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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-07
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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.237/07 07.12.07
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Erdogan addressed the 20th Congress of Turkish Confederation of Labor Union. He stressed his governments achievements in CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (06.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that the government tackled terrorism with political, military and diplomatic means.
Almost all countries support Turkey now, Erdogan said delivering a speech at the 20th Regular Congress of Turkish Confederation of Labor Union (Turk-Is).
Erdogan said, almost all EU member countries, Gulf countries, U.S. and Japan started to acknowledge Turkey's rightful approach regarding a cross-border operation.
You will both take the step and get international support, he added.
Commenting on relations with the IMF, Erdogan said Turkey's current debt to IMF was 7.2 billion USD, and indicated that his government carried out relations with the IMF firmly.
Erdogan also called attention to the current situation in Cyprus and said national income per capita doubled in (TRNC) to reach 12,000 USD over the past few years.
I would like to clearly express that we are proud of what we have achieved regarding Cyprus problem, Erdogan said.
TRNC opened representations in several parts of Europe. The EU opened an office in the TRNC. All these are progress, he said. But this is not enough. Our struggle will continue.
Recalling ferry services launched between TRNC and Syria, Erdogan said establishment of such links were being discussed with Jordan as well.
On Erdogans statements, illegal Bayrak television (06.12.07) broadcast the following:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stressed that his government had made no concessions to anybody about the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
We are proud of the outcomes we get from the steps we took about the TRNC he added.
Mr. Erdogan touched upon the Cyprus issue during his speech at the 20th general congress of the Turk-Is. Explaining that the national income of the TRNC had been increased from 4-5 thousand to 12 thousand during his governments term in office, Mr. Erdogan reminded that new TRNC representative offices were also opened at different parts of the Europe.
Noting that the European Union has opened an office at the TRNC, the Turkish Premier however said that the desired level has not yet been reached adding that their struggle will continue to reach this level.
Also reminding that ferry services has been launched between the TRNC and Syria despite all the efforts by the Greek Cypriot Administration to prevent, he said negotiations are continuing with Jordan to launch ferry services between the TRNC and Jordan.
Explaining that President Mehmet Ali Talat had an official visit to Pakistan, Mr. Erdogan said all these were achieved as a result of efforts by his government.
 Czech-Slovak model for CyprusUnder the above title Mahmut Gurer reports in Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (06.12.07) about Turkey preparing a new plan on Cyprus. According to the plan, the island will be split into two countries, but it will be considered as one united country in the EU. Mr Gurer writes the following:
Turkey is preparing a new plan for Cyprus in 2008. Ankara will first call on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to undertake an initiative again for a solution on the basis of the Annan Plan. In case Tassos Papadopoulos wins the elections to be held in the Greek Cypriot Sector in February, this time the EU model and not the UN will be proposed.
Ankara will make its first proposal on the basis of the Annan Plan, just like it happened before in 2006. It will be requested from the UN Secretary General to call on the sides to sit again at the table on the basis of the Annan Plan.
Turkey had announced that it could sign the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, in case the difficulties, which the TRNC faces regarding the direct trade and the direct flights, are lifted. The Additional Protocol provides for the opening of the Turkish sea and airports to the Greek Cypriots and thus their recognition by Turkey. However, this demand had been rejected by Papadopoulos. As for the case of this plan not working again, Ankara will wait for the completion of the elections which will be held in the Greek Cypriot Sector in February.
As for the case of Papadopoulos winning these elections, Turkey will present a new plan both to the UN and the EU. This plan will carry the Cyprus problem to a quite different process. Turkey, which did not want the interference of the EU in the process before, this time, it will try to secure the Unions acting together with the UN. The new plan will be the model of Czechoslovakia. According to this, Turkey will request the separation of the South Cyprus Greek Administration (GKRY) and the TRNC, as it happened before in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and afterwards the lifting of the borders between them by making the TRNC member of the EU. In this manner, while the inclusion of the TRNC into the EU will be secured, the difficulty of the direct flights to Ercan [Tr. Note: The illegal Tymbou airport] and the direct trade through Magosa Port [Tr. Note: The occupied port of Famagusta] will be solved. Turkey, in return for this, will open its ports to the Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft.
 Mehmet Ali Talat asks the help of the Turkic World for the lifting of the isolationAnkara Anatolia news agency (06.12.07) reports the following from Denizli:
President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said Thursday that TRNC needed the support of the Turkic world for the removal of isolations on his country.
So far, we do not receive the support we expected, Talat said.
Talat, who arrived in the Aegean province of Denizli upon invitation of Denizli Industrialists & Businessmens Association (DESIAD), replied to questions of reporters at the Governor's Office.
Commenting on UN SG Ban Ki-moon's recent report on Cyprus, Talat said the SG's opinions regarding the meaning and consequences of removal of isolations on TRNC, were in conformity with TRNC's approach.
It would be wrong to say that the report, as a whole, reflected the opinions of the Turkish Cypriot party, but at least such part of the report meant positive things for us, Talat said.
Talat replied to a question on Greek Cypriot communist AKEL Party's claims regarding a deal between Turkish and Greek Cypriots as well.
Elections will be held in the Greek Cypriot part of the island. Therefore, they will try all kinds of political maneuvers. There is no deal concluded as AKEL spokesman claimed, Talat said.
On the other hand, Talat commented on the recent opening of a coffeehouse by world-wide known coffee chain Gloria Jean's Coffees in TRNC.
He said it was the first official opening by an international chain-store in TRNC and it was a remarkable step towards the breaking of isolations on the country.
 Common front by Turkish Cypriot political parties against AKPTurkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (07.12.07) invoking political sources, writes that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas and the former chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) Dervis Eroglu, held a special agenda meeting at the house of a very well known politician. The issue of the meeting was the forming of a resistance front against the Government of Turkey and the Justice and Development Party (AKP).
Serdar Denktas suggested that the struggle be waged under the roof of DP. On his part, Mr Eroglu suggested the formation of a new party so that the struggle is more powerful.
The paper writes that despite the efforts made, it was not possible to include the chairman of the UBP, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, in the resistance front. The paper writes that neither Serdar Denktas nor Eroglu denied or confirmed the news.
 Avci calls on the EU to keep its promisesIllegal Bayrak television (06.12.07) broadcast the following:
Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has called on the international community to help Turkish Cypriot people by lifting the unjust international isolations imposed on them.
Mr Avci was speaking a conference held at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Deputy-Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Turgay Avci, who is in Brussels as guest of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, embarked on his contacts at the European Parliament today.
As part of his contacts, Mr Avci delivered a speech at a conference held at the parliament.
In speech, Mr Avci stated that everybody has accepted that the current situation in Cyprus is un-sustainable.
He also said that the cause of the Cyprus problem was the consideration of the Greek Cypriot Administration as the government of whole Cyprus by the international community.
Expressing the belief that the lifting of the isolations will lead the Greek Cypriot Administration to follow more constructive attitude in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Mr Avci called on the international community and the European Union to intensify their efforts toward ending the isolation on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Earlier, in interviews with various media organizations in Istanbul and Brussels, the Foreign Minister said Europe was also disappointed with the Greek Cypriot sides attitude.
Mr Avci said the Turkish Cypriot side wanted Europe to establish direct flights to and from the TRNC, to implement the Direct Trade Regulation and to improve relations with the Turkish Cypriot people.
`This is the only way to encourage the Greek Cypriot side to return to the negotiations table, he said.
Pointing out that the Turkish Cypriot side has always adopted a constructive approach towards a solution, he complained that the Greek Cypriot Administration is still maintaining its negative attitude.
Asked to comment on report that the Greek Cypriot Church was preparing a solution plan, he said `it is unfortunate that the Church is carrying out such a work`.
Questioning the role being played by the Church on the Cyprus issue, Mr Avci pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Church has always been playing an important role in the policies being pursued by the Greek Cypriot side.
He also added that there was no change in the Churchs approach towards the Turkish Cypriot people.
During his stay in the city, the Foreign Minister will also be holding discussions with Euro-MPs.
On the same issue under the title Hard reaction by Avci to the EU, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.12.07) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Turgay Avci, who is having contacts in Brussels upon an invitation of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, gave an interview to ABHaber internet site and stated that the EU must abandon the unjust and unfair attitude towards the Turkish Cypriots. He also stated that the isolation must be lifted and an end to be given to the murdering of the human rights of the Turkish Cypriots.
 Salih Usar continues his contacts in HamburgTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (07.12.07) reports that the self-styled minister of public works and transportation, Mr Salih Usar, who went to Hamburg, heading a delegation, upon an invitation of the MPs of the Federal state of Hamburg, met yesterday with the minister of economy of the Federal state of Hamburg, Mr Gunter Bonz. The paper also writes that they had very positive contacts regarding cooperation that can take place in the TRNC with investors from Hamburg and that they made an agreement for joint initiatives against the economic isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Usar also met with officials of the SAG firm yesterday and is continuing his contacts in Hamburg.
 The illegal ministry of finance explains the measures taken at the crossing pointsIllegal Bayrak television (06.12.07) reports the following:
The Minister of Finance Ahmet Uzun has circulated a notice informing all customs officials on rules and regulations concerning the Green Line Regulation and the Foreign Trade Regulations and Inspections law.
The notice circulated by the Finance Ministry aims to clarify regulations and procedures at all customs stations and to ensure that these regulations are implemented without disquieting the public.
The notice recommends that all customs officers should be kind, understanding and patient when dealing with persons at border gates and urges all superior officers or chiefs to take precautionary measures in order to avoid long queues at crossing points.
The Minister of Finance Ahmet Uzun, in the circular stated that the 135 Euro personal shopping limit in force at the crossing points referred from the Green Line Regulation.
Uzun explained that the personal shopping items include supermarket shopping that can be carried in handbags, suitcases or the trunk of car.
He said goods purchased in large quantities will be considered as goods of a commercial purpose and will be subject to customs regulations.
The 135 Euros limit is only valid for one crossing per day and will not be valid in cases where persons pool resources to purchase an item which exceeds the worth limit.
The Finance Minister said that goods, which are worth more than 135 Euros will be subjected to a fixed 30% tax and added that persons must present receipts for these items.
He said a failure to present a receipt will result in the customs officer determining the value of the product.
The personal shopping limit does not include meat, meat and dairy products from South Cyprus whose entry into North Cyprus is banned as part of precautionary measures enforced against the Foot and Mouth Disease seen in the South.
The notice also states that Electronic and Electrical appliances, furniture and office supplies require an import license and permits obtained from the Department of Commerce.
Owners of products which do not have an important license will be liable to pay a fine as high as 3 times the value of the product in addition to the 30% fixed tax.
According to the notice, persons are also allowed to take with them 1 liter of alcoholic beverages and 40 cigarettes when crossing in North Cyprus.
The Minister of Finance said that prices in North Cyprus were now much cheaper compared to South Cyprus after businesses and supermarkets in the North pulled down their prices in a bid to lure Turkish Cypriot shoppers back.
 The issue of secret agreement between AKEL and CTP continues to create tension in occupied CyprusThe Turkish Cypriot press reports today (07.12.07) about the issue of the secret agreement signed by AKEL and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP).
Under the title Anger from CTP towards AKEL, Afrika reports in its first page that AKELs announcement regarding the existence of a secret agreement between AKEL and CTP created shock in the party and noted that Talat, Soyer and Kalyoncu line up to deny the news regarding the agreement.
Afrika reports that the above mentioned agreement consists of the five points: A bizonal, bicommunal federation, demilitarization, the rights of the Greek Cypriot refugees to return to their homes, the settlers to get out of the island, the political equality as it was anticipated by the UN Secretary-General Mr Butros Ghali.
Soyer stated yesterday that not all the refugees will return to their homes, any agreement for the solution will have Turkeys guarantorship and the settlers who came from Turkey will remain in the island and added that AKEL must accept this reality.
On his part, Mr Talat stated, from the Turkish city Denizli where he is having contacts, that CTP did not make an agreement with AKEL.
On his part the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Omer Kalyoncu, got angry with the illegal TAK news agency, which reported the news on the issue and implied with his statements that it was wrong that TAKs director was not replaced.
Vatan writes that the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party, Mr Omer Kalyoncu, stated that his party made neither an open nor a secret agreement and added that any agreements the party made were announced to the public through press conferences or declarations. Mr Kalyoncu, who was speaking to a press conference yesterday, replied to the criticism made towards CTP that it made a secret agreement with AKEL, and noted that the CTP is the most country-loving party this soil has ever seen.
Volkan reports in its first page on the same issue and writes that despite the efforts of the CTP officials to deny the fact of the secret agreement between the two parties, yesterday AKEL insisted on the existence of the agreement.
On its part Yeni Duzen reports on the issue under the banner headline: Soyer: Our solution principles are clear. The news on the agreement with AKEL is a lie.
 Are 92 persons, who came from Syria, missing?Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (07.12.07) reports in its first page that 108 persons entered occupied Cyprus saying that their visit was for holidays. However, only one person left, fifteen persons were arrested trying to pass to the south and the fate of 92 persons is unknown.
 Turk to be the new Coca-Cola Chief Executive OfficerThe Turkish newspapers report today (07.12.07) extensively in their first pages papers about Coca Colas new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Turkish origin Muhtar Kent who will take over his new post from Neville Isdell in July 2008. The Papers report the news item with the following headlines:
MILLIYET: Fantastic Turk
RADIKAL: The Empire is in Kents hand
HURRIYET: Emperor of the Capitalism
SABAH: Turkish Boss to the World Giant
BUGUN: He will increase Colas value
 The Turkish President met with his Turkmenistan counterpartTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (07.12.07) reports the following from Ashgabat:
Paying his first official visit to the Central Asian region in his new role as president, Abdullah Gul pledged on Thursday to improve relations with gas-rich Turkmenistan by increasing economic cooperation as part of Ankara's drive to strengthen ties with the Turkic-speaking states of the region.
Speaking at a joint press conference following talks with Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov, who extended the invitation to the Turkish president, Gul said that bilateral relations between Turkey and Turkmenistan entered a new and historic phase 15 years ago.
We have exchanged views about our 15-year-long relations and hope to have productive future cooperation following the occasion of this visit. We have examined bilateral relations between the two countries during face-to-face talks and talks between delegations, and we have seen that there is more potential out there. We have decided to work on this [potential] with great perseverance, Gul said.
Remarks by the former foreign minister, Gul, who had displayed a close interest in Central Asian countries during his post at the Foreign Ministry -- referred to the fact that Turkey was quick to recognize the independence of the Central Asian nations and establish diplomatic ties after the Soviet breakup in 1991. Turks regard some Central Asian populations as ethnic kinsmen.
Turkey has tried to project itself as a model democracy for the Central Asian countries, but in recent years, the republics have turned more toward the United States, Russia and China for economic partnerships. Turkey has, on the other hand, neglected its ties with Central Asia as it concentrated on its bid to join the European Union.
Gul's visit is the first presidential-level visit from Ankara to Ashgabat and has taken place after a six-year hiatus between presidential meetings. Gul's predecessor Ahmet Necdet Sezer never paid a visit to this country during his term in office. The sole meeting between Sezer and late President Saparmurat Niyazov, who died suddenly in December 2006, took place in Istanbul in 2001 on the sidelines of a summit of the heads of state of Turkic-speaking countries.
Turkmenistan was represented by its ambassador to Turkey at a summit of the heads of state of Turkic-speaking countries which was held in November 2006 in Antalya. Turkmenistan did not sign the summit's final declaration.
In July, Turkey signed a preliminary deal with neighboring Iran to carry natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan to Europe. That accord was seen as raising the prospects of a project to build a 3,300-kilometer pipeline, known as Nabucco, to supply gas from the Middle East and Central Asia to the EU via Turkey, bypassing Russia.
Ankara, which has improved its political ties with the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia, aspires to become a regional energy hub between Western consumers and Eastern gas and oil producers. Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and Trade and Industry Minister Zafer Çaglayan as well as representatives of Turkey's business sector, including R1fat Hisarc1kl1oglu, the head of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), accompanied Gul during the visit, considered a turning point in relations between Ankara and Asghabat.
Energy cooperation was one of the highlighted articles in a joint declaration released following the meeting of the two presidents. During the visit the two countries agreed to establish a joint economic cooperation council, Gul said at the press conference.
For his part, after expressing pleasure over Gul's visit, Berdimuhammedov stressed the importance of bilateral cooperation on efforts against terrorism, criminal issues and drug smuggling.
Like my brother [Gül] said, there is a big potential in relations between our countries. We will mobilize this potential and have it serve the interests of our countries. The work to be done will prove this [potential], Berdimuhammedov, adding that the joint governmental economic cooperation council to be established between Ankara and Asghabat would regularly report to the two presidents about their work. The Turkmen president also praised Turkish schools in his country. A total of 20 high schools and one university in Turkmenistan have been established by Turkish nongovernmental organizations.
Five or six ministers from each government will be assigned to work in the joint governmental commission between the two countries. The first topic to be handled by the commission is expected to be investments to be made by the Turkish business sector in a tourism zone and a free trade zone on the coast of the Caspian Sea.
A senior Turkish official, speaking on condition of anonymity with Today's Zaman, said that Gul's visit was a visit dominated by its political dimension. The trade volume between Turkey and Turkmenistan, which has considerably increased this year, is widely considered a fruit of the new president's [Gul's] initiative towards this country.
Gul to visit United States in January
Turkish daily Todays Zaman (07.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:
Preparations are under way for an official visit by President Abdullah Gul to Washington in the near future; Turkish diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman on Thursday.
Reliable sources separately said that the visit, to take place upon an invitation by US President George W. Bush, is scheduled for January 7-8. Gul's visit will follow a meeting held last month between Bush and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkish-US relations experienced ups and downs during Gul's term as foreign minister before taking office as the new president in late August, but eventually, Gul's cool and sober attitude helped ease the tension with Washington. In July 2006 Gul and his US counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, were posing for cameras in Washington with smiling faces as they jointly unveiled a shared vision document they said would boost what they described as the two nations' strategic partnership.
 Trial of Kurdish politicians and journalist takes place in IstanbulTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (07.12.07) reports the following from Istanbul:
The latest hearing in the trial of two Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputies, a lawyer for terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan and a journalist was held in Istanbul on Thursday.
The defendants, DTP deputies Aysel Tugluk and Ayla Akat Ata and journalist Mehmet Ali Birand, are charged with disseminating propaganda for a terrorist organization. Ocalan's lawyer, Okan Y1ld1z, was the only defendant who attended yesterday's hearing at the 9th High Criminal Court in Istanbul. Yildiz denied all accusations against him.
The prosecutor demanded that charges lodged against the suspects by two other courts be consolidated with the current trial; however, the court rejected the request on grounds that a similar attempt to bring 20 files on the suspects into the current case had caused a significant delay in the court process, which would in turn risk the statute of limitations running out.
Swedish lawyer Claes Forsberg, who is following the case, said in a statement that the deputies should not be facing trial. In response to a question on whether individuals being tried for terrorism crimes could be employed at state agencies in Sweden, Forsberg replied, Absolutely not. Forsberg was representing Lawyers without Borders.
Although it was earlier a source of controversy whether Tugluk and Ata, who both have parliamentary immunity, can be tried for the charges against them, the court had ruled that they are liable to prosecution.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 6 December 2007Following are summaries and excerpts from selected items from the Turkish press on 6 December 2007 on issues of the current political agenda:
The sale of the Sabah-ATV Group: Reporting on TMSF's [Savings Deposits and Insurance Fund] endorsement of the sale of the Sabah-ATV group to Calik Holding's subsidiary company "Turkuvaz Radio, Television, Newspaper, and Printing Company," most papers, and especially a Vatan report, point out that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law Berat Albayrak is the general director at the Calik Holding, Berat's brother Serhat Albayrak is deputy director of the Turkuvaz, and that Erdogan's father-in-law's two sons have also links to the Calik Holding.
A Cumhuriyet report mentions that the Calik Group was the company that won the contract for the Samsun-Ceyhan oil pipeline without going through a tender process. The paper notes that the TMSF had taken the Sabah group under its receivership after a fraudulent financial contract between its previous two owners Dinc Bilgin and Turgay Ciner.
Ercan Inan says in his column in Vatan that though the Calik Holding was the sole bidder for the Sabah group, as the other rivals had withdrawn from the tender, and Berat Albayrak is the deputy CEO and the general director of the Calik Group, the TMSF will definitely approve the sale overlooking ethical consideration, for Calik Holding's $1.1 billion offer is financially attractive.
A report in Hurriyet explains that the next step would be for the TMSF to send the agreement to the Fund Council, which will enter into final negotiations with the Calik Group on 7 December and approve or reject the sale after taking the views of the Competition Council and RTUK [High Board for Radio and Television]. The Hurriyet report also profiles Calik Holding CEO Ahmet Calik, noting that he is from Malatya and is one of those businessmen who grew fast under the AKP regime. The report also adds that Ahmet Calik has many factories in Turkey and the ERTV television in Malatya and established textile industry in Turkmenistan and thus became a deputy minister under the previous Turkmen president.
A Sabah report publishes a statement by the Calik Holding to the effect that the purchase of the Sabah group was purely financial and the holding will not interfere with the group's policies.
In his column for Sabah, Ergun Babahan says the paper will continue advocating liberalism, free market, democracy, supremacy of the law, and respect for individual rights.
A Vatan report quotes leftist intellectual Yalcin Kucuk [who in his articles claims the Jews are trying to take over Turkey] as saying on the Sabah sale that "a Nakshibendi and Fethullah Gulen media is taking shape in Turkey" and that Turkey has "turned into a republic of sects."
Kurdish Issue: Cumhuriyet reports DTP Deputy Sirri Sakik's declaration from the parliament podium that there should be more Kurdish broadcasting than the present half an hour program, that oppression of the DTP will bring no solution, and that the Kurds "respect [Turkey's] unitary structure, but would never, never, agree to the idea of one people." Responding to PM Erdogan's statement that he has 75 Kurdish deputies in the AKP, Sakik says: If so why do these deputies not speak out about the Kurdish issue? Sakik also declares that the PKK is Turkey's "reality" and if Turkey can discuss the PKK with President Bush, it should also be able to discuss it in the parliament to bring about an end to the fighting, concludes the Cumhuriyet report.
A report in Strar newspaper says ten military convoys have left Hakkari for the border with Iraq to transfer military material to Turkish units deployed along the border.
Commenting on the death of 14 PKK members in recent military operations, a Sabah report says the Turkish Army is tightening the circle around the PKK.
A Hurriyet report says thousands of Turkish commandoes are now searching for 300 PKK members who have infiltrated into Turkey and the Turkish military units have stepped up security measures along the border with Iraq.
A Sabah report says the Counterterrorism Board meeting under Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek yesterday decided to increase pressure on EU countries for the extradition of PKK leaders. Papers also report the emotional funeral ceremony held for officer Sinan Eroglu, who died in fighting in Sirnak.
Speaking from Athens, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan accuses Mas'ud Barzani of failing to take satisfactory measures against the PKK, according to a Sabah report. Noting that the cross-border operation has started "phase by phase" and that cooperation with the United States is continuing, Babacan says the Iraqi Kurds should speak up if they have anything to say.
A Milliyet report says that France dismissed Turkey's Red Bulletin for the capture of PKK official Ahmet Gulabi Dere, who visited the European Commission in Strasbourg for talks. Belgium too has refrained from taking any action against Dere, who was also invited to the Kurdish conference at the European Parliament.
A Vatan report says Altay Cengizer, who was a political adviser to Abdullah Gul when he was still foreign minister, has told a student gathering in Harvard that Armenians were killed in massacres in 1915 and Turkey supports a historic commission to study the issue and that Turkey is not opposed to an independent Kurdish state as long as Kurds achieve that through democratic means. The paper notes that his statements have caused bewilderment.
In an article entitled "Watch Out", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven claims that the latest news media emphasis, on what is presented as the threat of religious reactionism, is an attempt to push the failures in the fight on terrorism indicated by the PKK raid in Daglica as well as the "troublesome" details about the PKK's money traffic out of the limelight. Arseven also asserts, on the basis of information obtained during a recent 15-day visit to the southeast, that either PKK members or individuals disguised as PKK militants have recently been attacking publishing houses run by former Hizbullah members in southeastern provinces in an attempt to involve Hizbullah in the ongoing conflict. He warns that it appears to be highly possible that "a storm of conflict" will break out particularly in Diyarbakir in the days to come.
In his in Vakit columnist Selahaddin Cakirgil cites Chief of Staff General Buyukanit's remarks shortly ahead of his visit to Albania announcing that "it is a great pain for us to see a single soldier die even if 10,000 terrorists have been killed in return" as proof of how the Turkish military perceives its fight on the PKK as an "unending blood feud." After highlighting former Democratic Society Party, (DTP), leader Ahmet Turk's remarks relating how he has begun to see that ethnic politics is full of traps, Cakirgil warns that if the authorities keep "adding fuel to the fire," "not even Ocalan or the PKK (DTP) might be able to control developments ..."
In an article entitled "This is How Relations are Conducted Between Those Who are Not Equal", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan comments on recent reports accusing US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson of acting like a "governor general" rather than an envoy, in holding meetings at the embassy with the members of the board that has drafted a new constitution as well as with Kurdish representatives. Ozkan claims that there is no sense in getting angry with Wilson over these meetings as long as there are people in this country who will eagerly expect US envoys to invite them to such meetings and share their discontent with the news media when their expectation is not fulfilled.
c) Murder of Christian missionaries in Malatga:
Under the banner headline, "Where is the Nine-Day Recording, Mr Director?" Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that it has been found out that the video files of the Malatya "missionary massacre" suspect Emre Gunaydin's intensive care stay in Turgut Ozal Hospital in Malatya belonging to the period over 18-27 April, have been erased to suppress evidence. A report entitled "Shadowy Connections Come to Light in Malatya Murder Case" in yesterday's edition of Today's Zaman discussed claims regarding "the involvement of agencies linked to the military or the state" in "the torturing and brutal murder of three Christians in the city of Malatya in April."