Turkey warns Greece after flag is hoisted on disputed island

Turkish special forces on one of the disputed islets known as Kardak in Turkish and Imia in Greek. (AP Photo)
Updated 16 April 2018
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Turkey warns Greece after flag is hoisted on disputed island

  • Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that the Turkish coast guards had removed the flag from the island off the coast of the Aegean resort of Didim.
  • Yildirim said the incident was similar to one in 1996 when the two NATO allies nearly went to war over uninhabited islets — known as Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish.

Ankara: Turkey warned Greece on Monday to refrain from “provocations” after a Greek flag was hoisted on a disputed, uninhabited islet in the Aegean Sea off the Turkish coast.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim told reporters that the Turkish coast guards had removed the flag from the island off the coast of the Aegean resort of Didim.
Yildirim said the incident was similar to one in 1996 when the two NATO allies nearly went to war over uninhabited islets — known as Imia in Greek and Kardak in Turkish — which both Turkey and Greece claim.
“Our advice to Greece would be to stay away from provocations and agitations,” Yildirim said adding that Turkey was “determined to give the necessary response” to such acts.
Despite two decades of efforts to improve relations, Greece and Turkey have seen a spike in tensions in recent weeks over disputed Aegean boundaries as well as over oil-and-gas drilling rights off the divided island of Cyprus.
Asked about the incident during a joint news conference with visiting the NATO chief, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu accused Greece’s defense minister — the outspoken leader of Greece’s nationalist party — of raising tensions in the Aegean Sea.
“His brattiness shouldn’t reach a level where it’ll damage relations between the two countries,” Cavusoglu said.
In Athens, Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzannakopoulos said the government had no knowledge of the incident and described the remarks by Yildirim as “provocative and reprehensible.”
“I think Mr. Yildirim should be more careful,” Tzannakopoulos said. “We call on Turkey to return to a path of respect for international law ... They should take an initiative to de-escalate the tension.”


Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

Updated 25 April 2018
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Indian court finds spiritual guru guilty of raping devotee

NEW DELHI: An Indian court on Wednesday found a high-profile spiritual guru Asaram Bapu guilty of raping a teenage female devotee in 2013 and he faces a maximum of life in prison.
The verdict against 77-year-old Bapu was read out inside a prison in the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan state because of fears that his followers may resort to violence.
The case is the latest in a series of high-profile rape cases in India that have fueled public protests and raised questions about how police handle the cases and treat the victims.
In August last year, another popular and flamboyant Indian spiritual guru, Dr. Saint Gurmeet Singh Ram Rahim Insan, was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of raping two female followers.
Judge Madhusudhan Sharma will announce the prison term for Bapu later after hearing arguments from the prosecution and Bapu’s attorneys.
Bapu has denied the rape and can appeal his conviction in a higher court.
The girl in her complaint to the police in 2013 accused Bapu of raping her when she visited his retreat in Jodhpur with her mother. The girl’s family said they had been followers of Bapu for more than a decade.
Bapu has been in prison since his arrest in the case in 2013.
On Wednesday, security was tight around the prison complex and in states where the self-styled guru has a considerable following.
Religious sects also wield considerable political clout in India with several politicians as followers. Asaram is also on trial along with his son Narayan Sai in a separate rape case where two sisters have accused the two men of sexual assault.