Erdogan vs. Bolton

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,804
40,315
Ohio
#1
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a blunt put-down Tuesday against White House national security advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkish nonaggression against Kurds who fought against the Islamic State in Syria.

“We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel,” the Turkish president said, adding that Bolton made a “serious mistake,” Reuters reported.


He was referring to statements by the senior Trump administration official,made from Israel over the weekend, promising safety for the U.S.-allied Kurdish militias — who dominate areas in Northern Syria and whom the Turks view as terrorists — in the event of a U.S. military withdrawal.
Crazy world when I'm rooting for John Bolton.

Turkey's Erdogan shuts down White House's Bolton on Syria, says he made a 'serious mistake'

Somebody explain to me again why having Turkey as a NATO state is worth it?
 

Ian Jeffrey

Council Hall
Mar 2013
74,451
43,169
Vulcan, down the street from Darth Vader
#3
IIRC, Turkey was originally a NATO member as it stood in opposition to the USSR and communism post-WWII. The way it is these days, it should probably no longer be a member. On the other hand, it is better to have an unsteady ally than an enemy.
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,804
40,315
Ohio
#5

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
45,063
31,684
Toronto
#6
When Russia "steps up" for someone, is it like accepting a "favor" from someone in the mob? Because I kind of picture that with Russia's military alliances, that it's kind of like a protection racket.
Sure, they pursue own aims and interests, like all the players there. But, don't forget, Soviet Union was the Kurds ORIGINAL ally over there. As I mentioned before, my own grandfather trained them against Turkey, when he was in Red Army special forces many decades ago now. The PKK and YPG are Communists, by ideology, not Western democrats :)
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,804
40,315
Ohio
#7
Sure, they pursue own aims and interests, like all the players there. But, don't forget, Soviet Union was the Kurds ORIGINAL ally over there. As I mentioned before, my own grandfather trained them against Turkey, when he was in Red Army special forces many decades ago now. The PKK and YPG are Communists, by ideology, not Western democrats :)
Interesting.

I know I've said this before, but I hope you realize what a valuable poster you are because of your insight into Russia. :hug:

So isn't Russia's backing of the Kurds in opposition to their alliance with Syria?
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
45,063
31,684
Toronto
#8
Interesting.

I know I've said this before, but I hope you realize what a valuable poster you are because of your insight into Russia. :hug:

So isn't Russia's backing of the Kurds in opposition to their alliance with Syria?
Not necessarily :)

If you look at the course of the whole conflict in Syria, one thing you will notice, is the Kurds have barely, if ever, fought directly against Assad's forces, and certainly not since Russia became involved there. Assad, frankly, has own complex relationship with the Kurds. Yes, they were at times mistreated in Syria. Yet, before he was captured in Turkey where he now seats in jail, the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan had long time sanctuary in Syria, from when to strike into Turkey.

Here, he is with Bashar's dad Hafez Assad's portrait on the wall behind him


Here, gathering of pro-Assad Kurds in Syria

Note image of Öcalan and two Kurdish flags coupled with Hezbollah flag (right) and Assad Syria flag at left.

As far as Russia, also, even aside from Soviet connections; Kurds are not entirely alien there either, btw. In fact, ethnic Kurds have actually been in Russia a long time.

This photo of a Kurdish soldier in the service in the Tsar's army dates back to 1845

I believe most of them, back in those days, moved to Russian Empire (mainly Georgia and southern regions of Russia proper) from Persia/Iran. But I am not too familiar with their history there.

Ironically, the biggest lobby and sources of support the PKK and such had in Russia in modern times, has been... organized crime :D

Until his assassination back in 2013, the so-called Kurdish-Yazidi OPG (Organized Criminal Group, as it goes there), led by Aslan Usoyan, aka "Grandpa Hassan", second from left below, actually became, arguably, the most powerful faction in the Russian mafia, believe it or not

The ethnic Kurds and Yazidis in Russia are a tiny minority, they only number a few tens of thousands of souls, countrywide. Yet, through skillful alliances with Georgian and some Slavic mob factions, they been able to more than make up for own lack of numbers and use the man- and firepower of those other groups to punch waaaay above their weight lol

Usoyan became, in fact, pretty much the number one Vor v Zakone in not just all of Russia, but all of ex-USSR, even the Chairman of the Vory's Council, the ruling body of the mafia

He was sometimes referred to in the media as the "Tsar of the Underworld", no joke...

Some say, he had grown too powerful even for the Kremlin;s liking, which is why he was finally taken out in 2013, right outside a Moscow restaurant he owned and used as his HQ, with a specialized sniper rifle issued only to elite units of the FSB and GRU, btw...

Nonetheless, both under his reign, and even after him, the Kurdish mob in Russia always did what they could to help their brothers in especially Turkey, the PKK. And they can do plenty, they have lots of money and government connections. I have read about them shipping weapons and such over there, with Moscow's blessing.

Grandpa Hassan's grave memorial at Khovanskoe Cemetery in Moscow

The mafia over there always bury their own in style, God knows... lol
 

The Man

Former Staff
Jul 2011
45,063
31,684
Toronto
#9
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the U.S. national-security adviser of making "a very serious mistake" by demanding that Turkey not harm Kurdish fighters in Syria as President Donald Trump plans to withdraw U.S. troops from the war-torn country.

"John Bolton has made a very serious mistake. We cannot make any concessions in this regard," Erdogan said on January 8, just before Bolton left Turkey with tensions between Washington and Ankara at new highs.

Bolton visited Ankara to seek assurances that Turkey won't attack U.S.-allied Kurdish militia in northeastern Syria that Ankara views as terrorists.

He held a two-hour meeting at the presidential complex in Ankara on the morning of January 8 with Ibrahim Kalin, a senior adviser to Erdogan.

A spokesman for the U.S. National Security Council, Garrett Marquis, said in a statement the two sides had identified further issues for dialogue and that the United States looks forward to ongoing military-to-military consultations.

But in what was reported in Turkey as a "snub" over disagreements about Kurdish fighters in Syria, an expected meeting between Bolton and Erdogan did not take place on January 8.

Marquis said U.S. officials were told Erdogan would not meet with Bolton because of local election campaigns in Turkey and because of a speech that the Turkish president was due to give to parliament.

Erdogan later told reporters there was no need for him to meet Bolton.

Just hours after Bolton's visit to the presidential complex in Ankara, Erdogan said in his speech that Turkey's preparations for a new military offensive against terrorist groups in Syria are "to a large extent" complete.

He criticized Bolton over comments suggesting the United States would prevent attacks on Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Erdogan said that "those involved in a terror corridor" in Syria "will receive the necessary punishment."

There also was no immediate word on whether Bolton held an expected meeting with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan.

Bolton said before his visit he would seek assurances that Turkey won't attack Kurdish militia fighters in Syria who are allied with the United States in the fight against Islamic State extremists.

Bolton said that is a "condition" for Trump's planned withdrawal of American forces in northeastern Syria.

Bolton's visit to Ankara parallels a similar trip to the region by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and follows Trump's abrupt announcement that he was ordering 2,000 U.S. troops out of northeastern Syria.

Trump's announcement stunned U.S. allies and led to the resignation of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis.

U.S. officials and others fear that a U.S. pullout could destabilize Syria further and lead to the slaughter of Kurdish militias who have been fighting alongside U.S. forces.

Prior to visiting Turkey, Bolton traveled to Israel, which has also been concerned about a U.S. withdrawal.

In Jerusalem, Bolton walked back Trump's initial announcement, saying instead that the United States wanted to ensure that Islamic State "is defeated and is not able to revive itself and become a threat again."

But he also said Turkey must agree to protect the U.S. Kurdish allies.

In an opinion piece published by The New York Times on January 7, Erdogan warned that the U.S. withdrawal must be planned carefully and carried out with the right partners.

Erdogan said Turkey was the only country "with the power and commitment to perform that task." He also wrote that Turkey was committed to defeating Islamic State and "other terrorist groups" in Syria.

In comments broadcast on January 7 on CNBC, Pompeo said that Erdogan had promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Pompeo this week is visiting eight Arab capitals to discuss Syria, as well as discuss U.S. efforts to contain regional power Iran.

The U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units form the backbone of the opposition Syrian Democratic Forces.

But Turkish authorities say those Syrian Kurdish fighters are linked with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), which is banned in Turkey and has been considered a terrorist group by the United States since 1997.
Erdogan Rejects U.S. Request For Assurances On Kurdish Fighters
 

Blueneck

Former Staff
Jun 2007
53,804
40,315
Ohio
#10
Not necessarily :)

If you look at the course of the whole conflict in Syria, one thing you will notice, is the Kurds have barely, if ever, fought directly against Assad's forces, and certainly not since Russia became involved there. Assad, frankly, has own complex relationship with the Kurds. Yes, they were at times mistreated in Syria. Yet, before he was captured in Turkey where he now seats in jail, the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan had long time sanctuary in Syria, from when to strike into Turkey.

Here, he is with Bashar's dad Hafez Assad's portrait on the wall behind him


Here, gathering of pro-Assad Kurds in Syria

Note image of Öcalan and two Kurdish flags coupled with Hezbollah flag (right) and Assad Syria flag at left.

As far as Russia, also, even aside from Soviet connections; Kurds are not entirely alien there either, btw. In fact, ethnic Kurds have actually been in Russia a long time.

This photo of a Kurdish soldier in the service in the Tsar's army dates back to 1845

I believe most of them, back in those days, moved to Russian Empire (mainly Georgia and southern regions of Russia proper) from Persia/Iran. But I am not too familiar with their history there.

Ironically, the biggest lobby and sources of support the PKK and such had in Russia in modern times, has been... organized crime :D

Until his assassination back in 2013, the so-called Kurdish-Yazidi OPG (Organized Criminal Group, as it goes there), led by Aslan Usoyan, aka "Grandpa Hassan", second from left below, actually became, arguably, the most powerful faction in the Russian mafia, believe it or not

The ethnic Kurds and Yazidis in Russia are a tiny minority, they only number a few tens of thousands of souls, countrywide. Yet, through skillful alliances with Georgian and some Slavic mob factions, they been able to more than make up for own lack of numbers and use the man- and firepower of those other groups to punch waaaay above their weight lol

Usoyan became, in fact, pretty much the number one Vor v Zakone in not just all of Russia, but all of ex-USSR, even the Chairman of the Vory's Council, the ruling body of the mafia

He was sometimes referred to in the media as the "Tsar of the Underworld", no joke...

Some say, he had grown too powerful even for the Kremlin;s liking, which is why he was finally taken out in 2013, right outside a Moscow restaurant he owned and used as his HQ, with a specialized sniper rifle issued only to elite units of the FSB and GRU, btw...

Nonetheless, both under his reign, and even after him, the Kurdish mob in Russia always did what they could to help their brothers in especially Turkey, the PKK. And they can do plenty, they have lots of money and government connections. I have read about them shipping weapons and such over there, with Moscow's blessing.

Grandpa Hassan's grave memorial at Khovanskoe Cemetery in Moscow

The mafia over there always bury their own in style, God knows... lol

I bet they all have every episode of the Sopranos on DVD!