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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ahmet Davutoglu’

Turkey Evacuates Consulate in Iraq

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Given the rapid military progress across the country by the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL) terror organization, Turkey has evacuated its staff from the city of Basra, located in southern Iraq.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced Tuesday via a tweet on his Twitter account that the staff had safely crossed the Iraqi border into Kuwait.

No further details were released in the announcement.

Turkey’s Erdogan: Lift Gaza Sea Blockade or No Relations with Israel

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Turkey, until only recently one of the few secular, economically vibrant democracies in the Muslim world, has been in a tailspin for some time.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey’s forceful prime minister, several years ago began backsliding on secularism. Once that pebble began rolling down the hill, it grabbed with it chunks of the other indicia of democracy, such as press freedom and the right to peaceful protests.

There are now more jailed journalists in Turkey than anywhere else in the world.

When peaceful protests broke out against the government last spring in Teksim Gezi Park, and again throughout the fall and winter, the Turkish government’s startlingly harsh response was closer to what happens in Iran or Russia, than in the western democracies Turkey has been compared to over the past several decades.

Erdoğan’s internal political difficulties include a widespread governmental corruption probe, a plummeting economy and an open feud with a very powerful former ally, Fethullah Gülen.

Turkey’s growing derailment has drawn down with it the formerly positive relations between Israel and Turkey.

Recent hopeful-sounding hints at renewed positive relations between Israel and Turkey were just dashed again by Turkey’s leader.

On Tuesday, Erdoğan publicly stated that Turkey will never normalize relations with Israel so long as Israel maintains its blockade of Gaza.

“As long as the siege on Gaza isn’t lifted, it [an agreement] won’t happen,” Erdoğan told reporters at an Istanbul press conference on Tuesday, Feb. 11. “The siege must be lifted and that must be part of the protocol, signed and agreed upon.”

WHAT HAPPENED BETWEEN THE TWO ALLIES

The chill between the two former allies, Israel and Turkey, first went public over Turkey’s support for a breach of Israel’s lawful naval blockade of Gaza.

That came to a head on May 31, 2010, when Israeli naval commandos boarded the Turkish Mavi Marmara, a flotilla run by the Turkish “charity” the IHH, on which pro-Palestinian Arabs were attempting to breach that naval blockade. The Israelis landed on the deck of the ship, seeking to peacefully convince the protesters to change directions and deposit any charitable goods they hoped to deliver to Gaza, via an Israeli port. Those goods could then be transported legally over land to the border entrance into Gaza.

Instead, as was captured on film and in photographs, the hostile Mavi Marmara crew attacked the Israelis with metal rods and other dangerous weapons. Israel Defense Force troops were forced to defend their colleagues using live fire. Nine Turkish protesters died in the clashes and 10 Israelis were wounded.

Weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010

Weapons found on board the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010

Turkey blamed Israel for the violence, and withdrew its ambassador from Israel, then expelled Israel’s ambassador to Turkey. Hostilities between the two countries has been pronounced since then.

But when U.S. President Barack Obama visited Israel in the spring of 2013, he persuaded Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to apologize to Erdoğan in a telephone call. After lengthy persuasive discussions between the two allies, Netanyahu agreed that Israel would pay Turkey compensation for the Turks who died on the Mavi Marmara.

On Sunday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu gave an interview that suggested the thaw was nearly complete.

“We are living through a period where our relationship is closest to normalizing since Mavi Marmara,” Davutoglu told a Turkish television station. “We’re in touch for a final meeting, compensation will be another step and there may be concrete developments to get aid to Gaza and Palestine.”

But Erdoğan, whose criticism of Israel seems as reflexive as those of other intractable haters of the Jews, consistently blames Israel for all kinds of unacceptable (to him) situations. He blamed former Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi’s ouster, in part, on Israel, and he blamed the widespread Turkish protests in June, in part, on Israel. It will be a terrible thing if there is an outbreak of some dreaded disease in Turkey, but no doubt should that happen, Erdoğan would also blame that on Israel.

Erdoğan’s very close relationship with the ousted Egyptian President and Muslim Brotherhood member Mohamad Morsi helps to explain the Turkish leader’s strong interest in assisting Gaza, which is run by Hamas, a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot.

It is highly unlikely Israel will agree to relax the blockade of Gaza, for several reasons. The most important one of which is that there is no such thing as a relaxed blockade. A legal blockade, and the international community has deemed Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be legal, so only as long as there is not a single breach. Once breached, a legal blockade becomes illegal.

An additional reason Israel must not relax the naval blockade is the only reason there is one in the first place: without it, weapons smuggling into Gaza from countries and regimes hostile to Israel would pour in. Those weapons, very bad and only worse, would reasonably be expected to be used in an attempt to destroy Israel.

Erdogan to Visit US in May

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

One of Turkey’s leading media outlets, Hurriyet Daily News, announced that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will come to the United States to meet with President Barack Obama on May 16.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry received the official invitation on Tuesday, April 2.

While the meeting could not have taken place without repair to relations between Turkey and Israel, the primary focus of the visit is expected to be the ongoing civil war in Syria, which has enormous spillover effect on and dangers for both Turkey and Israel.  A diplomatic source revealed to Hurriyet that Erdoğan’s visit to Washington “was fixed in a phone conversation on the day Israel apologized to Turkey.”

Most international commentators agree that Turkey is hoping the U.S. will take a lead role in enforcing an end to the violence in Syria. The U.S. administration, however, is reluctant to become directly involved by providing lethal support to opposition forces, fearing weapons falling into the hands of extremists.  The U.S. instead prefers a diplomatic approach to ending the current crisis.

In addition to the visit by the Turkish prime minister to the U.S., it was also announced that a series of diplomatic meetings are now scheduled to enable Turkey and Israel to normalize relations. An Israeli diplomatic delegation will travel to Ankara on April 11 to meet with Turkish delegates.  Discussions will focus on ensuring that an exchange of ambassadors will take place towards the end of June.

Another diplomacy track for the negotiating teams deals with compensation to be paid by Israel to families of those Turks killed during the Israeli raid on the Mavi Marmara flotilla which was attempting to breach Israel’s legal naval blockade of Gaza in late May, 2010.  Eight Turks died after Israelis opened fire when fellow soldiers who had boarded the ship were attacked with iron bars and knives.

The Turkish government’s goal is apparently to get the families of those who died during the blockade flotilla fiasco to agree to accept compensation from Israel in exchange for dropping their lawsuits against Israeli officials. Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and the deputy prime minister Bülent Arınç were scheduled to meet with the families late Tuesday.

Although the Turkish Prime Minister has stated that he will soon visit Gaza, no details on that visit have yet been announced.

German, Turkish Agents Bust Iranian Nuclear Smuggling Network

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Simultaneous operations were launched in Germany and Turkey to catch a network of smugglers believed to have transferred nuclear equipment they obtained from India and Germany to a nuclear facility in Iran’s Arak city, the Turkish daily Habertürk reported.

The network coordinated hundreds of smuggling operations of nuclear equipment from India, and some 100 smuggling operations of nuclear substances from Germany, through fake companies registered in Istanbul, Turkey.

During the reported seven simultaneous operations in Istanbul, a Turkish citizen of Iranian origin was detained, while all the documents of the companies involved were seized.

In another operation that was conducted in Atatürk Airport, Houssein T., an Iranian who is a key figure in deliveries, was also detained. During the operations in Germany, meanwhile, five Iranian nationals were detained.

Units from Customs Enforcement Directorate reportedly raided the house of an Iranian couple, who have a key role in the network, but were unable to locate them. Multilateral operations are reportedly ongoing for the arrest of the couple.

Also, the data and documents obtained from the raids are currently under examinations and new operations might be launched if necessary, according to the report. Units from Customs raided seven businesses in Istanbul’s Bakırköy, Fatih, Üsküdar, Ümraniye and Sancaktepe districts in simultaneous operations.

While the Turkish government appears to have cooperated with the West in capturing some of the network members, Turkish officials continue to support Iran’s nuclear program.

In late Februaty, the Iranian propaganda agency Press TV reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has once again reaffirmed Ankara’s support for Iran’s right to have a “peaceful nuclear program.”

“Referring to the Tehran Declaration which was issued in May 2010 following trilateral talks among Iran, Turkey and Brazil based on which Tehran agreed to swap its low-enriched uranium for reactor fuel on Turkish soil, Davutoglu said that the US and its Western allies imposed more pointless sanctions against Iran instead of allowing the declaration to move forward,” Press TV reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-turkish-agents-bust-iranian-nuclear-smuggling-network/2013/03/11/

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