Daily Archives: November 29, 2015

Istanbul police fire tear gas, water cannon at protest over killing of top Kurdish lawyer

Police fire tear gas and water cannon at protesters in streets of Istanbul in violent clashes following death of high-profile Kurdish lawyer

  • Prominent Kurdish lawyer shot dead in Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey
  • Tahir Elci, 49, was facing a prison sentence for supporting Kurdish rebels
  • Protesters and police are clashing violently tonight in streets of Istanbul
  • Police used tear gas and water cannon in attempt to disperse protesters 

Police and protesters are clashing in violent skirmishes in the streets of Istanbul tonight, following the ‘assassination’ of a prominent lawyer and human rights defender today.

Tahir Elci, who was facing a prison term on charges of supporting Kurdish rebels, was killed in an attack in southeast Turkey which also killed at least one police officer.

The high-profile lawyer was shot while he and other lawyers made a press statement, according to the mayor of Diyarbakir city, Firat Anli.

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Berlin May Send 1,200 Military to Syria to Participate in Air Campaign

The German armed forces may send up to 1,200 servicemen to enable the country’s Air Force take part in combat missions in Syria, Inspector General of the Bundeswehr Volker Wieker said.

Germany is a member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State militant group, but it is not currently launching airstrikes against the group’s positions, only providing logistical and technical assistance.

“From the military point of view, to ensure the operation of aircraft we need about 1.200 military personnel,” Wieker told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.

According to him, the beginning of the overseas mission depends on the receipt of a respective mandate.

Earlier this week, Henning Otte, the German lawmaker of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party said Berlin was considering the possibility of sending Tornado reconnaissance aircraft to Syria to contribute to the struggle against the ISIL extremists.

The debates in the German parliament on the possibility of the Bundeswehr participation in the military operation in Syria are due to begin next week.

Al-Sisi launches harbour project in Port Said

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President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi launched the East Port Said harbour development project in Port Said Saturday, giving the starting signal for digging to begin on a side channel to be used in the project.

Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi welcomed the president upon his arrival.

The implementation of the large sea port on the eastern side of the city is part of the overall Suez Canal Axis Development Project. The new port will include industrial, logistics, and residential zones as well as one dedicated to fish-farming.

A road tunnel will also be built under a channel to the south of the city.

During his speech, Al-Sisi announced the project’s features, along with the planned conclusion date. The Armed Forces Engineering Authority will lay out the various stages of implementation, along with details of development projects in the province.

Al-Sisi, during the celebration, interrupted General Kamel Al-Wazir, the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces Engineering Authority and the general supervisor of the new Suez Canal project, during his statements about the East Port Said development projects, when he said the project would end in three years. Al-Sisi said the project could be completed in two years instead.

Al-Sisi added that the government is working hard for future generations. He further confirmed that the project will include “the establishment of a coastal city”.

The president said there is an urgent plan to tackle drainage and irrigation problems within two years: “No one can ever prevent us from building our country,” he said.

“We spoke two years ago about the world’s sufferings due to not confronting terrorism,” he said. “But the whole world realised this recently and it will face the problem militarily, economically, and religiously. There is no way to eliminate terrorism unless it is with confrontation and we will fight this phenomenon that is hostile to humanity and religion.”

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Al-Sisi confirmed that the government has succeeded in accomplishing energy and gas projects in Egypt. “We do not have any problems in these projects at all,” he said.

“I have some doubts and concerns about the businessmen, why are you sceptical about our intentions? I assure you this is not accurate. Work and build; why are you afraid?” Al-Sisi continued.

“I salute all of you. I appreciate and thank all those who contributed in any accomplishment, and we will meet in other projects. We must challenge ourselves before challenging the world.”

The new channel dredging will cost $36 million, of which $7.5 million will be financed by the Suez Canal Container Terminal (SCCT), Memish said. SCCT is 55 percent owned by APM Terminals, part of Maersk Group.

“We are building the side channel which will allow the ships to enter from open waters directly into East Port Said,” said Memish at a news conference in Ismailiya.

Currently vessels that come through East Port Said have to be coordinated with the Suez Canal convoy.

“There was a problem with the ships that enter East Port Said which have to wait between seven to 10 hours to enter the port,” Memish said, adding that he expects the new channel to increase traffic at the port by 2020 to reach 12 million containers.

The new channel will be 9.5 kilometers long, 17 metres deep, and 250 meters wide and the total cost of the project will be $60 million, according to a statement from the SCCT.

In August Egypt launched an $8 billion Canal extension project which it expects to bring in $13.23 billion in annual revenue by 2023 from just over $5 billion in 2014.

Egypt ‘90% sure’ there are hidden chambers in King Tut’s tomb

Search for hidden chamber in Luxor, once the pharaonic capital, points to chamber that some say could hold remains of Queen Nefertiti

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves believes Tutankhamum may have been rushed into the outer chamber of Nefertiti’s tomb.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves believes Tutankhamum may have been rushed into the outer chamber of Nefertiti’s tomb.

Egypt has said there is a 90% chance that hidden chambers will be found within King Tutankhamun’s tomb, based on the preliminary results of a new exploration of the 3,300-year-old mausoleum.

Researchers say the discovery of a new chamber could shine fresh light on one of ancient Egypt’s most turbulent times, and one prominent researcher has theorised that the remains of Queen Nefertiti might be inside.

One of the most mysterious and powerful women in ancient Egypt, Nefertiti, right, was queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 BC

One of the most mysterious and powerful women in ancient Egypt, Nefertiti, right, was queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 BC

Egypt began the search for the hidden chamber last week. Announcing the results of three days of testing in the southern city of Luxor, the antiquities minister, Mamdouh el-Damati, said the findings would be sent to Japan for a month-long analysis before the search is resumed.

Luxor, in southern Egypt, served as the pharaonic capital in ancient times, and is home to sprawling temples and several ancient tombs.

British Egyptologist Nicholas Reeves theorises that Tutankhamun, who died at the age of 19, may have been rushed into an outer chamber of what was originally Nefertiti’s tomb.

Reeves reached his theory after high-resolution images discovered what he said were straight lines in King Tut’s tomb. These lines, previously hidden by colour and the stones’ texture, indicate the presence of a sealed chamber, he said. The images were later broadcast live on national television last September.

Nefertiti was the first wife of Akhenaten, who unsuccessfully attempted to switch Egypt to an early form of monotheism. Akhenaten was succeeded by a pharaoh referred to as Smenkhare and then Tut, who is widely believed to have been Akhenaten’s son.

Tut, Nefertiti and Akhenaten’s family ruled Egypt during one of its most turbulent periods, which ended with a military takeover by Egypt’s top general , Horemheb. The whole family’s names were wiped out from official records later on. Reeves believes that Smenkhare is actually Nefertiti.

This is the second find to be announced this week. On Tuesday, Damati said the Austrian Archaeological Institute had discovered a giant fence dating back more than 3,500 years at the site of another ancient capital city, Avaris. The sandstone fence is least 500 metres long and seven metres thick.