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Kobane's Children Learn Turkish to Sound of Shelling

If they let their eyes wander from the blackboard, a handful of children from Kobane can watch their town being bombarded from the windows of their new Turkish school.

The thud of battle for the besieged Syrian border town can be clearly heard in the classrooms of the village school just 400 meters from the frontier, where children struggling to get their heads around being made refugees, must now learn not just a new language but a new alphabet as well.

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EU Leaders Seriously Concerned at Cyprus, Turkey Tensions

European Union leaders will call on Turkey to respect Cyprus's sovereign rights, expressing "serious concern" at fresh tensions between the two countries over oil and gas exploration, a draft summit document showed Thursday.

The statement, to be issued at an EU summit in Brussels, comes after Cyprus on Monday slammed Turkey for sending a survey vessel into an area where the Cypriot government had already licensed exploratory drilling for oil and gas.

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Turkey to Allow 200 Iraqi Kurds to Cross into Embattled Kobane

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that 200 Iraqi Kurd peshmerga fighters would travel through Turkey to the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobane under assault by the Islamic State group.

The regional administration in northern Iraq and Syrian Kurdish group, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) "finally agreed according to information yesterday that 200 peshmerga would be going" to Kobane, Erdogan told reporters in the Latvian capital Riga.

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Malaysia Charges Three with Supporting Islamic State

A Malaysian court on Thursday charged three men with supporting the Islamic State after they were arrested while attempting to leave the country to join the militants fighting in Iraq and Syria.

The charges against the trio -- an architect and a technician, both 26, and a 42-year-old trader -- come amid concerns over the group's growing influence in Southeast Asia.

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Turkey Arrests Woman for 'Red Stilettos Koran' Tweet

A Turkish woman was arrested on suspicion of blasphemy and inciting religious hatred after allegedly stepping on the Koran and then posting the picture on Twitter, media reported on Wednesday.

The arrest came after Melih Gokcek, Ankara's controversial mayor from the ruling Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), launched a criminal complaint against the 38-year-old-woman, who uses the Twitter handle @kedibiti (cat lice).

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Iraqi Kurds Approve Deploying Forces to Kobane As Erdogan Says U.S. Airdrops 'Wrong'

Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers Wednesday approved the deployment of security forces to the Syrian border town of Kobane to help Kurds battling jihadists from the Islamic State group, the parliament speaker said.

"The Kurdistan parliament decided to send forces to Kobane with the aim of supporting the fighters there and protecting Kobane," Yusef Mohammed Sadeq said, according to footage of the session.

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Jailed PKK Leader Sees Better Chance for Peace Deal with Turkey

The jailed leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said he saw a better chance for a peace deal with Ankara, despite Kurdish protests over Turkish inaction in Syria.

"My hopes over a successful execution in this process have been increased," Abdullah Ocalan said in a message relayed on Tuesday by pro-Kurdish lawmakers who visited him in his prison on the island of Imrali near Istanbul.

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Turkey Says Kurdish Peshmerga Fighters Yet to Cross to Syria

Turkey said Tuesday Kurdish peshmerga fighters based in Iraq have yet to cross into Syria from Turkish territory, a day after announcing it was assisting their transit to join the battle for the town of Kobane.

"The peshmerga have yet to cross from Turkey to Kobane and this issue is still being discussed," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television, without giving further details.

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Istanbul University a Battleground for Rival Protests Over IS

"It was as if we were in the middle of a war zone," said 22-year-old drama student Aslihan Celebi as she described the scene of a violent anti-jihadist protest at Istanbul University.

The university has in the last few weeks been the center of violent clashes between leftist students denouncing the brutality of Islamic State (IS) jihadists and the group's sympathizers.

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Turkey Says Lawbreakers at Protests to Face Four Years in Jail

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu unveiled Tuesday details of a sweeping security reform branded as repressive by critics, saying those in possession of banned objects at protests would face up to four years in jail.

The changes were first announced last week by the Islamic-rooted government following deadly protests in Istanbul and the Kurdish-majority southeast over Turkey's Syria policy.

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