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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-30

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. 20/09 30.01.2009

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ortam: The plundering without a tender continues
  • [02] Soyer said 8 million are needed for the completion of 300 residences of people who bought property in the occupied areas of Cyprus from Gary Robb
  • [03] Yeni Volkan published results of an opinion poll which has reportedly been carried out by the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader
  • [04] Soyer noted that they are struggling for the Turkish Cypriots to take their place in the EU as an equal side
  • [05] The breakaway regime is preparing to increase its income from gambling
  • [06] Elcil accused the breakaway regime of succumbing to Ankara and of forcing the Turkish Cypriots to emigrate
  • [07] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: Talks with IMF suspended due to unacceptable demands
  • [08] Data on Turkeys income from tourism sector
  • [09] A public survey conducted in Turkey shows nation believes that Ergenekon exists
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 29 January 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ortam: The plundering without a tender continues

    Under the title The plundering without a tender continues, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (30.01.09) reports that while the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat stopped the plundering of 116 Greek Cypriot owned properties with the method of inviting tenders, he says nothing about the fact that hundreds of Greek Cypriot properties are secretly sold to their tenants with the method of title deed through leasing. The paper notes that the plundering through this method goes on secretly and continuously. It is noted that in essence Mr Talat is not against the sales of Greek Cypriot owned properties, but he stopped them as irrational behavior which could put him into a difficult position during a period when he discusses the property issue with President Christofias.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Soyer said 8 million are needed for the completion of 300 residences of people who bought property in the occupied areas of Cyprus from Gary Robb

    Under the title Robbs swindle is 8 million pounds sterling, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.01.09) reports that Gary Robb has been handed over to the Interpol, but his secrets are still there. The paper notes that investigation should start regarding the swindles, briberies, irregularities, abuse of authority and the partners of Robb. In statements to the paper, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, said that those who bought residence from Robb are in a very difficult situation and that 8 million are needed for the completion of 300 residences.

    Mr Soyer noted that the British police had asked the extradition of Robb in the past, but the breakaway regime did not hand him over, because there were some issues which should have been settled in the occupied areas. Mr Soyer argued that after the return of Robb from Thailand, he was not given the citizenship of the breakaway regime for the second time and added that the information that Robb was given a 3.5-million credit last year is not true.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.01.09) reports that Ozkan Murat, self-styled minister of interior, has said that Gary Robb was given the citizenship of the breakaway regime by the National Unity Party (UBP) government in 2002 and added that the Republican Turkish Party annulled this citizenship in 2005 and allowed him to enter into the occupied areas in 2006. Addressing yesterday the assembly, Mr Murat said that during the last period the Aliens department registered 40 thousand workers.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Yeni Volkan published results of an opinion poll which has reportedly been carried out by the office of the Turkish Cypriot leader

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (30.01.09) reports that the self-styled presidency has carried out a public opinion poll to find out the form of the solution which the Turkish Cypriots want and the way they see the political parties. The paper notes that the presidency prohibited the announcement of the results of this public opinion poll. According to reliable sources of Yeni Volkan, the poll was carried out in the beginning of January 2009. Its results showed that 68 % of the Turkish Cypriots support a solution based on two states.

    The paper writes that 43 % of the participants in the poll expressed their support to the National Unity Party (UBP), 26.3 % to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), 10 % to the Democratic Party (DP), 7.4 % to the Social Democracy party (TDP) and 3.2% to the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). The paper calls on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat to announce the results of the poll, because it has been carried out with peoples money.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Soyer noted that they are struggling for the Turkish Cypriots to take their place in the EU as an equal side

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.01.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled prime minister and chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), has said that they will continue their struggle for making the Turkish Cypriot people actors and not walk-ons in the international politics. In statements at a meeting of the CTP in the occupied area of Morfou, Mr Soyer noted the day before yesterday that they are struggling for the Turkish Cypriots to take their place in the EU as an equal side. Mr Soyer said that they will not give the opportunity to the Greek Cypriots to be the only ones who have a say in the shaping of the world.

    Mr Soyer noted that they have established the so-called Property Compensation Commission and worked on the issues of exchange, compensation and partial return of properties. He reminded that the National Unity Party appealed to the constitutional court alleging that these actions were not legal, but, he claimed, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) started to accept the decisions of the commission as being in harmony with the law.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The breakaway regime is preparing to increase its income from gambling

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.01.09) reports that the draft-law regarding the lucky games, which is being discussed at the legal and political affairs committee of the self-styled parliament with the aim of preventing the money laundering, includes great dangers for the Turkish Cypriots. According to the paper, in case the draft-law is adopted, people with dual citizenship will be entering freely into the casinos of the occupied areas.

    Furthermore, the Turkish Cypriots will acquire the right to gamble in the casinos on special days and under special conditions. Only five-star hotels with the capacity of 500 beds will be permitted to operate a casino. At the same time, in parallel to tombola, dog and horse races, the draft-law allows the organization of other races which the government will determine. Tombola up to 10 thousand every week could be played in the sports clubs as well.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Elcil accused the breakaway regime of succumbing to Ankara and of forcing the Turkish Cypriots to emigrate

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.01.09) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), has said that the draft-law regarding the salaries of the civil servants will intensify the emigration of the Turkish Cypriots. In statements yesterday during a press conference at the KTOS headquarters, Mr Elcil said that it is the primary duty of the Turkish Cypriots to say no to this emigration law. He accused the government of succumbing to the enforcement of this law by Ankara. He said that the government preferred remaining in power to the existence of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Furthermore, Mustafa Ozhur, education secretary of KTOS, read a statement issued by the trade union, which argued that the fact that the government proposed no salary rises to the employees during the discussion of the Financial Protocol for 2009 shows that it understands nothing about the economy.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: Talks with IMF suspended due to unacceptable demands

    Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (29.01.09) reported the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) made an unacceptable demand during the talks on the new deal and then asked for suspension after the Turkish government refused the request.

    Erdogan and IMF officials have been continuing talks during World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Both Erdogan and IMF First Deputy Managing Director John Lipsky earlier said progress has been achieved in the talks and expressed their hope on signing an agreement.

    A 10-day suspension was given in the talks on the new deal and they are expected to continue in a week, Erdogan added. He did not elaborate which demand of IMF caused the suspension.

    An IMF delegation have completed their 12-day visit to Turkey on Monday. Both sides stress consensus was reached on many issues. According to media reports disagreements rose over mid-and long-term structural reforms and public spending.

    Erdogan said he hopes to cut a deal with the IMF in 2009 but it will not be the end of the world if they fail to do so.

    Referans business daily reported on Thursday that the IMF accepted to reduce the primary surplus target to below 3 percent but demanded for a larger cut in public spending due to the deterioration of the government budget in 2008.

    Turkey's previous three-year $10 billion standby loan deal expired in May. The new agreement is expected to be for 18-24 months including a financial support of $20-25 billion.

    [08] Data on Turkeys income from tourism sector

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.01.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey earned almost 22 billion USD from tourism in 2008, the Board of Statistics (TUIK) announced on Thursday.

    Turkey's tourism revenues were up 18.5 percent in 2008 over 2007, a board statement said.

    Turkey earned 21.9 billion USD from tourism in 2008. The tourism revenues were only 18.4 billion USD in 2007.

    Around 30.9 million people visited Turkey in 2008, while the approximate expenditures per person were 708 USD.

    Turkey's tourism expenditures were 3.5 billion USD in 2008.

    [09] A public survey conducted in Turkey shows nation believes that Ergenekon exists

    Todays Zaman newspaper (30.01.09) reports the following:

    The majority of the Turkish nation believes in the existence of Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist organization plotting to overthrow the government, the latest opinion poll has shown.

    The poll confirmed the finding of another recent survey that reported that approximately two out of every three people in Turkey believe Ergenekon exists.

    The Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center conducted a survey to find out about Turkish society's perceptions of the ongoing investigation into Ergenekon. Dozens of suspected Ergenekon members have been detained or arrested in the ongoing investigation into the organization. Suspects include retired and active army officers, businessmen and journalists.

    The main question in the survey was whether the respondents believed in the existence of Ergenekon. According to the survey, 62.5 percent of those polled said they believed that the Ergenekon organization existed. Only 27.2 percent said there was no such criminal network and 10.3 percent were not sure. Those who believed in the existence of Ergenekon were generally supporters of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP). Supporters of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), however, generally said they didn't believe that Ergenekon existed.

    According to a previous survey, conducted by the A&G polling company, the existence of Ergenekon was clear for 61.7 percent of the respondents, while 20.3 percent said they believed there was no such crime network and 18 percent were undecided.

    Respondents were also asked about how they perceived the Ergenekon organization. Nearly 27 percent said it was an organization that had attempted to overthrow the government, while 24.9 percent said it was a clandestine organization and 12.4 percent said it was a terrorist organization. About 10 percent, however, said Ergenekon was a patriotic organization. More than 25 percent declined to comment.

    Another important question directed at participants was about the links between the Ergenekon network and unresolved murders in Turkey. Around 55 percent of those polled said they believed there was a strong link between Ergenekon and unresolved murders in the country. Less than 30 percent replied that there was no such link.

    A number of plans, maps and arms caches recently unearthed in the latest wave of searches and detentions carried out as part of the Ergenekon investigation suggest that the group was behind many provocative attacks and murders previously attributed to various other organizations.

    A considerable portion of the respondents, 47.7 percent, said they dont believe the Ergenekon investigation is an attempt by the government to intimidate the opposition. Thirty-eight percent, however, said the government was using the investigation as a tool to suppress the opposition.

    CHP leader Deniz Baykal has long complained that the AK Party is using the Ergenekon investigation to take revenge on opposition groups and accused Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of attempting to change the principles and values of the republic.

    Respondents were also asked about their trust in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), several members of which have been detained and arrested for suspected links to Ergenekon. More than 25 percent said they had lost confidence in the TSK in the aftermath of the Ergenekon case. Forty-nine percent said there had been no change in their trust in the institution and 21 percent said the Ergenekon case had increased their confidence in the TSK.

    More than 62 percent said they believed there were individuals or institutions attempting to influence the conduct of the Ergenekon investigation. Several political and judicial bodies have been criticized on various occasions for attempting to interfere with the work of the judiciary during the course of the investigation.

    Another important question directed at participants of the survey was about the detention, interrogation and arrest of high-level bureaucrats and army members as part of the Ergenekon investigation. Around 60 percent replied that these were ordinary developments, while 36 percent said they were unusual.

    The survey also touched upon a long-disputed aspect of the Ergenekon case. Critics, particularly within the CHP, have claimed that the AK Party government has turned the case into a political one to serve its own purposes. Asked whether the Ergenekon case was a political or judicial case, 34.1 percent said it was a judicial case. Around 43 percent said it was a political case and 13 percent said it was both.

    Respondents were also asked about the stances taken by Turkish politicians regarding the ongoing investigation. More than 49 percent said they approved of the stance of Erdogan, while 38.8 said they did not approve. Around 68 percent said they didnt approve of the stance taken by Baykal and 48.6 percent said the same for Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli. As to the stance of the General Staff on the investigation, nearly 63 percent expressed their approval.

    Throughout the course of the investigation, General Staff officers have on various occasions paid visits to Ergenekon suspects, which has been seen by many as a sign of indirect support for the organization.

    Regarding the attitude of the Turkish media on the case, 54.2 percent said they did not approve, while 34.4 percent approved. Some press organs have been harshly criticized for attempting to play down the significance of the investigation. Among the TV stations that viewers choose to watch for news on Ergenekon-related developments are Kanal D, Star TV, TRT, Show TV, ATV and Samanyolu TV.

    Asked whether they believe the testimony of Tuncay Guney, who is both a witness and a suspect in the Ergenekon investigation, 22.6 percent said they did while 56.9 percent replied in the negative. Guney has offered a large volume of information about the details of crimes allegedly perpetrated by Ergenekon.

    The survey also asked about the launch of the countrys first 24-hour television channel broadcasting in the once-banned Kurdish language. While 48.5 percent regarded it as a positive step, 45 percent said it was an undesired development.

    Respondents were also asked about their support for political parties. If parliamentary elections were to be held today, 38.9 percent of those polled said they would vote for the AK Party, a figure lower than the actual votes the ruling party received in the elections of July 22, 2007, in which it won around 47 percent of the vote. This figure, however, is likely to increase by at least 7 or 8 percent at the ballot box because of the votes of those who are currently undecided. According to the poll, the CHP would receive 15.9 percent of the votes and the MHP would garner 9 percent.

    When asked what party they will vote for in the upcoming local elections slated for March 29, 34 percent replied in favor of the AK Party, 18.5 percent in favor of the CHP and 9.4 percent in favor of the MHP.

    In response to a question about which existing political party leader they trusted most, 43.5 percent of respondents said they trusted Erdogan the most, a figure higher than the one indicated by the other recent survey. Erdogan was followed by the CHPs Baykal with 11.8 percent and the MHPs Bahceli with 8.5 percent.

    Optimism about Turkeys future was not high amongst the surveys respondents. Around 65 percent said Turkey was changing for the worse, while 27.5 percent said it was changing for the better.

    The poll was conducted from Jan. 24 to 26 by telephone among a random national sampling of 1,348 adults residing in cities, towns and villages. The margin of error for the overall poll is 2.7 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence level.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 29 January 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 29 January:

    a) Ergenekon investigation

    Under the banner headline, "Are Arms Depots Waterholes?" Vakit carries a front-page report which asserts that the discovery of weapons caches in many places in Turkey "almost every day" as part of the Ergenekon probe has led to questions of how so many weapons have been taken away from the Turkish Armed Forces' arsenals and whether weapons depots are not being properly guarded.

    In an article entitled "Media Cartel's stinking Ergenekon tactics", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya asserts that the "media cartel" is conducting a smear campaign against witnesses in the Ergenekon probe and an "exoneration" campaign for possible suspects in the investigation as seen in the way some dailies have been trying to denigrate Tuncay Guney, an informant against Ergenekon, through references to him as a "fake rabbi" in order to "dilute" the case against Ergenekon and have attempted to portray former Chief of Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu's meeting with Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug as a courtesy visit by Kivrikoglu unrelated to the Ergenekon probe in order to "clear" Kivrikoglu of the accusation that he is the leader of the Ergenekon network.

    Under the headline, "Jurists concerned over possibility of intervention in Ergenekon investigation," Zaman carries a front-page report which highlights "questions" sparked by the HSYK's appointment of three new prosecutors allegedly to conduct the Ergenekon probe. According to the report, legal experts are worried about possible intervention in the probe despite a statement by Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor Turan Colakkadi saying that the appointments are not related to the Ergenekon investigation.

    In an article entitled "How many prosecutors can save Ergenekon?", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone accuses Chief of Staff General Basbug of issuing a "hopeless message" to the prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon probe "supposedly" reminding them where they should draw the line in the probe in recently meeting with former Chief of Staff Huseyin Kivrikoglu. Turkone also claims that the General Staff voiced support for "a potential suspect" in the Ergenekon case in arranging this meeting.

    Under the headline, "Point of Prosecutor appointments unclear," Today's Zam carries a front-page report which highlights the "controversy and confusion" caused among "political and judicial circles" by the HSYK's "assignment of new prosecutors on Tuesday to the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office," which is "handling the Ergenekon trial."

    EG/


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