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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-03-02

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.43/07 02.03.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish reactions to an agreement signed between Cyprus and France
  • [02] Talata concluded his contacts in Brussels
  • [03] Pertev: If the EU accepts the Turkish Cypriots as Europeans, it must recognise the rights of trade and the representation
  • [04] Merger of BDH and CLP approved
  • [05] Researches for the missing Ahmet Mesut Kafkas continue
  • [06] Halkin Gazetesi SOZCU is the new Turkish Cypriot newspaper
  • [07] IMF report: Economy in occupied Cyprus has effects from the Turkish economy
  • [08] Statements by Babacan before leaving for Brussels and London
  • [09] The 22nd Turkey-EU Joint Consultation meeting started in Brussels
  • [10] Joost Lagendijk met with DYP leader in Ankara
  • [11] The Vice President of the European Commission will visit Turkey on 7 March
  • [12] Statements by the Foreign Minister of Sweden to Today´s Zaman newspaper
  • [13] A move by Erdogan before the voting at the US House of Representatives on the Armenian Genocide
  • [14] The Turkish state launches action against another political party

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish reactions to an agreement signed between Cyprus and France

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (01.03.07) reported the following from Ankara: The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed its concern over a bilateral military agreement signed between France and the Greek Cypriot administration, stating that the Greek Cypriot administration was not eligible to sign such an agreement.

    The ministry told a statement on Thursday that it learnt that France and the Greek Cypriot administration signed a cooperation agreement in the area of defense in Paris.

    "After Greek Cypriots published some news reports on the agreement in July 2006, we launched several initiatives. We told French authorities that signing such an agreement which does not comply with 1960 agreements and which might jeopardize stability and security in the eastern Mediterranean would make a negative impact on efforts for a comprehensive resolution under the body of the UN," the statement underlined.

    It recalled that critical balance that was formed in Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean with 1960 agreements was assured with the rights of the guarantor states.

    Stating that France's signing such an agreement with the Greek Cypriot administration was a worrisome development, the statement stressed, "this agreement does not comply with the resolution parameter of the UN."

    On the same issue ANKARA ANATOLIA (01.03.07) reported the following from Paris: The agreement signed between France and Greek Cypriot administration does not contain subjects like common use of bases and military exercises, said French diplomatic sources on Thursday.

    An agreement was signed yesterday in Paris by Greek Cypriot foreign minister, Yiorgos Lillikas, and French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.

    French diplomats said the agreement was "one of the standard agreements France signed with other EU countries", and noted that this agreement includes mutual visits between France and Greek Cypriot administration and also sharing of information and experiences between the two countries' military personnel.

    Greek Cypriot press earlier claimed that Greek Cypriot administration would provide some "facilities" for French army to use Zigi (Terazi) naval base and Andreas Papandreou air base in Paphos in southern Cyprus.

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs today expressed its concern over the agreement, stating that the Greek Cypriot administration was not eligible to sign such an agreement.

    [02] Talata concluded his contacts in Brussels

    Illegal BAYRAK television (01.03.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat is returning to the Republic tonight at the end of his two-day discussions with EU officials in Brussels.

    During his stay in the city, President Talat met with Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht and the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn.

    Speaking to reporters after his contacts, President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the Greek Cypriot Administration which is being represented in all EU institutions - has been providing wrong information to EU institutions and said that his visit to Brussels was very useful as it gave him the opportunity to explain the realities on all issues.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of his discussions with the Belgian Foreign Minister Karel de Gucht, the President said the meeting took place upon the request of the Belgian Foreign Ministry at the Royal Institute of International Affairs.

    Describing his meeting with the Belgian Foreign Minister as very useful, President Talat said that during the meeting, he was asked about the propaganda being made by the Greek Cypriot Side on all issues, including the Gambari Process, the inclusion of the property issue into this process and the opening of a gate in old Lefkosia at the point, known as, the Lokmaci Barricade.

    Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot Administration which is being represented in all EU institutions has been bombarding the European Union with wrong information, he said that EU officials were shocked with the information provided by the Turkish Cypriot Side.

    `I dont think that we managed to break down all the prejudices within the EU but they were shocked with the information provided by us` he said.

    Noting that the Greek Cypriot Side has been very successful in spreading its propaganda, he said even the super power is having concerns about the Greek Cypriot Administrations attitude as it is very successful in kicking up rows.

    Stating that Belgium is in support of the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation but is not well-informed about its content, President Talat said he provided detailed information to the Belgian Foreign Minister about the Regulation.

    He added that the Bologna Process was also discussed during the meeting, expressing the hope that Belgium will adopt a positive approach towards these issues.

    Mr Talat emphasized that the Direct Trade Regulation can be put into practice with a majority vote if the EU member states stand firm on its implementation despite the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greeces opposition.

    The President said that, according to the information provided by the German EU Term Presidency work on the implementation of the Regulation is going on with the aim of putting it into practice without including the issues which could be handled as part of comprehensive negotiations like the issue of Maras (occupied fenced city of Famagusta).

    The President also warned that things will get much worse if Germany fails to make the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation possible and that direct trade will be turned into an indirect form if the Regulation envisages the use of the ports in the South for trade between the North and the EU.

    [03] Pertev: If the EU accepts the Turkish Cypriots as Europeans, it must recognise the rights of trade and the representation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.03.07) reports in its first page that Mehmet Ali Talats advisor Rasit Pertev stated in an interview to the paper that if the EU accepts the Turkish Cypriots as Europeans, it must recognise the rights of trade and the representation, which are among the basic rights of the Europeans. Otherwise the EU must say that the Turkish Cypriots are not Europeans. Mr Pertev, who called on the EU to overcome this contradiction, stated that the ball as regards the European rights of the Turkish Cypriots is now at the EU ground.

    (CS)

    [04] Merger of BDH and CLP approved

    Illegal BAYRAK television (01.03.07) broadcast the following:

    Party Assemblies of the Peace and Democracy Movement and the Communal Liberation Party have approved the merger of the two parties under the umbrella of another party to be formed.

    The two parties have agreed to abolish themselves simultaneously and to launch a new political party under the name of `Communal Democracy Party` in three months time.

    In a statement on the issue, the Leader of the Communal Liberation Party Huseyin Angolemli said that the two parties have almost completed their work for the merger of the BDH and the TKP.

    Mr Angolemli said that after the completion of technical work on the issue, congresses of the three parties will be held on the same day during which the BDH and the TKP will abolish themselves and a leader will be elected for the new party to be formed under the name of the Communal Democracy Party.

    The TKP Leader noted that neither he nor the BDH Leader Mustafa Akinci will be a candidate for the leadership of the new party to open the way for the youths.

    The BDH is represented with a seat in the Parliament while the TKP has none.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (02.03.07) publishes in its first page an exclusive interview of the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) Mustafa Akinci, who, commenting on the fact that the deputies of the Democratic Party and National Unity Party do not attend the meetings of the self-styled assembly, stated that a half assembly cannot continue to operate until the year 2010 (Tr. Note: In the 2010 parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in occupied Cyprus). Mr Akinci stated that the formation of the coalition government between the CTP and the ORT did not take place according to the democratic norms and added that there will be elections in the year 2008.

    (CS)

    [05] Researches for the missing Ahmet Mesut Kafkas continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.03.07) reports in its first page that the self-styled police in occupied Cyprus is co-operating with the SBA on the case of Ahmet Mesut Kafkas from Pergamos who has been missing for some days now. The paper writes that the British Military Bases (SBA), handed over to the TRNC police the testimonies taken by some Greek Cypriots from the Republic of Cyprus. The testimonies will be translated in Turkish, writes the paper.

    (CS)

    [06] Halkin Gazetesi SOZCU is the new Turkish Cypriot newspaper

    A new right-wind newspaper, under the name Halkin Gazetesi SOZCU started to be published in occupied Cyprus since yesterday 01.03.2007. The chief editor of the paper is Taner Ulutas.

    (CS)

    [07] IMF report: Economy in occupied Cyprus has effects from the Turkish economy

    Under the title: IMF cannot assist Turkish Cypriots due to ´difficult setting´ in Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot weekly CYPRUS OBSERVER newspaper (02-08.03.07) reports the following:

    Touching upon the economic relations between the North and Turkey in a critical way, just after stressing the economic gap between the two sides, the report said:

    The growth performance of the areas of the Republic of Cyprus not under the effective control of the government has reflected a complex interaction of spill over effects from the Turkish economic policy choices and political decisions.

    [08] Statements by Babacan before leaving for Brussels and London

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (01.03.07) reported the following from Ankara : "The government will make public a detailed document including what Turkey will do within its own timetable pertaining to relations with the EU at the end of March or beginning of April," Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said on Thursday.

    Babacan left for Belgium on a tour of Brussels and London to hold meetings with finance and EU circles.

    Speaking at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, Babacan said the government intensively maintained works to integrate with the EU, indicating that a document, comprising around 600 pages, was prepared. He said this document consists of brief information about arrangements and the laws that would be adopted.

    Babacan said he would first of all attend the Turkey-EU joint consultation committee meeting in Brussels. "Particularly the role of NGOs in Turkey and Turkey-EU relations will be discussed," he added.

    Babacan said he would meet the President of the European Parliament Committee of Foreign Affairs and several media institutions, adding that he would meet EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn in the evening.

    Babacan said he would attend a meeting in London on Friday, which will be arranged by a think-tank organization, European Policy Center, on "future negotiations and impediments will be tackled," he emphasized.

    "On Saturday, I will attend opening of a meeting in London in which business and political circles and NGOs will participate. Turkey's accession talks are expected to be discussed," Babacan indicated.

    "Process of Turkey's accession to the EU should continue. We should boost relations with the European Parliament, think-tank organizations and NGOs. Lobbying activities will have great importance," he added.

    "Inclusion of Turkey's NGOs and professional organizations into this process is also very important," Babacan said.

    [09] The 22nd Turkey-EU Joint Consultation meeting started in Brussels

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (01.03.07) reported the following from

    Brussels: The 22nd meeting of the Turkey-EU Joint Consultation Committee began in Brussels today with the participation of Ali Babacan, Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks.

    Speaking at the meeting, Oliver Rentschler, the first secretary in the Permanent Representation of Germany to the EU, indicated that, despite a slow down in talks in eight chapters, talks with Turkey may be launched in four chapters during Germany's rotating EU presidency.

    Meanwhile, Jan Truszczynski, the deputy DG for enlargement (department of the EU), underlined that during Germany's rotating EU presidency, all screening would be completed and sent to member countries for their approval.

    On Mr Babacan´s address of the meeting ANKARA ANATOLIA (01.03.07) reported the following from Brussels:

    "Turkey's EU membership process is being watched by countries all across the globe, from Morocco to Indonesia and from Ukraine to Sudan," Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan said on Thursday.

    The 22nd meeting of the Turkey-EU Joint Consultation Committee began in Brussels with the participation of Babacan.

    In a speech delivered, Babacan noted that the decision of the EU General Affairs Council last December to stop talks on eight chapters caused "disappointment" in the Turkish government and society.

    "Whether or not the EU opens talks on required chapters, Turkey will continue to make reforms regarding relevant areas," stressed Babacan.

    Minister Babacan underlined that "certain developments in EU will test Turkey's patience. EU has its own problems such as unemployment and slow economic growth. As a body with 27 members, the decision making process in the EU slowed down.

    Despite all negative developments, we are confident that Turkey will join the EU."

    He added that Turkey's entry into the EU will contribute significantly to the role of the EU as a peace maker globally.

    [10] Joost Lagendijk met with DYP leader in Ankara

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (01.03.07) reported the following from Ankara:

    "The topic of having states came up in the past as economic entities. I favor a unitary form of government. Such issues may be discussed in appropriate places," said Mehmet Agar, leader of the True Path Party (DYP), on Thursday.

    Agar's comments came after former Turkish president Kenan Evren made remarks to daily Hurriyet that "managing 81 provinces from Ankara is a tough job. Perhaps 20 or 30 of 50 years later, there will be a system of 8 states in Turkey. These 8 states that could be formed are Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir, Erzurum, Diyarbakir, Adana, Eskisehir and Trabzon".

    Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee Co-Chairman Joost Lagendijk paid a courtesy visit to Agar today.

    Everyone in Turkey should focus on the European Union goal and not hurt Turkey's interests based on policies that are formulated due to election concerns, told Lagendijk.

    Lagendijk added that both Agar and he have common views on Turkey and EU relations.

    [11] The Vice President of the European Commission will visit Turkey on 7 March

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (01.03.07) reported the following from

    Brussels:

    Margot Wallstrom, Vice-President of the European Commission for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy, said on Thursday that they must fight against mutual fears, prejudices, and ignorance both in European Union and Turkey at her meeting with members of the Turkish press in Brussels before her three-day visit to Turkey that will start on March 7th.

    Wallstrom who said EU and Turkey must know each other in a better way, emphasized the importance of dialogue of civil societies (in EU and Turkey).

    Saying Turkey shows improvements in woman rights issues and equality of men and women, Wallstrom stated Turkey took steps in this regard which even does not exist in some EU countries, such as creating a database in violence against women. She mentioned issues such as representation of women in politics, contribution of women in workforce, and primary education to girls that need improvement.

    Noting that they must fight against mutual fears, prejudices and ignorance in EU and Turkey, Wallstrom said that ignorance fuels extremism. Differences should be carefully handled and managed, said Wallstrom. Reminding some doubts regarding Turkey's religious and cultural differences and whether Turkey is European or not, Wallstrom said there are differences within EU too and added that she believes in the necessity of Turkey's EU membership, and she works towards this end in a proactive way.

    Wallstrom who will start her contacts on March 7th, will meet with State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener and Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for the EU Ali Babacan. Wallstrom is also expected to meet Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Abdullah Gul.

    Wallstrom will proceed to Istanbul on March 8th and deliver a speech at an organization in Bilgi University, that will host some non-governmental organizations for women's studies, academicians and students. At the last day of her tour in Turkey, she will visit a child protection project in Istanbul and have a round-table meeting with some women journalists.

    [12] Statements by the Foreign Minister of Sweden to Today´s Zaman newspaper

    TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (02.03.07) publishes the following interview with the Swedish Foreign Minister under the title: French attitude is not the right way':

    Carl Bildt, the Swedish foreign minister and a former prime minister of Sweden, says the European Union has an immense strategic interest in continuing accession talks with Turkey.

    One of the most vocal supporters of Turkey in Europe, Bildt says it is sufficient to look at the map to see the huge strategic significance of Turkey. In an exclusive interview with Today's Zaman, Bildt says it is now high time to act on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots and approve the direct trade regulation. Bildt was given credit for his tough stance on the Greek Cypriots in bringing the direct trade regulation back on the agenda of the EU. Despite the decision on Dec. 11 to suspend eight chapters relating to Turkish accession, the Swedish foreign minister says there is no guarantee that there won't be another crisis in the next 15 days because of Greek Cypriot demands.

    Though he avoids directly criticizing French presidential hopeful Nicholas Sarkozy as he did in his blog before becoming foreign minister, Bildt underlines that the decision to support Turkey's membership was taken years ago and recalls the fact that all EU decisions occur with a compromise. On the Armenian question, Bildt says the French way is not the right attitude. Giving examples from his own country of Sweden, Bildt says history should be left to historians. Implicitly criticizing the European leaders who hide their bigotry behind public polls and are trying to block possible Turkish membership, Bildt underlines that the hard decisions for the EU were all made by decisive political leadership not by playing to public opinion.

    Bildt is strongly against Article 301 but still thinks Turkey has improved much in the last couple of years. Answering the question of why Sweden has become a champion of Turkey in the EU, when it was one of the most critical in the 1990s, he gives a terse answer: "Because Turkey changed."

    Asked to explain what happened on Dec. 11, when the EU decided to freeze accession talks with Turkey, Bildt, who was reportedly very tough on the Greek Cypriots on that day, said: There were quite a number of ministers there that day. These ministers were all for the continuation of talks with Turkey. It was very obvious that we needed to freeze some chapters as was recommended by the commission. And we had a discussion on how many chapters we should freeze and which chapters. Then of course there was Cyprus. But I was not alone, for sure. Had I been alone, we would not have been able to get those decisions on Dec. 11. At the end of the day, we reached a fair compromise.

    Question: You were critical of the freezing of the eight chapters at the beginning, though.

    Answer: My original position was that the number of chapters frozen should have been fewer. But I had no difficulty in accepting those eight chapters. I was very much concerned that some other chapters would also be included.

    Question:In your now very popular article published at IHT on Nov. 7, 2006, you wrote "We should not forget that these efforts did not fail because of Turkey, but because key parts of the Greek Cypriot leadership refused to accept a plan by the UN secretary-general that had the clear support of the European Union." Do you think it was a mistake to admit the Greek Cypriots without a solution?

    Answer: No, I would not say that. History is what it is. We live history only once. Your task is not to discuss on what happened in the past, but to shape the future. That is what I am trying to do. I think the EU has immense strategic interest in the continuation of accession process with Turkey and as well as the eventual membership. We have also an immense strategic interest in overcoming the division of Cyprus.

    Question: But the Greek Cypriots are blocking almost everything.

    Answer: No. If you look at what we have achieved since December, we have prepared four chapters and there was no blockage. That has been done with the approval of Cyprus. So the balance in the compromise has been reflected by them as well.

    Question: Mr. Lillikas, the Greek Cypriot foreign minister, hinted that they could start asking for normalization. So there is no guarantee that we will not bump into a wall again.

    Answer: I wish there were more guarantees in life. But we reached a compromise in December that has been respected by everyone so far, which includes opening and closing new chapters.

    Question: Do you mean that the Cypriot blockage has been sorted out once and for all after Dec. 11?

    Answer: I cannot say that. Certainly I would not say that. The Cyprus issue can always create numerous complications from many different perspectives. That is going to take some time, we have a new UN secretary-general and we do not know what role exactly he is going to play.

    Question: There is no guarantee we will not face another crisis in the next 15 days, then.

    Answer: Well, there is no guarantee that EU will not collapse. Guarantees are not something we have in political life. We have a good compromise that has been respected by everyone so far. There is no reason why I would not assume it would be the case further on.

    Question: What will the EU do after 2009 if there is still no solution to the ports issue? Another punishment for Turkey?

    Answer: That remains to be seen. But if there is no solution, the eight chapters won't be reopened. It will also have ramifications for the rest of the negotiating process. That is fairly obvious. These eight chapters are essential parts of the process. They have to be reopened. I understand that we are now entering the election period in Turkey. It might be the case that we cannot witness much progress; that remains to be seen. But it is an issue that has to be sorted out in the coming years.

    Question: Do you think EU has let the Turkish Cypriots down by not keeping its promise to implement the direct trade regulation?

    Answer: Whether they were let down or not is not the question; they felt they were let down. We know that Turkey should honor its obligation, which is a legal one; at the same time we should understand that we undertook an obligation as well. That might be a political one, but that does not make much of a difference in my lexicon. It is high time to put that issue back on the agenda.

    Question: In your blog on Sept. 10, 2006, you criticized Mr. Sarkozy's position on Turkey, arguing his position was "taking us to conflict -- inside the Union, but more importantly along some of its most critical borders." Now he is about to be the next president of France.

    Answer: That is from my blog before I became foreign minister. Today if I were to correct myself, I would be more diplomatic, but the substance would be the same. Mr. Sarkozy is undertaking a presidential election campaign, and it is not up to us to judge his campaign tactics. We can judge his policies when they eventually materialize. But the policies of the EU have been decided by the EU. It is based on a compromise between the different member countries. We do have a policy when it comes to the accession of Turkey and it has been established for many years. That is of course still the policy that will apply.

    Question: You also argued in that blog piece on Sarkozy that he "wants to restrict membership to countries on the continent of Europe, although it's not clear if he wants to expel Cyprus, with its position off the coast of Lebanon."

    Answer: There are some people who are saying that Turkey is not in Europe. But if Turkey is not in Europe, it becomes very difficult to place where Cyprus is. In my opinion they are both firmly a part of Europe, both in terms of geography and culture. So it is very difficult to say one is part of Europe, and the other is not.

    Question: Sweden was one of the most vocal critics of Turkey in the 1980s and 1990s. Now you have become one of the champions of it. What changed?

    Answer: Turkey has changed. That is a good point you are raising. What we have seen in the last years is a very impressive commitment to reforms. We still have concerns on issues like 301, but there is no question that the situation is fundamentally different from the past in terms of commitments to human rights and in terms of commitments to reforms.

    Question: One day I read that the Austrians had saved Europe from the Turks, the other day it was the Poles. Then I come across the Maltese, they say they saved Europe from being "Turkified." Are you sometimes surprised and disappointed about the amount of history Turkey's possible membership has evoked?

    Answer: History plays its part in public opinion, in Turkey as well as in the rest of Europe. The Treaty of Sevres still means something to Turks. Some people have quite strong views about that and think Europe is behaving in a way to resurrect it. So we are not alone to be affected by history. Europe was consumed by religious wars, roughly a third of the European population perished during the 30 Years War. The Danes killed half of our nobility in 1520 in an event we called a "bloodbath"; it is still a vivid memory in Sweden. It is no surprise that some Europeans still remember the Turks at the gates of Vienna.

    Question: Have you been disappointed?

    Answer: I am not the one to say history has no role; history plays a role. The entire idea behind the EU project is to overcome the animosities of the past but not to forget them, either. Having said that, we have witnessed a fair deal of ignorance in the public debate about Turkey.

    Question: Since we are talking on history, what do you think of French efforts to punish the deniers of the "Armenian genocide"? Europe rightly criticizes 301, but is the French draft a European 301? Do you think it is the right way?

    Answer: No. That is not the way Swedes are doing it. We have a tradition of a very wide interpretation of freedom of expression, and I think that should be the way in a democratic society. So we tend to be critical of 301, as you know. I do not think the French law will ever become law, by the way; we are very critical of that tendency which aims to restrict the freedom of expression. Questions of history should be left to historians to debate. There is always a continuous revaluation of history that is ongoing. We had a vigorous debate on our own history of 16th century, when the foundations of Sweden were laid. The king who did all these things was a hero, now we have a re-evaluation. There are now books about him that would have been difficult for publishers to accept only 100 years ago.

    Question: When I read your article in the IHT, for a moment I was confused, as if I were reading an American statesman so committed to Turkey's strategic importance. Not many European statesmen think like you.

    Answer: I think you only need look at the map. The entire region around the eastern Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Middle East -- the stability of these regions is of profound importance to the EU. I think Turkey, with its secular democratic system and zeal for reform, can project these values to the region, to a much wider area.

    Question: Have you received any criticism that you have exaggerated the strategic significance of Turkey?

    Answer: No, actually most people have essentially agreed with me, but some have said that Turkey's membership would be difficult to realize with the current public opinion. That may be the case, but to overcome that depends on a fair amount of political leadership and much the same of political leadership in Turkey. There is certainly a need for political leadership for these issues in Europe. Now that we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of EU, and when we look back pivotal decisions were taken by decisive political leadership, be they the re-unification of Germany or the introduction of the euro, or the expansion, they have come from political leadership, not from public polls and opinion.

    [13] A move by Erdogan before the voting at the US House of Representatives on the Armenian Genocide

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (02.03.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan will conduct the opening ceremony of the restored Armenian Church on Akmadar Island, Van region, in order to give a meaningful answer to the allegations for the Armenian genocide about which a voting will take place at the US House of Representatives in April.

    The ceremony was planned for 15 April, but it will take place on 29 March because Erdogan will be in Germany on that date.

    According to the paper, Erdogan will attend the opening ceremony together with a large group from his party and the Council of Ministers in order to give a message to the world before the above-mentioned voting.

    The leaders of the Armenian community, well-known names of the Armenian Diaspora who had participated in Hrant Dinks funeral, some Ministers from Armenia, politicians and intellectuals will be invited to the ceremony.

    (I/Ts.)

    [14] The Turkish state launches action against another political party

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (02.03.07) reports that the Supreme Courts Office of the Republics Attorney General has began to examine what happened at the congress of the Democratic Society Party (DTP).

    During the congress the vice president of the DTP, Mrs Aysel Tugluk said: Add the PKK in the process, give it the chance to legally conduct democratic politics. The former DEP deputies Selim Sadak, Hatip Dicle, Leyla Zana and Orhan Dogan, whose political activity is still banned and cannot get involved in politics, were elected to the Council of the DTP.

    Attorney General, Nuri Ok said yesterday that they are examining the speeches at the congress, the placards, the slogans, the actions and the procedures.

    Mr Ok noted that the DTP had removed Mr Sadak and Mr Dicle from being founding members of the party upon a demand by the attorney generals office and that his office was not informed officially about the issue of the above-mentioned four persons being elected members of the Council of DTP.

    He added that the attorney generals office will ask the party to expel Mrs Zana and her colleagues from the DTP. If the party does not do this, the attorney generals office will recourse to the Constitutional Court so that DTP is warned. If the party insists, the penalty of the aid by the Treasury will be applied against it and because the DTP will not be taking aid from the Treasury, charges could be filed against its leaders and their imprisonment upto six months could be demanded.

    Meanwhile, HURRIYET notes that the police arrested yesterday Mrs Aysel Tugluk, vice president of the DTP. The police visited the headquarters of the party and told her that she had not gone to testify for a previous case she had. She was sent to Ankaras Police Headquarters and afterwards she was set free.

    (I/Ts.)

    EG/


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