The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


The USS George Washington left the U.S. naval base in Japan to deploy in Yellow Sea this morning. The carrier, which has 75 aircraft and six thousand personnel, moved to make a joint exercise with South Korean Navy on Sunday.


For the first time in Republic of Turkey's history, Minister of Interior Besir Atalay removed Gendarmerie Major General, Halil Helvacioglu, from office. MGen Helvacioglu's name was on the list of suspects in Balyox (sledgehammer) investigation. MGen's promotion was rejected by the Government at the High Military Council in August.


After Minister of Interior Besir Atalay's announcement, Minister of Defense Vecdi Gonul declared that Mgen. Gurbuz Kaya and Radm. Abdullah Gavremoglu, who were also suspects in Balyoz (sledgehammer) investigation, were removed from the office.


Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu pushed the button [resigned] when he realized that he could not join the upcoming elections with the current party assembly. According to sources, Kılıçdaroğlu will settle accounts with former Secretary-General Önder Sav and former chairman Deniz Baykal in a convention on Dec. 18 and set up his team.


Turkey's prime minister lambasted media critics who claimed Iran was targeted at last week's NATO summit while opposition parties lashed out at the government for portraying the meeting's outcome as its own success during Tuesday group meetings.

"When I see what is written [in the media] about the missile defense system, I realize that there is a serious lack of information," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told his party's parliamentary group meeting Tuesday.

"In Lisbon, the missile defense system, Strategic Concept, Afghanistan and NATO-EU relations were discussed. And Turkey left its mark on the summit. The decision taken is satisfactory for Turkey. Our country's expectations have been taken into account as a result of Turkey's intense efforts," he said.

Erdoğan said no country was singled out as a threat at the summit as a result of the alliance's decision.

"The efforts to demonstrate that Iran was singled out as a target are aimed at creating suspicion," Erdoğan said.

"France has engaged in efforts to put Iran's name in NATO's Strategic Concept but the alliance acted in line with Turkey's demands to not mention Iran's name in the document," he said.

Erdoğan also described French President Nicolas Sarkozy's remarks, "We call a cat a cat; the threat here is Iran," as a "fallacy."

Referring to the NATO summit and missile defense system, Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu criticized the AKP for turning lies into truth.

"They [the governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP] created a media group that trumpets all their actions and enjoys discussing issues that do not exist. They likewise oppress the mainstream media, where self-censorship is applied," he said, criticizing the pro-government media for presenting the NATO summit as a success for the AKP.

Kılıçdaoğlu recalled Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu's remarks that Turkey perceived no threat from either its neighbors or from NATO and questioned why Turkey was thus being considered as a base for the proposed shield.

He said it was normal for Iran's name not to be in the document as no name was mentioned in NATO documents.

"The aim [of the Strategic Concept] is to control Iran's nuclear and ballistic system. We voice this fact and Iran, too, knows it," Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Devlet Bahçeli, leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, said the NATO summit decisions were far from satisfactory for Turkey.

"If the target is not Iran, then is it Cuba or Senegal or Russia or India? The truth is so evident. Turkey has been selected as a base for the proposed missile shield and all risks have been taken to protect the safety of NATO countries, including the EU," Bahçeli said.

Meanwhile, CHP representatives and the party assembly are leaning toward a convention, according to a survey and personal observations from Kılıçdaroğlu.

Instead of surveying representatives, as he did with the party assembly, Kılıçdaroğlu spoke with them face to face on Monday.

The party assembly's support for a convention was seconded by the deputies. Kılıçdaroğlu will convene the Central Executive Board, or MYK, in the next few days to make the final decision.


Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan labeled the alliance between the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) as "platonic love." Speaking at his Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group meeting, Erdoğan said they could not form an alliance because the two parties had very different political backgrounds.


Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou will visit Turkey's eastern province of Erzurum as a guest of a "brainstorming" meeting. The Turkish Foreign Ministry will bring together ambassadors to discuss foreign policy and the future as part of several "brainstorming" meetings. Nearly 150 ambassadors will participate in these meetings to be held in early 2011. Papandreou will give a conference during these meetings.


The commander of the Turkish Naval Forces met his Greek counterpart on Tuesday amid allegations that Turkey had agreed to allow Greece to expand its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea.

"We attach great importance to the improvement of relations between Greece and Turkey," Adm. Uğur Yiğit told reporters after the meeting.

He said Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff Dimitrios Elefsiniotis' visit to Turkey would contribute to ties between the two countries' naval forces. "Turkish and Greek naval forces have been working together in regional and international organizations," he said.

Yiğit said confidence-building steps taken between the armies of the two countries have progressed significantly, adding that he believed Elefsiniotis's visit would contribute to discovering new areas in which to cooperate.

Elefsiniotis said mutual visits were of particular importance to Turkish-Greek relations. He said recent meetings in Istanbul between Greek and Turkish army officers were productive. "We laid the foundation for the continuation of relations between the navies of both countries and young army officials," he said.

The Greek newspaper To Vima, over the weekend, 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. On Monday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan denied the reports. "Nothing like an agreement has been reached on the 12 miles issue. The talks are still underway with Greece."

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, noting that the talks between Turkey and Greece are confidential.


Turkish Minister of Energy & Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said on Tuesday that talks would start with Japanese delegation next week for the nuclear power plant planned to be constructed in Black Sea province of Sinop.

Speaking to reporters following his meeting with World Energy Council Secretary General Chirtoph Frei, Yildiz said, "a last meeting was held in South Korea for the Nuclear Power Plant. We shared the results of the meeting with public."

"Talks with the Japanese delegation will start next week. We should conclude the works soon," he said.

Yildiz said Duma, the sub-flank of the Russian Parliament, approved construction of Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, "the issue will be sent for approval after being assessed in the general assembly. Construction of the power plant should start soon," he added.

Responding to a question, Yildiz said three separate teams were carrying out talks with Russian Federation, Japan and West Europe.

Yildiz said France was one of the countries that asked for a meeting on the matter.

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