Results tagged “Turkey”
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Turkish police arrested four Belgians at the border as they tried to enter Syria to fight with the rebels; the four were sent back to Belgium. Last month Belgium had asked Turkey to tighten border security over concerns that a number of Belgians were traveling to Syria to fight; an estimated 100 Belgian citizens are thought to have fought with extremists in Syria. Protests, now relatively subdued, continued against the Erdogan government; some 163 protesters remain in detention in Istanbul.
Police clashed with thousands of protesters in Istanbul's Taksim Square after Prime Minister Erdogan ordered them to clear the area for a rally by the ruling AK party on Sunday. The governor of Istanbul claimed that "provocateurs" are now using guns in the protests. Erdogan said Turkish intelligence was looking into possible links between internal and foreign actors in the protests.
Protests that began in Istanbul's Taksim Square nearly two weeks ago against the authoritarian rule of Prime Minister Erdogan continued, with violence by both police and protesters. Three people have died and nearly 5,000 have been injured, many by the use of CR and tear gas, in the ongoing clashes. Protests have taken place in 78 Turkish cities. The Istanbul governor blamed "marginal groups" for instigating the violence.
The Interior Minister said more than 1,700 people had been arrested in antigovernment protests in 67 cities this week but that the majority have since been released. He claimed that 58 civilians and 115 security officers were wounded in the protests, but rights groups said several people were killed and hundreds injured. Amnesty International called for a halt to the use of tear gas on peaceful protesters.
Turkish media reported that 12 members of the al Qaeda-linked Al Nusrah Front were captured in Adana, along with a total of two kilos (4,5 lb) of sarin gas; some reports claimed the suspects were planning to attack targets in Turkey, including Incirlik Air Base, but another said they were transporting chemical weapons to Syria. Russia's foreign minister urged Turkish authorities to investigate the reports. Another report said three bomb-laden vehicles had entered Turkey from Syria. Police in Istanbul used tear gas and water cannons against hundreds of demonstrators protesting the Islamist government's use of public spaces.
Some 20 knife-wielding Islamists attacked 200 people staging a "kissing protest" in Ankara; at least protester was injured. The protest arose after authorities in Ankara, which is administered by the Islamist Freedom and Justice Party, admonished a couple for kissing in the street, and announced that subway passengers must obey moral codes. Although the police tried to prohibit the protest, they failed.
Authorities arrested a Gendarmerie officer on suspicion of leaking documents on terrorist activity to the Turkish hacker group Redhack, which published the information on May 22. The leaked documents dealt with an alleged plan by an al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Syria to execute a car bombing in Turkey. Interior Minister Muammer Güler confirmed the authenticity of the documents, which were from the Gendarmerie Intelligence Department, but denied that they related to the May 11 Reyhanlı bombings.
Medet Onlu, a Turkish citizen of Chechen origin who assisted Chechen refugees, was shot dead in Ankara yesterday. Onlu had recently told a TV interviewer that the two Chechen brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombings had been chosen as victims. An official from the ruling political party called for the "annihilation of atheists." A renowned linguist and writer was sentenced to 13 months in prison for alleged blasphemy in a blog post.
Turkey claimed that the twin bombings in Reyhanli were instigated by an "old Marxist terrorist organization" linked to the Assad regime. The Interior Minister said nine suspects had been arrested, all Turks, and claimed that the attack was not linked to al Qaeda, to the Syrian opposition, or to Syrian refugees. Prime Minister Erdogan alleged the attack was intended to benefit Baath regime collaborators.
Two car bombs exploded outside administrative buildings in the town of of Reyhanli, killing at least 40 people and injuring 100 more. A border crossing near Reyhanli was the site of a bombing in February that killed 14 people; the Syrian opposition alleged the attack had targeted one of their delegations.
Authorities are investigating an alleged plot to assassinate Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, in Istanbul on May 29, the anniversary of the fall of Constantinople to the Ottomans in 1453. One suspect has been detained and two others are being sought. PKK militants have begun withdrawing from Turkish soil to Iraq, but Iraq said it "does not accept the entrance of armed groups into its territory."
Senior Kurdistan Workers Party leaders in Iraq said PKK militants would begin withdrawing from Turkish soil to northern Iraq on May 8. After annulling his suspended sentence, a court ruled that Turkish pianist Fazil Say can be retried on blasphemy charges.
Security officials arrested 10 people in Konya province suspected of providing fighters and weapons to Syrian rebels. The arrests were sparked by complaints from families that an extremist group was recruiting their children.
An Istanbul court gave celebrated Turkish pianist Fazil Say a suspended sentence of 10 months in prison for insulting Muslim values based on several Tweets he made last year. Turkey's ambassador to Jerusalem has become the first ambassador recognized by Palestine. Turkey warned Israel not to engage in "dirty bargaining" over the Mavi Marmara raid.
President Gül warned that religious intolerance in Europe will lead to "new inquisitions and Holocausts, as well as incidents evoking Srebrenica." A senior military commander of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) demanded to have direct contact with jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan.
Turkish police disclosed that a February raid on two terrorist cells in Istanbul and Tekirdag revealed an al Qaeda plot to bomb the US Embassy in Ankara, an Istanbul synagogue, and other targets. The operation resulted in the arrests of two Chechens, two Azeris, and eight Turks. The Free Cause Party called for a ceasefire between the PKK and Hizbullah following clashes at Dicle University.
Police clashed with thousands of demonstrators in Istanbul who protested the proceedings against 275 military officials, politicians, and academics accused of plotting a coup against the Erdogan goverment. Three people were killed at a university in Diyarbakır province in a fight over the distribution of PKK and Hezbollah propaganda.
Turkish fighter jets began flying over Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq for "observation," and will bomb the camps if an armed attack occurs against Turkey, officials said. The leader of the PKK for northern Iraq called a halt to militant actions. Turkey's head of religious affairs said that "Islamophobia has become an illness in the hearts of two-thirds of humanity."
Jailed Kurdistan Workers Party leader Abdullah Ocalan urged a ceasefire yesterday and Prime Minister Erdogan said government forces would not initiate new operations against PKK forces if they heed Ocalan's call to withdraw from Turkey and observe a truce. Mohamed Mahmoud, a wanted Austrian-born jihadist linked to al Qaeda, was arrested in Hatay province near the Syrian border. Germany seeks to extradite him to face charges of threatening attacks and distributing terrorist propaganda.
Prime Minister Erdogan refused to distance himself from the remarks he made at a UN conference last month calling Zionism and Islamophobia both "crime[s] against humanity." The US had protested the remarks and asked for a retraction. Bomb attacks in Ankara killed one person and injured another.