World At NATO, Turkey hails its revival of dialogue with Greece
Turkish president vows to save sea from 'sea snot' outbreak
ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey’s president promised Saturday to rescue the Marmara Sea from an outbreak of “sea snot” that is alarming marine biologists and environmentalists. A huge mass of marine mucilage, a thick, slimy substance made up of compounds released by marine organisms, has bloomed in Turkey's Marmara, as well as in the adjoining Black and Aegean Seas. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said untreated waste dumped into the Marmara Sea and climate change had caused the sea snot bloom. Istanbul, Turkey's largest city with some 16 million residents, factories and industrial hubs, borders the sea.
BRUSSELS (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is vying to mend Turkey’s battered relations with its Western partners, said Monday that a revival of dialogue with fellow NATO member Greece to resolve long-standing disputes will serve “stability and prosperity” in the region.
Speaking on the sidelines of a NATO summit, Erdogan also lamented what he said was a lack of support by Turkey’s NATO allies in its fight against terrorism. It was a veiled reference to Turkey’s disappointment with U.S. military support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, who Ankara argues are inextricably linked to a decades-long Kurdish insurgency in Turkey.
Greece Tells Migrants from 5 Countries to Seek Asylum in Turkey Instead
In Turkey, migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Somalia "are not in any dangerdue to their race, religion, citizenship, political beliefs or membership in some particular social group," Greece's decree said.Greece's foreign and migration ministries issued a decree calling Turkey a safe country for asylum seekers from the five nations and said its neighbor is able to review their asylum requests. Many of these migrants reach Greece after departing from Turkey.
Erdogan is holding a series of one-on-one meetings with NATO leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden. The Turkish strongman has recently toned down his anti-Western rhetoric as he seeks foreign investments for his country, which has been troubled by a currency crisis and an economic downturn made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
Biden should remind Erdogan of NATO's basic tenets and values
Erdogan, who enjoys a close rapport with Russian President Vladimir Putin, remains a disruptive force within NATO. The Washington Post broke the news on May 26 that Ankara used its veto power to water down NATO's official condemnation of Belarusian strongman Alexander Lukashenko, who illegally forced down a passenger plane to arrest Roman Protasevich, a dissident journalist on board. Turkey reportedly also blocked punitive steps for which Baltic allies and Poland had pressed and even prevented calls for the release of political prisoners in Belarus.
“Turkey is on the frontline in the fight against terrorism in all relevant international platforms, especially NATO,” Erdogan said, adding that some 4,000 Islamic State group fighters were “neutralized” in Turkish cross border operations.
“Turkey is the only NATO ally which has fought face-to-face and gave its young sons as martyrs for this cause,” Erdogan said. “Unfortunately, we did not receive the support and solidarity we expected from our allies and partners in our fight against all forms of terrorism.”
Last summer, a long-standing dispute between Turkey and Greece over boundaries and rights to natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean flared anew after Ankara sent research vessels into waters where Greece asserts jurisdiction.
Diplomats from the two countries have held two rounds of talks in recent months for the first time in five years, while the foreign ministers of Greece and Turkey also held reciprocal visits.
The Latest: NATO chief says it's time to set aside divisions
The Latest on the NATO summit taking place in Brussels: BRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the 30-nation military alliance aims to set aside the divisions of the Trump era and focus on the security challenges posed by Russia and China. Stoltenberg says that NATO leaders are meeting Monday “at a pivotal moment for our alliance, and today we’ll open a new chapter in our trans-Atlantic relationship.” His remarks in BrusselsBRUSSELS — NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg says the 30-nation military alliance aims to set aside the divisions of the Trump era and focus on the security challenges posed by Russia and China.
“I believe that reviving the channels of dialogue between (Turkey) and our neighbor and ally, Greece, and the resolution of bilateral issues will ... serve the stability and prosperity of our region,” Erdogan said, in a video address to a think tank event on the sidelines of the summit.
Erdogan’s talks with Biden are expected to focus on U.S. support for Syrian Kurdish fighters, as well as a dispute over Ankara’s acquisition of a Russian air defense system, which led to Turkey being removed from the F-35 fighter program and sanctions on defense industry officials.
Washington says the S-400 missiles, which Turkey purchased in 2019, pose a threat to NATO’s integrated air defense and has demanded that Ankara abandons the $2.5 billion system.
How NATO is updating its common defense pact to deal with global cyberattacks
President Joe Biden from Brussels called NATO's Article 5 a "sacred obligation" on Monday, the same day the organization updated how it will respond to cyberattacks. Amid the growing cyber threat, Biden on Monday called NATO's Article 5 "a sacred obligation" that is "rock solid and unshakable.
In April, Biden infuriated Ankara by declaring that the Ottoman-era mass killing and deportations of Armenians was “genocide.” Turkey denies that the deportations and massacres that began in 1915 and killed an estimated 1.5 million Armenians amounted to genocide.
In Brussels, Erdogan met with French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
After his meeting with Erdogan, Macron tweeted that he wants to “move forward” with Turkey.
It was their first meeting since a dispute between the two countries reached its peak in October, after Erdogan questioned Macron’s mental health.
Both men discussed Libya and Syria issues, the Elysee said. Macron has accused Turkey of flouting its commitments by ramping up its military presence in Libya and bringing in jihadi fighters from Syria.
Afghan peace envoy fears pullout will embolden Taliban .
ANTALYA, Turkey (AP) — The Afghan government’s chief peace envoy expressed fears on Friday that the Taliban will have no interest in a political settlement with the U.S.-supported administration in Kabul after the scheduled departure of American and NATO forces. Abdullah Abdullah, head of Afghanistan’s National Reconciliation Council, said there were signs that the Taliban were seeking military advances ahead of the Sept. 11 troop withdrawal. He warned however that, if so, the extremist Islamic movement was making a “big miscalculation.