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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-04

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] Bagis describes those who held banners against Turkey as "minority impertinent circles"
  • [02] Eroglu: "We are all TRNC citizens"
  • [03] Rauf Denktas on the March 2 rally
  • [04] Demonstrations supporting the recent rally of the Turkish Cypriots were held in Turkey; Sener Levent: The rally was a feast of obedience
  • [05] Elci: Turkey, a guarantor country of the Republic of Cyprus, cannot tolerate its citizens and their flag
  • [06] Turk-Sen warns the so-called government
  • [07] The number of the "voters" doubled in 29 years
  • [08] Professor claims that the EU and the USA want to get rid of Turkey from Cyprus in order to get the oil
  • [09] Dismissed employees of the former illegal KTHY work in the free territories of Cyprus

  • [10] Davutoglu holds contacts at Brussels
  • [11] Turkish, Slovenian Prime Ministers sign strategic partnership agreement
  • [12] Gonul Meets with OIC secretary general
  • [13] "Italian, Swedish ministers visit Turkey for conference"
  • [14] Journalists detained in new Ergenekon investigation wave
  • [15] "The key to restarting Turkey's EU engine"
  • [16] Highlights


    Main issue in today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers is the reaction following the March 2 "communal existence rally" by Turkish Cypriot politicians, unions and Turkish officials. In addition, reports that demonstrations supporting the rally took place in Turkey as well, the meetings of the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu with the "People's Justice Council" (HAK) and the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), reports on the current situation of the employees dismissed of the former illegal KTHY, data on the number of voters in occupied Cyprus, and other internal issues are other topics covered by the press today.

    [01] Bagis describes those who held banners against Turkey as "minority impertinent circles"

    Under the title "We will spoil their game", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.11) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU, has evaluated the "Second Communal Existence Rally" held on 2 March in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In statements during an official visit in Lisbon, Bagis warned that the demonstrations held in the occupied areas of Cyprus against Turkey might be used by some countries against Turkey. He reiterated that relations between Turkey and the "TRNC", as he described the breakaway regime, are not similar to relations with any other state. "This is a relation with a motherland and a daughter land", he noted and added that Turkey has always helped the breakaway regime even in times when Turkey itself faced economic problems.

    "Turkey, with its army, its politicians, its businesspeople, its investors always did whatever it could for the well-being of the TRNC", he alleged adding that Turkey will spoil the game of some "minority impertinent circles" in the occupied areas of Cyprus that carry banners which include insolent expressions against Turkey.

    "Turkey and the TRNC are like the nail and flesh. No one can separate us", he claimed and added: "We are saddened by the fact that some minority impertinent circles in the TRNC hold banners against Turkey, against the motherland, hold banners which include insolent words, which are swearing and provocative and incite violence. However, the reality is that in our culture it is not acceptable for a child to say 'ugh' [showing disapproval] to his mother or father, but we will never leave our child to the wolves to eat it. We will not expose it".

    Bagis said they worry that those who held banners against Turkey during the demonstrations in the occupied areas of Cyprus are under the influence of the Greek Cypriot side or some "forces which are involved in obscure affairs in Turkey".


    [02] Eroglu: "We are all TRNC citizens"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (04.03.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu received yesterday a delegation of the People's Justice Council (HAK), headed by its chairman Ozdemir Gul. [Tr. Note: HAK is a Council established by organizations of Turkish settlers living in the occupied areas of Cyprus.]

    Speaking during the meeting, the Turkish Cypriot leader described the relations between Turkey and the "TRNC" as flesh and nail. Stressing that what is important is the unity and solidarity in the "country," Eroglu said that nobody can separate Turkish Cypriots from Turkey. He said that there is no difference between those who are living under the "TRNC" flag and those who are living under the flag of Turkey, adding: "it does not matter when and under what conditions some citizens came to the TRNC, what matters is that all of us are TRNC citizens".

    Referring to problems facing in the "country" and the tension between Turkey and the breakaway regime, Eroglu stressed the need to de-escalate tension. He called on the "government", the opposition parties, democratic organizations, NGO's and trade unions to contribute towards this. Escalation of tension will not help anyone, he said.

    HAK's co-chairman, Ozdemir Gul outlined the objective of establishing HAK.

    He said that even though they were born in Turkey, they have settled in the "TRNC" and they feel that they cannot be separated from the Turkish Cypriots just like flesh and nails. Ozdemir called on the Turkish Cypriot leader to exert every effort so that the tension in the occupation area is reduced.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (03.03.11, online) reports that Eroglu received yesterday a delegation of the "Fighters" Associations which is in organizing the 2nd International TMT Symposium. Welcoming the delegation headed by the chairman of the Cyprus Turkish "Fighters'" Association Vural Turkmen, Eroglu underlined "the importance of knowing the role played by the Turkish Resistance Organization in the struggle for existence waged by the Turks of Cyprus".

    [03] Rauf Denktas on the March 2 rally

    Under the front page title "He expressed his regret for not participating in the rally", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (04.03.11) reports on statements by the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas who expressed regret for not participating in the March 2 rally.

    In his statements yesterday while visiting the "Turkish Cypriot Cultural Association", the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas referred to the rally and said that it was successful since the voice of the Turkish Cypriots was heard abroad. Praising his wife's participation in the rally, Denktas said: "If I knew that it would pass uneventfully, I would have also participated".

    Denktas added that the rally was successful since it was proved once more that no one will be permitted to harm the relations of Turkish Cypriots with "motherland" Turkey. He also said that Greek Cypriots' hopes regarding the rally were not realized.

    Saying that he has been informed that the National Guard of the Greek Cypriots is distributing arms to people, Denktas stressed the need for the issue to end and said that this is an armament campaign of civilians.

    [04] Demonstrations supporting the recent rally of the Turkish Cypriots were held in Turkey; Sener Levent: The rally was a feast of obedience

    Under the title "Occupier Turkey get out of Cyprus", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (04.03.11) reports that demonstrations expressing support to the "Second Communal Existence Rally" held on 2 March in the occupied areas of Cyprus were organized in various Turkish cities on Wednesday. The demonstrations were held in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Antalya, and they were organized by Turkish Cypriot students in Turkey and some Turkish political parties.

    The paper notes that a banner with the slogan "Occupier Turkey get out of Cyprus" was carried during the demonstration in Istanbul, but the police did not seize it, like the "police" of the breakaway regime did in the case of the banners carried by the members of the Jasmine Movement.

    Moreover, commenting on the rally held in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 2 March, Sener Levent, Afrika's editor-in-chief, points out that everybody in the occupied areas of Cyprus, including the nationalists, the chauvinists and Rauf Denktas, are satisfied with the rally. Under the title "It was a feast of obedience, not an uprising", Levent recalls that after the first rally Prime Minister Erdogan stated that no flags of Turkey were carried in the rally. Now, notes Levent, the "provocateurs" were isolated, the banners against Turkey were prevented from appearing in the square and Turkish flags were carried to the rally.

    Levent refers to the flags of the Republic of Cyprus seized by the "police" when the members of the Jasmine Movement attempted to carry them to the rally. He notes that after the rally, he asked the "police" to return him these flags, but they answered that they could not "for the time being". Levent points out that the flag of the Republic of Cyprus is a flag of an EU-member state, that he is a citizen of this state and that he was attacked because he was carrying this flag. He asks the EU officials whether they have something to say about this and recalls that "this place here is not Turkey, it is Cyprus".


    [05] Elcil: Turkey, a guarantor country of the Republic of Cyprus, cannot tolerate its citizens and their flag

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (04.03.11) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) described the 2nd rally as people's movement that aims to protest against Turkey's policies of colonization in Cyprus. He also said that the rally for "Communal existence" was held in order to show that the Turkish Cypriots will not tolerate imposed measures, to remind that the Turkish Cypriots' political will should be respected and that they want to be freed, from the chains. The rally was not held to please Turkey.

    Noting that after the rally of 28 January there were efforts to suppress the people's movement and to interfere with the placards that the protesters held during the rally, Elcil said that Turkey, which is on the island as a guarantor country of the Republic of Cyprus, cannot even tolerate the citizens and the flag of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Elcil also said: "It should be known that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus which is under occupation and Turkey is in Cyprus because of this. With the rallies, the Turkish Cypriots demonstrate that they do not accept Turkey's policies of assimilation, integration and colonization that it (Turkey) implements on our island."

    [06] Turk-Sen warns the so-called government

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.03.11) reports on statements of Arsanli Bicakli, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions' Federation (Turk-Sen), evaluating yesterday's rally. In his statements, Bicakli stressed that if the "government" does not stop its current attitude by March 25, demonstrations will begin which "will make the government understand". He added that they are determined to continue the "existence struggle" until they have a result. As Bicakli said, for some time now, since January 11, actions and demonstrations are taking place in every sector in occupied Cyprus but the "government" did not get the message. As he noted, unfortunately, the "government" did not even get the message from the two mass rallies organised on January 28 with 40 thousand people, and on March 2 with 70-80 thousand people, adding that this shows that the "government" does not want to get the message.

    Referring to the decision of the "Trade Union Platform" to set a new dead line to the so-called government, until March 25, Bicakli noted that today he will meet with the various political parties and NGOs that support the "Platform" in order to draw a new road map.

    [07] The number of the "voters" doubled in 29 years

    Under the title "Enough is enough", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.03.11) reports that the issue of "citizenship" of the breakaway regime was discussed yesterday during the meeting of the "assembly".

    Abbas Sinay, self-styled MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), expressed the view that the participants in the "Second Communal Existence Rally" protested about the population more than anything else and accused the self-styled government of distributing "citizenship" of the regime haphazardly. Sinay said the regime should stop granting the "citizenship" except in case of a marriage.

    Sinay argued that a great increase is observed in the number of the "voters" after the referendum held in Cyprus in 2004. Sinay noted that the number of the "voters" almost doubled in the occupied areas of the island within the 29-year period from 1976 until 2005. Sinay said the number of "voters" increased from 75.824 in the "parliamentary elections" in 1976 to 147.249 in the "parliamentary elections" in 2005.

    According to the figures given by Sinay, the number of the "voters" in the "parliamentary elections" was 95.124 in 1985, 108.622 in 1993, 122.547 in 1998, 141.596 in 2003, and 147.249 in 2005. Moreover, 143.639 persons voted in the occupied areas of Cyprus during the referendum in 2004. Sinay expressed his worry that if the "government" continues to grant "citizenship" in discriminately, the legitimacy of the persons of Turkish origin who became "citizens" of the regime will become an issue of debate.

    Responding to Sinay, Ilkay kamil, self-styled minister of internal affairs and local administrations, said they discussed the issue before at the "assembly" and added that the "government" is still working on this issue. He admitted that some amendments should be made to the "law", but wondered why the CTP did not make these amendments when it was "in power".


    [08] Professor claims that the EU and the USA want to get rid of Turkey from Cyprus in order to get the oil

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (04.03.11) Prof. Dr Halacoglu, speaking at a conference entitled "The latest developments in the Middle East and Caucasus" in Ataturk University said interalia that that Cyprus has always been an important strategic place, adding that now it has also become an important financial centre. Dr Halacoglu, who is also director of the strategic and research centre of Gazi University, referred to the natural gas resources detected in the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus and claimed that the placards used in both rallies in the occupied areas are not a coincidence. He noted that a campaign against Turkey, which has been financed by some circles, has started. According to Halacoglu, this campaign aims to remove Turkey from Cyprus, so that they [the Turkish Cypriots] will be able to exploit the reservoir of the natural gas resources.

    [09] Dismissed employees of the former illegal KTHY work in the free territories of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (04.03.11) in its front-page refers to the employees dismissed by the former illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY), who, for 135 days now, are unemployed without any salary or an unemployment benefit. The paper notes that these people "have found remedy in south Cyprus", and that 40 of these former "KTHY" employees work as painters in constructions in the free territories of the Republic.

    Speaking to the paper, Buran Atakan, chairman of the union of the workers of the "Turkish Cypriot Airlines" (Hava-Sen), described the situation as a "tragedy" and stated that soon they will begin asking for financial support, food and clothing from people and the civil society. Atakan noted that the unemployed are facing great problem and traumas. He added that some people are in a desperate situation, some even thought of suicide or of committing a crime in order to go to jail, thinking that perhaps in this way, the "state" would look after their families. Atakan noted that for months now, they request a meeting with the "government" but with no response, stating that "they [the so-called government officials] should stop this fascist approach".


    Today's Turkish press reports on Gul's visit to Egypt, the new arrests of 11 persons including 9 journalists with the scope of the Ergenekon case, on Davutoglu's visit to Brussels, as well as other domestic issues.

    [10] Davutoglu holds contacts at Brussels

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (03.03.11) reports that the Turkish Foreign Ministry said yesterday that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will travel to Brussels today for talks with senior EU officials. Davutoglu, as the Chairman of the Committee of Ministers of Council of Europe, will meet CoE Secretary-General Thorbjorn Jagland and EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton at the meeting of "CoE-EU High-Level Dialogue." The meeting will discuss relations between CoE and EU, as well as relations with Europe's neighboring regions and regional issues.

    During his stay in Brussels, Davutoglu will have another meeting with Ashton to exchange views on Turkey's EU accession process and regional developments. Davutoglu is scheduled to have separate meetings with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule, Commissioner for home Affairs Cecilia Malmstrom, and Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of Liberal Group in European Parliament. Davutoglu will also meet Belgium's Deputy Prime Minister & Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere to discuss bilateral relations, Turkey's EU bid and Cyprus, as well as preparations for the UN Conference on Least Developed Countries to take place in Istanbul in May.

    [11] Turkish, Slovenian Prime Ministers sign strategic partnership agreement

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (03.03.11) reports form Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met yesterday with the Prime Minister of Slovenia Borut Pahor. After their meeting Erdogan and Pahor signed a strategic partnership agreement and gave a joint press conference.

    "Slovenia has never left us alone in our relations with the EU, giving real strong support. And I believe it will continue to do so. I am also happy that Slovenia has such a strong prime minister," Erdogan told reporters and added that Pahor's visit to Turkey would boost ties between the two countries. During the meeting Erdogan and Pahor discussed bilateral relations as well as joint efforts to secure peace in the Balkans and exchanged views on recent political developments in the Middle East and in Northern African countries.

    Also speaking at the conference Pahor said that the European Union (EU) has to take into consideration Turkey's regional leadership and said: "Turkey has a crucial regional leadership. Turkey's reforms have been supported by its nation. I believe that Turkey will be one of the most important 15 countries in the world in the next decade? With Turkey's membership, the EU will have great opportunities Slovenia will continue to support Turkey's membership negotiations process."

    [12] Gonul Meets with OIC secretary general

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (03.03.11) reports from Jeddah that the Turkish Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, who is on official visit to Saudi Arabia, paid a visit yesterday to Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) headquartered in Jeddah. At his meeting with Ihsanoglu, Gonul reaffirmed Turkey's support to OIC. Regional issues, such as the uprising in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, as well as Gonul's talks with Saudi Arabian officials, were also discussed.

    For his part, Ihsanoglu voiced support to Turkey's stance and said Libya's people should settle the problem on their own. Ihsanoglu also said that OIC would send experts to an international committee to be established after a UN call to investigate incidents in Libya.

    During his visit in Saudi Arabia, Gonul also met with Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled of Saudi Arabia. Speaking at the meeting, Prince Khaled talked about Turkey's influence in the region, underlining that they wanted to see Turkey as a strategic partner.

    [13] "Italian, Swedish ministers visit Turkey for conference"

    Under the above title Turkish daily Today's Zaman (04.03.11, online) reports that Italian and Swedish foreign ministers, along with ministers, businessmen and intellectuals from various countries, are in Istanbul to participate in a conference on Europe's economic growth on March 4-5. Aspen Institute Italia, Sabanci University s Istanbul Policy Centre, Koc University, the Italian Foreign Ministry and the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen s Association (TUS0AD) organized the conference as part of the Aspen European Dialogue series.

    Turkey s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, Finance Minister Ali Babacan, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini, Italian Finance Minister Giulio Tremonti and Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt are among those who will attend the conference "Europe beyond the EU: the geo-economy of the wider continent."

    Participants will pay particular attention to Europe's "liquid" borders, referring to northern Africa and the Middle East, where the ongoing political and social upheaval has sparked an extraordinarily complex situation for diplomatic engagement in terms of economic relations and migratory flows, especially along Italian coasts. Participants will also discuss the idea of a Marshall Plan for the North African states, as well as the difficulties facing the Middle East peace process. At the centre of the debate lies the issue of energy, from the rising price of oil and the risk of inflation to energy security and Russia's role in the region.

    [14] Journalists detained in new Ergenekon investigation wave

    Under the above title Turkish daily Today's Zaman (04.03.11, online) reports that the Turkish police searched the homes and offices of 11 people yesterday and detained 10 of them as part of an investigation into Ergenekon. The detainees are mostly journalists.

    Police raided the homes of suspects in Ankara and Istanbul, copied the hard disks of their computers and seized notes or books that could serve as evidence in the Ergenekon investigation. The Istanbul 10th High Criminal Court issued a detention warrant for all of the 11 suspects. The raid was ordered by an Istanbul court on query from Zekeriya Oz, the chief prosecutor in the investigation into Ergenekon. Dozens of Ergenekon suspects, including businessmen, journalists and academics, are currently in prison on terror and coup charges.

    Among the suspects whose houses and offices were searched by police yesterday were Professor Yalcin Kucuk, Odatv reporter 0klim Kaleli Bayraktar, Odatv Ankara representative Mumtaz 0dil, Odatv news coordinator Dogan Yurdakul, journalists Muyesser Yildiz, Sait Cakir, Nedim Sener, Ahmet Sik, Aydin Biyikli, Coskun Musluk and former National Intelligence Organization (M0T) member Kasif Kozinoglu. Kozinoglu was reported to be abroad at the time of the search. Of these individuals, Sik, Yurdakul, 0dil, Musluk, Sener, Bayraktar, Biyikli, Yildiz, Cakir and Kucuk were taken into custody.

    Commenting on the police raid, Interior Minister Besir Atalay said police officers were acting on the orders of judicial bodies. Istanbul Bar Association Head Umit Kocasakal, known for his earlier remarks in solidarity with Ergenekon suspects, also criticized the searches in televised remarks yesterday and argued that "a society of fear is being created in Turkey."

    CHP deputies react to searches

    Some deputies of the CHP and members of the Workers Party (0P) described searches  illegal. CHP Ankara deputy Yilmaz Ates visited the house of Muyesser Yildiz in the early morning hours yesterday. He told reporters that the search at Yildiz s house came after he launched a lawsuit against Ergenekon prosecutor Oz. "The first hearing was held on March 1. No one's freedom is guaranteed in Turkey," he complained. CHP parliamentary group Deputy Chairman Akif Hamzacebi also reacted to the searches, and said the police raid targeting journalists is aimed at "silencing" the media in Turkey "at a time when Turkey is heading for elections. They are trying to silence the media. The freedom of press will retract if such raids and detentions continue," he noted.

    [15] "The key to restarting Turkey's EU engine"

    In an analysis in Hurriyet Daily News with the above title, Hugh Pope argues that the diplomatic stalemate in the Cyprus talks is against Turkish national interests.

    The writer writes that "The time has come for Turkey to rebalance its policies toward Europe", underlining that the Turkish attitude of "love us or leave us" is alienating even Turkey's traditional allies in the EU and NATO. Pointing out that the EU market is vital to the Turkish economy, and that the EU-Turkey-Cyprus triangle is interlocked, Pope says that to turn up the steady engine of the EU relationship and accession process means that Turkey has to do something about Cyprus.

    Dismissing EU brokered confidence-building measures as "notoriously hard to organize", Pope suggests that "A much better and more certain plan would be for one or both of the two sides to simply begin unilaterally implementing confidence-building measures that will be part of almost any agreed settlement anyway ? without prejudice to the talks on the eventual political reunification."

    In this context, he puts forward the view that Ankara should be daring since it has far more pressing incentives to act than the Greek Cypriots. "Turkey should open its ports, airports and airspace to Cyprus ? implementing its signed EU obligation from 2005, the Additional Protocol." This, he adds, "would instantly win years' worth of EU negotiating chapters, throwing a lifeline to pro-compromise Greek Cypriots, validating the 'zero-problem' foreign policy and making possible the trade and contacts that will build trust in a future political settlement."

    Moreover, he continues, Turkey "should also hand back the sealed-off beach resort of Varosha to its Greek Cypriot owners ? under an indefinite interim U.N. administration. This would reduce its multi-billion euro judicial liability for occupying someone else's property, invigorate all Cypriots' belief in a settlement and create an excellent way for Turkish Cypriots to find profitable work beyond taking Ankara's handouts. If the Additional Protocol is ratified, Turkish construction firms could bid on the U.N. and other contracts too."

    On the part of the Greek Cypriots, he suggests that they immediately put an end to the policy of blocking Turkey's EU accession chapters, legitimize all Cypriots' trade with EU states and the world through the port of Famagusta, under Turkish Cypriot management but with EU supervision and checks of Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce documents. They should find a way to legitimize international charter flights to the Turkish Cypriots' Tymbou airport, and begin de facto cooperation with Turkish Cypriot administrative bodies, he adds.

    In conclusion Hope writes that "Above all, beyond trading, Turkey and the Greek Cypriots should start to talk and to listen to each other. Turkish officials must find a way to meet and get down to business with Greek Cypriot officials." Only then, he considers, will the sides be able to build trust.

    [16] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 03 March 2011:

    Turkey and north Cyprus/Kurdish Issue

    Ahmet Altan in Taraf ties the recent protest in northern Cyprus with the PKK's decision to terminate the non action process and urges Turkish authorities "to change old style policy" approach. In his article entitled "Kurds and Cyprus," Altan asserts: "In the past, Turkey was accused of being an occupant in Cyprus by the world. Now the Turkish Cypriots are saying the same thing." Urging Turkish authorities "not to look like an Al-Qadhafi in Cyprus," the writer concludes: "The Turkish authorities listen neither to the Kurds nor the Turkish Cypriots. It is imminent that they should engage in a dialogue by listening to their demands and take action accordingly."

    Writing in the Taraf daily, Kurtulus Tayiz refers to an action plan prepared by Abdullah Ocalan which draws a framework for the solution of the Kurdish problem. The report says prison authorities did not allow the document to reach Ocalan's lawyers. Kurtulus Tayiz says the action plan outlines three stages: A permanent ceasefire by the PKK; a parliamentary commission for reconciliation and investigating truths; and a series of legal measures as well as Constitutional amendments." The writer concludes that "even though Ocalan's plan has been kept on the shelf since 2009, it continues to be a significant reference for the Kurdish issue until the problem is completely resolved."

    Mehmet Altan of Star also draws a parallel between the Kurdish issue and the recent anti-Turkey protest in northern Cyprus. In an article entitled "From TRNC to Turkey's Southeast," the writer asserts: "Turkish politics is somehow designed to make progress on the surface and fails to resolve problems on a structural basis. However, Ankara's daily political agenda keeps hiding and postponing Turkey's 'basic and structural agenda.' While we were busy with the situation in Libya, there were alarm bells ringing in north Cyprus to the southeast, including a downfall in the Turkish stock market." He warns that Turkey, which gives advice to everywhere in the world, might need to get a piece of advice as well if it fails to find structural solutions to its own problems.

    Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli blasts Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, leaders Selahattin Demirtas and Gulten Kisanak for leveling accusations against the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP), in response to the recent PKK statement announcing the end of the "ceasefire." He criticizes Demirtas for questioning the AKP's "sincerity" regarding "peace" in the southeast and Kisanak for trying to "legitimize a terrorist group's declaration of war" by claiming that the AKP and Prime Minister Erdogan will be responsible for any killings in the southeast that might take place from now on. He also claims that what the PKK describes as "continuous insurgency" in the southeast is part of a plan to set the scene for riots in the region through provocations to be staged on 8 and 21 March in order to make provinces like Diyarbakir and Hakkari look like Egypt, in this way reducing Turkey's ability to take the initiative internationally.

    Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that the PKK's decision to end the "non-action" process started on 13 August 2010 is based on a "mistaken" plan to fuel tensions in the southeast in the run-up to the general election in June so as to consolidate public support for the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, (BDP), as well as for the Nationalist Action Party, (MHP). Turkone claims that owing to very strong public expectations for stability and peace, any escalation of violence ahead of the general election will serve to strengthen the ruling AKP.

    Press freedom/journalists in solitary confinement

    The papers criticize the decision for the solitary confinement of journalists Mustafa Balbay and Tuncay Ozkan.

    Arab unrest and Turkey's position

    Yeni Akit columnist Necmettin Turinay argues that President Abdullah Gul's visit to Egypt, Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Kuwait, and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Tunisia are all part of an effort to "warn" these countries about the implications of a possible NATO or US intervention in Libya. He asserts that while the visits indicate potential "disagreement" between Turkey and the United States, they do not mean that Ankara has started to be disturbed by the ongoing popular "revolutions" in the Middle East. He says that the visits indicate that Turkey is "deeply worried" about the consequences of the regional unrest. He adds that Turkey is trying to control the course of regional developments in view of what it perceives as US plans to secure oil concessions from Libya or break up this country by encouraging Libyan political players to establish their own governments or use sectarian disagreement in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen as a means of fomenting chaos in these countries.

    Today's Zaman writer Herkul Milas asserts that Turkey should refrain from presenting itself as a model to Muslim countries in a state of transition in the sense that it is "lowering the bar" by so doing. He argues that it is "better to be in the lower ranks of the first league than to be the leader of the second league."

    Today's Zaman columnist Kerim Balci asserts that while it is "obvious" that Turkey's "future foreign policy" will be "more occupied with the Arab world" in the wake of the regional "revolutions," Turkey lacks the "human capital" it needs to be able to "cope with the challenge of dealing with a steadily changing Arab world."

    Architects of the 12 September coup

    Yeni Safak carries an "exclusive" front-page report which asserts that about 1,000 complaints have been filed against the architects of the military takeover on 12 September 1980 since the generals who carried out the coup were stripped of their immunity. According to the report, the office of the chief public prosecutor in Ankara has launched an inquiry into allegations that the 12 September junta kept close tabs on over 1,5 million people. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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