Tuesday, June 13, 2017

European Roundup: Greecey Turkey

It's almost lunchtime so I'm sliding this out to you:

Erdogan Rejects U.S. Proposal

I thought that meant his burial, but:

Kurdish militants claim deadly car bomb attack in Turkey

Turkey-backed rebels expel Kurdish forces from Syrian towns

"US urges halt to Turkish, Kurdish clashes in northern Syria" by Suzan Fraser Associated Press  August 29, 2016

ANKARA, Turkey — ‘‘No one has the right to tell Turkey to ‘fight this terror organization but don’t fight that terror organization,’ ’’ said Omer Celik, a Turkish Cabinet minister.

The US criticism was the first against Turkey, its NATO ally, since Turkish forces launched an incursion into northern Syria. The battle now pits Turkey against the Kurdish-led force known as the Syria Democratic Forces, a US-backed proxy that is the most effective ground force battling ISIS militants in Syria’s 5-year-old civil war.

It puts Washington in the difficult spot of having to choose between two allies, and it is likely to divert resources from the fight against ISIS. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told reporters at the Pentagon that General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke to his Turkish counterpart Sunday. Carter added that he intends to discuss the issue next week in Europe with the Turkish defense minister, Fikri Isik.

They made their choice when they attempted a coup.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said the clashes were of ‘‘deep concern,’’ adding that they were not coordinated with US forces, ‘‘and we do not support them.’’

‘‘Uncoordinated operations and maneuvers only provide room for ISIS to find sanctuary and continue planning attacks against Turkey, the SDF, the United States, and our partners around the world,’’ the statement said....



"Western officials had expressed alarm that the fighting between the two sides, both backed by the United States. In a speech Tuesday, French President Francois Hollande criticized Turkey for targeting Kurdish and Kurdish-backed fighters in Syria, while a top US general ordered the sides to stop fighting one another and focus instead on the Islamic State. General Joseph Votel, commander of the US Central Command, told Pentagon reporters that the United States was striving to separate the parties. The Pentagon denied reports it was monitoring a cease-fire but..." 

They ‘‘welcome the calm.’’

Uneasy truce holds between Syrian Kurds, Turkey

Syria’s Kurds fear the US will betray them, again

It's happened before?

Turkey expands its intervention in northern Syria

Turkey vows to implement migrant deal

Islamic State loses border territory, Turkey says

50 injured by car bomb in east Turkey The attack came a day after Ankara replaced 28 elected mayors with appointees, mostly in the Kurdish-dominated east of the country. Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party, the country’s main opposition party, and the United States all have criticized the move. The explosion occurred Monday around 10:50 a.m. on the first day of Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday.

Message: Iranians unwelcome

They test the bomb residue?

Refugees pour out of Turkey again as deal with Europe falters

They are Comin' to AmeriKa!

UN holds first-ever summit on refugees and migrants

EU launches $390m aid project for refugees in Turkey

8,000-year-old female figurine uncovered in central Turkey

Liked 'em heavy back then, didn't they?

"In Istanbul, a fashion revolution that defies stereotypes" by Tim Arango New York Times  September 17, 2016

ISTANBUL — As Europe grapples with the burkini — a full-body swimsuit that some French beach towns have tried to ban as a symbol of the oppression of women — Islamic dress in Turkey has become a symbol of religious freedom from the strictures of secularism.

Istanbul has sought to become an Islamic fashion capital, an ambition that reflects the degree to which Turkish society has been reshaped under the Islamist government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Under Turkey’s old hard-line secular system, the headscarf, or hijab, was seen as a symbol of backwardness and banned in government offices and schools. In recent weeks, as France debated the burkini, Turkey again chipped away at old taboos, allowing female police officers, for the first time, to wear headscarves on the job.

No longer an object of derision in Turkey — and with the backing of the Islamist government — the headscarf has spurred an Islamic fashion revolution, complete with fashion houses, magazines, bloggers, and Instagram stars. Powerful women in the region, like Erdogan’s wife, Emine, and Sheikha Mozah, a wife of a former emir of Qatar, have become fashion icons for young conservative women.

As the market for couture Islamic clothing has grown in recent years, mainstream designers have sought a piece of the action. DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger designed Ramadan collections, and Dolce & Gabbana sells abayas, long outer garments, priced at over $2,000 apiece.

Noor Tagouri, a US journalist who has said she wants to be America’s first hijab-wearing TV anchor, said she often receives e-mails from Christians who say, “We like the clothes, but we are not Muslim.”

Her response: “OK, you can still wear it. You can still rock it.”


Related:  Afghanistan, EU strike deal to send asylum seekers home

Will cost you $15.2 billion to send 'em home.

"Kurdish militants detonated a car bomb Sunday outside a military checkpoint in southeast Turkey, killing 10 soldiers and eight civilians, the prime minister said. Turkey immediately launched a military operation against the rebels in response. ‘‘For the stability of our country, we will continue doing everything we can to save our homeland and our nation from the forces of terrorism,’’ said Prime Minister Binali Yildirim during a press conference...."

Suicide blast in Turkey near Syrian border kills 3 officers

UN judge under detention in Turkey in aftermath of coup

EU, US have little leverage as Turkish democracy backslides

EU panel wants to delay talks on Turkey joining bloc 

I don't think the Turks care anymore, not with Russia and Iran filling the void.

Someday a book will be written about it.

Kurdish militant group says it carried out Istanbul bombings that killed 38

The little-known Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, and it stinks of U.S.

"Turkish officials said that the investigation into the New Year’s attack had uncovered a network of extremists from former Soviet states. And after the attack at Istanbul’s main international airport in June, which left scores dead, the three suicide bombers were identified by the Turkish authorities as citizens of Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Uzbekistan...." 

Meaning it was a CIA crew trying to split Russian-Turkish alliance.

Rockets hit Istanbul police station and ruling party office

"Turkish officials have detained 26 people after a car bomb attack that killed two people last week in the southeast of the country. The car bomb exploded Friday near the lodgings of judges and prosecutors in the mainly Kurdish town of Viransehir in Sanliurfa province, bordering Syria. Vice President Mike Pence met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim in Germany and expressed his condolences for the attack. ‘‘The Vice President reiterated the United States’ commitment to Turkey as a strategic partner and NATO ally,’’ a White House statement said. Turkey has been hit by a series of violent attacks since the summer of 2015, which were blamed on the Islamic State or Kurdish militants. More than 550 people have been killed in these attacks...."

Pence then hustled off the Germany, where he warned another dictator about the situation.

"Greece’s Top Court Rejects Extradition of Turkish Officers" New York Times  January 27, 2017

ATHENS — The Turkish officers fled to northern Greece in a Turkish army helicopter on July 15, saying they feared for their lives, and their arrival was divisive in Greece and beyond.

Intellectuals, rights activists, and lawyers in Greece lobbied against their extradition, noting the risks of sending asylum seekers back to a country where the rule of law has broken down.

European officials had urged Greece to make sure that the rights of the military officers were respected, all while being mindful of demands by Turkey, a historical rival.

The Turkish government had made clear that it was expecting the return of the officers, whom they have called traitors and “putschists.”


RelatedEndgame looms in efforts to reunite Cyprus after 43 years

"Greece’s prime minister is pressing for speedier action from bailout creditors to ease the country’s huge debt burden. Alexis Tsipras told reporters Sunday that Greece ‘‘has the right for a fair debt adjustment’’ after years of punishing spending and income cuts. He said the country ‘‘cannot wait much longer.’’ Creditors have said they are prepared to discuss better repayment terms for the country’s debt, which exceeds 175 percent of annual economic output. Tsipras, reelected a year ago to a four-year term after negotiating Greece’s third bailout since 2010, ruled out early elections, saying the country needs political stability. On Monday, officials will meet in Athens with representatives of bailout creditors."

"Greece and its European creditors agreed Monday to resume talks on what reforms the country must make next to get money it needs to avoid bankruptcy. Creditors hinted they’d temper their demands for budget cuts — a welcome thought for austerity-weary Greeks who have seen their economy shrink. ‘‘There will be a change in the policy mix, if you will, moving perhaps away from austerity and putting more emphasis on deep reforms,’’ said Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the eurozone’s top official. Easing up on austerity has been a key demand of Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos. Greece’s left-wing government lost support as it legislated for more austerity in return for bailout cash. ‘‘We have not agreed to specific measures,’’ Energy Minister George Stathakis said. ‘‘But we agreed that . . . every measure that carries a tax burden of one euro will have a counter-measure that eases one euro in tax.’’ Greece has about $7.4 billion due in July, and without more bailout cash it might have to exit the euro."

"Greece resumed long-delayed bailout talks with its creditors Tuesday as figures showed bank deposits in the cash-strapped country running at a 15-year low. Representatives from Greece’s bailout inspectors in Europe and the International Monetary Fund have resumed talks with the Greek government on further reforms following a months-long delay caused by disagreements over the appropriate austerity mix. Enacting changes to such things as pensions and the labor market will unlock more bailout cash — meaning Greece will have enough money to pay off debts due in July. Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos said that he expects the talks to last ‘‘a week or 10 days’’ and that the aim is to achieve a ‘‘preliminary’’ agreement by the next scheduled meeting of eurozone finance ministers on March 20....."

RelatedAn economist who was in the middle of the storm recounts Greece’s financial crisis

That was when Obama was in Greece, and well, he didn't, but you know.

Also see:

EU: Migrants to stay on Greek islands despite fire

"A year after the uncontrolled influx of more than 1 million refugees and economic migrants to debt-hobbled Greece, this border region is again seeing rising flows of migrants...."

Any terrorists amongst them?

"Following strong criticism from aid agencies and others, authorities on the Greek island of Lesbos said they would move 250 refugees from tents at camps into vacant hotel rooms as the heavy snow continued unabated around the country. ‘‘We denounce the inhuman living conditions refugees on Lesbos are facing,’’ the island’s public hospital doctors association said. ‘‘They are living in mud and snow, cramped together in unsuitable tents . . . and lighting fires inside them to stay warm.’’


Quake kills woman, ruins houses on Greek island of Lesbos

 WWII bomb defused in Greece

I'm baffled by whose bomb it was.

Frequently trashed by tourists, Rome aims to protect its fountains

That would lead you back to Africa.