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Erdogan sends Turkey to snap polls on June 24

ANKARA: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called snap elections for June 24, bringing the polls forward by a year-and-a-half to accelerate the transition to a new system critics fear will lead to one-man rule. The announcement by the strongman leader, who has ruled his country since 2003, upended the political timetable in Turkey…

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Key world reactions to US-led strikes on Syria

The US, France and Britain unleashed air strikes on Syria early Saturday targeting the Damascus regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on civilians. Western powers said the strikes were necessary to halt the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Here is a selection of the main responses from across the world:…

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Turkey hails US-led attack on Syria

ANKARA: Turkey on Saturday welcomed Western strikes targeting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime as an “appropriate response” in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack that left dozens dead. “We welcome this operation which has eased humanity’s conscience in the face of the attack in Douma, largely suspected to have been carried out by the regime,”…

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Erdogan, Trump speak about Syria in phone call: source

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US counterpart Donald Trump discussed the crisis in Syria during a telephone conversation late on Wednesday, a Turkish presidential source said. Erdogan and Trump “exchanged views on the latest developments in Syria,” the source added, without providing further details. The talks come after Trump warned Russia over its…

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Tulip Festival begins in Istanbul

Turkey’s capital is hosting the 13th Tulip Festival. The festival was officially kicked off in Istanbul on April 2, marking the start of month-long festivities themed with the flower in all its colors. The lovers of nature’s beauty are visiting Emirgan Grove, an oasis in city’s concrete jungle, to see the eye-refreshing tulips lined up…

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Four staff dead in Turkish university shooting

Istanbul: A university employee killed four fellow staff members in a shooting Thursday at a university in the western Turkish city of Eskisehir, reports said. The attacker was later detained, the Dogan news agency said. Those killed were the deputy dean, faculty secretary and two lecturers at Osmangazi University, the state-run Anadolu news agency added….

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Turkish, Iranian leaders meet ahead of Syria summit with Russia

ANKARA: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks in Ankara on Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a three-way summit with Russia on the Syrian conflict. The three countries, Turkey, Iran and Russian, are working together to try to reduce the violence in Syria despite supporting opposing sides in the war. Russia and…

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Turkish President Erdogan calls Netanyahu terrorist

Ankara: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday of being “a terrorist” after the Israeli prime minister rejected Ankara’s “moral lessons” over deadly clashes in Gaza. “Hey Netanyahu! You are an occupier. And it is as an occupier that are you are on those lands. At the same time, you are a terrorist,”…

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Turkish forces ‘surround’ Syrian Kurdish city

BEIRUT: Turkey said Tuesday its army and allied rebels have surrounded the Kurdish city of Afrin in northern Syria, raising the prospect of another devastating siege in the country’s long conflict. Syria’s war enters its eighth year this week with clashes raging on several fronts, including Afrin and the besieged rebel pockets of Eastern Ghouta,…

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Turkish plane crashes in Iran

Tehran: A private Turkish plane flying from the United Arab Emirates to Istanbul crashed Sunday in the south of Iran with 11 people on board, Iranian state television reported. The plane had left from the emirate of Sharjah and went down near the city of Shahr-e Kord, about 400 kilometres (250 miles) south of Tehran,…

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Syria regime pummels besieged Eastern Ghouta

HAMMURIYEH: Syrian forces pursued a relentless air and ground offensive against Eastern Ghouta on Thursday, moving closer to retaking the rebel enclave but also depriving desperate civilians of vital aid. More than 900 civilians have been killed in the nearly three-week assault on the last rebel enclave outside the capital, where dozens suffered overnight from…

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Saudi prince says Turkey part of ‘triangle of evil’

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has described Turkey as part of a “triangle of evil” along with Iran and hardline Islamist groups, Egypt’s Al-Shorouk newspaper reported on Wednesday. The Saudi prince also accused Turkey of trying to reinstate the Islamic Caliphate, abolished nearly a century ago when the Ottoman Empire collapsed….

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Turkey hits out at Saudi broadcaster over ban on TV soaps

Istanbul: A Turkish government minister has lashed out at a decision by Saudi-owned broadcaster MBC to stop airing Turkish soap operas, the state-run news agency Anadolu reported, amid ongoing tensions between Ankara and some Gulf Arab states. MBC announced the move on Tuesday, saying it would replace Turkish soaps — which have long been a…

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Regime forces advance in Syria’s battered Ghouta

DOUMA: Government forces intensified fighting Saturday inside Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, as tens of thousands of civilians in the besieged rebel enclave east of Damascus awaited urgently needed aid. On another front in Syria’s seven-year civil war, Turkish air strikes killed 36 pro-regime fighters in a Kurdish enclave near the Turkish border. Syria’s war has killed…

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Eight Turkish soldiers killed in Syria, 13 wounded: army

ISTANBUL: Turkey suffered heavy losses on Thursday during its offensive against a Kurdish militia in northwest Syria, with the military announcing that eight soldiers were killed and 13 more wounded. The death toll, released by the Turkish military staff in two separate statements, makes Thursday one of the deadliest days for Ankara since launching its…

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Turkey sends special forces into Syria’s Afrin for ‘new fight’

ANKARA: Turkey has sent special forces into the Syrian region of Afrin in anticipation of urban fighting in its operation against a Kurdish militia, Ankara said on Monday. Turkey on January 20 started an offensive supporting Syrian rebels against the US-backed People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the western enclave of Afrin. “Deploying special forces…

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Turkey says whoever helps Kurd militia in Syria is ‘legitimate target’

NEWS DESK: Turkey on Wednesday said it would consider a “legitimate target” any group that comes to the aid of Kurdish militia in Afrin in northern Syria, reported AFP. The threat from presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin came a day after Syrian pro-regime forces entered Afrin, only to come under fire from Turkish forces. Last month…

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Tillerson meets Erdogan to ease Turkey tensions

ANKARA: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday held talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, seeking to ease tensions between the NATO allies that reached new heights over Ankara’s ongoing operation inside Syria. A prime task of President Donald Trump’s top diplomat is to allay Turkish anger over US policy in…

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Iran, Turkey envoy meets COAS

RAWALPINDI: Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honardoost called on Chief of Army Staff (COAS), General Qamar Javed Bajwa Monday here at General Headquarters (GHQ). According to a statement issued here by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), during the meeting matters of mutual interest and Pak-Iran border management were discussed. Separately, Mr Ishan Mustafa Yurdakul, newly appointed…

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11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive

ANKARA: Eleven Turkish soldiers were killed on Saturday, including two military personnel when a helicopter was downed, in the bloodiest day in Ankara’s offensive against a Kurdish militia in northern Syria. On January 20, Turkey launched a military operation against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in the Afrin region, backing Syrian rebels with…

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Seven Turkish soldiers die in Syria, including five in tank attack

ANKARA: Seven Turkish soldiers were killed Saturday in Turkey’s offensive against Kurdish militia inside Syria, including five who died in a single attack on a tank, the army said. The losses marked the highest toll in one day for the Turkish military in operation “Olive Branch”, launched on January 20 against Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection…

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