ISTANBUL/AKCAKALE (Reuters) – Turkey accused Kurdish militia in northern Syria of persecuting civilians on Tuesday and said it saw signs of “a kind of ethnic cleansing”, drawing a parallel to the actions of Islamic State militants and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Syrian Kurdish-led forces captured the town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border on Monday from Islamic State, driving the jihadists away in an advance backed by U.S.-led air strikes.
AMMAN/AKCAKALE, Turkey (Reuters) – Syrian Kurdish-led forces said they had captured a town at the Turkish border from Islamic State on Monday, driving it away from the frontier in an advance backed by U.S.-led air strikes that has thrust deep into the jihadists’ Syria stronghold.
The capture of Tel Abyad by the Kurdish YPG and smaller Syrian rebel groups means the Syrian Kurds effectively control some 400 km (250 miles) of the Syrian-Turkish border that has been a conduit for foreign fighters joining Islamic State.
BEIRUT/AKCAKALE, Turkey (Reuters) – Syrian Kurdish fighters took up positions on the outskirts of the Islamic State stronghold of Tel Abyad on Monday and a Kurdish militia spokesman said they had surrounded the northern Syrian border town.
A Reuters photographer at the scene saw the Kurdish YPG militia fighters on the edge of Tel Abyad, as they pushed ahead with an offensive to seize strategic territory from the Islamic State jihadists with support from U.S.-led air strikes.
NUSAYBIN, Turkey, March 20 (Reuters) – Several U.N. aid
trucks crossed from Turkey into Syria for the first time on
Thursday, a Reuters witness said, a step relief officials hope
will pave the way for greater humanitarian access to area
hardest hit by the country’s civil war.
The trucks, mostly from the U.N. World Food Programme,
crossed at the Nusaybin border post taking food supplies,
bedding and medicine to the ethnic Kurdish city of Qamishli in
Syria, according to officials.
By Umit Bektas
Sunday mass has just begun in Mort Shmuni Syriac Orthodox Church. It is seven o’clock in the morning and the streets of Midyat, where the majority of the population is Muslim Kurdish, are empty.
But despite the calm outside, the historical church is overcrowded with a community of three hundred people, mostly children. Candles are lit, hymns are sung and prayers are made.
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish police fired water cannon and teargas on Monday to break up a protest by around 2,000 people outside an Ankara court over the handling of the trial of a policeman accused of killing a demonstrator earlier this year.
A group of protesters wielding sticks descended on the court entrance after a ruling that the accused officer could take part in court hearings via video link, prompting police to intervene, a Reuters witness said.
HATAY, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkey has bolstered its defenses and deployed additional troops on its southeastern Syrian border in recent days as the United States tries to build international support for a military strike on Syria.
The reason for the additional security measures were not clear but Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly said Turkey was ready to take part in any international coalition against Syria.
ISTANBUL/ANKARA, June 2 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip
Erdogan accused Turkey’s main secular opposition party on Sunday
of stirring a wave of anti-government protests, as tens of
thousands regrouped in Istanbul and Ankara after a lull and
trouble flared again in the capital.
Police used tear gas on protesters in Ankara but the clashes
were relatively minor compared with major violence in Turkey’s
biggest cities on the previous two days.
ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) – Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused Turkey’s main secular opposition party on Sunday of stirring a wave of anti-government protests, as tens of thousands regrouped in Istanbul and Ankara after a lull and trouble flared again in the capital.
Police used tear gas on protesters in Ankara but the clashes were relatively minor compared with major violence in Turkey’s biggest cities on the previous two days.
Cizre in Turkey’s Sirnak province, near the border with Syria
By Umit Bektas
Turkey’s fledgling peace process with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group is all over the headlines. After three decades of war, 40,000 deaths and a devastating impact on the local economy, everybody seems ready for peace. TV news channels and newspapers are saturated with opinions and commentary from politicians, officials, academics and journalists on what appears to be the best hope yet of building a lasting peace agreement with Kurdish militants.
But what about ordinary people in Turkey’s southeast, those most directly affected? How do they view the peace process and how might their lives change?