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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-11-25

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.223/03 25.11.03

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Four "candidates" and three supporters of the Peace and Democracy Movement were arrested by the pseudopolice because they were distributing leaflets about the "elections".
  • [02] Ali Erel was invited to participate in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference which will take place in Italy.
  • [03] Turkish tourist companies are planning to invest in Karpass Peninsula after the solution of the Cyprus problem.
  • [04] First veto for Kurdish Alphabet.
  • [05] Trade deficit in Turkey up 44.4% in January -September.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News criticizes Mr Erdogan for being a man with "many faces".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Four "candidates" and three supporters of the Peace and Democracy Movement were arrested by the pseudopolice because they were distributing leaflets about the "elections"

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (25.11.03) reports that four "candidates" and three supporters of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) were arrested yesterday with orders of the so-called Election Commission of the Kyrenia district. Charges were also filed against them.

    The seven persons were at the round-about in the entrance of occupied Kyrenia, distributing invitation leaflets about a public event to be organised by the PDM on the 27th of November for the Bayram. The pseudopolice arrested the members of the PDM, exhibiting, as the paper writes, "aggressive attitude". Subsequently the police seized the invitations, the candidates' introducing brochures, a package of brochures and the Party's flags.

    However, writes the paper, the so-called "Election Commission" of the Kyrenia district did not take action against the commander of the 39th army division who visited the occupied Diorios village a few days ago and propagated in favour of the status quo. At the time the "Commission" advised PDM, which reacted against the commander's action, to complain either to the Supreme Election Board or the Turkish occupation Army.

    In a statement he made on the issue Mr Halil Sadrazam, PDM coordinator for Kyrenia district said that the incident was a deliberate attack against the PDM and the supporters of peace. Mr Sadrazam, who is among the persons who were arrested, stated that the pseudopolice asked them to leave the round-about because they were obstructing the traffic, but, as he stated, they were distributing the leaflets standing at the edge of the road and did not put obstacles to the traffic.

    [02] Ali Erel was invited to participate in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference which will take place in Italy

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.11.03) reports that Mr Ale Erel, the chairman of the Solution and EU Party (SEUP) was invited to participate in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference which is organised by Italy, the Term President of the European Union.

    The Conference will take place on the 27-28 of November at Palermo, Italy and its theme will be the EU prospective in Mediterranean. Mr Erel, who was invited by Mr Salvatore Cuffano, who is the President of the Sicilian Region, sated that he will participate in the Conference.

    [03] Turkish tourist companies are planning to invest in Karpass Peninsula after the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot YENIDUZEN newspaper (25.11.03) reports that Turkish tourist companies, awaiting for a solution to the Cyprus problem, have bought land in the Karpass Peninsula in order to be ready for investments in that area. Talking about the above issue, the president of the Turkish Tourist Investments Association, Mr Oktay Varlier, said that the tourist companies believe that the solution of the Cyprus problem will be successful after the December "elections" and for this reason 16 Turkish Companies have bought land and they are planning to build more tourist apartments so that the existing 11.000 beds are increased to 30.000. Referring to the choice of Karpass Peninsula, Mr Varlier said that this place is unique not only in Cyprus but in the Mediterranean as well and on its beaches the Caretta Caretta turtles lay down their eggs. Another reason for this choice, as stated by Mr Varlier, is the small number of Greek Cypriots living in Karpass.

    [04] First veto for Kurdish Alphabet

    According to the Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (25/11/03), the Court of First Instance of Hakkari province in Turkey has rejected the request of two persons who wanted to change their names and adopt Kurdish names with Kurdish letters .

    The Attorney- General of Hakkari province told the Court that changing the names into Kurdish with the Kurdish letters creates no legal problem. However, a Turkish Language Institute representative in the Court objected by saying that since the Kurdish names include letters non-existent in the Turkish Alphabet therefore the requested changes could not be carried out.

    The Court, despite the fact that with the EU harmonization package the Kurdish names were accepted, has rejected the request of the two persons claiming that the names include letters non-existent in the Turkish Alphabet.

    The paper reports that the last word in this case is to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

    [05] Trade deficit in Turkey up 44.4% in January -September

    Mainland newspaper Turkish Daily News (22.11.03) reports the following: "The year-on-year foreign trade deficit increased 44.4 percent to $15.4 billion in the first nine months, the State Institute of Statistics (DIE) said on Friday.

    DIE said exports from January to September were up 30.4 percent, at $33.555 billion, while imports increased 34.5 percent to $48.963 billion.

    In the month of September alone, the trade deficit was up 66.3 percent year-on-year at $2.153 billion, with exports rising 24.1 percent and imports up 36.2 percent.

    Turkey's exports stood at $4.3 billion and its imports at $6.1 billion in September alone.

    The export-import ratio fell to 68.5 percent in the January to September period, the lowest since February 2001.

    Turkey's consumption goods imports rose by 43.1 percent to $ 4.9 billion, followed by intermediate goods imports at 34.8 percent and capital goods imports at 29.9 percent in the first nine months of the year. Intermediate goods imports amounted to $36.2 billion in the same period.

    Turkey's imports from EU countries increased by 35 percent to $21.9 billion, while its exports to these countries rose 33.1 percent to $17.3 billion in the first nine months of the year."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News criticizes Mr Erdogan for being a man with "many faces"

    Turkish Daily News (25.11.03) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil, under the title: "A man for all seasons":

    "Turkey is always full of ironies. Recep Tayyip Erdogan could not possibly guess when he was pictured kneeling before a leading Afghan sheik that this man's close ally, Osama bin Laden, would bloody his country a few years later -- when he would be occupying Turkey's top seat! Among many western-minded prime ministers in recent years, Mr Erdogan's former friends have chosen Turkey's first Imam-turned-premier to challenge violently.

    Mr Erdogan can no longer continue with his "many faces." He can no longer claim to be all of the things he says he is -- a fighter for Islam and at the same time a friend of the United States and Israel; a prime minister with an agenda for religious liberties beyond EU standards and at the same time a secular statesman. He must understand that he can no longer satisfy all of the clashing cliques/opinions. He must decide who he really is -- and sooner than later.

    Newspapers openly backing Mr Erdogan's governance have meticulously avoided blaming last week's suicide bombings on Islamist terror -- like he once meticulously avoided calling al-Qaeda a terrorist organization. Instead, a chorus of Islamic-leaning press claimed, as always, the tragedies were American-Jewish conspiracy. Mr. Erdogan's supporters in the media have the reflex of blaming every evil on American-backed Semitism. Likewise, Mr Erdogan insists there is not yet conclusive evidence to confirm al-Qaeda was the culprit. But al-Qaeda's message for Turkey was crystal clear:

    "As for you Turkey," a statement by a unit of al-Qaeda network asked, "Isn't it time you left the Crusader army and returned to the Islamic nation? Isn't it time for you to withdraw your army from Afghanistan; stop all ties with the Zionist entity; stop providing America with soldiers for Iraq and leave left the Crusader Atlantic alliance? We consider the government of Turkey as a first-class agent for America and therefore it must choose -- peace or America."

    No doubt, the catastrophic blasts in Istanbul have underscored that Turkey's close ties with the United States and Israel and its role as a Muslim but secular democracy in the volatile Middle East have propelled it into the front line in the war on terrorism. The American invasion of Iraq has not only done considerable damage to western interests, particularly American and British, but has also pushed countries like Turkey and Italy into the target zone. It has further polarized a region already a scene of bloodshed.

    Oddly but naturally, there are parallels in Turkish public thinking and al-Qaeda's rhetoric. "O Bush," al-Qaeda asked the president of the United States, "what have you done to America and its allies where is the security you promised them, where is developed Afghanistan, where is the free, secure Iraq?"

    In a similar tone, several thousand Turks gathered in Istanbul and other cities at the weekend to condemn the bombings, with many protesting what they see as the root cause of the attacks -- America. Groups chanted anti-American slogans shouting: "Terrorist America get out of the Middle East." A caption on one placard, below pictures of Mr Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair said: "We know who the murderers are."

    All this is hardly surprising in a country where many think that by leaning on Turkey to be more of a help in Iraq, America inadvertently has helped to nudge Turkey into the cross-hairs of Islamic militants. A world attitudes survey conducted last summer by the Pew Research Center for the People and Press found that 83 percent of Turkish people held a negative view of the United States. Only 8 percent expressed confidence in Mr Bush's ability to handle world affairs. The figures must now be like 99 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

    Fingers may soon turn to Mr Erdogan and other Islamist/conservative politicians who may have turned a blind eye to thousands of Turkish Islamic militants who armed and organized on Turkish soil to fight in Chechnya, Bosnia and Afghanistan. Brainwashed by prominent figures like the Afghan sheik Mr Erdogan respected so much and trained in al-Qaeda camps, many of these sick minds are presently in Turkey, available for new martyrdom missions.

    Meanwhile, Mr Erdogan is still cautious in treating al-Qaeda although he reluctantly admits the attacks "could have been based on religious motives." This is a rather mild interpretation. And the careful observer will notice Mr Erdogan's choice of wording. He mentions "religious motives," not Islamic. What religion, Mr Erdogan, were the attacks based on Christian motives, or Jewish?

    Never mind the confusion of his mind. The "pragmatist in him" will soon overcome "the Imam." The bombings will push him further towards mainstream rhetoric."

    /SK


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