TURKEY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

TURKEY

Oct 05 07:16

Analysis | Netanyahu and Erdogan in Unlikely Alliance Against Iran in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Azerbaijani cargo planes landing at Israeli air force bases in the Negev are a relatively common sight, attesting to the extensive arms deals between the two countries. But the frequency of arrivals and timing of Ilyushin Il-76 freighters – two of which landed at Uvda last Thursday, just two days before a major escalation in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, followed by two more on Tuesday and Wednesday – suggest both the preparation and replenishing of Azerbaijani forces for the latest bout of fighting around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, now in its fourth day.

Oct 05 06:50

Spike In Boycotts Of Turkish Goods And Services

For years, Turkey has injected itself, often militarily, into the sovereign affairs of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Greece, Cyprus, India, and now, Armenia and Artsakh. On October 2, reports emerged that Turkey is using NATO and American facilities to attack Armenia and Artsakh. Since NATO is unable or unwilling to rein in this rogue nation that many consider to be the single greatest threat to global security, public boycotts are increasingly gaining favor.

Six days into the renewed attacks by the Azerbaijan-Turkey-Israeli axis on Armenia and Artsakh, many countries have come forward to denounce the warmongers.

Oct 05 06:36

At least 64 Turkey-backed Syrian rebel fighters dead in Karabakh clashes, says UK war monitor

At least 64 pro-Turkey Syrian rebel fighters have been killed in clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over Nagorno-Karabakh, a Britain-based war monitor said in a new toll on October 3.

They were among the 1,200 combatants from pro-Ankara Syrian factions that Turkey has sent to fight for the Azeris since last week, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, updating its earlier figure of 850.
At least 36 of them have been killed in clashes in the past 48 hours alone, the Observatory added, increasing a previous toll of 28 to 64.

Oct 05 06:34

While Turkey encourages Karabakh violence, Iran fears domestic strife

The fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan is energizing nationalist and ethnic tensions in neighboring Turkey and Iran. While Ankara encourages the violence, Tehran fears rising ethnic tensions among its own Armenian and Azerbaijani minorities.

Start with Turkey, the larger economic force in the Caucasus. For months Ankara’s full-throttled support for Azerbaijan, its bellicose rhetoric and their joint military drills, have looked like preparations for war. President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an is using the conflict to boost his credentials with nationalists and distract from perpetual economic crisis at home, much as he has done around the Mediterranean in recent years.

Oct 05 06:13

Turkey’s presence in NATO must be questioned: Francois Hollande attends pro-Armenian rally in Alfortville

François Hollande, the former President of France, responded to the invitation of the mayor of Alfortville Luc Carvounas to participative in a rally condemning the Turkish-Azerbaijani offensive against Artsakh, Le Parisien reports.

“A step has been taken with the bombing of civilian populations,” François Hollande stated. We end up with a war to conquer a territory. Turkey’s presence in NATO must be questioned,” Hollande stated.

“Does Erdogan still have his place in NATO?” Luc Carvounas said, in turn. “No!”answered the angry crowd.

Oct 05 06:09

Turkey Ramps Up Its Involvement in Armenian-Azerbaijani War

Azerbaijan has given Turkey control over the air segment of its military campaign to capture the Nagorno-Karabakh region, the Armenian Defense Ministry reported on September 30. According to Artsrun Hovhannisyan, Turkish and Azerbaijani aviation is being coordinated by the E7-T aircraft of the Turkish Air Force, which is an air command post. The military plane was spotted near the Turkish cities of Erzurum and Kars.

“It is possible that the leadership of the Turkish Air Force is on board this plane,” Hovhannisyan added.

As an example of such actions, the Armenian side claimed that two Turkish F-16 fighters, an Azerbaijani Su-25 attack aircraft, as well as a Turkish combat drone “Bayraktar”, which took off from the city of Kurdamir, had inflicted a missile and bomb attack on the Karabakh towns of Hadrut and Martakert.

Oct 05 05:57

Armenia asks European Court of Human Rights to step in & take action over Turkish role in Azerbaijan’s 'attacks on civilians'

Armenia submitted a formal request to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), on Sunday, complaining about Turkey’s open support for Azerbaijan in the two countries' ongoing dispute over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

After violence claimed civilian lives on both sides over the weekend, Yerevan says it wants the ECHR to apply so-called “interim measures” against Ankara over its “assistance” to alleged Azerbaijani attacks against the civilian population in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. That's according to the office of Armenia's representative to the ECHR.

The interim measures can be applied by the court when there are fears that human lives are being threatened, or any kind of ill-treatment, such as torture, for example, is being used.

Oct 05 05:48

Los Angeles Mayor Calls on Turkey to Disengage From Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti in the early hours of Monday expressed solidarity with the Armenian people in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and called on Turkey that support Azerbaijan to disengage.

"L.A. is proud to be home to the largest Armenian diaspora. We stand with the people of Armenia. I urge our leaders in Washington to conduct the sustained and rigorous diplomacy necessary to bring peace to the Artsakh region. Turkey must disengage," Garcetti said on Twitter.

Oct 05 05:34

How much damage can Arab states do to Turkish economy?

Turkey’s ailing economy, hit by the COVID-19 pandemic atop severe currency woes since 2018, is now facing economic reprisals by Arab countries incensed with Ankara’s policies in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia has already started an undeclared boycott of Turkish goods, according to Turkish exporters, amid rising Arab calls for economic retaliation against Turkey.

Egypt has been at the forefront of efforts to create a united Arab stance against Turkey, most recently at the Sept. 9 meeting of the Arab League. Whether Arab nations can mount an efficient joint action against Turkey is a question on its own, but the Turkish economy today is too vulnerable to dismiss or absorb large-scale reprisals.

Oct 05 05:31

In speech to lawmakers, Turkey's Erdogan proclaims 'Jerusalem is ours'

Turkish leader touts years of Ottoman rule over Jerusalem in key address opening new legislative session, charges Palestinians were now 'occupied' despite living in the city for 'thousands of years'

Oct 04 07:21

Erdogan Threatens to Launch New Operation in North Syria If Kurdish Units Remain

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that Ankara was ready to launch another military operation to clear northern Syria from Kurdish militia.

"When we destroyed the terrorist corridor that was being built along our borders, we showed that our Syrian brothers were not alone. The terrorist zones that still exist in Syria must either be cleared as promised, or we will come and do it ourselves," Erdogan said at an event in Hatay province via video link.

The Turkish leader added that "any steps that could lead to a new humanitarian catastrophe in Syrian Idlib were unacceptable for Turkey."

Oct 03 10:53

Erdogan hopes Azerbaijan will continue offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh until disputed region is free from ‘Armenian occupation’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will stand with Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, calling on Baku to continue its assault and re-take control of the region.

Erdogan reiterated Ankara’s “full support” for its ally during his Friday speech at the inauguration of a city hospital in the central Turkish province of Konya.

“The brotherly state of Azerbaijan has started a great operation both to defend its own territories and to liberate the occupied Karabakh,” he said. “Turkey stands with and will continue to stand with friendly and brotherly Azerbaijan with all our means and all our heart.”

Oct 03 07:55

Turkey Releases Grisly Crime Scene Footage Of Khashoggi Killing On 2nd Anniversary

Turkey's Anadolu Agency has released gruesome never-before-seen footage related to journalist Jamal Khashoggi's brutal murder. It is the second anniversary of his killing at the hands of a hit team believed sent by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

No less than 15 men were sent to kill one individual who ran afoul of MbS, which included a bone saw used to dismember his body after he entered the consulate to do paperwork related to his impending marriage, never to be seen again. Now for the first time police footage has been published of Turkish forensics investigators showing up to document what they found following the murder.

Oct 03 07:12

Live Updates: Turkey 'Stands by the Oppressed' in Caucasus, Erdogan Says

The hostilities in Azerbaijan’s Armenian-dominated breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh (known as Artsakh in Armenian) erupted on Sunday when both parties accused each other of violating the ceasefire.

President of the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, Arayik Harutyunyan, said on Saturday that he was going to the frontline with the special forces.

Armenia and the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh, which controls most parts of Nagorno-Karabakh, said that Azerbaijan had launched an offensive on the breakaway region, and both declared martial law and mobilisation. Azerbaijan has also declared martial law and partial mobilisation.

Oct 02 08:40

Russia, Turkey talk Azeri-Armenian conflict, agree coordination

Russia says its foreign minister and his Turkish counterpart have addressed the ongoing flare-up between Azerbaijan and Armenia in Nagorno-Karabakh, agreeing coordination of their efforts towards stabilization of the situation in the region.

The Russian Foreign Ministry reported that the discussion had taken place on Thursday during a telephone conversation between Sergei Lavrov and Mevlut Cavusoglu.

It said both the officials confirmed "readiness for close coordination of the actions of Russia and Turkey to stabilize the situation with the aim of returning the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to the channel of peaceful talks."

Oct 02 06:41

Turkey Is Killing Armenians. Again. (And Why It Matters to US)

The Turkish government under President Tayyip Erdogan is supporting Azerbaijan in its attacks on mostly Christian Armenia. Given Erdogan’s repeated sponsorship of anti-Christian jihadists around the world, The Stream interviewed regional expert Johannes de Jong about the conflict.

Oct 01 10:05

Analysis | Netanyahu and Erdogan in Unlikely Alliance Against Iran in Nagorno-Karabakh?

Azerbaijani cargo planes landing at Israeli air force bases in the Negev are a relatively common sight, attesting to the extensive arms deals between the two countries. But the frequency of arrivals and timing of Ilyushin Il-76 freighters – two of which landed at Uvda last Thursday, just two days before a major escalation in the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia, followed by two more on Tuesday and Wednesday – suggest both the preparation and replenishing of Azerbaijani forces for the latest bout of fighting around the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave, now in its fourth day.

Oct 01 06:07

Armenian Expert Azadian: Russian Military Base In Armenia Is A Deterrent Against The Turkish Threat; Turkey Foments Crises So It Can Intervene In, Or Exploit, Destabilized Regions In Order To Expand Its Empire

"The threat of war continues to loom on Armenia's border. The battle in the Tavush region of Armenia was only one episode which may very well be followed by others. The Armenian side is cognizant of the fact that it should not yet rest on its laurels. [2]

"Armenia proved the battle-readiness of its armed forces. But to what extent? President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an has characterized Armenia's victory against Azerbaijan as a 'punch well beyond its capacity,'[3] which in strategic terms may be interpreted as the victory by Armenia being the result of tactical assistance from its strategic ally, Russia.

"In today's wars, drones have expanded the surveillance scope of armies. In this particular battle, the Azerbaijani army, which had boasted of its state-of-the-art military hardware, failed to deploy them properly and thus the Armenian side downed 13 of their drones, in addition to inflicting other critical losses.

Oct 01 06:06

Turkish drone war not possible without German help

Turkey is now at war in many countries. Azerbaijan, Southern Kurdistan, Northern Syria, Northern Kurdistan, Yemen and Libya are only some of the regions where Turkey is actively waging war. Armed drones have become the core element of Turkish aggression. Again and again so-called combat and reconnaissance drones massacre civilians in their lands, whether in Syria or Libya or in Northern Kurdistan. Guided missiles launched by drones are responsible for many Turkish war crimes - especially in Western Kurdistan/Northern Syria and Southern Kurdistan/Northern Iraq. In late June, three activists Zehra Berkel, Hebûn Mele Xelîl and Amina Waysî were the victims of an extrajudicial execution by a Turkish armed drone in Kobanê. In Kuna Masi near Sulaymaniyah, two people died a little later, and another eight people were injured, some of them seriously. One of the dead was a member of the East Kurdistan party PJAK.

Sep 30 06:52

Turkey Denies Allegation of Downing Armenian Jet

Armenia said a Turkish fighter jet shot down one of its warplanes during fighting with Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. Turkey and Azerbaijan denied the accusation.

Armenian officials said a SU-25 from its air force was shot down in Armenian airspace by a Turkish F-16 that took off from Azerbaijan. If true, it would be a serious escalation by Turkey, which has pledged support for Azerbaijan in the conflict.

Fahrettin Altun, the communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the allegation was “absolutely untrue.” Azeri officials called the claim “another fantasy of the Armenian military propaganda machine.”

Sep 30 06:47

Turkish Claims that the PKK Is Operating in Nagorno-Karabakh Set Dangerous Precedent

Conflict sparked up again yesterday in Artsakh, or more commonly known as Nagorno-Karabakh, when Azerbaijan launched an offensive against Armenian forces. Although the Republic of Artsakh is not recognized by any state, including Armenia, and it is still internationally recognized as occupied Azerbaijani territory, it achieved a de facto independence in 1994.

Sep 30 05:43

Azerbaijan, Armenia clash as France, Turkey trade barbs: Live

Fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia entered a fourth day on Wednesday in the biggest eruption of the decades-old conflict since a 1994 ceasefire.

At least 2,300 Armenian soldiers have been killed or wounded by Azerbaijani troops since the conflict began on Sunday, Azerbaijan’s defence ministry has said, according to Turkish media outlet Anadolu Agency.

French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey’s “warlike” rhetoric was encouraging Azerbaijan to reconquer Nagorno-Karabakh.

Nagorno-Karabakh is a disputed region inside Azerbaijan and controlled by ethnic Armenians. It broke away from Azerbaijan in a war in the 1990s but is not recognised by any country as an independent republic.

Sep 30 05:42

Monitor: Turkey Sending Syrian Fighters to Azerbaijan

Several hundred Syrian fighters have been sent by Turkey to support Azerbaijan in its ongoing conflict with Armenia, according to a war monitor and a Syrian rebel commander.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has researchers across Syria, said over 300 Syrian fighters have been deployed to Azerbaijan, Turkey’s longtime ally.

“These Syrian fighters come from two ethnic Turkmen armed groups, including the Sultan Murad Division and the Suleyman Shah Brigade,” Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory, told VOA in a phone interview Tuesday.

Sep 29 12:46

AZERBAIJANI-ARMENIAN WAR: TURKISH F-16S ENTER THE GAME. ARMENIA THREATENS TO USE ISKANDER MISSILES

The Armenian-Azerbaijani war continues raging in the South Caucasus.

As of September 29, the Azerbaijani advance in the Nagorno-Karabakh region struck the Armenian defense and Azerbaijani forces were not able to achieve any military breakthroughs. Armenian troops withdrew from several positions in the Talish area and east of Fuzuli.

The Azerbaijani military has been successfully employing combat drones and artillery to destroy positions and military equipment of Armenia, but Azerbaijani mechanized infantry was unable to develop its momentum any further.

Sep 29 07:48

‘Support both on and off the battlefield’: Turkey throws weight behind ‘brotherly Azerbaijan,’ in fresh escalation

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavu?o?lu announced on Tuesday that Ankara will stand by Azerbaijan in the face of what he described as “Armenian aggression,” and offered both diplomatic and military assistance.

Speaking after a visit to the Azerbaijani embassy in Ankara, Çavu?o?lu told the press that the only way the fighting will end is if Yerevan rolls back on the ‘occupation’ of Nagorno-Karabakh. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed similar sentiments.

“We talked about the aggression of Armenia and shared our thoughts on how it should be resolved,” said Çavu?o?lu. “There is only one solution: Armenia will withdraw from the territories it occupies. UN resolutions on the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan are clear.”

Sep 29 07:19

Azerbaijan Denies That Turkey Is Sending Fighters From Syria

Azerbaijan rejected a statement from Armenia that claimed Turkey had sent Syrian fighters to support Azeri forces after heavy clashes in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region. On Sunday, fighting erupted between Azeri and Armenian forces in the disputed area and continued on Monday, leaving dozens dead.

Armenia’s ambassador to Russia claimed that Turkey sent about 4,000 fighters to Nagorno-Karabakh from northern Syria. An aid to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev denied these rumors.

“Rumors of militants from Syria allegedly being redeployed to Azerbaijan is another provocation by the Armenian side and complete nonsense,” the aid said.

Sep 29 07:15

Turkey sets up new military bases in Kurdistan Region, as air campaign continues: sources

Turkey has deployed more troops and set up four new military bases in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, as it continues bombardments on Duhok province, according to a security source.

“Turkey has set up four new military bases in Chale Zewke, Khala Sarka Spi, and Khala Rabia-Baranshe villages and near the village of Gire Biye in recent days,” a local security source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Rudaw on Monday, referring to villages in Duhok province’s Batifa subdistrict.

This comes as Turkish air forces conducted strikes on a valley in the vicinity of Baze village in the sub district early Monday, destroying the only water source for the village.

Sep 29 07:15

Turkey demands Armenia 'ends its occupation of Azerbaijan' amid re-ignited Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday demanded Armenia put an end to its "occupation" of Azerbaijan's breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh region, after fresh clashes broke out over the weekend.

"The time has come for crisis in the region that started with the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh to be put to an end. Once Armenia immediately leaves the territory it is occupying, the region will return to peace and harmony," Erdogan said.

His comments came after Turkish foreign minister reiterated his country's full support for Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on Monday.

Sep 29 06:40

Russia Appears Indecisive As Turkey Exposed As Backing Azerbaijan War In Karabakh

From the first minutes of the start of new large-scale hostilities in the zone of the Karabakh conflict, officials in Yerevan and Stepanakert (the capital of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) pointed to the direct participation of Turkey in preparing an Azerbaijani offensive along the entire line of contact. Armenian experts also speak about this, citing rather convincing arguments.

Sep 29 06:40

Turkey hiring Syrian rebels to fight Armenians for Azerbaijan, Guardian claims, as Baku calls reports on mercenaries ‘nonsense’

In an echo of events in Libya, rebels from Syria’s Idlib province are being recruited by Turkey to fight for Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, The Guardian has reported, citing several militants.

Idlib is Syria’s northwestern province, and the last bastion of the Turkish-backed militants who once hoped to effect regime change in Damascus. It is there the recruitment drive for Azerbaijan began a month ago, three rebels told the Guardian’s correspondent Bethan McKernan. Her story was published on Monday evening.

Two brothers from Azaz said they had been summoned to a camp in Afrin on September 13 and told by a commander in the Sultan Murad Division that three- or six-month contracts were available “guarding observation posts and oil and gas facilities” in Azerbaijan for 7,000-10,000 Turkish lira a month.

Sep 29 06:32

Erdogan’s quest for regional hegemony is destabilizing & backing Azerbaijan against Armenia is the latest example

Throwing support behind Baku amid the escalation of the Azerbaijan-Armenia dispute, Turkey is playing the classic ‘middle power’ and is aiming to draw Russia and the US into the situation while pursuing its own interests.

The latest escalation of a territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia is terrifying and worrying, do we need 2020 to get any worse? Military clashes commenced between the two countries in the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, involving helicopters and artillery. Fighting has continued throughout Sunday night, and civilians are reportedly dead. Russia and the United States have both called for a ceasefire and an immediate halt to hostilities.

Sep 28 07:25

NATO Arms Sales to Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean Dispute

Recent confrontations in the Eastern Mediterranean – fueled by the prospect of exploiting offshore gas deposits – have raised fears of an upcoming armed clash in the region. The main contenders in the complex dispute are Greece and Cyprus on the one hand and Turkey on the other. The latter has advanced controversial claims over waters that are traditionally recognized as being under Greek and Cypriot jurisdiction. But other states are also involved due to geopolitical and economic interest, most notably France, Egypt, Israel, Italy, the US and Russia. While diplomacy is at work to prevent a destabilizing conflict, regional powers are also preparing for this scenario by conducting exercises and purchasing new armaments. Turkey has been expanding its military in recent years, often procuring important weapons systems from Europe or the US.

Sep 28 07:00

‘Defend your future’: Erdogan calls on ordinary Armenians to stand against their government as clashes with Azerbaijan continue

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Armenians to unite in opposition to their government, which he claims is the “biggest threat” to peace in the region, after military hostilities resumed with Azerbaijan.

Erdogan urged the people of Armenia to safeguard their future from their country’s leadership, which he claimed is using them like “puppets.”

In a series of tweets, on Sunday, the Turkish leader expressed hope that the “whole world” would stand with Azerbaijan in its “struggle against occupation and oppression.”

Sep 28 06:59

‘Azerbaijan is not alone’: Turkey throws weight behind Baku against historical nemesis Armenia in struggle over Nagorno-Karabakh

As hostilities erupted on Sunday between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, top-tier Turkish officials have reaffirmed Ankara’s support for Baku and blamed Yerevan for “playing with fire.”

Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin took to Twitter on the heels of fresh clashes over Nagorno-Karabakh. The senior official made clear that Ankara will side with Azerbaijan – a nation whose language and culture are close to those of Turkey – in the renewed conflict. “We strongly condemn the attack on Armenia against Azerbaijan,” Kalin wrote, adding that the neighboring post-Soviet country “is not alone” and has “Turkey’s full support.”

Sep 28 06:59

Journalists narrowly escape Armenian attack as military conflict with Azerbaijan resumes, Turkish state media claims

Journalists working for Turkish media came under fire from the Armenian military after hostilities broke out over the disputed border region between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the state-run Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

Journalists from AA and TRT, Turkey’s public broadcaster, dove behind their vehicle and then made a hurried exit from the area after Armenian artillery reportedly landed in a nearby Azerbaijani settlement. According to AA, Armenian munitions fell within 100 meters (320 feet) of the reporters.

Footage of the incident shows the journalists scrambling to find cover as a large bang rings out. Wearing protective vests and helmets, the reporters then hurriedly get into their car and drive away. AA claims that two unmanned aerial vehicles were spotted in the area before the Armenian artillery opened fire.

Sep 24 06:03

Video: Turkish-based Syrian Militants Prepare to Participate in Azerbaijani-Armenian Conflict

1,000 fighters of the so-called Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkish-funded militant groups, will be moved to Azerbaijan in September as a part of a 6-month long deployment, Syrian pro-militant media reported. According to reports, Turkish proxies will pass additional training and may even be deployed along the contact line with Armenian forces near the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.

During the Azerbaijani-Armenian escalation in July, reports already surfaced that Turkey was deploying its Syrian proxies to support Azerbaijani forces in their standoff against Armenia. Then, Syrian sources also reported about a potential 6-month long contract for Turkish-funded militants. The monthly salary of one Turkish mercenary in the combat zone was reported to be 2,500 USD.

Sep 22 13:17

TURKISH-BACKED SYRIAN MILITANTS PREPARE TO PARTICIPATE IN AZERBAIJANI-ARMENIAN CONFLICT

1,000 fighters of the so-called Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkish-funded militant groups, will be moved to Azerbaijan in September as a part of a 6-month long deployment, Syrian pro-militant media reported. According to reports, Turkish proxies will pass additional training and may even be deployed along the contact line with Armenian forces near the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region.

During the Azerbaijani-Armenian escalation in July, reports already surfaced that Turkey was deploying its Syrian proxies to support Azerbaijani forces in their standoff against Armenia. Then, Syrian sources also reported about a potential 6-month long contract for Turkish-funded militants. The monthly salary of one Turkish mercenary in the combat zone was reported to be 2,500 USD.

Sep 20 07:09

Trump Send Troops, Heavy Armor Back Into Syria After Russian, Turkish Provocations

According to three defense officials, the Pentagon has moved a small number of troops to Syria this week after a series of increasingly intense clashes between the U.S. and Russian military.

According to the officials, both the troops and the vehicles serve the purpose of showing the military presence and thus dissuading the Russian army from crossing into the eastern security area where the US, coalition, and Democratic Forces operate. The additional troops will include six Bradley combat vehicles and less than 100 soldiers operating in northeast Syria in a 90-day deployment.

Sep 20 05:18

Britain, France, and Germany Spurn US Plan for Iran Sanctions

Trump Administration officials have been saying this for weeks, but on Friday reiterated their intentions to try to enforce a UN Security Council resolution that includes broad sanctions against Iran. Officials say they expect every nation to comply.

The glaring problem with this is that the resolution doesn’t exist, at least not as an active resolution the US wants. The P5+1 nuclear deal gave the US the authority to reimpose sanctions on Iran, but the US had withdrawn from that pact years ago. Though the Trump Administration argued that didn’t matter, the UN has virtually unanimously rejected their interpretation, and rejected the UN Security Council resolution. The US believes the resolution becomes active Sunday, but the reality is it just doesn’t exist legally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These actions spell desperation on the cusp of madness, and the world is not following suit; so, what is next here, an invasion of Iran?!?

Considering just how "brilliantly" the other US occupations around the world are going, you might imagine it might just be time for a "re-think" on this; but of course, Israel's Bibi Netanyahu will not allow that to happen; he wants the US waging war against Iran, so Israel will not have to.

Sep 20 05:05

US Weighs Into Mediterranean Tensions With Weapons And Hypocrisy

Via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Twice in the past week, the United States has clumsily weighed into mounting tensions in the East Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey.

First, Washington announced last weekend the opening of a maritime security base on the island state of Cyprus, which is allied with Greece.

Then the U.S. followed up by formally clearing the way to send weapons to Cyprus, ending a 33-year arms embargo. Washington claims the arms are “non-lethal”, but we have seen that semantic ruse played before with regard to U.S. weaponizing Ukraine and other places. Never mind the hairsplitting, the move is a military involvement whichever way it’s presented.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh and yes, where the hell IS NATO, in all of this?!?

Sep 18 05:33

Turkey dragging feet on commitments under Idlib agreement: Russia

Russia has criticized Turkey for its failure to fulfill its obligations under a bilateral ceasefire agreement on Syria's northwestern Idlib province, where the two countries back opposing sides.

“Despite the success notched up in the fight against international terrorism on the Syrian soil, the situation there is far from being stable,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news briefing in Moscow on Thursday.

“The terrorist groups of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and Guardians of Religion Organization have entrenched themselves in Idlib province. The activities of these outfits have been partially restrained as a result of deployment of Turkish forces in Idlib de-escalation zone and joint Russian-Turkish patrols on the M4 highway at the section between Saraqib and Jisr al-Shughur,” she added.

“Ankara is, nevertheless, delaying to honor its commitments under the latest Turkish-Russian deal concluded on March 5,” the diplomat pointed out.

Sep 17 10:56

Greece Vs Turkey: Is A War Inside NATO Possible?

On Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was forced to fly to Nicosia to discuss the situation in the Mediterranean Sea. The visit took place two weeks after the telephone talks between the presidents of the United States, Turkey and the Greek prime minister.

Donald Trump was unable to effectively resolve the Turkish-Greek controversy. During the talks, Kyriakos Mitsotakis complained about “destabilizing actions of Turkey, threatening peace and stability in the region, as well as testing NATO cohesion.” In response, Erdogan claimed the readiness to conduct a dialogue to resolve contradictions.

Asa result, Ankara sent another geological reconnaissance ship to the Mediterranean Sea. And exacerbated the already tense situation.

The essence of the conflict between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus lies precisely in the fact that Turkey is conducting geological exploration of minerals in the waters that Greece and Cyprus consider their exclusive economic zone.

Sep 14 12:00

SYRIAN ARMY ARTILLERY DEVASTATES MILITANTS’ POSITIONS IN IDLIB AS TURKS SUFFER FRESH CASUALTIES IN AFRIN

Turkish forces have been passing through hard times in northwestern Syria.

First a mysterious ‘heart attack’ that killed a Turkish general in Idlib. Then, Turkish military positions in the province of Aleppo were devastated by a series of rocket strikes. Rockets pounded the so-called ‘observation post’ of the Turkish military near the town of Xezwe on September 12. Later on the same day, when Turkish reinforcements deployed in the area, the Xezwe post was once again shelled by unguided rockets. Photos and videos from the ground showed that the strike caused notable damage, while pro-militant sources also claimed that several Turkish troops were injured.

The Turkish Armed Forces responded to the attack by striking positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Aqiybah, Sughanka and Burj al-Qas.

Sep 13 06:50

Turkey Starts 'Live-Fire' Drills In Contested East Med As Macron Says EU Sanctions "Ready"

The UK's Sky News Arabia reports that Turkey's defense ministry has announced the start of 'live fire' naval exercises in contested East Mediterranean waters which will run through the weekend.

Crucially it comes just after French President Emmanual Macron said the EU stands ready to impose sanctions on Turkey, following a key summit of six European countries, including Greece.

Sep 10 11:29

TURKISH GENERAL DIED FROM “HEART ATTACK” IN IDLIB. 3 MOSSAD AGENTS ALLEGEDLY CAPTURED

A Turkish general died of a heart attack in the combat zone of the Syrian province of Idlib, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported on September 9. According to Turkish state media, the general started to feel bad in the combat zone and was evacuated to a hospital. However, he died despite doctors’ best efforts. Afterwards, his body was moved to the Turkish province of Hatay.

The announcement came just a few days after the Syrian Army and the Turkish Armed Forces exchanged strikes in southern Idlib. Pro-Turkish sources on social media immediately became pretty active arguing that these developments and the death of the general from a supposed ‘heart attack’ are not related.

Sep 09 05:17

RISING TENSIONS: Turkey Prepared To Down And Obliterate Greek Jets – Top Erdogan Adviser Jashin

Extremely dangerous and threatening statements were made by Mesut Hakky Jashin , foreign policy adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan . During his speech on a Turkish TV channel, he insulted not only Greece, but also France, threatening that Turkey would sink the aircraft carrier of this Western European country in the Eastern Mediterranean. This was covered in the Greek publication, Orthodox Times .

Sep 08 07:08

TURKISH MILITARY STRIKES SYRIAN ARMY, SUFFERS FIRST CASUALTIES SINCE MARCH

Syrian-Turkish tensions have ramped up in the region of Greater Idlib over the past few days.

On September 5, heavy clashes between Syrian troops and Turkish-backed militants broke out near the town of Fleifel and Saraqib in southeastern Idlib, near the town of al-Enkawi in northwestern Hama and Kafr Taal in western Aleppo. According to pro-militant sources, at least 5 Syrian Army troops were killed in injured in the confrontation. They claim that it is the Damascus government that violated the ceasefire triggering the confrontation. At the same time, Syrian sources say that the clashes started after the Turkish Armed Forces conducted several artillery strikes on Syrian Army positions near the town of Saraqib.

Sep 08 06:39

TURKEY DEMOLISHED GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH KNOWN AS “HAGIA SOPHIA OF BURSA”

On September 2, Turkish authorities demolished a historic Greek Orthodox church in the region of Bursa, north-western Turkey.

The Georgios Greek Orthodox Church was known as the “Hagia Sophia” of Bursa. It was destroyed amid the pretext that it supposedly poses a safety hazard. This happened seven years after the regional Directorate General of Pious Foundations took over the building from Bursa’s Nilüfer municipality and spent about two million Turkish lira to restore the building, according to reports from the news website Duvar.

The report says that the building was referred to as the Hagia Sophia of Bursa due to its use as both a church and a mosque in the past.

Sep 07 06:42

Turkey stages military drills in north Cyprus amid tensions with Greece

Turkey has kicked off its annual military exercises in the breakaway republic of northern Cyprus on Sunday amid growing dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean.

Vice President Fuat Oktay said in a Twitter post on Sunday that the Turkish military began its exercises called "Mediterranean Storm" with the Turkish Cypriot Security Command.

"The security priorities of our country and the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) are indispensable," Oktay said.

The Turkish Defense Ministry also announced that the drills, which are due to last until Thursday, continued "successfully".

Sep 07 06:36

Turkey Escalates With Tanks & Armored Troop Carriers Deployed To Greek Border

Amid soaring Turkey-Greece tensions related to the eastern Mediterranean gas exploration spat, which has already resulted in rival fighter jets patrolling airspace off Cyprus, the Associated Press reports Ankara has deployed some 40 tanks and armored vehicles to the border with Greece.

The AP/New York Times cites Turkish media reports on Saturday:

Meanwhile, Turkish media reported that tanks were being moved towards the Greek border. The Cumhuriyet newspaper said 40 tanks were being transported from the Syrian border to Edirne in northwest Turkey and carried photographs of armored vehicles loaded on trucks.

There was no immediate official confirmation of the deployment.

Sep 06 08:22

Erdogan raises rhetoric in Greece standoff in Mediterranean

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned Greece to enter talks over disputed eastern Mediterranean territorial claims or face the consequences.

“They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,” he said at a hospital’s opening ceremony in Istanbul.

Ankara is currently facing off against Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. All sides have deployed naval and air forces to assert their competing claims in the region.

Sep 03 07:27

"Poisons Regional Peace": Turkey Enraged After US Lifts Decades-Old Arms Embargo On Cyprus

The timing significantly comes amid Turkey's Mediterranean gas exploration standoff with Greece and Cyprus, which this past weekend very nearly resulted in shots fired, as the conflict gets increasingly militarized: the US has announced it will lift a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus.

For now, the US move will only allow "non-lethal" military items to be exported to EU member Cyprus. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relayed the change to Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in a Tuesday phone call.

Sep 03 04:37

"Poisons Regional Peace": Turkey Enraged After US Lifts Decades-Old Arms Embargo On Cyprus

The timing significantly comes amid Turkey's Mediterranean gas exploration standoff with Greece and Cyprus, which this past weekend very nearly resulted in shots fired, as the conflict gets increasingly militarized: the US has announced it will lift a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus.

For now, the US move will only allow "non-lethal" military items to be exported to EU member Cyprus. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo relayed the change to Republic of Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in a Tuesday phone call.

Pompeo further "reaffirmed US support for a comprehensive settlement to reunify the island" - given the arms embargo was imposed in the first place in 1987 in the hope it would encourage reunification, following Turkey's military invasion and occupation of the northern half of the island since 1974.

President Anastasiades welcomed the temporary sanctions lifting, while predictably Turkey sees it as a direct threat, immediately urging Washington to reverse course:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Edrogan has dreams of a new Ottoman Empire, while his people are mired in a severe economic depression, not to mention freedom of speech in this country going down the skids at warp speed.

Sep 02 06:50

Turkey's Erdogan accuses EU of using Greece as 'bait'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip accused European nations of using Greece as "bait" in the Mediterranean Sea confrontation while belittling Athens' military might on Tuesday.

Erdogan, who has threatened Greece with military action, described Turkey's activities in the eastern Mediterranean as the "pursuit of [its] rights and justice" and denounced what he said were Greek efforts to "imprison" Turkey to a small region surrounding its coast.

"Efforts to descend on the riches of the Mediterranean, which are the rights of every country around it, is an example of modern-day colonialism," Erdogan said.

He also accused some nations he did not name of pushing Greece into a confrontation with Turkey.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And NATO - in which both nations are members - does absolutely NOTHING to ratchet down the rhetoric.

Sep 01 06:14

How Should The European Union Respond To Rising Greece-Turkey Tensions?

Authored by Michael Leigh via Bruegel.org,

If the European Union can mediate effectively to resolve current Greek-Turkish tensions over energy in the Eastern Mediterranean, it could also provide an opportunity to tackle more deep-rooted problems.

But so far, the two most powerful EU nations have adopted a ‘good cop, bad cop’ approach that conveys different and confusing messages – and has not prevented escalation. Chancellor Angela Merkel, with the added authority of holding the EU’s six-month revolving presidency, has launched a German initiative to prevent escalation, reduce tensions and overcome longstanding conflicts. But French President Emmanuel Macron, while not eschewing mediation, has opted for a show of force, sending French naval vessels into disputed waters to counter the presence of Turkish warships.

Deep-rooted dispute
The dispute is ostensibly over ownership of offshore gas deposits and the delimitation of 200-mile exclusive economic zones (EEZs).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And BTW, where the hell is NATO as all of this enmity plays out between Greece and Turkey, two brother NATO countries?!?

If NATO is impotent to unwind this, which means potential war in the region, it should disband, because it has proven useless, toothless, and suffering from organisational systemic rot.

Aug 31 05:22

U.S. Control of Alexandroupolis Port Will Not Help to Protect Greece from Turkey

The Greek Private Asset Utilization Fund (HRADF) will sell a 67% stake of Alexandroupolis Port in northern Greece near the border with Turkey and Bulgaria. Two American companies are believed to be interested in the deal. Selling a port of strategic importance to U.S. companies, coupled with the availability of the facility for U.S. and NATO troops, is raising many questions in Greece. The Mediterranean country remains only one in two countries surveyed in NATO where the civilian population is not in favor of the alliance and only 36% of Greeks view the U.S. favourably. An announcement issued by HRADF emphasized that the bid consisted of two phases – “in the first phase, interested parties are invited to express their intention to participate before 5:00 pm on October 2, 2020.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Greater Turkey"?!?!?

Where is NATO in all this?!? this must be settled peacefully, through negotiations, or all hell is about to break loose, both in Eastern Europe, and the Middle East.

Because if they allow this Turkish madness to continue, it will mean the utter death of NATO.

Greece will defend every one of their possession in the Eastern Aegian islands to the blood of their last soldier on the field; and if the Turks do not understand that, they are out of their collective minds.

Aug 31 04:33

Turkey intercepts six Greek F-16 jets in the Mediterranean as tensions rise

Turkey said on Saturday it will hold a military exercise off northwest Cyprus for the next two weeks, two days after it intercepted six Greek F-16 jets in the Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Athens over energy exploration rights.

Video footage posted by the Turkish defence ministry on Friday purportedly showed Turkish Air Force planes preventing the Greek aircraft from entering the area where Turkey was operating. The F-16s had departed from the island of Crete and were heading towards southern Cyprus, the statement said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Trump, a word on this, please, sir; we have two NATO-member countries, very close to starting shooting war over gas exploration in the Mediterranean; this needs to get de-escalated, and quickly.

Aug 30 06:51

NATO behind the Turkish attack in Syria

Several members of NATO are currently weeping crocodile tears about the terrible luck of the Kurds, thus masking the fact that they had in fact green-lit « Operation Peace Spring » in advance. To crush any doubt, the General Secretary of the Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, journeyed in person to Ankara, three days after the beginning of combat, to declare NATO’s support for Turkey.

Aug 28 03:44

NATO's "Unified Front" At Breaking Point

Authored by Danny Sjursen via The Future of Freedom Foundation,

Last month, a Turkish warship came one step away from firing missiles at a French naval vessel off the coast of Libya. In response, Paris suspended its involvement in Operation Sea Guardian — a multinational maritime effort to provide security in the Mediterranean Sea and halt the arms trafficking fueling Libya’s ongoing civil war. Initially, only eight member states — notably excluding both the U.S. and U.K. — supported France’s official complaint. This was only the latest incident in the increasingly frequent — and exceedingly awkward — tensions between several of Washington’s core North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies.

Indeed, from South America to East Asia, NATO members stand divided over many critical foreign policy issues of the moment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

NATO, as an entity, no longer has any clear direction, and is seeing member nations going after other member NATO members, as Turkey is with Greece, concerning Mediterranean drilling rights, and appears to be one step away from implosion.

Aug 27 12:59

Turkey floats ‘new cooperation’ with Iran after gas find

Turkey says its largest-ever natural gas discovery in the Black Sea could lead to new cooperation with Iran even as Ankara aims not to be just a buyer, but also a producer.

Turkey is dependent on imports for almost all of its energy needs and Iran is a key supplier of Ankara’s natural gas purchases which generate nearly 40 percent of the country’s electricity production.

“The countries we have been cooperating with for years are Iran and Russia. This new period for Turkey may lead to new cooperation with these countries,” Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak said in a televised interview on NTV Tuesday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday his country was determined ultimately to become a net energy exporter as he announced the discovery of a 320 billion cubic meter natural gas field that could come on stream as soon as 2023.

Aug 27 10:04

Turkey’s Erdogan warns Greece against taking ‘path to ruin’

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey would not give up “what it deserves” in the Mediterranean Sea, warning Greece against making mistakes that would pave the way to its “ruin,” as the two countries remain locked up in a dispute over energy resources in the sea.

“We will not compromise what is ours… We are determined to do whatever is necessary,” Erdogan said on Wednesday.

“We invite our counterparts… to beware that any error could pave the way to their ruin,” the Turkish president said.

The remarks came after Greece said it would launch joint military exercises with France, Italy, and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean on Wednesday.

Aug 25 06:55

Russia, Turkey agree on delivery of 2nd S-400 missile system regiment

Russia and Turkey have signed a contract to deliver a second regiment of S-400 air defense systems to Turkey, the Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said Sunday.

Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev did not disclose further details when speaking to RIA Novosti news agency.

In 2017, Russia and Turkey finalized a deal worth about 2.5 billion U.S. dollars to supply Ankara with S-400 systems, and delivery was completed in 2019.

Turkey is the first member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to purchase such air defense missile system from Russia.

Aug 24 06:48

Erdo?an Needs New Enemies

Fearing a sharp decline in his approval rating, especially in view of a looming economic crisis, Turkey's Islamist strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, appears to be chasing new wars with real or imaginary enemies.

Aug 20 04:55

Erdogan says no threats can deter Turkey's operations in Mediterranean

ANKARA (Reuters) - No threats can deter Turkey from seeking natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding that Ankara expects actors in the region to take steps to de-escalate tensions.

Greece and Cyprus are locked in a dispute with Turkey over overlapping claims to areas potentially rich in resources. Two Turkish survey vessels are in areas claimed by the three countries. On Tuesday, Cyprus said it was willing to engage with all its neighbours on defining maritime boundaries.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I sure as heck hope that someone is "working the phones" between Ankara, Athens, and Nicosia, trying to ramp down the potential for war here, as this is another international flashpoint which could flare out of control in a heartbeat.

Aug 19 15:33

Berlin’s Appeasement to Turkish Aggression Linked to Germany’s Plans to Become the Biggest Energy Hub in EU

The EU already has a reputation of being Germany’s “Fourth Reich” in Greece. This is the same rhetoric used by EU sceptics all across Europe, with renowned historian and journalist, Simon Heffer, writing in the Daily Mail what many Europeans were feeling during the economic crisis in previous years:

“We are witnessing […] the economic colonisation of Europe by stealth by the Germans. Once, it would have taken an invading military force to topple the leadership of a European nation. Today, it can be done through sheer economic pressure.” Heffer continues by saying that the “rise of the Fourth Reich” stems from Germany “using the financial crisis to conquer Europe” as its policies “would make Europe effectively a German empire.”

Aug 19 06:54

Turkey, Qatar, Libya's GNA Agree to Establish Turkish Naval Base in Misrata - Reports

Turkey, Qatar, and Libya's Government of National Accord signed an agreement to establish a Turkish naval base in the Libyan city of Misrata, the Al-Arabiya TV channel reported citing sources.

Turkish and Qatari defence ministers Hulusi Akar and Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah arrived in Tripoli on Monday. The ministers held meetings with the leaders of the Government, Libya's High Council of State, as well as the Government's Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha.

According to Al Arabiya's sources, the agreement envisions "the creation of a trilateral military coordination centre in the city of Misrata, as well as the creation of training centres and headquarters for GNA militants in Doha".

Aug 16 01:52

Turkey Hit By Bank Runs, Currency Panic As Locals Sell Their Cars And Houses To Buy Gold While Lira Implodes

It has been an miserable five years for Turkish citizens who have seen their purchasing power slashed by more than half, and it's only getting worse.

The Turkish lira has cratered against the dollar and most developed currencies, plunging from 3 TRY per dollar, to a record low 7.37 last week after a brief and valiant attempt at imposing shadow capital control by Erdogan (who is now de facto head of the Turkish central bank) failed miserably at the end of July, and not even a draconian hike in overnight funding rates above 1000% last week (to crush the shorts) was able to prevent a plunge in the Lira to new all time lows.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This intense economic pain for the Turkish people does not bode well for the future of the country.

Aug 12 06:12

Iraq Cancels Turkish Defence Minister Visit After Iraqi Soldiers Killed in Kurdistan Shelling

Earlier on Tuesday the Iraqi government condemned a Turkish drone strike in the country's province of Erbil that killed two Iraqi soldiers, slamming "repeated military violations" by Ankara as a "dangerous violation of Iraqi sovereignty, international law and the UN Charter".

Iraq cancelled a 13 August visit by the Turkish Defence Minister, Hulusi Akar, to the country, following condemnation of a Turkish drone strike in the Erbil province that killed two Iraqi border guards, according to an Iraqi Foreign Ministry statement.

The Turkish ambassador in Iraq has been summoned to Baghdad after the Turkish drone attack.

"We are announcing the cancellation of the visit by the Turkish defense minister to Iraq, scheduled for Thursday. The Foreign Ministry will summon the Turkish ambassador and hand him a note of protest in connection with the attack", the Iraqi Foreign Ministry said.

Aug 11 12:15

Turkey Sends Military For 'Gunnery Drills' Off Rhodes As Contested Gas Exploration Resumes

Greece's military is once again said to be in a state of high alert with all troops prevented from leaving their duty stations or going on temporary leave. Not only has Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez announced Monday that the Oruc Reis seismic exploration ship has been dispatched to the Mediterranean, but Bloomberg reports Turkey has launched naval exercises in the same region.

"Turkey launched naval exercises off two Greek islands and announced energy exploration research in the same area, projecting its military might amid heightened territorial tussles in the eastern Mediterranean," according to the report.

The naval drills are described as east and to the south of Rhodes and Kastellorizo, both which are among Greece's easternmost islands, and not far from Turkey's coast. The drills are expected to go multiple days running through this week.

Aug 10 06:24

Defiant Erdogan Says Turkey Has Resumed Mediterranean Gas Exploration & Drilling

While over a week ago it was looking as if Turkey might back down on its ambitious oil and gas exploration aims in the eastern Mediterranean amidst global pressure, especially coming from the EU and US, President Erdogan is defiant once again, announcing Friday the resumption of energy exploration work that Greece and Cyprus says violates their territorial waters.

Emerging from Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia - which Turkey recently declared a mosque (in another shot aimed at Greece) - Erdogan said: "We have started drilling work again," and added, "I don’t think we are obligated to talk to those who do not have rights in the areas of maritime powers.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The question here, is not if Greece will retaliate, potentially militarily; the question is, how, and when, will it respond militarily.

IF I am viewing this correctly, I would suggest that the world will not have to wait until mid-Fall to see the shape, and scope, of Greece's response.

Aug 08 08:12

Erdogan says Turkey has resumed drilling in eastern Mediterranean

NATO members Turkey and Greece have long been at loggerheads over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that Turkey has resumed energy exploration work in the eastern Mediterranean, saying Greece had not kept its promises regarding such activities in the region.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have long been at loggerheads over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources and tensions flared up last month, prompting German Chancellor Angela Merkel to hold talks with the country's leaders to ease tensions.

"We have started drilling work again," Erdogan told reporters after participating in Friday prayers at the Hagia Sophia mosque. "We don't feel obliged to talk with those who do not have rights in maritime jurisdiction zones."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If I were a crew member on the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa right now, I would be advocating for extra-hazardous combat pay; Greece will respond, when it feels the time is right.

The question is, how proportionate will be the punishment for what Turkey is doing.

Aug 06 04:53

Erdogan, the new Mehmed II

The Treaty of Lausanne, signed on 24 July 1923, annulled the Treaty of Sèvres and created modern Turkey while respecting the demands of Mustafa Kemal. He had Hagia Sophia in Istanbul restored and offered it to humanity by turning it into a museum in 1934.

On 24 July 2020, on the occasion of this anniversary, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an reconverted the former cathedral of the Eastern Roman Empire into a mosque.

The ceremony was designed to glorify the Islamic conquest of the world and the capture of Constantinople by Sultan Mehmet II (later called "The Conqueror") in 1453. Also, to be in character, the religious leader delivered his sermon brandishing a scimitar (photo).

Aug 03 07:43

Turkey's Brain Drain: Why Youths See No Future There

Turkey's Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, once declared his political mission as "raising devout (Muslim) generations." Research in recent years has shown that Turkish youths have defied Erdo?an's most ambitious social engineering project.

Aug 02 14:22

TURKEY’S ERDOGAN – FROM HAGIA SOPHIA TO THE SHORES OF TRIPOLI AND BEYOND

In recent weeks the Erdogan government has made aggressive moves on multiple fronts that have led many to question their overall aims. In Libya Turkey’s Erdogan has boldly made moves to give arms, soldiers and other support to the embattled Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli of Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj.

Jul 29 07:28

France-Turkey naval clash: Proxy war in Libya enters a new stage

A confrontation between the two NATO states France and Turkey continues to trouble the Mediterranean region; Egyptian forces are mobilizing. And many other military players are continuing operations there.

In March 2011, during a hectic weekend, the French delegation to the UN Security Council managed to convince all other member States of the Council to support Resolution 1973. It was all about a “humanitarian corridor” for Benghazi, which was considered the “good opposition” by the government of Nicolas Sarkozy. One of his whisperers was the controversial philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy, who supported a French intervention. Levy, fond of the “humanitarian war,” found a congenial partner in Sarkozy.

Jul 29 07:09

Turkish Magazine Calls For Revival Of Caliphate 

The Turkish bar association has filed a criminal complaint against pro-Islam magazine Gercek Hayat for instigated hatred and called for an armed rebellion against the Turkish government, reported RT News.

Ankara Bar Association requested government prosecutors to investigate the magazine's editor-in-chief, Kemal Ozer, and columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak, claiming their radical newspaper called for an Islamic caliphate.

RT News notes a caliphate is a state "dedicated to the cause of Islam, seeking to be a unifying and defending force for all Muslims. The word had received plenty of negative attention in recent times since the terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) claimed the title for itself."

"Historically, four major caliphates existed, the latest being the Ottoman Empire. Modern Turkey was founded by Kemal Ataturk on the ruins of this fourth caliphate as a modern secular republic that had cast away the outdated institutions of its predecessor," RT said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would politely suggest that the world pay less attention to what Edrogan's spokesperson says, and more attention to what Edrogan's government is doing.

Fact: Turkey invaded Northern Syria last Fall;

Turkey Invades Syria

Fact: Turkey is prosecuting its Christian citizens.
Christians a welcome scapegoat in Turkey

Fact: Edrogan just ordered Hagia Sophia to be converted into a mosque, from an historical museumEdrogan orders the Hagia Sophia converted into a mosque

Fact: Turkey just ended oil exploration in disputed waters also claimed by Greece Turkey to suspend research in waters disputed with Greece

Fact: Turkey has invaded Libya, allegedly in support of the UN-backed government
What is Turkey doing in Libya?!?

Erdogan's ambitions have not gone unnoticed by either Turkish citizens, or world leadership; and if this is anything but attempting to establish a caliphate in everything but name, I absolutely don't know how to characterize it.

I think the writers of this magazine called this correctly, but that made Erdogan angry, which is why this complaint has been filed against it.

Jul 28 09:33

Pressure for Sanctions Against Turkey Increases as Tensions with Greece Grow

Divided on how to deal with Turkey, some European leaders are calling for sanctions and others are calling for a reset in Euro-Turkish relations. French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chairman of the Parliamentary Group of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, have been in a hurry in recent days to push for sanctions against Turkey because of its provocations against Greece and Cyprus.

Jul 28 06:10

Turkey On The Warpath

Authored by Uzay Bulut via The Gatestone Institute,

Turkey is currently involved in quite a few international military conflicts -- both against its own neighbors such as Greece, Armenia, Iraq, Syria and Cyprus, and against other nations such as Libya and Yemen. These actions by Turkey suggest that Turkey's foreign policy is increasingly destabilizing not only several nations, but the region as well.

In addition, the Erdogan regime has been militarily targeting Syria and Iraq, sending its Syrian mercenaries to Libya to seize Libyan oil and continuing, as usual, to bully Greece. Turkey's regime is also now provoking ongoing violence between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Erdogan is doing this now, because he feels he can "get away with it", while the US government is in such turmoil, between elections, Covid-19, and riots in major metropolitan areas.

President Trump has to convince him otherwise; if this doesn't happen, and soon, Turkey may well light the world ablaze on a path to another world war.

Jul 27 08:09

Turkey Rejects US & EU Calls To Cease East-Med Gas Drilling As Greece Threatens Military Action

Days after the US State Department warned Turkey over its gas reserves exploration and drilling plans in waters between Cyprus and Greece, which Athens has declared 'illegal' given it cuts into Greece's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the European Union has also put Turkey on notice, warning it could move forward with sanctions.

French President Emmanuel Macron said late this week that it's "not acceptable for the maritime space of a European Union member state to be violated or threatened" and called for sanctions if it moves forward. On Tuesday a US State Department statement demanded that Turkey back down from its drilling plans which have put the Greek Navy on "high alert" - given Turkish exploration ships are already in or near Greek waters.

Jul 24 03:57

Turkey Supports Azerbaijan to Cause Instability in Russia's 'Soft Underbelly', the Caucasus

The conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia has become increasingly serious. Both countries claim the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh and between the late 1980s and early 1990s there was a war between them to decide the control of the region. Tens of thousands of people died in the conflict, which ended in 1994 with a ceasefire agreement, without a winner. The agreement places the Nagorno-Karabakh region as a de facto autonomous republic, remaining de jure as part of Azerbaijan. This agreement gave a break in the massacres but did not prevent the continuation of the territorial disputes between both countries, which until today claim the region, and the situation has worsened even more recently.

Jul 24 03:56

Turkey Will Send More Troops To Libya If Egyptian Forces Breach Border

The Turkey-based Zaman newspaper quoted informed sources in the Turkish government as saying that a military and diplomatic plan has been prepared to deal with the Egyptian parliament’s decision to send troops to Libya.

According to their sources, the Turkish newspaper said that Ankara “is closely watching the consequences of the Egyptian parliament’s decision.”

Their sources stressed that if “Egypt sends military forces to Libya, Turkey has a plan to increase its forces and military equipment in Libya to stand up to the Egyptian forces.”

Jul 23 11:07

It’s official: US Air Force to buy Turkish F-35s

After a year of speculation about what would happen to Turkey’s F-35s after the country was ousted from the joint strike fighter program last year, the Defense Department gave its definitive answer Monday evening in a characteristically anticlimactic manner — through its daily contract announcements.

The U.S. Air Force will officially buy eight F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets originally built by Lockheed Martin for Turkey as part of a $862 million contract modification. The deal also contains an additional six F-35As built for the Air Force and modifications that will bring the Turkish jets in line with the U.S. configuration.

Jul 23 04:24

Erdogan: Turkish Invasion of Syria Will End When ‘People Are Free’

Islamist Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reverted to a years-old explanation for his military’s invasion of Syria on Tuesday, insisting that Turkish forces will be in the country “until the people are free.”

Throughout the past four years of Turkish military activity in Syria, Erdogan has gone back and forth between claiming that Turkish troops are in the country to fight terrorism and asserting that they are there to overthrow dictator Bashar al-Assad. Erdogan has also repeatedly called Assad a “terrorist,” making unclear if his insistence on fighting terrorism is limited to opposition to groups like the U.S.-allied Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG/YPJ), which Turkey considers a terrorist organization, or to the complete overthrow of the current Syrian government.

Jul 21 06:36

Egypt Authorizes Sending Troops to Libya, Risking Clash With Turkey

On Monday, Egypt’s parliament gave military junta leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi approval to deploy troops abroad into neighboring Libya, following up a similar authorization from Libya’s Tobruk parliament, which is loyal to Gen. Khalifa Hafter and is seeking an intervention on their behalf.

This is the latest of Hafter’s several multi-year bids to take over Libya. A military dictatorship themselves, the Sisi junta has backed Hafter heavily, seeing it as a chance to install a friendly government on their border.

Egyptian airstrikes are common, but a direct ground invasion is hugely risky, because Turkey already has troops in Libya, and they are backing the alternative government in Tripoli. This looks tailor-made to be a proxy battle over Libya.

Egypt and Turkey have ideological differences, not just that Egypt is under military rule after a coup while Turkey’s coup failed. The two both have interests in the future of Libya, Turkey for the sake of oil and gas exploration.

Jul 15 10:50

Turkish military forces deployed over dozen kilometers into northern Iraq: Top lawmaker

The head of the security and defense committee at the Iraqi parliament has condemned Ankara’s ongoing cross-border operation in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, stating that Turkish forces are now deployed more than a dozen kilometers into the area.

“Iraq rejects transgression of its sovereignty or airstrikes within its territory by another state,” Mohammad Reza Al Haider told the official Iraqi News Agency on Tuesday, calling on the Baghdad government to address such issues.

Haider noted that the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Iraq permits hot pursuits between five and seven kilometers from the border, but Ankara has exceeded the limit, and Turkish troops are now deployed along an area stretching some 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the frontier.

Jul 15 10:32

Turkish military forces deployed over dozen kilometers into northern Iraq: Top lawmaker

The head of the security and defense committee at the Iraqi parliament has condemned Ankara’s ongoing cross-border operation in the country’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region against hideouts of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, stating that Turkish forces are now deployed more than a dozen kilometers into the area.

“Iraq rejects transgression of its sovereignty or airstrikes within its territory by another state,” Mohammad Reza Al Haider told the official Iraqi News Agency on Tuesday, calling on the Baghdad government to address such issues.

Haider noted that the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Iraq permits hot pursuits between five and seven kilometers from the border, but Ankara has exceeded the limit, and Turkish troops are now deployed along an area stretching some 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) south of the frontier.

Jul 13 05:07

Erdogan Boasts Turkish Military Intervention 'Saved' Libya From Haftar

Via AlMasdarNews.com,

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Ankara’s stance in Libya foiled the plans of the Libyan National Army’s commander, Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

According to Erdogan, Turkey’s intervention saved the city of Tripoli from falling to the Libyan National Army (LNA) and their commander.

Erdogan continued in his interview with the Turkish magazine that “the Government of National Accord managed to get the revolutionaries out of Tripoli in a short time and these field gains heralded peace and security in all Libyan lands.”

He then boasted that it was ultimately Turkish military support to Tripoli, was had endured for much of the past year, that thwarted Haftar's advance:

“Turkey’s determined stance stifled the plans of Haftar and his supporters to occupy Tripoli.”

He said, “Strengthening Libya politically and economically will comfort North Africa and Europe.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I Erdogan, i would not necessarily "bet the farm" on boasts like this; only 6 days ago, Russia sent mercs to assist Haftar, who they are supporting
Russia sends more mercenaries to support Haftar in Libya

Also, if you read the tweet, from @NicAthens, at the bottom of this article, the following is stated:

"Following the airstrikes on the Turkish base of Al-Watiya, #Turkey officially announced that it will violate #Egypt's red lines and attack #Jufra and #Sirte, these areas control almost all of #Libya's oil fields, a regional war is expected."

I have to wonder just what Obama and Clinton would say, on the record at this point, about how their and NATO's military action "saved Libya" right now.

Jul 07 06:38

Thirst threatening 1 million people in Syria’s Hasakah due to cutting water by Turkish forces

Intense thirst threatens the lives of about one million people living in and around Syria’s northeastern city of Hasakah, as Turkish troops and allied militants continue cutting off drinking water supplies to the region by stopping a major border pumping station, a report says.

Syria’s official news agency SANA on Monday briefly but bitterly recounted the suffering of these people, who are in desperate need of drinking water in hot summer days in the northeastern province of the same name.

A day earlier, Director General of Hasakah Water Company Mahmoud al-Ukla said Turkish soldiers and militants backed by the government in Ankara had stopped Alouk Water Station on Saturday evening and that they had barred workers of the station from entering the facility.

Jul 02 12:26

SYRIA PREPARES FOR MILITARY CONFRONTATION WITH TURKEY IN NORTHEAST

The Syrian Army and the National Defense Forces have put their forces on high alert in response to the new round of aggressive actions by the Turkish Army and its proxies in northeastern Syria.

Several convoys of government forces, including several T-62M battle tanks and a number of trucks equipped with heavy machine guns, deployed to the countryside of Ayn Issa after intense Turkish artillery strikes on positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces and the army near al-Nuyhat in northern al-Hasakah and Hushanah in northern Raqqah. Another group of government troops deployed near the town of Tell Tamr.

Jun 30 10:29

Tourists are charged £44 for a KEBAB and can only swim in the sea if they spend up to £65 at some Turkish resorts as they hike their prices to recoup coronavirus losses

A beach bar in Turkey is charging tourists £43 for a doner kebab as the country's hard-hit tourism sector tries to bounce back after coronavirus.

One shocked customer's receipt also showed they forked out £7.30 (61.59 lira) for a small coffee and £22 (184.78 lira) for some stuffed pitta bread in tourist hotspot Bodrum.

Meanwhile, Maçak?z? Hotel is making visitors pay £65 to swim in the sea, local media reports.

Jun 29 07:46

IS RECEP TAYYIP ERDO?AN USING LIBYA TO REVIVE THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE?

Although President Barack H. Obama had declared in a speech in Accra, Ghana, in 2009, that “Africa’s future is up to Africans,” it was really American policy toward Africa, as elsewhere in the world, to remove political leaders that the United States considered “inconvenient”. Those who opposed or who were at odds with US plans, such as socialists, communists, and “Islamists” became legitimate targets of Yankee weapons.

On March 19, 2011, Obama began combat against Libya without securing a Congressional declaration of war, as the federal Constitution requires. He also refused to notify Congress that

American forces were engaged in combat operations, in violation of the War Powers Act, adopted in response to the reckless, unconstitutional actions by the president in going to war in Vietnam. (Springmann, J. Michael. Visas For Al Qaeda: CIA Handouts That Rocked The World. Washington, D.C. Daena Publications: 2014).

Jun 22 08:23

Sisi's 'Declaration Of War' Puts Egypt & Turkey On War Footing Over Libya

Egypt and Turkey have long been on opposite sides of the raging battle for the fate of Libya, with Turkey providing major military support and backing for the UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, and with Egypt backing Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

The situation escalated over the weekend, amid a pullback of pro-Haftar forces from Tripoli after being defeated in the bid for the capital, when Egypt's President Sisi announced from an airbase near the Libyan border that the Egyptian Army stands ready to intervene in Libya on behalf of Haftar.

Sisi declared that if GNA forces attempt to enter Haftar-controlled Sirte, pushing deeper into central Libya, this would be a 'red line' for Egypt, forcing it's intervention. Crucially both Tripoli and its main ally Turkey on Sunday condemned what they called Sisi's "declaration of war".

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And where has the UN been for all these years, in allowing things to get so dire for ordinary Libyans, just trying to survive?!?!?

The short answer is, absolutely nowhere to be found.

Jun 19 06:47

NATO To Probe French & Turkish Warships Near Clash Incident Off Libya

Perhaps predictably given Erdogan's increased threats and foreign adventurism, cracks loom in the NATO alliance over Libya, leading to an official probe by Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

It started last week after France complained that Turkey is still breaking a UN arms embargo in effect on war-torn Libya. When a French frigate attempted to intercept a Turkish vessel suspected of running arms into Tripoli on June 10, it was reportedly "engaged" via radar, as if a missile strike was impending. The AP details, based on French defense sources:

According to a French defense official, the frigate Courbet was “lit up” three times by Turkish naval targeting radar when it tried to approach a Turkish civilian ship suspected of involvement in arms trafficking. The Courbet backed off after being targeted.

The French vessel was part of NATO's naval operation in the Mediterranean, Sea Guardian, at the time of the June 10 incident.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Stoltenberg is probably grinding his teeth at night over this, and wishing that NATO really didn't need Turkey in this alliance; unfortunately, because of its geostrategic significance in the region, NATO does need Turkey as part of this.

But Stoltenberg has got to make it clear to Edrogan, that it he wants to remain in the alliance, there are certain things he absolutely, cannot be allowed to do... like arms trafficking off the coast of Libya.

Jun 17 06:20

Turkey launches military operation against Kurdish forces in northern Iraq

The Turkish military has begun an air and ground operation against Kurdish PKK militants in northern Iraq, calling it an act of self-defense to weed out “terrorists” in the area.

Named Operation Tiger-Claw, the incursion involves Turkish commandos supported by warplanes, helicopters and armed drones. The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that its planes had struck Kurdish targets in northern Iraq’s Haftanin region, and that troops were already on the ground.

In a statement released on Twitter, Turkey’s military described the attack as “legitimate self-defense” against PKK forces and “other terrorist elements” accused of carrying out attacks on Turkish personnel in the region.

Jun 13 04:45

Video: Hearing Is Not Like Seeing: NATO’s Terrorists Burning Syrian Wheat Crops

A video clip shared by local farmers from Ras Al-Ayn showing an inferno burning their livelihood before their eyes, hundreds of acres of wheat on fire just as the crop is due to harvest.

We’ve been reporting about these fires in areas of operation of the NATO’s Turkish (Orwellian-named) ‘Spring of Peace’ military operation in northern, and especially in northeastern Syria regions as well as in areas where remnants and sleeper cells of NATO-sponsored terrorists of ISIS and its affiliates are active in the south of the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is a companion story at globalresearch.ca, with the following headline:

The US Admits They Are to Blame for Hunger in Syria

The article goes on to state: "United States Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, announced on Sunday that Washington had offered Syria a proposal to end the US sanctions. The Foreign and Expatriates Ministry in Damascus said that the statements by James Jeffrey constitute a clear admission by the Trump administration of it being directly responsible for the suffering of Syrians. The Syrians see the increasing sanctions as economic-warfare after the US failure to bring about ‘regime change’, by using terrorists supported by the CIA. Damascus declares the sanctions violate human rights and international law as they affect the Syrian population.

President Trump inherited the Syrian war from its creator, former President Obama. In 2016, Trump campaigned with a promise to stop US support of the war in Syria; however, he has since invaded and occupied several areas in Syria and has declared he is there to keep the oil from being used by Syria. Russia entered Syria in 2015 at the request of Damascus to assist in the fight against Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists.

The newest sanctions have a 5-year life-span, and can be dismissed if seven criteria are met; however, the first two points are designed specifically to prevent fighting the Al Qaeda terrorists who control Idlib and are holding about 3 million persons as human shields. Both Syria and Russia, its ally in Syria, have said defeating terrorism are strategic goals."

War crimes abroad.... domestic violence directed against citizens at home; but hell, it's... the Good old USA, right?!? The Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika, right?!?!?

Jun 13 04:01

NEW EVIDENCE SUGGESTS TURKEY PREPARING FOR LIBYA-STYLE MILITARY INTERVENTION IN YEMEN

SOURCE: MINT PRESS
ADEN, YEMEN — As focus begins to turn to developments in Libya and the foreign interference that plagues the Arab country, it seems that Turkey already has its eye elsewhere, preparing for military involvement in Yemen in a move that has sparked concern among Yemenis already struggling against an intervention led by Saudi Arabia, famine and most recently, COVID-19.

Informed sources in Aden and Taiz revealed to MintPress that a militia belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated El-Eslah Party, the ideological and political ally of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, is already engaged in the latest round of fighting in Yemen’s southern provinces, particularly in Abyan and Shabwa.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Obama originally sent "advisors" to Yemen, to placate the Saudi government; President Trump has "doubled down" on this approach, and put the US into the position of enabling Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

One has to wonder what Erdogan's "end game" against Saudi Arabia might well be here; Turkish control of Marib, perchance?!?

Jun 05 09:29

Libya at the precipice of division between Turkey and Russia as the endgame approaches

Nureddin Sabir says the Libyan army’s retreat after its allies – Egypt and the United Arab Emirates – scurried in the face of a Turkish-Muslim Brotherhood onslaught means the prospect of a Libya divided between Turkey and Russia – the army’s fair-weather friend – is very real.>>

May 30 06:30

Turkey Committed ‘In Principle’ to Activating Russian-Made S-400 Missiles, Erdogan's Spokesman Says

Washington has consistently objected to NATO-member Turkey acquiring the Russian-made S-400 missile systems, claiming they were incompatible with security standards of the alliance and might compromise the operations of the new US fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets.

Turkey is committed “in principle” to its earlier announced plans to activate the Russian-made S-400 missile defence systems acquired last year, despite procrastination due to a spate of issues, Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin was quoted as saying by France 24 on Monday.

Speaking in an interview, the spokesperson referred to the COVID-19 pandemic as having delayed the matter of activation, slated originally for April, and reiterated the country’s intention to proceed with the move.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What is President Trump going to do now?!? Sanction Turkey on its weapons choices, or have Turkey formally expelled from NATO?!?

This is a hard one; geographically, Turkey is critical to NATO.

Unfortunately, however, its President Edrogan, with various and sundry military misadventures, is indicating that he may well have decided to make Turkey the 21st century's First Caliphate; this is a dangerous direction for the country to be taking at this point in history.

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