“We have held our first talks with the Taliban, which lasted 3.5 hours,” Erdogan told reporters. “If necessary, we will have the opportunity to hold such talks again.”
Responding to criticism over Turkey’s engagement with the Taliban, Erdogan said Ankara had “no luxury” to stand idly given the unstable situation in the region.
“You cannot know what their expectations are or what our expectations are without talking. What’s diplomacy, my friend? This is diplomacy,” Erdogan said.
Turkey had been planning to help secure and run Kabul’s strategic airport, but on Wednesday it started pulling troops out of Afghanistan, which has been interpreted as meaning Ankara is abandoning this possibility.
Erdogan said the Taliban now wanted to oversee security at the airport, while offering Ankara the option of running its logistics.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.21: In a telephone conversation with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said a sharp increase in people leaving Afghanistan could pose “a serious challenge for everyone”.
#AceDailyNews says Greece has erected a fence at Turkey border amid warnings of Afghan migrant surge we cannot wait, passively, for the possible impact,” Greece’s Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said on a visit to the region of Evros on Friday and his comments came as Turkey called on European countries to take responsibility for Afghan migrants.
“Our borders will remain inviolable.”
“A new wave of migration is inevitable if the necessary measures are not taken in Afghanistan and in Iran,” Mr Erdogan said.
The rapid takeover of Afghanistan by the Taliban, an Islamist militant group, has left some fearing for their lives and seeking to escape the country, often by any means necessary.
Mr Chrisochoidis said the crisis had created new “possibilities for migrant flows” into Europe. A child is handed over the wall at Kabul airport, as the chaos continues
Greece, which was on the frontline of the migrant crisis in 2015 when more than a million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East crossed from Turkey into the EU, has said it may send back any Afghans that arrive illegally through the country.
Of those who arrived in Greece during the migrant crisis, many travelled further north throughout Europe, but about 60,000 have remained in the country.
Last year, Athens temporarily blocked new asylum applications after Mr Erdogan said Turkey had “opened the doors” for migrants to travel to the EU.
Mr Mitsotakis said at the time that Greece had increased “the level of deterrence at our borders to the maximum”, with security personnel deployed to the Evros land border.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.15: The floods, among the worst Turkey has experienced, brought chaos to northern provinces just as authorities were declaring wildfires that raged through southern coastal regions for two weeks had been brought under control.
#AceDailyNews says that Northern Turkey ‘disaster’ floods death toll rises to 44, hundreds evacuated from affected areas just as the declare wildfires are ravinging the country ……
Torrents of water tossed dozens of cars and heaps of debris along streets, destroyed bridges, closed roads and cut off electricity to hundreds of villages.
The Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said 36 people were killed in Kastamonu, seven in Sinop and one in Bartin. It said nine people were still in hospital in Sinop.
“This is the worst flood disaster I have seen,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said late on Thursday after surveying damage.
“The infrastructure in Ayancik (district) has completely collapsed. The sewage system is destroyed. There is no electricity or water,” Sinop Mayor Baris Ayhan told Reuters.
About 45 centimetres of rain fell in less than three days in one village near the worst-hit region, Kastamonu’s Bozkurt district, AFAD cited meteorology authorities as saying.
Hundreds evacuated from flooded areas
Footage of the flood’s first moments in Bozkurt showed the river there overflowing in a fast-moving deluge, which tore up trees and dragged away vehicles.
The small town of Bozkurt lies in a valley along the banks of the Ezine river in Kastamonu province, 2.5 kilometres from the Black Sea.
Experts in Turkey say interference with rivers and improper construction also were contributors to the massive damage in Turkey’s floods.
Geologists have said that construction narrowed the river bed and the surrounding alluvial flood plain of the Ezine stream in Kastamonu’s Bozkurt district, where the damage was most severe.
Residential buildings were built along the waterfront. During severe rains, the contracted stream has limited area in which to move and can overflow.
Speaking in Bozkurt, President Tayyip Erdogan declared the three provinces a disaster zone.
“Our country has been grappling with natural disasters for a while, as are many places in the world. This is not just our country but the United States, Canada, Germany and many other European countries,” he said.
About 2,250 people were evacuated across the region before, during and after the floods, some lifted from rooftops by helicopters.
Many were being temporarily housed in student dormitories, authorities said.
Five bridges had collapsed and many others were damaged, leading to road closures, AFAD added. Parts of the roads were also swept away.
#AceNewsReport – Aug.06: The 35-year-old coal-fired Kemerkoy Power Station in south-west Turkey’s Mugla region and a nearby town on the Aegean Sea were evacuated late yesterday as deadly wildfires reached the plant….
#AceDailyNews says that Turkey evacuates power station as wildfires rage on as death toll from Turkey wildfires rises to 4 as babies, children and people over the age of 65 were removed from the area, and have been taken to shelters local media reported
In a statement the Kemerkoy Electric Distribution Company said the power plant is not at risk of explosions.
Mugla Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Osman Gurun said that the hydrogen tanks in Kemerkoy Power Station have been emptied.
“Even if the fire reaches the power plant, an explosion is not expected,” the mayor said. “Hydrogen facilities and hydrogen gas in the power plant have been emptied and secured.”
Former Undersecretary of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanisation Prof. Dr. Mustafa Ozturk warned that if the Kemerkoy Thermal Power Station burns, toxic gases will be released and could damage human health, Turkey’s NTVreported.
Since 28 July forest fires have been spreading in more than 187 locations in 21 provinces and districts in Turkey, 172 of which were brought under control.
Firefighters used planes and helicopters to tackle the fires, while the government has faced fresh criticism of its handling of the disaster.
#AceNewsReport – July.16: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signaled in the latest Central Executive Board (MYK) meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) the formation of a new monitoring agency that would restrict social media activity, the daily Türkiye reported on July 11.
#AceDailyNews says Erdoğan ‘signals formation of social media supervision agency,’” Duvar English, July 12, 2021 (thanks to The Religion of Peace): Biden’s handlers are likely taking notes in this and ready to make this social media censorship a government activity…..
The president noted a recent misunderstanding about legislation signed with Qatar, claiming that main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had purposefully spread misunderstanding.
The legislation was interpreted as allowing all students from Qatar to study medicine in Turkey without any required qualifying exams, when in reality it allowed for military students to do so.
“What Kılıçdaroğlu did is not spreading fake news. It’s misinformation. The European Union equates and penalizes misinformation with terrorism crimes,” the president reportedly said.
The president urged his staff to include misinformation and fake news in legislation, adding that “appropriate penalties” were needed.
The president recently said that the government would launch an operation of truth against fake news by pointing to Kılıçdaroğlu who had repeated the misinterpretation of the news on Qatar students.
“Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu needs to apologize about this story,” the president reportedly said.
AKP officials reportedly said that the new monitoring agency would be similar to the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), known for its excessive censorship of opposition media outlets.
“A supervisory mechanism is needed for manipulative posts created by fake accounts and social media agencies,” one AKP official reportedly said. “Perception dominates facts. This is very dangerous.”…
It is noted that Poland, like many EU countries, is concerned about Russia’s aggressive behavior.
“Of course, this is a response to the challenges in the field of national security that we have faced … Our task is to deter a potential aggressor. We all know where this aggressor is,” Blaszczak said.
In May, Poland announced plans to buy 24 combat drones from Turkey. This will make it the first NATO country to purchase Turkish-made UAVs.
Earlier, the United States began working to increase the number of American instructors to train the Ukrainian military as part of the Joint Multinational Training Group-Ukraine (JMTG-U).
During the visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Kyiv, the issues of expanding military aid to Ukraine were discussed.
#AceNewsReport – June.15: The report noted that German state interests would significantly be affected in case of anti-Turkey activities or passive support for the PKK terrorists, as Turkey strongly opposes support for the terrorist group:
GERMANY: According to the report by Die Welt, pro-PKK Kurdish associations in Germany launched a “human shield” campaign for the PKK terrorists and were planning to send groups of people to Iraq in June.
by DAILY SABAH
The incident took place at the Duesseldorf Airport on Saturday.
Police noted that the co-chairperson of the German Left Party (Die Linke) in Hamburg, Cansu Özdemir, and a group of 18 people were prevented from boarding a plane to Irbil for “the threat of damaging Germany’s reputation.”
Police also told the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) that they were unsure if they “could rule out any danger coming from members of this group that could potentially have long-lasting effects on Germany’s security concerns abroad.”
The statement also said the preservation of the KRG’s stability, especially in Irbil, is a red line and that will not be allowed to deteriorate under any pretext or group.
The ministry’s statement also pointed out that if the aforementioned groups’ intentions were truly peace and tranquility, they should focus on Qandil because the unrest and warmongering stemmed from there.
The Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq are the PKK’s stronghold, and the group is active in many cities and towns. It occupies a large number of villages in the region and launches attacks on Turkey from there.
The PKK terrorist group has recently increased its multifaceted terrorist attacks by targeting legitimate representatives of the Kurdish people in northern Iraq, including Peshmerga forces and police officers, kidnapping civilians, targeting diplomatic missions and inciting peaceful protests to violence in the KRG.
The terrorist group, disturbed by the Baghdad-Irbil agreement of Oct. 9, 2020, that will end the PKK’s presence in the Sinjar region, is trying to spread the instability it has created in other occupied regions to the north of Iraq with terrorist acts and to divert attention from Sinjar.
The PKK also accuses the Irbil administration of collaborating with Turkey in its successful counterterrorism operations in northern Iraq, while also attacking the KRG’s Peshmerga forces.
Northern Iraq is known as the location of many PKK terrorist hideouts and bases from where they carry out attacks in Turkey. The Turkish military regularly conducts cross-border operations in northern Iraq. Turkey has long been stressing that it will not tolerate terrorist threats posed against its national security and has called on Iraqi officials to take the necessary steps to eliminate the terrorist group. Ankara previously noted that if the expected steps were not taken, it would not shy away from targeting terrorist threats.
Turkey has repeatedly urged German authorities to take action against the PKK, which has been outlawed in Germany since 1993.
The PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union – has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for 40 years and has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children.
Despite its status as a designated international terrorist organization, the PKK has enjoyed relative freedom in European cities and has a particularly strong presence in Germany. PKK supporters have been allowed to hold rallies, recruit militants and collect funds in Germany, which is home to some 5 million people of Turkish origin, including Kurds.
The PKK has been banned in Germany since 1993, but it is still active, with nearly 14,000 followers among the country’s Kurdish immigrant population.
#AceNewsReport – June.07: Hopefully, we will save our seas from this mucilage calamity,” President Erdogan said: Sea snot”, or marine mucilage, is a naturally-occurring green sludge that forms when algae is overloaded with nutrients as a result of hot weather and water pollution:
TURKEY: Turkey Erdogan vows to solve ‘sea snot’ outbreak a thick, slimy layer of the mucus-like matter is spreading along the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul, damaging marine life and the fishing industry as experts blame pollution and climate change.
It was first found in Turkey in 2007 but has also been discovered in the Aegean Sea near Greece.
Turkey’s recent outbreak along large areas of the Sea of Marmara, which connects the Black Sea to the Aegean Sea, is believed to be the biggest in history and is causing havoc for local communities.
AFP: Fishing boats are being covered by sea snot
President Erdogan blamed untreated sewage being dumped into the sea, as well as rising temperatures, and urged officials to investigate.
“My fear is, if this expands to Black Sea… the trouble will be enormous. We need to take this step without delay,” he said.
His government has dispatched a 300-strong team to inspect potential sources of pollution.
Boats travelling through the Sea of Marmara have to navigate the grey sludge, and some fishermen are being prevented from working as it clogs up their motors and nets.
Divers have reported that large numbers of fish and other species are dying from suffocation.
Professor Bayram Ozturk of the Turkish Marine Research warned such problems would continue unless there was fresh investment to treat and purify waste water being pumped out of Istanbul.
“Due to the overgrowth of the mucilage, several species are under threat [including] oysters, mussels, sea stars,” Prof Ozturk told the BBC. “It’s a real catastrophe.”
#AceNewsReport – May.19: It is no secret that Erdogan sympathizes and maintains close contacts with the radical Islamic terrorist organization Hamas. Nevertheless, the Turkish public has recently won the impression that the government is pursuing a course of rapprochement with Israel. Despite the many harsh words Erdogan regularly directs at Israel, talks have recently become more frequent again. Trade is also on the rise, with exports to Israel increasing steadily in recent years:
TURKEY: Erdogan hits out at Israel as Mideast conflict grows as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is taking advantage of the escalation between Israel and Hamas to present himself as an Islamic leader and score political points at home: While many heads of state and government are as diplomatic as they can be regarding the growing Israeli-Hamas conflict, urging both sides to de-escalate, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken a very different tack.
As so often in the recent past, the Turkish president has called Israel a “terrorist state” and “immoral.” Erdogan has been following up daily with more verbal attacks on the Israeli state and its allies. The United States recently reacted by condemning Erdogan’s remarks. On Tuesday, Erdogan lashed out at Austria for hoisting Israeli flags on government buildings in Vienna. “I curse the Austrian state,” the Turkish president said.
Erdogan appears to be using the Israel-Hamas conflict to score points on the domestic front
Ankara has indeed been making efforts to normalize relations with Israel, said Sinan Ulgen, director of the Istanbul-based Center for Economics and Foreign Policy Studies (EDAM). “The escalation and tensions in East Jerusalem could not have come at a worse time for Turkey,” he concluded.
Ulgen and many other observers even believe that the Turkish government was aiming to play a mediating role between Israel and the Palestinians — there were regular talks with the Israeli Knesset (the Parliament), as well as with the Palestinian leadership. In September 2020, representatives of the two leading Palestinian organizations, Fatah and Hamas, met to settle the 15-year dispute between the two organizations — with the Turkish government as mediator.
The West Bank has seen several protests over the current conflict
“Active mediation between Hamas and Israel and establishing a dialogue would be an initiative that would have many benefits for Turkey,” Ulgen said. But now that Erdogan has launched an anti-Israel campaign, he says, it will be difficult to continue the process.
“In these circumstances, where tensions have reached the highest level, it seems impossible to start new peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians,” says Oytun Orhan of the Ankara-based Center for Middle Eastern Studies. “It is simply not possible at the moment to take a neutral position in the current tensions.”
Ankara wants leadership role in Muslim world
Ankara could not be further from taking a mediating role at the moment. The Turkish government seems to have a very different task in view. In an address to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which includes 56 Muslim countries, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized Turkey’s status as a role model. “The Islamic community (ummah) expects leadership from us,” he said. What he meant was taking consistent action against the Israeli government, which, according to the Turkish foreign minister, is forging ahead with “ethnic, religious and cultural cleansing.”
Turkish foreign policy analyst Aydin Sezer said he was not surprised that the ruling Islamic conservative AKP party is pouring oil on the fire. Erdogan always tries to satisfy his party’s Islamic base, he said. “The government had to react this way (in this conflict) — mainly for domestic political reasons.” The normalization of relations with Israel did not go down well with the AKP base, Sezen added.
Turkey wants a leadership role in the Muslim world, says Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu
Isolated on the world stage
The Turkish president often uses religious or nationalist rhetoric to mobilize his core supporters. Polls show that Erdogan and the AKP are facing a decline in popularity. Members of the opposition and critics accuse him of using harsh rhetoric and polarization to draw attention from problems like government failure in managing the coronavirus pandemic and the long-running economic crisis.
Even if the Turkish government’s Islamist rhetoric appeals to the AKP’s main supporters, the question is whether the Muslim world wants Turkish leadership at all. Its bilateral relations are difficult not just with Israel — Turkey is currently isolated in the entire Middle East. Arab countries including Egypt and Saudi Arabia have also turned their backs on Ankara.
The charity said it had investigated 10 sites across southern Turkey and found plastic bags and packaging from UK supermarkets and retailers at all of them.
Packaging for a coronavirus antigen test was also found, indicating the waste was less than a year old, the report said.
The UK generates more plastic waste per person than any other country apart from the US, the report added.
Turkey, Malaysia and Poland received the largest amounts of plastic waste exports from the UK in 2020.
Correspondent Angus Crawford sorted through piles of plastic bags, bottles and packaging left by the roadside.The UK sends more plastic waste to Turkey than to any other country, but not all of it gets recycled
Turkey received nearly 40% of the UK’s plastic waste exports in 2020 – an increase by a factor of 18 since 2016, when 12,000 tonnes were sent.
European Union member states also sent 20 times more plastic waste to Turkey last year compared to 2016.
Nihan Temiz Atas, biodiversity projects lead from Greenpeace Mediterranean, based in Turkey, said: “Around 241 truckloads of plastic waste come to Turkey every day from across Europe and it overwhelms us.
“As far as we can see from the data and the field, we continue to be Europe’s largest plastic waste dump.”
Nina Schrank, senior plastics campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said the crux of the problem was overproduction, and urged the government to ban plastic waste exports and reduce single-use plastic by 50% by 2025.
The UK’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said: “We are clear that the UK should handle more of its waste at home, and that’s why we are committed to banning the export of plastic waste to non-OECD countries and clamping down on illegal waste exports – including to countries such as Turkey – through tougher controls.
“The UK is a global leader in tackling plastic pollution and our proposals for extended producer responsibility for packaging, a plastic packaging tax and mandatory electronic waste tracking will boost recycling rates, reduce waste and cut crime.”
Many wealthy countries send recyclable waste overseas as it is financially cheap, reduces domestic landfill and can help areas achieve recycling targets.
Last year, Malaysia’s environment minister said the government had sent back 150 shipping containers of illegally imported plastic waste to their country of origin – 42 of which belonged to the UK.
#AceHealthReport – May.06: Travellers from countries on the red list would otherwise face bills of up to £1,750-per-person to isolate in a hotel if they flew to the UK directly:
#CoronavirusNewsDesk – #Covid19 Britons fly via Turkey to avoid costly quarantine: Passengers are breaking their journey in Istanbul, and staying in hotels there for a fraction of the cost they would have to pay in Britain but are they endangering other peoples lives?
21 hours ago
By Sue Mitchell BBC News
Those using the route must still quarantine at home once back in the UK.
One hotel worker in Istanbul said he had seen British nationals flying in from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh – which are all on the UK’s red list.
The BBC has also spoken to travellers returning from Pakistan to the UK, many of whom were attending weddings or funerals and say they couldn’t afford the cost of quarantining once the rules changed.
As long as they isolate at home for 10 days after returning from a non-red list country, they are not breaking the UK government’s Covid rules.
‘Red list’ countries
The UK has a so-called red list with travel heavily restricted to countries on it – usually those with high coronavirus rates.
Any British citizen arriving home who has been to a country on the list in the past 10 days must then pay to quarantine in a government-approved hotel.
The cost is £1,750 for a single adult, while a family of four with teenage children would pay £3,700. Guests are largely restricted to their rooms for the duration.
By comparison, anyone arriving in the UK from a country not on the list is told to self-isolate at home – so long as they’ve not been in a red list country in the past 10 days.
SuppliedHashir, a student, said he could not afford the cost of quarantining in the UK
One travel agent in Bradford said some of his clients who had travelled to Pakistan had been left facing a hefty bill to return home after the country was placed on UK’s banned list on 9 April.
“I’ve got customers who can’t afford to come back,” said Ascher Khawaja of Oltrax Travel, citing UK quarantine costs. To ease the burden on his clients, Mr Khawaja says he has arranged 15-20 journeys home via Turkey.
The country brought in a three-week lockdown last week because of rising infections – but it has not been added to the UK’s red list. “With the hotel factored in, it works out at around £600 compared to £1,700-plus,” he said.
Anyone entering Turkey must have had a negative Covid test within 72 hours. They also must have a negative PCR test to leave the country. Foreign tourists are, however, exempt from Turkey’s current lockdown rules.
TV and a fridge
Bradford businessman Mohammad Saad travelled to Pakistan on 23 March to attend his nephew’s funeral and had been due to fly home on 10 April – the day after Pakistan was added to the red list.
When he couldn’t change his flights, he and his 16-year-old son flew to Turkey instead. The cost was about £450 for 10 days in Istanbul, he said.
“It’s like an extra holiday. Then you can fly back into the UK from Istanbul without any hotel quarantine.”
Hashir, a 21-year-old student returning from Pakistan, said he had met other Britons at the airport when he arrived in Istanbul.
“There’s no way I have that money, I’m a university student,” said Hashir, referring to the cost of returning directly to the UK. He is due back in the UK on 7 May.
Zulfiqar Ali, a 45-year-old taxi driver from Leeds, travelled from Pakistan to Istanbul on 24 April. “I paid £100 for 11 nights. It’s a double bed, a TV and a fridge. It was online and food was very cheap.”
He said he was returning to the UK on 5 May.
SuppliedZulfiqar Ali paid £100 for 11 nights in Istanbul
The BBC has also spoken to staff at hotels in Istanbul. One accommodation worker in the old city said British travellers were using the country as “a bridge”.
His hotel had booked British passport holders travelling from Pakistan, Bangladesh and India – all on the red list, he said.
Turkey has since tightened its rules on people arriving from India, who must now quarantine in designated dormitories.
A manager at another hotel in the city said, through his membership of an international booking website, he could see there had been a rise in people travelling from Pakistan and India to Istanbul.
Bradford MP Naz Shah said others had been unable to book family rooms on the UK hotel quarantine booking system. She said she was “deeply concerned” about children potentially missing school because their parents can’t afford to fly home.
The UK’s Department for Transport said people who had not been in a red list country for the past 10 days were not prevented from entering the UK – but should isolate at home.
It said the rules were aimed at stopping people – other than British residents – entering the UK from red list countries.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.30: Speaking at the opening ceremony of the MKEK’s Barutsan Rocket and Explosive Factory in the capital Ankara, Erdoğan said that the new facility was established with domestic resources:
Turkey to locally produce materials used in ammunition, missiles and will produce these products locally at international standards at the newly established energetic materials production facility under Turkey’s Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation (MKEK).
by DAILY SABAH WITH AA
Joining an exclusive club of countries nationwide, now Turkey will be able to produce explosives such as RDX, HMX, and CMX, he stressed.
“Recent events and the overt and covert embargoes we have been subjected to created the need to manufacture such critical products within our country,” Erdoğan said.
Catapulting Turkey to the big leagues, the new factory can produce next-generation explosives, the president added, adding that modular gunpowder systems, something Turkey used to import, are now also set to be produced domestically.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.25: Redzepagic has admitted to travelling overseas to try to join and provide material support to ISIS and the al-Nusrah Front, two foreign terrorist organizations that were engaged in fighting in Syria,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers for the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The threat from these terrorist organizations has not ended, and we will continue to work to stem the flow of fighters and bring to justice those who provide material support to these groups.”
Man Pleads Guilty to Attempting to Provide Material Support to Foreign Terrorist Organizations: ‘According to court documents, Elvis Redzepagic, 30, of Commack, New York, began communicating in early 2015 with an individual he believed to be both the commander of a battalion in Syria and a member of ISIS or the al-Nusrah Front, and made attempts to join that individual’s battalion to engage in violent jihad. In July 2015, Redzepagic traveled to Turkey and made multiple unsuccessful attempts to cross the border into Syria. Unable to enter Syria from Turkey, Redzepagic traveled to Jordan in August 2016, but was stopped and deported by Jordanian authorities’
Defendant Planned to Travel to Syria to Wage Violent Jihad: Redzepagic, a Long Island resident, admitted that he attempted to travel to Syria on several occasions to wage jihad on behalf of ISIS and other organizations dedicated to violence and mass destruction,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Mark Lesko for the Eastern District of New York. “This Office is committed to preventing the spread of terrorism by stopping individuals like the defendant in their tracks and prosecuting them before they are able to harm the United States and its allies.” Acting U.S. Attorney Lesko praised the outstanding efforts of the FBI’s New York Joint Terrorism Task Force, which consists of investigators and analysts from the FBI, the NYPD, and over 50 other federal, state, and local agencies.
In Facebook messages from October 2015, Redzepagic explained that “jihad” is when “you fight for the sake of God” and “die for the sake of Allah.” Redzepagic stated that he traveled to Turkey to “perform Jihad and join Jabhat Al-Nusra.” He predicted, “there will come a time where people will only know to say Allahu Akbar.” In subsequent interviews with law enforcement, Redzepagic admitted that at the time he attempted to enter Syria, he was prepared to strap a bomb to himself:
Redzepagic pleaded guilty to attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI’s New York Field Office is investigating the case.
Trial Attorney Stephanie Sweeten of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Saritha Komatireddy and Artie McConnell are prosecuting the case.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.08: Ankara will soon hold a tender for the construction of a canal on the outskirts of Istanbul, Turkey’s president has said. Estimated at over $9 billion, the project drew sharp criticism from environmentalists and the opposition:
Turkey will push Istanbul canal plan forward ‘whether you like it or not’, Erdogan says, promises to ‘lay groundwork’ this summer which is estimated at over $9 billion, for the project and has drawn sharp criticism from environmentalists and the opposition’
7 Apr, 2021 14:57
Speaking before lawmakers with his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party on Wednesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said work on the ambitious project is expected to start shortly.
“We’ve completed preparations for Canal Istanbul to a great extent,”Erdogan said. “The tender will be held soon and we’ll lay groundwork in the summer.”
The project, estimated to cost at least 75 billion lira ($9.2 billion), will create a whole new city of some 500,000, Erdogan predicted. The president brushed off any criticism of the project, insisting Turkey will go forward with it “whether you like it or not.”
The canal project has already drawn criticism from various sides. The waterway would extend some 50 kilometers along the western outskirts of Istanbul, running parallel to the busy Bosporus strait, linking the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.
The project has been attacked by Turkish opposition over its eye-popping costs, which are expected to further burden the already-strained resources of the country. Turkey’s national currency, the lira, has been locked into a perpetual downward slide over the past few years.
The canal project has also raised the concerns of environmentalists who argue the artificial waterway may damage local ecosystems and pollute freshwater resources.
The ambitious plan has also been criticized by some in the country’s military circles, with over 100 ex-navy officers releasing an open letter to warn about the potential security implications over the weekend.
The Bosporus is the subject of the 1936 Montreux Convention, the cornerstone international treaty regulating Turkey’s sovereignty over the straits. The treaty strictly limits the tonnage of military ships of nations from other regions allowed to enter the Black Sea. That is why the digging of a new waterway not subject to the treaty may push Turkey into a conflict between major naval powers.
#AceNewsReport – Apr.06: The Ankara chief public prosecutor’s office said arrest warrants have been issued for the 10. Prosecutors also ordered four other suspects to report to Ankara police within three days, opting not to detain them because of their age.
Turkey detains 10 retired admirals over open letter criticizing the Istanbul Canal project: ‘The admirals used their declaration to criticise the Kanal Istanbul, a multibillion-dollar artificial waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Marmara Sea to ease shipping traffic on the Bosphorus Straits’
April 05, 2021 01:04:
They also addressed the prospect of possible revisions to the 1936 Montreux Convention, which is about control of the Istanbul Straits.
Their statement triggered an urgent central committee meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party for Monday to discuss the issue in detail, and Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has launched an investigation into the signatories.
One of the signatories was 63-year-old Cem Gurdeniz.
He was the architect of Turkey’s “Blue Homeland” maritime doctrine, and his vision gained increased popularity last year with the country’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“The fact that withdrawing from the Montreux Convention was opened to discussion related to the Kanal Istanbul and the authority to exit from the international treaties was met with concern,” the statement said.
“Kanal Istanbul will open the Montreux Convention to discussion, and will lead to Turkey’s total loss of sovereignty over the Sea of Marmara.”
• The admirals addressed the prospect of possible revisions to the 1936 Montreux Convention, which is about control of the Istanbul Straits.
• The statement triggered an urgent central committee meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party for Monday to discuss the issue in detail.
• The admirals stressed that the convention was an agreement that ‘best protects Turkish interests.’
• A few days ago, 126 retired Turkish diplomats released a statement to warn the government over the same issue.
In a 2018 decree Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan assigned himself authority to withdraw the country from any international treaty or pact, such as the Montreux Convention, without parliamentary approval.
Last month Turkey approved plans to develop the 45-kilometer canal project and, since then, the status of the Montreux Convention has become a hot topic.
The admirals stressed that the convention was an agreement that “best protects Turkish interests.”
Recently 126 retired Turkish diplomats released a statement to warn the government over the same issue.
The convention gives free passage to all civilian vessels, and determines the mode of entry, duration of stay and tonnage of warships from nonliteral countries.
Kanal Istanbul will shorten the route of naval vessels from nonliteral countries to reach their destinations in the Black Sea as long as they pay the necessary fees.
But, if no further abrupt revision is made to the convention, these vessels have to respect the rules of Montreux as they will enter Kanal Istanbul from the Dardanelles straits that are still determined by this decades-long international regime.
In a country still shaken by the failed coup attempt of 2016, the admirals’ declaration caused anger in government circles and led to claims that it was reminiscent of past coup periods.
#AceNewsReport – Mar.24: Turkey was planning on invading a total of 131 islands, islets and small rocks on the Aegean Sea, the Scandinavian Nordic Monitor website reported on Saturday:
Turkish army officials issued plans to invade 131 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea: ‘According to a document the website claims to have obtained, Turkish army officials had issued plans to capture what they claim to be ”disputed territories” in the Aegean Sea’
“Turkey Planned to Invade 131 Greek Islands, Classified Documents Reveal,” by Nick Kampouris, Greek Reporter, March 20, 2021 (thanks to Henry):
The secret document is a PowerPoint presentation with a total of sixteen slides and it showed maps of the disputed -according to the Turkish propaganda- islets.
The presentation is most likely a product of Turkish military academies, and it is still unclear when it was originally produced.
The leaked documents show in detail how Ankara was planning on using air and sea forces to occupy the Greek islands, proving yet again the complete disregard of Ergodan’s administration for global security and cooperation within the NATO alliance.
Greek islands listed As the Nordic Monitor reports, the islands, islets and rock formations that were listed are as follows: three locations on Zurefa (Ladoxer in Greek), 13 on Koyun Adaları (Oinousses), 21 on Hurşit (Fimena), 18 on Nergiscik (Arki), 15 Keçi (Pserimos), 12 on Gelemez (Kalolimnos), 2 on Bulamaç (Farmakonisi), 10 on Sakarcılar (Yali), 11 on Koçbaba (Levita), 2 on Karaada (Strongili) and 24 locations around the island of Crete.
The study was based on lessons drawn from the Kardak (Imia) islet crisis of 1996, which brought Athens and Ankara on the brink of a generalized military confrontation. The latter was avoided due to the mediation of Washington….
#AceNewsReport – Nov.26: The court in Ankara delivered the verdicts against 475 defendants, 365 of whom had been detained: Several former military officials and civilians individually received up to 79 life sentences for their role in the failed coup. A former brigadier general was sentenced to life in prison for providing fuel for F-16 jet fighters flown by the insurgents, while several of his colleagues received a similar sentence for instructing the pilots to strike specific targets in the capital: The pilots were likewise sentenced to life in prison for bombing police sites, the Turkish Parliament building and a state broadcasting company in the country’s capital. In one ruling, a former F-16 pilot received 16 life sentences for killing 15 people near the presidential compound: Another defendant, a former brigadier general, was handed a life sentence for detaining a military police chief during the coup:
Turkish courts previously sentenced 121 people to life in prison for their role in the coup in June and 151 last year.
On July 15, 2016, elements of the Turkish Armed Forces tried to seize control over key sites in Ankara, Istanbul and several other locations across the country, but were quickly overpowered. The government accused dissident cleric Fethullah Gulen of staging the coup. Gulen, who has lived in self-exile in the US since 1999, denied the allegations:
The Gulen movement is considered to be a terrorist group by Turkey: Security forces regularly conduct raids against the cleric’s supporters in different parts of the country:
#AceNewsReport – Nov.23: A note has been presented to the ambassadors, saying that the search violated international law, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday: German servicemen from the Hamburg frigate, which has been patrolling the Mediterranean as part of EU’s Irini operation to uphold an arms embargo on Libya, boarded a Turkish freighter overnight about 200km (125 miles) north of the Libyan coastal city of Benghazi: However, they couldn’t finish their search of the ship due to vigorous protests from Turkey. The German Defense Ministry acknowledged that by the time the troops left they had not “found anything suspicious,” but insisted that all procedures were followed correctly:
Earlier, Turkey blasted the inspection as an “unauthorized and forceful act,” saying that the vessel was only carrying paints and humanitarian aid. Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hami Aksoy, complained that the crew of the ship were “treated like criminals” during the search. Ankara reserved the right for “all kinds of compensation” from the EU, he added: Aksoy also questioned the legitimacy and the purpose of the Irini Operation, suggesting that it was biased and only aimed “to punish” the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya – while allowing the ships carrying cargo for the rivaling forces of Khalifa Haftar to travel unchecked: Turkey’s support for GNA in the Libyan conflict has been one of many grievances between Ankara and Brussels, which include Turkish backing for Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute, and its aggressive rivalry with Greece and Cyprus for maritime jurisdiction and energy exploration rights in the Mediterranean:
The European Commission is scheduled to hold a meeting in December to decide if Ankara deserves to be sanctioned over its “expansionist” policies.…
#AceNewsReport – Mar.17: According to sources, the new Turkish Army military site will be established just north of Aleppo city atop the mountain of Jabal Anak near the small rebel-controlled city of Anadan: Turkish forces began establishing military observation points in northwest Syrian at the beginning of 2018 as part of a deescalation scheme brokered between Moscow and Ankara aimed at reducing violence across the region #AceNewsDesk reports
The establishment of such sites by the Turkish military come immediately after the Syrian Army concluded its Idlib-Aleppo operation against ISIS and other militant groups: Turkish forces begin to set up new base just north of #Aleppo city https://t.co/Kfeh5sMNgX#Syria#Turkey Al-Masdar News March 17, 2018
#AceNewsReport – TURKEY:June.17: Suleyman Demirel, who intermittently led Turkey for over three decades as prime minister and president, has died at the age of 90. Demirel had been being treated in an Ankara hospital for a respiratory infection.
The politician, known to his supporters as Baba, or Father, served five different stints as prime minister starting in 1965, despite the fact he was twice toppled and even banned from politics for 7 years.
Demirel served as Turkey’s President between 1993 and 2000.