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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-06-12

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. 111/08 12.06.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Soyer said that the full-fledged negotiations which will start for the solution of the Cyprus problem should have a target date
  • [02] Statements by Soyer on the issue of the TV and radio frequencies
  • [03] Durduran said that the memorandum signed between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus is reaffirming the reconciliation achieved between the Turkish and the Greek sides
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot MPs are holding contacts at the EP
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot workers in the free areas of the Republic have allegedly been beaten up
  • [06] Advisor of the British Parliament addressed a conference organized by the ministry of health
  • [07] The Turkish Cypriot Air Sports Federation is participating in an international modeling championship in France
  • [08] Student seats in the illegal universities in occupied Cyprus are remaining empty
  • [09] Turkish and Croatian Presidents hold joint news conference
  • [10] Two new chapters for Turkey to open today
  • [11] Prime Ministers advisor comments on Turkeys role in global politics in London
  • [12] Turkish MFA denies claims on Babacans and Rices meeting
  • [13] Turkish State Minister and businessmen are holding contacts in Moldova
  • [14] Turksat 3A satellite ready to be launched
  • [15] Turkish priest turns out to be an intelligence officer
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [16] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on the research of KTOS on the Turkish settlers; He reminds statements by Mr Talat that the population in the occupied part of Cyprus reached 500 thousands
  • [17] Turkish arms industry faces dilemma
  • [18] From the Turkish Press of 11 June 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Soyer said that the full-fledged negotiations which will start for the solution of the Cyprus problem should have a target date

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08) reports that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties, which held their monthly meeting at the Ledra Palace Hotel, agreed that they will support the two leaders in their efforts for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible within the framework of the 21 March and 23 May agreements.

    Speaking at the meeting, the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the full-fledged negotiations which will start for the solution of the Cyprus problem should have a target date. He noted that the negotiations should be carried out in an equal manner as it was determined by the UN Secretary-General and within the framework of the UN parameters using the previous work of the UN.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Statements by Soyer on the issue of the TV and radio frequencies

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said yesterday that as of the night before yesterday the broadcast of three Turkish television channels, NTV, ATV and Avrasya TV (ART) cannot be watched clearly in the occupied part of Cyprus because of a powerful transmission by a channel in the free areas of the Republic.

    In statements before entering into the meeting of the council of ministers, Mr Soyer noted that the necessary technical measures will be taken and added that as of this morning all the technical units concerned were working on the issue. He said that one of the issues which the Turkish side wants to be discussed at the technical committees is the issue of the TV and radio frequencies, but the Greek Cypriot side is not mature enough to discuss it. He said:

    Such incidents will push us to take some technical measures. And this will not be pleasant. I wish the Greek Cypriot side stops doing this soon. If not, the Higher Transmission Council (YYK) and Bayrak Television (BRT) will take all the necessary technical measures and we will not be responsible for this.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (12.06.08) refers to the issue under the title Greek Cypriot sabotage to NTV, ART and ATV.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.06.08) refers to the issue under the title Greek Cypriot obstacle to TRNC TV transmissions! The paper argues that not only unifying with them [the Greek Cypriots], but even living side by side with them is a problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Durduran said that the memorandum signed between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus is reaffirming the reconciliation achieved between the Turkish and the Greek sides

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08) reports that Alpay Durduran, foreign relations secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), issued a written statement yesterday noting that the memorandum signed recently between the UK and the Republic of Cyprus is reaffirming the reconciliation achieved between the Turkish and the Greek sides.

    Mr Durduran said: The aim of showing such a strong reaction to this agreement which is nothing else but the approval of the reconciliation between the sides by Britain is to make things difficult.

    Referring to the reaction of Mr Talat to the expression in the memorandum that Britain will not recognize a separate political entity in Cyprus, Mr Durduran wondered why Mr Talat considered this expression annoying given that the same Talat said that he is not pursuing the recognition of the breakaway regime.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkish Cypriot MPs are holding contacts at the EP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08) reports that according to a statement issued by the self-styled assembly, the delegation of the body consisting of Salih Izbul and Hasan Tacoy, MPs from the Republican Turkish Party and the National Unity Party respectively, is continuing its contacts at the European Parliament (EP). The delegation met with the EU permanent representatives of France, Austria, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia.

    The Turkish Cypriot MPs informed their interlocutors about the recent developments in the Cyprus problems and about their expectations. They said that the memorandum signed by the UK and the Republic of Cyprus will have negative influence on the process for solving the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish Cypriot workers in the free areas of the Republic have allegedly been beaten up

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08), under the title Allegation about beating of Turkish workers by the Greek Cypriot police, reports that the Turkish Cypriot worker Emirali Parlan has alleged that he and seven other workers were attacked by civilian police officers of the Republic of Cyprus yesterday while they were working at a construction site in Paralimni, where he started working a week ago.

    He claimed that the policemen threatened them with guns, forced them to lie down, assaulted them and kept them in the sun for half an hour. Then, he said, they left laughing as if nothing had happened.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Advisor of the British Parliament addressed a conference organized by the ministry of health

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.06.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Dr. Teoman Sirri, who is advisor at the British Parliament on the issue of the narcotics and has been awarded with the MBE prize from Queen Elisabeth the Second, addressed yesterday a conference at the Thalassemia Centre of the Burhan Nalbantoglu Hospital in the occupied part of Nicosia. The conference on the harmful consequences of narcotics and ways of treatment took place within the framework of a program organized by the self-styled ministry of health.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The Turkish Cypriot Air Sports Federation is participating in an international modelling championship in France

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (12.06.08) reports that the so-called TRNC Air Sports Federation will represent the occupied areas of Cyprus in the F3-J (Modelling) International Championship Eurotour Juras Cup 2008 which will take place in France between 12 and 16 June.

    The chairman of the federation, Serdar Turganer said that the Turkish Cypriot team before the championship in France participated in a preparatory championship in Kayseri, Turkey and added that they are expecting good performance by the athletes.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Student seats in the illegal universities in occupied Cyprus are remaining empty

    Under the title Religious Foundations [Vakif] and the TRNC universities remained empty, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (12.06.08) reports the following:

    Last year approximately 20.000 student seats remained empty, of which 14.000 seats were especially for the religious foundations and the TRNC universities. From the total of 37.310 student seats offered for the religious foundations in the universities, 5.675 remained empty, while for the TRNC universities 7.556 seats remained vacant from the total of the 12.542 seats offered. In the state universities, 6.659 student seats of which 600 for the bachelors degree out of a total of 361.342 seats remained empty.

    (ML)

    [09] Turkish and Croatian Presidents hold joint news conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.08) reported the following from Zagreb:

    Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday that his Croatian counterpart Stjepan Mesic and he agreed to make more contributions to efforts to secure a lasting stability in southeastern Europe, and to further improve their dialogue.

    After holding a tete-a-tete meeting and presiding meetings between Turkish and Croatian delegations, Gul and Mesic held a joint news conference.Prior to the news conference, a Memorandum of Understanding between Turkish and Croatian Exports and Investment Agencies and a Cooperation Agreement between Turkish and Croatian State Archives were signed.

    We had the chance of discussing all aspects of our bilateral relations during the meeting. We also assessed regional and international developments, President Gul said.

    We attach great importance to our cooperation with Croatia in efforts to secure peace, stability and prosperity in southeastern Europe. We agreed to make more contributions to efforts to secure a lasting stability in southeastern Europe, and to further improve our dialogue, he said.

    President Gul also expressed his belief that his visit would yield fruitful consequences.

    President Mesic, in his part, said that they were thankful to Turkey for its support to Croatia's independence and its membership to NATO. He highlighted the importance of strengthening economic and commercial relations and cooperating in the fight against international crimes.President Mesic added that the good relations between Turkey and Croatia made valuable contributions to the stability in southeastern Europe.

    Regarding Turkey's EU negotiation process, Gul said that countries, which had high population and big economy, naturally experienced a difficult accession process, and sometimes political issues could be exploited within the process.

    Replying the same question of reporters, Mesic said that Turkey was a part of Europe and it was a country which would take place within Europe. He added that continuation of meetings between two parties in Cyprus would help a positive result taken regarding Cyprus issue.

    Regarding the economic relations between Turkey and Croatia, Gul said that free trade agreement between the two countries increased the commerce figures, but not to satisfying levels yet.

    Gul said that Turkey and Croatia could undertake joint projects in tourism and hotel sectors, adding that energy area could be another cooperation sector and that big Turkish companies were willing to invest in Croatia.

    Mesic also said that the two countries could cooperate in military ship construction.Turkish President Abdullah Gul separately met Speaker of Croatian Parliament Luka Bebic and Prime Minister Ivo Sanader in Zagreb on Wednesday. Turkish State Minister Mehmet Aydin also attended the meetings. Following the meetings, Gul attended the luncheon which was hosted in his honour.

    [10] Two new chapters for Turkey to open today

    Turkish daily Toadys Zaman newspaper (12.06.08) reports the following:

    Representatives of European Union member countries are set to give the go-ahead today for the opening of accession talks with candidate Turkey on two more negotiating chapters.

    A committee of permanent representatives of EU countries, known as COREPER, is expected to approve the opening of the talks on company law and intellectual property rights chapters without a debate, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.

    A final decision to start the talks on these chapters is expected to be made at an intergovernmental conference attended by EU ministers and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Luxembourg on June 17. With the beginning of the talks on company law and intellectual property rights Turkey will have opened talks on eight of 35 negotiating chapters with the EU since the talks first started in 2005.

    [11] Prime Ministers advisor comments on Turkeys role in global politics in London

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.06.08) reported the following from London:

    Turkish Prime Minister's chief advisor said on Tuesday that Turkey had an active attitude in global politics because Turkey could bring a new approach as well as peace and prosperity to global relations with its unique location. PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan's chief advisor Ahmet Davutoglu, who spoke at Royal United Services Institute in London, said that Turkey was located in the middle of the Balkans, Iraq, the Middle East and Caucasus where clashes were happening. He added that Turkey included all ethnic groups which were also harboured in the region and countries.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey was a country of the Black Sea, Mediterranean, Asia and Europe. He added that EU was a project which had importance in Turkey's positioning.

    Davutoglu also listed Turkey's foreign policy principles as to develop security and freedoms together; to pursue politics with neighbours based on zero problems; and to attach importance to proactive peace diplomacy.

    He said that Turkey's foreign policy principles were in harmony with EU values and NATO targets.

    [12] Turkish MFA denies claims on Babacans and Rices meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) denied on Wednesday a news report claiming that Turkish FM Ali Babacan asked U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to press on France regarding Turkey's EU bid.

    Spokesman Burak Ozugergin said in a statement that a news report, published in Cumhuriyet daily on June 11th, containing statements allegedly to have been made by Babacan at his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State, was not true.

    The headline, expressions in the report and claims do not reflect the reality, Ozugergin said.

    Cumhuriyet daily claimed that Babacan confessed his opinion about Turkey's EU membership to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at a meeting in Washington D.C. and asked for U.S. support against France's stance on Turkey's membership.

    [13] Turkish State Minister and businessmen are holding contacts in Moldova

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.08) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen left for Moldova with a large delegation of businessmen on Wednesday. He will attend a meeting of Turkish-Moldovan Joint Economic Committee.

    Tuzmen and Moldovan Minister of Economics and Trade Igor Dodon will co-chair the meeting in which the two countries will take up ways to further improve bilateral relations.

    Turkish and Moldovan executives will also discuss cooperation in industry, agriculture, transportation, energy, construction, standardization, statistics, health, environment and science.

    Tuzmen will meet Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin, Prime Minister Zinaida Greceanii, and Andrei Stratan, the minister of foreign affairs.The minister will visit Gagauz Place and meet administrators of this autonomous region, and return to Turkey on Saturday.

    Turkish-Moldovan trade volume was up 45 percent in 2007, and reached 200 million USD. Turkey exported goods worth 145 million USD, and imported goods worth 53 million USD from Moldova.

    [14] Turksat 3A satellite ready to be launched

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.06.08) reported the following from Cayen:

    June 13th would be the new date to launch a new generation communication satellite Turksat 3A from French Guiana. The satellite will be launched at 00.52 hours (Turkish local time). The launching of Turksat 3A was postponed earlier due to a problem in launching software.

    Turksat 3A satellite will enable Turksat to offer telecommunication services as well as direct TV broadcasting services though a broader area than its existing satellites covering Turkey, Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. With the help of its switchable transponders, Turksat 3A will act as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Turksat 3A's Turkey coverage has been specially designed to provide very efficient gain for broadband applications like VSAT services giving customers low-cost, up-link systems.

    Based on Thales Alenia Space Spacebus 4000B2, Turksat 3A will be fitted with 24 Ku-band transponders and will offer beginning of life power of about 8 kW. Positioned at 42E, Turksat 3A will weigh 3060 kg at launch and will replace Turksat 1C satellite. Its lifetime is nearly 20 years.

    [15] Turkish priest turns out to be an intelligence officer

    Turkish daily Toadys Zaman newspaper (12.06.08) reports the following:

    A former Turkish priest who had been working with foreign missionaries and then converted to Islam was actually an intelligence officer with the Turkish Land Forces, a Turkish daily has reported, but he has denied acting as a "provocateur."

    According to a headline story "Provocateur Specialist Sergeant" published in the daily Bugun on June 11, Ilker Cinar, who became famous after publishing a book in 2005 titled "Ben Bir Misyonerdim, Sifre Cozuldu" (I was a Missionary, The Code is Broken), is registered as a special sergeant in the Pension Fund's (Emekli Sandigi) records.

    Records from the Emekli Sandigi Mersin regional office show that Cinar had been registered on Aug. 16, 1992 as a 'special sergeant' with the record number of 706661XX and his premiums have been paid regularly, stated the daily.

    The story indicated that the Emekli Sandigi office confirmed that Cinar is a member of the Turkish Land Forces. The Emekli Sandigi is only for public personnel and individuals who cannot pay their own premiums.

    Speaking to Hilal TV, Cinar denied that he was a "provocateur" and said he was only reporting on missionary activities in Turkey: I am a Muslim, I have been revealing missionary activities in Turkey. I haven't done anything illegal.

    Cinar had claimed in 2005 that international missionary institutions had allocated $73 billion for Turkey and that the missionaries in Turkey produced 15 million Bibles and distributed them for free. He also said there were 40,000 church-homes in Turkey, while claiming that foreigners were engaging in illegal missionary activities in Turkey, that they supported Kurdish and Alevi separatism and that they were involved in smuggling of some historical artifacts.

    Cinar, who had been a priest in Tarsus and travelled around Turkey for missionary activities, had later devoted himself to anti-missionary work and had spoken extensively about his claims on live Turkish TV talk shows, receiving wide coverage in the media, especially in 2005 after his book came out. Cinar supported the idea that the missionary activities of foreigners in Turkey have been dividing the country and that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been contributing to the same goal by passing legislation to harmonize with the standards of the European Union.

    Press consultant for the Association of the Turkish Protestant Churches Isa Karatas said they were not concerned about Cinar's statements as long as such statements do not put forward slanderous information about their community.

    "If he is really an informant, this is not a big surprise to us. We know that our churches have been closely watched, we are not complaining about this. We want the state to know what we are really doing but we want such informants -- if there are any -- to report the truth to whatever organization they are working for," Karatas said in a written statement to Today's Zaman.

    The Bugun article draws attention to the fact that murders of Christian priests followed Cinar's allegations.

    Italian priest Andrea Santoro was killed by a teenager on Feb. 5, 2006, in his church in the northern Black Sea port city of Trabzon. The teenage perpetrator, O.A., said he was influenced by the debates on television concerning missionary activities in Turkey.

    Records that came to light in February as part of another murder case have shown that the priest was under police surveillance when the murder occurred. The piece of information that the priest was actually being monitored by the police was revealed by records that went into the file of Yasin Hayal, whose trial is pending, with the latter being charged as the prime inciter of the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in 2007. Dink was shot dead outside his office in January of 2007 by an ultra-nationalist teenager, who is also from Trabzon.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [16] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on the research of KTOS on the Turkish settlers; He reminds statements by Mr Talat that the population in the occupied part of Cyprus reached 500 thousands

    Writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.06.08), Turkish Cypriot columnist Aytug Turkkan refers to the results of the research carried out by the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) among 22.996 pupils in the kindergartens and the primary schools in the occupied areas. Mr Turkkan notes, inter alia, the following:

    While this research is putting us in a difficult situation at the negotiating table in the new solution process with the south, it will increase our strength on the issue of the bargaining for money we sit with Turkey.

    The population is one of the complicated issues at the negotiating table. While president Talat is saying that there is no settlers problem, Christofias is openly expressing the opinion that I accept 50 thousands, the rest will go away. While the debate on this issue is continuing, the Greek Cypriot side will want to bring to the table with this research that the Turkish Cypriots have come to the point of being a minority and put Talat and Turkey into a difficult situation. For this reason, these data are inconvenient. However, the issue has another aspect. These data have the capacity of making official that the TRNC officials need more money from the point of view of the aid granted every year from Turkey to the TRNC. Because the quality especially in the health and education services has decreased due to the fact that the registered workers who come from Turkey bring their families with them and difficult situations have started to be experienced in these basic sectors.

    The infrastructure of the schools cannot bear the unseen population. The number of the students in the classes is increasing every day. Thus the quality in education decreases and the problems in education begin even from the primary school.

    The same situation is valid for health. Because there are no sound data for the population and the population which the workers bring with them is not known, planning cannot be made, the medicines are exhausted and the hospitals are dragged to the point of not being able to service the crowded population.

    At this point the aid provided by Turkey is spent for infrastructure and efforts are exerted for overcoming the needs of the increased population with new hospitals and schools.

    The above-mentioned data could be put in front of the officials from Turkey and they can be informed about the reality that the money which is sent is not enough.

    You remember, president Talat also, who was participating in a television program a short time ago, made a statement regarding our population and said that the population which is not official reached 500 thousands. The situation is really serious. The systems are collapsing, the Turkish Cypriots are disappearing.

    (I/Ts.)

    [17] Turkish arms industry faces dilemma

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Toadys Zaman newspaper (12.06.08) publishes the following commentary by Lale Sariibrahimoglu:

    It is true that since 2004, the year that Turkey changed its conception of arms acquisition to boost its poor local defence industry, some gains have been achieved in mobilizing the local defence sector.

    Though these gains are not sufficient compared with the decades of financial resources earmarked for defence, as well as for arms acquisition, at least there is a strong political will for continuing efforts to strengthen the local defence industry infrastructure.

    But official estimates indicating that the local defence industry's reliance on major systems from abroad has gone down from around 75 percent to about 60 percent as a result of a change in the official conception of arms acquisition appear to be misleading.

    The recently released 2007 activity report of the Turkish Undersecretariat for the Defence Industry (SSM) put the local content in defence acquisitions at around 41 percent, up from 25 percent in 2004.

    SSM Undersecretary Murad Bayar also stated in an interview with the Savunma ve Havacilik magazine that 41.6 percent of the Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) defence needs are currently being met by domestic production and that the goal is to reach 50 percent by 2011.

    The question is what that 41.6 percent consists of; is it local production of high technology or purely assembly work?

    As a matter of fact, in November of last year Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) deputy Mehmet Gunal put just this question to National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonull during deliberations over the 2008 fiscal defence budget. He asked whether this percentage consisted of high-tech products or simply assembly work.

    While admitting that the defence industry has fallen behind in boosting the local defence industry infrastructure, Gonull responded that it has, however, been moving in the right direction as a locally developed computer system for fighter jets has successfully been tested.

    However, for Turkey, for example, to develop national software source codes for fighters, significant emphasis should be placed on research and development activities, which require the allocation of enormous amounts of money and human resources.

    Far from developing software source codes, Turkey has not yet even been able to establish a defence industry infrastructure that is able to produce relatively high-tech products.

    Countries such as South Korea and Spain, which started building their defence industry infrastructures at almost the same time as Turkey, almost 23 years ago, are already selling high-tech products to Ankara, such as Casa CN 235 helicopters (Spain) and critical parts of land forces equipment (South Korea).

    Another problem hindering the improvement of the local defence industry infrastructure has been the heavy bureaucratic nature of around 15 military-owned companies that are still free from the authority of Turkey's political leadership. These companies have for years been operating quite unlike private companies and used as a tool for the employment of retired generals without any expertise in arms procurement. However, the SSM's changes in arms procurement have helped some military-owned companies, such as Havelsan and Aselsan, become more productive.

    This column is in a sense a continuation of my previous column published on June 3 under the title "Turkey's vicious circle in arms technology." There, too, I criticized the poor management of the local defence industry, urging Turkish deputies to take action in debating arms purchases at a commission to be set up for the sake of good governance and transparency.

    One reader criticized me in a rather rude manner, but fell short of coming up with more constructive ideas. He cited the development of electronic warfare (EW) systems for 58 F-16 fighters by Aselsan in cooperation with US-based BAE North America as an example of Turkish efforts for boosting the local defence industry.

    It is true that Aselsan has been developing EW systems in cooperation with BAE and that they are planned to be completed in 2010.

    But a recent decision by the Turkish Air Forces Command to buy off-the-shelf EW systems from US-based ITT to be mounted on the additional 30 F-16 fighters that Turkey decided to buy from Lockheed Martin has inflicted a serious blow on the continuation of the Aselsan developed EW systems for 58 F-16s.

    The SSM had insisted on the installation of the EW systems on the additional 30 F-16s so that partial local development of the EW program would continue, contributing to the growth of the local industry. In addition, some from within the military and the SSM argued that through the locally developed EW under license, Turkish control over the national software source codes of F-16s would be higher than with the US ITT systems. But SSM was obliged to bow to the pressures of the air force.

    This example alone displays the difficulties that the SSM's procurement officials have been facing in their efforts to boost the local defence industry.

    [18] From the Turkish Press of 11 June 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items featuring prominently in the Turkish press of 11 June:

    a) Prime Minister Erdogan's response to the Constitutional Court decision: In a commentary in Sabah, Nazli Ilicak contends that "two views within the Justice and Development Party, AKP, clashed, and the doves won." The hawks wanted to go to early elections, the columnist writes, and seek public support for constitutional changes. In that way, the balance between the legislative and the judiciary would have been reset. The AKP wants to be liked by the "centre," Ilicak argues. "Tayyip Erdogan thinks that the ruling in the closure case will come in late July or in August at the latest, and he does not rule out the possibility that the party may not be closed," she adds.

    Radikal's Murat Yetkin agrees, saying "Erdogan did not signal that he would move toward a constitutional amendment that would lead to a conflict in the system." In an article entitled "Erdogan did not opt for the conflict option," Yetkin points out that AKP members who were formerly from the centre-right or from the liberal political circles -- and not from the National View -- are pushing Erdogan to move toward changing the Constitution "immediately and radically." The columnist argues that with his speech on 10 June, the prime minister showed that he does not want conflict. "He criticized the Constitutional Court, but he targeted the CHP [Republican People's Party] more," Yetkin says, adding, "in other words, rather than quarrelling with the system, he quarrelled within the system." The columnist believes that by keeping the Assembly working until the closure case is finalized, Erdogan is showing that he will not wait for the verdict meekly or passively. Yetkin concludes: "Of course, the decision to keep the Assembly working has another meaning: If the court closes down the AKP before the beginning of August, then early elections will appear in the offing in the autumn or winter."

    b) Constitutional Court decision on headscarves: Pundit Taha Akyol criticizes the decision, saying it reflects the Constitutional Court's "central bureaucratic ideology" or the ideology of the ruling "historic bloc." In an article in Milliyet, Akyol argues, "Turkey is changing and the emphasis on democracy is spreading to the law even if not fully to the judiciary." He adds: "The outlook of the central bureaucratic elites on the law seems too conservative; that is why criticism of the judiciary has been growing during the past 20 years." Akyol stresses that the judiciary should stop being the guardian of the centre against the majority and must become an impartial referee between the two.

    In Sabah Emre Akoz defines the "bureaucratic elite" as follows: "The upper level of civil servants who have not been elected but appointed -- or elected by appointed persons -- to the various positions in the state mechanism. In other words, civil servants who are authorized to make decisions. The General Staff and the judicial bureaucracy (the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court of Appeals, the Council of State) are those that immediately come to mind." In an article entitled "The network of Evil," Akoz contends that the bureaucratic elite is really a network that is exploiting the headscarf issue, and would have invented another issue in order to achieve its aims. The real issue, the columnist charges, is that someone outside the network became president, and the network will do all it can to bring him down or to drastically curtail his powers.

    In an article entitled "AKP in parliament, CHP in judiciary", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya asserts that if Turkey is a law-based state, the Constitutional Court's 5 June ruling should be declared null and void and that the judges who signed it should be put on trial. He also holds the Republican People's Party, CHP, responsible for the ruling and claims that whereas Parliament is dominated by the AKP and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, the judiciary and bureaucracy are controlled by the CHP.

    In an article entitled "Parliament's right to resist", Zaman columnist Bulent Korucu argues that Parliament should be able to "resist" the top court's 5 June ruling in the same way as it can override a presidential veto. He claims that if a referendum can be held to resolve issues on which the president and Parliament disagree, there is no reason why the same method should not be used to solve the latest problem between the Constitutional Court and Parliament.

    c) Iranian money and Turkey: A report entitled "Iran Takes Steps To Withdraw $35 Billion in Europe, Likely To Choose Turkey as New Heading" asserts that according to banking experts, Iran might treat Turkey as a financial haven for its funds abroad if it is forced to withdraw its money in European bank accounts to anticipate the possibility of sanctions against its nuclear program.

    d) Ergenekon case: In an article entitled "Germany fires come to halt, Ergenekon probe will be ended", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul discusses the significance of what he describes as the ending of the arson attacks on Turkish nationals in Germany carried out, he claims, by groups affiliated with the Ergenekon network in Turkey. He suggests the possibility that the attacks were in retaliation for the police investigation against the Ergenekon group and that the fact that they have ended might signify that the Ergenekon case will be closed.

    EG/


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