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    GOOD MORNING--TURKEY PRESS SCAN ON APR 23

    Anatolian Agency
    23 Nisan 2009 - 09:55Son Güncelleme : 23 Nisan 2009 - 10:20

    These are some of the major headlines and their summaries in the Turkish press on April 23, 2009. Hurriyet Daily News Online does not verify these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy. (UPDATED)

    HURRIYET

    -- THE BEST GIFT FOR CHILDREN

    The National Sovereignty and Children's Day, a gift from Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to children, will be celebrated throughout Turkey on Thursday. Children will be in stadiums and take an oath of commitment to Ataturk's principles. The 89th anniversary of the foundation of the parliament will be celebrated with ceremonies attended by children all around the world.

           

    -- ARMENIA MESSAGE TO OBAMA: WE ARE AGREEABLE

    Prior to the speech U.S. President Barack Obama will make on Friday regarding the "so-called genocide" allegations, Ankara gave a last-minute message to Washington D.C. The Foreign Ministry of Turkey stressed that two countries had agreed to normalize relations and a road map had been set.

           

    MILLIYET

    -- ROAD MAP FOR TURKEY-ARMENIA RELATIONS

    Turkish Foreign Ministry said late on Wednesday Turkey and Armenia had agreed on "a comprehensive framework" to normalize their relations and the two sides had prepared a road map to that end. The Ministry said the negotiations were carried out under Swiss mediation.

           

    -- FOUR OFFICERS UNDER CUSTODY IN ERGENEKON

    Four military officers, two of them retired, were taken under custody after police unearthed a large cache of weapons, hand grenades and C-4 explosives in a land in Poyrazkoy district of Istanbul which belonged to Istek Foundation. The foundation is chaired by Bedrettin Dalan, who is sought under the Ergenekon probe.

           

    SABAH

    -- TURKEY MARKS NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY DAY

    Turkey celebrates on Thursday the National Sovereignty and Children's Day on the 89th anniversary of the foundation of Turkish parliament. "Turkey will overcome all its problems through genuine discussion and within the confines of democracy and rule of law," Gul said in his message to the mark the national day.

     

    -- APRIL 24 SURPRISE

    Ankara made a surprising statement just a day before April 24, the date when the Armenians are to commemorate the incidents of 1915, saying that Turkey and Armenia has reached an agreement over a "comprehensive framework" to normalize relations. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan held a three-hour meeting before the statement was released.

     

    VATAN
    -- KARDAK COMMANDER UNDER DETENTION
    One of the five officers, detained regarding weapons found in a plot that belonged to ISTEK Foundation in Istanbul, was retired commander Ercan Kirectepe. He was the head of the SAT commandos who intervened in the Kardak islet crisis with Greece in 1996.
           
    -- MIDNIGHT ARMENIA AGREEMENT
    The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced at midnight that Turkey and Armenia had reached a compromise to normalize relations. Turkey and Armenia agreed to normalize their relations under the mediation of Switzerland. The compromise came after Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's three-hour meeting with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. The statement of the ministry said, "two countries, which are exerting efforts for regional peace and stability, have agreed to normalize their relations in a way that would satisfy two parties, and set a road map."
           
    CUMHURIYET
    -- TOP MILITARY BRASS VISIT SOUTHEAST TURKEY
    Chief of the General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, Land Forces Commander Isik Kosaner, Air Forces Commander Aydogan Babaoglu and other high ranking commanders visited the southeastern province of Sirnak on Wednesday. Through an interpreter, Basbug had a brief talk with one of the locals who spoke in Kurdish.
           
    -- FENEREBAHCE, BESIKTAS DUE FOR SHOWDOWN FOR TURKEY CUP
    Turkey's Besiktas football become the second finalist after Fenerbahce in the Fortis Turkey Cup, toppling Ankaraspor 4-3 in aggregate. The two teams last played against each other to claim the cup in a tense game in 2006.
           
    RADIKAL
    -- CONTRACT OF CRISIS
    The Turkish Metal Oyak, representing employees in Eregli iron and steel enterprises (Erdemir) and Iskenderun iron and steel enterprises (Isdemir), and MESS, representing the employers, agreed on a "contract of crisis" during their collective bargaining. According to the contract, workers will not be sacked, but wages will be down by 35 percent. Thus, the wages of 12,587 employees, including the senior executives of the enterprises, will be down by 35 percent for 16 months.
           
    -- IMF: TURKEY WILL SHRINK 5.1 P.C. THIS YEAR
    The growth figures revised by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are much more pessimistic than those of the Turkish government. The government had forecast that Turkey would shrink 3.6 percent in 2009. However, according to the IMF, Turkey's economy will shrink 5.1 percent in 2009 and growth figures will climb to a positive level no sooner than 2010. The IMF forecast Turkey's growth rate in 2010 as only 1.5 percent.

     

    YENI SAFAK
    -- GRAVE HOUSE IS BEING DUG
    Bombs and weapons in Bedrettin Dalan's plot were found when police were seeking "the grave house of Ergenekon organization." Six people, including four officers in charge, were detained related with the arsenal found in Poyrazkoy, Istanbul. In a telephone conversation that was tapped regarding the Ergenekon case, there was a sentence that "he (Dalan) is ordering some people to be killed, and make them be buried in his plot in Poyrazkoy." Also a tip-off letter was received, and police took action. Teams started to search for a "grave house" in the plot. Police, gendarmery forces and SAT teams found hidden arsenal instead of decayed bodies.
           
    -- GENOCIDE CEREMONY PROTESTED
    Despite Turkey's warnings, Canada continued its support to the "genocide" allegations of the Armenian diaspora. Then, ties between Turkey and Canada were about to be broken. Turkey lost its patience after Canadian ministers attended a commemoration ceremony. Canada has formally acknowledged the incidents of 1915 as "genocide". Then, Turkey called back Rafet Akgunay, its ambassador in Ottawa, to hold consultations.

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