Simon's Feed
Jun 10, 2011

Concerns over democracy dominate as Turkey votes

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – 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.

Jun 10, 2011

Democracy added to Islamism as concern as Turkey votes

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – 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 that the future course of democracy may also be at stake.

May 30, 2011

Turkey’s saves ire for Israel, concern for Syria

KONYA, Turkey (Reuters) – Democratic governments cannot stop their citizens launching another pro-Palestinian flotilla to Gaza, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Monday, a year after the storming of an aid ship by Israeli marines.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Friday for activists to be discouraged from again setting sail for Gaza, but Ahmet Davutoglu said it was not within the authority of a democracy to prevent private challenges to an illegal blockade.

May 12, 2011

Turkey gains little sway over Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s efforts to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to swap repression for reform have so far come to naught, exposing the limits of its influence in a country where Iran also wields clout.

Having embraced Assad as a new found friend in recent years, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been reduced to hand-wringing over the killing of unarmed civilian protesters after the Syrian leader turned tanks against their own cities.

May 12, 2011

Analysis: Turkey gains little sway over Syria

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Turkey’s efforts to persuade Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to swap repression for reform have so far come to naught, exposing the limits of its influence in a country where Iran also wields clout.

Having embraced Assad as a new found friend in recent years, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been reduced to hand-wringing over the killing of unarmed civilian protesters after the Syrian leader turned tanks against their own cities.

May 9, 2011

Iran to attend nuclear talks in Turkey: president

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Iran will hold talks with major powers in Turkey over its disputed nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday, after earlier discussions failed to resolve the row.

“I hope that this important issue will reach its final result in the (next) Istanbul talks,” Ahmadinejad told a news conference in Istanbul, broadcast live on Iranian state television, without giving a date.

Apr 27, 2011

U.S. prods Turkey to enforce Iran sanctions

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The United States is concerned by Turkey’s growing trade ties with Iran and has warned Turkish banks against dealing with blacklisted Iranian counterparts, a senior U.S. Treasury official said Wednesday.

David Cohen, acting Under-Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said he came to Turkey to “urge full and robust implementation of U.N. Security Council resolution 1929 against Iran.”

Apr 26, 2011

Syrian opposition ask world’s help to make Assad stop

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Members of the Syrian opposition meeting in Istanbul on Tuesday pleaded for international help to persuade President Bashar al-Assad to halt a brutal crackdown on a popular revolt.

“Our friends in the West, in Turkey, in the Arab world, if they want to help us, then they can do that by… putting the clearest possible pressure on the Syrian regime to stop targeting civilians,” Anas Abdah, the British-based chairman of the Movement for Justice and Development, told Reuters.

Mar 30, 2011

Arab rulers must change or risk defeat: Turkey

LONDON (Reuters) – Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday a new era was sweeping the Middle East and it was up to its leaders to embrace change or risk being cast away.

He dismissed allegations by many Arab autocrats that an unprecedented wave of uprisings that toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt and inspired masses across Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria was the work of “foreign elements.”

Mar 29, 2011

NATO can “pressure” Gaddafi into Libya truce-Turkey

LONDON, March 29 (Reuters) – NATO should use its muscle when
needed to ensure forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi stop attacks on
civilians and implement a ceasefire, Turkey’s Foreign Minister
Ahmet Davutoglu warned before a London conference on Libya.

“For that purpose, of course, there should be more
pressure,” Davutoglu told journalists who accompanied him to
Britain for Tuesday’s meeting.