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Turkey Live Coverage (21 May): Regional and Global Dimensions of "Terrorism"

1630 GMT: After the Kurdistan Regional Government had announced a deal with Ankara that would allow them to export oil through Turkey and on to the international market, bypassing Baghdad; the central Iraqi government warned Arbil and said that the deals must abide by the constitution and laws that govern relations between Baghdad and the Kurdish north. 

1525 GMT: Turkish police detained three suspects for their suspected involvement in a plot to abduct a defected Syrian colonel who fled to Turkey.

1440 GMT: A special ops team officer was killed and five other security personnel were wounded in a clash with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Kulp, a district of Diyarbakır province.

As known, PKK members had kidnapped the Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) Kulp branch head Veysel Çelik earlier.

1120 GMT: The Turkish daily Radikal claims that President Obama, during the Chicago Summit, has ordered the handover of operational control of the early warning radar system to NATO.

1030 GMT: The Court of Appeal has reversed a verdict which led to two-year prison sentences for two deputies of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), on the grounds that they called the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, "dear" in their previous public statements. The high court said imprisonment is against freedom of expression. 

Kurdish Problem

During his visit to Bulgaria on Friday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeted reports of The Wall Street Journal which claimed a US Predator drone gave the intelligence that led to the killing of 34 civilians in the Uludere district of Sirnal Province in January. He said, "This news story was an attempt to place the US administration in a difficult situation."

President Abdullah Gül said on Saturday that there was no cover-up of the incident and that the truth will be brought to light. He confessed that counter-terrorism had affected the perception of Ankara in the region:

There is an intelligence-sharing agreement between the US and Turkey. Turkey monitors the region with the US. It is not surprising for US [drones] to see one part of the incident. We can't say that Turkey owns the same technological devices used by the US. We already know our shortcomings and are trying to eliminate them. When I went to the region, I visited these monitoring centers, too. I witnessed that a person who was suspected of being a terrorist turned out to be a shepherd. There was unfortunately a grave assessment error in the Uludere incident. Our sorrow is great.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Erdogan dismissed the reports once again as "fabricated:

That region is a terror-hit region and the incident took place in a terror-hit area. There may be people who want to mislead others on the issue, and let them do so if they want to do so. There are some who keep saying that the US made a statement [on the Uludere killings] and other things. All those are fabricated reports.

While European pressure is growing for the increasing detentions and arrests, Ankara found a new basis for legitimacy in its operations against the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), an umbrella political organisation for all groups related to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

On Friday, Minister of Interior İdris Naim Şahin said that investigations, findings and intelligence show that Syria is lending support to the “separatist terrorist organization the KCK.” He also claimed that “militants of the illegal separatist terrorist organization” were using several Syrian towns, lost by the Assad regime, close to the Turkish border.

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