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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-04

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. 23/09 04.02.2009

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister to pay an official one-day visit to the occupied areas tomorrow
  • [02] British Minister Flint and EU Commissioner Rehn to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [03] Six Swedish MPs are visiting the occupation regime upon an invitation of the self-styled foreign ministry
  • [04] The Turkish Cypriot communitys representative at PACE invited PACE chairman Mr Luiz Maria De Puig to visit Cyprus
  • [05] Attack to the offices of Politics for People Party (HIS) in occupied Famagusta
  • [06] The occupation regime to participate en international bocce tournament in Hungry as TRNC
  • [07] The cost of living in the occupied areas has increased by 0.2% in January 2009
  • [08] Cost of living increased by 0.29% in Turkey
  • [09] Atilla Olgac has retired from Istanbul State Theatre
  • [10] Pope proposes commission for Catholics in Turkey
  • [11] More than 1,500 websites have been banned in Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Afrika: They have given their hardtacks to the prisoners
  • [13] From the Turkish press of 03 February 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Foreign Minister to pay an official one-day visit to the occupied areas tomorrow

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.02.09) reports that Mr Ali Babacan, the Foreign Minister of Turkey will pay a one-day official visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus tomorrow. Mr Babacan will meet with state and government officials and they will evaluate the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [02] British Minister Flint and EU Commissioner Rehn to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (03.02.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Presidential Spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said that the two leaders will continue to take up the issue of property when they meet tomorrow to resume the negotiations process. Ercakica said that the two sides will be submitting their initial responses and criticisms regarding the proposals they tabled in the last meeting.

    Speaking to reporters during his weekly press briefing this morning, the Presidential Spokesman announced that the British Minister in Charge of European Affairs Caroline Flint will be arriving on the island for a two day visit on the 9th of February followed by the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn on the 13th. Ercakica said that both envoys had requested an appointment to meet with the President but refrained from giving any details.

    Responding to a question regarding the meetings between Nami and Yiacovou, the Presidential Spokesman said that the two senior aides continued to meet regularly and had prepared a common paper regarding issues taken up in the talks so far. Pointing out that the two senior aides, under the supervision and guidance of the two leaders, had the duty of bringing the two sides closer, Ercakica said that the two advisors sometimes met outside their routine planned meetings. He said that within this framework, the two senior aides planned to have dinner tomorrow evening.

    Reminded of Ozdil Namis earlier statements that several UN experts had acted as mediators during discussions on governance and power sharing, Ercakica said that these efforts were unofficial. We, however, are expecting and supporting the UN to bring bridging proposals to the table in period ahead, he added.

    Explaining that contacts being held by experts on both sides of the island aimed at assisting the UN Special Advisor Alexander Downer were within their knowledge, Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot Side perceived the work to be beneficial to the process. We believe that the work being carried out will serve to bring the two sides closer, and it will be useful in moving the process forward, he said. Since the contacts are held outside the official process we are not officially informed about what is going on. We are, however, keeping a close eye on developments so as to protect our interests, he added.

    [03] Six Swedish MPs are visiting the occupation regime upon an invitation of the self-styled foreign ministry

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.02.09) reports that six Swedish MPs, Anne Ludvigsson, Kerstin Engle, Gunilla Wahlen, Monica Green, Ammeer Sachet and Anders Arvidsson have arrived to the occupied areas of Cyprus last night upon an invitation of the self-styled foreign ministry. The Swedish MPs, who are in the occupied areas for contacts, were yesterday hosted to a luncheon offered by the foreign minister Turgay Avci in occupied Famagusta. In the framework of their contacts the MPs will meet today with Mr Avci and the self-styled speaker of the assembly, Fatma Ekenoglu. Tomorrow they will have a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. The MPs will also have contacts with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry, the Human Rights Foundation, the EU Support Office, and the Cyprus EU Association.

    (CS)

    [04] The Turkish Cypriot communitys representative at PACE invited PACE chairman Mr Luiz Maria De Puig to visit Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.02.09) reports that Mehmet Caglar, the self-styled MP of the Republican Turkish Party who is representing the Turkish Cypriot community at the meetings of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a meeting with PACEs chairman Mr Luiz Maria De Puig and invited him to visit Cyprus in order to motivate President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat who are holding negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Caglar, who participated in the PACEs meeting between 26-30 of January, has returned to the occupied areas.

    According to the paper Mr Caglar held contacts with various European MPs and informed them about the economic situation of the occupation regime, in the framework of the world market crisis and the latest developments of the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [05] Attack to the offices of Politics for People Party (HIS) in occupied Famagusta

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (04.02.09) under the title, Attack to the offices of HIS, reports that an unknown person or persons carried out an attack the night before yesterday against the building of the Politics for People Party (HIS) in occupied Famagusta. As the paper writes, the attackers destroyed the nameplate of the party and crumbled the flags of Turkey and TRNC. The attackers destroyed also the photos of the chairman of HIS and the photo of the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr. Rauf Denktas.

    The paper reports that the so-called police started investigations for the attacks. The chairman of the Politics for People Party, Mr Ahmet Yonluer in his statements regarding the incident criticized strongly the attacks and said that this kind of attacks cause damage to democracy. He then said that no matter who the attackers are this incident will not stop the progress and the rising of the party.

    (AK)

    [06] The occupation regime to participate in international bocce tournament in Hungry as TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (04.02.09) reports that the TRNC Bocce team will participate in the International Bocce friendship tournament, which will take place in Budapest, Hungary, between 4-9 of February 2009. Hungary, Turkey, Slovakia, Estonia and Finland will also participate in the tournament.

    Hasan Senin, the chairman of the Sports for everyone federation, stated that the occupation regime will participate as TRNC in the tournament and the TRNC flag will be raised with the flags of the five countries which will participate in the tournament.

    (Tr. note: Bocce is a game of Italian origin, similar to bowls. It is played on a long, narrow, packed-clay court enclosed with boarded ends and sides).

    (CS)

    [07] The cost of living in the occupied areas has increased by 0.2% in January 2009

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (04.02.09), under the title Cost of living is only 0.2%, reports that the so-called state planning organization (DPO) has announced that in January 2009, the consumer price index has increased by 0.2%. The consumer price index is an indicator for the cost of living. According to the announcement of the so-called DPO, the increase in the main groups of consumer goods is as follows:

    Food and Non-alcoholic Beverages 3.1%

    Clothing and Footwear 9%

    Fuels 2.5%

    Household Equipment and Maintenance 1.3%

    Health 1.5%

    Transport 0.2%

    Recreation and Culture 1.5%

    Education 0.3%

    Restaurants and Hotels 2.3%

    Miscellaneous Goods and Services 1.8%

    (DPs)

    [08] Cost of living increased by 0.29% in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (03.02.09) reported the following form Ankara:

    Turkish Board of Statistics (TUIK) said Tuesday consumer prices index (TUFE) was up by 0.29 percent in January and producer prices index (UFE) also rose by 0.23 percent.

    According to TUIK, annual inflation as of January was 9.50 percent in TUFE and 7.90 percent in UFE.

    Annual inflation in January, based on a 12 months average, was 10.54 percent for consumer prices and 12.81 percent for producer prices.

    [09] Atilla Olgac has retired from Istanbul State Theatre

    Under the title Atilla Olgac who said I killed 10 Greek Cypriots has retired, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (04.02.09) writes that the Istanbul State Theatre actor, Atilla Olgac, has requested retirement from the theatre after an investigation launched by the administration of the State Theatre regarding his admission that he killed 10 Greek Cypriots, among them a prisoner of war, during the Turkish invasion in Cyprus.

    According to the paper, Atilla Olgac, who did not succeed in retracting his statement and caused a strong reaction by his confession, has decided to retire from acting after the chief prosecutor of Bakirkoy has launched a judicial investigation into his claims.

    According to the General Director of the State Theatres, Lemi Bilgin, Atilla Olgac has requested his retirement by submitting to the directorate of the State Theatres a written request a few days ago. The necessary documents have already been sent to the Retirement office, writes the paper.

    Atilla Olgac started his acting career in 1970, and began working at the Istanbul State Theatre in 1983. Lemi Bilgin, who had previously noted that it would not be appropriate for Olgac to continue acting on stage, commented: This is a decision he has made. I hope it will be the best for all, concludes the paper.

    The same issue is reported in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (04.02.09) under the title He caused confusion, he submitted his retirement. The paper further writes that Atilla Olgacs statements have been conveyed by the Greek Cypriot side to the General Assembly of the European Parliament.

    (ML)

    [10] Pope proposes commission for Catholics in Turkey

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (04.02.09) reports the following:

    Pope Benedict XVI has suggested that the establishment of a bilateral commission could help resolve the problems of the Catholic community in Turkey, the Anatolia news agency has reported.

    The Pope's remarks came on Monday during a meeting with a group of visiting Catholic clerics from Turkey led by Bishop Luigi Padovese, the apostolic vicar of Anatolia.

    The Christian community in [Turkey] lives in a nation governed by a constitution that affirms the lay nature of the state, but where the majority of the population is Muslim. For this reason it is very important for Christians and Muslims to work together to promote humanity, life, peace and justice. The distinction between the civil and the religious sphere is clearly a value that deserves to be protected, the Pope was quoted by the Vatican Information Service as saying to the group.

    It is up to the state to provide effective guarantees that all citizens and all religious communities may enjoy freedom of worship and religion, making any violence against believers, whatever their religion may be, unacceptable. In this context, I am well aware of your desire and readiness to open a sincere dialogue with the authorities in order to find a solution to the various problems your communities have to face, such as recognition for the juridical status of the Catholic Church and her property, he said. Such recognition can have [only] positive consequences for everyone. It would be appropriate for permanent contacts to be established, for example through a bilateral commission, in order to study as-yet unresolved questions.

    [11] More than 1,500 websites have been banned in Turkey

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (04.02.09) reports the following:

    More than 1,500 Web sites are currently banned in Turkey, access to most of which was blocked following complaints by individuals over inappropriate content on these sites.

    Turkey's Telecommunications Directorate has blocked 1,591 Web sites since last year under the law against cyber crime, which includes a wide range of offenses. Nearly half of the site-blocking rulings were issued due to the content involving the sexual exploitation of children online.

    This was followed by obscenity as the main reason for the closure of 539 sites. Other reasons included online prostitution (13), facilitating narcotics acquisition (3), encouraging suicidal behaviour (1), illegal gambling sites (85), providing a physical location and the opportunity for gambling (88) and other reasons (165). Crimes against the memory of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were the reason 52 Web sites were blocked.

    Constant bans on scores of Web sites drew the ire of nongovernmental organizations in Turkey, which called on authorities not to restrict the scope of freedom of individuals who wish to have full usage of the Internet and find alternative methods to combat undesired content on Web sites.

    Internet Technology Association (ITD) President Mustafa Akgul said the bans on Web sites were a result of Turkey's war against the Internet. Blocking Web sites creates an impression that Turkey has not fully comprehended what the Internet is. I compare these bans to the situation of an ostrich, which buries its head in the sand not to see the reality. Turkey is harming itself, knowingly or unknowingly, with such bans, he stated.

    Akgul went on to say that the authorities should find alternative methods to fight against the undesired content of Web sites. Many road accidents occur in this country every day, but we do not forbid people from driving cars, do we? So why ban Web sites? These sites are a means of communication between individuals and the world. It is not logical to forbid people from establishing communication with the world, he remarked.

    Tansel Parlak, a representative of the Young Civilians -- a civil society group known for its use of sarcasm in protests, said Turkey places itself in an awkward position by banning Web sites. Bans are outdated and there are many ways to circumvent them. The authorities should find more effective solutions to fight against their problems with the Internet. Banning a Web site contravenes human rights and restricts people's freedom, he added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Afrika: They have given their hardtacks to the prisoners

    Local Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika (04.02.09) publishes an article by its editor in chief, Mr Sener Levent, in his column Angle-Aci under the above title. Mr Levent comments about the statement made by a Turkish war veteran who said that during the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974 they gave their hardtacks to the Greek Cypriot prisoners of war.

    Referring to the invasion days Levent writes:

    What days were those days. That summer was a hot summer. As hot as the bullet

    Did the Turkish war veteran, who said that he had given his hardtacks to the Greek Cypriot prisoners of war, go through the villages in the mountains?

    Did not his stomach get upset and feel to nauseate or wanted to vomit. Did not he feel dizzy from the smell of the blood?

    Most probably he had never seen prisoners of war whose hands were tied behind and executed.

    A man whose hair started turning gray had told me I have seen

    He was a villager from a mountain village

    He started telling:

    In the village the soldiers were taking away 30-40 Greek Cypriot prisoners I was curious about what they would do and where they were taking them I followed them From time to time the soldiers turned back and were telling me go away. I did not go. I follow them to the bitter end they stopped before a wall. They had lined them up one by one. It was a place like an orchard enclosed with boarding But they looked around in order not to be seen by others. What would they do I leaned my head on the boarding I was in a position to see everything All of a sudden they fired and gunned them down The earth turned into a pool of blood Then the commander ordered the soldiers to go near them and fire a bullet at their head. So they did and they were sure that all of them died!

    After telling this he laughed ironically.

    He said: So they gave their hardtacks and then immediately started a new story

    It was obvious that he had witnessed so many savagery and ferocities that he could speak volumes of them and not finish

    They had told us in the village that we should not go to that side Because of this we became very curious and walked towards that side. My father, myself and another young man

    All of a sudden we found ourselves in a corpses cemetery where the corpses were lying in the open and the graves yet to be dug.

    A heap of gunned down people were lying in a blood pool And one of them was still alive A Greek Cypriot policeman My father knew him. He was a traffic warden. When he saw us he tried to sit up. He was badly injuredwith a grumbling tone he asked for a doctor We have exchanged glances with my father What could we do? The young man next to us was unmoved When he saw that the Greek Cypriot is trying to sit up, he took a stone and shouted You still alive, you did not die like a dog and tried to move towards him. My father stopped him. He took the stone from him, but he resented very much He started running towards the village and he was shouting Now you will see. We were, with my father, undecided about what to do We could hand this wounded man to UN troops But how?

    While we were brooding about it we had heard the sound of a car coming towards us. We immediately went into hiding. The car came and stopped next to the corpses, the young man and a man with a gun came down of the car. The man asked Where are they? The young man said: They were here a while ago. Then the man heard the whining of the man He asked: Is this the one who did not die and tried to sit up? The young man said: Yes And the man stood up near the wounded, aimed at him and emptied his guns magazine And then he said let him sit up now

    At the end of this story, he laughed ironically again

    So, they gave their hardtacks to them

    While he was leaving, he said: Do not write my name and then returned and said Do not think that I am afraid of If a committee is established as you are saying, I am ready to go and tell everything

    These ferocity stories are so many that they do not end by telling

    You too say what you know. Do not worry

    Your fussy peace process will not be blown up

    (MHY)

    [13] From the Turkish press of 03 February 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 03 February 2009:

    a) Davos Panel/Turkish-Israeli Ties

    Stressing the importance of Turkish-Israeli ties in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol argues that the moderate and appeasing statements issued by both sides in the aftermath of the Davos incident attest to the fact that both Turkey and Israel do not want to sever or damage these ties. Showing the training flights conducted by Israeli pilots over Turkish skies and the intelligence information Turkey obtains from Israel as the symbols of these strong bilateral ties, Akyol maintains that the statement issued by the Turkish General Staff after Davos that military cooperation between the two countries will continue indicates that both sides are aware of what is at stake if bilateral relations are damaged. Turkey will continue to criticize Israel's "brutal" policies, writes Akyol, adding that, however, such criticisms and outbursts should not throw Turkey into the Iran-Syria-HAMAS-Hezbollah line.

    Fikret Bila begins his article in Milliyet by explaining the reasons for Prime Minister Erdogan's outburst in Davos, adding that the impression he got from Erdogan's close circle is that he is not concerned about the consequences of his behaviour and that the general belief in Ankara is that Turkish-Israeli and Turkish-US relations will not be affected as a result. The view prevalent in Ankara is that if there should be a concern in the aftermath of Davos, it should be the concern of those who fear to lose the support of Turkey, writes Bila. On the question of whether a parallel can be drawn between HAMAS and the PKK, the view in Ankara is that such a comparison is impossible since Turkish-Kurdish and Israeli-Palestinian relations are different and Turkey is not an occupying force.

    Assessing how the Davos crisis will affect Turkey's foreign relations in an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen says that Erdogan's stand in Davos has underlined the new "multidimensional foreign policy" line to be pursued by the government. The columnist sums up the short-term reaction to Davos as follows: The Arab and Islamic world welcomed Erdogan's outburst in Davos. Statements issued by Israeli officials indicate that Israel does not want to disrupt bilateral relations and the official view in Ankara is that at this stage a change in bilateral relations is not being considered. Although Erdogan's style and remarks in Davos were not well received in the Western world and the press, the United States has let the incident pass by mentioning it as an "unfortunate" one. Viewing the long-term effect, Kohen says that the pro-HAMAS Arab world will expect Erdogan to support HAMAS in other platforms as well and Israel will take care not to disrupt its relations with Turkey provided Ankara plays its strategic cards well.

    The recognition of Armenian genocide claims by the US Congress might be the first problem of the Davos fallout, writes Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi in an article entitled the "Pyrrhic Victory." Quoting Zaman's Washington representative Ali Aslan that Erdogan's behaviour was not received well in the US capital and that Ankara's foreign policy was likened to that of a nonaligned state rather than a NATO member country, Eksi, addressing those who have declared Erdogan to be the "conqueror of Davos," argues that the prime minister's victory can be compared to that of King Pyrrhus whose army suffered irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans.

    Dismissing concerns that the Jewish Lobby in the United States will withdraw its support to Turkey regarding the Armenian genocide claims in the first section of his article in Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz argues that it is not realistic to link the stand the US Administration will be adopting on the issue to the power of the Jewish Lobby, adding that if US interests in relations with Turkey call for turning a blind eye to Armenian claims then there is no need for support on the issue.

    Erdogan's Davos outburst has placed Turkey in a different position in the Middle East equation, writes Cengiz Candar in an article in Radikal, declaring that it has enabled Turkey to seize the "moral leadership" of the Arab and Muslim world. Planning the future of the Middle East without Turkey has become impossible for the United States, argues Candar, disagreeing with the view that Turkey will lose the Jewish Lobby in the United States on the issue of the Armenian genocide.

    Warning against the intoxication to be caused by the daily demonstrations being held in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iran in support of Erdogan in an article in Vatan, Mehmet Tezkan questions why Erdogan is being hailed as the leader of the Arab world given the fact that Turkey is not an Arab country and that Erdogan is not an Arab. Pointing out the danger of posters showing Erdogan with HAMAS and Iranian leaders, Tezkan argues that they can only distance Turkey from the Western axis. Wondering whether Erdogan will aspire to be the leader of the Muslim world as well encouraged by the support it has received from Iran, Tezkan argues that such an aspiration will not only distance but sever Turkey from the West. Declaring that the policy to be pursued by Erdogan from now is very crucial, Tezkan hopes that the prime minister will not cross the line in its pro-HAMAS policy.

    Referring to the negative reaction Erdogan's Davos walkout has received from the West in an article in Cumhuriyet, Cuneyt Arcayurek believes that the assessment made by former President Suleyman Demirel, who has a vast experience on such issues, should be heeded. Quoting Demirel as having said that in international issues there is always a price to be paid but that one never knows how and when this bill will be presented, Arcayurek recalls the annoyance of the US administration with the Cyprus Turkish invasion of launched by Ecevit in 1974 and the subsequent military and economic embargoes imposed on the Demirel government, adding that, however, Erdogan is not someone who can learn from history or from experience. Ecstatic that the Davos incident has opened the path for him to become the leader of the Muslim world with his posters parading the Arab streets, Arcayurek points out that Erdogan is being goaded by Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leader Bahceli that a moment's action in Davos is insufficient and that he should take a firm stand in Turkey's relations with the EU and Armenia. In conclusion, the writer maintains that now no one can stop Erdogan from running till he hits a rock.

    In an article entitled "Turkey foils plans, Israel wants a coup", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul cites the Israeli government's response to Prime Minister Erdogan's Davos walkout - President Peres "apologizing immediately and calling once again the following day," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert "warning Israeli officials not to issue sharp statements against Turkey and sending an envoy to Ankara to defuse the tension" - as proof that Israel's need for Turkey in this region is greater than Turkey's need for Israel and that Turkey has more powerful levers than any other regional players to "isolate Israel and leave it helpless." He also slams Israeli dailies like Haaertz and Yedioot Ahranot for "shamelessly ... talking about engineering a military takeover in Turkey" and announcing that Israel will use the Armenian and Kurdish issues as a means of inciting the Turkish Armed Forces to overthrow the ruling AKP.

    In an article entitled "Should we leave foreign policy to diplomats?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi slams Turkey's "foreign policy elite" for accusing Erdogan of lacking "diplomatic courtesy" in connection with the way he addressed Shimon Peres at Davos and of acting sentimentally in behaving as he did at the panel meeting on Gaza. In accounting for the "diametrical disagreement" between "ordinary" Turkish citizens' response to Erdogan's Davos walkout and the foreign policy elite's reaction to what happened at Davos, Dagi claims that unlike the people, who see what is going on in Palestine as a humanitarian issue, Turkey's foreign policy establishment regards the Palestinian issue as a fundamentally Arab-Israeli dispute.

    Under the headline, "Turkey not fretting over possible 'Genocide' blow after Davos storm," Today's Zaman runs a front-page report which asserts that although there is an increased possibility in the wake of Erdogan's Davos walkout that Jewish-American groups will withdraw their support for Turkey against Armenian efforts to have the US Congress recognize the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks, "Turkish officials and analysts expect little fallout from decreased Jewish lobby support."

    In an article entitled "Strong Turkish-Israeli ties will create a better Middle East", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu underlines the importance of strong relations between Turkey and Israel for the success of a project to "encourage disarmament in the Middle East" and asserts that Turkey and Israel "have both mutual and regional interests in repairing the current damage" caused by what happened at Davos.

    In an article entitled "Keep it up, Erdogan", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal asserts that Erdogan's remarks at Davos relating how two former Israeli prime ministers told him how happy they felt to enter Palestine on tanks demonstrated the extent of Erdogan's "chumminess" with Israeli leaders, who "must have felt close enough to him" to speak with him so "earnestly." He also argues that if Erdogan was sincere in what he said and did at Davos, he should be expected to maintain the same attitude toward the United States and "Israel's tribal supporter [Mas'ud] Barzani," "reprimand" the Greek Cypriots and the EU [as he reprimanded Peres], and react strongly to the "slander" that Turks subjected Armenians to genocide in 1915.

    In an article entitled "US and Israeli friendship strains Turkey", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan calls attention to what he claims to be indications that the United States and Israel will be adopting measures against Turkey in response to Erdogan's remarks at Davos. He claims that as long as Turkey does not question its relations particularly with Israel, Erdogan's behaviour at Davos will be regarded as a merely impulsive reaction and will fail to promote the "Palestinian cause" in any way.

    b) Ergenekon case

    Under the headline, "Watch out for provocations," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that the "terrorist Ergenekon organization" and Israel are said to be planning provocations to overthrow the ruling AKP. The report quotes "experts" as saying that assassination attempts on the prime minister and efforts to instigate social chaos are likely in the coming days.

    In an article entitled "New Ergenekon documents on the way, destination: Silivri", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven quotes Mehmet Ali Altindag, a businessman from Diyarbakir, as saying that he has submitted "loads" of documents to the court that is trying Ergenekon establishing that Ergenekon members include many serving and retired military officials, that Ergenekon has used the PKK as a proxy group to stage terrorist attacks, and that it is responsible for "innumerable" homicides in the southeast.

    In an article entitled "Deep migration from Kuleli street to Guniz Street", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak discusses what he describes as the significance of recent press reports saying that former President Suleyman Demirel has closed down his office on Ankara's Kuleli street. Dilipak claims that Demirel's Kuleli office "was no ordinary think-tank. It was a meeting place of the Encumen-i Danis [a recently disclosed advisory council] sort where diplomats, politicians, retired army officials, and academics used to come together." He claims that Demirel must have "put up his shutters" because "he has realized that there is no stopping the Ergenekon investigation" and does not want to be implicated in the probe.

    Under the banner headline, "Catli's briefcase taken by Meral," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that based on the "confessions" of Yener Yermez, the convicted assassin of businessman Uzeyir Garih, the police are investigating the possibility that a woman named Meral delivered the "missing briefcase" of Abdullah Catli, who was killed in the 1996 car accident that exposed the so-called Susurluk scandal, to an "important person" in Germany.

    c) Local Elections

    In his column in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever draws attention to Felicity Party (SP) noting that with its new leader this party has added a totally new factor to the local elections. Linking the prime minister's recent "uncontrolled anger" to his concerns about the SP, Ulsever argues that for the sake of the local elections the government is using delaying tactics in its negotiations with the IMF, embracing HAMAS, steering the Ergenekon investigation off its track. Declaring that efforts will be made to create a balance on all these issues after the elections, Ulsever, in the meantime, calls on all those who have concerns regarding those issues to pray and hope that the eyes and minds of the IMF, Israel, and the United States will be closed until 30 March.

    Under the headline, "This issue cannot be exploited," Milli Gazete publishes a front-page report which quotes Felicity Party (SP) leader Numan Kurtulmus as saying in response to allegations that Erdogan's Davos walkout is a pre-election manoeuvre that the subject of the Erdogan-Peres row is not an issue that could be exploited politically and that they approve of Erdogan's attitude.

    EG/


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