LIBYA RESOLUTION FROM GOVERNMENT
Turkish Government submitted a resolution to the Turkish National Assembly seeking permission to send troops abroad. The resolution details the current situation in Libya and states the United Nations Security Council resolution no. 1973.
The resolution is expected to be debated on the floor today.
FIVE VESSELS AND ONE SUBMARINE TO LIBYA
Turkey will send four frigates, a submarine and an auxiliary warship to the NATO mission that will enforce the arms embargo off Libya.
Under the NATO plan, Italy will provide the command and control ship of the naval mission. Canada, Spain, Britain, Greece, Italy and United States will contribute with one ship each. Three submarines will be sent by Turkey, Spain and Italy. Turkey and Italy will also allocate two auxiliary ships.
TURKEY IS READY TO MEDIATE BETWEEN LIBYAN LEADER AND OPPOSITION GROUPS, TURKISH DIPLOMATS SAID
A senior Turkish diplomat said that Turkey was ready to mediate between Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Libyan opposition groups.
In an interview with Austria's Die Presse newspaper, Selim Yenel, deputy undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said: "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made several phone conversations to Libyan leader Gaddafi and urged him to step down."
"Turkey is ready to mediate between Libyan leader Gaddafi and the opposition groups. Despite the clashes, the Turkish embassy in Tripoli and the Turkish consulate general in Benghazi are still open," he said.
Yenel added that Turkey could not condone a military operation directly targeting Gaddafi.
Meanwhile, Admiral Ugur Yigit, commander of the Naval Forces, said that there had already been two Turkish ships in Libya, adding that two other ships and a submarine have left for Libya. His remarks came during a reception marking the national day of Pakistan.
Turkish parliament will debate a motion on Thursday on Turkey's contribution to the NATO mission.
FRANCE BOMBS SOLUTION
Turkey was about to agree with Libyan leader Muammar al-Gadhafi on a plan which included "al-Qadhafi's leaving the administration to his son."
It has been revealed that France destroyed the solution by bombing the country. Turkey took the pulse of Libya regarding the wide-scale package it prepared as it met not only Gadhafi's supporters and the opposition. It then shared the information with the United States. Turkey said that it was ready to assist Libya in many issues to pave the way for a democratic process, including fair elections and a modern constitution.
The proposed solution was that Gadhafi or his son would join the elections by establishing a political party if necessary. If the plan had not failed, Turkey would probably have set up a mechanism including unbiased international observers. However, France excluded Turkey from key discussions at the Paris Conference and made its view a fait accompli by bombing Libya.
UAE FOREIGN MINISTER SAYS TURKEY'S STANCE IS TOTALLY RIGHT
Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates said that Turkey's stance about Libya was totally correct and aimed at protecting the Libyan people.
Al Nahyan said at a joint press conference that the recent developments in Libya, Bahrain and UAE topped the agenda of his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
He recalled the Arab League commented earlier that the regime in Libya had begun losing its legitimacy, adding that they attached great importance to preserving territorial integrity of Libya and protecting the Libyan people.
PRESIDENT GUL CRITICIZES 'SOME COUNTRIES'
Turkish President Abdullah Gul criticized some countries' attitude regarding military air operations in Libya and said that some countries acted in accordance with their own interests.
"It is important for Turkey that the situation in Libya ends without further bloodshed. Those who run Libya must step down immediately to ward off plunder of their country by others," Gul told reporters before his departure for Ghana from the Turkish capital, Ankara.
TEKIN: "I WILL NOT OPPOSE A CANDIDATE WEARING A HEADSCARF"
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chairman Gursel Tekin said that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) could nominate women wearing headscarves in the upcoming elections. Tekin said that he would not oppose a candidate wearing a headscarf.
CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE CALL FOR KURDISH ISSUE
Civil disobedience actions, starting with a 20,000-person sit-in strike in Batman [province] on Wednesday, are being held to demand a solution to the longstanding Kurdish issue, key figures from the country's largest pro-Kurdish political party and civil-society group have announced.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), has missed many chances to solve the issue during its eight years in power, Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), co-chair Selahattin Demirtaş, said Wednesday in a joint press conference.
"The government will not solve this problem," Demirtaş said, adding that the BDP and other pro-Kurdish groups will no longer accept the AKP's course of action.
"We want the process to use the democratic power of the people and civil-disobedience actions," the BDP co-chair said. He said the actions in Batman would be followed by a sit-down strike in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır at noon Thursday and would continue "until solid steps are taken" on the groups' four main demands.
"These demands are education in the mother tongue [Kurdish language instruction], the release of political prisoners, an end to military and political operations against Kurds and the elimination of the 10 percent election threshold," Demirtaş said.
The BDP co-chair made his statements at a joint press conference held by the party and the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), an umbrella organization of pro-Kurdish figures and groups. BDP co-chair Gülten Kışanak and DTK co-heads Ahmet Türk and Aysel Tuğluk also participated in the press conference in Diyarbakır, which was attended by Mayor Osman Baydemir and other Kurdish politicians.
People will be out in the streets until the demands are met, using "completely democratic, peaceful methods" in their actions, Demirtaş said. He demanded that protesters be met not with security forces in the streets but Cabinet members with the authority for political representation.
"This is not a challenge. This is a demonstration of the determination of the people to not continue living with this problem in the year 2012," he said. Türk also said the actions would be completely "democratic and peaceful."
"We will be very sensitive on this matter. We will not retaliate even if crushed by armored vehicles," he said. "These are the demands of the people. We want everybody to perceive it like this."
Türk said he believes Turkish democrats and intellectuals will support the civil disobedience actions. "This is Turkey's problem too; this is an action and demand we brought forward for Turkey to live in peace," he said.
ETHICS AGREEMENT AT CHP
More than 3,000 individuals have applied at Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) to become candidates at the June 12 elections. CHP requires every candidate to sign an "ethics agreement." The agreement encompasses certain articles such as, "I will not run after personal interests but for the success of our team," "I will not collect any donations" and "I will defend the rights of my fellow citizens."
ISLAM 'USED' FOR POLITICAL GAIN IN TURKEY, LEAKED CABLES SAY
Islam in Turkey is not "monolithic" and is politically divided, with both secularists and conservative Islamists trying to manipulate the religion's role in public affairs to their own ends, U.S. diplomats said in a newly leaked cable.
The June 27, 2003, diplomatic cable, released Wednesday by WikiLeaks' Turkish partner, daily Taraf newspaper, also claimed the country's Religious Affairs Directorate is suppressing Islamic beliefs that do not fit the official version.
The Turkish version of secularism is "180 degrees opposite" of the U.S. version as it is not one embraced by the people and protected by the constitution but "divinized" by the constitution and forced on the people, the cable also said.
According to the cable, Turkey's Religious Affairs Directorate and the institutions within its scope are not separated from the state but are an indivisible part of it.
It noted that the directorate was among the biggest official institutions in Turkey, with 90,000 personnel as of 2003, and that it employs all the imams in Turkey and controls the contents of their preaching. The directorate produces a "Kemalist Islam" that has little to do with the beliefs held in the "less elite" corners of Anatolia, the cable said, adding that the directorate is oppressing forms of Islam, including the pro-secular faction of Alevism, that do not fit the official version.
The Sunni Islamic doctrine has changed so little since the Middle Ages that there is not much difference between the Taliban in Afghanistan and Turkey, the Religious Affairs Directorate's research office director, Niyazi Kahveci, told U.S. officials during a visit on Nov. 14, 1996, according to another recently leaked cable.
Although the Islamist Welfare Party (RP), was the larger partner of the coalition in power that year, the pro-shariah community in Turkey was considered a "small minority," though one that was growing in number, according to a Nov. 18, 1996, cable.
This approach had changed slightly, however, by the time another cable on the subject was sent to Washington nine years later.
"A leading Turkish national security analyst" told U.S. diplomats that "only 7 percent of Turkish citizens support radical forms of Islam," a number the poll company ANAR, noted as being the one employed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), put at 5 percent. "However, in a country of 70 million even if half a percent of the population supports al-Qaeda-type terrorism, this would mean 350,000 potential terrorists," the cable read.
A cable sent to the U.S. Embassy in Ankara on July 22, 2009, with the approval of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asked for intelligence on Turkey's religious communities and the participation in them by the country's Kurds.
Among the topics Washington requested information on were the largest and most powerful Islamic sects and communities, these sects' political preferences and membership regulations, the Kurdish population in different sects and whether there is a "Islamic Kurdish resistance" against the "reformist harassments of the Fethullah Gülen religious community and/or the AKP government."
Other questions asked about Turkish Muslims' connections to the international Muslim community and on what level political and media leaders were encouraging or discouraging anti-Semitic and anti-Christian comments. The WikiLeaks cables released by Taraf do not provide answers to these questions.
TURKISH PARLIAMENT SPEAKER COMMENTS ON LIBYAN OPERATION
Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin has said that the Turkish government and Foreign Ministry were closely following the military operations on Libya.
Commenting on the situation in Libya during his meeting with Turkish students in New York on Tuesday, Sahin said that Turkey supported a change and transformation that would meet the expectations and will of the Libyan people, however, innocent people should not be harmed.
Sahin said that the resolution of UN Security Council to close air space of Libya aimed at preventing Gaddafi's forces from harming innocent public.
Recently, the USA, the United Kingdom and France have launched an air strike against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces to enforce a UN-mandated no-fly zone. U.S. and British forces fired more than 110 missiles, while French planes struck pro-Gaddafi forces attacking opposition-held Benghazi.
Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had reaffirmed their support for the full implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 over UN mission in Libya.
TURKS SHOULD EXPLAIN THEIR POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTIONS, US DEPUTY NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER
Ben Rhodes, a U.S. deputy national security adviser said on Tuesday that statements about Turkey's possible additional contributions to Libya should come from the Turks.
Rhodes said the United States was assessing how an efficient command structure could be established regarding assistance and the contributions of countries supporting the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, including Turkey, could make.
As a NATO member, Turkey was well aware of the command and control capacity within NATO, Rhodes told reporters. Rhodes said however, Turkish executives should make necessary statements regarding their possible humanitarian or other type of assistance and contributions.
The deputy adviser underlined importance of U.S. President Barack Obama's calling Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to underline Turkey's full support to UN Security Council resolution and efforts aiming to protect Libyan civilians.
Rhodes said another reason why Obama called Erdogan was Turkey's role in taking four New York Times reporters out of Libya, and underlined Turkey's active role and participation.
Earlier on Tuesday, the White House said Obama and Erdogan had reaffirmed their support for the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973 over the UN mission in Libya.
"The President and the Prime Minister reaffirmed their support for the full implementation of the UN Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, in order to protect the Libyan people. The leaders agreed that this will require a broad-based international effort, including Arab states, to implement and enforce the UN resolutions, based on national contributions and enabled by NATO's unique multinational command and control capabilities to ensure maximum effectiveness," the transcript of Obama's call with Erdogan said.
"The President spoke yesterday evening with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey to continue the consultations on the situation in Libya. The President expressed appreciation for Turkey's ongoing humanitarian efforts in Libya, including its assistance in facilitating the release and safe passage to Tunisia of four New York Times journalists who had been detained in Libyan custody. [...] They underscored their shared commitment to the goal of helping provide the Libyan people an opportunity to transform their country, by installing a democratic system that respects the people's will," the transcript said.