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Dec 12, 2012

Assertive Turkey key to U.S. in shifting Middle East

WASHINGTON/ISTANBUL, Dec 12 (Reuters) – With its caustic
rhetoric on Israel and its gold-for-gas trade with Iran, Turkey
is not the deferential U.S. ally it once was as it carves out a
growing role in the fast-changing politics of the Middle East.

The collapse of its ties with the Jewish state have put paid
to U.S. hopes it could be a broker in the Arab-Israeli conflict,
while its gold sales to Iran have provided a financial lifeline
to a government meant to be under the choke of U.S. sanctions.

Nov 30, 2012

Turkey to press Putin on negotiating end to Assad’s rule

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey will press Russian President Vladimir Putin next week to cooperate in engineering as rapid an end as possible to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s rule and try to assuage his fears Moscow could lose out after Assad’s departure.

He is likely to face an uphill struggle.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan sees Putin as key to quelling a conflict that has sent over a hundred thousand refugees fleeing to Turkish soil and stirred warnings of a sectarian war beyond Syria’s borders.

Nov 26, 2012

Kurdish militant leader wields influence from island prison

ANKARA, Nov 26 (Reuters) – Snatched by Turkish commandos in
Nairobi, Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan looked resigned and
bewildered as he was flown back to Ankara, the gallows
beckoning. A decade later, on his island prison, he appears to
have the ear of a Turkish government eager to end a devastating
conflict.

It seems an unlikely comeback. Reviled in most of Turkey but
commanding fierce loyalty from Kurdish nationalists, Ocalan has
been held in virtual isolation on the barren island of Imrali,
50 km (30 miles) south of Istanbul, since his capture in 1999.

Nov 21, 2012

Turkey asks NATO for missile defence against Syria

BRUSSELS/ANKARA, Nov 21 (Reuters) – NATO ambassadors met on
Wednesday to consider a Turkish request for the deployment of
Patriot missiles near its border with Syria as the conflict in
its southern neighbour deepens.

The move highlights Ankara’s fears that the situation on its
border could deteriorate rapidly and echoes its calls for
military support during the two Gulf Wars, when NATO deployed
surface-to-air missiles on its soil in 1991 and 2003.

Oct 19, 2012
via FaithWorld

Tweeting Turkish pianist Fazil Say denies religious insult charge

Photo

(Turkish classical pianist Fazil Say performs during a concert in Ankara October 14, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer)

Turkish concert pianist Fazil Say’s exuberance has won him fans around the world, but it has also helped land him in court as a cause célèbre for those alarmed by Turkey’s creeping Islamic conservatism.

Oct 18, 2012

Tweeting pianist Say denies Turkish religious insult charge

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish concert pianist Fazil Say’s exuberance has won him fans around the world, but it has also helped land him in court as a cause célèbre for those alarmed by Turkey’s creeping Islamic conservatism.

On trial for insulting religion in citing a thousand-year-old poem on his Twitter account, the 42-year-old performer and composer told a first brief hearing in Istanbul on Thursday that he denied the charge, which can carry an 18-month sentence.

Oct 13, 2012

Turkey cites Srebrenica in appeal for action on Syria

ISTANBUL, Oct 13 (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan rebuked the U.N. Security Council for inaction over
Syria on Saturday, saying the world body was repeating mistakes
that led to massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used air strikes and
artillery to bombard insurgents on several fronts in Syria, as
the 19-month-old conflict risks dragging in regional powers.

Oct 13, 2012

Turkey condemns U.N. inertia as Syrian conflict deepens

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan rebuked the U.N. Security Council for inaction over Syria on Saturday as war intensified across the country, saying the world body of superpowers was repeating mistakes that led to massacres in Bosnia in the 1990s.

President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used air strikes and artillery to bombard insurgents on several fronts in the 19-month-old conflict, which risks dragging in regional powers with no sign of a diplomatic breakthrough.

Oct 12, 2012

For Erdogan quarrel with Assad is one thing, Putin another

ISTANBUL/MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Standing up to Bashar
al-Assad is one thing. Picking a fight with Vladimir Putin would
be something else entirely.

By forcing down an airliner flying from Moscow, and publicly
accusing Russia of ferrying military equipment to Damascus,
Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has taken what may prove
to be the biggest gamble yet in his Syria policy.

Oct 12, 2012

Turkey says Syrian plane carried Russian munitions

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday a Syrian passenger plane forced to land in Ankara was carrying Russian-made munitions destined for Syria’s armed forces, ratcheting up tension with his country’s war-torn neighbor.

Damascus said the plane had been carrying legitimate cargo and described Turkey’s actions as an act of “air piracy”, while Moscow accused Ankara of endangering the lives of Russian passengers when it intercepted the jet late on Wednesday.

    • 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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