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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-08

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. 171/08 06- 08.09.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Babacan met Olli Rehn. He asked for EU support to Talat
  • [02] Talat to meet Olli Rehn in Brussels
  • [03] Downer met Turkish Cypriots political party leaders
  • [04] Avci met the new commanders of the occupation army
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot Workers Union demands trial of general who visited the Ergenekon suspects for the murder of Kutlu Adali
  • [06] Columnist in Vakit argues that members of the Ergenekon smuggled into Turkey money and jewelry of the Greek Cypriots
  • [07] The so-called YAGA agency has received 212 investment applications
  • [08] Night clubs in the occupied areas are a source of great revenue for the illegal regime
  • [09] The PKK is reportedly preparing bomb attacks in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Visit to Ergenekon suspects brings to light the murder of Kutlu Adali in the occupied by Turkish troops areas of Cyprus
  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 05, 06 and 07 September 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Babacan met Olli Rehn. He asked for EU support to Talat

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.09.08) reported the following from Avignon:

    The Turkish foreign minister met a European commissioner in Avignon, France on Friday.

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan had a meeting with European Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn on the sidelines of a European Union (EU) foreign ministers' meeting in Avignon.

    Babacan, who is also Turkey's chief negotiator for the EU, and Rehn discussed Caucasus crisis, full membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU, and Cyprus problem.

    During the meeting, Rehn appreciated Turkey's policy in its region and Babacan briefed Rehn about recent visits of Turkish officials to Tbilisi and Moscow, and the visits of the officials of those countries to Turkey.

    Rehn welcomed Turkey's Caucasus Stability & Cooperation Platform proposal.

    Also, Rehn expressed the union's expectations from Turkey about some chapter headings the EU wanted to open negotiations with Turkey. Babacan informed Rehn about Turkey's endeavors and reforms planned to be made after the parliament re-opened on October 1st.

    Rehn said that the European Commission was preparing the annual progress report for Turkey which would be made public in November, whereas Babacan said that the report should be encouraging.

    On Cyprus, Babacan said that Turkey would maintain its constructive attitude and support to Cyprus talks to be launched between leaders of the two communities in the island.

    Babacan asked the EU to support President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and have talks with him.

    Also, the European commissioner expressed EU's pleasure about the visit Turkish President Abdullah Gul will pay to Yerevan, Armenia on Saturday.

    [02] Talat to meet Olli Rehn in Brussels

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.09.08) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will leave for Brussels on September 9th.

    TRNC Presidency press center stated on Sunday that Talat would give a conference about Cyprus problem at European Policy Center.

    He will also meet with EU Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn over a dinner and they will assess the recent developments in Cyprus.Talat will also hold meetings with permanent representatives of various EU countries including EU president France.

    He will return to TRNC on September 10th.

    [03] Downer met Turkish Cypriots political party leaders

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.09.08) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    United Nations (UN) Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, met with the leaders of Turkish Cypriot political parties in Lefkosia on Friday.

    Downer met the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktas, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu and chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Turgay Avci.

    In his meeting with CTP's Soyer, Downer stressed that the United Nations is hopeful for a successful peace process in the island.

    The meeting between the two leaders in Cyprus the other day took place in a positive atmosphere. This meeting made me optimistic in expecting a successful result after the completion of negotiations, Downer said.

    I came to the island a short time ago but went through a rapid learning process. During my talks with political party leaders today, I would exchange information and convey my thoughts, Downer said.

    Welcoming Downer to the Prime Ministry of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Soyer said that a joint solution, within UN parameter, of the two people with different religions in Cyprus would be a good model for the whole world.

    The Cyprus problem must be solved based on a mutually acceptable way and solved as soon as possible, Soyer stressed.

    According to the common vision of Cypriot leaders on May 23rd, the Turkish Cypriot state and Greek Cypriot state must exist under equal terms in a federal solution with a single international identity and based on a bi-zonal and bi-communal political equality, Soyer said.

    In his meeting with Serdar Denktas of the DP, Downer said that a historical period began in Cyprus with the resumption of negotiations.

    I have been touched by the resumption of negotiations between the two Cypriot leaders. There exist difficult issues in front of the leaders. Once the leaders reach an agreement, this agreement would be voted in referenda in Cyprus, Downer said.

    Receiving Downer at the headquarters of the DP, Serdar Denktas said that the new process began in an atmosphere where the two sides are accusing each other of dynamiting the process.

    The process carries many risks, Denktas said.

    We have concerns about the societal rights of the Turkish Cypriots and would discuss the details on this issue extensively with Downer, Denktas added. Proceeding to the UBP, Downer said that one can understand things after listening for a long time.

    Listening is an important part of the process. I have come here to listen, ask questions and understand the sides better, Downer stressed.

    Receiving Downer at the UBP, Tahsin Ertugruloglu said that his party wishes for the UN to handle the matter of Cyprus in the most correct manner, an issue on which the UN has been working on since 1964.

    The UN must take lessons from the past, Ertugruloglu noted.

    Negotiations in the past four decades could not reach an acceptable result in Cyprus. Everyone, including the UN, must take lessons from the past and analyze where mistakes were made in the past 40 years, Ertugruloglu said.

    In his meeting with Turgay Avci of the ORP, Downer stressed that he would try to act as constructively as is possible in the island.

    Welcoming Downer to his political party, Avci underscored that they are ready for a solution. We support a solution in Cyprus. It is important for the two sides to be listened in Cyprus. The view points of the two peoples must be paid attention to, Avci said.

    A solution for Turkish Cypriots must be equal and just. The solution for Turkish Cypriots must be based on a bi-zonal, two equal founding states with Turkey's continued guarantorship and the political equality of the peoples, Avci added.

    In his meeting with the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Mr Cakici, Downer said that for the past two days, I have been visiting political parties in Cyprus to receive information and listen to differing views. I ask many questions and learn different perspectives.

    Welcoming Downer to the TDP headquarters in Lefkosia, Mehmet Cakici stressed that the visit of Alexander Downer, as an UN representative, to TDP is very important at this historical process.

    We hope that the negotiations would end with a successful result, Cakici noted and added:

    We have always had respect for the decisions of the UN. We desire a solution and peace in the island.

    Alexander Downer met with the leaders of Greek Cypriot political parties on Thursday. He would depart from Cyprus on Saturday.

    [04] Avci met the new commanders of the occupation army

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.09.08) broadcast that the self-styled Deputy Prime Minister-Foreign Minister of the illegal regime, Mr Turgay Avci, has paid a courtesy visit to the Commanders of the Turkish occupation Forces Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu and Major General Abdullah Recep separately.The commanders and the Minister exchanged views on various issues.Mr Avci also expressed his best wishes to the commanders during their new duties in Cyprus.

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot Workers Union demands trial of general who visited the Ergenekon suspects for the murder of Kutlu Adali

    Istanbul Bianet website on 04 September 2008 publishes the following report by Erol Onderoglu under the title: Chief of Staffs Envoy to jailed Generals charged with ties to assassination of Cypriot journalist:

    Huseyin Yalyali of Press Laborers Union of Turkish Cypriots has demanded that gen. Galip Mendi who visited the imprisoned Ergenekon generals on behalf of the General Staff should be tried for the murder of Kutlu Adali in 1996.

    Criticizing the permission granted to Garrison Commander Gen. Galip Mendi to visit the imprisoned Ergenekon generals Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur, Huseyin Yalyali, a member of the board of directors of the Press Laborers Union of Turkish Cypriots, has demanded that the permission should be given for the investigation of his role in the murder of Kutlu Adali.

    Kocaeli garrison commander three-star general Mendi had visited both of the generals in the Kandira prison on behalf of the General Staff.

    Yalyali reminded that Mendi's name had appeared in Adali's murder in Northern Cyprus on July 6, 1996 and since the murder was not investigated, the European Human Rights Court (ECHR) had convicted Turkey.

    Adali was first threatened and then killed for the articles he had written about the illegal activities of the Civil Defense Organization headed by Mendi.

    The Church raid, the search of the graves, Adali murder...

    Yalyali said, The General Staff was backing this person in the past, too.

    According to Yalyali, Mendi's name is mentioned in the raid of the Saint Barnabas Church, the search of the historical and old graves; he is known as one of those responsible for these incidents.

    Yalyali says the Civil Defense Organization, which was headed by the soldiers, used to do intelligence work rather than civil defense.

    This was Ergenekon at its best. I always say that if one wants to look at Cyprus, one will see the laboratory of the Special War Office of the deep state politics.

    Nothing was done in spite of the ECHR decision. Yalyali says: Although there were many details such as the weapons and material kept in this institution, the Uzi gun used to kill Adali and the fact that the Civil Defense people were at the murder scene before the police and the military, none of them were discussed.

    He also reminded that the murders the Special War Office of Turkey had committed in Cyprus since 1960's were not limited to the Adali murder. For example, journalist Hikmet Gurkan, who had supported the continuance of the United Cyprus Republic, was killed as well.

    [06] Columnist in Vakit argues that members of the Ergenekon smuggled into Turkey money and jewelry of the Greek Cypriots

    In a commentary on the Ergenekon organization under the title: Was Ergenekon funded by Treasure, in Vakit (06.09.08) columnist Serdar Arseren urges the Turkish Cypriot authorities to launch an investigation into an issue involving the money and jewelry of the Greek Cypriots who were forced to abandon their properties in the north of the island during the Turkish invasion of 1974.

    The columnist argues that there are allegations to the effect that a large amount of money and jewelry, seized by a Turkish major from the Greek Cypriots during the July 1974 invasion, were smuggled into Turkey by Ergenekon.

    [07] The so-called YAGA agency has received 212 investment applications

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.09.08) reports that the so-called Turkish Cypriot Investment Development Agency (YAGA), which was established nine months ago, has received 212 investment applications. The so-called director of the YAGA, Mrs. Ayse Donmezer, said that of the 212 applications made, 117 come from the occupied area, 41 from Turkey, 25 from foreign countries, 21 from joint partnership of local and foreign investors and six from Turkish Cypriots living abroad.

    In a statement to the illegal TAK news agency, Mrs. Donmezer, made an evaluation of the so-called agencys activities and explained the future programs and promotional work YAGA will follow. She said that investment applications were mainly in the tourism and industry areas. She went on and said that soon they will start promotion work abroad as well.

    (MHY)

    [08] Night clubs in the occupied areas are a source of great revenue for the illegal regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.09.08) reports in its front page under the banner headlines 3 trillion TL in one year, that 37 night clubs operating in the occupied areas provided 3 trillion 173 billion and 411 million TL as revenue to the illegal regimes Inland Revenue department. The paper says that foreign women who work as barmaids make major contribution to the occupied areas economy.

    (MHY)

    [09] The PKK is reportedly preparing bomb attacks in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot Ortam newspaper (07.09.08) reports that the Workers Party of Kurdistan (PKK) is preparing to organize bomb attacks in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to restore its prestige which has been harmed by the operations carried out in the rural areas of Turkey and northern Iraq.

    Under the title Is there a bomb activity by the PKK? the paper writes that reliable sources said the PKK has secretly brought by boat bombs and weapons to the occupied areas of the Island in order to carry out its attacks. The paper notes that the police learned about the bombs and the weapons and raided into five houses but it found nothing.

    Ortam reports that the police are following some suspects who live in the occupied areas.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Visit to Ergenekon suspects brings to light the murder of Kutlu Adali in the occupied by Turkish troops areas of Cyprus

    Istanbul Todays Zaman newspaper (05.09.08) publishes the following by Ayse Karabat under the title: "Visit reminds of dark files the army was allegedly involved in":

    A visit by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to two suspects in the Ergenekon terrorist organization case, retired Gen. Sener Eruygur and retired Gen. Hursit Tolon, was reminiscent of some former cases -- one of them being an assassination of a prominent journalist in Cyprus, the other the disputed Semdinli case as well as a letter from Tolon asking about "the ones outside [of prison]."

    Commander Lt. Gen. Galip Mendi paid a visit on Wednesday to Kandira Prison inmates Eruygur and Tolon, who have been under arrest since July for alleged involvement in the Ergenekon terrorist organization, which is accused of orchestrating various murders and attacks with the intention of creating chaos that would trigger a coup.

    The Web site of the General Staff declared yesterday that the visit was made on behalf of the TSK. "As is known, today, as in the past, the TSK fully respects and trusts the judiciary," the statement claimed.

    The Ergenekon case will start in October and its indictment was presented to the court, although Tolon and Eruygur were not mentioned in it since they were arrested months after the first arrests. It is expected that an additional indictment will be presented for Tolon and Eruygur as well as other suspects. While the country discussed the visit, several old cases were cited, including the assassination of prominent journalist Kutlu Adali in Northern Cyprus in July 1996. Mendi, the TSK envoy to the terror suspects, was allegedly involved with this assassination. He was questioned by the European Court of Human Rights during the Adali vs. Turkey case, in which Turkey was found guilty. Ilkay Adali, the wife of journalist Adali, told Today's Zaman that her husband was killed because of his articles about the Civil Defense Organization, whose top commander at the time was Mendi.

    The Civil Defense Organization of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is listed as a "humanitarian organization" under KKTC laws. It was established to help people in cases of disaster, including wars, and its head can be a civil or a military person, but the leader is traditionally sent from Turkey and comes from the ranks of the TSK, as was also the case with Mendi.

    According to Ilkay Adali, her husband in one of his articles claimed that on March 15, 1996 armed men raided the St. Barnabas monastery museum in Famagusta and robbed it. Adali claimed that one of the cars used in the raid belonged to the Civil Defense Organization and that arms used in the raid were very modern. He wrote that there were rumors of a Turkish colonel who was in Cyprus during the 1974 intervention and that this colonel had buried large amounts of loot in St. Barnabas' grave. The robbers were allegedly friends of this former colonel and were looking for the loot.

    According to Ilkay Adali, her husband received threatening calls after this article was published. Mendi, in his testimony to the European court, accepted that he had called the newspaper for which Adali was working but denied threatening him.

    According to the European court, Mendi told the court that his organization was not involved in Adali's murder.

    "The witness [Mendi] claimed that the St. Barnabas incident had in no way been connected to the Civil Defense Organization. It was an anti-terrorist operation carried out by the peace forces command at the time. Thus, allegations that the Civil Defense Organization was involved in the St. Barnabas incident were untrue. The witness pointed out that these allegations stemmed from the fact that his organization had allocated a civilian car to the peace forces, who wore official uniforms, for an operation conducted against the [terrorist] Kurdistan Workers' Party [PKK]. Apart from the allocation of a car, the Civil Defense Organization had not intervened in any activity connected with the St. Barnabas incident," the documents of the European court note.

    When Adali was murdered, according to the documents of the European court, there were some claims about the presence of Abdullah Catli on the island and his involvement in the murder.

    Catli was an ultranationalist and a mafia leader with an international police warrant who died in the Susurluk accident, which occurred on November 4, 1996 and revealed suspicious links between politicians, the mafia and security forces. Many names involved with Susurluk are currently suspects in the Ergenekon case, including retired Gen. Veli Kucuk. According to claims put forth by police officers employed in Susurluk in 1996, Kucuk sent Sami Hostan, a drug trafficker also detained on alleged ties to Ergenekon, to pick up Catli's dead body.

    Will Semdinli repeat itself?

    The Susurluk case for the first time very openly revealed that some people who use the "power of the state" and the pretext of "fighting against terrorism" or "love for the country" are involved in illegal activities, including murder and drug trafficking. Another case in which the "deep state" was involved was the Semdinli case. Semdinli is a city in the province of Hakkari where two non-commissioned officers and a PKK informant were caught bombing a bookstore owned by a former member of the PKK.

    Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the then-land forces commander who had since been promoted to chief of general staff and recently retired, told the court hearing the trial of the suspects in the bombing: "I know them [the two non-commissioned officers]. They are good boys." A prosecutor from Van province who was investigating the Semdinli case, Ferhat Sarikaya, started a number of investigations into top army commanders, including Buyukanit, but was subsequently disbarred by the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges (HSYK). The perpetrators were never punished.

    Many analysts say that the TSK's visit to the Ergenekon suspects is similar to the Semdinli case and that the army is giving the message of "we know them, they are good boys." Yeni Safak daily's Ali Bayramoglu pointed out the similarities between the two cases and said that this time military policies which harmed democracy are at the point where they need to be judged, unlike what happened in the Semdinli case.

    Umit Kardas, a retired military judge, also compared this situation to that of the Semdinli case and said that after this visit there is a risk of "repeating the Semdinli case."

    "This visit can affect the judiciary. Buyukanit's statement in the Semdinli case changed the direction of the case at that time and the same risk exists for Ergenekon now. After this visit I am less hopeful that links to Ergenekon will be found out," Kardas pointed out.

    Tolon's letter

    Kardas also added that one of the reasons of this visit might be to convey messages from prison to the outside.

    "During the Susurluk case, suspects sent messages indicating that they might reveal everything that they know about some important persons if they were not protected. Actually, these kinds of things frequently happen in such cases," Kardas said.

    Tolon recently wrote a letter to a journalist in which he claimed that they were fine and honorable in prison but "what about some others outside, what is their situation?"

    In the same letter he said that he was wondering who will protect their honor, which was tarnished by campaigns against them, adding that "if they want, we can support 'the poor ones.'"

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 05, 06 and 07 September 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 05, 06 and 07 September:

    a) President Guls visit to Armenia:

    A report in Hurriyet (05.09.08) states that the Armenian Football Federation has removed the Ararat Mountain symbol from its emblem prior to the Armenian-Turkish football match to be held in Yerevan tomorrow. The Ararat Mountain symbol has been replaced by the heads of a lion and an eagle. The head of the Federation has said that the change had been planned a month ago in line with the wishes of football fans and that it had nothing to do with Gul's visit. According to the report, the Daskhnak Sutyun Party has described the change as "shameful," claiming that it was done upon the pressure exerted by Turkey.

    In a commentary in Milliyet (06.09.08), Sami Kohen supports Abdullah Gul's visit to Armenia. Recalling the strained relations between the two countries in the past, he argues that the visit should not be seen as Turkey giving in to Armenian pressure and says: It must be noted that Ankara has not changed its approach on the frozen problems between the two countries. Kohen believes that an opportunity exists now for a new era between Turkey and Armenia and asserts: The United States, EU, Russia, and the other neighboring countries have supported Turkey's initiative. A serious obstacle against Turkey's relations with many countries will be removed if a new process begins between Ankara and Yerevan.

    Commenting on Abdullah Gul's visit to Armenia, Ilter Turkmen warns that diplomatic visits might spark off polemics in internal politics if they fail to achieve concrete results and draws attention to the disappointment of the press, civilian organizations, and academicians in Azerbaijan. In a column in Istanbul Hurriyet (06.09.08), he agrees that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] administration plays an active role in the Middle East and the Caucasus but wonders whether Turkey has made a mistake in its priorities in foreign policy. Wondering whether Ankara should attach as much importance to Turkey's accession to the EU and the solution of the Cyprus problem as it attaches to the problems in the Caucasus and the Middle East, Turkmen concludes: Yes, it is true that we support the talks between Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetrios Christofias in Cyprus. But, have we clearly established our approach on the main parameters of the solution that will be found to the problem?

    In an article entitled "Yerevan is good and Arbil is bad", in Yeni Safak (06.09.08) columnist Hakan Albayrak asks why President Gul does not pay a visit to northern Iraq although he visits Yerevan despite what he describes as a hostile policy being pursued by Armenia toward Turkey. He notes: "Even the Turkish Foreign Minister refrains from visiting Arbil, let alone the President and the Prime Minister. There is a conviction that Turkey's reputation would be tarnished if he does. But, such a visit would polish its image instead. Furthermore it would alleviate tension caused by some thorny issues such as Kirkuk and open the door to a solution."

    In an article entitled "Psychological superiority," in Bugun (06.09.08) columnist Ahmet Tasgetiren says that a realistic approach should be taken to bilateral relations between Turkey and Armenia. Emphasizing that tension between the two countries will prevail unless the two countries reach a compromise about bitter events witnessed in the past and Armenia withdraws its troops from Nogorno-Karabagh and drops its territorial claims to Turkish soil, Tasgetiren concludes by saying: "Armenia's leaders took a prudent step and Turkey reciprocated. Common sense tells us to capitalize on the current suitable environment."

    In a column in Istanbul Milliyet (07.09.08), Fikret Bila quotes Associate Prof Dr Mithat Celikpala, lecturer at the TOBB University and expert on the Caucasus and Armenia, as saying that the visit has made Azerbaijan uneasy, the Azeri politicians might use is as propaganda material against Turkey, and the Armenian officials might use it for propaganda purposes to strengthen President Sarkisyan's position against his opponents. Bila says that Celikpala is worried that the objective of the US support for the visit might be due to Washington's intention to obstruct Turkey from influencing Georgia by itself and have an alternative energy supply line established for Tbilisi through Armenia.

    Metehan Demir, in a report in Istanbul Hurriyet (07.09.08), explains the way President Sarkisyan received President Gul on the first day of his visit to Yerevan and notes that life came to a standstill as Gul's motorcade drove through the streets of the city to the presidential palace. Demir says that Gul and Sarkistan discussed the possibility of Armenia being invited to the Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform, the solution of the Nagorno Karabakh problem, the Minsk process, and the possibility of the establishment of a committee of historians to study the allegations related to an act of genocide against the Armenians in the past. Demir concludes his report by saying that the diplomatic sources believe that Turkey might open its border with Armenia for humanitarian reasons in accordance with the way Ankara's relations with Yerevan develop.

    In an article entitled "Two Presidents and a door to peace," in Yeni Safak (07.09.08) columnist Ali Bayramoglu cites press statements by Gul and Sargsyan about their meeting in Yerevan as an indication that although Gul's visit should not be expected to immediately solve the current disputes between Turkey and Armenia, it has nevertheless started a reconciliation process. Explaining why Gul's visit was received favorably "particularly in Yerevan," he claims that Armenia's greatest problem today is the fact that Turkey is keeping its border gates with this country closed, requiring it at a great cost to conduct its import and export activities through Georgia and Russia.

    b) Charity Fraud Case:

    According to a report by Irfan Ergi and Ozan Guzelce in Milliyet (05.09.08), the Turkish government has pressured the German prosecutor to release the suspects detained in the Light House charity fraud case. The indictment on the issue notes the very close ties between the owners of the companies involved in the fraud case and the Justice and Development Party, AKP, the report adds.

    According to a report by Ali Varli in Hurriyet (05.09.08), Zahid Akman, chairman of the Radio and Television High Council, (RTUK), is banned from entering Germany for the duration of five years for having committed a financial crime. The Foreigners Desk of the Main-Taunus region has stated that the ban is valid until May of 1012, the report notes, adding that Akman himself has denied these claims.

    Commenting on the fraud case in an article in Hurriyet (05.09.08), Tufan Turenc notes the link between those who established and administered the Light House charity organization and the ruling party and describes the incident as a "disgrace." Pointing out Kanal 7's involvement in the fraud case, Turenc asks why the prime minister, who claims he will deal with corruption, does not show an interest in this case and why he is keeping silent.

    In Vatan (05.09.08) columnist Ruhat Mengi, in an article, recalls that the Light House charity organization was included in the list of "associations working for the benefit of the public" by a Council of Ministers decision, adding that this organization was later included in the list of "associations that can collect money without a permit from the Interior Ministry, the Governor's Office, or the Security Directorate" again through a Council of Ministers decision. Condemning the exploitation of religious and humanitarian feelings for collecting monies that hardly reach their target, Mengi warns the public against such usurpers especially during the Ramadan month.

    Ilhan Selcuk criticizes the pro-government and fundamentalist newspapers for their failure to cover the allegations related to the involvement of various ministers and the AKP [Justice and Development Party] in Turkey in the charity fraud investigation in Germany. In a column in Istanbul Cumhuriyet (06.09.08), he recalls the way the fundamentalist newspapers attack the military forces as if the army is an opposition party and argues that they try to conceal the corrupt activities of the AKP. Selcuk says: The scope of the legal action in Germany will be broadened, regardless of the effort the pro-government and fundamentalist media organs make to conceal it. The Ergenekon case in Turkey has already collapsed because the indictment included many illusions that conflicted with the laws. But, I do not think that the German prosecutor believes in illusions. His indictment has brought to light the true face of the AKP and its illegal relations and resources. Who knows, a German prosecutor might save Turkey from the corrupt activities of its ruling party.

    According to a report in Istanbul Milliyet (05.09.08), CHP deputies Kemal Anadol and Yasar Agyuz and independent deputy Kamer Genc submitted a motion to the parliament calling on Minister of Internal Affairs Besir Atalay to inform them on the investigation into the charity fraud in Germany and the allegations that some of the Turkish ministers tried to influence the prosecutor in that country to secure the release of some of the suspects.

    Istanbul Radikal (07.09.08) publishes a statement media tycoon Aydin Dogan made to reject the criticism Prime Minister Erdogan leveled against the press in connection with the reports on the alleged involvement of the AKP in the charity fraud in Germany. Dogan argues that references were made to the AKP in the indictment on the Light House case in Germany and accuses Erdogan of committing a constitutional crime with his statements. He claims that Erdogan's behavior shows that a very dangerous era has emerged for the press in Turkey.

    Writing in Istanbul Vatan (07.09.08), Okay Gonensin criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan's behavior against the press, saying that it is typical of politicians who find themselves in a difficult situation. In a column, he claims that Erdogan lowered himself too much in his attacks on the media organs instead of preferring to reject the allegations against the AKP in connection with the charity fraud in Germany in a normal way and urges the prime minister to listen to the advice of those who believe that he stands to lose from low-level statements rather than attach importance to the reaction of his party members.

    A report in Vakit (07.09.08) entitled "They are attacking us because of Hilton," which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks linking the latest accusations from the Dogan media group against the Government to Aydin Dogan's failure to persuade the ruling AKP to implement certain modifications to the status of the land where the Hilton Hotel in Istanbul is located.

    EG/


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