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"Politicians from Turkey and the U.S. comment two countries relationship and current problems, foresight future relations... Presidents, Prime  Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parlement  all speak to TURKOFAMERICA, share their experiences and views with our readers. All exclusive interview from Ankara and Washington, D.C...  

 

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A Response from Turkish-American Activist to Guardian

Dear Ms. Viner: I read "Turkey’s Attack on Syrian Kurds Could Overturn the Entire Region" (Jan. 27, 2018). You may recall our prior letters calling out the Guardian on its deep anti-Turkish bias, in particular articles legitimizing the hatred-inducing and unproven (even by the British, via the abortive 1919-21 Malta Tribunal probe) "Armenian genocide" charge.

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Turkish-American Taxpayers Criticize US Aid to PYD/PKK

The Turkish community living in the United States voiced their reactions against the U.S. support to the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian affiliate PYD in a press conference in front of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday. Representatives of the U.S. branch of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), the Cihannuma Solidarity and Cooperation Platform Association and the Turkish-American National Steering Committee (TASC) were present at the press conference protesting the U.S. Congress for using taxpayer money to support the terrorist group.

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Why is Russia Helping Turkey in Afrin?

* By Leonid Issaev - On January 20, Turkey launched an air and ground offensive, which it called "Olive Branch", against the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin in northern Syria. As the offensive progressed rapidly, it became obvious that such an ambitious operation could not have been possible without Russia's explicit approval. First of all, the operation required the Turkish Air Force to enter Syria's airspace - something Ankara could not have done without consulting Russia. Furthermore, before rechannelling Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces to Afrin, Ankara needed assurances from Russia that Bashar al-Assad would not take advantage of the situation and attempt to seize Turkish-controlled positions in the province of Idlib.

Turkey's operation in Syria's Afrin: The key players

On Saturday, Turkey launched an operation in the northern Syrian enclave of Afrin aimed at rooting out armed Kurdish groups, which Ankara considers a threat to its security. Turkish ground troops followed a day after, crossing the border into Syria alongside thousands of Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters, as part of the so-called Operation Olive Branch. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had said that the operation in Afrin would be followed by a push into the northern town of Manbij, which the US-backed Kurdish forces captured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) in 2016.

TCA Statement on the PKK-YPG Connection

The Turkish Coalition of AmeriScreenshot depicting YPG guerillas after they dedicated the fall of Raqqa to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and unfurled an imposing flag with his image. [ix] Ocalan is serving a life sentence in prison in Turkey.ca is concerned about the recent disagreement between the United States and Turkey regarding apparent U.S. plans to help a PKK-linked Syrian Kurdish militia set up a 30,000 person “Syrian Border Security Force.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the move nothing short of establishing a terror army along Turkey’s border and warned of the “unintended consequences” as Turkey vows to “suffocate” the terrorists.[i] The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also issued a statement condemning the US for not consulting with Turkey as a member of the anti-ISIL coalition and for its continued cooperation with the PKK-linked People’s Protection Units (YPG).

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US, Turkey Mutually Lift Visa Restrictions, Ending Months-long Row

The United States and Turkey lifted all visa restrictions on Thursday after Washington said Ankara had kept to assurances no further U.S. mission staff would be targeted for performing official duties, following detention of two earlier this year. But Turkey swiftly denied having granted such assurances in the affair that has tested relations since the two local employees of the U.S. consulate in Istanbul were held on suspicion of ties to last year's failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan. The United States suspended visa services at its missions in Turkey in October and Turkey reciprocated. In November, Washington said it was resuming limited services upon getting assurances on the safety of its local staff.

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US Announces Full Resumption of Visa Services in Turkey

By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet, AA - ANKARA -  The U.S. Embassy in Turkey on Thursday announced the resumption of full visa services after nearly two months. On Oct. 8, the embassy suspended non-immigrant visas to Turkish nationals following the arrest of a local employee working at the U.S. Consulate in Istanbul, prompting a tit-for-tat response from Ankara. Metin Topuz, a long-standing consulate employee, was arrested over alleged ties to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization, the group behind last year’s coup attempt in Turkey. In a statement posted on Twitter, the U.S. Embassy said the Turkish government had “adhered to the high-level assurances it provided to the United States” that no other local employees were under investigation.

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Turks Will Be Able to Apply for US Visas Again - in 2019

Turkish citizens wishing to visit the United States will again be able to apply for visas, but not anytime soon. The U.S. Embassy in Ankara announced this week that the earliest appointments for applications are in January 2019, more than a year from now. The U.S. suspended all nonimmigrant visa services in Turkey Oct. 8 in response to the arrest of Metin Topuz, a consulate employee in Istanbul, on terrorism charges. Turkey shut down visa services in the U.S. in retaliation.

UN General Assembly Rejects Trump's Jerusalem Move

A resounding majority of United Nations member states has defied unprecedented threats by the US to declare President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital "null and void". The non-binding resolution was approved at a UN General Assembly emergency meeting on Thursday with 128 votes in favour and nine against, while 35 countries abstained. It passed despite intimidation by Trump, who had threatened on Wednesday to eliminate financial aid to member states who would vote against his decision, while Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, had  warned  that she would be "taking names" of those countries.

Erdogan: Mr Trump, Turkey's Democracy Is Not for Sale

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the international community to teach the United States "a good lesson" in an upcoming UN General Assembly vote on Washington's controversial decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Erdogan’s comments come after the US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warned on Wednesday that she would be "taking names" of the states voting against the decision and pass them to President Donald Trump, who has threatened to cut off aid to the countries in question. The vote on Thursday is non-binding, but it is expected to pass easily in the 193-member UN body.

"Mr Trump, you cannot buy Turkey's democratic will with your dollars. Our decision is clear," Erdogan said at a cultural awards ceremony in Ankara on Thursday.

"I call on the whole world: Don't you dare sell your democratic struggle and your will for petty dollars.

"I hope and expect the US won't get the result it expects from there (the UN) and the world will give a very good lesson to the US," Erdogan added.
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UN Security Council to weigh resolution on Jerusalem

Trump, on December 6, announced the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital, deviating from decades-old policy and the international consensus that the city's status should be resolved through peace talks.

On Tuesday, the US vetoed an Egyptian-sponsored UN Security Council resolution that asked countries not to establish diplomatic missions in Jerusalem.

The US, one of the five permanent members of the UN body with veto power, was outnumbered 14 to 1 when it vetoed that resolution.
Ankara tough on US move

Turkey has been highly vocal in criticising the US administration over its Jerusalem decision, leading calls at last week's summit of the Organisation of Islamic Conference in Istanbul last week to officially recognise East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Taha Ozhan, a ruling party MP and chair of the Turkish parliament's foreign affairs commission, told Al Jazeera earlier in the week that Ankara's efforts against Trump's move put pressure on regional countries to speak up.

"Turkey has triggered this, and regional actors are reacting," he said.
WATCH: Turkey plays major role against US Jerusalem move (2:28)

"A possible vote in the General Assembly will remind us of the scenes we saw a few years ago in the vote there for Palestine to be a non-member observer state, in which only the US, Israel and few more countries voted against the move, dominated by the rest of the members."

In the 2012 vote at the General Assembly, Palestine was given non-member observer status with 138 votes cast for the resolution and nine votes against it.

Thousands of Turkish protesters marched in various parts of the country through the weekend, carrying anti-US and anti-Israel signs and shouting slogans against the two countries.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera News

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