Russian delegation to visit Turkey for talks on Karabakh truce

Russian delegation to visit Turkey for talks on Karabakh truce
Azerbaijanis celebrate waving national and Turkish flags in Baku, Azerbaijan, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020. Armenia and Azerbaijan announced an agreement early Tuesday to halt fighting over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan under a pact signed with Russia that calls for deployment of nearly 2,000 Russian peacekeepers and territorial concessions. (AP Photo)
Updated 12 November 2020

Russian delegation to visit Turkey for talks on Karabakh truce

Russian delegation to visit Turkey for talks on Karabakh truce

ANKARA: Russian delegation will visit Turkey on Friday to discuss the creation of a joint center for monitoring a truce deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh, the Turkish foreign minister said.
A Turkish role in implementing the truce was not explicitly mentioned in a nine-point agreement the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia signed with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.
The deal put an end to more than six weeks of fighting that left more than 1,400 dead and saw Azerbaijani forces recover large swathes of territory they lost to ethnic Armenian separatist in a 1988-1994 war.
But both Turkish and Azerbaijani officials this week insisted that Ankara — which diplomatically backed Baku in the conflict — will play a role in monitoring the deal.
Russia is sending 1,960 military personnel and armored personnel carriers as part of an independent peacekeeping mission.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the details about the joint Russian-Turkish center’s functions and operations will be discussed on Friday “with a delegation coming from Russia.”
The center “will completely control whatever happens on the field, whether or not there are any violations, with the help of drones and other elements,” he told a press conference in Baku carried by Turkish broadcasters.
Azerbaijan purchased military drones from Turkey that proved effective in the conflict, destroying the separatist forces’ tanks and other military equipment.
Cavusoglu added that if Armenia breached the deal, “it will pay a price.”


Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case
Updated 20 January 2021

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case

Istanbul court resumes trial of Turks in Ghosn escape case
  • Trial is trying to piece together the details of how former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn fled Japan in December 2019

ISTANBUL: An Istanbul court on Wednesday resumed the trial of seven Turkish suspects accused of helping smuggle former Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn “in a large musical instrument case” from Japan to Lebanon.
The trial is trying to piece together the details of how Ghosn — a French-Lebanese-Brazilian national who was a global business superstar when his career came crashing to an end — fled Japan in December 2019 while out on bail facing financial misconduct charges.
The 66-year-old fugitive was arrested in November 2018 and spent 130 days in prison before completing an audacious escape act that humiliated Japanese justice officials and raised questions about who was involved.
The hearing concerns an employee with Turkey’s MNG Jet private airline who allegedly used four pilots and two flight attendants to move Ghosn from Japan to Lebanon via Istanbul.
The pilots and the MNG Jet employee are accused of “illegally smuggling a migrant” and face up to eight years in jail. A hearing in July released them on bail but barred them from leaving Turkey.
The two flight attendants are accused of failing to report a crime and face one-year sentences.
All seven suspects deny the charges.
The indictment says the escape plan from Japan to Lebanon involved a stopover in Istanbul instead of a direct flight “so as not to arouse suspicions.”
Former US Green Beret member Michael Taylor and his son Peter are accused together with Lebanese national George-Antoine Zayek of recruiting MNG Jet and overseeing the secret operation.
The Taylors are currently fighting extradition from the United States to Japan and the whereabouts of Zayek are unclear.
The indictment says Taylor and Zayek put Ghosn “in a large musical instrument case” and then took him through security at Japan’s Osaka airport.
They allegedly opened “70 holes at the bottom of the case for him to breathe easily.”
The indictment says the plane landed at Istanbul’s old Ataturk airport and parked near another plane bound for Beirut.
MNG Jet employee Okan Kosemen then allegedly jumped off the Osaka plane and boarded the one destined for Beirut together with Ghosn.
The indictment says Kosemen received several payments into his bank account totalling 216,800 euros and 66,990 dollars in the months before Ghosn’s flight.
He is also accused of being paid an unidentified amount after Ghosn’s arrival in Beirut.
Kosemen has denied being paid to help Ghosn escape while the pilots and flight attendants say they were unaware he was on board any of the plane’s flights.
MNG filed a complaint last year alleging its aircraft was used illegally.
It added at the time that one its employees had admitted to falsifying the flight manifest to keep Ghosn off the passenger list.