Ancient churches ‘nationalised’ in Turkey. Some of the most important Armenian and other churches in the Middle East have been appropriated by the government of Turkey, churches include the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic and the Armenian Catholic churches in the Sur district of Diyarbakir. Clearly a Turkish attack on religious freedom. In light of Turkey’s brutal record of destroying and desecrating Armenian religious and cultural heritage, it is clear that this latest action represents a renewed attack by Erdogan on Christian communities, a continuation of Ankara’s efforts to erase the ancient Christian legacy within its present-day borders, and, ultimately – more than a century after 1915 – a further consolidation by Turkey of the fruits of the Armenian Genocide.
Turkish security forces have shot dead refugees escaping from the Syrian conflict, according UK-based monitoring group the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights alleged 16 people seeking sanctuary in Turkey have been shot over the past four months. They said those killed included three children.“Turkish soldiers used to help the refugees across, carry their bags for them. Now they shoot at them.”
Turkey’s leader Erdogan’s increasingly aggressive and undemocratic behavior in Turkey, plus his mercurial role in the conflict in neighboring Syria, have diminished his standing Erdogan is becoming a tyrant. Erdogan was a dictator-in-waiting have been hiding in plain sight. Turkey for a century was a Muslim but secular country and became a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization military alliance. Under Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party that supports him, Turkey has been pushed into a more religious sphere, and one where political criticism is barely tolerated. Over the past year, more than a thousand people have been charged with the crime of insulting Erdogan personally, and hundreds of academics have been investigated or disciplined for questioning his government’s anti-terror policies The Turkish government this month raided the offices of the largest-circulation opposition newspaper, Zaman. It imposed a new, pro-government editorial line; banned coverage of recent terrorist bombings in Ankara, Istanbul and elsewhere; and insisted on secret trials for two journalists who reported on government shipments to Syrian rebels. When Turkey’s Supreme Court ruled that the journalists could not be tried in secret, Erdogan announced he no longer recognized the court’s authority. Turkey’s policies on the Kurds, Syria and Islamic State are out of sync with those of the U.S. and many NATO allies, they point out, while Erdogan’s record on democracy and free speech makes the U.S. and Europe increasingly uncomfortable.
Turkey suppresses Kurds under pretext of fighting terrorism.Illegal traffic across the Turkish-Syrian border has decreased dramatically since the start of Russia’s military operation in Syria, and the U.N. Security Council should enforce a halt of trade in artifacts and oil with Islamic State and to stop “terrorists” from crossing into Syria, including from Turkey. Moscow urges all to investigate reports of violations of Kurds’ rights by Turkey, the fire attacks on the Syrian territory, and calls for tough international response against Turkey. Moscow and Berlin believe that all parties representing Syria’s political opposition should be in attendance at the inter-Syrian peace talks in Geneva, and it includes Kurds as well.
While politicians are painting a rosy picture of a gloomy reality, Islamic radicalisation remains a grave danger. Most of the IS-related terror attacks in Turkey have been carried out by Turkish citizens radicalised in Syria. More and more young people are becoming prey to fundamentalism on the other side of the border. Turkey, together with Saudi Arabia and Qatar, has provided logistical and financial support, as well as weapons and other services to Isis, Jabhat al-Nusra, and other insurgents, terrorists. Turkey has facilitated the transport of some 2,000 insurgents to bolster up the defence of Azaz, Syria, north of Aleppo. Turkey must do more to stop terrorist oil trade. Ankara must take strong measures to prevent terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria from benefiting from illegal oil trade, hostages and antiquities,. “Terrorism financing is present, particularly in the form of cash flows across Turkey’s southern border into Syria; and terrorist organizations with suspected involvement in narcotics trafficking and other illicit activities are present in Turkey. Turkey’s nonprofit sector remains vulnerable to terrorism financing. Recent conflicts at the southern border of Turkey have increased the risks for additional sources of terrorism financing and money laundering attached to human trafficking and oil and antiquities smuggling from the region to Europe.” – US Department of State . A report on illegal oil sales by Islamic State, ordered to be compiled by Norway, later revealed that most of the IS-smuggled oil was destined for Turkey, where it is sold off at bargain low prices. “Large amounts of oil have been smuggled across the border to Turkey from IS-controlled areas in Syria and Iraq,” Norwegian daily Klassekampen, which leaked details of the report, cited it as saying. “[The] oil is sent by tankers via smuggling routes across the border [and] is sold at greatly reduced prices, from $25 to $45 a barrel.”
Turkey and Russia are currently experiencing their most serious crisis of the 21st century as a consequence of the Turkish military shooting down a Russian Su-24 jet over the Turkish-Syrian border on Nov. 24, 2015. Russia does accept bein g bullied humiliated, and Turkey has been a big bully. According to AP, Erdogan has been accused of aggressively using the “defaming the Turkish president” law to silent any kind of opposition. Before Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish law was used only in extreme cases. The crush of insult crimes that have inundated Turkey’s justice system reflect the president’s authoritarian leadership style So far those accused of insulting the president grows – including a former football champion, newspaper editors, columnists, a university student, a 13-year-old and two opposition leaders. To date, 1,845 people have been prosecuted for this offence. So much for freedom of speech, democracy in Turkey. The security forces seem more focused on hunting critical journalists, academics, cartoonists and writers than clamping down on the real terrorists. Turkey, instead of trying to get involved in Syria or the Middle East, should urgently look within.
NATO has chosen to sleep with an infidel.. Turkey.. ‘Intimidation and paranoia dominates the land’ . In the aftermath of the Arab Spring in 2011, Ahmet Davutoglu, then Turkish minister of foreign affairs and now prime minister, falsely had vowed that Turkey would be the “game setter” of the Middle East. Turkey has become a rogue state -with a rogue president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey’s foreign policy is now shaped by ideology rather than the art of diplomacy. In its desire to become a major power player, the leading force in the Middle East, the government overemphasised a Sunni identity. Instead, it should have remained a secular, modern and globally integrated nation-state within an international community. Thus, from a “zero-conflict with neighbours” policy the country plummeted into “clashes with almost every neighbour”. In the eyes of the international community, EU, NATO and in the eyes of the United States, Turkey is no longer seen as an asset but a liability. “It has lost its honest broker position to resolve problems in the region. So has NATO. European Union’s foreign policy boss, Federica Mogherini, warned that “a hot war” between Russia and Turkey over Syria was possible.
Europe is facing a security crisis after the recent triple bombing in Brussels, which came on the heels of the November bomb and gun assaults in Paris that killed 130 people. .Europe should drop its “geopolitical games” and unite behind efforts to fight terrorism, a day after bomb attacks in Brussels killed around 30 people. All while NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg was “battling an ‘imaginary Russian’ threat and stationing troops in Latvia, people are being blown up under his nose in Brussels”. Is the cold war with Russia a priority or is Muslim terrorism the real enemy. The diabolical US defence secretary, Ashton Carter, said that he believed Russia is the greatest threat to American national security, ahead of a nuclear-armed North Korea and jihadists of the Islamic State (Isis). This foolish alarmism is counterproductive and wrong. Ties between Moscow and the West have plunged to their lowest point since the Cold War but the Kremlin’s Syria gambit thrust Putin back into the centre of international diplomacy. And Russia says it will unilaterally start using force against those violating the partial truce in Syria, if the US does not agree to joint rules ASAP. “Russia’s restraint in Ukraine shows that there is no serious reason to fear that Mr Putin is ready to create a new, worse, international crisis by attacking the Baltic states or Poland”. The the EU must play a greater more efficient, credible, and relevant role, military capabilities rather against all Muslim terrorist groups, the Islamic state.