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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-06-08

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.109/07 08.06.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat comments on Mr Ban Ki-Moons report
  • [02] Mehmet Ali Talat: The international law comes up as a result of international relations within years
  • [03] Avci assesses the UN report. Pleased with the reference to the Annan May 2004 report
  • [04] Talat says that those who leaked the names of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission should be revealed
  • [05] Efforts started to include occupied Famagusta in the UNESCO cultural heritage
  • [06] COREPER members hold contacts in occupied Cyprus
  • [07] Historical artefacts believed to date back to the geometric period have been uncovered during work to widen a road in occupied Rizokarpaso
  • [08] The TRNC Athletics Federation will reportedly participate in the Junior Athletic Games in Finland
  • [09] The hearing of the case filed by the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union against the Republic of Cyprus was postponed
  • [10] Soyer says that making more investments on health is important to diminish Turkish Cypriots visits to the Republic of Cyprus for health reasons
  • [11] Statements by Erdogan on Presidential election, Security zones in Southeast and EU
  • [12] President Sezer partially vetoes foreign work permit law
  • [13] Turkey withdrew its military support to the EU under the European Security & Defence
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [14] The Turkish press on the political activity on the way to the July 22 General elections
  • [15] The Turkish Press on development in Southeastern Turkey and a possible Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat comments on Mr Ban Ki-Moons report

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.06.07), under the title The report is a message to the Greek Cypriots, publishes exclusive statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on the report of the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-Moon to the UN Security Council for the renewal of the term of duty of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    Mr Talat said that in general he is satisfied with the report. He noted that the positive elements are more than the negative both in the report in general and on the vital issues. He pointed out that the support expressed to the report of the former Secretary General, Kofi Annan is an important element and stressed the importance of defending the Annan report as a whole.

    Mr Talat argued that the reference by Mr Ban Ki-Moon to the UN parameters for reaching a solution in Cyprus is a message for the intransigent efforts of the Greek Cypriots.

    The paper writes that Mr Talat, who was annoyed with the fact that the Secretary General referred a lot to the 8 July process, criticized the fact that the report did not make it clear who is delaying this process. He alleged that the Turkish side is committed to the 8 July process and said that he did not think it is right to sanctify this process, just like the report of Mr Ban Ki-Moon is doing.

    Mr Talat argued also that another negative element of the report is the fact that it does not stress that the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point has not opened because of the preconditions allegedly set by the Greek Cypriot side.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Mehmet Ali Talat: The international law comes up as a result of international relations within years

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (08.06.07) publishes an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, who referring to the report of Mr Ban Ki-Moon reminded the previous reports which were accusing the Turkish Cypriot side for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem and argued that as a result of these reports the Turkish Cypriots suffered under isolation.

    He added: The equilibrium which came up in the reports now and the support given to us on points where we are sensitive will bring relief to the Turkish Cypriots in time. However, this will happen in time. The international law comes up as a result of international relations within years. Now we are living this process. The reports published for many years and the decisions have created international law and this was against the Turkish Cypriots. Now this is changing. This job cannot be done in a day, it unfortunately takes time. Now we are living this time.

    Responding to a question, Mr Talat alleged that no hope for a solution is seen in the horizon, because the Greek Cypriot leadership in not interested in the solution. He argued that the understanding of international community changes and that a new ground will be created when the solution of the Cyprus problem is discussed.

    When asked That is, it looks like this process will bring a definite separation, Mr Talat said: Unfortunately, this is the picture! Asked whether or not in such a separation the Turkish side will have weaknesses and whether or not it will be an occupier on the property issue for example, Mr Talat noted:

    Property is a serious issue. But it has its way. Likewise, our Property Compensation Commission is in a position of functioning.

    Asked to comment on the possible candidacy of AKELs General Secretary, Demitris Christofias for the Presidency of the Republic during the forthcoming elections and whether or not the Turkish Cypriots will be further disappointed in case Mr Christofias is elected but again no solution is reached to the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat argued that the Turkish Cypriots could not be disappointed further and wondered who could have thought that AKEL would vote no to a solution.

    He alleged that in case President Papadopoulos wins the elections, it will be difficult for the situation to change. He reiterated the claim that the Greek Cypriot side is not interested in a solution of the Cyprus problem and added: If they are not interested, we are not going to stand at the door and beg them for a solution.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Avci assesses the UN report. Pleased with the reference to the Annan May 2004 report

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.06.07), Turgay Avci, so-called minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime, has also evaluated the report of Mr Ban Ki-Moon. Mr Avci issued yesterday a written statement in which he described as pleasing the fact that Mr Ban Ki-Moon adopted the approach of his predecessor and referred to the report of 28 May 2004 prepared by Mr Annan.

    He described as important the reference to the established parameters for reaching a solution, but he said that the expressions accusing the Turkish side have caused sorrow. He alleged that the Turkish side has always shown a positive stance and contributed to the clearing of the island from the minefields.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talat says that those who leaked the names of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission should be revealed

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (08.06.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, commented on the fact that the names of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus were published in the Greek Cypriot press.

    If this news is true, the way of the leakage of these names should be searched and found, he said. Responding to a question yesterday during one of his meetings, Mr Talat pointed out that the names of the Greek Cypriots who have applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission should remain secret, because otherwise the trust will be harmed. He noted that in case the news is true, the important thing is to find out what kind of espionage was conducted to get hold of these names.

    Asked to comment on the information that Turkish Cypriot houses in the government controlled areas of the Republic are demolished and the plots of land are sold, Mr Talat said that he does possess such information. He alleged that if the information is true this would not be the first time, as the Greek Cypriots have demolished with bulldozers not only Turkish Cypriot houses, but whole villages and erased them from the map.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Efforts started to include occupied Famagusta in the UNESCO cultural heritage

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.06.07), the report of the World Monument Fund (WMF) for 2008 refers to the cultural wealth of the occupied city of Famagusta and notes that because of the current political situation on the island and the isolations the upkeep of the historical monuments in the city is not sufficient. The chairman of the WMF, Bonnie Burnham has stated that the historical wealth of Famagusta is neglected and that their aim is to draw attention to the region and help.

    Furthermore, the so-called mayor of Famagusta, Oktay Kayalp expressed his satisfaction with the fact that Famagusta has been included in the list of the worlds 100 monuments which need to be preserved. He noted that this will increase the interest in the city and give the possibility of securing projects for its maintenance. He said that their greatest target is to include Famagusta in the list of UNESCO for the Protection of the Cultural heritage.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] COREPER members hold contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.06.07) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Two members of a working group in the subcommittee of COREPER-Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union - are holding a series of inspections and contacts in the TRNC.

    The two diplomats, Finnish member Mariatta Heika and Estonian member Kulliki Linnamagi who are in the TRNC, visited yesterday the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the Prime Ministers office for coordinating EU affairs and TRNC Commission for Higher Education YODAK.

    As part of their contacts, the group visited today the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, the Cyprus Turkish Human Rights Foundation, the Near East University as well as toured the Buffer Zone.

    The members will be leaving the TRNC on Friday.

    [07] Historical artefacts believed to date back to the geometric period have been uncovered during work to widen a road in occupied Rizokarpaso

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.06.07) broadcast the following: Historical artefacts believed to date back to the geometric period have been discovered during work to widen a road in Dipkarpaz (occupied Rizokarpasso).

    Archaeologists say that it is the first time artefacts dating back to that period have been discovered in Cyprus. Among the 18 pieces found at the site is a special handled tray-the first of its kind to be found on the island. The artefacts are believed to be around 2700-3000 years old.

    Commenting on the find, the Mayor of the town of Dipkarpaz said that the artefacts were discovered in a cave during works to expand a road in the Karpaz area and added that the relevant authorities were informed immediately.

    Archaeologists from the department of antiquities and museums have started carrying out excavations at the site to unearth any remaining artefacts.

    [08] The TRNC Athletics Federation will reportedly participate in the Junior Athletic Games in Finland

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (08.06.07) reports that the team of the TRNC Athletics Federation which will participate in the Junior Athletic Games in Finland between 13 and 20 June has been announced. The team will be training as of today at Ataturk Athletics Training Centre in the occupied areas of the island.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] The hearing of the case filed by the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union against the Republic of Cyprus was postponed

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.06.07) broadcast the following:

    A Greek Cypriot Court has postponed the hearing in the case filed by the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union against the Greek Cypriot Administration asking for educational rights stemming from the 1960 constitution.

    The case was postponed until the 5th of September. During todays hearing, the Greek Cypriot Court heard the Greek Cypriot Attorney Generals Office views regarding the case. Attorney Generals Office submitted its defence in Greek but the Court asked the Office to translate its defence into Turkish as soon as possible and the hearing of the case was postponed until the 5th of September.

    Speaking after the postponement of the hearing, the Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union President Sener Elcil said that the Greek Cypriot Administration has been trying to gain time to delay the exposure of the rightfulness of the Turkish Cypriot Side. `Our rightfulness will be accepted sooner or later` he said.

    The Union has been demanding the opening of a Turkish-Language school in Limassol in line with rights stemming from the 1960 constitution.

    [10] Soyer says that making more investments on health is important to diminish Turkish Cypriots visits to the Republic of Cyprus for health reasons

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.06.07) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    A centre that will make early diagnosis and treatment of heart and breast diseases possible was inaugurated this morning. The centre which is on the grounds of the Doctor Burhan Nalbantoglu State Hospital in Lefkosia was built by the Ministry of Health and the Civil Defence Organization. In an address at the ceremony, the Minister of Health Esref Vaiz said that the health sector reform program could not be realised successfully without improvement of the infrastructure.

    The first speech at the opening ceremony of the Centre was delivered by the President of the Civil Defence Organization Zekai Aksakall1 who said that projects on the health sector were aimed at providing better health services for the people. Explaining that the Organization provided 7-million New Turkish Liras worth of contribution to the building of the Centre, Mr Aksakall1 said that donation will also be made for the Gazimagusa State Hospital which is scheduled to be put into service in August. Another speech was delivered by the Minister of Health Eref Vaiz who underlined the need to increasing public trust and confidence in health services in the Republic. Stressing that the health sector reform program could not be realised successfully without improvement of the infrastructure, he said that work to improve the infra-structure was also underway.

    For his part, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the opening of the new health centre was an important move for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriot People. Mr Soyer went on to say that making more investments on health was important to diminish Turkish Cypriots visits to the South for health reasons. Criticizing the Greek Cypriot Administration for claiming that it represents the Turkish Cypriot people as well as it provides health services for them, the Premiere said `the opening of such centres is the best response to be given to these claims. He said that the Turkish Cypriot People stands on its own feet and that it has been continuing its existence struggle in spite of the international isolation on it.

    [11] Statements by Erdogan on Presidential election, Security zones in Southeast and EU

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (07.06.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    "Because of the decision of the Constitutional Court, the presidential election has come to a deadlock," said PM Erdogan on Wednesday.

    Appearing live on 'Kanal 24' channel, Erdogan repeated his criticism regarding the decision of the Constitutional Court on presidential election, saying "if any party cannot gather 367 votes you won't be able to elect a president."

    Answering a question on who should elect the next president, Erdogan said "we want the people elect it. This is the wish of the people and the Motherland Party, as well."

    When asked, what would happen if the parliament cannot elect the next president, Erdogan replied "this would take us to a new election."

    When reminded the General Staff's statement declaring some regions in the southeastern cities of Sirnak, Siirt and Hakkari as 'temporary security zones', Erdogan said "these are fields of military activity. Our security forces did this having in mind the current situation. They are using the authority, we, as the government, provided them."

    When asked whether the scope will be widened in the future, Erdogan said a 'state of emergency' is out of question, however, the security forces might intensify their activities in some regions.

    "We will not halt the reform process" said Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan upon a question on European Union (EU).

    After reminding that he talked with the French President Nicolas Sarkozy on the phone in order to congratulate him, PM Erdogan said they will not leave any gaps regarding (Turkey's) EU membership process.

    [12] President Sezer partially vetoes foreign work permit law

    Under the above title Turkish TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (08.06.07) reports the following:

    The recent new legislation aimed at streamlining the work permit application and award system for foreigners in Turkey has been partially rejected by the president.

    President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said in the legal ground of his refusal of Law No. 5665 on foreign work permits and amendments in some related laws that the regulation on employing non-Turkish people in Turkey introduces a set of privileged rules in comparison to regulations on Turkish citizens, partially victimizing them.

    Sezer said the addition made in Article 13 of Law No. 4817 allowed foreigners who wanted to practice their professions in Turkey to work for a year with a preliminary permit before it was officially determined that they have professional competence and an adequate level of education.

    He said some foreigners were not allowed by law to practice their professions in Turkey, such as doctors and lawyers. The biggest group of foreigners allowed to practice their professions in Turkey consists of engineers, architects and city planners, Sezer said, requesting that Law No. 5665 be analyzed, taking a group of engineers, architects and city planners as an example.

    He also recalled the adjudications in Articles 16 and 49 of the Constitution, on the following grounds: The state possesses the authority to limit the employment of foreigners according to international law and by objective conditions and making their employment dependent on certain legal permissions, which are obligatory precautions that find their source in the Constitution, while its responsibility is to develop the professional lives of its citizens, protect the employed as well as the unemployed, support working and create an optimum economic atmosphere for the eradication of unemployment.

    The amendments made to the law analyzed herewith conversely introduce rules for the employment of foreigners that grant them privileges over Turkish citizens. It is tacitly difficult to reconcile this situation with public interests and the public order in view of the aforementioned constitutional rules.

    Also emphasizing that Article 7 of the amended law did not harmonize with EU practice, President Sezer said the systems currently in use in EU-member states oblige any foreign engineer, architect or city planner willing to practice his profession to produce official papers proving his academic and professional competence, membership to the related trade organization, and even fluency in the language of the country where the foreigner wants to work.

    On the legal grounds of his refusal of the law, Sezer further noted: The supervising conditions binding the professions cited above are quite insufficient, yet the eradication of the condition of seeking the envisaged academic and professional qualities in foreign applicants obviously clashes with our national and professional interests. The negligence of the condition of mutuality is also another deficiency in the law that has to be dwelled on.

    Sezer concluded by saying, Considering that the amendment encourages foreigners to work in fields that dont relate to their major and that this in turn will cater to the longstanding problem of unemployment in Turkey, it has been determined that [the amendment] doesnt fit with the constitutional rules and public interest.

    [13] Turkey withdrew its military support to the EU under the European Security & Defence

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (07.06.07) reports the following from Brussels:

    Turkey withdrew its military support to the EU under the European Security & Defence Policy. Turkey supported the EU's several military operations with its air and naval troops since the beginning of 2000s.

    After the EU failed to meet Turkey's expectations and resolve some problems, Turkey decided to withdraw its support. Reliable sources said that Gen. Yilmaz Oguz, Turkey's highest level military representative to NATO and the EU, officially conveyed Turkey's decision to the EU in May.

    In its decision, Turkey said, "we have supported the European Security & Defence Policy since the very beginning, and contributed to the EU's basic targets. Turkey has totally fulfilled its commitments stemming from the European Security & Defence Policy. During this process, Turkey explained some of its difficulties and expectations to the EU. However, we could not get a tangible development yet."

    Turkey also expressed its uneasiness over the EU's describing its contributions only as an "appendix" in the documents.

    Sources in Brussels said that Turkey, on numerous occasions, expressed its uneasiness over its exclusion from decision-making and command mechanisms in the European Security & Defence Policy operations. On the other hand, Turkey's call to the EU to finalize the necessary administrative arrangements for its participation in the European Defence Agency was not met. Earlier, the EU decided to make some administrative arrangements to pave the way for participation of Norway and Turkey in the Agency. Norway signed a document to this end. However, signing of a similar document with Turkey was vetoed by the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey's decision created a shock effect in Brussels. The EU has been trying to convince Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul said that the special operations brigade, who would join the European Security & Defence Policy Targeted Military Program and Projects in 2010 was withdrawn after it was placed among reserve units. "If Turkey's demands are not met, the General Staff will carry out a new planning," Gonul added.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [14] The Turkish press on the political activity on the way to the July 22 General elections

    The Turkish Press on 07.06.07 covers the political party activities leading to the forthcoming general elections focusing a lot on the AKP candidates, as follows:

    In a column in MILLIYET, Can Dundar explains the reasons why he would not like to be the leader of a party, a candidate, or a voter. Criticizing the party leaders for their despotic stand in determining the list of candidates while advocating that the president be chosen by popular vote, Dundar says that he would not like to be a leader who prepares these lists by choosing candidates to please each and every sector of the community while closing his ears to the criticisms. As for being a candidate, Dundar is against becoming the yes man to the despotic leaders. From the perspective of the electorate, he writes the following on his unwillingness to vote: "If I go to vote for the candidates of a system I am against, then I am afraid I will look like a fox gone shopping at a fur store."

    Writing in HURRIYET, Sukru Kucuksahin says that the current AKP list, unlike the one in 2002, is Erdogan's list. In a column, the writer believes that Erdogan was induced to chopping the list of National View candidates in view of the tete-a-tete meeting he held with General Buyukanit. Urging Erdogan to reflect this change in the AKP administration as well, Kucuksahin adds that if the National Assembly speaker, the deputy prime ministers, and the group deputy leaders come from the National View line, then one cannot speak of any change. The writer further notes the necessity of preserving the hope of change, adding: "Therefore, it is necessary to think that Erdogan did not initiate the change as a result of pressure on the part of the soldiers or of the United States."

    Also assessing the current AKP list in VATAN, Rusen Cakir does not agree that Erdogan liquidated the National View candidates from the list. On the issue of the AKP becoming a "liberal, democratic, and transparent party," Cakir says that this is doubtful since the defenders of human rights were among those that were left out of the list.

    In an article in SABAH under the title "Bahceli's Stand", Ergun Babahan praises the leader of the National Action Party, the MHP, for not provoking the masses on the issue of terror and enabling a peaceful existence between Turks and Kurds. Referring to the list of MHP candidates, Babahan writes that individuals with state and administrative experience that inspire confidence have been placed at the top of the list.

    Writing in THE NEW ANATOLIAN, Ilnur Cevik says that the joint action to be taken by the slighted members of the AKP and the CHP to reconvene the parliament is doomed to fail. In an article, Cevik advises the slighted deputies to accept the inevitable, adding that this is a move Erdogan initiated "to clean the party ranks and rid itself from political Islam appeasing the military."

    In an article under the title: "Alevis and the elections", YENI SAFAK columnist Fehmi Koru comments on Alevi demands for representation in Parliament highlighted by press reports saying that the main opposition Republican People's Party, (CHP), has included some 100 Alevi candidates on its MP lists. Koru claims that while there is nothing wrong with Alevis wanting their voice heard in the National Assembly, the way they are articulating this demand is problematic, adding that unless Alevis find an appropriate style of expression, "their next step will be to start looking into establishing a new party with a sectarian identity. It does not seem possible at all that they could benefit from this."

    In an article entitled "What the AKP's nomination lists bring to mind", VAKIT columnist M. Emin Kazci interprets the AKP's nomination lists for the next parliament as meaning that Erdogan and his aides have taken special care to create a "new facade" for their party that will make their rhetoric of change more plausible and enable the party to defuse domestic political tensions created by "external" elements. Kazci argues that this is not a meaningful approach in itself, adding that regardless of how "attractive" a party might appear on the outside, it is the extent of its "inner" strength that determines whether or not it has enough "political will" to operate efficiently.

    Also in VAKIT an article entitled "CHP: New catalyst for unity on the right", by columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak argues that the AKP has not acted wisely in taking steps to replace "at least 50 percent" of its MPs and that unless the AKP leadership tries to conciliate the deputies excluded from the nomination lists, it might have to pay a price later on. He also claims that the CHP has emerged as a new medium of unity on the right by admitting Ilhan Kesici into its ranks, adding that "leftist voters will probably not fail to see this ploy for what it is."

    Under the headline, "Alliance on the right takes the form of a Gordian knot," ZAMAN carries a front-page report which asserts that Democratic Party, (DP), leader Mehmet Agar and Motherland Party, (ANAP), leader Erkan Mumcu might meet today to resume talks on a possible election alliance in the wake of an attempt to effect a merger that recently ended in failure amid "mutual accusations."

    In an article entitled "A leaders' democracy", ZAMAN columnist Sahin Alpay argues that AKP leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan's new nominations mean that he has chosen the "1983 ANAP [Motherland Party] model" as his guide and that he is trying to strengthen the AKP's "reformist and pro-change identity" and turn the AKP into a "center party" that could be supported by a larger section of the people. Alpay asserts that Deniz Baykal, on the other hand, is setting the CHP on a more conservative and rightist course.

    In an article entitled "Military Candidates and Politics," TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that the fact that the AKP has not included former military officials, "particularly those discharged from the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK)," on its candidate lists reflects an anxiety "not to remain at odds with the TSK."

    In an article entitled "Zaman´s survey should be taken seriously," TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Ekrem Dumanli analyses the results of a survey conducted for the Zaman daily, indicating that the Turkish public "do not accept any interference whatsoever with the natural flow of the political process."

    Under the headline, "Opposition to authorization bill takes heavy toll," MILLI GAZETE runs a front-page report which asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan has excluded from the AKP's candidate lists all deputies who voted against the bill asking for authorization to let US troops be deployed to Iraq through Turkey in 2003, during the U.S. invasion to depose Saddam Huseyin.

    [15] The Turkish Press on development in Southeastern Turkey and a possible Turkish invasion of Northern Iraq

    The Turkish press on 7 June 2007 continues to cover developments in Northern Iraq after the transfer of thousands of Turkish troops to the Turkish Iraqi border, as follows:

    According to a report in HURRIYET, the General Staff has declared three provinces in the southeast as restricted zones. This is viewed as the declaration of martial law and as the beginning of an extensive operation in the region.

    In an article also in HURRIYET under the title: "Erdogan should resign from the co-chairmanship of the Greater Middle East Project (BOP)," Yalcin Bayer writers: It is common knowledge that the United States entered Iraq under the pretext of bringing democracy and initiated a process called the Greater Middle East Project." Noting that this process resulted in "blood, explosives, and tears," the writer argues that the Iraqis have come to the point of missing the Saddam regime. Recalling the exacerbation of the PKK terror in the last months, Bayer calls on Erdogan to resign from the co-chairmanship of this "bloody project" and says that this position is contradictory to what Erdogan seems to be preaching.

    In REFERANS, Cengiz Candar writes that the government is faced with the dilemma of either succumbing to domestic pressure to conduct a cross-border operation to hit the PKK elements, or being criticized for being indifferent to the PKK threat. Candar urges the government not to give in to "election populism" and to view the "the option of occupying north Iraq" from a broader perspective.

    Under the headline, "Terror Denounced in Kurdish," YENI SAFAK publishes a front-page report which asserts that Kurdish slogans were shouted in condemnation of terrorism by hundreds of people who attended the funeral in Sirnak Province of a private killed in the recent PKK raid on a military outpost in Tunceli.

    In an article entitled "Using Northern Iraq as a means of forcing a regime change" YENI SAFAK columnist Ibrahim Karagul underlines the need for Turkey to consider such possible implications of a military incursion into northern Iraq as getting bogged down in a morass, inviting domestic conflicts, being dragged into an ethnic war, "laying the foundations of centuries of enmity" with part of its own people, alienating the United States and the EU, causing friction with regional countries, and having to engage the United States militarily. He also claims that Turkey is increasingly starting to resemble other countries of the region in terms of both the foreign threats it faces and the ongoing domestic political polarization in a way that suggests the United States might be trying to pave the way for a regime change by encouraging an "Islamist-Kurdish alliance."

    Under the headline, "Solution: Special Troops," VAKIT runs a front-page report which asserts that the killing of seven Turkish soldiers in the PKK raid in Tunceli has once again drawn attention to the need to deploy elite troops against terrorists. According to the report, the Special Forces Directorate, which was established for this purpose, was relegated to a passive role during the 28 February process.

    A report entitled "Officials deny incursion as army launches massive operation" claims that the Turkish military is conducting "the most extensive operation of the past few years to track down" PKK terrorists in the wake of the attack in Tunceli. According to the report, some "50,000 troops now occupy a region surrounding the Gabar, Cudi, and Bakok mountains and the River Cehennem (Hell) in this extensive operation underway across 11 cities."

    In an article entitled "Nothing but hot air" MILLI GAZETE columnist Hasan Unal dismisses warnings in the Western press that a Turkish military operation into northern Iraq would play havoc with Turkey's financial markets as an empty threat aimed at forcing Turkey to give up its foreign policy interests for the sake of maintaining economic stability. He also takes issues with the "ridiculous" claim that Turkish troops would get "bogged down in northern Iraq" because of having to fight well-trained peshmergas as well as the United States, asserting that peshmergas do not constitute a military challenge at all and that "if the United States wants to go to war with us, it should ponder the consequences itself."

    EG/


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