Ralph's Feed
May 9, 2014

About 20 pro-Russia rebels killed in fighting in east Ukraine: minister

KIEV (Reuters) – Ukraine’s interior minister said security forces had killed about 20 pro-Russian rebels in the port city of Mariupol on Friday, in what appeared one of the biggest actions in Kiev’s attempt to end an insurgency in the country’s east.

Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said an attempt by “terrorists” to seize police headquarters turned into a pitched battle inside the building with Ukrainian army, national guard and security forces.

May 9, 2014

Ukraine’s security forces struggle to meet rebellion in east

KIEV, May 9 (Reuters) – The Ukrainian soldiers manning a
checkpoint in the restive east gladly accepted the gifts of food
and drink, a kind thought it seemed by local well-wishers.
Twenty minutes later they had all fallen into a deep sleep,
helpless to resist pro-Russian rebels who bundled them and their
guns into three cars and spirited them away.

Deputy defence minister Ihor Kabanenko deplored the rebels’
“dirty tactics”; but, peculiarly humiliating and unusual as it
may have been, the incident gave some flavour of problems facing
ill-prepared and poorly led security forces.

Apr 3, 2014

Erdogan takes battle with enemies beyond Turkish frontiers

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s battle to root out the “terrorists” he says are embedded in the Turkish state is extending beyond its frontiers to Africa and Asia, further complicating foreign policy already hit by tensions with the Arab world and Western allies.

Last month, parents of the Yavuz Selim school in Kanifing, Gambia, received a letter announcing its immediate closure. A source at the school, run by the Hizmet organization of Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, said the decision had been conveyed to the principal in a one sentence missive.

Mar 31, 2014

Erdogan gets personal in fight to restore grip

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – As Tayyip Erdogan’s campaign bus swept into Izmir, lair of his political enemies, he looked up and saw a woman making what he took to be a rude gesture at him from a balcony. Plainclothes police officers soon came knocking at her door.

Turkey’s prime minister is a man impassioned and irascible, who feels himself under siege by an enemy largely unseen. Critics say his team of confidants has narrowed as he prepares what may prove a visceral struggle to seize back levers of state power he says have been claimed by a covert network of traitors.

Mar 31, 2014

Turkish PM Erdogan tells enemies they will pay price after poll

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in local polls that had become a referendum on his rule and said he would “enter the lair” of enemies who have accused him of corruption and leaked state secrets. “They will pay for this,” he said.

But while Erdogan’s AK Party was well ahead in overall votes after Sunday’s elections, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) appeared close to seizing the capital Ankara.

Mar 30, 2014

Erdogan seeks Turkish voters’ support in fierce power struggle

ISTANBUL/ANKARA, March 30 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan turns to the ballot box that has favoured him over a decade on Sunday in his battle to ward off graft allegations and stem a stream of damaging security leaks he blames on “traitors” embedded in the Turkish state.

The municipal elections have become a crisis referendum on the rule of Erdogan and his Islamist-rooted AK Party and he has been crisscrossing the nation of 77 million during weeks of hectic campaigning to rally his conservative core voters.

Mar 28, 2014

Turkish security breach exposes Erdogan in power struggle

ISTANBUL/ANKARA, March 28 (Reuters) – Turkey’s spymaster
discusses possible military intervention in Syria with army and
civilian chiefs, and days later their words are broadcast on the
internet for all the world to hear.

The breach appeared to highlight a disturbing truth for
Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: that Turkey can no longer keep
even top-level security planning secret, despite his purge of
thousands of officials to root out a covert network of enemies
he accuses of trying to sabotage the state and topple him.

Mar 28, 2014

Turkish security breach exposes Erdogan vulnerability to ex-ally

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s spymaster discusses possible military intervention in Syria with army and civilian chiefs, and days later it all appears on the Internet.

This breach appears to highlight a shocking truth for Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan: that Turkey can no longer keep even top-level security planning secret, despite his purge of thousands of officials to root out a covert network of enemies he accuses of sabotaging the state.

Mar 27, 2014

Ahead of vote, Erdogan paints picture of Turkey besieged by enemies

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – To the adulation of the cheering crowds at his election rallies, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan paints a picture of an “evil alliance” plotting to topple him and break Turkey. In another place, on another day, his chief rival portrays him as a rogue doomed to jail or exile.

Sunday’s local polls have taken on a significance far beyond what anyone could have dreamt before a graft scandal broke around Erdogan with police raids in December. Emerging from the harsh rhetoric of what can now scarcely pass as debate is a vision of two Turkeys that are scarcely compatible.

Mar 23, 2014

Turkish PM Erdogan rallies against ‘terrorist’ rivals

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – With a huge rally on the approach to the Bosphorus waterway, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan will launch a final electoral push on Sunday to stifle rivals he described this weekend as an ‘alliance of evil’ in cahoots with terrorism.

Erdogan, who vowed last week to wipe out Twitter in Turkey for carrying anonymous postings accusing him and associates of corrupt dealings, accused the networking site of “systematic character assassination”. The site remained blocked on Saturday in Turkey, access denied as a “protection measure”.