Visit the Canadian Hellenic Broadcasting (CHB) Homepage A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Saturday, 14 December 2019
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-14

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. 71/08 12-14.04.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Problems experienced on the Turkish side of the barricade in Ledra Street area; Data about the crossings
  • [02] Talat is holding contacts with the Technical Committees
  • [03] Avci accuses President Christofias of negative statements and policies that will prevent the start of the negotiations process
  • [04] Soyer and Murat visited Ledra street crossing-point
  • [05] Ozkan Murat will sign a protocol with the Turkish Minster of Public Works and Housing for cooperation in the title deeds and cadastre activities
  • [06] Protest against the killing of wild donkeys in the occupied Kaprass peninsula
  • [07] The Goneyli municipality will host three mayors from the province of Hessen in May
  • [08] A weekly newspaper in the English language is about to be issued in the occupied areas; It will be distributed in 15 countries
  • [09] Delegation from Marshall University visits the illegal LAU
  • [10] Only three political parties from the occupied areas have been invited to the assembly of the AKPs youth organization
  • [11] The illegal regime participates in the Inter-parliamentary Union meetings in Cape Town. Cyprus problem on the agenda
  • [12] Turkish Cypriot Union of Ship agencies urges Turkey not to open its ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels
  • [13] Turkish think tank urges multi- component approach in Cyprus issue
  • [14] Babacan pays an official visit to Britain today
  • [15] General Buyukanit due to Cairo
  • [16] Turkish Air Force Commander visits China for official talks
  • [17] Turkeys four-star generals declined to participate in ATC meeting due to the US stance on Turkish operations in Iraq
  • [18] Turkey: Erdogan leaves for Qatar, condemns murder of Italian artist
  • [19] Nokta editor-in-chief acquitted of charges of slandering military
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [20] How to explain the European support for the AK Party
  • [21] From the Turkish Press of 12 and 13 April 2008
  • [22] Important messages from General Basbug

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Problems experienced on the Turkish side of the barricade in Ledra Street area; Data about the crossings

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.08), under the title Crossing into the north is a torture, reports that the problems experienced during the crossings to the occupied areas after the opening of Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point reached to their highest level yesterday. According to the paper, those who wanted to cross over to the occupied areas of the island through Ledra Street barricade waited in the line for hours.

    The line was so long that it reached the crossing point controlled by the police of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper notes that many tourists changed their mind and did not cross over to the occupied areas because they had to wait for long in the line.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.04.08), under the title 27 thousand 692 crossings in seven days, reports that 4,705 Turkish Cypriots crossed over to the free areas of the Republic during last week from the Ledra Palace crossing point, while the number of those who crossed over from the Ledra street (Lokmaci) crossing point reached 9,705. The relevant numbers for the Greek Cypriots are 1,385 and 11,621 respectively, notes the paper pointing out that Lokmaci finished Ledra [Palace].

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat is holding contacts with the Technical Committees

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.04.08) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) held a meeting with members of technical committees and working groups which were set up under March 21st agreement.

    On March 21st, 2008, Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias reached an agreement and decided to establish technical committees and working groups which would work on substantial and technical issues about Cyprus. Talat said that agenda of many of the technical committees and working groups were set. He said that this was the first meeting, and added that a new meeting can be held on Monday.

    Talat's Special Representative for EU and UN talks Ozdil Nami and Greek Cypriot Administration Commissioner George Iacovou also met today, and set agenda of the one more committee.

    Accordingly, the agenda of a total of 12 committees and groups were set. The agenda of the remaining one committee will be set on Monday.

    Under March 21st agreement, Talat and Christofias decided to establish six working groups and seven technical committees. Working groups will focus on substantial issues about Cyprus, while technical committees will work on daily technical issues.

    [03] Avci accuses President Christofias of negative statements and policies that will prevent the start of the negotiations process

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.04.08) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has said that Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias statements give a blow on efforts to start the negotiations process.

    In a written statement, Mr. Avci stated that Mr. Christofias statement is proof that the Greek Cypriot Side does not have enough willpower to reach a settlement on the island.

    Pointing to the importance of trust between the two peoples on the island, he expressed the hope that the newly opened window of opportunity will not be closed due to the negative statements and policies pursued by the Greek Cypriot Leadership.

    [04] Soyer and Murat visited Ledra street crossing-point

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.04.08) broadcast the following:

    The TRNC government has prepared a package to provide support to tradesmen at the Lokmaci (Ledra Street) area. This was announced by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer today during a tour of the area. Mr. Soyer who chatted with people and the tradesmen, told reporters that the content of the package will be announced next week. He also expressed his satisfaction of seeing many tourists in the area besides Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, Internal Affair Minister Ozkan Murat also carried out an inspection of the Lokmaci area and said that measures would be taken in the coming days to ease border crossing at the area. He said up until now close to 25 thousand Greek Cypriots and tourists had crossed the Lokmaci Gate alone. He also gave news that certain streets in the area would be closed for pedestrian use only and other roads would become one way, in order to help ease traffic problems in the area.

    In addition, the Turkish Cypriot press reports on Saturday (12.04.08) about the visit of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Friday morning, through the Lokmaci (Ledra Street) barricade.

    Under the title With the opening of barricades the solution cannot be solved Kibris reports on the issue and writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader stated that the opening of Lokmaci is a positive development and there is a symbolic meaning as regards the opening. However, he said, the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem must continue. The paper also writes that Talats visit was received with great interest by the Greek Cypriot tradesmen of the area.

    Under the title Talat passed to South Cyprus, Halkin Sesi reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader had ice cream and did some shopping during his visit to Ledra Street.

    Vatan reports on the same issue under the title Talat passed to South Cyprus through Lokmaci.

    Under the title: Goal on the first minute. Now is Christofias turn, Afrika writes that Christofias wanted to visit the Arasta area, however, Talat overcame him and passed first the Lokmaci barricade.

    Yeni Duzen reports on the same issue under the title A message of friendship and peace was given.

    Kibrisli reports on the issue under the title Peace, Solution, Love.

    [05] Ozkan Murat will sign a protocol with the Turkish Minster of Public Works and Housing for cooperation in the title deeds and cadastre activities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.08) reports that Ozkan Murat, self-styled minister of internal affairs departed for Ankara yesterday where he is expected to hold contacts until 16 April. Mr Muart will sign a protocol with the Turkish Minster of Public Works and Housing, Faruk Nafiz Ozak, for cooperation in the title deeds and cadastre activities.

    He is also expected to meet with the Turkish Minister of Internal Affairs, Besir Atalay and the state minister and deputy prime minister responsible for Cyprus, Cemil Cicek.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Protest against the killing of wild donkeys in the occupied Kaprass peninsula

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.08) reports that a protest was organized yesterday at Golden Beach area regarding the crime committed against the wild donkeys living in the National Park in the occupied area of Karpass peninsula. The protesters demanded the protection of the donkeys.

    The police interfered and did not allow Greek Cypriots and students from Turkey studying in the technical University of Middle East (ODTU) to participate in the protest showing as pretext that foreigners cannot participate in an activity in the occupied areas.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The Goneyli municipality will host three mayors from the province of Hessen in May

    Writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.04.08), Ozan Ceyhun, German of Turkish origin former member of the European Parliament, refers to the relations of the occupied areas of Cyprus with Germany and reports that the Goneyli municipality will host three mayors from the province of Hessen in May.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] A weekly newspaper in the English language is about to be issued in the occupied areas; It will be distributed in 15 countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.04.08) reports that the preparations to issue the Star International newspaper have been completed. Star International will be a weekly paper in the English language and in addition to the occupied areas of Cyprus it will also be distributed in 15 countries of Europe and the Middle East.

    Noting that the final countdown has started for the above-mentioned paper, Star Kibris reports that the first test issue of Star International was introduced yesterday to foreigners who live in the occupied areas by Ali Ozmen Safa, chairman of the administrative council of Star Kibris media Group, during a cocktail.

    Mr Safa said that the newspaper will be the voice not only of the Turkish Cypriots but at the same time the voice of the foreigners living in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Representatives of more than 30 associations and institutions of foreigners who live in the occupied areas of Cyprus participated in the cocktail organized by Mr Safa.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Delegation from Marshall University visits the illegal LAU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.04.08) reports that the foreign relations director of Marshall University, Clarke Egnor and the Dean of the Business Faculty of the same university, Dr. Loraine Anderson visited the illegal European University of Lefka (LAU) and met with officials of the university. The self-styled minister of public works and transports, Salih Usar has also attended the meeting where cooperation between the two universities was discussed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Only three political parties from the occupied areas have been invited to the assembly of the AKPs youth organization

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (14.04.08), under the title The children of AKP in Cyprus, reports that only three parties from the occupied areas have been invited to the general assembly of the youth organization of the Justice and Development Party (AKP). These parties are the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), National Unity Party (UBP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP).

    We have to say the following: It is obvious from this diagram what kind of arithmetic the AKP has established for our elections. Of course, if bad things do not happen to it until then, notes Afrika.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] The illegal regime participates in the Inter-parliamentary Union meetings in Cape Town. Cyprus problem on the agenda

    Illegal Bayrak television (12.04.08) broadcast the following:

    The 118th Assembly of the Inter-parliamentary Union and its related meetings will be held at the Cape Town International Convention Center in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 13th to the 18th of April.

    The Speaker of the Republics Assembly Fatma Ekenoglu and an accompanying delegation will leave the Republic tonight to attend this years meeting in Cape Town. The opening ceremony will take place on tomorrow the 13th of April. The event is being hosted by the parliament of the Republic of South Africa.

    Omer Kalyoncu, the Secretary General of the Republican Turkish Party and Nazim Cavusolgu Secretary General of the National Unity Party are accompanying Mrs. Ekenoglu on her trip.

    Within the framework of events at the Inter-parliamentary Union meetings, the delegation will attend a meeting at the oval table which will discuss the Cyprus issue.

    In a statement he issued in regards to the meetings they will be attending, the Secretary General of the National Unity Party Nazim Cavusoglu said that during the inter-parliamentary union meeting he would be informing his associates of his partys views regarding the latest stage reached on the Cyprus issue.

    I will also be informing countries there to do all they can to help the Turkish Cypriot people be freed of the unjust isolations imposed on them, he added.

    [12] Turkish Cypriot Union of Ship agencies urges Turkey not to open its ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.04.08) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Ship Agencies Union has underlined the view that Turkey should not open its ports to the use of the Greek Cypriot Administration unless the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people is lifted and a comprehensive solution is provided to the Cyprus problem.

    The President of the Union, Akil Agaoglu, has issued a written statement claiming that officials from the European Union and the Greek Cypriot Administration are trying to start a campaign towards enabling the Greek Cypriot-registered ships use the Turkish ports- which have been forbidden from doing so since 1987.

    Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot world of navigation has been carrying out a series of lobbying activities on the issue, Mr Agaoglu said the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias says he is in favour of providing an immediate solution to this problem, independently from the solution of the Cyprus problem. `We want to highlight the fact that this issue is a `breaking point` for Turkish Cypriot business world`, he added.

    [13] Turkish think tank urges multi- component approach in Cyprus issue

    Under the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman (14.04.08) reports the following:

    Warning against the ramifications for Turkey's EU ambitions if the Cyprus issue remains unresolved at the end of next year, an Ankara-based think tank urged Turkish policy and decision makers toward a "multi-component" approach.

    The International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO/ USAK) released a study, "Alternative Initiatives on the Cyprus Issue: The Multi-Component Step Model," in which it listed proposals for a resolution of the decades-old issue in 51 separate articles.

    As well as being increasingly delayed, the resolution process also becomes more and more complex with each day, the study says, stressing that the role of international actors in the issue has also grown. However, a new process is ahead, following a landmark meeting on March 21 between Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, it notes.

    From now on it will not be possible to resolve the issue via classic approaches. The upcoming process is a process along which all components of a multi-component formula should be pushed simultaneously. Within this context, there is a series of [pieces of] homework to be done and responsibilities to be carried out, the study asserts. According to the study, the Turkish side should assume a proactive policy in order to maintain the advantageous position it gained in 2004 when it backed a UN reunification plan.

    [14] Babacan pays an official visit to Britain today

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.08) reported from Ankara that Turkey's Foreign Minister will pay an official visit to Britain between April 14th and 15th.

    Babacan will go to Britain upon the invitation of David Miliband, Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Turkish Foreign Ministry announced on Saturday.

    Bilateral relations, Turkey's EU membership negotiations, as well as regional and international issues will be discussed during Babacan's visit.

    Babacan is expected to get together with British businessmen and finance and media circles as well.

    He will also speak at a conference to be held at the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies, a British think tank.

    [15] General Buyukanit due to Cairo

    Under the title, Gen. Buyukanit goes to Egypt, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (14.04.08) reports that the Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit goes today to Cairo. Gen Buyukanit will pay a 4-day visit to Cairo to hold formal contacts with Mohammed Hussein Tantawi Soliman, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian armed forces and Minister of National Defence and Military Production. As the paper reports Gen. Buyukanits predecessor, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok, in 2005 during a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart took a decision regarding further cooperation in the military field with Egypt.

    (EA)

    [16] Turkish Air Force Commander visits China for official talks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.08) reported the following from Beijin: Turkey's air forces commander arrived in China on a formal visit on Saturday.

    General Aydogan Babaoglu is visiting the Chinese capital, Beijing upon an invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xu Qiliang.

    Babaoglu will also meet Chinese Minister of National Defense Liang Guanglie. The Turkish general will later visit Xian and Hangzhou cities and depart from China on April 17th.

    [17] Turkeys four-star generals declined to participate in ATC meeting due to the US stance on Turkish operations in Iraq

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.04.08) reports the following:

    Turkey's four-star generals, including Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun, have reportedly declined to participate in the annual four-day American-Turkish Council (ATC) meeting, which started in Washington yesterday, in reaction to US criticism of the Turkish military's ground offensive into northern Iraq in late February.

    Well-informed sources have told Today's Zaman that the Turkish military will be represented at the three-star level and below, including Lt. Gen. Hilmi Ak1n Zorlu, the head of the Planning and Principles Department of the Turkish General Staff, who is in charge of military procurement planning.

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will also not be taking part in the meetings, during which US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will make the keynote speech on April 15.

    This is the first time a US secretary of state will deliver a speech to an ATC meeting. During these meetings, Turkish-US relations on military, economic and political issues are discussed with the aim of furthering cooperation between the two NATO allies, the same sources said.

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan should have attended the meeting with Rice delivering a speech, said a government source.

    Amid mounting US criticism of its incursion into northern Iraq in pursuit of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists, the Turkish General Staff announced that, as of Feb. 29, it had withdrawn its forces back inside the Turkish border.

    The announcement of the Turkish withdrawal, not expected for another week or so, followed soon after US President George W Bush's call on Feb. 28 for Turkey to "move quickly, achieve [the] objective and get out."

    The General Staff said the timing of the operation had been governed by military requirements and was not subject to any external influences. However, the proximity of the Turkish withdrawal and the US criticism triggered a bitter war of words between the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the opposition parties, which criticized the former for acting under US pressure.

    The US has been extending real-time intelligence support to Turkey for its operations in northern Iraq. This intelligence has been vital for Turkey's ability to accurately locate PKK hideouts. However, worried about the possibility that a ground operation could get out of control, further complicating US efforts in Iraq as a whole, the US urged Turkey to withdraw its troops from the region.

    Despite the absence of four-star generals, as well as Foreign Minister Babacan, from the meeting, Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, State Minister for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mehmet Simsek, as well as Murad Bayar, the head of the Undersecretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM), will attend the ATC meeting.

    The ATC was established 27 years ago to boost Turkish-US military ties. Since then Ankara-Washington relations have concentrated on the Turkish purchase of US equipment as well as ongoing US military training programs for Turkish officers. However, in the past decade both sides have intensified efforts to expand their relations to include the economic sphere.

    ATC to create forum for problematic areas

    The US has reportedly been upset over the recent Turkish refusal to send combat troops to Afghanistan, though in public Washington has acted as if it understands the constraints preventing Turkey from sending troops for combat purposes.

    Ankara has argued that it is already committed to too many peacekeeping operations throughout the world -- including Afghanistan, where it has over 750 troops in the Kabul area -- in addition to the deployment of a high number of troops in Turkey's southeast to fight the PKK.

    But in private discussions, the US has expressed its displeasure over the Turkish refusal to send combat troops to Afghanistan to fight against al-Qaeda terrorists. This issue is expected to be discussed again on the sidelines of the ATC meeting. However, it is not expected that the US will stop supplying Turkey with real-time intelligence over the Afghanistan issue.

    Used Cobras not available

    Ongoing Turkish-US problems stemming from Turkey's military procurement policies are also expected to occupy the ATC agenda.

    With the start of air offensives inside northern Iraq in December of last year coupled with the controversial ground operations, the TSK has sought US delivery of used Cobra attack helicopters. But since that time the US has not been able to meet the Turkish request, saying the equipment was not available.

    However, it is understood that part of the reason for the US refusal to deliver Cobras to Turkey is Ankara's decision to opt for Italian firm AgustaWestland to meet its attack helicopter requirements, comprising about 50 vehicles initially. Due to the SSM's tough contract terms and conditions, as perceived by Washington, US companies could not compete in Turkey's attack helicopter tender, which was worth around $2.5 billion.

    Turkey did not soften the contract terms and conditions of its attack helicopter tender to allow US companies to compete. Now they have chosen the Italians, but asked for 15 used Cobras from the US as an interim solution. This policy is neither acceptable nor understandable, a US-based defense industry representative says.

    Another fight between Turkey and the US appears to be on the horizon, with the SSM getting closer to choosing a firm for its $4 billion acquisition of a long-range missile defense system composed of 12 firing units.

    US Raytheon and Lockheed Martin teamed in the project, offering Patriot systems, while Ankara has been urging Russia to compete with S-400 systems. US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has warned Ankara over interoperability problems that might arise within NATO if Turkey opts for Russian systems.

    [18] Turkey: Erdogan leaves for Qatar, condemns murder of Italian artist

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.08) reported from Ankara:

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan departed from the Turkish capital, Ankara for Qatar on Sunday. Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler, Industry and Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan, as well as numerous MPs, businessmen and bureaucrats are accompanying Erdogan during his visit.

    Delivering a statement prior to his departure, Erdogan said he would attend the inaugural session of the "8th Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade" to be held in Doha, Qatar on Sunday.

    Erdogan said he would hold talks with the Amir, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Energy and Industry Minister of Qatar within the framework of his two-day visit to this country. He said the relations between Turkey and Qatar improved recently and the foreign trade volume between the two countries has reached 480 million USD.

    We will discuss with our addressees the cooperation opportunities between Turkey and Qatar regarding the energy issue, Erdogan said. He also said Turkey's desire to strengthen its relations with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and to sign a free trade agreement would be discussed during the talks and that he would also get together with Turkish and Qatari businessmen during his visit.

    Replying to a question on Italian artist Giuseppina Pasqualino's recent death in Turkey, Erdogan said he could not find any words to describe the incident.I am deeply sad that an artist traveling as a peace envoy was faced with such a treatment, Erdogan said. Offering his condolences to Pasqualino's family, Erdogan said he believed the Turkish jurisdiction would make the necessary assessments and would reach the fairest verdict.

    Italian artist Giuseppina Pasqualino (33), who was known as "Pippa Bacca" in her country, departed from the Italian city of Milan together with Silvia Moro, an artist friend of hers, on March 8th. The two artists were travelling to the Israeli city of Tel Aviv by hitchhiking in order to give a "peace message" to the world. Pasqualino and Moro separated from each other in Istanbul on March 19th. Since March 31st, no contact could be established with Pasqualino. The artist was found dead in a forest near Gebze town of the northwestern province of Kocaeli on April 12th.

    The 38-year-old suspect of the murder, Murat Karatas was arrested.

    [19] Nokta editor-in-chief acquitted of charges of slandering military

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (12.04.08) reported the following:

    The former editor-in-chief of Nokta newsweekly, charged with insult and slander for running a story that featured excerpts from a diary allegedly penned by a former navy commander, was acquitted on all charges on Friday.

    The court said the legal preconditions for the crimes of "insult" and "slander" were not present in the case against Alper Gormus.

    An Istanbul prosecutor filed charges against Gormus in April 2007 for running a story that featured excerpts from a diary allegedly belonging to retired Naval Forces Commander Adm. Ozden Ornek. Gormus's indictment came at the end of an investigation launched by the prosecutor's office in Istanbul's Bakirkoy district on an appeal by Ornek.

    The investigation followed the publication in Nokta of excerpts from the controversial diary that suggested Ornek and a number of other former commanders had plotted to stage a coup to overthrow the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government in 2004. Ornek has consistently denied that the diary in question belongs to him. The indictment accuses Gormus of having penned the diaries himself.

    No legal action against Ornek or other generals who were accused of making plans to institute a military government has been taken since the story appeared in the journal in March 2007. In addition to the controversial diaries, in April of the same year Nokta printed a news story on alleged connections between certain civil society organizations and the military.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [20] How to explain the European support for the AK Party

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.04.08) publishes a commentary by Ihsan Dagi. Following are excerpts of the commentary:

    It is pretty obvious for the Europeans that despite slowing down on reforms, the AK Party is still the only political party committed to the idea of integration with the EU and prepared to make the necessary political reforms. Bringing Turkey to accession negotiations, the AK Party's performance between 2002 and 2005 was considered impressive by EU circles.

    Moreover it is also known that the AK Party's commitment to EU membership is not confined to its leadership but also involves its grassroots. The latest opinion poll conducted by Pollmark, for instance, found support for EU membership at 59 percent. But the support for the EU among AK Party voters exceeds the average at 68 percent. So for the sustainability of the membership process the AK Party grassroots presents a better picture.

    The EU values a dialogue between civilizations, particularly between the West and Islam, and is aware that this cannot be carried out by radical secularists. A "democratic secularism," as Barroso put it, is required to be a bridge between the two sides. It seems the AK Party is better equipped to play such a role than the CHP, which appears to sacrifice democracy for "militant secularism."

    The AK Party is also seen as the political movement most enthusiastic about globalization, foreign capital, privatization and the market economy. While the AK Party is proud of the foreign capital attracted to Turkey over the last couple of years, the other political parties, including the CHP, are criticizing it as selling out the country to foreigners. Thus its position on the market economy also increases the AK Party's credibility over its opponents among Western observers.

    There are also two outstanding issues waiting for solutions: the Cyprus question and the Kurdish question. As for Cyprus, the AK Party is regarded as an actor ready to negotiate for a solution. The AK Party's support for the Annan plan in 2004 clearly won over the support of the Europeans, proving its willingness for a negotiated solution. Looking at other political parties in Turkey the Europeans only see the nationalists -- namely the CHP and MHP -- and their position opposing any form of solution. After the election of Demetris Christofias as president in the south of the island, those who would like to give another chance to peace look to the AK Party's cooperation.

    The Europeans know very well that compared to the CHP and MHP -- political parties that do not exist in the Kurdish region at all -- it is the AK Party that is most likely to solve the problem, or at least address the demands of the Kurdish people.

    As a result the AK Party has emerged over the last five years as the only partner for the Europeans to do business with. Those who do not want to lose Turkey to the nationalists do not want to watch the slaughter of the AK Party, their only partner in Turkey.

    [21] From the Turkish Press of 12 and 13 April 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 12 and 13 April:

    a) Barroso's Visit: In an article entitled "Turkey is taking steps in the right direction," in Hurriyet (12.03.08) columnist Ertugrul Ozkok says that Barroso took care to remain impartial in the dispute between the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, and the pro-secular camp. He comments: "Barroso has taken the right approach. Firstly, this is a domestic issue of Turkey and it should be resolved through national reconciliation. Secondly, the parameters of a possible reconciliation have started to emerge. I was inclined to see this crisis as a kick-off for writing a new constitution. It seems that they are about to reach a tacit agreement for doing that."

    In an article entitled "EU on the agenda again," in Milliyet (12.03.08) columnist Sami Kohen views the pros and cons of Barroso's visit. Noting that Barroso's visit revived Turkey's long-stalled reform projects and relations with the EU, he says: "Another gain which we may include in the list is that he will be able to discover different aspects of Turkey and perceive some facts which he could not see in the past."

    In an article entitled "Barroso caused disappointment about secularism," in Milliyet (12.03.08) columnist Semih Idiz says that Barroso could have laid strong emphasis on secularism and said that religious matters and the government's affairs were clearly separated from each other in his speech in the TBMM. He comments: "While speaking about women's freedom to wear or not to wear headscarf, he could have given stronger reassurances to those who do not prefer to wear headscarf. His appeal for tolerating the faith and opinions of all people was not strong enough in that sense. His remarks may be perceived as support for headscarf even if he did not mean it."

    In a column in Milliyet (13.04.08), Sami Kohen summarizes the interview granted by European Commission President Barroso to a few journalists at the end of his visit to Turkey. Assessing Barroso's visit and his responses to reporters' questions, Kohen underlines that Barroso is "a friend who extends active support to Turkey, but as the head of the executive organ of the EU he has to uphold the principles and criteria of the Community."

    Assessing Barroso's visit in of his article in Milliyet (13.04.08), Osman Ulagay says that the during his speeches in Turkey, the EU official did not stress the shock the closure case against the AKP caused in Brussels taking into consideration the polarization it has caused in the country. Whereas, such a development was unexpected and was received with shock in EU circles, the writer says, adding that it is inevitable that the result of the case will have an impact on Turkish-EU relations. Noting that Barroso's visit drew his attention to the lack of dialogue in the country, Ulagay relates an ultimatum given to him by two of his old friends: "There is a war in Turkey between the military bureaucratic oligarchy and the democratic forces. If you do not accept this and announce that you are on our camp, we will not talk to you." In conclusion, the writer questions what the fate of the country will be if even friends cannot conduct a dialogue on the current situation.

    In Radikal (13.04.08), Altan Oymen argues that the EU official views as justified the measures taken against the headdress in public offices. Lamenting the fact that there are those within the AKP who believe that democracy applies only to elections, Oymen argues that one of the primary reasons prompting the AKP to ameliorate its relations, which had been shelved since 2005, with the EU is the diagnosis that the Europeans are on the side of the AKP. If, however, the AKP wants to develop its relations with the EU and to become a member of the Community in the future, the writer notes, it cannot do so by disregarding the principle of secularism. The anachronistic AKP notion that it can do as it pleases once it is elected will not muster support in any civilized country in the world, Oymen stresses, calling on the government to sincerely embrace the principle of secularism.

    Assessing the importance Barroso attaches to the role model of "moderate Islam" that the West wants to see in the AKP in an article in the Turkish Daily News (13.04.08), Yusuf Kanli questions whether there can be a moderate version of Islam. The writer then goes on to criticize the EU officials for their silence at the closure case filed against the Democratic Society Party, DTP, and asks whether both parties are not facing the same court.

    Assessing the stand adopted by the EU toward the PKK in an article in Ortadogu (13.04.08) Yalcin Guzelhan refers to Barroso's remarks that the PKK will remain in the EU's list of terrorist organizations. If that is the case, the writer questions, then why are 1,500 PKK members being sheltered in the Greek Cypriot sector and why was PKK member Ahmet Gulabi Dere allowed to participate in the European Commission meeting in Strasbourg. Recalling a French news agency report that PKK revenues in Germany reach 300 million Euros annually, Guzelhan censures the EU for not taking any action against the PKK. The writer concludes by stating that only when the EU officials respond to these and similar questions, will we know whether they are sincere in their declaration about the PKK being a terrorist organization.

    In an article entitled "Is the EU helping or hurting Turkish democracy?" in Sunday's Zaman (13.04.08) columnist Faruk Logoglu criticizes the EU's approach and says: "The EU must abandon its opportunistic and shortsighted interventions and adopt a principled and coherent attitude toward Turkey, consistent with democratic tradition and practice in Europe." He also argues that "current EU attitudes are pushing Turkey further away from the EU and weakening public commitment to democracy."

    b) Fethullah Gulen Community: In an article entitled "The Gulen empire," in Cumhuriyet (12.04.08) columnist Mustafa Balbay says that a court request recently filed by the Chief Prosecutor of the Turkish Supreme Court of Appeals who said that charges should be brought against Fethullah Gulen, leader of the Fethullah Gulen community, for establishing an illegal organization in order to commit crimes and the Russian Supreme Court's decision to ban Gulen's activities in Russia will trigger heated debates about Gulen who, he asserts, is being used by the United States for extending its influence to different parts of the world.

    c) Military threatening court on Gulīs election: In an article entitled "Either Deny It or Resign", in Yeni Safak (12.04.08) columnist Resul Tosun argues that the General Staff and the Constitutional Court's "silence" on Taraf columnist Yasemin Congar's recent allegation that a force commander threatened Constitutional Court justices with a coup if they did not rule in favor of the appeal that challenged Abdullah Gul's election as president on quorum grounds has totally destroyed public trust in the top court. He claims that under the circumstances, the members of the court should either issue a denial or tender their resignations.

    In an article entitled "That is what I call news", in Vakit (12.04.08) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak comments on recent news reports alleging that the military threatened to stage a coup if the Constitutional Court did not cancel the presidential election and that the Supreme Court president was told at the General Staff some time ago that the army could intervene without warning. Dilipak cautions that closing down the AKP and the Democratic Society Party, DTP, would cause southeast Turkey to turn into another Iraq. He also calls on the AKP to take swift action against "gangs and putschists" and capitalize on EU and US support for the purging of criminal groups from the state.

    [22] Important messages from General Basbug

    Under the above title, columnist Fikret Bila in Turkish daily Milliyet (12.04.08) writes the following:

    Land Forces Commander General Ilker Basbug, addressing the personnel of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces, made a warning speech yesterday on the Cyprus problem and on issues of fighting with terrorist organizations. If it was coincidence, General Basbugs speech was a reply to the messages of the EU Commission President Barroso, who said yesterday at the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly), that political and cultural rights must be given to those who have Kurdish roots.

    The important messages from General Basbugs speech may be listed as follows:

    Subtitle: Cyprus a national and common problem

    1. General Basbug noted that the Cyprus problem does not only interest the Turkish Cypriots but it is a national and common problem that concerns the security of Turkey and TRNC.

    2. General Basbug stressed that Cyprus is strategically important for Turkey from the point of security.

    3. Another important aspect conveyed in the Land Forces Commanders message is a call to accept the existence of TRNC reality in order to find a just and lasting solution to the problem.

    General Basbug said that everyone should accept that without the Common will that the sides will display in an equal and sovereign manner a solution cannot be found.

    When EU Commission Chief Barroso, was saying that Turkey should open its ports to the Greek Cypriot ships and the opportunity created now in Cyprus should not be missed, the land Forces Commander has underlined that south Cyprus Greek Cypriot Administration did not reciprocate the good will of the TRNC, its peaceful and reconciliatory approach, that the TRNC faced with the isolations of the EU and that this situation is having the effect of shaking the trust.

    General Basbug has stressed that the bi-zonality should be maintained without watering down and perforating the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance. He said that Violation of the bi-zonality will be tantamount to mortgaging the future of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    General Basbug, after stressing that the Turkish nation is a nation that had pushed aside an agreement (Sevres) which was imposed on it and from the ashes of a collapsed empire was able to establish a new state and that the Turkish Cypriot fighters under difficult conditions had resisted, struggled and crowned their struggle for survival by establishing a state (TRNC), he said: It is beneficial that some people should read this well and understand it. He conveyed the massage that people should not make miscalculations.

    EG/


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright Đ 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    tcpr2html v1.00 run on Monday, 14 April 2008 - 13:55:36 UTC