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Turkey Strives for Alliance with Egypt

Turkey's top diplomat predicted in an interview published Sunday that his country would form an alliance with a reformed Egypt, creating a new democratic axis of power in the Middle East.

"This is what we want," Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told The New York Times.

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Turkey Threatens Ties Freeze if Cyprus Takes EU Helm

Turkey will freeze its relations with the EU if Cyprus takes the union's rotating presidency next year before a solution is reached on the divided island, the deputy prime minister said late Saturday.

"If the negotiations (on Cyprus) do not end positively and the EU handovers the presidency to southern Cyprus, the main crisis will be between the EU and Turkey. Because then we will freeze our relations with the EU," Anatolia news agency quoted Besir Atalay as saying in a TV interview in northern Cyprus.

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Turkey Refuses U.S. Mediation in Crisis with Israel

Turkey does not need United States' mediation to solve a long-lasting crisis with Israel over a deadly 2010 flotilla raid, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday.

"We do not need mediation ... for Israel in any way," Davutoglu said during a televised press conference in the central province of Konya when asked to comment on the possibility of the U.S. helping to resolve their differences.

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Turkey Parachutes in Aid to Libya's Bani Walid

Turkey Saturday was parachuting in 22 tons of humanitarian aid to the Libyan city of Bani Walid, one of the last holdouts of fallen leader Moammar Gadhafi's supporters, the prime minister's office said.

Two military cargo planes left Ankara on Saturday to bring food to around 10,000 people in Bani Walid in need of urgent help, the office said in a statement on its website.

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Erdogan Arrives in Libyan Capital

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Libyan capital on Friday on the final leg of his "Arab Spring" tour, an Agence France Presse photographer said.

Erdogan arrived from Tunisia at Tripoli's airport, where he was greeted by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, number two in the new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), whose forces last month toppled despot Moammar Gadhafi.

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Report: Turkey has Warned Iran over Syria Crackdown

Turkey has warned Iran "not to spoil" the Syrian leadership whose security forces have been cracking down on protesters since mid-March, a Turkish daily quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Friday.

Erdogan told the daily Hurriyet, "I cannot say there has been tension with Iran but we warned them (the Iranians) that 'the Assad administration is getting spoiled with your encouragement.'"

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Israel Hopes 'Common Sense Will Prevail' in Turkey Row

Israel's public diplomacy minister said on Wednesday that he hoped "common sense would prevail" in former friend and ally Turkey in the diplomatic crisis the two governments are now embroiled in.

"Despite the attempts on the Turkish side to provoke an escalation, we are acting with restraint," Yuli Edelstein told public radio. "We are not pouring oil on the fire, in the hope that common sense will prevail."

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Turkish PM Warns of Sectarian 'Civil War' in Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned in comments published Tuesday that Syria could plunge into "civil war," as he began a tour of Arab countries where uprisings ousted autocratic leaders.

"I fear that matters will end with a civil war breaking out between the Alawites and the Sunnis," Erdogan said in an interview published by Egypt's independent al-Shourouk as he began his tour in Cairo.

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Turkey Says Considering Iraq Incursion against Rebels

Turkey is considering launching an incursion by its ground forces against Kurdish rebel bases operating in northern Iraq after a recent spate of attacks, the interior minister said on Tuesday.

"Discussions are under way for a land operation," Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

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Report: Turkey Asks U.S. to Base Predators on its Soil

The United States is considering a request from Turkey to base Predator drones there to operate against Kurdish separatists based in northern Iraq, The Washington Post reported late Saturday.

Citing unnamed senior U.S. military officials, the newspaper said a decision to deploy the drones could strengthen the U.S.-Turkish diplomatic alliance but draw the United States deeper into the conflict.

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