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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-06-24

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. 118/08 24.06.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The National Unity Party held contacts in Brussels and conveyed its views on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] CTPs MP Mehmet Caglar went to Strasbourg in order to participate in the PACE general assembly.
  • [03] Reports that the occupation regime is preparing to amend of the Equivalent Property Law
  • [04] The President of the autonomous Gagauz Republic is visiting occupied Cyprus upon an invitation of the illegal Near East University
  • [05] The self-styled minister of tourism stated that efforts are being intensified to attract tourists from Turkey, Germany and the UK
  • [06] The 2nd International Education Science Congress, organized by Eastern Mediterranean University has started yesterday
  • [07] Twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday in occupied Cyprus
  • [08] PACE will discuss the political crisis in Turkey. Babacan may not attend the meeting
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] From the Turkish press of 23 June 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The National Unity Party held contacts in Brussels and conveyed its views on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (24.06.08) reports that the delegation of the National Unity Party (UBP) headed by the partys chairman, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, which went to Belgium, started its contacts in Brussels with Turkish and European Union officials. The delegation met with the Turkish Ambassador to Brussels, Fuat Tanlay and Turkeys EU Permanent Representative, Ambassador Volkan Bozkir.

    The delegation also held meetings with the European MP, Hannes Swoboda of the European Parliament Socialist Group, the chief of the European Commissions Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community, Andrew Rasbash and the European MP, Karin Resetarits. Following these meetings the UBP delegation participated in the presentation of the film Many faces of Turkey, which took place under the auspices of the European MPs, Cem Ozdemir, Helga Trupel and Ignasi Guardans.

    According to the paper during the meetings the UBP delegation conveyed the partys views and gave information on the Cyprus problem, the red lines of the party and the negotiation process which started between the two leaders of Cyprus in March.

    On his contacts Mr Ertugruloglu stated, inter alia, that he conveyed the realities of Cyprus and that in Cyprus there are two equal sovereign states and that the UBP aims for a bi-zonal and bi-communal solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He also stated that he is not very optimistic as regards the new process for the solution of the Cyprus problem since what has changed in the Greek Cypriot sector, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, is only the person. There was no real change, he stated.

    (CS)

    [02] CTPs MP Mehmet Caglar went to Strasbourg in order to participate in the PACE general assembly.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.06.08) reports that Mehmet Caglar, representative of the assembly to the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) went to Strasbourg in order to participate in the PACE general assembly. Mr Caglar met with the Cyprus Rapporteur of the Political Affairs Committee of the PACE, Joachim Horster, who told him that after the report on Cyprus is completed he will invite the two leaders of Cyprus to the PACEs general assembly.

    Mr Caglar also stated that he will go to Holland on the 27th of June in order to participate in the Diplomacy school seminars which are taking place for the first time in Maastricht.

    (CS)

    [03] Reports that the occupation regime is preparing to amend the Equivalent Property Law

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (24.06.08) publishes in its first page statements by the former General Director of the Vakif administration, Taner Dervis, to the effect that the coalition-government of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) is working very secretively and intensively in order to change the Equivalent Property Law.

    According to the amendment being worked out the Turkish Cypriots who left their properties in the Cyprus government controlled areas of Cyprus and took equivalent properties in occupied Cyprus under the Equivalent Property Law, will get back the right to their properties in the south, if they return the property they received in occupied Cyprus to the occupation regime.

    (CS)

    [04] The President of the autonomous Gagauz Republic is visiting occupied Cyprus upon an invitation of the illegal Near East University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.06.08) writes that the Mikhail Makrovich Formuzal, (name as spelled by the paper), the President of the autonomous Gagauz Republic, arrived yesterday evening in occupied Cyprus upon an invitation of the founder of the illegal Near East University, Rector Dr Suat Gunsel.

    Mikhail Makrovich Formuzal will participate in the graduation ceremony of the illegal University which will take place on the 27th of June. He will also hold various contacts in the TRNC on issues which are on the agenda of the Turkic world and for culture projects.

    (CS)

    [05] The self-styled minister of tourism stated that efforts are being intensified to attract tourists from Turkey, Germany and the UK

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.06.08) writes that the self-styled minister of tourism, Erdogan Sanlidag, stated that his aim is for the people of Turkey to add the TRNC in their holiday preferences. As he stated, the results of the campaign to attract tourists from Turkey to occupied Cyprus, which was taking place in various Turkish cities since last March, will start producing results soon and the campaign will continue until September.

    He added that they aim to attract tourists from Turkey, Germany and the UK. He also said that during the next days an intensive campaign to attract tourists, similar to the one which is taking place in Turkey, will start in Britain. This campaign will continue until February 2009.

    Mr Sanlidag added that the occupation regime will soon participate in a tourism fair which will take place in Iran.

    (CS)

    [06] The 2nd International Education Science Congress, organized by Eastern Mediterranean University has started yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.06.08) writes that the 2nd International Education Science Congress, organized by the Education Science Section of the Education Faculty of the Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), has started yesterday at the Salamis Bay Conti Resort Hotel. Around 450 scientists from 15 countries will participate in the congress. According to the paper 350 papers will be presented in the congress which will last for three days.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.06.08) among the countries participating in the congress are: Turkey, the USA, Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Nigeria, South Africa, New Zealand, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwait and Venezuela.

    (CS)

    [07] Twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.06.08) writes in its first page that twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday in occupied Cyprus. The illegal immigrants traveled to Cyprus from the city of Selevkeia of Mersin. One of them is Palestinian, two Georgian and nine Syrians.

    (CS)

    [08] PACE will discuss the political crisis in Turkey. Babacan may not attend the meeting

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (24.06.08) reports the following:

    The president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has once more voiced his concern over the outcome of an ongoing closure case against Turkey's ruling party, while expressing hope that Turkey's top court will make a ruling in line with European principles.

    PACE President Lluís Maria de Puig was speaking yesterday to reporters in Strasbourg on the occasion of the opening of the summer session of PACE, during which an urgent debate on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey will be held on Thursday. Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has also been invited to participate in the debate; however, the minister is likely to participate in a meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) in Ankara on Thursday instead of traveling to Strasbourg for the debate on the same day.

    "It is normal for people in any democracy to have different ideas and views. The main thing is that disputes are settled by democratic means, in compliance with the Council of Europe's values. I hope that the Turkish institutions will shoulder their responsibilities in this area. But we too have a responsibility, that of providing Turkey with a clear, unequivocal European perspective," de Puig said yesterday at the opening of the session.

    The proposal to hold an urgent meeting, adopted yesterday, came after a state prosecutor asked the Constitutional Court in March to close down the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on charges of becoming a "focal point for anti-secular activities." The proposal was introduced at the initiative of the heads of the assembly's five political groups and approved by the PACE Bureau during a meeting on May 29.

    Luc Van den Brande, the rapporteur of the debate, said PACE would express its stance on the AK Party closure case during the event and urged the Constitutional Court to take into consideration the European Convention on Human Rights and the Venice Commission criteria on party closures. The Venice Commission is an advisory body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent members in the field of constitutional law.

    During a press conference after the opening of the session, de Puig was asked whether PACE's urgent debate could be considered "interference," since the court case against the AK Party is not yet over, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    "Turkey is a member country of the Council of Europe, and the consequences of this case concern us. We need to be careful because in Turkey there is an election coming up, and there are also discussions on the Constitution. What we expect from Turkey is making of decisions ruled by reason and common sense," de Puig was quoted as saying by Anatolia in response to the question.

    The secularist main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is opposed to the PACE initiative to hold a special session to discuss the closure case against the AK Party, and a party member said yesterday that the session amounted to "interference" in the functioning of the Turkish judiciary. The Constitutional Court has not yet made its decision on the closure case and it's not appropriate for PACE to hold such a meeting, CHP deputy Birgen Kele told the PACE General Assembly in a speech, Anatolia reported.

    "We do not want to meddle in the domestic affairs of Turkey, but we want to help Turkey, and that's why we want to hold this debate. Instead of waiting for the crisis, we intend to convey our views while incidents are developing," de Puig added.

    Subtitle: Strasbourg not on Babacan's itinerary, say officials

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will be visiting Germany and Egypt this week but is almost certain to miss a critical Council of Europe gathering to discuss the political crisis in Turkey, Foreign Ministry officials have said.

    Members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) will discuss an ongoing closure case against Turkey's ruling party on Thursday. But Babacan, already invited to the gathering by the organizers, is expected to participate in a regular meeting of the National Security Council (MGK) on the same day. The PACE meeting is critical because observers fear it could result in a decision to put Turkey back on a list of countries that require monitoring of their compliance with European democratic norms. Turkey was allowed to start accession talks with the European Union in 2005 after the Council of Europe decided to remove Turkey from the list of countries being monitored.

    Foreign Ministry officials told Today's Zaman on Monday that it would be "a surprise" for them as well if Babacan eventually decides to travel to Strasbourg instead of participating in the MGK meeting.

    Babacan would be certain to draw a lot of criticism from the opposition in Turkey if he were to attend the event. Earlier this month he was grilled by the opposition and media commentators for saying that the Muslim majority is also having problems in regard to religious freedoms in Turkey. The critics said he was complaining about his own country on a European platform although he, as the foreign minister of Turkey, was supposed to defend it in the face of foreign criticism. Babacan is likely to receive more of such criticism if he attends the PACE gathering, during which deputies are expected to air criticism on the closure case against Babacan's Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Babacan is scheduled to attend a German-hosted international conference tomorrow in Berlin, aimed at boosting security and rule of law in the Palestinian territories. After attending the MGK meeting on Thursday, he will be in Egypt on Friday and Saturday to attend a meeting of the Assembly of the African Union.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] From the Turkish press of 23 June 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items featuring prominently in the Turkish press of 23 June:

    a) AKP Closure Case:

    Milliyet publishes an interview with the Freedom and Solidarity Party, (ODP), leader Ufuk Uras who is opposed to the closure of the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), but who proposes the establishment of an expanded coalition of the left that will participate in the upcoming local elections. In the interview, Uras estimates that 30 percent of the voters are undecided and that common candidates on the part of the left can help them decide against the AKP. Viewing the coalition of the left as the only solution for Turkey, Uras does not foresee early elections until the fall of 2009.

    A report by Veli Toprak in Vatan details the strategy to be implemented by the AKP in the event of a closure. Pointing out that new formulas are being considered acting on the assumption that deputies who are not eligible for a parliamentary pension will not be voting in favor of early elections, the report adds that the AKP administration considered implementing the by-election formula, but decided against it because of the views expressed by Sabih Kanadoglu, the honorary chairman of the Supreme Court of Appeals, who maintains that Prime Minister Erdogan cannot participate in the by-elections as an independent candidate. An AKP official explained to Vatan the "Gul formula" which the party considers to be the last alternative: "Let us suppose that the National Assembly failed to adopt a decision to hold early elections. The Constitution stipulates what should be done in the event a government cannot be formed under the existing Turkish Grand National Assembly arithmetic. If a government cannot be established within 45 days, then the president will declare elections."

    Speculating on who Erdogan's successor will be in an article in Sabah, Nazli Ilicak comes up with Mehmet Ali Sahin or Kadir Topbas, who are close friends of Erdogan. Ruling out the possibility of President Gul stepping down from the presidency to become the leader of the new party, Ilicak argues that there is no reason for Gul to make such a move for a position that is closed to the prime ministerial post since Erdogan, who will be elected as an independent candidate, and not the leader of the new party will become the prime minister in the event of early elections.

    b) Army's Action Plan

    Interpreting the statement issued by the Chief of Staff regarding the action plan as an admittance of its existence but a denial of its endorsement in a column in Milliyet, Semih Idiz writes: "Today the fundamental institutions of our Republic are clashing with elements outside the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Within this framework, detailed social projects that clash with democracy are also being generated with the Turkish Armed Forces, (TSK). There is no 'supervisory mechanism' that will put a stop to this." Given the lack of such mechanisms, Idiz stresses the vital importance of "a courageous media that will watch out for democracy and the freedoms." Idiz argues that the last two elections have shown us that such plans similar to the army action plan adversely affect the public, adding: "No one should be surprised if, in the event the AKP is closed down, the first general elections to be held in its aftermath will yield similar results, naturally, if the democratic system is allowed to function." Considering the possibility that those who claim that "democracy is too much for this ignorant people" are victorious, Idiz asks: "What do they have to offer Turkey? Is it a 'democracy of the elite'? Or is it a semi-military order of oppression in the style of the Baath regime?"

    Saluting Taraf for its journalistic accomplishment in an article in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli describes the reaction of the military to the Taraf story as ambiguous and questions whether it was a "veiled confirmation." Calling on the Chief of the General Staff to provide a clear answer to the issue, the writer then focuses on the security aspect and the dangers such leaks entail. Bemoaning the "severe security deficiency" at the office of General Staff, Kanli calls on the people involved in national security to concentrate on their duties before teaching journalists what to report.

    In an article entitled "The criminal language used in the Military report", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay questions the reliability of the General Staff's denial of the military "action plan" disclosed by the Taraf daily, asserting that the top command of the Turkish army is not supposed to officially recognize the presence of a military document which describes "almost 80 percent of the people as an enemy" and "lists fighting strategies" against the incumbent government. Aktay also claims that the "action plan" suggests that certain groups within the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, are "routinely" discussing staging a coup and that they regard it is their natural right to "usurp" political power from the elected representatives of the nation.

    In an article entitled "Guardian mindset continues", Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin comments on statements by Republican People's Party, CHP, officials indicating that the General Staff's "embarrassed denial" of the "action plan" attributed to the TSK by the Taraf daily has failed to satisfy "even" the CHP. Bumin also highlights journalist Ahmet Altan's remarks "defying" the General Staff to prove its "implied" claim that the Taraf daily is being financed by the Fethullah Gulen group. He asserts that Altan's "unprecedented challenge" to the TSK could trigger an increase in the circulation of Taraf.

    Under the headline, "Orders by the Western study group were also unsigned," Vakit runs a front-page report which highlights remarks by Retired Brigadier General Adnan Tanriverdi saying in response to the General Staff statement referring to the recently disclosed military action plan as an unsigned and unauthorized document that similar documents were drawn up by the Western Study Group during the 28 February process. The report further quotes Tanriverdi as saying that some of the remarks in the General Staff's statement of denial amount to a tacit confirmation of the said plan.

    In an article entitled "This ban will backfire", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak criticizes a military court for banning the broadcast of all documents and digital data concerning the PKK's activities in northern Iraq and the operations conducted against the terrorist group in the region other than information already being provided to the news media by the General Staff. Dilipak finds it "noteworthy" that the TSK should have made such a decision in the wake of the disclosure of a controversial military action plan by the Taraf daily. He refers to the military court ruling as a "cheap" maneuver that will serve only to arouse public curiosity about certain "secrets" that the TSK is "trying to hide." He also claims that attempts to impose such media blackouts are bound to fail in the age of the Internet.

    In a commentary entitled "When will true democracy come?", Umit Kardas argues that it is no longer possible to describe the regime in Turkey as a democracy in the wake of the Taraf daily's revelation of the "horrifying" action plan prepared by the military. He claims that Parliament will be considered to have effectively dissolved itself unless it launches an investigation into the document disclosed by Taraf. He also calls for an amendment to Articles 2 and 35 of the Internal Service Law, which are "used as an excuse for all military coups, memorandums, and statements."

    In an article entitled "Now Democrats raising their voices", Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bulent Kenes hails the protest march in Istanbul against coup attempts as "a very bright signal flare ... show[ing] that any sort of army-oriented, anti-democratic intervention ... will no longer go unanswered."

    In an article entitled "Understanding the roots of militarism in Turkey", Today's Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that the military's "operation plan" disclosed by Taraf has made it obvious that the General Staff is "deeply engaged in activities to manipulate Turkish politics and social groups." He also advises "observers of Turkish politics at home and abroad" to base any Turkey analysis henceforth on the Taraf report dated 20 June, 2008.

    c) Mesut Yilmaz Establishing New Party

    Mesut Yilmaz, independent deputy from Rize and former prime minister, has said that an agreement has been reached regarding the establishment of a political party based on the Japanese model, adding that the details will be announced to the public in September. According to a report by Muammer Kacar in Milliyet, Yilmaz explained the Japanese model as follows: "In other words, there will be different groups within the party. These groups will have representatives. These leaders will sit down at the party central administration and will form a new structure based on conciliation. This party will not be dependent on the power of its changing leaders. We have analyzed the Japanese model and we are conducting negotiations with the figures that can enable the establishment of such a model in Turkey. We have reached certain agreements."

    EG/


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