Displaying items by tag: Turkey
The Russian invasion of Ukraine, a major exporter of grain, led to the blocking of all grain shipments until an agreement called the Black Sea Grain Initiative was signed in Istanbul between Ukraine, Russia and the UN. This agreement will expire on 19 November unless renewed. Renewal negotiations were being facilitated by the UN throughout October until the 29th, when a drone attack on Russian naval ships prompted Russia to suspend participation. Talks resumed on 2 November, with hopes to extend the agreement for a year. On 17 November Ukraine’s minister of infrastructure said the initiative would be prolonged, but only for 120 days.
During October Silk Wave church-planting teams will visit Turkey, Greece, and Egypt to restore worship and plant God’s Word. 37 people will participate from two US Korean churches, with second-term young missionaries working in Istanbul with partners from Istanbul Mission Centre. They will visit gateway churches of the region to hear about the ministry and vision while seeking God’s guidance on how each local church can work together evangelising and church-planting. In Greece the evangelism and church-planting is being pioneered through refugee ministries. In Cairo they will see the ministry of refugee children’s schools and study how they can work together with the missions to the Islamic world which are working in Egypt. Silk Wave asks us to pray for all participants in the field to receive and obey Holy Spirit guidance in every event.
Israel and Turkey have announced the return of full diplomatic ties between the two nations, including the reinstatement of ambassadors and consulate generals. This constitutes an important asset for regional stability and very important economic news for Israelis. Their relationship had deteriorated over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Erdogan has been a harsh critic of Israel in its conflict with the Palestinians. Turkey has also hosted several Hamas leaders, which further strained relations between the two nations. Many believe Erdogan’s wish to renew these relations is a result of Turkey's economy floundering and his popularity dipping as a result.
While on vacation in Marmaris, 51-year-old GJH was rushed to hospital after falling and hitting his head. He could not be saved. Due to the circumstances of his death and his son's ‘suspicious’ behaviour, the police launched an investigation and reviewed CCTV footage from the area around their hotel. It showed that GJH's 22-year-old son punched his father on the face, causing him to fall. The suspect was taken into custody by the police before being referred to court on 28 July. Please pray for the safety of this tourist. Data shared by two human rights organisations reported that 531 people were subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in official places of detention last year, and torture in Turkey’s prisons has reached unprecedented levels.
All week Europe has been battling wildfires fuelled by soaring temperatures in Portugal, France, Turkey and Spain. Pray for 3,500 Portuguese firefighters battling dozens of blazes in record-breaking temperatures. Pray for the 600 people in Leiria who were forced out of their homes, and over 3,000 who were evacuated in Turkey. Pray for devastated people like 77-year-old Adelino, a Portuguese farmer who said, ‘Everything burned. It looked like the end of the world.’ Pray for Spanish farmers who have lost over 70,300 hectares. Pray for 1,000 French firefighters trying to control two major wildfires. 4,000 hectares have already burned in southwest France.
President Erdogan is giving signals of an imminent cross-border large-scale military incursion into Syria. Military equipment is on the frontier, and artillery shells now pound positions held by Syrian Kurdish armed forces. Senior officials and analysts believe operations against the groups will commence soon, hoping to conclude before the NATO summit on 29 June. ‘We will crack down on them suddenly overnight’, Erdogan told reporters. The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said it will coordinate with Syrian troops to fend off any Turkish invasion. An SDF commander said Damascus should use air defence systems against Turkish planes. Turkey’s vowed new offensive will be on areas controlled by the Kurdish YPG militia, a key part of the SDF. Syria warned Turkey there will be no compromise on territorial integrity. Turkey considers the YPG a terrorist organisation. Syrian Kurdish forces are backed by Washington, and co-ordinated with Syria and its ally Russia. See
The EU is finding it difficult to decrease its dependence on Russian oil and gas. One alternative is the proposed EastMed pipeline, which would carry natural gas extracted from fields under the waters of Israel's and Cyprus's exclusive economic zones to Greece and from there to other European countries. The pre-feasibility studies of the pipeline, conducted from 2015-18 and paid for by the EU, found that the project is ‘technically feasible, economically viable and commercially competitive’. The US under secretary of state for political affairs, meeting with her counterparts in Turkey, has said that more pipelines are needed in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, the USA prefers to steer business to Turkey rather than to America's democratic allies, Cyprus, Israel and Greece. Algerian gas pipelines are also acceptable to the Americans, but the long-planned EastMed pipeline is not.
On 25 April Turkish philanthropist and human rights activist Osman Kavala was found guilty of attempting to overthrow the government and sentenced to life without possibility of parole. He had spent the last 4½ years in prison without being convicted. The sentence is the most severe to be given. He will be in solitary confinement for the rest of his life. He said, ‘The aggravated life sentence demanded against me is an assassination that cannot be explained through legal reasons.’ Human Rights Watch said the sentence was ‘the worst possible outcome to this show trial’. Amnesty International said, ‘We have witnessed a travesty of justice of spectacular proportions. This verdict deals a devastating blow not only to Osman Kavala but to everyone who believes in justice and human rights activism in Turkey and beyond. The decision defies all logic. Prosecuting authorities have repeatedly failed to provide any evidence that substantiates the baseless charges. We call for his immediate release as he appeals these draconian verdicts.’ See
January 2022 looks very different in contrasting corners of the Middle East and North Africa - from wealthy Gulf nations to countries in crisis like Afghanistan and Yemen. SAT7 analysts see hopeful signs of nations beating swords into ploughshares, but too few leaders are using their power, or lessening their grip on it, for the good of all. An important positive trend we will see continuing from 2021 is renewed diplomacy by key players and rivals in the region. The UAE reached out to Turkey with a $10 billion investment olive branch. Both countries are looking to de-escalate the tensions which have resulted, for example, from their military support for opposite sides in the Libyan conflict and their opposite policies towards the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey has also sought to ease tensions with Egypt and began 2022 with a new rapprochement with Armenia. For the full briefing click the ‘More’ button.
‘Because my surgery was delayed while I was in prison, my left upper tooth, palate, cheekbone and lymph nodes were removed. The bottom of my left chin is now empty. Bone was taken from my leg and placed on my face. According to an MRI, the tumor has spread to the back of my eye’, said Ayşe Özdoğan, whose ‘crime’ was working at a dormitory affiliated with the Gülen movement. She was jailed for nine years for being ‘a member of a terrorist organisation’. Torture, ill-treatment, and lack of medical care for sick prisoners, are widespread in Turkish jails. Rooms are arranged with no security cameras. No torture detection can be made. When prisoners filed a criminal complaint about being beaten, a disciplinary investigation was launched against them for insulting the officer and the president.