World Bulletin / News Desk
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had surprise talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Tuesday as the two neighbors find themselves increasingly at odds over the civil war in Syria.
The two leaders agreed that contacts among countries in the region should be intensified in order to end the bloodshed in Syria, the Anatolia news agency said of the meeting, which took place on the sidelines of a summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Baku.
The meeting comes on the heels of escalating border tensions between Turkey and Syria.
Turkey has shelled Syrian targets after a mortar fired from Syria killed five civilians in a border town early this month. In moves that raised fears of a war that could drag in other regional countries and NATO, Turkey also reinforced its military units along the border, sending artillery weapons and deploying more fighter jets to an air base close to the border, and Parliament passed a motion allowing Turkey to send, if need be, Turkish troops into Syria. Necdet Özel, Chief of General Staff, also warned Syria, in a statement on Wednesday that Turkey would retaliate in a more forceful way should shelling by the Syrian side keep landing inside Turkish territory. In addition, Turkey has reinforced its border.
Erdoğan defended Turkey's retaliatory measures in the wake of the attack in the town of Akçakale, and Ahmadinejad concurred. “Turkey is justified in its reaction,” Ahmadinejad was quoted as saying during the meeting by the private Cihan news agency. The Iranian leader also extended condolences for the deaths of the Turkish civilians.
Syria, which said an investigation was under way to track the source of the mortar bomb, has expressed regret for the deaths and extended condolences.
The exchange of fire on the border has raised concerns both in Turkey and elsewhere. The EU ministers gathering for a meeting on Monday and expressed concern over the spillover of the Syrian crisis to Turkey and called on all sides to prevent any escalation of conflict between Damascus and Ankara.
During their meeting, Erdoğan and Ahmadinejad exchanged views on the joint UN and Arab League special envoy on Syria Lakhdar Brahimi's talks on the Syrian issue.
Also high on the agenda of the meeting were Iran's nuclear program and the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK) -- the Iranian wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been waging a separatist campaign against Turkey for the past three decades.
Iran also agreed that the Turkish Cypriots be given an observer status at ECO, a Turkish demand voiced by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during a ministerial meeting on Monday.
A Greek court refused Turkey's demand to extradite illegal organization member Huseyin Fevzi Tekin, who was detained in his home with ammunition in Athens.
Kurdish politician and writer Yasar Kaya, founder of the Kurdish nationalist Democracy Party, returns from 21-year exile in Germany to Turkey.
Thursday's newspapers mainly cover President Abdullah Gul’s comments on Turkey's August presidential election, the ruling AK Party’s meeting on that contest, high-level talks between Twitter and Ankar, plus a ferry disaster in South Korea.
Turkey's main opposition party called for a parliamentary inquiry to look into imprisonment of some 300 members of Turkish Armed Forces.
Energy cooperation between Turkey and Iraq’s Kurdish regional government is stated clearly to both the U.S. and the government in Iraq, says Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish government sponsors a number of charity and development projects in the Gaza Strip.
Ankara's current efforts towards streamlining trade are aimed at fully widening scope of business with Iran, says Turkish Development Minister at Tehran forum.
The massacre of Muslims in the Central African Republic has been compared to the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda.
The 'Invest in Italy' conference in Istanbul heard of a huge discrepancy in Turkish-Italian investment.
The boat is said to have been illegally transporting migrants to Greek islands.
Turkey, which last year was ranked 16th, skipped ahead of Canada, which has had to cut back its military spending.
The subject is one of a series of issues ranging from increased gas supply and gas price revisions to nuclear power that Turkey and Russia are set to take up in talks in Ankara next week
HAVELSAN, which is partly owned by a Turkish Armed Forces-linked foundation, has a logn history in training defense and communications industries in Turkey and other countries in military software systems.
In addition to motion-detectors that can work day and night across a vast area, these systems are less risky and more cost effective than Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), otherwise known as drones.
The US Embassy in Ankara said allegations against the ambassador Ricciardone 'do not reflect the truth'.
Turkish ruling AK Party MPs voice support for PM Erdogan's election bid.