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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-11-14

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. 219/08 14.11.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Christofias and Talat met for the 8th time
  • [02] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Cicek is visiting the occupied areas to participate in the ceremonies for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC
  • [03] Soyer: The goal is to reach an agreement before Junes EP elections
  • [04] Various political officials and academicians from Turkey and other countries will participate in the ceremonies for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC
  • [05] Details on the contacts and statements by Turgay Avci in Sweden
  • [06] Erel criticizes Turkey for approaching the EU issues as if the Cyprus problem does not exist
  • [07] UBP leader in Ankara for contacts
  • [08] Murat Kanatli warns about the increasing population from Turkey
  • [09] Details on the draft bill on the purchase of Greek Cypriot properties in occupied Cyprus by foreigners
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist refers to the investments and the constructions in the occupied area of Morfou
  • [11] News agencies from Turkish speaking countries in the occupied areas
  • [12] Turkish Prime Minister is holding contacts in New York
  • [13] Erdogan to visit India
  • [14] Turkeys assistance to the world worth 5.2 billion USD
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] From the Turkish Press of 13 November 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Christofias and Talat met for the 8th time

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reported the following:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat's meeting with Greek Cypriot administration leader Demetris Christofias on Thursday has ended.

    The leaders made no comments to the press after their meeting that lasted 2.5 hours in the buffer zone in Lefkosia.

    This was the 8th time the two leaders met under the full-fledged talks aiming at finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue. On Thursday, the leaders began discussions on the judiciary.

    The full-fledged talks were launched on September 11. In their previous seven meetings, the leaders discussed administration and share of power. They first handled authorities and then negotiated federal administration.

    Making a short comment on Thursday's meeting, U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the two Cypriot leaders gained a good momentum which should be preserved.

    Downer said that the next meeting of the two Cypriot leaders would take place on Monday, November 17 at 16.00 hours during which the mechanism to overcome deadlocks would be handled.

    Alexander Downer said that the two Cypriot leaders were implementing a "three baskets model" in the negotiations.

    According to Downer, one basket consists of differences, another consists of topics on which there is agreement and the third basket consists of issues on which an agreement is hard to reach.

    The Cyprus problem is a complex one. Negotiations in the island will continue in 2009. There is no need for the leaders to meet more frequently, Downer also said.

    The Turkish Cypriot press reports today (14.11.08) as follows about the issue:

    Yeni Duzen writes about yesterdays meeting under the title Downer: In the Judiciary issue there was good progress.

    Halkin Sesi reports on the issue under the title: Three baskets model.

    Star Kibris: Judiciary is completed.

    Kibrisli reports about the negotiation under the title: Three baskets.

    Under the title: What progress?, Bakis reports on the same issue.

    (CS)

    [02] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Cicek is visiting the occupied areas to participate in the ceremonies for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC

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

    The Turkish Cypriot president received on Thursday the deputy prime minister of Turkey. President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had a meeting with Turkey's State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek in Lefkosia, TRNC.

    Cicek is visiting TRNC to attend ceremonies to mark the 25th anniversary of foundation of TRNC. Arriving in TRNC earlier on Thursday, Cicek told reporters that TRNC was a young republic.

    Cicek said, "TRNC has achieved many things for 25 years, but there are still things it should do."

    The Turkish deputy prime minister reaffirmed Turkey's support for TRNC's endeavours.

    Parliament Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday Turkish Cypriots were endeavouring for a bi-zonal, bi-federal and a lasting solution based on political equality.

    Speaking at a meeting with Turkish State Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Ekenoglu said Turkish Cypriots were also trying to prepare an economy that stands on its feet.

    Ekenoglu said Turkey's election as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council boosted hopes in TRNC.

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Thursday that TRNC was willing for a solution in Cyprus problem.

    "Turkish Cypriot people will never retreat from its equality and Turkey's guarantor status," Soyer said while speaking at a meeting with Turkish State Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek.

    Soyer said Cicek's visit was an indication of support of Turkey to Turkish Cypriots in its struggle to exist. TRNC Prime Minister said Turkish state was advocating a solution including equality of the Turkish Cypriot people under the roof of a partnership state. He said Greek Cypriot political leadership should act being aware of these facts.

    Cicek pointed to TRNC's success achieved in many areas, noting that there was a functioning democracy in TRNC.

    Referring to ongoing talks in Cyprus, Cicek said, "Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey. Whichever government comes to power in Turkey, this point of view will not change."

    Commenting on the issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) reports that in statements upon his arrival to the occupied areas, Mr Cicek stated: The declaration of the TRNC was a great win. However, he said, there is lot work to be done. Speaking further Mr Cicek stated that the TRNC is a 25-years old young man and expressed his happiness for participating in the celebrations in the name of Turkey.

    Kibris also writes that Mr Cicek met with the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas. In statements during the meeting, Mr Cicek stated that he is in favour of a permanent meeting and added: There are two separate states and two separate people here. They have experienced pain and had bad experiences. The Republic was established to solve this. A solution which will ignore these gains will not be possible, he stated.

    (CS)

    [03] Soyer: The goal is to reach an agreement before Junes EP elections

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.11.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Prime Minister and Leader of the Republican Turkish Party Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said his party is working hard to change the mentality which sees the non-solution as a way of solution both on the Cyprus issue and within the society, together with President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Delivering a speech during the 10th Regular Congress of the CTPs Lefkosa Youth Branch which was held last night, the Premier stated that the goal is to come up with an outcome from the negotiations process before the European Parliaments elections in June next year.

    Earlier speaking to reporters before the beginning of the meeting of the Council of Ministers yesterday, Mr. Soyer touched upon the criticisms made against the government regarding its politics on economy.

    He said there has not been a prepared package of measures against the global crisis yet, but the government will soon be exchanging views on alternative ways of challenging with the global financial crisis with civil society organizations.

    Strongly reacting against the claims that the government is hiding itself behind the global financial turmoil and is carrying out wrong policies on economy and rises, Mr. Soyer stressed that the global crisis is a fact which must be faced and struggled with.

    `We cannot ignore the effects of the global crisis since we are a part of the world`, he added.

    Also referring to the rise recently made on the use of tube gas, Soyer said the reason for the rise in its price is not the government itself but it will take the necessary initiatives to cause a price drop.

    [04] Various political officials and academicians from Turkey and other countries will participate in the ceremonies for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) reports that various political officials and academicians from Turkey and other countries will arrive to the occupied areas to participate in the ceremonies for the celebrations on the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC.

    Kibris writes that the self-styled minister of Education and Culture met with Macedonian and Azerbaijani delegations who are visiting the occupied areas for the celebrations for the establishment of the TRNC.

    The paper also writes that Ikram Israfi an MP from Azerbaijan and Professor Gorgi Stardelov, the chairman of the National Science Academy of FYROM, who are visiting the occupied areas for the celebrations for the establishment of the Pseudostate, held a meeting yesterday with the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas.

    The paper also writes that vessels of the Turkish Naval Forces will arrive for the celebrations at the Keryneia and Famagusta ports. According to a statement of the Turkish Security Forces Commandership, the TCG Gemlik and TCG Gokceada frigate and the TCG Bandirma corvette will arrive in the occupied areas.

    In addition the Turkish Air Forces Acrobat Turkish Stars team will perform a show in the sky.

    In the framework of the celebrations Cemil Cicek, Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey and AKP Member of Parliament and Meral Aksener, general secretary of the Turkish Republic presidency are visiting the occupied areas. In statements upon his arrival to the occupied areas, Mr Cicek stated: The declaration of the TRNC was a great win.

    Mr Cicek held meetings with various officials of the occupation regime, among them the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) reports that a crisis occurred between the two partners of the self-styled coalition government when the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) vetoed the decision to bring journalists from Ankara for the celebrations. CTP supported that there are no money in the treasury, a statement which caused the reaction of the Freedom and Reform Partys members.

    (CS)

    [05] Details on the contacts and statements by Turgay Avci in Sweden

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) writes that the self-styled foreign minister, Turgay Avci, who is currently holding contacts in Sweden, met yesterday with the deputies of the Swedish Parliament, Anne Ludvigsson, Bodil Ceballos, Tommy Waidelich and Mehmet Kaplan. Mr Avci gave information to the Swedish deputies on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    According to the paper, Turgay Avci has also addressed the Turkish community in Stockholm. Noting that the so-called isolation on the Turkish Cypriots continues, Mr. Avci asked from Sweden to fairly behave when the country will hold the EU rotating presidency by keeping the same stance to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    Speaking to the Swedish-Turkish Labour Associations Federation on the Cyprus problem and evaluating the developments on the economy of the pseudo-state, Mr. Avci referred to the number of students that are now attending the six universities established in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus. Noting that now 45,000 students are attending the six illegal universities, Mr. Avci has added that their goal is to reach 60,000 students. It is not very difficult for the TRNC with a 250,000 population to have 60,000 students, he concluded.

    Under the title The flag from Denktas, the aim is separation, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (14.11.08) writes that while Mehmet Ali Talat is participating in the negotiations, the self-styled foreign minister Turgay Avci, continues to make statements which are contrary to the views of Mr. Talat.

    According to the paper, Mr. Avci speaking at a meeting organized by the Swedish-Turkish Labour Associations Federation in Sweden, has stated that not even a Turkish soldier has been withdrawn and will never be withdrawn [from Cyprus], we did not give back land and we never will give land.

    Referring to Rauf Denktas, Turgay Avci added that they have not forgotten Rauf Denktas and they will march forward with the flag they received from him.

    (CS/ML)

    [06] Erel criticizes Turkey for approaching the EU issues as if the Cyprus problem does not exist

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) writes that Ali Erel, the Chairman of the Cyprus EU Association criticized the comments and the news in the media regarding the 2008-2009 Enlargement Strategy and 2008 Turkeys progress report. Mr Erel stated, inter alia, that the official and unofficial statements made in Turkey and the occupied areas are as if the Cyprus problem did not exist and as if it is not one of the biggest problems in Turkeys EU process.

    (CS)

    [07] UBP leader in Ankara for contacts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) writes that the chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu, went to Ankara in order to have contacts with state and government officials.

    (CS)

    [08] Murat Kanatli warns about the increasing population from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.11.08) writes that Murat Kanatli, the Secretary of the Administrative Committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), stated that the process of northern Cyprus becoming a province of Turkey has been speeded up. Something must be done urgently for the population issue in north Cyprus, he stated.

    (CS)

    [09] Details on the draft bill on the purchase of Greek Cypriot properties in occupied Cyprus by foreigners

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Star newspaper (14-20.11.08) publishes the following report on the purchase of Greek Cypriot properties by foreigners in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus:

    The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Parliament scrutinized and passed the Immoveable Properties and Long Term Leasing (Foreigners) Bill.

    The Bill provides that foreign purchasers will be able to acquire freehold property and also long term leases on immoveable properties from a period of 10 to 99 years. However the Bill states that the acquiring of property will be conducted in accordance with the conditions set out in the law and with the permission of the Ministry. The Bill will also make it possible for foreign purchasers of property to acquire land up to 5 donums pending approval from the cabinet of Ministers. Cyprus Star has learnt that the Bill was sent to the Presidency for approval on the 12th of November, and the President must either approve the bill, or send it back to Parliament for any amendments deemed by the President to be unconstitutional.

    Consequences of the bill

    The Immoveable Properties and Long Term Leasing (Foreigners) Bill will introduce significant changes to the Property Law and especially to foreign property purchasers. At present, only one donum of land may be purchased by a foreign property buyer; however the new reform Bill will make it possible for a foreign purchaser to acquire up to 5 donums of land, pending approval by the cabinet of Ministers. Parliamentary sources have revealed that the Bill will allow leasehold of property for a term of 10 to 99 years.

    Temporary provision

    Cyprus Star has learnt that there will be a temporary provision with regards to the contract between the buyer and the vendor. According to the reforms Bill, all contracts between the vendor and the buyer must be registered with the Ministry of the Interior. The new law will provide a temporary term of one year for either party to register their contracts (sale, permissions, and searches) with the Ministry. If an application is not done within one year of the enactment of the law the contract will not be accepted by the cabinet of ministers.

    The Government is also making it harder to transfer title deeds to buyers who are not of good character.

    Bill approval in Legislature

    Parliamentarians accepted by a majority the Immoveable Properties and Long Term Leasing (Foreigners) Bill, which has now been sent to the Presidency. The Presidency will either approve the Bill without making amendments or will return the bill with amendment proposals deemed by the President to be unconstitutional. If the presidency gives his assent to the Bill without the need to return it to the legislature, the Bill will be placed in the official newspaper where it will become law.

    In his exclusive statement to the Cyprus Star newspaper, Kadri Fellahoglu, the CTP Parliamentarian and head of the Legal Committee which also drew up the Immoveable Properties reform bill, was asked about his thoughts on the latest statements of the Home Buyers Pressure Group (HBPG) Chair Marian Stokes on the duty of care of advocates to foreign purchasers and buyers. Fellahoglu said that the advocates did not have an obligation to make searches and investigations, and said it was for the Interior Ministry to undertake such procedures, once an application had been made to them directly by the purchaser. He also said that the new law would allow for foreign purchasers to acquire up to 5 donums of land.

    Buyer must apply

    Kadri Fellahoglu made exclusive remarks to the Cyprus Star, when he was asked as to his thoughts on the statements of Marian Stokes which were reported in the Cyprus Star last week, where she said: Advocates were responsible for the problems in the property sector because they had not offered proper duty of care to their clients and foreign property purchasers.

    Fellahoglu reacted to this statement, where he said: All foreign property buyers must, without an advocate, visit the Interior Ministry to make an application to purchase the property. The Ministry will make the necessary searches and investigations in relation to a property that is being sought for purchase by the buyer, an will decide if it is appropriate for sale. It is not for the advocate to carry out such procedures he said. The official said the new law would also allow sale of up to 5 donums of land to foreign nations.

    Foreign purchasers unit

    Explaining the complains of foreign property buyers and the statements of the HBPG Chair Marian Stokes, Fellahoglu said I would like to make a call to all foreign property buyers through your newspaper we have set up a unit at the Prime Ministry which aims to address the specific problems being faced by foreign property buyers. If thy are having problems in relation to title deed transfers; if they have a problem with a vendor; if their lands are near a military base and they cannot acquire a title deed, the Ministry wants to help them and they should approach our unit he said.

    Under the title Discussion over the immovable property in the TRNC, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (14.11.08) publishes a report on the issue by Sefa Karahasan, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus.

    Under the subtitle The sale to the Greek Cypriots, Sefa Karahasan writes the following:

    The opposition, which supports that the amendment of the law means selling Turkish property to the Greek Cypriots, asked from the government to clarify the issue of foreigners.

    The Minister of Internal Affairs Ozkan Murat stated that the aim of the criticism is to create debate on the sale of properties to the Greek Cypriots and that the new law which is under preparation gives the best suitable for the time interpretation on the meaning of foreigner.

    On his part, the deputy of the National Unity Party (UBP) in Lefkosia Hasan Tacoy said that it is necessary to define the question of who is considered to be a foreigner and that he is in search to find the hidden intention in the absence of this. Tacoy stated that it is necessary for a limitation and criteria to be set for the foreigners.

    Speaking to Milliyet, the Chairman of the Legal and Political Affairs Committee, Kadri Fellahoglu, supported that an amendment has been made to the law with the aim of increasing the interest of the foreigners for North Cyprus. The Parliament has adopted with a majority vote of 27 in favour and 3 against the Immoveable Properties and Long Term Leasing (Foreigners) Bill.

    (ML)

    [10] Turkish Cypriot columnist refers to the investments and the constructions in the occupied area of Morfou

    Writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (14.11.08), Hasan Hasturer refers to a visit to the occupied area of Morfou and on an interview with the self-styled mayor of the occupied city, Mahmut Ozcinar.

    Under the title What I saw in Morfou and the visit of Cemil Cicek, Mr Hasturer described as turning point for Morfou the referendum on the Annan Plan and adds that it has been noted that an evident increase in the constructions was observed in Morfou after the Annan Plan.

    Noting that during his visit yesterday he wanted to obtain a personal opinion especially on this issue, Mr Hasturer says that when one approaches to Morfou after Argaki village the new constructions are attracting his attention. Block-type residences are also rising. It is possible to acquire an opinion without talking to anyone, he points out.

    Mr Hasturer writes that Mr Ozcinar told him the following: I am experiencing the happiness of keeping the promises I have given. The building of the market in the centre of Morfou will be restored. Meanwhile, with the rearrangement of the surrounding area the city will acquire a centre. Morfou will become an exemplary city with the comprehensive project, which will be encompassing the Ayios Mamas Church, the Fatih Mosque, the Ataturk Cultural Centre and the entire surrounding area. The amphitheatre with the capacity of 1000 persons, the founding stone of which will be laid by esteemed Cemil Cicek, will be meeting an important need of the city and at the same time it will attract to the city the students of the Middle East Technical University (ODTU). This project will be in a sense a chain between the ODTU and Morfou. Our special terminal building which will be providing connection with the air communication is about to be completed. These are or will be obvious. Meanwhile, we innovated a 37 km of Network. We have continuous pavement up to Zodeia border gate. I am claiming that the broadest investment from the past to the present have been made in MorfouWe are not opposing the solution of the Cyprus problem. We support an acceptable, viable solution. However, the people of Morfou do not want to live with the feeling of the track is waiting in front of the door for loading their things. They have been saved from this feeling as well. The people are supporting their house, their place, their land.

    Mr Hasturer said that he asked Mr Ozcinar about the increase in the number of the construction permits, the self-styled municipality is giving. He received the following reply: The income which the Morfou municipality has been taking from the construction permits was very comical. There is a serious increase now. With your permission, let me tell you a number. In 2003 it gave construction permit for seven residences and two working places. In 2006 permits for 57 residences, fifteen working places were given and in 2007 permits for 69 residences and eight working places. We are expecting more serious increase this year and next year.

    [11] News agencies from Turkish speaking countries in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (14.11.08) writes that the News Agencies of the Turkish speaking countries are meeting today in occupied Cyprus. The meeting is being hosted by the Turkish Cypriot news agency (TAK). According to the paper, the meeting will be addressed by members from Anatolia news agency, Azerbaijan state telegraph agency, Kyrgyz news agency and Crimea news agency. At the end of the meeting an announcement with the results of the meeting will be made. Is it also reported that the delegations will be accepted by the self-styled president, prime minister and foreign minister and they will attend the celebrations of 25th establishment anniversary of the breakaway regime.

    (EA)

    [12] Turkish Prime Minister is holding contacts in New York

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reported from New York:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met various world leaders in the United Nations on Thursday.

    Erdogan had a brief chat with U.S. President George Bush and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari in UN General Assembly Hall.

    Zardari said he would attend the banquet at the Cipriani Restaurant to be hosted by Turkey to mark the election of Turkey as non-permanent member to the United Nations Security Council.

    Erdogan later met Israeli President Shimon Peres and discussed the Middle East peace process as well as bilateral relations.

    Following his meeting with Peres, Erdogan met Qatar's Prime Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al Thani and assessed bilateral political and economic relations.

    Moreover, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey expected the new U.S. administration to take into consideration Turkey's sensitivity on matters which have vital importance.

    Erdogan delivered a speech entitled "Turkey's role in giving a shape to the future" at Columbia University.

    Referring to the presidential election in the United States, Erdogan said, I sincerely congratulate Barack Obama and his team who won the elections. Turkey and the United States, being two allies that have very strong relations, support each other for more than half a century. Close cooperation between the two parties contribute to the restoration of peace, security and prosperity in a region extending from the Caucasus to Central Asia and from the Middle East to the Balkans. Preservation of our strategic partnership is not only important for the national interests of our countries but for global peace and stability as well.

    Turkey and the United States experienced a period regarding terrorist attacks stemming from north of Iraq in 2007 and Armenian allegations regarding 1915 incidents. However, this period could be overcome through common political will and endeavours. I am grateful for the support given to Turkey in this respect. Further improvement of relations progressing in the basis of strategic partners is very important for Turkey, Erdogan said.

    In addition to relations on politics and security, tangible steps should be taken in diversifying economic, commercial, social and cultural relations, Erdogan said.

    Turkey is resolved to maintain multilateral and close cooperation with the new U.S. administration led by Mr. Obama. Naturally, we particularly expect the new U.S. administration to take into consideration Turkey's sensitive on matters which have vital importance. This is also important not only for the bilateral relations but also for peace and security. It is important that Mr. Obama said U.S. support to efforts to deal with terrorism would continue. We believe that cooperation and spirit of solidarity between Turkey and the United States would continue to be a landmark of strategic relations Turkey.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reported the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday at a meeting on a Saudi Arabian initiative to promote dialogue between religions.

    Erdogan said Thursday's meeting was response in a bid to tackle the bi-polarization in the international community, lack of understanding and discrimination which he said had reached to a threatening dimension.

    Terrorism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, trafficking and organized crime have all gone global. An end should be put on so-called 'good terrorist, bad terrorist, Erdogan said.

    The Turkish premier said future steps which would be taken in response to a need to respect differences, and the progress made in this effort would have a defining impact on the state of international relations.

    Today we need more than ever international cooperation and solidarity against the global threats and risks, however, we have failed to come up with a common political will to address them, he said adding that the Alliance of Civilizations was part of the efforts to tackle these threats and risks.

    The Alliance of Civilizations is the proof that basic values, which unite us such as democracy, human rights and rule of law are far stronger than our cultural differences, Erdogan said.

    [13] Erdogan to visit India

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a formal visit to India from November 20 to 24.

    Erdogan, who will attend the "Turkish-Indian Business Forum" together with his Indian counterpart, will hold a series of talks in the Indian cities of New Delhi, Agra and Bangalore during his visit.

    [14] Turkeys assistance to the world worth 5.2 billion USD

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.11.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey has provided assistance worth 5.2 billion USD to diverse countries around the world for development purposes in the past four years, making it an important actor for global development cooperation.

    According to the Turkish International Cooperation Agency (TIKA), Turkey extended financial support to many countries in all corners of the world, including Afghanistan, Georgia, Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

    While Turkey provided financial assistance to 72 countries in 2004, this number rose to 131 in 2007.

    Afghanistan received 71.6 million USD from Turkey in 2007, being the country which received most of Turkey's international financial assistance in that year.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] From the Turkish Press of 13 November 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 13 November 08:

    a) Office of the Prime Minister Cancels Accreditation of Seven Journalists:

    A column by Fikret Bila of Milliyet strongly criticizes the "arbitrary decision" made by the Office of the Prime Minister to cancel the accreditation of seven journalists, including Milliyet correspondent Abdullah Karakus. Recalling that Karakus has been reporting from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Justice and development Party, (AKP), since 2001, Bila asserts that no legal action has been taken against him and none of the press institutions condemned him because of his reports thus far. He describes Karakus as a "responsible correspondent who complies with the principles of journalism" and urges Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to "reconsider his decision."

    Writing in Milliyet, Derya Sazak views the government ban as "the violation of freedom of press" and notes that the Office of the Prime Minister should solve its problems with journalists by contacting their chiefs or relevant organizations rather than ban them from fulfilling their responsibilities. Recalling the prime minister's "zero tolerance" to a "pro-AKP" media member who said that "Erdogan came to power like Obama but then he has turned into Bush," Sazak censures the prime minister for failing to adopt an understanding approach toward the journalists criticizing the government.

    Recalling that the vetoed journalists are from Hurriyet, Milliyet, Vatan, Aksam, and Star TV, Nazli Ilicak of Sabah also says that the Office of the Prime Minister seems to be taking a position against the media organs that are critical of the government policies. Ilicak says in her article that she knows two of the banned journalists, Turan Yilmaz and Abdullah Karakus, very well as they have been covering the National View ideology since the Welfare Party era. Stressing that both of the journalists are "well aware of press ethics," Ilicak notes that she regards the decision not to renew their accreditations as a kind of "censorship." That approach can also be explained with a popular term "love it or leave it," she notes.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Mehmet Ali Birand says that the prime minister has become "more aggressive" since Gul has been elected president. He notes that Gul was "one of the rare people who could say to the prime minister 'you are wrong on this subject.'" Commenting on the banned journalists, he notes: "The cancellation of an accreditation is very important. It creates questions in the minds of the people." In order not to mislead the people, the Office of the Prime Minister has to explain why the accreditations were cancelled, he adds.

    In an article entitled "Is the Prime Minister justified in cancelling the accreditation of some journalists?", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven expresses support for Prime Minister Erdogan's decision to ban a group of journalists from covering news related to the office of the prime minister. He claims that Erdogan has a right to cancel the accreditation of journalists who "continuously tell lies" about the activities of his office. He goes on to accuse the General Staff of allowing "mendacious" journalists to remain accredited to the Turkish Armed Forces. He also advises the Government to base its decisions to revoke the accreditation of journalists on court rulings.

    In an article entitled "Act like a sycophant, get your accreditation", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya slams certain media outlets for accusing the Erdogan government of dealing a blow to press freedoms in cancelling the accreditation of some seven journalists to the office of the prime minister. Karakaya asserts that the prime minister's decision does not affect any newspapers but only a number of journalists. He also charges Erdogan's critics with hypocrisy in publicly castigating him over this move yet not raising any objections to the General Staff's practice of excluding "many newspapers and television stations" from military events.

    b) Symposium on Turkish Constitution:

    A column by Hurriyet's Oktay Eksi criticizes the messages conveyed at the symposium that was held to discuss the "unchangeable articles" of the Constitution. Asking the reason behind the initiative to lift the articles describing Turkey as a social, democratic, and secular state, Eksi argues that the real purpose of the meeting was "to back the efforts to undermine the secular republic, which was founded by Ataturk and carefully protected by the generations that believed in him." He laments that even the academicians, who always supported the principles of the secular republic, have started to side with those who aim "to destroy the secular republic."

    Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol says in his article that he "theoretically" agrees with those who call for the narrowing of the unchangeable articles of the Constitution. However, he adds, "the political sector, particularly the AKP, should categorically stay away from the debate on the 'unchangeable articles' as it has the potential of creating a serious tension." Pointing out that the AKP has failed to implement many important reforms because of its inappropriate approach and bad timing, Akyol asserts that the ruling party should give priority to the economic issues and ethnic tension in Southeast now.

    c) Local Elections:

    According to a report in Sabah, Social Democrat People's Party, (SHP), leader Murat Karayalcin will join the Republican People's Party, (CHP), in early December. Karayalcin, who is expected to run for mayor in Ankara as a CHP candidate, will convene the SHP's party assembly on 15 November, it notes.

    A report in the same newspaper says that the AKP has already launched its campaign for local elections. AKP deputy leader Huseyin Tanriverdi informed the provincial leaders on the conditions the candidates have to comply with and said that his party targets securing 60 percent of the votes in the local elections.

    d) Kurdish Issue:

    An article by Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir cites an unnamed AKP deputy as saying that "the ruling party has 75 deputies of Kurdish origin, but unfortunately they have done nothing for the recognition of the Kurdish identity thus far." Cakir asserts that Erdogan really inspired hope for the solution of the Kurdish problem a year ago, but now he is unlikely to take advantage of the support he secured in the Southeast in the past elections. He says that Erdogan missed the opportunity of using those "75 deputies" for the solution of the Kurdish problem. Stressing that the PKK increased its attacks in an effort "to obstruct the cooperation between the government and the military" and this led the escalation of the tension in the country, he notes that the present situation may be described as follows: "The PKK got what it wanted."

    In an article entitled "Do not confuse one with the other", Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Dogan stresses the importance of making a distinction between the terrorist PKK and people of Kurdish origin in this country and between Kurds and "ultra-nationalist Kurds." He asserts that although the Democratic Society Party, (DTP), is functioning like a PKK affiliate, the DTP and the PKK have to be dealt with in different ways. He also argues that it is wrong to assume that the Prime Minister has changed its stance on the southeast issue in response to the riots staged by "a few thousand people" and cites some of Erdogan's messages at a recent AKP group meeting as an indication that the Government will continue to implement democratic reforms.

    In an article entitled "Take Barzani with you", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal accuses US Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson of acting like a "colonial governor" in "advising" Turkey in a recent interview on NTV to "maintain relations with [northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud] Barzani without angering or offending him." Unal expresses regret at what he describes as the absence of a Turkish government that would respond to Wilson by asking him why the US administration is not holding direct or indirect talks with Al-Qa'ida and what Washington would say if Turkey offered to mediate between the United States and Al-Qa'ida. He also claims that Wilson's remark that the election of a new president in the United States could not readily result in changes to the US foreign policy suggests disbelief in democracy.

    e) Economic Crisis:

    Commenting on Erdogan's visit to the United States, Murat Yetkin of Radikal asserts that G-20 countries might criticize Erdogan for underestimating the financial crisis and urge him to take the economic turmoil more seriously. In his article, Yetkin speculates that Erdogan might reach an agreement with the IMF in the United States and also persuade it to make its first review after the local elections on 29 March 2009. He goes on to note that the prime minister should be expected to announce the new IMF agreement as "the joint decisions made with the contribution of the Turkish side" when he returns to the country.

    An article by Erdal Saglam of Hurriyet Daily News.com sees a new agreement with the IMF as the only way to cope with the economic turmoil in the country, but warns that the transfer of foreign funding will not be sufficient to solve the problem completely. He says: "First, a good economy administration is required to achieve this target... But, unfortunately such an administration does not exist at this time. As a result, panic in the markets increases making the measures all the more urgent."

    EG/


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