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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 02-11-05

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.210/02 05.11.02

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reactions by the Turkish Cypriots to the election success of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey.
  • [02] Rauf Denktas may return to the occupied area next week.
  • [03] Angolemli: The Turkish Cypriot is side being overlooked following the illness of Denktas.
  • [04] The day after the Turkish Elections defeated leaders out.
  • [05] Turkish Journalistsī Association announces October report.
  • [06] Holy month of Ramazan is starting tomorrow.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Analysis on the future Prime Minister of Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reactions by the Turkish Cypriots to the election success of the Justice and Development Party in Turkey

    KIBRIS (05.11.02) reports that the so-called Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, in reply to a question during a meeting with Mustafa Kuzucu, education attachť at the illegal Turkish Embassy in occupied Nicosia, commented on the results of the early general elections held in Turkey. Eroglu remarked that in democratic countries elections are inevitable and there is no need for much interpretation once the will of the people has been reflected in the ballot box. Pointing out that only two parties will be represented in the parliament although many parties ran for the elections and the exclusion of the other parties from parliament will be discussed in Turkey, Eroglu said that from the standpoint of the Turkish Cypriots, however, the important point is for Turkey to attain a stable government.

    Declaring that the existing close dialogue with the political parties and governments in Turkey will continue, Eroglu stressed that he has no doubt that the cooperation conducted until now to guarantee a tranquil, secure, and more prosperous life for the Turkish Cypriots will continue with the new government as well. All the political parties in Turkey view Cyprus practically in the same way, Eroglu remarked, adding that the policies concerning Cyprus have always been approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) unanimously. He said: ^”There is also no need for any concern in this regard. Eroglu declared that the trust in the governments that will emerge from the TGNA is full -- as was yesterday, as is today, and as will be tomorrow. Let the election results be auspicious for the motherland. Naturally, it will be auspicious for us as well. I wish the newly elected parties success, I congratulate the new deputies, and on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots I thank the politicians who served and supported the `TRNCī during various governments, but who have now been excluded from the parliament.^‘

    Meanwhile, the so-called Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for the Economy Salih Cosar said at a press conference yesterday that he was pleased to see that a stable government had emerged in Turkey.

    Salih Cosar said it was very important for Turkey to have a stable government at a time when the Cyprus issue was going through such a critical stage with the possibility of a solution plan being brought to the negotiating table.

    The leaders of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) and the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Huseyin Angolemli and Mehmet Ali Talat respectively, have been commenting on the outcome of the general elections in Turkey.

    The leader of the main opposition CLP Huseyin Angolemli told the BRT that he was quite satisfied to hear from Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the newly elected Justice and Development Party (JDP), that European Union membership will be given priority.

    Angolemli expressed the hope that the election results in Turkey will give a momentum to the efforts aimed at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem, leading Cyprus into EU membership, and providing Turkey with a date to start accession negotiations.

    In a similar statement, the RTP leader Mehmet Ali Talat said the victory by the JDP in Turkey, was not a surprise.

    He said that, looking at the JDP^“s program, one can easily see that the party will stick to its declared program aimed at promoting Turkey^“s relations with the European Union.

    ^”If this proves to be the case in reality, then we should expect some serious developments to take place in the near future^‘, he said.

    The RTP leader claimed that it was the JDP which allocated the greatest space to Cyprus in the party-program and elections^“ manifesto.

    Talat expressed the belief that the new Turkish government will be more constructive on the Cyprus issue.

    [02] Rauf Denktas may return to the occupied area next week

    KIBRIS (05.11.02) reports that in a statement to TAK by Denktasī adviser Ergun Olgun, it was reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktasī health is improving and that the necessary arrangements are being made for Denktas to be able to return to the occupied area at the beginning of the next week.

    [03] Angolemli: The Turkish Cypriot is side being overlooked following the illness of Denktas

    ORTAM (05.11.02) reports that the chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), Huseyin Angolemli claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side is being overlooked following the illness of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas. Mr Angolemli made this statement in a meeting with the leader of the Democratic Party, (DP), Salih Cosar, within the framework of his visits to political parties with seats in the pseudoassembly, to evaluate the latest stage reached in the Cyprus problem.

    During the meeting Mr Angolemli said that the UN Secretary-General^“s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto had skipped the Turkish Cypriot side and met with President Glafcos Clerides and then held contacts in Athens and Ankara. ^—This shouldn^“t go on like this^“ Mr Angolemli stressed. Commenting on Mr Denktasī 8 weeksī absence from the political developments due to his illness, Mr Angolemli said that the Turkish Cypriot side is not without leadership since there are political parties in the pseudostate, and said that the parties must meet and evaluate the situation.

    Mr Angolemli said that it is essential for the Turkish Cypriot side to establish the committees, which were decided upon during the New York summit last month. He also said that the Turkish Cypriot side must become more vigorous with regard to the developments of the Cyprus problem, and stressed that the Greek Cypriot side is presented to the world and to the European Union to be the more active side and the one that wants a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    On his part the chairman of the DP, Salih Cosar said that the face-to-face discussions being held in Cyprus could turn into proximity talks and stressed the need to set up the committees. Stating that political will was required in order to give the negotiator more strength while attending the Cyprus talks, Mr Cosar said either a committee or council had to be set up which would take its place beside Denktasī delegation.

    [04] The day after the Turkish Elections defeated leaders out

    Turkish Daily News (05.11.02) reports that after Sunday's humiliating poll defeat, leaders of the parties discarded from Parliament by the voters have started to demonstrate that they understood the message that they were no longer wanted. Leaders have declared that they have decided to step down.

    Motherland Party (MP) leader Mesut Yilmaz, in a short and stern statement, conceded defeat for his MP and for the centre right.

    While giving a sweeping mandate to the untried JDP, voters ejected in Sunday's vote many established parties from Parliament in one of the most dramatic political upheavals in NATO member Turkey's history.

    Yilmaz, whose MP received only 5.1 percent of the vote, said poll results showed that a new restructuring was needed in MP and in the center right spectrum of Turkish politics and in order to make that possible he has decided to quit both the leadership of MP and active politics.

    Yilmaz said the executive boards of MP would soon meet to decide the date of the party convention which would elect a new leader.

    The defeated MP leader was under pressure before the polls to step down and let the party enter elections with a new leader. His refusal to convene the convention led to the resignation from the center right party many of its heavy guns, including former Tourism Minister Erkan Mumcu who joined the Justice and Development Party and made it the number one party in True Path Party's stronghold Isparta in Sunday's election.

    "As a member of civilian society, from now on I will try to make whatever contribution I may make to Turkey's integration with Europe," Yilmaz said expressing pleasure with JDP's commitment to Turkey's EU bid.

    True Path Party (TPP) leader Tansu Ciller, the first-ever woman prime minister of the country, also declared Monday that she has decided to call a general convention of her party and not to seek re-election as leader.

    Ciller, who failed to lead her party back into Parliament in Sunday's election despite the strategic advantage, as the main opposition party, of not being associated with an economic crisis that slashed around a million jobs, said in a written statement that "I will summon the TPP congress and will not be a candidate for leader."

    The TPP polled around 9.5 percent of the vote, just short of the 10 percent needed to win seats in Parliament. The result was a humiliating failure for a party that once dominated Turkish politics. TPP supporters spent the entire Sunday to see their party receive some additional 200,000 votes and meet the ten percent national threshold, but to no avail. Like all the other established parties, TPP was left by the voters in the election box.

    Nationalist Action Party (NAP) leader Devlet Bahceli, who had carried the nationalist party to the best-ever election victory in the 1999 elections, was the first to accept the blame of the poll defeat of NAP and declare his decision to step down as leader.

    Bahceli, whose party went from having the most lawmakers in Parliament to having none, declared that he would call NAP's convention to meet in 2003 and he would not seek re-election as party leader.

    With 8.3 percent of the vote, among the partners of the three-way coalition government of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, Bahceli's NAP performed best in Sunday's election but that result was far short from meeting the 10 percent threshold and left the nationalist party outside Parliament.

    The Democratic Left Party (DLP) of Prime Minister Ecevit, on the other hand, received the worst defeat in Sunday's parliamentary elections.

    Ecevit's DLP received only 1.2 percent of the vote. During the last elections in 1999, the DLP was the largest party with 22.1 percent of the total vote.

    Conceding defeat, Ecevit, who had declared before the elections his intention to quit party leadership at a DLP convention in 2003, said his government had committed political suicide by giving in to early polls.

    "We've committed suicide... I was not expecting this," Ecevit said.

    Parliament scheduled the November elections after Ecevit fell ill and a wave of resignations left his government without a majority in Parliament. Ecevit had vehemently opposed the November date, which came 18 months ahead of schedule.

    Ecevit's nationalist coalition ally Devlet Bahceli sparked the move toward elections in July when he said he wanted to hold polls in November, more than a year before they were due.

    Ecevit's government came to office after the 1999 elections and presided over two painful economic crises but eventually collapsed when his health took a turn for the worse and policy divisions emerged over Turkey's bid to join the European Union.

    The 77-year-old prime minister climbed Monday to the Cankaya Presidential Palace and tendered his resignation to President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The president, in accordance with the tradition, asked him to stay on as caretaker premier until a new government was formed.

    [05] Turkish Journalistsī Association announces October report

    The Turkish Journalistsī Association (TJA) announced in its monthly report that election bans were the major restrictions on the press during October.

    The report said that some radio and TV stations were banned for biased political broadcasts and that these created debates on press freedom.

    It is noted that the Supreme Election Board (SEB) blacked-out Kanal 6, Star, Star 2 (Star Max) for six days and Flash TV, Haber Turk and Ulusal TV for five days for making biased political broadcasts. The report also included that for the same reason numerous local TV channels were blacked-out and SEB banned the broadcast of several radio stations such as Kral FM and Metro FM.

    The publication and broadcasting ban about Prosecutor Nuh Mete Yuksel also created censure debates.

    Another important event of October is the confiscating of HURRIYET Newspaper on October 24 with the decision of Ankara State Security Court since they published news about Yuksel while it was banned. Milli Newspaper was also closed for three days in October because of an article by Mehmet Sevket Eygi.

    [06] Holy month of Ramazan is starting tomorrow

    VATAN (05.11.02) reports that the holy month of Ramazan along with the Ramazan fast is starting tomorrow for the Muslims.

    According to the paper this year the Ramazan will last 29 days starting from tomorrow, 6th of November. The feast will be celebrated on the 5th, 6th and 7th of December.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Analysis on the future Prime Minister of Turkey

    Turkish Daily News (04.11.02) publishes the following analysis by Kemal Balci on who will be Turkey^“s new Prime Minister:

    The political ban on Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan gave way to a competition within his party. The identity of the next prime minister has become a puzzling question because Erdogan is unable to participate in parliamentary elections.

    Three party officials are said to be competing to get Erdogan's seat. It is claimed that Abdullah Gul is favourite in the premiership contest, which has divided the party into groups and threatens to lead to an actual separation in the medium term. Vecdi Gonul is seen to stand a chance to win the contest. Meanwhile Abdulkadir Aksu might give those two a hard time also.

    It's almost certain that Erdogan's choice will weigh heavily on who the founders board will name as the prospective prime minister, as Erdogan has a charisma both for the party and the grassroots. There are three factors that will affect Erdogan's choice. He would likely opt for Abdullah Gul if it's important that JDP remains in Turkish political life in the long term. But, while naming Gul, he must also consider the risk of losing his influence on the party. Abdullah Gul may completely deprive Erdogan of power in the medium and long term, which is a concern for Erdogan. An example was Mesut Yilmaz, who was appointed the leader of the Motherland Party (MP) and prime minister after Turgut Ozal quit these posts to become the president and who quickly eliminated the Ozal family in the party although he initially had the support of Ozal's wife.

    Abdullah Gul has considerable political experience, having fulfilled important missions in the Welfare and Virtue parties which were both closed. He challenged Recai Kutan, who was backed by Necmettin Erbakan, in the Virtue Party's leadership contest and thus proved his courage. Gul has experience in international relations and well known in the U.S. and Europe. He played a key role in founding the Justice and Development Party with his reformist approach after the Virtue Party (VP) was closed and he's a popular politician within the party.

    When JDP was founded, Abdullah Gul managed to become the second man of the party next to Erdogan. He had a hard time choosing between the deputy chairman responsible for political and legal affairs and JDP's parliament group chairman. He sought my advice on the issue at the time and followed it to opt for the deputy chairman instead of the parliamentary group chairman. He anticipated that Erdogan's leadership will get controversial and the strongest position for him in the party would be deputy chairman.

    Vecdi Gonul is more known for his experience as a statesman than his political background. Gonul is a graduate of the faculty of political sciences and worked as governor and general director of the police for a long period. His friendship with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, whom he met during his military service, has lasted ever since. Vecdi Gonul was the chairman of the Court of Audits, which is one of Turkey's four supreme courts, when Ahmet Necdet Sezer was the chief justice of the Constitutional Court.

    Vecdi Gonul is an authentic character who managed to get senior posts in the state without having to conceal his Islamist identity. He's also one of the few Islamists whose wife doesn't wear a headscarf. He became known and respected for his calm and polite attitude during the time he was serving as the deputy speaker of parliament. If Erdogan ignores the future of the party and just wants JDP to have the government as the election winner, he would choose Vecdi Gonul. Underlying this decision will be the expectation that JDP will unlikely show a weakness in handling the government.

    Abdulkadir Aksu joined politics together with Turgut Ozal. He gained experience in statesmanship as general director of the police and governor. Later on he served as the interior minister also. He's known for his proximity to Islamist communities. He was elected Member of Parliament three times and proved his political experience, but he usually opted to maintain a low profile in politics, avoiding from giving the impression that he has leadership ambitions. He was always close to his leader but always stood a few steps back. If Erdogan doesn't choose to consider JDP's political survival, hence Gul, or choose to avoid complications in government, hence Gonul, he might hand over his seat to a caretaker in order to guarantee his own political future. In this case Abulkadir Aksu may stand a chance to win the competition. Aksu is known to be an influential person in the party due to his closeness to Islamist communities. If he views premiership as a far possibility for himself, he may join forces with Gul. In that case Vecdi Gonul may be cleared off the scene, while Gul would become the prime minister.

    Erdogan will have a hard time choosing among his three successors. The founders board is the sole authority according to the party bylaws, however those who know Erdogan's power know that it will be Erdogan who makes the decision and the founders board is the body which will merely approve it.

    Erdogan is facing a very tough decision for himself, his party and the administration of the country. He will have few days to make this decision. There's no miracle solution that will combine these three elements. If he chooses someone else at the expense of frustrating the three groups in the party and he insists on it, he will pave the way for a major political crisis, because Ahmet Necdet Sezer may decide not to give the government mandate to this person. According to the Constitution the President may choose any member of parliament for the mandate. If Erdogan prevents this government from winning the confidence vote, the president will then have Constitutional powers which have never been tested before. Unless a government is established within 45 days after the elections or it doesn't win a confidence vote from parliament even if it's established, the president may dissolve parliament and renew the elections in 90 days.

    Erdogan doesn't have much chance to resist these binding provisions of the Constitution or the president. Therefore, he must decide considering not his political future but the well-being of his party and the country. By a choice that disregards the sensitive balances in his party and the national administration, Erdogan could both cause a division of the party and miss the chance to rule.


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