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Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Secrets of WWI battlefield uncovered

Posted by Admin on November 9, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/secrets-of-wwi-battlefield-uncovered-1320800579-slideshow/file-2010-file-photo-shows-boundary-marker-defines-photo-072400026.html

An ongoing archaeological survey of a World War I site in Turkey has so far uncovered a maze of trenches, as well as about 200 artifacts that offer clues to life on a Gallipoli battlefield where troops faced off for eight months. The survey is one of the most extensive to date of an historic battlefield.

A Turkish army commander salutes with soldiers at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs

A Turkish army commander salutes with soldiers at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Historical Turkish army musical band of Mehter perform at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where

Historical Turkish army musical band of Mehter perform at the Turkish 57th Regiment Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Monday, April 25, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. A poster of the Regiment’s legendary commander during Gallipoli Campaign and Turkey’s founder Kemal Ataturk is in the background.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Australian and New Zealander soldiers march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign,

Australian and New Zealander soldiers march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs ga

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

FILE   In this April 25, 2008 file photo shows Australian and New Zealand soldiers standing guard during a dawn ceremony to mark the Anzac Day at Anzac Cove in the Gallipoli peninsula, northwestern Tu

Turkish war veterans march during a commemoration ceremony at the Turkish Memorial in Gallipoli, Turkey, Sunday, April 24, 2011. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. On the 96th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings, thousands of people from Australia, New Zealand, England and Turkey will gather to remember the World War I campaign that cost hundreds of thousands of lives. The annual Anzac Day ceremony remembers the forces of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps under British command who fought a bloody nine-month battle against Turkish forces on the Gallipoli peninsula in 1915.( AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a boundary marker which defines the area of the ANZAC Battlefield according to the Treaty of Lausanne, in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a boundary marker which defines the area of the ANZAC Battlefield according to the Treaty of Lausanne, in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations..( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a typical trench in the Johnston's Jolly area In Gallipoli, western Turkey.The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to re

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a typical trench in the Johnston’s Jolly area In Gallipoli, western Turkey.The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations.( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

FILE  This 2010 file photo shows a subsided tunnel in the Johnston's Jolly area in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to

FILE This 2010 file photo shows a subsided tunnel in the Johnston’s Jolly area in Gallipoli, western Turkey. The World War I battlefield of the Gallipoli campaign, where throngs gather each April to remember the fallen, is a place of lore, an echo of ancient warfare on the same soil. Now researchers are mapping dugouts, trenches and tunnels in the most extensive archaeological survey of a site whose slaughter helped forge the identity of young nations. ( AP Photo/ Courtesy of the Australian War Memorial, File)

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Turkey earthquake death toll rises to 534

Posted by Admin on October 28, 2011

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/turkey-earthquake-death-toll-rises-to-534/196734-2.html

Posted on Oct 27, 2011 at 05:31pm IST

Ercis: Rain and snow on Thursday compounded difficulties for thousands rendered homeless in the powerful earthquake that hit eastern Turkey, and the government said the death toll has gone up to 534.

The prime minister’s center for crisis and emergency management said 2,300 people were injured and 185 were rescued from the rubble.

Meanwhile, a moderate earthquake, measuring 5.4 according to Turkey’s Kandilli seismology center, hit the neighboring province of Hakkari on Thursday, sending people rushing out of buildings in fear and panic. No damage was reported but NTV television said some people were slightly injured while trying to escape through windows.

That temblor was centered 90 miles (150 kilometers) south of the epicenter of Sunday’s devastating quake.

Turkish authorities delivered more tents after acknowledging initial problems in the distribution of aid for survivors of the 7.2-magnitude quake that shattered at least 2,200 buildings on Sunday.

Foreign assistance also began arriving after Turkey said it would accept help to house survivors through the winter. Israel, which has a troubled political relationship with Turkey, sent emergency housing units, blankets and clothing. Germany also dispatched supplies, including tent heating units. Britain said it was dispatching 1,000 tents to shelter some 5,500 people. Russia and Ukraine also contributed.

Some media reports had said rescuers pulled out a 19-year-old alive from the rubble on Thursday, but Mustafa Ozden, the head of the team that brought out the young man, told The Associated Press that he was rescued on Tuesday.

Rain gave way to intermittent snow, deepening the hardship of thousands of people either rendered homeless in the powerful earthquake or too afraid to return indoors amid aftershocks that continued to rattle the area.

In the worst-hit city of Ercis, families who managed to obtain tents shared them with others. Some people spent a fourth night outdoors huddled under blankets in front of campfires, either waiting for news of the missing or keeping watch over damaged homes.

Sermin Yildirim, who was eight months pregnant, was with her twins and husband. They shared a tent with a family of four who were distant relatives. Her apartment in a three-story building was not damaged but the family was reluctant to return.

“It’s getting colder, my kids are coughing. I don’t know how long we will have to stay here,” Yildirim said. “We were not able to get a tent. We are waiting to get our own.”

The Red Crescent organization and several pro-Islamic groups set up kitchens and dished out soup or meals of rice and beans.

People were seen gathering pieces of wood to light campfires or stove-heaters.

Muhlise Bakan, 41, was not happy to share her tent with her husband’s second wife, Hamide.

“I have four children, she has five,” Bakan said. “We were sleeping in separate rooms at our house, and now we are sleeping side by side here.”

However, she acknowledged the two women were now “closer” as they struggle together in hard times. Turkish law does not recognize second marriages, but still some men in the country’s southeast marry more then one wife in religious ceremonies that are accepted among conservatives.

Health problems increased the hardship for some quake survivors.

“I am very sick, I need medicine,” said Kevsel Astan, 40, who had a kidney transplant more than four years ago.

She said she was being treated at the state hospital until the quake struck. The damaged hospital has been evacuated and doctors are focusing on emergency cases.

Burke Cinar, a sociologist with a Turkish foundation, said the group was trying to get tents for the families of 15 children with leukemia in Ercis. She said about 100 leukemia patients live in quake-hit Van province.

Turkey’s weather agency predicted intermittent snowfall for the next three days.

More than a dozen television stations organized a joint aid telethon, amassing just under 62 million Turkish Lira ($37 million) in aid for the region.

Searchers sifted through piles of debris, recovering more bodies. They included two dead teenage sisters and their parents who were holding hands, and a mother clutching her baby boy, according to media reports.

Two teachers and a university student were rescued from ruined buildings on Wednesday, but there were no signs of survivors elsewhere and excavators were clearing debris from some collapsed buildings. One of the teachers later died in hospital, NTV reported on Thursday.

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Syrian tanks shell Latakia, death toll reaches 34

Posted by Admin on August 16, 2011

http://news.yahoo.com/syrian-tanks-shell-latakia-death-toll-reaches-34-000950271.html

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis | Reuters – 2 hrs 16 mins ago

Smoke rises in the city of Latakia

Smoke rises in the city of Latakia August 14, 2011. REUTERS/Handout

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian tanks opened fire on poor Sunni districts in Latakia on Tuesday, residents said, the fourth day of a military assault on the northern port city aimed at crushing protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

“Heavy machinegun fire and explosions were hitting al-Raml al-Filistini (home to Palestinian refugees) and al-Shaab this morning. This subsided and now there is the sound of intermittent tank fire,” one of the residents, who lives near the two districts, told Reuters by phone.

The Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union, a grassroots activists’ group, said six people, including Ahmad Soufi, 22, were killed in Latakia on Monday, bringing the civilian death toll there to 34, including a two-year-old girl.

Assad, from Syria‘s minority Alawite sect, has broadened a military assault against towns and cities where demonstrators have been demanding his removal since the middle of March.

The crackdown coincided with the August 1 start of the Muslim Ramadan fast, when nightly prayers became the occasion for more protests against 41 years of Baathist party rule.

Syrian forces have already stormed Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre by the military, the eastern city of Deir al-Zor, and several northwestern towns in a province bordering Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Assad to halt such military operations now or face unspecified consequences.

“This is our final word to the Syrian authorities, our first expectation is that these operations stop immediately and unconditionally,” Davutoglu said in Turkey’s strongest warning yet to its once close ally and neighbor.

“If these operations do not stop, there will be nothing left to say about the steps that would be taken,” he told a news conference in Ankara, without elaborating.

Turkish leaders, who have repeatedly urged Assad to end violence and pursue reforms, have grown frustrated. Davutoglu held talks with the Syrian leader in Damascus only last week.

The Syrian Revolution Coordinating Union said troops also assaulted villages in the Houla Plain north of the city of Homs on Monday, killing eight people as they raided houses and made arrests. The organization said four people were killed in Homs during similar attacks.

FAMILIAR PATTERN

In a now-familiar pattern, tanks and armored vehicles deployed around dissident neighborhoods of Latakia and essential services were cut before security forces began raids, arrests and bombardment, residents said.

“People are trying to flee but they cannot leave Latakia because it is besieged. The best they can do is to move from one area to another within the city,” another witness said on Monday.

Thousands of people fled a Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, some fleeing gunfire and others leaving on orders from the Syrian authorities, a U.N. official said.

“Between 5,000 and 10,000 have fled, we don’t know where these people are so it’s very worrying,” said Christopher Gunness, spokesman for the UNRWA agency which cares for Palestinian refugees. “We have a handful of confirmed deaths and nearly 20 injured.”

The Palestinian presidency in the West Bank city of Ramallah urged Damascus to safeguard the lives of Palestinian refugees in al-Raml camp in Latakia.

Another grassroots activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, said it had the names of at least 260 civilians, including 14 women and two infants, killed this month.

It said the actual toll was likely to be far higher with scant information so far from the hard-hit city of Hama, still besieged by troops and secret police.

Syria has expelled most independent media since the unrest began, making it hard to verify reports from the country.

Navy ships shelled southern parts of Latakia on Sunday, residents and rights groups said.

Nightly anti-Assad rallies after Ramadan prayers have drawn around 20,000 people in different areas of the city, said one witness, a university student.

The official state news agency SANA denied Latakia had been shelled from the sea and said two police and four unidentified armed men were killed when security forces pursued “armed men who were terrorizing residents … and using machineguns and explosives from rooftops and from behind barricades.”

The U.S. State Department said on Monday it was unable to confirm that the Syrian navy had shelled Latakia.

“However, we are able to confirm that there is amour in the city and that there is firing on innocents again in the pattern of carnage that you have seen in other places,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

ALAWITE ELEMENT

Unlike most Syrian cities, which are mainly Sunni, Latakia has a large Alawite population, partly because Assad and his father before him encouraged Alawites to move from their nearby mountain region by offering them cheap land and jobs in the public sector and security apparatus.

Latakia port has played a key role in the Assad family’s domination of the economy, with Bashar al-Assad’s late uncle Jamil having been in virtual control of the facility, and a new generation of family members and their friends taking over.

Assad replaced the governor of the northern province of Aleppo, SANA reported, after pro-democracy protests spread to the provincial capital, Syria’s main commercial hub.

“The minority regime is playing with fire. We are coming to a point where the people in the street would rather take any weapon they can put their hand on and fight than be shot at or arrested and humiliated,” said one activist.

“We are seeing civil war in Syria, but it is one-sided. The hope is for street protests and international pressure to bring down the regime before it kills more Syrians and drives them to take up arms,” he added, asking not to be named.

Rights groups say at least 12,000 have been detained during the uprising. Thousands of political prisoners were already in jail. Amnesty International says it has listed 1,700 civilians killed since mid-March. Washington has put the toll at 2,000. Damascus says 500 police and soldiers have been killed.

The assaults by Syrian security forces have drawn increasing condemnation from the West, Turkey and more recently from Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Washington wants Europe and China to consider sanctions on Syria’s vital oil and gas industry. Germany called for more European Union sanctions against Syria on Monday and urged the U.N. Security Council to discuss the crackdown again this week.

(Additional reporting by Tom Perry in Ramallah, Suleiman al-Khalidi in Amman, Reporting by Jonathon Burch, Tulay Karadeniz and Ibon Villelabeitia in Ankara; editing by Michael Roddy)

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