Turkey

Syria: Rebels storm out as 'safe zones' plan signed

Russia's plan for "de-escalation" zones was backed by Iran at talks in Kazakhstan. Both countries support Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey, which supports rebel groups, also agreed to act as a guarantor.

But some delegates from the rebel forces angrily rejected the plan.

As the three countries were invited to sign the document on Thursday in the Kazakh capital, Astana, rebel delegates angrily shouted that they did not accept it and walked out.

Turkey blocks Wikipedia over what it calls terror 'smear campaign'

     

Articles and comments on the popular online encyclopedia showed Turkey "in coordination and aligned" with terrorist groups, the Turkish Ministry of Transport, Maritime Affairs and Communications said.

"It has become part of an information source which is running a smear campaign against Turkey in the international arena," the ministry said.

Turkey warned Wikipedia to remove such content, but the nonprofit encyclopedia refused, the government said.

Once Wikipedia meets Turkey's demands, the access ban will be lifted, it said.

 

Russian spy ship sinks off Turkey after collision with freighter

Russia confirmed earlier that the hull of the Liman, part of its Black Sea Fleet, had sustained a breach, with crew working to keep it afloat.

It is not yet clear what caused the collision.

The ship hit a Togo-flagged boat carrying livestock, Turkish media say.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim called his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev, to express his sadness over the collision, sources in the Turkish prime minister's office were quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Turkey opposition cries foul over vote expanding Erdogan powers

The Republican People's Party (CHP) has questioned the legitimacy of the close result, citing irregularities in the electoral process.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's push for an executive presidency succeeded with just over 51% of the vote.

The win was met with both celebrations and protests across Turkey.

The CHP is refusing to accept the Yes victory and is demanding a recount of 60% of the votes, criticising a decision to pass unstamped ballot papers as valid unless proven otherwise.

Germany warns Turkey over Nazi jibes amid referendum row

But Sigmar Gabriel also emphasised his wish to return to "friendly relations".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Germany of "Nazi practices" because of the cancellation of rallies involving Turkish ministers.

He is seeking new constitutional powers in a 16 April referendum.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated the Nazi comparison on a visit to Hamburg aimed at drumming up support among some of the 1.4m Turkish voters who live in Germany.

Turkey reverses female army officers' headscarf ban

The military is the last Turkish institution to see the ban removed. It has long been seen as the guardian of Turkey's secular constitution.

Wearing headscarves in public institutions was banned in the 1980s.

But Turkey's Islamist-leaning President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, argues that the ban is an illiberal vestige of the past.

The issue has been controversial in Turkey for many years.

Aleppo girl Bana Alabed meets with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at presidential palace

Bana Alabed, who posted to more than 300,000 followers from the warzone with the help of her mother Fatemah, fled the city with her family after an evacuation deal was brokered by Russia — the main supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad — and Turkey, which backs some large rebel groups.

Turkey fires more than 10,000 public officials

Under a legislative decree published Saturday, Turkish authorities fired more than 10,000 public servants for alleged ties to the movement affiliated with exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, and shut down 15 Kurdish media companies for alleged ties to militant Kurdish groups, state-run news agency Anadolu reported.

The new decree "made it easier to sack public officials believed to be members of terrorist organizations or groups involved in activities against the country's national security," Anadolu reported.

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Turkey: US orders Istanbul consulate staff families to leave

"The Department of State made this decision based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack US citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent," the warning said.

The warning goes beyond the one issued Monday that urged Americans to avoid traveling to southeast Turkey, especially urban centers near the Turkish-Syrian border, because of recent terrorist attacks.

Turkey has become increasingly volatile in the past year because of terrorist attacks at home and its involvement in the Syrian civil war.

Turkey's complex reasons for fighting in Syria and Iraq

But these efforts have been complicated in recent weeks by one of Washington's oldest allies in the region: Turkey.

The Turkish government is lashing out against factions currently battling ISIS. Ankara has been engaged in a very public war of words with the government in Iraq. At the same time, the Turkish military has been bombing US-backed Kurdish militants in Syria.

Part of this policy stems from Turkey's unenviable position, living alongside two of the bloodiest, most destabilizing conflicts the Middle East has seen in a generation.