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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-08-08

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] United Cyprus Party: For a solution the military forces must be eliminated
  • [02] Avci accused the British Bases authorities over the situation in Pyla
  • [03] Ercakica threatened that Cyprus governments decision to start oil and gas exploration activities in East Mediterranean will escalate the tension in the area
  • [04] Brucella disease hits occupied Cyprus The occupation regime to ban the imports of food products from Britain
  • [05] The Society of Martyrs Families and Disabled War Veterans presented to Talat a copy of the 5th Volume of the Martyrs Forever Album series
  • [06] Soyer received the Turkish Childrens Foundation which has a number of relations and connections with similar international childrens organizations
  • [07] Iraqi PM visited Ankara Iraq to co-operate with Turkey against the Kurds
  • [08] The number of the parties represented in the Turkish Parliament increased to seven
  • [09] Kurdish deputy on trial on terrorism charges
  • [10] Top Turkish diplomat to visit Washington to discuss Iraq, Cyprus and other problems
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press


    [01] United Cyprus Party: For a solution the military forces must be eliminated

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (08.08.07) reports the following:

    The United Cyprus Party (BKP) asserted that the British military forces on the island must return back to their home and, by starting a solution process, Turkeys army must be withdrawn in the framework of a timetable.

    The member of the BKPs Central Executive Committee, Abdullah Korkmazhan, in a written statement argued that Britain started withdrawing its troops from Northern Ireland, Britain could not arrive in success against the resistance of the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the defeated imperialism in Northern Ireland must be sent away from Cyprus and the Middle East, as well.

    Expressing the opinion that the British and American imperialism and their military bases constitute the reason for the Cyprus problem, Mr Korkmazhan stated that BKP wants Cyprus and the region to be completely cleared of all armies and weapons.

    [02] Avci accused the British Bases authorities over the situation in Pyla

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.08.07) reports the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has expressed the governments support to the protest action staged by the Turkish Cypriot inhabitants of Pyla against the outdated practices of the Sovereign British Base Authorities.

    Condemning the British Authorities for its unjust practices which includes a restriction on Turkish Cypriot products and goods entering the mixed village, Mr. Avci called on the SBA authorities to lift the ban.

    In a written statement today, the Foreign Minister said that the Turkish Cypriots living in Pyla who were even banned from taking their daily shopping from North Cyprus back with them to their homes, were struggling for a just cause.

    Explaining that the special Pyla desk set up under the roof of the Foreign Ministry was following closely the developments taking place, Mr. Avci said that the practices carried out by the British authorities was a grave violation of human rights.

    To be subjected to such practices in ones own country is human shame Avci added. He said the TRNC government was doing all it could to solve the problem as soon as possible.

    [03] Ercakica threatened that Cyprus governments decision to start oil and gas exploration activities in East Mediterranean will escalate the tension in the area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.08.07) reports that the so-called presidential spokesman, Hasan Ercakica has threatened that following the Cyprus governments decision to start oil and gas exploration activities in its Exclusive Economic Zone in the East Mediterranean and Turkeys decision to start exploration activities in the area will escalate the tension in the East Mediterranean.

    Speaking to reporters during his yesterdays weekly press conference Ercakica claimed that Turkey is doing this in order to prevent the Greek Cypriots who want to deepen the problem. Ercakica went on and claimed that the Greek Cypriot side wants to parcel the region and in doing so it is involving countries like Egypt and the Lebanon. He said that the Greek Cypriot side wants to create a new crisis in the East Mediterranean and settle the Cyprus problem in its favor. He drew attention to President Papadopoulos statement about the sovereignty.

    Ercakica went on and said that in order to exploit petrol and gas reserves thought to be in the East Mediterranean for the benefit of the regions people, an early and just solution to the Cyprus problem should be found. Therefore, those who are interested in the regions resources should first get interested in the settlement of the Cyprus problem rather than who will exploit these sources, Ercakica declared.

    Hasan Ercakica further claimed that Turkey has rights in the East Mediterranean that emanate from the International Sea Convention.

    Referring to the destruction of the Cultural heritage in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus Ercakica said that, this issue should not be exploited as political material. Exploitation of this issue has negative effects on the relations, Ercakica claimed.


    [04] Brucella disease hits occupied Cyprus The occupation regime to ban the imports of food products from Britain

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.08.07) reports that 463 cattle will be destroyed in the occupied area because of the Brucella disease. The so-called undersecretary of the Ministry of Agriculture Hasan Kestigul said that from the milk analysis they have established that 463 animals carry the disease. He said that work has started to destroy the infected animals at the occupied Dikomo dumping ground.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television (07.08.07) broadcast the following:

    The TRNC Veterinary Department has imposed a temporary ban on the imports of food products and animal feed additives of animal origin from Britain following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey. The TRNC Veterinary Department has imposed a temporary ban on the imports of food products and animal feed additives of animal origin from Britain following the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Surrey.

    The Veterinary Department also decided to take some precautions against the disease. Disinfectant carpets will be installed at all sea and air ports throughout the TRNC as from tomorrow as a measure to prevent the spread of the foot-and-mouth disease.

    The Head of the Veterinary Department Nazim Akcaba told the BRT today that the Department is well prepared for any outbreaks.

    Reminding that the TRNC requires import licenses for food products of animal origin, he said that round the clock inspections are being held at ports and airports. On Friday, cattle at a farm in Surrey were found to be infected with the disease.

    [05] The Society of Martyrs Families and Disabled War Veterans presented to Talat a copy of the 5th Volume of the Martyrs Forever Album series

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.08.07) broadcast the following:

    The Society of Martyrs Families and Disabled War Veterans have released the 5th Volume of the Martyrs Forever Album series.

    Members of the Society paid a courtesy visit to President Mehmet Ali Talat to present him with a personal copy of the Album. Speaking during the visit, the President of the Society of Martyrs Families and Disabled War Veterans Ertan Ersan explained that the 5th volume of the Martyrs Album series consisted of a collection of biographies and pictures of Martyrs who fell between the periods from 1956-1974.

    Mr Ersan said that two more volumes were currently being prepared which will complete the series at 7 volumes. He also expressed the hope that wars and the bitter experiences of the past will not be relived.

    For his part the President congratulated members of the society for their outstanding work adding that the Album was a source of pride for the Turkish Cypriot people. He said that the best way to shed light on the truth about the events of the past was by documenting them. Preparing biographies, albums and books is always a good idea as everyone reads books he said.

    Stating that no one was in favor of re-experiencing war or the bitter experiences of the past, President Talat said that it was important to look forward into the future and not live in the past. He however added that it was important to know ones history in order to be able to move forward into the future.

    [06] Soyer received the Turkish Childrens Foundation which has a number of relations and connections with similar international childrens organizations

    Illegal BAYRAK television (07.08.07) broadcast the following:

    The Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer received Turkish Childrens Foundation. During the visit, members of the board of trustees briefed the Prime Minister on the works and aims of the foundation.

    Speaking during the meeting, the President of the Foundation Serhat Akp1nar said that the Cyprus Turkish Children s foundation which had been officially established on the 4th of June 2007 aimed at improving the quality of life for Turkish Cypriot children.

    Briefing the Prime Minister on the works of the foundation, he said that the foundation had a number of relations and connections with similar international childrens organization.

    For his part, Prime Minister Soyer wished the foundation members success in their efforts and said that the government was open to all kinds of dialogue and cooperation with the foundation.

    [07] Iraqi PM visited Ankara Iraq to co-operate with Turkey against the Kurds

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.08.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that they were determined to conquer terrorism in collaboration with Turkey, adding that Iraqi experts would soon visit Turkey in order to determine the main highlights of cooperation in that field.

    Al-Maliki held a joint news conference with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after his meeting with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. Al-Maliki thanked Erdogan for the cordial welcome extended to him and the accompanying delegation.

    Reminding that Erdogan had earlier provided detailed information about the issues discussed during their meeting, he said. "We believe that furthering our ties and creating possibilities for cooperation in new areas will be in the best interests of our countries."

    Noting that ministers from the two countries had reached agreements in different areas after their talks, al-Maliki stressed that agencies from both countries would intensify current cooperation intended to advance mutual interests in the future.

    Al-Maliki said that trade volume between the two countries was $950 million in 2003 and exceeded $3 billion in 2006, adding that there were numerous projects that could be carried out by Turkish contracting companies in Iraq. He emphasized that they would be glad to see Turkish firms in Iraq.

    Noting that they were considering opening a consulate general in Gaziantep, al-Maliki made the following comments on cooperation in the fight on terrorism: "The world suffers a lot from terrorism. You should be aware of the situation in Iraq. If terrorism can be conquered in Iraq, it will also offer a solution to stop terrorist activities in other countries. There is an agreement between us about cooperation against the PKK and other terrorist organizations in the future. The PKK and similar organizations are not allowed to maintain presence on Iraqi soil and we will not permit them to do so in the future. We are in favor of launching cooperation in that field without any delay."

    Al-Maliki reminded that the representatives of the countries neighboring Iraq would hold a meeting in Istanbul and expressed their hope that Turkey which they regard as a brotherly country would maintain its support. He stated: "We are sincerely in favor of cooperation in the field of security." He stressed that his visit had attained its objectives because fruitful talks were held between the accompanying Iraqi ministers and their counterparts and views were exchanged on the possibility of cooperation in new areas.

    Al-Maliki pointed out that there were possibilities of cooperation in the field of Iraq's reconstruction and some other areas. He went on to say: "Terrorism can also be defeated if we can meet people's expectations. We can make contributions in that regard too."

    The visiting Prime Minister said that a series of agreements would be signed between the two countries in the near future as a result of negotiations conducted between committees concerned, adding that a security delegation would soon visit Turkey in that context.

    Responding to a question about a memorandum of understanding which he had signed with Erdogan, al-Maliki said. "We are determined to conquer terrorism through concerted efforts because terrorism should not hinder cooperation between our countries."

    Expounding on concrete cooperation in that regard in reply to a question, al-Maliki stated that terrorism was claiming lives in Iraq on every day and causing the country to suffer. He emphasized that they would never permit the members of the terrorist organization to infiltrate into Turkey through the common border in order to carry out acts of terrorism in Turkey. He said: "We are deeply worried about it." Al-Maliki noted that they were deeply concerned because Turkey was facing acts of terrorism although they may be originating from other places. He noted. "Our brotherly ties are eternal and we will cooperate in that field."

    Responding to a question as to whether or not the memorandum of understanding signed between the two countries would also be binding on the Kurdish Government in Iraq, al-Maliki said: "Iraqi Kurdistan is a part of Iraq. An agreement concluded between two governments concern those countries as a whole and entail responsibilities that they should assume. Thus, it will be binding on all parties."

    In reply to a question as to whether they officially describe the PKK as a terrorist organization, al-Maliki commented: "It was clearly highlighted and stated in the document signed between the parties. It says that they will cooperate in the field of fighting against terrorist organizations, particularly the PKK."

    [08] The number of the parties represented in the Turkish Parliament increased to seven

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.08.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Independent parliamentarian Muhsin Yazicioglu joined Grand Unity Party (BBP).

    Yazicioglu was the chairman of BBP before July 22nd general elections but he resigned to run as an independent candidate in the elections.

    Following the adhesion of Yazicioglu, BBP has become the 7th political party represented in the parliament besides Justice & Development (AK) Party, Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Action Party (MHP), Democratic Society Party (DTP), Democratic Left Party (DSP) and Freedom & Solidarity Party (ODP).

    Below is the list of political parties and distribution of seats in the parliament:

    AK Party: 341

    CHP: 99

    MHP: 70

    DTP: 20

    DSP: 13

    ODP: 1

    BBP: 1

    Independent: 4

    Vacant: 1

    [09] Kurdish deputy on trial on terrorism charges

    Under the above title Turkish Todays Zaman newspaper (08.08.07) reports the following:

    A hearing during the ongoing trial of a member of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) charged with propagating the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) took place on Tuesday. Aysel Tugluk, who is also a legislator elected from the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, did not appear before the Diyarbakir 4th Criminal Court. The head of the DTPs Diyarbakir chapter, Hilmi Aydogdu, is being tried in the same case. The court postponed the next hearing to a later date, in order for the suspects file, which is missing documents, to be completed.

    Tugluk, whose lawyers were also absent from the hearing, is being charged with propagating a terrorist organization, under the second paragraph of the seventh article of the Anti-Terrorism Law, because of a speech she made at a meeting in Batman and a demonstration organized in Diyarbakir in September 2006.

    Tugluk had claimed in the Diyarbakir demonstration held to mark Sept. 1, World Peace Day that a 20-day solitary cell confinement given to Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the terrorist group, was unlawful. She had also praised a declaration by the separatist group as a serious opportunity and chance for peace.

    Sezgin Tanrikulu, head of the Diyarbakir Bar Association, said the court had to suspend the case for those suspects elected to Parliament according to the law. As long as Parliament does not lift parliamentary immunity from a person, the file must remain pending. There can be no trial. Tugluk was elected from Diyarbakir to Parliament as an independent deputy in the July 22 elections, garnering 44,000 votes.

    [10] Top Turkish diplomat to visit Washington to discuss Iraq, Cyprus and other problems

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (08.08.07) reports the following:

    Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan is due to visit Washington later this month for the highest-level bilateral diplomatic talks since Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's early February trip to the U.S. capital, the Turkish Daily News has learned.

    Apakan's visit during the week of August 20 will take place at the invitation of U.S. Under Secretary of State Nick Burns, the State Department's number three figure, and the Turkish diplomat is also expected to hold talks with senior officials from the Pentagon and President George W. Bush's National Security Council.

    All bilateral matters and other issues of interest for the two nations will be discussed, but Iraq and the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) continued presence in northern Iraq are expected to be the top agenda item in the talks.

    Cyprus will also be a major topic of discussion, diplomats say. Burns has already announced plans to visit the eastern Mediterranean island and the region in September.

    Apakan's visit will come at a time when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, winner of Turkey's July 22 national elections, will still be continuing his efforts to form a new government. But still there will be continuity, as it will be a different government but with the same prime minister and the same ruling party.

    Another downside for a high-level August visit to Washington, according to analysts, is that the U.S. Congress will be in recess until early September, and Apakan will not be able to meet with some senior lawmakers. Gul's February visit was almost exclusively devoted to efforts to prevent the passage of an Armenian genocide resolution pending in the House of Representatives, Congress' lower chamber.

    Turkey and the Bush administration, also opposed to the resolution, have so far managed to stall the measure's approval, but analysts say that a House floor vote on the bill is likely any time after early September. In the event of a floor vote, pro-Armenian lawmakers have a comfortable majority for the resolution's passage. Apakan's visit is also seen as part of efforts to hold regular high-level talks as anticipated in a road map document agreed between Ankara and Washington in July 2006. Burns was in Turkey early this year, and it is now Apakan's turn to return the visit.

    Although the new government will not be in place when Apakan visits Washington, the two sides are expected to work to lay the framework for trips by Turkey's new foreign minister and Erdogan to the U.S. capital, probably in the fall.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press

    The election of President and Speaker and the repercussions on parties after the elections are the main issues in the Turkish Press of 7 August 2007, as follows:

    a) Presidential Elections:

    In a commentary in Hurriyet entitled "With what right?" Bekir Coskun reports on Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's reply to a question on whether his candidacy for the presidency is still valid. Coskun writes: "In reply to a question by our young colleague Merve Edil on whether his candidacy is still valid, our presidential candidate Abdullah Gul said: 'Of course, I am a candidate.' While editors, columnists, and writers have been commenting on this issue for days, this is the first real answer." "My understanding is that Abdullah Gul is insistent on becoming the president of Turkey, with our help of course, even though Abdullah Gul (besides Islamic headdress and veil) is the most unsuccessful foreign minister in the history of the Republic."

    Writing in Hurriyet, Ertugrul Ozkok refers to a previous interview he conducted with Abdullah Gul, in which he talked about adopting a "new style" if elected president. In his commentary on the issue, Ozkok indirectly asks Abdullah Gul the following questions: "Will both Abdullah Gul and his wife 'search for a new style' if he gets elected?' I attach great importance to this. 'Compromise' does not necessarily mean compromise over a name. The person to be elected president can also secure 'compromise' in line with his spirit and personality. In the event that he does this, he will end the discussions under way in Turkey for a long time. Why? For example, he will end the discussion on whether 'the Islamic headdress is a political symbol.' If it has no reference to an ideological concept of religion, then perhaps more modern explorations can be conducted on this issue. We can even discuss this before Gul's candidacy is announced. It could be more appropriate to discuss it now. I sincerely wonder whether the Abdullah Gul I know and his wife will make such a gesture before the presidential elections. They can make a historic gesture if they will not make the other gesture, which will put an end to Turkey's memory. I will write about this gesture tomorrow."

    Referring to a survey conducted by Hurriyet on whether "Gul should be president," Nazli Ilicak writes: "The crushing majority in the Hurriyet survey is against Gul. Do you know what this looks like? It looks like the great victory achieved by the AKP in the elections after millions of people marched in rallies in support of secularism." Explaining that her curiosity took her to look at Mehmet Barlas's HaberX website, Ilicak continues: "In HaberX, 78.7 percent voted 'yes' to Gul's presidency and 19.5 percent voted 'no.' It is said that some 9,775 persons participated in the survey. The most important survey is the ballot box."

    In an article entitled "When did this business become Gul's personal Issue?", Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak expresses surprise and indignation over the fact that the debate over whether Foreign Minister Gul will be nominated for the presidency is continuing in the wake of a general election where the people "clearly" indicated their support for Gul's nomination "despite the preposterous threats of the oligarchy." He also criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for saying that the decision rests with Gul whether he wants to be elected as president in a way that prompts such questions as "When did this issue become Gul's personal matter? Was this not an issue having to do with the national will? Why is Gul being made to carry all the burden [of responsibility]?"

    Under the headline, "Presidency first," Vakit runs a front-page report which highlights remarks by Prime Minister Erdogan getting across the message that he will take his time forming the new cabinet and that the election of the new president might precede the establishment of the next government.

    In an article entitled "AKP cannot afford to refrain from nominating Abdullah Gul", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya warns that Gul's presidential candidacy has become a matter of national honor and that the AKP could not explain a U-turn on his nomination at this stage. Karakaya asserts that the withdrawal of Gul's candidacy for president would be a mistake with political consequences no less serious than those incurred by Democratic Party, DP, leader Mehmet Agar and Motherland Party leader Erkan Mumcu when they blocked the presidential election by refusing to take part in the voting for Gul's presidential nomination.

    b) Candidates for Parliament Speaker:

    In a report in Milliyet, Abdullah Karakus writes about the "five-hour" meeting held by the AKP Central Executive Council under the chairmanship of PM Erdogan to determine a candidate for the position of speaker of parliament. National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, former Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, and Labor and Social Security Minister Murat Basesgioglu are among the possible candidates. The final decision will be made today. Citing the five candidates -- Vecdi Gonul, Cemil Cicek, Murat Basesgioglu, Koksal Toptan, and Ertugrul Gunay -- for the office of parliament speaker, Karakus adds: "It was argued that Abdullah Gul should be the one to make the final decision on the presidential candidate. Erdogan listened to each of the views of the members in the meeting, which was closed to the press. National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek, Labor Minister Murat Basesgioglu, head of the Justice Committee Koksal Toptan, and Istanbul deputy Ertugrul Gunal constituted the main candidates for the Turkish Grand National Assembly speaker." On the issue of the presidential candidate, Erdogan listened to the views of each and every member. No other name other than Gul was put forward by the members." Underscoring that "Gul's candidacy will not prompt any problems," Karakus notes that "the members stressed that Gul should be the one to make the final decision."

    A commentary in Sabah entitled "The most possible candidate Is Gonul" recounts the speculation around the parliament speaker candidates Vecdi Gonul, Murat Basesgioglu, Cemil Cicek noting that "parliament presidency pointer indicates Sahin and Toptan."

    c) Other issues:

    In a commentary entitled "Toward a new left party" in Sabah, Yavuz Donat recounts that "the CHP [Republican People's Party] dissidents have adopted a 'new strategy'" when they realized they cannot oust Baykal. Donat explains that the new strategy is to continue with the "harassing fire" against Baykal on the one hand and on the other to carry out work toward forming a new party. They are thinking of a 'new thrust, new concept, and a new approach.'" Donat concludes by noting that the party will most probably be established before the local elections.

    Under the headline, "MPs look forward to phone call from Erdogan," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan is looking into making a fresh start through a new cabinet that will allow Turkey to leave frictions behind. According to the report, the factors that Erdogan will be taking into consideration in forming the new council of ministers include the following: 1. The performance of the current ministers. 2. The ministers' relations with state institutions and their public image. 3. "Regional balances" 4. The number of women cabinet members.

    In an article entitled "Why did military officials not come to Parliament", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru suggests a "more understandable, more reasonable, and more appropriate reason" why Turkish generals did not take part in the inauguration of the new parliament than the idea that they protested the AKP majority in the National Assembly in this way or indicated their refusal to recognize the presence of Democratic Society Party, DTP, deputies in Parliament. Koru argues that the 22 July election has encouraged expectations of normalization by creating a powerful government and allowing practically all political tendencies to be represented in Parliament, adding that the fact that the top brass of the army were absent from the inauguration ceremony might indicate that the Turkish military has read the "message" of the election results correctly.

    Under the headline, "Erdogan empowered to form government but to take his time," Zaman runs a front-page report which asserts that the "road map" of the next government disclosed by Erdogan yesterday includes goals like increasing the per capita income to $10,000, establishing an advanced democracy, and taking measures against ethnic and religious nationalism.

    In an article entitled "Reality Itself", Zaman columnist Tamer Korkmaz hails the "historic handshake" between MHP leader Devlet Bahceli and a number of DTP deputies as the "exact reverse of the nightmare" in November 1991 [when disturbances broke out in Parliament after a group of Democracy Party, DEP, deputies took their parliamentary oath in Kurdish]. He claims that rather than being a fortuitous and "one-time" event, the handshake is the herald of favorable developments to come, adding that those conducting a "psychological operation" against Gul's nomination as president by asking alarmist questions of what the military would say to Gul's presidency will fail to achieve their purposes. He also warns that Gul cannot forsake the presidency because his nomination has to do directly with the new course charted for Turkey.

    In an article entitled "DTP and MHP's tabula rasa [Blank Slate]", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone lauds DTP leader Ahmet Turk and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli for the "courage" they displayed in shaking one another's hands. He claims that the DTP is looking for a partner in dialogue and an "environment of confidence" where it can "forget the past and save the future," adding that "we have to be able to approach the Kurdish issue in order to manage to solve it. For this purpose, we need to create an environment of confidence ... and develop an attitude that observes the rules of courtesy and commands respect."

    In an article entitled "How sweet it is, Today's Zaman columnist Suat Kiniklioglu refers to the results of the 22 July election as "a watershed in our democratic development ... sending a strong response to the months-long agitation by the ultra-secularists and their allies, the state elite." He also calls attention to "early signs" indicating that "Turkey's Kurdish elites have politically matured and are ready to engage with the democratic process" before he proceeds to comment on the "very serious challenges ahead."

    In an article entitled "What sort of a beginning would be good?", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan criticizes certain commentators for what he describes as their tendency to exaggerate the significance of the handshake between MHP and DTP representatives in Parliament. He claims that while the fact that the newly elected DTP deputies have not created tension so far through words and deeds is important, this is not a situation that warrants the issuing of hopeful messages about peace as long as the PKK continues to stage terrorist attacks on Turkey and "mothers keep shedding tears."

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