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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Turkey summons German ambassador after politician likens President to ‘sewer rat’

Turkey’s foreign ministry summoned the German envoy to Ankara on Tuesday to protest over comments made by a senior German politician who likened President Tayyip Erdogan to a “little sewer rat”. “We condemn in the strongest terms the insulting statements made by Wolfgang Kubicki, the vice-speaker of the German Federal Parliament, about our president (Erdogan) in a speech during he Lower Saxony state election campaign,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic said in a statement. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-summons-german-envoy-politician-140015574.html) Contacted by Reuters, Kubicki confirmed making the comment during an election campaign rally while trying to draw attention to a rise in the number of illegal migrants moving from Turkey along the so-called Balkan route towards Germany. “A sewer rat is a small, cute, but at the same time clever and crafty creature that also appears in children’s stories,” Kubicki said, citing the popular animated movie “Ratatouille” as an example. Insulting the president is a criminal offence in Turkey, where Erdogan and his ruling AK Party have held power for two decades.

Newsline: Israel appoints ambassador to Turkey for first time since 2018

Israel will have an ambassador in Turkey for the first time in four years, the latest step in warming relations between the two countries following a years-long rift. Irit Lillian, a senior diplomat who has been in charge of the Israeli embassy in Ankara for the last two years, will serve as the ambassador, Israel’s foreign ministry announced. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/9/20/israel-appoints-ambassador-to-turkey-first-time-since-2018) In 2018, Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Israel and ordered Israel’s ambassador to leave in protest at Israel’s killing of dozens of Palestinians in protests along the Gaza border. Once-warm relations began to deteriorate after the election of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an outspoken critic of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, as prime minister in 2003. Tensions peaked in 2010 when Israeli forces stormed a Turkish ship that broke through an Israeli blockade to deliver humanitarian aid to the Hamas-administered Gaza Strip. Nine Turkish activists were killed. However, the two countries have in recent years made efforts to put their troubled relationship behind them, as regional alliances shift.

Newsline: Turkey says Pelosi’s statements ‘sabotage’ Armenia-Azerbaijan diplomacy

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said that U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “biased” statements regarding the clashes between Armenia and Azerbaijan “sabotage diplomacy efforts” and were unacceptable. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-says-pelosis-statements-sabotage-120621976.html) Pelosi visited Armenia this weekend, in an unprecedented show of U.S. support for the country, which has for over three decades been locked in conflict with its neighbour Azerbaijan over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Twitter, Oktay also called on Washington to clarify whether Pelosi’s statements reflect the official U.S. position.

Newsline: Turkey aims to end Russia-Ukraine war through diplomacy

Türkiye’s aim is to end the Russia-Ukraine war through diplomacy, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit, held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. “We are working to end the conflicts in Ukraine through diplomacy and we are making every effort to ensure peace in our region and beyond,” Erdoğan said during the SCO, which he attended as a special guest, in a well-attended session that also included observer members and special guest delegation heads. (https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/turkiye-aims-to-end-russia-ukraine-war-through-diplomacy-erdogan) Earlier on Friday, Erdoğan held bilateral meetings with some leaders within the scope of the summit. On the sidelines, Erdoğan held a closed-door meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khürelsükh. Erdoğan also met with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the summit. The two leaders discussed the Ukraine grain deal, the Syria crisis as well as bilateral ties.

Newsline: Turkey seen engaged in pro-active diplomacy

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who made official contacts in three countries last week, will continue his visits abroad this week. Erdoğan will first attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit to be held in Uzbekistan. Then he will travel to the United States to attend the 77th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Erdoğan held a Balkan tour covering Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia and Croatia on Sept. 6-8. The SCO Heads of State Summit is to be held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Sept. 15-16. There, he will meet with the leaders of member states and all eyes will be on his meeting with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. Erdoğan’s next stop will be the U.S. where he will attend the 77th General Assembly in New York. Erdoğan, who is expected to address the General Assembly on Sept. 20, will give messages to the world on numerous critical topics from the Russia-Ukraine war to grain shipments, from the fight against terrorism to the tension with Greece. (https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/erdogan-to-engage-in-busy-diplomacy-participate-in-summits-this-week) A meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Erdoğan is also under discussion, a senior Turkish official told Reuters, with Türkiye-Russia relations, U.S. weapons and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria on the agenda. NATO-member Türkiye has sought to strike a balance between Moscow and Kyiv by criticizing Russia’s invasion and selling arms to Ukraine, while opposing Western sanctions and continuing trade, tourism and investment with Russia.

Newsline: Israeli envoy in Turkey sees ambassador appointment “within weeks”

The #Israeli charge d’affaires in Turkey said the re-appointment of an ambassador to Ankara could happen within weeks, while repeating Israel’s expectation that the Hamas office in Istanbul be closed down. In a roundtable meeting with journalists, Israel’s current top representative in Ankara Irit Lillian said the process of re-appointing an ambassador to Turkey was only a matter of “when and not if.” “I hope it will be on time and it will be just a few more weeks and the process will be over,” Lillian said. (https://news.yahoo.com/israeli-diplomat-turkey-expects-ambassador-121337710.html) Earlier this month, Turkey and Israel agreed to re-appoint respective ambassadors more than four years after they were called back, marking another milestone after months of improved relations. The two regional powers had expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. #Embassy in Jerusalem.

Newsline: Turkey says it has no preconditions for dialogue with Syria

Turkey does not have preconditions for dialogue with the Syrian government and talks should be goal-oriented, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday in a further softening of Ankara’s stance towards Damascus. “There cannot be a condition for dialogue but what are the aim of these contacts? The country needs to cleared of terrorists… People need to be able to return,” Cavusoglu said. Asked last week about potential talks with Damascus, Erdogan was quoted as saying diplomacy between states can never be fully severed. (https://news.yahoo.com/turkey-does-not-preconditions-dialogue-073149361.html) Turkey has backed rebels fighting to topple Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, and cut diplomatic relations with Damascus early in the 11-year conflict. Erdogan has warned that Turkey could launch another military incursion into northern Syria targeting Syria Kurdish fighters, to extend a ‘safe zone’ where Ankara says some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees which it currently hosts could return.

Newsline: Turkey, Israel to restore full diplomatic ties

Turkey and Israel said on Wednesday they will re-appoint respective ambassadors more than four years after they were called back. Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s office said on Wednesday the two countries decided to restore full diplomatic ties. “It was decided to once again upgrade the level of the relations between the two countries to that of full diplomatic ties and to return ambassadors and consuls general,” Lapid’s office said in a statement following a conversation between the prime minister and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the appointment of ambassadors was one of the steps in the normalisation of ties. “Such a positive step came from Israel as a result of these efforts, and as Turkey, we also decided to appoint an ambassador to Israel, to Tel Aviv,” Cavusoglu said at a news conference in Ankara, adding Turkey was selecting someone. (https://news.yahoo.com/israel-says-restore-full-diplomatic-112344311.html) The two regional powers had expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border against the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

Newsline: Turkey Seen as the Biggest Swing Player in the Russia-Ukraine Conflict

As the Russia-Ukraine conflict heads for the six-month mark, Turkey has emerged as a major swing player in the protracted war. Ankara is involved in the conflict on a number of fronts, from security cooperation with Ukraine to energy cooperation with Russia to serving as a diplomatic mediator between Kyiv and Moscow. It was Turkey’s diplomacy that facilitated the grain shipments from Ukraine’s ports on Aug. 1, the first since the start of the war. This increasingly proactive approach to the conflict has presented both substantial opportunities and significant challenges for Ankara while offering important lessons for the West on how to most-effectively deal with Russia. (https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/08/11/turkey-russia-ukraine-war-swing-player/) Ankara has long sought to leverage its strategic position at the intercontinental crossroads between Europe and Asia as well as emphasize the concept of connectivity.

Newsline: Turkey summons French charge d’affaires over caricatures in Charlie Hebdo weekly

Turkey summoned the French charge d’affaires on Wednesday over caricatures published in Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, a statement by Turkish foreign ministry said. The cartoon on the cover of Charlie Hebdo showed Erdogan sitting in a white T-shirt and underpants, holding a canned drink along with a woman wearing an Islamic hijab. Turkish officials described it as a “disgusting effort”. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-security-turkey-summons/turkey-summons-french-charge-daffaires-over-caricatures-in-charlie-hebdo-weekly-idUSKBN27D2RK) France and Turkey have been at loggerheads over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad, after a teacher who had shown pupils the cartoons in a lesson on freedom of speech was beheaded in France this month. Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet as blasphemy.