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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-06
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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. 26/08 06.02.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Cyprus Summit in Ankara, Soyer met with ErdoganTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.02.08) reports under banner headlines in its front page Cyprus Summit in Ankara and refers to the meeting between the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the self-styled Prime Minister in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus Ferdi Sabit Soyer.
The paper reports that first Mr. Erdogan and Mr Soyer had a private meeting for half an hour and subsequently the meeting continued with the participation of the delegations. After the meeting Mr Soyer made a statement to the press and answered questions. He said that they have exchanged views with the Turkish Prime Minister as regards promoting of the common cause, the Cyprus problem. He went on and said that during the meeting they also exchanged views as regards some technical issues regarding the harmonization process with the EU. He said that the process is going on with full coordination as he put it, between the office of the president and the concerned ministries. The so-called Foreign Minister Turgay Avci and the Finance Minister Ahmet Uzun took part in the meeting.
On its part Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (06.02.08) reports under the banner headlines Ankaras wind blew cold and says that during the meeting when Mr Erdogan asked Mr. Soyer why the occupation regime used 159 million new Turkish Lira from the so-called Social Insurance Fund, this caused cold winds to blow during the meeting. Mr Soyer said that they used this money because they were short of cash to pay the salaries. The paper also claims that Mr. Erdogan has urged Mr Soyer to hold early elections if there are domestic problems in the occupied area.
 Ercakica: There is no difference between President Papadopoulos and Christofias on the Cyprus problemTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.02.08) reports that the self styled presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that there is no difference between President Papadopoulos and AKEL general secretary and presidential candidate Demetris Christofias as far as the Cyprus problem is concerned. Mr. Ercakica was speaking during his weekly regular briefing. When asked to comment on the forthcoming presidential elections in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and Mr Christofiass vision regarding the Cyprus problem, Ercakica said that Mr. Christofias did not put forward a different vision than the incumbent president Papadopoulos.
He said that despite the fact that Mr. Papadopoulos comes from the EOKA circles, and Mr Christofias comes from leftist circles, regarding the desired solution, however, in his statements Mr. Christofias expresses views closer to the official Greek Cypriot thesis. He also criticized Mr Christofiass statement that the Greek Cypriots will make use of Turkeys EU membership to advance and make Turkey to accept the Greek Cypriot thesis.
Mr Ercakica went on and said that word is going around about a new initiative which will start at the end of February by the UN, and it will be lead by the Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Lynn Pascoe. He went on and said that the picture will become clearer during the coming weeks.
 Twelve organizations will organize a protest march today against the self-styled governmentTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris and Afrika newspapers (06.02.08) report that 12 organizations among them KTAMS, Dev-Is, the Chamber of Architects and Engineers and the Chamber of the Shopkeepers and Artisans will organize a protest march today against the self-styled government. Afrika reports that the protesters are the ruling Republican Turkish Party (CTP) affiliated organizations and trade unions which are protesting against the recent price hikes and working-hour arrangements.
 Pakistans ambassador to Ankara said that his country supports the just cause of the TRNCTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.02.08) reports that Pakistans ambassador to Ankara Ambassador Seyid Iftihar Huseyin Shah, speaking at the Turkasia Center for Strategic Research (TASAM) in 0stanbul on the Latest developments in Pakistan and Kashmir Question , referred to the Cyprus problem and likened it to the Kashmiri issue. He said that despite the several UN resolutions no steps were taken for the last 60 years for the settlement of the Kashmiri issue.
He said that in order to support the just cause of the TRNC Pakistan opened an embassy in Islamabad.
 The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade will have contacts abroad with the EU Commission Turkish Desk officialsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.02.08) reports that the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade (KTTO) Hasan Kutlu Ince and the deputy chairman Alp Cengiz Alp will leave the occupied area for Belgium, Holland and Britain on Friday to have contacts with the EU Commission Turkish Desk officials. The paper reports that at the EU Commission the EU regulations will be discussed. The two-man delegation will also attend as Guest of Honor the 2nd Turkish Businessmen Maastricht summit to be held in Holland between 9-10 February in Maastricht. The paper further reports that Mr Ince and Mr Alp then will go to London and have meetings with the officials of the Foreign Office during which they will ask from Britain to exercise its influence in order for the EU to fulfill its promises made to the Turkish Cypriots.
 Cakici critisized Talat for remarks on re-unificationIllegal Bayrak television (05.02.08) reports the following:
In a statement issued today, the Social Democrat Party (TDP) leader reminded that the political will put forward by the Turkish Cypriot people during the 2004 referendum was for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on the political equality of the two sides.
Stating that President Talat had been chosen to represent the Turkish Cypriot people on the basis of that political will, Cakici called on President Talat to respect and work towards achieving the Turkish Cypriot Peoples desire to achieve a federal solution to the Cyprus Problem.
 Turkey seeks to secure African countries vote for its UN Security Council non-permanent membership positionUnder the title Ciragan (Palace) invitation to Qaddafi Milliyet newspaper (06.02.08) reports that in October 2008, just before the voting for the non-permanent membership position in the UN Security Council, Turkey has invited the 53 African leaders to Turkey. The paper reports that the Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi was invited through a special invitation letter by President Gul.
Among the guests will be the leader of Zimbabwe, Mr Robert Mugabe, writes the paper adding: The holding of the summit just before the voting in New York for the UN Security Council non-permanent membership position, with the participation of 191 countries is assessed as a move on the part of Ankara to guarantee the African votes.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 05 February 2008Following are selected items from the Turkish press of 5 February on issues of the current Ankara political agenda:
a) Headdress Issue: Commenting on his meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan regarding the headscarf issue in a report in Milliyet, Democratic Left Party, (DSP), leader Zeki Sezer says that the prime minister is locked to the current stage reached on the issue and is under the impression that Article 17 of the Higher Education Law describing how the headscarf should be tied can be discussed. Sezer further adds: "To tell you the truth, I did not understand what he was thinking."
Assessing Zeki Sezer's good- willed intentions to halt the headdress process in his article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila expresses the belief that Sezer's meetings with Erdogan and Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), leader Bahceli did not yield any results. Based on the chat Bila held with Sezer and the responses the DSP leader received from Erdogan and Bahceli, Bila believes that the process will continue and will be painful. Pointing out that the Constitutional Court will have the last say in the matter, Bila does not rule out the possibility of the issue being taken to the European Court of Human Rights.
Also referring to DSP leader Sezer's initiatives to resolve the headdress issue without a constitutional amendment in his article in Radikal, Murat Yetkin says that Sezer failed to achieve much during his meeting with Erdogan and Bahceli. Commenting on the harsh statement issued by Supreme Court of Appeals Acting President Sirin opposing the government on the headdress issue, Yetkin says that if the amendment is endorsed by the parliament by the end of the week, the Republican People's Party, CHP, will be applying to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the amendment, adding that some believe t he court will rule in favor of the CHP recourse. The writer then asks whether it will not be difficult to remove the headdressed girls from the universities in line with a court ruling after months of attendance.
Criticizing the stand adopted by Erdogan and Bahceli on the headdress issue in a column in Cumhuriyet, Mustafa Balbay accuses them of not understanding the concerns of the public on the issue. Warning that this stand can lead to an internal strife, the writer makes the following assessment: "AKP and MHP did not resolve the headdress issue, they started it." He then continues: "I am afraid that, today, the seeds of the secular-anti-secular clash, which I mentioned earlier, are being sown and those responsible, knowingly or unknowingly, are doing all in their power to ensure that these seeds flourish in the best possible manner."
Responding to the call Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), deputy Deniz Bolukbasi made through Milliyet, Prof Ergun Ozbudun, chairman of the Science Council, which is drafting the new constitution, proposed that a phrase on "safeguarding the freedoms of others" be added to Article 42 of the Constitution in a bid to prevent possible pressure on those who do not cover their heads. According to a report entitled "The Ozbudun Formula" by Gokcer Tahincioglu in Milliyet, Ozbudun, who is critical of the formula reached by the MHP and the Justice and Development Party, AKP, regarding the headdress, "proposed that the freedom to wear a headdress in universities be restricted with the aim of safeguarding the freedom of others."
According to a report by Aydin Hasan and Zeynep Ozkartal in Milliyet, President Abdullah Gul, during a dinner he hosted for writers at the Cankaya Mansion conveyed the message that he is against holding a referendum on the headdress issue. During the dinner also attended by Elif Safak, who was prosecuted for violating article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, Gul is reported to have said: "I do not find that it is right to subject the issue of fundamental rights and freedoms to a referendum." Asked about his views on Article 301, Gul responded: "These troubles will end. This issue will soon be eliminated. From now on, our other intellectuals will not face the difficulty Elif Safak had to face, they will not be prosecuted based on that article." Responding to journalists' questions on whether Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk will also be invited to one of these dinners, Gul said: "It is impossible to invite all of Turkey's writers. Pamuk might also be invited in the future."
Questioning why the amendment on Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code has yet to be submitted to the Assembly Chairmanship in an article entitled "What happened to 301?" in Sabah, Erdal Safak recalls the statement made by Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin in the beginning of January to the effect that the amendment would be submitted to the Assembly within a week. Drawing attention to frequent MHP declarations expressing the party's strong opposition to the amendment of Article 301, Safak argues that this amendment has been shelved in order not to jeopardize the MHP support on the headdress issue.
In an article entitled "Deep state swings into action", Vakit columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu describes a recent Anka News Agency report saying that a criminal court has demanded a five year imprisonment sentence for a group of parents in Bursa Province who raided an imam-hatip school to protest the headscarf ban as a "deep state" ploy aimed at discouraging the Government from pressing ahead with the plan to abolish headscarf restrictions.
In an article entitled "What about that", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak accuses "supposed defenders of the regime" of sabotaging the legitimacy and raison d'etre of the state as well as fundamental rights and freedoms in objecting to the Government's bid to lift the headscarf ban at universities.
In a commentary entitled "Why I signed the declaration of freedom", Professor Ali Kose of Marmara University asserts that he signed the "declaration of freedom" in support of Islamic headgear "as someone who is familiar with both the East and the West; as an academic who does not judge students by the way they look; and as someone who knows what scholastic Fascism is about." Kose proceeds to relate how he wondered, watching on television the participants in the recent rally at Ataturk's Mausoleum, whether the protesters knew that the ban that they endorse "in the name of modernity" does not exist in any European countries" and why those who accept the 222A invite cannot read 22T [the results of the 22 July election] correctly."
Under the headline, "Overwhelming majority Against scarf ban," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that a recent survey has revealed some 64,9 percent public support for the proposal to lift the headscarf ban at universities.
Under the headline, "Nation is proud of you," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which asserts that the number of academics who have put their signatures to the "declaration of freedom" in support of the proposal to abolish the headscarf ban has exceeded 2,000 already.
b) Kurdish Issue: According to a report by Sebahattin Yilmaz, Behcet Dalmaz, and Gulay Ozek in Milliyet, a group of 400 persons from Van and another group of 500 persons from Hakkari have left their provinces on their way to Sirnak to participate in the action of setting up tents organized by the Democratic Turkey Party, DTP, in a bid to put an end to the operations being conducted against the PKK. DTP Hakkari Deputy Hamit Geylani, who participated in the ceremony held to see the demonstrators off, said that 70 million people in Turkey are against cross-border operations, wars, and violence. Geylani said: "Although officials are calling on the PKK members to come back, their appeals are not sincere." Noting that the heavy bombardment inflicted on the PKK members is tantamount to saying "do not come back to the country," Geylani called for a dialogue and not weapons for the solution of the Kurdish issue. Addressing a crowd at the DTP Van offices, DTP provincial leader Abdurrahman Dogar said that DTP members will deploy themselves as live shields on Gabar and Cudi Mountains. Dogar further referred to the PKK members as guerrillas.
According to a report in Vatan, some 2,500 DTP members from 28 provinces have begun to gather in Diyarbakir on their journey to the Gabar and Cudi Mountains. Diyarbakir DTP provincial leader Necdet Atalay is reported to have said that ten buses and 20 minibuses will leave Diyarbakir on their way to Sirnak and that 15 DTP deputies are participating in the action named "Democratic solution March against the operations." Intense security measures have been taken in Sirnak's Kasrik Township where the DTP members will be setting up their tents.
A report in Vatan details the final communiqué issued at the end of the "Third ecology and local administrations conference" held by the DTP in Diyarbakir on 2 February. The communiqué includes the proposals made by Abdullah Ocalan on a "confederal system" and on "democratic, ecological, and sexual freedoms."
Referring to a recent statement made by PKK's Murat Karayilan that a courageous leader such as Turgut Ozal was needed to resolve the Kurdish issue in his column in Milliyet, Can Dundar explains Ozal's proposal for "a long-term and rooted solution." Noting that the recognition of the Kurdish identity, the elimination of the ban on the Kurdish language, and the need to separate Kurdish citizens from the terrorists were part of Ozal's long-term proposals, Dundar adds that Ozal was also in contact with the Kurdish leaders in north Iraq and the pro-Kurdish People's Labor Party, (HEP).
c) President Gul's visit to Qatar: Commenting on the government's expectations from the upcoming visit of President Gul to Qatar in her column in Milliyet, Serpil Yilmaz writes that "Gul's two-day Qatar visit aims at overcoming the international economic crisis through Gulf capital." Pointing out that Gul and the 200-strong delegation of businessmen accompanying him will be going to Qatar to bring liquefied gas as well as petrodollars, Finance Minister Unakitan, who is also part of the delegation, is reported to have said: "The Gulf countries are Turkey's A and not B plan." Yilmaz argues that, however, it is not easy to predict the outcome of this visit and reminds us that, contrary to the promise made by Qatari Emir during a visit to Turkey last year, the Greek Cypriot administration in south Cyprus was allowed to open an embassy in Doha.
Also commenting on President Gul's forthcoming visit to Qatar in a column in Hurriyet, Erdal Saglam believes that the focus of the talks to be held there will be the energy issue. Predicting that the talks will mainly concentrate on Turkey meeting part of its natural gas needs from Qatar, the writer believes that Finance Minister Unakitan will try to attract Qatari capital to Turkey. Expressing his doubt over the willingness of oil-rich countries to establish partnership with Turkey instead of the developed countries, the writer advises caution reminding the reader about the past promises made by Arab countries that were never kept. Commenting on Turkey's aspiration to include Qatar to the Nabucco project, Saglam does not view this as feasible.
d) Greek Prime Minister's visit to Turkey: Commenting on the recent visit of Greek Prime Minister Karamanlis to Turkey in an article in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi notes that no one bothered to ponder over the results of that visit because everyone was locked on the headdress issue. Describing this maneuver to focus the national attention on the headdress issue as a subterfuge on the part of the government, Eksi says that the Erdogan Government gave the indication that "certain policies pursued by Turkey in a stable manner for many years are about the change." The writer views Erdogan's remarks that the ecumenical status of the Fener Patriarchate is an issue that concerns solely the Greek Orthodox Church as a sign that it will support the Patriarchate's efforts to obtain ecumenical status. Eksi further criticizes the government for this stand that will grant the Patriarchate a status above the Turkish laws.
e) Problem to the undersea fiber optic cables: In an article entitled "US-Israeli sabotage at sea: Internet could collapse entirely", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul refers to the recent cutting of some of the undersea fiber optic cables providing Internet service for Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa as a US and Israeli operation aimed at "punishing" regional countries for "avoiding the dollar, questioning the US hegemony, and not agreeing to the plan to isolate Iran." He claims that this operation was just a warning and that harsher measures are in the offing. "The United States is becoming increasingly aggressive as its economy is weakening", the columnist concludes.