Ibon's Feed
Oct 29, 2011

Many teachers among victims in Turkish quake

ERCIS, Turkey (Reuters) – They had gathered in a cafe to celebrate the engagement of two of their colleagues when the earthquake struck, killing tens of Turkey’s young teachers.

Young teachers accounted for more than one in 10 victims in Ercis, the town worst hit by the quake in the southeast a week ago, with 56 killed although it happened when schools were closed.

Oct 28, 2011

Turkey’s post-quake relief races against winter

ERCIS, Turkey (Reuters) – Authorities overseeing relief efforts after Turkey’s biggest earthquake in over a decade were confident emergency needs for tens of thousands made homeless would be met by Saturday in hardest hit urban areas.

Search and rescue operations continued at nine sites in Ercis, a town of nearly 100,000 that suffered the most damage in last Sunday’s quake, but no survivors have been found since a 13-year-old boy was dragged out of the rubble in the early hours of Friday.

Oct 21, 2011

Analysis: Turkish offensive in Iraq risky for unstable region

ANKARA (Reuters) – A full-blown Turkish military incursion into Iraq may assuage public anger over this week’s attacks by Kurdish militants, but would not deal a fatal blow to the rebels and could inflame Turkey’s ties with its Middle East neighbors.

A day after Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrillas killed 24 Turkish soldiers near the border with northern Iraq, hundreds of Turkish commandos backed by helicopter gunships attacked PKK militants based in Iraq in what Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan called “a first step.”

Oct 19, 2011

Turkey’s Kurds long for “Kurdish Spring”

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – With its booming economy, secular democracy and growing clout, Turkey is often cited as a role model for Middle East nations gripped by popular revolt. But Hulya Yildiz, a mother of three in the impoverished Kurdish southeast, tells a darker story.

The use of Kurdish, the mother tongue for up 15 million Kurds in Turkey, is banned at her children’s school. Scores of Kurdish activists and mayors have been arrested in recent security crackdowns. Army operations and Kurdish guerrilla attacks make even a family picnic in the woods too dangerous.

Oct 12, 2011

Turkey looks east as EU accession prospect recedes

ANKARA (Reuters) – Cold-shouldered by the European Union it wants to join, NATO member Turkey is turning east politically and economically for the respect it feels it lacks in the West.

A rising Muslim democracy, Turkey began accession talks with Brussels in 2005, but progress has been painfully slow, hobbled by tensions between Ankara and EU-member Cyprus as well as opposition within France and Germany.

Sep 28, 2011

Turkey readies sanctions against Syria

ANKARA (Reuters)- Having failed to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end a bloody crackdown, Turkey is preparing a list of sanctions against its one-time friend in a policy shift that aligns Ankara more closely with the West.

The measures, which mark a break from Turkey’s long-standing record of resisting sanctions on its Middle Eastern neighbours, will complement a Turkish arms embargo already in place and underline how deeply Ankara has fallen out with Assad.

Sep 28, 2011

Analysis: Turkey readies sanctions against Syria

ANKARA (Reuters)- Having failed to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to end a bloody crackdown, Turkey is preparing a list of sanctions against its one-time friend in a policy shift that aligns Ankara more closely with the West.

The measures, which mark a break from Turkey’s long-standing record of resisting sanctions on its Middle Eastern neighbors, will complement a Turkish arms embargo already in place and underline how deeply Ankara has fallen out with Assad.

Sep 21, 2011

Turkey-North Cyprus gas deal set to escalate tensions

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey signed a deal with the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state on Wednesday to pave the way for offshore gas exploration in a move set to escalate regional tensions over Mediterranean energy reserves.

On Tuesday, the Greek Cypriot government, which has been at loggerheads with Turkey since its military invasion of north Cyprus in 1974, said drilling had begun in a southeastern offshore block, adjoining a gas field in Israeli waters reputed to be the world’s largest find of the past decade.

Sep 21, 2011

Turkey may slap sanctions on Syria –Erdogan

ANKARA, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Turkey has suspended talks with
Syria and may impose sanctions on Damascus, Prime Minister
Tayyip Erdogan said, the clearest sign yet that Ankara has
parted ways with President Bashar al-Assad over his bloody
crackdown on anti-government protesters.

After long maintaining close relations with neighbour Syria,
Turkey has spoken out increasingly against Assad, urging him to
end a military crackdown on a popular uprising and to launch
democratic reforms.

Sep 20, 2011

Analysis – Turkey’s tough foreign policy talk may backfire

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s threats to send warships to gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean mark a new projection of Ankara’s growing power in the region, challenging Cyprus’s drilling plans and casting a shadow over Israel’s preparations to exploit huge deposits.

But Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s tough tactics risk isolating Ankara in the region, fanning tensions with the United States, its ally, and hurting its bid to join the European Union.