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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-06-09

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 met Downer; Ozersay's contacts in New York
  • [02] Ozgurgun says that there might be a surprise on 7 July in Geneva
  • [03] Kucuk assessed his self-styled government first year in office; Reference to the Cyprus problem
  • [04] Kilicdaroglu criticizes AKP's Cyprus policy
  • [05] "Tatar: We are at the point of developing our economy"
  • [06] Reactions after the illegal DAU's decision continue
  • [07] Elcil accuses UBP of racism due to its decision regarding Turkish Cypriots studying in the free area of Cyprus
  • [08] The breakaway regime was represented at a PACE meeting in Oslo
  • [09] Charter flights to begin between Iran and occupied Cyprus
  • [10] More than two thousand Turkish citizens living in occupied Cyprus travelled to Turkey to cast their vote
  • [11] Lefke football club to discuss becoming a member of CFA

  • [12] Erdogan introduced new cabinet structure
  • [13] Nabucco partners call on Baku to join project 'without delay'; Yildiz said Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey
  • [14] Izmir will reportedly be NATO's land forces base
  • [15] Kurdish candidate could not become MP over PKK conviction
  • [16] The breakaway regime will participate in painting exhibition in Milan
  • [17] Highlights


    The meetings of Alexander Downer with Dervis Eroglu and President Christofias within the framework of the preparations for the tripartite summit in July, statements by Ozgurgun regarding the possibility of a surprise at the tripartite summit in July, a press conference by Irsen Kucuk who assessed his "government's" first year in office, and other internal matters are the main topics in the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    The newspapers refer also to statements made by Kemal Kilicdaroglu on the Cyprus problem, reactions against the sale of illegal DAU's kindergarten, primary school and college to a Turkish college, criticism by KTOS against the regime for its decision of not recognizing the GCE, IGECSE and A-level exams of Turkish Cypriot students studying in the government controlled area of Cyprus, and the elections in Turkey.

    [01] Eroglu met Downer; Ozersay's contacts in New York

    Under the title "Preparation for the summit", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.06.11) reports that UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy, Alexander Downer met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and afterwards with President Christofias. The paper writes that the main issue of the discussion was the tripartite summit to be held in Geneva on 7 July.

    No statements were made after Downer's meeting with Eroglu.

    Meanwhile, according to illegal Bayrak television (08.09.11, online), Eroglu's special representative, Kudret Ozersay is continuing his contacts in the United States. Ozersay met with the UN permanent representatives of the US, France and the People's Republic of China within the framework of his latest contacts.

    According to Bayrak, Ozersay's contacts are related to the preparation for the Geneva summit. A meeting of Ozersay with British officials from the UN Security Council in New York was scheduled for yesterday.

    "British representatives are known for their determining roles over the Cyprus debates at the Security Council", points out Bayrak, noting that earlier Ozersay held discussions with the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez Taranco and the UN Chief of Mission and the Secretary-General's Special Representative to Cyprus Lisa Buttenheim.

    Referring to the agenda of Ozersay's contacts, Bayrak notes that Eroglu's advisor discussed the political uncertainty which allegedly exists in the government-controlled area of Cyprus and its possible negative impacts over the Cyprus negotiations process, the content and procedure of the tripartite Cyprus summit in Geneva, as well as the Turkish Cypriot side's views on the chapters of the Cyprus talks.

    Ozersay is expected to move on to Washington after the completion of his contacts in New York.


    [02] Ozgurgun says that there might be a surprise on 7 July in Geneva

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (09.06.11) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, has argued that a surprise might come out from the tripartite summit to be held on 7 July in Geneva between the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.

    In statements to Haberdar, Ozgurgun said that the candidacy of Ban Ki-moon for being reelected to the post of the UN Secretary-General could cause a surprise in the Cyprus problem. This surprise, he claimed, could be in the form of exerting pressure for an agreement in Cyprus. He argued that this surprise could accelerate the Cyprus negotiations.

    Ozrgugun said that there are difficulties in the ongoing negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. He alleged that the elections in the Republic of Cyprus and Cyprus' EU term presidency would constitute an obstacle for finding a solution within the next 1-2 years. "Nothing positive is seen for Cyprus in the near future", he claimed.

    Responding to a question, Ozgurgun reiterated the allegation that Cyprus' accession to the EU before the solution of the Cyprus problem was wrong and claimed that the Europeans should say to Cyprus that it should solve its political problem before taking over the EU term presidency.


    [03] Kucuk assessed his self-styled government first year in office; Reference to the Cyprus problem

    According to illegal Bayrak television (08.06.11, on line), self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk held a press conference yesterday assessing his "government's" first year in office. Kucuk's self-styled government was established after the "election" of Dervis Eroglu to the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community in April 2010.

    Commenting on the economic situation in the occupied area of Cyprus, Kucuk said the austerity package currently being implemented by his "government" was aimed at ensuring the steady development of the economy. Noting that the "government" was well aware of the problems in the occupied part of Cyprus, he reassured the public that they will solve these problems with courage and determination. Kucuk said that the economic figures for the first half of 2011 revealed that this year will be better than last year.

    Referring to his "government's" foreign policy, Kucuk said they pursued a two-fold policy on foreign affairs. The first, he added, aimed to further develop the "TRNC's", breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus, international relations and its representation in the international arena.

    "We aim to defend the rights and interests of our people by explaining our policies on the Cyprus issue to third parties or countries and to work towards removing the international isolations imposed on the TRNC", he said.

    He noted that the second leg of his "government's" policy included the Turkish Cypriot side's participation in the UN-led peace talks and making the Turkish Cypriot side's positions and views known to the international community via the "TRNC's" "representation offices".

    He added: "Efforts are continuing together with motherland Turkey towards gaining our rightful place within the international community."

    Kucuk said that in line with this aim, the relations of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU and its member countries were also intensified.

    He said: "Cyprus is our national cause. Our Cyprus policy is based on the UN parameters which envisage the formation of a new bi-communal, bi-zonal partnership Republic on the basis of political equality and two founding states, which will eventually become part of the EU."

    He reiterated the Turkish view that the continuation of Turkey's active and effective guarantees is essential when a "new partnership" is formed. He also underlined the importance of the "new partnership" to be registered as primary EU law.

    Meanwhile, referring to Kucuk's press conference, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (09.06.11) reports that Kucuk was asked to comment on the fact that the Cyprus problem is not discussed during the election campaign for the 12 June parliamentary elections in Turkey. Kucuk replied that this is positive and added: "We want them to see us as state. I think that the fact that they do not mix us in their internal politics is positive".

    Moreover, the paper reports that the members of the self-styled cabinet were also present at the press conference. Responding to a question on the criteria which will be taken into consideration for granting the "citizenship" of the regime, Nazim Cavusoglu, self-styled interior minister said that the only criterion in the "Citizenship Law" will be the "sensitivities of the TRNC people". Asked about the "white identity cards", he noted that the "sensitivities of the TRNC people" will be the criterion in this case as well and noted that this practice will facilitate people living in the occupied area of Cyprus without being "citizens" of the regime.

    Furthermore, Haberdar reports that representatives of trade unions entered into the room where the press conference was given. Under the title "Trade unionists caused confusion in the room", the paper writes that the "ministers" invited the trade unionists to sit and have breakfast, but the chairman of the Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), Tahir Gokcebel replied that they went there to listen and not to eat. Some journalists reacted when Gokcebel started talking. Gokcebel accused the "government" of giving away institutions which belong to the Turkish Cypriots and of not being able to find solutions to the problems of the "country".


    [04] Kilicdaroglu criticizes AKP's Cyprus policy

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (09.06.11) reports that Kemal Kilicdaroglu, chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP), has criticized the policy followed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the Cyprus problem. In statements to Haberturk television, Kilicdaroglu said that at the beginning it seemed that the AKP worked hard on the issue of Turkey's accession to the European Union (EU). He noted that Turkey's accession process came to a dead-end because of the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to Turkey's responsibilities towards the EU regarding Cyprus, Kilicdaroglu said, inter alia, the following: "Why they have [Tr. Note: The AKP officials] signed it? ... You commit yourself from the moment you sign something. You should not have put that signature. If you put it, come on and do what is necessary, if you have courage. The foreign policy could not be used in the internal politics. The foreign policy has the identity of a state policy, but they used everything in the internal politics?"

    The journalist asked Kilicdaroglu the following: "If you come to power, will you do what is necessary? In the end, this is a signature by the state. It binds you as well. If any other comes to power, it binds him too. A signature which binds everybody forever was put".

    Kilicdaroglu replied, inter alia, the following: "We have some conditions... One of our conditions is [to tell them] to 'give us a definite date regarding the time we will become a full member'. The second is [to tell them to] 'bring out and implement immediately the direct trade regulation regarding Cyprus'. What have they said to us? They said: 'A referendum will be held in Cyprus and if a yes vote comes out, we will recognize Cyprus'. What happened? Yes came out. The Greek Cypriot side voted no. As main opposition, we follow this process. I told Fule at which stage this is. We also know who prevents this. They are also determined on this. Greece prevents this process and creates serious obstacles?"


    [05] "Tatar: We are at the point of developing our economy"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (09.06.11) reports on statements by the so-called minister of finance Ersin Tatar during a TV programme broadcast by Rumeli TV.

    Referring to the economic difficulties experienced in the occupied area of Cyprus and the mistakes committed in the past, Tatar said that after the "UBP government" came to power, a lot of efforts have been exerted towards overcoming all difficulties.

    Saying that a lot of things have been done during the past 30 years for the development of trade, infrastructure, communications and the integration with the world, Tatar pointed out that they have ties with more 100 countries. He added that they trade with these countries, and that they sell and buy products from them.

    As regards the tourism of the breakaway regime, Tatar stated that with the efforts exerted so far, the bed capacity in the occupied areas will reach 20.000 in the following 3-5 months. He also said that a large number of tourists will be coming to the occupied area of Cyprus as a result of the efforts exerted by big tourist operators who have promoted the "TRNC" in several national and European markets.

    Referring to the strategic importance of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Tatar said that it is extremely important to protect the Turks in Cyprus and their existence.

    As regards the economy, he stressed the need to balance the incomes and expenses and said that the economy of the breakaway regime is at a development point. He also said that the breakaway regime came to a point of being able to earn money by itself.


    [06] Reactions after the illegal DAU's decision continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.06.11) in its front page and under the title "Plastic bottles again for the ministers", reports on a protest organized yesterday in front of the building of the "prime ministry" by DAU-SEN, the "Academic staff trade union" of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) because of the decision of the illegal DAU to transfer its pre-university education institutions to Fethullah Gulen's Doga College.

    As the paper writes, around 100 protesters gathered yesterday in front of the building of the "prime ministry" while the "council of ministers" was holding a meeting and shouted slogans such as "Those who sold DAU will be tried" and "No to the privatizations".

    According to the paper, when the meeting of the "council of ministers" ended, the vehicles of the "ministers" became target of plastic bottles of water thrown against them by the protesters.

    Among the participants in the protest were also representatives of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Social Democracy Party (TDP), United Cyprus Party (BKP), New Cyprus Party (YKP), the Trade Unions' Platform and the Baraka Cultural Association, who attended the protest in order to express their support.

    Speaking during the protest, Izzet Izcan, chairman of BKP said that the recent decision taken by "DAU" is a part of the efforts exerted to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots, to increase the number of population and to turn the occupied part of Cyprus into a province of Turkey. He described "DAU" decision as "robbery" and not privatization.

    Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Primary Scholl Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), expressed criticism over the issue and argued that "Some people are selling the country".

    Mehmet Caglar, "MP" with CTP, pointed out that "DAU" is at a good economic situation and argued that a contradictory situation has occurred now in the name of "privatization".

    Mehmet Cakici, chairman of TDP called on the community to struggle and said that the "economic package" is being implemented.


    [07] Elcil accuses UBP of racism due to its decision regarding Turkish Cypriots studying in the free area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (09.06.11) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) evaluated yesterday in a written statement the decision of the breakaway regime not to give to the Turkish Cypriot students studying in the government-controlled area the possibility to study in Turkey with their GCE, IGCSE and A-level exams.

    Commenting on the new development, Sener Elcil evaluated this practice as a "mentality making the education an instrument of politics" and accused the self-styled government of being racist and separatist. He further said that the precondition for the students to graduate from "TRNC schools and colleges" is a racist behaviour against the students studying in the free areas of Cyprus and it means that they are excluded.

    Elcil went on saying that this is a political initiative in the direction of preventing examples which show that the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots could live together.

    Elcil stated also that the above-mentioned decision is a good example of the policy followed in the direction of the dividing the island adding that efforts are exerted to hide the fact that Turkey is the side that imposes embargoes and isolation on the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Elcil protested against Turkey and the "UBP government" and said that they will carry the issue to the international field.


    [08] The breakaway regime was represented at a PACE meeting in Oslo

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.06.11) reports that the illegal parliament of the occupation regime was represented at the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee meetings of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. According to the paper, Ahmet Eti, so-called parliamentarian with the National Unity Party (UBP), attended the meeting held between June 6 and 7.

    [09] Charter flights to begin between Iran and occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (09.06.11) reports on statements by the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture, Unal Ustel, who has said that charter flights will begin between Iran and the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. The flights will be held 3-4 times a week and Iranian tourists will be transferred to occupied Cyprus. Ustel, who was in Iran in order to represent the occupation regime at the 2nd Persian Travel Market Tourism Exhibition in Tehran, stated that flights will begin in the upcoming days.

    Ustel, inter alia, stated that they participated in the fair together with tour operators in Iran, in order to promote the "TRNC" and to attract Iranian tourists. It was noted that the history, culture, natural wealth, hotels, coasts and kitchen of occupied Cyrpus were introduced at the stand of the breakaway regime.

    [10] More than two thousand Turkish citizens living in occupied Cyprus travelled to Turkey to cast their vote

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.06.11) reports on a "different" mobility that exists in the illegal Tymvou airport and the illegal port of occupied Keryneia during the last weeks. As the paper writes, a big number of Turkish citizens living in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus travel to the Turkish cities of Mersin and Tasucu in order to cast their vote for the June 12 parliamentary elections and return to the occupied area. The paper notes that more than two thousand people have travelled recently to Turkey with organised tours for this reason. According to the paper, 190 persons flew from the illegal Tymvou airport to Alexandretta yesterday and until the end of the week, at least 400 more people will travel to Tasucu through the illegal port of occupied Keryneia.

    Speaking to the paper, some passengers stated that they are using their democratic right aiming at a more stable Turkey. In addition, the majority of the passengers will cast their vote in favour of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    [11] Lefke football club to discuss becoming a member of CFA

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (09.06.11) reports that the Yiltac Mukellef was re-elected as the chairman of the general assembly of occupied Lefke football club. After a long discussion, the members of the general assembly of the club decided unanimously to file an application to the "High Administrative Court" regarding the heavy punishment imposed to them by the "Turkish Cypriot Football Federation" as a result of some incidents after a foodball game. They also decided to discuss with the Cyprus Football Federation (CFA) the issue of Lefke's becoming a member of CFA. A member of Lefke named Baris Burcu was authorised to hold the discussions with CFA. Burcu submitted in writing to CFA Lefke's request for a meeting, writes the paper noting that the Club is waiting for CFA's reply now.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (09.06.11), the so-called minister of national education, youth and sports, will try to bring together the two sides over a lunch today with the participation of the chairman of the so-called Turkish Cypriot football federation (KTFF), Hasan Sertoglu, and the newly re-elected chairman of Lefke football club, Yiltac Mukellef.


    The announcement of the new structure of the cabinet, by the Turkish PM, the ongoing June 12 parliamentary election campaign by the Turkish political parties, statements by the Turkish FM that the fourth Libya Contact Group meeting will be held in Turkey in July, and other internal topics are the main issues covered by the Turkish press today.

    [12] Erdogan introduced new cabinet structure

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Dailyl News (online, 08.06.11) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled on Wednesday plans for a new post-election government structure that is being seen as a step toward creating a presidential system for the country.

    The plans announced by Erdogan include setting up new ministries, eliminating eight current ones and merging some others. The restructuring would also create a new position of deputy minister for each ministry, an appointee position that could be filled by experts from the private sector.

    The move to create a deputy minister position "could be a step toward the presidential system as is the case in the United States because ministers there have deputies," former Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk told the H?rriyet Daily News.

    Erdogan has on various occasions suggested the idea of a presidential system as something that might be implemented following the June 12 general election.

    According to Turk, the deputy-minister model was implemented in Turkey in the 1930s via a constitutional change but was abolished one year later for causing an authority conflict.

    An academic at Yeditepe University, who has studied the presidential system, said he considered Erdogan's move a second attempt to adopt a U.S.-style presidential system. The first step in this process, he said, was the constitutional reform in Turkey in 2007 that paved the way for the election of the president by public vote, as is the case in the United States.

    If his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is returned to power in the June polls, Erdogan said, the administration will have six new ministries, while the total number of ministries will be lowered from 27 to 25.

    The prime minister said eight current state ministries will be abolished. The new ministries will be the Ministry of Family and Social Policies, the Ministry of European Union, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Customs and Trade and the Ministry of Development. The Ministry of European Union will coordinate the affairs for Turkey's EU bid.

    Currently these areas fall under the responsibility of state ministers in Ankara. The new ministries will also have offices around the country.

    "We will also create a deputy minister position" that will rank between the minister and the undersecretary, Erdogan said, speaking at his party's headquarters.

    The new Cabinet will include 20 ministers plus the prime minister and four deputy prime ministers. Each of the 20 ministers will be assigned deputies.

    The deputy ministers will not be parliamentary deputies, but will be appointed to their positions with the new government and will leave their posts if it is voted out of power. The deputy ministers will be experts in their sectors and will be selected for their ability to make the ministries operate faster and more efficiently. "It will be possible to bring them in from the private sector," Erdogan said.

    Each deputy minister will be appointed with the approval of the respective minister, the prime minister and the president. The appointees will not have to have university degrees, "and can even be elementary school graduates," Erdogan said, pointing to important businesspeople such as Vehbi Koc as examples.

    "They will work as a political undersecretary, and the current undersecretaries will carry out the administrative functions," the prime minister said.

    Some ministries will be renamed or merged under the proposed restructuring. The Ministry of Industry and Trade will become the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology, while the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs will be changed to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture, and Livestock. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry will meanwhile merge with the Ministry of Public Affairs and Settlement to become the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and City Planning.

    In the past, Erdogan said, the Cabinet did not convene for months, and there was a lack of communication between the ministries. "For example, there are several ministries in charge of the economy, and they don't get a chance to get together and discuss matters, which caused the crisis with the privatization," he said.

    Asked by a journalist if the status of the General Staff, which operates under the Prime Ministry, would be affected by the restructuring, Erdogan said such a change was not currently on the agenda.

    [13] Nabucco partners call on Baku to join project 'without delay'; Yildiz said Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish daily Hurriyet Dailyl News (online, 08.06.11) reports that Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq are considered as potential sources to fill the 3,300-kilometer Nabucco pipeline that will run from Turkey to Austria, crossing Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

    "I have contacts with Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iraq. If all these countries wish to access European and Turkish markets, the possibility is Nabucco," EU Energy Commissioner Guenther H. Oettinger said during a ceremony for the signing of technical deals in the Central Anatolian province of Kayseri on Wednesday.

    The commissioner called on the source countries, "who are not there," to take part in the strategic project "without any delay." Azerbaijan did not send any representative to the ceremony despite the Turkish Energy Ministry's invitation. "Nabucco must take the final step from project to reality but there are issues that need to be addressed," said Oettinger, adding that gas-producing states particularly Iraq and Azerbaijan must be given options for development of their energy markets and their direct access to European markets.

    "Now it is the turn of source countries," said Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z, hosting the event in his election constituency and hometown Kayseri. The minister gave a green light for two other countries, Russia and if the political conjecture allows, Iran to join the project.

    "No matter if it is Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Iraq, or if it is Russia and Iran if the global conjecture permits there are projects for all of them where their interests overlap," said Y1ld1z.

    South Stream, Interconnect Turkey-Greece-Italy and the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline were among the projects the minister listed and urged the potential suppliers to see the "big picture". "What's in this big picture? To meet energy needs of the European countries," he said.

    The project support agreements signed between the participant governments and the consortium of the Nabucco gas transit pipeline project, considered prerequisite for the successful financing of the project, also offered a platform for the governments and a strong supporter of the project, the United States, to discuss the present situation.

    The U.S., meanwhile, called on both Turkey and Azerbaijan to sign an agreement for the sale of natural gas "as soon as possible". "I look forward to seeing the next step", said Richard Morningstar, special envoy of the U.S. Secretary of State for Eurasian Energy, who joined the ceremony in Kayseri. "I hope this will be done as soon as possible because it is critically important for the success of project," he added.

    The U.S. official reiterated the huge importance President Barak Obama places on the Nabucco project, saying it also symbolized "long-standing, very strong relationship between the United States and Turkey that goes back many years".

    Energy Minister Y1ld1z, in his speech, sent a message to the European Union, saying Turkey was doing its best to meet Europe's energy needs despite negative signals coming from the EU with regard to Turkish accession talks.

    "Turkey did its best for a solution to EU countries' problems without expecting anything in return," said Y1ld1z. "And we expect the same treatment from the EU. It is evident that Turkey needs the EU and the EU needs Turkey. I want to say it again that it is not correct to delay Turkey's EU talks for political reasons."

    [14] Izmir will reportedly be NATO's land forces base

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.06.11), NATO Defence Ministers agreed on a reform which will turn the air forces base in Turkey's western province of Izmir to land forces base.

    Releasing a written statement, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said on Wednesday: "NATO Defence Ministers have just approved a set of important reforms. They will make NATO leaner, more flexible, and better able to deal with future challenges.

    We have agreed to streamline the agencies which run individual NATO projects, such as ground surveillance and strategic airlift. As a result, our agencies will become simpler in structure, while staying effective in their work. And we have agreed to re-shape NATO's command structure, making it more efficient, more deployable, and more compact. Some headquarters will close.

    Others will move or change their role. Together, these reforms will make NATO more affordable offering even better value for our Allies' money. They will make NATO more effective focusing on the capabilities and command systems we need."

    No detailed information was given regarding the NATO bases in the statement; however, diplomatic sources confirmed that Izmir air forces base would be turned into land forces base within the scope of the reforms. Accordingly, two land forces bases in Germany and Spain will be united and transferred to Izmir.

    [15] Kurdish candidate could not become MP over PKK conviction

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.06.11), Kurdish independent candidate Hatip Dicle will not be able to become a parliamentarian in the new legislative term after the Supreme Court of Appeals' Criminal Department upheld his prison term.

    The Supreme Court approved one-year-eight-month imprisonment term of independent candidate Hatip Dicle on charges of making the propaganda of an armed terrorist organization or PKK.

    On March 31, 2008, Ankara Chief Prosecutor's Office with Special Authority filed a lawsuit against Dicle on charges that he was making the propaganda of the terrorist organization.

    Ankara Criminal Court sentenced Hatip Dicle to one year and eight months in prison, but Dicle appealed the verdict.

    The Supreme Court of Appeals' Criminal Department upheld Dicle's prison term.

    Dicle's name will not be erased from ballot papers; however Dicle will not become a lawmaker even if he is elected.

    [16] The breakaway regime will participate in painting exhibition in Milan

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.06.11), International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY) will inaugurate TURKSOY Painting Exhibition at the House of World Cultures in Milan, Italy in cooperation with Milan Municipality's Cultural Department and Azerbaijani Cultural Association in Italy.

    The exhibition will take place on occasion of the 20th anniversary of independence of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Paintings of Azerbaijani, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Turkish, Turkmen, Turkish Cypriot, Tatar and some other Turkic Republic artists will be on display in the exhibition between June 18 and July 3.

    In 1993, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirgizstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Turkey signed an agreement on establishment of TURKSOY in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Then, "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" [occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus], Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Hakasia, Tiva, Saha (Yakut), and autonomous republics of Altay and Gagauzia joined the organization.

    TURKSOY is an internationally attributed organization which supplies co-operation among the Turkish speaking countries.

    [17] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 8 June 2011:

    a) General Election

    Yeni Akit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak, in article entitled "What Now?", asserts that over 10% of the votes cast in general elections in Turkey "vanish into thin air" because of a threshold system that prevents political parties that fail to obtain at least 10% of the vote from winning seats in Parliament. He argues that in maintaining this threshold system, Turkey is refraining from ensuring justice in political representation in the name of sustaining political stability. He also criticizes the Felicity Party (SP), the People's Voice Party (HAS) and the Grand Unity Party (BBP), for not establishing an election alliance or nominating independent candidates as the BDP has done to be able to send representatives to Parliament.

    Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamis, in an article entitled "Why I will be voting for the AKP", discloses that he is going to vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), on 12 June because he believes the AKP is the only party equal to the job of drawing up a new constitution that could eliminate the shady network called the "deep state", whose "illegal" activities have been exposed most recently, he claims, by journalist Mehmet Ali Birand's disclosures about a "slander campaign" against Fethullah Gulen conducted by the General Staff in 1999 and former police officer Ayhan Carkin's "confessions" regarding certain extrajudicial killings in the 1990s.

    Milli Gazete columnist Selahattin Toprak, under the title "Would You Vote for Ismail or Mahmoud?", compares the ruling AKP to "Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah" and the SP to "Ismail Haniya's Hamas" and advises Turkish voters to make their 12 June decisions in light of this comparison. "Abbas never fails to do as he is told by the United States and Israel despite his anti-Israeli messages. [...] On the contrary, Haniya has been the target of a few assassination attempts simply because he defends his people and soil and resists the [Israeli] occupation."

    b) New Constitution

    Zaman columnist Bulent Korucu, in an article entitled "I will vote in favour of a new constitution", asserts that "only new and civil constitution" could enable Turkey to get rid of its current "tutelage system", where "sovereignty has been usurped from the nation" and vested in certain "bureaucratic" institutions.

    Today's Zaman columnist Joost Lagendijk, under the title "Is Turkey ready for a historic compromise?", defines "the biggest danger for the AKP" as "the perception among many, Turks and foreigners, that the party has become the vehicle for the boundless ambitions of Erdogan. They do not need The Economist analysis to see that the checks and balances inside the AKP have slowly melted away [...] Many are afraid that the extremely important debate on the new constitution will be hijacked by the presidential ambitions of the prime minister. What Turkey needs after June 12 is not another one man-party show. What is necessary is a carefully arranged process of cooperation among the major players in the country to formulate a new constitution."

    Zaman columnist Fehmi Koru, in article entitled "The new constitution will be drawn up by the people this time", expresses ironic gratitude to The Economist for "caring more for us than we do for ourselves" in warning the Turkish people about increased authoritarianism in their country in the event that the AKP wins enough support in the election to change the Constitution singlehandedly. Koru claims that what Turkey needs least is a constitution where individual liberties are restricted in favour of state authority, adding that the current constitution drawn up by the architects of the 1980 military takeover needs to be replaced precisely because it is such a constitution. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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