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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Turkey to name street by US Embassy after its Syrian offensive

The mayor of the Turkish capital of Ankara said he had approved re-naming a street outside the U.S. Embassy as “Olive Branch”, the name Turkey uses for its ongoing military campaign in Syria. Ankara has been infuriated by Washington’s alliance in Syria with forces led by the Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey is targeting in its offensive. “We have signed the necessary proposal to change the name of the Nevzat Tandogan Avenue in front of the U.S. Embassy to ‘Olive Branch’. May it go well, may the souls of our saintly martyrs rejoice,” Ankara Mayor Mustafa Tuna tweeted. The proposal will most likely be approved, just days before U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Ankara on Thursday. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara and the Ankara mayor’s office were not immediately available for comment.



Newsline: Swedish parliament demands withdrawal of ambassador from Turkey

Members of the Swedish Parliament have demanded that their government withdraws its ambassador from Ankara in protest at the ongoing Turkish military offensive on Syria’s Afrin. Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström, and members of Sweden’s Left Party and Green Party were present during the meeting, Iraqi news outlet K24 reported. The lawmakers called on the government to pressure Ankara to stop its “illegitimate” attacks on the Kurdish region of Afrin. “We are working within the Swedish and European Parliament to stop the fierce attack by Turkey on [Afrin], which has left innocent civilians, including women and children, dead,” Amineh Kakabaveh, a Kurdish MP from the Left Party was quoted by K24 as saying. Sweden should “withdraw its ambassador from Ankara and declare its rejection of the brutal attacks by the Turkish army on Afrin and other areas in western Kurdistan,” Jabar Amin of the Green Party told K24.


Newsline: Netherlands removes ambassador to Turkey and blocks new Turkish embassy appointment

The Netherlands has officially withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey and barred the appointment of a new Turkish embassy official, the Dutch government has announced. The Dutch foreign ministry said: “The Dutch government has decided to officially withdraw the Netherlands’ ambassador in Ankara, who has not had access to Turkey since March 2017. “As long as the Netherlands has no ambassador to Turkey, the Netherlands will also not issue permission for a new Turkish ambassador to take up duties in the Netherlands.” The two nations fell out last year following the Dutch government’s decision to block visas for Turkish officials campaigning for votes among expats living in the Netherlands in the lead-up to Turkey’s controversial referendum which granted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. The Netherland’s refusal to grant Turkey’s foreign minister permission to land in March 2017 led to a mass rally outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, prompting its closure.


Newsline: Turkish ambassador denies Qatar deployment comments

Fikret Ozer, Turkey’s ambassador to Doha, has denied media reports that he had said Turkey was planning to deploy air and naval forces to Qatar. Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ozer said that any deployment of Turkish military assets to Qatar would depend upon a bilateral agreement to this effect between the Turkish and Qatari militaries. According to the diplomat, a 2014 military cooperation agreement between Qatar and Turkey contained a provision for the deployment of Turkish forces to the Qatari capital. “Since then, however, no new articles have been attached to the agreement,” Ozer asserted. He went on to dismiss reports in certain media outlets that he had said Turkey was about to deploy forces to Qatar.


Newsline: Turkey keeps regional ambassadors in loop about Syria’s Afrin

Turkish Foreign Ministry is keeping ambassadors from several countries in the region informed about Turkey’s ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin, according to a Turkish diplomatic source on Sunday. Ambassadors of Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have been invited to the ministry where Turkish ambassador Sedat Onal will brief them about the operation, the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to media, said. On Saturday, envoys and mission chiefs of permanent members of United Nations’ Security Council — United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China as well as Iran — were also invited to the ministry for a similar briefing. Turkey launched the operation in Afrin on Saturday at 5 p.m. (1400GMT).


Newsline: Turkey summons Russian, Iran’s ambassadors

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Russian and Iranian ambassadors claiming that the Syrian government forces had “violated the ceasefire in the Idlib de-escalation zone,” a source in the ministry told reporters. “On January 9, the Russian ambassador was summoned to our Foreign Ministry, we voiced our reaction and concerns in this regard, also asking him to convey the information to the regime in order to make it stop such actions,” the source said. According to him, Iran’s ambassador was also summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry as Iran is another guarantor of the Syrian ceasefire. The Russian embassy in Ankara has not issued any comments yet.


Newsline: Turkey renames UAE Embassy streets in Ankara

The United Arab Emirates’ Embassy in Turkey’s capital has a new address evoking Turkey’s Ottoman heritage in the Middle East, including its defense of Muslim holy sites. The embassy building has not moved, but the streets around it have been renamed, in the wake of a historical row between Turkey and the UAE. Under an Ankara Municipality decision, 613rd St. has been renamed Fahreddin Pasha Street – — after the Ottoman governor of Medina, Saudi Arabia from 1916-1919 — and 609th Ave. in front of the embassy was also renamed “Medine Müdafii” (Defender of Medina) Ave. The move comes after social media posts last month by Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the UAE’s foreign minister, accusing Fahreddin Pasha of committing crimes against Medina’s population, including theft. The post drew the ire of Ankara, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slamming the allegations. “Where were your ancestors when our Fahreddin Pasha was defending Medina?” Erdogan asked last month. He added that the so-called “theft” was actually “protecting the holy relics of the Prophet Mohamed from [British] invaders.”