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Thursday, August 31, 2017
The big diaspora complicates European relations with Turkey Print edition | Europe
Aug 31st 2017 | COLOGNE
EUROPE’S relations with Turkey have long been coloured by mutual fascination, dependence and mistrust. Spellbound after visiting Constantinople in 1898, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany wrote to his friend Tsar Nicholas II, “If I had come there without any religion at all, I certainly would have turned Mahommetan!” But if today’s Europeans rely on this awkward partner to keep refugees away and share intelligence on terrorists, Turkey’s slide into paranoid authoritarianism under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes it a far less enticing partner. Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, said this week that Turkey is leaving Europe with “giant steps”.
More:How Recep Tayyip Erdogan seduces Turkish migrants in Europe
By Josh Robinson
August 31, 2017, 9:50 AM GMT+2
Turkey’s economy will expand more than previously expected in 2017, thanks to strong government and consumer spending, according to a new Bloomberg survey.
More:Economists Raise Turkey's 2017 Growth Forecast to Record High - Bloomberg
Wednesday, 30 Aug 2017 06:24 PM
Turkey's foreign ministry says the country protests "in the harshest way" a U.S. court decision to indict 19 people, including 15 Turkish security officials.
More:Turkey Protests US Indictment Charging Erdogan's Security
Turkish Airlines aircrafts at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul. Turkish Airlines aircrafts at Atatürk International Airport in Istanbul. The expanding economy and civil aviation operations has enabled domestic flagship carrier THY and Istanbul's Atatürk Airport, currently Turkey's largest, to maintain their top positions among European airliners and airports and outstrip major continental competitors
More:THY, Istanbul Atatürk Airport outperforms European competitors - Daily Sabah
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Aug. 29 said Turkey was to blame for the breakdown of its EU accession talks and warned Ankara was fast “withdrawing from Europe.”
More:EU's Juncker says Turkey leaving Europe by 'giant steps' - EUROPE
30 August 2017
Almost a year after it arrested him, Turkey piled on new charges of spying and insurgency against American pastor, Andrew Brunson, on 24th August, demanding four consecutive life sentences in prison against the 23 year resident of Turkey.
More:Sight Magazine - Turkey charges US pastor as ‘spy’; conviction would mean life in prison
19 indicted, including 15 Turkish security officials, for attacking protesters during Erdogan visit to U.S. - Chicago Tribune
Ashraf KhalilAssociated Press
A total of 19 people, including 15 identified as Turkish security officials, were indicted Tuesday by a grand jury in the U.S. capital for attacking protesters in May 2017 during a U.S. visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
More:19 indicted, including 15 Turkish security officials, for attacking protesters during Erdogan visit to U.S. - Chicago Tribune
Tuesday, August 29, 2017
By James Masters and Judith Vonberg, CNN
(CNN)German Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded the release of German citizens detained in Turkey, describing their imprisonment as "unjustified" on Tuesday.
More:Merkel warns Turkey over imprisoned German citizens - CNN
Pinar Tremblay August 28, 2017
Journalists and trolls who support the rule of Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan often help him by distracting the public from any
questionable decisions he makes with perennially rabble-rousing but
More:Supporters scramble to distract Turkey from Erdogan's unpopular decisions
by: Nicholas Megaw
Economic confidence in Turkey rose to its highest level in more than five years this month, as a calmer political situation helps the economy to recover after a series of crises hit growth last year.
More:Turkish economic confidence hits 5-year high
“I am shocked by the tourist profile coming to Cunda these days. Where do they come from? Why do they come if they aren’t going to spend any money?” That is what taxi driver from a village near the idyllic Aegean town of Ayvalık told me recently.
More:The economic effects of Turkey’s long holiday break - BARÇIN YİNANÇ
Monday, August 28, 2017
It is becoming harder by the day to make sense of the strategy behind Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy choices—assuming there is one at all.
More:Turkey’s Downward Spiral - Carnegie Europe - Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Mehter orchestra: The Magnificent Century made the world love Turkish military music — RealnoeVremya.com
The most ancient military orchestra from Turkey performed a Tatar song in the Kazan Kremlin
More:Mehter orchestra: The Magnificent Century made the world love Turkish military music — RealnoeVremya.com
Saturday, August 26, 2017
The lira depreciated slightly at the start of Friday's session with the USD/TRY briefly climbing to 3.4904 in the aftermath of the comments by German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who said late on Thursday that "Turkey will never become a member of the EU" as its government and President Tayyip Erdogan were "moving fast away from everything that Europe stands for".
More:Forex Analysis - Turkey Flows: Lira depreciates slightly on Gabriel comments | FXMarketAlerts.com
With politics heating up in Turkey two years before next elections, president Erdogan will on Saturday host mass rally at opposite end of country.
More:.:Middle East Online:::.
To understand the 2016 coup attempt in Turkey one has to go back to the end of WW I and the defeat of Turkey. The British and French divided up the vast land of the Ottoman Empire. Anatolia was occupied by Russia and Greece until Mustafa Kemal Ataturk escaped from Istanbul by boat to a Black Seaport where he called up officers who served him WW I to mobilize an army. His Army forced the occupation nations out of the territory he was planning to make a Turkish Republic. The Allies were not enthusiastic to fight Ataturk who inflicted great casualties on the British at Gallipolis, the biggest battle of WW I. The Allies agreed to a conference.
More:COLUMN: Tayyip Erdogan, president of Turkey | Columnists | jg-tc.com
Friday, August 25, 2017
When I commented recently on efforts by NATO powers to establish some contact with the Iranian military, I did not expect a quick development. But that is precisely what happened last week when Iran’s new chief of staff, Gen Muhammad-Hussein Baqeri, led a 40-strong military-political delegation to Ankara.
More:Turkey and Iran may be ending 40 years of enmity | Arab News
August 25, 2017 2:15 PM
Nearly 1,000 people were forced out of their jobs Friday in Turkey, joining more than 150,000 people who have been fired as part of an ongoing government crackdown following a failed coup last year. The opposition is increasingly rallying around two purged educators who have been on a hunger strike for more than five months.
More:Hunger Strike Shines Light on Turkey Crackdown
New powers allow president to veto appearance of MIT chief in court.
By Zia Weise
8/25/17, 2:00 PM CET
Updated 8/25/17, 5:53 PM CET
ISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gained control over his country’s intelligence agency with a presidential decree on Friday in a further step toward consolidating his hold over the state.
More:Erdoğan tightens grip on intelligence agency – POLITICO
With the Turkish president firing away at Germany at will, Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel recently announced that Berlin would take a tougher stance. It hasn't happened. Indeed, Germany may soon have to cough up significant amounts of money for Ankara.
More:German Hardline on Turkey Softens in Face of Skepticism - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Once the 'sick man of Europe', Turkey ponders a future with Asia.
Ask Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim whether his country sees itself as Asian or European, and his studied response is to point out that while the Turks came from Central Asia, and their culture is Asian, they combine all this with European values.
More:Why Turkey matters to Asia, Opinion News & Top Stories - The Straits Times
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey dismissed hundreds civil servants and boosted President Tayyip Erdogan’s powers over the MIT national intelligence agency in two decrees published on Friday, the latest under emergency rule imposed after last year’s attempted coup.
More:Turkey purges hundreds of civil servants in latest decrees
Around 1.2 million people in Germany with a Turkish background are eligible to vote. Historically, most have voted for the Social Democrats. How will the diplomatic row between Ankara and Berlin affect their choice?
More:How will Turkish Germans vote in the country′s upcoming election? | Germany | DW | 24.08.2017
Thursday, August 24, 2017
Turkey’s economy enjoyed a strong first half of the year, but growth is close to peaking and we think that it will slow in 2018-19, and by more than most expect. What’s more, given the vulnerabilities that have built up in the banking sector, the risk is that the slowdown could be sharper than even we anticipate.
More:Why Turkey’s strong recovery won’t last - Capital Economics
Growth of Turkish banks' loan books could reach 20 pct for this year, says credit rating agency
More:Fitch says Turkish banks largely well-capitalized
IZMIT, Turkey, August 24, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Alper Kanca, the Chairman of Association of Automotive Parts & Components Manufacturers (TAYSAD), said that the rise in Turkish automotive industry continued and Turkish industry had shown its power to the whole world by increasing its domestic and international operations.
More:Turkish Automotive Industry Continues to Take Firm Steps | 08/24/17 | Markets Insider
Spotlight: Turkey takes controversial actions to root out suspected coup plotters - Xinhua | English.news.cn
ANKARA, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- If you download a smart phone application called "ByLock," or wear a T-shirt bearing the word "Hero" in Turkey, you would probably find yourself in serious trouble.
More:Spotlight: Turkey takes controversial actions to root out suspected coup plotters - Xinhua | English.news.cn
Turkey’s former interior minister Meral Aksener, who has recently been expelled from the Nationalist Movement Party's (MHP), will run for president of the country in the 2019 election.
More:APA - Turkey’s ex-interior minister Meral Aksener to be President Erdogan’s 2019 election rival
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Hande Fırat – ANKARA
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey will not allow the foundation of a Kurdish state on its southern border, reiterating earlier comments on the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
More:We will not allow a Kurdish state on our borders: Erdoğan - MIDEAST
The U.S. war against ISIS depends on the Kurds—an inconvenient fact for Jim Mattis's visit to Ankara.
More:Striking an Impossible Balance in Turkey - The Atlantic
Meral Akşener, a former deputy speaker of the Turkish Parliament, stated on Aug. 22 that she has officially started the process of establishing a new party, in a bid to build an alternative to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Parti). She made the statement in a ceremony to welcome Koray Aydın, a former deputy chairman of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) who decided to join Akşener’s movement.
More:Can a new party challenge Turkey’s ruling AKP? - MURAT YETKİN
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
The egg crisis, which started in the Netherlands and also affected other European countries, has given birth to hope among Turkish egg exporters, who think that Turkey will fill the gap that will arise when Ukraine, which is their biggest competitor in the Middle East market, withdraws from this market in order to meet the demand that will arise in Europe, according to a report by Turkish daily Dünya.
More:European egg crisis presents opportunity for Turkish exporters - Daily Sabah
By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line August 22, 2017
Turkish president unleashes unprecedented verbal attack on Germany, as West ponders future ties with NATO member Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan forcefully inserted himself into Germany’s upcoming elections by urging Turkish foreign-nationals to boycott major parties, including Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. “I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany,” he affirmed, “the Christian Democrats, SDP [Social Democrats], the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey, [therefore] support [other] political parties.” Germany has a large Turkish diaspora estimated at some three million people, many of whom will vote on September 24 when Merkel bids for a fourth term.
More:Erdogan's Turkey: Reliable Partner Or Western Foe? - The Media Line
Monday, August 21, 2017
ISTANBUL: President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday warned a top Turkish general who played a key role in defeating last year’s failed coup and led a cross-border operation in Syria that he must accept a surprise demotion without rancour. In a rare show of tension between the military and Erdogan, Turkish media reported that Lieutenant General Zekai Aksakalli had wanted to resign from the armed forces after he was moved from special forces chief to a less significant position.
More:Erdogan says top Turkish general must accept demotion - The Express Tribune
By Ercan Ersoy
and Asli Kandemir
August 21, 2017, 1:00 AM GMT+2 August 21, 2017, 10:42 AM GMT+2
Political turmoil, slower growth seen driving companies abroad
Bain expects more Turkish companies to invest in U.S., Europe
Robert Yuksel Yildirim had barely been at the family’s construction-materials business a year before the company won its first international contract. Now, it’s a conglomerate with interests in mining, ports and chemicals across 28 countries.
More:Turkey Firms Ready $64 Billion Spending Spree to Leave Home - Bloomberg
Sunday, August 20, 2017
The Turkish president's attempt to move against supposedly "anti-Turkish" Germans elsewhere in the EU have been scuppered, for now. Some plain speaking by Berlin helped put a stop to it, says DW's Jens Thurau.
More:Opinion: With Erdogan, only straight talk helps | Opinion | DW | 20.08.2017
Aug. 20, 2017, at 9:49 a.m.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Austria has joined neighbor Germany in its criticism of the Turkish President over inflammatory comments ahead of the European Union members' forthcoming elections.
More:Austria Joins Germany in Condemning Erdogan Interference | World News | US News
August 19, 2017 23:42 GMT
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has lashed out at the German foreign minister after he criticized the Turkish leader for interfering in Germany's upcoming elections.
More:Turkey’s Erdogan Tells German Foreign Minister 'Know Your Place'
Saturday, August 19, 2017
“Not a day has passed in Turkey without a domestic security operation against an active ISIL cell,” a security expert noted the other day. “Just follow the news.” We had been talking about the Barcelona terror attack, but the conversation was coming back to Turkey very quickly.
More:The case for realism in Turkey-Europe relations - GÜVEN SAK
Friday, August 18, 2017
18 August, 2017 | By Tom Grater
International exports of Turkish TV could hit $350m in 2017.
The Turkish TV industry has grown enormously on the international stage during the last decade - with export revenues expected to hit $350m per year by the end of 2017 - it was revealed during a presentation at Sarajevo Film Festival on Wednesday (Aug 16).
More:How Turkey has become a European TV drama powerhouse | News | Screen
Lessons from the 2013 uprising.
August 18, 2017 Robert Ellis
Faced with the narrow victory in April’s referendum and the prospect of a new opposition party, Turkey’s President Erdoğan has admitted he faces “a difficult period” ahead of the 2019 elections. For that reason, he has already hit the road to drum up support, and where better to start than the Black Sea region, where he enjoys staunch support.
More:Gezi Park Revisited | Frontpage Mag
Aykan Erdemir and Merve Tahiroglu August 17, 2017
For special access to experts and other members of the national security community, check out the new War on the Rocks membership. Print Friendly Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Turkey’s relations with its Western allies, in a downward spiral since 2013, are at a breaking point. Ankara not only accuses Washington of plotting last year’s abortive coup, but also blames it for arming and supporting Kurdish rebels that it sees as an existential threat. Bitter diplomatic spats unfold with one European country after another. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has already demoted Turkey’s strategic relations with Western partners to transactional ones, appears to be taking a new stance of outright hostility. His aggression is ideological, and here to stay.
More:Turkey’s Drift from the West: From Transactionalism to Hostility
Daniel Petcu 18 August 2017
If Erdoğan persists in his callous quest, it will only be a matter of time before he succumbs to increasing economic pressure that will threaten to leave the country destitute.
More:Erdoğan: prophetic leader or political suicide? | openDemocracy
Thursday, August 17, 2017
The victims of the 1999 Marmara earthquake, the worst seismic disaster in Turkey’s recent history that killed around 18,000 people and wounded 50,000, were commemorated early on Aug. 17 in the northwestern province of Kocaeli’s Gölcük district, the epicenter of the quake, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.
More:Marmara earthquake victims commemorated 18 years on - LOCAL
A drop in tourism shaved off nearly 1% of Turkey's GDP in 2016 - but visitors are beginning to return
“But is it really safe to go to Turkey?” That's the question being asked again and again by holiday-hungry travelers looking for their next destination.
More:i24NEWS - There's something about Turkey
Turkey says Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region should reverse its decision to hold a referendum on independence, warning that the vote could lead to a civil war.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Wednesday that the referendum, slated for Sept. 25, would worsen the situation in a country “that is undergoing so many problems”, news outlets reported.
More:Turkey Says Iraq Kurdish Referendum Can Lead to Civil War | Financial Tribune
Turkey has imported athletes from Ethiopia, Cuba and Azerbaijan to win on the world stage. But some Turks complain they bring hollow victories
More:Turkey’s imported athletes deliver medals but not national glory | Middle East Eye
Wednesday, August 16, 2017
Turkish tourism is coming to life and occupancy rates are increasing this year but it does not bring money in return since it does not attract western tourists with “money.”
More:30 billion dollar loss in tourism income - TAHA AKYOL
Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Politics in Turkey is entering a highly stressful two years this fall. Since the referendum, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan seems to be running a one-man show in decision-making and Ankara’s bureaucracy seems to be looking to his Beştepe residence for every small paper to be signed. So can this system survive until the necessary laws are passed? Will they even pass anyway?
More:How will Turkey survive until 2019? - AHU ÖZYURT
Turkey may have a new intelligence service. If so, it is probably illegal.
Turkey is reeling from an explosive report and subsequent media coverage of an alleged private intelligence service operating under and reporting to the president. Author Barin Kayaoglu Posted August 10, 2017 The daily newspaper Sozcu reported Aug. 9 that a new intelligence service has come into existence under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Sozcu's Aug. 10 issue was dominated by the story, aptly headlined “Shocking, Documented Allegation.”
More:Turkish opposition claims Erdogan building private intelligence service
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who has often framed himself as a "friend of Palestinians", has sparked anger in Turkey after he attended the opening of a factory belonging to Coca-Cola, accused by some of supporting Israel.
More:Why is Turkey Fuming Over Erdogan Opening a Coca-Cola Factory? | Al Bawaba
ANKARA, Turkey — A Dutch national who was reported missing in Turkey has been found dead, officials and Turkish media reports said Monday.
More:Missing Dutch national found dead in Turkey :: WRAL.com
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish police have launched operations to track down 33 former staff of a national scientific research agency who are alleged to have been involved in last year's failed coup attempt, the state-run Anadolu news agency said on Tuesday.
mORE:Turkey hunts more coup suspects, detains 30 for suspected PKK links
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week launched a fresh barrage of criticism and warnings at banks, charging that they are making unfairly large profits during a time of economic strain.
More:<a href="https://financialtribune.com/articles/world-economy/70218/erdogan-warns-turkish-banks">Erdogan Warns Turkish Banks</a>
Geo-researchers say Istanbul could soon experience a devastating earthquake. Tremors have occurred repeatedly where the Eurasian and Anatolian tectonic plates meet. The question is: when will the next earthquake take place and how strong will it be?
More:<a href="http://m.dw.com/en/clock-ticking-for-istanbul-earthquake/av-40061470">Clock Ticking for Istanbul Earthquake</a>
As the leader consolidated power, he replaced his original reform agenda with cronyism, nepotism and graft. The failed coup made things worse.
More:<a href="http://www.politico.eu/article/turkeys-economy-the-next-casualty-of-erdogans-state-of-emergency/">Turkey’s economy: The next casualty of Erdoğan’s state of emergency</a>
8/12/17 8:51 AM
ISTANBUL — Turkey’s official news agency says three men suspected of carrying out murders on behalf of the Islamic State group were arrested.
More:Turkey arrests 3 suspected Islamic State “executioners”
Saturday, August 12, 2017
Although there are over two years until the next presidential and parliamentary elections in 2019, polls and forecasts about who will run against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan are dominating the political agenda in Turkey.
More:How will Akşener’s new party affect politics? - SERKAN DEMİRTAŞ
Thursday, August 10, 2017
A Turkish tradition of satire and caricatures is disappearing in the age of Twitter and Erdogan
By Ned Levin,
Yeliz Candemir and
Aug. 10, 2017 12:25 p.m. ET
Satirical cartooning may not be dead in Turkey, but it’s on life support. The country’s oldest satire magazine, Girgir, shut down in February amid a controversy over a cartoon depiction of Moses, who is a prophet in Islam as in Judaism and Christianity. The well-known cartoon magazine Penguen, whose jowly caricatures of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have been a fixture at newsstands for years, closed this summer.
More:Turkey’s Embattled Political Cartoonists - WSJ
In recent months, relations between Germany and Turkey have reached a new low. After a series of escalating spats, tourism and investment in the country have collapsed. Will it finally drive Turkish President Erdogan to change course?
More:'Nazis, Spies and Terrorists': Can the German-Turkish Relationship Be Saved? - SPIEGEL ONLINE
Turkey takes wardrobe malfunctions to new level as ‘Hero’ tops land dozens of people in prison on propaganda charges.
By Zia Weise
8/10/17, 4:05 AM CET
ISTANBUL — If you travel to Turkey these days, you might want to mind your sartorial choices.
Last week, an Azerbaijani national was detained and deported from the northeastern town of Kars, while across Turkey more than 30 unsuspecting citizens have been picked up by the police over the past month. Their alleged crime? Wearing a T-shirt.
More:Turkey’s real fashion victims – POLITICO
Right by the city’s retail-heavy İstiklal Caddesi is an elegant space offering tranquillity, free exhibitions and fascinating insights into old Istanbul
More:The Istanbul Research Institute … a lot more interesting than it sounds | Travel | The Guardian
Tuesday, August 08, 2017
August 8th, 2017 Reuters News Service Turkey 0 Comments
Earthquake of 5.3 magnitude shakes Turkey’s Bodrum
An earthquake with a magnitude of 5.3 shook south-western Turkey near the Aegean coastal town of Bodrum on Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said.
More:Earthquake of 5.3 magnitude shakes Turkey's Bodrum - Cyprus Mail
By Pete Brush
Law360, New York (August 7, 2017, 5:34 PM EDT) -- An executive at Istanbul-based Türkiye Halk Bankası AŞ accused of helping Turkish trader Reza Zarrab evade U.S. sanctions against Iran is an "incurable" flight risk, federal prosecutors said Monday, opposing the banker's proposal to rent an apartment in New York and subject himself to monitoring.
More:Turkish Banker Is 'Incurable' Flight Risk, Feds Tell Judge - Law360
Trials have begun of those said to have been directly involved in coup against Erdogan’s regime and of prominent journalists
More than a year after the attempted military coup against Turkey’s government, trials have begun of 486 of those said to have been directly involved and against prominent journalists accused of collusion. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used the failed coup attempt as an excuse to jail over 50,000 people and has overseen the dismissal of more than 110,000 from government and public services suspected of supporting or sympathising with it. He made the coup a central case in winning a referendum on presidential rule which consolidates a decisive shift towards authoritarianism.
More:Retrograde steps for democracy in Turkey
Addressing his Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) branch members in his Black Sea hometown of Rize on Aug. 7, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan said the 2019 elections will be “difficult” and stressed that the party organization should work even harder.
More:Erdoğan admits ‘difficulty’ in 2019 elections - MURAT YETKİN
As Turkey's political divisions deepen, Syrian refugees in Istanbul worry about being caught in the middle - LA Times
The night of last year’s attempted coup in Turkey, Alaa Khaldi considered packing his bags.
The 31-year-old Syrian refugee from Damascus, who fled to Turkey in 2015, was worried that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan would fall. Erdogan’s Islamist government has opened Turkey’s doors to more than 3 million Syrians fleeing the civil war in their country, and Khaldi thought a new government might roll up the welcome mat.
More:As Turkey's political divisions deepen, Syrian refugees in Istanbul worry about being caught in the middle - LA Times
Monday, August 07, 2017
Those alarmed by Turkey’s dizzying descent into authoritarianism had found bleak solace in the fact that unlike the 1990s, when the conflict between Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party was at its peak, at least the people aren't disappearing or losing their lives in extrajudicial killings.
More:Turks spooked by 90s-style disappearances
Turkey Has Lost Its Biggest Cheerleader: The U.S. Military - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
The Cipher Brief August 4, 2017 A discussion of Ankara's strained relationship with the European Union, its a la carte approach to NATO, and the weakening of formerly solid U.S.-Turkey military-to-military ties.
More:Turkey Has Lost Its Biggest Cheerleader: The U.S. Military - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
By Behlül Özkan
he dichotomy between Kemalism and Islamism is one of the dominant paradigms in studies of Turkish politics. According to this paradigm, the Kemalists achieved a monopoly over the Turkish political establishment with the founding of the Republic in 1923, at which point they undertook far-reaching reforms with the aim of thoroughly modernizing Turkey politically, economically, culturally, and socially. These reforms, especially during the first decade of the Republic, resulted in lasting changes to many areas of Turkish life, such as the adoption of the Latin alphabet, Western dress, a civil code, and a modern educational system. The fiercest resistance to the reforms came from the traditionalists in Turkish society, namely the Islamists, who – along with the religious communities known in Turkish as cemaats – lost much of their former standing in politics between 1923 and the end of the 1940s. Accordingly, the aforementioned dichotomy between Kemalism and Islamism is, to some degree, a useful lens through which to understand this era. There is, however, a danger in viewing it as the main dynamic in Turkish politics and in assuming that it has been in full force throughout the whole 90-year history of the Republic of Turkey.
More:Turkey: Cold War-Era Origins Of Islamism And Its Rise To Power – Analysis – Eurasia Review
By Daniela Blot on 6 August 2017
News Fire fighters of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality rescued people who trapped in their house due to flood with boats on July 27. On July 27, the rains came. The skies literally opened and Istanbul was subjected to rain, wind and hail; the likes of which hadn’t seen in recent memory. Within 20 minutes, 30 to 40 centimeters of rainfall were recorded. The rain was accompanied by walnut-size hail and according to photos shared on social media, some of the hail was as big as the size of an egg – so large it could barely fit in the palm of one’s hand. Thousands of cars were damaged by the hail, which broke windshields and caused major damage to vehicles damaged by the stones of ice. Fires broke out on both sides of the Bosporus, including one at the Haydarpaşa docks and another in a depot in Kağıthane.
More:The Turkish spirit
Funding Palestinian Jew-hatred.
August 7, 2017
Turkey’s dictatorial president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent efforts to mediate between the Saudis, their Arab Gulf allies and Egypt on one side versus his Qatari ally (both are staunch supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood) on the other, have failed to materialize. At the same time, his war of words with Germany, and the European Union’s cold shoulder, has left the arrogant Erdogan with one avenue to make headlines - incite Muslims against Israel. His crude anti-Semitic incitement has gone hand-in-hand with his posturing as the leader of the Sunni-Muslim world.
More:ERDOGAN’S Genocidal INCITEMENT | Frontpage Mag
By Damien McGuinness BBC News, Berlin
With its red-brick spire and stained-glass windows, St Johannes looks like any other 19th-Century Protestant church.
More:The Berlin mosque breaking Islamic taboos - BBC News
by: MENELAOS HADJICOSTIS, Associated Press Updated: Jul 26, 2017 - 2:22 PM
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) - Turkish Cypriot authorities in the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus said Wednesday they have lifted restrictions on Maronite Christians reclaiming homes and property in villages that have been under Turkish military control for over four decades.
More:Turkish Cypriots: Maronites can return to army-held villages | WPXI
Guantanamo style? Turkey introduces court uniforms for failed coup defendants & terror suspects — RT News
Published time: 6 Aug, 2017 18:31
Edited time: 6 Aug, 2017 19:37
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said defendants in the trials linked to last year’s failed coup as well as terrorism suspects will now have to wear a standard brownish prison uniform, following controversy in which an accused soldier wore a t-shirt saying ‘hero’ in court.
More:Guantanamo style? Turkey introduces court uniforms for failed coup defendants & terror suspects — RT News
Saturday, August 05, 2017
Turkey’s education system became fodder for international news stories this summer after authorities announced they would no longer teach Darwin’s theory of evolution in high school. The move takes place in the context of a dramatic expansion of religious education under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
How Erdogan’s Identity Project is Shaping Turkey’s Schools</a>
Teachers, doctors, tax collectors: In Turkey's sweeping purges, ordinary people are branded enemies of the state
They gathered, as they have every few days since February, in a concrete plaza in western Istanbul beneath a large, rippling Turkish flag. Someone passed out snacks and orange soda. They donned vests, chanted slogans and danced to an old socialist song blaring from a portable speaker.
More:<a href="http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-turkey-purge-2017-story.html">Teachers, doctors, tax collectors: In Turkey's sweeping purges, ordinary people are branded enemies of the state</a>
On June 31, Mehmet Gormez, a Turkish cleric who headed the Directorate of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), a government department that runs more than 85,000 mosques, bid farewell to his post he had occupied since 2010. Gormez’s term didn’t end until 2020, which is why his early departure triggered a heated discussion in the media and on social media. As with most other changes in the state bureaucracy, many people believed that the departure of the erudite theologian had something to do with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans to single-handedly build a “New Turkey."
More:<a href="http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/en/originals/2017/08/turkey-why-erdogan-dismiss-top-cleric.html">Why Erdogan fired Turkey’s top cleric</a>
In an article that could deliver a further blow to Turkey’s ailing tourism sector and international image, Forbes magazine on July 28 described Turkey as one of the 10 most dangerous places for solo female travelers.
More:<a href="http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2017/08/is-turkey-safe-for-women-tourists.html">Tourism report signals wider issues for women in Turkey</a>
Investigators with special counsel Robert Mueller have asked the White House for documents related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a report Friday.
More:<a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/robert-mueller-w-h-docs-michael-flynn-ties-turkey-article-1.3385602">Robert Mueller wants W.H. docs on Michael Flynn's ties to Turkey</a>
Friday, August 04, 2017
Turkey picked Germany’s Siemens (SIEGn.DE) as the winning bidder for a $1 billion (762.36 million pound) wind power project on Thursday, a sign Ankara wants to keep business separate from the widening diplomatic row between the NATO allies. Relations have deteriorated amid the crackdown that followed the failed coup in Turkey last year. The arrest last month of 10 rights activists, including a German, prompted Berlin to say it would review arms deals with Turkey.
Ankara has sought to reassure German investors, saying their business in Turkey is not at risk. Germany was Turkey’s top export destination, buying $14 billion worth of Turkish goods in 2016, according to IMF data.
More:<a href="">#Germany’s Siemens wins tender for #Turkish wind power project</a>
ISTANBUL (AP) - Turkey's main opposition party says the government is blocking a full investigation into last summer's failed coup attempt and using the state of emergency imposed in its wake to hide the truth.
More:<a href="">Turkish opposition: Govt blocks full probe into failed coup</a>
Thursday, August 03, 2017
During the height of the protests, participants knew a crackdown could follow. But the reality still seems far-fetched
by Hannah Lucinda Smith / August 3, 2017
It has become normal for George Orwell to creep into political conversations in Turkey: the parallels are too numerous to resist.
A year on from a failed coup attempt, more than 150,000 people have been arrested, fired, or driven into self-imposed exile. The group President Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the revolt are the shadowy followers of an Islamic preacher called Fethullah Gulen. Turks are told that they act as if they are secular—drinking alcohol and wearing revealing clothes—to cover their real pious identities. Consequently, anyone could find the finger of blame pointed at them. Being in possession of a one-dollar bill bearing a certain serial number has been enough to land some people in prison; for others, it was wearing a t-shirt printed with the word ‘Hero’ (both are claimed to be secret signs that Gulen’s followers use to communicate between themselves). Book dumping became common as the crackdown hit—no-one wants to be caught with one of Gulen’s tomes on their shelf.
More:In Erdogan’s Turkey, the references to George Orwell are becoming more numerous | Prospect Magazine
August 03, 2017, 05:11:00 AM EDT By Reuters
By Ece ToksabayISTANBUL, Aug 3 (Reuters) - Turkish inflation returned to
single digits for the first time in six months on Thursday, but
analysts said the fall was likely to be temporary, prompting the
central bank to maintain its tight policy stance.
The consumer price index rose 0.15 percent month-on-month in
July, matching a Reuters poll forecast, while the annual
increase eased to 9.79 percent, the Turkish Statistical
More:Turkish inflation falls in July, but seen rising again - Nasdaq.com
A rough inventory of July’s contribution to the global collapse of democracy would include Turkey’s show trial of leading journalists from Cumhuriyet, a major newspaper; Vladimir Putin’s ban on the virtual private networks used by democracy activists to evade censorship; Apple’s decision to pull the selfsame technology from its Chinese app store.
More:<a href=""><a/Democracy is dying – and it’s startling how few people are worried>
Turkey reportedly just axed its army, air force, and navy commanders in one move
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey's Supreme Military Council (YAS) decided on Wednesday to replace the heads of the army, air force and navy, local media reported. The YAS, which meets every August, held a four-hour meeting chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Wednesday. The decisions made during the meeting will be presented to President Tayyip Erdogan for approval. (Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Editing by David Dolan)
More: <a href="https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/252c0294-73ee-3d63-9474-c537ee437538/turkey-reportedly-just-axed.html?.tsrc=fauxdal">Turkey reportedly just axed its army, air force, and navy commanders in one move</a>