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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-11

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. 174/08 11.09.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Details on the contacts of Alexander Downer in Ankara
  • [02] Erdogan discussed on the phone Cyprus, Caucasus and Kirkuk issues with the UN Secretary-General
  • [03] How the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot press cover the speech by Talat in Brussels at the European Policy Centre
  • [04] EU Commission to grant money to improve the standard of living in the occupied rural areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [05] Turkish Cypriot political parties and organizations condemn the arrest by the so-called police of the youths who wrote in graffiti against the occupation in Cyprus
  • [06] Two policemen involved in human trafficking resigned from their post
  • [07] YAGA to allocate land in occupied Cyprus for the building of hotels
  • [08] Soyer due to Istanbul
  • [09] Babacan holds a telephone conversation with Condoleezza Rice on the recent development in the Caucasus
  • [10] Ultra Turks article in Star three years ago revealed the existence of Ergenekon
  • [11] Steps for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] US and Turkey split over Russia, says expert
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 10 September 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Details on the contacts of Alexander Downer in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.09.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish President Abdullah Gul received on Wednesday the United Nations (UN) special envoy for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, in Ankara. Gul's meeting with Downer took place at the Cankaya Presidential Palace.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the United Nations special envoy for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, in Ankara on Wednesday.No statement has been released after the meeting.

    Downer will later meet Turkish Foreign Minister & Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Ali Babacan.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.09.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has met United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cyprus, Alexander Downer.

    Downer, who came to Ankara overnight, was received by President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier in the day. He is expected to leave Ankara for Cyprus later where he will attend the summit meeting between the leaders of the two parties on Cyprus.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (10.09.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Burak Ozugergin said on Wednesday that Turkish executives have told to the United Nations (UN) special envoy for Cyprus, Alexander Downer, that Turkey attached great importance to finding a solution to the Cyprus question within the scope of established UN parameters.

    "Turkey will continue to extend strong support to efforts aiming to find a permanent solution to the Cyprus question and believes that it will have a fruitful cooperation with Downer," Ozugergin said in an exclusive interview with the A.A. correspondent.

    Ozugergin said Downer's visit to Ankara aimed at listening to the views of the parties on Cyprus within the framework of UN negotiation process, to have negotiations, and to further progress the works on the matter.

    [02] Erdogan discussed on the phone Cyprus, Caucasus and Kirkuk issues with the UN Secretary-General

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.09.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation with the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday. Ban Ki-moon called Erdogan and discussed the comprehensive negotiations that began in Cyprus.

    The Secretary-General informed Erdogan that he appreciates Turkey's efforts to establish a 'Caucasian Stability and Cooperation Platform'. Erdogan conveyed his concerns to Ban Ki-moon on recent developments in Kirkuk that have caused tension.

    Prime Minister Erdogan requested efforts of the UN to end the tension in the region while Ban Ki-moon thanked Turkey for its cooperation with the UN.

    [03] How the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot press cover the speech by Talat in Brussels at the European Policy Centre

    All the local papers report today (11.09.08) about the conference given by the Turkish Cypriot leader in Brussels at the European Policy Centre. Following are the headlines used by the papers regarding the conference:

    KIBRIS: Talat described Christofias to the Europeans

    HALKIN SESI: Talat: We are in favor of troop reduction

    AFRIKA: Talat: If a solution is reached there will be troop reduction

    VATAN: Demetris does not listen to me

    YENI DUZEN: Talat: You know that Christofias is still fresh; he is gaining experience every day that passes.

    BAKIS: He (Christofias) is still inexperienced.

    STAR KIBRIS: Talat: Too many statements render things difficult.

    KIBRISLI: The wrong attitude of Christofias.

    GUNES: Talat - Christofias exchange of views continuing.

    Yeni VOLKAN: The solution must become EUs primary law

    The Turkish newspapers cover the same issue today (11.09.08) as follows:

    Under the title Talat: We want to solve it by the end of the year, Sabah refers to the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat at the European Policy Centre in Brussels. Mr. Talat said that an important process has started for the solution of the problem and expressed regret because the Greek Cypriot side does not accept a timetable for the solution. He noted: The climate of optimism in the island is a little bit indefinite. There is no great enthusiasm in the Turkish community, because of the experience of the past.

    Hurriyet refers to the same issue under the title Talat: The target for the solution is June 2009 and reports that Mr. Talat reiterated the call to President Christofias not to negotiate with him through the press. According to the paper, the expectations of Mr. Talat from the EU regarding the negotiations are the following: The EU should be ready to adjust itself to the results of the solution, the final agreement should be guaranteed by the EU as primary law of the Community, the EU should provide technical support for harmonization of the Turkish Cypriots with the Community and it should encourage the Greek Cypriot side in the way of the solution.

    Milliyet covers the visit of Mr. Talat to Brussels under the front-page title The number of the troops in the TRNC will be decreased and describes the above statement of Mr. Talat as important before the comprehensive negotiations which are starting today. The paper writes that Mr. Talat, who met with Commissioner for the Enlargement Olli Rehn, said: We are not positive for having an international military force in the island. We are not demanding the number of the Turkish troops in the TRNC to remain at the current level. This number will be decreased in line with an agreement to be reached between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots.

    (CS/ITs)

    [04] EU Commission to grant money to improve the standard of living in the occupied rural areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.09.08) reports that the European Commission has organized a briefing in order to inform the public regarding the grants to be given by the Commission to better the standard of living of the occupied villages in the breakaway regime.

    The grant amounting to five million Euro will be given in order to improve the standard of living in the rural areas.

    The meeting was held at the European Union Support Program Office and was addressed by Financial Assistance Coordinator of the Turkish Cypriot Community Desk Alessandra Viezzer and other EU officials.

    (MHY)

    [05] Turkish Cypriot political parties and organizations condemn the arrest by the so-called police of the youths who wrote in graffiti against the occupation in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.09.08) reports that twelve institutions made up of political parties, organizations and trade unions in a joint statement criticized the arrest of eight Turkish Cypriot youth by the breakaway regime and the search of their houses by the so-called police of the breakaway regime.

    In its turn Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.09.08) reports that in the joint statement it was stated that writing graffiti on the walls could not be considered as political crime and since these youth were caught red-handed then destroying of evidence is out of question, therefore, three days remand order is arbitrary curbing of individual freedoms.

    The organizations went on and declared that if writing graffiti on the walls is a crime then the police should arrest us as well since we too have the same demands, thus becoming accomplice to the crime. The four youth taken into custody earlier, reports Afrika, will be brought before the so-called court again today.

    (MHY)

    [06] Two policemen involved in human trafficking resigned from their post

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.09.08) reports that two so-called policemen who were employed at the self-styled immigration department at the security unit of the occupied Tymbou airport, and who were involved in human trafficking, as part of an international ring, resigned yesterday from their post.

    According to the paper, the two policemen, who were arrested yesterday, abused their power and it is believed that they were involved in the human trafficking issue. The names of the two so-called policemen are Ahmet Nalbantoglu and Salih Tuzakcioglu.

    (CS)

    [07] YAGA to allocate land in occupied Cyprus for the building of hotels

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.09.08) reports that the so-called Turkish Cypriot Investment and Development Agency (YAGA) has declared that 91.40 donums of land will be allocated for 49 years for building five-star and above hotel in occupied Vokolida village.

    In a written statement, the YAGA said that those who are interested in the project should apply to the agency until 15 November.

    (MHY)

    [08] Soyer due to Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.09.08) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Prime Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, would arrive in Istanbul on Friday, September 12th with a delegation.

    Soyer would hold a press conference titled Island of Education, Cyprus. Soyer's conference would begin at 10.00 hours in the Marmara Hotel.

    The second leg of Soyer's press conference would take place in the TRNC between November 3rd and 6th.

    Ferdi Soyer would be accompanied by TRNC's National Education Minister Canan Oztoprak and the rectors of universities in the TRNC.

    Soyer and his delegation would return back to the TRNC on Saturday, September 13th.

    [09] Babacan holds a telephone conversation with Condoleezza Rice on the recent development in the Caucasus

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (11.09.08) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan held a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Wednesday.

    Burak Ozugergin, spokesman for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the A.A on Thursday that recent developments in the Caucasus were high on agenda and Babacan informed Rice on his visit to Armenia.

    "Babacan reiterated that Turkey extended support to the Minsk process aiming at finding a solution to the Upper Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. He said that such a solution would have a positive impact on Turkey-Armenia relations. Meanwhile, Rice said that they would support Turkey's regional initiatives," Ozugergin added.

    [10] Ultra Turks article in Star three years ago revealed the existence of Ergenekon

    Today´s Zaman (11.09.08) publishes the following report under the title:

    Ergenekon gang revealed itself to public three years ago: A newspaper article published three years ago, that came to the medias attention only recently, not only revealed to the public the existence of the terrorist organization Ergenekon, a clandestine group whose ultimate goal was to overthrow the government, but also praised the group.

    The article, titled Ultra Turks, was authored by columnist Hayrullah Mahmud three years ago and published in the Star daily. The daily was owned at the time by a media group belonging to businessman Cem Uzan, who has since had some of his businesses confiscated by the state and who established the right-wing Young Party (GP), of which he is the leader. The article, which is currently included in a nearly 2,500-page indictment against Ergenekon, praises the Ergenekon organization and speaks of a briefing the columnist received from Ergenekon in April 2003.

    Mahmud, who was called to testify as a suspect in the investigation, told prosecutors he established contact with Ergenekon members five years ago after receiving a call from a group within the military. The journalist, who is still a suspect in the case, said the units which gave him the briefing in 2003 stated two years later that they found it appropriate for the public to be informed about the content of the meeting. I received a verbal invitation from the General Staff. I accepted this invitation. This took place in Ankara in a building belonging to the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK]. I do not want to give information about the person who invited me. This was a presentation about the Greater Middle East Project, the siege surrounding Turkey, activities to take the TSK under siege as well and the TSKs efforts to protect itself. The presentation lasted two-and-a-half to three hours. There was no conversation here targeting the government. I wrote about the briefing later in the paper under the heading Ultra Turks.

    In his article, Mahmud praises Ergenekon members as individuals with a fine education, who are well-dressed and well-spoken urban Turks. In his testimony to the police, however, Mahmud took a different tack. As I mentioned in my book, which is going to be published soon, Ergenekon is a gang of certain interests and it has nothing to do with the states interests.

    Location: Ankara. Date: April 2003. Time: 10 p.m. I am on the lower floor of an ordinary building. This is the opposite of a skyscraper. It is what you would call a ground scraper. The interior of the building is decorated in a chic and technological design that you wouldnt have imagined judging by the exterior. As I near the meeting point, the sound of music playing warms me inside. The aroma of cigar smoke floats to the ceiling after tickling my nose. My guide tells me his duty ends here and shows me to the briefing room.

    I have always imagined those in Ergenekon to be white-haired old men, the Dede Korkut [ancient Turkish epic] style. These people did not look like that at all. They were urban Turks with gusto and a good education, well dressed, well spoken, with knowledge of many issues. The luxury jeeps parked outside were proof of this.

    [11] Steps for a peaceful solution to the Kurdish problem

    Istanbul Milliyet newspaper (10.09.08) publishes the following report by Namik Durukan under the title: Osman Ocalan prepares to return to Turkey:

    Osman Ocalan, one of the former leading PKK members, has said that they have been encouraged by Chief of the General Staff Gen Ilker Basbus's statement in Diyarbakir, "We want to solve the problems that create terror more than we want to end terrorism." He also said they were preparing to return to Turkey. Ocalan noted that they sent one of their colleagues to Turkey to establish the situation and received a positive message from the official establishments.

    Osman Ocalan is the brother of terrorist Abdullah Ocalan. He established the Kurdistan Patriotic Party after he left the PKK. However, he later disagreed with the organization and left. He said that many former PKK members also are prepared to return to Turkey. In a statement to Milliyet, he said: "We are preparing to return to our homeland. The scope of the law that was passed to allow the PKK members to return home was very limited in the past. We want it to be broadened. Formulas might be found to suspend punishment. We want to return as soon as the necessary conditions are created. We have been encouraged by the chief of the General Staff's statements. The civilian organizations and the General Staff are making an effort to solve the problem. The new chief of the General Staff is not a regular person. He is a charismatic person who makes a strenuous effort to find a solution. We believe that his meeting with the civilian organizations was meaningful. We believe that his statement that "we want to solve the problems that create terror more than we want to end terrorism" is important. We have drawn up a project for civilian politics. We are making an effort in parallel with the General Staff's statements."

    Subtitle: We Sent a Colleague to Turkey

    Ocalan said that they conveyed a message to the official establishments through Nasir Simsek, who is from Sanliurfa's Suruc District, and noted: "We sent our colleague to Turkey to establish the situation. He surrendered. He was treated well. The officials listened to what we had to say and adopted a positive approach. Our colleague quoted them as saying, 'We share these views.' He was released without being investigated or prosecuted. Our initiative was more effective than the groups the PKK sent to Turkey in accordance with its agreement to disarm in 1999. Our initiative might obstruct people from going to the mountains and pave the way for those who are already on the mountains to come down."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] US and Turkey split over Russia, says expert

    Under the title: Ankara feels free to pursue own interests with Russia Turkish Daily News (10.09.08) publishes the following commentary of Unit Enginsoy:

    Turkey's middle-of-the-road reaction to the latest crisis in the Caucasus has made clear that the interests of Ankara and the United States, its strongest ally, are no longer the same, a key analyst on Turkish affairs has said.

    Turkish Response to the Caucasus crisis, precipitated by the Russian invasion of Georgia, has shown Turkey now feels free to pursue its own agenda with Moscow, the analyst said.

    Turkey is among only a small number of Western nations who have declined to openly denounce the invasion, or declare Russia the aggressor of last month's war with Georgia.

    "We are located in an extremely critical area, have very complex relations with everyone involved, and need to be very careful," said one Turkish diplomat.

    Although Turkey also has good ties with Georgia, its close economic relationship with Russia, and the complicated security environment in the area, has prompted Turkey to refrain from following Washington's line of strongly condemning Russia.

    "The reality is that the shared interests which bound the United States and Turkey to each other in their Cold War alliance against the Soviet Union have disappeared, and Ankara now feels free to pursue its own interests with Moscow," said Bulent Aliriza, director of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in the draft of a report that was due to be released late Wednesday.

    Changing times

    During the Cold War, Turkey defended NATO's southeastern flank against the former Soviet Union but later built a close relationship and friendship with Moscow.

    Today, Russia is Turkey's largest trading partner, and the value of this annual trade is worth nearly $50 billion. Turkey is also highly dependent upon Russian energy, purchasing more than 60 percent of its natural gas needs from Russia.

    In response to a brief Georgian offensive against separatist rebels in the autonomous region of South Ossetia on August 7, Russian forces poured into the area, captured South Ossetia, Abkhazia, another autonomous republic, and part of Georgia proper. Despite a cease-fire arrangement, Russian troops continue to occupy posts inside Georgia.

    In moves to counter Russia, the United States signed a missile defense deal with Poland, angering Russia, and sent humanitarian aid to Georgia delivered by modern war ships, which was seen in Moscow as a show of force.

    Meanwhile, Turkey opposed strong anti-Russian measures or language at a NATO foreign ministers meeting, and strengthened its own dialogue with Moscow. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow and later Ankara hosted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

    "Lavrov publicly acknowledged the favorable thrust of Turkish diplomacy by expressing an appreciation for Turkey's efforts in theCaucasus,' Aliriza said.

    U.S.- Turkish crack

    "Vice President Dick Cheney was on a trip to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine to underline the U.S. administration's determination to confront Russian policy in the Caucasus," Wednesday's report noted. "Significantly, Cheney's itinerary did not include Washington's closest ally in the region, and the task of maintaining contact with Turkey was delegated to William Burns, undersecretary of state for political affairs, who was received by Erdogan on September 5."

    Aliriza also said the influential Turkish General Staff was developing its own links with the Russian military, in tandem with its traditionally close ties to the U.S. military establishment.

    Aliriza noted that as President George W. Bush's administration will soon be replaced, it would be its successor that would have to determine how it would maintain its alliance with Turkey, as well as its future relationship with Russia.

    "A related task will be to examine the efficacy and viability in the newgeopolitical environment of the East-West energy corridor which is, in essence, the product of U.S.-Turkish cooperation, carrying Caspian Sea energy to markets through the Caucasus and Turkey," Aliriza wrote. "As the ambivalent Turkish reaction to the recent crisis has underlined, the North-South axis linking Russia and Turkey is an increasingly important factor in the shaping of international relations and energy politics in the Caucasus, as well as beyond."

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 10 September 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 10 September:

    a) Kurdish Issue:

    According to a report by Emin Bal in Hurriyet, a "giant operation" has been launched on Kato Mountain against PKK members who attacked the Gendarme Headquarters in Sirnak's Beytussebap district two days ago. The report adds that Gendarme Special Operation Teams have been dispatched to the region with Sikorsky helicopters and that Cobra helicopters are bombing the caves where the PKK militants are hiding. The report notes that the escape routes have been blocked and that commando units have been dispatched by land to the region.

    According to a report by Ferit Aslan in Radikal, Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir will be tried at the High Criminal Court for referring to the PKK as the "Kurdish opposition" during a Roj TV program he participated in and for "engaging in propaganda on behalf of an illegal organization." The report adds that the Prosecutor's Office is demanding a prison term of five years for Baydemir.

    Assessing the recent developments regarding the Kurdish issue in an article in Referans, Cevdet Askin believes that the recent Democratic Society Party, DTP, visit to the ambassadors in Ankara was paid within the framework of the DTP campaign to prevent the closure of the party. Interpreting the statement made by DTP leader Ahmet Turk during his meeting with Foreign Minister Babacan as a willingness on the party of the DTP to play the role of an intermediary in the solution of the Kurdish problem, Askin believes that the meeting Murat Ozcelik, Turkey's special Iraq representative, held with the Iraqi deputy prime minister confirms that Ankara's "low intensity" efforts to establish good relations with the north Iraqi administration for the solution of the Kurdish issue are continuing.

    In an article entitled "Ergenekon and the Iraqi Kurds", in Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici provides highlights from a recent article in the Kurdish Globe, a newspaper based in northern Iraq, suggesting that the Kurds in this region have started to increasingly question the PKK and its purposes in the wake of the disclosure of evidence of a connection between the PKK and the Ergenekon network.

    Under the headline, "Government, Military to Initiate GAP action plan," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that the Turkish government and military have put together a joint "action plan" to "improve the standard of living" in the southeast, "which has for decades suffered from a campaign of violence perpetrated by the outlawed PKK."

    b) Lighthouse Fraud Case:

    A report entitled "The law has been amended for the Lighthouse" in Vatan says that the government amended the law on associations following the refusal of the Council of State to grant the Lighthouse Association the status of "an association that is beneficial to the public." When the Council of State turned down twice the Interior Ministry request to grant the association the desired status, the government amended the law canceling the provision for permission from the Council of State and transferring that authority to the Council of Ministers. The Lighthouse Association was granted the desired status soon after the amendment in 2004, the report notes, adding that in 2005 the Council of Ministers granted the association the permission to collect money without a permit. In 2007, during Bulent Arinc's term as Assembly Speaker, the Lighthouse Association received a Turkish Grand National Assembly, award for "exceptional services," the report concludes.

    According to a report in the same daily, Sabih Kanadoglu, the honorary chief public prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, has said that if the accusations in the German indictment are true and financial aid has been extended by a foreign corporation to a political party, then that party has to be closed in line with paragraph 10 of Article 69 in the Constitution.

    Assessing the stand adopted by Prime Minister Erdogan regarding the Lighthouse charity fraud case being tried at a German court in an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal says that the prime minister has failed the test of democracy. Cemal describes the attack launched by Erdogan against the Aydin Media Group and the journalists belonging to that group as "wrong, unjust, and a great misfortune for the culture of democracy." Noting that Erdogan chose to silence the media through unacceptable means instead of launching an investigation into the incident, Cemal calls on the prime minister to stop attacking the media and turn his attention to the fundamental problems of the country such as the EU process, the judicial reforms, unemployment, and the struggle against corruption.

    Reminding the prime minister of his promise to fight corruption in a column in Milliyet, Fikret Bila says that the right thing for Erdogan to do was to activate the state inspection mechanisms in order to investigate the allegations concerning the Lighthouse Association. Noting that the prime minister chose to wage a war against the media reporting on the issue, Bila argues that it is hard to believe that the Lighthouse Association in Germany is not linked to the association that carries the same name in Turkey since the chairman of the Turkish Lighthouse Association has conceded to having received seven million Euro in aid from the German association and to conducting joint projects with that association. In conclusion, the columnist calls on the prime minister and the president to do the right thing and to refer the case to the Public Prosecutor's Office.

    In an article in Hurriyet, Ertugrul Ozkok writes that following Prime Minister Erdogan's attack on the media hundreds of complaints have begun to be reported regarding irregularities in Justice and Development Party, AKP, municipalities, adding: "The people believe that some 70 percent of all the new installations being built in the country are owned by a close relative of Erdogan." Naturally these are all rumors, says Ozkok, stressing that, however, Erdogan should concentrate on improving his image within the public instead of trying to curb the media. Stating that the government is devoid of a wise strategy to refute the fraud allegations regarding the Lighthouse case, Ozkok says that the news conference held by three AKP deputies on the issue and their comments on this fraud case being a German plot against the government are examples of the AKP's pitiable strategy. Describing Erdogan as a person who is intolerant toward opposition and protests, Ozkok writes: "Our prime minister is not a democratic person." Noting that "he desires a Saddam like order," the writer argues that Erdogan is getting ready to close the chapter on the freedom of the press with the EU. In conclusion, Ozkok points out that the prime minister's desire for a dictatorship is no longer an issue that concerns only Turkey, it is one that should concern the EU as well.

    Focusing on the warning issued by Joost Lagendijk in an article in Vatan, Gungor Mengi says that even the co-chairman of the Turkish-EU Joint parliamentary Committee, who has always sided with the AKP in every problematic situation, has voiced his criticism in the Erdogan-media controversy. Pointing out that the media cannot be accused of reporting a scandal uncovered in Germany, Mengi believes that Erdogan's threats can only lead to the prime minister becoming the topic of ridicule. Once the German court announces its verdict, the Turkish people will want the Turkish accomplices to be prosecuted as well, writes Mengi.

    Describing the AKP as the new link in the Lighthouse chain in an article in Vatan, Mustafa Mutlu predicts that the chaos that will break with the exposure of this link will overshadow the link between the German and Turkish Lighthouse Associations. Lamenting the fact that the German court does not have any authority or responsibility over the Lighthouse-AKP link, Mutlu believes that it would have dealt with the issue with the same swiftness and precision.

    Focusing on the suspicion that the money collected by the Lighthouse charity association in Germany might have been used to finance political Islam in Turkey, Yusuf Kanli, in his column in the Turkish Daily News, says that if Turkey is implicated in this scandal, then it is the duty of the government to help the German prosecutors. Kanli urges the government to assist in the investigation instead of trying to silence the media.

    Commenting on AKP's involvement in various corruption and bribery cases in an article in Ortadogu, Yildiray Cicek wonders why the prime minister does not channel his anger at the thieves instead of the reporters of the thieves. The writer argues that if the AKP manages to increase or preserve its votes after so many concrete corruption cases, then one should question the values of the public rather than those of the AKP. The attacks launched against Aydin Dogan and Deniz Baykal are aimed at diverting the attention of the public away from the quagmire the AKP has fallen into, stresses Cicek, adding that the AKP has failed to demonstrate even a single act that befits a "good Muslim." Accusing Prime Minister Erdogan of controlling 70 percent of the media, Cicek calls on the people to see the true face of the AKP.

    In an article entitled "Did I really endorse corruption?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul responds to accusations sparked by his article yesterday on the Deniz Feneri [Lighthouse] case in Germany that he endorses corruption in the form of exploiting the humanitarian sentiments of people for financial gain. After pointing out that it is up to the court in Germany to make a ruling on the purely legal aspect of the case, Karagul asserts that he is only objecting to the way in which a court case in Frankfurt is being used as a means of "influencing" domestic politics in Turkey. In questioning the motives behind the allegations linking Prime Minister Erdogan to the alleged corruption scandal in Germany, he asks why the court case began "so belatedly" on the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.

    In an article entitled "From greeting Prime Ministers in pyjamas to being taken to the police Station in pyjamas", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya comments on the allegations of "paper smuggling" against Aydin Dogan and asserts that Dogan's "charisma," already suffering because of the losses his companies on the stock exchange have sustained in the wake of his row with Prime Minister Erdogan, might be totally destroyed if the financial police wake him up one night to take him into custody in an ironic reversal of his circumstances in 1997, when he [is claimed to have] greeted former Prime Minister Mesur Yilmaz in pyjamas in his residence.

    c) Gen. Basbug Lifts ban on islamist media:

    According to a report in Milliyet, General Basbug has invited Yeni Safak, Kanal 24, and Star to the communications meetings he will be holding with media administrators on 16 and 17 September. The invitations extended by Gen. Basbug have signaled that the ban imposed on Islamist and conservative dailies and television channels will be partially lifted, the report notes, adding that invitations have not been extended to Zaman, Vakit, and STV.

    In an article in the Turkish Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand assesses the recent moves made by the Chief of the General Staff, saying that his general approach is different than that of his predecessors. Dismissing the general belief that Gen Basbug will be in a rush to increase the influence of the Turkish Armed Forces, over politics, Birand says that he is fine-tuning the priorities of the General Staff.

    A front page report entitled "Discrimination ends," in Yeni Safak asserts that the General Staff has revised its policy of denying accreditation to certain media outlets, "a discriminatory practice against some newspapers that has been used for years without a legal basis." Yeni Safak has been invited to Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug's news conference over 16-17 September, the report says.

    EG/


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