May, 2016 Europe

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Robert Fisk

Europe’s growing Kurdish diaspora would be vastly increased if the crushed and war-suffering masses of Diyarbakir could find their way to Germany, Denmark and Sweden
Just why is the Sultan of Turkey so impatient to get hold of that visa-free EU travel for his people to visit Schengen Europe? If the EU doesn’t jump to it, he orated last week, the Turkish parliament would scupper the whole deal and – for this was the implication – let that army of Arab refugees set sail again across the Aegean for Greece. And where was the €3bn Turkey was promised?


Author Semih Idiz
Turkey’s ties with the European Union appeared to be set on a better course recently after having remained largely dormant over the past few years. This was not due, however, to a decision by Ankara to introduce the democratic reforms necessary for its membership bid in the EU. The refugee crisis forced Europe into cooperating with Ankara, even though Turkey’s democracy continues to deteriorate under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.



 

Michaela Whitton
(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — New research has shown the U.K. is providing military training and support to over half the countries named on its own watchlist of human rights abusers. An investigation by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) and The Independent has revealed U.K. armed forces have trained security and armed forces personnel from 16 of 30 regimes who are on a Foreign Office (FCO) watch list for use of torture and violence.

Refugee camp Turkey

By Behlül Özkan 
In many ways, Turkey is the most important actor shaping the refugee crisis that is currently shaking Europe to its core. Accordingly, predicting the outcome of the drama requires a close study of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s underlying motives and goals.


MARC PIERINI, Financial Times

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s goal of unchallenged power is firmly rooted after Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s resignation. The novelty is that it is happening with Germany’s acquiescence.
With Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu forced from office, Turkey has passed a political watershed: Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s goal of unchallenged power at the top of the state is rooted ever more firmly in fact. Given his behaviour since he became president in 2014, this in itself is no great surprise; the novelty is that it is happening with Berlin’s full acquiescence.

 

Demonizing Russia , By AFP

 "Information Clearing House" - "AFP" - BRUSSELS: NATO foreign ministers met on Thursday to finalize the alliance’s biggest military build-up since the end of the Cold War to counter what they see as a more aggressive and unpredictable Russia.

By Peter Koenig

What Happens when the accuser of terrorism are themselves the terrorists? – Namely the supra-national corporations and financial oligarchs acting in their own profit-driven interest, but under the direction of Washington and the protection of the US – NATO killer armies? Fear and confusion happens.


Author Cengiz Çandar
The collision between Turkey and the European Union (EU) was not unexpected, arriving as it did before mid-May. Now, attention has turned to the next looming crisis, between Ankara and Berlin.


By Roderick Parkes
As an international actor, the EU can expect to win enemies as well as admirers. Two recent terrorist attacks in close succession – the first targeting an EU military mission in Bamako, the second in the ‘EU quarter’ in Brussels – seemingly confirm this. They also lend weight to the argument that if member states want the EU to be a robust international actor, they must give it the counterterrorist powers to protect itself. But is the EU facing a classic terrorist logic of action-and-reprisal and, if not, what exactly is the EU’s risk profile?

Federica Mogherini

By GEORGE JAHN and MATTHEW LEE
VIENNA (AP) — In a move fraught with risk, the United States and other world powers said Monday they would supply Libya's internationally recognized government with weapons to counter the Islamic State and other militant groups gaining footholds in the chaos-wracked country's lawless regions.


Project Syndicate, Ana Palacio
MADRID – Even by European Union standards, the response to the so-called refugee crisis is a mess. This seems to defy logic: While the crisis is certainly a challenge, human rights – and, indeed, refugee protection – are embedded in Europe’s DNA. Moreover, the EU’s aging and demographically challenged member states need immigrants. Yet, instead of spurring solutions, the current crisis has been bringing out all that is ugly, feckless, and dysfunctional about the European project. What happened?


Analysis 

In the coming years, national governments, opposition groups and civil society organizations will increasingly turn to popular votes to decide a broad range of EU-related debates.
National governments will probably use referenda (or, more likely, the threat of them) to demand concessions from the European Union, to justify domestic decisions or to increase their own popularity.

Strangelove-Warroom

MICHAEL KOFMAN

A revanchist Russia and vulnerable Baltic states are on the minds of America’s defense establishment. After Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s trip to Europe to oversee the change of command at European Command (EUCOM), it’s become clear according to senior defense officials that the plan is to transition the role of the command from “reassurance to deterrence.” U.S. military presence is returning in force to Europe in search of that old familiar conventional deterrence in the face of Russian aggression.

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Turkey’s thuggish president has European leaders exactly where he wants them
Douglas Murray

Update: Since this article was published Ahmet Davutoglu has resigned as Turkey’s Prime Minister. Reports suggest this comes as a result of a rift with President Erdogan caused by the increasingly ‘Presidential’ nature of Turkey’s politics.

Simon Tisdall, theguardian
One of the biggest casualties of the power struggle at the top of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) may be the critically important deal with the EU on stemming the unprecedented flow of refugees to Europe from Syria’s civil war.

MURAT YETKİN, hurriyetdailynews
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had been waiting for days for this good news from the European Union about visa-free travel for Turkish citizens.

It came as part of the broader immigration deal with Brussels, but it was Davutoğlu’s idea to bring it forward to June, rather than October, that would make it his success.

Ian Cobain, Alice Ross, Rob Evans and Mona Mahmood
The British government is waging information warfare in Syria by funding media operations for some rebel fighting groups, in the foreign front of what David Cameron has called “the propaganda war” against Islamic State.

Agencies in Brussels, theguardian
The European commission has urged EU member states and MEPs to back visa-free travel for Turkish nationals, one of the terms of a deal on refugees struck between the Brussels and Ankara in March.

By Frida Ghitis
(CNN)

Last Saturday night, the Dutch journalist Ebru Umar was reportedly resting at her vacation home in the Turkish resort town of Kusadasi when she heard a knock at the door. Umar, a fierce critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was about to become an example of the very practices against which she has been fulminating in her newspaper columns and her Twitter account.