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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-05-08
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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. 86/08 08.05.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Christofias and Talat met at a social gatheringThe Turkish Cypriot press reports today (08.05.08) about the meeting last night of President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, at a social gathering.
Under the title We will continue the talks, Kibris reports in its first page that President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, met yesterday during a social gathering which was attended by representatives of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties. The meeting took place yesterday evening at 19.00 at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the UN-controlled buffer zone. The paper writes that during the conversation they had at the reception, the two leaders decided to continue the negotiations and they announced this to the party officials and the persons who participated in the reception.
Under the title The faces are smiling again, Yeni Duzen reports that Talat and Christofias met last night at Ledra Place. The paper, which writes that many politicians participated in the reception, also notes that the leaders decided to continue the talks for the solution of the Cyprus problem. The leaders and their representatives avoided to make any other political statements at the reception saying that it was a social gathering, writes the paper.
Under the title HOLLYWOOD!, Kibrisli reports on the meeting and writes that Mr George Iakovou compared the meeting with Hollywood. The paper also writes the following: The fact that the good news message that the negotiations will continue no sooner than the negotiations started, created confusion. It means that the negotiations are in danger!.
Halkin Sesi reports on the issue under the title The two leaders met at the reception.
Afrika reports on the same issue and writes that George Iakovou commented on the fact that all the journalists who participated in last nights meeting showed great interest in Christofias and Talat and said: This is like Hollywood.
 The chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Professor Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu will visit the TRNC on Sunday.Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (08.05.07) reports that the Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Professor Dr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu will visit the TRNC on Sunday. Mr Ihsanoglu will receive an honorary PHD degree from the Near East University. During his visit he will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Soyer and the foreign minister, Turgay Avci.
 The self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci is going to Ankara for contacts todayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.05.07) reports that the self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci is going to Ankara today. Mr Avci will hold a meeting with the State Minister, responsible for Cyprus, Cemil Cicek and he will participate in a working meal to be given in his honor by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ali Babacan. He will also meet with the Culture and Tourism Minister, Ertugrul Gunay. He will return to Cyprus tomorrow morning.
 UBP establishes a follow-up committee on the negotiation processIllegal Bayrak television (07.05.08) broadcast the following:
The main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) has established a follow-up committee on the negotiations process in Cyprus.
The UBPs committee aims to follow up with the developments on the negotiations process which is aimed at reaching a political settlement on the island.
It will operate under the leadership of UBP Lefkosa MP Irsen Kucuk.
The committee will hold its first meeting on Friday the 9th.
 The Turkish Cypriot press continue to write about the CAS firm which was awarded the tender for the occupied Lefkonoiko airport and its relation to Asil NadirTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (08.05.08) continues to write about the CAS Firm which was awarded the tender for the Gecitkale [occupied Lefkonoiko] airport. Yesterday the firms director, James Beveridge, stated that Asil Nadir is not a shareholder of the Firm. The paper publishes statements of Elizabeth Forsythe, who was the secretary and close friend of Asil Nadir and spent six months in jail in England for Asil Nadir. According to Mrs Forsythe, Mr Nadir has no connection with the CAS firm and was only a mediator for the agreement signed between the Firm and the occupation regime. Asked if there is a Greek Cypriot among the shareholders of the Firm, Mrs Forsythe stated that there are four partners in CAS, three of them are British and one of them is Turkish.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (08.05.08) also reports on the same issue and writes that the government is lying and that Asil Nadir had said in the past that the company that was awarded the tender for the Gecitkale airport belonged to him.
 In three years the occupation regime will have marinas with a capacity of 2, 050 yachts.Under the title Praise for the yachter by Soyer, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (08.05.08) reports in its first page that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Soyer, speaking on the issue of yachts and marinas, gave the good news for the construction of 5-star hotels in occupied Karpass peninsula. Soyer, writes the paper, praised, without mentioning the name, the firm of the Jewish David Luis who is building a marina at Yeni Erenkoy [occupied Aigialousa village].
Reporting on the same issue, Kibris reports that Mr Soyer, who made statements to the press before the council of ministers meeting yesterday, gave information regarding the marinas in occupied Cyprus and stated that at this point there are only two marinas with a capacity of 550 yachts. As he stated the government is taking into consideration the development of the country and therefore supports the investment for a 500-yacht capacity marina which is being built now in (occupied) Karpass peninsula.
Mr Soyer stated that yachting, which is an important tourism product and creates important potentials for the TRNC, is supported by the government. As he said, in addition to the marina in Karpass, two more projects are about to be implemented and stated that in three years there will be three big marinas in the TRNC with a 1500-yacht capacity. As he stated, together with the existing capacity, they evaluate that in three years the occupation regime will have marinas with a capacity of 2, 050 yachts.
Mr Soyer went on and stated that apart from the marina the government supports the building of two 5-star hotels in Karpass and that the total cost of these projects, including the building of the marina, is up to 200 million dollars.
As he stated, it is the duty of those who love their country to support a firm which comes to the country and makes investments. Mr Soyer went on and stated that he will continue to have contacts and to support the persons who want to make investments in occupied Cyprus, irrespective of whether they are local, Turkish or of other nationalities. He also called on people to make investments in occupied Cyprus.
 Twenty seven new applications were made to the Cyprus Turkish Agency for Developing the Investments (YAGA) in AprilTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.05.08) reports that 27 new applications were made to the Cyprus Turkish Agency for Developing the Investments (YAGA) in April. According to YAGAs statement, eleven applications are from the tourism, ten from the industry and six from other sectors. Fourteen of the applications are from the TRNC, six are from Turkey and seven are from foreign citizens.
 Kucuk Kaimakli football team is going today to Kyrgyzstan upon an invitation of Addish Ata football teamTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.05.08) reports in its sport pages that the team of the Kucuk Kaimakli [occupied Omorfita], which ranked second in the championship in occupied Cyprus, is going today to Kyrgyzstans city of Bishkek, upon an invitation of Addish Ata football team, which is one of the first league teams of Kyrgyzstan. The Turkish Cypriot team will stay for a week in Kyrgyzstan and it will play football matches with the Addish Ata football team.
 Turkish and Greek Foreign Ministers support the initiative of the two leaders in CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.05.08) reports the following:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, who is currently in Strasbourg to attend the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers meeting, met Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni on Wednesday.
Babacan told reporters after the meeting that the relations between Turkey and Greece were positive and developing.
Babacan reminded the visit of Greek Premier to Turkey, and also said that Greek Chief of General Staff would visit Turkey in May.
Greek Foreign Minister Bakoyianni referred to the Cyprus issue, and said that the two leaders (in Cyprus) had the required will for solution of the Cyprus question, and she expressed hope that a fair and permanent solution would be settled in the island as soon as possible.
Bakoyianni said that the relations between Turkey and Greece were progressing. She said that trade volume between Turkey and Greece reached 2.3 billion USD in 2007, adding that the cooperation on energy pipeline between the two countries was another important issue.
On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (07.05.08) broadcast the following:
The Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has stressed that both Turkey and Greece support the initiatives taken by the two leaders in Cyprus aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
 Turkish President Approves Laws on Freedom of Expression, Social SecurityAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.05.08) reports the following:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul approved on Wednesday amendment to the Article 301 of Turkey's Penal Code.
Under the law, passed last month, those who openly insult Turkish nation, state, parliament, legal bodies, government, military or police shall be sentenced to imprisonment terms up to 2 years. Criticism will not be a crime. The term "Turkishness" in the article is replaced by the "Turkish nation," and the term "Republic" is replaced with "State of the Republic of Turkey." President Gul also approved another law on social security and general health insurance.
The law raises the retirement age to 65 for both women and men in 2048. The retirement age was previously 58 for women and 60 for men. The law also increases the number of work days, in order to get retired, from 7,000 to 7,200.
 A delegation of Turkeys Constitutional Court met with the Chief Judge of Frances Constitutional CourtAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.05.08) reports the following:
The chief judge of Turkey's highest court met his French counterpart on Wednesday. Hasim Kilic, chief judge of Turkey's Constitutional Court, and Jean-Louis Debre, chief judge of France's Constitutional Court, informed each other on their proceedings.
Inspection of political parties on legal grounds and Turkey's EU membership process were also high on agenda of the meeting.
Members of Turkey's Constitutional Court, Ayla Pektas, Serruh Kaleli and Sevket Apalak, also attended the meeting.
Kilic and the accompanying delegation came to France on Monday to attend the oath-taking ceremony in which Prof. Dr. Isil Karakas formally took her office as the new Turkish judge of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 07 May 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 6 May:
Closure Case against the AKP: In an article entitled "An analysis of the AKP's defense," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila comments on the AKP's 102-page defense submitted to the Constitutional Court in connection with the indictment issued for its closure. Bila says that the defense emphasizes that the AKP interprets secularism in light of contemporary standards in contrast with the narrow-minded approach preferred by some establishments and that the closure case could harm democracy and the national economy while tacitly accusing the judiciary of usurping the executive's powers.
In an article entitled "Erdogan is keen to avoid sharing Erbakan's fate," Vatan columnist Mehmet Tezkan says that the AKP's defense which he describes as a counter-offensive implies that the AKP regards the closure case as illegitimate and reflects its leaders' conviction that the party has not committed any offense. He comments: "Erdogan's strategy is intended to prevent desertions from the AKP's parliamentary delegation and provincial organizations, to ensure that businessmen who support and voted for his party do not have any worries, to avoid any comment or action that could lead to economic troubles affecting those businessmen, to describe the closure case as an accident, and to ensure that it is not overstated." He ascribes Erdogan's strategy to his fears that businessmen who now support him may eventually decide to abandon him and decide to support a new leader.
In an editorial entitled "AKP version 2?" Turkish Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli comments: "Particularly after the AKP chose to engage in a 'counter offensive' ridiculing the indictment against it and the chief prosecutor rather than presenting its preliminary defense to the Constitutional Court, the expectation that the ruling party will be closed down has increased. In addition, discussions regarding the establishment of an 'AKP version 1' party have begun to spread like a malign tumor."
In an article entitled "An off-the-record night," Sabah columnist Nazli Ilicak denies allegations that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan commented on the possibility of his party's closure in a recent dinner hosted by Can Paker, President of the Turkish Foundation for Economic and Social Studies. Noting that Erdogan also did not say that an early election would be held if he were prohibited from being a member of a political party, Ilicak says: "His most important message was this: 'We do not want tension and give preference to Turkey's interests. A possible referendum process running concurrently with the closure case would cause tension in the country.'"
Under the headline, "Indictment is not legitimate," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that the ruling AKP's preliminary defense in the closure case criticizes the indictment drawn up by the chief public prosecutor as "political," "illegitimate," and "far-fetched."
In an article entitled "It is a mistake", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru argues that there is no point in attributing legal legitimacy to the closure lawsuit against the AKP and that it is because EU authorities have correctly recognized the lawsuit as a consequence of a confrontation between a democratic government and a bureaucratic establishment cut off from the people that they have not made any legal assessments in their statements about the closure case. Koru also criticizes the Bush administration for adopting a "meaningless" and "non-committal" attitude of "secularism is as important as democracy" in relation to the lawsuit.
In an article entitled "The proud tone of the response will make closure difficult", Vakit columnist A. Ihsan Karahasanoglu argues that the AKP has used a clear and self-confident tone in its defense in the closure lawsuit which suggests that it does not intend to "bow down to the powers that be." He cites statements in the defense explaining the "mistakes" made by the chief public prosecutor and announcing that "the removal of the headscarf ban is not contrary to secularism" as examples of this style and claims that under the circumstances, the Constitutional Court will have its work cut out to shut down the AKP.
In an article entitled "What is lacking in the AKP", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven claims that the closure case against the AKP has been received with remarkable apathy and indifference within the party, with some deputies maintaining an attitude of "we deserved this" and Prime Minister Erdogan remaining alone in his defense of the government decision not to let "leftist terrorist groups" in Istanbul use Taksim Square as the venue for their May Day celebrations. Arseven attributes this situation to Erdogan's replacement of "like-minded deputies" in the last elections with "mainstream" figures like Vahit Erdem "who were obviously going to leave the sinking ship first."
In an article entitled "Is it the AKP or Turkey that is being closed down?", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici refers to the cancellation of Prime Minister Erdogan's visits to Africa and South America as a concrete example of what sort of damage the closure lawsuit has done to Turkey's foreign policy. He also claims that the lawsuit has faced Turkey with the risk of turning in on itself at a time when it is expected to help broker a peace agreement between Syria and Israel and undertake "goodwill missions" in Lebanon, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Darfur.
In an article entitled "Not a defense but a response to allegations", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal comments on some of the "extremely courageous" remarks in the AKP's preliminary defense in the closure lawsuit such as those that refer to the indictment filed by the chief public prosecutor as "a political rather than legal text dominated by prejudice." He claims that while it is difficult to predict "the impact of the defense on the Constitutional Court's conscience," the defense is much more solid and carefully prepared than the indictment.
In an article entitled "Erdogan's choice: You break it, you own it", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that instead of following a "proactive" line vis-ą-vis the closure case by passing new democratization bills, Prime Minister Erdogan will "wait it out." He claims that "Erdogan seems to have come to the realization that his party, as indicated by some anonymous interviews and also hearsay, would be compelled to dissolve if he pushed for new reform packages."
In an article entitled "What will Erdogan do?", Milli Gazete columnist Zeki Ceyhan asserts that "our friends in the AKP have apparently not got over the shock caused by the launch of closure proceedings against their party" seeing from the manner in which they are engaging in "political fantasies" of arranging for Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be reelected to Parliament as an independent deputy after the AKP has been shut down. Ceyhan asserts that those who have taken steps to close the AKP will no doubt not fail to take measures to ensure that Erdogan does not become prime minister again and calls on the AKP to "keep your feet on the ground."