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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-02

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.105/06 02.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Rasit Pertev on the talks he held with the EU term presidency.
  • [02] Statements by Hasan Ercakica.
  • [03] Graham Watson: Pressure is put on the Greek Cypriot side.
  • [04] The High Level Contact Group is in Cyprus.
  • [05] The self-styled constitutional court to decide on UBP´s recourse.
  • [06] Turkey signed a memorandum on money laundering with its subordinate regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [07] No permission to the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group to visit the closed city of Famagusta.
  • [08] New District Court President appointed in occupied Cyprus.
  • [09] Oya Talat is visiting FYROM
  • [10] Turkish journalist elected IPIs vice chairman
  • [11] Erdogan met Lavrov.
  • [12] Gary Robb has construction projects in occupied Cyprus,Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.
  • [13] Vodafone officially acquires Turkeys mobile phone giant TELSIM.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Turkish columnist on how Turkey hopes to manipulate Russia´s principled Cyprus policy by adding strategic depth to their economic relations
  • [15] Reports and commentaries of imminent internal crisis dominate the Turkish press as always when Turkey has international obligations to fulfill.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Rasit Pertev on the talks he held with the EU term presidency

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.06.06) broadcast that the self-styled Presidential Undersecretary- Rasit Pertev has said that the Turkish Cypriot side is not against the joint use by the two sides in Cyprus, of all ports across the island.

    Mr Pertev has been continuing his contacts in Austria, the term president of the European Union, on the relations between the occupied areas and the European Union.

    Mr Rasid Pertev has met with the Austrian Foreign Ministrys Undersecretary Johannes Kyrle in Vienna, to whom he explained the occupied area´s position, in particular, over the ports and airports issue and the EU regulation on Direct Trade.

    Mr Pertev is quoted by the illegal TAK news agency as having explained the Turkish Cypriot Sides view on the issue, and to have made it clear that it is unacceptable to ask for the joint use of those ports in occupied Cyprus alone.

    He said that the Turkish Cypriot Side is in favor of the opening of all ports across Cyprus, not just those in the North, for the joint use of the two sides.

    Speaking to the illegal TAK news agency after the meeting, Mr Pertev said his contacts in Vienna with the EU term Presidency have been very useful.

    We have explained to our collocutors what is acceptable for us and what is not, regarding the Regulation he said, adding that the EU has been told of the changes wanted by the Turkish Cypriot Side on the issue.

    Ruling out any chances of bargaining on the details of the Direct Trade Regulation, Mr Pertev said that the Regulation should be extended to make it possible for products originating from Turkey and the EU also to be exported from occupied Cyprus.

    Calling for the implementation of the proposed free movement of goods in Cyprus, Mr Pertev told the EU about the Turkish Cypriot Sides readiness to take the necessary steps towards establishing a customs union with the Union, and open its sea and airports for EU inspection.

    On Cyprus, Mr Pertev said the occupied area´s view that the EU and the United Nations have different spheres of responsibility on the Cyprus issue has been conveyed to the EU term presidency, who were also reminded that the responsibility to help the two sides in Cyprus find a solution to the Cyprus Problem is a matter only for the UN.

    He said the Turkish Cypriot Side is opposed to the European Unions involvement on the use of ports in the North, which is one of the important issues of the Cyprus problem.

    [02] The Turkish Cypriot side is trying to capitalize on the letter sent by Annan to Talat

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The `Presidential Spokesman´ Hasan Ercakica has called on the `Greek Cypriot Administration´ to end its insincere approach on the Cyprus problem and, instead, help create a suitable atmosphere for the United Nations Secretary- General Kofi Annan to promote his good offices mission in Cyprus.

    Mr Ercakica called on the Greek Cypriot side to return to the realistic basis as laid down in Mr Annans latest report on Cyprus.

    In a written statement today, Mr Ercakica responded to the comments by the Greek Cypriot spokesman Georghos Lilikas concerning the letter-of-reply sent to `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat by the UN Secretary-General.

    Mr Ercakica drew the attention to the fact that in his letter, Mr Annan clearly says that the current political atmosphere on the island is not good enough to encourage him to promote his good offices mission and that the proposed joined Technical Committees will not replace a full-scale negotiations process aimed at bringing about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Mr Ercakica reminds that the Secretary General made it clear the Annan Plan remains to be the only framework for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He said that in spite of the clear messages given by Mr Annan in his statements and reports on Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot spokesman keeps referring to the so-called Paris Declaration which actually doesnt exist.

    The Greek Cypriot side insists that the Turkish Cypriot side should agree to the details of the so-called declaration.

    Mr Ercakica said that for the atmosphere to be improved, the Greek Cypriot Administration should end its insincere approach, and return to the basis as laid down in Mr Annans latest report on Cyprus.

    [03] Graham Watson: A vast amount of pressure is being put on the Greek Cypriot side within the EU

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the European Parliament Graham Watson has said that the continuation of the Cyprus problem unsolved, is not possible.

    In an interview with the AB Haber, Mr Watson called on all parties concerned to return to the negotiating table and try bringing about a settlement to the problem.

    Explaining that there is a vast amount of pressure being put on the Greek Cypriot Side within the European Union, he pointed to the need for Athens to put pressure on the Greek Cypriot Side on the issue.

    [04] The High Level Contact Group is in Cyprus

    Under the title: Contact group aims to make Turkish official EU language, The New Anatolian newspaper (01.06.06) reports the following:

    The European Parliament-Turkish Cypriot High Contact Group will visit Northern Cyprus beginning today with the aim of making Turkish one of the official languages of the European Union.

    Cem Ozdemir, German member of the contact group, stated that one of the aims of the visit is to listen to concerns of the Turkish Cypriots firsthand and to show that the Turkish Cypriots are not alone in the international community.

    "Making Turkish an official EU language will be a symbolic gesture to Turks, and the majority of the members of the contact group support it," said Ozdemir.

    "I will call on the Turkish Cypriots not to lose hope since there is the need for soft steps," he added. "But at the same time there is the need for concrete steps to build confidence towards a solution."

    The head of the contact group also said that they will work for the opening of an EU office in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´) which will ease the distribution of financial aid that will possibly be made available to Turkish Cypriots.

    The contact group will be received by `TRNC President´ Mehmet Ali Talat, and will meet with representatives of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and some businessmen, scholars and students. The group will prepare a report on their contacts in the `TRNC´, which will be submitted to EP Presidency Council.

    Subtitle: Rehn: Direct trade regulation on European Council agenda

    European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn stated yesterday that the EU's regulation for direct trade with the `TRNC´ is on the agenda of the European Council.

    The direct trade regulation, whose implementation was promised to Turkish Cypriots after the community voted in April 2004 in favor of the Annan plan, and which would also help ease the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, was brought up after Greek EP member Demetrios Papadimoulis submitted a question motion to be answered by Rehn.

    Rehn stated that he expected a decision by EU member states in the coming months since the issue has been brought to the European Council's agenda.

    On the Contact Group´s visit illegal Bayrak television (01.06.06) broadcast the following on: The European Parliament High Level Contact Group for Relations with Turkish Cypriots arrives in Cyprus tonight for contacts.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish member of the Group Cem Ozdemir has said that opening of a European Union office in north Cyprus will make it easier for financial assistance to be transferred to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The European Parliament High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community in Cyprus arrives in the Republic for contacts.

    Members of the Group will be received by`President´ Mehmet Ali Talat tomorrow.

    Within the framework of its contacts in the Republic, the group will also meet with leaders and representatives of some political parties and representatives of the non-governmental organizations.

    The group will end its contacts on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish member of the Group Cem Ozdemir said that the main aim of their visit is to express support to those who are in favour of a solution in Cyprus.

    He said that the group wants to get first hand information on the difficulties being faced by the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Reminding that the European Union will open a bureau in north Cyprus, he said that the opening of such an office will make it easier for financial assistance to be handed to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    At the end of its contacts, the group will present a report to the European Parliament.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus where 40,000 Turkish troops prevent the Greek Cypriot owners of the houses and properties from returning and enjoying their human rights. In spite of these the Turkish propaganda machine is trying to prove that the occupied areas are being kept isolated by the victims of the Turkish army).

    [05] The self-styled constitutional court in the TRNC resumed its hearing of the case filed by UBP against the new property law and has adjourned for decision

    Turkish Cypriot illegal BAYRAK television (02.06.06) broadcast that the self-styled constitutional court in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) resumed yesterday its hearing of the case filed by the main opposition National Unity Party against the new property law.

    The hearing has since ended, and the court has adjourned for decision, which is expected to be announced in the coming days.

    The UBP took the Law on Property Compensation, Exchange and Reinstatement to the constitutional court on March 21st, claiming that it violates the constitution, and that it should be rescinded.

    The court heard the assistant-deputy Attorney General Mujgan Irkads views as an expert - on the issue. Mujgan Irkad told the court that the position of the Office of the Attorney General is that the return of property and the suggested compensation for the loss of use of the property in question constitute a violation of the TRNC Constitution; while, the proposed exchange of immovable property should be considered ok. The court has adjourned for decision.

    [06] Turkey signed a memorandum on money laundering with its subordinate regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.06.06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkey and the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´) improve cooperation on fight against money laundering.

    Executives of the two `countries´ signed Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation against Money Laundering and Exchange of Information.

    In the memorandum of understanding importance of international cooperation was emphasized.

    [07] The occupation regime did not give permission to the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group to visit the closed city of Famagusta

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.06.06) under the title Prohibition for Varosha writes that the TRNC authorities did give permission to the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group which is visiting Cyprus to visit the closed city of Famagusta.

    As the presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica stated, the High Level Contact Group did not follow the necessary procedure in order to take permission from the TRNC authorities, therefore there is no such an issue for visiting the closed city of Famagusta.

    However, in the same announcement Mr Ercakica stated that even in case the High Level Contact Group had followed the right procedure they would not have given it the permission. At the current political situation such a visit is not appropriate, he said.

    AFRIKA also publishes in its front page a picture of the closed city of Famagusta, under the title Look at the last picture of our 32 years of shame.

    (C/S)

    [08] New District Court President and Judges appointed in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper KIBRIS (02.06.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Supreme Court Judge, Mr Ahmet Kalkan, was appointed as the District Court President of the so-called District Court in occupied Famagusta, while Mr. Bertan Ozerdag, was appointed as the District Judge. In a swearing ceremony held yesterday, both men gave their oath and resumed their new duties.

    Mr Nuvit Gazi was also appointed as a Judge in occupied Lefkosia District Court and he will undertake his duties after his oath on 5 June 2006.

    Mr Ahmet Kalkan was born in Pafos in 1957, Mr Bertan Ozerdag was born in Lefkosia in 1974 and Mr Nuvit Gazi was born in Lefkosia in 1977.

    (M/L)

    [09] Oya Talat is visiting FYROM

    Turkish Cypriot newspaper KIBRIS (02.06.06) reports that the Chairwoman of the Union of Patriotic Women and spouse of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Oya Talat, is to visit FYROM (Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia) tomorrow after an invitation from the Union of Macedonian Women.

    Mrs Talat will deliver a speech tomorrow Saturday at the symposium Woman and Peace, Woman and Democracy held in Skopje. Also on the same day, Mrs. Talat will take part in a live program broadcast by local television channel.

    On Sunday, she will attend a meeting organized by the Turkish Ambassador in Skopje, Mr. Taner Karakas, to which local businessmen, journalists, parliamentarians, NGO member, organization and institution representatives´ will attend.

    Mrs Talat will return to occupied in Cyprus on Sunday evening.

    (M/L)

    [10] Turkish journalist elected IPIs vice chairman

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (02.06.06) reports that the 55th Annual General Assembly of the International Press Institute (IPI) was held in Edinburgh, Scotland in which 600 journalists from 120 countries took part.

    During the Assembly deliberations the Chairman of HURRIYET newspaper s Executive Council, Mrs Vuslat Doan Sabanc1 was elected the IPI s vice chairman.

    The paper reports that next year the IPI s 56th Annual General Assembly will convene in Istanbul, Turkey.

    (MHY)

    [11] Erdogan met Lavrov

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.06.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in his office in Ankara on Thursday.

    In their meeting, Erdogan asked Lavrov for Russia's support for efforts to lift isolation of the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´).

    On the other hand, Lavrov stressed that Russia will continue to contribute to the settlement of Cyprus problem, and recalled that Russian businessmen visited `TRNC´.

    Erdogan and Lavrov also debated Iran's nuclear program controversy. According to sources, Turkey and Russia are for solution of the problem through diplomatic means. The same sources quoted Lavrov as saying that Turkey can have a more active role in this process thanks to its good relations with Iran.

    After this meeting, Lavrov flew from Ankara to Turkish metropolis of Istanbul to visit the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) HQ and inaugurate a monument at the Russian Consulate General.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is called by the Turkish Republic the area of Cyprus kept isolated from its legal owners by 40,000 fully equipped Turkish troops).

    [12] Gary Robb has construction projects in occupied Cyprus, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and Australia

    Under the title Gary, North Cyprus´ `Estate Giant´ tri-lingual Cyprus Dialogue weekly (02-09.06.06) publishes an interview with the British Mr Gary John Robb. The paper publishes a photograph of Gary Robb and his new director Glen Howie.

    The interview is as follows:

    Question: When did you come to North Cyprus and for what purpose? What are the reasons for your interest in North Cyprus?

    Answer: I came to North Cyprus 10 years ago with my family to enjoy this pretty and green country. The beauty of the island, its climate and the warmth and hospitality of the people has always attracted my interests.

    Question: Could you tell us a little about your business life? What are some of your previous occupations?

    Answer: I first started working at clubs and discos when I was 17. Then because of my interest in construction, I started working in estate and contracting projects.

    Question: And your current occupation?

    Answer: Most of the construction projects I am currently overseeing are nearing completion. Of course there are a lot of different projects that I have started in different countries.

    Question: Such as where?

    Answer: Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia and now in Australia.

    Question: There have been reports circulating in the press claiming that you ran off to Thailand with a hefty sum of money! What do you have to say about this? Could you tell us how much money you took with you or later transferred out of your bank account? What has happened to that money?

    Answer: I had been visiting Thailand since 1994 for holiday purposes. In time these visits became business trips. When I was in Thailand I gave a directive to the bank in North Cyprus to transfer a sum of money I needed for business purposes. The transferred amount was 1.5 million pounds. Some illegal and intentional moves were put into force to stop me using the money and so those assests are currently frozen. I didn´t take any money with me when I left for Thailand, nor did I receive any when I was there.

    Question: Why Thailand? Was it the attractive girls and the wonderful massages? Or was it just for business?

    Answer: I chose Thailand because of its business opportunities.

    Question: How were you able to come back to North Cyprus?

    Answer: I came by plane, very comfortably I must say and by my own freewill.

    Question: So what do you plan to do next? What kind of assurances are you giving to your customers who have paid and bought houses from you especially your British customers?

    Answer: I plan to complete all my projects in North Cyprus and believe I will be making new investments. I have told my British customers that my guarantee is the `TRNC government´ which will supervise my work. Therefore I assure them that nothing will go wrong.

    Question: One last question: Are the Cleveland Police really looking for you? If so why?

    Answer: The Cleveland police in England have issued what you call a `bench warrant´ after I failed to show up in court. They told me that I will be arrested if and when I go back. This is what the whole commotion is about.

    [13] Vodafone officially acquires Turkeys mobile phone giant TELSIM

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (02.06.06) reports that the Vodafone which bought the Turkish TELSIM for 4.5 billion USD declared that it will invest further 1.2 billion USD in the company.

    The Vodafones Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Hungarian Attila Vitai said, during a ceremony held yesterday, to mark TELSIMs transfer to Vodafone officially that until the infrastructure of the TELSIM is improved and brought to the level of the Vodafone, the name Vodafone will not be used in Turkey.

    (MHY)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Turkish columnist on how Turkey hopes to manipulate Russia´s principled Cyprus policy by adding strategic depth to their economic relations

    Under the title Moscow´s policy change on Cyprus: Limits and prospects, the New Anatolian newspaper (30.05.06) publishes the following commentary by Ayhan Simsek:

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will pay a crucial visit to Turkey tomorrow. The visit will be significant for bilateral relations with talks on key energy and defense projects, as well as exchanges of ideas on the Iranian nuclear crisis, Iraq's future and the Israel-Palestinian conflict. But beyond all these weighty topics, Lavrov's visit may become exceptional for future developments on Cyprus.

    Surprisingly, when the Russian Foreign Ministry announced Lavrov's visit a few weeks ago, it listed the issues to be discussed as "bilateral relations, regional issues and Cyprus." The first two subjects were quite routine expressions in similar foreign ministry statements, but the deliberate inclusion of Cyprus as a topic seems to have already created expectations in Ankara.

    Russia has long followed a pro-Greek Cypriot position in the decades-long Cyprus problem. The traditional historical and religious ties, economic interests and rivalry of the Cold War period were the main motives of the close relations for many years. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, however, another factor became much more determining. Offshore banks and alleged shell companies in the Greek Cypriot administration became one of the main locations for billions of dollars of Russian special interest groups. Maybe that was one of the reasons for Russia fully supporting the Greek Cypriot administration and vetoing in April 2004 a U.S. and British-backed UN Security resolution that would have facilitated the approval of the UN-sponsored Annan plan to unify the island.

    But after the European Union membership of the Greek Cypriot administration in May 2004, things have started to change. Strict controls made the operations of these offshore banks and companies very difficult. Moreover, the EU's visa rules of the EU caused significant falls in the number of Russian tourists visiting southern Cyprus.

    Russian leader Vladimir Putin expressed Moscow's clear uneasiness in January in a meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos in Moscow. The Russian leader also praised the efforts of Turkish Cypriots for a settlement by describing them as "admirable" and expressed support for an end to the economic isolation of Northern Cyprus.

    Putin has a pragmatic approach in foreign policy, and his close relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is apparently one of the main forces of the strengthening relations between Ankara and Moscow.

    Three years ago, during debates over the Annan plan, the main actors of the process were the U.S. and Britain, and the Russian Foreign Ministry felt quite excluded. But especially in the last two years Turkey has engaged in a much closer dialogue with Moscow on the Cyprus issue, and was able to better explain its position.

    So far several initiatives by Putin towards Turkish Cypriots, either as a new political approach or a statement, failed to find strong support in the state bureaucracy, who favored continuation of the traditional line, but things are changing. Some small steps by Moscow in the coming days, which do not show a clear break with traditional policy, but also meet Ankara's expectations, may contribute to a new climate on the Cyprus issue.

    After the failed referendums on the Annan plan two years ago, the UN secretary-general prepared a report for the Security Council on the outcomes of the process. He expressed his frustration with Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos's uncompromising manner and more importantly called for an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Two years ago Russia did not give support to endorsement of this report by the UN Security Council, which is still the main obstacle to steps by the international community to make steps towards easing the isolation of Northern Cyprus.

    Russia thought at that time this would mean supporting secession on the island. But the developments on Cyprus clearly show that Moscow's old perception is no longer relevant. Recent election results in the Greek Cypriot administration show that approval for the uncompromising policies of Papadopoulos is rising and Greek Cypriots are less willing to live with the Turkish Cypriots. On the other hand, Turkish Cypriots are increasingly losing their pro-solution momentum.

    Despite all this, Moscow has to give support to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, if it still favors the goal of unification and a settlement on the island.

    In a column on the same issue under the title Ankara and Moscow: Old rivals, new partners, the New Anatolian (23.05.06) publishes a commentary by Ayhan Simsek, excerpts of which are as follows:

    Turkey and Russia are set to hold top-level meetings in the next couple of weeks, signaling a new stage in relations which have been steadily improving in the last few years.

    Turkish National Security Council (MGK) head Yigit Alpogan is currently in Moscow and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is to pay a visit to Ankara next week with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer expected to visit Moscow early June.

    For some observers, despite this ongoing rapprochement between the two countries, there's not much "strategic depth" in it. This is believed to be the case for obvious reasons, such as historical conflicts, the fact that the two have long been members of different security and political structures, not to mention diverging interests in the region.

    However if one looks closely at recent foreign policy steps taken by the Turkish government, surprisingly many common positions between Turkey with Russia become evident, even sometimes to the point that Ankara is openly in contradiction with its so-called "strategic partner" the U.S.

    Today the major economic and trade ties between the two countries have become the backbone of their relations. Trade between the two increased from $10 to 15 billion in 2005 and is expected to reach $25 billion in 2007.

    But Russia is also a very important country politically, which should always be kept in mind. Ankara's failure to get Russia's support on a Cyprus settlement was the highest price the Turkish Foreign Ministry had to pay to understand this. From the point of view of Turkish diplomats, Russia is an important global player and Turkey needs to encourage close relations with Moscow. Turkey's links to Western structures, however, continue to be essential.

    On the other hand, the ruling AK Party has its own reasons for seeking stronger relations with Russia. One of them is, without doubt, the major economic interests at stake, including the business relations of firms close to the AK Party government. Secondly, the U.S.' Middle East policies and the invasion of Iraq led the AK Party to share a similar position with Russia. For the majority of AK Party officials, it's not a war on terrorism but is aimed at controlling the vast oil resources which has brought more instability and greater chaos to the region. Moreover, both AK Party and Russian government officials are uneasy with Western interference in domestic politics, criticism on the issues of democratization and human rights and also there's the issue of perceived double standards. Both Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin, who have a close personal relationship, expect Westerners to recognize their countries as respected great powers. They've had several key meetings, including one in July 2005 in the Black Sea city of Sochi, where the two had a significant hour-long discussion.

    After all, with the encouragement of Moscow's diverging positions from the West on several key foreign policy issues, Erdogan is also seeking to formulate and carry out its own line, on Iran, Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, etc. But as the example of the Hamas delegation invitation to Turkey showed, he can't go forward with such a policy after he's criticized by the U.S. or European allies. As he's apparently missing one thing: Russia is a global player, with a seat on the UN Security Council (UNSC), vast oil resources and is a nuclear power. That makes a really big difference.

    [15] Reports and commentaries of imminent internal crisis dominate the Turkish press as always when Turkey has international obligations to fulfill

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (01.06.06) publishes a report by Tolga Sardan that on 31 May, the police detained nine suspects, including a retired major, a captain, and a noncommissioned officer, in Ankara's Eryaman District within the framework of the operation related to the attack on the Council of State. According to the report, the police seized C-4 plastic explosives, guns, and plans on the area where Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan lives. The report notes that speaking to MILLIYET, an unnamed police official said that the structure of the arrested group is similar to that of the Sauna crime gang.

    In a column in Istanbul HURRIYET (01.06.06) Cuneyt Arcayurek argues that planners of the attack on the Council of State have been supported by certain "external and internal" circles. The columnist also argues that the purpose of the attack was to "legitimize any possible measures to be taken against the government" and to give a "message" to the ruling AKP and PM Erdogan. Stressing that the arrest of the murderer "foiled the plan" against the government, he speculates that the following message has been given to the prime minister through the attack: "You should not consider becoming the president of Turkey and the AKP should never consider electing the new president single-handedly!"

    Under the banner headline, "A gang ready to attack," YENI SAFAK publishes a front-page report which asserts that in a raid on four houses in Ankara yesterday, the police captured the members of an organization called "Atabey Guerilla Group" together with explosive devices, handguns, hand grenades, and maps showing the location of Prime Minister Erdogan's house in the Subayevler district of Ankara. The report claims that the detainees include an army captain and a non-commissioned officer.

    ZAMAN newspaper (02.06.06) publishes a front-page report entitled "Do not play with religion and secularism, do not help conflict-seekers achieve their aims," which quotes main opposition Republican People´s (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal as saying that he is not seeking to reap political gain from the latest "crisis" at home and that the CHP wants the current tensions to be defused through an election rather than through an ultimatum from the military or "more sophisticated methods.

    Finally, BUGUN newspaper (01.06.06) under the headline, "Assassination ring broken," publishes a front-page report which asserts that the captured elements of the "Atabey gang" were planning to assassinate Prime Minister Erdogan and his aide Cuneyt Zapsu.

    In an article entitled "Presidential Calculations" BUGUN (01.06.06) publishes a commentary by columnist Emin Pazarci, who claims that those trying to prevent Prime Minister Erdogan from being elected as Turkey's next president are working on a contingency plan. The plan, according to Mr Pazarci, aims to "render the next president ineffective" by persuading judicial officials occupying critical posts like the Chief Public Prosecutor to resign early so that President Sezer could appoint new names to these positions, preventing his successor from determining by whom these positions will be filled for the next four years.

    /SK


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