Thousands of elite Turkish troops launched a military offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, Thursday following an outbreak of fury across the country as 24 soldiers killed in an attack a day earlier were being laid to rest.

Roughly 10,000 soldiers joined the hunt for Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq in one of the largest ground operations in recent years.

The offensive focused on five locations in Turkey and northern Iraq in an attempt to track down the PKK militants who killed 24 soldiers in eight simultaneous assaults in the border province of Hakkari province on Oct. 19, the General Staff said yesterday.

"This is an operation to get results," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after a meeting with journalists and media executives. "Our objective is to make a first step at the determined coordinates and see what we can achieve."

As the troops charged across southeastern Turkey, protesters took to the streets as funerals were being held for many of the fallen soldiers. Thousands of demonstrators protested the PKK attacks in the provinces of Erzurum, Konya, Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Afyon, Kocaeli, Edirne, Yozgat, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bursa and Trabzon.

Pressing also for Iraqi Kurdish action against the PKK, Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu both held talks Thursday with Nechirvan Barzani, the deputy head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, who was dispatched to Ankara by his uncle and northern Iraq's head, Masoud Barzani. Erdoğan said Masoud Barzani would be visiting Ankara soon.

In Parliament, emotions flared, too, as the main opposition deputy parliamentary group leader demanded that Erdoğan speak to the General Assembly about the operation.

Internationally, support for the operation poured in from a number of sources. Also on Thursday, another troop died in a land mine explosion in Hakkari near where the fighting took place Wednesday.

A Web site reported that some bank analysts and market players in Turkey started a boycott against Reuters due to its policy of describing the PKK militants as "rebels," instead of "terrorists."

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-steps-up-pkk-offensive-2011-10-20

Thousands Gather in Streets to Protest Deadly PKK Attacks

Thousands poured out across Turkey Thursday to protest the attacks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, that killed 24 soldiers in the eastern province of Hakkari on Oct. 19.

"Words would not suffice to describe our pain. We bleed our pain internally for the wellbeing of our nation and our state," said Turgay Çetin, the provincial representative of the Turkish Public Workers' Union (Türkiye Kamu-Sen) in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, following a protest rally there. "Those who have accounts to settle with the Turkish Republic are attacking from all sides. This state is ours, let us claim it."

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the provinces of Erzurum, Konya, Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Afyon, Kocaeli, Edirne, Yozgat, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bursa and Trabzon to protest the latest PKK attacks, waving Turkish flags, chanting slogans and marching toward the memorials of local fallen soldiers.

Nearly 10,000 people rallied Thursday in the eastern province of Erzurum alone, while Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım also arrived in the city to attend the fallen troops' funeral ceremonies. "We need to stand upright," he said.

Another soldier died Thursday in a separate mine explosion in Kekliktepe, about 15 kilometers away from the center of Hakkari's Çukurca district that was the focal point of the PKK's Oct. 19 attack.

The funeral ceremony of Sgt. Yunus Yılmaz in Ankara Thursday was attended by many high-ranking state officials, including President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the head of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Devlet Bahçeli, as well as other prominent opposition figures, the acquaintances of the fallen troops and numerous other citizens.

The Directorate of Religious Affairs has also issued a directive to preach sermons and hold rites in memory of the dead soldiers.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=thousands-gather-in-streets-to-protest-the-deadly-pkk-attacks-2011-10-20

More Pilotless Vehicles Needed to Avert Attacks, Defense Analysts Say

Turkey needs to acquire more, smaller unmanned aerial vehicles in order to prevent large-scale attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, against Turkish military units near the borders with Iraq and Iran, several defense analysts said Thursday.

"Although there is no formal decision taken at this point, this probably will be the decision taken by the Turkish government," one procurement official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the worst attack in the past 18 years, at least two dozen Turkish soldiers were killed, and many others injured, when the PKK launched an attack on the military in southeastern Turkey Oct. 19.

"The United States lost up to 7,000 small UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 10 years, but saved a countless number of lives. These small, unmanned aircraft let you know about approaching enemies and you take your measures. If, in the meantime, you lose the drones, you deploy new ones," one defense analyst said.

"I am talking about small- or medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles that should be assigned to specific military units or border posts. These platforms are dirt cheap, but save a lot of lives," the analyst said.

The attack took place near the Çukurca district, in an area bordering Iraq and Iran. After the deadly PKK attack, dozens of Turkish F-16 fighter aircraft bombed supposed PKK targets inside Turkey and in northern Iraq in retaliation, according to the media.

The local Bayraktar company has successfully tried its Çaldıran, a tactical UAV, flying at a maximum altitude of 5,486 meters, as well as mini UAVs and hand-held UAVs, which fly at altitudes between 610 and 1,520 meters and are produced by multiple local sources.

Higher-altitude missions are conducted by larger UAVs, namely the medium-altitude, long-endurance drones, or MALE UAVs. Turkey's fleet of MALE UAVs used over the country's southeast presently includes up to nine IAI Herons that were bought from Israel last year.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last month that the country would acquire the MQ-1 Predator drones the U.S. operates in Iraq.

Domestic efforts by Turkish Aerospace Industries to make the Anka drone have faltered, with the vehicle crash-landing in all three test flights. The Heron, the Predator and the Anka all are medium-altitude, long-endurance platforms operating at a maximum altitude of 9,144 meters for around 24 hours.

"Operating a UAV properly is like finding a needle in a haystack. The operator should be very skillful and lucky, because a UAV is like an eye seeing a specific development at a very specific location. And the network should operate precisely and on time," said one defense analyst. "You need to look at the right place at the right time to find what you're looking for," he said.

"In the short term we'll be hiring more people for using the vehicles and analyzing and processing the data. In the longer term we'll both boost our drones and our capabilities of process and analysis," the procurement official said. "You need to both improve the size of your UAV fleet and at the same time your analysis assets," the analyst said.

Since 2007 the U.S. also has been providing electronic intelligence over northern Iraq obtained from Predators to the Turkish military, whose Air Force has bombed the PKK's headquarters in the Kandil Mountains many times in recent years, based on that information.

"We've definitely decided to do whatever we can to make a better use of our unmanned capabilities. This is the No. 1 issue in the fight against the PKK," the procurement official said.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=more-pilotless-vehicles-needed-to-avert-attacks-2011-10-20

Sorrow, Anger, Despair Rules in Hometown of Fallen Soldier

A small repair shop in the western Istanbul district of Avcılar was converted into an impromptu mourning hall Thursday in honor of 20-year-old Eyüp Çolakoğlu, an employee at the shop who was one of the 24 soldiers killed in a militant attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in Hakkari on Oct. 19.

"Eyüp talked to his mother on the day before the attack; he was very concerned that another raid was being expected in the area," Colakoğlu's step-father, Yaşar Ergin, told the Hürriyet Daily News. The 20-year-old had repaired computers at the shop run by his step-father until going to conduct his national service in the eastern province of Hakkari.

Shortly before the attack, he asked his mother for undergarments to help keep out the elements in Hakkari's Çukurca district, which is known for its harsh winters.

Ergin said they had been waiting for the PKK raid for four days.

"Eyüp hinted that he would soon come for a short visit, but he couldn't," Ergin said with a shaky voice, saying his pain was too great to speak properly.

As people waited in line at the shop to pay their condolences, Ergin's comments were cut short a number of times by as many as 500 people chanting slogans like "Tayyip [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], send your son to the military" and "Martyrs are immortal, the state is indivisible."

The streets outside the shop, which are right next to Çolakoğlu's house, were festooned with Turkish flags and pictures of the fallen soldier. Avcılar Municipality and the police took extra measures in the area, with riot police deployed throughout the neighborhood.

Pointing to the ongoing Ergenekon and "Balyoz" (Sledgehammer) coup plot cases in which a number of high-ranking military figures have been arrested, an old lady told the Daily News that such attacks were occurring because the government was incarcerating so many soldiers.

"I only want to point to a sentence that I recently heard from a citizen; he said that if the state had tracked the PKK instead of tracking its own people, the attack would never have occurred," Avcılar Mayor Mustafa Eyüpoğlu told the Daily News after the announcement of the funeral ceremony date.

The funerals for those killed were delayed because the bodies were sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute in the eastern province of Van; the remains were sent home either by cargo or by helicopter depending on their hometowns' distance from Van.

The 24 soldiers were killed when the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, launched eight simultaneous attacks against military posts in Çukurca. Eighteen soldiers were also injured in the raids.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=sorrow-anger-despair-rules-in-hometown-of-fallen-soldier-2011-10-20

Iran, Turkey to Talk Over Anti-PKK Fight

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi will pay Ankara a one-day trip today to discuss regional developments in the wake of Turkey's ground operation into the northern Iraq in an effort to eliminate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

"Our agenda is, of course, to fight against terror and find ways of cooperation to this end," a Foreign Ministry official said.

Sources said the request for the meeting was made before the deadly attack occurred in the eastern province of Hakkari's Çukurca district. Iran and Turkey have been sharing intelligence for some time against PKK and PJAK, an offshoot of the PKK based in Iran.

Salehi will meet with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and hold a joint press conference. He is also expected to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Mime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=iran-turkey-to-talk-over-anti-pkk-fight-2011-10-20

Iraqi Government Condemns Hakkari Attacks

The Iraqi government has condemned Wednesday's terrorist attacks in southeast Turkey, saying that it would not allow any armed group or terrorist organization to use Iraqi territory against its neighbors.

"The Iraqi government and the local Kurdish administration are committed to the issue of maintaining cooperation and border security with the Turkish government to make sure the such attacks do not occur again," officials said in a statement Thursday.

PKK terrorists simultaneously attacked several targets in Cukurca and Yuksekova towns of the southeastern province of Hakkari, killing 24 troops and wounding 18 others.

After the attacks, Turkish security forces launched a cross-border operation into northern Iraq with ground forces, warplanes and helicopter gunships.

http://en.cumhuriyet.com/?hn=287092

Kurdish Officials Pledges Cooperation on Counterterrorism with Turkey

Nechirvan Barzani, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, No. 2, and a former prime minister of the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq, arrived in Ankara on Thursday to express solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The Kurdish official said Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration, would also soon pay a visit to Turkey in a show of solidarity with the Turkish state in its counterterrorism efforts.

On Thursday, Barzani metTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, one day after a series of attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in Turkey's southeast that left 24 soldiers dead.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Davutoğlu, Barzani said he rushed to Ankara to offer the condolences of the Kurdish regional government to Turkey, saying they believe such attacks do not serve the interests of either the Turkish or Kurdish people. He said such attacks should not damage Kurdish-Turkish relations.

Underscoring that the regional administration's cooperation with Turkey will expand in many areas, Barazani added that bilateral meetings with Turkish officials will be held more often.

The Kurdish official also praised the Turkish government's democratic initiative, launched in 2009 to address the country's Kurdish issue by expanding the rights of the Kurdish population, terming the steps taken as part of the initiative as "bold."

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned Wednesday's PKK assaults and said it would cooperate with Turkey on maintaining security to prevent such attacks in the future.

"The Iraqi government condemns the PKK's terrorist acts ... and confirms, again, that Iraq will not be a shelter and harbor any foreign terrorist armed groups," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government are committed to maintaining border security and security cooperation with the Turkish government to prevent such acts from being repeated."

Iraqi officials in Baghdad say it is difficult for them to control the rugged area where PKK terrorists have their camps. Turkish, Iraqi and United States officials meet often to discuss security.

According to Turkish officials, in what has been taken as a sign of deep mistrust, Davutoğlu told his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshiyar Zebari, during a Wednesday phone conversation that "it is not time to condemn," but "to take concrete steps."

Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against the PKK after the group staged simultaneous attacks on Turkish military and police targets along the border on Wednesday, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 18 others. About a dozen warplanes flew several bombing sorties out of two military bases in the country's southeast until sunrise.

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-260446-kurdish-official-rushes-to-ankara-to-pledge-cooperation-on-counterterrorism.html

Palestinians in Ankara to be 'Strictly Monitored'

Palestinians sent to Turkey as part of a prisoner swap with Israel are currently staying in the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization, or MİT, in Ankara and will not be "walking the streets for a long time for security reasons," according to officials.

The 11 Palestinians who arrived in Ankara on Oct. 18 were expected to speak with Turkish intelligence officials about their time spent in Israel, according to an official who asked to remain anonymous. Turkish intelligence officials, including advisers to the prime minister, were aboard the plane.

Ankara has said it cannot make the Palestinians stay in Turkey by force, if they wish to leave in the future. If, and when, that happens, Turkish officials said they would notify the proper authorities.

Ankara took precautions to ensure the Palestinians wanted to come to Turkey and then consulted with Israel about the list, according to media reports.

Amina Muna, a former female prisoner, was a member of al-Fatah, a Palestinian political and military organization aimed at achieving Palestinian statehood. The 10 additional male Palestinians were from Hamas, said a Foreign Ministry official, adding that these people would always be watched while living in Turkey, the Daily Hürriyet reported.

A diplomatic source said the 11 Palestinians are not likely to stay long in Turkey because Ankara has not given any guarantees. Therefore, they can be transferred to another country upon request, the source said.

The 11 Palestinians were part of a group of an initial wave of 477 prisoners that were released by Israel in exchange for the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas five years ago. Israel is expected to release around 600 more prisoners in subsequent waves as part of the deal.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=palestinians-in-ankara-8216to-be-strictly-monitored8217-2011-10-20

Doing Business Not that Easy in Turkey

Despite economic growth and efforts to entice more foreign direct investment, Turkey failed to make a significant rise in the World Bank's ranking of the ease of doing business, according to a report launched Friday.

Turkey ranked 71st among 183 countries -- only two steps above the 73rd place it ranked in last year's report -- in the World Bank's 2012 Doing Business report, which compares regulations that enhance or constrain business activity.

"The rise in rank is positive for Turkey. However, 70 countries have more convenient environment to do business," Ozan Acar, an economic policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, or TEPAV, told the Hürriyet Daily News Thursday.

Turkey, he said, should solve construction permits and judicial operational problems as soon as possible.

Singapore leads the list, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.

Business Criteria

The Doing Business report, prepared for the ninth year, ranks economies on the basis of 10 areas of regulation: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Turkey ranked 155th in terms of procedures of dealing with construction permits, although the sector is one of the fastest growing in the Turkish economy.

The country has not eliminated awkward red tape practices yet, in recent years, according to Mustafa Sancar, an executive at the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, or DEİK, who spoke to the Daily News Thursday.

"Countries are in competition [to ease procedures for such permits], which makes Turkey appear to lag behind," Sancar said.

On the other hand, Turkey placed 120th regarding the efficiency of mechanisms for resolving commercial disputes or insolvency. Starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes and trading across borders are also difficult for businesses in Turkey, ranking 71st, 78th, 79th and 80th places respectively in each category compared to the other 182 economies, the report said. The country is listed as 44th, 51st and 65th regarding registering property, enforcing contracts and protecting investors, respectively.

The number of sub-Saharan economies implementing regulatory reforms to do easier business between June 2010 and May 2011 has increased, the report says.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=doing-business-not-that-easy-in-turkey-2011-10-20

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Turkey Steps up PKK Offensive

Thousands of elite Turkish troops launched a military offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, Thursday following an outbreak of fury across the country as 24 soldiers killed in an attack a day earlier were being laid to rest.

Roughly 10,000 soldiers joined the hunt for Kurdish militants in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq in one of the largest ground operations in recent years.

The offensive focused on five locations in Turkey and northern Iraq in an attempt to track down the PKK militants who killed 24 soldiers in eight simultaneous assaults in the border province of Hakkari province on Oct. 19, the General Staff said yesterday.

"This is an operation to get results," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said after a meeting with journalists and media executives. "Our objective is to make a first step at the determined coordinates and see what we can achieve."

As the troops charged across southeastern Turkey, protesters took to the streets as funerals were being held for many of the fallen soldiers. Thousands of demonstrators protested the PKK attacks in the provinces of Erzurum, Konya, Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Afyon, Kocaeli, Edirne, Yozgat, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bursa and Trabzon.

Pressing also for Iraqi Kurdish action against the PKK, Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu both held talks Thursday with Nechirvan Barzani, the deputy head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, who was dispatched to Ankara by his uncle and northern Iraq's head, Masoud Barzani. Erdoğan said Masoud Barzani would be visiting Ankara soon.

In Parliament, emotions flared, too, as the main opposition deputy parliamentary group leader demanded that Erdoğan speak to the General Assembly about the operation.

Internationally, support for the operation poured in from a number of sources. Also on Thursday, another troop died in a land mine explosion in Hakkari near where the fighting took place Wednesday.

A Web site reported that some bank analysts and market players in Turkey started a boycott against Reuters due to its policy of describing the PKK militants as "rebels," instead of "terrorists."

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkey-steps-up-pkk-offensive-2011-10-20

Thousands Gather in Streets to Protest Deadly PKK Attacks

Thousands poured out across Turkey Thursday to protest the attacks of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, that killed 24 soldiers in the eastern province of Hakkari on Oct. 19.

"Words would not suffice to describe our pain. We bleed our pain internally for the wellbeing of our nation and our state," said Turgay Çetin, the provincial representative of the Turkish Public Workers' Union (Türkiye Kamu-Sen) in the Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, following a protest rally there. "Those who have accounts to settle with the Turkish Republic are attacking from all sides. This state is ours, let us claim it."

Thousands of demonstrators gathered in the provinces of Erzurum, Konya, Antalya, Nevşehir, Muğla, Afyon, Kocaeli, Edirne, Yozgat, Zonguldak, Karabük, Bursa and Trabzon to protest the latest PKK attacks, waving Turkish flags, chanting slogans and marching toward the memorials of local fallen soldiers.

Nearly 10,000 people rallied Thursday in the eastern province of Erzurum alone, while Transport Minister Binali Yıldırım also arrived in the city to attend the fallen troops' funeral ceremonies. "We need to stand upright," he said.

Another soldier died Thursday in a separate mine explosion in Kekliktepe, about 15 kilometers away from the center of Hakkari's Çukurca district that was the focal point of the PKK's Oct. 19 attack.

The funeral ceremony of Sgt. Yunus Yılmaz in Ankara Thursday was attended by many high-ranking state officials, including President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek, main opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu and the head of the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, Devlet Bahçeli, as well as other prominent opposition figures, the acquaintances of the fallen troops and numerous other citizens.

The Directorate of Religious Affairs has also issued a directive to preach sermons and hold rites in memory of the dead soldiers.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=thousands-gather-in-streets-to-protest-the-deadly-pkk-attacks-2011-10-20

More Pilotless Vehicles Needed to Avert Attacks, Defense Analysts Say

Turkey needs to acquire more, smaller unmanned aerial vehicles in order to prevent large-scale attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, against Turkish military units near the borders with Iraq and Iran, several defense analysts said Thursday.

"Although there is no formal decision taken at this point, this probably will be the decision taken by the Turkish government," one procurement official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

In the worst attack in the past 18 years, at least two dozen Turkish soldiers were killed, and many others injured, when the PKK launched an attack on the military in southeastern Turkey Oct. 19.

"The United States lost up to 7,000 small UAVs in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past 10 years, but saved a countless number of lives. These small, unmanned aircraft let you know about approaching enemies and you take your measures. If, in the meantime, you lose the drones, you deploy new ones," one defense analyst said.

"I am talking about small- or medium-sized unmanned aerial vehicles that should be assigned to specific military units or border posts. These platforms are dirt cheap, but save a lot of lives," the analyst said.

The attack took place near the Çukurca district, in an area bordering Iraq and Iran. After the deadly PKK attack, dozens of Turkish F-16 fighter aircraft bombed supposed PKK targets inside Turkey and in northern Iraq in retaliation, according to the media.

The local Bayraktar company has successfully tried its Çaldıran, a tactical UAV, flying at a maximum altitude of 5,486 meters, as well as mini UAVs and hand-held UAVs, which fly at altitudes between 610 and 1,520 meters and are produced by multiple local sources.

Higher-altitude missions are conducted by larger UAVs, namely the medium-altitude, long-endurance drones, or MALE UAVs. Turkey's fleet of MALE UAVs used over the country's southeast presently includes up to nine IAI Herons that were bought from Israel last year.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said last month that the country would acquire the MQ-1 Predator drones the U.S. operates in Iraq.

Domestic efforts by Turkish Aerospace Industries to make the Anka drone have faltered, with the vehicle crash-landing in all three test flights. The Heron, the Predator and the Anka all are medium-altitude, long-endurance platforms operating at a maximum altitude of 9,144 meters for around 24 hours.

"Operating a UAV properly is like finding a needle in a haystack. The operator should be very skillful and lucky, because a UAV is like an eye seeing a specific development at a very specific location. And the network should operate precisely and on time," said one defense analyst. "You need to look at the right place at the right time to find what you're looking for," he said.

"In the short term we'll be hiring more people for using the vehicles and analyzing and processing the data. In the longer term we'll both boost our drones and our capabilities of process and analysis," the procurement official said. "You need to both improve the size of your UAV fleet and at the same time your analysis assets," the analyst said.

Since 2007 the U.S. also has been providing electronic intelligence over northern Iraq obtained from Predators to the Turkish military, whose Air Force has bombed the PKK's headquarters in the Kandil Mountains many times in recent years, based on that information.

"We've definitely decided to do whatever we can to make a better use of our unmanned capabilities. This is the No. 1 issue in the fight against the PKK," the procurement official said.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=more-pilotless-vehicles-needed-to-avert-attacks-2011-10-20

Sorrow, Anger, Despair Rules in Hometown of Fallen Soldier

A small repair shop in the western Istanbul district of Avcılar was converted into an impromptu mourning hall Thursday in honor of 20-year-old Eyüp Çolakoğlu, an employee at the shop who was one of the 24 soldiers killed in a militant attack by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in Hakkari on Oct. 19.

"Eyüp talked to his mother on the day before the attack; he was very concerned that another raid was being expected in the area," Colakoğlu's step-father, Yaşar Ergin, told the Hürriyet Daily News. The 20-year-old had repaired computers at the shop run by his step-father until going to conduct his national service in the eastern province of Hakkari.

Shortly before the attack, he asked his mother for undergarments to help keep out the elements in Hakkari's Çukurca district, which is known for its harsh winters.

Ergin said they had been waiting for the PKK raid for four days.

"Eyüp hinted that he would soon come for a short visit, but he couldn't," Ergin said with a shaky voice, saying his pain was too great to speak properly.

As people waited in line at the shop to pay their condolences, Ergin's comments were cut short a number of times by as many as 500 people chanting slogans like "Tayyip [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan], send your son to the military" and "Martyrs are immortal, the state is indivisible."

The streets outside the shop, which are right next to Çolakoğlu's house, were festooned with Turkish flags and pictures of the fallen soldier. Avcılar Municipality and the police took extra measures in the area, with riot police deployed throughout the neighborhood.

Pointing to the ongoing Ergenekon and "Balyoz" (Sledgehammer) coup plot cases in which a number of high-ranking military figures have been arrested, an old lady told the Daily News that such attacks were occurring because the government was incarcerating so many soldiers.

"I only want to point to a sentence that I recently heard from a citizen; he said that if the state had tracked the PKK instead of tracking its own people, the attack would never have occurred," Avcılar Mayor Mustafa Eyüpoğlu told the Daily News after the announcement of the funeral ceremony date.

The funerals for those killed were delayed because the bodies were sent to the Forensic Medicine Institute in the eastern province of Van; the remains were sent home either by cargo or by helicopter depending on their hometowns' distance from Van.

The 24 soldiers were killed when the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, launched eight simultaneous attacks against military posts in Çukurca. Eighteen soldiers were also injured in the raids.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=sorrow-anger-despair-rules-in-hometown-of-fallen-soldier-2011-10-20

Iran, Turkey to Talk Over Anti-PKK Fight

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi will pay Ankara a one-day trip today to discuss regional developments in the wake of Turkey's ground operation into the northern Iraq in an effort to eliminate the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

"Our agenda is, of course, to fight against terror and find ways of cooperation to this end," a Foreign Ministry official said.

Sources said the request for the meeting was made before the deadly attack occurred in the eastern province of Hakkari's Çukurca district. Iran and Turkey have been sharing intelligence for some time against PKK and PJAK, an offshoot of the PKK based in Iran.

Salehi will meet with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and hold a joint press conference. He is also expected to meet with President Abdullah Gül and Prime Mime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=iran-turkey-to-talk-over-anti-pkk-fight-2011-10-20

Iraqi Government Condemns Hakkari Attacks

The Iraqi government has condemned Wednesday's terrorist attacks in southeast Turkey, saying that it would not allow any armed group or terrorist organization to use Iraqi territory against its neighbors.

"The Iraqi government and the local Kurdish administration are committed to the issue of maintaining cooperation and border security with the Turkish government to make sure the such attacks do not occur again," officials said in a statement Thursday.

PKK terrorists simultaneously attacked several targets in Cukurca and Yuksekova towns of the southeastern province of Hakkari, killing 24 troops and wounding 18 others.

After the attacks, Turkish security forces launched a cross-border operation into northern Iraq with ground forces, warplanes and helicopter gunships.

http://en.cumhuriyet.com/?hn=287092

Kurdish Officials Pledges Cooperation on Counterterrorism with Turkey

Nechirvan Barzani, the Kurdistan Democratic Party, or KDP, No. 2, and a former prime minister of the Kurdish regional administration in northern Iraq, arrived in Ankara on Thursday to express solidarity and cooperation with Turkey in its fight against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

The Kurdish official said Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration, would also soon pay a visit to Turkey in a show of solidarity with the Turkish state in its counterterrorism efforts.

On Thursday, Barzani metTurkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, one day after a series of attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in Turkey's southeast that left 24 soldiers dead.

Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Davutoğlu, Barzani said he rushed to Ankara to offer the condolences of the Kurdish regional government to Turkey, saying they believe such attacks do not serve the interests of either the Turkish or Kurdish people. He said such attacks should not damage Kurdish-Turkish relations.

Underscoring that the regional administration's cooperation with Turkey will expand in many areas, Barazani added that bilateral meetings with Turkish officials will be held more often.

The Kurdish official also praised the Turkish government's democratic initiative, launched in 2009 to address the country's Kurdish issue by expanding the rights of the Kurdish population, terming the steps taken as part of the initiative as "bold."

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry on Thursday condemned Wednesday's PKK assaults and said it would cooperate with Turkey on maintaining security to prevent such attacks in the future.

"The Iraqi government condemns the PKK's terrorist acts ... and confirms, again, that Iraq will not be a shelter and harbor any foreign terrorist armed groups," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement. "The Iraqi government and the Kurdish Regional Government are committed to maintaining border security and security cooperation with the Turkish government to prevent such acts from being repeated."

Iraqi officials in Baghdad say it is difficult for them to control the rugged area where PKK terrorists have their camps. Turkish, Iraqi and United States officials meet often to discuss security.

According to Turkish officials, in what has been taken as a sign of deep mistrust, Davutoğlu told his Iraqi counterpart, Hoshiyar Zebari, during a Wednesday phone conversation that "it is not time to condemn," but "to take concrete steps."

Turkey launched a cross-border offensive against the PKK after the group staged simultaneous attacks on Turkish military and police targets along the border on Wednesday, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 18 others. About a dozen warplanes flew several bombing sorties out of two military bases in the country's southeast until sunrise.

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-260446-kurdish-official-rushes-to-ankara-to-pledge-cooperation-on-counterterrorism.html

Palestinians in Ankara to be 'Strictly Monitored'

Palestinians sent to Turkey as part of a prisoner swap with Israel are currently staying in the headquarters of the National Intelligence Organization, or MİT, in Ankara and will not be "walking the streets for a long time for security reasons," according to officials.

The 11 Palestinians who arrived in Ankara on Oct. 18 were expected to speak with Turkish intelligence officials about their time spent in Israel, according to an official who asked to remain anonymous. Turkish intelligence officials, including advisers to the prime minister, were aboard the plane.

Ankara has said it cannot make the Palestinians stay in Turkey by force, if they wish to leave in the future. If, and when, that happens, Turkish officials said they would notify the proper authorities.

Ankara took precautions to ensure the Palestinians wanted to come to Turkey and then consulted with Israel about the list, according to media reports.

Amina Muna, a former female prisoner, was a member of al-Fatah, a Palestinian political and military organization aimed at achieving Palestinian statehood. The 10 additional male Palestinians were from Hamas, said a Foreign Ministry official, adding that these people would always be watched while living in Turkey, the Daily Hürriyet reported.

A diplomatic source said the 11 Palestinians are not likely to stay long in Turkey because Ankara has not given any guarantees. Therefore, they can be transferred to another country upon request, the source said.

The 11 Palestinians were part of a group of an initial wave of 477 prisoners that were released by Israel in exchange for the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas five years ago. Israel is expected to release around 600 more prisoners in subsequent waves as part of the deal.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=palestinians-in-ankara-8216to-be-strictly-monitored8217-2011-10-20

Doing Business Not that Easy in Turkey

Despite economic growth and efforts to entice more foreign direct investment, Turkey failed to make a significant rise in the World Bank's ranking of the ease of doing business, according to a report launched Friday.

Turkey ranked 71st among 183 countries -- only two steps above the 73rd place it ranked in last year's report -- in the World Bank's 2012 Doing Business report, which compares regulations that enhance or constrain business activity.

"The rise in rank is positive for Turkey. However, 70 countries have more convenient environment to do business," Ozan Acar, an economic policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, or TEPAV, told the Hürriyet Daily News Thursday.

Turkey, he said, should solve construction permits and judicial operational problems as soon as possible.

Singapore leads the list, followed by Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United States and Denmark.

Business Criteria

The Doing Business report, prepared for the ninth year, ranks economies on the basis of 10 areas of regulation: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

Turkey ranked 155th in terms of procedures of dealing with construction permits, although the sector is one of the fastest growing in the Turkish economy.

The country has not eliminated awkward red tape practices yet, in recent years, according to Mustafa Sancar, an executive at the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey, or DEİK, who spoke to the Daily News Thursday.

"Countries are in competition [to ease procedures for such permits], which makes Turkey appear to lag behind," Sancar said.

On the other hand, Turkey placed 120th regarding the efficiency of mechanisms for resolving commercial disputes or insolvency. Starting a business, getting credit, paying taxes and trading across borders are also difficult for businesses in Turkey, ranking 71st, 78th, 79th and 80th places respectively in each category compared to the other 182 economies, the report said. The country is listed as 44th, 51st and 65th regarding registering property, enforcing contracts and protecting investors, respectively.

The number of sub-Saharan economies implementing regulatory reforms to do easier business between June 2010 and May 2011 has increased, the report says.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=doing-business-not-that-easy-in-turkey-2011-10-20

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