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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Recep Tayyip Erdogan’

Israel, Turkey, Open Discussions On Natural Gas Pipeline and Explorations

Thursday, October 13th, 2016

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz met this week with his Turkish counterpart, Berat Albayrak, while the two were at the World Energy Congress taking place in Istanbul.

This is the first visit by an Israeli minister to Turkey since 2010, and is seen as another step in resuming diplomatic ties between the two nations.

In another week to ten days, Israel and Turkey are expected to exchange ambassadors as well.

Steinitz and Albayrak, meanwhile, have decided begin to look into the possibility of building an underwater pipeline to carry natural gas from Israel through Turkey and on into Europe.

“Exporting gas to our neighbors in the region or to Europe through different pipelines, this is of course very important, and of course one of the important options is connecting to Europe through a pipeline to Turkey,” Steinitz told reporters. “We discussed other issues of energy cooperation, but this is the most vital … We are ready to engage in the specific detailed dialogue between our two governments in the next coming months,” he said.

The pipeline would be laid along the Mediterranean sea bed, and carry Israeli gas to Turkish consumers, and then continue on to bring product for sale to Europe as well.

Steinitz told reporters at the briefing that it is estimated that the lion’s share of natural gas beneath Israel’s sovereign waters has yet to be discovered, possibly as much as 2,200 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

“This is a lot of gas — much more than we can consume,” he pointed out, adding that the gas fields are under the waters of Israel and Cyprus, and that Israel will require the cooperation of Turkey to take full advantage of the bounty that lies therein.

Albayrak is the son-in-law of Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hana Levi Julian

Energy Minister Steinitz Heads to Turkey for Global Energy Gather After Yom Kippur

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz will visit Turkey this week after the completion of the holiest day in the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

Steinitz is scheduled to attend an international conference on energy: conventional and renewable energy sources, issues of sustainable development, global governance, market regulation, regional ecosystems and activities in the international marketplace.

The first Israeli minister to visit Istanbul in three years, Steinitz is also slated to meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the conference, and although the much anticipated meeting has been ballyhooed in Israeli media, there is no mention of it at all in the Turkish media.

The 23rd World Energy Congress takes place from Oct. 9 to Oct. 13, a summit of the global elite in the energy sector with participants from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, Portugal, Switzerland and Germany.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is slated to deliver a speech on the normalization process between Ankara and Moscow during this, his first visit to the country since the crisis sparked on Nov. 24 last year when a Turkish jet fired on a Russian military aircraft. Both Erdogan and Putin are expected to outline their visions for world energy at the forum.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkey’s President Erdogan Shakes Hands With Israel’s Female Diplomat, Shani Cooper

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shook hands Wednesday with Israel’s female interim head of its embassy in Ankara, Shani Cooper, who has been appointed to field the office until permanent ambassadors are appointed by the two countries.

The ceremonial handshake was part of a tradition carried out with the diplomatic corps each year to celebrate Turkey’s Victory Day on August 30.

This time, Erdogan specifically asked to welcome Cooper — a move seen by analysts as an effort to send a positive message to Israelis who are closely watching the Turkish leader in the wake of a six-year break in relations between the two countries.

Cooper responded warmly to the request, expressing Israel’s support for Erdogan and the Turkish nation.

Erdogan requested an interpreter, through whose services he responded with positive remarks on the diplomatic relations between the two countries. He wished Cooper good luck on her position as well.

Earlier in the day, Erdogan’s office sent the approved, signed agreement with Israel to the office of Turkey’s prime minister. Simultaneously in Israel, the government cabinet ministers also issued their final approval on the document as well.

The agreement is considered to be officially ratified and becomes effective after seven days if no objections are filed on either side.

Hana Levi Julian

Turkish Parliament Passes Israeli Compensation Bill

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

The Turkish parliament on Friday night approved a deal for Israel to pay $20 million to the families of Turkish participants who were killed in the 2010 Gaza flotilla flagship Mavi Marmara incident, Anadolu reported. The deal ushers in the normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries after a six-year break.

The money will be transferred in a lump sum deposit to a bank account opened by Turkey and shared through diplomatic channels, and the transaction will be completed within 25 business days of the bilateral agreement taking effect.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said earlier this month that Jerusalem had met all of Ankara’s preconditions for normalizing ties, which were degraded in 2010 after Israeli commandos were attacked on the high seas when they were trying to take over control of the Gaza-bound Turkish ship in international waters. Nine Turkish activists who attacked the Israeli soldiers were killed and 30 injured, one of whom later died of his injuries.

Turkey demanded an official apology from Israel, compensation for the families of the dead activists and the lifting of Israel’s Gaza blockade. But Ankara settled for two out of three: in 2013 Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed regret over the incident to Turkey’s then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The approval of the deal had been delayed on account of the failed coup in Turkey. The deal was actually signed a month and a half ago in Jerusalem by Israel’s Foreign Ministry Director Dore Gold and in Ankara by Turkish outgoing Deputy Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlolo. The Netanyahu security cabinet approved the deal by a vote of six to three, with Ministers Liberman, Bennett and Shaked voting against.

JNi.Media

Erdogan Utilizing Turks’ Ingrained Conspiracy Theory Culture to Purge Foes, Real and Imagined

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Devin Devlet (lit. giant state, col. deep state) is a Turkish word referring to the notion of there being a permanent government, existing through a shadowy network of civil servants, military officials and academics, who are the real decision makers. Every country on earth sports its own crowd of conspiracy theorists, who seem to proliferate following national disasters. But according to a growing number of respected voices in the media, Turkey, with its unique political history, may be the only democracy whose leader is the biggest believer in those conspiracy theories, which actually serve as the foundation of his policy and may have fashioned the ultimate conspiracy — a fake coups d’état.

Imagine that every conspiracy theory you’ve heard, from the Communists taking over America, to Obama conspiring with the deans of Al Azhar University to bring Islam to the US, to the CIA blowing up the World Trade Center, “was, if not true, at least plausible, and you have some idea of what the deep background of Turkish politics looks like,” James Palmer wrote this week in Vox. Palmer described the twentieth century in Turkey as a violent streaks of democratic government interlaced with military coups, resulting in an inevitable sense that someone in there is the puppeteer of this show, pulling the strings to fit his needs.

The Devin Devlet notion provided a reasonable explanation of their reality to generations of Turks living through perpetual instability: “To Islamists, its fundamental purpose is to crush religion; for liberals, it’s anti-democratic; for Kurds, it’s fanatically nationalist and anti-Kurdish; for nationalists, it’s secretly in league with the US; for anti-Semites, it’s an Israeli-backed scheme,” Palmer pointed out.

Roger Cohen, writing for the NY Times (Turkey’s Coup That Wasn’t) joined the growing voices suspicious of the Erdogan version of reality. “As coups go, the Turkish effort was a study in ineptitude: no serious attempt to capture or muzzle the political leadership, no leader ready to step in, no communication strategy (or even awareness of social media), no ability to mobilize a critical mass within either the armed forces or society. In their place a platoon of hapless soldiers on a bridge in Istanbul and the apparently uncoordinated targeting of a few government buildings in Ankara.”

Cohen is convinced that not only was the coup produced by the Erdogan regime, but that it was done with the tacit approval of the Obama Administration. He quoted a former special assistant to Obama on the Middle East, Philip Gordon, who said: “Rather than use this as an opportunity to heal divisions, Erdogan may well do the opposite: go after adversaries, limit press and other freedoms further, and accumulate even more power.”

Indeed, in a few hours more than 2,800 military personnel were detained and 2,745 judges were removed from duty, Cohen noted, adding that what’s coming next is “a prolonged crackdown on so-called ‘Gulenists,’ whoever Erdogan deems them to be, and the … ‘deep state.’ . . . An already divided society will grow more fissured. Secular Turkey will not quickly forget the cries of ‘Allahu akbar’ echoing from some mosques and from crowds in the streets.”

The speed with which the coup rose and crumbled continues to intrigue the western media. Mehul Srivastava and Laura Pitel, reporting from Turkey for the Financial Times, have suggested that “among the mysteries yet to be unraveled from the failed Turkish coup was this: the attack on Saturday morning by helicopter-borne commandos against a resort hotel in Marmaris. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was meant to be staying there. But the attack took place nearly an hour after every news channel in Turkey beamed images of Mr Erdogan addressing the nation from the airport in Istanbul, some 750 km away.”

“That episode is one of many inconsistencies and strange occurrences in a coup whose amateurish — almost kamikaze — nature preordained its failure and is now providing rich fodder for conspiracy theories,” Srivastava and Pitel wrote.

Kristin Fabbe and Kimberly Guiler, writing for the Washington Post, noted that the war of words in Turkey is being waged by two armies of conspiracy theorists. “On one side, government detractors are speculating that the attempted coup was a masterful, state-managed scheme to consolidate Erdogan’s power. On the other side, the AKP government is placing the blame for the coup attempt on perpetrators — real and imagined. The government’s list of villains ranges from bitter Erdogan rival Fethullah Gulen, a cleric who now lives in the United States, and other shadowy foreign ‘invaders’ to supporters of Turkey’s Ataturkist secular establishment and even the U.S. government. The skeptics are painting Erdogan as a megalomaniac tyrant bent on elected dictatorship; the believers are portraying him as a savior and victim.”

It is highly doubtful that the coup was initiated by Gulen, not because such action is necessarily beneath him, but because at the time Gulen immigrated to the US, his followers were estimated to number between 5 and 9 million, and had he launched the coup, it would not have collapsed overnight.

In June 1999, after Gulen had left Turkey, Turkish TV ran a video in which he said, “The existing system is still in power. Our friends who have positions in legislative and administrative bodies should learn its details and be vigilant all the time so that they can transform it and be more fruitful on behalf of Islam in order to carry out a nationwide restoration. However, they should wait until the conditions become more favorable. In other words, they should not come out too early.”

Gulen later complained that his words were taken out of context, and his supporters said the tape had been “manipulated.” Gulen was subsequently tried in absentia, and acquitted in 2008 under the new Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But the ideas Gulen, or his manipulated recording, espoused, were just the kind of nourishment the Turkish conspiracy theorists everywhere needed to confirm their worst fears or highest aspirations, take your pick.

At the moment, President Erdogan is riding high on his conspiracy accusations: he has just suspended democracy in Turkey for three months (he could go three more, according to Turkish emergency laws), and his henchmen are busy weeding out pockets of resistance across Turkish society, regardless of their connection to the coup or obvious lack thereof. Many thousands of people have been sacked or arrested following the failed coup. According to a BBC report, Thousands of soldiers, including high-ranking generals, have been arrested, along with members of the judiciary. More than 50,000 state employees have also been rounded up, sacked or suspended and 600 schools closed. Academics have been banned from foreign travel and university heads have been forced to resign. The government has revoked the press credentials of 34 journalists.

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn on Thursday urged Turkey to respect the rule of law, rights and freedoms. The EU is “concerned” about developments after Turkey imposed its emergency rule, and about the measures taken so far in the fields of education, judiciary and media, which are “unacceptable,” Mogherini and Hahn said in a statement.

But it is doubtful Erdogan is going to interrupt his sacred mission of ridding Turkey of its clandestine Devin Devlet, real or imagined. And what if anything of the secular Turkish state will remain standing come September 2016, by the end of Erdogan’s own coup against his country’s democratic institutions, is anyone’s guess.

JNi.Media

Turkish Parliament Approves 3-Month State of Emergency

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

The Turkish Parliament approved a three-month state of emergency Thursday by a vote of 346-115. The last state of emergency in Turkey lasted from July 1987 to November 2002.

The approval came hours after the government declared the state of emergency late Wednesday (July 20), “in order to eliminate the terror organization which attempted to make a coup, swiftly and completely,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced.

The state of emergency allows law enforcement officers to shot individuals who violate surrender orders or attempt to exchange fire — or in self-defense.

Detentions can be extended beyond 48 hours, which is the normal maximum for detentions before suspects must be tried by a court under the Turkish Constitution.

A state of emergency allows authorities to impose limited or full crfews and to prevent gatherings, impose travel bans at certain times and in various places.

Body, vehicle and property searches and seizure of potential evidence has been authorized, and people have been ordered to carry identification with them at all times.

The government has been authorized to ban publication, distribution and replication of newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, books and leaflets, and to seize publications that were banned before.

Controlling, recording and banning certain speeches, scripts, pictures, films, records, theaters and films — as well as audio and image records and all audio-related broadcasts have also been authorized.

Individuals and groups can be blocked from entering certain places, and removed from others; public gatherings and meetings, marches and parades can be banned or postponed. Operations of association can also be stopped.

Erdogan urged Turkish citizens to be wary of “speculations,” according to an article posted on the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News website. He added the state of emergency was not synonymous with martial law.

“Restrictions on rights and liberties during the state of emergency are not in question. There is no such thing. We guarantee it,” Erdogan said.

But the move has already had an effect on everyday Turkish citizens: a Turkish business contact who was slated to travel to the United States abruptly “postponed” those plans, citing “recent developments in Turkey.”

In a brief email to a source who requested anonymity out of concern for his safety, the contact said he could not say when he might be able to reschedule. The source told JewishPress.com he was so concerned for his friend’s safety, he could not even respond with an email to ask for details about the family or what was happening in the company.

Hana Levi Julian

Erdogan Declares Three-Month State of Emergency Across Turkey

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday announced a nationwide three-month state of emergency after Friday’s failed coup. Speaking at the presidential complex in Ankara after back-to-back National Security Council and Cabinet meetings, Erdogan said the three-month state of emergency was being declared under Article 120 of the Turkish Constitution, which states that in the event of serious, widespread acts of violence aimed at the destruction of the free democratic order, a state of emergency may be declared in one or more regions or throughout the country for a period not exceeding six months, the Anadolu state news agency reported.

“The purpose of the state of emergency is to most effectively and swiftly take steps necessary to eliminate the threat to democracy in our country, the rule of law, and the rights and freedom of our citizens,” Erdogan said.

The president said the move was aimed at “eliminating coup-plotter terrorist group,” which he insists is led by followers of US-based Muslim cleric Fetullah Gulen. Gulen has denounced the coup, saying he believed only in change through democratic means, but Turkey has demanded his extradition from the US nonetheless, citing incriminating documents associating him with the plot to unseat Erdogan.

At least 246 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed during the failed coup, and more than 1,500 were wounded.

“Never be worried,” Erdogan told Turks Wednesday night. “There is nothing to worry about.” He said that “it is out of the question” for the armed forces to seize power. “Quite the reverse, the authority and will of the [civilian] leaders will grow more in this process,” he said, adding, “We never compromise on democracy, and we will not compromise.”

Erdogan blasted Standard & Poor’s downgrading of Turkey’s rating in the wake of the failed coup. “Why are you even interested in Turkey? We’re not part of you… Don’t ever try to mess with us,” he said.

Turkey’s lira fell to an all-time low after the S&P downgraded its debt, slumping to 3.0973 against the dollar, then falling another 1.5 percent to 3.0898 on Wednesday.

International rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s have so far kept Turkey’s investment-grade rating where it had been before the coup attempt, but both agencies are also considering a downgrade. Turkey’s current rating with Fitch is already a troubling BBB.

But Erdogan insisted that S&P’s assessment does not adequately reflect the Turkish economy, which grew 4.8 percent in the first quarter of 2016 compared with the same period last year. He vowed that Turkey will maintain fiscal discipline. “Turkey will continue its economic reforms without any interruption… There is no liquidity problem,” he said.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim tweeted: “This [state of emergency] decision is not for the daily life of our people, but rather is for the proper and swift functioning of state mechanisms.”

What those state mechanisms may be was left up to the Twitter followers’ imagination.

Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told reporters in Ankara: “The conditions of the state of emergency will only be used for fighting the parallel structure.” The term is part of Erdogan’s accusations of his arch-rival Gulen, whom he says is running a “parallel state” inside Turkey’s state institutions and media that poses a threat to his rule.

A National Security Council and Cabinet statement said, “Our body has once again confirmed its commitment to democracy, fundamental rights and freedoms, and the rule of law. The steps to be taken afterward were also discussed.” The statement added that the state of emergency was declared in order to implement measures to protect “citizens’ rights and freedoms, our democracy, and the rule of law.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/erdogan-declares-three-month-state-of-emergency-across-turkey/2016/07/21/

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