The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
ISRAEL STEPS BACK
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced that Israeli Government accepted an international investigation on "Mavi Marmara" incident. The investigation commission will be jointly led by Former Prime Minister of New Zealand Mr. Geoffrey Palmer and the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe. One representative from both Turkey and Israel will be assigned to the commission. Benjamin Nethenyahu became the first Israeli PM who accepted United Nations investigation on operations of Israeli armed forces.
REPUBLIC PROSECUTOR ZEKERIYA OZ CALLS GENERAL HASAN IGSIZ TO TESTIFY IN THREE DAYS.
First Army Commander Gen. Igsiz invited to testify "immediately" within three days under the investigation of "internet memorandum" prepared by the Turkish General Staff (TGS) Information and Support Command (commanded by Col. Dursun Cicek) and signed by Gen Igsiz during his term of Second Commander-In-Chief (CIC) of the TGS. The "Internet Memorandum" was an order to design some web sites to direct public opinion against radical Islam and the PKK. Republic Prosecuter Oz also issued a search warrant for 19 high ranking commanders' offices and residences including Gen. Igsiz. Police forces confiscated 19 external hard disks and hundreds of documents during the search. Gen Igsiz is expected to be promoted as Commander of Turkish Land Forces during the ongoing High Military Council.
PM ERDOGAN POINTS GEN. ISIK
PM Erdogan wants Gen Atilla Isik, current Commander of Gendarme to be the Commander of Turkish Land Forces to replace Gen. Isik Kosaner, instead of Gen. Hasan Igsiz, who is under suspicion in "Ergenekon Case."
FORMULA OF EXTENSION ON AGENDA
11th Heavy Penal Court has not made a decision on objections of 11 generals and admirals for whom another court had issued arrest warrants in Sledgehammer plan. Supreme Military Council could not, therefore, promote these officers. If the court does not make a decision by the end of the council meeting, the council will extend their tour of duty.
TURKEY WELCOMES UN FLOTILLA PROBE
Turkey on Monday welcomed a United Nations probe into Israel's deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships and said that Tel Aviv's decision to cooperate with the inquiry panel was an important step.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said the probe marked the first time that Israel had agreed to an international inquiry and showed that "all countries are accountable to international law."
Israel's decision to take part in the U.N. investigation "is a first ..., but it should not be seen as extraordinary," Davutoğlu told Anatolia news agency.
"As a U.N. member, Israel is a country that is answerable to the international community for its actions," he added.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon announced Monday that a four-member panel, including an Israeli and a Turk, would investigate the May 31 raid by Israeli forces on the aid flotilla aiming to break Israel's blockade of Hamas-run Gaza.
Israel had until now rejected calls for an international independent investigation into the commando raid that left eight Turks and one American citizen of Turkish descent dead.
The panel, chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer and with outgoing Colombian President Alvaro Uribe as vice chairman, will begin work Aug. 10 and submit a first progress report by mid-September, Ban said.
A Turkish government source described the U.N. probe as an "important step" and said Ankara's pressure on the international community had led Israel to agree to cooperate.
"As a result of Turkey's initiatives with the U.N., the United States and Europe, Israel has agreed to cooperate with the committee," the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"This is a very important decision for Turkey," he added. "This committee is an important step in remedying the injustice Turkey has encountered in the raid."
The Turkish Foreign Ministry also hailed the U.N. probe as a "step taken in the right direction" and pledged Ankara's cooperation with the panel.
"It is imperative that the investigation is carried out in a swift, objective and transparent manner in line with international standards. ... We believe all the panel members will act in an objective and responsible manner," a statement from the ministry said.
Turkey hopes that the result of the inquiry will serve to "install respect for international law and contribute to preventing a repeat of similar violations," it added.
Davutoğlu told Anatolia that the Turkish panel member would be an "experienced diplomat," and said a candidate had already been agreed upon in consultations with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President Abdullah Gül.
He did not identify the candidate but said that the U.N. chief would make the announcement "in a few days."
Ban, who held last-minute consultations with Israeli and Turkish leaders over the weekend, thanked both sides "for their spirit of compromise" that made possible what he called "an unprecedented development.
"I hope that today's agreement will impact positively on the relationship between Turkey and Israel as well as the overall situation in the Middle East."
The May raid by Israeli commandos resulted in the death of eight Turks and one Turkish-American on the flotilla's lead ship, the Turkish ferry Mavi Marmara, dealing a heavy blow to Turkish-Israeli ties.
Ankara denounced the raid as a violation of international law, immediately recalled its ambassador and canceled three planned joint military exercises with Israel.
Turkey said Israel must apologize for the raid, pay compensation for the victims and lift the blockade of Gaza for the recovery of bilateral ties.
MHP'S BAHÇELI SLAMS TURKISH CLERIC FETHULLAH GÜLEN
The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leveled harsh criticism against a Turkish religious leader and the ruling government during his visit to the western province of Manisa on Monday.
"In recent years, religious movement leaders have intensely engaged in politics. It will be more beneficial for Fethullah Gülen to come from the United States to Turkey to vote in the September referendum instead of calling on those dead people to vote," MHP chief Devlet Bahçeli told reporters in Manisa, where he had traveled as part of his "no campaign" against the referendum on the government-led constitutional amendments.
Gülen, the leader of one of Turkey's most influential Islamic movements, allegedly said those who are dead should wake up and vote "yes" in the Sept. 12 referendum for the reform package, the daily, Zaman, reported.
Bahçeli also said three unknown issues should be clarified, starting with the details of the Dolmabahçe meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt on May 4, 2007.
Unknown issues with regard to the assassination attempt against Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç in December should also be revealed, Bahçeli said.
"And finally, we want an explanation on the content of what we describe as the destruction project: the Kurdish move. How has the Kurdish move process come to this point?" he asked.
Addressing residents of Manisa's Turgutlu district, the opposition leader also criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, for preparing the constitutional amendments without consensus.
Bahçeli said the AKP made symbolic visits to ward off public criticism of its failure to seek consensus for the reform package.
He reiterated that the MHP will say "no" in the referendum, saying, "The Kurdish move project is a trap disguised in the constitutional amendments."