Morning Briefing: August 20, 2023

Morning Briefing: August 20, 2023

Anadolu’s recap of top stories from around the globe

By Emre Basaran

ISTANBUL (AA) - Here’s a rundown of all the news you need to start your Sunday with, including Türkiye's reaction over UN peacekeeping force's intervention in Northern Cyprus road construction, wildfire on Spain's Tenerife island, and Chinese military’s drills around Taiwan.


  • Türkiye condemns UN peacekeeping force's intervention in Northern Cyprus road construction

Türkiye "strongly" condemned the UN Peacekeeping force's intervention in the construction of the Pile-Yigitler road in Northern Cyprus.

"We find unacceptable and strongly condemn the physical intervention yesterday by soldiers of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) in the sovereign territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) with the aim of preventing the construction of the Pile-Yigitler road," the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Türkiye fully supports the relevant statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the TRNC and the justified reaction of the TRNC authorities, it added.

The UN's stance on the Pile-Yigitler road, a humanitarian project to improve direct access for TRNC citizens from Pile village to their homeland, and its subsequent statements do not align with the impartial attitude expected of the peacekeeping force on the island, the Foreign Ministry said.

  • Wildfire on Spain's Tenerife island worsens, 26,000 people evacuated

The wildfire raging on the Spanish island of Tenerife took a surprising turn for the worse, forcing fresh evacuations on Saturday.

"This fire of this scale has never been seen in the Canary Islands as long as we've been keeping records," said Rosa Davila, head of Tenerife’s council.

Around 4,000 people had been forced to flee their homes on Friday. But, as of Saturday afternoon, Candelaria Delgado, Canary islands councilor for social welfare, told local broadcaster RTVC that 26,000 people had been evacuated. The total population of Tenerife is 950,000.

  • Chinese military holds drills around Taiwan

Chinese armed forces launched a drill around Taiwan in response to Vice President Lai Ching-te's "stopover" in the US before visiting Paraguay earlier this week.

The drills were aimed at “seizing control of air and sea spaces," by the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA), which included maritime and aerial combat readiness patrols around the island nation.

"The patrols and exercises are meant to train the coordination of military vessels and airplanes and their ability to seize control of air and sea spaces," said PLA command spokesman Shi Yi.


  • Türkiye’s Communications Directorate said in a statement that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a one-day visit to Hungary on Sunday to attend the country's founding day celebrations.
  • Nearly two-thirds of Germans want a new government in the wake of a new dispute in the center-left coalition of Chancellor Olaf Scholz, according to a poll released by the Insa polling institute.
  • A Palestinian teenager who was shot by the Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank earlier this week died of his injuries on Saturday, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported.
  • At least seven people were killed and many others were injured in a Russian missile attack on the Ukrainian city of Chernihiv, state news agency Ukrinform reported.
  • Sweden and Ukraine on Saturday agreed on the joint production of Swedish CV 90 combat vehicles in Ukraine, as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson.
  • Poland has stepped up its push for World War II reparations from Germany, with Deputy Prime Minister Arkadiusz Mularczyk on Friday saying the country is persuading its friends and allies regarding its demands, according to public broadcaster Polskie Radio.
  • Italy's Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed regret on Saturday after four Italian tourists in Albania's southern city of Berat left a restaurant without paying for their meals, saying it has been settled down now.
  • A major wildfire that broke out near Greece's northeastern town of Alexandroupolis is raging and threatening nearby settlements, state news agency AMNA said.


  • Hakim Ziyech joins Galatasaray from Chelsea on loan

Galatasaray signed Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea on Saturday on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season.

Galatasaray said on the Turkish Public Disclosure Platform (KAP) on Monday that they will pay Ziyech $3.8 million for the 2023-2024 season and "$3 million for the 2024-2025 season if he transfers to the club on a permanent basis."

  • Luciano Spalletti appointed Italy's national football team manager

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) announced Friday that an agreement with Luciano Spalletti has been reached for the position of head coach of the national team.

The 64-year-old will take over on Sept. 1, it said.

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