The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
THIS GENERATION WILL NEVER SEE PEACE
Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Lieberman says that there won't be peace between Israel and Palestinians in short term.
He added that he does not think the Palestinians will be violent to Israel in the near future, but will not be eager for peace.
He concluded his remarks: "Forget about the next year, even the next generation, will not see peace between us."
Prime Minister Nethenyahu kept his silence about Lieberman's words; Palestinian authorities protested Lieberman's approach.
ASELPOD WILL SPOT, F-16s WILL HIT
Turkey has been getting surveillance and target-marking systems for its fighter jets, to be used in the fight against terrorism, from foreign companies.
But now, Turkey is about to complete a very important national project. The countdown has begun for the AselPod (a surveillance and targeting system), designed and produced by Turkish engineers, which provides "day-like" conditions for F-16 [fighter] jets in their night operations.
REFERENDUM IS NOT A VOTE OF CONFIDENCE ON THE GOVERNMENT, ERDOĞAN SAYS
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday addressed a massive rally in Istanbul ahead of a September 12 referendum on a government-backed constitutional reform package. "This is not a vote of confidence on the government. For those who might to want to settle their accounts with us, you will have to wait ten more months for the general elections," Erdoğan told the quarter-million crowd at Istanbul's Kazlıçeşme square.
MHP'S VURAL TO BLAME ERDOĞAN FOR REFERENDUM
Nationalist Movement Party Group Deputy Chairman Oktay Vural accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of distributing propaganda at referendum rallies and for intimidating people into voting "yes," Doğan news agency reported Sunday.
Speaking at a fast-breaking "iftar" dinner in the Aegean province of Aydın, Vural said governors and district governors were intimidating people to vote "yes" in the forthcoming referendum, citing villagers who had been threatened with the cancellation of local infrastructure and support projects if they voted "no."
Vural said he would vote "no" in the referendum because the constitutional amendment package could cause polarization in the society. "A constitution should not exclude people, it should embrace people," he said.
Vural blamed Erdoğan for not referring to a unitary state in his Friday Diyarbakır speech.
KILIÇDAROĞLU SEEKS SUPPORT IN AKP-RIDDEN REGIONS
On a busy day spent at six rallies, the leader of the Republican People's Party [CHP] visited areas that are overwhelmingly dominated by the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP].
Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu mostly spoke about fighting poverty and corruption ahead of the constitutional referendum, which is seen as a rehearsal for 2011 general elections.
Republican People's Party [CHP] leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu visited Saturday ruling party-dominated Bolu, Düzce, Sakarya and Kocaeli districts where the referendum has seemingly turned into a settling of accounts for CHP voters. Packaging six spots into a one-day tour as part of his "no" campaign for the Sept. 12 referendum, Kılıçdaroğlu spent Saturday touring the four areas, plus Sakarya's Hendek and Akyazı districts.
The ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] gained an overwhelming majority in the areas both in 2007 general elections and 2009 local elections, in which the CHP could only capture two out of nine seats. The statistical picture likewise manifested itself in the visited places. Except for Sakarya and Kocaeli, the local interest was a disappointment for the CHP. The rallies in Bolu, the two Sakarya districts, and Düzce, where religious communities are pretty strong, saw a quite small audience, whereas Kılıçdaroğlu was welcomed by a thunderous ovation in Sakarya and Kocaeli in particular. At almost all stops, the major complaints raised by locals were about poverty and unemployment, so Kılıçdaroğlu's promises to fight poverty and corruption were among his most applauded statements.
The political parties have attached the utmost importance to the referendum, as they view the race as a rehearsal for the 2011 general elections. At almost every stop, CHP voters seemed to act with partisan feelings and perceive the referendum as an opportunity to teach the AKP a lesson. Some seemed to have [limited] knowledge of the content of the constitutional amendments. Many based their views on hearsay, as their knowledge of the package was usually limited to the public and media criticisms about the judiciary-related articles. Still, it seems their basic motive for saying "no" is their affiliation with the CHP and opposition to the AKP. Many thus seemed to be voting against the AKP, not the proposed changes to the Constitution.
"I don't want the AKP to run the country. Some articles are just a trap. I don't want the judiciary to be politicized," said retired worker Bayram Sarıyaka of Bolu. Meanwhile Cebrail Ükçü of Sakarya said: "Some 7,000 shop owners face a trial as they couldn't pay back the earthquake credit to the banks following the quake and the AKP did do nothing for them."
In Kocaeli, a city of industry that suffered from privatization and the sale of factories to foreign investors, many complain about unemployment and the AKP's economic policies.
"Here is a city of workers. I know that many people who earlier voted for the AKP now lean towards the CHP. They see the CHP as the only alternative against the AKP," a local said.
Kılıçdaroğlu gave different messages to people. He defended the rights of youth and women and promised larger role for them in politics in the city. He mentioned the youth's problems and promised insurance for women in the places where youth and women's interest were high. In Akyazı, he was critical of the CHP's rare visits to the area, associating the small interest with his party's absence here while in Sakarya, Kılıçdaroğlu took a pause in his speech while the call to prayer was sung.
The high interest shown at Kılıçdaroğlu stops from women and youth was noteworthy, while what attracted non-CHP voters to the rally venue was curiosity.
"The CHP has never been on my agenda. I never vote for them. But I wondered about Kılıçdaroğlu and what he will say here," Huriye Ç., said in Bolu.
"Maybe [former CHP leader Deniz] Baykal was more intellectual but I find Kılıçdaroğlu much more sincere, trustworthy and honest. He is closer to the public. I am sure he will be better in politics in the course of time," said Ayşe Danacı in Düzce, reflecting many of the feelings of CHP voters in this regard.
CHP's Hakkı Süha Okay said the 1973 and 1977 elections were the most glorious years for the CHP in terms of public interest. "The love and interest for Kılıçdaroğlu is even much more than those years. The public see him as one of them," he told the Daily News.
One of the posters supported Okay's remarks. "Whenever Turkey is in trouble, a new Kemal is born," read a poster, referring to modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
ARMENIA SAYS IT WON'T TAKE PART IN MASS AT ANCIENT CHURCH
The Armenian Church has said it would not participate in a mass scheduled for Sept. 19 at an ancient Armenian church on Akhtamar Island on Lake Van. The Armenian Church cited Turkey's refusal to erect a cross at the Akhtamar Church, despite a promise to do so, as the reason for its no-show.
ONLY SECULARISM CAN SAVE IRAQ
Iraq is still seeking a government after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. Turkey's Ambassador in Baghdad, Murat Özçelik, talked about controversies [clouding] the future of Iraq and said the only thing that could save the country was secularism.
"For us, the essential thing is the formation of a government that reflected the democratic choice of the people. We would not stand close to those who are not supporters of democracy," Özçelik said.
THE LIST IS NOT ENOUGH
Iraqi State Minister for National Security Shirwan al-Waeli, Iraq's top authority in the fight against the PKK terrorist organization, said the Iraqi government was not satisfied with the list of PKK members handed over by Turkey for extradition. Iraqi minister said Ankara should give a detailed list that would include also addresses and codenames of PKK members.
Al-Waeli said not all PKK members on the list were living in Iraq. He said some of them are in Iran, some in Syria and some in Turkey.
"If we had fingerprints, we could have controlled [stopped] these people, at least, on the border," he said.
U.S. MILITARY CHIEF SEEKS TURKISH SUPPORT ON IRAN
The United States' top military officer stressed on Saturday the need for Turkey to help enforce United Nations sanctions against Iran aimed at deterring the Islamic Republic from obtaining a nuclear bomb.
Turkey voted against the U.S.-backed sanctions against Iran in June, insisting that its neighbor's nuclear program is peaceful, despite fears that Tehran might be seeking to develop nuclear arms. Turkey has, however, said that it will abide by the sanctions.
Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the [U.S.] Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters in the Turkish capital that he did not plan to "question or rebut" Turkey over the vote and welcomed Turkey's stated intention to abide by those sanctions.
The U.N. approved a fourth round of sanctions against Iran in early June over accusations that Tehran is seeking to develop atomic weapons. Iran denies its nuclear program is
military in nature and says it has a right to conduct uranium enrichment for peaceful purposes.
Washington and other powers accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear weapon.
Mullen said that both countries agree that Iran should not achieve "a nuclear weapons capability" and need "to do all that we can to ensure that."
Mullen arrived in Ankara on Friday to meet with his new Turkish counterpart, Gen. Isik Kosaner, who took office on Aug. 27. He also met with Turkey's prime minister and defense minister. No statements were released after those meetings.
Mullen praised Turkey, NATO's sole Muslim member state, for its role in Afghanistan and said the United States would welcome any additional help it can provide.
Turkey currently holds the rotating command of the international peacekeeping force guarding the Afghan capital, while Turkish instructors are training the Afghan army and police force.
"We would like Turkey to sustain all of those efforts," Mullen said. "Any additional capabilities that Turkey can provide against the training shortfall, that would certainly be of great help."
The U.S. military chief said Washington has no plans to withdraw its weapons from Iraq through Turkey, though the U.S. military has sought Turkish permission to transport some noncombat equipment from Iraq through its territory.
Turkey has said it looks favorably on the passage of such equipment and technical material, but not arms, which would require parliament's approval. In 2003, Turkey refused to allow U.S. forces to use its territory to invade Iraq.
IRAQ, AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN AT THE TOP OF ADM. MULLEN'S SCHEDULE IN ANKARA
Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, [the] PKK [terror] organization and many other issues were at the top of the two-day schedule of Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullen in Ankara.
Diplomatic sources said common topics on the agenda of the two countries were discussed during Admiral Mullen's meetings with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul and Chief of General Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner.
The sources said the parties discussed, in detail, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and reviewed [progress] to form a new government in Iraq. They said the parties discussed activities of the terrorist PKK organization, which is an enemy of the two countries.
The sources said the visit of Admiral Mullen, aimed at meeting with Gen. Kosaner, did not have a specific agenda.
TURKISH-KOREAN DEFENSE COOPERATION AT FULL SPEED
KAI and TAI, the respective aerospace companies operating in South Korea and Turkey, will deliver their first jointly manufactured basic trainer aircraft, the KT-1T, to the Turkish Air Force next month.
Following increasingly warm diplomatic relations, the two countries share close economic and trade ties
Korea Aerospace Industries [KAI,] and Turkish Aerospace Industries [TAI] are scheduled to deliver to Turkish authorities next month their first jointly manufactured basic trainer, officials close to the program said Friday.
The Undersecretariat for Defense Industries [SSM], Turkey's defense procurement agency, and KAI signed in 2007 a $350 million contract to produce 40 KT-1Ts for the Turkish Air Force. Production of the aircraft is near completion.
A ceremony will be held in Turkey in late October to mark the delivery of the first KT-1T aircraft, officials said. Deliveries will then continue under the terms of the contract and will be completed in June 2012.
According to the contract, five of the aircraft are to be produced at the KAI plant in Korea, while the remaining planes are being jointly manufactured at the TAI plant near Ankara.
Turkey also has an option to order another 15 KT-1Ts, with the decision on whether or not to purchase the extra planes is expected next year. The KT-1T is the Turkish version of KAI's KT-1 Woongbi, developed for South Korea, but includes several special modifications that were required by the Turkish Air Force.
The KT-1Ts will replace the aging U.S.-made T-37 basic trainer aircraft in the Turkish Air Force's inventory. The turbo-prop engine KT-1T has a length of 10.3 meters and a wingspan of 10.6 meters, and is designed for a crew of two, an instructor and a student.
Its maximum speed is 350 knots, about 650 km/h, and it can fly to a range of 900 nautical miles, or about 1,700 kilometers, at a maximum altitude of around 11,600 meters. Basic trainer aircraft are used to develop fundamental piloting, navigational and war-fighting skills.
KAI, South Korea's national aerospace company, was established in 1999 with the consolidation of three firms. In addition to basic and advanced training aircraft, it has built Korean versions of the U.S. F-16 and F-15 fighters, maritime surveillance aircraft and utility helicopters. It is also produces satellites.
The Turkish Air Force is currently undergoing an ambitious modernization program, preparing to buy about 100 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II jet fighters, 30 modern F-16 Block 50 jets, and several large transport planes over the next decade. Its current F-16 fleet is also being upgraded.
The Turkish and Korean Air Forces are both mostly based on U.S. systems, and this closeness facilitates air-force cooperation between Ankara and Seoul, defense analysts say.
The close friendship between Turkey and South Korea dates back to the Korean War of the early 1950s, when a Turkish contingent of 15,000 soldiers, under the United Nations flag, fought against North Korean and Chinese troops.
Following the warming of diplomatic relations, the two countries began to develop close economic and trade ties over the past 10 years. Turkey and South Korea plan to sign an inter-governmental agreement in mid-November to construct a nuclear power plant in northern Turkey, a deal worth nearly $10 billion.
In the defense arena, Turkey builds howitzers under South Korean license and a South Korean company is providing technical assistance to Turkish efforts to design, develop and manufacture Turkey's first main battle tank.
US SEEKS SUPPORT FROM TURKEY ON IRAN
Turkey should help ensure Iran does not gain nuclear weapons, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said Saturday in Ankara, adding the country should extend its tour of duty in Afghanistan.
"The mutual goal of Iran not achieving a nuclear-weapons capability, that we completely agree on, we just need to reinforce," Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said at a news conference Saturday.
Mullen visited Ankara to congratulate his newly appointed counterpart, Gen. Işık Koşaner, the new chief of the Turkish General Staff.
Mullen discussed Afghanistan and Pakistan, the formation of a new government in Iraq, the joint struggle of Turkey and the United States against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK], Turkish Foreign Minister officials told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review Sunday.
Noting that the positions of both Turkey and the U.S. regarding the nuclear-weapons issue in Iran were the same, Mullen said he did not plan to "question or rebut" Turkey over its "no" vote, but instead welcomed Turkey's stated intention to abide by United Nations sanctions.
The admiral said both countries agreed Iran should not achieve "nuclear weapons capability," and needed to do everything to ensure such a situation.
Turkey voted "no" on the U.S.-backed U.N. sanctions against Iran in June, insisting on diplomacy as a solution to its neighbor's nuclear program.
Turkey's veto on the sanctions, however, disappointed the U.S. Administration.
The admiral said NATO is discussing potential locations for a missile-defense system of radar and [missile] interceptors including Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania – although he did not specifically address the plan with Koşaner.
"The membership of NATO believes that having a missile-defense architecture is a very important capability that needs to be put in place and evolve over time," he said.
The system will be discussed at the upcoming NATO summit in November.
Mullen praised Turkey's role in charge of international troops in the region around the Afghan capital, Kabul, which expires in October, and in providing police training and staff for reconstruction teams.
"We would like to see Turkey sustain all of those efforts because they've been so important in Afghanistan and also because of the critical time in which we find ourselves in Afghanistan right now," Mullen said.
A NATO official previously conveyed the demand to extend Turkish commands in Afghanistan for one more year.
Earlier, Mullen said the U.S has no intention of pulling weapons out of Iraq across Turkish territory.
"Though we certainly rely on Turkey's infrastructure to move some equipment in and out of our area of operations, we do not transport weapons through Turkey, nor do we intend to in the future," the admiral said Saturday.
The U.S. has moved 38,000 pieces of rolling stock and over 2 million other pieces of equipment out of Iraq quietly, without incident, using very robust lines of communication, Mullen said.
"Certainly none of the military equipment, and none of the people have come through Turkey," he said.
The U.S's current agreement with Iraq is to withdraw all American troops from the country by the end of 2011, Mullen said.
"We have withdrawn almost 100,000 troops under the current agreement; we would do the same over the next 15 or 16 months. No decisions have been made in terms of how to do that. We eagerly await the formation of a new government in Iraq to start discussions about the future strategic partnership with this country," Mullen said.
Regarding claims that arms sales to Turkey would be banned due to pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby in the U.S., the admiral said Washington had a robust military-sales program with Turkey and that program would continue to flourish in the future.