Entries in Turkey (56)


Turkey Requests NATO Meeting to Discuss Warplane Shot Down by Syria

NATO(NEW YORK) -- Turkey has requested a NATO meeting to discuss the shooting down of its warplane by Syria on Friday, the BBC reports.

The country has called upon Article 4 of NATO's charter, which grants allies the right to summon a consultation when the country feels its security is threatened. Turkey's foreign minister previously said the F-4 Phantom was in international airspace when it was downed. Syria denied that its firing of the plane was an act of hostility and noted that its navy joined rescue efforts for the plane's crew members once it learned the aircraft was Turkish, according to the BBC.

The United States and the U.K, both Turkey's NATO allies, condemned the act. Crew members of the downed plane have not been found yet, and the coast guard continues searching for them in the Mediterranean Sea. Hopes of them being found alive are diminishing, says the BBC.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


14 Killed in Turkish Helicopter Crash in Afghanistan

Tim Hawley/Getty Images(KABUL, Afghanistan) -- Twelve Turkish soldiers and two Afghan civilians were killed Friday when a NATO helicopter carrying Turkish troops crashed in eastern Afghanistan.

The aircraft came down on a civilian home in the Bagrami District of Kabul Province.  The two killed Afghans were inside the house when it happened. 

The helicopter, which was on a NATO mission and belonged to International Security Assistance Force RC-C, crashed as it was attempting to make an emergency landing, the Turkish foreign minister said.

The cause of the crash is not yet known, but ISAF says there was no insurgent activity in the area at the time.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Secretary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Talk Syria, Iran

Win McNamee/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- After her meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu Monday afternoon, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- not surprisingly -- told reporters that Syria was “at the top of our list of important matters to discuss today.”  
“It is deplorable that the regime has escalated violence in cities across the country, including using artillery and tank fire against innocent civilians,” Clinton said.
Sec. Clinton spoke Monday about the call to action put forward by the U.S. and Turkey for the Syrian regime end the violence in that country immediately.

“We stand with the Syrian people and we are looking for a peaceful resolution.  The U.S. and Turkey have again called on the regime to heed the Arab League’s latest efforts as wells as the international community to end the killing immediately, withdraw military forces from residential areas, allow in monitors and journalists, release political prisoners and begin a genuine sincere democratic transition that starts with a respectful serious dialogue with the opposition,” Sec. Clinton said.
She said the U.S. strongly supports the Arab League plan to end the violence in Syria and that leading up to the Friends of Syria meeting in Tunisia next week the U.S. will work with partners on diplomatic efforts, to strengthen sanctions and increase outreach to opposition groups inside and outside Syria.
“We have heard the call of the Syrian people for help,” Clinton said, "and are working to increase assistance to groups like the Red Crescent and the ICRC that are operating inside Syria."
As for the Arab League’s new call for peacekeepers, Clinton said it presented challenges given that it will take a lot of consensus and, most importantly, Syrian support.  “We don’t think it will be possible with Syria,” she said. She criticized the Assad regime for “leading Syria to an outcome we all one wants to see a civil war in Syria.”
On Iran, Davutoglu repeated what he said Friday that he got the sense on a recent trip to Tehran that Iran is willing to negotiate.  Clinton replied that the U.S. remains on the dual track with Iran, but that “we are ready to sit down and discuss” with them in “a purposeful way” if Iran meets American pre-conditions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sarah Ferguson Cancels Trip to US after Documentary Scandal

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Fearing possible extradition to Turkey, Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, has canceled a visit to the United States.

After the premiere of a documentary exposing child neglect in Turkey, Turkish authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for the red-headed duchess. The documentary, which was filmed four years ago, broke some of Turkey's strict press laws.

The film was aired on British TV and depicted shocking abuse in an orphanage outside of Ankara.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Turkey Freezes Relations with France over Armenian Genocide Bill

PRNewsFoto/Sundance Channel, Getty Images(ANKARA, Turkey) -- Ties between France and Turkey are unraveling after the French National Assembly passed a bill making it a crime to deny the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire during World War I, known as the Armenian Genocide.

In reaction to the vote, Turkey froze political and military relations with France, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced.

Since 1990, it has been illegal to deny crimes against humanity in France, specifically the Holocaust. Many have raised concerns that this limits freedom of speech.

"We have an expression in America: Your freedom of speech ends when you yell fire in a crowded theater. There are some things that are just not covered in freedom of speech, the denial of the first genocide of the 20th century clearly falls within that," Mark Geragos, a lawyer who has represented former Rep. Gary Condit, former first brother Roger Clinton, Academy award-winning actress Winona Ryder, pop star Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson, told ABC News.

Geragos, an Armenian-American, said it shows a lot of courage on behalf of the French.

"My hope is that this infuses the U.S. Congress with the guts to do the right thing," Geragos said.

The United States has been hesitant to use the word "genocide" in connection with the massacres of 1915-1917, fearing the political repercussions.

"France and 21 other countries have already shown that there's no political problem in passing official statements about the Armenian Genocide. France has taken it to another level with this law," Peter Balakian, a writer and scholar of genocide at Colgate University and a New York Times bestselling author, told ABC News.

Balakian said he is not a supporter of laws that restrict freedom of speech, but he notes that in some extreme cases, some societies find it necessary to pass such laws.

"The lesson that can be learned from this is that when there are decades of aggressive, state-planned denialist propaganda as there is with Turkey, to cover up its history, absolve itself of responsibility and to erase the moral reality of the Armenian Genocide, some societies, like France, feel such laws are ethically important as a redress to such denial," Balakian said.

Erdogan said he would be suspending all kinds of political consultations with France and cancelled all upcoming meetings and conferences between the two countries.

"People will not forgive those who distort history, or use history as a tool for political exploitation," he said.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Friday that he had asked Turkish authorities not to "overeact," calling their declarations "excessive."

Geragos said it would be an apt description to characterize Turkey as an upset, spoiled child.

"They stomp their feet, they take their toys and go home. What I think France understands more than most countries is that this is a joke. The U.S. doesn't get army bases in Turkey without any kind of trade off -- one of the greatest things for deficit reduction would be if Turkey did take their toys and go pound in the sand."

Some question the intentions of French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who is seeking re-election in April despite his dwindling popularity. France has Europe's largest Armenian population, with estimates around 500,000.

"I think that any time a politician does anything, it's always looked at skeptically," Geragos said. "Sarkozy has always taken a moral and principal stand. People who claim he's using this as a bargaining chip, I don't buy into that. What's right is right."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Another Earthquake Rattles Eastern Turkey

A victim's relative cries as rescue workers take part in an operation to salvage people from a collapsed building following an earthquake in the province of Van, eastern Turkey, on October 24, 2011. (ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)(VAN, Turkey) -- An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5.2 rattled parts of eastern Turkey early Tuesday morning.

The quake struck 18 miles northwest of the city of Van, just more than six miles below the earth’s surface, according to a report from the U.S. Geological Survey.

There was no immediate word on damage or injuries.

This most recent tremblor comes on the heels of last month’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake that left at least 600 people dead in the same region. An aftershock last week with a magnitude of 5.7 killed more than a dozen people and leveled at least 25 buildings, BBC News reported.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Another Earthquake Hits Turkey

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(ANKARA) – According to Turkish media and the U.S. Geological Survey, a magnitude 5.7 earthquake has hit 16 km south of the Turkish city of Van on Wednesday at 9:23 p.m. (2:23 p.m. EST).

Rescue workers are searching through the rubble for individuals who may be trapped.

A 7.2 earthquake hit the same Eastern Turkish city more than two weeks ago, killing 600 people.

Wednesday’s quake caused the collapse of eighteen buildings, including two hotels.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Turkey Earthquake: Two-Week-Old Baby Rescued from Rubble

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images(ERCIS, Turkey) -- Rescue workers pulled a two-week old baby out from the wreckage of a destroyed building Tuesday -- 47 hours after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey, killing hundreds of people.

A rescue worker in the eastern city of Ercis was seen on Turkish NTV handing the baby over to a medic.  The baby, named Azra Karaduman, was rescued from a seven-story apartment building that collapsed on Sunday after a powerful earthquake crippled parts of the country, including the towns of Van and Ercis.

The baby's mother and grandmother are reportedly still trapped inside the crumbled apartment building, but are believed to still be alive.  The BBC reported that rescuers were drilling through several layers of concrete to reach them.

The death toll from the devastating earthquake has now risen to 366, with 1,301 people injured, officials said Tuesday.

According to a statement released by the Disaster and Emergency Administration, the quake that struck Turkey's Van province Sunday afternoon has caused 2,262 buildings to collapse.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Search Continues for Turkey Earthquake Victims as Death Toll Tops 300

ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL, Turkey) -- As devastating as Sunday's earthquake was in southeastern Turkey, there is hope that the death toll in the two towns hardest hit by the disaster won't be as high as previously thought.

Rescue efforts picked up Monday as crews frantically used whatever equipment and manpower was available to sift through the rubble in Van and Ercis, where most of the 366 deaths have occurred.

Over 1,300 people were injured when the magnitude 7.2 temblor struck Turkey, a seismic region where earthquakes are common.

Despite this fact, buildings are often not built up to code, which explains why so many Turks were killed or badly hurt by Sunday's quake.  It's believed that more than one thousand structures collapsed.

Still, people trapped for more than 24 hours were being pulled out alive from the debris on Monday, giving their rescuers some semblance of optimism that others survived the catastrophe.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Turkey Earthquake: Survivors Found as Rescue Effort Continues

MUSTAFA OZER/AFP/Getty Images(ISTANBUL, Turkey) -- Rescuers scrabbling through the rubble of Turkey's powerful earthquake pulled five people to safety Monday, including two children and a man who used his cellphone to lead searchers to his location.

The rescues came 24 hours after a 7.2 magnitude quake hit Eastern Turkey Sunday, destroying buildings and killing nearly 272.

Powerful aftershocks with magnitudes of up to 6.0 were felt within 10 hours of the initial tremblor.

The Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin said that 80 multi-story buildings had collapsed in the town of Ercis, with people trapped in 40 of them.

"Rescue work is ongoing, especially at buildings where [rescuers] have determined survivors," Sahin said.

The death toll is expected to rise, but not as severely as originally thought.

"There could be around 100 people (in the rubble)," Sahin said. "But we are not talking about thousands."

With a population of 75,000, the town of Ercis was the hardest hit by the quake. About 55 miles south, Van also sustained major damage. Turkey is highly susceptible to earthquakes as it sits on major geological fault lines.

The quake, which hit at 1:41 p.m. local time Sunday, was upgraded from a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 to 7.3 magnitude. The U.S. Geological Survey later revised the magnitude to 7.2.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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