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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-05

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.128/07 05.07.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Occupied Mare Monte Hotel will be leased for 49 years to a Turkish company
  • [02] The breakaway regime to provide low interest loans to tradesmen, craftsmen and small businesses in occupied Morfou and Karpass
  • [03] Durduran accuses the Turkish side of trying to poison the climate with building 4.000 new residences in Varosha, Lysi and Morfou areas
  • [04] Cakici: The status quo has been strengthened after the 24 April referendum
  • [05] Mechtild Rothe: The Greek Cypriots are doing whatever they can to delay the approval of the Direct Trade Regulation
  • [06] The Greens Group of the European Parliament is visiting Cyprus
  • [07] The first meeting of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the Youth for Alliance of Civilizations initiative will be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus 8. The foundation of the first buildings of the courts and the general attorneys office were laid yesterday at the occupied area of Trikomo
  • [09] Reactions on the issue of the bribery allegations continue
  • [10] Erdogan filed charges against Bahceli because he called him a coward
  • [11] Turkeys Foreign Ministry announcement on the US grant to Turkey Turkey never committed on non-intervening in Iraq
  • [12] International Amnesty urges Turkey to reform its judiciary system
  • [13] Erdogans Foreign Affairs adviser expects the US to take action against PKK
  • [14] Turkey reveals its expectation for hosting international events during the World Chambers Congress in Istanbul
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [15] Northern Iraq again on the agenda
  • [16] From the Turkish Press on the forthcoming parliamentary elections

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Occupied Mare Monte Hotel will be leased for 49 years to a Turkish company

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05.07.07) reports that the so-called legal and political affairs committee of the illegal assembly of the breakaway regime approved yesterday the draft-law regarding the leasing of occupied Mare Monte Hotel, which the regime had given to the Evkaf religious foundation, to Net Holding for a period of 49 years. The hotel has not been operating for a long time.

    In March Evkaf and the administrative council of the so-called religious affairs department had decided the leasing of the 352 donums of land (Tr. Note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters) consisting of the hotel and its surrounding area, to Net Holding for 49 years.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily BAKIS newspaper (05.07.07) reports that after this decision, Net Holding possesses an area of more than 1000 donums of seashore in the occupied part of the island, if Merit Hotel and Cyprus Gardens in occupied Trikomo are added to Mare Monte which is in Karavas village. The paper wonders why so much land is given to only one company, while many other companies are waiting to invest in the occupied areas.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (05.07.07) refers to the issue under the title The CTP gave Mare Monte as well to Besim Tibuk. The paper reports that Mr Besim Tibuk possesses also the Crystal Cove and Cyprus Gardens hotels in the occupied areas.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The breakaway regime to provide low interest loans to tradesmen, craftsmen and small businesses in occupied Morfou and Karpass

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (05.07.07) reports that the so-called council of ministers decided yesterday the granting of low interest loans to tradesmen, craftsmen and small businesses in occupied Morfou, aiming at the increase of the economic activity in the area.

    The so-called ministry of finance has been assigned with the duty of making the necessary preparations regarding the framework within which the loans will be given and according to what criteria. After the preparation is completed, the same possibility for low interest loans will be given to people living in the occupied Karpass peninsula, notes the paper.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Durduran accuses the Turkish side of trying to poison the climate with building 4.000 new residences in Varosha, Lysi and Morfou areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05.07.07) reports that Alpay Durduran, foreign relations secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), has said that the Turkish side is trying to poison the climate with a project of building 4.000 new residences in occupied Varosha, Lysi and Morfou areas and with its initiative to take these territories out of the scope of the land which will be returned in a possible solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In a written statement, Mr Durduran argued that time is being wasted in a harmful manner with provocations and the game of accusing the others. He said that a policy which creates trust to the people is necessary instead of provocations and called on all those concerned to change their attitude.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Cakici: The status quo has been strengthened after the 24 April referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (05.07.07) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), has stated that after the 24 April referendum the persons who are at the posts in the occupied areas changed, but the status quo remained the same.

    In statements during a meeting yesterday with KAMU-IS, the trade union of the workers in the public sector, Mr Cakici said that people had expectations from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), but nothing has fundamentally changed on the serious issues.

    He noted: After the 24 April referendum the persons in the posts changed, but the understanding and the status quo itself has not changed. Moreover, the status quo advanced by being strengthened much more.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Mechtild Rothe: The Greek Cypriots are doing whatever they can to delay the approval of the Direct Trade Regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.07) reports that Mechtild Rothe, chairman of the European Parliaments (EP) High Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots made yesterday pessimistic statements to the paper on the issue of approval of the Direct Trade Regulation in the EU. She said that the only thing she can say is that she is hoping for the approval of the regulation.

    She noted that a great effort has been exerted during the German term presidency of the EU, but there was no result. Now when I am asking the Portuguese, they too are desperate, she added and alleged that the Greek Cypriots are doing whatever they can to delay this approval.

    She said that during their meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leaders, the support of the Turkish Cypriot side to a solution was openly set forward and argued that the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side which supports the bi-communal, bi-zonal federation and is far away from demanding recognition (of the breakaway regime), is considered very important in the EU.

    Replying to a question regarding the lifting of the so-called embargo in the filed of education, she noted that when they return to Europe they will re-examine the information they acquired and work on the issue. Asked for her views on the issue of the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the EP, Mrs Rothe said her Group is among those who support the observer status to be given to two Turkish Cypriots, but there are some groups which oppose such a development.

    Furthermore, the paper notes that in statements during a press conference yesterday, the members of the Group evaluated their contacts on the island and drew a pessimistic picture. They said that the fact that the promises for lifting the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots are not fulfilled causes sorrow.

    [06] The Greens Group of the European Parliament is visiting Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.07) reports that a delegation from the Greens Group at the European Parliament is visiting Cyprus and will hold contacts with political and religious leaders both in the occupied and the government controlled area of the island until 6 July. The delegation will also meet with representatives of civilian organizations, members of the press and the ambassadors of EU member states.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The first meeting of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the Youth for Alliance of Civilizations initiative will be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily CYPRUS TIMES newspaper (05.07.07), under the title KKTC hosts IAB, reports that the first meeting of the International Advisory Board (IAB) of the Youth for Alliance of Civilizations initiative will be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus in August following an invitation by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. The paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    In June Talat appealed to the Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) to host a meeting of the international advisory board in the northern part of the island. ICYF-DC is a member-based international institution affiliated to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) headquartered at the Istanbul World Trade Centre. ICYF-DC aims to coordinate youth policies in the OIC countries and promote dialogue between youth of the OIC countries and their counterparts worldwide. After fruitful negotiations at the June meeting, ICYF-DC Secretary General Elshad Iskandarov expressed satisfaction with fostering the removal of unjust isolation of brotherly Turkish Cypriot people. He called for cooperation on the intellectual development of Turkish Cypriot youth and their involvement in the Forums global projects.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The foundation of the first buildings of the courts and the general attorneys office were laid yesterday at the occupied area of Trikomo

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.07) reports that the foundation of the first buildings of the courts and the general attorneys office were laid yesterday at the occupied area of Trikomo. These buildings are the first courts to be constructed by the breakaway regime, notes the paper. They are expected to be ready in 2008.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (05.07.07) reports that in statements during the ceremony, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, so-called prime minister of the breakaway regime, said that one of the most fundamental points for the Turkish Cypriots in order to advance their 400-year long existence on the island is their institutionalization. He reiterated that the amendment of the constitution is a necessity.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Reactions on the issue of the bribery allegations continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (05.07.07) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), evaluated the initiative by the so-called ministry of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime to ask from the Republic of Cyprus the return of businessman Ahmet Ozcag, director of Variant Ltd, who reportedly arrived in the government controlled areas of the island.

    Denktas wondered since when the Greek Cypriot side has begun to recognize the Turkish Cypriots and posed the question to the ministry whether or not it really thinks that there will be a result from this initiative. Let them not kid on us, he said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper reports that Ahmet Ozcag, known also as Variant Ahmet, has made a bargain with high ranking officials from the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) in order to close the bribery issue and not give the documents he possesses to the press.

    The paper notes that Variant Ahmet decided not to speak because he has made a deal for getting back his money. Invoking reliable sources, the paper reports that Variant Ahmets brother has come to the island in order to follow his brothers businesses, while Ahmet Ozcag himself is about to depart for London.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Erdogan filed charges against Bahceli because he called him a coward

    Turkish MILLIYET newspaper (05.07.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan filed charges against Devlet Bahceli, the leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP).

    Mr Erdogan claims that Mr Bahceli, in a written statement issued on the 13th of June, insulted his character. In this statement Mr Bahceli accused the Turkish Prime Minister of being a coward because Mr Erdogan, speaking on the issue of a cross-border operation into northern Iraq, had stated that the Turkish government cannot struggle against 5,000 terrorists. Erdogan's lawyers demand 20,000 New Turkish Lira from Bahceli as compensation.

    (CS)

    [11] Turkeys Foreign Ministry announcement on the US grant to Turkey Turkey never committed on non-intervening in Iraq

    Ankara ANATOLIA news agency (04.07.07) reports the following from Ankara: "The issue of Turkey's not intervening in Iraq unilaterally has never become a pre-condition for the grant agreement signed by Turkey and the United States on September 22nd, 2003. Turkey has never made such a commitment," Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday.

    Releasing a statement, the MFA said, "Turkey and the United States signed an agreement on September 22nd, 2003 on a grant of 1 billion USD by the USA to Turkey. The agreement aimed at supporting Turkey's ongoing economic reform process and reducing likely impacts of the United States' military operation against Iraq on Turkish economy."

    "The issue of Turkey's not intervening in Iraq unilaterally has never become a pre-condition for the agreement. Turkey has never made such a commitment. Under the agreement, if Turkey intervened in Iraq unilaterally during the payment process, the United States had the right to suspend the remaining part of the grant. This was a unilateral decision binding the United States," it said.

    The ministry indicated, "following the signing of the agreement, we decided that our country did not need such a financial support after making political and economic assessments on positive developments in Turkish economy stemming from a stable and sustainable growth, structural reforms and rooted changes and gave up the idea of putting the agreement in force. We informed the United States on our decision. We shared the developments with the public opinion through written statements released by the Treasury Undersecretariat since there was no element of confidentiality over the agreement."

    The ministry added that the agreement was not submitted to the parliament for approval, and it did not come into force.

    [12] International Amnesty urges Turkey to reform its judiciary system

    Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (05.07.07) reports that justice for victims of human rights violations in Turkey is either delayed or never seen, a leading human rights organization said in a recent report, urging Ankara to reform the existing Turkish judiciary system.

    Turkish police and gendarmerie are "torturing, ill-treating and committing murders," the London-based Amnesty International (AI) said in its report, the Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday.

    "These actions by the police and gendarmerie continue to remain unpunished," the organization said.

    "Investigations and cases opened due to grave violations of human rights by the police and gendarmerie are being handled in a perfunctory way; judges and prosecutors are making disputable decisions and this makes the situation graver," according to AI.

    "Eventually, justice for victims of human rights violations in Turkey is either served very late or never served."

    "Reform is needed in the Turkish judiciary system," Nicola Duckworth, director of the Europe and Central Asia Program at AI, was quoted as saying in the report.

    "More importance should be attributed to protection of citizens' human rights within the Turkish judiciary system than is attributed to the interests of institutions and state authorities," she added.

    The report also maintained "administrative delays, defects along the judicial process and pressure on human rights defenders and journalists" led to security forces remaining unpunished.

    [13] Erdogans Foreign Affairs adviser expects the US to take action against PKK

    Ankara ANATOLIA news agency (04.07.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    "We expect our ally (USA) to take action against terrorism as soon as possible," Egemen Bagis an MP of Justice and Development (AK) Party, who is also the foreign affairs adviser to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said late on Tuesday.

    "I cannot argue that we are making sufficient cooperation with the USA against PKK terrorism," Bagis stated during the "Independence Day" reception hosted by the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul.

    "Turkish nation is losing its patience. Mr Prime Minister is holding the necessary talks. But, we expect our ally to take action against terrorism as soon as possible, and this is a right and just expectation," noted Bagis, who is also the co-chairman of Turkish-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship Group.

    Bagis said that there are external forces that are uneasy with the stability in Turkey, and added that the terrorist organization PKK is resorting to terrorist attacks to re-gain the confidence it lost in the Southeastern Anatolia Region.

    [14] Turkey reveals its expectation for hosting international events during the World Chambers Congress in Istanbul

    Ankara ANATOLIA news agency (04.07.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Marcus Wallenberg, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), said on Wednesday that the future of the global economy depends on how the small and medium scale enterprises (SME) develop.

    Wallenberg delivered a speech at the 5th World Chambers Congress organized by the World Chambers Federation (WCF) and said the Turkish economy had an impressive and great performance. Wallenberg pointed out that Turkey was exerting efforts for a wider economic integration and said these efforts were appreciated by the ICC.

    Wallenberg noted that SMEs formed the spine of the chambers of commerce and stressed that chambers of commerce needed to be sensitive to the needs of the SMEs.

    Meanwhile Rifat Hisarciklioglu, the Chairman the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB), also delivered a speech at the congress.

    Hisarciklioglu said Turkey with a Gross National Product of more than 400 billion USD was the 6th biggest trade partner of the EU.

    "Turkey, a strong and reliable trade partner, is the 17th biggest economy of the world. With an average annual growth rate of 7.5 percent, Turkey had an actual economic growth of 43 percent in the last five years. Only in 2006 Turkey attracted 20 billion USD of direct foreign investments. We are expecting your support for Mersin's 2013 Mediterranean Summer Games candidacy and Izmir's Expo 2015 candidacy," said Hisarciklioglu.

    On the same issue, Ankara ANATOLIA news agency (04.07.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    "We all know how dedicated Turkey is to the democratic institutions and ideals," former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told an international convention of world's trade chambers in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    Albright said that Turkey was one of her most favorite countries, adding that she had always appreciated Turkey's presence in NATO.

    Former top U.S. diplomat highlighted that Turkey made a great progress over the last years, noting that the country had seen the lowest inflation rates in more than 30 years with interest rates under control and high levels of foreign investment.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [15] Northern Iraq again on the agenda

    The Turkish Press on 04.07.07 deals extensively with the issue of a possible Turkish military invasion into Northern Iraq and assesses General Buyukanits statements made while addressing the Silk Road-2007 Seminar in Antalya, as follows:

    MILLIYET newspaper publishes a commentary by Fikret Bila who asserts that addressing the Silk Road-2007 Seminar in Antalya, Chief of the General Staff General Yasar Buyukanit warned foreign generals and admirals against international support for terrorism. Recalling that Gen Buyukanit reiterated that Turkey is disappointed with the "double standard" applied by the United States and the countries in Europe and the Middle East, Bila complains that Washington has failed to meet Turkey's expectations thus far regardless of the fact that it held Al-Qa'ida responsible for the 9/11 attack and called on the whole world to support its struggle against terrorism. He adds: "[The United States] occupied many countries for the sake of its struggle against terrorism, let the NATO intervene in the process, bypassed the UN, and used all kinds of military force for this purpose. It still continues to use force. The United States declared the PKK as a terrorist organization but refrained from establishing the expected cooperation with Turkey." Recalling that the United States and the EU always call on Turkey to cooperate with the Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to find a political solution to the problem, he concludes: "Are there any countries that sincerely support Turkey's struggle against terrorism. No. However, many countries ask for the help of Turkish troops when they need them."

    In his column in SABAH, Muharrem Sarikaya also stresses that Gen Buyukanit complained about the lack of international support for Turkey's struggle against the PKK in his address to the Silk Road Seminar. Recalling that the head of the NATO Military Delegation, Gen Henault, implied that NATO might invoke Article 5, which states that an attack against one member will be considered an attack against all the other members, Sarikaya says that "Turkey's determination regarding an operation in northern Iraq led the West to find various formulas" for the solution of the problem. He also says that Turkey will either decide to launch a unilateral operation or wait for NATO to adopt a resolution.

    In an article under the title "Israeli-Commanded Peshmergas on the border", YENI SAFAK columnist Ibrahim Karagul interprets recent reports that the northern Iraqi administration is deploying its forces to the border with Turkey as meaning that "the problem is not one about the PKK any more" and that "a kind of Turkish-Kurdish conflict" is in the offing. He claims that the Kurdish troops are being directed by US and Israeli commanders and that the Iraqi Kurds are preparing for clashes with Iran and Turkey as well as for a civil war in Iraq.

    In an article entitled "A very unbelievable scenario", VAKIT columnist Huseyin Uzmez blasts recently aired footage showing a number of "supposed" PKK terrorists who have surrendered to Turkish forces making "confessions" [to the effect that they saw US military trucks carrying weapons to PKK camps in northern Iraq] as an amateurishly prepared conspiracy aimed at pressuring the Erdogan government into agreeing to launch a military incursion into northern Iraq.

    ZAMAN newspaper publishes a front-page report entitled "Erdogan-Sezer meeting strengthens possibility of authorization bill" which deals with the latest "surprise" meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Sezer. The paper argues that the meeting has strengthened claims that the Government might convene Parliament ahead of the election to pass a bill authorizing a cross-border operation into northern Iraq.

    Another report in ZAMAN entitled "We cannot enter the Prime Minister's office on days when we receive news of martyred soldiers" quotes Egemen Bagis, Prime Minister Erdogan's "black box," as saying that the upsurge in terrorist attacks in advance of the election is the result of a bid by the PKK to "frighten the people into voting for its dependent [as published] candidates" rather than for AKP candidates. According to the report, Bagis also called it "very unjust" to criticize Erdogan in connection with fallen soldiers because "The prime minister regards martyrs as his sons. Every time he receives news that a soldier has been killed, he suffers intensely."

    A front-page report in BUGUN under the title: "We have not received a cent from the US" quotes exclusive remarks by Foreign Minister Gul denying CHP leader Baykal's allegation that the AKP made a secret $1 billion agreement with the United States not to order a military campaign into Iraq.

    In an article entitled "An Open Challenge by the General Staff", BUGUN columnist Emin Pazarci argues that since it is quite unlikely that the parading before the press of a number of captured PKK terrorists making disclosures about US military support for the PKK took place outside the knowledge of the top brass of the Turkish military, the event amounts to a clear message by the General Staff to Washington that Turkey is at the end of its patience regarding the activities of its ally in northern Iraq.

    [16] From the Turkish Press on the forthcoming parliamentary elections The Turkish Press on 04.07.07 continues to host the activities of the Turkish political parties on the course to the parliamentary elections of 22 July with reports and commentaries, as follows:

    A column in MILLIYET by Guneri Civaoglu outlines his observations regarding the general elections to be held in Turkey on 22 July, saying that many families are said to have decided that instead of supporting a single party, each family member will vote for a different party in an effort to help the Democratic Party [DP] and the Nationalist Action Party [MHP] surmount the 10 percent election threshold and enter the parliament together with the Justice and Development Party [AKP] and the Republican People's Party [CHP]. Civaoglu suggests that the political parties other than the AKP should focus on issues such as "unemployment, corruption, and economic conditions" rather than on "ideological" debates as that kind of debates serves the interests of the AKP. He goes on to note that the MHP, which began to lose public support in Central Anatolia, has increased its popularity in big cities after the nomination of certain intellectuals, like Gunduz Aktan and Deniz Bolukbasi, as its candidates. According to the columnist, the AKP, which he describes as the most influential party throughout the country, is likely to establish a single-party government after the elections.

    A column in HURRIYET by Cuneyt Ulsever argues that the Democratic Society Party [DTP] will manage to enter the parliament through its independent candidates after the general elections. The columnist says that he welcomes the representation of the DTP in the parliament regardless of the fact that he is against certain DTP members' insistence on acting in line with the PKK expectations and focusing on ethnic-based policies. Turkey should start discussing the "Kurdish problem" at the National Assembly, he adds. Ulsever views certain post-election scenarios, saying that the AKP might have to establish a coalition government with the DTP in order not to become an opposition group after the elections. He goes on to speculate that the AKP might also consider supporting the election of a DTP deputy as the speaker of the parliament in return for a possible support for the presidential elections.

    A report in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS also deals with the Kurdish votes and writes that the pro-Kurdish DTP is trying to ensure that as many of its candidates will make it to parliament in the July 22 general elections. According to the report, the campaigners of DTP are mobilizing its resources to ensure that votes do not go to only one candidate, but to all equally.

    Another report in the TURKISH DAILY NEWS explains how the political parties in Turkey have sidestepped the election bans imposed by the Supreme Election Board (YSK) by way of posting their campaign advertisements, videos, and speeches on YouTube.

    Writes the paper: The YSK decided that television channels could only broadcast propaganda videos of parties between July 15 and 21.

    Parties trying to find a way out of the ban, decided to use YouTube to get their campaign platform out to the public. Nowadays, YouTube is full of special video clips, speeches by leaders and candidates and party anthems. Among the parties, it appears the Republican People's Party (CHP), criticized by some for failing to campaign as hard as others, is in the lead with nearly 4,000 postings. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) comes in a close second with 3,000 videos. Unfortunately, for the AKP, when one searches for "AK Parti," one comes across around 1,000 entries praising the government, while a search of "AKP" reveals around 2,000 videos slamming the party. The difference is the fact that the ruling party wants to be referred to as the "AK Parti," rather than the more popular AKP. The right-wing Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Saadet (Happiness or Contentment) Party (SP) have around 1,000 videos respectively on YouTube.

    Workers Party (IP) has 600, Young Party (GP) 400 and Democrat Party (DP) 300 entries. In the past, YouTube was suspended in Turkey for hosting a video insulting Turkeys founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and was reinstated after the offending video was removed. Violation of the election law may result in a similar penalty.

    A column in REFERANS by columnist Cengiz Candar assesses the trial of the murderers of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in relation to the elections and argues that it is a "significant political development" that might change the fate of the regime in Turkey. Outlining the statements made by the lawyer of the Dink family, Fethiye Cetin, Hrant Dink's wife Rakel Dink, and brother Hosrof Dink yesterday, the columnist asks whether the AKP will manage to adopt a decisive approach to have the court solve the murder. Pointing to certain indicators showing that the AKP is likely to emerge as the leading party from the 22 July elections, Candar urges the ruling party to disclose whether it tries to win the elections just to establish a single-party government or come to power as a real influential political force. The course of the Dink trial will answer this question, he adds.

    In an article entitled "Mr Ilhan and his work", YENI SAFAK columnist Taha Kivanc (pseudonym for Fehmi Koru) calls attention to former articles by CUMHURIYET columnist Ilhan Selcuk arguing on the basis of what Kivanc claims to be frequent meetings with President Sezer, that the ruling AKP would not be allowed to elect a president. Kivanc asserts that given his correct predictions regarding the presidential election process, Selcuk's recent "praise" for the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, might indicate that "he knows something" about the roles the MHP is set to assume in the forthcoming political developments at home.

    In an article entitled "An election tour", YENI SAFAK columnist Fehmi Koru recounts his impressions of the AKP's election rallies in the Black Sea town of Karabuk and Zonguldak. Koru argues that the high turnout at these rallies should be attributed not only to the dynamism of the AKP's nationwide party organization but also to opposition parties' failure to conduct a strong electioneering campaign, adding that the CHP has nothing better at its disposal as a means of weakening the AKP than "the already exhausted subject" of a $1 billion deal between the Erdogan government and Washington in return for not ordering a military incursion into Iraq and that the MHP leader's efforts to obtain votes by bringing out a hangman's noose intended for PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan at his party's rallies have already boomeranged by reminding the public of the MHP's role in preventing Ocalan's execution.

    In an article entitled "A dangerous ethnic polarization", VAKIT columnist Serdar Demirel warns that Turkey is perilously torn by ethnic polarization over the "Kurdish issue" ahead of the elections, with Turkish and Kurdish nationalists going out of their way to compound the situation by maintaining a jingoistic rhetoric that is causing tensions to escalate. He relates how "I was simply frightened" to see the people of an unnamed province with what he claims to be an equal Turkish and Kurdish population "politicized on a racial basis" to the point of saying things like "We are done for if the candidates of the opposite race are elected."

    In an article entitled "Independents", ZAMAN columnist Ali Bulac links the increase in the number of independent candidates in the upcoming election (with some 764 people from some 42 constituencies taking part in the election as independent nominees) to the "displeasure caused by the vacuum resulting from the lack of opposition." Bulac predicts that depending on the performance of independent candidates, an early election might start being discussed as early as 23 July, adding that "the independent option could inject fresh life into politics as well as virtually doing away with the election threshold."

    In an article entitled "Nationalist action at work," TODAYS ZAMAN columnist Suat Kiniklioglu comments on "the subtle rise of nationalism and the MHP among the electorate" as a result of "a sinister campaign of misinformation" by the MHP where this party is accusing the AKP of "selling [out] the country."

    Under the headline, "Freedom for headscarves," MILLI GAZETE carries a front-page report which asserts that all political parties except the Felicity Party, (SP), have come under sharp criticism from the education community for failing to pledge to abolish the Higher Education Council, (YOK), remove the restrictions on Islamic headscarves, and cancel the weighting method used in computing the results of the university entrance examination.

    In an article entitled "New high quality members", MILLI GAZETE columnist Zeki Ceyhan cites certain recent remarks by Prime Minister Erdogan in response to questions about the next cabinet and key parliamentary positions as an indication that if the AKP comes to power again, Erdogan will replace most ministers in the incumbent government and that he will not nominate Bulent Arinc as Speaker of Parliament a second time because now that he has "purged" deputies from the AKP that stand close to potential rivals like Arinc, Erdogan feels free to assert his authority. Ceyhan also claims that Erdogan is "cutting the bough he is standing on" in using characterizations that in context imply their opposite like "high quality" in reference to new AKP members eligible for ministerial posts.

    ES/


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