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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-06-20

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.117/07 20.06.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ercakicas statements during his weekly press briefing
  • [02] Salir Usar: EU experts are currently working on drafting a project for the development of the TRNC telecommunications infrastructure
  • [03] Ercakica complains of lack of resources for strengthening the fields of tourism and constructions; Columnist in AFRIKA accuses him of searching money for promoting the TRNC
  • [04] Democracy Foundation complains about the use of frequencies by Greek Cypriot channels
  • [05] So-called parliamentary delegations contacts in London
  • [06] The EU Commission is opposed to the opening of freedom of movement chapter with Turkey
  • [07] KTOS said that the occupied part of Cyprus was turned into a black money laundering and money siphoning centre
  • [08] A cooperation agreement between the illegal university of GAU and BITU
  • [09] A meeting by so-called government and military officials on security issues
  • [10] MGK convenes today to discuss terrorism
  • [11] OYAK bank is sold to Dutch ING Group
  • [12] Turkey to host meeting of worlds poor countries
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [13] How the Turkish press covered and assessed the Hudson Institute Turkey-related scenario

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ercakicas statements during his weekly press briefing

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.06.07) reports that the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat is to leave the occupied area for Sweden and Finland on 26 June. The self-styled Presidential spokesman of the occupation regime in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus, Hasan Ercakica, during his regular press briefing yesterday announced that Talat will go to Sweden and Finland to meet the foreign ministers of these countries. He said that in Sweden Mr Talat will meet the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and then he will attend a meeting at the Swedish International Relations Institute. Mr Talat then will go to Finland and there he will meet the countrys Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva.

    When asked to comment on Archbishop Chrisostomos IIs statements and contacts, Ercakica alleged that these contacts and meetings are becoming harmful. He alleged that the Archbishop continues his struggle to turn the Cyprus problem into a religious conflict. He said that he considers this approach very dangerous. This will not be helpful to the solution of the Cyprus problem, it will increase tension Hasan Ercakica stressed. During his regular press conference Ercakica also referred to the property issue and said that the Greek Cypriot administration is using, as in all aspects of the Cyprus problem, double standards in the property issue as well.

    Answering criticism launched against his person that he is destroying with his statements the friendship between the two communities Ercakica said that if that is the case he is ready to tender his resignation not only from the spokesmans post but from other posts as well.

    (MHY)

    [02] Salir Usar: EU experts are currently working on drafting a project for the development of the TRNC telecommunications infrastructure

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Its been announced that the European Union has spared 14-million Euros of funds for the improvement of the TRNCs telecommunications infrastructure within the framework of the Financial Assistance Regulation.

    The Regulation is one of the three Regulations prepared by the European Commission to help improve the Turkish Cypriot economy.

    Commenting on the issue, the Minister of Public Works and Communication Salih Usar said the money will be used to establish the infrastructure of the wireless telecommunication system, to improve and modernize the telecommunications network as well as update the current system in use.

    The Minister told the TAK news agency that EU experts were currently working on drafting a project for the development of the TRNC telecommunications infrastructure. Mr Usar said a group of EU experts is expected to visit the North in the coming days for contacts with technicians from the Telecommunications Department to give the project its final shape. Explaining that a tender will be launched in Brussels for the project, the Minister of Public Works and Communication said that the implementation of the project was expected to start at the beginning of 2008. Pointing out that the current congestion faced in telecommunication services can be solved by increasing the capacity, Mr. Usar said experts from the telecommunications department were currently trying to determine areas where upgrades were required.

    He noted that technical teams were working round the clock to provide the best service to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Also touching upon the number of GSM and normal phone subscribers in the TRNC, Mr. Usar said that the number of subscribers in ratio to the overall population in the TRNC was equivalent to that of developed countries.

    There are currently 300-thousand mobile and 104-normal phone subscribers. Taking into account the De-Jure population of 260,000, this means that there is a telephone in almost every home he said, adding that if the planned improvements take place there will be no homes left without a phone line by the end of 2009.

    [03] Ercakica complains of lack of resources for strengthening the fields of tourism and constructions; Columnist in AFRIKA accuses him of searching money for promoting the TRNC

    Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and columnist, writing in YENI DUZEN (18.06.07) complains of lack of resources for promoting the fields of tourism and the construction of the breakaway regime. He argues that measures should be taken for increasing the quality of the product they offer in the market of the above-mentioned fields.

    He says: However, the state mechanism is preoccupied with other things. The sectors which ensure the growth in northern Cyprus are constructions and tourism, but the total sum spent for the advertising of northern Cyprus is not even 10 million dollars.

    Even if the Ministry of Finance avoids saying it, this state has a beginning of the month syndrome. The state is facing difficulties on the issue of gathering and paying the wages of the people who work directly for it, who are employed in the state and public institutions and those who are even indirectly, under the responsibility of the government. Almost the whole of the resources are used for this. In this situation, it has no strength left for interfering in the economic life, it is getting weak and it is becoming exhausted. It can neither spend money for advertisement nor interfere in the procedure of improving the product.

    Mr Ercakica argues that the biggest problem in the occupied northern part of Cyprus is the fact that their economy cannot bear the weight of an unnecessarily large, unproductive and compared to us excessively large public administration.

    Meanwhile, under the title Money for advertising the TRNC is searched! the Turkish Cypriot columnist of AFRIKA (20.06.07), Ali Osman criticizes the views expressed by Mr Ercakica in the above-mentioned article and reminds that if all that has been said by the Republican Turkish Party is true, more than 3000 persons had arbitrarily been employed in the public sector. He says that Mr Ercakica is director of a private company and at the same time he takes a lot of money from the state. Addressing Mr Ercakica, Mr Osman says, inter alia, the following: The party should put an end to the duties of all those they hired, starting from you. Furthermore, you make the first move. Resign and glory to the country!

    Referring to Ercakica, he concludes: In every opportunity he submits views for the exaltation of the TRNC. He makes everything for the sake of the protection of the interests of his party and the members of his party in the international relations network he established. There is no one better than him in sitting on the lap of the army and presenting as spies of the army all those who exercise real opposition. Because he is the rare Indian silk of the regime.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Democracy Foundation complains about the use of frequencies by Greek Cypriot channels

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.06.07) broadcast the following:

    The Democracy Foundation has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus Chief of Mission Michael Moller to express its disappointment over the Greek Cypriot television channels use of frequencies which are already being used by Turkish Cypriot television channels. The use of these frequencies by Greek Cypriot channels is jamming the broadcasts of Turkish Cypriot channels.

    In the letter, the Democracy Foundation Chairman Kudret Akay asked Mr Mollers help on the issue and explained the problems being faced as a result of the use of same frequencies, which he warned, could turn to a `war in the skies`. He said that such moves are not contributing to the efforts aimed at building confidence between the two sides on the island.

    In a written statement on the issue, Mr Akay said that his Foundation will bring the issue into the agenda of the European Council, European Commission and European Parliament as well as political groupings within the Parliament and will underline the fact that unilateral restrictions imposed on one of the two sides in Cyprus will not lead to positive results.

    He noted that the attention will also be drawn to the fact that such moves will heighten tensions on the island.

    [05] So-called parliamentary delegation´s contacts in London

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.06.07) broadcast the following:

    The Speaker of the Parliament Fatma Ekenoglu has underlined the importance of effective lobbying activities in the struggle to voice the just cause of the Turkish Cypriot people to the rest of the international community.

    She said that establishing personal relations and contacts in politics will make it much easier for Turkish Cypriots to explain themselves and their just cause to the rest of the world.

    Mrs. Ekenoglu who is currently in London with a TRNC delegation for contacts at the British Parliament was speaking during a meeting held with representatives from the London Cyprus Turkish Societies Council.

    During its week-long visit, the TRNC delegation is going to have contacts at the House of Lords and the House of Commons.

    Drawing attention to the Greek Cypriot Sides successful lobbying activities within the international community, the Parliamentary speaker said that much of the problems of representation faced today were due to the Turkish Cypriot Sides inconsistent foreign policies pursued over the last 30 years, many of them which had been completely ineffective.

    Pointing out that the international communitys perception of the Turkish Cypriot people had changed following the April 2004 referendum, Mrs. Ekenoglu said that the Turkish Cypriot Side has established numerous contacts with the international community since, primarily with its observer status within the Council of Europe.

    Underlining the importance of networking and establishing personal contacts within the international community, the Parliamentary speaker reminded that a number of mutual contacts had been held with German Parliamentarians which had resulted in an adoption of an important decision within the German Federal Parliament.

    Pointing to the fact that there was a large Turkish Cypriot population living in England, which if united, could more effectively voice the Turkish Cypriot peoples just cause to the world, Mrs. Ekenoglu said that an important duty fell upon the Turkish Cypriot NGOs operating in England to achieve this goal.

    Also underlining the importance of economic strength, Mrs. Ekenoglu said that the Greek Cypriot Side was carrying out an effective lobbying campaign by using its economic power.

    She added that Turkish Cypriot NGOs should seek ways of becoming more effective.

    The Parliamentary Speaker also underlined the importance of the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people, expressing the view that this will encourage the Greek Cypriot Administration to return to the negotiating table.

    The delegation headed by the Speaker of the Parliament Fatma Ekenoglu is made up of the Republican Turkish Party deputies Ali Seylani and Ali Gulle, Freedom and Reform Party deputy Mustafa Gokmen and the Communal Democracy Party deputy Mustafa Akinci.

    Besides their contacts with Turkish Cypriot NGOs based in London, members of the delegation will hold contacts in both houses of the British Parliament.

    The delegation will return to the Republic on Sunday at the end of its contacts in Britain.

    [06] The EU Commission is opposed to the opening of freedom of movement chapter with Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.06.07) reports that the EU Commission has opposed to the opening of the chapter which envisages freedom of movement of the goods with Turkey. The reason behind the Commissions decision was Turkeys not implementing of the Customs Union protocol and the lack of legislation as regards the imports of alcoholic beverages and motor vehicles.

    (MHY)

    [07] KTOS said that the occupied part of Cyprus was turned into a black money laundering and money siphoning centre

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.06.07), the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union (KTOS) has declared that the northern part of Cyprus was turned into a black money laundering and money siphoning centre under the guise of tourism. The statement made by the KTOS General Secretary Sener Elcil stresses that the natural beaches and mountains of the country are being plundered and offered to the Turkish capital from Turkey. He strongly criticized the opening of the occupied Karpass peninsula to this plundering and usurpation.

    (MHY)

    [08] A cooperation agreement between the illegal university of GAU and BITU

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.06.07) reports that a cooperation agreement was signed between the so-called Keryneia American University (GAU) and Bangladesh Islamic Technology University (BITU) on engineering, technology and technical education. The agreement was signed in the occupied area. The Deputy Dean of the Bangladesh Islamic Technology University, Prof.Fazli Ilahi, who arrived in the occupied area for this occasion, signed the cooperation agreement on behalf of the BITU.

    (MHY)

    [09] A meeting by so-called government and military officials on security issues

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Senior government and military officials met today at the Presidential Palace to discuss security issues.

    The 4 hour long high level meeting chaired by President Mehmet Ali Talat was attended by Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia Turkekul Kurttekin, the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus, Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu, the Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Mehmet Eroz and the Minister of Interior Ozkan Murat.

    [10] MGK convenes today to discuss terrorism

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (20.06.07) reports the following:

    Turkeys National Security Council (MGK) convenes today and the focus is certain to be on terrorism issues, including measures to take in relation to northern Iraq and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

    The topics to be discussed at the meeting include strategies to combat the PKK, the creation of a security zone in Iraq, a cross-border operation and the official visit by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki to Turkey. The MGK will also consider the measures discussed at the security summit chaired by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoan on June 12. In consideration of the growing security threat posed by the PKK, the MGK will further deliberate upon the creation of a security zone, also known as a buffer zone, whereby Turkish troops would be deployed 15-20 kilometres inside northern Iraq along to prevent terrorist infiltration into Turkey through the rugged and porous border. The agenda of the council also addresses a probable increase in the Turkish military presence in northern Iraq.

    Prime Minister Erdogan will meet with the Iraqi prime minister to discuss the PKK presence in northern Iraq and strategies to be adopted in order to effectively combat the terror organization. Malikis arrival in Ankara is expected within a month. The MGK will formulate the message to be given to Maliki upon his arrival and further discuss the procurement of additional anti-mine equipment and vehicles. The Finance Ministry is currently considering transfer of additional funds to the dam and irrigation facilities in eastern and southeastern Anatolia within the context of combating terrorism. The council will also decide on this issue. Meanwhile in eastern Anatolia five military personnel were injured in a confrontation between security forces and a group of terrorists in Erzincan. Terrorists reportedly fired at the security forces from a truck. Three terrorists were killed and two were captured in the subsequent chase. The military personnel are also searching for the body of one of the terrorist group. The gendarmes were ambushed during a road search. A terrorist group of 11 fired at the patrol unit and wounded four.

    In another attack security forces, returning from clearing land mines, were attacked in the village of Kivrikli, in Gumushane Province. Pvt. Basri Aslan lost his life and Pvt. Muhammet Karaman was injured in the attack that took place on Tuesday at 9 a.m.

    [11] OYAK bank is sold to Dutch ING Group

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (20.06.07) reports the following:

    Turkey's Oyak Bank, a subsidiary of the Armed Forces Pension Fund (OYAK), released a statement on Tuesday saying it will be bought by Dutch bank ING for $2.67 billion (2 billion euros).

    The transaction, which remains subject to approval by Turkish authorities, will be conducted in cash, Oyak Bank said. The name of Oyak Bank will be changed within one year of the sale, it added. The sale of the bank had been on the agenda for some time. The OYAK Group has participated in the privatizations of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TUPRAS), Turk Telekom and Eregli Steel and Iron Corporation (Erdemir), which it purchased with a $2.7 billion bid.

    Neo-nationalist circles were pleased with the purchase of Erdemir by a national group. Under the terms of the agreement, ING will acquire 100 percent of the shares in Oyak Bank for a cash consideration of $2.67 billion, which will be financed entirely from existing internal resources.

    Michel Tilmant, chairman of the executive board of ING Group, said: Oyak Bank is a high-quality bank with a strong position in the rapidly growing Turkish market. The acquisition is in line with our strategy of supporting the strong organic growth of the group with suitable add-on acquisitions and will provide ING with a solid banking platform with significant further growth potential. It also provides the opportunity to distribute wealth management products in the future as the market further grows.

    The deal would be accretive to earnings per share from 2008, the precise amount dependent on investment levels. Tilmant said ING also planned to increase Oyaks annual marketing expenditure from 5 million euros to 20 million euros and invest 25-40 million euros in IT.

    Tilmant said ING would increase its market share from 3 percent to 5 percent relatively quickly. He said the plan was to increase the number of branches throughout Turkey from 360 to 400 or 450, adding: We expect to improve Oyaks cost income ratio and profitability very quickly. Turkey is a fast-growing and increasingly stable banking market that we have frequently reviewed for opportunities. This is the platform we needed to expand profitably in Turkey.

    He said it was the perfect time to enter Turkey, citing a range of demographics to justify the deal, which will result in a price/earnings multiple of 26.6 times the 2006 normalized earnings and a price/book multiple of 3.26 of the shareholders equity.

    Tilmant said Turkey would have the worlds 12th largest economy in the next decade, with its 2006 gross domestic product (GDP) having grown 6.1 percent, adding that the country was under-banked and had relatively high margins in consumer loans, credit cards and overdrafts. If Oyak has not been able to realize its full growth potential it has been because of lack of capital to back their development, Tilmant said. Eli Leenaars, the executive board member responsible for INGs global retail banking activities, said: Given our experience in Poland and Romania this is an exciting opportunity to enter another major fast-growing market. Oyak Bank is a strong bank with an excellent management team. By further leveraging INGs retail banking expertise, especially in internet banking, marketing and risk management in combination with Oyak Banks strong distribution and knowledge of the market, we are in a good position to rapidly expand our position in Turkey.

    Founded in 1984, Oyak Bank is a professional and well-managed top-10 bank in the Turkish market with 5,581 employees and a market share of approximately 3 percent. It offers a full range of banking services with a focus on retail banking. The bank has 1.2 million active retail customers and 10,000 small and medium-size enterprise (SME) customers. In total it has 360 branches throughout Turkey, with a good representation in all major cities. In 2006 it made pre-tax profits of YTL 165 million and at the year end it had total assets of YTL 11.8 billion and its book value was YTL 988 million. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2007. ING was advised by Citigroup, and Oyak by Morgan Stanley.

    [12] Turkey to host meeting of world´s poor countries

    Under the above title, Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (20.06.07) reports the following:

    Turkey, which is exerting efforts to secure temporary membership in the UN Security Council in 2009-2010, will try to prove its commitment and potential to contribute to efforts to resolve global problems by hosting a meeting of the ministers of the 50 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) next month, officials said yesterday.

    The organization marks an extension of Turkey's diplomatic efforts beyond its own turbulent region. Ankara has recently hosted several international meetings and organizations, including a surprise meeting between Pakistan and Israel last year and talks between Pakistani and Afghan leaders for resolution of their disputes earlier this year.

    The ministers of some 50 LDCs will hold a meeting in Istanbul on July 9-11 to reach a common platform for combating problems of fostering economic growth, said Turkish officials speaking on condition of anonymity. Representatives from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) will also participate in the talks.

    The ministerial meeting will basically discuss the possible ways and means to reach a consensus on various issues concerning benefiting from international trade negotiations and addressing the problems that are hindering the development processes of the LDCs. Agriculture, improvements in trade and ways to attract foreign investment will be high on the agenda of the meeting, whose general theme is globalization and development.

    The meeting will try to draw attention to the marginalization of LDCs in the global economy, highlight the need for beneficial integration of LDCs in the global economy as a prerequisite for sustainable development and promote cooperation between LDCs and developing countries -- in particular with Turkey.

    The first and second conferences on the LDCs were held in Paris in 1981 and 1990. The third was held in Brussels, hosted by the EU.

    Thirty-four LDCs are in Africa and 15 of them are in the Pacific area, with the remaining member, Haiti, from the Caribbean. These countries have 4 percent of the world's income but their population is 14 percent of the global population.

    The 50 least-developed countries of the world are as follows: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, the Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somali, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Butan, Cambodia, Kiribati, Laos, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Timor, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Yemen and Haiti.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [13] How the Turkish press covered and assessed the Hudson Institute Turkey-related scenario

    The Turkish Press on 19 Jun 2007 gave extensive coverage to the Turkey-related "disaster scenario" discussed at the Hudson Institute in Washington.

    In a column by Gungor Uras in MILLIYET it is argued that certain US think-tanks and their "collaborators" in Turkey are trying to "undermine" the relations between Ankara and Washington. Recalling that most of the public opinion polls conducted by the Turkish NGOs, which are cooperating with the US think-tanks, are trying to spread rumours about the increasing anti-US atmosphere in Turkey, Uras asserts: "The Turkish people began to adopt a skeptical approach toward the Americans because of this misinformation. This misinformation also affects the US administration negatively because Washington takes this gossip traffic seriously. Turkey turning into an anti-US country becomes a widespread perception and conviction."

    Also in MILLIYET, Hasan Cemal challenges those who negatively react to the Hudson Institute for discussing a disaster scenario on Turkey, saying that the main reason for the establishment of such think-tanks is to create a platform for brainstorming and exchange of all kinds of views in a free atmosphere. Pointing out that he could not understand why that scenario made many circles nervous, Cemal asserts that the seizure of hand grenades in a house in Istanbul's Umraniye District and many retired generals and non-commissioned officers' involvement in the incident made him "more nervous" as that incident was a fact, not a scenario. He says: "It will be more useful for the future of the democratic and lawful Turkish state if the government closely deals with the hand grenades instead of the scenarios in Washington." The columnist concludes by urging the government to take action against the "gangs" in Turkey.

    Under the headline, "'Scenario' message to Barzani," YENI SAFAK runs a front-page report which asserts that the participants in the recent Hudson Institute meeting on Turkey included Kubat Talabani, an aide to northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani. According to the report, Kubat Talabani flew to Iraq before the meeting ended, causing questions as to what sort of messages he might have conveyed to Barzani about the "sinister scenarios" discussed at the meeting.

    In an article entitled "To be treated like a fool", YENI SAFAK columnist Ibrahim Karagul expresses concern over what he refers to as the possible affiliations revealed by the workshop at the Hudson Institute between senior generals in the Turkish Armed Forces and foreign players and "allies" described as "threats" to Turkish interests in recent speeches delivered by Chief of Staff General Yasar Buyukanit. Karagul uses the said meeting as a basis for posing such questions as whether the "war" that has been waged against the Erdogan government in the past few years by names like Michael Rubin, Daniel Pipes, and Zeyno Baran is being conducted from within Turkey, whether the "coup scenario" posed by Zeyno Baran in the Newsweek magazine some time ago was prepared in Turkey, whether Turkey has already been made by Washington to go to the negotiating table with the northern Iraqi Kurdish administration, etc.

    In an article entitled "Wheels within wheels", YENI SAFAK columnist Fehmi Koru draws attention to circumstances that "require us to take ... the horror scenario [discussed at the Hudson Institute meeting] seriously" such as the fact that some of the acts of violence envisaged at the meeting in Washington have already taken place. Koru claims that the meeting poses a national security problem owing to the way the attending Turkish generals are claimed to have raised objections to the extradition of PKK leaders to Turkey at this time on the grounds that it would play into the hands of the ruling AKP. He also claims that the General Staff "owes an explanation to the public [about the meeting] because its silence is being misinterpreted."

    Under the headline, "Those Generals should talk," VAKIT carries a front-page report which quotes former Constitutional Court President Tulay Tugcu, the victim of the assassination envisioned as part of the "horror scenario" posed at the Hudson Institute meeting, as saying that she expects the Turkish officials who attended the meeting to make a statement.

    In an article entitled "Conspiracy theories", VAKIT columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak argues that it is as part of the "scenarios" suggested at the Hudson Institute meeting on Turkey that the discussions that took place at the meeting were leaked to the media, claiming that the AKP government is being indirectly warned in this way about the possible course of events in Turkey. He also asserts that "the path of democracy has been lined with landmines" in Turkey in a way that could lead to the destabilization of the country any time before or after the elections.

    In an article entitled "Who is Rock Hudson in the 'Sinister Scenario?'", ZAMAN columnist Tamer Korkmaz accuses certain commentators of deliberately distorting facts in referring to the discussions that took place at the recent Hudson Institute meeting as a routine "brainstorming" session and asks whether "the deep scenarios penned at the other side of the Atlantic for years" have not always materialized in the form of "provocative" armed attacks like those that have taken place within the past one year in Turkey. Korkmaz also implies that the General Staff's "virtual statement" dated 27 April was issued at the instigation of General Ergin Saygun, with whom he claims, Zeyno Baran met in Washington before she published her Newsweek article last November putting the chances of a coup in Turkey at 50 percent.

    In an article entitled "Our geography dictates conspiracy theories to us in the absence of wisdom," TODAY´S ZAMAN columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu argues that "the Hudson-organized workshop once again highlights a problem of the dual-state concept - i.e. the military-led secular establishment and the political authority - existing in Turkey and inflicting serious damage on Turkey's management of both internal and external policies."

    In an article entitled "As the ship is sinking", MILLI GAZETE columnist Mehmed Sevket Eygi lambastes what he describes as "our" lack of concern over the "doomsday scenarios" suggested at the meeting on Turkey in Washington and warns that "the bells are tolling for all of us. ... A civil war might break out. Democracy could be shelved. Martial law could be declared across the country." Eygi also asserts that certain quarters are raking in profits to the tune of "hundreds of billions of dollars" from the fight on the PKK and that for this reason "they would never want this war to end."

    Finally, in an article entitled "An abundance of scenarios", MILLI GAZETE columnist Hasan Unal argues that there will be "scenarios" about Turkey like those posed at the meeting in Washington as long as the ruling AKP remains ambivalent about the "dirty projects" conducted by the United States and Israel in the Middle East. Criticizing Foreign Minister Gul for questioning why the Turkish military officials who attended the said meeting did not leave it in protest at some of the suggestions made, Unal asks ironically whether anyone remembers Gul issuing a statement criticizing the participants in a US State Department meeting on Turkey in 2003 at which, he claims, it was suggested that a Turkish military intervention in Iraq would be opposed by the ruling AKP, business circles in Istanbul, NGOs, and "other embedded groups."

    EG/


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