Archive | Turkey

The US-Turkish “Visa War” Is a Hybrid War Harbinger

The US-Turkish “visa war” began when Ankara arrested a US consulate employee on terror charges over his suspected connections with the Gulenists, which served as the pretext for the US to do what it had apparently been considering for some time, and that’s effectively block Turks from visiting the US by de-facto including them for the indefinite future on Trump’s “travel ban”. Turkey, keen on retaining its dignity, followed suit with a reciprocal measure for Americans, and the entire episode might serve as a prelude to the official, albeit long-expected, worsening of relations and maybe even potential sanctions.

The US is being careful to not make its moves appear “unprovoked”, hence why it sought to disguise its latest actions as being a “response” to something that Turkey did, because it doesn’t want to push Turkey any closer to the Multipolar World Order than it already has ever since the failed pro-American coup attempt last year saw Erdogan dramatically improve his ties with Russia, Iran, and even the SCO in response. That being said, what’s really happening here is that the US is punishing Turkey for precisely just that, as well as more recently for Erdogan’s remark the other day that “the West’s shadow” is behind all terrorist groups in the world, including the Gulenists, the PKK, and even Daesh.

Furthermore, the US thinks that it is unacceptable that Turkey, which is nominally a NATO member, decided to buy Russia’s S400 state-of-the-art anti-air missile system and is even militarily cooperating with Moscow in an anti-terrorist capacity in Syria, especially in the latest Idlib Operation to implement the “de-escalation zone” that was recently agreed to at the last Astana meeting. Another thing which has contributed to the US’ animosity against Turkey is the country’s vastly improved military relationship with Iran, particularly over the Kurdish issue in recent weeks but with the original breakthrough being made through the Moscow Declaration at the end of last year.

The most immediate implication of the American-Turkish “visa war” is that it will worsen the perception that each country’s people have of the other. Turks will see that this confirms what Erdogan has implied for over a year about how the US is the enemy of the Turkish people, while Americans will be manipulated via decontextualized Mainstream Media reporting into thinking that Erdogan is a rogue anti-American dictator whose country is in urgent need of a “democratic regime change”. Both of these interlinked outcomes will probably contribute to the forecasted deterioration of official relations which might take a multidimensional form in creating serious economic, political, and possibly even military fallout, the latter of which could see the US more openly commit to the Kurds and Gulenists.

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The Middle East Pivot: Erdoğan’s Turkey Seven “Deadly Sins”

NOVANEWS

Multiple wars ravage the Middle East. Turkey has inserted itself into the middle of most of these regional conflicts and ended up a loser.

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has intervened and formed alliances with a rogue’s gallery of imperial warlords, terrorists-mercenaries, Zionist expansionists, feudal potentates and obscure tribal chiefs, with disastrous economic, political and military consequences for the Turkish nation.

In this paper we will discuss Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies and behavior over the past decade.  We will conclude with lessons for middle range powers, which might help in future decisions

President Erdogan’s Domestic Disasters

Throughout the early decade of the 21st century, Erdoğan made a strategic alliance with an influential semi-clandestine organization led by a cult-leading cleric, Fethullah Gülen, who was conveniently self-exiled in the US and under the protection of the US intelligence apparatus. This marriage of convenience was formed in order to weaken the leftist, secular and Ataturk nationalist influenced opposition. Armed with the Gülenists’ treasure trove of forged documents, Erdoğan purged the military of its Ataturk nationalist leadership. He proceeded to marginalize the secular Republican Party and repressed leftist trade union, social movements and prominent academics, journalists, writers and student activists. With support from the Gülenists movement, ‘Hizmet’, Erdoğan celebrated his successes and won multiple election and re-election victories!

Initially, Erdoğan failed to recognize that the Gülenists/Hizmet operated as a subversive political organization, which permeated the state apparatus through a dense network of bureaucratic, military, judicial, police, and civil society organizations, with ties to the US military/CIA and friendly relations with Israeli policy makers.

By 2013, Erdoğan felt intense pressure from the Gülenists/Hizmet which sought to discredit and oust his regime by revealing multi-million dollar corrupt practices involving him and his family in a ‘Turquoise Color Revolution’ – remake of other ‘regime changes’.

Having discovered his internal vulnerability, Erdoğan moved to curtail the power and reach of the Gülenists/Hizmet controlled media. He was not yet prepared to deal with the immense scope and depth of the elite links to Gülenists/Hizmet. A Gülenists-led military coup was launched in July 2016, with the tacit support of the US military stationed in Turkey. This was foiled by a major popular mobilization with the support of  the armed forces.

Erdoğan then moved to thoroughly purge the followers of Hizmet from the military, public administration, schools, business, the press and public and private institutions. He extended his purge to include secular and nationalist political leaders who had always opposed the Gülenists and their attempted coup d’état.

As a result of the coup attempt and the subsequent purge, Erdoğan weakened and fractured every aspect of the state and civil society. Erdoğan ended up securing control of a weakened state with a degraded business, educational and cultural world.

The Gülenists coup was authored and led by its supremo Fethullah Gülen, ensconced in his ‘secret’ private estate in the United States. Clearly the US was implicated in the coup and they rejected Erdoğan’s demands to extradite him.

Erdoğan’s subservience to the US/NATO leadership have undermined his attempts to strike at the roots of the coup and its internal and external power structure. The US/NATO military bases still operate in Turkey and retain influence over its military.

In the aftermath of the coup, the decline of Gülenist influence in the economy contributed to economic reversals in investments and growth. The purge of the military and civil society reduced Turkey’s military preparedness and alienated the democratic electorate. Erdoğan had already nearly lost his bid to the presidency after his earlier purges in 2014.

Erdoğan’s Foreign Policy Disasters

Perversity is when a ruler weakens its military and represses its citizens and launches a series of risky foreign adventures: This is exactly what Erdoğan has done over the past several years.

First Erdoğan backed a terrorist uprising in Syria, providing arms, recruiting overseas ‘volunteers’ and providing them with unrestricted passage across the Turkish border. Many of the terrorists proceeded to join forces with Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurds in establishing military bases on Ankara’s borders.

Secondly, Erdoğan ran a scurrilous electoral campaign among the millions of ethnic Turks living in Germany – violating that powerful nation’s sovereignty. As a result, Erdoğan increased tensions and animosity with what had been its closest ally in its quest for EU membership – effectively terminating the process.

Thirdly, Erdoğan backed NATO’s invasion and bombing of Libya, killing President Gadhafi, who had been an independent voice, capable of serving as a possible ally against imperial intervention in North Africa.

Fourthly, Erdoğan backed the brief government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood after its electoral victory in 2012 following the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising in Egypt of 2011. He backed a formula similar to his own Turkish policy of excluding the secular, democratic opposition. This led to a bloody US-backed military coup led by General Abdel Sisi in July 2013 – a lesson not lost on Erdoğan.

Fifth, Erdoğan’s de facto friendly relations with Israel – despite verbal criticism – in the face of Tel Aviv’s assassination of nine non-violent Turkish protestors trying to break the starvation blockade of Gaza – undermined relations with the pro-Palestine Arab world and nationalists in Turkey.

Sixth, Erdoğan developed lucrative ties with Iraqi Kurd dictator-warlord, Masoud Barzani, facilitating the flow of oil to Israel. Erdoğan’s own illicit oil deals with Barzani strengthened the cause of Kurdish separatism and exposed the widespread corruption of Erdoğan’s family dealings.

Seventh, Erdoğan provoked military tensions with Russia by shooting down a warplane in Syria. This led to an economic boycott, which reduced export earnings, devastated the tourism sector and added Moscow to his list of adversaries, (Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, US, Germany, Hezbollah and Iran).

Eighth, Erdoğan backed the tiny oil-state of Qatar, sending supplies and soldiers to oppose a threat from Saudi Arabia, the other royal oil statelets and Egypt, US allies and followers.

Despite his many disastrous domestic and foreign policies, Erdoğan learned nothing and forgot nothing. When the Israelis backed the Iraqi Kurds in organizing an independence ‘referendum’ aiming to ultimately annex the rich oil fields of Northern Iraq, Erdoğan took no action despite this threat to Turkish national security. He merely made verbal threats to cut off the Kurd’s access to Ankara’s oil pipelines. He took no concrete steps. Erdogan preferred to pocket transit taxes from the oil, antagonizing Iraq and Syria and strengthening the links between Kurdish Iraq and its secessionist counterparts in Syria and Turkey.

Because of Erdoğan failure to close down the US military base following its support of the Gülenist-led coup, the Turkish army is still heavily under  US influence, opening the possibility of another uprising.

Erdoğan’s lip-service to ‘nationalism’ has served mainly as a political tool to repress domestic democratic political parties and trade unions and the Kurdish and Alevi communities.

Erdoğan’s initial support and subsequent opposition to the jihadi terrorist groups seeking to oust the secular-nationalist government in Damascus has caused ‘blowback’ – with ISIS terrorist cells bombing civilian targets Istanbul and Ankara with mass casualties.

Conclusion

Erdoğan’s unprincipled, opportunistic and pro-imperialist NATO alliance demonstrates the inability of an aspiring regional power to find a niche in the US Empire.

Erdoğan believed that being a loyal ‘ally’ of the US would protect Turkey from a coup d’état. He failed to realize that he had become a disposable pawn in US plans to instill more servile rulers (like the Gülenist) in the Middle East.

Erdoğan’s belief that Turkey’s collaboration with the US to overthrow Syria’s President Bashar Assadwould lead to a successful territorial grab of Northern Syria: instead Erdoğan ended up serving the US-backed Syrian Kurds tied to the Turkish Kurds. By working to break up Syria and destroy its state and government, Erdoğan strengthened Kurdish cross border expansionism.

Erdoğan failed to recognize the most basic rule of imperial policy: There are no permanent allies there are only permanent interests. Erdoğan thought Turkey would be ‘rewarded’ by acting as a US surrogate with a share of power, wealth and territory in the Middle East. Instead, as a ‘normal’ imperial power, the US used Turkey when it was convenient and would then dispose of Erdoğan – like a used condom.

Anti-imperialism is not just an ideal and moral/ethical principle – it is a realistic approach to safeguarding sovereignty, democratic politics and meaningful alliances.

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Turkish Military Intervention in Northwestern Syria. Troops and Vehicles Enter Idlib ‘Video’

NOVANEWS

Late on October 12, the Turkish Army started deploying troops and vehicles in Syria’s Idlib province. According to reports, at least 30 Turkish vehicles entered Idlib via the Atme border crossing and deployed in an area between it and Darat Izza town.

Some sources speculated that the deployment was coordinated with Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) that is the most powerful group in the militant-held Idlib province. However, this has not been confirmed by any evidence so far.

It’s interesting that the area of deployment allows Turkish forces to operate against both radicals Islamists in Idlib province and Kurdish militias in northern Aleppo.

Earlier, Turkish National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli once again repeated that Ankara believes that weapons supplied to Kurdish-dominated US-backed forces in Syria will be used against Turkey.

In Deir Ezzor province, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) liberated Kusham Fawqani village and consolidated its gains north of Deir Ezzor. This allows to develop operations further in order to liberate Deir Ezzor city.

At the same time, government forces, led by the SAA Tiger Forces, further outflanked al-Maydin city and de-facto encircled it, according to pro-government sources. Clashes are ongoing in the urban area.

ISIS terrorists attacked the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at the Jafrah oil fields and forces the SDF to retreat from the area, according to the ISIS-linked news agency Amaq. The SDF has not shown any photos or videos that allow to debunk Amaq’s claims.

Meanwhile, the SDF has reportedly captured the villages of Hasf Tall, Ghayran, Jarbus, Tabaraya and Husayn at the al-Suwar road preparing to push towards al-Busariyah.

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US, Turkey suspend visa services amid arrested employee row

NOVANEWS
Image result for U.S. embassy in Ankara CARTOON
DAILY SABAH 

The U.S. embassy in Ankara said Sunday that all non-immigrant visa services in its diplomatic facilities in Turkey were suspended after the arrest of one of its employees over the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) ties.

A statement released by the embassy said: “Recent events have forced the U.S. government to reassess the commitment of the Government of Turkey to the security of the U.S. Mission facilities and personnel.”

The statement said the suspension, effective immediately, is intended to minimize the number of visitors to the consulate and embassy buildings.

Hours after the U.S. decision, Turkey said it has halted processing visa applications from the U.S. The move, announced online by the Turkish embassy in Washington, applies to visas in passports, electronic visas and visas at the borders, and is also effective immediately.

Metin Topuz, a Turkish employee working in the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was arrested on charges of espionage and links to FETÖ, the group blamed for the July 15, 2016 coup attempt that killed 249 people in Turkey.

According to the indictment, the suspect was in contact with a number of former police chiefs in Istanbul where he worked, and all those police chiefs involved in the 2013 coup attempts were FETÖ members in the judiciary and law enforcement.

He was also in touch with Oktay Akkaya, a former lieutenant colonel who was among the main actors in the 2016 coup attempt.

“The suspect acted as a liaison between members of FETÖ and its leader, Fetullah Gülen, who lives in Pennsylvania,” the indictment adds, claiming there is strong evidence to justify Topuz’s arrest.

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‘Untangling the Syrian Knot’: Russia-Turkey Coordination in Idlib Pivotal

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Image result for ERDOGAN CARTOON
Sputnik

If Russia and Turkey launch a joint military operation in the Syrian province of Idlib, mostly controlled by Tahrir al-Sham, a militant group led by the al-Nusra Front, there will be a major military victory that would also pave the way for the political settlement of the crisis, experts told Sputnik.

“Apparently, the final agreement on this issue [situation in Idlib] was reached during a meeting in Ankara between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. We can now say that all military actions are being coordinated by these two parties,” Oytun Orhan, an expert on the Middle East, told Sputnik Turkey.

He pointed out that bringing peace to Syria requires both military and political actions, and currently there are three countries, namely Russia, Turkey and Iran, that can resolve the Syrian crisis.

After his talks with Erdogan in Astana on September 28, Putin said that Moscow and Ankara had reaffirmed readiness to implement the final agreements reached in mid-September in Astana about four de-escalation zones, including the largest one in Idlib.

On Saturday, Erdogan announced plans to deploy Turkish forces to Idlib, where the Free Syrian Army rebel fighters backed by Ankara have launched an operation. He also said that Russia has agreed to provide air support to the operation; however, there has been no official comment yet by the Russian Defense Ministry supporting the claim.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this week that Russia is ready to support armed groups fighting the al-Nusra Front in the Idlib de-escalation zone.

Commenting on the possible Russia-Turkey coordination in Idlib, Orhan said, “Russian forces could deploy along the external perimeter of the de-escalation zone, with Russian aviation likely to bomb al-Nusra Front positions. At the same time, the Turkish military could launch an operation within Idlib. What is also possible is a joint operation between Turkish forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the terrorists.”

The expert suggested that joint military actions in Idlib would reduce the territory controlled by the al-Nusra Front and finally result in the defeat of the terrorist group in the region.

“Regarding the fate of terrorists after the liberation of Idlib, there could be several scenarios – some groups may integrate into the Syrian military, some other groups may continue minor activities in certain areas or lay down their arms in exchange for some political concessions,” Orhan said.

According to Turkish journalist Hüsnü Mahalli, the terrorist stronghold in Idlib is the last major obstacle to resolving the Syrian crisis.

“The situation in Deir ez-Zor will be resolved within two or three weeks. There will be only Raqqa left. Currently, the southern part of Raqqa is controlled by the Syrian Army while its north part is controlled by Kurdish forces. [After the liberation of Idlib] Syrian forces will control almost 99 percent of the territory. In fact, the resolution of the Idlib situation would mean the untangling of the Syrian knot,” Mahalli said.

Posted in Russia, Syria, Turkey0 Comments

Syria – Erdogan Is Afraid of Entering Idleb

The Turkish President Erdogan announced the start of a Turkish operation in Idleb province of Syria. Idelb has been for years under the control of al-Qaeda in Syria, currently under the label Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

In the talks in Astana, Turkey, Russia and Iran agreed on a deescalation zone in Idelb to be supervised by all three of them. But the fight against al-Qaeda, aka HTS, would continue. Turkey is supposed to control the western part of the province including the city of Idleb. But the Turkish government is afraid to go there.

During the last days there have been many reports and lots of pictures of Turkish force movements along the north-western Syrian border. But Turkey made no attempt to enter the country and it is doubtful that it will.

Erdogan’s announcement needs some parsing:

“There’s a serious operation in Syria’s Idlib today and it will continue,” Erdogan said in a speech to his AK Party, adding that Turkey would not allow a “terror corridor” on its border with Syria.”For now Free Syria Army is carrying out the operation there,” Erdogan said. “Russia will be protecting outside the borders (of the Idlib region) and we will handle inside,” he said.

Russia is supporting the operation from the air, and our armed forces from inside Turkey’s borders,” he added.

“[F]rom inside Turkey’s borders” means of course that the Turkish army will not (again) enter Syria. At least not now.

Turkey has transferred some 800 of its “Turkmen” mercenaries from the “Euphrates Shield” area north-east of Aleppo [green] to the western border next to Idleb. “Euphrates Shield” was a fight against the Islamic State with the aim of interrupting a potential Kurdish “terrorist” corridor from north-east Syria to the north-western Kurdish enclave Afrin [beige]. Turkey lost a bunch of heavy battle tanks and some 70 soldiers in that fight. Erdogan was criticized in Turkey for the somewhat botched operation.

The Turkish proxy fighters now sent into Idleb belong to the Hamza Brigade, Liwa al-Mutasem and other Turkish “Free Syrian Army” outfits. They will have to go in without tanks and heavy weapons. Some Turkish special forces with them might be able to call up artillery support from within Turkey. But no Turkish air support will be available as Syria and Russia insist of staying in control of the airspace.

A recent video shows a group of HTS maniacs attacking an outpost like professional soldiers. They are equipped with AT-4 anti-tank missiles, 60mmm mortars, light machine guns and Milkor grenade launcher. They have good uniforms, fairly new boots and ammo carrier belts. This is not equipment captured from the Syrian army or second hand stuff from some former eastern-block country. It is modern “western” stuff. These folks still have some rich sponsor and excellent equipment sources.

Russia has in recent weeks extensively bombed al-Qaeda positions in Idleb. Turkish intelligence may have helped with that. But AQ still has a very decent fighting force. The Turkish supported forces are likely no match for well equipped and battle hardened al-Qaeda fighters.

Turkey had for nearly six years supplied and pampered al-Qaeda in Syria. The group has many relations and personal within Turkey. The Astana agreement now obligates Turkey to fight HTS. Erdogan sits in a trap he set up himself. Should it come to a conflict between HTS and Turkish forces in Syria, the fight would soon cause casualties in Ankara and Istanbul.

Erdogan might still believe that he can somehow domesticate HTS. The government controlled Anadolu agency does not even mention the al-Qaeda origin of the group nor its long control of the area. It is trying to paint a somewhat rosy picture of HTS as an anti-American outfit:

Tahrir al-Sham, an anti-regime group, has come to the forefront with increasing activity in Idlib recently. Tahrir al-Sham has not made a direct statement against the deployment of Turkish troops to the region.On the other hand, the group and some opponents oppose the entry of various Free Syrian Army groups to Idlib, which are prepared to come from the Euphrates Shield Operation Area.

The group justifies the opposition, saying that other groups expected to arrive in the region get support from the United States.

The Turkish paper Hurriyet is less sensible with Erdogan’s needs:

Idlib is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), spearheaded by a former al-Qaeda affiliate that changed its name last year from the Nusra Front.HTS is not party to a deal brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran for the safe zone in the province, one of four such “de-escalation” zones nationwide.

Ousting HTS forces from the area will be needed to allow the arrival of Iranian, Russian and Turkish forces to implement a de-escalation zone.

In Astana Erdogan was given the task to clean up the mess he earlier created in Idleb by supporting the Jihadis. Erdogan does not like the job but has no choice.

If the de-escalation fails because HTS stays in control, Syria and its allies will move into Idleb. Turkey will then have to cope with thousands of battle seasoned Jihadis and a million of their kinfolk as refugees. If Erdogan moves Turkish forces into the Idleb area it will become a very costly fight and he will soon be in trouble in his own realm. Making peace with HTS is not an option. HTS rejected all offers to “change its skin” and to melt away. Iran, the Astana agreement and a number of UN Security Council Resolutions also stand against that.

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Iran and Turkey Warn Against Iraqi Kurd Secession

 NOVANEWS
  • Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017.
    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan is seen with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a welcoming ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Oct. 4, 2017. | Photo: Reuters
“The only beneficiaries are the Zionist regime and the U.S.,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

Warning against alleged foreign plots, the leaders of Turkey and Iran said harsh measures would be taken against Iraqi Kurdistan to maintain Iraq’s territorial integrity from attempts to secede from Baghdad following an independence referendum.

RELATED: Last Flight Departs as Iraq Imposes Ban for Kurdish Independence Vote

The Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking in a televised press conference with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, called on Kurdish leaders to reverse their decisions or else Iran and Turkey would have no choice but to impose harsh and necessary measures.

“Some foreigners plan to split the area to increase ethnic and sectarian discrimination. Both countries do not accept such acts of discrimination,” Rouhani said. “As far as we are concerned, Iraq is one single country. We do not accept any geographical changes. ”

“But the people of Iraqi Kurdistan are our good neighbors, are our dear brothers. We do not want them to experience any pressure, we do not wish to exert this pressure,” Rouhani added, noting that Kurdish officials’ decision to proceed with the referendum lies at the root of the regional dispute.

Erdogan, for his part, said that measures have already been taken against Iraqi Kurdistan, but even stronger ones would be imposed.

“What is the referendum organized by northern Iraq’s regional administration for? No country in the world apart from Israel recognizes it. A decision made at the table with Mossad (the Israeli spy agency) is not legitimate, it is illegitimate,” the Turkish president said.

RELATED: Why Does Israel Support an Independent Iraqi Kurdistan?

Speaking at a joint presser following the meeting between the two presidents, Rouhani asserted that “Iran and Turkey as the two Muslim, friendly, and powerful countries of the region are the anchors of stability in the Middle East.”

Both Tehran and Ankara have rejected the referendum held in Iraqi Kurdistan on September 25 and have taken several economic and security measures to back the federal government in Baghdad, including large-scale military exercises.

During a subsequent meeting with Erdogan, Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that the United States and Israel were behind the referendum.

“The United States and foreign powers are unreliable and seek to create a ‘new Israel’ in the region,” Khamenei said. “This is a threat to the future of the region.”

“The US and the European administrations’ attitude toward the issue is different from Iran and Turkey’s,” he added. “The US intends to have a tricky agent against Iran and Turkey, so the stance of the Americans and the Europeans should not be trusted at all … As you mentioned the only beneficiaries of the recent developments are the Zionist regime and the U.S., respectively.”

On Wednesday, Erdogan arrived in Tehran on a visit aimed at bolstering bilateral relations with Iran, as well as the common stance on Iraqi Kurdistan.

The visit’s main agenda item is economic cooperation, but the Kurdistan referendum was also included in the discussion.

The Turkish president supported the goal of raising Turkish-Iranian trade volume to $US30 billion.

Erdogan and Rouhani agreed to expand bilateral cooperation and protect the unity of Iraq.

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Turkey0 Comments

Erdogan and Rouhani meet in Tehran – offer a united front against Kurdish secessionists

NOVANEWS

This comes as US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis defies statements by Donald Trump and tells Congress that Iran is in compliance with the JCPOA.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has just concluded a press conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Both leaders stated that they are firmly committed to the territorial unity of Iraq and also Syria, in the wake of the unilateral secessionist referendum in northern Iraq. While Rouhani called regional Kurds “brothers”, each said that dialogue with legitimate central governments is the only way forward, thus echoing calls of the wider international community, with the exception of Israel whose leaders support Kurdish secession.

Both Presidents also affirmed their commitment to expand growing economic ties, while speaking positively about the Astana peace process for Syria in which Russia, Iran and Turkey have worked jointly to create de-escalation zones in Syria, each of which has also been approved by the Syrian government.

Today’s successful meeting is a further sign of Turkey’s pivot towards fellow Eurasian powers and away from NATO, in spite of Ankara’s continued, however uneasy membership of the US led alliance. It also represents a commitment from the two largest non-Arab powers in the Middle East towards preserving the unity and integrity of Arab states whose borders are under threat from Kurdish secessionist movements.

Over the last several months, America’s traditional ally Turkey and its post-1979 adversary Iran have been taking meaningful steps to enhance bilateral cooperation. In August of this year, Iran’s most senior military General, Mohammad Baqeri visited President Erdogan in Ankara.

Since then, Turkey and Iran have cooperated on a border wall between the two countries aimed at cutting off Kurdish militant groups from supplying arms across states. In the last weeks, both Iran and Turkey have been conducting joint military exercises with the Iraqi army in areas which border Iraq’s Kurdish region.

While the US and Israel continue to use proxy wars and hybrid conflicts to foment ideological discord in the Middle East, Turkey and Iran’s relationship is increasingly one of pragmatic mutual  self-interest.

As I wrote recently in The Duran,

“Turkey’s relationship with Iran is built on mutual economic benefits, geo-political realism, petro-politics and the need to intensify regional cooperation in preparation for the arrival of One Belt–One Road in the Middle East. Turkey is no more ideologically in-line with Iran than Russia is. Each country has a completely different state ideology and if anything, were Erdogan to fully bring Sunni Islamism to the front and centre of formerly secular Turkey, this will actually mean that Turkey will be even more ideologically different from Iran vis-a-vis a more religiously neutral Kemalist state.

Erdogan is ultimately not an ideologue, even though his language might often obscure such a fact. Erdogan is actually a pragmatist with a very loud and sometimes loose tongue. Erdogan is a man whose co-opting of Turkish civil society ought to read as a master text for leaders looking to consolidate their rule, gradually remove or placate opponents and remake civil institutions to work in one’s personal favour. Few could pull such a thing off and no Turkish leader since Ataturk has made such a profound mark on the Turkish state.

Likewise, Erdogan’s geo-politics is equally pragmatic. Erdogan has not distanced himself from NATO, the US and EU because of some desire to join ‘club Eurasia’. He has become part of ‘club Eurasia’ because he realised that this will be to Turkey’s economic benefit and that Russia and Iran are more easy to work with than the EU. The contest between an increasingly closed and economically retarded EU and China’s One Belt–One Road, which in any case will still give Turkey access to the EU through the backdoor, was not a matter of ideology, it was a matter of obvious self-interest.

Furthermore, even Erdogan’s decision to quietly shift from a position of ‘Assad must go’ to working in the Astana group and tacitly conceding that the Ba’ath party will remain in power in Damascus is a totally  pragmatic move.

Erdogan switched teams in order to join the winning side in respect of Syria. He thought he’d be able to get a piece of the Syrian pie by calling for regime change and now that he’s sensed that no regime change will occur, he’s increasingly linking himself with Russia and Iran as a ‘master peacemaker’ even though in this respect, Russia is doing most of the heavy lifting.

Here too Erodgan in exiting from the US camp over Syria , he has likewise exited the Israeli camp, though not for ideological reasons”.

While the US rings its hands over how to handle its balancing act between Baghdad the Iraqi Kurds, Turkey and Iran are bolstering Baghdad’s position and by extrapolation that of Damascus, in taking matters into their own hands.

It is also noteworthy that shortly before Erdogan’s meeting with Rouhani, US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis offered a statement which seemingly defies Donald Trump’s view that the JCPOA (aka the Iran nuclear deal) is an “embarrassment” to the United States.

Mattis took a contrary view, stating,

“I believe that they [Iran] fundamentally are [in compliance]. There have been certainly some areas where they were not temporarily in that regard, but overall our intelligence community believes that they have been compliant and the IAEA [International Atomic Energy Agency] also says so.

The point I would make is that if we can confirm that Iran is living by the agreement, if we can determine that this is in our best interest, then clearly we should stay with it. I believe at this point in time, absent indications to the contrary, it is something that the president should consider staying with”.

The statement from Mattis was echoed by the Chairman of  the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General John  Dunford. This demonstrates that the Pentagon has taken a far more moderate view on Iran than that of the US President. This moderate view is one that is officially shared by the United Nations, the US State Department and to all other parties who signed the JCPOA, including the European Union, Russia and China.

This apparent discrepancy between the Pentagon and White House in respect of Iran, mirrors a recent Twitter row Donald Trump had with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. After Tillerson told journalists that the US maintains basic contacts with North Korea, Donald Trump Tweeted that such attempts at diplomacy were useless. It is still not clear if this is a ‘good cop–bad cop’ strategy or if the Trump administration is simply a rudderless ship.

I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…

…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!

Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.

In this sense, President Rouhani’s approach which is centred around not actively countering US rhetoric, but instead allowing pragmatic realities to move at a faster pace than US rhetoric, appears to have paid off.

Now, even the arguably most important member of the Trump administration, General Mattis is conceding that Iran is in full compliance with the JCPOA. Furthermore, in Turkey’s turn towards Iran and Russia, the US has effectively lost control over its largest Middle Eastern ally. Turkey is now pursuing an independent foreign policy and business strategy in which Iran, Russia and China will ultimately be of far more use to Ankara than the EU or Washington.

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Turkey0 Comments

Zionist Erdogan’s son lashes out at the European (infidel) way of life

NOVANEWS

Erdogan’s son lashes out at the European (infidel) way of life

Angela Merkel said in an election debate last month it was clear Turkey should not join the EU

Turkish President Erdogan said over the weekend that Turkey no longer needs EU membership.

According to Keep Talking Greece, Erodgan’s son, Bilal, who plays an important role in Turkey’s politics went even further and described the Europeans as “gavur” (indifels). The comments come after 12-year-long accession talks with Brussels grind to a halt.

Erdogan said

“We will not be the side which gives up. To tell the truth, we don’t need EU membership anymore.”

Erdogan continues to bash Europe, knowing full well that when push comes to shove, and Europe’s migrant problem flares up once more thanks to a deliberately porous Turkish border, Angela Merkel will most surely run to Turkey to kiss the ring of the Sultan.

Until then, mocking Christian Europeans, or at least what’s left of them, has become a family affair.

Keep Talking Greece reports…

Turkey’s 12-year-long accession talks have ground to a halt, with the EU especially critical of Ankara’s crackdown following a failed coup last year. Tens of thousands of people including teachers and journalists have been detained.

Erdogan’s government says EU states failed to appreciate the gravity of the threat which Turkey faced, and did not respond to requests to extradite coup suspects.

“The EU failed us in a fight against terrorism,” Erdogan said on Sunday, though he also suggested the bloc still needed Turkey.

“If the EU is going to leap forward, there is only one way to do so. And it is to grant Turkey membership and start an action of cultural and economic growth,” Erdogan said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an election debate last month it was clear Turkey should not join the EU and entry talks should end, despite it being a crucial NATO ally.

His son Bilal Erdogan lashed out against against the European -the West- way of life in general and and called “gavur” (infidels) those Turks who “wear clothes, watch films, listen to music and eat Western food.”

“In this country, nothing was allowed to be done nationally. Now, we produce our own aircraft, our tank, our rifle. […]. Why are we looking for these infidel attitudes? […] We are the grandsons of an ancestor with swords, rides, arrows, ” Erdogan’s son stirred told a crowd of western-suits wearing men.

The term Gavur  infidel  in English – is an offensive term, a slur, historically used in the Ottoman Empire for Christians, such as Orthodox Christians in the Balkans (non-Muslims).

Good Luck, then, all the way back to Ottoman times with Janissary costumes and fake mustaches…

Posted in Turkey0 Comments

Nazi regime played role in Iraq’s Kurdish referendum: Turkish president

NOVANEWS
Israel played role in Iraq’s Kurdish referendum: Turkish president
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks at a meeting in Istanbul on September 25, 2017. (Photo by the Turkish Presidential Press Service)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Israel’s Mossad spy agency has played a role in the recent Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq.

During a televised speech in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum on Saturday, Erdogan expressed sorrow that Iraqi Kurds had acclaimed the recent independence referendum with Israeli flags.

“This shows one thing, that this administration (in northern Iraq) has a history with Mossad, they are hand-in-hand together,” Erdogan said.

“Are you aware of what you are doing? Only Israel supports you,” he added.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding referendum on secession from Iraq in defiance of Baghdad’s stiff opposition on September 25. Kurdish officials said over 90 percent of voters said ‘Yes’ to separation from Iraq.

While much of the international community, including the UN, the European Union and Iraq’s neighbors, has opposed the referendum, Israel has been the only entity to openly support an independent Kurdish state, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state” of their own.

Erdogan vowed that Iraq’s Kurdistan “will pay a price” for the “unacceptable” independence referendum.

“An independent state is not being founded in northern Iraq, but on the contrary a continuously bleeding wound is being opened,” he said.

“To ignore this reality benefits neither us, nor our Kurdish brothers in Iraq,” Erdogan said, urging Iraqi Kurds to “wake up from this dream” of independence.

Iraqi Kurds hold a rally at Erbil airport, in the capital of Iraq’s semi- autonomous Kurdish region, after the central government ordered a halt to all foreign flights to and from Iraqi Kurdistan on September 29, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Ankara has threatened a series of punitive measures against Iraqi Kurds, including shutting the land border between Turkey and the region and stopping the transit of oil from Iraqi Kurdistan to the southern Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Turkish carriers Turkish Airlines, Atlas and Pegasus suspended their flights to Iraqi Kurdistan for an unspecified period of time on Friday.

Before the Kurdish referendum, Ankara was boosting its trade ties with Iraq’s Kurdistan region, with Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani becoming a frequent visitor to Turkey.

In 2016, the business boom with Iraqi Kurds made Iraq, including the Kurdish region, the second-largest market for Turkish exports after Germany.

However, economists have warned that closure of Habur border gate between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdistan could undermine the $7billion trade between Ankara and Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region.

After the Monday referendum, the Baghdad government ordered the KRG to hand over its international airports in Erbil, and the city of Sulaymaniyah, as well as its border crossings.

It also asked the KRG to either cancel the result of the plebiscite or face potential sanctions, international isolation, and military intervention.

A ban on international flights into and out of the Iraqi Kurdish region also took effect on Friday.

The KRG has refused to either hand over the airports and land terminals or annul the outcome of the vote.

Iranian Parliament speaker's special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian
Iranian Parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

A senior Iranian official says the recent move by President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani for independence is tantamount to boosting the Daesh terrorist group and the Israeli regime.

“Barzani’s independence bid means strengthening Daesh and Tel Aviv, new regional anarchy and instability,” Iranian Parliament speaker’s special adviser on international affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said in a post on his Twitter account on Saturday.

He stressed that the Kurdish people in Iraq could not enjoy genuine support unless the Arab country’s national unity was fully supported.

“Strong support for Iraq’s national unity is the real support for the Iraqi Kurds,” said Amir-Abdollahian, who formerly served as Iran’s deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs.

In defiance of Iraq’s stiff opposition, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) held a non-binding referendum on September 25 on secession from the central government in Baghdad.

The photo shows President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Massoud Barzani before he casts his vote during Kurds’ independence referendum in Erbil, Iraq, on September 25, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)

Official results showed 92.73 percent of voters backed the secession. Turnout was put at 72.61 percent.

While much of the international community, including the United Nations, the European Union and Iraq’s neighbors, has opposed the referendum, Israel has been the only entity to openly support an independent Kurdish state, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backing “the legitimate efforts of the Kurdish people to attain a state” of their own.

Region al players Iran and Turkey have opposed the Kurdish referendum in Iraq, warning that the controversial vote could lead to further instability in the entire Middle East, a region already ravaged with numerous conflicts and terror threats.

During a televised speech in the eastern Turkish city of Erzurum on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel’s Mossad spy agency had played a role in the Kurdish independence referendum.

Erdogan expressed sorrow that Iraqi Kurds had acclaimed the recent independence referendum with Israeli flags.

Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on September 26 that the KRG president was a middleman for Zionists, who seeks to implement their plans for the division of Muslim states.

“Barzani is a middleman for Zionists [whose goal is] to disintegrate Islamic countries,” Velayati said, adding that in view of the bitter experience of Palestine, Muslim nations will not allow “a second Israel” to be created in the region.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, Iraq, Turkey0 Comments

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