The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


Former U.S. President Bill Clinton will arrive in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to attend a conference at Bilgi University. Clinton, honorary chairman of Laureate International Universities, is touring the world and attending conferences.


A security line along the Iraq border, which Turkey has desired for the last 20 years in its fight against the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] terrorist organization, will come to pass. Speaking to Radikal, U.S. sources said that the United States was supporting Turkey's proposals including a temporary military base on Iraqi land.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said that Turkey wanted the normalization of relations between not only Turkey and Armenia but also between Turks and Armenians living anywhere in the world. "One day, an automobile from Kars will travel to Yerevan and from there to Baku," Davutoğlu said.


The managing director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn said that some European countries must give up seats in the management of the IMF and let developing countries have more say in the management of the IMF.

Turkey must have a place in the management of the IMF, Strauss-Kahn stressed.


Turkish state minister & chief negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bağış, in a speech in Brussels, conveyed four expectations of Turkey from the EU. Bağış said: "We demand the same approach as other countries. Turkish citizens feel less European when they line up in the visa queue. Terrorism does not make any discrimination. Extend support for the fight against terrorism. It is shameful that several countries are hiding behind Cyprus. They shall not hide."


The resolution regarding the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship was adopted by 30 votes in favor and one vote against at the United Nations. The only vote against came from the United States. European Union member states abstained from the vote. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu reacted to the United States' vote and said: "We have been disappointed with the vote of a friend and ally. We expect our friends to see this issue as an issue of solidarity."

Reproaching EU member states, Davutoğlu said, "Abstaining from the vote is an attitude contradicting all human rights principles the EU has adopted."


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Wednesday it was meaningless to interfere in the freedom of belief and freedom of education in Turkey.

Speaking at a ceremony to mark the beginning of the academic year at Marmara University, Prime Minister Erdoğan said that everyone should be free in Turkey regardless of their belief or political orientation.

"Let us bring everything that would be beneficial for Turkey to the table. Let us discuss them with sincerity and with a sense of responsibility as role models for the young people in Turkey," Erdoğan said.


Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said that he did not find the proposal of certain EU countries that Turkey become a "privileged partner" instead of a full member. In an interview with an Italian daily newspaper, Frattini said that he supported Turkey's full membership in the EU and rejected all other possibilities.


A former Turkish police chief was held in an Istanbul jail on Wednesday on charges of links to a leftist rebel group, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

A court ordered that Hanefi Avci, former chief of police in the western city of Eskisehir, be remanded in custody after being detained on Tuesday in an investigation into the Revolutionary Headquarters group, [which is] blamed for attacks on state [Turkish government] targets.

Avci leapt to prominence in the Turkish media in recent weeks over a book in which he alleges that members of an Islamic movement run by preacher Fethullah Gulen had infiltrated the police and courts.

The book also argues there is a lack of evidence to justify the trial of alleged members of a clandestine group known as Ergenekon which is accused of plotting to overthrow Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's government.

Erdogan's opponents suspect his AK Party of harbouring an Islamist agenda at odds with modern Turkey's secularism. The party denies any such designs and depicts itself as a democratic, conservative party akin to Europe's Christian Democrat parties.

Secularist critics say followers of the Gulen movement have gained influence by infiltrating many areas of the state apparatus and having ties to the ruling AK Party.

Gulen lives in self-imposed exile in the United States. His followers have created a network of schools and universities across Turkey, Central Asia and the Balkans.

Anatolian said Avci was being held at Metris jail in Turkey's largest city [Istanbul] while police continue their investigation.

The former police chief has denied all allegations against him. Police also searched his home in Eskisehir province.

"A man who fought terror for 40 years is now in detention on terror charges," Turkish media reported him as saying when he was detained.

A senior member of the militant group was killed in a police siege in Istanbul last year. It was believed to be behind attacks on a military barracks and a building housing offices of the AK Party.

Media reports say 17 members of the Revolutionary Headquarters group were detained in police raids in several provinces last week.


Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday complained about the delay in the Nabucco project that is designed to carry Caspian natural gas to Europe.

"We say we are ready for everything, but those playing the coordination role have not yet come up with serious action," said Erdoğan, speaking at the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum organized by the Atlantic Council.

The Nabucco project is designed to carry Caspian natural gas through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, ending in Austria. Intergovernmental agreements have been signed between the countries and the Nabucco Consortium is working on securing an energy supply as well as financing.

Talking about the supply, transit and consumption dimensions of natural gas, Erdoğan said the supply aspect of the project is still missing.

"Each day that passes is to the disadvantage of the project," he said.

The Nabucco project will contribute to the diversification of energy resources and routes of Europe, he said. "The European Union is supporting the project, but we are waiting for implementation."

He also criticized the European Union for still not opening Turkey's entry talks on the energy chapter. A candidate to the EU, Turkey needs to complete talks in 31 policy areas. Greek Cyprus is blocking talks on the energy chapter. "Some are trying to use opening talks in this chapter as a threat. This is not proper."

Erdoğan asked the forum participants to approach energy issues based on fairness. "No one is secure unless everyone is secure. This is valid for energy issues as well." He added that whatever Turkey brings to the agenda, it does for the good of humanity. "When we said that the issue of the Iranian nuclear program should be solved through dialogue and diplomacy, we did it in the name of global peace," he said. Turkey voted against U.N. sanctions against Iran for Tehran's controversial nuclear program.

Erdoğan said Turkey was unable to obtain necessary support when it raised issues like Palestine, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq.


With neither Turkey nor Israel as members of the International Criminal Court, the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation [IHH] has turned to its third option and hoisted the Comoros flag. [Comoros is a string of Muslim-majority islands in the Indian Ocean.] The NGO plans to make a run on the court in hopes of obtaining a verdict declaring Israeli officials guilty of human rights violations in the attack on the Mavi Marmara in May.

A Turkish nongovernmental organization that organized an ill-fated attempt to deliver aid to Gaza will apply next month to the International Criminal Court on account of the "human rights violations" of Israeli officials, the group's lawyer said Wednesday.

"There are 700 victims not only from Turkey, but also from 35 other countries. We, together with their lawyers, will apply to the ICC on Oct. 14," Ramazan Arıtürk, a lawyer for the İHH, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

Eight Turks and one U.S. citizen of Turkish descent were killed when Israeli commandos stormed the Mavi Marmara on May 31 while the ship and five others were en route to Gaza to break Israel's blockade against the territory.

A U.N. probe into the matter has been ongoing, but the İHH has now chosen to pursue the ICC channel because the Mavi Marmara, a former Turkish ferry, was flying the flag of the island nation of Comoros when it was attacked.

Neither Turkey nor Israel is a party to the Rome Statute that established the world's first permanent war crimes tribunal, the ICC.

Desmond de Silva, a member of the U.N. inquiry panel, noted that the ship was flying the flag of ICC member Comoros, thereby giving the ICC jurisdiction over any offenses committed onboard.

The Comoros became a party to the ICC in 2006.

Under terms of international criminal law, legal culpability rests with the country of the so-called "civil ensign," meaning the country in which the ship is registered and flagged, one legal expert told the Daily News.

"If the Comoros wants to apply to the ICC against the Israeli violation, they can do so through a prosecutor who will decide to open a case if the evidence [in hand] is strong and convincing enough," the expert said.

Legal experts said parties could apply to the ICC as member states to the Rome Statute, through a resolution of the U.N. Security Council or through a prosecutor appointed by the victims' lawyers.

The first and second options are not relevant in the Mavi Marmara case because neither Turkey nor Israel are parties to the ICC, and in the second option, a resolution by the U.N. Security Council could be vetoed by the permanent members of the council, including the United States. As such, the İHH is pursuing the third option.

"Lawyers from South Africa, Britain and the Netherlands arrived in Turkey. We'll continue face-to-face meetings with them next week as well with the participation of those coming from Spain and other countries," said Arıtürk.

"We are working on a draft that we will send to the ICC," he said. The draft will include the violations allegedly committed by Israeli officials as well as the latest report released by the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Unlike the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights, the ICC prosecutes individuals, not states, for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

The İHH is also in contact with a professor from the University of Chicago that helped found the ICC, said Arıtürk.

"We, the lawyers, have a final meeting Oct. 13 in The Hague before the application process starts the next day. The victims will also be present," said Arıtürk.

He said members of parliaments from Britain, France and the U.S. contacted them to join the case, but the İHH has not yet made a decision on whether to involve them in the process as well.

Arıtürk said lawyers from Spain wanted to apply to the ICC individually to claim the rights of the Spanish victims. "But we stopped them and told them that we should do it all together."

Lawyers from countries whose citizens were involved in the May flotilla met July 15 in Istanbul and their next meeting after Oct. 13 will be in Doha on Oct. 22.

"This will be a long process that will take perhaps two years," said Arıtürk. "The ICC prosecutor will evaluate our application. We want the ICC to try Israeli officials responsible for the flotilla attack."

Meanwhile, the probe ordered by the U.N. into the incident said last week that there was clear evidence to back prosecution against Israel for killing and torture when its troops stormed the aid ship.

It also said six of the deceased were "victims of summary executions." Israel has rejected the inquiry from the outset as biased, while Turkey welcomed it both in a strongly worded statement from the Foreign Ministry and remarks from the foreign minister.

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