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Apr 20, 2013

Syria opposition voices frustration with international backers

ISTANBUL, April 20 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition figures
voiced frustration with their international backers on Saturday
in the face of reluctance from some to supply the rebels with
weapons and a call for them to distance themselves from
extremist forces.

Speaking at a meeting of the Friends of Syria in Istanbul,
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said Germany was
sceptical about supplying weapons to the rebels but said the
subject should be discussed by the European Union.

Mar 27, 2013

S&P raises Turkey to just below investment grade

NEW YORK/ISTANBUL, March 27 (Reuters) – Ratings agency
Standard & Poor’s raised Turkey to within a whisker of
investment grade on Wednesday, citing a rebalancing economy and
progress in a Kurdish peace process, but the move failed to
impress the country’s finance minister.

The ratings agency lifted Turkey’s sovereign credit rating
to BB-plus from BB with a stable outlook, noting that its
external financing requirements had declined thanks to strong
exports and a drop in domestic demand.

Mar 27, 2013

Turkey c.bank eyes Cyprus, hunkers down for falling inflows

ISTANBUL, March 27 (Reuters) – Turkey’s central bank
signalled a move away from its focus on protecting the economy
against hot money on Wednesday, hunkering down instead for the
threat of falling capital inflows if the crisis in Cyprus
triggers global risk aversion.

The bank said there had been a “notable” deceleration in
inflows recently and that this, combined with its tighter
liquidity policy, would dampen the credit growth it has spent
much of the past two years trying to keep in check.

Mar 22, 2013

Turkish PM says Kurdish peace moves open to sabotage

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Kurdish politicians on Friday of trying to sabotage talks to end a 28-year-old insurrection, lamenting the absence of Turkish flags during a mass rally to mark a ceasefire by Kurdish rebels.

Jailed rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan ordered his fighters to cease fire and withdraw from Turkey in a letter read to hundreds of thousands in the city of Diyarbakir in the mainly Kurdish southeast on Thursday. Kurdish red-yellow-green flags and banners displaying Ocalan’s face dominated the crowd.

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.

    • 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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