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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-16

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. 198/08 16.10.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Chief of the Turkish Naval Forces threatens to turn East Mediterranean into a new Aegean
  • [02] Ercakica: Talat is not the old Talat
  • [03] Avci criticizes the Government of Cyprus of taking slow steps towards a solution
  • [04] Ertugruloglu called on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to listen to the Turkish Cypriot people
  • [05] The New Cyprus Party welcomed the cancellation of the military exercises
  • [06] Dev-Is urges Cypriots to support the new negotiations process
  • [07] A delegation of the European Parliaments High-Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots has arrived to Cyprus for contacts
  • [08] Turkish State Minister: The solution must be depended on the facts of the island
  • [09] An opinion poll shows the strength of the political parties in occupied Cyprus
  • [10] Talat will announce a report regarding the land compensation claims of the Greek Cypriots
  • [11] An international symposium for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT will take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [12] Mrs Pembe Behcetogullari, member of the Administrative Board of the Womens Research and Education Center of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University, participated in conference in Poland
  • [13] Students from 69 countries study at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University
  • [14] Athletes participated in a march starting from Germany and ending at Turkey carrying the flags of Germany, Turkey and of the occupation regime
  • [15] The mayor of Munich will deliver a speech in the restaurant of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union
  • [16] World Bank extends $6bln in loans to Turkey, while Turkeys unemployment and current account deficit rise
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 15 October 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Chief of the Turkish Naval Forces threatens to turn East Mediterranean into a new Aegean

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.10.08), Turkeys Navy Chief Admiral Metin Atac, in an interview published in the latest issue of Turkish magazine Savunma ve Havacilik (Defence and Aerospace) magazine, stated that in the future, in addition to the existing problems in the Aegean, the East Mediterranean can also turn into a centre of several problems.

    Admiral Atac said that struggling to safeguard the rights and interests at sea, the territorial waters, the continental shelf and the resources in the exclusive economic zones is the duty of all in the political-military field.

    Admiral Atac noted that as a result of good relations and good cooperation with the countries in the Black Sea, the Black Sea has turned into a sea of peace and stability, and added: But in the coming period, in addition to our existing problems in the Aegean, the East Mediterranean is an area which can be turned into a centre of several problems. The East Mediterranean could be the new centre for conflicts of interest, and especially after the Baku-Tiflis-Ceyhan oil-pipeline has become operative, the area has become a second Gulf from a petro-strategic point of view. Apart from the developments in Lebanon and the UNIFIL operation, the Greek Cypriot Administration has signed agreements with Egypt and Lebanon regarding the boundaries of the continental shelves and the attempts to explore oil in these unilaterally decided fields. Turkey objected to these agreements which harm its national interests.

    We, regarding the above-mentioned issue, follow closely all kinds of initiatives and we try to prevent any activities and plans that could harm our national interests. This can only be possible with strong naval forces. For being strong, our defence industry must be based on using national resources of production.

    Noting that any attempt to ostracize Turkey would be implied as a violation of Turkeys interests and rights, Admiral Atac said that Turkey, like the other countries, has legitimate rights and interests in the area.

    (DPs / MHY)

    [02] Ercakica: Talat is not the old Talat

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) publishes the statements of Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, who participated in the AKIS program of the illegal BAYRAK television and spoke about the latest developments as regards the negotiations.

    According to the paper, sending a message to the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias, Mr Ercakica stated the following: Talat is not the Talat of the 1980s. Forget of the companion expression, he stated and added: We must be realistic. The problems cannot be solved with sweet talking. Mr Ercakica said that we must not be romantic but pragmatist in order to serve the solution.

    Our major support is Turkey, Mr Ercakica said and added that there are efforts to present Turkey as an obstacle for the solution. Criticizing this attitude, Mr Ercakica stated that it is an absurd approach.

    Stressing that Turkey supports the solution in Cyprus, Mr Ercakica went on: President Talat is attending at the negotiation table with the support Turkey gives to this process. The support comes from Turkey, but the political responsibility belongs to the President.

    Continuing, Mr Ercakica said that if there is someone who puts the Cyprus problem into test, this the Greek Cypriot leader with the statements he makes abroad which affect the process negatively.

    (CS)

    [03] Avci criticizes the Government of Cyprus of taking slow steps towards a solution

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has stressed that the Turkish Cypriot side is very sad to see that the Greek Cypriot Administration continues its bruising statements while efforts continue to create a positive atmosphere over the full-fledged negotiations process in Cyprus.

    In a written statement, Mr Avci criticized the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias for trying to impose the responsibility on Turkey, regarding the failure in achieving the desired progress in the negotiations process so far.However, Turkey has proved its peaceful stance so many times before with its contributions it made to the solution of the Cyprus problem the Foreign Minister said.

    Criticizing the Greek Cypriot Administration for standing far away from reaching a common understanding and running away from the negotiations table, Avci stated that the Greek Cypriot side continues to slow down the negotiations process with its advantages gained from international recognition and the unilateral EU membership, while the Turkish Cypriot side continues to do all it can in order to reach a lasting and just settlement as soon as possible.

    We, once again, want to remind the Greek Cypriot side of the fact that all its efforts to take Turkey as its only collocutor by rejecting the existence and political equality of the Turkish Cypriot side will not reach success.

    The collocutor of the Greek Cypriot side is the Turkish Cypriot side. Once the Greek Cypriot side becomes ready to share a common future with Turkish Cypriots on the basis of political equality, then the biggest obstacle against reaching a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus will be removed Avci stressed. Avci also reiterated the Turkish Cypriot sides commitment towards the establishment of a new partnership on the island; the existence of two peoples, bi-zonality, political equality, Turkeys effective guarantee and the UN parameters to form the basis of a solution.

    [04] Ertugruloglu called on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to listen to the Turkish Cypriot people

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.10.08) under the title The government should listen to Turkish Cypriot people reports on the statements of the chairman of the National Unity Party, Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu who accused the Turkish Cypriot government for hiding behind the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem in order to cover the wrong policies he follows in the fields of economy, education and finance. In a written statement, Mr. Ertugruloglu called on Turkish Cypriot authorities not to underestimate the Turkish Cypriot community and said that those, who do so, will finally take their lesson after the results of the forthcoming elections.

    [05] The New Cyprus Party welcomed the cancellation of the military exercises

    Under the title: YKP (New Cyprus Party) assessed the cancellation of the military exercises: There can be no solution with arms, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (16.10.08) reports on a statement made by the Secretary for Foreign Relations of the New Cyprus Party, Mr Alpay Durduran.

    In his statement Mr Durduran views the latest developments in the ongoing negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem in the background of the decisions to cancel the annual military exercises Nikiforos and Toros and the changes to the history school books.

    On the military exercises Mr Durdurans statement is as follows: In no way was progress allowed to be made at the talks but the military exercises were ended. It means that they do not allow a solution to be reached but also they do not break the talks. Because being afraid of each other they are obliged to talk as if they want solution.

    It is known that military exercises are provocative and the sides have used them a lot. For this reason their cancellation will be beneficial.

    The General Secretary of the New Cyprus Party further refers to the attitude of the nationalist forces towards the military exercises and goes on: What was experienced in the past in Cyprus was left behind and, in spite of the fact that some continue to put them forth, the sides have abandoned the solution through the use of arms.

    On the changes to the history books Mr Durduran said in his statement: The effect on education is not yet certain but moves are made providing the same education in the place of the changes to the history books. Other units similar to the civil defence, which no doubt are intelligence organizations, are in direct contact with schools trying to create a youth the way they want. It is the duty of those who effected the changes to the history books to be an obstacle to this. It is necessary to have this in mind.

    Concluding Mr Alpay Durduran calls on the Greek Cypriot side to leave behind the arms as will after cancelling the military exercise and on the Turkish side to proceed with the demilitarization of Lefkosia, to open the gates demanded, to return Varosha to its citizens and to change its military and strategic views.

    [06] Dev-Is urges Cypriots to support the new negotiations process

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President of Dev-Is Mehmet Seyis has called on everyone who wants the negotiations process to yield positive results, to support the Cyprus negotiations process, which began on the 3rd of September.

    In a statement he released today, Mr. Seyis reminded that Cypriots had suffered greatly in the past due to wrong politics and therefore must step forward and support the current process.

    He said a large majority of Cypriots supported a bizonal, bicommunal solution being found to the Cyprus problem. A united Federal Cyprus based on political equality, he added.

    The new negotiations process must be based on this foundation and reach a conclusion said Dev-Is president adding that this process is a very difficult one and nothing should prevent a united federal Cyprus being established.

    [07] A delegation of the European Parliaments High-Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots has arrived to Cyprus for contacts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) reports that a delegation of the European Parliaments High-Level Contact Group with the Turkish Cypriots, has arrived to Cyprus for contacts. The Group will have contacts both in the free and the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The group will have a meeting today with the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Soyer, at the headquarters of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). In the afternoon the group will meet with Ozdil Nami, the advisor of Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, because the Turkish Cypriot leader is currently in Turkey. The group will visit today the village of Pyla where Greek and Turkish Cypriots live together.

    (CS)

    [08] Turkish State Minister: The solution must be depended on the facts of the island

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.08) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek has said a solution which would not impair acquisitions would become a lasting one and the solution must be depended on the facts of the island.

    Cicek attended inauguration ceremony of Innovation and Information Technology Centre of the Near East University in Lefkosia on Wednesday.

    Delivering a speech at the ceremony, he said the opening of this centre was an important achievement not only for Near East University but also for Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Turkey.

    In regard to the negotiation process in TRNC, Cicek said, "we all want a solution. But the solution must be fair and it must be based on the facts of the island."

    I believe that we have a brighter future, he stated and said Turkey would always support Turkish Cypriot people.

    Cicek is expected to depart from TRNC on Thursday.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cy[riot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.10.08) writes that Mr Cicek held a meeting with the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu. According to the paper the two men discussed about internal and external issues related to the occupied areas of Cyprus. The paper also writes that Mr Ertugruloglu is travelling to Ankara today in order to have high level contacts in the Turkish capital. Mr Ertugruloglu will travel on the same plane with Mr Cicek.

    [09] An opinion poll shows the strength of the political parties in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) writes that the papers columnist Huseyin Ekmekci, reports in his daily column Comment, about a public opinion poll conducted in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus which shows the strength of the political parties. According to the poll, which was conducted by the Red Border Research- Consultancy- Media Services Firm and was published in the newly KUZEY (North) magazine, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the National Unity Party (UBP) are competing for the first place. However, the biggest party appears to be the undecided persons the percentage of which is 45%. The results of the public opinion poll are as follows: CTP 21%, UBP19%, Social Democracy Party (TDP) 5%, Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) 4.5%, Democratic Party (DP) 4.5%, other parties 1%.

    After the 45% of the undecided persons is distributed, the results are as follows: CTP 38%, UBP 35%, Social Democracy Party (TDP) 9%, Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) 8%, Democratic Party (DP) 8%, other parties 2%. According to these results, the distribution of the 50 parliamentary seats would be as follows: CTP 22, UBP 20, Social Democracy Party 2, Freedom and Reform Party 4, Democratic Party 2. Compared to the 2005 elections the CTP has two seats less, while the UBP has two seats more.

    The persons who participated in the public opinion poll were also asked if they think early elections will solve the social and economic problems of the society. 72% said no and 28% answered yes to this question.

    (CS)

    [10] Talat will announce a report regarding the land compensation claims of the Greek Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.10.08), in its front page under the title A shock report for the Greek Cypriots, reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat is preparing to give an answer to the 1400 Greek Cypriots, whose land compensation claims at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) are pending.

    The paper reports that the time to examine in the ECHR the applications of the 1400 Greek Cypriots, who demand land or money compensation from the occupation regime, has arrived. For this reason, Talat asked for a comprehensive Cyprus dossier to be prepared from the Ottoman Archives. About 100 archive specialists prepared a work of 250 volumes under the title: Cyprus land and property starting from 1580 until today. This work reveals that the demand of a big portion of the Greek Cypriots, who want to obtain property and money, was found to be unfair. Talat will hold a press conference in the coming week and will announce to the world the report prepared by the specialists.

    (DPs)

    [11] An international symposium for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT will take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) writes that an international symposium for the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the TMT (Turkish Resistance Organization) will take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus between 20-23 of October. According to the paper many academicians, artists and politicians will participate in the symposium. Representatives from Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Tatarstan and Kosovo will participate in it.

    (CS)

    [12] Mrs Pembe Behcetogullari, member of the Administrative Board of the Womens Research and Education Centre of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University, participated in conference in Poland

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (16.10.08) writes that the member of the Administrative Board of the Womens Research and Education Centre of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University, Mrs Pembe Behcetogullari participated in the conference Human dimension which was organized in the capital of Poland, Warsaw by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights which is bound to the Organization for Security and Co-Operation in Europe. According to the paper, Mrs Pembe Behcetogullari stated that the human trafficking problem exists in the occupied areas and called on international organizations dealing with women trafficking to cooperate in order to prevent human trafficking and especially the trafficking of women. She also called on international organizations to examine the matter of human trafficking existing in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    [13] Students from 69 countries study at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) writes that a ceremony for the launching of the new academic year at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) took place yesterday in occupied Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat participated in the ceremony. In a speech he made at the ceremony, the rector of the illegal university stated, inter alia, that students from 69 countries study at DAU and professors from 30 countries work there. He also said that the number of students is 2.652.

    (CS)

    [14] Athletes participated in a march starting from Germany and ending at Turkey carrying the flags of Germany, Turkey and of the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (16.10.08) writes that 25 athletes aiming to convey the message of friendship and brotherhood participated in a march which started at the German Weilburg municipality, a town in Hessen district, Germany, on the 18th of September. The race came to an end at the Turkish town of Kizilcahamam which is a sister town with Weilburg. The athletes who participated in the event, passed from Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria and carried in their hands flags of Turkey, Germany and of the occupation regime.

    (CS)

    [15] The mayor of Munich will deliver a speech in the restaurant of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union

    Turkish daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.10.08) reports that the Mayor of Munich, Christian Ude, who is planning to pay an illegal visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus on the 18th of October as quest of the occupied Lefkosia Municipality, will visit on Monday 20 the restaurant of the Turkish Cypriot Journalists Union and he will deliver a speech. The paper writes that the event will be open to the public. Mr. Ude will speak about his work.

    (A.K)

    [16] World Bank extends $6bln in loans to Turkey, while Turkeys unemployment and current account deficit rise

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent in July 2008, Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) announced on Wednesday. Jobless rate in Turkey was 8.8 percent in the same month of 2007 and 9 percent in June 2008.

    TUIK also said labour force participation rate stood at 49.9 percent in July 2008. It said unemployment rate was 11.9 percent in urban areas and 5.6 percent in rural areas.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.10.08) reports the following: Turkey's current account deficit was 101.7 percent higher in August 2008 than the same month last year, the Central Bank of Turkey announced on Wednesday.

    The deficit was $3.3 billion this August, whereas it was just $1.6 billion in the same month a year ago. The foreign trade deficit in the balance of payments increased by 42.3 percent to $6.5 billion, and the services surplus rose by 14.1 percent to $3.7 billion. The net outflow of the income account increased by 22.7 percent to $627 million, while the net inflow to the current transfers account dropped to $146 million, a 34.2 percent decrease from the same month of 2007.

    As a result, in the January-August 2008 period, the current account deficit posted a growth of 46.5 percent compared to the same period in 2007, from $23.8 billion to $34.8 billion. The foreign trade deficit reached $41.6 billion in January-August 2008, an increase of 39.6 percent over the same period of the previous year. During January-August 2008, imports, including gold imports, rose by 35.8 percent to $145.6 billion, while exports increased by 37.4 percent to $92.5 billion and estimated shuttle trade revenues decreased by 4.1 percent to $3.8 billion.

    Furthermore, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.10.08) reports the following: The World Bank and Turkey have reached agreement on a partnership under which the bank will provide Turkey with $6.2 billion in loans between 2008 and 2011, the bank's Ankara office announced yesterday.

    Pelin Arslan, an assistant in the bank's information centre in Ankara, said the bank will be extending the loans to support the three pillars of the Turkish economy: increasing competitiveness and employment opportunities, promoting individual and social development, and effectively providing public services.

    At a seminar hosted by the Antalya Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (ANS0AD) yesterday, the bank laid out its plans for supporting banks in extending credit for home ownership and providing credit to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as promoting industrial production. She said the bank, which extended $23.6 billion in loans in 2007, would be focusing this year on promoting more competition and employment opportunities in the private sector, advancing both increased revenues and competition amongst exporters, providing incentives for effective development of the energy sector and sponsoring an increased quality of employment.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 15 October 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 08 October 2008:

    a) Torture Cases:

    Welcoming the apology extended by Justice Minister Ali Sahin to the family of Engin Ceber who died as a result of the torture he underwent while in detention, Hurriyet's Oktay Eksi recalls the promise made by Prime Minister Erdogan regarding "zero tolerance to torture," stressing that Erdogan is good at launching campaigns but weak in following them through. In his article, Eksi points out that after Erdogan launched his campaign of "zero tolerance," the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, TIHV, determined that 11 were killed as a result of torture while in detention or in prison in 2006. According to the TIHV, this number was ten in 2007and 29 in 2008 (until 13 October). In conclusion, Eksi points out that, campaign or no campaign, nothing ever changes in Turkey.

    Commenting on the apology of Justice Minister Sahin in his column in Vatan, Gungor Mengi argues that it is wrong to be appreciative of his apology, saying that those who are responsible for such an act should resign. The virtue of resignation cannot be explained to those who view themselves above the state, Mengi writes, adding that therefore "every community is administered in the manner in which it deserves."

    In his column in the above daily, Mustafa Mutlu holds the Justice Minister directly responsible for the torture cases in Turkish prisons, reminding him that one of his duties is to ensure the right of detainees and convicts to live. As a jurist the minister should well know that an apology after a murder is not sufficient and that a price should be paid, the writer stresses, calling on Sahin to resign.

    In an article entitled "Congratulations to Sahin and a third call for speaker of Parliament", Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin hails Justice Minister Sahin's apology to the relatives of torture victim Engin Ceber as a development signifying "a change of paradigm" in state governance and expresses gratitude to Sahin for enabling Turkey to pass a crucial "threshold" on the way to the rule of law. Bumin also blasts Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Devlet Bahceli for using a recent speech by AKP Deputy Nihat Ergun as a basis for accusing the AKP of endorsing Mas'ud Barzani's perspective on Turkey and the PKK's separatist policies. He also urges Speaker of Parliament Koksal Toptan to take action against the MHP leader over his accusations against the AKP.

    b) Kurdish Issue:

    Welcoming the government initiative to establish contact with the north Iraqi Kurdish administration in an article entitled "Political courage" in Referans, Cengiz Candar notes that Nechirvan Barzani, the prime minister of the Kurdish administration, is expected to arrive in Turkey in the near future and adds: "We should know that all these moves are not steps that will end the 'terror' or that will eliminate the PKK. However, they are moves in the right direction." Candar, however, believes these moves to be wanting, stressing that so long as Turkey does not hold meetings at the highest level with Iraqi Kurdish leaders in Arbil and so long as it does not consider opening a consulate in that city, these moves might have come "too little too late." Pointing out that there is nothing "dramatic" or "radical" in meeting Mas'ud Barzani in Baghdad, Candar goes on to accuse the government of approaching the "Kurdish problem" as a "security issue linked to terror" instead of viewing it as Turkey's number one "political" issue. The writer calls on the government to show "political courage" in its relations with the Kurdish administration in Iraq and in taking meaningful steps regarding the Kurdish identity issue.

    Beginning his article in Milliyet by refuting media reports that Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister Erdogan's adviser, was part of the Turkish delegation conducting talks in Baghdad, Fikret Bila goes on to assess the Baghdad talks conducted by Murat Ozcelik, Turkey's special envoy for Iraq, and Derya Kankal, the Turkish ambassador to Baghdad. The first impression on the meeting held with Barzani conveyed to Ankara was positive, Bila writes, adding that Barzani's response to Ankara's proposal for an active cooperation in the fight against the PKK was affirmative. Noting that it is too early to talk about a joint action plan, Bila recalls that previous attempts at cooperation in 1992 had not reached the desired level. Based on past attempts it is not easy to say that Ankara fully trusts Barzani and Talabani, Bila notes, adding that, however, compared to the 90ies the United States has a more active role in the equation. Bila concludes: "The United States supports the process that began yesterday. The policy the United States will be pursuing is very important for this cooperation to concretize and to yield results."

    In an article entitled "The message sent to Mas'ud Barzani", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici comments on "evidence" supporting the contention that the latest PKK attacks are intended to damage the ongoing "dialog" process involving Turkey, the United States, Iraq, and northern Iraqi Kurdish leaders. He also argues that in establishing contact with northern Iraqi Kurdish officials, Ankara is taking a step contrary to PKK expectations, adding that "this should not be misinterpreted as meaning that Ankara is pleased with the amount of cooperation by Kurdish leaders in the fight against terrorism. ... The Government's new goal in the face of the latest developments is to keep in reserve the authority to order cross-border operations on the one hand and treat the Kurdish administration as a counterpart on the other in order to force it to cooperate with Turkey in combating terrorism."

    According to a report by Turan Yilmaz and Hasan Tufekci in Hurriyet, a new committee within the framework of the Interior Ministry will be established in a bid to fight terror. This committee, which will have a dynamic structure and which will function like a "Domestic Security Undersecretariat," will be in charge of strategic planning and implementation as well as the sharing of intelligence among the security forces. The report adds that the committee will be composed of high-level administrators from the General Staff, the Gendarmerie, the National Intelligence Agency, MIT, and the Security Directorate.

    According to a report in Vatan, Cevat Ones, the former deputy under secretary of MIT, speaking on a program hosted by Can Dundar on NTV on 14 October, said that the United States handed Abdullah Ocalan over to Turkey because he constituted an obstacle to the US plan to establish an independent Kurdish state in north Iraq at the time. Cevat ones went on to assess the PKK as follows: "The PKK terror is a result. It is the Kurdish question that has created this result. Terror can be eliminated only with the solution of the Kurdish problem." Noting that terror cannot be solved only through an armed struggle, Ones is also reported to have stressed the importance of a new Constitution in the solution of the Kurdish issue. According to Ones, steps such as the creation of a buffer zone should be considered after all diplomatic steps have been exhausted.

    Democratic Society Party, DTP, leader Ahmet Turk is reported to have said that his party performs the function of a bridge in the solution of the Kurdish problem, adding: "The destruction of this bridge will lead the Turkish people, the society to a disaster." According to a report in Milliyet, Turk has assessed the dialogue between the Turkish government and the north Iraqi Kurdish administration as a "positive initiative" and has called on the government to recognize the regional administration. Arguing that the $300 billion spent so far on the military solution of the southeast problem has caused the current economic crisis in the country, Turk calls on the government to implement the Spanish example regarding education in the Kurdish language.

    Criticizing the oppression exerted on the Kurdish media in an article in Radikal, Oral Calislar quotes a report from Ulkeye Bakis [A Look at the Country], a regional daily published in Diyarbakir, saying that 16 dailies were closed 39 times within the last two and a half years. Noting that on 4 August 2006, former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer applied to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of Articles 5 and 6 of the Anti-Terror Law that deal with sanctions against the press, Calislar questions why the Court has yet to reach a decision on the issue while it was so swift in reaching a decision on the headdress issue. Asking in which democratic country in the world dailies are closed 39 times within a period of two and a half years, Calislar argues the need to resort to the path of the judiciary even for publications that force the limits of democracy.

    In a commentary entitled "Lessons for Turks in approaching the Kurdish issue", Milli Gazete writer Yusuf Genc holds the "stupid clamour for a nation state that has been going on for a century" responsible for what he describes as Turkey's failure to solve the "Kurdish issue." He claims that Turkey cannot hope to address this issue successfully without realizing that "the PKK is an Armenian company invented for the purpose of secularizing the Kurdish people." He also argues that peace can be established in the southeast only if the state promotes belief in the brotherhood of all Muslims.

    EG/


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