The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.

AMBASSADOR REVEALED TO BE SECRET AGENT

Bulgaria issued the names of the diplomats who worked as secret agents (in the intelligence services) during the communist period. It was revealed that ambassadors in 13 of 26 European countries were agents.

Krasimir Tulecki, who was appointed to the Bulgarian embassy in Turkey on Sept. 27 is also on the list.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said those people would be discharged.

The Bulgarian government has begun to prepare the required law.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/ajan-elci-ankarada/346935/1/Gundem

NEW NAMES IN KILIÇDAROĞLU'S PARTY ASSEMBLY

New names that will be included in the party assembly of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) are being made public two days before the party congress.

Party Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu will include sight-impaired lawyer Turan İçli, Syriac Markus Urek, retired diplomats Uğur Ziyal and Faruk Loğoğlu as well as some technocrats in the party assembly list. Also, there will be 30 women members on the party assembly list.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/kilicdaroglundan-listeye-2-flas-isim/346970/9/Siyaset

TURKEY TURNS AWAY FROM TEXAS' DOOR

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) executives announced that a new arms bill, which has drawn reactions from the public, will not be debated in this legislative year.

Hürriyet, a daily newspaper, headlined the bill as "Texas law on the way."

Last week, the Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Arms adopted a bill that made disputable amendments on license and arms acquisition. The bill dropped the age to own guns and rifles to 18, whereas a person could have up to five weapons if he wanted. The bill also said a person could carry two guns at one time.

Suat Kılıç and Mustafa Elitaş, deputy chairmen of the AKP group in parliament, told Hürriyet that it was not possible for the parliament to discuss the bill in this legislative year due to its busy agenda. In this case, the bill will be not be considered this year.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/16545553.asp?gid=373

SAMSUN-CEYHAN PIPELINE IS INSURANCE OF STRAITS

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said Russia was ready to do its part for the Samasun-Ceyhan pipeline.

Sechin, who held a joint press conference with Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yıldız, said: "The Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline will provide great safety for the Black Sea and the straits in terms of the environment. Akkuyu will be the world's safest reactor. Russia will provide all the guarantees for financing the power plant."

http://www.sabah.com.tr/Ekonomi/2010/12/16/samsunceyhan_icin_haziriz

SNOWBALLS THROWN AT POLICE

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan attended a meeting at the TÜBİTAK Space Technologies Research Institute on the campus of the Middle East Technical University on Wednesday.

Students staged a protest in front of the institute building. A group of students wanted to march to the TÜBİTAK building because some of their friends were detained. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to intervene. Students responded by throwing snowballs.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/gundem/16545570.asp?gid=233

STUDENT PROTESTS CONTINUE IN TURKEY DESPITE POLICE ACTION, JAIL THREATS

Student protests against government officials showed no signs of abating in Turkey on Wednesday despite continued harsh responses from police and politicians and ongoing threats of jail time for those participating in demonstrations.

One student is facing up to two years and four months in prison for throwing an egg at State Minister Egemen Bağış at a protest in Ankara, while two others have been under arrest for nine months pending trial for holding up critical posters during an appearance by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul.

Erdoğan was also the target of the latest student protest, which took place Wednesday at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, where the prime minister was chairing a Science and Technology High Council meeting to determine the country's science policies.

Student demonstrators chanted slogans against Erdoğan and his ruling Justice and Development Party protesting the police presence at the university and saying they had not been allowed to enter the hall where the meeting was being held.

Lack of participatory rights was also at issue in a Dec. 4 protest in Istanbul, where student groups demonstrated outside a meeting between the prime minister and university rectors, demanding their right to be present at the talks. Ankara University students who later protested the excessive use of police force in that incident were pepper-sprayed by police.

Pepper spray was likewise used at the METU protest Wednesday, where police took into custody 21 students who refused to disperse. Speaking on behalf of the protesters, Uğur Yıldırım said they were demonstrating against the earlier police actions in Istanbul and Ankara. The protests at METU were ongoing when the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to press.

While some of the protesters at METU threw snowballs at the police, hurling raw eggs has been a more common tactic at recent demonstrations. One student, Nihal Çarıkçı, is being charged with insulting State Minister Bağış for throwing eggs at him during a conference in September at Ankara University, reportedly ruining the left shoulder of his jacket.

Ankara Prosecutor Fuat Hazer is seeking a prison term of between one year and two years and four months for Çarıkçı, daily Milliyet reported Wednesday. Her egg throwing was deemed an attack on a public official's honor, pride and prestige, allowing it to be prosecuted as a crime. The first trial in the indictment against Çarıkçı will be held at the sixth criminal court in Ankara on Feb. 10.

Two Roma students who held up posters saying "We want free education" during Erdoğan's meeting with the Roma community in March were ordered Tuesday to remain under arrest, daily Milliyet reported. The students are accused of "being a member of a terrorist group" and "making terror propaganda," crimes that carry a penalty of six to 15 years in jail.

The arrested suspects, Ferhat Tüzel, a mechanical-engineering student at Trakya University, and Berna Yılmaz, an anthropology student at Ankara University, participated in the trial held at the 10th High Criminal Court along with fellow suspect Utku Ayar, who is being tried without arrest.

During the trial, the suspects' lawyers said their clients did not belong to any outlawed organizations and that asking for free education is not a crime.

Supporters of the suspects protested the order that Tüzel and Yılmaz remain under arrest until the trial resumes May 24, 2011, chanting: "They only opened posters. May God give those vampires punishment."

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=student-protests-continue-in-turkey-despite-police-force-jail-threats-2010-12-15

FIRST LOCAL WAR PLANE

National Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül said Turkey has given instructions to engineers to manufacture the first local [Turkish-made] war plane. Gönül said Turkey had not found sufficient the bids in the helicopter tender.

http://yenisafak.com.tr/Gundem/?t=16.12.2010&i=292777

TURKISH AMBASSADOR MADE MEDIATOR CHIEF AT U.N.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Levent Bilman, Turkey's ambassador to India, as the head of the policy and mediation division of the U.N. Department of Political Affairs. Bilman will begin his new mission in the coming year.

http://yenisafak.com.tr/Dunya/?t=16.12.2010&c=4&i=292873

LANDMARK COUP TRIAL OPENS IN TURKEY

The case marks the toughest challenge yet to the once-omnipotent Turkish army, which has unseated four governments since 1960 but has seen its clout wane under the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

The trial started in a huge courtroom inside a prison complex in Silivri, a town near Istanbul, with a judge opening proceedings by confirming the identities of the suspects. Among the high-profile defendants present was the alleged mastermind of the coup, retired general Cetin Dogan, as well as the former chiefs of the navy and the air force, Ozden Ornek and Ibrahim Firtina.

The 196 suspects -- both active-duty and retired officers -- risk 15 to 20 years in jail for "attempting to overthrow the government or prevent it from carrying out its duties through the use of force and violence."

The case has been marred by serious doubts over the authenticity of some incriminating documents, fuelling political tensions and deepening mistrust between the staunchly secularist military and the AKP, the offshoot of a banned Islamist movement. For supporters, the probe is a long-due push to force the generals out of politics, while critics say it is a deliberate campaign to disable the army and remove a major stumbling block for the AKP's Islamist ambitions.

Underscoring the rift, the Taraf daily, the first to report the coup plan in January, hailed "the trial of the century," while the large-circulation daily Hurriyet cast doubt on the charges, listing defendants who were not even based in Turkey at the time when the plan was allegedly hatched.

The prosecution argues the plan -- codenamed "Operation Sledgehammer" -- was drawn up and discussed at the First Army base in Istanbul shortly after the AKP came to power in November 2002 amid fears it would undermine the secular system. It says the suspects planned to "pave the way for a military takeover by plunging the country into chaos and unrest" and singles out Dogan, the First Army's then commander, as the mastermind.

The soldiers allegedly plotted to carry out bomb attacks on two Istanbul mosques and down a Turkish jet over the Aegean Sea to provoke tensions with Greece, hoping to discredit the AKP and garner public support for a coup.

Dogan has denied the charges, arguing that papers from a seminar on a contingency plan based on a worst-case scenario of tensions with Greece and Islamist unrest at home have been doctored to look like a coup plan. The seminar, held in March 2003 in Istanbul, was attended by officers serving in the city and neighboring regions.

The probe began in February after Taraf, which routinely targets the army, published purported documents incriminating the defendants and then handed them over to prosecutors. Taraf said an anonymous source had brought the documents -- papers, CDs and audio tapes -- in a suitcase.

The audio tapes reportedly reveal that soldiers who attended the seminar spoke of a growing Islamist threat and discussed martial law and a new government, issues not supposed to be on the agenda of the gathering.

But critics have questioned a series of anachronistic expressions in some papers, suggesting that some documents may be an outright fabrication. They have pointed especially at a list of entities the coup plotters planned to control which features associations and hospitals that either did not exist or had different names in 2003.

Dozens of suspects, among them soldiers, academics and journalists, are already on trial as part of a separate probe into a purported secularist network accused of having planned bombings and assassinations to destabilize the AKP and prompt a military coup.

http://en.cumhuriyet.com/?hn=200130

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