Showing posts with label Foreign Policy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Foreign Policy. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Greeks vent fury over soldiers being 'held hostage' in Turkey

Defence minister says arrests have aggravated already strained ties between two countries

The Guardian

Protesters have taken to the streets of northern Greece demanding the release of two Greek soldiers detained by Turkey, amid rising tensions between the two countries.

Greece’s defence minister, Panos Kammenos, described the pair as “hostages” and ordered border patrols to be stepped up along the heavily defended land frontier the two nations share.

Sgt Dimitris Kouklatzis, 27, and Lt Angelos Mitretodis, 25, were seized 11 days ago after allegedly being found in a “forbidden military zone” deep in Turkish territory. The soldiers say they inadvertently strayed across the frontier in bad weather.

Last week a court in the Turkish border town of Edirne, where the two are being held in a high-security prison, rejected a plea for their release pending further investigation.

Friday, March 2, 2018

2 Greek soldiers on patrol accidentally stray into Turkey

By Associated Press March 2 at 4:35 AM

The Washington Post

THESSALONIKI, Greece — Greece says two of its soldiers on patrol on the Greek-Turkish border accidentally strayed into Turkey and have been taken to the city of Edirne by Turkish authorities.

The Greek army said Friday the two-man patrol strayed into Turkish territory on Thursday because of bad weather, and that Greek and Turkish authorities were in contact with each other and were undertaking procedures for the two to be returned to Greece.

Most of the Greek-Turkish border is marked by a river, and a fence runs along much of the land section. Some parts, however, aren’t clearly marked, and the area where the soldiers strayed was reportedly in woodland.

Although NATO allies, relations between Greece and Turkey are often strained.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Greece, Turkey Try to Calm Tensions After Aegean Sea Crash

The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked to calm tensions after Greek coast guard vessel is damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in Aegean Sea.
Feb. 13, 2018, at 4:58 p.m.

US News


ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The prime ministers of Greece and Turkey worked late Tuesday to calm escalating tensions after a Greek coast guard vessel was damaged in a collision with a Turkish patrol boat in the Aegean Sea, the site of a boundary dispute.

A government official in Athens said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Turkish Prime Minister Benali Yildirim spoke by telephone about the circumstances of the boat crash. The official asked not to be named pending an official announcement.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Greeks rally in Athens to protest use of the name Macedonia

The Washington Post

By Elena Becatoros | AP February 4 at 2:02 PM
ATHENS, Greece — Well over 100,000 protesters from across Greece converged Sunday on Athens’ main square to protest a potential Greek compromise in a dispute with neighboring Macedonia over the former Yugoslav republic’s official name.

Hundreds of chartered buses brought protesters in from around the country to the Greek capital, while more people arrived on ferries from the islands. Traffic was blocked throughout the city center and three major subway stops were closed.

Chanting “Hands off Macedonia!” and “Macedonia belongs to Greece!” the protesters converged on Syntagma Square in front of parliament, many waving flags bearing the Star of Vergina, the emblem of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia.

Police officials estimated the attendance at 140,000. Organizers, who claimed 1.5 million were at the rally, used a crane to raise a massive Greek flag over the square.

Greeks rally in Athens over Macedonia name row

Lefteris Papadimas, Vassilis Triandafyllou

ATHENS (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of Greeks rallied outside parliament in Athens on Sunday to protest against the use of the term Macedonia in any settlement the government pursues with the ex-Yugoslav Republic to end a decades-old name row.

The two countries have agreed to step up negotiations, mediated by the United Nations, this year to settle the dispute, which has frustrated the aspirations of Greece’s small northern neighbor to join NATO and the European Union.

Thoroughfares in central Athens turned into a sea of people waving blue and white Greek flags in what locals said was the largest gathering in decades, easily outdoing rallies against austerity foisted by lenders on the crisis-hit country.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Turkish president Erdoğan to make landmark visit to Greece

Huge security operation will protect increasingly confrontational premier on rare foray to a European country

The Guardian

Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan begins a landmark visit to Greece on Thursday, a rare foray to a European country for the increasingly confrontational leader.

In addition to his retinue of 200 bodyguards, Greek police are also to deploy 2,800 officers to take part in a US presidential-level security operation to guard Erdoğan.

“We are taking every precaution,” the Greek public order minister Nikos Toskas told the Guardian. “The security will be on a level similar to that of Barack Obama’s visit. Every detail has been covered and planned.”

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

With Combative Style and Epithets, Trump Takes America First to the U.N.


The New York Times

UNITED NATIONS — President Trump brought the same confrontational style of leadership he has used at home to the world’s most prominent stage on Tuesday as he vowed to “totally destroy North Korea” if it threatened the United States and denounced the nuclear agreement with Iran as “an embarrassment” that he may abandon.

In his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Trump framed the conflicts as a test of the international system. The bombastic flourishes that generate approving roars at political events were met by stony silence, interrupted a few times by a smattering of applause, as Mr. Trump promised to “crush loser terrorists,” mocked North Korea’s leader as “Rocket Man” and declared that parts of the world “are going to hell.”

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Greece fires at Turkish freighter in Aegean, Ankara protests

Deusche Welle

Greece's coast guard has fired "warning shots" at a Turkish freight ship near Rhodes island, prompting a protest from Ankara. Greek police say they acted on an anonymous call that it was "transporting drugs."

Turkey's foreign ministry condemned Greece on Monday over the shooting that left no one injured - but 16 bullet holes in the freighter's hull, according to its captain.
The vessel, the M/V ACT, had left the southern Turkish port of Iskenderun, near the Syrian border, and was heading west to the Gulf of Izmit when, according to Greek coast guards, it entered Greek waters northeast of Rhodes island.
"Warning shots were fired but the ship did not change course," said the Greek coast guard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Greece says court decision not to extradite Turkish soldiers must be respected

Mon Jun 19, 2017 | 9:07am EDT


A court ruling to not extradite eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece following the failed coup attempt last year must be respected, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Monday.

His comments came at a joint news conference with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim in Athens

"The Greek justice system has ruled on this issue ... and this decision must be fully respected," Tsipras said in response to a question.

Monday, March 6, 2017

North Korea fires four ballistic missiles into sea, angering Japan and South

Mon Mar 6, 2017 | 3:43am EST


By Ju-min Park and Kaori Kaneko | SEOUL/TOKYO
North Korea fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan's northwest on Monday, angering South Korea and Japan, days after it promised retaliation over U.S.-South Korea military drills it sees as a preparation for war.

South Korea's military said the missiles were unlikely to have been intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), which can reach the United States. The missiles flew on average 1,000 km (620 miles) and reached a height of 260 km (160 miles).

Saturday, February 11, 2017

As Ties With U.S. Cool, Europeans Look to Forge Other Alliances


The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The weather, and her reception here, were far colder than when she visited last summer during the Obama administration, but Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign minister, made it clear that she can handle a chill in the air.

“I think we are entering into a different phase of our relationship,” Ms. Mogherini said Friday in a 30-minute interview, adding, “A more transactional approach means Europeans will be more transactional, and we will base our approach on our interests.”

But Ms. Mogherini said she had received important reassurances from top administration officials on the Iran nuclear deal and on Russian sanctions.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Turkish servicemen in Greece seek release from custody

The Washington Post

By Associated Press January 30
ATHENS, Greece — A group of Turkish servicemen seeking asylum in Greece have appeared before an Athens court to contest their continued detention despite the rejection of Turkey’s request for their extradition.

The pilots and flight engineers fled to Greece in a military helicopter a day after the failed July 15 military coup in Turkey.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Turkey angered as Greece blocks extradition of soldiers over coup attempt

Thu Jan 26, 2017 | 11:28am EST


Greece's Supreme Court ruled against the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to Greece in July after a failed coup attempt in Turkey, a decision which angered Ankara and further strained relations between the two neighbors.

Turkey has demanded Greece extradite them, alleging they were involved in the coup attempt and has branded them traitors.

The men -- three majors, three captains and two sergeant-majors -- landed a helicopter in northern Greece on July 16 and sought political asylum saying they feared for their lives in Turkey.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Greece to rule on Turkish servicemen later this week

The Washington Post

By Associated Press January 23
ATHENS, Greece — A group of Turkish servicemen who fled to Greece in a military helicopter after last year’s failed coup have appeared at Greece’s Supreme Court in a closely watched extradition hearing.

Court officials said Monday that a decision would be announced on Thursday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Trump to Unveil Plans for Mexico Border Wall and Limiting Refugees' Entry

by Margaret Talev  and Nick Wadhams
25 January 2017, 6:28 π.μ. EET


President Donald Trump plans to unveil actions on national security starting Wednesday that are expected to include steps toward building a wall on the Mexican border and limiting refugee inflows to the U.S., moving to fulfill key promises he made during his election campaign.

“Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!” the president wrote Tuesday night in a message on his personal Twitter feed.

The announcement on the border wall is expected during a Wednesday afternoon visit by the president to the Department of Homeland Security, the federal agency that has primary jurisdiction over securing the border and would carry out most of the other immigration-related steps that Trump talked about in his run for office.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Greece sees progress on Cyprus, says Turkey should drop 'aggressive' talk

Wed Jan 18, 2017 | 4:47am EST


Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Wednesday progress had been made in ending a decades-old stalemate over the division of Cyprus, but urged Turkey to drop 'aggressive rhetoric' to reach a deal.

"We are optimistic but with prudence and responsibility, as this situation merits, we will continue to work hard...and hope that we have positive results in the near future," Tsipras said in a speech in the Greek parliament.

"A precondition to that is that the other side... particularly Turkey, come to negotiations in similar spirit, putting aside aggressive rhetoric, and work seriously and responsibly."

Cyprus was split in a Turkish invasion in 1974, triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup. The conflict is a key source of tension between Greece and Turkey, which are fiercely defensive of their respective ethnic kin on the east Mediterranean island.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Greece of "fleeing" efforts to reunite Cyprus and said Turkey will retain troops there for ever to protect minority ethnic Turks.

Talks in Geneva last week failed to produce a breakthrough over the former British colony, though Britain, Greece and Turkey - its 'guarantor powers' under a 1960 independence treaty - agreed to continue consultations on security arrangements which could govern Cyprus after a settlement.

Officials from the three countries were due to meet at a Swiss resort later on Wednesday to discuss the matter.

At issue is a dispute primarily between the Turkish and the Greek sides on whether the system of guarantee should stay in place, allowing Greek and Turkish forces to remain stationed on the island, and the right of intervention in the event of a breakdown of constitutional order.

(Reporting by Michele Kambas, editing by Renee Maltezou and Mark Trevelyan)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

German leader ‘insults’ Saudi Arabia by refusing to wear hijab

Von der Leyen 2010.jpg

By Jamie Schram December 14, 2016 | 11:43am

The New York Post

Germany’s defense minister refused to wear a traditional head covering during her visit with a Saudi Arabian prince, arguing that women have as much right as men do to wear whatever they choose.

Ursula von der Leyen declined to wear a hijab — a veil traditionally worn by Muslim women — or an abaya, a full-length robe, when she met with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud in the Saudi capital of Riyadh last Wednesday, according to Sputnik International news.

“The right to choose your own clothing is a right shared by men and women alike. It annoys me, when women are to be pushed into the Abaya,” Das Bild reported Leyen as saying.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Barack Obama calls for 'meaningful debt relief' for Greece

US president says it is in world’s interest for Greece to stay in eurozone and praises EU as ‘one of greatest political and economic achievements of modern times’

The Guardian

The US president, Barack Obama, has signalled he will use a critical two-day visit to Athens this week to step up calls for the country to be given “meaningful debt relief”.

Weighing in on the potentially explosive issue of how best to revive the European Union’s most financially strained member state, the outgoing president said debt forgiveness would play a pivotal role in giving people hope. “I am a strong believer that to make reforms sustainable, people need hope,” he told the Greek newspaper Kathimerini before the trip, which will be his final state visit before leaving office. “The International Monetary Fund has said that debt relief is crucial to put Greece’s economy on a sustainable path and set the stage for a return to prosperity.”

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

4 more Turkish servicemen lose asylum claim in Greece

Published October 11, 2016

Fox News

THESSALONIKI, Greece –  A state asylum service in Greece has rejected claims by four more Turkish military servicemen who fled in the wake of their country's failed coup attempt in mid-July.

Eight servicemen fled to the Greek border town of Alexandroupolis by helicopter, and all remain in police custody in Athens. Seven have now had their asylum claims rejected, following the latest decision announced Tuesday, with a decision pending for the eighth.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Greece says Erdogan's remarks on islands 'dangerous' to relations

Fri Sep 30, 2016 | 12:07pm EDT


Greece on Friday accused neighboring Turkey of endangering ties between the two NATO allies by questioning the wisdom of an almost century-old treaty that established the modern boundaries between the two countries.

At a speech in Ankara on Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said the Treaty of Lausanne, a 1923 peace accord which forged modern Greece and Turkey's borders, was essentially a defeat for Turkey because it "gave away" islands to Greece.