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Jul 29, 2015

NATO backs Turkey on Islamic State, some urge peace with Kurds

BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – NATO gave Turkey its full political support in fighting militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday but several nations urged Ankara not to undermine the Kurdish peace process by using excessive military force.

Following a 90-minute meeting in Brussels, Turkey won the backing it sought for stepping up its role in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes.

Jul 28, 2015

Turkey seeks NATO endorsement in Islamic State fight

BRUSSELS/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey sought moral support for its campaign against militants in Syria and Iraq at an emergency meeting on Tuesday with its North Atlantic allies, with both NATO and Ankara playing down any idea of a call for military help from the alliance.

Turkey requested urgent consultations with its 27 NATO partners in Brussels after stepping up its role in the U.S.-led fight against Islamic State with air strikes, also hitting Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in Iraq at the weekend.

Jul 27, 2015

In fight against Islamic State, Turkey’s Erdogan sees chance to battle Kurds

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Forced into battle against Islamic State as it presses on Turkey’s borders, President Tayyip Erdogan is seizing the chance to keep another foe in check, bombing Kurdish militants he sees as a threat to the integrity of the Turkish state.

Casting the operations as a war on terrorist groups “without distinction”, Turkey launched air strikes against Islamic State in Syria for the first time last week and granted the U.S.-led coalition access to its air bases after years of reluctance.

Jul 27, 2015

Turkey, U.S. aim for safe zone cleared of Islamic State in northern Syria

ISTANBUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Turkey and the United States are working on plans to provide air cover for Syrian rebels and jointly sweep Islamic State fighters from a strip of land along the Turkish border, bolstering the NATO member’s security and providing a safe haven for civilians.

Long a reluctant member of the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State, Turkey last week made a dramatic turnaround by granting the alliance access to its air bases and bombarding targets in Syria linked to the jihadist movement.

Jul 21, 2015

Suicide attack unlikely to change Turkish stance on Syria

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – A suspected Islamic State suicide bombing that killed 32 people in a Turkish border town is unlikely to push Ankara to strike against the group in Syria, where it still sees Kurdish separatism and President Bashar al-Assad as the major threats.

Turkey has been a reluctant partner in a U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State, refusing a frontline role in military action and arguing only Assad’s ouster – not just air strikes on the radical Islamists – can bring peace. It is believed to favor some less radical Islamists who vie with Islamic State.

Jul 8, 2015

Out of sight but not power, Erdogan eyes snap Turkish election

ANKARA/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Delays in efforts to form a coalition government in Turkey are buying time for President Tayyip Erdogan, heightening the chances of a snap election which could see his AK Party regain its majority and leaving the opposition floundering.

A month after an election which saw the AKP lose its ability to govern alone for the first time, talks to form a coalition have yet to begin. Opposition parties are as fragmented as ever, and Erdogan – from the shadows – is calculating how best to maintain his grip.

Jun 19, 2015

Closed circle, oversized ambition fueled Erdogan miscalculation

ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Hovering in his helicopter over a packed parade ground, its perimeter fences brought down to let in thousands more supporters, Tayyip Erdogan seemed at the height of his powers ahead of his election as Turkey’s president last August.

Sweeping to victory with 52 percent of the vote, he became the country’s first popularly elected head of state after almost 12 years as prime minister, taking up a largely figurehead role he planned to convert into a powerful executive post.

Jun 15, 2015

Turkey seeks progress on more focused, inclusive G20 growth plan

BODRUM, Turkey (Reuters) – The world’s leading economies have narrowed down their commitments to boost global growth under a G20 plan and should be able to demonstrate progress by the end of Turkey’s G20 presidency this year, a senior Turkish official said on Monday.

The Group of 20 agreed in Brisbane last year to launch new measures to raise their collective gross domestic product growth and create millions of new jobs over the next five years.

Jun 12, 2015

Turkey’s Erdogan, master tactician, seen angling for new election

ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan’s statesmanlike appeals for Turkey’s rival parties to leave egos aside and form a new government may suggest the combative leader has turned over a new leaf, but even those close to him wonder how long it will last.

A masterful tactician who has built a career on playing the political underdog, Erdogan is in a tight corner after the AK Party he founded lost its parliamentary majority on Sunday, thwarting for now his ambition of accumulating greater powers.

Jun 11, 2015

Striking conciliatory note, Turkey’s Erdogan urges new government quickly

ANKARA (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan urged Turkey’s political parties to work quickly to form a new government on Thursday, saying egos should be left aside and that history would judge anyone who stood in the way.

In his first public appearance since Sunday’s parliamentary election deprived the ruling AK Party of a majority, Erdogan said his own role as Turkey’s first elected president was critical and that he would play his part with the powers given to him by the constitution.

    • About Nick

      "Based in Lagos since early 2008, responsible for coverage of Africa's most populous nation. Previously based in Senegal for four years, covering West and Central Africa, and before that in Germany and Britain."
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