World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey's parliament has given initial approval to a constitutional amendment bringing local elections forward by six months.
The amendment was approved late on Friday by 360 votes, just short of the two-thirds majority needed for it to pass without a second reading. It will be put to a referendum in 60 days if President Abdullah Gul does not return it for a second debate.
The polls to elect local mayors and heads of municipalities were originally scheduled for March 2014 and are the first in an electoral cycle which includes a presidential election a few months later and general elections in 2015.
The date of local elections will be Oct. 27, 2013, if a referendum or second debate approves the amendment.
Jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan has invited on his followers to attend a conference on disarmament, a crucial step in Turkey's drive to end a 30-year insurgency with Kurdish militants, in the forthcoming spring.
Turkish President Erdogan has lately been pushing for a presidential system to replace the current parliamentary one.
The €920 million program aims to provide in Turkey a high level of quality and sustainable employment; and will guarantee decent social protection.
Thomas Melia, US deputy assistant secretary of state, expressed concern about additional authority given to police in new security draft bill.
Akyurek was charged with negligence on the job at the time of the Turkish-Armenian journalist's murder.
Central Bank Governor Erdem Basci appeared to dismiss any suggestion that he might resign, saying that public duty should be performed for the full period in which it is assigned
The new 6.5 km undersea tunnel will reduce travel time between the two sides of Istanbul via metro and highway lines to 14 minutes.
Turkey has chosen a Chinese company as the preferred bidder for the $3.4 billion project but is also pressing ahead with talks with U.S. and European firms as questions remain about the Chinese proposal
Police detained a man, believed to be mentally unstable, for questioning
Friday's dailies mostly cover the Taliban bomb attack on a Turkish convoy in Afghanistan and Turkish football team Besiktas which dramatically beat Liverpool 5-4 on penalties in the UEFA Europa League.
UN high commissioner for refugees says 3.8 million Syrian refugees are registered in neighboring countries.
Turkish defense contractor Aselsan and French defense contractor Thales on Thursday agreed to install Thales-made Lightweight Multi-role Missiles on Turkish Aselsan's launch-pad
Babacan met PM late on Wednesday, triggering speculation but officials dismiss talk of resignation
A mosque was torched Wednesday near the southern city of Bethlehem.
Premier Davutoglu says such attacks will never discourage Turkey from contributing to maintaining peace and stability in Afghanistan.