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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 03-02-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.23/03 04.02.03
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader before and after meetingPresident Clerides. Sources in Ankara explain the Turkish policy on Cyprus KIBRIS (04.02.03) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas said yesterday before meeting President Clerides that he would once again submit in writing the sine qua non's of the Turkish side at the face-to- face talks towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Asked to comment on the statement of President Clerides that "Denktas had accepted to discuss the territorial aspect of the Cyprus problem", Mr Denktas alleged the following: "We had not rejected discussing the territorial issue. We had said that we should discuss it when our sovereignty is recognized. We shall see the territory as well, in case they accept our sovereignty, given that our sovereignty is one of our sine qua non's."
Speaking after the 1.5 hour-meeting with President Clerides, Mr Denktas said that he had submitted in writing the sine qua non's of the Turkish side and that they had exchanged some views on the map included in the Annan plan for Cyprus. Mr Denktas reiterated that the Turkish side would not accept the above-mentioned map.
Responding to a question, he said, inter alia, the following on the issue: ".The map is not a new one. It is the old map and we have told them that we will not accept it".
Mr Denktas said that he had no official information on the issue of the submission of a third UN plan for Cyprus, but he added that this is possible to happen. Denktas said: "It is possible that they will come up with a third plan after listening to us until the end. However, it is a little bit painful for the Turkish Cypriots and they could not accept initiatives, which remained behind the realities as if they have fallen from space and they are taking into consideration only the return of the Greek Cypriot refugees without thinking that the Turkish Cypriots will be refugees for the third time and without taking into consideration how and by whom the Cyprus issue has started."
On the same issue, Turkish Daily News (04.02.03) reports that in Ankara, leading sources said that unlike the statements of ruling Justice and Development Party (JDP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan's criticizing the policies of Denktas and indicating that there was a change in the Cyprus policy of Turkey, at the Turkish policy making mechanisms the Cyprus issue was still approached within the framework of Turkey's strategic interests.
As the sources said, at the latest National Security Council (NSC) Meeting, which ended with a statement reaffirming Turkey's full support for Denktas, the Cyprus issue was discussed extensively and it was underlined that the Cyprus problem was too important to be considered only as a problem of only the "brethren" living on the island, but in essence is a matter related directly to the Turkish mainland security.
Accordingly, it was stressed that Turkey could never allow a hostile administration on the island, as such a development would confine Turkey to Anatolia and complete its encircling.
At the NSC meeting it was reportedly underlined that the approach of the JDP to the Cyprus problem and Erdogan's tendency to place the Cyprus problem, Turkish-Greek issues and Turkish-European Union relations in one basket was a wrong perception that could erode Turkey's positions on both three spheres that ought to be handled separately.
Regarding the U.N. blueprint for a comprehensive settlement on the eastern Mediterranean island, according to sources, there was full understanding between Denktas and the civilian and military establishment that, unless substantially revised and improved, the document cannot help a resolution of the Cyprus problem.
Regarding the sovereignty issue, the sources said in the U.N. plan it appears that the component states have relinquished their sovereignty in favor of the partnership state. "What would happen if tomorrow the partnership state dissolves? A settlement must clearly safeguard the sovereignty of the component states. We cannot just act with 'The past is past, it won't happen again, Greek Cypriots won't usurp with force of arms the partnership state again because the island will be now part of EU' and such assumptions. Turkish Cypriot sovereignty ought to be clearly emphasized," a leading source explained.
On the future guarantor status of Turkey, besides Greece and Britain, the sources said Ankara and Denktas wanted the 1960 regime maintained intact and won't be diluted. "Effective Turkish guarantee, including the right of unilateral intervention, must be maintained and all restriction on the Turkish troops to remain on the island after a settlement must be taken out of the document," the source said.
On the refugees and territorial adjustments, the sources said the bi-zonality and bi-communality principles, as well as the parameters on how to handle the territorial aspects of the problem, agreed back in late 1970s between the two sides on the island, must be respected in handling these two extremely delicate issues.
The sources said either return of Greek Cypriots to northern Turkish Cypriot territories should not be allowed, or the number of refugees to return ought to be taken down to a negligible percentage of the northern population and their citizenship rights ought to be arranged with a regime similar to that of the 1960 Constitution.
According to the 1960 Constitution, Greek Cypriots, wherever they live on the island, were voting in polls for Greek Cypriot contingency of the House of Representatives and Turkish Cypriots for Turkish Cypriot contingency.
The U.N. maps, sources said, were unacceptable, but if all other issues were resolved with some finely-tuned adjustments on the existing borders the Turkish Cypriot territory could be taken down below 30 percent while the number of Turkish Cypriots to be relocated could be held at a much lower level.
Turkish Cypriots complain that if accepted the current U.N. maps would relocate some 60,000 people, almost a third of the entire population of northern Cyprus.
The sources said a second revision to the Annan plan, presented in November and revised in December last year, could open the way to a resolution of the almost four-decades-old problem.
 The occupation regime is planning to give money to the Turkish Cypriots in order to make them keep silent before its non-solution policyUnder the front-page banner title "Take the money and be quiet!" YENIDUZEN (04.02.03) writes that the puppet regime "which is undertaking no initiative on the issue of the solution" of the Cyprus problem and "is playing its game for the non-solution", "has discussed what it could do in order to prevent the uprising of the Turkish Cypriots".
The paper notes that the so-called "ministerial council" of the regime, which met yesterday, has the "mentality of let us give money, silence them (translator's note: the Turkish Cypriots) and decrease their reaction against the government". The paper adds that the regime "insists on the solution of 'let us take money from Turkey and distribute them'".
 Lord Hannay met with the Deputy Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign MinistryAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.02.03) reported from Ankara that Lord David Hannay, the special representative of Britain to Cyprus, said on Monday that Britain was not one of the leading actors of the Cyprus question and added that Britain was involved indirectly in the Cyprus problem in terms of the guarantorship.
Hannay, who is currently in Turkey, met with Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Undersecretary Baki Ilkin.
Addressing journalists following the meeting, Hannay said that they had held a very beneficial and detailed assessment.
Noting that he understood the approaches of the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriots in a better way, Hannay said that he hoped the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriots understood their attitude and their support to the negotiation plan in Cyprus.
Pointing out that he had come to Turkey to exchange views, Hannay said that all decisions about the Cyprus problem would be taken by the two leaders in the island.
Responding to a question, Hannay said that Britain was determined to make any kind of contribution to the negotiation process in Cyprus.
Noting that Britain was not one of leading actors of the Cyprus question, Hannay told reporters that Britain was involved indirectly in the Cyprus question regarding the guarantorship.
Replying to another question about the proposal of Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou that guarantor states should sit at the negotiation and assess some parts of the plan, which was presented by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, Hannay said that the proposal was about the rate of Turkish and Greek soldiers in the island.
Noting that this issue did not concern Britain at all, Hannay said that their participation in the negotiations would not be appropriate.
Moreover, Istanbul NTV television (03.02.03) broadcast that Lord David Hannay, replied to questions by NTV Ankara representative Murat Akgun.
Hannay said that the right word to be used in relation to the continuation of the Cyprus negotiations should be determination rather than optimism. He added that after the Greek Cypriot side accedes to the EU it will be difficult to reach an agreement that the Turkish Cypriots will prefer. Hannay further assessed the stand adopted by the Greek Cypriot side at the negotiations. Lord Hannay said: "Naturally, the Greek Cypriot side is not attending the negotiations having abandoned its interests. When we have a look at the manner in which Mr Clerides participates in the negotiations, we see that he acts as a person who wants to conclude this issue. He wants an agreement, and he seems ready to make concessions. However, so far not even a discussion could be held on the territorial issue because Mr Denktas is not ready to conduct such a discussion. Moreover, certain negotiations should be held with the Turkish government on the number of troops stationed on the island."
Hannay did not find realistic the concerns expressed by Denktas on providing sufficient guarantees to ensure the security of the Turks living on the island. He said: "Currently, there is no evidence that the Greek Cypriots will want to cross over to the north. In the plan submitted by Annan, however, there are significant numerical limitations. There are limitations especially regarding those who will seek their property rights. Claims that the Greek Cypriots are rich and that the Turkish Cypriots are not is a very defensive stand."
Hannay assesses as follows the effects of a solution or a non-solution on Turkey's EU membership: "If the Cyprus issue is not solved, it will become a problem that will appear in front of Turkey like a pebble. We want this pebble to be removed from Turkey's path."
 Abdullah Gul: "The Turkish Cypriot side has taken constructive steps for the settlement of the Cyprus problem"VATAN (04.02.03) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Abdullah Gul, alleged yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot side has taken constructive steps for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Referring to the face-to-face talks for the Cyprus problem, the Turkish Prime Minister stated that for a possible solution in Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot side should also put forward reasonable proposals and not to expect all the initiatives from the Turkish Cypriot side. He also said that Turkey and the pseudostate are making efforts aiming at achieving a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem and he called on all the sides concerned to have reasonable policies towards the same goal and make Cyprus 'the island of peace.'
Mr Gul also stated that "the non-solution cannot be a solution" and repeated that Turkey supports the settlement of the Cyprus problem. "We should not miss the present opportunity and find a solution to the problem", he said.
 Mehmet Ali Talat: "Denktas and his team are leading both Turkey and the pseudostate to disaster"YENI DUZEN (04.02.03) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP), Mehmet Ali Talat, said that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, and his team, lead both Turkey and the pseudostate to disaster. Mr Talat was speaking to a panel that took place in the University of Bilgi in Istanbul under the subject: "Solution in Cyprus: Different views, different suggestions".
According to the paper, Mr Talat said that there would be no change to the UN Plan by the 28th of February, therefore the UN plan will not be improved and this will make easier the actions of the front that rejects the plan. "This is going to be the last harm Denktas will do toward the Turkish Cypriots, however, this will also lead Turkey to disaster", he stressed.
Mr Talat also stated that Cyprus will sign the agreement of becoming member of the European Union (EU), stressed that this date cannot be changed and added: "From our point of view who will sign this agreement it is the important issue. The Cyprus of today or a new Cyprus with its problem solved", he wondered.
 Marc Grossman : "The USA will definitely not support a settlement that will bring Cyprus to pre-1974 situation"SABAH newspaper (03.02.03) reports that according to its Washington correspondent Asli Aydintasbas, the USA deputy Secretary of State Marc Grossman has said that the Annan plan was the last chance.
When asked whether the Annan plan was still valid in the face of the sides' objections related to the substance of the plan, Grossman said: "This plan definitely continues to be valid. There is still the chance for the Turkish and Greek Cypriots to come together until 28 February. I do hope that everybody will spend their time until 28 February for supporting the Annan plan, thus helping the accession of the united Cyprus to the EU.This will be very interesting."
When asked whether this means Clerides and Denktas to attend together the EU enlargement ceremony to be held in Athens on 16 April, Grossman said: "Is it bad? It would be an incredible thing, if a democratic Cyprus enters into the EU made up of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, not only sentimentally but strategically as well. As far as I am concerned the real strategic importance of Cyprus to Turkey is its being a springboard for Turkey for Europe. It is a great success for Turkey to get December 2004 as date. If the Cyprus problem is solved then it is possible that negotiations might start even earlier than 2004." Regarding the "deadline" of 28 February and the rumors that after that date as well there was time to continue negotiations, Grossman said: "Everybody, until the Copenhagen Summit had the desire for a solution. However, it was not a 'deadline' (Tr note: word used by Grossman ). As for 28 February it is the date mentioned in the plan by the Secretary-General. When I hear that they say there is time after 28 February I really get concerned. I do not even want to think about the aftermath of 28 February. We have to gear up all our energy to solve the problem before 28 February."
When asked whether he was surprised in the face of mass opposition against the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Grossman said: "This is an issue of the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish people. I think in recent years an ever increasing number of Turks realized Europe's importance, They demand more democracy; more liberal economy; and getting closer to EU. And the Cyprus problem is part of this process .I know one thing that the Turks will not accept: a settlement by which their kinsmen in Cyprus will return to the pre-1974 situation. We, as the USA, do not support such a settlement. In Annan's plan there are safeguards not to allow this thing to happen."
When observed that in the past USA officials, like Holbrook, were accusing Denktas of being less willing for a solution, Grossman said: "I do not have time to waste to such things. Every bit of my efforts should be geared to securing a settlement until February. I do not want to think about this thing not being realized on that date. If you start to think about what would happen if things stretch to March, then whether you want it or not, it would stretch to March. Here the danger is the future of Cyprus and the chance of the Greek and Turkish Cypriots for having a better life"
 Leader of a small Turkish party visited occupied Cyprus for a few hours to express support for DenktasIn the framework of efforts to foil the voices of the vast majority of the Turkish Cypriots for a solution, accession to the EU and for the resignation of the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, delegations and mainland Turkey party leaders, who oppose a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the Annan Plan, visit Cyprus expressing support for Denktas/ intransigent positions.
VOLKAN newspaper (04.02.03) reports that the leader of the small Young Party, Mr Cem Uzan, visited the occupied areas for a few hours and expressed full support for the policies followed by Mr Denktas in the Cyprus problem.
Mr Uzan met with the so-called Prime Minister, Mr Dervis Eroglu, the illegal ambassador of Turkey, Mr Hayati Guven, the so-called Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of the Economy, Mr Salih Cosar, the so-called Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defence, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, Denktas/ son Serdar and Denktas/ advisers.
 President approves second harmonization packageNTV television (04.02.03) reports that Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer has ratified the second package of legislative and constitutional amendments to bring Turkish laws into line with those of the European Union.
The package includes amendments to laws making it mandatory that rulings of the European Court of Human Rights must be implemented, agreeing to United Nations conventions including crimes that transcend national borders and some financial laws being brought in line with those of the EU.
The amendments to six articles of Turkish law will open the path to the controversial retrial of cases such as that of the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and pro-Kurdish party deputies.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 The Turkish National Security Council dealt mainly with Iraq. No word about solution in CyprusIstanbul MILLIYET newspaper (02.02.03) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title: "We will enter Iraq not for USA but for Turkey":
"After a six and a half hour long meeting the National Security Council [NSC] recommended that the government be empowered by the National Assembly to allow Turkish troops to go abroad and for foreign troops to be stationed in the country. What does this mean?
According to sources observing the meeting this decision has two meanings:
1. It gives the go ahead for the opening up of a northern front in the probable intervention in Iraq.
2. It also means that the Turkish Armed Forces [TAF] will enter northern Iraq and increase the Turkish military presence there to safeguard Turkey's interests.
This interpretation of the NSC decision is based on the evaluations made at the meeting.
We can summarize the political and military evaluations made at the NSC meeting held the other day [31 January] with respect to Iraq as follows:
"Developments indicate that a military intervention in Iraq will happen. Turkey cannot remain indifferent to such a development. Northern Iraq is of vital importance for Turkey's security and future. This is why Turkey should act independently of the United States to safeguard its own interests. The TAF should take the necessary measures to safeguard its own interests not those of the United States. If Turkey remains indifferent to these developments, which will affect national integrity and the well-being of the country, and if it does not take the necessary military precautions on time it will remain without influence for at least 100 years. This is why the authority to send Turkish servicemen abroad as envisaged in Article 92 of the Constitution should be given to the government."
While this evaluation was being made, the military wing of the NSC took pains to underscore another finding:
"Turkish servicemen fight only for Turkey. They take risks only for Turkey. We have no quarrel with Iraq or with its administration or people. Nor does Turkey have any quarrel with the Kurdish people in northern Iraq. The Turkish military is not going to fight the Iraqi military. If there is going to be a fight then it will be between the United States and Iraq. However, in such a situation the TAF will take the appropriate military precautions in northern Iraq, which it deems of vital importance for Turkey.
The evaluation of the United States military's request to open a northern front and transit through Turkey went as follows:
"Turkey is doing its level best for a peaceful solution. Of course Turkey would prefer a peaceful way out. However, if the operation is inevitable then provided legitimacy can be shown, then a wholly negative reply cannot be given to the requests of strategic ally, the United States. Being in an alliance demands that some of these requests are met to a certain degree and under Turkey's control. The United States has sided with Turkey in many matters of national importance. With this in mind the authority should be secured from Parliament under Article 92 of the Constitution both to send servicemen abroad and to allow foreign servicemen to be stationed on Turkish soil."
In the context of the NSC decision, the Turkish Armed Forces, which will act first and foremost in accordance with Turkey's interests, will, if permission is granted by the National Assembly, form a security belt in northern Iraq. Having established itself and completed taking all security measures the TAF will form a corridor again under its control for the passage of US servicemen. Turkey will first of all take its own precautions and station its own soldiers.
The decision taken at the NSC effectively states that a second UN Security Council resolution would be appropriate for the Iraq operation. The NSC's first preference is that the operation be legitimized under international law with a UN resolution. However, if a second resolution is not passed but the operation is still unavoidable then Turkey will take all appropriate measures to safeguard its own interests. Furthermore, the fact that close to 30 countries are supportive of a US operation means that should a coalition be formed then this would amount to legitimacy.
The decision taken by the NSC calls for the National Assembly to empower the government with sending Turkish servicemen abroad and allowing foreign troops to be stationed here. However, even when it comes to the construction of ports and airfields the government is inclined to want a National Assembly decision. As this would mean a single package for both the site construction and the stationing of foreign servicemen, there is a chance that first permission would be sought for construction and later on sought for the servicemen. The government's preference will make this clear. Even though a government decision is enough for site construction as far as the military is concerned, news is that the inclination within the government is for the National Assembly to rule on this matter as well.
As for the stance regarding Cyprus adopted by the military wing of the NSC, they believe that Justice and Development Party Leader Erdogan's harsh remarks against Denktas are weakening both Turkey's and the `TRNC's/ position. The evaluation, made by the military members of the NSC, points to the need for official announcements at NSC level showing total concurrence over Cyprus policy. This would amount to a statement in which the Prime Minister and the government members did not reply to criticism and in which "Denktas is given powerful support".
 Turkish columnist says hope for reaching a solution in Cyprus is down almost to nil after the recent decision of Turkey's NSCUnder the title "Hope for a Cyprus solution down almost to nil", Mehmet Ali Birand writes the following in his regular column in Turkish Daily News (04.02.03):
"What kind of 'end' we will meet with on the Cyprus issue, is now more obvious than in the past. Barring a last-minute development, the Turkish side will not agree to a solution in Cyprus at all. Regardless of the major advantages the Annan Plan must be offering, the plan will be rejected on the basis of flimsy pretexts.
This is the overall scene, judging by the reports coming from Ankara and the way things look from outside. I hope I will be proven wrong.
The Rauf Denktas-Mumtaz Soysal duo has managed to draw to its side the state and the conservative circles. Especially the statement issued at the end of the latest meeting of the National Security Council (NSC), drew the line on the quarrel that had been going on, on the 'whether to find a solution' issue.
The NSC has stressed that Cyprus is highly important for Turkey strategically and expressed support for Denktas. The speech the land forces commander had made on the island on the preceding day, had given an inkling of that already.
The military, part of the Foreign Ministry officials and President Sezer constitute the conservative front in Ankara. The view clearly being expressed by them can be summed up in the following manner:
'...At this stage Turkey would have to pay a price for the lack of a solution in Cyprus. However, due to the Iraq war, neither the USA nor the European Union can possibly make us pay the entire price for that.
It would be useful for us to keep the 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' ('TRNC') in our hands -- though it has not retained its old value -- as a bargaining chip and to have the talks postponed to a later date.
Even if they became a full member of the EU the Greek Cypriots would not be able to benefit fully from the advantages of EU membership as long as no political solution can be found to the Cyprus problem. They will not be completely at ease. The migrants will continue to press the government, demanding that a solution be found.
A new attempt can be made to find a solution either a few years from now or at the time of our full membership in the EU...'
This kind of reasoning shows how 'narrowly-thinking' are Turkey's administrators. It shows how isolated they are from the international realities and from the young generation on the island. It shows how much they exaggerate the significance of the card they hold in their hands, what a big risk they are taking in Cyprus.
They think that due to the Iraq operation their hand will get stronger and that they will be in a better bargaining position in the future. They are not aware that, at the risk of alienating the Turkish Cypriots, they are handing over Cyprus to the Greek Cypriots for free, as a gift.
They are obviously not thinking about the following issues: From now on, Greek Cypriots alone will be representing Cyprus in the EU. As of 2004, Turkish diplomats will sit at the EU negotiating table with the Greek Cypriots on the other side of the table. In other words, Turkey will be obliged to officially recognize Cyprus.
Naturally, they deliberately conceal from the public the fact that Turkey will have to spend some $500,000 annually to ease the 'TRNC' people's discontent and this will fill all the more the pockets of those who have taken a stance in favour of a lack of a solution.
Initially, Tayyip Erdogan's stance on the Cyprus issue drew great interest in the country and abroad, inspiring hope in many people, because that stance was perceived as a sign indicating that certain ossified policies would be changed. His words had seemed to herald a new era.
However, the mood has begun to change by now.
Erdogan has talked a lot. He has 'thundered' a lot but this has failed to result in any 'rainfall'. None of his words has been translated into a policy line. No approach of his has materialized. And, things having reached this stage, his words are now backfiring, compromising Ankara's policies.
In the speech he made last Saturday he openly targeted Mumtaz Soysal. He spoke about those negotiators who use Cyprus in order to prevent Turkey from joining the EU. However, Soysal is still functioning as Cyprus negotiator. He leads the campaign for a lack of a solution. In the course of the same speech, Erdogan rapped Denktas for having said that Erdogan was acting on the basis of hearsay, that is, half-baked information.
Yet, Denktas is still around.
Erdogan has made accusations about the military and the Foreign Ministry officials as well, saying that these could not get anywhere with their patriotic-heroic rhetoric of so many years. He said that these circles could not make even a single Turkish soccer team to play an official match in the Greek Cypriot section.
Yet, the military and the Foreign Ministry officials are signing the NSC decisions. In fact, the land forces commander has even expressed admiration for Denktas.
The JD Party leader must either refrain from making such speeches or, if he must talk like this, he must ensure that his words get translated into action. Since he cannot ensure that, he is sending abroad the wrong kind of messages. And he does harm to a great extent to the Turkish side's negotiating position. Whether that position is the right one, is something else.
The foreign capitals perceive this tug-of-war in the following manner: 'Erdogan wants it but the military are stopping him. In Turkey, a power struggle is taking place between the AK Party and the military. Let us see who wins it, the military or Erdogan?'
In a few days Kofi Annan will present the third plan. In other words, he will put on the table his latest proposal that will meet at least some of the demands for revision expressed by Denktas and Clerides.
Then hell will break loose.
Benefiting from the atmosphere reigning in Ankara, Denktas will say that this proposal must not be accepted either. Speeches on the following theme will abound: 'The motherland's offspring cannot be sold out!' In Turkey and on the island, those who do not want a solution will stage spectacular demonstration. And then Denktas will deliver the coup de grace. He will refuse to sign the document and he will stage a referendum.
The Cypriot people will be subjected to a terrific propaganda campaign, a veritable storm. They will say NO to the Annan plan in the referendum, some of them because they will be intimidated, some because of the threat that they would lose their pensions and some others willingly because that will be in line with their interests.
Thus, the people will have rejected the Annan plan.
Those who have committed treason (!) by taking a stance in favour of a solution, will not get their way.
Who cares if Cyprus will be lost, is Turkey will have been done great harm. Short-term interests will have been served and the military will have taught the AK Party a lesson. The rest? Flood".