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At least 205 workers have been killed in a fire following an explosion in a coal mine in western Turkey
At least 205 workers have been killed in a fire following an explosion in a coal mine in western Turkey
Worldcrunch

HUNDREDS DEAD IN TURKEY MINE BLAST
At least 205 workers have been killed in a fire following an explosion in a coal mine in Western Turkey, with hundreds still trapped inside the mine, Hurriyet reports. The country’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz that Tuesday’s explosion could be “the worst mining disaster in Turkey,” as numbers given by the mine’s operator suggest that as many as 787 workers were inside when the fire broke out. In a statement, Yildiz explained that hopes of finding survivors were fading. The government declared three days of national mourning. Hurriyet’s columnist Murat Yetkin writes that the Turkish government “ignored the warnings about the Soma mines, but the miners paid the price with their lives.”

UKRAINE STARTS ‘NATIONAL UNITY’ TALKS
Kiev is hosting “national unity” talks today that will include members of the interim government and Ukrainian regional leaders who will attempt to negotiate a solution to the crisis in the eastern part of the country, the BBC reports. Representatives of the pro-Russian militants have however refused to take part in the scheduled roundtable, which is part of a roadmap from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation and the Europe Union to resolve the conflict in Ukraine. It comes after the death of seven Ukrainian soldiers, killed by rebel fighters in an ambush near the town of Kramatorsk.

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Geopolitics

NATO Entry For Sweden And Finland? Erdogan May Not Be Bluffing

When the two Nordic countries confirmed their intention to join NATO this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his plans to block the application. Accusing Sweden and Finland of' "harboring" some of his worst enemies may not allow room for him to climb down.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO

Meike Eijsberg

-Analysis-

LONDON — When Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan declared his opposition to Finland and Sweden entering NATO, it took most of the West's top diplomatic experts by surprise — with the focus squarely on how Russia would react to having two new NATO members in the neighborhood. (So far, that's been a surprise too)

But now Western oversight on Turkey's stance has morphed into a belief in some quarters that Erdogan is just bluffing, trying to get concessions from the negotiations over such a key geopolitical issue.

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To be clear, any prospective NATO member requires the consent of all 30 member states and their parliaments. So Erdogan does indeed have a card to play, which is amplified by the sense of urgency: NATO, Sweden and Finland are keen to complete the accession process with the war in Ukraine raging and the prospect of strengthening the military alliance's position around the Baltic Sea.

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