Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Giving Thanks for a Nation of Migrants, Refugees, and Immigrants*

Rejecting the ugly politics of now, President Obama recalls an American Thanksgiving tradition of paying “tribute to people of every background and belief.”

By John Nichols

National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) hosts a pre-Thanksgiving celebration for new US citizens at the Great Hall on Ellis Island, New York. (AP Photo / Diane Bondareff, Invision for National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations)

The Pilgrims were, of course, migrants seeking refuge from intolerance and threats, hardship and violence. It is the recollection of their experience that underpins the deeply rooted American values not just of welcoming the stranger but of respecting religious diversity.

As dissenters against the interwoven church and state of their native England, Pilgrims were hounded in their homeland.

“Like others who refused to follow the Church of England’s teachings, some of them were harassed, fined or even sent to jail,” recall the historians of the Pilgrim experience.

“When they felt they could no longer suffer these difficulties in England, they chose to flee to the Dutch Netherlands.”

In time, however, economic hardship and fear of war led them to undertake a perilous Atlantic voyage to North America.

President Obama picks up the story in his 2015 Thanksgiving Proclamation:

“ Upon arriving in Plymouth, at the culmination of months of testing travel that resulted in death and disease, the Pilgrims continued to face great challenges. An indigenous people, the Wampanoag, helped them adjust to their new home, teaching them critical survival techniques and important crop cultivation methods. After securing a bountiful harvest, the settlers and Wampanoag joined in fellowship for a shared dinner to celebrate powerful traditions that are still observed at Thanksgiving today: lifting one another up, enjoying time with those around us, and appreciating all that we have.”

In a moment of ugly politics and harsh pronouncements—especially with regard to refugees from Syria but also toward migrants and immigrants from many lands—and a harsh disregard for religious and cultural diversity, the president gently reminds Americans of their own history and recognizes that “the inherent selflessness and common goodness of the American people endures.”

“In the same spirit of togetherness and thanksgiving that inspired the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag, we pay tribute to people of every background and belief who contribute in their own unique ways to our country’s story,” declares the president.

“Each of us brings our own traditions, cultures and recipes to this quintessential American holiday—whether around dinner tables, in soup kitchens or at home cheering on our favourite sports teams—but we are all united in appreciation of the bounty of our nation. Let us express our gratitude by welcoming others to our celebrations and recognize those who volunteer today to ensure a dinner is possible for those who might have gone without. Together, we can secure our founding ideals as the birthright of all future generations of Americans.”

This regard for America’s diversity and its tradition of lifting one another up has been a constant in Obama’s annual proclamations. The president does not use his Thanksgiving pronouncements to make bold political statements—as Lyndon Johnson did 50 years ago with his referencing of the passage of the Voting Rights Act, establishment of Medicare and Medicaid and war on poverty:

“In the past year we have added greatly to that national legacy. We have guaranteed the right to vote to all our citizens. We have pledged dignity to our elderly—even in sickness. We have added new dimensions to the education of our youth. We have broadened the horizons of opportunity for our poor. And all the while, we have enjoyed the greatest prosperity in history.”

Nor does the current president get as specific as, for instance, Dwight Eisenhower did with his detailed endorsements of the United Nations and its programs.

But Obama still gets attacked for infusing his proclamations with “multicultural pieties.”

What the critics do not get is that Thanksgiving is a holiday for “multicultural pieties”—for embracing diversity, for sharing our prosperity, for recalling the history of welcoming the stranger. And for carrying those legacies forward.

Presidents of both parties, and of many ideological traditions, have long understood this. In 2001, George W. Bush’s Thanksgiving Proclamation noted,

“As we recover from the terrible tragedies of September 11, Americans of every belief and heritage give thanks to God for the many blessings we enjoy as a free, faithful, and fair-minded land.”

That was in keeping with the former president’s statements respecting religious diversity in general, his specific recognition in those difficult days of the contributions of Arab-Americans, and his declaration that

we respect the vibrant faith of Islam which inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality.”

Forty years ago, in another trying moment for the nation, President Gerald Ford proclaimed,

“Let us join in giving thanks for our cultural pluralism. Let us celebrate our diversity and the great strengths that have come from sharing our traditions, our ideas, our resources, our hopes and our dreams. Let us be grateful that for 200 years our people have been dedicated to fulfilling the democratic ideal—dedicated to securing ‘liberty and justice for all.’” Ford’s sometimes rival, Ronald Reagan, would use one of his Thanksgiving Proclamations to celebrate the fact that “[p]eople from every race, culture, and creed on the face of the Earth now inhabit this land. Their presence illuminates the basic yearning for freedom, peace, and prosperity that has always been the spirit of the New World.”

Eighty years ago, in the midst of the Great Depression, and with the threat of fascism rising in Europe, President Franklin Roosevelt crafted perhaps the finest of the many presidential proclamations of Thanksgiving. FDR highlighted connections between Americans of differing backgrounds, as well as well as a global responsibility to “by example and practice help to bind the wounds of others.”

“In traversing a period of national stress our country has been knit together in a closer fellowship of mutual interest and common purpose. We can well be grateful that more and more of our people understand and seek the greater good of the greater number. We can be grateful that selfish purpose of personal gain, at our neighbour’s loss, less strongly asserts itself. We can be grateful that peace at home is strengthened by a growing willingness to common counsel. We can be grateful that our peace with other Nations continues through recognition of our own peaceful purpose,” wrote the 32nd president.

“But in our appreciation of the blessings that Divine Providence has bestowed upon us in America, we shall not rejoice as the Pharisee rejoiced. War and strife still live in the world. Rather, must America by example and in practice help to bind the wounds of others, strive against disorder and aggression, encourage the lessening of distrust among peoples and advance peaceful trade and friendship.”

FDR would, as the years went on, add some “multicultural pieties” of his own. In his last Thanksgiving Proclamation, issued in November, 1944, Roosevelt wrote,

“Let every man of every creed go to his own version of the Scriptures for a renewed and strengthening contact with those eternal truths and majestic principles which have inspired such measure of true greatness as this nation has achieved.”

It is surely true that presidents and citizens do not always rise to the challenges of our times. But our values, our best ideals, are constant. We are descended from migrants and refugees and immigrants—and from those who welcomed those migrants, refugees, and immigrants. This is who we are as Americans. And the best measures of our greatness are found in a history of respecting diversity as a source of strength, and in an inclination to “encourage the lessening of distrust among peoples.”


Related Topics:

Indigenous View on Thanksgiving

When giving creates more …………..

Giving Up on Yourself to be White

‘We Charge Genocide’: Systematic Murder & Oppression of Blacks Continues in U.S.*

The Vanishing Indigenous Nations of the U.S. – Five Facts*

Police Killing Indigenous Americans at Astounding Rate*

Obama Changes Mountain’s Name to Its’ Indigenous Name, but Continues to Steal Indigenous Land*

‘Justice or Else’ Muslim-led Million Man March Hits Washington*

American Civil War: When Russia Blocked British-led Intervention against the Union

U.S. has 5% of World’s Female Population, but 30% of Women in Prison*

U.S. has 5% of World’s Female Population, but 30% of Women in Prison*

The United States imprisons more of its population than any other country. A new report points out that women are no exception from this dubious honour.

Information from the Prison Policy Initiative shows that the United States incarcerates almost 30% of the worldwide total of jailed women. That’s twice the percentage who are imprisoned in China and four times the rate of Russia.

“When compared to jurisdictions across the globe, even the U.S. states with the lowest levels of incarceration are far out of line,” stated the report.

Nationwide, there are 127 women jailed per 100,000 population, just less than Thailand’s rate of 130. The state with the highest percentage of incarcerated women is West Virginia, with 273. Rhode Island trails all other states with a rate of 39, just one more than Kazakhstan’s 38. The report’s authors also point out that Illinois, with a rate of 88, has a higher rate than El Salvador, where abortion is illegal and women are often jailed for having miscarriages.

The U.S. women’s incarceration rate has climbed steeply, according to the report.

“In the U.S., we are not only incarcerating women far more than nearly all other nations, but we are also incarcerating women far more than we have done in the recent past. The sudden growth of incarceration in our country has been staggering; our incarceration rate nearly tripled between 1980 and 1990,” the report said.


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U.S. Erosion of the Civil Rights of Women

Anti-Racist Activists Win as Seattle Council Votes to End Youth Incarceration*

Where else, but U.S.: Vaccine Bills That Remove Consent and Incarcerate the Infected

Mass Incarceration: Behind the Ferguson Uprising*

Land of the Incarcerated*

Homeless People Incarcerated in US Deported to Camps

Rasmea Odeh: Another Political Prisoner of the U.S.*

Ex CIA Operative, Victim of Child Trafficking, and Political Prisoner in U.S.*

Librarians Gagged and Threatened with Prison under the Patriot Act*

$1.6mn for Wrongful Imprisonment*

The Cuban Five are Free After 16 years Wrongful Imprisonment*

Death from Vaccinosis and an Imprisoned Father*

U.S. Judge Orders Release of ILLEGALLY Imprisoned Immigrant Children From Detention Centres*

Convicted Israeli Spy Jonathan Pollard Released From U.S. Prison*

Tests Prove Li-Fi 100 Times Faster and More Secure than Wi-Fi*

Tests Prove Li-Fi 100 Times Faster and More Secure than Wi-Fi*

Let’s hope it is not as DNA destructive as Wi-Fi

The Velmenni bulb uses Li-Fi to transfer high speed data using light. (Photo by Velmenni website)

Tests have proven that a super-fast data transmitting technology called Li-Fi is 100 times faster than the existing Wi-Fi internet access points. 

Results of recent tests carried out by Velmenni, an Estonian start-up company in the city of Tallin, show that Li-Fi, which uses light to beam information through the air, was superbly fast in offices and industrial environments.

“We have designed a smart lighting solution for an industrial environment where the data communication is done through light,” said head of Velmenni Deepak Solanki.

“We are also doing a pilot project with a private client where we are setting up a Li-Fi network to access the internet in their office space,” he added.

First invented by Harald Haas, an Austrian professor of the Edinburgh University in Scotland, the Light Fidelity technology uses a technique called Visible Light Communication, which has already recorded a speed of 224 gigabytes per second under laboratory conditions. This could mean an unbelievable one-second downloading of 18 high-definition films.

There is a 2011 film showing Hass presenting his innovative technology, with reports saying it has attracted about 1.7 million views online.

Li-Fi inventor Professor Harald Haas

The technology can easily be integrated into the current lightning systems around the world as the data can piggyback on the light produced by the ordinary LED light bulbs if a small microchip is deployed on them.

The system is also more secure than the current Wi-Fi systems as the light cannot travel through the walls and the thus the data cannot be detected.

The out-of-lab tests in Estonia resulted in speeds of 1 gigabyte per second, 100 times more than the Wi-Fi which is only capable of carrying data in megabits and gigabits per second.

Airlines, oil facilities and intelligence agencies have expressed interest in using the technology due to its safe properties.


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Wi-Fi from Space – Don’t get Excited Google and Co Just Dumbing You Down*

Parents Sue School over Son’s ‘Wi-Fi Allergy’*

Why Two Canadian Schools Have Stopped Using Wi-Fi*

Lloyds Nullifies Health Insurance against Mobiles Phones, Wi-Fi and EMF/EMR*

Canada Parliament Committee Calls for “Protection of Vulnerable Groups” from Wi-fi*

U.K. to Blanket City Streets with Wi-Fi via “Smart Pavement”*

WiFi — an Invisible Threat to all Life*

Anti-NATO Protesters March Through Florence before Inter-Parliamentary Meeting*

Anti-NATO Protesters March Through Florence before Inter-Parliamentary Meeting*

Hundreds of anti-NATO protesters took to the streets of Italia’s Florence on Wednesday, ahead of a NATO inter-parliamentary meeting. Protesters gathered at Piazza Unita d’Italia and marched through the city center, shouting their indignation against NATO and global war activities. The meeting is being held at the Palazzo Vecchio over the course of two days, Thursday and Friday.

Related Topics:

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U.S. and NATO Launch Disinformation Terror War*

1000s March against NATO War Games in Italy, Spain*

Paris Attack a Perfect Pretext for NATO to Invade Syria and Iraq*

Syria: U.S and NATO Responsible for Death Toll… again!

NATO Plot Unfolding in Syria*

Open Letter from Former NSA Director and Veterans on NATO’s Ukraine Pretext for WWIII*

Ukraine Breaks Ceasefire as NATO Aids the Blood Feast*

NATO Preparing for the Banksters WWIII*

One Example Why NATO Should not be Invited onto One’s Soil*

NATO: A Feast of Blood

NATO: The Bombing of Al Fateh University

Resolution to Challenge The NATO War Makers

Libya: NATO Poisoning the Purest Water in the World

U.S./NATO Atrocities Against Libya

NATO Igniting Iraq for What It Can’t Get Elsewhere!

Open Letter to NATO Commanders and Political Leaders

Telephone Interview: NATO’s Gunmen Go Thermobaric

Cameron’s ‘deceitful’ Strategy to get U.K. Syrian Involvement*

Cameron’s ‘deceitful’ Strategy to get U.K. Syrian Involvement*

David Cameron said the U.K .shouldn’t subcontract security. I say we should not make ourselves hostage to the actions of others, says Peter Ford, former U.K. ambassador to Syria.

RT: Will the U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron manage to convince Parliament that Britain should join the aerial campaign against Islamic State forces in Syria?

Peter Ford: His case was very unconvincing. He put forward, I would call, a deceitful sort of strategy – a strategy trompe l’oeil – designed to deceive the eye. This is what that strategy is. For example, he claimed that the Syrian opposition forces could put 70,000 men in the field against IS and he gave the impression the most of these were under the command of the so-called Free Syrian Army. This is straight-forward deceit. I choose my words carefully – the FSA is a laughable front organization for jihadists. It can only itself put about 5,000 men in the field. The idea that this would be the cornerstone of a ‘boots on the ground’ force to drive out IS and accompanying airstrikes is laughable.

RT: Will the British public buy it?

PF: Not if Labour are up to the job of pointing out this deceit. The government is also being deceitful and not coming clean about the increased threat to the people of Britain; we’ll have to go onto higher alert. If we go ahead with bombing we can state with 99% certainty that there is going to be an outrage on the streets and markets and stadia of Britain as there was in Paris.

RT: At times like this when France and Belgium are in so much fear and stress now, and U.K . is part of Europe, shouldn’t it stand shoulder to the shoulder with its European counterparts?

PF: Not. No one consulted Britain when France decided to start bombing IS in Syria. They didn’t consult us before indulging in this adventurism. We should not be dragged into the Syrian mire. We should not make our security hostage to people like the French, the Americans, the Saudis and the Turks who want to pursue an adventurous policy. Cameron said that we shouldn’t subcontract security. I say we should not make ourselves hostage to the actions of others.

RT: Would Britain’s interference make much of a difference to the situation in Syria?

PF: Absolutely not. Even the government is hard put to make out a case that it will make any significant military difference. This is why they are having to resort to subterfuge, claiming that we have to stand by our allies. It will make no appreciable military difference. And it doesn’t stand any chance of doing so without a credible strategy for having boots on the ground’.

RT: David Cameron says a campaign would not repeat the fate of the air strikes in Libya back in 2011 which brought the country to ruins. Are you buying that?

PF: No way. Who is he to say? He talks about sending 70,000 opposition forces. By the way, at least 90% of those are jihadis – a slightly different persuasion from IS, but they are Islamist fundamentalists radicals supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar. These are the people that he wants to put in place of Assad. These are the so-called moderates. We saw these moderates three nights ago on television when they downed the Russian plane, shot the pilot descending in his parachute and then pulling the corpse like hyenas. These are the moderates in the book of Mr. Cameron. That is no replacement for the responsible Syrian government that we need to see.


Syria statement: Pros & cons of Britain launching airstrikes

British MPs have been asked by Prime Minister David Cameron to consider voting to extend airstrikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) from Iraq into Syria. RT examines the arguments for and against airstrikes.

The PM published his arguments in favour of war on Thursday morning in response to a Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) report, which raised questions that must be addressed before the UK takes military action.

After having grilled Cameron for more than two hours, MPs will now consider the debates surrounding airstrikes. A vote is to be called at a later, unspecified date.

RT sets out the arguments for and against extending British airstrikes against IS into Syria.

For: IS a threat to Britain

Cameron told MPs that British authorities have prevented seven terrorist attacks in the U.K. by groups either directed by or inspired by IS. The PM claims launching airstrikes against IS will make Britain safer because it will neutralize the threat posed by the group.

Against: Airstrikes will make U.K. a target

Middle East expert Dr Andreas Krieg has said airstrikes make countries more vulnerable to IS, as the militant group seeks to ‘punish’ them as they have done in France. According to journalist Patrick Cockburn, IS views the attacks on Paris as “a great success.”

For: A credible strategy exists

The PM told MPs “there is a credible military strategy to defeat ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq.” Cameron argued that airstrikes will weaken IS and stop its advance, giving space to “moderate” fighters to move in and seize the territory.

Against: Syria is in stalemate

Critics argue if there was a credible strategy for defeating IS, the war would have been won by now. In the U.S., Lieutenant General Robert Neller described the war in Syria as a “stalemate,” and General John Allen – who was in charge of the American campaign against IS – quit his job after only a year.

For: Moderate forces will act as ground troops

Cameron told parliament there are 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria who will battle IS on the ground, seizing territory opened up by coalition bombing. The PM ruled out the use of British ground troops in the campaign.

Against: There are not enough moderate forces

Several MPs questioned Cameron’s 70,000 figure, with the Chair of the Defence Select Committee Julian Lewis MP describing it as a “magical” number in an interview with Sky News. While rebel leaders claim to have 70,000 troops, many of these exist in competing factions. Critics point out that several rebel groups on the ground are currently caught up fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad around Damascus, not IS.

For: Few civilians will die from ‘precision’ airstrikes

The PM said Britain uses “some of the most accurate weapons known to man” that will minimize civilian casualties from airstrikes.

Against: Civilian casualties are inevitable

Advocacy group Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) said airstrikes have caused 3,165 civilian deaths and injuries in the year up to August. The U.S. admitted for the first time last Friday that an airstrike in Iraq and Syria caused civilian casualties, killing at least four civilians, including a child.

For: Airstrikes in Syria are legal

Cameron argued military intervention will be legal because U.N. Security Council Resolution 2249 calls on member states to take “all necessary measures” to “eradicate the safe haven” IS has established in Syria and Iraq.

Against: Airstrikes not allowed by international law

Critics argue that U.N. Security Council Resolution 2249 does not invoke Chapter 7, which specifically allows military action. The Stop the War coalition said without Chapter 7 status, Cameron falls back on the self-defense argument, which in inapplicable as it only applies to “foreign state invasion” not terrorist attacks.

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British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria*

British Pilots Bombing Syria in Secret*

“Official” British Intel Report on Iraq Copy-Pasted from the Internet*

British Soldiers Throw War Medals to the Floor*

How the British Empire aka New World Order Sowed Seeds of Destruction towards Islam*

Reality of British Empire should be taught in Schools – Corbyn*

British Government Firms Behind ISIS Oil Sales*

The List of Israel’s Agents within British Politics*

U.K.’s “Anti-extremism” Plan Brings Repression at Home and War Abroad*

Britain Moves from Democracy to Authoritarian State in Pernicious Veil of Secrecy*

Disaster Capitalism, Immigration, and the Outsourcing of Violence in the U.K.*

U.K. Cyber Brigade Serves to Spread Lies on Social Networks*

U.K.’s Intelligence Chairman Resigns – part of the battle to stop WW3*

U.K. Starts Building New, Permanent Navy Base in Bahrain*

Britain is arming Saudi Arabia in Yemen Conflict*

Indians Sue Britain for Return of Queen’s ‘Koh-i-Noor’ Crown Jewel*

Secret History of the British People*

Two-Faced Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 2,244 Times in 2014*

Two-Faced Turkey Violated Greek Airspace 2,244 Times in 2014*

Turkish claims that the downed Russian Su-24 jet “violated” its airspace have sparked outrage among Greeks, who took to social media to say it is a clear-cut case of double standards as Turkish jets breached Greek airspace 2,244 times in 2014 alone.

A Greek Air Force officer operates the radar of a Patriot air defence missiles at Tatoi air base, north of Athens © Yiorgos Karahalis / Reuters

They wondered what would happen if Greece had authorized engagement of Turkish aircraft, which breach the country’s borders on a regular basis.

On Wednesday, the Protothema newspaper released the numbers of breaches saying the Turkish Air Force is usually reluctant to share any details when it comes to such violations.

The newspaper quoted University of Thessaly statistics based on the Greek military’s count – there were 2,244 violations in 2014, an increase from 636 in 2013.

“The Turks are trying to enforce sovereignty over disputed islands and bring Greece to the negotiating table,” Thanos Dokos,  the director general of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, told the Politico news website in July.

“What’s worrying are the low-altitude flights, often by helicopters, over these islands.”

Turkey fails to respect the 10-mile airspace surrounding the Aegean Islands, which causes numerous dogfights between Greek and Turkish aircraft invading the area. From January to October 2015, the country’s airspace was violated 1,233 times including 31 flights over Greek territory itself, according to the Greek Air Force’s headquarters. Greek media noted the Turks are taking advantage of the country’s economic hardships.

“In the case of air incursions, you have to react,” Thanos Dokos said.

“It’s very hard to unilaterally pull back from a situation of military aggression. It’s a tragic situation, because the money we’re spending on dogfights with Turkey is money that we could have spent on other areas of defense.”

Media attention has also focused on Turkish naval vessels repeatedly breaching national maritime borders. Over just seven months – from January to July 2015 – the Turkish Navy made 175 incursions into Greek maritime waters. In June, the Turkish Navy ship, the Gelibolu, repeatedly went on “patrol” in Greek territorial waters, a move that angered many in Greece.

Earlier on Wednesday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikas Kotzias expressed solidarity with Russia in a phone conversation with Russian FM Sergei Lavrov. The Russian Foreign Ministry said:

“Athens agrees with the Russian president’s assessment on Ankara’s hostile actions, which are contrary to the goals of the anti-ISIS coalition,” RIA Novosti reports.

Greece, according to its Foreign Ministry, “especially comprehends provocative moves by Turkey given regular multiple violations of Greek air space by Ankara lasting for years.”

Both Turkey and Greece are NATO members, and each country claims a six- nautical-mile zone of the Aegean Sea. Many of the incidents take place within the disputed four-mile radius near the Turkish coast, which Athens considers its territory and Ankara calls international waters. Greece claims 10 miles of air space around the islands, while Turkey recognizes only six miles and argues that its fighters are flying in international airspace.


Related Topics:

Turkish Newspaper Editor in Court for ‘Espionage’ After Revealing Weapon Convoy to Syrian Militants*

Rescued Russian Pilot Says There was No Warning before F-16 Opened Fire*

Putin: Downing Of Russian Jet Over Syria Stab in the Back By Terrorist Accomplices*

Turkish Newspaper Editor in Court for ‘Espionage’ After Revealing Weapon Convoy to Syrian Militants*

Turkish Newspaper Editor in Court for ‘Espionage’ After Revealing Weapon Convoy to Syrian Militants*

A Turkish prosecutor asked a court to imprison the editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper pending trial for espionage and treason. In May, the outlet published photos of weapons it said were then transferred to Syria by Turkey’s intelligence agency.

Besides the editor, Can Dündar, the prosecution said it is seeking the same pre-trial restrictions for Cumhuriyet’s representative in Ankara, Erdem Gül.

Dündar arrived at an Istanbul court on Thursday, saying that he and his colleague came here to defend journalism.”

We came here to defend the right of the public to obtain the news and their right to know if their government is feeding them lies. We came here to show and to prove that governments cannot engage in illegal activity and defend this,” Dündar was cited by Today’s Zaman.

The articles, published on Cumhuriyet‘s front page in May, claimed that Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) is smuggling weapons in trucks into Syria and was caught doing so twice in 2014. The trucks were allegedly stopped and searched by police, with photos and videos of their contents obtained by Cumhuriyet.

According to the paper, the trucks were carrying six steel containers, with 1,000 artillery shells, 50,000 machine gun rounds, 30,000 heavy machine gun rounds and 1,000 mortar shells. The arms were reportedly delivered to extremist groups fighting against the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad, whom Ankara wants ousted from power.

The Turkish authorities denied the allegations, saying that the trucks were carrying aid to Syrian ethnic Turkmen tribes people and labeled their interception an act of “treason” and “espionage.”

A 2014 report by Human Rights Watch warned that under Erdogan’s rule Turkey has seen the erosion of human rights via a crackdown on media freedom, dissent and a weakening of the rule of law.

Many journalists in the country are facing harsh prison terms for exposing corruption in the government and surveillance by the Turkish state.

Egdogan’s regime has also attempted to silence social media by blocking YouTube and Twitter on a number of occasions.


Related Topics:

Rescued Russian Pilot Says There was No Warning before F-16 Opened Fire*

Putin: Downing Of Russian Jet Over Syria Stab in the Back By Terrorist Accomplices*