World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkey's leaders called for unity on Wednesday following a car bomb attack which heightened fears that PKK militants are exploiting chaos in neighbouring Syria and stepping up their decades-old attacks.
Unidentified assailants detonated the car bomb by a police station in the industrial city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border late on Monday, killing nine people including several children and wounding more than 60.
The president, prime minister and party leaders gathered in the city at a funeral for the victims of the attack, which came as families celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
"The best answer we as a nation can give is to form a (united) front and stand side by side, whatever our differences ... in the face of this act of terrorism," President Abdullah Gul told reporters after arriving in Gaziantep.
Gul and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan lined up with other officials and said prayers in front of coffins wrapped in the red-and-white Turkish flag at a mosque in the city as tearful relatives looked on.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but some officials point the finger at the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, whose 28-year-old conflict with the state has killed more than 40,000 people. The PKK denied involvement.
Ankara is also investigating possible Syrian links to the blast, which has fuelled fears that the uprising in Syria against President Bashar al-Assad could add to the instability in southeast Turkey.
A sharp rise in militant violence in Turkey this month has reinforced the belief among Turkish officials that the PKK is receiving weapons from Assad's forces.
CONFLICT RARE IN GAZIANTEP
Citing a PKK militant arrested by security forces in July, Hurriyet newspaper on Wednesday said the Gaziantep attack had been planned by a PKK member in charge of the group's operations in the region around the southeastern city of Diyarbakir.
Gaziantep, 50 km (30 miles) from the Syrian border, has witnessed little of the trouble which has blighted much of the mainly Kurdish southeast since the PKK took up arms in 1984 with the aim of establishing an ethnic Kurdish state.
"There was never any terrorism here. The people embraced one another. They want to disturb the peace here," said Kemal Kilicdaroglu, leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), urging cross-party cooperation to end the violence.
The city, one of Turkey's largest with a population of one million, has enjoyed growing affluence in recent years, thanks to an expanding industrial base and flourishing trade ties with Syria. The conflict across the border has now frozen those ties.
Ankara initially cultivated good relations with Assad's administration but relations have deteriorated since the uprising against him began 17 months ago.
Erdogan has become one of Assad's harshest critics and has raised the possibility of military intervention in Syria if the PKK becomes a threat to Turkey from Syrian territory.
Erdogan and Davutoglu, who was appointed prime minister last week, have both made clear that their efforts to curb Gulen's influence will continue in their new roles
Amasya MP Mehmet Naci Bostanci is elected ruling AK Party's new parliamentary group deputy chairman.
Turkish Aerospace Industries will deliver last four of modernized F-16 fighters to Pakistan on Tuesday.
Turkey's President Erdogan made his first foreign visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as president on Monday.
The central bank would continue to set monetary policy independently while structural measures would be taken to narrow the current account deficit.
Ali Babacan will retain overall responsibility for the economy in the new cabinet, government spokesman Bulent Arinc said
Monday's newspapers cover German weekly Der Spiegel’s claims on foreign spying on Turkey, Turkish intelligence service’s purchase of a lie detector and ongoing construction works of Turkey’s Eurasia Tunnel Project.
Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will discuss the issue of spying claims on Turjey with American and German leaders at the upcoming NATO summit and U.N. general assembly.
More than 30 police officials are sought in connection with alleged illegal wiretapping in Istanbul and other cities across Turkey.
These revelations come just one week after it was revealed that Germany had also been spying on fellow NATO-member Turkey.
Erdogan's first week as president will see him visit the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Azerbaijan and attend a NATO Summit in Wales.
Ali Babacan, and more recently Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, have been part of a well-respected economics team that has helped steer Turkey through a decade of growth and stability.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Assad's "divisive" administration in Syria has given rise to the Sunni militant group, Islamic State
Turkey's Foreign Ministry says concerned of Russian activity in Ukraine's east, calls on parties to act in common sense
Twenty-thousand Turkish vessels will set sail on Monday as the country's fishing season starts in earnest.
International credit rating agency Moody's downgrades long-term deposit rating of Bank Asya citing deteriorating fundamentals and deposit volatility