Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

US probing New Jersey attack as 'domestic terrorism'

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) – Authorities are investigating a bloody attack this week on a kosher market in the U.S. state of New Jersey as a potential act of domestic terrorism.

Speaking at a press briefing, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said authorities believe the suspects held views that reflected hatred of the Jewish people and a hatred of law enforcement.

"The evidence points towards acts of hate," said Grewal. "I can confirm that we are investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs."

The shooters were identified as David Anderson, 47, and Francine Graham, 50.

Grewal said they "expressed interest" in the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, noting the authorities have yet to definitively establish any formal links to that organization or to any other group.

"Based on the available evidence, we believe the two shooters were acting on their own," he added.

The gun battle Tuesday between police and the suspects at the Jewish JC Kosher Supermarket in Jersey City lasted more than four hours. In all, six people died in the carnage, including the two shooters, a police officer and three bystanders.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey to resolutely continue to fight terrorism: VP

By Emin Avundukluoglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey is determined to continue its fight against terrorism in the region, the country’s vice president said Monday.

"Our fight is to eliminate the terror threat, which has caused trouble to us for many years, at its source, and it will resolutely continue," Fuat Oktay told lawmakers during his budget speech.

Oktay noted that the YPG/PKK did not represent the Kurds.

The terror group “is as dangerous as Daesh," he said.

Otkay said Turkey will provide peace and security on the eastern side of the Euphrates River in Syria.

"We will do it for our brothers of all origins — Arabic, Kurdish, Ezidi, Chaldeans," he added.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – Turkey: Updating NATO's security codes 'inevitable'

UPDATES WITH MORE REMARKS OF TURKISH VICE PRESIDENT

By Jeyhun Aliyev and Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) – Given the threats Turkey faces, updating NATO's security codes will be "inevitable", the Turkish vice president said Thursday.

Speaking at a public event in the capital Ankara, Fuat Oktay said that through its "historic agreement" with Libya on maritime frontiers in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey had made an "important contribution" to "sustainable peace".

He added that the Turkish parliament would vote on the Turkey-Libya deal on Thursday.

The Turkish vice president said that peace and Turkey-Libya fellowship will triumph in the Eastern Mediterranean with the parliament's vote.

On Nov. 27, at the Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul, Turkey and Libya’s Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) signed the memorandum laying out the two countries’ marine jurisdictions.

Libya, an oil-rich country, has remained beset by turmoil since 2011, when longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi was ousted and killed in a NATO-backed uprising after four decades in power.

The country has since seen the emergence of two rival seats of power: one in eastern Libya, to which military commander Khalifa Haftar is affiliated, and the Government of National Accord, which enjoys UN recognition.

The memorandum asserts Turkey’s rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.

Turkey, meanwhile, has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the TRNC also has rights to the resources in the area.

Speaking about terrorism and irregular migration, the Turkish vice president said these issues have reached advanced levels, adding that no single country can solve the problem alone without cooperation.

"The NATO Leaders Summit, which was conducted in such an environment, has once again demonstrated the value of the alliance," he said.

He also reiterated that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the summit called on allies to show a "common attitude towards terror".

"Turkey's borders are also the borders of NATO and attacks occurred in our region are directly related to NATO," he said.

Oktay went on to say that NATO allies will be much stronger on the basis of "sincere solidarity" against the common threat of terrorism.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

UPDATE – Erdogan condemns associating Islam with terrorism

CHANGES DECK, ADDS MORE REMARKS FROM ERDOGAN

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal and Zehra Nur Duz

ANKARA/LONDON (AA) – Turkey's president on Wednesday condemned those who use the word 'Islam' as an adjective to describe terrorism.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during an event at a venue in east London organized by the AK Party’s UK branch presidency where he and First Lady Emine Erdogan met representatives of the Turkish community following a NATO summit in London.

Underlining that racism, discrimination, anti-Semitism and hostility towards Islam have recently increased in Europe, Erdogan said far-right movements are mostly targeting Muslims and the Turkish community.

“The last European Parliament elections have once again demonstrated that identity politics is becoming increasingly dominant in Europe,” he said, adding the media and some politicians have deepened these prejudices with their irresponsible statements.

Erdogan also touched on Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

“Those who think they can discipline Turkey with terrorism and blackmail are embarrassed after failing to achieve their target.”

He added that Turkey is “independent in its foreign policy” and does not seek approval of operations for its own security.

Turkey will not leave the Operation Peace Spring area in northern Syria until it is cleared of terrorists, he underscored.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Erdogan also underlined that Turkey currently hosts more than four million Syrians who took refuge within its borders.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

He also criticized the EU for failing to fulfill its pledge to financially support Turkey for refugees it hosts.

On bilateral relations between Turkey and the U.K., Erdogan said the deep-rooted cooperation between the two countries is developing day by day and is getting stronger by acquiring new dimensions.

He stressed that the bilateral trade volume between Turkey and the U.K. reached $18.6 billion in 2018.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

Erdogan condemns associating Islam with terrorism

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal and Zehra Nur Duz

ANKARA/LONDON (AA) – Turkey's president on Wednesday condemned those who use the word 'Islam' as an adjective to describe terrorism.

“Islam is a religion of peace,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during an event at a venue in east London organized by the AK Party’s UK branch presidency where he and First Lady Emine Erdogan met representatives of the Turkish community.

Erdogan also touched on Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

“Those who think they can discipline Turkey with terrorism and blackmail are embarrassed after failing to achieve their target.”

He added that Turkey is “independent in its foreign policy” and does not seek approval of operations for its own security.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

PKK terrorism a ‘real threat’ to Turkey, says UK PM

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday the terrorist threat from the PKK to Turkey was recognized during a quartet meeting with Turkish, French and German leaders.

Speaking at a press conference following the NATO summit in London, Johnson said he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a “good” meeting on the sidelines of the summit on Tuesday.

“We discussed the great complexity of the situation in northern Syria,” Johnson said.

Johnson said they “clearly recognized the huge pressure Turkey faces” from 4 million refugees it is accommodating and “the terrorist threat from the PKK.”

“That must be acknowledged a real threat that Turkey faces,” the premier urged.

Johnson said Turkey’s plans in northern Syria must be understood and “we must avoid any misunderstandings between allies within NATO.”

“We have agreed to continue to those talks,” he added.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from the planned Syria safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Kategoriler
Politika

UPDATE – NATO reiterates commitment to fight against terrorism

ADDS REMARKS FROM NATO CHIEF

By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak and Beyza Binnur Donmez

ANKARA (AA) – All NATO members are committed to fight terrorism, NATO’s secretary general said on Wednesday.

“All Allies remain committed to the fight against ISIS and our training mission in Iraq and the training mission in Afghanistan,” Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference after the NATO leaders’ summit in London.

He reiterated that an attack on any member state will be seen as an attack on all members.

“We stand together, all for one, and one for all. Our commitment to Article 5, the collective defense clause of our alliance, is ironclad,” said Stoltenberg.

The meeting also discussed Russia and issues related to arms control, said the NATO chief.

“We are committed to strong deterrence and defense, while remaining open to meaningful dialogue with Russia,” he said.

“NATO is responding to Russia’s deployment of intermediate-range, nuclear capable missiles in a defensive and coordinated way. And we remain committed to strengthening effective arms control, disarmament, and non-proliferation,” he added.

-China, Afghanistan, S-400s

Stoltenberg said that the alliance also discussed the rise of China for the first time.

“Leaders agreed we need to address this together as an Alliance. And that we must find ways to encourage China to participate in arms control arrangements,” he said.

He also said that the Alliance closely follows and supports peace talks in Afghanistan.

"We believe that we need political negotiation, a solution in Afghanistan," he added.

On Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 defense systems, the NATO chief said that the S-400 will not be integrated into NATO systems and will “stand alone.”

"That's a natural Turkish decision. Many allies have expressed concerns, I also expressed my concerns about the consequences of that decision," Stoltenberg said. "What I can say is that a Russian air defense system S-400 will never be integrated into NATO."

In April 2017, when its protracted efforts to buy an air defense system from the U.S. proved fruitless, Turkey signed a contract with Russia to acquire the S-400 shield.

Opposing deployment of the Russian system, U.S. officials claimed that they would be incompatible with NATO systems and would expose its F-35 jets to possible Russian subterfuge.

Turkey, however, stressed that the S-400 would not be integrated into NATO systems, and poses no threat to the alliance or its armaments.

-Baltics, terrorist YPG/PKK

A defense plan for the Baltics have been adopted, but proposals to designate the YPG/PKK group as terrorist were not discussed extensively, said Stoltenberg.

"Today we have agreed to the updated plan for the Baltic countries and Poland. So I welcome that. And it shows that we are able to also move forward and update and revise plans, including the defense plans, for the Baltic countries and Poland as we do today," he said.

"It's well known that there are different views among NATO allies on how to designate YPG and PYD, the Kurdish groups in Syria that's publicly known. It was not addressed specifically in the meeting today, but it is an issue which has been discussed, among NATO allies, and it's widely known that there are different views on that," he added.

"But we all agree on the importance of not jeopardizing the gains we made in the fight against terrorism," he emphasized.

NATO leaders have decided to meet again in 2021," said Stoltenberg.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants. The YPG/PYG is the PKK's Syrian offshoot.

Reluctant to back NATO defense plans for Poland and the Baltics ahead of the summit, Turkey took issue with the alliance's failure to recognize the threat it faces in northern Syria from the YPG/PKK terror group along its southern border.

"NATO must act in a way that will meet the concerns of all allies. What is wanted for the Baltics should be wanted for us too," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week.

Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

Kategoriler
Ekonomi

Biodiverse Pakistan struggles to boost ecotourism

By Aamir Latif

KARACHI, Pakistan (AA) – Pakistan is often seen through the prism of terrorism and security, but it is undoubtedly one of a handful countries that offer a unique blend of history and biodiversity to the eco-lovers.

From the snow-capped peaks in the north, and glistening waters in the south together with limitless opportunities to watch wildlife, sail in the mighty Indus river, and deep-sea diving in the Arabian Sea, this South Asian nuclear state has much more to attract the eco-lovers.

Northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, which borders neighboring China, is home to the six peaks of over 8,000-meter altitude, including the world’s second tallest peak, K-2.

In addition to that, the region has over 5,000 large and small glaciers and more than 100 lakes, which jointly make up the world’s largest freshwater reservoir.

Also, the eco-lovers can witness the endangered snow leopard and brown bear, in addition to 300 species of wildlife in the breathtaking region.

One can sail in the Indus to witness blind dolphins — also known as Indus dolphins.

Locally known as “Bhulan” and only found in the River Indus — mainly in a 1,300-kilometer (807-mile) long stretch between northeastern and southern Pakistan — the mammal is blind because it does not have a crystal eye lens.

Towards the mountains such as in Khunjerab National Park in Gilgit-Baltistan, there are guaranteed sightings of the Himalayan Ibex and if one travels to northwestern Chitral near Afghanistan border, then markhor — the country’s national animal.

There are opportunities to watch wildlife, marine turtles nesting near southern port city of Karachi together with very approachable Kirthar and Hingol National Parks in southern Sindh and southwestern Balochistan provinces, offering a mix of both history and biodiversity.

But, according to local experts, the country has failed to exploit the huge potential of its unique biodiversity, due to multiple reasons, mainly security concerns, lack of facilities, and capacity building.

“Pakistan is a very unique country with countless ecotourism attractions. It has mountain ranges with exceptional terrain, wetlands and numerous opportunities such as skiing, paragliding, and deep sea diving,” Uzma Khan, a Lahore-based expert who regularly writes on environment and wildlife, told Anadolu Agency.

However, she observed the security concerns compounded by inability to profile the country’s eco-richness had kept the international tourists away from Pakistan.

– Barriers

Asma Ezdi, who works for Pakistan chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature, cited lack of an integrated approach to tourism planning and investment, lack of capacity among public and private stakeholders, and insufficient promotion of sustainable products and services at tourist destinations, as major barriers in promotion of ecotourism in Pakistan.

Also, she added, absence of monitoring and evaluation system for tourism was another key reasons behind Islamabad’s failure to market its rare biodiversity.

“These barriers and unchecked population growth have led to various issues, such as environmental degradation, lack of solid and water waste management, inefficient resource use, non-renewable energy sources and ill-planned development, at tourist destinations”, she told Anadolu Agency.

Rana Aftab, a member of the recently formed National Tourism Coordination Board (NTCB), a state-run entity, voiced a similar view.

He cited lack of planning for the government’s part, lack of capacity building and inter-departmental cooperation as other reasons behind a static growth in eco-tourism.

“Eco-tourism is a specialized field. It requires lesser investment compared to other fields of tourism, but an active community involvement,” said Aftab, who is head of the NTCB’s ecotourism committee.

Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan — a non-governmental organization that works for promotion of eco-tourism in the country — last year launched an ecotourism project for conservation of Indus Dolphins. The organization has also trained local fishermen to arrange river ride for tourists to witness blind dolphins.

In addition, it is also working on two other projects for conservation of the centuries-old culture of Kalasha valley in Chitral district, and near-extinct snow leopard in Hoper valley of Gilgit-Baltistan. Eventually, the two sites, Aftab said, would be declared as eco-tourist destinations.

– Slight improvement

Uzma Khan reckoned that the country’s otherwise dwindling eco-tourism had shown some improving signs in recent years.

“I think it is on the track as there is a lot of focus on improving facilities and profiling tourism to attract foreign and local tourists,” Khan opined.

“Media and foreign tourists are playing a positive role is profiling Pakistan’s eco-tourism”, she said, referring to several foreign tourists’ who have written blogs and posted videos on social media of Pakistan’s scenic tourists destinations in recent months.

Khan termed a significant improvement in security a key factor that attracted foreign travel bloggers and vloggers to visit Pakistan in recent months.

“But a lot still needs to be done to make Pakistan’s tourism up to the mark”, she went on to say.

Aftab partially agrees with Khan, opining “Ecotourism is in an infancy stage in Pakistan. But we have a great potential to emerge as an ecotourism nation within next three to four years, if seriousness is shown”.

He said the NTCB’s ecotourism committee had identified over 100 sites across the country, which would be developed as tourism destination in coming years with the help of local communities who would avail the economic benefit of eco-tourism in their respective areas.

Out of 100, Aftab added, 30 sites could immediately be turned into ecotourism hotspots.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

‘NATO must support Turkey’s fight against terrorism’

By Gozde Bayar

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has asked its NATO allies for support in the fight against terrorism, the country’s communications director said Tuesday.

“Our allies must support us in our fight against terror groups just as we support their security by being a top contributor to NATO, handling the refugee crisis, and pursuing DAESH!” Fahrettin Altun said on Twitter, referring to the NATO leaders summit being held from Dec. 3-4 in London.

Altun said the summit is a great opportunity for candid discussions about significant issues.

“Turkey’s efforts against international terrorism as well as our security needs and concerns must be recognized. It is only through meaningful dialogue that NATO can be strengthened,” he said, adding Turkey’s critics have dared to question its national security concerns and NATO membership.

Referring to the Syrian refugee crisis, Altun said Turkey put its forces on the ground in Syria to ensure the safe return of the refugees to their country.

“We have prevented large swaths of territory from becoming terrorist safe havens. Our allies have criticized our efforts instead of supporting them!” he stressed.

Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Bashar al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity. Since then, hundreds of thousands of people are believed to have been killed and millions more displaced by the conflict.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.

Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.

Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Kategoriler
Alaturka Gazetesi

Burkina Faso’s leader calls for unity against terrorism

By James Tasamba

OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso (AA) – Burkina Faso’s president urged citizens Thursday to remain courageous and unite against terrorist groups, which have recently stepped up deadly attacks on civilians and security forces.

Roch Marc Kabore’s call in a televised address came a day after a deadly attack that left dozens dead and many wounded.

“I call on Burkinabe people from within the country and outside to unite and mobilize regardless of religion, ethnicity, political opinion, in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

The president said he had ordered the recruitment of defense volunteers in areas under threat, stressing that “only a general mobilization of sons and daughters of the nation” can defeat the murderers.

Noting that the attacks were aimed at generating fear among the people and destabilizing the country’s democracy, Kabore said the defense and security forces would hunt down the terrorists and all their accomplices.

At least 37 people were killed and more than 60 wounded Wednesday in an attack on a convoy transporting local employees of Canadian mining company Semafo in eastern Burkina Faso, authorities said.

The ambush by "unidentified armed individuals" took place in the morning, Saidou Sanou, the governor of Est Region, said in a statement.

The attack took place between Semafo’s Fada and Boungou mine sites, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Boungou, according to a statement by the company.

Five buses were being escorted by the military when they were ambushed leading to several fatalities and injuries, the company said.

The president has declared three days of national mourning beginning Friday.

“During these 72 hours, I invite each Burkinabe to recollection and introspection, to strengthen his faith in unity, cohesion and peace in our country,” he said.

The attack is seen as the deadliest since Muslim extremists became active in the country in 2015.

Three militant groups have been creating havoc in the country’s north and east.

But even the capital Ouagadougou has not been spared.

Reports indicate that hundreds of people have been killed so far this year and more than 150,000 have fled their homes due to attacks across the Sahel region.