Balkans: Turkey Battles The Conspiracy


March 21, 2011: Anti-nuclear activists in Cyprus and Turkey are demonstrating against the Turkish government. The government has made a deal with a Russian company to build a nuclear power plant on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast. Some of this is Fukushima Syndrome (renewed fear of nuclear power plants), some of it reasonable. Turkey is prone to earthquakes. What is interesting is that the Cyprus demonstrations have brought together Greek Cypriot and Turk Cypriot activists. The proposed plant site is due north of Cyprus.

March 19, 2011: KFOR (Kosovo peacekeeping force) officially withdrew its troops from border control positions along the Kosovo-Macedonia border. The border posts are now under the control of Kosovar police. KFOR still mans the Kosovo-Montenegro border.

The Turkish government said that it had intercepted an Iranian aircraft on its way to Syria. The plane was forced to land in the city of Diyarbakir (southeastern Turkey). Turkish inspection teams determined the plane was loaded with food. Media reported that nuclear and chemical detection teams boarded the aircraft. The plane was permitted to fly on to Syria.

March 17, 2011: The Turkish government arrested 20 people it accused of being involved in the Ergenekon (army generals and the secular elite) conspiracy and three murders. In 2007 three Christian missionaries were slain in Turkey. The government claimed that the crimes were committed in order to spur outrage against the government. So far around 400 people have been accused of involvement in the Ergenekon conspiracy.

EULEX (European Union's law enforcing mission in Kosovo) said that it is continuing to pursue the investigation of war crimes charges against ten Kosovars. One of the accused is a member of Kosovo's parliament. The suspects are believed to have been involved in murder and torture (against Kosovar Albanians and Kosovar Serbs) during the 1999 Kosovo War.

March 15, 2011: Serbia and Russia agreed to a new military cooperation plan. Serb military personnel will continue to attend Russian military schools and observe Russian military exercises. However, the official announcement indicated that high level military consultations will increase.

March 11, 2011: Only in the 21st century. The Greek military announced that it will contract with a Turkish company to provide satellite telephone service. The Turkish company, Globalstar, provides a very secure phone service. The Turkish military also has a communications contract with the company.

March 8, 2011: Kosovo and Serbia have held direct diplomatic talks. The countries talk to each other all the time, but this meeting was official. One of the topics under discussion was border control issues, such as improving freedom of movement between the two countries. Of course the Serbs still call Kosovo a province. The issue of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence (in 2008) is not on the table.

March 3, 2011: Police in Turkey arrested ten more people allegedly involved in the Ergenekon conspiracy to topple the current government, which is led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Several of those arrested were reporters. Two of the journalists arrested work for Oda TV, which opposes the government.

March 2, 2011: Croatia and Albania confirmed that they are discussing ways to improve bilateral defense cooperation. Both countries are members of NATO. Both joined NATO in 2009.





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