Tag Archives: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey neo-Sultan «Sword-law»

Costas MAVRIDES OPINION In modern neo-Ottoman Turkey, there is a hysteria for new conquests, while disrespecting of international law and fundamental ethics. On a daily basis, actions and statements of Turkish officials (from Erdogan and his ministers) are made with complete contempt for International and EU Law, while different voices are silenced or persecuted.

Such a different voice is one by Burak Bekdil, a well known journalist who was fired from Turkey’s leading newspaper after 29 years, for writing at “Gatestone” about what is taking place in Turkey! In his latest article at Gatestone (“Turkey: Erdoğan Wishes “Many More Happy Conquests”), Bekdil focused on the hypocrisy and arrogance of modern Turkey on the occasion of the celebrations of the fall of Constantinople, during which President Erdogan referred to, not only to the past conquests, but to the “many more happy conquests” in the future. The question posed by the now persecuted journalist is straight forward: What are these non-Turkish countries and territories that Erdogan expects to conquer? As the journalist stressed, the prevailing distortion and arrogance in today’s Turkish politics is based on the Ottoman “Law of the Sword”: the conqueror can rule a conquered country or territory according to his desires.

The “spirit of conquest” is dominant in the modern Turkish political scene and infects daily life within and outside of Turkey e.g. attacks and destruction of churches and cemeteries, forced disappearances, torture, murders, imprisonment, persecution. Such crimes are ‘washed away’ by the Turkish state apparatus, given that courts in Turkey are Erdogan’s tool so that such criminals are easily acquitted, and many turn into … national heroes! Under the same hypocrisy and arrogance, other ethnic groups and non-Muslims are purged, and churches turned into mosques. The depredation of property, a criminal act by all means, if committed on behalf of conquest, is hailed as a heroic achievement. In fact, in Turkish educational system, there is a special celebration for the conquests!

Conquests and arrogance are at the core of Turkey’s current ‘spread’ (e.g. sending jihadists and weapons to Libya, before the eye of the EU and NATO, despising UN Security Council arms embargo). Incidentally, it was recently announced that ethnic cleansing of Kurdish and other populations in the Turkish-occupied Afrin region of Syria, had been completed. Such crimes of conquest, ethnic cleansing and colonization continue unpunished in Cyprus, while new illegal actions are in process in the Cyprus EEZ, the Aegean, and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Before this neo-Ottoman “Law of the Sword”, the prevailing political perception in EU, is that dialogue should prevail, while the neo Sultan of Turkey is advancing. History repeats itself but very few learn from it.

Costas Mavrides, Member of European Parliament

Chair of the Political Committee of the Mediterranean

Image: Recep Tayyip Erdogan

MEPs condemn Erdogan “blackmail”

Greek officials said that in 24 hours between March 2 and March 3 morning hours, 5,183 people were prevented from entering the country,  45 people were detained they added. (Image: social media).

On March 3 morning, two men — one from Mali and one from Afghanistan — were arrested by Greek agents shortly after crossing the border, and loaded into a van with about 20 more people, from Somalia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Iraq, the Associated Press reported.

The new flow of migrants attempting to illegally enter Europe comes days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his country was easing restrictions on those wishing to cross the border to leave Turkey.

Erdogan said his country, which has more than 3.5 million Syrian refugees, is unable to cope with a new wave and demands Europe’s “support”.

“It’s done, the gates are open,” Erdogan said March 2 in a TV announcement. “You will have your share of this burden now, ” adding that Europe could expect “millions” of migrants and refugees from now onward.

We strongly condemn the cynical blackmail by Turkish President Erdogan with the lives of people. The European border to Greece is not open and sending people there is dangerous and irresponsible. What happens at the border is fully Turkey‘s responsibility”  wrote in his Twitter micro blog Manfred Weber, the leader of the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) in the European Parliament.

NATO moves to space as ‘operational domain’

Although the participants claimed that historic NATO 70 Summit in London was a success, the general public has witness the other version of the events while leaders were trading barbs, ending in refusal of a concluding press-conference.

The assembly was marked  by unusual assertiveness, and even remorse of President Trump who declared at his arrival to London the French President Macron remarks on NATO “brain death” as “nasty” and, while leaving, calling Canada’s prime minister “two-faced” for mocking him on a hot mic.

Nevertheless NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told a news conference that the allies  have been able to “overcome our disagreements and continue to deliver on our core tasks to protect and defend each other.”

The leaders declared that space is now an “operational domain,” after land, sea, air and cyber space.

In a joint declaration, the leaders said: “Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all.”

There were some changes in initial positions, and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not further insist on his idea of blocking plans to enforce NATO infrastructure in northern and eastern Europe unless allies declared Kurdish fighters in Syria terrorists.

Marking the 70th anniversary of NATO, which was founded in 1949 to confront the security threat posed by the then Soviet Union, the leaders said the trans-Atlantic alliance is the cornerstone of their collective defense.

They also underlined their commitment to Article 5 of NATO’s Washington Treaty, saying “that an attack against one Ally shall be considered an attack against us all.”

The leaders then pledged to boost their military budgets in line with previous promises to move toward spending 2% of their annual GDP on defense by 2024.

They noted that European allies and Canada have increased spending for the last five years in a row and have invested an extra $130 billion since 2016. “We are making good progress. We must and will do more,” they said.

The leaders noted that NATO faces a multitude of threats, including from Russia and terrorism. “Russia’s aggressive actions constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security; terrorism in all its forms and manifestations remains a persistent threat to us all,” they said.

They also noted that “instability beyond our borders is also contributing to irregular migration.”

Arms control was also a theme, given the demise of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty between Washington and Moscow.

We are fully committed to the preservation and strengthening of effective arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation,” the leaders said.

They added: “We remain open for dialogue, and to a constructive relationship with Russia when Russia’s actions make that possible.”

The leaders reaffirmed their commitment to Afghanistan, where NATO has its longest and most ambitious security operation. They also underlined that they are increasing cooperation with the United Nations and the European Union.

North Macedonia‘s imminent membership was welcomed as a sign that NATO’s door remains open to European countries who want to join.

Turning to modern challenges, the leaders vowed to protect critical infrastructure, including 5th generation telecommunication networks, to ensure energy security and work together to counter cyber-attacks and hybrid warfare.

They said they must also address the “opportunities and challenges” posed by the rise of China.

To counter concerns about poor political decision making, the leaders accepted to set up a “reflection group” led by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg “to further strengthen NATO’s political dimension including consultation.”

After three consecutive years of summits, the leaders agreed to meet again in 2021.

 

Erdogan blocks NATO Baltic advancement

Turkey announced it will oppose NATO’s plans for enhancing defence of three Baltic countries if the Alliance does not recognize militant groups that Ankara defines as terrorist, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday, ahead of a NATO alliance summit in London.

Relations between Turkey and its NATO allies have been strained over a number of issues, ranging from Ankara’s decision to purchase Russian air defense systems S-400  to policy vis-à-vis Syria. Several NATO members condemned Turkey’s decision to launch an offensive into northeastern Syria against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.

Ankara has refused to back NATO defense plan for the Baltics and Poland until it receives more support for its battle with the YPG, which it assesses as a terrorist organization.

Ankara “strongly condemns” Utrecht attack

Turkish intelligence service is investigating the motive of the suspect in #Utrecht shooting. President Erdogan has announced, according to reports of Reuters news agency from Ankara. The intelligence services investigate whether there is a terrorist motive and trace or whether the suspect had a different impulse. In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said it “strongly condemns” the attack.

The intelligence services have launched an investigation into possible ties of the assailant with the terrorist groups, namely if he had contacts in Chechnya, or in Islamic State (ISIS).

Piri MEP believes in Turkey European future

Reacting upon the severe political and democratic regress, the European Parliament recommended suspending EU accession negotiations with Turkey.

If the EU takes its own values seriously, no other conclusion is possible than to formally suspend the talks on EU integration. Our repeated calls to respect fundamental rights have fallen on deaf ears in Ankara. On top of the severe human rights violations, the dismantling of the rule of law and the fact that Turkey holds the world record for the number of journalists in jail, the recently amended constitution consolidates Erdoğan’s authoritarianism” Dutch Socialist MEP Kati Piri Rapporteur on Turkey said.

Kati Piri believes that the definitive closure of the accession talks, suggested by ENF group is a wrong move,  rejecting those forces, who desire change and who share European values. Although fully admitting that today’s Turkey does not match the Copenhagen criteria, she considers crucial to keep the door open for possible positive changes in the future.

“I realize that stopping the accession talks is not a step which will help Turkey’s democrats. For that, the EU leaders must use all possible tools to exert more pressure on the Turkish government. The Parliament, therefore, calls for dedicated funds to be made available to support civil society, journalists and human rights defenders in Turkey. In addition, modernising the customs union must remain conditional on clear improvements in the field of human rights. And more efforts must be put into people-to-people exchange programmes” MEP added.

A resolution was adopted March 13 by 370 votes in favour, 109 against with 143 abstentions. Kati Piri thanked her all those who participate in working on the resolution, including shadow rapporteurs.

EU-Turkey meeting in Varna

The EU-Turkey leaders’ meeting will take place on 26 March at the Evksinograd residence in Varna, Bulgaria.

It will bring together Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, Boyko Borissov, Prime Minister of Bulgaria (pictured), and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey.

This working dinner will be an occasion to assess matters of mutual interest and recent developments in Turkey, including the country’s illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and its involvement in Syria.

At their last EU summit on 22-23 March, EU leaders called on Turkey to respect Cyprus’ sovereign rights to explore and exploit its natural resources, in line with EU and international law.

They also recalled Turkey‘s obligation to respect international law and good neighbourly relations, and normalize relations with all EU member states including the Republic of Cyprus.

Furthermore,  the European Union  expressed its grave concern over the continued detention of EU citizens in Turkey. It called for the swift and positive resolution of these issues.

Erdogan calls Gulf states requests to Qatar ‘disrespectful’

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said supports Qatar’s response to a list of demands issued by Arab states boycotting the Gulf emirate, and underlined that the calls for a closure  of Turkish military base there were disrespectful.

Qatar has described the pressure by its larger neighbours as an “illegal blockade” aimed at curbing its sovereignty, and insisted that the ultimatum by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain was unreasonable.

EU to screen aid to Turkey

The European Court of Auditors is to audit EU financial support for Turkey. Turkey is the single largest beneficiary of the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA), with more than 40 % of all IPA allocations. During the 2007-2013 period, Turkey was allocated €4.48 billion, of which €2.68 billion was committed and €2.19 billion paid out. Since 2014, a further €1.65 billion has been allocated but not yet paid out.

Turkey is the EU’s largest beneficiary of external aid and a strategic partner in the key policy areas of foreign affairs, defence, migration, the fight against terrorism and trade. But up to now we have never audited the effectiveness of the EU Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance to Turkey,” said Mr Hans Gustaf Wessberg, the Member of the European Court of Auditors responsible for the audit.

The aim of the IPA is to support the accession process and the underlying reforms in Turkey. However, there is currently little progress in Turkey’s accession negotiations, and reforms have been backsliding in recent years.

Gulen to be stripped of Turkey’s passport

Turkey announced it would strip 130 persons of citizenship for allerged militant links, including the U.S.-based cleric Muhammed Fethullah Gülen blamed for ingeneering last July’s coup, unless they all return to the country within three months.

 

In a list of what it called fugitives from justice, the interior ministry named Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) lawmakers Faysal Sariyildiz and Tugba Hezer, and former HDP lawmaker Ozdal Ucer.

Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania since 1999, has repeatedly denied involvement in the coup and publically condemned it.

 

« Older Entries