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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-12-22

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] Ozgurgun alleges that Turkey and the "TRNC" have rights on all the natural resources around Cyprus
  • [02] Yektaoglu describes the EEZ delineation agreement as "very dangerous"
  • [03] Extensive coverage of the incidents after APOEL-Karsiyaka basketball game; Ozersay: "They caused diplomatic crisis"
  • [04] Protest by the "Trade Unions Platform" against the confiscation of goods at Agios Dometios crossing point
  • [05] Rauf Denktas: "If Turkey opens its ports, TRNC will die"
  • [06] Sonya warns Eroglu to keep his promises
  • [07] Soyer calls Ankara for the payment of the pensioners' 13th salary
  • [08] The occupation regime observer at ECO meeting in Istanbul
  • [09] Talat received a newly established association of Turkish settlers

  • [10] Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cyprus-Israel EEZ delimitation agreement null and void
  • [11] "Turkey and Syria have deep-rooted relations"
  • [12] Bagis: "Turkey will neither give up Northern Cyprus for the EU, nor EU for Cyprus"
  • [13] "From Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Israel with love"
  • [14] Highlights


    Statements by Huseyin Ozgurgun and the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on EEZ delineation agreement between the Republic and Cyprus and Israel, the health of the Turkish Cypriot leader, and reaction to the incidents last night after the basketball game between APOEL and Pinar Karsiyaka are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. Moreover, the press highlights the protest by the trade unions' platform against the confiscation of goods purchased by Turkish Cypriots from the government-controlled areas of Cyprus, statements by Rauf Denktas on the issue of the opening of the Turkish ports to the Republic of Cyprus, and other internal issues.

    [01] Ozgurgun alleges that Turkey and the "TRNC" have rights on all the natural resources around Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (22.12.10) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs, alleged that Turkey and the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the island, have rights on all the natural resources around Cyprus.

    In statements to Ankara Anatolia news agency yesterday, Ozgurgun commented on the agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel on the delineation of the exclusive economic zone of the two countries in the Mediterranean Sea. Ozgurgun said this agreement is "totally invalid' for the Turkish Cypriots and added that the Turkish Cypriot "people" are not represented by the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Ozgurgun claimed that the "TRNC state and its people" have an "equal and joint say" in the moves regarding all the natural resources of Cyprus. He added that only agreements concluded by the "TRNC" are valid for them regarding oil, natural gas and other natural resources which fall in the jurisdiction of the "sovereign areas of the TRNC".

    Ozgurgun alleged that Turkey has also "a say and legitimate rights" in the above-mentioned areas, arguing that these actions which are carried out without Turkey's consent, will influence negatively peace and the positive climate in the Eastern Mediterranean." They [actions] will warm up the waters in Eastern Mediterranean", he added.

    Calling on the Greek Cypriot side to "reason", Ozgurgun expressed the view that such "unilateral initiatives might cause serious problems". He alleged that these actions, at a time when full-fledged negotiations are being held in Cyprus, have significance and show clearly the intention of the Greek Cypriots in the negotiations. Ozgurgun alleged that this action raises the question whether the Greek Cypriot side wants a solution in Cyprus.

    Ozgurgun said that after Dervis Eroglu's health improves the negotiations will continue from the point they were left. Referring statements by President Christofias who asked for the return of the occupied areas of Karpass and Morfou to their legal owners and the return of 100.000 Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes, Ozgurgun noted that the Turkish Cypriots could not accept these demands, which he described as "daydreaming".


    [02] Yektaoglu describes the EEZ delineation agreement as "very dangerous" Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (22.12.10) reports that Mustafa Yektaoglu, self-styled MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), described as "very dangerous" the signing of an agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel on the delineation of the exclusive economic zone of the two countries in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Yektaoglu said yesterday that the issue of the exclusive economic zones could not be solved separately from the Cyprus problem and added that the issue of oil is a problem which could cause new wars in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. He recalled that oil and natural gas are the reasons for most of the wars in the area.

    Yektaoglu said the issue has taken "very dangerous dimensions" and added that the Turkish Cypriot side, which has legitimate rights in the island, should defend these rights, and self-styled assembly should take a decision on this issue.


    [03] Extensive coverage of the incidents after APOEL-Karsiyaka basketball game; Ozersay: "They caused diplomatic crisis"

    The Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press give extensive coverage today to the incidents last night after the basketball game between the Greek Cypriot APOEL and Turkish Pinar Karsiyaka teams in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus within the framework of Group G of FIBA EuroChallenge.

    Under the title "Battlefield", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (22.12.10) reports that after the match APOEL fans attacked the Turkish players with stones, gas bombs and sticks. The fans also threw chairs against the Turkish players, according to the paper, which describes the incidents as repetition of the events in Larnaka in which one Turkish Cypriot were wounded during clashes among Greek Cypriots on the issue of illegal migrants.

    The paper says the police of the Republic fell short during the attacks which continued in the corridors on the way of the Turkish players changing rooms. Some Turkish players were injured, while the finger of Gokhan Sensan, Pinar Karsiyaka's spokesman, was broken, according to Kibris.

    Furthermore, the paper reports that the Turkish team asked to cross over to the occupied areas of Cyprus, but the authorities of the Republic declined this demand.

    Under the front-page title "The fanatics attacked", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis cites statements by Kudret Ozersay, Turkish Cypriot leader's adviser, who visited the Turkish players and the team manager. He said he was told that two players were injured and the team was under great physiological pressure. He noted that the team asked for his help to cross over to the occupied areas of Cyprus and that he conveyed this demand to the Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou. Noting that the demand was rejected, Ozersay said the incident turned into a diplomatic crisis and expressed the fear that this incident would take bigger dimensions. He said the team will be taken to Larnaka airport today escorted by the police and return to Turkey via Athens.

    The rest of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers cover the issue under the following front-page titles:

    Halkin Sesi: "Ugly attack"

    Vatan: "Fanatic Greek Cypriots attacked Turkish athletes"

    Yeni Duzen: "Eventful game!"

    Afrika: "APOEL fans attacked the basketball payers of Karsiyaka"

    Kibrisli: "Greek Cypriots attacked Turkish basketball players"

    Moreover, most of the Turkish media cover the events extensively on their websites under the following titles:

    Radikal: "Attack with rocks, bats and gas bombs by the Greek Cypriots"

    Zaman: "Ugly attack to Pinar Karsiyaka by the Greek Cypriots"

    Milliyet: "Ugly attack"

    Cumhuriyet: "Eventful match in the Greek Cypriot side"

    Sabah: "Tension on the island"

    NTV: Pinar Karsiyaka experienced horror

    [04] Protest by the "Trade Unions Platform" against the confiscation of goods at Agios Dometios crossing point

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (22.12.10) reports on the protest organised by the "Trade Unions' Platform" against the measures implemented last weekend at Agios Dometios (Metehan) crossing point, when the so-called customs officers, after a decision of the so-called council of ministers, employed stern control measures on Turkish Cypriots crossing over to the free areas of Cyprus and confiscated goods purchased from the government-controlled areas of Cyprus.

    As the paper reports, representatives of the "Trade Unions Platform" yesterday morning crossed over the Agios Dometios crossing point to the free territories of Cyprus where they bought toys and vegetables to give to the so-called ministers presents in line with their duties. After returning to the occupied areas, the platform representatives proceeded to the so-called parliament in order to give their "presents" to the so-called ministers. None of the "ministers" accepted the presents, which were left outside the building.

    Speaking during the protest, "Customs Employees Trade Union" (GUC-SEN) chairman, Memduh Ceto, inter alia, stated that the protest is not against the customs employees or the "policemen" but those who give "fascist orders". The "Cyprus Turkish Unions Federation" (TURK-SEN) chairman, Arslan Bicakli, explained the reason of the protest and, inter alia, said that the "government" instead of being busy with "laws", has to find out the reason why the toys and other goods are expensive in the "country" and solve the problem.

    [05] Rauf Denktas: "If Turkey opens its ports, TRNC will die"

    A front page report in the Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (22.12.10), under the above title, says that the framework of the "21-25 December - National Struggle and Martyrs' Week" and the 85th anniversary of the Gazi University, a number of activities are being hosted at the "Near East University" in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In this context, in a lecture on the Turkish Cypriots' struggle for existence, former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas inter alia, said: "The opening of Turkey's ports means the sacrifice of TRNC. The TRNC should be recognized before the ports are opened."

    He also accused those who want reconciliation with the Greek Cypriot side, saying that they should read the opinion polls carried out in the government-controlled areas that the Greek Cypriots do not want to live with the Turkish Cypriots.

    [06] Sonya warns Eroglu to keep his promises

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (22.12.10) reports in its front page under the title "We will pull back our support", that in a DP press release the general secretary of the Party Bengu Sonya, said that if the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu does not keep his promises on the issues of "single sovereignty" and "cross voting", then the DP will pull back its support.

    Sonya also said that during DP meetings with foreign diplomats the topic of a new plan often comes as the agenda adding that the DP, worries that if the financial situation in the occupied areas go from bad to worse, then the Turkish Cypriots may vote yes.

    [07] Soyer calls Ankara for the payment of the pensioners' 13th salary

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (22.12.10) in its front page reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ferdi Sabit Soyer, commenting on the possibility of the 13th salary not been paid, said that the occupation regime asked for 100 million TL as advance payment from Turkey in order to meet the deficit.

    Soyer conveyed to Ankara that if the 13th salaries are not paid a crisis will be caused which will harm the confidence between Ankara and its breakaway regime. He called Ankara not to remove [the Turkish Cypriots'] affection of Turkey.

    [08] The occupation regime observer at ECO meeting in Istanbul

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (22.12.10) reports that that the occupation regime participated, with the status of observer, in the Senior Officials Meeting in Istanbul yesterday ahead of the 11th Summit Meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization to be held on December 23.

    Citing "foreign ministry" sources, the paper says the occupation regime is represented by Aytug Fazil Plumer "undersecretary of the foreign ministry", Ali Korhan, "undersecretary of State Planning Organization-DPO" and Birsen Ikizer, 3rd secretary of "DPO".


    [09] Talat received a newly established association of Turkish settlers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (22.12.10) reports that a newly established association of settlers called "TRNC East and Southeast Cultural Association" was received yesterday by the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.

    As the paper writes, the "association" explained to Talat that the aim is to keep alive the culture of "TRNC citizens" who came from the provinces of East and South-eastern Turkey.



    Today's Turkish press gives extensive coverage to the incidents in Lefkosia after a basketball match between the Turkish team Pinar Karsiyaka and the Greek Cypriot APOEL team for the Eurochallenge Cup, and a Foreign Ministry press release on the "Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) delimitation agreement" between Israel and the Cyprus Republic. Moreover, a meeting of the Turkish EU negotiator Egemen Bagis with the Croatian Ambassador to Turkey and the so-called ambassador to Turkey of the "TRNC", the ongoing deliberations on the Resolution 252 on the Armenian genocide in the US House of representatives, reports that the Turkish government started the process of converting the two south-eastern towns of Yuksekova and Cizre into provinces, and other internal issue are also covered by the press.

    [10] Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Cyprus-Israel EEZ delimitation agreement null and void

    The Turkish MFA issued a press release regarding the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Delimitation Agreement signed between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel in Nicosia, on 17 December 2010. The statement reads: "?It was known that negotiations to conclude such an agreement were under way for some time. In our several diplomatic demarches with Israel in this regard, it was underlined that the conclusion of such an agreement with Greek Cypriots would disregard Turkish Cypriots' existing and inherent equal rights and interests, have an adverse effect on the ongoing settlement negotiations, and would not contribute to peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. [?]

    Despite all these demarches, signing of the said agreement constitutes an unfortunate development.

    Turkey does not have any claim regarding the maritime areas subject to the said EEZ delimitation agreement. Turkey approaches this issue within the context of the Cyprus problem.

    This kind of agreements are directly linked to the sovereignty issue which is one of the indispensable components of the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations and due to the agreement in principle, they have been left to the discretion of the new partnership government. By ignoring Turkish Cypriots' rights, Greek Cypriots' efforts to conclude such agreements, are highly untimely and raise questions as to their real intentions and sincerity regarding the settlement process.

    As already announced by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Turkish Cypriots have also rights and jurisdiction over the maritime areas of the Cyprus Island. The Greek Cypriot Administration does not represent in law or in fact the Turkish Cypriots and Cyprus as a whole. Therefore, agreements signed by the Greek Cypriots with countries of the region are null and void for Turkey.

    It is our earnest expectation from the international community and especially from the countries of the region that all would avoid supporting Greek Cypriots' unilateral activities that would have a negative impact on the comprehensive settlement negotiations.

    Turkey, along with the TRNC, will continue its efforts, through diplomatic and political channels, in order to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots."

    [11] "Turkey and Syria have deep-rooted relations"

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (A.A, 21.12.10) reports on the joint press conference following the second meeting in Ankara of Turkish-Syrian High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey thanked the Syrian administration for its endeavours and support in the fight against terrorism. The Syrian prime minister said that Turkey and Syria could be a model in international relations and that they could assume a common vision for the future.

    Turkey and Syria signed 11 agreements on the sidelines of the Council. These are: an agreement on cooperation in combating terrorism and terrorist organizations; a memorandum of understanding between Turkey's Eximbank and Syrian state planning commission; an agreement on cooperation in social services and protection of children; a memorandum of understanding on developing title deed directorate; an agreement to implement a memorandum of understanding signed in 2009 regarding dwellings and construction; an implementation programme for the next three years regarding cooperation in labour, employment and social security; a memorandum of understanding on electricity generation, distribution, renewable energy and energy saving; an implementation programme for the next two years on protection of environment; a cooperation protocol between Syrian Central Bank and Turkey's Banking Regulation & Supervision Agency (BDDK); a technical assistance and cooperation programme for 2011 between Turkish Development Bank and Syrian state planning commission; and a memorandum of understanding on cooperation between Turkish Motorized Vehicle Office and Syrian insurance federation.

    Moreover, a final declaration at the end of the meeting said that the two countries had sound ties and deep-rooted relations. The declaration included the following projects planned to be fulfilled between Turkey and Syria:

    -A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of Nusaybin-Kamisli Customs Gate will take place on January 26, 2011,

    -A ground-breaking ceremony will be held for Friendship Dam on Asi River will be held by the end of 2010,

    -Turkey-Syria Bank will be established to facilitate trade and investments between the two countries,

    -A project on high speed train services between south-eastern Turkish province of Gaziantep and Aleppo will be developed in 2011.

    The final declaration expressed satisfaction over the establishment of a new government in Iraq and also said that a fair, comprehensive and lasting solution on bi-zonal and bi-communal basis should be reached in Cyprus.

    [12] Bagis: "Turkey will neither give up Northern Cyprus for the EU, nor EU for Cyprus"

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (21.12.10, online) reports that State Minister and Turkey's chief negotiator for European Union accession, Egemen Bagis, had a meeting with Mustafa Lakadamyali, the "ambassador of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" to Turkey.

    "Turkey will neither give up Northern Cyprus for the EU, nor EU for Cyprus," Bagis reiterated and said that Turkey believed it was right on both issues, and would work to prove its causes. He noted that Turkey had always backed a settlement in Cyprus, had never left Turkish Cypriots alone, and said: "We will never leave Turkish Cypriots alone, and Turkey will continue to work for a fair and lasting solution in Cyprus based on political equality." He also argued that the entire world had seen that it was the Greek Cypriot administration that was preventing a solution in Cyprus.

    [13] "From Lebanon, Egypt, Syria and Israel with love"

    Under the above title Hurriyet Daily News (21.12.10, online) publishes an article by Burak Bekdil. In his article, Bekdil comments on the recent agreement signed between Cyprus and Israel, delineating the borders of the Exclusive Economic Zone. He argues that Cypriot efforts, which started a few years ago, unnerved Ankara since an internationally-ratified Cypriot EEZ could have unwanted economic and political implications for Turkey.

    He argues that Cypriot policy, through the strategic EEZ campaign, has done more than Turkish mediation efforts in bringing together major Middle Eastern adversaries; since they managed to sign bilateral agreements with Egypt and Lebanon and last week Cyprus announced that an agreement with Israel had been signed.

    Bekdil also notes: "The Cypriot campaign looks like the real interfaith dialogue the Turks have been thriving for over the past several years: it unites one Jewish, three Muslim and one Orthodox state around common offshore borders, without a single bullet shot, a suicide bomb exploded or a rocket launched. The dialogue even stretches across the Aegean. [?]

    Meanwhile, the Turkish diplomats in Ankara are increasingly worried that a critical dispute is spinning out of control, and in a direction they would hate the most: an internationally-recognized EEZ for the internationally-recognized, EU member state of Greek Cyprus. Mssrs Erdogan and Davutoglu would certainly propose a faith-based explanation if the Cypriots had signed offshore maritime agreements with Israel only. Ironically, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria are Turkey's "Muslim friends" in the region.

    The world owes a lot to Turkey's Israel policy since it is making the eastern Mediterranean a genuine sea of peace. Hats off to Mr Strategic Depth! But wait a minute?

    Wire services reported Monday that Turkey summoned the Israeli envoy to convey its unease over the deal with Cyprus. The services said Ambassador Gaby Levy was summoned to the Foreign Ministry on Thursday, a day before the agreement was signed. According to Anatolia news agency, Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu warned Levy the agreement would have an adverse impact on efforts between Cyprus' Greek and Turkish communities to end the 36-year division of the island.

    I have no idea if Ambassador Levy asked Undersecretary Sinirlioglu why the 36-year division remained for 36 years prior to, or without, the Cypriot-Israeli offshore border deal, or whether the Turkish Foreign Ministry was equally upset when Cyprus signed the same deals with Lebanon or Egypt."

    [14] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 21 December 2010:

    Israel-Cyprus agreement

    In an article entitled "This conflict will grow", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on the Israel-Cyprus agreement to "demarcate maritime borders" as part of a bid to "share and operate the rich natural gas reserves in the Mediterranean Sea." He links Israel's "extreme reaction" and "fury" in recent regional crises including the Gaza flotilla incident to the "row over Mediterranean natural gas," asserting that Israel is looking into appropriating energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea that belong to Lebanon and the Palestinian people. He also claims that recent terrorist assaults aimed at destabilizing the region including the attack on the Turkish naval base in Iskenderun some time ago and Israel's security agreements with Cypriots, and its military drills in the Mediterranean Sea should all be seen as part of Israel's bid to emerge as a major energy hub.

    Kurdish issue/democratic autonomy model

    According to a report by Namik Durukan in Milliyet, the "Autonomy Draft Model" submitted to the recent Democratic Autonomy Workshop organized by the DTK and held in Diyarbakir has drawn the criticism of the participants. While many criticized the "defence forces" proposed in the draft, some placed their reservations regarding the flag and symbols noted in the draft, adds the report.

    Writing in Hurriyet, Sedat Ergin argues that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) statement on bilingualism has shifted the debate on the issue from the proposal itself to the intervention of the army in the issue. No matter what stand Prime Minister Erdogan chooses to adopt on the issue, this will be linked to the TSK statement or will be overshadowed by the TSK reaction, maintains Ergin, adding that one should always be able to discuss all issues in a democracy no matter how disturbing the content. The writer goes on to note the problem presented by the TSK statement, namely that it sets limits to and narrows down the scope of issues one is allowed to discuss, a phenomenon which the writer views as the mutilation of democracy.

    In an article in Hurriyet, Nuray Mert writes that the Democratic Society Workshop has demonstrated that the Kurds want self-administration but not through a separate state or through independence, adding that they are proposing an autonomous administration within the same state. The writer urges everyone to take part in the process to define this autonomy, and advises everyone to cast aside disputes over terms and definitions and to get down to work on a feasible model.

    Star columnist Sedat Laciner in an article asserts that the Kurdish issue cannot be resolved through violence and military measures, adding: "However, the struggle against terror is not the business of the army in any democratic and developed state." Recalling that close to a million people were interrogated in the southeast, tens of villages were terrorized in the hope of finding a few terrorists, and thousands of villages were evacuated, Laciner argues that PKK sympathizers are those people who have been victimized by the state. In conclusion, the writer underlines that mobilizing the army in the struggle against terror and responding to violence with violence is self-destructive.

    In an article in Cumhuriyet, Cuneyt Arcayurek criticizes the silence of the government and of the opposition regarding the developments in the Southeast and argues that the Kurdish political cadres are increasing their demands and impositions because, with the exception of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), no one is opposing them. Accusing the media of collaborating with the silence at the capital by reporting the Kurdish actions in the Southeast but refraining from questioning them, Arcayurek goes on to assess the "Draft Democratic Autonomy Model" adopted at the DTK meeting held in Diyarbakir, wondering whether Ankara will maintain its silence if the monetary unit of a Democratic Autonomous Kurdistan with the picture of Ocalan is introduced in the Southeast region. Referring to reports to the effect that a protocol was signed at the talks between Ocalan and the state and that certain concessions have been made to Ocalan, Arcayurek calls on the government to declare who is conducting the negotiations with Ocalan and on behalf of whom.

    Writing in Vatan, Okay Gonensin says that the "Democratic autonomy model" represents the Kurdish point of view, adding that this model "from now on will be the main discussion platform of the Kurdish issue in Turkey. There is no 'division' in the model. However, rejecting this model by viewing it as 'a step on the path to a division' will not be beneficial." Gonensin warns against blocking the discussions by getting fixated on headlines such as the "self-defence forces" and "the flag," and writes that while the Kurds are working on a model, the forces that make up the central political will are lagging behind.

    Turkish General Staff on bilingualism

    In an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal writes that the only difference between this memorandum and previous ones is that this time a minimal amount of attention was paid to it. The general atmosphere was that the TSK should not intervene in issues that do not concern the army, notes Cemal, urging the TSK to dwell on the source of the Kurdish problem in the country which the writer believes to be the ban on the Kurdish language and, thus, the denial of the Kurdish identity.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand writes that "that the Kurds have obtained important tactic benefits. The period starting from elections until making changes in the constitution will be in their favour." Referring to the TSK statement on bilingualism and the government reaction to the statement, Birand underlines: "Until now the public identified the military as 'the state.' Today the AKP with its attitude shows 'I am in charge. I am the state.'"

    Writing in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes: "Yes, the military should not talk about political issues. Yes, what the military did on Friday was yet another e-memorandum that no democratic personality could welcome. Yet, if there is no civilian government in office to defend Turkey and Turkey's integrity, who would speak other than the military assigned with the defence of Turkey?"

    In an article in Taraf, Murat Belge argues that the venue for a decision on bilingualism is the Turkish Grand National Assembly, (TBMM), adding that the memorandum issued by the army is tantamount to declaring that it does not share the decision to be adopted by the TBMM. Underlining that the Office of the Chief of the General Staff is obliged to abide by the decisions of the TBMM, Belge argues that the military memorandum rejecting bilingualism is no more important than the statement issued by the opposition parties on the issue.

    Armenian Genocide resolution/Turkish-US relations

    Sami Kohen in Milliyet maintains that given the structure of the Congress, adoption of a resolution on the Armenian genocide is not an impossibility, adding, however, that the last-minute efforts exerted by the Obama Administration, Turkey, and the Turkish organizations in the United States reduce that possibility. Wondering whether Turkish-US relations will be able to weather the "shock" to be caused by the adoption of such a resolution, Kohen concludes by expressing the hope that the Congress will not discuss this resolution.

    Turkish foreign policy/challenges

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Semih Idiz notes that 2011 will be a year in which Turkish foreign policy will face serious challenges, adding: "The impression one gets instead is of a foreign policy that is increasingly under siege, a state of affairs that will most likely force the Turkish government into a 'reactive' mode as it tries to ward off the negative consequences of certain developments in its relations with the world at large."

    Sick until elections

    Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report accusing physicians at Istanbul University Institute of Cardiology of taking part in a plan to prevent Professor Mehmet Haberal from being sent to prison as part of the Ergenekon investigation, by drawing up a health report the day he was supposed to be referred to the Forensic Medicine Department. The report said that Haberal cannot be moved without major risk to his health. The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), is planning to have Haberal elected to Parliament next June in order to provide him with immunity against the results of the Ergenekon probe, the report says.

    Yeni Akit carries a front-page report under the headline "Even the State fails to take him away," which slams authorities at Istanbul University Institute of Cardiology for refusing to let Mehmet Haberal be referred to the Forensic Medicine Department based on a "hastily" prepared health report alleging that Haberal should not be moved.

    Missile shield dangers

    Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which highlights a statement by SP Deputy Chairman Temel Karamolaoglu saying that NATO's missile defence project can potentially set Turkey and Iran against one another, that it could be used for purposes that are as yet undisclosed and could be detrimental to Turkey's interests, and that it will place a burden on the national economy. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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