The following are translations of excepts from the Tiurkish press.


About 11,000 judges and prosecutors went to the ballot boxes for the election of 10 permanent and six reserve members of the Supreme Board of Judges & Prosecutors [ HSYK], which was reshaped after constitutional amendment. The elections ended with the victory of a group which was claimed to be supported by the Ministry of Justice. The Judges and Prosecutors Association [YARSAV], which was not able to include any of its candidates in the 16 members, decided to hold a general assembly meeting.


The 84-year-old Necmettin Erbakan was elected as the new leader of the Felicity [Saadet] Party. The extraordinary congress for the political party was held in Ankara yesterday; Erbakan was elected by a vote of 684 out of 687 delegates. His son, doughter, and son-in law were also elected for Party administration. Erbakan has been involved in politics since 1969.


One of the members of [ruling government] AKP Founders, Fatma Unsal, raised her voice in AKP's annual camp in Kizilcahamam. She said: " it has been eight years, and we still can not enter the Turkish Grand National Assembly with our Turbans. I am going to resign from my post in the party and will act individually to get this right.


The Israeli commission, probing the deadly May 31 raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, issued an invitation Sunday to Turkish citizens who were on the ferry to testify. "We have sent a letter via the Turkish ambassador inviting all Turkish passengers or crew to come and give evidence in Israel," Tirkel Commission spokesman Ofer Lefler said. He added that the captain of the Mavi Marmara, on which eight Turkish activists and an American citizen of Turkish descent were killed when Israeli forces stormed the ferry in international waters, had not yet responded to an invitation to testify, sent September 12. The deadly violence took place on the ferry, part of a six-ship aid flotilla trying to run Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip. At the time of the operation, there were more than 600 people on the ferry. Israel says its commandos resorted to force only after they were attacked when they rappelled onto the deck of the ferry, but pro-Palestinian activists on board say the soldiers opened fire as soon as they landed. The four-man Israeli commission's investigation is limited to looking into the legality of the raid on the flotilla and to the Jewish state's actions to implement its naval blockade on the Hamas-ruled Palestinian enclave. The findings of the commission, whose work is being monitored by two foreign observers, is to be submitted to the United Nations. The commission does not have the authority to summon troops involved in the operation, but Lefler said on Thursday that [Israeli] armed forces chief Gabi Ashkenazi has been asked to testify for a second time before the panel on October 24. Ashkenazi appeared before the commission in mid-August when he defended his troops' use of lethal fire when they stormed the vessel.


With his ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP], gathered at its annual retreat, PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan lists the hot-button issues of the day, starting with the headscarf. Also on the party's radar are the Kurdish issue, the fight against terrorism and the 2011 elections. "We are at a time of working, not talking. Everyone needs to contribute,'"he said.

It has been on Turkey's agenda for 30 years, and now legalizing the headscarf for university students has been brought under political scrutiny yet again.

The ruling AKP held its annual party retreat at a thermal spa hotel in Kızılcahamam over the weekend, where the headscarf issue was discussed along with the Kurdish issue, the fight against terrorism, and preparations for the 2011 general elections.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave instructions at the camp to contact the main opposition Republican People's Party [CHP] to solve the headscarf issue.

The AKP had previously proposed constitutional changes in 2008 to allow headscarves at universities, a decision repealed by the Constitutional Court upon a complaint from the CHP.

The process to legalize the headscarf is set to be discussed at the AKP Central Executive Committee meeting Monday, with the favored strategy reportedly being to make constitutional or legal changes with the support of the Peace and Democracy Party [BDP] and the Nationalist Movement Party [MHP].

According to reports, the AKP will try to find common ground with the CHP, which supports students wearing headscarves, but will not force the issue with them. If the CHP does not cooperate, the AKP will reportedly prove the CHP's "insincerity" and move on.

Erdoğan targets CHP:

Erdoğan also criticized CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu's attitude and possible boycott of President Abdullah Gül's upcoming Oct. 29 reception, which will be open to guests wearing headscarves.

"The CHP cannot understand the change the Republic is going through. I thought you were on the side of freedom?" said the prime minister. "We are at a time of working, not talking. Everyone needs to put forth their contributions, so we can take the necessary steps."

Erdoğan also made specific criticisms of the CHP, with emphasis on Kılıçdaroğlu.

"The party leader is saying one thing in the morning, and something completely different in the evening," said Erdoğan, adding that party members have also made conflicting statements. "The former party leader was the same, we hoped for change, but the current leader is the same, too.

"No one has the right to exclude ethnic groups. Those who think they own the public, and use their authority for different purposes ,have damaged the Republic more than anything else. We came to this day by living with prohibitions."

Erdoğan went on to defend secularism, stating that it also protected those who wear headscarves, because secularism cannot flourish in an environment without freedom of religion.

"We have been ruling the country for eight years. Who have we interfered with? People can wear what they want and do what they want in my country," said Erdoğan, adding that everyone should have the same freedoms and rights.

Erdoğan defended recent comments that men and women were actually not equal.

"It baffles me that they say "gender equality" on television. They are right when it comes to rights, but men and women are different by nature," he said, adding that women who defend gender rights do not support equal rights within their own gender, referring to the headscarf issue.

"Kurdish initiative not over":

Presentations by Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek regarding the Kurdish issue and the fight against terrorism shaped the debates at the AKP camp.

"There is a terrorist organization in this country that kills imams [Muslim religious leaders]. There are political parties supported by this organization. These are the truths of this country. These people are not concerned with peace," said Erdoğan.

According to information obtained by the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Minister Atalay said that the Kurdish initiative was set to continue. The minister refused to make any further comments to prevent "making headlines in newspapers the next day."

Minister Ergin said the initiative needs to be backed by laws but that the timing has to be right to solve the issue.

Deputy Prime Minister Çiçek pointed out that over 50 countries support the terrorist organization through illicit money and drug trafficking.

A common complaint among the ministers was jailed terrorist leader Abdullah Öcalan, who still conveys messages to members of the terrorist group from behind bars.

Ergin responded to these complaints, stating that because of ongoing cases, Öcalan has the right to meet with his lawyers, and thus cannot be silenced. "Do not exaggerate," said Ergin. "He is not the only leader of the organization."

On the last day of the camp, the referendum results and the AKP's own survey of the reasons behind the "no" votes in Turkey's coastal areas were discussed, with neighborhood pressure, perceived pressure on the judiciary, unemployment and the government's Kurdish move to end terrorism featuring in the discussion.

Erdoğan told his deputies that spending their weekends in their electoral regions would provide more support for the party.

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