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AP Explains: Hagia Sophia’s history of conflict and faith

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Top Turkish official denounces Bolton memoir

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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A top Turkish official has denounced a memoir by former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton, saying it contains ” misleading, one-sided and manipulative” accounts of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s conversations with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump.In a series of tweets, Turkish presidential communications director Fahrettin Altun said the book, “The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir,” was driven by political considerations and personal gain.“We find it reprehensible that former high-level officials attempt to use serious diplomatic conversations and efforts to resolve outstanding issues between allies like the U.S. and Turkey for their domestic political agendas,” Altun said.Bolton claimed in the memoir that Trump sought to interfere in an investigation into Turkish state-owned bank, Halkbank, in an effort to cut deals with Erdogan.Halkbank was charged with evading U.S. sanctions against Iran by processing billions of dollars of Iranian oil revenue. An indictment said the bank illegally moved about $20 billion in Iranian oil and gas revenues, sometimes disguising money movements as purchases of food and medicine.Altun said Erdogan “clearly outlines Turkey’s priorities and advocates for them vigorously” including the Halkbank issue. Altun tweeted: “We are confident that the US-Turkey relationship will survive such efforts and even thrive at the end. President Erdogan will continue his frank, honest, and straightforward conversations with the U.S. President Donald Trump.”
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Leaders of Turkey and Greece discuss COVID fallout in rare call

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ATHENS/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by phone on Friday, Athens and Ankara said – rare such contact for two neighbours at odds over a range of issues.Mitsotakis and Erdogan addressed ways of handling the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, the reopening of borders and the re-establishment of tourist flows, a statement from Mitsotakis’s office said.“Mr Mitsotakis and Mr Erdogan agreed to keep the bilateral channels of communication open,” it said, a line re-iterated in the statement from the Turkish presidency.Erdogan’s office also said the two discussed tourism, security, as well as cooperation on economic issues and the fight against COVID-19.A Greek source with knowledge of the matter said: “The two leaders didn’t discuss high policy matters, but they did agree that tension is relatively high and that channels of communication must be restored.“There cannot be a de-escalation of tensions if the two sides don’t talk.”Though NATO partners and neighbours, Greece and Turkey have testy relations and differences on issues as diverse as airspace rights, maritime boundaries and ethnically-divided Cyprus.Reporting by Michele Kambas and Renee Maltezou in Athens, and Can Sezer in Istanbul; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Jonathan Spicerfor-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up
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Brazil Senate approves bill on ‘fake news’…

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(Adds details) BRASILIA, June 30 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Senate approved on Tuesday a bill governing rules to fight fake news, with Senate head David Alcolumbre saying it also guarantees social media transparency. The bill’s main text was approved by a 44-32 vote. It still needs to be voted by lower house lawmakers. “We need to understand this universe and recognize that freedom of expression cannot be confused with aggression, violence or threat,” Alcolumbre wrote in his Twitter account. After the main text’s approval, senators also voted on amendments to the bill. “We tried to make the text more concise, ensuring the right of reply and the immediate removal of content in serious situations such as the violation of the rights of children and adolescents, prejudice due to issues of race, ethnicity and national origin,” the bill’s rapporteur, Senator Angelo Coronel, said. (Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello; Writing by Gabriela Mello; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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