Monday, May 11, 2015

Testimonies of arrested prosecutors show Turkey's giovernment had links with ISIL

    Monday, May 11, 2015   No comments
The testimonies of four public prosecutors, who were jailed last week for their role in the search of trucks allegedly carrying weapons to opposition groups in Syria, have revealed that some state officials had links with the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and similar organizations operating in Syria, media reports said on Sunday.

Former Adana Chief Public Prosecutor Süleyman Bağrıyanık, former Adana Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Ahmet Karaca, Adana prosecutors Aziz Takçı and Özcan Şişman and former Adana provincial gendarmerie commander Col. Özkan Çokay were arrested on Thursday on charges of “attempting to topple or incapacitate the Turkish government through the use of force or coercion and exposing information regarding the security and political activities of the state.”

The trucks, which were found to belong to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), were stopped by gendarmes in two separate incidents in the southern provinces of Hatay and Adana in January 2014 after prosecutors received tip-offs that they were carrying arms to Syria.

Although the government has claimed that the trucks were transporting humanitarian aid to the Turkmen community in Syria, opposition voices have continued to question why, if the operation was within the law, the minister and local authorities stepped in to prevent the trucks from being searched.

In his testimony, Şişman, who stopped the MİT trucks in Hatay, said investigations that were being carried out either by himself and the deputy chief prosecutor's office at that time coincidentally revealed that some state officials did not differentiate between a state duty, collecting intelligence and being involved in terrorism, and that they had unlawful relations with ISIL and similar organizations operating in Syria.

In his testimony, Şişman added that if the trucks were really carrying weapons to Syria, this cannot be described as a state secret. “A criminal action cannot be described as a state secret,” he said.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Turkish opposition parties' leaders accuse Erdoğan of using Quran and public fund to win votes

    Wednesday, May 06, 2015   No comments
The HDP also said Erdoğan has been “exploiting religion,” openly targeting the opposition parties, and “engaging in polemics with opposition leaders.”

The YSK, however, rejected the HDP's appeal late May 6 unanimously, according to Anadolu Agency.

Bekir Bozdağ, a former Justice Minister and a member of the AKP, told Anadolu Agency that a president can only be put on trial for treason by the vote of parliament. "Other than that, nobody has the right or authority to accuse the president," he said.

OSCE highlights concerns

Having already challenged Turkey’s infamous 10 percent election threshold by deciding to go to polls as a party, the HDP and its leaders are being subjected to a rhetorical barrage from President Erdoğan. In public speeches that he has been frequently delivering during collective inaugurations in various provinces, he has targeted not only the HDP but also the CHP.

As recently as late April, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) highlighted concerns over Erdoğan’s “active role in the campaign,” recommending the deployment of a team in order to observe the fairness of the election.

“OSCE/ODIHR NAM interlocutors anticipate the campaign to focus on economic issues, human rights, corruption investigations, the Kurdish-Turkish peace process as well as the question of constitutional reform towards a more presidential system.

Yemen tribes attack Saudi military post and using weapons to launch attacks on Saudi cities

    Wednesday, May 06, 2015   No comments
Yemen's rebels fired rockets and mortars into Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, killing at least three people and purportedly capturing five soldiers in an attack showing the insurgents' ability to launch assaults despite weeks of Saudi-led airstrikes targeting them.
Saudi Arabia's national airline cancelled flights into the border area of Najran as schools closed early amid the attack, the first by the rebels, known as Houthis, to target a civilian area in the kingdom since the start of the airstrikes late March. Meanwhile, hundreds of families fled the southern Yemeni city of Aden after the Houthis advanced into their neighborhoods, firing indiscriminately as they took over surrounding, towering mountains.

In the Saudi area of Najran, the Houthi shelling killed two Saudi civilians and damaged buildings, Yemeni tribal leaders said. The official Saudi Press Agency carried an Interior Ministry statement saying three people had been killed, though it did not specify if they were all civilians.

The national airline, Saudia, said flights to and from the area would be suspended until further notice, without elaborating. It is the only carrier flying to Najran. Saudi state television reported local schools closed early and aired footage showing cars burnt, smoldering houses and debris covering nearby roads.

The tribal leaders, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, also said the Houthis captured five Saudi soldiers in unclear circumstances.

Saudi Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri said that Saudi-led coalition forces continue to respond to the Houthi attack.

Video showing Saudi prisoners of war in the hands of Yemen fighters.


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