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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-08-10

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.153/06 10.08.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Mr Talat made it clear that the new partnership will not be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus. Statements at Kokkina.
  • [02] Talks continued on setting up the technical committees.
  • [03] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during a dinner in honour of the Saudi King.
  • [04] New Commander of the occupation forces was appointed by Turkey´s Supreme Military Council.
  • [05] The commanders of the occupation army bid farewell to officials of the puppet regime they have set up in occupied Cyprus.
  • [06] Izzet Izcan criticizes Hasan Ercakica for his statements on the talks process.
  • [07] MILLIYET: Secularism discussion in the TRNC.
  • [08] Turkish land forces to be reduced and modernized.
  • [09] AKP is debating the electoral threshold as the ECHR takes on Turkish general election barrier.
  • [10] The Turkish army shells targets in northern Iraq. New action plan by PKK reported.
  • [11] Banned pro-Kurdish daily to be appear under different name.
  • [12] WHO: Hemorrhagic fever kills 20 in Turkey this year.
  • [13] Turkish deputy raised the issue of restoring the Greek names of villages in the occupied part of Cyprus in the Turkish Parliament.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Columnist in ZAMAN argues that a new map is being prepared under the Greater Middle East Project.
  • [15] Will there be early elections?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Mr Talat made it clear that the new partnership will not be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus. Statements at Kokkina

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.08.06) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has stressed that the basic aim of the Turkish Cypriot Side is to establish a new partnership on the island through a United Nations negotiations process but made it clear that the new partnership will not be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Speaking at a ceremony marking the 42nd anniversary of the epic Erenkoy (Kokkina) Resistance yesterday, the President said that a new partnership is essential on the island.

    Referring to the resistance put up in the village of Erenkoy, (Kokkina) President Talat said the resistance is the proof that the existence struggle being waged by the Turkish Cypriot people will continue to the end.

    Pointing out that the Erenkoy (Kokkina) Resistance is the proof that the Cyprus problem started in 1963 and not 1974, he said `the Erenkoy (Kokkina) Resistance is a proof and symbol that bloodshed in Cyprus continued in 1964 and that Turkish Cypriots were kidnapped and massacred until 1968`.

    Calling `1974` as one of the milestones of the Cyprus problem, he said it was 1963 and 64, which paved the way for the developments of the year 1974.

    Reminding that the Republic of Cyprus had been usurped in 1963 by the Greek Cypriot Side, he complained that the Greek Cypriot Side has been putting all kinds of pressure and restrictions on the Turkish Cypriot people since then.

    `They are calling us, the TRNC a self-governing mechanism which was established with the will of the Turkish Cypriot people as a `pseudo state`, he said, stressed that it was the Greek Cypriot Administration which is a pseudo state, and not the TRNC.

    `This is because the leader of that administration is claiming to be the President of the whole island, but, he is the leader of the Greek Cypriot Side`, he said.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot Side proved its willingness to bring peace to Cyprus at all platforms, he said the attitude to be adopted by the international community from now, is important.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriot Side is in support of solving the Cyprus problem under the aegis of the United Nations, the President accused the Greek Cypriot Side of trying to bring the Cyprus issue into the European Union.

    `We are in support of a new bi-zonal and bi-communal federation where the Cyprus Turkish state will be administered by Turkish Cypriots and the Cyprus Greek State by Greek Cypriots in a reunified Cyprus` he said, adding that Turkeys guaranty is essential and inevitable for the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (9.08.06) reports that in his speech Talat referred to the Cyprus problem and said: For us a new partnership in the UN process is the basic target. Not the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus. It would be a new partnership. Since 1963, the day the Republic was usurped, it worked and it was used against us, it was structured to be used against us, it had established an army against us and it was armed against us. In brief it is a creation against the Turkish Cypriots. Therefore, the new state that will be established will be a new partnership. In this partnership our political equality will be rearranged definitely in such a way that both practically and de facto it will be put into practice. This will be openly mentioned in the Constitution, in the treaty of Establishment and in the Treaty of Alliance and Guarantee.

    (Tr. Note: TRNC is the puppet regime set up by Turkey and maintained by 40,000 Turkish troops in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus)

    (MHY)

    [02] Talks continued on setting up the technical committees

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.08.06) broadcast that the preparatory talks on the setting up of technical committees and on the lists of discussion issues exchanged by the two sides are continuing.

    Mr Talat´s Adviser Rasid Pertev and Tassos Djionis - an aide to the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos met this morning again.

    Speaking after the two-and-a-half hour long meeting, Mr Pertev said that headings listed in papers exchanged earlier between the two sides and the procedure to be followed for the setting up of technical committees were taken up during the meeting, adding that discussions between the two sides will continue tomorrow or on Friday.

    Responding to a question, Mr Pertev reminded that agreement was reached between the two sides on the holding of a meeting between Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos after the 10th of August but added that a date is yet to be set for the meeting.

    Meanwhile, the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus said in a press release that Mr Pertev and Mr Djionis met today in continuation of their efforts to operationalise the 8 July decisions.

    It said that the process continued to be carried out in a forward looking and positive atmosphere.

    [03] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during a dinner in honour of the Saudi King

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.08.06) broadcast the following:

    Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot `people´ is still waiting a just and lasting solution to be brought to the Cyprus problem.

    The Turkish Presidents words came at a dinner he gave in honor of the visiting Saudi Arabian King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al Suud at Cankaya Palace in Ankara.

    Mr Sezer said the Turkish Cypriot `people´ has been suffering under unjust and inhumane restrictions.

    Reminding that King Abdullah had expressed his support to the Turkish Cypriot `people´ in 1966 during his visit to Turkey, he said the Turkish Cypriot `people´ is still waiting a solution to the Cyprus problem in spite of the 40 years passed.

    [04] New Commander of the occupation forces was appointed by Turkey´s Supreme Military Council

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.08.06) broadcast that Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu has been appointed as the new Commander of the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus.

    And Major General Sabri Demirezen has been appointed as the commander of the 28th Division.

    The current Commander of the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hasan Memisoglu will hand over his duties to Lieutenant General Kivrikoglu at a ceremony to be held on the 17th of August.

    Major General Sabri Demirezen will arrive in occupied Cyprus in September to take over the command of the 28th Division.

    [05] The commanders of the occupation army bid farewell to officials of the puppet regime they have set up in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.08.06) broadcast that the Commander of the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hasan Memisoglu, the commander of the 28th Division Major General Aydemir Culculoglu and the Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Major General Tevfik Ozbilic whose terms of office in the occupied areas of Cyprus expire, are paying farewell visits to state and government officials.

    The commanders today visited the self-styled President Mehmet Ali Talat, the acting-Speaker of the Assembly Mehmet Bayram, self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the self-styled deputy-prime Minister Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas.

    The Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Major General Mehmet Eroz who was appointed as the new Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces - was also present at the meetings.

    Speaking during the visits, the Commander of the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hasan Memisoglu said that the aim of the force is to contribute to efforts aimed at brining peace and security to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Commander Memisoglu added that the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus is ready and capable to undertake any mission to be given.

    For his part, Mr Talat underlined the need for the institutions of the state to cooperate in order to achieve the targets for the sake of which the Turkish Cypriot people has been waging a struggle and made important sacrifices.

    Pointing to good relationship that exists between the Commanders and the puppet regime´s organs, he thanked the commanders for their successful terms of office in the occupied areas.

    Self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, for his part, said that the Turkish Occupation Forces in Cyprus has been in support of the Turkish Cypriot `people´ in the efforts towards protecting the territorial integrity of the island, regaining the islands status in line with international agreements and protecting the Turkish Cypriot `people´.

    The self-styled Deputy-Prime Minister Foreign Minister Serdar Denktas said during the commanders visit to him that besides bringing security to the island, the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus has been contributing to social life in the Republic.

    He also added that the existence of the Turkish Occupation Forces had also brought peace to the Greek Cypriot people also.

    [06] Izzet Izcan criticizes Hasan Ercakica for his statements on the talks process

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (10.08.06) publishes a statement by the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan who accused the self-styled Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica of creating tension with his public statements regarding the work being carried out on the technical committees. He said that this will never help the solution of the Cyprus problem. He said that raising the PKK issue or the Cyprus-France cooperation has nothing to do with the work aimed at creating of the technical committees.

    (MHY)

    [07] MILLIYET: Secularism discussion in the TRNC

    Under the above title Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (10.08.06) reports that the Koran courses which were organised at the mosques by the Directorate of Religious Affairs after 30 years in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) paved the way for a discussion in occupied Cyprus.

    The Koran courses, which were taking place in 112 mosques, were stopped after polices charges at mosques on the ground that the courses were not legal.

    Commenting on the issue Mr Ahmet Yonluer, the Head of the Directorate of Religious Affairs stated that the so-called ministry of education has granted permission for the courses to begin but the permission was later taken away. On its behalf the ministry declared this allegation to be false. The Turkish Cypriot Primary Teachers Association (KTOS) had reacted to the decision regarding the courses saying that it cannot accept religious fanatic views. The courses have started on the 2nd of July and they will be finished on the 28th of August.

    The paper writes that the issue was brought up by a citizen to the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan during the latters visit to occupied Cyprus last month. The citizen said to Mr Erdogan that permission is not given for the conducting of Koran courses. Mr Erdogan conveyed this complaint to Mr Ahmet Yonluer, who is a close friend of his according to the paper.

    (C/S)

    [08] Turkish land forces to be reduced and modernized

    Turkish daily ZAMAN online newspaper (09.08.06) reports that General Yasar Buyukanit, due to take over as Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces in August, has stated that the Turkish Army Land Forces are to be reduced by 30 percent in the coming years.

    The comments of General Buyukanit, current commander of the Turkish Army Land Forces, were published in an article of the latest issue of the Defense and Aviation Magazine (Savunma ve Havacilik Dergisi) which deals with the current and future state of the Turkish armed forces.

    General Buyukanit states that a scaling down of the Turkish army's land forces by 30 percent in the coming years would take place under a plan entitled "Force 2014."

    Buyukanit said that plan "Force 2014" foresees a reduction in the size but a greater modernization of the land forces, including its weaponry.

    [09] AKP is debating the electoral threshold as the ECHR takes on Turkish general election barrier

    NTV-MSNBC internet side (09.08.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) is to hear a case seeking to overturn Turkeys 10 percent barrier for general elections, with submissions to be considered on September 5 and a final ruling expected to be handed down before the end of the year.

    The application to the court was lodged by candidates of the now defunct pro-Kurdish DEHAP who failed to take up seats in the parliament because of the 10 percent nationwide threshold in force for the 2002 general elections. On March 2003, Resul Sadak, Mehmet Yumak and Fahri Elçi, all of whom stood for DEHAP in the November 2002 elections, lodged their application to the ECHR to rule on the legality of the barrier.

    Currently, a political party contesting a national election in Turkey must obtain 10 percent of the vote nationwide before any of its candidates can claim seats in the parliament. In an interview with television station NTV Wednesday, Sirnak Sadak, the mayor of the south eastern town of Idil, said that despite gaining almost 50 percent of the vote in his province in three general elections, 1995, 1999 and 2002, he was not able to enter the parliament. Sadak claimed that the 10 percent threshold was undemocratic.

    Although the ECHR had ruled on election systems in other countries, this will be the first time the court would be ruling on an election barrier. Turkey itself is considering introducing an electoral barrier for independent candidates.

    On the same issue Turkish Daily News newspaper (09.08.06) reported the following:

    Major changes in the Turkish electoral system are being considered by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as the next national election, scheduled for November 2007, draws closer.

    Among the changes under consideration are a decrease in the 10 percent election threshold, a decrease in the minimum age to be elected to office and a 45-deputy minimum for a party to establish a parliamentary group

    The laws that will be changed are the Election Law and the Political Parties Law, in addition to a constitutional amendment package.

    According to the Constitution any amendments made in the Election Law can only be implemented in subsequent elections occurring more than a year later, thus necessitating that the amendments be made before the end of October of this year. The AKP leadership plans to open Parliament on Sept. 19 instead of Oct. 1 in order to have enough time to legislate the changes.

    The AKP will try to reach an agreement with the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) for the constitutional amendments because the approval of 367 members of Parliament is needed for such changes to pass; the AKP has only 355.

    One of the most controversial changes under consideration is the lowering of the election threshold from 10 percent to 7 or even 3 percent.

    Reserve deputies will be introduced to replace those who die or resign, thus eliminating the need to hold early elections when too many seats fall vacant.

    The AKP also wants to prevent deputies from resigning from their parties. Despite the fact that only the AKP and CHP were able to pass the 10 percent threshold in the last elections, there are currently six parties represented in Parliament due to resignations and changes in party affiliation. It is thought the 45-deputy minimum (for a party to establish a parliamentary group) will reduce such problems in the future.

    [10] The Turkish army shells targets in northern Iraq. New action plan by PKK reported

    The New Anatolian newspaper (09.08.06) reports the following:

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) have shelled several targets in northern Iraq near the border after suspected terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) activity there, a news website reported on Tuesday.

    Peyamner news agency, known to be an affiliate of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), reported yesterday that the village of Beduhe, Amediye near the border was shelled on Monday by the TSK. It's the fourth shelling of the same area by the Turkish army in the past month, the report claimed.

    The website said that an area near the village was shelled but reported no injuries of residents. The Turkish authorities didn't comment on the report on Tuesday.

    Turkey has been carrying out operations near the border area since the mid-1990's to curb infiltration into Turkey by PKK militants. In addition to the deployment of extra forces to the border region, Turkey also has around 1,000 Special Forces in northern Iraq near the border monitoring the area.

    Around 3,000 PKK militants are believed to be based in the Kandil Mountains that straddle Iraq's border with Iran, about 50 miles from the Turkish border and infiltrate southeastern Turkey from there to carry out attacks.

    The paper also reports the following:

    The terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has reportedly adopted a new action strategy under which its militants in mountain bases go to city centers in provinces and districts of the southeast to carry out attacks.

    Military circles have underlined that non-commissioned officer Levent Celik, who was killed by two masked terrorists at his home in Sirnak, was killed as a result of that strategy.

    Two masked terrorists killed 38-year old Cevik and wounded his 8-year-old son after they broke into his house. After the attack, Cevik was taken to hospital where he died, while his wife, Esra, who was also in the house at the time, escaped injury.

    Military sources have said that PKK militants have left their mountain bases to go to city centers in the southeast and directly targeted security officers, especially soldiers and police officers in the past month.

    Stressing that two police officers were shot in the middle of the street at dusk in Idil city center, the same sources noted that the Cevik's murder should also be evaluated within this scope.

    The same sources have underlined that there's a serious official lodging problem in the southeast, emphasizing that housing for military personnel in the region only meets 40 percent of total demand.

    Some 60 percent of military personnel in the southeast live in a dispersed area due to the lack of official lodgings. Military sources have underlined that the recent PKK attacks depend on the security weakness created by the official lodging problem. They also noted that the extra lodgings needed may be built in the very near future if the government provides the necessary funds, adding it would be easier to protect those lodgings.

    The same source also warned that the terrorist organization may carry out a new series of attacks unless the necessary measures are taken.

    [11] Banned pro-Kurdish daily to be appear under different name

    Under the above title, The New Anatolian newspaper (09.08.06) publishes the following report:

    A pro-Kurdish daily, recently suspended on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda, announced yesterday that the paper will be published under a different name from today.

    Several political parties and civil groups held a press conference and paid a solidarity visit to Ozgur Gundem to express their support for the recently suspended daily. Speaking at the press conference, pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Istanbul branch head Dogan Erbas asserted that the Anti-Terrorism Law restricts the freedoms of press and expression. "The suspension of daily Ozgur Gundem is a concrete step in a process which will lead to a civil war between Turks and Kurds in Turkey and towards Turkey's participation in the Lebanese and Iran operations allying with Israel and the U.S.," charged Erbas.

    Following the press conference, the groups paid a visit to Ozgur Gundem. The daily's editor in chief Huseyin Aykol explained that the paper has faced several problems. "In the last 18 years around 30 of our colleagues have been killed, several colleagues imprisoned and our offices attacked," said Aykol, adding that the daily hasn't been published for the last three years but will reappear in print as "Toplumsal Demokrasi" (Social Democracy).

    An Istanbul court ruled on Friday to suspend Ozgur Gundem on charges of "praising terror groups," a decision which came hours after President Ahmet Necdet Sezer asked the Constitutional Court to annul several articles of the controversial Anti-Terror Law regarding freedom of press.

    Civil groups that expressed support for the daily said that the suspension ruling was the first implementation of the articles of the law, which, they claim, restrict the freedoms of press and expression.

    The law, passed in late June and approved by the president last month, drew fire from the opposition and civil groups on the grounds that it would limit basic rights and freedoms.

    Sezer has sought the annulment of articles which ease the suspension of publications and make owners and editors in chiefs liable to fines even if they don't personally commit a crime.

    In related news, the attorneys of the daily's owner and executive editor have applied to Istanbul High Criminal Court requesting the annulment of the suspension.

    In the petition the daily's owner Ali Gurbuz and Executive Editor Hasan Bayar said that the law related to the ruling violates the Constitution and the European Convention on Human Rights. They requested that the court apply to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of Article 6 of the law.

    The Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) also expressed support for the suspended daily yesterday, calling the ruling a heavy blow to freedom of expression.

    MAZLUM-DER Istanbul branch head Mustafa Ercan said that thoughts can't be banned unless they call for violence and added that banning a thought arbitrarily just because it's not mainstream can't be defended.

    Ercan said that the Anti-Terrorism Law was passed despite warnings from academics and civil groups saying that it would violate basic rights and freedoms. He called on jurists to favor universal freedoms and rights in the rulings they make.

    [12] WHO: Hemorrhagic fever kills 20 in Turkey this year

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News newspaper (09.08.06) reported the following:

    A tick-borne hemorrhagic fever has killed 20 people among 242 confirmed cases in Turkey this year, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Tuesday.

    The severe disease, known as Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, mainly strikes farm and slaughterhouse workers in the livestock industry who come in contact with the virus.

    Turkey's Health Ministry has reported most of the recent cases in six northeastern provinces in the Black Sea and Central Anatolia region, the U.N. agency said in a statement.

    "One of the newly reported fatal cases was a health worker who acquired the infection while treating Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever cases in Corum province," the WHO said.

    Control measures including disease surveillance among animals and humans continued, it said.

    The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an agency of the European Union, said no cases had been reported from popular tourist resorts along the Mediterranean coast.

    Infection normally occurs through the bite of infected ticks or through direct contact with infected blood and tissue from livestock. Human to human transmission, through exposure to contaminated blood, is more rare.

    There is no vaccine against the disease, which causes dizziness, high fever, muscle pain and vomiting. A body rash and bleeding from the bowels and gums, often accompanied by hepatitis and pulmonary failure, follow in severe cases.

    The mortality rate can reach 30 percent from the disease, first identified in Crimea in 1944 and later in the Congo.

    [13] Turkish deputy raised the issue of restoring the Greek names of villages in the occupied part of Cyprus in the Turkish Parliament

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (10.08.06), under the title Are you aware of what the TRNC government is doing?, reports that the harm caused by the Turkish government to the Turkish Cypriots and to the national issue have started to be reflected in the agenda of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM).

    The paper reports the following:

    The Istanbul deputy of the main opposition political party in Turkey Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Mr Onur Oymen, has asked the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul: Are you aware of the TRNC governments decision to change some of the Turkish names of the villages with Greek Cypriot names?

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, Oymen in a proposal submitted to the chairmanship of the Turkish Grand National Assembly asked whether the TRNC government took the decision to change the Turkish names of some villages with Greek Cypriot ones according to some reports of the Turkish Cypriot press. The questions of Onur Oymens proposal are the following:

    Has our government been aware of this decision? Does our government support this decision, which will weaken Turkish Cypriots national feelings and will convert step by step Cyprus into a Greek Cypriot island? If you dont support it, have you conveyed to the TRNC government your objections against the decision?

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus TRNC - is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the north part of the Republic of Cyprus)

    (DP)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Columnist in ZAMAN argues that a new map is being prepared under the Greater Middle East Project

    Under the title: Do we have a Map? Turkish daily ZAMAN online newspaper (08.08.06) publishes a commentary by Mustafa Armagan. Following are excerpts of the commentary:

    When the late Turgut Ozal said, Maps will be redrawn in the Middle East, I guess he meant this.

    According to the new global imperial regime, the Middle East map will be defined once again; geographies will be erased and cut out again, and borders will shift in accordance with certain objectives. Just as at Brest-Litovsk, just as at Sevres, and just as at Versailles and Yalta, the maps on our desks will quickly be tossed into the wastepaper basket. In other words, once again the maps arent real; they will show what the boss wants. The jolting insight of the indefatigable map decipherer of our age, J. B. Harley, comes to mind: The history of the use of maps shows us that they never show the truth; they only serve to produce a different truth.

    Harley (1932-1991) was a British map historian. His real specialty was showing the ideological behind-the-scene reality of map-making, establishing connections with politics and imperialism, and, above all, claiming that maps showed the intentions of the map-makers. I guess our intellectual worlds ignorance of such a creative source as Harley cant be his fault.

    However, Western map-makers insist that there is just one map technique and science. A Europe-centered understanding of map-making is dominant in their minds. Whereas, Western-based maps are each a picture that cannot be independent from the ethnic, political, religious or class interests of its own societies. In other words, they are scientific-looking masks that cover and hide the picture behind them.

    Harleys investigation should have brought us face-to-face with three truths: 1) The thesis that maps are made with the step-by-step progress of an objective science is just a claim of positivist map-making. 2) Power is not just external to maps; to the contrary, it lies in the technique. 3) When we accept that a map is a text, we gain the opportunity to strip off the dress on the text and give it a new dress. This is no small thing. But first awakening. This is the first requirement.

    Today the name of the workshop where the draft is feverishly being made is just under our nose the Great Middle East Project. First we learned its name from the American press, and then we heard statements from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that they wanted to make Diyarbakir the center of this project, and we gave credit to Harley one more time. The map-makers have got to work. Who could have prevented it? The Middle East map grows and shrinks; countries, peoples, and cultures enter and exit. The important thing is whether we have a map (consciousness) for ourselves of where we live and where we want to live. There are many maps on the Internet, but, I guess, we are the only ones without a map. I wonder why?

    [15] Will there be early elections?

    Under the above title The New Anatolian newspaper (09.08.06) publishes the following commentary by Mete Belovacikli:

    I know that one of the most debated issue is whether the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will call for early elections or not.

    I can't give a clear answer to that question. I can only relate speculation in the back corridors of Ankara and you can draw your own conclusions based on that.

    First of all, we have to state a point.

    Almost everybody says that Parliament will be convened for an extraordinary meeting in September. Moreover, I got that information from some ministers. Nobody seems to know exactly why Parliament will be called for an extraordinary session in September and what issues will be debated at that meeting. That's why none of the comments on the issue are the same. One claim says that a call for early elections will be made then. Whether this is true, I don't know. But I can say that some Cabinet members don't regard that claim unfavorably. Meanwhile, some commentators are saying that Parliament will be convened for an extraordinary meeting this month and the decision will be made at that meeting. We can't say anything about that claim either.

    However, it's a fact that the debate surrounding early elections has surfaced once again.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has talked about amending the election laws for no real reason. The constitutional amendment package, which has been shelved for some time, has been brought up again. As our readers know, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party was working on a constitutional amendment package on election-related issues. That work was coordinated by Parliament's Constitution Commission head Burhan Kuzu. Kuzu who, at the same time, is head of the Research and Development Department of the AK Party. That work had three fundamental pillars. The first one stipulates the election of deputies from Turkey. Bills prepared by AK Party Deputy and Parliament Constitution Commission head Kuzu foresees the election of 100 deputies out of 550. These 100 deputies would be elected based on a symbolic threshold. The 10 percent national threshold would still be valid for the remaining 450 deputies. The threshold would be around 2 or 3 percent for the 100 deputies. Hence small parties would also have a chance of being represented in Parliament, as the European Union requested.

    The second one is the election of auxiliary deputies who would be elected to replace deputies who die while in office or resign.

    Thirdly, the package includes a clause regarding the presidential election, which can be carried out in one of two ways. The first alternative stipulates the establishment of a presidential system and popular election of the president. The second alternative stipulates the election of the president by Parliament, reducing the presidential term to five years and allowing the president to serve for two consecutive terms.

    But perhaps more importantly the package was to include a clause saying that election-related legal changes can't be made a year before the elections.

    If this last clause is included in the package, three problems will emerge. Firstly, if there's a call for early elections, those changes can't be made until the elections and therefore they would have no meaning. Secondly, if there's no call for early elections then the constitutional amendments have to be passed before November 3 this year so that they could be implemented November 3 next year in the elections. Thirdly, the changes may not be passed until November 3, which is very likely as Parliament's structure doesn't allow constitutional amendments to be passed in a few days. In that case, those changes would be implemented not in the next elections, but in the following ones. We'll see the results of this complex situation.

    /SK


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