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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-10-27

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. 205/08 25-26-27.10.08

CONTENTS

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statement by Talat on his meeting with President Christofias and on economic issues
  • [02] Statements by Yasar Yakis: The excuse of the EU regarding the ports is unacceptable.
  • [03] The illegal regime called on Islamic countries to increase ties with occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Eroglu sent letter to Obama
  • [05] UBP chairman rejects the idea of federation and criticizes the two leaders on the method they follow in the negotiations process
  • [06] The chairman of the Civil Defence Organization, is participating in the55th EUR-OPA Permanent delegations meeting which is taking place in Istanbul.
  • [07] The self-styled Minister of Education and Culture participated in the 25th session meeting of the TURKSOY Permanent Council in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.
  • [08] Ten countries to participate in a road safety international seminar which will be held in the occupied areas
  • [09] A seminar on the economy of the occupation regime will held in London
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot economist says that the global economic crisis will deal a blow to the occupied areas of the Island through Britain
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Columnist former politician argues that in Turkey there is semi-military democracy
  • [12] Kurdish issue

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statement by Talat on his meeting with President Christofias and on

    economic issues

    Illegal Bayrak television (24/10/2008) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Mehmet Ali Talat has denied claims that his tête-à-tête meeting with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias during talks last Wednesday was off the record. Talat said that all that relevant authorities and institutions in the TRNC assessing the talks are notified about the details of my discussions.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of an event last night, Mr Talat said that many debates had emerged between the last two meetings, mainly as a result of a misinterpretation and misunderstanding of spokesman Hasan Ercakicas words during a TV program.

    Explaining that one of the debates that emerged was on Christofias addressing him as comrade, Mr Talat said that he and his Greek Cypriot counterpart had discussed in detail the claims and speculations that emerged.

    Talat also said that he was not the first leader to hold such a meeting. Im not the first person to hold a tête-à-tête meeting. This is a common practice anywhere in the world. As a President and as negotiator, there is nothing more natural than this, he said.

    Responding to a question as to whether the private meeting contributed to the negotiations process, Mr Talat said that such meetings did have a positive impact on the talks. Such meetings are useful in clarifying or getting rid of claims. You discuss anything that may have offended you or upset you with our counterpart and settle any existing problems or misunderstandings that may exist, he added.

    Asked to comment on Turkeys non-permanent membership to the UN Security Council, Talat said that the Greek Cypriot side should be happy with Turkeys membership. He said Turkeys membership proved that Ankara had no intentions of achieving a settlement in Cyprus that was contrary and in violation of UN parameters, which it is frequently accused of doing.

    On 25/10/2008, illegal Bayrak broadcast statement of Mr. Talat, who, speaking during an event, evaluated the economic situation in Cyprus and the Cyprus problem.

    Pointing to the importance of Turkeys support, the Turkish Cypriot´s support, NGOs and the states support during the Cyprus negotiations process, Mr Talat said the negotiations process was not going to be an easy one.

    Noting that Turkey playing an active role in the efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem had made an impact in Turkey becoming a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Mr. Talat reiterated the importance of Turkeys, Turkish Cypriots, societies and the states support during the negotiations process in Cyprus.

    He explained that some painful developments might happen towards the end of the negotiations process when the give and take process begins adding: If our gains are more than our losses then it means we have succeeded.

    Referring to economic issues Mr. Talat explained that Turkey had aided its economy by privatizing its air and sea ports, and concluded: If we could privatize the Gazimagosa [occupied Famagusta] seaport we could not find customers. This port is not banned by the international community but because of the Greek Cypriot sides nagging and the confusion its created unfortunately the port isnt working at is full capacity.

    [02] Statements by Yasar Yakis: The excuse of the EU regarding the ports is unacceptable.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.10.08) reports on the statements of Yasar Yakis, Head of the Turkish Committee for EU Harmonization of the Turkish Grand National Assembly. Speaking at a seminar organized in Turkey for improving civil society dialogue between the European Union and Turkey, Yakis said that the EU excuse of the kind if you do not open your ports for the Greek Cypriot Administration, we cannot start negotiating on the eight chapters Yasar Yakis has said that this kind of excuse is unacceptable. He then said that the opening of Turkeys ports to Greek Cypriot traffic was conditional to allowing direct flights to North Cyprus and added that it was not possible for Ankara to accept the EUs condition to open accession negotiations in eight chapters in return for the opening of its ports to Greek Cypriot registered vessels and aircraft.

    Pointing out that the opening of Turkish ports will not mean that Ankara will diplomatically recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration, he reminded that the ports had remained open to Greek Cypriot traffic until 1985, adding that they were closed after that date.

    Yeni Volkan newspaper reports on its front page on the statements of Yasar Yakis under the title Is AKP preparing to open Turkeys ports to the Greek Cypriots?

    (A.K.)

    [03] The illegal regime called on Islamic countries to increase ties with occupied Cyprus

    llegal Bayrak television (25/10/08) broadcast the following:

    The 24th meeting of the Standing Committee for Economic & Commercial Cooperation (COMCEC) of the Organization of the Islamic Conference-OIC has come to an end in Istanbul.

    The Minister of Economy and Tourism Erdoan ^anl1da who attended the meeting issued a written message to participants to develop bilateral relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    In the message, Mr. Sanlidag explained the latest situation on the Cyprus problem and emphasized how important it was for the Turkish Cypriot people to attend the O.I.C meetings under the title of Turkish Cypriot state.

    He also pointed to the importance of increasing tourism, trade, information, cultural and sporting activities between O.I.C member countries and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    [04] Eroglu sent letter to Obama

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.10.08), the so-called Famagusta deputy and candidate for National Unity Party (UBP) chairmanship Dervis Eroglu sent a letter to the US presidential candidate Barrack Obama and explained to him the Cyprus Problem.

    In his letter Mr. Eroglu, referring to Mr. Obamas accusation that the Turkish army is an occupying force in Cyprus, said that this is incompatible with the historic realities.

    Eroglu went on and said that branding the Turkish Armys intervention to Cyprus in 1974 as invasion could only be in line with the Greek Cypriot propaganda. He claimed that the Turkish operation was carried out against the Junta administrations Enosis attempt.

    The Turkish Cypriots using their right to self-determination in 1983 had established their own state which is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cypriot. For reaching to a just and lasting peace one has to accept the realities. In Cyprus there are two separate peoples, two separate sovereign states, two separate states and two separate democracies, Eroglu stressed.

    (MHY)

    [05] UBP chairman rejects the idea of federation and criticizes the two leaders on the method they follow in the negotiations process

    Under the title Ertugruloglu: We do not support federation, Turkish Cypriot Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.10.08) reports on statements made by the General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu, that his party is not supporting the idea of federation as the solution of the Cyprus problem. In his statements, Mr. Tahsin Ertugruloglu noted that President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have no right to hold meetings without keeping minutes, while he further criticized the method that is followed in the comprehensive negotiations.

    Mr. Ertugruloglu also supported that Mr. Talats will for solution, as this was presented in 2004, is not compatible with the situation existing in the Turkish Cypriot community today.

    Tahsin Ertugruloglus statements were made during his speech at the Keryneia District Congress.

    (ML)

    [06] The chairman of the Civil Defence Organization, is participating in the 55th EUR-OPA Permanent delegations meeting which is taking place in Istanbul.

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (27.10.08) writes that the chairman of the Civil Defence Organization, Mr. Omer Faruk Bozdemir, departed today for Istanbul in order to participate in the 55th EUR-OPA Permanent delegations meeting which will take place in Turkey between 27-31 of October. According to the statement made by the press office of the Civil Defence Organization, Mr. Bozdemir is visiting Turkey at the official invitation of the Turkish Public Works and Housing Minister Faruk Nafiz Ozak. According to the paper, high ranking officials from Turkey, Azerbaijan and Syria will participate in the meeting.

    (A.K.)

    [07] The self-styled Minister of Education and Culture participated in the 25th session meeting of the TURKSOY Permanent Council in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.10.08) reports that the self-styled Minister of Education and Culture, Mrs. Canan Oztoprak, participated in the 25th session meeting of the TURKSOY Permanent Council which took place in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek. Speaking during the meeting, Mrs. Canan Oztoprak stressed the important role of the TURKSOY countries to the establishment of friendship and the development of dialogue between the members. He then said that every country has to confront a lot of problems. Referring to the occupied areas, Mrs. Oztoprak has said that Turkish Cypriots have a lot of problems to find solution for and added that the close cooperation they have with the TURKSOY counties make them proud and encourage them.

    (A.K.)

    [08] Ten countries to participate in a road safety international seminar which will be held in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (27.10.08) reports that the International Road Safety Academy (IRSA) is organizing in occupied Keryneia a road safety seminar with the participation of ten countries: Britain, Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, North Africa, Pakistan, Romania, Spain, Turkey and Zambia. During the conference, experts from Britain, Finland, Spain, Romania and the Netherlands will give lectures on the road safety. The seminar will be held between 30 and 31 October.

    (ML)

    [09] A seminar on the economy of the occupation regime will held in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (27.10.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Trade Chamber (CTCC) based in London will organize a seminar on the economy of the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus at the London Stock Exchange on the 4th of December. The seminar will be held in cooperation with CTCC and the so-called Cyprus Investment Development Agency (YAGA).

    (DPs)

    [10] Turkish Cypriot economist says that the global economic crisis will deal a blow to the occupied areas of the Island through Britain

    Under the title It will deal a blow to us through Britain, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.10.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot economist Ergun Ustun, who has worked for many years in the British banking sector, has said that the global economic crisis will cause the decrease of foreign investments in the occupied areas of Cyprus. In statements to Eylem Eraydin, the papers correspondent in London, Mr Ustun noted that because of the crisis the flow of money from Britain to the occupied areas of Cyprus will stop.

    Evaluating the influence of the crisis on the occupied part of the Island, Mr Ustun said:

    Having in mind that especially in the fields of tourism and constructions we will enter into a difficult process in our country, I think that it is necessary for us to put into practice the policy of tightening our belts from now. This crisis will stop the flow of money from Britain to Cyprus. The one and only thought of the British investors right now is how the wheel here will turn in this period when the economic balances are upside down in Britain. And in this situation, they will refrain from investing in the vacation or immovable property market in Cyprus. Especially the British or the Turkish society living in Britain who mortgaged their homes in Britain and acquired loan which they used in the immovable property market in Northern Cyprus, might face a difficulty in paying back their loans to the British banks, because of the economic crisis in which we are.

    In this situation they may come face to face with losing their investments in Britain or in Cyprus. This situation will influence to a great extent the immovable property prices in Cyprus because of both the decreased demand and the compulsory sales.

    Moreover, Mr Ustun underlined that the economy of the occupied areas of Cyprus is indexed to the economy of Turkey and added that the island will be negatively influenced in case Turkey experiences an economic crisis. For example, in case of devaluation with the collapse of the market in Turkey which derives from the crisis, the Turkish lira will deal a separate blow to the Cyprus economy, he pointed out.

    Mr Ustun noted that there will also be positive developments due to the crisis and said: If we look it from the positive point of view, the community of British pensioners who live in Cyprus will welcome the devaluation of the Turkish lira and will spend more time and money on the island and it will encourage the flow of foreigners (to the island). Furthermore, the prices of the immovable property, which reached higher prices than they are because of the increased demand during the recent years, will fall into a more realistic level and this will provide to the purchasers the opportunity to acquire property in more favorable prices.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Columnist former politician argues that in Turkey there is semi-military democracy

    Under the title Güzel: Turkey has two legislative, two executive bodies Today´s Zaman (27.10.08) publishes the following:

    Hasan Celal Güzel, a well-known ex-politician who is now a journalist, claims there are two legislative and two executive branches in Turkey, adding that the case against Ergenekon -- a crime network with links to the state, including the military -- is not being conducted properly.

    Noting that the Ergenekon case is a crippled one, Güzel said the illegal organization's extensions within the army had not been purged and that newly appointed Chief of General Staff Gen. 0lker Babu showed decisiveness not to take action against these extensions. Güzel said no army general in any democratic country should be able to lash out at the media because of criticism directed at him.

    He said the flaws of Turkish democracy had become more visible since Babu assumed office.

    Above all, there are two prime ministers in Turkey, he said. One is from the military, and the other is elected. The elected one has no role in appointing posts in the military; they come to power by their internal hierarchy. The civilians are there to approve the appointments.

    Güzel also alleged that photos published by the Taraf daily about attacks launched by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on the Aktütün military outpost were provided by the Americans.

    Speaking to Todays Zaman, Güzel said the Ergenekon case was serving as a litmus test for Turkish politics and democracy. Describing the case as the biggest one in Turkeys Republican history, Güzel said: Only the Yass1ada trials & had far-reaching effects similar to the Ergenekon case.

    However, these trials were a showcase by the people who were serving as the puppets of the coup committee. For this reason, these trials were not legal at all. In Susurluk, they took action against the weak while the stronger remained out of legal prosecution. For the first time since the 1960 coup, a process was initiated to hold coup attempts accountable in Turkey.

    Güzel said he thinks the failure to include coup journals kept by former Naval Forces Commander Adm. Özden Örnek -- in which he plotted the Ay111 and Sar1k1z coups in the indictment -- crippled the whole trial.

    Maybe the coup journals are not included in the indictment; however, some of the generals who led these attempts are being tried in connection with the Ergenekon case, he said. Turkish democracy is not mature enough to prosecute coup makers. But this is fine, too; it is a big step.

    If any action could have been taken against coup makers, the perpetrators of the electronic coup in 2007 should have been held responsible. There is a semi-military democracy in Turkey. For this reason, we prosecute coup attempts only through indirect means. The charges include attempts to overthrow the government and make Parliament inoperable. These are not acts that could be committed without coups. Only an organization founded to plot a coup could commit these acts.

    Recalling that the Ergenekon case is strongly affected by the militarys influence, Güzel said a substantial number of members in Ergenekon had supporters within the army because they were retired army officers.

    Ergenekon is army-based, Güzel said. It is significant that the recent military council in August did not discharge any from the army. There are rumors indicating that coups are being planned within the army. Ergenekons extensions within the army have not been purged. The army needs to proceed with a thorough cleanup process. Dealing with these illegal acts will have a deterrent effect.

    Trial crippled by militarys impunity

    Asked whether the army could do this cleanup, Güzel said it was unlikely that the coup journals would be included in the prosecution: The coup journals will not be included in the Ergenekon file because the armys mentality has been changed with the appointment of 0lker Babu as the new chief of staff. Two generals on trial in connection with the Ergenekon case were visited per Babu s instruction in an attempt to show that this action was done on behalf of the military. This is a warning and threat to the judiciary and a message suggesting that the army supports these guys. It is obvious that such a military would not allow coup makers to be prosecuted.

    Noting that it was impossible to prosecute coup masterminds as long as there remains a distinction between civilian and military laws in Turkey, Güzel said that nowhere else in the world are military courts like the militarys Court of Appeals and the Military Administrative Court.

    The prosecutors investigating the Ergenekon case are blocked by the impunity that the military enjoys. Either a constitutional amendment is needed to rearrange military law or the military has to proceed with a cleanup process to purge its illegal entities, Güzel said. It would be very optimistic to expect such a choice from a command line that praises the post-modern coup of Feb. 28, 1997, in which the military overthrew the coalition government led by Necmettin Erbakan of the Welfare Party (RP).

    Describing Babu s news conference held to criticize Taraf daily as a mistake, Güzel said he had received information suggesting that the military s command line was considering a possible coup.

    Babu lashed out at the media in mid-October for publishing confidential information revealing that the army knew in advance about a terrorist attack on a military outpost in eastern Turkey on Oct. 3 that left 17 Turkish soldiers dead.

    There are two prime ministers in Turkey

    Güzel explained the power structure that exists between the civilian prime minister and the military prime minister.

    Even though the military prime minister looks to be subordinate to the civilian prime minister, this is not the case in practice because the elected prime minister remains ready to take orders from the military one. For this reason, headlines are made to mock Prime Minister Erdoan. This is not the fault of the current prime minister; this is the established system because the generals are eager to become involved in other business in this country.

    Speaking on the different stance and style of the current chief of staff from that of his predecessors Yaar Büyükan1t and Hilmi Özkök, Güzel said: As soon as he came to office, General Babu announced a program similar to an administrative plan. I penned a lot of government programs. The military prime minister decided what to cover during his speech. It included everything except economic issues. In what other country does a chief of staff deliver such a lengthy speech? What does he talk about?

    What he said in the speech has nothing to do with the army. I will endorse some parts of the program, he announced; but these things are not his business. Then he heads to Diyarbak1r to meet people. There, he delivered a message indicating that he was the primary prime minister.

    There are two legislative branches

    Describing the Constitutional Court s decision to cancel the amendment that lifted the headscarf ban at universities as a grave mistake, Güzel maintained that the decision showed there are two legislative branches in Turkey.

    The decision is a total disaster. They assert that the 47 percent majority -- and you may even say 60 percent considering the MHPs support -- who endorsed the constitutional amendment made a mistake. Considering that the majority may make mistakes, we may argue that they also committed a mistake despite making the decision with a 9-2 vote. But they are the nine appointed by Ahmet Necdet Sezer. They do not make mistakes. People asserting they are Kemalists do not make mistakes in this country. Only ordinary people -- Ahmets, Mehmets -- make mistakes.

    This is a clear example of fascism and despotism. Not only have the military but also the judiciary violated the boundaries of democracy in Turkey.

    Constitutional Court should be abolished

    Recalling that the Constitutional Court was created in the aftermath of the 1960 coup, Güzel said the decisions made by the court until 1970 disturbed the military officers who issued the 1971 memorandum. Güzel said the courts authority was limited after the memo was issued.

    Güzel, who also recalls that the military further limited the courts authorities following the military coup on Sept. 12, 1980, holds that it is not a coincidence that the military establishing the court was bothered by its decisions: The reasoned decision says, I will invent the Constitution if necessary. Right now, the Constitutional Court is more authoritative than Parliament. We have to shut one of these down. There are many countries with no Constitutional Court. But there is no country without a Parliament. In this case, the Constitutional Court should be closed down immediately.

    Asked whether it is possible to do that in this environment, Güzel says: Under these conditions, the militarist democracy will not allow this happen. In this case, we have to rearrange the authorities and duties of the Constitutional Court. No authority should be granted to the court with respect to constitutional changes. It should not be allowed to examine these changes even in terms of their form. It will have to make its decisions unanimously. The court should not serve as a Supreme Court anymore; this role should be played by the Court of Appeals. At least half of its members should be picked by Parliament. Unless these are done, it will keep violating Parliaments authority.

    So is it possible for a new constitution to solve these problems? According to Güzel, it is. He suggested an interesting alternative for the government to facilitate a founding parliament that would create a new constitution:

    Even Deniz Baykal says, Make your coup, and then you will make a constitution accordingly. The elected are not allowed to make a constitution, but coup makers are entitled to do this. In this case, two separate ballots should be made available to the voters.

    The members of the founding parliament that will make the new constitution should be elected through this method. Members of this parliament make the constitution and then dissolve the parliament after two years of work. Otherwise, I believe that the whistle will be blown if this Parliament attempts to make a new constitution.

    Asserting that the Turkish media does not have a code of ethics and that their publications serve as propaganda for terror organizations, Güzel said Babu s response to such publications was a mistake: No army allows its troops to perish. It is disgusting to assert that it does. This is a terrible allegation. It appears that there is negligence in terms of timing and intelligence gathering in Aktütün.

    Güzel further asserted that the pictures published by Taraf daily were provided by Americans: I think these pictures were leaked by American sources. Even if it becomes evident they actually did so, Chief of Staff 0lker Babu may make different comments on it.

    Güzel said the new mechanism set up under the auspices of Interior Ministry to deal with terrorism more effectively reflects a proper approach. But he said that this does not necessarily mean the army should withdraw completely from counterterrorism.

    [12] Kurdish issue

    In an article entitled "The DTP's Dilemma" in Yeni Safak (24.10.08) columnist Yasin Dogan comments on the "unacceptable paradox" that the Democratic Society Party, DTP, which is "supposed to help strengthen democratic politics," treats PKK violence as a means of trying to achieve certain political purposes. He accuses the DTP of posing a virtual threat to the civilianization process in this way and urges it to end its policy of escalating tensions in the country. He also argues that it would not serve the aims of fighting terrorism to close down the DTP.

    In an article entitled "Schizophrenic Breaking Point" in Today's Zaman (24.10.08) columnist Etyen Mahcupyan warns that Turkey's "long-desired temporary membership of the [UN] Security Council could wind up turning into an embarrassment and an ankle weight for the country" if Ankara does not give up its "schizophrenic" stance on the Kurdish issue.

    Commenting on his impressions from a trip to Diyarbakir where traders closed shops to protest Erdogan's visit there, Derya Sazak, in his article for Milliyet, (24.10.08) argues that the Kurds have become disillusioned with Prime Minister Erdogan, whom they see as reneging on the promise of reforms and relegating the Kurdish problem to the military instead. Sazak says Kurds are determined not to allow any AKP victory in Diyarbakir, as they see the town as the symbol of Kurdish identity.

    Oral Calislar declares in his column for Radikal (24.10.08) that the provocative nationalism in the western part of Turkey over the Kurdish issue is hastening a clash, warning that the ban of the DTP would only escalate violence. While the Kurds too are making some mistakes, the nationalist CHP and MHP leaders are exacerbating the situation by ignoring the existence of the Kurds and their grievances and have, therefore, lost all connection with the people of the southeast. Calislar advises the politicians to act with reason and to avoid raising tension by their statements.

    In her column in Aksam (24.10.08) Nagehan Alci, says Erdogan gives the impression of being a petty politician bent on conquering Diyarbakir for his party, noting that to insist on conquering Diyarbakir is like playing with fire, for the loss of Diyarbakir will be a big blow to Kurds' struggle on the legal arena; it will exacerbate Kurdish grievances. Commenting on her impressions from the southeast, Alci says the PKK has a core support of 20 percent in the region, and an additional 10-20 percent sympathizers. There is a 10 percent outright opposition to the PKK and the people in this group always vote for the party in power. The AKP is appealing to the mass of population outside the above 30-40 percent who are mostly worried about their economic wellbeing, and though also want to speak Kurdish and get involved in politics these are not vital grievances for them. But the AKP will find it hard to win over this segment of the population, for since the general elections the AKP has forgotten about its socio-economic promises to the region fearing reaction from the western part of the country.

    Noting that Justice Minister Sahin has given the permission for the prosecution of Diyrabklir Bar Association Chairman Sezgin Tanrikulu for printing a Kurdish schedule for the 2007 new year celebrations and also noting that Diyarbakir's Sur Municipality is still being run by a state official after the dismissal of its mayor for printing an invitation card in Kurdish, Cengiz Candar says in his column in Referans (24.10.08) that this sort of intolerance towards the Kurdish language and government's reneging on its promises to the Kurds are directly playing into the hands of the PKK which is trying to turn the region into an "Intifadah geography." Candar believes the government has to fundamentally change its approach to the region.

    Mehmet Ali Birand says in his column in Hurriyet (24.10.08) that Turkish state policies, especially those after the 1980 coup that denied the existence of the Kurds and their grievances, on helped strengthen the PKK. Explaining that President Clinton's decision to hand Ocalan over to Turkey on certain conditions lead to the cessation of hostiles in the southeast, Birand says the governments eventually failed to seize that opportunity to meet Kurdish grievances. He believes the Turks should question their own mistakes and revise their policies on the Kurdish issue if they want to leave a peaceful country to the future generations.

    A report entitled "Move him, Leave him: What To do With Terrorist Ocalan" in Sunday's Zaman (26.10.08) highlights views expressed by political observers and politicians in favor of or against the idea to transfer PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan from Imrali to another prison in the face of growing unrest in predominantly Kurdish areas.

    In an article entitled "The AK Party and Turkey's new Coalition," in Sunday's Zaman (26.10.08) columnist Ihsan Yilmaz tacitly criticizes Erdogan for backing the military's statement about a recent PKK attack on a military outpost and says that a new coalition in Turkey consisting of "the newly emerging observant Muslim middle classes of Anatolia, a new socially conservative but economically liberal bourgeoisie, pro-EU urbanites of the major cities, democratic Kurds and a majority of leftists" who now support the AKP would find a new leader if Erdogan gives in to the oligarchy's demands.

    In Vatan (26.10.08) Rusen Cakir, calls for debates on the framework of the solution of the Kurdish problem, saying: "It is necessary to understand that Turkey will not be able to continue with its tough unitary structure and to talk about administrative models such as a federative structure, autonomy, and ties between the local and the central administrations.

    Asking why the Kurds in the southeast have decided to burn the bridges with prime minister Erdogan, Necati Dogru in an article in Vatan (26.10.08), states that separatist Kurds who are afraid that the AKP government will win in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia by giving out coal and food products are marching and chanting slogans such as "PKK is the people, the people are the PKK."

    Tayyip Erdogan went to Tunceli yesterday to talk about the investments made in this region, says Nazli Ilicak in an article in Sabah (26.10.06). Recalling that the DTP had received more votes than the AKP in Tunceli, Diyarbakir, Sirnak, and Hakkari in the 22 July elections, Ilicak describes them as the most problematic provinces in terms of terrorism. There is no doubt that economic support is not sufficient and that it is important to make democratic openings, says Ilicak, adding: "I believe that if steps are taken in both fields, our citizens of Kurdish origin will play a constructive role in the solution of the terrorism problem.

    Emre Akoz, in an article in Sabah (26.10.08) refers to the briefing that will be given by Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug on the war on the PKK during the Council of Ministers meeting on 27 October. Akoz urges the minister to read the report prepared by the Gendarmerie on the Aktutun attack in order to fully benefit from the briefing.

    According to a report by Mahmut Gurer in Cumhuriyet (26.10.08) southeastern and eastern Anatolia are shown as parts of Kurdistan in a map that was included in the report entitled "Kurds in the Post-Saddam Era" that was prepared by the US Congress Research Center.

    Finally, in his article in Taraf (26.10.08) Etyen Mahcupyan writes that despite the fact that Turkey has been calling for peace and justice in the international arena during the past several years, it has not been able to go beyond a "rope dancer" policy at home, and that this policy has also led to the escalation of the Kurdish problem. Underlining that Turkey cannot continue under these "schizophrenic" circumstances for long, Mahcupyan explains that this can cause Turkey disgrace in the UN Security Council. After all, says Mahcupyan, it will be funny for a country that is not able to realize basic reforms and that oppresses fundamental freedoms to introduce itself to the rest of the world as a problem solver."

    ES/


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