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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-05-10

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.89/07 10.05.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] A demonstration against the isolation, organised by the presidency of the occupation regime to be held in Brussels on the 15th of May
  • [02] A seminar is organised in the European Parliament in order to give voice to Turkish Cypriots
  • [03] The occupation regime is getting ready to open a TRNC office in Kuwait
  • [04] Mehmet Cakici announced his candidacy for the Communal Democracy Party leadership
  • [05] Soyer: The Annan Plan is in the intensive care unit
  • [06] Sonay Adem is holding contacts with members of the Pakistani Cabinet for establishing cooperation
  • [07] Aygin continues his contacts in Vienna
  • [08] So-called universities at the Jeddah Education Fair
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot participants in the Cyprus International Trade Fair decrease every year
  • [10] Merkel stated that three more chapters could be opened in Turkey-EU negotiations during Germany's EU term presidency-Turkey awaits EU Commissions screening report for eleven chapters
  • [11] More developments on the political crisis in Turkey: Constitutional amendment package divided into two, approved by TBMM
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [12] The political developments in Turkey shift towards the forthcoming parliamentary elections

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] A demonstration against the isolation, organised by the presidency of the occupation regime to be held in Brussels on the 15th of May

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (07.05.07) reports that a group of around 200 Cypriots, consists of members of civil society organisations and university representatives, are going to Brussels on the 15th of May, to hold a demonstration against the isolation. At the demonstration, which is planned at the heart of the European Union according to the paper, the group will protest against the obstacles on the direct trade and the Bologna procedure.

    In the group, which will go to Brussels with a plane chartered by the Turkish Cypriot airlines, will also participate members of the Embargoed group which is active in London. The Embargoed group, which organised a lot of protests against the isolation, announced that it will support the demonstration in Brussels. It was known that the famous fashion designer Huseyin Caglayan will also be present at the demonstration.

    The paper, invoking sources, writes that the trip was organised by the presidency and the expenses will also be covered by the presidency.

    (CS)

    [02] A seminar is organised in the European Parliament in order to give voice to Turkish Cypriots

    Illegal BAYRAK television (09.05.07) broadcast the following:

    A seminar is organized in the European Parliament with the aim of creating an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriot ´people´ to explain their views and opinions.

    The seminar was organized as a result of an initiative taken by the European MP Karin Resetarits a member of the Parliaments High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community.

    The seminar, titled The Other Side of the Coin: Giving Turkish Cypriots A Voice, will be held on the 16th of May in the European Parliament.

    Karin Resetarits sent a letter of invitation to the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce today, in which she reminds that the Turkish Cypriots voted in favour of the Annan Plan for reunification and entry to the European Union in 2004, but that the process failed to bring a unified island into the Union due to the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Plan.

    `The European Union has made a political commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, yet today, after three years, not all of the proposed measures are in place and their isolation continues` she said.

    She notes that as a member of the European Parliament's High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community, she took an initiative to organise a seminar in the European Parliament with the aim of creating an opportunity for the Turkish Cypriot ´people´ to explain their views and opinions.

    Providing information about the programme of the seminar, Karin Resetarits said she is still waiting for the confirmation of the participation of President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    [03] The occupation regime is getting ready to open a TRNC office in Kuwait

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.05.07) reports that the occupied area is getting ready to open a TRNC office in Kuwait.

    The self-styled Foreign Minster Turgay Avci said that following intense work carried out by the Turkish side the Kuwaiti government has decided to allow opening of a trade and tourism office in Kuwait. He said that the opening of the office will be realized this year. Avci made this statement during a meeting with a group of Turkish Cypriot businessmen who will take part in the delegation which will pay a visit to Kuwait on 10-14 May 2007. The businessmen delegation include the Chairman of the Hoteliers Association, Turhan Beydagli, Citrus producer, Gokhan Savas, Halloumi producer Sadik Gurun, Olive oil producer Huseyin Diner and meat processor Abdullah Aktolgali.

    Avci further said that they will continue to send trade delegations to the countries that are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). He said that efforts will continue to open trade and tourism offices in other OIC countries.

    (MHY)

    [04] Mehmet Cakici announced his candidacy for the Communal Democracy Party leadership

    All the Turkish Cypriot papers report today (10.05.07) that the General Secretary of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) Mehmet Cakici held a press conference yesterday during which he announced his candidacy for the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) leadership. The TDP was formed with the merging of the BDH and the Communal Liberation Party (TKP).

    During the press conference Mr. Cakici put forward his views as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem and the solution of the domestic problem facing the occupied area.

    He favours an early solution of the Cyprus problem based on a federation. He said that the Turkish Cypriots should work for acquiring the rights stipulated in the 1960 Constitution. Only then an early solution of a bicommunal federation could be pursued.

    He stressed that the Turkish Cypriot community has trained people who can run their countrys institutions, and their central bank and develop democracy.

    He said that their party will be different from the other political parties in the sense that they will keep the word that they will give to the people.

    (MHY)

    [05] Soyer: The Annan Plan is in the intensive care unit

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.05.07) reports that the self-styled Prime Minister in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, has declared that the Annan Plan is neither dead, nor at the mortuary. It is in the intensive care unit.

    Speaking to the TV program Akis (Echo) Soyer claimed that the July Process is not in conflict with the Annan plan. He went on and said that if the 8 July process is advanced then the Annan plan will be revived again. Soyer went on and alleged that the Greek Cypriot leadership by creating artificial obstacles is trying to kill the 8 July process.

    Saying that with a view to making the 8 July process to function they have submitted proposals in which the list of headings to be considered by the working groups and technical committees were listed, Soyer added that the proposal included details of these headings. Soyer branded the Turkish proposals as non paper.

    Criticizing UN Special Representative in Cyprus Mr Micheal Moller, Soyer said: Mollers stance is not a healthy stance and added that he is concerned as regards Mr. Mollers impartiality.

    (MHY)

    [06] Sonay Adem is holding contacts with members of the Pakistani Cabinet for establishing cooperation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.05.07) reports that the self-styled minister of Labour and Social Security Sonay Adem, the Rector of the illegal Lefka European University Ali Riza Buyukuslu, and the president of the vak1f Board of Trustees, Eren Adatas have met with the Pakistani ministers of Labour and Social Security Ghulam Sarwar Khan, and Education Javed Ashraf Qazi for establishing cooperation on professional training and employment in the fields of construction and tourism.

    As the paper writes, the TRNC aims to improve even more its good relations with Pakistan in every field. Pakistani students therefore, will come to the island and with the help of Turkey and the business world, the TRNC is aiming to develop projects based on training and education.

    Sonay Adem will visit the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the Presidency of the Higher Education Council.

    (ML)

    [07] Aygin continues his contacts in Vienna

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (10.05.07) reports that the so-called mayor of the occupied Kyrenia Sumer Aygin, who is currently in Vienna to attend a UN conference on local administration, is holding contacts within the framework of the conference with other delegations. In a written statement by the so-called mayors office, it was mentioned that Mr. Aygin had a meeting with the Mayor of Hiroshima Tadatoshi Akiba and he invited him to visit the occupied city of Keryneia. During the meeting Aygin claimed that the Turkish Cypriots are among the peoples who suffered much from war and they too have the right as the people of Hiroshima to rebel against wars.

    (MHY)

    [08] So-called universities at the Jeddah Education Fair

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (10.05.07) reports that so-called universities in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus have taken part in the International Jeddah Education Fair 2007 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    The universities that took part in the fair are: Lefka European University, East Mediterranean University, Near East University, and Keryneia American University, International Cyprus University, and Middle East Technical University North Cyprus campus.

    The paper reports that the slogan the so-called universities used at the fair was Study in North Cyprus. The paper further reports that the so-called flag of the pseudo state was flying for one week at the fairs premises.

    (MHY)

    [09] Turkish Cypriot participants in the Cyprus International Trade Fair decrease every year

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (10.05.07) reports on todays opening of the Cyprus International Trade Fair and writes that the number of the Turkish Cypriot firms participating in the Fair is decreasing every year.

    According to the paper, last year 17 Turkish Cypriot firms participated in the Fair, while the year before the number of firms which participated were 54. This year only three firms will participate in the Fair.

    (ML)

    [10] Merkel stated that three more chapters could be opened in Turkey-EU negotiations during Germany's EU term presidency-Turkey awaits EU Commissions screening report for eleven chapters

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.05.07) reports the following:

    The German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that 3 more chapters could be opened in Turkey-EU negotiations during Germany's EU term presidency, in accordance with the additional protocol of the Ankara agreement. Merkel made these statements during a panel held at German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) within the framework of the "10th European Forum". Moreover, Merkel stated that "Turkey should be strongly attached to Europe no matter what the circumstances are".

    Replying to a question on whether supporting Turkey's EU membership would be beneficial or not, Merkel noted that Turkey should be attached to Europe more tightly whatever the final decision regarding its membership would be.

    Pointing to the remarkable changes in Turkey during the last 5 years, Merkel said, "look at the economic developments, reforms and amendments in laws in Turkey. On the other hand, Turkish government and parliament took into consideration and acted according to the decision of the Turkish Constitutional Court. This is the rule of democracy".

    Underscoring that Turkey's move towards Europe mainly depended on Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, so far, Merkel said this brought a quite strict understanding of secularism as well.

    In addition, ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.05.07) also reports that as diplomatic circles debate possible ramifications of the new French president-election on Turkey's European Union accession process, Ankara awaits EU Commission's final screening report on 11 policy areas or chapters in its membership talks with the union, sources have said.

    Those 11 Chapters include issues such as financial and budgetary provisions; Foreign, Security and Defence Policy; External Relations; Environment; Judiciary and Fundamental Rights; Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments; Trans-European Networks; Transportation; Fisheries; Information Society and Media; and Company Law.

    Commission's Screening Reports lay the groundwork for opening related Chapters.

    Turkey expects that Chapters on Economic and Monetary Policy, Statistics, and Financial Control to be opened before German rotating Presidency ends.

    [11] More developments on the political crisis in Turkey: Constitutional amendment package divided into two, approved by TBMM

    Istanbul CNN TURK television (08.05.07) broadcast the following:

    The first round of the voting on the constitutional amendment package that envisages the election of the president by the people and general elections being held every four years was completed yesterday (7 May). The Justice and Development Party (AKP), making a last minute change, separated the arrangements related to the presidential elections from the articles related to general elections being held every four years and the quorum requirements for the meetings.

    This way, the AKP will have two separate chances for ensuring the approval of the arrangements in question in a possible referendum.

    Tension rose and insulting remarks were heard from time to time during the session held at the National Assembly yesterday.

    The National Assembly discussed and approved the constitutional amendment package proposed by the AKP in a tense environment. During the deliberations the AKP realized an important change and divided the package into two. Although this change initially appeared as a trivial detail, it may seriously affect the process.

    With the motion submitted by the AKP, it will be possible to hold separate referendums on the article that envisages the duration of the president's term and that enables him to be elected twice and the article that enables holding general elections every four years and that determines that the quorum requirement for meetings is 184.

    The opposition assessed this last minute change as the AKP's retreat. According to the Republican People's Party (CHP), the AKP will give up the article related to the "president's election by popular vote" at the last minute. The CHP believes that with this motion the AKP is actually preparing the grounds for this.

    Despite the support extended by Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), the votes in favor did not reach 367, which would have enabled the approval of the package without a referendum. The highest vote count in favor was 362 votes.

    What does the Constitutional amendment package include?

    The president will be elected by popular vote.

    The president will be able to serve two terms of five years each.

    The general elections will be held every four years.

    The quorum requirement for the National Assembly will be 184 for all its meetings.

    The second round of the voting on the constitutional amendments will be held on Thursday, 10 May. Following the second round, the president will say the last word in this regard.

    Meanwhile, AKP Group Acting Chairman Irfan Gunduz announced that the bill for the constitutional amendment that envisages lowering office eligibility age to 25 in the general elections that will be held on 22 July has been suspended.

    Recalling that public workers who wish to become candidates in the upcoming general elections should resign today, Gunduz said: "Constitutional amendments will come into effect only after a certain period. Public workers who are 25 years old may apply to the judicial authorities on grounds that they have lost their rights due to the fact that they have missed the deadline for submitting their candidacy."

    Pointing out that this may change the date of the elections, Gunduz noted that despite the fact that the first round for this constitutional amendment has been held, "the bill has been suspended" due to the aforementioned concerns.

    Nonetheless criticism is also leveled against the AKP which insists on making the constitutional amendments during the ongoing process. The AKP is especially being criticized for making such important amendments within such a short time.

    Former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek who resigned from his post due to the election schedule answered the criticism. According to Cicek, "with the decision of the Constitutional Court it has become impossible to elect a president. Therefore constitutional amendments have become imperative." Minister Cicek said: "How long will it be discussed? It is natural for the public to elect the head of the republic. Those who do not agree are those who are concerned that the president will be elected by the public."

    The first round of the voting on the constitutional amendment package that also includes articles that enable holding general elections every four years and the election of the president with popular vote was completed at the National Assembly yesterday. Although the number of votes exceeded the necessary 330 to pass all the articles of the package, it did not exceed the 367 needed for bypass a referendum.

    In addition, Turkish TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (10.05.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that they would put forward 25-year-old candidates in the July 22 elections.

    During a long meeting with party deputies who are also attorneys, Erdogan was informed that there was no need for another amendment to the Constitution given that an amendment passed was adequate for 25-year-olds to be elected. In response to journalists questions on whether the AK Party would nominate 25-year-olds in the upcoming elections, Erdogan, while leaving his office in Parliament, said, We will nominate 25-year-olds; I dont know what the outcome will be, leaving it to the Supreme Election Board (YSK) to decide.

    The prime minister also said the regulations for a combined ballot would be brought up in Parliament on Thursday. Former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek noted that they would accept the applications of 25-year-old candidates. The Constitution has been amended and the age limit for elections was determined to be 25. The Constitution provides the highest norm to be followed, and amendments to the Constitution take precedence over the Election Law, Cicek stressed.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [12] The political developments in Turkey shift towards the forthcoming parliamentary elections

    The Turkish Press on 9 May 2007 has started to focus on the forthcoming parliamentary elections since it was made clear that the new parliament will elect the new President.

    Following are excepts from reports and commentaries:

    In an article in SABAH, Yilmaz Ozdil argues that the civil servants, who resigned from the various ministries in order to run under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) ticket, were placed in those posts for political reasons in the first place. Ozdil implies that the AKP deputies have usually been civil servants who support the party, or "tribal chiefs" or "sheiks of religious sects." They have not served the nation, he contends. He then lists prominent academics, businessmen, media figures and laments their absence from the political scene.

    SABAH newspaper publishes a report to the effect that more women will be candidates in the coming elections. "Politics have discovered the woman, the aim is to have more women deputies," the paper writes in the report. Accordingly, the three main parties, namely, the AKP, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the True Path Party (DY), have already picked their slogans to have more women elected. The AKP slogan will be "a woman from every province to parliament;" the CHP slogan "only with women;" and the DYP slogan "the women will win the elections."

    Speculating about party mergers, alliances and election results Mehmet Ali Birand devotes his daily column in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS to the increasing popularity of the AKP, and contends that the real threat will be if the AKP receives more than 40 percent of the popular vote. As a countermeasure, he recommends the merger of left-wing parties in parallel with the merger of the center-right under the Democratic Party, DP.

    Also in TURKISH DAILY NEWS, Burak Bekdil focuses on the "warring ideologies" of Islamism and secularism "being forced into a duel." In a commentary, he predicts that "the elections will not bring peace, only postponement of the undesirable finale." He then views the possible outcomes of the elections.

    In MILLIYET Guneri Civaoglu predicts, in his daily column, that the Turkish Assembly will be composed of at least three parties after the 22 July elections. He lists them as the AKP, the CHP, and the Democratic Society Party (DTP). If the DP can also be represented in parliament, the columnist speculates, the AKP and the DP can form a coalition, and maybe the new Assembly can elect "an impartial, secular, democratic president who will embrace the entire nation."

    Another MILLIYET writer, Fikret Bila, views the negotiations between the CHP and the Democratic Left Party (DSP) to form an election alliance. In an article, he quotes from the recent statements by CHP leader Baykal on the issue, and explains that the DSP is now expected to give an answer to the CHP. The CHP is no longer asking the DSP to dissolve itself, Bila points out, adding that the DSP would like to see other left-wing parties also take part in this alliance, while the CHP insists on having an alliance based only on the two.

    HURRIYET´s Cuneyt Ulsever writes about the DYP-Motherland Party merger and warns that unless new political figures come to the forefront, this merger is bound to fail. In an article, Ulsever says: "I am excited about the new center-right party. Nevertheless, as a liberal democrat, I declare that I will be the first to turn away from it if the old faces come to the fore again." The columnist points out that the DYP is very unpopular in the three main provinces, namely Istanbul, Ankara, and Izmir. In total, these three provinces will have 123 deputies, he stresses, and therefore the new party must come up with new candidates, maybe more women candidates, but definitely highly qualified and wise candidates especially in these places.

    Under the banner headline, "Women have priority," YENI SAFAK publishes a front-page report which asserts that the ruling AKP's women candidates for Parliament stand better chances of being elected than their male rivals in the next general election. According to the report, the AKP intends to increase the number of its women MPs at least to forty.

    In an article entitled "If you get married by phone, you will get divorced by telegram", VAKIT columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the attempts to form election alliances against the AKP are bound to be unfruitful because the parties conducting these efforts are unlikely to agree on issues like the number of MPs and the name to be given to new coalitions aside from not enjoying grassroots support for their bid. He cites "fear" and "panic" as the motivator of the "instant love" between the said parties. He also advises the AKP to nominate independent candidates from the right and the left as well as from conservative and nationalist sections in order to incorporate the opposition into its own ranks.

    In an article entitled "The remedy is alliance", VAKIT columnist F. Burak Karen calls on the AKP to form an alliance with the Grand Unity Party (BBP), is asserting that such a coalition would win 450 seats in Parliament, an outcome that would entail the exclusion of the Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), from Parliament thanks to the BBP's capacity for attracting "true nationalist votes" as well as a major blow to two political leaders who have already "gone down in history as jackboot lickers," namely Mehmet Agar and Erkan Mumcu.

    A front-page report in ZAMAN newspaper entitled "AKP, ANAP put MPs on 367 Alert for Presidency" asserts that the AKP has drawn up a new "action plan" to ensure the passage of the bill arranging for presidents to be elected by the people and for general elections to be held every four years. According to the report, the AKP and the ANAP are trying to persuade all their deputies to attend the voting on the bill this Thursday.

    In an article under the title "Premeditated gang rape of reality", ZAMAN columnist A. Turan Alkan accuses certain commentators of distorting facts in claiming that the next general election will be about defending the Republic against the AKP. He also criticizes the fact that the political regime continues to be a matter of controversy some 85 years after its foundation.

    In an article entitled "Problem: The soul of the system," TODAY´S ZAMAN writer Dogu Ergil argues that the "culture of salvation" signified by the efforts of Turkey's "strongmen" [the military establishment] to "'save the country' from the results of a legal system they themselves set in motion" by passing the 1982 Constitution "has developed through centuries filtering down from a paternalistic and hierarchical relationship between an omnipotent state and [a] weak society."

    Finally, BUGUN newspaper publishes an article entitled "The question I most frequently come across these days", by columnist Nuh Gonultas asserts that preparations are underway to get the Constitutional Court to draw up an indictment against the AKP calling for its closure based on the accusations voiced in the recent military "memorandum." Gonultas warns that a closure ruling against the AKP would provoke a "conflict" because the Constitutional Court's public image is that of a judicial body that makes political decisions that strain the law.

    EG/


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