Students detained following protest against Turkish PM




Middle East Technical University (ODTÜ) students are being taken into custody in increasing numbers following clashes that occurred during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's recent visit to the school, daily Hürriyet has reported.

 According to hurriyetdailynews twelve students have been detained so far, but the number will reportedly increase in the coming hours.

 Police forces launched raids at students' housing units early in the morning, terming the action “DHKP/C operation" in reference to the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C).

 A group of ODTÜ students had protested the Dec. 18 visit of Erdoğan, who came to the university to attend a ceremony for the launch of Turkey’s Göktürk-2 satellite.

 Police used pepper gas and water cannon against the protesting students, who were not allowed to approach the ceremony hall.

 A total of 26 students were detained while five were injured due to police’s use of tear gas.

 Erdoğan reportedly attended the ceremony with 105 guard cars, 20 armored cars, one intervention tank and 2,500 police officers.

 The Dec. 18 action against the students has drawn widespread condemnation, including reaction from ODTÜ’s rector. One student, Barış Barışık, remains in serious condition in hospital after being struck at close range by a police gas canister.






UN Reaffirms Palestinian People's Right to Self-Determination

The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination received another overwhelmed support at the United Nations and showed the isolation state of Israel and the United States about the Middle East issues,according to Prensa Latina.

The UN General Assembly adopted a new resolution yesterday on that matter reafirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including its right to an independent Palestinian State.

The resolution was passed by 179 votes in favor, seven against ('Israel', U.S., Canada, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, and Micronesia) and three abstentions (Honduras, Camerum, and Tonga).

The UN urged all world nations, agencies, and UN organizations through that resolution to continue giving their support and aid to the Palestinian people for the prompt fulfillment of their right to self-determination.

The resolution highlighted the need of respecting and preserving unity, and the closeness and integrity of the whole occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.


10 students detained in protest against Erdogan


Police clashed on Tuesday with a group of ODTÜ students who protested Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s visit to their university. Ten students in Ankara have been detained for their alleged involvement in a clash with police after staging a protest against a visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to their university on Tuesday, with the interior minister admitting that police officers sometime use a disproportionate amount of force.

Teams from the Ankara Police Department's counterterrorism unit raided the students' housing blocks early on Friday and took 10 of them into custody.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin admitted that police officers sometimes use a disproportionate amount of force and are being rightly criticized.

“This casts a shadow over the image of both the state and its police forces," Şahin stated.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Chairman Devlet Bahçeli criticized the media on Friday, saying it does not report protests or clashes at universities accurately, and this may further provoke people.



President Bashar Al-Assad enjoys strong popular support,says Roknabadi

Iran once again underlined the necessity of a peaceful settlement of the crisis in Syria, and called on Syrian opposition groups to come to the table of negotiations.

Speaking to Lebanese Al-Manar TV network on Thursday, Tehran's Ambassador to Beirut Qazanfar Roknabadi stressed strong popular support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad,according to FNA.

"Majority of Syrian people want reform and return of peace to their country and those who provoke unrests, they should respect people's demands. Opposition groups should come to the negotiating table and take distance from the terrorist groups," Roknabadi stated.

As regards Iran's stance on developments in Syria, Roknabadi said Tehran has done its best to stop violence in Syria and has supported people's demand for reform.

"The current unrests in Syria have roots in a US plot which serves the security of the Zionist regime. Iran's 6-point peace plan for Syria will prepare ground for the holding of parliamentary election and a new cabinet for the implementation of reform plans under the rule of Assad until 2014 presidential election."

Iranian officials have recently called on political leaders and religious figures in the region to support Tehran's 6-point plan to settle the crisis in Syria.


Clashes erupt in Egypt's Alexandria, dozens injured

Clashes erupted between pro-Egyptian government and their opponents in Egypt's northern seaside city of Alexandria on Friday, leaving dozens injured, eyewitnesses and local media said.

The pro- and anti-government  protesters hurled stones at each other outside Qaed Ibrahim Mosque in Alexandria, forcing security forces to use tear gas and establish a barrier to disperse the crowd, eyewitnesses told Xinhua.

The clashes erupted as several thousand pro-government gathered outside the mosque chanting statements in support of President Mohamed Morsi, and the draft constitution, while their opponents gathered at the opposite side and shouted anti-government slogans in response.

Relative calmness has been restored to the area around the mosque, as clashes moved to other districts, official MENA news agency reported.

The clashes came one day ahead of the second, also the final round of the country's constitutional referendum that will cover 17 governorates including Giza, Suez and Port Said.

Unofficial results said 56.5 percent of voters agreed with the controversial draft constitution in the first round.