ISTANBUL — For 17 years, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won elections by offering voters a vision of restoring the glories of Turkey’s Ottoman past. He extended his country’s influence with increased trade and military deployments, and he raised living standards with years of unbroken economic growth.
But after a failed 2016 coup, Mr. Erdogan embarked on a sweeping crackdown. Last year, the economy wobbled and the lira plunged soon after he won re-election with even greater powers. As cronyism and authoritarianism seep deeper into his administration, Turks are voting differently — this time with their feet.
They are leaving the country in droves and taking talent and capital with them in a way that indicates a broad and alarming loss of confidence in Mr. Erdogan’s vision, according to government statistics and analysts.
Last weekend, a summit titled “Migration, Refugees and Humanity” took place in Kartepe, Turkey, bringing together state figures from Turkey and other countries, as well as INGOs and academicians. The tremendous gathering served to spread diplomatic messages on how the Turkish state is managing the so-called refugee crises, including the increasing efforts on refugee-returns, and the ever-existing expectancy of closer collaboration and financial support from the EU. The only cover in english we could find on the event is through the state-allegiant Daily Sabah, therefore it does not present a critical perspective on the content, but still is interesting to see a snapshot on key persons’ interactions.
” [Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu] said that in order to continue to do the best it can, Turkey must evaluate the successes and failures of its refugee integration policies, alluding to the fact that just as in Europe, many Turks are fearful of terror and the flooding of the job market by refugees. He said that in order to fix terror at home, one must deal with terror abroad first.”
Syria and Washington were both absent from the talks aimed at ending a war in its eighth year.
A “complete cease-fire,” an “inclusive Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process” and “safe and voluntary return of refugees” were some of the phrases uttered by Turkish and European leaders at a summit in Istanbul on Saturday, aimed at laying the groundwork for a peace process in the devastating civil war in Syria, now in its eighth year. Continue reading Istanbul Syria peace offers few solutions to the conflict→
Turkey warned Greece on Tuesday it would not tolerate a shift in the Greek maritime border, a few days after Athens said it planned to extend its territorial waters to 12 miles to the west of the country.
Territorial waters are a sensitive issue between the two neighbours, who are separated by the Aegean Sea. Turkey and Greece have been at odds over their respective continental shelves for decades.
Turkey has previously warned it could not preclude military action to defend its interests.
Former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who resigned last week, said on Saturday that Athens planned to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea, which flanks the west coast of the country. The planned measure would not affect the Aegean region, off Greece’s eastern and southern coasts.
Turkey’s foreign ministry, however, said that it had noted statements from Athens of plans for the gradual expansion of Greek territorial waters.
In the first stage, he said, Greece will expand its sovereignty towards the west from the Diapontia Islands, a cluster of small islands in the Ionian Sea, to Antikythera, an island lying between the Peloponnese and Crete. But the plan is to also do the same in the Aegean.
Via Sputnik (23.07.18) – Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Monday that Turkey was not fulfilling its agreement with the European Union to help curb migration to Europe, despite Ankara having received financial aid that was promised under the deal, pointing out that 1,200 migrants had arrived to Italy from Turkey since the beginning of 2018.
Via Greek Reporter– Ankara has officially requested the extradition of the eight Turkish soldiers in the process of being granted asylum in Greece in exchange of a “fair trial” of the two Greek junior army officers detained in Turkey.
Greek newspaper Ta Nea has published a letter sent to President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani by the President of the Turkish Delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly Ahmet Berat Conkar.
Via Hurriyet Daily News – Turkey has suspended the migrant readmission deal with Greece in response to a Greek court’s decision to release eight former Turkish servicemen who fled to the country one day after Turkey’s July 2016 coup attempt, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on June 6.
Asked whether Ankara is considering sanctions against Greece following the release of the eight soldiers Çavuşoğlu described the move as “unacceptable.”
Via Bianet (31st May) – The European Union is going to cut 40 percent in financial aids planned to be granted to Turkey. Human rights and respect for the rule of law are sought for financial aid.
European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn spoke at the general assembly session titled “Aid instrument for Turkey before access” held by the European Parliament in Strasbourg.