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/ 31 March 2008

Turkish court to put ruling party on trial

Turkey’s top court decided on Monday to put the Islamist-rooted ruling party on trial for alleged anti-secular activity, in a case that could threaten national stability and Ankara’s bid to join the European Union. The judges of the Constitutional Court agreed to accept the indictment against the Justice and Development Party filed by the country’s top prosecutor.

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/ 9 February 2008

Turkey to lift headscarf ban amid mass protest

Turkish lawmakers were set to lift a ban on Islamic headscarves at universities on Saturday, as tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the move as a threat to secularism. In separate votes, an overwhelming majority of lawmakers approved two constitutional amendments that would together lift the on-campus ban.

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/ 28 October 2007

Turkish army kills Kurds in new clashes

Turkish soldiers killed 20 Kurdish guerrillas on Sunday in a major military operation against separatist rebels in eastern Turkey, army sources said. The operation involving 8 000 troops backed up from the air was launched in the central-eastern province of Tunceli. The sources gave no word on army casualties.

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/ 25 October 2007

Turkey’s patience running out

President Abdullah Gul warned Kurdish rebels on Thursday that Turkey’s patience is running out after Turkish forces said they repelled a guerrilla attack near the Iraqi border. Ankara has massed up to 100 000 troops along the mountainous border before a possible cross-border operation.

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/ 23 October 2007

Turkey eyes diplomatic end to Kurdish crisis

Turkey reassured Iraq on Tuesday that it wants a diplomatic solution to the problem of Kurdish rebel rear-bases but rejected a conditional ceasefire offer made by the guerrillas. ”Politics, dialogue, diplomacy, culture and economy are the measures to deal with this crisis,” Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan told a news conference in Baghdad.

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/ 22 October 2007

Turkey bombards northern Iraq after ambush

The prospect of a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq in pursuit of fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) drew closer on Sunday after another round of clashes in the mountainous frontier region that left at least 12 Turkish soldiers and 23 PKK guerrillas dead, and saw a number of Turkish troops captured by the rebel group.

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/ 14 October 2007

US tries to halt Turkey attack

Senior United States officials were engaged on Saturday night in last-ditch efforts to persuade Turkey not to launch a major military incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan to target armed separatists. A team was diverted from a mission to Russia to make an unscheduled stop in Ankara on Saturday.

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/ 29 August 2007

Gul sworn in as Turkey’s leader

Turkey’s foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, a practising Muslim and former Islamist, was on Tuesday sworn in as the 11th President of the staunchly secular republic in a move that will be seen as a defining moment for the country. The appointment of the 56-year-old marked a victory for the governing Muslim democrats.