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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-03-19

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. 55/08 19.03.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat meets with Denktas who advised him to put the issue of the two states during his meeting with President Christofias
  • [02] Talat will meet with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations
  • [03] Talat will meet with the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties before meeting with President Christofias
  • [04] Teachers´ Union criticizes Talat for not consulting with NGO´s before holding consultations in Ankara
  • [05] Kibrisli reports that the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point will be opened
  • [06] A cooperation agreement was signed between the Autonomous Republic of Gagauzia and the illegal Near East University
  • [07] Soyer is visiting Istanbul
  • [08] Statements by Claudia Roth. She wants withdrawal of the Turkish troops but this not to be a precondition for talks
  • [09] Sabah: General Buyukanit is to visit TRNC for the first time
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 18 March 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat meets with Denktas who advised him to put the issue of the two states during his meeting with President Christofias

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.03.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who met yesterday with the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas at the military cemetery in occupied Bogazi, Keryneia area, asked Mr Denktas what he should tell President Christofias during their Friday meeting.

    The paper notes that Mr Denktas replied that he should ask for two states. Mr Denktas said that Mr Talat is continuously talking about a founding state, which is provided for in the Annan Plan. It is not a sovereign state, it is a province, let us not deceive ourselves, he noted. Mr Denktas added that he worries because he does not know what was discussed in Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.03.08) refers to the same issue under the title Tell Christofias about the two states. The paper publishes a photograph of Mr Denktas holding the arm of Mr Talat.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat will meet with the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.03.08) invokes reliable sources and reports that the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the Security Council of the United Nations accredited in Cyprus will meet today with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The paper points out that the ambassadors also met with President Christofias yesterday and adds that the meeting with Talat is very important from the point of view of the negotiations process towards reaching a solution in Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Talat will meet with the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties before meeting with President Christofias

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat will meet today at 16.30 hours with representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the assembly.

    In statements during his weekly briefing, Mr Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of Mr Talat, said yesterday that Ozdil Nami, special representative of Mr Talat responsible for the negotiations with the UN and the EU, will be accompanying Mr Talat during his meeting with President Christofias on Friday.

    Mr Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot leader will visit Istanbul on 3 and 4 April. Mr Ercakica referred also to the recent summit of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. He said that it was very fruitful and expressed Mr Talats satisfaction with the decisions on the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Teachers´ Union criticizes Talat for not consulting with NGO´s before holding consultations in Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.03.08) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Teachers´ Union KTOS has called on all parties involved in the Cyprus problem to work towards achieving a federal settlement in Cyprus.

    The Trade Union also criticized President Mehmet Ali Talat for not consulting with NGOs before holding contacts in Ankara.

    Speaking in a press conference today, the Secretary General of the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union Sener Elcil said that the Cyprus Problem had gained new momentum following the presidential elections in South Cyprus.

    He said that the overall goal of all the parties concerned in the Cyprus Problem must be to achieve a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on the political equality of the two sides and UN parameters.

    Elcil added that any solution to be found to the Cyprus Problem must be based on the joint political will of both peoples on the island.

    [05] Kibrisli reports that the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point will be opened

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.03.08) invokes reliable sources and reports that the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point will be opened, that president Christofias is determined on this issue and that he has already completed the necessary preparations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] A cooperation agreement was signed between the Autonomous Republic of Gagauzia and the illegal Near East University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.08) reports that a cooperation agreement has been signed between the ministry of education of the Autonomous Republic of Gagauzia and the illegal Near East University (YDU). According to a statement issued by the university, a delegation of YDU visited Gaguazia at the invitation of its president, Mikhail Formuzal.

    The agreement was signed by the founding rector of YDU, Dr. Suat Gursel, and the minister of education of Gagauzia, Mrs Vera Bolova. According to the agreement, the YDU will grant a full five-year scholarship to 12 students from Gagauzia. Dr. Gursel invited Mr Formuzal to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus in the third week of June. Dr. Gursel had the opportunity to address a meeting of the council of ministers of Gagauzia.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Soyer is visiting Istanbul

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.08) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled prime minister, will visit Istanbul today in order to address a symposium under the title Understanding Cyprus, which is organized by the illegal European University of Lefka. According to a statement issued by his office, Mr Soyer will also participate in an activity organized by the General Directorate of the Foundations of Turkey. The Turkish prime minister Erdogan will open the activities.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Statements by Claudia Roth. She wants withdrawal of the Turkish troops but this not to be a precondition for talks

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.08) reports that the co-chairperson of the German Greens Party, Mrs Claudia Roth, who arrived the night before yesterday at the occupied areas of Cyprus through the illegal Tymvou airport at the invitation of the so-called speaker of the assembly, Mrs Fatma Ekenoglu, held yesterday separate meetings with Mrs Ekenoglu, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime minister, Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer.

    In her statements she reiterated that she came to the island as a kind of bridge builder who will assist the building of bridges between the two sides. She wished for a determined political activity to begin which will not be seen with suspicion by the people of Cyprus, the EU and the whole world.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.03.08) refers to the statements made by Mrs Roth and reports that she argued that in spite of the fact that she agrees with the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Cyprus, she thinks that putting this as a precondition at the negotiations is wrong.

    Under the title It is wrong for the Turkish army to be a precondition, Mrs Roth stated that Turkey is a part of Europe and add that the efforts of the democratization of this country should be supported. She alleged that bringing the Cyprus problem as a precondition for Turkeys EU accession course makes the credibility of the EU questionable.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.03.08) refers to Mrs Roths meeting and reports that Mr Talat stated that the Turkish Cypriots are the last isolated people in Europe. We are waiting eagerly for a solution to be reached and we are hopeful, he added.

    The paper publishes statements by Mr Soyer who said that they will exert efforts for the development of peace and friendship in Cyprus, the political equality and the contribution to the solution on the basis of the EU ideal of equality. However, all the democratic forces in Europe should support us, like the Greens Party, in the solution of the problem, he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Sabah: General Buyukanit is to visit TRNC for the first time

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (19.03.08) reports under the title Buyukanit for the first time goes to TRNC and writes: The cold relations experienced between the Turkish Armed Forces and the TRNC administration as a result of a film broadcast in the Bayrak Radio Television where the Turkish troops were branded as occupiers in the TRNC is being overcome.

    The paper goes on and reports that the Chief of the General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit, after one and a half years in the office, is to visit next week the island for the first time.

    Sabah reports that according to the Turkish Armed Forces traditions, the commanders who take the office of the Chief of the General Staff, pay their first visit to the occupied area. However, General Buyukanit, did not visit the TRNC after one and a half years taking the office. Sabah writes.

    The paper reports that the relations between the Turkish Cypriot administration and the Turkish Armed Forces started cooling when the Turkish Cypriot Administration wanted to open a new crossing point by pulling down the Lokmaci (Ledra street) barricade. The relations became further tense when the Turkish troops were branded occupiers in a film broadcast in the so-called Official Channel of the TRNC, the BRT.

    As a result of this, writes the paper, a heated argument has taken place between the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the commander of the Turkish occupation troops in Cyprus General Kivrikoglu during a reception, closed to the press.

    (MHY)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 18 March 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 18 March:

    Indictment to close down the ruling party:

    Criticizing the silence maintained by the AKP government regarding the closure case filed against the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), two months ago, Milliyet columnist Melih Asik argues that the ruling party preferred to refrain from any reaction at the time because it did not expect that it would be faced with a similar situation. In a column, the writer goes on to note that now the prime minister and the ministers are leveling accusations against Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya and are trying to influence the judiciary. Pointing out that the closure case does not mean that the party will be closed down, Asik states that the AKP is given a chance to present its defense. Maintaining that the AKP is trying to turn public opinion against the chief prosecutor because it does not trust the judicial system, the writer adds that "while doing so, the AKP is not taking into consideration that it is destroying respect for the judiciary through the country, that it is rendering the duties of the judiciary more difficult, and that it is inviting anarchy." Underlining the fact that the AKP has begun preparations for a constitutional amendment that will render the closure of parties more difficult, Asik bemoans the fact that the AKP draft on the issue aims at curtailing the authorities of the chief prosecutor, adding: "What does this mean? Apparently, closing down a party is not against democracy. What is against democracy? Filing a closure case against the AKP is against democracy."

    Vatan's Okay Gonensin is also one of the columnists who accuse the AKP of keeping silent when closure cases were filed against other parties in the past. Describing the AKP members as the "hidden enemies" of democracy who choose to raise the banner of democracy only when the issue concerns themselves, the writer goes on to refute the image the AKP is trying to create as a party that favors freedoms. In the article, Gonensin asks why the AKP is so concerned about the freedom of wearing a headdress while it has done nothing to eliminate the use of "attenuating circumstances" in honor killings.

    According to a report entitled "Baykal praised the closure indictment" in Milliyet, Republican People's Party, (CHP), leader Deniz Baykal described the indictment as "objective and within the framework of the responsibilities" of the Chief Prosecutor. Referring to President Abdullah Gul's silence on the issue, Baykal is reported to have said that it was the right thing to do.

    According to a report by Onder Yilmaz in Milliyet, MHP leader Devlet Bahceli has announced that he will not make concessions on the issue of separatism regarding constitutional amendments that will render the closure of parties more difficult. The report adds that the MHP has set up a committee to work on the issue.

    AKP's founding member Cuneyt Zapsu is reported to have said that he is proud to be included in the indictment regarding the closure of the AKP. According to a report in Milliyet, Zapsu has said that "he is proud to be included in the list of individuals against whom a political ban is requested, a list that includes President Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Manisa Deputy Bulent Arinc." Referring to the criticisms leveled against him regarding his remarks that "asking a woman to remove her headscarf is like asking her to remove her underwear," Zapsu says that he does not regret this comparison.

    According to a report by Gokcer Tahincioglu in Milliyet, many members of the Supreme Court of Appeals have congratulated Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya in connection with the indictment and have extended their full support to the prosecutor. The report adds that threatening phone calls have been received at the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office following the indictments and that the Security Directorate has increased its security measures.

    Vural Savas, the former Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of appeals, believes that the AKP will not be closed down, a report in Vatan notes. According to a report on an interview Savas granted to Cuneyt Ozdemir, the former prosecutor predicts that members of the Constitutional Court will be replaced and that shari'a rule will be established. Savas further predicts that the constitutional amendments will not be limited to articles pertaining to the closure of parties and that the structure of the Constitutional Court will also be changed.

    Hurriyet columnist Yalcin Bayer describes as shameful and reproachful what he terms as the "lynch campaign" directed against the chief prosecutor. Censuring the criticisms being leveled against prosecutor Yalcinkaya that closure cases are anachronistic in contemporary democracies in his article, Bayer asks where the AKP, the MHP, and their democrats were when a similar case was filed against the DTP. He writes: "It is impossible to fool either the real democrats in the country or the "wise men" of the EU through such a double standard mentality of freedom and democracy. Therefore, this indictment will act as a litmus paper on the Turkish democracy and will show the real color of democracy."

    Focusing on the criticisms being leveled against Chief Prosecutor Yalcinkaya for filing a closure case against the AKP in an article in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi views these criticisms as part of the "oriental mentality" which he believes is devoid of any principles. Ranking the "oriental mentality" below the mentality of "double standards," Eksi believes that it is the duty of the chief prosecutor to uphold the law. In conclusion, the writer asks why such a big fuss is made if Yalcinkaya's indictment is not based on facts and no one is trying to establish a shari'a state.

    Responding to those who lament the fact that the closure case has damaged Turkish democracy in a column in Hurriyet, Bekir Coskun questions whether there was a democracy to begin with. Asking whether democracy is the sale of votes by supplying coal to the poor or whether it is the plundering of the country's resources by politicians who hide behind their parliamentary immunity, the writer concludes: "Till now no one was disturbed by so much dirt and corrosion in our democracy, but now they are disturbed by a courageous prosecutor who wishes to safeguard the secular republic."

    Accusing Prime Minister Erdogan of disregarding the supremacy of the law in a column in Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan argues that the same prime minister is trying to make judicial amendments in a bid to render more difficult the closure of his party. Charging that Erdogan is trying "to create his own laws" to protect his party, Dogan likens this stand to a "totalitarian mentality." Underlining that he is immune to standard slogans of the kind "in democracies parties are not closed down," Dogan continues: "Naturally, the closure of parties is unpleasant. But, the question should be in what kind of democracies." Pointing out that the rule of shari'a is incompatible with democracy, the writer believes that the AKP is endangering the foundations of democracy.

    Analyzing world reaction to the recent political developments in the country in an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen believes that Turkey's image as a country with a developing economy and an increasing regional influence has, unfortunately, been damaged. Pointing out that the outside world interprets the closure case as a "friction between the secularists and the Islamists," the writer adds that some even believe that this recent struggle is not a judicial but a political one. Kohen goes on to note that this closure case has actually divided the secularists as well, maintaining that the issue is not as simple as a "secular-Islamist" fight as viewed by various foreign observers. Mr Sami further writes that this development has upset the balances in the country, and says: "According to foreign assessments, the closure of the AKP will not only damage Turkey's democracy, but it might also disrupt tranquility and stability" in the country.

    Assessing the economic implications of the closure case in an article in Milliyet, Osman Ulagay relates a conversation he had with "the London-based official of an important international financial establishment" who says that the closure case against the AKP "is the last straw" for those who invest in Turkey. The official who sees "Turkey's near future as not good at all," says that everyone is trying to get out of the Turkish market. The writer argues that those who were hoping to increase Turkey's foreign credit rating will now "have to pray to ensure that the rating is not reduced." Referring to the crisis in the US banking system, Ulagay asks whether those who have taken the risk of political instability in the country have also taken into consideration the global crisis. The writer concludes with the following warning: "It is clear that we are entering a very dangerous period."

    Under the banner headline, "Fingerprints of Ergenekon," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that according to "a deep allegation being discussed in Ankara," the closure case against the ruling AKP is intended to obstruct the ongoing police operations against the so-called Ergenekon network.

    Also front-paged is a report entitled "An $18 billion man," which asserts that the closure proceedings against the AKP launched by Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya have doubled the effect of the global crisis on Turkish financial markets.

    In an article entitled "Ergenekon-State Power: The people can go to hell", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul criticizes the fact that the closure case against the AKP has been instituted at a time when "nightmare scenarios" are being suggested about the global economy, major corporate insolvencies are being expected, warnings of a new world war are being made, the possible effects of the global crisis on Turkey are being calculated, and "that sinister man [US Vice President Dick Cheney] is coming to Turkey ... to demand new things." Karagul also draws attention to claims linking the closure case against the AKP to an alliance between "deep America" and the Turkish Establishment.

    Under the headline, "Ergenekon role?" Vakit carries a front-page report which asserts that the closure case against the AKP has coincided conspicuously with a government crackdown on "gangs" like Ergenekon, giving rise to the question whether the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court may have come under pressure by some quarters to demand the closure of the AKP.

    Finally, under the headline, "Daily loss: $20 billion," Zaman runs a front-page report which asserts that yesterday proved a "black Monday" for the Turkish economy owing to concerns of political destabilization at home compounded by the negative atmosphere in global markets.

    EG/


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