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Turkey twin blasts leave 30 dead

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A man cries over the body of a victim, at the site of an explosion in Ankara, Turkey, Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. The two bomb explosions targeting a peace rally in the capital Ankara has killed dozens of people and injured scores of others. The explosions occurred minutes apart near Ankara's main train station as people were gathering for the rally, organized by the country's public sector workers' trade union and other civic society groups. The rally aimed to call for an end to the renewed violence between Kurdish rebels and Turkish security forces. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Ankara:   At least 30 people were killed and 126 others were injured on Saturday when two explosions rocked a road junction in the center of the Turkish capital Ankara ahead of a peace rally.

The toll was confirmed by Turkey’s interior ministry, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

The explosions occurred near the main train station of the city where Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) supporters were gathering to hold the rally to protest against the conflict between the state and outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighters in southeast Turkey.

According to Dogan News Agency, the blasts took place several minutes apart, with the first going off at around 10.00 a.m. local time.

A video on social media showed the moment of one explosion, young people were dancing and waving banners as a massive fireball erupted.

The rally was organised by labor unions and a number of non-governmental organisations.

Organizers have called off the rally, calling on participants to return.

The area have been evacuated to avoid casualties in a possible third attack, police said.

The immediate cause of the blasts remain unknown however, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that it could be a suicide bomber.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is set to hold a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan, government officials and security chiefs in response to the attack, Davutoglu’s office said.
(With inputs from IANS)

 

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Turkey arrests the main assistant to Gulen in Military Coup

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government has filed an official request with the US for it.

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Halis Hanci. Image Source: www.aksam.com.tr
  • Halis Hanci, designated as Gulen’s henchman, came to Turkey two days before the coup attempt, Xinhua reported
  • He has distributed money to Gulen, who has been living in the US since 1999
  • Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government has filed an official request with the US for it

Ankara, July 24: Turkey has arrested the key assistant to the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, who was accused of plotting the failed coup attempt, local media reported on Saturday.

Halis Hanci is the right hand of Gulen in Military Coup. Image Source: www.internethaber.com
Halis Hanci is the right hand of Gulen in Military Coup. Image Source: www.internethaber.com

Halis Hanci, designated as Gulen’s henchman, came to Turkey two days before the coup attempt, Xinhua reported.

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He has distributed money to Gulen, who has been living in the US since 1999.

Fetullah Gulen was accused of failed mIlitary Coup in Turkey. Image Source:  www.ajanshaber.com
Fetullah Gulen was accused of failed mIlitary Coup in Turkey. Image Source: www.ajanshaber.com

Turkish authorities earlier on Saturday detained Mohammet Sait Gulen, one of Gulen’s nephews, NTV reported.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeatedly demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government has filed an official request with the US for it.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan had demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government. Image Source: www.abc.net.au
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had demanded the extradition of the cleric and the government. Image Source: www.abc.net.au

The failed coup attempt, which began on July 15, was crushed the next day; at least 290 people, including more than 100 “coup plotters,” were killed, authorities said. (IANS)

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Turkey coup attempt: Military leadership knew about coup hours before its occurrence

Over 200 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup

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Turkey army. Image source: www.zerohedge.com

Ankara, July 20: The General Staff of Turkish armed forces was informed of the coup attempt on Friday afternoon, a few hours before a military group attempted to overthrow the democratically elected government in the country, a statement said on Tuesday, July 19.

 The note, published on the official website of the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey, said that National Security Organisation (MIT) had provided information of the coup attempt on July 15, 2017, at 4.00 pm (GMT 1300).

U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno greets Gen. Hulusi Akar, Turkish Land Forces commander before conducting an office call at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Jan. 27, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle/Released)
U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno greets Gen. Hulusi Akar, Turkish Land Forces commander before conducting an office call at the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Jan. 27, 2015. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Mikki L. Sprenkle/Released)

“The Information was evaluated by Chief of the General Staff Hulusi Akar, Turkish Land Forces Commander Salih Zeki Colak, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Yasar Guler in the headquarters of general staff,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted it as saying.

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The generals gave essential orders to Turkish Air and Land Forces to take the necessary measures to block the whole coup attempt.

According to the statement, the pro-coup members forced the Chief of the General Staff Akar to sign and read out the coup statement on TV.

“This demand of traitors has been angrily and definitely denied by Chief of the General Staff with libellous words,” it said.

The statement condemned those involved in Friday’s failed coup as having “defamed the Turkish state, its history, and its honourable armed forces”.

In the statement, the Turkish General Staff vowed that anyone involved would be heavily punished.

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“Our nation will decide between those who are members of an illegal terrorist organisation [FETO] and those who fight against a separatist terror organisation [PKK] for the safety of the state,” Anadolu Agency quoted the statement as saying.

“Victory belongs to those who believe in the superiority of law, democracy and our nation’s high values and targets,” the statement added.

“The coup attempt [was] completely suppressed on July 17 at 4.00 pm,” said the statement.

The coup attempt occurred late on Friday night when rogue elements of the Turkish military tried to overthrow the country’s democratically elected government.

Over 200 people, including members of the security forces and civilians, were killed in Istanbul and Ankara and nearly 1,500 others wounded as they protested against the coup.

The government has said the attempted coup was organised by followers of US-based preacher Fetullah Gulen, who is accused of a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through supporters within the Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, forming the parallel state. (IANS)

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German Parliament recognizes Armenian massacre of 1915 as ‘Genocide’

Turkey has had a history of violently rebutting any country deciding to recognize the Armenian crisis as a genocide

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Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Establishment of the national Parliament. Image source: Wikipedia
  • Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Lawyer, coined the term ‘Genocide’, and believes the first genocide was that of the Armenians by the Ottoman authorities
  • The Ottomans’ ruling Committee of Union and Progress planned to forcibly relocate the Armenians to the Arab parts of the Empire
  • This controversy dates all the way back to the First World War

German parliament passed an overwhelming resolution on Thursday June 2 to recognize the atrocities and mass killings meted out to Armenians in 1915 as Genocide. The resolution has further stirred up the already volatile atmosphere between Turkey and the European Union regarding how to handle the refugee crisis.

Turkey has had a history of violently rebutting any country deciding to recognize the Armenian crisis as a genocide. It withdrew its envoys from the Vatican and Austria after the Pope and Austrian lawmakers first used the word. Along similar lines, Turkey has now withdrawn its ambassador to Germany. United States of America and Israel have not yet made use of the term, only to protect the Turkish sentiment.

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This controversy dates all the way back to the First World War. Just a few years before the onset the war, the Young Turks seized power of the then powerful Ottoman Empire, which spanned North Africa, parts of Europe and the Middle East. The new rulers, who had pledged their allegiance to Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire believed they could conquer the Russian army and thus greatly weaken the Allied Forces, Britain, France and Russia.

Secularism in Turkey. Image source: Wikipedia
Secularism in Turkey. Image source: Wikipedia

Things didn’t play out to the best of their interests, and they lost to Russia. This loss created a distrust towards the Armenians. Historian Eugene Rogan tells NPR, “What happened was a small number of [Armenian] militants who did cross over to the Russian side, who did actively try and recruit Armenians to support the Russian cause, made life extremely dangerous for the majority of Armenian civilians who basically had no fight with anyone, did not wish to be drawn into any war and found themselves under tremendous pressure; soldiers who, suspected by their Turkish comrades, begin to get shot down.”

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The Ottomans’ ruling Committee of Union and Progress planned to forcibly relocate the Armenians to the Arab parts of the Empire, but things didn’t just end there. In the first of the killings, some 250 intellectuals and senior counselors of the Armenian community were rounded up and eventually murdered. This was the onset of a frenzy that ended in the death of 1.5 million Armenians.

Raphael Lemkin, a Polish Lawyer, coined the term ‘Genocide’, and believes the first genocide was that of the Armenians by the Ottoman authorities. It is natural for Turkey, which rose from the Ottoman Empire, to find it difficult admitting that the Armenian killings were indeed a genocide, but German Parliament speaker Norbert Lammert said, Turkey’s current government is not responsible for what happened 100 years ago, ‘but it shares responsibility for what happens with it in the future.’ It was important for Germany to acknowledge the massacre of Armenians since it shared responsibilities for the occurrence of the disaster as an ally to the then Ottoman Empire.

-by Saurabh Bodas, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @saurabhbodas96

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