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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-10-29

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.204/03 28-29.10.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party elaborates on Erdoganīs statements on Cyprus.
  • [02] EVKAF religious foundation alleges it owns more than 7.000.000 square meters of land in occupied Morphou region.
  • [03] The foundations of the Second Grand Avrasya Hotel were laid in the occupied areas.
  • [04] A live TV program broadcast by Avrasya TV Station was interrupted suddenly while the journalist of ORTAM Hasan Kahvecioglu was talking about the attacks against the Peace and Democracy Movement.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [05] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses Turkey^“s political situation in the light of the confrontation between islamists and secularists.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party elaborates on Erdoganīs statements on Cyprus

    Istanbul Turkiye'de AKSAM newspaper (26.10.03) publishes an interview with the Justice and Development Party deputy leader Saban Disli.

    On Cyprus Mr Disli replied to the following two questions:

    Question: Prime Minister Erdogan said several times that Turkey will be confronted with a difficult situation in its relations with the EU if the Cyprus problem remains unsolved. However, he now emphasizes that the point that has been reached is not linked with Cyprus. In fact, he reprimands journalists who link Turkey's accession to the EU with Cyprus. Has he changed his policy?

    Answer: No, he has not changed his policy. He has explained his approach. Cyprus remaining unsolved will not be the end of the world. The EU expects Turkey to comply with the criteria outlined in Copenhagen. That is what is required.

    Question: Reports say that the Republican Turkish Party headed by Mehmet Ali Talat might come to power in north Cyprus. However, the military forces and various circles in Turkey are worried. Prime Minister Erdogan said that everything might change on the island. Can you comment?

    Answer: Prime Minister Erdogan only said that the problem would be on the agenda again after elections are held in north Cyprus in December. What might be said beyond that would be speculation.

    [02] EVKAF religious foundation alleges it owns more than 7.000.000 square meters of land in occupied Morphou region

    Under the title ^”The Wakfs have property exceeding seven million square meters in Morphou^‘, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (29.10.03) reports that after the allegations regarding the closed city of Varosha, EVKAF religious foundation claims now that it owns seven million and 141 thousand square meters of land in occupied Morphou area.

    According to EVKAF^“s director Taner Dervis, the foundation found in its archives eight documents of the property it allegedly owns in Morphou. In addition to this land, argued Mr Dervis, the foundation owns also two big farms in the same region, which are estimated to be thousands of square meters.

    Mr Dervis said that the investigations regarding the title deeds of the above-mentioned property have not ended yet and alleged that the EVKAF would demand millions of dollars as compensation for the use of this land and the water in it. Mr Dervis accused the Greek Cypriot church and the Greek Cypriot community in general of looting the property of EVKAF in the period 1878 ^÷ 1974.

    [03] The foundations of the Second Grand Avrasya Hotel were laid in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (29.10.03) reports that the foundations of the Second Grand Avrasya Hotel were laid yesterday in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The owners of the hotel are the International Metal Workers^“ Federation and the Turkish Metal Workers^“ Trade Union.

    Talking at the ceremony, in the presence of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Mustafa Ozbek, chairman of the International Metal Workers^“ Federation and Turkish Metal Workers^“ Trade Union, said that they are making in occupied Cyprus an investment of 16 million US dollars. Mr Ozbek alleged that the Annan plan has been prepared aiming at provoking the Turkish Cypriots against Mr Denktas and argued that the plan is full of traps.

    In statements during the ceremony, Mr Denktas alleged that the biggest tragedy for the Turkish Cypriots would be being forced ^”to live without Turkey^‘.

    [04] A live TV program broadcast by Avrasya TV Station was interrupted suddenly while the journalist of ORTAM Hasan Kahvecioglu was talking about the attacks against the Peace and Democracy Movement

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (28.10.03) reports that a live TV program, broadcast by Avrasya TV (ART), in which ORTAM journalist Mr Hasan Kahvecioglu, was a guest, was interrupted suddenly by the administrators of Avrasya TV who are of a Turkish origin. Mr Kahvecioglu was talking at the time about various attacks that took place recently against the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM).

    As the paper writes Mr Kahvecioglu was a quest at the ^”Press Club^‘ show in order to talk about various attacks against the PDM. While he was talking about the latest incident that took place at the central offices of PDM, the administrators of the ART, who are of Turkish origin, suddenly entered the studio, stopped the programme and the station started playing military marches. Mr Kahvecioglu managed to leave the building of Avrasya TV and took shelter at ORTAM^“s offices where a large number of persons gathered asking for information regarding the incident.

    The newscaster of the program Mr Osman Guvenir and the other quests, Mr Ozer Kanli from illegal Bayrak television and Mr Erdogan Naim from VATAN newspaper, were in shoked by the incident. ORTAM writes that the person who established Avrasya TV, paying millions of dollars, is the Turkish Mustafa Ozbek who is said to be propagading in favour of Denktas and his followers and who ^”now created a climate of terror^‘.

    The paper further reports that Mr Kahvecioglu was invited to the program in order to talk about the latest of a series of attacks that took place recently against PDM. Mr Kahvecioglu spoke about an incident that took place last Sunday where some persons entered secretly the central offices of PDM and filmed a Turkish flag which was pulled outside of a window without glass. Avrasya TV broadcast the scene in the evening news bulletin, alleging that PDM has no respect for the Turkish flag. They also broadcast a 45 minutes program which, as the papers writes, was against the Party. Mr Kahvecioglu protested during the program for the event. ^”While we approach the elections they try to terrorize us with theories of conspiracies^‘, he stressed.

    In addition, the PDM stressed in a statement that the attacks against the party are carried out by those who try to scare the Turkish Cypriots who want solution, peace and EU accession and stressed that the provocations and the assaults ^”exceeded the limits of shame^‘. The Party also stated that the Avrasya TV and its authorities keep telling lies and present false news trying to show that PDM is an enemy of Turkey.

    As mentioned in the statement, in the past, the lighted emblem of the Party was broken, the flags which were in front of the Central Offices of the party were torn into pieces and the Party^“s fixed placard which was in the Kioneli Round About was stolen.

    Moreover as ORTAM (29.10.03) reports, two persons who worked at ART, Ahmet Alan and Ferhat Candan, resigned from their jobs. In addition, another journalist of ART Fatih Yilmaz was removed from his position, and all three journalists accused ART of preparing conspiracies and yesterday they gave statements to the so-called police until late.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [05] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses Turkey^“s political situation in the light of the confrontation between islamists and secularists

    Turkish Daily News (28.10.03) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil:

    National days are happy events for nations, a cause for celebration, for unity and pride. Not in Turkey, this time. The presidential reception has already gone beyond what a reception ought to stand for.

    The talk of boycott, discrimination, freedom of religious expression, of secularism; suddenly, the headscarf is the talk of the country, once again. Oh, but how many causes for fight does this country secretly keep in its dusty cupboards?

    Once an incident sparks an Islamist/secularist confrontation in Turkey, the battle often spreads to many fronts. Possibly in retaliation for President Ahmet Necet Sezer's "selective" list of guests for the National Day reception on October 29, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc decided to inaugurate the completion of renovation work at a mosque in an Aegean town -- and on the National Day!

    When the firing begins, it is often difficult to stop it. At the weekend, 15,000 people, mostly university students, staged a "Respect to the Republic" march in the streets of Ankara -- this time, a secularist show of force. The march went peaceful. But the careful observer must have captured one tiny detail that unveiled dangerous intentions. One placard in the procession called on the military "to do their duty."

    In Turkish political jargon this is an open appeal for a military coup. And the irony is always there: people urging the military for a coup at the "Respect to the Republic" march!

    Turkish secularists feel defeated. They are desperate for a quick victory over the enemy -- the Islamists. Worse, they feel helpless. But instead of seeking an undemocratic solution they should ask themselves tough questions.

    Why, for example, can they not stand against JDP as a monolithic force through democratic means? How do they justify the merits/demerits of the election system they had created when JDP won 66 percent of the seats in Parliament with 34 percent of the valid votes, or rather with 25 percent of the entire electorate? Are there any other countries in the world where a party wins two-thirds of the seats in parliament when only one-fourth of the legitimate electorate has voted for it? Why can the remaining three-fourths not challenge, at the ballot boxes, the one-fourth?

    The red-and-white placard at the weekend's march is a symbol of defeat and desperation. As always, the lazy, self-declared guardians of the secular regime are hoping for a post-modern coup -- for they are unable to fight the enemy democratically.

    The secularists should rethink their preferred methods to guard the regime. A mere glance at the "opposition" Republican People's Party will tell much about the misery -- a party deeply divided, as always, along personal lines and unable to produce solutions, and, instead, too much bogged down with archaic political intrigues.

    What political options do the Turks have? Islamist militant-turned-Muslim democrats and coup-seeking secularists. Not to mention a businessman who behaves more like a bandit than a savior, a party with an impressive corruption record and a "state-sponsored" shady figure best known for his dark, deep past. This is probably not the political picture Ataturk had hoped for when he founded the Republic 80 years ago.

    /SK


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