Tag Archives: Turkey

The US of A(rms)

The United States dominates the global arms trade in a historic fashion and nowhere is that domination more complete than in the Middle East | WILLIAM D. HARTUNG

Infrastructure of US bases in the Middle East | David Vine

The United States has the dubious distinction of being the world’s leading arms dealer. It dominates the global trade in a historic fashion and nowhere is that domination more complete than in the endlessly war-torn Middle East. There, believe it or not, the U.S. controls nearly half the arms market. From Yemen to Libya to Egypt, sales by this country and its allies are playing a significant role in fuelling some of the world’s most devastating conflicts. But Donald Trump, even before he was felled by Covid-19 and sent to Walter Reed Medical Center, could not have cared less, as long as he thought such trafficking in the tools of death and destruction would help his political prospects. Continue reading

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This Day. The death of Serena Shim, journalist

Serena Shim, an American citizen of Lebanese origin, remembered six years after her suspicious death near Turkey. Much of the monopoly media and Chrystia Freeland’s self-styled Media Freedom Coalition consisting of 21 NATO countries have forgotten that crime, but Press TV still wages an unrelenting campaign on behalf of its former journalist. This can also be compared to the cause célèbre of the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist and former Saudi intelligence agent, also in Turkey. While this “media freedom” coalition and the Washington Post do not seem bothered by the Saudi regime’s crimes against people in Syria or Yemen or even inside Saudi Arabia, they were offended that Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman dared to kill a person employed by an American newspaper. All other journalists killed in conflict from Ukraine to Palestine are deemed propagandists and disposable, according to the official rationale set by NATO in 1999 to justify the bombing of Serbian TV stations during the war on Yugoslavia.

By Press TV 

(October 18) – Six years after her suspicious death, Press TV reporter Serena Shim is remembered as one of the first journalists to have exposed the involvement of the US-led Western countries and their regional allies in igniting the foreign-sponsored terrorism in Syria, a daring act of investigative journalism for which she paid with her life. Continue reading

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Russia, Turkey agree to deliver second shipment of S-400 missile system

Russia, Turkey agree to deliver second shipment of S-400 missilsystem

Moscow, Aug 23 (Prensa Latina) – Russia and Turkey signed a contract for the delivery of a second regiment of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said today.
Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheev did not reveal more details when he talked to RIA Novosti news agency.

In 2017, Russia and Turkey concluded an agreement worth approximately $2.5 billion to supply Ankara with the S-400 missile system, with delivery completed in 2019. Turkey is the first member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to purchase this air defence system from Russia.

The S-400 is considered the most advanced of its kind in Russia, capable of destroying targets at a distance of up to 400 kilometres and at up to 30 kilometres high.

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Word. The destruction of the Syrian electricity network

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By Dr Bashar Ja’afari

UN Permanent Representative of the Syrian Arab Republic.

(May 19, 2020) On instructions from my Government, I wish to convey to you the following important current information relating, first, to the destruction of the cooling tower of the Zayzun power plant in the Ghab plain, in the countryside outside Hama, by the Turkistan Islamic Party terrorist group and, second, to the scale and breakdown of the losses incurred by the electricity sector in the Syrian Arab Republic: Continue reading

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The ominous jihadis war: From Tripoli to Tripoli

GHASSAN KADI on a potentially huge situation brewing in Libya that barely makes the news

The Fall and the Fall of HaririThe ‘War on Syria’ is far from being over, and it will continue until all foreign forces illegally present on Syrian soil retreat; either willingly, or defeated.

And even though the American presence in Syria has no clear and realistic political purpose other than wreaking havoc and making it hard for Russia to help reach a decisive victory, in a twist of fate, the focus of the Russo-American conflict in the region may soon move away from Syria. Continue reading

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Discontent and partisan warfare against illlegal US occupation of East Syria will increase

By Ekaterina Blinova

On 22 April, the foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey held a trilateral video-conference on the situation in Syria within the framework of the Astana format. International observers have explained why the group has succeeded in maintaining the balance of interests in the region and what is behind the growing divisions within jihadi ranks.

The Astana group, a trilateral format comprising Russia, Turkey and Iran created in 2017 to tackle the Syrian crisis, acknowledged on Wednesday that the 5 March 2020 ceasefire deal had facilitated the de-escalation of the situation in Idlib, following Turco-Syrian clashes earlier this year, despite Hayat Tahrir al-Sham’s* attempts to obstruct it. Continue reading

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The gateway to Idlib goes via Cilica

In this article Ghassan Kadi, our Middle East analyst, looks at the historical reasons that put Syria in a vulnerable position with Turkey. According to his analysis, the buck stops at the long forgotten issue of the Cilician Gates. Ghassan has been warning about this issue for some years now.

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The root of the military conflict in Idlib is not something that arose from contemporary times. And with all due respect to Sputnik, the cause did not start 80 years ago.

Actually, the seed of the conflict was sown five centuries ago. Its germination could have been prevented a century ago. However, the colonialists had other plans. They implemented them when Syria was weak and unable to exercise its own right of self-determination. Continue reading

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Erdogan’s long-coming reality check

By GHASSAN KADI

TSB Middle East Analyst

(February 14) – It is hard to say if Erdogan is running out of choices, friends, time, or all of the above; and his stands on various issues and the contradictions he ploughs through are making his situation increasingly untenable. Continue reading

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NATO Summit: Rearmament despite dissension

NATO increases operational readiness and targets China

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (german-policy-com) – In spite of fierce internal conflicts, NATO is enhancing its operational readiness, is preparing its next expansion and is setting its sights on China as a new “challenge.” These are the main results of the war alliance’s anniversary summit, which ended in London yesterday, with the participation of the heads of states and governments of the member countries. As early as next year, NATO will be able deploy 30 army, air force and naval units in a war within a 30 day maximum. At the London summit, North Macedonia, which is about to join the Alliance, was represented for the first time. In the future, NATO will extensively concern itself with China, however not exclusively confrontational, as Washington would have wanted. The conflict with Turkey did not escalate, even though the dissension between Ankara and various other allied states, by no means, had been resolved. In fact, the Turkish government has implicitly been given a blank check for its heavily criticized activities in the occupation of Northern Syria. Continue reading

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Turkish aggression against Syria: For a principled and permament solution to the Kurdish question

On August 7, Turkish and US officials agreed to jointly manage a buffer zone between the Turkish border and areas in Syria controlled by the Kurdish YPG, which Istanbul considers a “terrorist” threat. On October 6, the Trump presidency announced that US forces would withdraw from the border areas to make way for a “long-planned operation” by Turkish forces. On October 8, Turkey, a member of the US-NATO bloc which hosts a massive US air base at Incirlik – hosting some 5,000 Air Force personnel, tactical nuclear weapons and used to fly sorties over Syria – launched a new military invasion of northern Syria dubbed Peace Spring, which began with airstrikes on positions of Kurdish units. The Syrian Arab Republic branded the operation, part of the old imperialist divide-and-rule of the Middle East on an ethnic and religious basis, as aggression. The Syrian Kurdish forces and the Syrian Arab Army swiftly launched a counter-offensive to block the Turkish advance. Continue reading

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Syria condemns the aggression of the Turkish regime and reaffirms its determination to face the invasion by all legitimate means

Damascus strongly condemned the aggressive intentions of the Turkish regime and the military mobilization on the Syrian borders. This “is a flagrant violation of international law and of Security Council resolutions that insist on respect for unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syria,” reports an official source from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates to the Sana agency. She reiterated that Syria is determined to fight Turkish aggression by all legitimate means. Continue reading

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Thousands descend on Syrian border to stop Turkish invasion

Kurdish women hold a banner with Arabic that reads, ‘We don’t accept enemies and strangers on our land,’ as they protest against possible Turkish military operation on their areas, at the Syrian-Turkish border, in Ras al-Ayn, Syria


THOUSANDS of people headed to the northern Syrian border today to form a mass human shield ahead of an anticipated Turkish invasion of the largely Kurdish region hours after it was abandoned by US forces.

Kurds warned of an act of betrayal after US President Donald Trump announced that he was pulling forces out of northern Syria following a phone conversation with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Continue reading

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Syria: The Battle of Idlib

By GHASSAN and INTIBAH KADI

(September 1) – Or is it the Battle for Idlib? And whose battle? And who is fighting who? And where?

The only thing that is clear about this seemingly upcoming battle is the fact that Idlib has been “used” as a sink hole and dumping ground for all anti-government/anti-Syria terrorists. Such a status quo cannot last. Continue reading

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War on Syria: CIA program supplied money, weaponry and training to terrorist forces

Introduction

Timber Sycamore was a classified weapons supply and training program run by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and supported by various Arab intelligence services, most notably that of Saudi Arabia. The program is the proverbial tip of the iceberg. It is further evidence that the United States and/or any of its collaborators and accessories including the Canadian government, with its proxy support, training and arms programs in Kurdistan, Jordan, Israel and Saudi Arabia, are guilty of crimes against humanity through aggression against the Syrian Arab Republic, a sovereign country. The use of proxy mercenary armies camouflaged by a fictitious “civil war,” according to the Obama Doctrine, masks the identities of their sponsors. It cannot hide them however, nor their aggression, from the light of day nor the reaches of international law. Continue reading

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A rare glimpse into the inner workings of the American empire in the Middle East

U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on December 14, 2017. Its agenda was “To receive testimony on U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East.” | C-SPAN

(January 19) – In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, four former U.S. diplomats provided remarkably candid commentary on recent U.S. involvement in the Middle East, revealing a number of the most closely guarded secrets of U.S. diplomacy. Continue reading

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Syria: Erdogan’s Karmic Trap

By GHASSAN KADI*

(January 17) – The security zone America intends to establish in Syria is doomed to fail sooner or later. How can this assertion be made and what can it be based on? Well, two main things really; history and facts on the ground. Continue reading

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Trump’s task is to reverse the ‘roll out’ of Iran by challenging the JCPOA

By MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA 

isis-oil-silhouetteWashington’s plan for regime change in Damascus has failed. Albeit it has not gone the way that the US and Israel have desired, it can be said using the geopolitical language of Israeli and US planners and strategists that Syria has been “rolled back.” This does not mean Syria will stay in this “rolled-back” state statically.

In Iraq, the federal government has come out victorious and pushed back the so-called “Islamic State” and demands have started for a withdrawal of US forces. In the Levant, the Palestinians have managed to form a national unity government that will change the equation of talks between the Palestinians and Israel whereas Hezbollah and its political partners in Lebanon are stronger than ever. While in Yemen, the Houthis or Ansarallah have been able to repel the Saudis.

The US and its allies are the ones in the bigger geopolitical picture that are being “rolled back” steadily. In this context, Washington is now turning to the strategic depth of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, the Houthi, and the Palestinians. That strategic depth is the Islamic Republic of Iran.  Continue reading

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Turkish-ISIL oil trade: The role of Britain, Israel and the Kurdistan Regional Government (III)

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Turkish officials were involved in illegal transport of oil from Iraq long before the emergence of the so-called Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS/IS/DAESH). Their illegal trade expanded to the Syrian Arab Republic with the intensification of the conflict in Syria. Turkey, however, is not the only player involved in the illegal oil trade in Syria and Iraq. The operations of the Anglo-Turkish company Genel Energy PLC, which works in Iraqi Kurdistan and Malta, illustrates the constellation of financial and energy sector interests involved | MAHDI DARIUS NAZEMROAYA Continue reading

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Renewed Jihadi attack on Aleppo supported by ‘Western’ propaganda fakes

By MOON of ALABAMA

(October 23) – The three days of unilateral ceasefire Syrian and Russia had announced and kept for the besieged east-Aleppo expired today. No evacuations took place, no civilians or fighters left and no aid was delivered as “rebels” inside the besieged area shelled all possible crossings. Continue reading

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The Middle East energy war heats up: Israeli-Turkish normalization, Turkey’s military base in Qatar

By MAHDI DARIOUS NAZEMROAYA*

Energy war

This article was originally published by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

After shooting down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24M tactical bomber jet operating in Syrian airspace, in early December 2015 the Turkish government sent a heavily armed battalion to the Zilkan military base in Iraq. This move ignited tensions between Ankara and the Iraqi federal government, which renounced it as an act of Turkish aggression.

Within the contours of a resource and energy war, the Turkish military deployment was a move by the Turkish government to secure its illegal oil trade with the so-called Islamic State (ISIL/ISIS/IS/DAESH).

Turkish military base in the Persian Gulf

Weeks after the Turkish military deployment to Zilkan, the Russian military’s General Staff reported that it had tracked 11,755 oil tankers and trucks around the town of Zakho on both sides of the Iraqi-Turkish border on December 25, 2015. Despite the claims by the Kurdistan Regional Government that the oil tankers and trucks were the result of a long lineup created by the closure of the Iraqi-Turkish border due to Ankara’s military operations against the Kurds in southeast Turkey, the oil tankers and trucks were understood to be part of a re-channeled smuggling route for Syrian oil stolen by the ISIL.

The Turkish government has taken several steps to redirect its energy ties away from Russia and Iran. It is precisely in the context of securing energy reserves that Ahmet Demirok, the Turkish ambassador to Qatar, announced Ankara’s plans to open a military base in Qatar in the Persian Gulf region on December 16, 2015. In an interview with Reuters Ambassador Demirok said that the Turkish base was being set up in accordance with the security agreement signed between Ankara and Doha in 2014 and that the military base would help both Turkey and Qatar jointly “confront common threats” from certain countries, which Demirok declined to name.

The unnamed countries that Ambassador Demirok was implying could be none other than the duet of Iran and Russia. Moreover, Turkey’s announcement about the establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar coincided with an announcement on the following day, December 17, by Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi, the Qatari ambassador to Turkey, that Doha was prepared to provide as much liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Turkey as it needed.

Israel and Turkey come together: Eastern Mediterranean natural gas

A day after Qatar’s Ambassador Salem Mubarak Al-Shafi announced that Doha would provide Turkey with as much LNG as it needed, on December 18, it was announced that Israel and Turkey had signed a framework agreement to export Israeli natural gas to Turkey. Although Turkish tensions with Russia, Iran, and Iraq could have hastened the natural gas deal between Ankara and Tel Aviv, the Israeli-Turkish framework agreement for energy trade had been quietly negotiated over for several months by the Israeli and Turkish government.

Analysts and journalists presented the natural gas agreement between Israel and Turkey as a part of a Turkish move to normalize its diplomatic and military ties with Israel as a means of counter-balancing Russia, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and their regional partners. These views and claims, however, overlook the fact there have been clear signs that Israel and Turkey have maintained their cooperation, if not close allied relationship, in the economic and military sectors. Both the Turkish and Israeli militaries have even had synchronized movements and operations on the Syrian border.

While Israel has been re-exporting the smuggled oil that Turkey has been exporting from Syria and Iraq, Tel Aviv has tried to legitimize its appropriation of the Palestinian natural gas reserves off the cost of the Gaza Strip. In parallel, Tel Aviv has exerted its full influence to gain control of the Egyptian natural gas reserves north of the Nile Delta. This is while Israel has tried to lay claim to Lebanese maritime territory holding large deposits of natural gas and courted Cyprus for control of its Mediterranean natural gas reserves.

Contours of a broader energy war emerge

The agreements with Israel and Qatar are a part of a broader energy trade nexus that falls within the contours of an energy war predating recent Russo-Turkish tensions. In fact, both Ambassador Al-Shafi and Ambassador Demirok were only repeating information about deals that were reached between Erdogan and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani during Erdogan’s visit to Qatar at the time of the Russian military’s press conference announcing his involvement in the ISIL’s oil smuggling. Furthermore, the spatial configuration of the Israeli, Turkish, and Qatar reflected the dimensions of the energy war taking place in the Middle East.

Turkey has done almost everything possible to stop an Iran-Iraq-Syria energy corridor bypassing Turkey from being created. The Turkish military deployment to the Mosul District in Iraq and the creation of a Turkish military base in Qatar are tied to the joint goals of Turkey and Qatar for creating a rival energy corridor running through Turkey to Europe from the Persian Gulf and Iraq. The public demands that Israel give Turkey “unrestricted” access to the Gaza Strip could also be tied to the Palestinian natural gas reserves off of Gaza’s coast.

Furthermore, for years both Israel and Turkey have worked to establish a Levantine energy corridor where Eastern Mediterranean natural gas would be mainly exported northwards towards Turkey and the European Union while oil would be mainly exported southwards towards Israel. The materialization of this corridor has been obstructed mainly by Syria. This is one of the reasons that the Turkish government has pushed for regime change in Damascus.

While there are claims that Turkey is acting independently of the US government, it is highly improbable that no coordination has taken place in regards to the joint US and Turkish objective of regime change in Damascus. The re-direction of Turkish energy trade falls in line with the US objective to cripple the Russian energy sector by obstructing energy trade between the Russian Federation and other international actors.

This article was originally posted by the Strategic Culture Foundation on December 30, 2015.

 

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The Arab Spring: US black ops and subversion

libya_nato_latuff_400Book review of Ahmed Bensaada, Arabesque$: Enquête sur le rôle des États-Unis dans les révoltes arabes (Investigation into the US Role in the Arab Uprisings) by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall Continue reading

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US delivers 3,000 tons of weapons and ammo to Al-Qaeda & Co in Syria

Syria.Made-in-USAThe United States via its Central Intelligence Agency is still delivering thousands of tons of additional weapons to al-Qaeda and others in Syria.

The British military information service Janes found the transport solicitation for the shipment on the U.S. government website FedBizOps.gov. Janes writes: Continue reading

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The ‘cold war’ over Syria… will remain cold

“. . . it is the Syrian scorched ground that decides its destiny. . .”

Introduction by Ghassan Kadi*: This is an article that has been translated from Arabic by Intibah and Ghassan Kadi. It was published on Assafir (a Lebanese daily) on February 15 by SAMI KOLEIB. He is a renowned pro-Resistance Lebanese journalist. He has made great analyses over the last few years and Intibah and I had the pleasure of translating some of his work. In this article, he is articulating his views about the outcome of the huffing and puffing of Turkey and Saudi Arabia in regard to their threats of launching ground military operations in Syria. A highly recommended read.

By Sami Koleib | Translated by Ghassan and Intibah Kadi

2016.02.Putin, Obama discuss Syria in phone call(February 15) – For the Russia Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev to say that the world is entering a cold war is to declare the status quo… and confirming what’s already confirmed. But to say it from Munich? This is the same place from which President Vladimir Putin began to stand up against Washington in his famous speech nearly eight years ago. And for Medvedev to mention the Russian Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 to stop an American invasion is only a reminder of the new red lines for any land invasion perpetrated by the enemies of the Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in Syria’s north, and specifically to any Saudi-Turkish gamble with a NATO cover. The cold war is realistically under way; what’s new in it this time is that it is the Syrian scorched ground that decides its destiny… and it seems that various contacts made in the last few hours have focused on putting the situation under control and priorotizing on fighting terrorism. Continue reading

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Coming to a head in Syria

By GHASSAN KADI*
No war on SyriaWhat started as a “War On Syria”, allowed to grow and fester unabated, fueled and sponsored by eighty three nations spearheaded by Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Israel and NATO and all pro-NATO nations, is undoubtedly coming to a head.

Geneva III seems dead in the water, just like Geneva I and II were. This time however, Syria and its allies are calling the shots, and they are playing the cat-and-mouse game, and why not? After all, the ball is in their court and it wasn’t easy coming. It’s the spoil of blood and sacrifice. Continue reading

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Erdogan, the Trojan horse of terror

By GHASSAN KADI*

Erdogan-ISIS(November 22) – Love him or hate him, Erdogan has been a survivor; a hero for some, and a stick in the mud that would not go away for many more others. He has thus far managed to dodge many serious decisive moments, the last of which was the recent parliamentary elections that he won with flying colours despite the predictions of many analysts, including myself, that he was destined to lose abysmally. Continue reading

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Russia’s Lavrov: US is not seriously fighting against the Islamic State

That the U.S. was not seriously fighting the Islamic State was obvious to any observer but it is now a public position stated by Russia and the U.S. will have to react to

Throughout the last week the Russian airforce updated its target list in Syria. Plans were prepared, units designated, ammunition was loaded.

Today President Putin announced that the destruction of a Russian airliner with 224 people on board over the Sinai peninsula had indeed been an Islamic State terror attack. Traces of explosives were found on parts of the debris.

The Russian mission in Syria is no longer just to help the Syrian government but is now a matter of Russian national self-defence. The Russian parliament was not shy in assigning guilt: Continue reading

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The love affair between ISIS and the Turkish JDP (AKP) government: the evidence

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Two articles by TONY SEED and Sendika.Org News

The menace of ISIS grew in the Middle East with the overt and covert help of the ruling JDP (Justice Development Party) government in Turkey, a member of the US NATO military bloc and host of the current meeting of the G20 states, being held under the high ideals of the “war against terrorism”, and such members of the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) as Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Once again these facts have been wiped from the terrible story of the violent attacks in Paris.
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Antalya, Turkey rises up against the G20: ‘Go home, murderous G20’

The Forces of Labor and Democracy of Antalya have marched on the southern province’s Cumhuriyet Square, demanding the departure of the ‘murderous, colonialist and imperialist war organization’ that is the G20. Despite an attack by the police in the square, the Halkevleri, Öğrenci Kolektifleri and the Liseli Genç Umut were able to overcome a police barricade and issue a statement calling for the destruction of the ‘imperialist war organization of the G20’

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The fallacy of Erdogan-style democracy

By GHASSAN KADI*

ElectionIncubatorCartoon(November 4) – Erdogan’s AKP party has scored a monumental victory; not so much in terms of the lead in parliament though. As a matter of fact, it is a fairly narrow victory, but one that was least expected. What is monumental about it is the course that Turkey has set itself upon.

A victory for Erdogan perhaps, but for Turkey itself, the outcome of this election will probably take years and even decades until it becomes clear what the results truly meant for Turkey’s future and wellbeing. Continue reading

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Turkey: The predictable Erdoğan

By GHASAN KADI, Introduction by TONY SEED

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The Turkish election was held in an atmosphere of violence and chaos on November 1st. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regained its parliamentary majority. 

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