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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-07-31
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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.145/06 29-30-31.07.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Representatives of the leaders of the communities in Cyprus are meeting today to discuss the technical committeesTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (31.07.06) reports that the lists with the headlines concerning the substance of the Cyprus problem and the daily issues to be discussed in the technical committees will be exchanged today between the two communities at the residence of the UN Secretary-Generals Special Envoy in Cyprus, Mr Michael Moller.
The exchange of the lists will take place between the Chief of the Diplomatic Office of President Papadopoulos, Mr Tassos Djonis and the advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Rasit Pertev.
Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (31.07.06) refers to the issue under the title The Cyprus problem on the table with all its aspects.
The same issue is covered on the front page of English language Turkish Cypriot daily CYPRUS TIMES newspaper (31.07.06) under the title Lists to be exchanged.
 The Turkish side clarifies that occupied fenced city of Varosha is not an issue in the Technical Committees processIllegal Bayrak television (28.07.06) broadcast the following:
Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has repeated that the Varosha issue remains a subject to be resolved as part of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.
In a written statement today, Mr Ercakica stressed again that the proposed Technical Committees being planned to tackle day-to-day matters between the two sides in Cyprus, have nothing to do whatsoever with the Varosha issue.
Mr Ercakica makes it clear in his statement that for the Turkish Cypriot side the Varosha issue remains a topic to be taken up only as part of a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.
The spokespersons remarks came in response to criticism by the leader of the main opposition National Unity Party Huseyin Ozgurgun.
Mr Ozgurgun claimed yesterday that `President“ Mehmet Ali Talat has moved to a point - in his overall position concerning the Cyprus issue - agreeing to the discussion of Varoshas future at the Technical Committee level.
 Ekenoglu says they secured important benefits from their representation at the PACETurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (31.07.06) reports that the Speaker of the Assembly, Mrs Fatma Ekenoglu has said that they secured important benefits from the fact that Turkish Cypriot MPs are continuously present at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and added that they wish the same thing to happen at the Islamic Conference as well.
On the occasion of the completion of the work of the assembly for the summer holidays on 13 July, Mrs Ekenoglu responded to illegal TAK news agencys questions regarding the previous and the forthcoming parliamentary session.
She said that having MPs at the PACE continuously changed their position there and noted that the foreign press and MPs tell them that their two MPs are more active than the six Greek Cypriot MPs.
Mrs Ekenoglu said they observed that the work with crowded delegations is slower and therefore they prefer to work with groups having fewer members. She pointed out that in such contacts the persons who will be conducting the backstage activities are more important than the number of the members of the delegation.
Mrs Ekenoglu noted that the priority of the assembly during the new period will be the health issues.
 Merger talks continue between TKP and BDHIllegal Bayrak television (28.07.06) broadcast the following:
Continuing their debate into whether or not they can join together to create a new political party or movement, two opposition parties, the Communal Liberation Party and the Peace and Democracy Movement have met again to resume their discussions.
Delegations from the two parties met at General Secretary level at the T.K.P. headquarters to discuss a number of options lying ahead.
The T.K.P.s Secretary General Mehmet Davulcu said the idea for the two parties to abolish themselves simultaneously and launch a new political party appears to be gathering support, but added that there are some legal obstacles in the way for that.
The BDH is represented with a seat in the `TRNC Parliament“ while the TKP has none.
(Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in occupied northern Cyprus)
 Turkey has paid the bill regarding the banking crisis in the Turkish occupied areas. Statements by Erdogan KucukTurkish daily MILLIYET (31.07.06) reports that Turkey has paid the bill regarding the banking crisis which started in 1999 in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus where 12 banks were declared bankrupt and their assets were liquidated and transferred to the self-styled Central Bank. The governor of the self styled Central Bank in the Turkish occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus Erdogan Kucuk said that in the end, the assets of 12 banks were liquidated and these cost Turkey around 250 million dollars.
Following are the banks which went bankrupt as published by MILLIYET:
Banks name Owner
Kredi Bank Salih Boyaci
Everest Bank Elmas Guzelyurt
Yurt bank Ali A. Balkaner
Finans Bank Fehim Kucuk
Hur Bank Tekin Birinci
Endusturi Bankasi Asil Nadir
Ticaret Bankasi Yuksel A. Rasit
Erbank Kansu and Tansu Ercantan
Timobank Cengiz Uyarer
Asyabank Cetin Kursat
Yasabank Ibrahim T. Yasasever
Peyakbank Peyak Kooperatifi
Endustri Bankasi Provident Fund
Kucuk concluded by saying that the new banking law that he is helping to be drafted will have provisions that prohibit siphoning of the banks money by its owners.
 Turkish troops to Afghanistan to increaseAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.07.06) reported the following from Ankara:
The Kabul Regional Command Center will begin its operations on August 6th, 2006 within the framework of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and under tripartite command of Turkey France Italy.
The Turkish presence in Afghanistan will be elevated to the level of a battalion.
Also the number of Turkish troops serving in Afghanistan will be increased to 900 with a new addition of 640 soldiers.
Kabul Regional Command Center will accomplish duties required under the command of ISAF. It will also help the Afghan government in areas such as security and re-construction.
 Foreign countries are to participate in the Folk Dance Festival in occupied LefkosiaTurkish Cypriot weekly CYPRUS OBSERVER newspaper (28.0703.08.06) reports that the HASDER, FOLK-DER and Youth Centre organized the 4th International Nicosia Folk Dance Festival to be held from August 14 to 19 when there will be folk dance groups from seven different countries. Ali Nebih gave a statement on behalf of the Festival Organization committee saying that this year the countries that would attend the festival are as follows: Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Turkey, Israel, France and Congo. He said that it was the first time that France and Congo had decided to participate and he felt that the different rhythms and costumes would increase the show. Nebih stated the importance of organizing such international festivals and inviting different countries to present and exchange cultural values, music and traditions and thanked Cemal Bulutoglulari, Mayor of Nicosia, for his support and concern despite the financial difficulties they have been going through.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 How the Turkish Press assesses Turkey“s declared intention to participate in an international force in Lebanon. No mention so far of demands regarding occupied CyprusIn a commentary entitled "Neither to Lebanon nor across the border" YENI SAFAK newspaper (28.07.06) publishes an article by its Editor-in-Chief Mustafa Karaalioglun who calls attention to the "immoral" and "irrational" quality of the "link" between possible Turkish military deployments to northern Iraq and Lebanon, i.e. Turkey's possible commitment of troops to an international peacekeeping force for Lebanon "in return for" being allowed to conduct a cross-border operation into northern Iraq. He objects to Turkish troops being sent to either Lebanon or northern Iraq, arguing that sending a peacekeeping force to Lebanon would legitimize Israel's attacks while a cross-border operation against the PKK would provoke an alliance between the PKK and the "Iraqi Kurdistan" and not serve any purposes other than allowing the Erdogan government to boast ineffectually of "teaching [the terrorist group] a lesson" and increasing the military's influence over politics.
In an article entitled "Peacekeeping and Turkey" VAKIT newspaper (28.07.06) publishes a commentary by columnist M. Emin Kazci who argues that Israel wants the main body of a peacekeeping force for Lebanon to consist of Turkish troops because it is trying to involve Turkey in the ongoing chaotic situation in the Middle East with what looks like a mission to protect Israel and thus create "new hated countries in the Islamic world along with itself."
In an article entitled "The Middle East: A straightjacket", ZAMAN newspaper (28.07.06) publishes a commentary by columnist Ali Bulac who reads US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice's recent remarks about a "new Middle East" as meaning: "The operation has started. The peoples living in this region will submit to change whether they want it or not. Let those in doubt look at Beirut." He also argues that the old Middle East was "a straightjacket imposed on the Muslim world" and that the new Middle East will not be any different for the following reasons: 1. A major transformation in the region is being effected not by "inner dynamics" but by outside forces. 2. Negotiation is being avoided in implementing change. 3. The Broader Middle East Project is fomenting crisis and conflicts.
In an article entitled "Israel Hard-pressed; Be Wary of the Peacekeeping Ploy" MILLI GAZETE (28.07.06) by columnist Omer Vehbi Hatipoglu warns the Erdogan government about committing troops to a peacekeeping force for Lebanon, asserting that the primary purpose of international troop deployments to Lebanon will be to close the Lebanese-Syrian border, prevent Hizbulah from receiving logistical support from Iran via Syria, and disarm it. He also claims that the deployment of an international force to Lebanon will constitute the first step toward occupying Syria.
In an article entitled "Condoleezza Rice's impositions amount to a declaration of war on 22 Countries" MILLIE GAZETE (28.07.06) publishes a commentary by columnist Suleyman Arif Emre who asserts that it has become certain in the wake of Rice's remarks announcing that the time has arrived for a new Middle East, that the Broader Middle East Project will be carried out through war and massacres. He claims that Turkey faces the threat of a war intended to break it up as suggested in a recent Armed Forces Journal article (by Ralph Peters) and urges Parliament to unseat the Erdogan government so that a new administration that could defend national interests could be founded.
In an article in MILLIYET (30.07.06) Fikret Bila announces that US officials are holding preliminary contacts in Ankara in order to view Turkey's position regarding participation in a peacekeeping force in Lebanon. Bila stresses that Ankara intends to assume this duty but it has certain conditions: there must be a cease-fire first, the peacekeeping force must have the support of the Lebanese people, the peacekeepers must not be only from NATO member countries, there must be other Islamic countries etc.
Metin Munir, another MILLIYET columnist, calls on the Turkish authorities not "to meddle" in the Middle East. In an article in MILLIYET (30.07.06), Munir warns that nothing is as it seems in that region and details the intricacies of the Israel-Hizbullah conflict. He points to the behind-the-scenes involvement of the United States, Syria, and Iran; the role of the Sunni world; how the Hizbullah places its missile launchers inside apartment buildings in Lebanon and how the Israeli bombardment of those civilian areas is not entirely unjustified, etc. He concludes by stressing that Turkey should remain outside the conflict and maintain its silence as much as possible.
In an article in RADIKAL (30.07.06), Erdal Guven writes that everybody is talking about a peacekeeping force in Lebanon but it is too early yet because nobody knows when the fighting will stop. What is really happening, Guven argues, is that "the United States is helping Israel gain time." Israel believes that it must win this war, he adds, and the Hizbullah intends to retaliate as much as it can. They both know that there will be diplomatic negotiations eventually, and they both want to conduct them with strong positions. Guven concludes that Turkey need not hurry about sending troops to Lebanon, because it is too early to even discuss whether such a move would be in Turkey's interest or not.
In a commentary in CUMHURIEYT (30.07.06) entitled "Whose Prime Minister?", columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek argues that in order to look good in the eyes of the United States, Erdogan promised to send troops to the peacekeeping force in Lebanon before he received parliamentary approval. Arcayurek points out that while the prime minister criticized Israel until recently, he turned 180 degrees during the CNN interview and defended a pro-Israeli policy. The columnist argues that Erdogan is the prime minister of the United States, not of Turkey.
Under the title: "Greater Kurdistan and Smaller Turkey" VAKIT newspaper (30.07.06) publishes a commentary by columnist Lutfu Oflaz who comments on US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent statement that it was time for a new Middle East. Rice's comments, he asserts, reflected a plan devised by the United States and Israel to establish a Kurdish state comprising 20 Turkish provinces while allowing Armenia to annex a part of the Turkish territory and establishing puppet regimes in the Middle East. He comments: "People will either oppose this US and Israeli plan intended to redesign the Middle East or beg the United States and Israel for a piece of bone." Oflaz also says that the recent statements made by various government officials that Turkey could carry out a cross-border military operation against PKK militants in northern Iraq were not taken seriously by the international community.
In a report by MILLI GAZETE (30.07.06), under the title: "They are making attempts to use Turkish soldiers for serving Zionism" it is argued that the United States will effectively invade Lebanon by deploying a multi-national force in Lebanon under a plan, which, it says, is designed to build a new Middle East as part of the Greater Middle East Project. It argues that Turkey will take steps consistent with US interests in light of the shared vision document.
Finally, in an article entitled "Israel's Aggression and a new Crusade" in MILLI GAZETE newspaper (30.07.06) columnist Mustafa Miyasoglu accuses Israel of trying to escalate the existing conflict in the region in order to set the stage for a military intervention in Syria and Iran and thus serving what he describes as a new Crusade launched by the United States.
 How the Turkish Press covered an off-the-record chat with Prime Minister ErdoganIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (29.07.06) reported the following:
An informal chat with Prime Minister Erdogan . He underscored this himself: "A chat, just a chat. No statements. Let us chat off the record." The chat was obviously on a topic of common interest to reporters and politicians: politics. I will not quote the prime minister but I would like to share my impressions with you.
In a commentary entitled "Off-the-record talks" in HURRIYET (29.07.06), Ertugrul Ozkok writes: "My telephone rang the other day when I was going out of the Haris Alexiou concert. A colleague of mine asked me if I was aware that the prime minister is chatting with some correspondents now." Explaining that he was not aware of such an invitation, Ozkok adds: "I immediately found out about the correspondents, who were invited. Taha Akyol from MILLIYET, Mehmet Barlas from SABAH, Ekrem Dumanli from ZAMAN, Mustafa Karaalioglu and Fehmi Koru from YENI SAFAK, and Fatih Karaca from Star." Recounting that the invitation was extended at the last minute because the prime minister had some free time before appearing on the Larry King's show on CNN, Ozkok says: "The chat was off-the-record so I can only write about what I learned. The prime minister talked about his last phone conversation with President Bush. He apparently said: 'This is the first time that they embarked on such a serious undertaking.' Later on, the issue of the most interest to me -- Israel's attack on Lebanon -- was raised. Explaining that he will appear on CNN soon and that this issue will be raised there as well, the prime minister said: 'Do not worry, I will be careful.' Only later did I understand what the prime minister meant when he said that he will be careful. Asked by Larry King about who is responsible for the violence in the Middle East, Erdogan replied: 'Now is not the time to look for the guilty. If we start looking for the guilty party, we will all become emotional and exacerbate the existing situation. What we have to do is bring about a cease-fire.' Did you notice the change of style of the prime minister? If we want peace really, the right kind of style to be used is the one used by Erdogan on the screen. Let the people show whatever reaction they want. Most of the world public opinion is anyway against Israel. Officially, however, Turkey should use such a careful style."
Fikret Bila, in a commentary in MILLIYET (29.07.06), explains the views of the CHP (Republican People“s Party) with regard to deploying Turkish peacekeeping forces in Lebanon in the wake of Prime Minister Erdogan'-s comments to CNN. Explaining in his commentary that the prime minister clearly said that "Turkey can contribute forces to the UN forces," Bila adds that the "CHP assesses Erdogan's statement as 'hasty and imprudent." Referring to CHP deputy leader Onur Oymen's remarks with regard to sending troops abroad to the effect that "the Turkish Grand National Assembly only can authorize the dispatch of troops abroad," Bila sums up his column as follows: "CHP finds Prime Minister Erdogan's approaches to Lebanon and northern Iraq imprudent and dangerous."
In an article entitled "A late night chat with the Prime Minister" YENI SAFAK (29.07.06) publishes a commentary by columnist Fehmi Koru, who focuses on comments made by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a conversation with a group of Turkish columnists before his interview with the CNN's Larry King. Noting that Erdogan has taken a clear stance vis-ą-vis the situation in Lebanon and Iraq, Koru says: "He believes that the United States and Israel should be convinced to seek the international community's endorsement of their policies vis-ą-vis Lebanon and he is inclined to support efforts aimed at preventing further loss of lives. Meanwhile, he does not rule out the possibility of a cross-border operation in order to eliminate the threat against Turkey while waiting for the outcome of the efforts based on the tripartite mechanism." Koru also says that Erdogan believes that Turkey should play an influential role in her region rather than acting like a "fireman trying to put off fire started by others."
Under the title "Could the New Middle East Project prove to be successful?" VAKIT newspaper (29.07.06) publishes an article by columnist Ahmet Varol who criticizes Saudi Arabia for pursuing a carrot-and-stick policy toward Lebanon as part of what he describes as the United States' "New Middle East Project," which, he notes, is aimed at disbanding Hizballah's military wing and deploying Lebanese soldiers in south Lebanon. He comments: "The Saudi regime lays emphasis on the Shiite character of this organization in a bid to justify its anti-Hizballah stance dictated by its role as the police force of the New Middle East Project. In doing so, it actually contributes to efforts being made by US imperialism in a bid to spread sectarian strife to the entire Muslim world." Varol concludes by saying that the plan will eventually fail despite what he describes as plots devised by the United States and Saudi Arabia.
In another article entitled "Time for a new America" in VAKIT newspaper (29.07.06) by columnist Selahaddin Cakirgil it is assessed that the recent statement made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who, said that it was time for a new Middle East, actually reflected the United States' desire to maintain its imperialist hegemony over the world even if it would cause innocent civilians to lose their lives. Pointing out that there were leaders capable of making self-criticism in the history of the United States, Cakirgil comments: "A person like [US President George W.] Bush is now ruling their country. Could not there be another president like Abraham Lincoln or many others again? After judging Bush and his like, one could conclude that it is time for building a new America. The solution, however, could only be found by the Americans. There should be an awakening in the American mentality that could curb the insatiable greed of the neo-cons mostly consisting of Zionist Jews."
In an article entitled "New Middle East or Greater Israel" in VAKIT newspaper (29.07.06) by columnist Yavuz Bahadiroglu it is argued that Rice's remark about a new Middle East denotes a project that would enable Israel to act freely while presenting the region with a fait accompli. Arguing that the United Nations can no longer play an influential role in the Middle East although its officials were killed during Israeli attacks in Lebanon because the United States, the most influential member of the UN Security Council, lends unqualified support to Israel and thus paralyzes the organization, Bahadiroglu notes that the United Nations actually serves the interests of its permanent members rather than ensuring global peace, adding that the United States and Israel are also encouraged by the existing rifts and discord within the EU and the Muslim world.