Trump, Erdogan, deportations to, war in, Syria

This 14 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

United States and Turkey Agree to a Syrian “Safe Zone“, Betraying the Kurds

Baris Karaagac discusses how the U.S allowed the Turkish government to seize land in northern Syria to counter Russian and Iranian influence in spite of former Kurdish allies.

At first, United States wannabe dictator Donald Trump and Turkish wannabe dictator Erdogan really got along well. Later, they quarrelled, hurting common people in Turkey. Now, it seems they are cronies again.

The boss of NATO already earlier OK’d the bloody war by Erdogan and his ex(?)-ISIS allies in northern Syria. Now, Trump OKs as well Erdogan and his jihadist allies having an UNsafe ‘safe’ zone in Syria; safe for killing civilians.

As Erdogan wages war in Syria, he sends Syrian refugees back to that war; emulating Trump’s anti-refugee policies.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Deportations in Turkey: “They sent him to Syria”

The Turkish government firmly denies it, but there is increasing evidence that Syrian refugees are being transferred from Turkey to Syria. It has been reported since the end of July about several thousand people. In Istanbul, people are arrested who turn up in Syria days or weeks later. According to Turkey, this is voluntary return, but deported Syrians deny that.

Sending refugees back to a war zone is prohibited under international refugee conventions. This new step by Turkey may therefore endanger the refugee deal between the EU and Turkey. It is based on the assumption that Turkey is a safe country for Syrians. If they can be returned against their will, then Turkey is no longer a safe country.

The whole Turkey-European Union deal was already anti-human rights anti-refugee refoulement from the start.

The arrests and deportations lead to tension among Syrians in Istanbul. For fear of the police, in neighborhoods where many Syrians have settled in recent years, considerably fewer people are on the street. …

“I’m in Idlib”

Fida shuffles and does not look cheerful, he points to an empty shop window. “My friend here has closed his shop because he has no residence permit. He is afraid of the police.” In the shopping center in the center of the Esenyurt district, Fida also has two clothing stores. They are still open, but sales have plummeted.

“People no longer come out, there are police everywhere. Even after midnight, you still encounter patrols. Those who do not have an ID will be sent to Syria.” Fida has his papers in order. Until recently, the police made no problem if you had no registration or work permit. “Syrians worked everywhere without a work permit,” he says. “Now they have all had to leave work and have been arrested or sit anxiously at home.”

His gloom is more personal than that, says the shopkeeper. “Fifteen days ago I was drinking coffee with my best friend when the police came. They asked for IDs. My friend was taken, after which I heard nothing from him for two days. I could not reach him. On the third day he called me : “I’m in Idlib.”

Idlib is a zone in Syria where the Turkish army and their jihadist puppets wage war.

They sent him to Syria.” …

We had to sign

But according to Fida and a number of other sources that the NOS spoke to, that [the denial of forced deportation by the Turkish government] is not the case. We reach Fida’s friend Nour, who was taken by the police during drinking coffee, on his Syrian number. He is in a suburb of Idlib, he says, and the situation is tense. “I am now surviving at acquaintances’. Every day I stay somewhere else. People are having a hard time. There is hunger, no work and there are bombardments.”

According to Nour, his deportation was forced, and several buses full of Syrians went from Turkey to Idlib with him. “We had to sign a paper, it was a deportation document for return to Syria. We asked what it said because some people couldn’t read it. They forced us to sign. We didn’t want to be deported.”

The story of Nour is consistent with that of Haytham. He was also picked up at a police check in Istanbul and taken to a deportation center. “I signed papers and gave fingerprints, then I was detained for three weeks before we were put on a bus with our wrists shackled together“, he says on the phone from Syria. “They took us to the Syrian border post Bab al-Hawa, at Jabhat al Nusra territory.”

Jabhat al-Nusra is the Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda, the perpetrators of 9/11 in the USA.

According to the European Commission and the Turkish government, the EU-Turkey deal of March 2016, which is intended to bring the flow of migrants from Turkey to Greece under control, is still standing.

A spokesperson for the Commission said in a reaction to reports on deportations of Syrians from Turkey that the Commission “is confident that Turkey will investigate the facts behind these allegations”.


Turkish government deports refugees to Syrian war

This 22 February 2017 video says about itself:

France accused of illegally deporting refugees

Amnesty International says a rise in “divisive and dangerous” global politics threatens to push back human rights around the world.

The rights group says France was one of the countries which illegally deported refugees.

France’s extended state of emergency, meanwhile, has led to heavy-handed security measures, the group says.

Al Jazeera’s David Chater reports from Menton on the French-Italian border.

From Reuters news agency, 25 July 2019:

As mood sours, Syrians report forced deportations from Turkey

By Khalil Ashawi and Sarah Dadouch

AL-BAB, Syria/ISTANBUL, July 25 – When Syrian real estate worker Abu Ahmad was stopped by police in Istanbul he expected a ritual ticking-off for his expired documents, before being allowed on his way. Instead he says he was bundled into a bus packed with 50 men and deported to Syria.

The 31-year-old was stopped as he set off to meet a client in Turkey’s bustling commercial hub where up to one million Syrians live – hundreds of whom have been detained this month according to authorities.

His Turkish identity paper, known as a temporary protection permit, was valid for a Turkish province on the Syrian border nearly 1,000 km (625 miles) southeast of Istanbul.

In previous encounters with authorities, Abu Ahmad had shown them an expired travel permit allowing him to move around inside Turkey, and escaped with a reprimand.

This time was different for him and dozens of other men who were piled into the bus in Istanbul’s Esenyurt district.

Ten days later he says he found himself at the Bab al-Hawa crossing into Idlib, a northwestern Syrian province controlled by rebels and Islamist militants, hundreds of kilometres from his home province of Deir al Zor in eastern Syria.

Four others who spoke to Reuters in northern Syria said they had been forcibly sent there in the past week. All had thought they were being transferred within Turkey, not across the border to a country ruined by eight years of civil war.

An employee at the Syrian Bab al-Hawa crossing told Reuters he recorded at least 4,500 Syrian returns this month, but could not say how many were voluntary trips or forced deportations. …

Most Syrians live in southern Turkish provinces near the border but Istanbul province holds the largest contingent. Many have started hiding at home, waiting for the wave of arrests to recede and some stopping work to express their anger. …

As the mood sours towards Syrians, the Turkish government has repeated it is working to help Syrians cross back into Turkish-controlled parts of northern Syria. President Tayyip Erdogan said last month that around 330,000 had returned since Turkey launched military operations in Syria three years ago. …


A week after Abu Ahmad was detained, he called his brother Abu al-Deir to say he expected to be released and was just waiting for the paperwork to be completed.

“Our biggest fear was only him being sent back to Sanliurfa,” Abu al-Deir said, referring to the Turkish border province where he was registered. “We didn’t even consider him being deported to Syria.” Like his brother, he spoke to Reuters on condition that he not be identified by his full name.

Abu Ahmad said he was taken to a prison near the airport on the Asian side of Istanbul. “The smell was inhumane,” he said, describing two inedible meals they were given and the lawyer he said swindled detainees out of hundreds of dollars, promising to get them released. Everyone who paid him was still deported.

A policeman ordered him to sign paperwork in Turkish and Arabic that said he was voluntarily returning to Syria. “I said: ‘This is for deportation. I don’t want to be deported’.”

The policeman told him that the undated document would only be used if he committed a crime. Other policemen came in the room, yelling at and slapping some of the detained Syrians until, Abu Ahmad said, “everyone signed”.

Two days later, Abu al-Deir got another call from his brother, this time from inside Syria. “When he told us at first we were surprised, we thought he was joking,” said Abu al-Deir.

Abu Ahmad’s wife, nine months pregnant, and Abu al-Deir took a 20-hour bus trip from Istanbul to Sanliurfa. Although his wife is in the last stage of gaining Turkish citizenship and his brother has a valid permit to stay in Istanbul, Abu Ahmad said he fears they could both be picked up if they stay in the city, because others with valid papers were deported along with him.

He wants to be smuggled back, but then would have no valid documentation. He also wants to get a lawyer to help sort matters out.

“What makes you angry is, if you’d committed a crime, okay,” he said, pausing and taking a sip of tea. “But no one has committed a crime.” (Additional reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen Writing by Sarah Dadouch Editing by Dominic Evans and Mark Heinrich)

On Wednesday, the Turkish Defense Ministry stated that Turkish and US military officials agreed to build a “safe zone” in northern Syria. According to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency. The 30-to-40-kilometer (18-to-25-mile) wide “safe zone” will be controlled by Turkey in coordination with the United States: here.

Lynx in Turkey, new study

This 2015 video is about a lynx in Turkey.

From Forschungsverbund Berlin in Germany:

Lynx in Turkey: Noninvasive sample collection provides insights into genetic diversity

June 17, 2019

Summary: A team of scientists collected data and samples (feces, hair) from the Caucasian Lynx (Lynx lynx dinniki), in a region of Anatolian Turkey over several years. The results of the genetic analyses indicated an unexpectedly high genetic diversity and lack of inbreeding despite the recent isolation of the study population.

Little is known about the biology and the genetic status of the Caucasian Lynx (Lynx lynx dinniki), a subspecies of the Eurasian lynx distributed across portions of Turkey, the Caucasus region and Iran. To collect baseline genetic, ecological, and behavioural data and assist future conservation efforts, a team of scientists from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW) collected data and samples in a region of Anatolian Turkey over several years. They were particularly interested in the question whether non-invasive samples (faeces, hair) were helpful to discern genetic diversity of the study population. The results of the genetic analyses indicated an unexpectedly high genetic diversity and lack of inbreeding despite the recent isolation of the study population, a result that would not have been obtained with the use of conventional samples. The data also revealed that females stay near home ranges in which they were born whereas males disperse after separation from their mothers. These insights into the genetics and behaviour of the Caucasian Lynx are published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Among lynx species, the Eurasian Lynx has the widest geographical distribution. Previous research has largely focused on European populations, with the result that there is little known about the subspecies in Asia, such as the Caucasian and Himalayan subspecies. “Scientists still know surprisingly little about their ecological requirements, spatial structure and genetic diversity,” says Leibniz-IZW researcher Deniz Mengulluoglu (Department for Evolutionary Ecology). “Our study aimed at collecting baseline genetic, ecological and behavioural data of the lynx population in a mountainous region in north-west Anatolia.” Making use of box trapping and non-invasive faecal sampling allowed Mengulluoglu to extract DNA and conduct genetic analyses on a population scale. The lynx population had also been monitored via camera traps at 54 different stations for nearly a decade.

Looking into family relationships of individual lynx, the data revealed that females stay near the territories in which they were born whereas males disperse after separation from their mothers. Such behaviour is known from many mammals, most likely to avoid inbreeding. “We can conclude from our analyses that territoriality in lynx and philopatry in female lynx can result in low genetic diversity estimates if sampling is done in small study areas via box trapping alone,” says Mengulluoglu. This behaviour — females remaining in close proximity to their mothers’ territory — is called female philopatry, and Mengulluoglu and his team confirmed it for this subspecies. “Using faecal samples that were non-invasively collected, we were able to sample more non-territorial individuals, gaining information about an additional component of this lynx population.” Unless individuals become used to the presence of box traps within their own range (habituation), and thus are ready to enter them, sampling them by conventional means is unlikely. Hence habituation will bias conventional sample collection in favour of resident territorial individuals and their kittens.

A second important finding is that genetic diversity is unexpectedly high in this population. Lynx in north-west Anatolia are isolated from southern and north-eastern populations by a series of natural and human constructed barriers. “Population isolation can be harmful and, for example, lead to a loss of genetic variation. But it appears that genetic diversity is in fact substantial at the moment and matches the diversity found in European endogenous populations,” states senior author Daniel Foerster from the Leibniz-IZW, Department of Evolutionary Genetics. “Management should therefore focus on maintaining the current level of diversity.” As a first step, Mengulluoglu and Foerster recommend identification and conservation of primary lynx habitats and corridors in the region.

“We also need to address threats that can lead to future loss of genetic variation” adds Mengulluoglu. Since this study has set a baseline for comparison with future findings, similar work is needed for the other two Turkish populations in order to determine whether the three big populations are currently connected by gene flow at all, Mengulluoglu and Foerster say. Mengulluoglu is currently working on a long-term lynx monitoring project and the development of a “Turkish Lynx Conservation Action Plan” in collaboration with the Wildlife Department of Turkey.

Tony Blair whitewashing Turkish Erdogan’s war crimes

This video says about itself:

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair is welcomed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan before their meeting at Presidential Complex in Ankara, Turkey on November 18, 2015.

By Phil Miller in Britain:

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Jack Straw gives Erdogan’s wife humanitarian award

Critics say was ‘designed to whitewash Turkey’s war crimes

FORMER Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw has dished out a “humanitarian award” to the wife of Turkish autocrat Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a ceremony in London.

Tony and Cherie Blair were also keynote speakers at the World Humanitarian Forum, a two-day event ending today that critics say was “designed to whitewash Turkey’s war crimes.”

Rosa Gilbert from the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign (KSC) told the Morning Star: “It is a huge insult to see Jack Straw — complicit in extraordinary rendition and torture, not to mention the disastrous war on Iraq — lecture us on ‘humanitarianism’ while handing awards to a Turkish regime that has aided and abetted jihadists in Syria and used their Nato membership to wage a dirty, murderous war on Kurds both in Syria and Turkey.”

In 2004 when he was foreign secretary, Mr Straw is alleged to have authorised the rendition of a pregnant woman to the torture chambers of Libya’s then dictator Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.

The arch-Blairite bestowed a “Changemaker” award on first lady Emine Erdogan yesterday in recognition of her humanitarian work with Palestinians and the Rohingya.

However, her husband is less keen on supporting national minorities in Turkey and Syria, where he has led a crackdown on Kurdish people.

Ms Gilbert alleged the Turkish state was behind the awards ceremony and said that it was “unsurprising to see disgraced politicians like the Blairs and Jack Straw … whitewash Turkey’s war crimes.”

She recalled Mr Blair’s proscription of the Kurdistan Workers Party under the Terrorism Act 2000, a ban that was opposed by Jeremy Corbyn at the time.

“We hope that under Corbyn, Labour has shifted away from the murderous clutches of Erdogan and will support Kurdish socialists,” Ms Gilbert said.

Turkish, Australian rulers quarrel on Christchurch bloodbath

This music video about Australia and the first world war is called The Pogues – The band played Waltzing Matilda.

The lyrics are:

When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murray’s green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over

Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It’s time to stop rambling ’cause there’s work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter

Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he’d blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia

But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again

Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher

Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying

For no more I’ll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla

And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory

And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, “What are they marching for?”
And I ask myself the same question

And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who’ll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?

By Tom Peters in New Zealand:

After fascist terror attack, New Zealand and Australia stoke tensions with Turkey

25 March 2019

Last week the Australian and New Zealand governments furiously attacked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his response to the March 15 Christchurch mass shooting, in which Australian fascist terrorist Brenton Tarrant killed 50 people in two mosques.

Addressing a political rally on March 18, Erdogan likened Tarrant’s white supremacist ideology to the anti-Muslim views of Allied soldiers sent to fight the Ottoman Empire in World War I. His comments prompted immediate, belligerent denunciations from the Australian and New Zealand political establishment and media, which glorifies the role of the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) in WWI, especially the disastrous attempted invasion of Turkey via the Gallipoli Peninsula in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.

The Anzac “legend” is a central ideological tool used by Australia and New Zealand’s ruling elite to promote patriotism and militarism particularly amid acute social tensions over poverty and inequality. It has helped create the environment that fuelled the growth of fascist groups and led to the Christchurch massacre.

Speaking to a crowd near the Gallipoli battle site, Erdogan declared that Tarrant’s shooting “wasn’t an individual attack, this is organised,” contradicting claims by New Zealand police that Tarrant acted alone. Turkish authorities believe he was backed by a well-resourced organisation and may have been planning terror attacks in Turkey, which he visited twice in 2016.

Referring to the defeat of the Allies at Gallipoli, Erdogan said anyone travelling to Turkey with views like Tarrant’s would face the same fate. “Your grandparents came, some of them returned in coffins”, he declared. “If you come again like your grandfathers, be sure that you will be gone like your grandfathers.”

At several campaign rallies, Erdogan has shown excerpts of Tarrant’s video of his horrific attack, in which three Turkish nationals were injured. He demanded that New Zealand bring back the death penalty for Tarrant, otherwise Turkey would “make [him] pay one way or another.”

Erdogan’s statements are aimed at whipping up Turkish nationalism in order to divert growing working-class anger over social inequality in the lead-up to the March 31 local elections. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is desperately trying to cling to power amid an economic crisis and worsening tensions with the US

The outraged response to Erdogan from Canberra and Wellington, however, is just as reactionary. Neither government condemned or sought to differentiate themselves from Tarrant’s call in his manifesto for Christians to reconquer Istanbul and slaughter Turks, or his threat to “kill Erdogan”. Instead, they sought to whip up nationalist sentiment against Turkey and defend the Anzacs’ World War I campaign.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, in a bellicose rant, called Erdogan’s speech “highly offensive to Australians and highly reckless in this very sensitive environment”, and an “insult [to] the memory of our Anzacs.”

After speaking with the Turkish ambassador, Morrison told the media he was not satisfied with the “excuse” that Erdogan was engaged in a heated political campaign. He declared that “all options are now on the table”, including expelling Turkish diplomats.

In a highly provocative move, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sent Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters to Turkey to “confront” Erdogan. Peters told journalists that Erdogan’s speech “imperils the safety of the New Zealand people”, even though the Turkish president did not threaten peaceful tourists, only violent anti-Muslim extremists like Tarrant.

Peters leads the right-wing nationalist New Zealand First Party, which has a major role in the Labour Party-led coalition government. It has repeatedly scapegoated immigrants for social inequality, low wages and unemployment and demonised Muslims as potential terrorists. Before departing, Peters told journalists he would not retract his previous anti-Muslim statements.

By Thursday Australia and New Zealand had received an “assurance” from Ankara that travellers would be welcome at Gallipoli on Anzac Day. Morrison said he was pleased Erdogan has “moderated” his rhetoric. The [Rupert Murdoch] Australian, however, reported that some in the government “feared [Erdogan’s remarks] could… unleash a wave of jihadist attacks on Australians at home and abroad.”

Anzac Day, the April 25 holiday in Australia and New Zealand, marks the landing of soldiers at Gallipoli in 1915. The ruling class in both countries encourages citizens to make patriotic “pilgrimages” to Gallipoli on the day.

The Gallipoli campaign was a disastrous attempt by the Allies to seize control of the strategic Dardanelles shipping lanes. The battle cost the lives of 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders, more than 21,000 British, 10,000 French, 1,300 Indians and more than 86,000 Ottoman soldiers. A further 262,014 people were wounded on all sides. After the war the defeated Ottoman Empire was broken up and its Middle Eastern territories divided between Britain and France.

The slaughter at Gallipoli was part of an imperialist war aimed at re-dividing the world between the major imperialist countries. Australia and New Zealand joined the war as part of the British Empire and as minor imperialist powers in their own right seeking a share of the plunder, especially of colonies in the Pacific region.

The battle is promoted by the Australian and New Zealand ruling class as a pivotal moment in the forging of national identity and militarist values. During the 2014-2018 centenary of World War I, governments in both countries poured hundreds of millions of dollars into museums, monuments, films, books and events glorifying the Anzacs, in order to inculcate respect for the military and prepare young people, in particular, for future imperialist wars.

Anzac Day ceremonies promote not only WWI and WWII, but all wars Australia and New Zealand have joined, including the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the US-led wars aimed at controlling resource-rich Iraq and Afghanistan, fought on the pretext of defeating terrorism.

Anzac mythology has always falsely justified the imperialist war as the defence of democracy and “our way of life”. Now, however, it is increasingly portrayed as a fight against Islamic “extremism” and a precursor to today’s wars. John King, chairman of the Returned Services League (RSL), told the Australian on Thursday that Erdogan’s speeches were “the sort of hate and extremism” Australian soldiers had fought against.

Damien Fenton, who wrote a state-funded book praising New Zealand’s World War I campaign, has described the war against the Ottoman Empire as “New Zealand’s first taste of jihad.” A Southland Times article in October 2014 reported: “Fenton says it is ‘chilling’ to reflect that Gallipoli was the cradle for the jihad the world is experiencing right now.”

The Australian far-right group United Patriots Front, which was a major influence on Tarrant, heavily promotes Anzac Day and portrays the Gallipoli campaign as part of an ongoing fight against Islam.

The fascist who carried out the March 15 attacks did not develop his views in a vacuum. He grew up during a quarter century of constant wars in the Middle East, accompanied by anti-Muslim racism and militarist propaganda, including the historical lies surrounding the Anzac legend.

The author also recommends:

Australian PM seeks to cover up political roots of fascist attack in New Zealand
[23 March 2019]

After far-right terror attack, New York Times glorifies New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
[21 March 2019]

The New Zealand terrorist attack and the international danger of fascism
[18 March 2019]