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Turkish Police Raid Homes of Journalists over Plot to Topple the Government

Turkish police on Thursday raided the homes of several people, including journalists and a former intelligence officer, as part of a crackdown on an alleged secularist network accused of conspiring to topple the Islamic-rooted government.

The raids come two weeks after a court jailed three journalists of a dissident website Oda TV in the case. Critics say press freedom is under attack in the country and the United States has expressed concern over media freedom. But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denied any government attempt to silence journalists.

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Hariri Thanks Erdogan for Turkish Efforts to Evacuate Lebanese from Libya

Caretaker premier Saad Hariri on Sunday held phone talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Hariri and Erdogan "discussed the ongoing efforts to evacuate Lebanese citizens from Libya," the premier's press office announced in a communiqué.

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Muallem Hopes Lebanese-Syrian Relations Would Prosper

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem has hoped that Lebanese-Syrian ties would be similar to relations between Damascus and Ankara.

Last week, Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, praised booming ties with one-time foe Syria, saying that a joint dam project at the border between the two neighbors would further strengthen cooperation.

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Work at Israel Embassy in Turkey Stops Over Fear from Hizbullah Attack

Israeli missions in Turkey have stopped working while security measures are implemented in response to threats by Hizbullah, an Israeli diplomatic source said Friday.

"Officially, we are not closed, but practically we are not functioning... because of security problems," the source told Agence France Presse.

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Assad, Erdogan to 'Exert All Efforts Possible for Lebanon Stability, Security'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and visiting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday "agreed to exert all efforts possible for the stability, security and prosperity of Lebanon," Syria's state-run news agency SANA reported.

Erdogan was in Syria to take part in a landmark ceremony for a joint "Friendship Dam" to be built over the Orontes river at the border between the two countries.

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Erdogan Tells Mubarak to Meet Call for Change

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak Tuesday to meet his people's "desire for change" as he voiced support for democratic reform in the whole Middle East.

Erdogan also postponed an upcoming visit to Egypt because of the turmoil gripping the country.

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U.S. Begins Evacuating Nationals Amid More Warnings Over Egypt Revolt

The United States started organizing Sunday the evacuation of its nationals from Egypt as an angry anti-government revolt raged into a sixth day amid increasing lawlessness and mass jail breaks.

"The U.S. embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the department of state is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," an embassy statement said, as other countries issued travel warnings and tourists scrambled for flights out.

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Feltman: We Are Keen on Seeing Lebanese Commitment to International Resolutions

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman stressed that U.N. Security Council members have expressed their keenness on seeing a Lebanese commitment to international resolutions following the formation of a new government led by Caretaker PM Najib Miqati.

Feltman told pan-Arab daily al-Hayat in remarks published Friday that his talks with French officials in Paris touched on the developments in Lebanon. Security Council members have expressed to him their keenness on Lebanon’s commitment to resolutions 1701 and 1757, he said.

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Davutoglu, Bin Jassem Back 'Efforts Aimed at Preserving Lebanon Stability'

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday held phone talks with Qatar's Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani on the political crisis in Lebanon, Turkey's foreign ministry announced in a statement.

The two men "exchanged points of view regarding the crisis in Lebanon and efforts made to form a new government."

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Turkey Says Escalation Harms Lebanese, Regional Stability

Turkey on Wednesday urged Lebanese factions for restraint in the country's political turmoil, warning of broader implications on regional stability.

"We call on all parties to refrain from violence and to act with common sense and within democratic legitimacy," a foreign ministry statement said, a day after protests against the appointment of a Hizbullah-backed premier turned violent.

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