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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-18

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 <>



  • [01] Fifty thousand persons will reportedly be gradually made citizens of the TRNC
  • [02] Cakici says that the number of the persons accepted as citizens should not exceed 15 % of the population in the occupied areas
  • [03] Erel accuses Turkey and its subordinate regime in the occupied areas of not wanting an early solution to be reached in Cyprus
  • [04] Sonay Adem on the number of registered workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [05] The areas of Cyprus under the occupation of Turkey to open office in Rome as company limited
  • [06] Soyer holds contacts in Brussels
  • [07] Ahmet Yonluer introduces the newly established HIS
  • [08] Foreign diplomats attend a reception organized by the so-called municipality of the occupied part of Nicosia
  • [09] The Iranian Ambassador to Nicosia visited the illegal YDU
  • [10] Arrivals and departures from the occupied areas in November 2007
  • [11] The third biggest Nike shop in Europe was opened in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [12] Catholic Priest was stabbed in Izmir
  • [13] Kurdish political party leader detained
  • [14] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies secret deal with US in 2003
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [15] Columnist in Radikal assesse the Turkish Operation in N. Iraq
  • [16] From the Turkish press of 17 December 2007


    [01] Fifty thousand persons will reportedly be gradually made citizens of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.12.07) reports that it is alleged that the government agreed with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to give the citizenship of the TRNC to people from Turkey bit by bit. The paper writes that it has not yet been confirmed how the bargaining for citizenship was concluded between the TRNC government and Ankara, which provided the necessary aid for the payment of the 13th salary.

    However, it is noted that the TRNC officials, who said that we cannot make citizens all the 50 thousand persons at once, promised Ankara to make citizens the population from Turkey which completes the ten years bit by bit within the process, notes Afrika and adds:

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer is expected to make a statement on the issue after his visit to Brussels. It is indicated that Ankara, which wishes to reshape the political structure in northern Cyprus, is closely interested in the number of the voters on the island. The attention is turned to the new citizenship law which is under study at the assembly. It is interesting to see in the coming period whether an amendment will be effected to the draft-law which promises the citizenship right to those who complete the ten years.


    [02] Cakici says that the number of the persons accepted as citizens should not exceed 15 % of the population in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.12.07) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), held a press conference yesterday introducing the proposals of TDP on the issue of the amendments to the constitution.

    The lifting of the death penalty, the lifting of the prohibition for the public servants to participate in politics, the limitation of the immunity of the MPs, the binding of the police to the ministry of internal affairs, the limitation of the number of the persons who are accepted as citizens so that it does not exceed 15 % of the population of the TRNC and the lifting of the provisional article 10 are included in the proposals of the TDP, which consist of 55 articles.

    Mr Cakici said he does not believe that the other three parties represented in the assembly will be able to prepare a democratic constitution. Mr Cakici submitted TDPs proposals to Mrs Fatma Ekenoglu, speaker of the assembly.


    [03] Erel accuses Turkey and its subordinate regime in the occupied areas of not wanting an early solution to be reached in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the chairman of the EU Cyprus Association, Mr. Ali Erel said that Turkey and the TRNC administration, which it keeps under its control, do not want an early solution in Cyprus. Pointing out that the existence of the Turkish Cypriots as a community is in danger, Mr Erel said: If there is no early action and the solution of the Cyprus problem is kept bound to Turkeys EU accession, it will become a dream to talk about an existence of a Turkish Cypriot community on the island of Cyprus.

    Mr. Erel noted: In the reports of both the EU and the UN, it is especially reiterated that Turkey and the TRNC, which is accepted as its subordinate administration, do not contribute to an early political solution in Cyprus. By insistently stressing the fact that the 8 July agreement has not been implemented, in the above-mentioned reports the attention is drawn to the fact that there is no intention and political will in Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side on this issue.

    Mr. Erel noted that the Turkish side exerts no effort for a solution in the UN and the EU and it only remains a spectator to the demographic, economic, social and cultural collapse of the Turkish Cypriots by saying hold on a little bit longer, the isolations are being lifted, the Greek Cypriots are excluded. Mr Erel argued also that the Greek Cypriots are not worried about the non-solution of the problem.


    [04] Sonay Adem on the number of registered workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.12.07) reports that Sonay Adem, minister of labour and social insurances, has said that until the end of 2008, they will complete the legal amendments which are included in the program of the government on the issues concerning the workers.

    Mr Adem said that there are around 32.000 registered workers today and that with the seasonal workers this number reaches 35.000. He noted that there are some municipalities, which do not pay insurances for their employees.


    [05] The areas of Cyprus under the occupation of Turkey to open office in Rome as company limited

    Ankara Anatolia News Agency (17.12.07) reports the following from Rome:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will open a representation office in Rome, capital of Italy on Tuesday evening.

    TRNC FM Turgay Avci will inaugurate the office which will be opened as a ltd company in order to bypass the bureaucratic obstacles with the title, "Northern Cyprus Representation Bureau."

    The office aims at representing TRNC in Italy and enhancing economic, political, cultural and social between the two countries.

    Ugur Ziyal, Turkey's Ambassador in Rome and certain Italian Parliamentarians are expected to attend the inauguration ceremony.

    On the same issue and under the title The TRNC opens a representation office in Rome, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (18.12.07) reports the following:

    The TRNC opens today a representation office in the Italian capital of Rome. The office will be located in the central Torino Avenue of Rome, Italy, and it will operate under the name North Cyprus Representation Office. The TRNC deputy prime-minister and foreign minister Turgay Avci will inaugurate the office. The office of the TRNC will open under the status of a limited company, aiming to overcome the Italian bureaucratic obstacles. The office aims to strengthen the ties and to develop the political, economic, cultural and social relations between the two people and to better explain the TRNC to the Italian public opinion. The Turkish Ambassador to Italy, Ugur Ziyal, and a number of Italian parliamentarians are expected to be present in the inauguration ceremony of the TRNC representation office.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.12.07) reports the following under the title The TRNC opens representation office in Italy:

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) opens tomorrow a representation office in Italy. The TRNC foreign minister also will be present in the inauguration ceremony. The opening of the representation office was carried out under great secrecy considering the possible blocking attempts of Greece and the Greek Cypriot sector. It became definite that the office will open in the centre of Rome under the complete name TRNC-North Cyprus Italy Representation Limited Company. Under the status of company the legal obstacles that could arise have been overcome. Included in the companys partners is also the vice-president of the Turkish-Italian Friendship Committee, Omer Engin As, who is working as a travel agent for many years in Rome.


    [06] Soyer holds contacts in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer met yesterday in Brussels with Jan Truszczynski, deputy director of the Directorate for the Enlargement of the EU, and Andrew Rasbash, head of the desk of the same Directorate for the Turkish Cypriots. In statements after the meeting Mr Soyer said that he reminded to the EU officials that no progress has been made on the Cyprus problem and that the Turkish Cypriots will do whatever they can for an agreement in Cyprus within 2008. He said that he pointed out that they want the support of the EU and the UN for this.

    Mr Soyer noted that he told the EU officials that the Turkish Cypriots continue to maintain the EU target and they want to begin the works for being harmonized with the acquis communautaire. Meanwhile, according to the paper the meeting which Mr Soyer would hold yesterday afternoon with the Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement of the EU, Olli Rehn did not take place because of urgent developments on the issue of Kosovo. Mr Soyer said that it had not been possible for the meeting to be held because Mr Rehn had to participate in another meeting regarding Kosovo.


    [07] Ahmet Yonluer introduces the newly established HIS

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the newly established Politics for the People (HIS) party introduced itself yesterday at a press conference in the occupied areas of the island. The founding chairman of the party, Ahmet Yonluer and other party members participated in the conference. Mr Yonluer said that the clear message they have taken during their contacts with the people was that people do not trust the politicians any more and that they were expecting the establishment of a new party.

    Mr Yonluer reminded that HIS has 63 founding members. He argued that efforts have been exerted recently to perform politics which is only focused on Turkey and both the government and the opposition tried to acquire political gains from this. He said that HIS launched its efforts trusting the TRNC people and pointed out that the place for the internal politics is the TRNC.

    Responding to a question, he said that HIS is neither a left nor a right wing-party and added:

    I do not believe that the logic of a party based on an ideological structure is experienced and will be experienced in the TRNC. Because we believe that the ideological approaches could change after coming to power, we adopted the principle of sheltering in us [our party] people from all the sections [of the society] who love the TRNC, recognize it, believe in its flag, know Turkey as their motherland and support the Turkish flag.

    Responding to another question, he said that he could not deny his friendly relations with the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and added that he could not neglect these relations because he has established a political party. However, he said that he believes that the internal policy is carried out with the TRNC people and interferences from outside should not be allowed.

    He said that within the next few days they will meet with officials from Turkey, in order to introduce themselves, but they will do this without taking any suggestion from anyone and without expecting any aid. Asked about their targets, Mr Yonluer argued that in spite of the fact that the conditions for carrying out a serious opposition exist in the country, these conditions have not been utilized and added that they will carry out a serious opposition until the elections, they will complete their organizational structure and prepare for the elections and make every preparation for bringing the party into power in the elections.

    Referring to the fact that TRNC citizens of Arab origin are among the founders of HIS, Mr Yonluer said that as a party they will have serious cooperation not only with Europe, but with the Islamic countries as well. Asked about the parameters of the Cyprus problem, he argued that claiming that we are assertive on our own on the Cyprus problem without consulting with Ankara, would be naïve.

    He said that being in consultation with Ankara they will exert efforts for a solution based on two states and the equality of the two people. He noted that within this framework in parallel to their meetings with Greek Cypriot political parties and EU officials, they will also meet with countries which are members of the Islamic Conference Organization.


    [08] Foreign diplomats attend a reception organized by the so-called municipality of the occupied part of Nicosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the so-called municipality of the occupied part of Nicosia has given a cocktail party on the occasion of the New Year. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the so-called ambassador of Turkey and foreign diplomats participated in the reception. Diplomats from America, Germany, Italy, Australia, Austria, Holland, Poland and the Slovak Republic have also attended the reception.


    [09] The Iranian Ambassador to Nicosia visited the illegal YDU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the Iranian Ambassador to Nicosia, Aliriza Bikdeli has visited the illegal Near East University (YDU). According to a statement issued by the YDU, Mr Bikdeli toured some faculties and laboratories of the YDU and described it as a very developed university. The deputy rector of YDU, Prof. Dr. Senol Bektas said that they will offer scholarship to eleven students from Iran this year for studying in their university.


    [10] Arrivals and departures from the occupied areas in November 2007

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (18.12.07) reports that according to information acquired from the ministry of works and transport, 66.808 persons visited the occupied areas in November 2007 through its illegal sea and airports and 67.095 departed from there. According to the same information, 594 airplanes landed in the above-mentioned period and carried 58.096 passengers. Furthermore, 61.005 persons departed with 595 airplanes. Meanwhile, 8.712 persons arrived in the occupied areas with 215 ships and 6.090 departed with 214 ships.


    [11] The third biggest Nike shop in Europe was opened in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.12.07) reports that the third biggest Nike shop in Europe was opened yesterday in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The shop was opened in occupied Nicosias Gonyeli area. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat attended the opening ceremony.


    [12] Catholic Priest was stabbed in Izmir

    Ankara Anatolia (17.12.07) reported the following from Izmir: Adriano Francini, a priest at Church Saint Antuan in the Aegean city of 0zmir was injured in the stomach after being stabbed yesterday. Police arrested the 19-year-old suspect with the HYPERLINK "" \t "top" knife. Francini was hospitalized in the Aegean University Hospital and was not in serious condition. Investigations are ongoing.

    Later the same day Ankara Anatolia reported the following also from Izmir:

    R.B. who stabbed a priest in Izmir on Sunday said that he came to Izmir from Balikesir to learn about Christianity.

    "I attended a rite in the church after which I got angry. Then, I stabbed priest Adriano Francini," R.B. affirmed.

    R.B. is a construction worker and also works in his father's farm in western province of Balikesir.

    R.B. told police that he conducted a research on Christianity on the internet and phoned the Saint Antuan Church in Karsiyaka town of Izmir.

    "I came to Izmir upon an invitation by the authorities of the church. I observed the rite in the church. I got angry at remarks made by the priest and stabbed him all of a sudden," R.B. underlined.

    The priest Adriano Francini is under medical care at the Aegean University Faculty of Medicine Hospital and is not in a life-threatening condition.

    [13] Kurdish political party leader detained

    Today´s Zaman newspaper (18.12.07) reports the following: The leader of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP), who allegedly evaded military service by forging a medical document, was detained at Esenboa Airport in Ankara upon his return to Turkey from Düsseldorf on Monday.

    Speaking to reporters before flying to Ankara, Nurettin Demirta had said he did not expect to be detained when he arrived in the capital. This would be an absurd situation, he said.

    If there is an investigation about me, if my testimony is needed, then the authorities would hear my testimony. We heard about these claims only from the press. It was the press that wrote about this issue [of a legal investigation], he explained. Demirta also told reporters that Turkey s recent raid on terrorist bases in northern Iraq would not solve the problem. He expressed his opinion that the solution to the Kurdish question should be sought using democratic methods.

    Demirta s legal troubles

    Police last month arrested members of an illegal organization that provides fake medical documents to those who want to escape military service, and Demirta was allegedly one of their customers. If the claims are proven true, Demirta will have to perform his military service. But Demirta has repeatedly denied links to the criminal organization and he has said his medical report is genuine.

    Demirta served 10 years in prison for membership in the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). He took over as the leader of the DTP two months ago, replacing Ahmet Türk, who was considered a moderate.

    His party is currently faced with charges of nurturing ties with the outlawed PKK and the case, which is currently in the Constitutional Court, may lead to its closure.

    EU officials have urged Ankara not to shut down the DTP but have also said that the party must distance itself from the terrorists of the outlawed PKK, who have in the previous month conducted deadly attacks on Turkish security forces and civilians in southeastern Turkey.

    Demirta also faces criminal charges for his speech on World Peace Day on Sept.1, where he accused the military of employing chemical weapons in an operation to oust PKK terrorists from Uludere, ^1rnak, in southeastern Turkey.

    [14] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies secret deal with US in 2003

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) denied Monday the allegations that former Turkish and U.S. foreign ministers reached a secret agreement in 2003.

    "When he was the foreign minister of Turkey, President Abdullah Gul had a meeting with then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Ankara at the beginning of April 2003," the MFA spokesman told reporters.

    The MFA said the meetings that took place in Ankara immediately after the Iraq War focused on humanitarian aid to Iraqi people, and Turkey's possible contributions to Iraq's reconstruction.

    "Necessary statements were made to the press immediately after the meetings," the MFA spokesman told.

    The ministry said Turkey allowed flights of multi-national air forces within the scope of related resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, as other UN member states did.

    "In this context, claims that were published in the media that a secret agreement was made during these meetings are baseless. No secret agreement was made in these meetings," the ministry also said.


    [15] Columnist in Radikal assesse the Turkish Operation in N. Iraq

    Istanbul Radikal newspaper (17.12.07) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Cooperation is bearing Fruit":

    Winter and night-time are no longer a refuge for the PKK. Operations and the rehabilitation law are parts of the plan.

    This is what you really call the surprise impact of the strike. Just when, because of the rehabilitation law and the winter conditions, the PKK was perhaps least expecting an operation, conducting a night operation in particular, by passing through a corridor that the United States had opened in Iraq, was a serious demonstration of strength, and of international cooperation.

    What are the dimensions of the military losses dealt to the PKK as a result of the operation? At the moment, it is impossible to determine this in detail. But this is in any event of only secondary importance. The primary importance of yesterday's strike was its political and psychological impact. One can analyze this under three headings:

    1 - The cooperation with the United States is real, and is producing results: Turkish military aircraft conducted a fierce operation for approximately an hour, hundreds of kilometers inside Iraq. This would not have been possible without the concurrence of the United States, which controls Iraq's airspace and military, and without its keeping the operational corridor clear. Persuading Baghdad and Arbil are included within this. This situation has to be seen, for instance, as being not much different from Mexico's carrying out an operation in the state of Texas, with the permission of the United States, in order to eliminate a threat against itself; that is how significant it is. The developments show that the meeting in the White House on 5 November between Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and US President George Bush was truly a turning point. Including the military directly in the political process played a role in the cooperation's coming to life; from this standpoint, the person to be congratulated is Erdogan.

    2 - Winter and night-time are no longer a refuge for the PKK. In the quarter-century-long struggle against the PKK, the winter months always meant a de facto cease-fire. And sometimes the PKK would declare "cease-fires," for propaganda purposes, in the winter months, which it used as months to withdraw and recuperate. Prior to the United States' Iraq operation, Turkish cross-border operations always took place in the spring, summer, and autumn months. The latest operation was the first one to be conducted 1) in the winter months, 2) under night-time conditions, and 3) against the PKK's headquarters at Qandil. As of yesterday, winter and night-time ceased being protection for the PKK. And Qandil is no longer safe.

    3 - Both the operation and the rehabilitation law are parts of the plan: For winter, night-time, and Qandil to cease to be refuge for the PKK took place during a period in which the DTP [Democratic Society Party] has been making calls, both domestically and abroad, for the PKK to be taken as an interlocutor, in other words, during a period in which the PKK thought that it was strong. The movement also took place during a period in which Turkey has been debating the project to "bring [the PKK guerrillas] down from the mountains" announced by Prime Minister Erdogan. To date, these rehabilitation projects have always come up during the periods when the fighting has de facto stopped. Now, while on the one hand a milder form of politics is being pursued, the fierceness of the struggle against terrorism is being stepped up on the other. This could turn into an element that will really push low-level militants, in particular, to come down from the mountains. It is a new approach. The impression is growing stronger that the cross-border operation and rehabilitation project are components of the "comprehensive plan" that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced following her meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan in Ankara on 2 November.

    What else does this comprehensive plan include? When the statements coming from the United States over the past few days are read in conjunction with the latest statements of Erdogan, [Foreign Minister Ali] Babacan, [General Staff Chief Yasar] Buyukanit, and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, one can antidipate that a number of additional legal, economic, and diplomatic steps will be forthcoming. For instance, can it be expected that, in the period ahead, the project discussed in the latest meeting of the Counter Terrorism High Council, headed by Cicek, for the PKK leadership cadre to be apprehended in the countries where they are located and then returned [to Turkey], will be stepped up? We will see.

    But one should recall that the expression that best explains the framework of this comprehensive plan has in fact already been stated. This framework is the expression used by General Staff Chief Buyukanit in his 9 November press conference, that "a modern federation in Iraq is preferred." This was at the same time the expression that a Kurdish federation that does not include either the PKK or Kirkuk, and which accepts the central authority of Baghdad, will be accepted by Ankara. The basis of compromise that would make cooperation with the United States, Iraq, and probably the Iraqi Kurds possible is probably just this. And the credit for this step belongs to General Buyukanit.

    Now it is time to see how this framework will be filled in.

    [16] From the Turkish press of 17 December 2007

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish Press of 17 December 2007 on issues of the current Turkish political agenda:

    a) Operation in North Iraq: All the dailies report extensively on the operation, as follows:

    "The air strike conducted against PKK camps in north Iraq in the dark of the night on Sunday is the result of long political and technical preparations," Taha Akyol writes in an article in Milliyet. This operation is part of a comprehensive plan, Akyol argues, and more operations can be expected. He stresses that Turkey received the approval of the United States and Europe for such cross-border operations, and that this was a heavy blow on the PKK.

    Hurriyet's Ertugrul Ozkok announces that the operation proved that "Turkey is the greatest power of the region." In an article, the columnist argues that after this operation, the PKK will not cross the border again.

    In an editorial in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli says "the Turkish government is not only using 'carrots' but 'sticks' as well in its latest drive to marginalize the separatist terrorist threat, if not to totally wipe it out. It is as well clear that Turkey does not intend to postpone this push to the next spring, as many people were anticipating. We have to underline as well that besides Turkey's determination in this drive, the international climate is rather suitable... Turkey has told the gang that even Kandil mountains are within Turkey's reach and terrorists cannot enjoy safety anywhere. This fact of course will have a psychological effect both on the current members of the gang as well as those who might wish to join it. Now, there is an increased danger. The gang will have to take some perhaps totally irrational moves to overcome the psychological effects of the Turkish operation. Security forces and the military must take additional measures against this probability."

    Under the banner headline "Swift Response to a Call from a Satellite Phone," Yeni Safak carries a front-page report which says that Turkish Armed Forces sent fighters and helicopters to northern Iraq to bombard four PKK camps after receiving an intelligence report that PKK leader had made a call from a satellite phone in a camp in Mount Qandil yesterday while Turkish artillery pounded possible escape routes of PKK guerillas.

    In an article entitled "They Keep Using Methods Which Were Used in the Past 23 Years" Yeni Safak columnist Koray Duzgoren argues that there is no guarantee that military cooperation between Turkey and the United States will produce positive results even if it is assumed that yesterday's air strike was carried out by using intelligence provided by the United States, reminding that hundreds of Afghan, Iraqi, and British soldiers and civilians were killed as a result of friendly fire in Iraq and Afghanistan. Noting that the air strike was probably carried out for psychological purposes and it will not deliver a severe blow to the PKK, Duzgoren comments: "The question is why they are still using the same method employed in the past 23 years. Why are they hindering peaceful efforts to make use of opportunities for trying other methods?"

    Under the banner headline "Midnight air Strike in Qandil," Zaman carries a front-page report which says that F-16 fighters equipped with Lantirn systems took off from a military airport in Diyarbakir at 1 A.M local time on Sunday to bombard PKK camps in Zap, Avasin, Hakurk, and Mount Qandil.

    In an article entitled "The Fruits of the Agreement Concluded With the United States," Zaman columnist Ali Aslan says that the Turkish Government has done the right thing by launching an air strike to hit northern Iraq rather than a comprehensive ground operation which would entail serious military and political risks. He says: "The best option is to wait until popular support for the Democratic Society Party and the PKK totally erodes in the face of the rising popularity of the Justice and Development Party [AKP] without resorting to use of excessive force while putting an end to the 'good boys' regime which permits the use of illegal anti-terrorism methods like those witnessed in Semdinli."

    In an article entitled "A Holiday Gift for the PKK," Bugun columnist Emin Pazarci points out that yesterday's air strike was carried out by taking advantage of support provided by the United States while Iraq's airspace was opened to Turkish fighters. He says: "This change will have significant psychological repercussions in both Turkey and northern Iraq. Support given by the United States to Turkey will discourage people from joining the PKK and its disintegration will accelerate. The PKK will come under stronger pressure if the Turkish Armed Forces takes some other unexpected steps in the coming days."

    b) Islamization of Turkey : The world-famous pianist Fazil Say criticized Turkey for driffing towards Islamization. Mr. Say had recently said that he was considering leaving Turkey, given the current drift in the country toward a "darkness of the Middle Ages."

    In an article in Hurriyet, Ahmet Hakan backs the pianist, accusing the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), government and its supporters of seeing themselves as "the real representatives of the people." The columnist goes on: "Under the guise of the people's values, these circles want to impose a single type of life and culture." They dismiss European art and the bourgeois culture that has developed in the country, Hakan laments. More than being Islamists, he adds, these circles are peasants who uphold and want to impose a peasant culture on everyone.

    Columnist Mehmet Barlas argues that it is as unacceptable for Fazil Say to feel uncomfortable in Turkey, as it is for Fethullah Gulen not to be able to come and live in his country. In his commentary, Barlas says "what everyone needs are liberal and democratic sociopolitical conditions in Turkey, where the supremacy of law prevails, where basic rights and freedoms are upheld, where the individual and the state have equal rights, and where people do not feel to be under ideological or religious pressure."

    Under the banner headline "You Should First Count These" Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which says that pianist Fazil Say, who has said that he could leave Turkey because the country is being ruled by the AKP, has not faced any restriction or coercion similar to those experienced by women wearing headscarf.

    c) New Yok Chairman Headscarf: In an article entitled "YOK [Higher Education Council] Chairman Ozcan and Sezer Share the Same Opinion" , Vakit columnist Ihsan Karahasanoglu says that former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer dissented from a Constitutional Court ruling turning down an application for the annulment of a law stipulating that there may be no dress restrictions in universities in 1990 when he was serving as a justice in the Constitutional Court on the grounds that students could wear headscarf if the law was not abrogated. Karahasanoglu says: "The new chairman of YOK is keen to ensure compliance with an article of the law stating that there should be freedom of dress in universities which has not been annulled by the Constitutional Court. He, therefore, says that freedom of dress can be effectively ensured without amending the Constitution or enacting a new law. In my view, he is totally right."

    In an article entitled "Is it a Second Tevhide Case?," Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak says that an anti-headscarf campaign has been launched in the wake of a report about an award presented to a high school student wearing headscarf during an official ceremony attended by Minister of Education Huseyin Celik and advises Islamists not to be involved in what he describes as a meaningless dispute characterized by demagogic arguments in order to avoid damage to their justifiable cause.


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