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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ahmet Davutoglu’

Turkey’s PM Ahmet Davutoglu Resigns

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu resigned from his post on Thursday afternoon.

Davutoglu told journalists at a news conference that followed the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party’s central executive committee meeting, “I have worked with my heart and soul. There was no fallout from the AK Party structure during my chairmanship.

Davutoglu explained that his decision to resign was made “out of necessity,” saying, “I think that it is right to step down for the continuity of AK Party’s unity and solidarity,” according to Turkey’s Daily Sabah news site.

Erdogan has long been pressuring the party – and the country – for a Constitutional change that would create a presidential leadership government, one without a prime minister.

“Strong AK Party governments will continue in the next four years. Determined operations against terror groups are successfully continuing,” he said. “No investments were left unfinished and there were no setbacks during my tenure as prime minister,” he added.

Davutoglu said he would not run as a candidate for party leadership in the May 22 party congress. However, he said, “I will not tolerate any speculations about my relationship with President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. My loyalty to the president will last to the end.”

It is not yet clear how Davutoglu’s resignation will affect Turkey’s diplomatic talks with Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli-Turkish Talks Likely to Focus on Gaza in Geneva

Wednesday, February 10th, 2016

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are meeting today (Feb. 10) in Geneva, Switzerland, according to reports in both Israeli and Turkish media.

Although Turkish diplomatic sources did not confirm the report, Turkey’s NTV said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu was traveling to Geneva for the meeting.

Likewise, although it has not been confirmed, it is likely the two sides are starting to focus on the thorny issue of Israeli national security and Turkey’s insistence on ending the blockade of Gaza. The region has become the central headquarters for a number of radical Islamist terrorist organizations, not the least of which includes its ruling government, the Hamas terrorist group — which has its international headquarters in Istanbul, funded by Iran.

In general, the talks are continuing over how to heal the broken ties between the two former allies following two separate ice-breaker meetings in Ankara between 51 American Jewish leaders with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier this week.

Turkish media ascribes the break to the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, when a Turkish-owned vessel participated in an illegal flotilla aiming to breach Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

When the flotilla ignored Israeli Navy orders to redirect to Ashdod port, IDF commandos boarded each vessel to bring them in, including the Mavi Marmara. But on that vessel the commandos, armed only with pistols and paintball guns, were attacked by terror activists armed with knives and iron bars. During the clash that ensued, 10 attackers were killed, and a number of IDF commandos were seriously wounded.

Turkey used the incident as an excuse to break its ties with Israel and demanded a formal apology, compensation to families of the “victims” — and removal of Israel’s blockade of Gaza. This would open Israeli citizens wide to the results of a massive delivery to Hamas of weaponry from Iran, not to mention opening the border wide to infiltration of terrorists into Israel, further exacerbating the current wave of terror.

Such a request can be likened to asking Turkey to drop any military defense against the PKK — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization which is recognized by the international community as a terrorist group. The PKK has repeatedly attacked Turkish citizens and government officials. Turkey’s military does whatever it can to defend against the group and eliminate it.

Israel officially “apologized” to Turkey in 2013 over the deaths of her citizens. Discussions over compensation are continuing, according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

However, Turkey’s Daily Sabah newspaper reported Wednesday that Israel had agreed to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation, which is to be transferred to a special fund “that will in turn provide grants to the families of the Turkish citizens who were killed on injured in the Israel commando raid of the Mavi Marmara, in accordance with the recent agreement between the two countries.”

Turkey continues to maintain a hardline attitude, however, on what it calls “the Palestinian cause in talks with Israel.”

According to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, discussions on “how Turkish access to Gaza will be provided in an unrestricted fashion have yet to be clarified.”

The Daily Sabah quoted presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin at a recent Ankara briefing as saying Israel must meet all three conditions to normalize relations. He added Turkey “will continue to play its role until a two-state solution is reached and the Palestinian people have their own state. Permanent peace cannot be achieved in the region without resolving the Palestinian issue,” Kalin said.

However, despite the chilly diplomatic atmosphere business is quite brisk between the two nations.

The group that owns the license to Israel’s mammoth Leviathan natural gas field recently signed a new $1.3 billion contract to supply the Israeli Edeltech Group and its Turkish partner, Zorlu Enerji.

Hana Levi Julian

Putin Accuses Turkey of ‘Stab in the Back’

Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused Turkey of a “stab in the back” after an F-16 Turkish fighter jet downed a Russian Sukhoi SU-24 with an air-to-air missile over Turkish air space.

Putin insisted the jet had been in Syrian airspace at the time and never threatened Turkish territory at all. He accused Turkey of aiding Da’esh (ISIS) and said Ankara was helping the terror group sell its oil in remarks prior to a meeting in Sochi, Russia with Jordan’s King Abdullah II. He warned the incident would have “serious consequences for Russian-Turkish relations” but offered no details.

Turkey said in a terse statement the Russian warplane had violated its airspace and had been fired upon only after repeated warnings by Turkish pilots. The Turkish military also released a map that it said showed the plane was shot down as it flew east along a narrow strip of Turkish territory slightly more than a mile wide, along the Syrian border.

“The aircraft entered Turkish airspace over the town of Yaylidag in the southeastern Hatay province. The plane was warned 10 times in the space of five minutes before it was taken down,” the Turkish military said in a statement.

“In line with the military rules of engagement, the Turkish authorities repeatedly warned an unidentified aircraft that they were 15 kilometers or less away from the border.” When the Russian aircraft ignored the warnings, “the Turkish Air Forces responded by downing the aircraft,” said a Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu ordered Turkey’s foreign ministry to consult with the United Nations and NATO, according to the statement from his office. NATO subsequently announced it would hold an emergency session Tuesday in Brussels to discuss the incident.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was scheduled to arrive in Turkey for talks on Wednesday, but in a ninth-hour move cancelled his trip, reportedly due to the downing of the Russian warplane.

In Sochi, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitri S. Peskov told reporters, “It would be wrong now to give any assessments, assumptions or make any conclusions before we get a full picture. We have to be patient; it is a very serious incident, but again, without all of the information it is impossible to say anything, and it would be wrong.”

Footage of the Russian warplane dropping from the skies in flames into a forested area in northern Syria known to Turkish citizens as the Turkmen Mountains was broadcast over the Haberturk television channel on Tuesday.

Turkmen forces in Syria allegedly shot dead both of the pilots from the downed Sukhoi as they came down in their parachutes.

“Both of the pilots were retrieved dead,” Turkmen brigade deputy commander Alpaslan Celik told reporters, according to Reuters. “Our comrades opened fire into the air and they died in the air.” The Turkmen deputy commander held up what he said was a piece of one of the pilots’ parachutes.

Subsequently it was discovered that only one pilot was killed.

Hana Levi Julian

Iraq Says Air Strike May Have Killed ISIS Chief Al-Baghdadi

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

Iraq says its troops may have eliminated Da’esh (ISIS) terrorist chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi this weekend in an air raid near the Syrian border, as Turkish leaders blame the terror group for a suicide bombing in the capital city of Ankara.

“The Iraqi air force carried out a heroic operation targeting the convoy of the criminal terrorist Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,” said a joint statement issued by the “war media cell” of the Iraqi security forces.

“His health status is unknown.”

The joint operation was conducted in concert with Iraqi intelligence services and military advisers from the U.S.-led coalition.

The statement added that Iraqi aircraft struck the ISIS leader’s convoy as it was “moving towards Karabla to attend a meeting of the Da’esh terrorist leaders.”

Karabla is located along the Euphrates River, about three miles (five kilometers) from the Syrian border.

The so-called “war media cell” is comprised of Iraq’s interior and defense ministries in addition to its paramilitary Popular Mobilization forces.

If true, this will not be the first time that al-Baghdadi has been wounded in the “line of duty.”

The Da’esh head terrorist was also allegedly wounded in a March air strike by the U.S.-led coalition while in the al-Ba’ajah district of Nineveh, also near the Syrian border.

Nearly a year ago, in November 2014, al-Baghdadi was reportedly wounded by a U.S. air strike near Mosul as well. Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Abadi claimed at the time that al-Baghdadi’s deputy died in the attack.

Da’esh (ISIS) has been named by Turkey as having been responsible for Saturday’s twin suicide bombings in the city of Ankara which left 97 dead and more than 400 wounded.

The bombing has been called the deadliest attack in Turkey in recent memory.

Approximately 14,000 people were in the area at the time of the blasts, which targeted a peace rally involving the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP).

The midday protest called for an end to renewed clashes between the Kurdish separatist PKK terror organization and the Turkish government.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a televised address it was believed that two suicide bombers had carried out the attack, which comes three weeks before national elections.

No group has officially claimed responsibility for the carnage.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey’s Leaders Meet With Hamas in Ankara

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed international Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal to Ankara on Wednesday.

Senior Turkish officials joined the meeting, which reportedly focused on Turkey’s role in providing support to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Al Resalah website.

Also discussed at the meeting were “the changes in the region and Erdogan’s concerns in the Palestinian cause,” according to the report.

Meshaal also met with Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as well.

No statement was made to the media following the talks.

A statement released in Gaza by a Hamas official said Wednesday that a delegation led by Meshaal briefed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Qatar at a recent meeting between the two men during which Lavrov reportedly invited Meshaal to Moscow.

Meshaal told Lavrov about conditions in Gaza, according to the statement.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkish Foreign Minister Targets Jews, Warns of ‘Treason’

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Red flags are going up for Jews in Turkey again for the second time in less than a week.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu took aim at Turkish Jewry Sunday  in a thinly-disguised reference to the “Jewish lobby” on Sunday during a speech to local lawmakers, linking such a “lobby” to part of a “parallel structure” (U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gulen’s supporters) accused by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of being in cahoots with Israeli Mossad intelligence agents.

On January 31, Erdogan had told a meeting of business leaders in Istanbul, “The sincere people backing this parallel structure should see this structure is cooperating with… Shame on them if they still cannot see that this structure is cooperating with the Mossad.” (Erdogan has accused Gulen’s followers of illegal wiretapping and a coup attempt that began with a corruption probe in December 2013. Four former ministers and their sons were investigated at the time; all were later acquitted on all charges.)

“I announce it from here: We have not and will not succumb to the Jewish lobby, the Armenian lobby or the Turkish-Greek minority’s lobbies,” Davutoglu said in his own speech on Feb. 8, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported. Speaking at a provincial congress of the ruling Justice and Development party’s (AKP) in Istanbul, Davutoglu added, “I call out to the parallel lobby and send them a message: We will stand before you with dignity no matter where you are; you will be despicable for the treason you have done to this nation.”

It’s not the first time in the past week that local Jews have been targeted by the current Turkish government.

On Feb. 6, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a snide comment about Jewish prayers while accepting an award from the Roma community in Bursa. As he started to condemn racism, Islamophobia and discrimination, Erdogan suddenly aimed at Judaism itself, specifically the Jewish morning blessings.

“I am addressing to those who talk about women’s rights. Why don’t you raise your voice against the Jews who thank G-d in their prayers that they were not created as women? Was there any other understanding, a logic as demeaning for women as this one?” he said.

The remark is a deliberate misinterpretation of one of the morning blessings recited by Jewish men and women each day, albeit with different versions for each. Jewish men do indeed thank God in one of the numerous blessings they recite in the morning that they were not created as women. The women’s version offers praise to God for being created as women (the literal translation of the prayer is, “as He desires”, in recognition of women’s different roles and responsibilities in Jewish life.)

Istanbul’s largest and most prominent synagogue, Neve Shalom, has become a virtual fortress under constant protection by Turkish security personnel. One must surrender one’s passport in order to enter the magnificent house of worship that once was filled to capacity in a former bustling Jewish neighborhood.

The synagogue was attacked several times by radical Islamic terrorists, leaving wounded, death and destruction in their wake. Turkish security is particularly selective about who is allowed to enter the synagogue; every person who attempts to do so is carefully scrutinized and required to walk through a metal detector prior to entry. The entrance itself is subtly hidden towards the back of the building, which must be accessed through a nondescript side gate.

Today the area around the synagogue is a shopping district and the lovely building with its stained glass windows and wooden seats polished to a sheen echoes with the memories of past festivities, empty but for the handful of Jews who dare to enter for prayers on High Holy Days and other important Jewish holidays.

Observant Jews who have remained in Turkey maintain a very low profile. Kosher food is not to be had in any general supermarket or local grocery store; one needs to know where to go in order to find it. There do not appear to be any local kosher supervision agencies — at least no symbols of any on foods available in public stores. Other members of the Jewish community are the descendants of those who arrived as refugees from Spain in 1492, fleeing the Inquisition, business people, and others who as tourists fell in love and married locals.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey Retrieves 49 Citizen Hostages from ISIS

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Turkey has managed to retrieve 49 of its own citizens who were being held hostage by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist organization, the Anadolu Agency reported, allegedly without paying any ransom.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the group, which included diplomats, soldiers, officers and their families, returned at 5 am. They were brought to a complex in the southeastern Turkish city of Sanliurfa where they were found to be in good health.

On his official Twitter account, Davutoglu thanked the families of the former hostages “from the bottom of my heart” and praised the rescuers, “in particular [the] great effort of MIT Under-secretary Hakan Fidan” and the rest of the MIT Intelligence organization.

The hostages were abducted from the Turkish Consulate in Mosul in mid-June and were held in Iraq for 101 days before being freed Saturday morning. They were moved eight times, intelligence sources said, before they were transferred first to Syria in a special arrangement made with the Iraqis and then finally crossed the border into Turkey.

According to NTV news, there were no clashes and the operation was carried out via “native” intelligence operatives, not military. No ransom was paid, NTV reported, and no foreign intelligence operatives were involved.

Rachel Levy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkey-retrieves-49-citizen-hostages-from-isis/2014/09/20/

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