Mustapha El Khalfi, Minister of Communications and Spokesperson of the Government said on Saturday that the government had rejected to offer distribution licenses to some foreign newspapers and magazines that had reprinted the offending cartoons, previously printed by the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Read the rest of this entry »
Austria figures prominently in a map produced by the IS that outlines the group’s five-year plan for expanding its caliphate into Europe, and has emerged as a central hub for jihadists seeking to fight in Syria.
The Islamist known as “Abu Hamza al-Austria,” fighting in Syria, pictured from his jihadist recruitment video.
“The spectrum of recruits for the conflict in Syria is ethnically diverse. The motivation, however, appears to be uniformly jihadist.” — Austrian intelligence agency BVT.
“Allah also gives you the opportunity to wage jihad in Austria.” — Austrian jihadist Firas Houidi.
“We are proud that Allah has chosen us. We feel like lions.” — Austrian jihadist Abu Hamza al-Austria.
The Austrian government has announced plans to improve its intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities in an urgent effort to crack down on would-be jihadists in the country.
The decision by Austrian Interior Minister Johanna Mikl-Leitner to recruit 20 new intelligence officers to focus exclusively on the threat posed by radical Islam comes after police in Austria arrested nine Chechen immigrants who were on their way to wage jihad in Syria.
The move also comes amid growing concerns that Austria’s shiftless Muslim youth are becoming increasingly radicalized and vocal in their support of the jihadist group Islamic State. Read the rest of this entry »
“The international political intervention should target not [Syria‘s ruling] Baath [Party] but the actors whose proxy war Baath is fighting,” Taha Ozhan of Turkey’s SETA think-tank wrote on Jan. 25, pointing to Russia and Iran. As the chairman of SETA (Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research) — the main civic mouthpiece of Turkey’s deadlocked Syria policy — penned those lines, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was preparing to go to Tehran.
Author Fehim Taştekin Posted February 2, 2014 Translator(s)Sibel Utku Bila
It was a slapdash article reflecting a grudge toward Russia and Iran for fending off regime change in Syria. Four days later, Erdogan was on a completely different track when he told his hosts that he felt like he was at his “second home” in Tehran.
The Turkey-Iran relationship has always been two-sided, but the Syrian crisis upset the balance, threatening the positive side. Erdogan was in Tehran to bolster that side. Back to a “win-win” mode, he set a target of $30 billion in bilateral trade for 2015. In 2013, the trade volume dropped to $13.5 billion from $21.8 billion the previous year.
The Blue Mosque’s minarets are covered by dense fog, Istanbul, March 17, 2005. (photo by REUTERS/Fatih Saribas)
What’s happening in Turkey is truly awful for all those who care about a contemporary democratic structure in a Muslim country. That’s because the Muslim world has no equivalent to Turkey’s successful modernizing experience. Turkey’s GDP is $800 billion, and its economy doesn’t depend on oil or natural wealth but on industry, agriculture and services.
29 January 2012 / TODAY’S ZAMAN, ANKARA
Turkey’s interior minister has cancelled a Baghdad trip to join a trilateral meeting between Turkey, Iraq and the US to combat terrorism in the region, on the grounds that ties are strained between Turkey and Iraq following the Iraqi prime minister’s accusations that Turkey has intervened in Iraqi politics, the Turkish Milliyet daily reported on Sunday.
Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin cancelled a visit he was going to make to Baghdad to participate in the trilateral working group, although the trilateral initiative plays an important role in curbing Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist attacks in Turkey, which are launched from the Iraqi-Turkish border, Milliyet reported. Şahin’s cancellation of the crucial visit was reported to be the result of Turkey’s deteriorating relations with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Turkish officials have called him “a thorn in Iraqi politics,” following his attack on Turkey for urging reconciliation with Sunni and Kurdish blocs. Maliki interpreted this as an intervention in the domestic politics of Iraq.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) —
An epic French documentary about the mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime has appeared on Turkish television to mark international Holocaust Remembrance Day — the first time the film has been aired on public television in a majority-Muslim country.
The film has been subtitled into Arabic, Farsi and Turkish by the Paris-based Aladdin project as part of its campaign to promote understanding between Jews and Muslims and to fight Holocaust denial.
Last year, a Los Angeles-based Farsi satellite channel broadcast the 9-plus-hour documentary in Iran, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has questioned historical accounts of the Holocaust and called for Israel‘s destruction.
The film is not the first Holocaust film to be shown on television in Turkey, a secular country that is seeking membership in the European Union. Turkey also has its own Holocaust film: “The Turkish Passport,” which was released last year and tells the true story of Turkish diplomats who saved thousands of Jews by issuing them Turkish passports.
“Shoah” has also been shown to a limited audience at a Turkish film festival.
Nevertheless, it was the first showing of “Shoah” on a public television channel in a Muslim country. The director said he hoped more Muslim countries would follow suit. Read the rest of this entry »
Published : 09.01.2012 19:43
Updated : 09.01.2012 22:04
Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is setting up an Electronic Intelligence Village on a 3,000 square meter plot of land, which will allow for the tracking of all forms of intelligence signals.
MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan explains that within the next two to three years, they aim to become one of the largest intelligence services in the world and that they are synthesizing the CIA-FBI model.
Yesterday, the “Meeting with the Press” portion of a series of ceremonies held to commemorate to 85th anniversary of the National Intelligence Organization, or MİTs founding, was held at the undersecretariat headquarters.
At the event, which brought together the executive editors and Ankara representatives from newspapers and television stations, MİT Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, announced their objective to become one of the top ten intelligence services, to undergo a restructuring in terms of both internal and foreign intelligence and that they are synthesizing the United States’ CIA-FBI model. Fidan stood up for the organization, which has faced intentions of being drawn into the Uludere incident, by sharing their goals for “Perfection and Competitive Pursuit.”
OBJECTIVE TO BECOME TOP TEN: “We have always been told “You are very good in your region, Turkey is a shining star.” However, we do not consider this to be enough. With the exception of a few countries in this region, this is not an area where there are first class players. We want to become players in the global realm. There are ten intelligence services in this realm, within the next two to three years; we will become one of them.”
FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM: “We are preparing a joint intelligence program. Under the headline “Security Intelligence”, we have reestablished our units dealing with terrorism doth domestically and abroad. We have created units that will primarily deal with armed terror as well as an analysis unit that will also be dealing with terrorism.”
INTELLIGENCE VILLAGE: “The General Staff Electronic Systems Command has been handed over to the MİT. A 3,000 square meter plot of land was purchased next to the Electronic Systems Command (GES) facility.
We are building an Electronic Intelligence Village there that will be befitting of the 21st century. 21. This is a historical step in terms of military-civilian collaboration. Turkey has now been saved from the wasted resources and effort as well as from duplication and has obtained the opportunity to visualize our national capacity. All signal intelligence directed towards our region will be tracked and evaluated from here.”
UNMANNED AERIAL VEHICLE VISUALS ARE NOT OURS: “The visual intelligence obtained from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is obtained by the General Staff and not MİT.”
Recently the main media has picked up a story about some Turkish hackers who have been hacking the french.
In one of the latest attacks by a group know as AYYILDIZ who has over 12,000 total defacement’s on h-zone has hacked and defaced a Turkish website with one clear message, they are ready for cyber war.
The defacement which has the below message and video attached can be currently seen on the website or on h-zone mirrors
For the sake of our country , we will continue fighting against the enemies in virtual world as we do in real world under all heavy circumstances such as winter,cold and snow..
We are never tired and we will never give up !We always support each other and we are always together in good times and bad times.We will declare Cyber War against all the nations having negative ideas about Turkey and our religion Islam.If you insist on these ideas ,get ready for cyber war !We aren’t afraid of anybody and we will give our answer back where necessary.
Iranian diplomats review Islamic Awakening in Arab states – Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab-African Affairs, Hossein Amir Abdullahian, chaired the diplomats annual meeting and referred to impacts of Islamic Awakening on Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain as well as people’s uprisings in the region (on Iranian foreign policy). Abdullahian said that the Islamic Awakening raised the expectations of people from Iran as a harbinger of the Islamic movement over the past decades. Iran’s role in regional development cooperation, maintaining security and stability of the region and vindicating the legitimate rights of people is clear to all. He said that role of media in demonstrating recent developments is of prime importance, adding that Iran seeks to broaden cooperation with regional countries in a bid to persuade them to meet their people’s demands.
FM stresses Syrian efforts for release of Iranian abductees – Ali Akbar Salehi and his Syrian counterpart stressed the Syrian government’s efforts to obtain the release of the Iranian abductees. Salehi expressed his concern over the fate of the Iranian abductees in Syria.
Iranian Red Crescent Society (RC) plans to open a third polyclinic in Kenya as part of Tehran’s medical and social aid program for improving the health care system of the African nation – According to a statement issued by the RC, Iran’s third polyclinic in Kenya will be opened in Mombasa in the near future. Iran has already set up two polyclinics in the capital city of Nairobi. The clinic will have different sections, including maternity and delivery wards, a drugstore and laboratory. Iran is an observing member of the African Union and has shown an active presence in previous AU summit meetings.
Defense Minister: NATO’s plan to deploy a missile shield in Turkey demonstrates the US and European states’ military and political weakness – Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said, “The NATO missile shield is a show of power on the surface but, in fact, shows the enemy’s weak position and helplessness […] On the other hand, if Europeans see themselves in need of such a missile shield against Iran, why don’t they take any action in this regard, and it is just the U.S. that talks about this plan and advertises it.” Earlier IRGC Aerospace Commander, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, warned that Tehran will target the NATO missile shield in Turkey should it come under attack. “We have prepared ourselves, if any threat is staged against Iran, we will target NATO’s missile shield in Turkey and will then attack other targets.”
Banner headline in the ultra-conservative daily Kayhan: Maneuvers near the Strait of Hormuz Scare the West –
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy: Western chopper shooed away from naval drill zone – Admiral Seyed Mahmoud Moussavi said, “A chopper which belonged to the trans-regional countries tried to approach the region of the Velayat 90 war games, but it left the area when it received a serious warning after it ignored two other warning signals of our units.” Admiral Moussavi declined to provide any further details about the alleged incident. Read the rest of this entry »
And so the inevitable has come to pass. Turkey’s central bank has departed from its controversial commitment to a loose policy stance in the face of growing signs of overheating and vulnerability in the economy. The bank signalled yesterday that a phase of marked monetary tightening has now begun.
True to form, the bank went about this tightening in an unorthodox way. But at least it is now pulling unorthodox policy levers in pursuit of orthodox ends. As recently as August, the bank was still loosening policy, easing its benchmark interest rate despite frothy GDP growth rates, accelerating inflation and a current-account deficit of increasingly eye-watering proportions.
The bank’s benchmark interest rate is its one-week repo rate, which stands at 5.75%. The simplest and most transparent way for the bank to have tightened monetary policy would have been to hike this rate. Instead, the bank yesterday announced a new policy of switching on and off the supply of money at this rate, depending on conditions on any given day.
When the one-week rate is unavailable, commercial banks seeking money from the central bank are forced to pay up to 12.5% for money provided on an overnight basis. By switching between these 5.75% and 12.5% rates from day to day, the central bank aims to find a balance appropriate to the needs of the economy.
The bank’s governor, Erdem Başçı, seems quite proud of this new policy, declaring that it gives him a level of flexibility enjoyed by no other central bank in the world. One is tempted to suggest that the reason other central banks haven’t rushed to adopt this level of policy flexibility is that there are other, simpler, ways of achieving the same ends.
Yesterday, the central bank withheld funding at the 5.75% rate. Today, it made 8bn TL available at that rate. And so it will go in the days and weeks ahead. Does this provide the bank with a means of tightening monetary policy to varying degrees? Sure. But it feels a little bit like trying to control a room’s lighting by switching the lights on and off repeatedly rather than by using a dimmer switch.
There can be little doubt that a shift in the central bank’s policy was required. For some time alarm bells have been ringing. In June, I wrote about the threat posed by Turkey’s current account deficit. At that point it stood at about 8 per cent of GDP. It has since moved closer to 10 per cent.
That kind of dynamic is both unsustainable and dangerous. In my earlier post I warned of the risk of a chain reaction being set in motion, with a depreciation of the lira feeding through to higher prices, interest rate hikes and a sharp slowdown in economic activity. We have since seen something like this play out.
The lira slumped in value by almost a fifth during the first nine months of this year. Consumer price inflation is already above the central bank’s 5.5% target and will increase again in the remainder of the year due to recent tax hikes and the rising price of imports. We’ve just seen the beginning of (indirect) interest rate rises to restore stability. It now remains to be seen how significant the impact will be on activity in the real economy. Read the rest of this entry »