11-Dec-16 World View — Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey

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This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • A new terrorist bombing in Istanbul Turkey kills dozens
  • Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey
  • Greece delays extraditing Turkish officers implicated in coup attempt

A new terrorist bombing in Istanbul Turkey kills dozens

Turkish man with four wives has his 32nd child.  (Hurriyet)
Turkish man with four wives has his 32nd child. (Hurriyet)

At least 29 people were killed and another 166 were injured on Saturday because of two terrorist bombings near a soccer stadium in central Istanbul. The first was a car bomb. The second was a suicide bomber who detonated the bomb 45 seconds after the car bomb. It’s believed that the intent was to maximize casualties.

Turkey has been plagued in the last year by a series of terrorist bombing and gun attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

The last major attack on Istanbul occurred on June 28 with three coordinated suicide bombings at Ataturk National Airport, killing at least 36 people. That attack was blamed on ISIS. Since that time there have been at least two terrorist attacks in southeastern Turkey, thought to be perpetrated by the PKK.

In addition, the government is still in crisis following the July 15 coup attempt. As ordered by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, well over 100,000 people have been fired or jailed as a result, including military officers, government officials and schoolteachers.

Turkey has placed a gag order on reporting Saturday’s attack. No one has been publicly blamed, but it’s thought that ISIS was responsible. Hurriyet (Istanbul) and Reuters and AP

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Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey

For several months, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been complaining about the Lausanne Treaty that was signed on July 24, 1923. On September 27, he said:

“They (threatened) us with [the Treaty of Sèvres] in 1920 and persuaded us to accept Lausanne in 1923. Some tried to deceive us by presenting Lausanne as a victory. At Lausanne, we gave away the (Greek) islands that you could shout across to. We are still struggling about what the continental shelf will be and what will be in the air and land. The reason for this is due to those who sat at the table during that treaty. Those who sat there did not do us justice and we are reaping those troubles right now. If the (recent) coup had succeeded, they would have given us a treaty that would have made us long for Sèvres.”

Erdogan’s remarks have been heavily criticized by Greece. Perhaps more surprisingly, the comments were also criticized by the opposition party in Turkey.

An official of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Gülsün Bilgehan, said that the Lausanne Treaty was the title deed of the Turkish Republic:

“Erdogan can learn the importance of Lausanne from the cabinet meetings which he chairs these days. Because Lausanne is the title deed of the Turkish Republic and a certificate of honor for those who signed it as Mr. Erdogan said in his message. In his speech today, he said ‘They cannot make us take one step back even if the whole world comes together.’ I invite him to read a real history book based on documents telling about Lausanne and Ismet Pasha [Inönü] to learn how it was made.”

Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement two days ago saying that the sovereignty of Greece over its Aegean islands “is unquestionable and guaranteed by international law. Irresponsible reports to the contrary are challenging because the status of the islands and islets of the Aegean is clearly determined by a number of International Agreements in the last century.” Greek Reporter and Hurriyet (Ankara) and History of Lausanne Treaty and Yeni Safak (Ankara)

Greece delays extraditing Turkish officers implicated in coup attempt

Since July 15, Turkey has been demanding the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to northern Greece after the coup. The eight soldiers, included two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, had escaped to Greece on a Sikorsky helicopter and landed in Alexandroupolis. The soldiers denied involvement in the coup, but said that they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Greece has refused to extradite them without an appropriate court hearing. On Monday of last week, a Greek court ruled that three of the eight Turkish soldiers should not be extradited. On Tuesday and Thursday, the same court said that the other five SHOULD be extradited. Officials in both Greece and Turkey say that they are puzzled by these seemingly conflicting rulings.

All of these decisions will be reviewed by an appeals court, and a final decision may not be made until March. This delay is expected to increase tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Wars between Greece and Turkey go back millennia, even celebrated in Greek mythology in the story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy. In 1974, the countries fought a war over the island of Cyprus, with the result that the small island is split between a Greek portion and a Turkish portion. Cyprus unification talks are scheduled to begin soon, but with tensions growing between Greece and Turkey, they are unlikely to succeed. Daily Sabah (Ankara) and Kathimerini (Athens) and Anadolu (Turkey)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Greece, Lausanne Treaty, Treaty of Sèvres, Republican People’s Party, CHP, Gülsün Bilgehan, Cyprus
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