The prosecutor who is investigating the infamous helicopter torture case in Van – subject to a confidentiality order - is the same prosecutor who pressed charges against four journalists to send them to jail. As laws get ‘tougher’, not only journalists, but anyone who expresses a critical opinion gets closer to a prison sentence.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has told his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar that they are concerned about reports that Syrian rebels are sent to Nagorno-Karabakh to fight. “Reports on militants from terrorist organizations from the Middle East being transferred to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone are especially concerning for the Russian Defense Ministry,” Moscow said, adding that the concern was conveyed to Akar.
The foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece met on Oct. 8 for the first time since their dispute over energy exploration and territorial rights in the eastern Mediterranean, and agreed to hold bilateral talks on the issue. Çavuşoğlu said he met with Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias on the sidelines of the Global Security Forum in the Slovak capital Bratislava for about 25 minutes.
Turkey rejected "superficial" demands for a ceasefire on Oct. 3 in the South Caucasus, where it backs Azerbaijan, with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu saying, "Superficial demands for an immediate end to hostilities and a permanent ceasefire will not be useful this time."
Armenia posted pictures on an online government platform on Sept. 30 of the wreckage of a plane it said was a SU-25 warplane shot down by a Turkish fighter jet on Sept 29. An aide to Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said on the same day that two Armenian SU-25 fighter jets were destroyed on Sept. 29 after crashing into a mountain, and accused Yerevan of lying about one of its planes being shot down.
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tore into President Donald Trump on Sept. 24 after he declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the presidential election in November. “You are not in North Korea, you are not in Turkey, you are not in Russia, Mr. President. You are in the United States of America, it is a democracy, so why don’t you just try for a moment to honor your oath of office, to the Constitution of the United States?” she said.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif will hold a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Istanbul on Sept. 22, Iranian state-run Mehr news agency said.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey does not expect to face European Union sanctions over a dispute with Greece in the eastern Mediterranean. Çavuşoğlu repeated Turkey was open to talks without pre-conditions, but added that the seismic research vessel Oruç Reis will soon resume operations after it anchored off Turkey's southern coast on Sept. 13.
Murat Yetkin writes: Turkey had already proven that it would afford any conflict for its rights in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean, and it was not bluffing. There is enough proof to show that Turkey is always ready to burn the bridges if the issue is about Cyprus or the eastern Mediterranean, regardless of the government in charge.
If there is one beneficiary of the Greece-Turkey crisis, it is France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has a very clear stance on backing Greece, which stands in deep contrast to Germany and the European Union Commission, both of which are hesitant to do so.
Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu has criticized US presidential front-runner Joe Biden's remarks on Turkey saying, "Who are you to say we made it possible for Kurds to enter parliament?" Çavuşoğlu's criticism concerns Biden's remarks in which he said the U.S. should make sure that Turkey's Kurdish population is represented in parliament.
The European Union has said that it's "extremely worried" about the escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean. Also on Aug. 11, Turkish Coast Guard Command announced that three people were injured when Greek navy opened fire on a private boat off the coast of Muğla.
The European Union wants to see stronger relations with Turkey, according to a statement by the bloc following a meeting on Aug. 6 between Turkey’s top diplomat and the EU’s foreign policy chief. “Turkey is an important partner for the European Union," the office of EU High Representative Josep Borrell said in a written statement.
Turkish FM Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has criticized his Spanish counterpart Arancha Gonzalez Laya's reference to Hagia Sophia as a “common house.” "If she [Laya] meant that Hagia Sophia should remain a site where believers of other faiths will perform worship, we do not agree with this,” Çavuşoğlu said.
A secret trilateral meeting held between Ankara, Athens and Berlin has stirred debate in Greece, with Greek opposition parties calling on Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to clarify the issue. "Secret diplomacy shows that the Mitsotakis government is on the back foot," Syriza spokesman Alexis Haritsis told the party's radio station Sto Kokkino 105.5.