CONDITION OF PARLIAMENT'S CONSENT ON CLOSURE CASES
The government has completed studies on a mini constitutional package. Accordingly, Venice Criteria condition is brought for party closure cases. The package also foresees the parliament's permission for filing closure cases against political parties. The parliament will elect three members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). The package also pays the way for objecting to decisions of the Supreme Military Council (YAS), except promotion and appointment.
The annexes of the indictment "Ergenekon/Erzincan" have revealed dirty plans. A witness named Osman living in a village in Ilic town of Erzincan, said that ammunition in sacks were brought to the village in 1994 and were distributed to villagers. The witness claimed that "the guns and ammunition were to be used in Alevi-Sunni clash." According to the witness, there were flame throwers, rocket launchers and long-range weapons and hand grenades."
DURAK AND TUNCEL RESIGN
After bribery allegations, Adana Metropolitan Mayor Aytac Durak and municipal assembly member Mustafa Tuncel resigned from their Nationalist Movement Party (MHP). Prosecutors have launched an investigation into Durak. Durak told Tuncel to "make public if he had any documents against him." Tuncel, who has made bribery claims, said, "Durak will definitely go to jail."
10 AIRLINE COMPANIES ASK TURKISH AIRLINES TO BUY THEM
Turkey's national air carrier Turkish Airlines, or THY, continues to grow rapidly despite the ongoing global financial crisis. THY increased the number of both domestic and international destinations in the past year. THY has become a major sponsor of soccer teams such as Barcelona and Manchester United. THY has become a partner of the Airlines of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Interestingly, 10 international companies have asked THY to buy them as early as possible. Among the companies that have filed applications with the THY are Italy's Alitalia, Serbia's JAT and Poland's LOT.
ARMENIAN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS CONCERNED: DIASPORA SHOULD GIVE US BREAD
Around 100,000 Armenians living in the Republic of Turkey as illegal immigrants and with tourist visas are extremely upset at the Armenian diaspora living in the United States as this diaspora tries every year to convince the U.S. Congress to pass a resolution on the incidents of 1915. Armenians living in Turkish provinces illegally have said "enough is enough! The diaspora has always misled us. They should first of all give bread and water to us".
BASBUG SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO SLEDGEHAMMER ALLEGATIONS FROM US
The remarks of Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug saying that the "sledgehammer" was the most serious issue, disturbed Ret. Gen. Cetin Dogan who is under arrest.
Celal Ulgen, the lawyer of Gen. Dogan who was arrested within the scope of the "sledgehammer" probe, said "the sledgehammer" was the weakest allegation.
"Dogan will write a 20-page letter on 'sledgehammer' which is nothing more than a seminar. I wish Gen. Basbug would have listened to us," said Ulgen.
VENICE CRITERIA TO BARTHOLOMEW
Venice Commission adopted an opinion saying that Turkish authorities were under no positive obligation to recognise the "ecumenical" title of the Orthodox Patriarch.
In its opinion the Venice Commission said there were no indicators showing that Turkish authorities prevented Orthodox Patriarch from using the ?ecumenical" title.
AK PARTY PREPARES "SURPRISE" FOR CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a four-hour meeting with senior executives of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in Ankara on Wednesday. Erdogan and AK Party's senior executives debated 10-15 constitutional amendments and topics. The Turkish government will submit the draft package to all Turkish political parties who have received at least 1 percent of votes in the latest elections. AK Party announced that there may be two "surprise" items within the constitutional package.
WE WILL DIE BUT NOT LEAVE TURKEY, ILLEGAL ARMENIANS LIVING IN ISTANBUL
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey may have to deport Armenians living and working illegally in Turkey "if the Armenians do not save themselves from the Armenian diaspora". Erdogan's comments came after the Armenian diaspora (especially those living in the United States) speeded up efforts against Turkey regarding the incidents of 1915. I will deport 100,000 Armenians living as illegal immigrants in Turkey if the Armenians do not distance themselves from the Armenian diaspora, Erdogan underlined. Erdogan's comments caused deep concern and uneasiness among Armenians living illegally in different corners of the Republic of Turkey. Many Armenians living illegally in north-western province of Istanbul's Kumkapi district said that "Mr. Erdogan should not deport us. We are working here and earning our lives and we are extremely happy to be in Turkey. If Mr. Erdogan's government deports us, we will have no option but to commit suicide on Turkish soil".
CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE READY
Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan who got together with his legal advisors to discuss the constitutional amendment package ignored the warnings of jurists and the opposition. The arrangements on the structure of the Supreme Board of Judges (HSYK) and arrangements allowing appeals to HSYK and Supreme Military Council decisions are included in the package, while the structure of the Constitutional Court, lawmakers' immunities, and election of Turkey deputies were left out.
AYTAC DURAK RESIGNS
Adana Mayor Aytac Durak who is accused of misconduct in office, and member of the Adana municipal assembly Mustafa Tuncel who made the accusations resigned from their party. Durak filed a criminal compliant about himself, and inspectors of the Ministry of the Interior launched an investigation.
BAYKAL CRITICISES: "PLAN TO DESTROY STATE"
Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal who criticised the constitutional amendment package said: "The essence of this issue is to eradicate the independence of the judiciary, and destroy the state of law and appoint the judges who will try them and save the Justice and Development (AK) Party from closure."
NO ONE ASSUMES CLEAR STANCE ON "RELOCATION THREAT"
The Republican People's Party (CHP), the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) have not showed a clear reaction on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks, "I will tell 100,000 Armenians to go back to their homeland."
Justice & Development (AK) Party deputy chairmen commented on Erdogan's remarks as a "good will" and "tolerance." Huseyin Celik said, "our prime minister has mentioned the good will and positive steps Turkey has taken regarding this issue." Suat Kiniklioglu said, "the prime minister stressed the tolerance Turkey shows to Armenian citizens who are living in Turkey illegally."
Neither the CHP nor the MHP released a statement regarding these remarks. Only, CHP chairman Deniz Baykal defined Erdogan's remarks as "grave and unfortunate" during a party meeting. Hasip Kaplan was the one in BDP that reacted to remarks.
Also, CHP and MHP parliamentarians have claimed and quoted Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as saying, "it will be perceived as racism" when "relocation threat" was brought up in the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee. Reaction from Yerevan to Erdogan: "It reminds us the year 1915."
PROTOCOL SHOULD BE PASSED, AMBASSADOR SHOULD RETURN
Philip Gordon, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian Affairs, asked the Turkish parliament to adopt protocols signed with Armenia as soon as possible. Gordon said the United States could not guarantee that the resolution on Armenian allegations regarding the incidents of 1915 would not be brought up to the House of Representatives by saying that the "congress was independent." Gordon said Turkey could explain its cause better by sending its ambassador back to the United States.
Hamdi Topcu, chairman of the Turkish Airlines (THY) Executive Board, announced that the company had made 4.065 billion USD of aircraft order since he took office a month ago. Topcu said, "our definite aircraft orders have reached 87, worth 8 billion USD. The aircraft will join our fleet by 2013."
HE WENT TO AN ALEVI VILLAGE, SO WHAT?
State Minister Faruk Celik, who carries out the Alevi initiative of the government, criticized the inclusion of efforts of Third Army commander Gen. Saldiray Berk to help Alevi villages in the indictment "Erzincan".
Celik said, "I do not know what kind of evidence the prosecutor has, but the duty of public officials is to unite citizens. The commander went to Alevi villages and helped them, so what? What's wrong about this? If the commander had made a mistake, the prosecutor should not have repeated it."
Minister Celik said, "if the prosecutor prepared his indictment with a sectarian perspective, it is impossible for us to agree with or consent it. It is a huge mistake for a public official, whether s/he is a commander or governor, to ground her/his relations on discrimination."
"I think it is not right to accuse the government in such a process. Politics should be kept out of this process. The government does not have such a discriminative point of view. We should overcome this."
LAST TOUCH ON CONSTITUTIONAL PACKAGE
Jurists of the Justice & Development (AK) Party, who gathered together under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, are expected to complete the mini constitutional package on Thursday. The AK Party will then launch talks with the opposition regarding the package, comprised of 13 articles.
EU WILL COME TO OUR DOOR ONE DAY
State Minister and European Union (EU) chief negotiator Egemen Bagis spoke to the German "Der Spiegel" magazine. Bagis said, "one day, the Europeans will come and ask Turkish nation to become an EU member. How can the EU solve energy crisis without Turkey's help? The average age is 40 in Europe, and 28 in Turkey. How can you find the labor force? Who will pay your pension?"
GENERALS REFUSE USKUL
6 generals all under arrest within the scope of the probe "Sledgehammer", protested the delegation of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights, chaired by Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Zafer Uskul, who came to visit them in Hasdal military prison, by closing the doors of their cells.
The members of the parliamentary committee who have been able to meet with convicts in all the prisons they visited were met with protest they did not expect in Hasdal. Generals Ihsan Balabanli, Bekir Memis, Aziz Cakmak and Turgay Erdag and admirals Semih Cetin and Ramazan Cem Gurdeniz did not open the doors of their cells.
The generals sent a message to the delegation chaired by Zafer Uskul that they had nothing to share with them. Three colonels who met with the commission who spoke on condition of anonymity told the commission the generals were protesting and they were there to express their personal opinions.
TWO TURKISH AIRLINES JETS EVADE DANGER
A A320 jet of the Turkish Airlines, THY, named Osmaniye which was enroute from Nurnberg to Istanbul was diverted to Sabiha Gokcen Airport on the Anatolian side of Istanbul due to heavy traffic. However as the jet was about the run out of fuel the pilot asked permission to make an emergency landing. As part of the emergency landing procedure a fire car and an ambulance were made ready.
After the incident, another THY jet, this time a A340 named Selcuk en route from Algiers to Istanbul was diverted to Sabiha Gokcen Airport. When the pilot was told by the tower that no parking space was available, he asked for permission to make emergency landing as the jet was about the run out of fuel. THY now has to pay a total of 30,000 USD for the fire car and the ambulance which were made ready for the emergency landings.
TURKISH AIRLINES TO TAKE GIANT STEP
Turkey's national air carrier Turkish Airlines, or THY, has pushed the button to hire new personnel in 2010. Chairperson of the Executive Board of THY, Hamdi Topcu, said that the airline company will hire 1,000 flight attendants and 600 pilots in 2010. Surely, our goal is to carry the THY to "the first league" in the globe.
FIRST TURKISH CELL PHONE IN MARKET
Turkey's first mobile phone was introduced to the Turkish market on Wednesday with a special ceremony attended by Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim in capital Ankara. "Turks spend at least 7 billion USD for mobile phones every year. I call on all Turks to buy mobile phones produced in Turkey," Yildirim said.