Erdogan To Tell Trump: US Hasn’t Met Syria Ceasefire Obligations

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday he would tell US counterpart Donald Trump that Washington must do more to implement a ceasefire deal they agreed in order to halt Turkey’s offensive in Syria.

“I will tell him, with the use of documents, that the agreement we reached on the operation has not been fully implemented,” Erdogan told reporters as he prepared to leave for Washington.

Egyptian Ex-President Morsi Was ‘Killed’, Says Erdogan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a symbolic funeral ceremony for the former Egyptian President the day after his death in Cairo, on June 18, 2019, at Fatih Mosque in Istanbul. Thousands joined in prayer in Istanbul on June 18, 2019, for former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi who died the previous day after collapsing during a trial hearing in a Cairo court.
PHOTO: STRINGER / AFP

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoganon said his close ally, Mohamed Morsi, was “killed” and accused Egyptian authorities of failing to intervene to save the ex-president.

“Morsi was struggling on the floor in the courtroom for 20 minutes. Authorities, unfortunately, did not intervene to save him,” Erdogan said during a televised speech in Istanbul.

“Morsi was killed, he did not die of natural causes,” he said on Wednesday.

Erdogan forged close ties with Morsi, Egypt’s first civilian president, and a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member.

But Ankara’s relations with Cairo ties deteriorated after the Egyptian military, then led by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, ousted Morsi in 2013. Sisi then became president.

Erdoganhas sharply denounced the military takeover in Egypt and called it a “coup”.

On Wednesday, he said he would follow up on the process related to Morsi’s death.

“We will do whatever is needed for Egypt to be tried in international courts.”

The attorney general’s office in Egypt has said that Morsi was “transported immediately to the hospital”, where medics pronounced him dead — a version confirmed by a judicial source.

Morsi was buried on Tuesday, as rights groups including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called for an independent probe into the causes of his death.

Erdoganon Tuesday joined in prayer at an Istanbul mosque for the former Egyptian leader.

AFP

Mesut Ozil Gets Married With Turkish President As Best Man

A handout photo released by the Turkish president’s press office shows Arsenal’s German midfielder Mesut Ozil (C-L) and his fiance Amine Gulse (L) standing next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during their wedding ceremony at the Four Seasons Bosphorus Hotel in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 7, 2019. TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS SERVICE / AFP

 

Former German international football Mesut Ozil was married in Istanbul on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as his best man.

The 30-year-old Ozil, who has Turkish family roots, sparked controversy last year when he was photographed with Erdogan, raising questions about the footballer’s loyalty to Germany on the eve of their disastrous 2018 World Cup campaign.

The Turkish leader arrived in the early evening for Friday’s ceremony at a luxury hotel on the banks of the Bosphorus to see the former Arsenal midfielder marry his fiancee, former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse.

A smiling Erdogan and his wife Emine were seen standing next to the young couple as their marriage was formalised.

After 92 appearances for Germany, including a key role in the 2014 World Cup victory, Ozil suddenly quit the national squad last July, accusing German football officials of racism.

Ozil announced in March that he had asked Erdogan to be his best man.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s chief of staff was part of a chorus of criticism of the invitation.

Helge Braun, a CDU told the Bild newspaper then that it “makes one sad” that Ozil would make a such a move despite having already been sharply criticised by the German public over his first meeting with Erdogan.

Ozil has dated Gulse since 2017 and the couple announced their engagement in June 2018.

The footballer, a third-generation German, whipped up a political storm when he was pictured alongside Erdogan last May.

Criticism intensified after the red-faced defending champions crashed out of the first round of the World Cup in Russia.

In the wake of the World Cup fiasco, Ozil announced his resignation from the national squad, saying: “I am German when we win, an immigrant when we lose”.

Erdogan often attends marriages in Turkey of celebrities, whom he particularly seeks out during election campaigns.

His presence at Ozil’s marriage comes ahead of a mayoral election in Istanbul on June 23, required after the original voting in March was annulled following a narrow victory for the main opposition Republican People’s Party.

Erdogan Slams World’s ‘Silence’ On ‘Israel’s Tyranny’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a join news conference with Bulgarian Prime Minister, European Union President and European Commission in Varna on March 26, 2018.
DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday lashed out at the international “silence” over the killing by Israeli fire of dozens of Palestinians on the Gaza border.

“If the silence on Israel’s tyranny continues, the world will rapidly be dragged into a chaos where banditry prevails,” Erdogan said at a dinner in Ankara.

The fresh violence in Gaza on Monday, when Israel’s army killed 60 Palestinians during protests, came as the United States formally moved its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

A fervent advocate of Palestinian cause, Erdogan on Tuesday accused Israel of “state terror” and “genocide” over the killings.

The Turkish leader will on Friday host a summit of the world’s main pan-Islamic body the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul.

On Wednesday, Erdogan also said the Gaza bloodshed showed “the United Nations has collapsed”.

Turkey has withdrawn its ambassador in Tel Aviv for consultations and told Israel’s ambassador to Ankara to leave, also for an unspecified period of time.

That drew retaliation from Israel, which ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave for an unspecified period of time.

AFP

Protests In London Ahead Erdogan’s Meeting With Prime Minister May

A demonstrator holds a flare during a protest against Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outside the entrance to Downing Street in central London on May 15, 2018, ahead of his meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May later today.
PHOTO: Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP

 

Free speech protestors and Kurdish campaigners rallied outside Downing Street on Tuesday ahead of a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Theresa May.

A Downing Street spokesman said a “frank discussion” on human rights was on the agenda for the meeting.

“We’ve always been clear that we want Turkey to uphold its international obligations, including respect for freedom of expression and political freedoms,” he said.

The meeting comes as Erdogan campaigns for re-election after calling a snap poll for June 24, bringing the vote forward by a year and a half.

The move is widely regarded as a plan to shore up his power in the country and comes as international pressure mounts on the president for his suppression of political dissent.

The early election is set to accelerate Turkey’s transition to a new presidential system approved in a referendum last year.

Critics fear the new full executive powers afforded to the president will lead to one-man rule.

Meanwhile, a state of emergency remains in place in Turkey 22 months after a failed 2016 coup.

Outside Downing Street on Tuesday, dozens of campaigners assembled in a protest organised by freedom of expression groups English PEN, Index On Censorship and Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

RSF says over 100 journalists have been arrested, 140 media outlets shut down and at least 889 press cards rescinded since a crackdown began in 2016.

“We must make it clear to our government here that we do care about the fundamental freedoms — these values that our own country is anchored upon,” Reporters Without Borders UK chief Rebecca Vincent told protestors.

Calling for the release of imprisoned journalists, she added: “There is an election coming up.”

“Under the state of emergency people to not have full access to independent information, so you now have an electorate that will be going to the polls again after quite a short campaign period without having the full picture.”

“In light of that for President Erdogan to be welcomed — given the red carpet — here in Britain is shameful.”

The demonstrators were later joined by a larger group protesting Erdogan’s treatment of the Kurds — as well as a handful of counter-protestors seemingly chanting in support of the president.

The pro-Kurdish campaigners held up placards with images of Erdogan and the word “Terrorist” across his face, as well as a flag bearing a picture of Abdullah Ocalan, the imprisoned founder of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).

AFP

‘Be Careful!’ Erdogan Warns French Reporter Over Syria Question

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday lashed out at a French reporter who asked him about claims that Ankara sent arms to Syria.

Erdogan told the journalist he was talking like a member of an outlawed group blamed for last year’s failed coup in Turkey.

After Erdogan’s talks with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, the reporter asked about a story from 2015 in the Cumhuriyet newspaper which allegedly proved Turkey had sent weapons to Syria.

Erdogan has always pinned the scandal on the US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey blames Gulen for the 2016 failed coup and accuses him of running a group called the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO). Gulen denies the charges.

“Those are the words of FETO. You should learn not to speak with the words of FETO,” Erdogan told the journalist after asking him to repeat the question.

The journalist could be heard insisting in French: “I am speaking as a journalist!”

“When you ask your questions, be careful on this point. And do not speak with the words of another,” warned the Turkish leader.

“And I want you to know, you do not have someone before you who will easily swallow this,” Erdogan added.

The issue had first erupted in January 2014 when prosecutors in southern Turkey uncovered trucks heading to Syria that they said were National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) vehicles stuffed with arms.

Ankara later charged those involved in the probe with a membership of the Gulen movement.

“Those who carried out those operations were Gulenist prosecutors. Now they are in prison,” said Erdogan icily.

In an apparent reference to American arms supplies to Syrian Kurdish militia that has angered Turkey, he added: “You ask me that question but why don’t you ask me why the United States sent 4,000 trucks with arms to Syria?”

“You are a journalist, right? You should have looked into that as well.”

Without confirming the incident, Erdogan said that the MIT had “every right” to carry out its operations.

Erdogan’s visit to Paris for talks with Macron was his most important bilateral visit to an EU state since the failed putsch. It was overshadowed by questions over press freedom.

The P24 press freedom group says there are 151 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were arrested under the state of emergency in place since July 2016.

The issue was raised at the talks, with Macron telling Erdogan to “respect the rule of law”.

The Cumhuriyet story resulted in its then editor in chief Can Dundar being handed a five-year and 10-month jail term for divulging state secrets. He later fled Turkey.

AFP

President Erdogan Wins Turkish Referendum

Turkey failed Coup, Erdogan, Turkey
Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, has won in the Sunday referendum in Turkey.

At least 99 per cent of the ballots have been counted, with 51.36 per cent voting a “yes”, and 48.64 per cent voting a “no”.

Addressing jubilant supporters in Istanbul, the President said Turkey has taken a historic decision, and that the country could hold a referendum on bringing back the death penalty.

Following the referendum, the President would be given vastly enhanced powers to appoint cabinet ministers, issue decrees, choose senior judges and dissolve parliament.

Lavrov, Steinmeier To Meet On Ukraine, Syria Crisis

Sergei-Lavrov-Frank-Walter-Steinmeier-Germany-RussiaThe foreign ministers of Russia and Germany, Sergei Lavrov and Frank-Walter Steinmeier, are set to meet on Monday.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said that the duo would discuss the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria in the course of their meeting expected to take place in Yekaterinburg.

President Vladimir Putin had accused Ukraine of sabotage plans in Crimea, the peninsula Russia captured from Ukraine in 2014.

Turkish President, Tayyip Erdogan, had also discussed the Syrian conflict with Mr Putin during his visit to Russia earlier this week.

Turkey Coup Attempt: Key Military Officers Arrested

Turkey Coup6,000 people including high-ranking soldiers have been arrested by Turkish police for their alleged roles in Friday’s failed coup.

A brigade commander and more than 50 soldiers were detained in the western province of Denizli earlier on Sunday as the country continues clean-up operations.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says parliament will likely consider a proposal to introduce the death penalty.

At a rally late on Saturday, his supporters demanded that the coup leaders be executed. “Let’s hang them!” chanted the crowd in Ankara’s central Kizilay square.

The president has called on the US to extradite US-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, who he accuses of being behind the plot but Mr. Gulen denies it.

Erdogan accuses followers of Gulen, who was once an ally but is now his arch-enemy, of trying to create a “parallel structure” within the courts, police, armed forces and media with an aim to topple the state.

The attempted coup left 161 civilians and 104 “plotters” killed and also more than 1,440 injured.

Buhari Holds Bilateral Talks With Turkish President

Recep-Tayyip-Erdogan Muhammadu BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari is holding bilateral talks with his Turkish counterpart, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The Turkish President, who arrived in Abuja at about midday on Wednesday, was accorded all the presidential honour by the presidential guards before both leaders retired into the President’s office for the meeting.

At the meeting, President Buhari said that his administration would not be demoralised by the terror situation in the nation’s northeast.

He maintained that the Federal government would remain focused on its resolve to develop the country, create jobs for the teeming youths as well as provide security.

“We will maintain focus in terms of developing our country, creating job for our people and maintaining security,” he said.

President Buhari commended Turkey for identifying with Nigeria at all times, especially now that terrorism was ravaging the whole world.

He expressed gratitude to the Turkish government for training the Nigerian Police on how to deal with insurgency issues.

In his remark, President Erdogan described Nigeria as a global actor in peace keeping, promising to maintain strategic partnership with the government and people of Nigeria in the areas of trade, economy, military and culture.

Turkey-Russia Jet Downing: Moscow Beefs Up Defences In Syria

Turkey-Russia Jet Downing: Moscow Beefs Up Defences In SyriaAs the Russia-Turkey row intensifies, Moscow has strengthened its anti-aircraft defences in Syria by moving a cruiser towards the coast and deploying new missiles at its main base.

The Moskva cruiser’s long-range air defence system will provide cover for Russian aircraft as well as the s-400 missiles which arrived on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the row over Turkey’s downing of a Russian combat jet on Tuesday rages on.

Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had warned Russia not to ‘play with fire’ with its operations in Syria.

In return, Russia suspended its visa-free arrangement with Turkey and is planning to introduce a wide range of economic sanctions. President Vladimir Putin, however, said that he wants an apology from Turkey before he would speak to Mr Erdogan.

Moscow rejected Turkey’s assertion that its SU-24 fighter jet had flown into Turkish air space for 17 seconds after ignoring repeated warnings to change course.

A senior Russian commander said the jet had been ‘ambushed’ by two Turkish F-16s patrolling the area for more than an hour beforehand.

He said Russian and Syrian radar data proved that a Turkish jet had fired a missile from 2km (1.2 miles) inside Syria. Turkey did not respond to the allegation.

Turkey, which is a member of Nato and of a US-led coalition in the region, insists Mr Assad must step down before any political solution to the Syrian conflict is found.

Both countries said that they are trying to rid the region of the Islamic State (ISIS) group, which claimed the recent attacks on Paris and also on a Russian airliner.