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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-09-14

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.178/07 14.09.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat: The arbitration is a condition for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Statements by Pertev after his return from Brussels
  • [03] Kibris invoking EU sources writes that the recognition of the TRNC will be on the agenda of EU countries if a solution in the framework of he UN is not found
  • [04] The first step to politics by Yonluer
  • [05] The Turkish press continues to deal with the statements of President Papadopoulos on the Turkish occupation army
  • [06] The Cyprus problem the main issue on Guls visit to occupied Cyprus- He will address the self-styled assembly on the 19th of September
  • [07] Vatan alleges the existence of documents which show that 70% of the island belongs to Evkaf
  • [08] The Syrian swimmer Firas Mouala will try again his attempt to swim from occupied Karpass to Syria
  • [09] Turkish FM Babacan and PM Erdogan to the USA late this month
  • [10] The European Parliament rapporteur for Turkey on Turkey´s secularism
  • [11] Statements of the Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk on secularism
  • [12] Turkey, Italy signed $2,7 billion chopper deal
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [13] This is not a formal visit, it is an inspection...
  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 13 September 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat: The arbitration is a condition for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (14.09.07) on statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on a television programme last night.

    Kibris newspaper writes that Mr Talat stated that the arbitration is a condition for the solution of the Cyprus problem and added: Arbitration will play a role in the solution of the Cyprus problem. This is my personal belief.

    The paper also reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader commented again on the statements of President Tassos Papadopoulos that our only enemy is the Turkish occupation army. Mr Talat, who described Papadopoulos statements as insulting, very inappropriate and ugly, stated that the reason that there is tranquillity in Cyprus is the presence of the Turkish army. Mr Talat also stated that the terminology used by President Papadopoulos is wrong and it is only used in case of war.

    Mr Talat stated, inter alia, that there is stagnation in the Cyprus problem for the time being because of the summer vacations and added that after his meeting with President Papadopoulos, there was momentum on the issue. We are still extending our hand of peace and we are waiting for a positive response, he stated.

    Asked about the issues discussed in the 5 September meeting, he said that they talked about the property issue, the isolation and the initiatives for oil researches, but they did not discuss the issues in detail.

    Referring to the 8th of July agreement, Mr Talat said that it is not true that he is against this agreement and added that if he did not accept it, the whole world would have said that Talat does not want a solution.

    Referring to Gulls visit to occupied Cyprus, Mr Talat stated that this is the first visit of Mr Gul as the President of Turkey to a foreign country and that this is a great gesture.

    Ortam newspaper reports in its first page that speaking on a TV programme last night Mehmet Ali Talat warned the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of the oil researches and in a self-assuring manner said: The TRNC will start oil researched in the north, adding that the Turkish Cypriots voted for the unification of the island and they want to share the islands sources. He went on that, he warned President Papadopoulos during their meeting on the oil research issue, adding: If the Greek Cypriot side continues to behave in the same manner on this matter, we will start oil research in the north.

    Under the title Respect to the occupier Afrika newspaper refers to the same issue and writes the following: It is demanded from the Greek Cypriots now to respect the Turkish army which threw them out of their homes through the force of arms, shot and killed those who resisted, took their properties and distributed them to the population which was carried from Turkey, which divided Cyprus into two and started the regime of using passports to cross over from one half to the other.

    (CS)

    [02] Statements by Pertev after his return from Brussels

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Presidential Undersecretary Rasit Pertev has said that issues of Green Line, Financial Aid Regulations and the Direct Trade Regulation were taken up in detail during his contacts in Brussels.

    Also commenting on the latest statements of the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos he said that Mr. Papadopoulos should sit on the negotiations table if he wants a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The Presidential Undersecretary Rasit Pertev who returned to the Republic last night evaluated his 3 day visit to Brussels to the BRT.

    Explaining that the meetings had two legs, the Presidential Undersecretary said the first leg of the meeting was held with officials from the European Commission during which the Financial Aid, Green Line and the Direct Trade Regulations were discussed.

    Stressing that these three issues have been continuously taken up in detail during contacts between the TRNC and the European Union, Mr. Pertev said officials from the European Commission have also attached great importance the issues during the talks.

    Noting that he had the opportunity to meet with the European Commissions Head of Task Force for the Turkish Cypriot Community Andrew Rasbash and the Director General of the European Commissions Enlargement Directorate General Michael Leigh, Mr Pertev said that these meetings were mostly realized at technical level.

    He also said he had the opportunity to hold a one hour meeting with the EU Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, during which the Cyprus issue was mainly discussed.

    I informed Mr Rehn on the meeting between the two leaders in 5th of September and told him that during the meeting the Turkish Cypriot side had proposed for the immediate resumption of the negotiations process and to take the end of 2008 as a target for a solution, but the Greek Cypriot side had rejected all the proposals, Mr Pertev added.

    Stating that he had fruitful meetings with EU officials, the Presidential Undersecretary said his visit was echoed peculiarly in the Greek Cypriot press, but added that this was not the first time to hold meetings with EU officials.

    Referring to the recent statements by the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos, Mr Pertev said the statements which have been made during the election campaign in South Cyprus attacking the Turkish Cypriot Side are not ethical.

    Also commenting on yesterdays meeting of Lefkosia Ambassadors of the 5 permanent member countries of the UN Security Council, Mr. Pertev explained that the UN Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus Michael Moller and the Ambassadors are coming together regularly and there is nothing extraordinary about this meeting.

    However he added that what is interesting about the meeting was that instead of the UN or the representatives of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council, the outcomes of the meeting were announced to the press by the Greek Cypriot official news agency.

    Mr. Pertev said he discussed the issue with Mr. Moller and explained to him that necessary statements should be made officially by the UN or the 5 permanent members of the Security Council.

    [03] Kibris invoking EU sources writes that the recognition of the TRNC will be on the agenda of EU countries if a solution in the framework of he UN is not found

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.09.07) reports in its inside pages that according to information broadcast by the Turkish NTV television, based on EU sources, in case a solution of the Cyprus problem is not found in the framework of the UN, the issue of the TRNC recognition from the European countries may come into the agenda as an alternative.

    EU officials underline the fact that the Greek Cypriot administration is unwilling towards the solution.

    The stance of the EU on this issue will be cleared up after the election in south Cyprus. According to the same EU sources, until the end of the current year the status of Kosovo will be determined and that the recognition of Kosovos independence can constitute a precedent for the TRNC.

    (CS)

    [04] The first step to politics by Yonluer

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.09.07) reports in its first page that a new political movement with the name Movement for Politics for the People was established officially in occupied Cyprus.

    The former Mufti in the occupied areas, who acts as the spokesman of the new political movement, Mr Ahmet Yonluer, stated, inter alia, that the aim of the new movement is to unite the Turkish Cypriots under a new political formation which would also promote Turkish Cypriots religious identity as well as their political character.

    Noting that there is discrimination between the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks from Turkey in the country and that the problem is not solved by denying its existence, Yonluer argued that this problem will be solved with the Muslim Turkish Cypriot identity.

    Mr Yonluer also said that the new party has no connection with any other political party, neither the Turkish Cypriot Freedom and Reform Party, nor the ruling Justice and Development Party in Turkey.

    (CS)

    [05] The Turkish press continues to deal with the statements of President Papadopoulos on the Turkish occupation army

    The issue of the statements by President Tassos Papadopoulos regarding the Turkish occupation army is one of the main issues in the Turkish Cypriot press today (14.09.07).

    GUNES writes that the National Unity Party (UBP) strongly criticised the statements of Mr Papadopoulos on the Turkish army. According to the UBP, those circles inside and outside, who encourage Papadopoulos to say that the Turkish army, which guaranteed the recognition of the TRNC, defended its territorial integrity and guaranteed that the Turkish Cypriots live in safety and prosperity is an enemy, they must be criticised as well.

    Kibris reports that the self-styled speaker of the assembly Fatma Ekenoglu, also criticised President Papadopoulos for his statements and called on him to stop looking for excuses and show his true intentions. If he wants solution, he should come, sit on the table and lay his true intentions on the table. As she said, they know the true intentions of Mr Papadopoulos and they also know that these have not changed.

    (CS)

    [06] The Cyprus problem the main issue on Guls visit to occupied Cyprus- He will address the self-styled assembly on the 19th of September.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.9.07) reports that according to a statement of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the main issue on Guls visit to occupied Cyprus will be the Cyprus problem. As a result of this Mr Gul will have contacts mainly with Mr Talat but with other officials as well regarding the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    Under the title Gul will address the assembly; what will UBP-DP do? Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (14.09.07) reports in its first page that the new Turkish President, who is visiting occupied Cyprus on 18-19 of September will address the self-styled assembly on the 19th of September. The paper writes that it is not a custom for the Presidents of the Republic of Turkey to address the TRNC assembly. Only Suleyman Demirel made a speech at the self-styled assembly in 1998, when he came to the island for the water issue. The paper notes that for these reasons it is estimated that it is an extremely important political message the fact that Mr Gul will participate in the assemblys meeting and will deliver a speech. The paper writes that because of this development, a very important issue is discussed in the backstage in occupied Cyprus: Whether the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP) which have boycotted the assemblys sessions for a year now, will participate in the assemblys session when Gul will visit the parliament.

    (CS)

    [07] Vatan alleges the existence of documents which show that 70% of the island belongs to Evkaf

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.09.07) reports in its first page about the appearance of some documents which will open the road for the re-writing of the history of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, 25 thousand new documents show that the 70% of the island belongs to Evkaf. The paper writes that the historical documents which were examined by a committee of 100 persons will open the road for new law suits.

    (CS)

    [08] The Syrian swimmer Firas Mouala will try again his attempt to swim from occupied Karpass to Syria

    Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (14.09.07) writes that the Syrian national swimmer Firas Mouala, who recently set to swim 110 km from the occupied Karpass to Latakia, Syria, in order for his name to be included in the Guinness Book of Records failed to achieve his target because the captain, who was guiding him lead him to the coast of Turkey instead of the Syrian coast. After 36 hours of uselessly swimming, Firas Mouala has been left with no choice but to return to Syria with a boat, the paper notes.

    According to the paper, in fifteen days time Firas Mouala will visit again the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to try again.

    (ML)

    [09] Turkish FM Babacan and PM Erdogan to the USA late this month

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (14.09.07) reports the following:

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan plans to attend an international conference on the UN role in Iraq in New York later this month, officials said yesterday.

    The ministerial meeting, scheduled to take place in the margins of a UN General Assembly session, will be co-chaired by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The scope of the meeting will be similar to an international conference which was held in Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt in May; the participants will include countries neighboring Iraq, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and members of the G8 group. Non-permanent members of the UN Security Council may also attend, but there are no specifics on that yet, said a senior diplomat.

    The US State Department earlier stated that the meeting in New York would focus on how the UN can play a positive role in Iraq and related UN Security Council resolutions.

    The Turkish diplomat said the conference will also be preparation for a major international meeting on Iraq in Istanbul, scheduled for Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. However, the two gatherings will focus on different issues. The Istanbul conference, which will be attended by foreign ministers of the countries neighboring Iraq, the G-8 members and the permanent members of the UN Security Council, is a follow-up to the Sharm el-Sheikh gathering and is expected to focus on ways to stabilize Iraq amid debates of US troop withdrawal. A separate meeting confined to foreign ministers of the countries neighboring Iraq will also take place on the margins of the international conference in Istanbul.

    In addition to Babacan, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also expected to visit US around the same time. Erdogan had earlier announced plans to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly meetings beginning on September 25. There has been no statement as to 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 next week to attend the UN General Assembly meetings. He will spend a few days in New York, where he will meet with Senator Hillary Clinton.

    After New York, Erdogan will head to Washington, D.C., and visit his newly born grandson, Omer Tayyip Erdogan. It is not clear whether a meeting with President George W. Bush will take place before he returns 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.

    [10] The European Parliament rapporteur for Turkey on Turkey´s secularism

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (14.09.07) reports the following:

    Ria Oomen-Ruijten, the European Parliaments rapporteur on Turkey, said she had no concern that secularism in the European Union candidate would be undermined following the election of Abdullah Gul as president.

    I am confident about his stance toward secularism, Oomen-Ruijten, a Dutch Christian Democrat, told reporters after the European Parliaments Committee on Foreign Affairs debated a resolution motion in Brussels. She said Gul was very smart and that he knows how to deal with politics.

    Gul, who critics say is against the secular principles of the state because he has an Islamist past, was elected president last month after a first attempt in May failed due to a boycott by the secularist opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) of the parliamentary vote.

    The draft resolution, expected to be debated by the European Parliament October 25, says the European Parliament expects the Turkish government, re-elected in the July 22 elections with a strong mandate, to accelerate the process of reforms.

    It expresses concern about the repeated interference of the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] in the political process and calls for more efforts to ensure civilian control over the military, emphasizing that the formulation of national strategy should be supervised by civilian authorities.

    The document calls on Turkey to open its ports and airports to traffic from Greek Cyprus and deplores that Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code is still being used to prosecute intellectuals, writers and activists, urging the government to use its parliamentary majority to pass laws to ensure freedom of expression.

    It also calls on the government to pass a law on foundations, previously vetoed by former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, without delay and urges the new Turkish government to bring its approach towards religious minorities in line with the principles of freedom of religion.

    Similarly, it strongly condemns the murder of Turkish Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in January and the subsequent slaying of three Christian missionaries in the eastern province of Malatya and says the government should bring full light to these cases.

    The document expresses strong condemnation of the terrorist violence perpetrated by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and expresses solidarity with Turkey in its fight against terrorism but urges Turkey to refrain from any unilateral step violating Iraqs territorial integrity, referring to a possible cross-border operation by the Turkish military into northern Iraq to hit PKK bases there.

    The report also predicts that the EU candidate Turkeys role in transportation and logistics will become more important in the coming years.

    During the discussions on the draft resolution at the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Greek Cypriot parliamentarians surprised the audience with praises for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Observers were also in consensus that the debate was one of the quietest and most tension-free sessions on Turkey over the past several years.

    Greek Cypriot parliamentarian Marios Matsakis said Erdogan was the only Turkish politician who (had) struggled against the military and won and added that the EU must encourage him in efforts to democratize and modernize Turkey. Another Greek Cypriot MEP, Iannakis Matsis, said Erdogan was a great statesman who can help reunite the divided island of Cyprus.

    [11] Statements of the Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk on secularism

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (14.09.07) reports the following:

    Hosted by BBC Radio 3 on Wednesday evening, Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk commented that Turkey has been witnessing a struggle between moderate Islamist politicians and the proponents of secularism for the last 10 years.

    Avoiding political questions directed by the British writer Kenan Malik, Pamuk remarked: Turkey has been dealing with the hassle between the moderate Islamist politicians, making efforts for Turkeys adherence to the EU, and the proponents of secularism, aiming at gaining the support of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), for about 10 years now. The remarks, translated into Turkish, were carried by the Anatolia news agency.

    Upon Maliks insistent questioning on politics, Pamuk stressed that he was neither a militant nor a politician, adding, Islamist politicians in Turkey respect democracy more than the proponents of secularism. Expressing that he was himself a secularist, Pamuk said: The proponents of secularism do not attach enough importance to democracy, and they try to attract the TSKs support, while moderate Islamist politicians prove that they are more dedicated to democracy through their efforts toward EU candidacy.

    Regarding earlier words and reactions to them, Pamuk said: Men of literature are obliged to reflect the realities of the day. The important point is how they reflect them. I may have disturbed some circles by uttering the realities. Pamuk also commented on Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Turkish Republic, saying he was a proponent of secularism as well.

    [12] Turkey, Italy signed $2,7 billion chopper deal

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (14.09.07) broadcast the following:

    Turkey's Under secretariat for the Defense Industry (SSM), Italy's Agusta Westland and Tusa Aerospace Industries (TA0) as well as local defense contractor Aselsan have signed contracts valued at approximately $2.7 billion for the production of Italian A-129 attack helicopters in Turkey.

    The project is codenamed T-129. A contract for the acquisition of 51 (plus 41 optional) attack and tactical reconnaissance helicopters (ATAK) for the Turkish Land Forces Command that involves local production of software source codes and hardware as well as the integration of high technology avionics on the helicopters was signed at the SSM on September 7, said a TA0 statement released on Wednesday.

    Meanwhile, Italian industrial group Finmeccanica -- which owns Agusta Westland -- stated on Wednesday on its Web site that it will supply Turkey with 51 combat helicopters in a deal worth around 1.2 billion euros ($1.6 billion). The Augusta Westland A-129 helicopters will form part of Turkey's ATAK program, Finmeccanica said. The remaining $1.1 billion of the $2.7 billion project will be financed by TA0 and Aselsan, said the TA0 sources. The SSM's Executive Committee decided to start contract negotiations with Agusta Westland during its March 30 meeting this year. South African Denel's Rooivalk was also competing in the project.

    As part of a Turkish policy to boost the country's defense industry base, TA0 will be the main contractor in the helicopter project, with Agusta Westland becoming the main subcontractor and Aselsan to act as another subcontractor.

    Thus under the deal the Italian government has agreed to give an export license to Agusta Westland for the production of the helicopters at TA0 facilities near Ankara, during which necessary modifications will be made to meet Turkish requirement for the helicopters.

    TA0 will be responsible for integration, modification and certification as well as tests conducted on the helicopters, all of which are scheduled to be completed at the end of the 58th month following the signing of the contract.

    There are still technical details to be resolved before the contract comes into effect, said a TA0 source. For example, Turkey has to wait for the US Congress to approve the contract some time in November so that the attack helicopters can be equipped with US LHTECH-made engines. In addition Agusta must wait for its export license approval.

    Agusta will be responsible for the integration of the engines. Under a local content agreement signed between TA0 and Agusta Westland in late July, TA0 will market the T-129 attack helicopters to the world while Agusta will market the same helicopters to Italy and the UK as a main contractor. Agusta Westland has plants in the UK.

    TAI will be responsible to the SSM for the final design and performance of the T-129 helicopters in addition to having a work-share in executing the system integration, production, engineering and integrated logistical support of the helicopters.

    TAI will also hold the copyright of the new helicopters (T-129) while becoming the sole source in the world for the production of their bodies, including final assembly and flight procedures, said the TAI statement.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [13] This is not a formal visit, it is an inspection...

    Under the title This is not a formal visit, it is an inspection..., Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.09.07) publishes the following commentary by Ali Osman, in the column Periodic:

    In the beginning of 2008 one more new ripple will be experienced in politics! The parties with the patent of Ankara will continue to be weeded out from the new strategic direction that will be drawn...

    Those who will remain after the sieving will be more colligate to their duty to Ankara!

    In addition to this, a lot of organisations and the media organs will also be affected by this...

    This is how order was created...

    It cannot be otherwise.

    On this land for another five years whatever Tayyip Erdogan and his party say will be done!

    Again tenders will be opened in Ankara...

    Under the tenders to be opened here, which will not be of a great value, there will be this phrase: This tender has been financed by Turkey...

    And the persons not close to the Turkish Republics Embassy will not be able to benefit from these tenders.

    * * *

    Turkey will continue to carry with boats from Anatolia, food and general supplies for the army here..

    Thanks to cheap labour force, free electricity, water and free shipping fares one part of the cheap resources will be distributed to the market and the producer will receive a blow...

    Ankara, which holds all the strings through the consumer and the dependant society it has created and which (Ankara) is moving with the perception If we did not send money to you, you would starve, is in wait to deal the last blow...

    There are yet accounts to be settled with the world!

    Let us see what will happen next...

    And in this framework the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Koksal Toptan, honored the North of Cyprus with his visit

    The newspapers wrote: The speaker of the Turkish Republics Grand National Assembly makes his first official visit abroad to the TRNC.

    Is it not a piece of territory where his ambassador and generals have complete hegemony over here?

    Who forms the government here...

    It is not Ankara, which in addition to the 40.000 Turkish troops, it has transferred and settled more people than the local population on these lands?

    In this case how can this (visit) be to a ´foreign country´?

    On top of this in this sentence there is also the word official...

    Official contacts imply that an official of a state visits an official of the same level of another state.

    You will say: What do you mean, are you underestimating our own ministers?

    No my friend, in my opinion the structure of those who are appointed here runs as follows. Starting from the district officer, to the village headmen and the community representative.

    When Mrs Fatma (Ekenoglu) goes to Turkey who meets her?

    Either an assistant provincial governor or a district officer

    Look at the visit of Mr Toptan

    For his visit there were and there will be persons appointed by Ankara, the ambassador of Ankara and military officials of the Turkish Republic accompanied by personal guards and ambulance.

    And the appointed ones of course

    Mr Koksal, came simply to inspect a piece of land which is under the occupation of his country

    This is the fact.

    (E/A)

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 13 September 2007

    The draft constitution, Gul´s visit to the Southeast, the foiled bomb attack in Ankara, Northern Iraq, Ramadan and religious issues are the focus of the Turkish press of 13 September, as follows:

    Milliyet newspaper reports that Prof Dr Ergun Ozbudun, the architect of the new constitution, has briefed the visiting members of the Independent Committee on Turkey (ICT), which is a gathering of European diplomats supporting Turkey's EU membership, on the draft constitution. The paper which quotes former Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari, who acts as the group's leader, as saying that they find it positive the drafting of the constitution by eminent personalities. Ahtisaari also says the reflection of the EU standards in the constitution is another positive aspect. Ahtisaari also notes that the Turkish government is resolved to conclude the project, but he got the impression that the process is not going to be completed this year; it will probably be concluded next year and submitted to referendum. For now, he adds, the Turkish government should repeal Article 301 to provide the group with enough "ammunition" to argue Turkey's case in Europe.

    In an editorial in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi warns that the new freedoms of worship, religious teaching, and conscience provided in the constitution would eventually undermine the secular system, noting that "secularism" forms the "backbone" of the entire Turkish political system, and hence of the present constitution, and once secularism is undermined the entire system would collapse.

    In a commentary in Sabah, Hasan Bulent Kahraman deplores the fact that the debates on the draft constitution are exclusively revolving around secularism, and more specifically headscarf, when there are other more-encompassing freedoms that have to be discussed while drafting the new constitution, like Article 301, democratic governance, religious and ethnic issues.

    In his column for Milliyet, Taha Akyol says the trick in preparing the new constitution would be to amalgamate Ataturkism, which is a national value for Turks, and liberalism that the social transformation is imposing on Turkey.

    In her column in Sabah, Asli Aydintasbas says 53 percent of the population that did not vote for the AKP as well as neo-nationalists, nationalists, leftists, and even liberals are apprehensive of the new constitution, which appears like "AKP party constitution," adding that the drafting process should be slowed down so as to prepare a constitution based on broad social consensus.

    In an article entitled "Attention! They will begin to quarrel again", Today's Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce slams "status quo actors" who "seem to have been disturbed by the preparation of a new constitution" for what he refers to as their impatience to "express their bitter opposition" to a "democratic constitution based on universally recognized human rights standards and parliamentary regime principles."

    Commenting on the referendum to be held on 21 October on the constitutional amendments adopted on 16 June by the previous parliament, according to which the 11th president (who Gul is now) will be popularly elected, Yalcin Dogan points out in his column in Hurriyet that if the people decide that the 11th president will have to be elected with popular vote then a new legal confusion will ensue about the current status of Gul. The only way out of this dilemma is for the current parliament to adopt a new constitutional amendment voiding the previous amendment.

    On the same subject, Nazli Ilicak, in her column for Sabah, wonders if Gul will have to run for president for a second time in December, given that the 16 June amendment provides for election of the 11th president 45 days after the referendum.

    Vatan newspaper quotes some jurists as saying that if people vote for the constitutional amendments in the 21 October referendum then a presidential election will have to be held in December. The report adds that even if Gul insists on remaining president, he will only serve for 5 years after the referendum. The report adds that Ozbudun, in a statement to CNN-TURK, said that if the amendments are endorsed at the referendum, Gul's term will be reduced from seven to five years, adding that the referendum results will not affect Gul's presidential status, because Gul was elected president under the then existing laws. But Vatan quotes High Election Council, YSK, chief Aydin as saying that the 16 June constitutional amendment speaks about the election of the "11th president" by popular vote within 45 days of the referendum, and hence after the referendum the YSK will meet and decide if a new presidential election is required.

    A Milliyet report says that from the mobile phone devices attached to the explosives found in a van in Ankara's Kurtulus District it has been discovered that organizers of the abortive terror act had contacts with the PKK groups operating in rural areas. The police are therefore looking for PKK cells in Ankara, the report adds.

    A report in Vatan on the incident also quotes former intelligence officer Mahir Kaynak as saying that the organizers' aim was not to detonate the explosives, they just wanted to issue a warning. Another former intelligence officer Bulent Orakoglu says that this is not PKK's method of attack and if the PKK is really involved in it then it means the organization has changed strategy. He too believes the aim was just to issue a warning to Turkey.

    In an article entitled "The Bomb in Ankara and Ladin's black beard", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on allegations that the latest Bin Ladin video has been put together by a hard-line Israeli rightist called Adam Pearlman who writes articles representing Muslims as "bloody and barbaric terrorists." After claiming that "deceptions" of this sort have always been employed to provide excuses for occupation campaigns against Muslim countries and to provoke civil wars in many parts of the world, Karagul asserts that the recent bombing plot in Ankara foiled by the police could be part of a bid by certain powers at home or abroad to use terrorism as a means of obtaining political power or implementing certain regional projects, adding that if the PKK is responsible for the bombing attempt, it is hard to believe that it could try to attack Turkey or the ruling AKP in this way without the prior approval of the US and Israeli intelligence.

    In an article entitled "Did the terrorists target the military?", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu quotes Sedat Laciner, chairman of "an Ankara-based research center," as saying that the target of the explosive-packed van discovered in the parking garage in Ankara's Kurtulus district was meant to be blown up in a central area in the capital where the explosion would have dealt significant damage to the General Staff headquarters as well as to government buildings.

    In an article entitled "Terror in Ankara", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal describes the foiled bomb plot in Ankara as part of a bid by the PKK and the United States to distract Turkey's attention away from the ongoing efforts to establish a Kurdish state in northern Iraq.

    Under the banner headline, "Bombing planned by the same forces," Milli Gazete publishes a front-page report which quotes former police intelligence chief Bulent Orakoglu as saying that the latest bombing attempt in Ankara is the work of forces that want to manipulate Turkey's foreign policy.

    In his column in Milliyet Fikret Bila argues that President Gul's visit to the southeast is proceeding "positively." Noting that Gul is visiting the region to show good-will towards the Kurds, Bila says in the meantime the PKK was planning to bomb Ankara and the DTP is still refusing to declare the PKK a terror organization and is demanding general amnesty, founding partnership status in the constitution, and Kurdish education. This means that nothing has changed on the Kurdish side, and like the previous Turkish presidents Gul too will face a dilemma in dealing with the Kurdish issue.

    In a column for Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever says Gul's visit to the southeast is very important, as Turkey could extend its control over northern Iraq only after having resolved its own Kurdish problem. He believes that faced with US withdrawal from Iraq and hostility from Arabs, the Kurds in northern Iraq are more than willing to come under Turkey's protection. Ulsever believes such a development would also please the Americans and improve the Turkish-US ties.

    Under the banner headline, "Gul's protection against poison," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that an official "poison taster" named Fahrettin Ozdemir is accompanying President Gul on his visits to southeastern provinces.

    In an article entitled "The breath of history", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru describes President Gul's tour of the southeast as an "extraordinarily important" event that gives an idea about Turkey's "new paradigm" as well as signifying a "search for consensus" on the path toward true social unity. He claims that the timing of the visit is significant in that it is taking place during a period when the regional political balances have been reshaped in the wake of a general election where the people of the southeast for the first time used their votes as a way of expressing their hope for a solution to their woes. Koru also advises "the state" to use the "opportunity" provided by Gul's tour of the southeast and calls on the Democratic Society Party, DTP, to try to understand correctly the meaning of the public support for Gul in the southeast.

    Under the headline, "Religious classes conducted by priests," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that the religious classes at a private Greek school in Istanbul are being taught by priests. According to the report, this situation makes nonsense of the principle of secularism as well as indicating that the Unification of Education Act [which made all educational institutions answerable to the Ministry of Education] applies only to Muslims in this country.

    EG/


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