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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Pro-Kurds clash with police outside US embassy in Paris

Pro-Kurdish demonstrators protesting against Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria have clashed with police outside the U.S. embassy in Paris. French police tried to keep the protesters back from the embassy building on Tuesday night and used tear gas to disperse the protest. Some protesters threw projectiles at police and several of them were injured in the scuffles that followed. The protesters were expressing anger at a perceived lack of action from the U.S. after Turkey announced that its troops and Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters had begun a siege of the Syrian Kurdish-held northern town of Afrin.



Newsline: US Embassy in Turkey resumes service after security threat

The U.S. Embassy in Turkey says it is preparing to resume regular services after a security threat forced it to close for a day. The embassy in Ankara was closed on Monday as police in the Turkish Black Sea coastal city of Samsun detained four Islamic State suspects while investigating a possible attack plot involving the American facility. Only limited services were provided on Tuesday, but spokesman David Gainer says the embassy “will be operating as normal” on Wednesday.


Newsline: Turkey detains 4 IS suspects in probe of US embassy threat

Turkish police detained four Islamic State suspects as part of an investigation into a possible attack on the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, the country’s state-run news agency reported on Monday. The arrests came as the embassy was closed on Monday over an unspecified security threat. The Anadolu Agency said police detained four Iraqi nationals in connection with the threat against the embassy. Security was high outside the U.S. embassy on Monday, and police searched pedestrians before allowing them to enter the street where the embassy and other buildings are located. The U.S. embassy said on its web page late on Sunday that the mission would be closed due to a security threat, and urged U.S. citizens to avoid the embassy as well as large crowds. It also advised citizens to “keep a low profile.” Embassy spokesman David Gainer said the mission would open on Tuesday but would not provide visa services or services to American citizens — in an apparent measure aimed at limiting visits and minimizing risks to the public.



Newsline: Turkish embassy in Berlin attacked, vandalized

Police closed off the street near the Turkish embassy in Berlin as part of an investigation into vandalization that left one of its walls splattered in red, green and yellow paint – the colors of the Kurdish flag. Four darkly dressed people threw paint bags at the embassy and then fled the scene under the cover of a smoke bomb, according to the guards. Barbed wire was also laid out on a path by the embassy, which is located across from Berlin’s Tiergarten park. A taxi driver witnessed fireworks or flares burning in the bushes. Germany is home to 3 million people of Turkish-origin, and about 750,000 ethnic Kurds.



Newsline: Turkish Embassy in Moscow receives envelope containing white powder

The Turkish Embassy in Moscow received an envelope containing white powder, said an Embassy employee. Preliminary examinations showed that this white powder was not hazardous, the Embassy employee told Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. Since last week, 12 embassies in Moscow reported the reception of envelopes with white powder, according to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. No poisonous substances were discovered after examination.



Newsline: Iraqi ambassador to Moscow calls Turkish forces in Iraq “invaders”

The Iraqi ambassador to Moscow Haydar Hadi has described the presence of Turkish forces on Iraqi soil as an “invasion”, the Russian news site Sputnik Türkiye reported on Tuesday. “We see the Turkish soldiers’ presence in Iraq as an invasion, and have sent a message of protest on the topic,” said Hadi at a press conference in Moscow, adding that countries from the Arab League had supported Iraq’s stance. Turkish forces entered Iraq in 2015 to help the international coalition to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), the extremist jihadist organisation that declared itself a caliphate in 2014 after seizing the Iraqi city of Mosul. The Turkish parliament voted to extend the deployment of troops at a military base in the town of Bashiqa for another year in September 2017, even though its stated objective of forcing ISIS out of Mosul had been achieved.



Newsline: Turkey renames US embassy street amid row over Syria operation

The street in Ankara where the US embassy is located was renamed after Turkey’s offensive against a Kurdish militia yesterday (19 February), just days after the two sides agreed on the need to normalise relations. Already tense ties were strained further when Ankara started a ground and air offensive dubbed “Olive Branch” last month against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in its enclave of Afrin in western Syria. Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an insurgency in Turkey which is listed as a terror organisation by the US and the European Union. But in Syria, Washington has been providing arms to the YPG against the Islamic State group, much to Ankara’s chagrin in a dispute that has ignited the biggest crisis in bilateral ties since the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. The US has previously called on Ankara for restraint and said operation “Olive Branch” risked becoming a distraction from the fight against jihadists in Syria.