Fox News Brutal Report on Trump’s Syria Move: Clear He’s Not Listening to Mattis or Pompeo Anymore


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Fox News Channel national security correspondent and reporter Jennifer Griffin, reporting on President Donald Trump‘s snap decision to withdraw the United States from the fight against ISIS, noted on Thursday that the commander in chief is apparently no longer listening to his military advisers and experts, including Secretary of Defense Gen. James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The blistering report from Griffin was packed with devastating quotes about the President’s decision, starting with it having been prompted by his caving to pressure from dictatorial Turkish leader and cheerleader for Iran, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “Well, a senior U.S. Defense official tells me the president made the decision to pull out of Syria after speaking with Turkish President Erdogan last Friday, December 14th,” Griffin’s report began bleakly. “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was there at the time and was the first to be told Continue reading "Fox News Brutal Report on Trump’s Syria Move: Clear He’s Not Listening to Mattis or Pompeo Anymore"

Trump Thanks Erdogan for His Help in Release of Detained Pastor Andrew Brunson


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Pastor Andrew Brunson is set to return to the United States soon after being detained in Turkey for two years. President Donald Trump, who tweeted earlier this week that he’s “working very hard” on the matter, celebrated his return on Twitter today, thanking President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and saying there was “NO DEAL” with Turkey:

Trump Goes After Turkey, Announces Doubling of Tariffs: Our Relations ‘Are Not Good!’


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Early in his administration, President Donald Trump was criticized for placing a congratulatory call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan — an authoritarian leader. But now, the relationship appears to have gone sideways. Amid a steep drop in Turkey’s currency, the Lira, the president announced on Twitter Friday that he has given the greenlight to sharply increased tariffs. “I have just authorized a doubling of Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum with respect to Turkey as their currency, the Turkish Lira, slides rapidly downward against our very strong Dollar!” Trump wrote. “Aluminum will now be 20% and Steel 50%. Our relations with Turkey are not good at this time!”

CPJ Presents the Press Oppressors Awards


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A version of this post originally appeared on CPJ’s website. Amid the public discourse of fake news and President Trump’s announcement via Twitter about his planned “fake news” awards ceremony, CPJ is recognizing world leaders who have gone out of their way to attack the press and undermine the norms that support freedom of the media. From an unparalleled fear of their critics and the truth, to a relentless commitment to censorship, these five leaders and the runner-ups in their categories have gone above and beyond to silence critical voices and weaken democracy.

Most Thin-skinned

Winner: President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey
Turkish authorities have repeatedly charged journalists, news outlets, and social media users for insulting Erdoğan, insulting other Turkish leaders, and insulting “Turkishness” in general. Over the course of 2016, the Turkish judicial system handled 46,193 cases of “insulting the president” or “insulting the Turkish nation, the Republic
Continue reading "CPJ Presents the Press Oppressors Awards"

Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million


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Just when you thought it couldn’t get any nuttier. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating an alleged proposal involving ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn forcibly removing a muslim cleric from the United States and returning the cleric to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars.
Under the alleged proposal, Mr. Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., were to be paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to people with knowledge of discussions Mr. Flynn had with Turkish representatives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has pressed the U.S. to extradite him, views the cleric as a political enemy.
Per the WSJ, the FBI has spoken to a number of individuals about a New York City meeting in December 2016 where Flynn and his representatives met with Turkish officials to discuss the removal of Continue reading "Mueller Reportedly Investigating Michael Flynn Plot to Kidnap Cleric For $15 Million"

U.S. Authorities to Charge Turkish Security Guards Over Brutal Attack on Protesters


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2017-05-16-Twitter-Washington_DC_Protest U.S. authorities will reportedly prosecute twelve members of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan‘s security detail over a May 2017 attack on protesters in Washington, D.C. The Turkish bodyguards assaulted the demonstrators shortly after President Erdoğan arrived at his ambassador’s residence in the U.S. capital. Journalists from Voice of America caught the world leader looking on as his security guards assaulted people in the crowd. The New York Times revealed in a Wednesday report that “law enforcement officials plan to announce charges Thursday,” and cited anonymous officials who knew about the upcoming legal move. Earlier in the day, Reuters spotlighted that two other individuals — Sinan Narin of Virginia and Eyup Yildirim of New Jersey — have also been charged in the May 2017 incident. The pair “face a variety of assault charges,” and the latter is “awaiting extradition from New Jersey.” The Times article also Continue reading "U.S. Authorities to Charge Turkish Security Guards Over Brutal Attack on Protesters"

Turkey Issues Arrest Warrant For NBA Player Enes Kanter


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2017-05-22-CBS-CTM-Enes_Kanter The government of Turkey is seeking the arrest of Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter for his supposed involvement in a “terror group.” Agence France-Presse (AFP) detailed the legal action against Kanter in a Friday report. A judge in Istanbul signed the warrant on Friday after a “prosecutor opened an investigation into Kanter’s alleged ‘membership of an armed terrorist organisation.'” AFP noted that the professional basketball player “previously backed Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen in Twitter postings after an attempted putsch last July aimed at ousting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” On May 20, Kanter posted a video to Twitter that revealed he had been detained in Romania after the Turkish government revoked his passport. The NBA star was ultimately allowed to return to the United States, and doubled-down on his
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Bipartisan Group in Congress Blasts Turkish Thugs’ Attack on Protesters, Introduce Resolution


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2017-05-16-Twitter-Washington_DC_Protest Four leading members of the House of Representatives introduced a congressional resolution on Wednesday that condemns Turkish security guards’ attack on peaceful protesters in Washington, D.C. on May 16, 2017. Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, introduced the H. Res. 354, along with the ranking member of the committee, Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer joined their two colleagues in sponsoring the resolution. The four congressmen released a joint statement on Wednesday after introducing the proposal, which underlined that “those responsible must face justice.”
…The attack last week against the protesters fell into a pattern of similar behavior by the Erdogan government and sent a dangerous message that this ideology of suppression has a place among the NATO powers, an alliance built to protect democracy and basic rights against those who would impose Continue reading "Bipartisan Group in Congress Blasts Turkish Thugs’ Attack on Protesters, Introduce Resolution"

Turkey Whines About ‘Aggressive’ Actions From D.C. Police After Erdogan Goons Beat Protesters


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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2017-05-16-Twitter-Washington_DC_Protest Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara on Monday over supposedly “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by American law enforcement officers that prevented the bodyguards of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from continuing their assault on protesters in Washington, D.C. The Turkish government’s move came hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized Erdoğan’s security guards for their “simply unacceptable” conduct against demonstrators on May 16, 2017. The State Department had summoned the Turkish ambassador over the incident on Wednesday. The Associated Press spotlighted the diplomatic spat in a Monday report. The foreign ministry of Turkey revealed that “the U.S. ambassador was given a ‘written and verbal protest’ against actions that is said were ‘contrary to diplomatic rules and practices.'” Turkey’s written protest also reportedly “requested that the U.S. authorities conduct ‘a full investigation of this diplomatic incident.'” The police chief in Washington, D.C. Continue reading "Turkey Whines About ‘Aggressive’ Actions From D.C. Police After Erdogan Goons Beat Protesters"

Turkey Whines About ‘Aggressive’ Actions From D.C. Police After Erdogan Goons Beat Protesters


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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2017-05-16-Twitter-Washington_DC_Protest Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador in Ankara on Monday over supposedly “aggressive and unprofessional actions” by American law enforcement officers that prevented the bodyguards of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan from continuing their assault on protesters in Washington, D.C. The Turkish government’s move came hours after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson criticized Erdoğan’s security guards for their “simply unacceptable” conduct against demonstrators on May 16, 2017. The State Department had summoned the Turkish ambassador over the incident on Wednesday. The Associated Press spotlighted the diplomatic spat in a Monday report. The foreign ministry of Turkey revealed that “the U.S. ambassador was given a ‘written and verbal protest’ against actions that is said were ‘contrary to diplomatic rules and practices.'” Turkey’s written protest also reportedly “requested that the U.S. authorities conduct ‘a full investigation of this diplomatic incident.'” The police chief in Washington, D.C. Continue reading "Turkey Whines About ‘Aggressive’ Actions From D.C. Police After Erdogan Goons Beat Protesters"

Tillerson: Turkish Security Beating Protesters ‘Simply Unacceptable’


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This morning on Fox News Sunday, amid all the other big news happening in Washington and around the world, Chris Wallace took a moment to ask Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about any U.S. response to Turkish security beating up protesters. The disturbing clash received some media attention, and as the Washington Free Beacon reported, the response from the Turkish embassy was to blame the protesters despite video evidence not backing up what they’re claiming. And on top of all that, additional footage showed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan just looking on while it happened. The State Department condemned the attack in a statement, but Wallace directly asked Tillerson today, “Are you going to do anything about that?” Tillerson replied, “We did call the ambassador of Turkey into the State Department to discuss what occurred with them and express our view that this is simply Continue reading "Tillerson: Turkish Security Beating Protesters ‘Simply Unacceptable’"

NBA Player Detained in Romania, Says Turkey ‘Canceled My Passport’ Over Political Views


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Oklahoma City Thunder center Enes Kanter is currently being detained in a Romanian airport after what he described as his passport being “canceled” by the Turkish embassy. He is blaming this action over his political views, claiming Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the one who is behind the action. The Turkish athlete had just come into Bucharest from Indonesia as part of a tour for his charitable foundation. According to The Oklahoman, he was planning on visiting at least seven countries before his detainment. In a video he posted to his Twitter account, he likened Erdogan to Hitler, calling him a “bad, bad man” and highlighting the recent controversy involving Erdogan’s bodyguards beating up protesters in Washington. According to ESPN, Kanter has been an outspoken critic of Erdogan and
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Turkey’s Erdogan Looked On as His Security Detail Brutally Attacked Protesters in D.C.


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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Voice of America’s Turkish language service posted new footage on Thursday that shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan looking on as members of his security detail rushed over and assaulted a group of protesters outside his ambassador’s residence in Washington, D.C. (see above).

A Thursday write-up from U.S. News and World Report noted that Erdoğan “sat in the back seat of a vehicle” as the altercation began. He then “exited the vehicle and looked directly toward the melee feet away.”

Conservative website The Daily Caller also covered the newly-released Voice of America (VOA) video on Thursday, and alleged that it “may also show Erdogan relaying orders to a personal bodyguard just moments before his security detail went after the protesters.”

VOA also pointed out in its own Thursday coverage of the ongoing controversy surrounding the violence that “the State Department summoned Turkey’s ambassador after bodyguards and Continue reading "Turkey’s Erdogan Looked On as His Security Detail Brutally Attacked Protesters in D.C."

John McCain Wants Turkish Ambassador Expelled Back to His ‘Third World Country’


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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Senator John McCain issued a blunt condemnation on Thursday regarding the attack on protesters in Washington, D.C. by Turkish security personnel. “We should throw their ambassador the hell out of the United States of America,” McCain said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “This is the United States of America. This isn’t Turkey; this isn’t a third-world country; and this kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically.” Host Joe Scarborough pointed out that “these are thugs linked directly to Erdogan,” and wondered, “What should the White House do at this point in condemning it, and what can you all do in the Senate?” The Arizona Republican repeated his call to “throw the ambassador out,” and underlined that “it should have repercussions, including identifying these people and bringing charges against them. After all, they violated American laws.” On Wednesday, the State Department issued its own statement of “concern” Continue reading "John McCain Wants Turkish Ambassador Expelled Back to His ‘Third World Country’"

State Department Condemns Turkish Security’s Attack on Protesters in D.C.


This post is by Matthew Balan from Mediaite


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2017-05-16-Twitter-Washington_DC_Protest State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement on Wednesday expressing “concern” over a Tuesday incident in Washington, D.C., where members of the security detail for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan assaulted a group of protesters. The spokeswoman disclosed that the Cabinet department would be “communicating our concern to the Turkish government in the strongest possible terms.” Nauert’s condemnation of the attack contrasts with a non-answer from White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who, just minutes earlier, punted on commenting on the issue during a press gaggle on board Air Force One. Spicer merely deferred to the State Department’s statement. Hours earlier, the police chief of Washington, D.C., Peter Newsham, underlined that Continue reading "State Department Condemns Turkish Security’s Attack on Protesters in D.C."

‘I Have a Little Conflict of Interest’: Trump Friendship With Turkey Now Makes a Lot More Sense


This post is by Justin Baragona from Mediaite


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Recently, President Donald Trump came under a bit of fire over his congratulatory phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after winning a referendum that will greatly expand his powers in the country. Outside of weakening Turkey’s parliamentary government while handing more control to one person, election observers claim that voting irregularities bring into question the legitimacy of the election itself. In the wake of his back-patting to Erdogan, some of Trump’s past comments about his business ties to Turkey have come to light, placing his call to the Turkish president into a whole new context. In December 2015, months after Trump announced his candidacy for president, the then-real estate mogul appeared on then-Breitbart News chief Steve Bannon’s radio show and noted that when it came to dealing with Turkey as POTUS, he may have a bit of a problem. “I have a little conflict of interest,” Trump Continue reading "‘I Have a Little Conflict of Interest’: Trump Friendship With Turkey Now Makes a Lot More Sense"

Trump Reportedly Congratulates Turkish President Erdogan After Referendum Passes Expanding His Powers


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donald trump According to multiple reports, President Donald Trump called Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan Monday to congratulate him after the Turkish leader won a referendum which will expand the scope of his powers: Reuters reports that Erdoğan won Sunday’s vote with 51.4 percent coming down in favor of giving Erdoğan more power. The result is being challenged by opposition groups in Turkey, and people have already taken to the streets to protest. A White House readout from the call is expected to be released later today. [images via screengrab] —— Follow Joe DePaolo (@joe_depaolo) on Twitter

Following Failed Coup, Turkey Shuts Down Dozens of News Organizations


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Following the failed military coup to overthrow the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan two weeks ago, dozens of media organizations in the country, including 45 newspapers and 16 TV stations, were shut down, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported. Erdoğan had promised that those responsible for the coup would “pay a heavy price for their treason.”  His government has been criticized for its socially conservative, more strictly Islamist, and authoritarian policies — including a campaign of imprisoning journalists. In addition, nearly 1700 military officers have been discharged, according to the AP. — Sam Reisman (@thericeman) is a staff editor at Mediaite.

Trump: U.S. Doesn’t Have Right to ‘Lecture’ Turkey For Jailing Thousands of Dissidents


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trump-8-1In an interview with The New York Times, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that if elected president, he would not pressure the Turkish government to stop curtailing the civil liberties of its citizens. “[Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan] put nearly 50,000 people in jail or suspend them, suspended thousands of teachers, he imprisoned many in the military and the police, he dismissed a lot of the judiciary. Does this worry you?” asked The Times. Evidently not. “I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country,” Trump responded. Trump cited the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore and other civil unrest. “When the world looks at how bad the Continue reading "Trump: U.S. Doesn’t Have Right to ‘Lecture’ Turkey For Jailing Thousands of Dissidents"

Trump Says He Wouldn’t Automatically Rush to Aid NATO Allies Threatened by Russia


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Donald_Trump_by_Gage_Skidmore_2Donald Trump gave a new interview to The New York Times today in which he said a couple of pretty unbelievable things about his outlook on the rest of the world. First, Trump completely rejected the idea that the United States should “lecture” other nations like Turkey about civil liberties “when people are shooting policemen in cold blood?” Yes, Trump is arguing that we need to “fix our own mess” before the United States can be a leader in the world to other nations about human rights abuses. And then there’s the fact that, despite longstanding agreements, he wouldn’t automatically take action if a NATO member is threatened by Russia:
For example, asked about Russia’s threatening activities that have unnerved the small Baltic States that are the most recent entrants into NATO, Mr. Trump said that if Russia attacked them, he would decide whether to come to their aid Continue reading "Trump Says He Wouldn’t Automatically Rush to Aid NATO Allies Threatened by Russia"