Results tagged “Turkey”
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Prime Minister Erdoğan said only about 20 percent of militants from the banned Kurdistan Workers Party have withdrawn, and that Turkey will continue operations against the group until it lays down arms. Three more suspects in the Reyhanli car bombing were arrested; a total of 32 have been detained. A Turkish soldier will be tried as a terrorist for allegedly leaking intelligence documents showing the government knew of a plan by the Al Nusrah Front to execute a car bomb attack possibly in Turkey; some 53 civilians were killed in an attack at Reyhanlı on May 11. The soldier's family claims he is being tortured. Turkish troops at a border post in Mardin returned fire from gunmen in Syria.
In response to an opposition query, Foreign Minister Davutoğlu said that seven Turkish civilians have died in Syria since the start of the Syrian uprising, but claimed that the foreign ministry has no "detailed inventory of persons entering and exiting" from Turkish border gates into Syria. The headquarters of the Syrian National Coalition is moving to Turkey from Egypt, as are many members of the Syrian opposition since the fall of the Morsi government.
Turkish troops repelled a group of some 1,150 "smugglers" who were attempting to enter Hatay province from Syria. The troops warned the group, which included 150 horseback riders and 40 vehicles, but shot back after 15 or 20 rounds were fired at the military. A soldier was injured when some of the 35 gas cans the group carried were hit by gunfire.
Salih Muslim, the head of the Kurdish PYD, reportedly returned to Turkey for talks with officials; the PYD seized the town of Ras al-Eyn from Islamist fighters in July. Turkey is said to be exercising little or no control over jihadist fighters entering and leaving Syria. A recent report claiming that Sudanese arms were purchased by Qatar and sent to Syrian rebels via Turkey was disputed by officials in Turkey, Qatar, and Sudan.
Turkey urged all of its citizens to leave Lebanon, after two Turkish pilots were kidnapped in Beirut today. Turkey's embassy in Yemen was put on 'red alert' and security was increased, but remains open. Prosecutors are seeking life sentences for four suspects charged in the Cilvegözü border gate attack that killed 18 people.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu warned Syrian Kurds against siding with the Assad regime and said they should align themselves with the Syrian opposition and would have a place in "a permanent structure in Syria," so long as they do not affect Turkish borders. The Ergenekon coup plot trial ended with the sentencing of 17 defendants, including the former army chief of staff, to life in prison. Out of the 275 defendants, only 17 were acquitted. The opposition called the proceedings illegitimate; they took place in special terrorism courts which were abolished last year.
Sources say Turkey has no plans to follow the EU's lead in designating Hezbollah as a terrorist group. A bipartisan group of 46 US Congressmen sent a letter to President Gul asking him to publicly condemn "anti-Semitic" comments by government officials. Prime Minister Erdogan has accused an "interest rate lobby" of being behind a number of the country's problems.
The People's Defense Units (YPG), the military arm of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), issued a call to arms against Islamist forces in Syria, and charged that the Al Nusrah Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, along with the Free Syrian Army, have "become one side in attacking the Kurdish people." The deputy leader of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party recently warned that unless the government begins to implement promised reforms by Sept. 1, "the freedom movement and Kurdish people will defend itself." Two members of the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) were arrested with several other foreign nationals in a boat heading for Turkey that carried heavy guns and explosives near the Greek island of Chios.
In a surprise visit, the head of the PKK-affiliated Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) met with Turkish officials to discuss the creation of a provisional council in an area of northern Syria. He assured them that the PYD is against the Assad regime, and that the proposed provisional council would include Arabs, Syriacs, and Turkmen, as well as Kurds. PYD fighters have seized territory controlled by the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front in recent weeks. Clashes between Kurdish forces and Islamist forces continue near the Turkish border. A stray mortar from the fighting in Ras al Ayn fell in Ceylanpınar, killing a farmer and injuring two of his children.
The army vowed to retaliate "in multiples" against any fire from Syria; tensions are rising along the border since Kurdish forces seized the town of Ras al-Ayn from the Al Nusrah Front last week. Turkey said it will not tolerate Kurdish autonomy in Syria. A military prosecutor asked for a 25-year sentence for a Turkish soldier indicted for leaking intelligence documents indicating that the Al Nusrah Front was planning a car bomb attack possibly in Turkey. Twin car bombs killed over 50 people in Reyhanli on May 11; and in late May authorities arrested 12 Al Nusrah Front members suspected of planning sarin gas attacks.