Showing posts with label Turkiye. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkiye. Show all posts

Monday, January 23, 2023

Commenting on Sweden's permission to burn the Qur'an, Turkish FM, Cavusoglu, says, Hate crimes are not freedom of expression

    Monday, January 23, 2023   No comments

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu will denounce the Swedish authorities' permission for the leader of the far-right Danish "hard line" party, Rasmus Paludan, to burn a copy of the Holy Qur'an in the capital, Stockholm, and stressed that such crimes do not fall within the framework of freedom of expression.

Çavuşoğlu said that they "do not allow the burning of books of other religions, but when it comes to the Holy Qur'an and hostility to Islam, they immediately invoke freedom of thought and expression."


The Turkish minister stressed that hate and racism crimes do not fall within the framework of freedom of thought and expression, whether according to Swedish laws or decisions of the Council of Europe or the European Court of Human Rights.

He pointed out that Turkey was quick to take the necessary steps as soon as it learned that the Swedish authorities had allowed the extremist in Al-Wadan to burn a copy of the Noble Qur’an in front of the Ankara embassy building in Stockholm.


Davutoglu indicated that the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the Swedish ambassador to Ankara to the ministry's headquarters and issued the necessary warnings to him, explaining that the Turkish ambassador to Stockholm, Yonat Janzel, spoke directly with the Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Bilstrom in this regard.


He expressed his hope that the Swedish authorities would take the necessary measures at the last minute and prevent this racist and hate crime from happening, which would cause outrage in the entire world.

After the event, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that Sweden should no longer wait for Ankara to take any step within the framework of accepting its accession to NATO, in light of the burning of the Holy Quran in Stockholm.


Erdogan added, "You want to support terrorist organizations, and you support those who are hostile to Islam, and you want us to support your joining NATO... This will not happen at all."


And the Turkish president added, "We say clearly... Sweden is no longer waiting for any support from us for its accession to NATO... We say clearly that no one has the right to insult our sacred values."


Last Saturday, the Swedish-Danish extremist Ramsos Paludan carried out what he promised to burn a copy of the Holy Qur’an in front of the Turkish embassy in Stockholm, amid great police protection and a large media presence.


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Chechens and Caucasus, Albanians and Uzbeks are moving to Idlib to fight in Ukraine

    Sunday, January 15, 2023   No comments

Intersectional reports indicate that foreign fighters from extremist groups have begun to migrate from Idlib in northern Syria towards Ukraine to fight the Russian army there, and reports say that most of those who move to eastern Europe are Chechen and Caucasian battalion fighters, Uzbek and Tajik fighters, and a group of Albanian fighters, and the vast majority belong to These fighters belong to the ranks of “Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham,” which was formerly “Al-Nusra Front,” linked to Al-Qaeda and led by “Abu Muhammad al-Julani.”

Accounts of activists in the areas controlled by extremist groups in northern Syria speak of the departure of dozens of foreign fighters since the beginning of this year. These fighters, according to the details of the battles in the past years in Syria, are considered the most ferocious and experienced in martial arts and street warfare.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says that more than 170 people have left the Syrian territory in batches since last October, and all of them are from the Caucasus and Chechens. They headed towards a European country based on pressure and a request by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham.

It is not known until now the mechanism for the transfer of dangerous fighters, who are classified as terrorists by the countries of the world, from Idlib in northern Syria to eastern Europe, and whether American or Western intelligence agencies are working to involve these fighters in the war against the Russian forces in an organized manner, and to repeat the model of the war in Afghanistan during the occupation Soviet. Where the American intelligence formed Al-Qaeda in partnership with Saudi and Pakistani intelligence to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan, and after this was achieved, the states sought to eliminate the organization by launching direct attribution to the occupation of the country, and pursuing Al-Qaeda fighters, and it is also unknown whether these groups were fighting under the command of the Ukrainian army or in coordination with NATO. Their peers have already fought in Libya under the command of NATO.

The dissident Salafist from Tahrir al-Sham, Ali al-Arjani, said on Telegram, “The Caucasus and Albanian group leave Idlib for Ukraine, because they found that Ukraine is more free for them than Idlib, and the battles in it are real, and it seems that they are following the old fatwa of Ayman Haroush, that going out to the country of the infidels is better.” From sitting in Idlib under the authority of Abu Muhammad al-Julani.” A video recording was published showing Abdul Hakim al-Shishani (Rustam Azif), the leader of the Caucasus Soldiers group, and his group fighting against Russian forces in the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, and Russian media published the video recording, indicating that the United States had begun using terrorist groups to support the Ukrainian army.

A state of disagreements prevailed between some of these groups, which are based on foreign fighters, and between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and its leader al-Julani in northern Syria, as al-Julani tried to domesticate and control these groups in the context of the changes that occurred in al-Julani's approach in an attempt to enter the political space and satisfy Turkey on the one hand and flirt with the United States On the other hand, to ensure the consolidation of his control over Idlib and some of the northern Syrian countryside.

Thursday, January 12, 2023

Erdogan's advisor: Turkiye needs full control over Syria's Aleppo to solve refugee issue

    Thursday, January 12, 2023   No comments

Erdogan’s desire to unload Syrian refugees and address the emerging autonomous Kurdish state along its border with Syria is forcing him to rush for a solution that would involve reconciliation with the Syrian government.

In the past few weeks alone, the Turkish leader sent out his defense minister and head of intelligence to meet their Syrian counterparts in Russia. Turkish leaders then announced plans to for the foreign ministers to meet soon to pave the way for a historical summit between Erdogan and Assad. All these changes are driven by Erdogan’s fear that economic hardships, volatile border with Syria, and large Syrian population in Turkey will limit his chances of winning another term and derail his party’s ambitions to keep a decisive plurality in the parliament.

However, given the role Erdogan played in supporting the Syrian armed factions who wanted, and still want, to overthrow the Syrian government, neither Assad is eager to meet him and many of his party leaders and advisors are unwilling to give up their dream of Syria controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies. This split among Turkey’s Islamists is reminding observers of their ideology-driven campaign to fuel a war in Syria designed to overthrow the government no matter what the human and economic costs. Nothing more telling of this ideological and sectarian impulse than the chain of events that lead to the recent revelations that Turkey should aim to control Aleppo and use it to resettle Syrian refugees instead of rebuilding the Syrian-Turkish relations to what it was before the so-called Arab Spring.

Immediately after the announcement of the expected meeting between the Syrian and Turkish foreign ministers, Qatar’s Aljazeera publishes a long piece by an Islamist commentator and professor at Qatar university floating the idea of Turkey’s control over Aleppo and rejecting Turkish reconciliation with the Syrian government. The article was picked by a long time advisor the Erdogan and his party and he made the same point an interview with a Turkish outlet. Given how skeptical the Syrian government is from this about-face from Erdogan, it can easily use this statement to cancel the proposed meeting and reject Erdogan’s courting of Assad.

Aware of the problem, it was revealed that the Turkish foreign minister was very upset with the advisor’s statements and perhaps that is what forced the advisor to appear on Arab media outlets and explain that what he said was a personal opinion based on an article that he read in the media (a clear reference to aljazeera’s piece).

These events revisit the events and actors that promoted and benefited the so-called Arab Spring, including the role of the Qatari government and its media influencer, Aljazeera, the Muslim Brotherhood, Salafism, and Turkey who wanted to create a middle east to their liking that resulted in destroyed communities in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and Iraq and the displacement of millions of people—in addition to the nearly one million people killed in these countries as a result of the geopolitical ambitions of Turkey, Qatar, UAE, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

______

Here are the background stories for this event:



With the opposition accusing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of not being serious in dealing with the Syrian file and developing an urgent plan for reconciliation with Damascus to return Syrian refugees to their country, Yasin Aktay's proposal, Erdogan's advisor, came to confirm the validity of doubts about the latter's intentions and accounts for Syria.

 

Aktay, who was a very close friend of the late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, said, "To ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees to their country, the city of Aleppo must be placed under Turkish administration for a transitional period."

 

Aktay pointed out, in his interview with the pro-President Erdogan channel, "Olca", to "the importance of dialogue between Turkey and the Syrian regime." But thanks to the Iranian and Russian support, the Assad regime was able to control it, after carrying out very large massacres. And had it not been for Turkey's intervention at the time, the regime would have carried out bloody massacres greater than it."

 

He added, "Therefore, Turkey must have a role in achieving security in the city and its environs, so that we can return one and a half million, or even two million, refugees to the city voluntarily, which will not be achieved unless a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis is reached with the participation of the people." Syrian".

 

Aktay's speech aroused the interest of the media and social networks, which said that he revealed the true intentions of President Erdogan by inviting President Putin to bring him together with President Assad after the recent meeting of the Syrian and Turkish defense ministers in Moscow, in the presence of the Russian defense minister.

 

Some saw his words as a message from Ankara to the Syrian opposition with all its factions, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, after the information that talked about Ankara's efforts to convince it of the feasibility of a possible reconciliation with Damascus, which is what this opposition started after meeting its leaders, Foreign Minister Mouloud Jawish. oglu last week.

 

Journalist Muhammad Ali Gullar recalled "the slogan raised by nationalist circles at the beginning of the Turkish intervention in northern Syria, when they talked about annexing this region to Turkey, as it was part of the map of the National Pact of 1920, just as Aleppo declared the 82nd state of present-day Turkey."

 


It seems that Aktay's statements and the media's interaction with them will remain the talk of the Turkish street during the next stage, as long as the Syrian file, with all its main and subheadings, will be the semi-main topic of the upcoming election campaigns, after it became clear that this file, especially the issue of Syrian refugees in Turkey, will affect the decision of the Turkish voter when He will vote for President Erdogan or his potential rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.

 

This explains why the security authorities raided a gathering center for Syrian refugees in a suburb of Istanbul, whom the Republican People's Party was preparing to deport to Syria with their consent, and the aforementioned authorities transferred them to an unknown location so that Kilicdaroglu would not meet them before they left Istanbul towards the Syrian border.

 

All this while betting on information that was reported a while ago about Syrian President Assad's hesitation in reconciliation with Erdogan before the upcoming elections, which may be in mid-May, at a time when Russian and Gulf pressures continue on the two sides to achieve this reconciliation as quickly as possible.

 Journalist Omar Odamish predicted, "The image that will gather Erdogan and President Assad will affect the psyche of the voter, as the Turkish president will tell him that reconciliation with Damascus is necessary to eliminate terrorism, by which he means the PKK and its Syrian arm, the People's Protection Units, without mentioning the Syrian opposition militants." They are terrorists for Damascus."

 Opposition circles ruled out that Erdogan would meet the Syrian demands, and said that this would be after the elections and not before, given that it would constitute a security crisis in northern Syria and the Turkish interior, especially if Ankara failed to convince Jabhat Tahrir al-Sham of the importance and necessity of this reconciliation, including the war together against the militias. Kurdish forces east of the Euphrates, in exchange for advantages and privileges that Turkey recognizes for HTS fighters and leaders, which the media has been talking about for some time about its heated dialogue with Washington.

 The information talks about Washington increasing its military support for the Kurdish People's Protection Units to face any upcoming war in the region and against the Syrian and Turkish armies in the event of a joint reconciliation.

 President Erdogan seeks to justify this reconciliation to his followers and supporters by talking about the need to eliminate terrorism in Turkey and northern Syria, by which he means the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian arm, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, which in turn entered the line of domestic politics in Turkey when it announced the co-chair of the Peoples’ Democratic Party , the political wing of the PKK, the party's decision to participate in the upcoming elections with its own candidate, which puts the opposition "Nation Alliance" face to face with a new crisis in competition with Erdogan, who may prevail over the opposition candidate unless he has the support of the Kurds.

 

This account did not prevent the Supreme Constitutional Court from considering the issue of banning the activity of the Peoples’ Democratic Party before the end of this week, after it froze 3 days ago the aid provided by the treasury, according to the election law, which orders it to support the electoral campaigns of all political parties that have parliamentary blocs, i.e. on At least 20 seats.

 

All these complex data suggest the next stage in Turkish domestic politics, as long as it is affected by the future of the relationship with Damascus, for many surprises in terms of Turkish-Syrian relations, which will be under direct influence from Moscow, Tehran and the Gulf capitals represented by Abu Dhabi, which the Turkish media says is " It is ready to pay billions of dollars to the Syrian and Turkish sides in exchange for their agreement to the final reconciliation, according to its mood and the mood of its allies, who are many and contradictory.

 

Thursday, January 05, 2023

Reviewing Turskish media reaction to the Ankara - Damascus Normalization

    Thursday, January 05, 2023   No comments

Once the Syrians remember the facts of eleven years of Turkish behavior towards their country, the attempts to overthrow the regime and the state and support the armed opposition, leading to the occupation of parts of northern Syria, the importance of the first Moscow meeting can be realized at the level of the defense ministers of Turkey, Syria and Russia. And while awaiting the crystallization of a clearer picture with the possible meeting to be held soon between the three countries at the level of foreign ministers, Turkey was preoccupied with the details of the new phase of the reconciliation process, noting that the view of the writers supporting the “Justice and Development” party was shy in approaching the developments, while enthusiasm appeared, The “schadenfreude” is evident in the position of those who have been calling, for years, for direct communication with Damascus, amid almost unanimous agreement that the biggest winner of what is happening is the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad.

About this, Muhammed Ali Guler writes, in the opposition newspaper “Cumhuriyet”, in an article entitled “Al-Assad won and NATO lost,” that “(Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s external needs, and (Turkish President Recep Tayyip) Erdogan’s internal needs, intersected to produce pressure. Russia is in the direction of holding a meeting of the Turkish and Syrian defense ministers in Moscow, thus opening the door to normalization between Syria and Turkey. According to Guler, “a lot of speculation arose in Turkey and Syria about the issues discussed by the two ministers, but it can be said that from the point of view of Turkish foreign policy, Ankara has accepted the fact that regional policies will proceed from now on on the basis of a “solution with Assad” or “the Assad solution.” ». Guler stresses that the most important of all these assessments is “to see the extent of the reflection of the normalization process from the point of view of Turkish foreign policy, on Ankara’s behavior in regional and international issues, which assumes that the “Assad solution” will be reflected in Turkey’s foreign policies. This requires necessary steps in the field that reflect the new approach.


The first of these measures, the writer says, is the dismantling of the structures that Ankara established in order to overthrow Assad. It includes all armed groups, Syrian, Islamic and radical, to which Turkey opened borders and formed a parliament and government for them as well. In Guler's opinion, the aforementioned constitutes "the most important issue now," as it is by "dissolving these structures" that what the writer describes as a "flexible solution" to the presence of the Turkish army in Syria can be reached. And he adds, “Of course, the dissolution of these groups is not as easy as expected, as it has a political and social cost. Some of them will not give up their arms, but may even move against Turkey. Here, cooperation between the Turkish and Syrian armies will be of great importance, as it will facilitate the liquidation of armed Islamic groups and will reduce the cost to Turkey. Secondly, it will help program a gradual withdrawal of the Turkish army and a corresponding control of the Syrian army over its territory. And he wonders, in this context, whether the Turkish authorities will accept the advanced scenario, or will they adapt their vision to the impact of the presidential elections and put forward the condition of “achieving political stability” first?

In the same newspaper, Barish Doster writes, saying that the Moscow meeting, despite its delay, is important for the two countries, as it allowed Turkey to correct its wrong policies towards Syria, and at the same time showed more than one thing: the first of which is “the limits of the Turkish state’s ability”; The second is “the mistake of practicing foreign policy on a sectarian, ethnic, ideological, personal or emotional basis and using it as a tool in domestic politics.” The new Turkish policy towards Syria also showed, according to Doster, “the mistake of relying on and trusting the United States and believing that it will win under any circumstances; It is also a mistake to underestimate Assad and look at countries and societies in the Middle East with a sectarian eye. According to the writer, “if the talks between the two countries produce results, they can cooperate, with the help of Russia and Iran, against terrorism, eliminate the American presence in Syria and the armed Kurdish elements that support it, and thus achieve peace and stability,” as well as prepare for “the return of Syrian refugees.” to their country.” He believes that "Syria is Turkey's gateway to the Middle East with a border of 911 km, the second begins to win, not only from the political, diplomatic, strategic and security aspects, but also from the economic point of view."

In the loyal newspaper "Miliyet", Tonga Bengen says, "The United States wants a Syria fragmented as a state and institutions, because this is its way to consolidate its influence in this country. Therefore, Washington is not satisfied with Turkey's efforts to reconcile with Syria. And he goes on to say that “Washington will use all kinds of conspiracies and provocations to trap a solution between Ankara and Damascus, such as pressure through the militants in Idlib, and through other issues in the eastern Mediterranean and within the Turkish army by officers who do not agree with Erdogan in his new policies.” Hence, the most important thing, according to Bengin, is that “Syria, Russia and Turkey be honest, sincere and firm in order to achieve lasting peace and confront the potential games of the United States and the mines that it will plant.”

As for Mustafa Kara Ali Oglu, in the opposition newspaper “Qarar”, which is close to Ahmed Davutoglu, he believes that “Turkey is not in an enviable position. We were against Bashar al-Assad and we want to depose him. Now this goal is no longer possible, and Assad has gained enough strength to sit at the table across from us. And Russia skillfully managed the Astana process to the extent that it forced Turkey to recognize the Assad regime and sit with it. This is a significant success for both Moscow and Damascus. But he also says that Turkey “should not trust Russia with regard to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, as Moscow and Washington provide protection for it,” asking: “Can it be said to the refugees who fled Assad that the problem has been solved, and they can return? Is this applicable? According to the writer, the Turkish forces cannot leave Syria without resolving the problem of the Kurdish forces, because they are “the only negotiating force we have with regard to Damascus,” concluding that “the process is completely unknown and unreliable, and negotiations over it will take years or even decades before reaching agreements.” Issues that cannot be resolved in the field will not be easy to solve at the table.


For his part, Fahim Tashkin, in the opposition newspaper "Gazete Dwar", considers that "the Syrians today must use accurate measures in order to confront what they expect from the normalization process with Turkey. Things may progress surprisingly, and Erdogan's dream of praying at the Umayyad Mosque may come true, but alongside Assad. The writer describes the Moscow meeting as “a birth on the page of Turkey’s defeat,” noting that “it is not clear what the two sides agreed upon, but Damascus and Moscow see it as an agreement to strike the armed groups in Idlib, while Ankara suffices to mention the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, while the problem will be the jihadist groups.” In Idlib and the warlords, it is one of the most difficult challenges that Ankara will face. Tashkin wondered: “Will Turkey say to Syria: Deal with the Kurds and leave me the matter of finishing off the jihadists?” To answer: “Erdogan wants to convince Damascus that the Kurds are the common enemy, and that they are the price of normalization between the two countries.” And if Erdogan and Assad meet before the elections, he adds, “We can talk about a bloody electoral investment. The next meeting of foreign ministers will make the goals clearer. The result: Assad wins.


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

The first meeting between the defense ministers of Turkey and Syria in Moscow

    Wednesday, December 28, 2022   No comments

  A statement by the Turkish Ministry of Defense confirmed that the meeting of the defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria and the heads of the Syrian and Turkish intelligence services in Moscow took place in a constructive atmosphere.

The statement said that the Turkish Minister of Defense, Hulusi Akar, and the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, held a meeting with the Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation, Sergei Shoigu, the Syrian Minister of Defense, Ali Mahmoud Abbas, and the heads of Turkish and Syrian intelligence, in Moscow.

Syria confirms the meeting, too. The Syrian Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “Today, a meeting took place between the Minister of Defense and the Director of the Syrian General Intelligence Department with their counterparts, the Minister of Defense and the head of the Turkish Intelligence Service, in the Russian capital, Moscow, with the participation of the Russian party. The two sides discussed many files, and the meeting was positive.”

The meeting discussed the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem, and "joint efforts" to combat all terrorist organizations in Syria.


As a result of the meeting, which "was held in a constructive atmosphere," the Turkish Ministry of Defense statement said, "it was agreed to continue the tripartite meetings, to ensure and maintain stability in Syria and the region as a whole."

And the Russian Ministry of Defense announced this evening, Wednesday, that the defense ministers of the Russian Federation, Syria and Turkey held tripartite talks in Moscow, which dealt with ways to solve the Syrian crisis and the refugee problem, and joint efforts to combat extremist groups in Syria, and they also discussed the continuation of stability in Syria and the region.


The Russian Defense Ministry said that the parties participating in the meeting confirmed "the constructive nature of the dialogue.


The Russian Ministry of Defense said in a statement: “The defense ministers of Russia, Turkey and Syria held a tripartite session of talks in the Russian capital, Moscow, today, Wednesday, to discuss ways to solve the Syrian crisis, and the need to continue dialogue to achieve stability in Syria.”


She added, "They discussed ways to solve the Syrian crisis, the refugee problem, and joint efforts to combat armed groups in Syria."


And the Russian Ministry of Defense continued: “After the meeting, the parties noted the constructive nature of the dialogue that took place in this way and the need for its continuation in order to increase the stability of the situation in Syria and the region.”

Russia offered mediation


It is noteworthy that the Turkish presidency announced, earlier, that Moscow had offered to mediate in order to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Moscow announced that it was "ready to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad."

It is noteworthy that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed on December 15 that he "wants to meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad," noting that "Russian President Vladimir Putin's view is positive on the matter."

This came after the leader of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miri Oglu, revealed earlier this month, "Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad."

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

US-Turkish relations: US will not be selling F 16 fighter jets to Turkey

    Tuesday, December 20, 2022   No comments

Turkish leaders will have to make new choices soon in the light of developments in the region and around the world.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had already threatened that Turkey may turn to countries such as Russia if the US fails to follow through a pledge to deliver F-16 fighter jets.
In July, the White House said that Turkey would be excluded from the more sophisticated F-35 stealth fighter jet program after it purchased the Russian S-400 air defense missile system despite warnings from Western allies.

The Pentagon later confirmed that a process is already underway to move the production of Turkey-made F-35 parts – worth at least $9 billion to Turkish manufacturers – to suppliers in the United States and other countries.

“Unfortunately, Turkey’s decision to purchase Russian S-400 air defense systems renders its continued involvement with the F-35 impossible,” White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham said in a Wednesday, July 17 statement.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Thousands of Turks are protesting against preventing the mayor of Istanbul from practicing politics

    Thursday, December 15, 2022   No comments

Thousands of Turks gathered in a square in central Istanbul today, Thursday, in solidarity with the opposition mayor of the city, Ekrem Imamoglu, who was issued a judicial decision against him, preventing him from practicing politics, before the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

Yesterday, Wednesday, a criminal court sentenced Ekrem Imamoglu to more than two years in prison, and prevented him from practicing politics for the same period, on charges of "insulting members of the Supreme Election Commission in 2019."


Earlier today, Davutoglu announced his rejection of the judicial decision against him, stressing that he would confront the "coup against the will of the people."


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the verdict, which means that he would remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.

The US State Department expressed its "great alarm and disappointment" at the prospect of excluding one of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's biggest rivals from the political scene.


Germany described the decision as a "harsh blow to democracy," while France urged Turkey to correct "its deviation from the rule of law and democracy, and respect for fundamental rights."

Turkish opposition

It comes six months before an election in which the Turkish opposition is putting its best foot forward to oust President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has ruled the country for 20 years, while a jail sentence against Davutoglu has raised the risk of a presidential struggle between opposition poles.

Turkey's fractious opposition is struggling to unite behind a single candidate to challenge Erdogan, who has ruled Turkey for two decades, in the upcoming elections.

However, the leader of the "Republican People's" party, Kamal Kilicdaroglu, is still pressing hard for the candidacy, and the shares of Meral Aksener, the leader of the "Good Party", rose to run for the competition.


Imamoglu and six opposition party leaders marched side by side in a crowd of supporters in a rally meant to show defiance to Erdogan.


Imamoglu addressed the crowd, saying, "I am not at all afraid of their illegitimate rule," adding, "I do not have judges to protect me, but behind me are 16 million Istanbulites and our nation."


A Metropoll poll showed that even voters of Erdogan's Justice and Development Party believe the case against the Istanbul mayor is "politically motivated".

The poll found that 28.3% of AKP voters believe that "the issue is politicized," while 24.2% believe that it is related to "defamation."


Wednesday, December 14, 2022

The mayor of Istanbul was imprisoned for two years and 7 months for "insulting officials"

    Wednesday, December 14, 2022   No comments

On Wednesday, a Turkish court sentenced the mayor of Istanbul, Ekrem Imamoglu, to more than two years in prison on charges of insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission, which effectively prevents him from practicing politics.

Turkish media said that the judiciary sentenced Oglu to two years and 7 months in prison for insulting members of the Supreme Electoral Commission.

And imposed a political ban on him for insulting public officials, in a ruling that is expected to be appealed.

Ekrem Imamoglu, a popular rival of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was prosecuted from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for a speech he gave in 2019 in which he said those who canceled Istanbul's local elections at the time were "foolish".

It should be noted that the maximum penalty for this charge is four years imprisonment.


For his part, Oglu's lawyer confirmed that he would appeal the ruling, which means that he will remain in the position of mayor, but he is now excluded from the presidential elections scheduled for next year.


The case dates back to a statement issued by Imamoglu, after he defeated the candidate of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Islamist party in the controversial 2019 municipal elections.


Persons sentenced to less than four years' imprisonment are rarely sent to prison in Turkey.


"This is an unfortunate approach to democracy and the rule of law," his lawyer, Kemal Polat, told AFP.


Imamoglu (52 years old) defeated Erdogan's party in March 2019, by winning the mayoralty of Istanbul, which was led by the ruling Justice and Development Party for 25 years.


The government canceled Imamoglu's election, but he returned and won by a large margin in the run-off elections after about three months.


A few months later, Ekrem Imamoglu considered those who canceled his election victory "stupid," echoing a phrase that Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had used against him a few hours earlier.


This description exposed the mayor of Istanbul to prosecution for "insulting" members of the Supreme Electoral Council.



Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Syria refused Turkey's request to arrange a meeting between Erdogan and Assad

    Tuesday, December 06, 2022   No comments

 The leader of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miri Oglu, declared, "Damascus rejected Ankara's request to arrange a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad."

"Damascus intends to postpone the meeting between Erdogan and Assad until after the Turkish elections," Merioglu told Sputnik.

It is noteworthy that Miri Oglu confirmed, earlier, that the Turkish president is ready to meet his Syrian counterpart, and that he did not reject the idea of meeting.

And the Turkish president had assured Al-Mayadeen, earlier, that he was "ready to meet Syrian President Bashar al-Assad when the time comes," saying: "I may meet al-Assad when the time is right. I am not a politician used to saying that this is not possible or that it is impossible. When the time comes Of course, we may meet with the Syrian president."

Last November, Erdogan hinted at the possibility of reconsidering relations with Damascus after the 2023 elections in Turkey, saying: "We can reconsider our relations with the countries with which we live in problems, after the elections."

It is noteworthy that the Turkish presidency announced, earlier, that Moscow had offered to mediate in order to hold a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Turkish presidency stated that "there is no political basis for holding a meeting between Erdogan and Assad at the present time, but Ankara does not close the door to diplomacy," adding that Russia offered to mediate and facilitate a meeting between the two leaders.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Zelensky for the Group of Twenty: Poland hit a "message" from Moscow to you; Biden: The explosion in Poland was caused by a Ukrainian missile

    Wednesday, November 16, 2022   No comments

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy considered today, in a speech broadcast via video to the leaders of the Group of Twenty meeting on the Indonesian island of Bali, that the missile strike in Poland “is nothing but a message from Russia to the G20 summit.”

Zelensky also warned them of the existence of "a terrorist state among you, against which we have to defend ourselves," as he put it, referring to Russia.

 This comes while the Polish army is still on high alert today, after a missile landed in a village in the southeast of the country near the border with Ukraine. While statements and meetings rush to understand the details of the incident, it seems that there is a strong possibility that Russia is not the source of the launch of this missile, which is most likely “Russian-made.”

Biden contradicts Zelenskiy

 Today, a source in NATO told Reuters that US President Joe Biden informed the Group of Seven and NATO partners that the explosion in Poland was caused by a missile fired by Ukrainian air defense.

In turn, the Belgian Minister of Defense, Ludivine Dedondre, said today that the explosion that killed two people in eastern Poland was "the result of Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense systems used to intercept Russian missiles."

 And the minister added, in a statement, that “the investigations are continuing, and there is currently no indication that it was a deliberate attack,” noting that Ukraine had previously accused Russia of targeting Polish territory with a missile strike.

 Immediately after the attack, Poland discussed the need to activate Article 4 of the NATO Charter. The call was resisted by NATO members and Russia saw it as a premeditated provocation intended to justify an attack on Russia.

France called for caution when making accusations about the source of the Poland missile.

France called for "extreme caution" about the source of the missile that fell in Poland, especially since "several countries" in the region possess the same type of weapon, warning of a "great risk of escalation."

And the French presidency said: "Given the stakes, it is logical that we deal with the issue with the utmost caution," noting that there are "great risks of escalation in the region."

One of the French president's advisors pointed out that "a lot of equipment and weapons" are concentrated in and around Ukraine, adding that "a large number of countries possess the same type of weapons, and therefore determining the type of missile does not necessarily mean determining who launched it."

Erdogan: I am sure Russia did not fire a missile at Poland

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed today, Wednesday, that he trusts Russian statements regarding its denial of involvement in the Poland incident.

On Tuesday evening, the Russian Ministry of Defense denied the news that a Russian missile had fallen on Poland, stressing that it aims to provoke a "deliberate provocation with the aim of escalation."

 Erdogan called, during a press conference on the sidelines of the G-20 summit, for "a detailed investigation into the fall of missiles on a village in Poland," adding that "the insistence that the missiles fired at Poland are Russian-made is nothing but a provocation."

 Medvedev: The West is approaching a world war

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said today, Wednesday, that the alleged missile attack on Polish soil shows that the West is approaching another world war.

 Medvedev wrote on Twitter, "The incident of the missile strike on a Polish farm proves only one thing: waging war by all means against Russia, and the West is approaching a world war."

 Yesterday, Tuesday, the Russian Ministry of Defense confirmed that it had not directed strikes against targets near the Ukrainian-Polish border, noting that "talk about Russian missiles falling in Poland is a deliberate provocation aimed at escalating the conflict."

 Zelenskiy's rush to push for the invocation of NATO's Art. 4 and 5, if proven to be planned would anger NATO members and undercut his credibility. Worse, for him, should that be the case, and should an actual attack by Russia on other NATO members, world leaders would be more cautious and perhaps suspect Ukraine before they accuse Russia. Call it the boy who cried wolf effect.

Immediately after two people were killed by a missile in Polish territory, heading pressure from Zelenskiy whose country is not a NATO member, the Polish government announced that it would consider whether it would need to activate Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which calls for emergency consultations in the event of a threat to a member state.

And in the event that it is decided that Moscow is responsible for the explosion, this may lead to the launch of the principle of collective defense of NATO known as “Article 5”, as an attack on a member of the Western alliance is considered an attack on everyone.

NATO Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, said that the alliance is closely evaluating the situation in Poland and is awaiting clarity of data and data.

 What are Articles 4 and 5 of the NATO Charter... and what are they related to the Poland explosion?

The NATO Charter, "Article 4" differs from "Article 5", as the latter specifies military assistance by the entire alliance in the event of an attack on one of the member states.

 Article 4 of the NATO Treaty gives the right to any member state of the alliance that feels threatened by another country or a terrorist organization, to submit a request for the thirty member states to start formal consultations to decide whether the threat exists and how to confront it, while reaching unanimous decisions.

 Under this article, the parties are to consult together, at the request of any of the member states, about the territorial integrity, political independence, or security of any of the allied states.

 Article 5 is the cornerstone of the founding treaty of NATO, created in 1949 with the US military as its mainstay of strength primarily to counter the Soviet Union and its satellites in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.

 The Charter states that NATO members agree that an armed attack against one or more of them "shall be regarded as an attack against all of them."

 In the event of such an attack, each NATO member would assist the attacked country in whatever action it "deems necessary". This could include the use of armed force with the aim of restoring and maintaining security in the North Atlantic region.

 

Monday, November 14, 2022

The Turkish Minister of Interior accuses Kurdish Units of masterminding the Istanbul bombing and criticizes the United States

    Monday, November 14, 2022   No comments

The Turkish authorities continued to reveal the latest details and pictures as part of their investigations into the Istiklal Street bombing in Istanbul. Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu accused the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units of being responsible for the bombing, but they denied it.

And the Turkish Security Directorate in Istanbul announced today, Monday, that the suspect - who was arrested at dawn with more than 40 others - holds Syrian nationality and is called Ahlam Al-Bashir (23 years old).

Soylu accused the PKK and the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) of being responsible for the bombing, and said that the order to carry it out was issued in the city of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) in northern Syria, where Turkish forces have carried out operations against those units in recent years.


The Turkish minister criticized the support provided by the United States to these units, and said that his country does not accept the condolences offered by the American embassy.


Soylu likened the American position to "a murderer who is among the first to arrive at the crime scene."


"We do not accept condolences from the US embassy, ​​we know who supports terrorism in northern Syria, and we know the message they wanted to deliver to Turkey through this attack," he said.


He stressed that "those who support terrorist organizations in northern Syria carried out the attack against us."


For its part, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) denied responsibility for the bombing of Istiklal Street, and said in a statement posted on its website today, Monday, "It is not possible for us to target civilians in any way."


The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces, of which the Kurdish units are the main component, also denied any connection to the Istanbul bombing.


The Kremlin: Russian-American talks took place in Ankara at the request of Washington

    Monday, November 14, 2022   No comments

Today, Monday, the official spokesman for the Russian presidency, Dmitry Peskov, stated that Russian-American negotiations were taking place in Ankara today, at the initiative of the American side, stressing that their content had not been revealed.

And Turkish media indicated that the director of Russian foreign intelligence, Sergei Naryshkin, held a meeting with the director of the CIA, William Burns, in Ankara regarding the use of nuclear weapons.

Burns told the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service a message about "the consequences of Russia's use of nuclear weapons, and the risk of escalation for strategic stability," according to the White House National Security Council.

The same source stated that Burns "does not conduct any kind of negotiations, nor does he discuss a settlement for the war in Ukraine," indicating that the Ukrainians were informed in advance of the meeting.

The meeting between Burns and Naryshkin is one of the rare meetings at this level between the two countries since the start of the Russian military operation. Washington and Moscow maintained "communication channels" between them, especially through the US embassy in the Russian capital, to discuss bilateral issues and exchange messages about developments in Ukraine, despite the escalating tension between them.


A few days ago, the American Wall Street Journal reported that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan held secret talks with senior aides to Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Meanwhile, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko denied, earlier, that his country had previously held negotiations with the United States regarding Ukraine, commenting that "Kyiv has adopted a law that prevents it from conducting peaceful negotiations with Moscow."


Friday, October 28, 2022

Erdogan presents the expected tidings to Europe at the gates of the winter crisis: We will distribute Russian gas to you through our Turkish lands

    Friday, October 28, 2022   No comments

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey will distribute natural gas coming from Russia to Europe through its territory through the “Turkish Stream” project.


In a speech during an introductory event for the "Turkey Century" campaign in the capital, Ankara, Erdogan indicated that this will be the result of talks with Moscow.

On the other hand, the President revealed that his government will soon start work on the Istanbul Canal project, and that it will thus save the Bosphorus Strait from environmental threats.

He referred to the discovery of 540 billion cubic meters of natural gas reserves in the Black Sea previously, adding: "God willing, we will soon share good news with our people in energy."

The “Turkish Stream” is two pipelines to transport gas from Russia to Turkey and Europe, passing through the Black Sea. The first pipeline feeds Turkey, and the second is eastern and southern European countries.

Erdogan stressed that one of the first goals of the “Turkey Century” vision is to give the country a new constitution that will be the product of the national will.

He said, "In the past twenty years, we have implemented historical monuments and services in all fields, from education to health, from justice to security, from transportation to energy, and from industry to agriculture, but there are also things that we have not been able to achieve despite our efforts."

He added: "Acquiring a new constitution for our country, the product of the national will, is one of the first goals of our vision, the century of Turkey. This new constitution will enhance the stability of the country, increase the prosperity of the people, enhance the rule of law, pluralism and justice, guarantee the freedoms of every citizen, and provide our young people with a hope for the future."

And he added: “We will raise the century of Turkey by meeting the aspirations of our young people in all fields from technology to art, and from sports to the environment. We will advance Turkey’s century by making our country one of the top ten countries in the world in all political, economic, technological, military and diplomatic fields.”

Erdogan indicated that “Turkey’s century” is the century of replacing identity politics with a politics of unity, polarization with integration, denial with embrace, domination with freedom, and hate with love.


He pointed out that "Turkey's Century" is the name of a new beginning for combining real actions with sincere acceptance, putting human values ​​before ideological fanaticism, giving preference to truth over fanaticism, and showing the truth to those who turn their backs on it.

He explained that the vision, spirit and philosophy of "Turkey's Century" means the Century of Sustainability, saying: "Based on this concept, we will strengthen an ecosystem that embraces life with all its elements. In parallel, we will move forward in our struggle to keep pace with the path of the world."

He stressed that "Turkey's century" will be the century of peace for the country, and that it will continue to work to achieve stability in its geographical region and the world, based on the concept of "the world is greater than five."

The Turkish president set a short-term goal for Turkey to reach a trillion dollars in foreign trade, and 100 billion dollars in tourism revenues.

He pointed out that they are moving forward in establishing and developing infrastructure facilities in order to transform Turkey into a global production and supply center whose necessity has been demonstrated during the Corona pandemic.

In this regard, President Erdogan announced raising the production capacity of electric energy from 31,846 megawatts to 101,518 megawatts.

According to Erdogan, successive Turkish governments have worked to increase the number of archaeological sites of the country included in the World Heritage List of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization "UNESCO", and increased the number of archaeological sites that have been restored from 46 to 5,781 sites.

In addition to the Istanbul Canal project, President Erdogan indicated that he will announce new projects in Turkey before the elections.

In light of the "Turkey Centenary" vision, Erdogan confirmed their goal of transforming Turkey into the most important and largest industrial and commercial country in the world, saying: "In the next stage, we will discuss the latest and most effective production strategies and implement them on the ground."

To achieve this goal, the Turkish President promised to continue supporting high-tech value-added industries, increasing direct production centers in order to expand the market and increase world opportunities.

He stressed the importance of science in the "centennial of Turkey", saying: "We are going through a stage in which we are looking for the impact of science and technological development on the future of humanity, and we plan to have a say in this field in the future, by supporting scientific research in the public and private sectors in order to achieve the well-being of our country and our citizens. “.

He added, "We will work to enter at least 10 Turkish universities in the global ranking of the first 500 universities in the world."


Friday, October 07, 2022

Erdoğan, Putin discuss bilateral ties, Ukraine war

    Friday, October 07, 2022   No comments
 Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, by phone, on Friday, bilateral relations between the two countries and the current situation in Ukraine.
A statement issued by the Turkish president's office said, "During the call, the two sides discussed ways to develop Turkish-Russian relations, as well as the situation in Ukraine."
He added, "President Erdogan stressed, during the talks, that Turkey is ready to contribute and do everything in its power to reach a peaceful solution to the Ukrainian crisis, to the satisfaction of all parties." 

Erdogan said he was counting on meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin in the next three or four days, adding: "Today is Mr. Putin's birthday. I wanted to congratulate him, and he, in turn, thanked us for our mediation in the Ukraine crisis."
He continued, "It would be good if we had a detailed meeting in 3 or 4 days, if Mr. Putin could come to the Asian talks. Next week the President of Kazakhstan will hold summits to discuss confidence-building measures in Asia, and then we will be able to have bilateral talks, as well as talks." On Russia and Ukraine.

However, in a statement issued by the Communications Directorate informed that the two leaders spoke by phone on Oct. 7, a day after President Erdoğan attended the European Political Community in Prague where he held meetings with French President Emmanuel Macron, Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
“The call addressed matters that would enhance Türkiye-Russia relations as well as the latest developments in the Russia-Ukraine war,” the statement informed. It also stressed that President Erdoğan “reiterated that they stood ready to do their part for the peaceful resolution of the Ukraine issue in a way that would benefit everyone.”

Türkiye has long been in an effort to convene Russian President Putin and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky together for ending the armed conflict that started in February by Moscow. It also mediated for the resumption of the Ukrainian export of grain to the world markets to avoid a major global food crisis.

At a press conference he held following the Prague summit, President Erdoğan noted that he is probably the only leader in the world who can easily talk with both Putin and Zelensky. He underscored the importance Ankara attaches to the exchange of war prisoners between the two countries as well as to the ongoing efforts as regards the shipment of fertilizers and grains, Erdoğan stressed that it would be useful if Russia would start exporting its fertilizers to the world via Türkiye.
On July 22, Turkey hosted a meeting to sign multilateral agreements, which included lifting restrictions on the export of Russian grain and food products, and allowing the export of Ukrainian grain.

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stressed that "Russia is not a country that can be underestimated", and considered that Western countries are pursuing a wrong policy regarding Ukraine, because it is based on provocations, stressing that "Turkey adheres to a balanced policy towards Ukraine."


After Meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Confirms that He Wants to Meet with Syrian leader Bashar Assad

    Friday, October 07, 2022   No comments

Türkiye believes that full normalization based on good neighborly relations can be achieved in the region as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he did not rule out a meeting with Syrian leader Bashar Assad after an in-person encounter with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit.

Erdoğan attended the EPC’s first summit in Prague on Oct. 6 from where he conveyed messages to the regional leaders, including Armenia and Syria with which Türkiye’s ties were once very strained.


Erdoğan held a bilateral meeting with Pashinyan after a brief trilateral dialogue that also included Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. Erdoğan issued important messages at a press conference after the summit on late Oct. 6, particularly on Syria.


“Meeting with Assad is out of the question for now. But when the time comes, we can also meet with the president of Syria… Currently, low-level meetings are being held,” Erdoğan replied to a question on whether he would meet the Syrian leader for peace.


Türkiye has been taking steps to accelerate the return of Syrian refugees as the Turkish government constructs briquette houses in the north of the neighboring country, he, said noting that some 500,000 Syrians have returned to their homeland.


On the other hand, Ankara wants to get rid of the terrorist groups in Syria, he added. Erdoğan emphasized that the war between Russia and Ukraine had impacts on Syria as well.


“Of course, the Russia-Ukraine War delayed the steps to be taken in the region. Because Russia also has an active role in these events in Syria, Iran has an active role, and on the other hand, coalition forces have an active role,” he said.



Friday, September 16, 2022

Orhan Miroglu: “a meeting between Erdogan and Assad on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit in Samarkand was on the schedule”

    Friday, September 16, 2022   No comments

A member of the Central Decision and Execution Committee of the Justice and Development Party, Orhan Miroglu, confirmed today, Friday, that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is ready to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, and did not reject the idea of ​​meeting him.

 "The United States of America and the European Union wanted a solution without President Assad in Syria, but today it turned out that this is not possible due to changing circumstances," Miroğlu told Sputnik.

 He added that "President al-Assad and the Syrian Baath Party have maintained their strength in Syria to some extent, despite the war and crisis facing the country," saying: "It became clear today that the idea of ​​separating Assad from the Baath Party and reaching a solution to the crisis in the country is no longer valid as a result of changing circumstances. ".

 

The Turkish official pointed out that "the circles of the Turkish government, led by President Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, welcome the normalization of relations between Ankara and Damascus and the holding of meetings with the Syrian side, and they do not radically reject this idea."

 

He explained, "It was scheduled to hold a meeting between Erdogan and Assad on the sidelines of the Shanghai summit in Samarkand, and I do not know whether Assad participated in the summit or not."

 

He pointed out that "during the meeting of the decision and central implementation body of the Justice and Development Party held on September 12, a conviction was reached that they could meet on the sidelines of the summit in the event that al-Assad attends."

 

Miroğlu considered that "the meeting between the governments of the two countries, or the officials of the two countries, has become inevitable in order to reach a solution in the country, whatever the form of this solution."

 

In response to a question whether the head of the Turkish intelligence service, Hakan Fidan, had visited Damascus to meet his Syrian counterpart Ali Mamlouk, Miroğlu replied: "It is possible that Fidan met his Syrian counterpart Mamlouk, because the intelligence services are preparing the atmosphere to improve the crisis relations between the two countries." .

 

He continued, "I believe that Fidan met Mamlouk in order to pave the way for the resumption of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Damascus, and this Fidan campaign can be considered as a preparatory step for the resumption of diplomatic relations, and this is natural and inevitable."

 

And Miroğlu added that "the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Syrian territory is currently out of the question in light of the presence of the PKK threat," noting that "the reason for the presence of Turkish forces in Syria is the PKK, its threats and Ankara's efforts to protect its national unity and territorial integrity, while the party seeks to establish an entity in northern Syria, and this threatens Turkey.”

 

And after that, "Turkey's demand to withdraw its forces and cut its support for the armed Syrian opposition in the presence of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) run by the Kurdistan Workers' Party, does not contribute to the dialogue process and is not realistic at all."

 

He stressed that "the Turkish army may withdraw from Syrian territory when the threat is removed, and this will only be done by eliminating the PKK."

 

Earlier in the day, the Turkish pro-government newspaper, Hurriyet, reported in an article by writer Abdul Qadir Salafi that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had expressed a desire to meet his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, if he attended the Shanghai summit in Uzbekistan, but indicated that Assad was not participating. 

Abdulkadir Salafi, a columnist for Hurriyet newspaper, stated that Erdogan made these statements about Assad at a meeting of his ruling party (Justice and Development) held behind closed doors, on Monday.

 


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