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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-07

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. 27/08 07.02.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Soyer completed his contacts in Ankara
  • [02] Murat Kanatli stated that the population in the areas of Cyprus has reached 500 thousands
  • [03] EU will provide 145 scholarships to the Turkish Cypriot students and academicians for the academic year 2008/2009
  • [04] The Legal and Political Affairs Committee discussed the amendment of article 159 of the constitution
  • [05] The rector of the illegal DAU University Tahir Celik participated in the World University Forum- A guest from Slovenia will visit occupied Cyprus and will give a lecture on the Bologna Process
  • [06] Who is this Euroka?
  • [07] The self-styled minister of economy on tourism, foreign investments and the Karpass Peninsula
  • [08] The Turkish Parliament to vote on amendments for lifting the ban on headscarf
  • [09] Hasan Gerceker has been elected the new chief judge of the Sepreme Court in Turkey
  • [10] New bird flu outbreak in Turkey
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 06 February 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Soyer completed his contacts in Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak Television (06.02.08) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey have expressed their common desire for a just and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem. This was voiced by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who came together in Ankara yesterday.

    Prime Minister Soyer returned to the Republic this afternoon at the end of his contacts in the Turkish capital.

    Speaking at Ercan [occupied Tymvou] Airport, Prime Minister Soyer said that during his visit to Ankara, he had discussed the details of initiatives to be taken by the TRNC and Turkey to forward the new negotiations process expected to be started by the United Nations in the coming days.

    He said that Turkish officials have also promised to provide assistance to the TRNC in its harmonization negotiations with the European Union.

    The Premier added that ways to increase the number of Turkish students studying at universities in the TRNC and to forward the Erasmus project were also discussed during his contacts in the Turkish capital. He said the openings made by Germany were also on the agenda of his discussions with Mr Erdogan.

    During yesterdays meeting between the two Premiers, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that Ankara would continue its economic support to the TRNC.

    On the Cyprus issue, the two premiers expressed their joint determination to work towards finding a lasting, comprehensive and just solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    During his stay in Ankara, Prime Minister Soyer also met with the leader of the main opposition Republic Peoples Party, Deniz Baykal. The Cyprus issue was on top of their discussions.

    Speaking after the meeting, the CHP Leader said that his party wanted the new peace initiative expected to be launched by the United Nations to bring a new formula that will start a new beginning in Cyprus with the existence of two sovereign states and the continuation of Turkeys affective guarantee.

    For his part, Mr Soyer expressed the belief that the new initiative by the UN will bring about a settlement to the Cyprus problem that will protect the common and strategic interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot People. Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci and Minister of Finance Ahmet Uzun accompanied Mr. Soyer during his visit to Ankara.

    On Mr Soyer´s contacts Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.08) reported the following:

    Deniz Baykal, chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said Wednesday the international community was and ought to be meek and acting with embarrassment resulting from failure to keep its promises to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    Baykal met TRNC Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer at his party's HQs in Ankara. Baykal and Soyer held a joint press conference after their meeting.

    CHP leader Baykal said a new era was beginning for the Cyprus issue as it slowly turned out that the good-willed and peaceful attitude displayed by TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot community in the international arena did not bear any results.

    "The international community owes to the Turkish (Cypriot) community. Promises were given however they were not kept. On the other hand, this community (Turkish Cypriot) showed remarkable harmony and cooperation," said Baykal.

    Baykal stressed that there were important steps to be taken (by international community) and said in the new era the isolation and embargoes on TRNC should be removed.

    Baykal said a necessity to proceed with a new negotiation process based on the equal sovereignty of the two communities could emerge. He said an attempt to patch up the Turkish Cypriot community to the Greek Cypriot administration would be meaningless.

    Meanwhile TRNC PM Soyer said there were attempts in the world and Europe to ignore the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community and the isolation of TRNC was inhumane.

    "Turkish Cypriot youngsters cannot partake in (international) sports events, they cannot be engaged in cultural events. We cannot make direct flights. Our right to make direct commerce is usurped. This is a major violation of human rights. We will continue our struggle to change this situation. We trust in Turkey," said Soyer.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.08) reports that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, who paid a working visit to Ankara, had a meeting yesterday with the leader of the main opposition party in Turkey, the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal. After the meeting the two men held a joint press conference. Mr. Soyer said: The coordinated cooperation between senior officials of both countries within the framework of the common policy and the objective chartered by the TRNC and the Republic of Turkey for the solution of the Cyprus problem continues.

    On his turn Mr. Baykal said: We want use of every opportunity directed to the solution of the problems of the Turkish Cypriot people in the best possible way. We will welcome an agreement which will be the result of this understanding. The CHP leader went on and expressed every support to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr. Soyer, after completing his contacts in Ankara, returned to the occupied area. He described his contacts in Ankara very useful.

    [02] Murat Kanatli stated that the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus has reached 500 thousands

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.08) reports that the secretary of the executive council of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) Murat Kanatli held a press conference yesterday and said that at present the population in the occupied part of Cyprus has reached 500 thousands and it is very difficult for the existing infrastructure to maintain this number. He urged that a stop be put to bringing in people from Turkey and he said that taking into consideration the human rights situation the people brought over from Turkey should be reduced gradually.

    He said that the people brought from Turkey are the main element of usurping the right to elect and to be elected of the Turkish Cypriots and eliminating their free will. He said that to this effect they have prepared a report and submitted it to the political groups in the European Parliament and to the members of the Contact Group. He went on and said that they will submit this report to the EU term presidency, Slovenia, the EU Commissions Office in Cyprus to be distributed to other relevant bodies.

    (MHY)

    [03] EU will provide 145 scholarships to the Turkish Cypriot students and academicians for the academic year 2008/2009

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.08) reports that that EU will provide 145 scholarships to the Turkish Cypriot students and academicians for the academic year 2008/2009 within the framework of the EU Commission´s financial aid program to the Turkish Cypriot community. A total of 17 thousand Euros will be granted for each student.

    Kibris also reports that the Dutch Ambassador to Cyprus Ambassador Jan Eric van den Berg has said that he had contacted Dutch universities and succeeded in 15 of them accepting Turkish Cypriot students and academicians for study. Ambassador Berg said that those who want to study in the Netherlands should first apply to the university and then for scholarship to the Commissions office in Cyprus.

    (MHY)

    [04] The Legal and Political Affairs Committee discussed the amendment of article 159 of the constitution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.08) reports that the self-styled Legal and Political Affairs Committee of the so-called Assembly, convened yesterday and discussed the amendment of certain paragraphs and sub-paragraphs of article 159 of the constitution. Article 159 refers to the property ownership in the occupied area and the amendments are related to the transfer of the ownership rights of these properties to the real or corporate Turkish Cypriot bodies.

    (MHY)

    [05] The rector of the illegal DAU University Tahir Celik participated in the World University Forum- A guest from Slovenia will visit occupied Cyprus and will give a lecture on the Bologna Process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.02.08) reports that the Rector of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), Dr Tahir Celik, participated in the World University Forum which took place between 31 of January and 2 of February in Davos, Switzerland. In the forum, issues regarding the future of the higher education were undertaken.

    As the paper writes, Mr Celik held various contacts with participants of other countries in the framework of the Forum and exchanged views with them. He also invited them to visit the occupied areas in order to visit the illegal universities and to transfer their experience and knowledge. Mr Celik received positive replies to his invitations. Mr Celik stated that a guest from Slovenia will soon visit occupied Cyprus in order to make a speech on the Bologna Process and aiming to advise the universities in the TRNC on this issue.

    (CS)

    [06] Who is this Euroka?

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (07.02.08) reports that the 450 donums [a land measure of 1000 square meters] of land given to the well-known businessman Asil Nadir in occupied Aigialousa village in the northern cost of the island, has been transferred to an unknown company.

    The paper refers to the developments that took place since 25 March 1999 when Asil Nadir had established a company named Loyal and Royal with a businesswoman named Sidika Atalay, and asked from the government a land of 450 donums for investments in the above-mentioned area in order to build a marina and tourist installations.

    The paper reports that in 2005, after absolutely nothing had happened in the area and some persons gained millions of dollars, the area was transferred to an unknown company named Euroka Enterprises Ltd. On 28 September 2005 this company transferred this land to another company named Karpaz Bay Resort. The director of the company is Euroka Enterprises Ltd, which possesses 100,029 shares in the Kapraz Bay Resort.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The self-styled minister of economy on tourism, foreign investments and the Karpass Peninsula

    Under the title The TRNC starts advertisement in Turkey, Milliyet (07.02.08) publishes a report by Nevin Donat from occupied Cyprus on statements by the so-called minister of economy and tourism Erdogan Sanlidag according to which during the forthcoming days, the illegal regime will start promoting the TRNC in Turkey for 2009 to be the TRNC year. Mr. Sanlidag noted that apart from Turkey, Germany and Britain were chosen to be the main market targets for the promotion and added that five million dollars will be separated from the budget in order to be spent for this promotion.

    According to Sanlidag, during the past year, the illegal regime has gained a total of 384 million dollars out of the tourism sector and he alleged that after a few weeks time, the so-called assembly will approve a master planö which will double the income from the tourism sector.

    Mr. Sanlidag further added that a total of 684,000 persons have visited during last year the occupied territories, asserting that this years goal is for this number to reach approximately the one million. He further noted that the engine of the TRNC economy is the education and the tourism sectors and added that the Istanbul Technical University will open a four-faculty campus in the occupied areas.

    Regarding foreign investments, Mr. Sanlidag stated that there are Israeli and British investments and that 13 investment permissions were given in the Karpass peninsula.

    (ML)

    [08] The Turkish Parliament to vote on amendments for lifting the ban on headscarf

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.08) reports the following:

    During the General Assembly in the Turkish parliament on Wednesday, a voting was held to determine whether to proceed to the voting of the articles of the constitutional amendment bill which envisages freeing headscarf in higher education institutions.

    A total of 517 MPs attended the voting during which 397 MPs voted 'Yes', 113 MPs voted 'No', 4 MPs abstained and 3 votes were empty.

    After the results were announced, the parliament took a recess.

    [09] Hasan Gerceker has been elected the new chief judge of the Supreme Court in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.08) broadcast the following:

    Hasan Gerceker, the head of the Ninth Penal Department, has been elected the new chief judge of the Supreme Court on Wednesday. Gerceker was elected with 131 votes.

    Vote of at least 126 members (absolute majority) is necessary to get elected the chief judge of Supreme Court. Chief judge remains in office for four years. However, Gerceker's term in office will end in 2011 as he will reach the retirement age limit.

    [10] New bird flu outbreak in Turkey

    Turkish NTV television (06.02.08) broadcast the following from Sakarya:

    There has been another outbreak of avian influenza in Turkey, the third in less than a month, with authorities quarantining a region in the north western province of Sakarya to prevent the spread of the virus.

    Officials announced late Tuesday that bird flu had been detected in the village of Yenicam in Sakarya after dozens of domestic fowl had died. Tests are still being carried out to determine if the strain of the virus is the deadly H5N1 form of the disease, which can be transmitted to humans.

    A 10-kilometre observation zone has been declared around the village and authorities have destroyed more than 700 domestic fowl.

    According to a statement issued by health officials, there was no evidence that the virus had spread to any people in the village.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 06 February 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 6 February 2008 on issues of the current Ankara political agenda:

    a) Headscarf Issue: According to a report by Abdullah Karakus in Milliyet, the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), is concerned that the Constitutional Court might annul an amendment to be made to Article 17 of the Higher Education Law describing how the headscarf should be tied. The report adds that this was the issue that the AKP Central Executive Council discussed behind closed doors on 4 February. At the meeting, AKP deputy leader Haluk Ipek presented the report prepared on the issue by academicians who are experts on the Penal Code. The Executive Council members are of the view that one should proceed very carefully with the amendment because once the Constitutional Court reverses the decision, the headdress issue cannot be resolved. Asked whether the party is working on an amendment to the article at the end of the parliamentary faction group meeting yesterday, Prime Minister Erdogan said that if legal support is received from other political parties and if new proposals are submitted on certain legal points, then joint work can be conducted on the issue.

    According to a report by Gokcer Tahincioglu in Milliyet, the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals has begun to work on files concerning the AKP. The Prosecutor's Office, which twice announced that trying to lift the headdress ban in universities through the amendment of the Constitution and the laws is sufficient reason to close down a political party, has also begun to inspect past actions by the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, to determine whether there is sufficient reason for a possible closure case. The AKP-MHP plan to have the parliament endorse on 9 February the formula of amending articles of the Constitution and the Higher Education Council, YOK, prompted the Prosecutor's Office to initiate intense work on the issue, the report adds. The prosecutors maintain the view that the activities conducted and the statements issued by the AKP meet the criteria of "becoming the focal point of activities against the principle of secularism," which are sought in party closure cases.

    A report in Milliyet says Nurettin Canikli, the deputy leader of the AKP parliamentary faction, paid a surprise visit to the Supreme Court of Appeals. According to the report, Canikli remained at the Court for three and a half hours but no information was obtained about the meetings he held.

    Expressing his objection to the headscarf ban in a column in Milliyet, Taha Akyol finds that "the angry reactions of those who turn the principle of secularism to a 'secular religion' are irrational." Advising the AKP and the MHP to include in the Constitution a clause guaranteeing the freedom of students who do not cover their heads, Akyol argues that there is a psychological if not a legal need for such a provision. Calling on the judiciary to be more moderate in its reactions, Akyol writes: "The judiciary is responsible for enforcing the laws enacted by the parliament. Only the Constitutional Court is entitled to carry out constitutional supervision. Lifting the ban on the headscarf is not tantamount to 'violating the principle of secularism.'"

    In his column entitled "Baykal Did Not Fall into the Trap of Anti-religion" in Milliyet, Fikret Bila begins by relating the various meetings Republican People's Party leader Deniz Baykal held with theologians and former heads of the Religious Affairs Directorate on the headscarf and its place in Islam. Noting that Baykal's intense work on the issue was reflected in his speech at the party faction meeting held yesterday, Bila praises Baykal's speech for expressing his views on the headscarf without falling into the trap of anti-religion and without offending religious sensitivities. Referring to a lack of unity of views among religious authorities on the issue of showing one's hair, Baykal argued that it would be wrong to include in the Constitution and the laws an issue over which there is no consensus. Bila concludes by praising MHP leader Bahceli's speech at his party's faction meeting and the message he conveyed on being the "check and guarantee" in the face of the concerns felt among the public regarding the headdress issue.

    Predicting that the parliament will adopt the amendments on Articles 10 and 42 of the Constitution on 9 February in an article entitled "What will the AKP and the MHP tell the constitutional court?" in Radikal, Ismet Berkan expects the CHP to make its recourse to the Court as soon as possible. Trying to guess whether the Court will uphold Article 2 of the Constitution that stipulates that "amending the constitution cannot even be proposed," Berkan asserts that in that case Turkey will be faced with another constitutional crisis within one year. The writer further predicts a regime crisis if Erdogan and Bahceli refuse to accept the court ruling and attempt to amend the law on the establishment of the Constitutional Court. Berkan believes that the Constitutional Court will annul the amendments, thus causing a constitutional crisis. He writes that it is up to the two leaders to prevent the exacerbation of the crisis.

    Criticizing the government for its "delusive understanding of individual freedoms" that tend to include only the headdress issue in an editorial in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli accuses the AKP of ignoring all the reforms pertaining to minority rights, the freedom of thought, and the Kurdish problem. Kanli adds that had the government been sincere in solving the headdress issue, it would have prepared a package to include the problems of the Alevis and the Christian minorities.

    In a column in the Turkish Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand says that the fait accompli created by the AKP on the headdress issue has eroded the secular sector's confidence in the AKP. The writer believes that the best way to restore this confidence and to conserve its democratic secular system in Turkey is for the government to speedily implement the EU reforms.

    Ruhi Tuna, who organized a leftist struggle in northern Iran in the aftermath of Khomeini revolution in that country and who served an 8-year prison term, has said that Turkey is on the way to becoming another Iran. A report in Vatan relates an interview with Tuna who sought asylum in Turkey in 1999 after he was released from prison. Pointing out that the headdress issue is being used as a political weapon, Tuna expresses the belief that the Ataturk reforms will all be abolished in the future. He says: "The headdress issue will not be limited to universities. In the future there will be mayors and deputies headdressed. Recalling the execution of reformist Muslims in Iran, Tuna predicts the same for Turkey.

    According to a report in Radikal, the Iranian charge d'affaire, commenting on the ongoing discussions regarding the headdress in Turkey, said that the people will make the best decision on the issue. He further added that, no matter who says what, Iran is determined to enhance its relations with Turkey. The charge d'affaire added that Iranian President Ahmadinezhad will visit Turkey soon and that preparations in connection with the visit are underway.

    b) Kurdish Issues: A report by Ozgur Cebe in Milliyet says that Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir, who was being prosecuted for sending invitations in Kurdish for the Municipality's Art and Culture Festival in 2006, has been acquitted.

    According to a report by Namik Durukan in Milliyet, the march organized by the Democratic Society Party, DTP, to protest the cross-border operations ended at the point where Cudi and Gabar Mountains meet. The report adds that close to 3,000 DTP members arrived at the border and set up 30 tents. Addressing the 3,000-strong crowd, DTP parliamentary faction leader Ahmet Turk responded to Prime Minister Erdogan's claims that the AKP would win in the local elections in Diyarbakir saying that "the Diyarbakir fortress will never fall, the Diyarbakir resistance is the symbol of peace." Also addressing the crowd, DTP deputy leader Emine Ayna called for an end to the operations and added: "No to surrender. The Kurdish people will demand their right to unity, freedom, and an education in their mother tongue. These actions will not stop. These actions will continue so long as the operations continue." Diyarbakir Mayor Baydemir, who was also present, addressed the crowd in Kurdish.

    A report on the DTP protest in Vatan says that bonfires were lit in front of the tents in the evening and participants in the event chanted pro-Ocalan slogans such as "PKK is the people," "Long live Apo (Ocalan's nom de guerre)," and "We are Apo."

    c) Crime: According to a report in Ortadogu, prisons in Turkey are full and the number of prisoners has reached an all time high. The number of prison inmates that were around 70,000 last year, has reached 93,000 this year, the report adds. Noting that prison administrations have increased security measures to prevent incidents in over- crowded wards, the report says that the Justice Ministry is speeding up the construction of new prisons in a bid to solve the problem. Former prosecutor Nurullah Aydin is reported to have said that the number of inmates in relation to the country's population is high especially if one takes into consideration the frequent amnesties declared in the country.

    d) Ergenekon organization: In an article entitled "Ergenekon: The abyss of nationalism", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil lists some of the charges laid against "the Ergenekon terrorist network," whose "ultranationalist" members were apprehended in recent police operations. Criticizing the activities of the said group, Ergil asks "what kind of nationalism divides the nation and wages war against an internally generated enemy that is our citizens ... and hires and trains assassins to kill their own nationals just because they do not think, act and believe the way they do ..."

    EG/


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