World Bulletin / News Desk
Turkish troops and military vehicles deployed towards the border with Syria on Thursday as a precaution after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan gave orders to react to any Syrian threat approaching the frontier.
Erdogan, who has given shelter in the border area to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, announced the new rules of engagement for Turkish troops on the border after Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish warplane last Friday.
"I can confirm there are troops being deployed along the border in Hatay province. Turkey is taking precautions after its jet was shot down," a Turkish official said on condition of anonymity.
He said he did not know how many troops or vehicles were being moved but said they were being stationed in the Yayladagi, Altinozu and Reyhanli border areas of Turkey's southern Hatay province. He said anti-aircraft guns were also being stationed along the border.
A military convoy of vehicles including anti-aircraft missile launchers from the 5th Mechanised Armoured Brigade left a base in the southeastern city of Gaziantep on Thursday and travelled to neighbouring Kilis province on the border, video from the Turkish Dogan news agency showed.
Roads were closed to traffic as the convoy, escorted by police cars, passed by.
Another convoy of about 30 military vehicles, including trucks loaded with missile batteries, left Turkey's coastal town of Iskenderun on Wednesday and deployed near the Syrian border 50 km (30 miles) away, Turkish news agencies said.
Turkish television film showed the column moving on Wednesday, escorted by police cars, along a narrow highway leading out of the town, the main port of Turkey's Hatay province. It included rocket launchers on transporters, anti-aircraft artillery and military ambulances.
A Reuters journalist saw another large truck carrying an anti-aircraft gun leave Iskenderun on Thursday for the border area, escorted by two army lorries, one carrying 10 troops.
Erdogan said any military element moving towards the Turkish border and deemed threatening would be declared a military target. The preponderance of air defence weapons in the convoy suggested Turkey was preparing for any possible approach by Syrian helicopters or warplanes.
State-run Anatolia news agency said armoured military vehicles were being transported to military installations in Sanliurfa, in the middle of Turkey's border with Syria, and Hatay, a panhandle province that juts down into Syria.
It said several military vehicles had travelled separately to a military garrison in the border town of Reyhanli in Hatay.
Specific details have not been made public of the new rules of engagement issued to troops after the shooting down of the warplane, which Turkey says was in international air space but Syria says entered its territory at high speed.
The Turkish border region is sheltering more than 33,000 Syrian refugees as well as elements of the rebel Free Syrian Army.
It is currently unclear if current President Abdullah Gul will seek re-election or if he will make way for PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to seek presidency.
Prime Minister Erdogan said during the 12 years of his party's rule the economy was never negatively affected by the elections.
Historians should explore the "Armenian genocide claims", not politicians, said Cemil Cicek.
Deputy PM Besir Atalay said the new standing committee of Parliament will also monitor police and para-military intelligence bodies.
Turkey and Twitter have recently been on unfriendly terms due to the popular microblogging site's failure to implement Turkish court decisions that ordered the removal of certain web links on the grounds of privacy violations.
Two gunmen on motorcycle open fire at former MP Yildiz's car, wounding him and his son, while one attacker dies and other arrested.
Turkish FM Davutoglu earlier said Turkey remained faithful to the Montreux Convention that regulates the passage of vessels at Turkish Straits.
Turkish dailies covered Tuesday the visit of Twitter executives to Turkey to discuss legal obligations, the visit to headquarters of ruling AK Party by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and pro-Russian rebels defying Ukrainian government deadline in eastern Ukraine.
Flights between Istanbul and Simferopol are to remain cancelled till June 26.
A Turkish court decided on the release of six detained police officers.
Around 70% of the tunnel is already complete, and will take about a year and a half to be opened to the public.
Turkey urged executives from Twitter to open an office and start paying Turkish tax on Monday in the first direct talks since a two-week ban imposed on the site as the government battled a corruption scandal.
Turkey's minister to the EU hopes 2014 will see progression in Turkey's accession to the EU.
Turkey and Singapore have expanded their bilateral air services and flight agreement.
Turkish dailies on Monday mainly cover latest developments in Ukraine, Turkey’s PM's speech on the Holy Birth Week of Prophet Muhammad, the probe on defamation against wiretapping case judges and the second tube tunnel project beneath the Istanbul Strait.
Foreign Minister Davutoglu says Montreux Convention is vitally important for stability in Black Sea and security of Istanbul and straits.