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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-06-17

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. 111/09 17.06.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Tension warning from a major general of the occupation forces
  • [02] Verheugen: A future solution should also be based on the founding principles of the EU
  • [03] Talat talked to reporters on his way to Finland
  • [04] Self-styled presidential spokesman: Greek Cypriot side is focused on Turkeys foreign affairs instead of focusing on the negotiations process
  • [05] The interest for the Koran courses in Turkey continues.
  • [06] Turkish foreign and military diplomacy: Erdogan due to Athens; Basbug in Skopje
  • [07] Gul accompanied by businessmen will visit China
  • [08] Turkeys National Security Council to convene on June 30
  • [09] Greek official links immigrant issue to EU process
  • [10] Turkeys Energy Minister: Nabucco agreement will be signed in July the latest
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] AFRIKA writes that the authority in the occupied areas belongs unconditionally to Ankara
  • [12] Daily Taraf report on measures against religious reaction
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 16 June 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Tension warning from a major general of the occupation forces

    Under the title, Warning for tension, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.06.09) reports that the commander of the so-called security forces in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Major General Abdullah Recep, issued a warning to the Republic of Cyprus as regards the unilateral oil and natural gas exploration. Major General Recep made these statements speaking during a press briefing about the Martyred Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli-2009 Search and Rescue Exercise which is taking place in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    As long as there is no mutual agreement, the unilateral signing of agreements for oil and natural gas exploration and the acting within this scope, are not according to the international law and have no validity, he stated and added the following: Actions of these kind which carry the potential of creating tension and are deprived of the basic legitimacy, harm Turkish Cypriots equal rights and interests of the islands natural resources. Referring to Turkeys fundamental rights and interests, which are mentioned in the records of the United Nations as well, Major General Recep warned the Greek Cypriot side openly that Turkey is determined to protect these rights.

    In addition, Kibris also reports that in the framework of the Martyred Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli-2009 Search and Rescue Exercise Field Commander of southern sea-Vice Admiral Erdal Bucak, who is currently in the occupied areas for the exercise leading a part of the Turkish fleet, visited yesterday the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu.

    He was accompanied by the Commander of the Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus, Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu and the commander of the so-called security forces Major General Abdullah Recep.

    Mr Eroglu welcomed the Turkish Vice Admiral saying the following: The fact that the Vice-Admiral is in the island with his vessels shows that the TRNC is not alone, and gives the message to the world that TRNC is under the protection of the Turkish Armed Forces.

    The Vice Admiral Erdal Bucak was also received by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the illegal speaker of the assembly Hasan Bozer.

    (CS)

    [02] Verheugen: A future solution should also be based on the founding principles of the EU

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The vice-President of the European Commission Gunter Verheugen has said that the Turkish Cypriots have the right to live as equals, with equal rights and responsibilities in the European Union. It is our responsibility, altogether, to find a solution to make that possible, Mr Verheugen told the BRT.

    In an exclusive interview, Mr Verheugen expressed the Commissions full support to the new negotiation process, which he said, has created a real opportunity for a solution in Cyprus. I believe that the present approach is very promising. We have two leaders who are really committed to a solution, which will serve the interests of all Cypriots, he said, calling on the leaders to make all the possible efforts towards bringing a solution to the problem.

    Responding to a question, he stated that the UN resolutions and parameters should be the basis for an agreement to be reached in Cyprus. But, he also noted that a future solution should also be based on the founding principles of the EU. Answering another question, he said the European Union is not a negotiator or a mediator in Cyprus but added that the Union is ready to support the efforts of the two sides if asked and if necessary.

    On Turkeys role in Cyprus, Mr Verheugen reminded that both Ankara and the Turkish Cypriots fully endorsed the UN Peace Plan put forward in 2004, expressing the belief that they would continue to support and help the efforts towards a settlement. On the Direct Trade Regulation, Mr Verheugen said that like the Turkish Cypriots, he was also disappointed by the delay in the implementation of the Regulation.

    In a message to the Turkish Cypriot people, he said: I still believe that the Turkish Cypriots have the right to live as equals, with equal rights and responsibilities in the European Union, like others, if they wish. And it is our responsibility, altogether, to find a solution to make that possible.

    Furthermore, under the title Verheugens support to Turkey made the Greek Cypriots mad, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (17.06.09) reports on statements made to Greek Cypriot reporters by the European Commission Vice President, Gunter Verheugen, on the Annan Plan and Turkeys EU course during his visit to Cyprus. Mr Verheugens stance has caused the reaction of Athens and the Greek Cypriots, writes the paper and adds that recalling the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriots, Mr Verheugens statements on his difficulty in understanding why Cyprus intervenes in Turkeys relations with the EU, has caused the reaction of Athens and the Greek Cypriots.

    If I am not mistaken, this plan was foreseeing 600 Turkish soldiers to remain on the island. Turkey and the majority of the Turkish Cypriots have supported this plan. Consequently, I do not understand why Turkeys negotiations for EU membership or Turkeys membership course should be found guilty, Mr Verheugen said.

    In addition, under the title, He pronounced Talat president, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (17.06.09) publishes a report by Sefa Karahasan, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus, who writes on the meeting the other night between Gunter Verheugen with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. A joint statement was issued after the meeting and attention was drawn to the fact that Mr Verheugen addressed Mr Talat as Dear President, the paper writes.

    Verheugen and Talat discussed the present situation of the Cyprus issue in reference to the EU, while Mr Verheugen expressed his satisfaction with the level the negotiations between the two leaders have reached. The European Commission Vice President also said that both leaders are doing their best for reaching to a mutually acceptable solution and added that the Turkish Cypriots, unequivocally, have the right to enjoy the privileges of EU membership. Underlining that Mr Talat and he had also discussed Turkeys EU membership, Mr Verheugen said that even though Turkeys negotiations with the EU do not proceed with the desired speed, however, progress was made. I believe that this meeting was very fruitful, Mr Verheugen concluded.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (17.06.09) in its front-page and under the title, Strong reaction to Verheugen from the Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association, reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association, Mr Vural Turkmen, in a written statement yesterday stated that what was said the day before yesterday by the vice president of the European Commission, Mr Gunter Verheugen is a proof that the EU puts into force the missionary policy of the Greeks and the Greeks Cypriots.

    Mr Turkmen reminded also the statements made by Mr Gunter Verheugen after the Annan plan referendum in 2004, who had said that he was convinced from the Greek Cypriot side, and stated that Mr Verheugens statements during the press conference the day before yesterday constitute a scandal. Mr Turkmen further criticized Mr Verheugens attitude and put the following questions to Mr Verheugen: Are you aware of the fact that the reason for which the island is divided today is that the Greek and Greek Cypriot side implemented the Akritas plan aimed at the annexation of the island to Greece and the fact that from 21 December 1963 they were opposed to Turkish Cypriots?... Mr Turkmen went on and said that they do not trust Mr Verheugen and the EU. Mr Turkmen criticized also Mr Verheugen who has stated that he trusts Mr Christofias will for finding a solution. He then said that that the TRNC state and the Turkish Cypriot people are sovereign and that this is an issue which cannot be discussed in any platform.

    (ML/AC)

    [03] Talat talked to reporters on his way to Finland

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat left the Republic for contacts in Finlands capital Helsinki. The President will hold contacts there as guest of the Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb.

    Mr Talat told reporters on his way to Finland that Finland has a good knowledge of the Cyprus problem and it is important to make the Turkish Cypriot views heard there. We are going there upon the invitation of Finnish officials. What matters most here is that Finland attaches importance to the Turkish Cypriot views, he said.

    Noting that Finland is among the countries expressing support to Turkeys EU membership, Talat stated that Finland knows how significant it is to reach a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus. Finland is interested in the Cyprus issue since 1963. The country appointed mediators throughout the Cyprus history. And now, as an EU member, it is well aware of the fact that Turkish Cypriots are facing injustice and thus takes important initiatives on this, the President added.

    Upon being asked a question over the Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] Gate, President Talat said: I am fed up with this issue. This issue is overshadowing the negotiations process. Special representatives of the two sides continue meeting in order to bring it to a conclusion. We definitely need to get rid of this issue right now.

    The President will embark his contacts tomorrow with a meeting with Finnish Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb at 13:00 pm, local time. Later in the day, he will come together with the former Foreign Minister, MP Erkki Tuomioja, and MP Jaakko Laakso respectively. Within the framework of his contacts, the President will also come together with representatives of various media organizations to discuss the course of Cyprus negotiations. The President is expected to return to the Republic on Friday evening.

    [04] Self-styled presidential spokesman: Greek Cypriot side is focused on Turkeys foreign affairs instead of focusing on the negotiations process

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has announced that President Mehmet Ali Talat will be briefing the members of the parliament on the negotiations process next week. He also said that the briefing, which will take place on Tuesday, the 23rd of June, will be held in closed session.

    The Presidential Spokesman was speaking during his weekly press briefing today. Stating that there are many speculations that the meeting will focus on, undisclosed issues concerning the negotiations, he said it is natural to inform the MPs and the Ministers on these issues.

    On President Talats visit to Finland, Mr Ercakica said Mr Talat will come together with some media and think-tank organizations besides his official contacts during the visit.

    Responding to reporters questions on the controversial Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] Gate, Mr Ercakica said that the Gate will be excluded from the Green Line Regulation. Reminding that the two leaders have discussed the issue in detail during their meeting yesterday, Mr Ercakica said it has been decided that the issue would be taken up in detail by senior aides of the two leaders in order to gain time. He also expressed the hope for an agreement for the opening of the Gate before the next meeting of the leaders on June 26.

    Upon being reminded that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to interfere with Turkeys foreign affairs, the spokesman said that the Greek Cypriot side is focused on Turkeys foreign affairs instead of focusing on the negotiations process. Stating that the Greek Cypriot Administration is opposing Turkey in oil exploration in the northern shore of Cyprus, he said this situation would be dangerous.

    [05] The interest for the Koran courses in Turkey continues.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.06.06) reports that the percentage of the children from the occupied area who attend Koran courses in Turkey in the summer period is very high this year as well. The paper writes that even though some political parties and some trade unions were opposed to these Koran courses the number of the applications to attend Koran courses is remarkable.

    The head of the Religious Affairs Department Dr. Yusuf Suicmez, said, inter alia, that the 19th of June is the last day of accepting applications for the Koran courses and added that until now they received 700 applications from several departments. He then said that with the applications that will come from the mosques, the number of applications is estimated to be more that two thousand. He added that during the previous year, the number of applications was approximately three thousand. Mr Suicmez stated also that among those who applied for Koran courses are both Turkish Cypriots and Turkish settlers.

    (AK)

    [06] Turkish foreign and military diplomacy: Erdogan due to Athens; Basbug in Skopje

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit Greece, Albania and Belgium by the end of June.

    Erdogan will pay a visit to Greece from June 20 to 21. He is set to meet with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis of Greece and attend opening of the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.

    On June 25, Prime Minister Erdogan will pay a visit to Albania as the official guest of Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. During his visit to Tirana, Prime Minister Erdogan will attend inauguration of a part of Durres-Kukes Highway. He is also scheduled to meet with President Bamir Topi and Tirana Mayor Edi Rama.

    Later, Prime Minister Erdogan will proceed to Belgium to attend the 20th annual session of Crans Montana Forum as an honorary guest. During his two-day visit, Prime Minister Erdogan will meet with Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.09) reported the following from Skopje:

    The Turkish army chief met his Macedonian [FYROM] counterpart on Tuesday. Gen. Ilker Basbug, the chief of Turkish General Staff, had a meeting with Miroslav Stojanovski, the chief of General Staff of Macedonian Army, in Skopje. Basbug is actually visiting the Macedonian capital upon an invitation by Stojanovski. The two army chiefs later paid a visit to Macedonian Defence Minister Zoran Konjanovski.

    During the meeting, Konjanovski thanked Basbug for Turkey's support to Macedonia, and underlined the historic importance of Turkey's support for the reforms of the Macedonian army and Macedonia's accession to NATO.

    Basbug said that two countries would continue their military cooperation, and the Turkish Armed Forces would also go on extending assistance to the Macedonian army. Gen. Basbug then had separate meetings with Macedonian President Georgi Ivanov and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

    Basbug will go to Macedonian city of Bitola, and visit the military school where Ataturk, the Founder of Republic of Turkey, had education on Wednesday. Gen. Basbug will proceed from Macedonia to Albania after visiting the Macedonian tourist resort of Ohrid.

    [07] Gul accompanied by businessmen will visit China

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.09) reported the following from Antalya:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul and an accompanying delegation of businessmen will visit China. The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) stated on Tuesday that Gul and the businessmen would visit China between June 24 and 28.

    The businessmen aim to boost commercial and economic cooperation between Turkey and China as well as become more active in Chinese market.

    [08] Turkeys National Security Council to convene on June 30

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.06.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish National Security Council (MGK) will convene on June 30. The MGK will convene under the chairmanship of President Abdullah Gul at the Cankaya Presidential Palace. Both domestic and international developments will be discussed at the MGK meeting.

    [09] Greek official links immigrant issue to EU process

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (17.06.09) reports the following:

    A senior Greek official has linked the issue of illegal immigration to its Aegean neighbour Turkey's European Union accession process, while suggesting that the way he has linked the two issues was not a threat" to Turkey's accession.

    Constantinos Bitsios, secretary-general of the Greek Interior Ministry, gathered with a group of Turkish journalists on Monday evening following his talks with Turkish officials earlier that day, the Anatolia news agency reported on Tuesday. The flux of illegal immigrants to the Aegean islands and Athens has reached an intolerable level for Greece, Bitsios said while explaining the reason of his visit to the Turkish capital, adding that he came to Ankara to work on finding a solution to the issue with Turkey.

    Noting that he had positive impressions about his meeting with Turkish Interior Ministry Undersecretary Osman Gunes, Bitsios said Greece would continue cooperation with Turkey on the issue as long as Turkey conveys its needs in this struggle against illegal immigration. Bitsios also said that last year 148,000 illegal immigrants came to Greece, which has now consumed all of its resources for fighting this problem. We are full, Bitsios was quoted as saying by Anatolia before adding that Greece would carry this issue [to the] agenda of Turkey's membership negotiations. No, this is just a fact, Bitsios replied when asked whether his remarks meant to threaten Turkey.

    Recalling a protocol on illegal immigration signed in 2001 by Greece and Turkey, Bitsios said they expected Turkey to better implement the protocol regarding the illegal immigration.

    Last Thursday Greece's Interior Ministry stated that the country would toughen its policies on illegal immigration to combat a surge in trafficking from Turkey. Traffickers will face tougher penalties and more detention centres will be created, allowing authorities to detain illegal immigrants for up to 12 months, an increase from the current official limit of three months, ministry officials said.

    The officials also said on Thursday that the sharp increase in illegal immigration had been worsened because Turkey, with which Greece shares a border, was not adequately enforcing an agreement to take back migrants facing deportation from Greece. In 2008 Greek authorities arrested close to 150,000 illegal immigrants, a 30 percent increase from the previous year and a 54 percent jump from 2006, according to government figures, the Associated Press reported last Thursday.

    Christos Markoyiannakis, a deputy interior minister for public order, said last week that Greece would urge the EU to pressure Turkey to take back immigrants who leave its shores and head to nearby Greek islands. Without the support of the European Union, what are we supposed to do, go to war with Turkey? he said. These people jump into the sea when they see they coast guard. Are we supposed to let them drown?

    [10] Turkeys Energy Minister: Nabucco agreement will be signed in July the latest

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.09) reports the folloiwng from Istanbul:

    Turkey's energy minister has said that the agreement on Nabucco project would be signed in July the latest. Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz replied to questions at a ceremony held in Istanbul on the occasion of Turkish Akenerji's partnership with Czech power utility CEZ on Tuesday.

    Commenting on the progress with the Nabucco Project, Yildiz said: The important point for Turkey is the signing of an agreement that meets its needs and comply with its growth rate. It does not matter if we achieve such a goal through Nabucco or via talks and agreements with other countries. The agreement on Nabucco project will be signed in July the latest.

    Tourism and culture connected countries to each other in the past, Yildiz said, energy pipelines have undertaken such a role in our present day. Yildiz said that Turkey currently had a remarkable cooperation with Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Russia, Iraq, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan within this framework.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] AFRIKA writes that the authority in the occupied areas belongs unconditionally to Ankara

    On its daily Afrikadan mektup (Letter from Afrika) column, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.06.09) writes, inter alia, that the party which holds power in the occupied areas may change, but the power, as such, does not change because it comes from Ankara. The paper goes on and writes the following: The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) left and the National Unity Party (UBP) came. What have changed in your lives? Nothing has changed. In the past, UBP left and CTP came. Nothing had changed then as well. If there were elections tomorrow, another party would come to power. What would have changed? Nothing would have changed. Why?

    The reason is the following: The governments change but the power does not change. Because the authority unconditionally belongs to Ankara. All the basic policies are decided by Ankara. The packages come from Ankara. The duties of the TRNC governments are to implement these packages. The governments in Turkey change. The packages change together with the governments. However, the black fate of the Turkish Cypriots does not change. The davul (drum) is on the neck of every Cypriot, the drumstick in the hand of Ankara. They play and we dance.

    (CS)

    [12] Daily Taraf report on measures against religious reaction

    Istanbul Taraf newspaper (16.06.09) publishes the following report by Mehmet Baransu under the title: Gendarmerie surveilled civil servants wearing wigs:

    A report on "Measures to be taken against the threat of religious reaction," dated 2003 and provided to Taraf by a retired full general, resembles the "Action Plan to Combat Religious Reaction" dated April 2009. The plan, prepared in the Gendarmerie during the command of [retired General Sener] Eruygur, includes operations against religious healers using hidden cameras, surveillance of civil servants who wear wigs, and raids on nursery schools.

    The report, provided to Taraf by a commander who had retired when he might have become General Staff Chief in the future, and who said he had twice warned General Ilker Basbug about the team who drew up the action plan against the AKP [Justice and Development Party] and [Islamic sect leader Fethullah] Gulen, contains eight scenarios, each more interesting than the other. The report was prepared in 2003 by the Gendarmerie General Command and was also presented to the Office of the Chief of the General Staff.

    In places where raids are to be conducted in order for the scenarios, given the code name "yansi" [Turkish for "reflex" or "reflection"], are to be implemented, 32 different types of documents and evidence, including computer compact disks, floppy disks, residential diagrams, and other evidence, as well as site photographs taken by security forces, and audio and video recordings, are to be included in case files. Nursery schools are also included among the locations to be raided. It is also ordered that, in the raids, approaches be avoided that could be perceived as hostility to religion.

    Subtitle: Sensitivity being lost

    In the report, which provides an assessment of the situation, it is claimed that 'religious-reactionary elements have not abandoned their goals of bringing down the existing constitutional order and establishing in its place an Islamic state based on the provisions of religious law'.

    The report, which states that there is discomfort due to the light penalties provided for in cases of religious reaction, claims that this has a negative impact on TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] personnel, and causes a loss of sensitivity in going after religious-reactionary activities.

    Explaining that insufficient investigations make it easier for suspects and defendants to be acquitted, the report suggests the following in order for this to be prevented: 'It is of vital importance, during every phase of the operation and investigation, that all the evidence be attained, and that these things be documented with photographs and video recordings'.

    Subtitle: Also monitor nursery schools

    The report calls for 'religious-reactionary elements' to be made to feel that they are continually being monitored, and states the following: 'Student dormitories, private schools, associations, foundations, educational courses, nursery schools, and day-care centres that are determined to have stances and activities that contravene the characteristics of the principles of the Republic must definitely be monitored... '

    Asserting that female civil servants, because of the dress code directive, do not wear headscarves, but do wear wigs in order to cover their hair, the report states: 'For this reason, intelligence documents published previously by the General Command of the Gendarmerie will be studied very thoroughly not only by intelligence personnel, but also by personnel combating crime and criminality'.

    Following these explanations, six scenarios against religious reaction are listed, and the things required in order to put these into implementation are related. Here are some examples of those scenarios:

    Subtitle: Who collects sacrificial animals' hides?

    Situation: In the village of (...) in the area of responsibility of the (...) Gendarmerie post, subordinate to the (...) district Gendarmerie Command, it has been reported that, on the Sacrifice Holiday, a group of five or six people are going from house to house gathering the hides of sacrificial animals, as well as Ramadan alms [Turkish fitre] and charity for the poor [zekat], without permission and without giving receipts, and that they are representing themselves as officials of the Turkish Aviation Association [the organization officially designated to collect such charity].

    Accordingly:

    - It should be determined whether or not the hides, fitre, and zekat are being collected with receipts, and whether or not those collecting them have authorization documents provided to them by the Turkish Aviation Association.

    - The type, quantity, and value of hides, fitre, and zekat collected improperly should be determined and documented, and then they should be confiscated.

    - The individuals complicit in the crime should be identified, and after their testimony is taken, they should be brought bodily before the Office of the State Prosecutor, along with the evidence and, if available, testimony by witnesses and victims.

    Subtitle: Hidden camera operation against healer

    Situation: Information has been obtained from various intelligence sources that, in the village of A, in the area of responsibility of the (...) Gendarmerie post, subordinate to the (...) district Gendarmerie command, an individual known as a healer and caster of spells is writing spells and amulets.

    Within this scope, it has been learned that:

    - This individual is casting spells or writing amulets, in exchange for monetary reward, for childless women, and

    - The number of people taking recourse to this individual is increasing on a daily basis.

    - In the investigation to be conducted regarding the affair, the house of the individual should be placed under observation, and the visitors watched; the visits to the house of the individual in question by women should be established; search permission and authorization should be obtained, with the object of benefiting by technical intelligence equipment; materials used in casting spells and writing amulets should be ascertained in a search of the individual's house;

    - If it should not be possible for the operation to be conducted with equal-value evidence, a female employee could be assigned, who would film with a concealed camera, a few days before the operation.

    - By questions put to the customers who make statements, the issues of for what purpose the individual wrote amulets, how he wrote them, and the methods used in casting spells should be set forth in detail, and the compensation that the individual acquired in exchange for these procedures should be ascertained in detail.

    Subtitle: Children receiving religious instruction

    This scenario was written by the Gendarmerie against 'those who do not send their primary-school age children to school, but arrange for them to receive religious instruction in violation of the laws and regulations':

    Situation: It has been determined that, in villages A and B, in the area of responsibility of the (...) Gendarmerie post, subordinate to the (...) district Gendarmerie Command, a group of citizens are not sending their male and female children of primary-school age to school, and that they are arranging for them to receive religious instruction from unauthorized teachers in a study facility opened in contravention of the laws and regulations.

    Consequently, during the investigation:

    - A court decision should be obtained in order for a search and video recordings to be able to be made in the unofficial school in question,

    - The ages of the children receiving religious instruction in the unofficial school should be ascertained,

    - It should be documented officially that the unofficial school has been opened without authorization, and that the teachers are comprised of unqualified personnel,

    - Evidence that Koranic instruction is being conducted in the unofficial school (Koranic [Arabic] alphabet materials, skullcaps, carpets, etc.) should be collected, and

    - In the operation to be carried out, the time when the children are given religious-reactionary instruction should be determined, and care should be taken that the perpetrator be caught in the act.

    Subtitle: "Let us surveille sheikh A"

    This scenario covers those who 'attract followers, use the title 'shaykh,' collect for charity without authorization, open unauthorized Koran courses, and provide religious-reactionary instruction to young children." Here is the scenario, which puts the movies to shame:

    Situation: Various bits of intelligence information have been obtained regarding the activities of individual A, who resides in the area of responsibility of the (...) district Gendarmerie command post, subordinate to the (...) province Gendarmerie command. Within the scope of this, it has been ascertained that:

    A- Individuals coming from various provinces come to visit A in his luxurious villa, and those who come to visit him address A as "shaykh,"

    B- There is a house in the (...) neighbourhood used by male visitors, this is referred to by the members of the order as the "men's dervish lodge" [Turkish dergah ], religious instruction is given at various times to male visitors here, chanting sessions are held, and money is collected from wealthy visitors under the name of "alms," "dues," and "head tax,"

    C. A holds discussions with those who come to visit him in which he says that:

    1- Secularism is a religion and a regime that is hostile to God, hostile to the Koran, and hostile to Islam, and that Muslims must wage jihad against this regime,

    2- The state's current administrative form must be overturned and a shari'ah regime introduced in its place, and

    3- They should send their children to Koran courses rather than to primary schools.

    D- There is a house in the (...) neighbourhood known to be used by female visitors, this house is referred to as the "women's lodge" because the wives of members of the order frequent it, and religious instruction is given at various times to female visitors,

    E- The top floor of the same house is used as a boarding-house where children stay,

    F- Religious instruction is provided to children between 6 and 14 years of age in the third floor of another apartment building belonging to the same organization at (...) address, and the teachers who provide this instruction do not have licenses...

    - Prior to intervening in the matter, the residence of individual A should be placed under surveillance and those who come and go should be documented in photographs and video footage; the visitors should be surveilled and identified without these individuals' becoming aware of it.

    - It should be determined to whom the deeds of the houses used as lodges are registered. In order to determine the times of the chanting sessions, the days and times at which the number of visitors to the lodge houses increase should be monitored.

    - In searches made of the houses, effort should be exerted to obtain video and audio recordings pertaining to the order, magazines, books, documents, and various documents such as compact disks, documents such as invoices and receipts to followers and companies providing material support, and similar information.

    - In order to document the fact that the followers refer to individual A as "shaykh," this situation should be set forth in the minutes of testimony. Musical instruments such as tambourines used in chanting ceremonies should be noted in the minutes.

    - With regard to proving that children are given instruction in the Koran, photographic information regarding books in the house with religious content, as well as materials such as write-and-erase documents with the Koranic alphabet, prayer beads, skullcaps, bookstands, as well as items of clothing, should be obtained, and these items should be entered in detail into the minutes recorded.

    Subtitle: Imaginary statements by village imam

    Situation: In village A, located in the area of responsibility of the (...) district Gendarmerie command, while a Gendarmerie patrol is conducting its preventive protection functions on a Friday, it is determined that the village imam, through the mosque loudspeaker, makes an announcement several times in succession in the form of 'Attention, attention, residents: The call recited prior to this Friday prayer is not a valid call. The Koran courses are being closed down. Condolences to the Muslim world; our religion is being taken away from us. What sort of Muslims are you? Who is going to bear this corpse? '

    - In an initial investigation launched immediately on the scene by the patrol commander, it is determined that the village imam has stated previously, in public, his views that he does not approve of the implementation of eight years of continual education, that this is a policy aimed at closing the Koran courses, that if the people of the village do not send their children to Koran courses, they cannot be Muslims, and that the civil law code is a law of infidels.

    Subtitle: Written during his time

    During 2003, when the report on "Measures to be taken against the threat of religious reaction" was written, the General Commander of the Gendarmerie was Ergenekon case suspect Sener Eruygur. Eruygur, in the trial that will begin on 22 July within the scope of the second Ergenekon indictment, will come before the court on the charge of attempting a coup against the government. Eruygur had recently been released from prison due to health problems.

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 16 June 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 16 June 2009:

    On the Taraf report regarding military action plan:

    Commenting on the disclosure the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged military plan against the AKP [Justice and Development Party] and the Fethullah Gulen group, Istanbul Milliyet's Fikret Bila argues that the document, which was reported by daily Taraf, was not drawn up by the military forces and that the military investigation shows that the General Staff maintains a confident approach on the matter. In a column entitled General Basbug's statement and approach," Bila expresses the view that the chief of the chief of the General Staff will take all the necessary measures if the involvement of military personnel in the alleged activity against the AKP and the Gulen group is confirmed and notes: Of course, the civilian officials are also expected to adopt a careful approach. The military prosecutor's statement confirms General Basbug's approach in the past.

    Writing in Milliyet, Taha Akyol describes the alleged military plan as a serious development, which, he says, is another example of the developments which weakened confidence in the state in the past, such as those related to coups, military interventions, and memorandums. In a column, he urges the military forces and the judicial organs to carefully investigate the alleged plan, in a way that would prevent similar activities in the future. Akyol says: Starting from the military academy, the cadets must be lectured on how harmful involvement in politics might be for the military forces and the country.

    Melih Asik expresses the conviction that everyone in Turkey expects the chief prosecutor's office to quickly investigate the alleged plan and argues that the statement Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made during his party congress on Sunday showed his party was sceptical on the disclosure the prosecutor's office made on the plan. In a column in Milliyet, entitled "Controversy on document," he notes: That a strong inclination exists in some of the media organs to accuse and tarnish the military forces is common knowledge. They do not intend to wait for the outcome of the investigation... Daily Taraf has maintained a hostile approach toward the military forces ever since it was established. However, it is common knowledge that leaking information on such a development is a criminal action. Asik claims that illegal activities in judicial procedures have confused the people in the country and notes: No one knows what to believe anymore. That is a serious situation.

    Ertugrul Ozkok informs his readers on the views General Basbug expressed on the alleged military plan when he called him to clarify the situation. In a column in Istanbul Hurriyet, he quotes Basbug defending the disclosure the military prosecutor's office made by saying: It was made by the military prosecutor's office, not the General Staff. It was based on the information the prosecutor had at that time. The prosecutor's office has to have all the information that can be compiled on the matter to be able to confirm or deny the existence of an alleged plan. That is why the disclosure was carefully worded. Ozkok says that Basbug stressed that the General Staff will take the necessary measures if the alleged plan is confirmed and notes: The General Staff and the military prosecutor's office must quickly investigate the matter and make a statement to clearly inform the people. The public must be informed whether a military or a civilian coup was planned.

    Writing in Istanbul Vatan, Gungor Mengi criticizes the failure of the government to quickly send a copy of the alleged military plan to the military prosecutor's office to facilitate its investigation. In a column entitled "Let us wait for the reality to come to light," he agrees that the disclosure the military prosecutor's office made on the plan was carefully worded and argues that the AKP describing it as a statement that added to scepticism is unfair. Mengi concludes: Are we unable to see that an effort has been made for a long time now to use an inauspicious plan to weaken the Turkish Armed Forces, which guarantee the secular regime in the country?

    Commenting on the developments that have taken place since daily Taraf published an alleged military plan against the AKP and the Gulen group on 12 June, Murat Yetkin argues that the confirmation of the authenticity of the plan will be a very serious development. He notes in a column in Istanbul Radikal entitled "Who will suffer because of this document?" that the people's confidence in the military forces and many other establishments will weaken if the investigation confirms the plan. However, he asks whether an investigation will be launched to establish whether an initiative has been made to disrupt the relations between Prime Minister Erdogan or between the government and the military forces if the alleged plan is found to be a fabrication? Yetkin says: The government and the military forces have been cooperating for many years now. There might be those who are not satisfied with that. General Basbug's weekly meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan will be very interesting. Someone will suffer because of the document Taraf has published.

    Hikmet Cetinkaya in Istanbul Cumhuriyet views the alleged military plan against the AKP and the Gulen group as a new design and argues that the true state of affairs must be quickly brought to light. In a column, entitled "Is the plan against reaction true or false?" he urges the officials to investigate the claims and take legal action against the responsible elements and notes: "Is the plan true or false? The military forces will carry out a criminal investigation. Legal action will be taken against the suspects if the authenticity of the plan is confirmed. If the plan is false, then the military forces will pursue the matter until the culprits are identified and their objectives are brought to light.

    In an article entitled "Basbug could be removed from office", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu asserts that the General Staff statement regarding the military action plan disclosed by the Taraf daily has a predominantly "defensive" quality despite its "accusing tone." He goes on to underline the "importance" of the fact that the General Staff was compelled by "force of circumstance" rather than exercising "volition" in issuing this statement. He also calls on the Government to remove Basbug from office "if necessary" in the name of protecting the political realm from military encroachments.

    In an article entitled "The general staff and the law", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven uses a rather ironic tone in stressing the significance of the following remark in yesterday's General Staff statement announcing that "the TSK guarantees that it will have those responsible for the document [disclosed by Taraf] punished as the law requires if the document is proven to be authentic." Arseven asserts that regardless of whether the document in question is true or false, "things have come to the point" where the General Staff has had to categorize activities intended to undermine the AKP and the Gulen movement as punishable offenses. He goes on to argue that the onus is on the General Staff under the circumstances to revise its practice of denying accreditation to the Zaman daily, which is "published by the Fethullah Gulen community."

    In an article entitled "The TSK should not place itself in the position of the boy who cried wolf", Vakit columnist Hasan Karakaya argues that the General Staff statement regarding the alleged military action plan against the AKP and the Gulen community has deepened rather than dispelling suspicions about the General Staff's involvement in the said plan. He asserts that the General Staff has refrained from questioning the colonel who is said to have signed the said plan because it is aware that the colonel in question prepared a similar plan in March 2006.

    In an article entitled "The new situation and the TSK", Bugun columnist Ahmet Tasgetiren asserts that the news media in Turkey are playing an "amazing" role in forcing the TSK to adopt a "legitimate" stance vis--vis the military action plan disclosed by Taraf by demanding "transparency" in connection with the said plan. He asserts that the TSK should start considering the importance of the following topics: "Public relations in the news media age," "the armed forces in the news media age," "politics in the news media age," "transparency in the news media age," "military interventions in the news media age," and "democracy in the news media age."

    Finally, an interesting version in an article entitled "Artificial agendas and realities", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal argues that the "sterile" debate on the alleged military document revealed by Taraf has served to divert Turkey's attention away from the questions sparked by the results of the presidential elections in Iran and developments related to oil exploration in Cyprus.

    ES/


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