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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-04-27
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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.81/07 27.04.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Ozdil Nami briefs the so-called assembly on his visit to the PACETurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (27.04.07) reports that Ozdil Nami, self-styled MP with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has briefed the assembly on his recent visit to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). Mr Nami said that the reporter of the PACE for Cyprus will shortly visit the island. He noted that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat will be invited to address the general assembly of PACE. He added that they are exerting intensive efforts for being represented in the European Parliament as well.
Mr Nami described the next two months as important period because the Direct Trade Regulation could be adopted by the EU and said that the government and the opposition should evaluate this period in cooperation. He noted that lobby activities should be held at a maximum level and that the ministry of foreign affairs should work in a more professional manner during the coming period.
On his part, the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci said that they are aware of the fact that the EU should keep its promises to the Turkish Cypriots and thanked Mr Nami and Mr Hasan Tacoy, MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), for their efforts in this direction.
 Reaction to Hoons statements by the self-styled presidencyTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (27.04.07) reports that the self-styled presidency reacted to the statements which the British Minister responsible for Europe, Geoff Hoon made in order to satisfy the Greek Cypriot side. In a written statement issued yesterday, the presidency alleged that using such expressions will cause the increase of the Greek Cypriot intransigence and make the achievement of a solution to the Cyprus problem more difficult.
 Kutlay Erk: We should not keep ourselves busy with interval agendas such as the demilitarization of NicosiaTurkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (27.04.06) reports that Kutlay Erk, Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) representative for foreign relations, has evaluated the meetings held by the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties at Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone. Mr Erk argued they should not keep themselves busy with interval agendas such as the demilitarization of Nicosia. The important thing is for the political parties which participate in these meetings to make a call on the leaders of the two sides aiming at a comprehensive solution, he noted and argued, inter alia, the following: The demilitarization of Nicosia is not the solution of the Cyprus problem. These soldiers are there because of this political problem. Without solving the political problem, the demilitarization of Nicosia could not substitute the solution and could not ensure confidence. We want the two leaders to discuss the problem at the (negotiating) table. We expressed these views of ours at the meeting.
 KIBRISLI alleges that article signed by the president of the TRNC has been published in a magazine issued by the EU. Efforts to use the issue as recognition of the illegal regimeTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (27.04.06) reports that an article by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has been published in the magazine issued by the European Union on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
According to a statement issued by the Presidency, Mr Talat signed the article as president of the TRNC. The article has the title Turkish Cypriots, isolated citizens of the European Union.
 More on the issue of the illegal regimes effort to pass a law allowing Greek Cypriots to sell their properties in occupied Cyprus to the people who illegally live in themTurkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (27.04.07) reports that speaking at a press conference yesterday at the assembly, Ahmet Kasif, MP of the National Unity Party (UBP), alleged that there are no Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Reacting to the press reports that the breakaway regime prepared a draft-law according to which the Greek Cypriots will be able to sell their occupied properties to the people who are currently living in them, Kasif alleged that the occupied Greek Cypriot properties had been nationalized according to the constitution and therefore no Greek Cypriot property exists in the occupied areas of the island.
Under the title Property arrangement in the TRNC, Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (27.04.07) publishes a report by Sefa Karahasan, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus, who writes that a draft-law regarding the properties is on the agenda of the assembly. According to this law the Greek Cypriots, who had been forced to abandon their properties in 1974 due to the Turkish invasion, will have the right to sell these properties to the people who live in them. The paper writes that the National Unity Party in occupied Cyprus reacted strongly against this development.
 Part of the wall of occupied Nicosia was expropriated for the construction needs of a new governmental buildingTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (27.04.07) reports that all the offices and service units which belong to the so-called presidential palace and are scattered around it, will be placed in a new building which is being constructed in the area. An area of 1536 square meters on the walls of Nicosia has been expropriated for the needs of the building.
 More on the Turkish presidential elections. Deputies resign from their parties ahead of todays first presidential vote in the Turkish ParliamentTurkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (27.04.07) reports the following:
Members of parliament have been handing in resignations to their parties ahead of today's first presidential vote in parliament, at a time when seat number calculations have become a delicate mathematical issue.
Presidential nominee Abdullah Gul has been meeting opposition leaders and independent deputies in Parliament since his nomination in a bid to secure their support in the election, the first round of which will be held today.
Gul has so far won words of support from nine deputies in Parliament. Additional support from five more deputies would amount to 367 votes in total and will qualify Gul for the presidency in the first round of presidential voting. However the equations keep changing with deputies straying from their parties at this crucial time, when even a single vote could count in helping Gul secure a single-round win.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy for the southeastern province of Hatay 0nal Batu stated that he would be resigning from his party, reported the Anatolia news agency. "However, I would feel really sorry if people associated my party change with the 367 debate," he added.
Batu has not yet officially resigned from the CHP. He said he is currently a member of the party and therefore he will not be participating in the first rounds of the presidential election, which is due to start today.
Recent reports have suggest that Batu is set to transfer to the True Path Party (DYP), however, Batu dismissed that as being speculative.
Also yesterday, Amasya deputy Hamza Albayrak resigned from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in a surprise move, bringing the number of government seats in parliament down to 353. Albayrak in a statement said he resigned due to his personal frustration and sense of duty stemming from central party administrations indifference to corruption in his election region. His statement also stressed that his resignation is not the result of personal ambitions. Albayrak said, I have failed to get any results from any of my official applications in the past three months to the partys central administration regarding corruption in AK Partys Amasya branch.
The current situation of seats in parliament:
AK Party 353
Vacant 8 Total 550
AK Party stands for (Justice and Development Party), CHP (Republican People's Party), ANAVATAN (Motherland Party), DYP (True Path Party), SHP (Socialist People's Party), HYP (People's Ascent Party), GP (Young Party).
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 More on Gulīs candidacy for President by the Turkish pressThe Turkish Press on 26 April 2007 continued to cover the ongoing process for the election of the 11th President of Turkey, as follows:
Fikret Bila devotes his column in daily MILLIYET to an exclusive interview he held with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who has recently been announced as the AKP's presidential candidate. Bila asserts that Gul responded to his question on the 14 April rally held by the secular groups in Ankara by saying that he is aware of the concerns of certain circles and that he will make every effort to remove these concerns. Gul is also quoted as noting that he is willing to "embrace all the sectors" in the country if he is elected as president.
Another column by Semih Idiz of MILLIYET asserts that diplomatic circles regard Gul's presidential nomination as the start of a "new era" in terms of Turkey's foreign policy. Noting that Gul is expected to pursue a more "dynamic foreign policy" if he is elected as president, the columnist says that certain circles have already started to make a comparison between Gul and Sezer because the latter has been seen as a "relatively passive" and "low-profile" leader. Idiz also says that diplomatic circles believe that Gul's election as president is expected to "inject new dynamism" into Turkey's relations with the EU. According to the columnist, Turkey's relations with the United States and the Iraqi leadership are expected to improve if Gul replaces Sezer in the upcoming elections.
Writing in SABAH newspaper, Ergun Babahan outlines his telephone interview with Abdullah Gul, saying that the foreign minister summarized his main presidential goals as follows: a strong democracy, a strong economy, and a strong army. In his column, Babahan quotes Gul as stressing that "he will embrace the whole country if the parliament elects him as president." Gul is also cited as noting that he will make every effort to achieve harmony between the state institutions.
Erdal Saglam writing in HURRIYET welcomes Prime Minister Erdogan's decision not to run for president, but notes that it is still uncertain whether he made an appropriate decision by nominating Gul as president. Saglam speculates in his column that Erdogan had to announce Gul's name as his party's presidential candidate because a group of party whips, including Parliament Speaker Arinc, categorically opposed the nomination of a "low-profile" candidate by the AKP. The columnist opposes State Minister Ali Babacan's possible appointment as foreign minister, saying that Babacan, who has successfully managed to maintain relations with the IMF thus far, should remain as the state minister responsible for economic issues. Babacan has become a symbol for economic stability, he notes.
A column by Orhan Karatas in ORTADOGU newspaper approaches the nomination of Gul as the AKP's presidential candidate as part of a plan drawn up by "the Erdogan-Gul-Arinc troika" to seize the control of the whole administrative system in the country. Accusing the leading AKP figures of trying to use the presidential elections as an instrument to promote their political interests, the columnist asserts that the strategy pursued by the ruling party during the election process proved that the AKP is a "cheap copy" of the [defunct] Welfare Party, rather than a new political movement having a different identity, a different program, and a different management. He argues that those who regard Gul's presidency as an "unprecedented" development preferred to focus on the positive messages that came from the United States and the EU, but remained indifferent to the Turkish people's reaction to the issue.
In an article in REFERANS newspaper Cengiz Candar argues that Abdullah Gul's nomination as a presidential candidate won the "admiration" of the Middle East countries since it is seen as a move that is likely to prevent a new tension between the AKP and the military. Candar adds that the political circles in the Middle East believe that Gul's election as president will "increase the interest and confidence" in Turkey as it will contribute to the democratization and stability in the country. He goes on to note that Gul's presidency will be regarded as a "revolutionary" step in the region because it will turn Turkey into a model country having a democratic and stable system.
A column by Mehmet Ali Birand in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS also comments on Gul's nomination as the AKP's presidential candidate, claiming that Prime Minister Erdogan preferred to nominate Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul as the candidate in order to not tense up the relationships with the Turkish Armed Forces and the secular circles but he was forced to choose Gul instead upon Arinc's insistence.
In an article entitled "They are at it again: 'We do not want such a Turkey'", YENI SAFAK columnist Ibrahim Karagul concurs with the perception that under an AKP presidency and government, Turkey will probably be facing the most crucial turning-point in its Republican history. He takes issue with the argument that the country is confronted with an Islamist threat and asserts that political debate should concentrate not on regime conflicts but on the Government's domestic and foreign policy, social projects, and welfare and cultural policies.
In an article entitled "What Gul's candidacy brings to mind", VAKIT columnist Ali Eren slams Abdullah Gul for arranging for the Parliamentary Award of Honour to be given to former YOK Chairman Ihsan Dogramaci this year regardless of the role Dogramaci played in instituting the ban on Islamic headscarves at universities. Eren argues that secularist objections to Gul's nomination based on his wife's headscarf are meaningless because the Erdogan government has refrained from addressing the headscarf issue despite promising to treat the matter as a "debt of honor" before the election in 2002.
In an article entitled "What will change in the new period? ZAMAN columnist Mumtazer Turkone hails Gul's nomination as president as a development heralding a transition in Turkey "from a democracy of fears to a republic of freedoms" where the people will "cast off the ideological shackles" imposed by presidents like Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
In an article entitled "If a pious Muslim becomes president", MILLI GAZETE columnist Mehmed Sevket Eygi claims that if Gul is elected as Turkey's next president, this will amount to a major breach of some of the "secret protocols" of the Lausanne Treaty in the sense that these protocols present an obstacle to the election of pious politicians as presidents. Eygi goes on to assert that if Gul's ancestry dates back to Oguz Turks, his possible election will mean a violation of the said protocols in a double sense.
In an article entitled "Not headscarf but capitulation", MILLI GAZETE columnist Hasan Unal argues that Gul's expected election as president will constitute a major step in the attempt to force Turkey into submission to US policies and turn it from a sovereign power into a "loyal proxy" in the Broader Middle East project. He claims that Gul is the "main architect" of foreign policies that have placed Turkey in the position of promoting the United States and Israel's "dirty business" in the Middle East.