76 Dead In Turkey, 42 In Syria As Earthquake Shatters Lives

76 Dead In Turkey, 42 In Syria As Earthquake Shatters Lives

At least 76 people have been killed across seven provinces in Turkey and 42 were reported dead in Syria in initial reports after a deadly earthquake struck 23 kilometers (14.2 miles) east of Nurdagi in Turkey’s Gaziantep province on Monday, Anadolu Agency reported citing disaster management authorities.

“At least 76 people killed, 440 injured over seven provinces as 7.4 earthquake hits southern provinces of Turkiye,” Anadolu Agency tweeted citing The Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) of the country
Meanwhile, Syrian state media SANA reported that close to 42 people lost their lives in the earthquake in Ankara and nearby regions, including the Syria-Lebanon border. Exams scheduled for Monday in at least two Syrian universities have been postponed, SANA said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Twitter that “search and rescue teams were immediately dispatched” to the areas hit by the quake.

Multiple aftershocks followed the quake.

Social media videos showed multiple collapsed buildings and in Turkey and Syria with terrified locals huddling on the streets.

“At least 6 people killed, 79 injured, 6 buildings destroyed in southern Diyarbakir province as 7.4 earthquake hits southern provinces of Turkiye: Diyarbakir governor,” the Anadolu Agency tweeted.

Southern and central Turkey have both experienced powerful aftershocks. According to CNN, the strongest aftershock, measuring 6.7 in magnitude, struck around 32 kilometres (20 miles) northwest of the original earthquake’s epicentre about 11 minutes later.

The governor of Malayta province in Turkey said that at least 23 people were killed in his province, and 420 were injured. 140 buildings were destroyed, he added.

Similarly quoting the governors of Sanliurfa and Osmaniye provinces of Turkey, Anadolu Agency reported that 15 and 5 people were killed in the provinces, separately. The toll of the injured also remains high.

Several provinces in Southern Turkey also reported loss of lives.

There were reports of destroyed buildings in Turkey and Syria, where tremors also were felt.

People took to social media to post footage of the destruction, including collapsed buildings and people trapped under the rubble.

The casualty count is further expected to rise. (ANI)

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Istanbul Blast

Toll In Deadly Istanbul Blast Rises To 6

Six people were killed and 53 injured after an explosion rocked the busy Istiklal pedestrian street of Central Istanbul in Turkey on Sunday.

The explosion occurred at around 4.20 pm local time. The cause of the blast is not known yet.
Calling the blast a suspected act of terrorism, Turkish President Erdogan said in a press conference that efforts to take over Turkey and the Turkish nation through terrorism would not succeed, the Anadolu agency reported.

“Turkish President Erdogan says that based on initial information from the governor, the Istanbul explosion could be a suspected act of terrorism,” Anadolu tweeted.

Citing the Istanbul governor’s initial information, Erdogan said the observations show a woman played a role in the explosion at Istiklal Avenue.

“Efforts to take over Turkiye and the Turkish nation through terrorism will not yield results, President Erdogan says. Initial observations show a woman played a role in the explosion at Istiklal Avenue, Turkish President says,” the tweet read.

According to several internet watchdogs, the deadly blast has resulted in a temporary broadcast ban in the country, as access to Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook in Turkey was restricted after the explosion.

The police and fire department reached the incident site soon after the blast. Ambulances were seen rushing to the incident site in several videos circulating on social media.

The blast occurred at a time when Erdogan was scheduled to embark on the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia. (ANI)

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India Israel Relationship

India-Israel Share Strong Relationship: Israeli Envoy To Turkey

Israel’s Ambassador to Turkey, Roey Gilad on Monday said that New Delhi and Jerusalem share a strong relationship, adding further that the cooperation between the two countries has also strengthened.

Speaking to ANI on India and Israel’s relationship after the formation of a new government in Jerusalem, Gilad said, “A strong relationship has been developed between Israel and India in previous decades. It’s on the leadership level as well. Cooperation between India as a global superpower and Israel as a regional superpower has risen too.”
Recently, a general election was held in Israel where Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies won enough seats to form a majority government in Israel’s parliament.

During an early morning speech at a victory rally in Jerusalem, Netanyahu said, “We have received a huge vote of confidence and we are on the verge of a very big victory.”

Israelis headed to the ballots in the unprecedented fifth election since 2019, as the country’s political system has been immobilized for almost four years. The parliament has 120 seats.

Over 6.7 million eligible voters cast their votes in 12,495 ballots, according to figures issued by the Central Elections Committee. Some 18,000 police officers were deployed throughout the country to prevent fraud attempts, manage traffic and keep security.

Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving leader, sought to return to power with his right-wing Likud party and a far-right and Jewish ultra-Orthodox coalition.

India and Israel share a warm relationship. India announced its recognition of Israel on September 17, 1950. Soon thereafter, the Jewish Agency established an immigration office in Bombay. This was later converted into a Trade Office and subsequently a Consulate. Embassies were opened in 1992 when full diplomatic relations were established.

Since the upgradation of relations in 1992, defence and agriculture formed the two main pillars of bilateral engagement. In recent years, relations have rapidly grown across a broad spectrum of areas.

India is the only country where Israel has the position of Water Attache to help share Israeli best practices and technologies for advancements in India’s water management sector. (ANI)

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Turkey Helped Pakistan Raise Cyber Army Against US, India

Turkey secretly helped Pakistan in setting up a cyber-army camouflaged under the bilateral agreement which was used for domestic political goals as well as directed to attack the US and India and undermine criticism leveled against the Pakistani rulers.

Turkey helped Pakistan in setting up a cyber-army to shape public opinion, influence the views of Muslims in Southeast Asia, attack the US and India and undermine criticism leveled against the Pakistani rulers, Nordic Monitor has learned.

The plan was given a go-ahead by Imran Khan, the then-prime minister who simultaneously held the position of interior minister, during a meeting with Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu in 2018.

The secret work was camouflaged under the bilateral agreement on cooperation against cybercrime when in fact it was against perceived influence operations pursued by the US, India, and other foreign powers, according to sources familiar with the project, reported Nordic Monitor.

The proposal to establish such a unit was first put on the table during private talks between visiting Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu and his host, Shehryar Khan Afridi, the then-minister of state for interior, on December 17, 2018. The matter was discussed at the senior level and kept confidential from most of the staff at Islamabad’s interior ministry, Nordic Monitor reported.

The first public admission of this clandestine operation was made by Soylu during an interview on October 13, 2022, with a local TV station in Kahramanmaras. He did not name the country but made clear he was in fact talking about Pakistan when he referred to a country that was a five or six-hour direct flight from Turkey.

Unlike his predecessors, Soylu has gained notoriety in running troll and bot armies in cyberspace on behalf of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and had worked on similar covert operations even before he became interior minister in September 2016, added Nordic Monitor.

The AKP set up teams to dominate social media in influence operations and attacks on critics. When he was deputy chairman of Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in 2014 with a research and development portfolio, Soylu secretly set up a large Twitter team to insult and target with offensive language prominent social and political figures who did not embrace the AKP’s ideals and practices. According to the parliamentary record, he controlled a 6,000-strong troll army at the time.

In the end, using intelligence and information as a weapon, the newly revamped cyber police department was turned into machinery to undermine the public view of the opposition and smear critics and dissenters within the ruling party reported Nordic Monitor.

Instead of investigating real crime on the internet, the teams at the cyber unit are busy hacking opponents’ emails and social media accounts, collecting private data from cell phones and computers they gained access to, and using the hacked material to intimidate and at times blackmail dissidents. (ANI)

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Putin Provoke Colour Revolution

Syria saved, political settlement next: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that the breakdown of Syria has been prevented, and that a new stage has been reached for the possible transition to a political settlement in the war-torn country. The leaders of Russia, Iran, Turkey held a trilateral summit in the Russian city Sochi, discussing the current situation in Syria and further joint steps to restore peace and security in the country. “Large-scale military operations against terrorist gangs in Syria are coming to an end. I should note that thanks to the efforts of Russia, Iran and Turkey, it was possible to prevent the disintegration of Syria and conquest by international terrorists, as well as to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe,” Putin said at the summit, Xinhua news agency reported.

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Middle East: Caliphate ends but other wars grow

According to Putin, the regime of the cessation of hostilities is observed in Syria, four de-escalation zones are functioning in key regions of the country and hundreds of thousands of refugees have begun returning to their hometown. “It can be stated with certainty that we have reached a new stage that opens the door to a real political settlement process,” he said. Underlining that the political settlement must be formalized within the framework of the Geneva process, Putin suggested developing a long-term “comprehensive system for the revival of Syria.” He said the success of the forthcoming reforms largely depends on the solution of the social and economic problems of Syria, as well as the restoration of industry, agriculture, infrastructure, health and education systems. In particular, the president highlighted the importance of speeding up the implementation of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress and proposed to discuss the parameters of the forum with the other two heads of state. “It is obvious that the process of reform will be difficult, will require compromises and concessions from all its participants, including the Syrian government. I hope Russia, Iran and Turkey together will make the most active efforts to make this work as productive as possible,” he said. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress, proposed by Moscow in late October at Astana talks in Kazakhstan for Syrian settlement, is expected to bring together opposition and pro-government forces, as well as representatives of all Syrian ethnic and religious groups to work for the peace process in the country. On Tuesday, first deputy chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s Defense and Security committee Frants Klintsevich said that the fight against Islamic State terrorist group in Syria will possibly be over by the end of the year and Russia may be able to withdraw its air forces. The Syrian armed conflict broke out in 2011 and Russia started to participate in the anti-terrorist operations in Syria in September 2015. (IANS)
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