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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-30

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 <>



  • [01] Talat started his contacts in Ankara and stated: This was not a meeting aiming at an opening
  • [02] Bagis argues that if a leader who wants the solution less than Talat is elected in the Turkish Cypriot community, this will constitute a problem for the Greek Cypriots and the EU as well
  • [03] Six months are left for the last dead-line
  • [04] Turkeys Foreign Ministry will launch a campaign for renewing Turkeys image
  • [05] Ozdil Nami stated that the discussions on the criteria for the property issue were completed
  • [06] A CTP delegation held contacts in Swedish capital. The delegation discussed the Cyprus issue with Prime Minister Papandreou
  • [07] Cemal Bulutoglulari may be DP candidate for the 2010 presidential elections
  • [08] Halloumi is registered by the Turkish Patent Institute
  • [09] Obamas message on the occasion of the Republics Day; Erdogan to meet Obama in December
  • [10] Davutoglu to visit France in November
  • [11] Turkish Government to pass legislation to compensate victims of crime. Foreign nationals will be benefited as well

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 29 October 2009


    [01] Talat started his contacts in Ankara and stated: This was not a meeting aiming at an opening

    All the Turkish Cypriot newspapers report today (30.10.09) about the visit to Ankara of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat who, accompanied by a delegation in which the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun, also participates, is holding contacts with officials of the Turkish government.

    Havadis writes that Mr Talat and Mr Ozgurgun had a two-hour meeting with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and then the meeting continued for another hour with the participation of the Turkish Cypriot delegation and officials from the Turkish Foreign Ministry. According to the paper the property issue was discussed in the meeting.

    Mr Talat and his delegation attended later the reception of the Turkish President, Abdullah Gull for the anniversary of the establishment of the Republic of Turkey.

    Speaking to the journalists after the reception, Mr Talat was asked whether a new opening is expected as regards Cyprus after the openings made by Turkey on the Kurdish and the Armenian issue. Mr Talat stated, inter alia, that the Cyprus opening has been continuing, incessantly, since 2004. In this framework an extraordinary thing should not be expected. We are the side which is active, he stated.

    Referring to the meeting with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Talat said that they made a general evaluation of the talks and he informed Mr Davutoglu on the latest development in the negotiations.

    He also said that the delegations worked on issues related to property and that he and Mr Davutoglu discussed the governance issue. This was not a visit aiming to an opening, stated Mr Talat and added that the aim of the visit was not to determine and try new strategies but to continue the current pro-active approach.

    Asked about the meeting held at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat stated that general information was given to them as regards this issue and added that more detailed information will be conveyed to them later. However, he noted that there is neither a Plan B, nor a Plan C as regards the Cyprus problem.

    On his part, the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun, commented on the statements made yesterday by Egemen Bagis, the Turkish Chief Negotiator with the European Union (EU), who stated that failure to achieve progress in the ongoing negotiation process by April 2010, could result in Talats failure to be re-elected in the presidency of the occupation regime. Mr Ozgurgun stated that these statements are a message Mr Bagis sent to the Greek Cypriot side. According to Mr Ozgurgun, if the Greek Cypriot side continues with the same mentality in the negotiations, the solution will become very difficult.

    Halkin Sesi refers to Talats contacts in Ankara, under the title The Strategy was determined step-by-step. The paper also writes that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun, stated that the position to be held towards the Greek Cypriot side between November and January was discussed during the meetings. Today Mr Talat will hold a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan.


    [02] Bagis argues that if a leader who wants the solution less than Talat is elected in the Turkish Cypriot community, this will constitute a problem for the Greek Cypriots and the EU as well

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.10.09) publishes an interview with Egemen Bagis, Turkeys Chief Negotiator with the European Union (EU), who said he is hopeful for the solution in Cyprus during this period, because for the first time there are stable, strong and courageous governments both in Athens and in Ankara.

    Responding to a question, Mr Bagis noted that Turkey fully supports the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat at the negotiating table. He reminded that before the elections he visited the occupied areas of Cyprus and stated that whoever wins the elections, Mr Talat should continue to conduct the negotiations. And indeed, on the evening of the elections, Mr Eroglu perceived well the message to which Turkey attaches importance and declared that he wanted Mr Talat to continue the negotiations, he added.

    Pointing out to the constructive stance of Mr Talat on the issue of reaching to a solution in Cyprus, Mr Bagis reiterated that before the Annan Plan, everybody in the world had Turkey and the breakaway regime pay the price for the non-solution in the island and added: However, before and after the Annan Plan we changed this international perception without withdrawing a single soldier from the island and without giving an inch of territory. And everybody started seeing that the Greek Cypriot Papadopoulos mentality is the side which prevented the solution. Both the Westerners and the Easterners are seeing this. The international invitations which Talat receives derive from this stance. .

    Responding to another question, Mr Bagis expressed the belief that Mr Talat will not take to referendum any solution which his citizens could not accept. He reiterated the support of his country to an agreed solution between the two leaders.

    Asked about his recent statement that a leader who wants the solution less could take Mr Talats place in case a solution is not reached until the presidential elections in April 2010, Mr Bagis said:

    The whole world knows that Mr Talat has a stance in favour of the solution. However, if in spite of this a solution is not achieved on the island, Mr Talats not winning the elections is among the possible probabilities of democracy. We do not know who will win in such a situation. We could not know how much the person who will win will want the solution. The Greek Cypriots should take the necessary lesson from thisIf someone else is elected in Talats place and this person is someone who wants less the solution, this will not be a problem only for Turkey, but for the Greek Cypriots and the EU as well.

    Referring to his countrys target for entering into the EU and the relation of this with the Cyprus problem, he said: The EU is a very important target for us, but it is not a sine qua non. It is not a process which is worthy of fully sacrificing especially an island such as Cyprus which is a token of the ancestors. The Greek Cypriots should get rid of the mentality that they want a solution anyway, we could make them do whatever we want.

    Mr Bagis said that he will visit Athens on 5 November and give the message that Turkey intends to continue being one step forward.


    [03] Six months are left for the last dead-line

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (30.10.09) reports in its first page that Ankara for the first time has associated the Cyprus negotiations and the solution process with the presidential elections sending the message: Either we will solve the problem until the (presidential) elections, or we will not be able to solve it at all.

    The paper goes on and writes that Ankara announced that a period of six months is left for the solution process and sent for the first time the signal that Mehmet Ali Talat may lose the elections in the TRNC. Is Ankara, which made Talat played the solution game, getting ready to give to Eroglu the non-solution role?, the paper asks.

    After the brain storming which took place with the participation of 40 ambassadors the previous week at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the message Either look to find a solution with Talat, or this work ends here was sent to the Greek Cypriots, writes the paper and notes that Turkey is making preparations so that it will not be held responsible if the process ends up without a solution and is trying to use the political will of the Turkish Cypriots with Eroglu.


    [04] Turkeys Foreign Ministry will launch a campaign for renewing Turkeys image

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (29.10.09), under the title The Foreign Ministry will renew Turkey's image, reports that Turkeys Foreign Ministry will launch a promotion campaign to improve Turkey's image in the Western countries especially in France and Germany.

    In the draft budget of 2010 submitted by the foreign ministry to the parliament, it is stressed that the ethnic, religious and historical prejudices prevent and delay the aims of Turkeys foreign policy in Europe and for this reason they should accelerate the creation of Turkeys new image.

    According to the draft budget, the Foreign Ministry will conduct a research on Turkey's image especially in the United States and the European countries. According to the results, a promotion campaign will be launched to improve the negative points of Turkeys image. Projects and programmes of short, medium and long term will be prepared. NGOs will also participate in this promotion campaign. They will also seek the support of various lobbies and public relations companies in the Western countries.


    [05] Ozdil Nami stated that the discussions on the criteria for the property issue were completed

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.10.09) broadcast the following:

    Senior aides of the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias have completed their discussions on the criteria for the Property issue of Cyprus talks.

    Ozdil Nami and Giorgos Iacovou met today to take up the Property criteria.Speaking to the BRT, President Talats Special Aide for Negotiations Ozdil Nami said the criteria he has discussed with Mr Iacovou will be taken up by Talat and Christofias for review during the next round of talks which is on Monday.While the Turkish side wants a property institution to be established, to act as the decision-making mechanism, the Greek Cypriot side however insists that the former property owners should have the right of say.

    [06] A CTP delegation held contacts in Swedish capital. The delegation discussed the Cyprus issue with Prime Minister Papandreou

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.10.09) broadcast the following:

    A delegation from the main opposition Republican Turkish Party is in Sweden to attend the 36th congress of the member of the Socialist International Swedish Social Democrat Party.

    A delegation from the main opposition Republican Turkish Party is in Sweden to attend the 36th congress of the member of the Socialist International Swedish Social Democrat Party.

    The CTP delegation held various contacts in the Swedish Capital Stockholm and also met with newly elected Prime Minister of Greece Giorgos Papandreou.

    The CTP delegation came together with the Head of the European Union Affairs Department of Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs Hakan Emsgard at a lunch.During the meeting, the CTP delegation informed Mr. Emsgard about the latest development on the Cyprus issue. The Cyprus negotiations process as well as the possible initiatives and contributions to facilitate the process were also discussed during the meeting.

    Within the framework of its contacts, the CTP delegation met with the delegations from the British Labor Party, Greek PASOK Party and Estonian Social Democrat Party as well as other participating delegations from South Africa and Lithuania.The CTP delegation also came together with Greek Prime Minister, leader of the PASOK and President of the Socialist International Giorgos Papandreou.Expressing that the Cyprus Turks will towards a solution is continuing, the CTP delegation said the opportunity towards finding a solution should not be missed on the island.

    For his part, Mr. Papandreou said he is determined to show all the effort he can towards finding a just and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.The CTP delegation which consists of Partys General Secretary Kutlay Erk, Finance Secretary Ahmet Barcin and the Secretary of Foreign Relations Erkut Sahali will leave Sweden tomorrow.

    [07] Cemal Bulutoglulari may be DP candidate for the 2010 presidential elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (30.10.09) reports that Serdar Denktas, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP) stated that if Cemal Bulutoglulari, the current self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, will be a candidate for the 2010 presidential elections, his party will support him. Mr Denktas made these statements during an interview he gave to the paper. He went on and stated that DP is in the process of nominating the partys candidate for the elections.


    [08] Halloumi is registered by the Turkish Patent Institute

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (30.10.09) reports that the Cyprus halloumi cheese (hellim) was registered. According to the paper, the application submitted by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry to the Turkish Patent Institute (TPE) last year for registering hellim cheese as geographical indication was concluded. Hellim cheese of which the place of production is identified as Cyprus Island was registered as the designation of origin.

    Moreover, TPE sent the application of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry for registering hellim cheese to the General Directorate of Tax legislation Development of the Prime Ministry in order to be published in the official gazette. Everyone can object regarding the request of register within six months of the publication of the announcement in the official gazette. In case there is no objection within this period, the registration will be finalised.


    [09] Obamas message on the occasion of the Republics Day; Erdogan to meet Obama in December

    Todays Zaman newspaper (30.10.09) reports the following:

    US President Barack Obama has sent a congratulatory message to President Abdullah Gül on the 86th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish Republic, calling for deepening the bilateral partnership between the two allies to resolve global issues.

    On behalf of the American people, I extend my warmest congratulations to you and the citizens of Turkey on Oct. 29, the 86th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk as a modern, democratic and secular state, Obama said in the message, which was published on the Web page of the US Embassy in Ankara.

    More than 50 years ago, the United States and Turkey began a partnership that is based on shared values, a common vision and mutual respect. Through this partnership we have worked to resolve conflicts that span the globe. It is my firm belief that Turkey and the United States should continue to deepen this partnership to promote peace and prosperity around the world, Obama said. On this important date, I offer my congratulations and my appreciation for the friendship and continued partnership between our two nations, he concluded.

    In early December, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to pay a working visit to Washington upon Obamas invitation. The visit was originally scheduled to begin in late October and would have coincided with Republic Day.

    Some members of opposition parties and a number of columnists had criticized the scheduling of Erdogans visit to the US capital on the 86th anniversary of the Turkish Republic -- which was established on October 29, 1923 -- suggesting that it was not appropriate for the prime minister to be at the White House on that particular date.

    Later, the date of the visit was rescheduled by US and Turkish officials upon Erdogans request. It is now expected to take place on December 7.

    [10] Davutoglu to visit France in November

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.10.09) reported the following from Paris:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will travel to Paris on November 6 as guest of his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner, French officials said on Thursday.Davutoglu and Kouchner will discuss bilateral relations, Turkey's EU membership process, regional issues and the activities of ongoing cultural event Season of Turkey in France.

    France has blocked negotiations on five chapters, arguing that these chapters are directly related to Turkey's full membership.

    Davutoglu's visit was earlier scheduled for October 23 but it was postponed because of a parliamentary session on protocols with Armenia.

    [11] Turkish Government to pass legislation to compensate victims of crime. Foreign nationals will be benefited as well

    Todays Zaman newspaper (30.10.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish government has made a decision to fully implement the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes.

    Turkey became a signatory to the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes in 1985, but to date it has not been presented for parliamentary approval. The government is planning to change that now, and the convention is due to be sent to Parliament soon along with a bill on aid to victims of crime. The Third National Program the government published in November 2008 said the government would send the European Convention on the Compensation of Victims of Violent Crimes to Parliament, but refrained from specifying the date when this was to take place. After interruptions during which the Turkish government focused on its new Kurdish initiative and failure to pass a new constitution, the administration has once again turned its attention to Turkeys EU bid.

    The Justice Ministry prepared the bill on aid to victims of crime nearly two years ago, and it is now also preparing to present the convention to Parliament. It is reportedly planned for the documents to be passed before the new year. The bill concerns the governments role as a social-welfare state, providing for direct state aid to victims of crimes that constitute physical, mental or sexual assault, and in case of their death, the provision of aid for the dependents of the deceased.

    The state will be responsible for those injured, disabled or otherwise forced to rely upon others to carry out normal life activities as a result of crime; it will foot the bill for their care, therapy and the costs of any prosthesis. The state will also compensate those unable to work as a result of a crime committed against them for their lost wages. If they die as a result of a crime, all of the costs of their therapy, the loss in income they suffered, funeral costs and the costs of those who had to take care of the person until they died will also be covered by the state.

    No compensation for emotional damage

    Turkey has dealt with a domestic terrorism problem for 30 years now, resulting in its citizens suffering frequent injury and other trauma. However, to date Turkey had refused to provide any compensation for the victims of terrorist attacks. The bill is careful to note that emotional damages can only be demanded from the perpetrator of the criminal actions and not the government. Should the victims of the aforementioned types of violence covered by the bill receive compensation from the Social Security Institution (SGK) or private insurance, they will not receive additional state aid.

    According to this bill, an aid association responsible for administering the aid will be established with its headquarters in Ankara. The institution will have a branch in each province at which victims can apply for aid. In large cities, such as Ankara and Istanbul, where the workload will predictably be heavier, additional branches will be set up outside the city center.

    Expats, foreign nationals also to benefit

    The bill will also apply to foreign nationals who have lived legally in Turkey with a residence permit for at least three years; they will also be eligible for funds from the same institution that will administer aid to Turkish citizens. Children who are not Turkish citizens but are victims of human trafficking or illegal migration through Turkey, migrants who have been granted asylum-seeker status, minors who have applied for asylum-seeker status and children who have applied for Turkish citizenship will all also be eligible to benefit from such compensation.

    An application for such aid must be made within one year of the date when the crime was committed. Injured persons will receive TL 2,250, permanently disabled persons TL 9,000, those who cannot perform essential life functions unassisted will receive TL 26,000. Dependents of a person who died as a result of crime will receive TL 15,000.


    [12] From the Turkish Press of 29 October 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 29 October 2009:

    a) Coup document

    Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila outlines the views Chief of the General Staff Gen Ilker Basbug conveyed in his message on the occasion of the 86th anniversary of the republic, saying that they strengthened the position of the Turkish military forces, TSK, in the country. In a column entitled "Basbug's message and the target of the latest initiative," he claims that the objective of the document that has been referred to as the "wet signature" might be to help the administration to recover from the fiasco related to the return of the PKK members through the Habur border gate by drawing attention to the military forces and notes: The initiative might place Ilker Basbug in a difficult situation and harm the relations between the civilian administration and the military forces. But, that might not be what Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants. Meanwhile, it seems that the CHP [Republican People's Party] has also become a target. Bila concludes by asking whether the intention is to kill two birds with one stone.

    In a column entitled "Legal debate," Sabah columnist Nazli Ilicak argues that the lawsuit related to the military plan that called for a struggle against reaction in Turkey should be filed in a civilian court. Stressing that Article 145 of the Constitution has to be amended for that purpose, she notes: "The AKP [Justice and Development Party] must reconcile its differences with the CHP and MHP [Nationalist Action Party] to change the article." Stressing that the Constitutional Court deciding to change the article will create problems in the country, Ilicak says: The four parties in the parliament cooperating to change Article 145 will add to the esteem of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, which upholds the will of the nation.

    Referring to the allegations against the military forces in connection with the coup plan, Cumhuriyet columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek recalls the statement Gen Ilker Basbug made after the copy of the document was disclosed to the effect that he will initiate an investigation if the original copy is found and says that creating the impression that the general might be responsible is wrong. In a column entitled "Mercy," Arcayuret also draws attention to the allegations against the CHP and justifies CHP leader Denkz Baykal's strong reaction, quoting him as saying: The controversy on the document has been left aside and attention has been focused on the political parties, particularly the CHP.

    Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan, in a column entitled "Do not guarantee," criticizes the General Staff's message on Republic Day, which said that the military forces are the guarantor of the unitary state. He stresses that the army continues to view itself as being above the Turkish Grand National Assembly and argues: "The parliament decides the administrative structure of the state. It might decide to maintain the unitary structure or support the establishment of a federation. Only the parliament is authorized to decide on that." Stressing that the military forces guarantee the defense of only the borders of the country, Altan says: "You will remain as a state institution under the parliament and the government. You will not commit crimes. You will not move to take over the administration of the country. You will comply with the instructions of the people, government, and parliament." He concludes by urging the military forces to successfully defend Turkey's border and fulfill their duties.

    In the second part of his column in Radikal, entitled "Relations between the government and military forces," Murat Yetkin argues that the people in Turkey expect to be informed on the initiatives that are made to bring to light the alleged plan for the struggle against reaction in the country and says that the relations between the government and the military forces must be reorganized. He claims that Gen Ilker Basbug has to play a key role in the effort that will be made for that purpose and notes that the plan must not be covered up. It must be brought to light for the sake of establishing democracy in a way that will befit the country.

    In a column entitled "A regrettable article on Republic Day," Hurriyet's Sedat Ergin draws attention to "Information Support Plan" that was drawn up by Lt Gen Nusret Tasdeler in 2007, saying that several sections of the document have made the people uneasy. Stressing that the document might create a breaking point in the relations between the civilian administration and the military forces, he warns that the involvement of the military forces in politics strengthens the people's support for the AKP and renders the work of the groups that oppose the party more difficult. Ergin urges the military forces to reassess their situation before it is too late.

    Under the banner headline, "Junta sinks deeper as it tries frantically to climb out," Vakit runs a front-page report which asserts that the authentication of the "foul plan to unseat the ruling AKP and destroy the Gulen community" has thrown "junta supporters" into panic. The report also accuses a "pro-junta" group within the General Staff of trying to mislead the public by asking who leaked the document in question rather than taking action against those who prepared the document.

    Under the headline, "Investigation should be carried out by civilian judiciary," Zaman publishes a front-page report which asserts that the office of the military prosecutor at the General Staff has come under fire from several jurists over its launch of a new investigation into the "conspiracy against the nation bearing Navy Captain Dursun Cicek's wet signature." The report quotes retired military justice Umit Kardas as saying that according to Article 250 of the Penal Procedures Law, the authority to conduct an investigation into coup attempts is unquestionably vested with the civilian judiciary.

    In an article entitled "We need a Nizam-i Cedit [New Order] Military", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone argues that the authentication of the so-called "anti-reactionary" plan prepared by a group within the military has established that "the most serious threat to the indivisibility of the Turkish nation" is posed by certain groups within the Turkish military. "In order for this threat to be eliminated, it would not be sufficient to purge the junta from the military, or to remove the group led by the Deputy Chief of Staff from office ... or even to have the Chief of the General Staff submit his resignation for the way he risked his own reputation for the sake of covering up the scandal. In order to protect the Turkish military's dignity, our country's security, the people's rights, and the state's welfare, we need to end this institution and establish a new army. We need a Nizam-i Cedit military." [Referring to the measures adopted by Sultan Selim III to reform the Ottoman system.]

    In an article entitled "Why the need for a second Republic?", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay asserts that the military and civilian bureaucracy's notion of Republicanism and Kemalism does not only reflect disrespect for cultural differences but is also based on a concept of democracy under bureaucratic tutelage. He cites the military plan against the AKP and the Gulen movement as a manifestation of how the Turkish establishment conceives of the armed forces as a political force above the national will. He also claims that while the foundation of the "first republic" was an important stage in "the modernization movement started by the Ottomans toward the end of the 18th century," "we need a second republic today that is compatible with the needs of modern civilization."

    Under the headline, "Appeal for Justice falls on deaf ears as military protects plot figures," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that the General Staff's "reluctance" to "allow civilian prosecutors to interrogate five members of the military regarding a plot against the governing party and a faith-based civilian group" has led to a "public outcry, with jurists describing the General Staff's inaction as clear defiance of the rule of law."

    In an article under the title "Absence of courage", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal criticizes Turkish political parties for their lack of "courage ... in taking the necessary steps to end the TSK's [Turkish Armed Forces] role in politics."

    In an article entitled "Concerning civilian-military relations", Today's Zaman columnist Muhammed Cetin comments on the "questions about the relationships between civilian leaders and the military" raised by "the confirmation of the authenticity of a military plot" against the AKP and the Gulen community.

    Finally, in an article entitled "Turkey always needs a strong army", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan criticizes the way some press commentaries on the latest developments involving the alleged military action plan against the AKP are going beyond calling for the punishment of those responsible for the plan to questioning the TSK's "institutional identity." He asserts that if the Turkish military is to maintain its prestige and continue carrying out its duties properly, it should arrange for those accused of plotting against the Government to be brought to justice instead of "pretending nothing had happened" and "refraining from sharing information with the public."

    b) Foreign policy issues

    In his column entitled "Neo Ottomanism," in Hurriyet Oktay Eksi criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan's attacks on Israel and wonders whether he has gone too far. He argues that the developments that have taken place after Ahmet Davutoglu was appointed foreign minister show that a new decision has been made on Turkey's preferences and notes: It seems that the idea of joining the EU as a full member is of secondary importance now. It has become apparent that Erdogan viewed the process for Turkey's accession to the organization as a means to strengthen his position in power and mislead the pro-Western Turkish public opinion. He concludes by wondering the impact Erdogan's approach will have on Turkey.

    Referring to Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Iran, Hurriyet's Semih Idiz argues that he created an opportunity for President Ahmedinezhad to convey his views to the world through Turkey. Referring to Erdogan's attacks on Israel, he notes in a critical tone that his accusation that Israel has used weapons of mass destruction in Gaza will worsen the tension between the two countries. Idiz says that the Turkish and Israeli diplomats are making a strenuous effort to prevent the further deterioration of the relations between the two sides and claims that they will have to maintain their effort for a long time because of Erdogan's statements in Tehran.

    In an article entitled "What happened to the chaos belt? What is Turkey trying to do?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul discusses "very important" recent developments along "the Eurasian fault line" suggesting that this "chaos belt" is turning into a "peace zone" following the "apparent" "failure" of Western "control strategies" based on conflict. He looks at the role that Turkey is playing in bringing about this "major transformation" by taking "pioneering" steps toward contributing to the goal of "a fairer world order," adding that Ankara's recent regional moves have already served to make "close relations or peace with Turkey the most profitable investment for Asian countries." He also asserts that Turkey's "former allies" including particularly the United States and Israel are worried by these developments and that they have already started to use terrorism as a means of "sabotaging" Turkey's initiatives toward achieving regional economic and political integration and boosting relations with Iran, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, and Russia.

    In an article entitled "Discovering the West in the East", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru lauds the ruling AKP for the way it is trying to Westernize Turkey even as it stands up for certain Eastern values. He claims that "we owe it to the AKP's preferences if we can demand more rights and freedoms, are less afraid than we used to be to express our woes, and have come to choose peace to war." He goes on to assert that notwithstanding its ability to take "bold steps" toward "acquainting Turkey with Western ways," the AKP is hard pressed to change Turkey's Eastern habits where civilian-military relations are concerned. He ends by arguing that the Turkish military's "rather too calm" reaction to the latest developments involving the anti-reactionary action plan indicates that the top brass of the army continues to regard the measures suggested in the said plan as being part of its job description.

    In an article entitled "Was new Turkey's legitimacy definition intended for tactical purposes?", Vakit columnist D. Mehmet Dogan highlights passages from a book called Turkey and the Geopolitics of the Turkish World by the late Muzaffer Ozdag, "one of the younger officers who took part in the military takeover in 1960," who argues that the establishment of new Turkey as a secular state should be seen as a psychological, political, and diplomatic measure against further possible Western belligerence and safeguard the results of the Turkish War of Independence rather than as a rejection of the Islamic faith and an effort to establish an atheistic society. Dogan argues based on Ozdag's views that Turkey's choice of secularism as a governance model was for "tactical" reasons only, adding that as global circumstances have changed greatly since the 1920s, Turkey should start following "new strategies" based on current conditions without severing its relations with the West.

    In an article entitled "October 29", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak expresses regret at what he presents as the process whereby what started as an effort during the War of Independence to restore the caliphate and the sultanate resulted in the establishment of a republican regime not much different from a monarchy on 29 October 1923 to evolve in later years into a "minority dictatorship" where "deep powers" and "putschist" forces "keep tabs on the people" and apply checks on the "religious, historical, cultural, and identity values of society."

    Finally, in an article entitled "Seeking order in Asia", Today's Zaman columnist Ibrahim Kalin objects to Prime Minister Erdogan's emphasis on "a new regional order in the Middle East" being represented by "skeptics" as "another sign of Turkey 'moving East' and losing its 'Western orientation.'" He also comments on "the future of the war in Afghanistan" and the need for "stability in Pakistan" and asserts that "a new regional order in Asia will guarantee peace and stability only if it establishes justice first."


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