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Turkey Tag

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer warned that the country could soon be overwhelmed by a refugee wave more significant than the one in 2015. "We need to do more to help our European partners with controls at the EU's external borders. We’ve left them alone for too long," Seehofer said during a visit to Turkey. "If we don’t do this, we’ll experience a wave of refugees like in 2015 - or perhaps an even larger one."

President Donald Trump received major backlash on Monday morning after the White House announced late Sunday night it will remove troops in northern Syria. This will allow Turkey to start its offensive, effectively leaving the Kurds unprotected. Officials told Fox News that Trump's decision "completely blindsided" those at the Pentagon. Others said the move betrayed the Kurds because Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan does not hide his hatred of the Kurds.

We all know how much Turkish dictator President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan loves his power. After all, his Justice and Development Party (AKP) has enjoyed a majority in the government for 25 years. Back in March, the party received a blow when the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) won the Istanbul mayoral election. Erdogan raised his iron fist and demanded a re-run. Well, CHP candidate Ekrem İmamoğlu won again, but by an even more significant margin.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that the US military has started preparations to remove all of its forces from northeastern Syria:
U.S. officials began informing partners in northeastern Syria of their plans to begin immediately pulling American forces out of the region where they have been trying to wrap up the campaign against Islamic State, the people said.

Turkey is preparing a military offensive against the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds, Turkish state-run media sources say. "We will start our operation in a few days to liberate areas east of the Euphrates River from terrorist organizations," President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared in a speech in Ankara Wednesday, referring to the presence of Kurdish forces in neighboring Syria. Kurds, fighting alongside the Assyrian Christians, had played a key role in liberating large parts of Syrian and Iraqi territories from the Islamic State.

With the Turkish currency in free fall, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a boycott of US-made electronic goods. Showing defiance in the wake of the recent US sanctions imposed in a dispute over the detention of an American pastor, Erdogan accused US President Donald Trump of waging "economic warfare" against the country.

Thousands of Turks took to the streets in Germany to celebrate Turkish President Recep Erdogan's election victory. Erdogan supporters waved Turkish flags, chanted the Islamic battle cry 'Allahu Akbar' and hailed the Turkish leader as their 'Führer,' German newspapers report. On Sunday, Erdogan declared victory in the presidential election, extending his 15-year reign in the Muslim-majority NATO member country.

The European Union's deal with Turkey is failing to stop migrants from crossing into Europe, German media reports suggest. "The number of refugees coming into Europe through Turkey has risen sharply," writes the German weekly Der Spiegel citing EU officials. In the early months of 2018 over 15,000 migrant crossed over from Turkey into Greece--a "nine-fold increase compared to last year's figures," Austrian newspaper Heute reported.

Earlier this week, I pondered the lack of American ambassadors to 32 countries, including some critical regional or economic allies. Now, we are down a Turkish ambassador, albeit temporarily, as that nation has pulled its envoy in response to the opening of the American embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.
The Turkish Embassy in Washington says the Turkish ambassador to the United States is being called home over the Trump administration moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

Last year, tensions between America and Turkey rose after members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's security detail attacked and beat up protesters outside of the Turkish embassy. Those tensions may ease since federal prosecutors have decided to drop charges against 11 of the 15 men charged...even though people caught the brawl on tape.

A week after voting against Israel at the United Nations, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel is proposing an ambitious plan to strengthen relations with the Erdogan regime in Turkey. Gabriel, who also serves as Germany's Vice Chancellor, wants an EU-wide customs union with Turkey, a move aimed at bringing the Muslim-majority country 'as close as possible to the bloc', media reports claim. The German proposal will treat Turkey, presently run by the Islamist strongman Recep Erdoğan, at par with Britain after it leaves the EU at the end of the ongoing Brexit negotiations.  President Erdogan, who took office in 2003, has assumed authoritarian powers by amending the country's constitution following a controversial referendum in April this year.  Since then, Erdogan has been busy purging the opponents of his regime from the military, judiciary and civil services.