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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-05

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.171/07 05.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Ercakica and Turkish Cypriot politicians on the meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus
  • [02] Gul to visit illegally the occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops territories of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Babacan to visit Portugal. Miliband and Faure in Ankara
  • [04] Erdil Nami to attend the 2nd International Islamic economic cultural and tourism festival in Thailand
  • [05] Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper reports about AKPs involvement in the politics of occupied Cyprus
  • [06] Secret foreign policy document about Turks in the Former Soviet Republics was reported missing
  • [07] War of words between the Mayor of Diyarbakir and the Turkish government, Kurdish MP´s and mayors are being persecuted
  • [08] Turkey displays rockets co-developed with China
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [09] From the Turkish Press on Gul´s election, his reception on 5 September and the Kurdish issue

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Ercakica and Turkish Cypriot politicians on the meeting between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has said that the Turkish Cypriot Sides expectation from tomorrows leaders meeting was that it will open the way for comprehensive negotiations.

    He pointed out that this was also the main objective of the 8-July Agreement reached by the two leaders last year.

    Speaking during his weekly briefing this morning, he also repeated the Turkish Cypriot Sides commitment to a federal solution based on a bi-zonal and bi-communal order and political equality of the two sides.

    Speaking to reporters, Mr. Ercakica said that the UN Special Cyprus Representative-Chief of Mission Michael Moller had held a short meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talat today in which technical details for tomorrows meeting were taken up.

    Expressing the hope that tomorrows meeting will be held with an open agenda, the Presidential spokesman said that the Turkish Cypriot Sides expectation from tomorrows meeting was that it will pave the way for comprehensive negotiations.

    He reminded that this was the primary purpose of the stalled 8-July agreement signed by the two leaders last year.

    Reminding that one of the main principles decided upon by the two leaders in the 8-July agreement was to remain committed to a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Problem and to work towards that end without further delay.

    He said that the Turkish Cypriot Side still remained committed to that principle.

    Pointing out that it had been established in the Ghali Set of Ideas that the framework of a settlement in Cyprus would be a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation based on the equality of the two sides, Mr. Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot Side was attending tomorrows meeting in a bid to continue its efforts and to pave the way towards finding an immediate political settlement on the island which will serve the interests of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

    Responding to a question concerning yesterdays debate at the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives on a future federal settlement, the Presidential spokesman said that the Turkish Cypriot Side was following closely the ongoing debates on the Greek Cypriot Side regarding a federal settlement.

    Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot Side was aware that some circles supporting the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos have been claiming that a federal settlement would not be functional, Mr. Ercakica reiterated the Turkish Cypriot Sides commitment towards a federal settlement.

    We would like to remind those circles that a federal state in Cyprus would function as well as it does in other countries: said Ercakica adding that efforts to reach a new federal Cyprus Republic was a meaningful effort.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.09.07) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, in statements on KIBRIS TV yesterday, stated, inter alia, that nothing should be expected from the Papadopoulos-Talat meeting today.

    KIBRIS also reports in its inside pages that Kazim Ongen, the general Secretary of the Cyprus Socialist Party, evaluating todays meeting between the two leaders stated, inter alia, that the meeting is of no use and is only giving empty hopes to the people.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (05.09.07) reports in its first page that the chairman of the Communal Democracy Party Mehmet Cakici, commenting on todays meeting between Papadopoulos and Talat stated, inter alia, that the two leaders must be constructive. He also called on Mr Talat to bring into the agenda the 1960 agreements. Papadopoulos idea that the Republic of Cyprus belongs only to the Greek Cypriots cannot be accepted, he stated.

    (CS)

    [02] Gul to visit illegally the occupied by 40,000 Turkish troops territories of the Republic of Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.09.07) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul will not attend the meeting of UN General Assembly in the United States at the end of September.

    On the other hand, Gul will travel to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as his first formal visit abroad.

    On Gul´s visit Today´s Zaman newspaper (05.09.07) reports the following under the title:

    Gul has no immediate plan to visit United States:

    Newly elected President Abdullah Gul has no plans to visit New York to attend the UN General Assembly meetings there at the end of this month, officials said yesterday.

    The president, instead, is expected to pay his first visit to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) in a sign of Turkey's commitment to maintaining support for the Turkish Cypriot state as a priority in the new era.

    Gul has made no statement that he would be attending the UN meetings; however, expectations that he would do so as Turkey's head of state led to comments in the Turkish press that he and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan might find themselves in an awkward dilemma on who should meet with US President George W. Bush. Erdogan had earlier announced plans to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly meetings beginning on Sept. 25. There has been no statement whether Erdogan has requested a meeting with Bush, although reports in the Turkish press said officials were in contact with their US counterparts to arrange a meeting.

    Erdogan is expected to depart for the United States on Sept. 24. He will spend two days in New York, where he will meet with Senator Hillary Clinton, the private Cihan news agency reported. Erdogan and Clinton are scheduled to attend a fast-breaking, or iftar, dinner hosted by the Turkish Cultural Center. After New York, Erdoan will head to Washington D.C., and visit his newly born grandson, Omer Tayyip Erdogan. It is not clear whether he will meet with Bush before returning to Turkey. If the meeting does take place, it will be the first top-level gathering between Turkey and the United States since the parliamentary elections on July 22 and the presidential election that followed it last week.

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is expected to accompany Erdogan during his visit to the United States. Babacan, who is also Turkey's chief negotiator for EU talks, will also visit Portugal, which holds the rotating presidency of the EU, on Sept. 7-8 to attend an informal meeting of foreign ministers from the EU and candidate countries. Babacan will visit neighboring Bulgaria in mid-September to attend a meeting of foreign ministers of Southeast Europe taking place there.

    [03] Babacan to visit Portugal. Miliband and Faure in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.09.07) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will host British Foreign Secretary David Miliband as his first foreign guest following his appointment as foreign minister.

    According to diplomatic sources, Babacan is expected to pay his first visit abroad to Portugal next week to represent Turkey at the unofficial foreign ministers' meeting of EU member countries to be held on September 7th and 8th.

    Babacan is expected to attend the second day of the meetings that is open to candidate countries.

    Babacan is also expected to pay a one-day visit to Bulgaria to attend Southeastern Europe countries foreign ministers' meeting to be held in mid-September.

    He is also scheduled to travel to the United States to attend UN General Assembly meetings that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to attend.

    On Mr. Babacan´s contacts, Today´s Zaman newspaper (05.09.07) reports the following:

    British Foreign Secretary David Miliband arrived in Ankara yesterday for the first senior-level visit from Europe following the Turkish elections.

    Miliband is expected to reiterate his country's support for Turkey's efforts to join the European Union and listen to concerns from the Turkish side on the continued presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in neighboring Iraq.

    Miliband is the first senior-level official to visit Ankara after the conclusion of a lengthy election period. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently formed a Cabinet following his party's landslide victory in the July 22 parliamentary elections, and former Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was elected last week as Turkey's new president.

    The British foreign secretary, who himself has been newly appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown, arrived in Ankara yesterday afternoon and will meet with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, in addition to President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan today.

    The 41-year-old minister is one of the youngest to serve as foreign secretary in Britain. His Turkish counterpart, Babacan, is Turkey's youngest foreign minister.

    Turkey's EU efforts are expected to be a key item on agenda of Miliband's talks here. The situation in Turkey's southeastern neighbor Iraq, where Britain maintains troops as part of the international coalition, will also be discussed. Ankara has repeatedly voiced concerns over presence of the PKK bases in northern Iraq and has urged the United States, which leads the international coalition in Iraq, and the Iraqi government to take measures.

    Babacan, who succeeds Gul in the post, also received Philippe Faure, undersecretary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Ankara. Talks with Faure on Monday afternoon were part of regular consultations between the Turkish and French foreign ministries.

    During the meeting Faure conveyed French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner`s congratulatory message to Babacan for his appointment as the new foreign minister. Later, Faure met with Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan. The bilateral relations between Turkey and France, Turkey`s EU membership process and regional issues were high on agenda of the meeting.

    [04] Erdil Nami to attend the 2nd International Islamic economic cultural and tourism festival in Thailand

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.09.07) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce has announced that it will be participating in the 2nd International Islamic Economic Cultural and Tourism conference -which is being organized by the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bangkok, Thailand, from the 7th -9th September.

    The Chamber of Commerce delegation headed by CTCC President Erdil Nami which is attending the conference as guest of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be leaving for Thailand tomorrow.

    Mr. Erdil Nami will be delivering a speech on social and economic issues during the conference.

    [05] Turkish Cumhuriyet newspaper reports about AKPs involvement in the politics of occupied Cyprus

    Under the title Seeking for new balances in the TRNC, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (04.09.07) reports that since the Justice and Development Party (AKP) came into power again, after the 22 July election, Cyprus politics entered a critical condition.

    The AKP government, started to exert intense effort for the National Unity Party (UBP), which is in the opposition, to join the government, for comprehensive constitution amendments, which to provide for the lifting of temporary article 10 that provides the legal ground of the presence of the Turkish army in the TRNC. However, the AKP government, which called to Ankara the previous week the UBP leader Tahsin Ertugruloglu, was not able to completely convince the UPB leader on the issue. The UBP will not join the government, but it returned to Cyprus with the decision for early so-called elections and constitutional amendments in the framework of its own proposal package.

    Invoking backstage information, the paper writes that the UBP and the AKP came to an agreement as regards the issue of the early elections. According to the same sources, Ertugruloglu presented new proposals related to the constitutional amendments package. The new proposals envisage that an assembly committee will be established which will prepare the constitutional amendment package. The committee will function between three to six months. Therefore, after this committee completes its duties, a referendum will be held in the middle of 2008 and the issue of early elections will be also an issue in the referendum. UBP was previously insisting for early election either in the end of 2007 or the first months of 2008.

    The paper also writes that the AKP government promised to the UPB to make the necessary efforts so that the Freedom and Reform Party, which UPB considers as the main obstacle for it to come into power, gets out of the picture. However, notes the paper, AKP played a big role last year for the founding of the ORP and the establishment of a coalition government between the Republican Turkish Party (CHP) and ORP. The paper also writes that Turgay Avci, self-styled minister of foreign affairs and leader of ORP, was informed about these developments, he went to Ankara but because of the Presidential elections in Turkey he did not succeed to have any contacts in Ankara.

    Cumhuriyet goes on and writes that the first step within this understanding framework reached will be for the UBP to stop boycotting the assembly session. However, the road of early election will open as well. If an agreement between CTP, UBP and DP is reached, the issues of constitutional amendments and early elections will be taken up. The paper writes that the first step towards this direction was taken when the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer made a telephone call to Tayyip Erdogan to congratulate him on the results of the 22nd July elections. We know very well the issues there. After a government is established here, let us meet, Erdogan stated. The paper writes that Ferdi Sabit Soyer will be invited the sooner to Ankara.

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (05.09.07) on the developments on this issue as follows:

    SOZCU reports in its first page that the former leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Mr Dervis Eroglu, visited yesterday the headquarters of the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas and most probably held a meeting with him. The paper writes that no statements were made after this development and reports that UBPs Chairman Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who is in London for the time being, was not informed about Eroglus visit to DP.

    GUNES reports in its first page that the general secretary of UBP Nazim Cavusoglu, speaking yesterday at a press conference stated, inter alia, that the party will continue not to attend the assembly sessions until early elections are decided.

    KIBRIS reports in its inside pages that Nazim Cavusoglu at the press conference stated that UBPs leader Tahsin Ertugruloglu is currently in London where he will give two conferences regarding TRNC's problems. Mr Ertugruloglu will also have contacts with some organizations, British MPs and politicians.

    (CS)

    [06] Secret foreign policy document about Turks in the Former Soviet Republics was reported missing

    Istanbul NTV Online (04.09.07) publishes the following report under the title Secret document to be destroyed, but cannot be found.

    A decision has been made to annul the "Special National Policy Document on Turks in Foreign Countries" that the National Security Council had prepared 15 years ago. And the MGK General Secretariat has told the ministries and institutions that had been holding the "secret document" for the past 15 years to "destroy it, and send a confirmation of its destruction." But some ministries have been unable to find the document. Orhan Kilercioglu, who at the time was Minister of State, has explained that they kept the document sent to his ministry in a locked safe in the office of the Chef de Cabinet, and that it was transferred, with a memorandum, during the ministerial change.

    Yeni Safak newspaper reported the affair under the headline "Secret Document Vanishes." According to the report, written by Abdulkadir Selvi, the MGK had on 3 June 1992 sent to the relevant ministries and institutions, under the classification of "secret," the Special National Policy Document on Turks in Foreign Countries."

    The document, drawn up during the period of the 8th President, Turgut Ozal, remained in force for 17 years. A decision was taken to annul it during an MGK meeting held on 21 August 2006, chaired by the 10th President, Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The Council of Ministers then, in its meeting of 11 October 2006, called for the document to be destroyed, and for a confirmation of the destruction to be sent to the MGK General Secretariat. But confirmation of the destruction did not come from some ministries.

    The MGK Deputy General Secretary, Brigadier General Tuncer Erinmezler, then drafted a memorandum stamped "secret" and advising that the "Special National Policy Document on Turks in Foreign Countries" sent to various ministries with a memorandum from the MGK General Secretariat dated 3 June 1992 had been annulled by the MGK on 21 August 2006 and, based on that, by the Council of Ministers on 11 October 2006, and that the document was to be destroyed and a record of the destruction sent to the MGK General Secretariat by 30 August 2007.

    This process was to have been completed four days ago. But some ministries were unable to find the document. The "Cosmic" (top-secret document control) offices were brought into the case. But it was determined that the document did not come into the purview of the "cosmic" offices. The document, which had been conveyed by special officials to 34 strategic institutions, ranging from the General Staff to MIT (National Intelligence Organization), and from TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) to the YOK (Higher Education Council) and the Machine and Chemicals Industry, and had been handed over in exchange for signature, had also been provided to then-Deputy Prime Minister Erdal Inonu, Ministers of State Tansu Ciller, Ekrem Ceyhun, Gokberk Ergenekon, and Serif Ercan, and had additionally been additionally sent to bodies like the Defense Industries Under secretariat, the Religious Affairs Directorate, and TUBITAK (Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey) with a marking of "urgent."

    It is stated that the document, which was drawn up during a period in which the Soviet Union dissolved and the Turkic Republics gained their independence, described the framework of the cooperation between Turkey and the Turkic Republics as follows: "If Turkic unity is achieved, Turkey will be one of the countries that shapes the 21st century. In this way, we will once again take our place in history as an international power."

    It is stated that relations with Russia were also included in the document as follows: "Russia, which following the dissolution of the Soviet Union is experiencing one of the most difficult periods in its history, has told Turkey, at the Head of State level, that 'we see Turkey not as a rival, but as a partner, in relations with the Southern Republics that have separated from us.' Russia must never be taken lightly, and must be seen as the greatest power in the region. But Russia worries that Turkey is acting on behalf of the United States in this region. This must be remedied."

    It was also stated that, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States would not be concerned over Turkey's showing a presence in the region: "But in later stages, the United States could see Turkey as its real rival, because the United States wants to keep sole control of the region's energy resources."

    [07] War of words between the Mayor of Diyarbakir and the Turkish government, Kurdish MP´s and mayors are being persecuted

    Today´s Zaman newspaper (05.09.07) reports the following under the title

    Diyarbakir mayor takes flak after call for war :

    Diyarbak1r Mayor Osman Baydemir was the recipient of harsh words from the government and the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) yesterday after he complained his southeastern city was subject to discrimination and declared his pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) was ready if the government wants to launch a war on Diyarbak1r.

    The MHP directed criticism against the government, saying its soft stance on separatist terrorism had encouraged the controversial mayor to make such a statement, while the party at the heart of criticism, the DTP, defended Baydemir, saying it is tired of such debates and wants some empathy. During discussions of the government's plan for the next five years, there was an exchange of words between the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the DTP. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a speech in Parliament on Tuesday, had said the DTP should declare the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) a terrorist organization.

    The discussions and the exchange of words on the issue continued on Wednesday, but this time with the involvement of the MHP and the Republican People's Party (CHP). The DTP, while backing Mayor Baydemir, also underlined they are tired of being in the spotlight all the time and want empathy, but will maintain their policy of constructive opposition. Siirt DTP deputy Osman Ozcelik also added that the other parties are trying to use them as a tool.

    MHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Mehmet ^and1r said Prime Minister Erdogan is preparing the groundwork for politics based on ethnicity. While talking to reporters in Parliament yesterday, Sand1r said Erdogan and his discourse are encouraging Baydemir. "Diyarbak1r is a very important city of Turkey, but Erdoan is acting like he is the official of another country. Turkey is a state governed by law, and the judicial system should be the venue for Baydemir," Sand1r said.

    Sand1r reiterated Erdogan's words on Tuesday, urging the DTP to declare the PKK a terrorist organization, and said, "These words mean renouncing wrong actions." "Only after this declaration will we see what has changed and what has not," Sand1r added.

    Erdogan also harshly reacted to Baydemir and categorically rejected the claims that there is negative discrimination against the city. In his speech yesterday at his partys parliamentary group, he said: No one should try to exploit the people of one city. The municipalities should produce projects instead of producing words. Erdogan added that they are against all kinds of politics based on ethnic or religious lines.

    Baydemir also claimed Diyarbak1r is a castle and cannot be conquered, referring to his party s local administration in the city. Some AK Party deputies evaluated these words as preparation for the local elections in 2009. In the general elections in Kurdish-populated areas, the AK Party took some of the DTP votes; this fact has led to discussions within the DTP.

    The CHP also got involved in this fierce discussion. Its deputy chairman, Mustafa Ozyurek, said the AK Party does not support the municipalities administered by opposition parties and that it is not right to treat Diyarbakir as a city which lies outside of Turkey. Ozyurek said the job of the municipalities is to serve people, not to be castles.

    Despite these discussions, the DTP supported Mayor Baydemir. Diyarbakir deputy Akin Birdal said at a parliamentary press conference that Baydemirs statements should not be considered a challenge, rather statements trying to serve peace.

    Why are we entering into polemics over some words? Baydemir, as the mayor of Diyarbak1r, is showing his reaction to the fact that the city cannot get aid. Peace and justice depend on guarding the people from starvation, Birdal said.

    Ozcelik said they are tired of being in the spotlight all the time, but will not give up. He said since they entered Parliament, they have been constantly told to behave.

    Lets say we declare the PKK a terrorist organization. What will change? Will those demanding this from us be able to put forth any project to solve the Kurdish problem? he said.

    Ozcelik added they entered Parliament to democratically and peacefully solve the Kurdish question. Turkey should get used to us. We have a different point of view. We want empathy, tolerance and dialogue, Ozcelik stressed.

    In another news item under the tile Pro-Kurdish DTP deputies' trial continues, Today´s Zaman (05.09.07) reports the following:

    Two deputies from the Democratic Society Party (DTP) who are awaiting trial on charges of "promoting a terrorist organization" and "assisting and abetting a terrorist organization" might be brought before the court despite their immunity as deputies.

    DTP deputies Aysel Tugluk and Ayla Akat Ata, who are also lawyers who previously represented Abdullah Ocalan -- the head of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) who is jailed in an island-prison in Istanbul -- might face trial if Parliament decides to remove their immunity.

    The cases of a number of DTP deputies facing similar charges were combined into a single file which is being dealt with by the Istanbul 9th High Criminal Court. There are 13 suspects in the case. The court had a hearing yesterday; however, none of the suspects, including Tugluk and Ata Birand, showed up in court. Ozcan Kilic, a lawyer representing Tugluk, was present at the hearing. The court accepted the public prosecutors demand to continue with Tugluk and Atas trial, stipulating that the Parliaments Presidency be informed of its decision.

    Kilic said his clients faced up to twelve-and-a-half years on charges of promoting, assisting and abetting a terrorist organization. Kilic said most of the accusations were made on the basis of statements made by Tugluk and Ata when they defended Abdullah Ocalan in court.

    The decision of the court also creates a risk for Sebahat Tuncel, another DTP deputy facing trial, being brought before the court, as the decision of the court may be taken as a precedent. A court hearing in October will decide whether the trial of Tuncel, who is accused of membership in a terrorist organization, should continue despite her election to Parliament.

    On 4 September Istanbul NTV broadcast that the Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor's Office has started an examination of the remarks by Osman Baydemir, the Democratic Society Party (DTP) mayor of greater Diyarbakir.

    Baydemir had reacted strongly to the remarks by Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker who had said earlier today: If the municipal services are not good in Diyarbakir, then we must think about that; maybe we must entrust this issue with capable people.

    Baydemir had retorted by saying to Prime Minister Erdogan and Agriculture Minister Eker: I dare you. We do not like to fight, but if you are declaring war on Diyarbakir, then the people of Diyarbakir and I would never flee a war that has been declared.

    The Diyarbakir Chief Prosecutor's Office is basing its examination on the media reports on the issue. If it finds that a crime has been committed, the Prosecutor's Office may launch an investigation.

    Finally Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.08.07) reported the following from Ankara:

    The chief prosecutor of Ankara has launched an investigation against Democratic Society Party [DTP] leader Ahmet Turk for the things he said after he was not invited to the 30 August reception and for the written DTP press statement of "1 September Peace Day" issued on 30 August.

    Our correspondent has learned that the investigation launched against Turk and the DTP is based on Article 301/2 of the Turkish Penal Code on the crime of "insulting the Turkish Republican Government, the state's judicial organs, the military, and the police organization." Anyone who commits this crime faces a prison term of six months to two years.

    During the investigation, the Prosecutor's Office will ask for the video and audio recordings of the speech delivered by Ahmet Turk.

    Meanwhile, Ahmet Turk has said: "The prosecutors seem to be constantly waiting to see what we are going to say so that they can file a suit against us."

    Turk was replying to reporters' questions in connection with the investigation. He said: "We are used to this."

    Selahattin Demirtas, deputy leader of the DTP's parliamentary faction, said that the DTP is busy with important things and will not comment on such issues through the media. He added: "We do not think it is right to engage in polemics through the media on serious issues. We want to solve all problems through a dialogue among the concerned institutions."

    [08] Turkey displays rockets co-developed with China

    Under the above title Turkish Daily Today´s Zaman (05.09.07) reports the following:

    Turkey displayed a rocket during the Aug. 30 Victory Day parade in Ankara that was purportedly developed jointly with China.

    Western military sources speaking to Todays Zaman stated that the rocket carried over by truck was displayed for the first time during the Victory Day parade, together with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) developed by Turkish Aerospace Industries (TA0). The UAVs have a range of 50 kilometers and are called Gozcu (witness) in Turkish. The same sources, however, were not able to confirm whether this was a rocket developed jointly with China.

    Turkey has long been cooperating with China in the development of an unspecified number of rockets with a range of up to 150 kilometers. Those rockets were reportedly first tested late in 2001 in Turkeys resort town Sile near Istanbul. The co-production of rockets became possible when China agreed in 1996 to transfer the technology necessary to produce the missiles. The initial aim was to produce 80 WS-1 missiles, a developed version of Chinas Silkworm missiles, with a range of 80 kilometers, for a cost of about $150 million.

    Under the initial phase of the project, 19 units of WS-1 missiles were directly purchased while five were co-produced in Turkey. Both countries later developed the range while also converting it into a guided missile. The missiles, outside of some critical technologies, have been developed at the Roketsan facilities in Ankara.

    Meanwhile, some military Web logs (blogs) also carried pictures of the rocket from the Aug. 30 Victory Day parade, describing the rocket as the jointly-developed Chinese-Turkish B-611 rocket. They also stated that the development of the B-611 rocket is a secret effort to supply artillery-based rockets to both countries as well as client states, particularly those in the Middle East.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [09] From the Turkish Press on Gul´s election, his reception on 5 September and the Kurdish issue

    The Turkish Press on 4 September 2007 deals with various issues as follows:

    A column by Fikret Bila of Milliyet says that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal and his deputies have decided not to participate in the reception to be held by President Abdullah Gul at the Presidential Mansion on 5 September. Bila quotes the opposition leader as saying: "We do not aim to create a debate on the legitimacy of the president by adopting this stand. There is no legitimacy problem regarding the election of Gul as president. We are not refusing to recognize him. We will shake hands with him. We will act in accordance with the requirements of a social and civilized relationship." However, the columnist adds, Baykal considers attending the presidential meetings only if they are related to a national problem.

    In a column in the Turkish Daily News, Ilter Turkmen asserts that the US newspapers, which said that the presidential election and Gul's presidency has dealt the most serious blow to the secular system, should not be taken seriously. He adds: "I think it would be wrong to burden him with his political past, because his conduct during the past five years always remained within the boundaries of a modern, secular democracy."

    In an article entitled "So It is not Condoleezza Rice but Hayrunnisa Gul who is causing tension in the world", Vakit columnist M. Emin Kazci slams the German Bild am Sonntag daily for representing President Abdullah Gul's wife Hayrunnisa Gul as one of three prominent women who are fuelling tensions in the world. Kazci claims that if it is really necessary to talk about women who are responsible for worldwide tensions, the list should be headed by US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice, "who is calling for map changes in the Middle East" and "whose name has virtually become synonymous with cruelty."

    In an article entitled "Generals outside Ankara", Bugun columnist Murat Celik asserts that the TSK's senior commanders will not be participating in tomorrow's reception at the Presidential Mansion because they will be visiting army commands over 5-6-7 September. He claims that under the circumstances President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan are certain to have to field questions by journalists about the meaning of this situation at the second reception on 7 September.

    Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi criticized Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, chairman of the Constitutional Committee, for failing to openly express the AKP views regarding the debate over Kurdish education. In his column entitled "Critical Point," Eksi urges the AKP government to adopt a clear stand and disclose whether the AKP considers allowing Kurdish education in the schools in Turkey. Opposing a Constitutional amendment that might harm the national unity in the country, the columnist says that he believes the people can enjoy equal rights and freedoms without having Kurdish education in the schools. However, he adds, the Kurdish citizens should be allowed "to protect and spread their culture and learn their language."

    A report by Ramazan Yavuz of Milliyet says that Iran has decided to build a 4 km-long wall along its border with Iraq in order to prevent smuggling and PJAK terrorists' infiltration. Noting that the Kurds in northern Iraq reacted against the security wall, the report adds that Iran is said to be planning to establish a "buffer zone" in order to prevent the entrance of civilians into the area. According to the report, DHA correspondent took the photo of the area where the security wall will be constructed.

    In an article entitled "22 July and the Issue of Secularism", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay takes issue with claims that the AKP has a "hidden agenda" to reorganize the Turkish society on the basis of Islamic rules. He asserts that the AKP's possible accomplishment of its goal of "revising the secular regime" by lifting the headscarf ban at universities, canceling the weighting method applied in computing the results of the university entrance exam, and reducing the limitations on Koran courses could only mean annulling the results of the 28 February process and fulfilling the requirements of democracy.

    In an article entitled "Letter 'M' Versus Turkey's Real Agenda", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that the launch of an investigation against the DTP over its recent statements accusing the Turkish military of using chemical weapons against PKK terrorists has "raised concerns among democratically minded Turks over whether the AK Party will continue appeasing the TSK (Turkish Armed Forces)... rather than displaying its resolve to further supremacy of the law..."

    In an article entitled "As Iran moves increasingly closer to acquiring nuclear capability", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal asserts that Turkey will soon have to face such questions as whether Tehran might use some of its medium-range missiles against US targets in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Gulf countries in the event of a US air campaign against Iran's nuclear facilities, whether Hizballah might go to war against Israel to help Iran, whether the peoples of the Middle East might rise against the United States if it hits Iran, whether Musharraf would be ousted in Pakistan and Al-Qa'ida would come to power in this country, whether the ruling AKP would allow Washington to use the US bases in Turkey in hitting Iran, and how it could possibly account for doing so if the United States used tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.

    EG/


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