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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-11-26

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.228/07 24-26.11.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turgay Avci was re-elected as leader of the Freedom and Reform Party
  • [02] Hasan Ince the new President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce
  • [03] The Municipality of occupied Lefkosia joined the UCLG
  • [04] Occupied villages to be included in the so-called municipalities
  • [05] Rasbash said that the 259 million Euros financial assistance earmarked for the Turkish Cypriot community will be mainly used for infrastructural projects
  • [06] Illegal DAU university to recourse to the ECJ regarding the Erasmus program
  • [07] BKP criticizes the occupation authorities for the problems they create to the Turkish Cypriots shopping in the government control areas
  • [08] Turkish retired diplomat Umit Pamir: Two states formula is gaining ground in Cyprus
  • [09] The Turkish Ministry of Energy is in negotiations with Uzan regarding Libananco
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 24 and 25 November 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turgay Avci was re-elected as leader of the Freedom and Reform Party

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.11.07) broadcast the following:

    Turgay Avci has been re-elected as the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party. With no other candidate for the job, the ORP leader, Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci was automatically re-elected as the leader of the ORP.

    Addressing the partys first general congress meeting yesterday, Avci said that his party was working for the people and that it drew its strength from the people. Pointing out that the Freedom and Reform Party had been established just over a year ago by 4 people who had risked their political careers, Avci said that over 234 branches had been opened within that time period.

    He said that the ORP was formed with the aim of meeting the need for change in the Turkish republic of Northern Cyprus and that it was not a Turkish oriented party as claimed by various circles. Our only aim is to help shape the future of this country and make sure that the TRNC continues to exist on the basis of equality and justice he added.

    Touching upon the ongoing debate on whether or not to adopt a presidential system in the Republic, Mr. Avci, referring to the two main opposition parties in the country said that these parties had proposed to switch to a presidential system only because they were well aware that they could never come back to power again. The party General Assembly as well as members of the disciplinary and audit commissions were also elected during the party congress.

    Referring on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (26.11.07) reports under banner headlines Ankara has found its party and refers to the Freedom and Reform Partys (ORP) Annual Congress and says that the crushing majority of the members of the ORP are citizens of the Republic of Turkey. The ORP with the active support of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has become the leader of the rightist front. It is expected that with the first elections several citizens of the Republic of Turkey will be elected deputies and will take their seats at the Assembly. During the last elections, since there was no alternative, the AKP had supported and channeled the Turkish votes to the RTP. This time the AKP is getting ready to use all its support for the ORP. Ankara considers ORP as the party which will be able to accommodate both the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks together. The ORP in 14 months opened 234 party regional offices. They say that it is being financed by circles close to AKP.

    Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (26.11.07) reports on the ORPs congress under banner headlines: This is not a Banks credit Card and says that the Italian Parliamentarian Maurizio Turco, who was invited to the congress by the ORP leader Turgay Avci, addressing the congress took out from his pocket the so-called Identity Card of the TRNC and branding it to the audience and referring to the Archbishop Chrysostomos II said: This not a banks credit card but the TRNC ID card with which I am proud. He urged the Archbishop to act as a religious man and not as politician during his visits in Europe and if he continues to act like politician they will receive him as politician and not a religious man. He also said that they will invite Mr. Turgay Avci to the European Parliament, not as a citizen but as the Foreign Minister of the TRNC.

    Under the title UBP (National Unity Party) -ORP (Freedom and Reform Party) Coalition? Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (25.11.07) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, is working on a new scenario aiming to take the Republican Turkish Party of Mehmet Ali Talat away from the government. The paper writes that after AKR established the ORP in order to put in the sidelines the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas, now is taking the second step in order to change the political balance in occupied Cyprus. According to the paper, AKR wants to get rid of CTP so that a new political coalition may be formed between the UBP and the ORP. Invoking sources, the paper writes that this development came after pressure put to AKP from some nationalist circles in Ankara which did not digest the fact that CTP is in power.

    [02] Hasan Ince the new President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.11.07) broadcast the following:

    The new assembly of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce was elected yesterday. Hasan Ince, with his group calling itself the group of resolution, has put forward his candidacy while the current Chamber President Erdil Nami did not become a candidate. The group of Hasan Ince has been elected as the new assembly of Cyprus Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce during the chambers 45th general congress meeting yesterday. The current President of the Chamber Erdil Nami did not run for a second term.

    Making the opening speech at the 45th general congress meeting which took place at the Near East Universitys Ataturk Culture and Congress Centre, the outgoing President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami expressed the view that for economic development, security and stability to take place in the TRNC, the government must take more decisive steps on its economic policy. Erdil Nami continued his speech by saying that the government must take more courageous steps in the field of economy if it wants to see improvements. Referring to the Greek Cypriot sides dream of achieving osmosis on the island, the Turkish Cypriots assimilation into the Greek Cypriot community, Mr. Nami called for the Turkish Cypriot people to be united in order to prevent osmosis from being realized.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat who attended the congress as guest of the Chamber said that the Turkish Cypriot people must be made aware of the Greek Cypriot sides osmosis policies. Osmosis is when the smaller state is dissolved within a bigger state, the Turkish Cypriot people must be made aware of the Greek Cypriot sides osmosis policy, he added.

    Noting that the government was trying to facilitate a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem alongside economic activities, President Talat said as the Turkish Cypriot side we have put forward many constructive suggestions to find a solution to the Cyprus problem but the Greek Cypriot side is continuing with its delaying tactics.

    The President said that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce was perceived as a joint member of the European Union in the north and expressed the view that the Chamber was doing its duty.

    During the meeting, 30 members from Lefkosa and 10 from Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) and Girne (occupied Kyreneia) each were elected for the Chambers assembly.

    [03] The Municipality of occupied Lefkosia joined the UCLG

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.11.07) broadcast the following:

    The Lefkosa Turkish Municipality has become a member of the Mediterranean Committee of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG).A delegation from the municipality is in France for the meetings of the Organization. A statement issued by the Municipality said Foreign Relations Secretary Deniz Birinci is representing the Lefkosa Turkish Municipality at the Mediterranean Committee of United Cities and Local Governments as a full member. Meetings of the UCLG are taking place in the French city of Marseilles.Local administration, economic development, urbanization, public services, EU adaptation, sustainable peace, intercommunal dialogue, environmental problems, development in rural areas, immigration, local budgets and cooperation in the fields of tourism and culture are the topics being discussed during the meetings. With its membership to the organization, the Lefkosa Turkish Municipality has gained the right to vote and address the meetings of the UCLG. Meanwhile, the Lefkosa Municipality delegation is also holding a series of contacts within the framework of the Mediterranean Economic Week which is organized by the Marseilles Municipality.

    [04] Occupied villages to be included in the so-called municipalities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.11.07) reports that the so-called amendments to the law governing the functioning of the municipalities has been approved by the so-called Council of Ministers and soon will be sent to the Assembly to be approved. The paper reports that the amended bill envisages that 116 villages which are outside of the municipal borders will be joined to one of the 28 municipalities so that these villages may get municipal services.

    (MHY)

    [05] Rasbash said that the 259 million Euros financial assistance earmarked for the Turkish Cypriot community will be mainly used for infrastructural projects

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.11.07) reports that the Mr. Andrew Rasbash, head of the EU Commission Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community has said that 259 million Euros financial assistance earmarked for the Turkish Cypriot community will be mainly used for infrastructural projects and this will take 5-6 years. Mr Rasbash made these statements during a phone interview speaking at the The voice of our Island programme of the Turkish Cypriot Radio Mayis.

    He said that the areas where this assistance will be used are: Treatment of solid waste, water, environment, energy, telecommunications etc. Mr. Rasbash said that to this effect they proposed to close and relocate to another area the solid waste dumping facilities in the occupied Dikomo area.

    He went on and said that following the opening of the EU Support Office in Lefkosia the EU has sent experts to Cyprus in order to train and provide technical expertise to the people regarding agriculture, environment, single market, finance, customs etc. To this effect Mr. Rasbash said the EU Support Office prepared 112 activities. As for the animal husbandry, Mr. Andrew Rasbash declared that the EU Commission will provide between 5-25 thousand Euros as grant to each Turkish Cypriot farmer in order to produce milk in hygienic conditions. The total grant to this program will amount to 500 thousand Euros.

    (MHY)

    [06] Illegal DAU university to recourse to the ECJ regarding the Erasmus program

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.11.07) reports in its front page under banner headlines The East Mediterranean University (DAU) is to recourse to Court of Justice and says that the Office of the EU Ombudsman has refused the application made by the so-called DAU in order to take part in the EU Education Program Erasmus. The paper reports that since 2004 the DAU officials are trying to get admittance to this program and to this effect they made the necessary applications to the EU Commission. The paper further reports that when the Commission did not reply to the DAUs application in time, the so-called university complained to the Office of the EU Ombudsman which, in turn, on 21 November 2007 declared that the Commission followed the proper procedures and its actions were appropriate.

    The so-called Dean of the DAU Prof. Halil Guven pointed out that the EU Ombudsman is Greek Nikiforos Diamandouros, and being a Greek he was unable to evaluate the decision impartially. From this point on, he said, they will recourse to the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Kibris quoting unnamed Turkish Cypriot officials reports that the Ombudsman Diamandouros being a Greek did not act impartially and that they are concerned that his decision was biased favoring the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    (MHY)

    [07] BKP criticizes the occupation authorities for the problems they create to the Turkish Cypriots shopping in the government control areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.11.07) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) in a statement strongly criticized the difficulties meted out at the crossing points by the Turkish Cypriot occupation authorities to the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriot workers who shop in the government controlled areas.

    The member of the Central Executive Committee of the BKP Abdullah Korkmazhan, in a written statement, said that at the crossing points, Turkish Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot workers face great difficulties because they did shopping in south Cyprus. He says that by force the goods were confiscated and thrown away. This to say the least is tyranny. We condemn this tyranny, he stressed. Korkmazhan went on and said: We are ashamed of the fact that the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), which championed itself of being after peace and solution, has become the implementer of the from the Turk to the Turk campaign . Korkmazhan further said that this is in clear violation of the Green Line Regulation. He urged the Turkish Cypriots to continue to do their shopping.

    A similar criticism is launched by the Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (26.11.07) under the title: Maltreatment at the Gates. The paper reports that with such arbitrary and illegal harassments making the people weary the government aims to reduce the crossing to south. The paper further reports that this action is contrary to the Green Line Regulation and to the reciprocity principle.

    (MHY)

    [08] Turkish retired diplomat Umit Pamir: Two states formula is gaining ground in Cyprus

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (26.11.07) under the title In 2008 our morale may be improved with the TRNC and Armenia, publishes an interview with Unit Pamir one of the most important diplomats of Turkey who retired two months ago, as the paper writes. The following extract from his interview refers to Cyprus:

    1 TRNC

    Our dossier is very clear:

    Turkey is in a very good point on the Cyprus issue. Because while our side was seen as the intransigent now everyone in Europe says: The Turks did what could be done. For example, they postponed eight negotiating chapters, but they did not stop the negotiations. In this understanding Turkey has done everything she had to. At this moment there is no pressure on us, our dossier is very clear.

    The two states formula is gaining ground:

    Now we are at the point of waiting. And as time goes by the gap is widening, the new generations of the two communities will be more estranged to the point of not being in a position to unite. Everyone sees this. According to the polls, the people in the Greek Cypriot sector do not want to unite with the North. From now on, the two states formula will come more to mind every passing day. You know that for a long time nobody recognised communist China, but one day the situation was created where everyone was forced to recognise it.

    Everything changes with Christofias:

    I think that this waiting will continue for the period when Papadopoulos remains in power. Neither the UN, nor the EU can do a lot. But in the 2008 presidential elections Christofias is a candidate. He says If I am elected as president, the first thing I will do is to discuss directly with the Turkish Cypriots. A new period may start with the coming of Christofias.

    [09] The Turkish Ministry of Energy is in negotiations with Uzan regarding Libananco

    Columnist Vahap Munyar writes in the Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (26/11/2007) under the title: Forty billion US dollars case by Uzan against Turkey let us embark on diplomacy, and says: The case opened against the Energy and Natural Resources Ministry regarding the Cukurova Electricity and Kepez Elektricity is the first major event by Uzans in their attempt to corner Turkey at the ICSID (International Centre for Settling Investment Differences) which is within the structure of the World Bank.

    Uzans, through the Libananco Company that they had established in South Cyprus though their men, filed law suit amounting to 10 billion US dollars with the defense that the Cukurova Electricity and Kepez Elektricity were unjustly detrained. The Ministry of Energy, in order to solve the Libananco case, is having from time to time negotiations with Cem Uzan.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 24 and 25 November 2007

    Following are summaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 24 and 25 November:

    Commenting on the reasons being put forth against the closure of the Democratic Society Party in an article in Milliyet (24.11.07), Fikret Bila argues that the contention that another party will replace the one that will be closed down is flawed. Bila says that the Constitution and the laws do not have to adapt themselves to the DTP, but the party has to adapt itself to them. Noting that the same distorted mentality is being put forth regarding the uselessness of a cross-border operation, the writer maintains that one cannot stop combating terror just because previous operations have not yielded results. He concludes by saying that so long as there are acts of terror, the security forces will continue the fight and so long as there are parties that engage in illegal activities, suits will be filed for their closure.

    Assessing the recent developments regarding the Kurdish-PKK issue in a commentary in Referans (24.11.07), Cevdet Askin writes that reports about the disappearance of Barzani might be an indication that he was in Istanbul for a series of secret talks. Interpreting reports about the capture of PKK's Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik as part of a "psychological war" being waged against the organization, the writer adds that the fact that Ocalan's lawyers were prevented from seeing their client this week is an indication that, at this stage, Ankara is not interested in Ocalan's contribution to the developments regarding Kandil.

    In an article in Ortadogu (24.11.07) entitled "The code of the plan to release Ocalan," Yalcin Guzelhan maintains that former Democracy Party deputy Leyla Zana conveyed the message that Ocalan might be released soon. Referring to Zana's remarks at a DTP rally in Batman to the effect that she is confident that Ocalan would soon be addressing the public himself, the writer says it is thought provoking that her remarks --which he believes "were directed against the unitary structure of the Turkish Republic and the unity of the Turkish nation" -- did not receive much coverage. Guzelhan goes on to state that the objection of 46 AKP deputies to the execution of Ocalan in 2002 could be viewed as an indication that he would be released in the future. The writer further views the recent meeting the head of the National Intelligence Organization held with Ocalan as another indication of his release, concluding that there is an agreement between the United States and its "collaborators" regarding the release of Ocalan.

    A front-page report in Yeni Safak (24.11.07) entitled "Barzani vanishes into thin air" claims that northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani went to "an unknown country" three days ago. According to the report, it has been claimed that Barzani has gone to the United States and that he has been instructed to extradite a number of PKK chieftains to Turkey.

    In an article entitled "It is not Democracy but the DTP that faces a test", Yeni Safak (24.11.07) columnist Yasin Dogan calls attention to the "deep paradox" that the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), is going out of its way to "sabotage" democracy, politics, and the law even as it is waving the flag of democracy, politics and rule of law. He accuses this party of trying to represent itself as a victimized group and prove that Turkey is an undemocratic country by having itself closed down. He also asserts that "our democracy has grown mature enough to accommodate the DTP," adding that if the DTP's parliamentary career ends in a "fiasco," it is the DTP itself rather than Turkey's democratic structure that will be held accountable for this.

    In a commentary entitled "A country of political bans" in Zaman (24.11.07) writer Umit Firat argues that Kurds in Turkey and in other countries would perceive the DTP's closure as the manifestation of the "intolerant" attitude of the state, the judiciary, and "certain influential powers" toward Kurdish political institutions rather than a result of the DTP's committing acts recognized as crimes by the law.

    On Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's remarks on the Kurdish issue during his party's consultative conclave in Kizilcahamam. Hurriyet (25.11.07) quotes him as saying that his government is being successful in isolating and besieging the PKK and the opposition parties should, therefore, desist from fomenting perverse nationalism or talk about a possible civil war over the Kurdish issue and, instead, support the government's plan to resolve that problem through greater democracy. Expressing opposition to the closure of the pro-Kurdish DTP, Erdogan also criticizes the opposition for pressuring the government into a cross-border operation, saying that the government has a year-long mandate and the decision for such operation will be taken in consultation with the Army.

    Aksam (25.11.07) notes in a report that Erdogan also told the closed session of the conclave that when in the United States he rejected American demands to terminate energy ties with Iran and told his interlocutors that if the West does not describe the PKK as a terror organization Turkey will then declare Al-Qa'ida a rebel, not a terror, organization. Erdogan has also informed his party officials that the press reports about the capture of PKK leaders Cemil Bayik and Murat Karayilan are not true.

    Commenting on Erdogan's statements at Kizilcahaman in a column in Hurriyet (25.11.07) Oktay Eksi says he fully supports the prime minister's declaration that freedom and democracy are the antidotes to terrorism, but does not trust the prime minister when it comes to his call for free public debate on draft constitution. He also criticizes Erdogan's position on the private conversation he held with President Bush on 5 November, saying that the public is not asking him to reveal the content of the discussion but to simply say if an official record of that conversation was kept.

    In his editorial for Sabah (25.11.07), Erdal Safak says Erdogan's address at Kizilahaman could be summarized under three headings: 1. The fight against the PKK should not be confused with the Kurdish problem in the southeast which needs to be solved through a "social restoration." 2. The fight against the PKK will continue to the very end, whereas the Kurdish problem will be solved through greater democracy and free expression. 3. And the opposition should extend a helping hand to achieve this grand reconciliation. Supporting the need to treat the Kurds as full citizens, Safak says Erdogan's position is close to the prescription once offered by the late Ozal.

    Noting the distinction Erdogan put between combating terrorism and extending greater democracy to the Kurds, Muharrem Sarikaya notes in his column in Sabah (25.11.07) that with his speech Erdogan took the first step in his new strategy, which he dubbed "new restoration," for the southeast. Sarikaya believes that unlike in the past periods, this time around this proposal will raise little public outcry because there has matured inside the state a consensus on the model of solution to this problem; all it needs now is to transform that consensus into a "national policy."

    Vatan (25.11.07) reports that Iraqi Kurdish administration spokesman has denied Arab press reports that Barzani left Iraq after being injured in an assassination attempt, pointing out that Barzani is on a private visit abroad. Vatan (25.11.07) report says soon after these statements, rumors started to circulate that Barzani has taken PKK leaders Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik to Italy with him and that they travelled in a military plane from Arbil to the Incirclik base and from there to a NATO base in Italy. The report adds that according to various Kurdish Internet sites, Barzani is in a European country for talks on the PKK, and from there he will go the United States to seek guarantees for the annexation of Kirkuk to the Kurdish administration in return for the neutralization of the PKK. But Vatan adds, according to its own information, Barzani is in Europe for kidney treatment.

    An Aksam (25.11.07) report claims that Barzani has taken the two PKK leaders to Italy with American knowledge and handed them over to Italy. According to Aksam, Barzani, the United States, and the PKK are negotiating there, adding that both Barzani and the United States want a European country to extradite these two leaders to Turkey, as they do not want to get involved in that process. The Aksam report mentions other information to the effect that the negotiations in Italy between Barzani, PKK leaders, and the United States aim at merging the PKK with PJAK.

    Declaring that it will not be a surprise if Barzani finally shows himself up in the United States given the latest developments, especially after the US army generals' visit to the Turkish General Staff, Murat Yetkin speculates in his column in Radikal (25.11.07) that the US-Turkish talks after the Bush-Erdogan meeting on 5 November may have put a stopper to Barzani's desire to create an independent Kurdish state, and that if in the United States, Barzani will now discuss his own and Iraq's future, not the emergence of a Kurdish state. Yetkin adds that the developments are not limited to combating the PKK, they involve everything from the Kurdish problem to oil.

    Rusen Cakir in Vatan (25.11.07) conducts an interview with Dr Soner Cagatay, the director of the Turkey program at the Washington Institute, who also says that according to a three-point plan worked out between Ankara and Washington, there will be real-time intelligence sharing, followed by extradition of PKK leaders and demolition of PKK camps in Iraq. Cagatay warns against any political initiatives for Turkey's Kurds in return for disarming of the PKK, as the PKK might at any time resort to violence and terminate the political process. He also believes currently the Iraqi Kurdish leaders do not want to easily part with their PKK card, as they want to still use that card for talks on Kirkuk.

    A report entitled "Barzani may be in Canada, Israel or Another Country" which is carried by Yeni Safak (25.11.07) says that the whereabouts of President Mas'ud Barzani of Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq who reportedly left Iraq five days ago is not known. According to the report, an allegation that he had flown to Italy with PKK leaders Murat Karayilan and Cemil Bayik was denied amid speculation that he is currently in a francophone country.

    In an article entitled "Banning political parties should be banned," in Vakit columnist Lutfu Oflaz cautions that Kurds who do not currently sympathize with the DTP would support its successor if the party is eventually closed down. He says: "Banning a political party would neither be a solution nor represent a democratic approach. The era of shutting political parties down should be brought to an end in Turkey."

    According to a front-page report in Vakit (24.11.07) entitled "General staff's demand for censorship referred to State Council," the Association for Human Rights and Solidarity With the Oppressed, Mazlum-Der, has filed a case with the State Council against the General Staff directive "banning retired generals from issuing public statements."

    In a commentary in Hurriyet (25.11.07), Yalcin Bayer warns that the AKP, "following on Hitler's footsteps," is now trying to take Turk-Is trade-union also under its control to prevent the use of the workers' power against the government. He notes that the AKP has already taken the Hak-Is union under its control and established rival unions against the "patriotic" Petrol-Is union. Bayer laments CHP's failure to align itself with workers, and wonders what will happen to Turkey and its democracy once the AKP also wrests away social-democracy from the CHP.

    Murtaza Demir, a member of the executive board of the Alevi-Bektasi Federation (ABF), which unites 148 Alevi organizations, has criticized AKP government's plan to enlist the Alevi dedes [clerics] as paid public servants, saying this is against Alevi traditions and secularism and aims at assimilating the Alevis into Sunni community, according to report in Radikal, and Milliyet, (25.11.07). Instead, Demir calls on the government to put an end to the oppression of the Alevis. Also accusing the AKP of trying to form an "artificial" Alevi organization by using Alevi-origin AKP Deputy Reha Camuroglu, Demir says the government should not force the Alevis to seek their rights at the ECHR. Demir also says that Camuroglu has betrayed the Alevis. The Alevis also oppose Erdogan's suggestion that the Alevis should break their fast publicly during their holy month. Cem Foundation leader Izzettin Dogan says if the public service positions to the Alevis will be granted under the control of the Religious Affairs Directorate [DIB] he will oppose it, but will support the plan if the Alevis will be allowed to freely make their own decision while being part of the DIB, which should be restructured to represent all the faiths.

    In an article entitled "Alevism: a personal testimony" in Yeni Safak (25.11.07) columnist Fehmi Koru points out that Alevi leaders have taken a sceptical approach to the government's initiative aimed at broadening their religious rights and cites passages from some of his articles about the problems of Alevi community which were published in the past three years and argued that a compromise should be reached in order to resolve those problems.

    In an article in Yeni Safak (25.11.07) entitled "It is Alevis' Turn to become Democrats", Murat Aksoy argues that the government's overture to Alevis met with negative reactions from Alevi associations because they fear that they could lose their influence over different groups within the Alevi community. He comments: "The AKP is determined to break another taboo about Alevis. Its overture is, therefore, meaningful and significant. Its meaning would be understood better if we analyze negative reactions expressed by some Alevi associations and foundations because they believe that they have a monopoly on representing Alevism and Alevis and regard any intervention to that area as a threat to their power."

    A front-paged report in Vakit (25.11.07) under the title "Israel is the source of terrorism" quotes Felicity Party, (SP), leader Recai Kutan as asserting in an exclusive interview that Israel and the United States are behind acts of terrorism witnessed in Turkey, adding that those countries do not actually want peace in the Middle East.

    A report entitled "US arms giant chooses Turkey as design and production base" in Zaman (25.11.07) quotes Kursat Ozkan, general manager of General Electric's branch in Turkey, as saying that they plan to establish a Turkey Technology Centre in collaboration with the Undersecretary's Office for Defence Industry and TUSAS Engine Industry Co., Inc. in order to design and manufacture all kinds of components including engines for aircraft.

    A report entitled "Ankara and Teheran share common concerns in the region" in Zaman (25.11.07) quotes Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Seyid Abbas Araghci as saying in an interview with Zaman that the furtherance of relations between Turkey and Iran should not bother other countries. He says: "Our cooperation with Turkey will continue. We are witnessing significant developments especially in the field of energy." Araghci adds that Iran's nuclear program has peaceful objectives as confirmed by reports issued by international organizations.

    In an article entitled "A peace conference to be held by those who do not believe in peace" Milli Gazete (25.11.07) by columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan predicts that a conference entitled "Israeli-Palestinian peace and the Middle East" to be held in Annapolis on 26 and 27 November will not produce a decision conducive to peace because the United States and Israel are not sincere and only pretend that they are in favour of a peaceful settlement. He says: "Both the United States and Israel know that it will not yield any result. Their only objective is to put on a show called peace and they want to use as many Muslim countries as possible as a tool for that purpose."

    EG/


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