Tag Archives: Turkey

Turkey will increase troop numbers in Cyprus: Erdogan

Turkey will increase troop numbers in Cyprus: ErdoganTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed that Ankara will increase rather than reduce its troops numbers in Cyprus, a move that could further set back attempts to reunify the divided Mediterranean island. In comments published in Turkish media Monday, Erdogan added that Turkey had no need for a naval base on Cyprus as mooted in some reports but could establish such a facility if it was necessary from a “psychological” point of view. While Turkish Cypriots were overwhelmingly in favour of the plan, Greek Cypriots voted against.



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The Latest: Turkey reinforces security posts in north Syria

The Latest: Turkey reinforces security posts in north SyriaBEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments related to the war in Syria (all times local):



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Turkey talking to all sides in Syria conflict for Idlib ceasefire

Turkey talking to all sides in Syria conflict for Idlib ceasefireAnkara failed last week to win agreement for a ceasefire from Russia and Iran, President Bashar al-Assad’s main backers, but there has been a recent lull in air strikes and a pro-Damascus source indicated a ground attack may not be imminent. Rebels also said some pro-Assad forces had left frontlines in northwest Syria in recent days. Turkey has reinforced a dozen military posts inside the Idlib region, which lies across its southern border and is controlled by Turkey-backed rebels and jihadist fighters, trying to forestall a government assault.



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Turkey says Erdogan will meet Putin on Monday for Syria talks

Turkey says Erdogan will meet Putin on Monday for Syria talksTurkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Monday, officials said, amid rising international concern over a looming Syrian government assault on a rebel-held province bordering Turkey. “President Erdogan will meet with Mr Putin on Monday,” Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a televised press conference on Friday. Russia-backed forces of the Syrian regime have massed around the Idlib province in recent weeks, sparking fears of an imminent air and ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion.



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Turkey works with Russia on Idlib amid lull in air strikes

Turkey works with Russia on Idlib amid lull in air strikesDamascus, backed by Russia and Iran, has been preparing a major assault to recover the region. The United Nations has warned this could trigger a humanitarian catastrophe in an area where 3 million people live. Idlib is part of an arc of territory at the Turkish border representing the last major area held by insurgents who have fought President Bashar al-Assad through more than seven years of war.



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Turkey reinforces military in Syria's Idlib after ceasefire call fails

Turkey reinforces military in Syria's Idlib after ceasefire call failsPresident Tayyip Erdogan has warned that an assault by the army and its Russian and Iran-backed allies on Idlib, home to around 3 million people, will uproot hundreds of thousands in one of Syria’s last rebel strongholds. Already hosting 3.5 million Syrians – the world’s biggest refugee population – Turkey says it cannot absorb more victims of the war and has accused the West of abandoning it to face the consequences of President Bashar al-Assad’s reconquest of Syria. At a meeting in Tehran on Friday with the presidents of Russia and Iran, seen as the last realistic chance to avert all-out conflict in the insurgent-held region, Erdogan failed to win a pledge of ceasefire from Assad’s two main backers.



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Turkey renews call for ceasefire in Idlib

Turkey renews call for ceasefire in IdlibTurkey on Monday urged Syria and Russia to halt all bombing on the Syrian province of Idlib, and called for a ceasefire in the region near its border. “Our priority is to put an end as soon as possible to all the ground and air attacks and to ensure the implementation of a ceasefire and of stability,” Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu news agency. The province of Idlib, in Syria’s northwest, has been the target in recent days of artillery bombing by the regime forces of President Bashar al-Assad, as well as Russian airstrikes.



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Russia, Turkey, Iran discussed 'phased stabilisation' in Syria's Idlib: Putin

Russia, Turkey, Iran discussed 'phased stabilisation' in Syria's Idlib: PutinLeaders of Russia, Turkey and Iran on Friday discussed a step-by-step “stabilisation” in Syria’s Idlib, with a possibility of peace with some rebel groups, Russian President Vladimir Putin said after the talks. “We have discussed concrete measures regarding a phased stabilisation in the Idlib de-escalation zone, which stipulate… a possibility of making peace for those ready for dialogue,” Putin said after the summit in Tehran to discuss the fate of Syria’s last rebel bastion.



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Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil War

Russia and Turkey Will Collide Over End of Syrian Civil WarThis is Washington's chance to repair ties with Ankara to counter Moscow and Damascus.



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Turkey looks for diplomatic solution to avoid 'massacre' in Syria's Idlib 

Turkey looks for diplomatic solution to avoid 'massacre' in Syria's Idlib Turkey and the US said they were racing find a diplomatic solution to avoid “a serious massacre” in Syria’s Idlib province ahead of a critical summit on Friday which is likely to decide the fate of the rebel stronghold.  The world had been bracing for weeks for Assad regime forces to attack Idlib, where around 2.5 million civilians are living in opposition-held territory with no clear route of escape if fighting escalates.  Regime troops shelled rebel positions on Wednesday, a day after Russian warplanes ended weeks of calm with a barrage of airstrikes. At least 13 civilians were killed in the Russian bombing, according to monitors.  The future of Idlib is likely to be determined at a summit on Friday, when the leaders of Russia, Iran and Turkey will gather in Tehran to discuss the future of Syria.  Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish president, said Wednesday that he hoped to use the meeting to reach a deal and prevent an all-out attack on the border province.  "God willing we will succeed in averting the extreme actions of the regime there by getting a positive result from the Tehran summit," Mr Erdogan said. Turkey is worried that an attack on Idlib will trigger a mass exodus of refugees fleeing towards the Turkish border. Turkey already shelters 3.5 million Syrians and Mr Erdogan is under domestic pressure not to take in anymore.   Erdogan is concerned about a new influx of refugees heading to Syria Credit: AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis "3.5 million people live there. God forbid, it is again Turkey where those people will flee in case of a disaster," Mr Erdogan said. Activists in Idlib said Turkey had increased its forces at a number of small outposts in the province. Civilians have gathered near the outposts in the hope that Russia will avoid bombing them.  Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, also said he was pushing for a diplomatic solution. “We are hoping that this can be resolved diplomatically,” he said.  Mr Pompeo said he shared Russia’s worries about al-Qaeda-linked terrorist groups based in Idlib but said that a full-scale attack was not the way to deal with the situation.  “We share their concern about terrorism emanating from northern, northwest Syria,” he said. “It is not the way to do that to put the lives of all these innocent civilians at risk and create a humanitarian crisis.”  Russia has so far made no commitment not to launch an all-out attack but has also pointed to the Friday summit as critical for deciding the future of Idlib.  Syrian regime and Russian jets have been striking Idlib but an all-out assault has not yet begun Credit: JALAA MAREY/AFP/Getty Images “I think the situation from a military point of view will become clearer after, among other things, the leaders of the three guarantor states hold talks on Friday,” said Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister.  A Syrian regime source said Damascus was open “until the very last moment” to a compromise that would avoid the need for an attack.  Conquering Idlib would be a major victory for Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on his quest to take back all of Syria’s territory and crush the rebellion which broke out against him in 2011. The US has repeatedly warned the Syrian regime not to use chemical weapons during its attack on Idlib, saying that any use of chemical weapons will lead to Western strikes.  Western government believe Assad could be tempted to use nerve agent to try to break the morale of rebel and jihadist fighters in Idlib as well as the civilian population there.  Russia has countered by claiming that Syrian rebel groups might “stage” a chemical weapons attack and blame it on the regime, in order to induce Western strikes against Assad’s forces.   James Mattis, the US defence secretary, said the US has “zero intelligence” that indicated any of the rebel factions have the ability to carry out a chemical attack.



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