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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-06-07

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.108/07 07.06.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry: Greek Cypriot involved should now inform the European Court of Human Rights
  • [02] Reactions to the UN Secretary-Generals report on Cyprus
  • [03] Nami meets with EU officials on the Direct Trade Regulation
  • [04] Five million Cyprus pounds in the so-called Central Bank of the breakaway regime
  • [05] The so-called Ombudsman participates in meetings in Europe
  • [06] Ayios Demetrios church in occupied Kythrea has been destroyed
  • [07] Diplomatic sources on a meting between the Turkish Permanent Representative to the U.N. and the UN Secretary General
  • [08] Soyer says Turkish Cypriot sides overall aim is to achieve economic parity with the Greek Cypriot side
  • [09] Joint Committee meetings between Turkish and the occupation regime officials on education, culture, health and sports
  • [10] A memorandum of understanding (MoU) envisaging Turkey's participation in the 7th Framework Program of the EU was signed in Brussels.
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] The Turkish press on the elections, military activities in the Southeast and a possible military incursion in Northern Iraq

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry: Greek Cypriot involved should now inform the European Court of Human Rights

    Illegal BAYRAK television (06.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Turkey has welcomed the TRNC Immovable Property Commissions decision to authorize the exchange of immoveable property between a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot in a case which is also on the agenda of the European Court of Human Rights.

    The Commission for the first time authorized the exchange of immoveable property between a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot owning a similar-valued property in the south.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that the decision was a proof of the fact that the TRNC Immovable Property Commission is providing a well functioning local legal system and expressed the hope that this decision will be a model for other cases, creating a precedent in international law.

    Speaking during his weekly press briefing today, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Levent Bilman said that the latest decision of the Commission which was set up to provide a local remedy is in support of the Turkish view that the property issue is a common problem for the two peoples of the island and that it needs to be solved as part of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The spokesman stated that the property issue is one of the substantial elements of the Cyprus problem and that providing remedies to the issue in this way is in harmony with the efforts aimed at bringing about a solution to the problem.

    Mr Bilman said the fact that the case is already on the agenda of the European Court of Human Rights increases the importance of the decision taken by the Commission.

    He drew attention to the fact that the reason behind the Greek Cypriot Administrations preference for the ECHR is its desire to punish Turkey.

    He noted that the Greek Cypriot involved in the case should now inform the European Court of Human Rights about the TRNC Immovable Property Commissions decision and that there is no need for the case he or she filed at the Court to be heard any more.

    `Such a move, will lead to the drop of the case at the European Court of Human Rights`, he added.

    On the same issue ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (06.06.07) reported the following from Ankara:

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Spokesman Levent Bilman said on Wednesday that a decision by the Turkish Cypriot real estate commission which ordered exchange of property between a Turkish Cypriot and a Greek Cypriot, affirmed the validity of Turkish Cypriot views on the issue.

    "The decision is particularly important because the issue, which is also under the scrutiny of the European Court of Human Rights, has been settled," Bilman told reporters in Ankara.

    Bilman added that the commission's swap decision might set an example for other cases in the ECHR.

    A total of 182 Greek Cypriots have appealed to the ECHR so far and the Greek Cypriot appeal to the property commission was a first in such cases. The decision may lead to the acceptance of the commission as part of domestic law.

    On the same issue Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (07.06.07) reports that Levent Bilman, spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has alleged that the decision for exchange of property taken by the so-called Property Compensation Commission in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus regarding an application by a Greek Cypriot refugee, stresses the validity of the views of the Turkish side. In statements during his weekly briefing yesterday, Mr Bilman said that the aim of the Greek Cypriots who file a lawsuit for their occupied property at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is to make Turkey as their interlocutor and by-pass the TRNC.

    He pointed out to the importance of the fact that the Commission decided to suggest exchange of property to a Greek Cypriot who has also submitted an application to the ECHR. Noting that the Greek Cypriot accepted this proposal, Mr Bilman said: The importance of accepting the exchange is the following: What does the Turkish side say? Most of the time, there is a property problem on the Island, but this is not only a property problem of the Greek Cypriots. At the same time there are a lot of properties left there by the Turkish Cypriots as well. Therefore, the property problem cannot be solved at the ECHR. The property problem could be solved only with a global exchange system. That is, what is in your side is yours and what is in our side is ours. If there is a difference between them, this will be settled within the framework of the comprehensive solution at the UN. This exchange is important from the point of view of stressing the validity of the opinion of the Turkish side. That is, the fact that the exchange was accepted is a result of the local remedy and the solution method is in harmony with the substance of the Cyprus problem. That is, in this sense, the fact that this application was solved on the island is important. Responding to a question, Mr Bilman expressed the opinion that the possibility of this case constituting a precedent is very high.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (07.06.07), under the banner front page title Is there a spy in the Property Compensation Commission? refers to the names of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission. The paper notes that the list was published yesterday in SIMERINI newspaper and SIGMA TV and points out that while the Turkish Cypriot journalists are not even allowed to enter the building, the Commission revealed the names of the Greek Cypriot applicants to SIGMA TV.

    [02] Reactions to the UN Secretary-Generals report on Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.06.07), under the title The time for passing into the substance has come, reports that in his report to the UN Security Council for the renewal of the term of duty of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP), the UN SecretaryGeneral, Ban Ki-Moon called on the sides in Cyprus to sit at the table for negotiations which will pave the way for the reunification of the island.

    Time has come for passing into the substance in the negotiations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon said and added that the continuation of a dialogue on a regular basis could not be perceived as a minor development when the climate of lack of confidence created especially after the referendum in 2004 is taken into consideration.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (07.06.07) refers to the reaction of the sides to Ban Ki-Moons report and notes that both sides have approached it in a positive manner. The paper publishes statements by the so-called prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer who described as important the fact the Mr Ban Ki-Moon expressed his support to the lifting of the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper notes also that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, evaluated the report in statements to illegal TAK news agency. He said that the political approaches in the report contain positive elements in general.

    He noted that naturally there are both positive and negative elements in the report and added that the manner in which the political issues are placed in the report may influence positively the efforts for finding an overall solution to the Cyprus problem. He argued that the most positive element is the reference to the lifting of the so-called isolations and to the report of 28 May 2004 prepared by Kofi Annan.

    He said that the above-mentioned report pointed out that the Annan Plan was the only way for a solution. He argued that the Greek Cypriot side exerted great effort to get rid of the Annan Plan and the Annan Report and thus to get away from the UN platform, but it could not succeed. He noted that the reference to the lifting of the isolations is important from the point of view of supporting the policy followed by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Mr Ercakica described the expression that for reaching the solution the established parameters will be utilized as one of the important elements of the report. He noted that the elements of the report regarding the 8 July process are not negative either. Mr Ercakica described as a realistic ascertainment which could secure the progress of the process the reference to the difficulties for determining the daily issues as one of the main problems regarding the process. He said that naturally there are negative aspects that cause concern to the Turkish Cypriot side in the report, but these are some technical issues.

    Ercakica alleged that it is not right to present the Turkish Cypriot side responsible for some problems deriving from the continuation of the Cyprus problem. He said that the so-called ministry of foreign affairs is examining some technical issues of the report and all these elements will be conveyed to the UN General Secretariat.

    Meanwhile, according to KIBRIS, referring to the report Levent Bilman, spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has said that there is no change in Turkeys attitude regarding the negotiating process in Cyprus under the auspices of the UN.

    In statements during his weekly briefing yesterday, Mr Bilman argued that Ankara believes that a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem could be reached and this solution could be found only without violating the fundamental parameters developed within the 40-year long UN negotiation process and with taking these parameters into consideration.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Nami meets with EU officials on the Direct Trade Regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (07.06.07) reports that Erdil Nami, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, met yesterday with Mariatta Heila from Finland and Kulliki Linnamagi from Estonia, who are members of the Ad-Hoc committee established for the Direct Trade Regulation and is bound to the EU Commissions Enlargement DG.

    Mr Nami said that the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem passes through bi-zonality, bi-communality and political equality, just like all the UN Secretary Generals have stated and it is included in the Annan Plan. He alleged that the relations of the EU with the Turkish Cypriots are progressing very slowly, in spite of the fact that the Union said that it would help the Turkish Cypriots to develop economically and it prepared the Direct Trade and Financial Aid Regulations.

    He alleged that the concerns regarding the recognition of northern Cyprus with the trade are groundless and added that recognition and trade are two different elements.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Five million Cyprus pounds in the so-called Central Bank of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (07.06.07) reports that Ahmet Tugay, the newly appointed chairman of the so-called Central Bank of the TRNC, (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus), has stated that the bank has five million Cyprus pounds in its safe. Mr Tugay held yesterday a press conference at a hotel in the occupied part of Nicosia in order to introduce himself to the journalists.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The so-called Ombudsman participates in meetings in Europe

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.06.07) reports that the so-called Ombudsman, Feridun Onsav and the director of the Ombudsman Institute, Zeki Gursel have participated in the 100th General Assembly of the European Ombudsman Institute and in a conference under the title The Cooperation between the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe with the European Ombudsmen.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Ayios Demetrios church in occupied Kythrea has been destroyed

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (07.06.07) refers to the destroyed church of Ayios Demetrios in occupied Kythrea village and notes that in the past judo lessons were being given in this church, the dome of which has collapsed. Now it is used as graveyard of pigeons, notes the paper which publishes pictures from the destroyed church.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Diplomatic sources on a meting between the Turkish Permanent Representative to the U.N. and the UN Secretary General

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (05.06.07) reports the following:

    Turkey's Permanent Representation to the U.N. gives routine information to the U.N. Secretariat on matters regarding Turkey, sources said on Tuesday.

    Speaking to A.A correspondent about the news reports appeared in some newspapers and web pages, diplomatic sources said Turkey's permanent representation gave both written and verbal information to U.N. Secretariat General on all matters pertaining to Turkey.

    According to the claims of several newspapers, "Ankara started to launch diplomatic initiatives before pushing the button for a military incursion into northern Iraq against terrorist PKK organization, and within this framework Turkey's Ambassador to the UN Baki Ilkin will submit an official paper to Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon on PKK terrorism to highlight the right to legitimate defence."

    Diplomatic sources said Ilkin does not have an appointment with U.N. Secretary General this week.

    [08] Soyer says Turkish Cypriot sides overall aim is to achieve economic parity with the Greek Cypriot side

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.06.07) broadcast the following:

    The Leader of the Republican Turkish Party-Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Cyprus Issue is the biggest problem the Turkish Cypriot People face and stressed that the struggle to bring a comprehensive solution to the problem based on the political equality of the two sides would continue.

    He said the Turkish Cypriot Sides overall goal was to reach economic parity with the Greek Cypriot Side.

    The Prime Ministers words came during a visit to the mixed village of Pyla yesterday evening as part of a series of visits organized by the Partys Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) District Office.

    Speaking in Pyla, the CTP leader-Prime Minister Soyer reminded that the Turkish Cypriot people had for years been struggling to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem based on the political equality of the two sides.

    He said that the Turkish Cypriot Sides main goal was to achieve a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus Problem based on political equality, adding that the struggle to achieve this will continue in the future.

    Pointing out that the there were advantages and disadvantages for the Turkish Cypriot people at the current point reached on the Cyprus Issue, Mr. Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriot people should not be demoralized by looking at the disadvantages as the recent steps taken by the Turkish Cypriot Side have brought many advantages.

    The greatest disadvantage for the Turkish Cypriot people is South Cyprus unilateral EU membership he said, adding that the Greek Cypriot Administration was using its membership to gain political advantage.

    Prime Minister Soyer complained that the Greek Cypriot Side was using both the United Nations platform and Turkeys EU accession process to prevent a political settlement on the island.

    Explaining that the Greek Cypriot Administrations main aim was to impose its views on the world, Mr. Soyer said the best example of this was its successful efforts to prevent the approval of the former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans report in the UN Security Council.

    Pointing out that the issues, such as the property issue, property compensation and the Orams case proved the rightfulness of the Turkish Cypriot people, Mr. Soyer stressed that the property dispute could only be addressed as part of comprehensive negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    Stating that developing the North Cyprus economy was just as important as gaining political advantages, Mr Soyer said that it was essential to improve the economic infrastructure in the country.

    The Gross National Product has risen from 980 million Euros to 2 billion Euros over the last 3 years, he said, adding that important progress had been made in developing the countrys infrastructure.

    Mr. Soyer said that the economic integration and development of the country would continue with the overall aim of reaching economic parity with the Greek Cypriot Economy.

    [09] Joint Committee meetings between Turkish and the occupation regime officials on education, culture, health and sports

    Illegal BAYRAK television (06.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Joint Committee meetings between Turkish and the TRNC officials on education, culture, health and sports start in Ankara today (yesterday). The meetings will take place at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

    Problems faced in health and education will be top on the agenda of the two-day meeting. In addition, problems faced by the Turkish students who are studying in the TRNC will be taken up during the meeting. Officials will also discuss the possibilities of how Turkish Cypriot youths may have more international contacts by overcoming the international isolations faced in education and sports. Meanwhile, the Prime Ministry Undersecretary Dogan Sahali paid a courtesy visit to Turkish Minister of State Abdullatif Sener.

    [10] A memorandum of understanding (MoU) envisaging Turkey's participation in the 7th Framework Program of the EU was signed in Brussels.

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (06.06.07) reports the following from Brussels:

    Turkish MFA announced on Wednesday that a memorandum of understanding (MoU) envisaging Turkey's participation in the 7th Framework Program of the European Union was signed in Brussels on Friday, June 1st, 2007.

    According to the MFA, the 7th Framework Program was the most comprehensive research program of the European Union with its budget of 53.2 billion Euros.

    Turkey's participation in the previous (6th) framework program had a great impact on fulfilling the chapter heading of Science & Research in Turkey's negotiation process with the EU.

    The 7th Framework Program for Research, covering the period 2007 to 2013, is considered as an important opportunity for the EU to match its research policy with its economic and social policy, by consolidating the European Research Area (ERA).

    In order to achieve this objective, the Commission hopes to increase the EU's annual spending on research, thereby generating more national and private investment in this field. When it is implemented, the 7th Framework Program will also have to respond to the research and knowledge needs of industry and more generally of EU policies.

    The 7th Framework Program will be implemented with the cooperation of the Scientific & Technical Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK).


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] The Turkish press on the elections, military activities in the Southeast and a possible military incursion in Northern Iraq

    On 6 June 2007 the Turkish press deals mainly with the military built-up in the Southeast of Turkey and the forthcoming elections, as follows:

    1. ELECTIONS:

    A report in MILLIYET by Turker Karapinar says that the High Election Council, (YSK), will make the final decision on certain political figures whose candidacies are debatable because of their alleged involvement in illegal activities. The YSK is expected to make a decision on the following names: Democratic Society Party, (DTP), candidates Hatip Dicle, Selim Sadak, Orhan Dogan, and Seferi Yilmaz, Young Party, (GP), candidate Ibrahim Tatlises, Felicity Party candidate Necmettin Erbakan, Justice and Development Party, (AKP), candidate Cemal Kaya, Democrat Party, (DP), candidates Sedat Bucak and Yasar Topcu, and Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), candidate Mehmet Sisek.

    Writing also in MILLIYET, Aydin Hasan says that the nomination of Mumtaz Yavuz and Muzaffer Atilgan as DP candidates has created "serious uneasiness" in the party. According to the report, Yavuz is accused of corruption and Atilgan is allegedly involved in a murder case. It goes on to note that the DP did not submit its candidate lists for Izmir and Sakarya considering a possible election alliance with the GP. The report adds that the party is in contact with the Suleymancilar Sect in Antalya.

    Commenting on the movement of candidates across parties MILLIYET´S Fikret Bila challenges those who claim that the AKP and the CHP are gradually becoming center parties after the transfer of certain right-wing and left-wing politicians. Stressing that "the core cadres and the basic ideologies of the parties remain unchanged," he says in his column that left-wing politicians Ertugrul Gunay and Haluk Ozdalga's decision to join the AKP cannot be seen as a change in the ideology of the ruling party because its policies will still be established by Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign Minister Gul, and Parliament Speaker Arinc. Pointing out that certain right-wing politicians' decision to join the CHP cannot be seen as a new political "initiative" either, Bila asserts: "These transfers should be seen as efforts to promote personal interests unless they begin to produce new policies and new cadres that truly address the problems of the people."

    On his part, SABAH columnist Asli Aydintasbas views AKP lists as a sincere effort showing Erdogan's willingness to turn the AKP into a centre party. She welcomes Erdogan's "courageous" decision to include "new faces" in the AKP lists despite the circles that urged him not to make significant changes. In her article, Aydintasbas describes the AKP lists as a "declaration of change" and says: "If you look at the new names (and those who were left outside) one by one, it is impossible to be pessimistic about the new parliament." She asserts that most of the new AKP members, such as Ertugrul Gunay, Prof Zafer Uskul, and researcher Reha Camuroglu, will never say "yes" to a draft law just for the sake of party discipline. Speculating that Zafer Caglayan, former chairman of the Ankara Chamber of Commerce, might replace Minister of Industry Ali Coskun in the new cabinet, Aydintasbas asserts that Caglayan is a sincere supporter of liberal economy, who managed to establish favourable relations with President Sezer and the state institutions.

    In a commentary in MILLIYET Yalcin Dogan describes the candidate lists prepared by the AKP as "deceitful," He argues that the party tried to create the impression that it will become a centre party after the inclusion of certain left-wing and liberal candidates in the lists. However, Dogan says, the "core" of the AKP is still made up of the supporters of the National View ideology. He criticizes Erdogan for nominating those who will unconditionally comply with his instructions and laments that most of the deputies, who are accused of corruption, will again run in the elections as AKP candidates. Commenting on the DP lists, he asserts that the followers of the Fethullah Gulen community have placed the party under their control because of Mehmet Agar's failure to act as a party leader. He concludes by speculating that neither the Motherland Party nor the DP will be able to pass the election threshold on 22 July.

    A long report by Goksel Bozkurt in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS supports that most of the political parties nominated candidates who might secure the support of centrist voters in the 22 July elections.

    Under the banner headline, "First day grumblers," YENI SAFAK publishes a front-page report which asserts that while Republican People's Party, (CHP), Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), and Democratic Party, (DP), leaders are under fire from MPs excluded from nomination lists for the next parliamentary term, there is no disaffection among AKP deputies who have not been nominated once again.

    In an article entitled "What the lists mean", YENI SAFAK columnist Fehmi Koru argues that the ruling AKP's nomination of leftist figures as MP candidates is part of a strategy to put pressure on the CHP to adopt a more democratic stance during the next parliamentary term. He also asserts that if both the AKP and the CHP have replaced a large number of their MPs with new candidates including many women nominees, it is because they have to convince voters not only by offering party programs based on new promises but also by creating a new "shop front" for their parties.

    In an article entitled "A parliament full of independents", VAKIT columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak predicts that the upcoming general election will result in an AKP government once more and a parliament made up of moderate Islamists as well as numerous Kurdish, liberal-leftist, and democratic independents. "In other words, the entire National Assembly will consist of ... those described as 'eternal enemies' in the [General Staff's] recent e-memorandum."

    Under the headline, "People want more democracy," ZAMAN publishes a front-page report which details the results of an opinion poll conducted for this daily, according to which 70 percent of the public support the election of presidents by universal suffrage and 66 percent disapproval of the referral of the dispute over the presidential election to the Constitutional Court.

    Under the headline, "AKP finds itself naked," MILLI GAZETE runs a front-page report which asserts that the AKP leadership has replaced most of the cadres who carried the party to power in the 2003 elections with "famous liberals and leftists."

    Finally in an article entitled "Implementing a purge: How far will the AKP go in changing itself?", MILLI GAZETE columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan interprets the exclusion of AKP deputies affiliated with the National View tradition from the party's new candidate lists as meaning that there are apparently no limits to the AKP leadership's drive for change. He also argues that the ongoing process of change in the AKP is as much characterized by uncertainty as the uncontrolled rolling of a piece of rock down a hill.

    2. Military Activity in Southeast Cross-border operation

    In a column in MILLIYET by Taha Akyol the attack against a military outpost in Tunceli's Pulumur District is criticised. The column says: "It seems that the PKK aims to demoralize the people and harm the economy through suicide attacks in cities. It also aims to establish 'regional control' in the rural areas as it did in 1990s. The PKK recruits most of its militants from our citizens and trains and accommodates them on our mountains. It extensively uses the bases on the Kandil Mountain as our border with Iraq is like a sieve." Commenting on the difficulties of combating terrorism, Akyol says that in addition to military measures, Turkey has to take economic and political steps to stop terrorism. Recalling the DTP decision not to support independent candidate Baskin Oran in Istanbul, he criticizes the party for failing to contribute to efforts to solve the Kurdish problem on the basis of the term "being from Turkey."

    A column by Erdal Safak in SABAH asserts that recent PKK attacks have increased the social pressure on Ankara, which is expected to launch a cross-border operation into northern Iraq. However, he says, the calm approach adopted by the civilian and military officials deserves praise because the sanctions that might be imposed on Turkey by the international community in the event of an operation might force the Turkish troops to withdraw from the region. He goes on to note that Turkey, which has always opposed the US invasion of Iraq due to lack of "international legitimacy," should also seek legitimacy for a cross-border operation. The columnist welcomes the diplomatic initiatives launched by Turkey to legitimize an operation into northern Iraq and says that following the political note delivered to Iraq and the briefings given to NATO and the Council of Europe on the matter, Turkey's Ambassador to UN Baki Ilgin will submit a comprehensive file to Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.

    In HURRIYET Emin Colasan also focuses on the PKK attack on a military outpost in Pulumur, arguing that Turkey has failed to take action against the terrorist organization in northern Iraq because of the US control over the "puppet" government in Iraq. In his column, he says: "Iraq is protected by the United States. The PKK is protected both by the Iraqi government and the Kurdish administration in the north. This means that the PKK is also protected by the United States." Pointing out that the military cannot decide to launch an operation without the approval of the parliament, he slams the government for being reluctant to assume the responsibility for a cross-border operation and allowing "external forces" to place Turkey's security under their control.

    A report in HURRIYET by Ugur Ergan informs that a delegation headed by Turkey's special envoy to Iraq, Oguz Celikkol, paid a two-day "secret" visit to Saudi Arabia to convey Ankara's concern over the developments in Iraq. According to the report, the violence in Iraq, the Kirkuk referendum, and the PKK terror in northern Iraq were the main issues the Turkish delegation discussed with the Saudi officials.

    In an article entitled "'Invading Kurdistan' and the Turkish threat", YENI SAFAK columnist Ibrahim Karagul claims that a possible Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq has begun to be referred to as an attempt to invade part of Iraq by the United States, Britain, and the European Union in a way suggesting that both the "crisis" over a possible Turkish cross-border campaign and international reaction to it are assuming a new character. He claims that the current status of northern Iraq is the United States' sole accomplishment in Iraq and that from the US perspective, the destabilization of the region would mean a complete defeat of the United States in Iraq.

    Under the banner headline, "How did that jeep manage to go through?" VAKIT publishes a front-page report which quotes "terror experts" as saying that the recent PKK attack on a gendarmerie outpost in Tunceli, where the attackers used a seized jeep recognized by the Turkish security personnel as a bread delivery vehicle to gain access to the outpost, should be investigated for possible neglect of duty on the part of Turkish military officials.

    In an article entitled "What would an armed forces non-reply to the government amount to?", VAKIT columnist Selahaddin Cakirgil accuses MHP leader Devlet Bahceli of displaying a militarist attitude in urging the Erdogan government to "stop standing in the way of our soldiers" while they are poised for a military operation into northern Iraq. Cakirgil argues that keeping the army under control has always been one of the fundamental challenges facing civilian governments in Republican Turkey, adding that "uncontrolled power is not real power but something that destroys the system."

    ZAMAN publishes a report in its front page entitled "Major operation launched in Southeast with the Participation of 50,000 Troops," which asserts that the Turkish military has started what amounts to the most extensive military operation against PKK terrorists in the southeast in the wake of the of seven Turkish soldiers being killed in Tunceli and an incident in Hakkari involving the opening of harassing fire on a helicopter.

    In an article entitled "If civilian politics is undermined", ZAMAN columnist Nihal B. Karaca warns that there are no guarantees that a Turkish military incursion into northern Iraq will not make Turkey an extension of a new US project. She also poses the question whether the Turkish military establishment would not be supposed to raise objections first to the United States' use of Incirlik Air Base if it can be so "daring" as to undertake an operation that will "burn all bridges" with Washington.

    In his last part of a special feature entitled "Who wants a military campaign and why?", Associate Professor Melih Can asks whether those calling for a military operation into northern Iraq are adequately evaluating the possibility that a cross-border operation might entail military confrontation with the United States, undermine the regional "prestige" Turkey earned by refusing to let the United States open a northern front on Iraq in 2003, and place Turkey in the position of an occupier in Iraq.

    Finally, in an article entitled "Mismanaged realities," TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Dogu Ergil asks how "any military ally, let alone a 'strategic partner,' [can] remain aloof to such a declaration of war [as the latest 'military dispatch' issued by the PKK] and coolly say, 'Fighting the PKK is not our ... priority in Iraq?' What happened to 'the global war on terror?' Or, is your terrorist more important than ours?"

    EG/


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