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Entries in Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (72)


Middle East Today: Turkey --- Will the Protests Grow?

Claimed footage of a police van hitting a protester

Turkey: The Scene in Izmir Tonight

Hamdullah replaces Salam Fayyad, who resigned in April after weeks of tension with others in the Authority. An English professor and dean of al-Najah University in the West Bank, Hamdullah has no prior political or government experience.

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Turkey Analysis: Beyond the Car Bombs --- The Kurds, Iraq, and Syria

Last week, two car bombs exploded in Reyhanli in southern Turkey, close to the Syrian border, killing almost 50 people and injuring more than 100.

While nobody claimed responsibility for the deadly incident, it raised the immediate question of whether Turkey would escalate its intervention in Syria, either alone or with others.

However, that reaction was too narrow and missed the wider context. This is not just about the Syrian conflict but also Turkey's internal politics, specifically its attempt to resolve the sensitive Kurdish issue.

The primary concern for the Erdogan government is the ongoing peace drive with the Kurdish leadership, including imprisoned PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. So the question is not just whether the events in Reyhanli complicated Turkey's position inside Syria but also whether they threaten these delicate internal negotiations.

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Egypt (and Beyond) Live: Protests Turn Into Clashes at High Court

See also Turkey Analysis: Erdogan's Risky Game on The Kurdish Issue
Syria Live: Deadly Airstrike in Aleppo
Saturday's Iraq (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 25 Killed in Attack on Campaign Rally

1440 GMT: Turkey and Israel. US Secretary of State John Kerry, during a trip to Turkey, has urged Ankara and Israel to restore full relations, for the sake of regional stability.

Last month, during a trip by President Obama to Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu moved towards reconciliation when he called Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to apologise for the killing of nine Turkish citizens in an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in May 2010.

Kerry said it was imperative for Israel to honor its commitment to pay compensation to the families of the victims, and for both countries to return their ambassadors.

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Turkey Analysis: Erdogan's Risky Game on The Kurdish Issue

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoganOn the surface, there continues to be advance towards the "historic" resolution of the Kurdish issue. Dig a bit deeper, however, and you wll hit a major block: the ambitions of a Prime Minister trying to maintain and increase his power at every step of the process.

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Turkey Analysis: Will the Kurdish Peace Offer Survive the Next Steps?

Recep Tayyip Erdogan & Abdullah OcalanLast week Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the Kurdish insurgency PKK, wrote a new page on Turkey's Kurdish issue with his New Year's message setting out a path to peace.

The carefully-prepared statement called on both Turks and Kurds to unite in a democratic country, setting out practical measures such as the withdrawal of PKK forces from Turkey.

The PKK‘s leaders approved the directives. The Government’s response was welcoming.

Yet this still may not be enough for a permanent resolution.

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Lebanon (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Prime Minister Resigns --- What Next?

See also Syria Live Coverage: Fighting in Aleppo and near Damascus
Friday's Israel, Palestine (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Obama Concludes Trip with Netanyahu Meeting

Najib Mikati1825 GMT: Turkey and Palestine. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has announced that he may travel to Gaza and the West Bank in April.

The statement follows Friday's reconciliation between Ankara and West Jerusalem, with Israel’s apology for the killing of nine Turkish citizens on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in May 2010.

“I may eventually visit Gaza and the West Bank in April. This visit would take place in the context of a general effort to contribute to the resolution process [of the Palestinian issue],” Erdoğan told reporters.

1755 GMT: Bahrain. Security forces have fired tear gas to prevent protesters from reaching the house of Nabeel Rajab, the imprisoned head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.

Riot police clashed with hundreds of people marching for Rajab, sentenced to two years in prison on charges of backing “illegal” protests.

Authorities also set up roadblocks to keep cars from reaching the house.

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Turkey (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Three Kurdish Officials Killed in Paris Attack

1623 GMT: Turkey. The Chairman of the Federation of Kurdish Associations of France, Mehmet Ulker, claiming to quote French policemen, has said that the Paris killings were carried out by more than one professional.

1613 GMT: Turkey. The Vice-Chairman of the pro-Kurdish BDP party, Gulten Kisanak, puts out a warning:

Even if those murderers get lost like a mole, they will be held accountable. This massacre is not an ordinary one. Clearly, it is a political murder. It is a trap set for the solution of the Kurdish question. Whoever attempts to cover, justify or distort this, he/she will be the murderer. Whoever, while there is no proof, calls the murder of three revolutionist women who were on duty to carry out their people's struggle as an internal execution and distorts it, he/she is either murderer, or knows the murderers or wants to protect the murderers.

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Turkey Opinion: Democracy v. "Erdogan's Personal Lust for Power" (Akyol)

All such accomplishments of the ruling AKP have recently been overshadowed — not by the “hidden Islamist agenda” that the secularists feared, but a more mundane problem: lust for power, especially Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s personal lust for power.

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The Latest from Iran (3 December): Medicine and Sanctions

See also The Latest from Iran (2 December): Ahmadinejad Puts His Right-Hand Man in a New Post

2055 GMT: Foreign Affairs (Egyptian Front). After a period of uncertainty over how to play its relationship with Egypt --- given President Morsi's slapdown of Iran over Syria this summer, his key role in ending the Gaza War, and then his sudden grab of powers --- it looks like Tehran is back to the promotion of an Iran-Egypt alliance to reshape the Middle East.

Kazem Jalali, a leading MP with role at the Parliamentary Research Center and the National Security Committee, puts out the line, “Egypt and Iran can play an important and effective role in the Middle East region for promoting peace and security, and providing proper grounds for unity of the Muslim world."

Jalali hailed Egypt’s 2011 revolution as a “great achievement for the regional nations,” adding, “Every revolution is usually followed by a transition period which has to be passed and the Egyptian revolution is no exception to this rule. We hope to see stability and calm in this country very soon.”

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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Bickering Begins Over "New Opposition Council"

2011 GMT: Syria. As of an hour ago, the Local Coordination Committees were reporting that 133 people have been killed so far today:

42 martyrs were reported in Damascus and its Suburbs; 32 in Deir Ezzor; 20 in Aleppo; 15 in Idlib; 8 in Lattakia;8 in Homs; 7 in Daraa; and 1 in Hama.

See our note on the casualty figures posted by the LCC.

That number will increase, possibly substantially, before the end of the day. Heavy shelling campaigns have been reported into the night, and the LCC now reports that even beyond this, the bodies of 25 people have been found in a basement in Aleppo.

The casualty figures have risen to the level that they were at before the ceasefire. Even during the ceasefire there was barely a letup in the number of deaths. For the civilians, it's only getting worse, and despite FSA victories across the country, there is no sign that the regime will fall any time soon.

1944 GMT: Syria. A Safe World for Women reports that a young female blogger, Fatima Khaled Saad, originally tortured while detained by the regime, has died of her wounds.

Fatima was a part of a network of civilian journalists, as many others did, she adopted a different name, and was known among her circle as Farah El Rayes.

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