Press Review

NSC DISCUSSES TERRORISM AND IRAQ

During yesterday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting, sanctions to be imposed on Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani were discussed. Stating that the operations against the terrorist PKK would continue with determination, the Council underlined the impossibility of reaching an aim through terrorism. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer chaired the meeting for the last time due to his term in office will end in May. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, force commanders, Gendarmerie General Commander and related ministers of the Cabinet attended the meeting. A written statement released after the NSC said that Turkey's domestic and foreign safety was discussed at the meeting, adding there is no chance for terrorism to result in success. The statement underlined that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will continue with its military operations against the terrorist PKK. Noting that Turkey supports Iraq's territorial and political integrity, the statement said that Turkey's note to the Iraqi government and following the steps after the note were discussed during the meeting. /Cumhuriyet/

ARINC TO LAUNCH PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION PERIOD TODAY

Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc will hold a meeting this morning with ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) group deputy chairmen to exchange views on the upcoming presidential election. Following the meeting, a draft schedule concerning the period to elect the 11th president will be announced in Parliament. Accordingly, applications for the candidacy will begin on April 16 and complete on April 25. The first round of vote is expected to be held on May 1, and the last round will be held on May 13. /Milliyet/

ERDOGAN TO MEET WITH MERKEL NEXT WEEK

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Germany next week to attend the Hanover Fair. He will also meet with his German counterpart Angela Merkel. Erdogan reportedly will focus on a draft resolution of the European Union which proposes punishment of people who deny genocides to be taken up on April 18-19. The Turkish premier is expected to urge Merkel to lift the draft, as it will block the freedom of expression and scientific work on the issue. /Turkiye/

BAYKAL: "I HOPE PREMIER WILL DECLARE THAT HE WON'T RUN FOR PRESIDENT"

Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal yesterday spoke about Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani's recent remarks. Baykal said, "We got angry over Barzani's remarks. Anger passes. But the important thing is what Barzani meant. His remarks showed that the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) policies on terrorism and Iraq had gone bankrupt." Speaking at his party's group meeting, Baykal claimed that an overwhelming majority of the public doesn't want Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's presidency and said, "I hope and expect the premier will declare that he won't be a candidate for presidency and would give glad tidings to the country." /Hurriyet/

MARTYRED SOLDIER LAID TO REST

Bulent Yollu, one of the 10 soldiers killed in clashes with members of the terrorist PKK in southeast Turkey over the weekend, was laid to rest yesterday in Ankara following a state funeral with the attendance of high-level military commanders and state officials, as well as hundreds of citizens. People chanted slogans and carried posters during the ceremony reflecting anger to the terrorist group. /Aksam/

US BACKS TURKEY'S NOTE TO IRAQ

Following Ankara's note to the Iraqi administration concerning Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani's recent statements, US officials made statements supporting Turkey's cause in northern Iraq. Speaking at a conference on Iraq in Washington yesterday, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's advisor for Iraq Barbara Stephenson said that the PKK was a terrorist group, and its attacks to Turkey from Iraq were unacceptable. Commenting on referendum issue in Kirkuk, Stephenson called on the sides to reach a compromise by taking all concerns into consideration. In addition, Turkey's Iraq Special Envoy Oguz Celikkol is carrying out his contacts in the US. Meeting with high-level US officials on Iraq early this week, Celikkol conveyed Ankara's concern over Barzani's stance. /Milliyet/

US AMBASSADOR WILSON: "TRIPARTITE COOPERATION IS OUR PRIORITY"

US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson responded to journalists' questions after yesterday's National Security Council (NSC) meeting. Wilson said, "We're keeping our position for a cross-border operation." adding, "Our and Turkey's priority is to solve the terrorist PKK issue through cooperation among Turkey-Iraq and the US. We're working on a tripartite meeting." Wilson criticized Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani's recent remarks and said, "We and the Iraqi people are grateful to Turkey. There are important things to be done by both countries to solve the terrorist PKK issue. These kinds of statements would channel us to wrong directions." /Star/

HIJACKER OF DIYARBAKIR PLANE SURRENDERS

A man who hijacked an airplane flying from Diyarbakir to Istanbul yesterday evening surrendered shortly after the plane landed at Ankara's Esenboga Airport. No injuries were recorded in the plane, belonging to Pegasus Airlines with 178 passengers and six crewmembers. /Sabah/

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