British Conservative government sells weapons to Turkish regime

This video says about itself:

Torture in Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey: Amnesty finds evidence of torture including rape of detainees

10 August 2016

Amnesty International petitions against Turkey’s post-coup crackdown on political dissent.

Petition Link: here.

“There are well-founded fears for people’s rights and freedoms in Turkey, as a crackdown of exceptional proportions continues following the failed coup attempt on 15 July 2016.

At a time of great fear and uncertainty the government must not trample over people’s rights in the pursuit of justice.

Abuses that took place during the attempted coup must be investigated and perpetrators brought to justice, but human rights must be upheld – not disregarded – during this process.

The state of emergency does not override Turkey’s obligations under international law and should not discard hard-won freedoms and safeguards.

Nobody can feel safe when human rights are not upheld.

Tell President Erdogan rights hard-won cannot be taken away, even during a state of emergency.

Turkish authorities must respect human rights as they carry out investigations, releasing people where there is no evidence of criminal acts and granting fair trials.

The prohibition of torture is absolute and can never be compromised or suspended. Amid torture allegations, independent monitors must be given access to detainees in all facilities. All detainees must have regular access to lawyers and family members.

The state of emergency must not be used as an excuse to crack down on peaceful dissenting voices or for widespread purges in civil society, media, the judiciary, education and other sections of society.

Censorship of media simply for criticising government policy is unlawful, even in a state of emergency.

Workers’ rights to challenge their suspensions or dismissals, in fair and transparent procedures, must be upheld.”

By Steve Sweeney in Britain, Saturday, January 13, 2018:

Liam Fox oversees arms sales in Turkey on the day democracy goes on trail

KURDISH solidarity campaigners joined anti-arms trade activists in branding the government “appalling” today for overseeing arms sales to Turkey on the same day that an opposition leader was put on trial.

International Trade Secretary Liam Fox travelled to Turkey for a visit to build on the “strong foundations” laid when Prime Minister Theresa May met President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last January, striking a £100 million fighter-jet deal.

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup attempt in July 2016, with hundreds of journalists jailed and over 100,000 public-sector workers sacked in the ensuing clampdown.

Opposition MPs and activists from the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) were arrested in November 2016, including co-leader Selahattin Demirtas who appeared in an Istanbul courtroom today.

The United Nations warned that there are more than half a million people displaced in Turkey’s largely Kurdish south-east, where cities including Nusaybin and Cizre have been flattened by the Turkish military in an attempt to “flush out” Kurdistan Workers Party guerillas.

Campaign Against Arms Trade spokesman Andrew Smith said Mr Fox should use his visit to promote human rights, not arms sales.

“He should put the interest and rights of Turkish people above arms company profits”, he said.

Britain has licensed £415 million worth of arms to Ankara since Mr Erdogan became president in August 2014, having previously ruled as prime minister since 2003.

A recent poll from Opinium found that 68 per cent of British adults oppose arms exports to Turkey, with only 13 per cent in favour.

Despite its appalling human rights record, Turkey remains a “priority market” for British arms sales.

Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign co-secretary Rosa Gilbert condemned Mr Fox’s trip as “utterly appalling” on the day an opposition MP went on trial “following a politically orchestrated judicial set-up.

Our disgraced government is flogging weapons to the very regime that is repressing him and his party, the HDP.

“This is a regime whose military has attacked Kurdish civilians in south-east Turkey and northern Syria, yet our government sees no problem with facilitating their actions.”

Ms Gilbert argued that most British people would be appalled at Mr Fox making trade deals with “a regime that has supported Isis militarily and financially.”

The Department for International Trade had not responded to the Star’s request for comment at the time of going to press.


German government cosies up to Turkish regime

This video says about itself:

Turkey: A Prison for Journalists

12 December 2016

In 2016, Turkey became the world’s leading jailer of journalists, imprisoning at least 81 reporters, editors, and producers– a record number. Watch CPJ’s short documentary to find out more about what led to this turn for the worse in Turkey, and read CPJ’s 2016 Prison Census and more at

After the German government denied the Armenian genocide for NATO military reasons … now this.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Turkey and Germany: we have to become friends again

The Foreign Ministers of Germany and Turkey want to do everything they can to tighten the ties. They said that when the Turkish minister Cavusoglu visited Germany.

Cavusoglu stated that he wants to build bridges with Germany, Turkey’s largest trading partner and an important ally in NATO. “Problems and disagreement” must be resolved through collaboration and discussions, he said. [German Minister] Gabriel agreed.


The relationship has been chilled in recent years by a series of collisions. For example, Germany was critical of the mass arrests and dismissals by the Turkish authorities after the failed coup in 2016 and the detention of a German human rights activist and a German journalist. …

At the end of last month, President Erdogan announced that he wants to restore the relationship with European countries, including the Netherlands. Erdogan said he had received “satisfactory signals”, also from Prime Minister Rutte.

The Turkish president visited the French President Macron yesterday in Paris to bolster his attempts at rapprochement.

Turkish refugees to Greece

This video says about itself:

Turkey: Dozens detained at Ankara protest over imprisoned teachers

23 July 2017

Police turned water cannons and pepper spray on protesters decrying the arrest of two Turkish teachers in Ankara on Sunday.

From Ekathimerini daily in Greece, 16 December 2017:

Group of 32 Turkish civilians set to seek political asylum in Greece

A group of 32 Turkish citizens who reached Chios island on the weekend are expected to apply for political asylum in Greece, Kathimerini understands.

All state workers or teachers, the Turks claimed they feared persecution in their country, where Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a purge of the civil service and armed forces after a failed coup in 2016.

Coming just a few days after a tense visit to Greece by Erdogan, who demanded the extradition of eight military officers who fled to Greece after the failed coup, there are fears that an asylum request from the 32 Turks could further strain bilateral [NATO] ties.

Around 1,000 Turks have applied for asylum in Greece since July 2016.

Roman empire religion, archaeological discoveries

This video from the ancient city Doliche in Turkey says about itself:

Some impressions of the field research on the Dülük Baba Tepesi during the excavation campaign 2013 conducted by the Forschungsstelle Asia Minor.

From the Religion and Politics — Cluster of Excellence at WWU Münster in Germany:

More than 1,000 ancient sealings discovered

December 7, 2017

Classical scholars from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” of the University of Münster discovered a large number of sealings in south-east Turkey. “This unique group of artefacts comprising more than 1,000 pieces from the municipal archive of the ancient city of Doliche gives many insights into the local Graeco-Roman pantheon — from Zeus to Hera to Iuppiter Dolichenus, who turned into one of the most important Roman deities from this site,” classical scholar and excavation director Prof. Dr. Engelbert Winter from the Cluster of Excellence explains at the end of the excavation season. “The fact that administrative authorities sealed hundreds of documents with the images of gods shows how strongly religious beliefs shaped everyday life. The cult of Iuppiter Dolichenus did not only take place in the nearby central temple, but also left its mark on urban life,” says Prof Winter. “It also becomes apparent how strongly Iuppiter Dolichenus, originally worshipped at this location, was connected with the entire Roman Empire in the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD: many of the images show the god shaking hands with various Roman emperors.”

The excavation team has been exploring the temple of the soldier god Iuppiter Dolichenus for 17 years. This year, the team focussed on the urban area. “Under a mosaic dated to 400 AD within a complex of buildings, we were able to uncover an even older mosaic floor of equally high quality,” Prof. Winter explains. “According to the present findings, there is much evidence of a late antique church. This could turn out to be an important contribution to understanding the history of early Christianity in this region.” The excavations in the three-local aisled building complex began in 2015. Up to the present, 150 square metres of the large central nave bordered by columns have been uncovered. Engelbert Winter: “Apart from the architecture, small finds from the surrounding area also point to the existence of a church, such as the fragments of a marble table or the mentioning of a deacon attested by an inscription.”

“City centre discovered”

The researchers have now also discovered the public centre of the city of Doliche, which they had first located in the eastern part of the city by geophysical prospecting. “This assumption has been confirmed,” the excavation director explains. “We were able to uncover parts of a very large building: it is a public bath from the Roman Iron Age with well-preserved mosaics. Since hardly any Roman thermal baths are known so far in the region, this discovery is of great academic importance.” The research team from Münster also gained new insights to the extension of the urban area and the chronology of the city: an intensive survey carried out this year on the settlement hill of the ancient city, Keber Tepe, led to quite surprising results. “A large number of finds from the Stone Age indicate that Keber Tepe was obviously an extremely important place very early on. Doliche reached its greatest extent later, in the Roman and early Byzantine periods.”

Excavation director Winter says about the large number of discovered sealings: “Many sealings can be attributed to the administrative or official seals of the city due to their size, frequent occurrence, and in some cases also due to inscriptions. In addition to the images of the ‘city goddess’ Tyche, the depictions of Augustus and Dea Roma deserve special attention, since they point to the important role of the Roman emperor and the personified goddess of the Roman state for the town of Doliche, which lies on the eastern border of the Roman Empire. However, the central motif is the most important god of the city, Iuppiter Dolichenus. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, his cult spread into large parts of the Mediterranean world, extending as far as Britain,” explains Prof. Winter. Therefore, it is not surprising that hundreds of documents were sealed with images showing a handshake between this deity and an emperor. “It was a sign of the god’s affinity to the Roman state.”

The images also provide insights into the cult itself. In addition to sealings showing busts of Iuppiter and his wife Iuno, there are depictions of the divine twins Castor and Pollux, the sons of Zeus. “The sons of Zeus, also known as Dioscuri or Castores Dolicheni, are often portrayed as companions of Iuppiter and therefore play an important role in the cult,” Prof. Winter explains.

Archaeological park for tourists

Under the supervision of Prof. Winter from the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics,” the Asia Minor Research Centre of the University of Münster has been excavating the main temple of Iuppiter Dolichenus with the support of the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG) since 2001. Each year, the international group of archaeologists, historians, architects, restorers, archaeozoologists, GIS analysts and excavation assistants have uncovered finds from all periods of the 2,000-year history of the place of worship. Among them were the massive foundations of the first Iron Age sanctuary, numerous monumental architectural fragments of the Roman main temple, but also the extensive ruins of an important Byzantine monastery which was built by followers of the Christian faith after the fall of the ancient sanctuary. In order to make the excavation site near the ancient town of Doliche accessible to a broad public, an archaeological park is being developed. Prof. Winter’s research project at the Cluster of Excellence “Religion and Politics” is closely connected with the excavation. It is titled “Syriac Cults in the Western Imperium Romanum.”

Turkish regime bans all LGBTQ expressions

2016 LGBTQ protest in Istanbul, Turkey, against ban on a Transgender Pride the day before. EPA photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

All LGBT events in Ankara are banned

Today, 14:02

In Ankara, all LGBT events have been banned indefinitely. The governor of the city says that many residents of the Turkish capital are disturbed by expressions of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people.

How many residents exactly, Mr Governor? I suspect mainly just one resident: right-wing President Erdogan, who had his expensive presidential palace built in Ankara illegally.

The ban also includes theater performances, film screenings, exhibitions and panel discussions. On Wednesday, a gay film festival in Ankara had already been banned …

Homosexuality is not punishable in Turkey … However, homosexuals are often faced with hostility and discrimination.