Protest in Istanbul against bloodshed in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

Syrian opposition politician George Sabra (C) takes part in a protest in front of Russian Consulate in Istanbul on Feb. 22, 2018 during a protest against the airstrikes and shelling by the Syrian government forces in Ghouta. (AFP)
Updated 22 February 2018
0

Protest in Istanbul against bloodshed in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta

ISTANBUL: Over 200 people on Thursday protested outside the Russian consulate in Istanbul against the deadly assault on Syria’s rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.
More than 350 civilians have been killed in the five-day-old blitz by the Syrian regime led by President Bashar Assad in the rebel-held enclave near Damascus.
Regime supporter Russia has been accused of taking part in air strikes but the Kremlin denied involvement, on Wednesday calling the accusations “groundless.”
The demonstrators, most of them Syrians, chanted slogans against Damascus as well as Moscow and another regime supporter, Iran, an AFP correspondent said.
Others held placards saying “Russians, you are killing Ghouta’s children, but history records” and “Children are dying of hunger in under-siege Eastern Ghouta.”
Protesters called on the major powers to bring pressure to bear to “end the bloodbath.”
Over three million Syrian refugees live in Turkey including nearly 540,000 in Istanbul after fleeing the conflict which began with anti-government protests in 2011.
Now a multi-front war, Russia entered in September 2015, sending planes to back the Assad regime and turning the military situation around in Damascus’s favor.
Turkey, which has supported Syrian rebels in the conflict, has been working closely with Moscow and Tehran on a process to bring peace to Syria, despite occasional tensions.
Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Wednesday said Turkey condemned the attacks and “urged the Syrian regime to immediately put an end” to them.
“It is a crime against humanity. That is to say, killing innocent people in East Ghouta is unacceptable whatever the reason is,” Kalin said.


Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

Updated 14 December 2018
0

Turkey targets military over alleged Gulen links

  • The Istanbul public prosecutor ordered arrest warrants for 219 soldiers on active duty
  • They are believed to have ties to the group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen

ISTANBUL: Turkish authorities on Friday ordered the arrest of over 200 military personnel in new raids against suspects linked to the attempted coup in 2016, state media reported.
The Istanbul public prosecutor ordered arrest warrants for 219 soldiers on active duty including four colonels and five lieutenant colonels, state news agency Anadolu said.
Istanbul police launched an operation to capture the suspects on Friday morning.
They are believed to have ties to the group led by US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, a former ally turned foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Ankara accuses Gulen of being behind the failed coup but he strongly denies any links.
In Ankara, the capital’s public prosecutor issued arrest warrants on Friday for 48 people, mainly working in the arms industry, also over alleged links to Gulen.
Turkey refers to the group as the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” but followers insist they have peaceful goals of promoting Islam and secular education.
Over 50,000 people have been arrested since the failed putsch in a purge lambasted by human rights activists and Ankara’s Western allies.
Nearly 130,000 public sector workers have been sacked.
Last week, dozens of people including airforce personnel were detained for suspected links to coup-plotters in nationwide operations.
Turkish officials insist the raids are necessary to cleanse state institutions of the “virus” of infiltration by the Gulen movement.