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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-10

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.238/07 08-10.12.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkeys Radio Television Supreme Council warned NTV channel for broadcasting an interview with Cypruss Foreign Minister
  • [02] Statements by Talat in the Turkish cities of Denizli and Usak
  • [03] Statements by Talat after returning from Turkey
  • [04] Serdar Denktas: Things are being cooked behind the doors regarding the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Immoveable Property Commission held contacts at the European Court of Human Rights
  • [06] New case against British occupying a house of a Greek Cypriot
  • [07] A new era in investments
  • [08] The reasons behind the power cuts in occupied Cyprus
  • [09] Turkeys State Minister Kursad Tuzmen is visiting occupied Cyprus
  • [10] Survey reveals that genetically Turks are closer to Greeks
  • [11] More illegal migrants have been arrested in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [12] Alevis in Germany were called to invest in occupied Cyprus
  • [13] Avci back from Brussels
  • [14] Avcis Freedom and Reform Party applied to become a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party
  • [15] Support from Rauf Denktas to Talat and Soyer
  • [16] Statements by the current U.N. Security Council President on Cyprus
  • [17] Jordan king to visit Turkey for Mideast talks
  • [18] Erdogan stated that the new Coca Cola CEO has been virtually lobbying for Turkey
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [19] From the Turkish Press of 8 and 9 December 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkeys Radio Television Supreme Council warned NTV channel for broadcasting an interview with Cypruss Foreign Minister

    Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (10.12.07) reports that Turkeys Radio Television Supreme Council (RTUK) has warned the Turkish private TV channel NTV for broadcasting an interview taken by the NTVs occupied area correspondent Selim Sayari with the Cypruss Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Markoullis. The paper writes that in her interview Mrs. Markoullis had accused Turkey of occupying an EU member countrys territory and preventing the people of an EU member country to acquire their human rights. She also criticized the Turkish Chief of the General Staff General Yasar Buyukanits statements as regards Cyprus. Mrs. Markoullis said that such statements were never encouraging and demanded that Turkey should withdraw its occupation troops from the territories of the UN member sovereign state, Cyprus. The RTUK in its warning to the NTV said that by broadcasting this interview the channel had violated the provisions of the RTUK.

    (MHY)

    [02] Statements by Talat in the Turkish cities of Denizli and Usak

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.12.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is being kept under a strict international isolation and that the Turkish Cypriot People is working on ways of getting rid of this isolation with the support of Turkey. The President was speaking to reporters during a visit to the Turkish city of Usak.

    Responding to a question about next February's Presidential elections in South Cyprus, he said that the results of the election will be very important for the whole island.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat was welcomed by Usak Governor Kayhan Kavas with an official ceremony held in front of the Governor's offices.

    In a brief statement to reporters after the ceremony, President Talat expressed satisfaction over the support Turkey and the Turkish nation have been providing to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The President pointed out that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is being kept under a strict international isolation and said `we are searching ways to get rid of this isolation with Turkeys support.

    Asked to comment on possible effects of next year's Greek Cypriot Presidential election, he said the result of the election will be very important for the whole island. Noting that the United Nations is expected to launch a new initiative on the Cyprus issue soon after the elections, Mr Talat said the Turkish Cypriot Side is ready to take part in all kinds of initiatives aimed at settling the problem.

    Yesterday, President Talat was in Denizli where he attended a conference, titled: "A new process in North Cyprus: Evaluations".

    In his speech, Mr Talat said the April 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan was an important turning point in the island's political history. He said the Turkish Cypriot Side was no longer the party responsible for the non-solution on the island but complained that the European Union had failed to honour its promises to the Turkish Cypriot people following the 2004 referendum.

    Mr Talat said the Turkish Cypriot Side expected the UN to launch a new initiative on the Cyprus Problem immediately after the presidential elections in South Cyprus.

    "We are formulating policies that will safeguard the interests of the Turkish Cypriot Side and Turkey" he said.

    [03] Statements by Talat after returning from Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.12.07) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has pointed out that the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people will not be satisfactory in terms of providing a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    He said the major goal of the Turkish Cypriot side is to reach a political settlement which envisages the establishment of a state of political partnership.

    The Presidents words came during his address in a panel held in Usak entitled The Cyprus Agenda which was organized by the Turkish Young Businessmen Confederation.

    President Talat returned to the Republic last night after completing his contacts in the Turkish towns of Denizli and Usak.

    Addressing the audience in Usak, Mr Talat reiterated the Turkish Cypriot sides willingness towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem which will secure the political existence and equality of the Turkish Cypriot people and maintain Turkeys guarantor position on the island.

    He stated that the Turkish Cypriot approval of the Annan Plan during the 2004 referenda proved the world the fact that the Turkish Cypriot people wanted a solution and said the referendum was an important turning point in the islands political history.

    Underlining the fact that the situation over the Cyprus issue has changed, the President stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side is not the weak side anymore, adding that the Turkish Cypriot people has owned a much moral position within the international community.

    President Talat expressed the belief that the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people will be lifted slowly and slowly and reminded that the latest report presented by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the UN Security Council clearly explains the benefits of lifting this isolation.

    Mr Talat said this report has great importance but is not enough for a solution. Our goal is not limited with the lifting of the international isolation only. What we will call a satisfactory outcome is the return of our legitimate rights, the President added.

    Answering questions at the end of his speech, President Mehmet Ali Talat pointed out that the Greek Cypriot people is not ready for a political settlement yet as they are not in urgent need of a solution due to their unilateral European Union membership.

    Stating that there is no new resolution plan waiting on the table, Mr Talat said in case a new plan is brought onto the agenda, this must be under the guidance of the UN.

    Answering a question in regards to which section of the Annan Plan he would like to change, the President said the article which envisaged the movement of people was the part which needed to be changed the most.

    Adding that the issue of citizenship is also a problematic one, the President stressed that bringing restrictions on TRNC citizens with Turkish origins is not a matter of discussion for the Turkish Cypriot Side.

    [04] Serdar Denktas: Things are being cooked behind the doors regarding the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (10.12.07) reports that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas gave an interview to the ATA Television. Mr Serdar Denktas, who participated in the Siz olsaydiniz (If it were you) program of Ercan Citlioglu, stated, inter alia, that the Cyprus problem is in a stalemate for the moment, added that things are being cooked behind the doors. As he said, after the elections to be held in the south in February, the Annan Plan will be revised and will be presented in front of us in a more comprehensive form. He went on and stated that neither Turkey nor the EU kept their promises towards the Turkish Cypriots after the latter said yes in the 2004 referendum.

    Mr Denktas went on and stated that because DP did not do whatever the Justice and Development Party (AKP) wanted, AKP saw it as a complaining child and that is the reason why AKP considered establishing a new party in occupied Cyprus.

    (CS)

    [05] Immoveable Property Commission held contacts at the European Court of Human Rights

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.12.07) broadcast the following:

    Members of the TRNC Immoveable Property Commission have held contacts with officials from the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

    The visit was seen as very important as the Commission which the Greek Cypriot Administration refused to recognize, was welcomed at the ECHR headquarters.

    Commenting on the visit, the President of the Immoveable Property Commission Sumer Erkmen described their 4-day visit and contacts in Strasbourg as very useful. He said that members of the Commission informed ECHR officials on the works being carried out by the Commission.

    Meanwhile, the number of Greek Cypriot applications to the TRNC Property Commission has reached 293. The Commission has so far settled 28 cases.

    Meanwhile, in another development, the European Court of Human Rights is expected to deliver its verdict on the case filed by Greek Cypriot Mike Timvios in the coming days.

    Mike Timvios had accepted an offer made by the Commission to swap his property in the North with a Turkish Cypriot owned property in the South.

    [06] New case against British occupying a house of a Greek Cypriot

    Under the title Candounas 'lodges' new writ Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (8-14.12.07) reports, inter alia, the following:

    A second British couple is being targeted by a Greek Cypriot property claimant as the landmark Orams case approaches a crucial phase in the European Court of Justice.

    South Cyprus lawyer Constantin Candounas confirmed on Thursday that he had lodged a writ with the South Nicosia District Court against a British couple who are illegally occupying a Greek Cypriot house in Karmi [Karaman].

    [07] A new era in investments

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.12.07) reports in its first page that Mrs Ayse Donmezer, the director of The Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA), stated that YAGAs aim is both to solve the problem of the long bureaucratic process, which is the biggest obstacle in front of the investors and to determine the investment strategy of the country.

    In parallel to attracting foreign investors to the country, the Investor Agency will be working with the local investors as well, under equal conditions. The criteria to be asked by YAGA were determined by the Council of Ministers.

    According to these criteria, applications could be submitted to YAGA for new local and foreign investments, equal to or exceeding five thousand dollars with a request for a state funding as well as investments above one million dollars, without asking for state funding.

    (CS)

    [08] The reasons behind the power cuts in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title The diesel oil is finished, electricity has gone, Hey Government; Reply, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (10.12.07) reports in its first page that the darkness is continuing in occupied Cyprus with the deficiency of the power plant bought by the government and the apathy of the government on the electricity issue.

    The paper writes that it was learned that the reason behind the power cuts the night before was due to the lack of diesel oil. As the paper writes, the generator was not put into use because there was no diesel oil for the machine to operate. (CS)

    [09] Turkeys State Minister Kursad Tuzmen is visiting occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.12.07) reports that the 7th Forum on the Economy, Communication and Culture of the Turkish World will take place at the illegal Near East University in occupied Cyprus between 11-14 of December.

    Apart from Turkey and the TRNC in the Forum there will be participants from Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Russia and Georgia. The Forum is taking place with the cooperation of the Foreign Trade permanent undersecretarian of the prime ministry of Turkey and the illegal Near East University and with the support of the Turkish Embassy of Lefkosia, the Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) and the Turkish Culture Ministry.

    In the framework of the Forum the Minister of State of Turkey, Mr Kursad Tuzmen, is going tonight in occupied Cyprus. According to information the paper received from the illegal Embassy of Turkey to occupied Lefkosia, Mr Tuzmen will stay in occupied Cyprus until Thursday. Tomorrow he will have meetings with state and government officials, he will participate in receptions and he will also hold meetings with businessmen. During his meeting with the businessmen Mr Tuzmen will discuss the development in trade between the two countries.

    (CS)

    [10] Survey reveals that genetically Turks are closer to Greeks

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.12.07) gives extensive coverage in its first page to a research carried out by a young Turkish Anthropologist regarding genes of the population in Turkey. The article under the title: Migrating from the Central Asia is a Myth and writes that the genes of the present inhabitants of Anatolia show that they are here for the last forty thousand years. Their genes are closer to the Greeks and Iranians than to the Uzbeks, Turkmen and Kyrgyz.

    The genes of the majority of the people living in Turkey today go back to forty thousand years, the paper reports. Genetically we are closer to the Greeks and the Iranians. Genetically we have no relation with the Uzbeks Turkmen and Kyrgyz, writes the paper.

    (MHY)

    [11] More illegal immigrants have been arrested in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.07) reports that 26 persons have been arrested for being in secret alliance in order to cross over in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus from various points in the occupied area. According to a statement issued by the police, five Syrian citizens and five Iraqi citizens were arrested the day before yesterday around 11.30 and 22.00 hours respectively in the area of occupied Pergamos village. Another six citizens of Syria were arrested in the occupied area of Acheritou Agios Georgios village, with the accusation of making an agreement and secret alliance to cross over to the free areas of Cyprus in an illegal manner.

    Furthermore, a person named B.Y. has been arrested in Keryneia for making an alliance to help eight Syrian citizens to cross over to the free areas of the Republic from the area of occupied Yerolakkos village for US 800 dollars. M.C. (Male-33), another person who is believed to be involved in the incident was also arrested.

    Meanwhile, referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.07) reports that the operations of the police had been carried out in order for the 108 illegal immigrants who came to the island via the Latakia occupied Famagusta port trip and could be found no where to be arrested.

    Furthermore, under the banner front-page title The illegal refugees problem under the microscope, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.12.07) reports that the self-styled presidency of the breakaway regime, the ministry of internal affairs and the United Nations High Commission for the Refugees (UNHCR) are cooperating for the human smuggling by sea, which has been turned into a sector where a lot of money is circulating. The paper writes that the call for cooperation with the south was not replied to.

    The permanent undersecretary at the self-styled ministry of internal affairs, Ali Alnar said: We are continuing our work both legally and technically. The state is behaving with sensitivity on the issue. At the moment preparing a new law on the issue of human trafficking is on the agenda. This draft-law has been opened for discussion. It is at the stage of preparation.

    The paper notes that among the measures, which the breakaway regime is taking on this issue, are the following: 1) Watching the occupied shores of the island with a radar, 2) sending out of the occupied areas a family which is involved in the smuggling of people, 3) Increasing of the punishments and 4) Confiscating and not returning to their owners means such as boats and rowboats used in human trafficking.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Alevis in Germany were called to invest in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (09.12.07) reports under banner headlines: Call for Germans: have your holiday in north Cyprus, and writes that the self-styled Minister of Works and Transportation in the Turkish Occupied Part of the Republic of Cyprus Salih Usar , who is currently visiting Germany at the head of a delegation, told the Turkish origin businessmen living in Germany and Europe that the Turkish Cypriots made significant economic progress despite, as he put it the isolations. However, he added in order to have lasting peace in the island the levels of the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriots should come nearer to each other. Mr. Usar urged the businessmen of Turkish origin either alone or jointly to come and invest in north Cyprus.

    Vatan reports that MR. Usar and the delegation accompanying him also paid a visit to the Cultural Centre of the Alevis in Humbug and met with the chairman of the Alevis Unions Federation Turgut Oker and other Alevis leaders. Speaking to Alevis leaders Mr. Usar said that using Alevis communities contacts in Germany they are working for the removal of the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people and added: We have started to pick the fruits of these endeavors.

    During the meeting Mr. Usar briefed the Alevis leaders about the construction and Tourism sectors in the occupied area.

    In his turn Mr.Turgut Oker said that the news that work has started to build an Alevis Cultural Center (Cem Evi) in the TRNC has created big joy among the Alevis world wide. He said that the Alevis repeatedly watched the stone laying ceremony from the YOL TV.

    Oker went on and said that in Europe they have 270 Alevis Cultural centers and on 27 January they are going to organize a major festival in London and they are going to invite a speaker from the TRNC as well. He said that they support the Turkish Cypriots struggle to remove, as he put it, the isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.

    (MHY)

    [13] Avci back from Brussels

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.12.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci returned to the Republic last night after completing his contacts in Brussels.

    During his stay in Brussels, Foreign Minister Turgay Avci warned that no one should expect a solution in Cyprus as long as the Greek Cypriot Administration is being treated as the 'only legitimate' government of the island.

    Mr. Avcis words came at a joint press conference he held in Brussels with Italian Euro-MPs Mauricio Turco and Marco Cappato and a member of the Committee of Presidents of the Italian Radical Party Marco Perduca on Friday.

    During the press conference, the Foreign Minister stressed that the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People is a responsibility of the international community.

    'Such a move will encourage the Greek Cypriot Side to adopt a more constructive approach' he said, warning that otherwise, the Greek Cypriot Administration will be given the opportunity to lengthen the process with endless negotiations.

    For his part, Marco Perduca who was granted TRNC citizenship together with Mauricio Turco, said that the address for a solution in Cyprus is the United Nations and not the European Union.

    Earlier, Foreign Minister Avci delivered a speech at a conference at the European Parliament and complained that the European Union has been providing Greek Cypriots all sorts of opportunities and means to strangle the Turkish Cypriot people. He said that under these circumstances, the Greek Cypriot Side did not want to solve the Cyprus Problem.

    Within the framework of his contacts in Brussels, Foreign Minister Avci also held separate meetings with the President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Graham Watson and Euro-MP Karin Resetaris who is also a member of the European Parliaments High Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriot Community.

    During the meetings, the Minister called on EU member countries to pay heed to the call made by the UN Secretary General in his latest Cyprus report for the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    The Foreign Minister also came together with a group of Turkish Cypriot students studying Politics and International Relations. The Minister said that he was proud to see Turkish Cypriot students in the capital of Europe and underlined the importance for young people with a future in the TRNCs foreign relations to gain good experience.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.07) reports on the issue under the banner headline A TRNC flag was hanged up in the European Parliament room.

    [14] Avcis Freedom and Reform Party applied to become a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.12.07) reports that the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) of the self-styled foreign minister of the occupation regime, Mr Turgay Avci, applied to become a member of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party (ELDR).

    Mr Avci who was having contacts in Brussels, presented a written application for his party to become member of the ELDR to the general Secretary of the ELDR Fredericca Sabathi. Mr Avci gave information about his party and stated that the ORP supports the policy of the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party.

    (CS)

    [15] Support from Rauf Denktas to Talat and Soyer

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (08.12.07) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas in a statement appealed to the Turkish Cypriots to support the self-styled president and prime minister Mehmet Ali Talat and Ferdi Sabit Soyer. By implying Talat and Soyer he said: Instead of trying to wear them out by accusing them of what they were in the past, let us demonstrate to the Greek Cypriots that we are on their side, as they are the authorities defending our state. Let us show to the Greek Cypriots that they will not be able to divide us with these revelations. Denktas referring to the allegations of agreement between AKEL and CTP, said: Although we know the past let us say to the foreigners and the Greek Cypriots you can say whatever you want, he is the President of my state, we are by him, we do not believe you, we believe them... this is how politics must be.

    (EA)

    [16] Statements by the current U.N. Security Council President on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.12.07) broadcast the following:

    The Head of the UN Security Council- Marcello Spatafora has stated that the Security Council wants the two sides in Cyprus to show their political good will, flexibility and courage in order to provide a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The UN Permanent Representative and the Italian Ambassador- whose country is now holding the Council presidency- made the statement following the Councils advisory meeting where the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Michael Moller briefed the Security Council members on the Secretary Generals latest report on Cyprus recommending the extension of UNFICYPs mandate on the island.

    Mr Spatafora called on the two sides in Cyprus to overcome the difficulties created as a result of their differing approaches and to focus on working with substantial issues. He said, during the meeting, they discussed technical and practical issues over the Cyprus issue and the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Underlining the need to improving interaction between the two sides, the Head of the UN Security Council stated that the main topic of the advisory meeting was encouraging efforts aimed at eliminating the factors which caused the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People.

    [17] Jordan king to visit Turkey for Mideast talks

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (10.12.07) reports the following:

    Jordan's King Abdullah II will travel to Ankara next week for talks with Turkish leaders in the wake of a US-hosted meeting on Middle East peace, the palace said in a statement on Sunday.

    On Tuesday the king will discuss the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a brief visit to Turkey, which has close ties with both sides in the conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met last month in Annapolis, Maryland, and agreed to try to negotiate a deal before the end of 2008.

    The Jordanian monarch will also discuss "means to ensure Iraq's security and stability" during his Turkey trip, according to the statement carried by Agence France-Presse. The palace has said the king will meet later on Tuesday with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris and that he will address the European Parliament on Wednesday.

    [18] Erdogan stated that the new Coca Cola CEO has been virtually lobbying for Turkey

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (09.12.07) published an interview with the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Following is his reply to a question on the new Coca Cola CEO who is a Turk:

    Subtitle: I Got Him Out of Bed and Congratulated Him

    Question: Did you telephone Muhtar Kent [Turkish businessman recently appointed Chief Executive Officer of Coca Cola Corporation] and congratulate him?

    Answer: I telephoned him right away. I got him out of bed. Although he reportedly does get up at 6:00 a.m. For a Turk to come to head the world's largest company makes us proud. I have been speaking with Mr Kent for some time; he has been virtually lobbying for Turkey.

    Question: You also used to talk with Coca Cola's old official, Cem Kozlu...

    Answer: Yes. We had also suggested to Mr Kozlu that he be a candidate for Parliament. But because of the job he had just taken up, he did not accept the proposal. He is also a very valuable brother of ours.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [19] From the Turkish Press of 8 and 9 December 2007

    Following are summaries and excerpts from reports and commentaries from the Turkish Press of 8 and 9 December on issues of the current political agenda:

    a) Slaying of Christian Missionaries: In an article entitled "The Return of Torture and Roadside Killings," Milliyet (08.12.07) publishes the following commentary by columnist Can Dundar who argues that statements made by five suspects accused of slaying three Christian missionaries, including a German citizen in the eastern city of Malatya and telephone records have shown that there were close ties between the assassins and civil and military officials.

    Pointing out that there are attempts to obstruct the ongoing investigation into the murders, Dundar says: "We are facing a fact which is hard to admit. No massacre can be carried out in Turkey unless the government encourages, endorses, and even participates in it and groups deep down in the government boldly resume their murderous activities when they feel that they will not be brought to account."

    In an article entitled "The Weakness of the State, the Wellbeing of the Regime" in Yeni Safak (08.12.07) by columnist Fehmi Koru who argues that the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink in Istanbul and the killing of three Christian "missionaries" in Malatya were primarily aimed at placing the Turkish state in a difficult position in the eyes of foreigners and undermining the democratic regime. He goes on to warn that the murders will achieve their intended aim if the truth regarding the "bizarre connections" of the perpetrators is allowed to be suppressed.

    In an article entitled "Intolerance is a Grave Problem" in Zaman (08.12.07) by columnist Sahin Alpay who discusses the argument that sees the "Malatya massacre" and the Dink murder a result of the sort of social "intolerance" of differences that "feeds on prejudices encouraged by our educational system and is fuelled by the rhetoric of some of our politicians?" Alpay asserts that this argument is supported by the results of a survey conducted by Sabanci University professors Ali Carkoglu and Ersin Kalaycioglu, indicating that some 43 percent of the people in this country perceive minorities in Turkey as a threat and that a "majority" of 57 percent see Christian minorities as a menace to Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Give Religious Freedom First to Muslims and Then to Missionaries and Churches" by Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi who slams State Minister in charge of Religious Affairs Sait Yazicioglu for his recent "unfortunate" statement declaring that it is quite normal for new churches to be opened in Turkey, for old ones to be repaired, and for missionaries to be allowed to carry on their activities. Eygi claims that providing Christian missionaries with "excessive freedoms" is "very wrong" as long as the Muslim people of this country are not provided with true and extensive religious rights first as in Britain and "secular France."

    b) Sale of Sabah: In an article entitled "Sabah's Policy," in Sabah (08.12.07) columnist Ergun Babahan says that the daily will not change its pro-secular and pro-democracy stance which, he stresses, favors the rule of law and does not discriminate against people because of their faith and opinions after its acquisition by the Calik Group. He also advises some columnists writing for rival dailies not to spread rumors about Sabah.

    c) Kurdish Issue: A report in Hurriyet (09.12.07) announces that a convoy of 70 military vehicles arrived in the border with Iraq on 8 December.

    A report in the same daily says that the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, are deploying missiles to the border with Iraq, and lists the TSK's weapon systems that can hit PKK positions in north Iraq, as far as 250 km.

    During his visit to Lisbon, Prime Minister Erdogan told several prominent Turkish journalists of current efforts to draft a new law to persuade PKK members to come down from the mountains, according to a report by Enis Berberoglu in Hurriyet (09.12.07). The efforts are being conducted in coordination with the army, Erdogan tells the journalists.

    In an article in Sabah (09.12.07), Muharrem Sarikaya wonders if the plan involves the sending of the PKK leaders to a third country and a general amnesty. Those who were not involved in any terrorist activity benefit from the Repentance Law anyway, the columnist notes, and what the new plan tackles are those PKK members who were involved in such activity but not in murder. Sarikaya maintains that despite what the prime minister said, the military do not seem to be actively working on such a plan.

    Under the banner headline "'Divided highway' for returning home," Yeni Safak (09.12.07) carries a front-page report which quotes Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying that the government is drawing up a more comprehensive draft rehabilitation law in order to encourage the members of the PKK to leave the organization and to return to their homes and to prevent the PKK from recruiting new members.

    Yeni Safak (09.12.07) carries an interview entitled "We do not want the PKK, but Mount Qandil is not under our control" with Omer Merani, the representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, KDP, to Turkey. Merani says that they have closed down the PKK's bureaus in northern Iraq and control deliveries of foodstuff to the region, but they are not capable of fighting against PKK guerillas. He also emphasizes that they are against terrorism in Turkey and Iraq.

    In an article entitled "Armenia should be asked to provide an explanation" in Vakit (09.12.07) columnist Ayhan Bilgin who asserts that Armenia is one of the staunch supporters of the PKK and cites passages from statements made by some PKK militants after their apprehension about their meetings with Armenian delegations. Pointing out that the PKK has camps in different parts of Armenia, Bilgin says: "How could diplomatic relations be established with this country (Armenia) creating troubles unconditionally for the sake of pleasing the United States and the EU by concluding that it can get away with what it has done so far despite all those facts?"

    Under the banner headline "We can ensure their rehabilitation by a new law," Zaman (09.12.07) carries a front-page report highlighting Erdogan's comments about the possibility of enacting a new rehabilitation law for PKK guerillas.

    Also front-paged in Zaman (09.12.07) is a report entitled 185,000 Police To Be Retrained" which says that the Federal Police Department has decided to provide refreshment training for police officers about routine security procedures in the wake of reports about police brutality and use of excessive force.

    A report in Zaman (09.12.07) entitled "PKK issues orders for attacks against reporters by radio" that PKK leaders have ordered the members of the organization to carry out armed attacks against Turkish reporters in northern Iraq.

    A report in Zaman entitled "Provisional military posts established at strategic points" says that Turkish armed forces have established provisional military posts along the common border with Iraq in order to prevent possible terrorist infiltrations as part of ongoing military operations in the region.

    ES/


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