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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-22

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.15/07 20-21-22.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Erdogan: Turkey has not made any concession on the Cyprus problem.
  • [02] Statements by Prodi before his visit to Turkey.
  • [03] Polish President to visit Turkey.
  • [04] Avci is holding contacts in Saudi Arabia.
  • [05] Rasit Pertev said the meetings with Tasos Tzionis are not progressing as expected.
  • [06] Morfou development plan will be implemented this year.7. Soyer says that they are preparing a draft-law regarding binding the police and the fire brigade to the civilian authority.
  • [08] A Parliamentary delegation from the German Social Democrat Party will visit the occupation regime
  • [09] Major General Mehmet Eroz stated that the occupation regime is the de facto guarantee of the TRNC.
  • [10] Verheugen says they will find new way for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • [11] Erdil Nami sent letters to Olli Rehn and Frank Steinmeier.
  • [12] The Turkish Cypriot chamber of shopkeepers and craftsmen called on the EU Commissioner to support the opening of Ledra Street.
  • [13] Farmers in the occupied areas to be compensated for the drought hit Cyprus.
  • [14] The national football team of the breakaway regime began its matches in Tanzania.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] How Turkish columnists assess the murder of Armenian origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Erdogan: Turkey has not made any concession on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.01.07) reports on a speech delivered by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about political and economic issues during the eighth consultation and assessment meeting being held by the ruling Justice and Development Party, (AKP), in Kizilcahamam, Ankara.

    Commenting on the Cyprus question, Erdogan denied allegations that his government had made unreciprocated concessions in Cyprus. He said: "My government has made progress in Cyprus rather than giving concessions. We made progress in the KKTC's [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] struggle intended to gain international recognition which was recently explained in detail by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in the National Assembly."

    Erdogan cautioned that there were attempts to mislead the public about Cyprus by resorting to nationalist demagogy. He added: "We will not let them to deceive the public. We will highlight these facts." Erdogan noted that economic stability and confidence was restored in the KKTC as a result of policies pursued and steps taken by his government. He went on to say: "We regard around 300,000 people living in the KKTC as our brothers and cousins. Our endeavours about Cyprus are as strenuous as our efforts intended to resolve Turkey's problems. We must take great care to protect the nation's interests and we cannot make Turkey a powerful country by chanting slogans referring to old wounds that could divide our nation."

    [02] Statements by Prodi before his visit to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (21.01.07) reports the following from Rome:

    Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi said on Sunday that Turkey's membership in the European Union would be "an invaluable resource" as soon as the country fulfilled the necessary reforms.

    "We believe that when it fulfils the reforms needed in the membership process, Turkey will be an invaluable source for the EU. But of course we need patience and wisdom to achieve this goal," Prodi stated during an exclusive interview with the AA.

    The Italian premier also urged to avoid temporary tensions and emotional approaches in assessing Turkey's membership, which he said was "an issue of historical importance."

    "In terms of the continuity in Italian policy on Turkey's EU bid, there are no differences of opinion between consecutive Italian governments," he said.

    Prodi is scheduled to meet Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his two-day visit to Turkey, which begins on Monday, January 22nd.

    Prodi cited strong bilateral relations in every field with Turkey and said Turkish integration with the EU would be high on the agenda of his visit.

    "In this regard, we expect Turkey to strengthen its efforts to take concrete steps in fulfilling the reforms and extend its customs union agreement to include Cyprus," the Italian premier noted.

    Touching on the Cyprus issue, Prodi said that as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Italy would exert efforts to find a solution to the problem, which he hoped would come by the end of 2008.

    "We believe that the United Nations is best fit for discussing the Cyprus problem," Prodi said.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (22.01.07) reports under the banner headline The door of Europe will remain open for you, and writes that the Italian Prime Minister Prodi, one day before his visit to Turkey to inaugurate with his Turkish counterpart the Istanbul-Ankara lane of Bolu Mountain Tunnel, gave an interview to the papers correspondent in Rome, Yasemin Taskin. Mr Prodi, inter alia, said: The full membership of Turkey to the EU is a strategic goal. He also added: The meetings between friends must take place very often. My visit is within the framework of periodic meetings with Turkey. I met with Prime Minister Erdogan two months ago in Riga. Last week, I met with President Sezer during his visit to Italy. We have very strong bilateral relations with Ankara in every field of politics, the economy and culture. Moreover, there is the integration with the EU. In this regard, in order for Turkey to complete and apply positively the reforms to include Cyprus also in its customs union agreement, I believe that the approval of what Turkey is committed to do is essential. A serious opening from Europe to Turkey must be done.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (22.01.07, online version), reports under the title Italian Prime Minister Prodi backs Turkeys EU accession process, and writes that the Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, speaking before his visit to Turkey, said Turkeys value is huge for the European Union. We believe that, a Turkey which will complete the reforms in the accession process is priceless for the EU. To be able to complete this process it is necessary to have patience and wisdom. Prodi said his government continues to support Turkeys entry to the EU. He said change in the Italian governments, form centre-right government of Silvio Berlusconi to Prodis centre-left, did not affect Italys position. Referring to Turkey and Italy, Prodi said: We share the same Mediterranean heritage. We face the risks stemming from the instability in the Middle East.

    (DPs)

    [03] Polish President to visit Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.01.07) reports that the Polish President Lech Kaczynski will visit Turkey.

    Mr Kaczynski will start his schedule by visiting Anitkabir (the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Founder of the modern Republic of Turkey).

    The Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer will welcome Polish President with full military honours at Cankaya Presidential Palace. Following the tête-à-tête meeting of the two presidents, talks between the delegations of the two countries will be held.

    Mr Kaczynski will later proceed to the Polish Embassy in Ankara and decorate Ankara University Rector Prof. Nusret Aras, Pianist Idil Biret and Gulsin Onay, author and scientist Irfan Unver Nasrattingolu and Seracettin Sahin, the Director of Turkish and Islamic Work of Art in Istanbul, with medals.

    The Polish President will later take the floor at a conference on "Concept of Solidary in International Policy" at Eurasia Strategic Researches Centre (ASAM).

    Mr Kaczynski will attend a dinner to be hosted by President Sezer on Tuesday.

    On January 24th, Mr Kaczynski will proceed to Istanbul and receive the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Polish President will take a tour of Istanbul covering also Sultanahmet Mosque and Hagia Sophia Museum.

    Mr Kaczynski will later be decorated with the Foreign Statesman of the Year award.

    [04] Avci is holding contacts in Saudi Arabia

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.01.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci who is in the Saudi Arabian city Jeddah for a 4-day visit has embarked on a series of high level contacts with officials from the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Saudi Arabian Businessmen.

    In line with his contacts, Mr Avci and his accompanying delegation met with the OICs Director of the Islamic Solidarity Fund Gazi Baksh this morning.

    The TRNC delegation later met with the President of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Salah Ali Al Turki.

    The Foreign Minister briefed Mr. Salah Ali Al Turki on the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem during the meeting which focused mainly on finding ways of improving commercial and trade relations between the two `countries´.

    Mr Avci also brought to Mr Al Turkis attention that it was the Greek Cypriot Sides intransigent attitude which was preventing efforts to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    Mr Salah Ali Al Turki for his part welcomed the idea of improving relations between the two chambers and said that he was ready to cooperate on this issue.

    As part of his other contacts, the Foreign Minister will be meeting tomorrow with the General Secretary of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

    On Tuesday, Mr Avci will be meeting with the President of the Development Bank Ahmet Muhammed.

    The President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami and the Head of the Religious Affairs Ahmet Yonluer are among those who are accompanying the Foreign Minister.

    [05] Rasit Pertev said the meetings with Tasos Tzionis are not progressing as expected

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Undersecretary Rasit Pertev has said his meetings with Tasos Tzionis - an aide to the Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Tassos Papadopoulos, are not progressing as expected.

    Evaluating the meetings to the BRT newsroom, Mr Pertev said a process of dialogue could not be started on daily, practical and substantial issues, due to the political stance of the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    Stating that the process of dialogue can only be started once the Greek Cypriot side wants to do so, the Presidential Undersecretary Rasit Pertev said that such a process will have a positive influence on the improvement of relations between the two sides.

    Mr Pertev said his meetings with Tasos Tzionis have now been the only source of contact established between the two sides and underlined the need for starting comprehensive talks as soon as possible which will be beneficial for both sides.

    Adding that the dialogue which was established between the two communities during the period of the Annan Plan is no more present, Mr Pertev criticized the Greek Cypriot Side for creating a negative atmosphere with its policy of running away from dialogue.

    The Presidential Undersecretary also stressed the need for implementing the 8th of July process and made the warning that bi-communal contacts, trade and cultural relations will be affected negatively if it remains unimplemented.

    Mr Pertev reminded that the meetings he has with the Greek Cypriot aide Tasos Tzionis are based on technical issues and the issue of security, as well as the policy to be followed on the essence of the Cyprus problem, and are aimed at taking the necessary initiatives for the implementation of the 8th of July agreement reached between the two leaders on the island.

    Stating that they have been working on ways of establishing working groups and technical committees, he said these do not have to wait for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    He went on to say that substantial issues of the Cyprus problem have been determined according to the lists earlier presented by both sides, but said no agreement has yet been reached on which of the working groups will be working on these issues.

    Pointing out that confidence-building measures are also on the agenda, the Presidential Undersecretary said the best way to work out the issue is to establish a committee on reconciliation, but added that this is another issue on which no conclusion has been reached.

    Mr Pertev added that he will continue his meetings with the Greek Cypriot aide next week.

    [06] Morfou development plan will be implemented this year

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper, (21.01.07) the self- styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer yesterday visited the occupied Lefka and Morfou regions and met with people there. During his contacts with the people Soyer said that they will put into implementation this year the Morfou Development Plan. He further promised that in order to curb unemployment in the area they will encourage investments in these areas.

    (MHY)

    [07] Soyer says that they are preparing a draft-law regarding binding the police and the fire brigade to the civilian authority

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.01.07) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled Prime Minister of the breakaway regime, has stated that they are preparing a draft-law regarding binding the police and the fire brigade to the civilian authority.

    In statements to KIBRIS Mr Soyer announced that they will submit the draft law to the assembly next month.

    Noting that the police should not be a government police, Mr Soyer said: For example, the police in South Cyprus are bound to the Ministry of Justice. But in every change of the government, the police scale changes and it is a partisan police. We must finish the internal organization of the police. We will send this draft-law to the assembly in the end of the coming month.

    Referring to provisional article 10 of the constitution, Mr Soyer noted: As long as the non-solution of the Cyprus problem continues, there will be armed forces on the island both for security and the other political relations. The form of the relations of these armed forces must be developed and change according to the conditions, the needs of the people and their characteristics. The meaning, which to a great extent provisional article 10 has now, is the non-solution of the Cyprus problem. Because of this, there will be armies both in the North and in the South and this is a reality.

    Mr Soyer said that he will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus and hold meetings with Greek Cypriot political parties, but added that there is no meeting planned for the time being.

    (ITs)

    [08] A Parliamentary delegation from the German Social Democrat Party will visit the occupied areas regime

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.01.07) broadcast the following:

    A parliamentary delegation from the German Social Democrat Party will be arriving in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus today for a 3-day visit as guest of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).

    The delegation made up of the deputy head of the Social Democrat grouping for the German state of Hessen, Jurgen Walter, the former German Minster of Economy and Communications Lothar Klemm and former Euro MP Ozan Ceyhun will be arriving in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus through Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport later this evening.

    During their stay in the Republic, the German delegation will be received by President Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Mayor of Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari as well as other officials from non-governmental organizations.

    The delegation is also scheduled to visit the Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation as well as other media and press institutions in the Republic.

    [09] Major General Mehmet Eroz stated that the occupation regime is the de facto guarantee of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.01.07) reports that the commander of the Security Forces Major General Mehmet Eroz stated that the existence of the Turkish occupation army in the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the republic of Cyprus) is the de facto guarantee of the TRNC. He also stated that there are treacherous statements, as regards the occupation army.

    Major General Mehmet Eroz made these statements on Friday during the oath ceremony of the reserve officers and the military sergeant candidates.

    Major General Mehmet Eroz said that during their history the Turkish Armed Forces and the Fighters did not make a war aiming at invasion. He added that the Turkish Armed Forces only got out of their barracks, and they will continue to do so, only in cases that someone set its eyes on Turkeys fatherland, flag and honour.

    He also said that the Greek Cypriot side, which denies the existence of the Turks in Cyprus, their independence and their right to govern themselves and to live in a human manner, has 78 thousand soldiers, 250 tanks, 475 armoured vehicles and is bargaining with China the purchase of 47 million Cyprus pounds worth of cannons.

    Speaking about Turkeys invasion to Cyprus, he stated that it resembles to the Peace Operation of NATO to Bosnia and Kosovo but it was even more just and effective.

    Major General Mehmet Eroz went on and stated that the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus are the support and the guarantee of the people of the TRNC. He said that this black propaganda, the provocative and treacherous statements against the Turkish armed Forces are ineffective before the common sense of the people of the TRNC. As he stated, the security forces are part of the Turkish Armed Forces and they do not control but protect the Turkish Cypriots.

    (CS)

    [10] Verheugen says they will find new way for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Vice President of the European Commission Gunter Verheugen has said that the current situation faced by the European Union in Cyprus was against the concept of the block.

    The EU Commission Vice President was speaking to reporters during a meeting he attended in the Turkish City of Bursa.

    Commenting on the Cyprus Problem, Mr Verheugen, who pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Administration had become a member of the European Union, said that the Cyprus Problem will be long solved by the time Turkey is ready to join the block.

    Stating that Turkeys EU accession process will be long and hard, the EU Commission Vice President gave the reassurance that the European Union, together with the United Nations will formulate a new strategy to solve the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that it is clear for the EU that the doors are open for Turkey.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (20.01.07) broadcast that Mr Verheugen, in a statement at an awards ceremony organized by the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association, where he was awarded the Foreign Policy prize, noted that the partition in Cyprus is unacceptable.

    Reminding that the EU Council had made a call to take necessary initiatives aimed at lifting the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, the Commission Vice-President said the need for taking steps towards providing a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem under the United Nations auspices was emphasized at an earlier statement by the former Finnish EU Presidency.

    Stating that the reunification of Cyprus is for the benefit of the Union, Mr. Verheugen said such a division on the island cannot be accepted by a Union which is based on the principles of peace, reconciliation and human rights.

    Referring to the EUs decision to partially suspend entry talks with Turkey, which was taken during the summit last December, he stated that the decision does not mean the closing of the doors but it refers to the possibility of progress being made during membership negotiations.

    [11] Erdil Nami sent letters to Olli Rehn and Frank Steinmeier

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami has also sent a letter to the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn on President Mehmet Ali Talats decision to remove the bridge at the Lokmaci (occupied Ledra Street) Barricade.

    In his letter, the President of the Chamber expressed his support for the initiative and stated that opening a crossing at Lokmaci will not only promote the development in trade, but will also improve the relations between the two sides on the island.

    The President of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami called on the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn to encourage the Greek Cypriot Administration to demolish the wall on its side at Lokmaci.

    Underlining the importance of doing this in a timely manner, Mr Nami stressed that the intervention of the EU has become necessary as the Greek Cypriot side has not reacted positively to the Turkish Cypriot initiative of good will.

    The President of the Chamber also reiterated the Chambers willingness for continuing the co-operation with the EU with the aim of developing the Turkish Cypriot economy.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.01.07) reports that the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce Erdil Nami in a letter sent to the EU-term presidency Germanys Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has asked the term presidency to approve the trade regulation according to its aim. Mr Nami sent his letter through the German Ambassador to Cyprus. The letter was distributed to the European Parliament members and the EU relevant institutions.

    (MHY)

    [12] The Turkish Cypriot chamber of shopkeepers and craftsmen called on the EU Commissioner to support the opening of Ledra Street

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Chamber of Shopkeepers and Craftsmen has sent a letter to the European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn, asking for his support for the opening of a crossing point at the Lokmaci area.

    Speaking on the issue, the President of the Chamber of Shopkeepers and Craftsmen Hurrem Tulga said that a crossing point at the Lokmaci Barricade had yet to be opened despite the fact that the footbridge at the site had been removed.

    Stating that the Greek Cypriot Administration had to knock down the Ledra wall in order for a crossing point to be opened, the Chamber President said that they were demanding the removal of the wall with the initiative they launched today.

    The letter sent to the EU Commissioner underlines the vital importance of opening a crossing point at the Lokmaci area which will bring the two sides closer.

    It also points out the fact that despite the removal of the controversial footbridge at the site, claimed to have been an obstacle for the opening of the border crossing, the Greek Cypriot Side was still creating new excuses not to open a crossing point in the area.

    Reminding of the support expressed by the international community for the opening of a `border´ crossing in the area, the letter also calls on the Greek Cypriot Administration to abandon its negative stance towards the implementation of confidence building measures between the two sides in Cyprus.

    The letter also calls on the European Union and the United Nations to exert pressure and encourage the Greek Cypriot leadership to work towards opening new crossing points along the border.

    [13] Farmers in the occupied areas to be compensated for the drought hit Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.01.07) reports under banner headlines catastrophe and refers to the drought that hit Cyprus this year. It reports that this winter is the most arid winter for the last 31 years. The paper also reports that the self-styled Minister of Agriculture in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus Onder Sennaroglu said that they are ready to compensate the farmers for their loses caused because of the drought.

    [14] The national football team of the breakaway regime began its matches in Tanzania

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (22.01.07) reports that the national football team of the breakaway regime defeated with 2-0 the Simba SC team, which participated this year in the African Champions League. About 15.000 persons watched the match, which took place at Tanzanias Dar es Salaam National Stadium. The referee of the match was Charles Victor Mvankile, who was bearing a FIFA badge.

    According to the paper, the Turkish Cypriot team will play today with Young African FC, on 24 January with the National Team of Zanzibar and on Friday 26 January with Tanzanias First National football team.

    (ITs)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] How Turkish columnists assess the murder of Armenian origin Turkish journalist Hrant Dink

    In his column in Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (20.01.07), Taha Akyol describes the murder as "barbaric, cruel, and monstrous; politically a lumpen nationalistic hatred." Stating that Dink was murdered because of his views on the Armenian problem, Akyol notes that Dink thought differently on this issue both from most of Turks and "fanatical Armenian Diaspora." Adding that Dink had the right to think differently, Akyol says the "shots fired at Dink were actually fired at Turkey." He calls on Turks to attend Dink's funeral in their thousands, like the Spaniards do in protest of ETA crimes.

    Semih Idiz says in his column in MILLIYET (20.01.07) that unless Turks, like Armenians, oust the "poison" of hatred from their blood they would achieve no progress. Idiz also advises the Turks not to embrace complot theories and seek foreign involvement, as they would look ridiculous after what Dink was made to suffer at courtrooms. Idiz also says it is time for Turks to realize the damage being caused to the republic by those who try to exploit extreme nationalism. He believes the president, prime minister, and everyone else should attend the funeral to exculpate Turkey from this shame and forestall the development of negative international opinion against Turkey.

    Derya Sazak also in MILLIYET (20.01.07) argues that the murder, coming at a time of debates on the Armenian bill and Iraqi developments, was the work of those who have been promoting the "culture of lynch" in the country for the last two years.

    Cengiz Candar in Turkish daily Referans newspaper (20.01.07) says they had been hearing speculations in the last several months about "spectacular" political assassinations with the approaching presidential elections, and wonders whether the murder of Dink constitutes the beginning of the chain of political assassinations. Candar believes the other journalists will now start fearing for their lives. "I have suddenly realized that we are all under fire," he declares. Candar also argues that those who killed Hrant actually fired their shots at Turkey, which would now have a hard time confronting Armenian claims abroad.

    In a column for The New Anatolian (20.01.07) on Dink's murder, Ilnur Cevik also mentions rumours, saying: For some time we were hearing gossip that some people who have angered the ultraconservatives may be targets of a new violent campaign. We were told that unlike in the past, the death squads are acting independently and are not linked or controlled by state bodies. We hope the security forces and intelligence network does a swift job to catch the culprit or culprits who are trying to push Turkey into a spiral of violence. If this is done, the credibility of the government and the image of Turkey can be saved."

    In his editorial in the Turkish Daily News (20.01.07), Yusuf Kanli says: "Whatever the motive behind the attack was and whoever the killer is, Turkey and Armenia have both lost a very important son today, who was trying to contribute to building the bridges of peace and understanding between his homeland Turkey and Armenia, the country that he has an ethnic affiliation with."

    In an article entitled "Who, in the Name of What, and for What Purpose?" in Turkish daily YENI SAFAK newspaper (20.01.07) columnist Ibrahim Karagul speculates about the possible motives behind the killing of Hrant Dink and the identity of the perpetrators. He argues that the assassination appears to make more sense as an act committed by international quarters to influence the results of the impending vote on an Armenian genocide bill in the US Congress at a time when Turkey is becoming increasingly sensitive about the Kirkuk issue. He argues that in this sense, the murder reads like a message to the following effect: "Stop blustering about Kirkuk and northern Iraq. Mind your own problems."

    In an article entitled "Turkey's Loss" in YENI SAFAK (20.01.07) columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that if a computer program into which the relevant intelligence and identity data have been entered were asked to provide a list of the most appropriate assassination targets for the purpose of throwing Turkey into political chaos, Hrant Dink would be one of the few names on the list. Koru warns that linking the assassination to the fact that Dink was a member of a "minority community" would lead to wrong conclusions, adding that the murder appears intended to create the false impression of a nationalist escalation. He goes on to claim that the killing of Dink is aimed at destabilizing Turkey and derailing the democratization process.

    In an article in Turkish daily ZAMAN newspaper (21.01.07) entitled "Thinking Over Nationalism", Prof. Ihsan Dagi of the Middle East Technical University says that Dink had become a target as a result of efforts made by some circles to fuel nationalism, intolerance, and aggressions in a bid to reverse the democratization process and foil attempts to ensure transparency within the government by exploiting the Cyprus issue and Armenian allegations of genocide. He comments: "Dink's tragic death should be a turning point. We must admit that rising nationalist tide provides a fertile ground for social and political provocations. A new era during which hysterical reactionary attitudes taken in the name of nationalism will not be endorsed may begin."

    In an article entitled "Hrant" in ZAMAN (21.01.07) columnist Etyen Mahcupyan argues that the government, military, judiciary, police, and all other establishments, including the academia, media, and the business community in Turkey actually share responsibility for Dink's death. He notes: "If the majority of people in a country are inclined to violence and the owners of this land do not want to let a dove to live on their garden, it means that there is an illness there and Turkey is ill. I always tried to focus on its efforts to recover. But, I can only see illness today because I lost my heart on 19 January 2007."

    In an article entitled "We Are All Hrant Dinks" in Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (21.01.07) columnist Gulay Gokturk warns that there could be new politically motivated assassinations if Dink's murder leads to new crisis between Turkey and the United States due to Armenian allegations of genocide, poisons Turkey's relations with the EU, and heightens tension between Turkey and Armenia. She also blames European leaders for contributing to political and social tension in Turkey by resorting to procrastination about Turkey's admission.

    SABAH (21.01.07) gives details on the arrest of the assassin Ogun Samast. Explaining that Samast "was arrested with the notification of his family" in Samsun, the report adds: "He was arrested upon the notification of his aunt." Recounting that "the suspect said: 'I took the gun from a friend of mine,' the report continues: "The suspect in the murder of Hrant Dink has been arrested after the broadcast of the image caught on the police security cameras on television. The police evaluated the notification of his aunt living in Trabzon and took action with identification by his father Ahmet Samast. Ogun Samast registered in the birth record at Duzkoy county of Trabzon lives with his family in Trabzon. He is the son of Ahmet Samast working as a temporary worker in the municipality. Samast aged 18 came to Istanbul by saying I am going to a wedding. Samast's father, his two uncles and his friend who organized the bombing at McDonalds in 2004 have been taken into custody. It is detected that Samast dropped by his uncle's after the murder." Another report in HURRIYET (21.01.07) explains that Samast's friend is a "convict named Yasin Hayal, who was sentenced to 6 years in prison for staging a bomb attack on McDonalds in 2004 in the northern town of Trabzon."

    A short report in SABAH (21.01.07) notes that "AKP Adana Deputy Omer Celik proposed to cover Hrant Dink's coffin with a Turkish flag and that CHP Deputy Mehmet Sevigen supported the proposal. Celik, who is the political consultant of the prime minister, said that Dink is the victim of the pop-fascism of Hitler style created by marginal mentality and added: 'He was the host of this country. His coffin should be covered with Turkish flag.'"

    Writing in MILLIYET (21.01.07), Meral Tamer urges all the state staff from President Sezer, PM Erdogan, and Gen. Buyukanit to all the others to attend Hrant Dink's funeral. In her column, Tamer expresses hope that PM Erdogan will change his mind and attend the funeral ceremony even though he said the other day that he could not. She concludes her article by noting that "the people would like to see President Sezer, who did not feel the need to congratulate Pamuk, at the funeral of Dink."

    Writing in SABAH (21.01.07), columnist Soli Ozel expresses "deep sadness and anger at the same time" in his commentary entitled "An Armenian." Once over the shock of the murder, Ozel blames PM Erdogan for not having done enough on the issue of Article 301 and freedom of expression. Ozel says that one has the right to remind PM Erdogan, who did not utter a word when a citizen was almost going to be lynched because of Article 301, that "he actually paved the path for this mad nationalism for the sake of the elections." He emphasizes that the issue of "who is responsible for not having done enough to prevent this murder" should come before the issue of the "significance" of the timing of the murder.

    In his column in HURRIYET (21.01.07), Cuneyt Ulserver assesses Hrant Dink's murder as a set-back for Turkey in the proactive foreign policies it has been pursuing in the Middle East. Explaining that he makes a connection between the Assembly decision to hold a closed session, Middle East developments, mainly PKK and Kirkuk issues, and this murder, Ulsever adds: "Now, Turkey will be told to 'clean house' whenever it will try to undertake an initiative on the PKK, Kirkuk, and northern Iraq issues." Along the same line as the other columnists, Ulsever also blames those who did not change Article 301, filed charges against Hrant Dink, and evaded responsibility because Dink did not ask for protection.

    Finally, regarding consequences, in his column in MILLIYET (21.01.07), Melih Asik worries about the consequences of this "treacherous murder" in terms of Turkey's image in the world, emphasizing the extent that this incident strengthened the "Armenian Diaspora, which seeks to convict Turkey, and turned the European and US public opinion against us. This murder actually extended support to the Armenian genocide draft bill, which will be debated in the US Congress."

    /SK


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