No to Turkish-Russian and world war

This video from the USA says about itself:

Jon Stewart: Turkey’s Erdogan helps ISIS at Kobane

16 November 2014

From the World Socialist Web Site:

Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet and the danger of world war

25 November 2015

1. The downing of a Russian fighter-bomber by Turkish fighter jets yesterday on the Turkish-Syrian border is a flagrant act of war. Turkish authorities have seized on the alleged Russian violation of their airspace to launch a monumental escalation of the proxy war in Syria between Islamist opposition fighters supported by NATO and the Russian-backed regime of President Bashar al-Assad. It threatens to provoke all-out war between Russia on the one hand, and Turkey and the rest of the NATO alliance on the other.

Turkish officials claimed that the Russian SU-24 had violated Turkish air space for one minute, while Russian officials said that it never left Syrian air space at all. The Turkish air force did not scramble jets to warn the Russian fighter or escort it back to Syrian air space, but, after allegedly warning the Russian jet for five minutes, shot it down.

The surviving Russian SU-24 pilot Konstantin Murakhtin claims that the Turkish air force had not warned him at all.

It is unthinkable that Turkey would have taken a decision against a powerful neighbor, fraught with incalculable consequences, without direct prior approval from the US government.

2. US officials supported the Turkish downing of the Russian plane, making clear that they are willing to accept a direct military clash with Russia, a nuclear-armed power, in order to crush its intervention in Syria to defend the Assad regime.

At a press conference yesterday with French President François Hollande in Washington, Obama endorsed the downing of the Russian jet, claiming that Turkey “has a right to defend its territory and its airspace.” This amounts to a blank check to Turkish forces to attack Russian fighter jets again, should similar circumstances arise.

Obama then bluntly warned Russia not to attack Islamist opposition militias in western Syria that are supported by NATO: “I do think that this points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations in the sense that they are operating very close to a Turkish border, and they are going after a moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries. And if Russia is directing its energies towards Daesh and ISIL,

Daesh=ISIL=ISIS. The first acronym is in Arabic, the two other ones in English.

some of those conflicts, or potentials for mistakes or escalation, are less likely to occur.”

After Obama spoke, former US Ambassador to NATO Nicholas Burns again made clear that the Turkish government had acted as a proxy for Washington by shooting down the Russian plane. He told PBS News that US officials were considering declaring a no-fly-zone in the Syrian-Turkish border area. This would mean shooting down Russian fighters overflying the area in order to protect the Islamist opposition forces—that is, doing precisely what Turkey did.

3. The comments of Obama and Burns underscore the fraud of Washington’s claims to be waging a “war on terror” aimed at the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militia. While claiming to oppose Islamist terrorism, Washington is in fact protecting Islamist militias in the Lattakia mountain areas that include the Al Qaeda-linked Al Nusra Front, as well as Chechen Islamist fighters. On the pretext of fighting ISIS, Washington is in fact recklessly pursuing its geopolitical ambitions, which in the Middle East currently center on removing Assad from power.

This is only one step in a further confrontation with any powers posing a military obstacle to the ambitions of US imperialism, including Assad’s key allies, Russia and Iran, as well as China. Even as he was preparing to escalate the conflict in the Middle East, Obama exploited top-level summits in Asia over the past week to ramp up the US confrontation with China over its territorial claims in the South China Sea.

4. It is becoming ever clearer that ISIS itself emerged and was presented in the international media primarily in line with the shifting needs of the imperialist powers as a pretext for their wars. After the Obama administration sought to justify the pullout from Afghanistan by assassinating Osama bin Laden in 2011—when he was hiding in Pakistan, a key US ally—there was no clear target for the “war on terror.” Washington and the other NATO powers worked directly with Islamist militias as proxies, in the 2011 Libyan war and the beginning of the Syrian conflict.

The situation changed, however, when Washington and Paris were forced to pull back from a planned war in Syria in 2013, due to its unpopularity and deep divisions in the foreign policy establishment. As the NATO powers sought to find a way to justify a war, the claim that they were fighting against Islamist terrorism—though completely belied by their actual record of relying on these forces—again became attractive to them as a way of marketing the war.

Though its operations were little different than the bombings and atrocities carried out by other Islamist militias in Syria, ISIS was selected for attack in the media, while other similar Islamist groups continued to enjoy tacit and even explicit US support.

Yesterday’s events further darken the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the November 13 attacks in Paris, and the terrorists’ astonishing ability to pull off an operation under the noses of the intelligence services. In fact, close connections exist between Islamist terror groups and the NATO powers. The security panic whipped up by ruling circles in Europe after the attacks, along with confusion sown over the phantom war with ISIS, helps these powers create the political climate for the pursuit of their ambitions through catastrophic global wars.

5. The timing of the shoot-down is highly significant, coming also against the backdrop of conflicts between Washington and imperialist powers in Europe, particularly Germany and France, over the degree of Russian involvement in a planned neo-colonial settlement of the Syrian war. Washington has moved to decisively scuttle European attempts to negotiate a deal with Russia.

After the ISIS attacks in Paris and November 14 talks in Vienna, Hollande announced plans to forge a united coalition of the United States, Russia, and the European powers to fight ISIS in Syria and negotiate the ouster of Assad on terms acceptable to all the major powers.

As Hollande arrived for talks with Obama in Washington, however, the downing of the Russian jet presented him with a fait accompli, cutting off his diplomatic overtures towards Russia. The attack, USA Today noted, “badly damaged France’s drive to build an alliance with the United States and Russia to defeat the Islamic State in retaliation for the Paris attacks.”

6. Since the US- and German-backed coup in Ukraine last year, the International Committee of the Fourth International (ICFI) has repeatedly warned of the danger of world war. These warnings are being realized with extraordinary speed.

Today, the danger of war between nuclear-armed Russia and the nuclear powers of the NATO alliance is openly referred to in the media and by leading politicians. This danger does not, however, give pause to the reckless assertion of imperialist interests, above all by the United States. Instead, they are stepping up the war drive.

7. The Russian and Chinese regimes offer no counterweight to the ever more unhinged policies of the imperialist powers.

Events in Syria again point to the catastrophic geopolitical consequences of the dissolution of the USSR a quarter century ago. Moscow is desperate to defend its residual influence in the Middle East and to stop Islamist fighters from Chechnya and other regions of Russia from toppling Assad and returning to fight in Russia, where they can easily exploit the anger caused by disastrous social conditions and by the Russian-chauvinist policies of the Kremlin.

The warning made by Trotsky, that the restoration of capitalism in Russia would be followed by its transformation into a semi-colony, is being fulfilled. Putin’s delusion that the offensive of imperialism can be answered by using Russia’s military might is not only hopeless, it leads to catastrophic consequences. The policy of the Kremlin oscillates between surrender to imperialism and reckless military measures posing the danger of world war with the imperialist powers.

8. A world war is not only possible, it is inevitable, unless it is stopped by the emergence of a revolutionary movement in the international working class.

The war in Syria emerged and grew into an explosive proxy war, devastating the lives of millions and drawing in all the major powers in the region, as the imperialist powers sought to crush the Egyptian revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak. The next political offensive of the international working class must base itself on the struggle for socialism against the looming danger of imperialist world war.

World Socialist Web Site Editorial Board

Ukrainian officials endorse Turkish downing of Russian jet: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

US-led Combined Joint Task Force spokesman Steve Warren distanced Nato from Turkey’s actions, saying: “This is an incident between the Russian and the Turkish governments. It is not an issue that involves the coalition.”

In Britain, Stop the War Coalition convener Lindsey German said the incident was a “major escalation” in the war which “highlights the folly of David Cameron’s drive to involve Britain in bombing.”

“Further military intervention will lead to even further rivalry between the major powers,” she warned. “Labour MPs should follow Jeremy Corbyn’s lead and say No to bombing.” …

Damascus and Kurdish rebels have produced video evidence showing that Turkey has allowed Isis to smuggle arms, money and recruits across its border into Syria.

Turkish government sending refugees back into war

This video says about itself:

Hungary Lets Refugees Board Trains, Then Kicks Them Off

3 September 2015

The Hungarian police let some refugees, who were trying to get to Germany, board trains. Then they kicked them all off 25 miles later.

Translated from NOS TV in the Netherlands:

“Turkey sends Syrians back into war”

Today, 13:33

Turkey violates international human rights treaties by sending Syrians back across the border. This says Human Rights Watch. The human rights organization says this means that for Syrian refugees there is no alternative to involvement with people traffickers.

“Turkey has the right to control its borders for security reasons, but it can not send refugees back into the war,” said HRW researcher Gerry Simpson. Since March, the official crossings from Syria to Turkey, according to him, have been almost completely closed.

HRW spoke recently with fifty Syrians who had managed to reach Turkey. Six of them stated that they had to make several attempts because they were sent back. Refugees are said to be beaten by border guards.

Pakistani government: European Union, stop sending Afghan, Pakistani refugees back to our country.
And sometimes shot dead.

Isis in Syria: Stop the march to war – There are alternatives: here.

While Official Washington devotes much sound and fury to demands for a wider war in Syria and the need to turn away Syrian refugees, Democrats and Republicans dodge the tougher question: how to confront Saudi Arabia about its covert funding for Islamic State and Al Qaeda terrorists: here.

Closing migration routes into France won’t stop terrorism – resisting xenophobia might: here.

Defending sociable lapwings from ISIS and poachers in Turkey

This 28 October 2014 video from France shows a sociable lapwing amidst a flock of northern lapwings (sometimes quarreling with them).

From BirdLife:

What makes birdwatchers want to monitor species in an ISIS war zone?

By Burak Özkırlı, Wed, 11/11/2015 – 09:08

Ceylanpınar, located in the Urfa (or Şanlıurfa) province of Turkey, is next to the Syrian border. As a result, it has felt the effects of the ongoing civil war in Syria and skirmishes between the YPG (the Kurdish People’s Protection Units) and ISIS.

The region, which contains one of the single largest pieces of farmland in the world, is also a Key Biodiversity Area monitored by Doğa Derneği (BirdLife in Turkey) staff and volunteers. It is the home of the Sociable Lapwing (Vanellus gregarius), one of the most threatened bird species in the world (listed as Critically Endangered on the updated IUCN Red List of Birds, an assessment of bird species carried out by BirdLife International for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species).

There are only 5,600 breeding pairs left in the world. Their decline is likely due to habitat degradation, as well as the pressures of hunting and illegal killing along its migration route and breeding grounds (read more on BirdLife’s work to protect the Sociable Lapwing here).

Sociable Lapwing flocks rest and feed in rain-fed arable fields. They stop over for some time, then they leave for further south. The small rain-fed parcels are extremely important as irrigated cultivations have covered a majority of the landscape in recent years. Therefore, the bird flocks tend to congregate in these small areas,” says Turan Çetin, the steppes officer of Doğa.

“Even a single individual means hope for the team in the area and the viability of the species’ population.”

Doğa’s 10-people Sociable Lapwing monitoring team visited the area to survey it in early October 2015, well aware of the dangers of travelling in 4×4 vehicles with binoculars and optical equipment to a place 30 km from the Syrian border.

The team’s immediate goal is to stop illegal killing and taking in the area, while they continue to lobby for preventing the shrinkage of rain-fed agricultural lands. Since in Ceylanpınar, reaching the local communities is more important than ever to save the Sociable Lapwing, the team has been contacting hunters and shepherds and holding regular meetings with them and locally recognised conservationists to inform them about the species.

As a result, many hunters can now successfully identify Sociable Lapwing so that they don’t shoot them, some have exchanged their rifles for cameras and at least one is now a member of the Sociable Lapwing team.

The team says it is still eager to continue the monitoring of the birds in the region. If the loss of the bond between people and nature is one of the drivers behind the extinction of biodiversity, this example shows that the relationship between people and nature is deep, and each time it is revived, it saves the life of at least one plant, bird or animal in some part of the world.

Most Syrian refugee children in Turkey not at school

This 21 July 2015 video is called Syrian refugee children— some as young as toddlers– are being forced to fend for themselves in the streets of Istanbul, Turkey.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Most refugee children not at school

Tuesday 10th November 2015

MORE than 400,000 Syrian refugee children in Turkey are unable to attend school, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said yesterday, calling on the international community to provide “urgent financial and technical support.”

The US-based group cited a language barrier, integration issues and financial difficulties to explain the children’s poor access to education in Turkey.

HRW noted that Ankara had allowed them access to the Turkish schooling system, but it said that the government should provide language support and better disseminate information about school enrolment to the refugees.

It also urged Turkey to grant work permits to adult refugees to tackle the high rate of child labour among refugee children.

“Failing to provide Syrian children with education puts an entire generation at risk,” said Stephanie Gee of the HRW refugee rights programme.

“With no real hope for a better future, desperate Syrian refugees may end up putting their lives on the line to return to Syria or take dangerous journeys to Europe.”

Turkey is host to more than two million refugees from Syria of whom 708,000 are children of school age.

The government gave permission to Syrian refugees to attend state schools last year, but just over 212,000 were enrolled at primary and secondary level institutions.

HRW said that, while 90 per cent of children of families living in refugee camps had enrolled in schools, most refugees live outside the camps, where “only 25 per cent of school-age children were enrolled in school.”

It added that sending children to school would reduce the risk of early marriages or military recruitment.

No media freedom in Turkey

This video says about itself:

VICE Reporters Arrested By Turkish Government

1 September 2015

Authorities in the United States are asking for Turkey to release two Vice journalists who have been imprisoned on unfounded allegations that they were working with ISIS and Kurdish militants. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian (The Point), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comment section below.

“Under Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s presidency, Turkish journalists have increasingly been badgered, intimidated, threatened, and punished. Now, however, the Turkish government is going after two foreign journalists.

Britons Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury, working for Vice News, were originally detained in southeast Turkey, along with a translator and a driver, for not having proper identification. But now they’re being accused of “engaging in terror activity” and having connections to ISIS.”*

Read more here.

By James Tweedie:

Turkish opposition slams AKP media crackdown

Saturday 7th November 2015

TURKEY’S opposition leader joined journalists’ unions yesterday in condemning the government’s crackdown on media freedom.

Republican People’s Party Kemal Kilicdaroglu reminded Justice and Development Party (AKP) Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu of his post-election pledge to work toward reconciliation.

He spoke out at a meeting with former Uruguayan president Jose Mujica.

However, repression of journalists has continued, according to the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS).

“Before Sunday’s elections, to be a journalist in Turkey wasn’t easy but now it will be even more difficult,” said IFJ general secretary Anthony Bellanger.

Turkey is the biggest prison for journalists in Europe with around 20 journalists still held in prisons to date.”

TGS president Ugur Guc pointed out: “80 per cent of the people in Turkey access news solely through television which is controlled either directly or indirectly by the AKP.”

Mr Guc explained how the threat of legal action is used to censor media. “While there are fewer journalists in jail, hundreds of trials are still pending,” many of them for allegedly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“We cannot pretend that the media are free anymore. The president has built an empire of fear and oppression.”

This week peace campaigner Margaret Owen, who travelled to Turkey to observe Sunday’s elections, described how armed police and tanks were present at polling stations in Kurdish areas, creating at atmosphere of fear and intimidation among voters. She also heard allegations of vote-buying by the AKP.

The November 1 parliamentary elections in Turkey were held under conditions of extreme social tension and escalating violence: here.

Turkish President Erdogan Regains Parliamentary Majority in Vote Held Amid Violence & Fear: here.

To reverse his fortune at the polls, Erdogan reignited Turkey’s war with the Kurds, stood silent while mobs attacked his opponents, and unilaterally altered the constitutional role of his office: here.

Turkish army attacks Kurds in Syria

This video says about itself:

21 June 2015

In the face of the deadly threat posed by the so-called Islamic State, many Kurdish women decide not to leave their survival to fate. Instead, they fight for their lives and their future. Taking up arms, they join the YPG – Kurdish People’s Protection Units that defend their town’s borders from the militants. The enemy fears female warriors. Jihadists believe if they are killed by a woman they will go straight to hell.

By James Tweedie:

Turkey: PM admits attack on Syrian Kurd fighters

Wednesday 28th October 2015

Turkish troops carried out cross-border assault on YPG

PRIME Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has confirmed that Turkish forces attacked Kurdish militia in northern Syria on Sunday.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) said on Monday that its forces in the border town of Tal Abyad had come under machine-gun fire from across the frontier in Akcakale.

In an interview with ATV television late on Monday, Mr Davutoglu confirmed the attack — a clear act of war against Syria.

He said Turkey was enforcing its warning to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), of which the YPG is the armed wing, not to advance west of the Euphrates river — some 50 miles west of Tal Abyad.

“We said the PYD will not go west of the Euphrates and that we would hit it the moment it did. We hit it twice,” Mr Davutoglu said. “Turkey cannot abandon its border, its fate, to any country.”

The PYD is affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which Turkey and the US have declared a terrorist organisation.

Tensions between Ankara and Washington were raised earlier this month when the US airdropped some 50 tons of ammunition to the YPG — ostensibly to help the militia advance south from Tal Abyad to the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa.

But the YPG seems keener to link up its large area of control of north-eastern Syria with the north-western pocket around Afrin, driving Isis out of a stretch of border country with Turkey from where the group allegedly receives arms and new recruits.

It would also relieve pressure on Aleppo, Syria’s second city, which is besieged by Isis and other rebel groups.

The 18-month bombing campaign by the US-led coalition against Isis and Washington’s $500 million (£325m) programme to train “moderate” rebels have had no appreciable effect on the group.

But the Russian intervention in Syria has helped the Syrian Arab Army push back terrorist forces including the Nusra Front.


The praise lavished on Kurdish militias in the Senate chamber only underscored the immense crisis and deep contradictions plaguing the US intervention in the region. The Senate hearing was held on the same day that the government of Turkey, Washington’s NATO ally, acknowledged that it had launched strikes against US-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria. The Kurdish groups struck by Turkey, including People Protection Units (YPG) forces, were “some of the most important allies within Syria of the American-led coalition,” according to the New York Times: here.

The announcement by the Obama White House that up to 50 US Special Forces troops are being deployed on the ground in Syria represents a qualitative escalation of Washington’s illegal intervention in the war-ravaged country: here.

Stop Turkish government attacks on journalists

This video says about itself:

Why did Turkey arrest Vice News journalists? BBC News

2 September 2015

Media rights groups have condemned Turkey for arresting two British journalists, Jake Hanrahan and Philip Pendlebury. The were detained on terror-related charges while on assignment in the country. Head of News Programming for VICE Europe, Kevin Sutcliffe explains what is being done to secure their release.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Journalists back under-fire Turkish colleagues

Friday 23rd October 2015

by Our Foreign Desk

INTERNATIONAL media unions declared their solidarity yesterday with Turkish colleagues under attack from the ruling AKP party.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) adopted a declaration in Istanbul.

Among the demands was that Turkey investigate attacks on journalists and media outlets, including recent incidents targeting newspaper Hurriyet and columnist Ahmet Hakan.

Seven international press freedom organisations were also part of the three-day international mission to Turkey this week that led to the declaration.

The IFJ and EFJ highlighted the pressures faced by Turkish journalists, especially those working in media controlled by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and during the recent election period.

Their representative Patrick Kamenka said: “Our colleagues are under heavy pressures, especially when a group of media is in the hands of the AKP regime, when public TV RTR is not playing the role of pluralism of information.

“The IFJ and EFJ must support our affiliate TGS in its difficult union task as pressures are strong in a context of 30 per cent unemployment and low salaries,” he added.

TGS general secretary Mustafa Kuleli stressed the importance of solidarity with Turkish journalists standing up to intimidation. “It is again up to us to save ourselves,” he said.