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Turkey Says Releases Last Syrian Kurdish etainees

Turkey on Monday released the last group of Syrian Kurds who were being held on suspicion of having links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a local official said.

"The last 95 people were advised to go to a tent city having reported their contact details," local official Fatih Ciftci told AFP.

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EU Urges Turkey to Open Border to Help Kobane

European Union foreign ministers called on Turkey Monday to open its border so as to help the Syrian town of Kobane, under attack from Islamic State jihadi fighters.

"The situation in Kobane and in other areas under siege and experiencing fierce fighting against IS is a matter of serious concern," the 28 EU foreign ministers said in a statement after a regular meeting in Luxembourg.

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Istanbul's Taksim Square 'World's Ugliest', Says Davutoglu

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reportedly labeled Istanbul's Taksim Square, which was rocked by deadly anti-government protests last year, "as the ugliest square in the world".

"If anyone tells me that Taksim is a perfect square, then I would tell him that it is the ugliest square in the world," Davutoglu told reporters.

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Syrian Kurds Find Refuge in Camp Named after Suicide Bomber

Syrian Kurdish refugees who streamed into Turkey from Kobane have found sanctuary in a new camp named after a female Kurdish suicide bomber who blew herself up in the battle against jihadists for the besieged Syrian town.

The new camp in the Turkish border town of Suruc has been named by the municipality -- which is controlled by the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP) -- after Arin Mirkan.

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Cyprus Cries Foul as Turkish Vessel Enters Waters

Cyprus on Monday accused Turkey of taking "provocative and illegal" action by sending a survey boat to an area where the Cypriot government has licensed exploratory drilling for oil and gas.

Defense Minister Chistoforos Fokaides said the vessel was being closely monitored and that Nicosia would examine "its response to defend its rights and sovereignty".

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Obama and Erdogan Promise to Intensify IS Fight in Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama called his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan and they pledged to step up the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, the White House said Sunday.

Kurdish fighters have been under IS assault for more than a month around Kobane, which has become a key prize as it is being fought under the gaze of the world's press massed just over the border in Turkey.

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Turkey's Erdogan Rejects Arming Syrian Kurdish Group

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday rejected calls for Turkey to arm the main Kurdish party in Syria, describing the group as a terrorist organisation.

Erdogan said the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was the same as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a 30-year insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

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One House, Five Families and Multiple Tales of Loss on Turkey-Syria Border

The stone house has just two rooms but is now home to five Syrian families who fled the besieged town of Kobane to the relative safety of Turkey just a few kilometers away.

The Turkish village of Karaca is just 50 meters from the border. But for the families taking refuge there it is the difference between peace and war as Islamic State fighters seek to take their hometown from Syrian Kurds in a battle that has now raged for over a month.

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New Afghan President Hosts Turkey's Erdogan in Kabul

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Afghanistan Saturday, the latest world leader to visit the war-ravaged country since President Ashraf Ghani took power after a prolonged political standoff.

Erdogan met Ghani, his first vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum, and his former poll rival Abdullah Abdullah, who took the new role of "chief executive."

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Kurds Thwart New Jihadist Bid to Cut Off Syria Town

Kurdish forces in the Syrian town of Kobane repulsed a new attempt by Islamic State fighters to cut off the border with Turkey Saturday as troops battled the jihadists in neighboring Iraq.

It came as the U.S. military said it had unleashed 25 more air strikes in Syria and Iraq since Friday, hitting Islamic State (IS) jihadists and oil infrastructure they control.

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