Turkey, already on the brink of a conflict with Syria, may now be facing tensions with Moscow after grounding a flight from Russia on suspicion that it was carrying weapons for the Syrian regime
Several Syrian mortars landed in Turkey today. The two countries have exchanged fire for the past week, though Syria says it does not want a military confrontation.
While the US and other Western nations resist being drawn into the fighting in Syria, Turkey is feeling the direct effects of bloodshed and refugees, putting pressure on Ankara to act.
After Syria shelled a Turkish town yesterday and killed five civilians, Turkey returned fire and went to NATO. However, experts say Turkey's moves are more about deterrence.
The Kurdistan Workers Party denied a role in yesterday's car bombing. Amid the regional upheaval, especially in Syria, the Kurds have been a 'major winner,' gaining some autonomy.
Such high-level defections have been rare so far. But if they become more frequent, they could cause Assad's regime to crumble from within.
Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan warned Friday that the US and Europe were not doing enough to resolve the core causes of the global economic slowdown.
The embassy closure by such a key regional player is likely to increase pressure on the Syrian government. Turkey also pledged, along with the US, to increase 'non-lethal aid' to Syrian rebels.
The cries of sellers hawking their wares in the markets of Istanbul are threatened by a new law banning vendors from shouting their sales pitch.