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Turkish Press Roundup

[Via Meadia’s Turkish press roundup is kindly provided by our man in Istanbul.]

After Deputies and Ministers from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) roundly criticized the Assad regime for the Houla massacre, the government announced its plans to impose additional sanctions on Syria (Anadolu Ajansı). Earlier in the week, Today’s Zaman ran a heavily editorialized article claiming that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) intends to foment greater hostility between Turkey and Syria, citing that the perpetrators of the recent bombing  in the town of Pınarbaşı in Kayseri crossed the Syrian-Turkish border. On Wednesday, Turkish police forces began simultaneous operations against the PKK and its domestic wing, the Kurdish Communities Union (KCK), in the provinces of Diyarbakır, İzmir, and Şanlıurfa, where the Kayseri culprits entered Turkey (Sabah).

Following the announcement that Israeli climber Nadav Ben-Yahuda will be honored with Israel’s Presidential Medal of Honor for rescuing a Turkish citizen on Mount Everest, (Hurriyet Daily News) the Istanbul Seventh Criminal Court handed down indictments against four Israeli commanders involved in the Mavi Marmara incident which occurred in May 2010. (Vatan)

While visiting Ankara on Tuesday, Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament, criticized the AKP for the imprisonment of eight MPs, stating “jailed deputies are unacceptable in democracies” (Cumhuriyet)—the same day, the Speaker of Turkey’s parliament, Cemil Cicek, reiterated that the deputies in question would not likely be released in the near future. President Abdullah Gül announced his plans for the State Audit Council (DDK), which is directly under his jurisdiction, to examine the controversial airstrike that occurred in Uludere, in the Hakkari province, on December 28, 2011, in which 34 civilians perished.

While addressing the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan declared a fresh push to finish drafting the a new constitution, which he associated closely with attaining his government’s goals for 2023, the hundredth anniversary of the Republic, and the year by which the AKP hopes Turkey will be one of the ten largest economies in the world (NTV). On the same day the Turkish Petroleum Corporation won a major oil exploration tender for fields in Basra, the Turkish government announced that the country’s exports had increased by 6.8 percent in April 2012.

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