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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 203/08 23.10.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The breakaway regime arrested a Greek Cypriot for attempting to take out of the country ¬ 30.000Under the title South Cyprus is, allegedly, abroad! Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (23.10.08) reports that the night before yesterday a Greek Cypriot was arrested at the Turkish barricade of Ayios Dometios [which the Turks call Metehan]. According to Afrikas editor-in-chief, Sener Levent, the Greek Cypriot was accused of carrying out of the country a sum of money larger than the one provided for in the law of the breakaway regime.
The ¬ 30.000 found in the possession of the Greek Cypriot, who was returning to the south from a casino in the north, was confiscated , notes Mr Levent in his daily column under the title Worse than Russian roulette , adding that the Greek Cypriot named Fotis remained under custody for one day. He was set free after paying a personal bail of 20.000 Turkish liras [around ¬ 10.000] and ¬ 1.000 to a Turkish Cypriot lawyer. The ¬ 30.000 was confiscated as evidence at the court .
Noting that the sum allowed by the law to be carried abroad is $10.000, Mr Levent writes that the police published only the initials of the name of Fotis in their announcement and points out that this is not the practice applied in the case of other arrested Greek Cypriots.
He adds, inter alia, the following: Look at how they described the Greek Cypriot Fotis in this news: Foreign citizen! You would think that he was from Syria, Jordan, Arabia or Egypt, but definitely not from Turkey. If he was from Turkey, would he be considered a foreign citizen?
The Talat administration in the north, just like the Denktas administration, treats the Greek Cypriots as foreign citizens in their own country. It considers them foreigners, while it considers those from Turkey to be locals. While, for example, the tourist fee is applied for Greek Cypriots who visit the museums, the local fee is applied for those from Turkey. The most important and impressive, however, is the following: It considers as abroad the other half of Cyprus, which it has divided. While for the Turkish Cypriots who cross into the south they perform transactions as if they were going abroad, for the Greek Cypriots who cross into the north they perform transactions as if they were tourists who came to our country. There is only one exception. It does not accept that our young persons who study at educational institutions in the south are studying abroad, because this does not suit it, and it does not allow them to benefit from the exemption from the military service, as those studying abroad. .
 The 5th meeting between Christofias and Talat has been concludedAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.10.08) reported the following:
The Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders will meet again in November, a United Nations (UN) envoy said on Wednesday.
Taye-Brook Zerihoun, the special representative of UN Secretary General to Cyprus, said that President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias would have a meeting again on November 3.
Talat and Christofias met in the buffer zone in Cyprus for the fifth time on Wednesday to resolve Cyprus problem. The two leaders had one and a half hours of a tête-à-tête meeting, Zerihoun told reporters after the meeting. Zerihoun said that the leaders discussed share of power in administration and execution.
The UN envoy said the leaders would hold their sixth meeting on November 3 and go on discussing share of power, and their envoys would have a meeting on October 30.
Comprehensive Cyprus talks were launched on September 11. Talat and Christofias earlier had four meetings, and started to debate administration and share of power on October 13. The leaders continued on Wednesday to discuss execution, presidency and vice presidency.
After October 13th meeting, the Greek Cypriot administration announced that it cancelled its concerted "Nikiforos" exercise and the TRNC said Turkish army's "Toros" exercise would not be performed.
In their meeting on October 10, leaders agreed to meet every week.
After completing discussions on administration and share of power, leaders are expected to debate property issue, one of the most challenging issues.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (23.10.08) writes that a section of the Turkish Cypriot press (illegal TAK agency, Genc TV, Cyprus Today and Ada TV) was prevented by the United Nations to attend the area where the negotiations of the two leaders are taking place with the excuse of late attendance. The reporters received permission after the two leaders meeting had started.
The meeting was covered under the following headlines by the Turkish Cypriot newspapers:
KIBRIS: The leaders met, UN is satisfied
AFRIKA: They will continue on November 3rd
KIBRISLI: After the executive power, legislative power is on the table.
BAKIS: Nothing new
STAR KIBRIS: A headline which remained incomplete.
ORTAM: On November 3rd the next meeting.
CYPRUS TIMES: Leaders met again yesterday
VATAN: Legislative power is on the table
VOLKAN: Once again a meeting without minutes
 CTP delegation visits ruling party AKELs headquartersIllegal Bayrak television (22.10.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
While the Cyprus leaders maintain the negotiations process, political parties from the two sides also continue their mutual contacts.
A delegation from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), headed by the CTP General Secretary Omer Kalyoncu, paid a visit to the Greek Cypriot ruling party AKEL today.
The meeting between the two parties took place at the AKEL headquarters in South Lefkosia.
Making a statement after the meeting, Mr Kalyoncu informed that the CTP and AKEL representatives made an evaluation of the Cyprus negotiations and exchanged views on various difficulties faced and possible outcomes.
He added that the two parties also reached agreement on arranging another meeting in a near future.
Yesterday, the Greek Cypriot DISY party visited the CTP headquarters and the two parties agreed to provide their support to the negotiations process and encourage the two leaders on efforts aimed at reaching a comprehensive political settlement on the island.
 A so-called police officer was arrested for drugsTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.10.08), in its front page under the title A police high-ranking officer was arrested for 170kg of drugs, reports that the end of the incident in which Turkeys police caught in Turkey 170 kg of cannabis extended until the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The so-called TRNC police with a secret operation arrested two persons; one of them was a high-ranking police officer.
 Soyer is satisfied from the report of FATF on money laundering in the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.10.08) reports that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which is active in development and promotion of national and international policies to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, announced during their latest meeting in Rio de Janeiro on 16th of October that FAFT found positive the efforts that were made in this field in the northern part of Cyprus and removed the TRNC from the list of money laundering. The so-called prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, in a statement made before the meeting of the so-called council of ministers, said that he is satisfied from the decision and called the local and foreigner investors to prefer the TRNC banks which are harmonised with the international supervisions. He also described the decision as an important and pleased development.
 Members of HIS party joined the ORP political partyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.10.08) reports that the former deputy Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot political party Politics for the People Movement (HIS), Sevket Alpturk, joined the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). Turgay Avci, leader of ORP, said that the doors of ORP are open to all who want justice, equality and prosperity in the TRNC. He added that their party is formed by people who do honest and self-confident politics. Apart from Alpturk, Mehmet Gulmus, Mustafa Varli and Cemal Gencer of the same political party went over also to ORP. Hasan Boral, who was not member of any political party, also joined yesterday the ORP.
Kibris also reports that the leader of Politics for the People Movement (HIS) Ahmet Yonluer is going today to Lebanon to participate in a television programme of the Al Alem channel regarding the Cyprus problem. According to the paper the Greek Cypriot Prodromos Prodromou will also attend the programme.
 A conference on the Cyprus Problem was organized in DAUTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRLISLI newspaper (23.10.2008) under the title The Cyprus problem was discussed in Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), reports that the Strategy Research Centre (DAU-SAM) of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University has organized a conference for the Cyprus problem. According to the paper, the chairman of the Strategy Research Centre, Mr. Hakki Atun, Dr. Mehmet Ozcan and Fatma Yilmaz delivered speeches. Referring to the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus, Mr. Hakki Atun said that a lot of states want a Cyprus settlement for their own interest. Commenting on the statement made by President Christofias that guarantees are not necessary in modern countries, Mr. Atun said that they need to safeguard the existence and the life of their people. Meanwhile, Dr. Mehmet Ozcan said that the Cyprus problem is not considered to be the only obstacle for Turkeys EU process. Also, Mrs. Fatma Yilmaz said that the YES vote of the Turkish Cypriot side in the Annan Plan has strengthened them and added that it is the Greek Cypriots that should show now goodwill to the international community, for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
 Erel asked the occupation regime to adopt the euroTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.10.08) reports that the Chairman of the Cyprus EU Association, Ali Erel, in a written statement yesterday, asked from the occupation regime to adopt immediately the euro as their official currency in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus and to take measures against the effect of global financial crisis. Erel added: The use of euro will make easier the integration with the economy of South Cyprus, which has a more healthy economy.
 ¤he Turkish Football Federation held contacts in the occupied areasUnder the title Soyer s wish , Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (23.10.08) writes that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the self-styled prime minister of the occupation regime, expressed the wish for Turkish, Greek, Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriots football teams to get together in a common tournament and to show with football that they are friends and gentlemen. Mr Soyer made these statements during a meeting he held with Mahmut Ozgener, the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation, who is visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus upon an invitation of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation and the Turkish Cypriot Sport Editors.
Speaking during the meeting, Mr Soyer stated, inter alia, that sports is one of the basic activities of humanity and added that football is the most interesting among the sports. He also said that the Turkish Cypriots are very interested in football, but because of the complicated situation of the Cyprus problem, sports are under isolation in occupied Cyprus as well.
On his part the chairman of the Turkish Football Federation stated that they will work together with the sporting organization in the TRNC for the improvement of the sports in the occupied areas. Mr Ozgener stated that they will exchange views and listen to the expectations of the sporting organizations, adding that this will be a positive step for the future of the TRNC sports. On his part the chairman of the Turkish Sports Editors, Esat Yilmaer, who is also visiting the occupied areas, stated that they went to the occupied areas hoping to solve the problems there and added that the sports isolation is a very bad thing.
 Illegal regime to participate in international sports eventsIn its sports pages Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.10.08) reports that the TRNC National Volleyball Team of Women is flying today to Azerbaijan in order to participate in match events with several other teams, the names of which are not yet known.
Further, Gunes reports that the 21st International World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) and TRNC Championship and the 8th Eurasia Global Taekwondo Federation (GTF) Championship will take place in occupied Keryneia on Friday and Saturday (24-25 October 2008) with the participation of 10 countries.
 Statistics for the arrivals and departures from the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (23.10.08) reports that the so-called ministry of public works and transportation announced that during the month of September 94,090 travellers arrived and 86,965 travellers departed from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus by sea and air. From those who arrived, 82,133 persons preferred the aeroplane and 11,957 the ship; from those who departed, 74,808 travellers preferred the aeroplane and 12,157 the ship.
 Reporters without Borders placed North Cyprus 53rd in press freedomTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.10.08) reports the following:
Journalists in Turkey enjoy less press freedom than 102 other countries in the world, a media rights group said Wednesday.
The Paris-based Reporters without Borders said Turkey was ranked 103rd in its global press freedom index, which it released yesterday. Last year Turkey ranked 101st on the same list. Reporters Without Borders has also severely criticized Ankara for the level of press freedom in the country, citing with particular concern the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink by a nationalist gunman in January 2007. Its current rating puts Turkey behind countries like Ghana, Trinidad and Tobago, Mali, Liberia, Tanzania and Madagascar. The group also rated Turkish Cyprus, placing it 53rd in this year's global index of press freedom.
According to Reporters Without Borders, press freedom fell dramatically in Georgia and Niger this year as new armed conflicts flared up, while China continued to jail dissidents even as it hosted the world's press for the Olympics. War, not poverty, was the single biggest threat to press freedom worldwide, according to the annual index. Iceland, Luxembourg and Norway tied for the best score in the index.
 US State Departments Assistant Secretary met with the undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Reference to CyprusTurkish Daily News newspaper (22.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:
A senior American diplomat yesterday urged Turkey and Armenia not to halt the reconciliation process started by President Abdullah Gul's historic visit to Armenia in early September.
Dan Fried, the assistant secretary of the U.S. State Department, held a three-hour meeting with Ertugrul Apakan, undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, yesterday following his visits to Armenia and Georgia. 'I had the opportunity to meet with President (Serge) Sarkisian in Yerevan,' Fried told a group of Turkish journalist yesterday. 'My message was this: We support the process of Turkish-Armenian reconciliation It should not stop there.'
Fried described Sarkisian as 'courageous' for extending an invitation to Gul to watch the Turkey-Armenia national football match with him, and Gul as 'wise' for accepting it. 'We hope that Turkey and Armenia continue to work together,' he said, underlining that Washington's will of the parties was the normalization of ties.
Turkey cut its diplomatic ties with Armenia when Yerevan occupied Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabagh region in the early '90s. Armenia accuses the Ottoman Empire the predecessor of modern Turkey of perpetrating the genocide of Armenians during World War I.
Admitting there were serious obstacles and challenges in front of Turkey and Armenia if they wished to improve ties, Fried said he was still optimistic since 'there's a hopeful moment. It's more possible than it would be in the past,' he said.
Pointing out the process would be challenging for both countries as there would always be critical voices trying to undermine the process, he emphasized 'real leadership is needed in these moments. Sometimes taking risks is the highest realism. And it's the leadership.'
On the solution to the nearly two-decades-old Nagorno Karabakh problem, the American diplomat said the Minsk group made important improvements but underlined that he did not want to be overly optimistic on the issue.
'It's of critical importance that we see the solution to the regional problems,' he said. Fried and Apakan also discussed the Georgia-Russia row, energy issues, and ongoing Cyprus talks, the Balkans, Afghanistan and Iran.
 An Interfaith Network has been established by the UNFDPs Global Faith ForumAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.10.08) reported the following from Ankara:
More than 75 religious leaders and representatives of Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith-based organizations have formed a global interfaith network to strengthen cooperation against the global urgencies of maternal death, AIDS and poverty.
The interfaith network was formed in Istanbul at the conclusion of a two-day Global Forum of Faith-based Organizations, convened by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFDP), which has partnerships with over 400 different faith-based organizations in more than 100 countries.
The Interfaith Network on Population and Development was established after leaders of faith and of faith-based groups agreed on the principles of the network, which will also address violence against women and issues related to youth and migration. The leaders came from Africa; the Arab region; Asia and the Pacific; Eastern Europe; and Latin America and the Caribbean.
'We commit to work together and join forces to advance human conditions and realize the rights of individuals, with attention to women and young people,' the leaders pledged. They also committed to share their experiences and affirmed the common aims of safeguarding the dignity and human rights of all peoples.
'We gathered here in Istanbul to discuss common challenges and to reach common ground,' said Thoraya Ahmed Obaid, UNFPA's Executive Director, inaugurating the network. The common ground, she continued, was how we can work together to ensure that every birth is wanted, every pregnancy is safe, every young person is free of HIV, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.
'We have learned that the teachings of faith traditions can address root causes and focus on prevention to make progress in the areas we have discussed,' Obaid said. These, she continued, include 'to improve maternal health, promote the empowerment of women, address HIV and AIDS and the challenges faced by youth and migrants, to tackle violence against women and provide support to people affected by conflict and crisis.'
The Global Forum that gave birth to the Interfaith Network was opened on Monday, October 20, by the Representative of Religious Affairs in Turkey, Mustafa Cagrici. Without the power of religions, he said, many of today's problems cannot be solved. He commended UNFPA for understanding the important role of religious leaders in solving many social problems.
Many representatives at the Global Forum said that, in order to achieve concrete results, network members should build bridges among religious leaders, political decision makers and secular civil society. They also said that all members of the network at the national, regional and global levels should be connected, treated as equal partners, and work together to find solutions through their respective beliefs and actions. Strong country and regional alliances will constitute necessary building blocks for effective networking and common action.
 Turkish Prosecutors to press charges against Revolutionary Organisation 17 November groupTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.10.08) reported the following:
Prosecutors are seeking to press charges against members of a Greek terrorist group for a series of attacks on Turkish diplomats in Athens during the 1990s, it was reported yesterday.
The Office of the Acting Chief Public Prosecutor in Ankara says in an indictment that four members of the outlawed Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) group, who are currently jailed in Greece, should face punishment for 'attempting to forcefully change the constitutional order of Turkey and murder,' the Anatolia news agency said.
Two Turkish diplomats working at the Turkish Embassy in Greece were killed in two separate attacks by 17N members in Athens. Deputy press attaché Cetin Gorgu was killed in 1991 and Embassy Undersecretary Omer Haluk Sipahioglu was similarly murdered in 1994. In July 1991, then Chargé d'Affaires Deniz Bolukbasi, now a deputy of the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), and two embassy employees were targeted in a car bomb. They survived the attack and 17N claimed responsibility for the attack in a subsequently issued statement.
A State Security Court (DGM), now scrapped under European Union-inspired reforms, then launched an investigation with a view to prosecuting the four 17N members. While the investigation continued, the Greek authorities arrested the four men, prompting DGM prosecutors to contact Greek officials in 2002 to obtain testimony concerning the attacks on Turkish diplomats. In their testimonies, the terrorists confessed to the attacks, but the DGM eventually ruled in 2004 to suspend the court action against the four men because the conditions to prosecute did not exist. The case file was then forwarded to the DGM Chief Prosecutor's Office, which sought permission from the Justice Ministry to launch a fresh investigation into the case. Prosecutors pressed ahead with their indictment after the Justice Ministry said its permission was not required to launch an investigation.
A criminal court in Ankara later accepted the indictment and is now expected to start trial in the coming days, Anatolia said.
17N is a Marxist organization formed in 1973 and believed to have been disbanded in 2002 after the arrest and trial of a number of its members. During its heyday, the group assassinated 23 people in 103 attacks on US, Greek and other diplomatic targets.
 International Business Forum kicked off in Istanbul. Investment and trade figures presentedAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.10.08) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday that "while annual international investments in Turkey were worth around one billion USD until 2003, international investments in Turkey were worth 22 billion USD last year."
Speaking at the inauguration of the 12th Congress of the International Business Forum organized by the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD), Erdogan said that "despite all negative (global) developments, foreign investments in Turkey would be worth 15 billion USD by the end of 2008."
At a time of a global financial crisis, foreign investments in Turkey show the confidence foreign investors have in Turkey, Erdogan said.
"Undoubtedly, the global economic crisis would have an impact on the Turkish economy as it does on other economies. However, I believe that we will go through this global crisis with the least difficulty," Erdogan said.
"Economic crisis in Turkey in the 1990s and later in the beginning of the 21st century taught us many things. We did our homework and made our preparations accordingly," Erdogan stressed.
"This global crisis will teach the relevant countries to promote solidarity and assistance among each other," Erdogan also said.
Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.10.08) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen said Wednesday that 'while Turkey's trade volume with Islamic countries was worth 15.4 billion USD in 2003, this amount rose to 41.8 billion USD in 2008.'
Speaking at the 12th Congress of the International Business Forum organized by the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MUSIAD) in Istanbul, Tuzmen said that Turkey took important steps to not only develop bilateral relations but also to promote bilateral cooperation among Islamic countries.
'Turkish investments in Islamic countries reached 8.5 billion USD as of March 2008. Our goal is to increase Turkish investments in Islamic countries, from Africa to the Middle East, from Central Asia to the Caucasus and the Far East,' Tuzmen said.
'Turkey, today, has one of the strongest financial sectors in the world. However, this reality does not guarantee that we would not meet any difficulties,' Tuzmen also said.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Commentator claims that Turkey is facing a shortage in weapons to fight PKKTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.10.08) publishes the following commentary by Lale Sariibrahimoglu:
It is no secret that Turkey has been facing problems in effectively gathering intelligence on the movements of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the predominantly Kurdish southeastern provinces of the country mainly due to ill-defined policies on arms procurement.
The long list of Turkish arms inventory, as one Turkish deputy highlighted during a parliamentary commission meeting in November of last year, comprises weapons addressing conventional warfare rather than countering insurgency, the PKK's style of choice in its 24-year-old fight against Turkish security forces.
No Turkish military or civilian authorities were available to provide a satisfactory answer to this paradoxical situation. Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul's explanation to a Turkish deputy last year during the same commission meeting was also far from satisfactory in explaining the situation.
He told the commission that the majority of weapons on the list intend to deter both conventional and asymmetric warfare. However, neither tanks nor submarines acquired recently nor other items on the arms inventory list outlined briefly by Gonul at the time have had the ability to deter mainly asymmetric warfare.
A look at the Web sites of the related arms procurement agencies also shows how Turkey has been facing a shortage in weapons designed to effectively fight the PKK.
Turkey's shortage of weapons to fight asymmetric warfare came to my agenda because Gonul, accompanied by senior defence procurement agency officials, is scheduled to leave next week for Israel to return Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak's visit to Ankara early this year.
Turkish dailies recently reported that the Israeli-made Heron Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Turkey purchased to fill its gap in intelligence gathering crashed in early July while on a mission in the Southeast. Turkish officials blamed the crash on a technical malfunction.
Turkish procurement officials told me that a UAV called Searcher was bought to replace the loss of Heron. Turkey currently has three UAVs, a lower model of Heron, purchased from Israel's Aeronautics Defence Systems to meet urgent needs.
Ankara does not have its own surveillance satellites. The Turkish military has been using images supplied by the US to accurately pinpoint PKK targets located in northern Iraq during its air strikes, launched in December of last year following Washington's decision to provide Turkey with real-time intelligence.
Turkish officials said Ankara recently bought two Predator UAVs from the US. The Predator is a medium-altitude, long-endurance (MALE) UAV system. The same officials, however, declined to clarify whether they are being deployed in the Southeast or whether they were used in northern Iraq by US forces upon Turkish request.
Ankara's purchase of UAVs from both Israel and the US is due to an almost yearlong delay in the delivery of the Israeli Heron UAVs. The delayed delivery stems from malfunctioning camera systems produced by a Turkish company.
On April 18, 2005 the Undersecretariat for the Defence Industry (SSM) and Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) signed a contract awarding Israeli IUP -- an equally owned partnership between Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI) and Elbit Systems -- for the off-the-shelf purchase of three MALE UAV systems (10 aircraft) as well as surveillance and ground command and control equipment. The project is worth approximately $183 million.
As officials have told the media, Herons ordered in 2005 will hopefully be delivered to Turkey next month. Defence Minister Gonul is to see the testing of these UAVs during his visit to Israel.
This above-mentioned state of Turkish inventory alone tells us the existence of serious problems in the decision-making process of defence procurement.
Shortages in arms to deter asymmetric warfare coupled with the non-existence of non-military measures in addressing the Kurdish problem with the hope that it will reduce support for the PKK remain among important deficiencies in Turkey's effective fight against terrorism.
 From the Turkish Press of 22 October 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 22 October:
a) Ergenekon Trial:
Commenting on the Ergenekon trial in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol begins by criticizing the lack of sufficient technical preparations. Viewing the judicial aspect of the case, the writer argues that the inclusion of private phone conversations into the case file casts a shadow over the seriousness of the trial. The inclusion of these conversations has not only diluted the case, but it is at the same time a violation of the act of privacy, Akyol maintains. Expressing his concern over whether the accusations levelled in the indictment are based on political interpretations or evidence obtained through legal means, Akyol goes on to note that the photographs of Alparslan Arslan, who was involved in the Council of State murder, with some of the Ergenekon suspects reflect a political picture, but are not sufficient to be submitted as "legal evidence."
In an article, in Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever disagrees with the general belief that the Ergenekon trial is aimed at exposing "the dark faces" that constitute an obstacle to the democratization process in the country. Neither does he agree with the view that it is a process aimed at punishing those opposed to the Justice and Development Party, AKP. Noting that there is a grain of truth in both views, Ulsever, however, stresses that the Ergenekon process is aimed at removing the obstacles in front of Turkey on its path to transforming it int
o a leading country in the Middle East in line with the interests of the United States. Ulsever continues: "According to the United States, the AKP is the institution that will advance the process in favour of the West, whereas the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, is an institution that is blocking this process." Expressing the hope that "the dark faces" will receive the punishment they deserve, the writer argues that, however, the aim is to intimidate the TSK. The US goal is to make Turkey the patron of north Iraq after its withdrawal, the writer maintains, adding that the government is ready to fulfil this goal, whereas the TSK is opposed to it.
According to a report by Kadir Ecevit Ozoglu in Vatan, former prosecutor Ertac Giray has been detained within the scope of the Ergenekon investigation. The report adds that Giray was in court in Silivri the other day as the attorney of various Ergenekon suspects.
b) Kurdish Issue:
Under the banner headline, "Order of Execution Given by Politicians," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which highlights the recent disclosures of former SWAT team member Ayhan Carkin about how he and some of his friends were "used" by the Ergenekon network. The report quotes Carkin as saying that they killed over 1,000 people at the urging of certain politicians affiliated with Ergenekon.
In an article entitled "Where Do the PKK and DTP Stand in Relation to Ergenekon?" Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya describes Ergenekon as an octopus with one tentacle inside the PKK, another inside the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, (DHKP-C), another inside the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), and still another inside nationalist, leftist, secularist, neo-nationalist, and Islamist groups, adding that whenever the octopus finds itself in a fix, it prods one of these groups into action as seen in the way DTP spokesman have come forward with allegations about Ocalan's mistreatment in Imrali, sparking illegal protests in a number of southeastern provinces ahead of the commencement of the Ergenekon trial.
In an entitled "Let us Look at It From Another Angle", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the Ergenekon network might attempt to kill Ocalan in prison in a bid to escalate the unrest triggered by the allegation that the PKK leader is being subjected to torture. He claims that Ocalan has started to pose a threat to Ergenekon, adding that "if he talks," he might disclose the facts about the "Kurdish Ergenekon" and its "deep links" with the "Turkish Ergenekon," causing much headache to many elements in the Establishment.
According to a report in Milliyet, Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Devlet Bahceli has asked Prime Minister Erdogan to explain a report he prepared on the Kurdish problem in 1991 during his term as the Istanbul provincial leader of the Welfare Party, (RP). The report prepared by Erdogan states: "The Kemalist state's traditional method of resorting to force and arms has gone bankrupt. We should not be seen on the side of the state in this clash." Harshly criticizing Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul because of their stand on the PKK terror and the Kurdish issue, Bahceli has asked Erdogan "to reveal his real identity." Describing the relations being established with Barzani as treason, Bahceli has claimed that this process will end with the pardon of the PKK and the release of Abdullah Ocalan.
Commenting on the meeting AKP deputy leader Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat held with Democratic Society Party, (DTP), deputies and the subsequent denials that this was an arranged meeting, Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok in his article says that it is beneficial for both the government and the opposition to keep the channels of communication with the DTP open. Ozkok goes on to note that his original intention was to write an article urging the Turkish state to refrain from acts that might give way to rumours that Ocalan is being maltreated, to lift the ban on dailies and television in Imrali, and to introduce more flexibility to guidelines concerning visitors.
Noting that he has not changed his mind on these issues, Ozkok writes that, however, he has decided to address the DTP first instead of the state because of the provocative demonstrations being staged in the country for the last three days and because of the statements being issued even by the most sensible members of the DTP such as Ahmet Turk. Attributing the incidents during Prime Minister Erdogan's Diyarbakir visit to the "spoiled child attitude caused by the Aktutun incident," Ozkok warns that this stand is not conducive to a solution and that it can only create an impasse, the price of which might be very heavy to pay. Those who believe that they can achieve results through an attack on a military outpost, a few mines, and demonstrations are either too innocent or are incompetent provocateurs, the writer stresses, urging the DTP officials to abandon their spoiled child attitude and to sit down for serious discussions.
Analyzing the recent incidents in the southeast in an article in Vatan, Gungor Mengi maintains that this atmosphere of rebellion is an attempt to establish a psychological sovereignty over the regional people. Asking DTP leader Ahmet Turk whether his intention is to have his party closed or whether he has received instructions on the issue from Imrali, Mengi views the decision of the DTP to hold its parliamentary faction meeting in Diyarbakir on 21 October as a "poisonous provocation." Criticizing the speech delivered by Turk, Mengi argues that nothing can excuse the behaviour of deputies who provoke the people and cause them to take to the streets. The PKK is under the impression that a decision to close down the DTP will increase the chances of the independent candidates to be supported by the organization, Mengi claims, concluding: "The time has come to strengthen the Law on Parties against such traps. The closure of parties is not beneficial because they are immediately replaced by new ones. Actually, a legal arrangement that will protect parties from politicians who commit crimes should be introduced. Banning from traffic a vehicle that was involved in a traffic accident and setting the driver free is not the solution."
The demonstrations held in the southeast under the pretext that Ocalan is being maltreated in prison has attained its goal, that of conveying the message to Prime Minister Erdogan that "Diyarbakir is ours," writes Okay Gonensin in an article in Vatan. Noting that the prime minister could hardly reach the city centre in Diyarbakir and had to leave the town because of the demonstrations, Gonensin asserts that the PKK does not want the solution of the problem through democratic methods because it will have lost its raison d'etre. The writer underlines the need to cooperate with the DTP in order to reduce the number of youths going up to the mountains and to increase the number of those descending from the mountains, adding that the DTP is also needed to ensure that reaction is shown through political means and not violence. Gonensin concludes by saying that the PKK's "election tactic" is based on the escalation of tension, advising politicians to foil these tactics.
A report by Ergulen Toprak and Burhan Ekinci entitled "He Secretly Promised" in Taraf states that Prime Minister Erdogan, who met NGO representatives behind closed doors in Diyarbakir, has told them that he stands behind his 2005 statement acknowledging the Kurdish problem. According to the report, Erdogan listened to the demands of the NGO's and promised political initiatives.
c) Proposal to reduce minimum marriage age to 14:
In an article in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli harshly criticizes the Justice Ministry proposal to reduce the minimum marriage age from 16 to 14 arguing that it is an effort aimed at legalizing paedophilia. The writer wonders whether it is aimed at finding a way to help free from prison Huseyin Uzmez, an 80-year-old leading Islamist writer who is facing trial on charges of sexually abusing a 14-year old girl.
According to a report in Ortadogu, the Savings Deposit Insurance Fund, TMSF, has transferred Kral TV and Kral FM to the Dogus Group. TMSF Chairman Ahmet Erturk is reported to have said that a sum close to $18 billion has been obtained from the sale of Kral TV and Kral FM to the Dogus Group.