Showing posts with label War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label War. Show all posts

Monday, April 16, 2018

Turkey warns Greece after flag is hoisted on disputed islet

By Associated Press April 16 at 8:01 AM
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s prime minister has warned Greece to refrain from “provocations” after a Greek flag was hoisted on a disputed, uninhabited islet in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters Monday that the Turkish coast guards removed the flag from the island off the coast of the Aegean resort of Didim.

Yildirim said the incident was similar to one in 1996 when the two NATO allies went to war over the uninhabited Imia islets — Kardak in Turkish — which both Turkey and Greece claim.

Yildirim says “our advice to Greece would be to stay away from provocations and agitations ... We are determined to give the necessary response to such fait accomplis.”

In Athens, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos said the government had no knowledge of the incident and described the remarks made by Yildirim as “provocative and reprehensible.”

“I think Mr. Yildirim should be more careful,” Tzannakopoulos said. “We call on Turkey to return to a path of respect for international law ... They should take an initiative to de-escalate the tension.”

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Greece’s Island of Despair

Text by ILIANA MAGRAMARCH 29, 2018

The New York Times

His brown eyes sunken and flat, Jahangir Baroch had spent another sleepless night in the metal container on the Greek island of Lesbos where he has lived for more than a year.

“There was no electricity in the container last night,” Mr. Baroch, 26, said desperately, at a center for refugees, away from the holding camp in Moria, where he is housed. “It was like a fridge.”

“I want to go to Athens,” said Mr. Baroch, who came from Baluchistan, an embattled province in Pakistan. “If you don’t want me, I want to go to another country.”

“Why am I here?” he asked, somberly.

Others are asking the same question two years after the European Union struck a deal with Turkey aimed at cutting off the route across the Aegean Sea for asylum seekers, many propelled by wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Since then, thousands have remained stranded on Lesbos, unwilling to go back to the countries they left, unable to move forward, toward the opportunity they had hoped to find in Europe. Though the numbers are fewer, they keep coming.

The lucky ones, whose asylum applications are accepted, are eventually shipped to the Greek mainland. Those whose applications are rejected (they can apply twice) are sent back to Turkey as part of the deal with the European Union.

Trash-Talking Toward Conflict?


The New York Times

By Nikos Konstandaras

Mr. Konstandaras is a columnist at the newspaper Kathimerini and a contributing opinion writer.

April 8, 2018
ATHENS — In a rapidly intensifying war of words, government officials of the nominal NATO allies Greece and Turkey have been exchanging insults and threats in the past few weeks, recalling conflicts from a shared and bloody history. Relations have rarely been rosy, but the speed with which they have worsened, and the level of vitriol, have raised fears that the two heavily armed neighbors may be trash-talking their way to new conflict.

Adding to those concerns is the awareness that the two most credible mediators between the two sides — the United States and the European Union — appear to have little leverage with Turkey.

Greece and Turkey have played decisive roles in each other’s history, and this determines their relations today. The Greeks rebelled against almost four centuries of Ottoman rule in 1821 and, after years of war (and foreign intervention), won their freedom with the declaration of the Greek state in 1830. Turks commemorate Sept. 9, the date on which Turkish troops entered Izmir in 1922 after routing a Greek invasion force, ending millenniums of Greek presence in Asia Minor and leading to the declaration of a modern, secular Turkey.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Greeks vent fury over soldiers being 'held hostage' in Turkey

Defence minister says arrests have aggravated already strained ties between two countries

The Guardian

Protesters have taken to the streets of northern Greece demanding the release of two Greek soldiers detained by Turkey, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

Greece’s defence minister, Panos Kammenos, described the pair as “hostages” and ordered border patrols to be stepped up along the heavily defended land frontier the two nations share.

Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25, were seized 11 days ago after allegedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” deep in Turkish territory. The soldiers say they inadvertently strayed across the frontier in bad weather.

Last week a court in the Turkish border town of Edirne, where the two are being held in a high-security prison, rejected a plea for their release pending further investigation.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Turkey Is Out of Control. Time for the U.S. to Say So.

There’s a real danger of a clash between U.S. and Turkish forces. The administration should make clear that it won’t tolerate any more bad behavior—now.

By ERIC EDELMAN and JAKE SULLIVAN February 13, 2018

Following Turkey’s incursion into Syria, the once unthinkable prospect of a direct clash between Turkish and American soldiers has become alarmingly real. Turkey’s current fight, against U.S.-backed Kurdish troops in the northwestern Syria territory of Afrin, is destabilizing enough. But the real risk will come if Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan follows through on his repeated promises to press further east toward the Kurdish-controlled and U.S.-patrolled city of Manbij. The only way to prevent a conflict is for U.S. policymakers to adopt a clear and tough-minded approach to Turkey now, before things get worse.

Greece, Turkey Try to Calm Tensions After Aegean Sea Crash

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked to calm tensions after Greek coast guard vessel is damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in Aegean Sea.
Feb. 13, 2018, at 4:58 p.m.

US News

https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2018-02-13/erdogan-warns-greece-cyprus-over-gas-search-aegean-islets

By DEREK GATOPOULOS and SUZAN FRASER, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked late Tuesday to calm escalating tensions after a Greek coast guard vessel was damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in the Aegean Sea, the site of a boundary dispute.

A government official in Athens said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim spoke by telephone about the circumstances of the boat crash. The official asked not to be named pending an official announcement.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Turkish president Erdoğan to make landmark visit to Greece

Huge security operation will protect increasingly confrontational premier on rare foray to a European country

The Guardian

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begins a landmark visit to Greece on Thursday, a rare foray to a European country for the increasingly confrontational leader.

In addition to his retinue of 200 bodyguards, Greek police are also to deploy 2,800 officers to take part in a US presidential-level security operation to guard Erdoğan.

“We are taking every precaution,” the Greek public order minister Nikos Toskas told the Guardian. “The security will be on a level similar to that of Barack Obama’s visit. Every detail has been covered and planned.”

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Turkey will fight Isis in Mosul, President Erdogan says

Bitter row between Ankara and Baghdad over role of Turkish troops in battle to retake Mosul threatens future of operation, US says

Bethan McKernan Beirut

Independent

It is “out of the question” for Turkish troops to stay out of the US-backed Iraqi army offensive to retake the northern city of Mosul from Isis, the Turkish president has said.

“We will be in the operation and we will be at the table,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stated in a televised speech on Monday. “Our brothers are there and our relatives are there. It is out of the question that we are not involved.”

Mr Erdoğan's comments came as Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi announced that the long-awaited operation to reclaim the city has begun.

The Iraqi army begins the liberation of Mosul


Even with backing from Kurds, Shia militias and an American-led international coalition, the campaign will be hard
Oct 17th 2016 | Middle East and Africa

The Economist

“THE time of victory has come…today I declare the start of these victorious operations to free you from the violence and terrorism of Daesh [Islamic State].” With these words, broadcast at 2am on October 17th, Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced the start of the long-awaited offensive to liberate Mosul, the country’s second-biggest city, which was seized by IS in June 2014, and is the only significant place in Iraq that the jihadists still hold. Mr Abadi added: “The Iraqi flag will be raised in the middle of Mosul and in each village and corner very soon.” Across the rest of Iraq, following a series of victories this year, it already has been.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Turkish Military Begins Major Offensive Into Syria in Fight Against ISIS

By TIM ARANGO and CEYLAN YEGINSUAUG. 24, 2016
The New York Times

ISTANBUL — Turkey mounted its largest military effort yet in the Syrian conflict on Wednesday, sending tanks, warplanes and special operations forces over the border in a United States-backed drive to capture an Islamic State stronghold in Syria.

The joint offensive on the city of Jarabulus, one of the last border strongholds of the Islamic State, began hours before Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. was to meet with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The timing seemed aimed at easing tensions between the two countries raised by the failed coup in Turkey last month.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Turkey says has duty to protect soldiers in Iraq after Baghdad ultimatum

Mon Dec 7, 2015 7:56am EST Related: WORLD, TURKEY, IRAQ
ISTANBUL/ERBIL | BY DAREN BUTLER AND ISABEL COLES

Turkey said on Monday it had a duty to protect its soldiers around the Islamic State-controlled city of Mosul in Iraq and that they were there simply on a training mission, after Baghdad ordered the immediate withdrawal of its latest deployment.

Turkey sent hundreds of forces to a camp in the Bashiqa region of northern Iraq on Thursday. It described it as a routine rotation in an existing training program to help Iraqis retake Mosul from Islamic State, and said the troops were there to ensure the safety of the Turkish military trainers.