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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-23

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 reiterates Turkish Cypriot side's red lines and urges the UN to undertake a "realistic role"
  • [02] Ozersay says the Turkish Cypriot side has not accepted any limit in the number of the "citizens of the new state"
  • [03] Talat harshly criticizes President Christofias
  • [04] Turkish Minister on Turkey's EU accession process
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot trade unions in Brussels called on Turkey to respect the will of the Turkish Cypriots
  • [06] Reactions against the Turkish Cypriot trade unions' protest in Brussels
  • [07] BKP holds contacts in Brussels
  • [08] Turkish Cypriots protest against the bombing of Libya
  • [09] Eroglu met with members of KTMMOB
  • [10] Breakaway regime distributes plots of land in the occupied areas

  • [11] Turkey wants Libya mission under United Nations umbrella
  • [12] Turkish officials on NATO-led military operation in Libya
  • [13] Bagis on EU funds
  • [14] TUSIAD calls for new constitution
  • [15] New distribution of seats at the Turkish Parliament
  • [16] Highlights


    A statement by Eroglu urging the UN and the EU to take decisions so that President Christofias "comes to the desired point" in the Cyprus talks, statements by Ozersay on the "citizenship", Talat's reply to WikiLeaks' allegations regarding statements made by President Christofias, statements by Turkish Minister of State Caglayan on the Cyprus problem, and the activity held in Brussels by ten Turkish Cypriot trade unions are the main topics in the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers cover also a protest by some Turkish Cypriot organizations against the bombing of Libya, and other internal issues.

    [01] Eroglu reiterates Turkish Cypriot side's red lines and urges the UN to undertake a "realistic role"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.03.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has reiterated the red lines of the Turkish side in the Cyprus negotiations. Addressing the 4th Youth Congress in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Eroglu said yesterday that the continuation of an undiluted bi-zonality, the existence of two "peoples" on the island, the self-administration of the Turkish Cypriot "people", the position that the Turkish Cypriots should have the clear majority of the population and the properties in their own territory, the establishment of a new political partnership, and the active and effective guarantees of Turkey are the red lines of the Turkish side and these red lines could never be abandoned.

    Eroglu argued that the Turkish Cypriots are a "people" who adopts the principle of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk who had said "Peace at home, peace in the world". He added that having this in mind, the Turkish Cypriots want to end the Cyprus problem as soon as possible "on the basis of the existing realities on the island". He claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side exerted efforts in this direction in the Cyprus negotiations and submitted proposals that include "sacrifices" on points where "sacrifices" could be made. Eroglu alleged that giving concessions on their "red lines" would be tantamount to handing over the sovereignty in Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots, becoming second class citizens and endangering the right of the Turkish Cypriots to exist on the island.

    Eroglu said the Greek Cypriot side wants to return to the period before the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and does not want to understand that this is not possible. He said he wanted to believe that President Christofias "will come to reason" and accept a time limit and intensive talks so that a solution is reached before the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus. He argued that it would be wrong to expect that President Christofias will come to this point without any reason. Eroglu alleged that the United Nations should undertake a "realistic role" and the European Union should take decisions which will be correcting its "mistakes" so that President Christofias comes "to the desired point".


    [02] Ozersay says the Turkish Cypriot side has not accepted any limit in the number of the "citizens of the new state"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.03.11) reports that Kudret Ozersay, advisor of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, has said the Turkish Cypriot side has not accepted any limit in the number of the "citizens of the new state". In statements yesterday, Ozersay alleged that entering into a bargaining on this issue would be contrary to the human rights. He claimed that this approach should be avoided, because it will make non-functional the structure, which will be established after the solution. Ozersay said the criteria regarding the citizenship are discussed in the negotiations.

    Responding to a question, Ozersay said the Turkish experts on the property issue who had met with UN experts in Washington returned to the island and they are "very satisfied" from their contacts.

    The representatives of the two leaders held yesterday a two-hour meeting within the framework of the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. The issue of the citizenship and the international agreements made by the sides before the solution were discussed during this meeting.


    [03] Talat harshly criticizes President Christofias

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (23.03.11) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has harshly criticized President Christofias, who according to the allegations of WikiLeaks said that Talat started his political life as Cypriot, then became Turkish Cypriot and now he is a Turk. In statements yesterday, Talat alleged that he had exerted efforts for a solution in which the "two peoples" will be equal and live in harmony. He claimed that it is President Christofias the one that should first learn being a Cypriot. Talat alleged that President Christofias should not aim at a solution in which the interests of the Greek Cypriot side will prevail.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (23.03.11), in statements to Kibris TV, Talat criticized the statement allegedly made by President Christofias that "Talat became a leader by kissing Ankara's hand and distanced himself from being a Cypriot". Talat alleged that President Christofias is responsible for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem and that if he had said "yes" to the Annan Plan, the Cyprus problem would end. "I have always been a Turkish Cypriot", said Talat noting that he never was only Cypriot or only Turk.

    Talat noted that if they had started the negotiations with President Christofias on the basis of the Annan Plan, the Cyprus problem would have been solved within 5-6 months. He said he had repeatedly warned President Christofias that if the problem was not solved during his term of duty, he could not win the "elections" and things would become more difficult. According to Talat, President Christofias replied to him that Ankara will help him to win the "elections" because it wants solution in Cyprus.

    Talat said President Christofias considers the federation as a concession given by the Greek Cypriot side and alleged that what President Christofias actually wants is a unitary state and the Turkish Cypriots to become a "patch" in this state. He claimed that because the Turkish Cypriot side does not accept this, President Christofias is forced to discuss the bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, which is accepted by the UN.

    Talat described as "wrong" the "unilateral explorations for oil by the Greek Cypriot side" in a period when negotiations on the Cyprus problem are held. He alleged that making agreements with some countries on this issue is also wrong. Talat claimed the following: "However, south Cyprus is now a member of the EU. Its unilateral membership should have been prevented in time. Because it has not been prevented, now they act with the power of the EU and launch oil explorations in their own exclusive economic zone".

    Asked whether Turkey could send its fleet to stop these oil explorations, Talat said perhaps Ankara could prevent them, "but things are not so easy now, because the EU is behind Christofias and it is not known whether Turkey will undertake such initiative" without taking into consideration its relations with the EU.

    Replying to a question on whether he is considering of returning to the leadership of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) after Ferdi Sabit Soyer's statement that he will not be a candidate for the post, Talat said he was not considering of returning to the party and that he will continue to help his "people" in the internal and foreign policy.


    [04] Turkish Minister on Turkey's EU accession process

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 22.03.11), during a meeting with Prince Guillaume, the Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg who is visiting Ankara, Turkey's Minister of State Zafer Caglayan, alleged that the Greek Cypriot side has failed to meet the positive steps taken by Turkey towards the settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to Turkey's EU accession process, Caglayan said: "We are the only country to have signed a customs union agreement with the EU, yet we are still subjected to follow a large number of criteria". He added that most of Ankara's 33 negotiating chapters were being unjustly blocked by Cyprus, France and Germany.

    Caglayan alleged that this was unfair, particularly as Cyprus continued to adopt an "intransigent stance" in the Cyprus talks. He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side continued to be awarded by the international community despite failing to meet the positive steps taken towards a settlement by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    [05] Turkish Cypriot trade unions in Brussels called on Turkey to respect the will of the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (23.03.11) reports that representatives of ten Turkish Cypriot trade unions, members of the Trade Unions' Platform, held an activity yesterday in front of the European Parliament in Brussels. Noting that the trade unions succeeded in carrying the voice of the Turkish Cypriots from Inonu Square to Brussels, the paper reports that the participants in the activity opened banners with slogans such as "Turkey, respect the will of the Turkish Cypriots", "Solution now: Independent, united, federal Cyprus" and "EU, act now against the Turkish Cypriot extinction".

    An announcement distributed by the participants in the activity noted that Turkey follows assimilation policies in the occupied part of Cyprus, acts having a "conquering mentality" and usurps the will of the Turkish Cypriots by transferring population from Anatolia to the occupied part of the island.

    Noting that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government intensified its efforts for spreading Sunni Islam in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the demonstrators pointed out that 186 mosques and only 162 schools exist there. The demonstrators said Turkey exerts pressures for the construction of more mosques and for including the teaching of Koran in the Turkish Cypriot educational system.

    In statements during the protest, Ahmet Kaptan, chairman of the "Civil" Servants' Trade Union (KTAMS), recalled that the Turkish government said that "Libya belongs to the Libyans" and "Egypt belongs to the Egyptians", but it does not respect the will of the Turkish Cypriots. He said they never had any problem with the Turkish people, but the AKP government oppresses the Turkish Cypriots.

    The representatives of the trade unions criticized the EU for not keeping the promises it has given to the Turkish Cypriots. They accused the Greek Cypriot side of not wanting to share the administration of the island with the Turkish Cypriots.

    Meanwhile, a joint statement issued by the trade unions said the right of using the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled areas and the Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas of the island was abolished after 1974. The statement added that the occupied Greek Cypriot properties in the northern part of the island have been distributed to the Turkish Cypriots and to the population carried from Turkey after 1974 and a "cruel system of looting" was established. The statement noted that the Turkish Cypriots have been put into a difficult situation due to these practices which are contrary to the international law.


    [06] Reactions against the Turkish Cypriot trade unions' protest in Brussels

    Under the front page title "Mistake after mistake by some trade unions", Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (23.03.11) reports on the reactions expressed by TMT Association and KAMU-SEN over the protest organized yesterday in Brussels in front of the EP's building by several trade union representatives.

    According to the paper, the "TMT Association" issued a written statement yesterday and expressed criticism about the protest in Brussels pointing out that the Trade Unions' Platform has digressed from the aim of its establishment. The "association" described the protest organized in Brussels as illegal and immoral and called on the "government" to immediately take "legal" measures against this kind of acts.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (23.03.11) under the title "Brussels crisis within the trade unions", reports that Mehmet Ozkardas, chairman of KAMU-SEN trade union, in a written statement issued yesterday, expressed criticism over the organization of the protest in Brussels against Turkey and said that Turkish Cypriots do not want to become a "patch" of the Greek Cypriots or a province of Turkey. He noted that holding a protest in Brussels was not included in the agenda of the Trade Unions' Platform.


    [07] BKP holds contacts in Brussels

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (23.03.11) reports that the general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Izzet Izcan and BKP's education secretary Salih Rustu Sonustun met yesterday in the European Parliament with the President of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left European Parliamentary Group, Lothar Bisky.

    Izcan informed Bisky on the latest developments in Cyprus and the demands of the Turkish Cypriots who were protesting in the "Communal Existence Rally". He also accused Ankara's government of trying to change the structure of the population in occupied Cyprus by transferring people from Anatolia and asked the European Parliament to undertake initiatives in order to prevent the extinction of Turkish Cypriots and hold a census which to be monitored by international observers. Moreover, he added that a condition for an early federal solution is Turkey to withdraw its troops from the island as a good will gesture.

    [08] Turkish Cypriots protest against the bombing of Libya

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (23.03.11) reports that a protest march took place yesterday in occupied Lefkosia against the "western military intervention in Libya". Using slogans such as "UN, EU and USA take your hands off Libya", "Obama, Sarkozy, Berlusconi, Cameron terrorists," and "British bases out [of Cyprus]" various organizations and political parties walked towards the British High Commission. Baraka Cultural Centre, Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), New Cyprus Party (YKP), Barikat Movement, International Solidarity Movement and Jasmine Movement were among the organizations participating in the protest.

    Protesters repeated that they do not support the Gaddafi regime nor the military intervention and reiterated that the purpose of the US Defence Minister is to divide Libya, like Cyprus. The paper also publishes photographs with pictures of the leaders of the countries aiding in Libya's flight moratorium being burned by protesters.

    [09] Eroglu met with members of KTMMOB

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (23.03.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with members of the "Union of Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects" (KTMMOB), who conveyed to the Turkish Cypriot leader their worries about the issues related to the construction of a complex adjacent to a mosque in occupied Lefkosia, and the plans of building skyscrapers in occupied Keryneia.

    In his statements during the meeting, Eroglu stressed the need for the establishment of dialogue between the "government" and the "local authorities", so that the existing problems are reduced.

    Regarding the construction of skyscrapers in occupied Keryneia, Omer Cagnan, chairman of KTMMOB stated that they were informed that 30 applications have been made until now for skyscrapers' construction license and added that KTMMOB does not oppose to the construction of multiple buildings. However, he stressed the need for these buildings to be in harmony to the city planning.

    [10] Breakaway regime distributes plots of land in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.03.11) reports that 22 persons were given rural plots of land yesterday in a ceremony at occupied Agia Eirini village. Various "officials" of the breakaway regime participated in the event. Ilkay Kamil, the so-called minister of interior and local administration, stated that land distribution will continue and that they will create opportunities for young people in occupied Kerynia area who were not lucky in the Dikomo and Ag. Eirini draws.


    Main issues in today's Turkish newspapers are the recent developments concerning the military operation in Libya, Turkey's "yes" to the intervention of NATO in the country within the scope of the resolution of the United Nations, as well as statements by Turkish officials on the issue. In addition, statements by TUSIAD executive board director on the preparation of a new constitution in Turkey, statements by Turkish President Gul that Turkey needs a new constitution, reports that Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and British Foreign Office will co-host a conference in Istanbul, protests by activists against nuclear station in Akkuyu, and other internal issues are also covered by the press.

    [11] Turkey wants Libya mission under United Nations umbrella

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.03.11) with the above title reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdohan has made it clear that Turkey will not send combat forces to fight Libyans and expressed his opposition to an ongoing military campaign by Western powers, saying foreign intervention in Libya should solely be a humanitarian one and under the UN umbrella.

    "Turkey will never be a country pointing guns at Libyans," Erdogan told a meeting of his Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Parliament on Tuesday. "The umbrella for a solely humanitarian operation in Libya should be the United Nations," he also said. "The operation should be run on legitimate grounds".

    Turkey is complaining that air strikes on forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi by France, the United States and Britain, have not complied with appropriate international procedures. Turkish officials are singling out French President Nicolas in their criticism, saying that a summit of 22 countries, which he hosted in Paris on Saturday, went outside the UN framework. Air strikes on Gaddafi forces began within hours of the Paris summit, which excluded Turkey and was attended by the US and members of the European Union and Arab League.

    "Of course, we are questioning and criticizing the Paris summit," Erdogan told his deputies. In earlier remarks, he directly criticized Sarkozy, accusing him of using the military campaign in Libya to boost his popularity at home ahead of elections slated for 2012, at a time when opinion polls show a decline in support for him. "Nobody told him to undertake such a role. He took this step on his own," Erdogan said of the Paris summit when speaking to a group of journalists aboard a plane while returning to Turkey from a visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday. "As far as we know, Sarkozy does not want NATO to step in. He wants the European Union to be in charge of the operation. He wants Turkey and the US out of the picture," said Erdogan.

    During a telephone conversation late on Monday, US President Barack Obama and Erdogan reaffirmed their "full support" for the implementation of the UN resolutions 1970 and 1973.

    [12] Turkish officials on NATO-led military operation in Libya

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.11), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu , speaking at a joint press conference with his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmad bin Muhammad Al Khalifa in Ankara, said: "Turkey supports efforts to sign a ceasefire in Libya and implementation of United Nations Security Council resolutions".

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.03.11) reports that Davutoglu will speak with opposition parties to brief their leaders about the situation in Libya and the government's policy.

    The government also plans a special session in Parliament to discuss the issue. "We will be visiting parties represented in Parliament and those that won at least 1% of the votes [in the last election]," Davutoglu told reporters. Efforts to finalize appointments for the meetings are still under way, he also said. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), however, rejected the offer, refusing to give an appointment to Davutoglu.

    Main opposition Republican People s Party (CHP) leader Kemal K1l1cdaroglu, who had earlier announced backing for the government s stance, said on Tuesday that Western attacks on Libya should end because they have led to civilian deaths and urged the government to oppose any development that would result in the occupation of Libya and prevent NATO involvement in the ongoing air strikes on Libya.

    He said his party was supportive of the government's calls for the withdrawal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and for the advent of democracy in Libya, and he also backed the government s opposition to  imperial countries sharing Libya s wealth. K1l1cdaroglu attacked the government, saying it failed to play an effective role in the crisis.  We were not invited to the Paris summit, we were ignored. The government says Turkey is a game setter in the region. This time it was not even a background actor in this crisis," he said at a meeting of his party.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.11) reports that Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, speaking in a meeting at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara, said that "a European leader began his election campaign by organizing a meeting that led to a process of air strikes against Libya. He has acted before a NATO decision and his act was based on his subjective evaluation of a United Nations resolution". Bagis' comments came after French President Nicolas Sarkozy led efforts for air strikes against Libya in the last few days.

    [13] Bagis on EU funds

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.11), speaking in a meeting at the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) in Ankara, Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis said that Turkey was one of the foremost countries that benefitted most from EU funds.

    In 2013, Turkey will receive around one billion euros from the EU. If the funds are used wisely, Turkey will fulfil many of its needs, Bagis said.

    He also said that Turkey's democracy, human rights, and freedom of expression have reached a more contemporary point during its EU process, adding: "When we look at individuals demonstrating in streets in different parts of the world, we notice that they want to be like Turkey".

    The EU is a peace project. It will become a global project once Turkey becomes a full member of the union, Bagis said. In regard to Turkey's EU process, Egemen Bagis said that Turkey would never give up aspirations for EU membership.

    He concluded saying "we carry the responsibility of three billion Muslims in the world, Turkey will continue to help all the relevant (Muslim) countries in developing their hopes".

    [14] TUSIAD calls for new constitution

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.11), Chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) Umit Boyner, speaking at the opening of TUSIAD High Advisory Council meeting, said on Tuesday that new constitution should be topic item of agenda after general elections. She added that TUSIAD carried the flag of open economy, rule of law, demilitarization and democratization cause particularly in the last 25 years although the conditions were not available.

    "EU perspective became an important reference in this struggle in the past 10 years", she said.

    Noting that problems in Europe and crisis in Turkey-EU relations weakened excitement of public towards this project, Boyner said: "We believe that the government should push ways of dialogue with the EU and should not prefer a disputant statement. Even though negative stances of some EU countries lead to an unacceptable situation, we should try methods to ensure progress."

    Boyner said Turkey would be prosperous, strong and esteemed only within a democratic system and noted that EU process presented a framework to progress on this path.

    Finally, Boyner said: "We expect the parliament that would be formed after the elections in June to make the new constitution. Turkey has democratic deficit. For a long time, we have been stating that a new constitution should be made which focuses on individual, does not include privileges, and is based on pluralist and parliamentary system."

    [15] New distribution of seats at the Turkish Parliament

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.03.11), a member of parliament from the ruling Justice and development Party (AKP) passed away on Tuesday. After his demise, the number of AKP deputies dropped to 333, while the number of vacant seats at the parliament rose to 10.

    The Republican People's Party (CHP) has 101 seats, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) has 72, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) has 20, the Democratic Left Party (DSP) has 6, the Turkey Party (TP) has 1 and 7 deputies are independent.

    [16] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 22 March 2011:

    a) Odyssey Dawn

    In an article entitled "We Have Seen This Film Before", Yeni Safak columnist Akif Emre accuses the Western military coalition against Muammar Al-Qadhafi of "treating the whole world like a fool" in expecting it to believe "in the face of the Iraq experience, the Afghan trauma, and the Pakistani ordeal" that the intervention in Libya has humanitarian objectives only. He asserts that just as the ongoing bombardment of Libya will not serve to legitimize Al-Qadhafi, so Al-Qadhafi's presence cannot legitimize the "hypocritical" Western coalition's "freedom" bombs. He also argues that Turkey's "much exaggerated power" and political finesse are being put to the test in Libya, adding that caught between its NATO membership, its close relations with the EU, and its strategic partnership with the United States on the one hand and its regional commitments on the other, Ankara faces the question of whether to take the "politically correct" but "morally wrong" course of action regarding Libya.

    In an article entitled "Do You Think We are Fools?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul argues that the Western military intervention in Libya is not a humanitarian operation but a "disgusting" war waged in the name of apportioning Libya's natural resources. He claims that Al-Qadhafi's political ambitions have provided the West with a new "opportunity" to organize a war of "plunder" with the same "greed" that motivated the earlier military interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. He also argues that the UN resolution cannot provide a legitimate basis for the Western military campaign because similar resolutions were used earlier to justify the "murders" committed in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Under the banner headline "Occupying Muslim Lands, Watching Israel From the Sidelines," Yeni Akit carries a front-page report which blasts the United States and its allies for watching Israeli acts of "terrorism" from the sidelines in the face of some 32 UN resolutions ordering sanctions against Israel while "attacking Libya on the grounds that it violated the UN resolution adopted last week."

    In an article entitled "Welcoming Al-Qadhafi", Yeni Akit columnist Serdar Arseven accuses the Arab League of setting the scene for the West's "dirty" military campaign against Al-Qadhafi and the ongoing "massacre of Muslims" in Libya in calling for the imposition of a no-fly zone over Libya. He also urges Prime Minister Erdogan to take advantage of his "prestige" in the Arab world to broker "an agreement between Benghazi and Tripoli," asserting that if Turkey grants asylum to Al-Qadhafi, "Libyan Muslims" can resist Western "occupation" successfully because they will not have to fight on two fronts then.

    In an article entitled "What is the West Trying To Do in Libya?", Yeni Akit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the countries in the military coalition against Al-Qadhafi are dumping some of their outdated munitions into Libyan deserts and that they will be billing the UN for these weapons along with other costs. He goes on to assert that Al-Qadhafi and his forces should be removed from the picture as soon as possible so that the Libyan people can build their own future. He also reiterates his call for the establishment of an Islamic peace force consisting of OIC, Arab League, and African Union members.

    Under the headline "World divided over Libya," Zaman runs a front-page report which asserts that civilian fatalities in the Western military campaign in Libya have created a rift among the members of the military coalition as well as causing international opinion to start turning against the intervention.

    In an article entitled "Sarkozy's Show, Turkey's Concern", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici accuses French President Nicolas Sarkozy of "compromising the legitimacy" of the no-fly zone operation in Libya by treating military action as a means of putting on a political show aimed at consolidating his chances of winning the presidential elections. Commenting on "the French-led coalition's real strategic mistake," he claims that the Western alliance appears to have been misled by "Sarkozy's antipathy" toward Ankara into leaving Turkey out in the cold regardless of the fact that Turkey enjoys very high credibility both in the Arab street and in Arab capitals. He also warns that while Al-Qadhafi and Putin's characterization of the intervention in Libya as a "crusade" may fail to be convincing or effective, it will not be possible to persuade anybody in the Middle East that the intervention does not have hostile objectives if Prime Minister Erdogan, "the most popular regional leader," refers to the Western operation as an occupation campaign.

    In an article entitled "Libya's Tragedy, Sarkozy's Hypocrisy", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay asserts that the most beneficial result of the Western military operation in Libya would be if Al-Qadhafi were removed from power without further bloodshed while its worst consequence would be if Sarkozy managed to "save his collapsing political career."

    In an article entitled "Is Al-Qadhafi One of us?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that supporting Al-Qadhafi against the military intervention in Libya is not any different from saying that dictators have a right to massacre their own people. He calls on those undertaking to defend Al-Qadhafi "directly or indirectly" not to do so in the name of Muslim solidarity against the West because sacred concepts or values could not be legitimately used as a means of hiding Al-Qadhafi's crimes against his people. He also asserts that the way Al-Qadhafi is ejected from power will convey a cautionary message to all "wannabe dictators."

    In an article entitled "Turkey Zigzags on Libyan Crisis", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal criticizes the Erdogan government for what she describes as its erratic policy on the situation in Libya exemplified by contradictory statements objecting to international military action against Al-Qadhafi or announcing that the latest UN resolution on Libya is "binding on all countries."

    In an article entitled "The Might of Oil", Today's Zaman columnist Ergun Babahan links the "bitter taste in the Arab street" created by the intervention in Libya to the West's "reluctance or inability [...] to speak out against Saudi Arabia, which is in a sense occupying Bahrain to suppress democratic demands and is still oppressing its own people" as well as to the Arab memory of how France "watched in cold blood as Bosnians were massacred for years."

    In an article entitled "Libya: Will the Axis Shifts in North Africa Continue?", Today's Zaman columnist Hasan Kanbolat asserts that Al-Qadhafi is trying to "rectify his image - recently recast as a 'dictator' - as the 'people's leader'" by starting to "play the victim" in response to the Western military intervention in his country and representing the operation as "imperialism's or colonialist powers' new attack against Africa [...]"

    Under the headline "Dishonest West," Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which slams "Western powers" for "waiting less than 24 hours" before taking military action against "oil-rich Libya" although "they watched the genocide campaigns in Bosnia and the Gaza Strip from the sidelines for years."

    In an article entitled "What Turkey Needs To Do While Libya is Being Bombed", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan asserts that Operation Odyssey Dawn is intended to establish a "hegemonic" order in North Africa similar to the one in the Middle East, adding that the United States and its allies are trying both to seize control of the regional oil reserves and to implement the "failed" Broader Middle East Project using a different method. He also calls on Ankara to use all available diplomatic means to launch a "peace initiative" and establish a "line of resistance" representing the global "conscience" against the intervention in Libya.

    In an article entitled "Libya and a New Concept of Citizenship", Bugun columnist Dogu Ergil argues that the Western intervention in Libya marks the creation of a "global citizenship" concept, which means that it is the joint responsibility of all world states to meet public demands for freedom, security, education, employment, welfare, and justice and that administrations that refrain from fulfilling these demands based on the "excuse" of national sovereignty or national security will not treated as legitimate from now on. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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