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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-10-25

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.204/05 25.10.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat to meet Gul before leaving for the US.
  • [02] Efforts by Serdar Denktas in Germany to distort the truth about the crimes Turkey continues to commit in a small EU member state.
  • [03] Erdogan and the Turkish Foreign Ministry launches campaign in Germany. He will ask Merkel to help Turkey avoid its EU obligations towards Cyprus.
  • [04] The Turkish National Security council met under President Sezer.
  • [05] Azerbaijan: We do not abandon support to the TRNC.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in the New Anatolian assesses the systematic confrontation of the Islamic government of Mr Erdogan with Universities.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat to meet Gul before leaving for the US

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.10.05) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) (self-styled) President Mehmet Ali Talat will arrive in Turkish capital Ankara on Tuesday prior to his visit to the United States upon invitation of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

    Talat will meet Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul tomorrow.

    Mr Talat and an accompanying delegation will leave for New York on Wednesday.

    Asim Akansoy, the (self-styled) special secretary of Mr Talat told A.A correspondent that Talat would have a busy schedule during his visit to the United States.

    Talat will have meetings with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UNDP Administrator Kemal Dervis.

    He will also attend some conferences organized by various think-tanks.

    Mr Talat will meet Condoleezza Rice on October 28th and will hold a press conference later on. Talat will also come together with former U.S. Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, the same day.

    Sources said that due to his visit to the U.S., Talat will not be able to meet British Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State John Prescott, who is currently in Cyprus.

    [02] Efforts by Serdar Denktas in Germany to distort the truth about the crimes Turkey continues to commit in a small EU member state

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.10.05) broadcast that the self-styled Foreign Minister in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Serdar Denktas, who flew to Munich yesterday to exchange views with German officials on the latest developments regarding the Cyprus issue, met with the European Parliament MP Wolfgang Kreissel Dörfler.

    Speaking to reporters before his meeting with Mr Dorfler, Mr Serdar Denktas pointed to the Turkish Cypriot «peoples» determination to make the European Union and the international community to be aware of the ongoing injustice as regards them.

    Accusing the Republic of Cyprus of trying to toughen the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot «people» by using the European Union laws in the direction of their national interests despite its rejection of the Annan plan, Mr Denktas said the Turkish Cypriot people is striving so that this reality can come to surface.

    Unless these realities can be seen by the international community, the new process on the Cyprus issue can turn against us he warned.

    As for the Turkish Cypriots living abroad, Mr Serdar Denktas said their powers must be used for the national cause of Cyprus, adding that the support of pro-Turkish Cypriot foreign MPs, political leaders and bureaucrats must be taken to make the Turkish Cypriot peoples voice to be heard within the international arena.

    Also speaking, the European Parliament MP Wolfgang Kreissel Dörfler pointed to the need of cooperation to achieve a just and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that both sides on the island should try hard for a settlement.

    We are supporting the unification of Cyprus. To achieve this, we should work in cooperation with patience, but, the concerned parties must strive more for a solution he stressed.

    Turkish Cypriot CUMHURIYET newspaper (25.10.05) reported that Mr Denktas also met with the Deputy Minister - President of Bavaria, Mr Gunther Beckstein.

    [03] Erdogan and the Turkish Foreign Ministry launches campaign in Germany. He will ask Merkel to help Turkey avoid its EU obligations towards Cyprus

    Turkish daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (25.10.05) reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Germany on 6 and 7 November and meet with the new German Chancellor, Mrs Angela Merkel. The paper writes that Mr Erdogan will ask Mrs Merkel for the support of Germany for the softening of Turkeys Accession Document to the EU.

    The paper notes the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go to Berlin on 6-7 November in order to meet with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. The important agenda of the meeting will be the stance of Germany on Turkeys EU accession talks procedure and the Accession Document (AD), which will be announced on 9 November. A delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will go to this country together with Erdogan in order to explain the sensitivities on the issue of the AD.

    According to information acquired from diplomatic sources, the AD is about to be completed. In the document the opening of the Turkish ports to ships and airplanes under the flag of Cyprus is presented as a short-term goal. However, the Greek Cypriot sector is trying to put the recognition into the short-term goals as well.

    The visit which Prime Minister Erdogan will realize on 6-7 November to Berlin has the characteristic of entering into a new period from the point of view of the relations between Turkey and Germany. It is said that the government established under the presidency of the Christian Democrat Merkel after the one party administration of the Social Democrats, will harden its policy against Turkey, in spite of the coalition. As for Prime Minister Erdogan, during his visit, he will ask for the softening of the stance of the German government towards Turkey. It is expected that Erdogan will convey messages to Merkel in this direction.

    Subtitle: There are the ports too in the AD

    Another important issue of the visit of Prime Minister Erdogan to Germany is the AD. Because Germany is one of the most important countries of the EU, Turkey wants from Germany to stand against the demands of the Greek Cypriots. Therefore, a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to go to this country together with Erdogan. It has not yet been clarified whether or not Foreign Minister Gul will participate in the visit to Germany.

    In the AD, which the Commission of the EU will announce on 9 November, there are also the conditions of the opening of the Turkish ports to the Greek Cypriots, the normalization of the relations with the Greek Cypriot administration and the short-term realization of the Supplementary Protocol of the Ankara Agreement.

    (I/Ts)

    [04] The Turkish National Security Council met under President Sezer

    Istanbul NTV television (24.10.05) broadcast the following:

    The National Security Council held its routine meeting on 24 October 2005.

    The meeting assessed the developments that have taken place during the period that stretches back to the beginning of the talks with the EU on 3 October, reiterated our country's wish and determination to become an EU member in the new era, and emphasized the importance of the protection of our national interests in the negotiations process.

    Considering the effective use of our water resources, the meeting discussed the measures that are required for the irrigation of agricultural areas, the supply of the water that is needed by the cities and the industrial sector, the use of the technical and economic potentials in the generation of hydroelectric power by 2023, and the completion of the dams that are constructed on transnational rivers.

    Furthermore, the meeting deemed the new national security policy document to be appropriate and decided to inform the Council of Ministers on its recommendation.

    [05] Azerbaijan: We do not abandon support to the TRNC

    Under the above title Turkish HURRIYET newspaper (22.10.05) publishes the following report by Ardic Aytalar:

    The Minister of State of Azerbaijan, Mr Nazim Ibrahimov, whose country carried out the first direct flight and broke the embargo imposed for years now on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, said that reaction has come from Greece and the Greek Cypriot Sector on this initiative. Elaborating that there was also reaction from the local opposition, Mr Ibrahimov, stated that No reaction can make us change our course. The Azeri Minister suggested that the Azeri and Turkish Diaspora should act together regarding the Armenian genocide claims.

    The Azeri Minister of State Nazim Ibrahimov, who is responsible for the Azeri people who live abroad and for lobby activities, further added that somebody must take the first step for lifting the embargo on the TRNC and said the following: It is not human to live under embargo. We started taking steps because we thought that we should do so. Pointing out that they had a lot of reactions after the direct flight which took place from Baku to Ercan airport, Mr Ibrahimov went on: Reactions came from the EU, Greece and the Greek Cypriot Sector. Information was leaked that Azerbaijan will be excluded from the EUs Caucasus neighbourly relations policy. We did not give in. The USA addressed an official invitation to the TRNCs President, the EU is preparing an assistance package. When the whole world was doing something, we had to do something as well, as a sign of brotherhood, even if this was not a financial aid, and we did. We had a reaction from the opposition parties as well. If we consider as brothers the persons who live in the TRNC, we must be next to them when they have a problem. Nobody must forget that in the period when Turkey was on its EU course, pressure was exerted on it to open its doors to Armenia. But Turkey did not succumb. We feel proud that we took a step for TRNC. No reaction can make us change our course, he said.

    Mr Ibrahimov concluded: During the 14 years period of our independence, we had all the support from Turkey. We need the support of Turkey for as log as we live.

    (C/S)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in the New Anatolian assess the systematic confrontation of the Islamic government of Mr Erodgan with Universities

    Ankara The New Anatolian newspaper (24.10.05) publishes the following commentary by Prof Huseyin Bagci under the title: "Intellectual reaction or uprising?":

    Turkey is facing a great intellectual uprising not seen since the beginning of the republic. This time, however, it's quite different in its structure and should be taken very seriously. The government's systematic confrontation with universities from its first day in power is now bearing fruit, and this will bring the end of the Justice and Development (AK) Party's rule sooner or later.

    The reason is simple: No government can survive this type of intellectual uprising and reaction, and the AK Party is no exception. In modern Turkish history we have several comparable events and in each instance the governments have been the loser.

    The government should make clear its ultimate aim, which is to abolish outright the Board of Higher Education (YOK) and allow headscarves in Turkish universities so the government can put in place the structure it wishes. The AK Party government has had a problem with the universities from the very beginning but has avoided confrontation as, in the words of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the time will come when their ideology and practices are introduced.

    These types of threats have also been noted by the university professors, by the European Parliament and by the entire world. In other words, the current government's policy is to "illuminate" the Turkish educational system, including the universities. Of this there can be no doubt given that the Turkish prime minister is known to have criticized the Turkish university system abroad and because his own daughter was kept from studying here as she wears a headscarf. Is only the headscarf issue at stake? Of course not! Here are some examples from Turkey's history.

    In the first years of the Turkish Republic, the most significant part of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's cultural revolution was to radically change education. Turkey offers a leading example for the Islamic world, as it shows that radical changes are possible in a nation at a time when nearly 90% of the people couldn't read or write. The first 30 years following the republic's founding was devoted to education.

    All anti-secular forces were prevented from meddling in their reforms under the one-party system, which was, globally speaking, similar to other totalitarian and authoritarian regimes such as Poland, the Soviet Union, Germany and many others. The spirit of the times was to develop secular university education and glorify the natural sciences. As a result of this enlightenment process, Turkey was indeed one of the best countries.

    After Turkey transformed into a multiparty system in the 1950s, the universities became a target for radical Islamic groups, tarikats (controversial religious sects) and even political parties which were emerging now under the democratic structures. The military intervention in 1960 is the prime example of how university professors and rectors play a very crucial role in maintaining secular educational structures.

    Prime Minister Adnan Menderes (1950-1960) confessed later that it had been a big mistake to "interfere" in the universities as it resulted in their concerted efforts against his government. The years leading up to 1980 were the golden years for Turkey's universities and secular education, as a new generation was emerging from the 1950's liberalization programs, many of whom had anti-secular hopes and expectations.

    The 1980s and '90s were the years when political Islam became a worldwide political phenomenon and many radical Islamic groups began using universities as the main platform to voice their ideologies. They were not unsuccessful. Under Necmettin Erbakan's coalition government with Tansu Ciller in the mid-'90s, the universities became an ideological battleground for radical Islamic groups from which a generation emerged which is pushing for Islam to play a greater role in educational policies.

    Erbakan's statement in the late '90s that the university rector would one day salute students who wear headscarves was the height of the political confrontation with the universities. Statements from our current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan echoed this sentiment when as mayor of Istanbul he said in an interview that his reference is Islam and that democracy is just a useful instrument.

    The problem today is that such statements force university rectors to take a stance. In other words, they don't trust the government. It's not the issue that the rector of Van's Yuzuncu Yil (Hundredth Year) University is in prison, but rather that over the next two years the universities will be shaped as the government wishes. Until now the government was considered the most progressive and serious government to make reforms in the country, which is also true. Is it only a coincidence that this event is taking place at a time when Turkey has only just begun its negotiations with the European Union and the first chapter under scrutiny is education and science?

    It should be expected that Turkey is entering a very turbulent phase. Prime Minister Erdogan's war of words with university rectors will not bring the expected political result. The question is what type of university the AK Party wants and whether it will be successful in carrying out the changes it wants. Yuzuncu Yil's rector is now a symbol for the political developments in this country, and this has already become a fireball for the government.

    Given past experiences, the government has a great duty. Either the country will find itself in another bout of social confrontation and political chaos, or we will continue to see political stability. It's clear that the government is facing a political dilemma and we are observing it hesitate. This is not a win-win situation, but a win-lose situation. At least Turkish history shows this and the government should consider this very seriously. The coming months will bring a politically cold winter, this is certain.

    /SK


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