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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-02-25
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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. 37/10 25.02.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus adopts a decision on the issue of guarantees; How the press covered the issueUnder the title They guaranteed them, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (25.02.10) reports that the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus held an extraordinary meeting yesterday and unanimously decided that the guarantees of Turkey are vital and the most fundamental element of the solution to be found to the Cyprus problem. The Turkish Cypriot political parties represented in the assembly described the decision taken by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on the issue of the guarantees as an initiative which lacks of good will and deals a blow to the negotiations.
The chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici alleged that the decision taken by the self-styled assembly is not a second mistake responding to the first mistake made by the House of Representative and it does not influence negatively the negotiations. He said that as TDP they struggled against the inclusion of some fascist and separatist elements in the decision. If the text was a fascistic and separatist text, we would definitely not vote for it, he argued.
The rest of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers today (25.02.10) refer to the issue under the following titles:
Vatan: Unanimity at the assembly. According to the paper, the decision entitled Proposal regarding the decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament which dealt a blow to the solution process, included, inter alia, the following: Turkeys active and effective guarantees are vital and the most fundamental element for the solution from the point of view of the Turkish Cypriot people. The decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament is an initiative which aims at destroying the meaning and the ground of the negotiations and lacks of good will. We will not tolerate for years the negative stance of the Greek Cypriot side which delays the solution and harms the negotiations. The international community should lift the restrictions the soonest.
Afrika: National Choir. The paper writes that the decision of the assembly was unanimous and adds: We are not different from each other; all of us are the same in front of the Greek Cypriots! The paper notes that the Turkish Cypriot political parties exhibited a spirit of national unity against the decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, like they did regarding the decision on the Orams case and the report of the European Parliament on Turkey. The paper writes that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) said that all of us are united in our communal interests. The paper argues that the most correct opinion on the issue of guarantees was expressed by Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), who accused the three guarantor powers of the Republic of Cyprus of being responsible for the conflict and the division on the island. Referring to the decision of the self-styled assembly, Mr Elcil described as very meaningful the fact that those who forgot the rights and the interests of the Turkish Cypriots in the Republic of Cyprus have now remembered the 1960 agreements when the guarantees are discussed.
Halkin Sesi: We will never abandon the guarantees. The paper writes that the assembly stressed that the Turkish Cypriots will never abandon the guarantees of Turkey.
Yeni Duzen: New partnershipThe guarantees are vital
Kibris: The Republican Assembly replied unanimously to the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives: The guarantees cannot be abandoned.
Star Kibris: It is impossible without guarantees.
Gunes: Historical decision. The paper writes that the self-styled prime minister of the regime, Dervis Eroglu, alleged in his address at the assembly that the decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on the guarantees is a sign that the Greek Cypriots are not sincere. He claimed that the Greek Cypriots never wanted a solution in Cyprus and described Turkeys active and effective guarantees as sine qua non for the Turkish side. Mr Eroglu alleged that the Greek Cypriot side always torpedoes the ground of the negotiations and added that the decision on the Orams case was the last straw. He said that in spite of everything his government favours the continuation of the negotiations with good will.
Demokrat Bakis: Historical warning. The paper writes that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) argued that no other power except Turkey could provide the security in the island and that the guarantees are a vital need for the Turkish Cypriots. He said they should not be contented with this decision of the assembly, because in this manner they will open the way for the abolition of Turkeys active and effective guarantees. He noted that their duty is to warn Ankara on this issue.
Haberdar: Reconciliation which we missed in the assembly.
Yeni Volkan: Turkeys guarantees could not be abandoned.
Kibrisli: The assembly addressed to the Greek Cypriots: Respect our equality!
 Talat says the necessary reply to the decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on the guarantees was given by the self-styled assemblyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.02.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the issue of guarantees came onto the agenda during his meeting with President Christofias yesterday within the framework of the Cyprus talks. In statements after the meeting, which was the first after 23 days and lasted for 6.5 hours, Mr Talat noted: However, there is nothing much that we could do on this issue. What is done cannot be undone. It was bad, it was a mistake, it spoiled the climate, it spoiled the positive climate between us. Finally, it was no good, but it happened.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (25.02.10) refers to the issue and reports that Mr Talat said that the necessary reply to the decision of the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus on the guarantees was given by the self-styled assembly.
 Christofias and Talat resume talks on the Cyprus problemTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (24.02.10) reported, inter alia, the following:
The presidents of Turkish and Greek Cyprus discussed economy Wednesday during talks aimed at finding a settlement to the division of the eastern Mediterranean island. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Cyprus adviser Alexander Downer said after the meeting between Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot President Demetris Christofias that the two parties mainly discussed economy. Talat and Christofias met at the buffer zone that splits the island into a Turkish north and Greek south. The leaders' representatives and technical delegations will keep discussing economy on Friday, Downer said.
The talks, which are being brokered by the United Nations, resumed after 23 days. Downer and his special envoy, Taye Brook, also participated in the meeting. Downer added that the agenda of the two leaders' meeting scheduled to take place on March 4 was not definite yet
 Talat due to SpainAnkara Anatolia news agency (25.02.10) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Turkish Cypriot president has departed from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) for Spain on Thursday. As part of his visit to EU's rotating president, TRNC's President Mehmet Ali Talat will meet with Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos. Talat is also scheduled to give a conference at the Spanish Real Elcano Institute in Madrid. After holding talks with political circles and representatives of press organs, Talat is expected to return to the TRNC on Saturday.
 An initiative for the promotion of the breakaway regime in Europe will start soon by the Turkish Associations Union in GermanyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.02.10) reports that the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, Dervis Eroglu met yesterday at his office with a delegation of the Initiative of Turkish Associations Union in Germany headed by its chairman, Isa Ilyasoglu. The Initiative offered to Mr Eroglu the Peace Prize 2010 for Europe because of his successful efforts until today.
In his statements, Mr Iliyasoglu said that they want the solution to be found in Cyprus to include Turkeys full military, economic and cultural guarantees and added that it is possible for the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, to be promoted in Europe with a good lobbying work. He noted that they will soon launch an initiative towards the lifting of the embargo and the isolation on the breakaway regime and start a signature campaign.
On his part, Mr Eroglu alleged that the state of the TRNC is a reality and that the EU countries know this reality, but they do not treat it as they should and the Turkish Cypriots live under embargoes.
 Former Turkish President Demirel alleged that the solution in Cyprus has been found and that this solution is the TRNCTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (25.02.10) reports that Ata Tepe, chairman of the Nationalist Justice Party (MAP), met on Tuesday 23 February in Ankara with Suleyman Demirel, 9th President of the Republic of Turkey. In his statements, Mr Tepe argued that the Cyprus problem, which he described as national cause for Turkey, is not in safe hands today. He alleged that the Turkish Cypriots have been deceived during the referendum for the Annan Plan, that they feel alone and they need the messages and the support of Mr Demirel.
On his part, the former Turkish President alleged that the solution in Cyprus has been found and that this solution is the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The national cause of Cyprus is a big cause, he said.
 Eroglu asks for Avcis support in the elections; Reports say Avci and Cakici might support TalatTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (25.02.10) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu, who is candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus, visited yesterday the chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Turgay Avci. According to the paper, Mr Eroglu asked the support of ORP for the elections. Speaking after the meeting, Mr Avci stated that the party will decide whom it will support for the presidential elections in a meeting it will hold next week.
In addition, Haberdar also writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, is getting ready to announce his candidature for the presidential elections and notes that even the room in which he will make the announcement has been reserved. The paper writes that Talat will have Turgay Avci on his right side when he will announce his candidature and adds that a campaign is taking place so that Mehmet Cakici, the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), will be on Talats left when he will announce his candidature.
 UBP does not expect a positive result from the Cyprus negotiationsIllegal Bayrak television (24.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The National Unity Party (UBP) General Secretary Irsen Kucuk said that his party does not expect the Cyprus negotiation process to yield a positive result.
Referring to the government crisis in South Cyprus, Mr Kucuk described it as another attempt to change the agenda of the talks. Mr Kucuk told BRT that the recent government crisis in South Cyprus was the latest of a series of artificial crisis created by the Greek Cypriot Administration with the aim of averting international pressure or changing the agenda of the talks.
Pointing out that the international community is in support of an urgent solution in Cyprus and that has been putting pressures on sides, he said that the UN Chief visited the island within this framework.
He noted that his party does not expect the talks --which are still continuing just before the TRNC Presidential elections-- to yield a positive result.
 The imports and exports of the breakaway regime decreased in 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (25.02.10) publishes data about the export and import of goods of the occupation regime for the year 2009. The data was given by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce. According to the paper, the occupation regime imported goods of 1 billion 241 million dollars and exported goods of 71 million 73 thousand dollars in the 2009. The paper writes that compared to 2008, there is a decrease of 26% in the imports and 15% in the exports.
 Turkish Cypriot delegation attends ECO meeting in Antalya; It held meetings with foreign participantsIllegal Bayrak television (24.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was represented at the 20th Regional Planning Council meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO). The meetings took place between the 16th and 18th of February in the Turkish city of Antalya.
According to information provided from the State Planning Organization, the TRNC delegation expressed the TRNCs readiness to strengthen cooperation with the Economic Cooperation Organization in the fields of economy, trade, agriculture, education and construction.
The delegation also met with Turkish Minister of State Cevdet Yilmaz and ECO Secretary General Muhammed Yahya Maroofi. Important gains were achieved during the discussions held between the TRNC delegation and representatives of ten countries attending the meetings, especially in the fields of tourism and sports.
 Turkish military generals debate state of military after a fresh wave of detentionsTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (25.02.10) reports the following:
Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug gathered active duty military generals at an extraordinary meeting at the General Staff in the Turkish capital on Tuesday evening, reportedly to discuss the position of the armed forces in the wake of a fresh wave of detentions of nearly 50 retired and active duty members of the military as part of a coup plot investigation.
The meeting was attended by 15 generals, who evaluated the serious situation that erupted amid the Ergenekon investigation being conducted by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutors Office, according to a statement posted on the General Staff Web site late Tuesday. Ergenekon is a clandestine terrorist organization accused of working to overthrow the government. Dozens of suspected members of Ergenekon are currently in jail pending trial on charges of working to destroy the government and Parliament. Among them are members of the military, academia and the business world.
On Monday, 49 senior military officers --both retired and on active duty-- were taken into custody in the highest profile crackdown ever carried out on the military. The detentions were part of an ongoing investigation into two plans allegedly drafted by members of the military. Titled the Balyoz (Sledgehammer) and Kafes (Cage) operation plans, the plots included blowing up mosques during Friday prayers, attacking a museum with bombs and other explosives during a visit by students and turning stadiums into open-air prisons capable of holding tens of thousands of people if they challenged the coup troops.
Todays Zaman has learned that all generals who attended Tuesdays meeting denied involvement in the alleged plans and some even offered to submit their resignations rather than be faced with such accusations. The generals, however, did not discuss whether to issue a harsh statement against the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government over the detentions.
Gen. Basbug is known for his harsh statements denying the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) hand in coup plots every time a plan for a military takeover is exposed.
Generals also discussed the lack of leaders at the Naval Forces Command after the detention of four admirals as part of the investigation at yesterdays General Staff meeting. Two of the admirals were arrested early Wednesday. The Cage plan is believed to be the product of naval officers, and there are claims that a pro-coup wing is very active at the Naval Forces Command. The generals discussed how the TSK would be impacted if the detentions are to continue.
The Sledgehammer plan was exposed in January by a Turkish newspaper. The plan is nearly 5,000 pages long and was reportedly drafted at a military meeting in 2003, shortly after the AK Party government came to power. The mastermind of the plan was allegedly retired Gen. Cetin Dogan, who was then commander of the 1st Army. Dogan was detained on Monday.
The generals also discussed a recent Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) decision to strip the authorization of four prosecutors in Erzurum. The decision came last week after specially authorized Erzurum prosecutor Osman Sanal ordered the arrest of Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner on charges of membership in a terrorist organization and falsification of documents. The arrest spurred the HSYK into action, and the board stripped Sanal and three other Erzurum prosecutors of their powers.
The General Staff convened a similar extraordinary meeting in January 2009 after the detention of retired generals Kemal Yavuz and Tuncer Kilinc as part of the Ergenekon investigation.
News sources claimed on Wednesday that government spokesman and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek was invited to the meeting on Tuesday. According to those sources, the generals warned Cicek against the arrest of the members of the military in custody. Cicek, however, strongly denied that such a thing occurred.
Also yesterday, AK Party Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz touched indirectly on the recent detentions and said no one has the freedom to commit crimes, regardless of their statuses and ranks. Whoever commits a crime bears the consequences. Those who commit a crime are tried and punished. Thats what the conscience and justice necessitate, he said, and expressed his hope for a more normal Turkey. Everything will become normalized. No one, let it be a politician or a member of the military or the judiciary, is above the law, he added.
Subtitle: Gen. Berk among General Staff meeting attendees
Among the generals at Tuesdays meeting was Gen. Saldiray Berk, the commander of the 3rd Army. The general has been summoned twice by an Erzurum prosecutor to testify as part of an ongoing investigation into Ergenekon. The investigation is part of the Ergenekon probe. Gen. Berk is accused of putting into operation a military plot titled the Action Plan to Fight Reactionism. The plot, drafted by a colonel on active duty, was intended to undermine the power of the AK Party, eventually leading to a military coup.
According to the plot, religious communities would be presented to the public as terrorist organizations through subversive plans. Members of the military were to plant weapons and ammunition at the homes of followers of certain religious communities. Police raids on these addresses would result in the arrest of those individuals. The public would then start regarding religious communities as having terrorist intentions, according to the plot.
The General Staff meeting ended at around 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Gen. Basbug are expected to hold their weekly meeting at the Prime Ministry today. The two are expected to discuss the alleged coup plans and detentions of senior military officers.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 24 February 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 24 February 2010:
a) EPs report on Turkey as concerns Cyprus:
In a commentary entitled "Is the European Parliament blind?", in Milli Gazete, Retired Ambassador Tugay Ulucevik expresses the hope that Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks during a meeting with EU envoys on February 11, criticizing the European Parliament for adopting a resolution that calls on Turkey to withdraw its troops in occupied northern Cyprus and referring to former and current Greek Cypriot leaders Papadopoulos and Christofias as "birds of a feather", amount to an indication that the Erdogan government has finally started to see the facts regarding the Cyprus issue.
b) EU approach to Ergenekon/Developments in Ankara:
Assessing the Turkish-EU Joint Parliamentary Committee meetings being held in Brussels in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz argues that the EU period of granting Turkey "an open check" has ended. The diplomats in Ankara can no longer figure out whether the developments in Ankara are positive or negative, writes Idiz, adding that those who applauded every development that put the soldiers in their place are now doubtful in the face of the recent developments. These circles have also noted the stand of the AKP government regarding Erzincan Chief Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner who launched an investigation into the Ismailaga community, declares Idiz, adding that the EU has adopted a more cautious and balanced approach to the Ergenekon investigation. The writer also draws attention to the EU misgivings that the AKP "is democratic to the extent that it serves its interest."
c) Escalating tension between the Turkish government and the TSK:
Questioning why the former force commanders were not summoned to give a deposition and were instead detained in a section of his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik agrees with the Financial Times assessment that "the government is involved in an open and bitter power struggle with the judiciary and the army, and this increases the risk of a clash that might greatly damage the political stability." Warning that the country is being dragged toward a division that has no return, Asik wonders whether the Justice and Development Party AKP is under the impression that it will easily beat the judiciary and the TSK and will, overnight, transform the secular republic into the moderate Islamic model that it dreams of. Asik writes: "If there are outside forces that suggest this, (and we believe that there are) they are deceiving the AKP. This path can only lead to a Pakistan, in other words, to infinite chaos."
In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mustafa Akyol welcomes the recent developments in Turkey describing them as the third stage in the change taking place in the country in which the military is losing its untouchable status. In conclusion, Akyol writes: "This is good news for Turkey. For a farewell to arms, and rulers in arms, is a must for democracy."
Describing the point reached in the country as political "catharsis" in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar argues that from now on not only there will never be a successful coup, there will not even be an attempt at a coup. Lauding the current developments as a transition to a state of law, Candar maintains that even former Chief of Staff Buyukanit felt the need to explain the e-memorandum he issued on April 27, 2007, claiming that it was not a memorandum but a declaration of the army's sensitivity to the principle of secularism. As Turkey advances on the path of the supremacy of the law, the country will be normalized and persons linked to coup attempts will be subjected to judicial civilian processes, underlines Candar, concluding: "Do not expect coups, demand more democracy. This is the solution."
Viewing the recent developments from the EU perspective in an article in Sabah, Erdal Safak writes: "The Turkish people have already begun to feel the concrete results of the EU process; they have even begun to experience it. Had the arrangements aimed at bringing Turkey closer to the EU standards not been implemented, in other words had there not been the 'EU reforms' could the operation against Plan Sledgehammer been carried out?" Safak continues: "We have been saying all along. We want the EU democracy, the EU human rights, and the EU law more than we want the EU membership. We give priority to attaining the standards in EU democracy, human rights, and law." So long as we advance on the road to democracy, EU accession and the obstacles placed on Turkey's membership are less important, concludes Safak.
The Sledgehammer detentions constitute the foundation of early elections, claims Rusen Cakir in an article in Vatan, adding that the current developments remind him of the April 27 process. Everyone is now waiting to see whether General Basbug will be responding to this operation in a way similar to the e-memorandum of his predecessor, notes Cakir, predicting that if he chooses to issue a memorandum similar to that of April 27, the government response will be much harsher than the one three years ago. Focusing on the frequently made assessment that the AKP made good use of the April 27 process by playing the victim and increasing its votes to 47 percent, Cakir argues that this is only partially true, claiming that he would not consider Erdogan a victim because he did not bow down to the military and because he sent Abdullah Gul to the Presidential Mansion. The possibility of another closure case against the AKP and Operation Sledgehammer might have a similar potential for Erdogan, forecasts Cakir, concluding that he would not be surprised if Erdogan opts for early elections.
Describing the indignation felt by many in the face of the recent detention of military officials in an article in Radikal, Ismet Berkan explains: "The TSK is having difficulty capturing the spirit of the times or even if it is capturing it, it is not implementing it. It cannot free itself from past habits. The TSK is faced with situations that it least wants because of these difficulties and because it has failed in becoming the 'army of democracy. The public's trust in the army is being eroded. The recent detentions are the current elements of this erosion. Had the TSK been able to activate a convincing judicial process against those within the army who exhibited illegal and anti-democratic inclinations in the past, then maybe it would not be facing the current situation." Viewing the silence of the General Staff as normal and appropriate, Berkan explains that the indignation felt today is the result of the wounds inflicted on an institution that was once most trusted.
Assessing the interview Buyukanit granted to Fikret Bila denying that the April 27 statement was an e-memorandum in an article in Taraf, Yasemin Congar maintains that fear has motivated the former chief of General Staff to grant the interview. Congar continues: "This is a fear based on the acceptance that 'if there is a crime, then there is also the punishment. This fear is new for our generals and 'auspicious' for our country." With the Sledgehammer investigation, for the first time in Turkey four star generals are being accused of trying to overthrow the government, points out Congar, adding that from now on it will be difficult not only to stage coups, but to plan them, and to issue memorandums. Explaining that this is the main reason why this Sledgehammer investigation is important, Congar concludes that this is tantamount to hitting military tutelage with a sledgehammer.