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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-17
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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. 74/08 17.04.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Joan Ryan held contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus yesterdayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.04.08) reports that Joan Ryan, special representative of the British Prime Minister for Cyprus, met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled Prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the so-called minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci.
In statements after the meeting with Mr Talat, Joan Ryan said she is encouraged after her meetings with the two leaders. Pointing out that this is the best opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of the Island, Mrs Ryan noted that Britain, as guarantor power, will provide any support it can for the successful conclusion of the negotiating process.
In statements after his meeting with Mrs Ryan, Mr Avci said that he asked from Mrs Ryan for Britain to exert its influence in the direction of a comprehensive solution in Cyprus under equal conditions. He said that they told Mrs Ryan that the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) and the Turkish Cypriot side are ready for a comprehensive solution, but the content of the solution should be discussed. He also alleged that reaching a solution is impossible with the policy pursued by the Greek Cypriot side in the past.
Mr Avci said that he told Mrs Ryan that the political equality of the two peoples on the island, bi-zonality, the structure of two equal founding states and the guarantees of Turkey are absolutely indisputable for a solution. He alleged that the lawsuits filed by the Republic of Cyprus for the use of the aid within the framework of the EU Financial Aid Regulation to the Turkish Cypriots, do not serve the good will climate formed after the election of President Christofias and are a cause for increasing the distance between the two peoples. Mr Avci said that he will meet with Mrs Ryan during his visit to Britain.
Furthermore, Kibris reports that Mrs Ryan visited also the occupied part of Ledra Street accompanied by the self-styled mayor, Cemal Bulutoglulari. Mr Bulutoglulari stated that Mrs Ryan is pleased with the revival of the area and added that they discussed the projects which are made in the area and the works which could be done.
 Tahsin Ertugruloglu attacks Peter MilletTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (17.04.08) reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the National Unity party (UBP), has criticized the recent statements made (to Halkin Sesi) by Peter Millet, British High Commissioner to Nicosia.
In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Ertugruloglu argued that the statements of Mr Millet do not contribute to reaching an agreement on the Cyprus problem. He alleged that by saying that there is an opportunity for a solution, solution now, the solution cannot be postponed, efforts are exerted for a solution in the direction of the wishes of the Greek Cypriots. This is an effort in vain, he claimed.
In spite of all that which has happened, saying that peace could be achieved only if the united Cyprus is established and that the continuation of the existence of the two states does not mean peace, is tantamount to putting butter on the bread of the Greek Cypriot side and to tying to the approval of the Greek Cypriots the salvation of the Turkish Cypriot people from the isolation and the embargoes and taking their place in the world with their own rights, alleged Mr Ertugruloglu.
 Gerd Andres arrived in the occupied areas. He discussed with Soyer projects in the fields of energy and tourismTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (17.04.08) reports that a delegation from the German Social Democrat Party (SPD) headed by Gerd Andres, MP and chairman of the Coordination Group of Turkey Cyprus Policies, arrived in the occupied areas of Cyprus yesterday through the illegal Tymvou airport in order to hold meetings in both the occupied and the free areas of the island.
In statements at the VIP room of the illegal airport, Mr Andres said that he will meet, inter alia, with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the President of the Republic, Demetris Christofias.
He noted that during these meetings he will acquire information on the Cyrus problem and added that only in this manner they will be able to be useful for Cyprus. Noting that this is his second visit to the island, Mr Andres pointed out to the importance of this visit because he comes as a rapporteur for Cyprus on behalf of the European Commission and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federal Parliament. He noted that the results of the recent elections in the Republic of Cyprus gave them hope for a solution on the island. Mr Andres met yesterday with Mr Talat.
Mr Ozan Ceyhun, former German of Turkish origin MP, was among those who attended the meeting. Mr Ceyhun was also present at the illegal airport during the arrival of the SPD delegation.
Meanwhile, referring to the meeting between Mr Soyer and Mr Andres, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.04.08) reports that Mr Soyer said that Mr Andres discussed with him projects in the fields of energy and tourism and added that these are very exciting issues. He noted that they should focus on producing electricity from solar energy and on developing their relations in the field of tourism so that both sides are benefited.
 The embassy of Turkey will build a mosque in the occupied part of Nicosia and train Islamic religious personnelTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.04.08) reports that the so-called embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Nicosia has submitted to the self-styled municipality of the occupied city a plan for the construction of a mosque with two minarets in the centre of Nicosia.
According to the paper, there is a plan for turning the 20 July Applied Sciences Lyceum into an imam hatip, a secondary school for training Islamic religious personnel. The registrations in this school had been stopped. The members of the municipal council were put under pressure not to oppose the project, notes Afrika.
 Soyer: If the Greek Cypriots really want a solution, they should not be annoyed by the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with the EUTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.04.08) reports that the 52nd anniversary of the hand-over of the Evkaf religious foundation back to the Turkish Cypriots from the British Colonial Rule was celebrated with a reception last night at the foundations administration building in the occupied part of Nicosia. The self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the so-called Turkish ambassador to the occupied part of Nicosia, Turkekul Kurttekin attended the reception.
Addressing the ceremony, Mr Soyer said that restoring and translating the 400 year-old Ottoman records and transferring them into a computer environment is a very important development.
Noting that he wanted to give an example to show how the 400 years of accumulated experience is very important, Mr Soyer said: The Greek Cypriot side has alleged that hellim [cheese] is halloumi and it is struggling for this. I have not understood this. We as well follow this issue. He pointed out that while the hellim and halloumi case is discussed, with these records of Evkaf important information came into light.
Meanwhile, Kibris reports also that in statements yesterday before the meeting of the self-styled council of ministers, Mr Soyer alleged that if the Greek Cypriots really want a solution, they should not be annoyed by the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with the European Union (EU).
Mr Soyer noted that the European Court [of Justice] rejected the Greek Cypriot lawsuit for stopping the tenders for the infrastructure works in the occupied areas which will be carried out with the money given to the Turkish Cypriots within the framework of the Financial Aid Regulation of the European Commission. Mr Soyer called on the Greek Cypriots to withdraw their lawsuits and to stop putting obstacles to the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Soyer said that the projects provided for by the Financial Aid Regulation will continue rapidly.
 Turkish Cypriot delegation is holding contacts at the European ParliamentTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot delegation which is holding contacts at the European Parliament (EP) has expressed its views on the part of the report of the EP for Turkey for the year 2007 regarding the Cyprus problem and especially on the paragraph for the occupied fenced city of Varosha.
According to a statement made by Burhan Eraslan, director of the assembly, the two MPs, Salih Izbul (CTP) and Hasan Tacoy (UBP), who are participating as observers in the Socialist and Liberal groups of the EP emphasized that the paragraph on Varosha should not destroy the positive course of the process in Cyprus and called on everybody to avoid any action which could harm the positive climate on the island.
They said that the report of the Petition Committee is actually balanced and acceptable, but the Greek Cypriot side wants its views to be reflected in the report, following a stance in the direction of its own political aims. The paper notes that Izbul and Tacoy have also brought onto the agenda the issue of the official representation of the Turkish Cypriot MPs in the EP.
 Turkeys efforts for a non-permanent seat in the Security Council is influenced by the Cyprus problemUnder the banner headlines in its front-page, Ankara makes everything to influence 128 countries; We are after the vote, its a shame, Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (17.04.08) reports that Turkey, for the sake of a seat as a non-permanent members in the UN Security Council, pays the debts of the countries, entertains the leaders, opens Embassies and sends presents. In the same report in its front-page under the subtitle The difficulty of Cyprus the paper refers to Turkeys efforts for a seat at the Security Council and writes: [Turkey] sent funds for the development of the small countries and in order to accelerate the progress it has sent equipment and armoured vehicles to the leaders. In the campaign the President also plays an active role. The effort towards the big Western European countries is little since the decision of most of them is already defined because of the Cyprus problem...
The paper continues in its inside pages and reports that Turkey needs 128 votes to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council and that to reach to that gaol the Government turned to the poor and small countries because they are easier to be influenced. Turkey chose the support of countries in the OIC (Organisation of the Islamic Conference), Arab League, the African Union, Pacific Union and the Caribbean countries. The future activities will include: attendance of the Turkish President to the 12th meeting of the UN Trade and Development Conference in Ghana between April 20-25, tour of the Turkish Prime Minister to Latin America, which will include Argentina and Chile and in August the Turkey-African Union Summit will take place in Istanbul.
The paper also reports that Turkey became a non-permanent member between 1951-52, 1954-55 and 1961 (they shared one year each with Poland), but for 47 years it was not able to become a member of the Security Council because after the 1974 Peace Operation it was facing difficulties inside the Security Council. The voting will take place in October 2008 in the 632nd General Council of the UN.
 A communiqué by PACE created crisis in TurkeyUnder the front-page title, Is communiqué of Europe ordered by AKP?, Turksih daily Milliyet newspaper (17.04.08) reports that a communiqué written by the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), as a reaction to the prohibition case filed against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), created a crisis. PACE President Luis Maria De Puig said that the communiqué was written upon a request of the AKP. Members of the Turkish PACE delegation from the Republican People's Party (CHP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) reacted to the situation.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (17.04.08) in its front page reports that the President of PACE Luis Maria De Puig, said that a Turkish parliamentary delegation requested from PACE to issue a statement against political party closures. The head of a Turkish parliamentary delegation, Mr Mehmet Cavusoglu, said that he met with the PACE president twice but made no requests for a PACE statement against party closures. PACE's decision to issue a statement against party closures was made before my arrival in Strasbourg, Mr Cavusoglu said.
 Iraq announced the list of companies for oil search in its territories; Turkey not includedUnder the front-page banner title, Oil search in Iraq shock, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (17.04.08) reports that the list of 35 companies, which will explore for oil in Iraq, was announced. The list includes even Korea, but not Turkey. The decision, which reached Turkey on Monday, alerted Ankara. The Turkish foreign and energy ministries took action when TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Corporation) and its subsidiary did not take place in the list despite the fact that they had applied. Iraq gave permission even to Korea, Malaysia and Indonesia, but not to Turkey to explore oil on its lands.
 Turkish National Security Council to convene on 24 AprilAnkara Anatolia news agency (16.04.08) reported from Ankara that Turkeys National Security Council (MGK) will convene on April 24th.
MGK meeting will be chaired by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and will take place at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.
Domestic and international issues will be discussed at the MGK meeting.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 16 April 2008a) Revision of Article 301: Ismet Berkan in Istanbul Radikal criticizes the AKP (Justice and Development Party) approach on the amendment of Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and argues that the article should be completely removed, not amended. In a column, Berkan says that the concepts that are protected by the article will still be protected in the Constitution if it is removed and notes that the inclination to transfer authority to the president to decide whether or not a lawsuit should be filed against those who insult Turkey and the Turks is wrong. Berkan asserts: The president is above political controversies in Turkey. Transfering authority to him to decide on lawsuits will involve him in the political disputes. In view of that, the proposal for the amendment of Article 301 has to be amended. Hopefully that will not take many years.
Mehmet Y Yilmaz recalls the statements made by Justice Minister Ali Sahin and Prime Minister Erdogan nine months ago that the amendments to be made to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code are about to be finalized and will be submitted to the parliament within a short time and wonders why the AKP has failed to bring the matter to the parliament. In a column in Istanbul Hurriyet, he accuses the party of not maintaining a sincere approach and says: The AKP intends to create the impression that it is concentrating on Article 301. The party does not attach importance to democracy and freedom of thought. It makes an effort to realize its own agenda. The support the party gives to democracy is only a means that will help it achieve its ultimate objectives.
According to a report in Istanbul Milliyet, DTP (Democratic Society Party) parliamentary group leader Ahmet Turk has said that they will not support the proposal to amend Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code because they want the article to be completely removed. The report says that Mr Turk noted that the DTP also wants all the other articles that limit freedom of thought to be removed and argued that the AKP is trying to get rid of the lawsuit that has been filed to close it down. It quotes Turk as saying: The people have been forced to choose between the nationalist-chauvinist faction and political Islam. We call for the establishment of a democratic republic.
In an article entitled "301 Wars", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts that the Government's bid to change Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code looks set to increase "the already high political tension in Ankara," with the Republican People's Party, CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, presenting a "united front" against the effort to amend this article and the MHP showing a "very exaggerated" reaction to the proposed amendment by censuring the motion submitted by the AKP as a "political assassination." Unal calls on those objecting to Article 301 being amended "not to forget that individuals need as much protection as the state in this country."
b) Turkey-Iran Talks on Terrorism: In a report in Istanbul Hurriyet, Ugur Ergan and Soner Gurel say that the Turkey-Iran Security Committee discussed the possibility of a joint operation against the PKK camps on Qandil Mountain in northern Iraq. They quoted a high-ranking official as saying: The two countries closely cooperate against the terrorist organization. We are discussing all the problems, including infiltrations in the border areas.
c) On American neo-cons plans for Turkey: In an article entitled "Fethullah Gulen and Khomeini", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul slams Michael Rubin, "a neo-Fascist who would throw Turkey into turmoil in 24 hours if he could," for asserting in a recent National Review article that Fethullah Gulen poses as big a threat to the United States as did Ayatollah Khomeini, warning that today's Istanbul will turn into the Tehran of 1979 if Gulen returns to Turkey, and calling on the US administration to refrain from supporting the ruling AKP. After claiming that the ongoing developments have confirmed Rubin's prediction in an earlier article that "political and judicial" rather than military action will be taken against the AKP if Erdogan ignores the Establishment's warnings, Karagul asks whether Rubin's latest article on Turkey signifies that US neo-cons have taken steps to eject the AKP from power.
In an article entitled "A crazy pack", Yeni Safak columnist Taha Kivanc [pseudonym for Fehmi Koru] quotes an unidentified "acquaintance" as saying that the US neo-cons are determined to bring the democratic system in Turkey to an end before launching a military campaign against Iran. Kivanc proceeds to claim on the basis of information provided by "an American who attended the [latest] ATC meeting" that Vice President Dick Cheney spent his time in Istanbul together with a businessman with whom he discussed "what to do next in Turkey." He also asserts that Rubin's latest "nonsense" article suggests that "Richard Perle and his men" have gone a long way toward achieving their aims regarding Turkey.
According to an article entitled "Gulen's Lawyer: Cumhuriyet is Trying To Influence the Judiciary", Fethullah Gulen's lawyer Orhan Erdemli has sent a statement of denial to the Cumhuriyet daily in response to recent reports by this newspaper highlighting the parallel between Gulen and Khomeini drawn by Michael Rubin and asserting that new evidence against Gulen has been supplied in a case heard by an Ankara court.
In an article entitled "Vicious plot, and pieces of advice to neo-con Rubin", Today's Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici asserts that Michael Rubin's claims about Fethullah Gulen and his comparison of Gulen to Khomeini - which became the subject of recent front-page reports in Cumhuriyet - are based on Cumhuriyet's own allegations about Gulen.
 Columnist in Hurriyet assesses Turkeys possible key role in the Middle EastTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper in (15.04.08) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever under the title "Where does Turkey stand in the Middle East equation?":
Where does Turkey stand in the Middle East equation?
I believe that if we can find the answer to this question, we will be able to make a better analysis of Turkey's near future. Let us ask the question more clearly: Is Turkey among the key countries in the Middle East equation? The leading actor is the United States! And the actor that challenges the leading actor is Iran!
All right, but where is Turkey? You may select one of the multiple choices:
a) The United States wants to preserve Turkey as a dominant country in the region against Iran.
b) The United States merely wants Turkey to remain silent in the face of the formation in northern Iraq.
c) The United States merely assigns a limited role to Turkey for the protection of the future of northern Iraq.
d) The United States wishes to find a suitable opportunity to reach an agreement with Iran and under such circumstances, no role will be assigned to Turkey.
I do not know the answer to my question. Believe me, I say this very sincerely because in my opinion each and every option that I listed above is a probability. Why?
The United States knows what it wants to achieve in the Middle East: Its most important goal is to maintain the supervision on energy resources -- in other words, to ensure that the supervision of these resources is not snatched by the Far East, the rising star.
However the United States does not know how to achieve this goal.
a) Should it or should it not withdraw its troops from Iraq?
b) Should it reach an agreement with Iran or should it attack Iran?
i) Is winning Iran the best way for preventing a possible Russia-China-India alliance from snatching it?
ii) It is impossible to trust Iran in any way. Is the best alternative to launch an air raid and to strike a blow in a way that Iran will not be able to recover easily?
From the United States's standpoint all the possibilities that I listed above are feasible. Neither the Republicans, nor the Democrats know which alternative is the best one.
For example among the democratic candidates African American Barack Obama who is expected to become the representative of oppressed states if he is elected president in November believes that it is necessary to hit Iran!
What about Turkey?
Rather than a country that is trying to assume an active role in the Middle East, Turkey appears to be a country that is trying to find a solution to its own problems.
Currently there is a ruling party that has come to power alone with an enormous victory. However just when everyone expected Turkey to become the fortress of stability in the Middle East, the party is facing a closure suit due to the unbelievably firm and harsh zigzags drawn by the prime minister.
Until the case is finalized Turkey will be ruled by a government that has been charged with the duty of safeguarding and protecting the Constitution and that is currently being tried for violating the Constitution! Most probably this is the greatest incoherence in the world.
There will be two possibilities when the case is finalized:
a) The AKP [Justice and Development Party] will be closed and the 300 and something "independent deputies" will constitute the largest group in the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly]. Given that their leader will be banned from politics, these 300 deputies will be available for these possibilities.
b) The AKP will not be closed. Recep Tayyip Erdogan who is a great master of turning unjust treatment into votes will proceed as a much haughtier and much firmer person who avoids more concessions.
If you were the United States, what kind of a role would you assign to such a country at a time when even you do not know what you want in the Middle East?