The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press


Turkey's Ambassador to Iraq Murat Ozcelik visited [the head of Iraq's Kurdish region] Mesud Barzani in [the city of] Salahaddin. Nechirvan Barzani also attended the meeting.

Ambassador Ozcelik discussed the difficulties in forming a Iraqi government as well as the problems of Turkish companies doing business in Iraqi Kurdistan and Kurdistan Regional Government.

Both Turkish and Kurdish flags were raised at the meeting room.


UN experts completed their report on "Mavi Marmara" incident. The report finds that Israel's intervention of the vessel in international waters is against international human rights law and all international laws.

Israeli Foreign affairs ministry spokesman Andy David says: "The report is political. The UN committee accused Israel before they started their investigation. It is not a surprise for us to see the final report accusing Israel."


Navy captain Dogan Ilhan killed himself at his residence in Heybeliada. His name was in the list presented to PM Erdogan that includes names of the officers blackmailing admirals about their [alleged] sexual harassments.


The High Election Council announced the official results of the [constitutional] referendum.

According to the announcement in the official gazette:

Participation of the voters: 73.71% (38,369,099 people voted out of 52,051,828 registered voters)

Votes for yes: 57.88% (27,787,244)

Votes for no: 42.12% (15,856,793)


Seven people who were involved in the attacks on five art galleries on Boğazkesen Street and Kadirler Yokuşu in Tophane, Istanbul were captured.

Police examined the video footage of street cameras in the vicinity and discovered that knives and sticks were not used in the attack. Police also saw in the footage that three people were wounded. The detainees were charged with harming property and hitting and wounding people.

"Those who attended the event in the art galleries stood on the streets, smok[ing] and drink[ing]. We warned them, but they did not listen. Therefore, a row occurred," one of the detainees said.

Meanwhile, one of the gallery owners said: "They used pepper bombs, knives, sticks and clubs in the attack. It was an organized attack."

The reason of "attack with pepper bombs and sticks" is money. Tradesmen of the neighborhood are uneasy about the 200 percent rise in rents. Therefore, they mostly react against the galleries [which can afford the higher rents].


Former Deputy Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) Cevat Öneş, [who knows] the PKK, said Öcalan [the PKK leader] for the first time spoke in a different way.

"Talks always took place with Ocalan but this is the first time he comments on them as 'positive talks' and criticizes the PKK for the last blast. He as if has a point of view trying to bring permanence during the ceasefire," Öneş said.

"This atmosphere of cooperation is the most important key for solution. Furthermore, the dynamics of Turkey force this," he said.


Civil society intensifies pressure on Abdullah Öcalan in an effort to change the terrorist organization PKK's temporary cease-fire into a permanent cease-fire. The civil initiative traffic between Ankara, İmrali island and Mount Qandil has speeded up. The Peace Initiative set up by 700 NGOs in Turkey's southeast is waiting for an appointment from the Turkish capital, as it is also getting prepared to send a delegation to Mount Qandil. Ahmet Türk, the chairperson of Democratic Society Congress (DTK), is expected to be in the delegation.

Mehmet Emin Aktar, the head of Diyarbakır Bar Association, said that the initiative's goal was to create the necessary grounds for dialogue. On the other hand, Ankara's red lines are clear. The demands on autonomy cannot be even discussed, the Turkish [leadership] says.


Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who continues his talks in New York, replied to the questions of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT). Commenting on the autonomy issue, Gül said, "This issue comes with a secret agenda. I cannot assess such matters with sympathy."

Noting that Turkey needed a local administrative reform, Gül said managing everything from Ankara did not reflect a modern understanding of administration.


Meeting of the government with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which was delayed because of the blast in Hakkari, is about to take place.

Huseyin Çelik of Justice & Development (AK) Party said: "I expect the meeting to take place within a few days." Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will decide on the time and place of the meeting.


As the prosecutor's office launched an investigation into [those] behind the assassination attempt on [former Turkish president] Turgut Özal after 22 years, his brother Korkut Özal spoke to Yeni Şafak daily. Hakan Karaali, Public Prosecutor in Istanbul, launched an investigation based on the news report that "former Secretary General of the National Security Council Yirmibeşoğlu was behind the assassination of Özal" on June 18, 1988.

Korkut Özal, brother of Turgut Özal, said: "Yes, there was a plan [for the] death of my brother Turgut. This should be investigated. Who let the doctors and nurses take a leave in the presidential residence that day? This should be investigated."

Korkut Özal [explained] that no one intervened when his brother had a heart attack. "It is as if they waited [for] him to die. Isn't it interesting that there is not a doctor in the residence of a president who had an open heart surgery?"


Col. Dursun Çiçek, a suspect in many ongoing coup or anti-government-plot cases, said he will submit an application to the European Court of Human Rights on Wednesday, before domestic legal processes are complete.

İrem Çiçek, daughter of and lawyer for Col. Dursun Çiçek, told the press Monday the application was for compensation [in the order] of 300,000 euros, arguing that her client has been a target of slander and was entitled to compensation for emotional damages.

The application claims evidence collected against the colonel was obtained by illegal means and documents offered as the basis [for] charges were forgeries. The application also said Col.Çiçek had been expecting promotion but the cases opened against him not only affected his career but his social relations too.

Col. Dursun Çiçek was arrested under accusations of "being a member of an illegal organization" and "attempting to destroy the government of the Turkish Republic through violence and force or attempting to prevent it from doing its duty," among other charges.


The commander of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group urged Israel on Tuesday to sever its military ties with Turkey, which he described as a common enemy.

"We demand that Israel stop assisting those seeking to crush our struggle for freedom," Murat Karayilan, deputy to jailed PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan, said in a rare interview with Israeli Channel 2 television from his mountain hideout in northern Iraq.

Relations between Israel and Turkey hit a historic low after nine Turkish activists were killed in May in an Israeli commando raid on a Turkish-backed aid ships en route to the Gaza Strip.

Despite the spat, the two countries still have military and economic ties and Israel has in the past supplied Turkey with military equipment, including unmanned drones that Ankara uses against PKK militants.

"Our problem lies in the military ties between Israel and Turkey. Those ties harm us," Karayilan said. "The most advanced (military) technology that Turkey uses against our guerrilla fighters and Kurdish civilians comes from Israel."

More than 40,000 people, mostly Kurds, have been killed since the PKK took up arms against Turkey in 1984.

"Our enemies are also the enemies of Israel," Karayilan said, referring to Turkey's warmer ties with Iran and Syria, which are Israel's foes.

The PKK has scaled back its demands for an independent homeland and now says it is fighting for greater political and cultural rights for Turkey's estimated 15 million Kurds.

Turkey has officially refused to negotiate for a settlement with the PKK, which it labels a terrorist organization, as does the United States and European Union.

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