1800 GMT: One again, Turkish Foreign Ministry calls on Turkish citizens not to travel to Syria for their own safety.
1720 GMT: When asked about his opinion regarding the government's plan to prepare an abortion law, Health Minister Recep Akdag said:
Some say, 'what if something happens to the mother'. If necessary, the state will take care of that baby. If we are to make law on this, we need to take measures accordingly.
1455 GMT: The families of civilians killed in Uludere are reportedly going to stage a sit-in protest in the same area Turkish jets bombed since the murderers have not been found in the last five months.
1420 GMT: It is reported that Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)'s special units coupled with around 200 vehicles and Cobra helicopters are sent to the province of Sirnak while operations are continuing flat out in another province of Mus.
1300 GMT: Ministry of Foreign Affairs issues a press release regarding the expulsion of Syrian diplomats from Turkey:
The mass murder committed by the Syrian security forces in the town of Houla, province of Homs, taking the lives of at least 110 innocent civilians, including 50 children, has aroused great indignation in the international community.
It is out of question to remain silent and unresponsive in the face of this act amounting to a crime against humanity. This grave crime against humanity by those committed a mass murder on civilian population cannot go unpunished. It is the joint responsibility of the international community to deliver the necessary reaction to this heinous massacre in unity and with a single voice.
With this understanding, it has been deemed necessary also by Turkey to take new measures against the Syrian Administration. Pursuant to Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, Turkey, as the host country, has requested the Syrian Chargé d'Affaires in Ankara and all other diplomatic personnel of the Embassy to leave the country within 72 hours from the date of 30 May 2012.
The Syrian Chargé d’Affaires a.i. summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs today (30 May 2012) has been notified accordingly with a Note.
It is expected from the Syrian Administration to bring to an end immediately the acts of violence towards civilian population in accordance with the international community’s calls and to open up the way for a democratic transition process in the country based on the legitimate demands of people.
Unless this is fulfilled and the crimes against humanity are being continued to be committed, Turkey and the international community will take further measures. This is Turkey’s moral and conscientious responsibility towards the brotherly and neighborly Syrian people, with whom we share a common history.
1230 GMT: Turkey might get the US Predator sale decision from the Congress. Turkish daily Today's Zaman claims that the Obama administration is planning to ask the Congress to arm a fleet of Italian MQ-9 Reapers. According to this claim, if the Congress approves, Turkey, as a NATO ally, is likely to buy the US drones.
President Abdullah Gul has said, during his visit to the US, that Arab countries should not fear secularism. Gul added, "What is unfortunate for the Arab and Maghreb countries is that their interpretation of secularism has been based on the French model, which is a 'Jacobin' model of imposing a kind of irreligiousness."
1050 GMT: After the Turkish court indictment seeking life sentence for four top Israeli commanders, Israel's Foreign Minister Avidgor Lieberman has held Prime Minister Erdogan responsible for another "provocation", saying that his country will not allow its officers to be terrorised by Turkey.
The Foreign Ministry told the Syrian charge d'affaires and all other diplomatic personnel to leave the country within 72 hours.
1000 GMT: Ankara has announced that a memorandum of understanding was signed with FRONTEX, the European Union’s border management agency, to cooperate against illegal immigration.
The Kurdish Problem
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) kidnapped 10 people in the eastern province of Igdir on Monday evening. On Tuesday, Prime Miniser Erdogan called both the PKK and the oppposition Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) "trencheous" and added that they would pay the price for their actions. Erdogan then implicitly labeled the 34 civilians killed in Uludure in January by the Turkish Air Force "collaborators":
At the Gulhane Military Medical Academy (GATA), one of our soldiers was wounded by a hand-made grenade. Gentlemen, it is not as they say. This is a situation that requires high sensitivity. Why aren't smugglers step on these grenades? In whose hands might these maps be? With these maps, these smugglers do not step on grenades. They can easily go and come back.
The head of the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said:
The Uludere incident will not leave Erdoğan in peace unless he extends a sincere apology. The government bears responsibility for this tragedy. The prime minister will eventually be held accountable for it. There will no lapse of time for it
The opposition BDP's co-chair Gültan Kısanak said that Erdogan's earlier remarks are proof that “he personally was behind the massacre” at Uludere.
Erdogan's Abortion Law
Prime Minister Erdogan has said:
I have already told my minister. We are preparing the law on abortion, and we are going to pass it. There are similar laws that have been passed in many societies in the West in the same vein. Now that is what we are working on, too. This has a place among our values, for one. This cannot be permitted. May God forbid, things such as threat of death are a different matter.
Turkey-European Union Relations
At a press conference on Monday evening, European Parliament President Martin Schulz criticised Ankara for its decision to suspend talks with the EU, as Greek Cyprus is taking over the presidency from 1 July:
I take note that a candidate state says to us we will not negotiate during the presidency of a member state of the European Union. But I criticise this. This is not possible and I have to take note of that as well.
Responding to Ankara's intransigence, Schulz linked the accession process with the autonomy of the Kurdish region:
My advice is given in the framework Turkey’s of pre-EU accession strategy: We must try to convince both sides that it is possible [to create something] between a sovereign state and [a region] with a high degree of autonomy while [maintaining] the … territorial integrity of the country. That is my humble advice.