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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-07-31

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. 145/08 31.07.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Buyukanit said the Cyprus problem was in fact solved in 1974
  • [02] Soyer: 18 new chapters will be opened for harmonization talks with the European Union
  • [03] Turkeys Top Court decides on AKP closure case
  • [04] Statements of Erdogan after the Courts decision on the closure case
  • [05] Reaction to the Courts decision from EU, Turkeys political parties and Turkish military
  • [06] AKP received 45 million Turkish liras from Treasury in 2008
  • [07] Turkeys Supreme Military Board to appoint new chief of staff
  • [08] EBRD to approve Turkeys full membership
  • [09] Turkcell buys 80 percent share of Belarus BeST

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Buyukanit said the Cyprus problem was in fact solved in 1974

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's top general said on Wednesday that Turkey wanted a solution in Cyprus.

    Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the chief of General Staff of Turkey, said that Turkey wanted a fair and lasting solution in Cyprus.

    We should think how we can achieve a fair and lasting settlement, Buyukanit said during a reception hosted at an officers' club in Ankara on occasion of the Armed Forces Day of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    Buyukanit said that Turkish troops were in the island for the security of both Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    If the island is living in peace since 1974 (Cyprus Peace Operation), this is because of the Turkish Armed Forces, Buyukanit also said.

    Buyukanit also said that the Cyprus problem was in fact solved in 1974.

    In addition Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (31.07.08) reports about the celebrations that are taking place in occupied Cyprus for the 32nd establishment of the Security Forces Commandership (SFC) [Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus]. The celebrations are being organized also for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT and for the 437th anniversary of the conquest of Cyprus by the Ottomans.

    According to Kibris in the framework of the celebrations, which have started on the 28th of July and will continue until the 3rd of August, the TCG Yildiray (F 350) submarine of the Turkish navy will sail in the occupied Famagusta harbour and the public will be able to visit it. The Turkish submarine will remain in the occupied harbour between 1-2 of August.

    (CS)

    [02] Soyer: 18 new chapters will be opened for harmonization talks with the European Union

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.07.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that 18 new chapters will be opened for harmonization talks with the European Union.

    Speaking during a visit paid to him today, the Premier said that the talks being carried out on 12 chapters have reached to a point and that the opening of new chapters is on the agenda.

    Mr Soyer said that he would be announcing the details of the issue at a press conference tomorrow.

    He noted that the talks are not being held openly in line with the request of the European Union.

    The Premier said that the situation would change after the start of fully-fledged negotiations between the two sides.

    `If a federal administration is to be formed, and if the Turkish Cypriot side is to be one of the equal sides, we should prepare for EU membership and a solution openly`, he noted.

    [03] Turkeys Top Court decides on AKP closure case

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's top court called on Wednesday for new constitutional amendments. Hasim Kilic, the president of Turkey's Constitutional Court, called on politicians to reach a compromise and make several constitutional amendments to eliminate problems in political party closure cases.

    They should make these amendments rapidly, Kilic told reporters after he announced the decision of the court not to close the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party.

    Six members of the Constitutional Court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance, and one member voted for the rejection of the case.

    Kilic said he believed every one would exert necessary efforts to reduce political tension in Turkey from now on.

    This is the first time the Constitutional Court implemented the provision of the Article 69 of the Constitution that envisions depriving a political party of financial assistance. The provision was added to the Constitution in 2001. The provision says that the court can totally or partially deprive a political party of financial assistance in closure cases instead of banning the party from politics. The Constitutional Court started debating the closure case on Monday. It concluded the case after a 30-hour debate.

    [04] Statements of Erdogan after the Courts decision on the closure case

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's premier said on Wednesday that the decision of the top court ended uncertainties before Turkey.

    Turkey's Constitutional Court decided not to close ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. Six members of the court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance, and one member voted for the rejection of the case.

    "With its decision, the Constitutional Court has ended uncertainties before Turkey," Erdogan told reporters at the party headquarters in Ankara.

    Erdogan said that his party tried to turn the trial process into an opportunity to strengthen Turkey's constitutional order, parliamentary democracy based on separation of forces, and social peace.

    The Turkish prime minister said that the ruling party could not be expected to remain indifferent to a process that could harm political, social and economic stability and cause serious losses that were difficult to compensate, and that could deteriorate unity and solidarity.

    "The AK Party acted with this responsibility, and we are pleased that our nation has not been made to face heavy costs," Erdogan said.

    Erdogan said that the AK Party had never been the focal point of anti-secular acts, and also said that his party would go on preserving the fundamental principles of the Republic.

    Turkey's premier said on Wednesday that the decision of the top court regarding the ruling party saved Turkey from injustice.

    Turkey's Constitutional Court decided not to close ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. Six members of the court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance, and one member voted for the rejection of the case. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the decision of the court had saved not only AK Party but also Turkey from injustice.

    "Our democracy does not have to live with such a big shame," Erdogan told reporters at the party headquarters in Ankara.

    Erdogan said Turkey's political, social and economic stability would benefit from the decision, and also said that all segments and institutions of Turkey, particularly politicians, should undertake responsibilities to prevent recurrence of such a situation in Turkey.

    The Turkish premier reaffirmed his party's determination to act with this responsibility, and expressed his belief that Turkey's democracy and legal system would get out of this test stronger.

    Erdogan said that Turkey would go on walking on the path of modernization, set by Ataturk, and also defined that road as the road to European Union full membership. "Our priority is to strengthen social peace, and nobody should have doubts that we will continue to embrace every one whatever his/her political preference is," he also said.

    Erdogan said that there would be no return from that path.

    [05] Reactions to the Courts decision from EU, Turkeys political parties and Turkish military

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Brussels:

    The European commissioner for enlargement called on Turkey to go on with reforms on Wednesday.

    Commissioner Olli Rehn welcomed the decision of Turkey's top court regarding the ruling party, and asked Turkey to continue its reform process. Turkey's Constitutional Court decided not to close ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. Six members of the court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance, and one member voted for the rejection of the case. Releasing a statement, Rehn encouraged Turkey to go on with reforms that would modernize the country.

    Rehn also said that adjusting legal arrangements concerning political parties in Turkey to European standards was of vital importance.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Brussels:

    A European Union (EU) official said on Wednesday that he felt quite relieved upon Turkey's Constitutional Court's latest decision not to close down the country's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

    Releasing a written statement, Joost Lagendijk, the co-chairman of Turkey-EU Joint Parliament Committee, said that the court would have taken an anti-democratic decision incompatible with European values if it had approved the indictment and ruled to close down AK Party.

    Lagendijk also asked AK Party to take the right lessons from the court's verdict and to take action.

    He said Turkey should rapidly continue to carry out reforms that would lead the way to EU.

    Noting that such reforms should start with the preparation of a civilian and democratic constitution, Lagendijk said the current constitution's provisions allowing for the closure of political parties should be amended as soon as possible. Lagendijk also said that AK Party should act in a more sensitive way in response to the concerns and fears of those who had not voted in favour of the party in the elections.

    Turkey's highest court ruled Wednesday not to close AK Party.

    Hasim Kilic, president of Constitutional Court, said, "six members of the Constitutional Court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance of the Treasury instead of its dissolution. Accordingly, the AK party will be deprived of the financial assistance with an amount of half of the last assistance."

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's parliament speaker defined on Wednesday the decision of the top court on the ruling party as a relieving one.

    Turkey's Constitutional Court decided not to close ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party. Six members of the court voted for closure of the political party while four others voted for depriving the party of the financial assistance, and one member voted for the rejection of the case.

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan said that the decision of the Constitutional Court relieved every one. "This decision has raised Turkey's democratic bar," Toptan told reporters.

    Toptan said that politicians should assess the reason of the decision well, and take lessons.

    The parliament speaker also said that Turkey should adjust its laws and regulations regarding closure of political party to that of Venice criteria, European laws and practices, and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

    Moreover, "This is a decision of jurisdiction. Everybody should respect this decision," said Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) group acting chairman Oktay Vural regarding the decision of Constitutional Court not to ban ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

    Also, Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) chairman Erkan Mumcu said that deficiencies in Turkish democratization process should be eliminated not to experience such difficulties again. He said that judicial decisions should be respected. Democratic Society Party (DTP) chairman Ahmet Turk, who also assessed the decision of the court, said, "Constitutional Court gave an important test in the aspect of democracy." Turk said that he was pleased on behalf of democratic politics.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's main opposition leader said on Wednesday that the ruling party should undertake great responsibilities to save the country from a crisis. Deniz Baykal, the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), said that Turkey's top court determined that there was a crisis regarding a closure case against the ruling political party.

    "Therefore, AK Party should undertake great responsibilities to save the country from this crisis, and should make a self-criticism without hesitation," Baykal told reporters.

    Baykal also said, "Almost all members of the Constitutional Party (ten of 11 members) have determined that a political party became a focal point of anti-secular acts. This is a decision that will have important results for our political life, democratic regime and Constitution."

    The main opposition leader said that the AK Party should clearly show a convincing and confidence-building transformation.

    Baykal said that the Constitutional Court hoped that the ruling party could overcome the current crisis with decisions it would make, and also said that this was everybody's wish.

    The opposition leader once more reiterated that the AK Party should assume a new understanding, a new stance and put forth a new staff and new practices.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's top general reiterated on Wednesday the view of the General Staff regarding secularism.

    Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the chief of Turkey's General Staff, said that there had been no change in the view of the Turkish Armed Forces regarding secularism.

    "How can I comment on the decision of the top court, as a soldier, you cannot expect this from he," he told reporters.

    Buyukanit said that there was no change in the armed forces' view, position and stance on secularism, and there would be no change.

    The top general said that the Turkish Armed Forces was an institution that was following the principles of Ataturk's Republic and the Constitution, and there would be no change in this policy.

    [06] AKP received 45 million Turkish liras from Treasury in 2008

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's ruling party has received more than 45 million new Turkish liras (YTL) from the Treasury. (One USD is equal to 1.1930 YTL)

    Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party got 45.6 million YTL of Treasury assistance from the budget of 2008.

    The Constitutional Court decided on Wednesday to deprive the AK party of financial assistance with an amount of half of the last assistance, instead of shutting down the party.

    In accordance with regulations, the state has to pay the financial assistance to political parties within ten days after the budget enters into force.

    Three political parties had the right to get financial assistance according to the votes they gained in the general elections in 2007. They were AK Party, the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).

    [07] Turkeys Supreme Military Board to appoint new chief of staff

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Supreme Military Board, chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will convene on Friday to appoint new head of armed forces to replace retiring General Yasar Buyukanit.

    The meeting will also be attended by Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, as well as top Turkish commanders such as Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug, Naval Forces Commander Adm. Metin Atac, Air Forces Commander Gen. Aydogan Babaoglu and Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner. The annual regular board meeting discusses promotion of colonels, generals and admirals to a higher rank, extension of tour of duty of generals and admirals and their retirement procedures as well as dismissal of military personnel due to undisciplined and immoral acts.

    The board meeting will conclude on August 4th. Board decisions will be submitted to the approval of President Abdullah Gul.

    [08] EBRD to approve Turkeys full membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following:

    Turkey will become a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which is described as an important step on the way to EU full membership.

    New President of EBRD, Thomas Mirow, was reported to be favouring Turkey's full membership and would accept Turkey as full member through "majority of vote".

    EBRD will start to operate in Turkey next year following approval of full membership and thus Turkish private sector will have a new finance opportunity.

    EBRD, which is also known as the "World Bank of Europe" will halt investments and extending financial support to 8 former Eastern Bloc countries who became full members in 2004. Executives said the bank would later start to focus on Turkey.

    Within the framework of strategy of giving priority to Turkey, the bank will invite foreign entrepreneurs for investments in banking, tourism, SMSE's, media, infrastructure, energy, real-estate, health, information communication technologies, agriculture and food areas in Turkey.

    It was also reported that the bank would primarily support the project that would facilitate Turkey's accession to the EU.

    The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was established in 1991 when communism was crumbling in central and Eastern Europe and ex-soviet countries needed support to nurture a new private sector in a democratic environment. Today the EBRD uses the tools of investment to help build market economies and democracies in countries from central Europe to central Asia.

    The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. It is owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions. But despite its public sector shareholders, it invests mainly in private enterprises, usually together with commercial partners.

    It provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses, both new ventures and investments in existing companies. It also works with publicly owned companies, to support privatization, restructuring state-owned firms and improvement of municipal services. The Bank uses its close relationship with governments in the region to promote policies that will bolster the business environment.

    The mandate of the EBRD stipulates that it must only work in countries that are committed to democratic principles. Respect for the environment is part of the strong corporate governance attached to all EBRD investments.

    [09] Turkcell buys 80 percent share of Belarus BeST

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.07.08) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkey's mobile phone company Turkcell signed a contract to acquire 80 percent share of Belorussian Telecommunications Network (BeST). According to a statement sent by Turkcell Communications Services to Istanbul Stock Exchange on Wednesday, it has signed the contract within the scope of the company's efforts to evaluate investment potentials in surrounding countries.

    The statement said Turkcell would pay 500 million USD for the shares, and the payment would be made in three parts.

    Turkcell Director General Sureyya Ciliv said purchase of BeST shares was an opportunity for Turkcell to enter a market that had the potential to grow. BeST is ranked the third in Belorussian market where three GSM operators are operating.

    EG/


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