The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
HAMMER IS IN TURK FRIEND'S HAND
After the victory of the Republicans in the November elections, the new House of Representatives consists of 242 Republicans and 193 Democrats. John Boehner was elected as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, replacing Democrat Nancy Pelosi. He is known with his campaign against the "Armenian Genocide" resolution.
ARMENIAN RESOLUTION NOT TO COME ONTO AGENDA FOR TWO YEARS
The U. S. Congress began the new two-year legislative term with new lawmakers on Wednesday. John Boehner was elected the new Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives as the Republican Party won the majority at the House. Virginia Foxx, a person close to Boehner, spoke to Hürriyet daily newspaper. Foxx, whose son-in-law is a Turk and who has two grandchildren named Rana and Kenan, said the Armenian resolution on the incidents of 1915 would not be brought to the U.S. Congress for two years. Foxx backed Turkey during "genocide resolution" discussions at the end of last year.
FIRST VICTIM OF WIKI LEAKS IN THE U.S.
U.S. Ambassador to Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Gene Cretz was called back to U.S. for discussions. Sources says the reason is the leaked Wiki Leaks document saying that Libyan President Kaddafi is taking his beautiful Ukranian nurse everywhere where he goes. He has a special relationship with his nurse, therefore he is not in a mood to take proper decisions in Libya politics. This document was written by Ambassador Cretz and sent to the State Department.
SURPRISE INVITATION FROM LIEBERMAN TO DAVUTOGLU
Israeli Foreign Minister Avidor Leberman invited Foreign Minister Davutoglu to Israel to talk one –on– one, the Jerusalem Post says.
The article continues: "Lieberman invited Davutoglu but continues his criticism of Turkey's foreign policy. He asked that Turkey should announce the IHH (Humanitarian Aid Foundation which organized the Mavi Marmara aid ship's trip to Gaza) as an outlaw organization.
TURKS SEE THE U.S. AS BIGGEST EXTERNAL THREAT, POLL RESULTS SHOW
Some 43 percent of Turks perceive the United States as the country's biggest threat, followed by Israel, according to a broad survey carried out in December.
"This the highest ratio ever on the external threat question among our surveys," Professor Özer Sencar, chairman of Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center, told the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Wednesday.
"The U.S. foreign politics since the Iraqi invasion, the hood incident [the U.S. detention of Turkish soldiers during the Iraq war], the war in Afghanistan, repeated Armenian bills in the U.S. Congress and the negative statements that Turkish leaders make about the U.S. and Israel play a major role in this perception," Sencar said.
The Ankara-based MetroPOLL survey company, which is affiliated with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) surveyed 1,504 people in 31 provinces in December.
The survey asked: "From which country does the biggest threat come?" with 43 percent of Turks saying the U.S., followed by 24 percent who indicated Israel, 3 percent for Iran, 2.3 percent for Greece, 2.1 for Iraq, 1.7 for Russia and 1 percent for Armenia. Some 1.3 of participants said no country posed a threat to Turkey, while 18.9 said they had no idea.
"It is interesting that Turkish people perceive an ally, the U.S., a country with whom Turkey has high-level, bilateral relations and is in NATO, as a threat," Sencar said, adding that Turkish people had not perceived the U.S as a threat in their previous surveys until the invasion of Iraq.
"However, following the invasion, especially after the 'hood incident' incident in which American soldiers detained Turkish soldiers in northern Iraq and covered their heads with a sack during the arrest, a strong reaction has emerged against the U.S.," Sencar said. "The war in Afghanistan followed this while Armenian bills coming to Congress every year raises tension."
He also said the U.S.' support for Israel was another source of the negative reaction. "Israeli politics in the region and the suffering of Palestinians are not opposed – let alone addressed – by the U.S. administration," he said, noting that Turkish hostility toward Israel was rising.
"Those are all reasons combine for Turks to have a negative perception of the U.S. Even the politics of the [Barack] Obama administration could not change this trend," he said.
Sencar also said aggression toward Iran was another cause of the negative view. "This is not because Turks have friendly feelings toward Iranians. We asked participants if they were worried about Iran's nuclear threat. Some 70 percent said they were worried about it."
Despite this trepidation at Iran's nuclear capability, the 3 percent of Turks who view the Islamic republic as a threat was dwarfed by the combined 67 percent who see the U.S. and Israel as a threat, Sencar said, adding that Iran's ratio had fallen over previous years.
In previous years, Armenia, Russia and Greece were perceived as the main external threats for Turks, Sencar said.
"But their ratios have fallen to around 1 or 2 percent. Turks do not see them as enemies anymore," he said, adding that the "zero problems with neighbors" foreign policy strategy of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu was working.
Sencar also said statements from Turkish leaders like Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a major impact on the "threat" perceptions of Turkish people.
"The biggest support for the European Union is from the ruling party's voters. But 10 years ago, the EU was the biggest external threat for Islamist conservatives. It's because the ruling party supported the EU process," that people have been influenced to no longer view the bloc as a threat, he said.
A separate part of the MetroPOLL survey on domestic politics indicated that while main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had won over many people, the AKP still appeared on course for a majority victory in June elections.
According to the results, if elections were to take place today, the AKP would win 45.3 percent of the votes, while the CHP would take second with 30.7 percent.
The Nationalist Movement Party would come third with 14 percent of the votes, the survey said.
Some 17 percent of those polled were undecided, or said they would refuse to vote out of protest.
The pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, would receive 6.5 percent of national votes, the survey said.
Fifty percent of those surveyed think the country is headed in the right direction, while 44 percent disagree, the poll said.
On Kılıçdaroğlu, 68 percent said they found the new CHP more successful than the previous administration. Only 13 percent of voters said former CHP leader Deniz Baykal was more successful.
The deciding factors in which party citizens might vote for are the Kurdish issue and the economy, according to the poll.
Regarding Kurdish demands for mother-tongue education, only 30 percent support the move while 69 percent are opposed.
Asked about recent incidents between student protestors and police, 73 percent said the throwing of eggs by students was undemocratic, while 70 percent said the police's heavy-handed treatment of was students wrong, the survey said.
PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT WHEN STUDENTS WANT TO MARCH ON AKP HQ
A "battle" broke out between students and police in Ankara on Wednesday after students tried to march to the city's headquarters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The students gathered in front of the Middle East Technical University (METU) to protest "the Justice and Development Party administration and attacks on students from police forces who are under their control," according to a press release distributed by the students Monday.
Some 500 students from METU, Hacettepe and Ankara Universities gathered in front of METU's main gate after lunch to march four kilometers to the AKP's headquarters. The exits to the university campus were blocked by approximately 2,000 police officers who made it impossible for the students to leave the campus. The police could not step foot on campus without consent from the rector.
The students, after shouting slogans on campus for a while, marched forward only to be greeted by pressurized water canons and tear gas after rocks were thrown toward the police barricade. The students fought back with rocks and sticks, accidentally hitting journalists who had already gotten their share of water and tear gas while documenting what witnesses called a "battlefield." The "battle" continued for an hour until the students went back inside the campus when Çetin Soysal of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) arrived to talk to them. The students, however, chanted for him to leave, prompting the politician to escape from the campus to avoid being hit by rocks that had been thrown at him.
Meanwhile, President Abdullah Gül's office has announced that he would meet university representatives at a luncheon Thursday. The students also protested for "the basic democratic right of equal, scientific, free education in their native language."