17 Febr 2020 – 2h
What’s much more important for Turkey? force ISIS to stay under Turkey’s state sponsorship of Terrorism to use against Kurds. All other option gets Turkey away from Russia & Iran, make an Ally of USA+Kurds? which was impossible to accept, because would end up Recognizing Kurds
Seth Frantzman@sfrantzman· 7h
Turkey never wanted to take Raqqa, save Aleppo and actually fight the regime. Back before 2015 when it had a ceasefire with PKK, before ISIS rise, before Russia went into Syria, it had ample opportunity. But it watched it fall through its hands…and now just Idlib deal remains.
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Turkey and the European Union: Conflicting Policies and Opportunities for Cohesion and Cooperation In Iraq and Syria
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS NEW BOOKS & PAPERS / RECOMMENDATION
Turkey and the European Union: Conflicting Policies and Opportunities for Cohesion and Cooperation In Iraq and Syria, 2018 – By Susan Cersosimo
17 Febr 2020 – Radical security events, issues and trends in Iraq since 2003 and Syria since 2011, have adversely impacted Turkey-European Union (EU) relations. Current literature unpacking how and why is largely missing. As such, this policy paper deconstructs and evaluates Ankara’s and Brussels’ current security interests, priorities and perceptions toward security threats originating in these two countries. We, then, classify opportunities as culminating in three possible discrete or combined security policy scenarios:…
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS DOCUMENTS : Berichte von Menschenrechtsorganisationen im Januar 2020 Curfews in Turkey Between the Dates 16 August 2015
– 1 January 2020  TIHV, 09.01.2020 WORLD REPORT 202: Turkey  Turkey – Events of 2019 Human Rights Watch Judicial Reform Package Brings Freedom to Neither News, Nor Journalists  BİA MEDIA MONITORING / OCTOBER-NOVEMBER-DECEMBER 2019, 10.01.2020 Turkey: Release Jailed Critics, Respect Election Results  Erdogan Presidency Silences Dissent, Removes Elected Officials Human Rights Watch, 14.01.2020 ‘Right to Life of 41 Thousand 694 People Violated in 17 Years ’ According to a report on right violations prepared by main opposition CHP MP Sezgin Tanrıkulu, the right to life of at least 6,432 women has been violated in 17 years and the right to life of at least 4,104 children has been violated in 8 years. BIA News Desk, 17.01.2020 Urgent Appeal by OBS for Eren Keskin  The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, 20.01.2020 İHD and EuroMed Rights Joint Statement on the Gezi Trial The Gezi trial or the systematic criminalisation of Turkish civil society  27.01.2020 Turkey: UN Review Should Address Sharp Decline on Rights  Checks and Balances Illusive; Critics Under Attack Human Rights Watch, 27.01.2020 U.N. Turkey rights review shines light on free speech repression  Ahval, 28.01.2020 Turkey ‘Takes First Place’ in Convictions at ECtHR  BIA News Desk, 29.01.2020 1,675 human rights violations in Van during 2019  Human Rgihts Association (İHD) has announced the 2019 human rights violations report that they prepared for Van. MA, 30.01.2020 Initiative for Freedom of Expression Releases 2019 Annual Report  BIA News Desk, 30.01.2020 UN Universal Periodic Review: Turkey Criticized About Freedom of Expression  BIA News Desk, 30.01.2020
MESOPOTAMIA NEWS TODAYS COMMENTARY : Turkey faces potential Russian blowback on Syria — and tomatoes are only the beginning
February 13, 2020
By Gönül Tol – MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE
Turkish trucks carrying $10 million worth of tomatoes are stranded at the Russian border, again. The miles-long queues of vehicles awaiting clearance from Russian authorities are reminiscent of the strained ties between the two countries after Turkey shot down a Russian jet in 2015. After the incident, Russia slapped sanctions on Turkey and imposed a ban on Turkish agricultural imports. As the two countries slowly resumed ties, Russia lifted the restrictions on Turkish food imports, but the tomato ban remained in effect, reminding Turks that not all was forgiven and forgotten. Eventually, Russia lifted the ban on tomatoes too, but as tensions between Moscow and Ankara have escalated in the last few weeks over Syria, the tomato war has once again flared up. Producers in the southern Turkish city of Antalya, who sell 80 percent of their tomatoes to Russia, are expecting the government to resolve the rift. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has developed a close rapport with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, is in a tough spot.
By Irina Tsukerman February 14, 2020 / ISRAEL – BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,448, February 14, 2020
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Turkey’s latest moves in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean should be viewed in the context of the recent Kuala Lumpur Summit, which announced the emergence of a new ideological bloc to counter Saudi Arabia consisting of Iran, Turkey, Qatar, and Malaysia. Turkey’s new geopolitical strategy is as much ideological as it is “defensive.”
Shortly before passing laws that allow Turkey to send troops and proxies to Libya, and before sending the first group of troops to back the Tripoli government, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency published a document, written by foreign policy analyst Mehmet A. Kancı, that amounts to the announcement of an official new geopolitical strategy cum justification for its interference in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya.
14 Febr 2020 – ASHARQ AL AWSAT – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu in Munich on Sunday on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday, amid mounting tensions over Syria. On Thursday evening, Russia’s foreign ministry criticized statements from Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar about Syria’s Idlib, after Ankara said it would use force against opposition groups violating a ceasefire in the region. Turkey has allied with some opposition factions in Idlib against regime leader Bashar Assad, and has boosted its troops,
Amberin Zaman February 13, 2020 – Article Summary – AL MONITOR – Turkey’s tone has softened on its military confrontation with Syria with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar telling fellow NATO ministers in Brussels that Ankara sent 5,000 additional troops to the rebel-held province “to secure a lasting cease-fire.”
Turkey’s defense minister sounded a more dovish note on his country’s ongoing military confrontation with Syria over Idlib today, telling fellow NATO ministers in Brussels that Ankara’s aim in sending some 5,000 additional troops to the rebel-held province was “to secure a lasting cease-fire.” Hulusi Akar’s comments contrasted with days of hawkish rhetoric from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who as recently as yesterday threatened all-out war against the Syrian army unless it failed to withdraw from recently captured terrain in Idlib where Turkish and Syrian forces have bloodily clashed over the past week, leaving 10 Turkish observation posts under siege. Erdogan set a March 1 deadline.
Turkey Challenges Greece’s Sovereignty Over 16 Islands In The Aegean Sea
13 Febr 2020 – MEMRI DISPATCH – Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar challenged Greece’s sovereignty on its islands in the Aegean Sea, saying in two recent interviews that Greece had armed 16 islands in violation of the relevant agreements. The Greek government reacted, saying: “It is at the very least hypocritical for a country that systematically violates the territorial integrity, sovereignty and sovereign rights of nearly all its neighbouring countries… to invoke international law.”
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar: “Greece Has Armed 16 Of Them Contrary To The Agreements”
In a statement on January 23, Akar said: “Despite these islands having a non-military status, Greece has armed 16 of them contrary to the agreements. We expect Greece to behave according to international law, the agreements it has signed, and good neighborly relations… We will not be encroached upon in any way. This is not a threat but our saying that we are in favor of good neighborliness is not a weakness. Right now, neither in the world nor in history is there a country whose territorial waters are six [nautical] miles and its airspace is ten [nautical] miles. We are faced with such outlandishness. They are trying to introduce this to world opinion as a reality. We are defending our right on this matter.”
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MESOPOTAMIA NEWS “LET’S GO TO BERLIN!” : LATEST BATTLE FOR IDLIB COULD SEND ANOTHER WAVE OF REFUGEES TO EUROPE
by Fabrice Balanche – PolicyWatch 3259 – February 10, 2020
Various displacement scenarios may unfold as the fighting escalates, each carrying a high risk of negative humanitarian and economic consequences even if the parties live up to their promises.
The battle for Idlib province, the last stronghold of Syrian rebel forces, is heating up again. As Turkish troops clash with Assad regime forces and displaced civilians continue piling up along the border, various foreign and domestic players are considering moves that could send hundreds of thousands of refugees to other parts of Syria, northern Iraq, or Europe.
EUROPE’S FEARS, TURKEY’S LEVERAGE
US : JAMES JEFFREY – WE GO WITH ERDOGAN !
James Jeffrey, US Envoy to Syria, rattles Kurds by stating the US “stands with Erdogan.” He said, “Erdogan is a leader who has been through several conflicts. He’s experienced in dealing w Syria, but he is our partner & our NATO ally & we stand with him.” https://syriandemocratictimes.com/2020/02/10/pol
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