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International Information Centre for Balkan Studies



Bulgaria’s Parliament approves report naming Russia as threat to security

Bulgaria’s National Assembly approved on October 5, 2017 the national security report for 2016, with debate on the report naming of Russia as a security threat.

Read more: Bulgaria’s Parliament approves report naming Russia as threat to security

King of the Skies: Russia Starts Delivering MiG-29 Warplanes to Serbia

On Monday (02.10.2017), Russia has started the first delivery of six Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jets to Serbia, a source in the sphere of military-technical cooperation told Sputnik.

Read more: King of the Skies: Russia Starts Delivering MiG-29 Warplanes to Serbia

Growing Use of Turkish Military Stokes Fears of Foreign Policy Shift

Turkey's armed forces chief, General Hulusi Akar, is in Tehran for talks with Iran's political and military leadership, including President Hassan Rouhani. His visit precedes President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit, scheduled for Wednesday, and comes as analysts suggest the use and threat of and military force are increasingly becoming part of Turkish foreign policy.

Read more: Growing Use of Turkish Military Stokes Fears of Foreign Policy Shift

Turkey, Russia of the same opinion on the protection of integrity of Iraq, Syria

Turkey and Russia share similar views on the protection of the territorial integrities of both Syria and Iraq, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, urging the international community to act before the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) commits graver mistakes.

Read more: Turkey, Russia of the same opinion on the protection of integrity of Iraq, Syria

Turkey has put down a deposit on S-400 missiles to Russia

Turkey has already paid a deposit to Russia for the purchase of the S-400 anti-ballistic missile system despite opposition from its NATO allies, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, underlining that both Ankara and Moscow were committed to accomplish the sale process of the high-tech defense equipment. 

Read more: Turkey has put down a deposit on S-400 missiles to Russia

Erdoğan conveys ‘unease’ to Mattis over US backing for PYD

 

The U.S.’s ongoing support for the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) dominated Pentagon chief Jim Mattis’s talks in Ankara on Aug. 23, 2017 with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan complaining about Washington’s policy, a Turkish official has told the Hürriyet Daily News. 

Read more: Erdoğan conveys ‘unease’ to Mattis over US backing for PYD

Bulgaria has highest ratio to GDP of government spending on public order and safety in EU - Eurostat

Among all European Union countries in 2015, the ratio to GDP of government spending on "public order and safety" was highest in Bulgaria, at 2.8 per cent, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on August 16 2017.

Read more: Bulgaria has highest ratio to GDP of government spending on public order and safety in EU - Eurostat

Москва и Вашингтон не поделили Балканы

Москва и Вашингтон вступают в новую фазу геополитического соперничества. Пентагон начинает строительство в Украине морского центра управления, укрепляет свое присутствие в других регионах Украины, а также в Молдове и Грузии. Россия, в свою очередь, усиливает свои позиции не только на постсоветском пространстве, но и на Балканах.

Read more: Москва и Вашингтон не поделили Балканы

Turkey to pay $2.5bn for Russian S-400 missiles

Turkey has agreed to shell out $2.5 billion in order to purchase Russia's most advanced missile defense system S-400, provided that Moscow agrees to transfer the technology as well, an official says.

Read more: Turkey to pay $2.5bn for Russian S-400 missiles

Turkey to US: Providing arms to YPG violation of NATO rules

Turkish President Erdoğan has once again harshly criticized the United States for providing arms to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), declaring the move to be a violation of the NATO treaty.

“We will be together in NATO, and you will act together with terrorist groups. What kind of business is this? In this case, the NATO treaty should be revised,” Erdoğan said June 25 at a party rally on Eid al-Fitr.

The Pentagon said on May 30 2017 that it had begun to transfer small arms and vehicles to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which mainly consists of YPG militants, despite Turkey’s objections. 

Turkey considers the YPG to be an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and hence a terrorist group.

“Unfortunately, the countries we say are our allies, countries we consider friends see no problem in cooperating with terror organizations targeting Turkey’s unity,” Erdoğan said.

“Those who think that they can fool Turkey by saying that they will get those weapons back will eventually understand the vital mistake they made, but it will be too late. We will call to account the real owners of those weapons for every drop of blood they shed with those weapons,” Erdoğan added.

Erdoğan also slammed the U.S. for refusing to extradite preacher Fethullah Gülen, who is widely believed to have masterminded the July 15, 2016, failed coup.

“I don’t know what kinds of a future you will have in Syria with the terrorist organization you chose, but you must know that you will not have a future with us,” the president said.

“And you inflict deep wounds in Turkey’s heart by harboring a terrorist leader who led a coup attempt in our country,” he said.


Earlier in the day, Erdoğan welcomed Qatar’s dismissal of a sweeping list of demands from Saudi Arabia and its allies in an escalating crisis as he declared the ultimatum to be “against international law.”

“We welcome [Qatar’s position] because we consider the 13-point list to be against international law,” Erdoğan told reporters outside a mosque in Istanbul after Eid morning prayers.

Erdoğan said the demands on Qatar had gone “too far.”

“What we are talking about here is an attack on the sovereign rights of a state,” he said. “There cannot be such an attack on countries’ sovereignty rights in international law.”

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain imposed a boycott on June 5 on Qatar and issued 13 demands, including closing the Al Jazeera news network, curbing relations with Iran, shutting a Turkish base and cutting all military ties with Turkey.

The Turkish parliament passed a bill this month allowing Ankara to send up to several thousand troops to the Turkish base in Qatar.

Almost two dozen Turkish troops also arrived in Qatar as Ankara boosts military support for Doha.

Erdoğan on June 25 said demanding the withdrawal of Turkish troops from Qatar was “disrespect to Turkey.”
The Turkish president also repeated an offer to Saudi Arabia to build a military base in the Muslim kingdom, similar to that built in neighboring Qatar.

“If Saudi Arabia wants us to have a base there, a step toward this also can be taken. I made this offer to the king himself and they said they will consider this,” he said. “They did not come back to us since that day and even though they still haven’t come back to us on this, asking Turkey to withdraw its troops [from Qatar] is disrespectful toward Turkey.”

He also stood by the defense agreement with Qatar.

“Will we take permission from others when we cooperate on defense with a country? No offense, but Turkey is not an ordinary country; it is not an ordinary state,” he said.

Both Qatar and Turkey backed a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt before it was overthrown in 2013. The Arab states have demanded Qatar cut any links to the brotherhood and other groups they deem to be terrorist, ideological or sectarian.

Turkey, the most powerful regional country to stand by Qatar, has sent 100 cargo planes with supplies since its neighbors cut air and sea links. It has also rushed through legislation to send more troops to its base in Doha.

Two contingents of Turkish troops with columns of armored vehicles have arrived since the crisis erupted on June 5, and Defense Minister Fikri Işık said on June 23 that further reinforcements would be beneficial.

“The strengthening of the Turkish base would be a positive step in terms of the Gulf’s security,” he said. “Re-evaluating the base agreement with Qatar is not on our agenda.”

A joint exercise by Turkish and Qatari forces is expected following the Eid al-Fitr holiday which started on June 25, while the number of Turkish soldiers sent to the Gulf state may eventually reach 1,000.

Source: http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-to-us-providing-arms-to-ypg-violation-of-nato-rules.aspx

Neighbours' Moves towards NATO Test Serbia's Neutrality

Montenegro's decision to join NATO - and Macedonia’s readiness to discuss removing the remaining obstacles to accession - are putting Serbia's doctrine of military neutrality under growing pressure.

Read more: Neighbours' Moves towards NATO Test Serbia's Neutrality

Turkish army adopts home-grown anti-tank missile system

The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will use a locally made launching system and anti-tank missiles starting this month, a government source has said.

Read more: Turkish army adopts home-grown anti-tank missile system

Turkey parliament approves troop deployment to Qatar

Turkey's parliament approves a measure to deploy troops to a Turkish military base in Qatar amid a widening rift between the Arab country and neighbors in the Persian Gulf region.

Read more: Turkey parliament approves troop deployment to Qatar

Trump Wasn't Only Problem at NATO Summit

Germany's conflict with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan is escalating following his government's refusal to allow members of parliament to visit German armed forces in the country. But it is unlikely to cause a major breach -- because NATO needs Turkey.

Read more: Trump Wasn't Only Problem at NATO Summit

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