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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-26
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.143/07 26.07.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 They are killing KarpassTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.07.07), under the title They are killing Karpass, reports that in spite of the objection raised by the environmental organizations to the drawing of energy lines for taking electricity from occupied Rizokarpasso village to the Cape of Apostolos Andreas in Karpass Peninsula and the alternative proposals which they have submitted, the project for taking electricity to Apostolos Andreas goes on.
According to the paper, the tender is assigned to a company named Karlioglu, which will begin its works after a report is prepared regarding the area. KIBRIS notes that the self-styled ministry of finance is acting with great secrecy on the issue.
The chairman of the self-styled higher council for immovable antiquities and monuments, Fuat Azimli said that developing the infrastructure for electricity in the area was considered inappropriate because it will cause serious damages. He noted that it was decided that alternative energy resources which do not harm the environment and the nature, should be used to satisfy the needs of the area for electricity.
The paper notes that the Sustainable Environment Platform, which is established by organizations that oppose to the drawing of lines for taking electricity from occupied Rizokarpasso village to the Cape of Apostolos Andreas, filed a lawsuit at the high administrative court asking for the annulment of the above-mentioned decision.
The platform will place a black wreath today in front of the building of the prime ministry, the ministries of finance and environment and the office of the EU in the occupied areas of the island. The paper reports that there are 27 species of flowers which are protected in Karpass peninsula.
KIBRIS reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer referred yesterday to the issue of taking electricity from occupied Rizokarpasso village to the Cape of Apostolos Andreas and said that he does not think that the fact that some circles are considering the issue with great lack of confidence is right. He argued that the government and the Republican Turkish Party are determined to protect the environment together with the economic development.
Furthermore, the self-styled minister of environment and natural resources, Asim Vehbi said that the fact that the area of Karpass has been declared as a National Park should not mean that the area will be abandoned. In statements yesterday during the first meeting of the technical committee which will prepare the regulations for the administrative plan regarding the Karpass National Park, Mr Vehbi argued that the protection of the area will be more effective with the development of an appropriate manner of administration.
Moreover, illegal BAYRAK television (25.07.07) broadcast that commenting on the issue, the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat said that the sensitivity for the protection of the environment will continue and that the area will be protected. In statements during a meeting with a delegation from the Sustainable Environment Platform, Mr Talat alleged that it is wrong to assume that bringing electricity to the area will definitely lead to unwanted developments there.
 One thousand US dollars as financial aid will be given to students who will come from Turkey to the illegal universitiesTurkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (26.07.07) reports that the self-styled council of ministers decided yesterday to give to the students who will come from Turkey to the illegal universities in the occupied areas the sum of one thousand US dollars as financial aid. The paper points out that this decision surprised everybody.
The so-called higher education evaluation and accreditation council (YODAK) will announce later how many students will benefit from this decision. The self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that this practice will be applied aiming at increasing the interest for the illegal universities and at lifting the isolations.
The council of ministers decided also to give scholarships to students from Turkey. The paper notes that these decisions caused reactions among the Turkish Cypriots.
Meanwhile, in statements to Hasan Hasturer, columnist of Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.07.07), Tahir Celik, chairman of YODAK said that the development of the education and tourism sectors in the occupied areas of Cyprus should become a state policy. He noted that recently the vision of Cyprus as an island of education came forward. He pointed out that 40 % of the economy of the breakaway regime is supported by the field of education and noted that there is no other country in the world where the contribution of the education to the economy reaches this percentage.
He noted that the illegal universities represent the TRNC abroad and contribute to its recognition. Mr Celik reminded the recent visit of Mr Soyer to Istanbul where he invited the Turkish students to study in the universities of the occupied areas. Mr Celik noted that under the coordination of YODAK and the support of the government, a supplement of 16 pages will be published today with the Turkish SABAH newspaper under the title Cyprus: An Island of Education aiming at attracting more students from Turkey. This supplement will reach approximately 600,000 households, he said.
 A former minister of communication of Germanys Hessen province visits the occupied areas of Cyprus through the illegal Tymbou airportTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (26.07.07) reports that the self-styled minister of works and transport, Salih Usar met yesterday with Lothar Klemm, former minister of communication of Germanys Hessen province.
They discussed ways for the development of the economic, political, social and cultural cooperation between the breakaway regime and Hessen. Mr Usar reminded that during their visit to Hessen with the self-styled prime minister Soyer, they were given the opportunity to examine the social, political and cultural structure there.
Mr Usar thanked Mr Klemm because he entered into the island though the illegal Tymbou airport. Thus he openly showed that he does not accept the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, alleged Usar.
 More evidence for the destruction of the cultural heritage in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (26.07.07) reports that a temple in the occupied Myrtou village area and the church of Panayia Pergaminiotissa in Akanthou village are in a very bad situation. In 1990 the breakaway regime decided to protect the temple, which was used within the period 1600-1050 BC. However, in spite of this decision, the temple is neglected, its door has been broken and the area is covered with weed.
The church in Akanthou, which belong to the 12th century, is also in a bad condition. The stones from the ground have been pulled out and only the remains of the paintings are seen on the walls. The sign of the church has been used as a target by some persons who were practicing in shooting. The church is also surrounded with weed and its door is about to collapse, notes the paper.
 Gul announces his readiness to run as the new Turkish PresidentTurkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (26.07.07) reports the following:
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul hinted on Wednesday that he would make a fresh bid for the presidency, despite objections from the main opposition party and the earlier derailing of his presidential ambitions.
Turkey's influential military objected to Gul's candidacy, with the General Staff issuing a memorandum in late April threatening intervention if a politician from the Justice and Development Party (AK Party)'s ranks were elected president. The AK Party's presidential candidate, Gul, later withdrew his bid for the post. However, the AK Party victory in Sunday's elections has been widely interpreted as a strong message to the military in support of the ruling party.
'Nobody can place a political ban on others. It is out of the question that I should rule myself out as a candidate [for the presidency]. Democracy should be the sole compass for us all. Who can represent Turkey inside and abroad properly? This needs to be discussed,' a visibly confident Gul told reporters at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry. 'I cannot ignore the signal from the streets,' Gul said upon insistent questions concerning his own mind about his presidential bid, in an apparent reference to enthusiastic expressions of support for his presidential bid he received from voters during the parliamentary election campaign.
Yet he also stressed that the AK Party would not rush into a decision and would hold consultations with other parties in Parliament. We have a new page in front of us. I hope everybody in Parliament will take part in the process in an active and constructive way, Gul said, as he called on all political parties "to analyze well the will of people in the coming days and draw lessons and duties," from what the election results displayed.
The first attempt to elect a president failed due to a Constitutional Court decision that canceled the first round of voting in Parliament. The decision was prompted by an application from the nationalist main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) asking for the nullification of the ballot on the basis that there were fewer than 367 deputies -- two-thirds of Parliament -- in attendance.
Since the courts ruling is still in place, the new Parliament will have to convene with a quorum of 367 deputies in order to be able to elect a new president to replace outgoing President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, whose term expired in May.
The CHP declared after Guls statement that it would continue to oppose his candidacy. Mustafa Ozyurek, the partys deputy chairman, told private NTV television that the CHP would not support a candidate 'who has not digested Kemal Ataturks principles.' He did not say whether the CHP would boycott the presidential election as it did in the past, but it is widely expected to do so to prevent a quorum of 367 deputies gathering.
'Guls remarks reveal that the AK Party still couldnt comprehend the basics of the issue. The issue is not a personal or family issue related to Gul,' CHP Konya deputy Atilla Kart told Todays Zaman, referring to the fact that many pro-establishment circles objected to Guls bid due to the fact his wife wears the Muslim headscarf. They regard a headscarf-wearing first lady as a threat to Turkeys separation of state and religion.
'The process of becoming a party state has gained acceleration in Turkey. The presidency will be the last step for this process, Kart said, arguing that holding of presidential office by a member of the AK Party would lead to a fascist administration.
Zeki Sezer, chairman of the CHPs election ally Democratic Left Party (DSP), also signaled objection to Guls candidacy. 'I expect the issue will be resolved through dialogue and compromise, not by imposition,' he told reporters yesterday. Noting that Gul signals readiness to run for presidency, he said 'I believe there will be no imposition. The government and Gul will revise their decision.'
But Sezer signaled that the DSP, unlike the CHP, might not boycott the vote. When asked whether DSP-origin deputies would attend the parliamentary vote, he said a decision on this question would be made on the election-day.
Reacting to the CHPs outright objection to Guls possible candidacy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said later in the day in Istanbul that he respected Güls will and added that the parties should not reject dialogue. 'I call on all parties to leave the doors open for talks,' he told reporters. Responding to a question on possible cooperation with independent Kurdish deputies backed by the Democratic Society Party (DTP), Erdogan said the AK Party wanted good relations with all in Parliament but added that he would not seek dialogue if they do not denounce the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
But a fresh bid by Gul for presidency might succeed this time despite CHP blockage, given the positive signals from another opposition party, the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), on its attendance of the parliamentary voting session.
The MHP has not announced its stance, but its leader Devlet Bahceli has said 'the MHP will be the address for compromise, tolerance and dialogue in Parliament. It will assume a constructive role to successfully pass the upcoming difficult term without dragging the country into a crisis.' He has also said that Sundays elections showed people did not want 'impositions on Parliaments will from outside,' apparently referring to the military statement and later court decision.
There are also reports that the MHP is considering naming its own candidate, meaning that its deputies will be in Parliament to support that candidate. Bahceli is preparing to sound out his partys members regarding the upcoming presidential elections at a meeting of the Central Executive Board (MYK) and his new deputies this coming weekend in Ankara. But in a development that raises questions on the MHPs eventual stance, Erdogan said yesterday that Bahceli has not yet returned a phone call he made soon after Sundays election.
MHP Secretary Cihan Pacaci noted that the MHP will determine a stance regarding the presidential elections depending on the AK Party approach. While MHP officials say they will not insist that the president come from Parliament, Pacaci said it was too early to announce their stance. 'The MYK, regional branch chairmen, and our parliamentarians will meet to discuss the issue. We will make a decision according to the AK Partys stance. However the government can still meet the quorum of 367 with just the independents,' he noted.
Sirri Sakik of the pro-Kurdish DTP told Todays Zaman on Wednesday that his party would make its decision concerning the presidential elections Thursday at a central executive board meeting.
The AK Party secured a second term in office after winning 46.6 percent of the vote in Sundays general elections and is expected to control around 340 seats in the 550-member Parliament. Its rivals, the CHP and the MHP, got 20.8 and 14.3 percent of the vote respectively -- less than the total AK Party votes combined -- to win 111 and 71 seats in Parliament. The DTP will be able to form a parliamentary group at the new Parliament as over 20 candidates supported by their voters were elected as deputies in Sundays elections.
Gul also sharply ruled out such a possibility when asked whether he expected the General Staff to issue yet another 'e-memorandum' if he runs for president again, as it did on April 27. 'It is out of question --we are a country which has deepened its democracy' in the last elections, he said.
In separate remarks, Gul criticized retired Gen. Edip Baser, who said in remarks published in an Italian newspaper on Tuesday that the military might intervene again if 'things get out of control in the presidential election.' Gul said his remarks were 'wrong' and warned against moves that could harm the militarys image.
 DTP-supported independent deputies to join DTPAnkara ANATOLIA (A.A.) news agency (25.07.07) reports the following from Ankara:
Independent deputies, backed by Democratic Society Party (DTP) in July 22nd general elections, will join DTP following the oath taking ceremony to be held in parliament.
DTP's extraordinary congress is expected to convene in one month following this procedure and re-elect Ahmet Turk the chairman, DTP sources told the A.A.
Ufuk Uras, another independent lawmaker, is not expected to join DTP, sources said. He will return to his party 'Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP)' as chairman.
Ayla Akat Ata, Bengi Yildiz, Mehmet Nezir Karabas, Selahattin Demirtas, Aysel Tugluk, Akin Birdal, Gultan Kisanak, Pervin Buldan, Hamit Geylani, Ufuk Uras, Sebahat Tuncel, Emine Ayna, Ahmet Turk, Nuri Yaman, Sirri Sakik, Osman Ozcelik, Ibrahim Binici, Hasip Kaplan, Sevahir Bayindir, Serafettin Halis, Ozdal Ucer and Fatma Kurtulan are the independent deputies backed by DTP in elections.
Meanwhile, Hamit Geylani, who was the Deputy Chairman of outlawed People's Democracy Party (HADEP) that was shut down by the Constitutional Court, will be able to join DTP in March 2008, as the court banned him from being a founder, member and administrator of another political party for 5 years.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Columnist in Turkish Daily News analyses the political situation in Turkey after AKPs election victoryTurkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (25.07.07) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil under the title "AKP's Success Story: The Taming of the Shrew (d)":
Ostensibly, Sunday's spectacular election victory for the Justice and Development Party (AKP) is bad news for the Republican People's Party (CHP), but it's even worse news for the secularist state establishment. The 'mindset of the secular elite,' or, let's put it plainly, the mindset of the military has never been this much diverse from such a clear majority of Turks - almost one in every two Turks.
With a more careful look at the picture one might see that what looks (and actually may be) like a 'secular defeat' could also look like the secularists' preferred warfare strategy: Pushing the AKP toward the center rather than having to fight it with tanks and artillery and 'derail' Turkey from its presumed western journey. This is what this column argued (Helping the AKP transform itself, June 27, TDN), hoping to underline the 'collective benefit' if the AKP traveled 'centerwards.'
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the undisputed victor, must have seen how much he could benefit from the centrist rhetoric and centrist electoral nominations during his election campaign. Hence his victory speech - which deserves much praise, by the way - in which he said in carefully-selected words: 'I hereby note down the message conveyed to us by those who voted for other parties.' Bravo.
Genuine, repeat, genuine, and not fake, centrism will not only further solidify his political stance, but will also give him a comfortable term in office devoid of useless frictions and damage to the national economy. It will be his choice to go for moderation or extremism, and the first litmus test will be the presidential election: Will Erdogan feel dizzy with his election victory and move away from the center; or will he behave like the mild, reconciliatory leader of the center? There would be collective benefit if he went for the latter.
Having said that, here are a few observations on the election results:
1. Well, first of all, I must admit that I am quite bad at guessing. My written pre-election guesses included (a) single-party government for the AKP, (b) The CHP coming second with a slight increase in its vote, (c) The MHP winning 12-14 percent, (d) a combined 35 percent for the CHP-MHP camp, (d) about 30 independents in Parliament, (e) The DP and GP failing, and (f) a 70 percent chance that the new president gets elected by Parliament. So far, all is fine, all very accurate. But my prediction collapsed at the most critical point: I gave the AKP 35-40 percent of the vote and a maximum 310 seats! Fortunately, I have not gone into the polling business...
2. Scientists can cite at least a few hundred reasons to explain the 46 percent support for the AKP. I insist that Turkey's changing demographics increasingly intersects with the political zone the AKP has moved to. In March 2006, this column read that:
'Why AKP is the mirror image of the average voter? The answer is quite simple. The average AKP politician is the mirror image of the average Turkish voter: Devoutly Muslim but pragmatist, anti-western in genes but pro-EU in anticipation of economic/political benefits, collectivist in theory but individualist in practice, and moralist when 'the other' goes corrupt but tolerant when 'we' go.' The AKP is increasingly the mirror image of the average voter.
3. Interestingly, almost half of the 91-percent anti-American-Turks (the highest rate of anti-Americanism in the world) voted for what is probably the most American-friendly political party in the country. They must have a good reason to explain what most sociologists fail to explain.
4. More interestingly, two of what Turkey's generals (and governments) see as top domestic security threats now almost make a constitutional majority in Parliament. Either the generals are wrong in defining their threat perceptions (and governments, in endorsing them), or the Turks don't care about these security threats.
5. The 'nationalist boom' is a myth. Well, at least the figures say so. Assuming that the CHP is "nationalist," Sunday's political balance sheet showed that this party won almost what it had won in 2002 (and despite support from other "leftist" parties this time). Two other parties, the MHP and the GP, which subscribed to a fierce nationalist rhetoric, won a combined 15 percent in 2002 and 17 percent in 2007. So, the combined 'nationalist' vote rose to 38 percent in 2007 from 34 percent five years earlier. That does not point to a 'boom.'
6. All three parties plus the independents in Parliament now represent 87 percent of the national vote, compared to 54 percent representation in 2002. This is fairer, but not fair.
7. Diyarbakir, the 'capital' of Turkey's Kurds, is split in half between the AKP and the Kurdish independents - and so are other "Kurdish" provinces. In Diyarbakir, the AKP and Kurdish independents account for nearly 90 percent of the vote. We can therefore conclude that Turkey's "independence- and/or autonomy-seeking Kurds" go either for the AKP or for Kurdish independents. They must have a reason.
8. Finally, let's try to see the "statistical" aspect of the Kurdish independence- and/or autonomy-seeking sentiment in Turkey. The political party that publicly manifested on that sentiment, DEHAP, won 6.2 percent of the vote in 2002. In 2007, DTP-supported independents won 3.8 percent of the vote on the same manifestation.
That, alone, falsifies the cliché conclusion that (a) there are 20 million Kurds in Turkey, and (b) a clear majority of these poor, second-class Turkish citizens either seek autonomy or independence. With simple calculation, we can find out the truth: On Sunday, less than 35 million valid votes turned out. 3.8 percent of them mean around 1.3 million people. So, it's less than 1.5 million 'such' Kurds compared to a claimed 15-20 million. That's quite a difference. Are the election statistics lying to us, or the self-declared 'Turkey experts?'