U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis will meet Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli next week in Brussels and discuss the situation in Afrin and Manbij. Mattis said the situation in the Syrian town has not changed despite the Turkish pressure. Mattis described Ankara’s rhetoric on Manbij as something very concerning for the U.S. and he added that operation in Manbij is a distraction from the fight against Daesh. The Obama administration previously had promised Ankara that once Manbij was cleared of Daesh, the YPG would leave the town, but YPG-affiliated commanders are still in the town, according to Turkey government.
The Netherlands on Monday formally withdrew its ambassador to Turkey over a 2017 row and the talks between two countries are suspended. Relations between the two countries are under pressure since April 16 presidential referendum in Turkey, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on March 11. The Dutch government also expelled Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum. Dutch Foreign Ministry Zijlstra in a statement said: “The Netherlands and Turkey have recently held talks at various levels. At this stage, these talks do not yet offer a perspective to normalizing the bilateral relations”. A Dutch diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News in Ankara that the two parties “could not find the mutual concession balance in the negotiations”, expressing disappointment at the development, which goes against the two countries’ “400-year history of friendship”. The diplomat underlined that the Dutch government’s decision to withdraw the ambassador from Turkey was about reassign him to a new post, as he has not been able to return to his duties in Ankara.
The Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy in Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on the morning of Oct. 9, following the U.S.’s decision to halt visa services in the country, according to sources. During the meeting, two general directors of the ministry asked the U.S. official to secure “immediate relief” to the unjust treatment of Turkish citizens, sources told the Hürriyet Daily News. Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ümit Yalçın spoke on the phone with U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass late on Oct. 8, following the U.S Embassy statement announcing suspension of visa services. Sources say Ankara’s suspension of all non-immigrant visa services at Turkish diplomatic facilities in the U.S. in retaliation at the U.S. visa move will go into effect late on Oct. 9. The Turkish Foreign Ministry has already removed the e-visa application section for the U.S. from its official website.
Iran maintains constant consultations with Russia and Turkey about all international and regional issues, spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.Tehran has continuous cooperation and consultation with Moscow and Ankara on the regional and international issues, including Syria, Bahram Qasemi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. The three countries, addressing issues, coordinate all efforts in due time, Qasemi said. Asked if Iran has any plan to dispatch inspectors to the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib where the Turkish government has declared the start of a military operation within the framework of the Astana agreement, the spokesman said the expert talks on the issue will be reviewed. Negotiations are underway to examine expert and military issues, Qasemi said.
Iran nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been a major step in non–proliferation of nuclear weapons, Iranian official said. Tehran has continuous cooperation and consultation with Moscow and Ankara on the regional and international issues, including Syria, Bahram Qasemi told reporters during his weekly press briefing. The three countries, addressing issues, coordinate all efforts in due time, Qasemi said. sked if Iran has any plan to dispatch inspectors to the northwestern Syrian city of Idlib where the Turkish government has declared the start of a military operation within the framework of the Astana agreement, the spokesman said the expert talks on the issue will be reviewed. egotiations are underway to examine expert and military issues, Qasemi said.
A “Monaco-like” autonomous system, dependent on Ankara in defense and international issues, could be an option for the Turkish side of the divided island of Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Tahsin Ertuğruloğlu said in a round-table meeting in Washington on Oct. 3. This is not a preference but simply an alternative for the Turkish Cypriots if an international recognition bid seems unlikely to be realized, he stated.“It is time to seek international recognition. Until now we have shied away from doing it. Now we may decide to seek international recognition”, said Ertuğruloğlu, speaking during his first visit to the United States since the collapse of the recent negotiation process for unification on the Mediterranean island. The idea of a federal Cyprus has died and a confederation is at best what seems possible, the minister added, voicing frustration over the collapse of peace talks over the summer.
Recent developments in Iraq and Syria were discussed in a security meeting in Ankara chaired by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday. Turkey’s military campaign against terrorism as well as other developments in the region were also discussed in the meeting. The meeting was held amid ongoing tensions in the region following a referendum held by the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq on Monday. In recent days, Ankara has launched a military exercise across the border from KRG territory and threatened restrictions at the main frontier crossing.
Germany’s immigration authority has rejected more than 5,000 asylum applications filed by Turkish citizens. The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) had ruled on 8,547 asylum applications in 2017 filed by Turkish citizens, and rejected 5,040 of them. German diplomats said although asylum applications by Turkish citizens had increased since last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey, the vast majority of asylum applications were filed by citizens of Kurdish origin. The asylum applications of ex-officials involved in the attempted July 2016 military takeover in Turkey has been a source of growing tension between Ankara and Berlin.
Germany putting arms exports to Turkey on hold will seriously damage fight against anti-terrorism, which will in turn pose threat to Europe’s security, EU Minister Ömer Çelik said Tuesday, shortly after German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Berlin’s decision. Çelik said that Turkey effectively fights terrorist groups to not only protect its own borders, but also Europe’s. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel announced Monday that his country put most arms exports to Turkey on hold amid ongoing tensions between the two countries. Ankara has singled out Germany among European countries for embracing some 250 fugitive diplomats and soldiers accused of involvement in the coup with suspected links to FETÖ.
Turkey’s EU Minister Ömer Çelik will hold talks with the foreign ministers of EU countries at an informal meeting this week, following the harsh debate between Ankara and Berlin after the detainment in Turkey of the two German citizens. “Turkey is moving away from the path of the rule of law at a very fast speed,” Merkel said the last day. Turkey responded that she should not “use Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as election campaign material.”This lead to the EU’s term president, Estonia, hosting a Gymnich meeting on Sept. 7 and 8 in Talinn, at which EU foreign ministers will discuss a wide range of issues in an informal environment.