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Tag Archives: Turkey

Erdogan has released the genealogy of thousands of Turks – but what is his motive?

Only in Turkey is the identity of a citizen a matter of national security. That’s why the population registry in Ankara was until now a closed book, its details a state secret. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s definition of “Turkishness” was “anyone who is attached to the Turkish state as a citizen”. Turks came from a clear ethnic identity, untainted by racial minorities or doubtful lineage. That’s one reason why the Nazis lavished praise on Ataturk’s republic, their newspapers mourning his death in black-bordered front pages.

After all, as Hitler was to ask in several newspaper interviews – and to his generals before he invaded Poland – who now remembers the Armenians? Ataturk had supposedly inherited an Armenian-free Turkey, just as Hitler intended to present his followers with a Jew-free Europe. The Armenian genocide of 1915 – denied by the Turkish government today – destroyed a million and a half Christian Ottoman citizens in the first industrial holocaust of the 20th century. Almost the entire Armenian community had been liquidated. Or had it?

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/turkey-race-armenian-recep-tayyip-erdogan-generlogy-family-trees-ethnicity-a8234346.html

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Posted by on March 3, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Is Turkey really facing an ‘exodus’? It’s not that simple

The decline of Turkey’s democracy has become a well-worn theme, and for good reason. The country has now jailed more journalists on charges related to their work than any other in the world, and many academics who’ve criticised the government’s policies towards the “Kurdish question” are now on trial. But recently, media observers have seemingly identified another alarming trend: a “Turkish exodus”.

With the failed coup attempt of 2016, the ensuing crackdown, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s moves to consolidate his power, it seems many Turks are moving abroad to make new lives elsewhere. Some are suggesting that this amounts to a “new wave” of refugees fleeing the country.

https://theconversation.com/is-turkey-really-facing-an-exodus-its-not-that-simple-90197

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Turkey needs voices in favor of peace politics

Turkey is not officially at war, but rather says it is engaged in a “military operation” in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin. But there must have been a political space for arguments in favor of peace or for a peaceful solution. Alas, we do not seem to have any space for such dissent in Turkey. This is the case primarily because of the political understanding of the ruling party, which views any argument against a military solution as tantamount to “treason.” But that is only one reason among many.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/nuray-mert/turkey-needs-voices-in-favor-of-peace-politics-126423

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Turkey accused of recruiting ex-Isis fighters in their thousands to attack Kurds in Syria

Turkey is recruiting and retraining Isis fighters to lead its invasion of the Kurdish enclave of Afrin in northern Syria, according to an ex-Isis source.

“Most of those who are fighting in Afrin against the YPG [People’s Protection Units] are Isis, though Turkey has trained them to change their assault tactics,” said Faraj, a former Isis fighter from north-east Syria who remains in close touch with the jihadi movement.

In a phone interview with The Independent, he added: “Turkey at the beginning of its operation tried to delude people by saying that it is fighting Isis, but actually they are training Isis members and sending them to Afrin.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-isis-afrin-syria-kurds-free-syrian-army-jihadi-video-fighters-recruits-a8199166.html?amp

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Perché l’Italia non alza la voce con Erdoğan

Quando le immagini dell’intervento turco nel nord della Siria hanno mostrato i carri armati di fabbricazione tedesca Leopard 2 che bombardavano il cantone curdo di Afrin, in Germania è subito scoppiato un caso politico. A molti è sembrato intollerabile che le armi tedesche fossero impiegate per invadere uno stato sovrano e attaccare le milizie curde dell’Ypg, che sono state l’unico vero alleato sul campo dell’occidente nella lotta al gruppo Stato islamico.

Di fronte alle polemiche il governo tedesco è stato costretto a sospendere un accordo con la Turchia per l’ammodernamento degli stessi carri armati, rinviando la discussione a quando saranno terminate le trattative per la formazione del nuovo esecutivo.

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/gabriele-crescente/2018/02/05/amp/italia-turchia-erdogan

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2018 in European Union, Middle East

 

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Inside Afrin, the true victims of Turkey’s invasion of northern Syria are revealed – refugees, babies, women and children

When Taha Mustafa al-Khatr, his wife Amina, his two daughters Zakia and Safa and son Sulieman went to bed in the tiny village of Maabatli, they placed their shoes outside the door. Most Middle Eastern families do the same.

It’s a tradition and a sign of cleanliness in the home. The cheap plastic slippers were still there, of course, when the Turkish shell hit their house at one in the morning – and when I arrived a few hours later, I found the same shoes, a few blown down the stairs but most still neatly lined up next to each other. Did one of the daughters choose the slippers with the plastic bows? Even the rescue workers – such as they are in the Kurdish province of Afrin – didn’t touch the shoes. They left one of the blood-soaked bedspreads where it was in the rain under the collapsed roof of the cheap breeze-block house. The bodies, of course, had gone.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/afrin-turkey-invasion-syria-enclave-kurds-ypg-airstrike-war-civil-a8182266.html?amp

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Middle East

 

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By reversing its policy in Syria the US is fuelling more wars in the Middle East

Seldom has an important new US foreign policy crashed in flames so quickly and so spectacularly, achieving the very opposite results to those intended.

It was only ten days ago that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unexpectedly announced that American military forces would remain in Syria after the defeat of Isis. Their agenda was nothing if not ambitious: it included the stabilisation of the country, getting rid of Bashar al-Assad, rolling back Iranian influence, preventing the resurgence of Isis and bringing an end to the seven-year Syrian war. Tillerson did not seem to care that this new departure was sure to offend a lot of powerful players in and around Syria and was quite contrary to past US pledges that it was only fighting in Syria to defeat Isis and had no other aims.

In effect, the US was reversing its old policy of trying to keep its distance from the Syrian quagmire and was blithely plunging into one of the messiest civil wars in history.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-us-kurdish-state-turkey-war-us-is-creatign-trouble-in-the-middle-east-a8179941.html?amp

 
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Posted by on February 1, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Elif Shafak: ‘Nations don’t always learn from history’

When BBC Radio 4 asked to feature my novel The Bastard of Istanbul in its Reading Europe season this month, I found myself reflecting on the cultural and political journey that my motherland, Turkey, has undergone in the years since the book was published.

The novel came out in Turkey in 2006. It tells the story of a Turkish family and an Armenian-American family, mostly through the eyes of four generations of women. It is a story about buried family secrets, political and sexual taboos, and the need to talk about them, as well as the ongoing clash between memory and amnesia. Turkey, in general, is a society of collective amnesia.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/jan/13/elif-shafak-nations-dont-always-learn-from-history

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2018 in Middle East

 

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Syria war, Sochi peace

The main take-away of the trilateral, two hour-long Russia-Iran-Turkey summit in Sochi on the future of Syria was expressed by Russian President Vladimir Putin:

“The presidents of Iran and Turkey supported the initiative to convene an All-Syrian Congress for national dialogue in Syria. We agreed to hold this important event at the proper level and ensure the participation of representatives of different sectors of Syrian society.”

In practice, that means Russian, Iranian and Turkish foreign ministries and defense departments are tasked to “gather delegates from various political parties, internal and external opposition, ethnic and confessional groups at the negotiating table.”

Putin stressed that “in our common opinion, the success on the battlefield that brings closer the liberation of the whole of Syrian territory from the militants paves the way for a qualitatively new stage in the settlement of the crisis. I’m talking about the real prospects of achieving a long-term, comprehensive normalization in Syria, political adjustment in the post-conflict period.”

https://www.opednews.com/articles/Syria-war-Sochi-peace-by-Pepe-Escobar-Assad_Daesh_Negotiation_Peace-171124-877.html

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2017 in Middle East

 

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How Turkey, Iran, Russia and India are playing the New Silk Roads

Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hassan Rouhani will hold a summit this Wednesday in Sochi to discuss Syria. Russia, Turkey and Iran are the three power players at the Astana negotiations — where multiple cease-fires, as hard to implement as they are, at least evolve, slowly but surely, towards the ultimate target — a political settlement.

A stable Syria is crucial to all parties involved in Eurasia integration. As Asia Times reported, China has made it clear that a pacified Syria will eventually become a hub of the New Silk Roads, known as the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) — building on the previous business bonanza of legions of small traders commuting between Yiwu and the Levant.

Away from intractable war and peace issues, it’s even more enlightening to observe how Turkey, Iran and Russia are playing their overlapping versions of Eurasia economic integration and/or BRI-related business.

Much has to do with the energy/transportation connectivity between railway networks — and, further on the down the road, high-speed rail — and what I have described, since the early 2000s, as Pipelineistan.

https://www.opednews.com/articles/How-Turkey-Iran-Russia-a-by-Pepe-Escobar-Iran_Iran-Russia-And-China_Pipeline_Pipelineistan-171122-416.html

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Asia, Economy, Europe, Middle East

 

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