Turkish dictatorship!

I don't even know if Syria (or any country in the region) has any actual good guys (except for the general population and people going into bombed cities to help others). Almost everybody with even the remotest bit of power seems to have an agenda that involves murder and/or discrimination based on their faith. And don't even get me started on Europe, Russia and the US, all of which would love to install some pro-western (or pro-russian) government in all of these countries. They also support whichever rebel group suits them the most, and then acts all surprised when these rebels turn into the next al qaeda once they got dropped by their former supporters. The whole thing is just such a big clusterfuck with the general population being right inside the meat grinder all the time, so it should not come as a surprise that they would like to leave and go somewhere else, preferably without bombs and tanks and guns. And of course Erdogan is using this as leverage towards the EU so he can get away with almost anything, because he knows perfectly well that the moments he stops holding the refugees back the EU would spiral down into chaos because actually none of the countries seem to like each other all that much, and the moment somebody has to do something for somebody else they get all pissy about it and go all right wing and simply refuse to do it (but somehow still stay in the EU).
Wikipedia blocked in Turkey
The Turkey Blocks monitoring network has verified restrictions affecting the Wikipedia online encyclopaedia in Turkey. A block affecting all language editions of the website detected at 8:00AM local time Saturday 29 April. The loss of availability is consistent with internet filters used to censor content in the country.
Certain subdomains remained partially available on ISP TTNet at the time of writing, while the restriction appears to by fully implemented on Uydunet, Turkcell and other fixed line and mobile service providers.[...]
Dictator checklist... Censorship, check!

His governments have been censoring the internet for years and had already blocked certain wikipedia articles but blocking wikipedia as a whole shows that they don't care anymore how they are perceived ...

https://freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2016/turkey (2016 data only)

I have some turkish friends who (basically) deleted their entire facebook and twitter contend around 1,5 years ago and/or stopped using them. Or started using new accounts under fake-names ... just not to be branded an enemy of the state or stuff like that in the future because they wrote, cited or even just liked something critical of erdogan. Turkey is not a free country and it hasn't been one for quite a while now ... yet, we still allow them to be in Nato and be a Candidate for the European Union. Sadly I cannot do anything about what happens in Turkey, but maybe we need to address our politicians to distance them more from turkey. If things continue down this path, Nato-membership and Eu-candidateship should be reconsidered. In Germany there is no mayor political party anymore (neither green, socialists, leftists, liberals, the right or the conservatives) that supports Turkey - everyone criticises them for what they are doing (some more harsh than others, but in principle they all agree). But they all refrain from actually acting. They are just talking, talking, talking ... and that needs to stop. It's overdue to finally step on Erdogan's toes otherwise the EU and Nato Countries share responsibility for what happens in Turkey.
Well, the problem is that the key players in the EU never really considered Turkey to be a serious cadidate for EU membership, and the fact that Erdogan eventually realized that he's got nothing to lose in terms of the potential EU membership, is I think one of the key reasons he eventually decided to steer Turkey where it is now. So what exactly can we threaten him with now? The fact that Turkey is not joining the EU anytime soon is blindingly obvious, and has been fairly obvious for the past 10 years or so.

Regarding NATO, yeah, Turkey is not the greatest country to have in NATO at the moment, but how do you even fire someone from NATO anyway?
The thing is that Turkey is the gate between Syria and Europe, and if Europe pisses Erdogan sufficiently off, he can open those gates and flood Europe with refugees. That gives him some pretty substantial leverage it would seem.
Regarding NATO, yeah, Turkey is not the greatest country to have in NATO at the moment, but how do you even fire someone from NATO anyway?

There's no explicit way to do so.

Article 13 allows for any member nation to quit the Treaty with one year's notice, but there's no mechanism in place to force out a member. Methinks the way they'd do it is by blending Article 11 (allow any member to call for a review of the Treaty) and Article 10 (invitation to join NATO by unanimous vote of the members) to call for a review of Turkey's membership and unanimously "uninvite" the country. But it's uncharted territory.

The thing is that Turkey is the gate between Syria and Europe, and if Europe pisses Erdogan sufficiently off, he can open those gates and flood Europe with refugees. That gives him some pretty substantial leverage it would seem.

I think the more substantial leverage, in light of FBI Director Comey explicitly stating in a hearing yesterday that Russia is the greatest threat to the US, is that Erdogan controls the Bosphorus and can shut out Russia's Black Sea Fleet from steaming into the Med. If Turkey's kicked out of NATO and not sold arms, then by default they'd have to side with Russia for more military hardware.

The US has repeatedly shown it'll side with brutal dictators and do other unsavory things if we believe it helps with broader strategic goals, so unfortunately I think Erdogan will maintain some minimum of NATO support for the foreseeable future.
They're not gonna fire Turkey off NATO, the US values their military bases therem or agreements or whatever they are, too much. They'd never allow their exit.
Guardian: 'Erdo?an's bodyguards' in violent clash with protesters in Washington DC
Nine people hurt and two arrests made during the altercation at the Turkish ambassador?s residence in the US capital

Nine people were hurt and two arrests were made during an altercation at the Turkish ambassador?s residence in the US capital during a visit by president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, police have said.

Doug Buchanan, a DC Fire and EMS spokesman, said two of those hurt were seriously injured and were taken to hospitals by ambulance. He said by phone that emergency personnel were called to the residence about 4:30pm Tuesday.

According to witnesses, the brawl erupted when the Turkish president?s security detail attacked protesters carrying the flag of the Kurdish PYD party outside the residence.

A local NBC television affiliate reported Erdo?an was inside the building at the time.

Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said the altercation broke out between two groups but he didn?t elaborate on the circumstances. He said two people were arrested, including one who was charged with assaulting a police officer.

The altercation came the same day that Erdo?an met with President Donald Trump at the White House. The State Department declined to comment.

Earlier Trump and Erdo?an had stood side by side at the White House and promised to strengthen strained ties despite the Turkish leader?s stern warning about Washington?s arming of a Kurdish militia.

Fresh from securing his grip on Turkey with a referendum to enhance his powers, Erdo?an came to the Oval Office with complaints about US support for Kurdish fighters and what Ankara says is Washington?s harbouring of the mastermind of a failed coup.

But both leaders also tried to put a brave face on their differences and to renew a key alliance between Nato?s leading power and its biggest Muslim member, partners in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

?It is absolutely unacceptable to take the YPG-PYD into consideration as partners in the region, and it?s going against a global agreement we reached,? Erdo?an said, referring to the Kurdish Peoples? Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

?In the same way, we should never allow those groups who want to change the ethnic or religious structures in the region to use terrorism as a pretext,? he added, suggesting that the Kurds were using the anti-Isis fight as cover for separatist nationalism.

Another video with a better view: https://twitter.com/i/videos/tweet/864631567972540417
When the Dust in Syria and Iraq settles, IMO it's time for a Kurdish State there. Even against Ankara's wishes. I think the Kurds have more than earned that after fighting not only against Isis but Saddam as well ... if there is anyone in that region that has fought for Us and European interests in the region for the past 15 years - it's the Kurds. Time they got what they deserve ...
EU warns Turkey after it violates Greek airspace 141 times in one day

According to Greek press reports, 20 Turkish F-16, 5 CN-235 maritime surveillance aircraft and 19 helicopters entered the Athens flight information region (FIR) without submitting a flight plan.

In all cases, Turkish aircraft were identified and intercepted by Greek fighters, while in nine cases the interception process resulted in near combat situations.

In addition, two Turkish missile boats entered Greek territorial waters off the southeast Aegean island of Agathonisi.

The vessels, which were taking part in a maritime exercise code-named Denizkurdu (Seawolf), stayed in Greek territorial waters for about 20 minutes. As Kathimerini journal reported, last month Agathonisi was described as a ?Turkish island? by Turkey?s Minister of European Union Affairs Omer Celik.


140 times is acceptable but come on, 141 times in one day?

No really, didn't Turkey shoot down a Russian jet some time ago for doing exactly this?

According to Turkey, the aircraft?whose nationality was unknown at the time?was fired upon while in Turkish airspace because it violated the border up to a depth of 2.19 kilometres (1.36 miles) for about 17 seconds

Reading comments, some by greek nationals, they say it's common for this to happen. I'm not so sure it is.
This happened hours after Erdogen met with the Greek prime minister in China. Everyone knows neither country are big fans of the other but what is Turkey playing at here? They're both part of NATO.
Tens of thousands of Turks swarmed a central Istanbul square on Thursday in solidarity with the city's opposition mayor after he was banned from politics ahead of next year's presidential election.