Friday, March 14, 2014

War watch March 14 , 2014 --- Turkey has more than 2 millions citizens march in protest upon the death of 15 year Berkin Elvan - 417 arrested and claims of disproportionate force raised , First indictment in Turkey's graft probe sent to deputy chief prosecutor , Economy Minister insists Turkey’s ‘economic success’ target of graft allegations , Funeral of young man killed in sidelines of Berkin Elvan protests cause tension in sensitive area ........ Syria -- Syrian Islamists: 94 Hostages Held Since August Available for ‘Swap’ Will Trade Them for 2,000 Detainees ....... Iraq death dealing and sectarian fighting continues unabated ....... Afghanistan news items of note

Turkey......


Two million marched, 417 arrested during Berkin Elvan protests as ‘disproportionate force’ probed

Fevzi KIZILKOYUNHÜRRİYET / ANKARA

Thousands of people attend the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests, in Istanbul on March 12. AFP photo 
Thousands of people attend the funeral of Berkin Elvan, the 15-year-old boy who died from injuries suffered during last year's anti-government protests, in Istanbul on March 12. AFP photo
The death of 15-year-old Gezi victim Berkin Elvan caused 2 million people from 53 provinces of Turkey to march in mourning and in protest over two days.

Police intervened in demonstrations in 13 provinces, as at least 52 civilians and 19 policemen were injured and  security forces detained 417 people, according to figures collected by daily Hürriyet from different sources. In Istanbul, Ankara, İzmir and Mersin, marches and protests continued until morning.

The General Directorate of Security (EGM) has initiated a probe into claims of “disproportionate force,” excessive use of teargas” and potentially lethal use of teargas grenade guns by the police.

The investigation initiated by EGM into the allegedly disproportionate force used in the Gezi Park protests last summer had stalled before drawing any conclusions.

Policeman’s death also probed

The death of policeman Ahmet Küçüktağ will also reportedly be probed by EGM investigators in Tunceli. Küçüktağ died on March 12 after he reportedly fainted inside a police car. Doctors at the Tunceli State Hospital said Küçüktağ’s health condition worsened due to the effects of intense teargas used by the police against protesters, but this was subsequently denied by the police chief.

The EGM investigation was restarted only after the Dec. 17 anti-corruption probes, which led to the extensive reorganization of the police force triggered by the government’s campaign to eradicate “the parallel state,” referring to civil servants allegedly affiliated to the government’s ally-turned-nemesis, the Gülen movement.
March/14/2014




First indictment in Turkey's graft probe sent to deputy chief prosecutor

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

The first indictment in the corruption probe launched on Dec. 17, 2013 has been completed and sent to the deputy chief prosecutor tasked with crime organizations, daily Hürriyet reported today.

The indictment charges the suspects, among other things, with “taking and giving bribes, destroying and hiding official documents, and violating Law No. 2863.”

The indictment has been completed by Prosecutor Ekrem Aydıner against suspects detained in the investigation into Fatih Municipality, reports said.

Istanbul prosecutors launched the huge graft probe in December, resulting in the resignation of four ministers from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government. With the recent releases of five suspects, including the sons of two former ministers and prime suspect Iranian-born Azeri businessman Reza Zarrab, there are no more suspects under arrest in the investigation. Twenty-four people were arrested in the initial stages of the probe.
March/14/2014





Minister insists Turkey’s ‘economic success’ target of graft allegations

ANKARA

Economy Minister Zeybekçi said the recent graft allegations against the ruling elite were in fact targeting “the country’s economic success and mega projects.” AA Photo 
Economy Minister Zeybekçi said the recent graft allegations against the ruling elite were in fact targeting “the country’s economic success and mega projects.” AA Photo
Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekçi once against repeated the government’s rhetoric claiming the recent graft allegations against the ruling elite were in fact targeting “the country’s economic success and mega projects.”

“If Turkey can start building the world’s largest airport, channel project, two nuclear power plants and the Istanbul-İzmir highway, while ending its debtor relationship with the IMF, then of course some may try to stir up Turkey, saying ‘That’s [just] too much!’” Zeybekçi said yesterday during a meeting in Ankara.

“We see the things we are going through today as healthy birthing pains,” he was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.

The claim has been voiced many times before by several Justice and Development Party (AKP) representatives, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, particularly after it was reported that the contractors of the third airport to be built in Istanbul were among businessmen who were due to be arrested as a part of the second wave of the corruption probe.

The third airport project, which is being built in a forested area of northern Istanbul, close to the city’s last reservoirs, was awarded to a consortium of five Turkish companies – Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, Mapa and Kalyon – in a tender held on May 3, 2013, for 22.1 billion euros.

Limak chair Nihat Özdemir, Kalyon executives Orhan Cemal Kalyoncu and Ömer Faruk Kalyoncu, and a board member of Kolin Celal Koloğlu were among those facing bribery and corruption charges.

The execution of the arrests was aborted after the police did not carry out the orders and the prosecutor overseeing the probe was removed from the case.

“The entrepreneurs who are going ahead with the airport, they have been given a judicial summons,” Erdoğan had said a week after an attempt to carry out the second wave of the probe, which reportedly also included allegations regarding his son, Bilal Erdoğan, was made. “Why? Because they don’t want them to build the airport. I call on these prosecutors of bad faith: Where is your patriotism?”

AKP deputy head and spokesperson Hüseyin Çelik had also suggested the construction projects, both among the AKP’s self-proclaimed “crazy projects,” had disturbed many people outside Turkey, particularly in Europe.

“If you look at who has been implicated or targeted with asset injunctions, [you see] that it’s the team who will build [Istanbul’s] third airport and third bridge without any exception,” Çelik had said.
March/13/2014








Funeral of young man killed in sidelines of Berkin Elvan protests cause tension in sensitive area

ISTANBUL

People holding Turkish flags walk during the funeral procession of Burak Can  Karamanoğlu, who was killed by a gunshot on March 12 on the sidelines of protests after Berkin Elvan's funeral in Istanbul. AA photo 
People holding Turkish flags walk during the funeral procession of Burak Can Karamanoğlu, who was killed by a gunshot on March 12 on the sidelines of protests after Berkin Elvan's funeral in Istanbul. AA photo
A fight between two separate groups erupted in Istanbul’s Kasımpaşa district on March 13 ahead of the funeral of a young local man killed by a gunshot in an incident on the sidelines of a police crackdown on protesters mourning the death of the 15-year-old Gezi victim, Berkin Elvan.

Thousands of people reportedly gathered in Kasımpaşa early on March 13 to walk to the nearby Okmeydanı neighborhood where Burak Can Karamanoğlu, 22, was killed in a gunfight between opposing two groups that erupted around 10:30 p.m. on March 12, according to a statement from the Istanbul Governor’s Office. Two other young men were also injured in the incidents.

“A youngster identified as Burak Can Karamanoğlu died after a verbal scuffle between two groups turned into a fight in which firearms were used,” a statement from the Istanbul Governor’s Office said.

The circumstances surrounding the incident still remain unclear, but the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) claimed the killing, according to posts published online.

The father of the victim denied claims that an argument had broken out before the incident and said Karamanoğlu was killed by a “stray bullet” fired by protesters.

“Such an incident does not take place in the neighborhood where we live. Everything happened 200 meters further away. A group of people were marching together over there as the street lights were off,” Halil Karamanoğlu told reporters in front of the forensics institute where his son’s autopsy was performed. He said his son had joined his friends to watch the protesters.

“They were hanging outside arm-in-arm as three friends. They were watching [people] from the side of the road. Then they were attacked. Everything happened in five minutes. The time between the boy coming home [from work], leaving again and the incident occurring was 10 minutes. They were shot by a stray bullet within 10 minutes. The bullet came from protesters,” Karamanoğlu added.

He also called for restraint during the funeral. “I don’t have anything to do with the right nor the left. We don’t approve of those incidents,” he said.

A relative of the young man also denied that there had been a fight between opposing groups as the Governor’s Office had previously stated.

“It occurred after of groups who participated in Berkin Elvan’s funeral ran wild and came up with those youngsters in a total coincidence. So there was no opposing group and no fight. A young man died after unknown people opened fire among the crowd,” said the relative Dursun Eker, denying that Karamanoğlu and his friends had batons.

A ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) official has also said there were no police officers where the incident occurred.

The working class Okmeydanı neighborhood where Karamanoğlu was killed is one of the most sensitive areas of Istanbul, where communities from different regions and faiths live together. Many Alevis live and many leftist groups receive strong support in Okmeydanı, while conservative communities often linked to nationalist or religious groups are mainly concentrated in Kasımpaşa. Okmeydanı is also the place were Elvan’s family live.
March/13/2014





Syria......


Syrian Islamists: 94 Hostages Held Since August Available for ‘Swap’

Will Trade Them for 2,000 Detainees

by Jason Ditz, March 13, 2014
Syrian Islamist fighters from an as-yet-undetermined faction have claimed credit for an August kidnapping in the Latakia Province, and confirmed today that they still have the 94 women and children they took that day.
The 94 were captured when the Islamists attacked a number of Alawite villages, and the video the rebels released offered to “swap” the 94 captives for 2,000detained rebels held in Syrian prisons.
The video was broadcast on al-Jazeera, and showed the captive women and children held in a walled-in area. It was unclear where they were held, or if the video was even authentic.
The Qatari government, which owns al-Jazeera, was involved in brokering a recent hostage swap of 13 captured nuns held by al-Qaeda in return for a number of detained women.






Iraq......


Seven Executed Among Bombings, Clashes in Iraq; 62 Others Killed, 18 Wounded
by , March 13, 2014
At least 62 were killed in ongoing violence and another 18 were wounded. Most of the casualties occurred in Anbar province where a suicide bomber targeted a wedding party. Also, seven men were executed.
The Iraqi government announced the executions of seven men. Three were convicted of the murder, in Lebanon, of an Iraqi man who was the father of a current lawmaker. They were accused of being agents for former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. The other four were found guilty on terrorism charges. These deaths bring the total known number of executions to 44 this year.
In Anbar:
The suicide bombing of military checkpoint at the Rawa Bridge left at least 16 deadand the groom wounded as his wedding party was crossing. More people may have also drowned when their cars fell into the Euphrates River as the bridge collapsed. Several soldiers were reported killed, and at least two security personnel were wounded.
Three soldiers were killed during clashes in Ramadi. Several militants locations werebombed, but the number of casualties is not known. A car bomb killed four soldiers and wounded three more.
A clash in Albu Bali killed three soldiers.
Security forces killed 24 militants in Garma and Moadafin.
An army colonel was killed in an unreported location.
Elsewhere:
civilian was wounded in a sticky bomb blast in Kirkuk.
In Muqdadiya, a teacher was shot dead in a drive-by shooting.



Afghanistan.......


http://www.khaama.com/explosion-leaves-six-civilians-dead-in-helmand-province-2871


Explosion leaves six civilians dead in Helmand province

By GHANIZADA - Fri Mar 14 2014, 1:27 pm
Afghan locals inspect the site of a bicycle bomb explosion in HeratAt least six civilians were killed following an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan.
According to local government officials, the incident took place on Thursday in Mosa Qala district of Helmand province.
Mosa Qala district chief, Mohammad Sharif, said the incident took place after a civilian vehicle struck with the improvised explosive device (IED), leaving six civilians dead.
Mr. Sharif further added that two women, two men and two children were among those killed following the explosion.
No group including the Taliban militants has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.
Local officials blame Taliban group for such incidents as Taliban fighters frequently use improvised explosive device (IED) to target Afghan and coalition security forces which normally lead to civilian casualties.
Helmand is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where Taliban militants are active in a number of districts and frequently carry out insurgency attacks.