The Republic of Turkey is a parliamentary republic in Eurasia, largely located in Western Asia, with the smaller part of Eastern Turkey in Southeast Europe.
The country is bordered by Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece. Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance. It is a democratic, secular, unitary, constitutional republic with a diverse cultural heritage.
Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi forces have launched an offensive on a town near Mosul as a part of an operation to regain control over the city. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is in Irbil to assess the situation.
Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim has warned the EU that it has other alternatives to membership in the bloc. Yildirim did not name any options, but critics suspect Turkey could be hinting at closer relations with Russia.
The liberation of Mosul is advancing more quickly than expected, according to Iraqi officials. The US defense secretary has said Iraq and Turkey have agreed in principle on a role for Turkish forces in retaking the city.
Iraq's peshmerga has paused its advance on Mosul after capturing a handful of villages from the so-called "Islamic State" (IS). The Iraqi army is pressing on with day two of the operation to retake Iraq's second city.