Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
March 2019 - Turkey Special Weapons News
- Turkey's Ruling Party Suffers Heavy Losses in Key Local Polls VOA 31 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party suffered heavy losses in Sunday's local elections, losing critical cities across the country, while the main opposition party is on course to win the capital Ankara.
- Erdogan Party Leads Nationwide Vote Total, But Suffers Big Setbacks In Mayor Races RFE/RL 31 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared victory for his Islamic-based AK Party in municipal elections, but the ruling alliance suffered setbacks in at least two key cities.
- Turkey voting in local elections seen as test for Erdogan Press TV 31 Mar 2019 -- Millions of people in Turkey are flocking to polling stations to vote in local elections, seen as a gauge of support for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- Erdogan Faces Toughest Challenge in Key Local Polls VOA 31 Mar 2019 -- Polls have closed in Turkey's nationwide local elections on Sunday, a vote expected to be the toughest Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has faced, with the control of the capital Ankara and Istanbul at risk.
- In Elections, Turkey's Opposition Hopes to Capitalize on Erdogan's Woes VOA 30 Mar 2019 -- On Sunday Turkey holds critical local elections, with control of the country's main cities up for grabs. With inflation soaring and recession threatening, the election may pose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan biggest challenge.
- Turkey says to honor Russia deal as US vows to ban transfer of F-35s to Ankara Press TV 29 Mar 2019 -- Turkey says it will honor the deal to purchase S-400 defense systems from Russia after US senators threatened to ban the transfer of F-35 fighter jets if Ankara goes ahead with the plan.
- Turkish Pilots Train on F-35s at US Base as Washington, Ankara Fight Over S-400 Sputnik 26 Mar 2019 -- Two more F-35A Joint Strike Fighters will soon be delivered to Luke Air Force Base, where Turkish pilots are training to fly the advanced jets. The planes won't find their way to Turkey until November, but even that's up in the air as Ankara presses forward with an S-400 purchase from Moscow in the face of objections from Washington.
- Pentagon Head Says Turkey Needs to Buy Patriots as Spat Over S-400 Continues Sputnik 26 Mar 2019 -- Washington vehemently opposes Ankara's deal with Moscow on the procurement of S-400s, threatening to suspend the delivery of F-35s to Turkey under pretext that the Russian system would allegedly reveal the top jet's weaknesses to Moscow.
- Turkey defies US with more imports of Iranian gas Press TV 26 Mar 2019 -- Iran is increasing its natural gas exports to a number of countries, including Turkey which plans to raise imports from its energy-rich neighbor, a senior official says.
- Spy Trial Of U.S. Consulate Staffer Opens In Istanbul RFE/RL 26 Mar 2019 -- A Turkish employee of the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul has appeared in court to face charges of espionage and attempting to overthrow Turkey's government in a case that has fueled tensions between the United States and its NATO ally.
- Erdogan on S-400 Deal: 'No Backward Steps' on the Issue Despite US Protests Sputnik 25 Mar 2019 -- Earlier this month, the Turkish President pointed out that the S-400 missile systems that Ankara is buying are not connected to the security of NATO, the United States or the F-35 purchase agreement in any way.
- Inmates End Own Lives to Protest Rebel Kurdish Leader's Treatment in Turkey VOA 25 Mar 2019 -- At least four Kurdish activists have died in prisons across Turkey since last week, in what lawyers and officials have called suicides over the poor prison conditions of Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.
- Turkish president vows to take issue of occupied Golan Heights to UN Press TV 25 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to take to the UN the issue of the Israeli regime's claim over the occupied Golan Heights, as the US president is to recognize Tel Aviv's sovereignty over the Syrian territory.
- US 'Reconciling' Presence of Russia-Made S-400, F-35 in Turkey - Top General Sputnik 21 Mar 2019 -- The United States hopes to find a solution to the dispute with Turkey over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems, US Joint Chiefs of Staff Commander Gen. Joseph Dunford said at the Atlantic Council on Thursday.
- US Wants to 'Send Signals' to Turkey on F-35 Supplies Amid S-400 Spat - Report Sputnik 21 Mar 2019 -- A spokesman for the F-35 programme Joe DellaVedova previously told Turkish media that preparations for the delivery of F-35s to Turkey are going as planned "until otherwise directed" with the first two jets scheduled for transfer in November 2019.
- US to Hand Over Two Additional F-35s to Turkey Amid S-400 Spat – Report Sputnik 20 Mar 2019 -- F-35 deliveries to Turkey have been under threat since the country signed a contract with Russia in December 2017 for the purchase of S-400 air defence systems. Washington believes the S-400s could reveal weaknesses of the F-35 and that the data could be relayed to Moscow, leading the US to warn it could block the delivery of its jets to Ankara.
- Turkish Media Reveals First Deployment Site of Russian-Made S-400s Sputnik 20 Mar 2019 -- Turkey has remained committed to the acquisition of Russian S-400 air defence systems despite US threats to impose sanctions on Ankara or freeze the sale of American-built F-35 fighter jets.
- Turkey, Iran Join Forces Against Kurdish Rebels VOA 20 Mar 2019 -- Turkey is heralding as groundbreaking a joint military operation with Iran against Kurdish rebel groups. Turkish-Iranian relations have markedly improved, to the concern of Turkey's Western allies.
- Iran military Spox denies any joint operation with Turkey IRNA 20 Mar 2019 -- Spokesman of the Iranian Armed Forces Abolfazl Shekarchi said Iran has no plan to hold joint military operations with Turkey at border points.
- Turkish President Claims Iran Joins Military Offensive Against Kurdish Separatists RFE/RL 19 Mar 2019 -- Turkey has repeated its claim that it and Iran are jointly carrying out a military operation against Kurdish separatists, although semiofficial Iranian media quoted the military as denying it was involved.
- Iran not involved in Turkey operation against PKK: Military source Press TV 18 Mar 2019 -- An informed Iranian military source has denied Turkish interior minister's comments that Tehran carried out a joint operation with Ankara against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group.
- 'Big Problem': Bolton Blasts Turkey's Refusal to Abandon S-400 Deal With Russia Sputnik 17 Mar 2019 -- Earlier, Turkey's defence minister set a firm deadline for the delivery of the first of Turkey's Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets despite the Pentagon lobbying to block transfer of the fifth-generation warplanes to Turkey if Ankara goes ahead with its plans to buy Russia's S-400 air defence system.
- As Key Vote Nears in Turkey, Unemployment Adds to Erdogan's Woes VOA 15 Mar 2019 -- Turkey's unemployment rate has hit a near-10-year high, bringing more bad economic news for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan ahead of critical local elections.
- Turkey's purchase of Russian missile poses threat to NATO Press TV 15 Mar 2019 -- US officials have warned Turkey not to purchase Russian-made S-400 missiles, saying it would pose a security threat to members states of the North Atlantic Alliance (NATO).
- European Parliament votes to suspend accession talks with Turkey Press TV 14 Mar 2019 -- The European Parliament has voted to suspend negotiations between European governments and Turkey on Ankara's accession to the European Union (EU), citing a series of concerns, including alleged human rights violations.
- Turkish Defence Minister DISCLOSES F-35 Delivery Date as Pentagon Urges Freeze Sputnik 14 Mar 2019 -- Earlier, amid tensions over Ankara's purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems, a Pentagon spokesperson warned that there would be "grave consequences" for the Turkish-US defence relationship if the S-400 deliveries went through.
- Erdogan lashes out at Netanyahu as tyrant, child murderer Press TV 13 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu a "tyrant" who kills Palestinian children, as a heated war of words between the two officials continues.
- Ankara Slams EU Parl't Resolution on Suspension of Talks on Turkey's Admission Sputnik 14 Mar 2019 -- The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned the European Parliament's resolution calling on the European Union to formally suspend talks on Turkey's admission to the bloc.
- Turkish-Russian Military Cooperation Deepens Amid US-Turkish Tensions VOA 12 Mar 2019 -- Russian and Turkish military cooperation is deepening as Ankara's relationship with Washington deteriorates. Recent joint naval exercises between Russia and Turkey, and increasing military cooperation in Syria, come as NATO allies question Turkey's allegiance to the Western defense alliance.
- Turkey summons Belgian ambassador over court ruling on PKK Press TV 11 Mar 2019 -- The Turkish Foreign Ministry has summoned the Belgian ambassador to the country, Michel Malherbe, to protest a Brussels appeals court decision that blocked the prosecution of people with alleged links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group.
- US Crossing Line With Remarks on Turkey's S-400 Purchase - Erdogan's AK Party Sputnik 11 Mar 2019 -- The statement comes just two days after a Pentagon spokesman warned Turkey of "grave consequences" if Ankara went ahead with the purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system.
- Erdogan's Economic Woes Grow Ahead of Key Elections in Turkey VOA 11 Mar 2019 -- The Turkish economy has fallen into recession for the first time in a decade, according to data released on Monday. The timing could not be worse for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with critical local elections scheduled for the end of the month.
- Erdogan says US angered by Turkey's independence Press TV 10 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States is pressuring Turkey to cancel an arms agreement with Russia because Washington is angered by Ankara's independence.
- Khartoum says Turkish naval ship at Port Sudan to boost 'security' Press TV 09 Mar 2019 -- A Turkish military ship has been moored near Port Sudan for a three-day stay in the African country purportedly aimed at boosting "security and safety" in the Red Sea region, as Sudan has been the scene of months of protests against President Omar al-Bashir's 30-year rule.
- S-400 Delivery Not Connected to Security of NATO, US, F-35 in Any Way – Erdogan Sputnik 09 Mar 2019 -- Earlier, a Pentagon spokesperson warned Ankara that if it went ahead with the delivery of Russia's S-400 air defence system, there would be "grave consequences" for the defence relationship between the Washington and Ankara.
- Turkish Forces Begin Syria Patrols As Part Of Deal With Russia RFE/RL 09 Mar 2019 -- Turkish forces have begun patrolling in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib as part of a deal struck with Russia and Iran in the war-torn country.
- Turkey to Face 'Grave Consequences' for Acquisition of Russian S-400 - Pentagon Sputnik 09 Mar 2019 -- Turkey's military relationship with the United States will face serious consequences if Ankara takes possession of the Russian S-400 air defence system, Defence Department spokesperson Charlie Summers told reporters on Friday.
- Turkey will begin to install Russian S-400 missile systems in October: Defense minister Press TV 08 Mar 2019 -- Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar says the country will start installment of the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile systems later this year, regardless of strong opposition from the United States to the plan and warnings that Ankara should not buy the platform.
- S-400 Missile Defence Systems Will Start to be Installed in Turkey in October Sputnik 08 Mar 2019 -- The process of deploying Russia's S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems in Turkey will begin in October, Turkish Minister of Defence Hulusi Akar said.
- Pentagon: 'Grave Consequences' to US, Turkey Military Relations Over S-400 Spat VOA 08 Mar 2019 -- The Pentagon is warning of "grave consequences" to military relations between the United States and Turkey should Ankara purchase a Russian surface-to-air missile system.
- Russia, Turkey Conduct Joint Naval Drills in Black Sea – Defence Ministry Sputnik 08 Mar 2019 -- The Russian Black Sea Fleet's naval ships together with the vessels of the Turkish Naval Forces have conducted a passing exercise to improve interoperability in possible mine danger areas, Black Sea Fleet spokesman Capt. 2nd Rank Alexei Rulyov said on Friday.
- Turkey merely seeks its own interests in purchasing Russian S-400 systems: VP Press TV 07 Mar 2019 -- Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay says his country's decision to buy Russian-built S-400 air defense missile systems is only based on its own interests, stressing Ankara will not stop the purchase in the face of strong opposition from Washington and warnings that it should not buy the anti-aircraft platform.
- Erdogan Says No Intention Of Backing Out Of S-400 Missile Deal With Russia RFE/RL 07 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country is determined to go through with a deal to purchase S-400 missile-defense systems from Russia, despite opposition from Washington.
- S-400 Purchase Doesn't Mean Ankara Has Rejected US' Patriots – Turkish VP Sputnik 07 Mar 2019 -- Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the debate on the S-400s was "over" following recommendations by the US military that Congress reject the sale of F-35s to Ankara if the country moved forward with its purchase of the Russian air defence system.
- Erdogan says Turkey won't go back on S-400 deal with Russia Press TV 06 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country will not go back on its agreement to buy S-400 missile defense systems from Russia, despite pressures from the United States.
- Turkey says to conduct joint raid with Iran against PKK Press TV 06 Mar 2019 -- Turkey says it is planning to carry out a joint attack with Iran against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-and-a-half decade armed campaign against Ankara for independence.
- Don't give Turkey F-35 jets if they buy Russian S-400: Top US general Press TV 06 Mar 2019 -- The top US general and the head of American forces in Europe has said the United States should not sell its high-tech F-35 fighter jets to Turkey if Ankara moves ahead with plans to buy advanced missile defense systems from Russia.
- Turkey Won't Cancel Russian S-400 Deal - Erdogan Sputnik 06 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan clarified debate Wednesday about Ankara's deal with Moscow to buy S-400 Triumf air defense systems, saying his government won't cancel the deal, despite protests from its ally in Washington.
- No State Has Right to Prohibit Turkey Purchase Russian S-400 Systems – Cavusoglu Sputnik 06 Mar 2019 -- No country has a right to exert pressure on Turkey over its plans to buy Russian S-400 Triumph (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) air defence systems, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday.
- Turkey May Let Russia's S-400 Destroy US' F-35 Project 'From Within' – Report Sputnik 06 Mar 2019 -- On Tuesday, General Curtis Scaparrotti, head of the US European Command, told senators in the Senate Armed Services Committee that he doesn't recommend delivering F-35 jets to Ankara if it doesn't abort the S-400 missile defence deal with Russia.
- US Ups Pressure on Turkey Over Russian Missile System Purchase VOA 06 Mar 2019 -- Washington is ratcheting up pressure on Ankara over its decision to buy a Russian missile system, which was confirmed last month by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Senior U.S. diplomats held talks this week in the Turkish capital to lobby against the sale as Washington warns of "grave consequences."
- Turkey's Purchase of S-400 to Result in Reassessing F-35 Program - US State Dept Sputnik 06 Mar 2019 -- The United States has warned Turkey that its planned purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system would put at risk Ankara's participation in the F-35 jet program and could lead to Washington imposing sanctions on Ankara, US Department of State spokesperson Robert Palladino said in a press briefing.
- US warns Turkey of 'grave consequences' over purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems Press TV 05 Mar 2019 -- The United States has sent out a stark warning to Turkey over its plan to buy the advanced Russian-built S-400 air defense missile systems, stating that the purchase of the anti-aircraft platform will dramatically affect military ties between the two NATO allies.
- Turkey slams US plan to end special trade status Press TV 05 Mar 2019 -- Ankara has blasted the United States for its decision to scrap the preferential trade status granted to Turkey, saying Washington's plan is contrary to mutual trade goals.
- Pentagon Recommends Not to Transfer F-35 to Turkey if Ankara Buys Russian S-400 Sputnik 05 Mar 2019 -- State Departments' Last Efforts to Dissuade Turkey From Buying S-400s
- Turkish Armed Forces Neutralized 1,149 Terrorists in 2018 - Reports Sputnik 05 Mar 2019 -- The Turkish Armed Forces' Gendarmerie General Command (GGC) neutralized 1,149 terrorists in 2018, according to an annual report released on Monday, local media reported.
- Turkey to Introduce New High-Accuracy Software for Military Anti-PKK Drones Sputnik 04 Mar 2019 -- Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, while revealing a new drone operating system during an event in the country's capital city of Ankara, noted that the number of Kurdistan Workers' Party's members is at a historic low level.
- Pentagon warns Turkey; senator hints at NATO expulsion Press TV 03 Mar 2019 -- Acting Pentagon chief Pat Shanahan has warned Turkey over plans to buy a Russian missile defense system, while a US senator has asked whether Ankara is seeking to leave NATO.
- Turkey Rejects US Patriot Offer Amid Row Over Russian S-400 - Reports Sputnik 02 Mar 2019 -- The United States has been pressing Turkey, its NATO ally, to reject a plan to purchase Russia's cutting-edge S-400 missile systems, which Turkey estimates to be three times cheaper than a $3.5 billion order for US anti-aircraft weapons.
- Erdogan Threatens to Reverse Local Election Results VOA 01 Mar 2019 -- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose AK Party is facing major defeats this month in local elections, is being accused of behaving like a "dictator" after his threat to remove victorious pro-Kurdish mayoral candidates.
- US Briefs Turkey on Plans to Withdraw Troops From Syria by Summer - Reports Sputnik 02 Mar 2019 -- Washington has informed Ankara about its intention to pull out US troops from Syria by the summer of this year, noting, however, that the schedule can be adjusted depending on the situation on the ground, Turkish media reported on Friday.
- State Department Maintains Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Designation of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) US Dept. of State 01 Mar 2019 -- The Department of State has reviewed and maintained the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), pursuant to Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as amended (8 U.S.C. § 1189). The PKK was originally designated as an FTO in 1997.
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