November 2009

Istanbul nuclear center could store Iranian uranium

As debate and diplomatic negotiations over the prospect of Turkey storing Iranian uranium continues, the most likely storage site in Istanbul has been identified. The Cekmece Nuclear Research and Training Center (CNAEM), affiliated with the Turkish Atomic Agency (TAEK), has been designated as the storage site if Iran agrees to the proposal. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said in a statement on Sunday that Turkey has proposed a new formula for overcoming the problem, but offered no details. Testifying on the budget yesterday, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz said, "Although there's nothing on paper yet, CNAEM has the qualifications for the job. There's no risk or danger in this."

Source: Hurriyet Daily News (Turkey), November 18, 2009

Date Posted: November 21, 2009
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Ahmadinejad hails Turkey's constructive role in talks on Iran's nuclear program

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad yesterday praised Turkey's "sincere and constructive" role in talks over Iran's nuclear program. Speaking to journalists at the annual meeting of the Organization of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) in Tehran, Ahmadinejad said that nuclear energy is the Iranian people's indispensable right. He said this is not open to negotiation and that they would only talk with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) about the issue. He said that Iran is ready for constructive, positive cooperation on nuclear energy with the West.

On Turkey's role in the talks on his country's nuclear program, Ahmadinejad said, "As a friend and brotherly country, Turkey is working to play a constructive and sincere role. We favor sincere and friendly cooperation with everyone." Outgoing IAEA head Mohammad ElBaradei recently proposed Turkey as a storage country for Iran's uranium. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said Turkey is ready to do this, and talks are taking place with Iranian officials about the matter.

Source: Sabah (Turkey), November 17, 2009

Date Posted: November 21, 2009
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Turkey offers help overcoming Iranian uranium standoff

In a bid to resolve the standoff between Iran and world powers over low-enriched uranium (LEU), Turkey is prepared to offer escrow service, storing LEU in its own territory under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), a top Turkish diplomat said over the weekend. "We have a lot of political capital in Tehran, and in the past we helped defuse tension between Iran and world powers," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters en route to Spain to meet with his Spanish counterpart, Miguel Angel Morations. He signaled that Turkey is willing to take up the IAEA suggestion that Iran send its LEU to Turkey, a friendly third country.

Telling how Turkey convinced Iran to send a delegation headed by Iran's Supreme National Security Council Secretary Saeed Jalili to meet with European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana, who presided as moderator of the 5+1 group (the UN Security Council's five permanent members and Germany) delegation on Oct. 1, Davutoglu said the dialogue process had reached this point thanks to Turkish efforts and that talks should continue. He stated that last week he had telephone conversations with both IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei and Iranian officials to confirm Turkey's willingness to act as a mediator on the issue in a major drive to prevent the disagreement from escalating into a full-blown crisis and help allay concerns on both sides. Davutoglu reiterated Turkey's policy regarding the nuclear arms issue, saying Ankara is, and has been, against all nuclear weapons, especially in the Middle East.

"No matter who possesses these deadly weapons, we are against it," he said, adding that every country has a right to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, such as meeting legitimate energy needs. Davutoglu stressed that Turkey prefers negotiations to resolve outstanding issues between Iran and Western powers, saying that military means fall short of accomplishing goals and just complicate matters. "Let's give talks a chance and stick to negotiations," he added.

Source: Today's Zaman (Turkey), November 16, 2009

Date Posted: November 21, 2009
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Minister of Culture: “The Alevis in Turkey were oppressed, ostracized and vilified”

Turkish Minister of Culture, Ertugrul Gunay, attended the ceremony organized for the 800th anniversary of Haci Bektas Veli. Gunay said that the world was changing fast and in the USA a person from the group of people who were denied to ride in the buses and eat in the restaurants 40 years ago, was now the president. Gunay said that Turkey could not grasp such changes.

Gunay said that there was a problem of citizenship in the country. He emphasized that the Alevis in Turkey were oppressed, ostracized and vilified and the existence of the Kurds was denied. He said that these taboos and discrimination ended in the world and it was now time to unite the Turkish people under equal citizenship and law.

Source: ntvmsnbc (Turkey), November 14, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Head of Republican CHP: “The stated has started a process of separatism”

The head of Republican CHP, Deniz Baykal, criticized the democratic initiative of the government and said that for the first time in the history of the Republic, the state has started a process of separatism. Baykal stated that the state should be occupied with the people and the individual not with ethnic identity or the religious community.

Baykal said that belonging to PKK was no longer a crime and this was the result of an AKP-PKK-DTP cooperation. He stated that what the PKK could not achieve in 25 years with armed struggle was given to them with the cooperation of the ruling party now.

Source: Cumhuriyet (Turkey), November 15, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Head of Saadet (Felicity) Party: “If you have an opinion, say it, if not, do not waste the time of the nation”

The head of Islamic Saadet (Felicity) Party, Numan Kurtulmus, evaluated the recent developments on Turkey’s agenda in his latest speech. Referring to the recent conflict between the parties during the discussion of the Kurdish initiative at the parliament, Kurtulmus said that the latest discussion has turned into a “non-dialogue” and insult and rude sentences determined the style of the discussion. He stated that the members of the government did not know what to discuss and all they knew was dividing the nation by division, discrimination and trying to gain a few more votes.

Kurtulmus said that while the resolution of the Kurdish problem demanded dialogue, rationality and good intentions between the ruling party and the parliament, the ruling party’s way of discussing did not lead to this. He demanded from the government to talk if they had an opinion and if not, then they should not waste the time of the nation.

Kurtulmus also referred to the alleged military document delineation plans to topple the ruling party and emphasized that Turkey needed an army that protected the nation but who did not intrude in internal politics. Kurtulumus denounced China for the execution of Uyghurs last week and said that they were concerned about the increasing oppression in China.

Source: Milli Gazete (Turkey), November 15, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Supreme Court of Appeals Start investigation against AKP

The Supreme Court of Appeals prosecutor’s office started an investigation against the ruling AKP for “acting against the principle of state of law” in the latest wiretapping incidents. The courts decisions and other folders for wiretapping of judges and lawyers by the Ministry of Justice Committee of Inspection are under investigation.

Honorary Supreme Court of Appeals prosecutor, Sabih Kanadoglu, said that no political party had the right to destroy the law of state. Kanadoglu said that if it was according to law, everyone could be wiretapped but all those making an investigation without a permit were breaking the law. He emphasized that such a situation signaled a police state and a fascist regime.

Source: ntvmsnbc (Turkey), November 15, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Former Turkish President Demirel: “Even during the military administration we did not live such things”

Former Turkish President Suleyman Demirel commented on the recent wiretapping news. Demirel said that fear rule in the country and even during the periods of military administration such fear did not exist. He stated that the citizens and the visitors asked him if they were being wiretapped.

Demirel stated that politics was not only composed of the ruling party and if the ruling party thought in such a manner then it had to silence the other institutions in the country. He emphasized that if there were no free press, no free occupational institutions or no free universities in a country, it was not right to expect everything from the political opposition.

Demirel said that it was not possible for everyone in a country to be the enemy of the state and it was not possible for the Supreme Courts of Appeal to be an enemy and asked how could the institutions of state could be the enemies of the regime. He emphasized that to wiretap people that one did not like was oppression.

Source: ntvmsnbc, Cumhuriyet (Turkey), November 15, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Head of Turkey Party: “The press is under the coercion of the government”

Former state minister and deputy prime minister Abdullatif Sener, who left the ruling AKP a while ago and formed a new political party, the "Turkey Party", criticized the government in his latest speech. Sener said that although he made statements that should be on the news, they were not printed in the national press. He stated that their voices were silenced.

Sener said that there was no freedom of press in Turkey and the press was under the coercion of the government. He stated that the press did not print things that were not wanted by the government and the Prime Minister.

Source: habervaktim (Turkey), November 15, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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Gul comments on Israel criticism: “Friends talk tough”

Gul emphasized that Turkey could criticize even its allies with the colloquial saying “Friends talk tough,” implicitly referring to Israel. The government launched criticism at its regional ally Israel over the Gaza war, with the prime minister accusing the Israeli president at a world forum of knowing how to kill civilians.

The tension escalated when Turkey excluded Israel from an international military exercise for political reasons and allowed a TV series to air that was criticized by Israel for disseminating anti-Semitic feelings. Gül said Turkey was acting as a friend who talks tough “but while doing this we place importance on not harming bilateral relations.”

Source: hurriyetdailynews (Turkey), November 4, 2009

Date Posted: November 17, 2009
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