The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who held a series of talks in Irbil and Baghdad, said that he had held 20 phone conversations with other foreign ministers before going to Iraq.

Davutoğlu said he had talked to the foreign ministers of Britain, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar and Jordan several times and had left a note for U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

"In this atmosphere, nobody apart from us can hold talks with all the parties in Baghdad," the minister said.


The government crisis in Iraq was solved by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, who paid surprising visits to Irbil and Baghdad to hold talks with leaders of Iraq's political parties.

After Davutoğlu's visits, spokesperson Ali Debbag, for the Iraqi government, said that parties had reached an agreement.

The new Iraqi government was set up by Nuri al-Maliki and Jalal Talabani remained the country's president.


Racist Greek Cypriots raided a friendship concert on Greek Cypriot side of Cyprus and Turkish singer Sertunç Akdoğdu, who was invited to the concert, was stabbed.

There was bloodshed at the Rainbow Festival this year, which takes place every year in Larnaca, as a demonstration against racism and discrimination. Turkish Cypriots also attended the festival.

Turkish singer Sertunç, who came to the festival to perform, was stabbed in his liver and stomach in an attack by extreme rightist Greek Cypriots who chanted the slogans "foreigners go out of Cyprus."

Many Turkish Cypriots sheltered at Larnaca Police Station.

Seven people were detained.


Very high-level secret bargaining has been underway in Brussels for two weeks on the solution of Cyprus problem which has so far deadlocked EU talks. The process is hidden even from the low-level bureaucrats.

The target of the talks, which were personally carried out by EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, is to resolve the problem before the EU summit scheduled for December.

To achieve this, Ankara was requested to make a gesture and take a step in the additional protocol which will open the ports to Greek Cypriots.

Turkey clearly said that it would not take any new steps that would harm or disadvantage the Greek Cypriots.


Iran agreed to continue talks that would be carried out with the UN regarding its nuclear program.

Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki said the talks with the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Germany and China would take place in Turkey.


Iran said on Sunday it had informed Ankara that Tehran is ready to hold talks in Turkey with the six world powers over its controversial nuclear program, turning to a country seen as an ally [Turkey].

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton, spearheading the negotiations with Iran for the world powers, last month proposed to hold the talks in Vienna, where the U.N. nuclear watchdog is based, starting Nov. 15.

"In the last two or three days, we have informed our Turkish friends that we have agreed to hold negotiations in Turkey," Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki told reporters Sunday.

Iranian media, meanwhile, reported that Karim Bagheri, the deputy of Iran's nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, had visited Turkey on Thursday.

Jalili informed Ashton in October that his country was prepared to resume nuclear talks after Nov. 10 at a time and place agreed by both sides, according to the state news agency IRNA.

On Sunday, an Iranian conservative newspaper, Vatan Emrouz, without quoting a source, reported that the negotiations would be held by the end of November in Turkey.

The nuclear talks between Iran and the six world powers — Britain, China, France, Russia, Germany and the United States — have been deadlocked since October 2009 when the two sides met in Geneva.

The world powers, led by the United States, suspect that Iran is masking a weapons drive under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, a charge Tehran strongly denies.

Mottaki said the Islamic republic was "very optimistic" about the next round of talks.

"I hope we will reach an agreement soon over the date and the contents," he said. "We are very optimistic the discussions will start as soon as possible, as the overall approach of Iran is positive and constructive."

Iran has always insisted the talks be held on its package of proposals given to world powers before the October 2009 round of talks. That package talks of overall global nuclear disarmament.

But world powers insist the talks focus on Iran's nuclear program.

The deadlock with world powers has already led to fresh U.N. and EU sanctions against Iran, which were followed by several other unilateral punitive measures by other nations, including the United States.

Western media reports say Washington plans to offer Iran "tough" proposals during negotiations following Tehran's refusal to abandon the uranium enrichment program, the most controversial part of its nuclear drive.

Enriched uranium can be used to power nuclear plants as well as to make the fissile core of an atom bomb.

French daily Le Monde reported on Thursday the United States was considering a proposal to offer to transfer 2,000 kilograms of Tehran's low-enriched uranium to Russia for the Islamic republic's Bushehr nuclear power plant, built by Moscow.

The U.S. proposal also calls for the transfer of another 1,200 kilograms of Tehran's LEU to Russia and France, as offered in October 2009 for the Tehran Research Reactor, a facility making medical isotopes, according to Le Monde.

The report adds Washington plans to propose moving the 30 kilograms of 20 percent enriched uranium [known as "highly enriched uranium or HEU] that Tehran currently has produced and intends to convert into fuel for the Tehran reactor if world powers fail to deliver.

But Mottaki said Wednesday that any swap of nuclear fuel must be based on an agreement it signed with Brazil and neighboring Turkey in May.

Brazil and Turkey brokered a modified agreement on a fuel exchange but the United States rejected it, arguing the deal failed to take into account additional uranium enriched since last year.

On Sunday, Mottaki also dismissed U.S. Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham's remark that Washington was facing a possible war with Iran. "Don't take the American senator's remark too seriously. He wanted to joke," he said.

On Saturday, Graham said he saw the United States going to war with Iran "not to just neutralize their nuclear program, but to sink their navy, destroy their air force and deliver a decisive blow to the Revolutionary Guard, in other words to neuter that regime."

The U.S., and its ally Israel, have not ruled out a military strike to stop Iran's nuclear program.


Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's policy to mend fences with long-neglected regional countries is paying off, as four key economies of the Middle East plan to set up a free trade zone. Turkey, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan may announce the zone as early as January next year, when leaders of the quartet meet in Istanbul.

Some analysts say in the future it could transform into a pact with political elements.

The four countries in June agreed to launch the free trade zone to boost economic cooperation.

On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meetings in New York in late September, foreign ministers of the four nations met again to confirm their objective to create the trade area.

Under current plans, the free trade zone will officially be created in early 2011, most probably in January, when leaders of the quartet meet for a summit in Istanbul.

Turkey also plans to bolster economic cooperation between the countries in the northern Middle East and those of the Persian Gulf.

When Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu visited Kuwait in mid-October for talks with the Gulf Cooperation Council, he said: "We have united the north (through our cooperation with Syria, Lebanon and Jordan), and we are going to launch cooperation with the Gulf countries next year."

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

A Turkish diplomat familiar with the plans said Turkey has been spearheading efforts for the free trade zone with a view to transforming it into a powerful bloc aiming at prosperity, peace and stability in the region.

A London-based analyst told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review that the West and Israel might be concerned that what today emerges as a mere trade gathering could in the future turn into a loose political and security pact of Muslim countries in the Middle East.

The presence of Turkey and Syria in the emerging union gives it an anti-Israeli posture, some analysts claim. Syria has been one of Israel's top adversaries in the region for decades. The Golan Heights area has been under Israeli occupation since 1967, as Israel and Syria remain officially at war.

Turkey, which had been a close ally of Israel, also has seen deteriorating relations with its former partner over the last few years. Turkish-Israeli ties have been put into the deep freeze after Turkey withdrew its ambassador over an Israeli military raid on a Turkish-led aid flotilla bound for Gaza killed nine Turks on May 31.

Turkey has been demanding an official apology from Israel along with compensation for the flotilla victims, but Israel has so far firmly rejected the two demands.

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