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Strong earthquake hits Turkey

An earthquake in Turkey’s kills more than 50 people and injures at least 50 others.

The earthquake occurred on 8 March 2010 at 02:32 UTC. The epicentre of the quake was Başyurt in Elâzığ province. According to global news channels, at least 57 people were killed.

Another 100 or more have been hospitalised, many after falling and jumping from buildings during the quake. A stampede through the streets led to further injuries. The death toll is continuing to rise. Read More…

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Turkey recalls US ambassador

A United States Congressional panel has passed a resolution describing Turkey’s killing of Armenians in World War I as genocide, over objections from the White House.

The panel, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, passed the resolution, which calls on President Barack Obama to “characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide,” by a vote of 23 to 22. The passage came even after the White House warned the panel that the vote would harm talks between Turkey and Armenia, and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked the panel not to proceed with the vote. Additionally, a Turkish parliamentary delegation aimed at convincing panel members to defeat the resolution also had gone to Washington to plead their case. Read More…

Turkish military officers charged over coup plot

A Turkish court on Wednesday charged and jailed seven senior Turkish military officers for allegedly plotting several years ago to overthrow the Turkish government.

The officers consist of four admirals, an army general, and two staff colonels. Among them were Admiral Ramazan Cem Gundeniz, Admiral Aziz Cakmak, retired General Mehmet Kaya Varol, retired Admiral Ali Deniz Kutluk, and retired Admiral Ozer Karabulut. Also arrested were retired General İbrahim Fırtına, who was Commander of the Air Force from 2003 until his retirement in 2005, and retired Admiral Ozden Ornek, Commander of the Navy, also from 2003 to 2005. The court released six other officers. Read More…

On this day February 9, 1934

Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia signed a treaty aimed at maintaining the geopolitical status quo in the region following World War I.

The signatories agreed to suspend all disputed territorial claims against each other and their immediate neighbors following the aftermath of the war and a rise in various regional ethnic minority tensions. Read More…

On this day January 20, 1921

The first Turkish Constitution was ratified by the Grand National Assembly, making fundamental changes in Turkey by enshrining the principle of national sovereignty.

turkiye_armasiThe Turkish Constitution of 1921 was the first constitution to be ratified by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and remained in force until the ratification of the Constitution of 1924 on April 20, 1924.

It was a relatively short text consisting of twenty-three articles, the first nine articles laying out the principles upon which the state would be founded. It delegated the executive and legislative prerogatives to “the only true delegate of the sovereignty of the Nation”, the National Assembly that was to be elected by direct popular vote. Read More…

Istanbul, Europe’s largest city, named European Capital of Culture for 2010

Istanbul, named European Capital of Culture for 2010, celebrated with spectacular fireworks displays, light shows, cultural performances, and concerts, which were arranged at seven locations across the city, symbolising the seven hills on which ancient Istanbul was built.

View of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus in Istanbul Turkey

The European Union chose Istanbul, Turkey’s and Europe’s largest city, as one of the three European Capitals of Culture for 2010 in 2006, along with Pécs in Hungary, and Essen in Germany. With its rich heritage and urban life, Istanbul is already recognized as one of the world’s great cultural capitals. Read More…

Turkey bans pro-Kurdish party

Turkey’s constitutional court has banned the Democratic Society Party (DTP), the country’s largest pro-Kurdish political party.

The court found it guilty on Friday of supporting violence and being linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party, a Kurdish rebel group better known as the PKK.

PKK Flag

The move has sparked violent protests across the country and caused the DTP to announce a boycott of parliament.

The party’s two leaders, Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk, were banned from politics for five years and expelled from the Turkish parliament.

On Saturday, Türk announced that the remainder of DTP’s parliament members would also pull out. They had held 21 seats out of a total of 550. Read More…