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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-11-09

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.217/07 09.11.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Kutlay Erk says that Hasan Ercakicas statements do not serve peace
  • [02] Toros 2007 military exercise in occupied Cyprus ends
  • [03] The occupation regime will pay the tourist operators 50 EUROS for every tourist they take to occupied Cyprus
  • [04] OIC delegation holds contacts in occupied Cyprus
  • [05] TRNCregistered ship sank in the coast of occupied Apostolos Andreas Cape; Two crew members missing
  • [06] The European Union Contact Group for the Turkish Cypriots, which is visiting Cyprus, met yesterday with the Mayor of Lefkosia and with the mayor of the occupied part of the city
  • [07] Erdogan: There is a government in Turkey that is determined to join the EU
  • [08] DTP votes its new leader; Nurettin Demirtas elected
  • [09] Osman Ocalan: PKK is becoming an Iranian organization
  • [10] Buyukanit to address the Turkish press
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 8 November 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Kutlay Erk stated that Hasan Ercakicas statements do not serve peace

    Under the title The uprising of Kutlay Erk that could not be prevented, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (09.11.07) reports, inter alia, the following in its Afrikadan Mektup (Letter from Afrika) column:

    In the end Kutlay Erk exploded as well. He lost his patience. And he spilled out on screen what he has been amassing inside him until today. Erk is not an ordinary person. He is former Mayor of Lefkosia and member of the Administrative Council of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). Furthermore, his statements express certain circles in the party. The voice of various groups. He flayed the spokesman of Talat, Hasan Ercakica, whom no one can tolerate any more. He said: I find the style in the statements of Hasan Ercakica to be arrogant. These statements do not serve peace. I do not approve them. The CTP administration is included in what I am saying. I also do not like the policy, which the administration of the party follows on the issue of the Cyprus problem.

    As it would be understood from these very hurtful words, Kutlay Erk does not only attack Hasan Ercakica, but he also criticizes his own party.

    The fact that supporters of the CTP, and the most important persons who are in the administration of the party, are now saying what we have been saying for the CTP for a long time now is undoubtedly considered as a good sign. It means that the conflicts in the party have finally reached dimensions which could not be hidden any more. And those who do not agree with the current policies have begun to raise their voice. We hope that this is not a personal account, but a communal worry. Ferdi Soyer has exerted a lot of efforts so that this split is not reflected to the community. But it seems that he could not prevent the glass from overflowing. What Erk said refute what Soyer has been saying until today. Soyer was exerting every effort to show everything to be rosy, accused continuously the Greek Cypriot side, just like Ercakica and was aiming to carry out the job having the understanding of managing it, good or bad. In any case, it could never cross his mind that one day contrary voices could be raised from within his own party and someone would say that the king is naked. .

    [02] Toros 2007 military exercise in occupied Cyprus ends

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia: Jointly organized by Turkish Peace Force in Cyprus (KTBK) and Turkish Cypriot Security Force (GKK), Toros-2007 Military Exercise began in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on Thursday.

    TRNC President, Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the 1st President of TRNC, Rauf Denktas, force commanders, ministers, UN commanders, and many local and foreign guests watched the military exercise.

    The first part of the exercise that was open to public was staged in St. Hilarion region featured an operation against a hijacked airplane, search and rescue operations, commando training demonstrations and a combat weapons and equipment exhibition.

    Commander of KTBK, General Hayri Kivrikoglu, said it was natural for KTBK to carry out military exercises with scenarios based on rebuilding peace and stability in destabilized regions where peace is lost and emphasized that this was the very reason of KTBK's existence in the Island.

    Meanwhile President Talat said he was impressed by the operation against airplane hijacking and said, it is important that TRNC has such capabilities while many countries in the world do not.

    Talat, who regarded Toros-2007 as a military exercise that inspired confidence in people, said, there are many foreigners in our country. This country is a secure country. They prefer TRNC because they find the security that lacks in other countries.

    The reason why they came to watch the exercise was because they wanted to see how that security was established. I think that is the reason why there are so many foreigners.

    The exercise was given wide coverage by the newspapers of the occupied areas as follows:

    Under the title We were swelled with pride at the Toros military manoeuvre, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.11.07) reports in its first page about the military exercise which is organised jointly by the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces and the Security Forces Commandership and which started to be carried out yesterday. The paper writes that foreign quests and tourists followed up with interest the military exercise.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat stated that the safety that exists in the TRNC, does not exist in any other country.

    On his part, Hayri Kivrikoglu, the commander of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces, stated that the Turkish armed forces are the peace guarantee in the island.

    The Toros 2007 exercise started yesterday and is being carried out in the area around Saint Hillarion and Beykoy.

    Under the title Interesting notes from the Toros military manoeuvre: There is no enemy definition, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.11.07) publishes some notes of the Toros exercise brochures of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Commandership (TCPFC).

    The notes are as follows:

    In the Toros military manoeuvres scenario there is no definition against enemy or against opposite forces.

    The Toros military manoeuvre was carried out on the basis of a scenario of an operation forcing for a generic peace

    The Toros military manoeuvre is not a rehearsal of a military action which aims to capture a specific area or to occupy any country.

    The paper quotes the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat who stated, inter alia, that the Toros military manoeuvre is a military manoeuvre which provides safety. He went on and said that many foreigners live in the country, some of whom have the TRNC citizenship, and some of whom do not have. However, he stated, they chose to live in the TRNC because it is a safe country and because safety that does not exists in any other country, exist there.

    (CS)

    [03] The occupation regime will pay the tour operators 50 EUROS for every tourist they take to occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (09.11.07) reports that the self-styled minister of economy and tourism Erdogan Sanlidag announced in a press conference yesterday the evaluations regarding tourism in occupied Cyprus for the 10 months of the year 2007 and prospects for the year 2008. As he stated, in the year 2007, some periods were good and some periods were bad. He stated that they try to reach their goals and described 2007 as a preparation year. As regards the year 2008, Mr Sanlidag stated that it will be a very good year.

    Mr Sanlidag, who gave information on the countries that the occupation regime gives priority for tourists of these countries to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus he stated that these countries are Turkey, UK, Germany, and following are Switzerland, Russia, Syria, Italy, the Scandinavian countries and other countries.

    He went on and said that the tour operators who will bring tourists in occupied Cyprus from foreign countries, except of Turkey, they will be given 50 EUROS for every person arriving in occupied Cyprus, in case they bring a total of 10 thousand tourists. If they bring between 8-9.999 thousand tourists they will be given 40 EUROS for every person. If they bring between 6-7.999 tourists they will be given 35 EUROS and if they bring between 4-5.999 tourists they will be given 30 EUROS. These are on the condition that the tourists will stay at least for four nights in occupied Cyprus. In case the tourists stay in occupied Cyprus for 7 nights, the tour operators will be given 50 EUROS for every tourist, irrespective of the number of tourists they will bring to occupied Cyprus.

    As regards the tourists from Turkey, for the tourists the tour operators will bring between 1st of November 2007 and May 2008, they will be given 15 EUROS on the condition that the tourists will stay at least for four nights in occupied Cyprus. If the tourists stay for at least seven nights, 25 EUROS will be given.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.07) reports that the self-styled minister of economy and tourism Erdogan Sanlidag is going to Frankfurt and London. Mr Sanlidag will have meetings with tour operators and tourism agencies in Frankfurt. In London he will participate in the World Tourism Fair. The paper writes that the self-styled minister will be accompanied in his trip by officials of the self-styled ministry of economy and tourism and other persons who are related to the tourism industry.

    On promoting tourism in the occupied areas Kibris (09.11.07) also reports that the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents´ Union (KITSAB) is going to Casablanca, Marocco on the 16-19 of November. KITSAB will represent the TRNC in the Travel Agencies and Travel Association Federation (UFTAA). KITSAB will undertake initiatives in order to become member of UFTAA. In addition KITSAB will be active in trying to make known the TRNC to the delegations and members of the UFTAA who will participate in the congress.

    (CS)

    [04] OIC delegation holds contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.11.07) broadcast the following:

    A delegation from the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is holding contacts in the TRNC.

    The delegation, which is headed by the President of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which operates as an OIC institution, Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel paid a visit to the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, Salih Tunar.

    Speaking during the visit, Mr. Bin Abdullah Kamel said the TRNC is allowed to follow up with the works of the Islamic Chamber under an observer status.

    The OIC delegation arrived in the TRNC directly from the Ercan (occupied Tymvou) Airport with a private plane yesterday.

    Welcoming the delegation at the Ercan airport, Foreign Minister Turgay Avci said the visit has a great importance in terms of contributing to the efforts aimed at removing the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people and promoting the rightful position of the TRNC within the international community.

    Mr. Avci went on saying that the TRNC continues its comprehensive works to improve its relations with OIC states further and to maintain cooperation.

    He also announced that an international forum will be held in the TRNC in spring 2008 entitled Development of Tourism in the Islamic World.

    He said the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the OIC member states will provide support to the forum.

    OIC member countries will be responsible for coordinating the invitations to be sent to tourism agencies operating in OIC states in consultation with the TRNC Foreign Ministry while the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be providing technical assistance.

    Today, the OIC delegation visited the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry.

    During the visit, the head of the delegation Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel expressed willingness towards improving economic relations between the TRNC and OIC member countries.

    For his part, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry, Salih Tunar, reminded of the fact that the Turkish Cypriot people has proven its good will on the Cyprus issue by voting in favour of the Annan Plan but that the EU has failed to keep its promise on lifting the international isolation.

    Mr. Tunar said the improvement of relations between the TRNC and OIC member countries might contribute to the removal of the international isolation.

    The OIC delegation will also be holding contacts in the TRNC with representatives from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and various businessmen.

    The contacts of the delegation will be based on the discussion of possible initiatives to be taken towards improving trade opportunities between the TRNC and OIC member countries.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.07) reports that the delegation of the Islamic Chambers of Commerce and Industry, headed by its chairman Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel, who arrived yesterday in occupied Cyprus, started contacts with various officials.

    Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel met yesterday with the chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar. Speaking during the meeting, Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel, stated that at the last general assembly of the Islamic Chambers of Commerce and Industry, some countries, which were not members of the organisation, participated in the meeting under the status of observer, and added that the occupation regime will be allowed to follow up with the works of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry under the observer status as well.

    Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel also stated that he is paying this visit as chairman of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry and that he is observing how the relations between the countries which are members of the organisation of the Islamic Conference (ICO) and the TRNC will be improved and that he wants to help towards this direction.

    KIBRIS also writes that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Islamic Chambers of Commerce and Industry signed a cooperation protocol. The protocol was signed by the chairman of the Islamic Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel, and the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami. Speaking at the signing of the Protocol, Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel stated that he came to (occupied) Cyprus in order to help improve the trade relations which already exist between the occupation regime and the Islamic Countries. On his part Mr Nami stated that with the signed protocol the economy of the occupation regime will be improved.

    KIBRIS further reports that Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdullah Kamel was received by the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Turgay Avci. During the meeting views were exchange regarding the establishment of closer cooperation between TRNC organisations of industry and trade and similar organisations of trade and industry which are connected with ICO.

    (CS)

    [05] TRNCregistered ship sank in the coast of occupied Apostolos Andreas Cape; Two crew members missing

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.11.07) broadcast the following:

    It has been announced that a TRNC-registered ship called Dolphin-1 sank around the Zafer Cape (occupied Cape of Apostolos Andreas) area at midnight.

    The ship had a breakdown while sailing off the coast of the TRNC, around the Zafer Cape area.

    One of three crew members who went missing was rescued and the search continues for two others.

    The Turkish Undersecretariat for Maritime Affairs announced that Dolphin-1 had a breakdown in its machinery system due to bad weather conditions yesterday while it was sailing 20 sea-miles off the north-eastern coast of the TRNC.

    It was not possible to take control of the ship as the rudder of the ship encountered a problem too when the machinery system was filled with water.

    The ship had 10 crew members where 7 of them left the ship with a sandal before it sank while 3 went missing.

    Making a statement on the issue, the ´Minister of Public Works and Communications´ Salih Usar said work to prevent the ship from sinking was started around 7pm yesterday but all attempts failed as the ship was filled with too much water.

    [06] The European Union Contact Group for the Turkish Cypriots, which is visiting Cyprus, met yesterday with the Mayor of Lefkosia and with the mayor of the occupied part of the city

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.11.07) reports in its first page that European Union Contact Group for the Turkish Cypriots, which is visiting Cyprus, met yesterday with the Mayor of Lefkosia Eleni Mavrou and with the mayor of the occupied part of the city Cemal Bulutoglulari. The members of the group along with Mrs Mavrou and Mr Bulutoglulari inspected the Lokmaci (Ledra Street) crossing point.

    The paper, which blames the Greek Cypriot side for the non-opening of the Ledra Street crossing point, writes that the coordinator of the group Francoise Grossetete stated that the crossing point can open for the civilians. On her part, the member of the group Franciz Wurtz suggested that Mrs Mavrou and Mr Bulutoglulari organise a joint press conference in order to announce the opening of the crossing point. As she stated, when this point is reached, we will see who is going to raise his hand and say I cannot open (the crossing point).

    The paper writes that replying to these comments; Mrs Mavrou stated that it is impossible to open the crossing point while the Turkish army is present in the area. For us this issue is very important. The issue of the withdrawal of the army from the areaThis is one of the subjects for which we did not come into an agreement, she noted. As she stated, the street cannot be opened to be used by the civilians for families and children while it is used by the Turkish army.

    On his part, Mr Bulutoglulari stated that the Turkish Cypriot side is ready to open the crossing point.

    The paper writes that within the framework of its contacts, the group was received in the afternoon by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat.

    No statements were made after the meeting.

    (CS)

    [07] Erdogan: There is a government in Turkey that is determined to join the EU

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.07) reports the following from Rome:

    Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Thursday Turkey's EU process should leave out political matters and it should continue within a framework of objective criteria.

    PM Erdogan attended the Turkey-Italy Business Forum in Italian capital of Rome where he delivered a keynote speech.

    I often make a statement that the rules of the game are clear. The game has begun. You can not invent new rules while the game is going on. Making new rules, as in the case of the EU, cannot be accepted by Turkey, Erdogan told.

    Turkey and Italy have good relations not only between the governments but also the businessmen of the two countries, Erdogan said.

    Our commercial and economic cooperation have a positive impact in all other areas. You, as the entrepreneurs, are the architects of our good relations. I would like to utilize this opportunity to thank you on behalf of my people and myself, Erdogan also said.

    As you well know, Turkey began entry negotiations with the EU on October 20th, 2005. Turkey is a country that is on the negotiation table. As of this date, the screening process has been completed and entry negotiations have begun and chapters have been opened, Erdogan told businessmen.

    Surely, we face certain difficulties. However, there is a government in Turkey that is working hand in hand with the President, Speaker of Parliament, Chief Negotiator and all government members, Erdogan said. There is a government in Turkey that is determined to join the EU.

    From time to time, certain political matters are brought up. We receive at times messages from Europe that we do not like. Such messages cause disappointment in the minds of the Turkish people vis-a-vis the EU. We are working to overcome such messages, Erdogan also said.

    PM Erdogan said the support provided by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and current Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi makes Turkey's struggle in the EU process easier.

    We are aware that Turkey's EU process will experience setbacks. However, we will continue to go on in a determined way. Turkey's EU membership will not only benefit the EU but also the geography Turkey is located in. We will continue to make reforms and take bold steps. Turkey's institutionalization will continue, Erdogan told.

    The reforms we make in Turkey are being done not only to harmonize Turkish laws with those of the EU but also to increase the living standards of Turkey, Erdogan said.

    I would like to express that those Italian businessmen who consider investing in Turkey will receive support from the government of Turkey, Erdogan also said.

    Erdogan said the government of Turkey is determined to improve investment conditions and make institutional reforms.

    PM Erdogan told that Turkey's exports goal for the year 2013 is 150 billion Euros.

    We will be privatizing Turkish institutions such as TEKEL, Turkish Airlines, Halk Bank, Vakifbank and electric producing companies, Erdogan said.

    Turkish-Italian business volume will reach 17 billion Euros in 2007. Italy is Turkey's third biggest trade partner, Erdogan told the gathering.

    Meanwhile, Erdogan met the Parliament Speaker of Italy Fausto Bertinotti earlier on Thursday. Erdogan-Bertinotti meeting was closed to the press.

    [08] DTP votes its new leader; Nurettin Demirtas elected

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Nurettin Demirtas has been elected as the leader of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in the second extraordinary party congress.

    During the congress, which was held in the Buyukhanli Park Hotel, Demirtas failed to receive the majority of the votes in the first two rounds. He was elected as the DTP leader in the third round.

    [09] Osman Ocalan: PKK is becoming an Iranian organization

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (08.11.07) reports the following:

    PKK's former ringleader, Osman Ocalan, discussed the possible effects, of the motion on entering into Northern Iraq, on the PKK terrorist organization and made certain disclosures.

    Osman Ocalan, who relocated to the Suleymaniye region after quitting the PKK, talked about the effects of the motion. Ocalan said: A professional army of 25 thousand and the amnesty would be the end of the PKK.

    Osman Ocalan is included in the list of PKK members that Turkey wants the Iraqi government to handover. Former US Ankara Ambassador Marc Grossman also wanted the Kurdish regional government to deliver the PKK members to Turkey, putting Osman Ocalan at the top of the list. Referring to PJAK, Ocalan said: PJAK was established in 2003. This year it has been in conflict with Iran. Within these three years, participation in the PKK in the Kurdish region of Iran has increased. Only 40% of the PKK originates from Turkey. According to me, 30% of them come from Iran. We could in fact say that the organization is becoming Iranian.

    [10] Buyukanit to address the Turkish press

    Under the title General Buyukanit will address today the press, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (09.11.07) writes that the Chief of the Turkish General Staff has invited representatives of thirteen newspapers in a press conference, which will be held today at the General Staff headquarters for important announcements on the latest developments.

    (ML)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 8 November 2007

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish Press of November 8, 2007, on issues of the current political agenda as follows:

    Turkey-US cooperation on the fight against PKK: Hurriyet carries a report by Tolga Tanis on the "real-time" intelligence the United States suggested to make available to Turkey in its fight against the PKK. Explaining that the biggest drug smuggler Pablo Escobar was captured after the United States made this "real-time" intelligence available to Colombia by Former President George Bush, the report carries 12 photos of the following war planes with explanations: RQ-1 Predator, EA-6 Prowler, RQ-4 Global Hawk, U-2 Dragon Lady, and SR-71 Black Bird.

    In a commentary entitled "Waiting for Package" in Hurriyet, Bekir Coskun writes that "he knows that CIA chiefs are sitting in Pentagon now and reading about what they will be doing in northern Iraq from our media while eating their sandwiches. For example, a banner reads "smart Predator will hit the planes" and there is information to accompany the photos showing the wing of the plane and an arrow pointing out to the 'secret missile section.' I am looking carefully to the bottom of the wing and to the secret section to see a missile. Soooo.... How will this smart Predator learn about the location of the PKK ringleaders?"

    Writing in Milliyet, Guneri Civaoglu questions the real-time intelligence offered by the United States in his commentary. Explaining that "one of the results of the White House meeting is that superior US electronic surveillance will monitor the Turkish-Iraqi border," Civaoglu adds: "Of course, (...) only those movements that the United States will deem fit to show to the General Staff. What will happen to the PKK infiltrations, which will it ignore? Turkey should produce this technology itself." Civaoglu concludes his remarks by reminding the three engineers working for the Turkish Defence Ministry who died under mysterious circumstance and the reports at the time that "these three engineers had solved the software that the US refused to give to Turkey."

    Writing in the "Turkish Daily News," Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the cooperation established between the United States and Turkey during PM Erdogan's visit in his commentary entitled "First coalition against the PKK." In his conclusion, Birand notes that "Turkey's unpleasant expectations were not realized. Most importantly, Bush did not veto any military operation. He did not sell either Turkey or Barzani short. He found a middle way."

    In an article entitled "The Visit to the US" Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Dogan asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with President Bush has made it possible for Turkey to prevent the various players in Iraq, including chiefly the central government and the northern Iraqi Kurdish administration, from opposing or trying to sabotage a military incursion, in this way ensuring that a possible cross-border operation will be as free of complications as possible.

    In an article entitled "Terror is Fizzling out", Zaman columnist Ahmet Selim argues that there are "illegitimate sectors of globalization which are cooperating with terrorism temporarily" and that once this cooperation is over, Turkey could expect to get rid of PKK terrorism. He also asserts that Bush's remarks, body language, and general attitude during the meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan got across the following message to Turkey: "There is no rush. [Terrorism's] expiry date is nearing. Do not disrupt the process by acting in haste and causing unforeseen difficulties. We have come quite close to that stage of our strategic calculations."

    In an article entitled "When will the US halt actionable intelligence?", today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that "the US will stop its cooperation with Turkey ... if ... actionable intelligence support is used for purposes other than the targeting of the PKK."

    In an article entitled "Glory to God, we got what we wanted" Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal argues that the Bush-Erdogan meeting has failed to produce any of the results sought by Turkey and that it is even doubtful whether the Turkish side discussed matters at the meeting that relate to Turkey's vital national interests such as the "threat" posed by "the puppet state being established by the Barzani-Talabani duo."

    EU Progress Report: Under the title "301 is a detail," Oktay Eksi assesses in his commentary in Hurriyet the recent EU Progress Report on Turkey and the comments that "certain provisions of the Penal Code; in particular, Article 301, have been used to restrict the expression of non-violent opinions." Explaining that Article 301 surfaces, once again, in the "Progress Report" with a request that it "needs to be brought into line with the relevant European standards," Eksi adds: "Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin must have received information about the report since the day before he said that "five-six drafts were prepared" and that one of them will be submitted to the Assembly." Noting that the amendments on the table are nothing but a "cosmetic" change, Eksi stresses that the changes have nothing to do with the "essence" and they will not serve anything but prevent cases such those of Hrant Dink, Orhan Pamuk and Elif Safak. The essence of the problem is that our "state is not really a state of law." Eksi continues: "The government is putting up a resistance against taking the steps that will lead to a 'judicial reform,' which will render the judiciary really independent. Even though the party program and the other previous two governments have clearly noted in their programs that the 'judiciary must become independent,' the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government has not taken even one step to this end for the past five years. Actually, the present program of the government does not include such a commitment."

    In an article entitled "Will Europe remove Its Own Article 301?", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya accuses the European Union of double standards in urging Ankara in the latest progress report to promote freedom of speech by abolishing Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code. He criticizes Europe for not taking any action against Germany for its decision two years ago to close down the European edition of the Vakit daily "without a court order" "simply because" of its reports and articles criticizing Israel and Zionism.

    Kurdish Issue: "Time to take political steps in the Kurdish Issue" Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu argues that Turkey should try to bring about a rapprochement with northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani and the Iraqi Kurds in general in an attempt to isolate the PKK. He also claims that Ankara should try to force the PKK to lay down arms by granting an amnesty for PKK militants in order to end violence and place the "Kurdish issue" in the political arena.

    A front-page a report entitled "Tunceli is 400 km Away from Border," highlights remarks by "intelligence and military experts" asserting that the latest PKK attack in Tunceli demonstrates the presence of intelligence lapses within the Turkish Armed Forces. The report also quotes certain "NGO representatives" as saying that a cross-border operation is perceived as a means of covering up military failures.

    In an article entitled "In the Wake of the Authorization Bill" Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that although the "crisis" started by the recent PKK assaults and "escalated" by Turkey's preparations for a military incursion into northern Iraq is subsiding, "we should not fail to keep in sight the real story that such crises are telling us: Turkey has an ethnic problem. It has a terrorism problem perpetuated by this ethnic problem. ... We cannot overcome the crises that will face us in the future without addressing the real problem behind these crises, namely the Kurdish issue

    In an article entitled "What Everybody Needs" Today's Zaman columnist Fehmi Koru expresses concern over the possibility of a major attack by the PKK "or any group which leaves the PKK's business card at the crime scene" that would provoke Ankara into using the parliamentary authorization to stage a cross-border operation into Iraq.

    A report in Today´s Zaman entitled "Counterterrorism Action Plan to be unveiled in Europe" asserts that the Turkish General Staff is preparing to "unveil a new action plan for international cooperation against terrorism" at the forthcoming NATO Military Committee meeting.

    In an article entitled "Turkey's Resolve and Wrong Expectations" Today's Zaman columnist Ibrahim Kalin argues that "the only way diplomacy will work and Turkey will not resort to military action in northern Iraq is if the Iraqi Kurdish leadership takes strong action against the PKK in their midst."

    In an article entitled "Turkey Could Become the Scene of Israeli-Engineered Bloody Attacks" Milli Gazete columnist Huseyin Altinalan asserts that Israel might stage major acts of violence in Turkey in a bid to provoke the Turkish military into launching a large-scale cross-border operation into northern Iraq. He also claims that Israel wants Turkish-US ties to be damaged so that it could mediate in the ensuing disputes in return for Ankara's fulfilment of certain demands.

    In an article entitled "Call for a Historic Conference Against Terror With the EU", Bugun columnist Ahmet Tasgetiren asserts that the EU has committed many more "sins" than the United States has in terms of supporting the terrorist and financial activities of the PKK and that it is high time Ankara invited Europe to cooperate "more seriously and sincerely" with Turkey in combating terrorism.


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