‘Bosses made construction worker die by coronavirus’


Turkish trade union Dev Yapi-Is national president Ozgur Karabulut speaks at the funeral of Hasan Öguz

By Steve Sweeney:

Turkish unions accuse bosses of murder after construction worker’s death

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

TURKISH trade unions have accused the government and construction bosses of murder after a worker died on a major building project associated with authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Strike action closed down the multimillion-dollar Galataport site after the death of Dev Yapi-Is union representative Hasan Oguz last week.

He was reported to have died of a heart attack, but the cause of death was officially recorded as “infectious disease”, believed by many to have been Covid-19.

Addressing striking workers on Tuesday, Dev Yapi-Is national president Ozgur Karabulut said: “We are mourning him [Mr Oguz]. But we are angry as well. This anger will make our struggle bigger.

“While capitalism is promoting its ‘stay at home campaign’, we are working to death on sites. Hasan was murdered. His killer is the greedy company.”

He confirmed that a criminal complaint would be filed.

Turkey is one of the world’s worst countries for workplace deaths, with at least 1,739 recorded in 2019, according to the Workers Health and Work Safety Assembly.

One of the deadliest incidents was the 2014 Soma mining disaster, in which more than 300 people lost their lives. Just weeks before, the government had refused to hold an inquiry into safety at the site.

Construction is notorious for its poor safety record and exploitation of workers.

The $1.7 billion Galataport development is one of Turkey’s most controversial and corrupt projects, according to trade unionists.

It is owned by Dogus Holdings, a pro-Erdogan conglomerate which also controls large swathes of the Turkish media, owning seven television stations, four radio stations and three magazines.

In January, protests were held at the Istanbul site after the company withheld wages for three months, owing each worker an average of 15,000 Turkish lira.

Mr Oguz was a well-known trade unionist and lost a lung due to working as a drill operator on a dusty construction site.

He set up union committees, organising workers to protest against unsafe conditions.

But this made him a target for bosses. He was sacked from a World Bank construction project, the Istanbul Urban Hospital, for campaigning on health and safety.

After a lengthy period of unemployment, he found work at the Galataport site. Conditions there were poor and have deteriorated during the coronavirus outbreak, with no protective equipment available for workers.

Mr Oguz organised a strike on March 20, leading bosses to promise new protective measures.

But nothing changed — workers remained exposed to the risk of Covid-19 and basic health and safety concerns were ignored.

They downed tools again on Tuesday after Mr Oguz’s funeral, which was attended by around 20 trade unionists and his family and friends.

Following the latest strike, bosses agreed to shut down the Galataport site until May 3.

Turkish government frees criminals, not political prisoners


This 2013 music video from Turkey says about itself:

Turkish revolutionary socialist music band Grup Yorum performs Bella Ciao live in Istanbul. Various musicians and artists join them on stage and sing along with thousands of comrades.

By Steve Sweeney:

Friday, April 3, 2020

Turkish state accused of murder after death of hunger-striking Grup Yorum musician

TURKEY’S ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was accused of murder today following the death of revolutionary leftist musician Helin Bölek after 288 days on hunger strike.

Ms Bölek, a member of the outlawed band Grup Yorum, had refused medical intervention after turning her hunger strike into a “death fast” earlier this year, along with fellow band member Ibrahim Gokcek.

“All Helin wanted to do was to sing her songs freely. AKP fascism is responsible for her death,” Grup Yorum said in a statement.

Helin Bölek's funeral

This photo shows Helin Bölek’s funeral.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Turkey wants to release prisoners, but not political prisoners

“I am so afraid that my father will get the coronavirus,” sobs a boy of about eight years old. “I want my father back.” In a video message, children of political prisoners in Turkey express concern about the fate of their parents. A girl speaks boldly, “Don’t take away my dad’s right to health. Listen to us, please.”

In Turkey, it will be decided this week whether more than 90,000 prisoners can be released. A law that makes this possible has been discussed for some time, because Turkish prisons have been overcrowded for years. Due to the coronavirus outbreak, efforts are being made to introduce the law as soon as possible. …

The law that is ready does not apply to all prisoners. … There is another group that will have to stay behind bars: thousands of political prisoners. They are journalists, writers, academics, activists and opposition politicians.

Turkish prisons have over 20 percent more prisoners than there is official space for. Cells with space for eight prisoners are populated by twenty people in some prisons. There are stories about prisoners who have to take turns sleeping because of the lack of space.

The number of corona infections in Turkey is increasing rapidly. The counter is at about 24,000. 501 people died. 80 million people live in Turkey.

According to human rights organization Human Rights Watch, all prisoners are at risk of being infected with the coronavirus and it is impossible to protect them against this in tight cells. “There is a lack of hygiene, there are too few face masks for staff. It is simply not possible to apply social distancing in such circumstances,” said Emma Sinclair, HRW rapporteur in Turkey. “Only one warder needs to be infected. The virus can spread very quickly in prison.”

It is impossible for political prisoners to be excluded from release. “These people have been convicted under terrorism laws but have not in fact committed any criminal or terrorist offenses. They have been penalized for their opinion.”

Heart problems

There is concern about aged prisoners and prisoners with underlying medical problems. For example, Kurdish politician Selahattin Demirtas is struggling with heart problems. Philanthropist and peace activist Osman Kavala also falls into the risk group because he is over sixty.

Kavala was acquitted in February of involvement in the Gezi protests. On the same day, he was arrested again on suspicion of involvement in the failed 2016 coup. Writer and journalist Ahmet Altan is 70 years old, and he has also been detained on charges of involvement in the failed coup. Journalist Mumtazer Turkone, who is detained for alleged ties to the Gülen movement, is also said to be under treatment for heart problems.

“If they become infected with the coronavirus, it could mean their death sentence,” said Erol Önderolu, reporter for Reporters Without Borders. “I am not surprised, but it is alarming. These are people who do not belong in prison in the first place, you cannot be excluded from such an arrangement.” …

The largest opposition party CHP accuses Erdogan‘s government of playing with human lives. “The lives of these prisoners were threatened without the pandemic,” said Burkay Düzce of the Istanbul party. “If the government does not apply that law to everyone, they are not only guilty of violating the right to freedom of expression, but also the right to live.”

Turkey: Progressive lawyers turn their hunger strike into a ‘death fast’ in demand for a fair trial: here.

Opposition party demands Turkish government protects women as violence rises after lockdown: here.

Women’s shelters in Turkey’s Kurdish regions forced to close after spike in demand following lockdown: here.

I used to be a guitarist, now I am a ‘terrorist’. Turkish folk musician IBRAHIM GOKCEK explains why he is on a death fast in the face of persecution by Erdogan’s authoritarian government: here.

Rolls-Royce giving Erdogan Turkey nuclear weapons?


This 2014 video is called Turkey: Anti-nuclear protest in Sinop.

By Steve Sweeney:

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Fears over nuclear Turkey after Rolls Royce reactor deal

ENGINEERING firm Rolls-Royce has struck a deal with Turkey for the production of nuclear mini-reactors, sparking fears that the British company and its international consortium partners are helping pave the way for Ankara to develop a nuclear bomb.

In a statement, Rolls-Royce said that its overseas holding EUAS International ICC had signed a “memorandum of understanding” with the Turkish government to “help develop low-carbon energy systems opening an exciting new chapter in the strong relationship between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey.”

It is part of a consortium including BAM Nuttall, Laing O’Rourke, National Nuclear Laboratory, Atkins and others. They will work together on designing the new power plant.

Coronavirus threatens Greek-Turkish border refugees


This 6 March 2020 video says about itself:

Turkey has deployed 1,000 police officers to its border to prevent Greece from pushing migrants and refugees back into its territory.

Tens of thousands of people have been trying to cross into Europe since Ankara opened its borders last week.

But Greece does not want them.

Al Jazeera’s Natasha Ghoneim reports from Edirne on the Turkey-Greece border.

By Seda Taskin in Turkey:

Friday, March 20, 2020

Thousands of refugees fear coronavirus after being abandoned on Turkish-Greek border

SOME 10,000 refugees are at heightened risk of coronavirus at the Turkish-Greek border with nowhere to go, despite being asked to “stay at home” to prevent spread of the disease.

Muhammed Salih, who is among those to have been waiting at the Kapikule border for 20 days, warned that the situation is “really bad”.

“Everyone is afraid of catching the coronavirus here. We don’t want to be sick.

“They tell people to ‘stay at home’. But where should those who don’t have a house stay?”

Thousands of migrants have been left stranded in the border region for more than three weeks.

Many of them were bussed there by Turkey after its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened land and sea borders with Greece, promising to “flood the gates of Europe” unless he was given support for his illegal war on northern Syria.

Many children are among those trapped, living in makeshift tents in cold weather.

Mr Salih said that soldiers prevented the refugees from accessing the villages, warning that food supplies were running short.

“The soldiers are constantly fighting with us and want us to leave. But we have nowhere to go. Our only hope is to leave here as soon as possible,” he said, explaining that he had sold all of his possessions in a bid to reach Europe.

He said that there were about ten thousand people at the border, surviving on bread, water and biscuits.

“Food and blanket supplies are very insufficient. They give a meal for three people to a family of six. We need food for our babies, but we cannot find it either.”

Appealing for help, he said: “It gets very cold in the evening. They should not forget us. We have a soul.”

Republican People’s Party MP for Istanbul Ali Seker warned that the situation for refugees was as serious as the coronavirus outbreak.

Europe, the US and Turkey were all responsible for the situation, he said, calling on them to take necessary measures.

Refugees have reported brutal treatment at the hands of Greek security services and the Frontex border agency. Many claim to have been badly beaten, saying that tear gas has been fired at crowds which included children.

A Syrian man was shot dead by Greek authorities at the border two weeks ago.

Lawyer Abdullah Resul Demir, president of the International Refugee Rights Association, confirmed that a criminal complaint was to be filed against the Greek police over the alleged brutality.

Peace illegal in Erdogan’s Turkey


This July 2015 Associated Press video from Turkey says about itself:

A thousand women demonstrate for peace on border

00:00 Protestors with hands in the air chanting 00:09 Protestors cheer the arrival of a bus with more demonstrators arriving 00:13 Wide reverse shot of demonstration 00:16 SOUNDBITE: (Turkish) Elif Akgul, spokeswoman for “Kadin Platform”, or Women Platform: 00:27 Close-up of women listening 00:33 Women with banner chanting 00:42 Protesters acting out mock fight 00:47 Close-up of woman and flowers 00:53 Woman waving and cheering 01:00 Wide of protest 01:04 Ends

By Steve Sweeney:

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Activists hit out as anti-war slogans banned in Istanbul

ACTIVISTS and human-rights lawyers in Istanbul today demanded that a ban on the slogan “no to war” and demonstrations against military operations in Syria be overturned.

The city governor’s office came under fire after it issued a decree against all actions and activities criticising Turkey’s offensive in Idlib province, where it is holed up with its jihadist allies.

The ban prohibits all rallies, demonstrations and the distribution of anti-war literature “because they can cause public indignation,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

But the prevention of peaceful gatherings was branded “unacceptable” and a breach of international conventions by Gulseren Yoleri, chairwoman of the Human Rights Association’s Istanbul branch.

She said: “To praise peace, to demand peace is a responsibility. Therefore banning statements defending peace and life and human rights is unacceptable.

“Human rights defenders will always advocate peace. For this reason, we think that the ban must be removed as soon as possible.”

Turkey has moved to silence all opposition to its illegal invasions and occupations of northern Syria.

This morning Umar Karatepe, head of communications for the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (Disk), was detained over social media posts opposing Turkey’s actions in Idlib.

He was freed on a judicial order after being interrogated about the content of his tweets.

Mr Karatepe said that it was “the price to defend life and peace,” adding: “that price is not worse than death and war.”

Investigations are also under way into scores of opposition politicians, mostly from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) for opposing the so-called Operation Peace Spring — Turkey’s war against Kurds in northern Syria.

HDP co-chairs Pervin Buldan and Mithat Sancar have demanded the recall of parliament and a debate to be held on the war in Syria so that the public are informed of developments.

They insisted that dialogue was the only solution, hitting out at the “cover up, censorship and blocking of social media platforms.”

Earlier this week the United Nations accused Turkey of potential war crimes during its operations in northern Syria.

It warned that charges could be brought against Turkish military commanders for atrocities committed by the myriad of jihadist groups it supports, including the Free Syrian Army.

This included the brutal torture and execution of Kurdish-Syrian politician Hevrin Khalef whose body was found dumped at the side of the road in October last year.

Fight coronavirus, not Erdogan’s war in Syria


This 1 March 2020 video by the United States Democratic party congresswoman, presidential candidate, and Iraq war veteran in a military hospital Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

Focus on war against Coronavirus—not protecting Al Qaeda-Turkish alliance!

President Trump, instead of going to war with Russia and Syria in order to protect the al-Qaeda-Turkish alliance, you should focus on the war against the Coronavirus.

TENSIONS escalated between Turkey and Russia today with the detention of four journalists from the Russian Sputnik news agency in Ankara and Istanbul. Three journalists were held when they attended a police station in the Turkish capital to report what appeared to be co-ordinated attacks on their homes by Turkish nationalists on Saturday night. Hours later Sputnik editor-in-chief for Turkey Mahir Boztepe was held during a police raid on the agency’s Istanbul office and taken to the General Directorate of Security: here.

Over the weekend, Turkey intensified its conflict with the Syrian government forces in Syria’s Idlib province, announcing a military offensive and shooting down two Syrian jets. The reactionary nine-year, US-led proxy war in Syria is escalating into a war between the Turkish and Syrian states, threatening to start a war between the entire NATO alliance and Syria’s ally, Russia: here.

‘Trump, NATO shouldn’t support Erdogan’s Syrian war’


This 29 February 2020 video by United States Democratic Congresswoman, presidential candidate and Iraq war veteran Tulsi Gabbard says about itself:

Say no to getting dragged into Erdogan’s war with Russia

Donald Trump needs to make it clear to NATO and Erdogan that the United States will not be dragged into a war with Russia by the aggressive, Islamist, expansionist dictator of Turkey, a so-called “NATO” ally.

The main “rebel” force fighting force in Idlib [allies of the Turkish Erdogan regime] is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a United Nations-designated terrorist front led by the former Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda. The former top US diplomat in charge of the anti-ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) campaign, Brett McGurk, described Idlib province as “the largest Al Qaeda safe haven since 9/11” and “a huge problem”: here.

Turkish war profiteering in Nigeria


This 29 November 2019 video from Nigeria says about itself:

Boko Haram might not be sponsored by local entities as we previously thought, as reports that Turkey is supplying sophisticated weapons to the terrorist group have emerged and now have caught the attention of the Defence headquarters who has described it as a serious issue.

Ugochukwu Ikeakor and Peter Eigbedion joined us in the studio.

Plus TV Africa’s Maryann Duke Okon brings you PLUS POLITICS, a show designed to keep YOU in the know.

By Steve Sweeney:

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Turkey in new arms trafficking row after Nigeria weapons report

TURKEY found itself at the centre of a new arms trafficking scandal today after a major study found weapons manufactured there are being used in a deadly conflict in Nigeria.

Investigators from the Conflict Armament Research (Car) group spent three years examining hundreds of weapons and ammunition in Kaduna, Katsina and Zamfara in the north of the country.

The area has been plagued by inter-communal violence with clashes between farmers and semi-nomadic herdsmen.

It has also seen attacks by jihadist groups keen to exploit an increasingly volatile situation.

A report seen by the Morning Star revealed that large numbers of the deadly weapons, including semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, were made in Turkey.

Car claimed that several thousand of the weapons were shipped in containers from Istanbul to Lagos in 2017 as part of a major organised trafficking network.

The data set of weapons also included assault rifles manufactured in Iraq in 1987 of a type used mainly by jihadist groups …

While Car insisted that it does not indicate that the farming groups are linked with the terrorist factions, it does point to them obtaining the weapons from the same sources.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is becoming increasingly seen as the world’s leading supporter of jihadist groups accused of fuelling deadly conflicts.

Most recently the Turkish government sent thousands of jihadist fighters from Syria to the aid of the [Tripoli] Government of National Accord in Libya.

Turkish intelligence operatives have also been accused of taking jihadists across the border into Syria where they have been engaged in fighting against Kurdish forces as part of Ankara’s illegal invasion and occupation.

On the domestic front, Mr Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was accused by a European Union intelligence agency of commissioning an Isis bomb attack in October 2016 which killed more than 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara.

In November last year, he was accused of shipping arms to the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria via Turkish Airlines.

An audio recording purporting to be former Turkish Airlines executive Mehmet Karatas was leaked in which he told Mr Erdogan’s adviser Mustafa Varank that he felt guilty over his role in transferring the weapons.

The herder-farmer conflicts are said to have killed more people than Boko Haram attacks in the region.

But there has been an escalation of Islamist attacks with groups affiliated to Isis and al-Qaida launching a wave of deadly assaults in Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Burkina Faso.

Jihadists given Turkish uniforms as Russian and Syrian troops close in on Idlib: here.

Turkey’s Erdogan Libyan anti-refugee scandal


This 3 January 2020 video says about itself:

Turkey’s recent maritime deal with Libya’s Government of National Accord [one of several governments] has caused tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. The agreement, which mapped out a sea area between Turkey and Libya, would allow Ankara access to oil shale deposits in the region.

Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and the European Union have expressed opposition. Athens said it clearly ignored the presence of the Greek island of Crete while Egypt dismissed the deal as “illegal”. Despite opposition, Ankara still sent the agreement to the United Nations a week after it was signed. And Turkey’s energy minister later said the country will begin “exploration of oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean.”

By Ben Cowles:

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Turkish naval ship aids pushback of refugees to Libya

Meanwhile, NGOs remain the only ships in the Mediterranean to rescue people fleeing the war zone

A TURKISH naval ship aided the return of refugees to war-torn Libya today after pulling around 30 people from a dinghy in the central Mediterranean Sea in the morning.

Turkey’s National Defence Department tweeted a video today of one of its ships, the Gaziantep, coming across a refugee dinghy, its crew boarding the visibly-dazed survivors onto their vessel before returning them to a smaller military ship that it said was the Libyan Coastguard.

German refugee-rescue charity Sea Watch said that its plane, Moonbird, documented the capture.

“Turkey, a signatory to the [European Convention on Human Rights] and a member of Nato, has thus become complicit in yet another serious violation of human rights,” Sea Watch tweeted.

The UN refugee agency’s (UNHCR) special envoy for the central Mediterranean, Vincent Cochetel, said that the rescue was appreciated, but “all returns to Libya from international waters are contrary to international maritime and human rights law.

“It applies to all countries and all military forces present in the Mediterranean. Returns to Libya [equal] risks of torture, arbitrary detention, slavery [and] risks to life.”

The Gaziantep was taking part in a Nato operation called Sea Guardian at the time of the rescue.

One of the many tasks of the Mediterranean-based Nato mission, its website states, is “providing support … to [the European Union’s anti-human-trafficking military mission] Operation Sophia.”

In April last year, the EU pulled all of Operation Sophia’s ships from the Mediterranean under pressure from Italy’s then far-right coalition government, leaving a small collection of NGO ships as the only actors carrying out refugee rescues off the Libyan coast.

“Turkey shows that it does not believe in human rights,” Axel Steier, co-founder of the German refugee rescue charity Mission Lifeline, told the Star today.

“We are seeing people with Turkey’s consent being kidnapped to Libya.

“The truth is that Nato members can do what they want. All other states are watching and there are no consequences.

“The system is simply completely degenerate and refugees, especially, suffer extremely.”

Meanwhile, the Open Arms, a ship run by the Spanish NGO of the same name and the only rescue ship off the Libyan coast, found another group stranded in the Mediterranean this afternoon.

The ship was alerted by the activist network Alarm Phone of the boat in distress this morning.

“[We] rescued a small vessel in danger with 45 people, in poor physical condition,” Open Arms wrote above a tweeted video of the rescue.

“A five-year-old boy, injured. We now have 282 people on board and medical cases that may require evacuation.”

Alarm Phone later praised the actions of the civil refugee-rescue fleet.

“Moments ago, Open Arms carried out a successful rescue operation! 45 people are now safely on board.

“Moonbird was once more crucial to monitor the distress situation from above! Civil fleet to the rescue once again, with phones, aircraft and ships!”

This morning, the NGO ship operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the Ocean Viking, disembarked over 400 refugees in Taranto, Italy.

SOS Mediterranee’s Director of Operations Frederic Penard told the Star: “The Ocean Viking conducted five rescues in less than 72 hours.

“We had to cover hundreds of nautical miles to search for multiple boats in distress while crews were already taking care of hundreds of people on deck.

“All these rescues occurred at night, in very challenging conditions.

“While Europe was sleeping, the boats we found were overcrowded, near capsizing or breaking after having spent hours at sea with no assistance.

“Without civil rescue ships, the area of the Mediterranean Sea would mostly be left unattended.

“On Sunday, the Libyan coastguards themselves admitted that they were not in a capacity to conduct operations that day.

“The situation in the central Mediterranean this past weekend has shown again a dire need of search-and-rescue capacity and co-ordination to save lives.”

Journalists jailed in Turkey after revealing name of intelligence official killed in Libya: here.

THE SYRIAN Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says Turkey has so far sent more than 4,500 allied Takfiri terrorists from Syria to Libya, after the Turkish parliament passed a bill earlier this year to allow the government to deploy forces to the North African country to intervene in the ongoing war: here.

Turkish Erdogan’s oil war in Libya


This 21 December 2019 video says about itself:

Maritime disputes spur civil war in Libya

In this episode of Mapping Faultlines, we look at the escalating crisis in Libya where warlord Khalifa Haftar is making a push towards Tripoli yet again. Meanwhile, the GNA [Tripoli] government has signed an agreement with Turkey, which enables the latter to lay claim on part of the Mediterranean Sea. The competition between Turkey and countries such as Egypt, Israel and Greece has added further complexity to the conflict in Libya.

As United States President Donald Trump bombs oil-rich Iraq, Syria and Somalia, and sends more United States soldiers to IraqTrump’s Turkish NATO ally Erdogan wants to send Turkish soldiers to the bloody war in Libya; already a proxy oil war between President Macron and Total oil corporation of France on the one hand, and the government of Italy (like Turkey, former colonial power in Libya) and Italian oil corporation Eni on the other hand.

From daily News Line in Britain, 31 December 2019:

TURKISH Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose country is preparing for troop deployment to Libya, says the prolongation of the Libyan conflict could plunge the North African country into ‘chaos’ and turn it into another Syria.

Dear Mr Mevlut Cavusoglu: Libya is basically like Syria ever since your NATO started its war in 2011; in some aspects, live the slave markets, even worse than Syria.

The accords – one on security and military cooperation and another on maritime boundaries in the eastern Mediterranean – were inked on November 27 and granted Ankara the right to deploy troops to Libya if asked by Tripoli.

Last Thursday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara had received that request and that the Turkish parliament would soon authorise the dispatch of troops to Libya.

Erdogan said the Turkish parliament will soon pass a bill to send military forces to Libya as Tripoli has offered an ‘invitation’ for the deployment. …

Libya was wrecked by chaos in 2011, when an Islamist uprising backed by a NATO military intervention, using airpower, led to the overthrow and murder of long-time leader Muammar Gadaffi by Islamist fighters, after Gadaffi’s convoy was attacked by NATO aircraft. …

On November 27, Turkey and Libya signed the maritime accord which marks the boundary between the two countries in the energy-rich eastern Mediterranean close to the Greek island of Crete. …

Also last Thursday, Libya’s Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said at a press conference in Tunis that a Turkish-Tunisian-Algerian alliance had been formed to support the Libyan [Tripoli] government.

The Tunisian Presidency, however, dismissed joining the alliance and insisted that the country wanted to preserve its neutral stance on the Libya crisis without taking part in any coalitions.

‘Rachida Ennaifer, designated Media in-Charge at the Tunisian Presidency, denies the press conference statement by Fathi Bashagha on Tunisia joining an alliance with Libya, Turkey and Algeria. She said the statement does not reflect the position of Tunisia’, the Libyan News Observatory tweeted.

Turkey’s Libya intervention escalates a dangerous power struggle: here.

The nine-year civil war between rival militias unleashed by NATO’s destruction of the Libyan regime in its 2011 war threatens to escalate into all-out war between major regional powers. As the Turkish parliament voted yesterday to authorize a military intervention to back Fayez el-Sarraj’s Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, key backers of Khalifa Haftar’s rival Libyan National Army (LNA) were denouncing the vote as illegal and threatening to intervene. After a call with French President Emmanuel Macron on December 30, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi issued a communiqué denouncing the Turkey-GNA accords as “illegal foreign intervention” in Libya: here.

Neo-Ottomanism: the political economy of contemporary Turkey. Turkish communist leader KEMAL OKUYAN explains the background to the despatch of Turkish troops to Libya and Turkey’s new claims to mineral resources in the eastern Mediterranean: here.