While applauding the success of the opposition in its months-long armed struggle against the Libyan regime, Turkey has told the country's new leaders that in order to maintain stability, they must allow current state institutions to endure. Turkey also urged Libya's National Transitional Council, or NTC, to form an inclusive new government based on democratic principles.
The opposition should "take care not to disband settled institutions of the country, such as the army and the police," according to messages conveyed to NTC leader Mustafa Abdul-Jalil by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during a trip to Benghazi.
"We observed that NTC officials have the same approach as us," a Turkish diplomat who participated in Tuesday's meeting between Davutoğlu and Abdul-Jalil told the Hürriyet Daily News.
Though Turkey was the last NATO ally to call for longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to step down, and did not participate in the military operations that resulted in the leadership change, the Turkish government became the first to congratulate the NTC through Davutoğlu's visit.
The first of five messages conveyed by Turkey to the founders of the new Libya concerned the composition of the new administration, which Ankara said should be formed with the inclusion of all political groups, including former government officials and other people who served Gadhafi and his family in the past, so long as they were not involved in illegal activities. A new Parliament should be elected through a fair process that includes everyone who wants to run, Turkey said.
Turkey also emphasized the critical importance of protecting the unity of Libya and forming the new administration through an inclusive process while not allowing the NTC to splinter into various factions.
Instead of destroying institutions such as the army, the police and the administrative system, the new leadership should work on strengthening them, Turkey said, welcoming Abdul-Jalil's statement that Tripoli would continue to be the capital city.
Ankara also said the NTC should focus on reforms to bring the country in line with the international community and that Libya's vast oil and natural gas resources should be developed transparently and used for the benefit of the entire country.
Turkey Leaning Toward Arms Purchase for Terror Fight
Turkey's new strategy to fight the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, will likely require faster-than-usual weapons procurement mechanism for systems required in the country's anti-terror warfare, officials and analysts said Wednesday.
The new plan discussed at a recent meeting of the powerful National Security Board, or MGK, calls for both military and non-military means to fight the PKK's terrorism, which has taken over 40,000 lives since 1984.
"Fighting terrorism is our number-one priority. And there is an understanding [at the MGK] that the equipment essential for our anti-terror war should be procured immediately, through off-the-shelf purchases if necessary," one official said.
The official said the priority purchases as part of this understanding may include systems like unmanned aerial vehicles.
An essential system used in Turkey's southeast is attack helicopters. The first 60 T-129 attack helicopters jointly manufactured by Italy's Agusta Westland and Turkish Aerospace Industries, or TAI, are scheduled to be delivered toward the end of next year. The first nine of those choppers are designated as an urgent purchase and will cost billions of dollars.
Also as an indication of the new strategy, Turkey will soon be deploying more Kirpi mine-resistant, ambush-protected, or MRAP, armored vehicles built by BMC, a Turkish manufacturer, in the southeast. Presently, the Turkish military operates around 500 Kirpis.
In recent years, Turkey's procurement authorities have almost entirely ruled out off-the-shelf purchases, opting for either indigenous development or co-production. But the new anti-terror strategy implies that off-the-shelf procurement can be resumed at least in selected equipment and systems.
The MGK is chaired by President Abdullah Gül. Other members include Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and key Cabinet ministers, as well as the military's top brass.
Security officials said a two-pronged plan is in the offing.
"We will combine a hard line on the military front while passing reforms to please the civilians," one official said.
The same view was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Hüseyin Çelik: "We will pursue a hawkish line in our fight with the PKK while maintaining a dovish line concerning our Kurds."
The security official said the new strategy called for an immediate mobilization of thousands of professional soldiers and security personnel into the combat zone.
Iraq Sanctions Turkey's Cross-Border Operation, if by the Book, Ambassador Says
The Iraqi ambassador in Ankara has said the Baghdad government would sanction a cross-border operation by the Turkish ground forces to hunt down PKK terrorists in Iraq's north, which the terrorist organization uses as a launchpad to attack targets inside Turkey.
"This is not an easy question to answer, but as you know, everything between the two countries must happen in line with the agreements we signed earlier. If it is by the book, anything is fine by us. Turkey's security is Iraq's security," Abdul Amir Kamil Abi-Tabikh told reporters Wednesday in a meeting with Mustafa Kamalak, chairman of the Felicity Party.
Turkey last entered into northern Iraq in February 2008, crushing the PKK with as many as 10 thousand troops backed by warplanes and artillery.
Turkey Thinks Karayilan has Fled Mount Qandil Headquarters
After news claiming that the capture of PKK leader Murat Karayilan was false, questions of his whereabouts have arisen.
Turkey thinks Karayilan has fled from the headquarters in Mount Qandil in order not to be captured, and he is moving between villages in the north of Iraq as he fears a possible military operation by Turkey.
Iraq Should Wage Operation Against PKK, Barzani Says
Massoud Barzani, head of the regional administration in the north of Iraq, delivered important statements about the terrorist organization, PKK, in an interview with the Kurdish Web site nefel.com.
Barzani said the PKK was the cause of the operations waged by Turkey and Iran in the region.
"Mount Qandil belongs to Iraq, not to PKK. Forces of the central government of Iraq should go there," he said.
Villages Near Qandil Evacuated
The regional administration in the north of Iraq decided to evacuate nearly 100 villages around Mount Qandil. To evacuate these villages, the administration will also pay 20 million dinar (33,000 lira) to every family who lives in villages that support the PKK.
Denmark's Roj-TV Case Shows Channels Editor-in-Chief in PKK Camp
The prosecutor in charge of the Roj-TV case in Denmark has revealed footage showing the TV channel's editor-in-chief, Vahdettin Tayfur, wandering around at a PKK camp, dressed in uniforms.
The images, which belong to Roj-TV, are considered a move to prove the channel's connection with PKK, and the Copenhagen-based prosecutor presented such footage to the court as evidence.
After the presentation of such evidence, the defense attorney called Tayfur as a witness, who said he had gone to the camp for an interview and his clothes were no uniform, but the traditional outfit of Kurdish people.
Turkey's EU Minister Says Turkish-Danish Relations Overshadowed by Roj-TV
The Turkish minister in charge of affairs with the European Union, or EU, said on Wednesday that developments regarding Roj-TV overshadowed the relations between Turkey and Denmark.
Speaking at a meeting with the Danish Ambassador to Turkey Ole Egberg Mikkelsen in the capital of Ankara, Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis said Turkey attached great importance to Denmark's upcoming rotating presidency of the EU and believed its negotiation process would gain momentum during such a period.
Touching on the Roj-TV issue, Bagis said Turkish citizens closely monitored the developments on the matter.
"Nowadays, Turkish-Danish relations are unfortunately overshadowed by Roj-TV," he said. "It is saddening for us to see that an ally like Denmark still allows broadcasts of Roj-TV."
Bagis said Turkey expected the legal process regarding the TV channel to be concluded as soon as possible.
Quoting an old Danish saying that in a land of promises, people die of hunger, Bagis also said, "We attach importance to our friends' promises, however, we expect these promises to have tangible results."
Bagis noted that PKK was not only Turkey's problem, but it harmed Europe as well.
"PKK is not only a terrorist organization, but also a network of income," Bagis said. "While it shoots down our soldiers and people, it also poisons European youngsters with illicit drugs. Therefore," the negotiator continued, "international efforts should be displayed to fight with terrorism."
Gul to Receive Greetings at Victory Day ceremonies
For the first time this year, President Abdullah Gul, as the commander in chief, will receive the greetings instead of Chief of General Staff during the Aug. 30 Victory Day ceremonies.
CHP Mayor Accused of Offering Bribe
Tension increased in the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, after the resigned provincial head in Ankara pointed at Deputy Chairman Gursel Tekin, saying: "I was offered a bribe by the reference of an executive who was lowered to a new post recently."
Tarik Sengul accused Ankara's Yenimahalle Municipality, headed by a mayor from CHP, of being involved in a 300 million lira town planning income. Sengul's allegations were discussed at a meeting of CHP's top executive body.
Former General Staff Chief Victim of Illegal Wiretapping
Former General Staff Chief Isik Kosaner, who recently resigned from his post, has become a victim of illegal wiretapping. In voice recordings claimed to be belonging to Kosaner, the former army chief comments on problems, such as the fight against terrorism. Earlier, several media organizations had been raided for releasing voice recordings of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. No investigation was launched for the latest tapping incident.
Kurds Should March Against Terrorism, Too, Diyarbakir Association Head Says
"The problem will be resolved if the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, reacts when a Turkish soldier is killed," said Ahmet Buyukburc, head of Diyarbakir Association of Relatives of Martyrs.
"Terrorism hits both Turks and Kurds. I am a Kurdish man but I react against this bloodshed. The BDP has never offered condolences to the family of a martyr. If they want the Kurdish problem resolved, they must protest too when we have a martyr," he said.