An Ankara court remands Gurcan Balik, Ali Findik and Tuncay Babali in custody ahead of trial over suspected links to Gulen.
At least 50 people are killed and dozens more wounded latein an attack possibly carried out by a suicide bomber on a wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border. A senior security official says the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc and the October 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara. Reports say the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14. Turkey’s foreign minister:
Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that.
Davutoglu criticizes Russia’s attack on Idlib in north-west Syria,, saying Syrian lands will not be part of “Russian imperialist goals.”
Iraq’s government demands that Turkey immediately withdraw additional military personnel deployed to train Iraqi Kurdish fighters near the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul.
A Russian Su-24 jet crashes near the Turkey-Syrian border, after being hit by a Turkish missile. Turkey says its jets shot at the plane after giving 10 warnings that it was violating Turkish airspace. Moscow says the jet never strayed from Syrian airspace. One of the two pilots is killed in the air by fire from the ground. The second pilot’s situation is not known. Two Russian Mi-8 helicopters perform a search-and-rescue operation, but one of them is damaged by small arms fire and makes an emergency landing. A Russian marine is killed during an operation. Turkish President Erdogan:
[The Russian plane was dealt with because it] did not answer our warning.
Russian President Putin says there will be “serious consequences” for Moscow’s relations with Turkey.
[This] represents a stab in the back by the terrorists’ accomplices. I can’t describe what has happened today in any other way. Our plane was downed over Syrian territory by an air-to-air missile from a Turkish F-16 jet. The plane fell on Syrian territory 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away from the Turkish border. It was flying 1 kilometer away from the Turkish border when it was attacked. In any case, neither our pilots nor our jet posed any threat to Turkey. That is obvious. They were carrying out an operation fighting against ISIL in Northern Latakia.
U. S. High Command in Europe says six U.S. F-16 fighter jets plus 300 support personnel. have arrived in Incirlik, Southern Turkey, increasing the unit equipment of the United States Air Force-led coalition against ISIS. The detachment is part of the 31st Fighter Wing based at Aviano Air Base, in Italy. Turkish media reports say the U.S. is expected to deploy around 30 fighter jets at Incirlik for strikes against ISIS. Incirlik is located close to ISIS strongholds across the border in Syria.
Turkey and the US have agreed on the outlines of a plan to drive Islamic State out of a strip of land along the Turkish-Syrian border, in a landmark deal that will draw Turkey further into Syria’s civil war and looks likely to increase the intensity of the U.S. air war against Isis. The YPG accuses Turkey of targeting its fighters inside Syria as they laid siege to Isis-held positions close to another key border crossing, the town of Jarabulus.
It is reported that Turkey has agreed that the U.S. may use its airbase at Incirlik to launch air strikes on ISIS. Turkey’s decision comes one day after a telephone discussion between Presidents Obama and Erdogan. US officials decline to give details of the agreement with Turkey, and spokesmen decline to confirm it officially, saying it was up to Turkey to confirm. Turkish officials decline to comment on the report.
President Obama expresses condolences on behalf of the American people over the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey attributed to the Islamic State. These included one attack that killed over 30 people in Suruc near Syria’s border. White House statement:
The two leaders affirmed that the United States and Turkey stand united in the fight against terrorism. The leaders also discussed efforts to increase cooperation to stem the flow of foreign fighters and secure Turkey’s border with Syria.
Turkey agrees to let the U.S. use a base on Turkish soil to launch airstrikes against the Islamic state. This indicates a significant change in Turkish policy, as previously Turkey was reluctant to get drawn to far into the war against the Islamic state. The base that will be used is Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. A White House statements says that the leaders of the U.S. and Turkey had discussed
deepening our ongoing cooperation in the fight against ISIL, as well as common efforts to bring security and stability to Iraq and a political settlement to the conflict in Syria.
A suspected Islamic State suicide bomber kills at least 30 people, mostly young students, in an attack on a Turkish town near the Syrian border. Witness:
I was behind a banner so I couldn’t see the attacker, but we understand it was a suicide attack. I was thrown to the ground…I jumped up and began running before I even realised I was hurt.
Hurriyet Daily News says that an official report concludes that Irish is the ‘sole culprit’ in the crash that killed Shim and injured Irish herself. Crash report from gendarmes in the city of Suruç in the province of Şanlıurfa, where Shim was staying:
[Irish] entered the junction too fast, violating a lane as well as traffic rules by turning right.
The report states that the speedometer of the rented car shows it went above 70 kmh (50 mph) before crashing into the cement mixer driven by Salan. Irish remains in hospital.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says the country is assisting Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements to cross the border.
Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government announced that they are in cooperation with Turkey and the U.S.. Actually, we are helping peshmerga forces to enter into Kobani to give support.
Shim, a Lebanese-American reporter for Press TV, is killed in a car crash in Turkey a day after stating that Turkish intelligence was spying on her. She had been reporting that ISIS militants had crossed the border in trucks used by NGOs to carry food. Press TV broadcast:
Just a couple of days ago she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence
— Shabbir R Hassanally (@shabbirh) October 20, 2014
Ali, a political analyst based in London, tells Press TV in an interview that Shim was pursued by the Turkish intelligence service. Ali, using another name for ISIS or the Islamic State:
[She was] assassinated [because] she gave the truth about what this regime in Turkey, that has been oppressing its people, that has been oppressing the Kurdish population and that is actively working to support…this terrorist organization known as the ISIL
Militants from the group make an abduction attempt on Abu Issa, the commander of a Kobani-based group, and his son in the southeastern town of Urfa 20 miles inside the border. Abu Issa and his son escape when one of the third-party people smugglers used by ISIS to transport people and weapons into Syria panics after spotting Turkish soldiers. Abu Issa is shot and wounded during the attempt. Turkey has stated that ISIS does not have a presence within the country.
Shim tells Press TV that she has been accused of spying:
I think it’s definitely because of the reporting about Syria [about] the so-called Free Syrian Army going in [Syria] and catching these Takfiri militants and getting their passport stamps and getting first-hand information that they were actually inside while Turkey was still hiding this.
She denies the allegations:
[The Turkish government alleges that] I am spying and that I am working with the Turkish opposition but it’s only logical that I would speak with the Turkish opposition just the same way I would speak with other parties … because that’s my job
She says she is surprised:
I have nothing to hide and I have never done anything aside [from] my job.
Israel’s Arutz Sheva newspaper reports that the State Deparment’s Jen Psaki confirms talks have been held with the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units), part of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The PYD is considered by Turkey to be an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. This is classified by the U.S. and EU as a terrorist organization due to its involvement in the insurgency in Turkey for Kurdish independence. Psaki:
This was just one conversation over the weekend. So it doesn’t represent coordination. It represents one conversation.
She doesn’t state how frequently U.S. officials might be in contact with the YPG. Arutz Sheva reports that an alliance with the Kurdish group could place Turkey’s involvement in the coalition against ISIS at risk. But it says Kurdish groups often have the best on-the-ground knowledge, and Kurdish groups previously warned the U.S. about ISIS months in advance.
The Turkish Government says that at least 130,000 Kurdish refugees have fled Syria and moved to Turkey as they escape the Islamic State Militants. Temporary refugee camps have been put in place to cope with the growing numbers. Turkish Government:
More than 130,000 Syrian refugees. many of them Kurds, have crossed the border over the last three days.
Turkey closes its borders to fend off at least 130,000 Kurdish refugees. The Kurds are fleeing a Syrian town which Islamic State Rebels are poised to take. The reaction takes place as some Kurds in Turkey take to the streets to protest in support of the entry of the refugees. Demonstrator Mehmet Eminakma:
We’ve come to support our brothers in Syria under attack by ISIL.
At least 1,000 Turks join the Islamic State over a period of time. The extremist group especially attracts disgruntled, disadvantaged youths with the enticement of money. Turkish fighters also identify more favorably with ISIS governance versus Turkish governance. A rickety district known as Hacibayram that is a tourist attraction serves as a recruitment center for potential fighters to Syria. Stein:
There are clearly recruitment centers being set up in Ankara and elsewhere in Turkey, but the government doesn’t seem to care. It seems their hatred for Bashar al-Assad and their overly nuanced view of what radical Islam is has led to a very short and narrow-sighted policy that has serious implications.
The United States places considerable pressure on President Recept Tayyip Erdogan to better police the Turkey border connecting with Syria. Turkey refuses to take measures countering ISIS, upsetting American officials.
Sources in the Persian Gulf tell Reuters that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have set up a secret ‘nerve centre’ near the Turkish border with Syria to direct military aid and communications to Syrian rebels fighting the government. Doha source:
It’s the Turks who are militarily controlling it. Turkey is the main co-ordinator/facilitator. Think of a triangle, with Turkey at the top and Saudi Arabia and Qatar at the bottom. The Americans are very hands-off on this. U.S. intel are working through middlemen. Middlemen are controlling access to weapons and routes.
The centre is located in the southern Turkish city of Adana, about 100 km (60 miles) from the border, and was set up after Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah al-Saud visited Turkey and requested it. The Turks liked the idea of having the base in Adana so that they could supervise its operations.