HAKKARI, Turkey (Reuters) – A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 shook southeastern Turkey on Sunday, Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory said, triggering the collapse of buildings and killing many people, according to a local mayor.
State-run media reported 50 people had been injured, while the prime minister’s office said the earthquake had caused a loss of life and damage. No figures were available on the death toll.
HAKKARI, Turkey (Reuters) – A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit near Van in southeastern Turkey on Sunday, Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory and Research Institute said, and state-run media reported some buildings had collapsed and 50 people had been injured.
The institute said the earthquake struck at 1041 GMT (6:41 a.m. EDT) and was 5 km (3 miles) deep. The U.S. Geological Survey earlier reported that the magnitude was 7.6.
CUKURCA, Turkey (Reuters) – The Turkish military said on Saturday its forces had killed 49 Kurdish militants in the southeast over the last two days, during an offensive to avenge the killing of 24 soldiers by Kurdish fighters earlier this week.
The counter-insurgency operation against separatist rebels from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), involving thousands of troops and into its third day, has focused on both sides of the mountainous Turkey-Iraq border.
CUKURCA, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkey and Iran pledged Friday to cooperate in the fight against Kurdish militants, as thousands of Turkish troops pressed ahead with an air and ground offensive for a third day following an attack that killed 24 Turkish soldiers.
The counter-insurgency operation against separatist fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was concentrated on both sides of Turkey’s border with northern Iraq.
VAN, Turkey (Reuters) – Hundreds of Turkish commandos backed by helicopter gunships were attacking Kurdish militants in Iraq on Thursday, officials said as Ankara weighed a wider cross-border offensive after PKK fighters killed 24 of its soldiers.
Turkish security officials estimated their forces, numbering about 1,000 inside Iraq, had killed 21 fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the counterattack so far – 36 hours after its guerrillas mounted a series of deadly night-time raids on remote army outposts in Turkey’s mountainous southeast.
ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Until recently, Hamdi Esen would make the short trip across to Syria several times a month, fill his father’s car up with gas, maybe buy a few bags of sugar and some cigarettes and then return home to Turkey.
But after Turkey stepped up criticism of Syria’s crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, Esen stopped going because of long waits at the border and the hostility he faced from Syrian security officials and even some regular citizens.
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.
ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – The most senior officer to defect from Syria’s armed forces has said there is no option but to topple President Bashar al-Assad by force and he was directing a military uprising against the Syrian leader from within Turkey.
Colonel Riad al-As’aad, who is now living under Turkish government protection in Hatay province on the Syrian border, said some 15,000 soldiers, including officers, had already deserted, and he was waiting to move his command inside Syria.
ANTAKYA, Turkey (Reuters) – With one teenage son in a Syrian jail and another in hiding, 45-year-old jeweler Abu Mohammad knew President Bashar al-Assad’s secret police were on his tail, so two weeks ago he said goodbye to his wife, shut his shop, and fled to Turkey.
Mohammad is just one of thousands of Syrians who have escaped across the border since the start of a bloody crackdown on anti-government protests by Assad seven months ago, and his story is not unique.
ANTAKYA, Turkey/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey is piling pressure on Syria with border military exercises, economic sanctions and the harboring of Syrian opposition groups and army defectors, but Ankara must tread carefully to avoid arousing the suspicion of Arab states or spurring Syrian counter-measures.
Turkey has shifted, in the space of six months, from being Syria’s new best friend forever to a center of gravity for opposition to President Bashar al-Assad outside the country.