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Thread: Eye On Turkey

  1. #1
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    Post Eye On Turkey

    BRUSSELS - The European Commission dealt a sharp blow on Wednesday to Turkey's hopes of joining the European Union, recommending a partial suspension of entry talks after Ankara refused to open its ports to Cyprus.

    The EU executive proposed freezing eight of the 35 policy areas or "chapters" into which the negotiations are divided and said no chapter should be concluded until the Cyprus trade dispute was resolved.

    Turkish television quoted Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as calling the recommendation "unacceptable." Britain, Turkey's strongest ally in the EU, called it "disappointingly tough" and Spain also expressed concern.

    "We confirm these negotiations must continue although at slower pace," EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said. "There will be no train crash. There is a slowing down because of works further down the tracks."

    But Turkey's lira currency and stock prices firmed as analysts said the news from Brussels was not as bad as feared, and analysts said Turkey-EU ties would weather the setback.

    EU foreign ministers will decide whether to back the recommendation on December 11. Rehn said Turkey could yet score "a golden goal" by complying before the ministers meet.

    This seems very unlikely, however, not least because Erdogan faces elections next year and does not want his increasingly nationalist public opinion to perceive him as weak on Cyprus, seen in Turkey as an issue of national honor.

    The Commission move came after the latest round of talks on the Cyprus stand-off failed on Monday.

    Many EU countries, reflecting public anxieties, are worried about the prospect of the overwhelmingly Muslim and comparatively poor country joining the Union.


    "(The decision) clearly contains the signal that we want to continue negotiations with Turkey," said Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, a supporter of Ankara's EU bid.

    The sectors to be frozen concern free movement of goods, the right to establish a business and freedom to provide services, financial services, agriculture, fisheries, transport policy, customs union and foreign relations.

    Commission sources said the list was based on legal advice on which chapters were relevant to the Cyprus issue but the number also reflected political reality in the member states.

    So far, Turkey has provisionally concluded just one chapter science and research since it began talks last year.

    Turkey invaded northern Cyprus in 1974 in response to a Greek Cypriot coup backed by Greece and it does not recognize Cyprus. Ankara is alone in recognizing a breakaway Turkish Cypriot mini-state in the north of the island.

    Turkey has said it will open its ports to shipping from Cyprus only if the EU fulfils a pledge to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriot northern Cyprus, which the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia has blocked.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the European Commission decision showed Turkey had to honor its agreement with the EU to open its ports to Cyprus. She also urged better checks on Turkey's progress in the talks and a review in about 18 months.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the EU should not send a negative signal to Turkey as this could be "a serious mistake for Europe long-term."

    Turkish officials had expected only three or four chapters to be suspended but there was some comfort that Brussels did not seek a total freeze and set no new deadline to comply on Cyprus.

    Egeman Bagis, a foreign policy adviser to Erdogan, said the EU should not create a linkage with solving the Cyprus problem which it had not applied to Cyprus's own accession in 2004.

    "Important reforms have taken place in Turkey and the EU has been a very important vehicle in ensuring these reforms. If Europe wants to encourage Turkey to continue with these reforms ... then the talks should continue," Bagis told Reuters.

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    Greece to further consult EU partners on Turkey's accession plans: PM

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said on Monday that Athens was in continuous consultation with its EU partners on how to establish the right framework for Turkey's accession into the European Union (EU).

    Turkey had not actively demonstrated its intention to adopt European principles and values, Karamanlis said after meeting his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi.

    He said "Turkey must realize that its progress in the accession negotiations depends on its progress in fulfilling the criteria and conditions it has agreed with the EU."

    Prodi said the EU should "leave a door open" for Turkey while at the same time clarifying that the accession criteria were the same as those applying to other candidate countries.

    The two prime ministers also discussed the situation in Kosovo, expressing support for Serbia's European orientation.

    Karamanlis stressed that a solution for the future status of Kosovo should be accepted by all the sides involved, and that the European orientation of southeastern Europe serves as an important factor in the stability of the broader region.

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    Austrian Rightists Demand End To EU-Turkey Talks

    Austrian rightist leader Heinz-Christian Strache demanded an end to negotiations between the EU and Turkey over the country's membership in the European Union.

    "Even the current EU chairman Vanhanen calls for a partial stop to the Turkey-talks, so the EU should make a clean sweep at its December summit, and finally end its ill-fated Turkish adventure," Strache said in a press release on Tuesday.

    Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, who currently holds the EU Presidency, said on Tuesday in Brussels talks with Turkey should be partly frozen, as suggested by the EU Commission.

    Strache, who leads the extreme right Freedom Party, made prominent by its former leader Joerg Haider, said the suggestion made by Vanhanen showed that even the "enlargement fanatics" in Brussels meanwhile feared that negotiations would fail.

    "Instead of freezing some chapters or pause some parts of the negotiations, the EU should freeze the accession talks with Turkey completely and never unfreeze them again," Strache said.

    The difficult negotiations showed clearly that the Freedom Party had been right all along with its opposition to Turkey's EU membership, he said.

    "If we had had our way, the talks would have never started. But again - a lot of pain, no gain," Strache said.

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    France and Germany backed a plan to partially suspend Turkey's EU membership talks due to its refusal to open trade links with Cyprus, and called for a full review in 18 months of Ankara's troubled effort to join the bloc.

    Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country will chair EU meetings next week, also on Tuesday backed the plan to freeze eight of 35 negotiating chapters that Turkey must complete to join the EU.

    "Something we expected didn't happen. It must have certain consequences," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, referring to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to ships and planes from Cyprus.

    At a meeting in Germany with French President Jacques Chirac and Polish Prime Minister Lech Kaczynski, Merkel called the European Commission's plan for a partial freeze a "good basis" for a decision next week. Chirac said he agreed.

    The plan has provoked an angry reaction from Turkey.

    "To distance Turkey from the negotiating table would be a grave mistake," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. "Turkey has nothing to lose. If anyone will lose it will be the EU."

    Vanhanen said EU foreign ministers should decide on Monday whether the partial freeze will go ahead.

    EU nations are split over the plan and the issue is likely to spill over to the bloc's year-end summit Dec. 14 to 15.

    British Prime Minister Tony Blair has called a partial suspension a "serious mistake."

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, meanwhile, has urged the EU to "work intensively" to keep the doors open to Turkey.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has warned the commission's recommendation risked destabilizing the region.

    At the meeting in Mettlach, Germany, Merkel called for the commission to report back to EU leaders between Turkish elections next fall and European elections in early 2009 for a review of Ankara's progress toward membership.

    "We don't want to set any kind of ultimatums, but we want ... the commission to say to us what has been achieved and how we could proceed," Merkel said.

    German officials have said that details of the review still have to be worked out.

    The European Commission currently produces an annual report on the progress of Turkey and other candidates toward meeting EU membership standards.

    Since the EU and Turkey began negotiating entry terms in October last year, relations have become strained and mutual public misgivings have increased.

    Anger over EU demands has seen a sharp drop in support among Turks for the plan to integrate the Muslim nation of 70 million into the European bloc.

    Among EU nations, too, opinion is divided between those who see Turkish membership as a way to anchor a moderate Muslim nation in the West and those concerned over the impact on immigration, EU finances and Turkey's commitment to democracy and human rights.
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    Turkey shows signs of bowing to EU pressure

    In an unexpected move yesterday Turkey conceded it is ready to open one of its ports to Cypriot vessels, signalling it will be bowing to EU pressure.

    This development arrived following last week's European Commission recommendation to put Turkey's ongoing accession negotiation to join the EU on a "slow mode" until Ankara decides to adhere to its pre-negotiations commitments, particularly on Cyprus.

    A short statement yesterday by the Finnish EU presidency confirmed that recent developments may lead to the reversing of the current stalemate.

    Finland's Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said Turkey informed the Finnish presidency of its intention to provisionally open a major seaport to Cypriot vessels.

    "Turkey's initiative is a positive step towards full implementation of the Ankara protocol, but still needs clarification. If Turkey is ready for such an unconditional move, this positive step will influence the Council's discussions on the continuation of Turkey's EU accession process," the minister said.

    EU Foreign Ministers are set to discuss the situation on Monday during a meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels, a few days before the EU summit meeting later on in the week.

    In its recommendation, the Commission said it should not open negotiations with Turkey on chapters covering policy areas relevant to Turkey's restrictions with regard to Cyprus until the Commission confirms that Turkey has fulfilled its commitments.

    The main row which led to this stalemate was the refusal of Turkey to open its ports and airspace to Cypriot vessels and planes.

    Turkey still does not recognise Cyprus.

  6. #6
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    پس از آنکه ترکيه به رغم درخواست اتحاديه اروپا اجازه استفاده کشتی ها و هواپيماهای قبرسی را از بنادر و فرودگاه هايش صادر نکرد، وزيران خارجه اعضای اتحاديه اروپا گرد هم آمده اند تا بر سر نحوه مجازات اين کشور تصميم گيری کنند.
    دولت ترکيه و اتحاديه اروپا درگير مذاکرات دشواری هستند تا اين کشور که اکثريت مطلق جمعيت آن را مسلمانان تشکيل می دهند، در آينده به اتحاديه اروپا بپيوندد.

    پيشتر کميسيون اروپا پيشنهاد کرده بود بخش هايی از اين مذاکرات که از سال گذشته برای عضويت ترکيه در اتحاديه اروپا شروع شد به حال تعليق درآيد؛ پيشنهادی که مخالفت برخی اعضای اين اتحاديه را به همراه داشت و تونی بلر، نخست وزير بريتانيا، آن را 'يک اشتباه جدی' خواند.

    فرانک والتر اشتاينماير، وزير امور خارجه آلمان، در حاشيه جلسه روز دوشبنه (11 دسامبر) از نزديکتر شدن مواضع اعضای اتحاديه اروپا بر سر نحوه برخورد با ترکيه خبر داده اما افزوده اختلاف نظرها همچنان بيش از آن است که بتوان از اين جلسه انتظار حصول توافق داشت.

    در صورتی که نشست وزيران امور خارجه اتحاديه اروپا به نتيجه نرسد، موضوع پيوستن ترکيه به اين اتحاديه و برخورد با اين کشور به نشست سران دولتها در آخر هفته جاری ارجاع می شود.

    مذاکرات ترکيه با اتحاديه اروپا پيچيدگی های فراوانی دارد و موضوع مناقشه ترکيه با قبرس يکی از موانع بزرگ بر سر ادامه اين مذاکرات به شمار می رود.

    ترکيه تنها کشوری است که 'جمهوری ترک قبرس شمالی' را - که پس از حمله و اشغال نيروهای ترک به جزيره قبرس در سال 1974 ميلادی اعلام موجوديت کرد - به رسميت می شناسد.

    قبرس از سال 2004 ميلادی به عضويت اتحاديه اروپا درآمده و به دليل مواضع کاملا متفاوت اين کشور با ترکيه، تلاش های گسترده برای حل اين معضل تا کنون ناکام مانده است.

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    Turkish Airlines gets the hump

    Some say camel meat tastes like 'coarse beef'
    A job well done is worth celebrating, but Turkish Airlines say staff went too far when they sacrificed a camel.
    To mark the last delivery of 100 aircraft, maintenance workers clubbed together to buy the beast - and then consume it.

    The sacrifice took place at Istanbul international airport.

    "They didn't ask permission," a spokeswoman for the airline told the BBC, adding that the boss of the offending staff had been suspended.

    He will remain off work while the incident is investigated.

    Camel is eaten in Turkey, while the sacrifice of animals - usually sheep - is performed during the Festival of Sacrifice, marking the prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son when God ordered him to.

    "But it wasn't anything to do with that," said Belgin Alisan of Turkish Airlines, which was last week accepted into the Lufthansa-led Star Alliance.

    "They went too far. We are really quite shocked."

    Top-selling daily Hurriyet said 700kg of camel meat had been distributed among the workers.

  8. #8
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    مذاکرات امریکا با ژنرال های ترک

    برای پیوستن ترکیه به ائتلاف علیه ایران

    روزنامه الوطن چاپ عربستان سعوی فاش ساخت که یک هیات بلندپایه از مقامات نظامی و سیاسی امریکا به سرپرستی "پیتررودمن" معاون مشاور وزارت دفاع امریکا با ژنرال های ترکیه به سرپرستی "آرغین صایغون" معاون ستاد مشترک ارتش ترکیه، در ترکیه پیرامون پیوستن این کشور به جبهه ائتلاف علیه ایران مذاکره کرده اند. تاکنون هیچ منبع خبری در باره چنین ائتلافی گزارش نکرده بود و معلوم نیست چه کشورهای عضو آن هستند که اکنون تلاش برای پیوند دادن ترکیه به آن در جریان دارد.

    همین روزنامه درگزارش خود نوشت که اخیرا مقامات نظامی اسرائیل و ترکیه نیز در دیدار مشترکی که در تل آویو پایتخت اسرائیل داشته اند پیرامون توان نظامی – بویژه موشکی- ایران مذاکره و تبادل نظر کرده اند. الوطن انگیزه این تبادل نظر عکس العمل های ایران نسبت به قطعنامه شورای امنیت سازمان ملل اعلام کرده است، اما آشکار است که واکنش به قطعنامه شورای امنیت از جانب ایران نمی تواند نظامی باشد، مگر آنکه واکنش ایران نسبت به حمله نظامی به ایران مورد مطرح باشد.

    تبادل اطلاعاتی که از طریق منابع جاسوسی علیه ایران- بویژه از طریق ماهواره- بدست می آید نیز از جمله موارد مورد مذاکره بوده است.

    ترکیه و اسرائیل قرار است بزودی یک مانور مشترک دریائی برگزار کنند که در آن امریکا نیز شرکت خواهد داشت.

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    وزير انرژى تركيه با اشاره به خسارات وارده به اين كشور در اثر قطع صادرات گاز ايران اعلام كرد، عليه اين كشور به داورى بين*المللى مراجعه كرده است.
    به گزارش الزمان، شركت بوتاش تركيه خواهان جبران خسارات ناشى از قطع صادرات گاز ايران به اين كشور شده است.
    سلتوك ديزيول، مديرعامل شركت دولتى بوتاش تركيه كه در جريان يك كنفرانس خبرى به همراه وزير انرژى اين كشور سخن مي*گفت قطع مكرر صادرات گاز ايران به تركيه را كه در اثر افزايش مصرف داخلى اتفاق افتاده است نقض موافقت*نامه منعقده ميان دو كشور دانست و خواهان جبران خسارات وارده به تركيه از سوى ايران شد.
    وى گفت چنانچه دولت ايران از پرداخت خسارات وارده امتناع كند تركيه براى احقاق حقوق خود به واحدهاى بين*المللى مراجعه مى كند.
    در عين حال وى گاز ايران را براى تركيه حائيز اهميت ارزيابى كرد و گفت ,علي*رغم قطع مكرر گاز همچنان ايران منبع مهم تامين كننده گاز طبيعى براى تركيه است,
    براساس اين گزارش هلمى گولر وزير انرژى تركيه نيز در جريان اين كنفرانس گفت با مقامات ايران تماس گرفته شده است تا اين مشكل حل شود.
    وى با اعلام اين كه تركيه در حال حاضر موضوع قطع مكرر صادرات گاز ايران را به داورى بين*المللى ارجاع داده است گفت در عين حال ما خواهان ابطال موافقت*نامه منعقده نيستيم.
    براساس اين گزارش از چند روز گذشته در اثر افزايش مصرف داخلى ايران صادرات گاز طبيعى ايران به تركيه قطع شده است.
    در حال حاضر با افزايش واردات گاز از روسيه مشكل مصرف در تركيه تا حدودى مرتفع شده است.

  10. #10
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    تركيه با بيش از ‪ ۱۰۰‬كشته در عراق، بعد از آمريكا و انگليس بيشترين تعداد تلفات را در بين كشورهاى ديگر در عراق داده است.

    به گزارش پايگاه اينترنتى "ان.تى.وى."، قريب به تمامى تلفات تركيه در عراق را غيرنظاميان تشكيل مي*دهند.

    "ان.تى..ى." با يادآورى اين كه به دليل بيكاري، اتباع تركيه همچنان به عزيمت به عراق براى اشتغال ادامه مي*دهند، نوشت: "بخش عمده اتباع تركيه در عراق، به كارهاى ساختماني، آشپزى و رانندگى اشتغال دارند."
    بيشتر اتباع تركيه*اى شاغل در تركيه اهل شهرهاى آدانا، شانلى عرفا و عثمانيه هستند.

    به نوشته "ان.تى.وى."، از شهر آدانا پنج هزار و از شهر شانلى عرفا نيز ‪ ۷۰۰‬تن در عراق اشتغال دارند.

    اين پايگاه در ارزيابى شرايط كارى شاغلين ترك در عراق نوشت: "به دليل ناآرامي*هاى موجود، اتباع تركيه در ازاى هر چهار ماه اشتغال در عراق، به مدت ‪ ۱۵‬روز براى مرخصى به تركيه مي*آيند."
    به نوشته "ان.تى.وى." شاغلان ترك در عراق كه قبلا از طريق زمينى به آن كشور عزيمت مي*كردند، در سال*هاى اخير به دليل ادامه ناآرامي*ها عمدتا با هواپيما به آن كشور عزيمت مي*كنند.

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    Turkish-Armenian editor shot dead in Istanbul

    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A high-profile Turkish-Armenian editor, convicted of insulting Turkey's identity, was shot dead outside his newspaper office in Istanbul on Friday.

    Hrant Dink, a writer and journalist and a frequent target of nationalist anger, was shot by an unknown assailant as he left his newspaper Agos around 1300 GMT in central Istanbul, the paper said.

    "Hrant was a perfect target for those who want to obstruct Turkey's democratization and its path toward the European Union," Agos writer Aydin Engin told Reuters.

    Broadcaster NTV said Dink been shot three times in the neck and police were now looking for a 18 or 19-year-old man.

    CNN Turk television said two men had been detained in connection with the shooting.

    The attack is bound to raise political tensions in would-be EU member Turkey, where politicians of all parties have been courting the nationalist vote ahead of presidential elections in May and parliamentary polls due by November.

    Protesters at the scene chanted "the murderer government will pay" and "shoulder-to-shoulder against fascism".

    Television footage showed his body lying in the street covered by a white sheet, with hundreds of bystanders gathering behind a police cordon.

    "This bullet was fired against Turkey ... an image has been created about Turkey that its Armenian citizens have no safety," said CNN Turk editor Taha Akyol.

    Turkey's Foreign Ministry said in a statement it "forcefully condemned" the "loathsome attack".

    Last year Turkey's appeals court upheld a six-month suspended jail sentence against Dink, a Turkish-born Armenian, for referring in an article to an Armenian nationalist idea of ethnic purity without Turkish blood.

    The court said the comments went against an article of Turkey's revised penal code which lets prosecutors pursue cases against writers and scholars for "insulting Turkish identity".

    The ruling was sharply criticised by the EU.


    Dink was one of dozens of writers who have been charged under laws against insulting Turkishness, particularly over the alleged genocide of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One.
    Turkey denies allegations that 1.5 million Armenians were killed in a systematic genocide. It says both Christian Armenians and Muslim Turks were killed in a partisan conflict that raged on Ottoman territory.

    But the government has promised to revise the much criticised article of the penal code amid EU pressure.

    Dink was editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish and Armenian newspaper and one of the most prominent Armenian voices in Turkey.

    "I will not leave this country. If I go I would feel I was leaving alone the people struggling for democracy in this country. It would be a betrayal of them. I could never do this," Dink said in an interview with Reuters last July.

    Tensions have been growing ahead of presidential elections amid a rise in nationalism.

    Turkey's powerful secularist establishment fears the ruling AK Party, which controls parliament and has roots in political Islam, will elect Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as president.

    Secularists, including powerful army generals and judges, fear Erdogan -- a former Islamist -- would try to erode Turkey's strict division between state and religion if elected president.

    Erdogan denies he or his party have an Islamist agenda.

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    Turkish-Armenian writer shot dead

    A prominent Turkish-Armenian editor, convicted in 2005 of insulting Turkish identity, has been shot dead outside his newspaper's office in Istanbul.
    Crowds of Hrant Dink's colleagues and supporters gathered at the scene, chanting their outrage at his murder.

    Dink was given a six-month suspended sentence in October 2005 after writing about the Armenian "genocide" of 1915.

    The US, EU and Armenia have condemned his murder and Turkey's leaders vowed to bring those responsible to justice.

    "A bullet has been fired at democracy and freedom of expression," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a hastily convened news conference.

    Prominent voice

    The attack on Dink was an attack on Turkey and on Turkish unity and stability, Mr Erdogan said, adding that the "dark hands" behind the killing would be brought to justice.

    Obituary: Hrant Dink

    The murder is likely to increase political tensions in Turkey, where politicians have been courting the nationalist vote ahead of presidential and parliamentary elections later this year, correspondents say.

    Mr Erdogan said two people had been detained in connection with the killing but Turkish media later reported that they had been released.

    Turkey's NTV television said police were searching for a teenager wearing a white hat and a denim jacket in connection with the murder.

    The channel showed pictures of a white sheet covering the journalist's body in front of the newspaper building's entrance.

    Dink, the editor-in-chief of the bilingual Turkish and Armenian weekly Agos newspaper, was one of Turkey's most prominent Armenian voices.

    He was the frequent target of anger from Turkish nationalists who viewed him as a traitor, correspondents say.

    Penal code

    Dink, 53, was found guilty more than a year ago of insulting Turkish identity after he wrote an article which addressed the mass killings of Ottoman Armenians nine decades ago.

    Dink was gunned down in broad daylight

    He always said his aim was to improve the difficult relationship between Turks and Armenians, but in one of his last newspaper columns, he admitted he had been getting deaths threats.

    His computer hard drive was full of them, he wrote, amounting to what he called psychological torture.

    Dink was among dozens of writers in Turkey who have been charged under 301 of Turkey's penal code with insulting Turkish identity, often for articles dealing with the killing of Kurds and Ottoman Armenians.

    Hundreds of thousands of Armenians died in 1915, in what many Armenians say was a systematic massacre at the hands of the Ottoman Turks.

    Turkey denies any genocide, saying the deaths were a part of World War I.

    Turkey and neighbouring Armenia still have no official relations.

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    The main suspect in the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink has been arrested, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said.
    The governor of Istanbul said police captured Ogun Samast, aged 16 or 17, on a bus in the Black Sea city of Samsun.

    Mr Samast was earlier named as the suspect pictured in security camera images near the scene of the killing.

    Mr Dink, 53, was shot dead in broad daylight outside his newspaper offices in Istanbul on Friday.

    He was well-known for writing controversial articles about the mass killing of Armenians by Turks during World War I.

    'Tip off'

    Istanbul governor Muammer Guler announced the details of the capture in a live television broadcast.

    He said Mr Samast had been detained at Samsun bus station while apparently returning to his hometown of Trabzon from Istanbul.

    Hrant Dink was one of Turkey's most prominent Armenian voices

    The governor added that Mr Samast was carrying a gun at the time, and that six other suspects had been detained in Trabzon.

    All seven will be brought to Istanbul for questioning on Sunday and police are investigating whether they were part of a group, Mr Guler said.

    The governor emphasised that Ogun Samast - who he said was born in 1990 - had been detained after 32 hours.

    The suspect was identified by his own father when he saw television images taken at the scene of Friday's killing.

    A clear image taken from security camera footage showed a man apparently running from the scene, tucking what officials said was a gun into his belt.

    Dink's secretary told investigators Mr Samast had asked to meet Mr Dink earlier on Friday, before the killing, Mr Guler said.

    After the request was turned down, the secretary saw Mr Samast waiting on the street outside Mr Dink's office, he said.

    Three suspects detained in Istanbul on Friday shortly after the killing have been released.


    Mr Dink's murder shocked Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogan vowed repeatedly that his killer would be caught.

    Journalists and politicians in Turkey have expressed outrage at the killing, which many described as a political assassination, while the US, EU, France, and several human rights groups also voiced shock and condemnation.

    Following the murder, Turkey should not even dream about joining the European Union

    Tigran Torosyan
    Armenian parliament speaker

    'Frightened pigeon'
    Obituary: Hrant Dink
    Turkish press outrage
    Mr Dink had received multiple death threats from nationalists because of his views on the mass killings of Armenians during the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

    He was convicted in October 2005 for writing about the Armenian "genocide" in 1915, a claim denied by the authorities in Ankara.

    The issue is a sensitive subject in both Armenia and Turkey. Many Armenians have campaigned for the killings to be recognised internationally as genocide.

    The Armenian government condemned Mr Dink's murder.

    Its president, Robert Kocharian, said the killing "raises numerous questions and deserves the strongest condemnation".

    The speaker of Armenia's parliament, Tigran Torosyan went even further.

    "Following the murder, Turkey should not even dream about joining the European Union," the Armenian news agency Arminfo quoted him as saying.

    The two countries still have no official relations since Armenia gained independence after the break up of the Soviet Union in 1991.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    رسانه های ترکيه تصاوير جنجال برانگيزی منتشر کرده اند که ماموران امنيتی اين کشور را در حال گرفتن 'عکس يادگاری' با اوگون ساماس، نوجوان ترک که به قتل هراند دينک روزنامه نگار سرشناس ارمنی، اعتراف کرده، نشان می دهد.
    تصاوير ويدئويی و عکس هايی که به رسانه ها درز کرده، نوجوان هفده ساله ترک را نشان می دهد که کنار تعدادی مامور امنيتی با يک پرچم ترکيه ايستاده و پشت سر آنها تقويمی ديده می شود که روی آن نوشته شده: "خاک سرزمين مادری مقدس است، نمی توان آن را به حال خود رها کرد."

    مقام های مسئول در ترکيه می گويند اين عکس ها در واحد ضد ترور پليس در شهر سامسون - همان شهری که اوگون ساماس سی و دو ساعت پس از کشته شدن آقای دينک در آن دستگير شد - گرفته شده است.

    هراند دینک که مقالات جنجال برانگيز متعددی درباره کشتار ارامنه به سال 1915 ميلادی - و در واپسین روزهای امپراتوری عثمانی - نوشته بود، روز نوزدهم ژانويه در شهر استانبول در برابر دفتر روزنامه آگوس، که وی سردبیر آن بود به ضرب دو گلوله کشته شد.

    تصاوير نشان می دهد که قاتل و امثال او تنها نيستند، که حاميان آنها ... در همه بخش های اين حکومت [ترکيه] رخنه کرده اند

    عصمت برکان، سردبير روزنامه راديکال

    پليس ترکيه ساعاتی پس از آنکه پدر نوجوان مظنون به قتل از روی تصاوير ويدئويی پسرش را شناخت، او را در شهر شمالی سامسون دستگير کرد.

    اينک انتشار تصاوير نيروی امنيتی ترکيه با نوجوان متهم به قتل، بحث شديدی را در برخی رسانه های اين کشور به راه انداخته و موجب انتقادهای جدی به عملکرد اين نيروها شده است.

    روزنامه راديکال، که از روزنامه های ليبرال ترکيه به شمار می رود، روز جمعه در مطلبی به رفتار 'همراه با تأييد' ماموران امنيتی با آقای ساماس اعتراض کرده و نوشته است: "فقط کم مانده بود بوسه ای هم بر پيشانی قاتل زده شود.. اين تصوير طرز فکری است که دينک را کشت."

    عصمت برکان، سردبير روزنامه راديکال، در ادامه آورده: "اين تصاوير نشان می دهد که قاتل و امثال او تنها نيستند، که حاميان آنها ... در همه بخش های اين حکومت [ترکيه] رخنه کرده اند."

    اين تصاوير [متهم به قتل و ماموران امنيتی کنار هم] به اندازه خود عمل قتل هرانت دينک بد است

    روزنامه وطن

    روزنامه های پرتيراژ ترکيه همچون وطن و صباح نيز اين موضوع را منعکس کرده و اين تصاوير را به همان بدی قتل دانسته اند.

    آقای دینک یکی از معروف ترین افراد جامعه ارمنی ترکیه بود و به رغم تهدید ها وی هرگز سکوت اختیار نکرد و به رغم تنش هایی که فعالیت های هراند دینک را در بر گرفته بود، محافظی در اختیار وی قرار نگرفته بود که این مساله این منجر به بروز این انتقاد شده که چرا مقامات اقدام کافی برای محافظت از جان آقای دینک انجام ندادند.

    ترور روزنامه نگار سرشناس ارمنی، که بسياری در ترکيه علت قتل او را نوشته های جنجالی اش در مورد کشتار صدها هزار ارمنی در ميانه جنگ جهانی اول می دانند، موجب بروز اعتراضات خشم آلود در ترکیه شد.

    کشتار ارامنه هم در ارمنستان و هم در ترکیه موضوع بسیار حساسی به شمار می رود و بسیاری از ارامنه تلاش کرده اند که این کشتار در سطح بین المللی به عنوان قتل عام مورد شناسایی قرار گیرد.

    ترکیه اتهام قتل عام ارامنه را رد می کند و می گوید که این مساله جزئی از جنگ جهانی اول بود.

    هراند دینک يک بار در اکتبر 2005 پس از نوشتن مقاله ای درباره کشتار گسترده ارامنه به علت توهین به "هویت ترک" متهم شناخته شد.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    ترکیه اعلام کرد که در تلاش برای روشن کردن وضعیت معاون وزیر دفاع پیشین ایران است که در خاک آن کشور گم شده است.
    سفارت ترکیه در تهران طی بیانیه ای اعلام کرد که آنکارا با استفاده از تمام واحدهای اطلاعاتی و امنیتی در تلاش برای روشن کردن موضوع گم شدن علی رضا عسگری است.

    علی رضا عسگری، معاون وزیر دفاع ایران در دوره وزارت علی شمخانی، چندی پیش پس از ورود به استانبول ناپدید شد. وی از دمشق وارد استانبول شده بود.

    ترکیه اعلام کرده که در حال همکاری نزدیک با مقام های ایرانی و تحقیق بر روی این مساله است.

    سفارت ترکیه گفته است که این کشور اطلاعات خود را در این زمینه در اختیار مقام های ایران قرار داده و تبادل اطلاعات همچنان ادامه خواهد داشت.

    زمان ناپدید شدن آقای عسگری مشخص نیست. پیشتر گفته می شد که وی در ماه فوریه ربوده شده اما خانواده معاون وزیر دفاع پیشین ایران می گویند که وی بیش از سه ماه است که مفقود شده است.

    همسر علی رضا عسگری، معاون وزیر دفاع ایران در دولت محمد خاتمی که در ترکیه ناپدید شده پیش از این خواهان پاسخگویی دولت ترکیه در برابر گم شدن شوهرش در خاک این کشور شده بود.

    خانم زیبا احمدی مدعی آن شده که آقای عسگری توسط نیروهای اسرائیل و آمریکا با کمک نیروهای امنیتی ترکیه ربوده شده است.

    ترکیه این موضوع را رد کرده و یک دیپلمات ترک گفته است که "ترکیه با مقام های ایرانی همکاری بسیار نزدیکی در مورد این پرونده دارد و انتشار چنین گزارش ها و اظهارنظرهایی کمکی به پیشرفت این مساله نمی کند."

    سفارت ترکیه نیز در بیانیه خود گفته است که برخی اخبار و گزارش هایی که در رسانه های بین المللی منتشر می شوند غیر واقعی و گمراه کننده است.

    شایعه های بسیاری در مورد ناپدید شدن علی رضا عسگری مطرح شده است.

    برخی رسانه های عربی از ربوده شدن وی توسط سرویس جاسوسی موساد خبر دادند در حالی که روزنامه های غربی موضوع پناهنده شدن آقای عسگری را مطرح کردند. هیچکدام از این شایعات تا کنون تائید نشده اند.

    احتمال ربوده شدن

    سرتیپ اسماعیل احمدی مقدم، فرمانده نیروی انتظامی جمهوری اسلامی برای اولین بار در 15 اسفند امسال به طور ضمنی به احتمال ربوده شدن معاون وزیر دفاع پیشین ایران در ترکیه توسط سرویس های اطلاعاتی غربی اشاره کرد و گفت که ممکن است این اقدام به دلیل سوابق آقای عسگری در وزارت دفاع صورت گرفته باشد.

    بررسی های پلیس ترکیه نشان داد که معاون پیشین وزیر دفاع ایران از خاک ترکیه خارج نشده و اثری هم از وی در بیمارستان ها و مراکز پزشکی قانونی ثبت نشده است.

    خبر ناپدید شدن معاون وزیر دفاع پیشین ایران را که گفته می شود اطلاعات مهمی درباره فعالیت های نظامی ایران دارد برای اولین بار روزنامه های عربی منتشر کردند.

    روزنامه واشنگتن پست نیز اخیرا نوشت که علی رضا عسگری به طور داوطلبانه (به غرب) روی آورده و درحال ارائه اطلاعاتی به سازمان های اطلاعاتی غربی درباره حمایت ایران از گروه حزب الله لبنان است. خانواده آقای عسگری این ادعا را رد کرده است.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005
    Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained a man who threatened to blow up a passenger plane to divert it to Iran, officials said.

    The man, identified as Mehmet Goksen Gol, entered the cockpit and threatened to blow up the plane, claiming to have an explosive device on board, Ankara Deputy Governor Hayati Soylu said. The man was not armed and did not have explosives.

    He was detained at Ankara's Esenboga airport where pilots landed the Pegasus airline flight, which going from Diyarba*** to Istanbul.

    There were 178 passengers on board, including three babies, the airline said. None of the passengers were hurt.

    There was no information as to why the man wanted to divert the plane to Iran.

    Firat Keles, a passenger on board, told CNN-Turk television that the man could be seen reading the Quran during the flight. There was no panic on board, he said.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Turkish police quiz hijacking suspect

    Authorities at Ankara's airport are questioning a man they believe tried to hijack a Turkish airliner -- possibly to Iran -- transport officials and passengers told CNN Turk Tuesday.

    The suspect, Mehmed Goksin Gol, was not armed and all 178 passengers and crew aboard the Pegasus Airlines flight are safe, Transport Minister Binali Yildirim said.

    "We hope to find out what his goal was," Yildirim said at a news conference.

    He said Turkish security forces are investigating reports in the Turkish media that Gol had an extensive criminal record.

    Turkey's Interior Minister Abdulkadir Aksu said no explosives were found on the plane, and the suspect was taken to the terrorism investigation unit in Ankara.

    "All passengers are off the plane," Aksu said.

    The flight was heading from southeastern Turkish city of Diyarba*** to Istanbul, but landed at Ankara's airport, where the suspect was detained.

    One passenger, Firat Keles, told CNN Turk that the suspect tried to approach the cockpit, and told the flight crew he had something in his belt and wanted to fly to Iran. Keles said the man, who was in his 30s, did not look suspicious and did not appear to be threatening anyone.

    Pegasus airlines president Ali Sabanci said there was no threat to the cockpit, which was locked, and there was no contact between the hijacker and the pilots.

    The incident came six months after a Turkish man hijacked a Turkish jetliner to Italy, apparently in an attempt to avoid service in the Turkish army. All 113 crew and passengers were released unharmed at a military airfield in Brindisi, Italy.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    Iraqi Kurd official blasts Turk general's war talk

    ARBIL, Iraq, April 13 (Reuters) - The speaker of Iraqi Kurdistan's parliament on Friday described as a "dangerous escalation" the call by Turkey's top general for a military operation in northern Iraq.

    General Yasar Buyukanit, head of Turkey's powerful military General Staff, said on Thursday the military operation would be to crush Turkish and Kurdish rebels hiding in Kurdistan. He said he had not asked parliament to authorise any such operation.

    "The threats by (Buyukanit) are a dangerous escalation that we take very seriously," Adnan al-Mufti told a news conference.

    "We in Kurdistan region's parliament will relay our rejection of these threats to different parties in Baghdad, the United States and other countries," Mufti said.

    Turkey has repeatedly urged the Baghdad government and U.S. forces in Iraq to crack down on an estimated 4,000 rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who use northern Iraq as a springboard to attack targets inside Turkey.

    Ankara has said it reserves the right under international law to send troops into northern Iraq to tackle the rebels if Iraq and Washington continue to disregard its calls for action.

    The United States reacted coolly to Buyukanit's comments.

    The escalation in rhetoric came after Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said in a television interview last week that Iraqi Kurds would interfere in Turkey's mainly Kurdish cities if Ankara interfered in northern Iraq.

    Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki sought to calm Turkey after Barzani's comments, making clear that Iraq's foreign policy was decided by the government in Baghdad.

    Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders have since been verbally sparring, but Buyukanit's comments marked a sharp escalation.

    "The existence of PKK elements is ... an internal Turkish problem which they have to solve in a political manner not militarily," said Mufti who is also an aide to Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, also a Kurd.

    Ankara is also worried by what it sees as moves by Iraqi Kurds to build an independent state in northern Iraq, fearing this could reignite separatism among its own Kurdish population.

  19. #19
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    Jan 2005

    Turkey 'must have secular leader'

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has pledged to adhere to secular principles if, as expected, he is elected president.
    PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Tuesday that Mr Gul had been named the governing AK party's candidate.

    The decision came after thousands had taken to the streets to urge Mr Erdogan not to stand.

    Secularists fear that a president from the AK - a party with Islamist roots - could undermine Turkey's secular order.

    Mr Gul insisted that "the president must be loyal to secular principles", adding: "If I am elected I will act accordingly".

    Both Mr Erdogan and Mr Gul have wives who wear the Islamic headscarf - a highly divisive issue in Turkey.

    Mr Gul defended the headscarf choice on Tuesday, saying "these are individual preferences and everybody should respect them".

    Parliament will hold the first round of voting on Friday and the AK's majority means its candidate is likely to win.

    Turkey has been a republic since 1923, with a strict separation of religion and the state.

    The AK party has its roots in political Islam.

    But correspondents say that Mr Gul is seen as less confrontational than Mr Erdogan.

    Establishment pressure

    Turkey's chief of staff, Gen Yasar Buyukanit, and outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer have urged the new president to defend Turkey's secular values.

    Speaking to the AK group in parliament, Mr Erdogan said Mr Gul was "the person who emerged at the end of our evaluations as the candidate to become Turkey's 11th president".

    There will be several rounds of voting in the 550-member parliament before the new head of state takes office on 16 May.

    Mr Gul, 56, has steered Turkey's European Union accession talks since becoming foreign minister in 2003.

    He had a brief spell as prime minister after the AK party's election victory in November 2002.

    Educated in England as well as Turkey, he is an English speaker and is regarded as a moderate, the BBC's Pam O'Toole reports.

  20. #20
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    Jan 2005

    Secularists to rally in Istanbul

    Supporters of Turkey's secular system are to hold a rally in Istanbul amid a growing political crisis over the future of the country's presidency.
    Tensions have risen over the ruling Islamist-rooted AK party's nomination of Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    The demonstration follows a threat by the army to defend the secular system, - intervention criticised by the AK.

    Two weeks ago a similar rally in Ankara attracted hundreds of thousands of secular supporters.

    Sunday's "Republican Meeting", planned by dozens of non-governmental organisations, will take place in Caglayan Square in Istanbul.

    'Test case'

    Earlier, Cemil Cicek, spokesman for the AK (Justice and Development) party, responded to an unusual statement by the army vowing to defend the secular system.

    The military, which led coups in the past, said it was concerned by the party's choice of presidential candidate.

    Mr Cicek said any intervention was "inconceivable in a democratic state".

    "The chief of the general staff is answerable to the prime minister," said Mr Cicek, who is also justice minister. TURKISH ARMY INTERVENTIONS
    Coups in 1960, 1971 and 1980
    Forced out first Islamist prime minister in 1997

    The European Union warned the army not to interfere in politics, saying the controversy was a test case for the military to respect democracy.

    The BBC's Sarah Rainsford says the army is sending a signal that it will not accept the candidate of the AK, Mr Gul, as the country's next president.

    The foreign minister narrowly lost in the first round of the presidential election, which was held by parliament, on Friday.

    Mr Cicek told reporters that the government had the "primary duty in protecting the basic tenets of the state".

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has been meeting his cabinet to discuss the situation.

    According to Mr Cicek, the prime minister had a "useful and productive" telephone conversation with army chief Gen Yasar Buyukanit on Saturday afternoon.

    Turkey is an EU candidate but entry negotiations have been partially frozen because of a dispute over Cyprus, and the EU is also concerned that Turkey's commitment to political reform is weakening.

    EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said the row was "a clear test case whether the Turkish armed forces respect democratic secularization and democratic values".

    History of coups

    Our correspondent in Istanbul says the army statement late on Friday night caused a real stir in Turkey.

    Many also believe that it is also a message to the judges in the constitutional court to declare the vote invalid and dissolve parliament, she adds.

    The army has carried out three coups in the last 50 years - in 1960, 1971 and 1980 - and in 1997 it intervened to force Turkey's first Islamist Prime Minister, Necmettin Erbakan, from power.

    The AK is an offshoot of Mr Erbakan's Welfare Party, which was banned in 1998.

    The secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), which boycotted Friday's vote, said it would challenge the election in court because a quorum of MPs had not been obtained - a charge the AK denies.

    A second round of voting is due on Wednesday and the court has said it will try to rule on the appeal before the vote.

  21. #21
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    Jan 2005

    At least 300,000 Turks protest government

    Hundreds of thousands of pro-secular Turks flooded central Istanbul on Sunday to demand the resignation of the government, which they fear is leading Turkey toward Islamic rule.
    The demonstrators, who numbered at least 300,000 according to police and up to 1 million according to local media, took to the streets following a sharp rise in tension between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government and the country's powerful pro-secular military, which accuses the government of tolerating or encouraging the activities of radical Islamic circles.

    "Turkey is secular and will remain secular," shouted thousands of flag-waving protesters, many of whom traveled to Istanbul from across the country overnight.

    The demonstrators sang nationalist songs and demanded the resignation of the government, calling Erdogan a traitor.

    "This government is the enemy of Ataturk," said 63-year-old Ahmet Yurdakul, a retired government employee, invoking the memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who founded the modern republic as a secular nation. "It wants to drag Turkey to the dark ages."

    Many said they saw it as their patriotic duty to join the protest: "They're trying to fool Turkey. In a few years it's going to explode," said Ilteris Mutlu, a 20-year-old student.

    Many also said they came to show that the ruling party, which came to power with around 30% of the vote but holds more than 60% of the seats in parliament, did not have a mandate to do as it pleased.

    "They have to hear us, because we are the majority of the country. We are 70%," said Emine Hacioglu, 35.

    The packed meeting area in the Caglayan district was a sea of Turkey's red-colored star and crescent flag, which was draped on people like capes and fluttered from cars, motorcycles and buildings.

    Police cordoned off the area and conducted body searches at several entry points.

    More than 300,000 took part in a similar rally in Ankara, the capital, two weeks ago.

    This one was organized more than a week ago, but it came a day after Erdogan's government rejected the military's warning about the country's disputed presidential election and called it interference that is unacceptable in a democracy.

    The ruling party's candidate for president, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, failed to win a first-round victory Friday in a parliamentary presidential vote marked by tensions between secularists and the pro-Islamic government. Most opposition legislators boycotted the vote and challenged its validity in the Constitutional Court.

    The military said Friday night that it was gravely concerned and indicated it was willing to become more openly involved in the process a statement some interpreted as an ultimatum to the government to rein in officials who promote Islamic initiatives.

    "The roads to Cankaya (the presidential palace) are closed to imams," the crowd chanted.

    Some said Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc was an enemy of the secular system, because he said the next president should be "pious."

    Most of the protesters were strongly supportive of the army, which said Friday that it remained "the absolute defender of secularism."

    "In a country like Turkey, which is not fully a democracy, the role of the army is a little different," said Haydar Kilic, a 50-year-old civil engineer. "The army here likes democracy, we know that."

    Mehmet Gunes, 39, came with his wife, who wore an Islamic-style headscarf, and his two young children.

    "We support what the army said. It's a warning," he said. "My wife wears a headscarf we're not against that. We came here to stand up for a secular, enlightened Turkey. Our children's future is important."

    In the 1920s, with the Ottoman Empire in ruins, Ataturk set about a series of secular reforms that imposed Western laws, replaced Arabic script with the Latin alphabet, banned Islamic dress and granted women the right to vote.

    The ruling party, however, has supported religious schools and tried to lift the ban on Islamic head scarves in public offices and schools. Secularists are also uncomfortable with the idea of Gul's wife, Hayrunisa, being in the presidential palace because she wears the traditional Muslim head scarf.

    "We don't want a covered woman in Ataturk's presidential palace," said Ayse Bari, a 67-year-old housewife. "We want civilized, modern people there."

    The military, one of the most respected institutions in Turkey, regards itself as the guardian of the secular system and has staged three coups since 1960.

    "Neither Sharia, nor coup but fully democratic Turkey," read a banner carried by a demonstrator on Sunday.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Pardon my French but where the f**k does EU get off thinking they can dictate to the Turkish Army and how do they allow themselves to interfere in their affairs? What business is it of theirs to tell the Turkish Army not to interfere in politics?

    It seems that the collation of the past colonialists cannot help but maintain its idiotic attitude towards developing countries. It is patronizing and the Turkish Army is treating it with the contempt it deserves.

    The Army has made it clear that secularism in Turkey is not up for negotiation. To me EU has been slapped in the face for their interference by demonstrations in Tukey in favour of secularism and against creeping Islamification.

    The conspiracy theorist in me says there is no logical conclusion to EU's attitude other than the fact that the collective wants to keep developing countries and its own non-white populace in its place by keeping it in the dark ages, promoting Islam under the guise of democracy and multiculturalism.

    Islam is a fascist movement and under the guise of democracy it has managed to gain power in countries like Iran and trample on human rights. It is tragic that democracy has become rule of majority instead of protection of human rights and the rights of minorities in particular. This point seems lost on all those who wonder why rapid democratisation sees to fail in developing countries.

    One of the reasons for this failure is that you need people who are willing to make sacrifices and the Turks are lucky to have an Army that is prepared to take action to stop creeping Islamic Fascism. Wonder if EU would have objected to German Army removing the democratically elected Hitler from power?

    As we say in Persian, darigh as yek jo gheirat. While we have to watch the subjugation of women in our country, the Turks are making a stand.

    I leave you with an excerpt from the Turkish Army on reasons for their stand:

    "Developments in our region give numerous examples that playing on religion and manipulating the faith into a political discourse can cause disasters. There are accounts in our country and abroad that a political discourse or an ideology can destroy the faith itself and turn it into something else when it is imposed on faith... Doubtlessly, the sole condition for the Republic of Turkey to live in peace and stability as a contemporary democracy is through defending the basic characteristics of our state which are defined in the Constitution."

  23. #23
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Jan 2005

    A Journey to Defend Turkey's Secular Ideals

    Turkey, May 5 It was dawn Saturday, and a still ascendant full moon shared the sky with a pale light. Young and old, students and retirees -- together, defenders of Turkey's eight decades of resolute secularism -- had already arrived for the trip. There were posters and portraits of the country's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, signs quoting his aphorisms, pins intoning his principles.

    Their messages were the same. "Turkey is secular and will remain secular," one of the placards read.

    Through the morning, hundreds, perhaps thousands, flocked from Istanbul and other Turkish cities to the seaside town of Canakkale, along the Dardanelles, one of a series of demonstrations every week or so to rally the ranks of secularists defending their ideology with the fervor of faith. The journey was part homage, part pilgrimage and part mobilization, as contestants in a mounting struggle over Turkey's identity seek to draw the lines ahead of a July 22 election, one of the country's most important ballots in years.

    Since it was founded in 1923, this republic of 74 million has been the most avowedly secular and modern of Muslim countries. Even today, at least publicly, no party questions those principles decreed by Ataturk in the devastating aftermath of World War I -- neither secularists from across the spectrum nor the religiously rooted Justice and Development Party of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which captured a majority in parliament in 2002.

    Rather, the debate is often propelled by suspicions and fears, talk of hidden religious agendas, complaints of reflexive secular intolerance and questions that boil down to "what if," namely what if Erdogan's party fully controls a state whose institutions -- the military, courts and civil service -- deeply distrust his intentions?

    "It's clear what's about to happen," said Kivilcim Kilicarslan, a 41-year-old theater actress, draped in a red Turkish flag.

    For Kilicarslan, the rally began on the bus as it headed to Canakkale, its windows adorned with six portraits of Ataturk.

    "Long live Ataturk's republic!" she shouted in the aisle.

    Passengers joined her in nationalist songs and anthems from Turkey's founding days. She thrust her fist in the air, and others clapped. An elderly woman looked to the quiet back of the bus and grimaced. "Hey, young people, are you sleeping?" she asked.

    "Turkey woke up," Kilicarslan shouted to them, "and the imam fainted."

    For five hours, the bus passed through the pine forests and rolling hills of Thrace before disgorging its passengers in Eceabat, across the Dardanelles from their destination. They were met by a plethora of hawkers selling resonant paraphernalia: flags with the traditional star and crescent, others emblazoned with Ataturk, and caps offering him fealty: "My father, we are in your footsteps," they read.

    "I'm a daughter of the republic, and the republic is in its worst moment," Kilicarslan said as she walked to the ferry.

    Labels are notoriously fickle in Turkish politics -- a confused array of sometimes indecipherable right and left. Opponents of Erdogan's party often criticize the United States and Europe in the same breath. A streak of fierce nationalism occasionally courses through their remarks: that Erdogan's economic reforms are selling the country to foreign interests, that political reforms -- allowing broadcasting in Kurdish, for instance -- are empowering the country's minorities and undermining the ideology Ataturk insisted on.

    But symbolic gestures -- prayers in public places and proposals to criminalize adultery -- matter. Especially upsetting to Kilicarslan was Erdogan's choice for president, Abdullah Gul, whose candidacy was effectively canceled by Turkey's high court this month. It was less his politics, though those made her suspicious; it was more the idea of his veiled wife becoming the first lady.

    "Maybe it's symbolic, but it frightens me," she said. "We aren't against religion, but if the head scarf goes to the presidential palace, then the Turkish republic is over. Secularism is over." She shook her head. "We don't want to become Saudi Arabia."

    The contest over religion in politics in Turkey has lasted a generation. The government closed down predecessors of Erdogan's party in 1998 and again in 2001. Many trace the rise of those parties to the 1980s, when they contend that Turkey's late president, Turgut Ozal, created a more permissive environment, allowing Muslim foundations and charities to flourish and making possible Islamic access to broadcasting. In particular, he saw in "moderate Islamism" -- a mix of capitalist norms with religious mores and culture -- a way to appeal beyond Turkey's borders, particularly to Central Asian states emerging from the collapse of the Soviet Union.

    "For us, mild Islamists don't exist. It's just a transition to radical Islam," insisted Bedri Baykam, a critic of Ozal's approach and an activist with the Ataturk Thought Association, a group that organized the bus caravan and helped plan the rally.

    "People think the destination of our train is Brussels, Paris or Luxembourg," said Baykam, a 50-year-old painter with hair that rivals Beethoven's, woven with shocks of gray, whose inspirations span Ottoman calligraphy and pop icons like James Dean. "In reality, this train is headed full speed toward Iran and Saudi Arabia. Full speed. At this point, we are fighting for our freedoms."

    At midday, the ferry carried the protesters to Canakkale, across the Dardanelles. Nearby was the ancient city of Troy. So was Gallipoli, where Ataturk helped create his almost mythical status as a war hero by defeating the Allies at a battle during World War I. A story remains famous. When a soldier complained that a lack of supplies and ammunition was preventing the force from fighting, Ataturk is said to have responded: "I am not ordering you to fight. I am ordering you to die." Tens of thousands did.

    "Tayyip," passengers chanted, addressing the prime minister, "look at us. Run away while you have the chance."

    "When you look at Iran, they, too, had a modern lifestyle before -- culture and everything else. Suddenly, it changed," Tugrul Ergin, 27, a student, said aboard the ferry. "If we don't hold on to Ataturk's principles, I think we'll face the same future."

    Ergin and the others joined the rally, already in full swing. The street was awash in Turkish flags; others draped from balconies, as if marking a parade route. Martial songs evoked Ataturk's era and the war that led to Turkey's founding. "I was shot at Canakkale," one went. A minute of silence was marked for the soldiers who died in that war, observed by all but crying children. Handwritten banners addressed Erdogan's ruling party. "Be the same in both words and practice," one warned.

    "We will never accept you who are helping those trying to divide our country," the speaker declared.

    "We are here to shout, 'Enough is enough!' "

  24. #24
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    رأی مجلس ترکيه به انتخاب مستقيم رئيس جمهور

    رئيس جمهور می تواند از امضای اصلاحات قانون اساسی خودداری کند و طرح را به مجلس پس بفرستد
    مجلس ترکيه در شور دوم طرح اصلاح قانون اساسی اين کشور رأی به انتخاب مستقيم رئيس جمهور بر اساس آرای مردم داد.
    از 550 نماينده مجلس ترکيه 371 نفر هنگام رأی گيری بر سر انتخاب مستقيم رئيس جمهور حاضر بودند که تنها يک نفر از آنان رأی مخالف داد.

    اصلاح قانون اساسی ترکيه به ابتکار حزب حاکم عدالت و توسعه صورت می گيرد که 351 کرسی در مجلس دارد.

    برای اصلاح قانون اساسی دو سوم نمايندگان بايد رأی مثبت بدهند و حزب عدالت و توسعه با حمايت يکی از احزاب کوچک توانسته است آرای کافی را در مجلس برای اصلاح قانون اساسی کسب کند.

    حزب عدالت و توسعه در طرح اصلاح قانون اساسی که به مجلس داده، همچنين در نظر دارد طول دوران رياست جمهوری را از هفت سال به پنج سال کاهش دهد، اما رئيس جمهور بر خلاف گذشته امکان انتخاب مجدد خواهد داشت.

    هر مورد از اين اصلاحات به صورت جداگانه در مجلس به رأی گذاشته می شود.

    اصلاحات قانون اساسی پس از تصويب مجلس بايد به امضای رئيس جمهور برسد، رئيس جمهور می تواند از امضای اين اصلاحات خودداری کند و طرح را به مجلس پس بفرستد يا اينکه می تواند اعلام همه پرسی کند و اين اصلاحات را به رأی عمومی بگذارد.

    حزب عدالت و توسعه پس از آن درصدد تغيير قانون اساسی برآمد که نامزد پيشنهادی اش برای رياست جمهوری با وجود کسب آرای کافی مورد اعتراض احزاب مخالف قرار گرفت و اين اعتراضها که به مداخله دادگاه قانون اساسی ترکيه انجاميد سبب شد حزب عدالت و توسعه، انتخابات دور آتی مجلس را چهار ماه جلو بيندازد تا بدين ترتيب انتخاب رئيس جمهور به دور بعدی مجلس موکول شود.

    حزب عدالت و توسعه پس از آن درصدد تغيير قانون اساسی برآمد که نامزد پيشنهادی اش برای رياست جمهوری با وجود کسب آرای کافی مورد اعتراض احزاب مخالف قرار گرفت

    تغيير قانون اساسی به نحوی که حزب عدالت و توسعه بتواند با اتکا به آرای حاميانش از ميان مردم، فرد مورد نظر خود را به رياست جمهوری برساند نيز ابتکار ديگری بود که اين حزب پس از رأی به انتخابات زودرس درپيش گرفت.

    حزب عدالت و توسعه که ريشه های اسلامگرايانه دارد، عبدالله گل، وزيرخارجه ترکيه را برای رياست جمهوری در نظر گرفته اما اينکه فردی اسلامگرا که همسرش بر خلاف رؤسای جمهور قبلی ترکيه حجاب اسلامی را رعايت می کند به کاخ رياست جمهوری ترکيه راه يابد اعتراض احزابی را که بر جدايی دين از سياست به عنوان ميراث آتاتورک، بنيانگذار جمهوری ترکيه پافشاری می کنند برانگيخت و حتی ارتش را نيز به مداخله کشاند.

    احمد نجدت سزر، رئيس جمهور کنونی بارها با حزب عدالت و توسعه دچار اختلاف شده و تحليلگران احتمال می دهند او به نحوی با تغييراتی که اين حزب قصد اعمال آنها را بر قانون اساسی دارد به مخالفت برخيزد.

    تغيير ديگری در قانون اساسی که حزب عدالت و توسعه به تصويب مجلس رسانده، اين است که افرادی که به عنوان نامزد مستقل در انتخابات مجلس شرکت می کنند، نامشان در برگه های انتخاباتی همراه با نامزدهای احزاب درج شود، در حالی که پيشتر، اسامی نامزدهای مستقل بر برگه های جداگانه درج می شود تا برای رأی دهندگان قابل تشخيص باشند.

    تغييری که حزب عدالت و توسعه بر قانون اساسی اعمال کرده، از اين نظر به زيان نامزدهای کرد تمام می شود.

    بنابر قانون اساسی ترکيه، تنها احزابی می توانند به مجلس راه يابند که ده درصد کل آرا را کسب کنند.

    به همين دليل نامزدهای احزاب کرد چون حزبشان معمولاً نمی تواند به حد نصاب ده درصدی آرا برسد معمولاً به عنوان نامزد مستقل در انتخابات شرکت می کنند.

    با توجه به ميزان بالای بيسوادی و کم سوادی ميان کردهای ترکيه، امکان يافتن نام نامزدهای مستقل در ميان انبوه نمايندگان احزاب در برگه های انتخاباتی دشوار می شود و از اين نظر به زيان نامزدهای مستقل کرد تمام می شود.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Rasputin's Avatar
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    Five Dead After Bomb Rocks Turkish Capital of Ankara

    A bomb ripped through a busy shopping district in the Turkish capital of Ankara today, killing five people, including a Pakistani national, and injuring at least 60.

    The blast occurred at a bus stop near the Ulus square in the city center, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters. The explosion was caused by plastic explosives, a police bomb expert said on condition of anonymity.

    The metal structure of the bus stop lay twisted and on its side, while all of the windows of an adjacent six-story building were smashed by the blast, witnesses said. Rescue workers were seen collecting body parts and clothing scattered across the street.

    The Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, and local groups connected with Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda have targeted Turkish civilians with bombs. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, an offshoot of the PKK, last year claimed responsibility for a bomb attack in the resort town of Antalya that killed three people.

    ``I am appealing for unity from the Turkish people in the face of terrorism,'' Erdogan said.

    The explosion occurred two months before Turkey's national elections, where Erdogan will defend his record on combating terror groups such as the PKK, which has fought the Turkish army for two decades at the cost of almost 40,000 lives. More attacks may be expected, Erdogan said.

    Plastic Explosive

    The bomb was probably made from the A-4 type plastic explosive, commonly used by the PKK, the police official said. Seven people have been arrested in connection with the bombing, NTV reported.

    Turkey must investigate which countries and individuals continue to support the PKK, army chief General Yasar Buyukanit told reporters in Ankara. Turkey accuses Europe and the U.S. of failing to tackle the threat posed by the PKK and says it may attack PKK camps in northern Iraq if the U.S. fails to do so.

    Turkish nationals with links to al-Qaeda carried out four suicide attacks in Istanbul three years ago that killed 64 people, including the British Consul General.

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