Read the Convention Concerning the Exchange of Greek and Turkish Populations (30 January 1923) 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
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-05-19

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 93/08 17-18-19.05.08


  • [01] Yeni Duzen publishes an exclusive interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats Special Representative Ozdil Nami
  • [02] Yonluer: Talat must withdraw from the negotiations
  • [03] Soyer assessed the latest developments on illegal Bayrak
  • [04] Columnist in Turkish Cumhuriyet claims that the political instability in Turkey will have repercussions on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Developer of usurped Greek Cypriot properties is asked to return money to cheated British couple
  • [06] On tourism figures in occupied Cyprus
  • [07] Information on the real estate market in the occupied part of Cyprus
  • [08] Figures on the imports and exports of occupied Cyprus for 2007
  • [09] On reports that Erdogan blackmailed Gen Buyukanit in 2007
  • [10] Prosecutor warns Milliyet over series on Ergenekon
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] Columnist in Turkish Daily News: Just as in the Kurdish issue, the government cannot control the military in Cyprus
  • [12] Why there will be no solution in Cyprus
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 17 and 18 May 2008


    [01] Yeni Duzen publishes an exclusive interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats Special Representative Ozdil Nami

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.05.08) publishes an exclusive interview with the Turkish Cypriot leaders special representative, Mr Ozdil Nami.

    When asked to comment on the course of the work being carried out by the working groups and technical committees and whether there were problems in these committees since there are two different interpretations, the Turkish side expresses positive view and the Greek Cypriot side negative regarding the course of the works and whether there are problems, Ozdil Nami said: In order to answer this question we have to understand and define well the duties of the working groups. The duties of the working groups are, to put forward in a clear manner the positions of the sides and to find out whether these positions could be brought closer or not. Each working group has decided its agenda issues. Three weeks passed and working groups started taking up the subjects inscribed in their agendas. Some of the agenda issues brought the positions of the sides closer and some of them could not. The duty of the groups is neither to reach an understanding nor to secure a consensus as regards the positions. Their duty is to secure to bring closer as much as possible the positions of the sides on possible points. On the issues where no such thing is possible these points would be noted and codified and at the end of the third month will be submitted to the leaders with its pros and cons as a report so that the leaders will use them in their comprehensive negotiations.

    When asked whether Mr. Iacovou during their last meeting raised any issue that was problem to the Greek Cypriot side Mr. Nami replied: This is a good question. This is the point that created great bewilderment in us. We have reached to an understanding with Mr. Iacovou that after creating the working groups we will come together with Mr. Iacovou every week and if there is a problem we will put it on the negotiation table and if there is need for intervention we will do so. And if we are not able to overcome the difficulty then we were going to ask the intervention of the leaders. We have made our first evaluation last Tuesday, we have declared to the press that everything is going well and everything is progressing as planned. In that meeting Mr. Iacovou did not convey to us or raise problems as mentioned by Mr. Christofias. What we were told was that there are positive and negative elements coming up in the groups and we hope that positive elements will be more than the negative ones Apart from this Mr. Iacovou did not paint the pessimistic pictures that Mr. Christofias painted.

    When asked whether there was difference of views as regards the duties of the working groups, Mr. Nami said: As regards what are the duties of the Working groups we are of the same opinion with the Greek Cypriot side on this issue, we do not have any difference. However, the Greek Cypriot side put forward a new claim saying that if the working groups did not secure bringing closer the majority of issues included in their agenda then it is possible that Talat-Christofias direct negotiations would not be held. This is a new element, this is not a difference of view regarding working groups. This is the difference of view between us and this is bewildering because the Greek Cypriot side too knows and accepts that the working groups do not engage in negotiations, they exchange views between them, they decide the positions and try to bring them closer.

    When asked what was the problem then that Mr. Christofias mention, Mr. Nami said: In three out of six working groups agenda bringing closer the issues were succeeded. These are: The EU, economy, administration and power sharing. And in the other three groups it was not possible to achieve bringing closer the views on the following, issues: territory, security and guarantees. While we were deciding on the Groups with esteemed Iacovou with peace of mind we have shared these problems. The Greek Cypriot side had accepted that the territorial issue, guarantees and security issues will be taken up at a later stage. And also everybody knows that the most complex issue of the Cyprus problem is the property issue. Here one could only present his position and try to bring closer certain issues, what else could one do?

    When asked when the two leaders will come together in June or in July because the Greek Cypriot side considers three month period after the working groups started their work, Mr. Nami replied by reading the relevant paragraph of the 21 March agreement in English as follows: In taking full responsibility for the conduct of future negotiations, the leaders have also agreed to meet three months from now to review the work of the working groups and technical committees, and using their results to start full-fledged negotiations under the auspices of the Secretary-General of the UN. This is very clear and open. It says from now, that is, from the date the agreement was made. Here there is no mention about the date the working groups will start work. Therefore, we find such statements really bewildering and confusing.

    Mr. Nami concluded his interview by urging the sides to be very careful in their evaluations so as not to hurt this newly born baby.


    [02] Yonluer: Talat must withdraw from the negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (07.05.08) under the title, Reaction from Yonluer to Talat, reports on statements of Amhet Yonluer, leader of the Turkish Cypriot Politics for the People (HIS) party. Mr Yonluer addressing the Turkish Cypriots stated that the self-styled President Talat has not the constitutional authority in the new period that started in Cyprus and that he has to resign immediately from the negotiators duty. Mr Yonluer added that according to the constitution, Talat´s advisor, Mr Ozdil Nami, should also not participate in the negotiations. According to the constitution the presidency is a duty with no responsibilities; therefore Mr Talat has not the right to revise the constitution, to exercise sovereignty on his own or to appoint representatives, Mr Yonluer stated and called the parties and the so-called parliament to react.


    [03] Soyer assessed the latest developments on illegal Bayrak

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.05.08) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that positive developments are being experienced on the Cyprus Problem and that it is important to continue working decisively in order to achieve positive results.

    The Prime Minister words came during a news program on BRTs first channel where he evaluated the latest foreign and domestic developments.

    Noting that the Cyprus Problem was not an easy problem to solve, the premier said that it was important to overcome the difficulties being faced.

    Pointing out that suddenly rumors have emerged that things are not going well, Prime Minister Soyer said that such statements were being made to conciliate and keep the balance of different views within the Greek Cypriot National Council.

    The UN Secretary General has sent a special envoy to the island to closely monitor the developments taking place. The fact that such statements have coincided with the arrival of the UN Envoy raises questions in ones mind said Soyer.

    The Prime Minister also said that the working groups were achieving positive ground and that it was important to work decisively in order not to disrupt the process and to achieve positive results.

    [04] Columnist in Turkish Cumhuriyet claims that the political instability in Turkey will have repercussions on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish mainland Cumhuriyet newspaper columnist Oral Calislar, who together with a group of Turkish journalists from major Turkish dailies visited President Demetris Christofias on 10 May 2008, in a exclusive statement to local Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.05.08) said that the political instability in Turkey due to the case opened against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will have repercussions on the Cyprus problem.

    Mr. Calislar gives his impressions regarding his meetings with president Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. He said that after these meetings he is more hopeful regarding a settlement in the Cyprus problem. He says that he is not sure what kind of settlement the sides will reach, however, he adds: If the sides do not insist on two state settlement then this problem could be settled.

    According to Mr. Calislar, the major problems will be faced in the solution process regarding the technical issues. The Cumhuriyet columnist further said that he had positive impression during his meeting with Mr. Talat and President Christofias as regards the desire to settle the Cyprus problem. Mr. Calislar went on and said that one of the important points in their meeting with the President was that Mr. Christofias told them that the messages coming from Turkey are tying up Mr. Talats hands.


    [05] Developer of usurped Greek Cypriot properties is asked to return money to cheated British couple

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (17-23.05.08) publishes the following in the column Views:

    Speaking of dodgy developers, Gary Robb says he has assets in this country totaling £100 million so he should be able to pay the £18,000 a court has ordered him to return to a desperately ill couple whose villa in the hellhole Amaranta site was never built.

    He claims he cant because the Amaranta Buyers Committee dont want to spark a stampede of other unhappy buyers.

    Bob and Elaine Chittock have lost thousands of pounds on not one, but two North Cyprus property disasters. Now they are both being treated for cancer.

    The Amaranta Buyers and big-hearted Gary Robb could make an exception in their case, dont you think?

    [06] On tourism figures in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (17-23.05.08) publishes the following in the column Views:

    According to the tourism figures, just over 167,000 people visited North Cyprus in the first three months of this year. The vast majority come from Turkey.

    These are not tourists. Theyre relatives. The real story lies in the number of non-Turkish arrivals in the same period: just over 25,000. Thats fewer that 2,000 a week, or barely enough to fill two or three of the larger hotels.

    Meanwhile the creation of much-needed autonomous Tourism Organisation has been held up yet again by bickering among the various hoteliers, restaurateurs and tour guides groups.

    So what if they cant get their act together? Well, tourism should be the lifeblood of this countrys desperately weak economy. A terrible example of killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

    [07] Information on the real estate market in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Columnist Erol Atabek, writing in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (18.05.08), reports that inside the supplement Real Estate of the Turkish daily newspaper Milliyet issued on 17 May, there was an article regarding the real estate sector in the occupied part of Cyprus. The paper reports the following:

    The real estate market in the TRNC, which has risen when the Annan plan came onto the agenda in 2004, has entered again into a wait and see situation. While a huge increase to the prices of the real estate is expected in case there is a settlement in the island, the government is signing applications aiming to put things in order in the real estate market...

    The rate of growth is 12.7%, the inflation is 19.2% and there are 61 thousand workers, who pay social security... The construction companies were 35 before ten years, but now there are around to 650. The real estate agents from 80, who were in 2003, increased to 300 in 2007. The number of the building contractors increased to 927 from 65.

    The paper also reports that the Turkish citizens and the foreigners have the right to buy up to one house or one donum of land.


    [08] Figures on the imports and exports of occupied Cyprus for 2007

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.05.08) reports that according to the figures issued by the self-styled ministry of trade, the imports to the breakaway regime increased by 18 % in 2007 compared to 2006 and exports in the same period increased by 22 %.

    The paper reports that in 2006 imports stood at 1.376.220.279 US dollars and exports 64.867.547 US dollars and these figures in 2007 were 1.616.502.287 US dollars and 79.209.945 US dollars respectively.

    The motor vehicles were on the top of the list as import items and on the other hand the citrus fruits headed the export list. The paper further reports that Turkey was the main exporting country with 62 % of the total exports.


    [09] On reports that Erdogan blackmailed Gen Buyukanit in 2007

    Istanbul Birgun newspaper (15.05.08) published a column by Fikri Saglar under the title: "Was a file presented to Buyukanit?"

    In the column included was, inter alia, the following:

    I want to relate a claim by a legal expert who is familiar with the AKP. Information on the meeting between the Prime Minister and [General Staff Chief Yasar] Buyukanit at Dolmabahce Palace, which everyone is curious about!... In this meeting, the Prime Minister allegedly put before the General Staff Chief a file containing the expenditures that Mrs Buyukanit had made.

    The contents of the file were reportedly extremely disturbing.

    And it was reportedly suggested that what had befallen Admiral Erdil [former Naval Forces Commander Ilhami Erdil, currently in prison for illegal acquisition of property] could also befall Buyukanit as well!..

    Since that day, Buyukanit has allegedly avoided statements directly targeting the Prime Minister and the AKP. It is claimed that 'this reason' also underlies his not wanting to be extended in his position.

    When one recalls the claim that appeared in the press, that [former Deputy Prime Minister] Abdullatif Sener, "was blocked from entering the elections" by being presented with "minutes" of the meeting he had held with the military prior to the Presidential election, the allegation above needs to be taken seriously!.. This issue should definitely be brought up in the National Assembly!

    If this "arm-twisting" and effort to show strength should continue in this brazen way, then Turkey will end up capitulating to "tribal" rule!..

    Is no parliamentary deputy going to stand up and say "what is going on in this country?"?!..

    On the same issue Todays Zaman (19.05.08) reported, inter alia, the following under the title: Prime Ministry and military deny blackmail allegations:

    Fikri Saglar, a former minister and currently a columnist for the left-wing Birgun daily, wrote on Friday that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had implied during a meeting with Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaar Buyukanit on May 5, 2007, that his end could be similar to that of a retired admiral who was sentenced to 18 months in prison and a YTL 50,000 fine for abusing his post and appropriating state funds for his own use. Both the Prime Ministry and the General Staff released angry statements to the press on Saturday, strongly denying all of the accusations directed by Saglar against them. The Prime Ministry described Saglars accusations as a shameless lie, a most contemptible slander.

    The Prime Ministry statement recalled that a press release had been made on the meeting in question back on May 11, 2007, explaining that the contents of the meeting were state matters and that it was kept from the public as a necessity of our manners and traditions. It also said it was impossible for any third party to have the slightest idea about the content of the meeting. These publications are the products of a dark defamation campaign, it said, while also threatening legal action.

    A similar but briefer statement was issued the same day by the Office of the General Staff, which referred to the allegations as immoral. The statement also announced that the General Staff would be pressing charges against Saglar. Since the Prime Ministry has already made a statement, a second explanation by the Office of the General Staff is unnecessary, the statement said.

    A prompt reply to both statements came on Sunday from Saglar. These reactions only increase the existing suspicions, he said. Saglar stated that there was nothing immoral about relaying to the public rumors that lobbyists discuss, adding that doing this could only be referred to as ethical. He also vowed legal action. He said the Prime Ministrys wording of shameless lie was overly aggressive. The wording is too aggressive, which does support the suspicions, he stated.

    [10] Prosecutor warns Milliyet over series on Ergenekon

    Turkish daily Istanbul Milliyet (18.05.08) reports that the Istanbul Chief State Prosecutor's Office advised that in the event of publication of Milliyet's series "Anatomy of Ergenekon," which was to begin on the 17th of May, an investigation will be opened on the grounds that "there has been a violation of the prohibition on publication concerning an investigation."

    In its letter, the Chief Prosecutor's Office pointed out that the investigation opened regarding the hand grenades seized in Umraniye on 12 June [ 2007] is still continuing, and that the Istanbul 10th Court for Serious Crimes had issued a ruling on 15 June that the investigation was to be conducted in secret.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] Columnist in Turkish Daily News: Just as in the Kurdish issue, the government cannot control the military in Cyprus

    Under the title Cyprus: From cacophony to symphony? and subtitle:

    Although two sides are negotiating on the island, there exists an unofficial third side, the shadow and presence of which are felt deeply in every move: The Turkish military, Turkish Daily News newspaper (17.05.08) publishes the following column by Cengiz Aktar:

    Last week, a group of 20 consisting of academics and journalists was in Cyprus as the guest of Mehmet Ali Talat, president of the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus (TRNC). Many Turkish opinion makers often go to Cyprus. This visit was a first, however, as we crossed to the south with our Turkish passports and exchanged views for three hours with Demitris Christophias, president of the Republic of Cyprus.The Cyprus issue is so old and so loaded that if Cyprus-related lectures had been given at universities, there could have been three-semester long material. This heavy history, rendered the division looking permanent with Tassos Papadopoulos' and Rauf Denkta' of this world. But then suddenly everything changed. In the last election, the European Union member Cypriot-Greeks living in prosperity refused this fait accompli. Why the Cypriot-Greek side wanted the island reunited cannot be explained solely as a PR operation to reclaim international prestige the Republic of Cyprus has lost since joining the EU in 2004.

    A different atmosphere:

    Compared to the Papadopoulos years, a different wind is blowing on the island. Despite the red lines, both sides have hope and will for the solution. Working Groups and Technical Committees that somehow couldn't be formed in 52 meetings are now formed and even adopted preliminary agendas.An unheard of realism dominates the Cypriot-Greek side. Christophias can say that his people should know that there is no going back to before 1974 and the solution will certainly leave a sour taste. The disappointment that the Turkish side feels about the EU who did not keep its promises is self-evident. But there is danger in going overboard with the rage and quitting the process. What is important here is obstinately trying to make the EU, take its responsibilities fully, and to become active in the Cyprus issue.The new atmosphere, however, has not been translated in the stance of the Republic of Cyprus regarding Turkey's negotiations with the European Union. Even though, Christophias notes that they want to see Turkey as an EU member, their intentions have not turned into any acts yet. Cypriot-Greek diplomacy, which is an experienced and sworn opponent of Turkey, continues with the tactics to curb negotiations in Brussels. Obviously, the Christophias administration didn't revolutionize the diplomatic corps yet. Ambassadors are just being replaced. Through obstacles they create, Cypriot-Greeks keep Turkey away from the EU. And this is the biggest problem. This punishment policy deriving from the Cyprus conflict is riveting the presence of the Turkish military on the island, which is otherwise seen as the very source of the problem by the Greek side. And the reason is that it becomes impossible for Turkey, which is drifting apart from the EU, to permanently adjust the current military-civilian balance into a full civilian control by elected government similar to those in the EU countries. Cypriot-Greeks by averting Turkey-EU membership talks unnecessarily, and dynamiting the Direct Trade Regulation in order to get rid of the deadlock in the additional protocol of the Customs Union, chop out the EU dynamic, the address of the solution.

    Invisible negotiator:

    As a matter of fact, though two sides are negotiating on the island, there exists an unofficial third side the shadow and presence of which is felt deeply in every move: The Turkish military representing Turkey on the island. I think there is no other such example in world history. This invisible non-negotiator side will be the party to make judgment on any agreement. The difficult internal situation that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government faces now is of course an extraordinarily negative factor in the Cyprus talks. Just like in the Kurdish issue, the government cannot control the military in Cyprus, to whom it happily subcontracted the issue. Under these circumstances, even if there is an agreement on the island at the end of a process this will not have any guarantees. Though Christophias describes himself as an independent and Talat dependent, both are dependents of this non-negotiating third party. If two Cypriots come together, there will emerge with three viewpoints indeed! The word symphony which Christophias used often during our encounter was music to my ear. In Greek it means harmony of sounds and in fact agreement.

    International maestro needed:

    A close diplomat friend possesses an awesome cartoon describing the situation on the island: A big Cypriot-Greek is lashing out at a little Cypriot-Turk and a Turk from Turkey, bigger than the Cypriot-Greek, is scolding him. A faithful description of Turkey-Cypriot Greek-Cypriot Turk hierarchy! In fact, Cypriot Turks are still afraid of the Cypriot-Greek majority, though the island is part of the EU and Cyprus today is not the same as the one in the 1960s and 1970s. Cypriot-Greeks, on the other hand, continue to be frightened by Turkey up in the North. What is unseen in this cartoon are Turkey's tremendously deep fears. There is unfortunately no way to voice out harmoniously so many fears on the island. From this, a cacophony comes out at the most, not a symphony. And to harmonize voices and to convert cacophony into symphony certainly requires an international maestro.

    [12] Why there will be no solution in Cyprus

    Under the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman (19.05.08) publishes the following commentary by Ihsan Dagi:

    There has emerged an optimistic view in Cyprus -- both in the north and the south -- that the dispute on the island could soon be solved. This optimism is due to the fact that both sides of the island have pro-solution governments at the moment.

    Mehmet Ali Talat, the president of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) has even stated that a permanent solution may be found by the end of 2008. The recent opening of the Lokmaci Gate contributed to these positive expectations.

    Yet all this optimism is unrealistic because, simply, as pro-status quo forces gain strength in Turkey, the likelihood for a solution on the island fades away.

    The Turkish side often claims that since 2004 they have been the pro-solution side in the dispute, as demonstrated by the approval of the Annan plan in the referendum in the North. They are right, but would do well to remember the political climate that made such a position possible.

    The years 2002, 2003 and 2004 were times of change in Turkey, stimulated by expectations for a speedy accession to the EU. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) had just won a single party majority in Parliament and it was aggressively seeking to meet the Copenhagen criteria to start accession negotiations.

    It was the period of a strong single-party government after a decade of weak coalition governments. This enabled the AK Party to make risky political decisions. As a result, the Erdogan government in 2004 went beyond the framework drawn by the National Security Council (MGK) to finalize the Annan plan by ignoring bureaucratic resistance.

    What about now? A government that is seriously wounded by a closure case, with its leadership facing a possible political ban, cannot take the necessary initiatives to solve the Cyprus question. The leadership in Ankara is essential. Do not forget that the determined position of the government in Ankara back in 2004 encouraged the pro-solution groups in northern Cyprus, leading to the election of Talat as successor to Rauf Denkta, a veteran pro-status quo politician.

    Just to imagine the risks involved for the government in Ankara we should remember that the Erdogan government survived two planned military coups in 2003 and 2004. Both would have been justified with reference to the government's Cyprus policy, as revealed later in a diary of the navy's commander at the time.

    Can the AK Party government afford new initiatives to solve the Cyprus question that would also be used by some in the military as the ground to eliminate the party by direct intervention, if needed? The AK Party would not push the already-strong anti-AK Party groups in the bureaucracy by initiating a new negotiation process.

    That is to say that there is no cooperative party in Ankara to take new initiatives to solve the problem. If the Cypriots think that they can resolve the dispute among themselves, they should go ahead! This is a joke. In the last two months two important visitors went to the north side of the island: the current and incoming chiefs of General Staff, generals Yasar Buyukanit and Ilker Basbug. Both reasserted that the military is the boss. And they are right, as the power vacuum created by the closure case against the AK Party is naturally filled by bureaucracy, including the military.

    The closure case disarmed the AK Party government, preventing them from taking any meaningful steps in foreign policy or in the domestic political arena. The chosen strategy of the AK Party leadership is to avoid provoking its bureaucratic opponents, both in the judiciary and the military. A renewed pro-solution initiative would be considered clear "provocation" by the anti-AK Party circles in the bureaucracy. So no one should expect to see a solution on the island in the foreseeable future.

    Those who expect a solution assume that the EU will develop a sort of "stick policy" against the Greek government in Cyprus. But this requires, at least, the approval by the Turkish parliament of the customs union protocol, opening Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot vessels. But the current government, facing the threat of closure, is concerned with keeping its parliamentary group united and cannot afford bringing the protocol to Parliament for approval.

    Besides, for the EU it is not the Greek Cypriot government, but Turkey that is likely to be the subject of a "stick policy," because of the closure case against the AK Party. Even a suspension of accession negotiations may be forthcoming, depending on the decision of the Constitutional Court.

    Thus, political circumstances in Ankara are not appropriate for taking the initiative to start a new round of meaningful negotiations.

    Let me point out that after the AK Party is finished off it will be the turn of the pro-solution groups in Cyprus. The approval of the Annan plan and the removal of Denktas from power have never been forgotten or forgiven by pro-status quo forces in Ankara. Be ready for a crackdown in northern Cyprus, too. The status quo will take its revenge on the island as soon as it consolidates its power in Ankara.

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 17 and 18 May 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 17 and 18 May:

    a) Kurdish Issue: According to a report in Milliyet (17.05.08), Democratic Society Party, DTP, Istanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel is reported to have said that her party's "democratic autonomy" project aims at dividing Turkey to 20-25 regions "in which each people can express itself freely." Pointing out that the "Kurdish problem in Turkey is a political one with social, economic and cultural dimensions," Tuncel described the project as "a reform in Turkey's administrative and political structure."

    Drawing attention to signs of division between those who favor terror and those who are against it within the Kurdish movement in article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol predicts that in time this division, which began with Ahmet Turk's remarks that the armed struggle of the PKK is damaging to the Kurds, will increase. Akyol goes onto note that so long as the state's uncompromising struggle against the PKK continues, so long as the democratization process in the country advances uninterrupted, and so long as the terrorist organization is isolated in the world, those who favor terror will diminish and those who advocate politics devoid of terror will increase. Concluding in an optimistic tone, the writer says: "World experience shows that ethnic nationalism does not disappear, but with such dynamics it can turn into a moderate political movement, thus facilitating a solution and coexistence."

    According to a report in Zaman (17.05.08) entitled "Turk's Move Annoys Hawks in DTP", DTP Parliamentary Group Chairman Ahmet Turk's remark that the PKK is doing harm to the Kurdish people has displeased "hawks" within the DTP. The report claims that there are plans to elect a representative of the "hawkish wing" of the DTP as chairman of the party in the convention to be held next month.

    In an article entitled "Deep Status Quo, Deep PKK", Today's Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamis asserts that "the PKK and other terrorist organizations represent the biggest obstacle before any attempt to extend individual freedoms and change the enemy-oriented deep state structure in Turkey."

    After noting that the DTP is going to launch a campaign to "Silence the Arms" and that DTP chief Ahmet Turk recently visited Iraq to seek support for a broad Kurdish conference that could be held in a European country, Murat Yetkin argues in his column in Radikal (18.05.08) that the DTP is actually incapable of working for peace because it is unable to formulate any policy independently of the PKK, and hence no one is taking the DTP as a serious counterpart for talks on resolving the Kurdish problem. Commenting on Turk's statement that the PKK has to reconsider its armed struggle, Yetkin says this is an ineffective call as the PKK has never taken DTP's calls seriously.

    In his column in Cumhuriyet (18.05.08), Oral Calislar believes that Ahmet Turk's statement after his visit to northern Iraq that PKK's armed struggle is harming the Kurds is an indication of a reaction developing inside the DTP against the PKK terrorism. He believes even Barzani has become less critical of Turkish operations after Turkeys decision to talk to the Kurdish administration. Statements issued by Kurds after DTP delegation's visit to Iraq show that some serious steps are now being taken in resolving the PKK issue; the Iraqi Kurdish leaders are now telling the DTP that the PKK has to lay down its arms. Calislar believes that even if not dominant this sentiment inside the DTP is gaining strength.

    Derya Sazak notes in his column in Milliyet (18.05.08) that journalist Belma Akcura has gathered all the reports prepared on Kurds since 1925 in a book called "State's Kurdish Film." Akcura took the name of the book from a film prepared by the state at the cost of $102,000 to expose the PKK terrorism but which was not released after the capture of Ocalan. Sazak says the book shows that if the state wants the Kurdish problem could be solved, given the Kurdish realization that the PKK armed struggle has managed to legitimize the DTP but has no prospect of going beyond that.

    In an article entitled "Could the DTP Surpass Itself?" in Yeni Safak (18.05.08) columnist Fehmi Koru hails Democratic Society Party, DTP, Parliamentary Group Chairman Ahmet Turk's statements declaring that "the PKK's armed struggle is harming the Kurds" as a sign that Turkey's PKK problem is coming to an end. He claims that Turk's remarks could pave the way for a new era in regional Kurdish policies, adding that "while the DTP deputies might "owe their presence in Parliament to a single person, they should be able to surpass themselves by seeking a broader basis of representation." He also asserts that the DTP should follow up on Turk's move by developing "a new, peaceful language" and urges the Erdogan government to encourage this process through new initiatives.

    In an article entitled "The Destructiveness of Military Politics" in Zaman (18.05.08) columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that "military tutelage" in Turkey, which "started with the 27 May, 1960 coup and was institutionalized through the 1961 and 1982 constitutions," has prevented "social peace" and economic development by causing Turkey to remain in the grip of a "destruction-oriented policy." He claims that this policy is responsible for the "cycle of violence" that affected Turkey in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s as well as for the current state of the "Kurdish issue." He also argues that the closure lawsuit against the AKP filed on 14 March, 2008 heralds a "war of destruction" based on "military politics."

    b) Gul-Erdogan Relations: Assessing the reasons for the cold relations between Mrs. Erdogan and Mrs. Gul in a column in Hurriyet (17.05.08), Tufan Turenc believes that they stem from the cold relations between the president and the prime minister. Noting that Erdogan was against a second trial to get Gul elected president in the aftermath of the general elections, Turenc says that Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Devlet Bahceli's announcement that he would support Gul's candidacy, however, changed the picture and Gul was elected, thus causing a deterioration in the relations between Erdogan and Gul.

    Referring to the cold relations between the prime minister and the president in the first section of his column in Vatan (17.05.08), Reha Muhtar argues that the cause is actually the cold relations between their wives and not vice versa. Drawing attention to the Turkish family structure and the influence wives exert on their husbands, Muhtar writes that the cold relations between the two leaders are not political but personal.


    Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 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, 19 May 2008 - 13:04:36 UTC