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Turkey looks to Libya to break its growing isolation in the region

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has framed his country’s military deployment to Libya as a matter of survival, not only for Turkey’s strategic interests across the region but also for Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA).

The head of Libya’s High Council of State, Khalid al-Mishri, told MEE that Turkey’s upcoming military support to the GNA would prevent General Khalifa Haftar’s forces from taking control of Tripoli. From high-level political figures to military commanders on the frontline, I found consensus during a recent visit to Tripoli that Turkey is the only country able to push back Haftar and contribute to rebuilding the Libyan state.

Turkey’s new military step in the context of the Libyan conflict provides strategic leverage for both sides and will ultimately bring new dimensions – as well as challenges – to Ankara’s regional strategy.

Strategic objectives
On 27 November, Turkey and Libya signed two separate memorandums of understanding on military cooperation and the maritime boundaries of countries in the eastern Mediterranean region, aiming to achieve their mutual strategic objectives.

In the short term, the GNA aims to push back Haftar’s forces in Tripoli; in the medium term, the Libyans seek to consolidate their partnership with Turkey to find a real solution to contain Haftar and bring Ankara into the Libyan picture as an external balance.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/what-turkeys-endgame-libya

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2020 in Africa, Middle East, Uncategorized

 

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La vera posta in gioco nell’intervento turco in Libia

Come previsto, il 2 gennaio il parlamento turco ha autorizzato l’invio di soldati in Libia, approvando una risoluzione con 325 voti favorevoli e 184 contrari. Il 10 dicembre il presidente turco Recep Tayyip Erdoğan aveva annunciato l’intenzione di sostenere militarmente il governo di accordo nazionale (Gna) libico guidato da Fayez al Sarraj contro l’offensiva militare del generale Khalifa Haftar. E a meno di un mese dal suo annuncio, ha ottenuto il via libera dal parlamento.

Ora starà al presidente stabilire quanti soldati mandare nel paese nordafricano, in cui in teoria vige l’embargo sulle armi imposto dalle Nazioni Unite. Ma molti analisti sostengono che quella turca sia stata una mossa di deterrenza, che non implicherà necessariamente l’invio di truppe sul campo. Si tratta piuttosto di un annuncio per spingere Haftar alla ritirata e per sollecitare l’apertura di un negoziato con la Russia, ma è anche un modo per Ankara di sottolineare il suo ruolo di potenza regionale.

Il testo della risoluzione approvata dal parlamento di Ankara è ambizioso e parla della necessità di “proteggere gli interessi della Turchia nel Mediterraneo, di prevenire il transito dei migranti irregolari, d’impedire alle organizzazioni terroristiche e ai gruppi armati di proliferare, di apportare un aiuto umanitario al popolo libico”. La Turchia ha firmato con il governo di Tripoli un accordo di collaborazione militare e marittima il 27 novembre 2019, che prevede l’intervento militare “via terra, via mare e via aerea, se necessario”, scatenando reazioni allarmate in tutta la regione.

https://www.internazionale.it/bloc-notes/annalisa-camilli/2020/01/04/libia-turchia-russia-guerra

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2020 in Africa, Middle East

 

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Family suicides in Turkey speak of a society that has lost hope

Fatih is known as one of the most conservative districts of Istanbul. Last week some people in the area saw a note attached to the door of a flat: “Beware! There’s cyanide inside. Call the police. Don’t enter.” Whoever wrote the note had clearly wanted to protect the neighbours from a toxic substance. When the police arrived they found four bodies – two men, two women, aged between 48 and 60. The dead were all from the same family, the Yetişkins, who had been residents of the neighbourhood for decades. The siblings had, according to friends, also lived in unemployment and penury – the wages of one sister, a music teacher, used to keep creditors at bay. Unable to find jobs to cover the family’s growing debts, they’d been battling depression and anxiety.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/13/family-suicides-turkey-society-lost-hope

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Erdogan’s ethnic cleansing of the Kurds is still happening now – and we have Trump to thank

Mass expulsion or the physical extermination of an entire ethnic or religious community – ethnic cleansing – is usually treated by the media in one of two different ways: either it receives maximum publicity as a horror story about which the world should care and do something about, or it is ignored and never reaches the news agenda.

It appeared at first that the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds by Turkey after its invasion of northern Syria on 9 October would belong to the first category. There was angry condemnation of the forced displacement of 190,000 Kurds living close to the Syrian-Turkish border as Turkish soldiers, preceded by the Syrian National Army (SNA), in reality ill-disciplined anti-Kurdish Islamist militiamen, advanced into Kurdish-held areas. Videos showed fleeing Kurdish civilians being dragged from their cars and shot by the side of the road and reporters visiting hospitals saw children dying from the effects of white phosphorus that eats into the flesh and had allegedly been delivered in bombs or shells dropped or fired by the advancing Turkish forces.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/erdogan-turkey-kurds-border-syria-war-trump-ethnic-cleansing-a9204581.html

 

 
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Posted by on November 18, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Turkey and Russia Are Teaming Up to Screw Over the Kurds

Russian military police arrived in the Syrian city of Kobani Wednesday to deliver a message to Kurdish forces: pull back 19 miles from the border, or face a renewed onslaught from Turkey.

Those are the terms of a new agreement reached between Turkey and Russia Tuesday which, if enacted, will force Kurdish fighters from the Syria-Turkey border, expanding on their territorial losses since President Trump suddenly cut U.S. support for its ally earlier this month.

Following a marathon six hours of talks in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled a 10-point memorandum of understanding that would carve up territory previously held by Kurdish forces, against whom Turkey launched a cross-border offensive earlier this month.

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/7x5q8x/turkey-and-russia-are-teaming-up-to-screw-over-the-kurds

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Abbandonare i curdi è insensato come la guerra in Siria

Quando è nato mio figlio, l’abbiamo chiamato Avan. Significa prospero e florido e speravamo che questo nome avrebbe rispecchiato la strada che la sua vita avrebbe intrapreso. Adesso è passato un anno e mi chiedo: com’è stato possibile dargli un nome del genere? Come può una persona avere un briciolo di speranza in mezzo a tutta la devastazione e la distruzione che affliggono il mio paese?

Sono un curdo della Siria del nord, e da anni fotografo la guerra. Ho visto morte, distruzione, disperazione, sofferenza. Ma poi potevo sempre tornare alla sicurezza della mia casa. Avevamo un’autonomia e dal momento che, insieme alle forze statunitensi, abbiamo sconfitto il “califfato” del gruppo Stato islamico (Is) nella regione, avevamo osato sognare che il nostro territorio sarebbe rimasto in pace. Non è una cosa da poco per un popolo senza terra, che da secoli è intrappolato nelle lotte di potere tra i giganti della regione.

https://www.internazionale.it/notizie/delil-souleiman/2019/10/24/curdi-guerra-siria

 
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Posted by on October 29, 2019 in Middle East

 

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Turkey, Syria, the Kurds, and Trump’s Abandonment of Foreign Policy

Much of the world watched aghast, last week, as President Donald Trump shattered any notion of an informed or sane U.S. foreign policy. He paved the way for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of Turkey, to invade Syria, abandoning America’s Kurdish partners in the Syrian Democratic Forces, who had eliminated the Islamic State’s caliphate in March, after five years of gruelling warfare. (The S.D.F. lost eleven thousand soldiers; the U.S. lost six.) Erdoğan views Kurds—the world’s largest ethnic group without a state—as terrorists, because of a Kurdish separatist campaign in Turkey. After a phone call with Erdoğan, Trump ordered the withdrawal of a thousand U.S. Special Forces soldiers, who had been backing the S.D.F., even though ISIS sleeper cells are still waging an insurgency in Syria and Iraq. The retreat was so abrupt that the U.S. had to bomb a depot full of arms that it didn’t have time to remove.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/28/turkey-syria-the-kurds-and-trumps-abandonment-of-foreign-policy

 
 

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Türkei – Europa muss aus seiner Ohnmacht herausfinden

Hat die EU Mittel und Wege, um Erdoğans Krieg in Syrien zu stoppen? Ja. Sie darf sich nicht mit dem Flüchtlingsdeal erpressen lassen und muss ihre wirtschaftliche Stärke nutzen.

Auf die Frage, warum der türkische Präsident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seine Truppe in den Norden Syriens hat vorrücken lassen, lautet die ausschlaggebende Antwort: Weil er es konnte. Das liegt zum einen daran, dass ihm ein intellektuell und charakterlich überforderter US-Präsident freie Hand gelassen hat, zum anderen aber auch daran, dass es keine andere Macht gibt, auf die Erdoğan glaubt, Rücksicht nehmen zu müssen. Die USA hätten die Türkei stoppen können, wollten es aber nicht. Die Europäer hätten die Türkei gerne gestoppt, konnten es aber nicht. Insofern sind die Menschen im syrischen Grenzgebiet zur Türkei nicht nur Opfer Erdoğans, sondern auch der Ohnmacht Europas.

https://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/tuerkei-erdogan-europa-1.4639652

 
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Posted by on October 19, 2019 in European Union

 

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Trump’s Turkey deal hands power to Ankara and leaves Syrian Kurds for dead

The deal agreed between the US and Turkey immediately achieved the priority objective of vice-president Mike Pence’s peace mission to Ankara: Donald Trump was able to claim victory on Twitter.

The president had unwittingly alienated most of his own party over his acceptance of the Turkish invasion of north-eastern Syria, and was already in the midst of an impeachment battle.

So when the talks were over in Ankara, the president’s thumbs were hovering over his phone and he turned the usual hyperbole up to maximum. “This is a great day for civilisation,” he exulted. “People have been trying to make this ‘Deal’ for many years. Millions of lives will be saved.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/oct/18/trumps-turkey-deal-hands-power-to-ankara-and-leaves-syrian-kurds-for-dead

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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Stati Uniti e Turchia trovano un’intesa sulla pelle dei curdi

Di solito per ottenere un cessate il fuoco in un conflitto bisogna negoziare con entrambe le parti coinvolte. Nel caso di Donald Trump il metodo è diverso. Basta trovare un accordo con uno schieramento e si può tranquillamente annunciare una grande vittoria diplomatica.

Questo bizzarro metodo è stato adottato il 17 ottobre ad Ankara. La Turchia si è impegnata a interrompere i combattimenti per cinque giorni, a condizione che i curdi, fino a ieri alleati di Washington e oggi considerati come paria, depongano le armi pesanti e abbandonino la zona cuscinetto profonda trenta chilometri voluta da Ankara. In base all’accordo l’esercito turco potrà invece restare nella zona.

https://www.internazionale.it/opinione/pierre-haski/2019/10/18/stati-uniti-turchia-intesa-curdi

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2019 in Middle East, North America

 

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