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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-02-12

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.30/07 10-12.02.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Gul in the U.S. and upon his return to Turkey
  • [02] Talat will brief the assembly on the Cyprus problem; Ertugruloglu will hold a press conference at the same time on the same issue
  • [03] A delegation from the assembly has departed for Malaysia
  • [04] Akinci comments on the results of the population census
  • [05] Turkish Army Chief Yasar Buyukanit pays a formal visit to the USA
  • [06] The breakaway regime is worried about a draft-law which considers pari-mutuel bets played outside Turkey to be illegal
  • [07] A hotel in the shape of the Artemis temple is built in the occupied village of Vokolida
  • [08] Acvi to go to London and have contacts with Turkish Cypriots who live in England
  • [09] Erdogan: Important steps have been made for lifting the Turkish Cypriots isolation
  • [10] Turkeys EU negotiator is to hold key contacts in Brussels
  • [11] EU offered to Turkey the opening of two more chapters
  • [12] Australian Foreign Minister is in Ankara
  • [13] Turkey to promote self in North America
  • [14] Military units transferred to Gabar Mountain
  • [15] BBP Leader says money given to Dink murder suspect as humanitarian aid
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] Columnist assesses the results of Gulīs contacts in the U.S. Cyprus is reportedly connected with other issues. Talk of a Lebanon Cyprus crisis
  • [17] More on reports of MIT connection of the suspect for the assassination of Hrank Dink

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Gul in the U.S. and upon his return to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.02.07) reported from New York the following:

    "The Annan Plan is the plan of the UN, and it was supported by the UN Security Council as well as the EU," said Turkish Foreign Ministry, Mr Abdullah Gul who took the floor at think-tank organization Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday.

    "If Greek Cypriots had accepted the plan, today there would not be Turkish soldiers in the island," he added.

    Upon a question about Cyprus within the scope of Turkey-EU relations, Gul said, "some EU countries are using the Cyprus problem as an excuse artificially during Turkey's EU negotiation process." He recalled that Turkish Cypriots--by accepting the Annan Plan-- proved their goodwill, but Greek Cypriots voted against the plan.

    Gul said that Greek Cypriot administration joined the EU in a way against valid agreements and principles in the island. "Greek Cypriots carried the Cyprus problem to the EU," he stressed.

    Gul said, "there are two separate societies, religions and democracy in the island. We support a comprehensive solution for the Cyprus question."

    Upon a question about the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink and whether article 301 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK) will be lifted, Gul said, "we have wanted to amend article 301 for a long time. Government had launched initiatives a long time before murder of Dink. These activities are still continuing. I want this article to be amended because it overshadows our reform process."

    Noting that other countries--just because of this article-- think that there is no freedom of expression in Turkey and people are imprisoned because of their thoughts, Gul said that Turkey does not deserve such an image, and it wants to change this.

    "In fact, Turkey took this article from laws of EU countries, but we had some difficulties while implementing the article," he added.

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A.) news agency (10.02.07) reported from the United Nations that the issues of the Alliance of Civilizations, Cyprus and Iraq were high on the agenda of the meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.

    The Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General said that Gul and Ban underlined the importance of appointment of a high-level representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

    As for the Cyprus issue, Gul and Ban agreed that the agreement signed on July 8th, 2006, should come into force without any more delay.

    Meanwhile, diplomatic sources said that Ban asked Gul to give information about Turkey's views on Iraq's future and Kirkuk as a neighboring country.

    Gul extended Turkey's support to the United Nations efforts in the fight against international terrorism.

    The issues of Lebanon, the Middle East peace process, and Darfur were also discussed at the meeting.

    Ban highlighted the importance of Turkey's pioneering role in the region.

    Referring to the Cyprus issue, Gul said that Turkey's support to the good-will mission of the UN Secretary-General would continue during Ban's term in office. "Turkish party is ready to hold talks on the basis of two equal founder partners," he said.

    Meanwhile, Ban said that he would hold talks with both parties on the island. He noted that the future efforts would be based on for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's works.

    On Mr Gulīs meeting with the U.N. Secretary-General, illegal Bayrak television (10.02.07) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has reiterated his countrys support to finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that cooperation between a reunified Cyprus, Turkey and Greece could change the situation in the region.

    As part of his contacts in the Untied States, the Turkish Foreign Minister met with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon where the Cyprus Problem was among the top issues discussed.

    The UN Secretary-General is stated as having expressed during the meeting, the continuation of his full support towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    Speaking after the meeting Mr. Gul said that the Secretary-General had assured him that he will be personally involved in the process aimed at reaching a settlement on the island and that he will be meeting with both leaders on the island when the time is right.

    He also said that the UN Secretary-General told him that the Annan Plan as well as his predecessors works will be used as a basis for any new initiative or negotiations to be held on the Cyprus Problem.

    Meanwhile, addressing, the Foreign Relations Council, a well known think tank in New York, Mr. Gul said that both the United Nations Security Council and the European Union supported the Annan Plan as a basis for a solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    Answering a question on EU-Turkish relations, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that the Greek Cypriot Administration was using the Cyprus problem as an artificial and poor excuse to slow down Turkeys accession negotiations.

    Pointing out the Greek Cypriot administrations EU membership was in contradiction with valid international treaties, Mr. Gul accused the Greek Cypriot Side of trying to drag the Cyprus Issue onto the EU platform.

    Reminding that Turkey had launched the ī1974 peace operationī not to invade Cyprus but to end the fighting on the island and to return conditions to normality, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that if the Greek Cypriot Side had not rejected the Annan Plan, the Turkish Peace Forces would have left the island by now.

    Pointing to the fact that there are two religions, two democracies and two communities on the island, Mr. Gul reiterated Turkeys support towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    On Mr Gulīs statements on other issues Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.02.07) reported the following from New York: "Kirkuk is a small Iraqi model. Establishing peace in Kirkuk is vital," said Abdullah Gul, Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, on Friday.

    Abdullah Gul took the floor at the think-tank organization Council of Foreign Relations in New York on Friday.

    Gul indicated that a referendum in Kirkuk will cause many other problems.

    "Turkey pays high attention to the territorial integrity of Iraq. Turkey wishes for the Arabs, Kurds and Turkomans to live in peace in Kirkuk. In the past, Iraqi Kurds, fleeing away from the Saddam regime, found haven in Turkey and stayed in Turkey for two years. These Kurds lived for two years in Turkey.

    Furthermore, Iraqi leaders of Kurdish origin were issued diplomatic passports by Turkey. Turkey has no feelings of enmity against the Kurds of northern Iraq," noted Gul.

    Gul stressed that Turkey does not want to see north of Iraq as an haven for PKK terrorists. "Would you have shown tolerance if there were terrorist attacks from Mexico to the United States?" stated Gul.

    Abdullah Gul thanked for the support the United States has given to Turkey in its European Union bid. "There will be no slow down in the reform process in Turkey. Three more chapters will be opened for negotiations during Germany's EU rotating presidency," underlined Gul.

    In reference to a question on Iran, Gul replied that Turkey does not wish to see weapons of mass destruction in the region. "I have held contacts with Iranian officials on this matter. Turkey wishes for a solution to Iran's nuclear program," underscored Gul.

    Holding a news conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport after his return from the United States, Gul said, "During my talks with U.S. authorities, I told them that although it was not binding, the resolution would harm the strategic relations between Turkey and the United States."

    "I called on the U.S. administration to take urgent action. Secretary of State Rice will carry out an important work in the coming days. She will visit the Congress. Meanwhile, President Bush will write letters to congressmen regarding the draft resolution," he added.

    "I told U.S. executives that the resolution on the so-called Armenian genocide allegations, presented to the U.S. House of Representatives, will have a deep impact (on our relations) not only a temporary impact," said Turkish FM Abdullah Gul.

    Gul recalled that Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and some MPs will visit the USA to lobby against the resolution.

    On the other hand, Gul said that Iraq was also discussed during his talks with U.S. executives, and stated that this issue is not only important for the USA but also Turkey.

    "Iraq is in our geography and it is our neighbor. People we define as our kinsmen are living there, and we are concerned about their future. Therefore, I shared my views about Iraq with the administration and the think-tanks. I had the opportunity to tell them what should be done to preserve Iraq's territory and prevent its partition," he stated.

    Gul noted that he also told U.S. authorities that no mistakes should be done regarding Kirkuk's future in order to preserve Iraq's unity and integrity.

    Gul said that Turkey will never accept a double standard in fight against the terrorist organization PKK, and pointed out that Turkish people are losing their patience.

    Foreign Minsiter Gul noted that he also told U.S. executives that tangible steps should be taken against the terrorist organization.

    According to information he gave, Gul discussed the Cyprus problem with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in New York.

    Gul said that he also debated Lebanon, Middle East peace process and nuclear energy with U.S. authorities.

    "I drew attention of all congressmen and the administration (of the USA). I told them that this is not their national cause and it is up to them to either harm or not harm their strategic partnership with such a local issue," said Turkish FM Abdullah Gul when commenting on the resolution on so-called Armenian genocide allegations, presented to the U.S.

    Gul noted that the congressmen should first think about the interests of the USA, and then deal with regional matters.

    "Such a thing cannot be accepted when we are cooperating in Afghanistan, working together for the stability of Iraq and fighting against terrorism, the most important problem in the world, and carrying out biggest energy projects," he stressed.

    Gul added, "U .S. Secretary of State (Condoleezza Rice) will launch efforts in coming days and visit the Congress. Also, President (George Bush) will write letters (to the congressmen). We have warned everybody in advance (about negative impact of adoption of this resolution)", concluded the report of A.A.

    [02] Talat will brief the assembly on the Cyprus problem; Ertugruloglu will hold a press conference at the same time on the same issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.02.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Talat will brief today the assembly of the breakaway regime on the Cyprus problem. The session will begin at 10.00 a.m.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (12.02.07) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has said that if the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) avoids the early elections serious political clashes will take place. According to a statement issued by the UBP, in various visits he held the day before yesterday, Mr Ertugruloglu argued that it is unavoidable for the CTP to accept elections in 2007. He claimed that in case of a United Cyprus solution, the TRNC must definitely take its place as a sovereign state.

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (12.02.07), the mouthpiece of UBP, reports that the party will organize a press conference today at 10.00 a.m. regarding the Cyprus problem. Mr Ertugruloglu will explain the views of the party at the conference, where the MPs of the UBP will also be present.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] A delegation from the assembly has departed for Malaysia

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.02.07) reports that a delegation from the assembly of the breakaway regime has departed for Malaysia in order to participate in the Inter-parliamentary Meeting of the Islamic Conference Organization which will take place between 13 and 16 February.

    The Turkish Cypriot delegation consists of Nazim Beratli, MP of the Republican Turkish Party and Mustafa Gokmen, MP of the Free Party. The two MPs are accompanied by Seyit Yolak, foreign affairs director of the assembly.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Akinci comments on the results of the population census

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (12.02.07), under the title How many persons have we remained, publishes statements made to the paper by Mustafa Akinci, leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), who said that even after the population census which was conducted last year in the occupied areas, the number of the Turkish Cypriots on the island was not determined.

    Mr Akinci noted:

    It is not yet clear how many persons we are as Cypriots. In case the 133 thousand persons who are shown as citizens of the TRNC are divided into subgroups, this may contribute to the further enlightening of the situation The former president was seeing the Cypriotism as a quality belonging only to the donkeys of Karpass. Being a Turkish Cypriot and asking about our number is almost a crime now. We cannot accept the citizenship and population policies to condemn the Turkish Cypriots living as a minority in their own lands.

    Akinci said that the fact that the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan asks about the structure of the population in Kirkuk and he demands visas for entering into Istanbul should be an example for Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (12.02.07) also publishes an interview by Mr Akinci, who referring to the internal politics of the Turkish Cypriot community, said that the Republican Turkish Party, the National Unity Party and the Democratic Party should reach an understanding and early elections should be conducted within a reasonable period.

    He said that he does not expect this to happen because everybody awaits for the results of the elections in Turkey and to see what the balances will be.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish Army Chief Yasar Buyukanit pays a formal visit to the USA

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.02.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish General Staff Chief Gen. Yasar Buyukanit left for the United States on Sunday on a formal visit.

    Gen. Buyukanit is scheduled to meet U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Eric Edelman, and United States Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker during his stay in Washington D.C.

    Besides the military relations between Turkey and the United States, issues such as Iraq, the fight against terrorism, recent developments in the Middle East and the draft resolution on so-called Armenian genocide will be high on agenda of Gen. Buyukanit's scheduled meetings with U.S. authorities.

    [06] The breakaway regime is worried about a draft-law which considers pari-mutuel bets played outside Turkey to be illegal

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.02.07) reports that Ontac Duzgun, advisor at the self-styled prime ministers office, has said that the sports in the occupied areas will come to the point they had been 15-20 years ago in case the draft-law regarding the pari-mutuel bets for the football matches in Turkey is adopted by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) tomorrow.

    According to the draft-law, which has been approved by the relevant parliamentary committee, the pari-mutuel bets played by Turkish citizens outside Turkey through the Internet are considered to be illegal. In statements to illegal TAK news agency, Mr Duzgun said that this will influence negatively the TRNC, if it is approved by the TGNA in its current form.

    Even from now four companies annulled their licences in the occupied areas because of this draft-law, he noted and added that about 30 companies that applied for licence will also withdraw in case the law is approved. Mr Duzgun said that in case the draft-law is adopted, the TRNC will lose an annual income of ten million euros.

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (12.02.07) covers the issue under the title A blow to the gambling sector in the TRNC, and reports that Mr Duzgun asked for a protocol to be signed between Turkey and the TRNC so that an exemption is made for the occupied areas of Cyprus in this law.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (12.02.07) refers to the issue on its front page under the banner title Our loss is 10 million euros! The paper wonders whether Turkey will contribute to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (12.02.07) also refers to the issue and wonders whose interests Mr Duzgun is defending, those of the pari-mutuel betting companies or the TRNC sports?

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] A hotel in the shape of the Artemis temple is built in the occupied village of Vokolida

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (12.02.07), in its front page under the title One of the 7 Miracles has become a hotel, reports that a young tourism entrepreneur Burak Kaya has built Artemis Temple as a hotel in the occupied areas. It has 2,500 beds and cost 80 million euros. The paper reports that the hotel would have hosted 40,000 Israelis but the Greek Cypriots prevented the deal at the last moment. Commenting to reporters question whether it was a risky investment, Mr Kaya said: We estimate that the embargoes will be lifted the latest in 5 years. Meanwhile, we will have charter flights and bring in the Israeli tourists through Antalya. We have renegotiated the agreement, but of course the transport with planes would be trouble for the tourists. But it should be accepted. Mr Kaya also said that he will try to organize a concert with Theodorakis and Ajda Pekkan for the inaugural ceremony, in order to give a peace message.

    [08] Acvi to go to London and have contacts with Turkish Cypriots who live in England

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.02.07) reports that Mr Turgay Avci, the self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) will go to London next week in order to have various contacts.

    According to a written statement issued by the TRNC London Representation, Mr Avci will meet with Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK on the 15th of February at 19.30 in South London, at the Acapulco Banqueting Suite, 177-181 Rushey Green, Catford, London SE6 4BD. Mr Avci will also have meeting with Turkish Cypriots on the 16th of February at 19.00 in North London, at the Grand Palace Banqueting Suite, 1st floor, 242 High Road, Wood Green N 22 8JX.

    On the 16th of February Mr AVCI will meet with Turkish journalists who live in the UK and he will inform them about his constants in Britain.

    (CS)

    [09] Erdogan: Important steps have been made for lifting the Turkish Cypriots isolation

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.02.07) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that important strides have been accomplished in the way of removing the international isolation imposed on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    The Prime Minister was speaking on the Cyprus Problem at the end of an AKP party meeting in Ankara.

    Stating that the Cyprus problem had been discussed during the meeting, Mr. Erdogan reiterated the AKP governments determination to continue working towards removing the international embargoes imposed on the TRNC.

    Important progress has been achieved on this issue he said, adding that his party planned to continue work with the same determination.

    [10] Turkeys EU negotiator is to hold key contacts in Brussels

    Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (12.02.07) reports that Turkey's chief European Union negotiator Ali Babacan on Thursday will depart for Brussels for two-day talks with EU officials.

    The meetings are expected to include issues such as journalist Hrant Dink murder and Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which Brussels says restricts freedom of expression, in addition to the negotiation process of Turkey with the EU.

    Babacan is to meet with European Commission Vice President Gunter Verheugen, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn and other 5 members of the European Commission on Feb. 15-16 in Brussels.

    Babacan will also have talks with Member of the European Commission responsible for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner and EU Budget Commissioner Dalia Grybauskaite respectively on Thursday. He will attend the opening ceremony of the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSCON) Brussels office.

    After meeting with Verheugen, Babacan will attend a dinner organized by Olli Rehn as an honor guest on Thursday. Rehn is predicted to give a message on Dink murder, and express the expectation of the EU over a possible change on the Article 301.

    On Friday, Babacan will meet with Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia. Following his talks with Rural Development Commissioner Fischer Boel, Babacan will leave Brussels.

    [11] EU offered to Turkey the opening of two more chapters

    Turkeys English language TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (10.02.07) reports that the European Union has agreed to invite Turkey to negotiate two more chapters as part of the process in its bid to join the 27-member bloc.

    The enlargement working group decided yesterday to offer to Turkey the opening of Chapter 4, Free Movement of Capital, and Chapter 32, Financial Control. The plan is expected to be endorsed by the Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) on Feb. 14.

    Chapter 4 has two opening benchmarks: the adjustment of Turkey's laws with the EU acquis on free movement of capital and payments, and the harmonization of laws on money laundering. Chapter 32 has no benchmarks.

    The EU Commission will ask Turkey to present its strategy for abiding by the criteria contained in each chapter. EU sources say term president Germany could possibly open Chapter 20 (Enterprise and Industrial Policy) at an Intergovernmental Conference either at the end of March or the beginning of April. Sources also state that the Germans can open three more chapters in June before the end of their presidency.

    [12] Australian Foreign Minister is in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.02.07) reported that the Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has arrived in Ankara on Sunday upon an invitation from his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul.

    Downer will meet the Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Speaker of Turkish Parliament Bulent Arinc while in Ankara.

    Downer and Turkish authorities will discuss bilateral relations, regional and international issues.

    Turkey and Australia will sign a memorandum of understanding envisaging cooperation in the fight against international terrorism during Downer's stay in Ankara.

    [13] Turkey to promote self in North America

    Under the above title, Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (12.02.07) reports the following:

    The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has reportedly taken action towards promoting Turkey through advertising in the print and broadcast media in North America throughout 2007.

    Turkey's historic and cultural values will be promoted through popular TV programs, newspapers and magazines throughout the US and Canada as well as in the South American countries of Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil, Chile and Venezuela, a Turkish Culture and Tourism Office representative in New York said.

    Turkey will be promoted for a total of five hours in the form of a 40-second advertisement on CNN, the first of which will be aired during Anderson Cooper's program on Monday February 12.

    Turkey's advertisements will also appear on popular US TV stations such as ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX in March, in a total of 20 TV series and programs that have high ratings.

    Turkey's advertisements will appear in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post and 30 magazines.

    Terrorism has affected tourists from both Europe and the US. The number of American tourists fell considerably following the 9/11 attacks on the US; however, this number began to rise again in 2004. According to December figures, the number of US tourists has exceeded that prior to 9/11. The number of American tourists who visited Turkey in 2006 increased by 22 percent over 2005 to 532,000, according to the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office.

    [14] Military units transferred to Gabar Mountain

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (10.02.07) broadcast the following:

    While the security forces' operations against the terrorist organization PKK continue in Sirnak, military forces were sent to the Gabar Mountain supported from the air. It was learned that the units were deployed along the skirts of the mountain.

    In Sirnak, after the military dispatches to the Cudi and Besta Mountains, the security forces have now sent large quantities of troops and ammunition to the Gabar Mountain.

    As of the early hours of the morning, a military convoy of approximately 50 vehicles from the Ikizciler and Cakarsogut commando brigades moved to the skirts of the Gabar Mountain. Military helicopters conducted continuous flights in the area.

    While it is reported that the units were deployed in the area, it was learned that there are many PKK terrorists in the region and an operation will be launched in the coming days.

    [15] BBP Leader says money given to Dink murder suspect as humanitarian aid

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (10.02.07) reported that Muhsin Yazicioglu, the leader of BBP (Grand Unity Party), responded to the claim of Trabzon provincial head's monetary aid to Yasin Hayal's family when he was in jail: "He was not the provincial head at that time."

    Muhsin Yazicioglu, the leader of BBP (Grand Unity Party), responded to the claim of monetary aid by Yasar Cihan Trabzon Provincial head of BBP to the family of Yasin Hayal arrested due to soliciting the murder of Hrant Dink: "this money is not from the safe of BBP (Grand Unity Party), it has nothing to do with our party. Cihan was not the provincial head at that time as he is now." Yasin Hayal said that he received monetary help from Yasar Cihan in the amount of 1 billion YTL when he was in jail due to the bombing of McDonalds. Yazicioglu told in response: "This aid has nothing to do with our party. He is a prosperous person. When he learnt that there is a poor family in need of such a help, he just made a humanitarian aid."


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [16] Columnist assesses the results of Gulīs contacts in the U.S. Cyprus is reportedly connected with other issues. Talk of a Lebanon Cyprus crisis

    Istanbul TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (10.02.07) publishes the following:

    column by Beril Dedeoglu under the title: Turkish Foreign Ministerīs US Visit:

    Official visits of foreign ministers help either to solidify friendships or to face tensions, and occasionally both at the same time. The meeting between Abdullah Gul and Condoleeza Rice is a good example of visits with multiple goals.

    We have already mentioned the differing priorities of Turkey and the US concerning Iraq. Small steps can lead to the unification of priorities and to an agreement on policies and application methods in the near future. But some fundamental difficulties remain. First of all, Gul's visit clearly showed that the US has no time to wait for Turkish priorities to coincide with American ones because it is in a difficult position in several regions of the globe and particularly in Iraq. The US administration is also bogged down in domestic policy issues, including not only Democrats but some Republicans as well. Hence, the US cannot wait for the adaptation of Turkey's priorities and is seeking to force its hand in some regards.

    The talks between the two officials headlined the issues of Lebanon, Iraq, northern Iraq, Kirkuk, the PKK, Kosovo, the Exclusive Economic Zone issue in Cyprus and the resolution on the recognition of the Armenian "genocide." This is not simply a list of Turkey's problems with states or peoples in the surrounding regions. They also determine the relations of Turkey with the two "Wests," namely the US and the EU, and the Middle East. In short, these are fundamental issues about Turkey's domestic and foreign policy. It's not reasonable in terms of theory or practice to suggest that they will be resolved consecutively. That's why one shouldn't analyze them separately in a supposed linage. The main reason for the establishment of such a list is to take hostage all other issues in order to obtain the resolution of a privileged one.

    The US has admitted it cannot convince Turkey to share the US' priorities concerning Iraq in a short period of time, that's why it's trying to apply pressure via Turkish priorities. The resolution on the Armenian "genocide" was not a completely calculated maneuver, but the Bush administration is doing its best to profit from it. The majority of Congressmen favor this bill and the Bush administration are promising Turkey it will do everything to block it. In other words, the Democrats who proposed the resolution are not holding the sword of Damocles in their hands, but the Bush administration is. Under these circumstances, connections are established between the PKK and the Armenian issue, Cyprus and Lebanon, Kosovo and military bases.

    This process is not only making Turkey choose between its problems. If Turkey accepts an engagement in the whole of Iraq and not only in its northern provinces in order to obstruct the Armenian genocide resolution, this would mean a significant change in orientation in Turkey's future. It may also lead to the establishment of a Lebanon-Cyprus crisis line to assure the resolution of several issues concerning the Middle East between the EU and the US, in favor of the latter. Such a crisis line could also be used later against Turkey as a bargaining chip at the center of Turkey-EU relations. That's why talks held by Gul and Rice should help organize bilateral relations without forcing Turkey to change its track.

    [17] More on reports of MIT connection of the suspect for the assassination of Hrank Dink

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper, internet version (10.02.07) publishes the following report under the title: MIT Employee Offered Me Assistance:

    Yasin Hayal, who has been arrested as the instigator in the murder of [Armenian journalist] Hrant Dink, has said that "Big Brother" Erhan Tuncel introduced him to a MIT [National Intelligence Organization] member. Hayal said with regard to this individual, 40 to 45 years of age, whom he met in the London Palas [hotel], that "he was a MIT member. He asked for the case number of the McDonald's [bombing] case, and said he might be able to help."

    Yasin Hayal, who has been arrested on charges of having instigated Ogun Samast, the suspect in the murder of Agos [newspaper] general editor Hrant Dink, related that "Big Brother" Erhan Tuncel had prepared the bomb he had thrown into the McDonald's in Trabzon. Hayal also stressed that Yasin had introduced him to a MIT employee from Akcaabat. He said that, while he had been in prison on account of the bombing, Great Unity Party (BBP) Trabzon Provincial Chairman Yasar Cihan had provided him 1,000 YTL [New Turkish Liras] per month via his family, and that BBP Central Executive Board member Yasin Egemen and Halis Egemen had also provided him with aid in the form of food and clothing. According to a report published yesterday in Radikal newspaper, Hayal, who did not speak at his first statement session, but from whom a second statement was taken after it had emerged that Erhan Tuncel had served as an informant for both the police and the Gendarmerie, said the following in his statement:

    Erhan Prepared Bomb

    Erhan Tuncel was introduced to me as the reis ["leader" or "chief"] five years ago, in 2002, in the Alperen Hearths. I went frequently to Erhan Tuncel's home. He said on the one hand that he approved the assassination of [industrialist Ozdemir] Sabanci, and on the other that he liked the IBDA-C [Islamic Great Eastern Raiders Front] leader Salih Mirzabeyoglu. During 2003 or 2004, he asked me if he would be able to sell drugs and Kalashnikovs in Trabzon. First, in 2002, and at the behest of Tuncel, I beat a person in the Santa Maria Church in Trabzon with an axe handle. I wasn't caught. For the McDonald's bombing, I got materials such as coal dust, nails, and a detonator. Erhan prepared the bomb. When I threw the bomb into the McDonald's, Tuncel sat on a bench watching me, pretending to be reading a newspaper. Following the action, I went to Tuncel's house. He didn't send me to Elazig, but hid me in the house of a friend of his.

    Man From Akcaabat Was 40-45 Years Old

    In 2006, Erhan Tuncel introduced me, in the London Palas, to a person 40 to 45 years old, who said he was from Akcaabat. This individual was a MIT member. He asked for the number of the case file for the McDonald's incident at the Supreme Court of Appeals, and indicated that he might be able to help.

    Dink Was Armenians' Mustafa Kemal

    We first talked about killing Dink in a discussion in Tuncel's house in January, 2006. Tuncel explained that Dink was a very courageous person, and that in the eyes of the Armenians he was someone like Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk]. He said: "If we kill him, we will have won a great victory." I told Erhan Tuncel that "if I were 17 or 18 years old, I would rip Dink's head off." I said that I would not be able to take part in the murder. Erhan Tuncel asked me to give him my weapon and prepare a quantity of money. Tuncel found Zeynel Abidin Yavuz as the shooter in February of 2006. He said he had persuaded him to carry out the action. Later, he said he had spoken with Ogun Samast and convinced him to conduct the action. Shortly before the killing, I met in Tuncel's house with Tuncel and Samast. Tuncel told Samast continually that he would be a hero if he killed Hrant Dink.

    I got news of the killing in the Mihmandar Cafe in Trabzon, together with the other suspects being held, Ersin Yolcu, Ahmet Iskender, and Zeynel Abidin Yavuz. I laughed and said "It worked out well." Ersin Yolcu came over and said that Erhan Tuncel had called. I then went to his house. Tuncel, laughing, said that Dink had been killed. Saying that the police were listening to his telephones, he said "I am going to put in the SIM card that is being listened to, and then let us talk about how we have not committed this." He took out the SIM card from his pocket and put it into the telephone, then put it down on the table. To me, he said "it was true that you were thinking of carrying out this action, but you didn't."

    He Wanted to Launch an Atomic Bomb Against Israel

    Erhan Tuncel became acquainted with a girl over the internet in 2006. He went to meet this girl, who lives in Eskisehir. He said that either the mother or the father of this girl, who was studying in the university in Eskisehir, was Lebanese. Tuncel used to say that his greatest wish was to launch an atom bomb against Israel. He would say "this is not an unattainable fantasy; one day it will happen."

    During the Sacrifice Holiday in 2006, I went with Erhan Tuncel to the livestock market. When the Turkish Aviation Association's (THK) vehicle collecting the skins came to the market, Erhan mumbled to himself "those bastards have shown up once again." I asked him why he would refer to an organization of the state as bastards. But I didn't push him, and let the matter drop.

    Aid Money For Chechnya

    In 2006, we accompanied the Deputy Chief of the Chechen General Staff, who had come to Trabzon, first to the Great Unity Party building, and then to the Welfare Party [RP] building. Erhan introduced this individual to the officials of these organizations and related his requests for aid to Chechnya. I learned that these individuals were going to go to Erzurum and collect aid there after Trabzon. When we saw them off, Erhan told me that they had gotten a substantial amount of aid that day.

    We Tested Bomb, Like Weapons, in Quiet Place

    Erhan Tuncel, in preparing the bomb used in the McDonald's action, also prepared two small bombs of the same type. But he did not put nails into them. We carried out a test by exploding the bombs in a quiet place. Nails were put inside the real bomb. When I asked Tuncel whether or not this would cause a great deal of damage, he deceived me and said that, in bombs, nails spread downwards, toward the ground, and do not do much damage to the surroundings.

    They Said MOSSAD Would Kill Me

    In early 2006, my brother-in-law Coskun Igci said that he had heard that I was going to be killed by the MOSSAD on account of the McDonald's incident. He said: "It's a good thing you were in prison at that time." I told Erhan Tuncel about it as well. Erhan Tuncel worked in an opinion-survey company for about six months.

    EG/


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