Europe should react to US sanctions targeting Turkey, China, Russia: German FM

Germany’s foreign minister on Aug. 27 criticized U.S. President Donald Trump for imposing sanctions against trade partners like Turkey, China and Russia.

Heiko MaasSpeaking at the annual Ambassadors’ Conference in Berlin, Heiko Maas vowed to take measures to protect European firms from such unilateral sanctions.

“Washington’s sanctions policy forces us Europeans to formulate a response. Because it is affecting us, Germany and Europe, when the U.S. abruptly and unilaterally imposing often unspecified sanctions against Russia, China, Turkey and maybe in the future against our other important trading partners,” he stressed.

Maas argued that the European Union member states should take joint steps against the U.S. dominance in global finance, and proposed a European alternative to the U.S.-dominated SWIFT payment system.

“We have to further strengthen the autonomy and sovereignty of Europe in the fields of trade, economy and finance policies,” he stressed.

“It’s not going to be easy but we have already started working on it. We are working on proposals to establish independent payment channels and creating a European Monetary Fund,” he added.

Maas is scheduled to visit Turkey next month to discuss bilateral ties and regional issues.

During his two-day visit on Sept. 5-6, Heiko Maas is expected to meet his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and other senior officials in the capital Ankara.

Later the two top diplomats will travel to Istanbul for a celebration at the city’s German School marking its 150th anniversary.

Maas’ trip to Turkey comes ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s key visit to Germany on Sept. 28-29.

Over the past two years political relations between Ankara and Berlin have suffered setbacks, but in recent months both sides have taken steps towards improving ties.

EU heavyweight Germany remains Turkey’s main economic and trade partner, despite political disagreements between the governments on a number of issues.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/europe-should-react-to-us-sanctions-targeting-turkey-china-turkey-german-fm-136189

http://english.almanar.com.lb/568742

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Open admission of US guilt!

Do you need further evidence that the “money markets”, transnational bankers and financiers, and the “credit agencies” are in cahoots with the United States Government, and vice versa?

US-Turkey crisis could end “instantly” if pastor freed: Bolton

Turkey could end the crisis with the United States “instantly” by freeing a detained American pastor, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser said, adding that a Qatari cash infusion would not help Ankara’s economy.

John Bolton

Do you REALLY want me to say that, Don?

“Look, the Turkish government made a big mistake in not releasing Pastor Brunson,” Bolton told Reuters in an interview during a visit to Israel.

“Every day that goes by that mistake continues, this crisis could be over instantly if they did the right thing as a NATO ally, part of the West, and release pastor Brunson without condition.”

Qatar’s Emir this month approved a package of economic projects, including a $15 billion pledge of support, for Turkey, giving a boost to a lira that has lost some 37 percent of its value this year.

Bolton was skeptical about the intervention by the Gulf state, which has been feuding with U.S. allies in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

“Well, I think what they pledged is utterly insufficient to have an impact on Turkey’s economy. It’s certainly not helpful but we’ll actually see what develops from their pledge,” he said.

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So, either the US Government ordered the financiers to punish Turkey, or more likely, the financiers ordered the government. And it’s not just Turkey! In the past, however, the US would deny responsibility, and blame the target country’s inefficient management etc – which, of course, they are still trying to do. The importance of Turkey for the world, in terms of democracy and national sovereignty, is that they are forcing out into the open what the United States is doing – and has been doing for decades!

It is also clear that the US Government does not want the Brunson case to come to court in Turkey. Why not? Are they afraid that his connections with the CIA will become public knowledge?

And furthermore, the Trump administration seems to be calling for Turkey’s government to interfere in the judicial process. Isn’t that one of the things that Turkey is being criticised for?

_________________________________

Bolton remarks proof US targeting Turkey in economic war

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s spokesperson said on Aug. 22 remarks by the U.S. National Security Adviser regarding Turkey’s economic situation were proof that the U.S. administration is targeting a NATO ally as part of an economic war.

İbrahim Kalın

Turkey’s presidential spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın

In a written statement responding to an interview whichJohnBoltongave to Reuters, [the presidential] spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said the U.S. administration’s most recent policies were at odds with the fundamental principles and values of the NATO alliance.

Turkey and the United States are embroiled in a deep dispute focused on a U.S. pastor, Andrew Brunson, being tried on terrorism charges in Turkey. The row has fuelled a slide in the lira, which has lost more than a third of its value against the dollar this year.

“The Trump administration has … established that it intends to use trade, tariffs and sanctions to start a global trade war,” he said, pointing to similar disputes with Mexico, Canada, Europe and China.

“Turkey has no intention of starting an economic war with any party. It cannot, however, be expected to keep silent in the face of attacks against its economy and judiciary,” he said.

Kalın said Turkey would work with the rest of the world against restrictive and punitive measures.

“The U.S. administration’s most recent policies are at odds with the fundamental principles and values of the NATO alliance,” he added.

________________________________

This opinion piece by Murat Yetkin makes some important points:

Is it OK for the West if there is a coup in Turkey?

[O]n Aug. 22, Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton told Reuters in Jerusalem “the Turkish government made a big mistake in not releasing Brunson” and “this crisis could be over instantly if they did the right thing as a NATO ally, part of the West and release the pastor without condition.”

This is arrogant and vague language, which could be used against an enemy or a rival but not an “ally.” What kind of a deal Bolton is talking about is also unclear. If “the government,” not the court would release Brunson, does Bolton mean all subjects of crisis, from Gülen to the U.S. support of PKK offshoots in Syria, would be over “instantly”?

The U.S. and NATO have turned a blind eye on the coups inTurkeyin 1960, 1971 and 1980; [or] have supported and shed crocodile tears as long asTurkey served Western military interests. That was the Cold War. It is no excuse, but the U.S. priority then was to be against the Soviet Union, which has now been succeeded by the Russian Federation.

Is this hypocrisy still valid? Is it OK for the West if there is a coup in Turkey, as long as it serves their military interests?

The Final Demise of Dollar Hegemony? — Covert Geopolitics

Sanctions left and sanctions right. Financial mostly, taxes, tariffs, visas, travel bans – confiscation of foreign assets, import and export prohibitions and limitations; and also punishing those who do not respect sanctions dished out by Trump, alias the US of A, against friends of their enemies. The absurdity seems endless and escalating – exponentially, as […]

via The Final Demise of Dollar Hegemony? — Covert Geopolitics

Turkish envoy slams op-ed calling for NATO dismissal

Turkish Ambassador to the U.S. Serdar Kılıç responded on Aug. 19 to an op-ed piece that he said it was aimed to undermine the Turkish contributions to the NATO alliance.

The Wall Street Journal’s piece penned by Bernard-Henri Levy, a French media personality and intellectual, argued that NATO should “give Turkey the boot.”

serdar kılıç

Turkey’s ambassador to the USA, Serdar Kılıç

The Turkish envoy criticized Levy for falsely claiming the unreliability of Turkey as a NATO ally and ignoring the country’s history of contributions to the strategic organization.

“Turkey has been a proud and indispensable ally for over 60 years: as a front-line combatant against ISIS [Daesh] and other religious extremists, guardian of NATO’s southern flank and home to the alliance’s second-largest armed forces,” Kılıç said.

“Mr. Levy accuses Turkey of spreading Islamist extremism and fomenting violence in Syria, but the opposite is true,” he wrote.

Kılıç said that Turkey provided a safe haven for nearly 4 million Syrians fleeing the war, where they “live free from terror and have access to homes, schools and health-care facilities established by our government.”

Levy’s claim that Turkey was an “illiberal state” was also retorted by Kılıç who said the Turkish elections in June were democratic and monitored by the international community.

“The numbers tell the story: An amazing 86.2% of eligible voters went to the polls to cast their votes in an election that was the most monitored by international observers in recent history,” Kılıç added.

Highlighting the geopolitical importance of Turkey, Kılıç said the country ensured a global security at a time of unprecedented challenges facing the alliance.

“Turkey’s İncirlik air base also hosts a crucial staging ground for the international coalition to defeat ISIS. Located 60 miles [96 kilometers] from the Syrian border, the base’s proximity to the front lines allows coalition strike missions to stay in the air longer without refueling and to react more quickly.

“That saves American and coalition lives. Incirlik is playing a vital role in staging operations that have put our enemies on the run,” Kılıç added.

“We stand by our NATO allies during this challenging time and proudly stand on guard at the front lines to face future threats to our collective security, and expect nothing less from our allies,” Kılıç said.

Source

And by the way . . . Who is Bernard-Henri Lévy? Source

“Lévy was born in 1948 in Béni Saf, French Algeria, to an affluent Algerian Jewish family. His family moved to Paris a few months after his birth. His father, André Lévy, was the founder and manager of a timber company, Becob, and became a multimillionaire from his business.

Returning to Paris, Lévy became known as a founder of the New Philosophers (Nouveaux Philosophes) school. This was a group of young intellectuals who were disenchanted with communist and socialist responses to the near-revolutionary upheavals in France of May 1968, and who developed an uncompromising moral critique of Marxist and socialist dogmas.

[R]ecently, Lévy was publicly embarrassed when his essay De la guerre en philosophie (2010) cited the writings of French “philosopher” Jean-Baptiste Botul. Botul’s writings are actually well-known spoofs,

[In 2018, his fortune is estimated to be around $1.25 billion] his fortune comes essentially from the inheritance of his parents, then completed by stock exchange investments (he was in 2000 suspected of insider trading by the Commission des opérations de bourse).”

A media personality, philosopher and intellectual – Nice work, if you can get it! I wonder where he stands on the question of French genocide in Algeria?

S&P, Moody’s lower Turkey’s ratings

Given that they were dishing out high ratings to all and sundry right up to the 2008 crash – and were judged to have been accomplices before the fact – you might want to ask how much their “ratings” can be trusted . . .

credit agencies

Would you buy a used car from these guys?

Two major global ratings agencies lowered Turkey’s ratings Aug. 17, saying they could be upgraded with certain economic improvements.

Standard & Poor’s said it lowered the country’s long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to ‘B ‘ from ‘BB-‘ while maintaining the outlook at stable.

The agency also said it affirmed the short-term foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Turkey at ‘B’.

“We could consider an upgrade if the government successfully devises and implements a credible economic adjustment program that bolsters confidence, stabilizes balance-of-payments flows and brings inflation under control,” the agency said in a statement.

Source

The Cyprus Issue – Searching for the truth

Turkey has been suffering international condemnation for nearly fifty years for its military intervention in Cyprus back in 1974. The island was granted independence from Britain in 1960, with a constitution recognising the rights of both Greek and Turkish communities. The Greeks, however, were determined to unite with mainland Greece. When the Greek military junta in Athens implemented a coup d’état on the island in July 1974, the Turkish government asked for United Nations and British intervention (as provided for under the constitution). When both failed to get involved, Turkey’s government acted unilaterally (again, as allowed for in the constitution) and sent a military force that established a separate Turkish enclave in the north.

eu-and-u-s-world-champion-in-hypocrisy-750x400As far as Turkey is concerned, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was a political necessity as a result of illegal interference by the government of Greece. Ideally, they would like to see an independent united island, as provided for by the 1960 constitution, and as proposed by several United Nations initiatives – the latter always vetoed by the Greek community.

Despite the foregoing, the European Union and other Western governments have constantly put pressure on Turkey to withdraw, and insist on supporting the Greek position.

This article appeared in our English language news site the other day. I haven’t been able to check the quoted source because it is a Greek language newspaper based in Cyprus. If anyone can help with that I’ll be grateful.

10 Turks ordered to be killed for each Greek during Cyprus violence: Report

A Greek Cypriot newspaper published new documents about the violent years that led to the division of the Mediterranean island some five decades ago, including an instruction on Greek Cypriot security forces ordering that “10 Turks shall be killed for each Hellen.” 

Daily Politis’ article series titled “Cyprus: Crimes that went unpunished” reported on Aug. 7 cyprusthat two Greek officers and a Greek Cypriot policeman were killed in Magosa on May 11, 1964 at a time when tensions ran high amid the Greek attempt to unify the island with Greece, known as Enosis. One of the slain was Costakis Pandelidis, the son of the Greek Cypriot police director in Nicosia.

According to the report, Greek Cypriot security forces were then instructed that “10 Turks shall be killed for each Hellen” as retribution. The following day, 17 Turks were kidnapped and executed by a firing squad in Famagusta. 

The killings, which are considered by Turkish Cypriots as ethnic cleansing, continued on May 13 when 11 Turkish Cypriot workers were kidnapped and killed near Paralimni Lake. Their remains were found in 2006, the report added.

The newspaper reported there were many other atrocities committed by the Greek Cypriot side and that had gone unpunished in the following decade. For instance, 126 Turks, most of them women, children and elderly, were killed and buried in mass graves in Muratağa and Sandallar villages on Aug. 14, 1974.

“Most of the killers were EOKA militants but there were also some Greek Cypriot neighbors of the Turkish victims among them,” the report said.

The newspaper also gave other examples from Greek atrocities, including the raping of Turkish women, the plundering of Turkish villages and horrific murders, such as the death of Muratağa village’s Turkish coffeeshop owner Mustafa Kukudi, who was killed by quartering of his body on Aug. 10, 1974.

Politis drew the ire of the Greek Cypriot administration because of the latest article series, which continued with a new episode on Aug. 8. The newspaper, as well as its reporters, reportedly received death threats this week.

tarihi_olaylar_kibris-jpg_45921048_1451760999

Turkey’s “Peace Operation” 1974

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island’s Turks and Ankara’s intervention as a guarantor power.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was declared on Nov. 15, 1983. It is currently recognized only by Turkey as an independent state.

The United Nations has sought a peace deal to unite Cyprus under a federal umbrella that could also define the future of Europe’s relations with Turkey.

The latest attempt to reunify the long-divided Mediterranean island ended in failure in July 2017 after two years of negotiations.

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Well, it’s an issue that’s been bubbling away on the international scene for many years now, emerging from time to time as a major issue from time to time, such as when the EU want to justify their constant refusal to accept Turkey into their exclusive club.

I always thought this business was another manifestation of the general anti-Turkey obsession in the West. However, another news item caught my eye the other day that made me think again. Why is the Western First World so determined to support mainland Greece’s annexation of an island so far from its own shores; an island with no connection to “Greece” at all since it was seized from the Byzantine Empire by England’s crusading King Richard I in 1191?

Now I learn that the “Greek” republic of Cyprus is an important tax haven and provider of money-laundering services to the rich and powerful in those self-righteous Western “democracies”. Paul Manafort, former chairman of Donald Trump’s election campaign, is on trial in the United States on a wide range of corruption charges. And I thought to myself, “Aha! So that’s what it’s all about!”

Ex-Manafort Aide Rick Gates Describes Funneling Millions Through Bank Accounts in Cyprus

manafort trump

Thumbs up for money-laundering, tax evasion and general corruption

(ALEXANDRIA, Va.) —Paul Manafort’s longtime deputy told jurors Tuesday how he spent years disguising millions of dollars in foreign income as loans to lower the former Trump campaign chairman’s tax bill. 

Rick Gates, the government’s star witness, recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS.

“In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts,” Gates said during his second day of testimony in the financial fraud trial of his former boss.

Prosecutors summoned Gates, described by witnesses as Manafort’s “right-hand man,” to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates also provided the first witness testimony that overlaps with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Source 

Manafort lawyer: ‘So many lies’ Gates can’t keep up

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — In blistering and aggressive questioning aimed at undermining the credibility of the government’s star witness, a defense lawyer accused the protege of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being immersed in “so many lies” he can’t remember them all and demanded to know how a jury could possibly trust him.

170414-mak-cyprus-money-laundering-tease_ndrxfw

We’re squeaky clean – it’s Turkey that’s guilty!

Defense lawyer Kevin Downing began his cross-examination of longtime Manafort deputy Rick Gates by confronting him on his own lies to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, an extramarital affair and hundreds of thousands of dollars he admitted to embezzling from his former boss. 

Prosecutors had braced for the tough questioning by getting Gates to come clean about his own crimes. He told jurors how he disguised millions of dollars in foreign income as loans in order to lower Manafort’s tax bill. Gates recounted how he and Manafort used more than a dozen offshore shell companies and bank accounts in Cyprus to funnel the money, all while concealing the accounts and the income from the IRS. 

Prosecutors summoned Gates to give jurors the first-hand account of a co-conspirator they say helped Manafort carry out an elaborate offshore tax-evasion and bank fraud scheme. Gates testified that he and Manafort knew they were committing crimes for years, saying they had stashed money in foreign bank accounts and falsified bank loan documents.

“In Cyprus, they were documented as loans. In reality, it was basically money moving between accounts,” Gates said.

Source

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The Cyprus business used to be about controlling the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. Now, it’s about controlling the world!

Footprints of the Banking Conspiracy

proofIf you need evidence that transnational finance demons use their money power to control the world, read on:

International credit rating agency Standard and Poor has downgraded Turkey’s “sovereign debt rating” from BB/B to BB/B-, sending a loud, clear message to finance moguls of the world to stop lending the country money.

The action is a little surprising given that S&P reviews its ratings at regular intervals, and this is an unscheduled one-off move.  On the other hand, it may not be so surprising, considering the fact that Turkey’s much-criticised president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has chosen to put his own credibility and that of his governing party on the line by calling an early general election on 24 June.

It is no secret that Mr Erdoğan has seriously upset just about everyone in the corridors and hidey holes of global power since his newly-formed AK Party swept into power out of the political blue in 2003. He and his team put a stop to Turkey’s chronic triple-digit inflation almost overnight. They managed to keep their country out of George Dubya Bush’s dishonest and disastrous invasion of Iraq despite strong US pressure to add Muslim credibility to their Christian crusade. Mr Erdoğan has repeatedly called out the United States, Israel and European big-wheels for their shameless aggression and hypocrisy. In spite of all the chaos in neighbouring countries, Mr Erdoğan’s government has transformed Turkey from an economic basket-case to one of the world’s growing power-houses, where, as even nay-sayers have to admit, most of the people are now in the middle-income rather than the dirt-poor bracket.

grasping bankersWhile serving as mayor of Istanbul back in the 1990s, Mr Erdoğan was actually convicted and jailed by Turkey’s financial-military elite, allegedly for his radical Islamist agenda. Since his party became the government they have had fifteen years to drag the country back to a mythical nightmare past of fundamentalist Shariah law – and have not yet done so. On the contrary, alcohol is freely consumed in public parks and street cafes even during the fasting month of Ramazan, and the range of available alcoholic beverages, local and imported, has broadened remarkably. Other Muslim countries and even non-Muslim South America are avid consumers of Turkish TV series showcasing life in contemporary Turkey.

In spite of a record that would see leaders of less fortunate countries lionised, beatified, or even deified, Mr Erdoğan has had to deal with a relentless barrage of criticism and worse from a significant minority of his own fellow citizens. In the early years he was successful in pulling the teeth of Turkey’s virtually omnipotent military which had overthrown four democratically elected governments from 1960 to 1997. In doing so he enlisted the assistance of Fethullah Gülen’s Hizmet organisation, whose tentacles had extended into every area of government. Possibly the Gülenists were disappointed at not being sufficiently rewarded for their cooperation, because subsequently they turned against Erdoğan and threw their weight behind the forces seeking to oust him.

cause of warThe climax of their efforts was an attempted military coup on 15 July 2016, whose success many of AK Party’s vociferously “democratic” opponents would somewhat perversely have welcomed. Not surprisingly, there has been an ongoing state of emergency and a roundup of suspects involved in the failed coup. Call it a witch hunt if you will – but France lived in a state of emergency for two years with much less justification; and security measures within Turkey are remarkably low-key and minimally disruptive of everyday life. I am more nervous at airports in New Zealand, Australia and the USA than on the streets of Istanbul – despite the warnings I regularly receive from my embassy in Ankara to avoid this city.

So why have S&Ps downgraded Turkey’s credit rating to virtual junk status? Well, first of all we should consider just how much credibility Messrs Standard and Poor really have in terms of evaluating risky investments. There is powerful evidence to indicate that they and other “reputable” credit rating agencies played a major role in the global financial crisis of 2007-08.

According to Wikipedia: “Credit ratings of AAA (the highest rating available) were given to large portions of even the riskiest pools of loans in the collateralized debt obligation (CDO) market. When the real estate bubble burst in 2007, many loans went bad due to falling housing prices and the inability of bad creditors to refinance. Investors who had trusted the AAA rating to mean that CDO were low-risk had purchased large amounts that later experienced staggering drops in value or could not be sold at any price. For example, institutional investors lost $125 million on $340.7 million worth of CDOs issued by Credit Suisse Group, despite being rated AAA by S&P.

credit ratersCompanies pay S&P, Moody’s and Fitch to rate their debt issues. As a result, some critics have contended that the credit ratings agencies are beholden to these issuers and that their ratings are not as objective as they ought to be, due to this ‘pay to play’ model.

In 2015, Standard and Poor’s paid $1.5 billion to the U.S. Justice Department, various state governments, and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System to settle lawsuits asserting its inaccurate ratings defrauded investors.”

So maybe Mr Erdoğan and his people have fallen behind in the payment of their protection money. Or maybe (more likely, in my opinion) there is something far more sinister going on.

The S&P mafia claim: “The downgrade reflects our concerns over a deteriorating inflation outlook and the long-term depreciation and volatility of Turkey’s exchange rate. The rating action also reflects our concerns over Turkey’s deteriorating external position and rising distress in the externally leveraged private sector.”

henry fordThe exchange rate of the Turkish Lira is indeed dropping against the $US, the Euro and £ sterling – none of which feature among the list of growing economies in the world; and what growth they do have is largely attributable to consumer spending and real estate prices. And of course, it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: downgrade a country’s credit rating and their currency will lose value in the “money markets”. When a country’s currency loses value against the $US, imports inevitably become more expensive, pushing up the internal inflation rate.

What is surprising is that, despite the plunging exchange rate of the Turkish Lira, the government has managed to keep internal inflation relatively low and continue economic growth.

Well, one of my readers rightly upbraided me recently for seeming to champion unbridled economic growth on a finite planet (thanks Dr Bramhall), and she was absolutely right. Unfortunately, it is the United States of America that set(s) the standard for the rest of the world to follow. They flaunt their lifestyle and inspire others to climb the same dizzying heights of consumer-driven wealth. Does it occur to them that the world’s limited resources will be exhausted long before three billion Chinese and Indians get anywhere near the average US household income?

to big to feelA sad fact of life in today’s world is, if you don’t have a nuclear arsenal (eg Israel, North Korea), the United States will bully you unmercifully. Surely that’s what is behind Zionist Netanyahu’s recent war-mongering publicity stunt against Iran. “There’s only room for one nuclear power in the Middle East – and we’ll obliterate anyone who disagrees.”

I do continue to ride my bicycle to work, recycle our rubbish and take re-usable shopping bags to the supermarket. I fear, however, that I am in a dwindling minority, and I don’t hold out much hope for the long-term future of Planet Earth.