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Tuesday, September 13 2011 , Your time is 15:58:00
Thanks to Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) leader Masoud Barzani’s move to hold a referendum on carving out an independent Kurdistan, the Middle East is once again a high-risk spot, competing with the ongoing crisis on the Korean Peninsula.
We do not yet know whether U.S. President Donald Trump’s Sept. 21 message - in which he said he had “become close friends” with President Tayyip Erdoğan and relations between the two countries were “at their best level ever” - really is good news for those hoping for an improvement in Turkish-American relations.
The 26th Istanbul Criminal Court on Sept. 19 rejected demands to release a group of journalists and writers who have been in jail for more than a year, in a case into the “media leg” of the Gülen network.
On the same day as the Washington Post published an editorial “unwelcoming” Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan to U.S. soil and urging U.S. President Donald Trump to stop arms sales to Turkey, Trump thanked Ankara for hosting refugees fleeing from the civil war in Syria in his Sept. 19 speech at the U.N. General Assembly.
The Middle East went through similarly painful times almost a century ago. That was the dawn of the oil age and a time when three dynasties (Ottoman, Romanov and Habsburg) of three land empires (Turkey, Russia and Austria-Hungary) were falling apart.
Israeli flags have recently been waved during independence rallies in the cities of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region.
Upon an order from the Istanbul Prosecutor’s Office, Ankara police on Sept. 15 detained Celal Çelik, a lawyer for the leader of the social democratic main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kıçıldaroğlu.
A mob of 20 to 25 people attacked a burial ceremony in a public cemetery in the Gölbaşı district of the Turkish capital Ankara on Sept. 13 when the body of Hatun Tuğluk was being lowered into her grave, according to eyewitness reports.
Despite heavy political and diplomatic problems in Turkey, there are signs of a boost in cultural life in the country, showing the desire of at least some Turkish people to stick with universal values.
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Sept. 11 that his government has put all major arms exports to Turkey on hold due to the deteriorating human rights situation in the country and the escalating tension between the two NATO allies. Chancellor Angela Merkel later said this does not mean a total ban on exports.
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