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.