Tag Archive | "Turkey"

At US behest Turkey reboots Syrian war


NOVANEWS
Image result for ERDOGAN CARTOON
By M K Bhadrakumar 

Turkey has decided to pick up a quarrel with Iran. It all began with President Recep Erdogan’s sudden outburst on February 14 in the first leg of a regional tour of Gulf States – Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar — when he said, “Some people want both Iraq and Syria to be divided. There are some that are working hard to divide Iraq. There is a sectarian struggle, a Persian nationalism at work there. This Persian nationalism is trying to divide the country. We need to block this effort.”

Tehran hit back by accusing Turkey of supporting terrorist organizations “to destabilize neighbouring countries.” And there has been much back and forth in mutual recriminations since then. The spat makes a mockery of the “trilateral alliance” between Russia, Turkey and Iran that Moscow has been promoting at the recent Astana talks on Syria. The Russian Foreign Ministry had announced as recently as February 16 that Russia, Turkey and Iran have formed a tripartite operational group to stabilize the ceasefire in Syria. The most puzzling aspect is that this is happening just when the Syrian peace talks began in Geneva today under UN auspices.

But then, there is always a method in Erdogan’s madness. Succinctly put, Erdogan’s outburst reflects an overall frustration that Iran has greatly outstripped its traditional rival Turkey in expanding its influence in both Iraq and Syria. The Iranian militia played a big role in taking Aleppo city and vanquishing the rebel groups supported by Turkey.

Turkey had fancied that it would play a similar lead role in wresting control of Mosul from the hands of the ISIS. But to its great consternation and anger, Iran has wrested that role too. The latest reports show that Iraqi forces have stormed Mosul airport. Iraq (and Iran) opposed any role for Turkey in the liberation of Mosul.

Conceivably, with an eye on the new US administration’s reported plan to create an anti-Iran alliance in the region, Turkey is repositioning itself. There are several developments pointing in this direction. The US and Turkey have been holding a series of top-level meetings through the past fortnight since President Donald Trump made his first phone call with Turkish President Recep Erdogan on February 7. The American visitors to Ankara since then included CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford and US the senator who heads the Armed Services Committee John McCain.

Meanwhile, Erdogan has undertaken a tour of the GCC states, which aimed at harmonising the Turkish stance on Syria with that of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. (During Erdogan’s tour, Turkey and Saudi Arabia signed a defence agreement.) Ankara has noted that in the past fortnight there have been important visitors from the US to the Gulf region –CIA chief Pompeo, Senator John McCain and Defence Secretary James Mattis. Pompeo conferred on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz the CIA’s George Tenet Medal for his exceptional contributions in the fight against terrorism. It doesn’t take much ingenuity to figure out that the US is promoting a Saudi-Israeli alliance against Iran.

Equally, Ankara and Washington are edging toward a mutually satisfactory resolution of a discord that had set them apart in the recent past – the fate of Islamist preacher Fetullah Gulen who lives in exile in Pennsylvania. The Trump administration may act to curb Gulen’s activities, while Erdogan may no longer press for his outright extradition to Turkey.

However, one other contentious issue still remains unresolved – US military support for Syrian Kurds. This is a non-negotiable issue for Turkey, which considers the Syrian Kurdish militia to be an affiliate of the separatist Kurdish group PKK. Turkey and the US are actively discussing at the moment the modalities of a Turkish military operation aimed at liberating Raqqa, the ‘capital’ of the Islamic State. The Turkish Prime Minister Binaldi Yildirim discussed the Raqqa operation with the US Vice-President Mike Pence in the weekend at the Munich Security Conference. It will be a major military operation with tanks, armoured vehicles and artillery. Turkey seeks US Special Forces’ participation, which will also serve the purpose of deterring Russian intervention, apart from weakening the Syrian Kurds’ drive to create an entity in northern Syria.

Without doubt, the capture of Raqqa will be much more than a symbolic event. Raqqa determines how much of Syria will be under the control of the Syrian regime. Clearly, Erdogan hopes to project Turkish power right into Damascus and have a big say in Syria’s future. Yildirim sounded upbeat after meeting Pence. See a report in the pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak – PM Yildirim: Turkey, US turning over a new leaf.

Suffice to say, Erdogan seems confident that the Trump administration is viewing Ankara once again as a “strategic partner and a NATO ally” (as Trump indeed told him). Just another 5 days remain in the timeline given by the Trump administration to the Pentagon to prepare a comprehensive plan to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. But Turkey is already acting as if it had a preview of the Pentagon plan.

A lengthy dispatch from Damascus by Xinhua underscores that Turkey’s journey back to its American ally also coincides with the “re-emergence of the Gulf states as the backers of the rebels” and with a growing probability of US putting boots on the ground in Syria — all in all a “remilitarization” of the Syrian conflict. Read the insightful report titled Spotlight: Gloomy outlook shadows Syrian talks in Geneva.

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Turkey Poses a Bigger Threat to Syria than ISIS


NOVANEWS
 
Erdogan 2

Reports that ISIS have been defeated in al-Bab may superficially being joy to many readers. But the reality is far from good.

In scoring a strategically important victory against ISIS, Turkey and its band of jihadists called the Free Syrian Army have replaced a barbaric terrorist group who seeks the death of the Syrian Arab Republic with the second largest army in NATO, complete with a modern air force.

Turkey like ISIS, seek the destruction of the Syrian Arab Republic, one way or another.  They are illegally occupying the territory of Syria. One illegal occupier has been replaced by another, vastly more powerful occupier.Crucially, the Turks didn’t even kill most of the ISIS fighters, instead allowing them to peacefully leave al-Bab.

Added to this is the presence of the Free Syrian Army who implement ISIS style techniques to terrorise local populations, especially Shia’s Muslims, Christians and those leading a secular lifestyle.

To put it another way, would a country, part of whose territory was under occupation, rather have it occupied by a gang of savages with some tanks, armoured vehicles and crude missiles, or by a NATO army that is only second in size to that of the United States?

Thus far, Russian diplomacy has avoided the very real possibility of the Turkish armed forces and the Syrian Arab Army engaging in a direct clash, but now that Turkey occupies al-Bab, there is once again a renewed chance that such a clash could take place.

Russia’s diplomatic hands are fuller than ever in this respect.

I have no doubt that eventually ISIS will be defeated and disappear. But Turkey is a large state and is not going anywhere. The question is, where are they going in Syria? If they do not leave Syria, it means that things have got a lot worse for Syrians, not better.

UPDATE: An ISIS suicide bomb has killed 41 people in al-Bab. Erdogan’s bloody hands now have even more trouble to content with.

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General İsmail Hakkı Pekin: the next war will take place in Turkey


NOVANEWS

In a series of editorials in the daily newspaper, Aydınlık, General İsmail Hakkı Pekin, the former director of Intelligence, has announced that Turkey’s survival [as a nation state] is under direct threat.

Those that engineer chaos in the Middle East are getting ready to kick-start [yet] another war in Turkey.

The General, who had been arrested in the Ergenekon affair, has asked President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to forgo, in these circumstances, the referendum for Constitutional reform that he had announced.

In the General’s opinion, to ensure Turkey’s survival, national unity must be preserved by entering into an alliance with Russia, Iran and Syria.

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Turkey Detains 400 Islamic State Group Suspects in Mass Roundup


NOVANEWS
  • A street vendor sells traditional Turkish bagels, simit, outside the historical Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
    A street vendor sells traditional Turkish bagels, simit, outside the historical Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. | Photo: Reuters
The largest operation targeting Islamic State group suspects in the country comes weeks after an attack on an Istanbul New Year’s party killed 39 people.

Turkish police detained on Sunday some 400 suspected members of Islamic State group in anti-terror raids in six provinces, state media said, the biggest roundup to target the organization in Turkey.

Those held were mainly foreign nationals, Anadolu news agency said. At least 60 suspects were detained in the capital Ankara, while 150 were arrested in Sanliurfa province near the Syrian border.

Thirty-nine people, mainly foreigners, were killed at New Year when an Islamic State group member opened fire inside the Reina nightclub in Istanbul.

In the latest police operations, 30 alleged Islamic State group militants were detained in simultaneous counter-terror operations in Konya province, and 10 others were held in Adiyaman province.

Police also detained 18 suspects in Kocaeli and Istanbul, 47 in Gaziantep and 46 others in Bursa province.

In addition to the latest arrests, Turkey says at least 780 people, including 350 foreigners, remain in detention — some of whom have been convicted — over suspected links to the jihadist group.

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Could Turkey swing over to the Russian camp?


NOVANEWS

Even though, historically, Russia has a weighty past with Turkey, and even though it has not forgotten the personal rôle played by current President Erdoğan, to its detriment, during the the first Chechen war, it can not fail to be interested by the possibility of Ankara leaving NATO. On the other hand, the deep US state, which continues to pursue its imperial ambitions despite the election of Donald Trump, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep Turkey in the Atlantic Alliance.

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What John Kerry does in daylight, Victoria Nuland undoes at night.

In order to guarantee his personal survival, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has launched a vast purge of all the pro-US elements in his country — a purge which he must add to the combats in which he is already engaged against Syria, against the PKK, and now also against his ex-mercenaries from Daesh.

The destruction of US influence began with the eradication of Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet — Gülen is the Islamist preacher who works for the CIA from Pennsylvania. It continues today with the dismissal and often the arrest not only of all the military personnel linked to the United States, but also all secular military personnel in general. You can’t be too careful.

450 of the 600 Turkish senior officers in service at NATO have been called back to Turkey. More than 100 of them, and their families, have requested political asylum in Belgium, headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance.

The first consequence of this anti-secular purge is that the Turkish army will be headless for a long time. In the space of five months, 44% of the generals have been fired, and this, despite the fact that during the Ergenekon scandal, 70% of the senior officers at the time were dismissed, arrested and imprisoned. Deprived of its command structure, operation «Euphrates Shield» is at a standstill.

Erdoğan is therefore obliged to revise his military ambitions downwards for the next few years — in Syria, Iraq and Cyprus — three states he partially occupies. He has therefore let go of East Aleppo (Syria) — but not Idleb — and is preparing to withdraw from Bachiqa (Iraq).

Seen from Washington, a possible exit by Turkey from NATO, or at least from the Integrated Military Command of the Atlantic Alliance, has the imperialist faction of Power in a cold sweat. In terms of numbers, the Turkish army is in fact the second NATO power after the United States. However, a possible exit from the Alliance may be something of a relief for the Donald Trump faction, for whom Turkey is a rudderless country.

This is the source of the neo-conservative «forcing» aimed at bringing Turkey back into the «course of History» (meaning that of the «New American Century»). Thus, the assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is attempting to offer Cyprus to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — a project she conceived after the elections of November 2015, when President Barack Obama ordered the elimination of the Turkish President.

By blackmailing Cypriot President Níkos Anastasiádis, Mrs. Nuland pressured him to accept her «peace plan» for Cyprus — the island would be reunified and demilitarised (in other words, deprived of its army) — while NATO (in real terms, Turkish troops) — would be deployed. In this way, the Turkish army could complete its conquest of the island without having to fight. In case he should refuse this fool’s bargain, President Anastasiádis could be tried in New York for his implication as a lawyer in the business dealings for Imperium, the company belonging to his Russian friend Leonid Lebedev – a two billion dollar affair.

Thus, the split with NATO would cost Turkey the North-East part of Cyprus, which it currently occupies, while remaining in the Atlantic Alliance would offer it the whole of the island.

Of course, in a few weeks Victoria Nuland should be replaced by the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, but the group she represents will probably not lose all its power. Mrs.Nuland is a member of the founding family of the Project for a New American Century, which played a part in the planning of the events of 11 September 2001. Her father-in-law, Donald Kagan of the Hudson Institute, trained the neo-conservatives and the disciples of Leo Strauss in the military history of Sparta. Her brother-in-law, Frederick Kagan, from the American Entreprise Institute, looked after public relations for Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen. Her sister-in-law, Kimberly Kagan, created the Institute for the Study of War. Her husband, Robert Kagan, is today salaried by the ex-Emir of Qatar at the Brookings Institution. Four personalities, five think-tanks, but a single ideology.

As for Victoria, she was successively ambassador to NATO, spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton, and organiser of the coup d’etat in Kiev in February2014. She helped Presidents Petro Porochenko and Erdoğan with the official creation of the «Islamic International Brigade», which organised vast sabotage operations in Russia. Her actions will probably be continued by the US deep state against the Trump administration.

It is the group behind the Kagans which is pursuing the war in Syria, with no other motive than remaining in power. Not only was President Barack Obama incapable of expelling them from his administration, but a personality like Victoria Nuland, who was considered to be a figurehead of the Bush administration, had no difficulty in rising through the ranks of the Democratic administration and organising a wave of Russophobia. While she worked in close collboration with Hillary Clinton, she never stopped sabotaging the diplomacy of Secretary of State John Kerry, aided and abetted by her friend Jeffrey Feltman, the real commander of UNO.

Knowing Erdoğan’s capacity for sudden changes of strategy, Moscow will either have to soothe the anxieties of Anastasiádis, or propose something more attractive to Ankara in order to keep it midstream betweeen the United States and Russia.

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Turkey Moves to Expand Erdogan’s Powers, but Not Without Brawl


NOVANEWS
  • Lawmakers from ruling AK Party and the main opposition CHP scuffle during a debate on the proposed constitutional changes at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara.
    Lawmakers from ruling AK Party and the main opposition CHP scuffle during a debate on the proposed constitutional changes at the Turkish Parliament in Ankara. | Photo: Reuters.
Despite the clashes, 3 articles of the 18-article bill were approved.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian exercise of power, especially in the last year, and his desire to expand these powers made some gains Thursday — but not without a physical brawl in parliament.

RELATED:  Turkey Detains 235 After Bombings as Erdogan Seeks More Power

Turkish lawmakers in parliament threw punches overnight as they debated a new constitutional reform package proposed last month that seeks to expand the powers of President Erdogan. The opposition CHP and pro-Kurdish HDP fear the reform will fuel authoritarianism.

During the row, CHP deputies objected to the ruling AKP members — who are pushing the legislation — casting votes without entering the cabins set up to ease what was supposed to be a secret ballot. AKP lawmakers then tried to grab the cellphone of a CHP deputy that was filming the scene.

Despite the clashes, 3 articles from the 18-article bill were approved, including reducing the prime ministerial candidacy age from 25 to 18, increasing the parliament’s term from four to five years and changing regulations on the duties and authorities of the parliament.

RELATED: Turkish President Erdogan Sees Better Ties with US Under Trump

“The authority you permit today will bring about the end of this country. You (lawmakers) are trying to destroy yourself (parliament) without anyone seeing. We will not allow this,” Ozgur Ozel, CHP’s deputy chairperson, said early Thursday, as reported by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper.

“We are taking the chair under our protection in order to ensure the fulfillment of the duty of defending the people’s chair, in order to tell the people and ensure that this article will be discussed in parliament, while looking into the eyes of the people. We are protecting the people’s chair from you,” Ozel added.

The entire reform package will enable Erdogan to appoint and dismiss government ministers, take back the leadership of the ruling party, and govern until 2029.

Debate surrounding the rest of the articles in the bill are scheduled to take place Thursday afternoon.

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Turkey’s about-face


NOVANEWS

President Vladimir Putin has announced that he has concluded a cease-fire agreement for Syria, with Turkey, which until now has been the main operational support for the jihadists. How may we explain this astonishing turn of events? Will President Erdoğan be able to turn his country away from the influence of the United States and towards that of Russia? What are the causes and the consequences of this dramatic reversal?

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Turkey is a member of NATO, an ally of Saudi Arabia, a patron of international jihadism since the hospitalisation of prince Bandar ben Sultan in 2012, and godfather of the Muslim Brotherhood since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the quarrel between Doha and Riyad in 2013-14. Besides this, it attacked Russia in November 2015, destroying a Sukhoi-24 and causing the interruption of diplomatic relations with Moscow.

And yet this is the same Turkey which has just sponsored the cease-fire in Syria, imagined by Russia [1]. Why?

Since 2013, Washington no longer considers Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a trusted partner. The CIA has therefore launched various operations, not against Turkey, but against Mr. Erdoğan personally. In May-June 2013, it organised and supported the Taksim Gezi Park protest movement. During the general elections in June 2015, it financed and supervised the party of the minorities, the HDP, so as to limit the power of the President. It played the same tactic during the elections of November 2015, which the Power had rigged. The CIA then moved on from political influence to secret action. It organised four assassination attempts, the last of which, in July 2016, turned ugly, forcing the Kemalist officers to attempt a coup d’etat for which they were unprepared.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan therefore finds himself in a position similar to that of the Italian Prime Minister of the 1970’s, Aldo Moro – both men heading a NATO member-state, and both having to face the hostility of the United States. NATO managed to eliminate the Italian by manipulating an extreme left-wing group [2], but has failed to kill the Turk.

Moreover, in order to win the elections in November 2015, Erdoğan flattered the Turko-Mongol supremacists by unilaterally expanding the conflict with the Kurdish minority. By doing so, he added the alleged «nationalists» of the MHP to his Islamist electoral base (AKP). In a few months, he caused the deaths of more than 3,000 ethnically-Kurd Turkish citizens, and destroyed several villages, even certain neighbourhoods of major cities.

Finally, by transmitting arms to al-Qaïda and Daesh which were sent by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and NATO, he wove close relations with the jihadist organisations. He did not hesitate to use the war against Syria to make money for himself. First of all by dismantling and pillaging the factories of Aleppo, then by trafficking the oil and antiques stolen by the jihadists. Progressively, his entire clan became linked with the jihadists. For example, his Prime Minister, mafia gangster Binali Yıldırım, organised factories for the confection of counterfeit goods in the territories administrated by Daesh.

However, the intervention of Hezbollah in the second war against Syria, from July 2012, then that of the Russian Federation, in September 2015, turned the fortunes of war. From this moment on, the gigantic coalition of the «Friends of Syria» lost a lot of the terrain they had occupied, and encountered increasing difficulty in recruiting new mercenaries. Thousands of jihadists deserted the battle-field and fled to Turkey.

But in fact, most of these jihadists are incompatible with Turkish civilisation. Indeed, the jihadists had not been recruited to form a coherent army, but simply to swell the numbers. There were at least 250,000 of them, perhaps even many more. At first, these men were Arab delinquants supervised by the Muslim Brotherhood. Progressively, were added Naqshbandi Sufis from the Caucasus and Iraq, and even young Westerners in a quest for Revolution. This implausible mixture can not hold together if it is displaced to Turkey. First of all because now, what the jihadists want is a state of their own, and it seems impossible to proclaim another Caliphate in Turkey. And then for all sorts of cultural reasons. For example – the Arab jihadists have adopted the Wahhabism of their Saudi benefactors. According to this desert ideology, History does not exist. They have therefore destroyed many antique vestiges, allegedly because the Qu’ran forbids idolatry. While this has not caused problems in Ankara, there is no question of allowing them to touch the Turko-Mongol patrimony.

Thus, today Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has to face three simultaneous enemies – not counting Syria ;
- The United States and their Turkish allies, the FETÖ (Fethullah Terrorist Movement) of the Islamist bourgeois Fethullah Gülen;
- The independentist Kurds, and more particularly, the PKK;
- The Sunni state ambitions of the jihadists, particularly Daesh.

While the main interest of Turkey would be, as a priority, to dial down the interior conflicts with the PKK and the FETÖ, Erdoğan’s personal interest would be to find a new ally. He was the ally of the United States when their influence was at its height, and presently hopes to become the ally of Russia, now the leading conventional military power in the world.

This about-face would seem all the more difficult to navigate since his country is a member of the Atlantic Alliance, an organisation that no-one has ever been able to leave. Perhaps at first he could leave the integrated military command, as France did in 1966. At that time, President Charles De Gaulle had to weather an attempted coup d’etat and numerous assassination attempts by the OAS, an organisation which was financed by the CIA [3].

Even supposing that Turkey might manage to handle this evolution, it would still have to deal with two other major problems.

First of all, although we do not know precisely the number of jihadists in Syria and Iraq, we may estimate that they are are now no more than between 50,000 and 200,000. Given that these mercenaries are massively irrecuperable, what is to be done with them? The cease-fire agreement, the text of which is deliberately imprecise, leaves open the possibility of an attack against them in Idleb. This governorate is occupied by a bevy of armed groups who have no links with one another, but are coordinated by NATO from LandCom in Izmir, via certain «humanitarian» NGO’s. Contrary to Daesh, these jihadists have never learned how to organise themselves correctly, and remain dependent on aid from the Atlantic Alliance. This aid comes to them across the Turkish border, which may soon be closed. However, while it is easy to check trucks which travel on well-defined routes, it is not possible to control the passage of men crossing the fields. Thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of jihadists could soon flood into Turkey and destabilise it.

Turkey has already begun changing its rhetoric. President Erdoğan accused the United States of continuing to support the jihadists in general and Daesh in particular, suggesting that if he had done the same in the past, it was under the evil influence of Washington. Ankara hopes to make money by handing over the reconstruction of Homs and Aleppo to his construction and public works company. However, it is difficult to imagine how Turkey can escape from its responsibilities, after having paid hundreds of thousands of Syrians to leave their country, after having pillaged the North of Syria, and after having supported the jihadists who have destroyed this country and killed hundreds of thousands of Syrians.

Turkey’s about-face, if it is to be confirmed in the months to come, will provoke a chain-reaction of consequences. Beginning with the fact that President Erdoğan now presents himself not only as the ally of Russia, but also as the partner of Hezbollah and the Islamic Republic of Iran, in other words, the hero of the Chiite world. The end, therefore, of the mirage of Turkey as leader of the Sunni world, fighting the «heretics» with Saudi money. But the artificial inter-Muslim conflict launched by Washington will not end until Saudi Arabia also lets it go.

The extraordinary shift by Turkey is probably difficult to understand for Westerners, according to whom politics are always public affairs. Leaving to one side the arrest of Turkish officers in a NATO bunker in East Aleppo, two weeks ago, it is easier to understand for those who remember the personal rôle of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during the first Chechen war, when he was director of Millî Görüş; a rôle which Moscow has never mentioned, but concerning which the Russian Intelligence services have conserved a quantity of archives. Vladimir Putin has preferred to transform an enemy into an ally, rather than taking him down and having to keep fighting his country. President Bachar el-Assad, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have gladly followed his lead.

Keep in mind:
- After having hoped to conquer Syria, President Erdoğan now finds himself – due only to his own policies – opposed on three fronts – by the United States and Fethullah Gülen’s FETÖ; by the independentist Kurds of the PKK; and by Daesh.
- These three adveraries might once again be joined by Russia, which has in its possession a wealth of information concerning Erdoğan’s personal record. So President Erdoğan has chosen on the contrary to ally himself with Moscow, and may leave the integrated command of NATO.

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Could Turkey swing over to the Russian camp?


NOVANEWS

Even though, historically, Russia has a weighty past with Turkey, and even though it has not forgotten the personal rôle played by current President Erdoğan, to its detriment, during the the first Chechen war, it can not fail to be interested by the possibility of Ankara leaving NATO. On the other hand, the deep US state, which continues to pursue its imperial ambitions despite the election of Donald Trump, is ready to do whatever it takes to keep Turkey in the Atlantic Alliance.

JPEG - 33.9 kb
What John Kerry does in daylight, Victoria Nuland undoes at night.

In order to guarantee his personal survival, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has launched a vast purge of all the pro-US elements in his country — a purge which he must add to the combats in which he is already engaged against Syria, against the PKK, and now also against his ex-mercenaries from Daesh.

The destruction of US influence began with the eradication of Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet — Gülen is the Islamist preacher who works for the CIA from Pennsylvania. It continues today with the dismissal and often the arrest not only of all the military personnel linked to the United States, but also all secular military personnel in general. You can’t be too careful.

450 of the 600 Turkish senior officers in service at NATO have been called back to Turkey. More than 100 of them, and their families, have requested political asylum in Belgium, headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance.

The first consequence of this anti-secular purge is that the Turkish army will be headless for a long time. In the space of five months, 44% of the generals have been fired, and this, despite the fact that during the Ergenekon scandal, 70% of the senior officers at the time were dismissed, arrested and imprisoned. Deprived of its command structure, operation «Euphrates Shield» is at a standstill.

Erdoğan is therefore obliged to revise his military ambitions downwards for the next few years — in Syria, Iraq and Cyprus — three states he partially occupies. He has therefore let go of East Aleppo (Syria) — but not Idleb — and is preparing to withdraw from Bachiqa (Iraq).

Seen from Washington, a possible exit by Turkey from NATO, or at least from the Integrated Military Command of the Atlantic Alliance, has the imperialist faction of Power in a cold sweat. In terms of numbers, the Turkish army is in fact the second NATO power after the United States. However, a possible exit from the Alliance may be something of a relief for the Donald Trump faction, for whom Turkey is a rudderless country.

This is the source of the neo-conservative «forcing» aimed at bringing Turkey back into the «course of History» (meaning that of the «New American Century»). Thus, the assistant Secretary of State, Victoria Nuland, is attempting to offer Cyprus to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — a project she conceived after the elections of November 2015, when President Barack Obama ordered the elimination of the Turkish President.

By blackmailing Cypriot President Níkos Anastasiádis, Mrs. Nuland pressured him to accept her «peace plan» for Cyprus — the island would be reunified and demilitarised (in other words, deprived of its army) — while NATO (in real terms, Turkish troops) — would be deployed. In this way, the Turkish army could complete its conquest of the island without having to fight. In case he should refuse this fool’s bargain, President Anastasiádis could be tried in New York for his implication as a lawyer in the business dealings for Imperium, the company belonging to his Russian friend Leonid Lebedev – a two billion dollar affair.

Thus, the split with NATO would cost Turkey the North-East part of Cyprus, which it currently occupies, while remaining in the Atlantic Alliance would offer it the whole of the island.

Of course, in a few weeks Victoria Nuland should be replaced by the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, but the group she represents will probably not lose all its power. Mrs.Nuland is a member of the founding family of the Project for a New American Century, which played a part in the planning of the events of 11 September 2001. Her father-in-law, Donald Kagan of the Hudson Institute, trained the neo-conservatives and the disciples of Leo Strauss in the military history of Sparta. Her brother-in-law, Frederick Kagan, from the American Entreprise Institute, looked after public relations for Generals David Petraeus and John R. Allen. Her sister-in-law, Kimberly Kagan, created the Institute for the Study of War. Her husband, Robert Kagan, is today salaried by the ex-Emir of Qatar at the Brookings Institution. Four personalities, five think-tanks, but a single ideology.

As for Victoria, she was successively ambassador to NATO, spokeswoman for Hillary Clinton, and organiser of the coup d’etat in Kiev in February2014. She helped Presidents Petro Porochenko and Erdoğan with the official creation of the «Islamic International Brigade», which organised vast sabotage operations in Russia. Her actions will probably be continued by the US deep state against the Trump administration.

It is the group behind the Kagans which is pursuing the war in Syria, with no other motive than remaining in power. Not only was President Barack Obama incapable of expelling them from his administration, but a personality like Victoria Nuland, who was considered to be a figurehead of the Bush administration, had no difficulty in rising through the ranks of the Democratic administration and organising a wave of Russophobia. While she worked in close collboration with Hillary Clinton, she never stopped sabotaging the diplomacy of Secretary of State John Kerry, aided and abetted by her friend Jeffrey Feltman, the real commander of UNO.

Knowing Erdoğan’s capacity for sudden changes of strategy, Moscow will either have to soothe the anxieties of Anastasiádis, or propose something more attractive to Ankara in order to keep it midstream betweeen the United States and Russia.

Posted in Russia, TurkeyComments Off on Could Turkey swing over to the Russian camp?

Turkey agrees to pull back troops from Iraq, proof of foreign policy shift


NOVANEWS

Putin and Erdogan talking turkey in 2016

The Turkish dirty dance with the Kurds has been put on hold…for now

A senior Iranian official has welcomed Turkey’s decision to pull out its forces from Iraq and respect the Arab country’s territorial integrity as a positive move.

“This [issue] that the Turkish government has decided to observe good neighborliness with Iraq and respect Iraq’s territorial integrity is a positive step,” Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on international affairs, said on Saturday.

“We welcome any kind of friendship among regional countries … we do not welcome any tension between Turkey and Iraq,” he added.

After a meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Baghdad on Saturday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said his administration has reached an agreement with Turkey over Baghdad’s demand for the withdrawal of Turkish military forces from a camp in the north of the Arab country.

“The prime minister and the delegation accompanying him confirmed that this issue will be solved in a satisfactory manner soon,” Abadi said.

Iraq’s state TV, which aired Abadi’s announcement, did not provide further details about the agreement over Turkey’s military presence in the Iraqi town of Bashiqa.

Turkey deployed about 500 troops to the facility last year, saying it was wary of potential attacks by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists that are currently based in the Iraqi city of Mosul, near Bashiqa.

Iraq has repeatedly called on Turkey to withdraw its forces or risk a potential confrontation with the Iraqi military, which is currently battling Daesh in Mosul. Baghdad has also refused Ankara’s call for involvement in the operation to liberate Mosul. The Iranian official further stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation among countries in the Middle East region.

“The regional nations’ prosperity hinges on regional cooperation and prevention of any tension among neighbors,” Velayati pointed out.

He said regional countries should not interfere in the domestic affairs of each others, voicing Iran’s opposition to any meddling in the internal affairs of states. The Leader’s aide said neither Turkey nor Syria would benefit from the existing tension between the two countries.

He emphasized that stability in Turkey-Syria relations depends on the recognition of equal rights, mutual respect and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Turkey’s controversial deployment of troops to northern Iraq comes as Ankara continues with its military activities in neighboring Syria.

The Turkish operation, which began in August 2016, has faced similar criticism from the Syrian government. Turkey says it will continue the push which it says is meant to uproot Daesh and Kurdish militants.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Turkey agrees to pull back troops from Iraq, proof of foreign policy shift

Turkish Officials Say American TOWs are Hurting Them Big Time


NOVANEWS
By Martin Berger 

bgm-71-tow-300x206It came as a big surprise that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently labeled members of the US-led coalition as promise breakers and supporters of terrorists. According to the Turkish leader, this coalition provides support to various terrorist groups, including ISIS, YPG, PYD and Ankara has the evidence to back up that claim.

But what exactly offended Ankara so much? Over the past few days, Turkey has been suffering extremely painful defeats from the Islamic State in the Syrian city of Al-Bab. Previously the troops employed in the Euphrates Shield operation successfully taken western suburbs of Al-Bab were planning to occupy the heights overlooking the city. However, ten days ago the “shield” cracked, when ISIS units opposed Turkish troops in a frontal assault, inflicting heavy losses upon the Turkish army. Radical militants report that in just one Turkey lost up to 70 soldiers and three modern tank. Immediately after the announcement ISIS started spreading videos featuring the destruction of Turkish armored vehicles. The Turkish General Staff announced that it lost 14 servicemen, 10 German manufactured Leopard tanks, an M-60 main battle tank, personnel carriers and a Cobra armored vehicle. The pictures that can be found now on the Internet depict Turkish armored vehicles severely damaged by TOW missiles that in recent years have “suddenly” started appearing in the hands of ISIS radicals.

But nobody should be really surprised at this point, as Turkish media were reporting in late December that Washington was stepping up its weapons supply efforts to radicals via the Syrian Al-Hasakah Governorate. It’s been noted that as the US Ambassador to Ankara, John Bass kept persuading Turkish reporters that Washington was not supporting militants directly, the airfield in the Syrian city of Rumeylan saw an ever increasing number of US transport planes landing. The payload that they were carrying would soon be transported by US helicopters to different parts of the country. According to Turkish journalists, the last large delivery of weapons occurred on the evening of 27 December. It has also been noted that weapons are being delivered to Syria via hundreds of trucks, carrying their deadly cargo from the Iraqi city of Erbil to the areas controlled by the Syrian Kurds.

We have seen various commentators noting that under the guise of military assistance to the Kurdish Peshmerga, the Obama administration is actively assisting various extremist groups in Syria by secretly supplying them to with all sorts of weapons, along with the so-called “advisers” in a bid to topple the legitimate Syrian government.

It’s no coincidence that after the liberation of Aleppo, Syrian troops found stockpiles of weapons and explosives manufactured in the US, Germany and Bulgaria, including a large quantity of anti-tank missiles.

While the Aleppo operation has been a turning point in the Syrian armed conflict, the White House is still in a hurry to provide maximum support to the so-called “moderate opposition” in Syria, but now it’s clear for pretty much everyone that Washington is assisting ISIS. Last December alone Turkish bloggers spotted the passage of three large cargo ships through the Bosporus Strait, presumably carrying arms for the Syrian rebels. In particular, in mid-December a freighter Karina Danica left the Bulgarian shore, while heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, with weapons on board, reports Bosphorus Observer on Twitter. This data is confirmed by a specialized tracking site known as MarineTraffic. It is a publicly known fact that the freighter Karina Danica is a Danish vessel, chartered by the American company Cherming, which is the official supplier of non-standard NATO weapons for the US “allies” in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. It’s curious that the Bulgarian Vazovski Machine-Building Plant that sells weapons to Cherming, increased its sales by 12 times in 2016, making a profit of 170 million dollars.

What makes this whole arms supplies story awkward is the scandal that broke out in 2015, when the Chairman of the Iraqi Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security, Hakim Zamili asked PM Haider al-Abadi to intervene immediately to stop the 300 million dollar ammunition deal involving Romanian weapons being delivered to ISIS directly, while financed by one of the neighboring countries. In 2016, the director of the Conflict Armament Research, James Bevan stated that the weapons from Eastern Europe that were officially designated for the so-called “moderate opposition” are falling in extremist hands.

The decision to supply anti-government troops in Syria with all sorts of weapons, including MANPADS, that was signed by President Barack Obama on December 23, may lead to the further escalation of the Syrian conflict and new victims.

So there’s more than enough reason for Ankara’s resentment of the Obama administration, since it is directly responsible for every single Turkish soldier murdered by radical militants.

Posted in TurkeyComments Off on Turkish Officials Say American TOWs are Hurting Them Big Time

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