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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Drop Below 10,000

The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey dropped below 10,000 as hundreds more returned home, Turkish officials said Monday.

Some 405 Syrians went back to their country on Sunday and Monday, decreasing the total number of refugees in Turkey to 9,909, the country's disaster and emergency management agency said on its website.

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Turkey Recognizes Libyan Rebel Council

Turkey's top diplomat on Sunday recognized Libya's rebel council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, as he vowed to do "everything" possible to end the fighting.

Ahmet Davutoglu arrived in Benghazi, giving the National Transitional Council the much sought-after political and economic support of a major regional player and former colonial power.

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Turkey: 5000 Syrian Refugees Return Home

Thousands of Syrian refugees in Turkey are choosing to return home, although the neighboring country is still sheltering some 10,000 people, Turkish officials said on Sunday.

Some 343 Syrians went back to their country on Saturday, taking the total number of returnees to 5,001, the country's disaster and emergency management agency said on its website.

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Report: Turkey's FM to visit Syria

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday that he plans to visit Syria, facing mounting criticism for its bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters, while on a tour of the region.

Davutoglu said that he hoped at the weekend "to leave for a tour of countries in the Middle East which will include Syria," the Anatolia news agency reported.

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Turkish Parliament Opens amid Opposition Boycott

Turkey's new parliament opened in a tense atmosphere Tuesday as the main opposition and Kurdish deputies boycotted the ceremony in protest over lawmakers kept in prison.

It was hardly the start Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would have hoped for after winning a third straight term in power in June 12 elections and promising to reconcile with the opposition for a major constitutional overhaul, his key election pledge.

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Syrian Refugees in Turkey Down to 11,100

The number of Syrians taking refuge at tent cities in Turkey has decreased to 11,122 after several hundred people went back home, Turkish officials said Monday.

"On June 26-27, 375 of those who had crossed to our country returned home of their own free will, while another 39 Syrian citizens were admitted in," the emergency situations agency said on its website.

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Report: Turkish Soldier Killed in Rebel Attack

Separatist Kurdish rebels opened fire on a military vehicle in eastern Turkey, killing a soldier and wounding three others, Anatolia news agency reported Monday.

The vehicle came under attack from militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a rural area in Van province, the report said.

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Syria Presses Crackdown, Army Enters Border Village with Turkey

Syrian tanks on Saturday rolled into a village on the border with Turkey where workers are scrambling to erect a huge tent city for fear of a new exodus of refugees from the crackdown.

As families across Syria mourned 18 protesters gunned down by security forces on Friday, activists said troops backed by tanks rumbled into al-Najia village near Jisr al-Shughur, a town which the army seized on June 12 after repeated protests.

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Report: 4 Turkish Soldiers Charged in Coup Probe

A Turkish court has charged four soldiers over an alleged 2003 plot to overthrow the Islamist-rooted government and ordered them detained pending trial, Anatolia news agency reported Saturday.

Two-star admiral Mucahit Sislioglu, a colonel, and two other soldiers were questioned Friday and then charged as part of an expanding probe into a purported coup plot, codenamed "Operation Sledgehammer," that has already landed some 200 soldiers in court.

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Netanyahu Envoy Involved in Reconciliation Talks with Turkey

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tasked Vice Premier and Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Yaalon to reconcile with Turkey, Israeli media revealed on Friday.

Yaalon held talks with two high-ranking officials in the Turkish foreign ministry, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and Channel 2 television network unveiled.

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