The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
TURKEY PROTESTS ISRAELI REMARK OVER ANKARA'S CHOICE OF INTELLIGENCE CHIEF
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has conveyed its uneasiness to the Israeli ambassador in Ankara over remarks by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who had expressed "concern" after Turkish government appointed a new chief to National Intelligence Organization or MİT. Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Halit Çevik summoned Gabi Levy to the ministry's headquarters.
"Turkey is our strategic ally but the appointment of a pro-Iranian chief to the MIT is a source of concern for us. Iran might have access to our secrets through Turkey," Barak had said earlier.
ISRAEL WILLING TO MEND TIES
Israel's Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor has expressed hope that his country's agreeing to cooperate with a U.N. panel to investigate into a deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza aid convoy would help Turkey and Israel mend relations. Meridor, however, said that findings of the U.N. panel would not prevail over findings of an Israeli investigation panel.
ERDOĞAN OF GAZA
Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas government in Gaza named his newest grandson "Erdoğan" after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Foreign news agencies served this news to the whole world. Also, the photo of little Erdoğan swaddled with Turkish flag was released.
ERUH AGAIN AFTER 26 YEARS
PKK terrorists, who staged their first bloody attack on August 15, 1984 in Eruh, in the southeastern province of Siirt, attacked Eruh again Tuesday night. One police officer died, while three PKK terrorists were killed. The terrorists, who arrived in Eruh by minibus at night, first destroyed the electricity network. After the town was plunged into darkness, the terrorists attacked the building of the security department and police lodgings with rocket launchers and long-range rifles. Police officer Ahmet Mutlu was killed and three others were wounded. The clash continued for five hours. PKK terrorists escaped into mountains when the Siirt Commando Unit sent a helicopter. Three terrorists were killed. 25 people, including the mayor and the town chairman from the Peace & Democracy Party, were detained. The PKK terrorist organization's bloody face was first revealed after it attacked Eruh 26 years ago.
Top promotion in Turkish army clouded by coup
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The general expected to be named this week to head Turkey's land forces has been called, along with 18 other military officers, to testify as part of the Ergenekon probe into an alleged anti-government coup plot.
The summons added yet more drama to the already tense Supreme Military Council, or YAŞ, which faces a dilemma about the pending promotions of 11 generals and admirals for whom arrest warrants have been issued in another alleged coup plot, the "Balyoz" (Sledgehammer) case.
Ergenekon prosecutor Zekeriya Öz on Monday called Gen. Hasan Iğsız, the acting commander of the 1st Army, to testify in an investigation of online anti-government propaganda allegedly linked to the Action Plan for the Fight against Fundamentalism. That case has been combined with a branch of the Ergenekon probe, which is investigating an alleged gang accused of plotting to overthrow the ruling government by fomenting chaos in society.
Iğsız had been expected to be promoted to Land Forces Commander, the second-highest rank in the military, during this year's YAŞ, which began Sunday. The alleged connection to the Ergenekon case may see Iğsız lose the promotion to Gendarmerie Cmdr. Atilla Işık, who is also being considered for the post, newspapers said Tuesday.
Ninteen officers summoned:
Öz began investigating the alleged online propaganda after an anonymous military informant sent a letter to Ergenekon prosecutors, claiming that an anti-fundamentalist action plan had been prepared by Col. Çiçek, upon instruction by Gen. Iğsız. The letter also said Çiçek had signed and presented a memorandum to Iğsız that explained how the colonel had built websites aiming to undermine the government.
Along with Iğsız, 18 other officers – including Çiçek and acting North Area Navy Commander Adm. Mehmet Otuzbiroğlu, who are also suspects in the Sledgehammer probe – were also called to testify about the websites. They are expected to do so within two or three days.
On Tuesday, the third day of this year's YAŞ, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met President Abdullah Gül before a lunch hosted by the latter for the members of the military council, NTV reported. No statement was made to the press. After the lunch, a meeting was held between Erdoğan, Gül and Chief of General Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ.
On the first day of the critical meeting Sunday, the government and the military had raised conflicting views on the promotion of 11 officers for whom arrest warrants have been issued in the Sledgehammer case.
The officers objected to the arrest warrant during the one-week period when such objections were allowed, as did all 102 people for whom the warrants were issued. The Istanbul high criminal court is scheduled to make a decision any day about whether the officers' appeals will be admitted.
Since the court has yet not issued a ruling and the council was scheduled to make its final decision regarding the officers' promotions Tuesday, the council is reportedly considering adopting a formula to hold the 11 officers in their present posts for an additional year, delaying controversial promotion decisions, according to media reports Tuesday.
During YAŞ, the retirement of 134 generals and admirals will be discussed, nearly 35 generals and admirals will be promoted to a higher rank and 45 colonels will be appointed generals and admirals. The decisions made at the council will be made public after they are presented to President Gül on Wednesday for his approval.