Turkey's link with Moscow is elevated if Russia is keen on adapting a new strategy that gives up on Assad and increase its pressure for a transitional government as agreed in Geneva in the short-term. As long as the Russian interest in Syria as a powerful bargaining chip vis-a-vis NATO is protected, Moscow is ready to give credibility to Ankara.
Entries in Ahmet Davutoğlu (63)
The Erdogan government will try to rely on a "security-first" agenda to challenge both the opposition parties and the PKK, at the same time promoting its synthesis of nationalism and Islam.
However, Ankara now has to review its calculation that playing the game with more players and more cards would turn the situation to its advantage. Both Iraqi Kurdish leader Barzani's involvement and the changing Syrian situation pose a question: what will Erdogan do if an autonomous Kurdish region is declared not only in Syria but in southeastern Turkey?
1800 GMT: The US ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone, spoke about the Turkish downed jet last month:
Our ally lost its two pilots. It seems that they were in an unarmed plane. As the US government, we conveyed all information we had in hand to the Turkish government. We took side with the Turkish government, conveyed our condolences. American technical rescue opportunities cooperated with the Turkish side. We were glad that the pilots were found.
1545 GMT: Turkey's EU Minister & Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis has spoken to Turkish daily Star regarding 'terrorism' and Kurdish language:
Turkey has a bleeding wound: Terror! After we get rid of this terror problem, there could be many meaningful regaulations to be made in Turkey. However, the priority of Turkey is to stop the bloodshed. Only aftet his, just as English, French and German; why shouldn't my children learn Kurdish, Persian and Arabic, all of which are effective languages providing opportunities in trade?
1340 GMT: AKP's deputy of the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, Galip Ensarioglu, said that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) must be taken into the peace process since it could destabilize the peace atmosphere otherwise.
1610 GMT: The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu criticized Prime Minister Erdogan's Syria policy:
We don't want war. You have to consider the balances in the United Nations and the decisions made by the Security Council. Syria is not Libya. If you speak without paying attention to balances of power, they will turn you upside down. You can't succeed in the international arena with such incorrect policies.
1530 GMT: Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) once again states that no trace of an explosive material was found. The statement reads:
The Turkish Armed Forces found no petroleum-like residue or trace of any organic or inorganic explosive matter on the surface of the pieces from the downed jet that were taken from the sea surface.
Stuart Ramsay of Britain's Sky News meets members of Syrian security forces held by the Free Syrian Army
See also Syria Audio Feature: "How Significant Are Sanctions?" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24 br>
Bahrain Analysis: Are the Sunni Movements Still Awake? br>
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Away from the Headlines, "Only" 126 Dead on Sunday br>
Monday's Egypt Live Coverage: A President is Elected --- Now What?
2024 GMT: Syria. Assad's military may have suffered many losses today, but they inflicted incredible damage in the process, mostly to civilian areas. This video, for instance, shows shells falling around an important mosque in Talbiseh, north of Homs (map):
The moment, at 1:35 of the clip, when the crowd in Cairo's Tahrir Square learned that Mohamed Morsi had been confirmed as Egyptian President
See also Sudan Analysis and Video: Explaining the Latest Protests br>
Palestine Film Special: "Live: From Bethlehem" br>
Egypt Analysis: Why This is Not a "Soft Coup" br>
Saturday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Turkish Plane is Shot Down --- What Next?
2015 GMT: Egypt. President-elect Mohamed Morsi has given a televised speech in which he has thanked the "martyrs" of the uprising against the Mubarak regime, saluted the people, and thanked the army, police, and judiciary for their service to Egypt.
Meanwhile, an officer "close to the ruling military council" has put out a message to Morsi, "The onus now is on the new President to unite the nation and create a true coalition of political and revolutionary forces to rebuild the country economically and politically...."The challenge for Egypt now is rebuilding its institutions and ensuring that these institutions are independent and work for the people, not a single party or movement."
The officer also upheld the legitimacy of the ruling Supreme Council of Armed Forces, "The military council has done its duty in keeping the election process free and fair, a true example of democracy, to the world."
1720 GMT: US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs José Fernandez has said that there is still room to expand the bilateral commercial ties even after a record 34 percent jump in bilateral trade volume last year. According to Fernandez:
The question is whether ties will be good or really good. Currently there are a number of areas where we cooperate very well, but now we’re thinking about how we can help expand and improve bilateral ties.
One of our chief projects has been helping İstanbul achieve its ambitions to become a major financial center. We’re getting them in touch with members of the Securities and Exchange Commission, showing them the regulations, so they can see how it works.
1640 GMT: Four members of PKK were killed by security forces in the district Idil of the eastern province of Sirnak after they had been spotted crossing the Turkish border from Syria.
1740 GMT: Following the Global Counter- Terrorism Forum, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said regarding Turkey's fight against PKK:
With respect to our fight against terrorism, we work very closely together, and in fact, we are learning every week how we can be more closely knit together to cooperate and to support Turkey’s fight against the PKK. I will not discuss potential arms transfers that have not been formally notified to Congress, but I will say that the extensive assistance that we currently provide is going to intensify through closer cooperation and planning, and both the foreign minister and I are committed to making sure both of our governments are as focused and coordinated as we can be going against those that threaten Turkey and Turkish lives.
I think I’ve said it on every trip to Turkey – the United States stands strongly with Turkey in your fight against the PKK whose long campaign of violence has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
1535 GMT: Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu criticized the silence of countries who haven’t spoken out against the Assad regime so far and underlined, once again, the significance of an international consensus. He said:
From Turkey’s perspective, there is instability on the border between Turkey and Syria. The Assad regime does not create stability: On the contrary, Assad’s methods destroy the stability in the region.
The international community should act unanimously to stop the oppression and atrocities.
Turkey will continue its inclusive activities to strengthen the opposition in Syria.
1800 GMT: According Turkish daily Today's Zaman, Ankara welcomes political efforts to unseat Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki as politicians in the Iraqi Parliament have collected enough signatures to hold a non-confidence vote.
1710 GMT: President Abdullah Gul met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Istanbul. Abbas is also expected to talk to Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Davutoglu. Nothing specific regarding the content of the meetings has been revealed so far.
1600 GMT: Syrian opposition activits declared the formation of a new military coalition named "the Syrian Rebels Front". Khaled al-Okla, a member of the new group, says it coordinates with the Free Syrian Army.
1440 GMT: The first Mavi Marmara court hearing is scheduled for 6 November. As known, the indictment charging four Israeli commanders for full life sentence was accepted last month.
1335 GMT: Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag says that Turkey already has a semi-presidential system which needs to be upgraded to the presidential system.
1245 GMT: An air-supported operation against PKK is continuing in the Beytussebap district of the province of Sirnak. Sikorsky and Cobra helicopters are bombarding the Kato Mountain.
Turkey Analysis: Did US Intelligence Lead to Deaths of 34 Civilians (and Better Relations with Ankara)?
A Wall Street Journal investigation points to the role of US intelligence in the Uludere airstrikes
The Wall Street Journal claims that the intelligence came from Washington. If this is true, we do not need to ask further about the reason for the Turkish Government's keeping of a secret. Both for general US-Turkish and for specific issues, such as co-operation over the Syrian issue, further enquiries into the Uludere incident would be inconvenient.
Could the deaths of 34 civilians have led to better relations between Ankara and Washington? After all, Turkey and the US are aligned in their policies towards Iraq's Maliki, Syria's Assad, Iran's Ahmadinejad, and Iraqi Kurdistan's Barzani --- so perhaps "collateral damage" in this case has been turned into "collateral benefit".