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Military coup underway in Turkey

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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:45 am

Turkey protests US indictment charging Erdogan's security.

ISTANBUL (AP) — 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. The statement published late Wednesday follows Tuesday's grand jury decision in Washington to charge the defendants with attacking peaceful demonstrators during a visit by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on May 16.

In this file frame grab from video provided by Voice of America, members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail are shown violently reacting to peaceful protesters during Erdogan's trip last month to Washington.protests US indictment charging Erdogan's security.

Turkey has repeatedly told U.S. officials that security outside the ambassador's home was negligent and didn't ensure the safety of Erdogan's entourage amid sympathizers of an outlawed Kurdish militant group, according to the statement.

The ministry called the indictment "biased" and "regretful," claiming it also accused people who had never been to the U.S. It announced Turkey would follow legal paths to fight the decision.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 04, 2017 7:37 am

Turkish foreign minister defiant over arrested Germans.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu on Saturday dismissed Berlin's angry reaction to the arrest of German citizens in Turkey, local media reported, a row which is worsening the nations' already fraying ties.

"When we arrest (a coup plotter) Germany starts to get upset. But what are we supposed to do?" Cavusoglu was quoted as saying by the Anadolu news agency.

"This is also a Turkish citizen but it (Germany) asks why are you arresting my citizen?".

Turkey has made a wave of arrests since a failed coup in July 2016.

Turkey has arrested more than 50,000 people including journalists under the state of emergency imposed in a crackdown after the failed July 2016 coup.

Berlin said Friday that two more German nationals had been held in Turkey "for political reasons", as Chancellor Angela Merkel warned Ankara that Germany could re-examine its policies following the latest Turkish action.

The latest arrests bring to 12 the total number of Germans in Turkish custody that Berlin considers political prisoners.

There is "no legal basis" for detention in most of these cases, Merkel said, according to remarks carried by Germany's DPA news agency.

According to the Dogan news agency, the two German nationals most recently arrested are of Turkish origin and were detained at Antalya airport in southeastern Turkey over suspected links with the failed coup.

"If it's someone connected to the failed coup, if they supported it, then why are you protecting them?" asked Cavusoglu, speaking in southern Turkey at celebrations for the major Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha.

Relations between the two NATO allies have deteriorated sharply since Berlin sharply criticised Ankara over the crackdown that followed last year's failed coup.

The arrest of several German nationals, including the Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel, the Istanbul correspondent for Die Welt daily, further frayed ties.

Yucel has now spent some 200 days in Turkish custody ahead of a trial on terror charges.

German journalist Mesale Tolu has been held on similar charges since May, while human rights activist Peter Steudtner was arrested in a July raid.

Following Steudtner's arrest, Germany vowed stinging measures impacting tourism and investment in Turkey and a full "overhaul" of their troubled relations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, has also sparked outrage after charging that Germany is sheltering plotters of last year's coup, as well as Kurdish militants and terrorists, and demanded their extradition.

Erdogan added to the tensions this month when he urged ethnic Turks in Germany to vote against Merkel's conservatives and their coalition partners, the Social Democrats, in September 24 elections.

On Friday, Merkel hit out against Erdogan's call, saying Germany's election "will be decided only by the people in our country, who have German citizenship".

The escalating tensions have split the three-million-strong Turkish community in Europe's top economy, the largest diaspora abroad, which is a legacy of Germany's "guest worker" programme of the 1960s and 70s.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:20 am

Turkey says citizens face 'racist treatment' in Germany.

Turkey on Saturday asked citizens to be "cautious" in Germany and stay away from political gatherings ahead of this month's election, as tensions ratcheted between the Nato allies.

Ties have plummeted since last year's attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Germany's strong criticism of an ensuing crackdown which saw more than 50,000 people arrested.

Relations further deteriorated after the detention of several German citizens including Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for the Die Welt newspaper.

The Turkish foreign ministry urged citizens living in Germany or planning to travel there "to be cautious, taking into account the situation in Germany where they could risk xenophobic or racist treatment".

It asked them to "stay away from political debates, political party gatherings ahead of the general election" on September 24.

Ankara claimed there was "discrimination" against Turks "on the basis of their political views", which has led to "verbal attacks against some of our citizens".

Erdogan last month urged Turks in Germany not to vote for the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Social Democratic Party (SPD) or the Greens, as they were "enemies of Turkey", enraging German politicians.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:24 pm

Rights group: Turkey newspaper trial a 'mockery of justice'.

ISTANBUL (AP) — A media advocacy group accused Turkey's president of trying to silence the country's main opposition newspaper and free press as the second hearing of a trial against staff members of the paper began Monday.

Under the watchful eye of a Turkish army soldier standing guard outside a court, a protester holds a copy of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, with headline in Turkish reading: 'We want justice," during a demonstration against the trial of journalists and staff from the newspaper, accused of aiding terror organizations, in Silivri, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017.

Christophe Deloire, the secretary general of Reporters Without Borders, called the case against Turkey's pro-secular Cumhuriyet newspaper "a mockery of justice." "(Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan succeeded in suppressing pluralism and free press in this country. There are only a few remaining free media and we have to defend them," he said.

Deloire spoke to The Associated Press outside Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul where five Cumhuriyet employees are being held in pre-trial detention. Among the jailed are editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and columnist Kadri Gursel who have been in prison for 316 days as well as investigative journalist Ahmet Sik, in prison for 255 days.

Prosecutors have charged 19 employees of the paper with allegedly "sponsoring terror organizations," including Kurdish militants, a far-left group and the network of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who the government blames for a failed coup last year. Gulen denies any involvement.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said the defendants were facing various charges with jail sentences ranging from seven to 43 years in prison. More than 50,000 people have been jailed in the aftermath of the bloody July 15, 2016 coup attempt for alleged links to Gulen and other terror groups. But critics say the crackdown has been widened to quash opposition voices, including journalists, activists and parliamentarians who have been put behind bars.

Cumhuriyet employees and supporters gathered Monday outside Silivri prison's courthouse, holding the paper's edition with the headline "We want justice."  The newspaper's Ankara representative Erdem Gul told the AP that Turkey "holds a record for imprisoned journalists," with some 170 media workers behind bars.

"But despite everything, we will continue our journalism," he said. The government insists that none of them are in prison for their journalistic work, arguing that they are behind bars for various crimes, including terrorism.

Gul is on trial in a separate case, accused of espionage and aiding Gulen's network, for a 2015 story alleging that Turkey's intelligence service was smuggling arms to Syria. He accused the government of labeling all opposition as terrorists.

"It is journalism, freedom of thought and expression that are on trial," Gul said. Seven Cumhuriyet staff members, including cartoonist Musa Kart, were released after the first hearing in July. Two people are being tried in absentia.

Also on trial and in prison is Kemal Aydogdu, who is not related to the newspaper but is suspected of using a Twitter handle critical of the government. He is accused of being a "manager" in a terror group, according to Anadolu.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  bb1 on Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:18 pm

Brave people.

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. -Neil Tweedie, Daily Mail, of the McCanns' tormentor Gonzo.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 12, 2017 8:23 am

Turkey arrests two more German nationals as tensions flare.

Two more German citizens are believed to have been arrested in Turkey, the foreign ministry in Berlin said on Monday, adding that a travel warning could follow if the detentions continue.

Foreign ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer told reporters it had "specific indications" that the two Germans, a married couple, had been taken into police custody over the weekend.

It is not known what the pair were arrested for, but Schaefer added one has apparently been released and told to leave Turkey.

"That means the nightmare of so many German nationals who wanted nothing else than to have a holiday in Turkey continues," he said.

"It can affect anyone who decides to travel to Turkey. You expect no danger and suddenly you're in a Turkish prison - that is the sad reality we are confronted with."

Schaefer said that in the face of such "capriciousness" by the Turkish authorities, Germany would have to consider putting Turkey on its travel blacklist in future.

"If it becomes daily routine for the Turkish authorities to detain German citizens at the border and put them in police custody... then it is possible that the moment will have arrived that a travel advisory will be issued," he said.

"Then Turkey would join a list of countries such as Libya, Yemen and Syria in which no one would think of going on holiday."

Ties between Berlin and Ankara have soured since last year's attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Germany's strong criticism of an ensuing crackdown in Turkey which has seen more than 50,000 people arrested.

Relations further deteriorated after the detention of several German citizens including Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for Die Welt newspaper.

Eleven Germans are currently held by Turkey for political reasons, including three who have been detained since the summer of 2016, according to the German foreign ministry.

Germany had updated foreign ministry travel advice in July to warn citizens that they could face arrest if they travel to Turkey.

In a tit-for-tat update to its own travel guidance, Turkey on Saturday warned citizens living in or travelling to Germany "to be cautious, taking into account the situation in Germany where they could risk xenophobic or racist treatment".
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:27 am

Turkey issues warrants for ex-agents for links to cleric.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's state-run news agency says authorities have issued detention warrants for 63 people, mostly ex-intelligence agency workers, for alleged ties to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric accused of masterminding last year's failed coup attempt.

Anadolu Agency reported that warrants were issued Tuesday for 45 former employees of the National Intelligence Agency, MIT, and 18 others suspected of being operatives of the cleric, Fethullah Gulen. Anadolu said that nine of the suspects have been detained in the capital, Ankara.

Turkey has launched a large-scale crackdown against Gulen's movement after the July 2016 coup attempt, dismissing more than 110,000 people from government jobs and arresting more than 50,000 people for alleged links to terror groups.

Gulen denies involvement in the coup attempt.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Sep 22, 2017 8:31 pm

Turkey says it won't accept Kurdish independence vote.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's government will never accept a separate Kurdish state in neighboring Iraq and won't refrain from taking steps to prevent it, the Turkish prime minister said Friday. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim again called on Iraqi Kurdish leaders to abandon plans for a referendum on independence, saying it wasn't too late for them to turn away "from this adventure."

"This decision for a referendum and the realization of this referendum is a matter of Turkish national security," Yildirim said. "Turkey is determined — and wouldn't hesitate to use its rights emanating from international agreements and bilateral agreements where matters of national security are concerned."

"A change to the existing statuses of Syria or Iraq would be a result that we would never accept and would do the necessary against within our rights," he said. Yildirim spoke to reporters hours before Turkey's political and military leaders met to consider possible sanctions and other measures against Iraq's Kurdish region if it goes ahead with the vote on Monday.

A statement issued at the end of a three-hour long meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan branded the planned referendum as "illegal and unacceptable." It said Turkey reserved its rights under international and bilateral agreements to act against it.

Ankara has forged close economic ties to the semi-autonomous Kurdish region but strongly opposes moves toward Kurdish independence. Turkey has a large ethnic Kurdish population and is battling a Kurdish insurgency on its own territory.

Yildirim added: "It's not too late. The leadership in northern Iraq, (Iraqi Kurdish president Masoud) Barzani should abandon this passion, this obstinacy." This week, the Turkish military launched previously unannounced military exercises near the border with Iraq in an apparent warning to Iraq's Kurds.

Turkey's parliament will also hold an extraordinary session on Saturday to discuss the planned Kurdish referendum and also vote to extend a mandate that allows Turkey's military to intervene in Syria and Iraq.

Yildirim said the mandate to be voted on Saturday gives the military "to intervene on all kinds of developments that are against our country and threaten our national security." "It gives the right to send troops," he added.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:05 pm

Turkey warns Kurdish leaders on vote as parliament convenes.

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish officials are pressing Iraqi Kurdish leaders to call off an upcoming independence referendum as Turkey's parliament convenes to renew a mandate for the country's military to intervene in Iraq and Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Saturday called the Monday referendum to create a Kurdish state in neighboring Iraq "a mistake, an adventure." Yildirim says Turkey would take diplomatic, political and economic measures according to "developments on the ground." He added that a cross-border operation also was an option.

The prime minister has said Saturday's vote would allow the military to get involved in "all kinds of developments" that threatened Turkey's security. Meanwhile, the Turkish military said additional units joined exercises near the Iraqi border as the chief of staff welcomed his Iraqi counterpart to the country.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:33 pm

40 sentenced to life for attempting to kill Erdogan.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A court in southwestern Turkey sentenced 40 people to life in prison Wednesday, convicting them of charges that include attempting to kill President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during last year's failed coup, Turkish state television TRT reported.

A total of 46 suspects — 37 of them former military personnel — have been on trial since February in the city of Mugla accused of attempted assassination, violation of the constitution and other crimes against the state during the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.

The defendants were accused of using helicopters to attack the hotel in the resort of Marmaris where Erdogan and his family members were staying, killing two policemen. Erdogan had left the hotel shortly before it was attacked.

Turkey has blamed the coup on the movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whose followers are accused of infiltrating the military and other state institutions. Gulen has condemned the coup attempt and has denied he was involved.

State television TRT said the court handed down life prison terms to 40 of the defendants. One defendant, a former lieutenant-colonel, was acquitted. Two others, including Erdogan's former military aide, were sentenced to 18 and 15 years in prison.

The trial against Gulen, who was named as one of the defendants, and two other defendants who are on the run, will continue separately, TRT reported. The defendants denied the charges against them during the trial and some complained of an unfair trial while making their final statements before the verdicts were delivered, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

"I believe the ruling will be a premature one. I want to be tried again in courts where the rule of law is upheld," the Anadolu news agency quoted former lieutenant Muhammet Burak Ipek as telling the court.

Other defendants insisted they were obeying orders from their superiors, the agency reported. The trial was held at a trade center that was turned into a temporary court because the courthouse is too small to hold such a high-profile case.

The trial is one of several cases underway against coup plotters across Turkey.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:03 am

US 'deeply disturbed' by arrest of Istanbul consulate staffer.

The United States on Thursday said it was "deeply disturbed" over the arrest by Turkish authorities of a local staffer working at its consulate in Istanbul, saying the charges against him were baseless.

The employee was remanded in custody by an Istanbul court late Wednesday on accusations of links to the group of US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, blamed by Ankara for last year's failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The man has been formally charged with espionage and seeking to overthrow the Turkish government, it added.

"The United States government is deeply disturbed by the arrest of a locally employed staff member," the US embassy in Ankara said in a statement.

"We believe these allegations to be wholly without merit," it added.

This is the first time a US embassy or consulate worker has been arrested as part of the investigation into the failed coup.

The statement also condemned leaks in the local press which it said came from Turkish government sources that were "seemingly aimed at trying the employee in the media rather than a court of law."

The case had been detailed earlier in the week by pro-government Turkish media, including the Aksam daily.

"Baseless, anonymous allegations against our employees undermine and devalue this longstanding relationship" between the two NATO allies, the statement said.

- 'Due legal process' -

The American embassy has repeatedly railed against unsubstantiated claims made against Washington in the pro-Erdogan press, including of a US hand in the failed coup which the United States has always denied.

The charges against the staffer relate to December 2013 corruption allegations that touched Erdogan's inner circle and the authorities claim were cooked up by Gulen in a bid to seize power.

The staffer is accused of having contact with former pro-Gulen police as well as ex-prosecutor Zekeriya Oz who was central to presenting the claims and is now a fugitive.

Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin indicated a key figure in the case of the employee was Adil Oksuz, who Ankara believes was the top civilian leader in the coup bid but is on the run.

Kalin recalled that Turkish authorities believe a telephone call was made from the US consulate to Oksuz on the night of the failed coup.

"Since he (the employee) was detained then arrested, there must be serious evidence," Kalin told TRT Haber.

Kalin said the staffer's role in the consulate did not mean there would be a "presumption of innocence", but prosecutors would conduct the probe meticulously.

Turkey has pressed Washington for the extradition of the Pennsylvania-based Gulen, who denies any link to the coup bid.

The lack of movement on the issue has further strained ties already fraying over Washington's support for a Syrian Kurdish militia Ankara deems to be a terror group.

- 'Continue to engage' -

Turkish officials had expressed hope of a new page in Ankara-Washington relations under President Donald Trump.

But ties have strained further after members of Erdogan's security detail were indicted by US authorities after clashes with protesters during an official visit this year.

Meanwhile American pastor Andrew Brunson, who ran a church in the western city of Izmir, has been held by Turkish authorities since October 2016 on charges of being a member of Gulen's group.

Erdogan suggested last month that Turkey could release him in exchange for Gulen but Washington showed little interest in the proposal.

The American embassy said the United States will "continue to engage" with Ankara to ensure its employees and US citizens are accorded "due legal process".

Some 50,000 people have been detained under the state of emergency imposed in the wake of the failed coup, a crackdown that critics say has been excessive in scale.

Kalin insisted Turkey had never made an illegal extradition request from the US.

"We have said return these people as part of the extradition agreement. Let them be tried here" in Turkey, the spokesman said.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Mon Oct 09, 2017 4:42 pm

Turkey wants US to review decision to halt visa services.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's justice minister on Monday said he hoped the United States would "review" its decision to suspend most visa services for Turkish citizens following the arrest of a U.S. consulate employee in Istanbul that has deepened tensions between the two NATO allies.

Meanwhile, Turkish authorities announced that a second employee of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul had been "invited" to the Istanbul's chief prosecutor's office to testify. Authorities did not explain why. Reports say the employee is a Turkish citizen, and the prosecutor's office said his wife and child had also been detained for questioning.

The U.S. on Sunday suspended the issuing of visas for Turkish citizens hoping to visit or study in the United States after Turkey arrested U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz last week on allegations of espionage.

The visa suspension prompted Turkey to immediately halt visa services in the U.S. in a tit-for-tat response. Turkey's Foreign Ministry summoned the embassy's second-in-charge on Monday asking that Washington review the decision that caused "unnecessary escalation" and "victimized" both Turkish and U.S. citizens, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said.

Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul said: "We hope that the United States will review this decision." "It is Turkey's right to try a Turkish citizen for acts carried out in Turkey," he said. "Everyone should follow (legal procedures) with respect."

Despite the seemingly friendly relations between U.S. President Donald Trump and Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ties between the two countries are tense over the arrest of Topuz, a Turkish citizen, and several Americans over alleged ties to a movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for last summer's coup attempt. Gulen denies involvement.

Topuz is accused of espionage and "attempting to overthrow the Turkish government and constitution." Turkey's official Anadolu news agency reported that he allegedly communicated with former police chiefs in a 2013 corruption probe and others involved in the attempted coup using an encrypted mobile messaging application.

The U.S. Embassy said it was "deeply disturbed" by the arrest and has complained of reports in Turkey's pro-government media that it said aimed to try Topuz in the media instead of a court of law. Other Americans held in Turkey include Pastor Andrew Brunson who was detained last year and is accused of terror-related charges for alleged ties to Gulen's movement. Erdogan has linked the pastor's possible release or deportation to Washington agreeing to extradite Gulen to Turkey.

The Turkish lira recorded a sharp drop against the dollar on Monday, following the mutual suspension of visa services.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Tue Oct 24, 2017 7:48 pm

Turkey: Greece should not become 'haven' for coup-plotters.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Neighboring Greece should not become a "haven" for people suspected of links to last year's failed coup in Turkey, the Turkish foreign minister said Tuesday after meeting with his visiting Greek counterpart.

Speaking at a joint news conference with Greece's Nikos Kotzias, Mevlut Cavusoglu also said Turkey was keeping its side of an agreement made with the European Union on curbing the flow of migrants to Europe.

The ministers met in Ankara after a recent increase in the number of migrants illegally entering Greece from Turkey. Kotzias' visit also comes amid tensions over the decision by Greek courts not to extradite eight Turkish officers accused by Turkey of involvement in the coup attempt and of links to the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen blamed for orchestrating the attempt.

Cavusoglu said Turkey was deeply disappointed by the decision against the officers' extradition. He said at least 995 other Turkish citizens were seeking asylum in Greece and urged that they be vetted carefully to ensure that none is linked to the attempted coup.

"We want to believe that Greece, a neighboring country with which we are developing closer ties by the day, does not become a haven for (Gulen supporters)," Cavusoglu said. Kotzias said his government opposes coups but the courts' decisions must be respected.

Greece and Turkey are NATO allies but have long-standing disputes, including Aegean Sea boundaries, undersea exploration rights and the war-divided island of Cyprus. Kotzias said improved ties between Turkey and Greece are to the benefit of both nations and reiterated support for Turkish membership in the EU.

Despite the failure of recent talks to reunify Cyprus, the two countries were "evaluating what steps to take next," Cavusolgu said. "In essence, a solution to Cyprus would benefit everyone," Cavusoglu said.

The U.N. has reported an increase in migrant arrivals from Turkey in September. It was the highest monthly record since March 2016, when the EU and Turkey reached a deal to restrict the flow of migrants into Europe.

Cavusoglu reiterated Turkey's commitment to the deal and said the EU had failed to deliver a large chunk of the money pledged to help Syrian refugees in Turkey.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Wed Oct 25, 2017 12:20 pm

Turkey: Former minister forms party to challenge Erdogan.

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A former Turkish interior minister and deputy parliament speaker has formed a new party hoping to challenge President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in elections set for 2019. The 61-year-old Meral Aksener founded the center-right "Iyi Parti," or "Good Party," in Ankara on Wednesday with a group of legislators who broke away from Turkey's nationalist party this year. They were angered by the support that party gave Erdogan in a referendum that increases the president's powers.

Aksener is Turkey's first woman interior minister and served in that post between 1996 and 1997 until the government, a conservative-Islamist coalition, was ousted under military pressure. At a ceremony marking the party's founding, Aksener suggested that she could run against Erdogan in the presidential elections.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Fri Nov 10, 2017 12:03 pm

Turkish police detain at least 100 Islamic State suspects.

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkish police have detained at least 100 people suspected of links to the Islamic State group, Turkey's official news agency said Friday. Istanbul police conducted simultaneous operations at multiple districts to detain 82 foreigners, Anadolu Agency reported. The suspects had allegedly been active in conflict zones with IS and planned on going to Syria.

Separately, Anadolu said 11 Syrian nationals were detained in the southern province of Adana for alleged links to IS. Seven others, whose nationalities weren't revealed, were detained in western Izmir province. The nationalities of the 82 foreigners detained in Istanbul also weren't disclosed.

The operations are part of Turkey's ramped up effort to clamp down on IS. Police detained more than 170 IS suspects in a sweep in the capital, Ankara, on Thursday. The Istanbul detentions were part of operations to protect Friday commemorations of the 79th anniversary of founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's death as well as securing an Istanbul marathon scheduled for Sunday, according to the private Dogan news agency.

Turkey has suffered a series of bloody attacks blamed on IS militants, including a New Year's attack at an Istanbul nightclub by a gunman that killed 39 people. Last month, police said they broke up sleeper cells and detained dozens of IS suspects allegedly planning an attack during a national holiday. A bomb-laden vehicle and motorcycle set up to be detonated with remote controls were discovered outside a mall in Istanbul, along with suicide vests, according to Anadolu.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

Post  Lamplighter on Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:24 pm

Turkey denies report of plan to kidnap cleric Gulen from US.

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey on Sunday dismissed as "ludicrous and groundless" a report that Turkish officials may have discussed kidnapping a U.S.-based Muslim cleric in exchange for millions of dollars. On Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating an alleged plot involving former U.S. National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and his son to forcibly remove Fethullah Gulen and hand him over to Ankara for as much as $15 million.

Turkey blames Gulen for last year's failed coup attempt. Gulen denies the claim. In a statement on Twitter, Turkey's embassy in Washington reiterated demands that the U.S. extradite Gulen so he can stand trial. The embassy said Turkey has been working with U.S. agencies to provide evidence of Gulen's culpability and rejected "allegations that Turkey would resort to means external to the rule of law."

Turkish officials say they have provided U.S. officials with ample evidence for Gulen's involvement in the coup that killed 250 people. Nearly 50,000 people are behind bars in Turkey and more than 100,000 civil servants have been dismissed from their jobs for alleged links to the cleric's network.

Yet questions remain whether Gulen would receive a fair trial in Turkey. The Turkish embassy said the Turkish people find Gulen's continued refuge in the U.S. "perplexing and deeply frustrating." Gulen has been living in the U.S. for nearly two decades. He is a former ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan until a public fallout in 2013 led the government to declare Gulen's network a terror group.
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Re: Military coup underway in Turkey

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