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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-12-01
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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. 230/08 29.11-01.12.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The occupation regime has been chosen as the Deputy leader of the Mediterranean Committee of the World Producers Associations and as Deputy Leader of Committee the IAPFIllegal Bayrak television (30.11.08) broadcast the following:
The World Producers Associations and the International Agricultural Producers Federation which represents the World Farmers have chosen the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as the deputy leader of the Mediterranean Committee.
The Mediterranean Committee meeting of the International Agricultural Producers Association which was being held in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has come to an end.
Representatives from 15 Mediterranean countries which attended the meeting chose the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as the deputy leader of the Mediterranean Committee meeting.
Preparatory works were carried out during the meeting and views from the Mediterranean countries farmers will be represented at the 5th World Water Forum which will take place in Istanbul.
Issues relating to food, the world food crisis, drought, how to use water more effectively, climate changes and womens role in agriculture were all taken up during the conference.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (01.12.08) reports that the breakaway regime has been elected to the post of the vice president of the Mediterranean Committee of the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP). Under the title The TRNC was elected vice president of the Mediterranean Committee, the paper notes that according to a statement issued by Turkeys Agricultural Chambers Union (TZOB), IFAPs Mediterranean Committee convened in the occupied areas of Cyprus between 27 and 29 November with the participation of 15 countries and international organizations such as FAO, AGRICORD and CIHEAM.
 The Turkish Cypriot leader hopes for a solution before EU electionsIllegal Bayrak television (29.11.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has announced that he hopes to find a solution to the Cyprus problem before next years elections at the European Parliament.
Within the framework of his contacts in Izmir, President Talat attended the assembly meeting of the Izmir Chamber of Commerce. Speaking during the assembly meeting, the President reinforced that the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey are working strenuously to find a solution to the Cyprus problem as soon as possible.
Noting that the Greek Cypriot side did not want to set a deadline to facilitate a solution, the President said: I said lets set a deadline. I said can you think of the 2009 European Parliamentary elections as a date. They said it may be possible. So I hope that we can find a solution to the Cyprus problem before the European Parliamentary Elections.
Meanwhile, the President returned to the Republic last night at the end of his contacts.
 Soyers contacts in Germany. Statements on the Cyprus problemIllegal Bayrak television (29.11.08) broadcast the following:
Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer who is continuing his contacts in the German capital Berlin has reiterated the Turkish Cypriot Sides willingness for a solution to the Cyprus Problem.
Soyer, who described the latest resolution adopted by the German Parliament on Turkish Cypriots as balanced, highlighted the importance of implementing the decision.
Within the framework of his contacts in Berlin, the Premier met with the co-chairman of the German Greens Party Cem Ozdemir. The EUs mistake of allowing the Greek Cypriot Administration into the European Union before a settlement was found on the island was highlighted by both men during the meeting. Now is not the time to bewail. The important thing is to find a solution to the Cyprus and to change those mistakes, said Soyer.
Criticizing the fact that Turkish has not been acknowledged as an official language of the EU, Soyer reminded that the so-called Cyprus Republic had two officials languages, Turkish and Greek.
Despite the fact that the so-called Republic of Cyprus is an EU member, Turkish has still not been accepted as an official EU language, he added.
Underlining the importance of removing the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots in order to speed up the process for a solution, the Prime Minister said that a resolution adopted by the German Federal Parliament in past legislative term was an important and balanced decision.
Touching on the issue of Environment, Prime Minister Soyer said that the government was considering plans to encourage eco-tourism in order to preserve the environment at the Karpass Peninsula.
For his part, the co-chairman of the German Greens Party, Cem Ozdemir, reaffirmed his partys support to finding a settlement in Cyprus.We are ready to do all that we can for a settlement. We believe that a settlement will be good for both sides. There is no problem that cannot be solved if there is the necessary will. Seeing that the Greek Cypriot Administration has entered the EU and is supposedly representing the whole island, then it is there responsibility to make gestures of good will, he said.
Explaining that the Greens Party was working with environmentalists from both sides of the divide, Ozdemir said that his party was deeply concerned with developments in the Karpass region. He also pointed out that much of the natural beauty and environment in North Cyprus has not been spoilt because of the international isolations.
On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (30.11.08) broadcast the following:
Within the framework of his weeklong contacts, the Premier met with the Secretary General of the German Social Democrat Party Hubertus Heil, the co-chairmen of the German Greens Party Claudia Roth and Cem Ozdemir, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, Federal Deputy for the SDP and head of Turkish-Cyprus policies coordination group Greg Andres as well as representatives of the Cyprus Youth Platform made up of Turkish Cypriot students.
Meanwhile last night Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer attended a dinner given in his honor by the Turkish Ambassador to Berlin Ahmet Acet before leaving the country.
 Dervis Eroglu is reelected in the leadership of the UBPIllegal Bayrak television (30.11.08) broadcast the following:
The main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) has held its 17th General Congress last night and Dervis Eroglu has become the new National Unity Party leader.
Making a speech after his election, Mr Eroglu said he had not won but his party had won and added that their walk towards the power in government has begun.
He said his party had showed what democracy was really about and said not only had the National Unity Party won but the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as well. Whats important from now on is the struggle we will wage to return to power, he said adding that he will do everything he can with the support of his party to make this happen.
Claiming that the Republican Turkish Party is the main cause of the problems experienced by the Turkish Cypriot peoples Mr Eroglu said we will change the government with the actions we will be taking inside and outside of parliament.
1192 party delegates voted in the elections. Mr Eroglu received 740 votes while Tahsin Ertugruloglu only received 448 votes, 4 votes were invalid. After three years once again Dervis Eroglu has emerged as leader of the National Unity Party.
Eroglu who had served for long years as the UBPs party leader and Prime Minister had announced his resignation and stepped down in 2005.
He had cited utter chaos and the UBPs ineffectiveness as the main opposition party among his reasons to return to politics and to run once again for the post of party leader.
Referring to the decisions taken in the Congress on the Cyprus problem illegal Bayrak television (30.11.08) further broadcast:
During the National Unity Partys 17th Congress meeting yesterday, discussion concerning the negotiations process and the latest stage reached on the Cyprus issue were also taken. DECISIONS TAKEN ON CYPRUS ISSUE
The commission led by Irsen Kucuk made a decision that the time had come to bring to the agenda that the negotiations process is taking place between two independent and sovereign states under the auspices of the United Nations.
The party announced the decision it had taken with a written statement.Here they clarified that the Greek Cypriot administration was trying to extend the so called Republic of Cyprus sovereignty to the north.
The world is starting to understand us. The Greek Cypriot side will be punished. These claims are all unfounded and the manifesto signed between the south and Russia is proof of this, it stated.
It continue to note that the National Unity Party is not against the negotiations process taking place within the framework of the United Nations Secretary- Generals Good Office Mission but if the negotiations process is not taking place on the reality that there are two equal sovereign states at the negotiations process then its failure is inevitable.
Our people are not condemned to unite with the Greek Cypriot side. Our right to separate is just as valid as our right to unite. We feel it is necessary to make alternative plans with the cooperation of Motherland Turkey. DECISIONS TAKEN ON CYPRUS ISSUE
Explaining that according to a questioner a large majority of the Turkish Cypriot people want the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus state to be recognized, the statement added that no one is able to withstand the will of the people.
 Eroglu argues that the self-styled government will come to the end of its life in June; He alleges that the world should accept the existence of two states in Cyprus and impose it to the Greek CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.12.08) reports that the newly elected chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis Eroglu, in statements to the paper after his election, said yesterday that the Republican Turkish Party Freedom and Reform Party (CTP-ORP) self-styled government will come to the end of its life in June. I believe that this government will start to be shaken after April, he argued and added that before the elections, his party will not enter into a coalition government under Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the chairman of the CTP.
Mr Eroglu said he does not regret for the stance of his party on the Annan Plan. He noted that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat did the right thing by launching the negotiations, but he committed a mistake by signing the Gambari process and by accepting the single sovereignty and single citizenship. He alleged that Mr Talat has a powerful weapon in his hands and this weapon is the TRNC. He should use this, he added. Mr Eroglu claimed that the world should accept the existence of two states and two peoples in Cyprus and impose it on the Greek Cypriots.
Mr Eroglu said that when his party comes to power he will be able to work in harmony with the AKP in Turkey. He said this belief is based on meetings he held with Abdullah Gul and Recep Tayyip Erogan when he was prime minister and after he became opposition party leader. He said: You know, there are some things which are said and some others which are not. There are some things which are written and some others which are not. Therefore, we shall discuss these and agree, after we come to power. When I was prime minister I met with Mr Tayyip Erdogan. Before that I had meetings and discussions with Abdullah Gul. After we became opposition I met twice with Mr Erdogan. I held meetings at their headquarters, there are some things I know.
 Eroglus election is seen as sign that the UBP cannot change and that Turkey determined a new policy in Cyprus by removing the cover from the non-solution policyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.12.08) reports that Rasit Pertev, chairman of the Peoples Party (HP), has stated that the results in the National Unity Party showed once more that this party will never change. He noted that Mr Eroglu is one of the persons who shaped the political and economic life of the Turkish Cypriots and added: Today the CTP and ORP are in any case implementing Eroglus policy to the letter.
Kibris reports also that the chairman of the Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) youth organization, Erbay Akansoy has stated that the victory of Mr Eroglu is an indication that nothing changed in the UBP.
Meanwhile, under the title Goodbye to the varnish covering in the status quo, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.12.08) refers to the developments in the occupied areas and reports that Turkey, the process for the full EU membership of which has been greatly weakened and the negotiations have almost stopped, does not feel the need any more for taking steps and giving concessions for a solution in Cyprus.
The paper notes, inter alia, the following:
Ankara, which has used the CTP for Plan A, is now preparing to continue its course with the supporters of the status quo without any varnish covering, by taking out Plan B. In the forthcoming period an UBP-ORP government is seen in the horizon. After the unification of the Erdogan government with the army in Turkey, new policy is determined in Cyprus and the cover is being removed from the non-solution policy. Ankara will throw the change of administration it plans to make in the TRNC onto the democratic elections and will submit it to the EU saying look, you have not kept the promise you gave to the Turkish Cypriots who said yes and they have returned to the past again. With the plan which will be submitted to the table with the condition of two peoples, two states in Cyprus, they will move from the veiled support of the TRNC to open support. Thus, the non-solution process will last for many years.
 Erk expressed the hope that referendum could be held on the Cyprus problem between the spring and summer of 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (01.12.08), under the title There is no need for pessimism, reports that Kutlay Erk, advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has stated that the negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem proceed as it was expected and that the leaders continue to discuss the issues and keep them in three different baskets as they have agreed.
In statements to Ada TV television yesterday, Mr Erk alleged that the side which in the end will hit the wall will be the Greek Cypriots and added that with the expression that it is out of the question for Turkey to hit the wall, the EU has stopped the clock for Turkey. He said he is certain that warnings have been made to the Greek Cypriot side not to let the summer of 2009 go by. He expressed his hope for progress to be achieved so that it will not be necessary for anyone to hit the wall, and that referendum could be held on the Cyprus problem between the spring and summer of 2009 and for both communities to elect their representatives for the European Parliament in the elections to take place in the beginning of the summer.
Mr Erk noted that each community has a plan B, that now plan A is on the agenda and that plan B could be discussed when the time comes. Mr Erk said that the Greek Cypriot side applied to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the issue of the missing persons and added that he also has filed an application for his father who was missing since 1963. He said that when he was filing the application he noted that there were no local remedies on the island to try them. He noted that he expects the decision on whether his application will be accepted after six months.
Mr Erk referred to the rumors that he is interested for the presidency of the Republican Turkish party (CTP) and said that everybody who belongs to a party thinks and would be proud to become the president of this party, but at this stage he is not considering to become chairman of the CTP.
 Member of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom said he is very happy to be living in the occupied areas of CyprusUnder the title The Greek Cypriots are now talking nonsense, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.12.08) publishes statements by the Turkophile Lord Kilclooney, one of the powerful members of the House of Lords in the United Kingdom. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots do not want a solution and added that the United Kingdom supports the Turkish Cypriots in order to overcome the difficulties they live in the non-solution. In statements during a program of Genc TV television, Lord Kilclooney also said he is very happy to be living in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 Pakistani businessman wants to invest in occupied Morfou. Statements by the Director of YAGAUnder the title Investment initiative from Pakistan, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.12.08) refers to the continuous interest of local and foreign investors in the announcements by the so-called Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) regarding investment opportunities in the occupied areas of the island. In statements to Kibris, the director of YAGA, Mrs Ayse Donmezer said that investors from Pakistan have applied for a private hospital to be built in the occupied area of Morfou. She noted that they consider this project to be a very serious one and added that the applications about it continue. Mrs Donmezer pointed out that the Pakistani investors filed their application through the representation office of the breakaway regime in their country.
She said that YAGA has offered its services to 250 investors until today. Mrs Donmezer noted that one of the 13 investors who had been given permit in the tourism area of the occupied Vokolida village has completed his investment and other three have taken steps to materialize their projects. She noted that they have annulled the contracts of those who have not started their investments after the deadline passed. She added that four investors, including local firms, have applied for projects in place of the permits annulled. Mrs Donmezer said also that tourism installations with 16.000 beds will be constructed in Vokolida.
Mrs Donmezer noted that in the framework of the harmonization with the EU they will give permit for the production of biodiesel in the occupied area of Mia Milia village and added that in the next few days they will submit to the council of ministers the short list of the three out of twelve investors assessed to be appropriate for the project. She also said that they plan to increase the capacity of the marina in occupied Keryneia to 3.000 yachts. YAGA will hold a Road Show in London as the first step of the initiatives with the aim of promoting the investments in the occupied areas abroad.
 Efforts continue to attract tourists to the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (01.12.08) reports that Erdogan Sanlidag, self-styled minister of economy and tourism has said that their activities for promoting the occupied areas have been successful. He noted that they should continue and increase their activities in the market of Turkey. Mr Sanlidag made these statements in his briefing for their participation in the tourism fair in Izmir.
Meanwhile, under the title Harmanci: Tourism should be restructured, Halkin Sesi reports that Mehmet Harmanci, deputy general director of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has said that if an urgent package of measures is not prepared in the face of the global economic crisis, the price that they will pay will be much higher. He argued that a tourism organization should be established. He noted that chaos is experienced in the tourism sector and accused the government of not preparing long-term programs for tourism.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.12.08) reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union, Ozbek Dedekorkut has argued that the tourism in the occupied areas of Cyprus is not casino tourism. In statements in Izmir during the tourism fair organized there, Mr Dedekorkut called on the Turkish tourists to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus, a place with which they are speaking the same language, have the same money and could visit without needing passport. He said that the breakaway regime reached the capacity of 17.000 beds in tourism and 6.000 of these beds are in five-star hotels. We have come to an important point in the educational tourism as well with our six universities with their 45.000 students, he noted.
 Yonluer criticized the police for the arrest of two young Turkish Cypriots for insulting the Turkish Cypriot leader on the FacebookTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.12.08) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, chairman of the Politics for the People (HIS) Party has strongly reacted against the police, who arrested two young Turkish Cypriots, accusing them of insulting the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat on the Facebook. Mr Yonluer reminded the insults against the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the squares and wondered: Where was the general directorate of the police when Erdogan was insulted as undenominational, unprincipled and Greek from Pontus?
 Turkish businessmen to purchase more land in the occupied territories of the Republic of CyprusUnder the front page title They sell land, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (30.11.08) reports that the so-called government established in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus is offering as gifts to the rich Turkish businessmen, under the name of auction, public buildings under the guise of privatization.
According to the paper, reaction was shown to the wish of selling the 49% share of the Turkish Cypriot Tobacco Industry Company that belongs to the TRNC and adds that a 51% share already belongs to the Turkish TEKEL Company.
The coalition government in occupied Cyprus intents to privatize the so-called Telecommunications Authority and the Electricity Authority, and as Ortam notes, the works are continuing under great secrecy, since the swift in the operation status of the two public enterprises will lead to the dismissal of several employees.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan paper (29.11.08), in its front page under the title A bargaining between Tibuk and Jewish, reports that the Turkish businessman Besim Tibuk, who bought the tourist complex Cyprus Garden Tatil - 550 donums - ten years ago for six million dollars, leased also from the occupation authorities the coastal strip next to it. Now, the paper reports that Tibuk is trying to sell the tourist complex and the coastal strip to Jewish people for 25 million dollars.
 The illegal regime organised international taekwando tournament in occupied KeryneiaUnder the title in its sports news pages, Two tournaments with 28 thousand lira, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (12.01.08) reports that the TRNC Taekwando, Karate and Aikido Federation has succeeded to organise the 21st TRNC World Taekwando Federation (WTF) Taekwondo Tournament together with the 8th Global Taekwando Federation (GTF) Eurasia Championship with only 28 thousand Turkish Liras (almost 14 thousand Euro).
Eighty six athletes, managers, referees and trainers from five countries have attended the 21st TRNC WTF Taekwando Tournament, which took place in occupied Keryneia for a week.
 Establishment of a new party in Turkey with the name Alternative and Change PartyAnkara Anatolia news agency (30.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:
Alternative and Change Party [Alternatif ve Degisim Partisi] (AL Party) Chairman Mustafa Resit Burkan has said that his party will not be a place of division, polarization, disputes, or crises.
At a news conference held in Neva Palas, Burkan noted that AL Party, which has been founded with the aim of turning Turkey into a great powerful state of the modern era, is an alternative, both in words and in deed.Pointing out that they will not conduct politics by way of dispute and antagonism, Burkan said, Our party will not be a place of division, polarization, disputes, or crises.
Arguing that Turkey's fundamental problems are unemployment, poverty, bans, corruption, and basic rights and freedoms of groups that have been outcast from the mainstream society, Burkan criticized the government's policies.
Burkan called on deputies to join AL Party and added that the party needs 20 deputies in order to participate in local elections and reconstruct politics.Saying games cannot be played over votes of the public before local elections, Burkan added, Do not underestimate this public; it is impossible to predict what this public will do at the ballot.
Following his statement, Mustafa Resit Burkan announced the results of a survey conducted with the participation of 1,129 persons and 108 nongovernmental organizations.
 Turkish political parties question unexpected increase in number of votersTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (29.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:
The additional six million registered voters for the upcoming local elections are fueling debate and suspicion among the political parties about the address-based census system introduced this year. The number of voters, which was 42.6 million in 2007, stand at 48.2 million now. The Supreme Election Board, or YSK, announced the increase that many experts find extraordinary
Erol Tuncer, Director of the Foundation for Social, Economic and Political Studies, or TESAV, told Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review that the rise is unordinary when compared to the figures of previous years.
Turkey saw a voter increase of 3.2 million from 1995 to 1999; 3.8 million from 1999 to 2002 and 1.2 million between 2002 and 2007. The additional 6 million voters within just one year indicated a mistake, he said.
If the recent figure is true, then the previous ones were wrong or vice versa. The increase during three- or four-year periods has been around 3 million in the past while this year it was 6 million, he said. We have to wait for the last neighborhood headmen to announce their electoral lists. Then we'll have a more clear conclusion. The increase in registered voters also drew reactions from the political parties.
The pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, is preparing to submit a motion to parliament asking the government to disclose how the population has increased by 6 million within a short period of one year.
The Nationalist Action Party, or MHP, took the CDs containing the electorates' registrations from the YSK and sent them to the party's provincial branches for comparison Thursday. The CDs will be examined and those who already resided in those regions and later moved to other regions will be identified.
The Republican Peoples Party, or CHP, claims that the names of the voters who were originally registered in the districts where the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, held the political upper hand were being transferred to the Izmir and Ankara's Cankaya district, known as the fortresses of the CHP, the daily Radikal reported yesterday.
I researched such claims and requested information on the issue based on the Right to Information Law. But, when the answer comes, it will be too late, as the electoral registers will already have been completed. It is the duty of the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, to investigate the claims, said Kemal Anadol, CHP parliamentary group deputy leader.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 28, 29 and 30 November 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 28, 29 and 30 November:
Mithat Melen writes about a "rampant rumor" that "Turkish banks will block all accounts" in his commentary entitled "Small ambitions" in HurriyetDailyNews.com (28.11.08). Expressing belief in his commentary "that it cannot be done when the governments are planning to give full guarantees to all bank accounts," Melen then changes his mind and adds: "Because for years we lived in an insecure atmosphere and always expected the worst to happen. We are not completely unjustified in feeling insecure. We are never certain about what tomorrow will bring us. Before every economic crises government officials preach about how the economic atmosphere is sunny and rosy. Then at the end of the day we see black clouds covering the sky. People who were unable to manage the economy dragged Turkey into this recent state. They never told the truth. Now nobody has any confidence any more. Everybody is worried about the future. Even I, cannot help but be concerned about even a small peace of gossip. This is not psychological, but a lack of confidence in the country and its political leaders. Another reason is related to Turkey being unable to become a country of law and order after all these years."
In an article entitled "All Members of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] should read the report on Financial Stability," in Hurriyet (29.11.08) columnist Erdal Saglam says that the Turkish Central Bank drew attention to potential risks in its report which was unveiled yesterday in spite of its generally optimistic conclusions. He says: "The first person who should read the report is the Prime Minister because it emphasizes potential risks that could be faced by the banking industry. The main risks include reduction in banks' profitability and increase in their bad debts."
In an article entitled "Yalcindag's warning about a possible storm," in Milliyet (29.11.08) columnist Fikret Bila excerpts passages from a speech delivered yesterday by Arzuhan Yalcindag, Chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association, TUSIAD, who criticized the government for delaying actions to be taken in response to the global financial crisis. Bila says: "The business community, including TUSIAD, largest trade unions, and storekeepers' associations are drawing attention to the approaching storm. The government should bring all parties together in order to take actions which can be taken rapidly before the storm hits the Turkish economy."
Under the headline, "970 Mln 3G launch set to boost Turkish economy," Today's Zaman publishes a front-page report which asserts that the "extra revenue" from "a tender for the 3G mobile communication system" which was concluded yesterday is "expected to increase confidence in Turkish markets and improve the budget balance."
Under the headline, "Let those who say there is no crisis look at interest rates," Milli Gazete (29.11.08) carries a front-page report which highlights remarks by Felicity Party, SP, leader Numan Kurtulmus taking issue with Prime Minister Erdogan over his assertion that "we have managed to avoid the international financial crisis by the skin of our teeth."
In an article entitled "The US must be called to account over the crisis", in Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan slams the United States for what he describes as its responsibility for the latest global financial crisis. He also accuses the United States of printing $800 billion without collateral to back this amount, adding that the absence of international reaction to this development suggests that "the entire world has become a US financial colony."
Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges, TOBB, is reported to have said with regards to the global financial crisis that we are passing through unchartered territory and that nobody knows the solution to this crisis. According to a report in Ortadogu (30.11.08), Hisarciklioglu has suggested to turn toward countries that are not integrated into the global economy such as Syria and Iraq.
In Milliyet (30.11.08) columnist Fikret Bila in an article comments on the rally held by the Confederation of Revolutionary Worker Unions, DISK, and the Confederation of Public Sector Worker Unions, KESK, against unemployment, poverty, and price hikes as well as the discontent expressed by employers regarding the government indifference to the economic crisis. While the confederations are against an agreement with the IMF, the employers are urging the government to sign an agreement as soon as possible, says Bila. Conceding that the government has begun to take certain measures such as the law on the transfer of assets from abroad, Bila writes: "It would be more effective and beneficial for the government to take measures against the crisis reaching conciliation with the representatives of both the workers and the employers and not through unilateral decisions. Making one sector pay the price of the crisis will not only disrupt labor peace, but will also increase social reaction." In conclusion, the writer calls on the government to bring together representatives from the employee and employer sectors and to work jointly on a package of measures.
Commenting on the rally organized by KESK and DISK in an article in Milliyet, Derya Sazak argues that the government, which has been late in taking measures against the global financial crisis, is cutting its own throat because the decreasing production and the economic stagnation will lead to mass unemployment and it will become impossible to administer a Turkey with a two percent growth rate. Painting a very dire picture of the future of the economy in the country, Sazak predicts mass social opposition and, referring to the rally of the labor unions, concludes: "The squares are issuing a warning to Erdogan."
Explaining the monetary thesis of Nobel laureate economist Robert Mundell in an article in Vatan (30.11.08), Asaf Savas Akat agrees with the Canadian economist who is currently on a visit in Turkey that the fluctuating foreign currency exchange rate system creates instability in the financial sector. Assessing Mundell's proposal to establish monetary union blocs with a fixed currency rate, Akat notes that the Euro can be viewed as an example of such a system. Recalling the various blocs proposed by Mundell such as the US-Chinese pacific bloc, the expanded Europe bloc, and the NATO bloc, Akat quotes Mundell as having said that Turkey might be the founding member of the last bloc.
In an article, in Radikal (28.11.08) Murat Yetkin views the similarities and the differences between the Susurluk and Ergenekon cases. He points out that reports on relations between the National Intelligence Organization, MIT, and Tuncay Guney, who was responsible for revealing the existence of the Ergenekon organization, has put on the agenda the connection of Susurluk case, which took place 10 years ago, and the recent Ergenekon case. Yetkin maintains that the biggest similarity between the two cases is the "struggle against the PKK and the Kurdish problem in general," which is the common goal of both. Yetkin argues that state officials' insistence on regarding the Kurdish problem as an issue of public order leads to exploitation of power and formation of gangs. The greatest difference between them, according to Yetkin, is that while those with the tendency of intervening in the political system gained power in Susurluk, the same parties lost power in Ergenekon. Pointing out that Veli Kucuk, who is one of the main suspects in the Ergenekon case, was promoted after Susurluk.
Referring to relations between Tuncay Guney and Mehmet Eymur, former chief of counterterrorism department in MIT, Melih Asik quotes Ergenekon suspect Dogu Perincek saying, "Tuncay Guney was used in a CIA plot under the guidance of Mehmet Eymur." In the article entitled "Topsy-turvy" in Milliyet (28.11.08), Asik maintains that "it is possible to say that the CIA and MIT are pitted one against the other."
In an article entitled "Kurdish Broadcasts on TRT", Yeni Safak (28.11.08) columnist Yasin Dogan lauds the upcoming launch of Kurdish language broadcasts on the state-owned TRT as a "historic" step by the ruling AKP toward solving the "Kurdish issue." He argues that it is wrong to represent this initiative as a threat to national unity, adding that the real threat to unity would be posed by a restriction of fundamental rights and freedoms.
Today's Zaman (28.11.08) carries a front-page report entitled "European Union urges DTP to choose either Mountains or Parliament," which highlights remarks by Hannes Swoboda, "vice-president of the Socialist bloc in the European Union," calling on the Democratic Society Party, DTP, to "cut its links" with the PKK on pain of "risk[ing] its already battered credibility in Europe" if it does not comply. This story is expanded into a report on an interview with Swoboda.
In an article entitled "Fate of the war on terror: Some Modest advice for the Obama administration", in Today's Zaman (28.11.08) columnist Ibrahim Kalin calls on the forthcoming Obama administration in the United States to "come up with a new notion of what it means to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestations" without repeating the "mistakes" made by President Bush and former British Prime Minister Blair, who "ended up making everybody more unsafe and more insecure" in trying to rid the world of terrorism.
In a commentary also in Todays Zaman (28.11.08) entitled "AK Party supporters in search of Tayyip Erdogan", Emre Uslu and Onder Aytac comment on AKP supporters' "optimistic" view of Prime Minister Erdogan's recent adoption of a "nationalist" stance on the Kurdish question and the issue of EU membership.
Under the banner headline, "Who is this Abu Suyfan?" Yeni Safak (29.11.08) publishes a front-page report which quotes Tomris Ozden, the wife of Colonel Ridvan Ozden, "who is known to have been killed in clashes with the PKK in 1995," as saying that the "assassination" of Ozden could be solved if a person named Abu Sufyan, a childhood friend of Colonel Ozden's who came to their house after Ozden was killed and disappeared thereafter, could be found. The report further quotes Ozden as saying that her husband was on strained terms with Veli Kucuk, a suspect in the Ergenekon case, before he was killed.
According to a report in Sabah (30.11.08), "a taboo is being broken in high education in Turkey." The report adds that "the Artuklu University in Mardin has taken action to open a Kurdish Language and Literature section." University Rector Prof Serdar Bedii Omay is reported to have said that an application on the issue will be submitted to the Higher Education Council, YOK, within a month or two and that such a section will "contribute to social tranquility and peace."
Viewing the US-Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement, SOFA, as "bad news" for the PKK in an article in Milliyet (30.11.08), Kadri Gursel argues that a period that was advantageous for the PKK will gradually come to an end. The current period, which is expected to end soon, incorporates two fundamental characteristics that prevent Turkey from conducting an effective struggle against the PKK, argues Gursel, explaining that the presence of US troops in Iraq prompts the Kurdish administration not to cooperate with Ankara against the PKK and prevents the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, from launching effective ground operations in north Iraq. The withdrawal of US troops will force the Kurdish administration to ameliorate its ties with Turkey and consequently cooperate with Ankara against the PKK, claims Gursel, adding that once the US troops are withdrawn, Iraqi Kurds will be facing "a large and active Arab army" trained and armed by the United States. Referring to the invitation extended by the Iraqi Kurds to the United States to establish a permanent base in the north of Iraq, the writer views it as an unrealistic option because such a base would violate SOFA and because the supply routes to the base would require permission from neighboring countries to use their ground and air spaces. The writer stresses that the most viable option for the Kurdish administration is to seek the support and protection of Turkey, adding that this support can only be achieved by cooperating with Ankara against the PKK.
Under the banner headline "Ebu Sufyan was actually Yesil," Yeni Safak (30.11.08) carries a front-page report which highlights comments made by Tuncay Guney, a key witness in the Ergenekon case, as saying that a person code named "Ebu Sufyan" who visited the widowed wife of Colonel Ridvan Ozden after his assassination in 1995 and advised her to say that her husband was assassinated by the PKK was actually Mahmut Yildirim, code-named "Yesil." According to the report, Guney claimed that Colonel Ozden was also a member of the JITEM, alleged intelligence unit within the gendarmerie, and knew that we would be killed.
In an article entitled "We should seek ways to achieve unity rather than causing secession", in Vakit (30.11.08) columnist Ayhan Bilgin accuses the Democratic Society Party, DTP, of advocating establishment of an autonomous region in southeast Turkey as a first step intended to dismember Turkey. He says: "No separatist should have certain expectations and dreams banking on Barzani's current position in Iraq. They must be aware of the fact that Barzani owes his position to US support which enables him to take a defiant and uncompromising stance. No power could keep him in power when US support ends (which will soon happen). He would not even be able to stay in that region for several days longer because Iraqis who have lost around five million people will not forgive collaborating tribes."
A report entitled "JITEM's Footprints in Brigadier General Aydin's Assassination," Zaman (30.11.08) quotes retired non-commissioned officer Huseyin Oguz as saying that Brigadier General Bahtiyar Aydin was assassinated in 1993 by a group of PKK informers within the JITEM because of his opposition to illegal groups within the military.
Another report entitled "PKK Informer: Colonel Ozden was Assassinated by Atilla Ugur's Team" on the same page Zamman (30.11.08) says that a PKK informer code-named "Fatih" claimed that Colonel Ozden was assassinated by a JITEM team formed by retired Colonel Hasan Atilla Ugur, then Commander of Kiziltepe Gendarmerie Unit, on instructions given by the head of JITEM's branch in Mardin who was known as "Hoca" or "Ebu Sufyan."
Zaman (30.11.08) carries the first of an unspecified installments of an interview with Salahattin Demirtas, deputy whip of the DTP's parliamentary delegation, who expounds his views on the Kurdish question and says that they can contribute to efforts aimed at resolving the problem if the government consults with his party for that purpose.