The following are translations of excerpts form the Turkish Press


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, regarding resignations at the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), that members of HSYK must have resigned earlier. Erdogan said he considered that it was a show.


The Turkish Parliament held a secret session yesterday. It was the 260th secret session in the parliament's history, and the 11th in Justice & Development Party [AKP] rule. Inside, there were only deputies, certified typists, and a deaf-mute staff. Citizens will be able to see the records of this session ten years from now. What was discussed behind locked doors was Turkey's top agenda items: the Kurdish issue and terrorism. During the session, Interior Minister Besir Atalay explained the recent developments about these issues to deputies. The interesting thing is that the only objection came from Peace & Democracy Party (BDP) against the closed session. BDP deputy Sirri Sakik said, "the prime minister is talking about these issues in the U.S., Syria and Germany but he is not speaking of them with Turkish and Kurdish people here." After the closed session, the parliament also adopted a motion extending the mandate to launch cross-border military operations into the north of Iraq for another year.


The Parliament on Tuesday debated a year-long extension of the military's mandate to conduct anti-terrorism incursions into northern Iraq amid talks between Turkey and Syria about a general amnesty for some members of a terrorist group.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a joint press conference in Damascus on Monday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in which the Syrian leader said members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, who denounce violence, and explicitly repent for their actions, should be allowed to return to their countries.

As Erdoğan traveled onward to Pakistan, government officials informed opposition deputies about ongoing diplomatic efforts to obtain backing for the military extension from the Syrian and northern Iraqi administrations. The closed-door session of Parliament was continuing late Tuesday as the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to print.

Approval of the extension is expected, as all political parties other than the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party [ BDP], are in favor of extending the current mandate, which expires Oct. 17.

An estimated 5,000 PKK members are reportedly taking refuge in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq. The group, which has been listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, is said to launch frequent attacks on the Turkish military from across the border. The PKK has, however, announced a short-term cease-fire to give the Turkish government a chance to deal with the Kurdish problem domestically.

As the ruling party considers steps toward this end, attracting support from neighboring countries and the United States has become an essential element of the government's plan to stop terrorist attacks. Massoud Barzani, president of the Regional Kurdish Administration in northern Iraq, and Syrian President al-Assad are seen as the key factors in the equation.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called Barzani on Tuesday to discuss the steps taken against terrorism and the ongoing efforts to form an Iraqi government.

Despite Barzani's apparent reluctance to provide operational support to Turkey, his contribution to intercepting the PKK's supply lines will be crucial. According to officials, the PKK has also recently been successful in recruiting new members from northern Iraq.

Syria focuses on amnesty

During his joint press conference with Erdoğan, al-Assad expressed support for an amnesty for PKK members. "Every country should open its doors to those who admit their mistakes and return. But that process should work within a national framework," he said.

According to officials, some 1,500 PKK members hold Syrian passports. Al-Assad said his country would welcome the return of Syrian nationals who were members of the outlawed group.

"The implementation of amnesty for members of the terrorist organization could be a long-term or a permanent process. The situation holds for Iran and Iraq as well," he said.

Erdoğan thanked Syria for its cooperation. "I believe we can solve this issue with a concerted effort and within the framework of a joint platform," the Turkish prime minister said.

© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Recent Articles by
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list.


Comment on this item

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Gatestone Institute greatly appreciates your comments. The editors reserve the right, however, not to publish comments containing: incitement to violence, profanity, or any broad-brush slurring of any race, ethnic group or religion. Gatestone also reserves the right to edit comments for length, clarity and grammar. All thoughtful suggestions and analyses will be gratefully considered. Commenters' email addresses will not be displayed publicly. Gatestone regrets that, because of the increasingly great volume of traffic, we are not able to publish them all.