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Archive for Turkey

Newsline: Turkey Arrests New Suspect In Connection With Russian Ambassador’s Killing

Turkish media reports have said a new suspect has been arrested in connection with the 2016 assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey. Authorities arrested former police officer Ramazan Yucel in the capital, Ankara, after questioning him, reports said. Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov was shot dead while speaking at a photography exhibit in Ankara on December 19, 2016, by an attacker who shouted “Don’t forget Aleppo” and other words that seemed to refer to Russia’s involvement in the Syrian conflict. Turkish authorities said Karlov’s killer was Mevlut Mert Altintas, a 22-year-old policeman who was off duty at the time. Altinas was later shot dead by police at the scene. In November, a former producer at the state-run TRT television channel, Hayreddin Aydinbas, was arrested in connection with the assassination. Turkish officials have said they have arrested several other men suspected of involvement in the murder.



Newsline: Lebanon and Turkey Eye Embassies to Palestine in Jerusalem

As the fallout from U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of the occupied Palestinian city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel continues to accumulate, regional heavyweight Turkey and neighboring Lebanon have announced intentions to open embassies with Palestine in East Jerusalem. In a post on his personal Twitter account, Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil described East Jerusalem as “the capital of Palestine,” noting that he had informed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of his willingness to establish a Lebanese embassy there. Abbas had also promised to provide a piece of land for Lebanon’s mission in Jerusalem, Bassil said, noting that the embassy plan will likely be debated Thursday during a cabinet meeting. Meanwhile, Turkey’s opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) has called on the government to immediately open an embassy in East Jerusalem.


Newsline: Turkey suggests opening embassy to Palestine

Turkey’s top diplomat says it plans to open an embassy in east Jerusalem once the world recognizes an independent Palestinian state. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Thursday there was “serious determination” among countries that have not yet recognized Palestine to do so. “We need to succeed in this.” He says: “Once we succeed, embassies will open in the independent Palestinian state’s capital, east Jerusalem.” Turkey has been one of the most vocal critics of President Donald Trump’s declaration last week that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Turkey hosted a meeting of 57 Muslim nations on Wednesday that rejected the decision and called for recognition of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem.


Newsline: US embassies are bracing for ‘potentially violent’ backlash over Trump’s Jerusalem decision

Several US embassies across the Middle East have warned of potentially violent protests in response to President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The alert comes as Palestinian leaders encouraged worldwide demonstrations and called for Palestinians to engage in “three days of rage.” The US embassy in Jordan published a security warning telling US citizens that Trump’s decision may spark protests which “have the potential to become violent.” The statement urged US citizens to avoid large gatherings and to maintain a “high-level of vigilance” as tensions rise in the region. The embassy, located in Jordan’s capital Amman, also temporarily suspended public services, and instructed US personnel to keep a “low profile.” All embassy travel outside of Amman was temporarily suspended, and children of US officials were instructed not to attend school on Thursday. In Turkey, the US embassy in Ankara stated that it was aware of plans by several groups to stage public protests, and urged US citizens to avoid areas of large gatherings, particularly around US outposts in Ankara, Istanbul and Adana. The US embassy in Egypt said that Trump’s announcement has “generated significant media attention,” and Americans in the country are urged to stay vigilant. The US State Department has warned US embassies across the globe to increase security. US Marine units are on call if added security is needed in capitals across the world, the publication Marine Times said.


Newsline: Ethiopia recalls embassy staffer in Ankara who ‘threatened to start war with Turkey’

The Ethiopian Foreign Ministry on Dec. 1 stated that it recalled an embassy employee in Ankara who was reportedly drunk and threatened police officers that he would “start a war” between Ethiopia and Turkey after getting involved in a traffic accident, state-run Anadolu Agency has reported. The ministry said in a statement that Ethiopian Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu instructed the formation of a committee to investigate the incident. It also said the embassy staffer returned to the country on suspicion of misconduct and the ministry was also weighing on imposing sanctions on the official after they shed light on the incident. The official had reportedly refused to take an alcohol test after the accident. He also reportedly vowed to “ignite a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Ethiopia.” One of the eyewitnesses, whose car was hit and damaged by the official, also said the suspect threatened to “start a war” with Turkey.


Newsline: Drunk Ethiopian embassy official threatens to ‘start war’ with Turkey

An official from the Ethiopian Embassy in Ankara, who was reportedly drunk, threatened police officers that he would “start a war” between Ethiopia and Turkey after getting involved in two traffic accidents on Nov. 26. Police officers were dispatched to the scene after the accidents as the official, whose identity remains undisclosed, reportedly refused to take an alcohol test. After police arrived, the official reportedly vowed to “ignite a diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Ethiopia.” One of the eyewitnesses, local man Burak Ayaydın, whose car was hit and damaged by the official, said the suspect threatened to “start a war” with Turkey. “This person hit another car down the road. Then he drove off and hit us … It looked like he was drunk,” Ayaydın said.


Newsline: Russian embassy in Turkey erects monument for assassinated envoy

The Russian Embassy in Ankara erected a monument for former Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov, who was assassinated on Dec. 19 last year. “My husband and I have loved the Turkish people and culture. It’s very meaningful to gather here today because these kinds of tragedies should not repeat,” said Marina Karlova, the spouse of the slain ambassador, during the opening ceremony on Nov. 24. Ambassador Şefik Vural Altay from the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Karlov’s assassination had actually targeted Turkish-Russian relations, but it fell short of the goal. Russian Ambassador to Ankara Aleksey Yerhov also retreated that Turkey and Russia did not allow bilateral ties to be harmed and pledged both countries would further develop relations. Karlov was shot dead with nine bullets fired by riot police officer Mevlüt Mert Altıntaş late on Dec. 19, as he was delivering a speech for a photography exhibition at an arts center in Ankara. The assailant was also shot dead by police officers at the scene of the incident.