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Screws tighten on Gray Wolves, Erdogan’s European guard – Al Monitor

Indeed, there is no organization officially registered as the Gray Wolves, which has led many to play down the French ban as posturing. This, however, does not preclude judicial action against the Gray Wolves, based on symbols and signs. Darmanin conceded that the Gray Wolves were not a formal association but insisted they formed groups that meet regularly, are connected to each other and act as an organized body.

In Turkey, the Gray Wolves are organized as the youth branches of the far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), called the Idealist Hearths. The MHP has been a staunch political ally of Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) in recent years. Mehmet Ali Agca, who shot and wounded Pope John Paul II in 1981, is perhaps the most notorious of the Gray Wolves internationally. The movement has various avatars in Europe, such as the umbrella group called the Federation of Democratic Idealist Turkish Associations in France. Its members are active mostly in Lyon, Dijon, Strasbourg and Grenoble. 

Austria’s Leader Seeks Crackdown on Islamist Terrorism After Attack – New York Times

Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced a set of legislative proposals that would make it easier to keep terrorists behind bars, close mosques and clamp down on funding for terrorists. BERLIN — Austria would allow courts to extend the sentences of convicted terrorists and it would establish a new criminal offense for people who “create the breeding …

Austria’s Leader Seeks Crackdown on Islamist Terrorism After Attack – New York Times Read More »

Turkey says Azerbaijan achieved ‘sacred success’ in Nagorno-Karabakh – Reuters

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey said on Tuesday that a deal to end more than a month of fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh had secured important gains for its close ally Azerbaijan in the conflict with Armenia. The agreement, signed by Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan, follows six weeks of heavy fighting and advances by Azeri forces. On Sunday, …

Turkey says Azerbaijan achieved ‘sacred success’ in Nagorno-Karabakh – Reuters Read More »

German lawmakers urge ban on extreme-right Turkish Gray Wolves – Deutsche Welle

Özdemir — a former co-leader of the Greens — said the Gray Wolves were responsible for hundreds of murders in Turkey but did not limit their activities to that country.

“They also threaten members of the Turkish opposition and minorities in Germany,” Özdemir told German newspaper Die Welt. Surely it cannot be that Turkish right-wing extremists in the middle of Berlin, Dortmund or Hamburg intimidate, beat up or threaten the lives of peaceful citizens. The German state must protect these people.”

Turkish-French Culture War over Islamist Radicalism and Islamophobia May Unite Europe against Turkey – SWP

Unity around the issue of Islam in Europe and unequivocal support for France against Turkey have already been manifested in expressions of support by European leaders and most recently a statement by the European External Action Service Service. If the efforts to coordinate European statements and action force Turkey to back down, the experience could be applied in other disputes with Turkey. Erdogan is not known for giving in to pressure from Europe, but it is highly likely that Ankara will abandon its campaign against France in the face of a coordinated response. If this crisis helps to unite Europe to counter Turkey, it will be a first in the recent decades and could create a significant precedent. It might even lead to Europe finally finding leverage against Turkey if it considers taking concrete diplomatic and economic action against Ankara.

The Row over Islam between Ankara and Paris: What Lies Beneath? – SWP

Relations between Turkey and France have deteriorated since 2019. They now stand on opposing sides in Syria, Libya, the eastern Mediterranean and Nagorno-Karabakh. France is the most prominent EU member advocating a confrontational policy towards Turkey. The recent spat between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Emmanuel Macron over Islam adds a cultural dimension. On …

The Row over Islam between Ankara and Paris: What Lies Beneath? – SWP Read More »

France And Turkey Not Embroiled In “Clash Of Civilizations” But Rather Geopolitical Struggle – Greek City Times

The horrific terrorist attacks in France and the confrontation that erupted between Paris and Ankara has questioned alliances and changed the geopolitical landscape in the East Mediterranean and Africa, which many are calling a “clash of civilizations” between the liberal secular West, led by France, and reactionary extreme Islamism, led by Turkey. However, a stronger argument …

France And Turkey Not Embroiled In “Clash Of Civilizations” But Rather Geopolitical Struggle – Greek City Times Read More »

Analysis: Bad blood – why France-Turkey cartoon row could leave lasting impact – Reuters

PARIS/ANKARA (Reuters) – Slights and barbs have marred relations between France’s Emmanuel Macron and Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan for years, but the row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad has dragged them to a new low which could have more lasting consequences. Officials on both sides describe a series of behind-the-scenes frosty exchanges and grudges between …

Analysis: Bad blood – why France-Turkey cartoon row could leave lasting impact – Reuters Read More »

Macron wants to fix France’s social ills – but he won’t do it by ‘reforming’ Islam – The Guardian

The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, minced no words in his recent diatribe against his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. “Macron needs mental treatment,” Erdoğan said. This blast from Ankara came in response to Macron’s announcement of a series of measures intended to “reform” the practice of Islam in France and end “Islamist separatism” – proof, …

Macron wants to fix France’s social ills – but he won’t do it by ‘reforming’ Islam – The Guardian Read More »

The unbearable hypocrisy of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s assault on France’s Emmanuel Macron

In the wake of a terrorist’s murder of French school teacher Samuel Paty, French President Emmanuel Macron stood up for freedom of expression and defended France’s tradition of laicism. Simply put, Macron recognizes that religious passion neither can justify murder nor serve as a reason to dilute fundamental individual freedoms. As Macron has made the defense of …

The unbearable hypocrisy of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s assault on France’s Emmanuel Macron Read More »

With French Spat, Turkey Continues Its Drift Away from Europe – The National Interest

Both leaders were playing to their domestic galleries, but their harsh exchange, although not the root cause of the increasing rift between Turkey and major European countries, demonstrated the extent to which Turkish–European relations have gone downhill. Turkey is slowly but surely drifting away from the West. The recent spat between Turkish President Recep Tayyip …

With French Spat, Turkey Continues Its Drift Away from Europe – The National Interest Read More »

Greek Orthodox Priest Wounded in Lyon, France, Shooting, Reports Say – New York Times

The assailant walked up to the priest around 4 p.m. as he was closing his church and fired at him with a sawed-off shotgun, seriously wounding him before fleeing the scene, according to the reports.

The exact circumstances of the shooting and the motivations of the assailant were not immediately clear. The shooting comes at a time of heightened tensions in France, which is still on edge after the killing of three churchgoers in the southern city of Nice on Thursday.