World Turkish foreign minister in Athens for talks
EU mulls response to Belarus diverting plane to nab reporter
BRUSSELS (AP) — Angry European Union leaders were set to consider a joint response Monday to Belarus' diversion of a plane traveling between EU member nations in order to arrest a prominent Belarusian opposition journalist. Raman Pratasevich, who ran a popular messaging app that played a key role in helping organize massive protests against Belarus' authoritarian president, was on board the Ryanair flight from Athens, Greece, to Vilnius, Lithuania — to the Minsk airport.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is in Athens Monday for meetings with his Greek counterpart and the country’s prime minister as the neighbors and NATO allies seek to mend frayed ties.
Cavusoglu was meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. The foreign ministers are to make statements to the media after their meeting. It will be the first time the two have spoken together in public since Dendias visited Ankara in April and their joint press conference descending into a trading of barbs and accusations.
EU eyes Belarus sanctions targeting sectors close to leader
BRUSSELS (AP) — European Union nations sketched out plans for new sanctions Thursday against Belarus that will target economic sectors close to its authoritarian president, as they sought to strike back at him for the forced diversion of a passenger jet to arrest a dissident journalist. EU foreign ministers meeting in Lisbon vowed to continue to ramp up the pressure on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko — whose disdain for democratic norms and human rights has made his country a pariah in the West.
Even before Cavusoglu’s arrival in Athens Sunday evening, it was clear tension between the countries remains. The Turkish minister preceded the official part of his visit with a private trip to the northeastern Greek region of Thrace to meet with members of the Muslim minority that resides there.
Greece rejects Turkish minister's comments on Muslim minority
Greece rejects Turkish minister's comments on Muslim minorityThe statement by Cavusoglu, during a private visit to the northern Greek region of Thrace on Sunday, came ahead of his official meetings on Monday with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in Athens.
He tweeted he was there “to meet members of the Turkish Minority,” and that Turkey would “always stand resolutely with the Turkish Minority in their struggle for their rights.”
Referring to the minority as Turkish is diplomatically sensitive and highly contentious in Greece, which recognizes the minority only as a Muslim one. Greece has tried to promote the ethnic diversity of the minority, highlighting its Roma and Pomak components, in an effort to contain Turkish influence and possible secessionist sentiment.
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexandros Papaioannou responded that Greece “steadily adheres to international law and the protection of human rights. It fully implements the obligations stemming from the Treaty of Lausanne, which explicitly and clearly refers to a Muslim minority in Thrace.”
Is this Georgia town a model for reparations?
Residents were pushed out, watched homes burn and demanded that the incident be categorized as terrorism and white supremacy. The city agreed.But this year, Athens-Clarke County became one of the latest in a handful of municipalities to recognize the suffering of residents like Hattie Thomas Whitehead, who grew up with six siblings in Linnentown. Her parents lost the only home they would ever own, she explained in an interview with Grant Blankenship of Georgia Public Broadcasting.
He said that “Turkey’s constant attempts to distort this reality, as well as the allegations of supposed non-protection of the rights of these citizens, or of alleged discrimination, are unfounded and are rejected in their entirety.”
The 1923 Lausanne treaty handled the exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey in the aftermath of war, uprooting around 2 million people: approximately 1.5 million Orthodox Christians living in Turkey and half a million Muslims living in Greece.
Turkish mafia boss dishes dirt, becomes YouTube phenomenon
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — From alleged drug trafficking and a murder cover-up to weapons transfers to Islamic militants, a convicted crime ringleader has been dishing the dirt on members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party through a series of tell-all videos that have captivated the nation and turned him into an unlikely social media phenomenon. Sedat Peker, a 49-year-old fugitive crime boss, who once openly supported Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party, has been releasing nearly 90-minute long videos from his stated base in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, making scandalous but yet-unproven drip-by-drip allegations, in an apparent bid to settle scor
The Muslim community in Thrace and the Greek community of Istanbul were exempt. However, the Greek minority in Istanbul has dwindled to a fraction of the estimated 200,000 people, with many fleeing persecution in the 1950s.
Papaioannou said that “Greece desires the improvement of relations with Turkey. A necessary condition is the respect of international law.”
Greece and Turkey have been divided for decades over a series of disputes, including territorial rights in the Aegean. Last summer, tension between them rose dramatically, with disagreements over maritime boundaries and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean leading to the two countries’ warships facing off.
Iraqi Kurds in border zone flee Turkey's hunt for PKK .
One fine day in May, Yohanna Khushfa gathered his 200 sheep and took off, along with 120 other villagers in Iraqi Kurdistan, fearful of the Turkish drones hunting Kurdish separatists. - 'Setting up their own routes' - And the Turkish incursions are getting deeper -- up to 20 kilometres (12 miles) inside Iraqi Kurdistan, said Kurdish MP Rivink Muhammad, himself from Al-Amadiya. "Until the latest campaign, Turkish forces were entering through the border posts, but now they are setting up their own routes to avoid the official crossings," added colleague Ali Saleh.