Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
April 2018 - Turkey Special Weapons News
- Kurdish Vote May Have Major Impact on Turkey's Polls VOA 30 Apr 2018 -- A crackdown on Turkey's main Kurdish party, HDP, is intensifying as the country heads to elections. The crackdown comes as Kurds – a fifth of the electorate – are increasingly seen as key to the outcome of the June 24 general and presidential elections.
- Erdogan Seeks To Find 'Lost Opportunities' On Uzbekistan Visit RFE/RL 40 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is touting relations with Uzbekistan during a visit to the Central Asian country, saying that ties have reached a "strategic level."
- Erdogan promises victory in Turkey's snap elections Press TV 28 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has started campaigning for his re-election, saying he would certainly win the snap vote called for June.
- Turkish police arrest 63 suspects over links to Gulen network Press TV 28 Apr 2018 -- Turkish police forces have arrested at least 63 people on suspicion of affiliation to a movement led by the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- Turkey firmly rejects US threat of sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense system Press TV 28 Apr 2018 -- Turkey has dismissed Washington's threats of imposing sanction on Ankara over its planned purchase of Russian S-400 missile defense system, insisting that it will not be deterred by such threats.
- Turkey Dismisses U.S. Warning Against Buying Russian Missile System RFE/RL 28 Apr 2018 -- Turkey has largely dismissed a warning from the new U.S. secretary of state against buying Russia's S-400 missile defense system, saying the deal is largely done and will not be reversed.
- Russia, Iran, Turkey Criticize Western Airstrikes on Syria VOA 28 Apr 2018 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Saturday that airstrikes on Syria, conducted by the U.S., Britain, and France on April 14, were a violation of international law and indicated that the Western powers were trying to destroy the peace process.
- Iran, Russia, Turkey stress Syrian sovereignty, independence IRNA 28 Apr 2018 -- Foreign Ministers of Iran, Russia and Turkey in a joint statement on Syria released on Saturday emphasized the sovereignty and independence of Syria.
- Iran, Russia, Turkey FMs vow to boost efforts to settle Syria crisis Press TV 28 Apr 2018 -- Iran, Russia and Turkey have reaffirmed their strong commitment to Syria's sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity, vowing to strengthen trilateral coordination to find a sustainable solution to the ongoing crisis in the Arab country.
- Speculation Swirls Turkey Might Seek Nonalignment VOA 27 Apr 2018 -- The Syrian civil war has been a catalyst for Russian-Turkish rapprochement, much to the concern of Turkey's NATO partners. This, coupled with Ankara's current strained relations with its traditional Western allies, is raising the prospect of a nonaligned Turkey.
- Pompeo Warns Turkey About Purchasing Russian S-400 Missile System RFE/RL 27 Apr 2018 -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has warned his Turkish counterpart against purchasing a Russian surface-to-air missile system.
- Erdogan Accuses Turkish Opposition of Receiving Money From Abroad Sputnik 27 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) of receiving funding from abroad, including from famous investors like US-Hungarian billionaire George Soros.
- Turkey Not to Accept Language of Sanctions on Russian S-400 Supplies Deal - FM Sputnik 27 Apr 2018 -- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that if Turkey gets a fair proposal from NATO allies on US-made Patriot or other air defense systems, Ankara will consider it.
- US Senators Want to Block Sale of F-35 Fighters to Turkey - Reports Sputnik 27 Apr 2018 -- Turkey's cooperation with Russia, as well as its decision buy advanced Russian S-400 air defense missiles, has complicated Ankara's relations with Washington.
- Amnesty accuses Ankara of creating 'climate of fear' after coup attempt Press TV 26 Apr 2018 -- Amnesty International has accused the Turkish government of creating a "suffocating climate of fear" across the country and launching a campaign of repression against human rights activists after a botched coup to topple Turkish President Recep Tayyep Erdogan in 2016.
- Three US senators move to block F-35 transfers to Turkey Press TV 26 Apr 2018 -- Three US senators have introduced a resolution aimed at blocking the transfer of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Turkey, which is a NATO ally of the United States.
- Erdogan Signs Law to Harmonize Election System With Recent Reforms - Reports Sputnik 26 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a law aimed at harmonization of the Turkish electoral system in line with the recently approved constitutional reforms, the Anadolu news agency reported.
- Russia starts production of S-400 missile systems for Turkey Press TV 25 Apr 2018 -- Russia has started production of S-400 surface-to-air missile defense systems for Turkey under an agreement concluded between the two countries late last year.
- Turkey Faces 'New Refugee Wave' After Nearly 30,000 Afghans Arrive RFE/RL 25 Apr 2018 -- Turkey says nearly 30,000 Afghans have entered the country since the start of the year, in what Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu called "a new refugee wave."
- Russia Starts Production of S-400 Missile Systems for Turkey Sputnik 25 Apr 2018 -- Russia has started producing S-400 air defense missile systems for Turkey, Russian state arms and military equipment exporter Rosoboronexport Director General Alexander Mikheev told Sputnik on Wednesday.
- EU Urges Russia, Iran, Turkey To Press For Pause In Syria Conflict RFE/RL 25 Apr 2018 -- EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini has called on Russia, Iran, and Turkey to do more to scale down the fighting in Syria.
- Turkish president vows to continue with Syria operation Press TV 24 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has rejected calls for his country to stop a controversial military operation in Syria, saying the fight would continue as part of Ankara's broader crackdown on Kurdish militants.
- Ankara tells European rights body not to meddle in Turkey's domestic issues Press TV 24 Apr 2018 -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has called on the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Monitoring Committee to "to mind its own business" after the continental body expressed concerns over the freedom and fairness of the country's snap elections, recommending that the polls be postponed.
- Greek president reject Erdogan's proposal for soldier swap Press TV 22 Apr 2018 -- Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos has rejected a suggestion by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the possibility of a swap of soldiers between the two countries.
- US supplies weapons to Kurdish militants free of charge: Erdogan Press TV 22 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the US and its allies have been providing free weapons to Kurdish militants operating in northern Syria in a move that poses a threat to Turkey's security.
- Such a Deal: Erdogan Accuses US of Arming Kurdish Forces in Syria for Free Sputnik 22 Apr 2018 -- The Turkish president claimed that roughly 5,000 trucks, all loaded with weaponry, were dispatched to northern Syria.
- Turkish parliament approves holding snap elections on June 24 Press TV 21 Apr 2018 -- Turkey's parliament has passed a motion to hold snap presidential and parliamentary elections in the country on June 24, despite objections from the opposition that argues the move will cement President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's grip on power more than a year ahead of schedule.
- Turkish parliament dismisses two pro-Kurdish lawmakers Press TV 19 Apr 2018 -- The Turkish parliament has stripped two more lawmakers from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) of their legislative position as Ankara presses ahead with a clampdown on members of the opposition party.
- Turkey to dismiss 3,000 army personnel over links to coup attempt Press TV 19 Apr 2018 -- Turkish authorities plan to dismiss nearly 3,000 military staff over their alleged links to an attempted coup in July 2016, which Ankara says was orchestrated by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.
- US State Dept Warns Turkey of Possible Sanctions Over S-400 Purchase Sputnik 19 Apr 2018 -- Turkey could face US sanctions if it goes ahead with plans to purchase S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, and it can also affect Ankara's participation in the F-35 program, Assistant Secretary of State Wess Mitchell told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
- Greek Foreign Ministry Denies Turkey's Claims to Imia/Kardak Islands Sputnik 18 Apr 2018 -- The islands' affiliation, and even their name, is disputed by Greece and Turkey. The dispute, which began in 1996, is still not completely resolved, despite continuous efforts of the international community and remains one of the stumbling blocks for Turkey's admission to the EU.
- President Erdogan declares June 24 for snap elections in Turkey Press TV 18 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that presidential and parliamentary elections slated for November next year would be held in late June.
- Turkey Moves to Extend State of Emergency Despite Calls for 'Immediate' Lifting Sputnik 18 Apr 2018 -- Turkey's opposition has been calling for an "immediate" lifting of the state of emergency in the country, which had been first introduced after the 2016 attempted military coup and has been extended since then.
- Erdogan Sets June 24 For Early Presidential, Parliamentary Elections in Turkey Sputnik 18 Apr 2018 -- Early presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey will be held on June 24, 2018, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday after a meeting with the leader of opposition Nationalist Movement Party Devlet Bahceli.
- Turkey to Hold Elections in June, More Than a Year Early VOA 18 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called for early presidential and general elections on June 24 of this year. Polls had been scheduled for November 2019, but Erdogan said the unprecedented challenges facing the country made early elections a necessity.
- Secretary General in Ankara: NATO stands with you in solidarity NATO 16 Apr 2018 -- NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg thanked Turkey for its essential contributions to the Alliance during a visit to Ankara on Monday (16 April 2018). The Secretary General is meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to prepare for the Brussels Summit in July and to discuss current security challenges.
- Top PKK terrorist killed in Turkish airstrikes in northern Iraq Press TV 15 Apr 2018 -- The Turkish military says a high-profile member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group has been killed in a series of airstrikes carried out in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region late last month.
- One Turkish soldier killed, five injured in clashes with PKK militants Press TV 14 Apr 2018 -- At least one Turkish soldier has been killed and five others have sustained injuries in a fierce exchange of gunfire with militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey's eastern province of Agri.
- Turkish military says 'neutralized' 4,157 Kurdish forces in Afrin operation Press TV 14 Apr 2018 -- The Turkish military says it has so far "neutralized" a total of 4,157 Kurdish forces since the start of Ankara's months-long operation against Syria's border region of Afrin.
- Turkey welcomes US-led joint strikes in Syria: Foreign ministry Press TV 14 Apr 2018 -- Turkey has welcomed joint airstrikes by the armed forces of the United States, Britain and France on different localities of Syria, including the capital Damascus, in the wake of a suspected chemical attack in the town of Douma, near Damascus, which killed dozens in the Arab country last week.
- Turkey issues arrest warrant for 70 on-duty soldiers over 2016 botched putsch Press TV 13 Apr 2018 -- A court in Turkey has issued arrest warrants for dozens of serving military personnel on charges of involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt, which the Ankara government says was orchestrated by US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen.
- Turkey to Mediate Between US, Russia on Syria Tensions VOA 13 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is assuming a mediator role, calling for a display of sensitivity by the U.S., Russia and other nations amid heightened tensions on Syria.
- Erdogan concerned by world powers 'arms wrestling' on Syria amid tensions between Russia, US Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on world powers to stop "arms wrestling" on Syria amid an unprecedented upsurge of tension between the United States and Russia over an alleged chemical attack near the Syrian capital earlier this month.
- Any US-Russia conflict over Syria will set Mideast on fire: Turkey Press TV 12 Apr 2018 -- Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli has warned against the ramifications of a potential conflict between the US and Russia over the Syria issue, saying such an incident will set the entire Middle East "on fire."
- Turkey says will hand over Afrin to new Syrian govt. following elections Press TV 10 Apr 2018 -- Turkey's defense minister says Syria's northern city of Afrin would be handed over to a central government in Syria when a new administration has been formed following elections.
- Ankara Reveals When Turkish Troops Will Leave Syria's Afrin Sputnik 10 Apr 2018 -- Speaking with reporters, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister has emphasized that it is impossible to resolve the Syrian crisis militarily.
- Erdogan on S-400 Purchase Amid Russia Sanctions: 'Turkey Decides Fate Itself' Sputnik 09 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Ergodan reaffirmed on Monday Ankara's determination to purchase Russian S-400 Triumf air defense systems despite the new US sanctions against Russia's state arms exporter Rosoboronexport.
- Alleged Syrian Regime Chemical Attack Puts Ankara in Tight Spot VOA 09 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quick to join in the condemnation of Saturday's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria that killed dozens of civilians. But unlike many of Turkey's western allies, Erdogan refrained from publicly criticizing the Damascus regime's key backers: Tehran and Moscow.
- Turkey: France's buildup in Syria will amount to 'invasion' Press TV 08 Apr 2018 -- Turkey which has deployed troops to northern Syria says if France steps up its military presence in the Arab country, it will amount to an "invasion."
- Ankara Has 'Strong Suspicion' Damascus Behind Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack Sputnik 08 Apr 2018 -- In the light of the unconfirmed media reports of dozens of people being killed in an alleged chemical attack in Douma, US President Trump blamed Moscow and Tehran for backing "animal Assad," while Russian authorities have strongly denied allegations and warned against military actions against Syria.
- Almost 'Invasion': Turkey Lashes Out at French Troops' Deployment to Syria Sputnik 08 Apr 2018 -- Turkey which has itself sent troops to northern Syria to fight against Kurdish militias has said that France's military buildup in the region is "illegitimate" and "illegal."
- Turkey says 'neutralized' 108 Kurdish militants over past week Press TV 07 Apr 2018 -- Ankara has "neutralized" 108 Kurdish militants during operations in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq over the past week, the Turkish armed forces says.
- Erdogan Lashes Out at France Over Allegedly 'Hosting Terrorists' at Elysee Sputnik 07 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused France of supporting terrorists by "hosting them" at the Elysee Palace, amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies over Paris' assistance for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
- Turkey Sets Up 9th Observation Post in Syria's Idlib - General Staff Sputnik 07 Apr 2018 -- Turkish troops have established the ninth observation post to control the de-escalation zone in Syria's Idlib, the Turkish General Staff said on Saturday.
- Turkey's Erdogan Says France Is Abetting Terrorists VOA 07 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday accused France of abetting terrorists by "hosting them" at the Elysee Palace, amid a diplomatic row between the NATO allies over Paris's support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
- Turkey Slams U.S. Iran Sanctions Case As 'Legal Scandal' RFE/RL 06 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman has condemned a recommendation by U.S. prosecutors that a Turkish Halkbank executive get 20 years in prison for helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions.
- Turkey Explains Why It Preferred Russia's S-400 Missiles to US Patriots Sputnik 06 Apr 2018 -- Ankara failed to agree with Washington on the transfer of technology related to the Patriot missile systems, which is why it has signed an agreement to be supplied with Russia's S-400 missiles, according to the Turkish presidential spokesman.
- Assad's Fate Should Be Decided by Syrian People - Turkish Foreign Ministry Sputnik 06 Apr 2018 -- Whatever Ankara's attitude toward the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad is, it is up to the the Syrian people to decide on its future fate, an official of the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Friday.
- US, allies set up more Syria posts, risking standoff with Turkey Press TV 05 Apr 2018 -- The United States and allies Britain and France have been setting up new outposts in northeastern Syria, despite a lack of permission from Damascus to have military presence in sovereign Syrian territory.
- Turkey says 80 suspects from 18 countries snatched over 2016 failed coup Press TV 05 Apr 2018 -- Turkish intelligence agents have so far snatched 80 citizens from 18 countries as part of an extensive operation against suspected members of the outlawed Fethullah Gulen movement, which is blamed by Ankara of having orchestrated a coup attempt in the Anatolian country two years ago.
- Putin: Russia, Iran, Turkey will take more coordinated steps on Syria IRNA 05 Apr 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russia, Iran and Turkey will take more coordinated steps to solve problems facing Syria.
- Ankara Hosts Iran, Russia Leaders as Cooperation Deepens to End Syria Conflict VOA 05 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted his Iranian counterpart, Hassan Rouhani, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ankara Wednesday for a second trilateral summit, part of ongoing efforts to end the Syrian civil war.
- Joint statement by Presidents of Iran, Russia, Turkey ISNA 04 Apr 2018 -- Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents in a joint statement emphasized that the Astana format had been the only effective international initiative that had helped reduce violence across Syria and had contributed to peace and stability in Syria.
- Turkey, Russia, Iran Vow To Speed Up Efforts For 'Calm' In Syria RFE/RL 04 Apr 2018 -- The presidents of Iran, Turkey, and Russia have expressed determination to "speed up their efforts to ensure calm on the ground" in Syria, saying after a summit in Ankara on April 4 that they are committed to achieving a "lasting cease-fire."
- Presidents of Iran, Russia, Turkey vow to cooperate to achieve sustainable peace in Syria Press TV 04 Apr 2018 -- The presidents of Iran, Russia and Turkey have reaffirmed their commitment to work toward achieving a sustainable ceasefire between warring sides in Syria and bringing peace and stability to the war-torn Arab country.
- Leaders of Turkey, Russia, Iran Gather in Ankara to Discuss Syria End Game VOA 03 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosts his counterparts from Russia and Iran Wednesday for a second trilateral summit on Syria. The three, whose countries have a significant military presence in Syria, are increasingly cooperating to resolve the civil war under the auspices of the so-called "Astana Process."
- Trio talks on Syria kicks off in Ankara IRNA 04 Apr 2018 -- Trilateral talks between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Veladimir Putin kicked off on Wednesday afternoon in Ankara on Syrian developments.
- Erdogan Vows to Continue Operation in Syria Until Kurds Leave Manbij Sputnik 04 Apr 2018 -- Turkey will continue its operation in Syria until Kurdish forces leave Syria's Manbij region, the country's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.
- Ankara Will Get Russian S-400 Systems in July 2019 - Turkish Defense Ministry Sputnik 04 Apr 2018 -- Shipments of Russian S-400 air defense systems to Turkey are scheduled for July 2019, Turkish Defense Ministry's Undersecratariat for Defence Industries (SSM) said Wednesday.
- Russia, Turkey agree to speed up S-400 missile deal Press TV 03 Apr 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to hasten the delivery of S-400 air defense missile systems to Ankara.
- Kosovo's Haradinaj Rejects Erdogan's Criticism Of Firings Over Deported Turks RFE/RL 03 Apr 2018 -- Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj has rejected criticism from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his dismissal last week of officials in Pristina who deported six Turkish citizens with ties to Erdogan's political foes.
- US awaits Ankara's evidence to extradite Gulen over Russian envoy murder: Official Press TV 03 Apr 2018 -- A high-ranking US official says Washington is awaiting evidence from Turkey over the alleged involvement of US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen in the assassination of the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrey Karlov, more than a year ago.
- Putin, In Ankara, Launches Construction Of Turkey's First Nuclear Plant RFE/RL 03 Apr 2018 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have formally launched the construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant – a $20 billion project in Turkey's southern Mediterranean coastal region of Mersin.
- Putin, Erdogan Agree To Speed Up Delivery Of S-400 Air-Defense Systems RFE/RL 03 Apr 2018 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin has said that he and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have agreed to speed up the delivery of S-400 air-defense missile systems to Ankara, a purchase that has raised concern among Turkey's NATO partners.
- Turkey orders arrest of Gulen, 7 others, over 2016 assassination of Russian envoy Press TV 02 Apr 2018 -- Turkish judicial authorities has ordered the arrest of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen and seven others within the context of the investigation of the 2016 assassination of the Russian ambassador to Ankara, a day before Russian President Vladimir Putin visits the Anatolian country.
- Russia to Take Steps to Speed Up S-400 Delivery at Turkey's Request – Official Sputnik 02 Apr 2018 -- Russian authorities will exert efforts in order to comply with Turkey's request to accelerate the process of deliveries of S-400 air defense systems to Ankara, presidential aide Yury Ushakov said.
- Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant for Gulen Over Killing of Russian Envoy - Reports Sputnik 02 Apr 2018 -- Ankara on Monday ordered the arrest of Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen along with seven members of his Fethullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) over the killing of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, who was assassinated in 2016, the Yeni Safak newspaper reported.
- Greek Foreign Ministry Dismisses Turkey's Claims to Imia Islets in Aegean Sea Sputnik 01 Apr 2018 -- Greece's Foreign Ministry on Sunday categorically dismissed Turkey's territorial claims to the islets of Imia in the Aegean Sea and stated that Greek sovereignty over the small islands is indisputable.
- Turkey Slams Greece for Inclusion of Disputed Islets in EU Environmental Program Sputnik 01 Apr 2018 -- Ankara strongly condemns Athens for adopting a law which includes Imia (Kardak) and some other islets in the Aegean Sea in the European Union's "Natura 2000" environmental program amid the ongoing territorial disputes between the two countries, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said.
- Netanyahu, Erdogan Exchange Barbs Amid Ongoing Protests in Gaza Sputnik 01 Apr 2018 -- The leaders of Israel and Turkey have engaged in a war of words over the actions of Israeli soldiers, who have killed 16 Palestinians during the recent clashes on the Gaza border.
- US retreat from Syria indicates regional countries' unity: Turkish official IRNA 01 Apr 2018 -- US withdrawal from Syria in the coming days is the result of the unity among Iran, Russia, Turkey, Iraq and Syria, President of Turkey's Patriotic Party said.
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