1900 GMT: Rakel Dink, wife of Hrant Dink (a Turkish citizen of Armenian decent) who was murdered due to his writings in the bilingual newspaper Agos, said that the Dink case is Turkey's face-off case and criticized that the government for "responding with gas bombs to tears." Dink continued:
My mind has always been stuck in the pre-murder period. All signs are already taking me there. Those threats... These were not just to scare.Those increasing number of protests in front of Agos since 2005 and a Prime Minister, an Interior Minister, a Justice Minister, an intelligence, a police who had not seen all.
1825 GMT: According to a high Dutch administrative court verdict, Turkish citizens visiting Netherlands on business need no visa and they can stay for up to three months.
1745 GMT: Having Armenia decided to withdraw from the Eurovision song contest which will be held in Azerbaijan this year, Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagıs said:
Turkey would prefer Armenia to pull out of Nagorno-Karabakh, rather than from the Eurovision song contest. I think they should revise their decision.
1735 GMT: Speaking at Kurdish Youth Conference in Erbil, northern Iraq, the leader of the Kurdish autonomous region Mesud Barzani said that they would prove that Kurds were not enemies of Turks. Barzani continued:
Kurdish people are a peaceful people. With God's willing, we will arrange the national conference. At this conference, we will pass Kurds' peace message on to the whole world. The thought that Kurds, Arabs, Turks and Persians are enemies is wrong! We will prove the opposite and we will give our peaceful hand to other brother nations.
1710 GMT: As EA's James Miller reports in our Syria Live Coverage, the Syrian refugee issue is turning into a serious problem for Turkey. Today's Zaman reporter Mahir Zeynalov adds that Turkey is considering establishing a buffer zone in Syria, according to Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sener's earlier remarks today.
1500 GMT: A Turkish truck driver was killed when the convoy of Turkish trucks was caught in the middle of an exchange of fire between Syrian government troops and opposition forces near Aleppo.
1425 GMT: Prime Minister Erdogan defended the recently approved bill (by the commission of the parliament), increasing the compulsory education to 12 years in a 4+4+4 way. Erdogan said: "This reform is a pedagogical, not an ideological, one. We are now eliminating a system that was introduced by means of tyranny."
1400 GMT: At Istanbul University, six students were injured in a fight between leftists who wanted to protest the juducial decision on the Sivas massacre case and a conservative group called "Muslim Youth".
1345 GMT: Five outlawed PKK members were captured in a cross-border operation in northern Iraq. These militants/terrorists were encrypting messages of the leaders and passing them on to its militia in the mountains.
1320 GMT: It is reported that two missing Turkish journalists have been handed over to Syrian intelligence officials. It is still officially not confirmed where they are and if they are safe.
1230 GMT: EA's correspondent Aysegul Er says that there is a development in the Sivas massacre case. It was revealed that there was another ongoing case about three more suspects. The hearing will be on 29 June and it will be decided whether these suspects' alleged crimes fall under the statute of limitations. Five other suspects had their charges dropped this week due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.
1200 GMT: Diyarbakir's Mayor Osman Baydemir criticized Kurdish children's active protest on streets. He said: "A child does not belong to streets by participating in protests and throwing stones [at] water cannons. The pleace a child belongs to is the school, school garden and play groups. A child shall hold pencils; not stick and stone."
1145 GMT: 36 imprisoned lawyers have sent a request to the prosecutor's office to request that the Leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, testify at their trial . The lawyers are facing charges due to the ongoing Kurdish Communities' Union (KCK) case. The petition says:
[We] lawyers under arrest are accused of ‘getting orders from Öcalan, transmitting the orders to the alleged [KCK] organization, leading to actions as a result of such orders and informing Öcalan about the results.
As such, Abdullah Öcalan is the focus of the probe, and his testimony on the accusations will be crucial.
KCK is claimed to be the urban branch of the PKK.
1120 GMT: Turkey's President Abdullah Gul spoke about the shameful decision to drop the Sivas massacre case due to the statute of limitations. Gul said:
This incident is the most shameful and painful one in our recent political history. This needs to be revealed in all aspects. I believe that this incident has not been unraveled fully and it shall be done so.
1030 GMT: On Wednesday, we stated that at least 765 Syrian refugees crossed the Turkish border in the last 24 hours. Now, the number has increased to around 1,000 refugees, including a general, in another 24 hours.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Selcuk Unal said:
The number of Syrian refugees currently staying in Turkey boomed by 1,000 in a single day and climbed to 14,700 total. With the Syrian general who arrived yesterday, we now host seven generals on our side of the border.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay confirmed that Syrian army was laying mines all along the border. He said: "The Syrian administration has been planting mines, taking measures not to allow refugees to flee to the other side of the border."
1000 GMT: According to one of those hacked e-mails of Syrian First Lady Asma al-Assad, she refuses to give her e-mail address to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's wife, Emine Erdogan. Mrs. Assad cites "insults the [Erdogans] have directed towards the [Syrian] president" as her reason for the refusal.