Diplomatic Briefing

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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Lawyer for German embassy in Ankara arrested

Turkish authorities took the lawyer into custody, Germany’s Foreign Ministry confirmed. The man, from Turkey, had been assisting the embassy in Ankara by looking into the cases of Turkish citizens seeking asylum in Germany, according to news magazine Der Spiegel, which first broke the story. A German diplomatic source told Agence France-Presse that the lawyer had provided “internationally customary and, in our view, indisputably acceptable support.” (https://www.dw.com/en/lawyer-for-german-embassy-in-ankara-arrested/a-51341528) “His detention is incomprehensible to us,” they added. The diplomatic source said Germany was “intensively engaging to clear up the allegations and free him from custody.” The lawyer, who Der Spiegel says has been accused of espionage, cannot receive consular assistance from Germany because he is a Turkish citizen.

Newsline: Protesters attacked outside Turkey’s Embassy in Ukraine

Several unidentified people have attacked protesters outside the Turkish Embassy in the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv who were rallying against Turkey’s invasion in northeastern Syria. The attackers came out of the embassy. (https://www.kpvi.com/news/national_news/the-latest-incident-outside-turkish-embassy-in-ukraine/article_b8708f45-62ba-515f-b28f-66f9fcb5323f.html) Footage posted by activists on Friday morning shows several men, some in suits and ties, come out of the embassy and charge the protesters. The attackers threw some of the protesters on the ground and tore some of the signs they were holding. The men were later seen going back into the embassy compound. Police in Kyiv had no immediate comment on the incident.

Newsline: Turkey summons U.S. diplomat after Embassy likes tweet about ill nationalist party leader

Turkey summoned a top U.S. diplomat to its foreign ministry on Sunday, a day after the U.S. Embassy’s Twitter account liked a tweet regarding Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the nationalist party who has recently fallen ill. The tweet said Turkey should be ready for a political realm without Bahceli, who has had health issues in recent weeks, which lead to speculation regarding the seriousness of his condition. Bahceli is the leader of Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), which is an ally of President Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday it had summoned the U.S. Charge d’Affaires to the ministry and requested an “open and clear” explanation regarding the issue. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-usa-tweet/turkey-protests-after-us-embassy-likes-tweet-about-ill-nationalist-party-leader-idUSKCN1WL03Y) The U.S. Embassy posted two apologies on Twitter, one late on Saturday and another on Sunday, after the Charge d’Affaires was summoned.

Newsline: Khashoggi remembered outside Saudi consulate where he died

Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos joined activists and friends of Jamal Khashoggi near Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday on the first-year anniversary of his horrific death at the hands of Saudi agents. The memorial began just after 1:14 p.m. (1014 GMT) — the time that Khashoggi walked into the consulate a year ago, to collect documents required for him to marry his Turkish fiancee, who was waiting for him outside. He never emerged. (https://wtop.com/europe/2019/10/khashoggi-remembered-outside-saudi-consulate-where-he-died/) During the ceremony, activists called for a comprehensive United Nations investigation into the murder and action to ensure that the perpetrators of the killing don’t go unpunished.

Newsline: Belarus embassy official wounded by gunshot in Turkey

The undersecretary of administrative affairs at the Belarusian embassy in Ankara was wounded by gunshot late Wednesday. According to reports, the official, Alexander Poganshev, was taking a walk with his 13-year-old child near the embassy in Oran neighborhood in Çankaya district when a man opened fire on him. It was learned that there was a longstanding feud between the diplomat and the attacker, who was a retired colonel and his neighbor. The attacker later shot himself in the head and died. (https://www.dailysabah.com/investigations/2019/07/24/belarus-embassy-official-wounded-by-gunshot-in-personal-dispute-with-retired-soldier-in-ankara) Poganshev was immediately taken into surgery, and is now receiving treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU). Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that an attack earlier in the day on a Belarusian diplomat was not politically motivated.

Newsline: Turkish diplomat and Iraqi civilian shot dead in Iraqi Kurdistan

A Turkish diplomat was among two people shot dead on Wednesday in Irbil, the capital of Iraq’s Kurdistan Region. The victims, who were eating at a restaurant when gunmen opened fire, were reportedly Turkey’s deputy consul in the city and an Iraqi civilian. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the “heinous attack”. (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-49020786) No-one has so far said they were behind it. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought Turkey for decades and has bases in Iraq, has denied any role.

Newsline: Syrian dissident claims he was attacked at country’s Istanbul consulate

A prominent Syrian opposition figure who once served as a spokesman for a military negotiation committee of the opposition, says he was “attacked” at the Syrian Consulate in Istanbul. (https://www.dailysabah.com/istanbul/2019/07/10/syrian-dissident-claims-he-was-attacked-at-countrys-istanbul-consulate) Osama Abo Zayd was at the consulate for the legal registration of his marriage in Istanbul. He said he had to “pay” $300 for an appointment at the consulate and was mistreated when he arrived. “A clerk saw a wristband symbolizing the Syrian revolution on my wrist and told me he would not process my application if I didn’t remove it,” Zayd told Anadolu Agency (AA), referring to the opposition movement against the Bashar Assad regime. “Then, officials there hurled insults at me and tried to remove me from the consulate. “They intimidated me and tried to hit me. Security officers came and forced me out of the building,” Zayd said. The dissident said he has filed a lawsuit against the consulate clerks. “Turkey’s relations with the regime are bad, but it still did not shut down the consulate so that it can help the Syrian people. Instead, people coming here are subject to insults,” Zayd complained. He said the consulate has to serve all Syrian citizens, regardless of their views, under international laws.