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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-29

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] Statements by Eroglu in Berlin
  • [02] Eroglu says the future of the Direct Trade Regulation in unknown
  • [03] Basis alleges that two separate states exist in Cyprus
  • [04] Turkish Foreign Ministry on the ECHR Ruling
  • [05] Izcan called on Turkey to open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] So-called agriculture minister attends OIC conference in Sudan
  • [07] The Turkish Republic Day celebrated in the occupied areas
  • [08] So-called tourism minister held contacts in Turkey
  • [09] Works begin for the first leg of the pipeline project between Turkey and the occupied areas
  • [10] TPAO announces road map for underwater oil research
  • [11] One hundred more persons signed petition for the return of fenced off town of Varosha to its legal owners
  • [12] International Taekwondo championship in occupied Kyrenia

  • [13] Cyprus to be included in the EU progress report on Turkey
  • [14] Dreams fading over Cyprus
  • [15] Turkish Foreign Minister tours China
  • [16] Turkey´s National Security Council convenes
  • [17] Turkey and Kenya sign agricultural cooperation agreement and a MoU
  • [18] Turkish exports to EU said on rising trend
  • [19] Highlights


    Statements by Dervis Eroglu during and after his visit in Germany, statements by Egemen Bagis on Cyprus at a meeting of the Joint Turkey-EU Parliamentary Committee, the preparations for the transfer of water and electricity from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Zorlu Tore´s contacts in Sudan, a statement by the Turkish Foreign Minister on the recent ECHR ruling, and other internal matters are the basic issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press on 28 and 29 October.

    [01] Statements by Eroglu in Berlin

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (28.10.10), in a press conference in Berlin following his contacts, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu noted that those who created the Cyprus problem are Greece and the Greek Cypriot sector, and these two countries which complicate the solution of the problem are members of the EU. Eroglu said he told his interlocutors that the Greek Cypriot side has no need for an agreement.

    As the German Foreign Minister did not visit the occupied areas during his visit to Cyprus, Eroglu said he conveyed an invitation to him to visit the TRNC. He added Eroglu said that he also conveyed to Westerwelle his view that the German Chancellors, Angela Merkel, visit to Cyprus next January will be more useful if she visits the northern part of Cyprus as well.

    Commenting on the invitation of UN Secretary-General for a tri-partite meeting, Eroglu said: The date is not certain yet, however, it is clear that we will go to New York.

    Eroglu criticized President Christofias for his frequent visits, as he said, to Athens for consultation, and statements that he wants to meet Turkish leaders and underlined that he is Christofias interlocutor. He added that the guarantor countries will accept the agreement reached, so there is no need for meeting s in Turkey.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriots can accept a five-partite meeting with Turkey, Greece and Britain or a four-partite meeting without Britain, Eroglu said that he thinks that an international meeting will not be more useful.

    To a question on the latest verdict of ECHR that Turkey should pay 15 million euro in compensation to Greek Cypriot applicants, Eroglus adviser said that those applications had been filed to the ECHR before the verdict of ECHR on the Immovable Property Committee (IPC). So from now on applicants should go to the IPC in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    [02] Eroglu says the future of the Direct Trade Regulation is unknown

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that the adoption of the Direct Trade Regulation prepared by the EU Commission for the Turkish Cypriots does not seem possible in 2010. In statements yesterday at illegal Tymvou airport on his return from his visits to Berlin and Brussels, Eroglu said that during his recent meeting with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Stefan Fule, the latter told him that some amendments might be made to the Regulation.

    The Trade Regulation has been pushed to a point where it could be said that its future is unknown, noted Eroglu pointing out that possible amendments to the regulation would take time.

    Eroglu said that during his contacts in Germany and Belgium, he briefed his interlocutors on the Turkish proposals submitted in the Cyprus talks and explained their expectations on the lifting of the isolation.


    [03] Bagis alleges that two separate states exist in Cyprus

    Under the title Do you have the courage? Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.10.10) reports that the Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU, Egemen Bagis has said that the Turkish side has always been supporting the solution of the Cyprus problem and undertook innumerable initiatives in this direction.

    In statements on the Cyprus problem during the 65th meeting of the Joint EU Turkish Parliamentary Committee, Bagis described as comic the fact, that she said, some big European Union countries are hiding behind the island of Cyprus is.

    Responding to questions of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the Cyprus problem, Bagis recalled the EU promise to the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, to lift its isolation when it accepted the Annan Plan. Bagis said that the EU could not expect any new step by Turkey when the Union does not implement its own decisions.

    According to the paper, when Greek Cypriot MEPs said that they expect from Turkey to take a constructive step, Bagis asked them whether they are ready to repeat the negotiations held in 2004 in Burgenstock, with the aim of finding a solution in Cyprus.

    He alleged: If you have the courage, come and let us carry out the meeting in Burgenstock again. You send a person to Ercan Airport [Tr. Note: The illegal Tymvou airport] and we shall open our ports. All the Turkish political parties represented in this room will support this. However, if you suddenly say Turkey should open its ports, then we have the right to ask why do you take decisions which you cannot implement.

    Asked whether Turkey will abandon the TRNC in return for its accession to the EU, Bagis responded: Turkey will not abandon the TRNC for the EU or the EU for the TRNC. In both cases there are issues in which we are right. Therefore, let us sit and negotiate them.

    When Greek Cypriot MEPs asked him about the situation of the churches in the occupied part of Cyprus, Bagis said: I am not the official to whom you should address this question. There is a separate state in Northern Cyprus. Every morning when the sun rises, it rises for two separate states. Bagis expressed the belief that if such problems exists, they will be solved if the TRNC is contacted.

    When the Greek Cypriot MEPs called for the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from the island, Bagis alleged that Turkey has attempted to withdraw its troops, but the Greek Cypriots rejected this by saying ´no´ to the Annan Plan, which provided that initially 950 Greek soldiers and 650 Turkish soldiers would remain on the island and afterwards all the troops would have been withdrawn with a referendum held at the beginning of 2010.


    [04] Turkish Foreign Ministry on the ECHR Ruling

    According to illegal Bayrak television (28.10.10), the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the recent compensation ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against Turkey does not question the effectiveness of the Immoveable Property Commission established in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as a domestic remedy.

    ECHR ruled that Turkey should pay a total of 15,001,498 Euros in respect of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damage and a total of 160,375 Euros for costs and expenses with regard to 19 cases submitted by Greek Cypriot applicants.

    Greek Cypriots can either apply to the Commission in the TRNC for their property cases or wait for a political agreement to be reached on the Cyprus issue, the spokesperson for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Selcuk Unal, said. He noted that the door is open for appeal to the ruling at the Grand Chamber of ECHR.

    Reminding that 727 cases have been brought to the Immoveable Property Commission so far, Unal pointed out that 189 of these cases have been concluded. Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson added that there were two more property cases pending with the ECHR which were submitted before the ECHR ruling in favour of the Immoveable Property Commission.

    [05] Izcan called on Turkey to open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title Izcan: Negotiations have reached to a deadlock, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (29.10.10) reports on statements made by Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) who said that the slowing down of the negotiation process has led the process to a deadlock and stressed the need for the sides to make new openings in order to confront a possible crisis.

    In a written statement, Izcan also said that the recent decision of the Legal Committee of the European Parliament concerning the Direct Trade Regulation, the latest ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Turkey should pays 15 million euro in compensation to 19 Greek Cypriot applicants, the fact that Ankara Protocol should be approved by the Parliament and the fact that a new chapter will not open for Turkey if it does not open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus, has led Turkeys EU membership talks to standstill.

    Izcan called on the Turkish government to open its ports to the Republic of Cyprus. He added that if the goal is to get remove the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriot community, then the return of Famagusta to the Greek Cypriots and in return to this, the opening of Famagusta port for trade under the supervision of the EU, is necessary.


    [06] So-called agriculture minister attends OIC conference in Sudan

    Illegal Bayrak television (BRT online 28.10.10) reported that the so-called minister of agriculture and natural resources, Zorlu Tore, is representing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, registered at the conference as the Cyprus Turkish state, at the 5th Ministerial Conference on Agriculture and Food Security of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), held in the Sudanese capital Khartoum.

    Within the framework of his contacts in Khartoum, Tore had bilateral talks with agriculture ministers of OIC member countries. He also met with the OIC Secretary-General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and the Turkish Minister of Agriculture Mehdi Eker. Speaking to illegal Bayrak, Tore said that he also met with some businessmen in Khartoum with regards to TRNCs export of citrus produce and hellim to Islamic countries.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.10.10) reports that Tore also had meetings with the Sudanese Minister of Stockbreeding and Fisheries, the Sudanese Minister of Water Resources as well the Sudanese Minister of Agriculture. Moreover, he met with the Libyan Minister of Stockbreeding and Fisheries, and the Iraqi Minister of Agriculture.

    [07] The Turkish Republic Day celebrated in the occupied areas

    As illegal Bayrak television (BRT online 28.10.10) reported, that the 87th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic will be celebrated in the TRNC. Ceremonies will be held in occupied Lefkosia and other occupied big towns to mark the anniversary.

    Celebrations in the occupied areas kicked off with a televised address on illegal BRT by the so-called Turkish Ambassador to occupied Lefkosia, Kaya Turkmen, and a 21 gun-salute at 1pm on October 28.

    In his speech Turkmen said that the Turks of Cyprus enjoyed their freedom under their own state, adding that the Turks of Cyprus will continue to live in security, happiness and prosperity. Turkmen reiterated that Turkey will continue to support the development of the TRNC and the struggle waged by the Turks of Cyprus for freedom and political equality.

    [08] So-called tourism minister held contacts in Turkey

    According to illegal Bayrak (BRT online 28.10.10), the minister of tourism, environment and culture, Kemal Durust, met with the Turkish Minister of Tourism and Culture, Ertugrul Gunay, during his visit to Ankara. A cooperation protocol on culture and tourism will be signed between Turkey and the occupation regime on November 12.

    During his visit to Turkey, Durust also visited an exhibition organized by the Ziraat Bank, where he had the opportunity to meet with regional representatives and the chairman of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED). In statements during the visit Durust said that the TRNC was a location rich in history, culture and tourism and recommended that they all work together to bring more tourists into the country.

    In addition, Durust had a telephone conversation with the Turkish Minister of State responsible for the Turkish Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA), Hayati Yazici, in which it was agreed that historical monuments in need of restoration in the TRNC will be reported to Turkey, and the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry and TIKA will oversee the works.

    During his stay in Turkey, Durust also met with the Turkish Minister for Environment and Forestry Veysel Eroglu.

    [09] Works begin for the first leg of the pipeline project between Turkey and the occupied areas

    According to illegal Bayrak television (BRT online 27.10.10) the Turkish Minister of Environment and Forestry Veysel Eroglu announced that the foundation of the Alakopru Dam (in Turkey), which will be the first leg of the project, will be laid by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on November 3.

    The pipeline, which is expected to be completed by November 2014, will supply 75 million cubic meters of water annually from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus. In statements following his meeting in Ankara with the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture, Kemal Durust, Eroglu, explained that the construction of the Alakopru Dam is the most important and longest part of the water project and will be completed in four years. He said that work for the construction of the Gecitkoy [occupied Panagra] Dam, scheduled to be completed in three years, would commence once the Alakopru Dam is completed.

    [10] TPAO announces road map for underwater oil research

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.10.10) reports that Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will begin search in November for oil and natural gas in the sea area between the Antalya Bay and North Cyprus. The assistant General Manager of TPAO speaking to the newspaper said that in the framework of Aegean - Taurus - Mediterranean project they will commence efforts to establish the hydrocarbon potential of offshore fields in the Mediterranean.

    Based on the road map, in November will start the 3D Seismic Offshore Data Acquisition in an area of 2,100 sq. kilometres and they hope in 2011 to continue with exploratory drilling in promising fields.

    [11] One hundred more persons signed petition for the return of fenced off town of Varosha to its legal owners

    Turkish daily Kibris (29.10.10) reports that 100 more persons signed the petition regarding the fenced off town of Varosha asking for its return to its Greek Cypriot legal owners before a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached. This initiative began two weeks ago, when a group of 16 persons form occupied Famagusta prepared a package of proposals in the form of a declaration, which notes that Varosha has to be returned to its legal owners.

    [12] International Taekwondo championship in occupied Kerynia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (28.10.10) reports that the 23rd International TRNC Taekwondo Championship and the 10th Eurasia GTF Taekwondo Championship will take place in Kerynia this weekend. Teams from Turkey, Russia, Iran, Georgia, Afghanistan, Moldavia, Kazakhstan, Bangladesh and TRNC will participate. Linda Park, the chairman of the Global Taekwondo Federation and Christopher Ganther, the General Secretary of the federation, will also attend the championship.

    On Wednesday, representatives of the participating teams along with Lisa Park met with the so-called prime minister and the speaker of the parliament. Moreover as the daily reports (29.10.10), the delegation met yesterday with Turkish Cypriots, Dervis Eroglu. Park stated that they are not a political organization and that such international events contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem, since their purpose is to bring together the youth, keeping aside any political thoughts. The delegation also visited the so-called ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence, of National Education, Youth and Sport, and of Interior and Local Administration.


    Todays Turkish press covers extensively the celebrations for the 87th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic with commentaries, reports and messages from Turkish politicians and political parties. The press also highlights the foundation laying ceremony the Istanbul Izmir motorway and statements by Turkish Foreign Minister who evaluated Turkeys ties with China.

    [13] Cyprus to be included in the EU progress report on Turkey

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (TZ 29.10.10) reports that the European Union (EU) will praise the constitutional amendment package voted on September 12 and call for a brand new constitution, in its upcoming progress report on Turkey to be released on November 9. The draft strategy paper will once again explain why the EU has consistently supported the package, while calling on the Turkish government to ensure that the drafting of the new constitution is an all-inclusive process for all political parties and civil society actors. This year's report will strongly underline the need to strengthen fundamental rights, in particular those of press and expression. While criticizing Turkey on Cyprus, EU notes that Turkey's foreign policy had been very active in its immediate region. The EU characterizes the new Turkish foreign policy as an asset as long it lines up with the EU and Turkey's accession process.

    Citing excerpts from the draft strategy paper, the paper, inter alia, reports the following:

    Foreign Policy: Turkey's foreign policy has become more active in its immediate neighbourhood. This is an asset for the European Union, provided it is developed as a complement to Turkey's accession process and in coordination with the EU. Turkey has made a number of proposals for closer EU-Turkey foreign policy cooperation. Considerable progress has been made in the negotiations towards a readmission agreement with Turkey.

    Cyprus: Turkey has continued to express public support for the negotiations under UN auspices between the leaders of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem. However, there has been no progress towards normalization of bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey has not fully implemented the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement and has not removed all obstacles to the free movement of goods, including restrictions on direct transport links with Cyprus. It is urgent that Turkey fulfils its obligation of full non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol and makes progress towards normalization of bilateral relations with the Republic of Cyprus. The EU will continue to follow up and review progress made on issues covered by the Declaration of September 21, 2005, in accordance the Council Conclusions, including the December 2006 and December 2009 conclusions. In the absence of progress, the EU will maintain its measures from 2006, which will have a continuous effect on overall progress in the negotiations.

    Greece: Turkey needs to step up efforts to solve open bilateral issues; including border disputes with its neighbours. There is a renewed impetus to improve relations with Greece. A considerable number of formal complaints were made by Greece about continued violations of its airspace by Turkey, including flights over Greek islands.

    [14] Dreams fading over Cyprus

    In an article in Todays Zaman, under the headline Dreams fading over Cyprus, Yavuz Baydar view endorses Joost Lagendijk´s views (Review 205, B5) that the Direct Trade Regulation was a disgrace for the EP and argues that very few admit that Cypriot shrewdness has been dragging the entire EU, like a pet on a leash, into the trap of being minimized to a political tool to destroy all prospects for a fair, lasting solution on the island, and to anger Turkish society out of EU negotiations. Shrewdness works, the Greek Cypriots have come far, thanks to the silent agreement with the anti-Turkey block within the EU. The alliance, one must commend, has been successful --so far.

    Baydar concludes this is the tragedy of Cyprus, held hostage in the belief that employing all efforts to turn international powers --the EU and, increasingly, Russia-- against it will work. Unless a new wisdom within the EU develops, it will only, sadly, extend the suffering, ad infinitum.

    [15] Turkish Foreign Minister tours China

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.10.10) the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay a six-day official visit to China, following an invitation by his counterpart Yang Jiechi.

    Speaking to reporters at Kashgar, a junction between two branches of the old Silk Road with the 350,000 population of the city mostly Uighur Turks, Davutoglu said that the better Turkeys relations with the central government of China, the more contributions Turkey could make to Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Republic. He said it was of symbolic importance to begin his visit to China from Kashgar and Urumchi in Xinjiang-Uighur Autonomous Region. Davutoglu is the first Turkish foreign minister ever to visit Kashgar. My visit to China is a part of an action plan we are implementing to solve the crisis with Chinese foreign minister after the Urumchi incidents, he said.

    Davutoglu said Turkey and China would set up a mechanism similar to strategic cooperation council it had established with some other countries, and thus the two countries would work to improve relations and close foreign trade deficit. Turkey and China agreed to implement a railway transportation project from Beijing to China, Davutoglu said, adding that Turkey is planning to construct a 4,000-km railway within its borders and China is willing to take part in that project. Turkey and China could also cooperate in Central Asia, and the two countries are discussing a trilateral cooperation also including Pakistan, Davutoglu said.

    Davutoglu said his visit to China is important and that he will hold important talks on cultural, economic and political relations. Enhanced relations between Turkey and China would also relieve our brothers and sisters in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region.

    [16] Turkeys National Security Council convenes

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (28.10.10) reported that the National Security Council (MGK) convened on Wednesday under the chairmanship of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to discuss changes to a document referred to as the Red Book, which outlines the main threats to Turkeys security. According to a statement released after the meeting: Recent developments concerning Turkeys national security were discussed at the meeting in detail. The council reiterated its determination to maintain the multidimensional fight against terrorism targeting Turkeys national integrity, unity and tranquillity, calling on friendly and allied countries to take concrete steps to put an end to the illegal activities of members and supporters of the terrorist organization.

    Recent developments in Iraq, the tripartite mechanism among Turkey, the US and Iraq in the fight against terrorism, the 65th session of the UN General Assembly in New York in September, Irans nuclear programme and Turkey's aid campaign for flood-hit Pakistan, were also high on the agenda of the meeting.

    The council discussed the new National Security Policy Document and decided to send its advisory report to the cabinet soon. The MGK members also discussed changes in the document in sections on domestic threats, such as changes to the definition of religious reactionarism, were taken up in the meeting.

    [17] Turkey and Kenya sign agricultural cooperation agreement and a MoU

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA 28.10.10) reported from Nairobi that an agricultural cooperation agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the first meeting of Turkey-Kenya Joint Economic Commission meeting were signed on Thursday. The agreements were signed between the Turkish Labour and Social Security Minister Omer Dincer, who is currently paying an official visit to Kenya, and Kenyan Trade Minister Chirau Mwakwere.

    Dincer also held talks with Kenyan Minister for Livestock Development Mohamed Abdi Kuti.

    [18] Turkish exports to EU said on rising trend

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.10.10) the Turkish State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan who said that Turkeys exports to the EU have been rising consistently since March.

    Caglayan, said that exports rose 5.5% year-on-year and reached $8.95 billion while imports rose 25.3% year-on-year and reached $15.650 billion. Foreign trade deficit, which was $6.883 billion in August, declined to 6.7 billion in September. Our foreign trade deficit in September dropped 2.7% month-on month and 67.3% year-on-year, said Caglayan. He said however that the foreign trade deficit in the first nine months of 2010 rose from $27.4 billion to 48.6 billion marking a 77.3% rise year-on-year.

    He said the greatest rise in exports was recorded in motor vehicles with 18.5%, followed by electrical machinery with 16.1% and boilers and boiler appliances with 15%. Caglayan said EUs share in Turkeys exports dropped 0.9% but rose 3.6% in volume to $4.39 million. He said Turkeys exports to the EU in the first nine months of 2010 rose 15% year-on-year and reached $37.812 billion.

    Caglayan said Turkeys exports in the mean term recorded the greatest year-on-year rise in volume in the first nine months of 2010 to China. He said exports to China in the mean term rose 54.5% followed by exports to Russia, which recorded a 43.8% rise, and exports to Iran, which recorded a 39.5% rise.

    Moreover, AA reported the following chart showing Turkeys exports and imports figures in January-September 2010 with some of its major trade partners:

                      (billion USD) (billion USD)   (billion USD)
    Russia                 3.2         15.2             12
    Germany                8.1         12.1              3.9
    EU Countries          29.1         50.36            12.55
    Non-EU Countries      42.5         79.5             37

    [19] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 27 and 28 October:

    a) Kurdish Issue/PKK

    In an Interview with Radikal's (28.10.10) Ertugrul Mavioglu, PKK leader Murat Karayilan, Karayilan apologizes for the civilians killed in past PKK attacks and promises that "it will never happen again." He also faults the left-wing circles in Turkey for their indifference and apathy regarding the Kurdish question and admits that the PKK cannot beat the Turkish state. Two things are needed for a solution he says: an end to the denial policy and autonomy.

    In an article in Radika (28.10.10), Cevdet Askin views a recent announcement by the PKK that it will set up its own courts. This means, Askin argues, that "the organization wants to build democratic autonomy step by step and solve the Kurdish problem 'unilaterally.'" Coupled with the Kurdish testimony in courts, according to the columnist, this signals that "a wave of civil disobedience" is in the offing.

    Oktay Eksi, in a column in Hurriyet, (27.10.10) quotes jurists as saying that Kurdish leaders Aysel Tugluk and Ahmet Turk should be able to return to the parliament under the new constitutional amendment.

    Yasemin Congar in Taraf (27.10.10) also views that Turk and Tugluk should be allowed back into the parliament.

    b) Erdogan 'superb strategist'

    Cuneyt Ulsever of Hurriyet (28.10.10), refers to the prime minister's recent announcement that the problem of Islamic headdress will be solved after the 2011 elections, which she interprets:"1. He will go the elections as the protector of the downtrodden. 2. He will talk profusely about a 'pro-freedoms constitution' before the elections. 3. Once again, he will make the CHP seem pro-status quo. 4. He will draw up a new constitution after winning the elections. 5. The new constitution will include the concept of freedoms but the main aim will be to redesign Turkey for the presidential elections to be held sometime between 2012 and 2014. The Constitution will be drafted again in line with the 'presidential/semi-presidential system. 7. Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be elected president in 2012 or 2014."

    The columnist concludes: "What Erdogan has in mind is a presidential system that will control the executive, judiciary, and legislative organs. The opposition seems to be his greatest help in achieving this goal. The only obstacle before him is Abdullah Gul."

    c) Turkey-US

    In a column for Hurriyet Daily News (27.10.10), Sertac Aktan views US support of Turkey's EU membership, adding that it was the United States which helped enlist Turkey into NATO. And it is the NATO factor that prevents the Europeans from keeping Turkey out of Europe. "This military power-driven realist U.S. influence on the continent determined one of the main milestones in Turkey's relations with Europe. In EU-Turkey relations, the NATO membership made the EU always consider Turkey as an important Western ally and made it difficult to break the ties even in the most problematic periods of the relations."

    d) "Crusader fleet in the Gulf"

    Yeni Safak (28.10.10) columnist, Ibrahim Karagul, discusses what the purpose of the recent US and French naval deployments to the Arabian Sea might be. He links the deployments to the recent US arms sales to Persian Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. He also warns that a western invasion campaign against the Islamic world might be in the offing.

    e) Dink case

    In his column in Radikal (27.10.10), Cengiz candar says that the way that Hrant Dinks murder trial is being handled has injured the Turkish society's sense of justice, especially the recent court decision to try his assassin Ogun Samast as "juvenile."

    Mehmet Ali Birand, in his column in Hurriyet (27.10.10), also declares that the Dink case is a blot on Turkish justice, and that the public is upset over the judges' decision to consider Samast as a "child" and refer the case to the juvenile court. Birand adds that the government should focus on real judicial reform.

    f) Military service

    Writing in Star (27.10.10), Mehmet Altan says that, more than a mere curtailment of the service period, the army has to be fundamentally transformed into a small professional force with high firepower and placed under the control of the parliament to advance democratization. He adds that under the current system some 470,000 privates and sergeants are simply working as unpaid servants in officers' clubs and lodgings. The army is paying regular salaries to 270,000 personnel. It has 360 generals, 46,000 officers, 100,000 non-commissioned officers, 70,000 specialists, and 50,000 civilian personnel.

    g) "A new opening with Turkish Review"

    Today's Zaman (28.10.10) columnist Kerim Balci discloses that the "Zaman Media Group has started the publication of its fifth media outlet: Turkish Review, a bi-monthly, semi-academic, globally distributed journal of Turkish and global affairs from a Turkish perspective. It is not solely political and it is not solely about Turkey; but it is Turkish, not in language, but in paradigm", the paper adds.

    h) Privatization

    Milli Gazete (28.10.10) carries a front-page report under the headline "Turkey loses assets one by one which assert that the Turkish liquid fuel sector has fallen into the hands of foreign corporations as a result of ongoing privatization projects that are causing Turkey's natural resources to be exploited, making the country dependent on foreigners, and compromising Turkey's sovereignty. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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