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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-13
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 31/08 13.02.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Ercakica stated that a UN delegation is visiting Cyprus in MarchUnder the title The UN is coming in March Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.02.08) reports in its first page that Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that a delegation on behalf of the UN Secretary-General will visit the region in March and noted that this will be an evaluation visit. Replying to a question regarding the visit to Cyprus of the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe, Mr Ercakica stated that the date of the visit has not become definite yet but, as he said, more or less it has been arranged. Mr Ercakica made these statements during his weekly press briefing yesterday morning.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.02.08) covers the same issue and writes that after the elections in south Cyprus, a UN delegation will visit the island and that Mr Ercakica confirmed that the delegation will visit Cyprus in March. Commenting on the statements of the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus, Mrs Erato Markoulli that she is not informed on the visit, Mr Ercakica stated: Someone is playing games. They told us about the issue. Did they not tell them? As he stated the members of the delegation are not known yet.
Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Yeni Duzen (13.02.08) writes that Mr Ercakica stated that all the diplomats who visit the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, especially the ambassadors of the UN Security Council member countries, emphasize that there is going to be a visit and added that the UN delegation is expected to come after the elections in south Cyprus.
He went on and said that it will be an evaluation visit, regarding whether the road will be opened or not for a new initiative for the solution of the Cyprus problem and on what kind of an initiative this will be. Noting that no details are known for the persons of the delegation, Mr Ercakica said that the Turkish side wants and expects this visit. Asked if the TRNC will recognize the independence of Kosovo, Mr Ercakica stated that they did not make any preparations on this issue and added that it is not right to connect the Kosovo issue with the Cyprus problem.
 Turkish official met the Speaker of the Parliament of KosovoAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.08) reports the following from Pristina:
Mustafa Sarnic from Turkey's Coordination Office in Kosovo paid a courtesy call to Kosovar Parliament Speaker Jakup Krasniqi on Tuesday.
Sarnic and Krasniqi held a joint press conference following their meeting. During his speech, Krasniqi expressed the importance of the improvement of relations between Turkey and Kosovo.
Meanwhile, Sarnic said that Turkish people living in Kosovo and Kosovar people residing in Turkey played an important role in the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.
 The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization continued its contacts in occupied CyprusUnder the title ISESCO Director General Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri: The isolations are merciless, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (13.02.08) reports on its first page that Mr Altwaijri, the Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), who is heading a delegation visiting occupied Cyprus, held meetings yesterday with the five universities in the TRNC, which became members of the Islamic Countries Universities Federation (FUIW), of which Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri is the Director General. (ISESCO is a specialized institution of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), in the field of education, science and culture).
Mr Altwaijri stated, inter alia, that the propaganda by south Cyprus is huge and added that they are trying to eliminate the misinformation, not only in the countries which are members of the OIC but in the international arena as well. The isolations imposed on the TRNC are unfair, illegal and merciless. At the same time they are not legitimate. The OIC countries are peaceful countries and they are against nobody. However, we will always support justice and we will be against the injustice, he stated.
The paper also writes that during his visit to the illegal Near East University (YDU) Mr Altwaijri received an honorary Doctorate.
Commenting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.02.08) reports that during his visit to YDU, Mr Altwaijri stated, inter alia, that ISESCO and FUIW will support the cause of the TRNC. I give you guarantees on this, he said.
 The chairman of the UBP Tahsin Ertugruloglu will hold a meeting with Tayyip ErdoganTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (13.02.08) reports in its first page that the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu, received a reply he expected for a long time. The Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan replied positively to Ertugruloglus request to meet him and the chairman of UBP is going to Istanbul to hold a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister. Mr Erdogan invited Mr Ertugruloglu to visit him on Saturday and hold a 15-30 minutes meeting. The content of the meeting was not made known.
 Oya Talat is going to London to participate in a ball for raising money for the SOS Children Village in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.02.08) reports that Mrs Oya Talat, the wife of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, is going to London to participate in a ball which is going to take place on the 22nd of February in London, for raising money for the SOS Children Village in occupied Cyprus.
 Twelve Syrians were arrested at the Glapsides beach in occupied FamagustaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.02.08) reports that twelve Syrians were arrested by the self-styled police at the Glapsides beach in occupied Famagusta. The Syrians, were trying to enter illegally the TRNC using a small boat.
 The occupation regime continues to distribute land to tourism firms in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.02.08) reports in its first page that upon a decision of the council of ministers 168 donums of land, which is located between the Cyprus Garden and the Istanbul Fighters beach, and for which Iskele [occupied Trikomo] and environmental organizations are protesting, was leased for 49 years to Kotitas Tourism AS. Keryneia was exhausted, now Famagustas turn came. The land that is located on the sea shores is offered as a present to foreign firms by the government, writes Afrika.
The paper goes on and writes that 350 donums of land, which are along the same coastline, was given as a present to another firm. The Iskele [occupied Trikomo] Citizens Initiative Chairman Huseyin Yorganci stated that a minister told him: You are struggling in vain; the land was given for the economy of the country. Pine trees which are ten years old and two meters long exist in the estates given. If constructions are started in the area an environmental disaster will take place, writes Afrika.
Commenting on the issue, the chairman of the Social Democrat Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici, stated that those who distribute illegally land are traitors. Mr Cakici also called on the government to fill the hotels already existing in occupied Cyprus and then to build more.
 Turkish and Israeli Ministers of Defence hold a joint press conferenceAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.08) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Minister of National Defence Vecdi Gonul said Tuesday growing cooperation between Turkey and Israel contributes to peace and stability in the region.
Gonul indicated that Israeli unmanned aircraft have been very helpful in the south-east and cross border operations.
Gonul received Israeli Minister of Defence Ehud Barak in Ankara on Tuesday. The two ministers held a press conference after their tete-a-tete meeting. Relations between Turkey and Israel go back far in history. Our relations are not merely based on the relations among the states but the peoples of our two countries. Relations among our people and Jews go back centuries. You remember Jews who came to our country from Spain. You remember German Jews that Turkey received with open arms. Turkey was among the first countries to recognize Israel when it was founded. In fact, Turkey was the first Muslim country to recognize Israel, Gonul noted.
We are making great efforts so that Israel and Palestine live in peace side by side. The growing cooperation between our two countries contributes to the peace and stability in the region. We have signed 15 agreements with Israeli military authorities and are conducting joint military acts, Gonul indicated. We thank Israel for its support to Turkey in the defence industry. We thank Mr. Barak for sending equipment and devices that Turkey use in the south-east and in cross border operations, Gonul stressed.
Ehud Barak, Israeli Minister of Defence, said Tuesday that Turkey is a source of stability in the region.
Barak met his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul in Ankara on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after his meeting with Gonul, Barak indicated that Turkey is a country that has relations with all governments and peoples in the region. Everyone respects and have confidence in Turkey in the region, Barak stressed.
Turkey is a source of stability in a region surrounded by Afghanistan, Iraq, Hezbollah and Lebanon, Barak underlined.
We discussed bilateral relations with Vecdi Gonul and displayed willingness for more joint projects in the future, Barak also said.
 OSCE´s Secretary-General holds talks in AnkaraTurkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (13.02.08) reports the following:
Ambassador Marc Perrin de Brichambaut, the secretary-general of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), began talks with Turkish officials yesterday on the first day of a two-day visit to Ankara.
De Brichambaut met with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan at the Foreign Ministry to discuss issues related to European security, OSCE activities in Central Asia and other issues on the agenda of the international organization, the Anatolia news agency said. The OSCE secretary-general is also scheduled to meet with President Abdullah Gul and State Minister Mehmet Aydin while in Ankara.
 Turkey joins EU competitiveness and innovation programAnkara Anatolia news agency (12.02.08) reports the following from Brussels:
Turkey became the third candidate country, after Croatia and Macedonia [FYROM], to join the EU competitiveness and innovation program (CIP).
The program will benefit the Turkish business world, especially the small and medium scale ones.
The EU has allocated 3.6 billion euro for the CIP between 2007-2013. CIP is comprised of three parts, namely entrepreneurship, support program for information and communications technologies and European smart energy and technology program.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 12 February 2008Following are short summaries of reports and commentaries from selected items from the Turkish press of 12 February:
a) Headscarf issue: In an article entitled "Headscarf divides academia into three camps," Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol points out that debates over a recent constitutional amendment aimed at lifting the ban on wearing Islamic headdress in university campuses have led to the emergence of three camps, including the proponents and opponents of the ban and a third group which are in favour of lifting the ban, but criticize the legislative procedures followed and are deeply concerned about resulting social polarization. He comments: "This diversification of opinions is the most effective guarantee for secularism against theocracy and for democracy against authoritarianism. Diversification of opinions is a good thing. What we should avoid is confrontations."
In an article entitled "Problem related to supplementary article 17," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila notes that the CHP intends to apply to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the constitutional amendment and planned revisions to supplementary article 17 of the Act on the Higher Education Council in order to eliminate uncertainties about how female university students could wear headscarf. Noting that the matter will likely cause tension in universities, he comments: "University presidents, students, and politicians should act prudently and refrain from exacerbating tension until the Constitutional Court hands down its rulings."
In an editorial entitled "Erdogan's goal," Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi argues that the "backbone of secularism" has been broken with the ratification of the constitutional amendment. He says: "According to people who are more pessimistic, secularism has already died. Prayers offered by Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Devlet Bahceli and 411 people in the Turkish Grand National Assembly two days ago were probably aimed at vindicating those who say that secularism has died if it did not have any other purpose. It was even more saddening to see that women MPs from the AKP who were believed to be Kemalists were entrusted with the task of digging a grave for secularism." Eksi concludes by implying that the constitutional amendment was actually another phase of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's plan to change the secular regime.
In an article entitled "A Proposal that will change the mindset," Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok highlights a proposal made by Ali Ulusoy, a legal scholar, who urged the government to amend the Constitution in order to ban wearing headscarf primary schools, high schools, and government offices in order to prevent headscarf from spreading to other places in a manner detrimental to secularism. Ozkok says that this is an opportunity for the leaders of the AKP and the MHP and MPs from those parties who say there is no cause for fears that wearing headscarf will also be permitted in such places to prove their sincerity. He notes: "If you are not engaged in a competition to exploit religion, the only thing that you have to do is to prove your intentions."
In an article entitled "From Reactions at Home and Abroad to the Constitutional Court," Cumhuriyet columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek says that the Constitutional Court should not be expected to look with favour upon what he describes as an initiative to destroy the secular Republic. He says: "The Constitutional Court is the last authority which can reverse the current trend which began with headscarf."
Under the headline, "Rector under pressure," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that Kocaeli University Rector Professor Sezer Komsuoglu was forced "under intense pressure" from the mainstream news media yesterday to cancel an instruction ordering her academic staff to allow female students wearing headscarves to attend classes.
In an article entitled "Has the headscarf issue proved more frightening than the loss of $5,2 Trillion", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul criticizes certain newspapers for claiming that the international community is worried about the implications of the Turkish parliament's adoption of a constitutional amendment revoking the headscarf ban at universities. Karagul claims that global stock markets have sustained losses to the tune of $5,2 trillion in the latest fluctuation caused by the mortgage crisis in the United States, adding that the world is too busy discussing this situation to pay any attention to the headscarf debate in Turkey.
In an article under the title: "Oh My", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak claims that a group of high-level retired bureaucrats, academics, and retired judicial officials who came together at a meeting at Middle East Technical University last Friday to discuss a plan to oust the Erdogan government from power, refrained from "setting the wheels in motion" only because they failed to come to an agreement on the nature of the "new regime" they want to establish. He asserts that although "deep forces" are concerned about the possibility of "public resistance" to a coup, they have not given up on their plot to carry out a military takeover and that they will continue to seek opportunities to implement their strategies. He ends by warning of possible "conspiracies" to create a "headscarf crisis" at universities.
In an article entitled "Turkey will go through difficult times", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu argues that Parliament's decision to lift the headscarf ban at universities "has opened yet another Pandora's box in Turkey's Republican history, dividing the nation on the long-unresolved issue of defining secularism in this predominantly Muslim country."
In an article entitled "Implications of 'Single-Party syndrome'", Today's Zaman columnist Ali Bulac accuses those who cite secularism and "the qualities of the republic" as reasons for defending the headscarf ban of being guided by a "totalitarian ... single-party ideology" of the sort that dominated Turkey between 1923 and 1950.
b) Israeli Defence Minister's visit: A report in Milliyet entitled "Barak will make a proposal about Iran" says that Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak will outline latest intelligence gathered by Israel about Iran's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and ask Turkey to impose sanctions on Iran during his official visit scheduled to begin today. According to the report, Barak will also make a proposal to sell Arrow 2 and Spider systems to Turkey which reportedly plans to purchase short and long-term missile defence systems.
During his talks in Ankara, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak will try to sell intelligence satellite to Turkey, according to a report in Ozgur Gundem [Gundem Online], which recalls that the Kurdish KCK warned Israel recently against extending such technical help to Turkey.
c) Turkish-German relations: In an article under the title: "Adaptation problem in Germany," Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen criticizes the German press for accusing Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of exploiting a fire which killed nine Turks in Ludwigshafen in Germany for "stealing the show" and diverting attention from Turkey's problems. He says: "Let us suppose that some political considerations prompted Turkish politicians (including Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal) to fly to Germany and visit the place of the incident in order to speak to the members of the Turkish community. Have not they done the right thing by advising self-restraint, affection, and friendship to Turks and Germans?" Kohen also notes that both Turkish and German governments should support efforts aimed at integrating Turkish immigrants with German society.
d) Turkey´s EU course: In an article entitled "Doldrums in relations with the EU?", Cem Ozdemir, a member of the European Parliament, argues that Turkey-EU relations went into doldrums shortly after the start of membership negotiations on 3 October, 2005 and that prospects for new momentum in relations remain dim with both Turkey and the EU grappling with deep domestic problems and problems like the Cyprus issue presenting a formidable challenge to Turkey's membership bid. Ozdemir underlines the need for Turkey not to be late in "doing its homework" so as to be able to show its "political will" for membership in what promises to be a tough negotiation process and expresses the hope that President Gul's remark that "2008 will be an EU year" will be translated into "political reality."
e) Economy: In an article entitled "Taking the fluctuation lightly", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal argues that if Gulf countries start increasingly to set their sights on the United States and European countries, where, he claims, the latest global recession is taking a heavy toll on major corporations, the outflow of Arab capital from Turkey that this shift of interest would trigger would be likely to "get the AKP into trouble" by bringing the "fake [economic] paradise" in Turkey to an end.