Trkiye rescues 114 irregular migrants in Aegean Sea

ISTANBUL: The Turkish Coast Guard rescued 114 irregular migrants, including 31 children, from the Aegean Sea on Friday. The rescue operations took place at various locations along the coast, supporting the ongoing humanitarian efforts in the region. In one incident near southwestern Mugla's Bodrum, 22 migrants, including five children, were found in a life raft pushed back into Turkish waters by Greek forces, the Turkish Coast Guard said in a statement. Near Marmaris, Mugla, 35 migrants, including nine children, were rescued from a rubber boat also reportedly pushed back by Greek forces. Another group of 18 migrants in a rubber boat with engine trouble was rescued near western Izmir's Karaburun. Another rescue operation occurred near Izmir in Seferihisar, where 10 migrants, including two children, were found in a rubber boat returned by Greek forces. Off the coast of western Canakkale's Gokceada, 29 migrants, including 15 children, were saved from a wooden boat in danger of sinking due to bad weather. The Turkish Coast Guard utilized multiple vessels to ensure the safety of all rescued individuals. Trkiye has been a key transit point for asylum seekers aiming to cross into Europe to start new lives, especially those fleeing war and persecution. Ankara and global rights groups have repeatedly condemned Greece's illegal practice, saying it violates humanitarian values and international law by endangering the lives of vulnerable migrants, including women and children. Source: Anadolu Agency

Failure to reopen land crossings to worsen humanitarian conditions in Gaza, warns UN agency

ISTANBUL: The UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) warned on Saturday that the failure to reopen land crossings and provide them secure access would exacerbate the catastrophic humanitarian conditions in the Gaza Strip. 'The crossings must re-open and be safe to access.? Without the re-opening of these routes, the deprivation of assistance and catastrophic humanitarian conditions will persist,' stated UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini on X. 'Nearly half of the population of Rafah or 800,000 people are on the road, having been forced to flee since the Israeli Forces started the military operation in the area on 6 May,' he added. Regarding the humanitarian aid entering the besieged enclave, Lazzarini said: 'Since 6 May, only 33 aid trucks made it through to southern Gaza. This is a small trickle amid the growing humanitarian needs and mass displacement.?' He said: 'The claim that people in Gaza can move to 'safe' or 'humanitarian' zones is false. Each time, it puts the lives of civilians a t serious risk.' Israel continued its brutal offensive on the Gaza Strip despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire in the enclave. Nearly 35,400 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and over 79,300 others injured since last October following a Hamas attack. More than seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water, and medicine. Israel is accused of 'genocide' at the International Court of Justice, which has ordered Tel Aviv to ensure its forces do not commit acts of genocide and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. Source: Anadolu Agency

Palestinian death toll nears 35,400 as Israel continues to pound Gaza

ANKARA: At least 35,386 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's ongoing offensive on the Gaza Strip since last October, the Health Ministry in the besieged enclave said on Saturday. A ministry statement said that 79,366 other people have also been injured in the onslaught. 'Israeli attacks killed 83 people and injured 105 others in the last 24 hours,' the statement said. 'Many people are still trapped under rubble and on the roads as rescuers are unable to reach them,' it added. Israel has waged an unrelenting offensive on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas last Oct. 7 which killed some 1,200 people. Tel Aviv has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation. Over seven months into the Israeli war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85% of the enclave's population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, accordi ng to the UN. In an interim ruling in January, The Hague-based International Court of Justice said it is "plausible" that Tel Aviv is committing genocide in Gaza, ordering it to stop such acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in the enclave. Source: Anadolu Agency

Amnesty calls for protecting rights of Kanak people in French overseas territory of New Caledonia amid unrest

ISTANBUL: Amnesty International has called on French authorities to respect the rights of the indigenous Kanak people amid unrest in the French overseas territory of New Caledonia. "The state of emergency declared by the French government and the deployment of the French army, coupled with a ban on the social media app TikTok, must not be misused to restrict people's human rights," Kate Schuetze, Amnesty International's Pacific researcher, stated. Noting the fatalities during the unrest, Schuetze said: "It is imperative that French police and gendarmes only use force as reasonably necessary and prioritize protecting the right to life." She said that banning TikTok is a "disproportionate" measure that would violate freedom of expression, adding it could set a precedent for other governments worldwide to justify shutdowns in reaction to public protests. "French authorities must uphold the rights of the Indigenous Kanak people and the right to peaceful expression and assembly without discrimination. People c alling for independence should be able to express their views peacefully,' Schuetze said. At least six people have been killed in the unrest and hundreds arrested since Monday. Protests erupted after the French National Assembly adopted constitutional reform on voting rules. The reform will give French nationals, who have lived on the island for at least 10 years, the right to vote in local elections. French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of emergency in the archipelago on Wednesday and deployed army personnel to the region. Source: Anadolu Agency

‘US lost its standing to talk about freedom,’ US-based professor says over crackdown on pro-Palestinian protesters

ISTANBUL: Criticizing the crackdown on pro-Palestinian protesters in various universities in the US, a US-based professor said that Washington has 'lost its standing to talk to anybody about freedom of speech or about freedom." Since last month, the US has seen a wave of demonstrations at US university campuses calling for an end to the war on Gaza, with student protesters facing police violence and arrests. Students have been suspended from school and have had criminal charges pressed against them in the country, Burton Lee Artz, a professor of media studies and the director of the Center for Global Studies at the US-based Purdue University, said at a conference, titled Future(s) of Communications: Promises and Predicaments, organized by the Global Communication Association (GCA). "They have been thrown out of their dorm rooms because they have been protesting Israel's bombing of Gaza, this violates all of the requirements of free speech, the requirements of academic freedom," he underlined. "It reminds me a lot of the anti-Vietnam War demonstrations decades ago," he said, adding that students originally were condemned or ridiculed for protesting the US war in Vietnam. Artz said: "We're in a similar situation now where students that are asking for an immediate permanent cease-fire in Gaza are condemned for being 'antisemitic.' "This includes the Jewish Voice for Peace and other Jewish organizations. Somehow they are also 'antisemitic.' It's boggling and it should be condemned widely." "We are talking about democracy and we can say that students are under pressure," he added. He said as university administrations have cracked down on encampments, more encampments pop up on other campuses in the US and even in Europe. Artz said that but not all universities cracked down on encampment protests, adding that Northwestern University agreed to talk with students about how to divest from Israel, Evergreen State College in Washington also agreed to divest from suppliers of military equipment to Israel, he stress ed. Americans in 'favor of cease-fire' Stressing that the American public "is in favor of a cease-fire," Artz said: "You wouldn't know that if you listened to Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee and the Democrats in Congress." "The American people, by and large, want an end to the bombing," he added.? He said that a different approach from the US on Palestine and Ukraine is 'hypocrisy.' "I mean, on the one hand, you say, we want to follow the rule of law, but everything that Israel has done in Gaza violates international law," the professor added. According to him, the US is violating international law by supplying arms to Israel and also violating its own law as Washington is not supposed to give aid to anybody that misuses that aid against civilians. 'Exceptional job' by Anadolu About Anadolu's coverage of the war in Gaza, Artz said Anadolu "identified the perpetrators, the Zionist state, they have identified the humanitarian disaster, the genocide." "I think Anadolu has done an excepti onal job of covering the war in Gaza," he added. "It's even been presented in that way, which is head and shoulders way above anything the US media has done. "So in that sense, Anadolu has provided an immense service not just to Palestine, but to Turkish viewers and on a world scale. I think they should be applauded for that," Artz said. Currently, the world media is dominated by private industry and media is also an industry, which means that they are the ones that provide us with entertainment, he stressed. He said that all of the superhero movies, which come out of Marvel, Disney, Sony and Warner Bros, try to present to us that "We, as human beings and as a community are incapable." Artz stressed that the idea is that 'we need police or we need a military to protect us from the evil doers' "It is interesting that some of the larger papers like The New York Times actually have people that have worked with or for the Israeli government," the professor said. Source: Anadolu Agency

Cyprus’ Chief Scientist highlights AI contribution in healthcare

Further research is conducted on how AI can help advance predictive, diagnostic, and personalized treatment through the implementation of Digital ?wins for healthcare, Cyprus' Chief Scientist for Research, Innovation and Technology, Demetris Skourides, told the First International Symposium Digital Twins 4 Healthcare organized by University of Cyprus, CYENS, KOIOS and EPOS-IASIS, on May 16th - 17th. A press release said that more than 45 international distinguished researchers attended the Symposium, including Cypriot researchers Dr Constantinos Dovrolis, Dr Costas Pitris and Dr. Antonis Kakas, who discussed the state of research, science and technology in enabling a revolution in personalized and precision healthcare. The event was hosted by Chairs Dr Andreani D. Odysseos, EPOS- IASIS, and Dr Adrian Ionescu, EPFL Switzerland, with esteemed guest Dr Kyriakos Hatziaras, Program officer and Policy officer, exchanging contributions across scientific, translational and policy making pillars in areas such as eme rging technologies for digital twins, development, testing and implementation of IT platform architectures combining computational advances, cybersecurity, cloud services and edge services,ethical consideration and Societal adoption and transformational Vision- Policy Creation and Implementation towards Proactive Healthcare. During the panel discussion, the Chief Scientist stressed the importance of science supporting policy and elaborated further on the importance of quality data to support decision making systems providing insight for government, highlighting that further research is conducted on how AI can help advance predictive, diagnostic, and personalized treatment through the implementation of Digital twins for healthcare. Source: Cyprus News Agency

Turkish president marks 80th anniversary of Crimean Tatar exile

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday commemorated the 80th anniversary of the Crimean Tatar exile, reflecting on the profound sorrow and pledging continued support for the displaced community. "With sorrow, we commemorate this tragic event that tore our Crimean Tatar brothers and sisters away from their homeland, causing immense suffering that still echoes in our hearts. May Allah grant mercy to our compatriots who lost their lives," Erdogan said on X. Erdogan emphasized Trkiye's unwavering commitment to defending the rights of Crimean Tatars, both those who remain in Crimea and those who had to leave following the region's occupation. In his statement, he reaffirmed Trkiye's dedication to supporting the Crimean Tatar community under all circumstances. Also, the Foreign Ministry marked the 80th anniversary of the exile of Crimean Tatar Turks by the Soviet Union and the 160th anniversary of the "Circassian Exile."? "80 years ago, today, hundreds of thousands of Crimean Tatars were fo rcibly uprooted from their motherland and exiled to the labor camps in various countries. A large number of them, mostly elderly, children, and women lost their lives because of the inhumane conditions they were exposed to," the country's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.? It further emphasized that even after 80 years have passed, "the usurped rights of the Crimean Tatar people have not been restored," and their sufferings persist.? 'The illegal annexation of Crimea has opened door for new sufferings,' the statement said, and emphasized the need to address the ongoing challenges faced by the Crimean Tatars. "As in the past, Trkiye will continue to stand by the Crimean Tatars to preserve their identity and ensure their security, welfare, and well-being," it added.? The statement also went on to say that "Circassian Exile is another tragedy Trkiye recalls with sorrow.' 'On May 21, 160 years ago, the people of the Caucasus were forced to leave their homeland under dire conditions, resulting in the loss of many lives," it said, adding: "We share the pain of the Crimean Tatars and the peoples of the Caucasus and respectfully honor their memory," it added. Source: Anadolu Agency