Grateful Syrian refugees back Turkey's president

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130326AA001.jpegISTANBUL — After the failed weekend coup, some of Turkish President Recep Erdogan's most loyal backers aren’t Turks — they're grateful Syrians who flooded across this country’s southern border to escape civil war.

Turkey provides them a safe haven, plus they are envious that Turkey is a democracy — at least so far — in contrast to the dictatorial regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Read more at USA Today

Turkey blames U.S. for coup attempt

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607AA006.jpegOn Monday, allegations by government officials and media about U.S. involvement in the coup became so rampant that the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, issued a statement denying any truth to the speculation.

“Some news reports — and, unfortunately, some public figures — have speculated that the United States in some way supported the coup attempt,” Bass said in his statement. “This is categorically untrue, and such speculation is harmful to the decades-long friendship between two great nations.”

Read more at USA Today

City of Nice returns to normal while grieving victims

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA010101aa006.jpegNICE, France — People returned to the beaches, filled the cafés and walked along the chic Promenade des Anglais like on any Sunday in this French Riviera tourist mecca. Yet their mood was noticeably somber.

Just three days earlier, 84 people were killed and 200 injured when a truck rammed through a Bastille Day crowd of celebrants. As a reminder that this was not just another carefree weekend in the south of France, a massive makeshift memorial for the victims stood out on the pavement in front of a hotel as tourists and residents passed by.

Read more at USA Today

Failed coup lays bare Turkey's deep political divisions

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_TUR130531001.jpegISTANBUL — Deep political divisions have been emerging here since President Recep Erdogan first rose to power 13 years ago.

Those divisions burst into the open in the wake of the failed coup and Erdogan's arrival here to the cheers of supporters.


Read more at USA Today

Turkey president's backers cheer as critics fear for democracy

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607AA006.jpegISTANBUL — Hundreds assembled in the city's main Taksim Square Sunday night to show their support for President Recep Erdoğan, who urged people to come out and display their loyalty a day after his government thwarted a military coup attempt.

"People from all walks of life are here, and we are happy because the coup failed,” said Recep Alpay, 42. “For one week or 10 days we'll be celebrating in the streets."

Read more at USA Today

Muslims in Nice fear backlash after truck rampage by fellow Muslim

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA150111aa001.jpegNICE, France — Fatima Charrihi, a Muslim mother of seven, was the first victim to be struck by the truck on a murderous rampage through a crowd of Bastille Day revelers on Thursday. Several other Muslim residents of this French Riviera tourist spot also perished in the attack by fellow Muslim Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, who killed 84 people and injured 200.

Though they suffered losses from the horrific attack by one of their own, many Muslims here fear their entire community will be the target of blame, just as French Muslims were victims of hate crimes following two terror attacks in Paris in January and November 2015.

Read more in USA Today

Turkish president: Backers cheer as critics fear for democracy:

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607aa001.jpegISTANBUL — Hundreds assembled in the city's main Taksim Square Sunday night to show their support for President Recep Erdoğan, who urged people to come out and display their loyalty a day after his government thwarted a military coup attempt.

"People from all walks of life are here, and we are happy because the coup failed,” said Recep Alpay, 42. “For one week or 10 days we'll be celebrating in the streets."

Read more at USA Today

In the cafés of Turkey, a beer and unease

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR160606aa003.jpegA few weeks ago, Ozan Vural, 32, sat down at a half-full bar on Istiklal Street, Istanbul’s main pedestrian drag, to smoke a cigarette and nurse a beer – even though it was Ramadan.

Turkish Muslims who are fasting usually avoid eating and drinking in public out of courtesy for the pious during the holy month.

“Now, I find myself not only not giving a damn about it,” he said. “It’s as if drinking in public is an act of resistance, a form of self-expression.”

Read more at The Globe and Mail

France calls up 12K police reserves to beef up security

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA130121AA001.jpegNICE, France — France's interior minister announced a tightening of security measures nationwide Saturday, including the call-up of 12,000 police reserves, "because of the terrorist threat" in the wake of the deadly Bastille Day melee in Nice.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the reserves would beef up the 120,000-strong force of police and soldiers already deployed around the country.

Read more at USA Today

Sleepless in Istanbul: Turks take to street to resist, cheer coup attempt

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607aa002.jpegISTANBUL — It was a sleepless night for Turks around the country as they poured into the streets to protest a military coup or watched television to learn if the attempted takeover succeeded in ousting the government of President Recep Erdogan.

Thousands here heeded Erdogan's call to take to the streets, many waving Turkish flags, to resist the coup plotters, who had earlier declared curfews and martial law. Residents reported roads blocked by tanks, military helicopters flying low over the sprawling city and occasional gunfire.

Read more at USA Today

France: 12K police reserves to beef up security

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA130226AA001.jpegNICE, France — France's interior minister announced a tightening of security measures nationwide Saturday, including the call-up of 12,000 police reserves, "because of the terrorist threat" in the wake of the deadly Bastille Day melee in Nice.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said the reserves would beef up the 120,000-strong force of police and soldiers already deployed around the country.

Read more at USA Today

80 dead, 18 critically hurt in Nice, France, truck attack

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA151119AA001.jpegEighty people were killed and another 50 hurt in Nice, France, Thursday night after a truck filled with grenades and weapons plowed through a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in the resort town, according to French authorities.

Eighteen people were hurt critically, the Associated Press reported.

Read more at USA Today

Nice attack: 'All I could do was cover the dead'

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU150401aa003.jpegNice, France - For Toufik Laoubi, what was supposed to be a joyful celebration of France's national day will remain forever a painful, indelible memory.

The industrial worker from Chambery, in the French Alps, was spending Bastille Day in Nice with his sister and narrowly escaped death in the attack that killed 84 people and injured many more on Thursday.

Read more at Aljazeera

Bastille Day attack in France: What we know

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA14231aa001.jpegPARIS - Another terrorist attack hit France as a truck plowed into a crowd watching Bastille Day festivities in Nice on Thursday, killing at least 84 people and injuring 50 others, French officials say.

French authorities are still gathering information about the horrific incident. Multiple witnesses and officials described the chaotic scene in detail as people were celebrating the festive holiday in French Riviera.

Read more at USA Today

French President Francois Hollande spends $11K a month -- on his hair

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA14231aa001.jpegPARIS — As if the threat of terrorism, the aftermath of Brexit and dwindling popularity ratings weren’t enough, French President François Hollande is grappling with another headache: his hairstylist's excessive salary.

The Socialist leader's personal stylist earned $11,000 a month, the investigative weekly newspaper, Le Canard Enchainé, revealed this week. That salary is on par with Cabinet ministers and a third less than the president’s take-home pay. Per capita income in France is less than $3,500 a month.

Read more at USA Today

Refugees in Europe say they fear terrorists are among them

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA150315AA001.jpegBERLIN — Saif Ali grew nervous when he met his six Syrian bunkmates in a Munich refugee camp after finally making it to Germany late last year.

“They were strong supporters of the Nusra Front,” said the Iraqi refugee, referring to the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group fighting in the Syrian conflict. “I was praying five times a day, to hide my beliefs from them. They did not force me to, but I did not feel secure.”

Read more at USA Today

Tales of official excess, now on social media, spur popular fury in Russia

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140320aa001.jpegMOSCOW — As millions of ordinary Russians struggle to make ends meet, the unashamedly opulent lifestyles of wealthy government officials are sparking increasing anger and resentment. And social media is bringing to light examples of high living once shielded by high gates and shaded car windows.

Much of the recent popular fury is directed at First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, the country’s third-most-powerful politician behind President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Read more at The Washington Times

Austria to take ownership of house where Hitler was born

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130827AA001.jpegBERLIN — Austria announced Tuesday it would take over and possibly destroy the house where Adolf Hitler was born to prevent right-wing extremists from using it as a pilgrimage site.

"The decision is necessary because Austria would like to prevent this house from becoming a 'cult site' for neo-Nazis in any way. It has been used repeatedly for this in the past, when people gathered there to shout (Nazi) slogans," Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said.

Read more at USA Today

Britain backed Brexit - now Greeks eye 'Grexit'

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_GEN12112AA001.jpegATHENS - At a petrol station in Ayia Paraskevi, an upscale Athens neighborhood, Vasiliki Tryfonopoulou, 30, said that fuel taxes had risen by 30% amidst Greece's ongoing financial crisis. This, coupled with a new levy on car owners imposed by the government, has forced many Greeks to leave their vehicles at home.

"We used to be nine employees here. Now we're five," she said, as her co-workers pumped gas and washed cars outside.

Read more at International Business Times

Italians to Americans: Beware of Trump-like candidates

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_USA160101aa001.jpegROME — Speaking from hard-earned experience, Italians offer a warning to American voters: Think twice before electing Donald Trump.

That advice is based on the fact that Italy chose a Trump-like leader — and many later came to regret it.

Read more at USA Today

Austrian court overturns presidential election result

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_AUS141122aa001.jpegVIENNA — Austria’s highest court on Friday overturned the result of the May presidential election and called for a rerun, a legal victory for the far-right candidate who lost by a razor-thin margin.

“Elections are the foundation of our democracy. This decision makes no one a winner or loser, it serves to strengthen the trust,” Constitutional Court head Gerhart Holzinger said.

Read more at USA Today

Turkey’s cratering tourism industry sinks further

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR160606aa003.jpegISTANBUL — Turkey’s cratering tourism industry has prompted hotel operators and shopkeepers to file for bankruptcy, others to demonstrate against the government and some to offer "tourism prayers" at mosques in hopes of a miraculous turnaround.

More likely, tourism will sink even further after Tuesday’s terrorist attack at Ataturk International Airport, the latest in a string of bombings in Turkey over the past year that has scared away cruise ships, tour groups and other foreign visitors.

Read more at USA Today

Istanbul too numb to be shocked by airport attack

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR0160606aa002.jpegISTANBUL — Some avoid the subways, others the main squares. But many Turks in this sprawling metropolis say such precautions are useless after this week's suicide bombing at Ataturk airport because it's only a matter of time until the next terrorist attack.

Previous attacks here, in Brussels and in Paris drew huge crowds onto the streets in solidarity against terrorism. But after Tuesday's bombing, which killed 44 and wounded hundreds, the response in Istanbul was noticeably muted.

Read more at USA Today

Routine night of Istanbul airport duty, then horror and death

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_TUN130207AA001.jpegYusuf Haznedaroğlu had finished a work shift at the Istanbul airport Tuesday night and was waiting for a shuttle. He was to be married in 10 days. Taxi driver Mustafa Biyikli was ready for another fare. Translator Ertan Tan, whose wife is six months pregnant, had just dropped off tourists.

Nisreen Melham, 28, a Palestinian woman living in Saudi Arabia, had just arrived in Turkey for a vacation with her husband and 3-year-old daughter.

Read more at USA Today

Voices: A savage attack in a much-changed Turkey

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607aa004.jpegIt was seven years ago that I first visited Turkey. The country I encountered no longer exists.

The country’s leader, then-prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was being held up as a democratic reformer. Turkey’s economy was booming, especially when compared with Europe, which was still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis.


Read more at USA Today

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