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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tatlises shooter may have PKK links

Picture of Nihat Şimşek published in several Turkish newspapers
on March 23.
According to Radikal and other Turkish news sources, the man suspected of having attempted to assassinate Turkish singer, İbrahim Tatlıses, has ties to PKK. Pictures of the man - Nihat Şimşek - in green fatigues, holding an AK47 are said to show him at a PKK training camp. The police are also supposed to have found emails on suspects' computers instructing PKK-related actors to “find Nihat, let him finish the job.” According to one theory, Tatlıses, as a prominent Kurd, would have been a victim of PKK anger for not supporting the organization. But he is also reputed to have connections to organized crime and personal conflict with the person who is alleged to have ordered the assassination, so these theories remain speculation at this point.

Press review Turkey, France, and Nato

The Economist thinks that Turkey is wobbling on how to deal with the protests spreading in its neighborhood. Erdoğan was among the first to call for Mubarak's resignation in Egypt, but he first failed to support the no-fly zone in Libya, only to then sent four frigates, a submarine, and another warship to support Nato's efforts there. As the protests and the violent crackdowns spread, the Economist warns that "When it comes to Syria, sitting on the fence may not be an option." Turkey's EU Minister, Egemen Bağış, has a different take (from Word Bullentin):
Turkey did not take a U-turn over Libya. But we have prevented a fait accompli in Libya. An unplanned and unprogrammed NATO intervention would have taken place weeks before before waiting for a United Nations resolution.
David Judson at Hürriyet thinks that the current events in the region highlight Turkey's significance to the EU. In his view, most
issues fade... behind Turkey’s growing profile and its assets that can help solve the region’s increasing turmoil.
And he quotes Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, who noted that “The Turks
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