Turkey deputy: weapons being smuggled to Syria



ISTANBUL // Many firearms from Turkey have entered Syria, and the Turkish government has stopped alleged arms-smuggling activities at a border post between the two countries, a Turkish opposition deputy said yesterday.

"You see many Turkish-made firearms in Syria," Mehmet Ali Ediboglu, a deputy from the province of Hatay, which borders Syria, said in a telephone interview. "I don't know how they got into the country."

Mr Ediboglu, a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Turkey's main opposition group, visited Syria in September with a delegation of his party. He said Syrian officials presented what they said was evidence of arms smuggling at the Cilvegozu border gate in Hatay. Trucks full of weapons had allegedly been unloaded in the no-man's-land between the Turkish and the Syria control points, he said.

"The Syrians said the arms ended up with the Muslim Brotherhood," an Islamic group opposing the regime of Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian president, Mr Ediboglu said.

The Syrian government has accused the US of supporting the Muslim Brotherhood. Turkey has condemned the Syrian regime's use of force against a seven-month-old uprising and has given political support to the Syrian opposition.

Mr Ediboglu said that the CHP informed Ankara about the Syrian accusations and that he went to the Cilvegozu border gate to check. "Some people there used the no-man's-land to get cheap petrol from sellers in Syria, and they said they saw trucks unloading some containers."

He said the Turkish government later ended the practice by enforcing a no-stop rule for vehicles in the no-man's-land.

There was no comment by the government in response to Mr Ediboglu's statements, which came as a Syrian military deserter said Turkey should step up its support for opposition forces Damascus.

Col Riyad Al Asaad, a military officer who fled to Turkey this year, told the Milliyet daily that opposition forces known as the "Free Syrian Army" had 15,000 men that operated inside Syria in 22 different units.

if you go

Getting there

Etihad (Etihad.com), Emirates (emirates.com) and Air France (www.airfrance.com) fly to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport, from Abu Dhabi and Dubai respectively. Return flights cost from around Dh3,785. It takes about 40 minutes to get from Paris to Compiègne by train, with return tickets costing €19. The Glade of the Armistice is 6.6km east of the railway station.

Staying there

On a handsome, tree-lined street near the Chateau’s park, La Parenthèse du Rond Royal (laparenthesedurondroyal.com) offers spacious b&b accommodation with thoughtful design touches. Lots of natural woods, old fashioned travelling trunks as decoration and multi-nozzle showers are part of the look, while there are free bikes for those who want to cycle to the glade. Prices start at €120 a night.

More information: musee-armistice-14-18.fr ; compiegne-tourisme.fr; uk.france.fr

Diriyah project at a glance

- Diriyah’s 1.9km King Salman Boulevard, a Parisian Champs-Elysees-inspired avenue, is scheduled for completion in 2028
- The Royal Diriyah Opera House is expected to be completed in four years
- Diriyah’s first of 42 hotels, the Bab Samhan hotel, will open in the first quarter of 2024
- On completion in 2030, the Diriyah project is forecast to accommodate more than 100,000 people
- The $63.2 billion Diriyah project will contribute $7.2 billion to the kingdom’s GDP
- It will create more than 178,000 jobs and aims to attract more than 50 million visits a year
- About 2,000 people work for the Diriyah Company, with more than 86 per cent being Saudi citizens

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
Founders: Hamza Iraqui and Abdessamad Ben Zakour
Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

Results:

5pm: Baynunah Conditions (UAE bred) Dh80,000 1,400m.

Winner: Al Tiryaq, Dane O’Neill (jockey), Abdullah Al Hammadi (trainer).

5.30pm: Al Zahra Handicap (rated 0-45) Dh 80,000 1,400m:

Winner: Fahadd, Richard Mullen, Ahmed Al Mehairbi.

6pm: Al Ras Al Akhdar Maiden Dh80,000 1,600m.

Winner: Jaahiz, Jesus Rosales, Eric Lemartinel.

6.30pm: Al Reem Island Handicap Dh90,000 1,600m.

Winner: AF Al Jahed, Antonio Fresu, Ernst Oertel.

7pm: Al Khubairah Handicap (TB) 100,000 2,200m.

Winner: Empoli, Pat Dobbs, Doug Watson.

7.30pm: Wathba Stallions Cup Handicap Dh80,000 2,200m.

Winner: Shivan OA, Patrick Cosgrave, Helal Al Alawi.

Company profile

Name: Yodawy
Based: Egypt
Founders: Karim Khashaba, Sherief El-Feky and Yasser AbdelGawad
Sector:
HealthTech
Total funding: $24.5 million
Investors: Algebra Ventures, Global Ventures, MEVP and Delivery Hero Ventures, among others
Number of employees:
500

THE HOLDOVERS

Director: Alexander Payne

Starring: Paul Giamatti, Da'Vine Joy Randolph, Dominic Sessa

Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Fine Diner

Started: March, 2020

Co-founders: Sami Elayan, Saed Elayan and Zaid Azzouka

Based: Dubai

Industry: Technology and food delivery

Initial investment: Dh75,000

Investor: Dtec Startupbootcamp

Future plan: Looking to raise $400,000

Total sales: Over 1,000 deliveries in three months

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

THE DETAILS

Kaala

Dir: Pa. Ranjith

Starring: Rajinikanth, Huma Qureshi, Easwari Rao, Nana Patekar  

Rating: 1.5/5 

RESULTS

6pm: Mazrat Al Ruwayah – Group 2 (PA) $40,000 (Dirt) 1,600m
Winner: AF Alajaj, Tadhg O’Shea (jockey), Ernst Oertel (trainer)

6.35pm: Race of Future – Handicap (TB) $80,000 (Turf) 2,410m
Winner: Global Storm, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

7.10pm: UAE 2000 Guineas – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,600m
Winner: Azure Coast, Antonio Fresu, Pavel Vashchenko

7.45pm: Business Bay Challenge – Listed (TB) $100,000 (T) 1,400m
Winner: Storm Damage, Patrick Cosgrave, Saeed bin Suroor

20.20pm: Curlin Stakes – Listed (TB) $100,000 (D) 2,000m
Winner: Appreciated, Fernando Jara, Doug O’Neill

8.55pm: Singspiel Stakes – Group 2 (TB) $180,000 (T) 1,800m
Winner: Lord Glitters, Daniel Tudhope, David O'Meara

9.30pm: Al Shindagha Sprint – Group 3 (TB) $150,000 (D) 1,200m
Winner: Meraas, Antonio Fresu, Musabah Al Muhairi

Pakistanis at the ILT20

The new UAE league has been boosted this season by the arrival of five Pakistanis, who were not released to play last year.

Shaheen Afridi (Desert Vipers)
Set for at least four matches, having arrived from New Zealand where he captained Pakistan in a series loss.

Shadab Khan (Desert Vipers)
The leg-spin bowling allrounder missed the tour of New Zealand after injuring an ankle when stepping on a ball.

Azam Khan (Desert Vipers)
Powerhouse wicketkeeper played three games for Pakistan on tour in New Zealand. He was the first Pakistani recruited to the ILT20.

Mohammed Amir (Desert Vipers)
Has made himself unavailable for national duty, meaning he will be available for the entire ILT20 campaign.

Imad Wasim (Abu Dhabi Knight Riders)
The left-handed allrounder, 35, retired from international cricket in November and was subsequently recruited by the Knight Riders.

THE SPECS

Cadillac XT6 2020 Premium Luxury

Engine:  3.6L V-6

Transmission: nine-speed automatic

Power: 310hp

Torque: 367Nm

Price: Dh280,000

Specs: 2024 McLaren Artura Spider

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 and electric motor
Max power: 700hp at 7,500rpm
Max torque: 720Nm at 2,250rpm
Transmission: Eight-speed dual-clutch auto
0-100km/h: 3.0sec
Top speed: 330kph
Price: From Dh1.14 million ($311,000)
On sale: Now

if you go

The flights
Fly direct to Kutaisi with Flydubai from Dh925 return, including taxes. The flight takes 3.5 hours. From there, Svaneti is a four-hour drive. The driving time from Tbilisi is eight hours.
The trip
The cost of the Svaneti trip is US$2,000 (Dh7,345) for 10 days, including food, guiding, accommodation and transfers from and to ­Tbilisi or Kutaisi. This summer the TCT is also offering a 5-day hike in Armenia for $1,200 (Dh4,407) per person. For further information, visit www.transcaucasiantrail.org/en/hike/

Another way to earn air miles

In addition to the Emirates and Etihad programmes, there is the Air Miles Middle East card, which offers members the ability to choose any airline, has no black-out dates and no restrictions on seat availability. Air Miles is linked up to HSBC credit cards and can also be earned through retail partners such as Spinneys, Sharaf DG and The Toy Store.

An Emirates Dubai-London round-trip ticket costs 180,000 miles on the Air Miles website. But customers earn these ‘miles’ at a much faster rate than airline miles. Adidas offers two air miles per Dh1 spent. Air Miles has partnerships with websites as well, so booking.com and agoda.com offer three miles per Dh1 spent.

“If you use your HSBC credit card when shopping at our partners, you are able to earn Air Miles twice which will mean you can get that flight reward faster and for less spend,” says Paul Lacey, the managing director for Europe, Middle East and India for Aimia, which owns and operates Air Miles Middle East.

THE SPECS

Engine: six-litre W12 twin-turbo

Transmission: eight-speed dual clutch auto

Power: 626bhp

Torque: 900Nm

Price: Dh940,160 (plus VAT)

On sale: Q1 2020


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