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A week after Turkey withdrew troops from northern Iraq, claiming its military initiative against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was successfully completed, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani met with Turkish President Abdullah Gul to try to figure out how regional tensions might be contained in the future.

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Although Turkey's foreign minister, Abdullah Gul, is denying the report, other government insiders anonymously confirmed that several thousand Turkish troops crossed into northern Iraq on Wednesday to target Kurdish groups that have been attacking Turkey from Iraq, according to the Associated Press.

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Last Friday's presidential vote by the Turkish parliament has been scrapped by the nation's constitutional court, which decided that not enough lawmakers had voted to make a quorum. This means that candidate Abdullah Gul, whose party's Islamist ties have raised widespread concern, won't advance to the next level -- not yet, at least.

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Crowds numbering in the hundreds of thousands gathered Sunday for a pro-secularism rally in Istanbul, calling for a secularist democracy in Turkey amid concerns that presidential candidate Abdullah Gul, whose Justice and Development Party has Islamist ties, will let his beliefs influence his actions if he wins the election.

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