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Turkish Press Roundup

After discussing the conflict in Syria with President Barack Obama at the G-20 Summit this week (Zaman), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued fresh calls for action against the regime (Radikal). Three days later, spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, Selcuk Ünal, denied claims published in the New York Times that Ankara had paid for shipments of weapons delivered to Syrian rebels.

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz’s remarks regarding Turkey in a speech at the Washington Institute were closely followed and vigorously debated in prominent columns this week, especially his characterization of Turkey as the Middle East’s new “superpower” (Yeni Safak). Erdoğan and French President François Hollande met at the Rio +20 Conference, and signaled a reset in bilateral relations to overcome popular resentments on both sides triggered by the so-called “genocide resolution” passed by the French Senate last spring (Anadolu Ajansı).

Violence between the PKK and Turkish armed forces in Turkey’s southeastern provinces escalated this week, with over 20 killed on both sides, prompting condemnation from the leadership of Turkey’s late fairweather friend, the Kurdistan Regional Government (Anadolu Ajansı), as well as a cautionary appeal from Turkish President Abdullah Gül not to conflate the “Kurdish issue” with the “terror problem” (CNN Türk). The next day, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç attended the ceremony to celebrate Turkish television channel TRT 6 TV’s first installment of a news bulletin in Sorani, the Kurdish dialect.

Nurettin Canikli, a parliamentary deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), announced this week that recent controversial legislative proposals to ban abortion had been abandoned (Sabah), leading Family Minister Fatma Şahin and Health Minister Recep Akdağ to refute Canikli’s remarks (Milliyet). One hundred members of Turkey’s Assembly Against Nuclear Power Plants” met in Mersin, the proposed location for Turkey’s first civilian nuclear power station ( During a fact-finding mission to Turkey, the Council of Europe’s Turkey rapporteur Josette Durrieu met with detainees associated with the Ergenekon probe, including former Chief of Staff İlker Başbuğ, whom prosecutors allege participated in an ultranationalist, seditious conspiracy against the AKP government (Hurriyet Daily News). Numerous news sources gave positive coverage to the upgrade of Turkey’s credit rating—from BA2 to BA1—by the international credit rating agency Moody’s (Haberturk).

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  • Kris

    “Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz’s remarks regarding Turkey in a speech at the Washington Institute were closely followed and vigorously debated”

    Henry Kissinger could have saved them much time: “Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy”.

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