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Merkel to Visit Turkey for Talks on Migrant Crisis

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will travel to Ankara next week for talks with Turkey's prime minister, her spokesman said Friday, as she seeks to cut the flow of refugees into the EU.

Merkel will meet with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday to discuss "the further implementation of the EU-Turkey action plan" agreed in November to reduce the number of asylum seekers arriving in the bloc.

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Migration Flow from Turkey Must Be Reduced, Say France, Germany

The huge flow of migrants and refugees to Europe via Turkey must be slowed, the interior ministers of France and Germany said Friday after inspecting registration facilities in Greece.

The goal "cannot just be to register arriving refugees and to relocate them equitably (but above all) to reduce the flow," German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said at the close of the two-day visit.

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Russia Accuses Turkey of Preparing to Invade Syria

Russia on Thursday accused Turkey of actively preparing to invade Syria, saying it had spotted troops and military equipment on the border with the war-torn country.

"We have serious grounds to suspect Turkey is in intensive preparations for an armed invasion of the territory of a sovereign state -- the Syrian Arab Republic," the defense ministry said in a statement.

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Turkey Court Overturns Verdict over Protester's Killing

A Turkish appeals court on Thursday overturned the conviction of two police officers jailed for at least 10 years for beating to death a teenager in 2013 anti-government protests, local media reported.

The court overturned the verdict on "procedural grounds", the state-run Anatolia news agency reported, without elaborating.

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Turkey Confirms it Blocked Russian Plane

Turkey on Thursday said that it had refused to allow a Russian reconnaissance plane to overfly its territory near Syria, citing a disagreement over the flight plan, as relations between the two countries hit a post-Cold War low.

The Turkish foreign ministry's statement came a day after Russia accused Turkey of breaching the Open Skies treaty by refusing the plane access.

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Armed U.S. Predator Drone Crashes in Turkey

An armed U.S. Predator drone crashed in Turkey on Wednesday after apparently suffering some kind of mechanical failure, military officials said.

Captain Lauren Ott of the U.S. Air Force's Europe command said the drone went down in an unpopulated area of southern Turkey at around 1:40 am local time (2340 GMT).

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Fears for Kurds Trapped in Besieged Town in Turkey

The basement of apartment block "23" in the the flashpoint town of Cizre in southeastern Turkey has become the focus of a bloody standoff as fighting rages on between security forces and Kurdish rebels.

More than two dozen wounded Kurds have been trapped in the cellar of the largely ruined building in the besieged town for almost two weeks, and pro-Kurdish lawmakers say fears are mounting for their lives.

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Turkey Arrests Two over Suspected Suicide Plot

Police on Tuesday arrested two men in western Turkey suspected of plotting a suicide attack, according to the Dogan news agency.

Officers found a machine gun, a grenade as well as explosives and ammunition in luggage belonging to the two men, who were detained at a bus station in the town of Soke, in Aydin province, the report said.

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Syria Condemns Turkey 'Cross-Border Shelling'

Syria's government has condemned alleged cross-border shelling by Turkish forces on Monday as a "blatant breach of international law", state media reported.

Late Monday, state news agency SANA quoted a source in the Syrian foreign ministry as condemning the reported artillery fire into northern Latakia province.

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U.N. Urges Turkey to Probe Alleged Shooting of Civilians

The United Nations on Monday called on Ankara to investigate the suspected shooting of a group of unarmed people in Turkey's southeastern Kurdish-dominated region, caught in "extremely shocking" video footage.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein voiced outrage at an incident caught on camera in the town of Cizre around 10 days ago.

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