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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 58/09 27.03.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Soyer gave a luncheon in honor of the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Swedish ParliamentTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer gave a luncheon yesterday in honor of Goran Lennmarker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Swedish Parliament. According to a statement issued by Mr Soyers office, Kutlay Erk and Unal Findik, officials of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), participated in the luncheon. Mr Lennmarker met also with some organizations which work on the protection of human rights in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
In statements after the meeting with Mrs Emine Erk, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (KTIHV), Mr Lennmarker, said that he visited Cyprus during the Annan Plan period and added that they were satisfied about the yes vote of the Turkish Cypriots and disappointed about the no vote of the Greek Cypriots. He noted that there is consensus at the Swedish Parliament on the issue of the solution of the Cyprus problem. He said they support Turkeys accession to the EU and added that this is very important.
Moreover, Mr Kutlay Erk, CTPs responsible for Foreign Relations, who is the person who invited Mr Lennmarker to the occupied areas, said that during his visit to Stockholm he encouraged the Swedish parliamentarian to visit the occupied areas before the elections. He expressed the wish to see Mr Lennmarker more often in the occupied areas of Cyprus after Sweden takes over the EU term presidency in June 2009.
 Talat attended the ECBAs meeting in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the European Countries Biologists Association (ECBA) meeting for 2009 started yesterday in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat participated in the opening ceremony, which took place at Buyuk Han in the occupied part of Lefkosia.
Mr Talat said that they feel great satisfaction for the fact that such an international activity is taking place in the occupied areas of Cyprus and stressed the importance of the decision to organize the ECBA meeting in the occupied areas. He reiterated the allegation that efforts are exerted to isolate the Turkish Cypriots from the world and added that such activities reduce the isolation, give hope and enthusiasm to the Turkish Cypriots and help them look to the future in a more confident manner.
Addressing the meeting, the chairman of the ECBA Harm Smith said that the environmental problems in Cyprus are increasing continuously.
 Eroglu declares his policy if he comes to power in the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.03.09) reports that Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), visited yesterday the occupied Afania village and stated that the UBP is asking to be brought to power in order to strengthen the foundations of the TRNC and make the people of the TRNC happy. According to a statement issued by the UBPs press bureau, Mr Eroglu said that all eyes are focused on the elections to be held in the occupied areas on 19 April and added that US and EU officials visit him and try to find out the UBPs views on the Cyprus problem. He added:
The whole world knows our views. We are not without alternative at the negotiating table. We are not under Christofias orders. If he has plans, we also have plans. If he has solutions, we also have solutions. Therefore, I am saying the following to the world: We are tranquil and happy under the roof of the TRNC. The CTP has stolen our prosperity, spoiled our tranquility, but like it or not, they are going to go. If you want an agreement in Cyprus you should take into consideration the realities that took place in Cyprus in the past and the present realities. You should know that an agreement will be reached by starting from these realities.
 Kalyoncu said that Europe and the whole work started seeing the realities in Cyprus thanks to the policy of the CTPTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (27.03.09) reports that Omer Kalyoncu, general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party United Forces (CTP-BG), has said that thanks to the policy of his party Europe and the whole world started seeing the realities in Cyprus and it has been registered that two equal communities exist on the island.
In statements during a meeting of the candidates of the CTP in the occupied Keryneia area, Mr Kalyoncu pointed out that the referendum regarding the Annan Plan was held during a period when the CTP was on duty and added that these are only the beginning of the services we shall provide after the victory on 19 April.
 DP candidate alleges that Turkey is not meddling in the elections in the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the candidates of the Democratic Party (DP) for the elections visited yesterday Resat Akar, editor-in-chief of Kibris and made statements regarding the elections of 19 April in the occupied areas. Speaking on behalf of the DP delegation, Suha Turkoz said they do not give credit to the allegations that Turkey is meddling in the elections in the occupied areas.
Criticizing some political parties which give such messages, Suha Turkoz noted that no one should cherish such expectations. Turkoz said the economic and cultural relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime have always been good and they will continue to be at the same level. Turkoz noted that this relation should not be attributed to persons or parties and expressed the satisfaction of the DP for the policy of KIBRIS Media Group in the election period. The free media are very important for us, he said.
 Izcan said the occupied part of Cyprus is administered by TurkeyUnder the title Izcan: We do not accept the current regime, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.03.09) reports that a delegation from the United Cyprus Party (BKP) Jasmine Movement visited yesterday Basaran Duzgun, the papers editor-in-chief. Mr Izcan said that nothing in the occupied areas will be put in order unless the population policy is taken under control. Mr Izan noted that they will annul the citizenship of all the persons who acquired this citizenship in a manner contrary to the international law. This is not racism, he added, what we are trying to do is to put an end to the population policy which annihilates the Turkish Cypriots and make the Turkish Cypriots to have a say.
Mr Izcan noted that the occupied northern part of Cyprus is administered by the high coordination council, the embassy of Turkey and Turkeys Aid Delegation. He noted that in case the power is not transferred to the Turkish Cypriots the governments will be nothing more than puppets and the Turkish Cypriots, who cannot plan their economy, education, population and future, will be annihilated.
 The Turkish Council of Ministers has approved 500 million dollars credit for the occupied areaIllegal Bayrak television (26.03.09) reported that Turkeys Council of Ministers has approved a five hundred million dollars credit agreement signed with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The Councils decision was published in the Official Gazette today.
 Ekenoglu informed students and academician from the American University of Washington on the Cyprus problemIllegal Bayrak television (26.03.09) broadcast the following:
A group of academicians and students from the American University in Washington is in Cyprus to get the views of the two sides on the Cyprus issue.Two academicians and 24 students from the Universitys Division of International Peace and Conflict Resolution were received by the Speaker of the TRNC Parliament Fatma Ekenoglu this morning.
Professor Elefterios Michael explained that they wanted to make an evaluation of the situation in Cyprus after learning the two sides views. He said that the students wanted to get a better understanding of the current situation in Cyprus as the leaders were continuing a negotiation process.
The Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu provided detailed information to the group on the Cyprus issue, pointing out that the problem has been continuing for decades. `The Cyprus problem is older than me`, said the Speaker.
Mrs Ekenoglu pointed out that the Greek Cypriot Administration has stronger ties with the rest of the world and added that it was enjoying the power of being recognized as a state while the Turkish Cypriots were facing with serious difficulties because of the non-recognition of their own state.
She also reminded that the solution of the problem was prevented in 2004 when the Greek Cypriot people overwhelmingly rejected a UN Peace plan which was strongly approved by the Turkish Cypriots.
The speaker said that some positive steps were taken after the referendum because of the Turkish Cypriot Peoples support to the plan but added that these were not enough.
Explaining that the two leaders in Cyprus have been continuing talks with the aim of bringing about a comprehensive settlement to the problem, she expressed the hope that a plan would emerged at the end of the process.
Referring to the parliamentary elections to be held in the Republic in April, she said that the Cyprus issue was being given a priority in the speeches delivered by political parties.
 Jose Manuel Barosso has reportedly asked for Turkeys EU accession process to be independent from the solution of Cyprus problemUnder the title Cyprus will not be an obstacle, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul carried out important meetings in Brussels yesterday. The paper notes that Mr Gul held a joint press conference with Jose Manuel Barosso, President of the EU Commission.
The paper writes that Mr Barosso praised the steps made by Turkey for its accession to the EU and underlined that the work for Turkeys accession and the Cyprus problem are two different procedures. Mr Barosso asked for the accession process to be independent from the Cyprus problem and stressed that the solution of the Cyprus problem is in everybodys interest.
 Angela Merkel said the problems between Turkey and Cyprus prevent the development of the cooperation between NATO and the EUTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has said that the problems especially between Turkey and Cyprus prevent the development of the cooperation between NATO and the European Union (EU). In a statement yesterday regarding the NATO summit which will be jointly organized by Germany and France on 3-4 April, Mrs Merkel noted that developing the cooperation between NATO and the EU is very important, but some problems exist for the development of this cooperation. She said: Cooperation between NATO and the EU is very important, but the problems especially between Turkey and Cyprus create difficulties for reaching practical solutions.
 The breakaway regime signed a protocol for brining tourists from RomaniaTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.03.09) reports that the self-styled ministry of economy and tourism and the Maestro DMC Tur company signed yesterday a protocol with the aim of increasing the number of tourists visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus and contribute to the tourism sector. The protocol provides for chartered flights twice a week from the Romanian cities of Bucharest and Cluj Naoca, to the occupied areas of the island. The paper notes that 2.800 tourists will be carried to the occupied areas with 28 chartered flights. The director of Maestro DMC Tur, Dimay Caginer said that they have received requests for reservations from now for the flights which will start in June. The self-styled minister of tourism, Erdogan Sanlidag stated that 2009 will be a very good year for tourism for the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 The Chairman of the TABA says President Obama integrated his success with Turkeys success in the regionAnkara Anatolia news agency (26.03.09) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkish American Businessmen's Association (TABA/AmCham) Chairman Ugur Terzioglu said it seemed that U.S. President Barack Obama integrated his success with Turkey's success in the region.
Speaking at a news conference, Terzioglu highlighted the importance of President Obama's decision to pay a state visit to Turkey as his first visit to the Middle East and Islam world.
Turkey is becoming the biggest representative of the United States in the region. Therefore, it seems that U.S. President Obama integrated his success with Turkey's success in the region, he said.
Terzioglu said, President Obama's visit is a great opportunity to revive the strategic partnership between Turkey and the United States. His decision to visit Turkey is a sign that the United States has realized how essential its cooperation with Turkey is in fight against regional crises.
We also need to benefit from President Obama's visit to increase our trade volume with the United States. For the time being, the United States is a great market for Turkish businessmen. Our trade volume with the United States rose to 12 billion USD in 2008. We wish that it will increase up to 20 billion in 2010, he added.
 A new public survey gives to the ruling AKP 39.1%Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (26.03.09) reported the following from Ankara:
The ruling Justice and Development Party's votes will decline nationwide in local elections but still be outnumber the main opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, according to the latest poll by the A&G Survey Company.
Ankara, however, is shaping up to be an eye-popping surprise, as the poll's results show the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, gaining serious ground and taking second place in the capital with just days to go before voting begins.
When undecided voters are distributed according to party rates, 39.1 percent of the nation's votes will be cast for AKP in the local elections March 29, the poll said. The CHP can get only 26.8, followed by the opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP with 16.5 percent, according to A&G survey.
Participants were also asked their favorite party if there were general elections, 36.6 percent responded AKP and 21.8 percent said they would vote for CHP. People undecided about which party to vote for in a general election made up 13.8 percent, while 13.5 percent chose MHP.
The A&G poll said the Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, is on a steady rise that could produce a surprise result in Ankara.
MHP mayoral candidate Mensur Yavas had merely 14.7 percent of votes in January polls, but rose to 25.1 percent March 7 and now stands at 27.4, placing him in second, revealed A&G's latest election poll dated March 21-22. Yavas may even catch up with the current Mayor Melih Gokcek, the candidate of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, who dropped from 40.5 to 32.2 in the same time span.
Yavas's other rival, CHP candidate Murat Karayalcin, also lost a considerable amount of points, down from 30.8 to 26.5. Undecided voters form a large part of total voters, with 11.9 percent. A distribution of undecided voters yields 36.5 percent for Gokcek, 31.1 percent for Yavas, and 30.1 percent for Karayalcin, who was considered to be the only serious alternative to Gokcek just a few weeks ago.
Contrary to Ankara, no surprise is expected in Istanbul. Kadir Topbas, the AKP's Istanbul incumbent mayoral candidate, is far ahead of his nearest rival, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the CHP. Topbas has 41 percent of votes before distributing undecided voters, dipping from the 41.8 percent he had in January.
Unlike Topbas, who has maintained his votes as the elections approach, Kilicdaroglu's vote base eroded after an initial upward trend.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 26 March 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 26 March 2009:
a) Kurdish Issue/President Gul's visit to Iraq
A column by Mehmet Ali Birand of Hurriyet Daily News comments on President Gul's visit to Iraq, saying that Gul made a statement that was equivalent to recognizing the Kurdistan administration and for the first time openly referred to the "Kurdistan regional administration." Recalling Talabani's remark that the PKK either puts down its weapons or leaves the country, Birand expresses the hope that the positive atmosphere between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds might lead to the elimination of the PKK. He says: "I know that something is cooking but cannot quite comprehend it."
In his article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal laments Turkey's failure to solve the Kurdish issue thus far and says that Turkey would have become a modern democratic country living in peace and welfare if it had managed to solve that problem. He views the Kurdish issue as the real reason behind Turkey's major problems and urges the pertinent sides to take advantage of the new opportunity to eliminate the problem. Arguing that certain developments "behind-the-scenes" led Talabani to take a moderate position and advise the Kurds to be "more mature and patient," Cemal asserts that the PKK should lay down its arms and realize the fact that the problem can only be solved through peaceful means. He notes: "All the pertinent sides seem to be learning a lesson from past incidents. Certain high-ranking commanders have even started to admit the mistakes made in the past. That is why TRT launching a 24-hour Kurdish channel a very important move is showing the recognition of the 'Kurdish reality' by the state. Yes, there is still need for further steps. However, something is cooking in the kitchen. That opportunity should not be missed."
Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz also recalls in his article that even high-ranking commanders started to admit the fact that certain "mistakes were made" in connection with the Kurdish issue in the past. Idiz views the start of an open debate on the reasons behind the Kurdish issue as a "significant and positive development" and adds that the ongoing debate will contribute to Turkey's efforts to become a leading country in its region. Opposing the circles that are inclined to put the blame on the United States and the EU in connection with the Kurdish problem, the columnist says: "Instead of accusing the United States and the EU, Turkey should ask whether it will be able to develop a rational Kurdish policy in line with the political developments. All the important and courageous steps taken by the Jusitce and Development Party [AKP] Government cannot be denied. However, there is still need for new courageous steps regardless of whether or not they lead to new debates. The government should be brave enough to take those steps for the sake of social peace."
A column by Hurriyet's Oktay Eksi criticizes President Gul for referring to the regional administration in northern Iraq as "Kurdistan" and says that the president weakened Turkey's hand on issues concerning the "official foreign policy." He also criticizes Gul for debating Turkey's policy on northern Iraq with "the prime minister of that region" and asks whether this was a step taken on behalf of the AKP to secure the votes of the citizens of Kurdish origin in the local elections to be held on 29 March.
A column by Cuneyt Arcayurek of Cumhuriyet slams President Gul for using the word "Kurdistan" during his recent Iraq visit and asks the president why he denied his remark on his return to the country. Recalling that Gul also mentioned a "comprehensive study" and "new initiatives" related to the Kurdish issue some time ago, the columnist discusses if there is a link between Gul's remarks and the pressure put by Barzani and Talabani on Ankara to declare a general amnesty for the PKK terrorists. Arcayurek cautions that a general amnesty might lead to the removal of the PKK terrorists from the mountains, but it might also save the "bloody chieftain" [Ocalan] from prison. He goes on to warn that "the politicians who recognize Kurdistan today might also give the green light to the pardoning of Ocalan in the future."
Sabah columnist Erdal Safak welcomes the rapprochement process between Turkey and the "Kurdistan Regional Administration" since Iraqi President Talabani's visit to Ankara at the invitation of Turkey on 26 February 2008. In his article, Safak describes that visit as a "turning point" both for Turkey and Iraq and says that it not only contributed to the termination of the clashes between the Arab and Kurdish groups in Iraq but also led the Iraqi voters to act with political motives in the recent elections. The columnist concludes by noting that Barzani has started to frequently express his willingness to visit Turkey because Ankara promised to "normalize" its relations with the Iraqi Kurds in the event of the adoption of the following action plan:
 Kurdish leaders, particularly Barzani, should change their rhetoric on Turkey. 2. They should take a solid and clear position against the PKK.
 They should pursue a reasonable policy on the Kirkuk issue.In an article entitled "What did we miss? Did we lose a war or something?", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal criticizes President Gul for defending his use of the word "Kurdistan" during his visit to Iraq by making references to a generally accepted "reality" in Iraq and claming that "we have no choice but to accept this reality." In questioning this reasoning, Unal asks Gul "whether Cyprus does not have its own 'reality'" in the form of "two states," "what has happened to the two states that have existed on the island ever since 1974," and "whether we should not unconditionally defend Iraq's territorial integrity instead of being so willing to recognize other countries' realities."
b) Ergenekon Investigations
A column by Yusuf Kanli of Hurriyet Daily News comments on a court decision to accept the second indictment on the Ergenekon investigation, saying that retired generals Sener Eruygur, Hursit Tolon, and Levent Ersoz, Cumhuriyet newspaper's Ankara representative Mustafa Balbay; journalist Tuncay Ozkan, former police chief Adil Serdar Sacan, Constitutional Court judge Osman Paksut's wife Ferda Paksut, strategist-writer Erol Mutercimler; former AKP Deputy Turhan Comez and Ankara Chamber of Commerce Chairman Sinan Aygun, and scores of other people are accused of establishing a gang with the aim and intention of toppling the elected government of the country and annihilating the Turkish Parliament or being member of such a gang. The new case will start on July 20, he adds. (In the second part of his column, Kanli argues that the US Administration seems to have changed its position on Talat's visit as a result of the Greek Cypriot pressure.)
Hurriyet columnist Bekir Coskun draws attention to the "timing" of the announcement of the second Ergenekon indictment, claiming that it was announced three days before the local elections in an effort to divert the people's attention from the adverse consequences of the economic crisis and the unemployment problem. In his article, Coskun speculates that the government successfully veiled the corruption claims against the AKP by placing the Ergenekon issue on the agenda on the eve of the local elections.
Under the banner headline, "A poisonous coup attempt," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which provides "shocking" highlights from the second indictment in the Ergenekon investigation disclosed yesterday. According to the indictment, retired General Sener Eyuygur, "the principal suspect" in the probe, planned "even" to have former Chief of Staff Yasar Buyukanit poisoned in order to be able to stage a coup, the report says.