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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-11-15

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.221/07 15.11.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Cicek arrives in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [02] Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cicek: There are two states two people and two democracies in Cyprus
  • [03] Turkish airplanes fly over occupied Cyprus; Turkish frigates anchor in the occupied ports of the island
  • [04] Talat: The TRNC is not a symbol of division
  • [05] Babacan says that the reality that there are two peoples, two democracies and two states must definitely be taken into consideration in the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [06] Talat says that the lifting of the isolations is a strategic target for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Talat is departing for Azerbaijan tomorrow
  • [08] Avci wants to open representation offices abroad and travel with the TRNC passport
  • [09] The breakaway regime continues to distribute plots of land to children of martyrs
  • [10] Sanlidag continues his contacts in London
  • [11] The 51st anniversary on the occasion of the establishment of KTAMS was celebrated
  • [12] OIC's COMCEC 23rd session opens in Istanbul
  • [13] Turkey and Georgia to sign free trade agreement
  • [14] Turkish and Georgian Prime Ministers joint press conference
  • [15] Turkey and UK to cooperate in 3 health care fields
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] Pro-Kurdish DTP toes the line of defunct DEP

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Cicek arrives in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that Cemil Cicek, Turkeys Deputy Prime Minister, State Minister and responsible for Cyprus arrived yesterday in the occupied areas of the island for the celebrations on the occasion of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI).

    Mr Cicek said that the Turkish government has always been supporting the Turkish Cypriots until today and that it will continue to do this in the future. He wished for the celebrations in the following years to be more enthusiastic and expressed the belief that some day lasting peace will be established on the island.

    Mr Cicek accused the Greek Cypriot side for the non-solution on the island because it rejected the Annan Plan. He reiterated the Turkish view that the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots continues and alleged that those who want a solution have been punished and those who blocked the solution have been rewarded. In spite of all these, the TRNC has covered a great distance, he said.

    Mr Cicek argued that an unjust isolation is applied against the Turkish Cypriots and added that they exert efforts to explain this in every platform. Mr Cicek met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled speaker of the assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu, the prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas.

    In his statements, Mr Talat argued that all the efforts of the Greek Cypriot side are in the direction of establishing a unitary state and making the Turkish Cypriots citizens of this state. Mr Talat said that the Turkish Cypriots will not accept this and have the legitimate right to struggle against this in every way. Talat added:

    From this point of view we are following an honest policy, ready to embrace the world, ready to be unified with the world. We believe that with this policy we will succeed in the process, because the fact that the isolation is meaningless, unjust and inhuman is being understood better every day that passes.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cicek: There are two states, two peoples and two democracies in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.11.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Cemil Cicek, who is currently in Lefkosia to attend celebrations to mark the 24th anniversary of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus's (TRNC) foundation, had meetings with TRNC Parliament Speaker, Fatma Ekenoglu, and Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer. Ekenoglu said: ´Turkey, its people and parliament always assisted Turkish Cypriots.´ Great economic performance will also contribute to the solution process and lifting of isolations (imposed on TRNC), Ekenoglu stated.

    On the other hand, Cicek said, ´there are two states, two peoples and two democracies in Cyprus.´

    In his meeting with Cicek, PM Soyer said Turkey have been exerting great efforts for settlement of regional and world peace.

    [03] Turkish airplanes fly over occupied Cyprus; Turkish frigates anchor in the occupied ports of the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that within the framework of the celebrations for the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), the Turkish Stars of the Turkish Air Force will fly in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the paper, yesterday the TCG Kemal Reis frigate of the Turkish Navy arrived in the occupied port of Keryneia and the TGC Candarli frigate anchored in Famagusta.

    Meanwhile illegal Bayrak television (14.11.07) broadcast the following:

    Many foreign guests from 20 countries, including Turkey, are in the Republic to share the joy of the 24th anniversary of the establishment of the TRNC.

    Political figures, academicians and journalists from 20 countries are arriving in the Republic for the ceremonies marking the 24th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    As always, Turkey will be represented at the anniversary celebrations at the highest level.

    The Turkish delegation includes the Presidencys General Secretary Mustafa Isen representing Abdullah Gul, and Fehmi Husrev Kutlu representing the Turkish Parliament - the Grand National Assembly, Turkish Minister of State - Deputy Prime Minister, who is also in charge of Cyprus Affairs Cemil Cicek representing the government and the Turkish Air Forces General Aydogan Babaoglu, representing the Turkish Armed Forces.

    Meanwhile, a 33-member delegation representing Turkish war veterans societies is also in the Republic for the celebrations.

    The Retired Major General Yalcin Ozcer and the Retired Brigadier General Hakki Boratas who participated in the 20 July Peace Operation will also join tomorrows events.

    The President of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic Vasif Talibov, Macedonian Founding-Prime Minister Nikola Klyusev, Pakistani Presidential Adviser Tori Limangana representing the OIC General Secretary are among the foreign guests to participate in the celebrations.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.11.07) refers to the celebrations under the title The festivity of the community which is being extinguished and reports, inter alia, the following: The 24th anniversary of the establishment of the TRNC, which was declared in 1983 during the fascist Kenan Evren Junta period in Turkey and which is still not recognised by any state, is celebrated with brilliant ceremonies as always.

    [04] Talat: The TRNC is not a symbol of division

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.11.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has stressed that the whole world should realize the fact that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is not a symbol of division and secession.

    The 24th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is being celebrated with various events throughout the Republic.

    Official celebrations began at noon today with a keynote speech broadcast on Bayrak Radio and Television by President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    A 21-gun salute was also performed at noon.

    In his speech marking the anniversary, the President pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot People has been waging an honourable struggle for centuries to protect its identity and culture inherited from its ancestors.

    Once again, we are giving peace and friendship messages to the whole world on the 24th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot People is determined to work towards turning Cyprus into an island of stability and cooperation for the whole region, the President said.

    Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot People is a community who had waged a struggle, and even fought, to protect its right to self-rule, Mr Talat said the Turkish Cypriot People does not hanker after the sovereignty of other nations and is ready to share the sovereignty over the island with the Greek Cypriot People, and even with other world peoples in line with the rules of globalization.

    Stressing that the sovereignty of the island could only be shared through a just solution to be found to the Cyprus problem with the free will of the sides, the President said those wanting to have a say on our future, should know that we want to have the same rights.

    Stating that the Turkish Cypriot People is not asking for privileges, the President said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an instrument to prepare a contemporary future for the Turkish Cypriot People.

    I want to draw attention of the whole world on the 24th anniversary of establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to the fact that the TRNC is not a symbol of division and secession. Turkish Cypriot People who established the TRNC to prepare better living conditions for itself, proved its readiness at the 2004 referendum towards making the necessary sacrifices to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem the President said.

    Stressing that the Turkish Cypriot People is ready to form a new partnership with the Greek Cypriot People, Mr Talat said we extended our hand of peace to the Greek Cypriot Side. We are ready for peace and ready to contribute to all initiatives aimed at bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    But, the President complained that the Greek Cypriot Side has failed to show the same will towards a solution and that the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people is still continuing.

    We are working hard to strengthen the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Our economy is growing in spite of all the difficulties we have been facing he said, adding that more should be done and reforms should continue to strengthen the Turkish Cypriot democracy.

    In conclusion, President Talat stressed the need for the Greek Cypriot Side to realize the fact that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot People are volunteer warriors of peace and solution in Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, under the title Talat supported the establishment of the TRNC, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.11.07) refers to the address of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on illegal Bayrak by which the celebrations for the UDI began yesterday. The paper reports that Mr Talat said that the TRNC is the means for the Turkish Cypriots to reach a modern standard of living.

    He alleged that the Turkish Cypriots proved that they are ready for a new partnership state with the Greek Cypriot people and added that now is the Greek Cypriot peoples turn. Mr Talat called on the Greek Cypriot side to determine a leadership which will work for a solution, to show that it is ready for sacrifices for a solution and to take into consideration the historical realities.

    [05] Babacan says that the reality that there are two peoples, two democracies and two states must definitely be taken into consideration in the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.11.07) reports that Ali Babacan, Turkeys Minister of Foreign Affairs, has alleged that Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots preserve their constructive stance on the issue of finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN.

    The basic parameters of the solution are known. Basically the realities on the island should be taken into consideration, said Mr Babacan responding to questions yesterday during the discussion of the budget of his ministry at the Turkish Grand National Assemblys (TGNA) Plan and Budget Committee. Noting that the international prestige of the TRNC increases, that the representations of more countries are located there and that the per capita income increased to 12 thousand US dollars, Mr Babacan added:

    While all these were done, neither a square meter of land was given away nor the army withdrew. Morally the superiority now is in the hand of the Turkish side. The fact that the Turkish Cypriots and the Republic of Turkey are right is understood better in the world public opinion. In case a new negotiations process begins, the Annan Plan could only be a reference plan. During the new negotiations process, the UN parameters will be on the table. We are not saying let a solution to be found whatever cost. The reality that there are two peoples, two democracies and two states must definitely be taken into consideration in the solution. Whatever the negotiations will be in this manner, the strong support of our government will definitely continue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Talat says that the lifting of the isolations is a strategic target for the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer met yesterday with General Aydogan Babaoglu, commander of the Turkish Air Force, who is participating in the celebrations for the UDI representing the Turkish Armed Forces.

    Mr Talat stated that the target of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus and the TRNC itself are steps that should be evaluated in order for peace in the region and in Cyprus to be achieved. Mr Talat said that the lifting of the so-called isolations is a strategic target and noted that this is important not only for a better life, but it will also contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Talat is departing for Azerbaijan tomorrow

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat met yesterday with foreign journalists who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Talat stated that tomorrow he will depart for Azerbaijan for the Turkish States and Communities General Assembly.

    He noted that they want their relations with Azerbaijan to continue and to become as good as their relations with Turkey. Mr Talat noted that in case the solution of the Cyprus problem becomes impossible because of the obstacles put by the Greek Cypriots, the Turkish Cypriots will evaluate what they will do according to the conditions existing then.

    Mr Talat called on the whole world and especially the Arab countries to lift the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Talat said that the proposal he submitted at his 5 September meeting with President Papadopoulos is still valid and on the table.

    Mr Talat alleged that there are two separate states, two democracies and all the institutions of a state on the island, but the only negative thing is that the structure in the northern part is not recognized as international actor. He noted that the participation (of the Turkish Cypriots) in the community of the international states will take place only with the solution of the Cyprus problem and added that no state, except Turkey, recognizes the TRNC today.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Avci wants to open representation offices abroad and travel with the TRNC passport

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci held yesterday two separate briefings for the foreign journalists who are visiting the occupied areas of the island on the occasion of the celebrations for the UDI. Mr Avci told the journalist that the Turkish Cypriots want to open representation offices in their countries and enter into their countries with the TRNC passport.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] The breakaway regime continues to distribute plots of land to children of martyrs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.11.07) reports that the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Ozkan Murat distributed yesterday title deeds for plots of land to 75 children of martyrs in occupied Famagusta. In his statements, Mr Murat said that the distribution of title deeds will continue in the coming days.

    He noted that documents for ownership right were given to children of martyrs in 1986, 1987 and 1990. Reminding that within 20 years the infrastructure of 430 plots of land was completed, Mr Murat added: In three and a half years we built the infrastructure of the plots of land of 1537 children of martyrs.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Sanlidag continues his contacts in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that while the stand of the TRNC in World Travel Market continues to attract many visitors, British citizens and tourists are showing a great interest for the 46 advertising posters of the occupied areas of Cyprus in Londons Tottenham Court Road Metro Station.

    The paper reports that the posters are in Tottenham Court Road Metro Station since 7 November and will remain there until 6 December. Yimaz Kalfaoglu, coordinator of Northern Cyprus Tourism Centre said that the advertisements cost 30 thousand pounds sterling.

    The paper notes that the self-styled minister of tourism, Erdogan Sanlidag inspected the posters. He also met with Turkeys Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay and exchanged views with him on how the TRNC tourism will be promoted. Mr Gunay said that in spite of the obstacles put by the Greek Cypriots, the tourism of the TRNC will get the share it deserves in the world. I acquired this feeling from this fair, he added.

    Mr Gunay noted that they will increase the variety they offer in Turkeys tourism and that in the new campaign which will begin in 2008 they will spend 150 million US dollars, 40 million more than last year.

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (14.11.07) broadcast the following:

    The Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag has announced that a new encouragement project will be implemented as from 2008 to strengthen North Cyprus tourism sector.

    Mr Sanlidag, who is continuing his contacts in London, held a press conference during which he said that Britain is the second largest tourism market for the TRNC after Turkey.

    During the press conference, Mr Sanlidag pointed to the drop in the number of British tourists visiting the TRNC and said that this was the result of lack of promotion within the last few years.

    Stating that work is underway to promote North Cyprus tourism in Britain, he said the promotion campaign will be carried out by public relations company and that it will also be supported by tour operators, travel agencies and tourist guides.

    Mr Sanlidag added that the TRNC Representation Office in London is playing the role of a bridge in improving relations between Turkish Cypriots living in UK and the TRNC.

    [11] The 51st anniversary on the occasion of the establishment of KTAMS was celebrated

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.11.07) reports that the 51st anniversary on the occasion of the establishment of Turkish Cypriot Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS) was celebrated yesterday with the reception. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and other ministers participated in the reception. Mr Talat said that KTAMS is not only a trade union but it has also contributed to the change in the democratic life and the political structure of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] OIC's COMCEC 23rd session opens in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia (14.11.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    The 23rd session of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has begun in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    High-level officials of COMCEC will review the implementation of the 10-year action plan of OIC, present their reports on developments regarding economic cooperation, debate the annual report prepared to boost trade and investment among OIC member countries and discuss private sector meetings and trade fairs in Islamic countries.

    The session will also discuss the establishment of Trade Preferential System among OIC countries (TPS-OIC), as well as cooperation among stock exchanges of OIC countries.

    Moreover, representatives of OIC countries will review the capacity building program to mitigate poverty and the strategic action plan to improve cooperation among cotton producer OIC member countries.

    Following the meeting of high-level officials, COMCEC ministerial meeting will take place on Friday with the participation of economy and/or trade ministers of OIC countries.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul will preside the opening session of ministerial meeting. Later, Gul will receive heads of delegations from OIC countries and international organizations attending the COMCEC meeting.

    Grameen Bank founder and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Professor Muhammad Yunus will also make a presentation at the meeting on micro-credit finance.

    [13] Turkey and Georgia to sign free trade agreement

    Ankara Anatolia (14.11.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish President, Abdullah Gul, received Georgian Prime Minister, Zurab Noghaideli, in Ankara on Wednesday.

    On the other hand, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, executive board chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), hosted Turkish-Georgian cooperation meeting at TOBB Economy and Technology University. Noghaideli, Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen and bureaucrats attended the meeting.

    Noghaideli said Turkish and Georgian authorities agreed to sign free trade agreement that would boost economic relations between the two countries.

    On his part, Tuzmen said, we expect that trade volume between Turkey and Georgia will amount to 850 million USD at the end of 2007. We consider that this figure will reach 1.2 billion USD at the end of 2009.

    [14] Turkish and Georgian Prime Ministers joint press conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.11.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said Wednesday, Turkey supported Georgia's political unity, territorial integrity and sovereignty.

    Erdogan and Georgian Prime Minister, Zurab Noghaideli, held a joint news conference following their tete-a-tete meeting and talks between the delegations in Ankara.

    Erdogan said there was cooperation between Turkey and Georgia on political, economic and cultural areas, underlining the efforts of the two countries to boost this cooperation.

    Bilateral, regional as well as international matters have been discussed at the meeting, Erdogan said. We have seen that we both have very similar views on many issues. Turkey supports solution of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia problems through peaceful methods. We are pleased that a decision was made by the Georgian parliament upon Turkey's initiatives, which will have Meskhetian Turks return to their homeland, Erdogan said.

    I would like to emphasize once again that Turkey may advocate projects that will assist return of Meskhetian Turks to their homeland and ensure rapid development of the region. We believe that Meskhetian Turks would constitute a new bridge of friendship and cooperation, Erdogan remarked.

    Erdogan said talks were underway to conclude the legal basis necessary to improve bilateral economic and commercial relations.

    Free trade agreement is the most important of them all. The parties are ready for the cooperation apart from some articles. The other is an agreement to prevent double taxation. Turkey is ready to sign this agreement. Commercial relations between Turkey and Georgia will improve after the signing of these agreements, Erdogan said.

    Subtitle: Silk way and railway line

    Erdogan said Turkey was the number one trade partner of Georgia, and their mutual foreign trade volume reached 1 billion USD.

    A new step, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line project, was made after Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum projects. Turkey concluded its works related to the projects within the borders of Georgia. Tender works are underway in the Turkish side. We want to lay the foundation soon. Georgia also expressed readiness to lay the foundation. Not only cargo shipment but also passenger transportation will be made, Erdogan added.

    Georgian Prime Minister, Zurab Noghaideli, said Wednesday Georgia always supported Turkey in its fight against terrorism and was ready to do its best to help Turkey.

    Holding a joint press conference with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara, Noghaideli thanked Turkey for its support to solution of Georgia's problems regarding territorial integrity.

    Erdogan and he discussed also economic projects between Turkey and Georgia, Noghaideli said. Free trade agreement is almost completed. Three issues remain to be solved. I hope that those three issues would be concluded in the meetings, he said.

    Noghaideli noted that agreement on prevention of double taxation was ready for signing. He expressed hope that those two agreements (free trade and prevention of double taxation) would both be signed during ground-breaking ceremony of Kars railway project.

    Noghaideli said Kars railway line was almost like the new Silk Road and this project would not only connect three countries each other but also undertake an important role in the region from China to Western Europe. He added that the construction of the railway would start soon.

    Guest Prime Minister said this railway line would be very important for people who are living along Turkish and Georgian borders because the trade would grow rapidly.

    Turkey was the number one trade partner of Georgia, and they had taken important steps to develop investment opportunities and economic relations, Noghaideli said.

    There was currently a political crisis in Georgia, and they had found the ways to overcome this crisis, Noghaideli said and added that elections would be held in Georgia on January 5th, 2008.

    [15] Turkey and UK to cooperate in 3 health care fields

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.11.07) reports the following from London:

    Turkish Minister of Health, Recep Akdag, said they reached accord with his British counterpart, Alan Johnnson, for cooperation in family medicine, payment of bonus incentives to health care professionals based on their performance and the foundation of health care enterprises with the collaboration of public and private sectors.

    Akdag held a press conference before returning to Turkey after his three-day trip to London and said the purpose of their trip was to hold talks with Johnson, share their experiences and observe the British health care system.

    Akdag said thatAlan Johnson and he discussed the problems of the health care systems of both countries.

    Akdag stated that Johnson briefed him on the reforms carried out in the health care system and said there was a deep rooted practice of family medicine in England. Akdag pointed out that there was serious problems in British hospitals and noted that England made reforms to overcome those problems.

    Health Minister Akdag told reporters that the most important development during these talks was the decision they made with Johnson for collaboration between the two countries in family practice, payment of bonus incentives based on performance and the foundation of health care enterprises with the collaboration of public and private sectors.

    Akdag said committees consisting of health ministry officials and bureaucrats of the two countries would work out the details of collaboration in the said subjects.

    Akdag and the accompanying delegation later returned to Turkey.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [16] Pro-Kurdish DTP toes the line of defunct DEP

    Under the above title Today´s Zaman newspaper (15.11.07) reports the following:

    A series of judicial actions has been launched against the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) after allegations surfaced that Nurettin Demirta, recently elected the new chairman of the DTP, forged official documents to evade compulsory military service and that Van deputy Fatma Kurtulan's husband, Salman Kurtulan, is a member of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.

    Demirta and Kurtulan's actions may be cause enough for the closure of the DTP, which had sent three of its deputies to northern Iraq in order to negotiate the release of eight Turkish soldiers captured by the PKK. If judicial actions, accompanied by social pressure, accelerate, the DTP may face a fate similar to that of the Democracy Party (DEP), which was shut down in 1991 and whose deputies were arrested.

    Turkish public opinion wants the DTP to recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization, and there is already considerable public outrage directed at it because of recent claims about its deputies. The DTP is being harshly criticized by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), the ultranationalist Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

    Elected chairman at the DTP congress held last week, Demirtas is known for his close ties to PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    The Turkish publics negative stance against the DTP was further increased by the DTPs inclusion in the party program of their demand for autonomy. Under these circumstances, prosecutors such as former State Security Court (DGM) Chief Prosecutor Nusret Demiral, who had arrested DEP deputies Leyla Zana, Orhan Dogan, Hatip Dicle and Sirri Sakik in Parliament, may emerge, political analysts argue. To some observers, the DTP is willing to be closed down in order to play the hero.

    Subtitle: Goksel: DTP is already DEP

    VERSO Research Institute Chairman Erhan Goksel says he is of the opinion that the DTP has already become the continuation of DEP, adding: The DTP has always acted as an extension of DEP. In the past they had tried to give the impression that the DTP would be an extension of the Peoples Labor Party (HEP). That HEP showed itself off in the political arena was indeed a correct project as the Kurds who thought it was not right to resort to violence wanted to enter politics. HEP was an organization that stood tall despite the existence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Former President Turgut Ozal also supported this project, but he left HEP officials alone by following a strategy of taking the organizations established under the umbrella of the PKK under control during HEP congresses. Social democrat leader and internationally renowned physicist Erdal Inonu inadvertently helped the PKK by expelling HEP deputies from his party who participated in a Kurdish conference held in Paris. Those who were unseated by HEP had to become closer to DEP, a pro-Kurdish political party organized by the PKK and as a consequence, the PKK took hold of HEP. When the executive staff of the DTP was being shaped, they included some officials from HEP, and, in a way, wanted to create the impression that the DTP would be an extension of HEP. Yet later it surfaced that the DTP is indeed the extension of DEP. I think that in the upcoming days everybody will clearly see that the DTP is actually a wing of DEP. I hope its fate will not be like that of DEP.

    Meanwhile, arguing that DTP executives and deputies have ties with the terrorist organization, the MHP will demand that the dossiers for removing the parliamentary immunity of 74 deputies be sent to the parliamentary Constitution and Justice Joint Commission. The MHP will file the relevant motion with the speakers office in the next week. If the AK Party agrees to deliberate on these immunity-abolishment dossiers, 74 deputies, include many DTP members, will face litigation.

    In the 22nd government term there were 285 such dossiers on 124 deputies. A total of 227 dossiers for 84 former deputies who were not nominated again to office were sent by the Speakers Office first to the Prime Ministry and then to the Justice Ministry.

    Following the July 22 elections, the Speakers Office received requests from prosecutors for the abolishment of the parliamentary immunity of 74 deputies, including many deputies from the DTP. The fate of these dossiers will ultimately be decided by the AK Party, which had in the previous legislative term decided to postpone deliberations on the cases to the end of the term.

    Subtitle: Kuzu: Decision will be made by the government

    Burhan Kuzu, the chairman of the parliamentary Constitution and Justice Joint Commission, speaking to Todays Zaman, said: In the previous term, we agreed in principle to deal with these dossiers at the end of the term. However, I dont know what will happen this year. We will follow procedure. We will set up sub-commissions to examine the dossiers. Then we will hold a meeting. What will emerge I dont know. Depending on the decision to be made by the government, we will vote on sending them to the plenary session.´ Based on Article 14 of the Constitution, even if the DTP deputies are found guilty in these trials against them, Kuzu said, ´their sentences will be enforced after their term in office ends.

    The DTP deputies dossiers are full of trials and charges. Currently, trials have been launched against 19 of 20 DTP deputies. Under the current circumstances, they face the risk of additional litigation. Having acquired parliamentary immunity after being elected to Parliament in the July 22 elections, they are protected from being tried at the present time. The majority of charges against them include distribution of propaganda for the terrorist organization, membership in the terrorist organization and violating the Election Law. The only DTP deputy who is free of any charges is Igd1r deputy Pervin Buldan, who had sued Turkey at the European Court of Human Rights and won compensation for the death of her husband, Savas Buldan, who was murdered by unknown assailants. Amid criticism of the DTP, legal experts said closing down political parties doesnt bring about results because experience shows that another party with similar views will be established.

    Closing parties down doesnt mean anything. Different people establish a similar party with a different name. We need to abolish that senseless act, said Constitutional Commission head Kuzu. Expressing a parallel concern, former Minister of Justice Hikmet Sami Turk said, ´Even if the DTP is closed, they keep a spare one on the side.´

    The Constitutional Court so far has closed down four parties on a similar line as the DTP: HEP, the Freedom and Democracy Party (OZDEP), DEP and the Peoples Democracy Party (HADEP). DTP is the fifth political party facing such closure based on ethnic lines. In line with European Union harmonization laws, closing down parties has been made more difficult. In a 2001 amendment to the Constitution, the requirement to shut a party down has been that the party must have become the center of actions that caused it to be closed down in the first place. And a three-fifths requirement has replaced the two-thirds majority at the Constitutional Court to close down a party.

    Despite of these hardened rules, HADEP was closed down unanimously in 2003 on the grounds that it provided support to the PKK, ´making itself the center of acts endangering the unity of the state. HADEPs leader, Murat Bozlak, and 46 of its members were banned from politics for five years.

    The closure of parties is rarely seen in democratic regimes. Thats why we made laws to make it harder, said Turk, adding whether or not the DTP leaders remarks went against the unity of the state is up to the Constitutional Court to decide. ´Their statements might be a reason to close the party down, but its not the solution. If its closed down, another party will be there, he said.

    Constitutional law professor Mustafa Kamalak said such decisions have been based on interpretation: The Constitutional Court is bound by the Constitution, but changes have been made depending on how the court perceives the matter. Kamalak gave the example of the Welfare Party (RP) and the Virtue Party (FP) closures and how the court annulled the positive changes to the Political Parties Law to make its case for the closures.

    EG/


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