Travel directive of the U.S. for Turkey
New crisis in Egyptian-Turkish relations
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
There is much speculation in Turkey after the travel directive issued by the United States due to the start of the operations against the jihadists.
The US embassy in Ankara, in a statement warns that the eastern and southeastern regions of Turkey, bordering Syria and Iraq (1000 km long), are particularly vulnerable.
“After the start of military operations against targets of the Islamic State in Syria, it is reminded to U.S. citizens that in the past there had been violent attacks in Turkey”, said the announcement, which makes it clear that there is no evidence of a specific threat.
A similar travel advisory was issued by France that warns French citizens on possible abductions in the countries of the Middle East, Turkey among them.
The U.S. exert pressure to Ankara to fight the jihadists
The Kurds are “the ace in the sleeve” of the Americans
Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a late meeting with the American Vice President Joe Biden. Ankara urges the establishment of a buffer zone inside Syria to “help” in the military operations. It also calls for the creation of a no-fly zone on the Syrian airspace, in an attempt to “corner” Bashar al-Assad, who is pounding the militant rebels of ISIS with fighter jets.
The United States are pressuring Ankara for direct military assistance, such as the use of the air bases in Turkey. At the same time it demands the cessation of any assistance provided by the turkish government to jihadists, aiming at the overthrow of Assad.
The main leverage of the U.S. are the Kurds, who are the only ones who are fighting against the jihadists and already many countries are sending their ammunition, Greece among them.
The turkish government fears that if the jihadists are defeated, PKK with its offshoot PUD in Syria, might create an autonomous region within Syria near the turkish border, creating a situation in the region that could threaten the internal security of the country.
The Head of the Turkish Army, Hulusi Akar, has gone to the southeastern provinces of the country and oversees all units of the turkish armed forces that are on standby.
“Obama wants to prove that ISIS is a bad example of Islam and does not want the U.S. performing ground operations. He wants to push the Kurds, Turks and Arabs, who are Muslims, to fight them, so as to show that the struggle is not against Islam but against terrorism”, writes Cengiz Çandar in the turkish website Radikal.
Egypt: “Erdogan supports terrorists”
The Turkish president has caused yet another crisis in the relations between the two countries
Erdogan, with one of his speeches “torpedoed” any efforts being made to bring Turkey and Egypt together.
The Turkish President in his speech at the UN General Assembly equated the terrorists of ISIS with the current president of Egypt Abdul Fattah al–Sisi!
“Those who remain silent in the slaughter of children, the killing of innocent women, the overthrow with a coup, weapons and tanks of a democratically elected government, are part of a crime against humanity. Then again, those who opposed the killings in Iraq, Syria and the murder of democracy in Egypt, incur unfair and unfounded accusations and almost immediately are accused of supporting terrorism”, he said.
Immediate was the response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Egypt, which canceled the scheduled meeting of Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. This would be the first meeting of foreign ministers of the two countries since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi and the takeover by Sisi.
Cairo, with an announcement, accused Erdogan that is trying to cause chaos in the Middle East by supporting terrorists!
“It does not come as a surprise the construction of such lies from the President of Turkey, who seeks to cause chaos, to sow discord in the Middle East by providing political and financial support and shelter to terrorist organizations, so as to harm the interests of the peoples of the region, for the achievement of the Turkish president’s personal ambitions and the revival of illusions of the past”.