Monday, November 30, 2015

Today's Links



1--Analysis: Oil and gas pipelines in the Middle East
http://southfront.org/analysis-oil-gas-pipelines-middle-east/


2--Russia plane entered Israel control zone from Syria: ministerhttp://news.yahoo.com/russia-plane-entered-israel-control-zone-syria-minister-101841440.html


3--Kerry's doomed Syria peace talks: Michael O'Hanlon
4--US-Turkey Edging Up to Syrian Border. Pretext to Invade, Establish ISIS “Safe Haven” in Northern Syria?
Turkey relies on Russia for almost 65 percent of its energy imports. In 2010, the two countries signed an agreement under which Russia’s Rosatom will construct Turkey’s first nuclear power station at Akkuyu.
Russian gas makes up for about 43 percent of the Turkish market. Last year, Russia supplied 27.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas to the country, primarily through the Blue Stream pipeline that passes across the Black Sea. The two countries agreed to increase the supplies of the Russian gas to 30 billion bcm due to Turkey’s growing energy demand, especially in the winter months.



5--Main challenge in Turkey-Russia axis

 Russia is apparently concerned about Turkey's future bearing, given the heavy emphasis on ideological zealotry and hardline political Islamist narrative in populist policies pursued by the current leadership. It fears the spillover impact from the Turkish Islamists' meddlesome policies in the region and beyond that are generously sponsored by state resources. Moscow remains edgy about this activism reaching out deep into Russian heartland and encircling its hinterland in Central Asia. It may be the tip of the iceberg, but the likelihood of the return of battle-hardened foreign fighters who went from Russia to Syria facilitated by Turkish brokers remains a scary specter for Moscow elites.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks a day after the plane incident might shed further light on the fundamental problem that complicates Turkey's ties with its giant neighbor to the north. He told reporters: "The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday [the Su-24 incident], the problem is much deeper. We see -- and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees that -- that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of support and the Islamization of the country." He immediately added that Islam was a great world religion, one of the traditional religions, including in Russia. "We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight," Putin said.
http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/abdullah-bozkurt/main-challenge-in-turkey-russia-axis_405481.html

6--US urges Turkey to close off its Syrian border to ISIS - media
https://www.rt.com/news/323825-us-turkey-syrian-border/ 


In July, President Barack Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed in principle about a ground operation in Syria. It was understood that the forces on the ground would be Turkish-backed rebel groups consisting of Syrian Arabs and Turkmens, while the US would provide air support to the operation. Ankara also expected the US Air Force to maintain a no-fly zone over northern Syria, to protect rebels from the Syrian Air Force.
However, once Russia moved in and began a counter-terrorist operation of its own in Syria in late September, the US-Turkey plan to conduct a ground operation with rebel forces was scrapped.
After the attack of a Turkish F-16 fighter jet on a Russian Su-24 bomber on Tuesday, the Russian task force in Syria was enhanced with S-400 Triumph long-distance air defense complexes that cover most of Syria’s territory


7--http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-urges-turkey-to-seal-syria-border-1448674401
Under the joint operation that U.S. and Turkish leaders agreed in principle in July, the ground operation on Syrian soil against Islamic State militants would be spearheaded by Turkish-backed rebel groups made up of Syrian Arab and Turkmen fighters, according to U.S. and Turkish officials.
But U.S. officials say many of the rebel groups whom Turkey and the U.S. were counting on to take part in the ground offensive have moved south to help defend the rebel stronghold of Aleppo against the Assad regime’s new Russia-backed offensive.
The Turkmen forces also have come under pressure by Russian airstrikes that have displaced thousands of Turkmen civilians in recent weeks. Mr. Erdogan warned Russia to stop the attacks in the days leading up to the Turkish military shootdown of a Russian warplane along the Syrian border.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-urges-turkey-to-seal-syria-border-1448674401


http://www.globalresearch.ca/history-of-us-natos-covert-war-on-syria-daraa-march-2011/5492182


8--
Noting that Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had basically confirmed the political nature of the decision, when he noted following the attack that he had "personally given the instructions to the General Staff," to deal with violations in a harsh manner, Kivanc added that "the fact that immediately following the incident, Ankara rushed to NATO, instead of establishing direct contact with Moscow, leads one to agree with the skeptical approach of the American Lieutenant General."

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151130/1030980912/turkey-media-analysis-russian-jet.html#ixzz3sysuUrhi


9--"Erdoğan picks up a new contract from the West..." http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/emre-uslu/erdogan-picks-up-a-new-contract-from-the-west_405254.html


10--Putin: "The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday [the Su-24 incident], the problem is much deeper. We see -- and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees that -- that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of support and the Islamization of the country." He immediately added that Islam was a great world religion, one of the traditional religions, including in Russia. "We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight," Putin said.
http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/abdullah-bozkurt/main-challenge-in-turkey-russia-axis_405481.html

11--Main challenge in Turkey-Russia axis
http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist/abdullah-bozkurt/main-challenge-in-turkey-russia-axis_405493.html


Russian President Vladimir Putin's remarks a day after the plane incident might shed further light on the fundamental problem that complicates Turkey's ties with its giant neighbor to the north. He told reporters: "The problem is not in the tragedy we faced yesterday [the Su-24 incident], the problem is much deeper. We see -- and not only we, I assure you that the entire world sees that -- that the current leadership of Turkey has been for a number of years pursuing a purposeful policy of support and the Islamization of the country." He immediately added that Islam was a great world religion, one of the traditional religions, including in Russia. "We ourselves support Islam and will continue doing so, but the point at issue is the support of a more radical branch. And that in itself creates a very unfavorable environment, the atmosphere that one cannot see at first sight," Putin said.


Putin's blunt remarks explain the real story behind Russian maneuvering with respect to Turkey against the background of the downing of the Su-24. Real or not, it also feeds into the widely circulated Russian conspiracy that the West, primarily the US, is using the political Islamist network to weaken and eventually destabilize Russia. It also exposes the main challenge Turkey has been facing on the domestic and foreign policy front, which is its ideological zealotry in advancing a political Islamist discourse that at times borders radicalism and extremism. Frankly, this new shift has neither served the interests of Turkey nor has it benefited Turkey's allies and partners. The problems Ankara started to experience with some of the countries in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, the Gulf, the Balkans and Central Asian republics have a lot to do with these ideological leanings in Turkish foreign policy that amounted to blatant interference in the domestic affairs of other countries....


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's harsh response to Putin's remarks cited above indicates that the current leadership in Ankara will continue to stick to this flawed policy. He said, “The Syrian issue is a fundamental matter for us just like Iraq, Egypt, the Balkans, Crimea and the Caucasus.” Recalling their Ottoman past, the Turkish president noted that the Middle East and North Africa are an inseparable part of Turkey. Perhaps Erdoğan and his Islamists do not realize it but no country in Turkey's immediate neighborhood and beyond wants this sort of reaching out that is tantamount to open interference into their internal matters....




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12---http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-11-27/how-turkey-exports-isis-oil-world-scientific-evidence
Turkey's role in facilitating the sale of Islamic State oil has been the subject of some debate for quite a while. From "NATO is harbouring the Islamic State: Why France’s brave new war on ISIS is a sick joke, and an insult to the victims of the Paris attacks", by Nafeez Ahmed:
"Turkey has played a key role in facilitating the life-blood of ISIS’ expansion: black market oil sales. Senior political and intelligence sources in Turkey and Iraq confirm that Turkish authorities have actively facilitated ISIS oil sales through the country. Last summer, Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, an MP from the main opposition, the Republican People’s Party, estimated the quantity of ISIS oil sales in Turkey at about $800 million—that was over a year ago. By now, this implies that Turkey has facilitated over $1 billion worth of black market ISIS oil sales to date."
Here's what former CHP lawmaker Ali Ediboglu said last year:
“$800 million worth of oil that ISIS obtained from regions it occupied this year [the Rumeilan oil fields in northern Syria — and most recently Mosul] is being sold in Turkey. They have laid pipes from villages near the Turkish border at Hatay. Similar pipes exist also at [the Turkish border regions of] Kilis, Urfa and Gaziantep. They transfer the oil to Turkey and parlay it into cash. They take the oil from the refineries at zero cost. Using primitive means, they refine the oil in areas close to the Turkish border and then sell it via Turkey. This is worth $800 million.”





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