Recent News

Survey: 71 pct of people don't trust Turkish judicial system - A survey conducted by Gezici Research in April has revealed that 71.4 percent of Turks do not believe they would receive a fair trial under the current judicial system of the country if they have to go to court in the future. April 28th, 2015. Read more on Today's Zaman.

CPJ report says self-censorship a new way to stifle Turkish media - In its annual assessment of the media freedom worldwide, the Committee to Protect Journalists has argued that Turkish authorities now consider declaring critical journalists as "unwanted" is a more efficient, cunning method of stifling the free press, rather than jailing them for their reporting. April 27th, 2015. Read more on Today's Zaman

4-Major Power Outage hits cities and provinces across Turkey - Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the outage were being investigated and did not rule out sabotage, but said trouble with transmission lines was the most likely reason for the problem. March 31, 2015.  Read more on Reuters.  

Erdogan's Assault on Freedom - It's also a piece with an Internet law proposed in January that grants the state broad authority to block websites, and the removal or reassignment of thousands of judges and prosecutors deemed insufficiently loyal to Mr. Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party. March 30, 2015. Read more on Wall Street Journal. 

Turkey's first nuclear plant delayed, 'not ready before 2022' - Dependent on imports for almost all of its energy, Turkey has embarked on an ambitious nuclear program, commissioning Russia's State Atomic Energy Corporation (Rosatom) in 2013 to build four 1,200 megawatt (MW) reactors.  March 23, 2015. Read more on Reuters. 

Turkey Security Bill Latest Fault Line Between Erdogan and Opponents - Though the draft law includes some uncontroversial reorganization of Turkey's security services, it also has contentious provisions to increase police powers and political control over those authorities, while decreasing judicial oversight.  March 3, 2015.  Read more on World Politics Review.  

New Saudi King Meets Turkey Leader Amid Thaw in Relations - In a meeting that marks a thaw in diplomatic ties, King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday discussed regional issues such as the ongoing was in Syria, Iran nuclear talks and turmoil in Yemen. March 2, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times.

Turkey to go ahead with non-NATO-integrated Chinese missile defense - Turkey originally awarded the tender to China Precision Machinery Import and Export Corp in 2013, prompting U.S. and NATO officials to say the deal could raise questions over security.  February 19, 2015.  Read more on Reuters.  

Protesters March Near University of Murdered Turkish Woman - The case has led to mass demonstrations, an outpouring of anger on social media and allegations that the ruling Justice and Development Party has not done enough to protect women.  February 18, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times.  

Kurdish militants demand progress from Turkey or say peace talks may end - Failure to strike a deal could be a thorn in the side of President Tayyip Erdogan, who needs the AK Party which he founded to secure a large majority in a national election in June to push through plans for an executive presidency.  February 17, 2015. Read more on Reuters. 

Armenia Halts Ratification of Agreement With Turkey - President Serge Sarkisian said in a statement  on Monday that Armenia would not ratify the agreement because of the "preconditions" that Turkey is putting in place before it ratifies its part of the deal.  February 16, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times. 

Turkish court remands 17 policemen to face wiretapping trial - Twenty-one police officers were detained in the operation, of whom 17 were placed under formal arrest in preparation for trial, while the other four were freed temporarily but banned from leaving the country.  February 15, 2015. Read more on Reuters.  

Bomb blast hits Turkish checkpoint near Syrian border, three hurt: sources - A bomb detonated by remote control rocked an area near a Turkish police checkpoint close to the Syrian border on Friday, wounding three people, security sources said, the latest in a series of bombings to hit Turkey this year. February 13, 2015. Read more on Reuters. 

Erdogan Criticizes Obama for Silence Over Slain Muslims - Erdogan said during a news conference in Mexico Thursday that the U.S. administration should take a stance against the killings, saying their silence was "meaningful." February 13, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times

Fetullah Gulen: Turkey's Eroding Democracy: It is deeply disappointing to see what has become of Turkey in the last few years. Not long ago, it was the envy of Muslim-majority countries: a viable candidate for the European Union on its path to becoming a functioning democracy that upholds universal human rights, gender equality, the rule of law and the rights of Kurdish and non-Muslim citizens. This historic opportunity now appears to have been squandered as Turkey’s ruling party, known as the A.K.P., reverses that progress and clamps down on civil society, media, the judiciary and free enterprise. Febuary 3rd, 2015. Read more from The New York Times

Turkey opens biggest refugee camp for 35,000 from Kobani - Located in the southeastern border town of Suruc, the tent city has two hospitals, seven medical clinics and enough classrooms for 10,000 children, AFAD spokesman Dogan Eskinat told Reuters.  January 26, 2015. Read more on Reuters.  

Judicial Authorities Urged to Press Ahead with Hrant Dink Murder Case - The founder and editor of the weekly Agos and a leading civil society figure, Hrant Dink was gunned down in broad daylight in central Istanbul on 19 January 2007.  A tireless campaigner for democratization and for reconciliation between Turks and Armenians, he was the victim of a media and judicial lynching in the run-up to his murder. January 23, 2015. Read more on Reporters Without Borders. 

Turkey proposes tighter internet law, pursues Twitter critic - Last year, Erdogan vowed to "eradicate" Twitter after allegations of government corruption were published on the micro-blogging site.  January 22, 2015. Read more on Reuters.  

Turkey: 20 Detained for Allegedly Eavesdropping on Erdogan - ANKARA - Turkey's state-run news agency says police have launched raids in Ankara and three other cities, detaining some 20 people suspected of illegally eavesdropping on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior officials. January 20, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times. 

Turkey President Convenes Cabinet Amid Power-Grab Claims - Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated Turkish politics for the past decade as prime minister and was elected president in August, has set his sights on turning the parliamentary system into a presidential one, giving the had of state more executive powers. January 19, 2015. Read more on Associated Press, New York Times. 

Erdogan's Turkey drifts away from the west - Turkey under the electorally sanctioned dominion of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is becoming even more surreal for many of its people, and an increasingly unreliable partner for its allies in Nato and the EU.  January 18, 2015. Read more on Financial Times. 

Turkey may extend military zones on Syrian border to stop foreign fighters - Turkey may widen a series of militarized zones along its border with Syria to try to stop the passage of foreign fighters without closing the border completely to Syrian refugees, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Reuters on Friday.  January 17, 2015. Read more on Reuters. 

Turkish Lira Weighted By Political Rift - On Friday, Mr. Erdogan slammed the central bank for keeping interest rates too high and blocking investments, reversing the lira's daily gains to send the currency down more than 1% to 2.34 per dollar.  January 16, 2015. Read more on Wall Street Journal. 

Saved by the Well - The sharp rise in interest rates needed to keep the lira from plunging naturally took a toll on the economy.  The wilting currency, meanwhile, contributed to rising inflation.  January 15, 2015. Read more on The Economist.  

Bulgaria to extend fence at Turkish border to bar refugee influx -  More than 18,000 refugees, mainly from Syria's civil war, have crossed the border from Turkey to seek asylum in Bulgaria in the past two years, increasing the pressure on the EU's poorest member state, data from the interior ministry showed.  January 14, 2015. Read more on Reuters.   

Turkish Entrepreneur Aims for University for Syrian Refugees - Yucel envisions several small campuses in Turkish cities close to Syria, including Gaziantep.  The first one would be located in Hatay and, he hopes, would start in the 2015-16 academic year wtih 1500 students if he gets the required government approvals.  January 13, 2015. Read more on The New York Times. 

Americans, Bosnians and Arabs join Turks in 'No Shadow Government' rally to protest Gulen movement's 'efforts to overthrow an elected government.' - As many as 300 protesters converged on the Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the junction of 47th St. and 2nd Avenue despite cold weather, waving Turkish and American flags and carrying placards reading "The People's Voice, Not One Person's Voice" and "Stop Using U.S. Taxpayers' Money to Fund Your Coup." January 12, 2015. Read more on World Bulletin. 

Marching in Paris, yet blocking freedom of speech at home - More than 50 leaders from around the world tok part in a massive march in Paris Sunday in a show of unity against extremism and to honour the victims of the Charlie Hebdo massacre - seen as an attack on free speech and freedom of the press.  January 11, 2015. Read more on France 24. 

Turkey: Police Defuse Bomb Found at an Istanbul Mall - The police defused an improvised bomb found in a mall in an eastern suburb of Istanbul on Saturday, Turkey's private Dogan news agency said. January 10, 2015. Read more on The New York Times.

Turkey's Bank Asya to sell Tamweel Africa Holding Stake - Erdogan has long accused his former ally Gulen of orchestrating a graft probe to undermine his rule and has waged a battle to purge institutions such as the police and judiciary of his supporters.  January 9, 2015. Read more on Reuters. 

Turkey urges remaining citizens to leave Libya after airline threat - Turkey urged all of its remaining citizens to leave Libya amid worsening security in the north African country following a threat made on a Facebook page to shoot down Turkish aircraft.  January 8, 2015. Read more on Reuters.

TAFS strongly condemns this terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo - Dr. Ferzi Bilgin: "Twelve people including two police officers were killed in a shooting at the Paris offices of the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, according to Reuters. We as the Turkic American Federation of Southeast would like to stress that any terrorist activity, no matter who does it and for what purpose, is the greatest blow to peace, democracy, humanity, and all religious values. For this reason, no one - and certainly no Muslims - can approve of any terrorist activity. Terror is totally incompatible with Islam and it has no place in one’s quest to achieve independence or salvation. It costs the lives of innocent people. So, we strongly condemn this terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo and share the pains of the victims and the whole French society."

Turkey's ruling party takes alarming steps to consolidate power - Though its elections are mostly free and fair, Turkey's state institutions are weak.  This has enabled its leaders to embrace their inner authoritarian since the days of the country's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.  In previous eras, power grabs would prod the military to step in and hit the democratic reset button. January 7, 2014.  Read more on Al Jazeera.

Turkey Arrests Dutch Reporter as Foreign Minister Visits Ankara - Turkish anti-terrorism police raided the home of a Dutch journalist and detained her on the day that Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders was in the country on a state visit.  January 6, 2014.  Read more on Bloomberg.

Turkey Detains Police Officers Over Leaks - Turkish authorities have detained at least 34 police officers in a new wave of raids over the illegal eavesdropping of senior government officials including current President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to state media. On Monday, police conducted raids in 13 cities across Turkey and detained officers accused of tapping the phones of important figures including businessmen, politicians and government officials, Anatolia news agency reported. January 5, 2014. Read more on Al Jazeera

Turkey's War on The Press - Turkey's leader for almost 12 years, Erdogan contributed to economic successes and democratic reforms during his first and second terms. However, emboldened by consecutive election victories and incompetent opposition parties, he is now leading Turkey toward one-man, one-party rule. January 5, 2014 Read more on the Chicago Tribune

Turkey's President Traces a New Internal Threat: They Way He's Drawn - The episode points to an increasingly difficult environment for editorial cartoonists, who have long been a staple of Turkey’s political culture, as Mr. Erdogan has shown less tolerance for criticism and dissent. Critics of Mr. Erdogan and his government have found themselves embroiled in criminal lawsuits while dozens have lost their jobs — victims, critics say, of government efforts to intimidate dissidents. January 3rd, 2015. Read more on The New York Times

 Turkish-Americans Protest in Atlanta In Atlanta, the Turkish-American community gathered to call on the Turkish government to respect rights of all of its citizens, especially freedom of the press. December 23, 2014. Watch the video on Ebru News

In dealings with the West, Erdogan holds all the cards - Critics at home and abroad see Erdogan as an increasingly unpredictable leader, bent on a more powerful presidency and revenge on his political enemies.  They fear he is taking Turkey ever further from Western standards on rule of law and free speech. December 19, 2014. Read more from Reuters.

Turkey releases Gulen-linked editor of Zaman newspaper - A court in Istanbul has released a leading Turkish newspaper editor arrested during raids on media offices at the weekend.  December 19, 2014. Read more from BBC News.

MEPs debate Turkey Arrests - During the afternoon session, members debated the recent arrest of at least 24 journalists in Turkey. December 18, 2014.  Watch more from BBC News. 

After mass arrests, Turkey's president tells world: Buzz off - When Turkish authorities arrested more than two dozen cops and prominent media personalities on Sunday, it set off what has become by now, a predictable routine: International rights groups and Western countries expressed concern and condemnation, prompting Turkey's longtime leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to make clear how little he cares. December 17, 2014. Read more from Mashable.

Turkish Fans of Besiktas Soccer Club Face Coup Charges - ISTANBUL - Dozens of soccer fans who participated in Turkey's antigovernment protests last year went on trial Tuesday on charges of plotting a coup, the latest sign of the far-reaching efforts by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government to crack down on dissent. December 16, 2014. Read more from Wall Street Journal.

Turkey's President Erdogan Tells EU to 'Mind Its Own Business' Over Media Arrests - EU-Turkish relations have been increasingly strained in recent months, partly due to Turkey's stalled membership progress and Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian tendencies. December 16, 2014. Read more from VICE News. 

Photographer: Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty ImagesEU Says Turkey's Arrests of Journalists Violates Values - The European Union accused Turkey of violating press freedom following the arrest of dozens of journalists over the weekend ahead of a EU Council meeting to discuss a long-standing Turkish bid to join the 28-member bloc. December 15, 2014. Read more from Bloomberg. 

In Turkey, police arrest journalists and executives - The more than two dozen arrests followed another series of police raids on December 17 of last year, in which prominent supporters of the government, including the sons of ministers and the head of a state-owned bank, were interrogated on charges of corruption.  In almost all cases, those year-old charges have been dropped. December 14, 2014. Read more from CNN.

Turkey Detains 27 Tied to President's Rival - In a series of raids on Sunday in 13 cities, authorities detained 27 people accused of forming an illegal organization to seize control of the state, according to state-run news agency Anadolu. December 14, 2014. Read more from Wall Street Journal.

BlackRock Sees Rally in Turkish Stocks Fueled Further by Oil - "Clearly the oil price is a game changer for Turkey," Vecht, who oversees $2.7 billion across five emerging - and frontier - market funds, said in e-mailed comments from London on Dec. 1.  "When some small things change, the upside in Turkey can be quite staggering." December 12, 2014. Read more from Bloomberg. 

Turkey's "Deep Throat" warns of plans to detain nearly 150 journalists - According to Mashable, anonymous Twitter user, Fuat Avni, a self-described "Ankara Insider", reported that Turkish police were planning to conduct an investigation that will result in the detention of 150 journalists, in particular, those who are critical of the government. December 11, 2014. Read more from Mashable

Persecution of Hizmet movement in Turkey - "Since the outbreak of the corruption scandal in Turkey in December 2013, Prime Minister and then President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his government have been particularly targeting the Hizmet (Gulen) movement..." December 11, 2014. Read more from Cihan News Agency. 

Turkey may propose energy complex construction to Russia - Calling the new pipeline plan "Turkish Stream", in reference to the scrapped South Stream project, Yildiz said Turkey would study the new pipeline plan with Russia. December 11, 2014. Read more from Reuters. 

Turkey GDP Grows at Slowest Pace Since 2012 in Third Quarter - Turkey has reported much slower growth than expected for the third quarter, with the economy expanding 1.7 per cent compared with the same period a year earlier.  December 10, 2014. Read more from Bloomberg. 

Turkey Won't Loosen Policy Until Inflation Falls, Says Governor - Turkey's annual inflation rate rose to 9.15% in November from 8.96% in October as a result of higher food prices.  December 10, 2014. Read more from Wall Street Journal.

Erdogan's Ottoman language drive faces backlash in Turkey - President Tayyip Erdogan stirred fierce criticism on Tuesday with plans to make lessons in Ottoman Turkish mandatory in high schools, prompting one opposition politician to declare that an army could not force his daughter to learn the language.  December 9, 2014. Read more from Reuters.

Turkey rebuffs EU criticism on waning foreign policy alignment - Turkey hit back on Tuesday at European Union accusations that it has drifted apart from the bloc on foreign policy, saying Ankara had been kept out of decision-making despite making major contributions to EU defense. December 9, 2014. Read more from Reuters.

Turks Feud Over Change in Education - ISTANBUL - President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey promised on Monday to introduce compulsory classes in Ottoman Turkish into the national school curriculum, regardless of public objections. December 8, 2014. Read more from New York Times

Turkish PM Davutoglu due in Greece for 2-day visit - Davutoglu was being accompanied by a delegation of nine ministers, including those of foreign affairs, economy, energy, interior and customs.  December 5, 2014. Read more from Associated Press, Washington Post.

NATO and the EU Talk Over Closer Cooperation - The EU's new foreign-policy chief, Federica Mogherini, spent much of Tuesday at a NATO foreign ministers' meeting. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg visited Donald Tusk, the newly installed president of the European Council, who is charged with guiding the collective agenda of EU governments. December 4, 2014.  Read more on Wall Street Journal.

Turkish MPs Pass Bill Shaking Up Judiciary, Boosting Police Powers - The Turkish government has pushed through legislation increasing police search powers and reforming courts in a move one senior judge said threatened to erode the judicial culture of the country.Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag, commenting on laws passed by parliament on Tuesday night, said prosecutors and judges had been hampering police work by refusing permission for searches to take place. December 3, 2014. Read more on Reuters

Mystery Remains on Status of Turkish Corruption Inquiry - hen-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused the Gulenists of establishing a "parallel state," in particular infiltrating the judiciary and the security establishment in an attempt to bring down the government. Hundreds of prosecutors and thousands of police officers have been reshuffled since then. Having been elected the country’s president in August, Erdogan vowed to eradicate all state institutions of the Gulenists. December 2, 2014. Read more on Al-Monitor

In Diplomatic Defeat, Putin Diverts Pipeline to Turkey - President Vladimir V. Putin said Monday that he would scrap Russia's South Stream gas pipeline, a grandiose project that was once intended to establish the country’s dominance in southeastern Europe but instead fell victim to Russia's increasingly toxic relationship with the West. It was a rare diplomatic defeat for Mr. Putin, who said Russia would redirect the pipeline to Turkey. He painted the failure to build the pipeline as a loss for Europe and blamed Brussels for its intransigence. December 1, 2014. Read more from The New York Times 

Syria 'no-fly zone' not being considered - NATO general. - Turkey has NATO's second largest military and is host for Land Command (LANDCOM), which is charged with improving the effectiveness and response time of the alliance's land forces. Although Turkey has made no formal request to NATO for help in establishing a no-fly zone, it has repeatedly said that willing nations should put one in place to create safe areas in Syria, allowing some of an estimated 1.6 million Syrian refugees to be repatriated. November 26, 2014. Read more from Reuters. 

How the rest of the world reacted to the Ferguson verdict. - On Tuesday, following the news that a grand jury would not indict Wilson for the shooting of Brown, protests erupted in the city.  Cars were set ablaze and stores looted.  Police fired tear gas and protesters shouted "don't shoot," the rallying cry of the protests. November 25, 2014. Read more from Washington Post. 

Former police chief speaks out about Turkey's "parallel state". - In Al-Monitor, Mustafa Akyol interviews former Police Chief Hanefi Avci, who published a book in 2010 depicting Fetullah Gulen as leading the "repressive state machine" in Turkey through the police force.  According to Akyol, Avci's stance on the Hizmet movement is now more objective; however the former policeman refers to Hizmet as the "parallel structure" throughout the interview.  November 25, 2014. Read more from Al-monitor.

Our Bahamian Friends visit Turkey for the 1st time. November 24, 2014. See more photos. 

 

Turkish President: 'Equality between men and women is against nature' - He sparked outrage with the speech made at a convention organized by women’s groups campaigning to eliminate gender discrimination in all its forms. November 24, 2014. Read more from Independent UK

Basci's Turkish Inflation Oracles Lead Him Away From Cuts - The diviners of Turkish inflation are leading central bank Governor Erdem Basci away from giving the government what it wants -- lower interest rates. November 20, 2014. Read more from Bloomberg

Turkey's Central Bank Keeps Interest Rates Steady - Turkey’s central bank on Thursday held interest rates steady for a third consecutive month, signaling policymakers will stick with a tight stance due to the country’s stubbornly high inflation. November 20, 2014 Read more from The Wall Street Journal 

Iraq, Turkey Vow to Work Together Against IS Group - Iraq's prime minister said on Thursday that his country and neighboring Turkey have agreed on closer security and intelligence cooperation in the face of the threat posed by the Islamic State group. November 20, 2014. Read more from ABC News

Amnesty Report: Turkey Strained by Syrian Refugees - With Turkey’s government-run refugee camps operating at full capacity, more than 1 million Syrian refugees who have flocked to Turkey to escape fighting at home are struggling to survive on their own, according to an Amnesty International report released Thursday.November 20, 2014. Read more from The Washington Post 

New Kurdish offensive target Islamic State- Kurdish forces, backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, launched a new offensive Wednesday targeting the Islamic State in areas of Iraq that the extremist group captured in the summer. November 19, 2014. Read more from The Washington Post

On The Passing of Dr Myles Munroe - The Bahamas has lost one of its greatest sons; a devout man of God; author, activist philanthropist, a thinker, preacher, teacher and a nationalist. Dr. Myles Munroe, president and founder of Bahamas Faith Ministries was without question one of the brightest lights this country has produced.
 Read more 
from R.E.Cooper  

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- Her Excellency Dame Marguerite  Pindling, Governor General, welcomed Rev. R.E. Cooper, Jr.,  members of the Turkic  American Federation of  Southeast U.S.  (TAFS) and the Turkish American Chamber of Commerce of the  Southeast U.S. (TACC) in a courtesy call at Government House,  October 29, 2014. Read more on The Bahamas Weekly, Bahamas  National, or The Government of The Bahamas

Is Anybody Out There? It's unfortunate when an organization tasked with providing help to the needy must ask for help itself. It's even more unfortunate when the help it seeks is rooted in deliberate and systematic suppression. In Turkey today, relief organization Kimse Yokmu, affiliated with the Fethullah Gulen inspired Hizmet movement has become the target of repeated attacks by Turkey's political neo-tyrants, the most prominent of whom is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.October 30, 2014. Read more on Huffington Post

"Turkish Q3 Tourism Revenues rise 11 Percent to 11.9 Billion" Turkey's tourism revenues rose 11% in the third quarter to $11.85 billion, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said on Thursday. October 30, 2014 Read more on Today's Zaman 

"Turkey Mine: Hopes Fade for 18 Trapped Coal Miners:" Rescuers are losing hope that 18 workers, trapped underground at a coal mine in southern Turkey, can be saved.  Read more

 "Why Kobani Could be an Opportunity for Turkey, the Kurds and the U.S."In the space of just 48 hours last week, Turkey went from calling the PYD -- the kurds defending the Syrian border town of Kobani -- a terrorist group to opening up arms corridor from Iraq to aid its fight against ISIS. October 29, 2014 Read more on CNN News  

"Turkic American Federation of Southeast visits The  Bahamas" Nassau, Bahamas - Cemil Teber, president and CEO of  the Turkic American Federation of Southeast (TAFS), presents a  gift to Governor-General Sir Arthur Foulkes during a courtesy call  at Government House, March 25. Pictured from left: Kenan  Sener, Umut Gunebir, Mr. Teber, Sir Arthur, Rev. Dr. R. E.  Cooper and Omer Casurluk. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna) March  2014 Read more on The Bahamas Weekly

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