The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.

HERE IS THE DRAFT FOR AN AUTONOMOUS KURDISTAN

An influential Kurdish group has presented the first comprehensive draft of a model of "democratic autonomy." The Democratic Society Congress (DTK), which describes itself as a local organization of Kurds in eastern Turkey, presented the draft as a text to be debated, saying adoption of the "Democratic Autonomous Kurdistan Model" could be a crucial step in solving the decades-old Kurdish issue.

Although the scope of the model is as wide as an independent state, as critics of the draft have said, the DTK emphasized that it neither wants to demolish the Turkish state nor wants an independent Kurdish state. A stateless model is what the draft highlights. According to the draft, which was opened up to debate on Sunday in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır among participants in a conference of key pro-Kurdish figures that included prominent academics and journalists, the proposed autonomous model would organize itself in "political, economic, cultural, social, diplomatic, legal, ecological and self-defense" branches.

"Democratic autonomy aims to democratize the [Turkish] Republic, changing the rigidity of the nation-state that does not satisfy the needs of the people of Turkey while also eliminating the impediment that the nation-state creates in front of the political, social, economic and cultural development of the people," the draft read.

Attendees discussing the draft at the conference included daily Hürriyet columnist Nuray Mert; academic Zeynep Gambetti; former National Intelligence Organization Deputy Undersecretary Cevat Öneş; journalists Cengiz Çandar, Kadri Gürsel, Ahmet İnsel and Ayhan Bilgen; and mayors from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP). DTK co-heads Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk as well as BDP President Selahattin Demirtaş were also among the attendees.

Political administration of the autonomous model would be organized from the grassroots level through "village communes, town, district and neighborhood assemblies and city assemblies," according to the draft, which said these would all be represented within an upper body named the "Society Congress."

The draft defined self-defense as "not a military monopoly," but "social resistance."

"Democratic autonomy would not cause a changing of borders but within those borders it would make stronger the fraternity and unity of people," the draft said, adding that it would start a new period for Kurdish-Turkish relations with "a new contract between Turkey and the Kurds."

The conference took place as a grenade explosion Sunday in Diyarbakır's Silvan district raised tensions in the region. According to Doğan news agency, a hand grenade exploded during a march against military operations that was attended by thousands of people. Five people, including two girls, were wounded, the agency said. Abdullah Eflatun, the provincial leader of the BDP in Silvan, claimed the hand grenade was thrown into the crowd by police officers. Following the explosion, demonstrators clashed with police, who used pressurized water and teargas to disperse the crowd.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/iste-ozerk-kurdistan-taslagi/347746/1/Gundem

REPORT CHALLENGING THE TABOOS

Sabah (a news outlet) received a copy of a bold report on Kurdish problem that was presented to President Abdullah Gül by Professor Vamik Volkan.

Volkan, who is a world-renowned expert in conflict resolution, visited Çankaya Presidential Palace last week to present his report prepared by compiling 70 proposals.

The report says: "Kurdish language can be an elective course in some regions. Autonomy should be opened to debate. The Turkish oath can be given up. The sense of common nation should be developed. The concerns of Turks should be eliminated."

http://www.sabah.com.tr/Gundem/2010/12/20/kurtce_secmeli_ders_olsun_ozerklik_tartismaya_acilsin#

UNACCEPTABLE ARROGANCE

Israeli Officials described the call by Israeli Ambassador Gaby Levi to Turkish Ministry of Foreign affairs and Turkey's protest of Israeli-Greek Cyprus agreement on sharing of natural resources in eastern Mediterranean as "unacceptable arrogance".

Undersecretary Sinirlioglu says: "This agreement will directly affect the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem unilaterally."

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/turkiyeninki-gorulmemis-kustahlik/347737/30/Dunya

LET'S ESTABLISH OUR OWN SCHENGEN

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview with the Hürriyet daily that Turkey was very successful in its efforts following the Israeli raid on an the Mavi Mara flotilla. Turkey is right, he said.

Al-Assad also extended support to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's project for removal of visa requirements among Turkey, Lebanon and Syria.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/dunya/16576274.asp?gid=373

CYBER SHIELD FROM GOVERNMENT

The government is preparing a law on "cyber threats," which was included in the National Security Policy Document after WikiLeaks disclosures.

A law has been prepared for establishment of a National Intelligence Security Board. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will be chairman of the board that will take measures against electronic interventions that might endanger state security. A special security center will also be established to monitor cyber threats.

http://www.milliyet.com.tr/basbakan-siber-baskan-oluyor/siyaset/haberdetay/20.12.2010/1328459/default.htm

TURKEY'S MAIN OPPOSITION CHIEF MAKES 41 PROMISES FOR HIS PARTY

During a speech at the Republican Peoples' Party (CHP's) extraordinary convention Saturday, party chief Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu outlined 41 commitments the CHP would attempt to implement.

The promises were as follows:

– The Constitution will be made more expansive in its protection of rights and freedoms.

– The Military High Administrative Court will be shut down.

– The Specially Authorized Courts created to replace the State Security Court will be closed.

– The Turkish Language Society and the Turkish History Society will be returned to their former status, according to the will of Turkish Republic founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

– The media will be free and independent.

– The right to privacy will be ensured and those who wiretap phones and "create an empire of fear" will be brought to account.

– Unsolved murder cases will be solved and gangs within the government will be revealed.

– The Higher Education Board will be shut down.

– Universities will be given academic and administrative independence.

– Students will be given the right to address university administrations and actively participate in decision-making processes on campus.

– Problems in the university student-housing system will be addressed within a maximum of two years.

– University tuition fees will be eliminated.

– Poverty will be addressed through strengthening the social state and introducing family insurance.

– The unemployment insurance fund will be used for its intended purpose.

– The government will no longer use contract labor workers and contract laborers will be employed according to standards set by the [United Nations'] International Labor Organization.

– The government will stop the so-called 4/B and 4/C practices.

– Pensions will be indexed to growth in Turkey's national income.

– The adaptation law anticipated by retirees will be passed, ending inequality between retirees.

– The special consumption tax on fuel oil will be removed and the cost of fuel oil will be reduced by 50 percent in order to support agriculture and farmers.

– Women and youth will have a higher representation in politics.

– The 10 percent electoral threshold for Parliament will be changed to a more just figure.

– The election law will be changed so people can elect local representatives instead of party leaders.

– The Political Parties Law will be made more democratic to end the current domination of leaders over their parties.

– Parliamentary immunity will be limited.

– A political ethics law will be passed.

– Elected representatives and administrators will have to declare their property and make the information available online for public scrutiny.

– Political financing will be made transparent.

– An Accurate Accounts Commission will be created in Parliament, headed by the opposition.

– The Public Procurement Law will be reformulated according to the standards of the European Union.

– The Southeastern Anatolia Project will be completed immediately and funds and resources set aside for it will not be used for other purposes.

– Minefields in Southeast Anatolia will be cleared and the land given to villagers without property.

– City laws will be passed instead of rent laws.

– The problem of 2/B land ownership will be solved and land will be given free of charge to villagers living in forests.

– Turkey's economic structure will be changed to give special importance to producers and manufacturers.

– The economy will be restructured to benefit those who work hard and produce.

– The economy will be based on science and technology.

– By 2023, Turkey will be a leader in its region.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=kilicdaroglu8217s-41-promises-2010-12-19

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