Author Archives: Nuray Buldan

Eastern Libyan Parliament breaks off relations with Turkey

There is currently a duality of powers in Libya: the interim government, which controls the eastern part of the country along with the parliament, and the UN-backed National Accord Government in Tripoli (northwest).

The Parliament of Eastern Libya, as one of the powers controlling the eastern part of the African country, which has two divided governments, approved on Saturday the breaking of relations with Turkey, after Ankara voted on Thursday to send troops to that nation.

In addition, the embassies between the two countries were ordered to be closed and these decisions were taken unanimously by the Libyan MPs.

Meanwhile, the commander of the Libyan National Army, Marshal Khalifa Haftar, who commands one of the powers in the African country, and supported by the Libyan parliament, announced the general mobilization to resist the foreign troops before.

“Today we declare Jihad (holy war) and general mobilization. Weapons will be given to both men and women, to the military and civilians,” the military chief said in a video address.

Turkey’s parliament on Thursday approved a plan to send troops in support of the UN-recognised Fayez al-Sarraj National Accord Government (NAG). Al Sarraj called for Turkish military cooperation to deal with the Libyan National Army offensive led by Haftar.

The approved plan gives a period of one year for the deployment of troops. The text does not define when it will be, nor how many troops will be deployed.

Haftar called the HLG a traitor for asking for Turkey’s help. “They signed an agreement of humiliation and disgrace with Turkey without any popular, constitutional or moral support,” he added.

Since the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Libya has been in the throes of a crisis generated by clashes between rival factions, the emergence of jihadist groups and mafias engaged in trafficking irregular migrants from Africa to Europe.

Women march against femicide in Turkey

Before the increase in violence against women in Turkey, dozens of women protested this Saturday denouncing the seriousness of the situation and calling on the Government to take action to curb femicide.

“We will be on the streets to protect women’s rights until no more women are killed,” said one of the participants in the mobilization, Bircan Sahin.

“Stop the murders of women!”, “Stop the macho violence!” and “Don’t look at the violence, do something” were some of the slogans chanted by the protesters, who carried posters with names and numbers, representing the victims.

At the event, held in the Asian part of the city, they told shocking stories of women victims of femicides recently throughout the country. Among the cases he highlighted that of Emine Bulut, whose death at the hands of his ex-husband, last August, caused great commotion in Turkey.

“The murder of Emine Bulut caused frustration and resentment in society. Her last words continue to ring in the ears of all women: I do not want to die,” said one of the organizers, Gamze Ozturk, referring to the label (“#olmekistemiyorum”) that became a trend on Twitter.

In the first eight months of 2019, 294 women were killed in Turkey and, in August alone, at least 40 lost their lives. Last year, they were victims of 440 homicides, according to the women’s rights advocacy group We Will Stop Femicide, which recounts the gender-motivated killings.

The alarming figure was commemorated by the artist Vahit Tuna, who set up an installation on the facade of a building in Istanbul, where he exhibited 440 pairs of shoes with heels, demonstrating against the acts of domestic and sexual violence left by hundreds of female victims in Turkey.

The work of art covers an area of ​​260 square meters, takes up the Turkish tradition of placing the shoes of someone who died outside an entrance.

Although Turkey ratified the Istanbul Convention of the Council of Europe of 2011 to prevent sexist violence, activists say there is still much to be done to enforce the laws.

Kurds begin withdrawal in compliance with truce with Turkey

The main alliance of Kurdish- led militias confirmed on Sunday its complete withdrawal from the Syrian border town of Ras al Ain, as stipulated by the truce agreed with Turkey.

“Within the framework of the temporary ceasefire of military operations with the Turkish side and through US mediation, the city of Ras al Ain was completely evacuated today by the combatants of the Forces of Democratic Syria. There is no longer any combatant within the city,” said Kino Gabriel, a spokesman for the FSD, on his Twitter account.

The FSD has not offered more details about the withdrawal process, however local media describe that the combatants left in dozens of military vehicles. In addition, a medical convoy arrived in the morning to evacuate the injured and transport the bodies of the fatalities.

The evacuation is a boost to the unstable ceasefire since it began Thursday night. Clashes have arisen daily, with occasional artillery firing, especially around Ras al-Ayn, a border town where Kurdish fighters have been surrounded by Turkish-led forces.

Minutes before the statement, local media reported the bombing of the city of Til Rifat in Shehba and the villages of Minix and Shewarxe in the Afrin district in Shera by the Turkish army and mercenaries.

This day is the third after the 120-hour ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish militias.

The Turks began an offensive in northern Syria on October 9 under the pretext of removing Kurdish militias from the Turkish border and establishing a safe area in the northeast of the country to settle thousands of Syrian refugees who remain in Turkish territory, to despite the protest of the Government of Damascus.

Also, authorities in the northeast region of Syria have denounced the use of prohibited weapons by the Turkish army in their attacks against the civilian population.

Foza Yûsif, a member of the Executive Council of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM), said there were strong indications that the Turkish state used prohibited weapons in northern Syria and requested the inspection of an independent delegation.

Under the name Fuente de Paz, the operation faces Kurdish formations including the SDS, the militias of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Popular Protection Units (YPG) that dominate the Syrian northeast and to which Turkey links with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which he considers a terrorist.

For its part, the Syrian Government denounced that the Turkish offensive violates territorial integrity and international law. Syria reached an agreement with the Kurdish-Syrians to confront the Turkish offensive even though it does not recognize Kurdish autonomy east of the Euphrates River, nor its armed arm the SDS.

Turkey starts offensive against Kurdish militias in northern Syria

Erdogan announced on Wednesday the start of the offensive against Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria, which aims to eradicate the “terrorist threat,” an action rejected by the Government of Damascus, because it violates its sovereignty.

The president said that the Turkish armed forces began the operation “Source of Peace” in northern Syria to prevent “the creation of a terrorist corridor along our southern border, and bring peace to the area.”

For its part, the UN Security Council will hold an emergency meeting closed Thursday to address the military situation in Turkey, diplomatic sources said.

The meeting, claimed by the European members of the Council (Belgium, France, Germany, Poland and the United Kingdom), will take place after another meeting, also behind closed doors, on Colombia, according to the same sources.

On the other hand, the Syrian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the hostile intentions shown by the Turkish government and the concentration of troops on the border, as they constitute a flagrant violation of international law and United Nations resolutions, which defend unity, integrity and sovereignty of the Arab country.

He said the aggressive behavior of President Erdogan’s regime clearly shows Turkish expansionist ambitions in Syrian territory and cannot be justified under any pretext, according to the Syrian news agency SANA.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry held some Kurdish organizations responsible for the situation because of their subordination to the United States, referring to Syrian Kurdish militias, backed by Washington.

According to Turkish television reports, planes had bombed Kurdish positions in Syria across the border with Turkey.

“Turkish aviation launches heavy bombardment against the city of Ras al Ein, in the northwest of Al Hasaka province, there are also artillery attacks,” Syrian state television reported.

“The Turkish attack has also reached the town of Ayen Issa in the northern Raqqa camp,” said the Syrian agency SANA.

In this operation against the PKK / YPG (Kurdistan Workers Party / Popular Protection Units) and the terrorists of the Islamic State participate members of the Syrian National Army, a group that is an ally of the Government of Ankara.

For its part, Syria had previously condemned in the strongest terms the aggressive intentions of the Turkish regime and the concentration of its military on the Syrian border.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on Turkey, a member of the Alliance, on Wednesday to “moderation” in his operation launched in northern Syria as it does not jeopardize the fight that the agency undertook against the jihadists.

The offensive, which launched Turkey in northeastern Syria, will aggravate the crisis in the Arab country and cause a new wave of refugees, said Huseín Amir Abdolahian, an advisor to the president of the Iranian Parliament.

“The Turkish operation in Syria further complicates the situation,” he wrote on his Twitter account.