Archive for Turkey
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador to Ankara over a protest in Bern targeting Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The protest had Kurdish groups among its organizers. The ambassador, Walter Haffner, was told that Turkey expects the Swiss authorities to bring the organizers of the protest to justice and to prevent such “incidents” in the future. “We are protesting this rally that explicitly promoted violence and terrorism and has been permitted, and we ask Switzerland to take immediate legal action against this offense,” the ministry said in a statement, as cited by the Turkey’s Hurriyet daily. The demonstration, which was held in central Bern, was attended by some 3,000-3,500 people, the Swiss media report, citing the event’s organizers. The protesters marched through the city center and then held a rally in front of the federal parliament building. They were chanting anti-Erdogan slogans and were holding numerous placards that read, “For Democracy in Turkey.”
The Russian Embassy in Ankara is not commenting on the summoning of Russia’s Charge d’Affaires Sergei Panov to the Turkish Foreign Ministry in connection with the death of a Turkish serviceman near the Syrian border, Irina Kasimova, a spokeswoman of the embassy, told Sputnik on Thursday. Earlier in the day, Turkish authorities summoned Panov after Turkey’s General Staff said one of its soldiers had been killed near the Syrian border by a sniper from Kurdish-controlled northern Syria. “The embassy does not comment on this information,” the spokeswoman said. According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Russia, as one of the guarantors of ceasefire in Syria, is responsible for helping maintain the ceasefire regime on the Syrian-Turkish border, where the soldier was killed on Wednesday.
Bulgaria’s Foreign Ministry said on March 16 that it was recalling its ambassador in Ankara, Nadezhda Neynsky, for consultations. The single-sentence statement by the Foreign Ministry gave no reason why Neynsky was being called back to Sofia, but the development comes amid continuing controversy about reported interference by Turkey in Bulgaria’s March 26 early parliamentary elections. In diplomatic practice, recalling an ambassador for consultations is generally seen as a second stage of protest after formally summoning a foreign country’s ambassador, but is a stop short of suspending diplomatic relations. The Turkish ambassador in Sofia, Süleyman Gökçe, was summoned to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry on March 7, to hear a protest from caretaker Deputy Foreign Ministry Boiko Mirchev following reports about a Turkish cabinet minister having called on Bulgarians in Turkey to vote for Lyutvi Mestan’s DOST party.
Turkey has suspended high-level diplomatic ties with the Netherlands and the Dutch ambassador to Ankara will not be allowed to return from leave, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said. The Dutch government’s conduct “is unacceptable by any standards”, he said. The move comes amid tensions after Amsterdam deported a Turkish minister and banned another. On Saturday, the Dutch government cancelled the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s flight permit to the Netherlands. It then then blocked a convoy carrying Family Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya and forced her to leave the country under police escort. When Turkish citizens in Rotterdam peacefully protested these developments, they were met by police using batons, dogs and water cannons, in what some analysts called a disproportionate use of force. The events have drawn strong criticism from the Turkish government, which, earlier Monday, sent diplomatic notes to the Netherlands in protest.
The Dutch embassy and consulate in Turkey have been closed off for security reasons, Reuters reported citing Turkish foreign ministry. A mass rally took place outside the consulate in Istanbul after Turkish Foreign Minister was refused landing in the Netherlands. The residences of the Dutch ambassador, charge d’affaires and consul general were also closed off, according to the same source. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said earlier in a statement that Ankara did not want “the Dutch ambassador, currently on leave, to return to his post for some time.” “It has been explained to our counterparts that this grave decision taken against Turkey and the Dutch Turkish community will cause serious problems diplomatically, politically, economically and in other areas,” the statement said, as cited by Reuters. The move follows the Dutch government barring Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu from flying to Rotterdam. Initially, Cavusoglu was to speak at a rally organized by Ankara to promote the referendum on amending the Turkish constitution among Turks living in the Netherlands. The withdrawal of permission for Cavusoglu to land was condemned by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who lashed out at Dutch officials, calling them “Nazi remnants, fascists.” Just hours before the shutdown of Dutch diplomatic buildings, another top Turkish official, Family Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya was blocked from entering a Turkish consulate in Rotterdam by Dutch police. The move has triggered mass protests of Turkish community members outside the building.
Turkey’s Embassy in the Swedish capital of Stockholm has been attacked by two masked men, media reported Wednesday. The two attackers, detected by the surveillance camera, threw bottles with white paint at the embassy building in Stockholm, the Anadolu news agency reported. Swedish police have launched investigation into the attack. In November 2016, a group of unidentified people attacked a mosque and a Turkish cultural center in Stockholm.
The photo of the gunman who assassinated the Russian ambassador to Turkey in December has won the World Press Photo of the year competition. It was the 60th year of this award, which “honours the photographer whose visual creativity and skills made a picture that captures or represents an event or issue of great journalistic importance in the last year”, according to the World Press Photo Foundation. The assassination photo was snapped by Burhan Ozbilici, a photographer for the Associated Press in Istanbul, moments after the attack. Mary F Calvert, member of the jury, said the winning photograph “was an explosive image that really spoke to the hatred of our times.