Today's Zaman
June 1 2010

Speaker of Turkish Parliament Mehmet Ali ~^ahin said Tuesday Turkey
wanted peace in its region and in the world.

~^ahin received Organization for Security and Co-operation in
Europe Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA) President Joao Soares and an
accompanying delegation in Ankara on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters while receiving Soares, ~^ahin said that Turkey
had no aim to be in quarrel with any country.

Nonetheless, it is a reality that we are going through a serious
problem with Israel, ~^ahin underlined.

The OSCE PA plays a crucial role for dialogue between the East and
the West since its establishment 18 years ago. It has an important
mission in carrying democratic relations between OSCE member states
to the level of parliaments. One of the important tasks of the OSCE
is to observe elections. This raises confidence in elections. Turkey
pays high attention to Asian countries and it would be beneficial to
include them in the OSCE PA, ~^ahin said.

Racism and xenophobia still exist in many parts of the world. Innocent
people suffer from such acts. We have an obligation to take a step
in this field, ~^ahin said.

Joao Soares, in his part, said that the Republic of Turkey continued
its policies based on the peaceful line introduced by its founder
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

This line is being followed by the present leadership of Turkey,
Soares stressed.

Turkey is a country that works for peace in its region and the world
as a secular country, Soares said.

I want to express my appreciation of Turkey for the recent nuclear
swap agreement with Iran, Soares underlined.

We follow Turkey-Armenia relations and favor a solution. Turkey could
assume important roles for other countries in the Caucasus region,
Soares said.

Reminded about his comments that the Turkish parliament might issue
a declaration on Israel's attack of early Monday, ~^ahin said that
political party groups at the Turkish parliament would have a chance
to talk about Israel's attack on Tuesday.

I believe that it would be appropriate for the Turkish parliament to
issue a declaration displaying our sensitivity on Israel's attacks
at the end of group talks, ~^ahin said.

Issuing a declaration will be a decision of the Turkish parliament. As
the speaker of parliament, I thought that it would be appropriate
to issue such a declaration. It is at the discretion of the Turkish
parliament to issue such a declaration, ~^ahin stressed.

Asked if the reactions to Israel were sufficient, ~^ahin said that
many entities, including the United Nations Security Council and the
European Union (EU), expressed their sensitivity.

What took place is completely a human tragedy. The attack on people
carrying aid materials can in no way be accepted. International
organizations and countries of the world must react so that similar
acts are not repeated in the future, ~^ahin said.

In response to a question on future Turkey-Israel relations, ~^ahin
said that "we want peace in our region and the world".

Turkey does not want to be in quarrel with any country. Nevertheless,
there are certain rules and traditions in the development of
international relations. All countries must abide by international
agreements that they have signed or accepted. As long as countries
act in accordance with international laws, our diplomatic relations
with each of them shall continue. However, it is a reality that we
are now experiencing a serious problem with Israel, ~^ahin also said.

From: A. Papazian