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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘ankara’

Russia Punishes Turkey by Importing Tomatoes from Israel

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

Russia may be giving a Thanksgiving turkey to Israel in the form of tomatoes that it will import following a sudden ban on accepting produce from Turkey, another punishment for Ankara’s downing a Russian plane this week.

Now that Turkey is a rotten tomato for Russia, Israel will benefit from the need to find 360,000 tons of tomatoes to replace the banned imports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin already has ended security cooperation with Turkey and has asked Russians not visit the country. Moscow invented a diplomatic reason for the ban of food imports from Turkey, claiming that 15 percent of the agricultural imports from Ankara suddenly do not meet “sanitary regulations.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists:

We’re not imposing any embargo.

These (restrictions) are introduced due to an increasing danger from various manifestations of extremism. Of course, additional control measures are taken. This is rather natural, especially taking into account the unpredictable actions of the Republic of Turkey.

Turkish media quoted a member of the Turkish Exporters Association as saying:

Turkish vegetables account for 20 percent of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan.

Israel’s benefiting from Turkey’s intercept of the Russian is a double punishment for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan, whose wounds from the Russian reaction will be salted with the bonus for Israel.

He has not forgiven Israel for boarding the IHH-terrorist infested Mavi Mamara ship five years ago and killing 10 IHH terrorists who tried to kill Navy officers stopping the vessel from breaking the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza.

The only negative might be a rise in the price of tomatoes in Israeli supermarkets because of the increased demand from Russia.

Scandinavian Airline to End Tel Aviv-Copenhagen Route

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has announced it will cancel its Tel Aviv-Copenhagen, citing both “political instability” and ‘’increasing costs and competition.”

The service, which is offered four times a week and which began three years ago, will end in March following a temporary suspension this summer because of staffing problems.

SAS also said it will eliminate Moscow and Ankara from its list of destinations.

Traffic on the Tel Aviv-Copenhagen route increased 41 percent last year and another 21 percent this year, through July, but the company maintained that the route still is losing money because of “stiff competition.”

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.

Terrorists Kill 86 in Biggest Attack in Turkey’s History [video]

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

A double bombing, apparently set off by suicide terrorists, killed at least 86 people and wounded nearly 200 others before a scheduled peace rally Saturday.

The death toll is expected to rise. The attack came less than three weeks before elections. No group has taken responsibility for the bombings.

A government spokesman said:

This terrorist activity is aimed at creating chaos, instigating certain street movements and the election environment.

The attack aims at creating trauma among the society. It is extremely planned and organized. It is virtually an attempt of massacre. It aims at shaping civil dynamics of Turkey. It aims at turning Turkey into an inward-oriented mood at a time when there are very important foreign policy developments taking place. This attack which took place in Ankara may take place at anywhere, there is need for a joint stance.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that a suicide bomber may have set off the explosions.

Blasts occurred ahead of a planned protest peach march organized by labor unions and the pro-Kurdish HDP.

Similar but similar attacks occurred June 5, before general elections, and July 20, by Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists, but it is not known who was behind today’s bombings.

CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen reported:

When we’ve seen ISIS attacks, they have tended to be in the border region along the Turkish/Syrian border. This is of course in the capital, Ankara, in the middle of the country, so that’s something to think about.

And again, go back to the context of this rally. It was at a rally to protest the war by the Turkish state and Kurdish separatists.”

The ISIS has attracted thousands of Turks, who reportedly comprise up to one-third of the terrorist army.

Cheat Sheet on Who’s Doing What to Whom in the Middle East

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan (and a few quiet others) have been urging U.S. President Barack Obama to climb down from his tree and listen to Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. There’s a reason for that.

A new radical Islamic axis is forming, one that is cuddling up to the Muslim Brotherhood. The once-scattered Iranian-backed terror groups dedicated to annihilating the State of Israel are coalescing into a second axis while threatening to form an alliance with Daesh, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria also known as ISIS, as well as Al Qaeda and other global jihad organizations.

Because part-time pundits don’t have time to study the fine details of where things are happening on the political chessboard of the Middle East, here’s a cheat sheet to help you keep score on the latest realities in the region.

For a lot of Western political analysts, the Arab Spring was confusing and a real pain in the neck — but that was a walk in the park compared to the nightmare now facing foreign affairs policy makers trying to stay abreast on current terrorist ties and the tangled web they are spinning in the ‘hood.

U.S. President Barack Obama is looking for a way to nurse his salty wounds over having to spend his final tenure swallowing bile while chatting civilly, if not with good manners, during phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

But here’s what’s happening right now — and what the leader of the greatest country on earth has to grapple with — while he continues to search for ways to pick a fight with Israel’s most popular leader since the Israel was founded by its first Prime Minister, David Ben Gurion.

In Africa:
Two terror organizations in Nigeria and Somalia, Boko Haram and Al Shaba’ab respectively, have both pledged allegiance to Daesh, also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS. Both groups have slaughtered thousands and wounded more, committed numerous atrocities and are continuing to carry out murderous terror attacks to prove their mettle as “jihadists,” or holy warriors for Islam.

The moderate Arab nation of Tunisia suffered its first public terrorist attack by ISIS this weekend in a massacre that left 20 dead and dozens of others wounded in the iconic Bardo museum in Tunis, including many foreign tourists. At least 3,000 Tunisians have flown to Syria to join the ISIS terror organization; it’s no surprise those chickens are beginning to come home to roost in North Africa.

Tunisia is one of the few Arab nations left that can claim to be home to one of the most ancient Jewish communities in Africa, and which has enjoyed a healthy international tourism trade. It now faces severe damage to its tourist industry, which was just beginning to recover from the ravages of the Arab Spring. Ominously, the threat level facing Tunisia’s Jewish community on the country’s island of Djerba is also not clear.

Libya, which borders Tunisia — and where an American Ambassador and three U.S. diplomats were murdered in an Al Qaeda attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 — has been entirely swallowed by Al Qaeda and allied terrorist groups. ISIS has also joined the party, spreading cells throughout the country as well. Earlier this month, ISIS made its “debut” appearance in the oil-rich nation with a public seaside beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian laborers taken captive by the terror organization.

In the Middle East:
Egypt is facing one of the toughest fights of its life in the Sinai Peninsula as it battles a budding invasion by ISIS, Al Qaeda, and Iranian proxy groups. Homegrown terror cells and disgruntled Bedouin tribes are aiding and abetting this effort, having always looked for greener pastures and a better deal regardless of who’s in power in Cairo.

Gaza has been controlled since 2007 by Iran‘s proxies who include Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and in a consultant position, Hezbollah. All maintain contentious but cooperative relationships with the Salafi, global jihad Army of Islam terror group which is linked to Al Qaeda. ISIS is also now represented in the region as well.

Jordan is facing an existential threat on its borders with Iraq and Syria due to ISIS having captured border crossings on both, and the presence of Hezbollah and Iranian Revolutionary Guards along the border with Syria. So far, its only remaining friendly borders are with Israel, and with Egypt. In addition, the Palestinian citizens within Jordan are not as friendly to the Hashemite regime as one might believe; moreover, they are wont to align with the Muslim Brotherhood which also operates within the kingdom and which can be seen as a fifth column.

Lebanon has been swallowed by ISIS, Palestinian Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades linked to Fatah, Hezbollah, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, all of whom vie for power in the nation. Hezbollah holds the lion’s share of the political clout in the government since the terrorist group long ago expanded to include parliament members and actual ministers in the government cabinet as well.

Iraq was the first to fall to ISIS; its border crossings with Syria and Jordan were easy prey for the terror group. Iran easily persuaded the government that its was better off allowing its Islamic neighbor to “help” it fight off the Sunni threat than to place its trust in the American administration that had abandoned its ally when it was still to weak to fend off terrorist and tribal challenges to the power of the central government. So now Iran has now entered the picture there as well, to “assist” Iraqi forces in fighting ISIS, which Iran perceives as a threat to its own interests, for the time being at least.

It is likely that when the power struggle ends, one way or the other, Iran will be the force to divide the spoils and cut a deal with ISIS in order to ultimately divide up the region between the two emerging empires. However, Iran will ultimately be the one to rule because ISIS does not have the self-discipline, nor the structural underpinnings necessary to create and maintain an administration to rule an empire. This is quite separate and apart from Iran’s booming weapons production industry, not to mention its galloping race to develop nuclear arms.

Watch it happen – you read it here first on Jewish Press.com.

Syria was the little ticking time bomb that appeared to have set off this entire conflagration – but if one looks closely, it is clear that ISIS does not attack the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Nor does Assad bother much with the ISIS terrorists. Both have bigger fish to fry.

Assad is an Alawite — a sect that is linked to Shia, hence his close ties with Shiite Iran and that nation’s support of his struggle. Iran sent Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps units and Hezbollah guerrillas to fight alongside his troops. Russia also supplemented Assad for quite some time — right up to the point that Assad began to lose and Russian citizens were endangered. Then Russian “consultants” were evacuated, funding slowed down to a crawl but weapons shipments continued to arrive.

ISIS meanwhile wants to expand its reach throughout the entire Middle East — and that’s just for starters. Its ultimate stated goal is simply to establish a worldwide caliphate — an “Islamic State” — and nothing less. Think ‘Hitler’ with a 21st century media team and you’re headed in the right direction.

In any case, Syria is no longer really Syria; it is now divided up into cantons, each of which is governed separately by various emirs and such. Many report to ISIS already. Some report to Al Qaeda. Others still are loyal to the “moderate” Syrian National Council and its Free Syrian Army. A few are hanging on to Syria’s government, or what’s left of it – mostly around Damascus.

And now there’s Yemen, bits of it left currently on the chopping block and most already nearly to the mop-up stage by Al Qaeda, ISIS and their Houthi opponents, soon probably to be allies as well. Of course, Al Qaeda had laid the groundwork for the takeover of the country to a great extent, having infiltrated and permeated the territory over the past several years. Al Qaeda promotes the image of being at odds with ISIS, although the latter began as a freak offshoot of the terror mothership, but it is more likely all a bluff. We will yet see the day the two will re-unite as one, or return as allies.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia is starting to move its military forces towards the border with Yemen. The last time Saudi Arabia did that was in March 2011, when it “helped” its neighbor Bahrain fend off a surreptitious move by Iran to foment unrest in the Sunni-ruled country (which has a Shia majority) under cover of the Arab Spring.  It took one day for 1,000 Saudi troops and 500 troops from United Arab Emirates to clear protesters from around the iconic Pearl Roundabout in Manama, and then to destroy the statue on what became known locally as “Bloody Thursday.”

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen has been closed due to the escalating attacks. Embassy staff and families of diplomats were evacuated from the country, just in time. The last group of 100 American special forces who were there to consult and help the Yemen military fight off the takeover in the first place were evacuated from the country last weekend due to the ‘rising danger.’

Houthi rebels seized the airport and control of the entire city of Taiz as well as the surrounding province over the weekend as well – about 240 miles south of the Yemeni capital of Sana’a — according to Taiz provincial government officials who spoke with international media.

As early as January, Yemen’s president and his cabinet resigned after the Houthis surrounded the presidential palace, and in fact the entire capital city of Sana’a was captured by the Houthi rebels. Last week ISIS suicide terrorists arrived in Sana’a and bombed two mosques, killing 137 Yemenis and wounding hundreds more, making it clear that supremacy over the city is still up for grabs.

The United Nations Security Council met Sunday (March 22, 2015) to discuss Yemen’s deteriorating situation, with its UN envoy to Yemen reporting the country is “at the edge of civil war.” Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi remains in exile in the southern port city of Aden, maintaining that he is still the nation’s leader. Last week, the Houthi war against Hadi pursued him all the way south to Aden, with an air strike aimed at the palace where he is housed. That day, Houthi rebels on the ground battled Hadi loyalists in Aden leaving 13 dead.

Finally, there is Turkey.

It’s odd how few actually discuss what’s happening in Turkey, a NATO member who has provided free passage to literally every single terrorist group that has requested safe passage through its country, even into Syria to reach the ISIS capital of Raqqa. If you travel through Istanbul airport on an average day, it becomes amazingly clear that whoever wishes to, can travel through Istanbul from Iran, Russia, or anywhere else.

Turkey is the ultimate Casablanca of today’s Middle East.

Muslim Brotherhood officials are warmly greeted by their supporters there. Hamas has a new international headquarters in the country, Fatah and other Palestinian officials are always welcome, and ISIS operatives move across the border to bring imports (brides and other ‘items’) to Raqqa with no trouble at all. Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps members – you name it, and you can make that meeting happen in Turkey, if you know the right buttons to push. Even United States officials are welcome.

Just be wary if you’re Jewish, or Israeli, of course.

Only a U.S. reject deported back home via Cairo to make a good showing to the Americans was turned back. Turkish authorities didn’t bother with that performance when it came to ignoring three young Muslim school girls from the UK whose frantic parents begged the Ankara government to block them from crossing the border into ISIS Land.

One wonders how Turkey is able to square its relationship with NATO with all that going on.

But managing delicate, intricate relationships are a peerless skill practiced by Turks since ancient times. There are few who can match a Turkish diplomat in anything, let alone the multi-lateral negotiations involving events so complex that one would need a nuclear microscope just to see past the surface, let alone begin to address it.

No wonder President Obama feels so disgruntled, so out of sorts, so … over his head.

This is not his neighborhood. He doesn’t know the language, diplomatically, behaviorally, gramatically or culturally. Nor has he yet learned the basic regional sport of bargaining in the souk. Worse, he probably would never enjoy it. You have to really love it to survive it.

But if you don’t live in the neighborhood, or you never come to visit, how on earth can you work out a two-state “solution” — let alone PEACE? More to the point, if you really dislike it so much why bother?

Mr. President, at least relax a little before you really hurt someone, and let those who actually like the region deal with it and with the Israelis too.

By the way – just as for your information — you may not realize it, but in Israel the appliance stores are still doing a really brisk business selling those terrific home appliances that are made in Turkey. Now, how do you suppose that could be, given all that hostile anti-Israel ranting from Ankara?

Turkey Condemns Israel Decision to Change Gush Etzion Land Status

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Turkey this week condemned a decision by the Israeli government to change the status of 400 hectares (988 acres) of land in Judea near the Gush Etzion community of Alon Shevut from “survey land” to “state land.”

The status change legally allows further development of the area, which originally was authorized for development as an IDF Nahal community by an Israeli cabinet decision in 1982. At that time, the community was called Geva’ot and began in 1984 but closed two years later. Nahal was followed by a host of small pre-fab houses which from 1986 to 1996 became the home of the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva.

The land is located well within the area that is to remain under Israeli control no matter which which “two state” agreement is worked out with the Palestinian Authority, if by some miracle one ever is. For nearly half a century, the land has been under Jewish sovereignty and largely unoccupied.

The decision by Israel’s government on Sunday could potentially also unfreeze plans that were laid aside in 2012 for construction of 523 housing units on the site. It is located close to the bus stop where three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered by Hamas terrorists on June 12.

“We denounce Israel’s seizing land, which is aimed at building illegal settlements, in villages in the West Bank, the Turkish foreign ministry said in a written statement this week. “Israel’s decision to dispossess the largest scale of land in the West Bank for the last 30 years displays this country’s practices that violate international law on occupied Palestinian lands.”

Ankara added that it expected the decision to be reversed and warned Israel against taking steps that could harm the cease-fire with Gaza, which it said could “destroy grounds for lasting peace and the two state resolution,” according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.

Turkey’s President-elect Erdogan Building PR via Israel & Gaza

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Turkey’s President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan — the country’s current prime minister — is scoring major public relations points at home via Gaza, through Israel.

Erdogan is raising millions for Gaza residents left homeless in the wake of a war on Israel started by their Hamas terrorist leaders.

The Ankara government has raised $20.8 million dollars so far to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza since the start of Operation Protective Edge, according to the Yeni Safak newspaper, which quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler.

The country’s international development agency, TIKA, provided 15,000 Gaza families “through its permanent office in Gaza, under the ongoing heavy Israeli attacks,” Isler claimed in a written statement to the paper.

A rundown of benefits provided by the Turkish government included:

  • Daily food for more than 350,000 Palestinian Authority unity government Arabs since the beginning of Ramadan (but it was not made clear whether they were all residents of Gaza);
  • ‘Desperately-needed fuel’ for the Palestinian Energy Authority; and
  • Medicine and generators delivered by the Turkish Red Crescent.

In addition, Turkey transferred 18 wounded people to Ankara for medical treatment “as part of a plan to evacuate “thousands” from Gaza.

What was not mentioned was the pivotal role of Israel and Egypt in all of this: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was careful to first visit both nations to formally request the use of their airspace prior to sending aircraft to collect anyone from Gaza or deliver any form of aid.

As a matter of fact, Turkish aircraft have been using Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport to transfer all of the supplies and transport patients between Gaza and Ankara.

In addition, all aid deliveries to the region have been carried out with the full cooperation of the State of Israel via the land crossings into Gaza.

That, despite some rather vicious, anti-Israeli rhetoric by Turkish president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s prime minister to date, including comparing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hitler.

Also not mentioned was the fact that the top terrorist in Hamas, Salah al-Arouri, is living safely in Turkey, far from the reach of Israel and well within range of those from whom he can raise funds to finance more attacks against the Jewish State.

Erdogan has tightened Turkey’s ties with Iran and has equated Zionism with racism, leading the country in an anti-Semitic direction that has threatened the good relations Turkish Jews have always enjoyed with their neighbors. Breitbart News this week quoted one businessman as saying that Turks now swear at Jews in the street. The site reported that “one hotel warned in response to an email message requesting to book a room that ‘for your further safety concerns it is our duty to inform you that the Palestine embassy is our next door neighbor and we do not have private security within the hotel.'”

No need for that warning: Israel has already slapped an alert against travel to Turkey by its citizens. Most — if not all — all kosher production supervisors reportedly left the country several weeks ago following riots and attacks on Israel’s embassy in Ankara and near its consulate in Istanbul, in addition to harassment by various individuals.

A statement by Erdogan pressuring Turkish Jews to issue public condemnations of Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist group — launched to silence incessant rocket fire on citizens of southern Israel — makes clear his position regardless of any future ‘business’ arrangements with the Jewish State.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/turkeys-president-elect-erdogan-building-pr-via-israel-gaza/2014/08/19/

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