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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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/ 22 February 2008

Turkey army launches land offensive into Iraq

Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq in their hunt for Kurdish PKK guerrillas, the military said on Friday, but the United States and the European Union urged Ankara to keep the campaign limited. The White House said the US had been informed in advance of the incursion and urged Turkey to limit the operation to ”precise targeting” of the PKK rebels.

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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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/ 1 December 2007

Turk army enters Northern Iraq to hit Kurd rebels

Turkey’s army said it entered northern Iraq on Saturday to tackle up a group of up to 60 Kurdish rebels, a day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s Cabinet authorised a cross-border operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It was not clear whether the incursion was a major operation by Nato member Turkey aimed at destroying bases of the PKK.

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/ 30 November 2007

Turkish army gets go-ahead to hit Kurd rebels in Iraq

Turkey’s prime minister said on Friday his Cabinet had authorised the armed forces to conduct a cross-border operation against Kurdish rebels in northern Iraq, but analysts said major action did not appear imminent. Tayyip Erdogan’s comments seemed chiefly designed to keep up pressure on United States and Iraqi forces to honour pledges to tackle the rebels.

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/ 4 November 2007

Kurdish rebels free abducted Turkish soldiers

Eight Turkish soldiers, kidnapped last month in an ambush by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants, were released in northern Iraq, a PKK official said on Sunday. The release of the soldiers came a day after the Iraqi government vowed to hunt down Kurdish guerrilla leaders responsible for cross-border raids into Turkey.

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/ 2 November 2007

Turkey calls for action against Kurd rebels

Turkey wants action and not words in dealing with Kurdish rebels based in northern Iraq, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Friday during a joint press conference with United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. ”We are where words have come to an end and action must begin,” Babacan said following talks with Rice on the threat posed by fighters of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

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/ 1 November 2007

Turkey ratchets up pressure on Iraqi Kurds

Turkey on Thursday stepped up pressure on northern Iraq, imposing economic sanctions over the safe haven Kurdish rebels enjoy, as Washington said it was supplying Ankara with intelligence on the separatists’ positions. "We have prepared a list of economic measures targeting the financial resources of the terrorist organisation," Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said.

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/ 27 October 2007

Turkey rejects Iraqi proposals to tackle Kurds

Turkey on Friday rejected Iraqi proposals to stop Kurdish rebels making cross-border attacks as too little, too late and said it remained in a "constant state of alert". A visit for crisis talks to Ankara by a high-ranking Iraqi delegation led by its defence and national security ministers was "a positive effort", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

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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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/ 16 October 2007

Turkey threatens retaliation over US genocide Bill

Turkey on Tuesday accused Washington of playing "petty" politics and threatened reprisals if the United States Congress votes on a motion branding the World War I massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks an act of genocide. "We see that common sense is gradually losing ground to petty political calculations," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

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/ 11 September 2007

Turkish police foil bomb attack in capital

Turkish police foiled a bomb attack in the capital, Ankara, on Tuesday, the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 al-Qaeda attacks on the United States. Ankara’s governor Kemal Onal said police had found a van packed with explosives near a multi-storey carpark in a central district of the city of four million.