10 May 2018 - Turkish education board bans admissions to French departments
Turkey’s Higher Education Board (YÖK) said new students will not be admitted to the French language and literature and French language teaching departments at Turkish universities until further notice, daily Hürriyet reported on May 10.
The departments in the ruling, which do not have any students at the moment, will remain empty according to the decision following a row between Ankara and Paris regarding a petition signed by 300 prominent French figures demanding the removal of particular verses from the Quran.
However, the report said the decision was taken due to “reciprocity” and “graduate-employment dynamics,” as there are also no Turkish language faculties in France.
There are currently 16 French departments at the university level in Turkey—all of which are and will remain empty—and 19 university level French departments functioning with students and faculty.
The ruling will apply to departments with no students whereas the 19 functioning departments will continue teaching, the report said. No information was provided as to whether those departments that will continue will be allowed to admit students or not.
YÖK’s decision came after 300 French intellectuals and politicians, including former President Nicolas Sarkozy and former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, signed a manifesto published in Le Parisien on April 21. The manifesto, which suggests some Quran verses incite violence and hatred toward Jews, Christians and nonbelievers, was interpreted as a demand to abrogate the Quran. Source
AA published sensitive info due to Erdogan's MB ties - Macron’s fmr advisor
7 April 2018
“Recall that [Kurds] were the first to join the fight against Daesh. Turkey on the other hand entered the fight quite late,” said Trinquand.
According to Trinquand, the defense counsel to President Macron during last year's presidential campaign, Turkish government controlled Anadolu Agency’s act was not surprising because "in domestic politics, President Erdogan is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Muslim Brotherhood has been hostile to the Kurds, and from the very start, to President Bashar Assad and indeed to France.”
Trinquand also confirmed Macron’s support to Kurdish forces in Syria. "President Macron clearly declared his support for the Kurds in general, new operations were not planned. In any case, the units operating there are special forces, and their positions and actions have never been disclosed,” he told to Sputnik.
On March 31, following president Macron’s meeting with the representatives of Syrian-Kurdish forces in Paris, Anadolu Agency published an article including a map of five military bases the French troops were stationed in areas under the control of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and its armed units YPG, which Turkey sees as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, an armed group that has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey for more than 30 years.
Anadolu Agency also wrote that French troops were working with Kurdish militia during field operations in those regions as well as Raqqah and claimed that French forces stationed in Iraq also organised cross-border operations in Syria.
Moreover, Anadolu Agency said that French construction company Lafarge which opened a cement factory in northern Syria in 2010, bribed Daesh to continue its operations when the area was under Daesh control, adding “the U.S.-funded YPG/PKK seized the factory, which had previously been seized by Daesh, to use as its base”.
This is not the first time Anadolu Agency reveals Western bases in Syria. Last July, the United States also reacted angrily on after the agency disclosed the locations of American military posts in northern Syria. The Pentagon then warned those reports could put lives at risk.
The Agency then detailed some 10 US military facilities' whereabouts and, in some instances, the number of special operations forces working there.
Number of Congressmen also slammed the agency for reports. Source
Macron kept saying 'strange things,' so I had to respond - Erdogan
30 March 2018
The Turkish President noted that Kosovan authorities handed the Turkish nationals to the Turkish police.
''As I told you before, they [Gulen members] will keep running and we will keep chasing after them. Wherever they may go, we will nab them and bring them home. We will hold them accountable,” Erdogan stated.
Despite Erdogan’s suggestion that Turkish and Kosovan authorities had an "understanding" about the six Turks, earlier on Friday Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj denied any agreement and fired the country’s intelligence chief in addition to the interior minister following the news of 6 Turks’ extradition to Turkey.
In his speech Erdogan also reacted to French President Emmanuel Macron’s offer that France become a mediator between the Syrian Kurds and Turkey.
“I’d like to express my incredible sadness over the France’s behaviour. I spoke with Macron in recent days and realized he says some very strange things. When he kept speaking so strangely - even though it may have been at a high frequency - I had to say something. Because it's not anyone’s place to describe our military forces in an unacceptable fashion,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan added that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella military organization in Syria consisting mostly of Kurdish fighters, is “identical” the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an internationally recognized terrorist organization.
Commenting on Macron’s remarks in which he stated “we gave them [SDF] our guaranteed support,” Erdogan said, this is “above their heads.” The Turkish President added, ''We have a saying, 'Don't get into business that's above your head.' We do not need a mediator. Since when does Turkey sit down at a table with terrorist organizations when it has a problem?”
Referring to Macron’s meeting with YPG representatives at Elysee Palace on Thursday, Erdogan stated, “France lost its rights to complain about any terrorists or any terrorist attacks. Those who are together, who host them [YPG reps] at their palace will come to this realization sooner or later.”
Erdogan continued saying, “When those who were able to survive piled in there, I hope they would not ask for help from us. You are hosting 7 terrorists there but have you ever asked Turkey, who is hosting 3.5 million Syrians, if you can help? How many refugees have you hosted in France, tell me?”
Erdogan also reacted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek on Friday for his recent remarks on an a potential financial crisis hitting Turkey, warning Turkish citizens in exercising caution in taking loans.
Erdogan said ''Some of our friends are deceived by the game being played by international credit rating agencies to prevent global wealth flowing into Turkey.'' The Turkish President noted that he is “sorry to hear such remarks” adding that “this is not something can be forgiven.” Source
France ramps up criticism of Turkey’s Afrin operation
13 March 2018
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear Afrin of fighters from the mostly Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has been in armed conflict with Turkish armed forces for decades.
The intervention was not welcomed by Turkey’s NATO allies in France and the United States, which have armed and collaborated with the YPG and its political wing the Democratic Union Party (PYD), particularly in the fight against the Islamic State.
“While concerns over border security are legitimate... at the same time ... It must be said that it absolutely does not justify the deep incursion of Turkish troops in the Afrin zone,” Reuters quoted Le Drian as saying.
“The main reason for our determination on this subject is that we have a very old relationship with the Kurds and we recognize the vital role they played in retaking Raqqa,” he added, referring to the Syrian city that had been the Islamic State’s capital until it was captured by an international force spearheaded by Kurdish fighters in 2017. Source
Turkey says France ‘mischaracterized’ presidential phone call over Syria
Macron tells Erdoğan that Syria cease-fire applies to Afrin as well