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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-10

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 194/08 10.10.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman: Greek Cypriot side has made false allegations against Turkish Cypriot side
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot party CTP held contacts with a German parliamentary delegation
  • [03] Eroglu to be candidate for UBPs leadership
  • [04] The so-called assembly began debating a draft law regarding property to foreigners
  • [05] Schindler Turkeys decided to speed up its investments in the TRNC
  • [06] Official of the TRNC Central Bank stated that the financial market crisis will not affect the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] The occupation regime will offer humanitarian help to Kyrgyzstan which was hit by an earthquake
  • [08] Municipalities from Turkey, Hungary, Italy and Georgia will participate in the 7th International Keryneia Olive Festival
  • [09] Turkish Football Federation Chairman to visit occupied Cyprus
  • [10] Blair commented on the new negotiation process in Cyprus
  • [11] EU-Turkey relations to be discussed at a forum in Istanbul attended by senior EU officials
  • [12] UN Conference on Desertification to be held in Istanbul in November
  • [13] Turkeys year-end inflation figures
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 09 October 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman: Greek Cypriot side has made false allegations against Turkish Cypriot side

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish diplomat said that Greek Cypriot side did not act swiftly contrary to hopes and expectations in reunification talks launched by Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders last month.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias are scheduled to meet at the buffer zone Friday.

    The two leaders --under the chapter "Execution and Power Sharing-- will discuss how to shape the federal executive body.

    We welcomed the full-fledged talks that started on September 3. We hope the new process would bring a fair and permanent solution to the Cyprus question on the basis of UN parameters, Burak Ozugergin, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told a press briefing on Thursday.

    However, we see that the Greek Cypriot side does not act swiftly in this process which is contrary to expectations and hopes. We sadly observe that they have made false allegations against the Turkish Cypriot side, Ozugergin said.

    He said such allegations were against UN parameters and solution plan, adding that Turkey supported the constructive and pioneering stance followed by President Mehmet Ali Talat of Turkish Republic of Cyprus (TRNC).

    Asked about Turkey-mediated indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria, Ozugergin said the fifth round of talks was postponed due to developments in Israel. He said Turkish officials have been talking to Israeli and Syrian officials to hold the fifth round.

    On the same issue, under the title Warning to the Greek Cypriots from Ankara, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.10.08) reports that Burak Ozugergin, the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, stated that the Greek Cypriot side is not acting swiftly contrary to the hopes and expectations in the reunification talks launched between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders last month. Mr Ozugergin stated that Turkey welcomes the negotiations started on the 3rd of September and that it hopes they will bring a fair and permanent solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN parameters.

    [02] Turkish Cypriot party CTP held contacts with a German parliamentary delegation

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    A group of German parliamentarians who are holding contacts in Cyprus paid a visit to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) today.

    The ongoing negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus were discussed during the meeting.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, CTP Leader, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, said that all elements concerning the Cyprus issue were taken up during the meeting, during which he found an opportunity to convey his partys views to the visiting group, which he added was highly influential within the EU. Noting that the unjust international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people and relations with the EU were discussed during the meeting, Mr Soyer said that removal of the isolations was not an element that would result in the permanent division of the island but instead would contribute to reunification by strengthening the Turkish Cypriot economy.

    The Prime Minister also said that the Greek Cypriot Side was wrong to hold Turkey responsible for the ongoing non-solution.

    This is an unjust accusation. We dont have a need to prove ourselves to anyone regarding a solution, because we already proved ourselves, he said. He also expressed the need to continue informing the international community about a possible solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Also speaking, the German Federal Parliament MEP Lale Akun leading the German delegation said it was important and useful for them to learn about the latest stage reached in the negotiations as well as the Turkish Cypriots views on the Cyprus issue.

    Mrs Akun stressed that it will be useful for the European Union to learn about the sacrifices and steps taken by North Cyprus.

    Explaining that the German delegation will also be meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talats Special Adviser for Negotiations Ozdil Nami, Lale Akun said: We are hoping for the establishment of a federation, saving Cyprus from the non-solution and achieving peace for the Turkish Cypriot People.

    [03] Eroglu to be candidate for UBPs leadership

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The main opposition National Unity Partys (UBP) Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta] Deputy, Former Prime Minister and Party leader Dervis Eroglu has announced that he will be running for post of party leader at the UBPs next General Assembly.

    Eroglu who had served for many years as the UBPs party leader, had announced his resignation and stepped down in 2005.

    The UBPs General Assembly is scheduled for the 29th of November.

    Holding a press conference today, the Gazimagusa Deputy announced his reasons for running for party chief at a press conference held today.

    Standing alongside Eroglu in support were the partys leading figures Hasan Tacoy, Huseyin Ozgurgun, Serife Unverdi, Kemal Durust, Irsen Kucuk and Ahmet Kasi.

    Complaining that there was utter chaos and lack of communication within the various party organs and its current leader Tahsin Ertugruloglu, Eroglu vowed to change the way the UBP is currently being run.

    If I am elected as party leader, the UBP will be run by its members and not by outsiders, he added.

    Expressing his belief that the main opposition National Unity Party possessed within it the necessary strength and experience to serve the people, Eroglu said that, what he believed was the mismanagement of the country, had pushed him to run for party leadership.

    Eroglu also vowed to rid the public of its current problems and complaints and to do everything necessary to bring prosperity to the people if his party comes to power again.

    [04] The so-called assembly began debating a draft law regarding property to foreigners

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Committee on Law and Political Affairs of the Republics Assembly has started debating the draft law on Owning and Long-term Leasing of the Immoveable Property which will be binding for foreigners if passed.

    The Committee started the debate under the leadership of the Committee President, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) MP Kadri Fellahoglu, at yesterdays session.

    The draft law foresees a series of arrangements for foreigners in owning and leasing property in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus aims to provide more appropriate rules for foreigners under todays conditions in buying immoveable property in the TRNC.

    The draft law on Owning and Long-term Leasing of the Immoveable Property allows foreigners to own property through long-term leasing, as well.

    [05] Schindler Turkeys decided to speed up its investments in the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.10.08) reports in its economic pages that Schindler Turkeys high level managers had a meeting the previous night with Cypriot entrepreneurs and businessmen at the Malpas Hotel. Schindler, which is active for 134 years in the world and for 61 years in Turkey, and is the foremost brand in the elevator and escalator sector, took the decision to speed up its investments in the TRNC. The meeting took place with the contribution of Kutlay Muhendislik, Schindler Turkeys TRNC Official distributor, at the Malpas Hotel, under the name Selected entrepreneurs are meeting. According to the paper, at the meeting officials of the Schindler Turkey gave information on issues such as healthy investment environment and business opportunities.

    (CS)

    [06] Official of the TRNC Central Bank stated that the financial market crisis will not affect the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.10.08) writes that Dr Erdal Guryay, member of the executive committee of the TRNC Central Bank, stated that the financial market crisis that affected the USA and the rest of the world will not affect the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the paper, Dr Guryay stated that because occupied Cyprus is isolated from the world the crisis will not affect the TRNC directly. However, because the occupied areas are using the Turkish currency, occupied Cyprus may be affected indirectly because of the rate of exchange, the same self-styled official is reported to have said.

    (CS)

    [07] The occupation regime will offer humanitarian help to Kyrgyzstan which was hit by an earthquake

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.10.08) writes that a group of a fourteen-person delegation of the self-styled civil defence of the occupation regime is going to Kyrgyzstan in order to offer help after the 6.3 Richter earthquake that hit in the country on the 5th of October. According to the paper the decision for offering aid to Kyrgyzstan was taken by the council of ministers. The paper also writes that three officials from the ministry of health, the undersecretary of the ministry of health, and officials from the self-styled foreign ministry will travel together with the delegation, which will depart today from the illegal Tymvou airport. The delegation of the occupation regime is carrying to Kyrgyzstan aid worth 118 thousand dollars consisting of 125 tents, 335 blankets, medical and food supplies.

    (CS)

    [08] Municipalities from Turkey, Hungary, Italy and Georgia will participate in the 7th International Keryneia Olive Festival

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.10.08) writes that the 7th International Keryneia Olive Festival is starting today in occupied Templos village. The opening ceremony for the Festival, which will be held between 10-17 of October, will be made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. According to the paper the municipalities of Bursa, Izmir, Ankara and the mayors from municipalities of Hungary, Italy and Georgia will participate in the Festival.

    (CS)

    [09] Turkish Football Federation Chairman to visit occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.10.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Sport Writers Association, will host officially, for the first time after many years, the Chairman of the Turkish Football Federation. The visit will take place between 22-23 of October. The paper notes that the visit is very important because it is taking place after FIFA rejected the counterproposal of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation. FIFA has proposed to the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation to become member of Cyprus Football Association (CFA), in order to be able to play friendly matches abroad, but the Turkish Cypriots rejected this suggestion and made a counterproposal. According to the paper the Turkish Football Federation will have meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Soyer.

    (CS)

    [10] Blair commented on the new negotiation process in Cyprus

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (10.10.08), under the title Blair: There must be a joint effort against PKK, reports that the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who was in Ankara on an unexpected visit, met on Wednesday with a group of Turkish journalists in Ankara and answered their questions. Responding to a question regarding the new negotiations process that started in Cyprus, Mr Blair said: The only thing I know is not to engage in hypothesis about the possibilities. What is important is that in Greece there are rational people who believe that this issue should be settled and Turkey should take its place within Europe.

    Furthermore, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (10.10.08) reports the following:

    Former UK prime minister and official Quartet envoy for the Middle East Tony Blair paid a visit to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday and discussed the positive role Turkey can play in the peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

    Blair and Erdogan discussed Turkey's position with respect to Hamas and Turkey's possible contribution in convincing Hamas officials to endorse a two-state solution. Blair stressed his optimism that Hamas can be a party to negotiations on condition that it recognizes Israel's right of existence and that Palestine should be a single entity at the negotiating table. Blair said Turkey has a unique position vis--vis the sides of the Middle East conflict as both Israel and Palestine trust Turkey and the Turkish prime minister is highly respected among the Palestinians. Blair was speaking to a small group of journalists including a representative of Today's Zaman on Wednesday.

    Commenting on the recent terrorist attacks in Turkey and Parliament's decision this week to extend for one more year government authority to send Turkish soldiers to northern Iraq, Blair said he fully sympathizes with Turkey and believes Turkey has the right to respond to these attacks.

    Blair admitted that as the envoy of the Quartet, he had a greater chance to understand the reality of the conflict in the Middle East. Today, I believe that the solution will come only through a bottom-up approach accompanied by a top-to-bottom peace negotiation strategy. We have to deal with the reality on the ground. We have to deal with both the security problems of Israel and the occupation problem of the Palestinians at the same time. We have to improve the capacity of the Palestinians to provide security on their own and lift away the occupation. Occupation reduces the desire of the Palestinians for peace, he told Turkish journalists.

    Blair informed journalists that he and the Turkish prime minister also spoke about possible cooperation between the Alliance of Civilizations and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation that Blair established last May. Blair said that at a time where globalization has overwhelmed all borders, religion could play both a constructive and a destructive role. He said he is hopeful that his interfaith initiative will also be helpful for the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations. A peace between Israel and Palestine will rebuke those who believe that Islam, Christianity and Judaism cannot live together. The Israeli-Palestinian struggle is still the single most important issue that defines the relations of Islam and the West. This has to be solved, he said.

    Blair remarked that Turkey's unique role in the Middle East can help both the peace process and the interfaith initiative. There is far greater interest in Turkey than ever by means of its relations with the West and with Islam, said. Blair said that he is optimistic that the Palestinians will also learn from the unique experiences of Turkey.

    [11] EU-Turkey relations to be discussed at a forum in Istanbul attended by senior EU officials

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (10.10.08) reports the following:

    Senior European Union officials will attend a seminar on Turkey-EU relations opening in Istanbul today.

    EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and Joost Lagendijk, who heads the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, are among participants of the fifth Bosphorus Conference on EU-Turkey Relations.

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will also attend the high-level event, jointly organized by the British Council, the Center for European Reform (CER) and the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV).

    The conference will open on Friday evening with a gala dinner and keynote speeches by Rehn and Maxime. The main seminar on Saturday will start with addresses from Babacan, Baroness Cathy Ashton, leader of the British House of Lords, and Bildt. The seminar will emphasize frank, off-the-record discussion of some of the most important and controversial aspects of EU-Turkey relations, organizers have said.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.08) reported the following from Stockholm:

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt will pay a visit to Istanbul on Friday to attend 5th Bosphorus Conference.

    Bildt will address the two-day conference and attend some seminars according to a statement released by Swedish Foreign Ministry.

    The statement said Bildt will depart from Turkey on October 11.

    The 5th Bosphorus Conference will assess Turkey-EU relations and matters regarding negotiation process.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen will pay a working visit to Turkey upon an invitation from Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.

    According to a statement by Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Babacan and Verhagen will exchange views on bilateral relations, Turkey's EU negotiations as well as regional and international matters.

    Second meeting of Turkey-Netherlands Conference, that takes place within the scope of a memorandum of understanding signed between Babacan and Verhagen on March 26 in the Netherlands to boost bilateral relations, will also be organized.

    Separately, working groups of the two countries, comprising experts from Turkey and the Netherlands, will discuss "Regional and International Security Matters" and "Energy matters".

    [12] UN Conference on Desertification to be held in Istanbul in November

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    The seventh session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) will be held in Istanbul back to back with the First Special Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (CST) from November 3 to 14.

    A relevant document about organization of the meeting in Istanbul was signed in Ankara by Turkish Ministry of Environment and Forestry Undersecretary Hasan Zuhuri Sarikaya and UNCCD Deputy Executive Secretary Gregoire De Kalbermatten.

    The international community has long recognized that desertification is a major economic, social and environmental problem of concern to many countries in all regions of the world. According to the United Nations data, desertification threats 1.2 billion people in 110 countries.

    In 1977, the United Nations Conference on Desertification adopted a Plan of Action to Combat Desertification.

    The Convention was adopted in Paris on June 17, 1994. It entered into force on December 26, 1996. Over 179 countries were parties as at March 2002. Turkey signed the convention in 1998.

    [13] Turkeys year-end inflation figures

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's year-end inflation expectations fell to 10.40 percent, a central bank survey showed on Thursday.

    According to the survey of expectations, the consumer price index was revised by 0.30 points to 10.40 percent, from an earlier 10.70 percent in late September.

    The survey showed that predictions on year-end current account deficit were down to 51.089 billion USD, from 51.156 billion USD.

    The twice monthly study, which surveys economists and experts in the financial sector, also predicted a rise in expectations for end-2008 U.S. dollar rate to 1.3619 YTL, up from 1.2806 YTL.

    Expectations on Turkey's year-end growth rate also declined to 3.6 percent from an earlier 3.9 percent forecasting.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 09 October 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 09 October 2008:

    a) Cyprus:

    In an article entitled "Why are you continuing to negotiate then?", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal comments on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat's recent remarks asserting that the fundamental problem in the Cyprus issue is that the Greek Cypriots do not want to recognize the Turkish side as an equal political partner. Unal argues that the Greek Cypriots are trying to establish a unitary national state in Cyprus and give the Turkish Cypriots a minority status on the island, adding that there is no point in the Turkish side maintaining the Cyprus talks since even Talat himself has come to see this reality.

    b) Measures against PKK:

    A report in Milliyet states that the National Assembly on 8 October approved the proposal extending the military mandate to carry out cross-border operations into north Iraq with a record majority of 497 votes against 18. The report adds that the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), which was the target of criticisms during the parliamentary debate on the issue, cast 17 votes against the proposal. Freedom and Solidarity Party, (ODP) leader Ufuk Uras also voted against the proposal, the report notes.

    A report by Zeynel Lule in Hurriyet states that PKK's Ahmet Gulabi Dere, who has addressed the European Parliament and who has held a news conference despite the fact that he is being sought by the Interpol with a red bulletin, has a "residence permit" from the Greek authorities until 2010. France and Belgium have refused to extradite Dere to Turkey despite the initiatives taken by Ankara, notes the report, adding that Dere has, for years, been conducting his activities in the EU and the Council of Europe as a diplomat with this residence permit which is not legal outside Greece.

    Milliyet columnist Hasan Cemal analyzes the reasons why Kurdish youths continue to join the PKK despite all the operations conducted and the Emergency Rules declared in the region for decades. Measures aimed at fighting poverty, increasing the education level, and providing health services have not prevented new recruits into the PKK, writes Cemal, arguing that all these policies, which he describes as erroneous, were backed by the military. In conclusion, Cemal advises a long-term and comprehensive strategy based on the acceptance of cultural differences and the Kurdish identity, a civilian Constitution, a democratic state of law, and adherence to the principles of freedom, human rights and EU criteria.

    Assessing the reason why funds could not be found to transfer the Aktutun outpost elsewhere in the first section of his column in Milliyet, Melih Asik details the funds spent to purchase fighter jets, AWACS planes, assault helicopters, and submarines, noting that funds were not found for the transfer of the outpost because "the civilians and military authorities in Turkey do not make their expenditure plans in line with the national interests. Expenditures are prioritized according to the needs of the United States and the West." Asik continues: "Therefore, we cannot take measures to protect our soldiers. This is also the reason why more than half of our population lives in poverty and under the hunger limit. This is the bitter and natural consequence of having lost our independence."

    Hurriyet's Sukru Kucuksahin views the speech delivered by DTP leader Ahmet Turk at the party's parliamentary faction meeting held in the aftermath of the Aktutun attack. Drawing attention to the fact that the speech focused on democratic and peaceful means, conciliation, and dialogue to resolve the Kurdish issue, Kucuksahin criticizes the DTP leader for not even once calling on the PKK to lay down its arms. Referring to Turk's implication that the DTP is the representative of all the Kurds, Kucuksahin says: "The DTP is not the representative of all the Kurds, nor are all Kurds members of the DTP."

    Radikal columnist Hasan Celal Guzel details his anti-terror program in an article, calling for security measures, a cross-border operation, the creation of a buffer zone, the transformation of two commando brigades into a Gendarme Command Army Corps that will be ready to launch an operation at all times, the creation of professional gendarme units, the recreation of the special police operation units, and the establishment of emergency intervention teams.

    According to a last-minute report in Ozgur Gundem, 40 DTP members were manhandled and detained in Izmir for participating in the campaign of filing complaints about themselves to the Public Prosecutor's Office saying that they are guilty of referring to Abdullah Ocalan as Mr. The report adds that DTP Izmir Provincial leader Nimettullah Opozdemir was among those detained for trying to send some 10,000 petitions to the Prosecutor's Office.

    Under the banner headline, "Golf courses for nine Military Bases," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that it has turned out that Air Force Commander General Aydogan Babaoglu had golf courses built at some nine air bases, belying a recent statement by Deputy Chief of the General Staff Hasan Igsiz that cited financial straits as the reason for the failure to relocate some border stations frequently attacked by the PKK to safer zones. Published next to this story is a related report entitled "General Makes Everyone Laugh Bitterly," which highlights General Babaoglu's "scandalous response" to those criticizing him for "continuing to play golf" in Antalya after receiving word of the terrorist attack on the Aktutun outpost: "What was I supposed to do? Go to Aktutun?"

    In an article entitled "I am upset", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak expresses regret and exasperation at what he describes as Turkey's failure to overcome PKK terrorism despite the fact that it has deployed some 200,000 troops and spent $200 billion so far for the purpose. He claims that "somebody should be called to account" for what happened in the case of the latest PKK attack, where, he claims, security forces failed to intercept a terrorist intrusion into the country from northern Iraq and defend a border station against some 350 "PKK soldiers." He also accuses certain quarters of trying to use PKK terrorism as an excuse to suspend democratic rights and freedoms.

    In an article entitled "Will the commander resign?", Today's Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce comments on the "questions" about the Turkish General Staff's counterterrorism strategies sparked by the PKK raid on the Aktutun border post. He claims that "if there is an ounce of democracy in this country, then the people responsible for [the casualties] should be held accountable."

    c) Economy:

    A report in Hurriyet in English states that the Turkish Central Bank has re-launched its foreign exchange depot market for banks to borrow from each other through the Central Bank. According to the report the Turkish Lira rose against the dollar after the announcement.

    In an article in Hurriyet, Sukru Kizilot calls on Turkish citizens to transfer back to Turkey their foreign currency deposits in world banks. Noting that there is no legal impediment for such a move, Kizilot urges the government to adopt a bill that will grant those transferring their monies immunity from income tax on the interest accrued in foreign banks over the years. Showing the steps taken in the United States on the issue as an example, the writer believes that such an initiative can solve the liquidity problem in the country.

    Commenting on the adverse affects of the global financial crisis on Turkish markets in an article in Vatan, Aydin Apaydin predicts that the crisis might be exacerbated, adding that, however, he does not expect the proportions to reach the crisis experienced in Turkey in 2001. Viewing the measures being taken in the United States and Europe, Apaydin argues that had they been implemented earlier they would have yielded results. Advising Turkey not to panic but not to relax either, Apaydin is concerned about the statement issued by Turan Erol, the chairman of the Capital Markets Board, to the effect that "at this stage the situation does not call for additional measures." Asking whether Erol is unaware of the gravity of the situation, the writer bemoans the fact that our economy is in the hands of such bureaucrats, adding: "Timely measures can be beneficial. Measures taken subsequently are useless. Our banking sector has no problems. However, I am concerned that the banks, being left without any measures because they face no problems now, may, in the future, not be able to surmount the problems they will be facing."

    d) Politicization of Universities:

    According to a report by Sakir Aydin in Milliyet, Istanbul University Rector Prof Mesut Parlak has warned against attempts to politicize the university saying that a member who was appointed to the High Education Council (YOK) by the government last year has now submitted his candidacy for the position of Istanbul University Rector that will be vacated in January of 2009. Parlak is reported to have said: "Is this democracy and scientific autonomy? You will submit your candidacy and at the same time you will be a member of the Council that will assess your candidacy. You will also be the person preferred by the government. This is inconceivable. The politicization of universities does not contribute anything to this country." The candidate, Prof. Yunus Soylet, to whom Parlak did not refer by name, is reported to support the lifting of the ban on headdresses in universities. He is also known to have close relations with Prime Minister Erdogan.

    e) Poll shows AKP votes are down by 7 percent:

    A report by Tulay Subatli in Vatan details the results of a poll conducted by the A and G Survey Company on 4-5 October saying that the AKP has lost seven percent of its votes in the last month because of the global crisis, the corruption cases and the terrorist attacks. Speaking to Vatan, Adil Gur, the owner of A and G, has said that the AKP remains to be the number one party in the country.

    EG/


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