Iran

Turkey, Iran, Pakistan rail link to China’s Belt and Road – Nikkei Asia

KARACHI — The governments of Turkey, Iran and Pakistan will revive a transnational rail service linking Istanbul, Tehran and Islamabad in 2021. The ITI transnational railroad is expected to enhance connectivity with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) by providing a rail connection between China and Turkey, Nikkei Asia has learned. The roots of this …

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Thanks to Erdogan, Turkey hasn’t been this isolated for 50 years – Haaretz.com

Not since Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus has Ankara been so internationally isolated.  Last week, Washington slapped Turkey, a fellow member of NATO, with CAATSA sanctions for purchasing, receiving and testing Russian S400 missile defense batteries. Meanwhile, the EU hit Ankara with moderate sanctions of its own, a move akin to a final written warning before more hard-hitting measures are taken.   The …

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Naguib Sawiris says Turkey’s Erdogan wants to be ‘new Ottoman emperor’ – CNBC

In strongly worded criticism, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris this week said Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is making a “very big mess” in the Middle East by interfering around the region. A Turkish official said, “President Erdoğan leads our Nation accordingly and claims to the contrary are baseless.” Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris leveled strongly worded …

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Proxy Wars: How Turkey and Iran Employ Militias Abroad – The National Interest

On October 17 protestors stormed the headquarters of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Baghdad, attacking Iraq’s largest Kurdish political party. The protestors are linked to the Hashd al-Shaabi, or the Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units (PMU).  Two days later, the bodies of ten people from Iraq’s Sunni majority Salahuddin province were discovered. The kidnapping and murder of these …

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From Ceasefire to Peace: The Necessity for a Russia, Iran and Turkey Partnership in the Karabakh Peace Talks — Valdai Club

In his article, Dr. Vali Kaleji, a Tehran-based expert on Central Asia and Caucasian Studies, proposes the logic for including Iran, Russia and Turkey in the process of Karabakh peace talks that is way stronger than their participation in the Astana talks to resolve the Syria crisis. Against the backdrop of three decades of failure in transition from ceasefire to peace in the Karabakh conflict, formation of a 3+2 mechanism (Iran, Turkey, Russia with Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan) should be considered more seriously, he believes.

Turkish Bank Case Showed Erdogan’s Influence With Trump – New York Times

Turkey had mounted an elaborate influence campaign in Washington to deal with Halkbank. It predated Mr. Trump’s election but came to encompass a broad cast of players, including Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York mayor; Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first national security adviser; and Brian D. Ballard, a lobbyist and fund-raiser for the president.

After senior Turkish government officials lobbied Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Mr. Trump, Mr. Mnuchin pressed the Justice Department not to impose too large a fine on Halkbank because Turkey could not afford it, two federal officials said. Mr. Mnuchin’s office declined to comment on Halkbank but added that the Treasury and Justice Departments “routinely consult and coordinate” on sanctions cases and fines.

Mr. Bolton and others said they could not fully explain why Mr. Trump seemed so determined to please Mr. Erdogan.

Turkey Fuels Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict: Drones, Mercenaries and Dreams of Imperial Resurgence – Just Security

Turkey’s wide-ranging political and military support for the Azeri attack reflects President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s bellicose approach to solving problems in the region. In recent years, Turkey invaded Syria, ostensibly to fight against anti-Turkish Kurdish militias there; has conducted frequent bombing strikes against Kurds in Northern Iraq; has actively supported one side in the Libyan civil war; and is on the verge of war with Greece and Cyprus over oil- and gas-drilling prospects in the Mediterranean and over islands in the Aegean.

Erdoğan has expressed anger at Greek sovereignty over the Aegean islands that were once governed from Istanbul; at Bashar al-Assad’s disastrous control of Syria; at Egypt’s struggle against the Muslim Brotherhood; and at Israel’s illegal occupation of Jerusalem. This, he claimed numerous times, stems from the downward spiral that the region has experienced since the great days of the Ottoman Empire. Despite runaway inflation, a rapidly tanking economy, and Erdoğan’s growing authoritarianism, this kind of talk has garnered mass support for him and his government among the more conservative and even secular nationalist groups in Turkey.

Turkey is the next Iran – Jewish News Syndicate

Erdoğan isn’t even trying to hide the threat to European society and politics in two sensitive areas: enclaves of Turks and refugees. He is blatantly encouraging a process of radicalization among the million Turks who have emigrated to Europe since the 1970s, mainly to Germany. That radicalization demands that they remain loyal to Turkey and their Islamic culture, at the expense of their citizenship and process of integrating into their new home countries.

UAE official says Turkey’s army in Qatar destabilises region – Reuters

CAIRO (Reuters) – Turkey’s army in Qatar is an element of instability in the Gulf region, a senior official of the United Arab Emirates said on Saturday, adding that it contributes to negative polarization. “The Turkish military presence in the Arab Gulf is an emergency,” UAE minister of state for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash tweeted. …

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Turkey’s Halkbank must face U.S. indictment over Iran sanctions violations, judge rules – Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A U.S. judge on Thursday refused to dismiss an indictment accusing state-owned Turkish lender Halkbank HALKB.IS of helping Iran evade American sanctions. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan rejected Halkbank’s claim that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act shielded it from prosecution, saying that law did not appear to grant immunity …

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Erdogan breaks with Trump over Israel deals and Iran – Washington Examiner

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel of abusing the Palestinian people and lashed President Trump and Persian Gulf nations as “collaborators” during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Tuesday. “The Palestinian people have stood up against Israel’s policies of oppression, violence, and intimidation for more than half a century,” Erdogan said, condemning …

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Sanctions can persuade Turkey’s Erdogan to end reckless policies – Arab News

At the EU summit on Sept. 24-25, European leaders will decide whether or not to impose sanctions on Turkey. Most of them agree on confirming the existence of obnoxious Turkish policies, guided by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Syria and Libya, with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and not least in the Eastern Mediterranean, which …

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