The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
SECRET IRAN MEETING BETWEEN ISRAEL AND U.K.
British Foreign Minister William Hague will be visiting Israel today. He asked for a closed meeting with Israeli officials about Iran's nuclear program. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, officials say. Chief of Mossad Meir Dagan, general director of Israeli Nuclear Energy office Shaul Choev, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon will also attend the meeting.
MAVI MARMARA SHOCK TO ISRAELI MINISTER
Israeli Minister of Intelligence and Nuclear Energy Dan Meridor cancelled his visit to England because of the possibility of being sued or arrested due to the Mavi Marmara incident.
ERDOGAN: PKK-RELATED ASSOCIATIONS ACT FREELY IN EUROPE
Speaking at the 24th World Congress of the International Project Management Association at Istanbul Congress Center, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said certain European countries did not refrain from extending direct or indirect support to terrorism despite Turkey's warnings and demands.
Erdogan noted that terrorist attacks were not only the work of terrorist organizations, but also the responsibility of the countries that allowed terrorist acts.
"Terrorism's target is not Turkey only, but the whole world. Therefore, it is of great importance for all the humanity and countries to condemn terrorism and act jointly against it," he said.
Noting that terrorism aims at destroying tolerance, mutual respect and social harmony, Erdogan said Turkey expected a sincere support from all the countries.
"Tomorrow, when terrorism is totally eliminated, we may forget the pain we have gone through, however, we will never forget and forgive how isolated we were at the time," the prime minister said.
Commenting on Istanbul's unique historical and cultural richness as well, Erdogan said the city experienced a major transformation process, however, its history did not get lost in the modern [architecture].
Describing Istanbul as the capital city of tolerance, Erdogan said all the religions, colors, voices and cultures [presented] themselves freely in Istanbul.
PKK DENIES ROLE IN ISTANBUL BOMBING, EXTENDS CEASE-FIRE
The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK], has denied any connection with Sunday's suicide bombing in central Istanbul while announcing that it has extended its unilateral cease-fire until next year's general elections.
The bomb targeting police forces in Istanbul's Taksim Square injured 32 people and occurred the day the PKK's cease-fire was set to expire, sparking speculation that the group might have been behind the attack.
The Fırat news agency, which has links to the outlawed group, reported Monday that the PKK had extended its cease-fire until the general elections, expected to be held in June.
"Our movement... has decided to extend the non-action process until the 2011 general elections in order to impose a democratic solution process [on Ankara] and ensure that the parliamentary elections in Turkey take place in a healthy environment," said the statement conveyed by the Fırat news agency. The statement came after a visit by pro-Kurdish figure Aysel Tuğluk to jailed PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan in an attempt to prolong the cease-fire.
The news agency also reported that PKK leadership had denied responsibility for the Taksim Square blast, which took place just days after PKK leader Murat Karayılan had told daily Radikal in an interview that the group would no longer target civilians and would extend the cease-fire if the government demonstrated a commitment to engage in dialogue.
"It is not possible for us to carry out such an action at a time when our movement has decided to extend a truce process... We are in no way involved in this attack," the PKK statement read.
"Whoever carried out this attack, it is an act of provocation," pro-Kurdish figure Ahmet Türk said, claiming that the bombing was carried out in an attempt to disrupt the process of reaching a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question.
The extension of the cease-fire was not the result of bargaining between the PKK and the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP], as both the opposition and the PKK have claimed, AKP deputy leader Ömer Çelik told the private channel NTV on Monday.
"Those who come up with such claims are likely to lose their democratic legitimacy," Çelik said. "The [potentcy] of the government's methods against terror can't be measured by the cease-fire."
No organization has yet claimed responsibility for the Taksim attack and officials have only said it is still being investigated.
"We have findings... We have information... But we will make a statement once we are sure and after various dimensions [of the attack] have been evaluated," Interior Minister Beşir Atalay told reporters in Istanbul.
Ertuğrul Mavioğlu from daily Radikal, who interviewed Karayılan last week, discussed two different potential scenarios in his analysis in Monday's paper. According to Mavioğlu, Karayılan would not have allowed the attack after his statement about not targeting civilians and before the meeting Monday between Öcalan and Tuğluk. Mavioğlu also wrote that the PKK has not carried out suicide attacks for many years and ruled out the argument that a sub-group carried out the attack on its own, since Karayılan said he had absolute control over the organization.
Some cells of the PKK in Turkey are believed to operate with considerable autonomy from their leadership located in northern Iraq.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
"If we remember the attack in Bingöl in which 33 soldiers were killed, the attack in Reşadiye and the bombing in front of a Diyarbakır private school, in which civilians were killed, the PKK at first denied any of those were their actions. Then they had to admit that some groups in the PKK had carried out the attacks," Hüseyin Yayman, an expert from the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research told the Hürriyet Daily News and Economic Review on Monday.
"It won't be a surprise if the same happens with the Taksim attack," he said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Monday that some European countries were not doing enough to help Turkey fight terrorism, claiming that "organizations with known ties to the [PKK] freely operate under the guise of associations, foundations or media."
Turkey has recently taken steps to improve the rights of its Kurdish population, allowing Kurdish-language television broadcasts and increasing contacts with pro-Kurdish politicians.
TURKEY QUESTIONS SOME NATO DECISIONS
Turkish FM Davutoglu told reporters while flying to Shanghai as part of his official visit: "First of all, Turkey is not outside NATO. The Alliance reviews its defense posture from time to time as a whole and take the necessary steps. Turkey's opposition to those measures is out of question. NATO is a security organization which plans for likely security risks. Ballistic missiles pose a serious threat. There are also nuclear threats and terrorism threats. NATO discusses all these issues with its allied countries. Turkey is a part of this process and it takes part actively in those discussions. Turkey's geographical position and its relations with the other countries made it a very important actor. Our first principle is that NATO can develop defense systems by taking into consideration the security risks."
"Security of any country cannot be ignored under the principle of NATO's indivisible security. NATO is obliged to take into consideration security of all allied countries.
Accordingly, a defense system excluding some parts of Turkey is unacceptable. The system must cover Turkey as a whole. Actually, the system must cover all allied countries," he said.
"The third principle is that we do not have a perception of threat against Turkey in our adjacent areas including Iran, Russia, Syria and the other neighboring countries. Turkey will not be a front country like those in the Cold War era. NATO should exclude any formula confronting Turkey with a group of countries in its threat definitions and planning. The cost of the Cold War was quite high. We do not want a Cold War zone or psychology around us," he said.
Asked about NATO-European Union relations, Davutoglu told reporters: "Our attitude about NATO-European Union relations is clear. We welcome efforts to develop cooperation between the two organizations. But reconciliation is of great importance for both the European Union and the Alliance. Turkey should join decision-making mechanisms for security efforts including the European Union. The Union has not yet signed a security agreement with Turkey. Turkey's membership to the European Defense Agency has not been approved yet. Turkey does not actively join in decision-making policies for Europe's security and defense policies. It is unacceptable that southern Cyprus takes part in decision-making processes that it did not have any positive contributions to NATO operations."
"Turkey's attitude has already been known by all parties including the secretary-general of the Alliance. Turkey is one of countries making the most contributions to NATO operations including those in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan," he added.
FORMER SAADET LEADER CHRISTENS NEW ISLAMIC POLITICAL PARTY
The former leader of the Saadet (Felicity) Party announced Monday that he would lead a newly formed political party, the People's Voice Party [HSP].
Explaining the party's symbol, an Ottoman-style sun, Numan Kurtulmuş said it signifies "the start of a new day, a new era for Turkey."
The party will work to "create a new central structure that will take the people as its basis" and build a Turkey where all people can benefit equally from justice, prosperity and independence, Kurtulmuş said during a press conference announcing HSP's formation.
He added that Nov. 1, 2010 will be a day remembered in Turkish politics.
Former Ministry of Finance Undersecretary Hasan Basri Aktan and former Democrat Party, members Çağrı Erhan, Erol Göka, Beyhan Aslan, Fethi Karaaslan and Mehmet Bekaroğlu are among the founding members of HSP, which refers to itself as the "Has Party." (The word "has" means "proper" or "appropriate" in Turkish.)
During the press conference, Kurtulmuş thanked everyone who had helped him set up the new party within a month after he resigned as Saadet's leader.
At the time of his resignation from Saadet, Kurtulmuş said: "This is not an end, but the first step toward a new political movement."
A rift emerged in the Saadet Party between the supporters of Necmettin Erbakan, an iconic figure in the conservative Turkish political movement, and Kurtulmuş after the party's convention in July. At the convention, Kurtulmuş excluded from the ballot the names of Erbakan's relatives and friends for posts within the party's inner circle.
Kurtulmuş resigned Oct. 1 as Saadet Party's leader and left the party after a court ruling transferred party administration from his leadership to a board of trustees.