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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-12-27

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>



  • [01] Eroglu returns to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus today
  • [02] Eroglu sends a letter to Barosso
  • [03] Youths protested to the UN with placards reading "Cyprus is Turkish and will remain that way"
  • [04] "Worse than the attack in Cyprus"
  • [05] Self-styled TRNC Assembly condemned the deal signed between Israel and the Republic of Cyprus on the EEZ
  • [06] Ozgurgun reacted against the Foreign Ministry statement on the EEZ
  • [07] Gulin Kucuk: "You cannot have an infidel as a friend, just like you cannot have a fur made of pig"
  • [08] The "Property Compensation Commission" received 806 applications
  • [09] Kucuk in Ankara for the declaration of 2011 as the year of "TRNC" in Turkey
  • [10] So-called assembly approved the occupation regime's budget for 2011

  • [11] Bagis alleges that the Republic of Cyprus could not even become a tribe
  • [12] Kiniklioglu: agreement on the EEZ between Cyprus and Israel is symbolic
  • [13] Turkish Cypriot politicians voted to disclose Ergenekon documents; "Ergenekon Research Commission" closed down
  • [14] Turkish Parliament approves 2011 budget
  • [15] Military agreement between Turkey and FYROM; Turkey donates military equipment
  • [16] Turkey sign a MoU with Japan on construction of nuclear power plant
  • [17] Turkish columnist says the "Kosovo" model could be a "credible way out" in Cyprus, if the negotiations continue like this
  • [18] Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan sign protocols
  • [19] Davutoglu says "there may be turbulence in ties with US over Iran and Israel in 2011"
  • [20] Highlights


    The return of Dervis Eroglu to the occupied areas of Cyprus after the heart operation in Turkey, statements by Egemen Bagis regarding the status of the Republic of Cyprus in connection with the recent incidents after the APOEL ? Karsiyaka basketball game, and the continuing reaction to the agreement signed between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel on the delineation of their exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press during the period 24-27 December. Moreover, the papers focus on the approval of the "budget" of the regime by its "assembly", a letter by Eroglu to Jose Manuel Barosso on the injury of a Turkish Cypriot last November during incidents in Larnaka and other internal issues.

    [01] Eroglu returns to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus today

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 26.12.10), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, who underwent a coronary bypass, will be discharged from hospital and will return to the occupied areas on Monday.

    According to a press release, Eroglu is expected to return to the island at 6.00 pm today night on a private plane provided by the Turkish government.

    [02] Eroglu sends a letter to Barosso

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (25.12.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has sent a letter to Jose Manuel Barosso, President of the Commission of the European Union, regarding the injury of a Turkish Cypriot named Sertunc Akdogu during incidents in Larnaka in the beginning of November 2010. According to the paper, in his letter Eroglu accused the Greek Cypriot side of not trying to protect the Turkish Cypriots and expressed his worry about the "increasing racist attacks" in the free areas of the island.


    [03] Youths protested to the UN with placards reading "Cyprus is Turkish and will remain that way"

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 26.12.10), the 8th Turkish World Youth Summit, being organized jointly by the World Youth Friendship and Solidarity Association and the Youth Movement of the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Association, held a protest on Saturday 25 December. The protest was against the United Nations for remaining silent regarding Greek Cypriot attacks on Turks and Turkish Cypriots, and the embargoes imposed enforced on the occupation regime.

    "The group gathered at the Mehmet Akif Avenue and walked in unison with TRNC flags, Turkish flags and placards with the slogan 'Cyprus is Turkish and will remain that way'", illegal Bayrak reports.

    The group, which consists of youth from all around the world, walked to the Ledra Palace, placed a black wreath and handed a letter to be given to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    They also protested against the racist attacks by Apoel supports during the Apoel-Pinar Karsiyaka Basketball match last week.

    The Chairman of the World Youth Friendship and Solidarity Association Sedat Adakan, referring to "the attacks that have taken place against Turks in South Cyprus, the Greek-Greek Cypriot duos attempts to try to realize Enosis on the island by killing and massacring Turkish Cypriots", said that the association was disturbed by the United Nations which remained silent during these attacks.

    Explaining that "they want the UN to work neutrally towards trying to remove the unjust embargoes imposed against the TRNC", Adakan said that they will continue with their protests until the Turkish Cypriots' rights are reinstated.

    [04] "Worse than the attack in Cyprus"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (27.12.10) reports that, while the attack of APOEL fans in Lefkosia against Karsiyaka's basketball players is still on the agenda, a similar attack took place during a football match between the U-17 teams of Galatasaray and Fenerbahce in Turkey. The paper writes that the football players of Fenerbahce were badly beaten up and that Istanbul police were not able to protect the players from being attacked while going to the changing rooms.

    The paper points out that the Turkish police were not as successful as the Greek Cypriot police in Lefkosia which protected the basketball players of Karsiyaka without anyone to suffer injury. Thirteen football players of Fenerbahce were taken to the hospital after being beaten up by Galatasaray supporters, reports Afrika.


    [05] Self-styled TRNC Assembly condemned the deal signed between Israel and the Republic of Cyprus on the EEZ

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 25.12.10), self-styled TRNC Assembly approved unanimously on 24 December the decision to condemn the deal signed between the Republic of Cyprus and Israel to delimit the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The decision noted that "the agreement signed between the Greek Cypriot side and Israel to explore oil and gas was unilateral and added that it is politically and legally invalid".

    Explaining that the agreement will harm both the negotiations process and the tripartite meeting which is scheduled to take place in Geneva on the 26 January 2011, the decision warned that it will only help reinforce the existing problem and worsen the situation on the island.

    Stating that the Greek Cypriots' initiatives in the Eastern Mediterranean are causing potential threats, the decision said "we condemn the agreement and find it unacceptable."

    It has also been announced that the decision will be conveyed to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, international organizations and many countries.

    [06] Ozgurgun reacted against the Foreign Ministry statement on the EEZ

    According to illegal Bayrak (online, 25.12.10), the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun expressed sharp reaction against the Cyprus Foreign Ministry statement concerning the agreement signed between the "Greek Cypriot administration" and Israel to delimit the Exclusive Economic Zone.

    The Foreign Ministry statement said that the Republic of Cyprus is the only legitimate state on the island and Turkey has the obligation to recognize it. Ozgurgun responded saying that the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" and its elected "representatives" have the right to have a say in the name of the Turkish Cypriots. Ozgurgun described the "Greek Cypriot Administration's" claim as a "brain eclipse".

    Recalling that the two sides in Cyprus have been negotiating with the aim of reaching a comprehensive solution on the island for more than 40 year, Ozgurgun said that the claim is illogical.

    [07] Gulin Kucuk: "You cannot have an infidel as a friend, just like you cannot have a fur made of pig"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.12.10) reports that Gulin Kucuk, the spouse of self-styled prime minister and leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Irsen Kucuk, recalled the expression used in the Turkish language "You cannot have an infidel as a friend, just like you cannot have a fur made of pig" and argued that "living examples" for this were seen during the recent attacks against Turks in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Addressing a meeting organized by UBP's women on 24 December in Lefkosia, Gulin Kucuk alleged that this stance of the Greek Cypriots damages the optimistic climate and poisons the negotiations to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Kucuk said that the breakaway regime is going through difficult times and added that they will overcome these difficulties with Turkey's support.

    Kucuk urged the Turkish Cypriots to be "more careful" in their shopping from the government-controlled areas of Cyprus and added that they should think of the damage this shopping could cause to the "country", as she called the occupied areas of Cyprus. She alleged that their "state" has the obligation to implement the "laws" and protect the economy.


    [08] The "Property Compensation Commission" received 806 applications

    Under the title "The system collapsed", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.12.10) reports that due to lack of personnel the "land registry office" of the breakaway regime cannot conclude hundreds of cases of Greek Cypriots who applied to the "Property Compensation Commission" established in the occupied areas of Cyprus with the aim of becoming a local remedy.

    Data which the "Commission" asks from the "land registry office" within a month in order to be able to defend the regime against the applications filed by Greek Cypriots, are sent to the "Commission" after a year and sometimes longer. The paper reports that the problems are experienced due to the fact that 78 vacancies exist in the "office" which could not find "experienced staff".

    According to the paper, 806 applications have been filed to the "Commission", until 20 December 2010. Four of them were concluded in "court" and other 137 through an "amicable arrangement". The "Commission" started functioning on 17 March, 2006.


    [09] Kucuk in Ankara for the declaration of 2011 as the year of "TRNC" in Turkey

    According to illegal Bayrak channel (online, 26.12.10), 2011 is being declared as the year of "TRNC" in Turkey. This decision was made jointly by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the "TRNC Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture".

    According to a press release released by the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry, the decision will officially be announced at a press conference today in Ankara in the presence of the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    It has been stated that "the aim of declaring the year 2011 as the year of TRNC in Turkey is to promote the country's culture and tourism and to turn north Cyprus into the centre of attraction".

    In accordance with the agreement "Turkey will promote TRNC at every tourism and cultural event in which it participates during the year 2011".

    [10] So-called assembly approved the occupation regime's budget for 2011

    According to illegal Bayrak television (25.12.10) the so-called assembly has approved the occupation regime's budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year. The 3 billion 77 million 220 thousand 920 Turkish Liras worth budget was approved with a majority of votes. It was approved with 26 'yes' votes against 15 'no' votes.


    The main stories in today's Turkish press as well as over the weekend include the approval of Turkey's 2011 budget Turkey Azerbaijan Iran summit in Turkey on the sidelines of (DEIK), statements by Turkish President Gul that Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan are to hold joint military exercises in April, reports that Turkey and Japan signed an MoU on the construction of a nuclear plant, more reports and reaction statements on the incident after the basketball game between Apoel and Pinar Karsiyaka in Cyprus. Moreover, the paper focus on a call by Iraqi President Talabani to TOBB businessmen to invest in Iraq, the return of Mavi Marmara ship to Istanbul and statements by Egemen Bagis to Kanal 7 in Turkey on the incidents after the basketball game in Cyprus.

    Topics about Cyprus in the Turkish press include statements by Huseyin Ozgurgun the Cyprus Foreign Ministry statement concerning the agreement between Cyprus and Israel, the motion by the "Assembly" of the occupation regime condemning the deal signed between Cyprus and Israel, the approval of the "TRNC 2011 budget", reports on Eroglu's health and Kucuk's visit to Ankara for talks.

    [11] Bagis alleges that the Republic of Cyprus could not even become a tribe

    Turkish daily Zaman (26.12.10, online) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey's Chief Negotiator with the EU, alleged that the Republic of Cyprus could not become a state and added that Turkey has been saying this for years everywhere.

    In statements on Turkish Kanal 7 TV programme "The Capital s Backstage ( Bakent Kulisi ), Bagis referred to the incidents after the APOEL-Karsiyaka basketball game in Lefkosia and said that upon instructions by Prime Minister Erdogan Turkish officials held a lot of contacts so that the Turkish athletes are not harmed. He alleged that the government of the Republic of Cyprus tried to underrate the incidents by referring to some "hooligans", but "the attack of 3000 persons against 10-15 persons is not something simple".

    Alleging that the "Greek Cypriots are not a state" and that Turkey has been saying this everywhere for many years, Bagis added: "Is it necessary for incidents to take place in order for the athletes to be protected? We have been saying everywhere that they are not a state, but they did not believe us. They could not even become a tribe, not a state". He claimed that Turkey asked for the film of the incidents from Greek Cypriot channels but they did not give it. "I think that there is a lesson which our Media should take from this", he said.

    Regarding Turkey's EU membership negotiations, Bagis said that 27 chapters had been opened and 13 had been closed so far. Noting that Turkey did not give up on negotiations, Bagis said that it is a long path, and Turkey is determined, despite the political obstacles. He added that after negotiations are completed, the public will be asked whether they want to be an EU member or not.

    When reminded that the Republic of Cyprus will undertake the EU term presidency in 2012, Bagis said that term presidencies did not have much effect on membership negotiations and thus the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus would not have a deep influence on Turkey's process. He added that more chapters were opened to negotiations during the term presidency of Germany and France, which he said are relatively negative towards Turkey's EU membership, compared to the term presidency of Spain, Belgium or Finland, which are more positive towards Turkey's membership, according to Bagis. He said that decisions are made unanimously in the EU, adding that term presidencies are not so effective.

    Moreover, referring to the Kurdish issue, Egemen Bagis expressed the belief that the Kurds in Turkey did not have a demand or expectation for autonomy. Regarding the process after the "first democratic autonomy workshop" which was held in the south-eastern province of Diyarbakir, Bagis said that differences were richness, adding that nobody shall harm national unity and brotherhood feelings, and everybody should preserve national integrity. Bagis said that different cultures, religions, beliefs, ethnical identities and political views could exist in harmony in Turkey. Demands for "democratic autonomy" are some people's efforts for exploitation, he noted.

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.12.10, online), during a workshop in Diyarbakir, the Democratic Society Congress made a call to launch a debate over autonomy for Turkey's Kurds as well as for the use of Kurdish language in public places and in schools as a second language. According to the agency, the press wrote that Turkish Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin reacted harshly to the demands voiced in the workshop which suggested the foundation of "a democratic autonomous Kurdistan with a separate flag, own defence forces and economy". On December 21, Supreme Court of Appeals Prosecutor's Office decided to inspect a possible connection between Democratic Society Congress and any political party under the articles 78, 80, 81, 82 and 98 of Political Parties Law, reports Anatolia news agency.


    [12] Kiniklioglu: agreement on the EEZ between Cyprus and Israel is symbolic

    According to the Turkish daily Today's Zaman (23.12.10), Suat Kilicdaroglu, head of a Turkish-U.S. inter-parliamentary Friendship Group Suat Kiniklioglu, assessed on a TV programme the decision of the US House of Representatives not to take up the resolution on the Armenian genocide, also referred to the incidents after the basketball game between Apoel and Turkish Pikar Karsiyaka. Kiniklioglu called on the EU to assess how European is the "Greek Cypriot Administration", as he described the Republic of Cyprus.

    Regarding the agreement between Israel and Cyprus to delimit the Exclusive Economic Zone, Kinikloglu said that this approach by Israel to cooperate with the "Greek Cypriot Administration" on the petrol and energy issue the East Mediterranean is a symbolic approach as he said. He then stated that Turkey has conveyed very clearly both to the Greek Cypriot side and Israel its dissatisfaction adding that they will also convey their reaction through diplomatic channels as well.


    [13] Turkish Cypriot politicians voted to disclose Ergenekon documents; "Ergenekon Research Commission" closed down

    Istanbul Today's Zaman (25.12.10 Online) reported that Cihan news agency has reported that a deputy in the occupation regime has said he will make certain secret documents about the probe public, if a research commission of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Parliament" does not resume an investigation into suspected ties the coup-plotting Turkish gang Ergenekon has on the island.

    Sonay Adem, a deputy from the Republican Turks Party (CTP) and a member of the Ergenekon Research Commission in the occupied areas, has vowed to share with the public the information they have regarding the probe. Adem said he had requested from "Prime Minister" Irsen Kucuk that the probe be resumed.

    The "TRNC Ergenekon Research Commission" was closed down on Thursday on the grounds that it had failed to acquire any specific evidence. CTP deputy Adem says the probe was halted at a time when the commission was coming close to acquiring solid evidence regarding Ergenekon's activities in Turkish Cyprus. He also claimed that it was a violation of procedure that the National Unity Party (UBP) members of the commission abolished this body without the support of, and without even notifying, CTP deputies.

    He said to make sure that no CTP deputy would show up, the UBP deputies convened a commission meeting at a time when the "TRNC Parliament" was holding budget talks. He also claims that he had not been informed that the commission would meet on that day. Adem added that the commission's last decision before it had abruptly been brought to an end was to work with prosecutors from Turkey with the permission of the Turkish Justice Ministry.

    He said the commission was inspecting a number of documents that hinted of Ergenekon links during former "Prime Minister" Ferdi Sabit Soyer's term in office. He recalled claims that had been made by the driver of a Cabinet minister and had appeared in newspapers, alleging that $1 million had been deposited in a "TRNC" bank in 1998. He added that after this transaction was covered by the press, CTP deputy Abbas Sinay had submitted a question motion about the allegations, after which "prime minister" Kucuk authorized the "prime ministerial Inspection Council" to investigate the allegations. He said it was also odd that the Ergenekon Research Commission was abolished before this council could share its findings with the commission.

    Adem also says the "TRNC National Police Department" had provided commission members with inconsistent information during their investigation. The "TRNC Parliament's Research Commission" to investigate links between groups in the "TRBC" and Ergenekon was set up in June of 2009.

    In Thursday's commission meeting, UBP deputies Ahmet Caluda, Ali Riza Usluer and Necdet Numan put forward and approved a motion to stop the investigation. CTP deputies Adem and Arif Albayrak, who are both on the commission, say they were unaware that such a decision was even being taken.

    [14] Turkish Parliament approves 2011 budget

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.10), Turkish Parliamentary General Assembly approved on Sunday the 2011 budget by a vote of 332, against 118.

    Budget expenses in 2011 were calculated at 312.5 billion TL (approx. 202.9 billion USD) while Budget incomes were calculated at 279 billion TL (approx. 181.1 billion USD).

    Income from taxes in 2011 will be 232.2 billion TL (approx. 150.7 billion USD). The budget deficit in 2011 is expected to be 33.5 billion TL (approx. 21.7 billion USD).

    [15] Military agreement between Turkey and FYROM; Turkey donates military equipment

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.12.10), Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, who arrived in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on a two-day official visit, said on Friday that "Turkey would continue to extend support to its friend Macedonia".

    Following their meeting, the two ministers attended the signing ceremony of a military cooperation agreement between their countries. At a joint press conference with "Macedonian Minister Zoran Konjanovski", Gonul said "Turkey and Macedonia had perfect relations in every field. Our support to friend and brother Macedonia will continue".

    FYROM Minister Konjanovski said in his part that "Macedonia highly appreciates Turkey's support and assistance. Turkey is an indispensable friend for Macedonia."

    Following his talks at the "Macedonian defence ministry", Gonul got together with the country's president Gjorge Ivanov. Relations between Turkey and Macedonia as well as the latest developments in the region were on the agenda.

    On the same issue, A.A also reports that Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul met with FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

    Later, Gonul attended a ceremony in which the Turkish Armed Forces donated military equipment to FYROM army worth 253 thousand euro.

    [16] Turkey sign a MoU with Japan on construction of nuclear power plant

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.12.10), Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz and Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akihiro Ohata signed on Friday the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the construction of a nuclear power plant in Black Sea province of Sinop, in Turkey.

    Yildiz had talks with Japan Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshito Sengoku, Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akihiro Ohata, and Vice Minister of Finance Mitsuru Sakurai.

    Yildiz and Sakurai exchanged views on possible financial dimensions of the planned nuclear power plant, whereas the Turkish minister debated ways to speed up signature of the agreement and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes with Foreign Minister Maehera.

    Japanese executives accepted Turkey's demand to conclude the nuclear power plant process within three months.

    Turkey launched talks with Japan to construct a nuclear power plant in Turkey's northern province of Sinop earlier this month after negotiations with South Korea had failed.

    [17] Turkish columnist says the "Kosovo" model could be a "credible way out" in Cyprus, if the negotiations continue like this

    Writing in Sunday's Zaman (26.12.10, online), Beril Dedeoglu views the Cyprus and Armenian issues in his article under the title "New balances, old problems" writing that although Turkey takes brand new steps in the foreign and domestic policy domains, some old and chronic problems as Cyprus and Armenian problem remain unresolved, stimulating a feeling of apathy.

    On the Cyprus issue, Dedeoglu writes that "Cyprus issue has become the most important variable in the Turkey-EU relationship. In fact, if Turkey becomes an EU member, Cyprus will no longer be a problem. The Cyprus issue occupies the foremost position because Turkey's accession process is blocked. The EU must be clearer about Turkey's membership, because the present situation can't go on like this for the next 50 years."

    She goes on that "it's obvious that we are no closer to a resolution on the island. As the Greek side wants to increase pressure on Turkey by implementing a rapprochement with Israel, it's justified from Turkey's perspective to doubt its interlocutors' good faith."

    She also points out that "if the process goes on like this, the Cyprus negotiations can go up in smoke and the 'Kosovo' model will become a credible way out, which will signify an important breaking point in the long history of the Cyprus problem."

    Dedeoglu suggests that "Turkey may put an end to the 'Cyprus leverage': It can suspend the EU process and concentrate its energy on other geographies rather than concentrating on Cyprus."

    Referring to the Armenian issue, Dedeoglu writes that it has become one of the variables of the Turkey-US relationship, instead of a variable of the Turkey-Armenia relationship.

    [18] Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan sign protocols

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.12.10), Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan signed 4 protocols, 2 MoU and a letter of intent to cooperate with each other in seven areas.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmay Rassoul and Pakistani Foreign Minister Mahdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi signed two protocols on establishment of a direct video conference communication line among the three countries, and organizing an exhibition on cultural partnership.

    Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Afghan Interior Minister Bismullah Muhammadi Khan and Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik signed a protocol envisaging cooperation among the police departments in fight against illicit drug trafficking.

    Davutoglu and Rassoul also signed a memorandum of understanding on Turkish-Afghan Friendship Day.

    A letter of intent about press, a memorandum of understanding on natural disaster management and a cooperation protocol between Turkish and Afghan state-run TV channels were also signed.

    Moreover, A.A reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Friday said at a joint press meeting with his Pakistani and Afghan counterparts following a summit meeting, that Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan are to hold a joint military exercise in April next year. Gul said Turkey attached great importance to the fight against terrorism, which he said required a high level of cooperation of intelligence agencies.

    [19] Davutoglu says "there may be turbulence in ties with US over Iran and Israel in 2011"

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.12.10), during a meeting with columnists of several newspapers in Istanbul, and replying to question on several matters, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday that Turkey intends to make peace with Israel. He added that apology and compensation are needed to continue the friendship with Israel.

    "We don't want any country to have nuclear weapons. We don't want Iran to have nuclear weapons. Turkish economy has been growing. We aim to have 2.5 trillion USD of GNP in order to be included in the top ten countries. We don't have natural gas and oil. Thus we have to focus on renewable energy and nuclear energy," he said.

    In regard to Turkey's EU accession talks, Davutoglu said that Turkey is determined to continue its EU process although Turkish people are tired of the matter. "Our future is in Europe and Europe's future is in Turkey. EU needs Turkey and vice versa," he said.

    Referring to Turkey ? US relations, Davutoglu said that there might be turbulence in 2011 between the two countries regarding Iran and Israel.

    Davutoglu said that several high-level talks were held between Ankara and Washington, and he had a fruitful meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington DC.

    [20] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 24-27 December 2010:

    Kurdish issue

    In an article in Yeni Akit (26.12.10) columnist Kenan Alpay views the issue of bilingualism discussed at the recent Democratic Autonomy Workshop held in Diyarbakir as well as the other demands raised by Kurdish politicians and argues that the demand for "autonomy" will not be beneficial for the Kurdish people, the Turkish society, and Islamic communities. Alpay adds that principles to be established under the shadow of Ocalan cannot be long-term and cannot bring about a solution based on brotherhood. Noting that the current solution proposals incorporate as many wrongs as the demands that were crushed, Alpay rules out the possibility of either ending the pain or stopping the bloodshed through the proposals put forth during the recent Democratic Autonomy Workshop.

    Zaman (26.12.10) columnist Mumtazer Turkone refers to the Democratic Autonomy Workshop and stresses: "Turkey is not being divided. There are two different problems that we should resolve. The first one is a humanitarian problem (?) that will enable our Kurdish citizens to freely express themselves in their mother tongue and to feel that they are equal and honorable citizens. Discussions such as federalism, autonomy, a flag, the dream of a 'Great Kurdistan,' and Kurdish nationalism are political problems. Politically we are strong. Demands such as federalism, group rights, and autonomy are traps for Kurds as they are for the rest of the country. The Kurds who are to live in the federal or autonomous Kurdish region have yet no idea of the things they will be deprived of. Since more than half of the Kurdish population lives west of the Euphrates, regional or geographic solutions do not solve the Kurdish problem, they only satisfy their 'ethnic' obsessions and their nationalistic aspirations."

    Etyen Mahcupyan in an article in Zaman (26.12.10) concedes that the text of the Democratic Autonomy draft model is problematic but maintains that had it not been for these demands, believed to be implausible by some, not even the most natural demands of the Kurds would be met.

    Ayse Karabat in an article in Sunday's Zaman (26.12.10) views the discussions on the autonomy model, argues that this text definitely wants an authoritarian life for the Kurds and concludes: "It is time for the Kurds to realize that they don't have to relinquish their individual rights for their collective rights."

    Ihsan Yilmaz examines in Sunday's Zaman (26.12.10 the Kurdish demand for autonomy and the steps toward decentralization. He argues: "The Kurds should see that the PKK is not and cannot be part of any solution and that normalization will not come to the region as long as it continues to resort to terrorism. A delay in decentralization does not also mean that the Kurds will not get their reasonable and legitimate rights."

    Writing in Bugun (26.12.10), Ahmet Tasgetiren writes that while solving the Kurdish issue, the government tries not to create the impression that the rights being granted to the Kurds are being taken away from the Turks. Both the president and the prime minister are trying to embrace the east and the west of the country while trying to solve this problem. Criticizing the approach of certain Kurds demanding autonomy, a separate flag, a separate defense force, and a federation, Tasgetiren argues that this approach can only sabotage the democratization process and betrays the Kurdish problem. Describing the stand adopted by the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan, KCK, the PKK, the BDP, and the DTK as provocative, the writer accuses these organizations of mortgaging the Kurdish will.

    A front-page report in Yeni Safak (25.12.10) asserts that according to secret "intelligence reports" the KCK [Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan], "an umbrella organization for the PKK," is laundering as much as one billion euro annually through some 277 companies it has established in Europe.

    Zaman (25.12.10) columnist Ali Bulac identifies the "fundamental problems" in the draft text of "democratic autonomy" discussed at the recent meeting in Diyarbakir organized by the Democratic Society Congress. He claims that the conceptual framework of the model in question is reminiscent of a political federation rather than "democratic autonomy," that the autonomy concept outlined in the model is ethnic and regional in character and ineligible in this sense to represent the sentiments of all Kurds in Turkey, that "other ethnic groups" in eastern and southeastern Turkey are unlikely to give their consent to a federation project where they would become a "crowded minority," and that the ideas and symbols used in the proposed model are "hair-raising" simply because they hark back to the views of Lenin and Stalin in Soviet Russia and Tito in the former Yugoslavia.

    Cumhuriyet (24.12.10) columnist Utku Cakirozer quotes Republican People's Party leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu as saying that recognizing Kurdish as an official language would lead to a divide like Belgium. Kilicdaroglu also emphasized that political autonomy conflict with the existing unitary state in Turkey although local governments should be strengthened. He also criticized the ruling party for turning a deaf ear to the DTK's demands because it does not want to alienate Kurdish voters before the upcoming parliamentary elections.

    A report in Taraf (24.12.10) quotes Iraqi President Jalal Talabani as saying at a meeting with DTK leaders Ahmet Turk and Aysel Tugluk that the Turkish government is making efforts to make legislative arrangements in order to ensure that Kurdish is included in school curriculum as an elective course while employing civil servants speaking Kurdish in five years. According to the report, Talabani sent a letter to Ocalan, advising him to maintain the current cease-fire until the general election.

    US-Turkey relations ? resolution after math

    Milliyet's (25.12.10) Semih Idiz suggests the Turkish government to "normalize ties with the United States even before Israel and Armenia, pointing out that Obama's efforts to prevent the resolution shows Washington's desire for normalization. From Turkey's perspective, normalization requires the ruling AKP to refrain from making idealist and populist foreign policy formulations.

    Writing in Hurriyet Daily (25.12.10) Ilhan Tanir underlines Turkey's importance to the United States and points out: "If there are still some who imagine that the US administration would break its ties with Turkey just because there are some significant policy differences on these or potential other matters in the future, they are badly mistaken. ... For realpolitik and national security reasons, today's Turkey is too important an ally to be mistreated by Washington. And we have witnessed this during the most difficult times in 2010 when the US administration was extremely careful not to criticize Ankara publicly."

    Hurriyet Daily News (24.12.10) columnist Semih Idiz analyses the reasons for the deferral of the resolution on Armenian genocide and says that the anti-Turkish mood in the US Congress over Ankara's Iran and Israel policies was expected to swing the balance against Turkey this time. He notes: "Once more it was seen, however, that US national interests carry more weight than constituency considerations, even if there is anger in Congress directed at Turkey." Idiz also stresses that there should be more contacts between ordinary Turks and Armenians in order to eliminate hatred between the two nations.

    In an article in Milliyet (24.12.10) columnist Sami Kohen says that the deferral of the genocide resolution has prevented an irreparable damage to bilateral relations between Turkey and the United States. Pointing out that the Obama Administration and many members of the US Congress have clearly shown that they are opposed to any move that would offend and alienate Turkey, Kohen concludes by saying that there are many steps that should be taken by Turkey in order to eliminate what he describes as the sword of Damocles and to normalize relations with Armenia.

    High-Level meeting on National Security

    According to a report in Hurriyet (24.12.10), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan chaired a meeting about minefields and security along borders. The report says that the meeting, also attended by Chief of General Staff Isik Kosaner, reviewed mine clearing works being jointly carried out by NAMSA in addition to a brief discussion about the fight on terrorism.

    A report in Milliyet (24.12.10) says that the high-level meeting focused on the PKK's decision to extend its unilateral cease-fire until the general election in June, Kurdish demands for autonomy, new steps to be taken in the fight on terrorism, developments in Northern Iraq, and recent statements made by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

    Radikal (24.12.10) columnist Murat Yetkin says that measures aimed at enhancing security along the border and a bill intended to recruit contract soldiers who will be used for fighting against terrorism, were the main issues discussed at the meeting. He says: "Ankara is trying to draw a line between potential gains that could be reaped vis-a-vis the Kurdish question by broadening democracy and ensuring that the PKK no longer poses an armed threat. The summit meeting convened by Erdogan yesterday was of critical importance in terms of what [Turkish President Abdullah] Gul will say in Diyarbakir. We may not to wait long to see its results."

    Turkish Minister comments on nuclear projects

    Hurriyet (24.12.10) quotes Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz as saying that Turkey's primary goal is to build a nuclear power plant by developing its own technology. He added: "Turkey will eventually demonstrate that such a power plant can be built. We will make efforts to make sure that it is built by using national resources, including human resources. This is a goal to be attained in the future." Yildiz also stressed that negotiations are being conducted with various businessmen about investments in the field of nuclear energy.

    Turkish-Israeli war?

    Writing in the Star (23.12.10) Ardan Zenturk predicts the possibility of a war between Turkey and Israel after the latter signed a maritime accord with Cyprus. Zenturk argues that Israel's occupation of Palestinian territory is based on its need for natural gas. He also charges that Israel opened wells in the sea off the Lebanese coast in order to "steal" Lebanese natural gas. He adds: "If, based on their accord with the Greek Cypriots, Israeli companies start to explore for natural gas in an area that covers the territorial waters of the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus], they will have to confront the Turkish fleet."

    Foreign Ministry reform

    An editorial in Hurriyet Daily News asserts that the changes made in the Foreign Ministry rules and regulations carry "the stamp of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's academic personality." According to the editorial, the reform is designed to make Turkey gain "strategic depth", a concept coined by the foreign minister himself.

    CHP and Islam

    In an article in Vatan Rusen Cakir strongly urges the Republican People's Party, (CHP), to improve its relations with the religious citizens, "consider it natural that Islam should have different interpretations; in fact, encourage a pluralistic interpretation." Cakir argues "If CHP leader Kilicdaroglu thinks that the fact that he is an Alevi is enough to bring him closer to the Alevis, he is making a mistake," the columnist warns.

    "The epidemic islamophobia in Greece"

    In a commentary in Milli Gazete (23.12.10) writer Oya Akgonenc asserts that the public "unrest" in Greece caused by the economic crisis has started to find expression in acts of aggression against non-Greek groups and minorities including particularly Muslims. She accuses Greece of "xenophobia" and asserts that the acts of "intolerance" against minorities in Greece amount to linguistic and religious discrimination. She also calls on the EU to adopt counter measures against "ethnic racism" and "Islamophobia" in Greece.

    "Fear of the Ottomans and the Ottoman trap"

    In Yeni Safak (23.12.10) columnist Ibrahim Karagul warns that the debate on what is being described as Turkey's "aggressive" neo-ottoman policies is increasingly serving to "sabotage" Ankara's efforts to turn this country into a centre of attraction by forming partnerships with regional players. He objects to the Government's regional policies being presented as a manifestation of an "imperial vision," arguing that Turkey's efforts to revive former partnerships is not an ideological enterprise but "a quest for the future in keeping with the global shifts of power." He also criticizes certain foreign forces including Israel, the United States, and certain EU countries for waging a "campaign" to undermine Turkey's efforts to create a new economic and political vision suited to the challenges of the 21st century by accusing it of pursuing "aggressive Ottomanism." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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