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Turkey Condemns Mosque Attack in Bulgaria, Warns Against Rising Islamophobia

Turkey has condemned an attack by far-right nationalists on a mosque in Bulgaria, warning against rising Islamophobia in Europe.

"We expect the perpetrators and inciters of this abhorrent attack on freedom of worship... to be quickly apprehended and punished," a foreign ministry statement said late Friday.

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5.9 Quake in Northwest Turkey Kills Three

A 5.9-magnitude earthquake partly collapsed some buildings and one mosque in western Turkey, killing at least three people and injuring nearly 100 people, authorities said Friday.

The quake that struck at 11:15 p.m. (2015 GMT) on Thursday, sent terrified residents running from their homes before midnight. It was centered in the town of Simav, the Istanbul-based Kandilli Observatory said.

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Turkey Seeks New U.N. Security Council Mandate

Turkey announced Thursday that it is seeking a new term on the United Nations Security Council as a non-permanent member.

In a statement, Turkey's foreign ministry said it was seeking membership for 2015-2016.

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New Gaza Flotilla Threatens Fresh Blow to Israel-Turkey Ties

A new aid flotilla aiming to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip threatens to deal a fresh blow to Turkish-Israeli ties, a year after a bloody Israeli seizure of a Turkish activist ship.

Bilateral relations remain stuck in crisis after several fence-mending meetings between the one-time allies over the past year failed to yield results, a Turkish diplomat told Agence France Presse.

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Germany Agrees to Return Treasured Sphinx to Turkey

Germany Friday agreed to return a 3,500-year-old statue of a sphinx to Turkey where it was dug up, ending a war of words between Berlin and Ankara.

"Following talks between German and Turkish experts on the question of the Hittite sphinx it was agreed today in Berlin that the statue, which is currently housed in at the Pergamon museum, would be returned as a voluntary gesture of German-Turkish goodwill to Turkey," the culture ministry said in a statement.

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London Summons Syrian Envoy as Ankara Says 'Early' to Call on Assad to Go

Britain summoned Syria’s ambassador Friday in coordination with other EU nations to warn of fresh sanctions against the regime if it fails to stop a crackdown on protesters, as Turkey's premier said it was premature to say whether President Bashar al-Assad should quit.

In a statement, the Foreign Office said it had "called in the Syrian Ambassador Dr. Sami Khiyami ... to express the UK’s strong concerns about the ongoing situation in Syria."

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Turkish Army Kills Two Kurdish Rebels

The Turkish army killed two Kurdish rebels in clashes early Saturday in the mountainous Mardin region, a local security official said.

The clashes with rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) took place not far from Bagok Mountain in southeastern Turkey, the official said.

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Erdogan Urges Gadhafi to Cede Power, Leave Libya

Turkey on Tuesday urged Moammar Gadhafi to "immediately" cede power and leave Libya, in its first public call on the veteran strongman to go.

"We wish that the Libyan leader pulls out from Libya and cedes power immediately -- for himself and for the future of his country -- without causing more bloodshed, tears and destruction," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

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Turkey Warns Against Intervention in Syria, London Slams ‘Disgraceful’ Crackdown

Turkey is against foreign intervention in Syria and believes the unrest-hit country should solve its own problems, Anatolia news agency quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying on Sunday.

"We should work to prevent the possibility (of a military intervention in Syria). Foreign intervention in a country like Syria with a heterogeneous social structure might cause unwanted consequences," Davutoglu said.

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Turkey Dismantles Armenia Friendship Statue

Turkey began Tuesday to demolish a 100 foot monument near its eastern border dedicated to friendship with Armenia after the prime minister called it a "monstrosity", Anatolia news agency reported.

Overriding widespread protests, the company tasked with demolition by the local authorities in Kars city took apart the first piece, which is one of two heads of the statue, depicting two figures emerging from one human shape, a witness told Agence France Presse.

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