The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
MILITARY OPTION STILL ON THE TABLE
Ankara gave a message to Irbil [in the Kurdish region of Iraq], saying Turkey would not give up military options if the Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK] continued to use its [ceasefire] as a matter of politics. While an extension of the motion allowing the Turkish Armed Forces to launch cross-border military operations is being considered, Turkish officials visited the northern Iraq and held talks with the Kurdish administration about a possible military operation.
"Turkey's security cannot depend on the PKK's cease-fire decisions. The terrorist organization uses its inaction decision as a tool to bargain. We will not ignore the military option. Those in Kandil should lay down arms," Turkish officials said during the visit.
Turkey's Ambassador to Washington, D.C., Namık Tan has said Israel is about to lose a friend.
Criticizing Israel for its stance regarding the Mavi Marmara incident, Tan said Turkey was expecting an apology and compensation from Israel. "Unless action is taken accordingly, it will be impossible to put our relations back on track," the ambassador said.
Commenting on Turkey's relations with Iran, Tan said, "Our contact with Iran does not mean that we support everything the country does."
YOUR POWER IN THE REGION IS RISING, NATO HEAD
In an interview with the private TGRT News Channel, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that Turkey, which played an important role in relations between the EU and the Middle East, was a very strong ally.
Expressing his confidence in the Turkish government in cooperation on defense, Rasmussen said Turkey had great importance for his organization due to its strong cooperation and [longstanding] relations with Afghanistan and Pakistan.
FIRST LADY OF TURKEY SPEAKS AT EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT: EDUCATION IS THE WAY TO OVERCOME ALL PROBLEMS
Hayrünnisa Gül has become the first First Lady to address the European Parliament.
"We should show everybody that handicapped children can be successful with a good education. In Turkey, we visited 24,000 families within the scope of a campaign for education. In the southeastern province of Diyarbakır alone, 400 families were convinced to send their children to school," she said.
NEW PAGE IN RELATIONS WITH CHINA
Ankara is hosting a high-level official from China for the first time in eight years, the country's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. There are ministers, bureaucrats and businessmen in the delegation accompanying Jiabao, who arrived in Turkey as the guest of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The strategic cooperation between Turkey and China will be carried to a whole new level during the Chinese prime minister's visit.
THEY WERE HIT FROM NEVADA
It was revealed that Turkish citizens were among 140 militants who died in Predator [a U.S. drone plane] bombardments directed from Nevada.
The United States has been attacking al-Qaeda and Taliban camps in Afghanistan with Predators since September.
Mustafa Uykız and Bahri Şeker, using the code names Ebu Muaz and Ebu Şamil, were among those who died in the attack.
TURKISH ATTENDANCE AT ISRAELI OECD MEETING UNDECIDED, MINISTER SAYS
Turkey has not yet decided whether to send a delegation to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development biannual tourism conference in Israel later this month, Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said Thursday.
"I am not sure if a representative will be sent to the OECD meeting," Günay told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review at the Turkish Enterprise and Business Federation Presidents Council in Bodrum in the Aegean province of Muğla, a top tourism destination.
"Maybe they will send a representative," Günay told the Daily News, not referring to any particular government body. Speaking during a press conference Wednesday with his Polish counterpart, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu also said the country had not yet made a decision whether to send a delegation to the Israeli meeting. Günay had earlier said the ministry would send a delegation to Israel to attend the meeting.
"Culture and Tourism Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Özgür Özaslan will represent Turkey at the OECD conference," ministry officials had earlier told the Daily News.
Relations between Turkey and Israel have been tense since Israeli commandos stormed an aid flotilla bound for Gaza on May 31, killing eight Turks and one American of Turkish origin.
Spain and Britain have already announced that they will not attend the conference.
TURKEY PLAYED CONSTRUCTIVE ROLE ON SENDING MESSAGE TO IRAN, U.S. SPOKESPERSON
A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State said Thursday that Turkey had played a constructive role in sending the international community's message to Iran calling the country to act in accordance with its international obligations.
Upon a question on "sanctions on Iran" during a daily press briefing, Mark Toner, the Acting Deputy Department Spokesman of the State Department, said that Turkey, as a member of the United Nations, had to uphold the UN Security Council Resolution No. 1929 on sanctions to be imposed on Iran.
Commenting on Turkey's objective stance against UN sanctions on Iran, Toner said, "Turkey has played a constructive role in sending the international community's message to Iran that it needs to live up to its international obligations. In that role, they have been constructive, I think, and they can play a constructive role".
Turkey, Brazil and Iran signed Tehran Agreement in May. Under the deal, Iran agreed to transfer 1,200 kg of low-enriched uranium to Turkey within a month and in return receive, within a year, 120 kg of 20 percent-enriched uranium to keep Tehran's medical-research reactor running.
In July, the United Nations Security Council agreed to additional economic sanctions against Iran. Twelve of the council's 15 members voted to approve the UN resolution. Turkey and Brazil both voted against the resolution, while Lebanon abstained.