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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-08-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.156/05 18.08.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines will fly to Baku on August 28thTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.08.05) reported that the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (TCA) will hold a direct flight to Baku on August 28th.
According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, diplomatic sources of the occupation regime said that the "TCA" will hold a direct flight for the first time to a foreign country besides Turkey, adding that the plane which will carry political officials, businessmen and journalists will take off from the occupied airport of Tymbou for Baku, Azerbaijan on August 28th.
Sources noted that the Turkish Cypriot delegation will meet Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev and several ministers in Baku, adding that they will discuss economic and cultural cooperation as well as tourism issues.
Azerbaijani Imair, carrying high-level bureaucrats, businessmen and journalists, had held a direct flight from Baku to the occupied area of Cyprus on July 27th.
 The occupation regime said that they would open Zodia crossing-pointTurkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (18.08.05) reported that the so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said yesterday that they would open Zodia crossing-point for people to move between the free and the occupied areas of Cyprus on August 31st.
 Namik Tan: "No obstacle to accession talks"Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.08.05) reported that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Spokesman Namik Tan said on Wednesday that "actually there is no hurdle in front of the start of entry talks with the European Union (EU)".
When reminded that some EU countries have made statements regarding the start of Turkey's accession talks, Mr Tan referred to the decision taken on December 17th (in Brussels). When recalled the allegations that France and the Republic of Cyprus were exerting efforts to alter Negotiation Framework Document, Mr Tan said: "Those news reports should not be esteemed".
He also said that Turkey had necessary contacts and has been regularly conveying its position and views to the EU.
 Soyer says that among the goals of the Turkish Cypriots is institutionalizing their "state"Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.08.05) reports that the so-called prime minister of the occupation regime, Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Turkish Cypriots would exert efforts for reaching a solution in Cyprus and at the same time they would carry on their communal existence by developing their economy and institutionalizing their "state".
Speaking yesterday at the celebrations for the 31st anniversary of the occupation of Lefka village by the Turkish army, Mr Soyer noted that they arrived at a new stage and added: "The new stage is based on two basic points: The first is trying for a solution, showing our determined stance and the will of our people and struggling for the lifting of the isolations. The other is institutionalising and developing the state of the Turkish Cypriot people, developing our economy and furthering our development by evolving our social and cultural life".
Mr Soyer said that after the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the necessity for a bi-zonal, bi-communal solution based on political equality was formed. He argued that the Turkish Cypriots struggled for this solution and said "yes" to the Annan Plan. However, he claimed, "the dominant mentality" of the Greek Cypriots said "no" in order to leave the Turkish Cypriots face to face with the situation of being a minority.
 NCP criticizes Talat for his policy and his statement that their basic aim should be protecting the land and asks him whose land they will protectTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (18.08.05) reports that the New Cyprus Party (NCP) has criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat for his policy and the statement that "they should protect their land".
In a written statement issued yesterday, the NCP criticizes the fact that after the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and the National Unity Party, Mr Talat and the Republican Turkish Party as well continue to organize the celebrations for the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and pursue a policy by exploiting these painful events.
The NCP notes inter alia, the following:
"...Instead of exerting efforts so that such events are not repeated again, instead of giving messages of peace, they, day and night continuously attack the whole of the Greek Cypriot community with aggressive statements and speeches so that the feelings of rancour and hate to be kept alive. ...
During the last days, together with the chauvinistic attacks against the Greek Cypriot community, they are challenging the world as well. That is Talat, who is saying that if need be they could fight again, proves every day a little bit more how much he supports peace.
Especially the fact that in his speeches he stresses that 'the policy of protecting the land must be adopted as a basic goal', is a very clear proof for the direction he is heading for.
Will they not ask Mr Talat 'whose land you are protecting'? Will they not ask him 'whose land you are giving away'? Since when the lands of the Greek Cypriots became yours and you are making a call for their protection? Which international law gives you the right to plunder the properties of the Greek Cypriots?
The more they talk the more they sink. The more they talk, the more their real intention is understood easily ...".
 Erdogan expresses his support to the withdrawal of settlements from the Gaza strip, while Turkey refuses to send the illegal settlers away from CyprusIstanbul NTV television (17.08.05) broadcast that Turkey's Prime Minister has thrown his support behind the Israeli government's withdrawal of settlements from the Gaza strip.
The Turkish Prime Minister said he hoped the withdrawal from the Gaza settlements would be a step on the road to peace.
In a letter he sent to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, made public on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he hoped the removal of Israeli settlements from Gaza would open a new chapter in the region.
In his letter, Erdogan said he commended the courage and determination of the Israeli government in formulating and implementing the disengagement process from its inception.
In the face of strong opposition from some settlers, Sharon's government has ordered many communities in the occupied Gaza Strip to be dismantled and the settlers themselves to be transferred inside Israel's internationally recognised borders. The abandoned settlements are to be handed over the Palestinian Authority.
"Creating an atmosphere of security and the rule of law in the Palestinian areas, building the necessary infrastructure, improving the Palestinians' quality of life and implementing the reforms in order to lay the foundations of a democratic state - these are the challenges that must be dealt with together," Erdogan said in his letter and added:
"In this critical period, I - as a true friend of both Israel and the Palestinians - would like to emphasise my government's commitment to support both sides on the road to peace."
 Democratic's People Party is closing and merging with new political partyAccording to Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (17.08.05), noting that with the Democratic Social Movement (DSM) becoming a political party DEHAP was going to close, (Democratic People's Party (DEHAP) Chairman Tuncer Bakirhan) said that DEHAP "DEHAP has completed its mission". The DEHAP´s party Assembly and its provincial chairmen got together to join the DSM, whose formation will soon be announced, and debated the future of the party.
Mr Bakirhan noted that the DSM was in the final stages of becoming a political party. Stating that DEHAP's mission was complete, Mr Bakirhan said: "Political parties are vehicles. Therefore, DEHAP was also a vehicle. Our aim is to make the DSM a political party. We will also ensure participation in the DSM."
After the party assembly members and several provincial chairmen had spoken they voted unanimously on DEHAP joining the DSM. DEHAP will become empty as its members transfer en masse to the DSM, whose founding is expected next month, and so DEHAP will hold a party congress within the next 45 days.
 General Basbug transferred duties to General KosanerTurkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (17.08.05) reported that the General Ilker Basbug, second in command of the General Staff who has been appointed as the commander of the 1st Army, transferred his duties to General Sebahattin Isik Kosaner during an unpublicized ceremony at the General Staff Headquarters yesterday. The press and the other media organs were not informed on the change of command earlier drew attention.
The Supreme Military Council appointed General Basbug as the commander of the 1st Army during its recent meeting. It also appointed General Kosaner to replace him as the second in command of the General Staff.
The change of command ceremonies at the command headquarters of the Air Force and the Naval Forces will be held next week.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 The PKK is holding discussions on 'laying down' armsUnder the above title, Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (17.08.05) published the following commentary by Derya Sazak:
"The fact that Prime Minister Erdogan defined the Kurdish problem as a 'democracy problem' and the messages that he issued in Diyarbakir have led the PKK [Workers Party of Kurdistan]/KONGRA-GEL organization to reassess the 'armed actions'.
Zubeyir Aydar, KONGRA-GEL chairman and former Democracy Party (DP) deputy called the day before yesterday and assessed the developments that occurred in relation to Prime Minister Erdogan's statements. Aydar reported that they are holding meetings with all the circles that adopt a peaceful approach with regard to the Kurdish problem in Turkey and they are checking their pulse for reducing the tension that has been caused as a result of the terrorist actions and to enter a process of "inactivity." Aydar added that they will announce a "decision" soon.
Subtitle: Hesitations on three main points
Evidently the meeting that Prime Minister Erdogan held with the "intellectuals" and the speech he gave in Diyarbakir in the aftermath of this meeting have been effective in bringing the PKK/KONGRA-GEL to the point of holding discussions on "laying down arms," just like IRA. Nonetheless, according to our impression from our phone conversation with Zubeyir Aydar, they have hesitations on three main points where the period ahead is concerned:
1. Was Prime Minister Erdogan's speech in Diyarbakir a "tactical" leap? How determined is the government regarding finding a "democratic solution" to the Kurdish problem?
2. What will be the stand of the army with regard to Erdogan's remarks? Prime Minister Erdogan asserted that the state made a mistake in the past. He stressed that they will not go back from this point and that the freedoms will not be limited. Despite this, however, will the National Security Council accept the chief of staff demand for further "authority?"
3. How do the Turkish public and the Turkish intellectuals look at the Kurdish problem? If a decision is reached "to lay down arms" after a process of inactivity, will peace be established? Given that we faced problems during the cease-fire periods in the past, we have to be more cautious now.
We talked to Zubeyir Aydar, former DP deputy whom we also knew from the National Assembly in the beginning of the 1990's, about the views that we share in this column with out readers about the southeast and the Kurdish problem.
It is impossible to resolve the problem with the formula of "the Kurdish issue equals the PKK and the PKK equals Ocalan"! To base the peace calls merely on the demand for "freedom to Imrali" is not realistic. Furthermore given that this demand is for someone who is responsible for a "bloody period" that resulted in the deaths of 30,000 people within 15 years, the people will not be able to accept this in their consciences. To demand an amnesty that will also include Ocalan is merely hoping for the impossible. Neither the Justice and Development Party, nor the other parties will say "yes" to this.
On the other hand, if the PKK "lays down arms" and if a Kurdish political movement that is not based on "ethnic nationalism" gets stronger in a democratic environment, this will contribute to the economic development of the southeast and to overcoming poverty. This process will also marginalize "separatist terrorism." If confidence is built, the legal "disarmament" of the PKK militants in Kandil may appear on the agenda in the aftermath of a "process of inactivity."
Subtitle: The decision will soon be announced
Even a "cease-fire" period of 24 hours is very valuable for preventing the deaths of our youths -- Kurdish or Turkish. Let us see whether or not PKK/KONGRA-GEL will be able to take the historic step that will put an end to violence in the Turkey of 2005. Zubeyir Aydar ended our conversation by saying: 'This country belongs to all of us. We will announce our decision soon. We are assessing the developments from all aspects.'"