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World - For many refugees, journey to Europe begins on Facebook

By Naline Malla, Ayla Jean Yackley, Marton Dunai and Aleksandar Vasovic BEIRUT/ISTANBUL/BUDAPEST/BELGRADE (Reuters) - Would-be refugees hoping to flee war in the Middle East are using Facebook as their compass for finding the people smugglers they hope will get them to a better life in Europe. The U.S.-based website and other social media that were once used to help mobilize the `Arab Spring` uprisings now host information services for those escaping the Syrian civil war and other conflicts in the region. In Facebook groups set up in Arabic, users post phone numbers of contacts they say can take refugees from the Turkish coast to nearby Greek islands or even further into Europe, a continent struggling to cope with the migration crisis.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015  18:34


World - Turkish raids on firms close to cleric raise fears of pre-election crackdown

By Daren Butler and Ayla Jean Yackley ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish police on Tuesday raided the offices of a conglomerate linked to a U.S.-based cleric accused of plotting against President Tayyip Erdogan, a move seen by critics as a bid to silence opposition media two months ahead of an election. Erdogan, who wants the ruling AK Party to win back a majority in a snap Nov. 1 election, accuses Gulen of seeking to overthrow him by means of a `parallel structure` of supporters in the judiciary, police, the media and other institutions. Police searched the offices of 23 companies in the Koza Ipek group, whose interests range from mining to TV stations, on suspicion of providing financial support to the `Gulenist Terrorist Group`, the state-run Anadolu Agency said.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015  15:18


World - Erdogan`s gamble may not solve Turkey poll impasse

Less than five months after the last legislative elections, Turks on November 1 will vote again in one of the biggest gambles of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan`s political career. This would be bad news for Erdogan, who wants the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) he co-founded to win back the overall majority it held since first coming to power in 2002, but lost at the last polls. `In the last few weeks there has been no fundamental change, no change that would enable the AKP to gain to become a single-party government,` said Nigar Goksel, senior Turkey analyst with the International Crisis Group (ICG) in Istanbul.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015  11:41


Middle East - Turkey Launches Its First Airstrikes of ISIS Campaign

Turkish fighter jets carried out operations against Islamic State targets in Syria late Friday, as part of the United States-led coalition to fight the group, the Foreign Ministry said.

Saturday, August 29, 2015  19:19


World - UN envoy to meet with Libya`s Tripoli parliament ahead of talks

The UN`s special envoy for Libya will on Tuesday meet with representatives of the country`s rival parliament based in Tripoli, which is not recognised by the international community, the UN said. The meeting in Istanbul will likely focus on convincing the General National Congress (GNC) to take part in talks due to be held this week in Geneva aimed at ending violence in the north African country. Libya has two rival parliaments and governments and has been torn apart since the international community helped to oust dictator Moamer Kadhafi in 2011.

Monday, August 31, 2015  22:32


World - Turkey probes restoration of tower likened to `SpongeBob`

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities have launched an investigation into restoration work carried out on a historic tower near Istanbul after social media users derided the construction, likening it to the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.

Thursday, August 27, 2015  16:45


World - Renewed Kurdish conflict angers Turks, overshadows election

By Daren Butler ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Clinging to his brother`s coffin, draped in the red Turkish flag, Lieutenant Colonel Mehmet Alkan`s outburst was a rare public show of defiance from a serving officer as Turkish jets bombard Kurdish militants. How come those who spoke of settlement until yesterday now speak of war,` he shouted in front of television cameras as they filmed mourners, in thinly-veiled reference to Turkey`s political leaders. The violence has rekindled old wounds from a 30-year-old conflict and unleashed a wave of anger toward the pro-Kurdish opposition, President Tayyip Erdogan and the government, raising the prospects of a highly-charged campaign for a November election and concerns over security around the poll.

Thursday, August 27, 2015  16:45

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