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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-11-05

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. 211/08 05.11.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Hasan Ercakica on the Cyprus problem, the global financial crisis and the economic situation in the occupied areas
  • [02] Yonluer claims that Ozdil Namis grandfather is a Greek Cypriot living in Australia
  • [03] Turkish trade unionist involved in Ergenekon has reportedly been given property in the occupied areas of Cyprus at very low prices
  • [04] Cafer Gurcafer, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors Union: Lets cooperate for confronting the economic crisis
  • [05] Coskun Ozyasli is AKP´s man in UBP
  • [06] Sabah writes that the EU praise for Turkey on Cyprus in the EU Progress Report for Turkey made angry the Greek Cypriots
  • [07] Japanese giant automobile companies make Turkey their base for their new investments
  • [08] Babacan: Turkey satisfied with meeting on Union for Mediterranean Countries
  • [09] EU energy chief to hold pipeline talks in Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkish columnist on local election race between AKP, DTP
  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 04 November 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Hasan Ercakica on the Cyprus problem, the global financial crisis and the economic situation in the occupied areas

    Turkish daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.11.08) reports on the statements of Mr. Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader. Speaking during his weekly press briefing, Mr. Ercakica touched upon the Cyprus problem as well as the global financial crisis and the economic situation in the occupied areas.

    Regarding the negotiation process, Mr. Ercakica said that during yesterdays meeting, the two leaders exchanged views and discussed the matter of the legislative body of the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot side. He also said that the issue of leaking information to the Greek Cypriot press was on the agenda of the meeting. Mr. Ercakica pointed out that the two leaders decided to be more careful and that the Greek Cypriot leader Christofias, promised to investigate the claims and that the two leaders will continue discussing this issue in their meeting next week in order to see whether or not the leakage has been prevented. He also added that the Turkish Cypriot leader will continue to do whatever he can to carry on with the process decisively and constructively.

    Answering a question on the issue of the introduction of the EURO by the Turkish Cypriot side, Mr. Ercakica said that the government should first carry out technical work on this matter.

    Responding to questions, the spokesman also elaborated on reports in the press that Mr. Nami and Mr. Iacovou have reached to an agreement on the restoration of dilapidated buildings along Ledra Street crossing point and said that there is yet not detailed and specific program regarding Ledra Street and that Lokmaci is still in the Buffer zone, a critical area where careful assessment is necessary before taking any action.

    Replying to another question regarding the US Presidential Elections Mr. Ercakica alleged that they desired the continuation of US support to a solution in Cyprus by adding the following: No matter who wins the election, we arent expecting a clear-cut change in Washingtons Cyprus Policy.

    Touching upon the issue of Turkeys EU Progress report, he pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Side was trying to negatively affect the report, all of which was part of efforts to disrupt the process. He then stressed that linking the Cyprus Problem with Turkeys EU accession process will damage the ongoing negotiations process in Cyprus.

    Regarding the global financial crisis, Mr. Ercakica stressed the need for more efficiency in the countrys economy in order to overcome the effects of the global financial crisis. Ercakica underlined the need to give special attention to efficient production in the occupied areas and said: We need to take measures that will bring down production costs so as to minimize the effects of the global crisis on our economy, adding that the state needed to do its share to ensure that efficiency in the Real Sector of the economy.

    He also added that one of their main goals is to exert efforts for the creation of opportunities for investments from abroad by declaring that the government will take measures to facilitate this.

    Concerning the Turkish Cypriot economy, Mr. Ercakica said that they expect that the Turkish Cypriot economy will be affected by the global financial crisis, since it is directly connected with the Turkish economy. He then stressed the need for the increase of the investment opportunities, the sources and the foreign investments.

    (AK)

    [02] Yonluer claims that Ozdil Namis grandfather is a Greek Cypriot living in Australia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (05.11.08) reports that the leader of the Politics for the People Movement, Mr. Ahmet Yonluer, who was guest in a television programme of the local television Ada TV, said that those who want a Cyprus settlement should go and live in the South Cyprus. Yonluer said that he and his party believe that the solution of the Cyprus problem occurred in 1974 and added that those who say that there is a need for a solution constitute a very small minority.

    The paper also reports the following:

    Stating that a lady who participated in a TV programme calling from London put forth the allegation that the grandfather of the Presidential Advisor Ozdil Nami is Greek Cypriot, Yonluer said that before appearing in this programme, people acknowledged as serious called him and gave him information on this issue. Claiming that they told him that Namis grandfather is a Greek Cypriot priest who lives in Australia, Yonluer wondered how Ozdil Nami can be a representative being under such kind of allegations and stains. Yonluer defended the view that the appointment of Nami to the duties that he has, is not legal.

    (DPs)

    [03] Turkish trade unionist involved in Ergenekon has reportedly been given property in the occupied areas of Cyprus at very low prices

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (05.11.08) reports that the chairman of Turkish Metal Trade Union, Mustafa Ozbek, whose name was involved in Ergenekon case in Turkey, has purchased property from the Providence Fund of the breakaway regime at ridiculous prices during the period of former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas.

    Referring to information published by the Turkish atv Haber, Afrika notes that Ozbek possesses more than 40 title-deeds for property in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Ozbek bought a house in a luxury neighborhood of occupied Keryneia for only £13000, while the value of the property was £200.000. He also purchased a villa at occupied Kazafani village for $677.000, while the value of the property was $ 4 million. Furthermore, an olive grove, the worth of which was $70 million, has been sold to Ozbek for only $2 million.

    According to the same information, the source of the money flown to Ergenokon is the dynasty of Ozbek in the daughter land, as the Turks call the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Ozbek is described as the Real Estate King of Northern Cyprus.

    The chairman of Turkish Metal Trade Union for 33 years, Mustafa Ozbek is known for his close relations with the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, notes the paper and adds that Ozbek has gained a good position on the island thanks to Denktas. Ozbek is the owner of two five-star hotels. It is also alleged that he is the secret owner of one television channel (Avrasya TV). He also possesses immovable property in Turkey and in Central Asia.

    The fortune of the Chairman of the Turkish Metal Trade Union, Mustafa Ozbek, whose name is mentioned as financier of the Ergenokon terrorist organization, has cut across the boundaries of Turkey and reached Cyprus, notes the paper.

    (I/Ts)

    [04] Cafer Gurcafer, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors Union: Lets cooperate for confronting the economic crisis

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (05.11.08) reports that the members of the administrative council of the Turkish Cypriot Contractors Union headed by the chairman of the Union, Mr. Cafer Gurcafer paid yesterday a visit to the Democratic Party and met with its chairman, Mr. Serdar Denktas. The meeting took place in the headquarters of the Party. Serdar Denktas and Cafer Gurcafer exchanged views on the issue of the global financial crisis and called on everybody to cooperate for a solution.

    Mr. Cafer Gurcafer stated during the meeting that the economic situation of the country is in a worrying situation and thus he stressed the need for cooperation by all the Turkish Cypriot political parties in order for a solution to be found to the problem. He then noted that in case measures are not taken, during the first four months of 2009 they will have to confront a serious disaster which will be followed by several other social problems. Thus, he said, it is not late yet to cooperate for finding a solution to the problem.

    Serdar Denktas stated that DP warned the government about the financial crisis several times in the past, but still the government did not pay attention to the warnings. He also added that the global financial crisis did not yet affect the occupied areas but he noticed that the crisis will affect the Turkish Cypriot economy in a very bad manner after affecting Turkey first. Serdar Denktas called on the government to take measures immediately.

    (AK)

    [05] Coskun Ozyasli is AKPs man in UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (05.11.08) reports that Coskun Ozyasli, who is said to be the person of AKP (Justice and Development Party) in the National Unity Party (UBP), made exclusive statements to the paper. According to the paper, Coskun Ozyasli came to the occupied areas from Turkey in 1996 and took the Turkish Cypriot citizenship. He was a supporter of the Motherland Party (ANAP) but subsequently he supported AKP. The paper further reports that he was also a person close to the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas and thus he participated in the Democratic Party. Later on, as Coskun Ozyasli stated to the paper, he met with the chairman of the National Unity Party, Mr. Tahsin Ertugruloglu and he supported the election campaign of Dervis Eroglu. During 2005 he joined the National Unity Party. Finally Coskun Ozyasli stated to the paper that he never was a member of AKP and that AKP did not get involved into the General Congress of UBP.

    (AK)

    [06] Sabah writes that the EU praise for Turkey on Cyprus in the EU Progress Report for Turkey made angry the Greek Cypriots

    Under the title The EU praise made angry the Greek Cypriots, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (05.11.08) writes that the positive wording in relation to Turkey that is used in the paragraph which refers to Cyprus in the EU Progress Report for Turkey made the Greek Cypriot Administration angry.

    The Greek Cypriots have reacted to the expressions used in the document according to which Turkey supports the negotiations for a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem and, as the paper notes, the Greek Cypriots have reacted in order to change the EU document to their wishes.

    Invoking information, Sabah writes that a day before the announcement of the EU Progress Report for Turkey, the EU Commissioner Olli Rehn met with the EU Commissioner for Health Affairs, Androulla Vasiliou. Mr. Rehn hopes to persuade the Greek Cypriots to accept the report, but even if he does convince the Greek Cypriots, there will be no risk of not adopting the report because for the approval of the document simple majority is enough in the 20-members body.

    The EU Progress Report for Turkey will be announced today.

    (ML)

    [07] Japanese giant automobile companies make Turkey their base for their new investments

    Under the front page title First opportunity of crisis, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (05.11.08) writes that Toyota and Hyundai automobile companies have chosen Turkey as their base for their new investments despite the global economic crisis. Toyota picked the Turkish province of Adapazari as a production base for its light commercial vehicle project. It is estimated that in the first stage 100,000 vehicles will be produced annually by this project. Apart from Turkey, Russia, China and Japan were the other candidate countries for Toyota.

    The second development, writes the paper, was South Korean Hyundai firm's decision to produce its new "i20" model in its factory in the northwestern province of Izmit. This new model developed for European consumers will go into the market as of 2011.

    (ML)

    [08] Babacan: Turkey satisfied with meeting on Union for Mediterranean Countries

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.11.08) reports from Marseilles the following:

    Turkish foreign minister said Tuesday Turkey was satisfied with a meeting in France which agreed to include the Arab League into efforts to establish a union of the Mediterranean countries.

    "After long talks the foreign ministers agreed on the form and the level of the Arab League's participation in the process. Turkey is satisfied with the outcome," Ali Babacan told reporters after the meeting in Marseilles on "the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean."

    Babacan said Turkey's project proposals on a number of issues such as maritime transportation, joint struggle against forest fires and solar power, received significant support from foreign ministers.

    [09] EU energy chief to hold pipeline talks in Turkey

    Under the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (05.11.08) reports the following:

    The European Union's top energy official is scheduled to arrive in Turkey today to press Ankara to quickly complete talks on transporting natural gas from the Caucasus to western Europe via Turkey.

    Diplomats say EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs' trip will show that the EU remains committed to the Nabucco pipeline project, which faces stiff competition from Russia. The EU wants to ease its dependence on Russia for energy. Moscow has worried the EU by negotiating with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan for their Caspian Sea gas supplies to flow westward through Russia.

    Piebalgs has said he is confident the EU and Turkey can close a Nabucco transmission deal by year's end. Officials said Tuesday that it would be a boost for a project that has been slowed by high costs and uncertainty. Analysts have criticized Turkey for dragging its feet at the bargaining table to try to secure higher transit fees and rights to trade gas going through the pipeline, which would supply an annual 30 billion cubic meters of Caspian or Middle Eastern gas.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkish columnist on local election race between AKP, DTP

    Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (online- 03.11.08) publishes the following commentary by Rusen Cakir under the title The Post-Ocalan PKK's attempts to prove its majority:

    Is it possible to describe the recent developments as the indicators of the local elections competition (or war) between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Democratic Society Party (DTP)? In a way it is. The 22 July 2007 elections had revealed that only the presences of the DTP and the AKP were felt in the southeast and the two parties had been very distressed with this fact. Since then both the DTP and the AKP have been making efforts for remaining alone in the region and they see the local elections as an opportunity that should not be missed.

    It is understood that Prime Minister Erdogan who has been putting to the fore economic and social policies for the solution of the Kurdish problem for a while sees winning in the local elections as a key and imperative phase to this end. It is therefore possible to say the ruling party which longs to win the municipalities of Diyarbakir, Batman, Hakkari, Sirnak, and even Tunceli sees the PKK, rather than the DTP, as its rival.

    The DTP which has not been able to take any steps that will be able to affect the county in general or to satisfy its grass roots and which has therefore become quite indistinct in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) appears to have sought remedy in putting more emphasis on local politics. The DTP aims to show that they are the sole and only political power in the region by preserving the municipalities that they currently hold and by winning the municipalities in centres such as Van, Siirt, and Mardin. Similar to the way that the AKP wants to strike a blow against the PKK via the DTP, the DTP wants to defeat the entire state via the AKP.

    Subtitle: Ocalan's secret

    Nonetheless the local elections are not the only reason behind the mounting tension in the region that does not look as if it is going to end. Let us continue to dwell into the matter. Primarily we should not sneeze at the impact of the allegations -- regardless of whether they reflect reality or not -- to the effect that Abdullah Ocalan is being mistreated in Imrali. This is because Ocalan still occupies a very central place in the Kurdish movement in Turkey. Certain people who are reluctant to take action regarding many issues will be able to unite around Ocalan's name. For example in 2006 DTP officials had initiated a major campaign for ensuring the "permanency of the cease-fire" and they had been shocked to find very faint public support. However every time his lawyers claim that Ocalan is being mistreated, we witness effective protest demonstrations in Turkey and even abroad.

    If we want to avoid new tensions, it will be appropriate to review Ocalan's prison conditions in Imrali in a way that will prevent such complaints in the future and to even transfer him to another prison. This is because it is impossible for those who love Ocalan to believe the state officials who deny that he is being mistreated.

    Subtitle: Ocalan is the honorary Chairman

    I see the recent developments mainly as the "pains of the PKK's efforts to reach majority" in the post-Ocalan period. In my article published on 19 October 2007 -- one of the articles that I had written under the headline of "Understanding the PKK" following the Daglica raid -- I had claimed that Ocalan's leadership is gradually becoming more symbolic and that he has turned into the PKK's "honorary chairman." Today I can say that I am certain of this.

    Those who view the last paragraph as the refutation of the preceding paragraph are very wrong. In fact similar mistakes are frequently being made about the prefix "post." There is nothing more meaningless than describing "postmodernism" as the opposite of modernism and "post-Islamism" as the opposite of Islamism. In our case, by post-Ocalan I am not talking about an "Ocalan-free" PKK. On the contrary, I want to talk about a PKK that will transform Ocalan, that will preserve him in a different manner, and that is trying to surmount him together with itself. In short we may certainly be facing a new PKK. Ocalan is not present in this PKK on the one hand and he is in all its parts on the other. We see that the organization is undergoing a deep organizational and political crisis and that it eludes the effects of this crisis -- at least for the time being -- by putting Ocalan to the fore.

    I believe that the change, transformation, and renewal in the PKK are the inevitable results of the turmoil in Turkey and in the world. I also believe however, that the change and transformation in question have been delayed for a long time due to the fact that the organization's administrators were afraid of change and that currently the change, the transformation, and the renewal are very poor due to the unwilling stand adopted by the administrators.

    Meanwhile I do not believe that those who aim to wage a war against the PKK are able to or want to fully understand the renewal that is taking place in the organization. In this context I want to note that I am very distressed with the tension that has been recently escalating. I will further analyze the PKK tomorrow.

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 04 November 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 4 November:

    a) Local Elections

    In an article entitled "The moment that I regretted," Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok lauds Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for embarking on a tour which covered various cities in the southeastern part of Turkey. Accusing the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), which, he notes, does not bother to hide its ties with the PKK of trying to turn the upcoming local elections into an ideological race, Ozkok calls on the leaders of all other political parties to visit the region in order to foil the DTP's plan and to prevent the PKK from dominating the region.

    In an article entitled "The meaning of local elections in the Southeast," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila says that recent PKK attacks against military outposts and police officers as well as riots were actually a part of the DTP's election strategy and also aimed at sabotaging Erdogan's visit to the region. Bila says that local elections are regarded by the DTP and the PKK as a matter of life or death.

    In an editorial entitled "DTP: Premeditated Suicide," Turkish Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli accuses the DTP of fueling ethnic violence for election purposes and notes that it is rather strengthening the hands of Kurdish and Turkish nationalists.

    In an article entitled "Alarm Bell," Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi criticizes Erdogan and DTP leader Ahmet Turk for heightening political tension as a result of their provocative and strongly-worded statements. Mengi says: "There should be a limit to risks that could be taken for the sake of winning the elections. Nobody could gamble with the country's future. There must be a way to reduce competition to civilized levels. Everybody should come to his senses. We must alleviate this tension which portends harm that could be more serious than losing the election."

    In an article entitled "The need to act wisely", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru warns the ruling AKP about the possible consequences of what he describes as its helplessness in the face of the riots in the southeast, asserting that the situation in the region is escalating in a way that is weakening the Erdogan government's chances of winning the forthcoming municipal elections in places like Diyarbakir and Sirnak. He claims that if the current balances in the region cannot be changed in the AKP's favor in March 2009, the AKP will have its work cut out to implement its EU program and press ahead with its domestic agenda since the architects of this new wave of terrorism are planning to "hijack Turkey's next ten years."

    b) Kurdish Problem

    In an article entitled "Who will benefit from tension between AKP and DTP?" Sabah columnist Mahmut Ovur cautions that the PKK rather than the AKP and the Turkish public will benefit from political tension between the AKP and the DTP in the southeast. He says: "The AKP which is a political party trying to reach all segments of society should better find another solution without being involved in this fruitless showdown because political tension observed in the past two months mobilized DTP cadres rather than those of the AKP and strengthened solidarity within the DTP."

    In an article entitled "Can you obtain votes by torching cars?", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that the DTP's efforts to win the local elections in the southeast by escalating violence will "boomerang" on this party by "marginalizing it at the ballot box." In explaining why this "gross strategy" is bound to fail, Turkone asserts that security forces are "experienced" and "patient" enough not to respond to provocations as exemplified by how law enforcement officials distributed chocolate bars to children during searches conducted to find the killers of five policemen in the riots in Diyarbakir.

    In an article entitled "We should criticize the DTP, but...[ellipsis as published]," Radikal columnist Oral Calislar argues that the AKP would be more influential in the southeast if it treats the DTP not as a rival, but as an opportunity for resolving the Kurdish question. Pointing out that the problem may eventually get out of hand if Prime Minister Erdogan succumbs to anger, Calislar concludes by saying that projects related to Kurdish identity and a package of solutions must be unveiled without delay in order to avoid wasting more time.

    In an article entitled "Ciller made a mistake and Erdogan cannot rectify it," Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir interprets widespread pro-PKK riots in Turkey as a sign that the PKK has taken roots in urban areas as a result of a massive migration of Kurds who were forced to leave their homes in the 1990s to major cities as part of a wrongheaded policy followed by then Prime Minister Tansu Ciller. He comments: "The AKP is now paying a very high price because it could not take serious steps in order to rectify that mistake."

    In an article entitled "False Bravery," Ortadogu columnist Yildiray Cicek asserts that what he describes as a fake dispute between the AKP and the DTP is actually a part of a plot aimed at forcing Turkey to submit to US and EU dictates and allowing Iraq's Mas'ud Barzani to annex Turkey's southeastern provinces.

    A report entitled "Prime Minister will watch rambos' skills" in Sabah says that the Turkish General Staff will give a briefing for Prime Minister Erdogan and other members of the Cabinet about ongoing military operations against the PKK at Egirdir Commando School today. According to the report, the briefing will also include efforts to set up anti-insurgency teams consisting of professional soldiers.

    Pro-Kurdish Yeni Ozgur Politika on 3 November carries a report on a statement issued by Abdullah Ocalan, who thanks the Kurdish people for their protest actions and acts of solidarity. Ocalan also warns against the consequences of any harm to his health.

    In an article entitled "What does the DTP want to do?", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu argues that the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), has started to align itself with the terrorist PKK in getting children and young people in the southeast to stage anti-government protests and trying to "legitimize violence" by describing the riots as a democratic outcry against the Government. Bayramoglu claims that the DTP's policies are as problematic and its methods as strongly at odds with international democratic standards as its political presence is "important and legitimate," adding that it is to be hoped that the DTP will come to see that its current line is only serving to undermine faith in democracy in this country.

    Under the banner headline, "No difference between DTP, PKK," Vakit carries a front-page report which quotes certain "politicians and intelligence experts" as saying that the DTP has allied itself with the PKK in supporting PKK supporters who are "torching cars in cities, setting fire to street vendors' stalls, and stoning shop owners" in the ongoing protests in various parts of the country.

    In an article entitled "Hello, are you there?", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak warns of what he describes as critical and dangerous developments in the offing suggested by the DTP's reaction to Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the southeast, former CIA official Graham Fuller's remarks announcing that Turkey is no longer the United States' strategic partner, Erdogan's "defiance" of the IMF, and Deutsche Bank's recent crisis warning about Turkey.

    In an article entitled "AKP's mistakes in the Southeast", Zaman columnist Bulent Korucu warns the AKP about its "mistake" of disregarding Kurdish political movements other than the DTP and not making any distinction between them and the DTP. He advises the AKP to cooperate with "civil" Kurdish elements in the southeast that are opposed to terror and violence regardless of what their political persuasions might be, asserting that such cooperation will weaken the PKK and the DTP. He also draws the AKP's attention to the "drawbacks" of expecting Erdogan to shoulder the entire responsibility for determining policies for the southeast and urges the AKP's local branches to "share the burden" by "taking more initiative."

    According to a front-page report in Todays Zaman entitled "Erdogan's comment rattles Kurds," Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks in the southeast urging those who oppose the principle of "one nation, one flag, one motherland, and one state" to "leave" the country have "caused serious concerns in a region where tensions were already increasing."

    In an article entitled "When will they awaken to the mistake?", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal lambastes "the supposed solution plan" recently unveiled by the DTP as a proposal to turn Turkey into another Yugoslavia by destroying its nation-state structures. He cites the DTP report as proof of the failure of the AKP's anti-terror policies, asserting that the Erdogan government has actually encouraged the preparation of such plans by "replacing the concept of Turk with the freak concept of 'being from Turkey'" as part of its bid to solve the southeast issue.

    /ES


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