Relations with Turkey ‘can’t go on as before,’ says Germany

BERLIN — Germany issued a travel alert for Turkey on Thursday, citing “heightened danger” after the arrest of a German human rights campaigner in Istanbul and marking the latest in a string of incidents that have pushed tensions between Berlin and Ankara close to breaking point.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel voiced scathing criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at a press conference, saying Ankara had “abandoned the ground of European values” by jailing “innocent visitors to their country on outrageous charges.” Gabriel added he believed that Turkey had also abandoned NATO’s common values.

Continue reading “Relations with Turkey ‘can’t go on as before,’ says Germany”

Terror attack on Istanbul nightclub leaves 35 dead

Terror attack on Istanbul nightclub leaves 35 dead

An assailant dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations, killing at least 35 people and wounding several others, Istanbul governor Vasip Şahin said early Sunday.

A police officer was among the killed in the attack targeting the popular Reina nightclub in Istanbul’s Ortaköy district. More than one assailant may have been involved in the attack, sources said. Over 500 people were inside the club at the time.

Continue reading “Terror attack on Istanbul nightclub leaves 35 dead”

Russian ambassador to Turkey dies after gun attack in Ankara – Foreign Ministry

A body lies on the ground as a man with a pistol gestures at the scene of a shooting in Ankara, Turkey, on December 19.

The Russian ambassador to Turkey has died after being shot by a gunman in Ankara, where he was attending a photo exhibition, the Russian Foreign Ministry has confirmed.

“This is a tragic day in the history of Russian diplomacy. Today, Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov died after being shot at during a public event in Ankara,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Monday evening.

The assault on the Russian ambassador is an “act of terrorism,” she added.

Continue reading “Russian ambassador to Turkey dies after gun attack in Ankara – Foreign Ministry”

Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians

ISTANBUL — As dozens of counterterrorism police officers circled his home, the co-leader of Turkey’s main Kurdish opposition party calmly sent a Twitter posting about his impending arrest. Pajama-clad neighbors came running in the middle of the night to stop it but they were too late.

The opposition leader, Selhattin Demirtas, was one of 11 Kurdish members of Parliament seized early Friday by security forces in raids carried out in the southeast city of Diyarbakir, where he lives, and in the capital, Ankara.

Continue reading “Turkey’s Post-Coup Crackdown Targets Kurdish Politicians”

Putin meets Erdogan for 1st time since downing of Russian jet

Erdogan says talks with ‘friend’ Putin to start new page in Russia-Turkey relations

Turkish president Recep Tayip Ergodan is meeting with “his friend” Vladimir Putin in hopes of turning a fresh page in the two countries’ relations. It is their first meeting since Turkey downed a Russian bomber over Syria last November.

“Your visit, which comes amid a very complicated situation in Turkey, indicates that all of us want to revive our dialogue and restore relations for the sake of the Turkish and Russian peoples,” President Putin said, greeting Erdogan in St. Petersburg.

Continue reading “Putin meets Erdogan for 1st time since downing of Russian jet”

Turkish navy ships still missing after botched coup

Fourteen Turkish navy ships remained at sea and unaccounted for last night amid concerns that their commanders may be coup conspirators seeking to defect.

Admiral Veysel Kosele, the commander of the Turkish navy, has been out of contact since Friday night’s botched coup, a source confirmed. It is not known whether he was an instigator of the attempt to oust President Erdogan or is being held hostage by collaborators on the run.

Last night the president said that he was almost assassinated when the resort in southwest Turkey where he was staying was stormed and two of his bodyguards killed.