The trial of an Uzbek militant who confessed to killing 39 people during a New Year’s Eve attack at a Turkish nightclub is due to start on Monday at a prison on the outskirts of Istanbul.
Abdulkadir Masharipov has been charged with committing multiple murders, “attempting to destroy constitutional order” and membership in an armed terrorist organization, among other offenses. He faces at least 40 life sentences for each of the victims and an additional one for the massacre as a whole.
The Uzbek national said a senior Russian operative of the “Islamic State” (IS) militant group ordered him to target the Reina nightclub on New Year’s Eve last year, according to the indictment.
“Palestine is an innocent victim… as for Israel, it is a terrorist state, yes, terrorist!” Erdogan said in a speech in the central Turkish city of Sivas. “We will not abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a state that kills children.”
The move is likely to deepen concern among rights activists and Turkey’s Western allies about its record on civil liberties under President Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted AK Party.
So why aren’t US LGBT groups protesting this?
The Turkish embassy in Washington, D.C., denied allegations published in a Wall Street Journal story that Turkey plotted with Flynn, former U.S. national security sdviser, and his son Michael Flynn Jr., to have Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen, who has lived in Pennsylvania for 20 years, kidnapped and moved to Turkey for up to $15 million, according to the Associated Press.
Turkey’s announcement over the summer that it had signed a deal with Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) — of Hillary Clinton’s Uranium One stardom — to begin building three nuclear power plants in the near future is cause for concern. The $20 billion deal, which has been in the works since 2010, involves the construction in Mersin of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant — Turkey’s first-ever such plant— will be operational in 2023.
Turkish asylum seekers have accused interpreters, interviewers, and security personnel at Germany’s federal immigration authority (BAMF) of passing on their personal data to media outlets friendly to the Turkish government.
A joint investigation by Der Spiegel magazine and public broadcaster ARD found several cases where those fleeing political persecution in Turkey had been named and in some cases defamed as terrorists in the Turkish media shortly after a hearing at BAMF or an appointment with the office.
In many cases, their locations were also revealed in newspapers and TV reports – information that those affected said could only have come from inside BAMF, since even their families did not know where they were living.
For the past few years, the international Muslim Brotherhood has found a welcoming home in Ankara in the face of opposition from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. Consequently, U.S. Islamist organizations have also turned to the Turkish regime for collaboration and support.
On September 18, a Washington, D.C.- based organization, the Turkish American National Steering Committee (TASC), hosted an event in New York City with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “US-based Muslim Brotherhood supporters have a busy week coming up,” the Middle East analyst Eric Trager noted. “They’re hanging with Erdoğan on Monday, protesting [Egyptian President Abdel Fattah] Sisi on Wednesday.”
Turkish despot Recep Tayyip Erdogan often seems to fancy himself a world-striding figure capable of bullying anyone, anywhere he likes. As the world saw this past May, when his security forces launched what police called a “brutal attack” against peaceful demonstrators outside the Turkish ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C., opponents of his dictatorial regime have good reason to fear for their safety, even in America.
Tuesday afternoon, however, Erdogan saw that his self-regard was no match for liberty buttressed by resolve: the Middle East Forum (MEF), a Philadelphia think tank, rejected his demand to disinvite a Turkish dissident, Emre Celik, from addressing a conference of thirty members of the Political Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO, that MEF sponsored — at NATO’s suggestion, on September 19, 2017.
Turkey’s schools have begun the new academic year with a controversial curriculum that leaves out the theory of evolution and brings in the concept of jihad.
For Turkey’s Islamist-rooted government, the idea is for a new “education of values”.
Critics have denounced new textbooks as “sexist” and “anti-scientific”, and complain of a major blow to secular education.
“By embedding a jihadist education of values, they try to plague the brains of our little children, with the same understanding that transforms the Middle East into a bloodbath,” said Bulent Tezcan of the secular, opposition CHP party.
When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington, D.C. this past May, he was greeted outside the home of the Turkish ambassador by a small group of protesters concerned about his crackdowns on civil rights and antagonism towards Turkey’s Kurdish population. Within minutes, his bodyguards sprang into action, accompanied by others in the Turkish posse, beating and kicking the protesters – who included women and senior citizens. A 61-year-old woman later told the Guardian she had feared for her life after guards punched her in the face, and when 60-year-old Turkish-American Reza Dersimi tried to assist her, he, too, was assaulted.
Since 2015, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been attacking Kurdish-majority areas in the country.
A 2017 World Heritage Watch report details the destruction of one such town, Suriçi (Sur), as follows:
“[C]urfews were declared six times for several days each from September 2015. These curfews were 24-hour-a-day blockades and led to clashes between Turkish state forces and Kurdish rebel groups, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of people and serious destruction of the affected area. The last ongoing curfew from 11 December 2015, accompanied by the use of heavy military weapons such as tanks, mortar and artillery by the government, was the most devastating one. Numerous historical buildings and monuments – as well as the integrity and authenticity of Suriçi – suffered damage and destruction.”
The clashes have taken their toll on Turkey’s Christian population, which is caught in the crossfire.
On Feb. 6, 1935, Turkish women were allowed to vote in national elections for the first time, and eighteen female candidates were elected to parliament – a decade or more before women even in Western countries such as France, Italy and Belgium. Eight decades later, Turkish women look like unwilling passengers on H.G. Wells’ Time Machine traveling back to their great-grandmothers’ Ottoman lives.
Turkey’s strongman, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, once proudly said that “Women should know their place,” and that “Gender equality is against human nature”. His deputy prime minister said that women not to laugh in public. It was not shocking to anyone when Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies found in 2016 that no fewer than 86% of Turkish women have suffered physical or psychological violence at the hands of their partners or family. According to the ministry’s findings, physical violence is the most common form of abuse: 70% of women reported they have been physically assaulted.
Joe Robinson far left
A former British soldier who travelled to Syria to fight against Isis faces up to 16 years in prison after being charged with terror offences in Turkey.
Joe Robinson, 24, was arrested on the beach while on holiday with his fiancée and her mother in the coastal resort of Didim last month.
Turkish media reported that security forces had found photos of Mr Robinson on social media showing him wearing military fatigues alongside members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.
Despite pleas from the U.S. government to free a North Carolina pastor who made Turkey his home for more than two decades, the Turkish government has charged Andrew Brunson with attempting to destroy the country’s constitutional order and overthrow their parliament.
Brunson has been sitting behind bars since last year, swept up in President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s engulfing purge of perceived enemies. Hurriyet reported that the new charges against Brunson came from a different court.
The culprit claimed to be an ISIS terrorist after being tackled by police.
Conflicting reports claim he has been captured – while others say the man was shot dead.
According to reports the terrorist ran into a police station and attacked officers.
At least one was killed.