Turkey’s Erdogan says will bring safety and peace to Syria, Iraq

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a ceremony in the eastern city of Mus, Turkey August 26, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 26 August 2018
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Turkey’s Erdogan says will bring safety and peace to Syria, Iraq

  • Turkey, which has backed some rebel groups in Syria, has been working with Russia
  • It has so far carried out two cross-border operations along its border with Syria

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan vowed on Sunday to bring peace and safety to Iraq and areas in Syria not under Turkish control and said terrorist organizations in those areas would be eliminated.
Turkey, which has backed some rebel groups in Syria, has been working with Russia, which supports Syrian President Bashar al Assad, and Iran for a political resolution to the crisis.
It has so far carried out two cross-border operations along its border with Syria and set up a dozen military observations posts in the northern Syrian region of Idlib.
The rebel-held Idlib enclave is a refuge for civilians and rebels displaced from other areas of Syria as well as for powerful jihadist forces, but has been hit by a wave of air strikes and shelling this month.
The attacks posed a possible prelude to a full-scale Syrian government offensive, which Turkey has said would be disastrous.
Speaking in the southeastern province of Mus to commemorate the anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert of 1071, Erdogan vowed to bring peace and safety to Syria and Iraq.
“It is not for nothing that the only places in Syria where security and peace have been established are under Turkey’s control. God willing, we will establish the same peace in other parts of Syria too. God willing, we will bring the same peace to Iraq, where terrorist organizations are active,” he said.
Erdogan also linked regional conflicts and an ongoing currency crisis in Turkey, which he has cast as an “economic war,” to previous attempts to invade Anatolia, warning that the this would lead to the collapse of surrounding regions.
“Those who seek temporary reasons behind the troubles we have been facing recently are wrong, very wrong. The attacks we face today... are rooted in history,” he said.
“Don’t forget, Anatolia is a wall and if this wall collapses, there will no longer be a Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Balkans or Caucasus.”
Turkey’s lira has tumbled nearly 40 percent this year as investor concerns over Erdogan’s grip on monetary policy and a growing dispute with the United States put pressure on the currency.
Ankara has accused Washington of targeting Turkey over the fate of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor being tried in Turkey on terrorism charges that he denies.
“Some careless people among us think this is about Tayyip Erdogan or the AK Party. No, this is about Turkey,” Erdogan said.


Arab Israeli poet jailed for online incitement freed from prison

The posts on YouTube and Facebook came as a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence was erupting, including Palestinian knife attacks. (AFP)
Updated 59 min ago
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Arab Israeli poet jailed for online incitement freed from prison

  • Tatour posted a video of herself reading her poem “Resist, my people, resist them,” in 2015, accompanied by pictures of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, according to authorities.
  • The 36-year-old Israeli citizen was sentenced in July

An Arab Israeli woman jailed for five months for incitement to violence and support for a terrorist organization in online poems and other social media posts was released from prison on Thursday.

Dareen Tatour posted a video clip of herself reading her poem “Resist, my people, resist them,” in October 2015, accompanied by pictures of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, according to authorities.

The posts on YouTube and Facebook came as a wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence was erupting, including Palestinian knife attacks.

The 36-year-old Israeli citizen was sentenced in July.

She was released on Thursday due to time served before her conviction, she and a prison spokesman said.

“Freedom is something so sweet that I can’t even describe it,” Tatour said after her release.

She added that she planned to publish a collection of poems and a novel on her experience in prison.

International writers’ group PEN defended Tatour’s actions.

She was “convicted for doing what writers do every day — we use our words to peacefully challenge injustice,” the group said.

The offending verses were quoted in Hebrew in the charge sheet, but according to an English translation on the Arabic literature site ArabLit, they contained the following:

“For an Arab Palestine, I will not succumb to the ‘peaceful solution,’ Never lower my flags, Until I evict them from my land, Resist the settler’s robbery, And follow the caravan of martyrs.”

Prosecutors said that on Oct. 4, 2015 she also quoted a statement by Islamic Jihad calling for “continuation of the intifada in every part of the West Bank,” alleging it showed her support for the outlawed militant group.

Tatour, from the Arab village of Reineh near Nazareth, was arrested a week later.

Arab Israelis are descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land following the creation of Israel in 1948.

They account for some 17.5 percent of Israel’s population and largely support the Palestinian cause.