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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-13

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. 195/08 11-13.10.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the third meeting between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [02] AKP MP Bagis said that Turkey supports Talat and the ongoing process for a Cyprus settlement
  • [03] Serdar Denktas, Albay Durduran and Izzet Izcan commented on the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [04] Statements by Talat at the Olive Festival, at a reception by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and at the General Assembly of the Public Employees Trade Union
  • [05] Amanda Akcakoca: The Greek Cypriots will say yes to a referendum
  • [06] Cyprus in the declaration of the Turkish-Arab Forum
  • [07] Cyprus was discussed in the Fifth Bosphorus Conference
  • [08] The occupation regime and the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense of Kyrgyzstan agreed to sign of a protocol aiming for cooperation in natural disasters
  • [09] Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek will participate in the inauguration ceremony of the «Innovation and Technologies of Information Center» of the illegal Near East University
  • [10] The suspects in Akmandor´s murder were taken to «Lefkosia district court».
  • [11] Twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday morning by the self-styled police at the area near the Apostolos Andreas Monastery
  • [12] The Turkish and Dutch Foreign Ministers discussed the Cyprus problem
  • [13] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart
  • [14] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President in statements about his talks in Finland and Estonia after returning to Ankara
  • [15] Olli Rehn asks Turkey to accelerate the talks on the Nabucco project
  • [16] Turkish delegation is holding talks on the Turkish economy in Washington
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Pres of 10, 11 and 12 October 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the third meeting between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    All the Turkish Cypriot newspapers today (11.10.08) cover yesterdays meeting in the framework of the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem between President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as follows:

    Under the title The leaders gave hopes, Kibris reports in its first page on the statements of the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser, Mr. Alexander Downer after the meeting of the two leaders and writes that Mr. Downer announced that during the two leaders meeting progress was achieved. The paper also reports that the two leaders who continued their discussions on the powers of the federal government, agreed that they will meet on a weekly basis and that the next meeting will take place on Monday. The paper reports on further details of the meeting as well as on the statements made by the two leaders.

    The rest of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers report on the issue under the following titles:

    HALKIN SESI: Downer: Progress was made

    KIBRISLI: Progress on the issue of federal authorities.

    GUNES: ¨The negotiations continue.

    BAKIS: Christofias and Talat met for the third time: A meeting like a mystery.

    ORTAM:: Talat and Christofias every Monday.

    YENI DUZEN: There is progress.

    STAR KIBRIS: Monday meetings.

    (A.K.)

    [02] AKP MP Bagis said that Turkey supports Talat and the ongoing process for a Cyprus settlement

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (11.10.08), under the title Support for the process for solution from Ankara, reports that Egemen Bagis, an MP of the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party and deputy chairman of the party responsible for foreign affairs, was a guest during a live television programme A view from the EU at the local television channel Ada TV.

    Bagis said that the AKP has supported from the beginning a solution which will safeguard the peace of the two sides, the well-being and the rights of the Turkish origin people who live in the island. Bagis added that this solution will be a solution that will take as principle the two constituent states and will, of course, safeguard their political equality and it will in no way be a submission.

    Noting that the Turkish government supports the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the so-called government, Bagis said: Let it be a solution that will be accepted by the Turkish Cypriot people and will reach the future generations in peace.

    The so-called deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, Turgay Avci, who was also guest at the same television programme, said that they are ready for a solution where the guarantorship of Turkey is indispensable condition, a solution that the Turkish Cypriots will look into the future with security, a new partnership that will be formed by two equal, bi-zonal constituent states and will be based on the political equality of the two peoples. Avci also added that the continued presence of the Turkish army in Cyrus will not be discussed.

    (DPs)

    [03] Serdar Denktas, Albay Durduran and Izzet Izcan commented on the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    The Turkish Cypriot press on Sunday publishes statements of Serdar Denktas, Albay Durduran and Izzet Izcan about the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (13.10.08) reports that Serdar Denktas, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) stated that it is unacceptable for the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem to continue under secrecy. Mr Denktas stated that President Demetris Christofias does what he has to do and informs the Greek Cypriot parties about the developments. However, Mr Talat does not do the same and does not inform the self-styled assembly about the negotiations.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (13.10.08) reports that Albay Durduran, the secretary for foreign affairs of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), stated that the attitude of the Turkish Cypriot side did not change at all after the change from Talat to Denktas and added that Turkey sings exactly the same song. He also stated that the person responsible for the creation of false hopes is not Christofias but Talat.

    On his part, Izzet Izcan, the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stated that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, and the administration of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in the name of a solution based on two separate founding states are aiming towards confederation and to make permanent the division of the island.

    (CS)

    [04] Statements by Talat at the Olive Festival, at a reception by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and at the General Assembly of the Public Employees Trade Union

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.10.08) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said his meeting with the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias went well.

    Reminding that the Turkish Cypriot People have chosen him to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr. Talat said he will continue to work for a solution that will secure Turkish Cypriots rights.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Zeytinlik [Olive Grove] Festival, the President stressed that it is difficult to reach a solution after a 45-year break.

    It is not easy to make changes to a structure that has been continuing for 45 years. But it is our main duty to withstand the problems that may arise due to changes that will occur. We have to do this, because our people voted for us to make these changes happen.

    On 12 October 2008 illegal Bayrak broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that their aim was to achieve lasting peace before the non-solution on the island could become permanent.

    The Presidents words came at a reception hosted by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce marking its 50th anniversary of establishment.

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer was among high ranking guests who attended the evening.

    Speaking during the reception, the President said that he and his team were working in order to guarantee and secure the future of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    He also said that the Turkish Cypriot Side was determined not to back out of the negotiations process or to give up working for a solution.

    Our goal is to achieve a lasting peace in Cyprus, one that will reunify the island before seeds of division are sown, he said.

    The President also underlined the importance of the peoples support in reaching a political settlement.

    Touching upon the global financial crisis, Talat said that the TRNC will overcome the crisis through the unity and cooperation between all segments of society.

    Also speaking, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer expressed the belief that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce will contribute to the development of the countrys economy.

    Referring to recent calls made to the government by various trade unions and civil society organizations, the Prime Minister said that he was paying heed to their calls but added that the organizations also needed to listen to what the government had to say.

    Touching upon the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process, Soyer said that the people desired a lasting and mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    For his part, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Hasan Kutlu Ince, addressing the two leaders, urged them to continue negotiating in a constructive manner and to refrain from making unnecessary statements that will lead to polemics.

    Finally on 12 October 2008 illegal Bayrak television broadcast the following:

    Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that solution of the Cyprus question was more possible today compared to the past.

    Delivering a speech at 24th General Assembly of the Cyprus Turkish Public Employees Trade Union, the President said: "We have to solve the Cyprus problem now. Therefore, we should use all our resources to get the support of the international community as well".

    Talat said that the meeting he had with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias on Friday went quite well and that serious developments were taking place lately.

    "Both Turkish and Greek Cypriot parties assured each other that they would work for a solution on the island," Talat added.

    He however said that it was difficult to understand the Greek Cypriot sides position because of its constantly changing stance.

    [05] Amanda Akcakoca: The Greek Cypriots will say yes to a referendum

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.10.08) publishes an interview given to the papers journalist, Sami Ozuslu, by Amanda Akcakoca, policy analyst and programme executive at the European Policy Centre (EPC). Mrs Akcakosa stated, inter alia, that she believes that in case Christofias and Talat manage to go beyond the difficult issues which are in front of them, and to overcome the obstacles of the nationalists, the Greek Cypriots will say yes to a solution plan that will be put in a referendum.

    Mrs Akcakosa stated that the reason for this will be that the Greek Cypriots faced many difficulties because of the negative vote at the referendum and because it is not possible for Christofias to say no to a plan that will be prepared by him. The second reason is that the Greek Cypriots realized that they lost a lot of things because they said no at the referendum, as regards the issue of the properties, Varosha, the withdrawal of the army and the settlement of a number of Greek Cypriots to the northern part. The Greek Cypriots realized that many things would have been different if they had said yes. She also stated that Christofias is acknowledged as a leader who is in favor of a solution.

    (CS)

    [06] Cyprus in the declaration of the Turkish-Arab Forum

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.10.08) reported from Istanbul that the first Foreign Ministers' Meeting of Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum ended in Istanbul on Saturday.

    Speaking at the closure of the meeting, Babacan said that the participating countries agreed to release a joint declaration which would cover regional and international issues.

    According to an agreement signed by Babacan and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa after the meeting, the Arab League will open a representation office in Turkey.

    "Turkey and Arab countries have decided to get together in a similar format within the next six months," Babacan also said.

    Moreover. Ankara Anatolia (12.10.08) reported from Istanbul that releasing a joint declaration after the First Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum held in Istanbul, the member countries said that Turkey and Arab countries had the common stance needed for the establishment of a fair peace, security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East.

    The declaration also expressed the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum's support for the active negotiations held between Palestine and Israel within the scope of the Annapolis peace process.

    The declaration said that the ministers had similar goals regarding Iraq's future and they reiterated their commitment to the country's territorial integrity.

    Noting that terrorism was a big threat for international peace, security and stability, the declaration also said that members fully supported the Alliance of Civilizations initiative co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain.

    Commenting on the Cyprus issue as well, the declaration said members supported a fair, comprehensive and permanent solution based on UN parameters that aimed at the establishment of a bi-zonal partnership based on political equality.

    The declaration also expressed the member states' support for the Barcelona process, Turkey's opening to the African continent and the country's candidacy for a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council.

    On the declaration of the Turkish-Arab Forum illegal Bayrak television (12.10.08) broadcast the following:

    A declaration approved at the end of the 1st Foreign Ministers' Meeting of the Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum in Istanbul has expressed support for a just and lasting solution in Cyprus on the basis of UN parameters.

    Foreign ministers of Turkey, Syria, Algeria, Djibouti and Saudi Arabia attended the meeting.

    The declaration expressed support to the establishment of a bi-communal, bi-zonal partnership in Cyprus through a just and lasting settlement found within the framework of the UN Secretary-Generals good offices mission and on the basis of UN parameters.

    The forum also touched upon a wide range of issues, including cooperation in solving the Middle East conflicts, economic, cultural, educational and people to people relations between the two sides, it said.

    Support for Turkeys candidature for a non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council for the term in 2009-2010, according to the statement was also reiterated at the forum.

    The Turkish-Arab Cooperation Forum was set up in Istanbul in November 2007 with an agreement signed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa with the aim of further expanding and deepening relations in all fields between Turkey and the Arab countries.

    [07] Cyprus was discussed in the Fifth Bosphorus Conference

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (11.10.08) reported from Ankara that the anti-terror meeting which convened Thursday was very worthwhile in developing communication between institutions, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ali Babacan, said during a joint press conference with his Dutch counterpart.

    We did not conclude the work; the meeting will continue Tuesday. It is not appropriate to reveal the point we reached at this point, Ali Babacan stressed following his meeting with Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen.

    Babacan reiterated that Turkey would not sacrifice the country's democracy for security or give up its security in the name of democracy.

    Babacan also said he did not receive any official reports on the Belgium authorities' willingness to return 10 million euros captured in a police raid on the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK.

    We know about the Belgian government's approach to this affair, but it is the Belgium judicial authorities who will have the final word, he said. The Foreign Ministry will act when it obtains the information, Babacan said, and added that Turkish diplomats were in intense communications with the Belgium government.

    Turkey will be ready for the European Union long before the EU will be ready for Turkey, Babacan said. Further, internal questions about the EU, particularly the Lisbon treaty, will be decisive in the EU accession process for Turkey, emphasized Babacan. Verhagen said his country would be happy to see Turkey in the EU, and noted that the EU must fairly evaluate candidate states.

    Also, the ministers urged quickening the pace of reaching a solution on Cyprus. Cyprus talks must be concluded in a reasonable amount of time to reach a solution on the island, Babacan maintained. Verhagen stressed that the process would be improved if steps were taken to develop commercial relations with northern Cyprus and for the implementation of the Ankara Protocol.

    On the conference Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.10.08) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Swedish foreign minister delivered a speech at the 5th Bosphorus Conference whose theme is "Turkey and the EU: Building Ties of Mutual Benefit" in Istanbul on Saturday.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said European foreign ministers have begun to see that Turkey was the second most important strategic partner of the EU in the recent years.

    The world has been passing through a period of instability and uncertainty currently, Bildt said.

    There was need for a more comprehensive process to secure stability in the Middle East, he said.

    EU could solve these problems, but it of course needed strategic partners like the United States, the number one partner and European foreign ministers have begun to see that Turkey was the second partner of the EU, he said. Bildt underlined the importance of political assistance for Cyprus negotiations to succeed and said this process was a difficult one, but it also would yield several benefits.

    Solution of the Cyprus issue could make favorable impacts on Turkey's EU negotiations, he said.

    On the statements of Mr Babacan at the Fifth Bosphorus Conference illegal Bayrak television (12.10.08) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has said that a window of opportunity has opened on the Cyprus issue.

    He, however, warned that this opportunity will not remain open forever.

    Delivering a speech at the opening of "The 5th Bosphorus Conference" in Istanbul, Babacan said there was a prevailing atmosphere of optimism in Cyprus and that Turkey fully supported ongoing efforts on the island to reach a settlement.

    Turkey remains to be determined towards reaching a solution in Cyprus as it was back in 2004 added the Turkish Foreign Minister.

    Pointing out that the Turkish government was still working hard towards a solution; Babacan said that they expected Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration to show the same commitment and determination towards a solution.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt who also attended the conference reminded that talks to find a peaceful solution to the Cyprus Problem were continuing.

    He said solving the Cyprus Problem will have a positive impact on the entire Eastern Mediterranean region.

    [08] The occupation regime and the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense of Kyrgyzstan agreed to sign of a protocol aiming for cooperation in natural disasters

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.10.08) writes that the delegation of the self-styled civil defense organization of the occupation regime, consisting of fourteen-persons which went to Kyrgyzstan in order to offer help after the 6.3 Richter earthquake that hit the country on the 5th of October, returned to occupied Cyprus.

    Speaking on the issue, the deputy chairman of the self-styled civil defense, Ferhat Kokyay, stated that the Ministry of Emergency Situations and Civil Defense of Kyrgyzstan and the TRNC agreed to sign of a protocol aiming for cooperation in natural disasters. According to the paper the delegation of the occupation regime carried to Kyrgyzstan aid worth 118 thousand dollars consisting of 125 tents, 335 blankets, medical and food supplies.

    (CS)

    [09] Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek will participate in the inauguration ceremony of the «Innovation and Technologies of Information Center» of the illegal Near East University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.10.08) reports that the inauguration ceremony of the «Innovation and Technologies of Information Center» of the so-called Near East University will take place in the occupied areas on October 15, with the participation of selected people from Turkey and occupied Cyprus.

    According to the paper, among the participants will be the Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, several other members of AKP, selected names from the political environment of Turkey and «KKTC» as well as from the world of mass media and information.

    The paper further reports that the «Innovation and Technologies of Information Center» is a five floor spiritual center which covers 8500 squares meters and contains laboratories and research centers. According to the paper, scientists and other researchers will have the chance to make researches in the fields of genetics, medicine, pharmacy, climate changes and earthquake simulations.

    (A.K.)

    [10] The suspects in Akmandor´s murder were taken to «Lefkosia district court».

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.10.08) reports that the three suspects, Ferhat Beyoglu, Akif Kucuk and Metin Taskin who have been arrested by the so-called police for the murder of Mustafa Akmandor, one of the suspects for the murder of the Guzelyurtlu family in 2005, were taken again to the occupied «Lefkosia district court» since their custody period has been completed. The paper reports that the so-called Lefkosia district court announced that the two of the three suspects, Ferhat Beyoglu and Akif Kucuk would be sent to the prison for three months while Metin Taskin was left free after paying an amount of money as a guarantee.

    (A.K.)

    [11] Twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday morning by the self-styled police at the area near the Apostolos Andreas Monastery

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.10.08) reports that twelve illegal immigrants were arrested yesterday morning by the self-styled police at the area near the Apostolos Andreas Monastery. The illegal immigrants are from Syria, Iraq and Palestine. Among them there are children as well.

    (CS)

    [12] The Turkish and Dutch Foreign Ministers discussed the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.10.08) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus issue was among the topics discussed during the meeting between Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhaugen.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with his Dutch counterpart in the Turkish capital of Ankara, Mr. Babacan said that the opportunity seized in Cyprus by the ongoing comprehensive negotiation process should be well-evaluated.

    "However, it is also important to conclude these negotiations in a reasonable period of time," he added.

    Also speaking, Mr. Verhaugen welcomed resumption of Cyprus talks and underlined importance of reaching a solution at the end of those negotiations.

    He also said that the problem should be solved within the framework of the United Nations and expressed his thought that it was not reasonable to intervene in negotiations right now.

    [13] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President during a joint press conference with his Estonian counterpart

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.10.08) reported the following from Tallin:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Friday that Turkey and Estonia were friendly and ally countries and described bilateral relations as excellent.Speaking at a joint news conference with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, Gul said, "Turkey has supported Estonia's accession to NATO," and thanked to Estonia's support to Turkey's EU bid.

    "We had the opportunity to discuss regional and international matters. I have given Ilve information about developments in the Caucasus, acts of terrorism, EU negotiation process, and developments in Cyprus," he noted.Gul said bilateral economic relations as well as trade volume were also on the rise, indicating that Turkish Airlines intended to start direct flights in 2010.When journalists asked Gul to comment on the tension between Russia and Georgia, Gul said, "Turkey favors the problem to be solved through dialogue. Turkey supports political unity and territorial integrity of Georgia. Turkey put forth a proposal "Caucasus Stability and Cooperation Platform" regarding solution of the problems in the Caucasus.

    Asked whether Turkey supported NATO defense plan, Gul said, "as you know, Turkey has strongly supported accession of Baltic countries to NATO."Responding to a question, Gul said terrorist organization was after some provocation, noting that Turkish Armed Forces was resolute to fight against terrorism till to the end.

    [14] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish President in statements about his talks in Finland and Estonia after returning to Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Saturday leaders of Finland and Estonia confirmed once again their support to Turkey's EU accession process. After paying formal visits to Finland and Estonia, President Gul returned to Turkish capital of Ankara.

    Gul told reporters that during his visit to Finland, he and his Finnish counterpart focused on bilateral cooperation and current problems in the world.

    In regard to his visit to Estonia, Gul said Estonian authorities and he discussed cooperation, regional and international matters and he delivered a speech at the meeting of Turkish-Estonian Business Council.

    "I informed Finnish and Estonian leaders on the reforms that Turkey fulfilled on its EU bid, the country's fight against terrorism and policies on Iraq and Cyprus," he stated.

    [15] Olli Rehn asks Turkey to accelerate the talks on the Nabucco project

    Istanbul Hurriyet newspaper (11.10.08) publishes the following report under the title "EU urges Turkey to get serious about Nabucco, U.S. extends support":

    The European union said Turkey should waste no more time and negotiate seriously over the Nabucco gas pipeline while the U.S. reiterated its support on the $12 billion project.

    The project is designed to bring central Asian gas to Europe via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. Supporters say it is vital to wean the region from over-dependence on Russian energy.

    "I encourage my Turkish friends to engage now seriously in the discussions in view of making Nabucco operational as of 2013," said Olli Rehn, the EU's Enlargement Commissioner.

    "Too much time has already been wasted on arguing rather than making things happen," Rehn was quoted as saying by Reuters.

    Analysts have criticized Turkey for dragging its feet at the bargaining table to try to secure higher transit fees and rights to trade gas going through the pipeline, due to supply an annual 30 billion cubic meters of Caspian or Middle Eastern gas.

    But some observers say hopes of construction are quickly fading, especially after the conflict in Georgia increased doubts about the security of investing in the turbulent region.

    A U.S. official said Friday that a deal may be reached soon allowing natural gas from ex-Soviet nations to reach western Europe without crossing Russian territory.

    The U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy issues, C. Boyden Gray, told reporters in Rome that an agreement on a pipeline could be completed in as soon as six months, the Associated Press reported.

    "I think there will be an understanding for transit through Turkey for a pipeline," Gray said, without elaborating. "Completely firm details and shovels underground no, but the outlines of a deal, yes."

    Gray did not specify what pipeline, but appeared hint at the TGI pipeline project linking Greek and Turkish gas networks that would allow Azerbaijan to export gas to Italy by 2012.

    U.S. officials have supported TGI as a way of easing Russian energy dominance in Europe.

    Gray also said the Nabucco pipeline, which would deliver gas from Turkmenistan and other Central Asian and Caspian countries westward through Turkey while bypassing Russia, will "eventually" be built.

    "The reality is that there is enough gas in the Caspian to fill much more than TGI and Nabucco," he said.

    The project, however, has been slowed by high costs and uncertainty over sources of supply, and Russia is promoting rival routes through its territory as a cheaper and safer alternative.

    [16] Turkish delegation is holding talks on the Turkish economy in Washington

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.10.08) reported the following from Washington:

    Turkish delegation headed by State Minister Mehmet Simsek, currently in Washington D.C. for the annual meetings of IMF and World Bank, held a series of talks.

    State Minister Simsek had meetings with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, German Finance Minister Peer Steinbruck, IMF and World Bank officials in Washington D.C. on Friday.

    Simsek also attended a conference organized by J.P. Morgan, a global financial services firm, and said Turkey had a highly flexible and sound economy in current global economic situation.

    Turkey's macroeconomic structure and banking sector were sound, he said.

    Economic growth would lower in the short term, but there would be a high growth potential in medium and long term, Simsek said.

    Replying to a question, Simsek said Turkey did not need financial assistance of IMF and Turkey would preserve its fiscal discipline whether a deal was signed or not.

    Turkish Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz, in his part, said inflation figure would keep decreasing in the country.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Pres of 10, 11 and 12 October 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 10, 11 and 12 October:

    a) Kurdish Issue: In an article entitled "Has a proposal actually been presented to Ocalan?" in Hurriyet (10.10.08) columnist Ertugrul Ozkok urges the government to make a statement about PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's claim that retired Colonel Atilla Ugur who has been detained in connection with the Ergenekon case and Emre Taner, former Deputy Undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization, visited him in 1999 and told him that they were in favor of negotiating a solution to the Kurdish question with Ocalan rather than the Kurdish parties in Iraq and the United States. Ozkok comments: "I do not want to be misunderstood. I am not opposed to that idea. On the contrary, I believe that every avenue should be explored in order to stop terrorism. I, therefore, would like to know whether or not such a proposal was made nine years ago and, if it was, who thwarted it."

    A report entitled "Blair: All-out mobilization against the PKK is necessary" in Milliyet (10.10.08) highlights comments made by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about Turkey's fight against the PKK, the Cyprus question, and Turkish-EU relations. The report quotes Blair as saying that Turkey, Iraqi government, Kurdish government in northern Iraq, the United States, and other powers in the region must join their forces against the PKK's terror campaign.

    In an article entitled "Kurdish crisis was invited by the state" in Today's Zaman (10.10.08) columnist Etyen Mahcupyan accuses the Turkish state of failing to "find a political solution to the demand for a Kurdish identity," in this way causing "further politicization of this identity." He warns that coupled with the problem of unemployment affecting young Kurds in "ghettos," Kurdish discontent could pave the way for a "major crisis" that could affect the entire country.

    In an article entitled "Terrorism will not end as long as those who take advantage of PKK terrorism to engage in drug trafficking are not punished", in Milli Gazete (10.10.08) columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi calls attention to "allegations" that Turkey has failed to end PKK terrorism because of "deep" elements within the state that are capitalizing on the PKK's terrorist activities to engage in drug trafficking and various forms of smuggling.

    In an article entitled "DTP's mission", in Yeni Safak (11.10.08) columnist Resul Tosun accuses the Democratic Society Party, DTP, of failing to carry out its "mission" to have the PKK lay down arms. He claims that the terrorist attacks on the Aktutun outpost and a police shuttle in Diyarbakir have practically made nonsense of the DTP's "mission" by demonstrating that this party has no influence over the PKK and that, if anything, it is actually exploited as a pawn by the PKK. He also claims that if the DTP cannot prevent the PKK from continuing to carry out acts of violence, it should publicly dissociate itself from the terrorist organization so that its political struggle could have any legitimacy, adding that "calling for the operations to be ended," as DTP spokesmen are doing, could only mean asking the Turkish military to stop its campaign against the terrorist organization.

    In an article entitled "What is the Kurdish issue?", in Zaman (11.10.08) columnist Ali Bulac argues that the latest PKK attacks in Semdinli and Diyarbakir have once more demonstrated that the "Kurdish issue" is Turkey's most crucial problem. He claims that this problem is fundamentally ethnic in nature and is mostly caused by obstacles facing the fulfillment of Kurds' demands for the recognition of their identity. He takes issue with the notion that a shared sense of Islamic brotherhood would be a sufficient remedy for the Kurdish issue, asserting that faith in Islam can be a strong common denominator only when legitimate Kurdish demands are met. He also objects to arguments linking the Kurdish issue to the tribal structure of the southeast or to economic problems.

    According to a report by Adnan Keskin in Taraf (12.10.08), the government and the Turkish Army have begun preparations for the training of the directors and the correspondents of television channels on how to prepare reports on terrorism. Within the framework of the proposal that was put on the agenda by the Radio and Television High Council chairman, the directors and the correspondents will be trained at the National Security Academy that operates within the Turkish Military Academies.

    Referring to reports on the generals who reportedly visited Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali in 1999, Murat Belge in an article in Taraf (12.10.08) notes that if the Turkish Republic wants to resolve the Kurdish issue, it should talk to Ocalan. Criticizing those who oppose talking to Ocalan and who want to ban the Democratic Society Party, DTP, Belge says: "All right, but who shall we talk to? Are we waiting for a Kurd who will see things exactly as we do to appear some day? Let us say that such a Kurd will eventually appear. On whose behalf will he talk? He will be described as a traitor and he will be hated by all the Kurds. Have we not understood during the last century that the Kurds do not agree with those who agree with us? This means that we will not talk, that no one can become our interlocutor, and that we will resolve the problem without talking. This is why we have been at this point for the past 25 years."

    Etyen Mahcupyan, in a report in Taraf (12.10.08), asserts that despite its weaknesses the PKK has become very successful in Turkey due to the fact that "the state has downgraded the Kurdish problem to terrorism." Furthermore, says, Mahcupyan the state has banned all the Kurdish parties and has turned the PKK into Turkey's only interlocutor.

    In an article entitled "Taner met Ocalan with Government's permission", in Yeni Safak (12.10.08) columnist Abdulkadir Selvi says that Emre Taner, then deputy head of the National Intelligence Organization responsible for operations, visited PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali prison before 2005.

    Selvi says that then-President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and other high-ranking officials were informed about the issues to be discussed in the meeting in advance. Drawing attention to accusations that Taner attempted to lead the PKK together with Ocalan, Selvi says: "That claim and the insinuation about the recent PKK attack against Aktutun military post could be very dangerous."

    b) Torture

    According to a report in Istanbul Milliyet (11.10.08), the Prime Ministry Human Rights Department has disclosed that 2,356 people appealed against human rights violations from January to June 2008. The report says that 398 convicts and detained suspects appealed to the department for the violation of their rights in custody.

    In an article in Sabah (12.10.08) Ergun Babahan praises the police for capturing a woman with nine kilos of explosives in Istanbul. This is a major achievement but there is another side to the Istanbul police, says Babahan, and refers Engin Ceber who died after being beaten in detention. If those who are responsible for this incident are not put on trial, your lectures on the EU will no longer be credible, asserts Babahan, adding: "The Turkish Republic has a debt of justice to this young man. This debt should be paid."

    EG/


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