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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-11-13

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. 218/08 13.11.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ercakica: Our philosophy is known
  • [02] The self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci continued his contacts in Sweden
  • [03] The self-styled minister of tourism is holding contacts in London
  • [04] Important step for the harmonization with the EU
  • [05] Turkish officials will visit the occupation regime for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC
  • [06] They are getting ready to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration
  • [07] Trade unionist and economist Mustafa Baturalp comments on the 2009 budget of the breakaway regime
  • [08] Rauf Denktas: I do not want Christofias to come to my grave
  • [09] Turkey-Italy summit concluded in Izmir
  • [10] Turkish Foreign Minister met with his Algerian counterpart in Ankara
  • [11] Turkish-Armenians criticized Defence Ministers remarks as praising ethnic cleansing and crime
  • [12] Turkish-British Strategic Communication centre to be established. Friendship Group in the British Parliament to visit the occupied areas to strengthen the gradually growing international visibility and political relations of TRNC
  • [13] Estimations on Turkeys population by the year 2050
  • [14] World Bank believes that Turkey will need $130 Billion foreign funds in 2009
  • [15] Turkey-Central and Eastern European Countries Foreign Trade Bridge progress to be held in Istanbul
  • [16] Survey shows AKP on top for local elections
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 12 November 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ercakica: Our philosophy is known

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (13.11.08) Mr Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, commenting on news reports that the Greek Cypriot side will start an international enlightenment campaign, stated that this action will have adverse effects on the efficiency of the negotiation process.

    Speaking during his weekly press conference, Mr Ercakica said that the Greek Cypriot side is planning to carry out an international campaign after completion of the subjects under the heading of Governance and Power Sharing. He said that in the course of this campaign the Greek Cypriots will promote their own thesis and in the mean time they will discredit the Turkish Cypriot sides positions.

    Referring to a statement made by President Christofias the other day after the direct talks that The give and take process will start after considering all the aspects of the Cyprus problem, Mr Ercakica claimed that the Greek Cypriot side, while trying to prevent with the toughest methods the international relations of the Turkish Cypriots, to carry out such a campaign on the international arena will have adverse effects on the efficiency of the negotiation process and will turn the Cyprus problem into a subject of struggle on the international arena.

    When asked to comment on a statement made by President Christofias that there is philosophy difference between them, Ercakica said: The Turkish Cypriot sides stance is very clear. Our philosophy approach to this issue is also very clear. There is a particular point that the international community demands from the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot peoples together; Cyprus should be structured in such a way that it will be treated as a single state in the international community. We can explain this as a state that will have a single international identity. This particular point was agreed in the joint statement between Mr Talat and Mr Christofias during the preparation period. If this state will have a single international identity then this cannot be called confederation. And the attribute of having only single voice in the international relations is to demonstrate that it is a federal structure.

    (MHY)

    [02] The self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci continued his contacts in Sweden

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.11.08) writes that the self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci stated that in order for a result to come out from the negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus, the European Union, which says that this is the last chance for the solution, must put pressure on the Greek Cypriot side. Mr Avci made these statements in Sweden where he is having contacts.

    The self-styled foreign minister met yesterday with the Swedish Foreign Ministry Head of the European Desk Hakan Emsgard and his Deputy Lars Wahllund. During the meting, which took place in a positive atmosphere, Mr Avci informed the two Swedish officials about the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and also gave detailed information about the position and suggestions of the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiations.

    Mr Avci said that in the framework of the agreement between the two leaders, the Turkish Cypriot side is bound by the conception of a new partnership which will be bi-communal and bi-regional and will be based on the political equality and the equal status of the constituent states. He also said that the Turkish Cypriot side does its best for an agreement to be reached between the two sides.

    He went on and stated that Sweden is one of the countries members of the EU which knows well the Cyprus problem, since it was one of the countries which contributed with contingents in the UN Peace forces to the island in 1964 and followed the developments of the Cyprus problem since the first days it has started. He also said that the EU can play an important role so that the negotiations could have a positive result

    Mr Avci said that the Turkish side, by saying yes in the 2004 referendum, showed that it is the side that wants solution and added that the commitments to the Turkish Cypriot side after the referendum were not met. He also called on Sweden, which will take over the EU term presidency for the second half of the year 2009, to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots in every filed of life because, as he said, despite the fact that it is the side that wants solution, it pays the price for the non-solution. He also noted that the road must be opened for the Turkish Cypriots. He said that the EU must take steps for ending the inhuman embargo faced by the Turkish Cypriots.

    As part of his contacts in Stockholm, Mr Avci attended a panel organized by the Federation of Turkish Workers Associations of Sweden where he delivered a speech. Mr Avci also participated in a dinner given in his honour by the Turkish ambassador to Stockholm. He also gave a press conference. Finally, in the framework of his contacts Mr Avci visited the Fitssha Cami in Stockholm.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (13.11.08) reports on Avcis contacts in Sweden under the title Greek Cypriot obstacle to Sweden and writes that the self-styled foreign minister stated that the Greek Cypriots did not leave him alone in Sweden as well. Mr Avci said that the Greek Cypriots on one hand are sitting on the negotiation table and on the other they are continuing their efforts to stop all the openings that the Turkish Cypriot side makes. He said that he knows that the Greek Cypriots exerted efforts to prevent the initiatives the Turkish Cypriot side is taking at this moment in Sweden.

    (CS)

    [03] The self-styled minister of tourism is holding contacts in London

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reports the following from London:

    The economy minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) met representatives of British and European tour operators within the scope of the World Tourism Fair held in the British capital of London.

    Delivering a speech at the meeting, TRNC Economy and Tourism Minister Erdogan Sanlidag said they were eager to have a sound cooperation with tour operators in Europe.

    TRNC authorities have been getting prepared to implement new incentives to bring effects of global economic crisis down to a minimum level, Sanlidag said.

    Turkish Cypriot authorities were planning to implement a two-year strategy for the period of 2009-2010 to boost the tourism sector, he said.

    Addressing the representatives of tour operators, Sanlidag said, I hope that you (tour operators) would keep contributing to TRNC tourism sector in the following period.

    [04] Important step for the harmonization with the EU

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.11.08) reports that the self-styled council of ministers of the breakaway regime approved yesterday the Program (Draft) for Harmonization with the EU Acquis Communautaire, the Airport Regulation for Construction, Development, Licensing and Employment Certification and the Regulation for Educating and Examining Tourist Guides. According to statements made after the meeting by Salih Usar, self-styled minister of public works and transport, the council approved and sent to the assembly the food draft-law. It also approved additional budget for the municipalities and decided to invite tenders for a wireless stable telephone business.

    Mr Usar said that they decided to inform the non-governmental organizations on the EU harmonization (draft) program, which will be discussed again at the council of ministers after it takes its final shape at the Surveillance and Coordination Committee under the coordination of the EU Coordination centre.

    Referring to the decision regarding the airports, Mr Usar noted that they have been receiving demands recently regarding the opening of flying schools and small airports in the occupied areas and they prepared this draft-law for establishing the rules and regulations for these airports.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish officials will visit the occupation regime for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (13.11.08) reports about the schedule of the Turkish officials who will visit the occupied areas in order to participate in the celebrations for the establishment of the TRNC. According to the schedule, Cemil Cicek, Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and AKP Member of Parliament, will arrive today in the occupied areas and will have a meeting in the afternoon with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. He will later hold meetings with various officials. Tomorrow he will participate in the ceremony for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC. In addition, Meral Aksener, general secretary of the Turkish Republics presidency will also arrive in the occupied areas and will have contacts with various officials.

    (CS)

    [06] They are getting ready to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (13.11.08) writes that while the reactions continue regarding the proposals made to Turkish Cypriots and Turkish businessmen to establish common firms with the Greek Cypriots, a development which took place after a meeting organized in Istanbul and in which participated the-self styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association (TUSAID), economist Ersin Tatar, the deputy general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP) made some very important evaluations. Mr Tatar stated that this development is not of the benefit of the TRNC and added that until now the Turkish officials have stated that unless the embargo against the Turkish Cypriots is lifted, Turkey will not open its ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot ships and planes.

    Mr Tatar also stated that in a decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot assembly in the year 2005, the assembly called on Turkey never to recognize the Republic of Cyprus and not to escape from this behaviour in the future. As long as the situation is so, the proposal made to Turkish and Turkish Cypriot businessmen, during the meeting of the officials of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and TUSIAD in Istanbul, to go immediately to south Cyprus, is extremely wrong having as a starting point the assumption that Turkey will enter into a customs union with the Greek Cypriot administration, as he called the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr Tatar reminded that the government of the Republic of Cyprus prepared a law creating a possibility for the Turkish Cypriots to establish businesses in the free areas of the Republic, but the Turkish Cypriot businessmen did not pay much attention to this law.

    He went on and stated that the issue is very sensitive and that what must be done now is to make investments in the TRNC together with Turkish businessmen so that the TRNC economy is strengthened. He stated that the Turkish Cypriot side must not forget that one of the most important conditions is for the economy of the occupation regime to be strong so that an agreement, based on equality and sovereignty can be reached with the Greek Cypriots.

    (CS)

    [07] Trade unionist and economist Mustafa Baturalp comments on the 2009 budget of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (13.11.08) reports that economist Mustafa Baturalp, Chairman of the Solidarity Trade Union, commented on the 2009 budget of the breakaway regime for the year 2009 and said that it is provided for the internal debt to increase by 32% in comparison with 2008 and the investments to decrease by 74 million New Turkish Lira (NTL).

    He noted that no salary rises will be given this year to the so-called public servants and argued that the promises of the self-styled government that at least the current expenses would be met by the TRNC were proved to be words in vain.

    Mr Baturalp said that in spite of the fact that the budget for 2009 increased by 8.9% compared to the budget of 2008, the current expenses increased by 17%. Mr Baturalp noted that the increase of the personnel expenses by 17.16% caused the decrease of the investments.

    In parallel to this, as he said, the share provided for the political parties is 4 million 32 thousand NTL compared to 3 million 920 thousand in 2008. He also said that a total of 1 billion 758 million NTL in the 2009 budget will be met from domestic sources, while this number in the 2008 budget was a total of 1 billion 639 million.

    Mr Baturalp noted that Turkey will provide net 639 million NTL for the budget of the breakaway regime for 2009, while last year it gave 561 million NTL. He also said that an increase of 7.40% is observed in the money given by Turkey and noted that 310 million NTL is given in the form of aid and 293 million NTL as credits.

    Mr Baturalp said that while the budget deficit last year was 155 million NTL, this year it is rising to 205 million NTL.

    Pointing out to the 305-million investments (NTL) in 2008, Mr Baturalp said that the investments from Turkey were 260 million NTL, the local investments were 40 million NTL and the returning capital was 5 million NTL.

    Mr Baturalp added that the investments from Turkey decreased to 200 million NTL in 2009 and that the total investments fell to 231 million NTL.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Rauf Denktas: I do not want Christofias to come to my grave

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (13.11.08) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas visited the premises of the paper and replied to questions of its employees. Mr Denktas was reminded by the journalists that he had filed a lawsuit against Yeni Duzen in the past and that he would confiscate its building.

    When asked whether today he wishes for this not to have happened, he replied: Of course, of course. No dialogue existed between us then. We had received the information that Ozker Ozgur has been secretly meeting with AKEL. Our team thought that Yeni Duzen and those leading it would unite with the Greeks and sell us out. While the view prevailed that there was anger for Turkey an article was written. It compared us with the mafia chiefs. We sent a message telling it to say I am sorry. There was no result. After this, I filed a lawsuit. Then I realized that filing charges would be useless. The best was strongly replying to what it did. It was really important that afterwards Serdar made a coalition with the CTP. A dialogue process started. A softening took place. However, I am wondering about the following: Will Christofias come to my grave as well? I do not want him to come. Of course, if he comes, I could do nothing being in there. He will look eagerly, saying he is gone.

    Mr Denktas reiterated his view that the national cause of the Turkish Cypriots should be partition and unification with Turkey as long as the Greek Cypriots want to possess the whole island. He alleged that the Greek Cypriots want to delay the solution of the Cyprus problem for the year 2009 when they will settle accounts with Turkey in the EU and try to get out something from Turkey. He argued that the starting point of the solution should be the current situation with territorial adjustments and the global exchange of properties. He claimed that the border should not be a zigzagged line which could not be defended like the one in the Annan Plan.

    Asked whether he is satisfied with the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, Mr Denktas said: I am a person who knows the difficulties of Mr Talat. Let God not put anyone in that position. He is a man who deals with the fate of a nation. Having good intentions, he said I will settle it, he entered into it and then started seeing the difficulties. Because I know he is a clever man, he started to see that the first steps he made with good intentions are wrong and they will not lead to the result which his own people and nation want. He is our president and we have great respect for him, but the path he is walking is dangerous. We are obliged to say this. Because I believe he is a clever man, I think that he realizes he is deceived in the path he has entered with good intentions and with the assumption that the Greeks have also good intentions.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Turkey-Italy summit concluded in Izmir

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from Izmir:

    The Italian prime minister said on Wednesday that the European Union (EU) foresaw opening full membership negotiations with Turkey on four chapters.

    Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said that the EU envisions launching negotiations with Turkey on four chapter headings within a year during the presidency of the Czech Republic.

    The Czech Republic and Sweden, which will be the upcoming presidents of the union, intend to speed up Turkey's EU full membership process, Berlusconi told a press conference at the end of Turkey-Italy summit in the Aegean province of Izmir.

    Berlusconi said his country would convince the union about the strategic importance of Turkey in the Middle East and as a NATO member.

    The EU should see that Turkey was joining NATO and other peace missions to heal wounds in the world, and Turkey should be included in the union, the Italian prime minister said.

    Also, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey was working hard and making preparations for membership, and expressed Turkey's eagerness to conclude the negotiation process as soon as possible.

    Erdogan and Berlusconi, and Turkish and Italian delegations later attended a dinner.

    [10] Turkish Foreign Minister met with his Algerian counterpart in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has said that the diplomacy traffic in the Caucasus would speed up in the coming days. I will pay a visit to Azerbaijan, and a visit by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian of Armenia to Turkey is in question, he added.

    Babacan met Mourad Medelci of Algeria who is currently in Ankara on an official visit. The two ministers held a joint news conference after the meeting. Asked about the Turkey-Armenia process, Babacan told reporters: There has been intense diplomacy traffic between the two countries. On the other hand, a meeting took place in Moscow, Russia in an effort to find a solution to the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia. We supported the meeting. We also expect Russia to make a significant contribution to normalization of Azerbaijan-Armenia relations.

    As you know, the first tripartite meeting of Turkish, Azerbaijani and Armenian Foreign Ministers, was held in New York. All parties are willing to maintain the process. But we need to determine our agenda carefully to come to tangible results. I will pay a visit to Azerbaijan in the coming days, and a visit by Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian of Armenia to Turkey is in question. The diplomacy traffic in the Caucasus will speed up by the end of the year, he said. I also expect that President Abdullah Gul and President Serzh Sargsian of Armenia will meet once again soon. The most important thing is to secure a lasting peace and stability in the Caucasus. Therefore, a cooperation and stability platform including Russia, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia is of great importance, Babacan added.

    [11] Turkish-Armenians criticized Defence Ministers remarks as praising ethnic cleansing and crime

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (13.11.08) reports the following:

    A group of more than 40 Turkish-Armenians, in an open letter to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have voiced their grievances about remarks from Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul that defended the deportation of Greeks and Armenians from Anatolia at the beginning of the last century, describing his comments as praising ethnic cleansing and crime.

    Gonul, in a speech at the Turkish Embassy in Brussels on the occasion of the anniversary of the death of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk on Nov. 10, claimed that if Greeks and Armenians were still living in the country, Turkey would not be the same nation-state it is today. He also hinted that Armenia is supporting the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    If there were Greeks in the Aegean and Armenians in most places in Turkey today, would it be the same nation-state? I don't know with which words I can explain the importance of the population exchange, but if you look at the former state of affairs, its importance will become very clear, Gonul said. The Lausanne Treaty, signed in 1923, called for a population exchange between the Greek Orthodox citizens of the young Turkish Republic and the Muslim citizens of Greece, which resulted in the displacement of approximately two million people.

    The Armenian population that was in Turkey before the establishment of the Turkish Republic was forced to emigrate in 1915, and the conditions of this expulsion are the basis of Armenian claims of genocide.

    In the same speech, Gonul hinted that Armenians are supporting the PKK. We cannot deny the contribution of those who consider themselves the victims of this nation-building, especially the forced emigration, to the struggle in the southeastern Anatolia, he said.

    The group, in their open letter published on a Web site, stated that Gonul's remarks contradict the Constitution, which says that anyone bound to the Turkish Republic by the citizenship is called a Turk.

    It is very difficult to understand, if we are talking about a Turkish nation, why the Armenians and Greeks [non-Muslims] cannot be a part of this nation, when Kurds, Arabs and Albanians [Muslims] can be? To what extent does this mentality, which underlines that religious unity is required in order to be a nation, fit in with the contemporary state of law? the letter asked.

    The letter suggested that the changes made by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) toward democratization were considered by intellectuals to be "positive," but that the rivals of the AK Party claimed these changes are just a disingenuous effort to get the financial support of the European Union.

    The reaction of the AK party to Gonul's scandalous remarks will be a very good indicator of the sincerity of the policies [of AK Party], the letter claimed.

    [12] Turkish-British Strategic Communication centre to be established. Friendship Group in the British Parliament to visit the occupied areas to strengthen the gradually growing international visibility and political relations of TRNC

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from London:

    Turkish-British Inter-Parliamentary Group Chairman Suat Kiniklioglu said a strategic communication centre would be established in Ankara, Turkey.Kiniklioglu, an MP from Justice and Development (AK) Party, held a news conference and said main target of the strategic communication centre would be to pave ways for a communication that would contribute to Turkey's EU process.The centre will contribute to Turkey's communication with the EU. Activities and meetings would be organized to explain Turkey better, he said.

    Kiniklioglu said works also have started to form Turkish-British Forum, adding that they planned the forum to include politicians, businessmen, and members of think-tank organizations as well as artists.

    Kiniklioglu said the forum was planned to convene once a year in Britain and in Turkey in turns, adding that the first meeting would take place in 2009 in Turkey.He said the Forum would not only target to boost relations between Turkey and Britain but also regions like the Middle East would be in the field of interest of the Forum.

    Kiniklioglu also said the Friendship Group in British Parliament was expected to pay a visit to Turkey next May, the group will also proceed to Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and add a new dimension to gradually growing international visibility and political relations of TRNC, he added.

    [13] Estimations on Turkeys population by the year 2050

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (13.11.08) reports the following:

    It seems that Turkey's oft-touted population growth figures are steering toward a traffic jam, with recently released data indicating that the nation's growth will grind to a halt by 2050.

    According to projections based on the government's program for 2009 related to the rate of population growth, this year's growth rate of 1.18 percent is expected to decline steadily, reaching a flat line in growth around 2046. It is estimated that at that time Turkey's population will be 89.165 million -- a far cry from the 100 million that others have predicted the country will soon reach.

    From 2047 onward, Turkey's population is expected to decline, falling to 88.986 million.

    In January, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) published the results of a census showing Turkey's population to be slightly over 70 million. Interior Minister Besir Atalay announced then that Turkey's population stood at 70,586,256 as of the end of 2007.

    [14] World Bank believes that Turkey will need $130 Billion foreign funds in 2009

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from Istanbul: World Bank's chief official for Turkey said Wednesday the country would need 130 billion USD foreign funds in 2009 as a financial crisis would continue to shake economies across the globe.

    Economic growth has slowed down both in developed and developing countries as the world economy had become more integrated. This picture is here to stay and everyone should be prepared against it. And Turkey needs 130 billion USD foreign funds in 2009, Ulrich Zachau told an international finance summit in Istanbul.

    Zachau said basic indicators of Turkey's economy were in shape and it could get more resilient provided that it continued economic reforms.

    The World Bank official said he estimated a 13-15 billion USD direct foreign investment in Turkey in 2009.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from Ankara: Turkey's current account deficit dropped 60.1 percent in September 2008 when compared to the same month of 2007, the Central Bank said.

    Turkish Central Bank made public on Wednesday balance of payments statistics for September.

    Current account deficit decreased by 60.1 percent to 914 million U.S. dollars in September 2008 over the same month of last year, the bank said.

    Foreign trade deficit decreased 15.1 percent to 3.4 billion U.S. dollars in the same month. Turkey' current account deficit in the January-September period of 2008 increased 35.6 percent to 35.3 billion U.S. dollars, the bank said.

    [15] Turkey-Central and Eastern European Countries Foreign Trade Bridge progress to be held in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey-Central and Eastern European Countries Foreign Trade Bridge program organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) will be held in Istanbul between November 18 and 19.

    TUSKON Chairperson Rizanur Meral said 255 businessmen from 16 Central and Eastern European countries and 1,000 Turkish businessmen would participate in the program.

    Meral said they targeted a trade volume of 1 billion U.S. dollars as a result of the talks which would be held during the program.

    [16] Survey shows AKP on top for local elections

    Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspaper (10.11.08) publishes the following survey:

    According to the latest survey by GENAR, if the local elections were to be held today the AKP [Justice and Development Party] would take the lead with 49.5 percent followed by the CHP [Republican People's Party] with 25.1 percent. It is worthy of note that the number of AKP votes has risen by 10 percent since the last local elections back in 2004. According to the same survey, Turkish society regards Ergenekon as a terrorist organization.

    According to the GENAR survey, which was conducted between 25 October and 6 November in 54 districts across 14 provinces throughout Turkey interviewing 2,085 people, if a general election were to be held today the AKP would maintain its lead. The survey puts the party in first place with 48.5 percent with the CHP in second place with 23.5 percent. The MHP [Nationalist Action Party] lies in third place with 14 percent. The DTP [Democratic Society Party] has 5.9 percent of the vote while the other political parties have 10.7 percent in this survey.

    The AKP's 48.5 percent in a notional general election increases to 49.5 for local elections while the CHP's 23.5 percent increases to 25 percent. The survey shows the MHP's general election vote of 14 percent falling to 12 percent in local elections.

    According to the survey, while both the AKP and CHP see an increase in votes between general and local elections, the MHP sees a fall in its share of the vote. The performance of AKP municipalities is reflected in the extra votes for the party, according to the survey.

    Impressions of Prime Minister Erdogan are also echoed in the survey: "Recep Tayyip Erdogan tops the list of politicians for whom Turkish society says, 'If he says so then it must be true' with 42 percent. The principal reason for the high AKP vote is confidence in Erdogan. When you look as the other names that are trusted the leaders of political parties are far behind their parties. This shows that there is a serious lack of cohesion between the other political parties and their leaders."

    Apart from the economy, combating terrorism and democratization the AKP government was found to be successful by more than half of society in matters of foreign policy, combating gangs and social aid. Accordingly, the survey gives the AKP government the following degrees of success in these areas: social aid: 58.7; combating gangs: 54.2; foreign policy: 50; democratization: 46.5; combating terrorism: 46.8; the economy: 47.7 percent. The proportions of those surveyed who thought the government was failing in some areas are: The economy: 52.4; counterterrorism: 53.2; democratization: 53.5 percent.

    The answers given in the survey as to why there has been an increase in terrorist action are: Firstly, the approaching local elections; secondly, the government's attitude; thirdly, economic weakness; fourthly, Ergenekon; fifth, meddling by outside powers.

    According to the survey, 44 percent of society thinks that the fight against the PKK should be conducted by the military coordinating with the other institutions. While 42 percent think that this initiative should belong solely to the military, 13.3 percent believe that the initiative should be in civilian hands.

    Some 75.6 percent of those surveyed thought that sitting down to talks with Mas'ud Barzani as one step in fighting the PKK was not the right thing to do while 24.4 percent thought it was the right move.

    According to the survey, 67.9 percent of society agrees with the comment in the Ergenekon indictment saying, "Ergenekon is a terrorist organization." Some 32.1 percent disagree. According to another remarkable conclusion in the survey, the people think the same of Ergenekon as the prosecution.

    According to the survey the social aid agency trusted most by Turkish society is the Red Crescent with the controversial Deniz Feneri [Lighthouse] coming second. The Deniz Feneri Agency is followed in third place by the Is Anybody There Society with the Humanitarian Aid Foundation in fourth place. Some 40.7 percent of society thinks that the Deniz Feneri debate is a case of score settling with the government. Some 26.9 percent think that the Dogan Media Group is using this argument to give direction to politics.

    The survey says that 58.1 percent of Turkish society thinks that neglect was behind the recent PKK attack on the Aktutun Outpost in which 17 soldiers were martyred, while 42 percent found no neglect. Of those who did find neglect in the Aktutun attack they place the blame on the following institutions: Military: 56.3; state-government: 4.6; intelligence: 1.0; everybody: 1.0 percent.

    While 82.1 percent of society states that they fast over Ramadan 17.9 percent say they do not.

    While 68 percent of society disagrees with the Constitutional Court's reasoned verdict overturning Parliament's amendment concerning religious headdress, the survey showed that removing headdress restrictions was not seen as breaking the principle of secularism.

    Another conclusion of the survey is that while 66.6 percent of society does not see a division in society, those who do see one come from various marginal bodies.

    According to the survey, 38.6 percent of the Turkish people would have voted for Obama however there is a clear anti-American sentiment reflected in the survey. While 57 percent of Turkish society say the US elections do not concern them, of those who would have voted Obama CHP and MHP voters are in the lead. To the question, "Which leader do you feel is closest to you?" 37.8 percent said Iran's President Ahmedinezhad, 12.7 percent said Germany's Angela Merkel, 9.5 percent said France's Sarkozy, 8.8 percent said Iraq's Jalal Talabani and 8 percent said US President Bush.

    According to the 45.6 percent of society, the impact of the global economic crisis is going to hit Turkey painfully. According to 39.1 percent, Turkey will be partially affected. Some 9.5 percent think that Turkey will not be affected but will turn the crisis into an opportunity. Some 5.8 percent think that Turkey will not be affected. According to the conclusions in the survey, Turkish society has been affected by the global crisis. Those who participated in the survey stated that this effect would have a psychological impact on the markets adding that trepidation is society would cause a slump in the markets.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 12 November 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 12 November 08:

    a) Prime Minister's Office Cancels Accreditation of Seven Journalists:

    The Prime Minister's office has cancelled the accreditation of another seven correspondents, according to a report in Istanbul Milliyet. The report says that the action was taken against the correspondents on grounds that they failed to comply with the rules and principles of reporting the developments.

    Also in Milliyet, Melih Asik criticizes the Prime Minister's Office for cancelling the accreditation of seven correspondents for reporting the negative developments they observed while they realized their task of following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's activities. In his column, he notes: In short, our colleagues, who also reported the negative developments they observed during the effort they made to realize their mission, have been banned. That marks the end of the AKP [Justice and Development Party] democracy.

    Ahmet Hakan in Istanbul Hurriyet strongly reacts to the cancellation of the accreditation of seven correspondents, arguing that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan cannot tolerate any kind of criticism. In a column, he laments the failure of journalists to react to the way the media organs are treated by Erdogan, Chief of the General Staff Gen Ilker Basbug, and President Abdullah Gul and argues that the situation of journalists worsens every day. Stressing that the journalists have not reacted to retributions by Erdogan and Basbug and failed to express support for their colleagues whose accreditations were withdrawn in the past, he claims: It is now time to move to take action. According to the reports we received yesterday, The Prime Minister's Press Centre has cancelled the accreditation of seven of our colleagues. I believe that we can take that as our starting point. I openly and officially urge you to rise against that approach. Yes, let us do something. Let us do it together.

    In a column in the same newspaper, Mehmet Y Yilmaz also criticizes the Prime Minister's Office for cancelling the accreditation of seven correspondents on grounds that Recep Tayyip Erdogan disapproved the way they reported the developments. Yilmaz says: As such, our "democratic prime minister" has included correspondents among the newspapers, columnists, and media officials he dislikes. That is yet another unfavourable point for the prime minister's performance.

    b) Investigation Against Fethullah Gulen:

    According to a report by Turker Karapinar in Istanbul Milliyet, the Chief Prosecutor's Office in Ankara unexpectedly launched an investigation against Fethullah Gulen a month ago for allegedly establishing an unlawful organization. The report says that Prosecutor Cemil Tugtekin responded to journalists' questions on the investigation by saying that he is merely carrying out his work.

    c) Alevi Demands:

    In a column in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Mehmet Ali Birand argues that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems to have forgotten the demands of the Alevi community in Turkey and warns that the situation has changed and that the Alevis have started to come out for the first time, creating the impression that they will pronounce their needs in a louder voice.

    Writing in Istanbul Sabah, Nazli Ilicak supports the Alevi demands. In a column she argues that the removal of the Directorate of Religious Affairs is the only demand that cannot be met, and notes: However, the institution might be reorganized to also meet the Alevi people's needs. It is true that the government cannot touch the directorate, which is a constitutional institution. But, it is a fact that meeting the other expectations of the Alevi citizens will not be difficult.

    d) Kurdish Problem:

    Addressing the DTP [Democratic Society Party] parliamentary group, Co-chairman Ahmet Turk has criticized Prime Minister Erdogan's recent statements on the solution of the Kurdish problem, according to a report in Istanbul Hurriyet. The report notes that Turk warned the AKP administration that it will never be able to discipline to the DTP to remain silent and quotes him as saying: The government spokesman has disclosed that Turkey spent $1 trillion because of the clashes since 1984. That shows the reason for the crisis in the country. Turkey's situation would have been different if the funds that were used for military activities and the bombs that were dropped on the mountains were allocated for the kitchens of the citizens. Of course, there is a cost to be paid for the defence of democracy and freedom. We are paying the cost. We will continue to do so until the war ends. The effort that is made to suppress us is wrong. You cannot discipline us. We suffered in the past and we are ready to suffer again if necessary.

    In a column in Istanbul Vatan, Okay Gonensin criticizes the AKP administration's position on the PKK problem, stressing that it has failed to adopt an approach that would be different from the policies of its predecessors. Warning that Turkey's Kurdish problem will become more serious if Barack Obama decides to withdraw the US troops from Iraq after he takes over from President Bush, he notes: Unfortunately, the opposition in Turkey has not been able to put pressure on the AKP administration to force it to take steps to solve the problem. It seems that the opposition groups and the government have agreed to have the military forces solve the problem instead of taking the necessary measures themselves.

    Under the headline, "Shocking accusation against Kilicdaroglu," Vakit runs a front-page report which highlights remarks by Talip Dogan Karlibel, who earlier "proved that the CHP [Republican People's Party] had accepted money from the German Ebert Foundation," accusing CHP Parliamentary Group Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu of meeting with PKK members in Germany and visiting a massage parlour in this country.

    In an article entitled "Commemorating Ataturk: Crying Convulsively Rather Than Standing Indifferently", Vakit columnist Selahaddin Cakirgil criticizes Erdogan's recent messages regarding the southeast issue, asserting that while the prime minister has denied saying "love [this country] or leave [it]" in response to the riots instigated by the PKK, "what you did say, 'find another place to live if you do not like this country,'" was equally "unbecoming." Cakirgil also expresses the "hope" that Erdogan did not have the "Turkish nation" but the idea of a Muslim community in mind in underlining the importance of "a single motherland, a single flag, and a single nation."

    In an article entitled "Is the Prime Minister changing?", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts on the basis of information obtained from certain unnamed AKP executives and Erdogan aides that the prime minister's recent comments on the southeast issue should be seen as spontaneous reactions rather than as the herald of a change of policy or of a shift to an "exclusionary" sort of nationalism. He also asserts that since the Turkish military is part of the struggle against terrorism, it is only natural for the Erdogan government to be working in harmony with the General Staff in conducting this struggle, adding that it is farfetched to conclude from this cooperation that political and civilian initiatives have stalled.

    Under the headline, "EU report reveals shocking PKK Facts," Today's Zaman runs a front-page report which provides highlights from a report on northern Iraq and the PKK drawn up by the EU institute for Security Studies, ISS.

    EG/


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