A next Balkan war in Bosnia is a matter of time. The Republic of Srpska is planning on holding a referendum next Sunday, 25 September, on a seemingly minor issue. The Bosnian Serbs will be voting on the date of the “national independence day.” This referendum seems, however, to be a run-up to to a referendum on the splitting up of the country. The Serbs want to secede from Bosnia and become part of Serbia, claiming their democratic right on self-determination. Continue reading
The events in Syria are changing rapidly. Turkey has entered Syria and is heading for Al-Bab, a city 35 kilometers from Aleppo, according to a Turkey government official and a statement issued by the Turkey-supported Muslim militia united in the FSA (Free Syrian Army).The next step is lifting the siege of Aleppo from the east. Atatürk became the Father of all Turks after he had won the Battle of Gallipoli and defeated major European powers; Erdoğan will be the father of all Sunni Muslims if he liberates Aleppo and thus gains the upper hand over Russia and Iran.
Russia, the Kurds, and the Syrian army were very close to cutting off the Raqqa-Turkey supply route. Turkey’s invasion is a gift from heaven for the Jihadists in Raqqa: it prevents them from being cut off from Turkey. Turkey’s invasion of Syria is clearly to the advantage of ISIS.
Turkey’s objectives in Syria have always been clear and these are to:
1. prevent the Kurds from gaining autonomy, destroy the YPD, the sister organisation of the PKK, and
2. remove Assad from power.
In the chaotic moments and endless news feed about the Turkish coup, it became clear that Washington and the West did not support Erdogan.
After Hosni Mubarak, Muammar Gaddafi and Viktor Yanukovych it was now time to get rid of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. According to the Daily Sabah the coup was linked to the Gülenist Terror Organization (FETÖ), which has its leadership based in Washington.
The day after the failed coup, Western-based media tried to contain the damage and hurried to proclaim: “NATO Allies Rally Behind Erdogan as Turkish Coup Splits Military.” They did not!
On Friday when the situation was very chaotic the White House website stated “The President spoke tonight by phone with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the events in Turkey. The President and Secretary agreed that all parties in Turkey should support the democratically-elected Government of Turkey, show restraint, and avoid any violence or bloodshed. The Secretary underscored that the State Department will continue to focus on the safety and security of U.S. citizens in Turkey. The President asked the Secretary to continue to keep him updated as the situation unfolds.”
The announcement was purposefully vague nor was it made by the president himself; in the text of the White House, there was no reference or any direct support for Erdogan or outright condemnation of the coup. The “democratically-elected Government” as stated in the announcement does not include Erdogan as President. Of course, if the White House did support the democracy, the text should read: “democratically-elected Government and the President.”
The coup leaders said they’d done so in the name of protecting democracy, and this is in line with the statement of the White House.
This week the PKK shot down a Turkish Super Cobra Attack Helicopter with a Russian-made IGLA MANPAD in south-east Turkey. UPDATE 2016-05-19 Turkey confirms downing helicopter by PKK
The MANPAD in the possession of the PKK will seriously challenge Turkish air power and potentially intensify fighting in the region. The Russian-made IGLA MANPAD decimated the Ukrainian air force during the 2014-2015 war in the Donbass. According to internet sources, the insurgents in east Ukraine use this IGLA MANPAD to destroy many Ukrainian helicopters and planes. On 14 June 2014, an Ilyushin of the Ukrainian Air Force was shot down with an IGLA MANPAD, all 49 people on board died. Continue reading
Sending refugees to Greece and prosecuting Europeans is merely the continuation of policy by other means. Erdogan shows himself to be a good pupil of Clausewitz. Ankara’s objectives are the integration with the EU and gaining financial support from the EU on Turkish terms, as we explained in April Gefira #3. To this end Turkey heavily relies on its nationals in Europe to heighten tension with Berlin and the European Commission, carrying it almost too far. European citizens see that Erdogan is getting the upper-hand over the weak European politicians: Merkel’s popularity is now plummeting across the continent, so that the chancellor may even be forced to step down as a result of Erdogan’s political maneuvering. Continue reading
The Syrian war has spilled over into Turkey. The Kurdish fighters are now the preferred weapon recipients of the West. The US, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK are supplying Kurdish fighters with arms and training.
Turkish Tank Gets Hit While Shelling Cizre
Not only the Peshmerga troops in Northern Iraq, commanded by President Barzani, a key US ally in the region, but also the Syrian Kurdish factions that are run by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) are being armed by the US. The Syrian Kurdish militias solemnly promised not to hand over the US-supplied weapons to their PKK brothers in Turkey. There is no way to control this and the Turkish state media “Daily Sabah” is already complaining that Germany is delivering arms, and training PKK insurgents.
Three Turkish fighter jets violated Greek air space in the central and northeastern Aegean four times on Tuesday. Source Ekathimerini
Turks acquiring property in Greece constitute one of the most dynamic group of buyers in the local market. The number of buyers from Turkey has increased considerably since 2011 to peak with annual rates of 11.7 percent in 2012 and 10.9 percent in 2013, according to Bank of Greece data. Source: Ekathimerini
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said the depreciation of the lira was the result of an operation targeting Turkey and there is no difference between a terrorist holding a gun and one having foreign currency. Source: Turkey Purge
The third, fourth and fifth articles of the constitutional amendment package, which include moves to reduce the age of candidacy in presidential elections, passed with over 341 votes in late night sessions on Jan. 11 and 12, while main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmakers’ staunch criticism and their attempt to occupy the parliamentary chair led to fury among lawmakers. Source Hurriyet Daily
The Foreign Ministry released a statement late Thursday, in which the Aegean islets issue was addressed by the spokesman Ambassador Hüseyin Müftüoğlu. The ministry stated that Turkey expects prudence from Greece in “such a sensitive matter.” Source Daily Sabah
Ankara has issued a stern warning to Washington, saying that it has every right to shut down the İncirlik Air Base if the latter continues to not provide air and intelligence support to Turkish forces as part of Operation Euphrates Shield Source Daily Sabah
Turkey’s conservative teachers’ union Eğitim-Bir-Sen has suggested that courses related to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder of Turkish Republic, should be removed from school curriculums. The union’s statement came after the Education Ministry announced that it had concluded efforts at renovating the schedule.Source Hurriyet Daily
Electricity blackouts were still ongoing in Istanbul on Jan. 2, as officials say Turkey’s largest city and nearby provinces will continue to suffer from power outages on Jan. 3. Source Hurriyet Daily
Tension between Turkish and Greek coast guard units escalated in the new year over the islets of Kardak, also known as Imia, in the Aegean Sea after 10 Greek fishing boats violated Turkish territorial waters on Monday. Turkish coast guard boats contained Greek fishing boats and prevented them from dropping anchor in the Kardak islets, forcing them to return to their own territorial waters. Source Daily Sabah
Draft constitutional amendments will abolish prime minister’s post to hand full executive powers to the presidency. A Turkish parliamentary commission has approved draft constitutional amendments that introduce a new executive presidential system, giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more powers. Source Al Jazeera
Turkey aims to establish a ceasefire in Syria before the new year, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, adding that Ankara would not hold talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Source: Reuters
Turkey’s military deployed tanks and guns on the Syrian border as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged joint action with the Trump administration against Islamic State in its de facto capital, Raqqa. Source: Bloomberg
On Thursday, Erdogan said that the recent bloody terrorist attacks that cost dozens of lives caused him the same grief as the grief he feels because of territories lost by the Treaty of Lausanne. The treaty had designated the borders of the modern Turkish State, including the borders with Greece. Source GreekReporter
Creation of an economic union, transition to free trade and extension of customs privileges are needed for expanding the cooperation between the Turkic-speaking countries, Turkish Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci said. “If the countries strengthen the economic relations, ties in the political spheres will also be expanded,” Source: Trend News Agency
Tuesday morning a Turkish CN235 entered Greek airspace and descended to the low altitude of just 30 meters as it flew over the islet of Panagia, part of the Oinousses island cluster east of the Greek island of Chios. Source Greek Reporter
Two pairs of Turkish F-4 fighter jets violated Greek air space between the eastern Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios on Monday, Greek authorities said. Source Ekathimerini
Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos underlined the ‘risk of an accident’ in the Aegean from the continuous violations of the Greek airspace by Turkish fighters and the air combats that follow, in an interview with Realnews Sunday newspaper. Source Greek Reporter
About 200 migrants reached the shores of the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos from 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. on Friday. They were reportedly Africans who had been residing at closed camps in northwestern According to Greek state news agency, thousands of Africans who had reached coastal Turkey recently were looking into ways to crossing to Greece. Source Ekhatimerini
“If they [Turkey] threaten our country, they will meet with our response and they will know that we shall not make concessions in the name of diplomacy on issues of national sovereignty,” Kammenos said in a radio interview Thursday. Source kathimerini
The Central Banks of Turkey and China have concluded their first Turkish lira-yuan swap deal worth 450 million Turkish liras ($132.42 million), a Turkish Central Bank source told Anadolu Agency. The swap took place on Nov. 30, which is aimed at reducing reliance on the greenback. Source Anadolu Agency
EU states should be permitted to send some asylum-seekers back to Greece from March, the bloc’s executive said on Thursday as it looks to restore a common policy on migration that collapsed last year under a mass influx of refugees. Source Reuters
German companies should remain hopeful about the future of their investments in Turkey since the country offers considerable economic growth potential, Germany’s ambassador to Turkey Martin Erdmann said on Wednesday. Source Anadolu Agency
Two Turkish warplanes that violated Greek airspace over the Lesvos-Chios-Samos islands area twice, were involved in dogfights with a pair of Greek F-16 fighter jets on Monday. The Turkish F-16 entered Greek airspace in the area of Lesvos and Chios early in the morning and were intercepted by the Greek planes. Source Greek Reporter
The fight to save the lira plunging against the dollar will get a public boost as people rush to currency exchange offices to convert dollars to lira, with businesses offering free meals to haircuts to anyone documenting the switch Source Daily Sabah