Turkish Daily Press - November 9, 2010
The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
WE ARE FED UP WITH GESTURES, IT'S THE EU'S TURN NOW
Criticizing the stuttering nature of Turkey's bid to join the EU, Turkish President Abdullah Gül said: "Everybody is expecting a gesture from Turkey on Cyprus issue. Turkey is making gestures, but if you don't see a response, then there is no need to make another gesture."
Noting that the biggest gesture was Turkish Cypriots' voting "yes" to the Annan Plan, Gül said that Turkish Cypriots did not receive anything in return. He added that now it was Europe's turn to take a step.
PRIMARY SCHOOL STUDENTS DO NOT WEAR HEADSCARF
Hayrünnisa Gül, spouse of Turkish President Abdullah Gül, chatted with Turkish youth receiving their education in universities throughout London.
Commenting on students in elementary schools who wanted to enter class wearing a headscarf, Hayrünnisa Gül said: "If there is ignorance on the matter, we will remove this. It is unnecessary for an elementary school student to wear headscarf on her own will. When she comes to the age of making a decision on the matter, she will."
IRAN ANNOUNCES NOV. 15 DATE FOR NUCLEAR TALKS IN TURKEY
An Iranian semi-official news agency says that Iran's foreign minister has set Nov. 15 as the likely date for the start of a new round of nuclear talks with world powers.
The report was carried Tuesday by Mehr news agency. It quotes Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki as saying the talks were "expected" to start Nov. 15.
Mottaki on Sunday suggested Turkey as the venue of the talks.
The talks would be between Iran and U.S., Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. The six nations suspect that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons program under the cover of a civil energy program. Iran denies the charge.
TURKEY TO APPROVE MISSILE SYSTEM IF PRINCIPLES MET
Turkey is hopeful it can find the diplomatic means to make support of NATO's plans for a regional missile defense shield unanimous at an upcoming summit, but only if its [Turkey's] principles are upheld, well-informed sources said Monday.
The Turkish position toward the missile defense system is based on two principles, namely that security be guaranteed for each and every NATO member state and that no country be listed as a specific threat, according to official sources.
Turkey, a member of NATO since 1952, has been the subject of discussions over a potential NATO missile-defense system that was first proposed by the George W. Bush administration. It is unclear if Turkey will actively participate in the proposed system, the fate of which will be decided at NATO's summit in Lisbon on Nov. 19-20.
The sources said the summit would focus on developing a defense shield that would protect NATO allies and their populations in the face of the threat posed by the global proliferation of ballistic missiles, adding that such a system would contribute to disarmament in the long run and lessen dependence on nuclear armament.
The sources, however, warned against any definition that suggested the proposed system was a Star Wars-like system. "These definitions are far from the reality," according to the sources.
Turkey is actively participating in every stage of discussions within NATO, according to the same sources.
In verbal rhetoric, the U.S. administration has said the missile system will provide protection against Iran. Turkey, however, objects to any country being cited as a threat.
"That should not be interpreted as Turkey showing privileged treatment to Iran. It could be Georgia or Russia. What matters is the validity of the principles and the alliance's capacity-building potential in the face of a threat posed by proliferation of ballistic missiles," the sources said.
"Not only Iran, but 30 other countries also have that ballistic capability. It is not possible for Turkey to accept a view that lacks any foundation. Our alliance with NATO is one case, our neighborly relationship with bordering countries is another. They do not contradict one another and, to the contrary, they complement each other," the sources said.
Sources said it was not true that Turkey was alone in adopting the principles. "An underestimated number of countries are supporting the principles. One or two countries are insistent about the name while the others have a closer approach to us."
At the Lisbon summit, a political framework will be submitted for the approval of NATO heads of state and government, while the technical negotiations are expected to continue regarding the deployment of the defense systems.
Well-informed sources said no reference was made to Turkey in any document regarding the deployment of the system on the Turkish territory.
"The political decision that will be made at the Lisbon summit will constitute a basis for other phases of the system. We should first focus on Lisbon," said the sources.
HIS DELEGATION KEPT WAITING FOR TWO HOURS
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is in a protocol scandal in Abu Dhabi. VIP officials let the staff car of Davutoğlu go, but kept the members of the delegation in the airport saying they were not checked in.
When he learned this, Davutoğlu returned to the airport and let the delegation enter in the country without being checked.
ISLAND CAN BE DIVIDED, IF NO SOLUTION FOUND
While the countdown continues for the meeting which will gather President Derviş Eroğlu of Turkish Cyprus and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Nov. 18, Britain's former foreign secretary Jack Straw wrote that division of the island should be considered, in case a result could not be reached in the meetings. In interviews with Financial Times, UN diplomats said that if the meetings were fruitless, the island could be divided permanently in 2011. Turkish President Abdullah Gül said nobody should expect a gesture from Turkey on the Cyprus issue simply to overcome the blocked EU process.
CHINESE COMMANDOS IN TURKEY
According to Anatolia news agency based on Chinese international radio, commandos of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Chinese Army began joint training that will continue for a week. The training is taking place in the Commando School & Training Center in Turkey.
CONVENTION AFTER 2011 ELECTIONS, SAYS CHP SECRETARY
The main opposition Republican People's Party, [CHP] is still seeking a way to smooth things over, after a week of political skirmishes that resulted in the removal of Önder Sav from the position of the party's secretary-general.
The party's new Secretary-General Süheyl Batum said Monday the party would hold its extraordinary convention to change the party's internal regulations after the 2011 elections.
Batum said the party's internal operations would be more democratic after the June 12, 2011 elections.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, however, will make his final decision regarding the convention after taking the pulse of the party's provincial chairmen on Tuesday, according to media reports.
Kılıçdaroğlu spoke to deputies and party assembly members, according to a report by the daily Cumhuriyet on Monday, and was told that no one doubted his leadership but that he "should not go to the elections with the current party assembly" because of former Secretary-General Sav's influence.
Kılıçdaroğlu said he agreed with his party members and decided to survey the 81 provincial chairmen before making his final decision regarding the convention, according to daily Cumhuriyet.
The survey, prepared by deputy party leader Sencer Ayata, will ask party members questions such as: "Should the internal regulations change?" "Is a convention necessary?" and "Should the party assembly be renewed?"
It is a strong possibility that the party assembly, largely shaped by Sav, will be reorganized through the convention.
The majority of the party assembly, who declared their support for Sav last week following a dispute between Kılıçdaroğlu and the former secretary-general, announced their support for Kılıçdaroğlu over the weekend. But Kılıçdaroğlu said he wants to work in full harmony with the party assembly and is leaning toward renewing it. The assembly will form the list of candidates who will run in the 2011 elections.
Meanwhile, 78 former deputies who once served in the CHP and the Democratic Left Party visited Kılıçdaroğlu and announced their support for the CHP leader.
Speaking at the event, Kılıçdaroğlu said there might be some resistance within the party, but it was determined to move forward. He also said he wanted a hard-working party organization.
Prior to the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu visited Confederation of Turkish Labor Unions Chairman Mustafa Kumlu.
Speaking in a press conference after the meeting, Kılıçdaroğlu said unions are an inevitable component of democracy, criticizing the ruling Justice and Development Party for its socio-economic policies.
Kılıçdaroğlu also said the media in Turkey is under immense pressure and the ruling government has made it a crime to criticize it. "If someone says something that the prime minister does not like, they are immediately taken into custody. We will bring real democracy to Turkey," he said.
The CHP leader also criticized the AKP for not protecting the rights of people who wear headscarves and work without insurance. He said he wanted Turkish unions to be more active in protecting the rights of workers.
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