The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
SURPRISE OFFER FROM RUSSIANS ABOUT NATO'S MISSILE SHIELD PROGRAM
Russian President Medvedev suggested that the missile shield is to be divided separate regions and each region may have its own command. He said: "Russia is ready to command east region and to defend Europe from threats coming from east. In return, USA and NATO shall defend Russia from threats coming from west."
U-TURN FROM ERDOĞAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who had said before the NATO summit in Lisbon that the command of a missile system that would be deployed in Turkey should definitely be given to Turkey, changed his tone after the summit and presented the missile shield agreement as "Turkey's diplomatic victory."
Erdoğan said it was not yet clear which country would assume command, adding that "we said and defended that it should definitely be in NATO."
CHP MAY BE THE KEY
NGOs in southeastern Turkey welcomed the visit of Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu to the provinces of Diyarbakır and Şanlıurfa. The NGOs described the visit as a "beginning." IHD Branch Secretary Bilici said the Kurdish issue would not be resolved without the CHP. The chairman of the Diyarbakir Bar Aktar said the visit should not be limited to a "transit passage."
CAN A UN SECRETARY-GENERAL BE FROM TURKEY?
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon's term in office will expire next year. The UN, which remained insignificant with Moon as its leader, is planning to gain more prominence with a new secretary general.
The UN may elect Turkish President Abdullah Gül, who has close dialogue with U.S. President Barrack Obama and who would be supported by permanent members like China and Russia, as the first Muslim secretary-general and send a message of tolerance to the world.
TURKEY AND EGYPT TO ESTABLISH A HIGH-LEVEL STRATEGIC COOPERATION COUNCIL
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Turkey and Egypt agreed to establish a High Level Strategic Cooperation Council. A more systematic and comprehensive era will begin between Turkey and Egypt with establishment of this strategic cooperation council, Davutoglu told reporters.
Davutoglu and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit had a meeting and held a joint press conference in Ankara on Monday.
An agreement on the establishment of the council would be signed during Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Egypt, he said.
Davutoglu said that Egypt was one of the most important stability factors in the region, stating that Turkey and Egypt were two important actors in the region.
The two countries were determined to boost trade volume from the current level of nearly U.S. $3.5 billion currently, he said.
Davutoglu said they discussed several issues, including Turkey's Africa initiative, and the two countries were eager to continue their joint efforts under the UN.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Gheit said that he would also meet with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the two countries had strong ties and cooperation.
Relations would be further improved more due to the formation of a High Level Strategic Cooperation Council, Gheit said.
Replying to a question on negotiations with Iran, Davutoglu said that a new and positive momentum began regarding negotiations and Iran's nuclear program in the recent period.
"Iran earlier told us that it would prefer Istanbul for talks. But the place where talks will be held is not important. It can be Geneva or Istanbul. If the parties want to hold negotiations in Istanbul, we will get prepared for it. We hope that talks will be successful," he said. Gheit said that Turkey and Egypt were in favor of a peaceful solution and the two countries had agreed on the matter.
Answering a question on Israel's building new settlements in Palestine, Gheit said that it was unacceptable and these construction must be stopped until a political solution was reached.
Replying to a question on exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece, Davutoglu said that those talks were secret. "Progress was achieved in these talks in the recent months. I cannot give any details," he said.
GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN ON NATIONAL SECURITY POLICY DOCUMENT
A spokesperson for the Turkish government said on Monday that the new National Security Policy Document, which was adopted during today's Council of Ministers meeting, made a comprehensive assessment of the potential security problems Turkey might face in the future.
The Council of Ministers convened under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday.
Holding a press conference after the meeting, Turkish State Minister & Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek, who is also the spokesperson for the government, said that the new National Security Policy Document had been prepared taking into consideration the developments that had taken place in international arena in the post-cold war era.
Noting that the document assessed the potential security threats against Turkey in a comprehensive way, Cicek said such assessment focused on risks concerning the public order, energy security, cyber-security, disasters and public health in addition to traditional security problems.
Cicek said the document also aimed at facilitating the practice of basic rights and freedoms, in addition to establishing peace and security for citizens.
The document also expressed the importance of contributing to international peace and stability, the spokesman added.
Cicek said expressions that could not be legally defined or that would give rise to polarization or accusations had not been included in the text of the new National Security Policy Document.
"Peace and solidarity of the people and security of the country are the core elements of this document," he said.
NO DEAL ON AEGEAN BORDERS, TURKISH PM SAYS
Reports in the Greek media that Turkey had agreed to allow Greece to expand its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea were denied Monday by the Turkish prime minister.
"There is nothing like an agreement that has been reached on the 12 mile [issue]. The talks are still underway with Greece," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters Monday.
The Greek newspaper To Vima had reported that an agreement was reached between Turkey and Greece, with Ankara accepting that Greece would expand its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea from six nautical miles to 12.
Such an agreement is out of the question at the moment and, if one were ever to be reached, would be announced in a joint statement by both parties, Erdoğan said. "Authorized people continue with talks," he added. "We will make a necessary statement if they reach a specific point."
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Monday, however, that there had been progress in talks concerning the territorial-waters dispute.
Turkey and Greece have achieved progress in good faith during exploratory talks on the issue, Davutoğlu told reporters Monday in response to a question, noting that the talks between Turkey and Greece are confidential. "It's not appropriate to go into details on the issue. We give importance to continuing the talks in good faith and determination," he said.
Citing an international maritime agreement, Greece claims its territorial waters should be extended to 12 nautical miles from the current six miles. Turkey has not signed the agreement in question and has thus far refused to accept the Greek claim.
In his comments to reporters, Erdoğan also addressed the EU's demand for Ankara to open its ports to EU member Greek Cyprus, saying the "reciprocity principle" was valid on the matter. "We are ready if they are also ready to simultaneously open the [Turkish Cyprus] ports [to international trade]," he said. "Nobody should wait for something different from us."
Asked about Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas' statement that the negotiations between Turkey and the European Union could be halted if Turkey does not open its ports to Greek Cyprus, Davutoğlu said: "I met the Greek minister at the NATO Summit in Lisbon and he repeated his support for Turkey's EU process."
Stressing that there should be a fair solution to the problem on the island, the Turkish foreign minister also criticized the EU's stance on the issue. "Turkey-EU relations, which have a serious strategic perspective, seem to be stuck on this issue, which means there is a lack of strategic vision," Davutoğlu said. He said putting Cyprus in front of Turkey as a political problem was an incorrect attitude according to the EU's own principles.
The European Union has set the opening of ports to Greek Cyprus as a condition for opening some membership chapters in Turkey's EU accession negotiations.