1845 GMT: Iran's First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi reportedly said that Iran was ready to share its experience on nuclear energy with Turkey.
As mentioned earlier, at the Nuclear Security Summit in the South Korean capital Seoul, Erdogan said that Turkey was determined to provide about 10% of its electricity from nuclear facilities by 2030.
1800 GMT: Due to Iranian President Ahmadinejad's suffering from gastrorrhagia, the scheduled meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan postponed.
1645 GMT: The co-chairman of BDP, Selahattin Demirtas is speaking to Turkish HaberTurk channel now. When asked what BDP's role in the Kurdish problem, Demirtas said that BDP can only facilitate the solution of the problem yet it can only be solved between the government and Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) at the end of the day. Therefore, Demirtas argued that sidelining Kandil and dialogue with the outlawed organisation would produce nothing.
1620 GMT: Erdogan's visit to Tehran. According to the official news agency IRNA, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi backed the UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan yet warned that "Syria issue should be dealt with patiently." In other words, Tehran is agreeing with any 'reforms' approved by Moscow-Damascus camp and keeping Syrian President Assad in full power.
On the other hand, following talks with Iranian First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahim, Erdogan said: "No one has the right to impose anything on anyone with regards to nuclear energy, provided that it is for peaceful purposes." Erdogan added: "Everyone with commonsense opposes nuclear weapons."
Erdogan won Iranian praises and got the Iranian word once again on prefering Istanbul as the venue of the meeting with the Western countries on uranium enrichment matter.
1550 GMT: Following a decision earlier this month to drop the case due to the statute of limitations, the Malatya Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office has launched a new investigation into the Sivas case.
1525 GMT: BDP's MP Hasip Kaplan called a vote of no confidence in Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin. Kaplan said: "These people have a limit of patience. When this patience is over, such shamefuls will be subject to a tsunami of spits."
1500 GMT: Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin evaluated the meaning of Newroz (new year) and targeted BDP. Sahin said:
We had it last Wednesday, the so-called celebrations. We listened and still listening to those saying that we haven't celebrated their new year. Newroz means a new year, the advent of the spring. However, is it the day of pointing arms to police officers and soldiers in your vision? Or is it setting fire the bus stops in Istanbul? Or robbing shops? Is it firing randomly to anyone? Is Newroz killing or keeping celebrations alive?
However, if one's vision and celebration taking side with killing, neither weapons or fists of dignified and silent masses of 75 million needed; each spit will be enough to destroy those 75 thousand traitors!
1445 GMT: 15 people were taken into custody for 'being members of Kurdish Communities Union (KCK)', an umbrealla organisation claimed to be the urban wing of outlawed PKK, in Diyarbakir and Bingol provinces of Turkey.
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)'s chairman of the municipality of the Ercis district was among those eight people taken in Diyarbakir.
1400 GMT: 7 people were taken into custody in Sanliurfa province for 'making propaganda of the outlawed PKK organisation and attacking security forces' during the newroz (new year) celebrations.
1300 GMT: Turkish army chief Gen. Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu accompanied by other generals has arrived to inspect troops in Hatay where thousands of Syrian refugees are hosted.
1225 GMT: Eight workers were slightly injured in an explosion in an iron ore mine in Sivas.
1150 GMT: At the opening of a new mosque in Zonguldak, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) MP Özcan Ulupınar said:
What harm could come from a religious generation? [A religious person] is good for the family, for the country, for the nation, for himself... An atheist youth is no good to anyone. It doesn't matter if they injure us or shoot us, 4+4+4 will pass this week.
As known, PM Erdogan said in February that their aim was to create religious generations and asked: "Do you want the youth to become thinner addicts?"
An Official Visit to Tehran
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is holding meetings with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi and Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani in Tehran today. Three main issues are expected to be discussed: Iran’s nuclear programme, sectarian tensions in Iraq and the future of Syria.
Turkey is buying high-priced oil and natural gas ($423 per cubic metre) from Iran. In addition to this, in return for not closing the door to those imports, given sanctions by the European Union and US, Ankara wants Iran to:
- Reconsider its full support for Syrian President Assad, since Turkey believes that the current situation is not sustainable, or at least pressure Assad to fulfil the requirements of United Nations envoy Kofi Annan's proposals for a resolution of the crisis;
- Reconsider its approach to Iraq. It is believed that Tehran is playing a big role in Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Malaki’s dismantling of the rival al-Iraqiyya block. With many Kurds and Sunnis unsettled by developments, Ankara wants Iran to stop playing with the balance of power;
- Emphasise the importance of having nuclear talks in Istanbul rather than another European venue, with an open dialogue with Western parties on uranium enrichment.
Erdogan will struggle to get Tehran's acceptance. Iran is unlikely to give up on Assad, especially when Damascus has agreed to "reforms". Meanwhile, Iraq is increasingly important to Iran given Tehran's isolation in other quarters.
The Turkish Prime Minister may find that, to play its "bridging" role, Ankara needs Tehran more than Tehran needs to alter its policies.
Turkey’s Nuclear Plans
Before his trip to Tehran, Erdogan spoke at the Nuclear Security Summit in the South Korean capital Seoul. He said that Turkey is determined to provide about 10% of its electricity from nuclear facilities by 2030.
The first nuclear power plant will be built by the Russians in Akkuyu near the southern port city of Mersin. The second one is planned for Sinop Province on Turkey’s Black Sea coast --- negotiations are continuing with Japanese, Chinese, Russian and South Korean firms, according to Energy Minister Taner Yıldız.