Putin, Erdogan, Vucic and Borisov inaugurate Turkstream pipeline | AFP

Russian president Vladimir Putin, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov inaugurate in Istanbul the opening of the TurkStream pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe via the Black Sea. IMAGES

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Putin and Erdogan attend Turkstream inauguration ceremony | AFP

Russian president Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan attend in Istanbul the inauguration ceremony of the opening of the TurkStream pipeline, which brings Russian gas to Turkey and southern Europe via the Black Sea. Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic and Bulgarian Prime minister Boyko Borisov also attend the ceremony. IMAGES

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EU top diplomat condemns Turkey ‘interference’ in Libya | AFP

The EU’s diplomatic chief condemns Turkish “interference” in Libya after Ankara sent troops to support the UN-backed Tripoli government, warning this complicates the crisis in the oil-rich state. SOUNDBITE

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Istanbul’s Jews fight to save the language of their ancestors | AFP

Members of Istanbul’s small Jewish community are fighting to save the language of their ancestors who were expelled from Spain in the 15th century: Ladino, or Judeo-Spanish, which is made up of old Castilian and several languages spoken under the Ottoman Empire. However, Ladino is now only spoken by a few thousand people in Turkey.

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Syrian activists organise a football game for internally displaced in northwestern Syria | AFP

Syrian local activists organise a football game in a muddy field in a camp for the internally displaced west of Sarmada town in Syria’s rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, near the border with Turkey. The latest round of violence in Syria’s nearly nine-year-old war, saw regime forces upping their deadly bombardment of the northwestern province of Idlib, pushing, in December alone according to the United Nations, some 284,000 from their homes in the jihadist-run region of some three million people.

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Greece, Israel and Cyprus sign EastMed pipeline agreement in Athens | AFP

Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign an agreement for a huge pipeline project designed to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe. The move comes amid tensions with Turkey over its own activities in the area and a contentious maritime deal with Libya expanding Ankara’s claims over a large gas-rich area of the sea. IMAGES

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China took their parents: the Uighur refugee children in Turkey | AFP

At a school on the outskirts of Istanbul, Uighur children take classes before and after their regular school and try to keep their culture and language alive. China believes its persecution can eradicate the sense of Uighur identity, yet this may be breeding another generation of anger and bitterness.

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Why Rich New Yorkers Created Santa Claus

Santa Claus dominates the media during the holiday season as a big-time brand influencer. But the corporate-shill Santa we know today wasn’t always like this. He used to be a poor monk in Turkey who initially wasn’t even associated with Christmas. But this all changed when a few upper-crust New Yorkers decided to rebrand the holiday as something more “tasteful.” They used poetry and political comics to make Santa the face of Christmas, and he has been ever since.

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Why Rich New Yorkers Created Santa Claus

Islamic leaders gather for summit shunned by Saudi Arabia | AFP

Leaders of Muslim nations, including Saudi rivals Iran, Turkey and Qatar, attend a summit in Kuala Lumpur, which analysts say is aimed at rivalling the OIC, a 57-member pan-Islamic body headquartered in the Saudi city of Jeddah. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday mounted a veiled attack on the summit, saying such gatherings would weaken Islam. IMAGES

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Food truck ferries meals to Syria’s displaced in northern Idlib | AFP

Relief workers with the Ataa Relief and Development Association, a small NGO registered in Turkey, ferry meals to displaced Syrians in Sarmada, in northern Idlib province.

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Turkey stalks Wisconsin mail carrier

A Wisconsin mail carrier is being stalked by a turkey that follows his truck while he makes his appointed rounds. He says it started over the summer and continues a week before Thanksgiving (Nov. 20)

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Turkey’s Russian air defense system irks Trump

President Donald Trump says Turkey’s purchase of Russian air defense system creates “serious challenges,” but he says he hopes they can be resolved. (Nov. 13)

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NATO | AFP Animé

Videographic looking at the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. French President Emmanuel Macron said he believed NATO was undergoing “brain death,” lamenting a lack of coordination between Europe and the United States and unilateral action in Syria by key member Turkey, in an interview published Thursday.VIDEOGRAPHICS

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