Tag: Erdogan, Recep Tayyip

‘Strategic Empathy’: How Biden’s Informal Diplomacy Shaped Foreign Relations

President Barack Obama had a China problem. His national security team knew the Chinese Communist Party was getting ready to anoint a new leader. But his aides wanted to better understand the man they expected to assume power, Xi Jinping. It seemed like a job for Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Mr. Xi was […]

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An Ancient Valley Lost to ‘Progress’

In his push for economic development, Turkey’s president has flooded the archaeological gem of Hasankeyf and displaced thousands of families. July 5, 2020 HASANKEYF, Turkey — There was something exceptional about Hasankeyf that made visitors fall in love with the town on first sight. Graced with mosques and shrines, it lay nestled beneath great sandstone […]

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NASA Scientist, Detained in Turkey for Years, Returns to U.S.

ISTANBUL — An American NASA scientist returned with his family to the United States early Tuesday morning after nearly four years of imprisonment and house arrest in Turkey, and more than seven months after President Trump said he had secured an agreement for his release. The scientist, Serkan Golge, arrived in Washington on a commercial […]

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Suicide Bombing Targets Major Turkish Military Base in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia — Two people were killed after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives outside Turkey’s largest overseas military base in Mogadishu on Tuesday, Somali officials said, the latest reminder of Somalia’s struggle to curb the deadly attacks that have haunted the country for years. The attack, which bears the hallmarks of the Shabab terrorist […]

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Turkey Court Sentences U.S. Consulate Employee to Over 8 Years in Prison

ISTANBUL — An Istanbul court sentenced on Thursday a U.S. Consulate employee to more than eight years in prison on charges of aiding an armed terror group, a ruling likely to exacerbate a long-running dispute between Turkey and the United States over the prosecutions of three Turkish citizens employed by the American government. Metin Topuz […]

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Erdogan and Trump Form New Bond as Interests Align

ISTANBUL — Relations between President Trump and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, were in the worst state anyone could remember 10 months ago, veering toward armed clashes between their armies across the Syrian-Turkish border, while Mr. Trump threatened to annihilate Turkey’s economy. But these days, as the coronavirus threatens recession and rallies their opponents, […]

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Libyan Commander Backed by Russia Says He’s Ready for Talks to End War

CAIRO — The Libyan commander backed by Russia, whose forces suffered a string of battlefield losses in recent days, declared on Saturday that he was ready to stop fighting and enter talks to end his oil-rich country’s grinding civil war. The announcement was unlikely to bring an immediate end to the fighting. But it offered […]

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Russian-Backed Libyan Commander Retreats From Tripoli

The forces of the military leader Khalifa Hifter on Thursday retreated from their last footholds in the suburbs of Tripoli, the Libyan capital, ending his 15-month-old campaign to capture the city. Mr. Hifter, 76, a former Libyan Army general and one-time C.I.A. asset, has fought for years to try to rule Libya as a new […]

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In Stunning Reversal, Turkey Emerges as Libya Kingmaker

CAIRO — A string of victories by Turkish-backed forces in western Libya this week dealt a heavy blow to the ambitions of the aspiring strongman Khalifa Hifter and signaled the arrival of Turkey as a potentially decisive force among the foreign powers battling for supremacy in the Middle East’s biggest proxy war. Libyan fighters backed […]

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Erdogan Faces His Biggest Test of the Pandemic: The Economy

ISTANBUL — An economic crisis was looming even before the coronavirus gripped Turkey with unexpected ferocity. But the contagion has quickly and ruthlessly laid bare the ways President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has left the economy vulnerable, presenting him with the greatest challenge of his 18 years in power. The outbreak has exacerbated already high unemployment […]

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Trump: Why Waste a Crisis?

When things aren’t going smoothly for President Trump, his go-to move is to change the subject to topics that cheer his supporters and drive his critics into paroxysms of outrage. Mr. Trump’s decision on Wednesday to, as he proclaimed on Twitter, sign an “Executive Order prohibiting immigration into our Country today” seems designed as just […]

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Istanbul Death Toll Hints Turkey Is Hiding a Wider Coronavirus Calamity

ISTANBUL — For weeks President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has presented Turkey’s performance in handling the coronavirus as one of the world’s most successful, as he maintained strict control over information about the outbreak. The presidential palace rolled out a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign, ensuring reports from hospitals, grave sites and mourning relatives remained virtual absent. […]

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Coronavirus Has Lifted Leaders Everywhere. Don’t Expect That to Last.

BRUSSELS — President Emmanuel Macron, never very popular, has touched his highest approval ratings in France since the onset of the coronavirus. As Italy has been devastated, Prime Minister Guiseppe Conte has hit a remarkable 71 percent, up 27 points. Even in Britain, where Prime Minister Boris Johnson waffled over a strong response, then became […]

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From Prominent Turkish Philanthropist to Political Prisoner

ISTANBUL — During a tumultuous day in court in February, the Turkish businessman and philanthropist Osman Kavala was unexpectedly acquitted of trying to overthrow the government and then rearrested before he could walk free. He described it as the best day of his life. “We were acquitted,” he told his lawyers, referring to the eight […]

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Turkey Orders All Citizens to Wear Masks as Coronavirus Infections Rise

ISTANBUL — Turkey has ordered all citizens to wear masks when shopping or visiting crowded public places and announced that it will deliver masks to every family, free of charge, as coronavirus infections increase in the country of 80 million. The order is the latest in a gradual tightening of antivirus measures by a government […]

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Autocrats’ Dilemma: You Can’t Arrest a Virus

CAIRO — When the virus hit, the strongmen hit back as they know best. For Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, that meant deploying chemical warfare troops, clad in protective suits and armed with disinfectant, to the streets of Cairo, in a theatrical display of military muscle projected via social media. Russia’s leader, Vladimir V. Putin, […]

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Coming to a Country Near You: A Russian Nuclear Power Plant

ASTRAVETS, Belarus — Rising from the former potato and wheat fields of a collective farm, huge towers of concrete beckon to one of Europe’s poorest countries with the promise of cheap, plentiful supplies of electricity for generations to come. But the location of Belarus’s first nuclear power plant — an area of pristine farmland just […]

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With Cease-Fire in Place, Syrians Return for Belongings, but Not to Stay

BALYOUN, Syria — Families sifted through the bombed-out ruins of their shops and homes on Thursday in the front-line Syrian town of Balyoun, using a fragile cease-fire between Russia and Turkey to retrieve their belongings but voicing little trust that it would last. “We will never come back,” said Isam Alloush, a flash of sorrow […]

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Turkey Steps Back From Confrontation at Greek Border

BRUSSELS — Turkey has signaled that it is winding down its two-week operation to aid the movement of tens of thousands of people toward Europe, following a tough on-the-ground response from Greek border guards and a tepid diplomatic reaction from European politicians. Migrants at the Greek-Turkish land border began to be transported back to Istanbul […]

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Critics Hear Political Tone as Pompeo Calls Out Diplomatic Rivals Over Human Rights

WASHINGTON — Four nations that are among the Trump administration’s top diplomatic adversaries were singled out on Wednesday for rampant human rights violations, raising questions of whether the State Department’s annual review of civil liberties protections worldwide was being politicized. In previewing the 2019 human rights report — an assessment of 199 countries and foreign […]

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Putin and Erdogan Reach Accord to Halt Fighting in Syria

MOSCOW — After six hours of talks at the Kremlin, the presidents of Russia and Turkey on Thursday announced what they said was a deal to halt fighting in the Syrian region of Idlib, calming a volatile conflict that had pushed the two countries to the brink of open war. They said the agreement included […]

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A Balancing Act for Europe: Stop the Migrants, Support Greece, Assuage Turkey

BRUSSELS — The European Union still has nightmares about the mismanaged chaos of the 2015 influx of migrants and refugees, which produced horrible pictures of dead children, masses of unregistered people wandering the roads, political divisions and a significant boost to far-right populism across the Continent. Turkey’s vow to let hundreds of thousands more leave […]

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Turkey Declares Major Offensive Against Syrian Government

ISTANBUL — Turkey said on Sunday that it was launching a major counteroffensive against the Syrian government, for the first time openly declaring war on the government of Bashar al-Assad and steeply escalating Ankara’s involvement in Syria’s nine-year war. The announcement came three days after Turkey suffered its worst military losses in a single attack […]

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Greece Sends Army to Border as Turkey Open Gates for Migrants

ORESTIADA, Greece — Greece deployed additional military forces to the country’s northern border with Turkey on Sunday to fortify the area and to repel a stream of migrants after Turkey opened the floodgates to the European Union over the weekend. Military officials would not say how many additional troops were being deployed, but they confirmed […]

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Turkey ‘Opened the Doors’ for Migrants Into Europe, Erdogan Says

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey declared on Saturday that he had opened his country’s borders for migrants to cross into Europe, saying that Turkey could no longer handle the numbers fleeing the war in Syria. “What did we do yesterday?” he said in a televised speech. “We opened the doors.” His comments […]

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Turkey Vows to Resist Attacks Against Its Forces in Syria

ISTANBUL — Turkey vowed on Friday to resist further aggression against its troops in northwestern Syria, a day after Russian or Syrian air and artillery strikes killed 33 Turkish soldiers, bringing Russia and Turkey close to open conflict. NATO ambassadors met on Friday in an emergency session called by Turkey, a member state. European officials […]

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In Syria and Libya, Trump Is Torn Over 2 Wars, and 2 Strongmen

WASHINGTON — President Trump has long sought to avoid confronting the leaders of Turkey and Russia — two foreign strongmen who are facing off in civil wars in Syria and Libya. But after an airstrike on Thursday that killed dozens of Turkish troops in northwest Syria, Mr. Trump may be forced to pick a side. […]

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Airstrike Hits Turkish Forces in Syria

ISTANBUL — The Turkish army suffered mass casualties in an airstrike in northwest Syria late Thursday, an attack that could dramatically change the course of the Syrian war. At least 22 Turkish soldiers were killed, said Rahmi Dogan, the Turkish governor of the southern province of Hatay, where the Turkish casualties were arriving. News reports […]

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Syria’s Drawn-Out Agony

The Syrian civil war has entered its end game and it is as gruesome and fraught as any stretch in the hellish nine-year struggle. As the Syrian troops of Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, move to clear the last rebel-held enclave in northwestern Syria, some 900,000 civilian refugees — more than half of them children […]

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10 Acquitted in Landmark Trial of Protesters in Turkey

SILIVRI, Turkey — A Turkish court ordered a prominent philanthropist, Osman Kavala, acquitted of all charges and released from prison, as verdicts were handed down on Tuesday in one of Turkey’s most important human rights trials. Sixteen members of Turkish civil society, including Mr. Kavala, had been tried in a case widely criticized as unjust […]

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He Observed a Protest. Now He Faces a Possible Life Sentence.

ISTANBUL — When the police banged on his door and took him away for questioning one dawn in November 2018, Yigit Aksakoglu assumed he would be home in time to catch his afternoon swim. But after a 10-hour interrogation, he was hauled off to court and thrown into jail in solitary confinement for seven months […]

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