Ibon's Feed
Aug 27, 2010

Hardliner leads Turk military in testing times

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s new military chief, a quiet, hardline secularist, took command on Friday of a force that sees itself cornered by EU-driven reforms and an emboldened government with roots in political Islam.

The change of command in NATO’s second biggest army comes as the ruling AK Party takes on the judicial establishment, another bastion of the secularist opposition, in challenges analysts say will define the future of the Muslim democracy.

Aug 27, 2010

Quiet hardliner leads Turk military in testing times

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s new military chief, a quiet, hardline secularist, takes command on Friday of a force that sees itself cornered by EU-driven reforms and an emboldened government with roots in political Islam.

The change of command in NATO’s second biggest army comes as the ruling AK Party takes on the judicial establishment, another bastion of the secularist opposition, in challenges analysts say will define the future of the Muslim democracy.

Aug 26, 2010

Battle lines drawn over judiciary reform in Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turks have witnessed the ruling AK Party bring a powerful army to heel and humble political rivals. The spectacle now of one prosecutor arresting another, emblazoned across the internet, illustrates dramatically where the EU-candidate’s Muslim democracy is facing its ultimate test.

AK and many liberals see the judiciary and the courts as the redoubt of an ossified and autocratic secularist establishment.

Jul 16, 2010

Turkey reopening ancient Armenian church to heal wounds

AKDAMAR ISLAND, Turkey, July 16 (Reuters) – Swallows dart
around the dome of the 10th century Armenian church rising from
an island set amid the turquoise waters of Lake Van.

Tombstones with ancient Christian inscriptions and crosses
lie scattered among the weeds in the garden, where day-trippers
picnic in the shade of almond trees and sunbathe after a swim.

Jul 5, 2010

Turkey wants Israel apology

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s foreign minister was quoted on Monday as saying that Ankara would cut ties with Israel unless it apologized or accepted an international inquiry into its deadly raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza.

But a Turkish government official told Reuters the minister’s words had been misrepresented. The official said Ankara’s position was that it would be very difficult or impossible to repair bilateral ties with the Jewish state unless Ankara’s previously stated demands were met.

Jul 5, 2010

Turkey wants Israel apology, Israel rejects demand

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey will cut ties with Israel unless it receives an apology over a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish aid ship bound for Gaza, the Turkish foreign minister said, but Israel on Monday said it had no intention of doing so.

It was the first time Ankara has explicitly threatened to cut ties with Israel, having previously said it was reviewing relations with the Jewish state.

Jul 5, 2010

Jailed Kurdish children a blight on Turkey’s future

YUKSEKOVA, Turkey (Reuters) – Metin, a 16-year-old Kurdish boy with a shy smile and small, vivacious eyes is already a veteran of Turkey’s prisons for terrorist suspects.

On his way to school one morning last year Metin, who was 15 at the time, was detained by police in this bleak town in Turkey’s impoverished southeast, and accused him of being a member of the PKK Kurdish separatist rebel group.

Jun 22, 2010

Q&A – Violence wrecks Turkey’s opening to Kurds

ANKARA (Reuters) – Kurdish separatist rebels have stepped up attacks against military targets in EU candidate Turkey, killing more than 50 soldiers over the last two months.

On Tuesday, a roadside bomb ripped through a bus carrying military personnel and their families in Turkey’s largest city of Istanbul, killing five people, including a 17-year old girl.

Jun 5, 2010

Angry Turkish PM tells Israel “thou shalt not kill”

ANKARA (Reuters) – Israel’s only Muslim ally Turkey accused the Jewish state on Friday of betraying its own biblical law, escalating its furious rhetoric since the killing of nine Turkish activists on board a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Despite fierce international criticism from friends as well as enemies, Israel said it would block another vessel sent by pro-Palestinian activists, the Rachel Corrie, from attempting to reach the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Jun 4, 2010

Turkey says may cut ties with Israel to minimum

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey said on Friday it was considering scaling back its relations with Israel to a minimum after nine of its nationals were killed in an Israeli sea raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship earlier this week.

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc also said Turkey was assessing deals with Israel in the clearest sign yet it may significantly reduce its ties with once close ally Israel after Monday’s raid.