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Turkish Press Roundup

In an interview following the recent attack by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Hakkari, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened that if the PKK continues to use Syrian territory as a staging ground his government would conduct cross-border operations (CNNTurk). The next day, the Turkish press heralded the flight of Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab (Sabah), while continually publishing updates from the Turkish Directorate of Disaster and Emergency Management regarding the new total of Syrian refugees in Turkish territory: now 50,227 (NTV).

The Arab League’s call for restraint in Turkish-Iraqi relations (Anadolu Ajansı) touched off another round of criticism between the two, with a statement from Baghdad asserting the Iraqi Cabinet would reconsider ties to Turkey in light of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s “unannounced” visit to northern Iraq last week. (CNNTurk) Davutoğlu later welcomed the Chairman of Iraq’s “Turkmen Front,” Ersad Salihi, to Ankara, privately urging Iraqi unity (Vatan).

After weeks of dodging the question of who will stand as the ruling Justice and Development Party’s 2014 presidential candidate, Turkish President Abdullah Gül claimed he willsit together” with Prime Minister Erdoğan, “and decide to do what is best,” offering subtle confirmation of his and Erdoğan’s widely anticipated plans for succession. (Hürriyet Daily News)

Iran’s Chief of General Staff Hassan Firouzabadi made sure the plea of Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi fell on deaf ears, blaming Turkey for all bloodshed in Syria (Yeni Safak) just hours before Salehi touched down for a visit in Ankara to renew his country’s request for assistance in freeing the 48 Iranian nationals captured in Damascus. (Sabah)

Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoğlu accompanied the wife and daughter of Prime Minister Erdoğan to deliver aid to Muslims residing in Myanmar’s Arakan province.

A senior cleric at the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarchate, Dr. Elpidophoros Lambriniadis, made encouraging public statements this week about the reopening of the Halki Seminary, which he claimed was imminent. (Hürriyet) Speaking on television, Erdoğan made several inflammatory remarks about Turkish Alevis, including his reference to the cemevi—an Alevi place of worship—near the historic Karacaahment graveyard as a “monstrosity.” (CNN Turk)

On the heels of the PKK’s kidnapping of three soldiers in Diyarbakir, (Sabah) Turkey’s Minister of Defense, Ismet Yilmaz, lauded the government for “greater communication” between its branches and agencies coordinating the fight against the PKK. (Milliyet) Turkey’s Ministry of Justice reported to parliament this week that 2,824 students are currently imprisoned, 1,778 of them awaiting trial. (Radikal)

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