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Entries in Recep Tayyip Erdogan (67)


Middle East Today: Libya --- At Least 25 Killed in Clashes Between Protesters and Government-Backed Militia

Turkey: Massive Istanbul Anti-Government Rally as PM Erdogan Addresses Supporters in Ankara

A visual story of the competing rallies for and against the Erdogan Government --- first, Sunday's large gathering in Istanbul's Taksim Square, where mass protests began nine days ago:

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told supporters in Ankara tonight, "How can you attack my police?...We are going to show patience, but patience has a limit as well":

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Middle East Today: Turkey --- Ruling Party Says No Early Elections

Rally in Istanbul's Taksim Square today

Libya: 11 Killed in Benghazi Clashes

At least 11 people were killed and 35 wounded in clashes on Saturday between protesters and a Libyan militia, operating with Ministry of Defence approval, in the eastern city of Benghazi.

Residents said dozens of protesters rallied outside the headquarters of the Government-backed Libya Shield brigade, demanding the disbanding of militias who have yet to disarm fter the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in October.

The Libya Shield brigade is made up of former insurgent who say they are aligned with the Ministry of Defence. A Government spokesman said special forces from the Libyan military had arrived at the scene.

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Syria Today: Obama & Erdogan Call for Assad to Go --- But Will They Do Anything?

Rebels Prepare to Attack Damascus Airport.

Rebel fighters may be on the move once again in Damascus, near the international airport that is used to ferry supplies in and out of the country.

Meanwhile, to the north of Damascus the Assad regime has been conducting an intense artillery and airstrike campaign against Yabroud. The hilltop suburb has been heavily occupied by rebel forces for many months, but it now appears that the area is being softened up, possibly or a direct regime assault on the town.

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Syria Today: Israel Airstrikes "Hit Military Research Centre"

See also Syria Snap Analysis: What Did Israel Bomb, and Why?
Middle East Today: Iraq --- Results from Provincial Elections Inconclusive
Saturday's Syria Today: Obama Maintains Cautious Line on US Intervention

1900 GMT: Erdogan Denounces "Butcher" Assad

Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has delivered his strongest denunciation of President Assad, "If God permits, we will see this butcher, this murderer receive his judgement in this world...and we will praise (God) for it."

Erdogan, speaking to lawmakers and party activists in a town near Ankara, addressed Assad, "You will pay a very, very heavy price for showing your courage to the babies in the cradle, the courage you cannot show others."

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Syria Today: Assad Appears --- Does It Matter?

President Assad looks at the wall of an electricity plant on Workers' Day on Wednesday

2046 GMT: Mass Killing

Claimed photos are circulating of the mass killing in Bayada.

1956 GMT: Mass Killing

Activists are claiming that scores of people have been slain by regime forces in Bayada in Homs Province:

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Middle East Today: Iraq's Escalation in Violence

Turkey: Erdogan Hails Withdrawal

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has hailed the planned withdrawal of fighters of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Turkey as the end of a "dark era" but warned against potential sabotage of the peace process.

The PKK withdrawal is due to begin on 8 May.

"The door is closing on a dark era. Turkey is changing its ill fortune and is entering a new phase," Erdoğan told a business group in comments broadcast live by State television. He added:

No one should try to pull this process in a different direction. We remain vigilant against sabotage, against provocations, but today we are much more hopeful, determined and optimistic.

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Turkey (and Beyond) Live: A Peace Deal with the PKK?

Prime Minister Erdogan1200 GMT:Palestine. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency has suspended its operations in the Gaza Strip after demonstrators stormed its headquarters after a number of aid cutbacks caused the agency to withhold some cash handouts earlier this week.

Although cash disbursements will be limited, the UNRWA said that food distribution will continue as normal once guarantees are given that their operations can continue “unhindered.”

1132 GMT:Iraq. A bomb attack in the western Baghdad neighbourhood of Abu Ghraib has killed three soldiers while another bomb exploded near a vegetable stand in the city of Hillah (60 miles, 90 kilometres south of Baghdad) killing three civilians and wounding 15 bystanders.

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Turkey Special: Kurdish Leader Ocalan "Nearing Deal" with Erdogan

So now we know the basis of reports that there may be a "solution of the Kurdish issue". Speculation, sometimes fed by the Erdogan Government, has risen amid a renewal of meetings with the imprisoned leader of the PKK insurgency, Abdullah Ocalan, on Imrali Island. However, it is with the leak of Ocalan's conversation with pro-Kurdish MPs that speculation has turned into expectation.

What Did Ocalan Say?

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Turkey Analysis: The Opposition, the Government, and the “Grand Kurdish Settlement”

Abdullah Ocalan and Recep Tayyip ErdoganThe challenges to a "grand Kurdish project" go beyond Ankara. The first is over the crisis in Syria --- indirectly involving Iran --- where the Erdogan Government has no intention of repairing times with Syrian Kurds of the Democratic Union Party. The second is the inclusion of Iraq's Massoud Barzani in a political process: it is unclear what incentive Ankara has to acknowledge, let alone accept, the demand of the pro-Kurdish opposition party BDP.

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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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