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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-07-03

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. 125/08 03.07.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reactions of the Turkish Cypriot parties and organisations to the meeting between the two leaders
  • [02] Turkekul Kurttekin: Turkey supports the establishment of a new partnership on the island and the two constituent states solution
  • [03] Measures to tackle economic difficulties in the occupied areas
  • [04] Statements by Babacan and Lavrov during their joint press conference
  • [05] Turkey's Land Forces Commander calls for unity and serenity
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] From the Turkish press of 02 July 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reactions of the Turkish Cypriot parties and organisations to the meeting between the two leaders

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (03.07.08) on reactions of the Turkish Cypriot political parties and various organisations about the meeting between the Cypriot leaders on the 1st of July:

    Under the title They are starting on the 1st of September, Kibris reports in its first page that it was learned that President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, came to an agreement to start comprehensive negotiations on the 1st of September, during their four and a half hours meeting on the 1st of July. However, they decided to announce this decision on their next meeting which will be held on the 25th of July.

    According to Kibris, which invokes political sources, it is expected that the two Cypriot leaders will announce that the launching of negotiations will be on the 1st of September. The announcement will take place in the presence of the former Australian Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, who will be appointed as the United Nations Special Representative for Cyprus and who is expected to arrive in the island by the end of July.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television broadcast the following statements by Soyer on the meeting:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Talat-Christofias meeting was not a fruitful one.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot Side of still playing for time in spite of the change in leadership, the Premier said like Mr Papadopoulos (former Greek Cypriot Leader), the current Greek Cypriot Administration will be responsible for the non-solution of the problem, if a date is not set for the start of full-fledged negotiations in September at the meeting to be held on the 25th of July.

    Pointing out that the next meeting between the two leaders is very important for the setting of a date for substantive talks, he said that during the meeting, either the start of full-fledged negotiations will be announced or everybody will contribute to the tensions created by those benefiting from the non-solution.

    He also said that the enmity in the Greek Cypriot Side towards federal principles and the principle of equality of two constituent states is very meaningful and complained of negative statements issued by the Greek Cypriot side before yesterdays meeting.

    Referring to Mr Christofias words that he worked with Mr Talat against occupation and that he should continue dialogue with him, he said that the statement dynamited the negotiations process.

    Playing with tensions by issuing such statements at a time when negotiations continue, means dynamiting the process. I condemn this attitude, he said.

    Furthermore, Sozcu newspaper reports on the same issue under the title Soyer: The talks were not fruitful.

    Under the title Various reactions!, Kibrisli reports in its first page that the Turkish Cypriot leader briefed yesterday the Turkish Cypriot political parties, which are represented in the assembly about his meeting with President Demetris Christofias.

    According to the paper the parties made statements after the information they received from Talat about the meeting, as follows:

    The General Chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ferdi Sabit Soyer stated: If Christofias really wants the solution of the Cyprus problem, he must abide by his signature and the agreement he signed on the 23rd of March. He also stated that the main aim is for negotiations to start in September.

    The chairman of the National Unity Party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu (UBP), stated: The agreement existing on the issues of one sovereignty and one citizenship are extremely serious mistakes and dangerous.

    The Chairman of the Democratic Party, Serdar Denktas, stated: The sovereignty belongs to the Turkish Cypriot people. The approach that the Cypriot people consist of two communities will never by accepted by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    The chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) Turgay Avci stated: In case there is a solution, naturally there will be one sovereignty in the international arena. However, this will be composed of two equal, sovereign states.

    The Chairman of the Social Democrat Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici, stated: Our priority is for the people to reach a solution. In order for this aim to become real, we are supporting the president. Mr Cakici said that the process must be speeded up and that a date must be set for the launching of negotiations during the meeting between the two leaders on the 25th of July.

    Kibris writes that Izzet Izcan, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stated that during the meeting between the two leaders in Cyprus the one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international identity of a federal bi-communal and bi-zonal Cyprus as they are mentioned in the decisions of the UN Security Council were confirmed and added that the negotiations must be started within this framework.

    Kibris writes that self-styled speaker of the assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu, stated that what is important as regards the issues of the one sovereignty and citizenship is the implementation of these concepts. Mrs Ekenoglu also called for the launching of comprehensive negotiations the sooner possible.

    Under the title The people rebelled, Volkan reports in its first page about various political parties and organizations who reacted against the acceptance on behalf of Talat of the one sovereignty, one citizenship, as follows:

    The TMT organization stated: No one has enough strength to sign any agreement which will eliminate the existence of our state. We are making our last warning: This agreement must be abandoned the sooner possible. If this does not happen, in order to claim the ownership of our state, we will resist together with our people.

    The Turkish Cypriot National Existence Council stated: The governments are temporary. The national causes, like Cyprus, are permanent. The basis of the national cause of the Turkish Cypriots is sovereignty. This people will not be surrendered by anyone. Our rights cannot be broken.

    The Turkish Cypriot National Existence Council also stated that during the meeting between Christofias and Talat the red lines of the Turkish Cypriots national cause were surpassed and added that if the process continues this way, the whole of Cyprus will be under the sovereignty of Greece and of the Greek Cypriots and the national cause will be lost.

    The Farmers Union: The TRNC state is under threat. This moment the threat is welded by the political ideology of those who administrate the state. Those who want to make the Turkish Cypriots a patch on the Greek Cypriots they just know very well that the peasants, who are the masters of this nation, will not remain silent before the events that took place.

    The Immigrants Association: The aim of the Greek Cypriot side is to become the owner of the whole of Cyprus and to make the Turkish Cypriots become a minority. The decision for the Cyprus issue will be made neither by Christofias nor by Talat but by the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The paper also writes that the Enlightened Womens Platform noted that they will not accept any agreement that abandons the existence of the state.

    (CS)

    [02] Turkekul Kurttekin: Turkey supports the establishment of a new partnership on the island and the two constituent states solution

    Illegal Bayrak television (02.07.08) broadcast the following:

    Annual gratitude events organized by various veteran societies have begun. The events started this morning with wreath laying ceremonies at the Ataturk Monument and at the Tomb of Doctor Fazil Kucuk the late leader of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    As part of the events, a delegation consisting of representatives from eight veteran societies visited the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia, Turkekul Kurttekin.Speaking during the visit, the Ambassador said that the Turkish Cypriot people is in support of a solution to be found with the establishment of a new partnership that will protect the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people and consist of two constituent states of equal status.

    This is a policy which was declared by the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and backed by Turkey, Mr Kurttekin said.

    The Turkish Cypriot people did not close its doors to the solution of the Cyprus problem when it declared the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, he said.

    The Ambassador added that the Turkish Cypriot people has also highlighted the maintenance of Turkeys position as a guarantor power in Cyprus in case of a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He noted that Turkey is in support of the Turkish Cypriot peoples efforts towards a solution.

    Speaking on behalf of the veteran societies, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Association Vural Turkmen pointed out that the 34th anniversary of the 20 July Peace and Freedom Day is to be celebrated this year and expressed their gratitude to Turkey for the moral and material support it has been providing to the Turkish Cypriot People for the last 34 years.Mr Turkmen also explained their concerns about the recent developments concerning the Cyprus issue to the Turkish Ambassador.

    [03] Measures to tackle economic difficulties in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (03.07.08) under the title, There is no more money from Turkey, reports on a joint press conference of the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the self-styled finance minister Ahmet Uzun, regarding the economic difficulties being faced and the planned measures to be taken in order to protect what was achieved so far. According to the paper, Mr Soyer stated that because they did not want to ask for money from Turkey, to increase the taxation or to lift the 13th salary, they will take more efficient measures. Mr Soyer stated that in order to be able to pay the salaries at the end of the year and the 13th salary, the Turkish Cypriots have to face up to themself and create a renaissance.

    On his part, Mr Uzun explained that because of the high costs of life the subsidies could not be paid and added that if they are to be paid, the money must be secured from other savings or from other sources. Mr Uzun said that in 2008 the Turkish Republic gave to the TRNC 600 million YTL (about 300 million Euros) and that now they are not able to give some 80-90 million YTL more. Mr Soyer added that Turkey said: I gave what I would give, I am not giving more.

    (EA)

    [04] Statements by Babacan and Lavrov during their joint press conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.07.08) reported from Ankara the following:

    The foreign minister of Turkey has indicated that their objective for Turkey-Russia relations was a multi-dimensional and intensified partnership.Ali Babacan met the Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, who is currently in Ankara on a state visit. Following the meeting, the two held a joint news conference.

    Both sides have the necessary will to further improve the mutual relations. Turkey and Russia have considerable affinities in their approaches regarding international and regional issues. Our objective for Turkey-Russia relations is a multi-dimensional and intensified partnership, Mr Babacan said.

    Upon a question about Turkey's mediation in Syria-Israel talks, Babacan told to the reporters that the third round of talks between Israel and Syria started in Istanbul yesterday and they will end tomorrow. Any tangible progress in the indirect talks, in which Turkey acts as a go-between, can lay the groundwork for direct negotiations. But talks are still at a very early stage. We believe that a progress would be made after the both parties began to display political will and resolution for a solution.

    Lavrov extended Russia's support to Turkey-mediated talks in which the parties are negotiating over the fate of the Golan Heights.

    Upon a question, Lavrov said that the U.S. plans for missile defense sites in Europe would also bring risk besides security. He said that there was no change in Russia's approach to the U.S. plan to set up a missile base in Poland and related radar in the Czech Republic.

    Lavrov thanked the Turkish government for erecting a monument in Gelibolu peninsula in northwestern Turkey out of respect to soldiers of Russian Tsar Nicolai II who fled from the Bolsheviks and took shelter in Turkey during the civil war in 1920 and 1921.

    He reiterated Russia's commitment to support the process regarding the Cyprus issue.

    Babacan referred to the economic relations between the two countries and added that trade volume between Turkey and Russia reached 28 billion USD in 2007 making Russia the second biggest trade partner of Turkey.Turkish companies' investments in Russia surpassed 6 billion USD while Russian companies' direct investments in Turkey amounted to 4 billion USD. Last year, more than 2.5 million Russian people visited Turkey, he said.

    Turkish Foreign Minister indicated that the two countries overcame the recent problem in Turkish exports of fruits and vegetables to Russia by signing a memorandum of understanding.

    Babacan also recalled that 2007 was celebrated as Russian Culture Year in Turkey while 2008 was declared as Turkish Culture Year in Russia.Meanwhile, Lavrov abided by the recently extended smoking ban in enclosed areas and smoked his cigarette outside the ministry building.

    Following his meeting with Babacan, Lavrov was received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

    [05] Turkey's Land Forces Commander calls for unity and serenity

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug said Wednesday that the topic of Ergenekon investigation did not come up during my meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on June 24th.

    Gen. Basbug's comments came after certain rumors in the Turkish media that his meeting with Erdogan on June 24th was connected to the Ergenekon investigation.

    I want to declare openly. The comments, implications and evaluations made on my meeting with Erdogan are not real. The topic of Ergenekon investigation did not come up at all during my meeting with Erdogan, Gen. Basbug said.

    Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Gen. Basbug said that we all witnessed certain individuals being taken into custody on Tuesday as part of a probe by a prosecutor in Istanbul.

    I watched with sorrow certain news reports on several TV channels on Tuesday evening and read certain news articles on Wednesday morning claiming a relationship between my meeting with Erdogan on June 24th and the Ergenekon investigation, Gen. Basbug said.

    I want to state clearly that such comments, implications and evaluations are not real. The topic of Ergenekon did not come up at my meeting with Erdogan on June 24th. It was impossible for the matter of Ergenekon to come up at my meeting with Erdogan. Comments, implications and evaluations made can only add up to a conspiracy theory, Gen. Basbug indicated.

    It would be beneficial to ask the creators of such a conspiracy theory this question: Do not such conspiracy theories serve the interests of those trying to hurt the unity and commandership of the Turkish Armed Forces? Gen. Basbug said.

    Displaying sensitivity for the unity of the Turkish Armed Forces is not only a duty of the members of the armed forces but also those of all people, Gen. Basbug said.

    As Turkey, we are going through tough days. We are obliged to be more responsible and cautious, Gen. Basbug said.

    General Basbug reminded that the media must display responsibility on relevant issues.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] From the Turkish press of 02 July 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items featuring prominently in the Turkish press of 02 July:

    a) On the detentions related to the Ergenekon investigation:

    A report entitled "Why was the order for detentions carried out after two days?" in Hurriyet says that public prosecutor Zekeriya Oz who is conducting an investigation into allegations that the outlawed organization called Ergenekon was carrying out subversive activities against the government gave the order for the detention of 21 suspects, including retired generals, journalists and businessmen on 29 June after holding a meeting with police chiefs on 28 June. Meanwhile, officials from the public prosecutor's office said that the suspects would be charged with being the leaders or members of Ergenekon which they described as a terrorist organization. The report also quotes Aykut Cengiz Engin, chief public prosecutor in Istanbul, as saying that he had neither issued any instruction nor received detailed information about the detentions.

    On the issue, a report entitled "Raid on Sener Eruygur's Office" in Taraf says that various documents about Ergenekon organization have been found in the office of retired General Sener Eruygur, former Chief of the Gendarmery Forces and the President of the Association for Kemalist Thought Association, at Fenerbahce Military Guest House during a police raid yesterday afternoon.

    In an editorial entitled "Are you aware of the danger?" Cumhuriyet says that the Ergenekon investigation which, it notes, has not been completed although it started more than one year ago, is used for slandering the government's critics. Pointing out that now Mustafa Balbay, chief of Cumhuriyet's Ankara bureau was detained following the detention of Ilhan Selcuk, its editor-in-chief, the editorial says: "Were they intended to silence our newspaper? Is everybody aware of the political message intended to be given by the detention of well-known people in pre-dawn raids? Are you aware of the danger?"

    Under the title "'Mustafa Kemal's Soldiers': One day in the Future..." Cumhuriyet columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek says that the detention of two retired generals might be intended to establish an organic relationship between the military and the Ergenekon probe in order to weaken the military's influence resulting from the laws. Arcayurek also says that nobody will be able to intimidate Cumhuriyet. He says: "You should have no doubt that those who resort to such methods today and attempt to plunge the country into the dark corridors of fascism will be eventually brought to account."

    In an article entitled "I feel distressed," Hurriyet columnist Tufan Turenc says that all people who were detained yesterday are well-known opponents of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which, he notes, gives some idea about the goal behind the detentions. Drawing parallels between the current situation in Turkey and the McCarthy period in the United States, Turenc says: "I feel distressed because we are now witnessing such a dark and shameful period in Turkey." Turenc also criticizes the public prosecutor conducting the investigation for exercising his powers in a manner conflicting with the law.

    Under the headline "Turanists in 1944, Communists in 1951, Neo-nationalists in 2008," Hurriyet columnist Yalcin Dogan describes the detention as the AKP's retribution against the closure case instituted against it. He says that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan probably informed Chief of the Ground Forces Ilker Basbug that two retired generals would be detained by the police in their recent meeting. Pointing out that two rallies against military coups were staged in Istanbul and Malatya last week although there was no indication of a planned coup, Dogan says: "The AKP is ferociously retaliating against the closure case and it does not hesitate to plunge the country into a very painful adventure."

    In an article entitled "Unprecedented in 48 Years," Milliyet columnist Guneri Civaoglu points out that the detention of Eruygur and retired General Hursit Tolon, former Commander of the First Army and the Aegean Army, has ended a de facto immunity enjoyed by retired generals and says that Erdogan might have asked General Basbug to give the green light for the detentions. Noting that the verbal statement made by Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya, chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, before the Constitutional Court in connection with the closure case against the AKP was overshadowed by the detentions which, he notes, created the impression in the world that there was a plot to stage a coup, Civaoglu says: "Could the detention of the two generals be intended to give the message that other generals may be detained after they are retired if the Constitutional Court hands down a ruling as a result of pressure put by the military?" He stresses that the findings of the investigation against Ergenekon must be made public as soon as possible in order to begin the judicial process based on facts.

    Under the title "'Greater' Ergenekon," Radikal columnist Ismet Berkan says that there are many indications showing that there is a direct connection between the leaders of the Ergenekon organization which, he asserts, was established in order to carry out an aborted plan named "Ayisigi" [Moonlight] designed to prepare the ground for a military coup. He comments: "It is, therefore, important to me that the Ergenekon detentions which were made yesterday and may probably be regarded as the 'last wave' will lead to the discovery of those who have masterminded Ayisigi. If a concrete relationship between those who have devised that plan and the armed members of the Ergenekon gang can be established, Turkey will probably be able to bring those who have attempted to stage a coup to justice for the first time in its history."

    In an article entitled "It was a bad day for Raskolnikovs with Epaulets and their supporters," Taraf columnist Yasemin Congar describes the detention of Eruygur and Tolon as the "beginning of the end in Raskolnikovs" within the Turkish Armed Forces. Expressing her belief that millions of Turkish people felt happy yesterday because retired generals who were allegedly involved in plans to stage a coup had been detained for the first time in Turkey's history, Congar says: "Prosecuting those who have committed a crime by being involved in plans called Ergenekon, Ayisigi, and Sarikiz [Blondie] will probably not lead to the dismissal of the closure case. It would also not be realistic to conclude that softening or limiting this operation will stop the judicial coup that has already started. But, it is certain that if it is shown to Raskolnikovs that their crimes will not go unpunished, new military coups would be prevented in this country."

    In an editorial entitled "The empire of fear," Turkish Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli argues that it is not possible to justify the detentions and arrests under Turkish laws and accuses the pro-government media of conducting a witch-hunt in the past one year.

    In an article entitled "Hail to the architects of New Ankara" Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak argues that all interventions in the democratic system in Turkey, "regardless of what official reasons are cited to justify them," promote the aims of those who want to ensure that Turkey remains a "servant" of the United States, adding that "neo-nationalists who clamor for a coup using an anti-American and anti-imperialist rhetoric are actually working for people like Michael Rubin." He goes on to claim that the latest detentions have confirmed the presence of public officials who are trying to obstruct the conspiracies of the said group and "cure Turkey of its chronic state-nation conflict."

    In an article entitled "The generals who have been touched and three dimensions of a historic development", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu hails the launch of legal proceedings yesterday against a number of retired generals and force commanders who "attempted a military takeover" as "a very valuable first" in the history of democracy indicating that coups, attempted coups, military memorandums, ultimatums, and threats will not go unpunished in this country.

    Under the title "This is a very big and critical showdown", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul asserts that yesterday's detentions in the ongoing Ergenekon investigation appear to be a "preemptive operation" against a neo-nationalist group that has been planning to stage a military coup outside of the chain of command. He claims that the operations seem to have been conducted with the approval of the General Staff in a way suggesting that the top command of the military wants to get rid of this group, too.

    In an article entitled "Cartel television channels operate like Ergenekon terrorist base", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya describes the detention of two retired army generals in an investigation against a "terrorist network" as an unprecedented development in Turkey that has the characteristics of a "revolution" and that promises "bright days" for Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Things become complicated", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the latest operation in the Ergenekon probe does not appear to have been launched at the exclusive discretion of either the Government or the judiciary and that such an operation could not be conducted in this country without the approval of certain groups within the military. He also claims that what is happening is an "internal score-settling" in which foreign elements are involved and whose results are unpredictable.

    Under the title "Calling putschists to account", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal comments on the significance of yesterday's detentions. He claims that Turkey has for the first time found an opportunity to "settle scores" with anti-democratic elements that are conspiring against the constitutional order, adding that the Ergenekon probe could enable Turkey to raise its democracy to international standards.

    In a "news analysis" entitled "Ergenekon turns into soccer match, say analysts" Today's Zaman writer Lale Sarirahimoglu looks at the latest developments in the Ergenekon probe in light of the views of former military prosecutor Umit Kardas and "a Western military analyst," who argue that the detentions appear to be part of a power struggle between the AKP and the Establishment rather than the sign of any real determination on the part of the political authority to bring the "deep state" to justice.

    In an article entitled "Strange days", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that yesterday's detentions could either be the result of a "mutual understanding" between the Government and the General Staff or suggest a "sheer escalation," adding that if the second theory is true, "retaliations ... through the judiciary" should be expected from the Establishment.

    Under the headline, "Fog of war in Ankara," Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which asserts that the latest detentions in the police investigation against the Ergenekon group have "dropped on Turkey like a bombshell."

    Under the title "Ergenekon operation set to enable Sinan Aygun to emerge as political leader", Bugun columnist Hakan Aygun asserts that Ankara Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sinan Aygun has become the most popular candidate for leader of a new center-right movement in the wake of his detention yesterday. He also claims that former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and former Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Sabih Kanadoglu could conceivably become the next detainees in the Ergenekon investigation.

    EG/


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