Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız speaks at a press conference. AA Photo
An agreement reached between Baghdad and Arbil is a guarantee of stability for the country and the region, said Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yıldız at a press conference in the northwestern Turkish province of Kocaeli.
“Stabilization in the country means stabilization for the region, so this is pleasing news,” said Yıldız. Turkey has exported 25 million barrels of northern Iraqi oil, which corresponds to revenue of over $2 billion, Yıldız said.
“This revenue is for the people of Iraq. This situation shows that Turkey’s foresight and strategies are right to the point, and it is a contribution to the region as well,” he said. Continue reading →
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen is seen through a viewfinder as he addresses the media during a joint news conference with Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo (not pictured) in Madrid, June 12, 2014. (photo by REUTERS/Susana Vera)
On June 11, NATO ambassadors gathered in an emergency meeting at Turkey’s request to discuss the rapid expansion of radical Sunni Islamist militants in northern Iraq in which they took control of Mosul and Tikrit. That same day, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), an al-Qaeda spin-off group fighting in both Iraq and Syria, seized Turkey’s Mosul consulate, taking the consul general and his 48 staff members hostage. Earlier in the week, ISIS also took 31 Turkish truck drivers hostage.
Summary- Turkey briefed NATO ambassadors regarding the seizure of its Mosul consulate, but it did not ask for any NATO involvement, as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to be engaged directly in the hostage negotiations.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç dismissed the Israeli claims, saying that Turkey had been subjected to al-Qaeda attacks in the past and is still under threat. Bilgiç also added that as a result of the drawn-out Syrian crisis, some groups sympathetic to the al-Qaeda ideology have found fertile ground in the war-torn country and that those group’s activities also posed a threat to Turkey.
Map of the districts of Cyprus, with English annotations, and showing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, United Kingdom Sovereign Base Areas, and United Nations buffer zone. The TRNC section illustrates the current de facto district boundaries following this map as a guide. The northern districts are labelled in Turkish. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
June 9, 2012: Turkey announced that it will give the Tunisian government $100 million. The money is for economic and social development projects but will probably be spent very quickly since Tunisia is experiencing a severe economic crunch. Turkey will also loan Tunisia $400 million at a low interest rate. Tunisia’s Ennadha Party is a moderate Islamist party which models its political program on Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Several Tunisian politicians are warning that the country could face another political explosion unless it can revive the stalled economy and put people back to work. The AKP has told the Tunisian government that it strongly favors a secular democracy and that Turkey will try to help the Tunisian people manage the transition from dictatorship to democracy. At the moment that means providing economic aid.
June 8, 2012: Maps stir passions in the Balkans. Bulgaria’s foreign minister and Turkey’s Bulgarian ambassador met to discuss a map that appeared with educational materials published for schools in Istanbul three years ago. The map showed a Greater Turkey of a sort, with parts of Bulgaria (including Sofia) and Greece’s Thessalonica (Salonika) included as Turkish territory. All of Armenia, part of northern Iraq, and part of Georgia were also labeled as Turkish territory. Cyprus was also included as Turkish territory. The government of Turkey has assured Bulgaria that it does not have any territorial claims on any neighboring nations. Turkey has disavowed the map and said the maps, which appeared on a compact disk, were withdrawn from the schools when they were discovered and publicized.
Greece acknowledged that it now faces an energy crisis because it cannot pay its electricity, gas, and oil bills. The government and Greek energy corporations are looking for up to $400 million in emergency bridge loans in order to avoid power cuts during the summer tourist season. Though overall demand for energy has been declining, due to the economic crisis, Greece imports most of its power, including electrical power. Tourism is a major industry in Greece and despite numerous travel and tourist bargains, tourists have been reluctant to visit Greece because of the riots and other social turmoil accompanying the economic crisis.
February 24, 2012: The head of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq has asked the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) to lay down its weapons. The KRG leadership has urged the PKK to end the fighting and become a political party. The KRG recently hosed what it called a Kurdish National Conference. Members of the Turkish Kurdish party, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), attended. The conference in remembrance of the Republic of Mabahad, a short-lived Kurdish state (1946) located in northwestern Iran.
February 23, 2012: French police have agreed to treat a recent attack on a Turkish newspaper office in Paris as terrorist acts. Earlier this month, pro-PKK demonstrators attacked Turkish newspaper offices in France and Germany. There were at least two prior attacks last year in France.
February 22, 2012: The Turkish government estimated that 2,000 PKK rebels are operating near the Turkish-Iraqi border, most of them from bases in northern Iraq.
February 20, 2012: Turkish anti-terror police arrested ten people suspected of belonging to the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), which the government considers to be a front group for the PKK. The government claimed the group intended to commit acts of arson. Police acknowledged that they had been monitoring the group’s activities on Facebook.
VoA: The Turkish military is pressing ahead with its air and ground offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, as Ankara sought support from neighboring Iran in its fight against the rebels.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi met with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, on Friday in Ankara, where the two announced plans to collaborate against the communist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and an Iranian group fighting for democracy, the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK).
Salehi said the two groups are “common problems” for both countries and they need to cooperate more seriously against them. Iran also has a large Kurdish minority.
Davutoglu said Turkey and Iran, from now on, will work together until what he called this terrorist threat is eliminated. It was not immediately clear what joint action the two countries are planning to take against the rebels.
Turkey launched the offensive against the Kurdish militants after a series of PKK attacks Wednesday killed 24 soldiers. Turkey says the massive air and ground operations are mainly taking place on the Turkish side of the border with Iraq, in Turkey’s Cukurca region.
Pro-Palestinian activists hold down an Israeli commando on the Gaza-bound Turkish ship “Mavi Marmara.” Nine Turkish nationals were killed when Israeli forces boarded the ship in international waters in 2010.
September 15, 2011
By Michael Weiss
How does Turkey’s ruling Islamist party react when it gets a report it doesn’t like from the United Nations?
By yanking diplomats, threatening military conflict with a neighbor, and menacingly eyeing that neighbor’s new yield of natural resources.
If the General Assembly ever does something really provocative and votes on a resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide or the right of Kurdish self-determination, you can bet that Turkish Prime MinisterRecep Tayyip Erdogan will make the prison guard in “Midnight Express” look like Florence Nightingale.