U.S.A. ranks 41 in Freedom of Press

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When it comes to Freedom, we think about U.S.A. as the Land of the Free. Liberty has always been a major point in our lives and we believe our Country is the most privileged of all.

Well, maybe in the past. Nowadays we must realise that things have changed, many countries can be considered as free, independent, democratic. What about freedom of press? Well, we rank only 41, behind countries as Germany, Portugal, Chile or Spain… and only one above Burkina Faso. Let’s take a look:

https://rsf.org/en/ranking

Impressive. Amazing. Disappointing. We should maybe re-think about what the United States of America have become or our Lady Liberty won’t be proud of us at all.

Nevertheless, don’t worry, we are in good company: France, Japan and Italy rank even lower.

Source: Reporters without borders.

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New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish Gills

New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish GillsImage: Andrew Gillis/University of Cambridge
Jennifer Ouellette, Gizmodo

Over a century ago, scientists discarded a proposed theory that human limbs evolved from gills, given the lack of evidence in the fossil record. That theory is being revisited in light of new genetic results just published in the journal Development.

Human beings inherited many features from creatures that lived hundreds of millions of years ago, and we still carry those genetic imprints. Our hands, for instance, evolved from prehistoric fish fins, and scientists can trace our skin and teeth to prehistoric reptiles. Now scientists at the University of Cambridge have performed experiments on the embryos of skates that point to a possible evolutionary connection between the gills of those fish and our limbs.

Skates are “cartilaginous fish,” along with sharks and rays, which means their gills are protected by skin flaps. Those flaps in turn are held up by arches made out of cartilage. And a key feature of those arches are appendages called branchial rays that fan out much like fingers.

 Back in 1878, a German anatomist named Karl Gegenbaur speculated that paired fins (and, ultimately, limbs) evolved through a gradual transformation of the gill arch—much like the vertebrae in the human backbone, each of which is a little bit different, but nonetheless based on a common ground plan. It made sense, but nothing in the fossil record lent support to his hypothesis, so it was summarily discounted.
New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish GillsKarl Gegenbaur’s sketch of corresponding parts of the human hand to forelimbs (1870). Public domain.

The Cambridge researchers approached the question from a different angle. Whereas Gegenbaur based his conclusions on anatomical analysis, they focused on what the underlying molecular mechanisms might be for such a connection. “Gegenbaur speculated that gill arches and fins/limbs were evolutionarily related because they appear to be built according to a common ground plan,” lead author Andrew Gillis told Gizmodo. In contrast, “We’ve identified a molecular feature that could be a key part of that ground plan.”

That key is a gene colorfully dubbed Sonic hedgehog, known to play an important role in determining the form and number of digits, and making sure everything is in the right place. Early on in the developmental stage of mammalian embryos, it’s the Sonic hedgehog gene that helps determine where the thumb and pinky finger will be on the hand, for instance. As the embryo grows, Sonic hedgehog makes sure everything keeps growing until it reaches full size.

New Evidence Suggests That Limbs and Fins Evolved From Fish GillsImage: Andrew Gillis/University of Cambridge

That’s how it works in mammals, anyway. But how does the gene function in skate embryos? To find out, Gillis et al. tweaked the gene to inhibit its expression at various stages of development.

The result: Disrupt the gene expression early on, and you’ll get those finger-like branchial rays forming on the wrong side of the skate embryo’s gill arch. Inhibit it later in development, and they’ll form in the right spot, but there are fewer of them.

In other words, the underlying mechanism seems to be the same.

“The extent of the similarities here is compelling,” University of Chicago evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin (author of Your Inner Fish) told Gizmodo. “Those rays are really behaving like digits developmentally. Essentially what [Gillis] is seeing is that some of the genetic processes that build and pattern gill rays are fundamental to the formation of limbs with fingers and toes. That is a very interesting insight.”

So does this mean that Gegenbaur was right all along? It’s not quite that cut-and-dried, according to Gillis. Perhaps fins and the branchial rays of gills evolved independently, but use the same underlying mechanism. Alternatively, fins and gills might be completely unrelated, and just happen to use a couple of the same genes. Gillis is hopeful that his research will help distinguish between these two scenarios, as we learn more about the genes involved in the development of shark and skate gills—and how they interact with, and regulate, each other.

Or maybe it’s time to give Gegenbaur his due and accept that fins (and, ultimately, our own limbs) did evolve from gills. In that case, uncovering evidence in the fossil record is the only way to know for sure. And as Shubin observed, “A fossil with transitional morphologies between gills and limbs would be quite amazing to see.”

New Study Reveals the Best Way to Deal With Psychopaths

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Tribunist

Psychopaths – what’s the best way to deal with them? Just because someone has psychopathic tendencies doesn’t mean they are a serial killer, or even a dysfunctional person. However, they can be manipulative.

A new study thinks its found the best way to deal with real world psychopaths.

Researchers took 200 Canadian citizens and then ranked them based on negative behaviors and used personality tests to determine which of the group demonstrated psychopathic tendencies.

Then, the entire group was given the opportunity to play a negotiating game where they had the chance to win real money (just like a real negotiation). Some participants played the game face to face, some online via instant messenger.

What the researchers found was that non-psychopaths were able to better weed out manipulative psychopathic behavior online far better than in person. Researchers theorized there were two reasons for this. Psychopaths weren’t able to use visual cues and body language from the other party against them, and without visual cues from the psychopath (such as a smiling face, gentle touch, etc) their language was much harsher on its own.

So there go, if you think you might have to deal with someone who you think might be a manipulative psychopath, then do so online, or, even better, not at all.

Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East.

Ninety-five years ago today, Europe carved up the Ottoman empire. That treaty barely lasted a year, but we’re feeling its aftershocks today.

Foreign Policy

Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East.

Ninety-five years ago today, European diplomats gathered at a porcelain factory in the Paris suburb of Sèvres and signed a treaty to remake the Middle East from the ashes of the Ottoman empire. The plan collapsed so quickly we barely remember it anymore, but the short-lived Treaty of Sèvres, no less than the endlessly discussed Sykes-Picot agreement, had consequences that can still be seen today. We might do well to consider a few of them as the anniversary of this forgotten treaty quietly passes by.

In 1915, as British troops prepared to march on Istanbul by way of the Gallipoli peninsula, the government in London printed silk handkerchiefs heralding the end of the Ottoman empire. It was a bit premature (the battle of Gallipoli turned out to be one of the Ottomans’ few World War I victories) but by 1920 Britain’s confidence seemed justified: With allied troops occupying the Ottoman capital, representatives from the war’s victorious powers signed a treaty with the defeated Ottoman government that divided the empire’s lands into European spheres of influence. Sèvres internationalized Istanbul and the Bosphorus, while giving pieces of Anatolian territory to the Greeks, Kurds, Armenians, French, British, and Italians. Seeing how and why the first European plan for dividing up the Middle East failed, we can better understand the region’s present-day borders, as well as the contradictions of contemporary Kurdish nationalism and the political challenges facing modern Turkey.

Within a year of signing the Treaty of Sèvres, European powers began to suspect they had bitten off more than they could chew. Determined to resist foreign occupation, Ottoman officers like Mustafa Kemal Ataturk reorganized the remnants of the Ottoman army and, after several years of desperate fighting, drove out the foreign armies seeking to enforce the treaty’s terms. The result was Turkey as we recognize it today, whose new borders were officially established in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Sèvres has been largely forgotten in the West, but it has a potent legacy in Turkey, where it has helped fuel a form of nationalist paranoia some scholars have called the “Sèvres syndrome.” Sèvres certainly plays a role in Turkey’s sensitivity over Kurdish separatism, as well as the belief that the Armenian genocide — widely used by European diplomats to justify their plans for Anatolia in 1920 — was always an anti-Turkish conspiracy rather than a matter of historical truth. Moreover, Turkey’s foundational struggle with colonial occupation left its mark in a persistent form of anti-imperial nationalism, directed first against Britain, during the Cold War against Russia, and now, quite frequently, against the United States.

But the legacy of Sèvres extends well beyond Turkey, which is precisely why we should include this treaty alongside Sykes-Picot in our history of the Middle East. It will help us challenge the widespread notion that the region’s problems all began with Europeans drawing borders on a blank map.

There’s no doubt that Europeans were happy to create borders that conformed to their own interests whenever they could get away with it. But the failure of Sèvres proves that that sometimes they couldn’t. When European statesmen tried to redraw the map of Anatolia, their efforts were forcefully defeated. In the Middle East, by contrast, Europeans succeeded inimposing borders because they had the military power to prevail over the people resisting them. Had the Syrian nationalist Yusuf al-‘Azma, another mustachioed Ottoman army officer, replicated Ataturk’s military success and defeated the French at the Battle of Maysalun, European plans for the Levant would have gone the way of Sèvres.

Would different borders have made the Middle East more stable, or perhaps less prone to sectarian violence? Not necessarily. But looking at history through the lens of the Sèvres treaty suggests a deeper point about the cause-and-effect relationship between European-drawn borders and Middle Eastern instability: the regions that ended up with borders imposed by Europe tended to be those already too weak or disorganized to successfully resist colonial occupation. Turkey didn’t become wealthier and more democratic than Syria or Iraq because it had the good fortune to get the right borders. Rather, the factors that enabled Turkey to defy European plans and draw its own borders — including an army and economic infrastructure inherited from the Ottoman empire — were some of the same ones that enabled Turkey to build a strong, centralized, European-style nation-state.

Of course, plenty of Kurdish nationalists might claim that Turkey’s borders actually are wrong. Indeed, some cite Kurdish statelessness as a fatal flaw in the region’s post-Ottoman borders. But when European imperialists tried to create a Kurdish state at Sèvres, many Kurds fought alongside Ataturk to upend the treaty. It’s a reminder that political loyalties can and do transcend national identities in ways we would do well to realize today.

The Kurdish state envisioned in the Sèvres Treaty would, crucially, have been under British control. While this appealed to some Kurdish nationalists, others found this form of British-dominated “independence” problematic. So they joined up to fight with the Turkish national movement. Particularly among religious Kurds, continued Turkish or Ottoman rule seemed preferable to Christian colonization. Other Kurds, for more practical reasons, worried that once in charge the British would inevitably support recently dispossessed Armenians seeking to return to the region. Some subsequently regretted their decision when it became clear the state they had fought to create would be significantly more Turkish — and less religious — than anticipated. But others, under varying degrees of duress, chose instead to accept the identity the new state offered them.

Many Turkish nationalists remain frightened by the way their state was destroyed by Sèvres, while many Kurdish nationalists still imagine the state they might have achieved. At the same time, today’s Turkish government extolls the virtues of Ottoman tolerance and multiculturalism, while Kurdish separatist leader Abdullah Ocalan, apparently after reading the sociologist Benedict Anderson in prison, claims to have discovered that all nations are merely social constructs. The governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the pro-Kurdish HDP spent much of the last decade competing to convince Kurdish voters that a vote for their party was a vote for peace — competing, that is, over which party was capable of resolving Turkey’s long-simmering conflict by creating a more stable and inclusive state. In short, as many Americans still debate the “artificial” nature of European-made states in the Middle East, Turkey is fitfully transcending a century-long obsession with proving how “real” it is.

Needless to say, the renewed violence Turkey has seen in the past several weeks threatens these fragile elements of a post-national consensus. With the AKP calling for the arrest of Kurdish political leaders and Kurdish guerrillas shooting police officers, nationalists on both sides are falling back into familiar, irreconcilable positions. For 95 years, Turkey reaped the political and economic benefits of its victory over the Treaty of Sèvres. But building on this success now requires forging a more flexible political model, one that helps render battles over borders and national identity irrelevant.

Photo credit: David Rumsey Map Collection

Famous spies: Who’s ZEBULON?

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Speaking of the Cold War Era espionage, some names pop out sometimes and disappear as quickly as fog in the sun. One of the sneakiest and most mysterious of those agents was codenamed Zebulon by various agencies. He (or she) is definitely a complete Dark Horse . Nevertheless, he (we’ll use “he” to ease writing) is considered responsible of unique and transcendental actions, with deep consequences on the late Cold War board, modifying important agendas.

The first time the name Zebulon appears on the books is believed to be around 1988, in a MI6 dossier about Afghanistan’s international combatants. Recruited in London, reached Pakistan early in June or maybe in July and stayed in the Soviet invaded country less than one month, according to the information we gathered. Very little is known about his activities there, but something must have raised suspicions in the British writer because the sentence “… presence in the Korengal Valley matches the exact date of the death of Polkóvnik [Coronel] Boris Safronov …” is clear enough.

Beside his (or her) identity we don’t even know the nationality of this agent, but the people interviewed believe he might be Italian. If we accept the idea, we must consider the option that Italy’s intelligence agency (SISMI at that time) was someway involved in the Lebanese Civil War. Disturbing or not, Italy has always been connected to Lebanon in a number of ways.

In the summer of 1989, Charbel Berjjani, a Maronite leader of the Lebanese Forces party was assassinated in his office. The case was never solved (if investigated at all) and the leader of LF, Shamir Geagea, came out reinforced by the loss, becoming the absolute chief of the party.
At first it loos like an internal affair, much Mafia-style, but some clues lead us to believe that the murder was, probably, a three hands job. Micheal Aoun and Geagea – later confronting each other on the Syrian intervention – were working together to make LF stronger. The Mossad was someway involved, as Eitan Bushinsky confirmed in his book on Lebanon, when one of its agents was activated two days before with an “… asset from an allied country … was already on the field in disguise… as back-up”. Eerie enough, the Mossad agent’s body showed up one week later near Qanaa with three bullets in the chest, so the question is: Was Zebulon the asset who eventually murdered Berjjani? When we compare the dates with the C.I.A. dossiers about LF and Berjjani it comes out that three agents from non-american countries were on the field at that time: Germany’s 375 (then revealed as Otto Amsel, who died in Hamburg at the age of 49 in 1997), French DGSE’s Alain Turenge (whose name is connected with the Operation Satanique in 1985) and Zebulon itself (marked as “probably SISMI”).

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Considering that Germany was not very keen on being involved in activities that could be pernicious to its foreign politics (always very shy at that time, when spionage was not related to the U.R.S.S. and the D.D.R.) and that French President Mitterand was skeptical about involvement in Lebanon, only Zebulon is left as a realistic option.

Why should anyway Italy be interested in killing an important LF leader? And why choosing Geagea’s side instead of the more moderate Berjjani? We’ll probably never know, but indeed, our agent is most probably the hand that pulled the trigger.

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Codename Zebulon appears briefly in a U.N. dossier about the Rwandan Genocide. Just a few lines remember the actions of a small contingent of italians “alpini” (from the U.N. mission in Mozambique) quickly sent to rescue and retrieve diplomatic personell in Kigali. And there it is again: “… C.O. Team leader codenamed Zebulon successfully shot down Akazu’s second in charge, Habyarimana’s cousin Michel Anton…”. If this is true and it’s the same agent we are speaking of, it looks like he was sent there to behead the Akazu extremist Hutu organization, in an attempt to stop or minimize the slaughter. Whether or not his actions resulted in reducing life loss it is unknown. God being witness.

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The last time Zebulon is recorded active is during a short, blitzkrieg like, operation that Italy launched in Venezuela in 1997 to arrest (with the local authorities approval, so far) Salvatore Genova and take him back to Italy. Genova was part of the Red Brigade terrorist group that kidnapped Gen. James Lee Dozier in Verona back in 1982, and escaped to the south american country in an attempt to avoid punishment by the U.S. But Italy’s SISMI located him and put him in a flight back to Rome in just 72 hours. And deep secret.

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The name of Zebulon remains in mistery, but his actions have been part of the late Cold War and some of the most obscure episodes of the Post-Soviet Era of the ‘90s.

The motive for the attacks in Paris and Brussels

We don’t yet know who ordered the attacks in Paris and Brussels. Several potential leads have been mentioned, but only the hypothesis of an operation decided by Turkey has any serious backing.
Thierry Meyssan describes the secret conflict which, for the last five years, has haunted the relations between the European Union, France and Turkey.

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by Thierry Meyssan, original article here

It is too early to name with any certainty the sponsor of the attacks which struck Paris on the 13th November 2015, and Brussels on the 22nd March 2016. However, for the moment, only the elements which we are about to reveal offer a reasonable explanation.

* * *

Just after the death of the founder of Turkish Islamism, Necmettin Erbakan, and at the beginning of the «Arab Spring», the Erdoğan government concluded a secret agreement with France. According to a diplomat who has studied the document, it stipulated the conditions for the participation of Turkey in the wars against Libya (which had just started) and against Syria (which was to follow). France, represented by its Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, agreed in particular to deal with the «Kurdish question» without «compromising the integrity of Turkish territory» – a convoluted formula which signified that a pseudo-Kurdistan would be created elsewhere, to which the members of the PKK would be exiled. This project for ethnic cleansing, which is not new, had until that time been evoked only in Israëli military literature describing the new state between Syria and Iraq.

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On the 31 st October 2014, François Hollande accompanies Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on the steps of the Elysée. Another guest had just left discretely by the back door, Kurdish leader Salih Muslim.
On the 31st October 2014, President François Hollande took the opportunity of an official visit by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to Paris to organise a secret meeting, at the Elysée, with the co-President of the Syrian Kurds, Salih Muslim. Betraying the Turkish Kurds and their leader Abdullah Öcalan, Salih Muslim agreed to become the President of this pseudo-Kurdistan which was to be created on the occasion of the overthrow of democratically elected President Bachar el-Assad.

This was during the battle of Kobane. For several months, the Syrian Kurds had been defending the city against Daesh. Their victory over the jihadists was to shake up the political chessboard – anyone who really wanted to fight the jihadists had to ally themselves with the Kurds. However, the Syrian Kurds only obtained their nationality at the beginning of the war – until then, they had been Turkish political refugees in Syria, chased from their country during the repression of the 1980’s. At that time, the member states of NATO considered the PKK, the main Kurdish formation in Turkey, as a terrorist organisation. But from then on, they would distinguish between the ’bad’ Turkish PKK and the ’good’ Syrian YPG, despite the fact that these two organisations are closely related.

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After the battle of Kobane, François Hollande changed sides and expressed his support for the Kurds, when he received a delegation of the YPG at the Elysée, on the 8th February 2015 .

A dramatic turn of events – on the 8th February 2015, France changed its previous position. Officially this time, François Hollande received at the Elysée the co-President of the Syrian Kurds (loyal to Öcalan), Asya Abdullah, and Commander Nesrin Abdullah in camouflage uniform. Salih Muslim was absent from this meeting.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reacted by ordering an attack by Daesh, in Suruç, against a pro-Kurd demonstration, on the 20th July2015. Using Western anti-terrorist rhetoric, he declared war this time against Daesh and the Kurds, but used military means only against the Kurds. By doing so, he put an end to the cease-fire and re-started the civil war in his own country. Unable to create a pseudo-Kurdistan in Syria, he provoked the exodus of Kurds to Europe.

On the 3rd September 2015, the publication of a photograph of a drowned Kurdish child marked the start of a huge wave of migration from Turkey to the European Union, mainly to Germany. During the first weeks, the German leaders were delighted with this massive influx of new workers, badly needed by their heavy industry, while the media expressed their compassion for the refugees who were fleeing the Syrian dictatorship. Furthermore, on the 29th September, the French and German leaders hijacked the empathy for the migrants in order to study the possibility of financing the continuation of the war by giving 3 billion Euros to Turkey – a gift which was presented to public opinion as humanitarian aid for the refugees.

At the end of September 2015, Russia began its military operation against jihadists of all stripes, and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was compelled to watch the progressive failure of his project. He therefore ordered Salih Muslim to launch an operation for the forced Kurdisation of Northern Syria. The Kurdish brigades expelled the Arab and Assyrian teachers from their schools and replaced them with Kurdish teachers. The Syrians revolted and reached out to the Russians, who found a way to calm the situation, not without evoking a possible ulterior federalisation of Syria. There was no reaction from France.

On the 13th November, Turkey, exasperated by François Hollande’s about-turns, took France hostage and ordered the attacks in Paris, causing 130 dead and 413 wounded.

I wrote at that time – «Successive French governments have formed alliances with states whose values are opposed to those of the Republic. They have progressively opted for waging secret wars for these states, before changing their minds. President Hollande, and in particular his Head of Staff, General Benoit Puga, his Minister for Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius and his predecessor Alain Juppé, are today the object of blackmail from which they can only escape by revealing the mess into which they have dragged their country.» [1].

Terrorised, Paris hastily resorted to the Juppé plan of 2011. With London, they caused the adoption, on the 20th November, of Resolution 2249 by the Security Council. Under cover of the fight against Daesh, the Resolution was intended to justify the conquest of Northern Syria in order to create, at last, the pseudo-Kurdistan to which Recep Tayyip Erdoğan could expel «his» Kurds. But the United States and Russia had the text altered in such a way that France and the United Kingdom would not be able to intervene without being invited by Syria – a situation which raises echoes of the failed colonial operation of 1956, in which Franco-British troops attempted to occupy the Suez Canal with the support of Israël and Turkey, but had to withdraw under the glares of the United States and the USSR.

During the five and a half months of the Russian intervention in Syria, Turko-Russian relations continually worsened. The attack against the Metrojet Flight 9268 in the Sinaï, Vladimir Putin’s accusations at the G20 summit in Antalya, the destruction of the Sukhoï-24 and Russian sanctions against Turkey, the publication of the aerial photographs of the interminable line of tanker-trucks carrying oil stolen by Daeash through Turkey, etc. After having considered declaring war on Turkey, Russia finally decided on the subtler plan of supporting the PKK against the Erdoğan administration. Sergeï Lavrov managed to convince his US partner to profit from the coming destabilisation of Turkey by organising the overthrow of the dictator Erdoğan. The Turkish régime, which feels threatened by both Russia and the USA, is attempting to find allies. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu went to Tehran on the 5th March, while the Iranian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammad Javad Zarif, visited Ankara on the 18th March. But the Islamic Republic has no intention of causing trouble with the two great powers.

On the 14th March, Vladimir Putin announced the withdrawal of Russian bombers, at which point the pseudo-Kurdistan project once again became possible. But Moscow and Washington were one step ahead – they began to deliver, indirectly, weapons to the PKK.

Unfortunately, this time it was the European Union which no longer wanted to hear about the colonisation of Northern Syria. The majority of EU member states have followed the foreign policy imposed by Paris for the last five years, with a remarkable absence of success. In order to signal their annoyance, several states, including Belgium, offered political asylum to leaders of the Turkish Kurds. They expressed their anger during the EU-Turkey summit of the 17th and 18th March, during which they were obliged to adopt definitively the subsidy of 3 billion Euros per year to Ankara.

On that occasion, I denounced the behaviour of the European elite, who, blinded by their anti-Syrian obsession, were reproducing the same error that was committed in 1938. At that time, obsessed by their anti-communism, they supported Chancellor Hitler during the annexation of Austria and the Sudeten crisis (Munich agreements), without realising that they were arming the enemy which was about to strike them [2].

During the EU-Turkey summit, and therefore independently of any decisions which were taken there, President Erdoğan gave a televised speech on the occasion of the 101st anniversary of the battle of Çanakkale («the battle of the Dardanelles» – the victory of the Ottoman Empire over the allies) and in remembrance of the victims of the attack perpetrated in Ankara a few days earlier. He declared –

«There is no reason that the bomb which exploded in Ankara might not explode in Brussels or another European city (…) Here I am appealing to all states who open their arms and who, directly or indirectly, support terrorist organisations. You are feeding a serpent in your bed. and this serpent that you are feeding may bite you at any moment. Perhaps looking at these bombs which explode in Turkey on your television screens means nothing to you – but when the bombs begin exploding in your cities, you will certainly understand what we are feeling. But then it will be too late. Stop supporting these activities which you would never tolerate in your own countries, except when they are aimed at Turkey. » [3].

Four days later, the attacks occurred in Brussels, causing 34 dead and 260 wounded. and so that we would not think it was a coincidence, but a deliberate act, on the following day the Turkish Press rejoiced at the punishment inflicted upon Belgium [4].

Since President Erdoğan re-started the civil war, it has cost 3,500 lives in Turkey.

Thierry Meyssan, Translation: Pete Kimberley

The king of Jordan accuses Turkey of preparing the jihad in Europe”, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 28th March 2016.

[1] “The French Republic taken hostage”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 17th November 2015.
[2] “Facing Turkey, Europe chooses suicide”, by Thierry Meyssan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 21st March 2016.
[3] Read an extract of the speech : “Erdoğan threatens the European Union”, by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Translation Pete Kimberley, Voltaire Network, 18th March 2016.
[4] “Υπεύθυνη για το λουτρό αίματος των Βρυξελλών είναι η Τουρκία – Ορίστε οι αποδείξεις!”, του Σάββας Καλεντερίδης ,Ινφογνώμων Πολιτικά (Ελλάδα) , Δίκτυο Βολταίρος, 24 mars 2016.

Famous spies: OLEG LYALIN

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Lyalin is famous for a defection to Britain’s Security Service, or MI5, which led to the discovery and deportation of 105 Soviet officials who were accused of spying in Britain.

Little is known about Lyalin’s life before he appeared in Britain in the 1960s, posing as a Soviet trade delegation official. But MI5 agents began to recruitLyalin in 1971 when they learned that he was having an affair with his secretary, Irina Teplyakova — a revelation that could have landed him in hot water with Soviet authorities if disclosed. A few months later, Lyalin was arrested for drunk driving. The policeman at the scene that night recalledthat when he put Lyalin in the back of the patrol car, the spymaster sprawled out with his feet on the officer’s shoulder and yelled, “You cannot talk to me, you cannot beat me, I am a KGB officer.”

Lyalin quickly offered to divulge information about the KGB in exchange for protection for him and Teplyakova. In doing so, he became the first KGB spy to defect since World War II (as far as we know). The mass expulsion of Soviet diplomats and trade officials that he helped trigger was, according to theGuardian, “the single biggest action taken against Moscow by any Western government.”

Lyalin and Teplyakova married and changed their identities, but the relationship didn’t last long. In 1995, Lyalin died at the age of 57 after battling a long illness. No one seems to know what the illness was or where Lyalin was living when he died. According to a New York Times obituary, he passed away at an “undisclosed location in northern England.”

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images