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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-02

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.125/07 30.06-02.07.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat back to the occupied areas after visit to Sweden and Finland
  • [02] Talat met European journalists in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [03] The Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press on the issue of the missing military Attaché of the US Embassy to Nicosia
  • [04] Ahmet Ozcag is reportedly in the government controlled areas of the island
  • [05] Another university in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Sanlidag says that 1600 applications have been submitted for 173 plots of land in occupied Gerolakkos
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot athletes won six metals in the World Tae Kwan Do Federation championship in Birmingham
  • [08] About one kilo of heroin was detected in the possession of a Turk in occupied Keryneia
  • [09] A new draft-law on the property issue is expected to be submitted today in the assembly
  • [10] Investment agency to control investments in occupied Cyprus
  • [11] Gul says that the Turkish plan for invading the northern Iraq is ready
  • [12] Swiss Police detain labour party representatives for denying Armenian genocide
  • [13] Position on the Cyprus problem in Turkish parties´ election manifestos
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [14] The problem is a problem of occupation (2)
  • [15] From the Turkish Press on the forthcoming elections

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat back to the occupied areas after visit to Sweden and Finland

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.06.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat returns to the Republic at the end of his contacts in Sweden and Finland.

    Before leaving Finland, the President told the BRT that his contacts in Stockholm and Helsinki were very useful.

    Mr Talat said he briefed both the Swedish and Finnish Foreign Ministers on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue, the reasons of the failure to achieve progress in the UN negotiations process and the difficulties being faced by the Turkish Cypriot people because of its international isolation.Speaking to BRT at the end of his visits to Sweden and Finland, the President said that Foreign Ministers of the two countries wanted to get first hand information on the difficulties being faced in the way of a solution to the Cyprus problem and on the hardships being faced by the Turkish Cypriot people because of its international isolation.

    The president said he explained the Turkish Cypriot Side's point of view on all these issues during his talks with Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Finnish Foreign Minister Ilkka Kanerva.

    `Another aim of all the invitation extended is to give the message to the Greek Cypriot Side that it should end its delaying tactics and fulfil its responsibilities in bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem. Pointing to the growing interest being shown to the Cyprus problem by Sweden -which he said, is not pleased with the impasse on the Cyprus issue, the President said it is out of question for Sweden and Finland -who are both sensitive on human rights- to approve the international isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people.Expressing the belief that the two countries will show more interest to the Cyprus problem, than the other EU member countries, Mr Talat said he does not expect his visits to yield to new developments in short term but added that the visits will lead to important developments in long term as Turkey's EU membership negotiations process is also to regain momentum.The President also noted that both Sweden and Finland reiterated their support to the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation during his contacts.He added that Sweden is in support of the implementation of the Regulation and a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    `We received first hand information that this support will continue to grow` the President noted.

    [02] Talat met European journalists in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (01.07.07) broadcast the following:

    President of the Republic Mehmet Ali Talat has said that he is not too optimistic about the future of the Direct Trade Regulation.

    He said that although Portugal has taken over the EU term Presidency from Germany as from today, the Direct Trade Regulation will once again be prevented by the Greek Cypriot side.

    The only way to overcome this situation is to use the majority vote system as proposed by the European Commission otherwise the regulation will never come to life, he added.

    Speaking during a visit paid to him today by European Journalists, President Talat evaluated the Cyprus situation.

    Noting that the Turkish Cypriot people wanted the island to be united once again, the President of the Republic said political equality is of vital importance for the Turkish Cypriot people. I insisted that political equality be put into the Annan Plan; otherwise the Annan plan would have never been accepted by the Turkish Cypriot people. Noting that the Greek Cypriot side was against the economic development of Northern Cyprus, President Talat said the Greek Cypriot side doesnt allow any Turkish Cypriot product that has a north Cyprus sticker on it, this is just unacceptable.

    Explaining that not enough EU countries knew about the Cyprus situation President Talat said from now on it was his aim to explain to new EU member states the Cyprus situation.

    Last time, when the 259 million Euro aid that was going to be made to the Turkish Cypriot people was being voted on in the European Council, south Cyprus and Greece voted against this, and other EU countries abstained, but I believe those countries didnt know enough about the Cyprus problem or what the Turkish Cypriot people had lived through, he added.

    Upon being reminded of the Greek Cypriot sides rejection of the Annan Plan, President Talat said the Greek Cypriot side had said they rejected the Annan Plan because the Turkish Army was still going to stay on the island, but this is a lie. If they had accepted the Annan Plan only 650 Turkish soldiers were going to stay on the island and 950 Greek soldiers. The Greek Cypriot side is continuing to lie to Europe and the world.

    Noting that half the soldiers of the south Cyprus army were made up of Greek soldiers, President Talat asked how come nobody is talking about this situation. Underling the tremendous mistake the European Union had made by accepting the unilateral membership of south Cyprus, President Mehmet Ali Talat concluded by saying, the European Union and the Greek Cypriot side had signed the accession treaty before the referendum of the Annan Plan.

    [03] The Turkish Cypriot and Turkish press on the issue of the missing military Attaché of the US Embassy to Nicosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.07.07) and the rest of the Turkish Cypriot press refer to the disappearance of Thomas Mooney, military Attaché of the US Embassy to Nicosia. Under the title The Attaché is missing reports that there are worries about Mooneys situation because of the terrorist actions which have been escalating recently all over the world.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (02.07.07) wonders whether or not the US Attaché has been abducted or killed and notes that he is serving both in the occupied and the government controlled areas of the island. The paper writes that the American diplomat was seen for the last time on Wednesday between 17.00 and 18.00 hours in a restaurant in occupied Bogazi, Famagusta area. He was with two women 45 and 28 years old respectively.

    Under the title Panic in the Greek Cypriot section, Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (02.07.07) publishes in its first page a report by Omer Bilge, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus who writes about Thomas Mooney, the military attaché of the US embassy to Nicosia who disappeared in a mysterious way. As the paper writes, the US embassy and the Cyprus police are searching the whole island inch by inch, including the occupied areas.

    The paper also writes that despite the efforts, the US embassy attaché, who was last seen on Thursday noon, was not found and notes that yesterday the US embassy announced officially that Thomas Mooney has been missing and published its picture, along with the picture of his car, at the embassys internet site, asking for the help of the people.

    According to Omer Bilge, the Cyprus police, who examined the crossing points to the occupied areas of Cyprus, determined that Thomas Mooney and his car did not pass to areas not under the effective control of the government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The paper also writes that Thomas Mooney, who speaks Turkish to a good level, participated as observer in the Civil Defence Manoeuvre which was carried out in occupied Cyprus in April. The paper also writes that Thomas Mooney, briefed the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, about the crisis in Lebanon, when the latter visited Cyprus because of the developments in Lebanon.

    Turkish Cypriot daily MILLIYET newspaper (02.07.07) publishes a report by Sefa Karahasan, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus, about Thomas Mooney, the military attaché of the US embassy to Nicosia who has been missing for three days now. The car of Thomas Mooney, a black 1996 model Chevrolet, is also missing.

    As the paper writes, Thomas Mooney has duties both in north and south Cyprus. Mooney, who served in Cyprus three years ago, was accredited again in Cyprus last year. The paper also writes that Mooney crossed over to the occupied areas, and went to Keryneia, two days ago.

    (I/Ts.-CS)

    [04] Ahmet Ozcag is reportedly in the government controlled areas of the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (02.07.07) reports that the director of Variant Ltd, Mr Ahmet Ozcag, has gone to the government controlled areas of the island from Turkey and not the occupied areas in an effort to avoid his arrest by the police. Invoking an important source, the paper notes that Mr Ozcag held a meeting with his lawyer on Saturday in the government controlled areas of the island and he is trying to run his business from there.

    The paper reports that it was able to get hold of the two documents to which Mr Ozcag referred in a program of Kanal T television. In the one it is noted that Variant Ahmet, as Ahmet Ozcag is known in the occupied areas, has paid 350 thousand USD and 300 thousand USD for the land allotted to him and that an additional sum of 1.7 million USD was asked from him for the signing of the leasing agreement. The other document is a copy of a check signed by Variant Ahmet. This check of 300 thousand USD was issued for a person named Gokhan Bilen and it is alleged that with this check a debt of Ahmet Yonuer, head of the religious affairs department, was paid.

    The paper reports that Ontac Duzgun, so-called permanent undersecretary at the prime ministers office affirmed the findings of KIBRISLI and added that all the information and the documents have been conveyed to the attorney generals office. The paper notes that Variant Ahmet has conducted a bargaining with Asim Vehbi, minister of environment, in order to settle the matter amicably.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Another university in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.07.07), under the title After the ODTU, the ITU is also coming to the TRNC, reports that the so-called minister of education, Canan Oztoprak met yesterday in Turkey with Prof. Dr. Faruk Karadogan, rector of the Istanbul Technical University (ITU).

    Today Mrs Oztoprak is expected to meet in Ankara with Abdullatif Sener, Turkeys State Minister responsible for Cyprus and she will sign a protocol regarding opening of the Education Research Campus of ITU in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to a statement issued by the so-called ministry of education, Prof. Dr. Karadogan briefed Mrs Oztoprak about the campus which ITU is planning to open in the occupied areas and added that with their faculties they want to contribute to the economy of the breakaway regime. He noted that with the Shipping Construction and Maritime Business Faculty they want to offer programs on the issue of yacht/marina tourism business administration.

    The Turkish professor said also that the Faculty on the Environment, which they are planning to open in the occupied areas of Cyprus, will contribute to the understanding and the protection of all complex living systems in the environment.

    According to the statement issued by the ministry, besides the above-mentioned faculties, the ITU will also open an Art and Design Faculty. The target of the ITU is at the fist stage to offer education to about six thousand students for bachelor and masters degrees.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Sanlidag says that 1600 applications have been submitted for 173 plots of land in occupied Gerolakkos

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (02.07.07) reports that Erdogan Sanlidag, so-called minister of economy and tourism stated that 1600 applications have been made by people interested to be given a plot of land in the industrial area of occupied Gerolakkos village. According to Mr Sanlidag, 173 plots will be given.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Turkish Cypriot athletes won six metals in the World Tae Kwan Do Federation championship in Birmingham

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (02.07.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot athletes who are participating in the World Tae Kwan Do Federation championship in Birmingham have won two gold, one silver and one bronze metals on the first day of the tournament.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] About one kilo of heroin was detected in the possession of a Turk in occupied Keryneia

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.07.07) reports that members of the Narcotics and Drug Trafficking Directorate of the police arrested yesterday in occupied Keryneia a person from Turkey, named Cemil Acar (55), who arrived in the occupied areas of the island as tourist. About one kilo of heroin was detected in the possession of Acar. Another person is wanted regarding this heroin.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] A new draft-law on the property issue is expected to be submitted today in the assembly

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (02.07.07) reports that a draft-law is expected to be submitted today in the assembly on the property issue. The draft-law provides for a big fine and three years imprisonment for the persons, who are selling to Greek Cypriots the property they abandoned in the government controlled area of the island in various forms, in spite of the fact that they had signed a document by which they renounced their rights over the above-mentioned property and they were given property by the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Investment agency to control investments in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (01.07.07), under the title Demand for a three billion dollar investment from foreigners, reports that the breakaway regime has decided to establish an Investment Agency in order to control all kinds of investments in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The paper notes that because of the lack the necessary legal infrastructure, a committee under Ontac Duzgun, so-called permanent undersecretary at the prime ministers office, will be formed to regulate investments for the time being.

    Mr Duzgun stated: There is a demand for a three billion dollars investments in the country form foreign investors.

    The other members of the committee will be appointed from the so-called ministries of foreign affairs, finance, internal affairs, public works, economy and tourism.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Gul says that the Turkish plan for invading the northern Iraq is ready

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.07.07) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul has said that Turkey might carry out an operation in northern Iraq, but everything should be done at the right time. He noted that these tasks are not conducted by shouting and at a time when everybody has taken his measures.

    The plan of these has been prepared by the army, the General Staff. And all these have been approved by the government. The esteemed Prime Minister has approved all these, said Gul in statements to the press in Kayseri.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (01.07.07) reports the following from Kayseri:

    Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul denied Sunday claims that they made a secret deal with the USA regarding the north of Iraq. Gul told reporters in his hometown Kayseri that these claims are not true.

    All these are lies and untrue. Could you believe we had made a secret deal with the USA? We have been doing our best to compel them to cooperate. If we had had a deal with the USA, all of its records would have been in state archives. It is quite clear. All the things said are slanders, lies by those who try to exploit our national interests in politics, Gul said.

    [12] Swiss Police detain labour party representatives for denying Armenian genocide

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (30.06.07) reports the following from Winterthur:

    Swiss police on Saturday detained Ali Mercan, representative of the Workers' Party (IP) in Switzerland, and Ethem Kayali, the Chairman of Kemalist Thought Association (ADD) in Bern, on charges that they said so-called Armenian genocide is an "imperialist lie".

    Mercan and Kayali were interrogated by Winterthur Prosecutor's office.On the other hand, Kemal Albayrak, one of IP's representatives in Switzerland, said the meeting was held getting permission from police.Dogu Perincek, Chairman of IP, was detained in Switzerland on July 24th, 2005 for saying, "Armenian genocide is an imperialist lie" in a press conference.He was released after being interrogated for more than three hours.Perincek was later tried in Swiss court in March 2007 and was fined to 9,000 francs, but this sentence was delayed for two years.

    The Lausanne court also fined Perincek to 3,000 Swiss francs, and decided to sentence Perincek to 30 days in prison if the Turkish party leader does not pay this fine immediately.

    Perincek was also asked to pay 1,000 Swiss francs to the Armenian community in Switzerland, and 10,000 francs to Sarkis Sahinyan, who filed this lawsuit against him.

    Perincek, whose appeal was rejected a while ago, filed suit to federal court.

    [13] Position on the Cyprus problem in Turkish parties´ election manifestos

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (02.07.07) reports about the election manifestos of the Turkish parties and writes that the parties priority is no longer the European Union, as in the previous elections, but Northern Iraq. The paper writes that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Republican Peoples Party (CHP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Democratic Party (DP) give promises to the voters that they will prevent the use of Northern Iraq as a terrorist military base by PKK.

    The paper writes that another issue that appears in the election manifestos is Cyprus and presents the position of four parties on the problem, which are the following:

    AKP: Support to the TRNC

    The Cyprus problem is not seen as a precondition for the Turkey-EU relations. Cyprus is a matter of the UN agenda. We will continue our strategy based on protecting our interests in the Mediterranean Sea and protecting the TRNC.

    CHP: Criticism to the government

    The EU has completely mortgaged Turkeys EU procedure. The governments pliant Cyprus policy is not successful. Thanks to CHP, the submissive policy followed by the government, did not give result.

    MHP: Two states solution

    The solution that to be found in Cyprus must be a bizonal, two nations and two state solution. All the obstacles on the cooperation in economy and trade between Turkey and the TRNC must be lifted. A defence agreement must be signed.

    DP: Military Cooperation

    We will establish cooperation in the filed of customs. We will bring to life the project of carrying drinking water through pipes to the TRNC. We will sign a military cooperation between the TRNC and Turkey.

    (CS)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [14] The problem is a problem of occupation (2)

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (30.06.07) publishes the second instalment of articles by Salih Celebioglou under the above title.

    Mr Celebioglu cites examples of the issues being exploited intentionally by the regime to direct the attention of the Turkish Cypriots from the occupation such as gambling places, brothels, crimes, robberies and money issues.

    And Mr Celebioglu goes on: And the game goes on in this manner.

    - Very well, what about the elections? The Trade Unions?

    Did you ever see a political party that came out of the ballot box elected by the people?

    Whoever the occupier wants that one comes out of the ballot box. Did you ever think how Talat with his 15% vote came out of the ballot box and sat on Denktash´s seat all of a sudden? You do not have the luxury of choosing the party you want to. Why you dont have?

    Because, these people that they have brought in masses here from Anatolia, they have already usurped your free will. What do you think, were you able to reach 65% yes in the referendum? Do you think that it was with your votes? Or with the votes of those who came from Anatolia?

    It has reached to 65% when both sides votes were added to each other.

    Right, this means that, if we did not have the votes of those who came from Anatolia, we would have reached 30%, in fact, even less than 30%.

    That is, you have said that the number of newcomers exceeded us.

    Of course, look, a population census was held, but the reality was never disclosed properly to the people.

    After the elections it took months of thinking and discussion in order to disclose the reality to the people, but the reality was never announced.

    That is, they were unable to declare ´Oh folks, you should know that those, who came from Anatolia have already exceeded our population several times´. Well what did they do? By playing on words they put forward figures which were incomprehensible.

    Bravo for those who can understand these figures. This way they tried to save face. When you are walking in the street this reality comes to you as a slap on your face.

    Well what is the interest of the occupier in transferring population to the island?

    The transfer of population should be dealt within two dimensions:

    The first one is the occupiers action to transfer population contrary to the international conventions. The second is the occupiers use of these populations that it transferred to the island, against the local people (the Turkish Cypriots).

    No need for further judgement as regards the first one, because international laws were violated, so the occupier should account for it before an international court.

    As for the second, if you wish we will examine it with an example from Australia, in the next article.

    [15] From the Turkish Press on the forthcoming elections

    The Turkish Press on 30 June 2007 cover the forthcoming election campaign with reports and articles as follows:

    A report in MILLIYET (30.06.07) under the title "Promise of salary for the unemployed" draws attention to the promises made by the Turkish political parties to the unemployed. While AKP is reserved on the issue, the opposition is making pledges on the issue of salaries for the jobless. The CHP stated that it will give 300 YTL to families that do not have any working members. The MHP [Nationalist Action Party] has pledged 200 YTL monthly for the unemployed. The DP [Democratic Party] announced that minimum wages will be exempt from income tax.

    In a commentary in MILLIYET (30.06.07) under the title: "The poor will vote in mass for AKP" Meral Tamer describes the surprise she had when a street vendor in Ankara said he will cast his vote for the AKP even though he never received a cent of help from the state during the time he was hospitalized after being wounded in a terror attack in Ulus district. Recounting the street vendor's explanation that he has been receiving food and coal from the AKP for the past three years, Tamer continues: "There is information that the AKP municipalities in Ankara, including the City of Greater Ankara, are providing regular food, clothing, and coal for 350,000 poor families. From wherever you look at it, there are 1 million votes! While 1-1.5 percent of the richest of the society are supporting the AKP in order to maintain their stability and not undermine their interests, 20-25 percent of the poor are also voting for the AKP."

    In his editorial in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS (30.06.07) entitled "Voting for Stability," Yusuf Kanli writes that "despite all their complaints, Turks may vote for AKP in hope of preserving a single-party governance and stability." Recounting his conversations with farmers, who complained on the one hand and said they will vote for AKP on the other, Kanli adds: "Surprise Cannot Be Ruled Out. People are inclined to vote for stability. That is why, perhaps, despite all complaints against them, the AKP is getting such a high rating in public opinion polls. But, we may have some real surprise when the ballots are counted. After so many years in politics, I have the conviction that in spite of whatever considerations they might have, eventually common sense prevails and people don't carry on their backs people who give them pain. People don't like politicians quarrelling with the military. People don't like politicians who refuse to compromise."

    Writing in HURRIYET (30.06.07) regarding the expected turnout for voting in the summer election, Bekir Coskun argues that those who said they will leave their summer vacations to cast their votes are now finding "interesting excuses" not to do so. Comparing the "national excitement" to a soap bubble, Coskun continues: "Those on the beach are like that .... they find excuses not to vote. Lame excuses such as "this country is hopeless. Vote, not vote, nothing changes. In my opinion, those on the beaches should be persuaded anew. Of course, not all of them as there are those who love their country more than sitting on the beach and filling their stomachs with mussels. The trap set by the AKP, however, is working."

    In an article entitled "Finding our way out of chaos after the election", YENI SAFAK (30.06.07) publishes a commentary by columnist Ali Bayramoglu who points out that Turkey is facing problems stemming from a social and economic transformation amid conflicts and polarization between different establishments of the State. He expresses his hope that the upcoming general election will help Turkey find its way out of the current government crisis.

    In an article entitled "A dull election", VAKIT newspaper (30.06.07) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak says that Turkey is going through the dullest election period in its history and that the election platforms of the political parties lack spirit. He comments: "Voters are not the main element of the forthcoming election. In other words, we are the extras rather than the actors of democracy." He notes that there is despair and disappointment among voters due to their conviction that nothing will change after the election.

    ZAMAN (30.06.07) carries a report entitled "Wealthy people switched to AKP and only the poor remained in our party" about an interview with Felicity Party leader Recai Kutan. The report quotes Kutan as saying that the Turkish economy is on the brink of collapse despite the government's assertions to the contrary, adding that severing ties with the IMF is the only solution.

    In an article entitled ""Republic protected by our Sultan and Master" TODAY´S ZAMAN (30.06.07) columnist Mehmet Kamis focuses on the Constitution Court's ruling and says: " With ridiculous justifications, the Constitutional Court said a quorum of 367 was required for the presidential election. It blocked Turkey's political system and gave an opportunity for Sezer to remain in office until the day he dies. In fact Sezer's current stay in office is against the law."

    Under the banner headline "Do not commit hara-kiri!" MILLI GAZETE (30.06.07) carries a front-page report which highlights a speech delivered by Necmettin Erbakan, leader of the National View movement, in a conference held in Istanbul. It quotes Erbakan as saying that the general election scheduled for 22 July is of crucial importance because Turkey could lose its independence if "collaborators" come to power again.

    In an article entitled "Accompanying the Prime Minister in a helicopter," BUGUN (30.06.07) columnist Murat Celik quotes Erdogan as saying that he ascribes importance to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's decision about his candidacy for President, adding that it will be a factor to be taken into consideration during deliberations to be made by the AKP's decision-making organs about presidential elections after the general election. Celik interprets Erdogan's comments as a sign that Gul's decision will not be a decisive factor.

    In a column in Istanbul HURRIYET (01.07.07), Cuneyt Ulsever analyses the results of the poll conducted by the A&G research firm on the perceived threat posed by the AKP to the secular system. Concluding that most of those who support the AKP do not expect it to move to the centre, Ulsever states that "moving away from the centre and creating the image of being rejected by the regime serves the AKP better than reconciling with the regime by approaching the centre." In essence, the AKP does not need to "dress its window and pretend" in order to increase its votes, Ulsever maintains, adding that the AKP is doing this "in order to endear itself to the regime, and to minimize the pressure applied on the AKP by the Turkish Armed Forces." On the other hand, Ulsever contends, some former AKP members who are known for their loyalty to the state of law and democracy were excluded from the list because they speak up their minds against the party leader, who demands strict obedience in line with the National View mentality.

    In a commentary in SABAH (01.07.07), Ergun Babahan points out that according to the various opinion polls, the AKP will emerge as the first party from the upcoming elections despite accusations levelled against it by certain circles that it is anti secular, it is corrupted, it caused poverty, and it failed in the presidential elections. In that case, how can this party preserve its position as the first party after almost five years in office? This is the question the opposition and the "guardians of the system" should ask themselves, Babahan suggests. "In my opinion," he argues, "the most important point is the fact that the AKP is the only party that gives hope for the future." Babahan says: "While the opposition is concentrating on a fear of division, of sharia, and of land being sold to foreigners, the AKP is delineating -- right or wrong -- a strategy of European vision, growth, and wealth. Babahan therefore suggests that the opposition discuss ways to become wealthier and bring about social justice, rather than be anti.

    Erdal Safak of SABAH (01.07.07) laments the state of neglect regarding Turkey's affairs on account of the approaching elections. In his column, Safak likens the situation to what he terms a "summer bachelor," who is left behind after his wife and children go away on a summer vacation, and who sweeps the dirt under the carpet and allows the dishes to pile up in the sink. Turkey's pressing issues are being neglected and being left to pile up in the sink, Safak maintains, saying that the new parliament and government will experience the syndrome of the housewife returning from vacation. He lists some of these issues as follows: electricity prices, water shortage, election budget deficit, current accounts deficit, terrorism, north Iraq, the Kirkuk referendum, the brewing Armenian bill in the US Congress, and the EU accession.

    Under the headline, "Avenging 367," VAKIT (01.07.07) publishes a front-page report which asserts that an "unprecedented" crowd greeted Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at the rally in Gul's hometown of Kayseri yesterday, in this way sending a "meaningful message" to "the enforcers of the 367 quorum in Ankara," who prevented Gul from being elected as president.

    Under the title: "Three-way surprise in Kayseri for those maintaining there is a rift", ZAMAN publishes an article (01.07.07) by columnist Mustafa Unal who argues on the basis of his impressions of the AKP's rally in Kayseri that the obstruction of Abdullah Gul's election as president has served to increase public support for the Erdogan government, adding that this does not necessarily mean the AKP will win more seats in Parliament in the forthcoming election since the parliamentary distribution of seats will be closely linked to the question of how many parties manage to pass the ten-percent threshold. He also asserts that "the solidarity and unity message" that Prime Minister Erdogan, Foreign Minister Gul, and Speaker of Parliament Bulent Arinc issued by holding one another's hands during the rally effectively denied allegations of a rift within the AKP over Gul's presidential candidacy.

    In an article entitled "If you cast your votes for the AKP, you will be casting them in favour of Bush so he can shed more Muslim blood", MILLI GAZETE (01.07.07) columnist Suleyman Arif Emre asserts that "if you do not cast your votes for the Felicity Party and if you re-elect the AKP into power, Erdogan will support Bush again, and Bush will support the PKK and [Mas'ud] Barzani, and the PKK will kill more Turkish soldiers with the result that the religious, sectarian, and ethnic war [in Iraq] will spill over into Turkey."

    EG/


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