A nine-hour-long Turkish cabinet meeting chaired by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Feb. 22 focused on foreign policy, with the future of Ankara’s bilateral relations Israel and Egypt as well as its position regarding the Syrian conflict reviewed in a bid to update its roadmap on these thorny issues

Turkey to continue responding to ‘shelling from PYD,’ says Erdoğan

Turkey will continue to up the ante if attacks are conducted against it, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, slamming U.S. State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner for warning Turkey to halt its shelling of PYD targets in northern Syria

Russian footballer provokes Turkey with Vladimir Putin T-shirt

Lokomotiv Moscow player Dmitri Tarasov removes shirt after match in Istanbul to reveal image of Russian president

Don’t sacrifice Turkey to save Syria | Jean-Marie Guéhenno

As suicide bombings rock Ankara, it’s clear Turkey is being dragged down by multiple crises. Its friends in the west must interveneMurderous suicide bombings. A deadly upsurge of ethno-sectarian violence spilling over from Syria. A country whose friendship with the US and EU is increasingly fragile, and is now at daggers drawn with a historic enemy, Russia.

What can we expect from the EU-Turkey deal over the lives of Syrian refugees?

EU and international organisations welcome the Turkish Government’s policy changes to curb the number of refugees entering Europe. But if this will work remains to be seen.

A Syrian refugee carries a baby over the border fence into Turkey. Lefteris Pitarakis/PA Images. All rights reserved.

 

Turkey will continue to strike back at Kurdish fighters of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday (14 February),

Turkey issues new threats to Kurds

Turkey issues new threats to Kurdish forces in northern Syria, saying it will not allow them to take the border town of Azaz.
Turkey and Israel are close to a deal on normalizing ties more than five years after relations were downgraded, a senior Turkish official said on Feb. 16
Turkey’s government will not send the country on an unpredictable adventure amid the continued shelling of Democratic Union Party (PYD) positions in northern Syria, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said Feb. 16

Turkish prime minister issues stark warning to Kurdish militia – video

Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoğlu speaks after Turkey’s military hit Kurdish militia targets around the northwestern Syrian town of Azaz on Saturday. He orders the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to immediately evacuate the Minnigh airbase, amid suggestions that Ankara could take military action inside Syria. The shelling came just days after the US and Russia agreed on a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria within a week

Syrian refugees in Turkey are pawns in a geopolitical game | Cihan Tugal

Turkey’s government is trying to negotiate with the EU, using refugees as bargaining chips. This hardly brings the crisis closer to a resolutionIn September 2015, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council,alarmingly prophesied: “We are talking about millions of potential refugees trying to reach Europe, not thousands.” In a short space of time his worries were confirmed. Today, Europe’s best bet against the mounting crisis seems to be to deploy the new regime in Turkey, the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), with its mutating mixture of extreme nationalism, conservative religion, and militarisation. A harsh crackdown on refugees within Turkey began in October and has continued unabated. As one lawyer put it, Europe has “outsourced its border security to Turkey”.

Ankara has protested a statement by Washington classifying Turkey along with the “terrorist organization” Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria, while also warning the Syrian Kurdish militia of a “severe response” if they advance toward Azaz

Turkey shells Kurdish militia in Syria

Turkey shells a Kurdish militia in northern Syria and demands it retreat from territory it has seized, prompting concern in Washington.
Armed group strikes defiant note after Turkey demands Kurdish withdrawal from captured territories in Syria’s north.
The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Feb. 14 rejected Turkish demands to withdraw from positions near the border, and warned that Syrians would resist any Turkish intervention in the country
U.S. State Department spokesperson John Kirby has urged both Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to step back and to focus on tackling the “common threat” of ISIL
The Turkish army shelled positions held by Kurdish-backed militia in northern Syria for a second day on Feb. 14, killing two militants, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group has said

Kurds carve out new reality in northern Syria

Kurdish YPG – viewed warily by the opposition and given a wide berth by the regime – advancing towards areas they have previously avoided

Amid the chaos in northern Syria in recent months, several themes have emerged.

 

Kurdish-backed forces take parts of town, edge closer to Turkish border: Monitor

The Kurdish-backed Syria Democratic Forces have taken control of around 70 percent of Tal Rifaat, a town between Aleppo city and Azaz near the Turkish border, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights conflict monitor said on Feb. 15
Saudi military jets have arrived at Turkey’s İncirlik air base in the southern province of Adana to carry out missions against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), a Saudi military spokesman said late on Feb. 13
Syrian forces, aided by Russian airstrikes, move closer toward a siege on Aleppo
Los Angeles Times
Pro-government forces backed by Russian airstrikes consolidated their grip Friday on strategic terrain in northwestern Syria, escalating an offensive that has pushed thousands of civilians toward Turkey and raised the prospect of a siege on the long
Turkey Poised to Invade Syria? Is NATO – Russia Confrontation Possible?Sputnik International
Chairperson of the Upper House committee for Foreign Affairs of Russian Federation Kosachev has said in case Turkey launches ground operation into Syria, a comprehensive war involving Russia and Iran might break out.
PM Davutoğlu again attacks Russia, accusing the Kremlin of threatening world war to forcibly impose its policies on Syria
ONE ON ONE – In Turkey, truth is underrated as it is not the primary thing that voters expect from political actors and there is already an acceptance that politicians lie, according to Ferdi Ferhat Özsoy, the co-founder of online fact-checking website ‘Share of Truth,’ which fact-checks the statements of Turkish politicians
Locals from the southeastern town of Nusaybin have started to flee their homes after Turkey’s interior minister signaled last week that operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) would expand to the town

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