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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-20

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. 200/08 18-20.10.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey becomes non-permanent member of the UN Security Council
  • [02] The self-styled Minister of Education and Culture accepted an Indian acamedician.
  • [03] The Turkish Minister of State was criticized for his statement for a two-states solution in Cyprus
  • [04] A joint memorandum between KTOS and Solidarnosc
  • [05] An initiative by BASIN-SEN and Cyprus Journalists Union on the use of the card of IJF
  • [06] Sanlidag said that there is peace in Cyprus and the sides struggle to overcome their problems
  • [07] TUSAM to give lectures on Cyprus in the occupied areas of the Republic
  • [08] More illegal immigrants are trying to enter the Republic using the shores of occupied Cyprus
  • [09] Ilkay Adali hopes Ergenekon case will uncover her husbands assassins
  • [10] Caroline Flint on her recent visit to Cyprus
  • [11] UNDPs Turkish Administrator on the global financial crisis and its effect on Turkey
  • [12] TUSIAD urges governments for a new stand-by agreement with IMF
  • [13] TOBB chairman warns Turkey to finance its current account deficit to avoid economic crisis
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Talat briefed Todays Zaman on the talks for a solution in Cyprus
  • [15] Similar scenarios from the two sides
  • [16] From the Turkish Press of 17, 18 and 19 October 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey becomes non-permanent member of the UN Security Council

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.08) reported that Turkey won two-thirds of votes (equal to 151 votes) in the voting, and secured a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council in the Western European and Others Group. Thus, Turkey will be a non-permanent member of the council for the term 2009-2010. Austria was the second country to become a non-permanent member of the council from the same group, winning 132 votes. Iceland got only 128 votes and was eliminated in the voting at the UN General Assembly.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.08) reported from Ankara that Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Friday that Turkey's becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2009-2010 period was an important success of Turkish state's diplomacy and something which every citizen should be proud of.

    In a written statement Gul thanked all friendly UN members as well as all related members of the Turkish Government, Foreign Ministry and institutions for their support.

    "This support to Turkey is a reflection of the confidence and friendship of international community to our state. We will be in an effort to mobilize all abilities of Turkish diplomacy for the security, tranquillity and welfare of the nations of the world," Gul said.

    "Turkey will continue assuming an influential role in the solution of the problems to restore peace, stability and tranquillity in our region and in the world and will continue to contribute to endeavours to establish dialogue between the cultures and religions," he noted.

    Ankara Anatolia (17.0.08) further reported from Ankara that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that Turkey's becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2009-2010 was an outcome of Turkey's gradually growing importance in international politics and the international community's trust in Turkey.

    Speaking to reporters Erdogan said he believed that diplomatic efforts carried out in the past 5 years and Turkey's contributions to peace and stability have an influence on this decision, adding: "Now, we have an opportunity to undertake a more influential, active and global role."

    Responding to a question, Erdogan said he might soon pay a visit to the United States to meet with the permanent representatives.

    Asked what would be the issues Turkey would bring onto the agenda in the UNSC, Erdogan said: "The matters that they focus on are known. The Caucasus, Middle East, Iraq, and Afghanistan top the agenda. Nonetheless, UNSC does not focus on a specific region."

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (18.10.08) broadcast that Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, speaking after Turkey won a non-permanent seat at the UN Security Council, said that a new phase has begun on the Cyprus Problem.

    Praising his governments successful foreign policy on the Cyprus issue, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that the Turkish Cypriot side possessed a political leadership that focused on solution.

    There is a leader on the Greek Cypriot side who claims he is in favour of a solution. Of course he needs to prove this not only with words but with actions. We shall see altogether how the process enrols but we have reasons to be optimistic, he said.

    On Turkeys becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, illegal Bayrak television (19.10.08) broadcast also that in a message Mr Turgay Avci, the occupation regimes self-styled Prime Minister expressed the belief that Turkeys support will play a vital role in overcoming the deadlock in the negotiations process that is taking place.

    The Turkish Cypriot people are an inseparable part of the Turkish Nation and we are very proud with motherland Turkey for winning the support and trust of the international community, he added.

    [02] The self-styled Minister of Education and Culture accepted an Indian academician

    Turkish daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.10.08) reports that Canan Oztoprak, self-styled Minister of Education and Culture accepted the Indian academician and director of the India-Bangalore College of Advance Technology Studies (CATS) Mr. Subhaskar Reddy who is paying a visit in the occupied areas as a guest of the American University of Keryneia.

    According to the statement issued by the so-called Ministry, speaking during his meeting with Mrs. Oztoprak, Mr. Subhaskar Reddy has said that although India is a very poor country, it attaches great importance and spends a lot of money in the field of education. He also said that they have an important cooperation with the American University of Keryneia and expressed their will for the continuation of this cooperation.

    (AK)

    [03] The Turkish Minister of State was criticized for his statement for a two-states solution in Cyprus

    Under the title Reaction from KTOS to CicekElcil: He forgot that he is a guest Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (18.10.08) reports that the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Mr Sener Elcil, in a written statement criticized the Turkish Minister of State, in charge of Cyprus affairs, Mr Cemil Cicek.

    In his statement Mr Sener Elcil inter alia, said that Mr Cemil Cicek was added to the officials of the Turkish Republic who insult the Turkish Cypriots and show no respect for their political will, and added:

    Ignoring the fact that in the ongoing negotiations process and at the table the two leaders are exerting efforts for a federal solution based on one sovereignty and one nationality, Mr Cicek said that any solution other than a two-states solution cannot be accepted, in line with the Turkish Republics understanding of Partition which is going on since the years of 1950. Ignoring also the fact that he is a guest in our country and going along the mentality of whoever gives the money given the orders he appears with the audacity of putting forth the partitionist spirit.

    With this statement he exhibited once more the mentality of taking over the political will of the Turkish Cypriots through transferring population, interference by of the Turkish military-civilian bureaucracy of the Turkish Republic during every period before the elections

    (KV)

    [04] A joint memorandum between KTOS and Solidarnosc

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.10.08) reports that a seven-member delegation of the Independent and Self-Governing Trade Union Solidarno[ from Poland is in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in the framework of a joint memorandum with Turkish Cypriot Teachers Trade Union (KTOS). The Secretary for Education of KTOS, Mustafa Ozhur, said that a delegation of KTOS visited schools and municipalities in the areas of Gdansk Sopot and Gdynia in Poland within the framework of the same memorandum with Solidarnosc Union in the middle of September. Ozhur said that the aim of their visit was to examine the education system in the schools, to follow it closely and to work on a development project that will be compared with the educational system in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The delegation from Poland will submit a joint project with KTOS to the so-called minister of national education and culture Canan Oztoprak.

    (DPs)

    [05] An initiative by BASIN-SEN and Cyprus Journalists Union on the use of the card of IJF

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.10.08) reports that the journalists in Cyprus decided to launch a joint initiative in order to be able to use unrestricted the card of the International Federation of Journalists (IJF) during their work. The paper reports that the journalists want to be able to move around the island freely and be able to do their duties. According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, the Turkish Cypriot Journalists` Trade Union (BASIN-SEN) and members of the Cyprus Journalists Union met in Rome on October17th. Administrators from the International Journalists Federation (IJF), from the Europe Journalists Federation (EJF), from Turkeys Journalists Union (TGS) and from the Journalists' Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers (JUADN) attended also the meeting. The journalists organizations signed at the end of the meeting an agreement which contains joint works on issues of ethic and quality journalism and to safeguard the freedom of movement of the journalists in Cyprus. The agreement was signed by the Chairman of BASIN-SEN Kemal Darbaz and the General Secretary of the Cyprus Journalists Union Androulla Georgiadou. They agreed to struggle in order for the Press Card of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to be recognized and to be given permission for the freedom of movement to the community of all Cypriot journalists in the northern and southern areas of the island.

    (DPs)

    [06] Sanlidag said that there is peace in Cyprus and the sides struggle to overcome their problems

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.10.08) reports that the so-called minister of economy and tourism Erdogan Sanlidag, who is in Trabzon for the 1st Trabzon Silk Road Businessmen Summit, delivered a speech at the Summit. He informed the participants regarding the negotiation process for the Cyprus settlement and said that there is peace in Cyprus and the sides are fighting to find a solution and overcome the problems. Sanlidag also said that no country has recognized the TRNC or given them support apart from Turkey and added: It encourages us that Turkey is always on our side.

    (DPs)

    [07] TUSAM to give lectures on Cyprus in the occupied areas of the Republic

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.09.08) reports that Mrs. Kilic Yasin, a Turkish expert on Cyprus from the National Security Strategies Research Centre (TUSAM), will give a series of lectures in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The lectures will be hosted in the occupied areas of Karpasia, Vasili, Galatia, Karavas, Lapithos and Morphou and will be open to the public.

    Kilic Yasin is visiting occupied Cyprus after an invitation addressed to her by the Association for the Protection of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (18.09.08), Mrs. Yasins lectures will be focused on the agreements reached and the messages conveyed within the framework of the latest negotiations for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.

    [Tr. Note: TUSAM is Turkish think-tank based in Ankara, established in 2004 and it has started its work as a national and independent Non-governmental Organization as the centre of policy formulation in the context of national security.]

    (ML)

    [08] More illegal immigrants are trying to enter the Republic using the shores of occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (18.09.08) reports that on October 17th, 26 Syrians were arrested by the so-called coastguard in the shores of occupied Bogazi in Famagusta.

    Further, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.09.08) reports that two illegal immigrants, citizens of Syria have been arrested by the so-called police in occupied Trikomo.

    (ML)

    [09] Ilkay Adali hopes Ergenekon case will uncover her husbands assassins

    According to Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (19.10.08), the wife of the assassinated Turkish Cypriot Journalist Kutlu Adali, Mrs Ilkay Adali, is hopeful that the Ergenekon case in Turkey will shed light to the assassination of her husband in July 1996, the perpetrators of which are still at large. Mrs. Adali called on the wives of the assassinated journalist Ugur Mumcu, Mrs Guldal Mumcu and of the researcher Necip Hablemitoglu, Mrs Sengul Hablemitoglu in Turkey not to keep silent and continue to struggle in order to find the perpetrators of their husbands murderers.

    The Ergenekon paramilitary organization is thought to be behind these assassinations.

    Mrs. Adali said: My call to them is not to keep silent, because, if they continue to keep silent these murders will continue. If in the Ergenekon case, assassination of my husband is taken up, then they will uncover the perpetrators of the murder of my husband. If the necessary information is supplied regarding the owner of the Uzi gun used in the assassination and the proof that the bullets were fired by the Uzi then the case will be resolved. I expect that the public prosecutor will pursue and I want the realization of my appointment that I have asked from the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Mrs. Adali further said that the current commander of the Kocaeli Garrison in Turkey, Lieutenant General Galip Mendi, whose name was related to the assassination of Kutlu Adali, arrived in the occupied areas in 2004 prior to the April referendum and toured the villages one by one asking villagers to vote against the Annan Plan.

    Mrs. Adali went on and said that following the assassination of his husband she has received threatening phone calls from Lieutenant General Galip Mendi and general Mendi admitted in the court that he had made threatening calls to her.

    (MHY)

    [10] Caroline Flint on her recent visit to Cyprus

    British Minister for Europe at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Mrs Caroline Flint, in an exclusive article in Turkish daily Milliyet (18.10.08) refers to her recent visit to Cyprus and writes about her contacts. She says that during this visit she has realized how important her visit to the island was in demonstrating Britains support to the reunification of the island.

    She went on and said that the current negotiations which started a month ago provide the best opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem which is very essential for the peace and welfare of the region.

    Expressing her satisfaction regarding her separate meetings with the leaders of both communities and the decision taken to cancel the military exercises in the island by the leaders, Mrs. Flint reiterated that Britain continues to support the UN solution which will be based on bizonal, bicommunal, federation with political equality. It is the Cypriot people who will decide the final form of the solution to be reached, British official said.

    She said that during her contacts in Cyprus she urged the sides not to let this opportunity to be lost nor to break the talks.

    Saying that the ongoing negotiations would not be easy, she said that during the negotiations the sides should take into consideration the other sides concerns and in order to overcome the obstacles that will come up during the negotiations the sides should be flexible and open to reconciliation. She stressed that the international community will continue to extend support to this new process.

    (MHY)

    [11] UNDPs Turkish Administrator on the global financial crisis and its effect on Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.10.08) reported the following from New York:

    United Nation Development Program (UNDP) Administrator Kemal Dervis said Friday that global financial crisis would have effects on real sector of all countries including Turkey, however Turkey had mitigated risks by the help of market diversification.

    Turkey did well by entering the Chinese market. Because Turkey minimized risks by diversifying foreign trade markets and would be less affected by depression in Europe, Kemal Dervis told the A.A in an exclusive interview.

    Dervis also said that Turkey's banking industry had no risky or toxic instruments like those in European or U.S. banks that had been affected negatively with the financial crisis.

    He said Turkey had made significant structural reforms after the economic crisis in 2001 and now it enjoyed those reforms what he described as "exaggerated" especially in the financial sector.

    Turkey is now reaping the fruits of structural reforms made and measures taken in the financial sector after the crisis in 2001, he said.

    [12] TUSIAD urges governments for a new stand-by agreement with IMF

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.10.08) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Head of Turkey's major business association urged the government Friday to make a new stand-by agreement with the International Monetary Fund amid a growing global financial turmoil threatening markets.

    A new stand-by agreement should be made with the IMF as soon as possible to strengthen macro-economic stability and to maintain confidence in the markets, said Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, chairwoman of the Executive Board of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD).

    Yalcindag said the European Union and the IMF were two important anchors to build trust in the markets and the economy.

    Yalcindag also called for a credible road map to speed up the negotiations with the EU to effectively pursue the process of micro reforms.

    [13] TOBB chairman warns Turkey to finance its current account deficit to avoid economic crisis

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.10.08) reported the following from Trabzon:

    One of the most important economic problems of Turkey is the primary deficit financing, head of Turkey's largest business organization said on Saturday.

    If we can not finance the deficit, then Turkey will face a crisis, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, chairman of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges in Turkey, told a conference on Turkish economy at the Black Sea Technical University in the northern province of Trabzon.

    Turkey's current account deficit hit 34.8 billion USD in the first eight months of 2008, Central Bank announced last week. It was 23.7 billion in the first eight months of 2007.

    Hisarciklioglu said Turkish real sector's external debts were climbing and added that it reached 191 billion USD in the first eight months of this year.He said Turkey was caught by the global turmoil amid slowed-down growth and increasing external deficit and external borrowing. However, Hisarciklioglu said, Turkey was experienced against economic crisis unlike United States and Europe since Turkish people saw a similar economic meltdown in 2001.However, we have the propensity of overspending just like American people, he said.

    Hisarciklioglu also talked about a possible stand-by deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and said everyone in Turkey was against IMF but the country was left weak at the knees against IMF.

    This is unacceptable. We have to save the country from borrowing or taking orders. This is what we aim, he stated.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Talat briefed Todays Zaman on the talks for a solution in Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.10.08) publishes the following column by Abdulhamit Bilici under the title: If not resolved, Cyprus issue will become a new Kosovo:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will be meeting to resolve the longstanding Cyprus issue for the fifth time next Wednesday.

    The process is silently making progress while the whole world is struggling with a huge economic crisis and Turkey is once again facing terror. At an informal breakfast with President Talat in Istanbul, I had the opportunity to get detailed information on how the talks were proceeding.

    What issues have the leaders discussed so far? Do they have hopes that this time there will be a fruitful result? To what extent are Ankara and Athens interfering with the process?

    Talat seemed pretty optimistic about the negotiations. He held that the biggest difference with the past was real eagerness on both sides for a resolution. He thinks that in the past one party remained sceptical or ambivalent while the other was seeking a genuine solution. In regards to this, he recalls a historical anecdote he heard from his formal political rival, Rauf Denktas: When prospects for negotiations appeared in 1967, Denktas asked for advice from Ankara on what to do. Foreign Minister Ihsan Sabri Caglayangil told him to manage the situation without making a genuine offer. Of course, the same could be said for the Greek side in the past. When the Turkish side expressed eagerness for a viable resolution during the Annan plan process for the first time, it became evident that the Greeks were reluctant to reach a lasting solution to the issue.

    The leaders have not dealt with complicated issues, such as borders and property; but apparently they have reached an agreement on the authorities of the federal government that will be formed. Of course, there will need to be further discussions on the details. The Greeks are proposing a presidential system pretty close to the existing one in their part, adding that an executive system not affected by the parliament's actions should be established. The Turkish side is proposing a slightly different model in which the government will be formed by members of parliament, combining presidential and parliamentary systems for better representation and more democratic legitimacy. Talat says what he has in mind is similar to the Swiss model. The seven-member cabinet will include four Greeks and three Turks. Affirmative votes by a certain number of Turkish members will be required to make decisions in the cabinet. Both parties will be equally represented in the Senate and higher judiciary. The Turkish proposal says presidents should be seated on a rotating basis. Instead of the 40-month Greek and 20-month Turkish presidencies, as outlined in the Annan plan, the Turkish side is proposing a rotation system in which a Greek will sit as president for three years and a Turk for two during the course of a single five-year presidential term.

    Talat says Ankara is not causing any problems in the process, adding that no problems have arisen because they prepared their negotiation positions jointly with the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Talat further stresses that they do not feel pressure from Turkey in terms of timetables. In fact, he says Turkey should be more interested in the developments. Talat complains of indifference on the part of the international community. Sweden and England are closely following the process, but other countries, including the US, have shown no interest. He recalls that the Turkish side asked that the European Union not interfere with the process because the Greek Cypriots have full membership in the union.

    While listening to Talat, the question arises of whether his optimism is merited. Do both sides feel the need for a lasting solution equally? Is the pressure for both sides to resolve the issue shared in the same degree? As long as the Turkish side delays the solution, Turkey's EU bid will go nowhere. However, the Greek Cypriots have no such a problem. They are already EU members despite the fact that they opposed a solution in 2004. Maybe the only concern for the Greek Cypriots is the possibility that the current state of division will become official in the event that the issue starts to appear intractable. Developments in Kosovo, South Ossetia and Abkhazia confirm this fear.

    I think because he is aware of this, Talat says the Cyprus issue will become a new Kosovo if it remains unresolved.

    [15] Similar scenarios from the two sides

    Turkish daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.10.08) publishes a commentary by columnist Resat Akar under the title Similar scenarios from the two sides. The columnist reports on the parameters which the two sides consider that they will affect negatively the negotiation process aiming to find a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to Resat Akar, for the Turkish Cypriot side, the negative parameters which will affect the efforts for finding a solution, are the following:

    The global financial market crisis will affect Turkey as well in the near future.

    The crisis in Turkey will open the road for the falling down of Erdogans government.

    The crisis affecting the TRNC will force the CTP government to resign. The matter of early elections will come into the agenda. After the early elections, the right-wing National Unity Party will become the first party.

    As soon as CTP government goes, Talat will remain without any support, and no progress will be made towards the effort for finding a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution.

    The columnist goes on and writes that according to the information the paper acquires, Greek Cypriots have similar expectations for the negative parameters that will affect the solution in a negative way. Those elements are the following:

    As soon as Turkey enters into a crisis, it will be forced to make more concessions regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkey in the crisis will be forced to give up the guarantees in Cyprus in order to be able to take support from the EU.

    The Turkish Cypriots will be affected negatively by the global financial crisis and will be in a very bad economical position. Then, they will be forced to turn to the Greek Cypriot Administration and thus, no need will remain for a solution similar to the Annan plan.

    These are the negative elements which contradict the federal solution, Akar writes. The columnist goes further and writes that there are also a lot of other different expectations deriving from this situation.

    Turkey will be dragged resignation into the crisis and Erdogans government will be led to resignation. After this, a new government which supports the integration of Turkey with North Cyprus will come to power.

    New conditions will be created in Turkey after the internal matters and the matter with terrorism, and thus, a military power will gain the power and the negotiation process for the Cyprus problem will be ended.

    The new power in Turkey, will force North Cyprus to go to early elections, and the parties that opposed to the solution will come to power.

    The construction upon the Greek properties which were abandoned in North Cyprus will be increased.

    The pressure directed to Turkey and North Cyprus and the embargoes will also be increased.

    The non-solution policy will become permanent.

    The columnist concludes by calling on both sides to see and examine the above scenarios and decide what to do. He goes on and writes that both sides should understand that the solution is an urgent need. He supports that if finally a lasting solution is achieved on the Cyprus problem, both sides will have a lot of benefits to gain, and the chance to live in their country a peaceful life.

    He then supports that there is one and only option for the two communities of the island: the bi-zonal, bi-communal solution based on the political equality.

    If Cypriots do not have this in their minds until they succeed it, then, nobody, and no crisis will help us, writes the columnist.

    (AK)

    [16] From the Turkish Press of 17, 18 and 19 October 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 17, 18 and 19 October:

    a) Kurdish Issue:

    In an article entitled "Relations with Iraqi Kurds," in Radikal (17.10.08) columnist Cengiz Candar says that the meeting held between Turkish officials and Barzani in Baghdad was aimed at taking a positive step toward rapprochement rather than issuing an ultimatum in order to force him to take action against the PKK. He comments: "Considering that poisoning relations between Ankara and Arbil is one of the main objectives which the PKK intends to achieve by stepping up its attacks, making persistent efforts to ensure rapprochement between Ankara and Arbil should be regarded as the right approach."

    In an article entitled "Disagreements between the United States and the TSK [Turkish Armed Forces]," in Cumhuriyet (17.10.08) columnist Erol Manisali asserts that there are serious differences between policies being pursued by the United States and the Turkish military, especially with regard to moderate Islam, Broader Middle East Initiative, the PKK and the Democratic Society Party, deployment of Turkish troops, abroad, Iran, and Cyprus. Asserting that the United States is using the AKP, Talabani, Barzani, and the PKK in order to step up pressure on the TSK, Manisali comments: "Undermining the TSK's reliability is the best solution as far as the United States (and the EU) is concerned. They regard the TSK as the biggest obstacle to pro-American civil coups and changing maps in the region."

    In an article entitled "Can we not question the Helicopter crash, either?" in Vakit (17.10.08) columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu censures General Basbug for his criticisms of "questioning" press reports about the recent military operations in the southeast. He asks "whether we cannot pose any questions about the latest helicopter crash" during an operation in the southeast and ask who sold the helicopter to Turkey, how much money was paid for it, whether the crash could be attributed to flaws in the production of the helicopter, etc.

    In an article entitled "The answer is simple," in Hurriyet (18.10.08) columnist Oktay Eksi points out that there are different proposals about the strategy to be pursued against the PKK, including steps to be taken in military, political, economic, and social fields. Eksi asserts that the United States prevents Turkey from destroying the PKK while the Turkish government is trying to achieve results by following policies advised by Washington. Stressing that defeating the PKK on the ground should be Turkey's number one priority, Eksi goes on to say: "The first precondition for defeating the terrorist organization on the ground is to ensure that related policies such as the right of hot pursuit is not subject to control by any foreign country, especially Washington. It is, therefore, not sufficient to say here that sovereignty belongs to the Turkish nation in Turkey. Can you also tell this to Washington?"

    In an article entitled "Toward a new Iraqi paradigm," in Radikal (18.10.08) columnist Cengiz Candar says that the PKK's intensified attacks should be regarded as a reason for accelerating rapprochement between Turkey and the Kurdish government in northern Iraq rather than prompting Turkish leaders from distancing themselves from Iraqi Kurdish leaders. He says: "Rapprochement between Turkey and Iraqi Kurds is necessary and even compulsory due to strategic reasons. Progress to be made in that area would represent a step toward weakening and neutralizing the PKK."

    A report entitled "DTP [Democratic Society Party] Leader Turk: Talks with Ocalan were suspended after AKP [Justice and Development Party] came to power" in Hurriyet (18.10.08) quotes DTP leader Turk as saying in a news conference that talks reportedly held between some Turkish officials and PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali prison in order to find a solution to the Kurdish question in the 2000s ended after the AKP came to power. Turk also claimed that Ocalan was being subjected to physical violence in prison and urged Turkish authorities to end such practices which, he cautioned, could set the stage for provocations. According to the report, Ocalan was quoted as saying to his lawyers that facts behind the decision to stop talks held with him until 2002 should be revealed.

    A report entitled "Critical AKP-DTP [Democratic Society Party] meeting at kebab restaurant" in Milliyet (18.10.08) says that AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat and DTP leader Ahmet Turk accompanied by two DTP deputies discussed terrorism, the Kurdish question, and Ocalan's situation at a restaurant in Ankara yesterday.

    In an article entitled "Stop them from going to Northern Iraq in order to stop them from coming from Northern Iraq", Yeni Safak (18.10.08) columnist Yasin Aktay asserts that yesterday's military press briefing where the General Staff denied a recent Taraf report accusing the military of failing to act on intelligence about the PKK attack on the Aktutun border station raises the question of why Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug issued what sounded like an ultimatum to the news media at his recent news conference when he could have chosen this "healthy" means of communicating with the media.

    In an article entitled "This is a court verdict. Let everyone close their eyes", Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamis criticizes a military court for imposing a news blackout on the PKK raid on the Aktutun border post in the wake of General Basbug's "severe reprimand" of certain media outlets over their coverage of the said attack. Kamis expresses regret at the presence of courts in Turkey that can render such rulings at the instigation of the military. He also asserts that thanks to advances in communications technology, "you cannot suppress the truth as long as Turkey does not become a second North Korea."

    According to a report by Okan Konuralp in Hurriyet newspaper (19.10.08), AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat and DTP leader Ahmet Turk held talks on the Kurdish problem the night before last night. The report says that Firat informed Turk that the relations between the DTP and the PKK obstruct the initiatives Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan makes to solve the Kurdish problem. It also says that Turk reacted by claiming that a reasonable approach must be adopted on the problem and that the pressure put on the Kurds in the western parts of the country must be obstructed. Regarding the young Kurds on the mountains, it quotes Turk as saying: The problem cannot be solved before the factors that force the young Kurds to go to the mountains are removed. The recognition of rights will move the young men to come down from the mountains.

    According to a report in Istanbul Hurriyet (19.10.08), many civilian organizations held a demonstration against the AKP in Ankara. The report says that thousands of demonstrators protested against rising prices and chanted slogans such as "We will unite and achieve victory," "United States is an occupying country," and "Long live the struggle for work and freedom."

    b) Ergenekon Case:

    A report entitled "The second lawsuit" in Hurriyet (18.10.08) says that Ilhan Selcuk, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet who was released after being detained and interrogated in connection with an investigation against Ergenekon, a shadowy organization, and the lawyers of Cumhuriyet have brought libel actions against the public prosecutors who issued an indictment about the Ergenekon case.

    According to a report by Aysegul Usta in Istanbul Hurriyet (19.10.08), the trial of many of the Ergenekon suspects will begin in Silivri tomorrow. The suspects are being accused of joining a terrorist organization, attempting to overthrow the government or obstruct its work through the use of armed force, provoking the people to use arms against the government, acquiring explosives and secret documents related to state security, calling for military disobedience, and provoking the people to act with grudge and enmity. The hearings will be held every day and the legal process will be relayed to the journalists through a screen that will be set up close to the courtroom where the trial will be held. Retired Generals S Eruygur and Hursit Tolon are not among the suspects who will be tried tomorrow. A lawsuit has not been filed against them.

    c) Turkeys election as non-permanent UN Security Council member:

    In Milliyet (19.10.08) Derya Sazak describes Turkey's election as a non-permanent UN Security Council member a diplomatic victory. Drawing attention to the difference between Turkey's image abroad and the situation in the country, he notes in a column in Istanbul Milliyet: Turkey has to end the political disputes in the country. It has to reform its administrative system in a way that will comply with its image abroad. It musts realize that it has to step up the effort it makes to realize its EU objective by solving the Kurdish problem, ending terrorism, and contributing to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In a report in the same newspaper, Ahu Ozyurt argues that Turkey will have to deal with a significant agenda as a non-permanent UN Security Council member. Stressing that nearly 60 percent of the items on the UN Security Council agenda, including matters related to Iraq, the Caucasus, and the Middle East, concerns Turkey, Ozyurt says: The country's new membership might have positive effects on the process that is aimed at solving the Cyprus problem. Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign Ministry officials believe that the Foreign Ministry cadres must be increased and that they might have to cooperate with experts outside the establishment because of the increasing volume of work.

    Haluk Sahin attributes Turkey's election as a non-permanent UN Security Council member to the significant effort the Foreign Ministry made during the past two years. In a column in Istanbul Radikal, he lauds the AKP [Justice and Development Party] administration's cooperation with the republic's bureaucratic cadres to support Turkey's election. However, he notes: Had the administration acted with a similar mentality on problems related to the election of the new president, the drawing up of a new constitution, the use of the headdress, and the solution of problems in southeastern Turkey, the situation in the country would have been different at the present time.

    In an article entitled "It is now time to put our house in order," in Yeni Safak (19.10.08) columnist Fehmi Koru ascribes Turkey's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council to Ankara's active foreign policy aimed at assuming a decisive role facilitating resolution of chronic problems in the world. Pointing out that Turkey should devise an action plan outlining initiatives that should be taken by Turkish diplomats after Turkey assumes non-permanent membership, Koru says: "We should not forget that such plans and our role as a model country could only be useful if Turkey achieves peace and order on its own soil. We must endeavour in order to resolve all problems, especially terrorism causing tension in our country and to put an end to all wrongheaded policies hindering the country's progress."

    In an article entitled "Turkey's victory and the first hearing", in Zaman (19.10.08) columnist Mustafa Unal describes Turkey's election as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council as a "golden victory" of Turkish diplomacy which, he notes, will enable Turkey to play a more influential role in her region and in the rest of the world.

    d) Islam and the United States:

    In an editorial entitled "Feto's 'Green card,'" in Cumhuriyet (17.10.08) columnist Ilhan Selcuk writes about recent reports that Fethullah Gulen, leader of the Gulen community, has received a green card in the United States. Selcuk asserts that the United States' Broader Middle East Project is being successfully implemented in Turkey based on a model aimed at establishing a moderate Islamic regime supported by religious communities while the AKP is making plans to seize control of the military. He says: "How could pro-American Islamism which has shaped the ruling party and now controls the government be stopped? This is a difficult question because political parties backed by the United States always win elections in Turkey." He predicts that Gulen would return to Turkey if the AKP manages to subdue the military.

    In an article entitled "Islam is God's religion" in Milli Gazete (19.10.08) columnist Sakir Tarim asserts that the United States regards Muslims who aim to achieve peace and order in the world as its main rivals preventing the United States from achieving its plan to dominate the world through the Broader Middle East Project. He says: "It is why they are trying to convince Muslims to adopt a new interpretation of Islam which has been deprived of its vitality and dynamism." He emphasizes that Islam does not need any reform because its principles never become outdated.

    Finally, in an article entitled "Fear of cuddle and coo dolls," in Milli Gazete (19.10.08) columnist Zeki Ceyhan says that dolls allegedly preaching islamic messages are banned in the United States due to an angry backlash from consumers. He comments: "This large-scale campaign against those dolls indicates that the phenomenon presented as inter-religion is actually a big nonsense."

    EG/


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