The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
ANOTHER CRISIS BETWEEN ISRAEL AND TURKEY
Prime Minister Erdoğan said he will not attend the Climate Change Conference in Athens on Friday if his Israeli counterpart comes. Speaking to Greek Skai TV, Erdogan stated that Israel is on the way to lose her regional best friend, Turkey, if it continues its policies. "I will not get together with a man who is proud of his armed operations," he said.
WULFF TO SPEAK IN PARLIAMENT
German President Christian Wulff arrived in Ankara on Monday. Wulff will meet Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ali Bardakoğlu, the head of Religious Affairs Directorate. Wulff will be the first German leader to address the Turkish Parliament, and will return to his country after visiting Kayseri, Göreme, Adana and Tarsus after a five-day schedule.
TURBAN TOUR TO OPPOSITION PARTIES
The Justice & Development Party will discuss the Turban issue with the Republican People's Party, the Nationalist Movement Party, and the Peace and Democracy Party on Wednesday. AKP Deputy Chairman Huseyin Çelik said, "We will discuss what we can do."
SEZER TWICE VETOES MOTION
National Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said, during a chat with Turkish businessmen at an event in the United States on March 1, 2003, that the motion on Iraq was not passed by Parliament because of 10th President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Gönül said that at meetings of the National Security Council, Sezer rejected the issue twice. First Sezer rejected it by saying that what the United States had done was against international law, and secondly, that [Sezer] did not allow the issue to be brought up in a meeting of the National Security Council.
THEY KNOW TURKISH
The trial began for 152 suspects – 103 of them under arrest – who were detained during operations against the KCK – the PKK terrorist organization's secret urban wing. A Kurdish crisis sealed the first day of the trial. Suspects, whose names were read out for identification in the court, stood up and said "Ez Li virim" (I am here). Then they said they wanted to make their defenses in Kurdish. The prosecutor objected to their request, saying they gave testimony in Turkish during their interrogations. The court will announce its decision today.
ARROGANT MEMBERS OF THE STATUS QUO
Haşim Kılıç, the chairman of the Constitutional Court, said that those who were opposed to changes, and could not keep up with requirements of the era, could not convince people anymore. Speaking in a ceremony in which the new members of the court took an oath, Kılıç said, "A country which has a strong state, but about which its people are unhappy, as they are not allowed to experience their freedom, is meaningless."
HERE IS THE AKP'S FORMULA
Interior Minister Beşir Atalay, who assessed the terrorism issue at the Kızılcahamam camp of the ruling AKP, delivered a message that the issue of terrorism would be solved by means of religion. Atalay said that the number of imam Hatip high schools (which provide theological education and Koran courses) would be increased in the eastern and southeastern Anatolia regions. AKP deputies discussed the headscarf, foreign policy and the economy during the camp, but not the problems of the Alevi people, [a large Turkish minority group}.
GREAT COOPERATION WITH GULF COUNTRIES
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu held meetings with authorities of Kuwait within the scope of the second high-level strategic dialogue meeting between Turkey and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. Davutoğlu said that after a four-way agreement among Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, agreements with Gulf countries would lead to a large free trade area in the region.