The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
GOVERNMENT WINS HIGH MILITARY COUNCIL MARATHON
First time in its history, High Military Council Decisions were made at the forth day of the meeting. PM Erdogan signed the decisions after discussing with his senior staff for 2, 5 hours and sent it to President Gul for approval. The decree is excluded the appointments to the Chief of TGS and Commander of Land Forces. As known, PM Erdogan was reluctant to approve the promotion of the First Army Commander Gen. Igsiz to the Turkish Land Forces Commander, because of the accusations about him to order Col. Dursun Cicek to set up 48 websites against AKP Government. Since PM Erdogan rejected to sign Chief of TGS Gen. Basbug's nomination of Gen Igsiz as the Commander of the Turkish Land Forces, Gen. Isik Kosaner's appointment as the Chief of TGS after Gen. Basbug's retirement is delayed. It is expected that the Commander of Gendarme Gen. Atilla Isik is to be assigned as the next Commander of the Turkish Land Forces, and Gen Isik Kosaner to be the next Chief of TGS by the end of August.
SECOND SCHOCK TO GEN. IGSIZ
Republic Prosecutors offices announced that if Gen Igsiz and other 18 high ranking officers not come to testify till tomorrow, they will issue a warrant of arrest for each of them.
TURKEY SUMMONS US ENVOY OVER UN PROBE
Turkey summoned a top U.S. diplomat to complain about what it saw as an attempt to define the mandate of a U.N. probe on Israel's deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships, a Turkish diplomat said Wednesday.
Doug Silliman, the deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Ankara, was called to the Foreign Ministry on Monday "for a reprimand," after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon announced the creation of a four-member panel to investigate the raid that killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American, the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.
The reprimand was delivered over comments by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice, in which she said the U.N. inquiry was "not a substitute" for national investigations being carried out by Israel and Turkey.
"The United States is viewing the commission from a narrow perspective. [Rice's] statement was one that seemed to give the impression the U.S. was determining the commission's work," the diplomat said.
Ankara also objected to the U.S. view that the panel was meant to mend once-strong Turkish-Israeli ties that plunged into crisis following the May 31 raid on the aid ships.
"The raid is an issue between the international community and Israel, and not between Turkey and Israel. There were people from 30 different countries on those ships," the diplomat said.
"This commission is tasked with investigating the incident. Its duty is not to absolve Israel or improve Turkish-Israeli ties," he added.
The Israeli raid resulted in the death of eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent 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.
Although Turkey has welcomed the U.N. probe, it says it expects Israel to apologize over the raid, pay compensation for the victims and lift the blockade of Gaza for the recovery of bilateral ties.
TURKISH PROSECUTOR IN ERGENEKON CASE LAUNCHES INQUIRY INTO BAYKAL
An inquiry has been launched into former opposition leader Deniz Baykal within the scope of the Ergenekon probe into an alleged anti-government coup plot, Istanbul Public Prosecutor Zekeriya Öz told reporters Wednesday.
Öz said the inquiry was launched on claims of "attempting to influence a fair trial," based on alleged phone conversations between the former leader of the Republican People's Party, or CHP, and former Justice Minister Seyfi Oktay.
The alleged conversations are believed to have addressed the Constitutional Court's stance on the government-led constitutional reform package. The CHP had petitioned the top court to scrap the amendments, which are set for a Sept. 12 referendum.
Oktay was detained and gave testimony on the matter in June.
The Istanbul public prosecutor said many other people besides Baykal are under investigation in the ongoing Ergenekon case. Because Baykal is still a parliamentary deputy, Öz said, his situation will be assessed after the legal procedures are examined. He added that there is currently no summary of proceedings to be sent to Parliament about the former CHP chief, something that had been claimed by the press.
The Ergenekon investigation started in June 2007 with the discovery of 27 hand grenades in a shanty house belonging to a retired noncommissioned officer. The finding has led to scores of arrests and put nearly 200 journalists, writers, military personnel, gang leaders, scholars, businessmen and politicians in detention in what has become a terror investigation to stop an alleged ultranationalist, shadowy gang known as Ergenekon. In the later stages of the investigation, those in custody have been accused of planning to topple the government by staging a coup, initially by spreading chaos and mayhem in society.
ISRAEL'S BARAK DEFENDS CRITICISM OF NEW TURKISH SPY CHIEF
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has said his country's fears that Turkey could pass Israeli military secrets to Iran were well justified.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Barak stood behind his earlier remarks, in which he said Israeli military secrets entrusted to Turkey were not safe in the hands of its new intelligence chief, Hakan Fidan, whom he claimed was a friend of Iran.
Barak's remarks came as yet another blow to relations with Turkey, already strained over the deadly Israeli raid on an aid flotilla to Gaza that killed eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent. Turkey responded strongly to Barak's remarks, summoning the Israeli ambassador in Ankara to the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Tuesday to express its uneasiness over the comments.
Reiterating his words, Barak defended his criticism of Fidan. When asked what he thought about Turkey's anger over his remarks, the defense minister said he was only expressing Israel's uneasiness about the new Turkish spy chief.
According to leaked media reports, Barak, at a meeting of his Labor Party, described Turkey as a "friend and major strategic ally" while calling Fidan a "friend of Iran."
"There are quite a few secrets of ours [entrusted to Turkey] and the thought that they could become open to the Iranians over the next several months, let's say, is quite disturbing," Barak was quoted as saying in his speech, which was broadcast by Israeli Army Radio.
Commenting on the recent clash between Israel and Lebanon on their shared border, Barak praised the action of the Israeli army, saying it reacted in a proportionate and timely way to the incident, which he claimed was most probably premeditated. He said he was confident the clash would not turn into a greater conflict.