Media rights groups say several journalists accused of involvement in an alleged plot to topple Turkey's government are going on trial Monday after spending some nine months in jail.

The case is seen as a test for media freedoms in Turkey.

Investigative journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık, as well as writer Yalçın Küçük -- a staunch government critic -- are among 13 suspects, who include other reporters.

International media rights groups will attend the opening hearing. Prosecutors say the suspects either plotted to bring down Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government in 2003 or aided the alleged plotters.

Some 400 suspects, including other journalists, are already on trial.

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=ankara-turkey-2011-11-22

Erdogan Says Al-Assad's Days are Numbered

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Monday that his days as a leader were numbered and he could not remain in power indefinitely through military force.

Erdoğan said his one-time ally's defiant refusal to end a bloody crackdown on protesters had increased the prospects of foreign intervention.

"You can remain in power with tanks and cannons only up to a certain point. The day will come when you'll also leave," Erdoğan said in a meeting in Istanbul. "Someone shows up and says, 'I'll fight and die.' Against whom will you fight? Will you fight against the Muslim brothers you rule in your country? If you trust yourself, go to the polls and let your people decide. If the polls lead you to power, then you may rule. But otherwise your office is only temporary."

The prime minister was referring to an interview with al-Assad published in London's Sunday Times in which the Syrian leader vowed to fight and die for his position if faced with foreign intervention.

"Why do you open the way for outside interference?" Erdoğan questioned. "Why don't you handle your own problems within yourself, without opening the way for any outside interference?"

Turkey has become increasingly vocal in its criticism of al-Assad's bloody crackdown on protests against his regime. Erdoğan accused al-Assad of deluding the Muslims in Syria by taking pictures with Muslim clerics. Killing Muslims with tanks and guns does not comply with Islam, said Erdoğan.

Turkey's diplomatic missions came under attack by pro-government demonstrators in several Syrian cities earlier this month after Ankara voiced support for the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria from the group.

After the attacks, Turkey demanded a formal apology from Syria, warning its citizens not to travel there unless absolutely necessary. Turkey last week announced a halt in joint oil exploration and threatened to cut electricity exports.

It also joined the Arab League at a meeting in Morocco in calling on the alAssad regime "to stop the bloodshed and to spare Syrian citizens from new acts of violence and killing."

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=bashar-al-assad8217s-days-are-numbered-erdogan-2011-11-21

Turkish Forces Engage PKK Militants in Eastern Turkey

Around 80 suspected members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, were located by Turkish security forces near the Aliboğazı area in Tunceli's Hozat district Monday.

Soldiers from the 51st Infantry Battalion and gendarmerie Special Forces from Hozat were dropped by helicopters to strategic points in the area, while Cobra gunships bombarded designated targets.

A brief clash occurred when commandos came in contact with the PKK militants, but ended with militants fleeing into a forested area. Gunships bombarded possible escape routes while more commandos were dropped in.

Initial reports did not report any casualties.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/tuncelide-80-pkkliya-operasyon/412424/1/Gundem

Police Detain At Least 65 in KCK Crackdown

State-run TRT television said Turkish police have rounded up dozens of people Monday in a nationwide crackdown on the Kurdistan Communities Union, or KCK.

KCK is alleged to be the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

According to TRT, the police detained at least 65 people in simultaneous raids in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır, as well as the western cities of Istanbul, İzmir and Bursa. The suspects have been taken into custody on suspicion of ties to the PKK.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people since the PKK took up arms in 1984.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/font-color%3dredflas-flasfont-avukatlara-kck-operasyonu/412532/1/Gundem

Gul Begins Landmark Visit to UK

President Abdullah Gül and his wife, Hayrünnisa, were received by Queen Elizabeth II at London's Buckingham Palace Monday, marking the first such official visit to the country by a Turkish president in 23 years.

Gül will also meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Foreign Minister William Hague and London Mayor Boris Johnson during his visit; he is also expected to deliver a speech to the British Parliament, as well as in Wilton Park and the British Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In November 2010, Gül visited Britain to receive the Chatham House Prize, which was awarded to him by the Royal International Institute Chatham House for that year by Queen Elizabeth II.

Gül's current visit reciprocates the queen's official visit to Turkey on May 16, 2008. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and his wife also accompanied Gül on the trip, according to reports.

Mall Avenue, the main road leading to London's Buckingham Palace, was decorated with Turkish and British flags in honor of the visit.

Following their arrival, Gül and his wife attended a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall. Gül will also be visiting the Olympic Park, where the 2012 Olympic Games are to be held and the Turkish war cemetery in Portsmouth.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/majesteleri-gul-gibi-agirliyor/412491/1/Gundem

'Turkey Against Action on Syria'

Turkey does not welcome any outside intervention in Syria for the moment, Turkish President Abdullah Gül has said, suggesting that change should instead come from within the country.

"We never wanted to see Syria in such a dead end. What needs to be done is clear," Gül said in reference to a plan to end the violence and begin enacting reforms. "We strongly support the decisions taken by the Arab League on Syria."

Turkey does not act on the orders of others, but is listening to the voice of the Syrian people, Gül said on his way to Britain on Monday. Asked whether he was worried of a civil war in Syria, Gül said, "Of course."

Noting that Turkey did not have any trust in the current Syrian government, Gül said the region was threatened with sectarian war.

"There are different sects [of Islam] in Syria, as you know. All those, including the Christians living in the country, are the main elements of the society," Gül said.

Because many people prefer to continue living under authoritarian regimes, they believe the fall of dictatorial governments will bring insecurity, civil war and clashes, Gül said, adding that the Syrian opposition should promise to safeguard the rights and freedoms of all when the present Syrian regime collapses.

http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/planet/19299077.asp

Opposition Plays Down Dersim Inquiry Proposal

The main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, has brushed aside Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç's proposal for a parliamentary inquiry into the 1938 Dersim killings, saying it has lost trust in the government.

"[CHP Chairman] Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu had proposed the opening of the Dersim archives. The ruling party at the time preferred not to answer this proposal," CHP Deputy Chairman Birgül Ayman Güler told reporters Sunday. "Our trust [in the ruling party] has been very much shaken," she said, referring to recent derogatory comments by Justice and Development Party, or AKP, officials on the CHP's decision to abandon a parliamentary boycott in July after the two parties signed a joint declaration stressing the need to end the imprisonment of jailed deputies.

Speaking after a meeting of the CHP's Central Administration Board, Güler said they had appointed two new members to the leadership of the party's Istanbul branch after recent resignations.

CHP lawmaker Hüseyin Aygün fanned intra-party tensions earlier this month when he said that the CHP's single-party rule in the 1930s was responsible for the Dersim massacres and that Republic founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, was aware of them. Aygün drew condemnation from a group of fellow CHP deputies, prompting Kılıçdaroğlu, also an Alevi from Tunceli, to call his lawmakers to discipline.

Over the weekend, Arınç suggested the formation of a parliamentary commission to investigate the killings, emphasizing the importance of exposing the truth "even if it hurts."

'Rename Tunceli as Dersim'

In a related development, AKP deputy Mehmet Metiner called for the CHP to support proposals to give back Tunceli its original name, "Dersim," and re-name the Sabiha Gökçen Airport.

Gökçen, Atatürk's adopted daughter, was among the fighter pilots who bombed Dersim as part of a military crackdown on an Alevi rebellion that claimed thousands of lives.

"If the CHP welcomes the idea, we can turn this into a joint initiative," Metiner said in a written statement, claiming that re-instating the name "Dersim" could be "a first step toward an apology" over the killings.

AKP Deputy Group Chairman Mustafa Elitaş said the proposal was Metiner's personal idea and that the AKP had not discussed the issue internally.

During the Dersim operation, over 13,000 people were allegedly killed and 22,000 others were driven out of their homes. The Dersim operation was planned and reports were prepared as early as 1920. The law related to the operation was passed in 1935 and action was taken in 1937.

http://haber.gazetevatan.com/tuncelinin-adi-dersim-olsun/412360/9/Siyaset

© 2017 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

Recent Articles by
receive the latest by email: subscribe to the free gatestone institute mailing list.

en

Comment on this item

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Gatestone Institute greatly appreciates your comments. The editors reserve the right, however, not to publish comments containing: incitement to violence, profanity, or any broad-brush slurring of any race, ethnic group or religion. Gatestone also reserves the right to edit comments for length, clarity and grammar. All thoughtful suggestions and analyses will be gratefully considered. Commenters' email addresses will not be displayed publicly. Gatestone regrets that, because of the increasingly great volume of traffic, we are not able to publish them all.