The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
SECRET SUMMIT IN ANKARA
TGS Chief of Staff Gen. Basbug visited PM Erdogan at his residence on Sunday, July 25 at 11:00 pm. Gen. Basbug emphasized his concerns about the court decision of July 23, on the arrest order of 102 high-ranking officers (of whom 25 were retired, and 77 on duty), and its possible effects on the upcoming High Military Council meeting and promotion of officers. The meeting lasted for an hour, and after Gen. Basbug left the PM's Residence, Minister of Justice Ergin arrived to discuss the current developments with PM Erdogan.
TGS EXECUTED THE MILITARY COUP NOT TO THE GOVERNMENT BUT TO US!
The wife of Ret. Lt. General Engin Alan, Mrs. Nevin Alan criticized the TGS after the announcement of the arrest order for her husband. She said: "TGS executed a military coup on the officers on duty, and the retired ones who are its own personnel. They did not stand behind us; they even did not call us to ask if we need any assistance to defend ourselves." (Lt. Gen. Alan was the officer who took Abdullah Ocalan from Kenya to Turkey.)
5 OBJECTIONS FROM COMMANDERS
Seventy-four of the 102 soldiers for whom arrest warrants were issued applied to the court to have the decision annulled. "Annul this unjust decision before we go to the European Court of Justice," the soldiers said. The commanders said they were not expected to flee, the arrest warrants were against the principles of the European Court, they were not fugitives, there was no new evidence, and they recused the judge in charge of the case.
HISTORIC MESSAGES IN BRIEFCASE
British Prime Minister David Cameron, who arrived in Turkey on a formal visit yesterday, will say that he "came to Turkey to defend the country's EU membership bid."
Referring to a speech delivered by French General Charles De Gaulle before Britain joined the European Union, in which the general described the country as a state that could not be a full member of the union, Cameron will say that "his country knows what it feels to be left outside." "But we also know things can change," he will add.
TURKEY SEEKS TO BE IRAN'S NUKE MESSENGER
Turkey is offering its help in reaching a solution to Iran's disputed nuclear program, and is seeking close coordination on the matter, a senior Foreign Ministry source said, following a meeting with Iran and Brazil.
Ambassador Engin Soysal, the deputy undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry, flew back to Ankara on Sunday after ameeting in Istanbul between the foreign ministers of Turkey, Iran and Brazil to brief the representatives of key Western countries.
In addition to offering Turkey's diplomatic assistance, Soysal told the Ankara-based representatives of the P5+1 countries – the five permanent U.N. Security Council members, Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany – that Iran is willing to talk about all issues related to its Tehran research reactor and the exchange of fuel for the facility, the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review has learned.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held a trilateral meeting Sunday with the foreign ministers of Brazil and Iran concerning the nuclear dispute. The talks adopted a three-way format once Iran's Manouchehr Mottaki expressed an interest in attending them.
Davutoğlu announced after the meeting that Iran would send on Monday a second letter to the Vienna Group – Russia, France, the United States and the International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA – addressing concerns about the nuclear-fuel swap deal brokered by Turkey and Brazil, and inked with Iran in May.
Iran was also reportedly convinced at Sunday's talks to hold a meeting between its top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, and the EU's foreign-policy chief, Catherine Ashton. Davutoğlu said nuclear negotiations might resume in early September, and expressed Turkey's readiness to host them if needed.
Turkey's eagerness to play a facilitating role in a peaceful settlement to the nuclear dispute between Iran and major world powers was evidenced by Ambassador Soysal's quick return to the capital to brief the P5+1 countries on the talks in Istanbul.
One diplomat, speaking with the Daily News on condition of anonymity, said there was no new element in what the Turkish ambassador told the representatives, but added, "It was interesting for us to listen to what Turkey is doing on the nuclear issue."
U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Deborah L. Guido told the Daily News that the embassy "appreciated the briefing and the sharing of information" with Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Daniel J. O'Grady, who met with Soysal.
"P5+1 efforts have always been based on a two-track approach: diplomacy and pressure. And both need to be in play to get Iran to change its nuclear policy," she said. "The United States is committed to avoiding conflict in the region and remains committed to a negotiated solution."