Results tagged “Turkey”
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President Erdogan denounced the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for "incit[ing] hatred and racism." Shabazz Suleman, a British jihadist who was among some 180 Islamic State fighters turned over to the terrorist group in October in exchange for 46 Turkish hostages, claimed that while in a Turkish prison he and fellow fighters were allowed contact with the Islamic State. According to reports, the suicide bomber who carried out the Jan. 6 attack in Istanbul was Diana Ramazova, a Dagestani who had been married to Islamic State jihadist Abu Aluevitsj Edelbijev, a Norwegian of Chechen origin who died in Syria in December. An opposition party official claimed that the number of Islamic State sympathizers in Turkey has risen to 10,000, from 3,000 in August 2014. Şefik Çirkin, another opposition official, claimed that 12,000 Turkish citizens have joined the Islamic State, and said Turkish officials have not carried out any operations against Islamic State members or sympathizers in Turkey.
A female suicide bomber detonated at a police station in downtown Istanbul, killing one policeman and wounding another; the attack came less than a week after the DHKP-C (Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front) threw a grenade at police near the prime minister's office and threatened further attacks. A Dutch journalist was arrested on terrorism charges but released.
A senior Foreign Ministry official said that an agreement with the US is expected to be reached this month on the training and equipping of Syrian rebels in Turkey. Negotiations continue over the nature of the rebels to be trained, the use of İncirlik airbase for coalition operations, and the creation of a no-fly zone along the Syrian border.
Citing state secrets, a judge stopped a defendant from testifying about a visit to Turkey by Yasin al Qadi, an alleged al Qaeda financier who has been a guest of President Erdogan in recent years. Counterterrorism police arrested 14 people suspected of membership in a group linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party in Erzincan.
The Foreign Ministry rejected claims in a November UN report that said arms for the Islamic State and the Al Nusrah Front are being smuggled primarily through Turkey. Increasing numbers of Turkish Jews are leaving the country due to security concerns. Mehmet Ali Ağca, who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981, was deported by Italy after entering the country illegally to visit the pope's tomb.
The CIA has reportedly asked Turkey for the second time to track down the sources of Islamic State videos being posted from Turkey; so far the government has taken no action in response. A lawmaker asked Parliament about a recent report alleging that Turkey has sent some 2,000 trucks of weaponry to Syria between September 2012 and October 2014. Prime Minister Davutoğlu invited Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to speak at the ruling AKP party's annual convention in Konya. At least two people were killed in clashes between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Islamist group Turkish Hizbollah near the Syrian border.
Mehmet Dogan, the leader of Turkey's Tahşiye group, said he "loves Osama bin Laden"; President Erdogan has defended Dogan. Authorities arrested over 100 members of a teachers' union in Ankara yesterday as they marched in support of secular education, after attacking them with water cannons and tear gas. A Turkish criminal court issued an arrest warrant on Dec. 19 for Fethullah Gülen, an Islamic scholar with a large following who has lived in the US since 1998.
In the ongoing investigation into incidents in January when Turkish intelligence trucks headed into Syria were stopped and searched, 19 new suspects have been charged with spying and obtaining state secrets. The trucks reportedly carried weapons destined for Syrian rebels. Terrorism charges were filed against the editor and general manager of a major Turkish newspaper. Turkey was called the 10th worst country in the world for journalists in 2014 by the Committee to Protect Journalists.
Antiterrorism police in Istanbul arrested Z.M., a Russian national of Chechen origin, on suspicion of assassinating Abdullah Bukhari, 38, a dissident Uzbek religious leader in the city. On Dec. 5, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov claimed that Akhmat Umarov, a brother of late Caucasus Emirate leader Doku Umarov, was behind the deadly Dec. 4 attack in Grozny and demanded his extradition from Turkey. Turkish police arrested at least 31 people, including the editor of a leading newspaper, in simultaneous raids conducted in 13 provinces in a crackdown on opposition media. Police officers who had investigated al Qaeda cells in Turkey were also targeted.
Turkish media reported that Abd El Basset Azzouz, a senior al Qaeda leader in Libya and suspect in the 2012 murder of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, was seized in a joint CIA-Turkish raid in Yalova on Nov. 13. Azzouz was reportedly moved to Jordan on Nov. 24 for extradition to the US. Thirteen members of the Turkish Youth Union were indicted for assaulting US sailors on Nov. 12. The US Embassy warned yesterday of reports that "extremist groups" might be planning to attack the Syrian Interim Government building in Gaziantep.
About 110 Kurdish Peshmerga fighters from Iraq will be allowed to transit through Turkey to replace 150 Peshmerga in Kobane, Syria. Military officials denied a report that Islamic State fighters had attacked Kobane from Turkish soil. Long-buried Turkish landmines near the border with Syria are said to have killed and injured a number of Syrian civilians fleeing Kobane. Following his first public speech since his release in July from 16 years' imprisonment, Salih İzzet Erdiş, the leader of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic Great East Raiders Front, met with President Erdogan. In 2004 Erdis was sentenced to 20 years for making bombs and weapons while in prison.
Authorities today released 12 members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB) who were arrested for assaulting three US sailors yesterday in Istanbul. The US Navy, Turkish national police, and the US Embassy are working together to investigate the incident. Authorities have arrested 386 people in connection with protests in early October against the Islamic State's attack on Kobane and the Turkish response to it. Turkish and American officials met in Ankara to discuss the training and equipping of Syrian rebels.
Three American sailors from a NATO ship docked in Eminönü were assaulted by members of the Turkish Youth Union (TGB), who put sacks over the sailors' heads, threw dye on them, and called the US troops "murderers" in a video of the incident released by the group. The US Embassy called the incident "appalling." The Foreign Ministry denied reports that the Turkish Consulate in Mosul, Iraq was hit by coalition airstrikes yesterday; Turkey has refused to respond to allegations that the consulate has been used as an Islamic State headquarters since the group took it over in June. A journalist who had criticized an official of the Islamist AK party in Yozgat was beaten with iron rods by unnamed assailants. At least 63 people have been killed in a wave of unsolved murders in eastern Turkey over the past three months.
Turkish authorities claimed that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was responsible for the murder of three Turkish soldiers in Hakkari on Oct. 25, but the PKK denied responsibility. A Turkish officer was shot by masked men in Diyarbakır. An estimated 50 to 150 Free Syrian Army soldiers crossed over from Turkey into Syria to assist Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Kobane. A convoy of Peshmerga fighters en route to Syria was greeted by welcoming crowds in Mardin.
Turkish and American officials are investigating letters containing an unidentified yellow powder that were sent to the consulates of the US, Belgium, Canada, France, and Germany in Istanbul; nine people have been sent to the hospital for observation. Turkish media reported that Basil Hassan, a Dane wanted by Denmark for attempting to kill writer Lars Hedegaard, was released by Turkish officials sometime in July, not during a prisoner swap with the Islamic State in September. The Justice Ministry refused to disclose whether Islamic State militants Çendrim Ramadani, Benjamin Xu, and Muhammed Zakiri are still in custody. Police detained 17 students after clashes at Istanbul University between Islamic State supporters and opponents. Intelligence reports warned that Islamic State cells plan to carry out suicide bombings in seven Turkish provinces.
Halis Bayancuk a.k.a. Abu Hanzala, the alleged head of al Qaeda in Turkey who was arrested with dozens of other operatives on Jan. 14, was released under a new court system introduced in July. Among those detained on Jan. 14 was İbrahim Şen, an ex-Gitmo detainee and a top al Qaeda leader in the Middle East. So far, six of the 25 suspects were indicted and only four remain in custody. Turkish officials denied reaching an agreement with the US on the use of İncirlik Air Base in Adana province, but said talks are continuing.
At least 29 people have been killed and dozens wounded in nationwide protests against Turkey's refusal to assist Kurdish forces against the Islamic State in Kobane. Turkish authorities have detained 16 Kurdish PYD fighters seeking to flee across the Syrian border into Turkey; two of them were unarmed females. Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has warned that a massacre of Kurds in Kobane will doom peace talks with the PKK. Three policemen were gunned down in Bingöl. The US is asking Turkey to take a larger role in the coalition against the Islamic State. A lawyers' group accused the Erdogan government of "instigating the [Islamic State] to kill."
The Parliament authorized the deployment of Turkish troops in Syria and Iraq and the temporary basing of foreign troops in Turkey; the opposition called the vote an attempt to curry favor with the West and topple the Assad regime, not a serious move against the Islamic State. Authorities arrested 16 female anti-Islamic State protesters on the Bosporus Bridge. Turkey's top general assured the small cadre of Turkish soldiers guarding the Suleyman Shah tomb in Syria that the military "will come to your side the moment we receive any word about you."
Prime Minister Erdogan said Turkey will fight the Islamic State "and all other terrorist organizations in the region." Turkey is planning to establish safe havens inside northern Syria to protect areas controlled by the Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front. The government is also asking Parliamentary approval for deployment of Turkish troops abroad and allowing foreign troop deployments on Turkish territory. Deputy Prime Minister Arınç claimed that the Islamic State is advancing on the Turkish enclave around the tomb of Suleyman Shah in northern Syria. Turkey added Ansar al Sharia Tunisia and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, along with 14 UN-designated terrorists, to its list of people and entities associated with al Qaeda. Police arrested three alleged Islamic State sympathizers at Istanbul University. New NATO head Jens Stoltenberg reaffirmed NATO's commitment to protect Turkey.
Turkish intelligence warned officials in all 81 provinces about some 22 bomb-laden Islamic State vehicles in the country as well as 30 possible suicide bombers. Police are monitoring IS groups in Ankara and Konya, as well as IS cells in Hatay, Adana, Gaziantep, Kilis, Şanlıurfa, İstanbul, and Mersin. A deputy prime minister said 60,000 Syrian Kurds have crossed into Turkey in the last 24 hours, fleeing the IS advance in northern Syria. Prime Minister Erdogan said 49 Turkish consular personnel held captive by the IS in Mosul, Iraq since June 11 were freed in an operation by Turkish intelligence. The IS reportedly insisted that the hostages be given to Turkey at the border with Syria, not in the contested Kurdish region, where IS is clashing with Kurdish forces. Turkey's consul general for Mosul claimed that some US airstrikes hit very close to the hostages' location, but that "without the US bombing, perhaps we wouldn't be able to survive."