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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 01-08-08
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH NEWS AND OTHER MEDIA
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Written statement by Turkish General Staff on Mesut Yilmaz´s reference to National Security SyndromeTurkey´s Motherland Party (MP) held its seventh general congress in Ankara last weekend 4-5 August.
Turkish Daily News (7.8.01) reports that addressing the party congress Mesut Yilmaz said that those trying to preserve the status quo were an obstacle to the strong desire to see change and renewal. He said that those in favour of the status quo were hiding behind the concept of national security and that this concept had to be debated.
Yilmaz also added that democratization and human rights were being held up by National Security Syndrome, reports Turkish Daily News.
Ankara Anatolia (7.8.01) reports that the Turkish General Staff yesterday released the following written statement on Mesut Yilmaz´s references to the National Security syndrome.
``The statement of a party leader [Motherland Party leader Mesut Yilmaz] on the national security issue made at a party general congress was interpreted by certain newspapers as targeting the Armed Forces and it was reflected to the public opinion this way.
In the aforementioned statement, it was claimed that the present national security concept was cutting the main arteries feeding our state and it was blocking all the steps that need to be taken for our country's future.
As it is well known, the national security concept is a structure, which consists of social, economic, military parameters, and elements of national power. The final target of nation al security regulations is to protect the secular and unitary republic and defend the country's vital interests.
The Turkish Republic, for many years, faced attacks that target its unitary and secular structure.
For over 15 years, the most bloody terrorist organization of the history realized cruel massacres that target Turkey's integrity and it continued its activities with the support of certain countries. Still, this organization wants to politicize its efforts and base its activities on a legal ground. Thousands of terrorist members of this organization are still waiting in the mountains to attack.
For many years, the islamist fundamentalist political movements, which are longing for the sheriah, abused the opportunities they were offered by the democracy in Turkey and made significant progress towards changing the secular system.
Turkey had to live in security worries in the middle of a geography consisting of Cyprus, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Northern Iraq where there are no balances. Despite all these problems, the Turkish Republic gave a successful fight against all these threats and it continues to do so. The Turkish nation is the most important factor of this fight with its great sacrifices and patience.
In this unfortunate statement made by a party leader, it was said that all steps were blocked by showing national security as an excuse but not a single example was given.
The Council of Ministers is responsible for maintaining the national security. It is strange that this party leader who shares this responsibility made this baseless claim.
The national security regulations are listed on the ``National Policy Declaration`` which is signed by the Prime Minister and the Armed Forces prepared the ``National Military Strategy`` on grounds of this declaration.
It is debatable whether every step taken for Turkey is for the good of the country or not. If these steps are
- going to facilitate the activities of those who want to bring sheriah
- going to provide legal support to separatist groups
- going to make concessions from Turkey's vital security elements; then these steps are steps taken backwards rather than forward.
Today, in the Turkish Republic,
- economy is on the brink of bankruptcy
- no legal action is taken against those who are responsible for the current situation of economy
- national and moral values have weakened
- stealing has become a normal behaviour
- people with Middle Age mentalities are being placed in government positions in a country, which is striving to join the EU
- political stability cannot be maintained due to personal ambitions
- no economic or social measures can be taken to prevent separatist terrorism; Holding national security responsible for all these troubles is not fair and it is also dangerous.
Discussing this matter like making a complaint to the world instead of debating it at related platforms is not a graceful behaviour.
The Turkish Armed Forces believes that issues regarding the prosperity and happiness of the Turkish nation should be discussed at platforms which are not tainted with political interests.
It is a fact that people whose concepts of modernism and universalism are limited with their own paradigm, could only take Turkey to the dark instead of a bright future and we have seen numerous examples of this in our past.``
Turkish Daily News (7.8.01) also reports that the first reaction to Mesut Yilmaz´s statement came from the Nationalist Action Party leader, Mr. Devlet Bahceli, who said that this kind of debates were a waste of time and that he could not agree to such views.
The paper also reports that the reaction of the True Path Party of Tansu Ciller came from the Deputy Chairman Nevfel Sahin who criticized Mr. Yilmaz for discussing national security instead of the country´s economic and social problems.
The only positive reaction came from the islamist leader Recai Kutan, who said that he agreed with Mr Yilmaz, but added that the issue should be discussed at the Turk ish Grand National Assembly.
 Talat criticizes DenktasYeniduzen (8.8.01) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), has strongly criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas regarding his demand for «keeping better files» on the so-called «public» servants.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr. Talat notes that the way Mr Denktas thinks is similar to Abdulhamit´s, known as the «bloodthirsty Sultan» of the Ottoman Empire.
Mr. Talat underlines that the above mentioned demand supports the allegations that the pseudostate is an oppressive regime.
 Rauf Denktas to send Ankara a letter asking for moneyOrtam (8.8.01) reports that within the framework of the efforts towards overcoming the economic crisis in the pseudostate, the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, will send a letter to Ankara asking for Turkey`s aid.
During a meeting with a delegation of the depositors of the bankrupted banks, Mr. Denktas noted that Turkey is also facing economic problems and added that the depositors and the pseudogovernment should prepare a concrete plan with certain proposals, specifying that for a period they will not withdraw money from the banks.
Commenting on the issue, Ortam writes that «Denktas went into action in order to secure more money from Turkey».
 Works stopped at Thermiotissa churchAccording to KIBRIS (8.8.01), the building works at the church of the occupied Thermia village in Kyrenia stopped yesterday. The paper reports that the so-called Tourism and Environment«Ministry», issued a written statement according to which the building works at Thermiotissa church stopped after yesterdays protest meeting of the inhabitants of the village.
During a research conducted by the specialists of the so-called «Ancient Monuments` Department», it was established that the people who rent the church acted contrary to the plan they had submitted to the so-called «High Committee for the Monuments».
The so-called Tourism and Environment «Ministry» notes that the building works were stopped so that the issue may be investigated. After the investigations the «public opinion» will be informed in details, adds the statement.
The issue was raised by Avrupa newspaper, which since 15 June 2001 many times referred to the destruction of the ancient church of Panayia Thermiotissa.
 Apostolos Andreas Monastery to be restoredAccording to KIBRIS (8.8.01), the tenders for the restoration of the surrounding buildings of the occupied Apostolos Andreas Monastery in occupied Karpass peninsula must be submitted until 17 August.
The so-called director of the Evkaf (Religious Foundation) Administration, Taner Dervis, said yesterday that the period for the tenders may be extended until the 23rd of this month.
The restoration will take place with the financial aid of UNOPS.
[B] COMMENTS AND EDITORIALS
 Commentary on Ecevit´s reaction to Yilmaz´s reference to national security syndromeIstanbul STAR newspaper (7.8.01) carries a commentary in the column «Political Agenda» by Sabahattin Onkibar with the title «Yilmaz Reproached». The full text of the commentary is as follows:
«Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit invited the representatives of the main newspapers to his office to make disclosures on various issues and answer their questions yesterday. The first assessment he made was on the Motherland Party [ANAP] convention. He said: "The convention was successful. I congratulate Mr. Yilmaz. His reelection with a majority vote is important for the stability of the Government. I followed the speech he made during the convocation from the beginning to the end. Later, I read the text of his speech. He assessed the developments that took place during the past 10 years. In general, his assessments were negative. Of course, that was his own opinion. However, we expected him to also assess the past four years, during which he served as a responsible official. He did not deem that necessary. Whereas, important reforms were realized and significant steps were taken in that period."
Ecevit briefly outlined the work carried out during the past four years as follows:
"Turkey became an EU candidate, educational reforms were realized, significant progress was achieved in the struggle against terrorism, successful measures were taken against corruption and the Mafia organizations, state authority was reestablished in the prisons, wide-ranging reforms were realized to improve procedures related to customs, a social council was established, amendments were made to the penal and civil laws, and changes were made to improve the local administrations."
Ecevit did not give us an opportunity to ask questions. He looked at his notes on Yilmaz's speech at the ANAP convention and criticized many of his views. What he said seemed like a salvo attack:
"Mr. Yilmaz claimed that a deadlock existed in every field, from the economy to education and health services. That was an unnecessary assessment. Furthermore, he claimed that the sphere of freedoms has been restricted to a certain extent. No, that is wrong. On the contrary, it was broadened during the past four years."
Ecevit continued without pausing for a while. He asserted:
"Mr. Yilmaz claimed that 'our people are pessimistic. They have lost hope for the future.' That is a pessimistic viewpoint. Furthermore, he said that 'we have been slipping back during the past 10 years.' I believe that this is wrong. Meanwhile, he said that 'logic and common sense are ignored.' Agreeing with him is impossible."
Ecevit said that he believed some of Yilmaz's remarks were very strange. He said:
"According to Mr. Yilmaz, there are two ways for Turkey's salvation. The first would help the country to catch up with the contemporary world. However, the second is similar to the direction taken by Saddam and Milosevic. I object to that. Turkey has never followed the direction of Saddam and Milosevic. It always moved in the contemporary direction that was established for it by Great Ataturk. I have not been abl e to understand why Mr. Yilmaz felt the need to make such an assessment. I would like to clearly say that I found what he said very strange."
Ecevit then focused on the main subject. In other words, he discussed the concept of national security which Mesut Yilmaz brought up during the convention. He said:
"Mr. Yilmaz's assessment on the concept of national security might be misinterpreted if it is not explained. At least, he was careful. Underlining the need to preserve the unitary structure and the secular nature of the state was very important. Mr. Yilmaz obstructed misinterpretations by emphasizing the importance of our state's unitary and secular structure."
Ecevit concluded his written assessment as follows:
"That no one is satisfied with the present situation is right. However, nothing must be said or done to create pessimism over the future. Otherwise, the measures that have been taken will be wasted. No one will trust them."
That was when we had an opportunity to ask our questions:
- Have you conveyed your critical views to Yilmaz? Will you do so?
-There is no need for me to discuss all that with Mr. Yilmaz.
- Will you criticize Yilmaz's views during the next leaders' summit? Will you discuss the concept of national security?
- A problem does not exist between us. Mr. Yilmaz was reelected with a majority vote. That is important for our Government's stability.
- Yilmaz criticized the developments that took place during the past 10 years and lauded the era when former President Turgut Ozal was in power.
- The Ozal era does not exist anymore. I do not want to look back. However, saying that all the developments that took place during the past 10 years were negative and praising Ozal would be wrong. I wish the developments that took place during the past four years were assessed. I do not want to discuss in detail the views that were expressed during the convention of one of the political parties.
Have you been upset by Yilmaz's remarks?
- No, we successfully worked with Mr. Yilmaz without a problem for four years.
- Why did Yilmaz bring up the concept of national security? Does a problem exist in the effort that is made to realize the national program?
- A problem or an obstacle does not exist. The structure of the national program was drawn up with Mr. Yilmaz's contribution.
- Why did Yilmaz bring it up? Did he want to convey a message?
- I do not know why he brought up the matter. However, I believe that it must be explained. Meanwhile, I want to recall the situation around Turkey. The threats to our country are common knowledge. Naturally, the concept of national security has to be considered accordingly.
- Could it be possible that Yilmaz had Turkey's approach on the ESDI and Ankara's policy on Cyprus in mind? Does he object to Turkey's approach on them?
- I do not think so. I do not believe that he disagrees with our policies.
- Can you comment on Yilmaz's remarks on corruption?
-I do not want to comment.
- Can you comment on his statement that former Minister of Internal Affairs tried to create the impression that he was a heroic police official?
- I have not seen any weakness in Mr. Yilmaz's determination to contribute toward the struggle against corruption.
- Can you comment on what he said about Recep Tayyip Erdogan?
- Mr. Yilmaz is very sensitive on matters related to secularism. That might have been the reason for what he said about Mr. Erdogan.
- Can you comment on the initiatives made for new political organizations?
- A final structure does not exist yet. We will see what will happen in the near future.
- What do you think about Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
- He was described as a reformist by various circles. I asked them to explain why they described him as such. I was criticized for asking such a question. I now see that many circles agree with me.
- Can elections be on the agenda within a year?
- No, elections cannot be held within a year. Everything might be disrupted if early elections are held. Even mentioning the possibility of elections would be wrong. Holding elections before we achieve results from the measures we have taken would be wrong.
- Reports said that a third economic crisis might break out in the fall. They also said that consolidation or a moratorium might be considered.
- We would not even discuss that. Turkey paid the debts it inherited from the Ottoman Empire even when its economy was at its weakest point. The economic problems we have are not similar to those that existed in the past. Turkey is committed to its debts and promises. It is strong enough to solve its problems. Turkey has secured foreign credits. Will other measures be taken?
- Yes. For example, the Treasury will sell the lands it owns. That will be an important resource.
-Turkey has been forced to ask the World Bank to support it. Was that humiliating for our country? -The extension of aid should be seen as cooperation between two sides. It is a positive process. Even Ataturk asked the United States to support the charity organization he established to care for children.
- Reports say that the cabinet will be reshuffled and the number of ministers will be reduced. Is that right?
- A proposal has not yet been made to the coalition party leaders. So, I cannot comment on what you said. Is Turkey the only country in the world that has a large cabinet? Many countries have large cabinets. Taking steps that might shake the coalition would be wrong at this time.
- Can you comment on Prime Minister Sharon's visit to Turkey?
- We are worried about the developments in the Middle East. Any development that might worsen the tension between Israel and the Palestinians will harm Turkey's policy on the region.
- Is it true that an effort is made for the establishment of an alliance between Turkey, Israel, and Azerbaijan against Russia, Iran, and Armenia?
- That is speculation.
- Can you comment on Kemal Devis' situation?
- His work is very successful. We do not have a problem.
- He seems not to be interested in politics.
- Yes, he is not interested in politics.
- Reports said that the ANAP officials want him to join their party.
- I do not know that. Commenting on what you said would be wrong.
- Can you assess the appointments and promotions in the gendarmerie forces?
- No, you should do that.
- Can you comment on the way Yilmaz criticized the columnists?
- I, too, have been criticized. But, I was a journalist in the past. So, I am not offended.
I have just outlined Ecevit's assessments and the way he replied to our questions. Obviously, Yilmaz's failure to positively assess the developments that took place during the past four years made him uneasy because he shared responsibility will Yilmaz in that period. Meanwhile, he drew attention to national security. That was important.
Why did Ecevit decide to outline his assessments shortly after the ANAP convention? Was it because he wanted to ease various circles which were offended by Yilmaz's messages? If that was his intention, then we appreciate his sensitive approach. We are convinced that his views obstructed a possible political crisis. What would have happened if various circles made firm disclosures before Ecevit expressed his views? We do not want to make a categorical statement but we believe that he obstructed a possible crisis. If that is so, then he has done the right thing».