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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-04

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] Eroglu evaluates President Christofias statements during 1st October celebrations
  • [02] Eroglu delivers a speech at Ankara University
  • [03] Cicek to visit the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus to attend the signing ceremony on the Court of Auditors
  • [04] Gul: Turkey is determined to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Turkey and the breakaway regime react to US resolution on protection of religious and cultural places
  • [06] Kormazhan: proposals submitted by the Turkish side at the negotiation table envisage confederation and two separate states
  • [07] So-called MP to attend PACE plenary sessions in Strasbourg
  • [08] Britons not allowed to protest outside the Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia
  • [09] Ercan airport to be privatized
  • [10] Serdar Denktas on Yirmibesoglus confession
  • [11] DP youth to promote recognition of TRNC
  • [12] An aid Protocol for university research projects in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus

  • [13] TUSIADs chairman on Turkeys EU process and Cyprus
  • [14] Turkish daily: the occupied areas of Cyprus are a most popular route for immigrant smugglers
  • [15] Turkish press reports: Cyprus is one of the main obstacles of Turkeys EU accession process
  • [16] Turkeys Saadet Party to elect new chairman following resignations
  • [17] TPAO will open a company in Damascus
  • [18] Turkey will launch national intelligence satellite in 2010
  • [19] Turkish exports increased by 10.25% year-on-year in September
  • [20] Highlights


    Reaction by Eroglu to President Christofias statements during the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of the declaration of the Republic of Cyprus, the illegal visit of the Turkish State Minister Cemil Cikek to the occupied areas of Cyprus, the British homebuyers protest in the occupied areas of Cyprus and London, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend.

    [01] Eroglu evaluates President Christofias statements during 1st October celebrations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (03.09.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu evaluated the statements made by President Christofias on 1st October, Republic of Cyprus Independence Day. In a written statement issued by Ergun Olgun, Turkish Cypriot leaders spokesman, Eroglu noted that President Christofias had said that the negotiations are not progressing in the way he wishes and accused the Turkish side for this. It is obvious that we can get nowhere with this distorting approach, he alleged claiming that the Turkish side is approaching the negotiations constructively and with good will.

    Christofias is exhibiting a negative stance by rejecting the guarantees, which are vital for our security, and the permanent derogations which are essential from the point of view a lasting agreement, he claimed and reiterated the Turkish view that he is President Christofias interlocutor at the negotiating table on the basis of equality.

    Noting that Turkey, the motherland and guarantor power, supports these negotiations, Eroglu alleged that President Christofias effort to have Turkey as his interlocutor on this issue and to accuse Turkey, shows a stance which is far from being sincere.

    Eroglu said that the Republic of Cyprus was declared on 16 August 1960 and not on 1 October. He added that the republic was not a unitary state, as President Christofias claimed in his speech, but a functional federation.


    [02] Eroglu delivers a speech at Ankara University

    According to illegal Bayrak (03.10.10, online), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is travelling to Ankara on Monday in order to attend a ceremony at Ankara University for the new academic year. Eroglu, who will address the ceremony, will be accompanied by his special representative Kudret Ozersay. He returns on the same day.

    [03] Cicek to visit the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus to attend the signing ceremony on the Court of Auditors

    According to illegal Bayrak (03.10.10, online), Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Cemil Cicek arrives in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus today for contacts. On Tuesday morning he will attend the Investment Consulting Committee meeting at the Mercure Hotel in occupied town of Keryneia. In the afternoon, Cicek will attend the inauguration ceremony of the TED Ankara College in occupied part of Lefkosia. Cicek will also attend the signing on Tuesday of the cooperation protocol between the TRNC and Turkish Courts of Auditors. He departs on Tuesday afternoon.

    Moreover, the President of Turkeys Courts of Auditors Recai Akyel arrived in the occupied areas on Sunday for a 3 day visit during which he will have meetings with the so-called parliamentary speaker Hasan Bozer, the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk and Eroglu.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.10.10) reports that Recai Akyel had a meeting yesterday with TRNC Court of Accounts Deputy Chairman Sukru Cankaya. Cankaya said that assistance has been requested from Turkey's Court of Accounts and that a cooperation protocol will be signed between the two institutions on Tuesday.

    Akyel, for his part, added that the protocol envisaged exchange of information and experience between the two bodies.

    [04] Gul: Turkey is determined to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak (02.10.10, online), addressing the opening ceremony of the new legislative year in the Turkish Grand National Assembly on Thursday, President Abdullah Gul, said that Turkey is determined to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem which, he said, is a national cause for Turkey.

    Gul also said Turkey supports the ongoing negotiations process, launched by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and carried out sincerely by the current Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. We expect the same good will and determination from the other side, Gul added.

    [05] Turkey and the breakaway regime react to US resolution on protection of religious and cultural places

    According to illegal Bayrak (01.10.10, online), the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun reacted to a resolution adopted by the US House of Representatives against Turkey calling for the protection of religious sites and artefacts from and in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Cyprus as well as for general respect for religious freedom. Stating that the resolution cast a shadow on the US Congress objectivity, Ozgurgun said it was disappointing to see the US House of Representatives become an instrument of politically motivated Greek-Greek Cypriot propaganda.

    Ozgurgun described the resolution unfortunate and said it dealt a serious blow to efforts aimed at reaching a solution and reconciliation in Cyprus. He also said none of the historical and religious places within the TRNC territory has been subject to discrimination, adding that this is well known by the US officials in Cyprus. It is unfortunate to see motherland Turkey being blamed for an issue that it is not involved in, he noted and called on the US House of Representatives to avoid the adoption of such resolutions that can cause damage on the process of settlement in Cyprus.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.10) reports that the head of a Turkish-U.S. inter-parliamentary Friendship Group Suat Kiniklioglu, speaking at a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Washington D.C., commented on the recently adopted U.S. resolution Noting that such resolution was an unfortunate concession and it had been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives due to U.S. parliamentarians' concerns about domestic politics, Kiniklioglu said: I believe it is a product of cheap politics both in terms of its timing and the way it was adopted, especially when we take into consideration the ongoing peace talks in Cyprus.

    [06] Kormazhan: proposals submitted by the Turkish side at the negotiation table envisage confederation and two separate states

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (03.10.10), under the title BKP asked for proof reports on a written statement by Abdullah Korkmazhan, Organizing Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), that it is not enough for the Turkish side to underline that it wants a solution, but it is also necessary to prove this at the negotiation table with the proposals it submits.

    Kormazhan stated that if someone views the proposals submitted at the negotiation table by the Turkish side, then he could not say that the Turkish side wants a solution by the end of the year or the soonest. He added that the proposals are far off the UN parameters and the framework of the federation agreed by the sides.

    Kormazhan insisted that the proposals submitted envisage confederation based on two separate states and added that the aim was to lead the negotiation process into a deadlock and at the same time, by insincerely asserting that they want a solution, to gain time. Korkmashan also stated that the Cyprus problem is not a priority for Turkey and added that all the efforts exerted by Turkey are aimed to avoid being named in the UN Secretary-Generals report as the side which does not wish a solution, and to avoid going through a crisis at the EU in December due to the Ankara Protocol.

    Kormazhan also referred to the recent statement by Egemen Bagis that all efforts are exerted towards turning north Cyprus into Taiwan.


    [07] So-called MP to attend PACE plenary sessions in Strasbourg

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (02.10.10) reports that, representing the so-called parliament, Ahmet Eti, so-called MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), will attend the plenary sessions of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to take place in Strasbourg between October 3 and 8. In the framework of his visit to Strasbourg, Eti will also hold meetings regarding the Cyprus problem with representatives from various countries.

    [08] Britons not allowed to protest outside the Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.09.10) reports that Britons, who bought property in the occupied areas of Cyprus and are facing the danger of being thrown out of these properties though they paid for them, have not yet been given permission to carry out their protest outside of the Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia today. The paper writes that the Britons were forced to postpone their protest because of the dilatory stance of the authorities of the occupation regime. The occupied Lekosia police and district officer said that the soonest they could respond to request is Wednesday, 6 October.

    Kibris reports that the protest outside of the Turkish embassy to London will be realized today. Citing information from reliable sources, the paper writes that the Turkish embassy to London has already conveyed its dissatisfaction for the protest to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ankara, which informed the authorities of the breakaway regime on the issue. The embassy warned that measures should be taken so that the causes for the protest are eliminated.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.09.10) publishes an interview with Pauline Ann Read, representative of the foreigners who are victims of the existing situation in the construction sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Read said that 29 persons (19 Britons and 10 Turks from Turkey) were affected by the behaviour of Kulaksiz Construction Ltd. She noted that there are another 1400 persons in the same situation.

    She said they are not afraid that the Greek Cypriots will take these properties [which are occupied Greek Cypriot properties], because the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) told the Greek Cypriots to apply to the Property Compensation Commission. She noted that they did not know that they should be afraid of those who live in the occupied areas of the island or the banks and that there are construction cowboys who rob people.


    [09] Ercan airport to be privatized

    Under the above headline, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (3.10.10) hosts an interview by the so-called prime minister, Irsen Kucuk, in which said that the tender for the privatization of the illegal Tymbou airport will be completed by the end of the year.

    Kucuk also said that the council of Ministers approved big tourist investments, like the construction of a hotel with a capacity of 800 beds, in Gaziveran. Moreover, answering a question regarding privatization of the telecommunications department, he said that it is also on the agenda.

    Commenting on the issue of Cyprus Turkish Airlines, Kucuk said that they are planning to establish a new, profit-oriented company, made up by the Turkish Airlines, the TRNC government, and the people of the TRNC. He added that they want their own airline and that they have the support of the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Cemil Cicek, State Minister. Developments on this matter will be clearer on 5 October, after a meeting with Cicek who is visiting TRNC, said Kucuk.

    [10] Serdar Denktas on Yirmibesoglus confession

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (04.10.10) reports on statements made by Serdar Denktas, chairman of DP, concerning the confession by former General of Turkish Armed Forces Sabri Yirmibesoglu that he burnt a mosque in Cyprus.

    Serdar Denktas said that Sabri Yirmibesoglus confession aimed at increasing the resistance of people at the war office. Serdar Denktas admitted in his statements that the TMT acted during that period in an unaccepted way and added that it would be wrong to criticize this.

    Serdar Denktas called on Sabri Yirmibesoglu to be more careful when speaking about that period. Referring to the role and actions of TMT during that period Denktash criticized Sabri Yirmibesoglu for his statement in Haberturk newspaper last week for saying We burnt a mosque instead of saying I burnt a mosque.


    [11] DP youth to promote recognition of TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (04.10.10) reports that the General Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), Bengu Sonya, speaking at a meting of DP youth branch said that they are satisfied as a party with Eroglus efforts so far, but they are against an interim agreement. We do not want to lose more time. As Turkish Cypriot people we are the victims, not the ones who plan to remain under embargoes. Unlike the Greek Cypriot side, which plays with time, our goal is a comprehensive, sustainable solution, said Sonya.

    Also, the chairman of the DP Youth branch, Munur Ozturk supported that so far efforts for recognition of the TRNC are not enough and highlighted that importance should be given in lobbying. He added that they will do what is necessary for the presentation of the country to young people from the Turkish world, to be hosed in the TRNC from 11-15 of November.

    [12] An aid Protocol for university research projects in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak (30.09.10, online), the so-called minister of national education, youth and sports, Naz1m Cavusoglu, and Turkish ambassador to occupied

    part of Lefkosia, Kaya Turkmen, signed an aid protocol for scientific research projects of universities based in the occupied areas. The protocol envisages financial aid to be provided by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜB0TAK). TUBITAK will be providing assistance to a total of 11 projects, worth 1.958.532 TL.

    Speaking before the signing ceremony, Turkmen underlined the importance of improving research studies at TRNC universities besides their educational function.

    Cavusoglu, for his part, said with the scientific research projects the reputation of the TRNC universities will be enhanced in the international world.


    Statements by Prime Minister and leader of the ruling AKP in Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan that CHP proposed the Iranian model on the headscarf issue, the proposals made by the opposition parties CHP and MHP to the government on the democratic move and constitutional amendments, Turkish Interior Ministers contacts in Syria are the top stories in the Turkish press today. Moreover, Hurriyet highlights the statements made by former president of the Republic of Cyprus Glafkos Klerides to the Greek press on the mistakes committed during the period of 1963-1968.

    [13] TUSIADs chairman on Turkeys EU process and Cyprus

    Turkish daily Turkiye (online, 01.10.10) reports on statements by the chairman of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association (TUSIAD), Umit Boyner, during a meeting of TUSIADs High Consultative Committee (YIK). Addressing the meeting, Boyner, inter alia, referred to Turkeys EU accession process stating that it is natural for the Turkish government to want to enliven the countries EU process and to return to the spirit that existed six year ago. However, it is evident that this will not be able to be realised while a solution to the Cyprus problem does not come to light, she noted.

    [14] Turkish daily: the occupied areas of Cyprus are a most popular route for immigrant smugglers

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (03.10.10, online) under the title Cyprus, new hub for human trafficking, inter alia, reports the following by Ercan Yavuz: Tighter security measures taken by Turkey have turned Cyprus into one of the most popular routes for immigrant smugglers. The TRNC [occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus] is facing the biggest migration move ever in its history. While there used to be a very limited number of human smuggling cases in the past, the island now hosts thousands of illegal immigrants from African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

    Thousands of illegal immigrants from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and other African countries are trying to find a way to reach the island. In response to the migration wave, the TRNC and Syria have signed a joint protocol on fighting against human smuggling. That is because more that 50% of the total immigrants arriving on the island are Syrian-born. Once illegal immigrants reach the TRNC, they try to enter Greek Cyprus [government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus].

    According to TRNC police reports, the number of immigrants reaching the TRNC from illegal ports was 99 in 2003, 163 in 2004, 111 in 2005, 293 in 2006 and 362 in 2007, making a total of 1028.

    In 2008, the number doubled and increased to 568. It continued to increase in 2009. According to estimates, 750 migrants entered the island in 2009. Those immigrants work in all kind of jobs. Illegal immigrants are brought by ships to Cyprus during the night and left in places that are far from settlement areas in Dipkarpaz [occupied Rizokarpaso] and the Iskele region [occupied Trikomo]. In addition to the TRNC, a similar number of immigrants are brought to Greek Cyprus.

    It is believed that illegal immigrants pay between $2,000-$3,000 on average to human smugglers to enter the TRNC. In the latest smuggling cases in Turkey, they pay $5,000-$10,000.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.09.10) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that the resolution passed in the U.S. House of Representatives could undermine the UN solution process ongoing in Cyprus and efforts for rapprochement between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.

    The Ministry statement said the resolution was prepared in a biased way by only taking into consideration the allegations of the Greek Cypriot side, it was based on misinformation and included many mistakes on facts that may undermine the reliability of the House of Representatives.

    [15] Turkish press reports: Cyprus is one of the main obstacles of Turkeys EU accession process

    A number of articles and statements in Turkish press refer to Turkeys EU accession process underlining that the Cyprus problem is an obstacle to this course.

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.10), Turkish State Minister for EU and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis conditioned on Friday Turkey's opening its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots, on EU's similar move for Turkish Cypriots. He explained that if the European Parliament (EP) ratified the trade regulation regarding Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and if ships and planes of EU member states anchor at and land at TRNC ports and airport, then Turkey would open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

    The EP, which is the most democratic institution of the EU, has to solve this issue, Bagis said during a panel discussion in Istanbul organized by Istanbul Policy Centre and Heinrich Boll Foundation.

    Bagis said when Turkey opened its ports and airports, it would prove that it was applying the provisions of the Ankara Agreement to all member states, which would lift the obstacle before EU's opening eight chapters to negotiations with Turkey. Bagis said Turkey expected fair negotiation process from the EU, and wanted the EU to end the unjust attitude against Turkish citizens regarding visas. Citizens of countries which have not even began negotiations with the EU can enter EU member states without visa, however Turkish citizens are kept waiting at visa queues, which contradicts a fair attitude, he said. He also said the readmission agreement was about to be signed, and asked the European Commission to get an authority to launch negotiations with Turkey to lift visa procedures.

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.10.10, online) under the title Turkey-EU talks moving at snails pace in 5th year, inter alia, reports the following by Fulya Ozerkan:

    Although both Croatia and Turkey opened accession talks with the EU on the same date five years ago, Ankaras progress has been rather slow due to Cyprus-related disputes and the political blockade created by France and Germany. The Turkish government cites double standards but vows it will not make concessions on its membership objective.() Turkeys entry has been hindered by the slow pace of reforms and Ankaras refusal to open its ports to shipping from EU member Greek Cyprus, among other issues. Turkish officials have openly complained about double standards, warning the EU not to let Greek Cyprus hijack Europes strategic interests. Turkey, a NATO member, is a key transit route for energy from Central Asia to Europe and its membership process provides a strong anchor for financial and political stability.

    Turkeys entry into the EU will be different. Turkey is handling the matter on its own, one Turkish official told the Daily News.() Despite attempts to prevent the technical negotiating process through political games no other candidate country has ever encountered so far, we will not make concessions on our determination, Egemen Bagis, Turkeys chief negotiator for EU talks, said in a written message Sunday.() Turkeys path to joining the EU will face a key test later this year as Brussels reviews Ankaras performance in complying with the Ankara protocol, under which Turkey is obliged to open its ports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes. Turkey opposes abiding by the protocol unless the EU lifts an embargo imposed on northern Cyprus.

    Another article published in Turkish daily Todays Zaman (04.10.10) by Selcuk Gultasi reports, inter alia:

    Once the Austria thorn was done away with, the EU process for Turkey -- which would later be called crisis-prone by most experts -- started in the late hours of the night, on the same day as Croatia. The first crises came about as a result of the efforts of the Greek Cypriot administration, and the second as a result of the outstanding efforts of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Turkeys membership process was effectively paralyzed almost from the very beginning.() Despite Turkeys support for the Annan plan and Turkish Cypriots voting in favour of it and Greek Cypriots voting against it, the EU unjustly put the blame for the failure to reach a settlement squarely on Turkey. Brussels, using Turkeys refusal to open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriots as a pretext, made what was the harshest decision in the history of negotiations with any country and suspended eight chapters with Turkey on Dec. 11, 2006, and announced that the fate of the remaining chapters would depend on a settlement of the dispute in Cyprus, i.e., no chapters will be closed unless the Cypriot problem is solved.

    [16] Turkeys Saadet Party to elect new chairman following resignations

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.10.10) reported from Ankara that Turkeys Saadet (Felicity) Party will host an extraordinary convention on October 17 to elect a new party administration following the decision by leader Numan Kurtulmus and his team to resign. The party will have to elect a new chairman and a new administration, but no candidates announced any intentions of running for the posts during Sundays meetings.

    Following a 3-month conflict within the party between Kurtulmus and his supporters and Necmettin Erbakan, former prime minister and founder of several political Islamic movements in Turkey, and his team, Kurtulmus announced his resignation from the party in a bid to establish a new one.

    Lashing out at Kurtulmu for trying to imitate other political parties, Erbakan, inter alia, said: In Turkey there are around 60 parties, and all their programs are similar. It would not make a difference if there were 160 parties.

    [17] TPAO will open a company in Damascus

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.10), Turkish cabinet issued a decree in the Official Gazette Friday allowing TPAO to open new companies or acquire shares of a company in Damascus to oversee operations in the Middle East Countries.

    The decree allows TPAO to become a partner of an existing company and maintain representatives in its board. The original capital of the company will be $100 thousand.

    The amount to be contributed to this capital will be determined by the TPAO's board of directors. TPAO's board will be allowed to transfer money in foreign currencies to such companies to pay for its oil operations in the Middle East.

    The Board of the company or the partnership will be jointly appointed by TPAO and the Syrian Petroleum Corporation (SPC). TPAO's will hold 50% of the shares of the company while SPC will hold the rest.

    [18] Turkey will launch national intelligence satellite in 2010

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.10.10), Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during an amphibious ship launching ceremony in Tuzla, said on Saturday that Turkey would launch a national intelligence satellite in 2012. The intelligence satellite named Gokturk was being built by Turkish engineers.

    [19] Turkish exports increased by 10.25% year-on-year in September

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.10.10), exports from Turkey increased by 10.25% year-on-year in September, and reached $9.229 billion, announced Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TIM) on Friday. The exports increased 12.45% in the January-September period and reached $82.2 billion.

    The automotive industry made the largest contribution to exports in September with $1.462 billion, followed by the readymade garment sector with $1.138 billion in second place and iron and steel industry with $1.085 billion in third place, revealed TIM figures.

    Turkey's industry sector, which had 82.57% share in Turkey's total exports in September, recorded 9.69% rise and increased its exports to 7.61 billion USD.

    Agriculture sector's exports reached 1.31 billion USD, as exports in mining sector amounted to 290.6 million USD in the same period, TIM said.

    The top 10 countries which received the majority of Turkish exports in September 2010 were Germany, United Kingdom, Italy, Iraq, France, Russian Federation, Spain, United States, Iran and Romania.

    [20] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 1, 2, 3 October:

    Kurdish Problem

    Star (3.10.10) columnist Mehmet Metiner argues that Turkey is ready for the required mentality change for a lasting peace and maintains that such a change will lead to integration, rather than division. To give a negative reply to the demand for the use of the mother tongue runs counter to the spirit of the democratic overture, stresses Metiner. He calls on everyone to refrain from sabotaging the process, and on the PKK to comply with the cease-fire decision not only on the mountains, but also in the cities, and adds: "It is necessary to properly explain that 'the elimination of the PKK' which is necessary for a lasting peace does not mean the physical annihilation of the militants on the mountains and that it means the social rehabilitation of the militants who will come after laying down arms."

    In article in Radikal (3.10.10), Murat Yetkin cites an American source as saying that Washington has not been informed on the recent meetings with the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), in Ankara, with Ocalan in Imrali via the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) and with Mas'ud Barzani in northern Iraq. Yetkin says that the source underlined that the United States will continue to assist with the dialogue conducted between the Turkish Government and the Iraqi officials, with the aim of meeting Turkey's security needs, but that when the United States withdraws from Iraq the tripartite mechanism will turn into a two-party mechanism and that Turkey and Iraq will have to resolve the problems among themselves.

    In an article in Radikal (2.10.10), columnist Cengiz Candar predicts that the Kurdish government in Iraq would be averse to the idea of establishing a buffer zone in northern Iraq which would involve deployment of Turkish troops in the area even after the formation of a new government. He emphasizes that the Turkish government should take steps, including regular talks with the Peace and Democratic Party in order to build confidence and to pave the way for a permanent cease-fire rather than focusing on plans designed to eliminate the PKK over the short term.

    Cumhuriyet (1.10.10) columnist Hikmet Cetinkaya asserts that the economic aspect of the Kurdish problem is "overlooked". Drawing attention to the increasing unemployment and poverty problem in the Kurdish-populated areas since 1990's, the columnist laments that the southeast has become an available area for many radical terrorist organizations. He expresses support for the Kurdish-language courses, but opposes the BDP's call for education in mother tongue, saying that Kurdish education is a different request which conflicts with the concept of "unitary" state. Pointing out that the current atmosphere in the country is "milder" than it was a year ago, he says: "The situation changed after the election of Kemal Kilicdaroglu as the leader of the Republican People's Party [CHP]. He started to open the door in the southeast." Cetinkaya concludes by asking the CHP to disclose whether its Kurdish report includes "social, economic, and cultural measures" on the issue.

    Taraf (1.10.10) columnist Yasemin Congar asserts that Karayilan's announcement of the PKK decision to extend the ceasefire for another month shows that "there is a lack of confidence between the organization [PKK] and the government, regardless of the dialogue with Ocalan." Arguing that the state has been unable to defeat the PKK in its armed struggle due to its failure to change the conditions that created the organization, Congar calls on the government to convey the message through "appropriate channels" that the PKK members who accept to lay down their arms will be allowed to engage in politics.

    Positive atmosphere in Turkish Politics/President Gul's speech at the National Assembly

    In an article in Zaman (3.10.10), Mustafa Unal views the opening session of Turkish Grand National Assembly and applauds Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu for acting differently to his predecessor and rising from his seat when President Gul entered the Assembly, noting that in this way he ended a two-year shame perpetrated by Baykal. The other CHP deputies followed suit also rising upon Gul's entrance into the hall, writes Unal adding that the messages conveyed so far by Kilicdaroglu about change have now been backed by a concrete gesture. Another first was Kilicdaroglu's participation in the reception hosted by Assembly Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin during which the CHP leader held a friendly conversation with Gul, points out Unal, describing the banter exchanged between Gul and Kilicdaroglu as a sign of detente and the beginning of a dialogue. Referring to the absence of the commanders from the reception, Unal remarks that they were not missed.

    Turkey's EU membership/Turkey-France Ties

    In an article in Milliyet (3.10.10) Kadri Gursel argues that as Turkey approaches the EU, its ties with France deteriorate and as Turkey moves away from the EU, the bilateral ties with France tend to improve and notes that Sarkozy's France wants to move Turkey away from the EU on the one hand and on the other to develop good bilateral ties with Ankara. This seems a feasible approach under the current political circumstances in the EU and in the two countries, points out Gursel and adds: "Especially at a time when Erdogan's Turkey is taking steps that move it away from the western alliance, it is easier to implement this plan." The fact that Turkey has said "no" to the new sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council has not only given new ammunition to the French who oppose Turkey's EU membership, but it has caused rage and disappointment among the French who support Turkey, asserts Gursel.

    Reactions to Felicity Party leader's resignation

    In anarticle in Hurriyet (2.10.10), columnist Oktay Eksi says that former Felicity Party (SP) leader Numan Kurtulmus tacitly criticized Necmettin Erbakan who, he notes, pulls the strings within the party, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for acting like "pharaohs" and exploiting their position for amassing wealth before announcing his decision to resign. Eksi points out that the SP may lose support among its grass roots if the majority of heads of SP branches and mayors affiliated with the party keep their promise to follow Kurtulmus.

    In an article in Milliyet (2.10.10), columnist Taha Akyol says that Kurtulmus defied what he describes as an authoritarian personality cult created around Erbakan in his last speech before announcing his resignation. Akyol comments: "The movement led by Erbakan cannot perceive this transformation and it will unavoidably be marginalized. The SP is no longer a key political party."

    Controversy surrounding Hanefi Avci 's arrest

    In an article in Hurriyet (2.10.10) columnist Tufan Turenc argues that there is no convincing evidence showing that police chief Hanefi Avci has links with the Revolutionary Headquarters, a left-wing group, and adds: "There is a widespread conviction among people, that Avci has been arrested as a result of a plot devised by police chiefs, public prosecutors, and judges who are close to a religious community. Even some columnists writing for the pro-government dailies share this view. Avci is putting up meaningful resistance against the seizure of the government by not appealing against his arrest and refusing to make a statement to public prosecutors and judges on the grounds that they are the 'Simons' of the religious community."

    Star's (30.9.10) Ibrahim Kiras argues that the public is convinced that the operation against Avci is related to his book. His arrest, he adds, will cause harm to the (Gulen) movement, the government, as well as to the public support extended to Ergenekon investigations. Kiras concludes that he believes that the Gulen movement will not view his evaluations as "friendly criticism," but that he nevertheless prefers to warn his "friends."

    In his column in Hurriyet Daily News (1.9.10), Birand maintains that the Avci case "hurts the judiciary and security forces." He concludes: "Until the opposite is proven Avci is a very serious, esteemed, and sophisticated chief of police and intelligence officer."

    Hurriyet's (1.9.10) Mehmet Y. Yilmaz asserts that a strong message is conveyed by Avci's arrest to those who consider standing against the religious organizations within the state institutions: "We will burn you if you do not behave." Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner who investigated the religious organizations in Erzincan was also arrested, recalls Yilmaz, adding that Avci's book, like Cihaner's investigation, caused panic in a "certain center."

    Turkish-US/ Turkish-Iranian trade ties

    Hurriyet Daily News (2.10.10), columnist Ilhan Tanir focuses on what he sees as examples of the US Congress's "hostile" attitude toward Turkey and cautions that the US Congress may take an even more unfriendly stance after the upcoming mid-term elections because pro-Israel Republicans are expected to sweep the House of Representatives and dominate the chairs of various House committees. He says: " The notion that 'Turkey is turning East' is being widely accepted by these conservative forces and it is expected that the discussions around this notion will be promoted and preached to these newcomers more intensely and will be well-received by them in return, most likely."

    In an article " in Milliyet (2.10.10), columnist Semih Idiz says that the ratification of a report about Israel's interception of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla by the UN General Assembly, was a moral victory for the Turkish government although it was disappointed because the United States voted against it while EU member countries abstained. Predicting that another report to be drawn up by a group of experts appointed by the UN Secretary General will be vetoed by the United States if its findings blame Israel, Idiz concludes saying: "Turkish-Israeli relations have become a prerequisite for Turkish-US ties. Considering that relations between Ankara and Washington have been strained because of Iran, it is obvious that Turkish-US ties need serious mending."

    In his column in Hurriyet Daily News (1.10. 10) entitled "We're entering dangerous waters with the US," Mehmet Ali Birand warns against the impact of the Turkish government's "unfavorable" policy toward Israel on the relations between Ankara and Washington. He quotes the circles closely following the course of the relations as saying that "Turkish-American relations have lost their charm."

    A commentary by Sami Kohen in Milliyet (1.10.10) also warns against the "serious disagreements" between Ankara and Washington, saying that "the US Congress and the media question the direction of the Turkish foreign policy" after Turkey's "no" vote to UN sanctions against Iran and its reaction to Israel's raid on Mavi Marmara. Kohen adds that Ankara, in turn, believes that Washington's misinterpretation of Turkish policies is the main reason behind the lack of confidence in the United States. He adds that although Ankara launched a new "public diplomacy" initiative to change the US perception of Turkey, it is difficult to eliminate the disagreements caused by mutual "conflict of interests" on certain issues.

    Hurriyet's (30.9.10) Vahap Munyar conveys views of Haluk Dincer, chairman of Turkish-American Business Council, TAIK, and Serif Egeli, deputy chairman of TAIK, with regard to the trade ties between Turkey and Iran as well as US-Turkish ties. While announcing the annual conference to be held on the US-Turkish relations in Washington in October, Dincer said that Turkey is one of the most important strategic partners of the United States in the region. Referring to a US delegation that visited Turkey to urge Ankara to impose additional sanctions against Iran, Dincer maintains that the US "pressure" creates an uneasy atmosphere adding that it has a negative impact on the trade between the two countries. Munyar also quotes Egeli: "America cannot prevent us from doing business with Iran. It is only natural that the trade between us [Turkey and Iran] increases. America lives by its own rules. However, there are other realities in our region." Concluding that Turkish private sector under the roof of TAIK appears to go along with Foreign Minister Davutoglu who said that Turkey would only abide by the UN sanctions on Tehran and not by those of the US, Munyar draws attention to the fact that "Turkish banks and companies with US partners are caught up in the middle.

    Turkish military bases in northern Iraq

    Radikal (30.9.10) columnist Murat Yetkin says that the United States supports the idea of forming a security lane on the Iraqi side of the border to prevent PKK infiltrations on the condition that the new government to be formed in Iraq approves it. Pointing out that the issue was discussed in talks between Gen Lloyd Austin, US commander in Iraq, Gen Isik Kosaner, Turkish chief of the General Staff, and Interior Minister Besir Atalay in Ankara on 28 September, Yetkin quotes American sources saying that the United States supports the idea of setting up temporary military bases on the Iraqi side of the border within the framework of Turkey's right to self-defense, however, the issue can be put into action only if the Iraqi government approves it. Recalling Interior Minister Atalay's recent contacts in northern Iraq and eastern Turkey, National Intelligence Organization Undersecretary Hakan Fidan's visits to Iraq and the United States, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement about the government's plan to change the security structure in the southeast, Yetkin concludes that "the details will become clear after talks with the new government to be formed in Iraq."

    Turkey's missed opportunity in Nabucco Pipeline

    In his column in Milliyet (30.9.10), Metin Munir says northern Iraq will become rich and that Arbil will turn into Dubai when the Nabucco pipeline will carry the northern Iraqi natural gas to Europe. Lamenting that had Turkey acted with more wisdom, it could have taken a share from the richness in northern Iraq, Munir adds that Turkey lost its chance by being at odds with the United States and the Kurds. Prime Minister Erdogan hears the bells ringing, says Munir, and maintains that the rise of northern Iraq is an important aspect that should be considered in Turkey's Kurdish problem. He concludes: "Perhaps the government, because it is aware of this, is in a hurry to silence the arms in the southeast and to integrated Turkey's Kurds into the system."

    Switzerland mediates between Turkey and Armenia

    A report entitled in Hurriyet (2.10.10) quotes a Turkish diplomat as saying that Swiss diplomats are conducting telephone diplomacy in order to explore the possibility of reviving two protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia. The Turkish diplomat says: "Time is not ripe for holding contacts at a higher level. We aim to further our good neighborly relations with Armenia. It was Armenia which shelved the protocols and it should, therefore, take steps to revive them."

    Turkey-China military exercise

    Meric Tafolar of Milliyet (1.10.10) says that military sources confirmed the 30 September Taraf report that Turkey and China conducted a "secret military exercise" in Konya. However, it says, the sources noted that the exercise was not conducted within the framework of the "Anatolian Eagle" exercise, but that it was part of a training program.

    Taraf's (30.9.10) Lale Kemal reports that Washington has asked information from the Foreign and Defense Ministries regarding a "secret aerial exercise" that Turkish and Chinese military jointly conducted in Konya this month.

    "Double status for Hagia Sophia"

    In an article in Milli Gazete (1.10.10) with the above headline, columnist Mustafa Ozcan criticizes certain Muslim commentators for arguing that the Hagia Sophia museum in Istanbul should be reopened as a church rather than as a mosque. He claims that such arguments suggest that certain Islamic circles have taken things too far in opposing neo-nationalism in the name of forming an alliance with global players. He also asserts that granting Hagia Sophia a "double status" as a church and mosque, as Prime Minister Erdogan's so-called "crazy project" is claimed to entail, would be the surest way of silencing rightful demands for the reopening of this historical structure as a Muslim place of worship. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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