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Turkey surrenders to snow

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General NewsLife has been paralysed in Istanbul, a city of 12 million, with snow playing havoc with traffic and schools called off for the day.
December 20ó Three people have frozen to death in provinces in central and eastern Turkey after a severe cold weather front swept across the country, causing temperatures to plummet.
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Schroeder warns on battle with Turkey

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PoliticsBERLIN - Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned Thursday of the danger of a "battle of cultures" over Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union. He told parliament it was "wrong and dangerous" to make differences between Christianity and Islam an issue over membership. The "historical experience and political reality" showed that Turkey was able to take its place in Europe, Schroeder said in a government statement on last week's E.U. summit in Copenhagen.
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Turkey\'s President Veteos Law to Let Erdogan Run

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PoliticsTurkey\'s president has vetoed constitutional amendments that would have allowed popular politician Recep Tayyip Erdogan to run for parliament and to become prime minister.
In a statement Thursday, President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said the Turkish constitution cannot be altered to benefit one person.
The president sent the amendments back to the parliament to debate a second time.
Mr. Erdogan is the leader of the governing Islamic-based Justice and Development Party (AKP). He was prohibited from running in November\'s parliamentary elections because of a 1998 conviction for inciting religious hatred.
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Turkish historian killed outside his home

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A Turkish historian who spoke out against Islamic groups was shot and killed outside his home Wednesday, news reports said.
Necip Hablemitoglu, 48, a history lecturer at Ankara University, was shot in the head twice as he left his car and walked toward his home, private NTV television reported. He died instantly.
Police cordoned off the street in the high-income residential district and were looking for the attacker or attackers who fled the scene.
The motive for the killing was under investigation. But NTV said Hablemitoglu had reported receiving several death threats before the attack.
Suspected Islamic militants have carried out attacks on pro-secular intellectuals in the past.
In 1999, Ahmet Taner Kislali, a journalist, political science professor and former culture minister who frequently condemned radical Islam in Turkey was killed in a car bomb attack outside his home. Pro-secular investigative journalist Ugur Mumcu was killed by a car bomb in 1993.
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Gul Receives Azra Akin

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ANKARA - Prime Minister Abdullah Gul received on Thursday Azra Akin who became Miss World in the 2002 Miss World beauty contest held in London, Britain. Gul congratulated Akin and wished her success. When Gul was recalled that Akin can speak five languages, he said that not only Akin's beauty but also her language and education are effective and this drew a good image.
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Last Tango On Cyprus

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MILLIYET- Columnist Sami Kohen comments on the Cyprus issue. A summary of his column is as follows:

The two leaders of Cyprus, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas and Greek Cypriot leader Glafcos Clerides, will in the end have to return to the negotiations table. With the entire world waiting for their next moves, they canít avoid getting back together. They will hold a series of meetings to discuss UN Secretary-General Kofi Annanís Cyprus plan. The important question this time is whether the two leaders will be able to reach a settlement before Feb. 28, the date the EU set as a deadline at last weekís Copenhagen summit. Although our past experiences preclude optimism on these new gatherings, one canít deny that there are new factors this time, which are likely to force these leaders to try harder for a permanent solution than they have previously.
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Turkish Army Admits Preparations for Iraq War

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PoliticsANKARA -- The Turkish Army said on Wednesday it was making \"routine preparations\" for a possible war in Iraq, but denied any mass troop deployment along the border with its southeastern neighbor.

The general staff said in a statement that it was \"natural\" for the army to \"review its preparations and carry out training exercises and maneuvers\" in light of growing speculation concerning a U.S.-led military operation against Baghdad.
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Baykal: Government Has Started To Give In On Cyprus Issue

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ANKARA - Republican People\'s Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal on Tuesday critized Cyprus policy of the government stating that, \'\'government has started to give in on Cyprus issue.\'\'
Speaking at his party group meeting, Baykal critized Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis because of the statements he made about Cyprus.
Baykal said the decision to make Turkey wait to start negotiations has not been in question for any of the 27 countries so far which are members or whose candidacy has become definite.
Mentioning the reasons of the decision, Baykal said one of the reasons was the doubt felt over the \'\'sincerity\'\' of the legal arrangements which Turkey made on the way to democratization.
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Statement: Congressman Robert Wexler

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Assembly of Turkish American Associations 23rd Annual Convention
December 13, 2002

It is an honor to be here today on behalf of the Congressional Caucus on U.S.-Turkish Relations and Turkish Americans. I want to thank the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), especially their President Mr. Kaymachalan, for this opportunity to address all of you here who have traveled from across the United States to attend the Assembly\'s 23rd annual convention. I also want to welcome many distinguished and honored guests, including representatives from the government of Turkey, leaders from Turkey\'s dynamic business community, representatives of the Bush administration, foreign dignitaries, and my colleagues in the United States Congress.
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Tensions increase with Armenia

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PoliticsArmenia sentences journalist to 10 years for spying for Turkey. Armenian, Greek, Greek Cypriot and Kurdish lobbies in the US ask Bush to change his Turkish policies radically
Armenia sentenced Armenian journalist Murat Bodzholian to 10 years prison.
According to Russian news agency Interfax, Bodzholian was sentenced due to alleged contact with the Turkish secret service since 1998 -- the date he started working for the Turkish Anatolia News Agency as a reporter.
Bodzholian is accused of informing the Turkish secret service about Armenia\'s bilateral relations with Georgia, Iran and Russia. He is also accused of visiting Turkey frequently to meet the secret service.
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