World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey and America's top military commanders met on Wednesday in what a spokesman from the US Joint Chiefs of Staff has called a sign of the two nations' deeply rooted strategic ties.
Speaking to the Anatolia news agency on Wednesday, Pentagon spokesperson Cdr. Scott McIlnay said Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel met with Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Wednesday and plans to see US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on Thursday. The talks are expected to cover the two nations' overlapping strategic interests, which include the Syria crisis and Iran's nuclear ambitions.
McIlnay also said Özel is scheduled to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery as well as a number of bases in Virginia and Florida.
Özel's visit will also include a briefing on the progress of America's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Ankara has already signed a contract for the delivery of two of the US-produced fighters by 2015, and currently plans to buy 100 of the planes for a total of $16 billion.
AK Party's Çelik says military should quit posting statements Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Hüseyin Çelik has said the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) should abstain from polemics with political figures and quit their tradition of posting statements online in response to statements made by politicians.
Çelik said the TSK had better seek legal redress at courts rather than engage in polemics with politicians through online statements. His remarks came on Wednesday during a press conference he held at the AK Party headquarters in Ankara. Çelik's remarks came in criticism of a recent General Staff statement posted online earlier this month in which the military criticized some statements by members of the press and by representatives of professional associations targeting the TSK for what they called “inactivity” against the government.
The General Staff said in its statement that it was following criticism directed at the Turkish military with regret and concern. “We are following with regret and concern claims and comments which are for the purpose of provocation and which go beyond the limits of criticism and aim to demoralize members of the TSK and hamper their efforts to perform their duties in the best way possible,” the statement added.
According to Çelik, the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense have the right to file suits in the event of an “attack” targeting its members rather than responding to attacks in statements. “If anyone attacks the armed forces, the General Staff and the Ministry of Defense have the right to seek legal redress at judicial bodies. The military is no one's whipping boy. It should end the tradition of addressing people through statements,” he said.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also urged the General Staff to seek legal redress at courts if it faces verbal attacks from political figures. “A piece was published in a newspaper in the past and all [active duty] generals filed lawsuits [against the newspaper]. There is insult here [in criticism raised by members of the press]. … Such things [insults] should not remain unanswered. Insult and criticism are not the same thing,” he noted.
The advanceof ISIL insurgents to within sight of the Turkish army on the Syrian border has piled pressure on Ankara to play a greater role in the U.S.-led coalition.
"Immediately subsequent to the 2015 elections, all parties in the parliament should free themselves from prejudice and come together to write a new constitution based on reconciliation," Erdogan said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said "We will fight effectively against both ISIL and all other terrorist organizations within the region; this will always be our priority."
Concerns Kiev could stop gas flow to Turkey and construction of nuclear plant on agenda for Taner Yildiz.
Turkish government's motion for military action against ISIL is extensively covered by Turkish dailies on Wednesday.
The Syrian Kurdish People’s Defence Units (PYD), a strong affiliate of the Kurdish separatist PKK terrorist organization, asked for weapons from Turley to fight the ISIL.
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker called on Turkey to 'lift barriers' for American investment in the country.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said a special 'solution process council' will guide government's efforts to solve the Kurdish issue.
The newly-submitted motion, seeking parliamentary mandate for military action, cites the rising threats on southern borders as a motive.
A Turkish warship was harrassed in international waters, while a Turkish training aircraft was tracked in international air space.
Turkey's energy minister says the strength of the dollar has made next month's price hike inevitable. But Turkish consumers currently pay lowest prices for gas among EU countries.
Tuesday's papers covered Turkish army's deploying armored vehicles and tanks along the Syrian border after mortar rounds fired by ISIL militants fell on Turkish territory.
Rumors have been circulating the media that the ISIL had surrounded the base at the Suleiman Shah tomb and taken patrolling Turkish soldiers “hostage” since last December.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said parliamentary mandates that sanction cross-border operations in Iraq and Syria will be boosted.
Relations between Egypt and Turkey have taken a turn for the worse since Morsi's ouster by the military.
Interior Minister Efkan Ala called on the UN and nations to assist with the refugee crisis on Turkey's southern border.