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Turkey calls for tougher action against PKK

By AFP ANKARA: Turkey on Friday urged the leader of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region for tougher action against a drawn-out insurgency waged by Kurdish militants, a Turkish diplomat told AFP. “The issue of tougher action against the (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) PKK was discussed … during the meeting” between Massud Barzani and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet …


INTERVIEW: Turkish tourism feels ripples of Arab Spring

By Lin Noueihed / Reuters DJERBA: Thirteen months of unrest in Syria have hurt tourism in neighboring Turkey, which expects visitor numbers to remain stable in 2012 at more than 30 million, Turkish Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Monday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Mediterranean tourism conference in Tunisia, Gunay said …


Turkey PM accuses Damascus of holding two journalists

By AFP ANKARA: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday called on the Damascus regime to account for the fate of two Turkish journalists missing in neighboring Syria since March. “The two Turkish journalists are still in the hands of Syrians, in a prisoner position,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party …


Erdogan the peacemaker?

By Sinan Ulgen ISTANBUL: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has taken on a daunting challenge. After participating in the nuclear-security summit in South Korea at the end of March, he went to Tehran to urge Iran’s leaders to make a deal during the next round of nuclear talks between Iran and the United Nations Security …


Twice-exiled former Ottoman princess dies

By Suzan Fraser / AP ANKARA, Turkey: Neslisah Osmanoglu, an Ottoman princess who married an Egyptian prince and was twice forced into exile when both royal households were abolished, has died. She was 91. Neslisah Sultan, or Princess Neslisah, died in Istanbul on Monday, according to her nephew, Abdulhamid Kayihan Osmanoglu. He didn’t give the cause …


The Syrian crisis and its implications for Turkish-Russian relations

By Ziya Meral Last week, during his weekly speech to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) group in the Turkish parliament, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his strong statements on Syria. While his call for humanitarian corridors to bring aid to Syrian people captured international attention, his talk also included an indirect yet equally strong …


Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the Kurdish issue

By Soli Ozel Syria, as always, is more than just Syria. The outcome of the deepening civil war or the violent fragmentation of the country will have a bearing on developments in the region, particularly for neighboring states. The strategies chosen by the regime to fight off the challenge against it have intensified sectarian divisions. A …


Turkey’s nation of faiths

By Bülent Arınç ANKARA: After decades of official neglect and mistrust, Turkey has taken several steps to ensure the rights of the country’s non-Muslim religious minorities, and thus to guarantee that the rule of law is applied equally for all Turkish citizens, regardless of individuals’ religion, ethnicity, or language. Turkey’s religious minorities include Greek Orthodox, Armenian, …


Turkey: Epic movie highlights Ottoman conquest

By Christopher Torchia / AP Turkey is on a roll these days, uplifted by economic growth and regional diplomacy. Now comes a film to boost the feel-good mood, an epic about the 15th century fall of Constantinople that fuses national pride with Hollywood-style ambition. “Fetih 1453,” or “Conquest 1453,” casts good guys (read Muslim Ottomans) against …


Jailed Turkish general stays fit for court battle

By Can Sezer and Ece Toksabay / Reuters ISTANBUL: General Ilker Basbug, the former head of Turkey’s armed forces, said military discipline has helped him adapt to prison life, but he still cannot accept the idea that he stands accused of being the leader of a terrorist group. Responding to questions relayed through his lawyer, the …


Turkey to overcome secular qualms with Islamic bond

By Seda Sezer and Nevzat Devranoglu / Reuters ISTANBUL: Turkey’s government plans its first-ever issue of Islamic bonds this year, overcoming sensitivities about Islamic finance in the secular republic as it seeks to tap a rich pool of investors flush with oil money. A sovereign sukuk issue from an economy regarded as one of the most …


Turkish bureaucrats are literature watchdogs

By Safak Timur/ AFP A 10-member board headed by an agricultural economist and including a doctor, an imam and a psychologist, is the only legal body in Turkey authorized to send a piece of literature to court for obscenity. The Board to Protect Minors from Harmful Publications is assigned to read books at the request of …


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