The following are translated excerpts from articles that appeared in the Turkish press.
STRANGE COMMENT FROM PRO-ARMENIAN NEWS AGENCY
Armenian news agency www.news.am published an article about the assignment of Gen. Isik Kosaner as the Chief of TGS. The article reads: "Turkey assigned a pro-Azerbaijan general to the highest military post. Gen. Kosaner known as the biggest supporter of training programs for Azeri military officers in Turkey".
ALL SUSPECTS RELEASED IN "SLEDGEHAMMER" CASE
Retired Colonel Ahmet Senturk was released last night after three days under custody period. With his release, no one remained under custody in Sledgehammer case.
Naval War Academy Commander Rear Admiral Turker Erturk resigned from his post to protest High Military Council's decision of not to promote him. He says he was waiting for 4 years to be promoted as Vice Admiral, and this was not realized. His name was on the list of suspects for the Sledgehammer case.
ARMENIAN BLOCAGE TO AMBASSADOR RICCIARDONE
Kansas Senator Sam Brownback, who is known as a supporter of Armenian thesis, objected to assignment of Francis Ricciardone as the US Ambassador to Turkey. According to the US laws, Ricciardone's assignment has to be approved at the Senate General Assembly after the approval of Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. In his testimony in Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Amb. Ricciardone told that he does not have any specific thoughts on the "so called" Armenian genocide; he will act in accordance with the US Policy on this issue. His assignment is expected to be approved after the 1 month summer holiday of the Senate.
FORMER MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER ACCUSED OF INFLUENCING COURT TRIAL
Police has built up a case against Deniz Baykal, former leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party, accusing him of attempting to influence fair trial in the Ergenekon case, according to a news report appeared on Channel D, a Turkish national TV channel. Police put together a file made up of Baykal's statements on the Ergenekon case and asked for his punishment for "influencing and threatening" prosecutors and judges. The file is reportedly before İstanbul's chief prosecutor, Aykut Cengiz Engin. The İstanbul prosecutor may send the case to the Turkish parliament to remove Baykal's legislative immunity.
HAD I ORDERED GENERALS FOR THE COUP?
Tuncay Özkan, who has been under arrest under Ergenekon case, shouted in his first hearing in two months and said, "why are you keeping me here? Which coup did I make? Which general had taken orders from me?" Özkan was thrown from the courtroom.
On the other hand, Mustafa Balbay reacted, saying, "As the commanders attempted a coup less, will Balbay attempt one fully? Nazım Hikmet was given a typewriter in the prison 70 years ago. We are not given one now. Adnan Menderes was tried in 9 months and Deniz Gezmis was tried in 15 months."
APPOINTMENTS OF JUDGES, PROSECUTORS YET TO BE DECIDED
Members of Turkey's High Board of Judges and Prosecutors have failed to reach an agreement on the appointments of more than 1300 judges and prosecutors. Differences have surfaced between the elected members of the board and the government wing especially over the appointments of a number of senior judges and prosecutors including those probing and chairing the Ergenekon case. The government is highly likely to postpone the appointments until after a referendum on a package of constitutional reforms.
TWO KILLED IN PIPELINE EXPLOSION IN SOUTHEAST TURKEY
Two people were killed Tuesday night in an explosion on a pipeline near the town of İdil, in southeastern Turkey's Şırnak province.
The pipeline owned and operated by the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Company, or BOTAŞ, was reportedly sabotaged by alleged members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK].
According to reports, a landmine was detonated on the pipeline close to the Şırnak-İdil road near Mağara village. Two people were killed and one was injured as the ensuing fire spread to cars passing on the road.
The injured person was taken to İdil State Hospital.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
TURKISH FM: UN CHIEF GAVE 'NECESSARY RESPONSE' TO NETANYAHU
As Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims that Turkey provoked a confrontation by endorsing a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships, Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoğlu says nobody can place the responsibility of killing civilians in international waters on the other party. "The UN secretary-general gave the necessary response to Netanyahu's explanations," Davutoğlu said.
The United Nations responded appropriately to the Israeli prime minister's accusation that Turkey had provoked a confrontation by endorsing a Gaza-bound flotilla of aid ships, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Tuesday.
"Nobody can place the blame on the other party," Davutoğlu told a press conference held jointly with his Belgian counterpart, Steven Vanackere.
On Monday, Israel's hard-line Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Turkey was spoiling for a fight, a claim he made while speaking to an Israeli investigative commission about the May 31 raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, in which nine people were killed.
"The U.N. secretary-general gave the necessary response [Monday] to Netanyahu's explanations," Davutoğlu said.
U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon denied Monday that he had struck an agreement with Israel that would bar a U.N. panel from interviewing Israeli military personnel over the flotilla incident. Ban said he had "full confidence" in the U.N.-led panel approved Aug. 2.
In his speech, Davutoğlu said the U.N.-led panel, members of which include a Turkish and an Israeli representative, would meet Tuesday; and reiterated that the convening of such a committee was a significant step.
"Nobody can place the responsibility of killing civilians in international waters on the other party," the Turkish foreign minister said. "There is a very clear situation that Israel killed civilians in international waters. First of all, they should bear that responsibility."
Davutoğlu expressed Turkey's confidence in the U.N.-led panel and its hopes that the panel would determine the responsible party for the incident in conformity with international law. "Turkey bears no responsibility in this case and is determined to protect the rights of its own citizens,"Davutoğlu said.
Eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent were killed in the May 31 attack.
Belgian Foreign Minister Vanackere said Belgium regretted the disproportionate use of force Israel employed against the aid flotilla and demanded an independent, impartial inquiry into the incident. For the U.N.-led committee to make a final judgment, he said, "We need to wait and see the results."
EDUCATION MINISTER APPROVES IN PRINCIPLE GENDER-SEPARATED SCHOOLS
Turkey's education minister over the weekend said in principle she is not against girls and boys studying at separate schools, calling on Roma people to send their children to schools in Edirne, the Anatolia news agency reported Tuesday.
Emphasizing that educating girls is significant for Turkey's development, Education Minister Nimet Çubukçu said the government would materially and spiritually support Roma people who could not afford to send their children to school.
"Due to financial difficulties or for a variety of reasons, many of you could not send your children to school after primary school. There is support available, for example conditional cash transfers or transportation of some high school students," said Çubukçu, adding that it is not possible to rid society of its problems without education.
The İzmir Education Directorate's offer at an education workshop last week to provide separate schools for boys and girls in some parts of İzmir to increase the schooling rate for girls has triggered a debate regarding mixed gender education, the Doğan news agency reported Saturday.
Çubukçu, who was in eastern Anatolia on Saturday to attend education functions, said at a press conference that the Education Ministry maintained no policy regarding segregated schools. "This is a defensible view. Especially in some regions, in high schools it is important to encourage girls to continue their education," she said. "In the [regions of western Turkey] the schooling rate of girls in high school is 65 percent. However, here it is 24 percent. You cannot plan education disregarding regional differences. I do not see any inconvenience in planning education and implementing those kinds of offers."
Separating schools according to gender is a policy that has been implemented since the first years of the Republic, Çubukçu said. "It is a policy that is implemented all around the world. I do not see any reason to exaggerate this," she said. Çubukçu also said it was not scientific to regard this issue as a matter of being modern or not.