Turkey to conduct naval exercises off Cyprus coast

Above, the Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis being escorted Turkish naval ships in the Mediterranean Sea on August 10, 2020. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AFP)
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Updated 12 September 2020

Turkey to conduct naval exercises off Cyprus coast

  • Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean

ISTANBUL: Turkey announced it would conduct a live fire naval exercise off the coast on Cyprus between Saturday and Monday despite the looming threat of EU sanctions.
Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the eastern Mediterranean, sparking fears of more severe conflict.
In a message on NAVTEX, the international maritime navigational telex system, Turkey said on Friday there would be a gunnery exercise off the coast of Sadrazamkoy in northern Cyprus.
The announcement comes after southern European leaders warned on Thursday they were ready to back EU sanctions against Turkey if Ankara shunned dialogue.
The issue will be discussed again at a EU summit on 24-25 September.
Tensions escalated after Turkey sent the Oruc Reis seismic research vessel and a small navy flotilla to waters claimed by Greece on August 10.
Greece then responded by shadowing the Turkish ships and staging naval exercises with several EU allies and the United Arab Emirates in its own show of force.
The Oruc Reis is supposed to remain in the disputed waters until Saturday.


UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

Updated 29 October 2020

UK govt: British women strip-searched in Qatar

  • London describes incident as ‘unacceptable’
  • Strip-search took place in Doha airport

LONDON: British authorities have formally registered concerns with Qatar following reports that two women who are UK nationals were strip-searched in Doha.

The forced medical examinations were carried out in Doha airport after authorities discovered a newborn baby in a bin.

This, it is claimed, prompted them to conduct “urgently decided” intrusive examinations, described as “absolutely terrifying” by one of 13 Australian women on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to them.

The British women were part of a group that was forced to disembark flights before having their underwear removed for a female medical professional to carry out an examination assessing if they had recently given birth.

The complaint was registered by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which said in a statement: “We are providing ongoing support to two British women following an incident in Doha. We have formally expressed our concern with the Qatari authorities and Qatar Airways and are seeking assurances an unacceptable incident like this cannot happen again.”

Australian officials said passengers from 10 flights leaving Doha on Oct. 2 were subjected to the ordeal.

“The advice that has been provided indicates that the treatment of the women concerned was offensive, grossly inappropriate, and beyond circumstances in which the women could give free and informed consent,” said a spokeswoman for the office of Australia’s foreign minister.

Sources familiar with the incident have said the newborn is alive and in care, and the mother has not been identified.

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