1725 GMT: Diyarbakir's Mayor Osman Baydemir hosted the native Indian music group Inca Sol. Baydemir said:
Kurdish people understand you very well. Kurds have experienced the same tragedies your forefathers had faced. We would like you to know that Kurdish people has great respect to your people.
1600 GMT: Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin accused the Assad regime for allowing PKK members to establish bases in Syrian territory. He claimed that even some PKK gorups were running small towns close to the Turkish border. Şahin continued:
Syria is turning a blind eye to terrorist groupings in areas close to the border to put Turkey in difficulty and perhaps as a way to take revenge on Turkey.
As known, Syria has also been accusing Turkey for training and arming the opposition forces within the turkish territories which is denied by Ankara.
1445 GMT: During his visit to Kazakhstan, Erdogan told his counterpart Karim Mansimov that they were very pleased to have carried the bilateral relations to strategic partnership in 2009.
After he had stated that the total amount of Turkish business investment in the country reached around $2.5 billion, Erdogan said to Mansimov:
My brother, you know that I want 3 kids from each family in Turkey. You should say here not 3 but 5! Because all financial opportunities along with a vast area over 2 million 700 thousand square meters are fine.
1245 GMT: Before the second anniversary of the deadly Mavi Marmara attack by Israeli forces on 31 March, Istanbul's special prosecutor Mehmet Akif Ekinci has prepared an indictment seeking ten aggravated life imprisonment sentences for each of the four Israeli top commanders.
These generals are the former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of General Staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi; Naval Forces commander, Vice Adm. Eliezer Marom; Israel's military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin; and Air Forces Intelligence head, Brig. Gen. Avishai Levi.
1210 GMT: In the Ovacık district of Tunceli province, three PKK members were killed by security forces.
1130 GMT: After the government and civil servant unions failed to reach an agreement on wage increases, some 1.2 million civil servants across the country have gone on a 24-hour strike.
1000 GMT: Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin said that the military strike that led to the killing of 34 civilians in Uludere was ordered by top air force commanders who watched and analyzed the drone images in Ankara. In effect, Sahin claimed that the government had no information before the order was given.
The minister also criticized the deceased for smuggling goods into Turkey from Iraq. Şahin said locals in Uludere and surrounding regions are used by terrorist organizations.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Erdogan had said:
It is around 30-40 people with hinnies [a horse-donkey hybrid]. It is not possible to see from that height whether it is this or that. Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) fulfilled its mission truly. There could have been a mistake. Indeed, we said it was a mistake and expressed our sorrow. We even explained the compensation to be given. However, some are manipulating this. Do we have to say what the terrorist organisation wants us to say? No way!
"Counter-Terrorist" Emphasis in Chicago
At a press conference on Monday, President Abdullah Gül said the US Congress members should be informed about Turkey's true intentions for its request to buy armed drones. Gül continued:
An ally that is so critical should not be treated with jealousy. It should be trusted. The administration's position is positive. They are trying to convince Congress. If drones are dangerous weapons, these [F-35s] are even more dangerous. We are buying these fighters and we are participating in the manufacturing process. These things should be told to Congress members.
Ankara's bargaining position is shaped on its claim that the modern weapons it receives from Washington will be used only in its anti-PKK campaign.
High Level Meeting in Pakistan
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan along with his four ministers visited Pakistan on Tuesday and nine protocols and a joint declaration that aim to bring a new momentum to Turkish-Pakistani relations by enhancing cooperation in the fields of the economy, energy, transportation and tourism were signed.
Having emphasized a deep fraternity stemming from old cultural and historical ties between the two countries, Erdogan said that the two nations were the members of the same civilizaiton of love.
War on Iran? No Way!
Addressing Chicago’s Council on Global Relations on Tuesday, President Abdullah Gül said the international community has no other choice but to pursue and facilitate dialogue in Iran’s long-running nuclear dispute with the West.
Meanwhile, speaking to the Turkish daily Turkey's Zaman, Rector of Onsekiz Mart University Sedat Laçiner warned about the line between Ankara and Tehran getting thinner. He said:
At the end of the day Iran is our neighbor and we need to continue healthy relationships with Iranians. It is true that some Iranian-funded firms are established inside Turkey to circumvent sanctions imposed on them. Turkey might lack some serious measures to combat this. Iran sees Turkey and the Gulf as two major exit lines out of current sanctions.
Turkish authorities might be forced to take some strict measures on Iranian firms, scrutinizing their source of financing. But Turkey might find itself in a tough situation in this attempt. Authorities must be careful to spare companies that entered Turkey only for trade reasons.