Results tagged “Turkey”
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Interior Minister Güler denied allegations that police allowed a truck to unload nearly 1,000 warheads destined for Syria at a crossing checkpoint in Hatay near an al Qaeda camp. The government plans to turn a 5th century monastery in Istanbul into a mosque. Turkey joined Iran in calling for a ceasefire in Syria prior to peace talks on Jan. 22.
The Interior Ministry reported that over 500 Turkish citizens, including some who trained with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, have gone to Syria and joined the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham. The government said 13 Turkish fighters with the Al Nusrah Front have been killed in Syria, and another 75 Turkish citizens are also known to have been killed there. Members of the opposition CHP party have called for an investigation into the recruitment of Turkish fighters.
Protesters and police clashed in Istanbul after police demanded the removal of a banner that accused Prime Minister Erdogan of supporting al Qaeda in the Kurdish region of Rojava in Syria. A security analyst said fighters have been entering Syria illegally through southern Turkish towns for the past three years.
Authorities are investigating reports that vehicles stolen in Turkey are being used for illegal activities in Syria or the transport of illicit materials into Syria. The military claimed that Kurdistan Workers Party militants fired at a military convoy in Mardin near the Syrian border; there were no reported casualties. Deputy Prime Minister Arınç indicated that Hagia Sophia will soon be turned into a mosque.
Turkey asked NATO to extend the deployment of Patriot missiles along the Syrian border for another year, due to an ongoing "serious" threat. Six missile batteries, sent by Germany, the Netherlands, and the US, were installed early this year to protect against a possible attack from Syria.
Authorities seized chemical materials from a three-vehicle convoy that was attempting to cross the border near Reyhanli into Syria on Nov. 2; two of the three drivers managed to flee into Syria but a third was arrested. The confiscated materials, which "could be transformed into weapons," the Army said, included about a ton of sulphur and eight barrels of another substance. Some reports alleged that al Qaeda forces had seized a chemical arms facility in Homs and needed raw materials. Turkish prosecutors claim that a suspect in the May 11 car bombings in Reyhanli met with the president of Syria prior to the attacks. The government is building a wall between Turkey's Nusaybin and Syria's Qamishli districts, both largely Kurdish areas. A report said refugees, including jihadists, in Kilis province now number 78,000, outnumbering the local population of 60,000.