Turkey

Turkey puts efforts into improving relations with Kurds

TURKEY Turkey has begun restoring names of Kurdish villages and is considering allowing religious sermons to be made in Kurdish as part of reforms to answer the grievances of the ethnic minority and advance its EU candidacy. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has said his government will push democratic reforms to …

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Bahçeli: Kurdish opening aims to destroy Turkey

TURKEY While Turkey’s top security board convened to discuss government-led efforts to solve the Kurdish issue, the leader of the ultra-nationalist party strongly reacted to the process, calling it “destruction of the unitary state.” “What the government is trying to do is to place martyrs and butchers, our soldiers and …

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Turkey to win if Bulgaria leaves energy projects: former PM

SOFIA, Bulgaria I have not understood new government’s position on energy projects, said former Prime Minister (PM) Sergey Stanishev in the Parliament, FOCUS News Agency reporter informed. “I read carefully statements of different ministers-they contradict. Thus we asked for clear government’s position on all key energy projects for Bulgaria. The …

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Victims commemorated on anniversary

TURKEY Thousands swarmed the streets of cities and towns of the northwestern Marmara region early Monday morning to commemorate the memories of those who died in the Aug. 17, 1999 Marmara earthquake. The earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale hit Turkey’s northwest, its epicenter in the Gölcük region in …

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Kurdish initiative a state project, emphasizes minister

TURKEY Interior Minister Beşir Atalay has said the government’s new Kurdish initiative — a general term to refer to new Kurdish policies announced in late July and based on a model unique to the country’s own history and current conditions — is a long-term state project. During a meeting with …

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Former general says no talk with terror organization

TURKEY Former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök ruled out any negotiations with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, in an interview with daily Milliyet published on Monday. “There cannot be any negotiation with the terror organization. I agree on that. You cannot talk with a person who took …

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EU must push Turkey over Cyprus, says Christofias

The European Union must exert its pressure on Turkey, in the light of its EU accession course and its European aspirations, to change Ankara’s stance and cooperate toward reaching a settlement, the Greek Cypriot president said. “Turkey should get rid of its expansionist policy and must give [Turkish Cypriot President …

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Turkey: Government to finalize Kurdish initiative by year-end

TURKEY The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) plans to make major progress in the completion of the main aspects of the Kurdish initiative before the European Union — which Turkey aspires to join — releases a progress report on Turkey’s membership efforts in autumn. The ruling party wants …

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Gov’t to continue Kurdish initiative, no matter the cost

TURKEY The government will continue to take every step necessary to achieve success with its recently announced Kurdish initiative, regardless of what the cost may be, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said. Speaking at his party’s Extended Province Chairmen meeting on the eighth anniversary of the Justice and Development …

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EU’s Turkey critics losing popularity

The impact of the constant objection by French and German leaders to Turkey’s European Union membership drive has been revealed through a public survey that showed a significant loss of confidence in these two countries among the public. According to the survey, conducted this month by the Ankara-based International Strategic …

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