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

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 <>



  • [01] Kivrikoglu said that the occupation forces in Cyprus are not a guest
  • [02] A new social security law was approved yesterday. Turkish Cypriot Trade unions protested against it
  • [03] Statements by Talat during a press conference on the proposal by President Papadopoulos for a meeting
  • [04] The Chairman of CIOFF World met yesterday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat
  • [05] The European Commission has donated 1.5 million euros as a contribution to the Committee on Missing Persons
  • [06] A delegation of the so-called Civil Defence organization goes to Indonesia
  • [07] British Football team Luton to play Centikaya in the occupied areas tomorrow
  • [08] Some 35,732 Turks cast votes at Kapikule, Ipsala border gates
  • [09] Turkish envoys in African countries convene in Ankara
  • [10] Zebari: Turkey deploys 140,000 troops on Iraq border
  • [11] Erdogan aide, US house speakers secret meeting on Armenian bill
  • [12] A public opinion survey by Raymond James-Konda on Turkey´s parliamentary elections
  • [13] Data of poll conducted by Dogan News Agency
  • [14] Sener said the President will be elected by Parliament. Baykal replied to Erdogan
  • [15] Turkey controls its coastline by automatic identification system
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] Columnist in Hurriyet assesses an opinion poll carried out last May by University lecturers
  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 9 July 2007. The election of the new President again on the agenda
  • [18] ASAM Chairman Logoglu: Caucasus is a strategic region, importance of which is increasing.


    [01] Kivrikoglu said that the occupation forces in Cyprus are not a guest

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.07.07) reports that the commander of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus, Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu has declared that the Turkish Peace Forces as he branded the occupation forces in Cyprus is not a guest in Cyprus. Speaking during an inauguration ceremony of a parking place built in the occupied Keryneia within the Keryneia Officers Club complex on 2900 square meters area Kivrikoglu said that they will hand over the operation of the parking place to the so-called Keryneia municipality and the income will go to the coffers of the occupation forces. Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu said: Our troops are not guests in Cyprus, which is truly and genuinely a Turkish homeland. It is part of the TRNC people that works for the welfare and the security of the people. He said that the parking place is a gift from the occupation forces to the TRNC people on the occasion of the 20 July anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation in 20 July1974.

    Present at the ceremony were the commander of the security forces Major general Mehmet Eroz, the so-called Keryneia District Officer Savas Orakcioglu, the self styled Mayor of Keryneia Sumer Aygin and the so-called Keryneia deputy police chief Salim Aker.


    [02] A new social security law was approved yesterday. Turkish Cypriot Trade unions protested against it

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.07.07), the so-called Assembly convened yesterday and approved the new so-called social security law. The paper also reports that while the Assembly was in meeting there were demonstrators outside of the building protesting against the bill.

    The protestors who belonged to various trade unions and to This Country is ours platform tried to force their way into the Assembly but met with police opposition. Police used batons to disperse the egg-throwing protestors in front of the Assembly building.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (09.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The Republics Assembly has approved the new bill on social security. It will be put into force as from the 1st January 2008.

    Representatives from various NGOs held an action in front of the Assembly this morning to protest the new bill, which they say, is far from meeting the expectations of employees working in public and private sectors.

    Todays session also marked the end of the third Legislative Year of the Republics Assembly. The Parliament will begin the new legislative year on the 1st of October.


    [03] Statements by Talat during a press conference on the proposal by President Papadopoulos for a meeting.

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.07.07) broadcast live the press conference given by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat in occupied Lefkosia today. Following is his statements:

    Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos has proposed that we meet within the month of July to talk about the problems we have faced in the 8th of July process. As the side, which has continuously repeated that we have to come together with Papadopoulos to talk about the problems that we have faced in these ten months, we positively respond to Papadopoulos proposal. However, I do not believe that meeting Papadopoulos will be enough to overcome all the problems that we have faced in this process. It will be very difficult to solve all the problems that we have faced within the one last year in just one meeting. For this reason, we propose that the problems of the 8th July process are handled in the leaders level and the meeting between the leaders becomes continuous. The coordination committee that has spent a lot of efforts until today will continue its works and assist the leaders to this process.

    As you may remember after the lists have been exchanged in the 8th July process we faced problems in finalizing these lists. The Turkish Cypriot side continuously has proposed that the leaders should meet, so that these problems will overcome, however the Greek Cypriot leader Mr Papadopoulos said that the climate was not ready for the meeting between the two leaders and rejected our proposal to meet. However, we kept our proposal on the agenda and in every opportunity we repeated that the leaders will come together so the 8th July process will be successful. Today it is very clear that one of the important reasons why that the 8th July process has not been successful is that the problems of the 8th July process arise from the fact that the leaders were not directly involved in the process. Since Mr Papadopoulos has changed his attitude and has given a green light for a meeting between the leaders, now we have a real hope to save this process.

    However, many other measures need to be taken to render this process effective. Continuing this process on a leaders level and having the coordination committee to assist them is one of these measures. And it must be understood by now that the approach that the leaders should come together only after preparation period was not a proper approach. And I intend to discuss with Mr Papadopoulos other measures in our first meeting to render this process effective.

    [04] The Chairman of CIOFF World met yesterday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.07.07) reports that the Chairman of the World Council of International Organization of Folklore Festivals and Traditional Art (CIOFF WORLD) Prof. Dr. Udomsak Sakmunwong and a delegation accompanying him arrived in the occupied area and met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The Chairman and the delegation from the CIOFF WORLD are in the occupied areas to attend the Gonyeli Folklore festival.


    [05] The European Commission has donated 1.5 million euros as a contribution to the Committee on Missing Persons

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The European Commission has donated 1.5 million euros as a contribution to the Committee on Missing Persons.

    A statement from the European Commission said that the deputy-Director General of the Enlargement Directorate-General Jan Truszczynski, Presidential Undersecretary Rasit Pertev and the third member of the Committee on Missing Persons Christophe Girod will hold a press conference on Wednesday at Saray Hotel on the issue.

    [06] A delegation of the so-called Civil Defence organization goes to Indonesia

    Turkish Cypriot daily DEMOKRAT BAKIS newspaper (10.07.07) reports that a delegation from the so-called Civil Defence Organization will go to Indonesia to attend a symposium titled The role of surgeons in the preparation during emergency situations and disasters, which will be organized between 12-14 July in Jogjakarta, in Indonesia. After completing their contacts in Indonesia, the delegation will return to the occupied areas on 15th of July.

    [07] British Football team Luton to play Centikaya in the occupied areas tomorrow

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (10.07.07), under the title A historic day of TRNCs football, reports that one of the English Premier League teams Luton Town will play with the Turkish Cypriot football team Cetinkaya tomorrow evening at 21.00 in occupied Lefkosia. The paper reports that Cetinkaya Luton Town match is considered an important step towards overcoming the sports embargo imposed on the Turkish Cypriot youth. Moreover, the British soccer team Luton Town has arrived in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus this morning at 06.00 and will stay at the Acapulco hotel.


    [08] Some 35,732 Turks cast votes at Kapikule, Ipsala border gates

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.07.07) reports the following:

    A total of 35,732 Turks living abroad cast votes in north-western province of Edirne's Kapikule and Ipsala border passes, said sources on Monday.

    The voting for general elections began on June 25th at all border passes. Turks who have lived abroad for the past six months may cast their votes at the border passes.

    Voting at the border passes continue on a 24-hour basis.

    [09] Turkish envoys in African countries convene in Ankara

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.07.07) reports the following:

    Turkey's honorary consuls general and consuls in Africa held talks with executives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives of related institutions and organizations in Ankara on Monday.

    Honorary consuls general and consuls had a meeting with Deputy Undersecretary Unal Cevikoz to get briefed about Turkey's foreign policy, priorities and expectations from them.

    They also met with executives of Turkish institutions that carry out Turkish policies to expand to Africa.

    Honorary consuls general and consuls will proceed to Istanbul on Tuesday to attend the UN's Least Developed Countries Ministerial Meeting.

    Moreover, A.A. reports the following:

    "If the least developed countries (LDCs) do not act as one, they will not be heard in international forums and will not be able to facilitate reforms within themselves," said Kemal Dervis, Administrator of the United Nations Development Program, on Monday.

    In a keynote speech delivered at the Ministerial Conference of the Least Developed Countries in Istanbul, Dervis noted that some of the problems may appear to be local. "However, the international system plays a great role in domestic problems," told Dervis.

    If new resources are not provided to the LDCs instead of new debts, investments in the LDCs will drop significantly, stated Dervis.

    The current commercial system has a role in the development of the LDCs but the LDCs must not merely work to enter markets but be competitive, remarked Dervis. "The Istanbul conference will discuss topics such as agriculture, technology, foreign trade and supply of resources. What is important for Turkey is to be able to help the LDCs. The discussion of topics pertaining to the LDCs is good not only for Turkey but the UN as well," stressed Dervis.

    [10] Zebari: Turkey deploys 140,000 troops on Iraq border

    Under the above title, Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (10.07.07) reports the following:

    The Turkish army has 140,000 soldiers arrayed along its border with northern Iraq as part of a significant military mobilization, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said on Monday.

    The Turkish military has urged the government to allow an incursion into neighboring northern Iraq, which is mainly Kurdish, to crush the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which uses the region as a base to attack security and civilian targets inside Turkey.

    "There is a great mobilization on Iraq's northern international border that the security services and intelligence [agencies] estimate at more than 140,000 military personnel with all sorts of equipment," Zebari told a news conference. The Iraqi foreign minister added that his country wanted to resolve the issue via dialogue. "The government's stance on this is clear. We are against any interference or breach of Iraqi sovereignty from neighbouring states," Zebari said.

    "We understand Turkey's legitimate fears over the activities of the PKK and view this issue as negotiable. There is a joint Iraqi, American and Turkish security committee and it is the appropriate body to solve all the issues and problems between the two countries. We are ready to host the activities of this committee in Baghdad," he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

    A cross-border operation into northern Iraq is likely to strain ties with the US, which fears such a move would destabilize the relatively calm northern Iraq. Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül said on Sunday that Turkey would not seek permission from anyone for an incursion into northern Iraq. He was commenting on reports that he had a phone conversation with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Friday and that he declined to offer Rice any firm assurance that Turkey would not carry out a cross-border operation.

    Speculation mounted in Ankara that the government might seek parliamentary authorization to launch a cross-border operation into northern Iraq before the upcoming elections on July 22, but State Minister Abdüllatif ^ener, speaking after a Cabinet meeting yesterday, said ministers had not discussed the issue.

    In remarks published late Sunday, an Iraqi government spokesman said any military operation by Turkey in Iraqi territory will get a very harsh response from the entire Iraqi people, stressing that Iraqi is a sovereign country.

    Turkey should not seek resolutions abroad for its domestic problems, Iraqi government spokesperson Ali al-Dabbagh told the Peyamner news agency (PNA) -- an Arbil-based online organization known as the media organ of Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Bar-zani's Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP). Iraq will not become a region in which other countries sort out their own problems, he added.

    "Any military operation into Iraq will lead to further destabilization of the country, that's why we ask the Turkish officials to stay away from the plan of launching an operation into Iraq. Otherwise Turkey will get a very harsh response from the entire Iraqi people," al-Dabbagh was quoted as saying, while he underlined that the ongoing lack of security in Iraq should not be ignored by regional countries. Al-Dabbagh's remarks to the PNA came following his talks in the northern region of the country with Massoud Barzani, head of the de facto autonomous administration there, and Nechirvan Barzani, prime minister of the regional government.

    Sub title: Iraqi Turkmens call for security force after deadly attack

    Iraqi Turkmens have called for Turkmen security forces to protect their region following a suicide truck bomb that killed more than 150 people over the weekend in a northern Iraqi town.

    Ali Haim Muhtarolu of the Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITC), an umbrella organization for Iraqi Turkmens, said at a press conference in Kirkuk Monday that Saturday's attack killed 154 people in a market in Tuz Khurmato, a mainly Shiite Turkmen town. Some 270 people were injured in the blast. Muhtarolu complained that terrorist attacks have recently concentrated in Turkmen-populated areas of northern Iraq and said Iraqi security forces had failed to provide necessary protection for Turkmens. He called for the inclusion of Turkmen units in Iraqi police and military forces responsible for security in Turkmen-populated areas of Iraq.

    Turkey harshly condemned the Saturday attack in Tuz Khurmato and dispatched two military air ambulances to evacuate some 21 people wounded in the attack. One of them died aboard the helicopter.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer yesterday paid a visit to the GATA military hospital where the wounded Turkmens are being treated. Officials said one of the wounded was still in a critical condition, while the others were recovering.

    [11] Erdogan aide, US house speaker´s secret meeting on Armenian bill

    Under the above title, TURKISH DAILY NEWS (09.07.07) newspapers correspondent in Washington, Umit Enginsoy, reports the following:

    Cüneyd Zapsu, a top adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan, lobbied against an Armenian genocide bill pending in Congress during talks in February with Nancy Pelosi, Democratic speaker of the House of Representatives, a meeting that had been keeping secret until now, sources here said.

    Richard Holbrooke, a Democrat and a former top diplomat, arranged and attended the meeting, one source said. Holbrooke is known for his role in putting an end to the war in Bosnia as assistant state of secretary in former president Bill Clinton's administration.

    Zapsu voiced the Ankara government's concerns over the resolution, saying its passage by the House would seriously hurt bilateral ties with Turkey, said the source.

    The Pelosi-Zapsu meeting took place shortly after Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül also visited the U.S. capital in early February. But neither Gül nor three Turkish parliamentary teams visiting Washington one after another to lobby against the bill had talks with the House speaker.

    Nabi ^ensoy, Turkey's ambassador to Washington separately met with Pelosi in May.

    Pelosi at the time told ^ensoy that she would not stick to an Armenian timetable in deciding how to handle the resolution, another source said.

    Pro-Armenian groups had been pushing House leaders for the passage of the resolution around April 24, declared by U.S. presidents each year as a day of remembrance for the World War I-era Armenian killings in the Ottoman Empire.

    House Resolution 106, originally introduced by Democratic Representative Adam Schiff and Republican lawmaker George Radanovich in late January, calls for formal recognition of the Armenian killings as genocide.

    Subtitle: Turkey braces for more trouble:

    Turkish and U.S. administration efforts to prevent the measure's passage have so far been successful, but the future is not bright for Ankara, with a number of worrying developments taking place in recent weeks.

    A majority of lawmakers in the House, lower chamber of Congress, are now supporting the Armenian genocide resolution. The number of representatives cosponsoring the measure in late June rose to 218 in the 435-member House.

    Obtaining the support of 218 lawmakers does not automatically enable the Armenians to force a House floor vote for the resolution, but means the overcoming of a psychological threshold.

    Another group of at least 218 representatives signing a separate and special petition calling for a floor vote is required to push Pelosi to do that, and it would be hard for the Armenians to collect that number of signatures, because most Democratic lawmakers would not want to confront their congressional leader in this way.

    But psychological pressure is building up on Pelosi, and analysts said the resolution likely would reach the House floor agenda any time after early September, when Congress returns to work after a summer recess in August.

    But still this would come after critical parliamentary elections in Turkey on July 22.

    A similar resolution is also pending in the Senate, Congress' upper chamber, with 31 senators out of a total of 100 backing the measure. But Armenian efforts focus on moving on the House side first.

    Before last year's congressional elections in which the Democrats won a landslide victory, Pelosi had pledged to work for the passage of the genocide measure. But after taking office, she has adopted a more responsible position, Turkish diplomats said.

    [12] A public opinion survey by Raymond James-Konda on Turkey´s parliamentary elections

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN (10.07.07) under the title: AK Party still tracks far ahead of its rivals according to Raymond James-Konda, reports the following:

    According to the second public opinion survey that Raymond James, an intermediary company, had Konda conduct, the vote rate of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) decreased to 41.1 percent from 41.9 percent in comparison to the previous Raymond James/Konda survey, while its closest rival, the Republican People's Party (CHP) - Democratic Left Party (DSP) alliance, has 16.5 percent.

    According to the survey, the third party that will enter the parliament is the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) with 12.7 percent while the Democrat Party (DP) will get only 3.3 percent. The Young Party (GP), in addition, will get 4.4 percent, while the independent candidates will get 2.8 percent of the vote.

    The seats in Parliament will in this case be distributed as follows: the AK Party 298 seats, the CHP-DSP alliance 122 seats, the MHP 90 seats, and the independents 40 seats.

    According to the previous survey, the AK Party would win 307 seats, the CHP-DSP alliance 116 seats, the MHP 87 seats, and the independents 40 seats.

    A statement made by Raymond James said that the survey was conducted by Konda between June 30 and July 1 in 200 villages and neighborhoods in 147 districts of 34 cities with the participation of 3,579 people.

    According to the results of the first survey, disclosed in the middle of June, the undecided votes were 17.5 percent; they have now dropped to 16.4 percent. When the undecided votes are distributed to parties, the AK Party rose to 44.6 percent, the CHP-DSP alliance to 21.6 percent and the MHP to 16.5 percent.

    The report of Raymond James remarked that the AK Party will have enough seats to establish a government on its own and the CHP and the MHP will enter Parliament as the opposition parties.

    Raymond James further noted that this possibility was gaining recognition by an increasingly bigger segment of the market, and that it was expected that the interest rates would continue decreasing in the next 18 months, the new Turkish lira would continue becoming stronger and the stock exchange and other financial instruments would be showing high performance as the risk perception of the markets stemming from the elections wanes.

    [13] Data of poll conducted by Dogan News Agency

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (10.07.07) publishes a poll conducted by Dogan News Agency. The poll was held on two different dates: the first poll was conducted on June 7 and the second on June 27.

    According to the paper, the 20 days period between the holding of the first and the second poll, has revealed important changes in the number of party parliamentarians elected in the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    Both of the Dogan News Agency polls took for granted that 99 out of the total of 550 deputies of the Turkish assembly will be elected in Istanbul and Ankara (70 in Istanbul and 29 in Ankara). The polls therefore, were conducted on the remaining 451 seats.

    In spite of the votes the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will loose, it will still remain as the first party. Second comes the Republican People's Party (CHP) of Deniz Baykal, while in the third place is the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) of Devlet Bacheli. In this case, it will not be a surprise for the Democratic Party (DP) of Mehmet Agar to remain under the 10% threshold. The Young Party (GP) of Cem Uzan will be able to elect deputies only in Izmir and Sakarya. In general however, the party does not seem to be able to pass the election threshold.

    In this case, the Democratic Turkey Party (DTP) of Mehmet Ali Bayar which is running with independent candidates will be able to elect 28 deputies.

    Finally, the paper presents the form the new Turkish Grand National Assembly after the electoral procedure is completed, which is, as it notes the expected distribution of seats. This is as follows:

    AKP: 192 MPs

    CHP: 122 MPs

    MHP: 65 MPs

    DP: 39 MPs

    GP: 3 MPs

    Independent: 30 MPs

    The general elections in Turkey will be held on July 22, 2007.


    [14] Sener said the President will be elected by Parliament. Baykal replied to Erdogan

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.07.07) reports the following:

    "We could say that the new president will be elected by the parliament if we assume that the process continues as normal without any additional changes," State Minister and Deputy Premier Abdullatif Sener told reporters after Monday's meeting of the Council of Ministers.

    "But the twelfth president will be elected by popular vote if the constitutional amendment gets approval in the referendum," Sener said.

    Turkey is set to elect on July 22nd a new parliament and the new parliament is expected to elect the country's 11th president. The nation will then go to polls on October 21st in a referendum to vote for a constitutional amendment that allows for popular election of the president.

    Sener also said that the Council of Ministers discussed security-related, terrorism-related issues but did not make an evaluation towards making a decision about giving authorization to the government for a cross border operation into the north of Iraq.

    Moreover, Turkish daily HÜRR0YET newspaper (10.07.07) reports an exclusive statement to the paper by the Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal. Under the banner headlines Let us elect (a president) from outside through self-sacrifice, the paper quotes Mr Baykal replying to Prime Minister Erdogans call for the election of the 11th President by the next Parliament through compromise. Mr Baykal described Mr Erdogans reference to compromise as a positive development and expressed readiness to respond positively as well.


    [15] Turkey controls its coastline by automatic identification system

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.07.07) reports the following:

    Turkish Transportation Minister Ismet Yilmaz said Monday that Turkey has become the only country that controls its complete coastline in Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea by "Automatic Identification System" (AIS).

    A ceremony was held for the launching of AIS that will receive navigation information of ships to improve naval safety.

    "There are no other countries, except Turkey, that control their all coastline in Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea by AIS. Greece and Italy partially control their coastline. Earlier, we used this system partially in our straits," Yilmaz said. AIS is a system, used by ships and vessel traffic authority, principally to identify and locate vessels. A main control centre will be able to monitor vessels 24 hours a day by the help of this system.

    The International Maritime Organization's (IMO) International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) requires AIS to be fitted aboard international voyaging ships of 300 or more gross tons and all passenger ships regardless of size.

    Turkey will be able to view and track all ships navigating in Eastern Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea and Black Sea.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [16] Columnist in Hurriyet assesses an opinion poll carried out last May by University lecturers

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (09.07.07) publishes the following column by Mehmet Y. Yilmaz under the title "An opinion poll with very different results":

    Everyone has remained focused on the outcome of the poll results since the election process began. The Administrative Research Centre of the Foundation of the Association of Political Sciences Faculty Graduates held an opinion poll under Assistant Professor Metin Ozugurlu, lecturer at the Political Sciences Faculty from 15 to 30 May. The poll, which was entitled "Research on the Electorate's Inclinations," was conducted under the supervision of 17 university lecturers from 16 state universities. Questions were put to 1,626 respondents in face-to-face interviews during the research in 16 areas. The outcome of the poll was different from the poll results I have seen thus far.

    The results of the opinion polls that were held earlier showed the AKP [Justice and Development Party] far ahead of the other political parties. However, the outcome of the poll carried out by the Administrative Research Centre showed that the AKP and CHP [Republican People's Party] were neck and neck. According to the research, the AKP will secure the 27 percent of the votes and the CHP 26.8 percent. The undecided voters (not distributed) made up the 13.1 percent of the electorate.

    The research showed that the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] was close to the threshold (with 9.5 percent of the votes), regardless of the fact that the results of the other opinion polls indicated that it would surmount the threshold. The Democratic Party would not be able to surmount the threshold with 7.2 percent of the votes.

    According to the research, the votes of the AKP, CHP, and MHP tended to increase.

    Of course, saying that the election results will be similar to the outcome of the research is impossible.

    I wished to share this information with you because this is the first time I have seen a different outcome from a serious research.

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 9 July 2007. The election of the new President again on the agenda

    The Turkish Press on 09 July 2007 deals extensively with the election of the 11th Presient as the campaign for the parliamentary elections is entering its final stages, as follows:

    AKSAM newspaper publishes a report by Ismail Kucukkaya who carries an exclusive statement by Prime Minister Erdogan. Mr Erdogan said that the new parliament will elect the 11th president. In his statement Erdogan stated that the powers of the president will be curbed and the prime ministry's authority will be strengthened. Kucukkaya asserts that Erdogan defended the privatization of PETKIM, stressing that the establishment needed funds to realize its plans to set up new installations. He quotes him as saying that the shares of the company might fall in the future. That will create a burden on the government. Kucukkaya says that Erdogan believes that the privatization took place at the right time.

    According to a report in MILLIYET, the election bans will come into effect during the current week. The Supreme Election Council has drawn up a calendar for the speeches the political party representatives will make through the radio and television networks. According to the bans, PM Erdogan will not be able to use official planes, helicopters, and busses as of 12 July. The bans will be effective until midnight on 22 July.

    A report also in MILLIYET informs that the Supreme Election Council (YSK) has moved to prepare for the referendum to be held after the general elections on 22 July on the amendment of the constitution to pave the way for the election of the new president by the people on 21 October.

    In an article entitled "Something seems to be afoot again", YENI SAFAK columnist Kursat Bumin comments on Republican People's Party, (CHP), Deputy Ali Topuz's recent "mysterious" remarks stating, in response to the Constitutional Court's latest ruling on the issue of presidency, that the next parliament will elect a president without seeking the 367 quorum. Bumin contrasts Topuz's current position on the presidential election with what he describes as his previous insistence on the 367 quorum and asks whether Topuz might have issued this statement because he is confident that the upcoming election will result in "a CHP-MHP [Republican People's Party-Nationalist Action Party] majority."

    In an article entitled "De Facto interventions in the election have started already", YENI SAFAK columnist Koray Duzgoren asserts that Kurdish independent candidates for parliament are facing verbal and physical attacks from security forces in the southeast and warns of what he refers to as reported acts of intervention in the election process in this region in the form of efforts to enter the names of large numbers of military officers on electoral rolls, prepare electoral rolls in Diyarbakir Province in such a way as to prevent "thousands" of voters from taking part in the election, obstruct the electioneering activities of independent candidates in Malatya Province through police measures, etc.

    Under the headline, "Boat trip for Justices," VAKIT carries a front-page report which asserts that Yilmaz Buyukersen, the Democratic Left Party, (DSP), Mayor of Eskisehir, "who has repeatedly been taken to court for arbitrary and irregular practices but managed to be acquitted each time," treated the justices of the 12th Department of the Supreme Court to a boat ride on Eskisehir's Porsuk River as well as to sumptuous dinners during the latter's "interesting pre-election visit" to Eskisehir last weekend.

    In an article entitled "Two items on the Agenda and Vakit's attitude", VAKIT Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya blames President Sezer for what he describes as the uncertainty over how the presidential election process will continue in the wake of the Constitutional Court ruling turning down Sezer and the CHP's appeal against the Government's proposal to have presidents elected through popular vote. Karakaya claims that Sezer has made a move that will greatly harm the economy in submitting the issue to referendum in the same way as he engaged in a sharp row with former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit that led to a "major economic crisis" in 2001.

    A front-paged report in ZAMAN entitled "Baykal gives the green light to coalition with MHP," quotes CHP leader Baykal as having said while explaining "his criteria for possible coalition formulas" at the CHP's election rally in Izmir that the CHP would never set up coalitions with those endeavouring at home and abroad to separate Turkey.

    In an article entitled "You owe an apology", ZAMAN Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli recalls how President Sezer, CHP leader Baykal, university rectors, and part of the media denounced the armed attack on a group of State Council justices some time ago as an assault on secularism and held the Erdogan government responsible for it. Dumanli asks whether these circles, whose public pronouncements about the attack were of a sort to "threaten social peace," would be prepared to recognize the "mistake" they made in light of new evidence possibly linking "gangs" like the Patriotic Forces Alliance to the attack.

    In an article entitled "To Democratize Turkey, First Democratize the CHP", TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Ihsan Dagi criticizes the CHP for what he describes as a stance on "the role of the military in politics, ethnic and religious identities, EU membership, and the Cyprus and Iraq questions" that "point[s] to a party with strong nationalist, xenophobic, non-pluralistic and interventionist inclinations ..."

    [18] ASAM Chairman Logoglu: Caucasus is a strategic region, importance of which is increasing.

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (09.07.07) reports the following:

    "Caucasus is a strategic region, the importance and priority of which are gradually increasing," Faruk Logoglu, a retired ambassador who is actually the chairman of the Eurasia Strategic Studies Center (ASAM), said on Monday. An international workshop on "Expectations in the Caucasus and Possibilities-Turkey's role as a Regional Force & an Element of Guarantee" was held in Ankara by Konrad-Adanauer-Stiftung (KAS) Association and ASAM. "Some regional problems, that require solution; relations of regional countries with Russia, the USA and Europe; its function as an intersection point for communication and transportation between Asia and Europe; its location as a shipment corridor for oil and natural gas resources make the Caucasus a focal point," Logoglu stressed in the opening session of the workshop at Ankara's Bilkent Hotel.

    According to Logoglu, Turkey's Caucasus policy aims to create a stable, secure and prosperous region. "In this context, our Caucasus policy is based on the understanding that regional countries can reach better conditions by not only fulfilling democracy, rule of law and human rights but also establishing close relations with the Western world," he stated. Logoglu said that Turkey favors peaceful settlement of regional disputes, and pursues an active policy.

    Turkey's policy is to support and strengthen territorial integrity and independence of South Caucasus republics, Logoglu noted.

    "Turkey, which aims to ensure Russia's constructive contribution, also wants to take role in production and transportation of energy resources of the Caspian basin. Within this framework, Turkey was the first state acknowledging the independence of South Caucasus republics in 1991 without any discrimination, and has supported reconstruction of these republics since then. Turkey not only conveyed its own experiences for reconstruction of civilian bureaucracy, but also played an important role in establishment of armed and security forces of particularly Georgia and Azerbaijan, and their organization in line with NATO standards," he said. Logoglu added, "Turkey wants settlement of frozen clashes in Caucasus within the framework of international laws and territorial integrity of these countries. It has backed Georgia's territorial integrity in every occasion and platform. Similarly, Ankara has argued that Armenia has to end its occupation and annexation of Azerbaijani territories under UN Security Council and OSCE resolutions in order to solve Azerbaijani-Armenian dispute."

    On the other hand, Logoglu pointed out that economic relations between Turkey and Caucasus are gradually improving.

    Logoglu said that Turkey is making serious contribution to Armenian economy by providing employment for more than 50,000 Armenian citizens and by indirect trade although the two countries do not have diplomatic relations. Also, Caucasus has key role for Turkey as a transportation corridor for oil and natural gas pipelines, ASAM Chairman underlined.

    Logoglu said that Turkey was one of the first countries that recognized Armenia's independence and extended humanitarian aid to this country which was facing economic problems. However, Armenia's Turkey policy has hampered any diplomatic relationship between the two countries, he stressed. "Among the factors which hamper normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations are the expressions in Armenia's independence declaration and Constitution which question Turkey's territorial integrity; Armenia's stance of not officially recognizing the 1921 Kars agreement which draws the border of this country with Turkey and former Soviet Union; its prior foreign policy target of making international arena adopt its genocide allegations; and its decision not to withdraw from Azerbaijani territories despite UN Security Council resolutions," Logoglu said.

    Logoglu noted that Turkey favors solution of all problems with Armenia through dialogue.

    Stating that the EU can show more interest in the Caucasus, Logoglu said that Europe, which needs foreign energy resources, has to deal with peace and stability of Caucasus for energy safety reasons.

    On the other hand, KAS Secretary General Wilhelm Staudacher underlined increasing strategic importance of Caucasus, and said that Europe should deal with this region more.

    Staudacher added that Turkey can have a role in stability of Caucasus as it is a NATO member and an important partner of Europe.


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