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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-11-18

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. 221/08 18.11.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Christofias and Talat met for the 9th time
  • [02] Statements by Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP): TRNC was not established for a federal solution
  • [03] Serdar Denktas to have contacts in Britain
  • [04] Ferdi Sabit Soyer underwent an angiography in Turkey
  • [05] Kibris: They advertise Keryneia and they attract tourists to Paphos
  • [06] New European airspace project raises concerns to Turkey
  • [07] Ukraine envoy says big actors should take part in Caucasus platform
  • [08] Turkey and Iran signed a national gas agreement
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist says Ankara has no expectations from the Cyprus negotiations; Turkish Plans A, B and C exist; Harmony is observed in the views of the army and the AKP on Cyprus
  • [10] Columnist quotes official Turkish sources to be hinting the probability of the Turkish side accepting arbitration and diplomatic sources that Alexander Downer will put a comprehensive plan before the leaders in March
  • [11] Why AKP has changed
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 November 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Christofias and Talat met for the 9th time

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.11.08) reports the following:

    Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders met on Monday for the 9th time in the buffer zone in Lefkosia under the full-fledged talks aiming at finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue.

    The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of the Greek Cypriot administration Demetris Christofias held a tête-à-tête meeting for about 50 minutes prior to the meeting of the delegations. Speaking to reporters after a three hours meeting between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot delegations, U.N. Special Adviser to the UN secretary-general on Cyprus Alexander Downer said that the two leaders had a fruitful and positive meeting.

    Downer said that the issue of judiciary was discussed in Monday's meeting. Answering a question, Downer stressed that the "mechanism for resolving disagreements" was not discussed today but may be brought up for discussion at the next meeting scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 25.

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

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.11.08), under the title It is the first time until today that the possibility for the solution is high reports that the U.N. Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Cyprus Alexander Downer in statements to Turkish private NTV television has said that it is the first time after the starting of the negotiation process in Cyprus that the possibility for the solution is very high.

    Speaking to NTV, Mr. Alexander Downer evaluated the developments on the Cyprus problem and explained his expectations. He underlined the special role of the U.N during the negotiation process and said that all the involved parties should exert efforts for the solution and communicate between each other. Mr. Downer said also the following: If the negotiations are unsuccessful, this could be a huge deadlock for Cypriots and for the whole district. But it is not good to think about the dead-end possibility at the moment. Some people are talking about Plan B. But Plan B is not the better choice. The better choice is of course Plan A. Here is the award, Mr. Downer declared.

    Mr. Downer stressed also the need for the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots not to lose their hopes.

    (AK)

    [02] Statements by Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP): TRNC was not established for a federal solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.11.08) writes that Mr. Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) in a written statement yesterday criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for his speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the declaration of the TRNC and said that he does not share the view expressed by Talat concerning the establishment of a federation with the Greek Cypriots. He also said that they consider as a basic shortcoming the fact that Mr. Talat avoided to make any reference to the concept of equal sovereignty which is among the red lines of the Turkish side. Mr. Ertugruloglu stated also that TRNC was not established for a federal solution.

    (AK)

    [03] Serdar Denktas to have contacts in Britain

    Turkish Cypriot Afrika newspaper (18.11.08) reports that Serdar Denktas, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) went to the UK in order to hold various contacts with Turkish Cypriots who live in Britain. Mr. Serdar Denktas, who is going to London together with Bengu Sonya, one of DP officials, is expected to return to the occupied areas of Cyprus by the end of the week.

    (CS)

    [04] Ferdi Sabit Soyer underwent an angiography in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (18.11.08) reports that the self-styled Prime Minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, who went to Istanbul yesterday, underwent an angiography. Soyer was advised to take an angiography after medical tests he made some time ago in a hospital in Istanbul. Mr Soyer is in a good condition and he is expected to be discharged from the hospital today.

    [05] Kibris: They advertise Keryneia and they attract tourists to Paphos

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.11.08) under the title They advertise Keryneia, they attract tourists to Paphos reports that Turkish Cypriots who are living in the United Kingdom and English tourists, who are visiting the occupied areas for holidays, expressed their reaction due to the fact that Thomson Holidays, which is the biggest travel agent England, in its internet web side, is promoting Keryneia port as one of the areas of Paphos.

    Referring to the issue, Mr. Ozbek Dedekorkut, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union (KITSAB) stated that as long as the communication problem remains unsolved, they will have to confront with similar cases. He then said that similar examples appeared also in Germany and he added: Greek Cypriots advertise Girne [occupied Keryneia] and Magusa [occupied Famagusta], and they say to the tourists-stay in Larnaka, Limassol and Paphos, and we will carry you there.

    (AK)

    [06] New European airspace project raises concerns to Turkey

    Under the title New step from the EU: the Greek Cypriot distress on the air, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (18.11.08) reports on an EU programme under the name EU common airspace, which is expected to be implemented in 2009. The programme foresees the use of the European flag on the aircraft of the EU states. According to the paper, under this programme, the EU is planning to raise the obstacle of the planes that take off from the Greek Cypriot side, and want to enter the Turkish airspace.

    The paper continues in its inside pages and reports that if Turkey does not implement the project it will face difficulties in the opening criteria of the negotiations chapters regarding transportation and trans-european networks. As the project foresees, all the aircraft will carry the EU flag and in case of landing in airfields of states out of the EU it will be seen as coming from the EU territories and not from each state separately. In this way, a plane that takes off from the Greek Cypriot side will be able to enter Turkeys airspace, something until now forbidden. According to Turkish Foreign Ministry sources, the project will not create any difficulty for Turkeys airspace. The same sources, stating that the problem could be solved with the determination of the plane course, wondered whether the Greek Cypriot airplanes could be possible to be prevented from landing to the Turkish airfields if they are flying through Greece, the paper writes.

    As the paper reports, the Eastern Mediterranean coordinator of the project will be the Greek Cypriot side.

    (EA)

    [07] Ukraine envoy says big actors should take part in Caucasus platform

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.11.08) reports the following:

    The senior Ukrainian envoy in Turkey expressed thought on Monday that big actors should also take place in a Caucasian platform.

    Sergiy Korsunsky, the newly appointed Ukrainian ambassador to Turkey, said that big actors like the United States and the European Union (EU) should also join a stability and cooperation in the Caucasus, proposed by Turkey."Big actors like the EU and the United States should also take part in the platform, besides Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Russia because it will be difficult to develop this initiative without them," Korsunsky told AA correspondent in an exclusive interview. He also said that the initiative could not be achieved without big actors.

    Korsunsky presented his credentials to Turkey's President Abdullah Gul at the end of October and officially began his mission in Turkey.

    The Ukrainian ambassador welcomed Turkey's role as a mediator in the region, underlined the importance of NATO membership for Ukraine and expressed pleasure with Turkey's support to this membership.

    Korsunsky said his country would become a full member of the alliance when it was economically, politically and militarily ready, and underscored the importance of Ukraine's participation in NATO membership action plan.The ambassador said Ukraine was attaching importance to Georgia's territorial integrity. "Therefore, we will never accept so-called independence of Abkhazia and Ossetia," he said.

    On Turkey's EU membership bid, Korsunsky said that he thought the EU was a bit afraid of Turkey and Ukraine because the two countries were big and strong. "Therefore, the EU is not sure whether it could digest countries like ours," he said.

    Korsunsky said that it took too much to launch full membership negotiations between Turkey and the EU, and expressed his thought that Turkey was ready to become an EU member more quickly than many other countries."When Turkey becomes a member, it will enrich the EU politically, economically and culturally. It is also same about Ukraine," Korsunsky said.Korsunsky said 600,000 Ukrainians were visiting Turkey every year, and defined Turkey as a very interesting and beautiful country with its nature, culture and history.

    Before he was appointed to Turkey, Korsunsky served as the director general of economic cooperation department at the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Korsunsky served as a counsellor at the Ukrainian Embassy in the United States and Israel.

    [08] Turkey and Iran signed a national gas agreement

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.11.08) reports from Tehran the following:

    Turkey and Iran signed on Monday a memorandum of understanding to improve cooperation in the field of natural gas and to launch current projects. Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler and Iranian Oil Minister Qolam Hosein Nozari signed the agreement which Guler said would have positive reflections on both the regional as well as global levels.

    We are making a contribution to the security of energy supply, which is a very important issue. Both Turkey and Europe need natural gas, Guler said. With the agreement Turkey secures the operation rights of three gas fields in Iran's South Pars region to produce some 46 million cubic meters per day and to use half of that amount. The agreement also said Iranian and Turkmen gas will be transported to Europe via Turkey.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist says Ankara has no expectations from the Cyprus negotiations; Turkish Plans A, B and C exist; Harmony is observed in the views of the army and the AKP on Cyprus

    Writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.11.08), Alihan Pehlivan describes his observations from the reception given by the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci in Ankara on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the illegal unilateral declaration of independence of the Turkish Cypriot breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Under the title Ankara, Mr Pehlivan reports, inter alia, the following:

    We have participated in the reception in Ankara on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus...

    The center of interest that night was the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Babacan and the Chief of the General Staff Basbug. The messages they gave were very clear. Two peoples, two communities and two states exist in Cyprus. And Turkey supports the TRNC with all its power. This message has been clearly given at the reception once more. We have clearly seen the views regarding the Daughter Land shared by everybody that participated in the celebrations hosted by a minister for the first time. There is support to the negotiations process launched by the President, but there are no expectations. That is, we have clearly seen that Ankara has plans A, B and C. The Minister of Foreign Affairs Babacan and the other officials we have met gave us this impression.

    Another point in the reception was the fact that the tension experienced in Turkey some period ago does not exist anymore. The tension between the army and the AKP disappeared and it is replaced by sincerity. On the Cyprus issue and on many other issues you hear the same things with whoever you talk. Both the army and the civilians say the same things. This means that the policies of the AKP on the Cyprus issue have been adopted by the army as well. Another point that attracted my attention in Ankara was the reality that Ankara follows very closely the agenda of the TRNC. Both the army and the civilians know very well everything, starting from the race for the leadership of the UBP until the leadership problem and the water problem of the island which is rapidly turning into desert.

    The celebrations in Ankara were held without an ambassador. The reason for this is the fact that the President and the CTP wing of the government have not approved the list of the suggested names for becoming ambassadors. We had published this list two months ago and revealed the names in Star Kibris on the front page. The President got angry at the fact that this list was published in Star Kibris before it was conveyed to him in writing and did not approve the list saying that I do not accept fait accompli.

    (I/Ts)

    [10] Columnist quotes official Turkish sources to be hinting the probability of the Turkish side accepting arbitration and diplomatic sources that Alexander Downer will put a comprehensive plan before the leaders in March

    Under the above title Dead-end on Cyprus, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News.com (online, 17.11.08) publishes the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli:

    United Nations brokered "comprehensive talks between the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Demetris Christofias, do not appear to be heading anywhere good... Both sides are expressing frustration and complain of not seeing political will on the other side for a resolution of the Cyprus problem. Though Talat spent 30 years in opposition calling for a federal resolution and in a way has made settlement the target of his political life while Christofias was elected on a pro-settlement platform.

    Talat is claiming that though he was elected on a pro-settlement platform, his failure to establish a pro-settlement government and entering into a coalition deal with the DIKO or Democratic Party, of anti-settlement former President Tassos Papadopoulos and the Movement for Social Democracy, or EDEK, also anti-settlement, has made the new Greek Cypriot leader a hostage of the anti-settlement block. One cannot be pro-settlement and anti-settlement at the same time. Christofias must make up his mind, he has been stressing.

    Christofias, on the other hand, is claiming that Talat is unable to negotiate because he has become a puppet of the government in Ankara, and the strong Turkish military. Thus, two months after the start of the latest round of Cyprus talks the two sides are still discussing inconclusively on one topic: Administration and power sharing. Indeed, if the two leaders manage to come out some sort of a workable agreement on that topic, the only other thorny subject before a comprehensive Cyprus settlement will be the future of the 1960 guarantee agreement which gave Turkey, along with Greece and Britain guarantor rights on the island.

    Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Turgay Avci was in Ankara last week to host the 25th anniversary reception of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. During the reception and later at his hotel for many hours I found an opportunity to discuss the latest situation at the Cyprus talks process with Avci. He was very pessimistic; tough he believed the process must be continued. The domestic situation on both sides of the island as well as the international conjecture, he said, require the two leaders to stick to the process. But, was he hopeful that a breakthrough could come one day? He was not.

    I am telling foreign dignitaries that I meet as well. Is there any reason for the internationally recognized, European Union-member government in southern Cyprus compromise from sovereignty, engage in a power sharing deal with Turkish Cypriots and share the state which everyone has been telling them that it is all theirs? They have no motivation for any compromise, put aside the fact that for a comprehensive settlement both sides on the island are required to make some bitter compromises.

    Avci was right and indeed summarized the crux of the Cyprus problem of our time. Why should Greek Cypriots indeed compromise?

    Thus, Greek Cypriots are looking for an alibi to place the responsibility on Talat and relieve themselves from this cumbersome negotiations process. Otherwise, why are Christofias and Talat discussing rotation of the presidency and methodology of electing the president and the vice president for the past two months with no rapprochement between the positions of the two sides on the issue? Strangely enough, while there is no motivation for Greek Cypriots to compromise, with EU's 2009 evaluation for Turkey approaching and soon a new team will take over administration in the U.S., the Cyprus issue will likely become an even more serious headache for Turkey in the months ahead.

    Subtitle: Is Downer plan in the offing?

    As patience is running thin on both sides, as well as among those following the talks, strange indications started to emerge. On the one hand Turkish official sources, while they remain totally lull in commenting publicly on the Cyprus talks process, started to hint the probability of Ankara and northern Cyprus accepting UN arbitration, similar to the Annan talks process.

    On the other hand, diplomatic sources with insight of the Cyprus comprehensive negotiations have started stressing that UN secretary-general's Cyprus special envoy Australian diplomat Alexander Downer is getting frustrated with the inability of Talat and Christofias to move forward; likely to let them continue the process until after the new U.S. administration takes office and in March may put in front of the leaders a draft comprehensive settlement plan. Downer has reportedly already started putting some ideas together and may start drafting a paper soon.

    [11] Why AKP has changed

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News.com (online, 18.11.08) publishes the following commentary by Cuneyt Ulsever:

    The governing Justice and Development Party, or AKP, has recently inclined toward the status quo and is becoming more hawkish. Various people think there are various reasons behind this policy change in the AKP.

    Some voices say Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being left alone so he cannot produce new policies, that due to exhaustion his nervous system is worn out. Therefore, following the closure case, he has preferred the status quo and the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, so they say. You can say that Mr. Prime Minister has never been a real democrat or liberal and is now returning to his origins.

    Certainly, in all these statements, there is reality, as societal facts are usually not based on single reasons; what has influenced those reasons may be different though.

    I, on the other hand, seek a single rational reason in every societal fact; therefore I see the change in AKP as based on one simple reason; Local elections!

    Erdogan is almost obsessed with winning Izmir, Diyarbakir and Cankaya municipalities and not losing the Istanbul and Ankara municipalities. His strategy does not focus on freedoms, demands, or pleasing liberals. These concepts no longer serve to bring him additional benefits.

    Erdogan intends to act with a new, more solid concept and a new alliance in local elections, both of which were planned in the past, but were not yet prioritized.

    The National View and the appearance of income transfer!

    What he thinks of as income transfer is gearing up distribution of coal and food, and pumping municipal expenditure to construct roads, bridges, cross-roads, parks etc.

    For him, city planning projects are another way of earning extra money for the bread-and-butter. If Erdogan is able to keep the International Monetary Fund, or IMF, busy enough, he may send the message, "Look, keeping foreigners away helps us to direct public resources at your service." As part of the plan, the economy will not depend on the IMF, a reliable international institution. However, it is necessary to take a chance on the impact of this on the economy and the political cost of layoffs, until March.

    I think Mr. Prime Minister has already made the cost-benefit analysis as part of his choice. Erdogan wants to use the National View group, acting together with the AKP, to make more compromises. There are two reasons behind this;

    1) Young, dynamic Numan Kurtulmus was elected as the new leader of the Saadet Party, or SP. So National Viewers are motivated by that. But now the AKP needs a new motivation to keep former National Viewers in the party. This time Erdogan will praise National Viewers and will clearly rely on them in the elections.

    2) Erdogan also plans to activate Islamist Kurds, who are fed up with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and who are quite strong in the Southeast, rather than concentrating on freedom for Kurds in general. Instead of stealing votes from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, or DTP, Erdogan has planned to bring more non-DTP votes to his party.

    However, I cannot measure how well Erdogan has made the cost-benefit analysis, how much pro status quo policies, not including the discourse of freedom, acting together with the military, will influence Islamist Kurds. Besides, I really would not know the extent to which he will be supported by the Gulen Community and Hezbolllah, both of which are very influential with Islamist Kurds.

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 November 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 17 November:

    a) Prime Minister Erdogan's Remarks on Nuclear Iran:

    Describing Erdogan's remarks on a nuclear Iran as a serious blunder in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz writes: "Erdogan has thus placed the United States in a nuclear equation with Iran. No doubt, this will please Teheran immensely, as well as the Islamist sector. However, these remarks will not only anger the United States, but NATO as well. It seems that Prime Minister Erdogan is unaware of the nuclear policy of the alliance. He is unaware that Turkey has consented to this policy." Accusing the prime minister of ignorance regarding Turkey's role in the formulation of NATO's nuclear strategy under the leadership of the United States and in the deployment of the related systems, Idiz argues that the prime minister's foreign policy advisers should warn Erdogan that diplomacy is a field in which leaders should show extreme care to what they say "because imprudent remarks can cause extensive damage." Given the unknowns in our relations with the United States and the need for a dialogue concerning many issues involving mutual interests such as the Armenian and Cyprus issues and given Turkey's newly acquired UNSC membership, Turkey is required to be much more serious in sensitive issues concerning the world, writes Idiz, concluding: "It is really difficult to understand from the viewpoint of 'diplomatic logic' the remarks made by the prime minister."

    Vatan's Gonensin, in his column also describes the prime minister's remarks as a "political blunder" adding that only a person ignorant of the proliferation of nuclear weapons and of the nuclear balances in the world as well as the work being conducted and agreements being made to limit these weapons can resort to just a logic. Asserting that Iran's possession of a mass destruction weapon poses a serious threat to the region, Gonensin argues that Iranian administrators are a cadre eager to make use of such weapons. The prime minister has not considered the effect his remarks will have in the West, notes the writer, adding that Erdogan seems to have forgotten the policy pursued by NATO, of which Turkey is a member, regarding Iran's nuclear program. Cautioning against the foreign policy mistakes a prime minister who defends Iran's nuclear aspirations in the style of a "coffee shop conversation" can make, Gonensin writes: "If the prime minister has decided to totally abandon the EU line and to choose the Iran-Russia one, then he must have well measured the cost of this choice."

    Pondering on Erdogan's remarks on a nuclear Iran in the second section of his column in Hurriyet, Turan Turenc questions how Erdogan can make such a statement given the sensitivity of the United States on Iran's nuclear program and the frequent warnings it has issued to Turkey on the issue. In conclusion, Turenc writes: "Does he not know that Iran's possession of nuclear weapons will upset the balances in the region to Turkey's disadvantage and that Teheran will be sovereign in the Middle East? If he is not aware of that, then we are in dire straits."

    Agreeing with the essence of Erdogan's remarks in the second section of his article in Cumhuriyet, Mustafa Balbay writes: "The United States is pursuing a policy according to which countries it approves of will own nuclear weapons, whereas those it does not approve of will not. Erdogan is opposed to this policy. If this is our policy, then we should not be mediating between Iran and the United States."

    In an article entitled "Let it end where it must", Yeni Safak columnist Tamer Korkmaz responds to criticism against Prime Minister Erdogan from certain retired Turkish ambassadors over his recent remarks announcing that "those calling on Iran not to produce nuclear weapons should not possess such weaponry themselves." Korkmaz urges retired envoys like Umit Pamir who accused Erdogan of going against NATO's defense doctrine in issuing this statement to start questioning whether Turkey continues to be a NATO ally. He goes on to recall how the Erdogan government recently played host to Iranian President Ahmadinezhad in Istanbul despite the United States and Israel's objections. He also argues that there is a close connection between the Turkish-Iranian rapprochement and "Ankara's breakaway from Washington," adding that the Turkey-Iran axis is not the result of an AKP initiative but of a "state policy" determined in Ankara.

    b) Economy:

    A report in daily Milliyet quotes IMF director Strauss-Kahn as having said that there are differences of views between the IMF and Turkey on the dimensions of the program the IMF might be financing. Describing the Turkish economy as a large one that is most promising, Strauss-Kahn has, however, noted that it has been adversely affected by the lack of capital flow caused by the global financial crisis. The IMF needs to help Turkey extricate itself from this difficult situation, Strauss-Kahn is reported to have said, expressing the hope that a solution might be reached in the very near future.

    A report by Mine Senocakli in Vatan relates the views of Tanil Kucuk, president of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, ISO, and those of Mustafa Boydak, president of the Kayseri Chamber of Industry, who believe that urgent economic measures are needed to limit the damage to be caused by the global financial crisis. Both call for an urgent agreement with the IMF and for the transfer of funds to industrialists and emphasize the need for an economic coordination council to be composed of ministers, bureaucrats, and industrialists. In the absence of urgent measures, Kucuk warns of "social explosions" and layoffs. Praising the economic policies of Kemal Dervis in 2001, Boydak argues that even 50 percent of Dervis's performance would have been sufficient to ward off the current crisis. Accusing the government of taking haphazard decisions and of a lack of economic coordination, Boydak advises the government to follow the example of the West and to take speedy decisions.

    According to a report in Ortadogu, the rate of unemployment reached 9.8 percent in August, bringing the number of those unemployed around the country to over 2.4 million. Turkish Statistics Institute, TUIK, data shows that figure to be 9.2 percent in August of 2007 and 9.4 percent in July of 2008, adds the report. According to another report in the same daily, 8,000 work places have been closed in the last ten months, while the number of companies established during that same period is 7.3 less than those established during the same period last year.

    Assessing the economic situation in the country in an article in Milliyet, Hursit Gunes charges that currently we need to conclude an agreement with the IMF if we want to avert a very serious foreign financing problem and if we want to minimize the economic damage in 2009. Accusing the government of ignoring all the signs signalling a current account deficit, Gunes predicts that the country is on the verge of a serious stagnation period.

    Assessing the negotiations being held with the IMF in an article in Hurriyet, Erdal Saglam argues that a larger fund could have been obtained from the IMF had the government been more decisive and acted earlier. Charging that obtaining the desired amount will be much harder in an agreement that will be concluded at this junction, Saglam recalls that the amount the IMF extended to Hungary was $23 billion. If a comparison is drawn between Turkey and Hungary, then Turkey should be extended $50 billion, writes Saglam, adding that, however, the amount under discussion in not more than $10 billion. The writer holds the AKP government responsible for this reduced amount saying that not only it was too late to applying to the IMF, but it now continues to bargain on what he describes as nonsensical expenditures.

    In an article in Radikal, Fatih Ozatay says that extraordinary situations call for extraordinary measures, adding that one should concentrate on the essence of the economic measures and not the details since there are different mechanisms to implement a proposed measure. Stressing the political feasibility of a given economic measure, Ozatay believes that measures that will benefit only certain limited sectors of the society but will exclude a majority of the sectors should not be included in the economic package. The writer goes on to advise that the measures to be taken should not damage the social sense of justice even if they aim at opening the currently clogged sources of credit. In conclusion, Ozatay says that one should not be ashamed of cooperation with international organizations such as the IMF and that our economy should not be sacrificed to the local elections.

    Under the headline, "Last cry against deadly interest rates," Yeni Safak publishes a report which criticizes the fact that interest rates have increased to 30 percent in Turkey at a time when the United States and Europe are "cutting interest rates to zero" in order to weather the global crisis. According to the report, Turkish real sector representatives are warning that the current rates are set to turn the country into an "industrial graveyard."

    c) Poll Shows AKP Votes Declining:

    A report in Vatan details the results of a survey conducted by TNS Piar showing that the votes of the AKP have declined by 1.7 percent in September while the votes of the Republican People's Party, CHP, have increased by 2 percent.

    In an article entitled "AKP is losing its popularity", Vakit columnist Nusret Cicek criticizes the ruling AKP for what he describes as its failure to draw up a "civilian constitution" and carry out a judicial reform despite the fact that it has been in power in the past six years. He also claims that with price hikes, a failing economy, "oppressive" measures against the use of Islamic headscarves, and the continuing "imposition of nudity as a life style," "nothing has changed" during the AKP rule.

    EG/


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