The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.


Washington Post wrote that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said, "Turkey could become a union of nations just like Britain's union with its former colonies." Hasan Celal Guzel, who defended the same opinion in a 2008-dated article, had used the headline "Ottoman Union of Nations" in his piece. Washington Post's Jackson Diehl prepared a detailed analysis on Turkey in the light of the documents released by the website Wikileaks. Diehl also included extracts from an interview with Minister Davutoğlu in his article. According to Diehl, Davutoğlu said, "Britain and its former colonies is like a union of nations. Why shall not Turkey establish a similar leadership again on the former Ottoman territory covering the Balkans, Middle East and Central Asia?"


A secret plan against a possible Russian Attack to Poland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania has been exposed in Wikileaks documents. The decision to prepare such a plan was taken in the beginning of this year. This plan is the first one after the cold war. According to the plan, 9 brigades determined to counter attack against Russia. USA will provide air defense support with F-16s and C-130 to Poland from its bases in Germany. NATO and Russia agreed on a Missile shield program last month in Lisbon at NATO Summit. But this Wikileaks document reflects the invisible tension between the parties.


President Abdullah Gul welcomes Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. After the official meeting a press conference was held in Presidential Palace. Gul says, "Turkey first recognized the independent Palestinian Sate. It is very nice to hear that Brazil and Argentina recognized too. The capital of this state should be east Jerusalem. Israel should reconsider its policy about the blockade on Gaza."


According to Haaretz, Feridun Sinirlioglu and Israel's United Nations representative for the investigation commission on the Mavi Marmara incident gathered together yesterday and they agreed to prepare a written text to be announced both Prime Ministers Nethenyahu and Erdogan. Experts are working on the wording of the announcement, which will be accepted by Erdogan as an apology but will be accepted by Nethenyahu as an announcement.


Neither world politics nor methods of conducting diplomacy will change seriously following the leaks of confidential US cables, experts say. While there could be some short- and medium-term consequences, nothing revealed in the cables has the potential to shake global politics, say former diplomats, though one Turkish envoy notes that confidentiality is essential for international diplomacy.

The revelations provided by U.S. embassy cables published by the website WikiLeaks are unlikely to change the way diplomacy is conducted despite the worldwide attention being given to the documents, experts have said.

"Whatever we have read so far may come as a surprise to the ordinary reader but not to the experts. It will not change the nature of the game," Camille Grand, the director of the Foundation for Strategic Research, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Saturday.

"I do not see anything that will shake world politics," said retired Ambassador Ömer Akbel, who emphasized that the documents leaked could not be equated with government policy.

"Embassies send raw materials. It is the job of the capital to refine this raw information. It would have been different if, for example, the policy papers of [Turkey's] National Security Council had been leaked," said Akbel, a former spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

While acknowledging some of the ramifications of the leaks, Akbel said diplomacy would continue as it had before the release of the confidential cables.

"Obviously, it will leave a bitter taste. But at the end of the day, on the surface, statements will be made to compensate for the embarrassment and bilateral relations will continue without serious change," he said.

Akbel also said he did not expect any change in the diplomatic methods employed. "Reporting from embassies is one of the tools of diplomacy. Unless it is proven to be of no serious importance, you report on everything," said the former diplomat.

The release of the cables would likely leave a mark on domestic politics, however, according to another retired ambassador. "The cables unearthed the unspoken views on diplomats and countries. It will cause splits in domestic policies, as we see already happening," said Yalım Eralp, who served as adviser to a number of Turkish prime ministers, including Tansu Çiller in the 1990s.

"It will affect the thinking and perception of statesmen. How can Turkmen President [Gurbanguly] Berdymukhammedov forget about the fact that he is called vain, fastidious and vindictive?" Eralp asked. "Knowing or suspecting is one thing; when it is official, that's another thing. I am sure American companies will feel the negative consequences."

The leaks have already had some consequences; one European diplomat told the Daily News that he had begun to omit names from his reports. He added that it would now be much harder to convince conflicting sides, such as those in the Middle East, to agree to secret diplomatic talks.

Such talks, held in the absence of public pressure, have in the past been instrumental in reaching agreements between rival sides.

Despite the damage WikiLeaks has done to secret diplomacy and the way it has strengthened calls for transparency, diplomacy still requires confidentiality, said Turkish diplomat Tacan İldem. "Certain things need to be kept in discretion while certain processes are continuing," Ambassador İldem said.


A Danish court on Monday ordered the unfreezing of 10 bank accounts belonging to a Kurdish TV station accused of being a propaganda outlet of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, a lawyer said.

The appeals court in the Danish capital confirmed an October ruling to unfreeze the accounts of Roj TV, which contained 327,000 kroner (43,900 euros).

The accounts were frozen in August at the end of a five-year investigation into the channel, with prosecutors accusing Roj TV of broadcasting propaganda for the PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

The judge said freezing the accounts violated European rights laws on freedom of expression, said Bjoern Elmquist, the station's lawyer.

Roj TV began broadcasting in 2004 from Belgium to 68 countries in Europe and Asia, prompting angry criticism from Ankara, which says the channel is a mouthpiece for the PKK.


Armenia's parliament will discuss Thursday the possibility of recognizing breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh's independence, yet many admit that international considerations effectively preclude Yerevan from making any such acknowledgement.

"Armenia cannot make this decision at the moment, no matter how much they want it, because they attach the utmost importance to mediators' diplomatic efforts for a solution to the [Nagorno-Karabakh problem]," Manvel Sargsyan, a Karabakh political figure, recently told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

The issue has been brought to the agenda by the country's strongest opposition party, Jarankutyun. Although the party raised the same issue in 2007, it failed, said Sargsyan.

According to political scientists, although the Serge Sarkisian government, like other previous administrations, wants to recognize Karabakh's independence, the issue's delicate nature makes it difficult to make such a move. In order not to disrupt the work of the international mediators who are trying to solve the issue in peaceful terms, the government has refused to recognize the territory.

Still, the desire is shared by all Armenians, Güner Özkan, deputy chairman of the International Strategic Research Foundation's Eurasia desk, told the Daily News.

"Former President Robert Kocharyan was from Karabakh; so is the present president, Sarkisian. Despite that, they are timid in recognizing independence," he said.

"Armenia needs Russia's consent to be able to recognize Karabakh's independence. It is not possible otherwise. Of course we should not forget the role of the European Union and United States in the process," Özkan said.

There are two different opinions about the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in Armenia, said Hayk Khanumyan, a political scientist and chairman of the European Movement NGO in Karabakh.

On one hand, one side thinks that if Armenia recognized Karabakh's independence, it would be detrimental to the solution of issues in a peaceful manner, while more radical sections support an Armenian-Karabakh union, said Khanumyan. "My opinion is both Armenia and the other countries should recognize the independence."

Although Armenia has yet to recognize the region's independence, Nagorno-Karabakh is of vital importance, Sargsyan said, adding that the consensus in Armenia between the government and the opposition was that the region could on no accounts remain a part of Azerbaijan.

Historically populated by Armenians, Nagorno-Karabakh is a constituent part of Azerbaijan that has been occupied by Armenia since 1994. While internationally recognized as Azerbaijani territory, the enclave has declared itself an independent republic but is administered as a de facto part of Armenia.

Ultimately, Jarankutyun is after its own political ends, Özkan said.

"Jarankutyun is a party funded by the U.S., everybody knows that," said Khanumyan. "The Armenian Center for National and International Studies, owned by the party, has long received financial support from the country. If we bear that in mind, we could as well say that Nagorno-Karabakh's independence is approved by the U.S."

Touching on the "football diplomacy" that started in 2008 between Turkey and Armenia, Sargsyan said, "Football diplomacy not only ended without any results, it also deepened the deadlock between Azerbaijan and Armenia and of course negatively affected the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, too."

The apparent detente started when Turkish President Abdullah Gül made a historic visit to Armenia in 2008 to watch a World Cup qualifier football match between the two countries' national football teams. Sarkisian visited Turkey to watch the return match in 2009.

Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols for the development of relations and opening their sealed mutual border in 2009 but have been unable to complete the ratification process.

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