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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-10-27
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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.208/06 27.10.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Invitation to Mehmet Ali Talat by the PACEUnder the title Invitation to Talat by the Council of Europe, Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (27.10.06) writes that it was made known that the self-styled president in occupied Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat, following the invitation to the European Union, will be invited also to the Council of Europe which is in Strasbourg.
Rene Van Der Linden, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) met yesterday with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul in Turkey. During the meeting, Turkeys reform process and the Cyprus problem were discussed. It was learned that Mr Rene Van der Linden conveyed the decision taken for inviting Talat to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in order to address the body. Talat, who in the past was invited by the USA, Britain and Germany, he has lately met with EU Commission officials in Brussels. Linden pointed out that he will continue to support Turkeys EU process and stated that the criticism coming from the European public opinion should also be in a constructive manner.
Gul also stated that he knows the President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe for more than 10 years, adding: He is a good friend of mine.
Mr Linden, met yesterday also with Mr Yasar Yakis, Chairman of the EU Committee in the Turkish Parliament.
On the same issue, Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (27.10.06) reports the following:
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) President Rene van der Linden yesterday strongly criticized France's lower house of Parliament for passing a controversial bill that aims to ban questioning of Armenian genocide claims.
"This is not in line with one of the basic principles of human rights, freedom of expression," Linden said during his visit to Ankara yesterday. PACE head underlined that reconciliation efforts among countries need more freedom of expression among all involved parties, not unconstructive moves to restrict people's free expression of their ideas. Van der Linden also criticized those in Turkey who are using the French bill as a pretext not to change controversial Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which sets out penalties for "insulting Turkishness." The PACE head clearly stated yesterday that the Turkish government has to amend the article, which has been used to bring charges against dozens of journalists, publishers and scholars.
Van der Linden, during his visit to Ankara yesterday, met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and Turkish deputies. Before his departure from Ankara, the PACE president spoke to journalists.
Recalling his support for Turkey's EU membership process and highlighting the importance of continuation of the reform process, Van der Linden underlined that this was in the interest of both Europe and Turkey. He said that the second phase of the reform process, the implementation, was understandably much more difficult, since it necessitated the change of mentalities and convincing people.
Saying that Turkey seems overly frustrated by the criticisms of Europe, Van der Linden said that most of these criticisms were in fact aimed at assisting Turkey in the reform process. In a move to further encourage Turkey on its EU accession process, he said that Turkish people should not overestimate current discussions in Europe and see that it will be the EU which Turkey will join 15 years later.
On the debates of the Armenian genocide, PACE head stressed the necessity for all countries to come into terms with its history for a better future, but he criticized France's lower house of Parliament passing a controversial bill to ban questioning of Armenian genocide claims. "This is a back-step from the freedom of expression, a bad example," Van der Linden told reporters, and expressed hope that the controversial bill will not be passed by the upper house.
On the possible "train crash" between Turkey and EU late this year due to the Cyprus problem, Van der Linden said that this is in no one's interest and continuation of Turkey's EU process was in the interest of both Europeans and Turkey.
The PACE president will attend a roundtable discussion with legal and human rights experts at Bilgi University in Istanbul today. On Saturday he will lay a wreath at the Gallipoli War Memorial and visit the war graves there as well as meet with a delegation from the Canakkale Provincial Council.
 Turkish Cypriot papers report that the Greek Cypriot side is blocking the Gambari processTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (27.10.06)in its front page under the banner headline What happened to Gambaris letter?, reports the following:
The letter which would reportedly include new directions on how the Cyprus settlement negotiation process would proceed, has yet to arrive. The letter, which the Greek Cypriot press reported on two weeks prior to Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats trip to Brussels earlier this month, has disappeared!
Mr Talat, in an article titled Gambaris letter published in KIBRIS at the beginning of the week, said that he is having to deal with the Greek Cypriot Administrations obstacles. This accusation by Talat has not yet been denied by either the United Nations or the Greek Cypriot side. The question among diplomatic circles is: Has Gambaris process collapsed?
Talat: We investigated the situation and found out that the Greek Cypriot side lobbied intensely in New York to prevent the dispatch of the Gambari letter. If Gambari had written and sent the letter, it would have restricted the Greek Cypriot sides room to manoeuvre. The negotiations they so much fear would have to start.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot weekly CYPRUS OBSERVER newspaper (27.10-02.11.06) reports inter alia the following:
Talat answered a question about the UN effort which is known as the Gambari Process as follows: The Gambari Process did not collapse. At last word, the Cyprus UN representative, Mr. Moller, has prepared some suggestions about the Technical Committee procedures and how the work groups will be activated and presented it to us. We worked on the suggestions and presented our own suggestions for change. They always avoid from responding to such offers. We presented a written document and we said to Mr. Moller come and do something right. UN, come and examine this; make an ultimate unification offer. Let us exploit this offer all together. We said you can do this by sending a letter from Gambari.
They agreed, a letter from Gambari was supposed to be sent. We are still waiting for it. What was the letter for? We were expecting to be issued a final offer about the procedures and a time limit to finish some of the work. But the Greek Cypriot side never accepted any time limits. The letter from Gambari was supposed to come before my visit to Brussels. That was our expectation. All the information from New York was in that direction. But the letter did not come. We went to Brussels and came back but the letter still has not come.
We investigated the situation and we learnt that the Greek Cypriot side lobbied intensively in New York and prevented the sending of the Gambari letter. Because if Gambari had written and sent the letter, it would have narrowed the Greek Cypriot area to manoeuvre; the negotiations that they fear so much would have to start, and they would have to refuse the beginning of such negotiations if they wanted to prevent it again. This would leave them with the shame of another rejection decision. They were worried about all of this and they prevented Gambari from sending his letter.
 Turkish Cypriot paper reports that the EU President Finland broke the embargo on Famagusta portTurkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (27.10.06) reports the following:
The EU term president Finland, which submitted a proposal package with a view to settling the Cyprus problem, without realizing, took a step which will make the Greek Cypriot side very angry and would muddy the waters.
The proposal, which gave way to intense arguments was prepared by Finland in order to make Turkey to avoid a train crash because of Cyprus will fan the flames of the intense argument following anchoring of a ship in the Famagusta port.
According to the information we have received, a Finnish company brought an electricity generator bought by the TRNC government to the Famagusta port which is closed to the international shipping and delivered it to the TRNC.
In order to curb serious electricity shortages the TRNC government opened a tender for a new generator. However, because the tender was inconclusive the TRNC Council of Ministers decided to buy the generator from Finland without opening a tender.
The diesel-oil-powered electricity generator ordered from the Finnish company Wartsila Finland OY, was shipped to Cyprus on 22 September by the ship M/V Irbe Venta from the Finnish port of Mantyluoto. The generator arrived in the Famagusta port on 16 October and was delivered to the TRNC Electricity Authority officials.
Finland, by sending cash on delivery the diesel oil powered electricity generator to the TRNC through a private company has broken the embargo imposed on the TRNC.
 Efforts by the EU in order for an EU-Turkey crisis to be avoidedUnder the banner headline The opening of the ports can win more time , HALKIN SES0 reports that EU circles are intensifying efforts to put together rescue plans that would avoid an EU-Turkey crisis by keeping tensions over Cyprus from rising further.
Those tensions are expected to be intense until December and will complicate relations between Turkey and the EU. It is reported that the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side to open the (fenced-off) Varosha and place it under the supervision of the United Nations while ensuring the return of its Greek Cypriot inhabitants, aims to ensure that the Finnish draft proposals are rejected by the Turkish side and to impede a Cyprus settlement.
 Turkish Cypriot denies that the Turkish Army has been using Greek Cypriots as guinea pigsIllegal Bayrak television (26.10.06) broadcast the following:
Ahmet Erdengiz, a deputy of the Turkish Cypriot Member of the Missing Persons Committee has denied the claims that Greek and Greek Cypriot prisoners of war had been used as guinea pigs in experiments for chemical weapons by Turkey during the 1974 war in Cyprus.
Mr Erdengiz called the claims as totally baseless and unfounded.
Speaking to the TAK news agency, Ahmet Erdengiz referred to a report by the Head of the International Strategic Studies Association Gregory Copley and pointed out that the report contains no concrete evidence proving the claims.
Explaining that Mr Copley is well-known for his baseless claims, Mr Erdengiz reminded that Mr Copley is a person who had claimed that Serbs created camps in Serbia during the war in Bosnia Herzegovina to provide safety for Croats and Muslims.
He said that Mr Copley had even gone further and presented medallions of his association to the Serb Leader Dragan Cavic, who is also known as a butcher of Muslims and to the dictator Jameh in Gambia who took power with a military coup in the country.
Making it clear that the claims included in the report are totally baseless as those in his earlier reports, he said that the Greek and Greek Cypriot authorities failure to reject the claims had deepened the sorrow of the families of the Greek Cypriot missing persons.
In my opinion, circles behind Mr Copley are those wanting to create another obstacle for Turkey in her way to EU membership he said, adding that the allegations are not even worth to discuss.
Responding to a question, Mr Erdengiz said that the International Strategic Studies Association had contacted neither with the Missing Persons Committee nor the Turkish Cypriot Side before preparing the report and expressed the view that none of the sides concerned with the issue will take the report into consideration.
The report was earlier published in Greek and Greek Cypriot press.
 German students visited the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupationIllegal Bayrak television (26.10.06) broadcast the following:
A group of students and teachers from the German Konrad Adenauer High School which has a Sister School Agreement with the The 19 Mayis Turk Maarif College, paid courtesy visits to the Speaker of the Republics Assembly Fatma Ekenoglu and the Minister of National Education and Culture Canan Oztoprak today.
The group is in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as part of the sister school agreement between the two schools, which provides an opportunity for the schools staff and students for an exchange of information and visits.
Speaking during their visit to Mrs Canan Oztoprak, the Head of the Konrad Adenauer High School Christian Clunder explained that their visit to the TRNC is the second of its kinds and expressed the hope that the friendship established between the two schools will continue and strengthen further.
Welcoming the visiting group, Mrs Oztoprak pointed to the importance of these kinds of contacts in the Turkish Cypriot peoples struggle to unite with the rest of the world and said that such visits will contribute to the education of the students and to the promotion of the TRNC.
Expressing the belief that the visit will be an opportunity for teachers in the Republic in learning about the education systems in EU member countries, Mrs Oztoprak said that her Ministry will do its best to make sure that these kinds of visits will continue in the future.
Members of the group, later, paid a courtesy visit to Mrs Fatma Ekenoglu.
(Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime the Turkish Republic has set up and maintains with 40,000 Turkish troops in the northern part of Cyprus, which has been ethically cleansed of everything Greek)
 Lagendijk will get married tomorrow to the NTV correspondent Nevin SungurTurkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (27.10.06) reports that the European Union-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Commission Co-chairman Joost Lagendijk will get married tomorrow to the Turkish television NTV correspondent Nevin Sungur, in a ceremony that will be held in the Pera Palace Hotel in Istanbul.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist assesses Mr Rene van der Lindens statementsUnder the title: Turkey to march on the road for the EU, Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (27.10.06) publishes the following column by Ilnur Cevik:
On Thursday we had the opportunity to have lunch with a visiting top European official just after he met Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Our impression is that Mr. Rene van der Linden is sure that, despite ups and downs, Turkish-European Union ties will continue to develop and Turks will eventually enter the Union after a decade.
He says there will be times when the relations between Turkey and the EU will take a beating but it will survive these tests and history will run its course.
He agrees with our years' long assessment that the EU needs Turkey for geopolitical reasons as well as economic reasons and cannot afford to keep it out of the fold.
He also agrees that while the Greek Cypriots have a say in EU affairs they will not be permitted to veto Turkey forever.
Of course all this also means that Turkey has to do its homework properly and continue its path of democratization and reformation.
We all have to understand that the EU membership will be a relatively long process for our generation, but in essence in the history of the nation it will be negligible and sooner or later Turkey will take its rightful place in the EU.
Turkey has to solve its problems with the Greek Cypriots and eliminate an important hurdle before EU membership. It also has to deal with articles like 301 in the penal code, which create antagonism in Europe and open question marks about our sincerity to democratize this country.
Besides all this, Turks have to define the role of the military in our society in a way that is compatible with the European way of thinking.
What is also important is that while all the negative aspects of our relations with the EU are frequently highlighted, we do not see anyone talking about the huge positive elements that are easing our way for full membership. Look at the massive foreign investment interest in Turkey. Look how major banks are buying shares in our banks. Look at the robust economy that is generating huge funds.
We have to look at the positive developments as much as the negative ones. Then we will see that EU membership and our hopes for the future are not as distant as we think, despite the negative trends that are constantly brought to our attention.
 Columnist argues that Turkeys EU negotiations have been de facto suspendedUnder the title EU negotiations de facto suspended Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS (27.10.06) newspaper publishes the following commentary by Cengiz Aktar:
The decision taken by the French Parliament, just like the Cyprus issue, is slowing down our already slow European Union negotiation endeavors. Every negative development emanating from Europe is transformed into less effort on our part. We all have seen how much our dear 301 was defended after the French decision.
Despite this pessimistic environment, the Finnish term presidency is trying to save Turkey's EU process by every available means. The new Finnish Cyprus proposal is on the table. Until Nov. 8, none of the sides should be expected to act on the proposal. The European Commission's opinion on Turkey's ratification of the customs union additional protocol and the progress made on its implementation, in other words, the opening of Turkish ports to the Republic of Cyprus, does not necessarily have to be made on Nov. 8. It may well be delayed until the end of the year. No matter when the opinion is voiced, the understandable insistence of Turkish Cypriots on the opening of the Ercan Airport (occupied Tymbou) to international flights in the context of ending their isolation is not noted in the Finnish proposal. However, this matter is of crucial importance.
It is impossible to say that the Finnish efforts to salvage Turkey's accession talks are being firmly supported by EU countries and institutions as well as by Turkey. If we assume there will be no solution on Cyprus, the fate of Turkey's membership negotiations is tied to the Turkish determination to harmonize with EU rules and the will of important EU countries to support Turkish efforts while persuading those against Turkey's membership. However, such will is lacking both in Turkey and in the EU.
The Republic of Cyprus and Greece are already preventing the start of negotiations on chapters that have nothing to do with the additional protocol. The Finnish efforts to start negotiations on some easy chapters that are not linked to the protocol are being prevented at the level of the Negotiation Working Group in Brussels. The start of negotiations on the chapter on Education and Culture, a relic of the Austrian term presidency, has yet to overcome the opposition of France and Greece.
The screening process ended on Oct. 13. We keep hearing that bureaucracy succeeded in completing the process. As we often note, comparing regulations is not a vital part of the screening process. It's done almost automatically. The important part is when the candidate country undertakes a timetable for how it will complete the harmonization, while the EU formulates its negotiation position. Turkey has succeeded in completing the screening but has failed to make any commitment on how it will address the deficiencies noted during the screening process.
On the issue of political reforms, Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which has become the symbol of what is wrong, nothing is being done. While some bills within the Ninth Harmonization Package may become law, this unfortunately cannot constitute a restoring of mutual trust in the negotiations. Consequently, countries that are serious and sincere supporters of Turkey within the EU have hardly a leg to stand on.
The next term president, Germany, will first welcome Bulgaria and Romania into the EU in early 2007 before concentrating its efforts on a new treaty. The formulation of interim solutions to make EU institutions work is an urgent matter.
In addition to the treaty, Germany also needs to deal with the EU's nascent energy policy and its relations with Russia. In other words, Germany won't have a moment to spare to help Turkey's EU process. All their current efforts are intended to avoid any Turkish issue being transferred to their presidency.
In conclusion, the negotiations are de facto suspended these days. This state of affairs will never become official but may remain there in reality. If other EU countries, probably together with the United States, cannot oppose the obstacles created by EU members that are against Turkey's membership, no one in Turkey will be discussing the EU and vice versa in 2007. The issue at hand is how much the country's political and financial stability can weather this EU storm.
 Demirels views on Turkeys current problemsUnder the title Senior statesman Demirel warns of 'crisis' on Turkish stage, 'Early elections would solve our problems, THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (27.10.06) publishes the following article by Mete Belovacikli:
Former President Suleyman Demirel is one of Turkey's most influential figures. His influence both comes from being one of Turkey's most senior statesmen who is still active in politics and his keeping a close eye on developments both at home and abroad. His influence allows him to discuss with his foreign colleagues if new options can be created in international issues as well as share his views with politicians in Turkey.
The recent visits to his home by former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and former Parliament Speaker Hikmet Cetin have fueled speculation that Demirel might reenter politics.
Though he constantly underlines that he's above politics, he nonetheless defines and expresses Turkey's problems. And because of that, those who want to discuss our political, economic and social problems can't help but seek out his views.
This week we spoke with this senior statesman about a variety of subjects: Turkey's most pressing problems, whether the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party will hold early elections, the tension created by next year's presidential elections, debates on the economy and the country's growing current account deficit and the course of relations between Turkey and the European Union. Here's what Demirel had to say:
' 10 trouble-free years would do us good'
Demirel believes that having 10 trouble-free years would do the country a great deal of good. He explained like this:
"Turkey should spend the next 10 years without any pain Turkey's spending this process without any pain is in its hand, not the European Union's If Turkey doesn't have trouble inside the country the next decade would be much stronger than today's. For this reason Turkey should go through the two elections ahead without any pain. Parliament after the election should maintain fairness in representation and stability and should form a capable government and a strong political opposition. Can you put in an order for such a thing? No you can't, but that's my wish. Because if it happens like that, the 10 years following would be smooth sailing."
Eyes on the prize
"The global balance of power is shifting. Turkey will have an important place in this new balance," argued Demirel. "In 2020 a Turkey in which the average per capita income is $20,000... In such a troubled region only with such a goal can you survive. If this happens the European Union would automatically accept Turkey's membership. In this period we should keep an eye on the economic balances. Financial issues will be very important in this period. An economy kept alive through the flow of hot money causes unstable domestic politics, and this instability in return makes finding foreign funds difficult. This adds up to damage to our national interests."
'Reforms should continue'
Arguing that Turkish-EU relations should continue calmly, Demirel said, "Turkey should continue its reforms... The justice system should be reformed. Justice should be rendered on time, without any delay. But so far almost nothing has been done on this issue. Besides this, terrorism is another important problem... Turkey can't transfer this kind of problem to other countries. Turkey can't get anywhere by making its domestic problems into international issues. I've always been wary of this and I continue to be. The Cyprus issue is still unresolved. We should remember this on the Kurdish issue; if you carry your problems to the international arena, you can't solve anything and others will have the initiative. It's something to ask for support from foreign powers on domestic issues and it's another thing trying to solve them together.
"In this process, eradication of Turkey's relations with the EU is extremely wrong even if only prestige is concerned. The most important rule of diplomacy is to pull though difficult times with calm. Domestic issues should be debated calmly, and foreign relations should be dealt with using common sense."
Turkey isn't well governed
Weighing in on the current state of the country, Demirel said, "It seems as if there are three states in one. The president, the government and the military all stand at different points. Sometimes this number rises to four with the Parliament speaker. This doesn't look good either inside or outside the country. Because it means weakness and creates a blurred view. Concerns mount. Complaints of those who are in a position to find solutions diminish people's trust in the state.
"There shouldn't be bile among those who rule the state. Anger doesn't suit those who rule the state. Talks can be held among those who administer the state, both on legal grounds and at informal meetings. If this is can't be done then it means Turkey isn't being adequately governed. This creates a vacuum."
Early elections needed
"And if Turkey isn't governed well then we need to go straight to the people, and at once," said Demirel. "The administration of an ill-governed country can't say that the status quo should continue. For that reason, those who can't govern would either go to elections to either be replaced or to become stronger." Having seen similar situations many times, Demirel says, "Politics will make Turkish people have confidence in the future. Let me reiterate, the situation can't go on like this. This scene isn't a good one and if it continues like this the state authority will be harmed. Governments' ability to rule would diminish and since there can't be weakness in the state administration, what must be done must be done. We shouldn't forget that for democracy, a lack of alternatives is suicide. There is a crisis at the moment. The solution is general elections. If no stable outcome comes from the elections there should be more elections. Democracy and stability in democracy have no tool other then elections. If you try to use other tools you can't know where they will lead. That would be very wrong."
 Chief Imam on the various cultsIstanbul Milliyet newspaper (24.10.06) publishes the following column by Taha Akyol, under the title: "Cults again":
I am speaking with the revered Prof Ali Bardakoglu, the Director of Religious Affairs. I ask him about the cults, which have become more visible recently and which are demonstrating their skills. "More of a sociological than a religious issue," he says. "A kind of sociological hormone deficiency," he says. "Fringe constructs created by twisted urbanization," he says. Prof Bardakoglu's first and foremost words remove the "sacred" shroud that the cults surround themselves with. They are not "holy" but "social" phenomena.
Prof Bardakoglu continues:
"We failed to manage urbanization well. We failed to predict what migration would lead to. People coming to the cities inevitably feel the need for assurance, identity and solidarity. The same sociological factors exist in other fringe trends and not just in the cults."
A weakness of modern society:
"Modern society creates lonely individuals yet people need ties of affection and friendship."
Prof Bardakoglu says that the People's Hearths of the Republic were created to meet this need but that they are "too formal" to do this properly.
Prof Serif Mardin also states that the Republic failed to meet the human need for "warm ties."
Isolated and Marginal
The cults based on a high culture such as the Mevlevis, the Halvetis, the Cerrahis and the Rifais do not bother anybody. On the contrary, they are praised for their contributions to music, poetry, calligraphy and moral philosophy.
The cults that bother society are the diseased organizations that sprung up as a result of twisted urbanization. There is a reason why they appear in isolated and peripheral neighborhoods. Migrants to the cities feel themselves to be outsiders, alone and desperate. So, when they latch on to a cult or an organization they suddenly find "brothers" and "comrades." Furthermore, they get economic solidarity! Make donations and feel good; receive donations and thank God!
Psychologically speaking they go from being a "nobody" to suddenly "devoting" themselves to a major cause.
Istanbul's Fatih district is not what it used to be. Carsamba is not what it used to be! Fatih is a huge district open to the general society while Carsamba is an isolated locale.
The fact that they are isolated and marginal just proves they are no threat to the regime.
As Hasan Cemal said, "Can you fix Carsamba with tanks"!
That would isolate and marginalize Turkey in the world.
Turkey's basic dynamics are modernizing ones. No need for anxiety.
Modern society makes people rational but fails to provide "warm relations." This in turn leads to the formation of religious, mystic or "communal" congregations.
There are "society cults" that make disciples out of wealthy and well-educated young people by exploiting their need for "friendly relations."
The need for "warm relations" leads to the emergence of semi-pagan, semi-mystic cults or "new age religions" in America, Europe and Japan.
But they are all marginal
Marginal cults in Turkey are a "social problem." They are not holy. When they commit crimes they should be prosecuted without hesitation.
But, to consider every pious person a cultist means fearing that the cults are going to usurp the state, and considering tank-based remedies!
This in turn is a kind of "secular mysticism" and that should definitely be avoided.