Turkish Press Scan for Oct. 20
HDN | 10/20/2010 12:00:00 AM |
These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in Turkish press on October 20, 2010. The Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review does not vouch for their accuracy.
From Hürriyet Daily News:
-- Intimacy inappropriate at care home
An 84-year-old man was expelled from a care home in the southern coastal province of Adana for allegedly having had sexual relations with a female at the home, daily Sabah reported Wednesday.
The incident occurred in August when Süleyman Kara, one of the inhabitants of the care home met P.R., a long-time resident of the care home, at his room. Care home staff became suspicious and informed İsa U, deputy chair of the care home, about the situation. In order to investigate the suspected activity, which was against the rules of the care home, the deputy chair managed to get into Kara’s room by the balcony and take a photo of the couple in an “inappropriate position.”
Kara, who was expelled from the care home following the events, moved into a house rented by his children, alone, even though he is blind. He said he and P.R. had only kissed and the deputy chair’s accusations were not true.
Although Kara sent a letter to the Parliament complaining that his expulsion had been carried out without due process, he said he had received no reply until now. Accepting the fact there had been intimacy between he and P.R., Kara said they had never had a sexual relationship. “I wish we could have had such a relationship,” he said.
The deputy chair of the care home was found guilty of misconduct by the Social Services Institute and fined, and later transferred. Kara however has not been accepted back into the care home.
-- Six drugs to be forbidden in Turkey
The Health Ministry convened a risk assessment committee in an emergency meeting to discuss illegal drugs, daily Zaman reported Wednesday. The committee, which usually gathers every six months, has launched a project to fight drugs which are not as prominent as heroin, marijuana and cocaine, but as equally damaging. According to reports, Turkey has now put the drug issue on the table by discussing whether people attempting to import a drug called ‘khat’ should be detained at Istanbul Atatürk airport. Some drug dealers have taken advantage of legal gaps in Turkey and have been selling some drugs in “natural” form. Even though these products were deemed illegal by the General Directorate of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals, the police are not authorized to seize the drugs or detain dealers because of legal procedures. Under current considerations, such drugs will be categorized under law 2313. Even though it usually takes 18 months to categorize an illegal drug because of bureaucratic procedures, JWH-018, a drug four times as potent as marijuana, JWH-073 and JWH-019 which includes same materials as JWH-018 will be sent to the General Directorate of Drugs and Pharmaceuticals for analysis, following which they will be listed in the Official Gazette as illegal drugs.
-- Family suspicious of dock inspector’s ‘accident’
The family of a dock inspector who participated in a raid on Savarona, the yacht owned by Turkey’s founding leader Atatürk, has announced that they suspicious about the traffic accident in which the inspector died, daily Habertürk reported Wednesday.
Behlül Yaşar Karaca, a civil service inspector working at Göcek Port who participated in a controversial Sept. 28 Savarona raid, died in a motorcycle accident six days later which the family thinks suspicious. When Karaca was traveling to Fethiye’s Ortaca district he reportedly crashed his motorcycle and died on Oct. 4 around 2.00 a.m. However, even though his neck was broken and he had received head wounds and cuts and bruises to his body, the motorcycle was not even scratched. A witness told the police he saw Karaca, under the influence of alcohol, arguing with three people about an unknown subject prior to the accident. An inspection of Karaca’s body showed he was not drunk on the night of his death but he was buried without receiving an actual autopsy. The Karaca family became suspicious when Behlül’s clothes were not handed over to them and demanded his body be exhumed for further investigation. The family also demanded his cell phone records be examined.
-- İzmir receives most rain in 80 years
The Aegean province of İzmir experienced 80-year record rainfall on Tuesday, when the city received the most rainfall in one day since it was soaked by 280 millimeters of precipitation in 1930, daily Vatan reported Wednesday. İzmir residents weathered 186 millimeters of precipitation on Tuesday, leaving many businesses and houses flooded overnight. The city center was submerged and heavy rain battered the Karşıyaka Bayraklı, Balçova, Güzelbahçe and Narlıdere districts. Despite anti-flooding measures taken by officials, residents were unable to leave their houses. The İzmir Fire Department fielded more then 200 calls during the night when potholes in the roads obstructed the traffic. İzmir Governor Cahit Kıraç said the most rain fell in the Seferihisar and Çeşme districts. “We have not experienced any potentially life-threatening problems,” he said. The Governor’s Office’s crisis center has been working nonstop. The Provincial Meteorology Directorate has announced that the rain, which waned during the noon hours on Tuesday, will continue both Wednesday and Thursday.
From Anatolia News Agency:
-- GÜL'S WIFE ATTENDS FORMAL WELCOMING CEREMONY
Turkish President Abdullah Gül's wife Hayrünnisa Gül attended a formal welcoming ceremony on Tuesday for the first time at the Çankaya Presidential Palace. President Gül and his wife welcomed German President Christian Wulff and his wife Bettina at the Presidential Palace. Hayrünnisa Gül participated in the formal ceremony from the beginning to the end for the first time. In the past, President Gül welcomed guests by himself at the Presidential Palace. Hayrünnisa Gül used to only attend welcoming ceremony photo sessions.
-- EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REJECTS DIRECT TRADE REGULATION WITH TRNC
The European Parliament decided to cancel a direct trade regulation to be implemented between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the EU. The parliament said the regulation did not have any legal grounds. TRNC President Derviş Eroğlu reacted negatively to the decision. "A confidence crisis appeared between Turkish Cypriots and the EU." The European Parliament's Commission on Legal Affairs decided that trade with the TRNC would be possible with approval by the Greek Cypriot administration.
-- ERDOĞAN PROPOSES TO STOP MILITARY FLIGHTS OVER AEGEAN
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has extended a proposal to Greece to stop military flights over the Aegean. "We want that no military flights are done over the Aegean islands. And we need to make sure that the public opinion in the two countries does not see the issue as a military one," Erdoğan told a televised interview on Greek channel SKAI TV. Erdoğan said ending the military flights would also cut down military expenses. The cost of the "dog fights" over the Aegean for Greece was estimated last year at 25 million euros.
-- TIME OF MILITARY SERVICE TO BE CHANGED
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Işık Koşaner are set to meet on Thursday to discuss plans to change the length of compulsory military service. Koşaner's proposal would reportedly increase the duration of military service from six months to eight for university graduates while reducing it from 15 months to 12 for non-university graduates.
-- THREE THOUSAND TROOPS CHASING PKK TERRORISTS ON MOUNT CILO
Turkish security forces launched an extensive operation after receiving intelligence that a large group of PKK terrorists was spotted on Mount Cilo in Hakkari province. Nearly three thousand troops were deployed to the area, including specially-trained commandos. The operation is expected to last a few days.
-- LETS BE PARTNERS IN THE AEGEAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered four messages to Greece on Greek Sky TV before the Mediterranean Climate Change Conference set to take place in Athens on October 22: 1) NATO shall control flights over the Aegean Sea; 2) We shall mutually inform each other about the routes of warships; 3) We shall solve the continental shelf issue and reduce armaments; 4) We shall jointly explore oil and natural gas in the Aegean.
-- PLEA FOR DEFENSE IN KURDISH REJECTED
The court rejected the plea of detainees in the KCK case to defend themselves in Kurdish. The president of the court said the defendants knew Turkish and gave their statements to the prosecutor in Turkish. "With an interpreter the trial will be prolonged," said the court president. The court heard the 7500 page indictment read aloud. Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, who is being tried without arrest, also attended the hearing.
-- SHE WALKS THE RED CARPET
Turkish President Abdullah Gül changed three-year-old Çankaya Presidential Palace protocols by welcoming guests at a formal ceremony with his wife Hayrunnisa Gül. In the past, Hayrünnisa Gül only attended photo sessions at formal ceremonies. President Gül cancelled this protocol yesterday when he and his spouse welcomed German President Christian Wulff and his wife at the Çankaya Presidential Palace. Hayrünnisa Gül also walked on the red carpet.
-- 3M DENOUNCES ITS EXECUTIVES IN TURKEY FOR BRIBERY
3M, one of the most important companies in the United States, denounced its Turkey office executives for winning public tenders by bribery. The company launched an internal probe. 3M, which has a $500 million turnover in Turkey questioned its executives in Istanbul.
-- "DON'T BLAME THE TURKS," GÜL
Speaking at a joint press conference with his German Counterpart Christian Wulff, President Abdullah Gül urged German authorities not to put the blame on immigrant workers in the integration issue. Gül said some Turkish workers had migrated to Germany without even having seen a single city in Turkey, noting that this could be one of the reasons for their delayed integration.
-- DEFENDANTS REQUEST FOR DEFENSE IN KURDISH TURNED DOWN IN KCK CASE
A controversy over Kurdish took place at the courthouse hearing the KCK case where mayors from the Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, are part of group on trial for activities in connection with the PKK. The court argued that providing an interpreter would prolong the trial. In protest the defendants answered questions asked of them by saying "yes" and "no" in Kurdish.
In response to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan who argued votes the BDP received were shady, BDP Leader Selahattin Demirtaş said: "If 2.5 million citizens are casting votes under threat then your mandate as prime minister is over. Don't occupy that office, for even one more second. Resign!" Demirtaş also criticized the court for not allowing the defendants to speak Kurdish.
-- TURKISH FIRST LADY MAKES FIRST APPEARANCE ON RED CARPET IN STATE CEREMONY
Turkey's First Lady Hayrünnisa Gül walked on the red carpet for the first time in a formal military ceremony at the Presidential Residence since President Abdullah Gül’s assumption of the post three years ago. The Gül couple on Tuesday welcomed German President Christian Wullf and his wife, Bettina.
-- GOVERNMENT PLANS TO SELL TWO BRIDGES, HIGHWAYS
The Turkish government finalized plans to sell two Bosphorous bridges and a 2,000-kilometer highway. The sale will be entail 25 years of operation rights.
-- BAD NEWS FOR TURKS: FACEBOOK MAY SHUT DOWN
Turkey is the fourth largest Facebook user, with over 12 million members on the social networking site. But the site might be banned in no time having received 4100 official complaints and requests that it be shut down.
-- TURKISH PRIME MINSTER SAYS WILL SKIP CLIMATE MEETING IF ISRAELI COUNTERPART SHOWS UP
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said he would not participate in a Mediterranean summit meeting in Athens on climate change if Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will make an appearance at the event. "I do not come together with a prime minister who says he is proud of the armed attack on the aid flotilla," Erdoğan said in a Greek television interview. Erdoğan was referring to Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid convoy that killed eight Turks and a U.S. citizen of Turkish descent. "We have learned that he will not come to the summit. I'll go if he is a no show," Erdoğan said.
-- TURKEY PEACE AMBASSADOR, GERMAN PRESIDENT SAYS
Visiting German President Christian Wulff praised foreign policy Turkey has been pursuing recently, saying Turkey has exerted sincere efforts for world peace. "Turkey plays an important part for peace in the world by its growing mediation role," Wulff told Turkish lawmakers in the Parliament.
-- TURKEY IS A GAIN FOR EUROPE
German President Christian Wulff, the first German president to visit Turkey in ten years, gave an important speech at the Turkish Parliament. Wulff said Turkey successfully reconciled Islam with the modern state and that it was a bridge between the East and the West and an asset for the EU. Wulff said Turks living in Germany were a part of Germany.
-- ARINÇ ON PAID MILITARY SERVICE
Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç made statements about paid military service on TV8. Arınç said he hoped a regulation would be prepared for the paid military service and single type of military service.
-- "INTERVENTION IN HSYK ELECTIONS IS OUT OF THE QUESTION," ERDOĞAN
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, speaking to reporters before his departure for Finland, said the Justice Ministry did not intervene in the elections at the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors. Erdoğan said, "They were nominated from inside the Ministry and got elected. There are no legal impediments."
Erdoğan pointed out that 12,000 prosecutors and judges throughout the country chose between 200 candidates. "The elections were held under the supervision of the Supreme Council of Elections (YSK). The results were announced by the YSK. Now they fabricate this allegation. I can't help but laugh at such an approach," said Erdoğan.
-- GESTURE FOR A GESTURE
Referring to his German counterpart Christian Wulff, who at a joint conference in Ankara said he was also the President of the Muslims in Germany, President Abdullah Gül said, "We have Christian, Jewish and non-Muslim citizens. I also am their President."
Wulff, the first German President to visit Turkey in ten years, urged the Turkish Parliament to open its border with Armenia.