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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-05

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.106/06 03-04-05.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Gul says the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey suffered in the past because of their wrong policies.
  • [02] Soyer reiterates that they have common interests with Turkey.
  • [03] Bone remains were found during excavation carried out in the free areas according to Ahmet Erdengiz, member of the Missing Persons Committee.
  • [04] The EU Contact Group held contacts in occupied Cyprus.
  • [05] Training office by the Council of Europe in occupied Cyprus.
  • [06] The illegal regimes Master Investments Programme on electricity supply to last until 2020.
  • [07] Kyrgyzstan signed tourism protocol with the occupied areas.
  • [08] German St. Pauli`s football team will reportedly visit occupied Cyprus.
  • [09] Quietly and unobtrusively visit to Athens.
  • [10] Mystery still surrounds the plot to assassinate Erdogan.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Mehmet Ali Birand on the deep state and gang.
  • [12] Columnist on the scenarios over developments in Turkey´s internal politics.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Gul says the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey suffered in the past because of their wrong policies

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (04.06.06) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said on Saturday that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey suffered in the past because of the wrong policies of their former governments.

    Speaking at the Justice and Development Party's (AKP) regular congress meeting in Kutahya, Mr Gul alleged that during the period of AKP government, the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) became stronger and the Turks living on the island started looking at their future with more confidence.

    Mr Gul referred to the accusations that his party sold out Cyprus and said that one in two persons has a car in the TRNC, that the economy increases rabidly and that every year a 4-5 star hotel is built in the TRNC.

    Mr Gul noted the following:

    Some say to us that you sold out Cyprus. Has even a square meter of land been given? Has even one soldier been withdrawn? Have we made the Turkish Cypriots poorer or wealthier? Have we made brighter or darker the future of Cyprus? If the future of the Island had been really dark, no one would make investments. No five star hotels would be built and no one would invest there the money he earned. The wrong policies forced both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey to pay very unjust prices. Now others will pay the price.

    Referring to Turkeys EU accession course Mr Gul argued: Many taboos have been broken in Turkey with the EU membership process. Turkey has changed both in terms of its democracy and economy. Thus, accession talks with the EU had started on October 3rd, 2005. We will attend a meeting in Luxembourg on June 12th, and actual talks with the EU will start in that meeting. For the first time in 40 years, the 12th of June is one of the most important turning points in (Turkey's relations) with the EU.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Soyer reiterates that they have common interests with Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (04.06.06) reports that Turkish Cypriots and Turkey have common interests and that they will continue developing them with dynamism.

    In an interview to the above-mentioned newspaper, Mr Soyer referred to his recent visit to Turkey and said:

    We discussed both economic and political issues. There are some protocols signed between ourselves and Turkey. We discussed the point of their being put into practice. We conveyed our views regarding what we have to do for the economic situation and the continuation of our progress and we discussed the latest developments on the Cyprus problem with Mr Gul and Mr Erdogan and evaluated the developments. We exchanged views. The interests of the Turkish Cypriot people and Turkey are common and we shall continue together the effort of developing these common interests with dynamism. We examined again the Cyprus policy and the will for solution and the struggle for the lifting of the isolations in relation to the results of the referendum was reiterated. As the side which wants the solution, we stressed our target for a united Cyprus and said that the change of policy will create problems. We did not see opposite or different views in Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Bone remains were found during excavation carried out in the free areas according to Ahmet Erdengiz, member of the Missing Persons Committee

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.06.06) reports that bone remains were found during the excavation which was carried out at a well at the Paralimni area in the Republic of Cyprus. Excavations took place in the area after information was given that a Turkish family which was lost in 1964 is buried there.

    Speaking to KIBRIS, Mr Ahmet Erdengiz, member of the Missing Persons Committee, stated that a number a bones, which cannot yet be determined, was found. As he said examinations and DNA test will be conducted in order for the identity of the remains and exactly to how many people they belonged to, to become clear.

    (C/S)

    [04] The EU Contact Group held contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.06.06) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Members of European Parliament (EP) High-Level Contact Group said they felt the embargo imposed on Turkish Cypriots during their stay in `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´) and strongly condemned this embargo.

    Members of the group held a press conference after concluding their meetings in `TRNC´ and said they wished the 259 million Euro assistance, which the EU would give, would help removal of the blockade on Turkish Cypriots.

    Francoise Grossetete, Vice-Chairwoman of the EPP-ED Group in the European Parliament, said they came to the island to contribute to ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    She said formal recognition of the `TRNC´ was not possible for the time being, ''instead, the two parties should exert efforts to improve relations,'' Grossetete noted.

    Grossetete said financial assistance would facilitate life of Turkish Cypriot community, and play an important role in overcoming some problems like environment, solid waste, and energy, ''our target is to ensure re-unification step by step,'' she remarked.

    Socialist Group (PSE) Acting Coordinator Mechtild Rothe said the European Commission would decide in July or August for the financial aid that would be given to `TRNC´.

    The group will depart from Cyprus on Sunday.

    The High-Level Contact Group was set up to strengthen relations with the Turkish Cypriots and to establish contact with the political representatives of `TRNC´. The aim of the group is to put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in northern occupied Cyprus, where 40,000 Turkish troops keep the Greek Cypriots isolated from their homes and properties).

    [05] Training office by the Council of Europe in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.06.06) broadcast the following:

    The Council of Europe has taken a decision to start a training program in the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ towards training local and regional administrations in the Republic.

    In a statement issued by the Cyprus Turkish Municipality Union, it says that Mr Huseyin Beyar, the President of the Union, met with former President of the Council of Europes Congress for Local and Regional Affairs Giovanni Di Stassi within the framework of his contacts in Strasbourg and discussed his desire to set up such a training project in the Republic.

    The statement said that during Mr Beyars contacts in Strasbourg it had been agreed upon that an office would be opened in Northern Cyprus so that the training project could come to life.

    [06] The illegal regime´s Master Investments Programme on electricity supply to last until 2020

    Turkish Cypriot CYPRUS TODAY (03-09.06.06) reports the following:

    More money is being spent to boost electricity supply in the TRNC than for the whole of the past 30 years to make prolonged blackouts a thing of the past by 2007.

    Agricultural and forestry Minister Huseyin Oztoprak said this week that the 1999-2020 Master Investment programme was in its third stage and included transformer stations and a 154 KV electrical grid.

    But even before completion of the third stage, the fourth, to construct four new generators have been awarded to Vartsilya, a company from Finland.

    Two 20 MVA Transformer Stations have so far been completed under the programme. One is in the Gazi Magusa (occupied Famagusta) area and the other near Girne (occupied Kyrenia).

    As soon as they were completed, work began on building other stations at Alsanncak (occupied Karavas), Bafra (occupied Vokolida), Camllibel (occupied Myrtou), and Girne, Catalkoy (occupied Ayios Epiktitos), Guneskoy (occupied Nikitas), Middle East University and Teknecik. Some should be operating within the next 8-14 months.

    Construction of the power stations is a joint venture between Siemens and Kiymet Trading Ltd.

    Work on the electrical grid joining the stations is underway and moving on smoothly, said Mr Oztoprak.

    He said there were many more projects in the pipeline which had not yet been publicized. These include 22Kw generator projects for the Karpass and Esentepe (occupied Ayios Amvrosios).

    [07] Kyrgyzstan signed tourism protocol with the occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (03.06.06) broadcast the following:

    A cooperation protocol has been signed between the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ and Kyrgyzstan in the field of tourism.

    According to a report by the Anatolian News Agency, the protocol was signed between the Kyrygz Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and tourism Turusbek Mamasev and the Representative of the North Cyprus Tourism Center in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, Erhan Arikli.

    The protocol aims at enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the field of tourism as well as to organize joint projects, and events aimed at developing their respective tourism industries.

    Speaking during the signing of the protocol, the Kyrgyz Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Turusbek Mamasev underlined the need and importance of gaining experience and knowledge in order for his country to develop its tourism industry.

    Explaining that the Caucausus will become a tourism hotspot in the future, Mr Mamasev expressed his belief that the North Cyprus Tourism Centre in Bishkek will be an important contribution to the Kyrgyz government in achieving its goal.

    For his part, the Turkish Cypriot representative of the North Cyprus Tourism Centre in Bishkek Erhan Arikli said that the `TRNC´ was closely interested with game tourism in Kyrgyzstan.

    [08] German St. Pauli`s football team will reportedly visit occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (04.06.06) reported that the Chairman of the Football Federation, Mr Niyazi Okutan, and in charge for foreign affairs, Mr Cengiz Uzun had contacts in Hamburg, Germany with St. Pauli`s Management for materializing the visit of the latter to the occupied part of Cyprus.

    The contacts aim to have as a result the coming to Cyprus of the St. Pauli`s football team for playing matches in the occupied areas.

    According to the newspaper, St. Pauli`s management see positively the suggestion and in the coming days a delegation will be sent to the occupied part of Cyprus to see the situation on the spot prior to any contacts established.

    St. Pauli`s is a German football team, playing in the third category of the German Championship.

    (M/L)

    [09] Quietly and unobtrusively visit to Athens

    Journalist Fatih Çekirge writing in his column Behind the Curtain in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (05.06.06) reports the following: While in the Aegean Turkish and Greek jets had collided during a dog fight and new Imia type crisis was on the making, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Ali Tuygan was in Athens.

    The agenda and the content of the meeting that Ali Tuygan attended will never be disclosed. However, from our discussion I gather that things are advancing on the diplomacy axis.

    I asked him:

    Is there a new crisis in the Aegean?

    Mr Tuygan replied:

    No, in the sensitive regions a number of times the sides confront each other. But we will pay attention to these sensitive regions. Both sides should act in such a way that there will be no problem in the sensitive areas.

    Ali Tuygan is a diplomat who does not speak much but prefers to work more. He prefers relations between states to be good rather than his relation with the public. I can elaborate on his message as follows: Despite local and temporary crises, Turkey, for lasting solutions works together with Athens. Soon very important developments could take place between Athens and Ankara.

    (MHY)

    [10] Mystery still surrounds the plot to assassinate Erdogan

    The New Anatolian newspaper (03.06.06) reports the following:

    Police spokesperson Ismail Caliskan on Friday tried to fight back speculation over a gang in Eryaman, Ankara from whom a large cache of weapons were seized earlier in the week.

    Denying claims that the people detained in Wednesday's operation are connected to last month's Council of State shooting or were plotting to assassinate the prime minister, Caliskan said at a weekly press briefing that the probe is ongoing.

    On Wednesday the police carried out an operation in Eryaman, Ankara after which nine people, including two army officers, were detained and weapons and bombs were seized. The media has reported that the gang was preparing to assassinate Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his top aide Cuneyt Zapsu.

    Caliskan gave details of the Eryaman operation, saying that after Ankara police received a phone tip-off on Wednesday, a public prosecutor and a court gave the go-ahead for the operation.

    He went on to explain that the two suspects from the military were later handed over to the armed forces, as per a Justice Ministry circular.

    Also denying claims that the police are at loggerheads with the military, as the police carried out the initial questioning of the detained military personnel, Caliskan said, "We cooperate with the military."

    Asked if the police had informed the General Staff straight away about the army officers, Caliskan replied that after it became clear there were military personnel among the suspects they passed on the information to the military.

    One journalist stated that two reporters from daily Aksam have claimed that they were told to go in front of the General Staff Headquarters and were given sketches of Erdogan's and Zapsu's neighborhood alleged to have been drawn by the gang members. Caliskan replied that an inquiry has been launched into the matter and that since the investigation is ongoing he couldn't provide any further information on the matter.

    He then stated so far there's no evidence that the Eryaman incident is linked to the attack on the Council of State or the "sauna" operation. He added that the Eryaman suspects are still in custody.

    Members of the "sauna" gang, allegedly involved in phone tapping as well as secretly photographing and filming well-known figures at a sauna, including several Cabinet members, were apprehended in a police operation in February and there's speculation the gang was run by several former members of the security forces.

    The Eryaman operation has sparked a public controversy, with some people saying the gang involved, given the military connection, was planning to assassinate the prime minister and was an attempt to place the government in a difficult situation. However others are saying it was an attempt to distract attention from the alleged Islamist connection to the Council of State shooting.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Mehmet Ali Birand on the deep state and gang

    Under the title: What is deep state or gang? Turkish Daily news newspaper (03.06.06) reports the following by Mehmet Ali Birand:

    We are facing a confusion of concepts. What is 'deep state?' Who are its members? And there are these 'gangs' people are talking about. The two should not be confused. I have prepared a dictionary for those who are interested.

    There are some often used concepts, the meanings of which the public knows very little about. We know what we are talking about, but these concepts create confusion among the public.

    The questions are: What is the deep state? and What is a gang?

    Deep state as a concept is understood by the public as representing elements of the military, police, National Intelligence Organization (M0T), the gendarmerie, the judiciary, some journalists and scientists and some youth wings of political parties. Deep state is a concept. It is not an organization or an association. However, it is believed that some people who think in the same way sympathize with some groups (gangs) that act in accordance with their beliefs.

    A gang, on the other hand, can be divided into two categories.

    According to public perception, one type of gang exploits the state's sympathies to commit public acts and flood the streets in the name of the state but in exchange is allowed to be involved in a range of crimes, including organized crime. These are just wannabe mafia groups. Among their members are well-known gangsters. They say they work for the state but are involved in drug trafficking and other illegal activities and are tolerated by the police. From time to time (especially in the 1990s) they were utilized by M0T, the police and the gendarmerie, some believe. They are known to have been involved in many assassinations and unsolved murders.

    The second type of gang is one that solely seeks financial benefit for its members. Among their members are retired military and police officials and some civilians who call themselves patriots. Generally, members have links to some of the security institutions of the state. They are secretly supported and are provided with guidance.

    However, the state is a strange entity. It uses others to get things done. But when things change it targets the same groups it used and sends them to jail. Our history is full of such occurrences.

    Deep state members, beware!

    [12] Columnist on the scenarios over developments in Turkey´s internal politics

    Under the title Scenario within scenario The New Anatolian newspaper (03.06.06) publishes the following by Kemal Balci:

    Ankara is overflowing with scenarios. Scenarios come out of new scenarios like Russian nesting dolls. The main reason for the process, which has been going on for the last six months and is now threatening democracy more seriously than ever, is the presidential election set to take place next year.

    The dramatic actions of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which started suddenly last fall and spread rapidly to large cities, led to serious disturbances. The bombing and armed attacks reached a climax on Nov. 9 with the bombing of Umut Bookstore in Hakkari's Semdinli district. First, some soldiers in the region were linked with the bombings. Following that, the public prosecutor that probed the incident leveled claims about military gangs, saying that Land Forces Commander Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is a member. After first staying silent to the accusations, the government met with the chief of General Staff and the Land Forces commander to alleviate the tension that started early regarding the presidential elections. The prosecutor that leveled allegations against Gen. Buyukanit, who was expected to become the chief of General Staff this August, was both removed from office and expelled from the profession in line with the law. The intelligence unit head of the police that was alleged to be involved with the prosecutor's indictment was removed from his post.

    The belief that these developments were related to the presidential elections was so common that Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok had to announce that he would accept neither the presidency nor the extension of his term for another year. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the next chief of General Staff will be selected in line with the rules and tradition.

    But the image that the government is backpedaling in Semdinli made circles close to the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party and some police officials that want to be close to the government uncomfortable. The method of "assuming roles out of the existing situation," which is usually used by the military, was used by some police officials alleged to be involved with religious orders. Assassination and profit gangs started to be caught, one after the other. The common thread running through all of them was the mentioning of names of either retired or acting officers within these gangs. In a short period of time, the government started to espouse arguments that aim to undermine the military.

    Operation Globe, which started in February, uncovered the Sauna gang. Claims indicated that Capt. Nuri Bozkir, working in the Special Forces Command, was among the gang members.

    A profit gang caught in Bursa in March was alleged to have involved Provincial Gendarmerie Regiment Commander Col. Aydin Yesil and a sergeant.

    In the attack on the Council of State in mid-May a judge was killed and three others were injured. The gunman-attorney Alparslan Aslan was caught. But the documents found in his car seemed as if they were prepared to raise suspicions over some officers and circles close to ultra-nationalist circles. Retired Capt. Muzaffer Tekin, who was alleged to be involved with the attack, was released by the public prosecutor's office after he surrendered. Only five out of 21 people who were taken into custody and charged with being gang members were arrested by the court.

    At the start of June, another gang, called the "atabeyler gang" was captured in Ankara. Pilot Capt. Murat Eren of the Special Forces Command, noncommissioned officer Erkut Tas and retired Maj. Fut Erturk were taken into custody with many guns, explosives and documents with assassination plans. Hours after they were taken into custody, even before the case was taken to the public prosecutor's office, unidentified people gave the copies of the documents seized, meeting reporters in front of the General Staff building. This incident implied that the operation is a provocation towards undermining the military and some ultra-nationalist circles.

    This proliferation of operations, which exacerbated the tension between the government and the military, sparked concerns about the future of the democratic regime both at home and abroad. New U.S. White House spokesperson Anthony Snow recently said that they are supporting democracy in Turkey. Implying that he thinks the concerns might be true, he said, when asked about coup concerns, "We always support the peaceful transition of power in Turkey, as we did when Prime Minister Erdogan took power."

    Subtitle: What's next?

    There are three possibilities regarding the government-military tension, including one that may endanger the peaceful transition of power in Turkey:

    1. The lesser of evils: The government will continue similar operations that aim to undermine the political influence of the military until the end of August. A compromise that will make the current Parliament choose the president can be made during the change of the chief of General Staff on Aug. 30 through this way. Although full of risks, the government might be able to get through this way with success. Nevertheless, the chance of success and the possibility of happening are low.

    2. Optimistic but reasonable option: The government can't stand the ongoing tension anymore and will make a decision to hold early elections in fall. This way it will opt to end the escalating tension before it leads to anti-democratic quests and attempts. Although it's a decision that the government will have a hard time making, the chance of it trying this way is still high with the public pressure. The latest statement made by the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) shows that this option will be supported due to concerns about the regime, although it paints itself as being opposed to early elections.

    3. The worst option: The government will intensify its efforts to undermine the military, which is seen as the biggest obstacle to the current Parliament electing the president. Using all methods, including fake assassination attempts against the prime minister, the military's political influence might be reduced even to zero. Although these very dangerous and irrational scenarios are mentioned, they don't seem quite persuasive. As the military's reaction to that can't be predicted (or, quite the contrary, as it's very well known) the government is expected not to risk taking this path, which would only mean the uncontrolled escalation of tension.

    /SK


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