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By Brahma Chellaney
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Abdullah Gül
Recent steps taken by the government of Turkey suggest it may be ready to ditch the NATO club of democracies for a Russian and Chinese gang of authoritarian states.
Turkey's Islamist prime minister, barred from seeking a fourth term, is exploring ways to create a strongman presidency and run for the powerful new office next year, but critics fear his political engineering could undermine the country's secular democratic tradition.
International officials engaged in a two-pronged effort Wednesday to engage Iran about concerns that the country may have worked on nuclear weapons. A U.N. team is seeking access to a site linked to such suspected activity, and European Union negotiators is looking to restart talks with Tehran meant to ease such fears.
A Turkish military helicopter carrying soldiers on a mission against Kurdish rebels crashed because of bad weather on Saturday, killing all 17 troops onboard, officials said.
Turkey's parliament has passed legislation to keep doctors from performing unnecessary cesarean births after the government claimed some doctors were seeking to earn more money by pushing women into unnecessary surgery with potentially serious consequences.
President Obama's administration is inclined to sell armed drones to Turkey but has to convince Congress first, Turkey's president told reporters after a meeting with the U.S. leader.
Turkey's defense minister said Monday that the world should treat Kurdish terrorists the way it has treated Al Qaeda, as he and other Turkish officials welcomed the death of Osama bin Laden.
When Israeli Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom left his post as foreign minister in 2006, his staff checked to see which country's counterpart he had met with most often. The answer, as it turned out, was not the United States, or a European Union state, and not one of Israel's Arab neighbors.
As Turkey's Kurds struggle for recognition of their ethnicity, their embattled Kurdish language is making a comeback that is testing Turkish society's tolerance of diversity.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday that voters have approved changes to a military-era constitution in a referendum widely seen as a vote of confidence for his government.
ISTANBUL, Turkey. -- Evangelical Christians helped President Bush win the White House twice and in return, the president set up an Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives in 2001 to help religious groups compete with secular organizations for federal grants to provide social services. The Freedom From Religion Foundation sued the White House-sponsored initiative, but on July 25, the Supreme Court decided that it breaks no laws, allowing the White House to continue advocating on behalf of faith-based charities. There is a debate about whether this effectively dwindles the separation of church and state, and whether the Bush-appointed judges are allowing religion to guide their decision-making.
At the end of a meeting aimed at easing tensions and increasing cooperation between the governments in Kabul and Islamabad, Mr. Gul said both had "renewed trust and are determined to work together."
President Abdullah Gul said the soldiers were on their way "to help their friends" in an operation against the rebels who have escalated attacks in recent months, adding the incident would not deter Turkey from its determination to fight the rebels.