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World - Turkey`s Erdogan says unsure what `first step` Moscow wants to improve ties

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday he wanted to improve ties with Russia but did not understand what kind of a `first step` Moscow was expecting from Ankara, saying both sides should work together to better their relations. Erdogan told a press conference in the Aegean city of Izmir that he was concerned at how relations had been sacrificed over what he described as a `pilot error`, referring to Turkey`s downing last November of a Russian fighter jet which Ankara said had strayed into Turkish airspace. ...

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  15:54


World - Erdogan warns Germany ahead of Armenian genocide vote

By Tulay Karadeniz and Noah Barkin ANKARA/BERLIN (Reuters) - Turkey`s president warned Germany on Tuesday that its plans to declare the 1915 mass killing of Armenians a genocide would damage bilateral ties, raising new concerns about an EU-Turkey migrant deal championed by Chancellor Angela Merkel. German lawmakers are expected to approve a symbolic resolution on Thursday that labels the killings of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman forces `genocide`, a description that Turkey strongly rejects. The vote had been scheduled to take place over a year ago, on the 100th anniversary of the massacre, but Merkel`s allies in parliament pushed it back repeatedly out of concern that it could hurt relations with Ankara.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  19:47


World - With Africa trip, Turkey`s Erdogan aims to quash influence of Islamic cleric

By Orhan Coskun and Tulay Karadeniz ANKARA (Reuters) - When Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan visits Uganda and Kenya this week, he will be seeking not only to increase trade but to stamp out the influence of an Islamic cleric whose network was long an instrument of Turkey`s soft power in Africa. Ankara officially declared the Hizmet organization of preacher Fethullah Gulen, which claims millions of followers worldwide, a terrorist group this week, stepping up pressure on a movement Erdogan once looked to for help in spreading Turkish cultural influence and commerce overseas. Erdogan now accuses his former ally of building a `parallel state` through followers in the police, judiciary, media and business, and of using it to try to overthrow him, allegations which Gulen denies.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  14:11


World - Turkey offers US joint Syria operation -- without the Kurds

Turkey is offering to `join forces` with Washington for a special operation inside Syria on condition it doesn`t include a Syrian Kurdish militia blacklisted by Ankara but seen as an ally by the US, the foreign minister said. Washington`s support of Kurdish fighters in Syria in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists has angered Ankara, especially after AFP pictures last week revealed US commandos wearing patches of the Kurdish People`s Protection Units (YPG) outlawed by Turkey.

Monday, May 30, 2016  07:06


World - Turkey enraged by `unacceptable` US backing of Kurdish militia

Turkey on Friday accused its NATO ally the United States of `unacceptable` behaviour after US commandos in Syria were pictured assisting a Kurdish militia that is branded a terror group by Ankara and even wearing their insignia. The scathing accusations of `hypocrisy` and `double standards` levelled by Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu came after an AFP photographer saw US troops in Syria wearing insignia of the Kurdish People`s Protection Units (YPG). Ankara regards the YPG as a terror group, accusing it of carrying out attacks inside Turkey and being the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers` Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state for over three decades.

Friday, May 27, 2016  16:25


World - EU`s Timmermans cites progress on visa-free travel for Turkey

ANKARA (Reuters) - The European Union and Turkey held constructive talks on the conditions for granting visa-free travel for Turks, and EU experts will visit Ankara next week to work on removing the last obstacles, the European Commission`s vice-president said on Friday. Frans Timmermans said on Twitter after talks with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik that they shared a `joint determination to overcome last remaining obstacles to visa liberalization`. ...

Friday, May 27, 2016  15:46


World - Turkey upset over images of US soldiers with Kurdish symbols

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) Turkey`s foreign minister has lashed out at the United States after images surfaced apparently showing U.S. soldiers in Syria wearing the insignia of a Kurdish group opposed by Ankara.

Friday, May 27, 2016  12:03


World - Merkel says more time needed on EU-Turkey visa deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she was not worried about the fate of a migrant pact between the European Union and Turkey, but said more time was needed to overcome differences with Ankara over visa-free travel for Turks. The EU is trying to keep a deal on track which would allow Turks visa-free travel to the bloc in return for Turkey continuing to stop illegal migrants reaching Europe from its shores. Rights groups say Ankara uses them to stifle dissent but Turkey says it needs them to fight threats from Islamic State and Kurdish militants.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016  14:37


World - Germany`s Merkel says not worried about EU-Turkey migrant deal

BERLIN (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she was not worried about the migrant pact between the European Union and Turkey, but more time was needed to address sticking points on visa liberalisation for Ankara. `I am not concerned, we just need more time,` Merkel told reporters after a cabinet meeting just outside Berlin. The EU has promised visa-free travel for Turks as part of the migrant deal provided Ankara fulfils conditions including changes to its broad anti-terrorism laws. ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016  11:04


World - Germany risks Turkey wrath with Armenian genocide vote

Germany`s parliament votes Thursday on a resolution that brands the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman forces as genocide, drawing a clear warning from Turkey`s president that it would harm ties. The vote comes just over a year after President Joachim Gauck became Germany`s highest ranking official to describe the massacre as a `genocide`, sparking a fierce response from Turkey. Its timing is also awkward, as Germany and the European Union need Ankara to help stem a migrant influx even as tensions are rising between both sides over a string of issues, including human rights.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016  17:38

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