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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-24
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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. 204/08 24.10.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Avci replied to Christofias statement on guaranteesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.10.08) reports that the so-called deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister Turgay Avci, commenting on the latest statement of President Christofias that there should not be guarantees in a modern country, said: We share this view of Christofias. If there was a modern political atmosphere in Cyprus, if our relations with the Greek Cypriot side were based on the principles of equality and modernity, then there was not any need for a guarantorship system. But, we ask for the continuation of the guarantee system with unrestricted conditions because we have experienced a neighbour that does not have modern values and has thrown us from the partnership that we founded together in the island through the force of guns, has made us suffer for 11 whole years with genocide and has destroyed and vanished 103 villages.
 Kanatli: The return to the closed city of Varosha is a Confidence Building Measure. Durduran: Turkey is behaving as if it owns CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.10.08) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) is organizing a series of activities on the occasion of the 19th anniversary from its establishment. The activities started on Thursday 16 October 2008 at the Conference Room of the municipality of occupied Famagusta. The secretary of the executive committee of YKP, Murat Kanatli and the foreign relations secretary Alpay Durduran addressed the meeting under the title Confidence Building Measures/ Demilitarization/ De-confrontation/ Resettlement (Maronite villages, Varosha etc)- and other contributions to the solution process.
Mr Kanatli said that in order for the solution process to function soundly, confidence building measures are necessary, which do not mean solution of the problem, but they are supportive to the solution process. Mr Kanatli reminded that they have launched the campaign for the reunification of Famagusta together with other organizations and added that they were surprised when the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat stated that Varosha was not a confidence building measure.
On his part, Mr Durduran said that Turkey has not yet decided on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem and added that Ankara is still behaving as if it owns this place. We should oppose this and rebel as people, he noted.
 Peter Millet called on the Turkish Cypriots to seize the current best opportunity for a settlementIllegal Bayrak television (23.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The British High Commissioner in Cyprus Peter Millet has highlighted the need for underlining the advantages of reunification in Cyprus rather than focusing on the costs of a political settlement.
This is not a zero-some game, but a win-win option he said. Mr Millets words came during a social reception organized by the British High Commission for Turkish Cypriots in Lefkosia last night.
President Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, ministers, mayors, some ambassadors, representatives from political parties and civil society organizations were among the many guests attending the British High Commissions annual garden party.
Some Turkish Cypriot and English products were also displayed during the reception during which the guests also enjoyed a good taste of music performed by an orchestra.
Delivering a speech at the reception, the British High Commissioner Peter Millet stressed the importance of establishing an indivisible federal partnership on the island, based on two constituent states having political equality.
Referring to his speech last year, Mr Millet reminded that he was speaking of his disappointment over the lack of progress in the solution process and was still calling on people not to give up hope.
However, this year, I am very happy to see the positive developments following the 21st March Agreement signed between the two leaders, he said.
Welcoming the heavy efforts of two leaders towards the solution of the Cyprus problem, the British High Commissioner referred to the opening of the Lokmaci [Ledra Street] gate for crossings and the decision of both sides to simultaneously cancel military exercises, and said, few in the past would imagine that these would be possible today.
Stating that some media is focusing on statements made about the costs of a solution, Mr Millet said he prefers to highlight the benefits of unification as this will be a strong tool in encouraging both sides for a solution further.
Bearing in mind the advantages Turkish Cypriots will gain with the reunification of Cyprus, Millet said Turkish Cypriots will gain their rightful position within the EU with equal rights with Greek Cypriots; have a good opportunity of cultural exchange with other countries and will have the chance to trade freely with other EU countries.
EUs structural funds will also be provided and isolations will be removed, Millet added.
Mr Millet finalized his speech by saying Now there is the best opportunity for a settlement. Please dont miss it, seize it!
 The President of the Turkish Republic calls on OIC countries to establish stronger ties with the Turkish Republic of Northern CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (23.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The 24th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) kicked off in Istanbul yesterday
The Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdogan Sanlidag is taking part in the meeting.
Delivering the opening speech at the 24th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Turkish President Abdullah Gul said global economic fluctuations which had been influential over the last couple months closely concerned members of OIC.
In such a dire time with a global financial crisis, it is widely agreed that it would be appropriate to keep funds that Muslim countries raised over the last five years again in the Muslim countries, Gul said.
The Turkish President said the COMCEC had made remarkable albeit insufficient progress toward the goals it had set, contributing to the development of political ties in an atmosphere of cooperation.
Gul also called for stronger ties of cooperation, which he said was a responsibility for the member states of the organization.
That includes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which has been facing unjust and inhuman isolations for years. It is our sincere hope that our brothers and sisters there will soon break the poverty loop and that peace and stability will be reinstated, Gul said.
Meanwhile, the TRNC Economy Minister also delivered a speech at the conference.
As part of his other contacts, the Economy Minister will be attending the 12th International Business World Forum as guest of the Turkish Minister of State Kursat Tuzmen.
Sanlidag will also be visiting the 12th International Trade Fair being organized by the Turkish Independent Businessmen Association.
 AKP interprets the membership of Turkey to the UN Security Council as an apology from the UN which condemned the occupation of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.10.08), under the title According to Bagis, UN made an apology to Turkey, reports that the Deputy Chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Egemen Bagis, speaking in a district congress of AKP, said that the election of Turkey as non-permanent member of the UN Security Council has the meaning that the UN made an apology to Turkey for calling Turkey as an occupying force in Cyprus 30 years ago. Bagis added: The Community of Nations said to Turkey come, join us, share problems that are in front of us, bring solutions and give ideas. This is a pleasant situation. We should feel proud of this.
 President Sarkozys advisor: There is no need for a military presence of 40.000 Turkish troops in CyprusUnder the title Turkey is more important than even for the energy security of the EU, Turkish weekly Yeni Aktuel magazine (23-29.10.08) publishes an interview with Pierre Lellouche, advisor of the French President Sarkozy on Turkey, who participated last week in the 5th Bosporus Conference in Istanbul. According to the magazine, Mr Lellouches views on Turkeys EU membership are contrary to the views of the French President.
He noted that in spite of the stance of President Sarkozy, the accession negotiations of Turkey are continuing and that during the French term presidency three more chapters might be opened. He said that the crisis in Georgia showed the importance of Turkeys role in the energy security of Europe.
Asked whether the EU could play a role in the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr Lellouche replied as follows: I believe that Turkey behaved very well in Cyprus. I think that the Turks did their utmost in order for the Annan Plan to be accepted. The Plan was accepted by the Turks in Cyprus and rejected by the Greeks. In the meantime, may be the EU membership of the Greek side was considered as injustice, unfairness by the Turks.
When the journalist said that yes, this is how the Turks evaluated it, he continued: I can understand this feeling. Now the negotiations between the Turks and the Greeks started again in Cyprus. Everything needed should be done so that these negotiations reach a result. At the same time, the Turkish side must do what is necessary for the reduction of its military presence. There are 40 thousand Turkish troops. There is no need for so big military force. We should hope that there will be a way out of this situation. From the point of view of the EU, when help is asked for Cyprus, it would be inconceivable not to accept it. Solution is needed in Cyprus. I wish for this to happen quickly.
 Yonluer accuses AKP MP of involvement in the transfer of HIS party members to ORPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.10.08), under the title HIS party: If Cavusoglu is an instrument in ugly games, we will complain to Erdogan, reports that the leader of the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) Ahmet Yonluer, in a written statement yesterday, asked from Mevlut Cavusoglu - AKP Antalya MP and Chairman of the Turkish Committee at PACE responsible for Cyprus Affairs - to make statements and clear his name which was involved in the transfer of members of his political party HIS to the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). Yonluer said that if Cavusoglu was involved in such ugly games and bargaining, he will then complain to the Turkish Prime Minister. Yonluer added that his party, in despite of the ugly political games, will continue to fill the vacuum of opposition existing in the occupied areas, which does politics against the wind and as movement it will remain on its feet.
 Turkish Cypriot political parties called the occupation regime to take measures against the global financial crisisTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.10.08) reports that the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas, in a written statement yesterday, called the so-called government to take the necessary measures to tackle the effects of the global financial crisis.
On the same issue, Kibris paper reports that the leader of Social Democrat Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici, in a written statement yesterday, called the so-called government to adopt the euro the soonest possible as the official currency of the occupation regime as a measure against the global financial crisis. Cakici also added: Let them not forget those who are against the adoption of the euro by yelling the nationalism that they are harming the people. It is not correct to connect the adoption of the euro currency with Turkeys relations. This is completely an issue of smart economy.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.10.08) reports that Rasit Pertev, chairman of the Peoples Party (HP), in his written statement yesterday, said that the first waves from the global financial crisis started affecting North Cyprus as well and thus he called on the government to take serious measures.
Vatan paper reports on the statements of Mehmet Harmanci, deputy General Secretary of the Social Democrat Party, (TDP) who said that one more tourist period has come to the end with damages. Harmanci stressed that during the whole tourist period, travel agents had to face unbelievable problems. He then stressed that due to the wrong policies and the inappropriate marketing policies, the small businesses and especially the hotels no casinos, could not endure the unfair competition, thus they closed down. He then wondered at what phase developments are regarding the establishment of a Tourism Organization as the self-style minister of economy and tourism announced in the past that it would be established soon. Harmanci described as a positive development the efforts exerted by the Turkish Cypriots airlines (THY) on the issue of flights and the efforts to have an agreement with tour operators who have contracts with the German market. Harmanci pointed out that all the problems the tourist sector faces, are due to the lack of planning.
 A draft-law on the acquiring and long-term leasing of property by foreigners was approved by the relevant parliamentary committeeTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.10.08) reports that the so-called legal and political affairs committee of the self-styled assembly approved yesterday the (Foreigners) Draft-law for Acquiring and Long-term Leasing of Immovable Property. The draft-law regulates the rules to which foreigners who want to acquire or lease immovable property for a long time in the occupied areas will be subjected.
According to the paper, the aim with this daft-law is for the law regarding the acquiring of immovable property by foreigners to be lifted and a law in harmony with the conditions of today to be enforced. The draft-law includes provisions which provide foreigners the opportunity to acquire or lease property in the occupied areas for a long time.
 The drug trafficking case is estimated to involve hashish worth 10 million dollarsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.10.08), in its front page under the title The biggest smuggling in the history of TRNC, continues to report on the seizure of 174 kg 449 grams of hashish in Mersin in Turkey as well as the arrests of the so-called police inspector Abdulrahman Ulucinar and his father-in-law Abdullah Yilmaz Hakverdi, who were involved in the incident of smuggling drugs. According to oath testimony that was given to the illegal court, the amount of 174 kg 449 grams of hashish was wrapped in 194 packages hidden inside six sofas in a container which was sent to the address of Abdullah Yilmaz Hakverdi on behalf of Abdulrahman Ulucinar from Mozambique. Moreover, KIBRISLI paper reports that the value of the drugs is about 10 million dollars.
 A 100-tradesmen delegation from Mersin, headed by its governor, to pay a working visit to the occupied areas of the RepublicTurkish Cypriot daily Bagis newspaper (24.10.08) reports that a 100-person delegation from the Mersin Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Handicrafts (KTEZO) are expected to arrive today in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus for an official visit. According to an announcement issued by KTEZO, the delegation, headed by the governor of Mersin, Mr Huseyin Aksoy, will pay a four-day visit to the occupied areas. On Saturday, KTEZO will hold a working meeting with a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Union of Chambers of Tradesmen and Handicrafts for discussing cooperation in every sector.
 Turkish Football Federation Chairman: Turkish Cypriot football should be in line with FIFAs frameworkIn its sports pages, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (24.10.08) reports on statements made by the Chairman of the Turkish Football Federation, Mahmut Ozgener, during a conference held with football representatives in the occupied part of Cyprus. According to Mr. Ozgener, the Turkish Football Federation should be in line with the regulations applied by the International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) and any action taken for the Turkish Cypriot football should be in line with FIFAs framework.
 Obamas blueprint on partnership with Europe refers to the US-Turkish relations and the Cyprus problemTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (24.10.08) reports the following:
US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has blamed the administration of Republican President George W. Bush for straining the country's ties with Turkey, its NATO ally, and pledged to lead efforts to bring Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds to find a solution to the terror threat posed by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
In a blueprint of his plans to create a stronger partnership with Europe, Obama said he and his candidate for vice president, Joe Biden, believe a close relationship with a stable, democratic, Western-oriented Republic of Turkey is an important national interest for the United States. That relationship has been deeply strained in recent years, most importantly by the Bush administration's misguided and mismanaged intervention in Iraq, which has helped revive the terrorist threat posed to Turkey by the separatist Kurdish Workers Party [PKK], the document, published on his election campaign Web site, said. The result is that this strategically important NATO ally, the most advanced democracy in the Muslim world, is turning against the West, said Obama and Biden, recalling recent opinion polls indicating that the number of Turks with a favourable opinion of the United States had fallen to 12 percent.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will lead a diplomatic effort to bring together Turkish and Iraqi Kurdish leaders and negotiate a comprehensive agreement that deals with the PKK threat, guarantees Turkey's territorial integrity, and facilitates badly needed Turkish investment in and trade with the Kurds of northern Iraq, said the document.
Most surveys show Obama ahead of his Republican rival John McCain by a wide margin. A Gallup poll of world countries showed this week that the world's population as a whole supports Obama 4-1 over McCain, a result reflecting the public mood in Turkey, as well. Although as many as 70 percent of Turks are indifferent about the outcome of the Nov. 4 election, 22 percent want Obama to win, as opposed to only 8 percent favouring McCain.
Turkish-US relations have been strained since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. The Turkish public's sympathy for the US has dropped significantly amid US inaction to end the PKK presence in northern Iraq despite repeated Turkish requests. In November last year, Bush, after a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at the White House, declared the PKK a common enemy for Turkey, the United States and Iraq. The US military also began to supply intelligence about the PKK to facilitate Turkish cross-border raids on the terrorist group's targets in northern Iraq. Turkish officials say intelligence sharing with the United States has been functioning effectively.
Obama and Biden made no mention of a 2003 vote in Turkish Parliament rejecting a US request to use Turkish territory to open a northern front on Iraq, a development that irritated the United States and is believed to have prompted the Bush administration not to heed subsequent Turkish demands for action against the PKK.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden will support the promotion of democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression in Turkey and support its efforts to join the European Union, the document said.
In a declaration likely to please the Turkish government, Obama and Biden also said the United States must work with European partners to isolate Iran economically and politically if it continues to support terrorism and defy the Security Council's demand that it suspend uranium enrichment.
Ankara is opposed to nuclear weapons, but calls for a solution through dialogue to the international row over Iran's nuclear program. A US administration led by McCain is expected to push for tough sanctions, including use of military force, to deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear program, which Tehran says is aimed at generating energy.
Unlike the Bush administration, Barack Obama and Joe Biden would conduct direct talks with Iran, a move that would bolster support from our allies and demonstrate that any lack of progress from the Iranians is due to Tehran's refusal to cooperate, not a lack of seriousness or leadership from the United States, said the document.
Their blueprint also touched on the division of Cyprus and pledged that an Obama administration will show US leadership in seeking to negotiate a political settlement on Cyprus and insisted that the island's Turkish and Greek communities should unite.
A negotiated political settlement on Cyprus would not only end the island's tragic division but would pave the way to prosperity and peace throughout the entire region. It would finally give repose to the people of Cyprus after many years of division and uncertainty. It would help foster better Greek-Turkish relations, strengthen Turkish democracy, reduce the risk of military conflict, and remove a major obstacle to Turkish membership in the EU, the document explained.
They did not refer to the issue of Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire, something that Turkish policy-makers fear would cause problems in relations with an Obama administration. Obama has repeatedly pledged to Armenian-American voters that the US will recognize the genocide claims if he is elected.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Ergenekon and its relation with the Cyprus problemTurkish Daily News newspaper (23.10.08) published the following commentary by Mustafa Akyol:
The trial of the century, or at the very least this decade, started Monday in Istanbul. The alleged members of Ergenekon, an ultra-nationalist covert terror network that was trying to bring Turkey to the brink of a military coup, faced their judges for the first time. It won't be the last, for sure, and I bet the court will continue for at least a year. And most of us will be puzzled, and sometimes confused, about what is going on.
The Ergenekon case is indeed confusing, to even us Turks, let alone foreigners. The 2500-page indictment is quite a challenge to read and grasp. Moreover, I am no expert in not just criminal law, but also all those nasty things going on secretly in Ankara. Yet luckily there are good experts on these matters in Turkey, and I rather rely on their analyses. And probably none of them are as solid and clear as Ismet Berkan, the editor-in-chief and columnist of the liberal-left daily Radikal, on Ergenekon.
Subtitle: A brief history of Ergenekon
A few months ago, Mr. Berkan wrote a series of articles titled A Brief History of Ergenekon. It was a must-read to understand what all this Ergenekon business is about. It still is. So, let me give you a summary.
According to Mr. Berkan, Ergenekon type organizations have a long history in Turkey, but the current one we are speaking about goes back to 2002. That year, the chief of staff whose term would soon end, Gen. Huseyin Kivrikoglu, warned Prime Minister Ecevit that his most likely successor, Gen. Hilmi Ozkok had to be avoided because he was too soft against religious backwardness. Ecevit, a social democrat, apparently was not worried about that, so he signed the papers that would make this dovish general the next chief of the military.
The staunchly secular Gen. Kivrikoglu took another step, though, to make sure that his line would persist. He ensured the appointment of two like-minded (i.e., very secularist and nationalist) generals to the heads of the land and gendarme forces: Gen. Aytac Yalman for the former, Gen. Sener Eruygur for the latter. (Keep these names, especially the latter, in mind.)
In Turkey, there are always five top generals. The chief of staff is the highest, but then he is followed by the force commanders: The army, the air force, the navy, and the gendarme. So, according to Kivrikoglu's plan, the threat coming from the dovish chief of staff would be balanced by the hawkish ones beneath him.
Soon, Gen. Kivrikoglu's fears came true. The Islamist Justice and Development Party, or AKP, came to power at the end of that year, i.e. 2002. On election night, everybody was wondering how the military would react. We respect the election results, said the new and dovish chief of staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok. We respect democracy.
That was an alarm signal for not just the hawks beneath him, but also all those die-hard secularist circles in Turkey who were expecting a tougher line from their beloved military. Soon, daily Cumhuriyet, the secularist Pravda, wrote: Young officers are not content with the line of the chief of staff. As a response, Gen. Ozkok held a press conference and asked: I am democrat; is there something wrong with that?
Yes, there was something wrong with that, and the hawks were determined to fix it. They just had to wait for a little while for the treason of the AKP to surface.
Subtitle: The Anti-Western muscle
One thing about the two hawkish generals Aytac Yalman and Sener Eruygur was that they were very concerned about the policies of the European Union and the United States. After the Cold War, they believed, the imperialism of these powers turned against Turkey. They were resentful, especially about the American and European positions on the Kurdish issue and the Cyprus problem.
No wonder that just a day before the Turkish Parliament voted, on March 1, 2003, about whether to allow US troops to use Turkish soil to invade Iraq, Gen. Yalman spoke to Milliyet and said that he was against the idea.
But the real deal would come with Cyprus. In 2003, United Nations' Secretary General Kofi Annan prepared a plan for the unification of the divided island. For Turkey's nationalists, including the Grand Old Man of Cyprus, then-President Rauf Denktas, this meant accepting the Greek yoke. And those who supported the plan were traitors who were selling Turkish land to foreigners.
Denktas had actually followed this rejectionist line for decades with strong support from Ankara. Their motto read, The best solution to Cyprus is no solution. Hence the Ankara-financed artificial state in northern Cyprus would survive.
Subtitle: The Cyprus treason'
However the AKP government was determined to find a solution to the problem, which, itself, was continuously blocking Turkey's entry into the EU. In January 2004, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan took the matter in his hands and reaffirmed to Kofi Annan that the Turkish government was accepting his role as a negotiator. Therefore, the Annan Plan, which was categorically rejected by Denktas when it first came out, gained momentum.
And hell broke loose in Ankara. For the hotheads in the military, and the like-minded, the government was now guilty of not just Islamism but also treason. That's why some unnamed generals, among which we have every reason to think that Gen. Yalman and Gen. Eruygur were present, started lobbying for a military coup. They spoke with not only their fellow officers, but also some business and media circles. The operation they planned was named sarikiz, or blonde girl.
But, apparently, they could not gain enough support and the plot failed. Therefore, Denktas had to go to New York for a second time, quite unwillingly, to negotiate with the Greeks. On the road, he called Chief of Staff General Ozkok and asked, Why doesn't the military do something? Constitutionally, said the law-abiding general, this is all that we can do.
According to Ismet Berkan, then Denktas understood that the two [hawkish] generals, Yalman and Eruygur, have not been able to overcome Gen. Ozkok.
In other words, Turkey had barely survived a coup. But the coup-makers would not give up.
 From the Turkish Press of 23 October 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 23 October:
a) Kurdish Problem:
Referring to Democratic Society Party, (DTP), Chairman Ahmet Turk's statement to the effect that the Turkish military conducted genocide in the Kurdish region following the 12 September coup, Yalcin Bayer underlines in an article in Hurriyet that it is necessary to rescue Turkish citizens of Kurdish origins from those who exploit the Kurdish issue for the sake of their own interests. By attacking the Turkish Republic, Ahmet Turk and his followers have violated many articles pertaining to social peace in the Penal Code and this way, they have lost their democratic legitimacy, stresses Bayer, adding: "The state should independently and urgently take the necessary measures that will prevent the exploitation of its Kurdish citizens."
DTP Chairman Ahmet Turk has talked about genocide for the first time, but he has placed this concept within the framework of the 12 September regime and he has tried to explain the circumstances that have created the PKK, notes Milliyet's Derya Sazak in an article and asks: "At a time when so much blood is being shed in the attacks launched by the PKK, how conscientious is it to make a one-sided violence assessment?" Accusing Turk of referring the Kurdish problem to Imrali under the shadow of the PKK and of saluting his voters in Diyarbakir with a statement on genocide, Sazak asks "whether this should have been the function of the DTP in the National Assembly."
In an article in Milliyet Dogan Heper accuses the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq of aiding the PKK. Referring to a map displayed in the Iraqi stand in the book fair in Frankfurt, Heper says: "This map is being placed in front of Turkey as the 'Kurdish problem,' as an 'independence problem.' First the acceptance of the language, later constitutional amendments, and later a two-state structure. Later the 'great Kurdistan' that will include the Turkish provinces shown in this map. The rest is hot air. This should not be taken lightly. Let us see where the debates on Turkey's integrity and on the respectability of the army are taking and will take us. Nonetheless, let us point out that the fact that 75% of our brothers of Kurdish origin do not vote for the DTP, which has integrated with the PKK and which has taken action for turning this country into hell, gives us hope. It gives us much hope. Maybe this is the reason behind the escalation in terrorism."
The prime minister's popularity rate is dropping in Diyarbakir and the support for Ocalan is growing, points out Guneri Civaoglu in an article in Milliyet. Despite everything I still believe that the majority of the people, including the residents of the southeast, want to live in unity and tranquillity in a democratic Turkey whose principles are based on human rights and freedoms, says Civaoglu, adding: "To get tougher and to take tough measures will merely serve the interests of those who aim to create tension."
In an article in the Turkish Daily News Mehmet Ali Birand views the reasons behind the escalation in PKK's actions. Explaining that the PKK is trying to free Ocalan and to rule in Diyarbakir, Birand explains that the organization is mostly concerned about being driven away from northern Iraq.
Describing the change in the relations with the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq as positive, Sabah's Soli Ozel, in an article, draws attention to the advantages of establishing close relations with the Kurdish leaders. In addition to cooperating in the war on the PKK, this will also deepen the trade relations between the two countries, points out Ozel and emphasizes that a stable northern Iraq will act as buffer zone if clashes erupt in Iraq after the withdrawal of US troops from the region.
Tarhan Erdem, referring in an article in Radikal to the report prepared by Erdogan on the Kurdish issue in 1991, concludes that Erdogan still believes that what he had written 17 years ago is true, but that he is not able to overcome obstacles such as the leaders of the opposition parties and the election threshold that urges the DTP to pursue policies that are based on tension.
Drawing attention to the fact that the inspectors who have been assigned to investigate the torture of Engin Ceber by the police have not found any evidence proving that he was tortured to death, Mehmet Y Yilmaz in an article in Hurriyet recalls the findings of the health reports drawn up after Ceber's detention. Either the inspectors did not know where to look for or they were shown forged documents, notes Yilmaz and stresses that it is impossible to prevent torture due to the fact that those involved in torture are being protected by their superiors. If the government is sincere about preventing torture, it should assign new inspectors to question the inspectors, underlines Yilmaz.
In a commentary in Hurriyet Yalcin Dogan explains that for the first time in Turkey the Turkish Medical Doctors Association has sent a representative to monitor the autopsy of Engin Ceber. The report prepared by the doctor who observed the autopsy is the exact opposite of the police report in this regard, states Dogan, adding: "Regardless of what the police reports say, this method used for the first time in the Engin Ceber incident is very effective in terms of preventing torture."
Calling on Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin to assume responsibility for the torture of Engin Ceber, the delay in the request of the documents of the Deniz Feneri, Lighthouse, case from Germany, and the flaws in the Ergenekon case Mustafa Mutlu in an article in Vatan says: It is true that neither the nonsense in the Ergenekon case will end, nor Engin Ceber will come back with his resignation, but it will be possible to prevent other deaths as a result of torture. At least the confidence that we have in the judiciary will not further deteriorate because of this minister who has become suspicious."