Headlines from the centennial! – Sixth sequel
Headlines galore. Turkey keeps on running the show. The world watches with amusement the rise, rise and rise of the Turkish Empire. Here are more headlines from the Istanbul press in the year 2023:
- After the prototype of its first indigenous fighter jet, the Abdulhamid III, performed a successful maiden flight but crash landed, Turkey’s aerospace authorities have announced that they will soon press the button for an ambitious program to design and develop the Abdulhamid-U, an unmanned version of the fighter. Defense analysts say the move resulted from pilots’ reluctance to test fly any new prototype of the Abdulhamid III.
- According to the Freedom House’s “2023 Freedom of the Press” report, Turkey dropped one notch down from the category of “not free” to “absolutely not free” countries.
- The Turkish Foreign Ministry has announced that it has made an “early bird” deal with the country’s national carrier, Turkish Airlines, for the mass purchase of return flight tickets for Turkish ambassadors abroad. The deal aims to minimize flight costs due to mass recalling of Turkish ambassadors on every April 24, the anniversary of the Armenian genocide. A spokesman for the ministry said the government hopes to save up to 40 percent on fares.
Meanwhile, Ankara threatened the 19 new countries, 36 regional governments and 77 municipalities worldwide that have pledged to recognize the Ottoman atrocities against Armenians as genocide. It said it would put these into a bigger list of countries which Turkey would not sell the Abdulhamid III or the Abdulhamid-U – if any of them wanted to buy. Turkey also froze diplomatic and military relations with Nauru, a 21 square kilometer island state, for recognizing the genocide.
- The Turkish General Staff has announced that it successfully responded to a Scud-C missile fired from Syria and hit a town in southern Turkey. It said its howitzers immediately shelled the Scud-C battery. But the military headquarters did not explain how howitzers with 40 km range could hit a missile battery 500 km away.
- The main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) troubles never end. A recent poll found that 81 percent of Turks do not think the party’s pre-election pledge of a monthly minimum wage of $3,456 and gasoline at 14 cents per gallon is realistic.
Not just that. A prosecutor has prepared an indictment to ban the party on charges of “snatching millions of votes from the government.” In 2011, a party official had been indicted for making propaganda against the government. In 2015, its TV advert was banned for “directly targeting the government.”
- Turkey has reacted angrily after Turkish and Greek Cypriots agreed on a landmark plan for the reunification of the divided island. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that if Cypriots finalized the peace deal their country would join Israel, Egypt, Syria, Libya, Lebanon, the EU, US, Yemen, Iran and scores of others that face total international isolation after conflicts with Turkey.
- The leaders of Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen have simultaneously accused each other of being secret allies of Israel. Turkey said Iran and Syria were crypto Zionist states while Iran said Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were the biggest pro-Israeli conspirators in the region.
But on a compromising development, Erdogan, visiting Tehran, told a press conference the following: “It is time that we should stop wars in our region and attain sustainable peace. We are fed up by hundreds of thousands of Muslims being killed (by other Muslims).” The Iranian president, holding hands with Erdogan, said: “We have every confidence that Iran and Turkey, being regional powers, have the will and strength to end the violence in our region.”
- A Turkish producer has finally released the long-awaited, popular documentary film “The Mastermind IX,” its new episode. “The Mastermind IX” documents, with substantial evidence, that secret international Jewry had plotted the Holocaust and that Hitler was a secret Zionist.
- Former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has released his 21st book, “My Fight Against PM Davutoglu: I Had a Dream.” His previous book, “I Would Liberate Jerusalem” sold more than 400,000 copies in Turkey.