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Turkish press scan for May 22

HDN | 5/22/2011 12:00:00 AM |

These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on May 22, 2011. The Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review does not vouch for their accuracy.

From Anatolia News Agency:

Hürriyet

-- Tape madness

Turkey is facing such a tape scandal for the first time in its history. After new footage was released on a website on Saturday, six executives of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) resigned. The website, which earlier released footage and caused Recai Yıldırım, Metin Çobanoğlu, Bülent Didinmez and İhsan Barutçu to resign, released more footage on Saturday about Mehmet Ekici. After that, Ekici, Cihan Paçacı, Deniz Bölükbaşı, Ümit Şafak, Osman Çakır and Mehmet Taytak also resigned.

-- Erdoğan says they prevented trade freedom

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech in the southeastern province of Hakkari for the election campaign of his Justice and Development (AK) Party. Addressing the people in Hakkari, Erdoğan said that many work places and shops were closed in the province. "They forced people in Hakkari to close their business places. They prevented trade freedom in the province," he said.

Milliyet

-- It goes as what blackmailer said

Dirty hands blackmailed MHP leader Devlet Bahçeli and wanted him to discharge six of his deputies. When they could not get what they wanted, they hit below the belt. One more sex tape has been released on the Internet, six deputy chairmen – Mehmet Ekici, Cihan Paçacı, Deniz Bölükbaşı, Osman Çakır, Ümit Şafak and Mehmet Taytak – resigned.

The latest video footage of hidden camera was posted on the internet at 6 a.m. Party members informed Bahçeli about the images at 7. Bahçeli had earlier said, "They can release anything they have." But he spoke by phone with his aides and accepted their resignation.

-- Bets signal Ceylan

Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film "Once Upon a Time in Anatolia" is the closest to Palma d'Or (Golden Palm) in Cannes Film Festival. According to the betting list of British daily Independent, Ceylan's film ranks first with a rate of 4/5, "The Artist" is second with 4/11.

Sabah

-- Collapse in MHP

The sex tape scandal brought new resignations in the opposition MHP. An Internet site released video footage of Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ekici and said, "We will not release any other images if others resign." So, six deputy chairmen, Mehmet Ekici, Cihan Paçacı, Deniz Bölükbaşı, Osman Çakır, Ümit Şafak and Mehmet Taytak resigned. After the resignation, there were only seven members left in the MHP's 16-seat executive board.

-- Probe into chopper crash

The Police Department has launched a probe into a helicopter crash in Istanbul Strait. Police sources said pilot of the chopper did not comply with flight criteria.

Vatan

-- Kılıçdaroğlu: "we never hold grudges against anyone"

The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu called for peace in his address to the people in Hacıbektaş. "We never hold a grudge against anyone. We also love those who don't love us and talk against us. Kılıçdaroğlu also addressed the people in Çorum province and said Premier Recep Tayyip Erdoğan started his confessions.

-- Erdoğan asks for support of people in Hakkari

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addressed the people in the southeastern province of Hakkari and said that he was asking for support of the people in Hakkari for more democratic and free Turkey. "I have dreams for Hakkari and I want these dreams to come true," Erdoğan said.

Cumhuriyet

-- Is it Devlet Bahçeli a target?

The opposition MHP's A Team, the executive board, has been dissolved after a new video footage released by Internet site "farkli ülkücülük" (different idealism). Deputy Chairman Mehmet Ekici, whose images were seen on the Internet site, resigned. Five other senior party executives Osman Çakır, Ümit Şafak, Mehmet Taytak, Cihan Paçacı and Deniz Bölükbaşı resigned also.

-- ‘You cannot break away from the West’

James Holmes, the head of the American-Turkish Council, said they understood very well Turkey's desire to expand its vision and relations, however, he said, "these relations could serve Turkey's interests but it might not that much serve the alliance in which Turkey is placed."

On Turkey's efforts to raise its influence and mediate in the Middle East, Holmes said Turkey should have the ability to establish dialogue not only with Damascus, Palestine and Hamas, but also with Tel Aviv.

-- Champions to be clear today

The 53rd champions of Turkish first division football league, the Super Toto Super League, will be clear this evening. Fenerbahçe are leaders in the standings and will face Sivasspor in their last game at 8 p.m. If they win, they will be the new champions. Trabzonspor are second with the same points with Fenerbahçe. They will wait for Fenerbahçe to lose points in Sivas.

Radikal

-- Sex, politics and tapes

"Tape politics" won again with 20 days left to the general elections. After Video footage about Mehmet Ekici was released on the Internet on Saturday, six executives of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) including Ekici, Cihan Paçacı and Deniz Bölükbaşı, resigned from the party. MHP chairman Devlet Bahçeli accused the ruling party of this scandal. Bahçeli said, "I understand that there is no state, but the nation."

-- Gül: "dialogue is still possible in Syria"

Turkish President Abdullah Gül extended support to U.S. President Barack Obama's messages on the Middle East and said that despite bloodshed, parties in Syria could sit at the negotiation table. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Gül said Syria was different from Libya and that there was still a chance for dialogue.

Türkiye

-- 1 tape, 6 resignations

Second shock hit opposition MHP. Blackmailing tapes, which earlier caused resignations of four deputy chairmen, now hit six senior figures of the party. Mehmet Ekici, Cihan Paçacı, Deniz Bölükbaşı, Osman Çakır, Ümit Şafak and Mehmet Taytak resigned from their posts.

-- Name of the new threat: people's initiative

They threatened people in order to prevent them from participating in Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's election rally in eastern provinces of Van and Hakkari. Terrorist organization PKK is now using these gangs to do what deep powers did in the past. People in the region are aware that "people's initiative" is in fact the PKK itself.

Zaman

-- Tape scandal in MHP

The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was shaken by another tape scandal on Saturday. Earlier four people resigned from MHP because of footage released on a website and yesterday six others resigned MHP after another footage was released.

-- Gül: "Economic assistance should be extended to those choosing democracy"

President Abdullah Gül assessed U.S. President Barack Obama's plan for the Middle East in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. Gül said that economic assistance to be extended by the United States to Egypt and Tunisia should also be extended to other regimes which chose democracy. Regional countries could also contribute to a fund to be formed, he said. Gül said Israel was right to put its security first—but that to do that effectively, it needed to understand the meaning of the democratic uprisings in the Arab world, namely that new elected governments would no longer be allowed by their voters to tolerate "humiliating" Israeli policies. "Israel shouldn't focus on tactical issues. They have to look at the strategic side," President Gül said. "They have to get rid of this fear."

Yeni Şafak

-- BDP feeds PKK

In his public address in the southeastern province of Hakkari, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) for implementing "politics of threat." BDP was feeding the terrorist organization PKK, he said. "If there is terrorism, then there is a  vote for the BDP," Erdoğan said.

-- Turkish chairperson to IEF

Mehmet Öğütçu was nominated as a candidate for the post of secretary general of the International Energy Forum (IEF).

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