The other day The New York Times’ resident conservative columnist David Brooks managed to sum up exactly what’s wrong with the liberal order today. He was writing about President Trump tearing up the Iran deal and the now yawn-inducing overreaction it generated from Trump’s opponents. But within Brooks’ specific observations lies the broader key to unpacking a lot of what’s so screwy in both global and domestic affairs right now.
The annual Armenian Genocide commemorative event that the Istanbul branch of Turkey’s Human Rights Association (IHD) and the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) planned to hold on April 24 — which they have been holding every year since 2005 — was blocked by police, who seized the placards and banners about the genocide and carried out criminal record checks on participants. Three human rights activists were detained and then released.
In an exclusive interview with Gatestone, Ayşe Günaysu, an activist with the IHD’s Commission Against Racism and Discrimination, said that “on their way to police station, the detainees were made to listen to racist songs containing hostile words concerning Armenians.”
At an event held in on April 11 to unveil the 2017 European Islamophobia Report — released by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu called on EU governments to criminalize Islamophobia.
“There is no ideology or terminology called ‘Islamism’; There is only one Islam and it means ‘peace,'” he declared — incorrectly: salaam means peace; Islam means submission. He also claimed that populist politicians are “increasingly engaging in extremist, anti-immigrant, xenophobic, and Islamophobic rhetoric to get a few more votes,” and that “centrist politicians are… using a similar rhetoric to get back the votes they have lost.”
Turkey has been harassingGreece consistently. Most recently, this week, on April 17, two Turkish fighter aircraft harassed the helicopter carrying Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the Greek Armed Forces Chief Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis as they were flying from the islet of Ro to Rhodes.
With the illegal seizures and occupation of northern Cyprus in 1974 and the Syrian city of Afrin this March — with virtually no global response — Turkey apparently feels unchallenged and eager to continue; this time, it seems, with the oil-and-gas rich islands of Greece.
On March 19, a group of students at Istanbul’s Boğaziçi University, Turkey’s leading institute of higher education, demonstrated against an event on campus. The event against which they were demonstrating, organized by the Society for Islamic Research, was to champion the Turkish soldiers who had participated in the Afrin invasion. While the pro-government students distributed Turkish delight sweets, the counter-demonstrators unfolded a banner reading: “Invasions and massacres are not [to be celebrated] with delights.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of being a ‘terrorist state’ Sunday, and called Israeli Premier Binyamin Netanyahu a ‘terrorist’, after IDF forces opened fire on infiltrators during a Hamas-led confrontation on the Israel-Gaza border on Friday.
The United States and Turkey are on a collision course in northern Syria, threatening to ignite a dangerous new phase in the Syrian civil war, undermine the fight against the “Islamic State” (IS) and redraw the map of the Middle East.
The epicenter of this brewing conflict is Manbij, where the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkish-backed rebels face off across a combustible frontline.
The self-anointed “world president” of the Osmanen Germania biker gang was on trial in Stuttgart on Monday over a number of charges, including the attempted murder of a former gang member. The man, 46, has not been named due to German privacy laws.
He is one of eight men arrested during a raid earlier in the month against what purports to be a boxing club, but what prosecutors say is a gang involved in a number of criminal activities.
The offensive, code-named Operation Olive Branch, aims at dislodging the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the Kurdish enclave of Afrin. On March 18, Turkish military and allied jihadist rebels took control of Afrin’s city center. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party(PKK), an insurgent group that has been fighting for greater Kurdish autonomy in Turkey’s southeast. Backed by the United States, the YPG has been instrumental in the U.S.-led war on terror in Syria since 2014.
There are no allies to be had among Muslim nations the world over end of story.
Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have taken “total” control of the centre of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in northern Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.
“Units of the Free Syrian Army, which are backed by Turkish armed forces, took control of the centre of Afrin this morning at 8.30 am,” Erdogan said, adding that de-mining operations were under way.
Taking Afrin has been the main objective of Turkey’s operation Olive Branch, a deadly ground and air offensive launched on January 20 with the aim of ousting the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia.
Hundreds of police officers have taken part in raids across Germany targeting the Osmanen Germania boxing club. Officials say the group is involved in violent crime and has ties to Turkish President Erdogan’s government.
German authorities seized data storage devices, narcotic drugs and weapons in nationwide raids on Tuesday against members of the Osmanen Germania boxing gang.
More than 1,000 police officers searched over 60 properties in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Baden-Württemberg and Hesse.
The Interior Ministry orchestrated the raids, suspecting the Osmanen Germania — officially registered as a boxing club — of illegal activities.
Turkey’s national public broadcaster TRT has banned more than 200 songs. The music supposedly “encourages alcoholism” or “propagates terrorism,” accusations the affected musicians reject as ridiculous.