The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TO VISIT TURKEY
British Prime Minister David Cameron is in Turkey on a two-day state visit. Turkey's European Union membership process and efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue will be high on agenda during Cameron's talks in Turkey.
TURKISH ENGINE FOR F-35, THE FIGHTER JETS OF FUTURE
U.S. company United Technologies Corp and Turkey's KaleKalıp will build engines of F35 joint strike fighter jets in İzmir. The announcement was made by Turkey's foreign trade minister Zafer Çağlayan who paid a one-week visit to United States last week. Under the deal, 51 percent of the joint venture will be owned by KaleKalıp. KaleKalıp will also produce Sikorsky helicopters with Alp Aviation and UTC.
TURKISH JEWS IN ISRAEL TO PRESENT COUNTRY'S NEWS FOR TURKS
An association of Turkish Jews in Israel has launched a campaign to better inform the Turkish public and the Turkish media about events in Israel by addressing them in their own language.
A website from the group, HASTÜRK, at www.hasturktv.com, has been online since July 20 and is attempting to provide news from the Israeli press and official statements made by the Israeli government in the Turkish language.
Rafael Sadi, a spokesman for the organization, said he hoped the initiative would serve the friendship between both countries.
"This idea grew almost 10 years ago due to the anti-Israel attitude in the Turkish press in the wake of the second intifada of 2000. As a Turk and Israeli who was born in Turkey and has been living in Israel for 10 years, that concerned me a lot," Sadi told the Hürriyet Daily News.
"Turkish society has become anti-Israeli within 10 years' time," he said.
Explaining the main objective of the project, Sadi said: "As people who live in Israel, who speak Turkish and who know Israel very well, it is us who can better explain Israel to Turkish society. It is only us who can understand how deep is the impact and the harm dealt by inaccurate news."
He said the website would post stories from the Israeli press and Israeli Foreign Ministry statements in Turkish.
"That will be an interesting service for Turkish people who want to see the reality," according to Sadi. "The whole matter is to provide Turkish readers with accurate news without disseminating any hostility and without distorting the facts."
There are almost 100,000 Turkish Jews in Israel and the union has almost 3,000 members.
Asked about Israelis' perception of Turkey given the crisis in the two countries' relationship since the Gaza war, Sadi said Israeli people differentiated between the Turkish government and the Turks.
"The general opinion of the Israelis is the [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is anti-Israeli, but on the other side, people distinguish the difference between politicians and the people," he said. "These are the majority."
Sadi shared his experience one week after the Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that claimed the lives of nine people on May 31. "There is a Turkish flag in my office. An Israeli who was passing by one week after the Mavi Marmara incident stopped his car and asked me if it was not time to take down the flag," he said.
"I answered, why should I do that? That is my flag, and that is the flag of [modern Turkish founder Mustafa Kemal] Atatürk. The man said I was right and then went away. Turkish people are different for the Israelis. The Israeli people have no problem with the Turks," he said.
TOP ARREST WARRANTS STIR NEW LEGAL ROW IN TURKEY
An arrest order issued Friday that may see former top commanders imprisoned for the first time is raising legal questions as the suspects' lawyers say they will object to the orders.
The Istanbul 10th Court of Serious Crimes issued an arrest order Friday for 102 out of 192 suspects within the scope of the "Sledgehammer" (Balyoz) trial, a group that includes 28 active-duty generals or admirals and two retired top commanders of the Air Force and Navy.
Retired Gen. Çetin Doğan, the former commander of the 1st Army and the alleged mastermind of the plan, was arrested Sunday at the airport in Bodrum while returning to Istanbul. He had told daily Milliyet that he would turn himself in Monday.
Daily Vatan questioned who would arrest the top-ranking suspects on active duty if they do not turn themselves in, citing military procedures that say an officer may be detained only by someone of a higher rank.
Retired military judge Ümit Kardaş reminded Vatan that a prosecutor's investigation of Gen. Saldıray Berk, the commander of the 3rd Army, was not allowed on military premises and a similar "de facto" situation may be experienced again in the Sledgehammer case.
"However, these soldiers are being tried by civilian courts. Equality must be an issue for the civil judiciary," Kardaş said.
Retired Gen. Süha Tanyeri also said he would turn himself in Monday, daily Milliyet reported. He added that although he has been respectful of and trusting in the law all his life, "right now, I have hesitations regarding whether we should respect the law or not."
Sledgehammer is an alleged military coup plot against the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said to have been drafted in 2003. According to the allegations, the military planned drastic measures to foment unrest in the country in order to remove the AKP from power.
Yavuz Dağlı, a lawyer for retired Adm. Feyyaz Öğütçü, also spoke to daily Milliyet on the matter, saying: "There is no fugitive status here. [Article 100] is employed for people who do not come to testify when called."
The arrest order was made according to Article 100 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which states that suspects may be arrested if there is suspicion that they would escape, change or hide evidence or apply pressure on others related to the case. Lawyers for the suspects have the right to object to the arrest order to the 11th Court until next Friday, and some have already stated they will do so, primarily citing the fact that the arrested suspects would have to stay in prison until the first hearing of the trial, set for Dec. 16.
Arrest orders were also issued Friday for 16 retired generals, retired and active colonels and other officers. Some of the active-duty commanders were expecting promotions from the Supreme Military Council, or YAŞ, on Aug. 1. Their being put under arrest makes this impossible unless the objections to the higher court are accepted.
The ministers of defense and internal affairs have the authority to remove the officers from their duties with the justification of their being tried. If that does not happen before Aug. 4, however, officers under arrest will miss promotion opportunities for this term.
TURKEY DIVES BACK IN TO IRAN DIPLOMACY
Turkey has dived once again into the diplomatic debate over Iran's nuclear program, brushing aside growing dissatisfaction and skepticism from the United States to host the foreign ministers of Iran and Brazil on Sunday.
Iran will send a letter Monday to major world powers via the United Nations' nuclear watchdog addressing concerns about a nuclear-fuel swap deal inked in May, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Sunday.
The announcement came after Davutoğlu held three-way talks in Istanbul with his Iranian and Brazilian counterparts, Manouchehr Mottaki and Celso Amorim, to discuss the Islamic republic's controversial nuclear program. Turkey and Brazil previously brokered an agreement with Iran that failed to stop the United Nations Security Council from instituting new sanctions against Tehran on June 9.
"Mr. Mottaki told us that Iran would send a letter to the International Atomic Energy Agency [IAEA] on Monday morning in response to the Vienna Group's letter and questions asked last month," Anatolia news agency quoted Davutoğlu as saying Sunday.
The meeting was the top diplomats' first since brokering the May 18 uranium swap deal.
"This is positive momentum," Davutoğlu said, expressing Turkey's readiness to host a meeting between Iran and the European Union if needed.
The Turkish foreign minister said Iran might hold talks on its nuclear program with the European Union in early September, after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He said Mottaki "confirmed the meeting might take place after Ramadan."
"Iran has once again reaffirmed that it was ready for talks with [EU foreign-affairs chief] Catherine Ashton as a representative of the P5+1," Davutoğlu said, referring to the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – plus Germany.
"Iranian officials have reaffirmed that they were ready for talks, probably in the second week of September, after Ramadan," he said.
Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had sent a letter to Ashton in early July, detailing Tehran's conditions for the talks. "The Jalili-Ashton meeting is overdue," the Associated Press quoted Davutoğlu as saying.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has set three conditions for an eventual resumption of talks, saying countries that want to participate should make clear whether they oppose Israel's nuclear arsenal, whether they support the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and whether they want to be friends or enemies with Iran. However, he said participation in the talks is not contingent on the answers.
Jalili's letter reiterated the three points and said the EU must make it clear whether the talks will be aimed at "interaction and cooperation, or hostility and confrontation."
The West accuses Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is merely for peaceful electricity production.
The U.N. imposed tougher sanctions on Iran last month after failing to get the country to accept a U.N.-drafted plan to swap its low-enriched uranium for higher-enriched uranium in the form of fuel rods Iran needs for a medical-research reactor. The EU has also imposed new sanctions.
The swap would have significantly reduced Iran's low-enriched uranium stockpile and delayed any weapons-making capabilities. Iran instead opted for a plan backed by Turkey and Brazil that included the uranium-for-rods exchange but did not mandate a halt to its enrichment process and fell short of U.N. demands.
'New world order'
Turkey and Brazil expressed support Sunday for a diplomatic solution to the standoff. The Brazilian foreign minister said both countries had confidence in the agreement they brokered in Tehran regarding Iran's nuclear program.
"We are trying to create a new world order," Amorim told a joint press conference with Davutoğlu. "Solving this global issue is in the best interests of everyone."
Amorim defined Turkey as a significant actor in the Middle East and said Brazil had received requests from some Middle Eastern countries to help with the peace process. The Brazilian foreign minister said he did not want to tour the region without consulting his Turkish counterpart, Davutoğlu.
The Turkish foreign minister also said the goal was to keep diplomatic doors open to resolve the standoff over Iran's nuclear program, adding that the main aim of the Tehran agreement was to pave the way for a diplomatic solution.
Earlier, Iran had sent another letter to IAEA in which it said was ready for technical negotiations with the Vienna Group as required by the Tehran Declaration. The group had responded to Iran's letter.
"I hope [Monday's] letter and the new period to begin with this letter will lay the groundwork for a stronger diplomatic channel," Davutoğlu said.
STRATEGIC DEPTH 'ISOLATING' TURKEY, SAYS CHP LEADER
The ruling party's policies on Iran and its response to the Gaza flotilla crisis have created distrust in the West, isolating Turkey, the of the main opposition party says. In an interview with the Daily News, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu accuses his political rivals of trying to distract the public's attention from the economy and its own faltering support.
The foreign policy implemented by Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, is isolating the country regionally and worldwide by causing confidence problems with the West, the head of the main opposition party has said.
"The policies [of the ruling party] have caused Turkey to become isolated. It has also caused a serious trust issue. How will the AKP fix this trust issue?" Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the Republican People's Party, or CHP, said Thursday.
In an interview with the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review in his office at party headquarters in Ankara, the CHP chief criticized the AKP's stances on engaging with Iran over its nuclear program, responding to the flotilla crisis with Israel and holding meetings with Hamas.
Arguing that the ruling party has not followed a finely tuned policy on the issue of Iran's controversial nuclear program, Kılıçdaroğlu said the nuclear swap agreement brokered with Iran by Turkey and Brazil has been a key factor in causing Turkey's isolation. "This [agreement] didn't make anyone in the P5+1 [the permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany], including Russia, satisfied. Eventually, Brazil withdrew its signature too," he said. "Turkey was left alone at the end."
Though the ruling party has defended Iran's right to have a nuclear program, the CHP chief said his party has a different stance. "We said we did not think any of our neighbors should have nuclear weapons. Why? Because the Middle East has a very complex geography with civil wars, border issues, energy sources and internationally followed spies. It is a risk to have weapons in such a center," he said.
Turkey also followed the "wrong policies" on Israel's deadly May 31 raid on a flotilla of Gaza-bound aid ships, the CHP chief said.
"Their blood is left on the floor. The AKP is the only one responsible for this. They sent people to their deaths deliberately," Kılıçdaroğlu said. "The Gaza incident took place under the knowledge of the government. It went on despite warnings from Israel. There are many shadowy relations that have not been reflected to the public," he added, noting that the AKP has blocked a parliamentary inquiry into the incident.
The killing of eight Turks and one American citizen of Turkish descent by Israeli commandos has further strained already-tense ties between Turkey and Israel, a development that has concerned the United States and the European countries.
Kılıçdaroğlu said sending the ships to Gaza was a planned act. "Why did the AKP do this? The AKP wanted to change Turkey's agenda. The economy is going badly, politics is going badly, the AKP is losing its base. They wanted to move the agenda to another topic, so they mediated such an event," he said. "The AKP government is doing this consciously. They realize they're making great mistakes, but it's too late now."
Hamas as the fault line
Kılıçdaroğlu also criticized what he called the AKP's siding with Hamas, the rulers of the besieged Gaza Strip, over the al-Fatah group in Palestine, calling this a second grave mistake on the issue.
"What Turkey has done to date in foreign politics is to act the same toward every country, keeping things sincere, but as objective as possible. To meddle with the internal affairs of another country, or to support one party to oppose other parties is not in our foreign politics," the CHP chief said. "The change in this line has become very clear with Hamas. Hamas is not a political structure that is accepted by the West. It is perceived as a terrorist organization."
Shift in axis
The AKP's position on these three issues is enough for Westerners to feel concerned about a shift in Turkey's axis, Kılıçdaroğlu said. He also criticized the West, however, for not paying enough attention to what the opposition has been saying about these issues since the AKP came to power.
"The West has always turned a deaf ear. They blamed us, saying, '[The AKP] is bringing democracy and expanding freedoms, and you're blocking the way.' These events opened the eyes of the West for the first time," he said. "They saw that the AKP is not the AKP they thought it was."
TURKISH PRESIDENT GUL APPOINTS CANSIZ TO EDUCATIONAL BODY
The appointment of Professor Harun Cansız to the Higher Education Board, or YÖK, was approved by Turkish President Abdullah Gül over the weekend.
Cansız, from the Istanbul University Medical Faculty, was one of a number of Turkish professors to sign the 2008 "Freedom for Headscarves" proclamation, which aimed to lift the ban on headscarves for females attending university.
Gül's approval came after Cansız had been appointed to the board by the Cabinet.