PARLIAMENT OVERHAULING BOARD OF JUDGES, PROSECUTORS
Turkish Parliament voted an article of a constitutional bill that changes the make up of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. 336 deputies voted in favor of Article 23 while 72 voted against. The article amends Article 159 of the Turkish Constitution. With the new amendment, the number of HSYK members went up to 22 from a former number of 7. The amendment changed the number of HSYK alternate members from 5 to 12. The parliament also voted an article that would allow for the trial of members of a military junta back in 1980 in Turkey. The article received 336 votes in favor and 72 votes against.
MEAT PRICES FALLING
Meat prices in Turkey fell 3 Turkish liras in just two days after the government said it would allow for the imports of livestock.
THEY DELETED RECORDS TO DESTROY PROOF, UGUR MUMCU'S BROTHER
Commenting on the deleting of the security camera videos related to the attack against the Council of State, Ceyhan Mumcu, brother of the murdered journalist Ugur Mumcu, said that there were similarities between the attack and his brother's assassination. Noting he had never considered the Council of State attack as a religious reaction, Mumcu said, "Men of the time might have changed, but both murders are from the same source. Reactions were similar. Our nation easily believes in such things".
Mumcu also said that those who have deleted the recordings of the Council of State attack desired to destroy the proof about the attack to be waged the following day.
REFORM IN HSYSK PASSED WITH 336 VOTES
In the General Assembly of the Turkish parliament, 336 deputies voted for Article 23 of the constitutional amendment package, which envisages a change in the structure of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and is one of the most critical articles of the package. While 72 deputies voted against the article, 1 vote was empty.
THREE MURDERS IN IZMIR
Three people were murdered in the western province of Izmir by same gun and same method within the last three days. After Esra Yasar and Ayse Selen Ayla, Mustafa Has (also known as "Hazal") was also shot dead by the same killer. Izmir Governor Cahit Kirac said security teams have been working on these murders.
WE SHALL LIVE TOGETHER LIKE BROTHER
Hasmik Manukyan, mother of 22-year-old Arthur who suffers from moyamoya disease, said that she was glad that her son could continue his treatment in Turkey, after they were granted residence permit with direction of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I hope that Turkish and Armenian people will live together like brothers. I hope that one day borders will be opened," Manukyan said.
HE HAS CONCERNS
Honorary President of the Supreme Court of Appeals Sami Selcuk, whose opinion is widely respected by ruling parties, made a call from his column at Star daily that 3 critical articles of the constitutional amendment package should be delayed.
Selcuk called for the freezing of the articles on the closure of political parties, Constitutional Court, and Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).
WE WILL FIGHT LIKE CHURCHILL
Republican People's Party (CHP) chairperson Deniz Baykal compared his party's resistance against 3 critical articles of the constitutional amendment package to British statesman Winston Churchill's struggle with Adolf Hitler.
"Churchill had stated that they would fight with Hitler on the mountains, rivers, seas and valleys, until the end. We will also struggle with the 3 articles in the parliament, in the referendum and in the Constitutional Court," Baykal said.
OPPOSITION LEADER SAYS CONSTITUTION PROJECT HAS COLLAPSED
Leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party Deniz Baykal said a government-backed constitutional reform package had politically collapsed, adding that Turkey's Constitutional Court would overturn the package even if it was adopted. "We will continue to fight against this package at the parliament and at the Constitutional Court as well," Baykal said. Lawmakers voted one of the most debated articles of the package on the make up of the High Board of Judges and Prosecutors. 336 deputies voted in favor of Article 23 of a Constitutional bill while 72 voted against.
FORMER AGRICULTURE MINISTER VOICES OPPOSITION AGAINST MEAT IMPORTS
Former agriculture minister Sami Guclu said importing meat to reduce skyrocketing prices would make no good to livestock farming in Turkey. Guclu said meat imports would cause even bigger problems in the sector.
FIRST ROUND TO END IN PARLIAMENT TODAY
The first round debates on the constitutional amendment bill will end in the parliament on Wednesday. The second phase of debates will start on May 2. Everyone is curious what Justice and Development (AK) Party will do during this break. The party is expected to seek compromise.
GOVERNMENT INSISTS ON MEAT IMPORTS
State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said meat prices in Turkey were well above those in Europe. Babacan said that meat imports would continue until prices in the country dropped to "reasonable levels."
NO POLICE AT TAKSIM SQUARE ON MAY DAY
Istanbul police department has decided not to send any force to the Taksim Square, the long-banned venue for this year's May 1 celebrations, in a bid to avoid tensions. Police teams are instead set to stand guard at check points leading in to the square. "Everything will be free on May Day," Labor Minister Omer Dincer has said. Taksim Square has been shut down to May Day celebrations since 1977 when at least 36 people were killed after unknown gunmen opened fire on the crowds, causing a stampede.
IZMIR POLICE IN HUNT OF SUSPECTED SERIAL KILLER
Police in the western province of Izmir have put together a huge task force of 350 officers to track down a suspected serial killer who reportedly murdered a transvestite on Tuesday after killing two women a day apart this week. The transvestite was shot dead with a single bullet to the head, just like in the previous murders of a university student and a bank clerk.
WORLD TO TALK E7
HSBC's CEO Michael Geoghegan said that a new era would begin in 2010. Delivering a speech at American Chamber of Trade in Hong Kong, Geoghegan said global economy entered a new period and not developed countries, but developing countries including Turkey would shape up this new era. Geoghegan said everyone will talk about E7 countries; China, India, Brazil, Russia, Mexico, Indonesia and Turkey.
NEDIM SENER WINS ABDI IPEKCI AWARD
Milliyet correspondent Nedim Sener won Abdi Ipekci Journalism Award with his bold news reports about Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink. Selahattin Sonmez from Hurriyet won the award in the photograph category.
FROM AMNESTY TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT
A terrorist escaped from the terrorist organization PKK and was sentenced to 6 months of imprisonment following a repentance reduction. While the terrorist was waiting for his release, it was determined that he was one of the assailants who had killed 19 Turkish soldiers in 1998. Terrorist Metin Danisan was waiting to be released from prison in 2012. His participation in the 1998 attack was revealed thanks to the confession of a PKK terrorist.
NEW STRUCTURE TO HSYK
The article changing the structure of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) was passed by the parliament with 336 votes.
The General Assembly of the Turkish parliament debated Article 23, one of the most controversial articles of the constitutional amendment package that envisages an amendment to Article 159 of the constitution. 336 deputies voted for the article, while 72 voted against it.