Jonathon's Feed
Oct 31, 2013

Four Turkish MPs to attend parliament in head scarves, first time in 15 years

ANKARA (Reuters) – Four female lawmakers from Turkey’s Islamist-rooted ruling party plan to wear their Islamic head scarves in parliament on Thursday in a challenge to the country’s secular tradition.

The last time a lawmaker attempted to wear the head scarf in parliament in 1999 she was expelled from the assembly.

Oct 3, 2013

Turkey ‘highly likely’ to sign Chinese missile deal

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey is likely to sign a $3.4 billion (2.10 billion pounds) missile defence deal with a Chinese firm under U.S. sanctions, a senior official said on Thursday, a proposal that is already straining relations with Washington.

Turkey sees a growing threat of spillover from the war in neighbouring Syria, as well as wider turbulence in the Middle East, and has been scrambling to bolster its air defences.

Oct 3, 2013

Turkey “highly likely” to sign Chinese missile deal – official

ANKARA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Turkey is likely to sign a $3.4
billion missile defence deal with a Chinese firm under U.S.
sanctions, a senior official said on Thursday, a move that could
strain relations with Washington.

Turkey is scrambling to bolster its air defences because it
feels its border is at risk of attacks spilling over from the
war in neighbouring Syria.

Oct 2, 2013

Turkish government seeks renewed mandate to send troops to Syria

ANKARA (Reuters) – The Turkish parliament is likely to extend by a year a mandate authorizing the sending of troops into Syria if needed after the government said the possible use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad posed a threat to Turkey.

The government motion, due to be voted on by parliament on Thursday, paints a bleak picture of the conflict in its southern neighbor and says Turkey would be the country the most affected by escalating violence there.

Oct 1, 2013

Kurdish rebels, politicians say Turkish reforms not aimed at peace

ANKARA (Reuters) – Kurdish militants and politicians dismissed on Tuesday a set of political reforms proposed by Turkey’s ruling AK Party, saying they were not meant to end a 29-year conflict with the state and that the insurgents would present their response next week.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced a much-vaunted list of reforms ranging from changes to the electoral system to the broadening of language rights.

Sep 30, 2013

Turkey says Chinese missile deal not final

ANKARA, Sept 30 (Reuters) – Turkey said on Monday it could
yet reconsider its decision to co-produce a long-range air and
missile defence system with a Chinese firm currently under U.S.
sanctions, but said it felt no obligation to heed other
countries’ blacklists.

The Defence Ministry of Turkey, a member of the NATO
military alliance, announced last week it had chosen the FD-2000
missile defence system from China Precision Machinery Import and
Export Corp, or CPMIEC, over rival systems from Russian, U.S.
and European firms.

Sep 30, 2013

Turkey presents reforms aimed at boosting Kurdish peace process

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Monday announced long-anticipated reforms meant to salvage a fragile peace process with Kurdish insurgents, including changes to the electoral system and increasing language rights.

In a major policy speech, Erdogan said parliament would debate whether to reduce the threshold for a political party to enter parliament to 5 percent of the national vote, or even eliminate the barrier completely and introduce a “narrowing” of the current constituency system.

Sep 19, 2013

Syrian rebels, Qaeda group clash near Turkish border crossing

ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked fighters battled a rival Syrian rebel group near the Turkish frontier for a second day on Thursday, after the militant Islamists stormed a nearby town and prompted Turkey to shut a border crossing.

The fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday killed at least five members of the Northern Storm Brigade, a rebel group that controls the border, highlighting Syria’s deep opposition divisions.

Sep 19, 2013

Turkey shuts Syria crossing after Qaeda group storms border town

ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Turkey closed a border crossing to Syria after an al Qaeda-linked group stormed a nearby town and expelled opposition fighters from an Arab and Western-backed unit, officials said on Thursday.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Wednesday killed at least five members of the Northern Storm Brigade, a rebel unit that controls the border, highlighting the deep opposition divisions.

Sep 17, 2013

Contentious Turkish mosque project stirs sectarian unrest

ANKARA, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Billed as a symbol of peace
between two faiths, a new place of worship has turned a poor
suburb of Ankara into a battleground and exposed wider sectarian
tensions within Turkey.

The project’s blueprint envisages a Sunni mosque rising side
by side with a new cemevi, or assembly house, to be used by
Alevis, Turkey’s biggest religious minority.