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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-16

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.135/07 14-16.07.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Kivrikoglu attacks Turkish Cypriots during change of contingents´ command
  • [02] Columnists see the recent statements by Turkish army officers as a change in the Turkish policy and support to the solution of two separate states on the island
  • [03] VOLKAN accuses Izzet Izcan and Sener Elcil that although they made statements for returning the Greek Cypriot property to their owner, they also exploit it
  • [04] Assassination attempt against Mehmet Guzelyurtlu in occupied Cyprus
  • [05] Statements by Ozdil Nami on the EP presidium discussion of the contact group report
  • [06] Mr Avci on President Papadopoulos´ suggestion for a meeting with Mr Talat
  • [07] Message by Turgay Avci on the 33rd anniversary of Greek coup
  • [08] Statement by the Republican Turkish Party on the latest situation in the Cyprus issue
  • [09] Do not sacrifice Aigialousa!
  • [10] Memorandum signed with Iran for Turkmen gas
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press on the elections

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Kivrikoglu attacks Turkish Cypriots during change of contingents´ command

    Istanbul NTV television (13.07.07) broadcast the following:

    Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu, commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus, has charged that certain circles in the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] are supporting Greek Cypriot policies. Kivrikoglu also criticized the stands and statements against Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces.

    In a speech during a ceremony to mark the change of command and flags of commando and artillery regiments, Hayri Kivrikoglu delivered harsh messages without naming any names. He charged that certain circles in the KKTC were inciting artificial debates on authority, seeing Turkey as a regular neighbouring country rather than the motherland, and the Turkish Armed Forces as a foreign army. Furthermore, he said, these circles were claiming sovereignty against Turkey. He added: "I regret to say that at a time when we need to be united more than ever before, we are witnessing actions and statements that are not related to the aims of the people of the KKTC and that may endanger the KKTC's security."

    At the ceremony which was also attended by President Mehmet Ali Talat and other high-ranking officials of the KKTC, Kivrikoglu charged that certain institutions and persons were acting as tools for Greek Cypriot policies.

    Kivrikoglu said: "As in the past, in the face of the unwavering common sense of the Turkish nation and the determined stand of the Turkish military which always remains within legal boundaries, the persons, institutions, and organizations inside or outside the island who, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly, support or help the Greek Cypriot policies with their statements and actions, are being thwarted and are disappearing."

    Kivrikoglu stressed that the Turkish army has been serving on the island for the past 47 years in line with international agreements and with the authority stemming from Turkey's rights as guarantor. He added that the Turkish military presence on the island will remain until a comprehensive, just, and permanent agreement is reached.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (14.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The hand-over ceremonies for the Command of the Turkish Contingency Regiment in Lefkosia, the Commando Regiment, and the Artillery Regiment of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus was held in occupied Lefkosia last night.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikoglu were also present at the handover ceremonies held at the military barracks in Ortakoy (occupied Mintzeli).

    In an address at the ceremony, General Kivrikoglu stressed that the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus will continue its duties until a comprehensive, just and lasting solution is found to the Cyprus problem that will prevent the revival of ENOSIS.

    The ceremony at the military barracks in Ortakoy (occupied Mintzeli) started with the singing of the National Anthem and continued with the reading of histories of the Turkish Contingency Regiment, the Commando Regiment and the Artillery Regiment of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus.

    Later, autobiographies of the commanders transferring the command of the regiments and those taking over were read out.

    During the ceremony, Staff Colonel Ali Dogan Ince transferred the command of the Turkish Contingency Regiment to Staff Colonel Albay Ferhat Ozgen, Staff Colonel Ismail Hakk1 Onder transferred the Command of the Commando Regiment to Staff Colonel Gungor Selbes and Staff Colonel Fatih Musa Ç1nar transferred the command of the Artillery Regiment to Staff Colonel Ahmet Erap.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hayri K1vr1koglu presented shields to the commanders transferring their duties to new commanders for their great services.

    President Talat thanked the commanders for their self-sacrificing services wishing them success in their next tasks.

    For his part, Lieutenant General Hayri K1vr1koglu said that the commanders had made great contributions to the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with their self-sacrificing services.

    The General also pointed out that the Greek Cypriot side is still pursuing policies in support of ENOSIS, the unification of the island with Greece.

    `The essence of the 1960 agreements aims to prevent ENOSIS, something Greek Cypriots did not abandon and will never do so` he said, stressing that the Force will continue its duties until a comprehensive, just and lasting solution is found to the Cyprus problem that will prevent the revival of ENOSIS.

    Complaining of political and diplomatic games being played on the island, he said the Greek Cypriot Administration has been trying to create the necessary conditions for ENOSIS and osmosis, the assimilation of Turkish Cypriots into the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    He said, in spite of the Greek Cypriot sides attitude, the TRNC has been searching ways to remove the isolation on it while at the same time working towards a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.

    General K1vr1koglu also underlined the need to act in unity in the current phase of the Cyprus issue.

    The ceremony ended with a parade.

    On the same issue Today s Zaman newspaper (16.07.07) reports the following under the title: KKTC media stays cool in wake of Kivrikoglu comments:

    Remarks by the commander of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command (KTBK), implying the Turkish Cypriot government is in a sovereignty struggle with Turkey, were met with silence by Turkish Cypriot media over the weekend.

    The lukewarm response has been widely interpreted as an effort not to escalate existing tension between the Turkish military and the local administration.

    In a speech delivered Friday during a ceremony held in Lefkosia (Nicosia) to mark the change command of commando and artillery regiments, KTBK chief Lt. Gen. Hayri K1vr1koglu said actions and discussion that may put the security of the Turkish Cypriot people in danger have recently been observed. "Those who don't perceive the existing extraordinary conditions in Cyprus, and don't perceive the Cyprus issue as a whole, and those who can look at history or current circumstances only from the window of ideology, are creating artificial debates on authority. They consider Turkey not as the motherland but as an ordinary, neighbouring, foreign country. [They consider] the Turkish military as the military of that foreign country and they claim sovereignty against Turkey," K1vr1koglu said at the ceremony attended by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer.

    Basaran Duzgun of the newspaper K1br1s, classified by Hurriyet as one of those pro-government dailies, told Today's Zaman on Sunday that there was no particular reason for not covering the incident on their front page. "There is a tendency not to attribute high importance to such statements. If the purpose is creating a crisis, there is no sense in spreading this around," Duzgun added.

    [02] Columnists see the recent statements by Turkish army officers as a change in the Turkish policy and support to the solution of two separate states on the island

    Under the title What is happening? Erdal Safak wonders in Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (14.07.07) whether or not the Turkish policy in Cyprus has changed. Mr Safak commented on the statements made recently by lieutenant general Hayri Kivrikoglu, commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus, who claimed that the Turkish troops are not a guest on the island and on the statements by major general Mehmet Eroz, commander of the so-called security forces, who argued that those who dream of a united Cyprus should understand that no return to the past could take place.

    Mr Safak reports, inter alia, the following: Has Turkeys policy in Cyprus changed? Or more correctly is there a return to the policies of the past which were based on making the division permanent that is, insisted that the non-solution is the solution? The recent statements of the commanders, who are on duty in the TRNC, like it or not, arouse this doubt. These statements are completely opposite to the policy of Turkey in Cyprus, because Turkey supports a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the parameters of the UN. These UN parameters provide for a bi-zonal, bi-communal, independent, democratic, federal republic which will be established by two equal founding states. .

    Mr Safak reminds also the statements made by the head of the Turkish General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit on 7 December 2006, who expressed the opinion that the solution in Cyprus should be reached at the UN and it must be comprehensive, just and lasting.

    We would like to evaluate the statements by the two commanders, which are political, as personal views, notes Mr Safak, but there is a warning used often by General Buyukanit: No one can express any opinion on behalf of the Armed Forces without my approval. Would we be wrong if we asked: Has the policy of Turkey or at least the policy of the General Staff on Cyprus changed?

    Meanwhile, Sener Levent writing in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (15.07.07) refers to the same issue and reports that these statements by the Turkish Generals are regarded as a sign of the new policy determined by Turkey in Cyprus. Under the title Return from the united Cyprus to the TRNC, Mr Levent notes, inter alia, the following:

    Without waiting for the result of the 22 July elections in Turkey, the new Turkish policy in Cyprus has been clarified. An end is being put to the united Cyprus policy which is followed since the referendum and the TRNC is being defended. The views set forward by the commanders who do not have authority to make statements without the permission of the General Staff, are being accepted as the official view of the military wing. The fact that Mehmet Ali Talat and Ferdi Sabit Soyer did not react to these speeches which were delivered in their presence, draws the attention. The Turkish side is going away from the policy of giving the impression to the EU that it supports the solution, peace and united Cyprus and now it is putting forward the TRNC very frankly. Curiosity about the attitude of the democratic and pro-peace forces before this situation exists.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] VOLKAN accuses Izzet Izcan and Sener Elcil that although they made statements for returning the Greek Cypriot property to their owner, they also exploit it

    Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (16.07.07) reports that the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil, who said The Turkish army must be withdrawn from Cyprus, and that the former Greek Cypriot property, which is in Varosha and in TRNC must be returned to the Greek Cypriots, sold a Greek Cypriot property whose brother took at the occupied village Akanthou for hundreds of thousands of pounds Sterling. Sener Elcil is also building now a luxury house of 350 thousand pounds sterling at the occupied area of Trikomo and Pervolia.

    The paper also reports that the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Mr Izzet Izcan, who is talking with the mouth of the Greek Cypriots and wants the withdrawal of the Turkish army from Cyprus under the name of the demilitarization and the return of the Greek Cypriot properties, which are in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, to the Greek Cypriots, took a low interest loan of 1.5 million dollars from the Development Bank of Turkey and he is building now a block of residences on Greek Cypriot property at the occupied village Kapouti.

    (DPs)

    [04] Assassination attempt against Mehmet Guzelyurtlu in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (16.07.07) reports that there was an assassination attempt against Mehmet Guzelyurtlu in the garage of his house in the occupied Lefkosia. Mehmet Guzelyurtlu is the son of Elmas Guzelyurtlu, who was murdered together with his wife and daughter by the occupation regimes agents on 15 January 2005 after kidnapping him, his wife and his daughter from their house in the free areas. Their bodies were found on the Lefkosia- Larnaca Highway near Koshi village.

    KIBRIS reports that Mehmet Guzelyurtlu was attacked while he was in the garage of his house. The assailant/ assailants fired on him wounding him on his little finger. According to the paper, the self-styled police found six empty cartridges belonging to different guns.

    He was taken to hospital and kept under medical observation. The so-called police have started an investigation.

    (MHY)

    [05] Statements by Ozdil Nami on the EP presidium discussion of the contact group report

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The European Parliament Presidium has discussed the High Level Contact Groups report, which refers to many important issues including the representation of Turkish Cypriot People at the European Parliament and the acceptance of Turkish as an official EU language.

    Meanwhile, Euro-MP Cem Ozdemir a member of the High Level Contact Group has said that they will work on ways of encouraging the EU to make new openings for the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The report prepared by the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community was discussed by the European Parliament Presidium.

    The Republican Turkish Party MP Ozdil Nami who returned to the Republic at the end of his contacts in Strasbourg - told the BRT that the chairwoman of the Contact Group Francoise Grossetete briefed the Presidium on the contents of the Report.

    Mr Nami said the representation of two Turkish Cypriot deputies in the Parliament with an observer status was also brought onto the agenda of the Presidium by the leader of Liberal Group Graham Watson.

    But, he added that no decision was taken on the issue which is expected to be discussed again in September.

    Mr Nami also noted that the Presidium asked the High Level Contact Group to continue its work.

    The CTP deputy said that the Presidium decided to ask for the Technical Services view on the acceptance of Turkish language as an official EU language.

    The Contact Group was established with the aim of easing the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People after the rejection of a UN Plan by the Greek Cypriot Side in the 2004 referenda.

    The Contact Groups Report among other things - proposes that the Turkish Cypriot people should be given its own representation in the European Parliament and that Turkish should be recognized as an official EU language.

    Meanwhile, Euro-MP Cem Ozdemir a member of the High Level Contact Group has said that they will work on ways of encouraging the EU to make new openings for the Turkish Cypriot people.

    He said the Contact Group will continue to give its backing to those who are in support of peace in Cyprus and the reunification of the island.

    [06] Mr Avci on President Papadopoulos´ suggestion for a meeting with Mr Talat

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.07.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has said that the cancellation of the friendly football match between Cetinkaya Club and English Club Luton Town as a result of intense pressure from South Cyprus, has once again proved the Greek Cypriot Administrations insincere attitude.

    Mr Avci also said that the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos suggestion for a meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talat is just a maneuver.

    The Foreign Minister told the AB Haber that Mr Papadopoulos move is a pre-election investment and that the cancellation of the friendly match was the proof of the fact that the Greek Cypriot Leader is not in support of a lasting and just solution to the Cyprus problem based on the political equality of the two sides.

    `The question to be asked now is whether Mr Papadopoulos who did his best to cancel the match - suggested a meeting with President Talat with good will´, he said.

    He also noted that the current attitude of the Greek Cypriot Administration makes it very hard to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [07] Message by Turgay Avci on the 33rd anniversary of Greek coup

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.07.2007) broadcast the following:

    In a message he issued to mark the importance of the day the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party, Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci said that the Turkish Cypriot people must learn from the past and must be more vigilant.

    He also thanked Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces for protecting the Turkish Cypriot people from the Greek- Greek Cypriot duo.

    Noting that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot people had close relations that stemmed from the past, the ORP leader said it was due to Turkeys support that the Turkish Cypriot people would continue existing in Cyprus with sovereignty and freedom.

    [08] Statement by the Republican Turkish Party on the latest situation in the Cyprus issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.07.2007) broadcast the following:

    The Central Executive Committee of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces has announced that a partnership state is not a dream but is something that can become a reality on the island.

    A statement released by the CTP-BG press bureau, stated that the Central Executive Committee had met to discuss the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue.

    It also noted that the party had not changed its views concerning the Cyprus problem and still supported a bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal solution being found to the Cyprus problem.

    It concluded by noting that the Republican Turkish Party United Forces still supported the will put forward by the Turkish Cypriot people at the 2004 referendum on the island, that being to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [09] Do not sacrifice Aigialousa!

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (15.07.07) reports that the constructions in the occupied areas of Cyprus are now moving to Aigialousa village, Kaprass Peninsula. The paper notes that a loan up to 100 thousand USD could be given to people who want to invest in the area.

    Projects are being prepared for the least developed but the only untouched area of our country, the Karpass Peninsula and foreign investors are encouraged. However, neither the employment of the people of the area nor the protection of the environment is taken into consideration, writes HALKIN SESI and adds that the project for the Aigialousa Investment Area to acquire a capacity of eight thousand beds until 2010 within the framework of the so-called Kaprass Decree, has not yet started, but the inhabitants of the area are worried because they were given property in the area taking into consideration the points they had within the framework of the equivalent property system.

    The paper notes that 20 million new Turkish liras will be spent for the new tourism installations and the marina in the village. It is reported that the cost of the marina of the Karpaz Bay Resort Ltd and the tourism complex which will begin to be constructed in the end of 2007, will reach 15 million pounds.

    The director of the tourism planning bureau of the so-called ministry of economy and tourism, Turgut Muslu told the paper that in the east part of the area there will be the investments of Karpaz Bay Resort Ltd and in the west the investments of Alarko Holding, which possesses 250 donums of land (Tr. Note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters). Its hotel is expected to have a capacity of 1750 beds, he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Memorandum signed with Iran for Turkmen gas

    Istanbul NTV television (14.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The final touches to the energy bargaining between Turkey and Iran were put yesterday with the agreement concluded with Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri Hamaneh, who paid a secret visit to Ankara yesterday. After long discussions in the Energy Ministry, Hamaneh accepted that Turkey should operate the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th phases of the South Pars gas field in Iran. The operation will be carried out jointly by the Turkish Petroleum Company [TPAO] and Iranian State Oil Company. With the arrival of this gas to Turkey, the daily need for 56-milion cubic meters of natural gas, which amounts to half of the total gas consumption, would be met.

    In view of gas agreements concluded by Russia to bypass Turkey, an article ensuring the future of Nabucco project was also included in the text of the agreement. Accordingly, the Iranian gas will be conveyed to Europe through this [Nabucco] pipeline crossing Turkey.

    Iran, which has been preventing the passage of Turkmen gas from its territory, also gave up on this objection. The Turkmen gas will be transported to Turkey via Iran and from there to Europe. During Energy Minister Hilmi Guler's latest visit to Turkmenistan, President Muhammedov [Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov] said that the Tukmen gas could be transported through this [Nabucco] pipeline.

    The [Turkish-Iranian] sides will again meet at ministerial level in the third week of August to ensure that the agreement is finalized expeditiously. If the agreement, concluded for a duration of six months, is not finalized it will be extended.

    It has been learned that after this development, the United States has tried to obtain information from the Energy Ministry. The American administration, which watches the Iran-Turkey rapprochement with concern, had recently conveyed its warning to Turkey in this regard.

    On the same issue Ankara Anatolia (15.07.07) reported the following from Ordu:

    "We signed a memorandum of understanding with Iran to transport Turkmen gas to Turkey via Iran and carry it to Europe over Turkey," Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Hilmi Guler said Sunday.

    "We have been carrying out a number of important projects to ensure energy supply safety such as Baku-Ceyhan, Shah Sea and the pipeline to Greece. And we have been holding talks regarding Nabucco Project to transport Iranian natural gas to the European Union countries," Guler told reporters in the Black Sea city of Ordu.

    "Our talks with Iran have yielded result and we signed a memorandum of understanding with Iranian Oil Minister Kazem Vaziri-Hamaneh which will allow flow of Turkmen gas to Europe via Turkey and also allow Turkey to operate a number of Iranian natural gas fields," Guler added.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press on the elections

    On 13, 14 and 15 July 2007, the last weekend before the parliamentary elections, the Turkish Press gives wide coverage to the issue, as follows:

    The leader of MHP [Nationalist Action Party], Mr Devlet Bahceli, said that if his party secures 367 seats, he would reinstate capital punishment. Speaking on Star TV, he also says a decision on the cross-border operation into Iraq should be taken without regard to the views of the United States, adding that he will not flinch from a hot clash with the United States if the national existence is in question, according to the Milliyet (13.07.07) report.

    Commenting on possible election outcomes, Cengiz Candar declares in his column for Referans (13.07.07) that the real danger to post-election Turkey does not lie in a CHP-MHP coalition, as even these parties will not be able to halt the inexorable influx of foreign investments and thus harm the economy; the real danger lies in "Kurdish nationalism that will be transported to the parliament" by the DTP. Candar fears that if DTP's independent candidates win 20 or more seats and form a group then they might turn into a "key party" in the confidence vote and presidential elections, warning that this might create a chaotic situation. Declaring that he favours solution to all problems through dialogue not terrorism, Candar points out that presently Turkey is as intolerant to Kurdish nationalism as it was back in 1995.

    Under the headline, "A coalition government would be disastrous," Yeni Safak (13.07.07) runs a front-page report which asserts that the Turkish business world is reacting sharply to scenarios of a coalition government, saying that Turkey needs a powerful single-party government in order to be able to maintain its development.

    Under the title "Turkish Baathism and Liberal Internationalists", Yeni Safak (13.07.07) publishes a commentary by columnist Ibrahim Karagul who comments on recent remarks by Michael Rubin arguing that "the greatest danger to Turkish democracy is posed not by the prospect of a military coup but by the well-meaning yet naïve interventions of US and European diplomats who underestimate the Islamist threat and believe that the Turkish military is a greater threat to democracy than the AKP." Karagul claims that Rubin and "his friends" have gone so far in their campaign against what they represent as the possibility of Turkey's transformation into an Islamist state under the AKP as to start a campaign to redefine Turkey's official ideology where they propose a new Baathist model in the name of defending secularism and containing Islam but actually with a view to protecting US interests.

    Under the title "The next 15 days", Yeni Safak (13.07.07) publishes an article by columnist Fehmi Koru who argues that although opinion surveys suggest that the ruling AKP is poised to come to power for a second term by obtaining about 40 percent of the vote, Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal's remarks promising "a new Turkey" to his supporters in 15 days, should be taken seriously since almost all of Baykal's political expectations have been fulfilled in the past three months. Koru asks whether Baykal's remarks might herald developments that will intensify the ongoing tensions in a way that will cause those sections that have not given up the idea of voting for the AKP "despite all the negative propaganda" against this party to review their preferences.

    In an article entitled "The EU's election prediction" in Vakit (13.07.07) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak comments on a Eurobarometer survey suggesting that some 71 percent of the Turkish people have confidence in the Erdogan government. He cites the timing of the disclosure of the survey results, shortly before the election rather than following the 10 April-10 May period, when the poll was conducted, as proof of the EU's support for the AKP. He also claims that the results of the survey signify an indignant public reaction to the "coup threat" and the "deep intervention in the democratic process" rather than extensive endorsement of the AKP.

    Under the headline, "Parties place ballot box under protection," Zaman (13.07.07) carries a front-page report which asserts that political parties are taking special precautions to prevent possible attempts to rig the upcoming election. According to the report, at least three observers will be assigned to every voting station.

    In an article entitled "Who is going to win?, Zaman (13.07.07) columnist Mustafa Unal calls attention to what he describes as a disparity between the results of soundings taken among voters in cities and the findings of opinion polls, asserting that while the former suggest that the AKP will lose seats in Parliament and that the single-party period is coming to an end, the latter indicate clearly who is in the lead and who the first and second runners-up will be.

    Under the headline, "Here is the latest poll," Yeni Safak (14.07.07) publishes a front-page report which discloses the results of a survey this daily has conducted jointly with DEMOS, suggesting that the ruling AKP is set to poll 42 percent of the vote to come to power once again as a single party government while support for the Republican People's Party, CHP, has dropped to 20,5 percent and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, is poised to win parliamentary representation with 12,5 percent.

    Under the headline, "Gul three times as popular as Sezer," Vakit (14.07.07) publishes a front-page report which outlines the results of an ANKA poll conducted in Istanbul, suggesting that support for the AKP has risen to 45 percent while the CHP remains at 23 percent. According to the report, some 34,5 percent of the respondents cited Abdullah Gul as their favourite presidential candidate as against only 14,3 percent who expressed support for Ahmet Necdet Sezer.

    Under the title "They are carrying the crisis into the post-election period", Milli Gazete (14.07.07) publishes an article by columnist Zeki Ceyhan who accuses the AKP and CHP leaders, "who lack the ability to foresee and anticipate crises," of perpetuating their disagreements over the issue of presidency in a way that threatens to face Turkey with a new crisis after the 22 July election if the election does not entail changes to the two-party composition of Parliament.

    Yalcin Dogan, writing in Hurriyet (14.07.07), recounts his conversation with Ahmet Turk of the Democratic Society Party, DTP, during the latter's campaign tour in Mardin. According to the article, Ahmet Turk claims that were it not for the Kurdish independents, the AKP would get all the votes in the southeast. Turk says the independents would be willing to support the AKP from outside, but would not be part of his government. He stresses that his party has never upheld separatist policies.

    Yeni Safak (15.07.07) reports on the results of an opinion poll conducted by Demos in 18 big cities. According to the outcome of the survey, around 40 percent of the respondents who said that they were sympathetic to the MHP shared the view that MHP leader Devlet Bahceli did not do the right thing by throwing a rope during a rally and saying that the government could use it to hang PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. The report says that 58 percent of the Turkish public share the view that Turkey's relations with the EU and the United States could be strained if the MHP and the Republican People's Party, CHP, form a coalition government after the general election to be held on 22 July.

    In an article entitled "No, this is unacceptable", Vakit (15.07.07) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak says that some groups are waging a campaign aimed at preventing the Justice and Development Party, AKP, from achieving a landslide victory in the upcoming general election because they have reached the conclusion that the CHP and the MHP will not be able to win enough seats to form a coalition government. Pointing out that the general election will actually serve as a referendum between those who are in favour of a military coup and others who oppose it, Dilipak comments: "In fact, the AKP is also controlled and it is full of Trojan horses. But, it still seems to be commanding more support from its grass roots than any other party who are likely to have a strong showing in the election. Some people see that the AKP will come to power and attempt to weaken and put pressure on it so that they can control it more easily."

    Under the banner headline "An action plan that Turkey needs after the election," Zaman (15.07.07) carries a front-page report which says that the new government to be formed after the general election is expected to write a new constitution and carry out reforms in the economic and judicial fields in addition to initiatives in foreign policy.

    In an article entitled "Could elections be sabotaged?", Zaman (15.07.07) columnist Mumtazer Turkone says that a possible terrorist attack which may be carried out shortly before the general election and kill many people would only be designed to change the outcome of the election. He says: "Bombs will be exploded in a bid to design politics." Pointing out that such an attack could only be carried out by secret "patriotic" groups within the government, Turkone calls on the leaders of the political parties and the media to thwart such plans by highlighting the real objective of such acts of terrorism in advance.

    In an article entitled "YSK [Higher Election Council] may not decide that it is invalid,", Zaman (15.07.07) columnist Bulent Korucu criticizes CHP leader Deniz Baykal for applying to the YSK for cancelling the upcoming general election on the grounds that a package of constitutional amendments intended to elect the president by the popular vote is invalid and points out that the YSK is not empowered to reverse a decision made by the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Korucu also predicts that CHP leaders will not be able to prevent the AKP from having its candidate for president elected by minimum 367 MPs after the general election because MHP deputies, independent MPs, and even some MPs from the CHP will attend a plenary session of the TBMM to be convened for electing the president and thus the quorum required by the Constitution will be achieved.

    In an article entitled "The week of decision," Sunday's Zaman (15.07.07) columnist Yavuz Baydar focuses on the possible outcome of the general election and says: "It would be a surprise if we did not end up with a three-party parliament with some 20 to 30 independent Kurdish deputies. The AKP will, in such a likely scenario, be above the critical 276-seat threshold and continue with a majority government. The CHP might increase in proportion, but end up still with a lower number of deputies due to the entrance of the MHP."

    EG/


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