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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-11-03

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] Decision taken at the meeting in Ankara Tatar: Turkey is behind the Commission
  • [02] PACE Presidents contacts in occupied Cyprus
  • [03] Ozgurgun: Bagiss statements on two different states and two different peoples on the island, a reality
  • [04] Kucuk meets with an Azerbaijani trade union delegation
  • [05] Lakadamyali new TRNC ambassador in Ankara
  • [06] The occupation regime to participate in WTM fair in London
  • [07] More information on the new shopping centre

  • [08] Hurriyet says Turkification of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties was decided in Ankara
  • [09] TPIC to sell fuel oil to the TRNC
  • [10] Greens to support Direct Trade Regulation in EP
  • [11] General elections in Turkey to be held on 12 June
  • [12] Turkey and Chine: new cooperation paradigm
  • [13] Highlights


    More information on the content of the meeting of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot delegations in Ankara, the contacts of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Mevlut Cavusoglu to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, statements by Huseyin Ozgurgun on the Cyprus problem, and other internal matters are the basic issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Decisions taken at the meeting in Ankara; Tatar: Turkey is behind the Commission

    Under the title Heavy tax will be paid, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.11.10) reports that Turkey has pressed the button to guarantee bi-zonality in a possible solution to be found to the Cyprus problem and to turn the occupied Greek Cypriot properties into Turkish properties in a manner which is in harmony with the international law. In a report by journalist Serhat Incirli, Kibris writes that developments which are expected will cause those who left no property in the government controlled areas of Cyprus in the south but took occupied Greek Cypriot property in the north, to lose their sleep.

    Citing information from reliable sources which participated in the Summit on the property issue on Monday in Ankara, Incirli writes that the following method is under consideration for those who took property in the occupied areas of Cyprus in return of property they left in the free areas of the Republic: When a Greek Cypriot files an application for compensation of his property in the occupied areas of the island, a research will be held regarding the value of the property left in the free areas of Cyprus by the person who is currently using the Greek Cypriot property. The difference in the value of the properties will be met with a credit granted by Turkeys Is Bankasi or by another bank. The person who lives on the Greek Cypriot property will be responsible for paying at least half of the difference between the two properties.

    According to the paper, those who have taken a lot of occupied Greek Cypriot property without having property in the free areas of the Republic will lose their sleep. After the necessary compensation is paid by the bank to the Greek Cypriot who has applied to the Property Compensation Commission, a bargain will be held with the user of the property. The paper gives the following example: If the value of a property is 10 million Euros, the user of the property will be asked to pay around five million Euros or sell the property.

    The paper reports that during the meeting of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot delegations in Ankara, President Gul said that everything necessary will be done and measures which will strengthen bi-zonality will be taken. According to the same information, efforts will be exerted so that the Greek Cypriots who apply to the Property Compensation Commission to accept the solution of compensation. The source told Kibris that they expect a boom in the number of the Greek Cypriot applications to the Commission in view of the decision of the European Court of Human Rights according to which those who do not apply until 21 December 2011, will be obliged to wait for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The paper writes that if Greek Cypriots apply to the Commission, efforts will be exerted for quick solution of the problem regarding their property. It notes that bureaucratic obstacles will be eliminated and all measures will be taken in the direction of creating as many Turkish properties as possible. According to the same information, the issue of the taxes paid by the casinos and the betting offices was also discussed during the meeting in Ankara. It was decided that there will be harsher control over casinos and betting offices, that the taxes will increase and the extra money from the taxes will be spent for the payment of compensation to Greek Cypriots for their occupied properties.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (03.11.10) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance, has said that in Ankara they discussed how they will finance the compensation which will be paid to Greek Cypriots by the Property Compensation Commission. Tatar, who participated in the meeting in Ankara, assessed the content on the meeting in statements to illegal Bayrak. He noted that they expect increase in the number of the applications and added that Turkey is behind this commission, that the function of the commission will continuously increase and consequently it will gain more importance.

    He noted that the people should not worry about information published in the press, which is definitely not true. He said that after a property is examined by the commission and becomes Turkish property, there will be an increase in its value and extra tax will be taken when this property is sold.


    [02] PACE Presidents contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (03.11.10) reports on the meetings of the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and AKP parliamentarian in the Turkish province of Antalya, Mevlut Cavusoglu, to occupied Cyprus. During his stay in the occupied areas, Cavusoglu had meetings with various Turkish Cypriot so-called officials and reiterated that PACE will continue to do all it can towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Particularly, during his meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, Cavusoglu stated that in the framework of his official visit to Cyprus he wanted to learn the views of both leaders of the two communities on the ongoing negotiation process. He said that PACE supports a lasting peace to be reached within the framework of a bi-zonal and bi-communal structure guaranteeing rights of the two parties in Cyprus. He added that they will continue to call for the lifting of the embargos imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    For his part, Eroglu, inter alia, said that the property issue, which is being discussed now at the negotiations, is a difficult issue and it would be easier to solve other issues if the property issue was resolved. He added that it is not possible to say that they have made serious progress in the negotiations and referred to the meeting the two leaders will have with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. He also said that for years now the Turkish Cypriot people exert efforts for a permanent solution.

    Cavusoglu also met with the so-called parliament speaker Hasan Bozer. Speaking at the meeting, Bozer said that it was a great injustice to accept the unilateral membership of the Greek Cypriots to the European Union made and that this cast a serious blow to a solution. He also said that the embargoes and the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots are unacceptable.

    Cavusoglu said that they will continue to extend support to a solution in Cyprus which would secure the future of both the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots. He said that PACE has adopted fair and balanced resolutions on the Cyprus problem, adding that the Assembly has taken solid steps in return for the pro-solution position of the Turkish Cypriots. He said that PACE allowed two Turkish Cypriot MPs to participate in its meetings, as well as in the meetings of the political parties and the committees, albeit without right to vote.

    Cavusoglu also met with the so-called prime minister, Irsen Kucuk. So-called foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun also attended the meeting. Kucuk said that the Turkish Cypriot side had always favored a settlement, adding that they were ready for a fair solution based on UN parameters. As the paper reports, reacting to remarks by the Greek Cypriot parliament speaker Marios Garoyan, on Turkey, Kucuk said that Turkey came to the island acting on its rights granted to it by international agreements, saving Turkish Cypriots from oppression as well as bringing democracy to the island by saving Greek Cypriots from the Greek military junta.

    Speaking at the meeting, Cavusoglu said that PACE is ready to play its part in efforts to find a solution under the roof of the United Nations that will protect the rights of both communities. Bodies like the PACE should play an active role and extend support to the peace process in Cyprus, Cavusoglu said, adding, inter alia, that isolation of the Turkish Cypriots must be lifted. Cavusoglu added that PACE allowed two Turkish Cypriot parliamentarians to participate in meetings of the assembly, which he said is the only international body that welcomed Turkish Cypriots, and said that this should set an example for other international institutions. Commenting on the statements by Archbishop Chrysostomos on the restoration of the occupied Apostolos Andreas monastery, Cavusoglu said, We do not understand this mentality. On the one side they talk about peace, they claim that they want an agreement, but we cannot see that either their religious leaders or their politicians are sincere on this issue.

    In the framework of his meetings, Cavusoglu also met with the so-called mayor of occupied Lefkosia Mevlut Cavusoglu. At the meeting, Bulutoglulari informed Cavusoglu on the work and the projects of the illegal municipality. Bulutoglulari stated that they offer services to the 85 thousand residents of occupied Lefkosia, recalling that his municipality is one of the institutions that are legally recognized at the internationally. He added that they are contributing to recognition through their memberships to international local authorities organizations and by creating sister cities relations.

    In addition, PACE president paid a visit to the premises of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party United Forces (CTP-BG), where he met with its leader, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, its secretary general Kutlay Erk and various party MPs and officials. Speaking at the meeting, Soyer reiterated his partys views on the negotiation process and stated that they desire an international conference similar to the one in Burgenstock, as well as a time frame. Stating that a partial or an interim solution will not bring a solution, and that these are intentions to be drawn away from whole solution, Soyer asked PACE to take initiatives on the issue.

    Meeting with Cavusoglu, the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas, said that they evaluated various EU issues and the Cyprus negotiations. Denktas said that if Eroglu signs an interim agreement (in New York), upon his return he will sign his resignation. He added that their approach is that the negotiations should end with a comprehensive solution. Moreover, Denktas recalled that Cavusoglu crossed over from the south to the north and expressed the desire that the next time Cavusoglu visits the island he will cross over from the north to the south.

    Cavusoglu also met with the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici and secretary general Esat Varoglu. They exchanged views on the recent referendum in Turkey for constitutional amendments as well as on foreign policy.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli reports that PACE President Cavusoglu also met also with the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Turgay Avci. Avci, inter alia, stated that the Direct Trade Regulation should be implemented as soon as possible.

    [03] Ozgurgun: Bagiss statements on two different states and two different peoples on the island, a reality.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (03.11.10) reports on statements by self-styled Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun who called on the Greek Cypriot Administration, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, to abandoned its policy of blaming Turkish side. Ozgurgun pointed out that the Greek Cypriot leaderships approach poisons the positive atmosphere, which is necessary for the success of the negotiations.

    Responding to President Demetris Christofias statements yesterday that Turkey is not ready for a solution, Huseyin Ozgurgun reminded the President that it is the Turkish side which exerts efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem without any other delay, that it is the Turkish side which, with its proposals and its constructive initiatives, exerts efforts for the acceleration of the negotiation process. He added that motherland Turkey supports fully the negotiation process and the efforts to find a viable and comprehensive agreement by the end of the year.

    Ozgurgun said that it is the Turkish Cypriot leader who first made a proposal for a meeting with the UN Secretary General with the aim of accelerating the negotiation process.

    Ozgurgun added that if there is a will for a solution, then the Greek Cypriot side needs to end this approach and rather focus on achieving progress at the negotiation table. He called on the Greek Cypriot side to make efforts for a joint future with the Turkish Cypriot side, which is the only interlocutor of the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    Referring to the government spokesmans, Stefanos Stefanou, reaction to Egemen Bagis statements, and the threat to Egemen Bagis, by Greek Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcos Kyprianou, Ozgurgun said that all these show the panic of the Greek Cypriot leadership in face of the Turkish initiatives.

    Concerning Egemen Bagiss statements during his visit to the island about the realities on the island and that Turkey will not let the opportunity for a solution to be lost, Ozgurgun recalled what he described as the threat by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marcos Kyprianou, that Bagis this statements mean an end to Turkeys EU bid, and added that this is an example of Greek Cypriot mentality.

    As regards Bagis statement that there are two separate states in Cyprus, Ozgurgun said that these underlined reality. Ozgurgun also said the following: Egemen Bagis expression that on the island sun rises over two separate states, for two different elected presidents, for two different elected parliaments, for two different educational and health systems, for two economies, is because there are two different republics and two separate peoples on the island, and this is reality.

    Ozgurgun also referred to Bagiss expression We look forward to a united island to be in peace with the world and itself, and said that this shows Turkeys will for a lasting and comprehensive agreement.


    [04] Kucuk meets with an Azerbaijani trade union delegation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (03.11.10) reports on a meeting of the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk with Turkish and Azerbaijani trade unionist. Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of the Turkish Hizmet-IS trade union (union of all municipal and general service workers) and vice chairman of HAK-IS (confederation of Turkish real trade unions), Mahmut Arslan, said inter alia, that they desire further development of relations with the TRNC trade unions and that they also want to contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    For his part, the head of the Azerbaijani delegation, Teleman Haciyev, stated that they wanted to develop cooperation with the trade unions active in the TRNC. He added that Turkey and Azerbaijan are one nation, two states. Commenting on this, Kucuk said: Now we have become one nation, three states.

    [05] Lakadamyali new TRNC ambassador in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (3.11.10) reports that Mustafa Ladamyali is the new ambassador of the TRNC in Turkey. According to a written statement by the TRNC embassy, Lakadamyali attended yesterday an official ceremony at Cankaya presidential palace, where he presented his credentials to the Turkish President.

    [06] The occupation regime to participate in WTM fair in London

    Under the title WTM to open on November 8, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.11.10) reports that self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, Kemal Durust will participate in the World Travel Market London Tourism Fair, the most important tourist fair worldwide, between 8-11 November 11, 2010 in London.

    According to the paper, Kemal Durust will attend to the fair and will also have contacts. It was also announced that Ertugrul Gunay, Minister of Tourism and Culture of the Republic of Turkey, will also attended. The occupation regime will participate in the fair with a 161 square meters stand and with totally 26 companies and organizations. Turkey will participate in the fair with a 965 square meters stand.

    In his statements to the paper, Kadir Doruhan, tourist consultant of the TRNC in London said, inter alia, that minister Durust will visit the fair on November 9. Doruhan stated also that the occupation regime will participate this year in the fair with 25 companies and added that they will continue promoting the beauties and the advantages of the TRNC. He added that the biggest advantage of the TRNC that it is not included in the EURO zone, especially in this period of the economic crisis.


    [07] More information on the new shopping centre

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (03.11.10) during a press conference yesterday the Forum Akdeniz Lefkosia shopping centre by the Turkish TurkMall company, it was announced that the centre will be constructed on an area of 80 donums, near occupied Goneyli round-about, east of the occupied Lefkosia-Kerynia main road.

    Speaking at the conference, the Turkish Cypriot businessman and chairman of the Forum Akdeniz Lefkosia consortium, Ali Erdal Osmanlar, inter alia, stated that this project will be a significant contribution to the TRNC economy and that the business flow to south Cyprus will return to the internal market.

    On the part of TurkMall CEO, Levent Eyuboglu, said that with such a big investment, not only the commercial potentials will be raised in north Cyprus, but also tourism potentials. He, said that around 2000 people will be employed.

    In the framework of its one-day visit to the occupied areas, the TurkMall delegation met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, visited the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KTSO) in order to brief them about the project. It also met with various so-called ministers and representatives of the business world over a working meal.


    Mevlut Cavusoglus contacts in the occupied areas, reports concerning the summit in Ankara on the property issue with the participation of Dervis Eroglu and Turkish President Abdullah Gul, statements by Prime Minister Erdogan that the general elections in Turkey will be held on June 12, 2010, the terrorist attacks in Athens, statements by Turkish politicians who harshly criticized the terrorist attack at Taksim square in Istanbul and other internal issues are some of the main stories highlighted in the Turkish press today.

    [08] Hurriyet says Turkification of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties was decided in Ankara

    Under the title The Greek Cypriot property will become Turkish, Turkish daily Hurriyet (03.11.10, online) reports that a historic decision was taken on the property issue in Cyprus in the meeting held the day before yesterday in Ankara between a Turkish and a Turkish Cypriot delegation. In a report by Omer Bilge, its correspondent in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    A historic decision was taken in the Cyprus summit, which was surprisingly convened in Ankara the day before yesterday. President Abdullah Gul, who invited the TRNC President Dervis Eroglu to Cankaya Mansion with a large delegation, asked for the Greek Cypriot properties to be turkified speedily through the efficient functioning of the Property Compensation Commission established on the island.

    According to Bilge, Abdullah Gul gave instructions to Ersin Ozince, President of the Union of Banks and General Director of Is Bankasi, whom he invited to the summit, to establish a committee and work for granting credit for the properties which have been cleared with respect to the international law.

    Citing information acquired by high ranking officials who participated in the Cyprus meeting, Bilge reports that President Gul described the Property Compensation Commission as very important and said that it should function efficiently and take decisions more quickly.

    He continues:

    During the summit, which lasted two hours, Turkey and the TRNC decided that, under the leadership of Is Bankasi and the support of the Banks Union, the properties which the Property Compensation Commission Turkifies and clears with respect to the international law, are offered credit and are exploited internationally. The sides, which stressed that the land in the TRNC is among the most valuable in the Mediterranean Sea, asked Ersin Ozince to prepare proposals so that the properties, which belonged to Greek Cypriots before 1974 and will be harmonized with the international law, are evaluated using modern financing techniques and producing differential products. Ersin Ozince said that he would establish a special committee the soonest.

    Bilge points out that the occupied part of Cyprus covers an area of 3355 square kilometers and adds that 80% of this land is Greek Cypriot property.


    [09] TPIC to sell fuel oil to the TRNC,

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (02.11.10-online version) reported that the Turkish Petroleum International Company (TPIC), subsidiary of Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO), has signed a protocol agreement with (KIB-TEK), the so-called electricity authority of the breakaway regime. The protocol agreement provides that TPIC sells over a period of 5 years, 1 million tons of fuel oil to the Teknecik Power Plant in Trapeza area in occupied Kerynia, for the amount of 500 million dollars.

    Assessing the agreement, Mithat Cansiz, chairman of TPIC said, inter alia, that the agreement is very important for the active presence of Turkey in the area. He also said that this agreement will offer new opportunities to TPIC to conduct petrol trade and that it will be a big step for expansion of trade volume in the Mediterranean.


    [10] Greens to support Direct Trade Regulation in EP

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (03.11.10, online) reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-chairperson of the Greens in the European Parliament (EP) had a one-and-half-hour meeting on Monday. The topics of discussion included the Cyprus dispute, Israel and the Kurdish issue to atheism, sexual orientation, secularism and a new constitution.

    Cohn-Bendit, told Today's Zaman that he and Prime Minister Erdogan had a sincere and frank talk as he and other Green leaders of the EP were in Istanbul for their enlarged bureau meeting. Regarding Cyprus conflict, Cohn-Bendit said he told Erdogan that the Greens will fight for a majority vote in the EP for the acceptance of a direct trade regulation with the northern part of the island where the Turkish Cypriots have been isolated, as the Greek Cypriots are members of the EU.

    I asked the prime minister if he would reduce Turkeys military presence on the island if there is direct trade. He said he will open the ports but did not say anything about the military issue. He listened, Cohn-Bendit said.

    [11] General elections in Turkey to be held on 12 June

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.11.10, online) reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has decided to hold general elections on June 12, the prime minister announced Tuesday during the 6th Turkish Commerce and Industry Council.

    The decision was taken during the party's central executive board meeting Monday. The party will also solicit the opinion of the Supreme Election Board, or YSK, on the issue.

    The date was determined taking into consideration the weather conditions and the university entrance examination, which will take place in the second half of June.

    [12] Turkey and China: new cooperation paradigm

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (02.11.10) reports from Beijing that Davutoglu told reporters at a press conference that he had fruitful talks during his six-day tour of Chinese cities and that developing ties between the two countries should be assessed through the concept of normalization of history. He also met with Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping on Monday, and with his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, on Tuesday.

    Turkey, has decided to open a new consulate general in China, with plans to open several more consulates general in the near future. The new consulate general will be opened in Guangzhou, southern Chinas largest city. In addition to its embassy in Beijing, Turkey already has two consulates general in China -- one in Shanghai and another in Hong Kong. Davutoglu said Turkey aims at increasing its trade volume with China to 50 billion USD in 2015, and to 100 billion USD by the year 2020. He also said that Turkey and China decided to work together in international organizations and within the G-20.

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (03.11.10, online) reports that Davutoglus visit came weeks after a landmark visit to Turkey by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao. During last months visit, the two countries took a landmark step in developing their bilateral relation described as a strategic partnership.

    Accordingly, several concrete steps will be taken to strengthen bilateral relations, including intensifying preparations for a Turkish industrial zone in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, populated by ethnic Turkic Muslim Uighurs, and mutually increasing the number of flights and new destinations. While 2011 will be declared China Year in Turkey, the next year will be celebrated as Turkey Year in China.

    During Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans planned visit to China, which is expected to take place in the summer, Chinese and Turkish officials will institutionalize the declared strategic partnership through new bilateral mechanisms. Chinese President Hu Jintao, meanwhile, is expected to visit Turkey next year on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations between Ankara and Beijing. In 1971 Turkey recognized the Peoples Republic of China, founded in 1949.

    Both Wens and Davutoglus official visits and the two countries will for materializing a strategic partnership have highlighted by commentators as proof of a so-called axis shift from the West to the East in Turkish foreign policy.

    Yet, Davutoglu, speaking to reporters ahead of his departure for Turkey, firmly reiterated that Ankaras developing relations with these global powers are not emerging at the expense of neglecting its cooperation with the West, and these relations should not be considered as an alternative to existing relations with Western countries.

    [13] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 2 November, 2010

    Istanbul suicide bombing

    An editorial in Hurriyet Daily News points out that the issue also has an international aspect and expresses the view that both U.S. and EU officials could do much more to crack down on PKK safehouses, money laundering and drug trafficking. Turkey must make terror a true priority. So must Turkey's allies it concludes.

    In an article in Star entitled "Shelf life of terrorism has expired," columnist Mustafa Karaalioglu says that an overwhelming majority of Kurds do not endorse the PKK's armed attacks because they obstruct and delay an eventual solution.

    A report in Cumhuriyet entitled "United States knew that an attack would be carried out" quotes Ozcan Isik who organized a Halloween party for a group of American citizens in Istanbul on 30 October as saying that some of the guests cancelled their reservations after being informed by the US Embassy that a bomb attack would be carried out in Taksim Square. Isik noted that the US Embassy only cautioned Americans visiting Turkey as tourists and US citizens residing in Turkey were not informed about the threat.

    "This is the Work of Europe," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks asserting that certain European countries that provide terrorist groups with direct or indirect support are responsible for the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul's Taksim Square.

    In an article entitled "Turkey is on the right path", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru cites elements within the PKK that do not want the terrorist group to soften towards Turkey as possible suspects in the Taksim bombing. He invokes the examples ETA and the IRA to argue that affiliated organizations to terrorist groups might not abandon terrorist acts, because terrorism creates a giant, multi-billion dollar sector in which many domestic and international players have a vested interest.

    PKK extends cease fire-reactions

    Hurriyet columnist Ismet Berkan says that the PKK is facing an impasse because its recent armed attacks caused an angry backlash among Kurds. He comments: "It would be very crucial and meaningful to start debates on the overture by presenting concrete proposals and to try to make progress at this phase when the organization has pledged to cease hostilities." Berkan also emphasizes that the government should consider offering elective courses in Kurdish literature to students of Kurdish origin.

    Milliyet columnist Asli Aydintasbas says that a letter written by PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan to Murat Karayilan (who leads the organization in Ocalan's absence) and conveyed by Turkish officials to the latter through a high-ranking PKK figure in Europe, advised Karayilan to declare cease-fire until the general elections in mid-2011 and to withdraw armed PKK members to northern Iraq in order to negotiate a peaceful settlement. She says that the PKK eventually decided to extend its unilateral cease-fire as a result of Ocalan's advice and expectations voiced by Kurdish people.

    Milliyet columnist Serpil Cevikcan quotes Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP), leader Selahattin Demirtas as saying that the Kurdish issue should definitely be resolved on the constitutional plane, adding that their demands, including education in mother tongue and democratic autonomy, will not lead to Turkey's fragmentation. Demirtas adds that they will not urge the PKK to break the cease-fire if their demands are not met, adding that they are ready to discuss their proposed solution with all political parties, including the CHP and the Nationalist Action Party.

    Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin says that there is a serious opportunity which could enable the AKP to eliminate the PKK's armed threat and to resolve the Kurdish question for the first time since Ocalan's apprehension in 1999 while taking advantage of the PKK's cease-fire for focusing on the headscarf issue and the Constitution during its election campaign. Yetkin also points out that relations between the ruling party and the military may sour if the AKP instructs the latter to scale down military operations.

    Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan says that Ocalan and the PKK made a very clear and encouraging move by extending the cease-fire which, he notes, has opened the door to peace. Emphasizing that Turkish the government must respond to the PKK's move, Altan says: "Prime Minister Erdogan will seriously harm his credibility if he declines to take steps in the name of peace and to make efforts to restore confidence among Kurds and thus misses this opportunity because of minor interests."

    c) Headscarves

    Under the headline "Deep paranoia in the TSK," Yeni Akit carries a front-page report which highlights a recent incident illustrating that the Turkish military's "intolerance of Islamic headscarves and its paranoia about pious circles know no bounds." The Turkish Armed Forces, (TSK), recently sent an official disguised as a pollster to the house of a sergeant whose wife was suspected of wearing a headscarf. The official submitted a memo saying that the wife had a propensity to veil herself although she did not wear a headscarf, the report says.

    d) Turkish writer's book about the Gulen Community

    Hurriyet Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli highlights a book entitled "The Preacher Across the Atlantic'" authored by Saygi Ozturk, a journalist and writer, about methods allegedly used by the Gulen community to ensure that Gulen's followers are appointed to key positions in the intelligence division of the National Police Department, a statement made by Fethullah Gulen in 2001 in response to accusations, and the findings of an intelligence report drawn up about the group in 1991.

    d) US Congress-Turkey

    In a news analysis in Zaman entitled "A Republican Victory Could Place Turkey in a Fix" Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan asserts that if the US Republicans seize control of the House of Representatives as a result of the midterm elections being held today, a number of policymakers who determine the US Congress' attitude toward Turkey will be replaced. In such a case the Obama administration will have to plead with Republican politicians to be able to obstruct possible moves against Turkey in the Congress. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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