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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-14

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. 08/09 14.01.2009

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ercakica briefed the press on the ongoing negotiations with accusations that the Republic of Cyprus is exerting efforts to arm itself. Talat to visit Ankara for contacts with the Turkish leadership
  • [02] The UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer visited Rauf Denktas
  • [03] Erdogan Sanlidag says that the tourism sector in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is stronger today than yesterday
  • [04] Kemal Koprulu is the new representative of the TRNC in the United Kingdom
  • [05] Talat declares that the Turkish Cypriot Football Association will never become a member of KOP, at the time when Omer Adal claims that KOP has accepted the TCFA proposals
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] From the Turkish Press of 13 January 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ercakica briefed the press on the ongoing negotiations with accusations that the Republic of Cyprus is exerting efforts to arm itself. Talat to visit Ankara for contacts with the Turkish leadership

    Illegal Bayrak television (13.01.09) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has said that the continued efforts by the Greek Cypriot administration to arm itself demonstrated its insincerity on reaching a political settlement in Cyprus.

    Speaking during his weekly press briefing the Presidential Spokesman said the Greek Cypriot sides continued armament policy raised tensions and deepened insecurity between the two sides.

    The Presidential Spokesman told reporters today that the Greek Cypriot Sides ongoing efforts to purchase more weapons and arms, at a time when negotiations were continuing to reach a settlement, constituted a major obstacle in the way of finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    He said that the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofiass approach towards proposals put forward by President Mehmet Ali Talat to reach a solution in 2009 were disturbing.

    Ercakica stated that none of the proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriot side had anything to do with past documents prepared by the UN for a settlement.

    The Greek Cypriot sides attempts to slander the Turkish Cypriot Sides stance at the talks are part of its efforts to hide its intransigence, he added.

    Pointing out that the continued efforts of the Greek Cypriot side to arm itself was a proof that it does not want a solution, Ercakica said that the Greek Cypriot sides armament activities did not only raise tensions between the two leaders who are carrying out talks but also between the two peoples on the island.

    This increases the feeling of insecurity between the two sides and reduces the chances of reaching a settlement on the island, he said.

    Responding to a question, the Presidential Spokesman said that the Turkish Cypriot side was not uncomfortable with the contacts carried out by the UN Special Advisor, Alexander Downer on the sidelines of the negotiations process.

    We believe that such contacts will increase the effectiveness of the UN, which we hope will bring conciliatory proposals to the table, Ercakica added.

    Explaining that all issues and aspects of the Cyprus problem will have to be negotiated if a settlement is to be reached, the Presidential Spokesman said that the Greek Cypriot side has prevented the Annan Plan from forming a basis at the talks.

    Announcing that President Mehmet Ali Talat will be flying to Ankara on Friday to receive an honorary medal for his contributions to the TURKSOY Opera Days, Ercakica said that in the framework of his contacts in the Turkish capital, the President is also expected to meet with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of Staff General Basbug.

    [02] The UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer visited Rauf Denktas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.01.09) reports that the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer, visited yesterday Rauf Denktas to his office. According to the paper, the Special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Taye-Brook Zerihoun participated also in the meeting. The paper writes that Mr. Denktas welcomed his visitors with the question Is there any progress in the negotiation talks?. The paper writes that the official of the UN answered that they will always do their duty.

    Meanwhile, Kibris reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas in his statements yesterday after receiving a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Municipalities, referred to the Cyprus problem and said that it is now the time to start talking about two equal states. Mr. Rauf Denktas called on Talat to start talking about two equal states and added the following: Mr. Talat started mentioning two peoples, it is expected that he will start talking about two equal states.

    (A.K.)

    [03] Erdogan Sanlidag says that the tourism sector in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is stronger today than yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.01.09) reports that the self-styled minister of economy and tourism, Erdogan Sanlidag, stated yesterday in a television program that the tourism sector in the occupied areas is stronger today than yesterday. According to Mr. Sanlidag, their aim is to have tourism for 365 days of the year.

    Mr. Sanlidag gave answers for the problems that his ministry and particularly the tourism sector confront and announced the projects they are planning to make. Mr. Sanlidag assured that with the cooperation and the contribution of the officials of the ministry of economy and tourism they will try to overcome all the problems. He then said that the efforts they exerted during 2008 for the promotion of the Turkish Cypriot tourism in Turkey, will give fruits in 2009.

    Referring to significant number of tourists who visit occupied Cyprus from Syria and Israel, Mr. Sanlidag said that tourists will also visit the occupied areas with chartered flights from Italy and Germany.

    (A.K.)

    [04] Kemal Koprulu is the new representative of the TRNC in the United Kingdom

    Turkish Cypriot Star Kibris newspaper (14.01.09) in its front page under the title He will be the bridge with the United Kingdom reports that Kemal Koprulu will be appointed as the new representative of the TRNC in the United Kingdom. The paper writes that Mr. Koprulu will travel to the United Kingdom on January 18 and he will officially start his duties.

    (A.K.)

    [05] Talat declares that the Turkish Cypriot Football Association will never become a member of KOP, at the time when Omer Adal claims that KOP has accepted the TCFA proposals

    In its sports pages and under the title Talat: Never shall we become a member of KOP, Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (14.01.09) publishes statements made last night by Mehmet Ali Talat on the Echo (Akis) television program broadcast live by illegal Bayrak television. He was referring to the issue of the Turkish Cypriot Football Association (TCFA) membership to the Cyprus Football Association (KOP).

    Stating that TCFA will never become a member of KOP, the Turkish Cypriot leader added that such a membership will easily and quickly dissolve TCFA and that is a case which the Turkish Cypriots do not even think about.

    On the issue of the TCFAs membership to KOP, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (14.01.09) publishes statements by Omer Adal, Chairman of TCFA, according to which KOP has accepted in principle the TCFA proposals which will pave the way for the Turkish Cypriot football teams to play international matches and for the establishment of a four-member committee.

    Omer Adal, inter alia, has also stated that the Turkish Cypriot side is now waiting for the International Federation of Football Association (FIFA) to convey to KOP and TCFA the text which will include its final proposals on the issue. According to Omer Adal, FIFAs text will be conveyed to the sides within two days.

    (ML)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] From the Turkish Press of 13 January 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 13 January 2009:

    a) Ergenekon investigation

    The recently revealed evidence shows that there is a connection between Ergenekon and Susurluk, notes Oktay Eksi in an article in Hurriyet and stresses that it is absolutely necessary to ensure that all facts are exposed within the framework of the investigation. If this is the case, why do the government and the opposition attack each other, why do certain newspapers and journalists accuse other newspapers and journalists, asks Eksi and answers: "The government and the opposition attack each other because the manner in which the government looks at Ergenekon resembles the manner in which George Bush implements all his plans by using Al-Qa'ida as a pretext. Therefore each and every rational person sees that the process that we are currently undergoing aims at intimidating and silencing certain people, rather than exposing the facts and punishing the criminals. The accusations leveled by certain journalists against other journalists in turn stem from the fact that those who level the accusations are competing with each other in flattering the government."

    I believe that the recent arrests and the evidence that has recently been found prove that we are facing two separate organizations, argues Hurriyet's Mehmet Y. Yilmaz in an article, explaining that one of the organizations plans is to conduct a coup for toppling the Justice and Development, AKP, government, while the other is the organization that had been captured with the Susurluk incident. The first organization must have used the second organization for the sake of creating chaos prior to a military coup, notes Yilmaz, adding that it is also possible that certain influential figures were members of both organizations. Stressing that there are so many trivial details in the Ergenekon indictment that it has become difficult to see the whole picture, Yilmaz says: "This is why I believe that rather than punishing a secret organization within the state which had been the focal point of hundreds of unsolved murders, terrorist actions, and illegal activities, the investigation aims to use the investigation for punishing the secular opposition."

    Commenting on the weapons and the ammunition found in the excavation works throughout Turkey, Enis Berberoglu in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, draws attention to the possibility that the government is trying to intimidate the opposition with the pretext of preventing a military coup. Recalling that the approval of the United States was required for a cross-border operation against the PKK, Berberoglu argues that the AKP overcame the closure case with the assistance of the United States. The weakening of the AKP and the Turkish Army could have created a favorable atmosphere for marginal and anti-American groups, says Berberoglu, adding: "Therefore Ergenekon was invented and the opponents were silenced. Essentially Ergenekon is a piece of the 'American peace' that was established in this country by force and blood."

    According to a report in Hurriyet, Omer Faruk Eminagaoglu, chairman of the Judges and Prosecutors Association, (YARSAV), argued that the Ergenekon investigation is being conducted "under the shadow of the government and with the initiative of the police" and called upon the justice minister "to remove his hand from the judiciary." In a press conference, Eminagaoglu said: "Despite the fact that only the judiciary is authorized to interpret Article 1 of the Counter terrorism Law, security units have interpreted this article and the investigation (Ergenekon) has been based on this interpretation. As it can be seen in pages 91, 230, and 248, the police have even contributed to the writing of the indictment." The Telecommunications Communication Directorate is in charge of all wiretappings and it is charged with informing the prime minister on all activities, asserts Eminagaoglu and notes that rather than being a state of law, the Turkish Republic is becoming a police state with a dicta regime.

    Criticizing YARSAV Chairman Eminagaoglu for speaking like an angry opposition leader, Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol in an article also calls on the prime minister to avoid going beyond concepts such as "the independence of the judiciary, respect to the judiciary" where the Ergenekon probe is concerned. He should not deliver speeches that give the impression that the Ergenekon investigation will extend to politicians and the media, emphasizes Akyol, adding: "This is because in a country that adopts the principle of the separation of powers a prime minister cannot know how a criminal investigation will develop. If he does, this is very grave. If he creates the impression that he does, it is also very grave." Akyol also draws attention to the fact that those who want to render the Ergenekon investigation ineffective want to create the impression that the probe is "political," rather than criminal.

    Drawing attention to the similarities between Ergenekon and the Italian Gladio, Radikal columnist Cengiz Candar in his article says: "If the fate of the 'Turkish Gladio' is to resemble the fate of the 'Italian Ergenekon,' this means that we have not seen anything yet. Nonetheless the things that we have seen thus far give us a clue about what is in store for us. If the investigation is conducted properly and if facts are exposed, we should not be surprised with the names that we will encounter in the future -- regardless of who they are."

    In an article entitled "A pro-Russian coup and Ergenekon", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi describes the Ergenekon investigation as a bid to disband the Turkish "Gladio," which, he says, was set up after Turkey joined NATO with the purpose of organizing civilian resistance against a possible Soviet occupation but which started in recent times to be controlled by a "pro-Russian clique." Explaining why the Gladio in Turkey has stopped being "protected" by the West, Dagi argues that the Russian-Western tensions that surfaced during the Georgian war and the recent natural gas crises are turning Turkey once again into an "indispensable front" against Moscow.

    The Ergenekon investigation is deepening the conflict between the government and the judiciary, says Murat Yetkin in his article in Radikal and refers to the statements issued by the YARSAV chairman and the Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin. Does the government not believe that it is inappropriate in terms of the principles of the separation of powers and working harmony to constantly complain about the judiciary to the public, asks Yetkin adding: "If the government believes that it is appropriate, what does President Abdullah Gul who, according to Article 104 of the Constitution is charged with the duty of ensuring that the state structures work in harmony with each other, think about this issue?

    The investigation described as the Ergenekon probe is no longer a criminal investigation because it has adopted a political identity, argues Vatan columnist Ruhat Mengi an article and stresses that the fact that many AKP members are more informed on the investigation than the relevant prosecutors leads to suspicions regarding the nature of the investigation among the public. New weapons have reportedly been found in Ankara yesterday, says Mengi adding: "The government should let the judiciary alone so that it will shed light upon the dark incident. The innocent should not suffer along with the guilty in each and every wave. The government which is keeping silent (and which is avoiding filing suits) regarding major corruption files on the eve of the elections should not merely focus on Ergenekon. The judiciary should be in charge of transparency."

    In an article entitled "Number one does not exist", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that a number of actively serving high-ranking military officials as well as former President Suleyman Demirel, former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, former President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, former prime ministers Mesut Yilmaz and Tansu Ciller and businessmen Rahmi or Mustafa Koc and Aydin Dogan should be interrogated as part of the Ergenekon investigation. He also claims that the investigation cannot achieve its objectives unless the truth behind the 28 February process and the Susurluk scandal is brought to light and retired senior generals like Cevik Bir, Erol Ozkasnak, Ismail Hakki Karadayi, and Teoman Koman are required to make statements to the prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon probe.

    In an article entitled "If America is involved", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal comments on journalist Mahmut Over's allegation in a recent interview with the Taraf daily that the United States has played a major role in the implementation of the Ergenekon probe. Unal argues that if it is true that the United States has taken part in the planning and execution of the investigation, it must have been with a view to diverting public attention in Turkey away from recent developments in Cyprus where, he asserts, the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders have come closer to an agreement which is based on a single state and single citizenship and which deprives Turkey of its "guarantor" rights in occupied north Cyprus.

    b) Israel's Gaza raid

    Arguing that the disputes between Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on the goals of the Gaza raid stem from the fact that the Israeli politicians want to increase their popularity rate on the eve of the general elections that will be held next month, Sabah's Mehmet Barlas underlines that the Israeli politicians ignore the world public and act as if their actions merely concern the Israeli public. Recalling that Arab dictators who had acted in this manner in the past had encountered serious defeats, Barlas says: "As I monitor Israel's Gaza raid, I believe that the politicians of this country have gradually begun to resemble former Egyptian President Nasser and former Iraqi President Saddam. They ignore the change in the world, the change in the Middle East, and the change in the United States. It is almost as if there are only the desperate Gazans and the Israeli public. It is almost as if the rest of the world is living on another planet."

    Referring to the French and Egyptian efforts for a cease-fire between Israel and HAMAS, Taraf columnist Temel Iskit also recalls Prime Minister Erdogan's "emotional" statements on this issue. Stressing that Erdogan was not able to mediate in this conflict due to the fact that he was not able to stand at an equal distance to HAMAS and Israel, Iskit says: "It will be good if Turkey is able to overcome this crisis without any harm. Maybe this experience will teach the government to approach the Middle East issue with more caution for the time being. As for Israel, even if the relations will be chilly for a while, these confusing relations will continue due to common interests. The truth is that it is necessary to wait for the multilateral chess tournament that Obama is expected to start and that will include all the regional actors for in order to see how the developments regarding Gaza and the Middle East conflict will shape. As for us, we should focus on the EU process that will determine our future, rather than wasting our energy."

    In an article entitled "Is Turkey being given the task of disbanding Hamas?", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan criticizes the proposed deployment of Turkish troops to Gaza as part of the recently disclosed French-Egyptian peace plan as a bid to use Turkish soldiers as a means of disarming and disbanding Hamas and leaving Gaza defenseless against Israel.

    Underlining that the shuttle diplomacy conducted by Erdogan with regard to the Gaza raid has failed and that both Israel and HAMAS have decided to negotiate with Egypt's mediation, Ortadogu's Oguzhan Alparslan in an article argues that Erdogan wanted to use his opposition to the raid as an opportunity for raising his popularity rate on the eve of the local elections. However Erdogan's plans were spoilt when Bahceli asked him to publish the minutes of his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, notes Alparslan and says: "Just when Erdogan was about to encounter problems from his grass roots due to the reports to the effect that during the official meeting Olmert had actually informed Erdogan on the Gaza raid, we encountered the new scenarios of the modern Ergenekon legend."

    In an article entitled "Architects of the 28 February: It is your war that is being waged in Gaza", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul holds the architects of the "28 February coup" in Turkey responsible for Turkey 's signing of "strategic security agreements" with Israel "intended to enable Israel to become a hegemonic regional power in the 21st century." He asserts that Turkey did a lot of harm both to itself and to the region in the name of implementing a "doctrine" that promoted Israel's interests, adding that it was not until after the occupation of Iraq that Turkey "began to come to [its] senses" and started a rapprochement process with regional players like Syria and disengaged itself from the "axis" with Israel. He goes on to argue that the Israeli offensive against Gaza is aimed at provoking a regional conflict involving Syria, Lebanon, Iran, and the United States. He ends by claiming that the next ten days before Barack Obama assumes office in the United States will be crucial in this sense.

    c) Economy

    Despite the fact that Turkish businessmen are worried that the economic crisis will intensify in 2009, Ankara is not taking any concrete measures in this regard, says Erdal Saglam in a commentary in Hurriyet and adds: "Given that no measures are being taken, it appears that the administration handling the economy is simply sitting and waiting. In the meantime it hopes, with a fatalistic understanding, that the global crisis will end. As a result the markets are demoralized and their confidence that the economic administration will take care of the problem has decreased." Arguing that during the local elections in March 2009 the unemployment rate will reach higher levels, but that the government will refuse to take responsibility, Saglam says: "What will the AKP do in the second half, when things will further deteriorate? What will the government say to the people when it is revealed that countries that took the necessary measures in advance were affected by the crisis as much as we have?"

    EG/


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