Strains with Israel and US continue. Yavuz Baydar’s Open letter to Ambassador Ricciardone

Turkish version of Mavi Marmara report is released and tension likely to continue. U.S. ambassador to Turkey Francis Riccardione’s statements on Oda.Tv arrests were not welcome by the ruling government.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Irsen Kucuk

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and his counterpart Irsen Kucuk of Northern Cyprus shake hands prior to a meeting in Ankara, Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Adem Altan, Pool)

Turkish Report on Mavi Marmara Incident

from Kamil Pasha by Jenny White

A Turkish panel investigating an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that left nine Turkish citizens dead last May presented the final version of its report on the case to the UN on February 11th. Click here for the full English version of the report:

Francis Riccardione

Newly-appointed U.S. ambassador to Turkey Francis Riccardione speaks during a business meeting in Istanbul, Turkey, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. Turkey’s government has criticized the ambassador for his comments about this country’s press freedoms.? Read more » (AP Photo)

Open letter to Ambassador Ricciardone

Dear Ambassador,Welcome (back) to Turkey, and welcome (back) to its mind-boggling, confusing complexities. Rest assured that most of us in the media often feel as perplexed and lost as you, as the layers of reality unfold before us.

FEATURE-Turkey’s conspiracy cases put press freedom on trial
Among thousands of reporters targeted by investigations over their stories on the alleged “Ergenekon” coup plots many are being tried in cases which have highlighted broader worries about press freedom in the European Union candidate country.

11:23 US says concerned over treatment of journalists in Turkey
Ricciardone was talking about recent police raid on an internet news portal and four people detained after the raid in connection with Ergenekon coup probe. A US Department of State spokesman stood behind US Ambassador to Turkey, saying US government

Turkish FM criticizes US envoy’s remarks on press

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Daily News with wires
Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday criticized the newly appointed U.S. ambassador in Ankara for his comments about the country’s press freedoms.

Turkey bashes Israel in final report on deadly ship raid

from Yahoo news
Israel used “excessive” force and trampled international law in a raid on Gaza-bound aid ships last year that killed nine Turks, a Turkish inquiry commission said in a final report released Friday.

A member of Turkey’s security forces stands guard during a broadcast of Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan speech in a ceremony to lay the base stone of a Friendship Dam between Syria and Turkey in al-Allani village, northern Syria February 6, 2011. The barrage is estimated to irrigate 10,000 hectares of agricultural land in both countries and generate 16 million kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, according to local media.? Read more » REUTERS/Khaled al-Hariri

Turkey, KKTC diatribe

Relations between Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) have become strained since an anti-Turkey protest in the KKTC in late January and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan?s response to this protest.

Where’s Turkey? Eight Years of AKP Rule Leave a Question Mark
The Media Line
Soli Ozel, a professor of International relations at Turkey’s Bilgi University, said Turkey was already moving in the direction of a more balanced foreign

Turkey?s uphill route to the EU

The Cyprus-Turkey deadlock, lack of dialogue among Turkish political parties and the undermining of press freedom and other basic rights in Turkey are the key factors slowing down its EU accession talks, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in their resolution, approved on Thursday, on the 2010 progress report on Turkey.”

Test Driving the “Turkish Model”

by Yigal Schleifer
There’s been a lot written in recent days about how the Turkish experience might serve as a model for post-Mubarak Egypt (here’s just one sample). Omer Taspinar and Steven Cook both do a good job at breaking this suggestion down and looking at some of the structural differences between Turkey and Egypt, as well as some of the areas where Turkey’s experience might serve as an inspiration for Egypt. And this Foreign Policy piece, by Nuh Yilmaz and Burhanettin Duran, asks the important question of just which Turkish model Egypt could end up following: “The old authoritarian Turkey under military oversight or the new democratic Turkey with its dignified foreign policy?”

Ethics, US Congress, and Turkish-Armenian intrigue

by Rebecca
So, Jean Schmidt. Republican Congresswoman from Ohio?s 2nd district.If your Jeopardy answer to that was ?Which American politician is currently the subject of a House ethics investigation over ties to a Turkish-American interest group??, well done.

TPM does a good job of outlining what exactly the current inquiry is and what it covers, so I highly recommend reading that first. The Cliffs Note version is that complaints have been filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics that Schmidt is receiving legal assistance from the Turkish Coalition of America. Schmidt?s lawyer, Bruce Fein, ?is an attorney with the Turkish American Legal Defense Fund and a resident scholar at the Turkish Coalition of America.? The issue seems to be whether Fein did any work for Schmidt that was paid for by the TCA.

So is the Aegean one big Cordonne Sanitaire? Turkey has an issue with North Cyprus (KKTC)

by Asher
Following the carnage and fallout of an Erdogan quote has gotten to be far less fun than it used to be. And although he has come out with one of his triumphs of speechwriting and positioning by being one of the first world leaders to call for Mubarak?s makat, he?s also stewed himself into trouble with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (from hereon out: KKTC).

Arab revolt makes Turkey a regional power

from Hurriyet Dailynews by HDN
The Arab Winter of 2011 has created a new Middle East landscape in which the AKP?s Turkey is a regional power to be reckoned with.

Where the Germans Speak Gibberish: A Comic Take on the Immigrant Experience – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

EU’s visa regime is unjust and unlawful, Turkish official says

from Hurriyet Dailynews by ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News
The system by which Turks are forced to apply for visas for European Union countries is unjust and unlawful and constitutes a violation of community law.

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