Simon's Feed
Jul 25, 2011

Turkish court sentences Dink assassin to 23 years

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – An Istanbul court sentenced on Monday the assassin of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink to nearly 23 years in prison.

Editor of bilingual Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos and Turkey’s best known Armenian voice abroad, Dink was shot in broad daylight as he left his Istanbul office in January 2007.

Jul 16, 2011

Syrian opposition forms council to counter Assad

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syrian opposition factions meeting in Istanbul on Saturday formed a broad-based council in the hope of creating a government-in-waiting to fill a void if street protests succeed in toppling President Bashar al-Assad.

Meeting a day after the biggest protests so far in Syria, the result was probably the minimum the opposition could have hoped for if they were to give heart to protesters risking their lives demanding an end to 41 years of Assad family rule.

Jul 14, 2011

Libya meeting seeks Gaddafi exit to end war

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Western and Arab powers begin talks in Turkey on Friday aimed at finding a political solution for Libya that would persuade Muammar Gaddafi to give up power and end a conflict that could otherwise drag on interminably.

The fourth meeting of the Libya contact group, established in London in March, comes after reports suggesting Gaddafi might be ready to give up his 41-year rule if he could get a deal.

Jul 14, 2011

Libya talks to seek political solution to end war

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Western powers and Arab states meeting in Istanbul on Friday will seek a political solution to end the civil war in Libya, amid conflicting signals over whether Muammar Gaddafi intends to fight on or surrender power.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the EU’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton are among more than a dozen ministers attending the Libyan contact group meeting, its fourth since an emergency summit in London in March.

Jul 13, 2011

Syrian exiles call for army to side with people

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – A meeting of Syrian opposition in Istanbul ended on Wednesday with a call for the army to protect its people and side with the protesters against President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

Attended largely by exiled dissidents, the gathering will be followed by another in Istanbul on Saturday, which the organisers hope to twin through video-link with a “National Salvation” conference planned by opposition in Damascus.

Jul 3, 2011

Turkey pledges $200 million for Libyan rebels

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Turkey pledged $200 million in aid for Libya’s rebel Transitional National Council and said it was time for leader Muammar Gaddafi to leave Libya.

Muslim Turkey, a rising power in the Middle East, had close economic ties with Gaddafi’s Libya but has distanced itself from the Libyan leader since a rebellion broke out against his rule.

Jun 30, 2011

Irish activists say Israel sabotaged flotilla vessel

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Irish pro-Palestinian activists accused Israel on Thursday of sabotaging their boat while it was docked in Turkey to stop it joining an international flotilla bound for the Palestinian enclave of Gaza.

The crew of the MV Saoirse realized there was something wrong with the propeller shaft when they took the vessel for refueling at Gocek on Turkey’s southwest coast on Monday. Activists said a marine engineer who inspected the damaged boat in dry dock declared that it had been sabotaged.

Jun 12, 2011

Turkey’s Erdogan gets 4 more years and counting

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Having handed Tayyip Erdogan his third term as prime minister, the question for many Turks is whether his next stop will be the presidency.

For the past decade Erdogan has dominated the political landscape in Turkey, a largely Muslim nation of 74 million that he has led to the gates of the European Union by opening negotiations for membership in 2005.

Jun 11, 2011

Turkey’s parties wind up campaigning on eve of vote

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkish politicians made their last campaign rounds on Saturday on the eve of an election that is expected to see Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan win a third term and could give him a mandate to rewrite the constitution.

Often cited as a Muslim nation with a working democracy, Turkey has become regarded as model for people in North Africa and Middle East living through the “Arab Spring.”

Jun 10, 2011
via FaithWorld

As Turkey votes, concern this time focuses on democracy, not theocracy


(A view shows buildings plastered with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's election campaign posters, as a ferry leaves Eminonu pier in Istanbul June 10, 2011/Murad Sezer)

The last time Turks voted in a general election in 2007, opponents feared the socially conservative ruling party was turning Turkey into an Iran-style Islamic state. With voters on Sunday expected to keep Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party in office for a third straight term, critics and some analysts now worry about that less but fear that the future course of democracy may be at stake.