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Thread: A Mediterranean Battlefield - Syria

  1. #11

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    Cyprus Center of Zionist Storm, Massive Israeli Arms Seizure Explosion and Israeli Drilling Provocation

    1009
    2011[Is gas drilling uproar a "red herring" to distract from potential revolution over Evangelos Florakis naval base investigation (SEE: Violent Protests In Cyprus Over Naval Base Explosion )?]
    Mari inquiry: Christofias not to blame in the least

    Published on September 6, 2011


    President Christofias arrives at yesterday’s hearing


    TENSIONS rose during President Demetris Christofias’ testimony at the Mari inquiry yesterday after he offloaded all blame for the blast on his subordinates, claiming no one told him of the risks involved in storing the deadly munitions cargo.
    Some of the relatives of the 13 men killed in the July 11 explosion shouted “murderer” at Christofias as he made to leave the packed hall where the inquiry is being held.
    Police intervened to protect the President, threatening the son of one of the dead naval officer’s with arrest. It was only the intervention of investigator Polys Polyviou that stopped the situation from escalating further.
    The relatives had been angered by Christofias’ total denial of any responsibility for the debacle during his questioning.
    “No one told me of the risks,” Christofias told the inquiry. “No I do not accept (personal responsibility), with all due respect.” He said the incident was the result of a “systems failure”.
    Christofias was being quizzed by investigator Polys Polyviou on the events that led to the explosion of munitions seized in 2009 from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria, which not only claimed 13 lives but incapacitated the island’s main power station.
    It was the first time in the history of the Republic that an incumbent president appeared before a public inquiry.
    The President started his testimony by reading from a prepared 13-page document, in which he outlined the pressures Cyprus was under to confiscate the cargo, and the reaction from Syria which wanted the ship to be allowed to sail to its destination.
    He then spoke of the issue of storing and handling the deadly cargo, the responsibility of which was assigned to the National Guard.
    “It is clear in my perception that the whole incident constitutes a failure of the system,” Christofias said. “A failure of the operational and systemic procedures built through the decades on the bases of expediencies, beyond the principles of meritocracy and just administration.”
    The president said he had not been briefed of the outcome of a February 7, 2011 meeting, which discussed the possibility of destroying the cargo, neither was he informed about a meeting that took place a week before the blast “after the great risk was identified.”
    The President said neither was he informed about a request by the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on Iran to send a delegation to Cyprus to inspect the cargo, which was stalled by the foreign ministry.
    In a cabinet meeting that took place on July 11, after the blast, Christofias said: “I had told my cabinet … the President felt like a cheated husband, who was the last to know.”
    He added that “everyone had underestimated the dangers”, and referred to a comment made by former Defence Minister Costas Papacostas at the time that the cargo was safe enough to store in a residential area.
    Christofias also denied it was him who decided where to put the munitions, adding that he had never visited the Evangelos Florakis naval base at Mari, which neighbours the Vassilikos power station, before the blast.
    “If I knew the proximity to the power station I would not have accepted them being stored there,” Christofias said.
    “The head of the National Guard (army) told us that gunpowder wouldn’t explode … we later (post explosion) discovered nitroglycerine was mixed in with the gunpowder.”
    The containers had been stacked together forming one huge block that was exposed to the elements for over two years.
    Asked by Polyviou if he agreed that the foreign and defence ministers and the National Guard commander had responsibility, the President said “certainly. They have all assumed their responsibility and have resigned.”
    Polyviou then put it to Christofias that it is an oxymoron for them to be responsible while their superior was not.
    “How can he be responsible if he did not know,” Christofias said, referring to himself.
    Polyviou said: “Either you knew and you did not take measures or you did not know because you did not ask; thus, either based on knowing and lack of decisions or based on not knowing and lack of decisions, one could claim that the President is left seriously exposed.”
    Christofias said anyone could claim that. “Some want my head on a platter, but nobody spoke to me about the serious risks of this cargo and therefore they cannot attempt to offload (responsibility) onto the President of the Republic.”
    He added that in the instances when he was informed of the matter “no one had spoken to me of serious dangers. Other people’s handling cannot burden the President.”
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  2. #12

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    Russia will send two nuclear-powered submarines to protect the island’s right to exploration

    1109
    2011“Russia will send two nuclear-powered submarines to protect the island’s right to exploration in its maritime zone.”
    Crisis in the Mediterranean

    Hurriyet Daily News
    ROBERT ELLIS

    History has a habit of repeating itself, also in Cyprus. In 1964 escalating hostilities between the two communities led to the threat of war between Greece and Turkey. Both the United States and the Soviet Union were aware that they faced the most dangerous confrontation since the Cuban missile crisis the year before, but disaster was finally averted.
    Now Greek Cyprus faces a new confrontation with Turkey, but this time with American, Russian, Greek and Israeli support. In 2007 the Republic of Cyprus concluded agreements with Egypt and Lebanon delineating their respective maritime boundaries and exclusive economic zones, and last year a similar agreement was concluded with Israel.
    The bone of contention between Turkey and Greek Cyprus concerns the latter’s sovereign right, based on the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea, to carry out exploration and drill for hydrocarbons in its exclusive economic zone. Turkey, which is not among the 162 states which have signed the convention, claims that it has rights in an area which runs from its southern coast to the northern coast of Egypt.
    In November 2008 Norwegian exploration vessels were harassed by Turkish warships off the southern coast of Cyprus, which caused the country to block the opening of the energy chapter in Turkey’s accession talks. Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou accused Turkey of behaving “like the neighborhood bully,” and Turkey’s chief EU negotiator, Egemen Bağış, in turn said that “a small sunshine member state” was obstructing Europe’s energy needs.
    Three years ago a U.S. company, Noble Energy, received a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, and accordingly plans to begin drilling for natural gas on Oct. 1. Last month Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu stated that Turkey would show “the appropriate reaction” if any further step is taken; meanwhile, an appeal to the United States to take action has been rebuffed.
    Greek Cyprus has received support both from Russia and Israel and according to a recent report Russia will send two nuclear-powered submarines to protect the island’s right to exploration in its maritime zone. It is also reported that the Turkish navy and air force are planning exercises in the area beginning Sept. 15.
    The Republic of Cyprus now has its back to the wall. With regard to the ongoing reunification talks, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has told the two leaders, Dimitris Christofias and Derviş Eroğlu, to reach convergence on all core issues by the end of October. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has also made it clear that if a settlement is not reached by 2012, Turkey will consider “different alternatives.”
    On July 11 another bombshell was dropped, almost literally. Some 98 containers of Iranian munitions, confiscated from a Cypriot-flagged Russian freighter on its way to Syria at the end of January 2009 and then stored in an open field, exploded. The explosion not only destroyed the nearby Vassiliko power station, which provided more than half Greek Cyprus’ energy, but also the Greek Cypriots’ confidence in their president.
    A classified report leaked to the Greek Cypriot daily Simerini reveals that the government had received offers of help to dispose of the cargo from the U.S., Britain, France and Germany but refused. Instead, at a meeting between Christofias and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September 2009, Christofias had assured Assad that the cargo would remain in Cyprus until it could be returned to either Syria or Iran.
    According to a cable from the U.S. ambassador in Cyprus, since the election of Christofias in 2008, “we have witnessed an ideologically-motivated attempt to turn back the clock to the heydays of the nonaligned movement. He has publicly praised Fidel Castro, welcomed a new Venezuelan Embassy to Nicosia, lauded Iran, and vilified NATO and the Partnership for Peace.”
    Next July the Republic of Cyprus will take over the EU term presidency, so it would be unfortunate if the island once again becomes the scene of a Cold War-style confrontation.
    *Robert Ellis is advisor to the Turkey Assessment Group in the European Parliament.





    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  3. #13

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    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  4. #14

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    Certainly Greece has been buying up very big in the war toy department and this is pissing off many in Greece who are currently being sacrificed to satiate the insatiable bankers for workers blood. A fight between Turkey and Greece will put NATO in an interesting position given they are both members.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magda Hassan View Post
    Certainly Greece has been buying up very big in the war toy department and this is pissing off many in Greece who are currently being sacrificed to satiate the insatiable bankers for workers blood. A fight between Turkey and Greece will put NATO in an interesting position given they are both members.
    Magda - agreed.

    However, I am also seeing echoes of the elite exploitation of ancient ethnic tensions that we witnessed in the destruction of the former Yugoslavia.

    The only winners in any war between Greeks and Turks will be the military-multinational-intelligence complex.
    "It means this War was never political at all, the politics was all theatre, all just to keep the people distracted...."
    "Proverbs for Paranoids 4: You hide, They seek."
    "They are in Love. Fuck the War."

    Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon

    "Ccollanan Pachacamac ricuy auccacunac yahuarniy hichascancuta."
    The last words of the last Inka, Tupac Amaru, led to the gallows by men of god & dogs of war

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    A classified report leaked to the Greek Cypriot daily Simerini reveals that the government had received offers of help to dispose of the cargo from the U.S., Britain, France and Germany but refused. Instead, at a meeting between Christofias and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in September 2009, Christofias had assured Assad that the cargo would remain in Cyprus until it could be returned to either Syria or Iran.
    According to a cable from the U.S. ambassador in Cyprus, since the election of Christofias in 2008, “we have witnessed an ideologically-motivated attempt to turn back the clock to the heydays of the nonaligned movement. He has publicly praised Fidel Castro, welcomed a new Venezuelan Embassy to Nicosia, lauded Iran, and vilified NATO and the Partnership for Peace.”
    It sure looks like a good reason for some Western Intel. agency to blow that ammo dump.Christofias certainly has made some enemies....
    "You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
    Buckminster Fuller

  7. #17

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    No Longer “Friendly”–Turkish Military Changes Israeli IFF (Int. Friend or Foe) Designation In Fighters and Warships

    1309
    2011
    [Turkey is taking concrete steps, preparing for a military confrontation with Israel.)Report: Israel no longer ‘friend’ for Turkey’s F-16s, warships
    TODAYSZAMAN.COM
    A Turkish Air Force F-16 jet fighter prepares to take off from an air base in the central anatolian city of Konya in this April 28, 2010 file photo. (Photo: Reuters)
    Turkey’s Military Electronics Industry (ASELSAN) has produced a new identification friend or foe (IFF) system for Turkish jet fighters, warships and submarines and the new software, contrary to the older, US-made version, does not automatically identify Israeli planes and ships as friends, a news report said on Tuesday.
    The new IFF has already been installed in Turkish F-16s and is expected to be installed in all Navy ships and submarines, the report, published in Turkish daily Star, said. It will be fully operational when it is installed in all military planes, warships and submarines.The F-16 jet fighters, purchased from the US, came with pre-installed IFF software that automatically identifies Israeli fighters and warships as friends, disabling Turkish F-16s from targeting Israeli planes or ships. ASELSAN-made IFF will allow Turkish military commanders to identify friends and foes on the basis of national considerations.
    Turkey was unable to make modifications to the friend or foe identification codes in US-made F-16s, while Israel was given a different version of the software allowing Israeli authorities to make modifications. Israel was also authorized to view the version given to Turkey, according to Star.
    The report comes amid a severe crisis in ties with former ally Israel. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan set the stage for a possible naval confrontation with Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying last week that Turkish military ships will escort civilian ships carrying aid to Gaza, under an Israeli blockade since 2007.
    A news report on Monday said three frigates were to be sent to the Eastern Mediterranean to protect aid ships from a possible interception by Israeli warships. The frigates, according to the report, will get as close as 100 meter to any Israeli military ship if those ships are outside of Israeli territorial waters.
    Star also suggested that the new IFF system could be linked to a series of suspicious suicides in ASELSAN. Three ASELSAN engineers committed suicide in 2006 and 2007, but the media speculated that the engineers might have been murdered given the families’ testimonies that the suicides seem to come out of the blue with no warning signs. The report added that all three engineers had worked on the new IFF system to be used for F-16 fighters.
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  8. #18

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    Anglo-Turkish Oil Co. Targets Kurdish Iraq and Possibly Libya

    1309
    2011Anglo-Turkish oil giant seeks N Iraq domination

    İPEK YEZDANİ – ipek.yezdani@hurriyet.com.tr
    ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

    A reinvigorated Genel Energy, which will be led by the former CEO of BP, looks to become one of the biggest oil companies operating in northern Iraq. Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News, Tony Hayward says it’s a good time to invest in the region, while partner Mehmet Sepil says the firm could invest in Libya, too

    Tony Hayward (L), the former chief executive of BP who currently leads Vallares, and Genel Energy chief executive Mehmet Sepil are seen at a press conference yesterday. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK
    A new Anglo-Turkish partnership that emerged with the merger of U.K. company Vallares and Turkish businessman Mehmet Emin Karamehmet’s Genel Energy has revealed its plans to dominate the vast reserves of oil in the Kurdish autonomous region of northern Iraq.The partnership, led by ex-BP CEO Tony Hayward, also plans to invest elsewhere in the Middle East, once the dust of the Arab Spring settles.
    Responding to questions from the Hürriyet Daily News on the sidelines of a press meeting in Istanbul, Hayward said Vallares would deal with the regional Kurdish administration, not Baghdad. Eventually, the Kurdish region will have “a significant say” in what is going to be finally approved in Iraq’s expected hydrocarbons law, he said. Mehmet Sepil, the CEO of Genel Energy International, said the firm expected the law to be approved in Baghdad by the start of next year.
    The complex partnership will be completed through an all-share reverse-takeover in which Vallares will issue new shares worth $2.1 billion to acquire 100 percent of Genel, giving Vallares and Genel’s current owners equal stakes in the combined business.
    “The only approval we need is from the Kurdistan Regional Government, and we expect that approval to come before the end of September,” Hayward told the Daily News on Thursday. “All of the indications in Kurdistan show that things are only going to get better. I think this is a good time to invest in the region.”
    Sepil said the new company would be listed on the London Stock Exchange in around four weeks and that it would offer 50 percent of its shares to the public. “In the end, the company will rank among the top 100 companies in the U.K.,” Sepil said.
    Sepil said he would have a stake of 14 percent in the new company, down from his current 29 percent, while Karamehmet’s stake will fall from 56 percent to 28.
    Pragmatic realism in region
    Commenting on possible risks regarding stability in northern Iraq, Hayward spoke of a “pragmatic realism” that has emerged between the regional government and Baghdad. “This means [one] can invest,” he said. “[The two governments] have agreed to revenue-sharing mechanisms. Payments are being received and I think all indicators show that things are only going to get better. There will be some bumps in the road, but the train and its direction are clear.”
    He also said when the oil law dispute is resolved, the Kurdish administration “will have a significant say in what is finally approved.”
    “[Kurds] have a significant standing both in the Iraqi Cabinet and in parliament,” he told the Daily News. “This law is important for all foreign investors in Iraq, not only for those who are investing in the region.”
    Northern Iraq has attracted more than $10 billion in energy investments from more than 40 companies from 17 countries. Sepil said he expected similar consolidations in northern Iraq, adding that Genel, whose headquarters will be Ankara, aims to be among the few companies left in northern Iraq at the end of the next wave of consolidations.
    Noting the seismic political shift in the Middle East, Sepil said Genel would like to invest in other locations, especially in North Africa, including Libya, after stability is established.
    After the press meeting in Istanbul, Hayward and Sepil headed to Arbil in northern Iraq.
    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  9. #19

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    “We’ll exact a price from Erdogan…messing with Israel doesn’t pay off.”

    1309
    2011[Lieberman plans some nasty retaliation to Turkey's insolence--increasing military aid to Kurds, supporting Armenian genocide resolution, mud-slinging campaign. This just keeps getting better and better. Supporting Armenia would go along with partnering with Russia, since Russia maintains a large military presence in Armenia.]
    Israel to ‘punish’ Turkey

    Jerusalem fights back: Foreign Minister Lieberman formulates series of tough moves in response to Turkish steps; Israel to cooperate with Armenian lobby in US, may offer military aid to Kurdish rebels
    Shimon Shiffer
    Jerusalem to punish Erdogan: Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has decided to adopt a series of harsh measures in response to Turkey’s latest anti-Israeli moves, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.
    Senior Foreign Ministry officials convened Thursday to prepare for a meeting to be held Saturday with Lieberman on the matter. Saturday’s session will be dedicated to discussing Israel’s response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent threats and his decision to downgrade Ankara’s diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.
    Following Thursday’s meeting, officials assessed that Turkey is not interested in an Israeli apology at this time and prefers to exploit the dispute with Jerusalem in order to promote Ankara’s status in the Muslim world. Lieberman therefore decided there was no point in seeking creative formulas for apologizing, instead choosing to focus Israel’s efforts on punishing Turkey.
    The Foreign Ministry has now decided to proceed with the formulation of a diplomatic and security “toolbox” to be used against the Turks. The first move would be to issue a travel warning urging all Israeli military veterans to refrain from traveling to Turkey. The advisory will be especially harsh as it will also urge Israelis to refrain from boarding connections in Turkey.
    Another planned Israeli move is the facilitation of cooperation with Turkey’s historic rivals, the Armenians. During Lieberman’s visit to the United States this month, the foreign minister is expected to meet with leaders of the Armenian lobby and propose anti-Turkish cooperation in Congress.
    The implication of this move could be Israeli assistance in promoting international recognition of the Armenian holocaust, a measure that would gravely harm Turkey. Israel may also back Armenia in its dispute vis-à-vis Turkey over control of Mount Ararat.
    ‘Turkey better show respect’
    Lieberman is also planning to set meetings with the heads of Kurdish rebel group PKK in Europe in order to “cooperate with them and boost them in every possible area.” In these meetings, the Kurds may ask Israel for military aid in the form of training and arms supplies, a move that would constitute a major anti-Turkish position should it materialize.
    However, the violent clashes between Turkey and the Kurds only constitute one reason prompting accusations that Ankara is violating human rights. Hence, another means in Lieberman’s “toolbox” vis-à-vis Erdogan is a diplomatic campaign where Israeli missions worldwide will be instructed to join the fight and report illegal Turkish moves against minorities.
    The tough response formulated by Lieberman stems, among other things, from the foreign minister’s desire to make it clear to Erdogan that his anti-Israeli moves are not a “one-way street.”
    Officials in Jerusalem also noted that Turkey’s global status at this time is not promising as it is, adding that Ankara is embroiled in tensions vis-à-vis NATO and Greece, while Erdogan’s relations with Syria and Iran are also not favorable.
    “We’ll exact a price from Erdogan that will prove to him that messing with Israel doesn’t pay off,” Lieberman said. “Turkey better treat us with respect and common decency.”

    "Where is the intersection between the world's deep hunger and your deep gladness?"

  10. #20

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    This is interesting. Very interesting and not a bit frightening too. For 12 months Turkey sat and did pretty much nothing about the Mavi Mara. It seems there was some sort of forewarning with that too because of the late change of flag from Turkey to ....some African country if I recall correctly. Nevertheless several passengers of Turkish nationality and descent were singled out and murdered by Israeli pirate/commandos in international waters. An act of war in itself. During that time there has also been undercurrents of planned coups against the present Turkish government. Officers arrested and jail time coming for more. The whole of the top level of the each force has been required to resign. New blood allowed in. There were significant signs that some of the coup manoeuvrings had some Israeli involvement. Off shore gas. Land pipelines everywhere. Water. Now it seems the gloves are off for Turkey and Israel. At least the language is very undiplomatic. Turkey talking of invading Iraq/Kurdistan to put down KKK strongholds....and the oil....what about the oil? Friends with Armenia. Why let a genocide or two stand between friends. Israel developing closer ties to Russia and maybe dropping the US.....some thing possible given the number of former residents of the USSR now living in Israel and with business in both places.

    Very Byzantine.
    "I think it would be a good idea." Mahatma Gandhi, when asked what he thought of Western civilization.

    The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.
    Karl Marx.

    "Well, he would, wouldn't he?" Mandy Rice-Davies, 1963, replied Ms Rice Davies when the prosecuting counsel pointed out that Lord Astor denied an affair or having even met her.

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