Volkan Bozkır, a lawmaker from Turkey's ruling AKP, has been elected as president of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, which begins in September 2020. Bozkır is the first Turkish national to head the General Assembly.
A high-ranking Turkish delegation visited Tripoli on June 17, with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as the head, accompanied by Treasury Minister Berat Albayrak, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, Chief of Intelligence Hakan Fidan. Upon the Turkish delegation's arrival back in Ankara, Çavuşoğlu said that they discussed a lasting ceasefire and political solution in Libya, as well as energy cooperation, during their visit.
An explosion has hit the Turkey-Russia joint patrol in Syria's Idlib and no injuries were reported, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said on June 16. . As a result of the explosion on the route of the convoy, one Russian armored personnel carrier has received minor damage," TASS cited the spokesman as saying.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on Turkey "to not act as the neighborhood bully," as he commented on Ankara's energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean. "Turkey is welcome to give up on its imperialistic pipeline dreams and cooperate with us as an equal and law-abiding partners – not as the neighborhood bully," he said.
Turkey is blocking the implementation of new defense plans for eastern Europe in NATO over the status of the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), German Press Agency reported on June 15. Turkey wants the YPG and the PYD to be designated as terrorist organizations in exchange for its support.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have carried out airstrikes on Iraq's Sinjar as part of an operation called "Claw-Eagle." Defense Minister Hulusi Akar directed operation from the Air Force Command Control Center alongside Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ümit Dündar, Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Küçükakyüz and Naval Forces Commander Adnan Özbal.
Athens-Ankara relations through prism of Greek people: ‘We are worried for the first time in a while’
Amid an escalating war of words between politicians in Athens and Ankara, we have asked Greek people what they think about the current relations between the two countries. Many are worried the situation could escalate further, perhaps resulting in a military confrontation.
The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee on June 11 authorized the U.S. Air Force to modify six F-35s fighter jets that were sold to Turkey but will be used for the U.S. military. The jets were never delivered to Turkish soil because of a disagreement over Ankara’s purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system, which the Pentagon said was “incompatible” with the stealthy F-35 jets.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the United States is "deeply troubled" by the decision of a Turkish court to convict U.S. Consulate General Istanbul employee Metin Topuz, whereas Ankara has called on Washington to respect the Turkish courts' decisions, insisting that the judiciary is "independent and unbiased."
The Eastern Mediterranean remains a “hot spot," but neither Greece nor Turkey wants a “hot incident," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' Deputy National Security Advisor Thanos Dokos said.
Turkish court sentences US consulate employee Topuz to more than 8 years in jail over ‘aiding Gülenists’
U.S. consulate employee Metin Topuz was sentenced to eight years and nine months in prison over aiding Gülenists. Topuz was acquitted of "obtaining secret state information for political or military espionage," "recording personal data illegally," "obtaining or handing data against the law" and "breach of confidentiality."
US criticizes Turkey for deportations, entry bans of non-Muslims in its report on religious freedoms
The U.S. has criticized Turkey over deportations and entry bans of non-Muslims in its report on religious freedoms. The State Department cited community sources as saying that some of the deportations and entry bans during the year targeted foreign-citizen members of the community who had lived legally, as long-term residents, in the country for decades and who had previously not experienced any immigration difficulties.
Turkey warns Greece to be careful against ‘bad jokes’ after Athens expresses ‘readiness for military conflict’
The Turkish government has commented on Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos' statement from last week expressing "readiness for military conflict with Turkey." "Do not make such bad jokes, this type of joke will stick on your forehead," ruling AKP spokesman Ömer Çelik said on June 8.
The United Nations has received "numerous" reports of looting and destruction in two towns outside Tripoli retaken by the forces of Libya's internationally recognized government, which are backed by Turkey, it said on June 7. "We have received numerous reports of the looting and destruction of public and private property in Tarhouna and Alasabaa, which in some cases appear to be acts of retribution and revenge that risk further fraying Libya's social fabric."
Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos has not ruled out the possibility of a "military conflict" with Turkey, saying that his country is ready for any scenario to defend its rights. "We do not want to go there, but we want to make it clear that we will do whatever it takes to defend our sovereign rights to the fullest extent possible,” Panagiotopoulos said on June 4.