President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued to slam the Nobel academy for the second day, calling it a "vampire community" for awarding Peter Handke. "The fact that the Nobel gave the award to this representative of the vampire intelligentsia group shows that a vampire community was formed," Erdoğan said, while also praising Aziz Sancar and Orhan Pamuk in his speech.
A Turkish court ruled on Dec. 11 to keep U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz in jail as his trial on espionage charges continues. Topuz is accused of having links to the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen.
Russia, Turkey and Iran are concerned about the increased presence of terrorist groups in Syria's Idlib province, the trio said in a joint statement after talks in Kazakhstan, pledging to coordinate actions aimed at eliminating the militants. Moscow, Ankara and Tehran "highlighted the necessity to establish calm on the ground," the trio said in a joint statement after the talks, also attended by representatives of the Damascus government and the Syrian armed opposition.
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has said that Ankara may reconsider İncirlik's status if the U.S. Congress imposes sanctions on the country amid the rift between two NATO allies over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 systems. The minister also said that Turkey had a constructive approach towards the U.S. on the issue, adding that the Congress needs to understand that they can't achieve anything through imposition.
The United States has barred a former Saudi diplomat from entering the country over his alleged role in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Mohammed al Otaibi was serving as the Saudi consul general in Istanbul when Khashoggi was killed there.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said during an interview that he would agree to meet with Turkish President Reccep Tayyip Erdoğan only if such a meeting would serve the “interests of Syria.” Assad also said that he was expecting Turkey to leave the Syrian lands in the long-term.
Turkey and Greece are at odds over a host of issues but Turkey's recent maritime territory deal with Libya has raised the stakes further in an escalating battle for resources in the Mediterranean Sea. But, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' national security adviser Alexandros Diakopoulos believes that there is no risk of armed conflict between Ankara and Athens.
President Erdoğan has slammed the Nobel academy over awarding Peter Handke, as he went on to criticize it for handing the award to a Turkish "terrorist" in the past. While the only Nobel laureate from Turkey is novelist Orhan Pamuk, Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said that Erdoğan didn't mean Pamuk in his speech, adding that he meant the names known with their anti-Turkey stance and terrorist acts nominated or awarded by Nobel or other international institutions.
U.S. lawmakers announced an agreement on Dec. 9 on a $738-billion bill setting policy for the Department of Defense, calling for sanctions on Turkey over its purchase of the S-400s. The NDAA prohibits the transfer of F-35 stealth fighter jets, which Lockheed Martin Corp is developing, to Turkey. It expresses a Sense of Congress that Turkey's acquisition of Russia's S-400s constitutes a significant transaction under U.S. sanctions law.
President Erdoğan has said neither the United States nor Russia has managed to remove the YPG from northeastern Syria within 120-hour and 150-hour deadlines set as part of agreements signed with Turkey. This pushed Turkey to “take matters into its own hands,” said Erdoğan.
Özlem Alev Demirel, a Turkish-origin German politician elected to the European Parliament from Germany's leftist Die Linke party, claimed that the Turkish government is not as strong as it wants to appear in Syria. "Turkey can only act within the areas granted by major states like the U.S. and Russia,” Demirel said in an interview with Duvar.
Turkey has said it will join Albania and Kosovo in boycotting the Nobel awards ceremony in protest against 2019 literature prize laureate Peter Handke, who is known as a great admirer of former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Turkey’s ambassador to Sweden, Hakkı Emre Yunt, has announced that he will not attend the ceremony, to which all ambassadors to Sweden have been invited.
Turkey has said that it will not approve NATO's defense plan for the Baltics and Poland until the alliance designates the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as a terrorist group. "That plan [NATO's plan] will not be published until our plan is published too," Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu said on Dec. 6.
The European Union’s new commissioners responsible for issues related to migration and the refugee crisis visited the Turkish capital Ankara on Dec. 6. An official statement released by the commissioners following their meetings with the Turkish officials said: “Both sides reiterated their commitment to the implementation of all aspects of the EU-Turkey statement and to sustained and renewed engagement with one another."
Murat Yetkin writes: "Erdoğan wasn’t the only one who couldn’t get all he wanted. For instance, Macron couldn’t get what he wanted from Erdoğan, which was an explanation of why he’s purchased the S-400s from Russia; this was not mentioned in the NATO final declaration either. NATO’s 70th-anniversary summit had two winners: U.S. President Trump, who turned his national target into a NATO target, and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who’s no longer the only target of NATO, at least on paper."