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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-08-17

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.155/05 17.08.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The so-called Minister of Economy and Tourism announces that the "TCA" will soon launch direct flights to Baku.
  • [02] Illegal emigrants from Syria are arrested by the occupation regime.
  • [03] The National Security Council will convene on 23 August.
  • [04] A letter from Bush to Erdogan.
  • [05] Britain welcomes capture and arrest of Sakra by Turkish Police.
  • [06] Turkish paper reports that Al-Qa'ida Militant captured in Turkey had 'Links' with CIA.
  • [07] A discord between the Turkish government and the General Staff on the Kurdish issue.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Columnist of KIBRIS gives facts about the import of some materials used in the constructions for the period 2003 - 2005.
  • [09] Turkish columnist commented on constitutional amendments, Turkish Prime Minister and the Kurdish Problem.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The so-called Minister of Economy and Tourism announces that the "TCA" will soon launch direct flights to Baku

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.08.05) reports that the so-called Economy and Tourism Minister of the occupation regime, Dervis Kemal Deniz has announced that the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (TCA) will be having scheduled flights between the illegal Tymbou airport and Baku in the coming days.

    In statements yesterday during a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot Citrus Fruits Exporters' Union, Mr Deniz said that the Azerbaijani government had informed the authorities of the occupation regime that the necessary permission to launch flights will be granted and added that work to speed up this process had started.

    Explaining that an official request must be made to the Azerbaijani government before such flights could take place, Mr Deniz said that after the application is made and the necessary formalities are completed, the "TCA" will be ready to launch flights to Baku.

    [02] Illegal emigrants from Syria are arrested by the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (17.08.05) reports that thirteen persons from Syria were arrested on Monday ten nautical miles off the coast of occupied Karpass peninsula. They were on a fishing boat, which was bringing them to the shores of the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    It has been known that the illegal Syrian refugees had paid 2.000 US dollars each to two persons in order to leave them at the coast of occupied Rizokarpasso village.

    [03] The National Security Council will convene on 23 August

    Turkish NTV television (16.08.05) broadcast that Turkey´s National Security Council (NSC) will convene on 23 August. The military members of the NSC will put forward a comprehensive report outlining reasons for terrorism and measures to be taken in response.

    It was reported that the military could put forward a dossier containing an analysis of the attacks carried out by the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan]. In the next meeting of the National Security Council, legal shortcomings observed in the struggle against terrorism and actions that should be taken in order to eliminate those shortcomings will probably be discussed in that context.

    The military wing is expected to bring up and discuss Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's definition of the "Kurdish question" in the meeting. According to sources, the military is of the opinion that statements made without any coordination between the government units concerned could be detrimental to the ongoing struggle.

    They are expected to voice the opinion that such statements would have an adverse effect on perseverance and determination of the units maintaining the struggle while encouraging the supporters of the terrorist organization.

    The Turkish Armed Forces argue that the dispute stems from economic and social problems rather than ethnic reasons. Thus, the NSC will review proposals aimed at achieving economic recovery and creation of new jobs in the East and Southeast.

    The proposals expected to be put forward by the military include launching an all-out struggle against terrorism with the involvement of non-governmental organizations. The meeting will also review recent developments in Iraq, Cyprus, and relations with the EU. The National Security Policy Document has not been included in the agenda of the meeting.

    [04] A letter from Bush to Erdogan

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (16.08.05) reported that President Bush has conveyed a letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to inform him on the determination to have the relations and cooperation between the two countries improved. In his one-page letter, which was conveyed to Erdogan by Charge d'Affaires Nancy McEldowney last week, Bush outlined the determination for the promotion of relations and called for a "strategic vision" to improve cooperation. He expressed the wish for the broadening of cooperation in trade and the political, military, and economic fields.

    It has been reported that Bush reiterated his support for Turkey's accession to the EU as a member and the measures that will end the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots, and noted that they will continue to take steps for the solution of the Cyprus problem. It has also been reported that he emphasized the importance of the joint struggle against terrorism.

    The sources close to the Prime Minister's Office described the letter as an indication of the warm dialogue between the two leaders.

    McEldowney, who took up her duties in Ankara only recently, informed Erdogan when they met that the United States will continue to help Turkey in its struggle against the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan].

    [05] Britain welcomes capture and arrest of Sakra by Turkish Police

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.08.05) reported that Britain welcomed the capture and arrest of Lu'ai Sakra by Turkish security forces.

    Releasing a statement, the British Embassy in Ankara said on Tuesday: "We welcome the recent arrest in Diyarbakir of Lu'ai Sakra, who is suspected of planning and financing the bombings in Istanbul of HSBC, the British Consulate-General, and two synagogues in 2003, and of supporting Al-Zarqawi's efforts to destabilize Iraq."

    "Sakra's arrest underlines the professionalism and commitment shown by Turkish police and represents a significant success in the global struggle against Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations," the Embassy added.

    Sakra of Syrian origin was apprehended in southeastern city of Diyarbakir last week while trying to board a plane under an assumed name for Istanbul. He was transferred to a prison in northwestern city of Kocaeli from Istanbul on August 13th.

    [06] Turkish paper reports that Al-Qa'ida Militant captured in Turkey had 'Links' with CIA

    Turkish daily Dunden Bugune TERCUMAN newspaper (13.08.05) reported that the "shady links" of Luai Sakra, the Syrian-born Al-Qa'ida militant who was captured in a breathtaking operation carried out by Turkish security units while preparing for an attack on Israeli ships and was arrested in Istanbul, have begun to come to light. Sakra, who was detained twice prior to the NATO Summit in Istanbul last year and released later, has been found out to have had links with the CIA before the September 11 attacks. It has been claimed that the CIA gave warning to the Turkish police about Sakra, who later severed his relations with the CIA, prior to the Al-Qa'ida attacks in Istanbul, which resulted in the death of 62 people. It has not become clear why Sakra, who said during his interrogation that he had been detained and released twice by the MIT [National Intelligence Organization], why he was allowed to go free.

    It has also been documented that the Syrian-born Luai Sakra, an Al-Qa'ida militant in charge of Turkey operations, stayed at the home of Habib Aktas, the other Al-Qa'ida militant involved in the Istanbul bombings, before the attacks in Istanbul on 15 and 20 November. The fact that Sakra was able to conceal himself so well in eluding capture in spite of a report by the Intelligence Department of the National Police Headquarters entitled "Al-Qa'ida and Its Turkey Structure," which includes three different color photographs of Sakra as well as detailed information about him, has caused surprise.

    Subtitle: A man with a thousand faces

    The intelligence report refers to Luai Sakra as the "financier of bomb attacks." Sakra is also described as "a man with a thousand faces" in the report. Sakra, who changes his physical appearance continuously and uses tens of codenames, has used the following codenames according to the report: "Abu Mohammad, Abu Hamza Al-Suri (Abu al-Syria), Ala Al-Din, Abu Mohammad, Abu al-Turki, Doctor, Somi, Abu Nazarat, Abu Hazen, Seljuk, and Ala Aladin."

    It has also been ascertained that when Sakra came to Istanbul, he was put up at the house of Habib Aktas, the man who leads the Turkey wing of the organization, and played a role in the planning of the attacks. It has been stated in the reports that when Aktas failed to get the required funds from the Pakistani branch of Al-Qa'ida, he contacted Sakra and obtained from him some of the $150,000 used to carry out the attacks.

    According to the findings of the police intelligence department, Sakra's true name is "Luayibi Mohammed Haj Bakr al Sakra." His father's name is Mohammad Saqa. His mother's name is Shukri Mufti. He was born on 20 December 1973 in Aleppo, Syria.

    There is information in the report to the effect that Sakra speaks Turkish very well, that he lived a long time in Turkey and entered and left the country many times. The report also states that Sakra rented a safe deposit box for a year from a financial institution in Istanbul together with Gurcan Bac on 23 December 2002. It has also been found out that Bac came to open the box eight times in a year while Aktas did so once or twice.

    [07] A discord between the Turkish government and the General Staff on the Kurdish issue

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (16.08.05) reported that following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement on the "Kurdish issue", the General Staff has begun to have an assessment report drawn up.

    The Office of the Chief of the General Staff, having formed a working group, is preparing a report on the Southeast for presentation to the National Security Council (NSC) on 23 August. It will be stressed in the report that there is "not a Kurdish issue, but rather a terrorism issue."

    Following Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's statement regarding there being a "Kurdish issue", the Office of the Chief of the General Staff began to have a very comprehensive assessment report drawn up. In the report, which will be presented to the National Security Council on 23 August, it will be stated that there is "not a Kurdish issue, but rather a terrorism issue" in the Southeast.

    Stating that work has begun on drawing up a comprehensive report for the NSC by a working group formed within the Office of the Chief of the General Staff, officials advised that reports on the issue, the basis for which has already been established, will be analyzed in conjunction with the latest developments, as well as recent developments in neighbouring countries. No other communiqué will be published regarding the Prime Minister's statements until the NSC meeting.

    Subtitle: Responsibility deriving from situation

    Military officials, asserting that the real problem in the Southeast is underdevelopment, stated that the Turkish Armed Forces, for the sake of the development of the region, have "taken upon themselves a responsibility deriving from the situation" on matters in which it [normally] has no responsibility. One military official, noting that Turkish soldiers come at the head of those soldiers who hate bloodshed, said that "It is essential not to confuse a problem of Turkey with the threat created by PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan] terrorism in Turkey." The same official continued as follows: "If you go and equate the PKK with one level of the population, we will then be confronted with yet another organization that is identified with another level of the population. Then we'll say 'This is an issue of the people.' How is the State of the Republic of Turkey going to get out from under all this?"

    Subtitle: No Demand for the State of Emergency

    Military officials, stating that allegations that they are calling for a re-instatement of the State of Emergency Law are not accurate, declared that no requests have been made of any authorities in this regard.

    Noting that certain provisions felt to be lacking for the effective prosecution of the struggle against terrorism could be arranged by means of the Provincial Administration Law, officials stated that needs are also perceived within the same scope for certain provisions in the Law on Combating Terrorism, the Code of Criminal Procedure, and the Turkish Penal Code.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Columnist of KIBRIS gives facts about the import of some materials used in the constructions for the period 2003 - 2005

    Writing in his regular column in Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.08.05), Necdet Ergun gives some facts he acquired from the so-called "Trade Department" regarding the imports of some materials used in the constructions in the occupied areas of Cyprus during the period 2003 - 2005.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot columnist the facts are the following:

    Material's name         Million Dollars - Quantity
                             2003              2004               2005 (Until May)
    Iron                  11,3 - 38,222 tons  36,7- 83,700 tons 19,3 - 45,000 tons
    Lumber                  4,2                10,2                  6,7
    Cement (raw material) 6,3-164,998 tons 18,9-372,723 ton     13,8-240,000 tons
    

    Mr Ergun notes that while the imports of the general building materials had been 46,7 million dollars in 2003, in 2004 they increased to 115,1 million dollars. During the first four months of 2005 this number decreased to 52,5 million dollars. The numbers show that while in 2004 the monthly average of the imports of building materials had been 9,5 million dollars, in the first four months of 2005 it increased to 13,5 million dollars, he points out.

    The facts show also that there is an increase of 35 %, comparing to the first half of 2004. Even if the tempo is not the same during the second six months of 2005, the performance will be the same as last year, at the worst case, notes the Turkish Cypriot columnist.

    According to Mr Ergun "the expectations from the sector are good despite the problems". He notes that the "constructions of the first wave" continue, but there is an interruption in the demand by foreigners. Now there is "change of demand" in the sector and there is an increase in the "internal demand", which takes the place of the demand by foreigners, he points out noting that "this situation might prevent the loss of tempo for a while, but it cannot last for long".

    [09] Turkish columnist commented on constitutional amendments, Turkish Prime Minister and the Kurdish Problem

    Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (12.08.05) published the following commentary by Cuneyt Arcayurek under the title, "The Advisory Delegation":

    "In the work of the ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) regarding its dreams in terms of [amending] the Constitution, one article is noteworthy.

    With an amendment to be made in article 92 of the Constitution, it is being proposed that the conditions for dispatching troops abroad or deploying foreign troops in Turkey be made easier.

    And the rationale is ready: "In situations required by the national interest..." Turkey would [be able to] conduct a large-scale operation against Iraq based on a National Assembly decision, and the United States' military demands would hereafter be met more easily.

    The JDP government, which following the rejection of the 1 March [ 2003 military authorization] motion was unable to fulfil the desires of the United States, is looking for ways, by using Northern Iraq and the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan] as pretexts, to provide military facilities to the United States.

    This proposal does not come from the government or from the military. It is contained in [National Assembly Constitutional Committee Chairman] Professor Burhan Kuzu's package [of proposed amendments]. Yet the proposal, which aims at bringing flexibility to the conditions for stationing foreign troops in Turkey, was put into the package of Constitutional amendments at the meeting, comprised of both government and party members, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin.

    What would have happened if the 1 March motion had been passed? Hundreds of thousands of American troops would have been deployed in a number of provinces in the Southeast, but even if the United States were to withdraw its troops from Iraq, it would not, based on the rationale of the struggle against terrorism, depart our Southeastern provinces or some of our air and naval bases.

    A significant portion of Turkey would thus be under US occupation.

    The media has not lost any time in taking off its hat to yet another incident: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with some intellectuals, thinkers, and according to Flash TV, the "Angels of the Southeast"... Whatever their titles... A handful of writers, cartoonists, novelists, doctors, and the like, who at one time were sympathizers of the PKK [Workers' Party of Kurdistan], intelligence officers of terrorist organizations, turncoats, eggheads and potheads, who haul up the white flag before the Armenians, are funded by money from foreign foundations and the EU, and favour selling Cyprus out... And there is no doubt but that, with this meeting, he laid the groundwork for his visit to Diyarbakir.

    It is being reported that our Erdogan declaimed to this group of people, all singing on a different note, that he accepts the Kurdish issue. It seems he merely stated what was already known. And what was that? He is reportedly speaking for the first time about the Kurdish issue. I am sorry, but that is wrong; it is twice now. The first time he rejected it; the second time he accepted it!

    Back in April, when he was honouring Norway with his presence, Erdogan reportedly became quite angry when Kurdistan National Congress representative Mahmut Colak shouted out that "There is a Kurdish issue in Turkey". And did he not respond by saying "These imaginary problems have been produced by saying things like 'There is a Kurdish issue'. For us, no such issue exists."?

    Just look, if you will, at the change from April to August... From the Kurdish issue that he rejected by calling it an imaginary Kurdish issue to the Kurdish issue that he stressed he accepted just prior to his Diyarbakir visit... Erdogan went through a great change.

    For him to turn around to this degree in five months, and to go from one fundamental belief to its exact opposite, is something that only a master such as Erdogan, who was able to go from [supporting] an Islamic republic to a secular republic, could manage. Bravo for him!

    Let us try to draw a conclusion by looking at the statements: Delegation members each speaking on a different note are calling for the PKK to lay down its arms. In order to induce the PKK to abandon its arms unconditionally they are calling - first of all - for the government to take "democratic" steps. They are thus imposing conditions on the government.

    Are these "delegational" efforts which garner such headlines in the newspapers going to produce the desired results?

    The PKK, which is after something else entirely, will continue to strike, and to kill. As long as the terrorism continues, investment in the Southeast is not going to materialize, and unemployment, poverty, and backwardness are not going to disappear!

    If only it were possible to prevent terrorism with word games by an advisory committee, headed by a professor..."


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