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Visit One News Page for Turkish news from around the world, aggregated from leading sources including newswires, newspapers and broadcast media. Search millions of archived news headlines. This feed provides the Turkish news headlines.

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    Turkey's president says a "fresh page" in Turkish-American relations can be opened with President Donald Trump's administration, as high-level dialogue has intensified since January.Speaking in Istanbul on Friday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he sees "signs that Mr.... Reported by Newsmax 5 hours ago.

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    A commander of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Friday that U. S. forces would begin monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey frontier after cross-border fire between the Turkish military and YPG this week. Reported by DNA 7 hours ago.

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    DARBASIYA, Syria (Reuters) - A commander of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Friday U.S. forces would begin monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey frontier after cross-border fire between the Turkish military and YPG this week. Reported by Reuters 6 hours ago.

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    Reported by India Today 6 hours ago.

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    The news from Turkey following the referendum on 16 April is worrying.  The coup attempt on 20 July 2016, in which rogue troops commandeered fighter jets and tanks to bomb parliament, led the Turkish cabinet to declare a six-month state of emergency.  On 19 January, as the six months drew to a close, the state of emergency was extended for a further three months.  Now, following the referendum, the Turkish cabinet has once again added three months to the extraordinary powers permitted the president and his government under the terms of the emergency legislation.

    The actions taken by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan under the emergency powers may provide a template of what life will be like when Turkey is transformed from a parliamentary to a presidential republic.  For example, in what appears to be a fresh political crackdown, hundreds of opposition activists have been arrested  for protesting the referendum result.

    Under the new constitution proposed by Erdogan the role of prime minister will be scrapped and the president will become the head of the executive, as well as the head of state. He will be given sweeping new powers to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges and enact certain laws by decree. The president alone will be able to announce a state of emergency and dismiss parliament, which will lose its right to scrutinize ministers or propose an inquiry.

    Erdogan argued that the reforms he sought would streamline decision-making.  Decision-making is certainly streamlined when judicial independence and press freedom have been stifled, and political opponents imprisoned.  An all-powerful president will be akin to a dictator on the lines of a Hitler or a Stalin.  On 13 March a Council of Europe inquiry expressed “serious concerns at the excessive concentration of powers in one office… It is also of concern that this process of constitutional change is taking place under the state of emergency.”

    Erdogan’s presidential ambitions go back a good few years.  The events of 2013, when he held the post of prime minister, may have crystallized them. Twice during the course of the year violence directed largely against Erdogan and the party he leads, the AKP, broke out on the streets of Turkey’s major cities. The underlying cause in both cases was a widespread perception that Erdogan had become too dictatorial in attempting to end Turkey’s role as a model of secularism in the Muslim world.

    Over the course of summer 2013 opposition built up within Erdogan’s own party, the AKP.  This centered around followers of Fethullah Gulen, an influential Turkish cleric who lives in the US. Gulen was once one of the AKP’s main spiritual leaders, preaching a blend of moderate, business-friendly Islam that helped the party rise to power. His dispute with Erdogan and the AKP leadership arose over a government decision to shut down the large network of private schools that the Fethullah Gulen community, or Hizmet Movement, operated.

    Gulen had followers at high levels in the Turkish establishment, including the judiciary, the secret service and the police force.  Early in December 2013 Erdogan was furious to discover that, for more than a year and unknown to him, the police had been engaged in an undercover inquiry into corruption within the government and the upper echelons of the AKP. By the end of the year Erdogan’s own son had been named in the widening corruption investigation.  Erdogan declared the police investigation a plot by foreign and Turkish forces to discredit his government ahead of local elections in March 2014.

    Those elections were the key to unlocking Erdogan’s ambitions.  Returned to office, Erdogan was able to change the constitution to allow him to remain as prime minister beyond his statutory three terms.   Subsequently he was able to stand for president in 2014, and then to imbue the office – once largely ceremonial – with increased powers. Now he can go the whole hog and turn his long-held dream of gaining supreme power into reality.

    Erdogan blames Fethullah Gulen for inciting the coup attempt in July 2016, and he has been exacting a ruthless revenge on those accused of having links with Gulen.  170 media outlets have been shut down, including 29 publishing houses, 3 news agencies, 45 newspapers, 16 TV stations, 23 radio stations, and 15 magazines.  1,577 university deans have been forced to resign, while 2,700 judges, 163 admirals and generals and 24,000 teachers and Interior Ministry employees have been fired.

    Turkey has been knocking on the EU’s door for decades, but the requirements laid down for entry have consistently proved too onerous for Turkey to achieve. Now, in view of the Erdogan government’s human rights abuses of the past year, allied to his own desire to re-introduce the death penalty, it seems that both the EU and Turkey are backing away from the idea altogether. Exacerbating the situation, the European Commission recently called for an investigation into alleged voting irregularities in the referendum.

    So presidential Turkey seems likely to put its EU application on the back burner, and to consolidate its strong position within the Sunni Muslim world.  That presupposes continued opposition to President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria, and thus an anti-Iran line in the Middle East. Despite US support for some anti-Islamic State groups linked to Kurdish separatists, a re-empowered Erdogan will be largely on side with the US, and also with the Gulf States and Israel, with which he has recently patched up his quarrels of the past decade or so.

    History teaches us that absolute power is what dictators and autocrats have traditionally sought but that, in the process of obtaining and exercising it, they almost invariably bring about their own undoing. Will Erdogan buck the trend? Reported by Eurasia Review 6 hours ago.

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    Austria should turn back from its "wrong policy" regarding Turkey's talks of joining the European Union, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday. Reported by DNA 5 hours ago.

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    US Deploys Troops Along Syria-Turkey Border Just three days after Turkish warplanes killed at least 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters along the Turkey-Syria border as well as several Kurdish peshmerga troops on Mount Sinjar in northwestern Iraq, footage posted by Syrian activists showed the US has deployed troops and APCs in the contested region, in a move that could potentially drag the US in a conflict where it already finds itself mediating between two so-called US ally forces in the proxy war against Syria.

    #Syria #US troops on way towards the #Syrian border to avoid clashes between #YPG (#kurdish militia) and the #Turkish Armed Forces #Turkey

    — Tarache César (@TaracheCabarte) April 28, 2017

    The Turkish airstrikes also wounded 18 members of the U.S.-backed People's Protection Units, or Y.P.G., were criticized by both the U.S. and Russia. The YPG is a close U.S. ally in the theatrical fight against the Islamic State (whose real purpose is destabilizing the Assad regime); it is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey's Kurdish rebels. The problem is that Turkey is also an ally of the US, although over the past two years relations between Turkey and all western NATO allies have deteriorated substantially for numerous familiar, and extensively discussed in the past, reasons.

    On one hand, further clashes between Turkish and Kurdish forces in Syria could potentially undermine the U.S.-led war on the Islamic State group. On the other, it risks taking an already unstable situation in Syria and escalating it substantially, should Turkey again find itself invading Turkey and/or Iraq.

    Which is why the US appears to have deployed troops along the border: to serve as a deterrent to further Turkish attacks.

    A senior Kurdish official, Ilham Ahmad told The Associated Press that American forces began carrying out patrols along the border Thursday along with reconnaissance flights in the area. She said the deployment was in principle temporary, *but may become more permanent.* Another Kurdish activist said the deployment is ongoing, adding that it stretches from the Iraqi border to areas past Darbasiyah in the largely Kurdish part of eastern Syria.

    "The U.S. role has now become more like a buffer force between us and the Turks on all front lines," he said. He said U.S. forces will also deploy as a separation force in areas where the Turkish-backed Syrian fighting forces and the Kurdish forces meet.

    As noted above, the US intervention is meant to send a "*a message of reassurance for the Kurds and almost a warning message" *to the Turks, he said.

    Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, did not dispute that U.S. troops are operating with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along the Turkish border, but he would not get into specifics. The SDF is a Kurdish-dominated alliance fighting IS that includes Arab fighters.

    "We have U.S. forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners," Davis said. "The border is among the areas where they operate." He said the U.S. wants the SDF to focus on liberating the IS-held town of Tabqa and the extremist group's de facto capital, Raqqa, "and not be drawn into conflicts elsewhere."

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    Confirming that the proxy war in Syria is becoming ever less so, the U.S. has recently shifted from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight. Last month, *about 200 Marines rolled into northern Syria backed with howitzers, significantly widening America's footprint in a highly toxic battlefield*. The Marines' deployment came days after another intervention, when dozens of army troops drove outside the town of Manbij, riding Stryker armored vehicles, following an earlier conflagration of fighting between Syrian Kurdish troops and Turkish troops. The U.S. deployment in Manbij intentionally put Americans in the middle of that rivalry, hoping to cool it down.

    The SDF retook Manbij from IS control, and Turkey said it won't allow the town to be under Kurdish control, threatening to move on it. The American presence appears intended to reassure Ankara the Kurds don't hold the town.

    But the new deployment puts U.S. troops directly along the border with Turkey, another flashpoint, and immerses Washington into that increasingly hot fight. Should Erdogan happen to launch a strike against a zone containing US troops, he can simply say he was aiming elsewhere, although the retaliation by his NATO ally would be prompt.

    It remains unclear if the US is now actively seeking to engage Turkey on the combat field, and is looking for a politically correct, and media friendly pretext to do so.  It is also unclear what a conflict between the US and Turkey would mean for the rest of NATO: it certainly would set a precedent, as never before has fighting broken out between two alliance members. Reported by Zero Hedge 5 hours ago.

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    Austria should turn back from its "wrong policy" regarding Turkey's talks of joining the European Union, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday. Reported by DNA 5 hours ago.

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    US armoured vehicles are deploying in areas in northern Syria along the tense border with Turkey, a few days after a Turkish airstrike that killed 20 US-backed Kurdish fighters, a Syrian war monitor and Kurdish activists said today. Reported by DNA 4 hours ago.

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    A Syrian war monitor and Kurdish activists say US armoured vehicles have deployed in areas in northern Syria along the border with Turkey. Reported by News24 4 hours ago.

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    Turkish army says YPG fighters fired rockets across the border, prompting retaliation by Turkish forces. Reported by Al Jazeera 3 hours ago.

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