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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-06

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 <>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 124/09 04-06.07.09


  • [01] They put up Karpass for sale in the Internet
  • [02] The British Foreign Office issued a warning that it is risky to buy land from Cyprus
  • [03] A new project to revive the housing sector
  • [04] Emiroglulari says the population of the occupied areas is around 500 thousands
  • [05] Illegal GAU to open a new campus in occupied Karpasia peninsula
  • [06] Block the population transfer
  • [07] TRNC National Taekwondo Team participates in the International Taekwondo Championship under the TRNC flag
  • [08] Cyprus Today: Fifa recognition for Gonyeli surface
  • [09] Roman Graves were unearthed in occupied Keryneia
  • [10] Egemen Bagis assesses statements by Dora Bakoyiannis on the Ankara Protocol as messages for domestic consumption
  • [11] The diplomat who handled the Cyprus problem at the Turkish Foreign Ministry new Permanent representative of Turkey to UN
  • [12] Davutoglu to host the Gulf Cooperation Council ministers for a meeting in Istanbul
  • [13] Gul and Medvedev discussed bilateral ties and regional issues on the phone
  • [14] Babacan to attend European Business World Leaders in Helsinki
  • [15] A public survey in Turkey shows that 1 out of 2 people back EU membership

  • [16] Columnist assesses Swedens EU term Presidency and argues that pro-Turkey countries will hold the presidency until the year 2011
  • [17] Columnist in Todays Zaman assesses Turkish foreign policy and the dynamics which influenced Turkish politics between 2003-2005
  • [18] From the Turkish Press of 04 July 2009


    [01] They put up Karpass for sale in the Internet

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (04.07.09) reports that the International Top Invest real estate firm, has put up for sale a 1280-donum-land in occupied Karpass for the amount of 15.5 million Pounds Sterling. According to the paper, 1,100 of the 1,280 donums are state property.

    The coast line Golden Beach is included in the land that was put up for sale, writes the paper and notes that the area is next to the National Karpass Park. The environmentalists reacted strongly because of this and noted that the sale of the land of the people will not be accepted.


    [02] The British Foreign Office issued a warning that it is risky to buy land from Cyprus

    Under the title It is risky to buy land from Cyprus Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (04.07.09) reports that a warning which was added to the internet site of the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office that It is risky to buy land from the island of Cyprus, made the Republic of Cyprus angry. According to the paper, this warning was published in the internet site of the Foreign Office for a long time now, but it only referred to the occupied areas of Cyprus, however, now it includes the free areas of the Republic as well.

    The paper also writes that this development was the result of a letter sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office by the Embargoed Group which alleged that there are around 100 thousand persons in the free areas of the Republic who did not receive title deeds for their properties and that among it there are 30 thousand Britons.


    [03] A new project to revive the housing sector

    Under the title, Everybody will become home owner, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (06.07.09) reports that a new project has been launched in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The project aims at both preventing the property prices from falling and foreigners from panicking due to the Orams case verdict, but also at offering the Turkish Cypriots the possibility to become long-term owners of a cheap property and to help the building contractors to get out of the crisis they are facing in the last years with the minimum damage.

    According to the project, in order to come out of the existing crisis in the housing sector the so-called government will support the completion of the unfinished houses in the occupied areas and afterwards to sell these houses to TRNC citizens and to Turkish Cypriots living abroad. In addition, with the mediation of the banks, the interested persons will be able to become home-owners by becoming indebted to the government with 14% interest and a 15-year payment in full scheme, the paper writes.

    The news was spread by the representative of the Turkish Cypriot Real Estate Agents Union, Mr Ahmet Davman. Mr Davman stated that despite current difficulties of becoming a home-owner, the Turkish Cypriots living in the occupied areas and abroad will have the possibility to home-ownership with a long-term, mortgage-like system. According to Mr Davman, a lot of efforts have been spent in order to revive the real estate sector from the difficulties, defining that the main problem of the construction sector are the half-finished and unsold houses.

    Mr Davman also stated that by the materialization of this project, not only the citizens, but the real estate agents, the building contractors, the state and every other sector of the economy will be benefited. Mr Davman went on and added that the real estate sector is the issue why the Greek Cypriot side sees the TRNC as its only competitor, adding that in the real estate prices, the North Cyprus is the 112th cheapest country in the world and in comparison to the free territories of the Republic, the real estate prices in the northern part of Cyprus are much cheaper.


    [04] Emiroglulari says the population of the occupied areas is around 500 thousands

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.07.09) reports that Mustafa Emiroglulari, MP with the Social Democracy Party (TDP) in occupied Famagusta, has said that the population situation of the living in the occupied areas of Cyprus is not known and that the situation of the roads denies the announced official numbers.

    In a written statement issued on Saturday by the TDPs press office, Mr Emiroglulari argued that the population in the occupied areas is around 500 thousand persons and added that approximately 70 % of the health and education expenses of the breakaway regime are spent for persons who are not its citizens.

    Mr Emiroglulari expressed the opinion that the social insurance agreement signed in the past between Turkey and the breakaway regime is catastrophic for the economy of the occupied areas. He noted that registering the unregistered illegal workers was a positive step, but other arrangements should have been also made parallel to this. The fact that the workers who would come here came with a simple provisional permit has complicated the problems further, he said.

    Mr Emiroglulari accused the National Unity Party government of opting to do nothing and to hide behind the economic disaster created by the Republican Turkish Party.


    [05] Illegal GAU to open a new campus in occupied Karpasia peninsula

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (06.07.09) writes that following the opening of a new campus at Canterbury, Britain, the illegal Girne American University (GAU) is to open a campus in occupied Karpasia peninsula. According to a written announcement issued by the GAU Board of Directors, the campus in occupied Karpasia is to start offering education in the new academic year 2009 -2010 and in the initial stage, the following faculties will operate: the Maritime Business Faculty, the Institute of Archaeological Studies, the Institute of Submarine Surveys, the Institute for the Protection of Natural Life in the Mediterranean, the Department of Aviation Management, the Agriculture Department and the Preparatory School Faculty.

    Underling the international validity GAU diplomas are now carrying, Prof. Dr. Serdar Saydam attached great importance to the recognition of the GAU diplomas by all the EU states and added that at a time when the TRNC is receiving no political recognition apart from Turkey, the acquisition of international accreditations is considered as a great advantage.


    [06] Block the population transfer

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot London Community Post (02.07.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot Democracy Association in London, arguing that the political will of the Turkish Cypriots on the island has been usurped, has called on the UN, the EU and United Kingdom official bodies to block the population transfer from the Republic of Turkey. The Democracy Association, stressing that the transfer of population constitutes one of the biggest barriers to lasting peace in Cyprus, points out that this practice has reduced the Turkish Cypriot community to a minority in its own country and destroyed its political will. Association officials, noting that there has also been a breach of the 1950 International Geneva Convention, state that by means of population transfer a serious attack has been mounted on the Turkish Cypriots right to self determination. The call to the UN, EU and Britain says: If, in order to achieve peace in Cyprus and to preserve any such peace that is attained, it is important to sustain the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community which we believe to be important then prevent the ongoing transfer of population from Turkey to the north of Cyprus.

    [07] TRNC National Taekwondo-Team participates in the International Taekwondo Championship under the TRNC flag

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (06.07.09) writes that the National Taekwondo Team of the illegal regime is participating in the International Taekwond Championship which is taking place in the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. The team entered the arena under the flag of the TRNC and during the parade of nations in the opening ceremony the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was announced.


    [08] Cyprus Today: Fifa recognition for Gonyeli surface

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Today newspaper (04.07.09) reports the following:

    FIFA has recognized the artificial pitch at the newly-built Gonyeli stadium. The 2,000-capity stadium and its 102m x 69m pitch becomes the first football facility in North Cyprus to gain official recognition from footballs global governing body.

    Gonyeli joins an extensive list of Fifa-affiliated stadiums around the world, including soccer giants Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona.

    Omer Adal, president of the Cyprus Turkish Football Federation (CTFF), said Fifa approval was a positive move.

    He said: The Company which has laid Gonyelis pitch is licensed by Fifa. Representatives from the company informed Fifa after finishing the pitch and they in turn have awarded it an official recommendation. However, it does not mean that the stadium will be hosting international games.

    Mr Adal said he anticipated receiving no complaints about Fifas recommendation from the Cyprus Football Federation (KOP), as Gonyeli stadium had been built on Turkish Cypriot land.

    KOP has previously made complaints about our football pitches being on Greek Cypriot land, but this stadium is on pure Turkish land. So they can have nothing to say about this.

    And I do not want to hear any complaints from KOP to FIFA asking how they can recommend an unrecognized countrys pitch.

    [09] Roman Graves were unearthed in occupied Keryneia

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.07.09) broadcast that two relic Roman graves were found in Girne [occupied Keryneia] during the illegal municipalitys excavation work carried out within the framework of the environmental arrangement and development project.

    Archeologists from the Department of Relics and Muesums found pieces of tombs and various remains made of glass and ceramic in one of the graves. No remains were found in the other grave.

    The Director of the Girne Municipality Nidai Gungordu informed that four historic graves were found during the excavation work in the last ten days.

    All remains have been forwarded to the Department of Relics and Museums, the Director said.

    [10] Egemen Bagis assesses statements by Dora Bakoyiannis on the Ankara Protocol as messages for domestic consumption

    Todays Zaman newspaper (06.07.09) reports the following:

    Turkey, whose presence in the international arena dates back to long before the start of its journey towards the European Union, is a country aware of its international responsibilities, chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis said in response to the Greek Foreign Minister's recent remarks warning Ankara of its international responsibilities.

    Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis reiterated Athens' support of Ankara's EU membership process in remarks published in the Greek daily Imerisia on Saturday, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    Our view is completely clear: There is no joint decision on opening frozen' chapters as long as Turkey doesn't implement the Ankara Protocol. Leave aside the eight chapters; there are other issues on the table. Turkey should fulfill its responsibilities. Turkey should understand that it must cooperate on illegal immigration, Bakoyannis was quoted as saying by Anatolia.

    The Greek minister was referring to an EU summit decision in 2006, when EU leaders froze eight negotiation chapters due to Ankara's refusal to implement an additional protocol to the customs union between Turkey and the EU, known as the Ankara Protocol, which would pave the way for opening Turkey's ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

    In Ankara, Bagis, speaking with Anatolia on Sunday, was harsh in responding to Bakoyannis' remarks. Turkey doesn't engage in international relations solely thanks to the EU or at the behest of the EU, and unlike our Greek friends who have Cyprus as their first and only agenda item, Turkey's sole agenda item is not Cyprus, Bagis said.

    To conclude entry negotiations, Turkey must bring its government policies in line with EU standards in 35 policy areas, known as chapters. Of these, only 11 have been opened in the past four years. Of the remaining 24, eight face a veto from Greek Cyprus and Greece. While blocking the eight chapters in 2006 due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic, the EU pledged to review the situation by the end of 2009. Ankara has so far managed to wrap up talks on only one chapter: science and research. As for the issue of responsibilities, while Turkey is aware of its responsibilities, it has the right to expect its counterparts to address their own responsibilities as well. International agreements are not obligations imposed by the one who raises its voice loudest, Bagis said.

    An agreement should be implemented equally, fairly and on the basis of reciprocity. Turkey will stay out of the uproar and propaganda on this issue. We consider heroic statements delivered to the media and aimed at tickling domestic public opinion as far from seriousness, and we are not interested in those statements. We don't take these unserious statements as a message, if the aim is sending us a message. We consider them a menu for domestic consumption. Corresponding through the media is not a method we prefer to employ.

    [11] The diplomat who handled the Cyprus problem at the Turkish Foreign Ministry new Permanent representative of Turkey to UN

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey has appointed a new representative to the United Nations (UN). Turkey appointed Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan as its new permanent representative to the UN on June 29. The concerned decree was published on Saturday's Official Gazette.

    Baki Ilkin was Turkey's former permanent representative to the UN. He represented Turkey in the UN for the past four and a half years, and retired on July 1.

    [12] Davutoglu to host the Gulf Cooperation Council ministers for a meeting in Istanbul

    Todays Zaman newspaper (06.07.09) reports the following:

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will hold the first foreign ministerial-level talks today with counterparts from all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), within the framework of a senior-level strategic dialogue mechanism between Turkey and the GCC that was put into force in September 2008.

    The foreign ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates -- all members of the GCC -- will be hosted by Davutoglu at Istanbul's Ciragan Hotel for the three-day meeting. Last September, Turkey and the GCC signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Jeddah that provides for cooperation in the economic, political and security spheres.

    At the time, GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman al-Attiyah stated that the signing of the MoU would pave the way for a free trade agreement between Turkey and GCC countries. The free trade agreement between Turkey and the GCC has been under negotiation since 2005. In May 2005 then-Foreign Minister and current President Abdullah Gul signed a framework agreement with al-Attiyah in Manama to begin negotiations on a free trade agreement.

    [13] Gul and Medvedev discussed bilateral ties and regional issues on the phone

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish president called on Friday his Russian counterpart on the phone. Turkey's President Abdullah Gul spoke with Russian President Dmitriy Medvedev by phone and discussed bilateral and regional developments.

    Gul and Medvedev also reaffirmed common will to boost friendship and cooperation, based on mutual confidence.

    [14] Babacan to attend European Business World Leaders in Helsinki

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan has departed from Ankara on Friday and is on his way to Finland's capital of Helsinki.

    Babacan will attend a meeting of European Business World Leaders in Helsinki. The meeting will take place under the title European Dimension of Global Crisis. Ali Babacan will be a key speaker at the meeting in Helsinki. He will deliver a speech titled Looking at Europe in Crisis from Turkey.

    [15] A public survey in Turkey shows that 1 out of 2 people back EU membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    One out of two people in Turkey support European Union (EU) membership, a survey indicated on Sunday.

    The Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) conducted a survey on 6,465 people and showed that 51.9 percent of Turkish people would vote for EU membership if a referendum was held.

    According to the survey, only 29.5 percent will vote against EU membership. 18.6 percent has no idea on the issue. Men, young people and people with respectively high income are supporting EU membership in Turkey.

    The survey indicated that 58.5 percent of men and 45.6 percent of women would back EU membership in a possible referendum. However, the rate of men opposing membership was 31.4 and the percentage of women opposing it was 27.7 percent. 57.1 percent of people between 18 and 24 are supporting the membership. The rate of supporters is decreasing in older age groups.

    Education and income are the other factors affecting the support for EU membership. The rate of secondary and high school and university graduates backing membership is 59 percent.

    Also, 62.1 percent of people with over 2,500 Turkish liras (TL) of monthly income said they would vote for EU membership in case of a referendum. This rate drops among people with lower incomes. (One USD is equal to 1.5360 TL)


    [16] Columnist assesses Swedens EU term Presidency and argues that pro-Turkey countries will hold the presidency until the year 2011

    Hurriyet Daily (03.07.09) published the following commentary by Cengiz Aktar under the title: Swedens EU term presidency:

    On Wednesday Sweden took over the helmet for the European Union term presidency. Sweden will face a quite difficult term. Even preparations for the decision about Turkey to be taken at the end of the year are enough to be handled in a six-month term presidency.

    Sweden is a country that has already grasped the importance of Turkeys integration with the EU and uttering it by any chance. No matter who is in the government, this policy has never changed in Sweden. Just like the U.S. administration. At the cost of exasperating French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, neither Sweden nor the United States hesitates to express their opinions on the subject. Sarkozy canceled a trip to Sweden when the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt made pro-Turkey remarks to the French daily Le Figaro in May. Turkey is again the reason why Sarkozy frequently answers back to U.S. President Barack Obama.

    Bildt and his team didnt wait for the last minute. They have been back and forth between Europe, Turkey and Cyprus and have now set up the "Cyprus Working Group" in Stockholm. Sweden long ago realized the crucial effect of Cyprus reunification talks over Turkeys accession negotiations with the EU particularly and its relations with the EU generally.

    Similarly, an informal group, "Like-minded countries on Turkeys EU membership," formed in Ankara, is gathering pace. The group initiated by Britain, Italy, Spain and Sweden expanded with the participation of Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Hungary and Poland. Denmark and the Netherlands are said to be providing occasional support to the group that may be reinforced in the months to come. On the other side, elections in Germany scheduled for Sept. 27 will show if the new German government will be at odds with Swedish and Spanish efforts regarding our negotiations. I personally do not expect an anti-Turkey coalition in Germany this fall.

    Friendly EU presidencies

    A new negotiation chapter was opened during the Intergovernmental Conference. The 11th chapter is about taxation. And Turkey promised to review taxes on all tobacco products by the end of the year. However, there couldnt be any more chapters opened during Swedens EU term presidency despite all. I kept saying for years: Turkey which cannot see the end of the road regarding its accession and is being insulted by Sarkozy-likes can neither make any more concessions in trade nor make any pre-spending required for the opening of new chapters. It seems that the government is hiding behind this impossibility and failing to conduct the EU works. But nothing is over yet. When Sarkozy decided to suspend five negotiation chapters in June 2007 and his administration tried like a child to get involved in every single sentence about "accession" uttered in Brussels, we should have called France to diplomatic account. This still can be done.Despite all odds, the situation is quite conducive until the end of 2011. Now Sweden, then Spain, Belgium, Hungary and Poland will become term presidents during a two-and-a-half year period. All are pro-Turkey. In the meantime, we should exert efforts to clear the way for the opening of new negotiation chapters. In this context, we have to deal with Sarkozy's opposition. The "Turkey Season" in France activities that will continue for nine months will be a way to have direct communication. So is Istanbul, European Capital of Culture in 2010.

    In parallel, the government should strongly support a solution in Cyprus and most importantly ask EU countries to utter an accession date. Once a membership date is uttered or discussed, the rest will come.

    It is a must to break-up Sarkozy-likes monopoly over statements and messages against Turkeys EU bid. The counter-messages should at least be as serious and thought provoking as his. When Sarkozy says, "No matter what you do, you will never be an EU member", pro-Turkey countries usually say, "Dont worry. They treated us badly too. Be patient and work hard." But this is enough no more!

    Pro-Turkey countries should be able to say as loudly as possible, "We want to see Turkey among us until such and such date." And they should say it in Europe not here. This is the communication we need.

    [17] Columnist in Todays Zaman assesses Turkish foreign policy and the dynamics which influenced Turkish politics between 2003-2005

    Todays Zaman newspaper (06.07.09) publishes a commentary by Omer Taspinar under the title: Domestic determinants of Turkish foreign policy. Following is the commentary:

    The connections between domestic and foreign policy are often complex. Yet, in the case of Turkey, there seems to be a straightforward puzzle. If Turkey becomes a genuinely liberal democracy, its best foreign allies will be liberal democracies in Europe and the United States.

    On the other hand, if Turkey is to turn more authoritarian and nationalistic, the EU path will be blocked and relations with the United States will deteriorate. In this second scenario, authoritarian states such as Russia, Iran, Syria and China will emerge as Turkey's closest partners. It is no coincidence that this second path, sometimes called the Eurasian alternative, stands in sharp contrast to a pro-Western Turkey.

    Although this correlation between domestic dynamics and foreign policy appears simple and predictable, the foreign policy orientation of Turkish domestic actors has become increasingly complicated and counterintuitive. Until 10 years ago -- during the Cold War and the 1990s -- the Turkish military and the Kemalist political elite were firm believers in the pro-Europe, pro-American and pro-Western camp. They had no illusions about an Eurasianist alternative to Ataturk's dream of a Westernized and modernized Turkey. It was the Marxist dissidents and the Islamists that challenged this pro-Western vision. The socialist Turkish left romanticized communist Russia while Turkish Islamists nurtured fantasies of a Muslim union against the Judeo-Christian West. But something strange began to happen with the arrival of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to power. This reformed and previously Islamic party discovered the connections between democratization and foreign policy.

    Abdullah Gul and Recep Tayyip Erdogan represented the young and more pragmatic wing of Turkish political Islam in the 1990s. They learned serious lessons from the 1997 soft coup which ousted former Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan. When the Welfare Party (RP) was closed and Erbakan banned from politics, Gl and Erdogan began their journey toward Turkey's political center. They eschewed any reference to Islam in their newly formed political party and opted for a pro-European Union platform. The economic crisis of 2001 and the bankruptcy of the old political elite greatly helped the AKP's rise to power in 2002.

    Once the AKP came to power, Turkey's domestic and foreign policy dynamics turned upside down. This moderately Islamic party became the strongest advocate of EU reforms. More pro-EU legal reforms passed Parliament between 2003 and 2005 than under any government in Turkish history. This formerly Islamist party was now the strongest advocate of Turkey's EU membership. Yet, the Kemalist opposition was skeptical. What had caused this sudden change of heart? Was it tactical? They came to the conclusion that the AKP was engaged in taqiyya, dissimulation of real intentions. According to this logic, the Islamists were pushing for EU reforms in order to weaken the role of the Turkish military. After all, the secularist military was the main bulwark against political Islam. Once it was tamed, there would be no obstacle for the AKP's hidden agenda of Islamization.

    It is not surprising that such an interpretation of the AKP's intentions changed the way the Kemalist elite approached the EU. The military already had concerns because of the EU's human and minority rights agenda vis--vis the Kurdish problem. Now, with the additional complication of political Islam in the mix, there was no longer any willingness in the Kemalist camp to see Turkey move closer to the EU, a move that would end up Islamizing Turkey while simultaneously granting minority rights to separatist Kurds. This was the end of the love affair between Kemalism and Europe. The tables had turned. The Kemalist elite was now increasingly anti-Europe while former Islamists were in favor of pro-EU reforms. The fact that Washington, under the Bush administration, praised the AKP as a model for the Islamic world and spoke of Turkey as a moderately Islamic country exacerbated the Kemalist sense of frustration with the West. It is under such circumstances that Kemalism came to be associated with the Eurasian alternative to Turkey's pro-EU and pro-US orientation.

    Yet even this complex turn of events fails to accurately capture what is going on in Turkey today. The Cyprus debacle, the EU's reluctance to embrace Turkey and the AKP's rising populist nationalism since 2006 drastically changed the picture that dominated Turkish politics between 2003 and 2005.

    [18] From the Turkish Press of 04 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 04 July 2009:

    Solution to the Kurdish problem

    A report by Hazal Ates in Sabah (04.07.2009) states that the United States, Iraq, and Turkey have prepared a four-stage plan to liquidate the PKK. According to the Rights and Freedoms Party (Hak-Par) leader Bayram Bozyel, PKK members will be settled in the Mahmur Camp and the leading cadres will be sent to Norway.

    Viewing the ban imposed on the Hiwa list and the DTP reaction to the ban in an article in Sabah (04.07.09), Erdal Safak maintains that this ban actually conveys a very significant message, namely that the period of tolerance to the PKK and its affiliates has ended. Based on the information Hak-Par's Bozyel has given to Sabah following his contacts in Northern Iraq, one can surmise that the end of the PKK is near, claims Safak, adding that Turkey, Iraq, and the United States are about to conclude their negotiations with the participation of Talabani and Barzani on the package that envisages the disarmament of the PKK, the exile of the leader cadres in Kandil, and the return of the militants to Turkey. In conclusion, Safak asserts that this is the end of the PKK and the beginning of the solution of the Kurdish issue.

    A report in Gundem Online (03.07.09) says that military operations against the People's Defense Forces have intensified in the rural areas of Sirnak, Siirt, Dersim [Tunceli], Van, Diyarbakir, and Mardin despite the PKK's cease-fire decision. It says that no measures have been taken yet to put out a forest fire set by soldiers in Mardin. According to the report, the army continues to dispatch troops to the operation areas.

    In a commentary under the title "Is a Kurdish Obama possible?" in Today's Zaman (04.07.09) writer Gurkan Zengin asserts that Turkey needs "an Obama" to solve "political problems that have intense psychological dimensions" like the "Kurdish issue," adding that "an American-type quest for 'tolerance' and 'compromise' is inevitable for Turkey."


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