Archive for the 'Turkey' Category

Erdogan’s Turkey Deports Palestinians to War-Torn Syria

Erdogan angry

Based on report by Action Group for Palestinians of Syria

May 30, 2015 – Unprecedented: Turkish authorities deported nine Palestinian Syrian refugees to the north of Syria, who were arrested while trying to reach Greece.

According to one of the deportees, they had been arrested in the Turkish city of Izmir, where they were harassed by the security men. They were then deported by bus to a border camp, as they were told.

Suddenly, however, at the border the soldiers transferred them outside of the Turkish border, telling them they were forbidden from entering Turkish territory for a year.

The refugees stressed that the Turkish authorities did not give them any official document confirming the reason for deportation.

For their part, activists saw that this move constitutes a great threat to the lives of refugees owning to the acts of bombing and clashes in northern Syria, and noted this violated international law prohibiting the return of refugees to areas of conflict from which they fled.

Turkey to double UNESCO funding, due to US, Israel cuts

Turkey is becoming one of the most loyal backers of UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, recently deciding to double its annual contribution, after donating an additional $5 million last year.

According to news reports, the move is aimed to compensate for the lost revenue from the US and Israel, following their suspension of payments after Palestine became a full member of the organization. According to estimates, Turkey contributes around 1.3% of UNESCO’s budget and this should go up to 2.5%. The US alone gives 22%.

It is interesting that the cut of US funds is presented as the primary consideration behind this move. Turkey, a NATO member, is a traditional friend of the United States and one is not used to reading such an explicit motivation coming from allies.

However, this is not all due to altruism for UNESCO’s mission. Turkey is home to many important cultural sites from many different cultures. Strengthening their position at UNESCO is an asset for Turkish diplomacy. Turkey was recently elected to UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for the next four years and four Turkish programs had been accepted into UNESCO’s memorial programs. This hasn’t got unnoticed and has angered its neighbor and traditional rival Armenia.

NGO to U.N. Rights Council: Turkey Should Learn From Israel on Peaceful Protest

UN Watch Statement to UN Human Rights Council
Item 10: Technical assistance and capacity-building
12 June 2013

Thank you, Mr. President.

UN Watch welcomes today’s report by the Voluntary Fund for Technical Cooperation in the field of human rights.

Annex 1 lists the 19 countries where human rights advisers have been deployed. One cannot help but notice that these are all located in the South, and in the East. Not a single country from WEOG, the Western group, is included. Yet some stand in clear need of human rights advice and capacity building.

For example, as we meet, one member of this group is experiencing grave challenges in handling peaceful protests. According to that country’s medical association, more than 5,000 people have been wounded. A large number have lost their eyes, injured by water cannons, as well as close-range shots from tear gas canisters and plastic bullets aimed directly at them.

In this regard, the Office of the High Commissioner has recognized an excessive use of force. It could now also offer advice. It could point to the model of a nearby country, which two years ago witnessed its own mass protests. Tents were pitched across the center of its largest city. Hundreds of thousands rallied for social justice. Yet the government’s response was entirely peaceful, leading only to the election of new political parties…

World Leaders Condemn Turkey’s Erdogan over Zionism Slur

Condemnations of Turkish PM Erdogan from White House, Secretary of State John Kerry, German FM Westwerwelle, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Israeli PM Netanyahu, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger, EU Special Envoy Andreas Reinicke, EU High Representative Catherine Ashton

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: (speaking at UN forum on tolerance, Vienna, Feb. 27, 2013 | VIDEO HERE): “Just as with Zionism, anti-Semitism and fascism, it has become impossible not to see Islamophobia as a crime against humanity.” Source

UN Watch was the first in the world to expose his remarks, and to call on the UN and world leaders to condemn them. Feb. 28, 2:30 am EST:

UN Watch expressed shock over anti-Jewish remarks delivered by Turkish prime minister Tayyip Erdogan at a UN summit for tolerance, and urged UN chief Ban Ki-moon — who was present on the stage yet stayed silent — to speak out and condemn the speech. The Geneva-based human rights group also called on Erdogan to apologize. “We remind secretary-general Ban Ki-moon that his predecessor Kofi Annan recognized that the UN’s 1975 Zionism-is-racism resolution was an expression of anti-Semitism, and he hailed its repeal,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer. “Erdogan’s misuse of this global podium to incite hatred, and his resort to Ahmandinejad-style pronouncements appealing to the lowest common denominator in the Muslim world,” said Neuer, “will only strengthen the belief that his government is hewing to a confrontational stance, and fundamentally unwilling to end its four-year-old feud with Israel.” Source Continue reading ‘World Leaders Condemn Turkey’s Erdogan over Zionism Slur’

Germany Condemns Turkish PM Erdogan for “Hurtful and Unacceptable” Remarks

EU must also speak out, as did UN’s Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State Kerry

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (podium, right) and Ban Ki-moon (seated second from left)

GENEVA, March 3, 2013 – UN Watch, the Geneva-based human rights group that was first to expose and criticize the Turkish prime minister’s UN speech calling Zionism a “crime against humanity,” welcomed the latest statement by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemning Mr. Erdogan’s remarks as “hurtful and unacceptable.”

UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer urged European Union leaders to speak out as well, noting that many EU representatives were present at the Vienna speech yet stayed silent.

“We call on EU High Representative Catherine Ashton, EU Commission President Barroso, EU Council President Hermann Van Rompuy, and European Parliament president Shulz to issue strong and unequivocal statements condemning the repugnant speech of the Turkish prime minister. If the UN, Germany and the US have done so, the EU should do the right thing as well,” said Neuer.

“For Mr. Erdogan to attack a fellow UN member state’s right to self-determination, and its historical and cultural underpinnings, is inconsistent with Turkey’s international obligations under UN conventions against incitement to racism,” said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

Other world leaders have also condemned Mr. Erdogan: Continue reading ‘Germany Condemns Turkish PM Erdogan for “Hurtful and Unacceptable” Remarks’

Full Transcript: Kerry calls Erodgan remark “objectionable”

(CQ Transcription)


March 1, 2013 Friday

DAVUTOGLU (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Distinguished members of the press, his Excellency U.S. Secretary of State, my dear friend, Mr. John Kerry, it’s a pleasure to have you in our beautiful country and in our capital city. And it’s a privilege for us to be able to host you or accommodate you in this very historical landmark.
We have been in close collaboration with Mr. Kerry for a really long time because of his duty in the Senate. That’s why his assuming the duty of the Secretary of State of the United States of America brings another momentum to the relations, which are already very strong between us. I would like to wish him the best of luck and success in his future endeavors. His first visit to Turkey is a matter of pride and joy for us. I’d like to underline that fact.
And right before the bilateral talks, we’ve had the chance to go to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to extend his condolences. And I would like to extend my condolences to the United States of America and the nation for that — for the terrorist attack that happened quite recently. And I would like to wish my condolences to the family of Mustafa Akarsu, who had lost his life in the attack. And I would like to wish that Didem Tuncay, the journalist who got injured as a result of the attack, will get better soon.
We were in Rome quite recently with Mr. Kerry, and we’ve had the chance to discuss over some folders that we had in our possessions, and we’ve attended certain dinners where we had the chance to discuss issues of mutual interest. And today, we’ve had the chance to exchange information about Syria. These were all very multilateral talks, but this time we’ve had the chance to dwell upon these issues in a very meticulous detail all by ourselves. Continue reading ‘Full Transcript: Kerry calls Erodgan remark “objectionable”’

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