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Entries in KCK (8)


Turkey Analysis: A Big Opportunity? Ankara's Talks with Imprisoned Kurdish Leader Ocalan

PM Erdogan & PKK Leader OcalanSo Turkish authorities have been speaking with the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, since last month. Indeed, the head of the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT), Hakan Fidan, visited Ocalan in his Imrali Island prison --- where he has been kept since 1999 --- for two days of one-to-one meetings. This was followed by the Erdogan Government’s high-profile if vague statements of a peaceful settlement on the Kurdish issue and by the dispatch of two experienced MPs from pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), to Imrali.

This is not the first occurrence of negotiations with Ocalan and the PKK --- two years ago, the MIT was involved in a series of meetings in Oslo. There are key differences in the recent talks, however.

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Iran Live Coverage: "Supreme Leader Ordered House Arrests of Mousavi and Karroubi"

See also The Latest from Iran (25 December): Is the Currency Falling Again?

2117 GMT: Economy Watch. Radio Zamaneh summarises the gloomy report of Parliament's Research Center, surveying 98 economic organizations over the past year, that production has fallen 40% and employment is down 36%. The downturn has been fed by price rises of 87.9% for produced goods and 112.1% for primary materials.

The Center adds that in the past year, only 50 production facilities have been established while 566 have shut down.

Meanwhile, in an example of the problems with production, 300 workers at the Fajr Petrochemical factory in Mahshahr have gone on strike protesting the lack of job security.

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Turkey Special: Ankara is Overtaken By Events in Syria's Kurdistan

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Last week's Moscow trip was supposed to resolve the Erdogan Government's position, both over Syria and over its domestic affairs. Five days later, it has become history, one that offers no resolution for the emerging difficulties for the Prime Minister and his party.

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Turkey Live Coverage (9 July): The Syria and Kurdistan Situations

1700 GMT: Although one-fourth of the text required for a new constitution is drafted by the Parliament’s Constitutional Reconciliation Commission; BDP's Sirri Sureyya Onder, a member of the same commission, criticized the way articles are drafted:

Every article is started with 'national security', 'public order' or 'public morality'. We are weary of this! They are interspersing [these concepts] like a fertiliser. A constitution cannot be made like this!

1640 GMT: Turkish jets have been heading towards the northern Iraqi region from the districts of Semdinli and Cukurca of the southeastern province of Hakkari.

1545 GMT: Following the third judicial reform package, which was passed by Parliament last week, President Abdullah Gul spoke about the situation of jailed deputies:

Now courts will interpret the [newly] adopted laws. They will make their decisions [whether to release jailed deputies] in the light of the information and laws they hold in their hands.

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Turkey Live Coverage (11 June): The Government's Carrot-and-Stick on the Kurdish Issue

See also Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Regime on Its Last Legs?

2000 GMT: It is claimed by Today's Zaman that the Obama administration will anoounce seven countries including Turkey that will be exempt from sanctions since they have significantly cut oil purchases from Iran. 

1835 GMT: Turkish deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc said that no revision is planned to abolish specially authorized prosecutors and courts as part of a government plan to overhaul the Turkish criminal code. 

1505 GMT: It is claimed that the arrestment of BDP members including Van Mayor Bekir Kaya had been known in advance. According to this assertion, some prison cells had been emptied and readied even before they were detained. 

1500 GMT: Firat News Agency known by its close ties with the outlawed PKK, says 'KCK Executive Council member Cemil Bayık' evaluated the meeting between AKP and CHP as 'the usual policy of “trying to strain Kurds and making them surrender”'.

Besides, in response to the government's new initiative, KCK political committee reportedly declared that "any discussion or decision taken on the struggle of freedom without the will of our movement and our people is void!"

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Turkey Live Coverage (2 May): After May Day Celebrations, Back to Politics

See also Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) Live Coverage: "War Crimes" in Idlib, Deaths in Cairo

2000 GMT: Former political advisor of PM Erdogan Cuneyd Zapsu says: "Syria will be a great market for Turkey as the administration in Damascus will change this year." 

1730 GMT: Hossein Ali, a member of the Kurdistan Alliance group --- an alliance between Kurdistan Democratic Party and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan --- in the Iraqi parliament, said:

The Iraqi Kurds' reliance on Turkey can jeopardize the political future of the Kurdistan region. All throughout history, Turkey has never been and never will be a point of reliance for Iraqi Kurds.

1600 GMT: Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says the dismissal of Undersecretary of Public Security and Order Murat Ozcelik is out of the question

1445 GMT: Among those 100 journalists and 35 distributors who have been in jail since January 2012, 21 including 12 journalists have been put on trial for 254 years in prison, with charge of making "terrorism propaganda". By April 2011, only 47 journalists were in jail.

Besides, 120 summary of proceedings have been prepared for 24 MPs of Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) by prosecutors. 

1400 GMT: Turkish Foreign Ministry reiterates the conditions of a possible rapprochement with Israel.

On its Twitter account, the Ministry says Israel shall apologize, pay compensation to the families of those Turkish citizens killed on board of the Humanitarian Aid Convoy and lift the "inhuman blockade" of the Gaza Strip as soon as possible. 

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Turkey Live Coverage (21 March): New Year Celebrations Turn into Deadly Clashes

1725 GMT: It is reported that Turkish border security units and gendarmerie forces have tightened security measures along the country's border with Syria in order to prevent Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) members and Syrian refugees from entering Turkey.

On Tuesday, it was reported that gendarmerie forces were questioning coming refugees on the border to see if they were really escaping from the violence in Syria. Besides, alongside the refugee camp in Hatay, two more camps were said to be formed in two other cities, Sanliurfa and Kilis. 

1645 GMT: At a conference, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey would not allow any Cold War-like sectarian confrontation in the region. 

1625 GMT: Fifth police officer killed in the ongoing operation in Cudi, Sirnak. 

1610 GMT: One policeman injured in an explosion near the provincial office of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. 

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Turkey Live Coverage (15 March): Refugees Flowing from Syria

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.

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