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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-05-17
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.94/07 17.05.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat grants remission of sins to the Turkish army for Cyprus occupation and says Greek Cypriot side is the one to blame for the non-solution of the problemTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.05.07) reports under banner headlines in its front page about a conference organized by the Liberal Democrat Group at the European Parliament under the title The other side of the Coin: Giving Turkish Cypriots a voice.
Speaking at the conference, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community Mehmet Ali Talat claimed the following: It is wrong to see the Turkish Army in Cyprus as the responsible for the division. Regarding non-solution one has to look for in the Greek Cypriot sides reluctance.
Talat went on and alleged that the Turkish Cypriots were subject to EU discrimination in various areas and that the Greek Cypriots were using the EU membership in order to isolate the Turkish Cypriots. He wondered how could the EU digest such treatment. Talat wanted two Turkish Cypriots attend the EP meetings as observers.
He urged the EU to keep its promise given to the Turkish Cypriots. Talat further said that this conference has provided the chance for him to deliver his speech in his mother tongue. He spoke in Turkish.
Referring to the Annan Plan Talat branded it as the wander of diplomacy engineering and said that the Turkish Cypriots had approved the plan while the Greek Cypriots rejected it and disillusioned the world.
Talat went on and claimed that there is almost no contact between the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in Cyprus and that they cannot even cooperate on issues such as crime, illegal immigrants and fight against the bird flu.
Speaking at the same conference the President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Erdil Nami said that financial aid and direct trade are the first steps towards putting an end to the Turkish Cypriots isolation, however, he added, these are not enough. He concluded by saying that the present situation in Cyprus is not that good and our future is not that bright.
In his turn the chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Graham Watson speaking at the conference, claimed that despite the fact that the whole island is EU member only the Greek Cypriots benefit from it. He urged the EU to remove the so-called isolations. Watson went on and said that financial aid was released, the Green Line Regulation was put into force and that work is going on as regards the Direct Trade Regulation. He said that it is not possible to remove the legal obstacles immediately.
Republican Turkish Party (CTP) deputy Ozdil Nami, president of the Human Rights Commission in the occupied area Emine Erk, so-called East Mediterranean University professor Uwe Muller, town planning expert Layik Mesutoglu and deputy director of the EU Commission Enlargement Commissioner Jan Truszczyski addressed the conference.
According to KIBIRS, the chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), Graham Watson gave a dinner in honor of Talat in Brussels on the occasion of Talats visit to Brussels.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (17.05.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot participants in the other day action in Brussels, have entered the Belgian capital holding passports and IDs of the Republic of Cyprus.
 The self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci who is attending the OICs conference in Islamabad had a meeting with Ibrahim GambariTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.05.07) reports that the so-called foreign minister in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, Turgay Avci had declared that the Turkish side will not take a new steps in the Cyprus problem. He went on and added that the Greek Cypriot sides demands were unacceptable.
The paper reports that Avci who is attending the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC) Foreign Ministers meeting in Pakistan had a meeting in Islamabad with the UN Official Ibrahim Gambari. During the meeting Avci told Gambari -the architect of the 8th July Agreement that the 8th July process is not functioning as agreed and that the Greek Cypriot side is doing everything possible to preclude the functioning of the technical committees. Avci said that the process was interrupted because President Papadopoulos wanted to include property issue to be taken up in the technical committees. Avci alleged that with this action President Papadopoulos wants to hinder the development of the construction sector hence the economic growth in the occupied area. Avci also referred to the report prepared by the former UN Secretary- General Kofi Annan which was removed from the Security Council agenda. He said that the Turkish Cypriots expect that the report be on the Security Council agenda.
Furthermore, the paper reports that Mr Gambari said that he will be conveying to the UN Secretary- General the Turkish Cypriots demands.
KIBRIS also writes that Mr Avci attended the other day to a dinner given by the Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in honor of the head of the foreign delegations who are attending the OIC Foreign Ministers meeting. In the course of the dinner, Avci had the opportunity to talk to President Musharraf and other guests.
 Kutlay Erk claims that a wind of change is in Turkish Cypriots favorTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (17.05.07) publishes an interview with Kutlay Erk, Foreign Relations Secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), who assessed the protest act of the Turkish Cypriots in Brussels and the recent developments in Cyprus.
Mr Erk alleged, inter alia, that there is a wind of change in favor of the Turkish Cypriots and that the EU and the UN are fed up with the Greek Cypriots.
Asked about the activity in Brussels, Mr Erk claimed:
The activity in Brussels was a well-timed activity. Brussels is a place in the center of Europe. Above all it is the capital of the EU and NATO. It is an important place internationally. I think that the massage of the activity conducted at Schumann Square reached its destination. The coin has not only a Greek Cypriot side. They understood this. The EU is fed up now with the Greek Cypriots. Moller has said this as well at the Ledra Palace meeting and noted that the UN has also reached a point of being fed up, like the EU. Therefore the initiative of the Greek Cypriots cannot be as influential as in the past. They cannot get a result and they have lost this sympathy. Firstly, this is a result brought by the referendum. And secondly, it is a sign of the Turkish Cypriots following right policies after the referendum..
Referring to the efforts of the Turkish Cypriots in the EU and the cooperation between the so-called MPs of the CTP and the National Unity Party (UBP), Ozdil Nami and Hasan Tacoy respectively, Mr Erk said: I find Mr Tacoys efforts and himself very sympathetic. He is a dynamic entrepreneur. They work in an extremely harmonic manner with the CTP MP Ozdil Nami.
 Tony Blair: I could be a mediator in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (17.05.07) reports under banner headlines in its front page that the outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair expressed readiness to be, if asked, a mediator in the Cyprus problem.
The paper reports that the Labor Party Friends of Turkey Group which was established last February in London, had attended to a gala dinner given in honor of the outgoing British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
The paper reports that during the dinner Tony Blair came to the Groups table and said that if he is asked he would try to be a mediator between the two communities in Cyprus.
The paper reports that Labor officials, ex-ministers and senior government ministers including the British Finance Minister, Gordon Brown, who is tipped to be Blairs successor, have attended the dinner.
The head of the Turkish lobby group is Mrs Nilgun Canver.
 Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals revokes sentences of two non-commissioned officers in Semdinli CaseAnkara ANATOLIA news agency (16.05.07) reports that the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals Criminal Law Chamber no: 9 annulled the verdict on non-commissioned officers Ali Kaya and Ozcan Ildeniz on the ground of "incomplete investigation" in the case regarding the incidents in Semdinli town of the south-eastern city of Hakkari.
The chamber which concluded the appellate review of the case ruled annulment of the verdict by the High Criminal Court (in the eastern city of Van) which sentenced Kaya and Ildeniz to 39 years 5 months and 10 days of imprisonment on charges of "murder, attempted murder and forming a criminal gang".
The court also ruled that the military court should deal with the case.
On November 9th, 2005, a hand grenade was hurled into a bookstore belonged to Seferi Yilmaz, in Semdinli, killing a person. The Semdinli attack set off days of rioting that left four dead.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 The Turkish Press on the political developments in TurkeyThe Turkish press (16.05.07) continues to give wide coverage to the developments in Turkish politics:
A report by Duygu Guvenc in TURKISH DAILY NEWS views the efforts being made to form an alliance between the Republican People's Party (CHP), and the Democratic Left Party (DSP). She quotes a CHP deputy as saying: "Baykal will visit Rahsan Ecevit at her house soon. She might become the hero of cooperation on the left."
Writing in the same newspaper, Mehmet Ali Birand criticizes the DSP for obstructing the establishment of an alliance with the CHP. In a column, he says: "The party has come to a point that, unless the CHP opens its doors to it, it will falter. Despite this, there are still negotiations within the party. It is almost expected that the CHP carry all of the DSP staff to elections. This is what lies beneath the word 'equity.'"
MILLIYETs Nail Gureli says that DSP Chairman Zeki Sezer seems to have taken an "inappropriate step" at the beginning of the alliance talks by trying to secure the party members' support through democratic means. Recalling that the DSP is a "family party" that has been run by deceased leader Bulent Ecevit and his wife Rahsan Ecevit since it was established, the columnist says that the formation of a left-wing alliance has become a difficult goal for Sezer because he tried to achieve it by consulting with the party's provincial leaders in a democratic way."
Ilnur Cevik in THE NEW ANATOLIAN writes that Rahsan Ecevit issued a statement in order not to be held responsible for the failure of the CHP-DSP merger. He says: "It was clear that the sides were preparing to accuse each other for the failure of the merger talks when a surprise written statement by Rahsan Ecevit changed everything and denied the leaders of the two left-wing parties to put the blame on her..."
Stressing that most of the media organs that do not have a special affiliation with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) urged the DSP to adopt a "more moderate approach" to facilitate the establishment of an alliance with the CHP, Oktay Eksi in HURRIYET asserts that both sides have to adopt an "understanding" and "realistic" stand while trying to contribute to a possible alliance. Criticizing the DSP for putting forward unrealistic preconditions for an alliance, Eksi urges the party to consider the fact that it was able to secure only 1.2 percent of the votes in the past elections. The columnist goes on to note that the DSP members, who believe that the party has a very strong organizational structure, should first answer the question as to how the party will pass the 10 percent election threshold. Drawing attention to the lack of confidence between the two parties, he urges Baykal and Sezer to avoid statements that might harm the negotiation process.
Focusing on the reason behind the mass rallies in Ankara, Istanbul and Izmir, Ertugrul Ozkok writes in HURRIYET: "What do the people in the rallies represent? I have been trying to explain this to influential AKP officials for three years. The people in the rallies have concerns over the regime. They people have very sincere fears." Referring to the recent public opinion polls published by Vatan and Yeni Safak, Ozkok urges the AKP to take the masses' fears seriously and pursue a policy that will calm them down. On the other hand, he adds, that the CHP has to prove that it is capable of ruling the country at least as good as Erdogan.
Pointing to a RADIKAL article implying that the AKP might be closed down if it attempts to elect the president and maintain tense relations with the judiciary and the High Education Board, SABAHs Ergun Babahan writes that the General Staff issuing a "e-memorandum" against the government, which is in power for 4.5 years, shows that the closure of the AKP is being supported by certain circles in the country. Recalling that the mass rallies have started after the announcements of the e-memorandum, the columnist says: "Naturally, there is nothing wrong with the people's support for a secular life style. However, they have to empathize with others. While supporting secularism, they should avoid hurting the people, who freely practice their religious beliefs and categorically oppose a shar'iah regime."
In a column in REFERANS, Cengiz Candar says that he agrees with Prof. Ersin Kalaycioglu who believes that it will be difficult to estimate how the rallies will affect the election results because the anti-AKP masses that participated in the rallies represent only 5 percent of the electorate. Candar adds: "I am among those who believe that the election-related surveys being conducted nowadays are of no value. We will be unable to estimate the possible election results until the end of June. It is unlikely that the surveys that will be conducted before the announcement of the candidate lists will provide meaningful results." The columnist asserts that the AKP, which is likely to emerge as the leading party from the upcoming elections, should try to become a center-party in order to "turn the leadership into a championship" in the elections.
Criticizing the "close cooperation" between AKP and the CHP on the election system, Hasan Cemal in MILLIYET laments that the two parties do not only support the 10 percent election threshold but also create problems for those who want to run in the elections as independent candidates. He says: "They have done great injustice. At the same time, they have obstructed the adoption of democratic policies in connection with the Kurds and Southeastern Turkey."
Cemal asserts that it will be difficult for Turkey to enjoy a democratic and stable system if the two parties insist on keeping the 10 percent election threshold. He concludes by warning that the "citizens of the Turkish Republic" will be disappointed once again if they feel that their votes are being ignored.
Finally, a report in THE NEW ANATOLIAN outlines experts' assessment of the public opinion polls published in the Vatan and Yeni Safak dailies on 15 May. According to the report, experts believe that manipulated polls are confusing the voters on the eve of the elections.