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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-07-02

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 alleged that Israel is training militants for the PKK in the Republic of Cyprus
  • [02] Statements by Eroglu Ozgurgun and Kucuk to Turkish diplomacy correspondents, on the Republic of Cyprus EU presidency
  • [03] Ozgurgun described Cyprus' EU presidency as "trusting the cat with guarding the fish bowl"
  • [04] CTP and TDP assess the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency
  • [05] Turkish daily sees escalation of tension during the Cypriot EU term presidency
  • [06] How the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press cover the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [07] TGNA approves the illegal continental shelf delimitation agreement with the breakaway regime
  • [08] Davutoglu discussed with Ashton Turkey's EU position during Cyprus' EU presidency
  • [09] Ankara sees positively Brussels' action plan for visa-free travel; Turkey not to sign any agreement during the Republic of Cyprus' EU presidency
  • [10] Eroglu to visit Istanbul
  • [11] Kurdish deputy Leyla Zana met with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
  • [12] "Twenty six active-duty military officers detained as part of espionage probe"
  • [13] Turkish Parliament abolishes special courts
  • [14] The occupation regime distributed 56 building plots


    [01] Eroglu alleged that Israel is training militants for the PKK in the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (01.07.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu alleged that Israel is training militants for the PKK in the free area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Appearing as a guest on journalist Mehmet Ali Onel's program "Desifre" ["Exposed"], broadcast on the AHaber television channel, Dervis Eroglu touching, on the tension between Israel and Turkey, alleged that Israel is training 3,000 PKK militants in PKK camps in free area of the Republic of Cyprus and that to date, 15,000 PKK members have received training and been sent to Qandil [Mountain, in Iraq].

    Eroglu also alleged that the military exercise conducted by Israel and the Republic of Cyprus in the Mediterranean in recent months was also carried out against Turkey. Claiming that weapons are being transported on ships from the Republic of Cyprus to Israel and from Israel to the Republic of Cyprus, Eroglu criticized the European Union's turning a blind eye toward the Greek Cypriots.

    Eroglu also alleged that Russia is providing substantial arms assistance to Syria via the "Greek Cypriot Sector", as he describes the Republic of Cyprus and said: "I also attribute to Russia the fact that Syria had the technology to bring down a Turkish military aircraft."

    In addition, reporting on Eroglu's statements to Ahaber, illegal Bayrak television (30.06.12) broadcast that Eroglu alleged that "Greek Cypriot side's intransigence as the biggest reason for the non-solution". He also said that the United Nations must adopt policies that can motivate "South Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, towards an agreement.

    Eroglu also alleged that the removal of "isolations" on the Turkish Cypriots will motivate the Greek Cypriot side for a solution.

    "Sitting for open-ended negotiations whilst maintaining our existence under embargoes has no meaning at all" Eroglu claimed, and added that President Dimitris Christofias himself had earlier said that he didn't have hope for a solution until presidential elections, February next year.

    "The majority rules over the minority. This is the Greek Cypriot mentality. They are trying to impose minority rights on us, thus forcing the Turkish Cypriots to live under their so-called Republic of Cyprus" Eroglu alleged. He also said that "there won't be a settlement unless South Cyprus changes its stance and the international community stops overlooking the Greek Cypriots' intransigent approach".

    Finally, Eroglu referred to strong cooperation "with motherland Turkey" and said that the "TRNC will continue to exist as a state, whether a solution to the Cyprus problem is found or not".

    [02] Statements by Eroglu Ozgurgun and Kucuk to Turkish diplomacy correspondents, on the Republic of Cyprus EU presidency

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.06.12) reported that diplomacy correspondents from Turkey are holding a series of contacts in the "TRNC", as "South Cyprus" prepares to take over the EU Term Presidency on the 1st of July.

    The group of journalists who are in the "TRNC" as guests of the "TRNC foreign ministry" have met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, the so-called prime minister, Irsen Kucuk and the so-called foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    As part of their contacts in the "TRNC", the group was first received by Eroglu yesterday who hosted a working lunch for them. The meeting was closed to the press.

    Later they came together with the "Turkish ambassador" to occupied Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca.

    In the evening, the delegation of correspondents was given a dinner by Ozgurgun.

    The so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk also hosted a working lunch for the group today (30.6.12).

    Speaking at last night's dinner, Ozgurgun said that their discussions with the correspondents would focus on the Cyprus issue within the context of the negotiations as well as "South Cyprus's" EU Term Presidency.

    The group will also meet with the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Hasan Bozer on Monday before leaving the island on the same day.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet (30.06.12) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, in statements during a luncheon with a group of journalist on June 29 in occupied Cyprus, told to Turkish daily Hurriyet's correspondent, Zeynep Gurcanli, that the halted reunification talks between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots can only be resumed with the introduction of a deadline for negotiations and the lifting the "embargos" imposed on Turkish Cypriots.

    "Following the elections in Greek Cyprus [in early 2013], we be able to see the political attitude of their new president. We can continue negotiations only if these two conditions are met," Eroglu said.

    Saying that they do not expect for any result to come up through dialogue after July 1st, Eroglu added that there is no possibility for a solution. He however, said that if it was possible for a quintet summit to take place, they were ready to show flexibility on some chapters.

    Referring to the situation in Syria, Eroglu said that if the Assad regime will collapse, the future of Russia as he said will be Cyprus. Saying that at the moment a total of 15.000 Russians are living in Cyprus, Eroglu alleged that Cyprus will become a Russian bases.


    Referring to the statements of the former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, who described the accession of "Greek Cypriots" to the EU as a mistake, Eroglu said that Straw told him the following: "We should not have included Greek Cyprus in the EU before a solution. They misled us as if they would accept the Annan Plan. The second mistake was in restarting negotiation talks between sides [despite the Greek Cypriot veto of the Annan Plan".

    "Greek Cyprus will hold its ceremony for the EU presidency on July 1 at an antique theatre located on Britain's military base on south of the island", Eroglu said, adding that the base was not identified as EU territory.

    As regards the issue of Varosha, Eroglu clarified that the issue of "Maras" is not at the table and added: "We will not open Maras before the conclusion of the negotiations. Maras is a Turkish territory. This is a Greek Cypriots' trick. While they say that we should give Maras to the UN, they want the decumulation of Maras from the TRNC territories. (...)

    Eroglu said further that he has no intention to change the "TRNC's" name.

    Referring to the Republic of Cyprus' EU presidency, he reiterated that the EU has committed a big mistake for the unilateral accession of "South Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus to the EU before finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    As regards the celebrations which are to take place in occupied Cyprus on July 20, Eroglu said that this is an important date for the Turkish Cypriot side since it is the anniversary of the "peacekeeping operation of Turkey in Cyprus", as he called the Turkish invasion. He added that as a reaction to the Greek Cypriots' EU presidency, they wanted to organize more vigorous celebrations during that date, and added that he has conveyed invitations to Turkey' s President and Prime Minister. He continued and said that they are expecting for the Turkish President, Gul to visit occupied Cyprus.

    In addition, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.07.12) reports that Turkey and the breakaway regime will try to use Cyprus EU term presidency as an opportunity to bring the Cyprus problem before the relevant European Union institutions "and to inform ignorant European politicians about northern Cyprus"..

    According to a plan crafted by Ankara and (occupied) Nicosia, an effort to add "northern Cyprus" to the itinerary of European bureaucrats and politicians, who will pay visits to the southern part of the island as part of its term presidency, will be carried out.

    In statements to a group of diplomacy correspondents from Turkey who are illegally in occupied Cyprus, self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk stated: "Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots have agreed on an action plan". The plan suggests massive protest campaigns by Turkish Cypriots in Brussels and elsewhere, with the first such protest already having taken place last week in the Belgian capital.

    The activities and political statements of the Republic of Cyprus will be closely followed and any action to use its term presidency in its bid "against Turkish Cypriots' rights" will be brought to the world's agenda. This also includes the Republic of Cyprus oil and gas explorations in the eastern Mediterranean, which, according to the paper's allegations "are seen as violating the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots".

    "Turkish Cypriots will invite politicians and members of civil society who are coming [to the island] to participate in EU meetings to be held in Cyprus]," Kucuk stated. The reason for this action is the fact that many European politicians have little or biased information about the Cyprus problem, Kucuk alleged, which he alleged that he observed on a recent trip to Strasbourg, home of the European Parliament.

    "We don't expect a high-profile term presidency from "Greek Cyprus" due to their financial crisis self-styled Huseyin Ozgurgun told reporters over the weekend. "The Greek Cypriots will have to chair more than 700 meetings during their presidency. However they declared EU that will not be able to hold meetings such as farming, environment and forestry. They try to delegate its missions to previous term president Denmark and upcoming president Ireland," he alleged.

    [03] Ozgurgun described Cyprus' EU presidency as "trusting the cat with guarding the fish bowl"

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.12) reports that the self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime Huseyin Ozgurgun said that the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, was unfit to lead the European Union. "This is like trusting the cat with guarding the fish bowl," he alleged and added:

    "The Greek Cypriot administration is taking over EU's at a time when it is on the verge of bankruptcy. Such is the EU now with a failing system and weak foundations that force us to question European principles and values," Ozgurgun told the AA.

    "This is a sign of the EU's stalemate. Even the leader country of the Union, Germany, admits that they had trusted the cat with the fish bowl," Ozgurgun said.

    [04] CTP and TDP assess the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (02.07.12) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has argued that the EU term presidency should push the Greek Cypriots to abandon their old policies and stop preventing every opening regarding the Turkish Cypriots. In a written statement issued yesterday CTP assesses the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus. In its statement, the CTP expresses the view that the "Greek Cypriot administration", as it describes the government of the Republic of Cyprus, should realize that keeping alive the "vision of the Turkish Cypriots for the EU" and their integration with the EU is inevitable.

    CTP argues that the EU member countries should remember the extraordinary situation in Cyprus and have the EU institutions function actively in order to fulfil their obligations towards the "Turkish Cypriot people".

    CTP expresses the view that the European Parliament should invite the "elected representatives" of the Turkish Cypriot "people" and create an opportunity for this "people's" representation among the European peoples, the EU Council should approve the "Direct Trade Regulation" with the Turkish Cypriots and contribute to the development of their economy, and the EU Commission should prepare new regulations aiming at lifting the "isolation" of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The CTP reiterated its call on the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to return to the negotiating table and noted that the only obstacle for the unification of the Turkish Cypriots with the EU and the world is the Cyprus problem. The party said, inter alia, the following: "?This problem will be solved at the negotiating table with mutual agreement. It is clearly known that the solution could not be achieved by leaving the negotiating table. 1 July came and the Mr Eroglu's policy of leaving the table produced no positive result?"

    Alleging that Eroglu's wrong attitude gave a trump card to the Greek Cypriots, the CTP says it will continue struggling in order for this pro-status quo mentality to be abandoned.

    Yeni Duzen (02.07.12) publishes also statements by Savas Toksoz, chairman of the Social Democracy Party's (TDP) youth organization, who said that the Cyprus talks should continue during the Cypriot EU term presidency. Toksoz noted that every day that passes without a solution harms the Turkish Cypriots and especially the young people. He argued that the Greek Cypriots "act with the sluggishness" of overtaking the EU term presidency and the Turkish officials try to strengthen the status quo in Cyprus by referring to a Plan B.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (01.07.12) reports that Mehmet Cakici, TDP's chairman, said that the Republic of Cyprus's full accession to the EU had been decided in 1999 in Helsinki with the approval of the then Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and that on 16 April 2003 the Treaty of Accession of the Republic of Cyprus was signed. Cakici noted that what should be done now is not to put forward the division, but to demand the Turkish Cypriots' communal rights deriving from the Republic of Cyprus and exert pressure for an early and lasting solution. He reiterated that their vision is to become EU term president in 2026.


    [05] Turkish daily sees escalation of tension during the Cypriot EU term presidency

    Under the title "Tension will escalate in this period of the EU", Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (01.07.12) argues that "an EU presidency with high tension" awaits the Republic of Cyprus both because of the economic crisis and Turkey's objections. Milliyet correspondents in the occupied area of Cyprus and Brussels assessed the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency.

    Under the title "The TRNC will put into action its Plan B", Sefa Karahasan, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper's (01.07.12) correspondent to the occupied part of Lefkosia, reports that the "TRNC", as he describes the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, is reacting against the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus by alleging that "making EU term president a country which is in political and economic crisis is not in harmony with the EU principles".

    Karahasan argues that the Turkish Cypriot side plans to unilaterally take "confidence building measures" after July the 1st and put its Plan B into action. He goes on noting, inter alia, the following:

    "?According to the Plan, the acceptance of the TRNC in the world could be asked as 'Turkish Cypriot State'. The first step will be taken in the Islamic Conference Organization (ICO). The TRNC administration had used the name of 'Cyprus Turkish Republic' in the changes made recently in the passports. In a next step, the opening of closed Varosha is planned. The Turkish Cypriot side, which plans to open Varosha under Turkish Cypriot administration, will make a call on the Greek Cypriots living in the area before 1974 saying 'come and claim your properties'. Every kind of facilities will be provided to the Greek Cypriots who want to return back?"

    Karahasan reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu described as contradictory the EU policy, which tells the Turkish Cypriot to reach an agreement with the Greek Cypriots, "because the Greek Cypriots will never agree with us during this period".

    Karahasan further notes that in statements to Milliyet, Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled foreign minister of the breakaway regime, criticized the EU of "making presidents the Greek Cypriots, who are struggling with political and economic problems". "A fish rots from the head down, let the EU not put its head into the sand like an ostrich, let it see the problem on the island", alleged Ozgurgun.

    Meanwhile, Guven Ozalp, Milliyet's correspondent in Brussels, reports that the Republic of Cyprus does not intent to make "any special provocation" and argues that Ankara's accession process "will be calm" from the technical point of view. Referring to the things which will happen for the first time during the Cypriot EU term presidency, Ozalp says that for the first time a divided EU country will carry out this duty, for the first time a communist leader will be at this post, for the first time a country which applied for financial aid will overtake the term presidency and for the first time a candidate country will not recognize the EU term presidency.


    [06] How the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press cover the EU term presidency of the Republic of Cyprus

    The Turkish Cypriot press covers today (02.07.12) the overtaking of the EU term presidency by the Republic of Cyprus under the following titles:

    Haberdar: "Supported term presidency'

    Kibris: "Defective presidency"

    Havadis: "EU's eye on south Cyprus" and "South Cyprus officially EU term president"

    Star Kibris and Gunes publish on their front page Turkish Cypriot leader's Eroglu's statements on the issue. The former under the title "See the realities" and the latter "EU committed a historic mistake".

    Under the title "Is someone listening to the Baroness?" Kibrisli writes that Turkish Cypriot Baroness Meral Ece said that "this period is an opportunity for the EU to think of the solution" of the Cyprus problem which is unsolved for a long time.

    Bakis refers to a "problematic presidency", while Vatan to Baroness Ece's call on the Europeans to "keep the promises" they have given to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Halkin Sesi covers the issue under the title "Painful presidency" and notes that the economic crisis and Cyprus's entering into European Union's financial support mechanism are expected to seal the Cypriot presidency.

    Ortam reports that "The dream came true" and "'South Cyprus is EU term president'".

    Finally, Volkan publishes statements by a Greek Cypriot investment consultant named Georgios Stavris, who has reportedly described the Cypriot EU presidency as "A paradox which is happening for the first time".


    Cumhuriyet: "The Greek Cypriots at the Presidency of the EU"

    Aksam: "South Cyprus is officially at the Presidency of the EU"

    Hurriyet: "Turning point for Cyprus; Greek Cypriots took over the EU presidency".

    [07] TGNA approves the illegal continental shelf delimitation agreement with the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.07.12) reports that the plenary session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) has approved the draft-law on the "agreement regarding the delimitation of the continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea between Turkey and TRNC". During its meeting the day before yesterday, the TGNA endorsed 13 draft-laws regarding adoption of international agreements.


    [08] Davutoglu discussed with Ashton Turkey's EU position during Cyprus' EU presidency

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.06.12) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his counterparts before participating in an UN-hosted meeting on Syria at its European headquarters in Geneva.

    Davutoglu met with Qatari counterpart Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani, discussing latest developments regarding Syria as well as exchanging views on Saturday's meeting.

    The Turkish foreign minister also met with Catherine Ashton, European Union's high representative for security and foreign policy.

    Turkish diplomatic sources said Davutoglu and Ashton discussed Turkey's relations with the EU as well as talks between Western powers and Iran on Tehran's nuclear program.

    Davutoglu reiterated Turkey's position over the Republic of Cyprus' helm of the Union.

    Davutoglu and Ashton also discussed latest developments on Turkey's demand for visa exemption from the EU the latest situation in Iraq and the repercussions of a recent meeting of the European Council on eurozone crisis.

    [09] Ankara sees positively Brussels' action plan for visa-free travel; Turkey not to sign any agreement during the Republic of Cyprus' EU presidency

    Under the title: "Ankara found positive the action plan for the visa", Turkish daily Zaman (02.07.12) reports that Brussels has sent to Ankara an action plan which will open the way for Turkish citizens to travel to EU countries without visas.

    According to the paper, Ankara which has made the first evaluation of the "unofficial" draft document of the action plan, found the plan positive.

    The paper continues and writes that the issue of visa- exception has been discussed during the meeting of the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton which took place the day before yesterday in Genera.

    According to the paper, sources say that in case that there will be "no surprises" at the final text of the plan, the plan is to be signed. However, Turkey is not expected to sign anything during the "Greek Cypriot administration's EU presidency" that will last until 2013. The Turkish officials write the paper, think over the issue of how the Readmission Agreement can be implemented without having the Greek Cypriot side as their interlocutors.


    [10] Eroglu to visit Istanbul

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.06.12) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu will travel to Istanbul today upon an invitation by the Mayor of the Istanbul Buyukcekmece Municipality.

    Eroglu will be attending the opening ceremony of the 13th International Buyukcekmece Culture and Art Festival. He will be accompanied by his wife, Meral Eroglu and his "Chief of Staff: Gokturk Otuken.

    [11] Kurdish deputy Leyla Zana met with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (01.07.12) reports that Leyla Zana, an independent pro-Kurdish deputy from Diyarbakir who met with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday, said the Oslo negotiations should continue so that they can find a viable solution to the decades-old Kurdish issue.

    Zana, who elicited some harsh criticism from the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) earlier in June, when said she believes Erdogan can solve the Kurdish issue and that she has never lost faith in him, held a press conference, her first at Parliament in 21 years, on Sunday.

    Amid ongoing debates over how to handle the decades-old Kurdish issue as armed conflicts continue to escalate in south-eastern Turkey, Zana had a meeting with Erdogan to discuss the issue on Saturday. The meeting lasted for more than an hour. She assessed the meeting for the press and shared her views about it. She told reporters that the meeting with the Prime Minister was very positive and that she hopes the talk would contribute to breaking the deadlock over the Kurdish issue.

    She told Erdogan that all sides of the Kurdish issue should participate in a solution. "We have seen that the security-oriented mentality and policies have not yielded any viable results so far. The only thing that never was tested is keeping negotiations alive. The Oslo talks [between the government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)] mark a milestone in the Kurdish question; therefore, I told him [Erdogan] that negotiations should start again," Zana said. An atmosphere of trust must be established to keep channels of dialogue open, she added.

    Despite all attempts and positive moves towards confronting their fears, [Kurdish] people, who have been distracted and concerned with constant arrests and ongoing trials, need to see positive and progressive moves rather than small gestures, she underlined.

    She said the Uludere incident, the tragic events in prisons and constant police misbehaviour do nothing but disrupt the process of solving the Kurdish issue.

    Regarding the Uludere incident -- in which 34 villagers were mistakenly targeted by the Turkish Air Forces in December 2011 -- and the government's inadequate and disappointing handling of the issue, she said a state should not regard issuing an apology to its citizens as a sign of weakness.

    Zana noted that the abolition of the death penalty occurred under the AK Party government, when a death sentence had already been handed down for Ocalan. She added that the government could take another step and commute Ocalan's life sentence to house arrest, which would be a critical step for the resolution of the Kurdish issue.

    She argued that rhetoric and new promises are no longer enough and said this phase was over. She said everybody wants peace and questioned how many more lives needed to be lost to achieve peace. Zana gained prominence in 1991 for taking part of her oath of office in Parliament in Kurdish, which is not recognized as an official language in Turkey. She was convicted in 1994 by the State Security Court (DGM) for links to the PKK, which is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU.

    Commenting on the new bill that will offer Kurdish as an elective language course for the upcoming education term, Zana told reporters that she earlier told Erdogan that it was positive progress but was far from meeting Kurds' demands of education in their mother language.

    On calls to the terrorist organization to end all armed activities she said, "It is not realistic to tell the PKK to lay down arms while [Turkish] military operations continue."

    Regarding the tone of the meeting, Zana said the Prime Minister listened to her politely and with the utmost attention. "He showed his sincerity on the need to open channels of dialogue. When I decided to meet with him, I based it on my reasoning, political experience and insight." She clarified that her decision was in defiance of stern criticism levelled against her and felt this meeting was likely to contribute positively to the process.

    [12] "Twenty six active-duty military officers detained as part of espionage probe"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (01.07.12) reports the following:

    "Twenty-six active-duty military officers were detained following police raids across 15 provinces on Saturday as part of a widening probe against a military espionage gang.

    The military officers were detained after an Izmir court on Saturday issued capture warrants for 30 people as part of an operation conducted by the Izmir Police Department's Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Unit against the military espionage gang.

    Simultaneous operations were launched in 15 provinces, with police officers detaining 26 suspects following searches of military facilities and the suspects' homes. The 26 suspects were taken to Izmir Central Command, from where they were to be referred to court. Police is still working to capture another four suspects.

    The 30 suspects are reportedly accused of involvement in a military espionage gang. The first wave of arrests of members of the gang began in May, when 20 people were arrested. Those arrested stand accused of prostitution, human smuggling, blackmail, illegally obtaining military information, and establishing and running a criminal organization. According to earlier news reports, the gang is headed by a 25-year-old woman who is studying at Pamukkale University in Denizli.

    The gang is accused of hiring foreign women as prostitutes for military officers from whom they obtain military information and then sell that information to third parties. The gang is based in Izmir and reportedly has branches in a number of provinces, including Istanbul, Ankara, Bursa, Antalya, Mugla, Manisa, Zonguldak and Ordu.

    The investigation against the espionage gang started a year-and-a-half ago."

    [13] Turkish Parliament abolishes special courts

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.07.12) reports that the Turkish Parliament has adopted a reform abolishing the specially authorized courts but transferring some of their authority to the Courts for Serious Crimes, tasked with prosecuting terrorism-related crimes, while assuring that the ongoing controversial Ergenekon and Balyoz (Sledgehammer) cases will not be affected.

    The motion that paved the way for the transfer of authority, specifies which courts will be able try to terrorism-related crimes. This is specified in a clause added to Article 74 of the Anti-Terrorism Law, Hurriyet Daily News has learned.

    Via this additional clause, terrorism crimes will be tried with the expertise of the Courts for Serious Crimes. In cities other than designated metropolitan areas, regional courts will continue to try similar cases. Meanwhile, the crimes that will be tried by the Courts for Serious Crimes will be redefined.

    The specially authorized courts have long been under fire for controversial practices, especially their handling of the high-profile investigations into the Ergenekon and "Balyoz" coup plots. A call from prosecutors with special authority for National Intelligence Organization (MIT) head Hakan Fidan to testify about secret talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in February, became a breaking point for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the issue.

    Eventually, the prime minister's authorization was sought before launching an investigation in Fidan's case. Similar authorization will be sought in such high-profile cases, especially for MIT members and members of the military. The motion brings in "authorization requirement," for "public officers who are assigned by the prime minister."

    Yet, such authorization will not be valid in crimes related to terrorism and narcotics. In cases related to terrorism and narcotics, prosecutors will be able to call suspects to testify without having any authorization from governmental or bureaucratic bodies.

    [14] The occupation regime distributed 56 building plots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.07.12) reports that the occupation regime distributed 56 building plots.

    According to the paper, the building plots were located in occupied Acherytou-Ag-Georgios village. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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