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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-06-02

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. 103/08 31.05.08-02.06.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Soyer stated that what is important is the content and not the name of the state that will be established after a solution in Cyprus
  • [02] The work for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU which started for 12 chapters will be completed on 11 July
  • [03] YAGA announced that it expects applications with creative projects from local and foreign investors for the occupied Vokolida Tourism Investment Area
  • [04] Rasit Pertev criticized the decision of the council of ministers on the occupied Alagati arguing that with this decision Alagati will be lost
  • [05] Turgay Hilmi, self-styled honorary cultural attaché of the TRNC in Germany, is preparing to organize a big activity with artists in the occupied area
  • [06] Fifty thousand telephones are being wiretapped for 24 hours. Seventy million mobile phones are being monitored every minute
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [07] The opinion of the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals on AKPs closure case. His view on the Broader Middle East Initiative

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Soyer stated that what is important is the content and not the name of the state that will be established after a solution in Cyprus

    Almost all the Turkish Cypriot press publishes today (02.06.08) the statements of the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer who gave an interview with Turkish Kanal 24 television.

    Kibris reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer has reminded that the leaders of the two communities will start negotiations in June regarding the Cyprus problem and said that the necessary struggle will be waged to reach a solution which will be based on a single international personality, political equality and two constituent states having equal status and being at equal position.

    According to a statement issued by the prime ministers office, in an interview with Turkish Kanal 24 television, Mr Soyer referred to President Christofias statement that the Greek Cypriot side does not accept a new partnership and said that the important thing is the content, not the name of the state which will be established. Mr Soyer argued that the acceptance by the international community of the gains obtained by the Turkish Cypriots in 1974 in the political, cultural and legal fields is a point which should be urgently discussed. He stated: We must tie our gains strongly. If this does not happen, a danger will be in store for us. We could experience again a disaster in the same way that the disaster like the Helsinki decision happened to us in 1999. Mr Soyer said that the monument for the Armenian genocide, which was inaugurated recently in Larnaka by President Christofias, was a mistake and added that both the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey felt uncomfortable by this decision. Referring to the meeting between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Rally Party (DISY), Mr Soyer said that such a meeting should have taken place many years ago, but the fact that it took place now is a positive development.

    Afrika refers to Mr Soyers statements under the title A legitimate cover for plundering and points out that Mr Soyer used a more polite expression instead of the expression used by the nationalist Turks that whatever is taken with blood cannot be given away at the table. The paper notes that Mr Soyer stated that the basic point is securing the gains obtained by the Turkish Cypriot people after 1974 with an international agreement on the basis of a partnership within the whole of Cyprus. That is why the recognition of the TRNC, even for 24 hours, is brought to the table, notes Afrika.

    Halkin Sesi covers the same statements under the title The content, not the name of the state which will be established is important.

    Yeni Volkan refers to the same statements under the title Single international identity and argues that Mr Soyer revealed the solution they want and admitted that the TRNC will be dissolved and the Turkish Cypriots will be patched up to the Republic of Cyprus.

    (ITs)

    [02] The work for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU which started for 12 chapters will be completed on 11 July

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.06.08) under the title The 8 chapters are ok, publishes an interview by Erhan Ercin, chairman of the so-called EU coordination centre at the prime ministers office, who said that the work for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU which started for 12 chapters will be completed on 11 July. He added that after July a second list consisting of 14 chapters will be taken up. He said, inter alia, the following: After the beginning of the work of the working groups and the technical committees under the UN umbrella, the harmonization work gained a new meaning. Therefore, we are completing on 11 July the harmonization work on 12 chapters which was provided for to start in April and be finished in October-November. Today we have completed 8 chapters. This is very important for us. Mr Ercin noted that the developments in the Cyprus problem under the UN umbrella were the reason why the European Commission concerned itself more seriously and comprehensively with the harmonization work.

    (ITs)

    [03] YAGA announced that it expects applications with creative projects from local and foreign investors for the occupied Vokolida Tourism Investment Area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (02.06.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister offices Investment Development Agency (YAGA), has announced that it expects applications with creative projects from local and foreign investors for the investment areas 16A and 16B which are located in occupied Vokolida Tourism Investment Area. The director of YAGA, Mrs Ayse Donmezer, stated that they will be accepting applications from local and foreign investors until 15 August with the aim of creating investment alternatives to support the bed capacity which is expected to be created in occupied Vokolida Tourism Investment Area and the tourism sector. The paper notes that Vokolida 16A area covers 27.930 square meters and 16B area covers 18.568 square meters.

    (ITs)

    [04] Rasit Pertev criticized the decision of the council of ministers on the occupied Alagati arguing that with this decision Alagati will be lost

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.06.08) reports that Rasit Pertev, chairman of the Peoples Party (HP), criticized yesterday the decision taken by the self-styled council of ministers on 21 May because he argued that with this decision the immovable property in the occupied Alagati area is being taken out of the scope of the Special Environmental Protection Area. He asked for the annulment of the decision arguing that with this decision Alagati will be lost. He said that the reason of the decision is to open this area of ecological importance to the constructions.

    (ITs)

    [05] Turgay Hilmi, self-styled honorary cultural attaché of the TRNC in Germany, is preparing to organize a big activity with artists in the occupied area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.06.08) reports that Mr Turgay Hilmi, self-styled honorary cultural attaché of the TRNC in Germany, is preparing to organize a big activity with artists in the occupied area. According to the paper, about 300 artists from Europe and Japan are expected to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus to participate in the above-mentioned activity in the summer of the year 2009. Mr Hilmi stated that just like he did in previous activities, they will cooperate with the state and he will soon start meetings with the authorities on this issue.

    (ITs)

    [06] Fifty thousand telephones are being wiretapped for 24 hours. Seventy million mobile phones are being monitored every minute

    Under the title Fifty thousand telephones are being wiretapped for 24 hours. Seventy million mobile phones are being monitored every minute, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (02.06.08) continues to report on the wiretapping scandal which broke out in Turkey after the Turkish Republican Peoples Party (CHP) alleged that the private office of the partys Secretary-General, Onder Sav, was tapped by security forces. The debate on the issue is growing in Turkey after it was made known that the Chairman of the Constitutional Court, Osman Paksut, had been wiretapped as well and after the police department chief Ramazan Akyurek said that the police, based on a decree issued by the court in Turkey, is wiretapping all the telephone conversations for a three-month period and that the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) and the Turkish Armed Forces are tapping all the mobile phones for three months.

    (ML)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] The opinion of the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals on AKP´s closure case. His view on the Broader Middle East Initiative

    Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (31.05.08) publishes the following report by Kemal Goktas under the title: Chief Prosecutor insists on closure:

    Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, has sent his opinion about the closure case instituted against the AKP [Justice and Development Party] to the Constitutional Court. In his opinion the Chief Prosecutor repeated his request that the AKP be banned and 71 politicians, including President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan be subject to political restrictions. Responding to the AKP's answers, the opinion included arguments about the guidelines established by the Venice Commission and secular systems in European countries. The opinion repeated the assertions made in the indictment which was found quite strongly-worded by judicial circles with the same level of stridency. It did not only respond to the AKP's counter-arguments, but also included harsh criticism targeting intellectuals, the EU, and the United States.

    The main highlights of the 45-page opinion are as follows:

    Response to the AKP's allegation about "tautology": (The AKP asserted in its defense that the indictment includes tautologies) Secularism is the underlying characteristics of the Republic because the source of national sovereignty is not a divine power, but the nation itself. Concerns about "tautology" would not deter those who owe their existence to the Republic and its reforms to emphasize this fact frequently and persistently.

    So-called "intellectuals": Imperialism has used local collaborators for pursuing its expansionist policy which it is still pursuing today as its most important tool. This network of collaborators who were called the proponents of mandate in our recent history consisted of religion-mongers who exploited people's religious sentiments for centuries and a group of so-called "intellectuals" who combined their own economic and political interests with those of the political ambitions of the invaders.

    Sait Molla, a fundamentalist and the founder of the Anglophile Society, a so-called non-governmental organization, was the staunchest supporter of the invaders during the War of Liberation. Grand Mufti Durizade Abdullah Efendi was another religious fanatic who issued decrees for the execution of Mustafa Kemal and other members of the National Forces. Both of them were members of the "Muslim clergy" in the Ottoman Empire.

    Massacres in Maras and Sivas: The existence and immediacy of the fundamentalist threat and the importance of the principle of secularism for Turkey would be better understood if we recall massacres perpetrated in Malatya, Kahramanmaras, Corum, and Sivas as a result of religious and sectarian provocations in our recent past.

    Fundamentalism after 1946: The War of Liberation was fought not only against invaders, but also against collaborators who included fundamentalists and others who exploited religion. Secularism is the fundamental characteristics of the Republic. Fundamentalists infiltrated into some political parties in order to continue their activities after the country switched to a multi-party regime in 1946. Fundamentalists who were sheltered in different political parties appeared on the political scene for the first time after establishing their own political party called the MNP [National Order Party] in 1970. The Welfare Party [RP] and the Virtue Party [FP] which were the MNP's successors were closed down.

    The AKP has a hidden agenda: The AKP was founded by a team who left the FP after losing a battle for leadership. This team drew conclusions from the past experience of anti-secular political parties and planned to attain their goals in several phases by means of their hidden agenda. In order to eliminate possible criticism, they started using some universal values, including democracy, human rights, freedom of worship and conscience.

    The AKP seeks a majority dictatorship: It is clear that using force for transforming the secular regime is an imminent threat if account is taken of "jihad," an aspect of sharia which is aimed at establishing an Islamic society. The AKP interprets "nation's will" as unlimited political power which is a clear sign of a potential dictatorship of the majority.

    They want preferential treatment for the AKP: The opinion that a closure case cannot be instituted against the ruling party is tantamount to seeking preferential treatment for the AKP. The RP was the major partner of the coalition government and it was emphasized in the closure case against the RP that "it posed greater threat to democracy" because it was capable of putting its project into action.

    Dissimilarity between Turkey and Europe: It is true that political parties are rarely banned in Europe. The reason is that there is a consensus on the nature and exchangeability of the regime in those countries. The principle of secularism is not even mentioned in the constitutions of some European countries because secularism has been internalized to such an extent that it is not regarded as an issue warranting political debates. In our country, however, secularism was exposed to frequent attacks by those exploiting religion.

    Restaurants serving alcoholic drinks cited as an example: Local governments controlled by the AKP put pressure on stores selling alcoholic beverages, refuse to renew their licenses, and force their owners to move their stores to areas in the outskirts of cities. They also contribute to efforts aimed at creating cities where you could not find even one restaurant serving alcoholic drinks on the pretext that people do not want such places while diminishing demand for alcoholic beverages as a result of prohibitions and pressure. These are Turkey's realities that one could observe in regions other than the capital city. This policy is being pursued in all parts of the country with the exception of a few major cities. The problem is actually not confined to alcoholic beverages. It indicates that they intend to transform society by claiming that Islam prohibits alcoholic drinks and exploiting people's sincere religious feelings. It also shows that their intolerance about this issue puts social peace and democracy in jeopardy.

    Reaction to an insinuation about Ergenekon: Severe criticism has been leveled against the Supreme Court of Appeals and the constitutional system. A member of the government acted in an unprecedented manner several hours after the indictment had been issued and attempted to establish a link between the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals and an ongoing investigation into allegations about a secret organization while some others, including politicians, columnists, and academics asserted that the Chief Public Prosecutor should be brought to trial. It is evident that they intend to humiliate and discredit high judicial institutions and to put pressure on the Constitutional Court.

    They forgot about the EU after the election: Responding to AKP's counter-claim which was based on the guidelines of the Venice Commission by referring to a ruling handed down by the European Court of Human Rights about the RP, the Chief Prosecutor's Office used the following argument to support its opinion that the closure of the AKP would be consistent with the guidelines of the Venice Commission: "It is clear that the AKP's actions are aimed at paving the way for establishing a regime guided by sharia and that it is concealing its true intentions. The rulings of the European Court of Human Rights about the RP also demonstrated that sharia included violence (jihad) and conflicted with public order in Europe. Considering that sharia includes violence, it is clear that the AKP's actions conflict with the European Convention on Human Rights and the Venice guidelines."

    A response to the EU: "The Refah case indicates that reactions expressed by EU officials were wrongheaded. Similar comments were made during the RP's case, but they did not affect the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights. It emphasized in its ruling about the RP that secularism was essential for preserving the democratic system in Turkey and stated that laws and practices about secularism were not inconsistent with public order in Europe. It also underscored that there could be a certain degree of discretion in light of Turkey's historical and legislative experiences.

    It turned its back on the EU: The assertion in the AKP's defense that ongoing accession talks with the EU would be suspended if the AKP is eventually banned is not reconcilable with the facts of political history. Turkey's negotiations with the EU did not begin after the AKP came to power. The AKP used the process of negotiations with the EU for liquidating and diminishing the influence of establishments which it regards as an obstacle to its own growth. After emerging stronger from the last general election, it turned its back on the EU and returned to its ideological roots in order to focus on the National View ideology.

    Some other conclusions outlined in the opinion are as follows:

    - An examination of acts which are described in the indictment and supported by 178 substantiating documents indicates beyond doubt that a ruling should be handed down for the closure of the AKP. Those acts which warranted the institution of the closure case do not need to constitute crimes under criminal law.

    - Supportive evidence was gathered in accordance with applicable procedures and it is objective and concrete. There is "liberty of evidence" in closure cases. Evidence can be obtained from television stations, Internet, and newspapers. The denial of a report would not be sufficient to change its gist and content. A report about comments made by Egemen Bagis (who argued that women MPs wearing headscarf should be permitted to enter Parliament) was denied. But, the reporter who wrote the story confirmed that it was true by releasing a tape containing the interview.

    - The ruling party would be responsible for actions taken by bureaucrats. According to the Act on Political Parties, governors must inform the Chief Prosecutor's Office about anti-secular acts. But, none of the hundreds of pieces of evidence cited in the indictment was received from a governor's office and the Chief Prosecutor's Office gathered them on its own. This fact is sufficient to reflect the AKP's influence over public employees.

    - Acts committed by President Gul during the period when he was a member of the AKP and serving as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister are binding on the AKP. The Constitution does not stipulate that an individual could only be subject to political restrictions only if he is member of the party when a ruling is rendered.

    - The indictment is also based on statements made by Prime Minister Erdogan before the party was founded because he said in a television program in 2006 that he had not changed.

    - The AKP has launched disciplinary investigations into anti-secular actions taken and statements made by some members of the party only for show. Husnu Tuna, an MP who argued that wearing headscarf in government offices should not be prohibited, was only admonished although he should have been expelled from the party. The expulsion of Turhan Comez who had criticized the party's policies revealed that they were applying a double standard. A disciplinary investigation launched against Isparta Mayor Hasan Balaman has yet to be completed.

    - The argument that different coefficients applied to vocational high schools should be lifted is not valid in light of the provisions of the Basic Education Act and the Act on the Unification of Education Systems.

    The United States criticized for "Kurdistan" map

    The Chief Prosecutor also criticized the United States tacitly: "The Broader Middle East Initiative [BMEI] is aimed at redrawing the borders of the countries in the Middle East and the Central Asia according to ethnic, religious, and linguistic criteria. There are attempts to achieve this by using moderate Islam, an ideology devised artificially. This is not pure speculation. Preparations have been continuing since the Second World War. An article which appeared in the "Armed Forces Magazine" of an allied country argued that national borders in the Middle East were not natural and that they should be redrawn by taking a fair approach. The eastern and southeastern parts of Turkey were shown within the boundaries of 'Free Kurdistan' which has a coastal strip in the Black Sea in two maps accompanying the article.

    BMEI Co-chairman: The AKP's leader (Erdogan) said that he was the co-chairman of that expansionist project which has clear goals about Turkey and that Diyarbakir would be the base of the scheme in a television program (Teke Tek hosted by Fatih Altayli - 14 February 2004) and in a speech he delivered in a party meeting. All details of the project were posted on the AKP's website. The Office of the Chief Prosecutor has not mixed the BMEI with the Alliance of Civilizations, another project aimed at establishing political hegemony.

    It includes four new documents

    The Chief Prosecutor submitted four new documents to the Constitutional Court in response to the AKP's counter-arguments. The documents included the following:

    1. In response to the AKP's argument that the closure of the party would conflict with the guidelines of the Venice Commission, a resolution adopted by the European Commission in 2002 about the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 which stated that "threats posed by fanaticism and extremism to democracy should be taken into consideration" and that a political party could be banned if it puts social peace and the democratic constitutional system in jeopardy which would represent an exception to Venice guidelines.

    2. Newspaper clippings and documents about comments made by AKP Deputy Abdullah Caliskan with regard to "green revolution."

    3. The video of a program which was aired by Kanal D television station and quoted him as saying that Erdogan confirmed that he was the co-chairman of the Broader Middle East Initiative and information posted on the AKP's website about this issue.

    4. Reports published by Jumhuri Islami newspaper in Iran which said that they were regarding the AKP as an Islamic party and expecting that it will carry out an Islamic revolution.

    AKP: There is nothing new

    The AKP will submit its defense within 10 days after analyzing the opinion delivered to the Constitutional Court. Commenting on the Chief Prosecutor's opinion in a meeting held by the Central Decision-making and Executive Committee [MKYK] yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek and AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat were quoted as saying that there was nothing new in the document. Some members of the MKYK were quoted as saying: "According to the opinion, even debating the coefficient issue would conflict with secularism. Different coefficients were not applied in the country for 40 years. Was not it secular during that period?"

    AKP officials said that the defense was almost ready, adding that it could be submitted this week if instructed by Erdogan who will make comments about the Chief Prosecutor's opinion in a meeting to be held by the AKP in Kizilcahamam today.

    EG/


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