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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-15
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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. 33/08 15.02.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 How the Turkish Cypriot press covered Putins statements on KosovoThe Turkish Cypriot press reports today (15.02.08) on statements made by the Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday:
KIBRIS reports in its first page that the Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the European countries who are planning to recognize Kosovo, of having double standards and asked them: Why dont you recognize North Cyprus?
Under the title EU: Why dont you recognize the TRNC?, HALKIN SESI reports on the same issue on its first page and writes that the Russian President made some remarkable statements on the Cyprus problem recently. Mr Putin, who accused the European countries of following double standards in their approach regarding Kosovo and the TRNC and who called on them to feel shame on the issue of Kosovo, asked them: North Cyprus is actually independent for 40 years. Why dont you recognize it? Europeans, dont you feel ashamed to use double standards?
YENI DUZEN reports on the same issue under the title Why dont you recognize North Cyprus, which is independent for 40 years? The paper writes that Mr Putin made these statements speaking at a press conference in Kremlin. I do not want to say something that will offend anyone. However, North Cyprus is actually independent for 40 years. Why dont you recognize it?, he stated.
VOLKAN reports on the same issue as follows: The Russian President Putin accused the European countries of having a double standards approach on the TRNC and Kosovo. He asked: Why dont you recognize North Cyprus which is actually independent for 40 years? Europeans, dont you feel ashamed for that?
KIBRISLI reports on the same issue and writes that Mr Putin said to the Europeans that they must feel ashamed on the issue of Kosovo.
STAR Kibris reports on the same issue under the title Putin called on the west which is ready to recognize Kosovo: Be ashamed Europe.
 The security forces command stated that the area of the military barracks of the Gulseren Camp and the Gulseren Casino are a military regionTurkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (15.02.08) reports that the security forces command replied to media reports on the issue of the coastline of the Gulseren Camp area which is located in occupied Famagusta. According to a statement, the area was declared military area with a protocol signed in 1981.
ORTAM writes that the statement was issued yesterday by the security forces command, which set up wires and military guards on the coastline from the Gulseren Camp until the coastline of the Famagusta Port, and left passage to the citizens who live there to go to the beach. According to the statement, the area in which the military barracks of the Gulseren Camp and the Gulseren Casino are located were taken in the scope of a military area with a protocol signed between the security forces command and the housing ministry on the 3rd of November 1981.
 A 24 year-old person threatened a 30 year old Greek Cypriot enclaved Hrysostomos Stylianou to kill himUnder the title Big disgrace in Karpass, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (15.02.08) reports that a 24 year-old person entered the house of the Greek Cypriot enclaved Hrysostomos Stylianou and using violence demanded one thousand Euros. He also threatened Stylianou and his wife that if they do not give him the money, he will kill them and burn their house.
The incident occurred on the 12th of February, when a 24 year-old person with the initials E.Z. crossed over the fence that is around 30 year-old Stylianous house and knocking at the door, threatened Stylianou asking for one thousand Euros until the 13th of February. Otherwise, he said, he would kill him and his wife and will burn their house.
 The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce completed its contacts in Brussels, Holland and London.Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (15.02.08) reports that a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), which was having contacts abroad, completed its contacts in Brussels, Holland and London.
Speaking to the paper, the chairman of the Chamber Hasan Kutlu stated, inter alia, that after the elections to be held in the free areas of Cyprus, the Direct Trade Regulation may come again on the agenda on behalf of the EU. Evaluating KTTOs contacts abroad, Mr Kutlu stated that they had very positive results from their contacts in Brussels.
He also stated that in London they had contacts with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce in England (CTCC) with which they took the decision to cooperate. While in London, the delegation met with Joan Ryan, Britains special Representative of Cyprus and London MP with whom they discussed the problems which exist in the island on the issue of trade.
 Ertugruloglu to meet Erdogan in IstanbulIllegal Bayrak television (14.2.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia: The leader of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu will fly to Istanbul tomorrow for a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Erdogan and Ertugruloglu will meet on Saturday.
The UBP Leader will leave the Republic tomorrow for Istanbul where he will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Mr Ertugruloglu will be received by the Turkish Premier on Saturday at the Dolmabahce Palace.
During the meeting, the UBP leader will explain to Mr Erdogan his partys views on domestic and foreign issues as well as on the new process expected to be started after the Presidential elections in South Cyprus.
 France to exert great effort for the solution of the Cyprus problem during its term as EU PresidencyUnder the title The EU term President France will deal with the Cyprus problem Zeynel Lule reports from Brussels for Hurriyet newspaper (15.02.08) that great efforts are expected to be exerted for the solution of the Cyprus problem during the six months which France will hold the EU presidency. According to the paper, EU sources said that Cyprus will be Frances trump card and that Paris waits for the election result before it officially gets involved in the issue. Frances initiative on the Cyprus problem will start in September the earliest, the paper writes.
 Gul held a phone conversation with the Syrian and Turkmen PresidentsAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.2.08) reports the following from Ankara: Turkish President Abdullah Gul talked to the Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow on the phone, Presidency press centre stated on Thursday.
President Gul called al-Asad and exchanged views about the situation in Lebanon as well as Middle East peace process, which were taken up during his visit to Damascus on January 18th.
President Gul also called Berdimuhamedow and congratulated him on the first anniversary of his term in office. President Gul also repeated his invitation to Turkey.
 Lagendijk: Turkey's credibility might be seriously harmed over Dink trialAnkara Anatolia news agency (11.02.08) reports the following from Istanbul:
A European lawmaker said Monday that "forces" behind the killing of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink should be brought before justice.
The important thing is that those who masterminded this incident should also be tried in this court, Joost Lagendijk, a member of the European parliament and co-chairman of an inter-parliamentary committee between Turkey and the European Union, told reporters outside an Istanbul court house where 19 suspects of the case were heard.
Lagendijk also said the disclosure of the forces who are believed to stand behind the Dink murder was an important development for Turkey as a rule of law.
Turkey's credibility as a rule of law might be seriously harmed at the international level unless the reality was brought to the day light, Lagendijk said.
Dink was shot dead outside the offices of his Agos newspaper in January 2007.
 Babacan attended the BSEC and EU meetingAnkara Anatolia News Agency (14.2.08) reports the following from Kiev: Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Thursday there is great potential between Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) and the EU.
Babacan delivered a speech in a meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Countries of the Black Sea Region and of the European Union in Kiev, Ukraine.
Several countries attached great interest in the Black Sea Region, he stated. EU and BSEC will get benefits from establishment of an institutional relationship between the two organizations, Babacan said.
Cooperation in the areas of environment, transportation, energy, trade as well as in fight against organized crimes will make positive impact on peoples living in the region, he said.
On the other hand, Babacan had a tete-a-tete meeting with Albanian FM Lulzim Basha.
 Court remains silent on deep state links of judge shooterUnder the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (15.02.08) reports the following:
A court on Wednesday sentenced a lawyer to life in prison for killing a senior judge in 2006, but the suspect's links to a shadowy crime network with connections to the military were not mentioned in the ruling.
In the May 2006 gun attack inside the Council of State, the country's top administrative court, attorney Alparslan Arslan killed one judge and wounded four others. Arslan had stated previously that he had acted in protest of a ban on the Muslim headscarf in schools and universities. The attack shocked Turkey and triggered mass secularist protests against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). However, police investigations into another gang later suggest Arslan's attack was incited by people whose motives had little to do with religious concerns.
During the trial Arslan had been quoted as saying that the aim of the attack was to punish the "shameful actions against God's religion, the Prophet and Muslims." He had also been quoted as saying that he planned to kill the then-president, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, a staunch defender of the secular order. However, the fundamentalist remarks seem to be part of a front, as another prosecutor's ongoing investigation into a crime gang called Ergenekon -- which was involved in a number of politically motivated attacks, including the murder of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink -- revealed connections to Arslan.
Ergenekon, which was unearthed in police raids last month, is a neo-nationalist group with links to groups in the military and bureaucracy aiming to discredit the government and its efforts to boost freedoms in Turkey. Gangs like Ergenekon in Turkey are believed to operate as branches of a mechanism referred to as the "deep state," which takes illegal and often violent measures to shape the country to suit its own political interests and nationalistic sentiment.
Arslan has also been charged with bombing the secularist newspaper Cumhuriyet. The hand grenade used in the attack was part of a batch produced by the state and was found in a house full of munitions and explosives in Istanbul. Plenty of other evidence documented by a prosecutor currently working on the Ergenekon investigation links the Dink murder, the Cumhuriyet attack and Arslan's attack on the Council of State to the group's plans to create chaos before a military takeover of the government planned for 2009.
 Turkey to recognize Kosovos independence in 2 daysTurkish daily Todays Zaman (15.02.08) reports the following:
Turkey will probably not be the first country to recognize an independent Kosovo but it will definitely be among a group of countries extending speedy recognition to the new state, Turkish government sources have said.
It will not take a week. It will happen within the first 24 or 48 hours, an official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said. Kosovo's Albanian leadership is expected to declare independence this month, probably as soon as this weekend, and Kosovar President Fatmir Sejdiu, who visited Ankara last week, said he was confident that Ankara would recognize a Kosovo state soon after it declares independence from Serbia, although he declined to comment how soon that could be.
Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaci said he expected about 100 countries to quickly recognize the province's independence from Serbia. Ankara is ready to support an independent Kosovo, in line with the US and European Union stance.
Turkish decision-makers are convinced that a unity of Serbs and Albanians is unlikely to last given the strong Albanian desire for independence and that more problems are likely to emerge if Kosovo's Albanians are forced to remain part of Serbia.
But analysts say support for independent Kosovo may present some foreign policy predicaments for Ankara. Kosovo may set a precedent for northern Iraq, ruled by an autonomous Kurdish administration, or Nagorno-Karabakh, an Armenian enclave inside Azerbaijan that has been under Armenian occupation for more than a decade. In both cases, Ankara is strongly opposed to secession.
The official ruled out such concerns, saying Kosovo's case does not fully resemble Nagorno-Karabakh or northern Iraq, while it is very similar to Turkish Cyprus, whose unilaterally declared independent state has existed since the early 1980s. Contrary to the former Yugoslavia of which Kosovo was a part, Azerbaijan remains a fully sovereign state with no change in its internationally recognized borders. Iraq's Kurdish-run north also does not have the same legal status in Iraq as Kosovo had in the former Yugoslavia and then in Serbia.
Greek Cyprus strongly opposes a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo's ethnic Albanian leaders, fearing it could set a precedent that would legitimize the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which is officially recognized only by Ankara.
In an interview with Today's Zaman last week, Sejdiu ruled out that Kosovo could set a precedent for Cyprus. "Kosovo is a unique issue. It cannot set a precedent for another region or country," he said.
Subtitle: No consulate in Arbil; new offices in Africa
Meanwhile, Turkish officials also denied recent media reports that Turkey was planning to open a consulate in Arbil, the regional capital of Kurdish-run northern Iraq. Turkey has one consulate in Basra in the country's south and a second is being opened in Mosul in the north. Officials said a third consulate in Iraq was not an urgent need at present.
But the same officials unveiled plans to open about 10 new consulates in Africa in 2008. The government, which sees forging ties with Africa as a foreign policy priority, is planning to open consulates in Mali, Chad, Niger, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mozambique, Cameroon and Tanzania. More consulates in other African countries will follow in 2009.
Ankara defied international criticism for the sake of closer ties with Africa when it invited Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir for a visit in January. Officials said President Abdullah Gul publicly made clear that Turkey did not support al-Bashir's Darfur policy when he met with the Sudanese president, but emphasized that any initiative to open up to Africa would remain incomplete without ties with Sudan, which makes up one-fifth of the entire African continent.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 14 February 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 14 February issues of the current political agenda:
a) Headscarf issue: In an article entitled "'A Political Dogma,'" Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol repeats his appeal to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to veto a constitutional amendment aimed at lifting the current ban on wearing headscarf in university campuses by citing a reason related to freedoms so that the country can gain time for a liberal law which would concurrently dispel sincere concerns and lift existing bans
In an editorial entitled "Morality Police," Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi quotes Erdogan as saying in a speech he made yesterday that he cannot understand why the secular press complains about the government's policies because they have not interfered in the press in spite of the fact that some papers publish the pictures of naked women. Asserting that the government actually wants to ban such pictures of naked women, Eksi cites decisions made by some mayors to restrict sale of liquor and a plan to open a mosque in each apartment block as examples of the actual intentions of the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP. He concludes by saying: "We all know that your real program includes steps that you could not dare to take yet."
A report entitled "This is Fear of Counter-revolution" in Hurriyet highlights comments made by former President Suleyman Demirel who says that strong opposition to the constitutional amendment about headscarf stems from fears that a theocratic regime similar to the one in Iran could eventually be established in Turkey. Demirel also cautions that Islamic groups may eventually put pressure on the government to permit girls attending primary schools and high schools and female civil servants to wear Islamic headdress after the ban applied in university campuses is lifted.
In an editorial entitled "The Most Dangerous Profession," Sabah columnist Erdal Safak focuses on Erdogan's critical comments about the secular press and advises him to take into consideration that Turkish democracy could be hurt if the press is paralyzed. Pointing out that Turkey has a poor record in the field of freedom of the press, Safak says: "It would not be in our best interests if our already poor image in that field is further damaged as a result of Erdogan's comments because it could also hurt our relations with the EU which has placed freedom of expression and freedom of the press at the heart of the Copenhagen Criteria."
In an article entitled "Erdogan's Full-Court Pressure Defence," Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin advises Erdogan against trying to intimidate the media, academia, and the judiciary by making accusatory comments because it would eventually hurt his reputation even in the eyes of his own supporters. He also notes that Erdogan should respect a ruling which may be handed down by the Constitutional Court about the latest constitutional amendment related to headscarf if it receives an application to rescind it.
In an editorial entitled "Rage is Venomous," Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi says that the Prime Minister seems to be overwhelmed by anger and issues threats to his critics whom he accuses of pursuing their own interests. Pointing out that the secular regime in Turkey is facing a threat while hopes entertained by of millions of Muslim women who regard Turkey as an ideal example are about to be thwarted, Mengi comments: "It was childish for him to ascribe debates over headscarf to fears shared by newspapers publishing pictures of naked women in his speech yesterday and it did not become him. His remarks implying that those newspapers should refrain from interfering in headscarf because the government does not ban such pictures actually represented an indecent proposal to reach a compromise."
In an editorial entitled "The Turban [Islamic headrress]: An Uninvited Guest," Turkish Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli says: "Lifting of the turban ban at universities with majority imposition - rather than seeking a national consensus that could have defused secularist fears and phobias - cannot be considered only as an innocent drive to restore education rights of some girls who believe their religion require them to cover their heads, though the right of those girls to live their religion cannot be denied either. The government was wrong in the timing, as well as in the way it handled this issue."
Under the headline, "Banned Cola," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which accuses the Pepsi Cola Company of causing a PR scandal in including women wearing Islamic headdresses on its list of subjects that will not be considered eligible for a photograph and video contest it has organized in Turkey to promote its sales.
In an article entitled "Taking Account of Concerns Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Dogan criticizes the mainstream news media for encouraging "social polarization" through reports and commentaries warning that the Government's efforts to lift the headscarf ban at universities pose a threat to the secular regime. Dogan asserts that while this is only a propaganda campaign with political purposes, it has nevertheless succeeded in creating concerns among some people that the Government is following an agenda that might have implications ultimately for their secular lifestyles. He argues that under the circumstances the onus is on the ruling AKP to dispel such worries and that Prime Minister Erdogan's speech at the meeting yesterday with his party's provincial leaders was an important step in this direction.
Under the headline, "Tension Harms the Country," Zaman publishes a front-page report which highlights statements by Turkish business world representatives asserting that the current tension over the headscarf issue is preventing Turkey from taking advantage of the latest global financial fluctuation.
In an article entitled "Majority Domination" on page 23, Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone argues that the "majority domination rhetoric" used by those criticizing the Government for trying to abolish the headscarf ban is a ploy to "mask the common interests of the oligarchic coalition." He claims that there is no difference between objecting to the constitutional amendment that lifts the headscarf ban on the grounds that the Government has not obtained "the minority's approval" for it and complaining that "the white majority's consent" was not sought for arrangements in South Africa that granted "the black majority" their "most fundamental political rights."
In an article entitled "Do Liberals Have To Be Unpatriotic?" Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal criticizes "liberal" circles and journalists who accuse the Erdogan government of creating "chaos" by lifting the headscarf ban at universities and maintain a "courageous" opposition to legislation that could entail changes for secular life styles for not censuring the Government's efforts to pass the Foundation Bill, which will "make nonsense of the Lausanne Treaty, upset the entire legal system, and cause the Greek Patriarchate in Istanbul to turn into a state within a state."
In an article entitled "Sahin: 'Leave the Constitutional Court Alone'" Bugun columnist Murat Celik publishes the text of a phone interview with Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, who disclosed how "I sense that the members of the Constitutional Court are disturbed by the way they become the subject of every political discussion on critical bills" like the latest piece of legislation that revokes the headscarf ban.
b) Israeli Defence Minister's visit: In an article under the title "Ehud Baraq: There is no Mercy for the Weak in the Middle East, Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz highlights comments made by the visiting Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Baraq in an interview with a group of Turkish journalists yesterday. Baraq, Idiz notes, implied that they will continue to carry out punitive reprisals in response to attacks carried out by Palestinian groups. Idiz says: "We, therefore, concluded that there was no glimmer of hope indicating that a solution will be found to the Mideast dispute over the short term."
In an article entitled "What are US Missiles Doing Along the Iranian Border?" on page 10, Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul calls attention to the "extremely remarkable agenda and timing" of Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak's two-day visit to Ankara. He asserts that the visit is set to have important consequences for Turkey's regional position in the sense that it was part of a bid to assign Turkey the role of warding off threats to the United States and Europe.
A front-page report entitled "What Great Love" in Milli Gazete criticizes the Erdogan government for "hosting Barak, a minister of the terrorist [Israeli] state, at the highest level" during his recent visit, which took place on the day Israeli forces carried out "massacres in Gaza." Published along with the report is a photograph showing Barak and his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul from behind, walking hand in hand.