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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-07-29
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 143/08 29.07.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Ercakica: Talat will not remove Turkeys guaranteeIllegal Bayrak television (28.07.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said that the Greek Cypriot side would not get a positive response from President Mehmet Ali Talat if it wanted to remove Turkeys guarantee to gain absolute sovereignty over the whole island.
The spokesperson said `if this is a precondition, there will be no agreement`.
Responding to BRTs questions on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue, Mr Ercakica said that the UN Special Envoy for Cyprus Alexander Downer would be trying to learn the details of the Cyprus problem during his contacts on the island.
The Spokesperson stated that Turkeys guarantee over the island had prevented bloodshed in Cyprus when he was asked to comment on statements by the Greek Cypriot Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou and the President of the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives Marios Karoyan.
Earlier, Stefanou said that the negotiations process would reveal which sides thesis is in support of a solution and which sides isnt and Karoyan said that they would not accept a solution which would provide Turkey with guarantorship rights over the island.
`The Greek Cypriot side will not get a positive response from President Mehmet Ali Talat if it sees Turkeys guarantee as an obstacle in the way of getting absolute sovereignty over the whole island and wants to remove it`, he said.
Mr Ercakica pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side had long ago proved its willingness towards bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework of the UN Parameters.
`We dont have to prove our willingness for a solution everyday, but if we are asked, we are ready to do so`, he said.
Stressing that the aim of the Turkish Cypriot side is to reach an agreement acceptable for both sides, he underlined the importance of putting any possible solution to be found to separate simultaneous referenda on both sides of the island.
 Reactions continue as regards the launching of negotiationsThe Turkish Cypriot press continues today (29.07.08) to report on various reactions regarding the launching of negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Kibris reports that the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Soyer evaluated the launching of negotiations on the 3rd of September and noted: We want a solution with international identity. Mr Soyer made these statements speaking at a Television program yesterday.
Mr Soyer, who reminded that the talks which will start on the 3rd of September will take place under the UN umbrella in order for a comprehensive solution to be reached, stated: The point reached today is the point we wanted. The Turkish Cypriot people want solution, a solution with international identity. Mr Soyer added that in order for the Turkish Cypriots to take their place in the EU as an equal people to the Greek Cypriots, a solution must be reached which will be accepted by the international community.
Mr Soyer also referred to the economic problems faced by the occupation regime and said that there was an important economic growth after the year 2003, however, now there are some problems in the economy of the occupation regime because of the increase in the price of oil and the drought. He also accused the parties of the opposition of exploiting the crisis in economy for political reasons and said that nobody says that the Gross National Product has been increased from 975 million to 3.5 billion dollars.
Kibris writes that Irsen Kucuk, self-styled MP of the National Unity Party (UBP) stated that the party is pleased for the launching of negotiations; however, it has some worries over the issue.
Mr Kucuk stated, inter alia, that as UBP they consider extremely important the Turkish Cypriots to express themselves for one more time in a referendum. Mr Kucuk added that his party wants to be clarified what is going to happen in case some or even both sides in Cyprus say no to a referendum. Mr Kucuk also called on the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat to remain true to his oath and to the statements he made on the 20th of July at the celebrations for the Turkish invasion in Cyprus.
Under the title The referendums will be used for the no, Afrika reports in its first page that some circles try to show that the Turkish Cypriots are against the conducting of referendums because their aim is not the solution but to protect the current status quo.
According to the paper, the condition of holding a referendum was put at the table after a demand of the Turkish Cypriot side and the aim was to have a no coming out of the ballot box of the Turkish Cypriot side, since the Greek Cypriots will most probably say yes to a referendum this time.
The paper writes that the Afrika family renounces voluntarily their voting right at the referendum and they say from now yes to any settlement to be agreed between Christofias and Talat. The paper calls on the whole people in occupied Cyprus to do the same so as not to fall in to the referendum trap.
Kibris writes that the chairman of the KAMU IS Trade Union, Ahmet Caluda, stated that KAMU IS supports the efforts of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and President Demetris Christofias towards finding a solution of the Cyprus problem.
Kibris writes that the Cyprus Chamber of Industry (KTSO) welcomes the launching of negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus.
 Talat thanked the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus for providing security to the Turkish CypriotsUnder the title Our security is 32 years old Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (29.07.08) reports in its first page that the anniversary of the 32nd establishment of the Security Forces Commandership (SFC) [Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus] was celebrated in occupied Cyprus with various visits and activities. In the framework of the celebrations the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat received officers of the SFC.
Mr Talat was visited yesterday by SFCs Commander, Major General Mehmet Eroz who was escorted by high ranking commanders. General Eroz stated during the meeting that activities will be organized on the 1st of August for the 32nd establishment of Security Forces Commandership, the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT and for the 437th anniversary of the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans. General Eroz also said that the SFC have a mission and do everything possible to provide prosperity and security for the Turkish Cypriot people since its establishment. He also said that the SFC is continuing its mission in line with the principles and revolutions of Ataturk. Mehmet Eroz also thanked the Turkish Cypriot people for their trust and contributions to the Security Forces.
On his part, Mr Talat thanked General Eroz and the SFC on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot people for being aware of their responsibilities and for providing security to them. Mr Talat, who noted that the 1st of August is very important day, stated, inter alia, that the 437th anniversary of the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans officially registered the existence of the Turkish Cypriots in the island.
In addition Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (29.07.08) reports on the same issue under the title Talat thanked the Security Forces Commandership and writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader thanked the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus for all their efforts to safeguard the security of the Turkish Cypriot people. Mr Talat also stated that the struggle for the existence of the Turkish Cypriots was carried out until 1974 by the TMT Organization.
In addition, illegal Bayrak television (28.07.08) broadcast that General Eroz also visited the self-styled speaker of the assembly Fatma Ekenoglu and self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer.
Speaking during the meeting, Mrs Ekenoglu stated that the Security Forces is the main element that provides security to the Turkish Cypriot People. `We sleep at our homes in comfort and live in peace thanks to the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces`, she said. She also expressed the belief that the SFC will make important contributions to the establishment of a comprehensive solution in Cyprus.
On his part Mr Soyer stated that the SFC will continue to provide security to the Turkish Cypriot People. He also stated that SFC is an important unit which has been continuing its mission in line with the principle of the rule of law.
 Many persons who are members of the Ergenekon organization were made TRNC citizensTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (29.07.08) reports in its first page that many persons who are members of the Ergenekon organization were made TRNC citizens. According to Ortam the chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, Sinan Aygun and the chairman of the Turkish Human Rights Foundation, Akin Birdal, who are accused of organizing assassinations in the framework of Ergenekon and Semih Tufan Gulaltay, who was sentenced to jail for 19 years, are among the persons who are members of the organization and gained the TRNC citizenship.
The paper, invoking reliable sources, writes that some persons in Turkey who appeared to be related with Ergenekon and some other persons who are involved in important events which took place in Turkey, were made TRNC citizens and adds that the list of these persons is in the hands of the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Ozkan Murat who is hiding it like a secret.
Ortam calls on the occupation regime to announce the names of those who are members of the organization and became TRNC citizens.
 France stops giving visas to TRNC passport holdersUnder the title Strange Veto after 13 years, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (29.07.08) reports that France, which was giving visa to TRNC passport holders for years, through the French Culture association in the TRNC, changed its mind with a sudden decision. The paper writes that France, which takes pains to establish good relations with south Cyprus (as the paper refers to the Republic of Cyprus) and organize with it common military activities, does not give visas to the passports of the TRNC anymore and of the Republic of Turkey which were issued by the Turkish embassy in occupied Lefkosia. The paper, which writes that France supports openly the Republic of Cyprus in the solution of the Cyprus problem, writes that the decision was taken in April but was not implemented until last month. The paper accuses France of closing the doors to the Turkish Cypriots with this action.
Star Kibris goes on and writes that France did not stop on this but decided not to give visas also to passports of the Republic of Turkey which were issued by the illegal Turkish embassy in occupied Lefkosia supporting that the reason for this is the non-recognition of the TRNC. The paper writes that the French government which acted with the logic that The documents which are given by an embassy which is in a country which is not recognized cannot be accepted, is persuading the Turkish Cypriots to take the passports of the Republic of Cyprus.
 The electricity production at the Electricity Power Plant in occupied Trapeza village is increased up to 35 megawattsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.07.08) writes that the electricity production at the Electricity Power Plant in occupied Trapeza village is increased up to 35 megawatts. Today a 17.5 megawatts power transformer is arriving in occupied Cyprus at the occupied Famagusta port. In the ceremony the self-styled minister of economy, Ahmet Uzun, will be present. The second transformer will arrive in occupied Cyprus by the end of September.
 A delegation of German members of municipalities will arrive in occupied Cyprus from the illegal Ercan airport, as quests of the Kioneli municipalityTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.07.08) reports that a delegation consisting of German members of municipalities will arrive tonight at 22.20 in occupied Cyprus from the illegal Ercan (Tymvou) airport, as quests of the self-styled Kioneli municipality. The visit of the German delegation is a result of the efforts of the Foreign Relations Desk of Kioneli. The German delegation will sign a protocol of cooperation with the Kioneli municipality.
Following are the Germans who are expected to arrive to occupied Cyprus through the illegal airport this evening: Hans Peter Schick, Mayor of the Weilburg, Bernd Schonfelf, member of the CDU, Hermann Hepp, Mayor of Villmar, Mustafa Yuce, member of the Weilburg municipality assembly, and Diana Hashani, a lawyer in international and European law. According to KIBRIS the German delegation will hold meetings with state and government officials on Wednesday.
 Members of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation to attend a meeting with the FIFA committee in SwitzerlandTurkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (29.07.08) reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation in occupied Cyprus, Omar Adal, the deputy-chairmen of the Turkish Football Federation, Mahmut Ozgener and Lutfi Aribogan and the UEFA Vice-president and FIFA Board member, Senez Erkiz came together yesterday in Istanbul.
During the meeting, the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot Football Federations agreed to foster their relations, while discussions were held on giving further support to the training for sports referees and sports trainers. According to Kibris, Turkish Football Federation officials might visit occupied Cyprus after the end of September, following an invitation addressed to them by the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation representatives.
Further, the paper writes that the representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation will depart from Istanbul today in order to attend a meeting with the FIFA committee in Switzerland on the 31st of July.
 Patient in occupied Cyprus might be dead because of Mad Cow diseaseIllegal Bayrak television (28.07.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Minister of Health Esref Vaiz has said that an autopsy has been performed on a patient who was suspected to have `Mad Cow Disease `.
The 54 year old woman - Alime Mustafa died yesterday at the Doctor Burhan Nalbantoglu State Hospital.
The Minister said that the results of the autopsy would be made public once received.
He explained that Alime Mustafa was taken to hospital with suspicion of having a kind of brain disease which could not be detected and that tests were carried out to determine the exact cause of her illness.
Another comment on the issue was made by the Doctor Burhan Nalbantoglu Hospital Chief Doctor Rifat Siber who said that the diagnosis of brain diseases could be made by examination of the brain and that the final diagnosis will be made once the results of the autopsy are learned.
 AKP closure case hearing continues for the second dayAnkara Anatolia news agency (29.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:
The Constitutional Court, Turkey's highest judicial body, has begun the second-day deliberations on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.
The eleven-member delegation of the court convened at 9:30 a.m. Turkish local time. During yesterday's 12-hour deliberations, the court rejected a request for recusation of four of its members on the ground of "non-jurisdiction of applier". Osman Can, rapporteur of the case, also attends the deliberations to response to questions of the court delegation.
Chief prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya asked the Constitutional Court in March to outlaw Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and ban him from politics for five years together with 70 other party members.
Under the Constitution, qualified majority of votes is required to disband a political party. Accordingly, at least 7 out of 11 members of the court need to vote in favour of the closure of the party. The court can also rule to deprive the AK Party of financial assistance of the Treasury instead of its dissolution.
Security forces have taken tight security measures inside and around the court building.
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.08) reported the following from Brussels:
The European Commission (EC) will look into not only the verdict of the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, but also its reason.
Amadeu Altafaj Tardio, the spokesman of the Commission, said on Monday that the Commission should see both the verdict and the reason of the closure case.It was not a right thing to comment on the possible impact of the case on Turkey-European Union (EU) full membership negotiations before the case was concluded, Tardio told his regular daily press briefing.
Tardio said that every one had to respect the court, but highlighted the importance of the principle of separation of powers.
Turkey's top court began earlier on Monday deliberating the closure case against the AK Party. The court will meet every day until they decide whether or not to shut down the party.
Chief prosecutor Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya asked the Constitutional Court in March to close Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party and ban him and 70 other party members from politics for five years.
Under the Constitution, qualified majority of votes is required to disband a political party. Accordingly, at least 7 out of 11 members of the court need to vote in favour of the closure of the party. The court can also rule to deprive the AK Party of financial assistance of the Treasury instead of its dissolution.
 Turkish Foreign Minister to attend Non-Aligned Conference in IranAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will leave for Iran on Tuesday to attend the 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Foreign Ministry stated on Monday that Babacan would hold meetings regarding Turkey's candidacy for non-permanent membership to UN Security Council within the scope of the Conference which would take place in Tehran.Babacan will also hold bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of several members of Non-Aligned Movement as well as Iranian officials.
Turkey attends meetings of the Non-Aligned Movement under guest country status.
Further, Ankara Anatolia news agency reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has left for Iran to attend the 15th Ministerial Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement.
Babacan told reporters at Ankara's airport prior to his departure that preparatory works were under way for Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad's visit to Turkey. He said that date and itinerary of the visit would be announced by Turkey and Iran later.
The Non-Aligned Movement is an international organization of states considering themselves not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc. It was founded in April 1955; as of 2007, it has 118 members. The purpose of the organization as stated in the Havana Declaration of 1979 is to ensure the national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and security of non-aligned countries.
 Russian Lukoil acquired the Akpet Turkish oil companyAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.07.08) reported the following from Istanbul:
Russia's second largest oil producer Lukoil said Monday it signed a deal with Turkish fuel distribution company Akpet to acquire the company for more than 500 million USD.
Lukoil would buy 100 percent shares of Akpet under the deal signed in Istanbul.
Lukoil's president Vagit Alekperov said that financial figures of the transaction were confidential business information. However, he said it was a little bit over 500 million USD.
Akpet is the 6th largest company in terms of market size, 2nd biggest company in terms of number of stations and 3rd largest with its storage capacity of 280.000 cubic meters among 43 companies which have distribution licences.
 Turkish Defence Minister welcomes his South Korean counterpart in AnkaraTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (29.07.08) reports the following:
Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul yesterday hosted his South Korean counterpart, Lee Sang-Hee, in Ankara.
Introducing Lee as the former chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gonul welcomed the minister at a military ceremony held at the ministry and announced the signing ceremony to be held on Tuesday for a national tank project to be jointly conducted by Turkey and South Korea. Recalling the previous collaboration between the two countries on howitzers, CASA plane simulators and training planes, Gonul said South Korea is an important country for Turkey in technology sharing. He also stated that as part of the tank project, Turkish contractor Otokar will receive technological backup from South Korea and that many new railway projects are simultaneously being carried out. Saying the countries alliance goes back to the Korean War, Lee stated that Turkeys assistance during the war helped Korea reach its current economic level. He also noted that cooperation between the two countries can be expanded to new areas such as the maritime industry and the manufacture of heavy duty munitions supply vehicles. Gonul pointed to the similarity between the geopolitical positions of the two countries. Both South Korea and Turkey are surrounded by seas on three sides, and like Turkey, South Korea also faces external threats. As a result, the two countries have big plans to develop in the field of defence.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Hurriyet daily assesses the issues of a single sovereignty and a single international identity in Cyprus and specifies the only difference between Talat and DenktashTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (29.07.08) carries an analysis by Ilter Turkmen entitled Is Cyprus lost?, discussing the latest meeting between President Demetris Christofias with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. He points out that the two leaders are discussing on the issues of a single sovereignty and a single international identity at the time when all the federations, such as the USA, Germany and Belgium, from their establishment, carry these elements.
Mr Turkmen yet wonders in what way the sovereignty problems will be shared, in what way an equilibrium will be established in the level of a federal state and which powers will be left to the two regions. The purpose of the meetings between President Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, therefore, is for giving an answer to these questions. However, nobody should be surprised if the negotiations are tough and last long, since President Christofias vision is in a long distance with the vision of Mr. Talat, the columnist notes.
At the same time, Ilter Turkmen quotes a reference of the vice-president of the Turkish Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Sukru Elekdag, while addressing the Turkish Assembly on the issue of a single sovereignty and single citizenship in Cyprus. According to Sukru Elekdag, the ethnic identity of the minority will be destroyed by annexing the Turkish Cypriots under the Greek Cypriot rule. Elekdag is one of the best conversants of the aspects of the Cyprus problem, notes Turkmen to add that if we look at the issue from the CHP perspective, we will see that CHP not only is against the EU course, but also is in favour of the continuation of the non-solution to the Cyprus problem.
Yet, Talat is as sensitive as Denktash was on the issue of the rights of Turks and Turkish Cypriots, writes Mr. Turkmen and concludes: There is only one difference between Talat and Denktash. Until the end, Denktash was a non-solution supporter. Talat on the other hand, might be a supporter of a solution. Exactly like the Turkish government.
 Columnist in Todays Zaman on an invitation to Gul to visit Armenia and on how some circles in Turkey exploit the Cyprus and Armenian issuesTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (29.07.08) publishes the following commentary by Gokhan Bacik:
President Abdullah Gul should go and watch the soccer game in Yerevan-Armenia. This visit will serve as a historic threshold in Turkish-Armenian relations thanks to the symbolic meanings that it will inherently have and generate in later stages.
What needs to be remembered is this: If the countries are unable to get together even for a soccer game, it means that the meaning of not only politics but also life itself has been eroded.
The Armenian administration's invitation extended to President Abdullah Gul to watch a soccer game between Armenia and Turkey to be played in Yerevan is an important opportunity in all respects. The invitation may initiate a process that will provide important opportunities for Turkey. President Gul will assume a historic responsibility by making a decision on whether to accept or reject the invitation. Gul's acceptance of the invitation to watch a soccer game in Yerevan will undoubtedly cause a historic breakthrough in relations between Turkey and Armenia.
First of all, heading to Yerevan to watch a soccer game is not something that can be criticized or at the very least attracts little criticism. Sports is the most innocent and uncontroversial issue when compared to other matters in bilateral relations. President Gul will not go to Yerevan to sign a strategic agreement or to pursue cooperation in the energy field. President Gul's visit has one specific, simple and functional goal: to watch a soccer game. Besides, is there anything more natural than for a president to watch a game being played by the national team? The president is the highest-level representative of the nation. It does not seem possible to think that a Turkish president should go to Yerevan for a reason that is as nearly as natural and undisputable as watching a soccer game. Therefore, the national soccer game has become a very important opportunity. The game offers the opportunity of getting together in a political platform to both parties.
Secondly, with this visit, Turkey will take the initiative on the global platform in regards to Turkish-Armenian relations. Turkey used to look as if it was an actor that took only the second steps and was unable to determine the process in a number of issues, including the Cyprus issue, a territorial conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey over the island. However, Turkish foreign policy has become a determinative actor recently in those issues. Turkey has become a country that is able to offer new alternatives and proposals which shake the status quo and fulfil these alternatives. This transformation has changed Turkey's policies towards Greece, Syria and the EU, making the country a truly regional power. This also applies to relations with Armenia. Turkey has gotten rid of its longstanding ineptness by which it used to defend itself all the time. President Gul's acceptance of the invitation to watch the soccer game in Yerevan will be a strong contribution to this process. In this way, Turkey will reinforce its image as a country that is eager to resolve its problems rather than generate problems. Turkey will be perceived in the world as an actor that is ready to confront with and resolve the problems.
Subtitle: Integration with international system imperative
Thirdly, Turkey's democratization is closely related to its integration with the international system. One of the tools which the circles uneasy with Turkey's democratization rely on is to keep the country isolated from the system. For the masses, which hold a rigid view inclusive of an anti-EU stance, opposition to foreign capital, strong emphasis on preservation of status quo in Cyprus, this isolation provides a fertile political environment. To create a Turkey disintegrated with the world is the biggest desire of the circles opposed to democracy. This will further generate an environment for that country where the mafia, gangs and crime organizations such as Ergenekon will be influential. Causing serious troubles through issues like Cyprus and Armenia and subsequently exploiting these issues to ensure Turkish people's disintegration with the world is the political goal of these circles. For this reason, the political elites seeking democratization have to deal with issues such as the Armenian question and Cyprus, issues which have turned Turkey into an insular nation. From this perspective, Turkey's attempt to normalize its relations with Armenia is vital for Turkey's internal transformation. The logic behind the murder of renowned Armenian intellectual by gangs that have different considerations in Turkey should be read well. From this perspective, President Gul's visit to Yerevan to watch a game will have a huge psychological impact on such groups.
Another important issue is the importance of this issue for the Armenians living in Turkey. There is a small Armenian population in Turkey, yet this small group is important in terms of our historical inheritance. No matter what, Armenians are part of our history. However, Armenians remained silent because they were intimidated by growing nationalism and sometimes had to leave Turkey, their home for centuries. In a country where a leader of a terror organization that kills even the babies is labelled as the "offspring of Armenians" in an attempt to insult him, they had to live as Armenians. Now, Turkey and its rulers have to remember this. The system called Turkey has to belong to Armenians on equal terms along with everybody else, including the president. If President Gul goes to Yerevan to watch the soccer game, he will make contribution to the lives of Armenians in Turkey who suffered a great deal in their daily lives. From this perspective, President Gul has to consider the daily concerns and expectations of the Armenians living in Turkey in addition to the big notions like international politics, strategy and national interest when making his decision.
President Gul has to go to Yerevan to watch the soccer game. This visit will be a historic turning point in Turkish-Armenian relations because of the symbolic meanings it inherently has and will subsequently generate.
 From the Turkish Press of 28 July 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 28 July 2008:
a) AKP Closure Case:
A report by Oya Armutcu of Hurriyet says that the ECHR accepted an appeal made by two Turkish citizens, Omer Ozgur Korkmaz and Ali Sezer, in an effort to prevent the closure of the AKP. The report quotes Korkmaz and Sezer's lawyer as saying that his pro-CHP clients have taken such an action because they are against the closure of political parties. According to the report, the lawyer went on to note that his clients are concerned that the court might make a ruling that conflicts with the requirements of a lawful state.
In his article entitled "Weird flirtation between Neocons and Neo-Nationalists," Milliyet's Semih Idiz draws attention to the similarities between the anti-AKP campaign being carried out by the Turkish neo-nationalists and the US neocons. Recalling some of the articles written by the neocons against the alleged Islamization of Turkey by the AKP and its anti-Israeli policies, Idiz asserts that the US necons are supporting the closure of the Turkish ruling party because they still hold the AKP responsible for the parliament's rejection of the 3 March bill allowing the use of Turkish territories by the US military forces during the Iraq War. Besides, he adds, they accuse the AKP of ignoring the US expectations in establishing its policies on Iran and Syria. Idiz goes on to note that the recent articles penned by the neocons show their conviction that "one of the most important obstacles to Washington's plans on Iran will be removed if the AKP is closed down quickly and pro-TSK neonationalist forces come to power in Turkey."
Milliyet carries an interview with Prof Ibrahim Kaboglu by Devrim Sevimay on the closure case against the AKP. Kaboglu asserts that the Constitutional Court might find an interim formula rather than decide to dismiss the case or close down the party. Stressing that the interim formula, which he describes as a "gray" formula, might be to deprive the AKP of the Treasury funding. He says: "The chief prosecutor's indictment has weak parts. However, it also carries parts that have to be taken seriously. Besides, an important development has taken place in favour of the AKP since the opening of the closure case: The Constitutional amendment that lifts the headscarf ban has been rejected based on the principle of secularity. That eliminated one of the arguments for the closure case. When we assess the matter as a whole, depriving the AKP of the Treasury funding becomes a significant legal option. That will also give the Constitutional Court the opportunity to achieve political peace through legal means. That will also be a move increasing the prestige of both the Court and Turkey."
According to a report entitled "Closure would lead to an early general election", most political analysts agree that if the Constitutional Court shuts down the AKP, Parliament will call an early general election to end political uncertainty. The report quotes Professor Dogu Ergil as saying that the closure of the AKP would provoke a political struggle to end "bureaucratic domination" in Turkey and cause the AKP to attempt a strong comeback by campaigning on a platform of establishing a new system where political parties could not be closed for "trivial" reasons.
b) Ergenekon Case:
In an article in Hurriyet, columnist Tufan Turenc claims that the indictment drawn up by three prosecutors will prevent the solution of the Ergenekon case, which has "created uneasiness in the most important state institutions and caused an earthquake in society." He strongly criticizes the prosecutors, who accused Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Ilhan Selcuk and former Istanbul University rector Prof Kemal Alemdaroglu of being the forces behind the preparations for a military coup in Turkey, he says: "I doubt that the judiciary will be able to finalize this trial with such an unserious indictment that lacks evidence and carries conflicting claims."
Writing in the same newspaper, Mehmet Yilmaz also points to the lengthy indictment, saying that it should have been reviewed and simplified by another prosecutor to enable the court to make a "fair and quick ruling" without being lost in details. In his article, Yilmaz says that "necessary steps should be taken to prevent the lawsuit from turning into a matter of political polemic." Commenting on the missing parts in the indictment, he asks why the government, which is said to be aware of the presence of the Ergenekon organization since 2003, failed to convey that information to the prosecutor's office at the time. He also asserts that the indictment mentions the purpose of the organization but fails to identify the group that planned to replace the civilian administration with a military regime.
Cumhuriyet carries an editorial on the controversial Ergenekon case. Describing the indictment as a baseless document trying to establish links between irrelevant incidents and individuals, the editorial says that the purpose of the indictment is to "scare the people and silence the opposition." It goes on to note that "the indictment aims to prepare the ground for a broader operation against the universities, the media, the military, and the state." The editorial views "the political Ergenekon case as a blow to the Turkish republic's judicial system."
Also front-paged is a report entitled "[Veli Kucuk:] Ocalan Went out of Control the Moment He Boarded the Plane," which quotes Tuncay Guney, an alleged "key" witness in the Ergenekon case, as having said in his 2001 statement to the police that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan sent word after he left Syria in 1998 that he wanted to turn himself in to Turkish authorities and that he [Guney] negotiated the terms of Ocalan's surrender on behalf of Retired Brigadier General Veli Kucuk, a leading suspect in the Ergenekon probe.
In an article entitled "The tentacles of the octopus", Yeni Safak columnist Tamer Korkmaz argues that it would not be possible to understand the meaning of the Ergenekon network without first realizing that "the deep entity that has engineered four military coups in this country is 'the Washington in Ankara.' Ergenekon is a network established by the Secret State, which answers to the United States and NATO, the forces that have governed Turkey behind the scenes in the past 62 years."
Under the headline, "Grave and frightening," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which asserts that the Ergenekon indictment contains information linking Ergenekon to the murders of journalist Ugur Mumcu and Associate Professor Necip Hablemitoglu and suggesting that the Ergenekon network includes currently serving military officials of all ranks and officials from both the National Intelligence Organization, MIT, and the intelligence department of the National Police Headquarters.