2200 GMT: The first reaction to Israel's recently declared report on the Mavi Marmara flotilla tragedy came from Turkey. According to Haaretz, one official from the Foreign Ministry underlined the importance of an official apology and added:
The State Comptroller [Micha Lindenstrauss]'s report regarding the decision making process is not in Turkey's interest. If the reports we received are correct, it shows that the attack on the Mavi Marmara and the killing of the Turkish nationals could have been prevented.
1930 GMT: The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu writes about the Kurdish problem on his Twitter account:
CHP aims at solving every problem in a legitimate platform. The legitimate platform of this problem is the Parliament. Politicians shall discuss problems with every dimensions. There are terror, psychologic, economic and social dimensions of this problem.
If we do not solve this problem, external actors come into play. Without solution, emotional breaks emerge. If this problem can be discussed everywhere, why not under the roof of the Parliament?
No one shall be judged due to their expressed thoughts. If you do not talk and silence the one who is talking, then you will make this problem bigger.
Mother language shall be taught to every citizen if demanded. This is a requirement of human rights. The official language of this country is Turkish. The language of education must be Turkish.
The [European] Charter of Local-Self Government was accepted by Turkey. The reservations can be lifted by the cabinet. We want this Charter for every municipalities of this country.
1700 GMT: It is reported that Dutch member of the joint committee in Strasbourg, Barry Madlener, wanted to give a book critical of Islamic values to EU Minister Egemen Bagis. However, Bagis's response was: "Leave it where you put the caricatures."
Secondly, in response to strong criticisms on the recently debated abortion law that Ankara wants to pass, Bagis said: "Have you solved this problem in Malta, Poland and Ireland before you bring it to the candidate countries?"
1620 GMT: The Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) took a surprising decision and changed positions of 2,335 judges and prosecutors. By this decision, special authorities of three prosecutors and one judge are withdrawn.
1540 GMT: Speaking in the eastern province of Hakkari, BDP's co-chair Selahattin Demirtas criticized the Erdogan government:
Destroying by war planes in Roboski [Uludere] and putting mayors, deputies, youngs, olds and women into prisons through specially authorized courts is the law applied to the enemy. We say this, if you are already applying the enemy law and see us as an enemy and dont want to live with us, go and declare this clearly. Say that 'we don't want to live with Kurds.' At that moment, Kurdish people will give their decision. Kurdish people do not have to live with such a fascist cruel order. There are Kurdish people! You do not deny! They have a language. You do not deny but you say that they cannot use it!
1525 GMT: The European Commission strongly criticized a recent court decision sentencing independent Van deputy Aysel Tugluk to 14-and-a-half years in prison. The statement said:
We are seriously concerned about the ruling in yet another case of a Kurdish politician being sentenced. While supporting Turkey in its fight against terrorism, the Commission regards freedom of expression as a fundamental value, the protection of which should be compatible with an effective fight against terrorism. Turkey should address the too broad interpretation by terrorism courts, and make sure a clear distinction is made in law and in practice between the incitement to violence and the non-violent expression of ideas. The Commission will follow closely the appeal of this case.
1445 GMT: Turkey's EU Minister Egemen Bagis who is known with famous his "hold on, Europe, Turkey is coming, coming to rescue you" statement, is giving a speech in the Joint Parliamentary Committee in Strasbourg:
Turkey is not only a bridge between Europe and Asia but also a bridge between problems and solutions of EU. Turkey will not give up Cyprus for EU and will not give up EU for Cyprus.
1200 GMT: It is reported that Danish Prime Minister and Chair of the EU's rotating Presidency Helle Thorning Schmidt will be in Ankara on Thursday.
The Independent says the Free Syrian Army opposition is armed by Qatar and Saudi Arabia while Turkish national intelligence agency (MIT) is assisting the delivery of weapons.
Relations with Israel
On Tuesday, the Israeli parliament, Knesset, gathered to discuss the 1915 Armenian genocide/massacre. Israel's environmental affairs minister Gilad Erdan said: "I think it is definitely fitting that the Israeli government formally recognize the Holocaust perpetrated against the Armenian people."
No decision was taken, and Speaker of Parliament speaker Reuven Rivlin denied that the debate was related to deteriorating ties with Turkey.
Meanwhile State, Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss crititicized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu regarding his decisions in the Israeli assault on the Mavi Marmara of the Freedom Flotilla in May 2010. In his 153-page report, Lindenstrauss said:
The decision making process regarding the dealings with the Turkish flotilla led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and under his responsibility was found to include essential and significant flaws.
The prime minister's decision-making was made without proper coordination, documentation, or preparation, despite the fact that the government, the IDF's top officers, and senior intelligence officials were all aware that the Turkish flotilla wasn't like the flotillas that preceded it.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Kurdish will be a selective course for students. In response, the opposition Peace and Democracy Party (BDP)'s co-chair Gulten Kisanak said:
Teaching a people their own language as an elective course is cruelty. Let’s make it an elective course, let’s send them to Mr. Prime Minister and have them learn [Kurdish] as an elective course. What he is saying is, ‘Go to school, learn Turkish, become assimilated, and then learn your own language.’ This crime against humanity is being conducted at the hands of the AK Party.
Meanwhile, the BDP's MP for Van, Aysel Tugluk, was sentenced to 14.5 years in prison on charges of “making propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “engaging in crimes on behalf of a terrorist organisation.”
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said that the deployment of Syrian forces in Aleppo could be a “red line” for Syria's northern neighbour Turkey “in terms of their strategic and national interests.” Clinton added, "We are watching this very carefully."
Minister of Defense Ismet Yilmaz said Turkey was ready to take all necessary measures if the the situation in Syria becomes real danger.
Relations with the US Administration
After Turkey cut its oil purchases from Iran 20%, compared to the same month of 2011, Washington exempted Ankara and six other states from sanctions.
Iran has been the only neighbour country that creates a trade deficit for Turkey, due to the latter's heavy dependence of oil and gas. Indeed, from time to time, Ankara purchased above the market price for Iranian gas because the decisions have always been political rather than economic.
The Obama Administration needs Turkey more than ever if it does not want the diplomatic channels to be manipulated by other regional factors. So, speaking at the 31st annual American-Turkish Council meeting in Washington, US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the U.S. will support Turkey in its counterterrorism efforts, offering to help meet the necessary military capability in the fight against the "terrorist" Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
As for Ankara's desire to buy MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft, Panetta asked the Turkish government to be patient until the Congressional elections in November.