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Erdogan assesses Kyrgyz-Turkish relations and their further development

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

During a conference at the presidential complex with Kyrgyz counterpart Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey will help in the fight against FETO, which posed “a great threat to Kyrgyzstan“ and had tried to derail Turkey-Kyrgyzstan relations. Erdogan added that the visit of President Jeenbekov is the best answer to FETO’s efforts, adding that Jeenbekov will be much more vigorous against FETO and take the necessary measures promptly. Jeenbekov said that the two presidents had “constructive and fruitful talks.

Jeenbekov said that the development of partnership relations with Turkey is the priority direction of his politics. He added that a common goal is to develop the level of high strategic business association forward and to achieve success in this area. The two countries signed some very important agreements during his visit, as the agreement in the field of social security.

Erdogan, Putin Turkey’s first nuclear plant

in ENERGY/turkey by

During a ceremony in the capital Ankara on April 3, Turkey and Russia launched construction of Turkey’s first nuclear power plant in the province of Mersin. Erdoğan said that the Akkuyu plant will become the 56th nuclear plant under construction in the world and the first reactor of the Akkuyu plant will put into operation in 2023. Erdogan added that the relationship with Russia is very important, referring to an agreement for Ankara to purchase long-range S-400 missile defense systems from Russia and the Turkstream natural gas pipeline project to transport Russian gas. Putin said that they are founding Turkey’s nuclear sector and they aim to produce the first energy unit in 2023, on the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Turkey. He added that the nuclear plant will supply 10 percent of Turkey’s electricity demand. The plant will have a capacity of 4,800 megawatts in four units and a working life of 8,000 hours per year. In the first phase of the construction, two units with a capacity of 2,400 megawatts are planned. 

Turkey’s TAEK atomic energy authority on April 2 granted Russian builder Rosatom a construction license to start work on the first unit of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant. Meanwhile, Turkey’s approval for Gazprom’s onshore portion of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s second line is still pending, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on April 3. All permissions for the offshore part have been received and it is under construction, he added. Akkuyu nuclear plant will be built by Russia’s Rosatom on the Mediterranean coast for a price tag of $20 billion. Rosatom holds a majority share in the plant with 51 percent, while 49 percent was originally planned to be divided between a Turkish consortium of three contracting conglomerates under the name Cengiz-Kolin-Kalyon (CKK), but Kolin and Kalyon decided to pull out of the project because of an inability to agree on commercial terms. Rosatom has said it is talking to Turkish state electricity producer EÜAŞ as a new shareholder in the project. 

Erdogan: Not allowing Turkey to join EU would be a big mistake

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdoğan said on March 26 it would be a “grave mistake” for Europe to not include Turkey in the expansion of EU. According to Erdogan, Turkey’s operations against terrorism not only contribute to the security of Turkey and the Syrians but also to the security of Europe. Erdogan added that Turkey and EU have taken the first step of restoring confidence, but it has to be taken in concrete terms. Regarding visa-free travel for Turkish nationals within the Schengen area, Erdoğan said Ankara had submitted the necessary paperwork and that was hoping the process to update the customs union with the EU would begin. Erdoğan also addressed the issue of Cyprus, saying that the involvement of Turkey is in accordance with international law.

About the negotiations on immigration, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker vowed to be a “guarantor” of the continuation of Turkey-EU negotiations, saying that it showed “visible results.” For his part, European Council President Donald Tusk stressed the good cooperation between Turkey and the EU in certain areas, although it “is going through difficult times.” Tusk thanked Turkey for its stance on migration and support for refugees. Tusk pointed to Turkey’s good bilateral relations with EU member states, adding that the EU “stands united behind the Republic of Cyprus regarding its right to explore and exploit its natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.”

Students arrested after Erdogan accused them of behaving as terrorist

in MIDLE EAST by

Police arrested seven students from Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused them of behaving like “terrorists” for staging a protest against Turkey’s military campaign in Syria. According to lawyer İnayet Aksu, police stormed a students’ dormitory and a house at the university around dawn on March 25 and detained three students. With the latest detentions, the number of students being held by the police rose to seven. Erdoğan on March 24 had called a group of students at Boğaziçi University “terrorists” because of views on Turkey’s military campaign in Syria. In a show of protest, a group of students unfurled anti-war banners. Aksu said that expression could disturb but it cannot be considered a crime under the Turkish penal code. Erdoğan had called the protesters “communists” and “terrorists” at a provincial congress of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Black Sea province of Samsun.

Erdogan, anti-Americanism on rise

in MIDLE EAST by

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that anti-American sentiments is growing because of the U.S.’ support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria. He added that when he showed to Tillerson all this on a screen, he complained that ‘anti-Americanism is on the rise in Turkey because Turkey broadcast this sort of information on TVs every day. Erdoğan’s statements came as a joint Turkish-American committee continued talks in Washington D.C. in a bid to resolve outstanding problems between the two allies. The U.S. State Department spokesperson on March 8 said talks between Turkish and American officials had begun in the U.S. capital and many issues would be discussed. Heather Nauert told reporters that the meeting is an introductory one where the two nations can work out some of these issues. When asked if Washington was willing to pressure Ankara to stop the Afrin offensive, Nauert said it would not come as a surprise if this issue appeared in the talks. On the Turkish side, Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Sedat Önal has been presiding over the committee on Syria, Deputy Undersecretary Cihad Erginay on the FETÖ and Fazlı Corman, the director general for South Asia at the Foreign Ministry, on Iraq. According to Turkish officials, the primary agenda of the Syrian committee is Turkey’s demand to remove the People’s Protection Units (YPG) from Manbij, which lies to the west of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. The meeting will be also about FETÖ, Turkey’s procurement of the S-400 missile system from Russia, migration and visa issues.

Kurds, Daesh are manipulated to further US interests in Middle East – Turkish MP

in MIDLE EAST by

Instead of seeking to wipe out Daesh terrorists in Syria and Iraq, it seems that the United States’ real agenda is to enlist local proxies to counter the initiatives of Russia, Turkey and Iran in the region, according to Erdogan and his PM Metiner.

President Erdogan meets Pope Francis

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met Pope Francis as part of his two-day visit to the Vatican which saw him being welcomed with an official ceremony at the Apostolic Palace. During the visit, they discussed the status of Jerusalem, regional issues, the humanitarian tragedy in Syria, and the fight against terrorism, xenophobia and Islamophobia. The two leaders underlined that “equating Islam with terror is wrong”, according to Turkish sources, with Erdoğan telling the pope that Turkey values people from all religions, including Catholics, living in harmony and peace. Turkish sources said Erdoğan and Pope Francis agreed that “joint steps are needed to mobilize the international community to forge regional peace and stability” and to not be silent to ongoing humanitarian crises. A Vatican statement said the talks “[included] the status of Jerusalem, highlighting the need to promote peace and stability in the region [Middle East] through dialogue and negotiation, with respect for human rights and international law”. In fact, Pope Francis was one of the international leaders criticizing the United States’ decision last December to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Following his visit to the Vatican, Erdoğan will meet his counterpart Italian President Sergio Mattarella at a working lunch in Rome. Italian Deputy Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni will also be present.During the meetings, the leaders will discuss cooperation in various areas, including politics, the economy and the defense industry. Some 3,500 police and security forces were Rome and authorities declared a no-go area for unauthorized demonstrations. An authorized demonstration of about 150 people including Kurds and their supporters outside nearby Castel Sant‘Angelo turned violent. Italian police said two people were detained after demonstrators tried to break through cordons to get closer to the Vatican from an authorized protest several blocks away.

President Vucic meets with Erdogan and Izetbegovic

in EUROPE/POLITICS by

A tripartite meeting was held in Istanbul with Turkish President Erdogan, Bosniak member of the Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) Presidency Izetbegovic and Serbian President Vucic on Monday. Vucic stated that Serbia respects the territorial integrity of BiH and that the only request is that Serbs in the Serb Republic and in BiH feel safe. He reported after that the conversation was “good and open”, and added that “our agreement is that whatever happens and however it happens – peace and stability must be preserved”.

Iran and Russia discuss preparations for Syrian Congress of National Dialogue

in MIDLE EAST/POLITICS by

On Friday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov discussed about preparations for a Russian-hosted Syrian People’s Congress, a trilateral meeting on the Syrian crisis expected to be held in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in late January. The Russian official also held separate talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu. On November 22, 2017, the Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents held talks on the Arab country’s crisis in Sochi: the three presidents attended a press conference and issued a joint statement. During the press conference, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that the tripartite meeting discussed holding an all-Syrian congress, which will see representatives from all sides in Sochi to exchange views on the fate of the country and pave the way for the drafting of a new constitution and elections. Also Recep Tayyib Erdogan emphasized that the three nations would help stage a meeting of Syrian groups hosted by Russia, agreeing to keep working on the peace process in Syria.

France: Macron, Erdogan and the same strategic interests on Syria

in DEFENCE/EUROPE/POLITICS by

More and more diplomatically isolated, the Turkish president must reconnect with the countries of the European Union. He wants to be an indispensable partner of the Twenty-eight on the issue of migration and regional crises. “We want to increase the number of our friends and reduce that of our enemies,” said Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently. “On regional issues and in the bilateral field, the steps we have taken with Emmanuel Macron are going in the right direction” added Erdogan.
While the personalities of the two leaders are opposed in many ways, there are also common strategic interests and convergences on many regional issues, starting with Syria. Erdogan believes, like French diplomacy, that Bashar Al-Assad can not ultimately embody the future of his country.
The two men will also discuss the situation in the Gulf and Libya, and the instability created by the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Turkey remains a strategic partner in many ways: in terms of migration, fight against terrorism, resolution of regional crises,” said Thursday the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, stressing that this dialogue “demanding and constructive “must be” based on Turkey’s own human rights commitments “.

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