The following are translations of excerpts from the Turkish press.
GERMAN RELEASE DATE FOR TURKISH MOVIE ANGERS LOCAL POLITICIANS
A Turkish action movie with alleged anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli overtones will be released Jan. 27 in Germany, causing an uproar because the date coincides with a day to commemorate Holocaust victims, daily Milliyet reported Sunday.
"'Kurtlar Vadisi: Filistin' (The Valley of Wolves: Palestine) is a problematic movie because it foments violence, anti-Israeli [feelings] and anti-Semitic sentiments," said Kerstin Griese, a parliamentary deputy for the opposition Social Democratic Party.
The date chosen has elicited anger from across the political spectrum, with Philip Missfelder, a parliamentary member of the ruling Christian Democratic Party, saying it denigrates victims of the Holocaust.
Jerzy Montag of the Green Party said it was "irresponsible" to release the film Jan. 27, the International Commemoration Day for Victims of Holocaust. When asked if it would be possible to ban the movie, Montag said: "Unless it breaches the law, sickening things can be shown in Germany."
Kurtlar Vadisi: Filistin's distribution company, Cologne-based Pera Film, said it was unaware of the sensitivity of the date, the German daily Die Welt reported. A spokesperson for the firm said they initially planned to release the film in November, but were forced to delay the premiere due to production problems.
The film reprises the raid on the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ship that was carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip last year when it was attacked by Israeli commandos, resulting in the deaths of eight Turks and one U.S. citizen of Turkish origin.
Kurtlar Vadisi first started as a television series, but spin-off movies have since come to accompany the continuing TV shows. The franchise is famous for touching upon political issues, such as when U.S. forces detained Turkish soldiers in Iraq and put sacks over their heads. The nationalist hero of the movie, Polat Alemdar, is a semi-official Turkish agent who exacts revenge on those who act against the Turks.
ISRAEL: MAVI MARMARA RAID IS IN ACCORDANCE WITH INTERNATIONAL LAWS
Israel has made public its report about the Mavi Marmara massacre in which nine people were killed on May 31. According to the report, the Israeli murderers who opened fire on unarmed Turkish people onboard the vessel acted in line with international law and human rights. The 10-member commission headed by Yaakov Turkel, former judge of the Israeli Constitutional Court, unanimously approved the 296-page report. The report said that any evidence proving that people on board the vessel carried guns could not be found.
ISRAELI REPORT SAYS RAID ON GAZA-BOUND AID FLOTILLA IS LEGAL
An Israeli panel that investigated the deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy made its findings public Sunday, saying the raid that killed eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent last May was legal. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan rejected the 245-page report as "having no value or credibility."
TURKEY'S MAVI MARMARA REPORT
Israeli commandos killed two passengers on an aid ship headed for the Gaza Strip before they boarded the vessel, a Turkish report into May's deadly raid on the Mavi Marmara has claimed. The release of the Turkish report Sunday came as an Israeli panel cleared the Israeli military and government of any wrongdoing during the incident.
Eight Turks and one American of Turkish descent were killed in the May 31 attack as the Turkish Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in a flotilla of six, attempted to run the blockade on the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid. Israel claims its soldiers acted in self defense; the activists on board the ship say the commandos used disproportionate force.
According to the Anatolia news agency, the interim report was submitted to the United Nations on Sept. 1 for use in its ongoing investigation into the raid.
The Turkish report, released Sunday to the public, accuses Israeli forces of mounting a "full-fledged and pre-meditated attack with frigates, helicopters, zodiacs and submarines, [and being] heavily armed with machine guns, laser-guided rifles, pistols and modified paintball rifles."
It accuses Israeli soldiers of shooting "from the helicopter onto the Mavi Marmara using live ammunition and killing two passengers before any Israeli soldier descended on the deck."
"During the attack, excessive, indiscriminate and disproportionate force was used by the Israeli soldiers against the civilians on board. The passengers only exercised a lawful right of self-defense, without any firearms, against the armed attack of the Israeli forces," the report claims. Relations between once-close allies Turkey and Israel have frayed almost to the breaking point in the past year over the raid. Turkey withdrew its ambassador from Tel Aviv and Turkish leaders denounced Israel repeatedly over the attack. Turkey has made an Israeli apology and compensation for the victims' families a condition for improved ties.
An Israeli panel on Sunday cleared the military and government of any wrongdoing during last year's raid on the Gaza-bound flotilla, but the finding appeared unlikely to repair damage to Israel's standing, the Associated Press reported.
The report said the armed defense of Israel's maritime blockade of the Hamas-ruled coastal strip was justified under international law. A wave of international condemnation of the raid forced Israel to ease the blockade.
The nearly 300-page report echoed an earlier military investigation that faulted the planning and execution of the operation. Even so, it said the blockade of Gaza and the raid were legal and justified.
Turkey swiftly condemned Sunday's report, saying it was "surprised, appalled and dismayed" by its findings.
POLITICIZING RELIGIOUS SECTS
Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said politicians should not question religious beliefs. "We should be respectful about religious sects, which are not involved in political life. The politicization of religious sects is the most serious obstacle to democracy because people go to ballot boxes with a certain motive in that area. People should cast their votes for unemployment, the country's problems, democracy, freedoms and rights," he said.
TURKISH-AMERICAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION TO HOST CONFERENCES IN IRAQ
Turkish-American Business Association (TABA/AmCham) will bring Turkish, American and Iraqi companies together to discuss potential of joint projects.
Sule Akyuz, representative of TABA/AmCham in Washington D.C., told the A.A on Monday: "Turkey has become a regional power. We attach great importance to relations with Iraq that is expected to be one of the biggest economies in the region by 2017 with its rich oil reserves. Therefore, we are going to hold a series of conferences in Iraq with the participation of Turkish, American and Iraqi businessmen to discuss potential of joint projects. These conferences target developing cooperation ties among the three countries in different areas."
Founded in 1987, TABA/AmCham is a non-profit organization with 650 members from Turkey, the United States and Europe.
ERDOGAN LASHES OUT AT MAIN OPPOSITION LEADER OVER HIZBULLAH COMMENTS
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday slammed main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who had claimed that the ruling AKP had collaborated with Hizbullah.
"That is an outrageous thing to say. That is cowardice. That is rudeness," Erdoğan said. "I am not afraid of being criticized, but I cannot let any one insult me," he said. "That is something I cannot tolerate."
IRAN OPEN TO MORE NUCLEAR TALKS, SAYS PRESIDENT
Western powers declared Saturday two-negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program to be "disappointment," but Iran's president has held out hopes for more talks in the future. "We never expected that issues would be resolved during these few sessions," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says during a speech in Rasht, but added the Iran will not back down.
Iran is open to holding more talks with the six world powers over its nuclear program, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Sunday, a day after the failure of the latest round of the dialogue.
Ahmadinejad's remarks came after the world powers expressed disappointment over the two days of talks held in Istanbul, even as the United States and Germany voiced hopes of holding new negotiations with the Islamic republic.
"They have talked for a few rounds, but we never expected that issues would be resolved during these few sessions because of the record and mentality of the other parties," Ahmadinejad said in a speech aired live on state television from the northern city of Rasht.
"But if the other side is determined and committed to justice, law and respect, one can hope that suitable results could be achieved in future sessions."
The talks in Istanbul on Friday and Saturday failed to yield results between Iran and the so-called P5+1 – U.N. Security Council permanent members Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany.
The dialogue was aimed at ascertaining whether Iran's contentious nuclear drive masks a weapons program, as suspected by the West but staunchly denied by the Islamic republic.
The world powers blamed Iran's conditions – the lifting of sanctions and its right to enrich uranium, which is the most controversial part of its nuclear program – for the failure of the Istanbul dialogue.
Ahmadinejad, under whose presidency the nuclear program has grown, said however that the talks created the conditions for "good agreements in future sessions" as both sides met and got acquainted to each other's views.
But he charged that "the uncultured Zionists [Israel] and some power-hungry people in Europe and the United States are not interested in a good resolution of the issues."
"I am telling the P5+1 officials that if you want the negotiations to have results, you should free yourself from the pressure of short-sighted and uncultured people in order to pave the way for further engagement.
"The world should know that this nation stands up to bullying and will put the bullies in their place. You cannot make Iran back down an inch from its course as it is now a nuclear state," said Ahmadinejad.
Iran had set the stage for fierce wrangling as soon as the Istanbul meeting began Friday, declaring its uranium enrichment work was not up for debate.
The West wants Tehran to abandon the sensitive work, as the refined material can be used to power nuclear reactors as well as to make the core of an atom bomb.
Speaking after the talks, Iran's chief negotiator Saeed Jalili insisted Tehran's right to enrich uranium "must be recognized."
But his counterpart in the negotiations, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the outcome of the latest dialogue had "disappointed" her given Tehran's "pre-conditions relating to enriching uranium and sanctions."
Germany also expressed regret on Sunday, while holding out the hope that there could be more talks. "Unfortunately Iran was not yet ready to take such substantial confidence-building step," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in a statement.
"We will now intensively consult with our partners to discuss the way forward. We are still prepared for talks. I hope that Iran is ready to take the outstretched hand of the international community."
Those comments came after a senior U.S. diplomat also raised the possibility of future talks.
"Clearly, according to public reports, there are signs that the Iranian nuclear program has slowed," he said on condition of anonymity. "So I think there is time and space for diplomacy."
On Sunday, the Iranian media rounded on the West for derailing the Istanbul talks.
"Fruitless talks as Iran refuses to be blackmailed," splashed the front-page banner in the Farsi-language hard-line newspaper Kayhan.
In an editorial, Kayhan directly blamed the West for the failure of the dialogue, saying: "Iran negotiated strongly in Istanbul, but heavy mistakes in calculations in the West's mind did not allow an agreement to be reached."
Kayhan's English version said Iran entered the dialogue on an "equal footing" with the West, adding that the "lifting of sanctions was the price the West has to pay" for Tehran's help in solving issues in Iraq and Afghanistan.