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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-07

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. 104/10 05-07.06.10


  • [01] Homes illegally bought by Brits in the occupied areas of Cyprus were sold in public auction; The press refers to a second Orams case
  • [02] Izzet Izcan called on Eroglu to clarify his stance on the basis of the negotiation
  • [03] Italian Senator carried out contacts in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [04] Davutoglu comments on Foreign Minister Kyprianous visit to Israel
  • [05] Turkish Deputy PM comments on the relations between Cyprus and Israel
  • [06] Kucuk believes that Britain would provide support to Turkish Cypriots on the issue of lifting the so-called isolations
  • [07] Illegal GAU to open a representation in Morocco before the beginning of the new academic year
  • [08] Suicmez is reportedly determined to launch Koran lessons in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [09] Davutoglu described Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla as Turkeys September 11th
  • [10] Military Air Exercise Anatolian falcon will be held between 7-18 of June
  • [11] Erdogan said that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 4-6 June 2010


    [01] Homes illegally bought by Brits in the occupied areas of Cyprus were sold in public auction; The press refers to a second Orams case

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.0610) reports that the struggle for justice given by the Brits, who have illegally bought houses from Kulaksiz 5 housing complex in occupied Vasilia village in Keryneia area, has ended unsuccessfully. Under the banner front-page title Is this Justice? the paper writes that the Brits were thrown out from the houses in spite of the fact that they paid the money for them. Noting that a public auction for these houses took place yesterday in the occupied areas, Kibris describes the incident as second Orams case and writes that two plots of land, where houses bought by Brits and TRNC citizens had been built, were sold yesterday to Akfinans Bank, which gave a loan of 65 thousand Turkish liras (TL) to the former owner of the property in year 2006 and now demanded 600 thousand TL in return. The paper reports that two million 77 thousand and 200 TL were paid in the two separate sales.

    Kibris writes that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas visited the village where the auction was taking place in order to express his support to the Brits. Behind this there are 1400 Brits in the same situation having houses which will be subject of sale, said Mr Denktas and added that if the bank does not help these people and they make a call in their countries on the issue of people not buying property in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the construction sector of the breakaway regime will totally collapse.

    Mr Denkras noted: This is a bigger weapon than the Oramses. I have written letters to the president of the republic, to the prime minister and the minister of finance. All of them are closely interested but they could do nothing with the bank. President Eroglu told me that in the new law these peoples houses would be saved on the condition of taking separate title deeds, but now nothing can be done for the victims. They were sold, because they were in the old law. This cannot happen. Could this happen? Is this justice?

    Moreover, a British citizen named David Power said hundreds of Brits gathered yesterday in occupied Vasilia in order to express their support to the victims. Another British citizen named Elene Ramsey said they were expecting from the self-styled government to take serious steps on this issue and noted that this will be worse than the Orams case for the TRNC. A TRNC citizen named Osman Karaman stated that he took this land from his mother-in-law and transferred it to Yuksel Yilmaz, his bother-in-law. He went and took a loan from the bank and all these started he said referring to Yuksel Yilmaz.

    Referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.0610) reports that the self-styled government did not intervene and the two plots of land were sold. Under the title Worse than the Orams, the paper writes that it has been proved once more that northern Cyprus is an appropriate place for ripping off and for being ripped of.

    The paper notes that the houses were sold in the auction in spite of the fact that the Brits paid their price. Afrika refers also to Rauf Denktas statements who said that this will harm the breakaway regime ten times more than the Orams case. Afrika reports that only in 2008 the buyers of the property, the majority of whose are foreigners, found out that the land was under mortgage and in spite of all their efforts they could not find Yuksel Yilmaz, who is believed to have run away to Turkey.

    Under the title They were not able to prevent it, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.0610) reports that thirteen houses were sold in front of the eyes of 600 Brits and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. The paper describes the incident as the most tangible example of the brutal capitalism which took possession of northern Cyprus.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (07.0610) refers to the issue under the title Day of shame.


    [02] Izzet Izcan called on Eroglu to clarify his stance on the basis of the negotiation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (07.06.10) reports that Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stated that the two leaders in Cyprus must avoid any behavior that can lead to political tension.

    Mr Izcan called on the two leaders in Cyprus to be honest and stated that the two leaders must focus on finding a solution soon which will be in the interests of both the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots. Mr Izcan went on and added that in order for a problem not to be created in the negotiation process Mr Eroglu must clarify his stance regarding the basis of the negotiation.


    [03] Italian Senator carried out contacts in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.06.10) broadcast the following:

    An Italian Senator from the Liberal Peoples Party and the President of Turkish-Italian Association Paolo Amato held contacts in TRNC. Within the framework of his contacts, Mr Amato visited the TRNC Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mr. Amato said he is satisfied with the attitude put forward by the TRNC Prime Minister.

    He also described Mr Kucuk a Prime Minister who is working for peace and the prosperity of the Cyprus Turkish people. 'I am working together with two other Italian senators who are also TRNC citizens to explain the Cyprus problem in Italy and to protect the rights of the Cyprus Turkish people'. He also said it is important to be in full cooperation with the TRNC government in order to continue their struggle for the protection of the Cyprus Turkish people.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (05.06.10) broadcast the following:

    The Italian Senator from the Liberal Peoples Party and the President of Turkish-Italian Association Paolo Amato also visited the TRNC Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun. Speaking during the visit, Mr. Ozgurgun welcomed the Italian Senators close interest to the rightfulness of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the Cyprus problem.

    He also said these kinds of international supports would contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    As the Turkish side, we are at the table and the negotiations are continuing, Mr Ozgurgun added.

    Calling on the Greek Cypriot Leader Dimitris Christofias to be calmer, the Foreign Minister said Mr Christofias has always been making tough statements but these did not cause the Turkish side to leave the negotiations table.

    Mr Ozgurgun also said that Mr. Amato is one of the Europeans who understand the Cyprus problem and Mr. Amato and the others thinking like him are great supporters of Cyprus Turkish people rightful cause.

    [04] Davutoglu comments on Foreign Minister Kyprianous visit to Israel

    Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (online, 06.06.10) reported on statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu regarding the visit of the Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou to Israel after last weeks Israeli attack on aid ships heading to Gaza. Responding to a question during a press conference he held with the General Secretary of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Mr Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and Mr Davutoglu stated that they were not surprised over the visit of Mr Kyprianou to Israel and that they think it is normal.

    Mr Davutoglu said: In fact, they did not accept the aid ships in their ports. We were not very surprised for this. After all, they also are imposing embargoes over the Turkish Cypriot side. They have common points here. But what do we want in the Eastern Mediterranean? We want peace in the Eastern Mediterranean. We do not desire blockades, isolations, embargoes, military or any other tension. I am not aware about the details of Kyprianous visit to Israel.

    Asked on what Turkeys next steps will be, Mr Davutoglu reiterated that they will follow-up the event until the end.


    [05] Turkish Deputy PM comments on the relations between Cyprus and Israel

    Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (online, 06.06.10) reports on statements by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc during a televised interview on Kanalturk TV channel regarding the latest developments in Turkey and abroad. Mr Arinc referred, inter alia, to Cyprus as well.

    Mr Arinc was asked to evaluate the stance of Cyprus towards the issue with Israel, the proposal of Israel to send a ship called the No to the Turkish occupation in Cyprus and the visit of the Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou to Israel. Mr Arinc said that in spite of the fact that he was not informed about the latest developments, if Israel wants to establish relations with someone, this someone will be undoubtedly Cyprus. As he stated, this is a traditional policy and he added that Israel did not say any offending words for Turkey as regards the Cyprus problem, but Israels cooperation is entirely with the south part [the Republic of Cyprus].

    Mr Arinc further said that the world follows the developments taking place in Cyprus and stated that the negotiations between President Christofias and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat are being continued with the new Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. He went on and said: Can Israel sabotage this? If it wants, it can. This depends on the answer that the Greek Cypriot side will give to them. But if these efforts of Turkey could not come to a certain point in the end, it means that the current situation will continue. The TRNC [breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus] exists; its government and its parliament exist; it has direct and indirect relations with Turkey and other countries. But when we think of a united Cyprus, the parameters of this have been determined by Turkey. He added that Israel is not in the position to determine these relations by itself.


    [06] Kucuk believes that Britain would provide support to Turkish Cypriots on the issue of lifting the so-called isolations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.06.10) reports from occupied Lefkosia the following:

    The prime minister of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) sent a congratulatory message to British prime minister.

    A statement by TRNC Prime Ministry said on Friday that TRNC Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk sent messages to British Prime Minister David Cameron and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

    Kucuk said in his message that he believed that Britain would provide support to Turkish Cypriots in regard to lifting of isolations imposed on TRNC in several areas including transportation, trade and travel.

    Kucuk said Britain would keep improving and strengthening further and becoming a leading country in the European Union in the coming period.

    'I believe that Britain, which is a guarantor power in Cyprus, permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the EU, will keep supporting the efforts for a comprehensive solution including UN parameters and guarantees and on the basis of bi-zonal and bi-communal structure with two politically equal peoples in Cyprus', he said.

    TRNC Prime Minister Kucuk also reiterated Turkish Cypriot party's commitment to assist the negotiation process for a fair and lasting solution.

    [07] Illegal GAU to open a representation in Morocco before the beginning of the new academic year

    Under the title GAU will promote higher education in North Africa, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.06.10) reports that in the framework of the goal 3 continents, a single university, the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU) is to open a representation office in Morocco before the beginning of the new academic year. The aim is for illegal GAU to promote breakaway regimes higher education in North Africa through its office in Morocco by using its experience accrued over 25 years, the paper writes and adds that currently, GAU employs professors from 24 countries, while students from 68 countries are receiving their education at its campuses.

    The paper, further, writes that GAUs Asia Pacific Campus in Singapore is to begin its operation in October 2010, while GAU has also opened its Canterbury Campus in the UK.


    [08] Suicmez is reportedly determined to launch Koran lessons in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (07.06.10) reports that Yusuf Suicmez, head of the so-called religious affairs department of the breakaway regime, is determined to launch Koran lessons in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Suicmez told the illegal TAK news agency that the exploitation of religion could be ended by offering religious education in a correct manner. He said there was absolutely no law in the occupied areas of Cyprus which prevented the Koran lessons. He noted that the constitution of the breakaway regime provides that the religious education is given under the control of the state and added that the self-styled religious affairs departments duty is to offer this education.


    [09] Davutoglu described Israeli attack on Gaza aid flotilla as Turkeys September 11th

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.06.10) reports the following from Jeddah:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla was Turkey's 'September 11'.

    Davutoglu delivered a speech at the meeting of executive board of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Jeddah and said nothing would be same after Israel's raid.

    The goal of international humanitarian aid mission was to provide necessary aid to the people under inhuman blockade of Israel, he said.

    'Israeli defense units attacked on ships in the international waters 72 miles off the Israeli coast. The ships were carrying food and medicine. Nine Turkish citizens died and many others were wounded', he said.

    'Israeli commandos come on board the ships without permission and ships were taken to Ashdod Port. Passengers were detained. Israel's act includes several crimes like banditry, piracy, murder, kidnapping. It is state terrorism', Davutoglu said.

    Turkey condemned this horrible attack strongly and was determined to take measures for punishment of Israel at national and international levels, he said.

    Davutoglu said unfair blockade of Gaza could not be continued and called on OIC member states to work together for end of this blockade.

    [10] Military Air Exercise Anatolian falcon will be held between 7-18 of June

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.06.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    Anatolian Falcon 2010/2, a major multinational military air exercise, will be held at the third air base in the central Turkish province of Konya on June 7 and 18, 2010.

    The Turkish military said in a statement posted on its web page that besides 39 jets of the Turkish Air Forces, the United States would join the exercise with 10 F-15 jets, the United Arab Emirates with 6 Mirage-2000-9 jets, Italy with 5 AMX jets, Spain with 6 F18 jets and NATO with 1 E-3A Awacs plane.

    The first Anatolian Falcon exercise took place between April 28 and May 16, 2008 while the second was held between June 9 and 20, 2008 with the participation of jets from Turkey, the United States, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and NATO.

    Air forces of foreign commands show great interest in the exercise since the Third Air Base in Konya has the largest training area in Europe.

    [11] Erdogan said that Hamas is not a terrorist organisation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.06.10) reports the following from Konya:

    Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he did not see HAMAS as a terrorist organization adding that Hamas was only defending their territory.

    Erdogan, who commented on the deadly Israeli attack on the Gaza-bound aid flotilla which killed 9 people 8 of whom were Turkish citizens, regarded the attack as state terrorism.

    Erdogan who referred to the Ten Commandments, pronounced the 6th commandment 'thou shall not kill' in Turkish, English and Jewish.

    He said no one should try to put Turkey to test adding that the attack was the manifestation of the paranoid and the traumatic state of mind Israeli government was in.

    He said Turkey would continue to stand by Palestine and Gaza even if the whole world turned their back on them.

    'Hamas is a resistance group fighting to defend their land. They won the elections in Palestine. But they are serving time in Israeli prisons though they won the elections. I also told these to U.S. officials. I don't accept Hamas as a terrorist organization. They won the elections, but they were denied the chance to govern', said Erdogan.

    On Monday, Israeli navy forces stormed a flotilla of aid ships of IHH --a Turkish humanitarian relief organization-- bound for Gaza, killing 9 people and injuring 30 others. The eight of the victims were Turkish citizens.

    The attack which created global reaction brought the relations between Turkey and Israel to the verge of breaking.


    [12] From the Turkish Press of 4-6 June 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 4-6 June 2010:

    Reactions to Israeli Raid on Aid Flotilla

    An article entitled "Public Prosecutor Probes Israel" in Hurriyet (04.06.10) says that the offices of chief public prosecutors in Ankara and Istanbul have launched a probe in order to find out whether or not the families of Turkish citizens who were killed in an Israeli assault on Mavi Marmara which was destined for the Gaza Strip can bring lawsuits against Israeli soldiers involved in the operation. According to the report, judicial authorities will seek authorization from the Ministry of Justice if they conclude that there is sufficient evidence to file lawsuits.

    In an article entitled "This is an Israeli trap," Hurriyet (04.06.10) columnist Fatih Cekirge asserts that Israel's interception of the aid flotilla was actually intended to provoke pious Muslims in Turkey in order to convince the international community that Turkey is a country dominated by radical Muslims who regard the West as their foe. Pointing out that Israel is bothered by the stance taken by Turkey vis--vis the nuclear dispute between Iran and the West, he comments: "This incident was a trap set against the 'nuclear deal.' This is a game of sentimentality. It is a stratagem devised by those who want to portray Turks radical Muslims. But, Israel has fallen into its own trap as a result of murders committed by its soldiers."

    In an article entitled "American leadership is required," Hurriyet Daily News (04.06.10) columnist Semih Idiz says that the Obama Administration has to diffuse tension between Turkey and Israel while preventing a new crisis in its own relations with both countries. Pointing out that the conviction that Israel and the United States are confronting the rest of the world is resurfacing again, Idiz reminds that Obama chose Turkey as one of his first ports of call and sent warm messages of friendship and cooperation to the Islamic world from here. He concludes by saying: "He must build on what is left of the positive atmosphere created by this message before it disappears totally, in order for the world to become a safer place for all. This will inevitably require leadership from America."

    In an article entitled "A suicide ship, not an exodus ship," Sabah (04.06.10) columnist Hasan Bulent Kahraman accuses the Israeli government of resorting to demagogy in a bid to portray Turkey as a country of "mujahidin" and to put the whole blame for the incident on Turkey. Pointing out that the stance to be taken by the United States will be of crucial importance, Kahraman says that the Obama Administration should devise its plans about the Middle East in collaboration with Turkey rather than Israel.

    In an article entitled "The United States should not be asked to make a choice between Turkey and Israel," Radikal (04.06.10) columnist Murat Yetkin emphasizes that Erdogan should not force Obama to make a choice between Turkey and Israel if he wants to avoid further problems in relations with the Obama Administration which, he notes, have already been strained due to Iran's nuclear program. He comments: "The United States has shown that it needs Israel more than it needs Turkey in the region. Erdogan should, therefore, not force Obama to make such a choice in order to ensure that Turkey remains as an influential country in the region."

    In an article entitled "We cannot champion the Palestinian cause," Cumhuriyet (04.06.10) columnist Ali Sirmen sees contradictions in the AKP's policy because it argues that HAMAS is the elected representative of Palestinians while rejecting the argument that the PKK is the representative of Kurdish people which, he points out, is voiced in different countries. Pointing out that other Muslim countries do not champion the Palestinian cause as fervently as Turkey, Sirmen argues that Turkey has gained nothing other than increased popularity among people living in urban slums in Arab countries. He comments: "We must admit that the incident was a complete fiasco. No government would let an organization describing itself as a charity to steer its international relations even if it is acting with good intentions."

    In an article entitled "They achieved their aims if not their ultimate goals", Vakit (04.06.10) Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya asserts that the meeting Prime Minister Erdogan held with National Intelligence Organization, MIT, and General Staff officials and his ministers after cutting his visit to Chile short and returning to Turkey to discuss the situation created by the Israeli raid on the Gaza flotilla resulted in a decision to send a new aid convoy to Gaza escorted by Turkish warships. He also claims that Ankara decided not to go ahead with this plan only when Israel agreed to release the detainees as a result of a phone conversation between Erdogan and Obama which took place after Obama, at Ankara's insistence, secured a guarantee from Israel that the detainees would be released.

    Ilhan Tanir, assessing the Israeli raid on the aid flotilla in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (05.06.10), writes: "One of the biggest losers in this latest fallout is the U.S. administration." Explaining the reasons for this assessment, Tanir argues that the flotilla incident did not only increase Israel's isolation in the world but it also helped to increase radicalism in the Muslim world and was detrimental to regional peace.

    The "humanitarian aid effort and the raid against the ship were irresponsible mutual challenges in a very tense environment in which Israel is frightened to death by Iran's atomic bomb," assesses Cengiz Aktar in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, adding that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, fell into the trap of taking the Israeli raid as an affront to the Turkish state although the operation was supposed to be nongovernmental. As a result, the nuclear swap deal brokered by Brazil and Turkey with Iran might turn null-and-void because Turkey is no longer seen as an impartial broker, warns Aktar. The writer concludes with the advice "to first calm down, then to make others calm down by inviting all parties to dialogue, Hamas, Iran and Israel."

    There are some who are trying to hold the government or the IHH responsible for the Israeli attack, writes Nazli Ilicak in an article in Sabah (05.06.10), arguing that these circles are, thus, willingly or unwillingly, supporting the Israeli theses on the issue. Ilicak writes: "The IHH is an NGO recognized by the United Nations; it engages in international activities. Israel says that the IHH has links to HAMAS and even to al-Qaida. Moreover, within this framework, it is exerting efforts to portray the AKP government as a religious one that supports terrorists." Dismissing claims that the government should have warned the IHH activists, Ilicak declares that international organizations and the passengers of the aid vessel are not critical of the government. If the government is responsible for the Gaza aid flotilla incident and the subsequent casualties, then the people will punish the AKP at the ballot box, argues Ilicak, concluding that "efforts to portray the government as the responsible party stem from the concern that 'this business has served the AKP.'"

    The fact that Fethullah Gulen chose the Wall Street Journal to give an interview is in itself a message, according to Vatan (05.06.10) columnist Reha Muhtar who in his article declares that if you want to convey a first-hand message to the US Administration, the US establishment, and the Israeli government the Wall Street Journal is the perfect address. Making a comparison between the remarks made by Erdogan and those made by Gulen on the aid flotilla issue, Muhtar argues that they are in total opposition. Viewing the reasons why the two leaders have such contradictory approaches to the issues of Palestine, Israel, and aid to Gaza that closely concern the Islamist world, Muhtar, showing examples, draws attention to the direct US involvement in Turkish political history. Noting that Gulen is someone who tries to attain his goals by avoiding personal confrontations, Muhtar writes that Gulen is well aware that nothing can be achieved by "opposing certain powers." Declaring that Erdogan is also well aware of these political realities, Muhtar adds that, however, his over self-confidence, his party that is entering an election atmosphere, and the election of Kilicdaroglu as the leader of the Republican People's Party, CHP, might be viewed as reasons for Erdogan's approach that is so different from that of Gulen.

    Welcoming Davutoglu's "zero problem" policy with our neighbors in an article in Radikal (05.06.10), Ismet Berkan notes that this goal has been achieved or is in the process of being achieved with Syria, Greece, Georgia, Russia, Iran, and Iraq. Problems, however, have begun to emerge with countries we had no problems with such as Israel and the United States, points out Berkan, adding: "When we have a close look at the problems that have emerged in Turkish-US and Turkish-Israeli relations, we can say that they stem from a clash of cultures rather than a clash of interests." Arguing that Turkey is not at fault in every situation created by this culture clash as has been demonstrated in the case of Gaza, Berkan adds that, however, the style in which this stand was made could have been different, thus reducing the dimension of the current problems being experienced. Focusing on President Abdullah Gul's remarks about a "lasting damage" to bilateral relations and about never forgiving Israel, Berkan asks the following questions: "What is Turkey's real stand? Have we entered a 'blood feud' with Israel that will last to eternity or can we succeed in restoring our relations to their previous state in the event Israel changes its stand and lifts or eases the embargo on Gaza?" On the issue of Iran, Berkan asks whether the United States is Turkey's strategic partner or its rival. In conclusion, Berkan underlines that while solving old problems and aspiring to zero problems on one hand, there is no point in creating new and long-term ones on the other.

    In an article entitled "Why did not Barzani condemn Israel?" Vakit (05.06.10) columnist Serdar Arseven says that President Mas'ud Barzani of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq declined to denounce the Israeli assault on the aid flotilla which, he argues, conflicted with the feelings of Kurds because a significant part of Turkish citizens aboard Mavi Marmara were of Kurdish origin. Asserting that various Jewish organizations carry out activities targeting Kurdish Jews in northern Iraq, Arseven notes: "I need to point out that both the Prime Minister's Office (MIT [National Intelligence Organizaiton]) and the General Staff are deeply concerned about Zionist 'activities' in Northern Iraq. Prime Minister Erdogan has personally warned the officials of terrorist Israel by presenting dossiers showing that Israeli terrorists provide training for 'armed forces' in northern Iraq. There is complete convergence of opinion between Erdogan and the military about the Israeli threat in northern Iraq. I know that both sides advised Barzani to make a careful distinction between his friends and enemies."

    In an article entitled "What did Fethullah Gulen actually say?", Yeni Safak (06.06.10) columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes certain mainstream Turkish commentators for treating a recent statement by Fethullah Gulen as a confirmation of their own objections to the way in which the latest relief effort for Gaza was organized and implemented. After noting how these writers have for long "denounced Gulen and his community in the most insulting terms, represented him as a threat, and caused him to spend the most valuable time of his life in exile,"Koru claims that Gulen's remarks in a "brief" interview with the Wall Street Journal- saying that it is wrong to defy authority and that Israel's permission should have been obtained for the relief convoy sent to Gaza - actually reflect his belief in democracy and the rule of law and that when they are not quoted "out of context," they amount to criticism of the Israeli military's defiance of international laws and the UN authority in using force to intercept an aid convoy in international waters.

    Kurdish Question

    In an article entitled "The bully of the neighborhood," Milliyet (04.06.10) columnist Melih Asik says that the government's plan to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish issue has failed and the country virtually became a battleground as a result of intensified PKK attacks. Claiming that the ruling party made a mistake by discussing the issue with the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, which he describes as the PKK's political wing, rather than other opposition parties, Asik comments: "It attempted to negotiate with terrorists rather than fighting against them. The PKK interpreted the overture as a concession which raised its hopes. The organization which always demanded more than what was offered began saying that they should discuss the matter with Abdullah Ocalan. Acts of terrorism intensified because its expectations were not met."

    In an article entitled "What factors have spurred the PKK into action?" Radikal (04.06.10) columnist Oral Calislar says that Ocalan might have said that he would no longer make efforts to find a solution to the Kurdish problem after 31 May in order to give the message that he is the only person who is capable of conducting negotiations with Turkish authorities on behalf of Kurds. Analyzing possible reasons behind intensified PKK attacks, Calislar points out that the organization might have decided to take advantage of Turkey's strained relations with Israel and the West's discontentment with Turkey's policies, emphasizing that blaming Israel for encouraging the PKK would be far-fetched.

    In an article entitled "We should not forget that the PKK is lying in ambush," Vatan (04.06.10) columnist Gungor Mengi argues that the government's democratization drive will not be a cure for terrorism. He says: "It is pretty obvious that PKK leadership will not be satisfied with what they are offered. They want broader autonomy, education in mother tongue, and Ocalan's transfer from prison for placing him in house arrest. No government could accept these demands. It means that the fight against terrorism will continue or be reformulated. The Turkish military whose reputation and morale have been badly damaged need to regain its sense of self-confidence."

    In an article entitled "Why the PKK is fighting the AKP", Zaman (04.06.10) columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that the PKK has waged a war directly on the ruling AKP rather than on the Turkish Republic or the Turkish military in launching its latest wave of terrorist strikes. He adduces certain "details" in a recent PKK statement issued by the terrorist group's leaders on Mount Kandil as evidence backing up his assertion. He also cites the "neo-cons" in the United States, "Israel's brigands," and the Ergenekon network as beneficiaries of this "war," which is intended to "destabilize" Turkey and cause it to "turn in on itself."

    In an article in Milliyet (05.06.10), Fikret Bila focuses on the recent attacks launched by the PKK and the threats made by the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, adding: "What the PKK and the BDP refuse to understand is that an overture cannot be made, nor can a general amnesty they so desire be declared so long as acts of terror continue. No government will make such a move given the current situation. It is meaningless for the PKK and its political representatives to talk about an amnesty or about peace without disarmament." It is not realistic to expect the government to insist on a Kurdish overture in an atmosphere of terror a year prior to the scheduled elections, Bila asserts, predicting that the government will not take any significant steps prior to the elections. The writer urges the PKK-BDP front to stop the terror and to lay down its arms if it wishes to find a solution to the problem. Commenting on Barzani's visit, Bila says he was in a good mood, adding: "Barzani has established his state. He has merely not declared it. He is gradually increasing his economic, political, and military power through US support. He has also received considerable support from Turkey in this process. However, he has never extended the support to the struggle against the PKK that Turkey expects from him. It does not seem that he will be extending that support in the future either."

    Examining Israel's relations with the PKK, the Kurds, and the Kurdish issue in an article in Milliyet (05.06.10), Hasan Cemal does not rule out the possibility of Israeli-PKK cooperation. Cemal asserts that if Turkey has a Kurdish problem and if there is an illegal and armed organization called the PKK, then the foreign forces will continue to be interested in and maintain relations with the Kurds of Turkey and with the PKK. Urging the PKK not to be the tool of foreign forces and to withdraw to regions where clashes can be avoided, Cemal writes: "I think that the PKK, Qandil, and Imrali are currently on the wrong path. The road to peace cannot be opened through arms." Warning that the current impasse will only be exacerbated through the use of arms and violence, Cemal calls for the declaration of an open-ended cease-fire.


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