Turkish riot police used water cannons and tear gas Saturday to clear protesters camped out in an Istanbul park that has become ground zero in anti-government demonstrations targeting the policies of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
At least 29 people were injured in clashes as police took Taksim Square and adjacent Gezi Park, Istanbul Gov. Huseyin Avni Mutlu said in remarks carried on Turkish television stations.
Police pushed protesters onto side streets, where many - with their faces covered with masks because of tear gas and smoke - refused to leave and appeared to be reorganizing.
The move came shortly after police warned demonstrators who have occupied Istanbul's last remaining green space for more than two weeks to depart voluntarily or face being ejected.
Trade unions claiming 240,000 members are throwing their weight behind anti-government demonstrations across Turkey.
The KESK confederation of public sector workers was calling a two-day strike starting Tuesday to protest what it called the "fascism" of the governing party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has become one of the focal points of demonstrators' anger.
They have united demonstrators from across the political spectrum against a common foe: security forces who unleashed tear gas and water cannons on them in response to what had been largely peaceful protests against Erdogan's government.
The Turkish Medical Association claimed that at least 3,195 people had been injured in clashes Sunday and Monday. Only 26 of them were in serious or critical condition, it said.FULL STORY
[Updated at 2 p.m. ET] Israel has amended its statement on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's apology to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan over the 2010 Israeli commando attack that killed nine people on a Gaza-bound flotilla. The new statement removes a previous mention of Netanyahu and Erdogan agreeing to normalize relations between the two countries and dispatch ambassadors.
[Updated at 12:46 p.m. ET] Israel and Turkey also have decided to normalize their fractured diplomatic ties, agreeing to return ambassadors to their posts, the office of Israel's prime minister said Friday in a statement confirming the flotilla raid apology.
[Posted at 11:28 a.m. ET] Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan on Friday to apologize for an Israeli commando raid in 2010 on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks, two U.S. senior administration officials told reporters traveling with President Barack Obama in the Middle East.
Netanyahu made the call during an airport meeting with Obama before the U.S. president departed Israel after his first visit to the Jewish state since taking office in 2009.FULL STORY
Turkish police on Sunday arrested a man suspected of killing American tourist Sarai Sierra, whose body was found last month, according to local authorities.
The suspect, who was identified in late February as "Ziya T.," was captured in the southern province of Hatay, where he has family, a provincial statement said.
Sierra, a mother and amateur photographer from Staten Island, New York, went missing January 22 while on a solo trip. Her body was found February 2 near ancient stone walls in Istanbul, according to the semi-official Anatolian news agency.
Police suspect the 33-year-old was killed at a different location from where she was found. Sierra went to Turkey on January 7 and was due to return home January 22.
Kurdish militants have released eight Turkish civil servants who were kidnapped in eastern Turkey and held hostage in northern Iraq, according to Turkey's semi-official Anadolu news agency.
The Kurdish separatist group PKK had kidnapped the eight in various eastern Turkish provinces on different dates, Anadolu reported.
Adil Kurt, a member of Turkey's Parliament, said Wednesday that the eight released hostages were in a convoy heading from Iraq to the Turkish border and were expected to arrive in Turkey Wednesday afternoon.FULL STORY
A statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has caught the attention of the U.S. State Department.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry plans to express his strong concerns on Friday about the Turkish prime minister's remarks equating Zionism with crimes against humanity, a senior State Department official said.
"Obviously we strongly disagree with that notion," the official said, calling the statement "offensive and wrong." He was referring to Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks Wednesday at a forum in Vienna, Austria. This comes as the once-extensive cooperation between Turkey and Israel on trade and tourism and even military issues has broken down.FULL STORY
Turkish police have identified and are looking for a man suspected of killing American tourist Sarai Sierra, whose body was found earlier this month, CNN affiliate CNN Turk reported Thursday.
Police are looking for the suspect, identified only as "Ziya T," in the southern province of Hatay, where his family lives, CNN Turk reported.
Sierra, of New York, traveled alone to Istanbul on January 7. She was reported missing after she did not arrive on a return flight January 22, and Turkish police found her body near ancient stone walls in Istanbul's Sarayburnu district this month.FULL STORY
The family of an American woman who went missing in Istanbul nearly two weeks ago are in mourning after learning that Turkish police found her body Saturday.
Steven Sierra wept during a phone call with CNN, as he waited in Istanbul to go with police to identify the body of his wife, Sarai Sierra.
Turkish police found the New York woman's body near ancient stone walls in Istanbul's Sarayburnu district, the semi-official Anatolian Agency reported. Police suspected she had been killed at another location.FULL STORY
[Updated at 11:59 a.m. ET] Istanbul police identify the bomber as Ecevit Shanli, a member of DHKP-C, a Marxist-Leninist terror group.
[Updated at 9:19 a.m. ET] U.S. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland issues a statement on the attack: "We can confirm a terrorist blast at a checkpoint on the perimeter of our embassy compound in Ankara, Turkey, at 1:13 p.m. local time. We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation. We will share more information as it becomes available."
[Updated at 8:10 a.m. ET] The person killed in the bombing outside the U.S. embassy is a Turkish embassy guard, a senior U.S. official tells CNN. Two other people were wounded and neither is American, the official said.
[Updated at 7:38 a.m. ET] The blast happened shortly after 1 p.m. local time. The U.S. Embassy would normally be open for business at that hour, CNN's Ivan Watson reports.
[Updated at 7:31 a.m. ET] Video from the scene shows ambulances in the streets near the embassy. Security forces have closed off the area. U.S. officials have been unable to confirm details of the attack.
[Updated at 7:20 a.m. ET] Images from CNN sister network CNN Turk show a hole in a wall of a building across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey.
[Updated at 7:05 a.m. ET] One person was killed and two others were wounded by a suicide bomber who blew himself up outside the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, according to Ankara police.
[Posted at 6:45 a.m. ET] CNN is working to confirm reports of an explosion near the U.S. Embassy in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey's semi-official news agency Anadolu is reporting the blast. Ambulances arrived to pick up injured people, the report said.
Sarai Sierra followed her passion to Istanbul - a budding photographer lured by the possibilities the picturesque, ancient city has to offer.
But the day before she was supposed to fly back home, the 33-year-old mother of two went missing.
Sierra had taken up photography last year, posting her work to the photo sharing app Instagram and quickly amassing 3,000 followers.FULL STORY
Police in France have arrested a man in connection with the killing of three Kurdish activists in Paris this month, prosecutors said Monday.
The suspect, Omer Guney, is a 30-year-old Turkish national who, prosecutors said, has been a member of the Kurdish nationalist PKK for two years - the same group co-founded by one of the victims.FULL STORY
The German parliament approved Friday the deployment of German Patriot anti-aircraft missiles to Turkey, with 461 Bundestag deputies voting in favor of the deployment, 86 against and eight abstentions.
The decision followed an earlier announcement that the United States intends to deploy 400 troops and two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey in the coming weeks to defend against potential threats from Syria.FULL STORY
The United States is to deploy 400 troops and two Patriot air-defense missile batteries to Turkey in the coming weeks to defend against potential threats from Syria, defense officials said Friday.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed the order en route to Turkey, where he is visiting Incirlik Air Base, Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters.FULL STORY
People were celebrating a wedding when a car bomb went off nearby Sunday, leaving an 11-year-old child dead, in the Turkish town of Semdinli.
Another 18 people were wounded in the attack in Hakkari Province, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
A car exploded as an armored police vehicle was passing by, according to the semi-official Anadolu news agency.
"Because this despicable attack occurred near an area with a wedding unfortunately there were civilian casualties," said Erdogan.
The injured were taken to nearby hospitals.
The attack in Turkey's Hakkari Province also wounded 18 people, officials said.
At least five people were killed and a dozen injured when a shell landed on a house in the Turkish town of Akcakale, near the Syrian border, a local mayor and the semi-official Anadolu news agency said Wednesday.
The artillery shell was fired from the Syrian district of Tel Abayad, according to Anadolu. However, it is not yet clear what military force or group launched it.
The incident may worsen already tense relations between Turkey and neighboring Syria, which is wracked by an 18-month-long conflict.
Musa Ozer, who lives next to the house where the artillery shell landed, was crying as he spoke on the phone with CNN.
"The bomb fell on us. My head's really not in the right place right now," he said. "My uncle was injured and his wife died. What am I to make of this?"
Local neighborhood mayor Salih Aydogdu said those killed by the shell were three children, their mother and a neighbor.FULL STORY
[Updated at 9:22 a.m. ET] Manaf Tlas, a Sunni general in Syria's elite Republican Guards, has defected, a Western diplomat said Friday, a stunning blow to the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Tlas, the son of a former Syrian defense minister and cousin of a first lieutenant in al-Assad's army, is possibly the most senior Sunni in a power structure dominated by the Alawite minority.
"He's an inside confidant of Assad. So it counts that even an insider thinks it's time to go," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The official was not authorized to speak to the media.
Syria has been engulfed in nearly 16 months of unrest. Thousands have died as Syrian government assaults against protesters led to a nationwide uprising.FULL STORY
The Syrian president says his country's opposition movement has failed to duplicate the kinds of mass protests that unfolded in other Arab nations.
"They wanted to bring people out into the streets in large numbers just like in Egypt and Tunisia," President Bashar al-Assad said in the latest installment of an interview published Thursday in the Turkish newspaper, Cumhuriyet.
"However they were not successful."FULL STORY
Syria and Turkey leveled sharp criticism at one another Wednesday, a spurt of angry rhetoric in the aftermath of Syria's shootdown of a Turkish jet last month.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, speaking in an interview published in the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet Wednesday, lambasted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for interfering in Syrian internal politics. And Turkey's foreign minister disputed some of al-Assad's assertions Tuesday about the downing of the jet.
Syria's shootdown of an F-4 Turkish Phantom jet intensified the growing animosity between the two countries, whose once-close relationship has eroded in the past 16 months over the al-Assad regime's fierce crackdown against opposition forces.FULL STORY
Disjointed factions of the Syrian opposition are meeting Monday in Istanbul in an effort to form a unified voice ahead of the next week's "Friends of Syria" conference.
Turkey and Qatar urged opposition groups to attend the conference, which they said "will bring all major opposition groups and figures committed to a peaceful political transition in Syria," according to an invitation sent to prospective attendees.
The meeting comes as the reported death toll from a government crackdown mounts inside Syria. At least 14 people were killed across Syria on Monday, the opposition Syrian Network for Human Rights said.
The goal of Monday's conference is "for all forces and parties of the opposition not to be a union, but at least to have a united purpose," said Amar Qurabi, leader of the National Change Current opposition group.FULL STORY