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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-12

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 says parliament supports his efforts for an agreement based on the existing realities
  • [02] Statements by Turkish Cypriot political party leaders following Eroglus briefing
  • [03] Izcan: The policy of Taiwanization and Turkification continues
  • [04] Turkish Cypriots ask for return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners
  • [05] Self-styled ambassador reiterates Turkeys red lines for solution in Cyprus
  • [06] UBP celebrates 35th anniversary
  • [07] Britons cannot protest outside the Turkish Embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia

  • [08] Erdogan visits Syria
  • [09] Turkish Foreign and Defence Ministers to attend NATO meeting
  • [10] Turkey and Bulgaria sign MoU on cross-border cooperation
  • [11] HSYK members resign collectively
  • [12] Huge rise in Turkeys current account deficit
  • [13] Highlights


    Statements by Eroglu after he briefed the assembly yesterday on the latest developments in the negotiations process and the property proposals, statements by Turkish Cypriot political leaders after the assembly session, a statement by Izzet Izcan that the policy of Taiwanization and Turkification of the occupation areas continues, statements by Dervis Eroglu and Irsen Kucuk at the ceremony for the 35th anniversary of the UBP, a declaration by several intellectuals in the occupied areas demanding the opening of the closed city of Varosha under the supervision of the UN, and other internal issues, are some of the main topics highlighted in todays Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglu says parliament supports his efforts for an agreement based on the existing realities

    Under the title The Annan Plan does not exist, the ground is different, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu briefed the parliament of the breakaway regime on the developments in the Cyprus problem during a closed session which lasted four hours.

    After the briefing, Eroglu was asked to comment on the fact that according to the provisions of the Annan Plan, occupied Morfou area would have been returned to the Greek Cypriot side. Eroglu responded that the Greek Cypriot side rejected the Annan Plan, which ceased to exist and added that the negotiations now are being carried out on a new basis.

    Eroglu noted that he found a sincere support for the negotiations from all the political parties in the parliament and reiterated that the belief in the necessity for an agreement is clear. He added: Our parliament considered appropriate the continuation of our efforts in the direction of finding an agreement taking into consideration the realities which exist today.

    Eroglu criticized the statement made the day before yesterday by President Christofias on the return of occupied Morfou to its legal owners, alleging that putting forward such conditions is not correct from the point of view of the course of the negotiations. He said he briefed the parliament on his views regarding his proposals on the property issue. He noted that he had briefed the party leaders on this issue in the past, but the view of the parliament is very important.


    [02] Statements by Turkish Cypriot political party leaders following Eroglus briefing

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot political party leaders called on the Greek Cypriot side to evaluate constructively the Turkish proposals on the property issue.

    Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Mehmet Cakici, president of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) and Turgay Avci, leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) evaluated the situation in the Cyprus problem after the four-hour briefing by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday.

    In his statements, Irsen Kucuk said Eroglu briefs the political parties very often from the very first day he undertook the duty of being the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side. Kucuk described as constructive Eroglus proposals on the property issue and added that if the Greek Cypriot side evaluates well the Turkish proposals, it will be possible for this chapter to be concluded positively. He said that all parties concerned want the solution of the Cyprus problem and reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side should not reject the Turkish proposals on the property issue which were seen positively by all Turkish Cypriot political parties.

    On his part, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said Eroglu briefed them on his proposals on the property issue and they conveyed their views. He noted that the Turkish and Greek Cypriots have no time to lose and that reaching a solution in Cyprus is necessary.

    Moreover, Mehmet Cakici said that it is difficult for progress to be achieved in the negotiations because the proposals and the views submitted by the sides on the property issue are far apart. He argued that the Turkish proposals could be discussed, but the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of leasing property is unacceptable.

    Furthermore, Serdar Denktas claimed that no country in the world has the right to condemn the Turkish Cypriots to live in uncertainty. He argued that if a solution is to be reached in Cyprus, it should be within the next 5-6 months. He noted that the process is not going well, that uncertainty exists and that this climate is not good for the economy. He said that the good thing is that the disagreements among the Turkish Cypriot political parties decreased and that reconciliation exists compared to the past.

    Finally, Turgay Avci said that such briefings should take place more often. He noted that a solution by the end of 2010 is not possible, but the process could not continue for another 30 years.


    [03] Izcan: The policy of Taiwanization and Turkification continues

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (12.10.10), Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) in a written statement yesterday said that the parallel policy of Taiwanization and Turkification of the TRNC continues. The statement added that according to the Conversion of Geneva, with the policy of the systematic transfer of population, which constitutes a war crime, and with the change of the demographic structure, the policy of assimilation is implemented.

    Izcan accused Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership for not being sincere concerning the solution in Cyprus. He said that they continue playing with non-solution policies and added that this is indicated very clearly in the separatist proposals submitted at the negotiation table which are not within the framework of the UN parameters. It is also seen in the policy followed to turn the TRNC into Taiwan.

    Izcan said that there is no other way than an early solution which is possible to be found with the common struggle of the powers which are in favour of the solution.


    [04] Turkish Cypriots ask for return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners

    Turkish daily Haberdar (12.10.10) reports that a group of businessmen, doctors, artists and professionals from Famagusta signed a declaration regarding the occupied closed city of Varosha asking for its return to its Greek Cypriot legal owners before a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached. The Turkish Cypriots prepared a package of proposals and published it in the form of a declaration, which notes that Varosha needs to be returned to its legal owners. They said that the port of Famagusta should be opened for international shipping so that the area is revived economically. The Turkish Cypriots who signed the declaration said that this opening would be an initiative which would pave the Turkeys way to the EU.

    In the declaration, Varosha is called ghost town which invokes a Hollywood horror movie, a place with a depressive atmosphere which destroys any hope for a healthy future. It is noted that a different ecosystem has been created there because Varosha is kept closed for 36 years and the people living in Famagusta area face the danger of various illnesses because of the animals in the ghost town.

    The group proposes the revitalization of Varosha which would result in the subsequent development of the Famagusta area. Moreover, the group adds that an initiative for Varosha is the opening of the Famagusta port to international transport under EU supervision.

    The port which at the moment functions using only 25% of its capacity, will be revived, but most importantly the area inside the walls which is dead and other areas of Famagusta will have a steady flow of tourists with a high turnover, argues the group in its declaration. Opening of the port, argues the group, could also lead to Turkeys opening its ports to ships under Cypriot flag and more opportunities for the restoration of the historic and artistic monuments of the Famagusta old city by foreign institutions, thus enabling the city to be included in the World Cultural Heritage list of UNESCO.

    Moreover, the group supports that the adoption of such a packet will contribute to the respect and sympathy of the international opinion towards Turkey, speed up the opening of chapters in Turkey accession talks with EU and will be a catalyst creating synergy for a complete solution in Cyprus.

    [05] Self-styled ambassador reiterates Turkeys red lines for solution in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.10.10) reports that the Turkish self-styled ambassador to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Kaya Turkmen, said he prefers to talk about the form of the agreement to be reached in Cyprus rather than the possibility of not reaching an agreement, which is not on our agenda.

    In an interview to Kibris, Turkmen said that Turkey shares the determination of the Turkish Cypriot people to administer themselves in a sovereign manner on their own lands and having equal status with the Greek Cypriots in the partnership to be reached on the Island.

    Turkmen added: Guaranteeing the existence, the rights, the freedoms and the future of the Turks of Cyprus, securing their tranquillity, prosperity and security, continuing their development and their unification with the world, are primary targets for Turkey. The Treaties of Alliance and Guarantees will continue within the framework of the solution which will be reached, and Turkeys active and effective guarantees will be preserved. These are our red lines. And everybody knows this. He said that the Turkish Cypriots will not accept any agreement which will provide anything less and Turkey could not support an agreement not accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.

    Asked about Turkeys stance in case an agreement is not reached in the ongoing negotiations, Turkmen said it has frequently been repeated that the negotiations could not last forever and that the existing window of opportunity could not remain open eternally. He said that the UN and the international community also share this view.

    Responding to another question, Turkmen expressed the view that the situation is not pessimistic and that he hoped that with the encouragement of the EU and other international actors the Greek Cypriot side would exhibit the necessary political determination and will to reach a solution.

    Referring to the relations between Turkey and the occupied areas of Cyprus, Turkmen said that the accusations that crime is imported from Turkey to the occupied part of Cyprus are very offending and saddening. He noted that he could not accept this and that his first duty to prevent to those who come to Cyprus with the aim of committing a crime, is to make an arrangement at the entrances and exits regarding the part that concerns Turkey. The paper writes that Turkmen did not say that entry using only identity card will stop, but he noted that the use of passport should be encouraged. This is my project. In the coming months we will put forward a project on this and we will solve this problem, he added.


    [06] UBP celebrates 35th anniversary

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (12.10.10) reports that an open reception was held yesterday evening in occupied Lefkosia, to celebrate 35 years form the foundation of the National Unity Party (UBP). Mutlu Atasayan, the general secretary, Irsen Kucuk, general chairman and so-called prime minister and Dervis Eroglu, the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, addressed the ceremony.

    Kucuk said he was happy to participate in the creation of a new political party, after the 20 July 1974 Happy Peace Operation. He added that UBP is the party of those who support the creation of unbreakable bonds with Turkey and close cooperation in every aspect, and believe that the place of Turkey or the TRNC is in the EU. Finally, he reassured participants that a solution they want and they deserve will definitely be accomplish and expressed support to Eroglu.

    Eroglu in his speech thanked UBP members for electing him to the presidency and appointed him to continue the negotiations which will determine the solution of the Cyprus problem and the future of the TRNC and its people. He said that with their support he will continue the negotiations and if possible reach a viable permanent agreement and live with honour and dignity on this land.

    [07] Britons cannot protest outside the Turkish Embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (12.10.10) 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 been given permission to carry out their protest outside the Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    According to the paper, the self-styled head official of Lefkosia district Muslum Aykilic said the TRNC constitution only allows its citizens to protest, adding that for this reason Britons cannot be permitted to protest outside of the Turkish Embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    Pauline Ann, who is the one organizing this protest, said that she is really sad that permission for a peaceful protest was not granted and added that they expect the support and interest of the Turkish government and the authorities of the occupation regime for their grievances.

    Meanwhile, a jurist, explaining the Article 32 of the TRNC Constitution, said: The constitution is clear, this right is recognized only to the citizens. However, there are many Britons, who are also citizens here. So if these Britons acquire permission, they can give support to those who are not citizens.


    The main story in todays Turkish press is the resignation of seven members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) in protest of government-backed reforms to overhaul the judiciary. The joint press conference on terrorism of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus, the statements by State Minister for Economy Ali Babacan on unemployment as well as other domestic issues are highlighted in todays press.

    [08] Erdogan visits Syria

    According to Hurriyet Daily News (11.10.10) of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan prior to his departure for Syria yesterday he told reporters: Turkey and Syria hold a key position in providing peace, safety and stability to the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

    Bilateral relations, the High Level Strategy Councils meeting last weekend and regional developments will top his Syrian agenda, Erdogan said. The joint work started with Syria, Jordan and Lebanon is continuing with determination. The political, economic, trade and cultural relations with Syria is a process that is influencing the people of both countries in the right direction, said Erdogan underlining that regional issues like Iraq and Lebanon closely concern all.

    During a press conference in Damascus following the meeting with the Syrian President, Erdogan said the two countries would continue to fight terrorism together and that they both focus on minimizing terrorism. Al-Assad said Damascus commitment in cooperating with Turkey against terrorism is strong.

    Speaking about Israel, Erdogan repeated Turkey's demand for an apology and compensation for the May 31 Mavi Marmara incident as pre-condition for normalizing ties. Erdogan also criticized the U.S. and EU for not approving the United Nations Human Rights Councils report on the flotilla incident.

    [09] Turkish Foreign and Defence Ministers to attend NATO meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.10.10) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul will travel to Brussels to attend the meeting of NATO foreign affairs and national defence ministers on October 14.

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that preparatory efforts prior to the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit in Lisbon on November 19 and 20 would be discussed during the meeting.

    Davutoglu and Gonul are expected to hold bilateral talks during their stay in Brussels.

    [10] Turkey and Bulgaria sign MoU on cross-border cooperation

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.10.10) reported from Ankara that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Turkey-Bulgaria cross-border cooperation programme was signed on Monday. According to a statement by the Turkish Secretariat General for EU Affairs, the MoU was signed by the Secretary General for EU Affairs Ambassador, Volkan Bozkir, on October 11 at the Secretariat, and Bulgarian Ambassador, Krasimir Tulechki.

    Turkey-Bulgaria cross-border cooperation programme aims at improving economic, social and cultural relations between Turkey and Bulgaria, which constitutes the frontier zone of EU with Turkey, and supporting good neighbourhood relations through strengthening cooperation in the border regions, the statement said.

    Officials said that the MoU was also simultaneously signed by the Bulgarian Regional Development and Public Works Minister, Rosen Plevneliev, in Bulgaria.

    The total budget of the programme for the 2007-2009 period is 11,814,525 Euro, of which 10,042,346 Euro is an EU contribution. The remaining 1,772,179 Euro is national contribution from budgets of Bulgaria and Turkey. The eligible cross-border co-operation area includes districts of Bourgas, Yambol and Haskovo on the Bulgarian side and provinces of Edirne and Kirklareli on the Turkish side.

    [11] HSYK members resign collectively

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (12.10.10) reports that seven members of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) --four primary members and three alternate members-- announced their resignations from their posts on Monday, arguing that the policies of the Ministry of Justice do not allow the board to function properly.

    But the fact that most of the members were due to retire in the few days and weeks ahead has raised questions over whether the resignations are intended to influence members of the judiciary concerning approaching elections to pick new HSYK members. The resigning members were identified as Kadir Ozbek, who is also the board's deputy chairman, Suna Turkoglu, Musa Tekin, Orhan Cem Erbuk, Fatma Anil Genc, Hatice Ceyda Keyman and Ayse Albayrak Dogan.

    The paper reports the following: Ozbek stated at a press conference that the HSYK members have found it futile to remain part of a board that the Ministry of Justice does not allow to convene, make decisions or voice opinions. The HSYK has become a hot topic for debates and, thus, suffered damage, he noted, and complained that the board has not been allowed to hold a meeting since August 17. I am sorry to underline that we informed the Ministry of Justice about our concerns, but the ministry failed to take necessary action, he noted.

    The HSYK and the Ministry of Justice have been at odds since mid August over the future of top prosecutors overseeing Turkeys most critical investigations. The board moved to remove Ergenekon prosecutor Zekeriya Oz from the case as well as over 100 judges and prosecutors in the Sledgehammer, Poyrazkoy, Kafes and Temizoz cases, but the ministry strongly resisted the move. The deliberations were suspended due to the boards insistent demands to get rid of judges and prosecutors in Turkeys most important legal cases.

    The Ministry of Justice believes the removal of the judges and prosecutors would facilitate the release of dozens of suspects charged as part of terror-related cases from prison. According to Ozbek, the HSYK called on the Ministry of Justice to convene a meeting to reach a consensus on the deadlock over the future of the judges and prosecutors, but the ministry refused to sit at a negotiating table.

    Ozbek also said the resignations of the HSYK members were not a group decision because each member made his or her decision to quit individually. The resigning HSYK members will remain judges at the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State, he added.

    However, according to Turkeys leading jurists, the resignations are a tactical move as most of the HSYK members are due to retire in the days to come. Tekins term in office was reportedly set to expire in two days, while Ozbek was set to retire on December 2.

    Ahmet Gundel, a former prosecutor at the Supreme Court of Appeals, said the HSYK would have taken a more plausible step if all of its members had quit their positions. The board members announced their resignation beforehand. To me, it is a kind of propaganda. They wanted to draw the attention of the media, he noted, and added that the reasons Ozbek listed for resignation does not reflect the truth. The main reason that triggered the resignations is unease among the top judiciary stemming from recent steps taken to ensure impartiality in the judiciary, he added.

    The constitutional amendment package approved in the September 12 referendum introduced changes to the structure of the HSYK. With the package, the HSYK will have 22 members instead of the current seven. Elections will be held next week to elect the new members to the board.

    The Ministry of Justice issued a statement on Monday in which it rejected Ozbeks claims that the ministry does not allow the board to function properly.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also spoke about the resignations yesterday, and said the decisions by board members to quit their positions are not linked to his government. The board members whose terms in office [will soon] expire are leaving their positions. And the new members will be elected in accordance with the principles included in the constitutional amendment package, he noted.

    Some observers believe the HSYK members wished to influence members of the judiciary about the approaching elections with their resignations. They also questioned why HSYK member Ali Suat Ertosun had protected his position on the board.

    Ertosun came under the spotlight last year when he suggested the removal of prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon probe and the investigation into the Kurdish Democratic Confederation (KCK) --the urban arm of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK)-- and into jailed Col. Cemal Temizoz, who has suspected links to the killing of dozens of civilians by gendarmes in the 1990s in southeast Turkey.

    [12] Huge rise in Turkeys current account deficit

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (12.10.10) reports that Turkeys current account deficit increased by a massive 387%, nearing $3 billion, in August on the same month a year ago, a central bank report has shown.

    TZ reported the following: The Central Bank of Turkey recently announced the balance of payments for the period January-August 2010. The rise in the current account deficit is mostly caused by increases in the foreign trade deficit in August, which rose by 48% to $5.7 billion, and an 18.9% decrease in net service income.

    Over the January-August 2010 period, the current account deficit increased by 220% to $28 billion from $8.5 billion in 2009.

    In the first eight months of 2009, the balance of payments deficit in foreign trade was limited to $15 billion, while this year it neared $32 billion. At the same time, export incomes increased by 12.9% and reached almost $73 billion. Import expenses, including gold, rose by 30%, reaching $115 billion.

    Tourism revenue reached $13.5 billion while the sectors expenses rose to $3.1 billion. According to data, net tourism income decreased by 2.7% to $10.5 billion in the first eight months of 2010, compared to the same period in 2009. Another important subgroup in the service sector is transportation. Between January-August 2009, net income reached $660 million with expenses of $424 million.

    When looking at commercial loans, the report showed that $388 million in loans was repaid, on the $380 million lent in 2009. Loans to foreign interests in 2009 and 2010 was $851 million and $529 million, respectively. The money deposited in foreign branches of Turkish banks decreased by $5.5 billion in the first eight months of 2010, when in the same period in 2009 this decrease was limited to $1.7 billion.

    The net foreign currency entry to Turkey from Turkish construction companies operating abroad fell by 27.5% in 2010, compared to the previous year, to $518 million. The insurance paid on employees working abroad increased by almost 17%, reaching $394 million. According to foreign employers and employee data, the excess of the service sector abroad decreased to $8 billion in 2010 from $10 billion in 2009.

    Investors living abroad acquired $14 million worth of shares in the Istanbul Stock Exchange (IMKB) in August. The total increase in the January-August period was $1.4 billion. On the other hand, foreigners bought $2.4 billion worth of treasury bills in August and $9.3 billion over the first eight months of 2010.

    It was also observed that foreigners deposited $12 billion to Turkish banks over the period, from $3.5 billion in 2009. The net amount that foreign banks deposited in Turkish banks has risen by $12 billion.

    Domestic investors invested $792 million to foreign countries in the first eight months of 2009, while this years investments increased to $1.1 billion.

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 11 October:

    a) Turkey, China, Iran, US

    An article by Metehan Demir in Hurriyet says that the 20 September-4 October Turkish-Chinese military exercise which alarmed the United States and Israel, was held with the indirect participation of Iran, which, alongside Pakistan, allowed the over-flight of four Chinese SU-27 warplanes in addition to refuelling them in midair.

    Omer Taspinar notes in his column in Sabah that from Washington's perspective the controversies surrounding Israel, Iran, China, and Armenian protocols are for the Americans main sticking points in US-Turkey bilateral relations. Whereas, from the perspective of growingly self-confident Turkey, these are not major issues to worry about. Turkey does not regard Iran as a threat and hence feels no need to cooperate with Americans against that country. And Israel is simply not on Turkey's agenda. In short, Turkey is acting independently flushed with its newfound confidence; it is not anti-American, it has simply transcended America.

    In a column in Hurriyet Daily News, Cem Oguz looks at the disagreements between the United States and Turkey and says: "The real reason behind the turbulence between Washington and Ankara can be gleaned from an idea expressed by Brent Scowcroft in his interview with Daily News reporter Fulya Ozerkan. When asked to describe how Turkey looks from Washington's perspective and to comment on Turkey's intentions, Scowcroft, the former U.S. national security advisor who is also said to have assisted Barack Obama, spoke of wanting the return of 'the old Turkey that (they) know and love.' Oguz adds: "I urge my American friends to realize that Turkey has indeed changed, having in some ways matured as a nation and grown in confidence. Will they [the Americans] continue to love us as we reasonably assert ourselves on the world stage?"

    b) Sencer Ayata factor in CHP/AKP and headscarf

    Taha Akyol in his column in Milliyet argues that the appointment of sociologist Sencer Ayata as head of CHP's Science and Research Council is a clear signal that the CHP wants to transform itself from a social-engineering party into one that listens to the actual needs and demands of society. Akyol adds that he will probably find Ayata's upcoming report on headscarf unsatisfactory, but with his appointment the party will gradually accept the actual social facts on the ground. Akyol believes that if the CHP wants to come to power it has to respect the desire of more than 70% of the population for free attire.

    In a column for Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli says the AKP pretends to solve the Kurdish and headscarf problems but in actual fact it exploits them to consolidate its power: "Is it not the time to remove the veil in front of your eyes and see the bitter fact that the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has no intention to resolve either the headscarf or the Kurdish problems of this county but only pretending as if it wanted so? "This is an 'as if' government. It is committed to democracy, as long as democracy serves its aim of consolidating its absolute rule. It is for enhanced freedoms as long as they serve to its interests. It is liberal as long as it can rip its benefits. National interests, integrity of the country and the nation, peace and stability of the society, well-being of the nation, Turkey's EU vocation are just slogans to be used as long as they help advance the ruling party consolidate its conservative-Islamist and indeed pragmatist agenda."

    c) Minister rejects Alevi demands

    According to a report in Radikal, addressing a gathering of Alevi organizations, State Minister Faruk Celik said that the government is averse to Alevi demands for the removal of mandatory religious classes from schools. Celik warned Alevis that if this issue is politicized its solution will become even more difficult. Also criticizing calls for the abolition of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Celik told the gathering that Alevis could demand formal recognition of cemevis [Alevi houses of worship] only if the law recognizes these houses as places of worship. Also speaking at the gathering, CHP deputy leader Gursel Tekin said that the problems of the Alevis should be solved by drafting a new constitution. MHP [Nationalist Action Party] representative partially backed Alevi demands by saying that the Religious Affairs Directorate should be reformed and the Alevi teaching should be regarded as part of Islam and included in the religious education. Dogan Bermek, head of the Alevi Foundations Federation, said that the Alevi community is peaceful but also resolved to obtain its rights.

    d) Lt Gen Mehmet Emin Alpman to attend ATC meeting

    A report in Cumhuriyet says that this year, Lt Gen Mehmet Emin Alpman, the head of the General Staff Planning and Principles Department, will attend the meeting of the Turkish-American Business Council, (ATC), to be held in Washington on 17-20 October. The report points out that the army had originally planned to send a full general to the meeting which was at first planned for April but was postponed because of the debates in Congress on the Armenian genocide bill.

    e) Farewell Vakit, welcome Yeni Akit

    Akit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya relates the developments that required them to discontinue to Anadoluda Vakit daily. He announces that the editorial board of the new paper Yeni Akit will continue to be compassionate toward Muslims and ruthless toward heathens, struggle against enemies of the people, strongly criticize injustices whoever they might be caused by, and act as a watchdog for human rights and freedoms. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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