World Bulletin / News Desk
A Syrian parliamentarian representing the northern province of Aleppo said on Friday she has defected to Turkey, becoming the first member of the rubberstamp assembly elected in May and dominated by President Bashar al-Assad's Baath Partyto defect.
"I have crossed to Turkey and defected from this tyrannical regime ... because of the repression and savage torture against a nation demanding the minimum of rights," Ikhlas al-Badawi told Sky News Arabia.
Opposition sources Syrian troops and armour are amassing around the northern city of Aleppo, Syrian's main commercial and industrial hub, to crush armed resistance to Assad that has been gathering momentum following a military crackdown on street demonstrations against his rule.
The authorities chose Badawi, a Sunni Muslim, to run for parliament on behalf of the "labourers and peasants" sector, a term for state backed labour and farmers unions who are guaranteed half the seats in the 250 seat assembly.
Badawi, a mother of six, was also a member of the Baath Party, which took power in 1963 military coup that destroyed the country's democratic institutions in favour of a Soviet style political system dominated by Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Intensified ground and aerial bombardment on Syrian cities by Assad's forces in recent weeks has prompted diehard Baathists and Assad's loyalists to defect.
They have been mostly Sunni Muslim, from the majority sect at the forefront of the 16-month uprising against Assad.
Nawaf al-Fares, Syria's ambassador to Iraq and a former Baath Party chief in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, fled to Qatar through Jordan two weeks ago.
Fares, according to opposition sources, is a friend of Manaf Tlas, a brigadier general in the Republican Guards and a member of Assad's inner circle, who fled Syria earlier this month.
Turkey's Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the "barbarous" murder of Japanese citizen Yukawa
Ahmed al-Najjar, who heads the Peace, Solidarity and Relief Society NGO in the Gaza Strip, said that his organization collaborated with the Turkish Aziz Mahmud Hudayi charity to distribute the winter aid.
Turkey's president decided to visit Somalia despite a bomb exploding near a hotel in Mogadishu where a Turkish delegation was staying.
Deputy FMs from Iran, the UK, France and Germany will meet in Istanbul on Jan. 29.
The one-day visit is proving to be an important topic for Ethiopian media for the third day in a row.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently visiting Djibouti
12 Turkish climbers have been reported missing in the Pierian Mountains
Turkey’s Ministry of Education is working on a program to replace schools run by the Gulen movement abroad and will soon complete the task,Turkish President says.
Turkish national flag to be flown at half-mast across Turkey and at foreign delegations Saturday.
Turkish transportation minister is in Malta on Friday whilst in other news 20 migrants were reported dead off the coast of Malta.
In Davos, Volkan Bozkir calls for UN to change to adapt to 'new situations.'
Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, wants to finance new natural gas pipeline planned to pass through Turkey, said banks's Deputy Chairman.
The premier says Turkey does not have a problem with the UN Security Council, but this is a structure which emerged after WWII.
Turkey calls for tolerance and enhanced understanding between religions and cultures, says Turkish ambassador to the UN.
Policies based on sectarianism create fertile ground for radical terrorist groups, according to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.