September 2009

Saudi Arabia: nterfaith initiative to promote peace

Abdullah Al-Turki, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL), has highlighted the significance of the interfaith dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, and said it would contribute to strengthening world peace and stability.

Source: Arab News (Saudi Arabia), September 24, 2009

Date Posted: September 25, 2009
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PM urges opposition to join in National Unity project

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called on opposition leaders to support a national unity project, also known as the democratization initiative, with the ultimate aim of reaching a comprehensive resolution to the decades-old so-called Kurdish question or southeastern Anatolia issue through expanding the democratic rights and freedoms of citizens of Kurdish origin. "We want a consensus to be established; those who back the democratic initiative will definitely be welcomed," Erdogan told a press conference before leaving for the US to attend the UN General Assembly.

He said an invitation would be extended to main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal to meet with government officials to discuss the initiative. Calling opposition support for the initiative critical, he said the government wants to exchange views with all sides backing the initiative to give it its final shape before bringing it to Parliament. "Our wish is for all sectors of society to take a risk for a resolution; thus, we want broad participation in the process to find a solution," he said. "We don't want the initiative to be seen as a project of the (ruling Justice and Development) AK Party government. Instead, it is a project of the Republic of Turkey, and all state institutions are in consensus on it. Our hope is that it will be realized through consensus."

Source: Today's Zaman-Sabah (Turkey), September 23, 2009

Date Posted: September 24, 2009
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Turkey will stage a play partly in Kurdish for the first time ever

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is opening all its theaters to Kurdish performances for the upcoming arts season.

As part of the multicultural endeavor, a state theater in Turkey will stage a play partly in Kurdish for the first time ever, the Anatolia news agency reported. The move is considered to be part of the government's democratization initiative, a plan yet to be delineated that is hoped will solve the decades-old Kurdish issue in Turkey. The play, called "Living Death" and about honor killings, will be performed on Oct. 1 in Diyarbakır.

Source: Today's Zaman (Turkey), September 23, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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The moderator of the Alevi Workshops: “The Alevis are equal citizens of this society but they have concerns regarding their equality”

The moderator of the Alevi workshops, Necdet Subasi, evaluated the workshops and said that when the main reason for organizing the workshops in the first place was to be recognized by the state. He stated that the Alevis were equal citizens of this society but they had concerns regarding their equality.

Subasi said that they wanted to improve their conditions and wanted to have the same social rights as the other citizens. He emphasized that their demands were not taken seriously by the state. Subasi also added that they were worried about their present position and the future because they could not preserve their traditions and they could not transfer the tradition to the new generations which lead to the fact that the beliefs and rituals of the group were disappearing.

The three of seven workshops which are organized for the “Alevi initiative” were convened and the next workshop will be end of the month. Subasi said that they would invite the media and politicians who were involved in the Alevi issue in the past to the next work shop.

Source: ntvmsnbc (Turkey), September 22, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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The visas between Turkey and Syria abolished during the holiday for the first time

The Syrian and Turkish families who wanted to spend the holiday with their relatives on different sides of the border started passing it in early hours of the morning. This year the visas between the countries were abolished for the first time. The Turkish officials stated that abolishing the visas would improve the relations between Turkey and Syria.

Source: Cumhuriyet (Turkey), September 22, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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The European Human Rights Court Charges Turkey for Expelling two Iranian refugees

The European Human Rights Court ruled that if the two Iranian refugees who opposed the Iranian regime and took refuge in Turkey on their way to Canada were expelled, it would be a violation of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Turkey wanted to expel the refugees who entered the country in 2008 but the court had demanded them to wait until the decision. The court had decided that the Turkish stated would pay 40 thousand Euros to the refugees.

Source: ntvmsnbc (Turkey), September 22, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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Turkish President Gul and Prime Minister’s Assistant Arinc travel to Saudi Arabia

Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his wife and the Prime Minister’s Assistant Bulent Arinc travelled to Saudi Arabia as the guests of the Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Suud. They will attend the opening ceremony of the Science and Technology University. Gul is expected to meet with the Saudi king.

Source: habervaktim (Turkey), September 22, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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Chief of General Staff: “The only way out for the separatist terrorist organization is to lay down its arms”

Turkish Chief of General Staff Ilker Basbug visited the gendarme station in the southeastern city of Mardin for the holiday with a group of journalists and evaluated the important events in Turkey’s agenda. Basbug said that as long as there were terrorists in the region, it was the duty of the security forces to fight them. Basbug emphasized that the only legitimate use of force belonged to the state.

Basbug stated that the terrorist organization had tricked more than three thousand people and had caused their deaths. He said that the Turkish Armed Forces had always acted with a mentality whose focus was the people when fighting terrorism. He said that the only way out for the separatist terrorist organization was to lay down its arms because they could reach nowhere with arms and blood.

Basbug said that protecting the country and the national unity had some prices and for the soldiers honor and duty were above anything else. Basbug also stated that Turkish was the official language and it was the common language of everyone. He also emphasized that the Turkish army was a national army which meant that the army was supported by the Turkish nation.

Source: ntvmsnbc, cumhuriyet, Yeni Safak, hurriyet (Turkey), September 21, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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Prime Minister Erdogan: “The motion for cross-border operations [to Iraq] will be extended”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan answered the questions of the Turkish journalists just before he was getting ready to take off for the G-20 meeting in the United Stated States. Erdogan said that the news on not extending the motion for the cross-border operations to Iraq were not correct. He said that the cabinet meeting after the U.S visit would make the necessary preparations to send the motion to the parliament.

Erdogan said that he would discuss the democratic initiative intending to solve the Kurdish problem during his visit to the United States.

Source: ntvmsnbc (Turkey), September 21, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: “No one can call AK Party Separatist”

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan evaluated the Kurdish initiative in his latest speech for the holiday. Erdogan criticized the opposition and said that those who call themselves the opposition, oppose the Kurdish initiative but they refuse to meet with the AKP representatives to discuss the contents of the initiative. He stated that noone could call the AK Party separatist and those who say that AKP was dividing Turkey are the ones who were separatists.

Erdogan said that resolving the Kurdish issue was in their agenda when they founded the party and it was not the only issue. He stated that they would also tackle other issues such as the minority problem, the Alevi problem and unemployment. Erdogan said that they also visited and cooperated with other political parties, non-governmental organizations, academicians and experts to resolve the problems.

Erdogan expressed that they never addressed illegal organizations and illegal people in their initiatives but only the nation because their party was founded by the nation. He emphasized that they walked with the nation and it was the nation who drew path they were following.

Source: ntvmsnbc, Yeni Safak (Turkey), September 20, 2009

Date Posted: September 23, 2009
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