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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-02-14

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.32/07 14.02.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The commander of the Turkish occupation army briefs the self-styled minister of education on the problems regarding the education of the children of the 15,000 army officers
  • [02] The Turkish Minister of Energy on the oil researches in the Mediterranean; The Turkish Foreign Ministry reportedly does not support the efforts; Statements by Ercakica
  • [03] Bulutoglulari is the new chairman of the Municipalities Union
  • [04] The CTP cuts off the dialogue it was holding with the UBP
  • [05] Employers demand lower minimum wage for the 40.000 non-citizens who work in the occupied areas
  • [06] Talat: If the Cyprus problem is solved tomorrow, the day after tomorrow we are in the EU
  • [07] The first Turkish diaspora institutions forum to be held in Baku with the participation of Talat
  • [08] The European Parliament adopts Bozkurt´s report on womens rights in Turkey
  • [09] Turkish-EU Association Council meeting cancelled
  • [10] Babacan is leaving today for Brussels to hold contacts with EU Commissioners
  • [11] Iranian officials to Turkey to hold contacts; Irans nuclear program on the agenda
  • [12] Ankara scene of diplomatic traffic
  • [13] Turkey calls its Ambassador to Argentina for consultations due to the ratification by the Argentinean parliament of the Armenian law
  • [14] The Turkish Army donates military equipment to Albania
  • [15] The Chief of the Turkish General Staff is holding talks in Washington with US officials and key persons of the Jewish Lobby
  • [16] Russian hackers hit bank accounts in Turkey
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [17] Turkish Columnist Views Ex-MIT Official's Admission of Link to Murders Abroad
  • [18] Columnist urges the Turkish government to reciprocate the measures taken by the Greek government for the Muslims in Northern Greece

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The commander of the Turkish occupation army briefs the self-styled minister of education on the problems regarding the education of the children of the 15,000 army officers

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (14.02.07) reports that General Hayri Kivrikoglu, commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus, visited yesterday the self-styled minister of education, Mrs Canan Oztoprak.

    According to a statement issued by the occupation army, the aim of the visit was, inter alia, to inform Mrs Oztoprak on the views of the people as they had been conveyed to the occupation army during visits of General Kivrikoglu to villages as well as the problems regarding the education of the children of the families of the army officers, who are about 15.000.

    The statement noted that the army will continue its support to the education, just as it has been doing until today. General Kivrikoglu said that 176 schools have been up kept and repaired until today by the army and 65 donums (Tr note: land measure of about 1000 square meters) of military zone have been turned over to the ministry of education for the construction of a Professional Education Campus in occupied Nicosia and for the building of a sports ground in Trikomo.

    Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (14.02.07) refers to the issue under the title Warning for the national history and reports that general Kivrikoglu conveyed to Mrs Oztoprak the strong complaints from the people on the issue of the teaching of history in the schools.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The Turkish Minister of Energy on the oil researches in the Mediterranean; The Turkish Foreign Ministry reportedly does not support the efforts; Statements by Ercakica

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.02.07), under the title Turkey is determined on the oil, reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy Hilmi Guler has said that the places where Turkey will search for oil may coincide with the places where Cyprus will be conducting researches in the Mediterranean Sea and noted that these places will be discussed.

    He said:

    We will try not to coincide, because in the end this is an area where we also have a permit. Of course in the places where it coincides we will mutually discuss the matter. As long as the permits are not violated, very naturally, researches will be conducted.

    Sending a message to Egypt, Guler noted: There are some alternatives in the Gulf of Antalya. We already have joint projects with Egypt. We have an Arab gas project. They are partners with the Greek Cypriots as well. We shall conduct research together. We are the ones who will conduct researches in the areas where we have permits. Very naturally they also have permits.

    Invoking information broadcast by Turkish NTV television, KIBRIS reports also that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not support this decision. Foreign Ministry officials alleged that the Greek Cypriots try to remove the attention from them and transfer it to Turkey.

    The officials said that they will not permit initiatives which will undermine the rights and the interests of Turkey. It is also noted that the army supports Turkish Petroleum Corporations (TPAO) decision to conduct researches for oil.

    Meanwhile, commenting on the issue of the oil researches in the Mediterranean Sea, Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Talat said yesterday that the researches may influence negatively the Cyprus problem and the tension in the region will increase.

    But we are not in a position to tell Turkey do not protect your rights, let tension not be created in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots are responsible for the fact that Turkey will start researches for oil in the Mediterranean. He claimed that the aim of the Greek Cypriot researches for oil is political and that the Greek Cypriot side tries to lead the Cyprus problem where it wants by creating crisis.

    Mr Ercakica alleged also that the Papadopoulos government, as he described the government of the Republic of Cyprus, is not sovereign as it alleges and, therefore, it has not the right to conclude international agreements on oil issues.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Bulutoglulari is the new chairman of the Municipalities Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (14.02.07) reports that regarding the crisis between the government and the opposition parties on the issue of the distribution of the aid to the municipalities the parties were not able to reach an agreement yesterday at the extra-ordinary meeting of the Municipalities Union.

    The chairman of the Municipalities Union, Oktay Kayalp, who comes from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the other members of the CTP resigned from their posts in the administration of the Union.

    The new chairman of the organization is now Cemal Bulutoglulari, mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, who comes from the Democratic Party (DP). Mahmut Ozcinar, mayor of occupied Morfou, who comes from the National Unity Party (UBP), was assigned at the post of the vice-president of the nine-member administrative council of the Union.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] The CTP cuts off the dialogue it was holding with the UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (14.02.07) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) cut off the dialogue it was holding with the National Unity Party (UBP). A delegation of the CTP under its general secretary Omer Kalyoncu visited yesterday the UBP.

    After the meeting Mr Kalyoncu expressed their discomfort over the statements made by the leader of UBP, Tahsin Ertugruloglu.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (14.02.07) reports that Mr Kalyoncu said that the statements of Mr Ertugruloglu are contrary to the spirit of the dialogue.

    The paper notes that the leader of the UBP had said: We will demolish the country onto their heads. We will create a political conflict. President Mehmet Ali Talat is a forger. We are not addicted to unnatural relations like him (Turgay Avci).

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Employers demand lower minimum wage for the 40.000 non-citizens who work in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (14.02.07) reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Employers Trade Union, Hasan Sungur has proposed an advantageous minimum wage for the citizens of the TRNC.

    Sungur said that there are 40.000 non-citizens who work in the occupied areas and are dependent on the minimum wage law, while only 15.000 citizens are influenced by the above-mentioned law. Mr Sungur argued that the advantageous minimum wage practice exists in the free areas of Cyprus and in some EU countries as well.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Talat: If the Cyprus problem is solved tomorrow, the day after tomorrow we are in the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (14.02.07) reports that a seminar under the title Experiences on the way to EU membership and the Integration Process with the European Union was organized jointly yesterday by the self-styled Prime Ministrys EU Coordination Centre, Turkish Economic Development Foundation (IKV), Turkish Prime Ministrys EU General Secretariat, and the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the IKV Board Chairman Davut Okutcu, Turkeys Secretary General for EU Affairs Oguz Demiralp and the chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami addressed the seminar.

    In his speech Mr Talat said, inter alia, the following:

    We are not going to live the same experience like Turkey. We are EU members already. If the Cyprus problem is solved tomorrow, the day after tomorrow we are in the EUWe must do our preparation from now and force the EU to conduct harmonization works with us. On the one hand we know that such works are conducted, but we also know that some steps to be made by the EU are prevented by the Greek Cypriot administration.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The first Turkish diaspora institutions forum to be held in Baku with the participation of Talat

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (12.02.07) reports the following from BAKU: The first forum of Turkey-Azerbaijan diaspora institutions will be held in Baku on March 9th.

    Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will attend the forum which aims to strengthen cooperation between Turkish and Azerbaijani diaspora institutions.

    Nearly 450 representatives from 48 countries will also participate in the forum. Meskhetian Turks as well as Iraqi Turkomans--who are directly influenced by negative developments in Iraq -- will also be represented in the forum.

    Upper Karabakh issue as well as so-called Armenian genocide are envisioned to take place in the final declaration of the forum.

    [08] The European Parliament adopts Bozkurt´s report on womens rights in Turkey

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (13.02.07) reports the following from STRASBOURG:

    The European Parliament yesterday adopted a report on women's role in social, economic and political life in Turkey, saying Turkish legislation on women's rights has greatly improved, but the Turkish woman in the street often does not feel the effects.

    The report by Turkish-origin Dutch MEP Emine Bozkurt passed by 522-15 with 53 abstentions follows the EP's July 2005 resolution on women's role in Turkey, highlighting key areas of concern. It welcomes the start of active EU accession negotiations with Turkey, but "regrets the slowing down of the reform process in Turkey over the last year and the persistent problem with women's rights" and reiterates the EP's call for "full and effective implementation of the community acquis in the field of women's rights, particularly in the poorer regions of the country."

    The MEPs urged the Turkish government to speed up implementation of the new legislation on women's rights so as to ensure that it is absolutely in line with the requirements of the acquis and effectively implemented in practice.

    The report condemns "instances of violence against women, including "honour" killings, domestic violence, forced marriage and polygamy." It calls on the Turkish government and European Commission to tackle "violence in general and honour crime in particular" as a priority and to set up special high-security shelters. The report also "stresses the importance of systematic investigation and effective punishment" and therefore the training of police and judicial authorities in gender equality issues and the fight against violence. The MEPs called on Turkish institutions to build alliances with all groupings -- civil, social or religious -- in society so as to initiate awareness-raising campaigns against violence against women and children.

    The report says that the political participation by women in Turkey is too low and that there is an absolute need for female role models in positions of power and decision-making. The MEPs added that discrimination against women can sometimes best be remedied by temporary positive discrimination measures. They also urged the political parties in Turkey, starting with this year's general elections, to field more female candidates.

    [09] Turkish-EU Association Council meeting cancelled

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (13.02.07) reports the following:

    A meeting of the Association Council, one of the most important decision-making bodies between Turkey and the European Union, has been called off upon Ankara's request, sources told the Turkish Daily News.

    The Turkish-EU Association Council meeting was apparently called off for political reasons. An EU decision not to open membership negotiations on eight chapters due to Turkey's non-compliance played a role in Ankara remaining reluctant to proceed with such a meeting, the same sources said.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül's unwillingness to visit Brussels is listed as one of the reasons behind the cancellation of the meeting. Association Council meetings take place annually at ministerial level. Instead of the Association Council meeting, the Association Committee meeting, normally held at the bureaucratic level, will take place on March 22. The Association Council meeting might take place in June before the German term presidency of the EU expires.

    The government seems to be determined to keep a low profile on EU-related issues in 2007. The developments that relate to the oil-rich northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk and an Armenian genocide resolution recently introduced in the U.S. Congress, as well as the chilly atmosphere with the EU due to the December decision of the bloc's leaders contribute to the stalled environment. Perhaps more importantly, the government's belief that engagement in unpopular EU issues during the election period could cause a loss of votes is also believed to be among the reasons behind Ankara's change of priorities. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan gave the first signs in early 2007 that EU-related issues will be losing importance among Turkey's other foreign policy priorities and said, Iraq is our priority this year.

    Gül is said to be unwilling to go to European capitals ahead of the twin elections and instead wants his visits kept at the minimum level. He seems to have handed over EU issues to State Minister Ali Babacan, who is also Turkey's chief negotiator for EU talks. Babacan will have talks in Brussels this week with EU commissioners including Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn.

    The EU seems to have lost its priority from the aspect of the Foreign Ministry bureaucracy as well. Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ambassador Erturul Apakan, according to the sources, said, I don't want to hear anything about the EU. We must place priority on other issues.

    But there is an irony in practice because the technical process in Turkish-EU relations is moving ahead more rapidly than before, although the bloc's decision to suspend entry talks in eight chapters and Ankara's loss of enthusiasm.

    After December's decision, Turkey was asked to prepare its negotiating position paper on two chapters; namely economic and monetary union and statistics. The 27-nation bloc did not bring any opening benchmark, which means the EU gave its green light to start negotiations on both of those chapters.

    The German term presidency has also pushed the bloc to move ahead with two more additional chapters. The EU has informed Ankara recently it has brought opening benchmarks for employment and social policy and agriculture chapters. The latter is one of the eight suspended chapters. One of the benchmarks is the implementation without discrimination of the additional protocol Turkey signed with the bloc in 2005 and that obliges the country to open its ports to Greek Cyprus.

    The Turkish side took this step as a positive development since the bloc could have refrained from determining benchmarks on the suspended chapters. We have a road map even on the suspended chapters. We will do our homework to fulfil the opening benchmarks and the technical process will continue despite the Cyprus problem, said an official familiar with the issue to the TDN. According to the same official, Turkish bureaucrats are busier than ever. Turkey has so far completed only one chapter - science and research - since it began talks in October 2005. During the Finnish term presidency Turkey had received an official invitation letter from the EU for the start of negotiations in the enterprise and industrial policy chapter and forwarded its position paper in this field to Brussels.

    [10] Babacan is leaving today for Brussels to hold contacts with EU Commissioners

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (12.02.07) reports that the Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan will leave for the Belgian capital of Brussels tomorrow.

    Babacan who will meet several EU commissioners in Brussels will also participate in the inaugural ceremony of the Brussels office of the Confederation of Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON).

    He will hold talks with EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner and EU Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget, Dalia Grybauskaite on February 15th.

    Babacan, who will meet EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry Guenter Verheugen and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn on the same day, will hold a meeting with foreign press members as well.

    On February 16th, Babacan is expected to meet EU Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs, member of the European Commission responsible for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia and EU Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Mariann Fischer Boel.

    He is expected to return to Turkey on Friday, February 16th.

    [11] Iranian officials to Turkey to hold contacts; Irans nuclear program on the agenda

    ISTANBUL NTV (13.02.07) broadcast the following from Ankara:

    Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki and Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel will be visiting Turkey in the coming days.

    Iranian Majlis Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel will arrive in Ankara this weekend on an official two-day visit as the guest of Turkish parliament speaker Bulent Arinc. Haddad-Adel is a philosophy and literature professor and the first Iranian Assembly speaker since the 1979 Islamic revolution who is not a cleric.

    Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki will arrive in Ankara on 20 February to attend the Turkish-Iranian Joint Economic Committee meeting. State Minister Kursad Tuzmen will head the Turkish side at the committee which will discuss in detail all aspects of the economic relations between the two countries. Mottaki is also expected to meet with his Turkish counterpart, Abdullah Gul.

    The Iranian officials are expected to ask for Ankara's support in connection with Iran's nuclear program -- an issue which has caused tension between that country and the international community.

    Ankara will convey its expectation that the problem should be resolved peacefully.

    Iraq and other regional issues will also be discussed during the talks.

    [12] Ankara scene of diplomatic traffic

    Turkeys TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (14.02.07) reports the following:

    Ankara today welcomes Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is scheduled to arrive in the capital for an official two-day visit.

    The Turkish capital will continue this month hosting senior guests from all over the world.

    Following Olmert's departure on Thursday, the first guest from abroad will be from neighbouring Iran. Iran's Majlis Speaker Gholamali Haddad Adel is expected to arrive in Ankara on Saturday for a three-day visit. Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki is expected to arrive next Tuesday for two days, while Kosovo Prime Minister Agim Ceku is scheduled to arrive in the capital on Wednesday for a two-day visit.

    At the end of February, Ankara will welcome royal guests from the Netherlands. Queen Beatrix will be accompanied by her eldest son and heir to the throne, Crown Prince Willem Alexander, and his wife, Princess Maxima, during her official visit to Turkey between Feb. 27 and March 2.

    [13] Turkey calls its Ambassador to Argentina for consultations due to the ratification by the Argentinean parliament of the Armenian law

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (13.02.07) reports the following from ANKARA:

    Turkey has determined the measures it will take concerning bilateral relations with Argentine, after a law concerning the so-called Armenian genocide has been ratified by the Argentinean parliament.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Levent Bilman reminded that the Argentinean parliament ratified a law announcing 24th of April as "Day of Tolerance and Action Between Peoples in the Name of Armenian Genocide." Bilman said: "The mentioned law presents a unilateral judgment by the parliament in an issue that should be undertaken by historians. Therefore, it is invalid and unethical."

    Hayri Hayret Yalav, Turkey's Ambassador to Buenos Aires, was called to Ankara for political consultations after the law came into effect on January 11th.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Abdullah Gul received Ambassador Yalav, and received detailed information regarding the issue, said Bilman.

    [14] The Turkish Army donates military equipment to Albania

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (13.02.07) reports the following from TIRANA: The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) donated military equipment worth 710 thousand USD to the Albanian Armed Forces on Tuesday in a effort to support the latter restructure its military capabilities and its drive to join the North Atlantic Treaty.

    Military vehicles and other equipment were delivered to the Albanian military officials at a ceremony held in Zallher town near capital Tirana.

    Albanian Chief of General Staff Luan Hoca, Turkey's military attaché Col. Hasmet Akyuz and Albanian defense ministry officials attended the ceremony.

    Turkey has extended military aid worth of 97 million USD to Albania since 1998.

    [15] The Chief of the Turkish General Staff is holding talks in Washington with US officials and key persons of the Jewish Lobby

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (14.02.07) reports that the Chief of the Turkish General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit, is currently in Washington holding talks with the US officials and important people in the Jewish lobby, with a view to preventing the passing of the Armenian Genocide Bill from the Congress.

    The paper reports that General Buyukanit is to meet one of the major figures of the Jewish Lobby in Washington senator Tom Landos. SABAH reports under the title The Military Agreements with Israel are Buyukanits trump card and says that it is known that Mr. Landos is reluctant to support Turkeys demands because of the Erdogans government close relations with Syria, its criticism towards the Israeli government and the Hamas officials´ visit to Turkey and meeting with the Turkish Government officials.

    The paper further reports that the Office of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff sent last week a briefing note to Mr. Lantos and to the prominent Jewish leaders in Washington in which the history of the Turkish Israeli military cooperation is explained. It also mentioned the ongoing Military cooperation on various projects.

    Circles in the US Congress claim that the briefing note had impressed the members of the Jewish Lobby and some of them have already changed their mind and turned against the Armenian Bill.

    (MHY)

    [16] Russian hackers hit bank accounts in Turkey

    Turkish daily AKSAM and SABAH newspapers (14.02.07) report under banner headlines that three Russian hackers, who were able to enter the Internet accounts of the people in Turkey and make transfers amounting to hundreds of thousands USD, caused panic among the card holders. The papers report that three Russian hackers acquired the Internet accounts of the people in Turkey through an e-mail infected with a virus. The papers go on and report that the hackers passed this information to their collaborators in Turkey and they in turn made transfers to their accounts amounting to hundreds of thousands of USD.

    According to SABAH the Turkish police was able to arrest 17 members of the gang in Turkey. Interpol is looking for the three Russians to arrest them.

    (MHY)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [17] Turkish Columnist Views Ex-MIT Official's Admission of Link to Murders Abroad

    ISTANBUL MILLIYET newspaper Internet version (08.02.07) publishes the following commentary from the island column by Can Dundar: A kiss from the Former MIT Chief to Cakici:

    Gundes, noting that his remarks that appeared in a magazine have been misunderstood, blew kisses to Cakici who is accused of being a "mafia leader." Gundes also spoke in favour of the "actions" in Marseille.

    Nuri Gundes, former director of Overseas Intelligence Department of MIT [Turkish Intelligence Organization], was my guest in the "Why" program broadcast on the NTV on Tuesday evening, during which we held discussions on the "deep state."

    This is the first time that he has participated in a talk show. He commented on very important issues. In order to further understand the importance of his comments we have to recall certain things. Gundes gave MIT 23 years of his life. Gundes had directed the ASALA [Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia] operation during the 12 September period. The MIT report undersigned by Mehmet Eymur had accused him of getting involved in certain illegal affairs with Dundar Kilic and Sukru Balci. He had been appointed intelligence counsellor of the Prime Minister's Office during the term of Tansu Ciller.

    Gundes initially referred to the ASALA operation.

    As you know, when ASALA had targeted Turkish diplomats MIT had planned the assassination of the ASALA leaders abroad. The Armenian monument in Marseille had been bombed during the same period and it had been claimed that the Abdullah Catli team had also participated in this operation.

    Gundes said the following about the operation, which had cost a total of 17 million Turkish liras at that time:

    Either For the Sake of Hatred or For the Sake of Money

    "An Armenian monument had been established in Marseille. The president had conducted the opening ceremony. As persons who wage wars in places where the police or the soldiers of the state cannot reach we had gone there. I had not gone, but my team had gone there. Is it possible to describe this as deep state? If my citizens there carried out an action with national sentiments, is this the work of the deep state?

    What kind of motifs was sought in those who participated in this operation with "national sentiments?"

    It is either a neo-nationalist motif or it is a hatred-hate motif. Or it is financial. In fact, the hate-hatred motif is also relative. It may disappear with time. When you go there near him, you are obliged to appear as if you are conducting an activity. Otherwise, everything will be exposed. Efforts will be made in order to ensure that the Turkish state is not categorized as a terrorist state."

    Four Buckets of Water

    We told Gundes that the criticism was actually levelled due to the fact that the state wanted to use in its operations certain persons who were wanted by the Interpol as suspects for massacres and that it therefore gave them passports and weapons. He stated that "they were not among their cadres and that they participated in the operation with their own will with the awareness of being Turkish." He said the following:

    "There is a fire there. The man is bringing four buckets of water. If he says that he wants 'to pour these four buckets of water [for extinguishing the fire], are we supposed to tell him not to pour the water? Shall we say: 'You committed certain crimes in Turkey, do not pour water, let it burn'? This is not logical. Who will you send? Shall I send you to that place my dear brother? The state decided to do this. This was a hierarchic decision. The president headed this. He would hold a referendum on 6 November. The days had passed with lectures and speeches until then. If you view this struggle as the struggle of the deep state, let us also view it in this manner, but I do not agree with this."

    "The Issue Related to Abdullah"

    Gundes explained that certain people from the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] and the Idealists Hearths had initially assisted the state, but that later these persons utilized the power that they received from the state for achieving their own goals and that they formed criminal organizations that deal with checks and promissory notes. He stated that this is why they opposed the village guard system in the southeast:

    He said: "These people will either sell their weapons or they will use them for achieving their own goals."

    Being reminded that Dink's murderers were inspired by Catli, Gundes referred to Cakici by saying: "As for the issue related to Abdullah."

    "A magazine asked me about Abdullah Cakici. I said: 'I have not done many things that may create problems for the state later.' He wrote me a letter from prison. If he is listening to me now, I blow kisses to him if he is serving the state. I did not say this deliberately. If I had been involved in such affairs, if I were in a position to harm the state, or if the state had been defamed due to rumours, I would not have raised my voice even if they said the same things for me."

    We later found out that in his letter Cakici said to Gundes: 'I will no longer call you big brother.'

    Canturk Had Poisoned

    During the program Fikret Saglar, former member of the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly] Susurluk Investigation Committee read the following from Kutlu Savas's "Susurluk Report:"

    "The state was not able to cope with Canturk. Canturk was expected to obey the state. However he took action for establishing a new facility. As a result the Turkish security organization decided to execute him and the decision was implemented."

    Gundes said the following on this issue:

    "I am the one who took Behcet Canturk. We caught him in Erzurum. We brought him in. We handed him over to Sadettin Tantan. He was interrogated. It is true that he had affiliations. What had this man done? What kind of actions had he carried out? What kind of poisonous materials and what kind of heroin did he use to poison my Turkish children? No one is thinking about all this. However I never accept to kill anyone in domestic activities. The state has laws. The state is strong. It catches such people. It arrests them. Given that at that time capital punishment existed, the state could have passed a death sentence against someone. However let us say that Behcet Canturk was killed. They killed the Baader-Meinhof gang in prison. None of the Germans said anything. The German press did not feature any reports on this issue. As I have just noted, the state protects itself sometimes."

    Even Stupid People Would Not Act in This Manner

    Finally I asked Gundes about Dink's murder. He said the following:

    "We also launched operations abroad. You will send a person to that place and he will have only 180 Turkish liras in his pocket. Later he will become very evident, he will sit at a café, and he will be exposed. Even stupid people would not do this.

    "These persons are reportedly from a group named the Alperens. Certain people assess their party or the Turkish-Islam synthesis differently. As a result of these assessments a group of like-minded people and a ringleader said: 'Let us kill this guy.' I would not seek organized crime behind this. My 50-year experience says that it is wrong to seek something like this."

    Rather Than Catching, They Should Have Monitored

    Gundes also drew attention to the lack of experience in the capture of the perpetrators. "This is lack of experience. The intelligence branch director assumed all responsibility. The other side was fully acquitted. According to them they have been cleared, but there is something: They found out that Ogun Samast went on the bus. According to our intelligence rules, an intelligence officer goes on the bus in the face of the probability that he may get down before the final station.

    "Second why did you take him to Samsun? Take him to Trabzon. Monitor his connections, his communication, and his conversations for 10 to 15 days. This way, there will no longer be allegations to the effect that 'this person or that person was behind him, the deep state was behind him.' However this operation was not launched in line with intelligence rules."

    Gundes also believes that it is very awkward that Dink was not protected in spite of the information that was received. Was he not protected in order to enable his elimination?

    Gundes said: "I am afraid to even mention this."

    "Under such circumstances this would be treason and I cannot say this about anyone. In other words, it is like saying: 'So what if he dies.' I do not think this is true. There should not be a Turkish citizen who is able to say something like this."

    Who is Nuri Gundes?

    Former MIT Istanbul regional director. He graduated from the War Academy. He resigned from MIT, where he worked for 23 years, in 1986 due to the fact that Hiram Abas returned to the organization. The first MIT report written by Mehmet Eymur claimed that Gundes got involved in illegal affairs together with Dundar Kilic and Istanbul Security Director Sukru Balci. Gundes also worked as intelligence counsellor at the Prime Minister's Office during the term of Tansu Ciller.

    [18] Columnist urges the Turkish government to reciprocate the measures taken by the Greek government for the Muslims in Northern Greece

    TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (14.02.07) publishes the following commentary by Yavuz Baydar under the title:

    With the engine of EU, a clever move by Athens:

    Turkish foreign policy is encountering an increasing number of challenges these days. One recent challenge adds a new dimension, or what may be called a new step, initiated by the Greek government on an issue that may have repercussions on the minority policies of both Turkey and Greece, based on the Treaty of Lausanne.

    In what may be seen as a surprise development, which has unfortunately found little coverage in the Turkish press, the Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis visited the province of Rodopi in Western Thrace last week, where around 130.000 members of the Turkish minority live, and pledged considerable changes for them.

    As the first foreign minister to visit the relatively underdeveloped area, Bakoyannis seemed well prepared. The packages for the Turkish minority, due to be implemented soon if one takes the minister at her word, are surprisingly comprehensive -- given the reluctance and deadlock over minority issues in both Athens and Ankara, respectively.

    The packages cover two areas, legal and economic.

    Legal changes

    Under a move expected by the Greek parliament, the way minority foundations (vak1f) are run will be significantly changed. A minority, if the law passes, will be able to elect the board of trustees itself. Currently, the law does not allow freedom for minorities in this area, the board of trustees were appointed by the Greek government. Furthermore, the Greek government says it will scrap all back taxes Turkish minority owed to the Greek authorities - an amount that has piled up to around 6.5 million euros. Even further, in response to popular demand, some 240 imams (clerics) would be hired.

    Economic changes

    Emphasizing the economic backwardness of the region, Bakoyannis also promised economic aid and related measures that aimed at alleviating job discrimination and would help provide better living conditions for the minority members. Some 600 million euros in additional funds -- there are infrastructure, pipeline and transport projects accounting for an estimated 1 billion euros in the region -- will be released to meet the education needs of minority youth, employment needs of Muslim women and technical schools. Adding to that Bakoyannis also pledged that minority Turks will be recruited as bureaucrats and civil servants.

    The new drive both looks good and sounds serious. As with their counterparts in Turkey (minority Greeks), Turkish minority have suffered under harsh conditions in the region, reflecting the conflicts and disputes between the two states. Until the early 90s, the Turkish minority was stripped of their basic rights to own drivers licenses, sell and buy property amongst themselves, to repair their houses and mosques and thereby restore their cultural heritage. Sadly, their conditions were ignored by the Greek press, to which it seemed a negligible matter. Although the Turkish minority members - whose mother tongue is Turkish - were keen on calling themselves Turks rather than Muslims (simply because of the strong hold of secularism in the region), the Greek press continues to call them Muslims to this day.

    Despite the ethnic identity dimension, the new drive by Athens adds to the positive momentum initiated by the governments of Simitis/Papandreau. Since I often visit the region, I have noticed how clearly noticeable the conditions of the minority have improved. Per capita income has increased, and EU membership meant that unemployment - which had caused an exodus to Germany - has decreased. This has even led many members of the minority, living in Turkey, to return to the region over the past 7-8 years. More can be expected in the future.

    Naturally, the influence of pressure from Europe Union regulations regarding the treatment of minorities is undeniable in what we see happening. But where does this charm offensive with a substance leave Turkey?

    The first reaction from Turkey has been Fine, but how about free elections of muftis (chief clerics) and the 65,000 minority members who have been striped of their Greek nationality (due to an old constitution article)? Although the latter will remain a reminder of a serious problem, whining, one is afraid, will not be of benefit for Ankara. Simply because Athens has taken a clever step not only to fulfil its commitments to its citizens but also to guard itself against future pretexts for Turkey to avoid moving ahead with full property rights of Greek minority members and, yes, the reopening of the Halki (Greek Orthodox theology) school.

    It is time for Ankara to use a proper term so loved by both sides, to reciprocate without delay.

    EG/


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