President Erdoğan has urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to pull back Syrian forces in Idlib, saying that two of Turkey's 12 observation posts, set up around a "de-escalation zone" in Idlib as part of a 2017 agreement with Russia and Iran, were now behind Syrian government front lines. "We hope that the process of the regime pulling back behind our observation posts is completed in the month of February," Erdoğan said.
European Union diplomats reportedly agreed to impose travel bans on two Turkish nationals and freeze their assets. The decision to target the two individuals was reached at a meeting of EU diplomats in Brussels on Feb. 4, Bloomberg cited unnamed sources as saying. The move is in retaliation for Ankara’s gas prospecting in disputed waters near Cyprus.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the United States of threatening him and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) chief Hakan Fidan. "Unfortunately, the U.S. threatens me and my intelligence chief, as well as some financial institutions in Turkey," Erdoğan told members of his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on Feb. 5.
The U.S. has halted a secretive military intelligence cooperation program with Turkey that for years helped Ankara target the PKK, four U.S. officials told Reuters, adding that the U.S. late last year stopped flying the intelligence collection missions that targeted the PKK, which both the U.S. and Turkey classify as terrorists. "This makes the anti-PKK campaign more difficult and more costly for Turkey," an official said.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad accused Turkey of thwarting a solution to the conflict in his country, saying that "international law does not allow any country to attack another country, nor occupy it and carry out colonial practices against it, including the transfer of the local people, the raising of the Turkish flag and the opening of Turkish schools." He also said that armed groups in Idlib are in coordination with Turkey.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington stands with Ankara following a Syrian attack that killed five soldiers and three civilian personnel in Idlib. “We stand by our NATO ally Turkey in the aftermath of the attack, which resulted in the death of multiple Turkish personnel serving at an observation post used for coordination and de-escalation,” he said.
A federal appeals court granted a temporary halt in the U.S. prosecution of Turkish lender Halkbank over sanctions violation charges while it weighs other requests by the bank. Prosecutors have deemed the bank a fugitive from justice, asking a judge to hold it in contempt and impose fines until it begins answering the charges. Shares of Halkbank surged 7.27 percent when markets opened on Feb. 4 following the decision.
Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos commented on Oruç Reis' activities, saying that the Turkish research vessel most likely sailed into the area of Greece’s continental shelf in order to avoid bad weather off the coast of Cyprus before sailing off again on Feb. 1, as he also didn't rule out the possibility of a deliberate action to test Athens’ reflexes. "Our response had to be immediate," he said.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that an invitation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to visit Crimea is in force. "President Erdoğan has a valid invitation from President Putin to visit Crimea and see everything with his own eyes, to have, so to say, first-hand information," Peskov said, adding that Kremlin doesn't share Erdoğan's concerns on the situation of Crimean Tatars.
Murat Büyük, who has been living in France for the past 43 years, was denied citizenship last month after French authorities said that his loyalty to France can't be guaranteed. Shortly after, Büyük's wife Şerife Büyük's application was also denied. "Since you are his wife, you have a common living space, you can't deny his political commitment that you support indirectly," the letter sent to Şerife Büyük read.
Turkey will provide financial aid to the Ukrainian army, Ukraine’s ambassador to Turkey, Andrey Sibiga, has said, adding that a deal is set to be signed between President Erdoğan and Ukrainian President Zelensky during the former's visit to Kiev. "According to the deal that will be signed during this trip, the Turkish side will provide financial aid worth 200 million liras for the needs of the Ukranian army," Sibiga said.
President Erdoğan has accused Russia of ignoring the Syrian's regime use of barrel bombs against civilians in the war-torn country's northwestern province of Idlib. Speaking in Kiev, Erdoğan also said there were close to 1 million people in Idlib marching towards Turkish borders as a result of a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive.
A large number of vehicles belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) reportedly entered Syria and are heading towards Idlib and Aleppo, amid reports that Ankara will militarize the Aleppo-Latakia road in a sign of rising tensions between the two countries supporting opposing sides of the Syrian conflict. Erdoğan on Jan. 31 said that Turkey may launch a military operation in Idlib unless fighting there is "quickly halted."
President Erdoğan has warned that Turkey will not hesitate to send troops into Syria’s Idlib unless Syrian regime forces halt their attacks in the region. "We will do what is necessary when someone is threatening our soil. We will have no choice but to resort to the same path again if the situation in Idlib is not returned to normal quickly," Erdoğan said.
The Middle East plan presented by US President Trump aims to “legitimize occupation, destruction and oppression of Palestine and Jerusalem,” Turkey's National Security Council (MGK) said in a statement following a meeting on Jan 30. Afterwards, President Erdoğan addressed an event in Ankara, during which he slammed Trump's plan as an “occupation project” and said "Jerusalem is a red line for us."