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Mar 14, 2013

Insight – Turkey’s Kurds see best hope yet of end to three-decade war

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – Kurdish politician Abdullah Demirbas is haunted by the nightmare vision of his two sons meeting in the hills of southeastern Turkey.

The first left home at 16 to join Kurdish rebels fighting the Turkish army, and now his older brother is signing up on the government side. Like many Kurds weary of a war that has killed 40,000, he prays talks between fighters and government will bring the swift, lasting peace that has eluded generations.

Mar 14, 2013

Turkey’s Kurds see best hope yet of end to three-decade war

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey, March 14 (Reuters) – Kurdish politician
Abdullah Demirbas is haunted by the nightmare vision of his two
sons meeting in the hills of southeastern Turkey.

The first left home at 16 to join Kurdish rebels fighting
the Turkish army, and now his older brother is signing up on the
government side. Like many Kurds weary of a war that has killed
40,000, he prays talks between fighters and government will
bring the swift, lasting peace that has eluded generations.

Feb 18, 2013

Erdogan’s ambition weighs on hopes for new Turkish constitution

ANKARA (Reuters) – Burhan Kuzu has a weighty responsibility: drafting a new constitution that could set Turkey on the path to democratic maturity or send it lurching towards greater authoritarianism.

Time is not on his side.

Kuzu heads a cross-party commission that has until April to reconcile its differences on replacing the current constitution, a text born out of a 1980 coup which, despite numerous revisions, still bears the stamp of military tutelage.

Feb 3, 2013

Turkey says tests confirm leftist bombed U.S. embassy

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A member of a Turkish leftist group that accuses Washington of using Turkey as its “slave” carried out a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy, the Ankara governor’s office cited DNA tests as showing on Saturday.

Ecevit Sanli, a member of the leftist Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C), blew himself up in a perimeter gatehouse on Friday as he tried to enter the embassy, also killing a Turkish security guard.

Feb 2, 2013

Turkish leftist group claims U.S. embassy bombing: website

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A Turkish leftist group claimed responsibility on Saturday for a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy and accused Washington of using Turkey as its “slave”, according to a statement posted on the internet.

The Revolutionary People’s Liberation Army-Front (DHKP-C) said it carried out Friday’s attack, in which a suicide bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body at the embassy in Ankara, killing himself and a Turkish security guard.

Jan 28, 2013

UK court to decide on Turkish tycoon’s Turkcell stake

ISTANBUL, Jan 28 (Reuters) – An arcane British appeals court
will decide this week whether one of Turkey’s richest tycoons
can retain control of Turkcell, the country’s biggest mobile
phone operator, in a dispute pitting him against Russian
billionaire Mikhail Fridman.

The Privy Council, one of Britain’s oldest institutions
whose members are appointed by the Queen, will rule on Wednesday
in the long-running boardroom battle between Mehmet Emin
Karamehmet, one of Turkey’s most powerful businessmen, and
Altimo, the telecoms arm of Fridman’s Alfa Group.

Jan 24, 2013

Turkish Airlines to order over 100 narrow-body planes

ISTANBUL, Jan 24 (Reuters) – Turkish Airlines, the world’s
fastest-growing carrier, plans to order more than 100
narrow-body planes by the end of March, underlining its position
as a key client for global planemakers after buying billions of
dollars worth of larger models in 2012.

Chairman Hamdi Topcu told Reuters the airline would finalise
five new Airbus A330-300 orders this week on top of the 35
wide-body aircraft ordered from rivals Airbus and
Boeing last year, then focus on expanding its fleet of
smaller planes.

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.

    • 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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