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By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Ahmet Davutoğlu
Turkey's recent decision to go with China over the U.S. to buy its first long-range anti-missile system has rankled the U.S., a NATO ally, but the decision was based on objective criteria, not politics, the Turkish foreign minister said Monday.
The Obama administration assumed a careful posture Wednesday toward the uprisings that have engulfed cities across Turkey, where authorities are seeking to calm protests that erupted when police cracked down on demonstrators earlier this week.
Syria on Sunday rejected Turkey's allegations that it was behind two car bombs that killed 46 people in Turkey. Turkey's prime minister vowed Sunday his country won't be drawn into Syria's civil war, despite twin car bombings the government believes were carried out by a group of Turks with close ties to pro-government groups in Syria.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday urged Turkey to speed up and cement an American-brokered rapprochement with Israel, and he explored with Palestinian officials new ways to relaunch Mideast peace efforts.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry urged Turkish leaders Sunday to speedily restore full diplomatic relations with Israel, two American allies the U.S. sees as anchors of stability in a Middle East wracked by Syria's civil war, Arab Spring political upheavals and the potential threat posed by Iran's nuclear program.
U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Sunday railed against the "cowardly" terrorists responsible for the attack that killed five Americans in Afghanistan, including a "selfless, idealistic" young diplomat on a mission to donate books to students.
Intense clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters near the country's second-largest airport killed around 150 people in recent days, anti-regime activists said Friday, pointing to the significance both sides in the country's civil war place on controlling key infrastructure.
Gunmen loyal to opposite sides in neighboring Syria's civil war battled on Wednesday in the streets of a northern Lebanese city where two days of clashes have killed at least six people and wounded more than 50, officials said.
Frantic efforts to reach a cease-fire in the 7-day-old Israel-Gaza conflict appeared stalled late Tuesday, after negotiators throughout the day confidently predicted an imminent truce and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rushed to Israel to appeal for peace.
Diplomats scrambled Monday to cobble together a cease-fire in the 6-day-old conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, as both sides continued to pound each other with deadly airstrikes and rockets.
Syria's air force bombed a rebel-held region near the border with Turkey for a second day Tuesday, killing at least one person and wounding three others, an official said.
An Israeli tank struck a Syrian army vehicle Monday after a mortar shell landed on Israeli-held territory, the military said, in the first direct confrontation between the countries since the Syrian uprising broke out, sharpening fears that Israel could be drawn into the civil war next door.
Turkey and Germany on Friday threw their weight behind calls for a Syrian cease-fire during a Muslim holiday next week as the international envoy for the conflict arrived in Damascus to push for the plan.
An international human rights group said Sunday it has obtained new evidence that Syrian troops are using cluster bombs — widely banned munitions that pose a grave risk to civilians because they burst into bomblets over large areas and often linger on the ground, detonating only when touched.
Turkey has barred its airspace to Syrian civilian flights, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Sunday.
"Of course you always prefer to have defense systems from our allies, from NATO, and especially from the United States," Mr. Davutoglu said. "[But] we expect joint production by our allies."
The decision was made because the U.S. refuses to jointly-produce the system, which is the top requirement for Turkey, he told a small group of reporters at the Turkish Embassy Monday afternoon.