Murat Yetkin writes: The upcoming London Summit of the NATO will be a true test of endurance for Turkey's relations with the West. Despite the rapprochement with Russia, there’s no alteration in Turkey’s strategic choice and no attempt to break away from the West. But beyond Erdoğan’s political and ideological stance, Ankara wants to re-define Turkey’s relations with the West on an egalitarian basis. Erdoğan’s persistence to include Turkey’s fight against terrorism into NATO’s defence doctrine is a part of this perspective.
Germany approved 3 million euros worth of arms exports to Turkey since launch of Operation Peace Spring: Report
The German economy ministry said in its answer to a recent parliamentary question that the government has approved arms exports to Turkey worth 3.09 million euros within six weeks following the launch of Turkey's military operation into northeastern Syria. The approvals “did not include weapons that might be usable in the operation in Syria," the ministry said, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said that Turkey is fully committed to NATO, in a piece he penned for Euronews ahead of next week's NATO summit. "Turkey continues to exhibit its commitment to NATO in the most meaningful ways a country can," he said, adding that Ankara "firmly believes that NATO is tremendously relevant and should be bolstered."
The war of words between Turkey and France continues, with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan saying that his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron should check whether he is brain dead. "What business do you have in Syria? What are you doing there?" Erdoğan said of France's presence in Syria. The rift between the countries comes ahead of a NATO summit that will be held in London next week.
Turkey and France have entered a fresh war of words over the former's military offensive in northern Syria against the YPG, with Ankara saying that Macron is a "protector of terrorists. "He keeps hosting them in Elysee," Çavuşoğlu said after Macron said that Turkey could not expect solidarity from NATO allies when it launched its offensive in northeast Syria as a "fait accompli."
Turkey will send 11 French ISIS militants back to France in the beginning of December, Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said on Nov. 28. Turkey began the process of repatriating the ISIS detainees earlier this month, sending several suspects to their home countries.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has slammed the marking of a house belonging to Alevis in İzmir, as he urged vigilance against attempts of provocation. "There are circles that try to represent Shiism and Sunnism as different religions. These scenarios are behind the pampering of destructive projects created in the West that are being tried to be exported to our country, such as Alevism without Ali," he also said, while naming Germany as an example.
Turkey and Libya have signed two agreements on security and military cooperation and maritime boundaries. The new agreements were signed after Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan and the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj held a closed meeting in Istanbul on Nov. 27.
Turkish police said on Nov. 27 they had detained five people in relation to the murder of Masoud Molavi, with one being the alleged gunman. The killing is being investigated by Turkey's National Intelligence Agency (MİT) and Istanbul police's intelligence branch. A special team was also formed to investigate the murder's international links.
Turkish journalist Murat Yetkin has penned an analysis on the killing of Iranian Masoud Molavi Vardanjani. "Was Vardanjani just a dissident journalist or an able double cyber-spy?" Yetkin asks.
The German parliament's internal affairs committee held a closed session on Nov. 27 to discuss the arrest of a Turkish lawyer hired by the German Embassy in Ankara, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported. German MP Lars Castellucci said at the session that the German authorities had granted protection in 27 of the asylum application cases amid fears that asylum seekers' files reached the Turkish intelligence service.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said that Turkey should remain a NATO member despite being "a difficult partner" that became alienated within the alliance. "I say that Turkey should remain a NATO member and we should support that. It is of geostrategic significance for NATO that Turkey is in," Merkel said ahead of a NATO summit in London next week.
Turkish drone maker Baykar's CTO Selçuk Bayraktar has denied receiving crucial assistance from the UK when developing its armed drones, saying "We are not purchasing them from you and we never have. They don't work under all circumstances and they're very expensive."
Russia has urged Syrian Kurds to abide by an agreement signed between Turkey and Russia on Oct. 22 that stipulated their withdrawal from Ankara's planned safe zone. "I would advise our Kurdish colleagues to be consistent and refrain from taking questionable actions as the situation changes," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
Human Rights Watch has called on Turkey to investigate what it said were human rights abuses in territory which Turkish forces currently control in northeast Syria. The group also said a proposed safe zone that Turkey aims to establish in the region "will not be safe" for civilians.