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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: U.S. embassy warns of possible terrorist attacks in Turkey

The U.S. embassy in Turkey warned Americans on Monday of possible attacks against churches, synagogues, and diplomatic missions in Istanbul, marking its second such notice in four days, following Koran-burning incidents in Europe. In an updated security alert, the U.S. embassy said “possible imminent retaliatory attacks by terrorists” could take place in areas frequented by Westerners, especially the city’s Beyoglu, Galata, Taksim, and Istiklal neighbourhoods. Turkish authorities are investigating the matter, it added. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/us-issues-another-warning-possible-terrorist-attacks-turkey-2023-01-30/) On Friday, several embassies in Ankara including those of the United States, Germany, France and Italy issued security alerts over possible retaliatory attacks against places of worship, following separate incidents in which the Muslim holy book, the Koran, was burned in Sweden, Netherlands and Denmark.

Newsline: Turkey summons Denmark’s ambassador

Turkey has summoned Danish ambassador to Ankara over a planned protest in the Danish capital on Friday that is expected to include the burning of a copy of the Koran, the Danish foreign ministry said on Friday. “Denmark has a good relationship with Turkey, and this case does not change that,” Danish Foreign Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said in an email sent to Reuters. “Our task now is to talk to Turkey about the conditions in Denmark with our open democracy, and that there is a difference between Denmark as a country – and our people as such – and individual people who have strongly divergent views,” he said. (https://neuters.de/world/middle-east/turkey-summons-danish-envoy-over-permission-protest-ministry-sources-2023-01-27/) One source from the Turkish foreign ministry said Ankara strongly condemned “provocative acts that constitute a hate crime”, which included an “assault” on the Muslim holy book. The ministry asked for permission for the demonstration to be revoked, the sources said. The leader of Danish far-right political party Hard Line, Rasmus Paludan, plans to protest outside the Turkish embassy in Copenhagen every Friday until Turkey accepts Sweden’s NATO application, according to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet.

Newsline: Turkey summons Swedish ambassador

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned Sweden’s ambassador on Friday over authorities’ permission of a protest near the Turkish Embassy in Stockholm scheduled to be held on Saturday, a source from the Foreign Ministry said. The source said the Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the “provocative” protest, which they said includes burning of the Muslim holy book the Koran, and conveyed Ankara’s expectation for reversal of the permission for the demonstration. The Foreign Ministry also told Sweden’s envoy that granting permission to a separate protest that is to be staged on Saturday by a group sympathetic to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is a violation of agreements between the countries, the source said. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/turkey-summons-swedish-envoy-over-permission-protest-source-2023-01-20/) The incident comes at a sensitive time in bilateral relations when both Sweden and Finland are seeking Turkey’s approval of their bids to join NATO.

Newsline: Top Iranian Diplomat travels to Turkey

Foreign Minister of Iran Hossein Amirabdollahian traveled to Turkey on Tuesday for a series of political and economic negotiations with the senior officials of the neighboring country. Heading a political delegation, the Iranian foreign minister left Tehran for Ankara on Tuesday morning. Amirabdollahian is expected to hold talks with the Turkish officials about the political, economic and cultural relations between the two neighbors as well as the major regional and international issues. (https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2023/01/17/2838395/top-iranian-diplomat-in-turkey-for-political-talks) In a meeting in Tehran in November 2022, the interior ministers of Iran and Turkey weighed plans for cooperation between the two countries in the fight against terrorism and in ensuring security along the common border.

Newsline: Turkey summons Swedish ambassador over Erdogan puppet

Turkey has summoned Sweden’s ambassador to Ankara following a demonstration in Stockholm in which a puppet of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was hung from its feet, a diplomatic source has said. Staffan Herrstrom, Sweden’s ambassador to Turkey, was summoned to the foreign ministry and Ankara’s reaction was conveyed to him, a Turkish diplomatic source said. “Our expectation that the perpetrators of the incident need to be identified, the necessary processes be carried out and Sweden uphold its promises was emphasised,” the source said. (https://www.msn.com/en-ae/news/world/turkey-summons-swedish-ambassador-over-erdogan-puppet/) Sweden applied to join Nato earlier last year and has been courting Turkey to back its bid for accession. Turkey said it would consider supporting Sweden’s application if it takes a clearer stance against what it sees as terrorists — mainly Kurdish militants and the organisation it blames for a 2016 coup attempt.

Newsline: Israeli envoy named in Turkey

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan received the credentials of Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey on Tuesday, as the two countries normalise ties after four years of strain. Irit Lillian, Israeli’s charge d’affaires in Ankara since January 2021, became ambassador after presenting his letter of confidence to Erdogan. (https://kfgo.com/2022/12/27/israeli-envoy-named-in-turkey-after-years-of-strain/) Turkey and Israel began improving relations with high-level visits this year including Israeli President Isaac Herzog’s visit to Ankara. They agreed to appoint ambassadors mutually in August. After Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu won elections last month, he and Erdogan agreed to “work together to create a new era in relations” on a basis of respect for mutual interests. Once close regional allies, relations between Israel and Turkey have been strained for more than a decade, with Ankara having expelled Israel’s ambassador following a 2010 Israeli raid on an aid ship to Gaza, which killed 10 Turkish citizens. Diplomatic relations were restored in 2016, but two years later Turkey recalled its ambassador from Israel and expelled the Israeli envoy when Israeli forces killed a number of Palestinians who had taken part in protests in the Gaza Strip.

Newsline: Turkey summons French ambassador

Turkey summoned France’s ambassador over what it called “black propaganda” by Kurdish activists during a march to mourn three people killed in a shooting at a Kurdish cultural centre in Paris. French Ambassador Herve Magro was summoned so Ankara could relay unease after some marched in Paris with flags of the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) or suggested that Turkey was linked to the shooting, the Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Turkey “expects France to act prudently over the incident and not to allow the [banned PKK] terrorist organisation to advance its sneaky agenda,” Anadolu reported. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/26/turkey-summons-french-ambassador-over-anti-turk-propaganda) On Saturday, members of France’s Kurdish community and anti-racism activists joined together in Paris in a demonstration of mourning and anger a day after a Kurdish neighbourhood was targeted by a gunman who has admitted racist motivations. While the gathering was largely peaceful, with marchers holding portraits of the victims, some youths threw objects and set light to cars, and police shot tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Newsline: Turkey eyes trilateral diplomacy with Russia, Syria

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying he proposed to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin forming a trilateral mechanism with Russia and Syria to accelerate diplomacy between Ankara and Damascus. “First our intelligence agencies, then defence ministers, and then foreign ministers (of the three countries) could meet. After their meetings we as the leaders may come together. I offered it to Mr Putin and he has a positive view on it,” Erdogan was cited as saying. (https://neuters.de/world/turkey-seeks-trilateral-mechanism-with-russia-syria-erdogan-2022-12-15/) Broadcaster Haberturk cited Erdogan as telling reporters after a trip to Turkmenistan that he offered to Putin initiating a series of meetings between Turkey, Russia and Syria to revisit long-strained relations with Damascus.

Newsline: Turkey summons Swedish ambassador

Turkey summoned the Swedish envoy on Monday after images that allegedly insulted President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and served as Kurdish militant propaganda were projected on the Turkish Embassy building in Stockholm, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported. (https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Turkey-summons-Swedish-envoy-over-images-17601196.php) Anadolu Agency said Ambassador Staffan Herrstrom was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, where officials condemned the incident, called for an investigation and renewed a demand for Stockholm to take “concrete steps” against groups that Turkey considers to be security threats, according to Anadolu Agency.

Newsline: Turkish embassy accused of spying in Greece

A police liaison officer assigned to the Turkish embassy in Athens ran a covert operation to collect intelligence in Athens and Thessaloniki, a secret Turkish government document obtained by Nordic Monitor has revealed. (https://en.protothema.gr/turkish-embassy-police-spied-in-greek-cities-of-athens-and-thessaloniki-secret-document-reveals/) The document, sent by the Security General Directorate (Emniyet) on September 2, 2020 to nearly a dozen provincial police departments, said the Turkish Foreign Ministry had passed on intelligence gathered by a police officer who works at the Turkish embassy. The communiqué, classified as secret, mentioned six business establishments in Athens and Thessaloniki and 13 residents who are allegedly linked to the Gülen movement, a group critical of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The document noted that the intelligence was part of a broader clandestine operation launched by the Turkish government in Greece to identify targets from the Gülen group, confirming that multiple agencies were involved in spying in a foreign territory. The spying activity shows that the Erdoğan government not only disregards the law in a NATO ally — a neighboring country — by engaging aggressive spying activities but also does not feel bound by Turkish laws that prohibit Turkish police from carrying out such work.