Speaking at the opening of the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul, Yildirim said the threat from terrorism was global. “If we are talking about security, nowhere in the world is safe… terrorism does not recognize borders” he said. “There is no place safe from terrorism. The fear and threat of terrorism is only useful to terrorists. “I say it proudly and confidently – Turkey is as safe as the United States, Istanbul is as safe as Paris, Ankara is as safe as Sarajevo, Izmir is as safe as Baku. Therefore, please do not let terrorism sabotage tourism”. The prime minister hailed those working in the tourism sector as “volunteer peace ambassadors”. A string of terror attacks across Turkey have threatened the country’s vital tourism industry, with the number of foreign visitors dropping from 36.8 million in 2014 to 25.4 million last year, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry. However, Yildirim said Turkey aimed to attract 8 million more tourists in the first stage of a campaign to boost tourism earnings to $50 billion, unveiled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last week. He also stressed the non-financial benefits of tourism. “It is insufficient to evaluate tourism only from an economic point of view” he said. “Tourism is beyond that. It is primarily the meeting of cultures, the meeting of civilizations
During the talks between King Salman and Turkish President Erdogan in Riyadh on Tuesday they focused on political,security and commercial bilateral subjects. As turkish ambassador Yunus Demirer said the two leaders discussed key regional issues like Syria,Yemen,Lybia and Iran besides bilateral security cooperation and terrorism. The turkish President also met the Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the two focused on combating terrorism and cooperation on security issues. Due to the call for a safe zone in northern Syria by Erdogan on Monday, Syria was a key issue during these talks with top Saudi officials and Foreign Minister al-Jubeir said the Kingdom and Turkey have identical positions on that.
Turkish ambassador Yunus Demirer talking about the visit to the Kingdom of turkish President Erdogan, told the source that “the visit comes at a significant time and context”. Saudi Arabia and Turkey share same views on regional issues such as Yemen, Syria, Iraq and terrorism and for that reason their cooperation is very important to guarantee the stability in the region. Turkey ambassador also said that Gulf region is a priority in their external relations and he also added that Saudi Vision 2030 is an excellent opportunity for the future of bilateral economic relations.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has talked to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by phone about the recent developments in Syria late Thursday, RIA news agency reported. The two leaders agreed to increase military coordination in Syria against the Daesh terrorist group, the Kremlin said in a statement. During their conversation, the two leaders also discussed the Astana process and exchanged views on the upcoming Turkey-Russia High Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) meeting in March. A statement released by the Turkish General Staff later on Thursday said that Russian jets mistakenly targeted Turkish soldiers near Syria’s al-Bab leading to the death of three soldiers and injuring 11 others. The wounded Turkish soldiers were transferred to a nearby hospital after initial medical treatment. A bomb mistakenly hit a building, in which Turkish soldiers were located, while a Russian warplane was targeting Daesh positions in al-Bab, the statement elaborated. Russian authorities also stated that the incident was an accident, expressing their grief and condolences, it added. Both Turkish and Russian parties have launched an investigation regarding the incident.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said yesterday that the Turkish people are on course for one of the most critical struggles in the country’s history, but it will continue decisively on its way. Speaking at a council meeting of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), Erdoğan said that Turkey’s “independence war” continues in earnest and called on all sectors of society to support their country in the struggle. “I hope that all Turkish people see that truth; Turkey is in one of the most critical fights in its history,” he said. “We call it an ‘independence war,’ because it is only comparable to the Gallipoli War or Turkish War of Independence.” He emphasized that some internal opponents harm Turkey due to their hostility toward himself. “They are trying to sink the ship just because they could not take down the captain,” he said. Erdoğan pointed to the upcoming referendum for the constitutional amendment package that includes a switch to a presidential system, saying that he hopes Turkish people will vote in favor of change.
The Turkish President Erdogan during a press conference in Ankara, said it was clear that U.S.-led coalition forces have given support to terrorist groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Syrian Kurdish forces. The evidence would be clear thanks to pictures, photos and videos. The U.S State Department rejected as “ludicrous” the accusations by Erdoğan that the U.S.-led coalition supported ISIL, underlining instead the support given to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Erdoğan also accused the coalition forces of not supporting Turkey in its campaign to liberate northern Syria town of al-Bab from ISIL militants. According to him they would not keep their promises.
Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani of Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government is visiting Turkey on Nov. 23, Hurriyet Daily News reported. Barzani met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Ankara and is set to sit down with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul. The talks are reportedly centered on the ongoing offensive to retake Mosul from the Islamic State as well as the recent detention of the former mayor of the southeastern Turkish city of Mardin, Ahmet Turk.
Turkey should not be “fixated” on the idea of joining the European Union and should look at other opportunities, such as the Russia-led Shanghai Pact, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), also known as the “Shanghai 5,” is a loose security and economic bloc led by Russia and China. The other formal members are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is trying to impose a dicta regime on Turkey through a shift to a presidential system that would grant more powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has said.
Against Isis, against Erdogan’s threats, against Barzani that wants to be the president of KRG forever.
While on the turkish border, President Erdogan is exploiting international aid to face Isis and, at the same time, try to hit the Kurds of PKK, the president of the KRG (Kurdistan Regional Government), Barzani, is organizing military parades in order to retain his mandate, beyond the two-year extension already granted. KRG is the only form of government able to represent Kurdish people, divided between Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran.
The Kurdistan Regional Government was established in Iraq after the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and is now subjected to the same power struggles that caused the instability of the Middle East. During the years Kurdish people were, and still are, discriminated against. Saddam Hussein has made the Kurds the target of his chemical weapons causing real massacres as in Halabja in 1988. The persecution took the traits of the genocide through the “Anfal Campaign”.
In Turkey , as well as in Syria, over the years, the persecution never stopped and Kurdish people did not get more favors. Their conditions has come to international attention since the irregular army of KRG, the Peshmarga, took their weapons to face the advancing of Isis. The pages of history books written now, will describe the heroic resistance of these mixed troops made of men and women, who fought to protect cities like Kobanî. But this is not enough for Turkey that is ready to exploit the Isis justification to attack the Kurdish army.
If the elections on June 7 in Turkey seemed to be a turning point with the entrance in Parliament of HDP; recent events like the connection of the Democratic party of the Kurdish people to PKK after exceeding the threshold of 10% of the preferences set by Erdogan, seem to record a sharp setback.In recent years, the bombings inflicted by the Turkish on the Kurds of northern Iraq never stopped and have caused the reaction of the Kurdish militants. On August 10th, the escalation of violence caused 9 victims, killed in four separate attacks. Near the US Consulate and a police station in Istanbul and near a convoy and a military helicopter in the south-east of the country, Sirkin, in Kurdish territory.
Episodes that are triggering the danger of a real civil war. The DHKP-C claimed the shots against the US consulate that brings the terrorists of the Revolutionary Front for the Liberation of the People, and PKK, the Kurdistan Workers Party of Ocalan, was responsible for the two attacks in the south-east . The reasons that led Erdogan to attack the Kurds, causing their reaction, is to be found in the victory of the Kurdish minority in the last election.
The entry of HDP into Parliament has removed the AKP, the Party for Justice and Development which belongs to Erdogan, that had held absolute majority for 13 years. After the attacks of August 10, Erdogan is supporting the need to go to early elections and get back to the majority denied last June. The attacks claimed by DHKP-C and PKK will cause a loss of votes in the Kurdish party of Hdp at they will be used at his advantage. If it is not possible now to talk about a probable alliance between the guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and the terrorists of the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKP-C), however, it is certain that the Kurds are increasingly unwilling to accept the requests of the leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, in 2006.
From the prison of Imral he asked his fighters to seek dialogue with the Turkish government to reach a cease-fire. If the risk, in Turkey, is to come to a war against the Kurds, the chances that serious internal unrest will happen in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan are just as real . Days ago, the President of the KRG, Massoud Barzani organized a military parade in Erbil. A clear message designed to get to what he has been asking for a long time, that Is a new confirmation of his role. According to the internal laws to KRG, the presidential term of four years is extendable just for only one renewal. Then, the President decades automatically. Barzani has already achieved a two-year extension that will run out on the next August 19. However, he does not intend to give up his role. The first elections in the KRG took place in 1992. Neither political parties PUK and PKK, represented by Jalal Talabani and Masoud Barzani reached a majority and an agreement. Those conditions caused the dreadful civil war that has killed more than 3,000 civilians. When the civil war ended in 2005, Talabani became the Iraqi President and Barzani the KRG’s President.
The power of the Kurdistan Regional Presidency was stronger than the one of the Parliament and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), to counterbalance the Iraqi presidency. For the KRG, the presidency was a new institution with unlimited powers. The result is that corruption has grown exponentially, national resources have been squandered, private militias and intelligence services are increasingly loyal to their parties as opposed to the country, and there is ever-growing social inequality. The country is bankrupt and most people are struggling to make ends meet, while 10,000 millionaires and 15 billionaires have emerged in a short period of time. Society is polarized between lackeys who live on political parties’ handouts and good honest citizens who have to wait for wages that are three months behind. In fact the system is almost near a dictatorial regime than a Presidential one. It’s true that is a well-established Middle-Eastern-Fact that the presidential system only breeds dictators and corrupt leaders.
In 2013, when Barzani’s term was extended, the political system became an absolute presidency according to legistlation and the chances required by Barzani, to get the president’s powers greater than those of any other president in the region. Just to have an idea, here’s a few of the KR President’s powers: highest executive power in KR, chief of General Staff, power to dissolve Parliament, can announce a State of Emergency [without parliament’s consent], power to appoint KR’s Constitutional Court members and members of the Judges Assembly, power to control KR’s Security Council and KR’s Intelligence services and most importantly of all, the power to approve or reject legislation passed by parliament.
The oppositions tried to make alliance to oppose Barzani but every attempt has been unconclusive. When the war against IS began, only the attack to Shingal and the following capture of a 1,000 women and children made Barzani act. Before that violences Barzani was refusing to engage in the conflict. Nowadays even the war hasn’t motivated Barzani to get his act together with Yazidis and unite the Peshmerga into a strong national army. There can only be two explanations for the multidimensional crisis Barzani has dragged the nation into: either he is too weak to accept responsibility and tackle these matters head on or else he is directly involved in the wrongdoing and exploitation of national resources.
What could happen is Barzani left? The response is not easy at the moment. Now, KRG is governed from the two-party coalition of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (Kurdistan List). At the opposition we found four parties, PUK, Gorran, KIU and KIG that might accept another KDP candidate o tolerate another term for Barzani only if KDP accepts constitutional amendments to establish a full parliamentary system and limit the powers of the president.
But at the moment KDP has not an influential leader who can be accepted by both of the main wings of their party. The PUK seems to have given up on the position since they already have Iraq’s presidency. Gorran also hasn’t declared any interest in the presidency. Just one thing is certain. If the parties do not reach a consensus in the next few months, KR will face a political crisis which could potentially lead to civil unrest.