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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Turkey’s Erdogan calls on world’s Muslims to stop embassy openings in Jerusalem

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan on Friday called on the Muslim world to back Palestinians against what he said was Israel’s cruelty in Gaza, and castigated both the United States and the United Nations over the deaths of dozens of protesters. The Turkish president has been a vocal critic of Washington’s decision to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem — and of the violence that followed the embassy’s opening. Turkey declared three days of mourning after Israeli security forces killed dozens of Palestinian protesters on Monday. Addressing thousands of supporters waving Turkish and Palestinian flags in Istanbul’s Yenikapi neighborhood, Erdogan called for Muslim solidarity and said the United Nations had lost legitimacy for failing to stand up against Washington.



Newsline: Israeli ambassador exits Turkey as Gaza row mounts

Israel’s ambassador to Turkey on Wednesday left the country after being ordered out by Ankara in a growing crisis over the killing by Israeli fire of dozens of Palestinians on the Gaza border that threatens a reconciliation deal. Israeli ambassador Eitan Naeh departed for Tel Aviv via Istanbul airport under the full glare of the Turkish media, who appeared to have been specially invited to film his exit. Naeh has been told by Turkey to stay away for an unspecified period of time. Turkey had already withdrawn its Tel Aviv ambassador for consultations while Israel ordered the Turkish consul in Jerusalem to leave, also for an unspecified period of time. The Turkish foreign ministry on Wednesday also told the Israeli consul general in Istanbul to leave Turkey “for a period of time”, the foreign ministry said. The manner of Naeh’s departure angered the Israeli government, with the ambassador filmed going through an extra security check and then sitting alone at the gate. Israel’s foreign ministry on Wednesday summoned the Turkish charge d’affaires in Israel to its Jerusalem headquarters for a reprimand over what it called in a statement “inappropriate treatment” of the ambassador. The statement said that Naeh was subjected to “a stringent security check in the pre-arranged presence of the Turkish media.”


Newsline: Israel Expels Turkey Envoy After Ankara Ousts Israeli Ambassador Over Gaza Deaths

Israel expelled the Turkish consul in Jerusalem hours after the Israeli ambassador to Turkey was expelled on Tuesday over Monday’s violent demonstrations which claimed the lives of 60 Palestinians by Israeli gunfire in protests along the Gaza border. Israel’s official statement to Turkey on the expulsion of the Turkish consul, Husnu Gurcan Turkoglu, was identical to an earlier statement sent by Turkey to Israel to oust ambassador Eitan Naeh. Meanwhile, Belgium summoned the Israeli ambassador, Simona Frankel, to a meeting on Wednesday with a senior official of the Foreign Ministry as diplomatic fallout from Gaza deadly clashes continue. Belgium’s prime minister on Monday called for an international probe of the events in Gaza while linking the violence to the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. The Irish government also summoned the Israeli ambassador, Zeev Boker, to express its shock and dismay over the Gaza deaths, the Irish Times reported Tuesday. Ireland has called for an independent UN investigation.


Newsline: Victims of Turkish Embassy brawl sue Turkey

Fifteen victims of last May’s brawl outside the Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., filed a civil suit against the Turkish government, as well as two Americans and three Canadians involved in the skirmish, according to a press release. The victims, who were protesting Turkey’s treatment of ethnic Kurds when they were attacked by security forces working for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, accuse Turkey’s government as well as the five American and Canadians involved of “violations of international law and hate crimes, as well as assault, battery and false imprisonment.” The suit follows five other victims who filed a similar suit in early May, as reported by The Washington Post. Video of last year’s incident shows guards attacking the group of protesters, which according to the release included the elderly and children. Nineteen defendants, including 15 Turkish security officials were indicted on multiple charges last year. Nine protesters were sent to the hospital over their injuries. The two Americans named in the lawsuit, Sinan Narin and Eyup Yildirim of Virginia and New Jersey, respectively, were among the nineteen defendants last year and both plead guilty to assault.


Newsline: Turkey’s Erdogan calls Jerusalem US Embassy move ‘huge mistake’

A week before the formal opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the decision to move the office as a “huge mistake.” Speaking exclusively to CNN in Ankara, Erdogan said that there was “nothing to gain” by the move and urged the US to reverse the decision while there was still time to do so, repeating his claim that “East Jerusalem is the capital city of Palestine” and will one day be home to an embassy serving Turkey’s interests in a Palestinian state. He also said that the decision had contributed to isolating the US diplomatically. Pointing to the United Nations vote in December, when 128 countries condemned the decision and just nine supported it, Erdogan said: “The United States is losing true friends right now.”


Newsline: Turkish embassy accused of spreading propaganda in Switzerland

The Turkish embassy to Switzerland faces accusations of supporting ‘war games’ involving pupils attending special classes in a public Swiss school. The tabloid SonntagsBlick reported that children staged war games during a performance in the village of Uttwil attended by hundreds of Turks in Switzerland and diplomatic guest of honour from Turkey. The play was apparently staged with the backing of the Turkish embassy trying to promote nationalist propaganda among the expat community in Switzerland, according to SonntagsBlick. Neither the St Gallen authorities nor the Turkish embassy were reportedly willing to comment. However, a coordinator for the special classes is quoted as saying the organisers of the play – re-enacting the 1915 Battle of Gallipoli – had probably gone too far. The battle, which left more than 100,000 people dead, is often regarded as a defining moment in the history of modern-day Turkey, as the Ottoman Empire crumbled and the western allies were defeated by Turkey’s armed forces. SonntagsBlick says the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan uses the military history to foment the idea of Turkey as a major world power.


Newsline: Turkish ambassador to Benin died of heart attack

Turkish Ambassador to Benin Turgut Kural died of a heart attack Tuesday night, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu announced Wednesday. Kural had served as the Turkish Ambassador in Cotonou, Benin since 2014. The son of late Ambassador Şerif Adnan Kural, who also died of a heart attack in 1972 while serving as the ambassador to Moscow, Turgut Kural was born in Rome in 1966. A husband and father of two children, 51-year-old Kural had served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1991, after graduating from Ankara University’s Department of International Relations. He began his international career as third secretary in Turkey’s Baghdad and Amman embassies, and vice consul at the Consulate General of Hong Kong. He went on to serve as second and first secretary in the Brussels embassy, consul general in the Mostar consulate and undersecretary of the embassy in Paris.