Tag Archives: Turkish

Tear Gas, Water Cannon: Turkish Police Raid Zaman Newspaper in Istanbul

Late Friday, police entered the Zaman newspaper building in Istanbul, firing tear gas at protesters gathered outside. Zaman is closely linked to the Hizmet movement of the influential US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey has designated Hizmet a terrorist organization, claiming that the group aims to topple President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government. Gulen, once an Erdogan ally, now calls for civil conflict against the President

The attack on the Zaman newspaper protesters comes as the Turkish government falls under increased international criticism for its attempts to crack down on journalistic dissent.

Protests followed a court ruling on Friday that the high-circulation newspaper would be taken over by government-run administrators. The court’s decision came with no explanation.

The protesters denounced the state takeover of Zaman press. One protester carried a placard stating, “We will fight for a free press.” The peaceful protesters were quickly shot with a water cannon and tear gas by Turkish police in an attempt to force them to disperse.

In response to the country’s planned seizure of the media outlet, Zaman said that Turkey is going through its “darkest and gloomiest days in terms of freedom of press.” The editor-in-chief declared that the move by the Turkish government represented nothing short of “the practical end of media freedom in Turkey.”

The US State Department maintains that Turkey is a valued ally of the United States and a critical partner in the war against Daesh and other terrorist organizations. On Friday, however, a State Department spokesperson said the takeover is “the latest in a series of troubling judicial and law enforcement actions taken by the Turkish government.”

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Turkish soldiers deployed in northern Iraq’s Mosul region, security source says

At least several hundred Turkish soldiers have been deployed to provide training in northern Iraq’s Mosul region and coalition countries targeting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants are aware of the move, a Turkish security source told Reuters on Friday.

“Turkish soldiers have reached the Mosul Bashiqa region. They are there as part of routine training exercises. One battalion has crossed into the region,” the source said, declining to say exactly how many soldiers were deployed.

The Turkish soldiers are training Iraqi troops, he added.

 

In First, Erdogan Sues Own Country Over Twitter Free-Speech Rulings

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Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News over the weekend characterized the country’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as having broken new legal ground after the Turkish leader applied for damages from the Turkish state as part of an ongoing controversy related to Twitter:

The move has been described as a “first of its kind” by the Union of Turkish Bar Associations (TBB) head Metin Feyzioğlu, who said the prime minister of Turkey had never before filed a lawsuit against the state.

“There is no precedent for the Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic to sue the Turkish Republic and demand compensation. This is happening for the first time,” said Feyzioğlu.

Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) had banned access to both Twitter and YouTube on the eve of recent nationwide elections, a move that was widely seen as aimed at dampening discussions of a massive graft scandal that had ensnared top AKP elites including Erdogan and his family.

The bans drew global ridicule and triggered a diplomatic crisis with Europe, and were promptly overturned by Turkish courts on free speech grounds (the government restored access to Twitter but YouTube has remained unreachable). Erdogan’s lawsuit appears to claim that the Turkish state allowed Twitter to continue being accessible, and Twitter violated his privacy rights by linking to purported recordings of him discussing how to hide vast sums of money, and so the Turkish state violated his privacy rights and owes him damages.

Legal scholars interviewed by various Turkish outlets expressed skepticism regarding the soundness of the legal theory. Nonetheless two anonymous Twitter accounts that posted links to the conversations were apparently suspended in the immediate aftermath of Erdogan’s court application:

Twitter last week agreed to comply with a Turkish government request to close some accounts that officials said had breached national security or privacy regulations.

The two accounts – Haramzadeler and Bascalan – each had more than 400,000 followers, who now see only a red circle with a line through it and cannot access any tweeted material.

 The Tower.

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Questioning Erdoğan government’s motives is not treason

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It seems that it is easier for the Turkish government to put the blame on an external source, such as the media, opposition parties or foreign governments, rather than answering legitimate questions and admitting failure on many Turkish foreign policy choices.

The media in Turkey as well as opposition parties have questioned the motives of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s government following the shooting down of a Syrian military aircraft just a week before the local elections and the prime minister trumpeting that Turkey will not hesitate to retaliate in the event of an attack on the tomb of Süleyman Şah, a slice of Turkish territory in Syria, attracting unnecessary attention to an area that was probably unknown to many until recently, and what would appear to some as him encouraging an attack and to gain nationalist votes in the local elections.

The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government has gone as far as having Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu accuse the Turkish media outlets of treason and acting as if they are the spokespeople of the Syrian regime.

In the latest incident, two Syrian MiG-23 warplanes were recently warned four times when they began flying close to Turkish airspace, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) said in a statement on Monday, and one was shot down by Turkish F-16 fighter jets in line with Turkey’s rules of engagement. Prime Minister Erdoğan and other Turkish officials say that the warplane was violating Turkish airspace by about one-and-a-half kilometers at the Turkey-Syria border.

“The downing of a Syrian military aircraft, while perhaps explicable in terms of the so-called ‘rules of engagement’ declared by Turkey, is undoubtedly an exaggerated response to an alleged airspace violation,” main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Faruk Loğoğlu told Sunday’s Zaman.

Following the start of civil war in Syria, Turkey developed rules of engagement stating that Syrian military aircraft should not come within five kilometers of the Turkey-Syria border. The Syrian military aircraft was targeting certain terrorist areas in Kasab in Syria when it was shot down by the Turkish F-16 fighter jet, according to various press reports.

‘Aiding and abetting terrorism in Syria’

Loğoğlu also said that the move is “probably inconsistent with the principle of legitimate self-defense as enshrined in the UN Charter” and he added, “If the Syrians claim that the Syrian air force is fighting terrorists in the region, then the Turkish action, in effect, also means aiding and abetting terrorism in Syria.”

“The more disturbing problem in connection to this is that Erdoğan and Davutoğlu are daring to play dangerous games with Turkey’s national security and acting as if they seek an armed conflict with Syria,” said Loğoğlu. “This scenario, if actually a plan put in action, is aimed at diverting public attention away from the corruption and bribery allegations and is a cheap ploy to make a national hero out of Erdoğan,” he said.

The area surrounding the tomb of Süleyman Şah was relatively unknown to most Turks, until the Turkish government drew attention to it recently, saying that it is the only Turkish territory outside Turkey’s borders. Süleyman Şah, who drowned in the Euphrates River, is the grandfather of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. The area in Syria where he is buried is considered Turkish territory under international agreements. Beginning in mid-March, President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Davutoğlu threatened anyone who targets this area with Turkish retaliation.

Erdoğan said, “Attacking the tomb of Süleyman Şah means attacking Turkey,” in a recent TV interview.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) threatened Turkey, according to recent press reports, and demanded in a YouTube video that Turkey lower its flag and withdraw its troops protecting the site within three days. The video was uploaded on March 20 but has since been removed by YouTube due to its threatening content.

The criticism of the Turkish government’s foreign policy choices does not just come from within Turkey. The editorial board of the influential US newspaper The Washington Post wrote on March 25 that the Turkish prime minister is acting desperately to hold onto his power.

“Erdoğan tried and failed to shut down Twitter in his country last week. Half a million tweets from Turks were recorded in the first 10 hours after the attempted ban, including one from President Abdullah Gül. On Sunday, the Turkish military had better luck in targeting two Syrian MiG-23 planes that Turkey said briefly penetrated its airspace: One that failed to heed warnings to turn around was shot down,” said the editorial.

The Turkish government also announced on Thursday that it will block access to YouTube, citing national security concerns, following a leaked audio recording that was posted on YouTube by a number of different usernames around noon on Thursday. The audio reveals an allegedly top secret conversation between Davutoğlu, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu, National Intelligence Organization (MİT) head Hakan Fidan and Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler.

Erdoğan confirmed the meeting at a public rally in Diyarbakır on Thursday, saying that the wiretapping of his foreign minister’s office is “immoral, cowardly, dishonest and mean.”

The conversation in the uploaded audio recording focuses on whether the Turkish military should enter Syria to protect the tomb of Süleyman Şah. The voice allegedly belonging to Davutoğlu can be heard saying that “the prime minister said this [the area where the tomb is located] must be evaluated as an opportunity at this juncture.”

When Fidan asked in the recording why they were pushing for an attack on the tomb of Süleyman Şah, Davutoğlu allegedly responded by saying that the pretext for an incursion must be acceptable to the international community.

The Turkish foreign minister also allegedly said, “Without a strong pretext, we cannot tell US Secretary of State [John] Kerry that we need to take severe measures.” Davutoğlu then apparently added that Kerry had asked him whether Turkey was determined to strike Syria.

According to the audio files, Fidan allegedly said, “If needed, I will dispatch four men to Syria. [Then] I could have them fire eight mortar shells at the Turkish side and create an excuse for war. We can also have them attack the tomb of Süleyman Şah as well.”

Sinirlioğlu was also seemingly recorded as saying that Turkey’s national security has turned into cheap material for domestic political consumption. Gen. Güler allegedly warned, “What we are going to do is a direct cause for war.”

Today’s Zaman

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Turkey : Turning mayoral elections into Armageddon rehearsal

The battle between Turkish jedis is raging in the midst of pastoral Turkish life. To those who know nothing about Gülen and Erdoğan garlands of blue and orange flags of the two major parties in the streets may seem like decorations for a city festival.

On March 30, such a common affair as local elections in Turkey will turn into a battle between two iconic characters of the XXI century – Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Fethullah Gülen.

None of them will be running that day, but Turkey’s future as well as the future of the whole Middle East – the place where the world’s destiny is determined, no matter how stilted it may sound – depends on how many of Erdoğan’s candidates win elections.

By force of circumstances two Turks turned into symbols for whom one country is too small.

Islamism versus Americanism

Erdoğan, a NATO country leader, took the path of the Political Islam, which is called Islamism in the West and is considered to be violating rules of democracy which ordains that religion must be separated from politics. NATO and the US are fighting against this Islamism in Afghanistan and Iraq and they have been planning to fight against it in Iran for a long time.

Erdoğan strongly supported Palestinians’ struggle and intentionally and publicly damaged his relations with Israel. After 70 years of a strict ban he rebuilt the Mosques, destroyed by the Turkish reformer Kemal. He restored the forbidden azan (calling for prayer) and the right for Turkish women to wear hijab in schools, colleges and government institutions. It was during his time that Islamic organizations emerged in Turkey, filling in the void left by secularization and spreading Islamic teachings.

Gülen is a living denial of Political Islam. He is a retired imam, a son of imam, a writer and a preacher, the founder of the Hizmet movement, which is opening Turkish secular schools all over the world. Generation after generation those schools produce loyal disciples ready to work for the common cause of enlightenment and better life.

Gülen’s followers are present in all social groups; they can be found among government officials, policemen, prosecutors, journalists and sportsmen. They are also quite numerous among Erdoğan’s people. This is not a party or a religious order, they don’t have membership cards, but they are headed towards rational pragmatism, acceptance of the world and peaceful coexistence with all the things of this world.

Gülen used to support Erdoğan. But after the episode with the “Freedom Flotilla” he stopped supporting him, and lately their relations turned into a direct confrontation.

Gülen has been living in the US since 1999. He has strong political ties there. Gülen supports NATO, the USA and Israel. Shortly before the elections he cursed Erdoğan though he never mentioned his name in his address. And, according to many of Erdoğan’s followers, he is responsible for all the anti-Erdoğan scandals and media leaks before the elections.
Erdoğan called Gülen’s followers “a parallel state” and promised to close all their schools in Turkey.

In March, two former US ambassadors to Turkey Morton Abramowits and Eric Edelman published a report which sounds more like a threat. In their report they predicted that Turkey and Erdoğan will collapse and a coup will happen, if Erdoğan continues to persecute Gülen’s followers.

There is no doubt that these threats, coming from people close to neocons, are not just an emotional reaction from disgruntled officials. Turkey is flooded with Syrian refugees and militants, many of whom are directly linked to US intelligence agencies.

As one of Erdogan’s followers pointed out, groups of Syrian militants have been increasingly active inside Turkey, inciting conflict.

For example, on Thursday, March 27, members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) opened fire on police in Ümraniye, leaving three officers wounded. ISIL is one of the groups fighting against both Assad and rebels in Syria.

The relationship between Erdogan and Putin, on the other hand, seems to be developing in a totally different vein. In 2012, Erdogan thanked Putin for supporting Palestine in its bid for observer status in the UN.

In March alone, Erdogan and Putin talked twice because of the Ukrainian events, including one time on the day of the Crimean referendum. Erdogan asked Putin to take care of Crimean Tatars along with ethnic Russians in Crimea. Moscow responded by promising that the Tatars’ rights won’t be infringed. In April Turkish Airlines plans to renew regular flights to Crimea.

Rehearsal for disorder?

In 2008, Foreign Policy called Gülen the world’s most powerful intellectual of the year. In 2013, Time included him into the top 100 most influential persons.

The global media appear to have chosen to side with Gülen, and in doing so they basically follow Gülen’s own rhetoric. Erdoğan is presented as a “dictator” and is denounced for trying to cut off public access to Twitter and Youtube. At the same time, the media have devoted much less attention to General Sisi who has sentenced to death 529 people in Egypt. The intensity of the media coverage looks to suggest that choosing from these two, cutting off Twitter is a sure sign of a tyrant.

“Erdoğan needs 38% to win, and he will make it, he is supported by half the country, by all rural residents,” – says a bright 22-year-old from İskenderun. This young man sleeps 2 hours a day, he’s been working since he was 12, he is currently in college, learning English, and dreaming of making it to a university. He is one of Erdoğan’s new active and pro-education generation.

“Erdoğan will win. I support him, and all my friends and classmates too, he has fresh ideas and people understand him,” – these are the main messages voiced by many.

All sorts of public polls surface in the media, but I haven’t seen 38% mentioned anywhere.

You could say that the more figures make it to the public domain in Turkey, the more unreliable they start to look.

Erdoğan’s supporters in the media believe that 45% will secure his win.

Rehearsal for disorder?

In 2008, Foreign Policy called Gülen the world’s most powerful intellectual of the year. In 2013, Time included him into the top 100 most influential persons.

The global media appear to have chosen to side with Gülen, and in doing so they basically follow Gülen’s own rhetoric. Erdoğan is presented as a “dictator” and is denounced for trying to cut off public access to Twitter and Youtube. At the same time, the media have devoted much less attention to General Sisi who has sentenced to death 529 people in Egypt. The intensity of the media coverage looks to suggest that choosing from these two, cutting off Twitter is a sure sign of a tyrant.

“Erdoğan needs 38% to win, and he will make it, he is supported by half the country, by all rural residents,” – says a bright 22-year-old from İskenderun. This young man sleeps 2 hours a day, he’s been working since he was 12, he is currently in college, learning English, and dreaming of making it to a university. He is one of Erdoğan’s new active and pro-education generation.

“Erdoğan will win. I support him, and all my friends and classmates too, he has fresh ideas and people understand him,” – these are the main messages voiced by many.

All sorts of public polls surface in the media, but I haven’t seen 38% mentioned anywhere.

You could say that the more figures make it to the public domain in Turkey, the more unreliable they start to look.

Erdoğan’s supporters in the media believe that 45% will secure his win.

Sarıgül is making a promise to build a monument to the “martyrs of democracy” i.e. the victims of the police crackdown on the protests in 2013.

Different sources place Topbaş 7% to 9% ahead of Sarıgül. However, the media keeps predicting a failure for Erdoğan in Istanbul. And it is known that whoever loses the Istanbul election loses the nation-wide election…

Two Turkish men from Anatolia, one young and one old, seem to be equally displeased with the prime minister: “We never voted for Erdoğan, and we hate him. When he started out he had nothing, and now he’s got it too sweet.”

Some of the Erdoğan opponents try to give a more detailed argument.

A 46-year-old Kurd from nearby Diyarbakir who had been to the Gezi Park protests together with his son, says: “Erdoğan is telling everyone that the Gezi Park protests were all staged and orchestrated, but I went there of my own will, no one had asked me to. Erdoğan owns 9 TV channels and most of the newspapers, so journalists cannot write anything against him unless they want to lose a job.”

A shop owner from Edirne, 39:

“Erdoğan will go, his time is over, he’s up to his ears in dirty business. It makes me furious when he dares say the name of Allah and then talks about money. I am a Muslim, but I do not want the rule of the Sharia law. If we had the rule of the Sharia law in place, Erdoğan would have had both his hands cut off. If Kemal had been alive he would have destroyed Erdoğan physically, not just politically.”

“I am no fan of Gülen either, he is even more of a fundamentalist. I want a secular state; Turkey needs the government to make domestic issues a priority over foreign relations. Look what he did – he’s trying to engage in the Syrian crisis, all the while there are loads of unsolved problems at home. That’s no way to do it,” – says a taxi driver, 49, a native of Izmir.

Soon the people will make their choice and we will know what they consider the lesser evil, legalized invasion of privacy or no access to Twitter.

RT Op-Edge.

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Turkey downs Syrian jet near border ‘for airspace violation’

Turkish F-16 fighter jet

A Syrian military jet has been intercepted near the Syrian-Turkish border after it violated the Turkish airspace, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. Conflicting reports said the jet was shot down from the ground and crashed on the Syrian side.

The Syrian Air Force jet was shot down near the Kasab crossing in Latakia province, where fierce fighting between Syrian forces and armed insurgents has been going on for three days, Reuters reported.

Addressing supporters at a Sunday rally, Erdogan confirmed that Turkish armed forces had downed the jet.

“A Syrian plane violated our airspace. Our F-16s took off and hit this plane. Why? Because if you violate my airspace, our slap after this will be hard,” Erdogan said, congratulating the Turkish Air Force on its actions.

Earlier reports suggested the jet came down in Syrian territory while bombing targets in Latakia.

“Turkish air defenses targeted a Syrian fighter bomber as it struck areas of the northern province of Latakia. The plane caught fire and crashed in Syrian territory,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was quoted as saying by AFP.

Turkey’s Doğan News Agency claimed that the jet crashed in the buffer zone between the Syrian region and Turkey’s Hatay Province. Hatay, formerly Sanjak of Alexandretta, was annexed by Turkey in 1939. Damascus has not officially relinquished its rights of sovereignty over the territory, although during Syrian-Turkish discussions in 2005, Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government said it did not have such claims.

Recently, the Syrian government has complained to the UN that Turkey was providing cover to rebels crossing the border from Turkish territory. The accusations were prompted by fighting at Kasab, which the insurgents view as a key crossing and a springboard for their latest offensive in Latakia. On Tuesday, Al-Qaeda-affiliated, al-Nusra Front, and Islamist groups, Sham al-Islam and Ansar al-Sham, announced the launch of an attack on Latakia they dubbed “Anfal.”

Syria reacted to the downing of the jet by calling it blatant Turkish aggression.

A Syrian Air Force spokesman was quoted as saying, by the SANA agency, that Turkish forces carried out a “downright aggressive action” by firing at a jet that was “pursuing the gangs of terrorists over the Syrian territory and did not violate the Turkish airspace.”

The pilot of the plane managed to eject on time, the Syrian official added.

The fighting in Latakia province, in which insurgents have been attempting to seize pro-government Alawite villages and Syrian forces have retaliated with air raids, has left at least 80 people dead on both sides of the conflict since March 21, according to the UK-based Observatory.

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A Guide to Turkey’s Tape Scandal

ISTANBUL–As Turkey prepares for crucial local elections March 30, the country has been convulsed by the release of recordings of private conversations of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and media executives, bureaucrats and businessmen.

Mr. Erdogan says his private conversations were wiretapped and confirmed the authenticity of some of the dozens of recordings, but says many have been edited to distort their meaning as part of a plot by his one-time political ally Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based Turkish imam with millions of followers. Mr. Gulen has repeatedly denied any involvement and the movement’s representative said on Monday he had “nothing to do with the tapes.” Mr. Erdogan’s spokesman did not respond to calls for comment.

The recordings have been posted on social media, including YouTube and TwitterTWTR +0.89%, by accounts with the usernames Haramzadeler (the Sons of Sinners) and Bascalan (the Prime Swindler), but no one has claimed responsibility. Here is a look at recordings that have received the most attention.

The Cash

The most explosive tape, published Feb. 25, purports to show a conversation between the prime minister and his son, Bilal, discussing how to hide tens of millions of dollars in cash stored in the family’s home. The tape was alleged by the Prime Swindler to have been secretly recorded on the morning of Dec. 17, the first day of a sprawling corruption probe in which dozens of the premier’s allies, including three former ministers’ sons, were arrested on allegations of corruption.

On the tape, a voice alleged to be that of the prime minister instructs a person identified as his son to get rid of all the money, preferably after dark to avoid attention. The other speaker, purportedly his son, says he has moved everything except €30 million ($41.6 million), which is proving difficult to shift.

The prime minister has labeled the recording an “immoral montage,” and voiced anger at having his phone secretly wiretapped. The younger Mr. Erdogan has remained quiet through the scandal, and did not respond to calls for comment through his wholesale food company.

Pro-government media went to recording studios in the U.S. and asked them to assess the tapes. Employees at the studios had no clue they had been involved in a Turkish political scandal, and though they reported the tapes had been edited they later said their analyses had been misused.

The Court Case

On March 4, the Prime Swindler published a tape accompanied by tweets alleging it showed that Mr. Erdogan meddled with a high-profile tax case against a government critic five years ago. Mr. Erdogan appears to tell Turkey’s then justice minister, Sadullah Ergin, of his disappointment with the acquittal of media mogul, Aydin Dogan, in a trial over price gouging.

The prime minister appears to complain that Mr. Ergin had not followed the case closely enough. The men then appear to discuss in detail the prospects for reversing the decision.

A person close to Mr. Dogan said the case apparently discussed on the tape concerned charges brought against his company by Turkey’s Capital Markets Board for allegedly causing losses to investors by overcharging its subsidiaries for products sold by a Dogan-owned firm. The case continues despite the company being acquitted several times in separate courts, the person said.

Mr. Dogan, who was involved in a public row with Mr. Erdogan, has also received a handful of fines over tax irregularities that included one for $2.5 billion. They were eventually reduced by a large amount through court appeals and a government restructuring program.

Mr. Dogan’s company issued a statement the day after the tape was released, saying it would “further shake the judicial system in Turkey” if it was authentic.

Last week, Mr. Erdogan confirmed he discussed the case with Mr. Ergin, but said “it was only natural” to urge the justice minister to follow it more closely because it contained “dangerous” details, though he did not elaborate on what they were. He says the recording was “put together piece by piece.”

In an interview last week with CNN Turk, Mr. Ergin said the conversation was taken out of context by editing, and that he and Mr. Erdogan were discussing complaints over alleged manipulation of court documents they were trying to figure out how to correct.

The Ship Contract

On March 4, the Prime Swindler published a tape and alleged it contained conversations between Mr. Erdogan and a shipyard owner, Metin Kalkavan, in which the prime minister appears to manipulate a tendering process.

The Prime Swindler alleged the conversation was recorded shortly after the Turkish military awarded a $2.5 billion warship-construction contract to Koc HoldingKCHOL.IS +0.49%, a Turkish conglomerate that criticized Mr. Erdogan’s government during antigovernment protests last summer.

In the recording, Mr. Kalkavan, owner of the Sedef Gemi Insaat shipbuilding company, appears to tell Mr. Erdogan he had not officially applied for the bid in writing, but the premier tells him he should formally complain about an unfair bidding process. Mr. Kalkavan appears to promise he would enter a bid if it were reopened.

In the end, the bid was canceled and the contract was taken up by the Turkish navy, which has started work on building the ships.

Shortly after the cancellation, a separate $3 billion government shipbuilding contract was offered to Mr. Kalkavan and Spanish Navantia, a Spanish state-owned shipbuilding company.

Last week, Mr. Erdogan confirmed at least part of the recording, saying it was natural for him to advise someone to file a complaint to reverse wrongdoing. “As a result of the lawsuit, the bid is canceled. And the state earns a hundred, two hundred million dollars,” he said, in a reference to the navy contract.

“They are as lowly as to wiretap this conversation,” he said in a televised speech, referring to followers of Mr. Gulen.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, Mr. Kalkavan confirmed the conversation, but stressed it was “wrong to make conclusions based on just some parts of it.”  A spokesman for Spanish Navantia said the company had no doubt it won the tender based on the strength of its product.

The Media

The Sons of Sinners published a series of tapes, the first on Feb. 4, in which government officials allegedly order media bosses to change headlines, censor opposition politicians’ speeches and write stories planted by officials. According to the tapes, the orders were apparently executed without resistance.

Mr. Erdogan did not challenge their authenticity and directly confirmed one recording in which he personally called a media executive to order the removal of headlines from an opposition speech as he watched them airing on TV. “Yes, I made the call… because there were insults against us, against the prime minister… and they did what was necessary,” Mr. Erdogan said in televised remarks mid-February. “We have to also teach them these things. Because the insults were not normal.”

The content of many tapes was confirmed by Turkish editor in chief Fatih Altayli, who said in a television interview that the government would regularly interfere with the content published in his newspaper, Haberturk.

A Guide to Turkey’s Tape Scandal – Emerging Europe Real Time – WSJ.

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The real reasons behind the expulsion of the Turkish ambassador from Cairo.

900Ambassador harbored Muslim Brotherhood operatives inside Cairo embassy buildings for months, Egyptian daily reports

Egypt’s decision to expel the Turkish ambassador in Cairo followed attempts by the ambassador to harm Egyptian national security by conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood .

The real reasons behind the expulsion of the Turkish ambassador :

  • The ambassador was expelled for his involvement in espionage, incitement and work against Egypt’s national security, particularly over the past three months after Muslim Brotherhood following “clear instructions” from his country to support the Muslim Brotherhood, banned in late September,
  • The Turkish ambassador even reportedly hid Brotherhood members inside embassy buildings in Cairo for over two months, removing them only after he sensed they were being observed by Egyptian intelligence.
  • The Turkish ambassador Transported brotherhood’s money outside the country by taking advantage of his diplomatic immunity.

morsi-erdogan-1According to independent paper Al-Youm Al-Sabi’, Egyptian intelligence agents monitoring the Turkish embassy and the home of Ambassador Huseyin Avni Botsali over recent weeks found that many Muslim Brotherhood officials frequented the buildings to discuss “sowing strife in Egypt and planning violent acts.”

The report further said that the decision to deport the ambassador was taken after it was found that the embassy “directly and indirectly supported violence in Egypt” by bankrolling extremist groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood throughout the country. Turkey even funneled weapons into Sinai through the Gaza Strip and oversaw training camps for Brotherhood militants in the city of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

According to the report, the Turkish ambassador sheltered prominent Muslim Brotherhood activists inside the embassy, transferred money to support the group’s armed cells training in the Sinai and Gaza Strip, and provided logistical and strategic support. The paper said Turkish intelligence was sending arms to Islamist militias by sea to El Arish in Sinai and Rafah in the Gaza Strip.

Alyoum Alsabea,cited high-ranking,sources. The plan allegedly was to support the Brotherhood, sow chaos in Egypt and prove that the army was not in control after the toppling of Mohammed Morsi over the summer.

Turkish ambassador in Cairo reportedly aided the Muslim Brotherhood and carried out plans to divide Egypt using funding from countries such as the United States, Britain, France and Germany, sources have told Egyptian newspaper Alyoum Alsabea.

According to the sources, Egyptian intelligence agents listened in on conversations between the Turkish ambassador and the ambassadors of the United States, Britain, France and Germany to move the plan forward.