Turkey

Polls close in Turkey's constitutional referendum

KONFRONTASI-Counting is under way in Turkey after polls closed in a key referendum on whether the country should adopt a presidential system with extended executive powers.

The constitutional changes proposed in Sunday's vote seek to transform Turkey's governance from a parliamentary system to an executive presidency, significantly expanding the powers of the top office.

Unofficial results are expected later in the day.

Turkey ends 'Euphrates Shield' operation in Syria

KONFRONTASI-Turkey has officially ended the "Euphrates Shield" military operation it launched in Syria last August, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Wednesday, but suggested there might be more cross-border campaigns to come.

Turkey sent troops, tanks and warplanes to support Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels, push ISIL fighters away from its border and stop the advance of Kurdish militia fighters.

Erdogan: Turkey may hold EU accession referendum

KONFRONTASI-President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey may hold a referendum on whether to carry on with negotiations about joining the European Union.

Turkey, which applied for EU membership in 1987, began accession talks in 2005. Yet, negotiations have moved very slowly due to disagreements over Cyprus, human rights and other issues. 

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels clash with army in north

KONFRONTASI-Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups clashed with government forces near a city in northern Syria that the rebels recently captured from Islamic State, sources on both sides said, the second such confrontation in the region this month.

The fighting late on Sunday took place in an area where the sides are waging separate campaigns against Islamic State.

Turkish-led forces advance into outskirts of Syrian city

KONFRONTASI-Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military have captured the outskirts of the Islamic State-held city of al-Bab in northern Syria, the Turkish government and rebel sources said on Wednesday.

The advance threatens an important Islamic State stronghold, whose fall would deepen Turkish influence in an area of northern Syria where it has created a de facto buffer zone.

Erdogan urges nation to vote for stronger presidency as purge continues

KONFRONTASI - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on the nation to vote in favor of bolstering his presidential powers, stressing that failure to do so will strengthen militants trying to divide the country.

On Tuesday, Erdogan said that he is currently evaluating the legislation on the constitutional reforms package aimed at an executive presidential system in the country.

Turkish military says 18 Islamic State militants killed in clashes in Syria

KONFRONTASI-Turkey's military, backing Syrian rebels in a four-month-old operation against Islamic State militants in northern Syria, said on Tuesday that 18 of the jihadists had been killed and 37 wounded in clashes and artillery fire on Monday.

In a round-up of its operations over the past 24 hours, the army said its warplanes destroyed four Islamic State targets and Russian aircraft hit jihadists in Dayr Kak, 8 km (5 miles) southwest of the Islamic State-controlled town of al-Bab.[mr/reuters]

Islamic State claims Istanbul attack, gunman remains at large

KONFRONTASI-Islamic State claimed responsibility on Monday for a New Year's Day mass shooting in a packed Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, an attack carried out by a lone gunman who remains at large.

It described the Reina nightclub, where many foreigners as well as Turks were killed, as a gathering point for Christians celebrating their "apostate holiday". The attack, it said, was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.

Turkey and Russia 'agree' on nationwide Syria ceasefire

KONFRONTASI-Turkey and Russia have agreed on a country-wide ceasefire plan for Syria, except for areas where government forces are battling armed groups declared terrorist organisations by the UN.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reported on Wednesday that a ceasefire plan had been submitted to Syria's rival parties and could come into force as soon as midnight 22:00 GMT.

Citing a source who requested anonymity, Anadolu said "terrorist organisations" would be excluded from the deal.

Turkey's Erdogan blames Kurdish militants after car bomb kills 13, wounds 56

KONFRONTASI-A car bomb killed 13 soldiers and wounded 56 when it ripped through a bus carrying off-duty military personnel in the central Turkish city of Kayseri on Saturday, an attack President Tayyip Erdogan blamed on Kurdish militants.

The blast, a week after deadly twin bombings targeted police in Istanbul, is likely to further outrage a public smarting from a series of attacks this year - several claimed by Kurdish militants, others by Islamic State - and a failed coup in July.

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