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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-11-20

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.224/07 20.11.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Kibrisli calls on the director of Evkaf to say in which civilized country of the world she saw ceramic ovens being operated in historic buildings
  • [02] Ali Erel: Turkey has no other option than to recognize the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] The final Statement of the 11th Turkish States and Communities Friendship, Solidarity and Cooperation Congress calls for the removal of the embargoes on occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Talat says he is ready to meet with President Papadopoulos
  • [05] Discussion on the issue of the illegal granting of the citizenship of the TRNC continues; Akinci: The foreign population is more than the Turkish Cypriots
  • [06] Talat received war veterans societies
  • [07] Avci says that the government is working in harmony and that Soyer offers him a great support, especially in his contacts abroad
  • [08] Dirty money under the microscope
  • [09] Foreign ambassadors to Brussels attended the cocktail for the anniversary of the UDI
  • [10] Ninety three thousand persons entered into the occupied areas of Cyprus in October 2007 through the illegal sea and air ports
  • [11] Turkish Cypriot physicians on strike
  • [12] Ankara invited to Annapolis waits for official letter
  • [13] Slovenian Prime Minister to pay an official visit to Turkey
  • [14] A delegation from the Belarus Parliament to visit Turkey today
  • [15] The Turkish Parliament to debate state secrets
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] The Turkish Press on 19 November 2007
  • [17] Column in Hurriyet on the citizenship: Who removed that name from the list?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Kibrisli calls on the director of Evkaf to say in which civilized country of the world she saw ceramic ovens being operated in historic buildings

    Under the title She has disgraced [us]! Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (20.11.07) continues to refer to the issue of the church in the area of the occupied Karmi - Trimithi villages and reports that the director of the Evkaf religious foundations Administration, Mrs Hatice Cavlan has disgraced both the country and the nation by adding one more to her inconceivable implementations.

    The paper notes that Mrs Cavlan tried to justify her position by stating: I have leased the building [church] to artists, they will carry out its maintenance. In a statement she sent to Kibrisli, Mrs Cavlan refers to the protection of the cultural heritage and notes that the above-mentioned artists carried some ceramic ovens and cylinders of industrial gas. Mrs Cavlan alleged that in many places of the world there are similar applications.

    The paper asks Mrs Cavlan the following question:

    In which civilized country of the world she saw ceramic ovens being operated in historic buildings? Let her explain to us! The paper notes that a Greek Cypriot television station took pictures from the area and the Greek Cypriots are preparing to carry the issue to Brussels. Kibrisli publishes a picture of the ceramic ovens which operate at a temperature of 1000 degrees.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ali Erel: Turkey has no other option than to recognize the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that Mr Ali Erel, chairman of the Cyprus EU Association, has argued that Turkey has no other option than to recognize the Republic of Cyprus.

    Evaluating the EU Commissions 2007 Progress Report for Turkey, Mr Erel noted that Turkeys policy in Cyprus is not making any steps towards the final solution before its EU accession is completed. However, he added, the reports of the EU Commission note that the stagnation in Turkeys EU accession course will continue if it does not make concrete steps in the direction of the solution in Cyprus. Mr Erel argued that the Turkish Cypriots will pay the price for the stagnation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The final Statement of the 11th Turkish States and Communities' Friendship, Solidarity and Cooperation Congress calls for the removal of the embargoes on occupied Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.11.07) reports the following from Baku, Azerbaijan:

    11th Turkish States and Communities' Friendship, Solidarity & Cooperation Congress ended in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku on Monday.

    A final statement calling for the formation of an under secretariat for a summit of presidents of Turkic states, removal of the embargoes on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and support of Turkic states to Upper Karabakh was issued.

    The statement that was written in 40 articles mainly focused on the enhancement of unity and solidarity between Turkic nations, building of peace and stability in Turkic nations and enhancement of economic, cultural and commercial relations between countries.

    The final statement called on the governments of Turkic states to take the necessary steps for formation of an under secretariat for a summit of heads of Turkic states and said this would contribute to the enhancement of relations between Turkic states.

    The statement emphasized the need for Turkic states to increase the support extended to Azerbaijan and act together to bring to light the facts regarding the Upper Karabakh under Armenian invasion, and the genocide inflicted upon Azeri-Turks by the Armenians.

    The statement also made references to the Cyprus issue and called on the Turkic states to join their forces for the removal of embargoes on TRNC and to establish cultural, political, and economic relations with TRNC, and increase the support extended to Turkey in its efforts to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people in the international arena.

    The final statement called on the Turkic states to support Turkey's EU membership bid and suggested the foundation of an economic and political union in Eurasia with the participation of Georgia and Tajikistan.

    The statement also referred to the 1915 incidents and emphasized the need for Turkic states and communities to cooperate to denounce the Armenian claims, and inform the world with a more accurate account of the said incidents.

    The establishment of a common alphabet, the formation of a "Turkic World Science Academy" and a "Turkic World Science Library", establishment of Turkish domain names were among the topics cited in the final statement.

    The statement also featured a suggestion for the formation of an OPEC-like economic union among oil and natural gas rich Turkic states for the more efficient utilization of the energy resources in the Caspian basin. A joint statement on 1915 incidents was also issued.

    On the same issue, Illegal Bayrak television (19.11.07) broadcast that a resolution adopted at the Congress calls on Turkish-speaking states to join their diplomatic efforts to end the international isolation of North Cyprus.

    According to illegal Bayrak the resolution also calls for more support to Turkey in its efforts towards increasing economic, cultural and political ties with occupied Cyprus and towards protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots at international organizations.

    The spokesperson of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Hasan Ercakica, commenting on the issue, has welcomed the resolution adopted by the Congress as an important support to the struggle being waged by the Turkish Cypriot people towards lifting the isolation on it.

    He alleged that all initiatives launched by the Turkish Cypriots towards ending its isolation are facing challenges from the Greek Cypriot Leadership, and said that the resolution will be an important contribution to the efforts aimed at improving relations with foreign countries, especially with the Turkish world.

    Today´s Zaman newspaper (20.11.07) reports, inter alia, the following about the conclusions of the conference under the title Istanbul to become new nucleus for Turkic world:

    Representatives from Turkic language-speaking countries, meeting in the Azerbaijani capital of Baku, have agreed to set up a permanent secretariat facilitating regular summits of leaders, a step in the direction of boosting cooperation and dialogue among these countries.

    The decision, made at the three-day 11th Congress of Friendship, Brotherhood and Cooperation of Turkic-speaking Countries and Communities, which ended yesterday, will bring the Turkic republics yet closer to one another. The establishment of such a mechanism, proposed first by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who also attended the gathering, will be officially launched at the next summit meeting of the heads of state of Turkic-speaking countries, which is expected to take place some time in the next two months. The secretariat is envisaged to expedite and enhance the commercial, cultural, diplomatic and political relations among Turkic states.

    In his speech at the congress on Saturday, Erdogan called on leaders of Turkic-speaking nations to join forces and suggested establishing a union of Turkic-speaking countries as a primary tool for coordinating joint moves in the foreign policy arena.

    The prime minister also called for a common stance on regional issues, such as Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and warned that a lack of cooperation in the face of these problems could prove costly. What will our state of affairs be if we do not cooperate? The way to success passes through full cooperation and solidarity in todays world. If we dont cooperate, then they will tear us to shreds. It is not possible for us to reach to the level we deserve by isolating ourselves from the world.

    The summit meeting of the heads of state of Turkic-speaking countries is held every year. The hottest topic on the agenda of the leaders attending the next summit will be the establishment of a permanent secretariat. Turkish plans envision having the centre of the permanent secretariat in Turkeys culture capital, Istanbul. It was stated during deliberations that the secretariat could have a system of rotation or develop some other formula regarding the secretariat. The chief responsibility of the permanent secretariat will be overseeing preparation work for the summit meetings. The secretariat will also follow up decisions made at the summit, thereby providing immediate resolution to troubles at the implementation stage and giving the summit much higher functionality. The permanent secretariat will additionally assess summit verdicts of civil organizations similar to the General Assembly of Turkic-speaking Countries.

    In the meantime, suggestions were made during yesterdays session of the general assembly. Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Istanbul deputy Alaattin Buyukkaya suggested the Turkic republics could have a parliament of their own, similar to the European Parliament. If Buyukkayas suggestion is put into practice, a 50-member parliament will be formed and the number of representatives to be sent from all Turkic republics will be determined in accordance with their population. The parliament building will be in Istanbul.

    Participants at the general assembly meetings also proposed that the form of Turkish spoken in Turkey be accepted as the common language in international gatherings of the Turkic countries. Others called for Olympic Games among Turkic language-speaking countries and the establishment of a television station that will broadcast in these countries. We are ready to work to bring this proposal into being, Turkish official broadcaster TRTs Acting Director Ali Guney said of the proposed television broadcasts.

    [04] Talat says he is ready to meet with President Papadopoulos

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has stated that he found strange the statement made by President Papadopoulos that they should not meet for social purposes only and added that he, however, will not refrain from meeting with Mr Papadopoulos.

    During a meeting he held yesterday, Mr Talat said that he was always ready to meet with President Papadopoulos and pointed out that the human relations are anyway social relations.

    Mr Talat argued that the stance of Mr Papadopoulos is influenced by the presidential elections that will take place in the Republic of Cyprus in February and alleged that he did not undertake an initiative for meeting with President Papadopoulos during this period in order to avoid becoming an election material.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Discussion on the issue of the illegal granting of the citizenship of the TRNC continues; Akinci: The foreign population is more than the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the decision of the high administrative court to annul the citizenship of the TRNC granted illegally to some persons should be considered from the point of view of the rule of law.

    Responding to questions during one of his meetings yesterday, Mr Talat argued that the decision proved that the then government gave the citizenship illegally and added that granting the citizenship to very esteemed persons with a procedure which is not harmonized with the laws is tantamount to lack of respect. Was there an obstacle in granting [the citizenship] in harmony with the laws? he wondered.

    Mr Talat reminded that when the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) came to power in 2004 and he became prime minister, they annulled the citizenship granted to more than 1,600 persons with a secret decision of the council of ministers, which had not yet been implemented, and afterwards they filed a lawsuit.

    Mr Talat accused the Turkish press of turning the matter into a magazine issue and started making news over the persons, the citizenship of whose was annulled.

    He added, inter alia, the following:

    However, this decision has nothing to do with the persons. The courts decision is the proof that the citizenship which was granted has been contrary to our laws both legally and as regards the procedure. All 1,600 persons on the list are esteemed people. Mr Jack Kamhi, to whom reference was made, had contributed very much to our government. We thank him. There is absolutely nothing personal regarding him. He is also supporting us right now. .

    Mr Talat rejected complete lie the news published in the press that the Turkish government told them anything and exerted pressure on this issue.

    Kibris reports also that referring to the same issue, the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer argued that the courts decision was a conviction of a mentality. In statements at the assembly, Mr Soyer said that in the past the administrations used the citizenship as a weapon. Noting that there have been some arbitrary applications, Soyer criticized this.

    Furthermore, the paper writes that referring to the same issue, Mustafa Akinci, MP with the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), said that the citizenship has been arbitrarily granted for years and that they were struggling against this. He noted that they struggled by legal means as well and the annulment of the citizenship granted to more than 200 persons came onto the agenda.

    Mr Akinci reacted to making a step backwards on this issue because some important names are included among these persons. He added that the issue should be considered from the point of view of the principles and noted that making a step backwards and violating the principles would be wrong.

    Mr Akinci pointed out that the foreign population is more than the Turkish Cypriots in the occupied areas of the island and argued that the results of the population census were misleading. He noted that granting the citizenship to new persons should not be on the agenda any more.

    Mr Akinci said: Do not coerce more these lands, they cannot bear it. I feel it in my heart. There are things to be done. In the new population policies, new citizenships should not be on the agenda any more. A line should be drawn. If the country needs it, let them come and work. Granting citizenship no matter what is not necessary. People are those who make the laws. Laws, adjustments could be made again, according to the conditions.

    The paper reports that responding to Mr Akinci, Mr Soyer admitted that some small mistakes have been committed in the census of population and added that they have not hidden them. He also criticized the speculations made on the issue.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.11.07) refers to the issue of the citizenship and accuses Mr Talat and Mr Soyer of trying to find a way to grant again the citizenship of the breakaway regime to the persons the citizenship of whose was annulled by the court.

    The paper reports that Mr Soyer said that they will evaluate those, the citizenship of whose was annulled and they will select those who have the right to be citizens.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.11.07) refers to the same issue and reports that in statements to illegal Bayraks Sabah Analizi (Morning Analysis) program, Nazim Cavusoglu, General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), defended the decision of his partys government to give illegally the citizenship to foreigners. The paper reports that Mr Cavusoglu presented these thousands of persons to whom citizenship was arbitrarily distributed as businessmen investors.

    Finally, under the banner headline Love or Partnership?, Turkish daily Vakit newspaper (19.11.07) publishes a front-page report which asserts that the fact that the Hurriyet daily is up in arms against the cancellation of businessman Jak Kamhi's citizenship of the TRNC" has given rise to the question whether Hurriyet's attitude is to be attributed to "love for the Jews" or whether it means that Hurriyet and Kamhi are business partners.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Talat received war veterans societies

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.11.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has received a delegation of war veterans from various societies in the Republic.

    The societies asked the Presidents support for next years 1st August celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Resistance Organization, (TMT).

    President Talat received a group of war veterans representing the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Society, Retired Fighters Association, Erenkoy Fighters Association and the Society of Martyrs Families and the Disabled War Veterans today.

    Speaking on behalf of the societies, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Society Vural Turkmen asked the Presidents support for next years celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Resistance Organization.

    Mr Turkmen asked for the presentation of `National Struggle Medals` to those who had made big contributions to the Turkish Cypriot Peoples freedom struggle, within the framework of the Medal Law passed by the Parliament in 2000.

    For his part, President Talat said some steps should be taken to celebrate jointly the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT.

    `Its our responsibility to honour our people who waged a sacrificing struggle`, the President said, adding that the TMT and Turkish Cypriot fighters who had played a leading role in the Turkish Cypriot Peoples existence struggle - should be honoured the way they deserve.

    [07] Avci says that the government is working in harmony and that Soyer offers him a great support, especially in his contacts abroad

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister, Turgay Avci has stated that the self-styled government is working in harmony and that prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer offers him a great support, especially in his contacts abroad.

    In a statement issued by his ministry, Mr Avci said that there was no need for early elections and that the only reason for the discussion of this issue now is the wish of the opposition leaders to return to the posts they were possessing in the past.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Dirty money under the microscope

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the government has prepared and sent to the assembly the draft-law regarding Laundering the Income from Crimes and Preventing the Financing of Terror.

    The paper writes that the draft-law was prepared together with delegations which came from Turkey and the European Union.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Foreign ambassadors to Brussels attended the cocktail for the anniversary of the UDI

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the 24th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence has been celebrated in Brussels.

    According to a statement issued by the press office of the ministry of foreign affairs, the representative of the TRNC in Brussels, Yalcin Vehit has given a cocktail party at Hilton Hotel in the Belgian capital. The ambassadors of Pakistan and Azerbaijan to Brussels, Mr. Saced Khalid and Emin Eyyubov respectively were among the guests at the cocktail.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Ninety three thousand persons entered into the occupied areas of Cyprus in October 2007 through the illegal sea and air ports

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that according to the Civil Aviation Department 93 thousand 403 persons entered into the occupied areas of Cyprus through the sea and air ports in October 2007. Ninety thousand four hundred and ninety persons departed from the occupied areas during the same period.

    According to the same data, in the above-mentioned period the numbers of the trips with airplane and ship were 690 and 259 respectively. Most of the passengers (70,415) were brought by the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines. Atlas airlines are in the second place and Pegasus airlines in the third. The paper reports that 12,661 passengers visited the occupied areas by ship and adds that 10,453 of these persons returned back.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Turkish Cypriot physicians on strike

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.11.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Physicians Trade Union (Tip-Is) is organizing a strike today in all hospitals in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In a letter sent to the minister of health by Dr. Erol Seherlioglu on behalf of the union, it is said that a draft-law was submitted to the assembly regarding the workers in the health sector, without achieving consensus and ignoring the efforts of the union to show good will.

    Dr. Seherlioglu said that in case their demands are not taken into consideration, they will begin a new strike on 26 November for an uncertain period.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Ankara invited to Annapolis, waits for official letter

    Under the above title Today´s Zaman (20.11.07) reports the following:

    Turkey has been verbally invited to a key international conference expected to take place next week in Annapolis, Maryland, to discuss peace efforts in the Middle East and ways to re-launch negotiations between Israel and Palestine, which broke down amid violence seven years ago.

    Sources indicate an official invitation and detailed format and schedule of the conference will be conveyed to Ankara in a short time.

    Ankara had earlier clearly voiced its eagerness to participate in the upcoming conference. The recent landmark simultaneous visits by Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have raised expectations of Ankara being invited to Annapolis.

    The Turkish capital wants to be represented at the key Annapolis meeting as a country which is not on one side of the conflict, and diplomatic sources see Turkeys role as that of a facilitator.

    An official describes Turkeys approach as one of orienting both parties toward to the middle course as much as possible. While cherishing the hope that Annapolis may rekindle the peace process, Ankara, unlike the US, does not have high hopes for a breakthrough.

    [13] Slovenian Prime Minister to pay an official visit to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia (19.11.07) reports that the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa will pay a formal visit to Turkey upon an invitation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Jansa will be in Turkey on November 21st and debate ways to further improve Turkish-Slovenian relations and regional and international matters with Turkish executives.

    Accompanied by high-level officials and businessmen, Jansa will address Turkish-Slovenian Business Council with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    President Abdullah Gul and Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan will receive Jansa during his stay in Turkey.

    Turkey and Slovenia are expected to sign agreements on cooperation in areas of health, medicine, agriculture, information and communication technologies on the sidelines of Jansa's working trip.

    Slovenia will take over the presidency of the European Union on January 1st, 2008 -- the first country to be so honoured among the ten members inducted into the EU in 2004.

    [14] A delegation from the Belarus Parliament to visit Turkey today

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.11.07) reports the following:

    Belorussian lawmakers will arrive in Turkey on Tuesday upon an invitation by Murat Mercan, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament.

    Anatoly Malofeev, the chairman of the Standing Committee for Regional Policy and Local Self-Government of the Belorussian Parliament, will head the delegation. Malofeev and the accompanying delegation will meet members of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish parliament on Tuesday.

    The Belorussian MPs will pay a visit to Deputy Parliament Speaker Meral Aksener on Wednesday and meet Reha Camuroglu, the chairman of the Turkish-Belorussian Friendship Group.

    The group will also have a meeting with Alaattin Buyukkaya, the chairman of the Turkish Group in the Organization for Security & Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). On Thursday, Belorussian parliamentarians will meet Yasar Yakis, the chairman of the EU Adjustment Committee of the parliament. The delegation will depart from Turkey on Friday.

    [15] The Turkish Parliament to debate state secrets

    Turkish Daily News (20.11.07) reports that the state secrets bill, which was first drafted by the Justice Ministry in 2005 but could not be enacted due to Parliament's busy agenda and amid heated debates over the issue, will now finally be introduced in the legislature. Aiming to ensure easy access to information with transparency and put an end to the unnecessary cult of secrecy in government operations, this bill regulates how confidential information and documents are identified, preserved and disclosed as well as relevant liabilities and responsibilities. After final retouches in the Prime Ministry, the bill will be sent to Parliament within the next week. According to the bill, which defines the concept of "state secret," such secrets will be kept confidential for a maximum of 75 years. The ultimate authority for deciding which pieces of information and documents will be deemed state secrets will belong to the Higher Board of State Secrets (DSK).

    Politicians and military and civilian bureaucrats of the time have frequently used the term "state secret" to refuse to answer critical questions on the "deep state," a term used to refer to shadowy relations between some elements of the state and criminal gangs. The term deep state became very popular after a car accident in 1996 -- widely known as the Susurluk incident -- in which a deputy and a senior police official were travelling together with a fugitive.

    Which documents or pieces of information will be regarded as state secrets will be decided on by a higher board chaired by the prime minister. This board will also decide how long confidential documents and information will be kept secret: 50 years or a maximum of 75 years. The board will consist of the justice, defence, interior and foreign ministers. The prime minister, the chief of general staff, the ministers, the National Security Council (MGK) and other state organizations and institutions will be able to propose which documents and pieces of information within their area of activity should be recognized as confidential by petitioning the Cabinet.

    Disclosing or providing access to pieces of information or documents that might undermine foreign relations, defence or security of the country or which may pose risks to the constitutional order or foreign relations will be regarded as state secrets.

    The confidentiality provisions of the bilateral or multilateral treaties to which the Turkish Republic is a party will be reserved. The pieces of information and documents which are designated as confidential under such treaties will be considered, depending on their nature, as state secrets or within another confidentiality classification. This will bring an end to the disputes Turkey has been experiencing with respect to natural gas deals it has signed. There have long been requests for the disclosure of the unit price for the natural gas Russia sells to Turkey, but this cannot be done due to the confidentiality provisions of the relevant treaties.

    Currently, there is no rule about how long state secrets should be kept confidential. The only provision is that the minutes of secret sessions of Parliament shall be kept confidential for a period of 10 years.

    Those who violate the provisions concerning the preservation of state secrets will be sentenced to one to four years in prison under Article 258 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK). This same sentence will be imposed on those who commit the same crime after their term in office ends. Committing the crime through the press, media organizations or the Internet will be an aggravating circumstance.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [16] The Turkish Press on 19 November 2007

    Following are summaries of items from the Turkish press of 19 November on issues of the Ankara current affairs:

    a) Struggle against PKK Handling of Kurdish issue: A report entitled "We Would not Interfere in a Limited Operation" in Hurriyet quotes Salahaddin Muhammad Bahaddin, Secretary General of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, as saying after a meeting with President Mas'ud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the possibility of a limited Turkish military operation has increased. Bahaddin says: "During our visit to Ankara we reached the conclusion that Turkey does not want to carry out a comprehensive incursion. But, a limited operation may be carried out. It can be in the form of air and artillery bombardment or also include a ground operation. These possibilities were discussed in the meeting. We have no intention of interfering in such an operation on condition that civilian areas do not suffer any damage."

    In an editorial entitled "Good signs," Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi analyzes Bahaddin's comments which he describes as an acknowledgement that Turkey had the right to defend itself against terrorism. He says: "Ankara should reward this change of attitude and ensure that it is maintained over the long term." Emphasizing that the liquidation of the PKK would be in the best interests of both sides, Mengi says: "Now, the road leading to this rational solution is being paved. The new situation will ensure that success is achieved with a lower cost because Barzani's peshmerga will no longer be as an obstacle that should be taken into consideration."

    An article entitled "Iran appoints Kurdish consul to Arbil" Hurriyet columnist Fatih Cekirge sees contradictions between Turkish and Iranian policies vis-ŕ-vis northern Iraq, drawing attention to the fact that Iran last week opened a consulate in Arbil and appointed a diplomat of Kurdish origin as its consul in the city while Turkey only has liaison officers in the region. He says: "Turkey cannot deviate from a military route whereas Iran opens a different curtain and strikes a crucial balance with Barzani. The United States and Iran are now testing a model based on coexistence in northern Iraq for the first time." Cekirge concludes by saying: "Major countries guide smaller countries rather than fighting against them. It would not be sufficient to take a hawkish attitude in order to accomplish that goal. We need courageous doves"

    In an article entitled "Admission of a conceded goal," Ortadogu columnist Orhan Karatas applauds Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, for instituting a lawsuit for outlawing the DTP which, he says, was welcomed by the public. Karatas attacks Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for saying "You could prompt them to fight in mountains if you put up strong defence." He comments: "It was a historic confession rather than a solution or determination. It was a tacit confession that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] does not pay much attention to Turkey's unity and unitary system and showed why separatists can act so boldly. It was an admission that Turkey was exposed to all kinds of threats and risks in the past five years and is now unable to defend itself."

    In an article entitled "Kurds, DTP, and becoming hawkish," Sabah columnist Hasan Bulent Kahraman describes Erdogan's comments indicating that he was opposed to the DTP's closure as one of the most important and rational statements made since 1993. He says: "The DTP could neither abide by the principle of democratization nor dissociate itself from terrorism. This party should not be banned despite that fact because it would eventually be convinced to stand out against the PKK's terror campaign. A political party which has formed an alliance with terrorism and use it as a tool cannot survive and command support from the masses in Turkey." Kahraman concludes by saying that Turkey could take steps in resolving the Kurdish question and achieve lasting peace by taking advantage of the DTP's presence in the political system.

    A report entitled "20 detained in batman" in Milliyet says that around six thousand people attended a rally staged by the DTP in the southeastern city of Batman yesterday. The report quotes former Democracy Party deputy Leyla Zana as saying in a speech she delivered during the rally that banning the DTP would not resolve the problem. She says: "We are not saying anything about your plan to go across the border. But, I want you to go there in order to shake hands by establishing friendly ties without using tanks, planes, and bullets. This could decide our future in a sense. This is an expectation shared by everybody." The police detained 20 protestors shouting slogans in favour of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan after they had attempted to stage a march and clashed with the police.

    In a commentary entitled "Using the law to turn a political party into the other", Associate Professor Mazhar Bagli of Dicle University asserts that the closure proceedings against the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), will serve to represent Turkey to the world as a country that does not allow unorthodox political views to be given political expression. He also warns that closing down the DTP will amount to urging it to express itself through illegal means.

    In an article entitled "What is the judiciary up to?", Today's Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that the closure case against the DTP "indicates that the Turkish judiciary remains among the most conservative of the state apparatus," adding that it is "disappointing to see that there are still come in the bureaucracy who believe that they can fight a sociological phenomenon with legal measures."

    In an article entitled "The prerogative to commit crimes", Bugun columnist Emin Pazarci accuses those criticizing the filing of a closure case against the DTP of asking that the DTP be exempt from the law and that it be provided with the prerogative to commit crimes with impunity. Pazarci claims that Turkey would turn from a law-based state into a tribal one with no democracy if it did not take any action against "offences" of the sort committed by the DTP.

    b) Restrictions imposed on retired generals: In an article entitled "Welcome to the ranks of people convicted for expressing their opinions, general!" Milliyet columnist Can Dundar criticizes the Turkish Ministry of Defence for imposing restrictions on critical comments made by retired generals. Pointing out that any retired general would face charges under the current laws if he has made comments constituting an offence, Dundar comments: "Additional restrictions would only denote intolerance to criticism. We demand freedom of expression which we had demanded for ourselves in the past also for retired generals making statements today in spite of the fact that the majority of those generals did not demand the same for us during that period."

    Under the banner headline, "General Holding Company," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that the Association of Retired Army Officers is preparing to set up a new OYAK [Army Mutual Aid Association] holding company in the wake of the foreign purchase of Oyakbank.

    In an article entitled "How quick they are to object when they are at the receiving end of bans", Vakit columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu comments on the way a number of retired generals have "courageously" censured the directive forbidding retired military officials from disclosing information about their previous missions that is supposed to be secret on pain of being prohibited from entering officers clubs and other social facilities maintained by the military. Karahasanoglu finds it "quite interesting" that these generals should now be arguing that a court order would be required to ban them from benefiting from these facilities and denouncing the directive as one that is in conflict with the constitutionally recognized freedom of speech although they had no such objections as officers on active duty to women wearing headscarves not being allowed to enter military facilities.

    c) Inauguration of Pipeline Conveying Natural Gas to Greece: In an article under the title: "Our strong bargaining chip in the field of energy," Hurriyet columnist Erdal Saglam says that the inauguration of the pipeline confirmed Turkey's critical role in the global energy market. Pointing out that not only Greece, but also all other European countries need Turkey in order to bridge the gap between energy demand and supply, Saglam comments: "In my view, Turkey can also use this bargaining chip very cleverly in her relations with the EU and gain important advantages over the short term." Saglam concludes by saying that Turkey should receive natural gas from both Azerbaijan and Iran and consume a part of it within the country and convey the rest to Europe.

    [17] Column in Hurriyet on the citizenship: Who removed that name from the list?

    The editor-in-chief of Hurriyet newspaper (20.11.07) Mr Ertugrul Ozkok, in his column writes under the title Who removed that name from the list?, and refers to the Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talats criticism launched against the newspaper, without giving Hurriyets name. Mr. Ozkok first explains how the papers correspondent in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus acquired the names that were included in the list.

    He then explains that Mr Kamhi and Mr Aygun were made TRNC citizens by the request of the Honourable former Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktas.

    Criticizing Talat´s decision and his recourse to court in 2003 having political considerations, Mr Ozkok then directs the following question to Mr Talat and demands an answer:

    In the list the name of the businessman Besin Tibuk was also included.

    Who removed his and other 66 names from the list?

    I was personally told that these names were taken out of the list as a result of personal request from Mr Talat.

    Do not misunderstand me I have nothing against Besim Tibuk´s personality. Tibuk is a good businessman who knows tourism very well. And it is good that they made him the TRNC citizen.

    However, the authority, which deprived Mr Kamhi and Sinan Aygun of their TRNC citizenships and permitted Tibuk to keep his citizenship, has to explain his choice giving his reasons.

    I am looking forward anxiously to seeing that reason.

    (MHY)

    EG/


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