Israeli oil exploration in the Mediterranean, and Turkey has threatened to use its navy to escort future efforts to break the Israeli embargo of the Gaza Strip. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador and abrogated several military agreements with Israel last month after Israel refused to apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish citizens who were on board a Gaza-bound Turkish ship when it was intercepted by Israeli commandos in 2009.
The ship delivered Tuesday, the TCG Heybeliada, is a 300-foot corvette that was designed with stealth technology and is equipped with an anti-ship missile system. It was built under Turkey's so-called MILGEM program, from the Turkish words "milli gemi" (national ship). More than 65 percent of the ship's components were built by Turkish companies.
A second ship, the TCG Buyukada, is undergoing sea trials under the program, which is overseen by the Turkish navy.
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
And the uncouth Turks obviously got the UN security staff reassigned to other duties afterwards. Erdogan acts like a mafia kingpin. What kind of savages start a fight at the UN?
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Representatives of Syriac-Orthodox Christians in Turkey have criticised the portrayal of their faith community in a government school textbook. According to a report in the newspaper "Radikal" (Monday) the history textbook for the 10th form describes Christians as traitors who emigrated from Turkey for economic reasons and in the west have become "tools for the political and religious interests of the countries there". The report says that representatives of the Syriac-Orthodox Christians have complained that this would further deepen hostility to the Christian minority.
In the last few decades, many Syriac-Orthodox Christians have left their home in south-eastern Anatolia because they were caught between the front lines of the Turkish state and the Kurdish PKK rebels. Most of the emigrants have settled in Germany and Switzerland. More recently, some have returned to their old villages in the area around the old monastery Mor Gabriel in the Mardin province in South-East Turkey.
Monday, 26 September 2011
Erdoğan says Islam exludes all extremists and terror speaking at a TV show in the US on Wednesday, so that he denies to use ‘moderate Islam’ a term widely used for his governmentSource: Hurriyet
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (C) is praying with along with Libya’s National Transitional Council head Mustafa Abdul Jalil (R) in Tripoli last week.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denied the expression of ‘moderate Islam’ widely used for his government in international media reports, adding that Islam excludes extremism and a Muslim must have serious problems to be a terrorist. Erdoğan also reiterated his definition of secularism, this time referring to the Turkish Constitution adopted in 1982 – the one his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has been attempting to change for a long time.
“I do not accept the expression ‘moderate Islam.’ Actually, Islam does not accept extremism. It is the religion of peace and does not allow terror. It is not correct to mention Islam and terrorism together,” said Erdoğan, speaking in a televised interview on U.S. public television channel PBS. “If a Muslim becomes a terrorist, it means that he or she has serious problems. He or she has nothing to do with Islam,” said Erdoğan, who was in New York to attend the 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly.
A secret Council of Europe report on the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, written in 1976, has recently been obtained by the Movement for Freedom and Justice in Cyprus. It documents numerous atrocities committed by Turkish troops during the invasion, including widespread rape.
Here is one of many incidents described in the report:
Source: Movement for Freedom and Justice in Cyprus
Download the report in full here.
Here is one of many incidents described in the report:
A mentally-retarded girl aged 24 was raped in her house by 20 soldiers one after the other. When she started screaming they threw her from the second floor window. She sustained fracture dislocation of the spine and became paralysed.
Source: Movement for Freedom and Justice in Cyprus
Download the report in full here.
Sunday, 25 September 2011
According to Hurriyet, in an article not available in its English edition, a Turkish hacker group rather than an individual was behind the hack attack on the website of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Source: Bivouac ID
The group, whose members are said to be based outside of Turkey, has announced that it intends to carry out a series of large-scale attacks on the website of Turkey's rivals, including: the countries of the European Union, Israel and the Greek part of Cyprus. The goal of these cyber attacks will not be to cause temporary damage, but to destroy the servers. Servers belonging to the military will be targeted as a priority.
Source: Bivouac ID
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Geert Wilders’ website has been hacked. A photograph of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan was placed on the site by a hacker calling himself ‘Septemb0x’ and describing himself as a ‘Turkish Muslim hacker’.Source: Radio Netherlands
The Freedom Party leader announced himself that the site had been hacked, but it’s not known what action he has taken, if any.
On Thursday Mr Wilders ended up in a shouting match with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte over the phrase de aap komt uit de mouw which literally means ‘the monkey comes out of the sleeve’ and is the Dutch equivalent of ‘the cat is out of the bag’.
The prime minister objected to Wilders' remark that “the Islamic monkey is coming out of the sleeve and his name is Erdogan” and told him to “act normally”.
The hacker referred back to the ‘monkey’ comment with the message: “You may have Apes. We came from the soil!”
In fact it was not Wilders who called Erdogan an "islamic monkey" but Raymond de Roon, another MP within the PVV party; even then, the reference was ambiguous and indirect.
The remark was made in the context of the Dutch saying daar komt de aap uit de mouw (here comes the monkey out of the sleeve) which means to reveal your true colours or intentions.Source: Dutch News
'Once again the Islamic monkey has shown himself,' De Roon said during parliamentary questions. 'This time he is in Ankara and his name is Erdogan.' De Roon was refering to what he called Turkey's anti-Israel rhetoric.
Geert Wilders also called for Turkey to be kicked out of NATO. The Dutch Prime Minister refused to go along with this.
Premier Mark Rutte is concerned about the threatening language Turkey is using regarding Israel, but Turkey's position in NATO is not under discussion as far as he is concerned.Source
Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders asked Rutte in the Lower House to condemn the "warlike language" of Turkish Premier Recep Erdogan and to push for Turkey's expulsion from NATO. Wilders sketched what he envisaged as a bizarre scenario in which the Netherlands, in line with the NATO treaty, could be required to attack Israel if Turkey should land up in an armed conflict with that country.
Rutte condemned the threatening language addressed to Israel. But expelling Turkey from NATO is not on the agenda. "We are however opposed to the rhetoric that is being used by Turkey. This is much too incendiary."
Friday, 23 September 2011
A Turkish oil exploration vessel left the Aegean port of Izmir on Friday to carry out surveys off northern Cyprus amid tensions with Greek Cypriots on the divided island over rights to hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.Source: Reuters
There was no sign of a Turkish naval escort for the Piri Reis and its 10 crew as the vessel set out, although Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had raised the possibility of such a security measure earlier this week.
Regional tension rose after Cyprus's Greek Cypriot government announced on Tuesday that drilling had begun in a southeast offshore area adjoining a gas field in Israeli waters reputed to be the world's largest find in the past decade.
Texas-based Noble Energy is carrying out the drilling in the Cypriot block. Speaking in New York on Thursday, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said more blocks could be thrown open for exploration over the next 12 months.
Turkey contests an Cypriot-Israeli accord signed last year to create exclusive economic zones in the waters between them.
It also argues that Cyprus should not be exploiting natural resources until a settlement is reached between the Greek Cypriot government and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state for the reunification of the island, and that any revenues should benefit both communities.
Christofias gave assurances this week that any money earned from a gas find would be used for the good of both sides regardless of whether a settlement had been reached.
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan touched on the dispute in an address to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday.
"Turkey expects to see that all parties involved make efforts so that the Greek Cypriot administration ends initiatives that cause tension not only in the island but the region," he said. "Otherwise, we will do what we have to do."
In retaliation, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot administration signed their own continental shelf agreement on Wednesday, permitting state-run Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to start exploration north of the island.
And last week, Erdogan said Turkish warships could be sent to the eastern Mediterranean at any time and Israel could not do whatever it wants there.
Thursday, 22 September 2011
The Cypriot government deplored Wednesday the delimitation ''agreement'' signed today between Turkey and illegal Turkish Cypriot regime as ''another violation of the international law.''Source
''Turkey has committed another violation (of the international law), by signing an agreement with an illegal entity, such as the pseudo-state, which has been condemned by UN resolutions'', Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said in a statement in New York.
''With this violation Turkey tries to obstruct the Republic of Cyprus from exercising a self-evident right, recognized by the whole of the international community,'' Stephanou added, noting that the international community requests Turkey to respect the international law.
''Unfortunately Turkey continues to violate the international law'', he concluded.
On November 15, 1983, the Turkish Cypriot regime, in the island’s northern Turkish occupied areas, declared a UDI, which the UN has described as “legally invalid” and called on all states “to respect the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus.”
The UN Security Council also called on all states “not to recognise any Cypriot state other than the Republic of Cyprus”. Barring Turkey, no other state recognises the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime.
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
The conservative VVD, senior partner in the Dutch coalition government, has launched a fierce attack on Turkey in the European Parliament.Source: Expatica.com
The leader of the VVD delegation, Hans van Baalen, said Turkey had disqualified itself as a potential EU member state with remarks made on Sunday by its deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay. He warned that Turkey would freeze its ties with the European Union if Cyprus occupied the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012 as planned.
MEP Van Baalen pointed out that Turkey has been illegally occupying northern Cyprus since 1974 and has blocked every attempt at reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities. Turkey also refuses to normalise relations with the Greek part of the island.
The VVD wants the European Commission to ask the Turkish government to explain this behaviour.
Turkey has for many years been a candidate for EU membership but negotiations have been difficult, partly because of Ankara’s stance on Cyprus.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
[Doesn't he look like a mafia don?]
The Turkish President Abdullah Gul has been on a visit to Germany this week, agitating for the usual things: Turkish EU membership, removal of visa restrictions for Turks, laxer immigration rules to facilitate the Turkish colonisation of Germany. He took particular exception to the compulsory language classes that the German government recently imposed as a requirement on marriage partners being imported from Turkey. This, he said, was a violation of human rights!
The German Integration Minister Maria Böhmer said she had no understanding of this position. Indeed she doesn't. German politicians still live in the pious hope that the Turkish invaders are going to become Germans. "The guest workers become foreigners, then immigrants then Germans," she said. The Turks know that is never going to happen. They have actually had the cheek to set up a government agency in Ankara for Turks living abroad.
The German and Austrian governments have made a profound mistake by tolerating the interference of a foreign government in their internal affairs. Many of these immigrants are now German or Austrian citizens. How they are integrated into German and Austrian society should have been a matter for the governments of those countries; yet the Turkish government still sees them as part of its "flock" and repeatedly makes demands on their behalf.
Monday, 19 September 2011
There is a new political party in Germany. Founded one and a half years ago, it is called the BIG party, short for Bündnis für Innovation und Gerechtigkeit, meaning Alliance for Innovation and Justice. Its members and candidates consist almost exclusively of Turks and its policy programme is explicitly oriented around the interests of Turkish colonists in Germany, with the usual rhetorical overlay of multiculturalism and convivencia.
The video above is from Press TV, a station controlled by the Iranian government. Obviously it is Muslim propaganda. You should treat it as such; but viewing it is still instructive.
["We are Germany" it says]
In a recent article, Der Spiegel laid bare the strong connections BIG has to the ruling AKP party in Turkey. Indeed, even its name strongly recalls that of the AKP, which, in Turkish, means Justice and Development Party.
Nevzat Yalcintas is an influential man in Turkey. He taught at the renowned Istanbul University; as the head of Turkish state television, he shapes Turkish opinion. Above all, however, he was one of the founders of Turkey's governing party, the AKP.
A confidant of Turkish prime minister Erdogan, Yalcintas was recently in Berlin, campaigning for the BIG party.
Berlin's leading candidate in Berlin, Ismet Misirlioglu, denies any connection to the government in Ankara. No, he has never spoken with Erdogan, he says.Source: Der Spiegel
...Prime minister Erdogan has been trying for years to harness foreign Turks for his own political purposes. In 2005 the headquarters of the Europäisch-Türkischen Demokraten (UETD) [European-Turkish Democrats], an AKP lobby association, opened up in Cologne. The UETD campaigns among German Turks for votes for Erdogan, most recently in the parliamentary elections in June. It prepared his controversial speech in Cologne in 2008 [in which he called assimilation "a crime against humanity"] and his election appearance in Düsseldorf in February this year.
Now however, it is going a step further. Active and former top officials of the UETD were decisively involved in the founding of the BIG party. "It is time to concentrate our forces," says the chairman of the union, Hasan Özdogan.
The Erdogan confidant is one of the most powerful Muslim string-pullers in Germany. He maintained contacts with fallen Libyan dictator Gaddafi as well as the Scientology cult. In the 90s he travelled to Libya's capital, Tripoli, in the company of leading scientologists. Since 2009, he has been Erdogan's most important lobbyist in Germany.
German law prohibits foreign governments from founding political parties here. Özdogan has no official role within BIG. Insiders report, however, that his is the deciding voice. At any rate, Özdogan acknowledges having been involved in the founding.
For years he has been close friends with the federal chairman of the BIG party. Both participate together in Muslim associations in Bonn and still share an office building on the Rhine. His brother is standing for BIG as a direct candidate in the regional elections in North-Rhine Westphalia.
"BIG is quite clearly an outpost of the AKP", says the journalist Yücel Özdemir. Yunus Ulusoy of the Essen Centre for Turkish Studies criticises the Turkish government, calling for it to be transparent about its initiatives abroad.
Until recently, the regional chairmen of the BIG party in Baden-Württemberg, Hamburg and Bremen were all active in the UETD, some in leading positions. For its closed conference the previous winter, the party met in Istanbul.
The head of the Union, Özdogan, says that Turks in Germany are not helped when their politicians wear themselves down in various parties. Prime minister Erdogan is said to be determined that his countrymen engage "effectively". The lobbyist hopes that in politics, with the help of BIG, more notice will be taken of immigrants in future.
"We need staying power"
The party is still a long way away from getting into a German parliament. "It is just at the beginning," says Özdogan. But the Greens took two decades to establish themselves: "We need staying power".
In Berlin BIG is running an expensive election campaign. In many districts, its posters can be seen on every other lamppost. Not long ago, the mini-party provoked uproar as its flysheets warned of "Gay Studies" in school and canvassed for votes with a campaign against Thilo Sarrazin. Rumours that BIG is receiving money from Ankara are rejected by the Berlin chairman Misirlioglu. The party finances itself exclusively from donations and members' contributions, he says.
Misirlioglu worked for eight years with an Islamic aid organisation. Recently he set up the Berlin office of the fund-raising organisation WEFA, which would be charged with indirectly financing the Palestinian Hamas. The association maintains ties with the Turkish government. BIG, says Misirlioglu, should leave its mark on politics soon enough: "In ten years we'll be in the government."
The established parties are taking BIG seriously. The Berlin Greens, for example, in an internal paper that SPIEGEL ONLINE makes available, discuss how best to meet the new competition. A few weeks ago the association Citizens for Europe conducted a poll of the 400,000 Berlin residents who don't have a vote because they have no German passport. In this the BIG party got around 6%, only 2% behind the CDU [ruling centre-right party in Germany].
The Berlin elections were held yesterday. BIG got 0.7%, almost as much as the Counterjihad party Die Freiheit on 1.0%.
These are the results of the poll mentioned in the Der Spiegel article. It gives a good idea of how European politics would be skewed if immigrants had voting rights [shown in blue]. Very simply, it shifts European politics to the left. All the left-wing parties get more votes; all the right-wing parties get less.
If you read EU policy documents, as I force myself to do, you will see that the EU is focusing its propaganda efforts on getting votes for immigrants all across Europe. Their plan is multi-layered. As with the unfolding of the EU itself, resistance is broken down bit-by-bit. First they focus on votes in local elections; then it will be extended to votes in national elections. Throughout, they deliberately blur the line between EU citizens and non-EU citizens. Their documents describe the strategy. For now, you will only hear them talk about votes in local elections. Once that is securely in place, the next stage begins.
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Saturday, 17 September 2011
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Greece has protested a decision by Turkey to send a vessel to search for oil and gas close to Greece's easternmost island.Source
The escalation of tensions in the eastern Mediterranean comes at a times when Turkey told Cyprus not to go ahead with its plan for offshore oil and gas drilling activities. Cyprus has vowed to "exercise its sovereign rights."
Cyprus was split into a Greek Cypriot south and a breakaway Turkish Cypriot north in 1974 when Turkey invaded the island. Cyprus joined the EU in 2004, but only the south enjoys the membership's benefits.
Greece late Thursday protested Turkey's decision to hire a Norwegian research vessel M/V Bergen Surveyor to survey the south of the island of Kastelorizo — an area outside Greek territorial waters, but where Athens has claimed the rights to potential undersea mineral and fossil fuel deposits.
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras called on Turkey to avoid "any research activity that affects Greek sovereign rights in the region," saying the area is within Greece's continental shelf.
He said Greece was also contacting the shipping company of the Norwegian research vessel, and the Norwegian Foreign Ministry to make the Greek positions known.
Kastelorizo is part of an isolated group of small islands east of Rhodes, just two miles (three kilometers) off Turkey's southern coastal town of Kas.
Greece and Turkey have had disputes for 37 years over delineating the areas for exploration for oil and gas. Turkey does not accept that the islands have their own continental shelf, which Greece claims is supported by international law.
The two countries came close to war in March 1987 when a Turkish research ship entered the Aegean Sea.
Turkey no economic powerhouse, Erdogan’s credit bubble will soon explodeSource: Ynet News
By Guy Bechor
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.)
While Turkey’s economy grew by some 10% this year, this was merely the result of financial manipulation.
So how does the system work? The banks in Erdogan’s Turkey handed out loans and mortgages to any seeker in recent years, offering very low interest rates; this was in fact a gift. As the interest rate was so low, Turkish citizens used more and more credit, mostly for consumption.
And how did Turkey’s Central Bank finance this credit party? Via loans: Erdogan’s bank borrowed money in the world and handed it out to its citizens. However, Turkey’s deficit kept growing because of it, until it reached a scary 8% of GDP; by the end of the year the figure is expected to reach 10%.
Turkey’s external debt doubled itself in the past 18 months, which were election campaign months. Only a small part of the deficit (15%) was financed by foreign investment. The rest constitutes immense external debts.
Now it’s clear that Erdogan’s regime bought the voters in the recent elections. Most of the Turkish public elected him not because of Islamic sentiments, but rather, because he handed out low-interest loans to everyone. I will provide you with cheap money so you can become addicted to shopping, and you shall elect me.
The Israel diversion
This created Turkey’s credit bubble, which may explode any day now, because the date for returning the loans approaches. Will the Saudis help Erdogan as he hopes? This is highly doubtful. Nobody is willing to pay for attacks on Israel, and the West is annoyed by Erdogan’s thuggery. Why should they help him?
Moreover, Turkey’s unemployment rate is 13% and the local currency continues to plummet vis-à-vis the dollar – it reached its lowest levels since the 2009 global crisis. With a weak currency and with a stock exchange that lost some 40% of its value in dollars in the last six months, Erdogan wants to be the Middle East’s ruler?
Once the bubble explodes, the score with Erdogan will be settled, by the journalists his government ordered to arrest, by army officers charged with imaginary accusations, by the restrained scientists, the politicians, and mostly the general public, which shall be facing an economic disaster.
And this is where Israel comes into the picture. Why talk about the approaching economic catastrophe? Why talk about this disgrace, when it’s better to create an artificial crisis vis-à-vis Israel, a spin that the whole world will be talking about instead of talking about the sinking Turkey? After all, the Marmara raid happened more than a year ago, why did it emerge again now? Is it only because of the Palmer Report?
We shall wait a few more months, and then we shall see what really happens in the new sultan’s kingdom.
Friday, 16 September 2011
The German newspaper Die Welt yesterday featured an interview with Ali Ahmet Acet, the outgoing Turkish ambassador to Germany. During the interview, the ambassador made the following interesting remarks:
It is impossible to assimilate Turks. Turks have great homesickness. They feel strong ties to their villages and their family. Also, they have another religion. Because of these differences, assimilation is not possible.
He also said that "the EU should ask Turkey to join".
Source: Die Welt
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Racism and Islamophobia have flooded Europe, believes Turkish President Abdullah Gul, who has addressed the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum. He has called for the adoption of a new diplomatic language to fight this trend.Source: Russia Today
“We are seriously concerned about racism and Islamophobia in Europe,” he said, adding that more resolute steps should be taken to fight this.
“Europe will have to put up with the arrival of more immigrants and accept diversity,” President Gul stressed.
“I am sorry to say that whenever we have expressed our concerns with regard to right-leaning movements to our counterparts in the past, we observed that they turned a blind eye to this matter due to domestic political reasons,” he said. “This is also because it requires greater effort to treat and overcome recurring ailments such as racism and xenophobia in the West than address the problems in the East, which are mostly due to underdevelopment.”
In this regard, he went on to say “the threshold of tolerance should be continually raised.” In his opinion, the first step in this direction is the change of rhetoric and adoption of new political and diplomatic language.
He also said that Turkey is developing democratic reforms and values of multiculturalism. And Europe he said should not abandon multiculturalism it once proclaimed.
Abdullah Gul pointed out that his country supports the “wave of democratic changes in North Africa and the Middle East and fair demands of reforms by the people”. He noted, though, that his country has already passed this stage, but continues democratic reforms and plans. For this purpose, they plan to draft a new constitution.
The Turkish leader noted that “increasing ethnic, cultural and religious tensions can result in tensions and division in society,” but it is the state that must control these processes.
“The task of the state is to secure for all its citizens, regardless of religion, language and race, equal constitutional rights and…equal opportunities,” Abdullah Gul said.
It is very interesting that Daniel Cohn-Bendit, one of Turkey's strongest supporters (and an acknowledged paedophile), is now saying that Turkey "no longer has any prospects of joining the EU".
Turkey's prime minister is keen to position himself as a leader in efforts to rebuild the Arab world. At the same time, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has grown aggressive in his verbal attacks on Israel. European Union politicians are now criticizing the Turkish leader, calling for a more moderate tone.Source: Der Spiegel
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not only using his tour of several Arab states for self-promotion, but for verbal attacks against Israel as well. "No one can play with Turkey or Turkish honor," Erdogan said in Cairo on Tuesday. Israel lost Turkey as a strategic partner after the Israeli military attack on the humanitarian aid flotilla to the Gaza Strip in May 2010.
During the Arab Spring, Erdogan has presented himself as a new power, a model leader and a "rising star" with "near pop-star status" in the region, as the New York Times has described the Turkish leader. His multi-day trip to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya is meant to strengthen his role in the region.
However, Erdogan has also linked his solidarity with the Arab world to a strident anti-Israel foreign policy. Indeed, the political battle lines between Turkey and Israel have been intensifying in recent weeks:
Erdogan expelled senior Israeli diplomats in early September. If the tension between the two countries wasn't thick enough already, this step only served to escalate the dispute between them.
Ankara halted its military cooperation with Israel and announced an increased Turkish military presence in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. All trade ties with Israel are currently frozen and Erdogan is threatening "further sanctions."
At the same time, Erdogan is presenting himself more and more as an advocate for the Palestinians. More than once, he has vociferously considered visiting the Gaza Strip, a move Israel would regard as an affront.
Erdogan doesn't shy away from verbal attacks, either. On Monday, he said Israel had behaved like a "spoiled child" and accused Israel of supporting "state terror." He described Israel's military action against last year's flotilla to Gaza as a "cause for war."
The conflict could also put Ankara's relationship with the European Union to the test. The dispute over the deadly military raid on the Gaza flotilla, which left nine Turkish activists dead, could grow into a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and the EU. Indeed, among high-profile politicians in the European Parliament, criticism of Erdogan is growing.
Elmar Brok, the foreign policy spokesman for the parliamentary group of the conservative Christian Democrats in the European Parliament, said he is skeptical of Turkey's efforts to establish itself as a regional power within the Arab world. He said Erdogan is seeking to transform it into a regional power similar to the status it held "earlier with the Ottoman Empire." He said Ankara isn't pursuing the goal of EU membership and that "it is using the conflict with Israel in order to gain credibility in the region," Brok told SPIEGEL ONLINE.
Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, a member of the European Parliament with the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) said he also viewed the shift in foreign policy course by the Turkish government as a sign that Ankara's EU ambitions are waning. Turkey, as a secular democracy, may be a role model for the countries currently undergoing a phase of transformation, the FDP party group leader in Brussels told SPIEGEL ONLINE, "but Ankara can in no way be allowed to link the reorientation of its foreign policy with anti-Western sentiment."
Lamsbdorff has accused the Erdogan government of using "gunboat rhetoric" in its statements about Israel. The Turkish government's aggressive policy course against Israel, he said, shows that the country currently has "no interest" in pushing forward EU accession talks. "With a strident anti-Israel course, it isn't making any friends in Europe" right now, Lambsdorff said.
With his pro-Palestinian course, Erdogan is in fact risking a conflict with the West. The Turkish prime minister plans to support the Palestinian initiative at the United Nations General Assembly to announce unilateral independence, a move both the United States and Germany have said they would oppose. On Tuesday, US President Barack Obama said his government would veto any Palestinian petition for full membership submitted to the Security Council. During his visit to Cairo on Tuesday, Erdogan said the international recognition of a Palestinian state is "not an option but an obligation."
At present, there is no common EU foreign policy position on the Palestinian initiative in the UN Security Council. Fundamental supporters of Turkey's EU membership are still standing behind Erdogan. Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the chair of the Green Party group in the European Parliament and a well-known Franco-German politician, warned against casting sole blame for the Turkish-Israeli conflict on Ankara. "That is only the partial truth," he said.
The "macho posturing" by the Turkish prime minister, he said, may be "intolerable and politically dangerous," but it is also justifiable in light of what he described as Israel's intransigence. "Erdogan is deeply injured," Cohn-Bendit said.
The European politician added that Turkey currently no longer has any prospects of joining the EU. Otherwise, he said, "Merkel and Sarkozy would have done everything they could to ensure that Turkey could accede in a timely manner." Europe, he said, has long refused to allow Turkey to integrate into its structures, and now Erdogan has little choice but to play the card of becoming a regional power.
Wednesday, 14 September 2011
This is one of results of the Transatlantic Trends survey conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Not all EU countries participated in the survey, only France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Sweden.
Some other key findings are highlighted below.
Source: German Marshall Fund of the United States (report) (raw data)
Erdogan The Vainglorious: бей жидов и спасай Россию!Source: New English Review
Erdogan, the malignant Turk who reminds one most of Mussolini -- a Mussolini without the jutting jaw but with the same kind of populist appeal to the most debased sentiments --- and among Muslim Arabs, including those misleadingly described, in the West, as "secular" (they can't get away from the mental substrate to be found among those who grow up in societies suffused with Islam), the most debased of sentiments center always around Israel. That tiny land is seen as an outrage, contra-naturam, an offense against nature or, more exactly, Islam and Allah and Muslims, the "best of peoples," for Israel as an Infidel nation-state reverses the natural order of things, that is the takeover, of non-Muslim lands, by Muslims, and it is particularly galling that the Jews, despised always for their weakness (Christians always had a powerful Western Christendom in the background, possibly to be called on in time of need), should have defeated much larger Arab Muslim armies, and done so repeatedly. And while the entire world should ultimately come under the domination of Islam, think of how maddening how wounding to the amour-propre of Arab Muslims and of those non-Arab Muslims who take Islam most to heart (and Erdogan is certainly one of those), the existence of israel, its flourishing, must be.
So Erdogan visits Egypt, where Turkish dynasties, beginning with the Mamluk takeover in 1517, ruled for centuries. Mehemet Ali himself, who essentially freed Egypt from Ottoman rule, and even took his army north, all the way through the Sinai, and Palestine, to the confines of Syria, battling the Ottomans. And he showers crowds with the easy and obvious coin of hatred, hatred for Israel, that is hatred for the Jews, when they are uppity enough to dare to think they have a right to an independent state, have a right to defend, as they see fit, that state, have a right even to such things as exploring for gas in their own territorial waters.
Erdogan can do nothing to solve Egypt's overpopulation problem. A country that might survive, just, if it had a population of 20 million, now has 80 million mostly wretched and underemployed souls, and within 20 years will have 120 million. What help, what solutions, can the likes of Erdogan bring? His own belief in the upward thrust of Turkey reminds one of the late Shah of Iran, who back in the late 1970s was vaingloriously predicting that Iran would soon become "the second industrial power of Asia." These assorted Ozymandiases, with their vivid Oriental imaginations, are comical.
And Erdogan thinks -- thinks! -- that Turkey is a model for the Arabs. But he fails to grasp the nature of his own, Turkish, reality. He is living, Turkey is living, on the results of what Ataturk wrought. Even those industrialists who are pious Muslims, and who have convinced themselves that Islam and "modernity," Islam and economic development, Islam and democracy, get along swimmingly, as "the example of Turkey proves," fail to understand that the example of Turkey proves no such thing. It is Kemalist Turkey, and not Turkey, that is not Erdogan's Turkey, that has created the political, economic, and intellectual conditions for development and progress. Erdogan has been undoing Kemalism and its systematic constraints on Islam. So far the effect of that undoing has been felt by individuals -- army officers, university rectors, journalists (in a society where media freedom is now considered to be less than in Iraq, less even than in Egypt), and others.
But Erdogan knows what ails the Arabs. It's Israel. It's the curse of Israel.
As all educated people know, in Russia, in the last decades of the 19th and first decades of the twentieth century, there flourished groups of black reactionaries who were known as the "chyornosotentsy" or "Black Hundreds." They found the source of Russia's woes in the Jews, as Hitler would later: "Die Juden Sind Unser Ungluck." They attacked, robbed, and killed Jews, in those pogroms that we all know about, everywhere in the Pale of Settlement.
Their slogan went as follows: бей жидов и спасай Россию!" That is, Beat The Jews, Save Russia.
It might as well be -- no, it is -- Erdogan's slogan. Beat the Jews, Save the Muslim lands!
There is no longer any reason to pretend that the Turkey that Ataturk created, the one that in an excess of gratitude to the Turks for providing 5,000 soldiers to the Korean conflict, led to the Dulles brothers allowing Turkey to be offered membershp in NATO. If NATO now has a mission, it is to protect its members from the forces, inside as well as outside of Western Europe, from the Camp of Islam, the forces of Islam. Erdogan has not only punished those in Turkey who would like to continue the Kemalist dispensation, in order to keep Islam constrained, but has gone on a veritable rampage against Israel, which is in every way more a natural and obvious candidate for NATO than Turkey. For Israel is not only an immutable part of the West, but the West would not exist, as it came to exist, had it not been for Israel. Morally, and geopolitically, the Western world cannot allow itself to abandon Israel, or even to continue the kind of appeasement of the Arabs, and of their Jihad against Israel -- whether it is the Slow Jihad of Fatah or the Fast Jihad of Hamas and Hezbollah -- for not only will Israel suffer, but the Western world itself, in the end possibly fatally.
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Monday, 12 September 2011
Mr Erdogan arrived in Cairo last night intent on burnishing his populist credentials after casting himself as a rival to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, as Israel's critic-in-chief in the Middle East.Source: Daily Telegraph
In what appeared to be a deliberate piece of timing designed to maximise the impact of his visit, Mr Erdogan's office yesterday released a previously unpublished transcript of a redacted interview he gave to Al Jazeera's Arabic language service last week.
In it, Mr Erdogan claimed that Turkey would have been justified in going to war after Israeli commandos shot dead nine Turkish activists during the interception of an aid convoy seeking to breach Israel's blockade of Gaza in May last year.
"The attack that took place in international waters did not comply with any international law," he said. "In fact, it was grounds for war. However, befitting Turkey's greatness, we decided to act with patience."
Mr Erdogan's comments appeared to be designed to rile Israel at one of the most strained moments in relations with the Jewish state, which until recently was a close Turkish ally.
Incensed by Israel's refusal to apologise for the raid, Mr Erdogan announced the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to Ankara earlier this month. He also downgraded diplomatic relations, suspended military ties and announced that warships would in future escort any vessels flying the Turkish flag that attempted to reach Gaza.
Although alarmed by the rapid deterioration of its relationship with one its few friends in the region, Israel has dismissed Mr Erdogan's increasingly bellicose rhetoric as sabre-rattling.
But while few believe Turkey has any wish to engage Israel, with its vastly superior military strength in a war, Mr Erdogan does seem to be intent on attempting to isolate Israel in the Middle East at a time of heightened vulnerability for the Jewish state.
Persistently rebuffed in his attempts to seek European Union membership for Turkey, Mr Erdogan has instead sought to concentrate on projecting power in the Middle East by presenting himself as a champion of the Palestinian cause, traditionally the single most emotive issue among ordinary Arabs.
The Palestinian Authority is expected to submit a controversial application for statehood at the United Nations next week, in a move that will further raise tensions across the Middle East.
Mr Erdogan's visit to Egypt, once a part of the Ottoman Empire, is the first by a Turkish leader in 15 years and comes at a time of growing popular discontent against Israel on the streets of Cairo and elsewhere.
Over the weekend, rioters angered by Israel's inadvertent killing of at least three Egyptian border guards last month, ransacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Israel was forced to evacuate its ambassador and nearly all its diplomats from the country.
But Mr Erdogan's visit is reportedly being viewed with considerable mistrust among Egypt's transitional military leadership, which has taken charge of the country after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, the former president, in February.
Mr Erdogan had been expected last night to address crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of the revolution against Mr Mubarak, but his speech was mysteriously cancelled.
In a further sign that Egypt would resist Mr Erdogan's anti-Israel advances, one of the ruling generals said a state of emergency would be expanded because of the storming of the embassy.
The announcement could further incense public opinion, already outraged after three protesters were reportedly shot dead in disturbances outside the embassy and elsewhere in Cairo over the weekend.
(AINA) -- Dr. Anahit Khosroeva is a Senior Researcher at the Institute of History, National Academy of Sciences in Armenia, and has been a scholar in residence at North Park University in Chicago, USA, where she taught a course on 20th century genocides. She is a member of the International Association of Genocide Scholars. Her Ph.D. dissertation is titled The Assyrian Massacres in the Ottoman Turkey and the Adjacent Turkish territories (End of the 19th to the First Quarter of the 20th Century). She is the author of the several books and numerous articles on the history of the Assyrian people, written in Armenian, Russian and English. Her recent publications are The Assyrian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire and Adjacent Territories (The Armenian Genocide: Cultural and Ethical Legacies, Edited by Richard Hovannisian, New Brunswick, New Jersey, Transaction Publishers) and The Armenian and Assyrian Massacres in the Ottoman Turkey as the First Example of the Genocide (Research on Armenian Genocide, Budapest).Source: AINA
Dr. Khosroeva will present a paper, titled The Assyrian Genocide in the Ottoman Turkey (late 19th early 20th century), in Buenos Aires at the 9th Biennial Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (July 19-22).
AINA conducted the following interview with Dr. Khosroeva.
What made you interested in the study of the Assyrian genocide?
I was a Ph.D candidate at the Institute of History at Armenian National Academy of Sciences and was working on my dissertation about Ethno-demography in Trabizond (one of the six regions of Western Armenia) before World War I. After two years of research my advisor asked me to prepare a small presentation about the Assyrian Genocide, because a delegation of Assyrians from the U.S. was coming to visit Armenia for the April 24th Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day and participate in the annual conference about Genocide.
My mother is Armenian and my father is Assyrian. I knew, therefore, that both nations were subjected to Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. I had difficulty finding material for the presentation on the Assyrian Genocide. Somehow I made it and I remember it was very successful, but I decided I was not going to stop and I changed my dissertation subject and started to work on this issue, because it is not only a very important subject for me and Assyrians, but it is a subject which needs scholarly work. The Assyrian Genocide question needs international recognition.
Immediately after I finished my Ph.D, the Primer Minister of Armenia, Mr. Andranik Margaryan, who was the chairman of the Board of the 90th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide Commemoration, saw the importance of bringing awareness to the Assyrian Genocide and sponsored the publication of my first book in Armenian, titled The Assyrian Genocide in the Ottoman Turkey. The book was translated to Russian one year later and was published by the support of of my two Assyrian friends, Walter Veniaminov and Ruben Aleksanov. In 2007 Dr. Normal Solhkhah of Chicago sponsored the publication of A Brief History of the Assyrian Genocide in Words, Pictures & Monuments, in English.
When did the WW1 genocide start?
On August 1, 1914 World War I broke out. Already by September 1914, more than 30 Armenian and Assyrian villages in the region surrounding Urmia, Iran were burned and destroyed. Thousands of people were killed. The Russian vice consul, Vedenski, visited these places and said in his report "the results of jihad are everywhere."
Rev. Joseph Naayem, the Chaldean Assyrian priest in Diyarbekir, Turkey, reported that massacres started on April 8, 1915.
Was the WW1 genocide part of a larger pattern?
Yes, Turks wanted a religiously homogenous empire, incorporating all the neighboring territories populated with Muslims. This was their goal and they did everything to reach it. The Young Turks' party program stated "…sooner or later all the nations under Turkish control will be turned into Turks. It is clear that they will not convert voluntarily and we will have to use force." During one of their secret meetings Dr. Nazeem, a Young Turkish ideologist, said "The massacre is necessary. All the non-Turkish elements, whatever nation they belong to, should be exterminated."
The Young Turks' decision to enter WWI hinged on their belief that "participation in the war will considerably raise Turkey's authority, satisfy their vanity and dignity." During a talk with Dr. Mordtmann, an employee of the German Embassy, Turkish Minister of Interior Talaat Pasha said exploiting the opportunity of martial law, the Turkish government would eventually get rid of its internal enemies --- the Christians -- without fear of foreign diplomatic intervention. The ensuing events would bear out this sentiment, as millions of Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks fell victim to the Turkish genocide while the world's great powers remained silent.
Did the Ottomans differentiate between Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians in carrying out the Genocide?
No, they were all seen as Christians.
Was the Genocide anti-Christian? Were there non-religious motives for the Genocide?
Yes, it was anti-Christian. The goal was to have a homogeneous Turkish country, and the Christians were in the way and had to be eliminated. A secondary motive was the plundering of Christian wealth, because they were professionals and businessmen.
Was Islam a fundamental driving force of the Genocide?
Yes, it was. Sultan Abdul Hamid II rose to the Ottoman throne in 1876, and he governed with an iron hand for 33 years. He introduced individual and mass murders into the Ottoman political culture as a method to settle the problems of the Empire. A pivotal theme of sultan's external and internal policies was Pan-Islam, which sought a religiously homogenous empire joining with Turkey all the neighboring territories populated with Muslims. To this end, the nationalist aspirations of non-Muslim elements in these regions were suppressed.
During World War I the manner in which the massacres were organized and implemented serves as irrefutable evidence of the Turkish government's decision to eliminate a people whose nationalism and Christian identity ran contrary to the Young Turks' own ethnic and religious chauvinism.
What role did the Kurds play in the Genocide?
Established by and named after Sultan Abdul Hamid II in 1890, Hamidiye Kurdish Cavalry were intended to be modeled after the Russian Cossacks and were supposedly tasked to patrol the Russo-Ottoman frontier. The Hamidiye corps was well-armed, irregular Kurdish cavalry formations that operated in the eastern regions of the Ottoman Empire. However, the Hamidiye were more often used by the Ottoman authorities to harass and assault Assyrians and Armenians living in Western Armenia. Multiple sources say a large number of Assyrians and Armenians were killed by this Kurdish cavalry, and women and girls were taken to their harems during 1895-1896 massacres and World War I.
How many Assyrians were killed in the Genocide?
This is hard to answer. After World War I, in November 1919, the periodical French Asia wrote "The Assyrian massacres resembled the Armenian slaughters. And as about this nation, which had 250,000 victims, has been spoken much less, it is necessary to inform the world about it." Another source, the Assyrian National Council Secretary, C. Korek d' Kerporani, determined in 1922 that the losses of his people were more than 270,000. Investigations into the massacres in later years pushed the figure still higher, as some scholars have placed the number of victims at 500,000. Assyrians themselves have estimated that they lost 3/4 of their people during this period, which puts the figure at 750,000.1
1 Editor's note: The Russian geographer Lilian visited the Assyrian homelands before WW1 and estimated the total Assyrian population at 1 million (see here). Demographic studies of the Middle East show the population has increased approximately tenfold since WW1. Assuming the Assyrian population has also increased tenfold, and it is about 3.5 million now, the population must have been about 350,000 then -- if there were no genocide. If we accept Lilian's population estimate, that the Assyrian population was 1 million just before WW1, then about 3/4th of Assyrians must have been killed, else they would number 10 million now.
Sunday, 11 September 2011
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has accused President Christofias of “showing the courage of a crazy man” on the issue of the explorations for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea.Source: Famagusta Gazette
In statements to Ada television, Talat argued that a lot of mistakes have been committed on the issue of the oil exploration and added that the actions of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and his team are included in these mistakes.
Talat said that if we have agreed on the unification of Cyprus, the exploration should be carried out “with equal rights” and accused the Greek Cypriot side of being insincere.
Talat alleged that especially those who have a vision about the solution should oppose to the “Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral exploration” for oil and natural gas.
He said that these are “strategic issues”, that many countries enter into war for the sake of these things and that the Greek Cypriot side should be stopped.
Talat claimed that President Christofias “proceeded more” than late President Papadopoulos (on this issue) and challenges Turkey.
“This is not wise”, he argued noting that President Christofias should not think that he will beat Turkey through his “big brothers and grandfathers”.
Saturday, 10 September 2011
BRUSSELS, Sept 9 (Reuters) - The European Union told Turkey on Friday not to issue threats against Cyprus after Turkish Prime Minister's Tayyip Erdogan questioned the validity of oil exploration contracts granted by the divided island.Source
"The EU urges Turkey to refrain from any kinds of threats, sources of friction that could negatively affect good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of border disputes," a spokeswoman for the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters.
Maja Kocijancic said Turkey should work towards a "comprehensive" solution to a conflict between Turkey and EU member Cyprus over the northern part of the Mediterranean island.
Turkey, which hopes to become an EU member, invaded the northern third of Cyprus in 1974 after a Greek-inspired coup on the island. Turkish Cypriots declared independence in 1984.
Turkey is the only country to recognise the north as a state and the row with Cyprus is a major obstacle on its path towards the EU.
Erdogan issued the veiled criticism of Cyprus during a television interview on Thursday, in which he said Ankara would send warships to escort aid vessels to Gaza in a step up of confrontation between Turkey and Israel.
He said Turkey, a NATO member, has taken steps to patrol the Mediterranean, and vowed to stop the Jewish state from exploiting natural resources in the area.
"You know that Israel has begun to declare that it has the right to act in exclusive economic areas in the Mediterranean," Erdogan said, apparently in reference to Israeli plans to exploit offshore gas reserves found in areas that are also claimed by Lebanon.
"You will see that it will not be the owner of this right, because Turkey, as a guarantor of the Turkish republic of north Cyprus, has taken steps in the area, and it will be decisive and holding fast to the right to monitor international waters in the east Mediterranean," he said.
Turkey argues the oil deals are illegal as the borders of Cyprus remain undetermined while Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots pursue reunification talks.
Vice President of the Greek Government Theodoros Pangalos has assured that Greece will support the Republic of Cyprus and that any attack against Cyprus would be considered an attack against Greece.Source: Famagusta Gazette
Addressing the Hellenic Parliament and sending a message to Turkey regarding its threats concerning explorations in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, Pangalos said ''Cyprus is an independent member of the UN and has the right to independently determine its interests, alone or in cooperation with other countries.''
Friday, 9 September 2011
The Turkish government is now claiming its remarks on a naval escort for aid ships have been misinterpreted. This is from Today's Zaman, which is more or less a government mouthpiece publication.
A warning by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Israel reiterating his country's firmness on ensuring freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean sent shockwaves throughout the region after it was interpreted as a prelude to a naval confrontation with its former ally.Source: Today's Zaman
But officials in Ankara made clear on Friday that Erdoğan's remarks during an interview with Al Jazeera were quoted out of context. Some of his quotes were compiled later both by Al Jazeera and Reuters in a way that implied these quotes had followed each other, the same officials said. “Turkish warships, in the first place, are authorized to protect our ships that carry humanitarian aid to Gaza,” Erdoğan was quoted as saying by Reuters in the interview, broadcast by Al Jazeera with an Arabic translation.
“From now on, we will not let these ships be attacked by Israel, as what happened with the Freedom Flotilla,” Erdoğan was also quoted as saying by Reuters.
In the Turkish version of the text of the interview provided by the Anatolia news agency, however, Erdoğan, in response to a question on ensuring the freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean, says: “At the moment, no doubt, Turkish warships are first of all liable to protect their own ships. This is the first step. And there is humanitarian aid which we will extend. Our humanitarian assistance will no longer be attacked as happened in the case of the Mavi Marmara.”
A senior government official speaking to Today's Zaman on Friday said Erdoğan's remarks cannot be interpreted to mean that Turkey has been preparing to send humanitarian aid ships to the region that will be escorted by Turkish warships. “We have put forth a principle by saying that we will ensure the freedom of navigation in the eastern Mediterranean and that this field is not an Israeli playground.
As long as Israel does not interfere in the freedom of navigation, we do not plan on sending any warships to escort humanitarian aid ships,” the official, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the issue, told Today’s Zaman. “The misquoted remarks suggest that we have been readying to provide a warship to escort each humanitarian aid ship. This is not the case. However, Turkey will protect its citizens’ rights in the event of any interference in international waters,” the official added.
Jerusalem fights back: Foreign Minister Lieberman formulates series of tough moves in response to Turkish steps; Israel to cooperate with Armenian lobby in US, may offer military aid to Kurdish rebelsSource
Jerusalem to punish Erdogan: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has decided to adopt a series of harsh measures in response to Turkey’s latest anti-Israeli moves, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
Senior Foreign Ministry officials convened Thursday to prepare for a meeting to be held Saturday with Lieberman on the matter. Saturday’s session will be dedicated to discussing Israel’s response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent threats and his decision to downgrade Ankara’s diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.
Following Thursday’s meeting, officials assessed that Turkey is not interested in an Israeli apology at this time and prefers to exploit the dispute with Jerusalem in order to promote Ankara’s status in the Muslim world. Lieberman therefore decided there was no point in seeking creative formulas for apologizing, instead choosing to focus Israel’s efforts on punishing Turkey.
The Foreign Ministry has now decided to proceed with the formulation of a diplomatic and security “toolbox” to be used against the Turks. The first move would be to issue a travel warning urging all Israeli military veterans to refrain from traveling to Turkey. The advisory will be especially harsh as it will also urge Israelis to refrain from boarding connections in Turkey.
Another planned Israeli move is the facilitation of cooperation with Turkey’s historic rivals, the Armenians. During Lieberman’s visit to the United States this month, the foreign minister is expected to meet with leaders of the Armenian lobby and propose anti-Turkish cooperation in Congress.
The implication of this move could be Israeli assistance in promoting international recognition of the Armenian holocaust, a measure that would gravely harm Turkey. Israel may also back Armenia in its dispute vis-à-vis Turkey over control of Mount Ararat.
‘Turkey better show respect’
Lieberman is also planning to set meetings with the heads of Kurdish rebel group PKK in Europe in order to “cooperate with them and boost them in every possible area.” In these meetings, the Kurds may ask Israel for military aid in the form of training and arms supplies, a move that would constitute a major anti-Turkish position should it materialize.
However, the violent clashes between Turkey and the Kurds only constitute one reason prompting accusations that Ankara is violating human rights. Hence, another means in Lieberman’s “toolbox” vis-à-vis Erdogan is a diplomatic campaign where Israeli missions worldwide will be instructed to join the fight and report illegal Turkish moves against minorities.
The tough response formulated by Lieberman stems, among other things, from the foreign minister’s desire to make it clear to Erdogan that his anti-Israeli moves are not a “one-way street.”
Officials in Jerusalem also noted that Turkey’s global status at this time is not promising as it is, adding that Ankara is embroiled in tensions vis-à-vis NATO and Greece, while Erdogan’s relations with Syria and Iran are also not favorable.
“We’ll exact a price from Erdogan that will prove to him that messing with Israel doesn’t pay off,” Lieberman said. “Turkey better treat us with respect and common decency.”
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said his country will in future escort aid ships travelling to the Gaza Strip.Source: BBC
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Mr Erdogan also said Turkey had taken steps to prevent Israel unilaterally exploiting natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean.
He spoke amid a growing row over Israel's refusal to apologise for a deadly raid on an aid ship last year.
Turkey has already cut military ties and expelled Israel's ambassador.
It has also said it will challenge Israel's blockade of Gaza at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Relations between Turkey and Israel have worsened since Israeli forces boarded the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May last year as it was heading for Gaza. Nine Turkish activists were killed during the raid.
Israel has refused to apologise and said its troops acted in self-defence.
In his comments to Al-Jazeera, Mr Erdogan said Turkish warships were "authorised to protect our ships that carry humanitarian aid to Gaza".
"From now on, we will not let these ships to be attacked by Israel, as what happened with the Freedom Flotilla," he said, referring to the Mavi Marmara incident.
The BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul says Turkey's decision to increase its naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean - and not just to deter Israeli operations against Gaza activists - is a serious one.
Turkey is protesting against the exploration of gas reserves by the government of Cyprus, because it does not recognise the area as Cypriot territorial waters.
Israel has recognised them, and hopes to source future natural gas supplies there.
This could spark a conflict that mixes the current Turkish-Israeli friction with the 50-year-old dispute over Cyprus, our correspondent says.
"You know that Israel has begun to declare that it has the right to act in exclusive economic areas in the Mediterranean," said Mr Erdogan.
"You will see that it will not be the owner of this right, because Turkey, as a guarantor of the Turkish republic of north Cyprus, has taken steps in the area, and it will be decisive and holding fast to the right to monitor international waters in the east Mediterranean."
In response to Mr Erdogan's comments, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying: "This is a statement well-worth not commenting on."
Since the Islamic AKP party has formed the government in Turkey and its leader Erdogan has been president, relations between the former allies Turkey and Israel have degenerated rapidly - and the Jewish minority in Turkey is coming under increasing pressure. Especially in view of the current escalation and Ankara's open threats against Israel - while Turkey simultaneously makes threatening military gestures against EU member Cyprus - the almost 20,000 Jews living in Turkey feel ever more uneasy, anxious and threatened.Source: Haolam.de (my translation)
Many of the 20,000 Jews living in Turkey are seriously considering emigration to Israel. The member of the Knesset Danny Danon said on Wednesday that Israel must prepare for a massive Alijah (Homecoming) of Turkey's Jews.
"Turkey is trying to damage Israel, and we must be prepared for a further deterioration in relations, which could have a negative impact on Turkey's Jews", said the chairman of the immigration committee of the Israel parliament. "We need to set up a support hotline to prepare the Turkish Jews for their Aliyah," said Danon.
From Turkey it is reported that the increasing nationalism and strengthening Islamism have still not had an effect on the relations of the mass of the Turkish population with their Jewish neighbours - but anti-semitic groups and movements are speculating about a "boom" for their ideology and are expecting a further escalation in the tense relations between Turkey and Israel. It is unclear at the moment what connections individual groups may have with radical islamist terror organisations. It is known that some nationalistic islamist organisations in Turkey work with islamist terror organisations such as Hamas.
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
Turkey is now threatening military action against an EU member state. Will the Brussels clowns put up with this too? Is there really no limit to what they will put with?
Tensions are mounting between Cyprus and Turkey over plans to begin oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.Source: Famagusta Gazette
Drilling is scheduled to start in just four weeks.
Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis has said that if the Republic of Cyprus proceeds with its exploration for hydrocarbons, Ankara may send naval vessels to the drilling area.
In statements to Zaman newspaper, Bagis said that when explorations were made in the past, ships from the Turkish Military Fleet were quick to make their way to the area.
“It is for this reason that we built our army and trained our soldiers,” said Bagis, claiming that “it is illegal to explore waters that do not belong to them.”
Bagis also said that Turkey will make use of all its rights under international law and will act accordingly.
“They know that Turkey is serious and that all options are on the table,” he said.
In November 2008 the government accused Turkey of harassing two Panamanian-flagged vessels in international waters. One of the ships was part of an exploration mission off the south coast of the island when it was forced to cease operations by a Turkish naval vessel.
Turkey insisted that the exploration was encroaching on its continental shelf, while Cyprus said the incidents occurred in a maritime zone that it has rights over.
The Cyprus government signed a production-sharing contract with U.S.-based Noble Energy to launch exploration activities in a 324,000-hectare economic zone southeast of the island which borders Israeli waters and where massive gas fields were found under the seabed.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
Despite its 80 million citizens, its rapidly growing economy and its large military, Turkey has failed to position itself as an influential regional element. The Islamist government’s new policy, which is premised on Neo-Ottomanism (a return to the Ottoman Empire’s glory days,) registered a series of stinging diplomatic failures in recent years.Source
The only achievement of this policy is the economy, which enabled Erodgan and his party to reinforce their political status within Turkey. However, Turkey’s influence in the regional and international theater is slim. Below are a few reminders:
• Turkey’s efforts to join the European Union failed. Erdogan, who designated this issue as a top priority for Turkish diplomacy made sweeping changes to Turkey’s laws and constitutions and also granted far-reaching concessions to the Kurds. However, France and Germany blew him off in a rather insulting manner.
• With the exception of Turkey, no other state in the world recognizes the Northern Cyprus, the republic established by Ankara after invading Cyprus in 1974. This is the case despite the efforts invested by Ankara for almost 40 years to elicit international recognition of the Turkish entity and the settlements established there. On the other hand, the Greek Cyprus was accepted as a member of the European Union.
• Under American pressure, Turkey agreed to reconciliation with Armenia on condition that the latter would put an end to accusations regarding the Armenian Holocaust. However, the Armenian parliament refused to ratify the agreement. Yet another slap in the face for Turkey.
• Turkey was Muammar Gaddafi’s most important ally in the years before the Libyan uprising. Turkish companies invested billions in the oil-rich Libya. Hence, when the uprising started Turkey tried to have it both ways – on the one hand it tried to avert a NATO operation against Gaddafi and his loyalists, yet on the other hand it condemned the killing of civilians. Yet NATO members and the UN disregarded Turkey’s objection and embarked on an aerial assault that prompted Gaddafi’s ouster.
• In 2009, Turkey warmed up its ties with Iran, yet recently the relationship has cooled off considerably. The Shiite ayatollahs in Tehran realized how much the Sunni Turkey gains from the commercial ties with Iran. Now, they also view Ankara as a dangerous rival and threat to the regional hegemony that Iran is trying to secure. In the last two months, Tehran’s displeasure turned into fury thanks to Erdogan’s hostile, patronizing and arrogant attitude towards the Assad regime in Syria, Iran’s most important strategic ally in the area. Iran was also infuriated by the seizure of an arms shipment Tehran tried to transfer to Syria via Turkish airspace.
• On the Palestinian front, Turkish leaders failed a few weeks ago to promote the reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah. Abbas and Mashaal came to Istanbul, but the Turks failed to even arrange a meeting between them. There was no dialogue whatsoever based on the Turkish proposals.
• The most colossal Turkish policy failure as of late has to do with the ties with Syria. Turkey makes threats, Assad ignores them, yet Ankara does nothing. It did not even impose effective, painful economic sanctions on Syria, despite the fact that Assad’s Alawite-Shiite regime is massacring Sunni Syrians, Turkey’s natural allies.
There is not enough room here to make note of all of Turkey’s diplomatic failures in recent years on the regional and global front. But why is this the case? Why is a large, powerful and economically successful state failing to translate these attributes into becoming an influential regional element?
The answer to the above question can be summarized into three words: Lack of credibility. Turkey under Erdogan’s leadership is neither a reliable ally nor a credible rival.
For example, in 2003, when the Bush Administration was about to invade Iraq, Erodgan refused to allow the American army to pass through Turkish territory. Washington begged and offered Ankara economic and military perks, but the Islamist Erdogan refused to allow a Western country in its war against a murderous Muslim tyrant.
As to credibility vis-à-vis rivals, current events in the Syrian-Turkish arena speak for themselves. The Erdogan government’s lack of credibility is also reflected by the constant Turkish attempt to have it both ways and the shifts from one political position to the next based on short-term interests. The above examples highlight this as well.
Moreover, we should make note of the style of Turkish policy led by Erdogan. Instead of restraint and sound judgment, as one would expect from the leader of a great power, Erodgan resorts to impassioned zeal and makes threats as if he was the neighborhood thug. His short fuse and violent speech are reminiscent of our own Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman. Just like him, Erodgan too makes rash, extreme statements that he has no military or political ability to realize or desire to implement. Erdogan also tends to realize the damage of his steps later on and try to minimize it.
Monday, 5 September 2011
Sunday, 4 September 2011
Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has called for a United States of Europe to be created with Turkey as a full member and Russia as an associate member.
Since leaving political office, Schröder has been involved in energy and pipeline projects that involve Russia and Turkey.
He also calls for a joint European finance minister:
Source: Der Spiegel
We should "not dither any longer, but get serious with the European core," he said, pointing to the international competition of different world region: otherwise Europe and its nation states will "sink into insignificance" between Asia under Chinese leadership and a re-strengthened America. Schröder supports the goal of a United States of Europe that Ursula von der Leyen[a German politician] had brought up. "The Europe I imagine is more strongly integrated, supplemented with the membership of Turkey and an association with Russia."
Since leaving political office, Schröder has been involved in energy and pipeline projects that involve Russia and Turkey.
He also calls for a joint European finance minister:
"National sovereignty must be relinquished", referring to parliamentary budget rights.
"What the national parliaments give up must go to the European parliament as the highest authority." In addition, he imagines that a "special committee" of the EU parliament could be formed, "consisting of the members of the Euro zone and taking over this monitoring function".
"Great Britain creates the biggest problems." The country is not in the euro, "but the British still want to have a say in the design of the business area." That doesn't go together.
Source: Der Spiegel
Saturday, 3 September 2011
The "Godfather" film coined a famous phrase: To make someone an offer they can't refuse. But in diplomacy there's the opposite phenomenon: To send someone an ultimatum you know they can't accept. An example of the latter is recent Turkish government diplomacy toward (or should I say, against?) Israel.Source
Its ultimatum demanded Israel apologize for Turkish citizens killed in the Mavi Marmara confrontation, pay compensation, and end all sanctions against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. This is in spite of the fact that those killed were radical Islamist jihadis who openly spoke beforehand of happily dying if they could kill Israeli soldiers and about massacring all Jews. As for the sanctions, they are against a terrorist group openly declaring its goal of genocide against both Israel and Jews in general and which has repeatedly attacked Israel.
Since Israel refused to surrender to this ultimatum, the Turkish (Islamist) government has expelled Israel's ambassador just as the new, Palmer report on the Gaza Flotilla incident is released. But while the report claims Israel used excessive force--what is the proper amount of force to use on jihadis with weapons who advocate genocide against you?--it also concluded that the blockade is completely legal and that the flotilla activists acted recklessly. In other words, the Turkish regime demands Israel apologize and pay compensation for those who committed an illegal act in order to harm it.