Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey’s Gul says downing of jet cannot be ignored | Reuters.

23 Jun

Turkey’s Gul says downing of jet cannot be ignored | Reuters.

Abdullah Gul, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Bashar al-Assad
(older photo) Reuters

(Reuters) – Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday it was not possible to ignore the fact that Syria had shot down a Turkish fighter jet and said everything that needed to be done following the incident would be done, Turkish media reported.

“It is not possible to cover over a thing like this, whatever is necessary will no doubt be done,” Gul told reporters from the central Anatolian city of Kayseri.

The Turkish military said it had lost contact with one of its F-4 fighter jets off the southern Turkish coast near Syria on Friday morning and Damascus later acknowledged it had shot the plane down.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who had been returning from a summit in Brazil when the news broke, called an emergency security meeting on his arrival in Ankara and in a statement his office said Ankara would act “decisively” once all the details had emerged.

Syria has said the Turkish aircraft was flying low and well inside Syrian territorial waters when it was shot down. Gul said it was normal for jets to briefly cross into foreign airspace and said a probe into the incident would look at whether in fact it was downed while in Turkish airspace.

“When we think of the speed of these jet planes while flying above the sea, crossing over borders for a short distance and then back again is a little bit routine,” said Gul.

He said because of the serious nature of the incident it was not possible at this stage to give any more detailed statement.

Asked whether Turkey was in contact with Syria over the incident, Gul said telephone contact had been made and said: “Because there is no security there, we withdrew our representatives from Syria. This does not mean there is no contact.”

Gul said Turkish and Syrian forces were still working together to search for the two missing crew of the aircraft.

Ankara, which had drawn close to Syria before the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, turned against the Syrian leader when he responded violently to pro-democracy protests inspired by popular upheavals elsewhere in the Arab world.

Turkey now gives refuge to the rebel Free Syrian Army on its frontier with Syria and is sheltering more than 30,000 Syrian refugees.

Ankara has previously floated the possibility of setting up some kind of safe haven or humanitarian corridor inside Syria, which would entail military intervention, but has said it would undertake no such action without U.N. Security Council approval.

Turkey has said, however, that Assad must step down.

(Editing by Alison Williams)

World Economic Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia 2012

4 Jun

I just found this but haven’t had a chance to look over it.  It looks like a fun site to cruise.  Jump in for yourself and see what you can find.  Let me know if you find something interesting.

From weforum.org

World Economic Forum on the Middle East, North Africa and Eurasia 2012

Bridging Regions in Transformation
Istanbul, Turkey 4-6 June 2012

Blue Mosque and Bosphorus

The pace and complexity of global change in recent years have been unprecedented, with Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia emerging as a key mega-region of the future.

The World Economic Forum on Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia will therefore convene over 1,000 leaders in Istanbul, Turkey, to catalyse new partnerships for growth and human development.

  • In light of the global economic contraction, how can governments and business leaders design and deliver new models to drive innovation and economic agility across this mega-region?
  • How can the region strengthen energy cooperation and deliver the high-value trade and investment in science and research that are critical to knowledge economies?
  • How can the social dynamism unlocked by developments in the Middle East and North Africa be transformed into a decade of entrepreneurial opportunity, human security and good governance?

Turkey expels diplomats as Syria denounces Western diplomatic protest

30 May

AP reports that beginning Tuesday, countries came together in protest of the violence in Syria by expelling Syrian diplomats from their countries.  This includes United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Japan, and Bulgaria.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Wednesday, “It is out of the question to remain silent and without any reaction in the face of this action, which amounts to a crime against humanity,” and “This grave crime against humanity by those who have attempted a massacre of civilians cannot go unpunished.”

Death counts for the massacre are being reported at up to 116 people murdered during the slaughter in Houla on May 25.  The Syrian government continues to deny responsibility, while the survivors say Assad’s troops were responsible “for at least some” of the carnage.

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Massive Joint Military Drill Cut Short As U.S. Threatens Military Intervention, Syrian Violence Continues To Plague Turkey

29 May

A joint military drill in Jordan between the U.S. and 18 different countries, utilizing 12,000 troops, was cut short, according to Israel National News.  The exercise is called “Eager Lion 12,” drawing suspicion that this is directly related to the conflict in Syria,  not only because of the timing, but also because the Arabic translation of lion is “asad.”  The U.S. has stated that it is willing to intervene militarily.  The world watches in anticipation, but there doesn’t look to be an end to the fighting any time soon.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials announced that Kurdish militants are running rampant without repercussion.  Two Kurds smuggled 40 kilograms of explosives across the border to stage a major attack.  The explosives were triggered near a police compound, killing the two bombers and a policeman.  The National reports,

Sinan Ulgen, the chairman of Economics and Foreign Policy Research (Edam), an Istanbul-based think tank, said Turkey was likely to boost its troops on the border.

“Turkey will need to give a strong signal to Syria that this is unacceptable,” he said about the reported infiltration by Kurdish militants from Syria.

Mr Ulgen said he did not expect military clashes between the two countries, but added that troop reinforcements were possible because Ankara needs “to appease public opinion and go beyond the war of words” with Syria. Turkey is increasingly concerned that the violence in Syria is destabilising the region along the joint border, which stretches 900 kilometres from the Mediterranean to Iraq.

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