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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-11-28

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.230/07 28.11.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Serdar Denktas on his contacts in Ankara
  • [02] They have grabbed the chocolate bar from the childs hand
  • [03] More on the panel discussion between Talat and Rauf Denktas on the presidential system
  • [04] Talat assigns Ozdil Nami as his representative at talks with the UN and EU
  • [05] Talat met members of the EP Committee on Petitions
  • [06] Belarus delegation continues its contacts in occupied Cyprus
  • [07] DTP leader investigated for avoiding military service
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [08] Reportage on the development of the usurped land of Greek Cypriots in occupied Kyrenia
  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 27 November 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Serdar Denktas on his contacts in Ankara

    All the Turkish Cypriot papers (28.11.07) report about the press conference given by the leader of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktas, upon his return from Turkey, where he and a delegation from the DP held contacts, with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the main opposition the Republican Peoples Party (CHP).

    Kibris reports that the DP leader Serdar Denktas said that they have confirmed that behind the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) is the AKP. He went on and said that they have told the AKP people that they were committing a major mistake by letting the ORP to use their name.

    Denktas went on and said that interfering into the will of the Turkish Cypriots and to the democracy causes great harm. He said that in order to decide what would be their stance from now on the partys council will convene tonight and take decisions. Denktas declared that the partys decision will be made public latest Friday.

    Now, really this country is in great difficulty from two angles: First, knowingly or not, the strengthening of the claim that north Cyprus is Turkeys sub-administration: Secondly, the opening of an old wound that, as DP, we, since our establishment, are trying to do away with it. It is a fact that the trigger of the bomb which will lead the TRNC citizens to enter into conflict again as Turkish Cypriots and Turks from Turkey has been pulled out. I do not know whether they are aware of these or not but we have explained to them. We have put forward our views to them, Denktas said.

    The other papers report the press conference with the following titles:

    Kibrisli: SATAN

    Halkin Sesi: The AKP is interfering into our will

    Ortam: Serdar Denktas: We have told the AKP they are committing a mistake

    Vatan: Serdar Denktas: We have openly told the AKP they are committing a mistake

    Gunes: Serdar bombarded the AKP

    Bakis: The Turkish Cypriot people are not for sale

    Sozcu: Serdar declared war on the AKP

    Yeni Duzen: We have told the AKP you are committing mistake

    Afrika: Serdar Denktas: Behind the ORP is the AKP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.11.07) in its main editorial column Letter from Afrika under the title Denktas Ankara debacle refers to the press conference given by the Democrat Party (DP) leader Serdar Denktas upon his return from Ankara and the accusations he had launched against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) that ´He has no doubt that the AKP is behind the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), that the AKP is interfering into their political will etc., and says that In fact, in order to realize that the ORP is the AKP´s branch in north Cyprus one does not need to travel so many kilometers.

    The editorial then, without giving names but implying Serdar Denktas, writes that In the past they used to brand people, who used to complain Turkey´s interference to our political will, as enemies of the motherland, how could they know that one day things will change and this weapon will be directed against them? They thought that Ankara will always keep them on those chairs.

    The article goes on and says that neither Serdar nor Tahsin Ertugruloglu, nor Soyer should complain about this because all of them in time received the support of the Turks from Turkey to come to power.

    Don´t they win with the votes of the people coming from Turkey? Don´t they fly under the wings of Ankara?

    They say that Serdar Denktas will tell to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) the realities he had seen in Ankara.

    Let him tell

    Not only the DP

    The time will come the CTP too will be sent to the garbage bin.

    Let´s see who will be the first, the editorial concludes.

    A similar article is compiled by Ali Osman in his column in Afrika (28.11.07) under the title As though it is a belated article. He refers to the ORP´s general congress and says that the AKP will do its utmost so that the ORP be the first party.

    Ali Osman writes that the AKP used the CTP to topple the National Unity Party (UBP) in such a way that the CTP became in the eyes of the people as a quisling party void of its principles.

    The objective is to make ORP the first party. When in the General Congress they were shouting Turgay Avci to power, in fact what they wanted to say was the ORPs coming to power alone in the near future, Ali Osman concludes.

    Ibrahim Aziz in his column in Afrika From another point of view under the title The CTP gave birth to the ORP, strongly criticizes the CTP leadership and brands them as Ankara´s puppets in furthering Ankara´s policies in the Cyprus problem.

    The paper reports that after KTOS now the United Cyprus Party (BKP) also started receiving complaints from the public. The complaints will be conveyed to the EU institutions.

    According to Afrika newspaper, while the complaints against the cloak and dagger measures continue, the self-styled spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Hasan Ercakica declared that the cloak and dagger measures will continue.

    [02] They have grabbed the chocolate bar from the childs hand

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.11.07) refers to cloak and dagger measures taken by the occupation regime against the Turkish Cypriots who purchase goods in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper in a vivid manner describes how the occupation authorities at the Ayios Dhometios crossing have grabbed the chocolate bar from a two years old childs hand and threw it away. The chocolate bar was purchased by the father of the child from the free areas of the Republic.

    The paper reports that after KTOS now the United Cyprus Party (BKP) also started receiving complaints about the measures from the public. The complaints will be conveyed to the EU institutions.

    According to Afrika newspaper, while the complaints against the cloak and dagger measures continue, the self-styled spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Hasan Ercakica declared that the cloak and dagger measures will continue.

    Commenting on the issue, Sener Levent writes in his everyday column the following article under the title Chocolate:

    The event I am going to describe is one of those events that will infuriate every normal person and will make him to rebel.

    What does a normal person mean?

    A normal person is someone who is not a victim of the hysteria of nationalism and does not put his national feelings above his human feelings. A normal person is someone who does not shout illogical slogans in the streets like The martyrs do not die or the country cannot be divided.

    Now sit and pay attention

    One of our compatriots went to the south with his family last Sunday. He took the children to the Luna Park. Returning to the North he got chocolate bars to them. When he approached the Turkish Gate of Kermia, the policemen and the customs guards got into motion. One of the chocolate bars that the compatriot bought from the south was in the plastic bag. The other one was in the hands of the two years´ old child who was eating the chocolate bar. Do you know what our custom guards did? They seized the chocolate bar which was in the bag as illegal item and they took the other chocolate bar from the hands of the two years old child and through it in the garbage.

    You see how they try to rescue the economy in the area which is under occupation.

    And this is not Denktas period. It is Talats period.

    They bring back to life Celal Hordan. Do you know who is Celal Hordan? It was a Turkish forger. He was a buffoon who was discovered at the end of the 1950s by Rauf Denktas who brought him to Cyprus and put him in the head of the Turkish Cypriot Youth Organization. He was beating those who did shopping from the Greek Cypriots. And fined to those who spoke Greek to pay two shillings for every word they said.

    We have returned to those days.

    Sener Levent goes on and writes that these incidents are taking place in order to be written in the papers and the people to stop buying goods from the south. He also says that (the officials) would have closed the gates by now if they could and says that in the end they may create an incident so as to get the chance to do so.

    On the same issue, Afrikas Columnist Faize Ozdemirciler writes in her daily column Letter without address the following:

    The from Turk to Turk campaign was discovered again and the case was lost once again () We saw shameless civilian faces and shameless uniforms at the barricades. We saw children who were unaware of the fact that the chocolate they have bought from south would return to this side as a Greek Cypriot bullet () In these borders, in these barricades it is a new time, however it is like the old times. It appears in the horizon that the from Turk to Turk tyranny has risen from the graves.

    Finally, Niyazi Okten writing in the Column Australian letter also in Afrika newspaper calls on the EU to put observes at the gates. He goes on and writes the following: Ahmet Uzun (Tr. Note: The self-styled minister of economy) has opened the flag of fascism in the last days. He became the symbol of the second from Turk to Turk campaign. Now his is thinking how he will be saved by this stain until he will die.

    As Okten writes, even Tahsin Ertugruloglu thanked Uzun for his statements that the trade toward the south will become a bullet to be shot in their feet.

    Niyazi Okten goes on and writes the following: Why do they keep their eyes shut in front of those barbarisms are taking place in north Cyprus in front of the whole world? Why not put observes at the opened gates of the borders?.

    (MHY/CS)

    [03] More on the panel discussion between Talat and Rauf Denktas on the presidential system

    Under the title: Talat: Annan plan is over; Denktas: Thank God! Turkey´s Today´s Zaman newspaper (28.11.07) reports the following:

    Former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denkta, a long-time opponent of UN-led efforts to reunite the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sections of the island, has finally breathed a sigh of relief as his pro-reunification successor, Mehmet Ali Talat, declared the latest UN plan to that effect to be a matter of the past.

    Thank God, said a relieved Denktas after Talat told a panel on Monday evening that debates over the Annan plan -- named after former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan -- are now unnecessary because the plan itself belongs to the past.

    When Talat mentioned that the plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots, he interrupted him to say that the Turkish Cypriots would then be doomed, causing laughter in the panel hall in Lefkoa, the capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). When Talat commented that Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos demonized the Annan plan and firmly opposed it just as Denktas did, Denktas said, May God be pleased with Papadopoulos because otherwise we would have been doomed. The remarks of Talat and Denktas were a sign of the closing gap within the KKTC over how they should tackle the issue of the future of Cyprus. Talat led a Yes campaign for the Annan plan, fiercely opposed by Denkta, but he has gradually come closer to Denktas s line that the Greek Cypriots had no intention of making peace over the subsequent years. In recent remarks Talat has also warned the partition of the island could be permanent if the Wests failure to keep its promises to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots persists. Denktas for several years was cool toward any plans to reunite the island that did not include an endorsement of Turkish Cypriot sovereignty and acknowledgement of the existence of two states.

    On the same issue illegal Bayrak television (27.11.07) broadcast the following:

    The President of the Republic Mehmet Ali Talat and the first TRNC President Rauf Denktas discussed the Presidential System at a panel at the Cyprus International University (CIU) last night.

    The former TRNC President Rauf Denktas said the important thing that should be taken into consideration was that whether the system to be discussed would end the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus or not.

    `The right system should only be discussed within this framework` he said.

    Stressing that a President who will be elected by people in the Presidential System- should not be a dictator, Mr Denktas said besides a President, there was a need for a neutral Ombudsman, Chief Auditor, Judiciary, a free press and NGOs.

    For his part, President Talat said that the establishment of a Presidential System in the Republic was very important to bring solutions to daily problems and to end bureaucracy.

    `The state should function on its own` President Talat said.

    Noting that the Presidential System was being discussed in many other countries of the world, he said the most important feature of the system was the `Separation of Powers`, which does not fully exist in Parliamentary System.

    [04] Talat assigns Ozdil Nami as his representative at talks with the UN and EU

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.11.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has assigned the Republican Turkish Party United Forces deputy Ozdil Nami to represent him at talks with the United Nations and the European Union. Mr Nami will be going to Brussels next week for talks with EU officials on the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Speaking at his weekly press briefing today, the Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica announced that President Talat has assigned the Lefkosia MP Ozdil Nami to represent him at talks with the United Nations and the European Union. Next week, Mr Nami will hold discussions with EU officials in Brussels on the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Responding to a question on the issue, the spokesperson said that Kutlay Erk a former-Mayor of Lefkosia will also be sent abroad from time to time on special duties. Referring to measures being taken at border gates, Mr Ercakica said it is in our own interest to implement measures at border crossings to protect the Turkish Cypriot economy`.

    Rejecting criticisms being voiced against those measures, he warned that more serious problems could be faced if the incomes of the state were cut all of a sudden.

    [05] Talat met members of the EP Committee on Petitions

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.11.07) broadcast the following:

    The delegation from the European Parliaments Committee on Petitions has been received by President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The four-man delegation which arrived in Cyprus yesterday - will prepare a report about the closed city of Maras [occupied Varosha] at the end of its contacts in north and south Cyprus.

    The delegation which is made up of Polish and Spanish parliamentarians, embarked on its contacts in the TRNC this morning.

    As part of its contacts, the delegation first met the Mayor of Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta] Oktay Kayalp.

    Its been reported that Mayor Kayalp briefed the delegation about the restoration of the Namik Kemal Square which was completed with funds granted by the European Commission in 2003.

    The Gazimagusa mayor also briefed the delegations on other city projects currently underway.

    Then, the delegation was received by President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Members of the delegation also met with the Chairperson of the Human Rights Foundation Emine Erk later in the day.

    All meetings were closed to the press.

    Yesterday, the visiting delegation held discussions in the Greek Cypriot side.

    [06] Belarus delegation continues its contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.11.07) broadcast the following:

    A delegation of businessperson from Belarus, which arrived in the TRNC yesterday, is continuing its contacts.

    Today, the delegation held inspections at some enterprises in the Republic to get information about the production processes.

    Yesterday, shortly after their arrival, members of the Belarusian delegation which was invited to the TRNC by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry and Turkish Embassy in Lefkosia were received by the Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag.

    Later, they met with Turkish Cypriot foodstuff producers at the Chamber of Industry.

    [07] DTP leader investigated for avoiding military service

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (27.11.07) reports that:

    The General Staff military prosecutor's office has decided to have 30 of the 83 suspects investigated for acquiring medical reports that describe them as unfit personnel under arrest. The prosecutor's office was informed that 100 people, including DTP (Democratic Society Party) leader Nurettin Demirtas, tried to avoid compulsory military service. An investigation was launched against 83 of the suspects. The military prosecutor's office decided to have 30 of the 83 suspects investigated for acquiring medical reports to avoid military service as unfit personnel placed under arrest. It was informed that 100 people, including DTP leader Nurettin Demirtas, avoided compulsory military service. Legal procedures were initiated against 53 suspects. Demirtas, who is in Germany at the present time, and 16 of the other suspects are now on the wanted list. The military prosecutor's office has not been able to interrogated Demirtas because he is abroad.

    It will be recalled that the prosecutor's office in Ankara filed lawsuits against 183 suspects, including Demirtas, for establishing gangs to commit crimes and forging documents some time ago. The indictment accused Demirtas of "forging official documents to avoid military service as unfit personnel and urged the court to sentence him to 2.5 years in prison in accordance with Article 204/1 of the Turkish Penal Code. The hearing of the lawsuits against the suspects will take place at the 6th Criminal Court in Ankara during the next few days. It will be recalled that the prosecutor's office in Ankara informed the military prosecutor sometime ago that 100 suspects, including Nurettin Demirtas, tried to avoid military service by acquiring medical reports that described them as unfit personnel.

    The military prosecutor's office launched an investigation against the 100 suspects who were listed in the file that was conveyed to it by the prosecutor's office in Ankara. Legal proceedings were initiated against 83 or them in accordance with the Turkish Military Penal Code. The military prosecutor asked the military court in Ankara to have them arrested last night. Some 30 of them were placed under arrest. The hearing of the lawsuits against the remaining 53 suspects is continuing.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [08] Reportage on the development of the usurped land of Greek Cypriots in occupied Kyrenia

    Under the title: Construction Industry: The frenzy may have slowed, but it´s left its mark on the landscape. And a third of new homes are new apartments. Building boom transforms the TRNC Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Today newspaper (24-30/11/07) reports the following:

    A large swathe of the landscape stretching from Girne [occupied Keryneia] to Tatlisu [occupied Akanthou] has been transformed by the TRNC construction boom that took hold as a result of the Annan Plan.

    New figures jointly compiled by the Estate Agents´ Union, Prime Ministry and research organization Kadem have revealed the extent of development in this region, which covers 12 villages.

    Construction companies have particularly targeted this area, which has seen the largest number of homes built in the TRNC since 2004.

    In this time, projects for some 4,700 homes have begun 2,812 of them areas till in the construction stage, 1,263 are completed and occupied, while a further 625 are finished but unoccupied.

    Statistics for the period show an overwhelming trend towards apartment building over putting up houses, bungalows or villas. In 2004/5, some 19.7 per cent of homes were apartments, but this figure has soared to 34.2 per cent for the year 2006/7. The figures have also revealed a trend towards developments of over 100 apartments, which now account for more than 27 per cent of all flats built.

    Research shows that since 2004, work has started on the building of 2,875 detached houses, 799 apartments, 454 terraced houses, 327 bungalows, 204 two-storey homes, 27 three-storey homes, and 14 other types of homes.

    Of the 12 villages in this region, Catalkoy [occupied Ayios Epiktitos] has seen the biggest amount of development, while Besparmak [occupied Trapeza] area has seen the least.

    In the last four years, some 1,063 homes have been built in Catalkoy [occupied Ayios Epiktitos], 983 in Kucuk Erenkoy [settlement near occupied Ayios Amvrosios], 874 between Alagadi and Esentepe [occupied Ayios Amvrosios], 548 in Bahceli [occupied Kalogrea], 300 in Arapkoy [occupied Klepini], 206 between Tatlisu [occupied Akanthou] and Esentepe [occupied Ayios Amvrosios], 202 in Tatlisu [occupied Akanthou], 170 in Esentepe [occupied Ayios Amvrosios], 120 in Karaagac [occupied Chartzia], 102 in Alagadi, 73 in Karakum [occupied Karakoumi] and 59 in Besparmak [occupied Trapeza].

    Construction in the Girne-Tatlisu [occupied Keryneia-occupied Akanthou] area peaked in 2006, when 1,919 home-building projects were begun, compared to just 450 in 2004.

    According to the head of the Estate Agents´ Union, Hasan Sungur, construction now accounts for 30.2 per cent of the TRNC economy, compared to about five per cent in other countries. The construction sector is the driving force behind 62 other sectors, he said. Underlining the massive growth in the industry, Mr Sungur says the number of developers and contracting firms operating in the TRNC now stands at more than 900.

    This figure has risen from just 65 in 2003, to 312 in 2004, 586 in 2005 and 854 in 2006m he claims. In tandem, many new estate agents have sprung up across North Cyprus and, according to Mr Sungur, there are now 300 compared with just 22 in 2001. However, fresh legislation is now being put into practice to streamline and strengthen government control of estate agents.

    While the union chief realizes the importance of the building industry, he has warned that such a heavy reliance on the sector could result in chaos for the country´s financial future.

    Large-scale development placed an extra burden on infrastructure such as road and water supplies, he said.

    Mr Sungur has called for standards of construction to be raised and wants emphasis to be placed on building homes surrounded by greenery, saying: We believe in growing together with nature.

    He added: Our anticipation for the future is high-quality, wealthy customers coming here from abroad, and for the contractors to adjust to their needs.

    Master plans for the development of the TRNC should be put into practice, said Mr Sungur, who criticized regional decrees passed by the government for lacking foresight and being based on day-to-day decisions which are harmful to the country´s economy.

    Although there are signs the construction boom is showing, development still plays a major role in the TRNC economy and in 2007 alone, a total of 11,000 homes have been completed.

    What´s been built where

    Homes begun since 2004

    Detached houses 2,875

    Apartments 799

    Terraced houses 454

    Bungalows 327

    Two-storey homes 204

    Three-storey homes 27

    Others 14

    New development by area

    (east of Girne)

    Catalkoy [occupied Ayios Epiktitos] 1,063

    Kucuk Erenkoy [area near occupied Agios Amvrosios] 983

    Alagadi-Esentepe [Alagadi-occupied Agios Amvrosios] 874

    Bahceli [occupied Kalogrea] 548

    Arapkoy [occupied Klepini] 300

    Tatlisu-Esentepe [occupied Akanthou-occupied Agios Amvrosios] 206

    Tatlisu [occupied Akanthou] 202

    Esentepe [occupied Agios Amvrosios] 170

    Karaagac [occupied Chartzia] 120

    Alagadi 102

    Karakum [occupied Karakoumi] 73

    Besparmak [occupied Trapeza] 59

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 27 November 2007

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish press of 27 November on issues of the current Turkish political agenda:

    a) Kurdish Issue: Turkish commandoes have discovered two "American-made" M-16 rifles and C-4 explosives in a PKK cave in the Yuksekova district of Hakkari, according to a Hurriyet report.

    The United States has increased its troop strength in northern Iraq in view of a possible Turkish cross-border operation, according to a Milliyet report, which adds that the US troops are coordinating their patrol duties with the peshmergas and that the US soldiers do not feel threatened in the Kurdish region. According to the report, the Kurdish regional government has also stepped up its measures to further restrict PKK movements. Another Milliyet report quotes Kongra-Gel leader Zubeyir Aydar as telling ROJ TV that the peshmergas have changed position and besieged the PKK on Mt Kandil and that following Erdogan-Bush meeting Talabani and Barzani might give their approval to a cross-border operation.

    Commenting on Kurdish developments in an interview with Milliyet's Devrim Sevimay, Retired Ambassador Umit Pamir says if the United States extradites the PKK leaders to Turkey, the Turks will realize that the Kurdish problem is more than the PKK. He believes the Turks and Kurds will opt to coexist rather than divorce. Pamir states that according to some commentators the problem might end up in a referendum, in which the Kurds will be asked to either go to an independent Kurdish state in northern Iraq or stay in Turkey but be satisfied only with personal rights and renounce political and social rights for good. When reminded that the Kurds do not want to leave Turkey but want to change the state structure in Turkey and keep ties with northern Iraqi Kurds, Pamir notes that in that case the late Ozal's project of economic integration of northern Iraq with Turkey could be considered. Asked if the United States will accept such a thing, Pamir argues that all that the United States cares for is the safety of the Gulf oil and, therefore, will not object to any arrangement that ensures safe passage for oil.

    Under instructions from Prime Minister Erdogan, 75 Kurdish-origin AKP parliamentarians will visit the United States and EU countries to tell them that the PKK and the Democratic Society Party (DTP) do not represent the Kurds. It is the AKP that represents the Kurds, according to a 150-word Sabah report, which adds that this project was approved at AKP's Kizilcahamam conclave. Another 250-word Sabah report says that as part of its campaign against terrorism launched at the initiative of PM Erdogan, the government will distribute posters in all the European countries that will declare, "Terrorism is Crime Against Humanity," and "The PKK Has Killed More People Than ETA." Eye-catching photographs will be used on the posters.

    On reports about the whereabouts of Masut Barzani Vatan declares in his report that Barzani is neither injured nor sick, but is in Milan shopping.

    Vatan carries an interview with Mehmet Gul, a radical nationalist within the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), who says even the Kurds in Turkey are realizing that the United States is using the Kurds to partition Turkey, adding that the Turks and Kurds have continued to coexist despite the PKK terrorism. He believes the state should stand up for all its citizens, adding that even the PKK militants are Turkey's own martyrs the monument they die, for their parents are Turkish citizens too.

    A Vatan report says Kani Yilmaz (Faysal Dunlayici), once PKK's representative in Europe but assassinated by the PKK in 2006, has revealed in his memoirs that acting on Ocalan's instructions he met a US delegation in southern Cyprus in March 1994. Commenting on his diplomatic activities in his memoirs, which his friends in the Patriotic Democracy Party, (YDP), have published as a book, Yilmaz says the Americans told him that the PKK could be politicized, that they will try to establish a dialogue between the PKK and the Turkish government, and that and the US would gradually establish an open relationship with the PKK provided that it gradually disarms and disbands itself. Yilmaz says this last condition blocked the talks because Ocalan told the Americans that the organization is not yet ready for that, adding that it was a missed opportunity for Turkey's Kurds.

    In his column in Milliyet, Derya Sazak views Kurdish politician Kemal Burkay's interview in Sabah in which he said that after Ocalan's capture the PKK came to the verge of collapse but the "deep state" in Turkey again revived it to block the democratization process. Claiming that the Daglica attack was a provocation, Burkay says Erdogan's policy to disarm the PKK is the most correct option, for a cross-border operation would lead to Turkish-Kurdish clash. Burkay also says that Ocalan established the PKK under the patronage of MIT [Turkish National Intelligence Organization] and then came under the Syrian influence, adding that journalist Ugur Mumcu was assassinated because he was about to reveal this fact. Burkay believes that once the PKK terrorism ends, Turkey's ties with northern Iraq will become as friendly as its ties with Syria after Ocalan's expulsion.

    Arguing that Turkey has done nothing against the PKK in the last 36 days since the Daglica attack and that even the circumstances surrounding that attack have not yet been clarified, Cuneyt Ulsever argues in his 600-word column for Hurriyet, that all that has diminished Turkey's international prestige and the onset of the winter has silenced even those journalists who have been raising questions on the whole affair.

    On his part, Mehmet Ali Birand writes in his column in Hurriyet that Erdogan handled the Iraqi crisis very well and turned it into Turkey's advantage. He never lost control of the situation from the first day and did not venture into a military adventure despite pressure from the opposition and public. Birand says the Army and the foreign ministry also contributed to the emergence of the present situation, of which Ankara is pleased. Birand believes Turkey has now achieved a satisfactory result, as the PKK leaders have now been placed under surveillance, PKK bureaus have been closed, and the PKK camps on Mt Kandil have been evacuated. He concludes by saying that the military operation has now been suspended, but it could be activated if the PKK resumes terrorism.

    Radikal reports on PM Erdogan's statement that the press [Radikal] was wrong in quoting him as saying that if the West does not recognize the PKK as a terrorist organization then Turkey will declare Al-Qa'ida as a mere rebel organization. Erdogan calls on the press not to publish unfounded reports based on rumour, according to Radikal's report. Ismet Berkan says in his column for Radikal that the mistake was his own not that of the paper's in publishing that incorrect report, and apologizes to the readers, Erdogan, and the AKP.

    In an article entitled "Where is Barzani? Might he be in Israel?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul tries to "shed light" on the possible whereabouts of northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani by relating the story of how Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the regional Kurdish administration in northern Iraq, "went missing" for days similarly in August last year before it emerged that he had gone to Israel for some 20 days to take part in a "training" program.

    In an article entitled "Is the PKK being placed under siege?", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay claims that Ankara has made significant headway through its efforts on the military and diplomatic front toward having the terrorist PKK placed under international siege. After citing Prime Minister Erdogan, "who has never stopped acting rationally despite much irresponsible war-mongering on the part of opposition leaders," and Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, who is "the architect of Turkey's foreign policy," as the persons to whom Turkey owes this achievement, Alpay argues that the onus is on the ruling AKP now to "marginalize" the PKK at home by removing all obstacles to citizens of Kurdish origin expressing themselves through their language and culture, granting an amnesty for "ordinary PKK militants," and decentralizing Turkey's government structures.

    In an article entitled "Surrounded by Dangers", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal criticizes recent press reports asserting that Mas'ud Barzani and Jalal Talabani are at loggerheads with each other and that PKK terrorists on Mount Kandil have been placed under siege as part of a psychological campaign aimed at creating the false impression among the Turkish people that the United States has actually started taking measures against the PKK and that "the Barzani-Talabani duo" could never establish an independent Kurdish state in Iraq.

    b) Annapolis Conference: In a column in Sabah by Erdal Safak it is argued that there is a general pessimism about the Annapolis conference as the leaders attending it are lame ducks and, therefore, the Annapolis conference is not expected to produce a solution to the Middle East problem, it will simply issue a declaration of intend for future talks. Safak believes that if President Bush fails at Annapolis, there will be a conflagration in the Middle East. Sami Kohen too says in his 600-word column for Milliyet that participants in the conference are not expecting much from it, adding that the conference will not negotiate issues, but just to keep hopes alive, it will simply draw up a new road map for future talks. After wandering if Bush is not using the Annapolis conference to just isolate Iran, Hasan Cemal says in his 650-word column for Milliyet that everyone is cautious about the conference as the Israeli and Palestinian leaders are weak, but their situation will get worse if they fail to do something. The conference will be considered a success if it could relaunch the negotiation process, Cemal notes, adding that a failure will negative affect the region and Turkey.

    Declaring that almost no one is expecting concrete results from the conference, Ilter Turkmen says in his column in Hurriyet that the only positive aspect of it is Syria's participation, as it creates a better psychological situation for post-Annapolis talks. Also arguing that one should not be too optimistic or pessimistic about the Annapolis conference, Cengiz Candar says in his 1,100-word column in Referans that the meeting will be considered successful if it reiterates the principles of two states, stops new Jewish settlements, places Jerusalem and the refugee issues on the agenda of the post-Annapolis talks, and establishes a mechanism for those talks. Candar too believes Saudi Arabia and Syria were lured into the conference to show a common front against Iran, whom the US sees as the main obstacle to the Middle East peace process. In conclusion, Candar believes instability in the region will continue even after the conference and Turkey will be tasked to assume certain duties in post-Annapolis period.

    In an article entitled "A Farce Called Annapolis", Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak asserts that the ongoing international conference in Annapolis is important only as an event that shows "how despicable and brazen these imperialists really are. After introducing the Israeli virus into our lands, oppressing Palestine ruthlessly, laying waste to Lebanon, and wreaking havoc on Iraq, these monsters are now posing as apostles of peace and shamelessly telling us, 'We want so much to establish peace and calm in the Middle East. Come to Annapolis and let us discuss how to do it.'" Albayrak also argues that "nothing can be as ridiculous as trying to solve the Palestinian issue in a conference not attended by HAMAS, which represents the sweeping majority of the Palestinian people."

    In an article entitled "A New War Could Come out of Annapolis", Yeni Safak columnist Akif Emre cites the timing of the Annapolis conference and the positions of the sides involved as a reason not to be hopeful about the "peace summit" in the United States. In elaborating on this point, he calls attention to the similarities between the conditions that characterized the Mideast "peace process" started following the First Gulf War and the circumstances amid which today's conference is taking place. He also argues that an international summit on Palestine from which HAMAS has been excluded is more likely to lead to war than prepare the ground for peace.

    In an article entitled "Annapolis - A new beginning for peace", Nabul Maruf, the Palestinian ambassador to Turkey, claims that the Annapolis conference "presents an exceptional chance" for the parties to the Mideast dispute to resolve their differences. He also asserts that depending on the results of the meeting, "either the influence and power of the moderate forces that support regional peace will be enhanced or the forces that favour violence, revolution and war will increase their power ..."

    In an article entitled "Where will Annapolis lead us?", Moredehai Amihai, the Israeli consul-general in Istanbul, asserts that "while the responsibility to solve the [Mideast] conflict lies with the sides, the Annapolis meeting must be followed by an international effort to provide a supportive environment for the sides in their effort to reach agreement."

    Under the banner headline, "Zionist show in Annapolis: Palestinians thrown to the wolves," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which refers to the Annapolis conference as a US effort to have Israel recognized as a "Jewish state," and "isolate" HAMAS and Iran. According to the report, the conference is going to discuss "a plan to destroy Palestine and occupy Iran."

    EG/


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