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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-05-12

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.90/06 12.05.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] VOLKAN discloses the name of the Greek Cypriot woman who recently applied to the so-called Compensation committee.
  • [02] More on the ring smuggling foreigners to the free areas.
  • [03] Illegal census not to affect the list for the illegal local elections.
  • [04] Spanish journalists arrived in the occupied areas.
  • [05] Reaction by Pyla residents to turning their village into mafia center.
  • [06] The Turks makers of baklava sweet are protesting against the Greek Cypriots as regards the national identity of baklava.
  • [07] Turkey“s EU membership among the issues Erdogan discussed in Vienna with the Austrian Chancellor.
  • [08] Turkish authors are charged and prosecuted for their writings under the Turkish Penal Code.
  • [09] Court decision may allow the return of Fethullah Gulen to Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in The New Anatolian sees a political shift if Fethullah Gulen returns to Turkey.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] VOLKAN discloses the name of the Greek Cypriot woman who recently applied to the so-called Compensation committee

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (12.05.06) reports under banner headlines that Mrs Yiannoula Papachristou of occupied Akanthou village had applied to the so-called Compensation Committee and demanded 1.324, 360 Pounds Sterling compensation for and return of, her property in the village. The paper reports that Mrs Papachristou could be the wife of Dr. Ilias Papachristou who lives in Athens, Greece and who earlier made an application to the Committee about his property and demanded compensation and return of his property.

    The paper reports that in her application Mrs Papachristou stated that she owns three plots of land in the village and attaches the title deeds that the Land and Surveys Department of the Republic has provided to her. VOLKAN alleges that it is publishing a copy of the application and the title deeds.( Tr. Note: The document published by VOLKAN does not belong to Mrs Papachristou but to Dr. Ilias Papachristou)

    (MHY)

    [02] More on the ring smuggling foreigners to the free areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.05.06) reports that two more people were arrested as regards the illegal immigrants case. The paper reports that the two suspects Unsal Gunsel and Sevda Gunsel of Pergamos village were arrested on suspicion that they are helping illegal immigrants who enter the occupied areas to be smuggled to the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    („)

    [03] Illegal census not to affect the list for the illegal local elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.05.06) reports that the self-styled Supreme Election Council in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus has declared that the recent census carried out in the occupied territories will have no effect in the preparation of new election lists. The so-called Council announced that people should consider as valid the election lists which will be published on 16 May and displayed at the centers, regarding the so-called illegal municipal and by-elections of 25 June 2006.

    („)

    [04] Spanish journalists arrived in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12.05.06) reports that Spanish journalists who will take part in a panel and hold various contacts in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus arrived in the occupied area last night. The visiting journalists will hold a number of contacts and pay visits of social character to people in Karpass peninsula.

    („)

    [05] Reaction by Pyla residents to turning their village into mafia centre

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (12.05.06) reports that Turkish and Greek Cypriot inhabitants of the mixed village Pyla are in these days not happy because of certain activities that take place in the village . The paper reports that a foreign exchange firm in the name of RESHAN Investment Ltd. has recently started operating in Pyla and works continue to open a casino and night club in the village which caused unease among the Greek and Turkish Cypriot inhabitants who fear that soon mafia type activities will start in the village. The paper adds that when cheques issued by the RESHAN company bounced in the free areas of Cyprus and two people were arrested in Larnaca, people have raised their voices as regards the company and demanded investigation to be opened against the RESHAN Investment activities which first opened in the occupied territories, but when permission was refused it started operating in the village which is within the boundaries of the British Sovereign Bases in Larnaca.

    („)

    [06] The Turks makers of baklava sweet are protesting against the Greek Cypriots as regards the national identity of baklava

    Turkish HURRIYET newspaper (11.05.06) reports that a brawl has started over the famous baklava sweet, as regards its national identity.

    The paper reports the following:

    At celebrations marking "Europe Day" two days ago, "baklava" was introduced as a Greek Cypriot pastry. A booklet matching each EU country's flags with its most famous dishes (and their recipes, printed in English) was printed and passed out to the press. In the booklet, "baklava," which is itself a Turkish word, was introduced as the "national dessert of the Greek Cypriots."

    This follows on last year's entry in the Guinness Book of World Records, which lists "lokum" (also known as "Turkish delight") as a Greek Cypriot dessert. The Guinness Book of World Records listing came after Greek Cypriots made headlines for cooking up a 1.5 ton piece of lokum. The Greek Cypriot work for "lokum" is "lokumi." And so both "lokum" and "baklava" join Turkish coffee, which itself has also been claimed for years by both the Greeks and the Greek Cypriots.

    In addition, Turkish HURRIYET newspaper reports on its todays edition (12.05.06) that the Turkish makers of baklava are rebelling against the fact that the Greek Cypriots have registered baklava as their own national sweet. Support came, writes the paper, from the EU General Secretariat ship under the leadership of the State Minister of Turkey and Chief Negotiator of Turkey for European Union affairs. The Ankara Chamber of Commerce also supported the reactions.

    According to the paper the makers of baklava are organising a protest on Saturday at the Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul in order to state that baklava is Turkish and not Greek Cypriot. A baklava maker stated to the paper that baklava is originally Turkish and the Greek Cypriots are just copying. He added that they will go to Brussels and they will have the EU deputies to taste the real baklava from their hands.

    [07] Turkey“s EU membership among the issues Erdogan discussed in Vienna with the Austrian Chancellor

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.05.06) reports from Vienna that negotiations between Turkey and the EU on science-research, and education-culture chapters will be launched during Austria's presidency if "no problems occur", Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said on Thursday.

    Austria's presidency will end at the end of June.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Schuessel on the margin of the EU-Latin America Summit held in Austrian capital of Vienna. During their meeting, Erdogan and Schuessel debated Turkey's EU membership bid and international topics.

    The two leaders exchanged views on Iran, Iraq and PKK in their meeting. Erdogan stressed Turkey's determination to fight against terrorism.

    Erdogan is also expected to meet French President Jacques Chirac.

    [08] Turkish authors are charged and prosecuted for their writings under the Turkish Penal Code

    Istanbul BIANET news agency (10.05.06) reported from Istanbul that legal proceedings have started against author Osman Tiftikci and publisher Sirri Ozturk after a criminal complaint filed by the Turkish Chief of General Staff office.

    The two are charged with 'publicly degrading the army' under article 301/2 of the Penal Code in a book titled "The Evolution of The Army from the Ottomans to Today".

    The two defendants will appear at the Istanbul 2nd Court of First Instance on June 20 for their first trial based on an indictment prepared by Republic Prosecutor Nurten Alinok.

    Alinok's indictment was completed after Sirri Ozturk's statement was taken by the prosecution on March 2, 2006.

    In his statement, Ozturk said Osman Tiftikci who left the ranks of the armed forces during the March 12, 1971 coup period, had in-depth knowledge of the military due to his background. He said the book was based on extensive research and that prior to its publication, the publishing house had it examined by jurists to ensure there were no violations of law. "In the examination" said Ozturk, "it was decided that the research book contained no element of offence".

    On the same issue, the news agency (09.05.06) reported that the journalists Karakurt, Tatlican and Kilic of daily HURRIYET face prison terms under article 6/2 of Anti-Terror Law (TMY) for an interview with PKK leaders in Northern Iraq.

    The interview titled "Womens mentality in Kandil exceeds pro-Kurdish demands" where Murat Karayilan, a senior leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was interviewed published in the Turkish daily HURRIYET on October 10, 2005.

    In an article accompanying the interview, also published in the Sunday special edition of the newspaper the same day, Karakurt had described the changes of the living conditions of militants attached to the PKK who were living on Kandil mountain.

    Karakurt argued that the report and interview were part of his journalistic duty and refuted allegations that there was any form of organizational propaganda in either.

    On October 25, 2005, the Istanbul Number 10 Criminal Court had issued a lack of jurisdiction decision in the case against Karakurt where a prison term of 5 years in addition to fines was demanded for the journalist. Charges leveled against Karakurt were "printing the statements of a terror organization" and "carrying out the propaganda of a terror organization".

    Since June 1, 2005, more than 40 journalists, authors, activists, academics and unionists in Turkey have been prosecuted under controversial article 301 or because it has been deemed 'in the interest of the defendant' under article 159 of the old Penal Code.

    Journalists Sabri Ejder Ozic, Emin Karaca, Burak Bekdil, Aziz Ozer, Erkan Akay, human rights activist Eren Keskin, author Zulkuf Kisanak and unionists Hanefi Bekmezci and Huseyin Ser were sentenced in these cases.

    [09] Court decision may allow the return of Fethullah Gulen to Turkey

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (06.05.06) reported the following:

    An Ankara court acquitted Turkish religious leader Fethullah Gulen of trying to overturn Turkey's secular regime, the Anatolia news agency reported on Friday.

    The decision possibly allows him to return to the country after years of self-imposed exile in the United States.

    Gulen, a preacher, author and mystic scholar whose religious sect runs schools across Turkey and Central Asia, had been accused of trying to create an Islamic state in Turkey and of "brainwashing" schoolchildren.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in The New Anatolian sees a political shift if Fethullah Gulen returns to Turkey

    The New Anatolian newspaper (11.05.06) publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik under the title : "Fethullah Gulen factor in our political scene":

    Fethullah Gulen has been living in virtual exile in the U.S. for years as he's been the target of a witch hunt by the so-called secularist conservative establishment that sees even moderate religious figures in Turkey as Muslim fundamentalists.

    The 1997 post-modern coup led by the military didn't only target the government of pro-Islamist Prime Minister Necmettin Erbakan, but it also hit Turkey's moderate Islamists who were really the most important barriers to fundamentalism.

    One such victim was Fethullah Gulen who, as a moderate leader of an Islamic community in Turkey, has promoted peace, understanding and goodwill among people and dialogue between religions. This has been recognized by the Vatican, and Mr Gulen has been received by the Pope in Rome.

    The military administration at the time wanted to prosecute Mr Gulen, claiming that he'd been involved in anti-secularist and Muslim extremist activities. They made the media run stories against Mr Gulen in a smear campaign. So the veteran religious leader was forced to flee to the U.S. for "health reasons." In fact, Mr Gulen does have a serious heart condition and diabetes, and although he's received treatment for this in the U.S., it also could have been done in Turkey.

    The witch hunt against Mr Gulen continued for years. It was during the same period when even people like our current prime minister were victims of persecution. The media and business groups who supported Mr Gulen also had a hard time. Despite everything, the schools operated by Mr Gulen throughout the world continued to produce very successful students both in Turkey and abroad promoting Turkey's values and culture. His business establishments thrived. His media group was successful.

    But the witch hunt never ended. Court cases were launched against him. He was the target of repeated smear campaigns. Nevertheless, tens of thousands of people in Turkey continued to respect him and hold him in very high regard.

    Even the current government, which is said to be comprised of devout Muslims, did nothing to help facilitate Mr Gulen's return to Turkey. But then the penal code was changed and in a surprise move the courts looking into the case against Mr Gulen decided that according to the new rules, the veteran religious leader had not committed any crimes and dropped the charges.

    So now there are no more obstacles to the return of Fethullah Hocaefendi. However, we understand that the prospect of the veteran leader's return is hardly a source of happiness for the government. We're told the government is afraid Mr Gulen may well become a silent but effective opposition force to the administration and steer Muslim moderates away from the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party.

    With Mr Gulen coming back home, we may well see a shift in the power balance in Turkey as the country heads towards election year, both for Parliament and the new president ...

    /SK


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