|Tuesday, 26 January 2021|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-06
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. 190/08 04-06.10.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 More statements by Talat on the negotiationsIllegal Bayrak television (05.10.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has reminded of the fact that he reached an agreement earlier with the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Demetris Christofias on the formation of a partnership state established by two equal constituent states in case of a solution in Cyprus.
He said this agreement stands on the table as signed.
Evaluating the Cyprus negotiations process to a Greek Cypriot newspaper, the President said the Republic of Cyprus governed by Greek Cypriots has violated the Turkish Cypriot rights and he made reference to the international isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot People in regard.
Reminding that between years 1963-1974 the goal was to take possession of the island as a whole when carrying out attacks against Turkish Cypriots, President Talat said it is impossible for him to send messages on the celebration of the establishment of the 1960 Republic of Cyprus.
The Greek Cypriot newspaper quoted the President as saying the current Republic of Cyprus must be abolished.
Talat also reminded that the European Union envisages the membership of Cyprus as a whole under the structure of a partnership state and stressed that there is no way of accepting the maintenance of the current Republic of Cyprus.
The newspaper referred to the joint statement of two leaders read out by the UN Special Representative to Cyprus- Taye Brook Zerihoun following the Talat-Christofias meeting on the 23rd May regarding the 21st March Agreement, and quoted the statement as the partnership will be established by a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot constituent state of equal status on the basis of a federal government which will have single international identity.
President Talat once again reminded that this agreement, as announced before, is standing on the table with its signatures.
 Details on the negotiations leaked to KibrisUnder the title It is going bad, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.10.08) provides information regarding the bargaining taking place between the two leaders at the negotiations which started for the solution of the Cyprus problem. According to the paper, from the 20 chapters discussed until now by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and President Demetris Christofias, only in seven chapters it was possible for an understanding to be reached.
Kibris writes that a total of 20 subjects were taken up under the title Governance and power sharing at the two meetings held on the 11 and 18 September. On seven of the chapters it was possible to come to an understanding, on eleven chapters it was not possible to come to an understanding and these chapters were postponed to be discussed in the future while on two chapters there is a definite disagreement.
The paper, invoking diplomatic sources, writes that the seven chapters on which it was possible to reach an understanding as regards the Governance and power sharing, are: Meteorology, citizenship including passport formalities, the asylum, extradition and sending the foreigners back to their countries, including aliens, terrorism, smuggling of drugs or narcotics, money laundering, struggle against organized crime, amnesty and general amnesty for crimes perpetrated to the founding states, appointment of federal officials including diplomatic officials, copyright, standards and measures and in addition to the above mentioned authorities, the government will apply its civil services, federal police independent institutions and officials at federal level, elections and referenda, crimes committed against federal justice system and federal proprietorship.
These are the eleven chapters which will be discussed further: Foreign relations including finalizing international agreements and defence policies, issues that will be under the founding states authority, European Union relations, central bank functions, rearrangement of the banking sector and its supervision federal financial issues, organization of financial sector and the control of it, aviation, posts, electronic communication, transportation and natural resources.
The two issues the two leaders did not agree upon are issues related by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 and antiquities.
 Mehmet Cakici stated that the Republic of Cyprus is under occupation by the Greek CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.10.08) reports that Mehmet Cakici, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) heading a delegation of his party, is currently in London having contacts. Speaking at a press conference Mr Cakici stated, inter alia, that a formula must be found so that Turkish Cypriots who live abroad are given the right to elect and be elected. Mr Cakici also stated that he had meetings with officials of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office where he conveyed TDPs views for the solution of the Cyprus problem. As he stated, he called on the British Foreign Office not to appoint a representative for Cyprus who will be prejudiced against the Turks and in favour of the Greek Cypriots.
Mr Cakici also stated that the Republic of Cyprus is under occupation by the Greek Cypriots. The state which is under the occupation of the Greek Cypriots is not legal. The Republic of Cyprus is under occupation. The Turkish Cypriots are the legal partner of the Republic which is under occupation, he stated.
Mr Cakici also stated that the TDP is a party that wants the solution of the Cyprus problem and stated that it wants a federal bi-zonal, bi-communal state with political equality.
 Yonluer stated that the negotiation process came to a deadlockTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.10.08) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, the chairman of the Politics for the People Party (HIS) stated that the negotiation process came to a deadlock; the two leaders are quarrelling at the negotiating table and they accuse each other using heavy expressions. The negotiation process came to a deadlock, this cannot be hidden, he stated.
Mr Yonluer further stated that the European Union is having a stick in its hand and waiting for Christofias and Talats neck and that the stick will fall in the head of the side that will run away from the negotiations. Therefore, no one dares to escape from the negotiation table, he stated.
 Is it a secret citizenship?Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (05.10.08) deals with the issue of the White Identity Card and wonders whether this card distributed by the breakaway regime to the workers from Turkey is a secret citizenship granted by the regime to these people.
The paper points out that during these days when efforts towards the solution of the Cyprus problem are exerted, the self-styled ministry of interior has distributed circulars to the governmental departments noting that the workers from Turkey who are holders of the above-mentioned identity card have all the rights of a citizen.
Arguing that the White Identity Cards were distributed with directive by the embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Nicosia, Ortam further notes that the fact that the workers from Turkey, who have work permit and are holders of white identity card, have been given all the rights except the right to vote, has been evaluated as secret citizenship.
 The Futsal team of the police of the breakaway regime is participating in an international tournament in the NetherlandsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.10.08) reports that the Futsal team of the police of the breakaway regime has departed from the island in order to participate in the 26th World Police Futsal Tournament, which will take place in the city of Eibergen in the Netherlands.
The paper reports that the preparations of the police have been carried out secretly for two months in order to prevent the obstacles which the Greek Cypriot would put.
According to the paper, 140 teams from 40 countries will participate in the tournament.
 Silence in the ministry of health for the mad cow diseaseUnder the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (06.10.08) reports in its front page for the mad cow disease and writes that a citizen in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus died two months ago with the suspicion that his death was due to the mad cow disease. But the so-called ministry of health has not yet made any announcement regarding the issue. The paper reports that the so-called ministry of health made an announcement that they can only diagnose if the citizen had the mad cow disease only after its death through biopsy. It is not understood why the so-called ministry of health has made any announcement yet, two months after the death of the citizen, the paper reports.
 Eurasia Group warns of instability and predicts no major breakthrough in CyprusTurkish Daily News (04.10.08) publishes the following:
Turkey may have been pulled back from political chaos by the July 30 ruling by the Constitutional Court not to ban the ruling party, but this may be only a temporary reprieve, the Eurasia Group said in its special October report for Turkey.
Much will depend on the ability of the Justice and Development Party [or AKP] to reassure the public about its commitment to secularism, and a cabinet reshuffle, said the group, adding that such a reshuffle should aim to introduce more liberals and a determined restart of the reform process.
As Turkey draws nearer to the March 29, 2009 municipal elections, the government may drift toward economic populism, the group also warned.
Eurasia Group's Global Political Risk Index ranked Turkey at number nine as of October with 64 points, trailing behind countries such as South Africa, China and Mexico. Poland tops the index with 77 points, followed by Hungary and South Korea. The higher the number, the more stable the country is perceived by the Eurasia Group. Turkey is followed by countries such as Argentina, Egypt, Algeria, Colombia and Russia.
The index noted that growing corruption allegations tarnish the AKP's image and support.
The Eurasia Group said, in its analysis of Turkey, that three areas should be watched: the talks on Cyprus, the new chief of staff and corruption allegations against the AKP. The group did not expect a major breakthrough in Cyprus talks, while it claimed General Ilker Basbug, the new chief of staff, was likely to prove a formidable opponent for the AKP during his term in office, which expires in 2010.
A string of corruption allegations against the ruling AKP may also affect its reputation in the run-up to the March 2009 local elections, the group said. Also, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's outbursts against the Dogan Media Group, or DMG, may backfire badly if the media increases its coverage of corruption cases involving AKP officials, the Eurasia Group noted.
 Todays Zaman: Membership on the UN Security Council would allow Turkey to participate in the decision-making mechanism on several critical issues including CyprusTodays Zaman (04.10.08) publishes the following:
The government is planning to promote Turkey's bid for a two-year seat on the UN Security Council in a high-level visit to New York just ahead of the vote later this month.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit New York together with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, who just returned from the United States earlier this week.
Diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman that Erdogan's schedule was not yet final but that the prime minister is eager for Turkey's election to the UN Security Council, a body where Turkey has not been represented for half a century, so he is likely to go as well. Babacan is scheduled to depart for New York next week for last-minute lobbying ahead of the vote, which begins on Oct. 17. If Erdogan decides to visit New York, he will depart after Babacan arrives. Babacan is scheduled to fly to New York on Oct. 12.
Erdogan and Babacan are expected to highlight Turkey's recent efforts to build peace in its region in talks with representatives of UN member countries. Turkey has been mediating between Syria and Israel and has been trying to rally support for a proposed Caucasus platform based on the idea of the peaceful resolution of disputes in the troubled region. Erdogan and Babacan are expected to underline once again the benefits of Turkish representation on the UN Security Council.
Turkey is a candidate for one of the non-permanent seats allocated to the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) at the 15-member United Nations Security Council for the term 2009-2010. Two other countries, Iceland and Austria, are also competing for one of the two seats allocated to the WEOG. Diplomatic sources say Ankara is closer than ever to achieving its goal of being elected to the Security Council. The amount of support pledged so far for Turkey's candidacy is far beyond the minimum number of votes required and most of the promises of support have been provided in written form -- but as the election will be held by secret ballot, no Turkish official seems to be taking this support for granted.
Ankara announced its candidacy in July 2003. It had previously held a non-permanent seat in 1951-1952 and 1954-1955. Most recently, it shared a non-permanent seat with Poland in 1961.
Ankara believes representation and a seat on the powerful body would give Turkey the chance to better express its stance on the division of Cyprus and Iraq. Turkey sent troops to Cyprus in 1974 following a coup by supporters of the island's annexation with Greece. The island has been effectively divided since then, with the Greek Cypriots holding the southern part of the island as internationally recognized Cyprus government and the Turkish Cypriots having their own state in the north of the island. The Turkish Cypriot state, however, is recognized by Turkey alone.
Membership on the UN Security Council would allow Turkey to participate in the decision-making mechanism on several critical issues, including Cyprus. Cypriot leaders Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetris Christofias have been holding direct talks in search of a lasting solution to the island's division; the UN currently has a hands-off stance toward the talks. In 2004, a UN plan to reunite the island collapsed because it was rejected by the Greek Cypriots in a vote, even as the Turkish Cypriots approved the plan in a simultaneous vote.
Membership on the council requires 128 votes, which amounts to two-thirds of countries member to the UN General Assembly. UN countries will be allowed to vote for two countries out of the three candidates during the vote. The vote will continue until two countries secure at least 128 votes.
The UN Security Council has five permanent and 10 non-permanent seats. The permanent members -- the United States, Russia, France, China and Britain -- have the right to veto any decision. The council requires a unanimous vote of the permanent five and votes from at least four non-permanent members to act on a certain matter.
 Statements by Olli Rehn on Turkeys EU courseAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.10.08) reported the following from Paris:
A European commissioner expressed thought on Friday that Turkey's European Union (EU) accession negotiations depended on the country itself.Olli Rehn, the European commissioner for enlargement, said that the rhythm and outcome of Turkey's EU full membership negotiations depended on Turkey.The rhythm and outcome of entry talks was closely related with Turkey's fulfilling required reforms, Rehn said in a conference in the French capital of Paris.In the conference, Rehn thanked France, holding the rotating presidency of the union, for its efforts to keep the regular momentum of full membership negotiations with Turkey.
Rehn referred to Turkey's strategic and diplomatic role, and said that Turkey, with an overwhelmingly Muslim population, democratic and secular model and diplomacy, was a significant actor in its region and an important element of stability.The commissioner referred to Turkey's role as a mediator in Israeli-Palestine and Israeli-Syrian disputes and Caucasus crisis, and its new policy towards Armenia.Rehn said those policies of Turkey reaffirmed its key role in the region and its relations with the EU.
The commissioner also said that Turkey was sending troops to peace operations of Europe, and contributing to EU's fight against terrorism, drug and human trafficking.
Turkey was actively contributing to security of EU citizens, he said.Rehn drew attention to Turkey's economic potential, and said Turkey was offering significant trade perspectives before companies in EU member states.The commissioner also said that Turkey had a key role in ensuring the security of energy routes towards the EU, and verifying those routes.Turkey became an EU candidate country in December 1999. The union launched accession talks with Turkey on October 3rd, 2005.
 Critical chapter in EU talks ready for openingUnder the above title Turkish Daily News (04.10.08) publishes the following report:
The European Union, or EU, has decided to open a new chapter on Information Society and Media in entry talks with Turkey by the end of this year.
Turkey lags behind the EU countries on the issues to be discussed under the information society and media chapter, which anticipates the adaptation of EU standards by the Turkish telecommunication sector.
The telecommunication sector will remain among the most challenging issues for Turkey under this chapter as the Electronic Communication Law, which will rearrange the sector, has not yet taken effect, despite work on the issue for over three years. Another chapter will also be opened before the end of 2008 on the Free Movement of Capital.
After the EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn announced Sept. 15 in Brussels that the chapters on free movement of capital and on the information society and media policy would be opened, the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union, or COREPER, agreed recently to start negotiations with Turkey on the information society chapter.
Issues that concern critical areas as freedom of expression and thought will be regulated under the chapter on information society and media. According to the telecommunication experts, harmonization efforts will be accelerated with the launch of negotiations. Passing a law on electronic communication, opening up local call networks to competition, scheduling the reduction of high taxes in telecommunications and taking precautions in the development of competition are among the necessary steps to be taken.
Subtitle: Turkey lags behind own targets
Turkey could not even attain the targets it set for itself in delivering services in the electronic environment, according to a report prepared by several state institutions including the State Planning Organization, or DPT. The report also said the lack of political commitment had played the major role in not timely realizing Turkey's goals to be an information society, while stressing that the legislation-generated problems also played a negative role in the situation. Only three out of 111 goals, which are targeted to be achieved by 2010, have been realized so far and work continues on 45 of them. Work is still at the beginning phase for 32 goals, while no steps have been taken for 20 of them.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan responded yesterday to questions on a possible replacement of Turkey's chief negotiator in the EU talks, Ali Babacan. Erdogan told reporters that the government was continuing work related to the EU process with determination.
When these things appear on the agenda, the necessary announcements will be made, Erdogan said. "Currently, we are carrying on with our studies regarding Turkey's EU process in a determined way together with our ministers, technocrats and bureaucrats."
 Turkey has become member of IAEA Board of GovernorsAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.10.08) reported the following from Vienna:The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) officially declared Turkey's membership to the board of governors on Friday.
In the 52nd session of the IAEA General Conference in the Austrian capital of Vienna, the agency chose Turkey as a new member of its board of governor.Spain, Malaysia, New Zealand, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Argentina, Cuba, Uruguay, Romania and Afghanistan were elected as the other ten new members of the board.
"Our membership is an important opportunity to become effective in the decisions the board will make," Turkey's ambassador Ahmet Ertay told reporters.Turkey will be a member of the IAEA Board of Governors for two years. The new board will have a regular meeting in Vienna on October 6th.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is an international organization that seeks to promote the peaceful use of nuclear energy and to inhibit its use for military purposes.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 03, 04 and 05 October 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 03, 04 and 05 October 2008.
In an article entitled "Knowing your assassin," in Milliyet (03.10.08) columnist Ece Temelkuran writes about recent anti-Kurdish protests in Altinova Township in Ayvalik, Balikesir and cautions that they could be an omen of assassinations and widespread ethnic strife in Turkey.
A report entitled "Altinova citizens call for prudence" in Milliyet (03.10.08) highlights comments made by some people in Altinova on the anti-Kurdish protests which left two people dead and six others injured. The report notes that a part of 2,000 people of Kurdish origin in the township which has a total population of 12,000 left the city temporarily after the riots while others do not leave their homes due to fears that they could be attacked by anti-Kurdish mobs.
In an article entitled "Kurdish issue deserves attention," in Milliyet (03.10.08) columnist Taha Akyol draws attention to mounting ethnic tension and emphasizes that making offensive remarks about Kurds or describing them as enemies would play into the hands of the PKK and separatists.
In an article entitled "Should we get anxious?" in Taraf (03.10.08) columnist Ahmet Altan criticizes Ahmet Turan Bulut, an MP from the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, for fuelling anti-Kurdish sentiments in Altinova after clashes between pro-MHP protesters and Kurds in the township. He also criticizes the government for not taking swift action to stop clashes and ignoring warning signs indicating that more serious incidents could occur.
In an article entitled "Is it really necessary to extend the authorization for military strikes?", in Zaman (03.10.08) columnist Ihsan Dagi argues that while the Turkish military's demand for the extension of the parliamentary authorization for cross-border strikes against the terrorist PKK is "understandable," the Erdogan government's "unquestioning" attitude in face of this demand deserves censure. After warning that politicians are accountable for decisions to endorse cross-border military action, Dagi claims that in a transparent society, the military is expected to publicly catalogue its reasons for demanding such authorization. He also asks sceptically whether the political authority has sufficiently examined what the military has achieved and failed to achieve in the past year of cross-border campaigns.
According to a front-page report in Todays Zaman (03.10.08) entitled "Opposition has reservations about Northern Iraq motion," the ruling AKP "may have difficulty extending its authorization to carry out cross-border military operations against the ... PKK in northern Iraq" because other parties in Parliament "appear to be sceptical about prolonging the authorization for another year."
In an article entitled "Doing more than winning elections?" in Today's Zaman (03.10.08) columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that the Kurds are unlikely to "abandon their minor hopes of cultural and administrative rights" and "turn their back [on] Iraq" after the AKP succeeds in "wip[ing] out" the Democratic Society Party, DTP, in the local elections in March by winning all municipalities in the southeast. He asks whether the AKP has a "formula for tackling the Kurdish problem." He also claims that "the Altinova incident, which left two people dead and several wounded when an angry Kurd drove his van into an equally agitated crowd, signals what sort of escalation can be expected if the economy (in particular) worsens."
In an editorial entitled "They must be brought to account," in Hurriyet (04.10.08) columnist Oktay Eksi points out that the PKK attack against Aktutun military post in Semdinli on Friday was the fifth attack carried out by the PKK and a total of 44 soldiers, including 15 casualties suffered in the last one were killed in those attacks. He comments: "One would conclude that it would be wrong even to think that all necessary precautions were not taken to ensure the security of that unit which frequently comes under attack in light of that information. But, what went wrong? We do not know how the 'operation' was carried out. But, could not we have responded by using around 1,350 soldiers if the PKK actually used around 350 armed terrorists in this attack?" Eksi concludes by saying that the military should launch an investigation into the incident and punish military officials who may be found negligent.
A report entitled "A strongly-worded note to Iraq, a warning to the United States" in Hurriyet (04.10.08) says that Turkey yesterday delivered a diplomatic note to Iraq in connection with the PKK attack and informed the US government that the Kurdish government in northern Iraq declines to take action against the PKK as part of the fight against terrorism despite Turkey's frequent warnings.
Hurriyet (04.10.08) carries various reports highlighting reactions of various political parties to the PKK attack. A report quotes Democratic Society Party leader Ahmet Turk as saying that fighting could never resolve problems, adding that they aim to settle the dispute through dialogue and compromise. According to another report, Republican People's Party leader Deniz Baykal called for displaying political and national solidarity against terrorism while Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Devlet Bahceli is quoted as saying that there is a need for a national mobilization against terrorism, adding that the MHP is ready to support measures to be taken by the government in order to launch an effective campaign against the PKK both at home and across its borders.
According to a report entitled "Lawyers convey information After Interrogations" in Hurriyet (04.10.08), officials from the Turkish General Staff, Gendarmerie General Command, and the Federal Police Department suggested in recent meetings held by the Anti-terrorism High Council that their powers in the field of anti-terrorism operations should be broadened. They stressed that it was not possible to maintain an effective campaign against terrorism under current laws which restrict their powers, adding that lawyers who are believed to have close ties with the PKK should be prevented from being present in interrogation of suspects because they convey information to PKK leaders.
In an article entitled "Intelligence and the border," in Hurriyet (04.10.08) columnist Enis Berberoglu says that the Turkish army might have suffered a higher casualty as a result of the PKK attack against Aktutun military post if reinforcements had not been sent to the area in addition to air attacks against PKK camps in northern Iraq probably after receiving intelligence from the United States indicating that PKK guerrillas were massing near the border. Emphasizing that responsibility for preventing terrorists from gathering near the Turkish-Iraqi border rests with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani or President Mas'ud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Berberoglu says: "In my opinion, the border would no longer have any importance if they do not fulfil that responsibility."
In an article entitled "The three aspects of the Aktutun attack," in Milliyet (04.10.08) columnist Fikret Bila says that the PKK carried out the attack in order to show that it is still capable of delivering serious blows to the Turkish armed forces. Pointing out that the PKK used heavy artillery deployed in northern Iraq during the attack, Bila comments: "Long-range heavy weapons could not be transported, deployed, and used unless it was permitted by authorities responsible for the security of northern Iraq. This is another aspect of the latest attack that deserves attention."
In an article entitled "The background," in Sabah (04.10.08) columnist Erdal Safak argues that the Kurdish government in northern Iraq might have loosened its control over the PKK in order to retaliate against Turkey because it thwarted its plans to annex some regions in northern Iraq, including Kirkuk. He says: "There is no doubt that a new cross-border operation will inevitably be placed on the agenda after this horrendous attack. But, I think that a military operation which will be much different than the previous ones in terms of its scope and objectives will be carried out without paying attention to the international community's reactions."
In an article entitled "Blood shed on the border should not spill to the Aegean," in Radikal (04.10.08) columnist Cengiz Candar says that the Turkish government should remain calm and avoid pursuing a wrong-headed policy that could trigger ethnic strife in the wake of the PKK attack in Semdinli. He says: "If the attack in Semdinli fuels anger and prompts the government to place high priority on a military solution, it would mean that we have not taken necessary conclusions from this attack."
In an article entitled "We need a new reasoning and a new policy," in Radikal (04.10.08) columnist Murat Yetkin says that the attack in Semdinli has shown that a new reasoning and a comprehensive and unwavering policy is needed in Turkey. He comments: "If Erdogan who has frequently drawn attention to that issue and [Chief of the General Staff General Ilker] Basbug can take this new step if they demonstrate courageous leadership. Debates to be held in the National Assembly about the matter this week should be regarded as an opportunity."
In an article entitled "This attack was more critical than Daglica," in Vatan (04.10.08) columnist Rusen Cakir analyzes possible reasons and motives behind the PKK's attack, including the organization's plan to trigger ethnic strife and to prevent the ruling Justice and Development Party from winning the upcoming local elections in southeastern provinces.
In an article entitled "Will Turks and Kurds fight against each other?" in Taraf (04.10.08) columnist Rasim Ozan Kutahyali draws attention to mounting ethnic tension after recent anti-Kurdish riots in Altinova, Balikesir. Kutahyali urges the government to take measures in order to prevent similar incidents and calls on the General Staff to stop psychological warfare operations being conducted within the Gendarmerie General Command which, he implies, fuels anti-Kurdish sentiments.
According to a report by Turac Top and Tuncel Yilmaz in Milliyet (04.10.08), the tension that started with the incidents in which two citizens were killed in Altinova is continuing. The report adds that one vehicle was torched and two places were sent on fire last night.
In an article in Milliyet (04.10.08), Fikret Bila warns of the danger of the struggle against terror turning into a source for ethnic clashes. Viewing the Altinova incidents as an indication of such a danger, Bila stresses that the government, the local administrators, and the Democratic Society Party, DTP, should act responsibly on the issue. Arguing that creating ethnic clashes is one of the fundamental goals of the terrorist organization, Bila warns Turkey not to fall into this trap. Stressing the necessity for administrators, the government, and political parties to act with common sense, Bila writes that mutual accusations will exacerbate the situation and turn the Altinova ember into a raging fire.
In an article entitled "Altinova, Kurds, and Turks", in Yeni Safak columnist (04.10.08) Ali Bayramoglu says that recent anti-Kurdish riots in Altinova township in Balikesir was one of the most serious examples of ethnic tension mounting especially in some coastal cities which received a large number of Kurdish migrants fleeing from fighting between the army and the PKK in the southeastern part of the city. Ascribing ethnic tension to the current system which regards the Kurdish issue only as a security problem, Bayramoglu concludes by saying: "The risk of ethnic strife in this country is increasing day by day. The social fabric is giving warnings one after another. It is really necessary to go beyond militarism and engineering in politics and mentality."
Under the banner headline "It was also masterminded by Ergenekon" Vakit (04.10.08) carries a front-page report which quotes various experts as saying that the PKK and a shadowy organization called Ergenekon may attempt to take advantage of the recent anti-Kurdish riots in Altinova, stressing that people should exercise self-restraint.
Yeni Safak devotes its entire front page to a report entitled "Missile raid on military outpost" on yesterday's attack on the Aktutun military outpost in the southeastern town of Semdlinli carried out by some "350" PKK terrorists. Some 15 Turkish soldiers fell in the attack while a total of 25 PKK members were killed, the report says.
In an article entitled "Aktutun" in Yeni Safak (05.10.08) columnist Tamer Korkmaz notes that the latest PKK attack on the Aktutun border post is the second terrorist assault on this outpost in the past five months. Korkmaz finds it "highly remarkable" that the vulnerabilities of this gendarmerie station have not been removed despite the fact that it has been frequently targeted by PKK terrorists. He claims that the circumstances of yesterday's attack are similar to those of the Daglica raid on 21 October, 2007, asserting that the terrorist organization was assisted by "collaborators" inside Turkey in carrying out both attacks. He also asks "whatever happened to the real-time intelligence support" the United States was supposed to provide for Turkey against the PKK and "whether the United States is sharing real-time intelligence with somebody else."
In an article entitled "We need to keep our heads at such times" in Yeni Safak (05.10.08) columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that in carrying out its latest attack on a gendarmerie outpost, the PKK has unwittingly provided Turkey with the best possible justification for extending the bill authorizing cross-border military operations into Iraq. Koru refers to yesterday's raid as a bid by Turkey's foes to prevent it from carrying out the role of a facilitator in resolving regional disputes by "reminding it of its own problems." He also warns that attacks like the latest raid on the Aktutun outpost are functioning to make Turkey susceptible to ethnic provocation.
Under the banner headline, "Let those who are responsible resign," Vakit (05.10.08) publishes a front-page report which asserts that the public and retired military officials expect those responsible for the loss of some 15 Turkish soldiers in the latest PKK raid in Semdlinli to resign from their posts. Published next to the headline is a photograph of Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug.
In an article entitled "Let us watch it happen at least for once", in Vakit (05.10.08) columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu calls on military authorities to explain how the terrorist elements that carried out yesterday's attack on the Aktutun border post managed to advance 4 km into Turkey carrying heavy weaponry and withdraw after hitting the outpost despite the fact that the Turkish military has what the former chief of staff called capabilities that have enabled it to turn the PKK camps across the border into "big brother houses." Karahasanoglu asks who the PKK is being supported by in carrying out such assaults and whether these attacks are being planned by the PKK or by "certain countries that we believe to be our allies."
According to a report in Zaman entitled "Intelligence officials issue warning: Raid on Aktutun aimed at fuelling Altinova conflict", former intelligence officials Bulent Orakoglu and Mahir Kaynak have warned that the PKK raid on the Aktutun border post is aimed at compounding the conflict in the Altinova district of Balikesir Province, where "a row between two families turned into clashes between Turkish and Kurdish groups" recently.
In a commentary in Zaman (05.10.08) entitled "An attack by those who do not want the Kurdish issue to be solved", Professor Beril Dedeoglu of Galatasaray University argues that the latest PKK attack on the Aktutun border station is intended to provoke the Turkish Armed Forces into conducting "illegal" operations that would cause the military as well as political decision makers to lose their "international legitimacy." Dedeoglu also asserts that such terrorist attacks are serving to erode public confidence in US cooperation with Turkey in combating terrorism.
Finally, in a an article entitled "Turkey's Number-One Problem", in Milli Gazete (05.10.08) columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan comments on the latest PKK attack on Turkish soldiers in the southeast. He asserts that Turkey could not hope to be successful in fighting terrorism as long as it recognizes the United States, Israel, and certain European countries as its allies despite what "everybody" knows about how these countries have "trained" the PKK and provided it with "material and psychological support" over the years.