ISTANBUL — The Uzbek native accused of killing 39 New Year’s revelers at an Istanbul night club was arrested late Monday with three women and a large stash of money, a scene raising the question whether the Islamic State extremists who claimed credit for the terror attack had taken him on as a hired gun. Turkey’s government has also darkly hinted at a state intelligence service being in cahoots with the mass murderer. Police arrested Abdulgadir Masharipov, age 33, at an apartment in Esenyurt, on the European side of Istanbul after a 16-day manhunt. The governor of Istanbul, Vasip Sahin, said Masharipov had confessed to responsibility and his fingerprints matched those found at the upscale Reina nightclub on the Bosphorus. He also said it was clear that Masharipov had staged the attack on behalf of ISIS. But the arrest raised many questions, for unlike the typical ISIS militant, who’s equipped with a suicide belt and would sooner die than be captured, Masharipov … [Read more...] about Was Istanbul’s Terror Attack State-Sponsored?
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia admitted on Saturday (Oct 20) that critic Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul consulate, as world powers demanded answers and mystery surrounded the whereabouts of his body. Ankara vowed to reveal all the details of a two-week inquiry as US President DOnald Trump said he was unsatisfied with Saudi Arabia's response to the Washington Post columnist's death and the EU, Germany, France, Britain and the UN also demanded clarity. Before dawn on Saturday, Riyadh backtracked on a fortnight of denials by announcing that Khashoggi died during a "brawl" inside the consulate on Oct 2. It said 18 Saudis have been arrested in connection with his death and two top aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as three other intelligence agents, have been sacked. READ: Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince - Report Saudi Arabia has plunged into an international crisis over the fate of Khashoggi, who was critical of the crown … [Read more...] about Riyadh admits Khashoggi died in Istanbul mission as world powers demand answers
"It all happened very quickly," said Kurdish director Nazmi Karaman. The police suddenly appeared outside the theater and everyone was forced to leave, he said. "The play has been performed in Turkey for three years now. The authorities never had a problem with it before, but suddenly they appear to have changed their mind," the director complained. Shortly before "Beru," which translates as "Faceless," was due to be performed for the first time in Istanbul's municipal theater, it was banned by the administrator of Istanbul's Gaziosmanpasa district for "disturbing public order." The two-act play, due to be performed by the Kurdish theater group Teatra Jiyana Nu, is an adaptation of a satirical play by Italian writer Dario Fo. Almost 4,000 people had already seen the play performed in the last three years, both in Turkey and abroad, but it would have been the first Kurdish-language performance in the 106-year history of Istanbul's municipal theater. Director Nazmi Karaman believes … [Read more...] about Turkey bans Kurdish-language play in Istanbul
ISTANBUL: Turkey would be even more determined to protect its territorial rights in the Eastern Mediterranean if the European Union ultimately decides to impose sanctions on it over offshore oil and gas exploration, a Turkish Foreign Ministry official said. The senior official, who requested anonymity, said sanctions would not deter Turkey and suggested they could imperil dialogue planned between Ankara and Athens over disputed maritime boundaries and oil and gas rights. The warning came as EU leaders broke a diplomatic deadlock early on Friday (Oct 2) and assured bloc member Cyprus it would punish Turkey if it continued operations in disputed waters. Sanctions could come as soon as December if "provocations" have not stopped, it said. Before the post-midnight deal, Cyprus had demanded sanctions on Turkey over what it calls Ankara's "gunboat diplomacy" and violations of the island nation's maritime shelf. READ: Cyprus says willing to engage on defining maritime zones … [Read more...] about Turkish official sees Ankara unswayed over EU sanctions on Eastern Mediterranean
ANKARA: Surging coronavirus cases in Ankara are stretching hospitals to the limit and Turkish authorities need to impose a fresh lockdown to bring the virus under control, doctors in the Turkish capital say. The city is now the epicentre of Turkey's COVID-19 outbreak, the government announced this week, and although authorities say there is no plan for a lockdown as yet officials privately say new measures may be needed soon. "Ankara has become Wuhan," said geriatrics professor Mustafa Cankurtaran at Ankara's Hacettepe medical faculty, referring to the Chinese city where the new coronavirus first emerged. "A 10 to 14 day lockdown should be imposed. Health capacity may be exceeded," he tweeted on Wednesday, urging the government to open all medical centres, including private health units. Two officials told Reuters the number of cases in Ankara was rising faster than anticipated, and current measures including mask-wearing and social distancing were not having the results they … [Read more...] about Alarm in Ankara as COVID-19 sweeps Turkish capital