The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


PM Erdogan emphasized that Turkey is still waiting for negotiations with the EU and that Turkey's patience has been involuntary.

Erdogan said: "If the EU continues to be reluctant to accept Turkey as a member, Turkish public opinion will turn against EU. The EU cannot be a 'global actor' in policy without Turkey."

Answering a question by Reuters, Erdogan said: "The responsible party in crisis between Israel and Turkey is Israel. They should apologize and pay compensation for Mavi marmara incident."


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed his reservations about a missile shield that will treat Iran as a target with an interesting question: "Who will command the missiles, and who will press the button?"

Interviewed by Reuters, the prime minister said Turkey had some reservations about this issue and said Turkey would make its final decision according to the answer to that question. Thus, Turkey added the command of the missile launch button to the three conditions it had put forth earlier.

Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu had enumerated Turkey's conditions as: "The system should be NATO's not the United States'; It should cover all Turkey; and it should not name countries like Iran, Russia and Syria as targets."


The Turkish government did not extend the tenure of Prof. Ali Bardakoğlu as the chairman of the Religious Affairs Directorate. The government appointed Prof. Mehmet Görmez as the new Chairman of the Religious Affairs Directorate.

Bardakoğlu had recently said that woman's scarf was not a requirement for the Muslims and that asking the Religious Affairs Directorate for its views on legal arrangements was against secularism.


Turkey's Ambassador in Vienna, Kadri Ecvet Tezcan, sparked a diplomatic crisis with an interview with an Austrian newspaper.

Tezcan, who argued that Austria was forcing Turks to establish ghettos, was summoned to the Austrian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday. The ambassador said: "I wanted to open this problem for discussion."

Austria asked Turkey to make a statement on this issue.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said: "Mr. Ambassador has said from the outset that this is his personal view."

Tezcan said: "People do not want to see women with headscarves here. If people have the right to swim naked, they should also have the right to wear a headscarf here. When Turks apply to authorities to buy a dwelling in Vienna, they are always sent to the same neighborhood and then they are accused of establishing ghettos."


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke to reporters before his South Korea and Bangladesh tour. On the wearing of headscarfs in elementary schools, Erdoğan said: "I do not make personal remarks on the definition of freedom. My belief in freedom is very different and I attach importance to a new constitution regarding these issues."

On freedom of press, Erdoğan asked: "Is freedom of press limitless? It also has a limit. If journalists violate this limit, judiciary should be involved."

Commenting on paid military service, Erdoğan said: "Efforts are underway regarding contracts for privates. Paid military service is not on our agenda right now."


Turkey signed the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime on Wednesday, promising a more libertarian Internet regime to avoid criticisms over bans imposed on several international websites, such as YouTube and Daily Motion.

"[But] signing the treaty is not enough. Turkey should also harmonize its own legislation with international applications [to make its Internet regime more flexible]," a diplomatic source told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review after the signing of the convention, which was criticized by at least one nongovernmental organization.

Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu signed the treaty on behalf of the Turkish government Wednesday on the sidelines of the ceremony to mark the beginning of Turkey's tenure as the head of the Council of Europe.

The signing of the cybercrime convention came nearly 10 days after the country's top security board, the National Security Council, advised the government to focus on cybercrime in regard to national security.

The council's cybercrime convention is the first international treaty to try to respond to computer crime and Internet crimes by harmonizing national laws, improving investigative techniques and increasing cooperation among countries.

The convention was considered controversial because some of its clauses reportedly restricted individual liberties. The blueprint was adopted in 2001 and entered into force in 2004. The convention has now been ratified by nearly all member countries; alongside European countries, the United States has also ratified the convention as an observer country.

As the first and still singular international treaty on cybercrime, the convention deals with crimes committed via the Internet and other computer networks, particularly infringements of copyright, computer-related fraud, child pornography and violations of network security. It also grants power to police services to search computer networks and intercept online data.

However, to have a better functioning Internet regime, Turkey should also change its current legislation on Internet crime, according to a source. "The ban imposed on YouTube and other websites discredits Turkey. In order to avoid giving such a picture, we should be able to implement this convention properly and at the same time change our own legal framework."

'Convention actually threatens civil liberties'

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center [EPIC], a U.S.-based public interest group, said the treaty threatens core civil liberties.

The document fails to provide meaningful privacy and civil liberties protection, said EPIC, which openly opposed the drafting of the convention and added that its scope was too broad and covered much more than computer-related crimes.

The motivation of the convention, however, was not to protect freedom of expression or intellectual rights, Associate Professor Mustafa Akgül, a Bilkent University faculty member and president of the Association of Internet Technologies, told the Daily News on Wednesday.

"The descriptions of Internet crimes are limited in the Council of Europe's Convention on Cybercrime. It mainly identifies crimes over child porn and intellectual properties," said Akgül.

At the same time, however, the convention will also have an effect on laws that Turkey has used to ban sites in the past, Akgül said.

"Turkey has a wider range of crime descriptions than the scope of the convention. Thus, Turkey has to narrow its Internet crime scope to the Council of Europe's convention," Akgül said.

"For instance Turkey cannot ban the Playboy website according to the description of the convention since it did not list obscenity as a crime," Akgül said in reference to Turkey's "obscenity law."

At the moment, there is a serious legislative problem on Internet crimes in Turkey as the Telecommunications Directorate has banned websites of its own authority, Akgül said.

He said the demands of the convention were already required by the Turkish Constitution. "But it is not implemented in Turkey."

Ultimately, Turkey's signing of the convention will mainly be a tool for international cooperation on cyber crimes, Akgül said.

"Turkey can access some international information through the convention."

"The convention is more about a defense system since there have been increasing international cyber crimes threatening not only institutions such as banks, but also countries," Celalettin Yavuz, a security expert from Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analyses, told the Daily News on Wednesday.

Yavuz said cyber terror was on the agenda of the upcoming NATO summit in Lisbon on Nov. 19-20.

The convention also obliges signatories to designate a contact available around the clock to ensure the provision of immediate assistance for investigations or legal proceedings concerning criminal offenses related to computer systems and data or for the collection of evidence of a crime.

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