Turkey attacks both ISIS and Kurds in Syria


After Turkey virtually gave ISIS a pass for many months, the Turkish military and allied forces are seriously attacking both U.S.-backed Kurdish militia and Islamic State group positions across the border in Syria. The Turkish government has fought the Kurds for many years because the latter want to carve out a nation of their own in the region, including in part of Turkey.

“The fundamental aim in the latest operation is to open a corridor for moderate rebels,” a Turkish official said.

Turkey’s foreign minister had vowed to “completely cleanse” the country’s border regions of Isis militants, after a  suicide bomber with links to the group killed 54 people at a Kurdish wedding.

To read The Guardian’s story, please hit this link.

Post coup-attempt Turkey and Russia getting friendly


The Washington Post reported on a story that worries Turkey’s NATO allies:

“The leaders of Turkey and Russia pledged on Aug. 9 to restart key energy projects and roll back sanctions, seeking to rebuild ties as Turkey looks beyond its NATO partners for support following a failed coup attempt last month.

“In his first trip abroad since the attempted takeover by the military, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly courted Russia — in vivid contrast to recent and bitter hostilities with Moscow, especially over Syria’s civil war.

“….The Turkish leader repeatedly thanked Putin for his rapid offer of aid following the coup attempt, and called for relations between the two countries to return ‘to their  pre-{Syrian} crisis level, or even higher.”’

To read the article, please hit this link.

Greek-Turkish Cypriot talks on reunification may be a model



Map by konact

Greek and Turkish Cypriot political leaders  have made  progress in talks aimed at the political reunification of the island  (part of which is effectively occupied by Turkey) on the basis of establishing a two-zone, two-community federal state.The talks might be a model for settling other disputes between European Union members.

A broad agreement seems likely by the end of the year, after 42 years of the nation being divided between the Turkish northeast and the Greek rest of the island country.

To read The Wall Street Journal article on these developments, please hit this link.

West urges Turkish government restraint after botched coup


In a plea that’s unlikely to be respected by Turkey’s increasingly dictatorial president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, European politicians and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry have called on Turkey to respect the rule of law amid a purge of state institutions in the aftermath of the  botched coup.

Mr. Kerry told a news government: “We …urge the government of Turkey to uphold the highest standards of respect for the nation’s democratic institutions and the rule of law. We will certainly support bringing the perpetrators of the coup to justice but we also caution against a reach that goes well beyond that.”

As Turkish authorities consider restoring the death penalty for those either in the coup or simply those whom Mr. Erdogan deems political enemies, the E.U. has warned that for Turkey to restore the death penalty would doom its {already probably doomed attempts} to join the E.U. Turkey’s increasingly authoritarian government and Islamist tendencies make it an unlikely member of a group of open, secular democracies.

To read a Guardian article on this, please hit this link.



Israel, Turkey moving closer again


The Washington Post reports that Israel and Turkey have agreed to repair ties “after six years of strained relations over a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish ship delivering aid to Gaza in 2010, officials said Monday. Ten Turkish activists were killed in the assault.”

The Post noted: “The rapprochement has potential wide-reaching security and economic ramifications in the region. Turkey and Israel once shared close military cooperation, and they have common worries over the Islamic State and other war-driven instability in Syria, which borders Turkey and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.”

The Post did not speculate on the effects on Russia but it must be noted that  NATO-member Turkey, while in the past few days trying to repair ties with Russia after it shot down a Russian jet last year, remains very suspicious of Russian intentions in the Mideast, even as  Israel remains a close of ally of the U.S.

To read The Post article, please hit this link.


Turkey misses deadline for E.U. travel deal


Amidst fears about Islamist mass-murderers getting into the European Union via Turkey, that nation has missed a E.U. deadline that if Turkey had met it would have  allowed its citizens  visa-free travel through most of Europe.

E.U. leaders had conditionally promised the Turkish government that 79 million Turks would get access to Europe’s 26-country border-free Schengen travel zone by this month, as part of a controversial bargain on migration. But that depended on Turkey meeting 72 E.U. conditions on border security and fundamental human rights, including changes to increasingly authoritarian Turkey’s tough anti-terrorism laws.

Intensifying European worries is that Islamist terrorists can sometimes make their way from Syria and Iraq across Turkey and then into Europe.

Still, E.U. officials are expected to approve the opening of negotiations on one part of Turkish E.U. membership talks, which some people call a charade.

For the full story, please hit this link.

Turkish leader’s dictatorship trend kills chances for E.U. membership by ’20


Turkey’s increasingly dictatorial president, Recep Erdogan, has destroyed his nation’s chances of joining the European Union by 2020, as some had hoped, for pushing through a new law aimed a destroying parliamentary opposition to Mr. Erdoğan’s ruling neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP) by encouraging politically inspired, criminal prosecutions of anti-government legislators.

The E.U.’s rules demand that all applicant states must adhere to democratic governance and uphold such other basic principles as the rule of law, human rights, including freedom of speech, and protection of minorities.  President Erdogan now bitterly calls the E.U. “a Christian club.’’

For more details, hit this link.