Fists flew as a fight broke out between lawmakers from opposing parties in Turkey’s parliament Wednesday during a tense discussion about the country’s military involvement in northwest Syria. Dozens of legislators from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party and from the main opposition party were caught on camera pushing and punching each other. Tensions are running high following the deaths of more than 50 Turkish soldiers in Idlib in the past month.
Eight people died after an avalanche hit eastern Turkey on Wednesday, the local hospital said, while the Turkish interior minister was quoted as saying 10-15 people were still trapped under the snow. Meki Arvas, mayor of a district in the eastern province of Van, was quoted by broadcaster NTV as saying a team of 300 people had been working to rescue people trapped under an earlier avalanche on Tuesday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said troops have begun moving into Libya after parliament approved the move last week. He said their mission was to ensure stability for the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. The Libyan government is fighting an insurgency by rebel forces under Gen Khalifa Haftar, based in eastern Libya.
Turkey has dispatched a surveillance and reconnaissance drone to the breakaway north of ethnically divided Cyprus amid tensions over offshore oil and gas exploration, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said Monday. Kudret Ozersay, foreign minister of the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state, told reporters Sunday that the Turkish deployment would be limited to unarmed drones as there was “no need” for armed ones.
A former British army officer, who helped start the “White Helmets”, an emergency response group in Syria, has been found dead near his home in Istanbul, just days after the Russian foreign ministry menaced him, accusing him of being a spy. James le Mesurier was the director of Mayday Rescue charity that trained members of the Syria Civil Defence, nicknamed the White Helmets, playing a major role in its creation in Turkey in 2013.
The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has agreed with the US vice-president, Mike Pence, to suspend Ankara’s operation on Kurdish-led forces in north-east Syria for the next five days in order to allow Kurdish troops to withdraw, potentially halting the latest bloodshed in Syria’s long war. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters would pull back from Turkey’s proposed 20-mile (32km) deep “safe zone” on its border, Pence told reporters in Ankara on Thursday.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan put US President Donald Trump’s letter “in the bin”, the BBC has been told. In the letter dated 9 October, and sent after US troops were pulled out of Syria, Mr Trump told Mr Erdogan: “Don’t be a tough guy. Don’t be a fool!” Turkish presidential sources told BBC Turkish that the letter was “thoroughly rejected” by Mr Erdogan.
Donald Trump spoke directly to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, on Monday to demand an immediate ceasefire in Syria while announcing a series of punishments for Ankara. The US president’s conversation with Erdoğan was revealed by the vice-president, Mike Pence. “The United States of America did not give a green light for Turkey to invade Syria,” Pence insisted to reporters at the White House.
President Donald Trump has threatened to destroy Turkey’s economy if the country goes “off limits” following his surprise decision to pull US forces out of north-eastern Syria. Kurdish forces were key US allies in defeating Islamic State (IS) in Syria. But Turkey regards the Kurdish militias, which dominate the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as terrorists.
The United States said on Wednesday that it was removing Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program, a move long threatened and expected after Ankara began accepting delivery of an advanced Russian missile defense system last week. Turkey makes more than 900 parts of the F-35, the supply chain would transition from Turkish to mainly U.S. factories as Turkish suppliers are removed.