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May 1, 2015

Turkish police fire tear gas, water cannon at May Day protesters

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish police fired tear gas and water cannon at hundreds of stone-throwing May Day protesters on Friday, after they defied a ban and tried to march on Istanbul’s Taksim Square.

Europe’s biggest city was under a security lockdown as thousands of police manned barricades and closed streets to stop demonstrations at Taksim, a traditional rallying ground for leftists that saw weeks of unrest in 2013.

May 1, 2015

Istanbul goes into security lockdown to stop May Day rallies

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Istanbul went into a security lockdown on Friday as thousands of police manned barricades and closed streets to stop May Day rallies at Taksim Square, a symbolic point for protests.

Citing security concerns, authorities shut down much of the city’s public transport and dispatched riot police to block Taksim off from demonstrators. A traditional rallying ground for leftists, the central square saw weeks of unrest in 2013.

Mar 23, 2015

Erdogan’s lobbying exposes fractures in Turkey’s ruling party

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Anyone watching the multitude of Turkish television stations broadcasting President Tayyip Erdogan’s speeches on an almost daily basis might be forgiven for thinking he was the one standing in a June election.

His lobbying for the ruling AK Party ahead of the parliamentary election and interference in government affairs while holding what has long been a ceremonial post is raising the hackles of senior ministers and exposing fractures in the party he founded more than a decade ago.

Mar 18, 2015

U.S. wants Assad out, Germany says talks with him may be necessary

ISTANBUL/BERLIN (Reuters) – The United States still wants a negotiated political settlement in Syria that excludes President Bashar al-Assad, according to a senior U.S. envoy, but Washington’s close ally Germany said talks with the Damascus government might still be necessary.

As German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosted talks of the coalition against Islamic State on Wednesday which included the U.S. special envoy John Allen, the pair appeared to contradict each other on how to handle Assad’s government.

Mar 9, 2015

Turkish central bank chief tries to sidestep Erdogan pressure

ISTANBUL, March 9 (Reuters) – Turkish Central Bank Governor
Erdem Basci, a technocrat reluctantly thrust into a standoff
with President Tayyip Erdogan, appears to believe he will
eventually ride out the storm.

In his shoes, many bank chiefs might already have quit.
Erdogan’s relentless demands for sharper interest rate cuts, his
assertion that the bank is under outside influence, and his
equating of high rates with treason have left Basci struggling
to restore investors’ confidence.

Feb 23, 2015

In soldiers’ rescue, Turkey plays off warring sides in Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – By extracting dozens of its soldiers surrounded by Islamist fighters in Syria, Turkey has warded off a potential crisis and shown its ability to maneuver between rival warring parties, including Islamic State.

Several hundred Turkish ground troops, backed by tanks and drones, mounted an eight-hour operation on Saturday night to evacuate the 38 soldiers guarding the tomb of Suleyman Shah, grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire.

Feb 10, 2015

Finance chiefs vow action to bolster growth at G20 meet, Greece weighs

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Finance officials from the Group of 20 leading economies sketched an uncertain outlook for global growth on Tuesday and vowed to use monetary and fiscal policy if needed to stem any risk of stagnation.

The United States urged nations at the G20 meeting not to resort to currency devaluations to boost exports, an indication Washington is starting to feel wary of its allies manipulating their exchange rates to support growth.

Feb 10, 2015

U.S. warns G20 against using exchange rates to boost exports

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The United States urged a meeting of the Group of 20 leading economies not to resort to currency devaluations to boost exports, while a draft communique gave a gloomy assessment on Tuesday of the outlook for global growth.

The meeting of finance ministers and central bankers in Istanbul comes at a difficult time, with major economies running at different speeds, monetary policies diverging and Greece casting a new shadow over Europe.

Feb 10, 2015

G20 pledges decisive monetary, fiscal action if needed – draft text

ISTANBUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) – The Group of 20 (G20) leading
economies will pledge to act decisively on monetary and fiscal
policy if needed to combat the risk of persistent stagnation,
according to a draft communique obtained by Reuters on Tuesday.

The communique, intended for adoption by G20 ministers later
on Tuesday at a meeting in Istanbul, pointed to the risk of
prolonged low inflation, sluggish growth and demand weakness in
some advanced economies.

Feb 8, 2015

Spurring growth center stage as finance chiefs meet in Istanbul

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Finance ministers and central bankers face a tough task coordinating action to spur global growth at G20 meetings this week, with major economies running at different speeds and monetary policies diverging.

Concern over the ability of the United States to sustain the global economy as most of the world slows will be high on the agenda as the Group of 20 leading economies hold talks in Istanbul on Monday and Tuesday.

    • 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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