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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-06-18

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. 112/09 18.06.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Foreing Ministry spokesman stated that Turkeys permission is needed for oil exploration in certain areas in the Eastern Mediterranean
  • [02] Turkish daily claims that Turkey through the Martyred Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli-2009 Search and Rescue Exercise has de facto fixed the FIR and the draft of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean
  • [03] Turkey stages search and rescue drills off Cyprus amid oil dispute
  • [04] Statements by Eroglu on board a Turkish military vessel
  • [05] Talat: Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari could have a role in reaching a solution in Cyprus. Statements during a joint press conference with the Finnish Foreign Minister
  • [06] The Martyr Families and Disabled War Veterans Society are offended from the pictures of Greek Cypriots missing persons
  • [07] Mini referendum at Limnitis
  • [08] Turkish exporters establish the Foreign Trade Consultancy Centre
  • [09] Turkeys FM concludes his contacts in Germany and proceeds to the USA
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] US journalist Stephen Kinzer foresees Turkeys future influence to resemble that of a certain empire a few hundred years ago
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 June 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Foreing Ministry spokesman stated that Turkeys permission is needed for oil exploration in certain areas in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    A Turkish diplomat said on Wednesday that Turkey had legitimate rights in certain areas in the East Mediterranean.

    Burak Ozugergin, the spokesperson of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Turkey had legitimate rights and interests in certain areas in the East Mediterranean. Therefore, it is natural for Turkey to take necessary measures against any activities that are held in these areas without its permission, Ozugergin told reporters.

    Ozugergin's remarks came after a letter made public by the representative of the Greek Cypriot administration to the United Nations (UN), which claimed that Turkey was violating the air space and maritime authority zone of Cyprus.

    As it is known, our country has legitimate rights and interests in the areas that are located in the west of the 32°16'18" east longitude in the East Mediterranean, and this fundamental right and interest were recorded in UN documents, Ozugergin said. Ozugergin said that Turkey would naturally take necessary measures to preserve its legitimate interests. The spokesman reiterated his call to all concerned parties to act with common sense and refrain from acts that might cause tension in days when the two communities in the island were carrying out negotiations aiming at a comprehensive settlement.

    [02] Turkish daily claims that Turkey through the Martyred Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli-2009 Search and Rescue Exercise has de facto fixed the FIR and the draft of the Exclusive Economic Zone in the Mediterranean

    Under the subtitle De facto control, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (18.06.09) reports the following:

    Yesterdays exercise was seen as a reply to the allegations that a British search and rescue unit based on the military basis in Akrotiri in Cyprus was transferred to the Greek Cypriot section. When the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) brought together the Flight Information Region (FIR) with that of the search and rescue regions (IMO), the Greek Cypriots claimed that they have taken over the British search and rescue unit stationed on the island. On the other hand, Turkey and the TRNC have replied to the search and rescue authority in the region by securing the de facto control of the region. The developments have shown that the one, which demonstrated its effectiveness by holding exercises on the eastern part of Cyprus, have secured fixing of the responsibility of the search and rescue regions. Turkey by demonstrating its effectiveness in the eastern Mediterranean, has de facto fixed the FIR, as well as the draft of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

    [03] Turkey stages search and rescue drills off Cyprus amid oil dispute

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (17.06.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish and Turkish Cypriot warships staged search and rescue drills off the island of Cyprus on Wednesday amid tensions over disputed exploration of oil and gas in waters in the region. The frigate Gemlik and other vessels took part in the manoeuvres off the northern town of Famagusta, which included extinguishing a fire on a ship, rescuing the crew of a seaplane in distress and plucking illegal migrants from a sinking rubber boat.

    Turkish Cypriot military officials denied the manoeuvres were a show of force, but it comes amid a rekindled dispute with Greek Cypriots over who is entitled to the islands potential offshore oil and gas wealth.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1964 when Turkish Cypriots were forced to withdraw into enclaves. In addition to the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command (KTBK) made up of 4,500 Turkish Cypriots, there are around 35,000 Turkish troops stationed on the island. According to the 1960 agreements on Cyprus, Turkey, Greece and Britain were given the guarantor power status on the island.

    Turkey strongly objects to a Greek Cypriot search for mineral deposits inside the island's exclusive economic zone; an area covering 51,000 square kilometres (17,000 sq. miles) of seabed off the island's southern coast. Turkey has warned Greek Cypriots against pursuing "adventurist policies" and says Turkish Cypriots should also have a say in how the island's oil-and-gas rights are used.

    Greek Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou was quoted by AP as saying Tuesday the search for fossil fuels inside the island's zone remains its sovereign right and that it would protest the military drills at the UN and the EU. Stefanou added that both communities could share in the possible bounty if ongoing reunification talks prove successful.

    Re-launched in September 2008 after a four-year hiatus, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Demetris Christofias, have been involved in U.N.-sponsored unification talks aimed at reaching an agreement to end the island's decades-long division. But little progress has been made so far. The talks mark the first major push for peace since the failure of a UN reunification plan in 2004, which was approved by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by Greek Cypriots.

    This is an additional motivating factor ... to continue negotiations so that we can reach a just, viable and functional settlement, to reunify our homeland, Mr. Stefanou said.

    The spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Burak Ozugergin, said his country had legitimate rights and interests in certain areas in the East Mediterranean. Therefore, it is natural for Turkey to take the necessary measures against any activities that are held in these areas without its permission, Ozugergin was quoted by the Anatolian Agency as telling reporters. He also reiterated his call to all concerned parties to employ common sense and refrain from acts that might cause tension in days when the two communities in the island were carrying out negotiations aiming at a comprehensive settlement.

    [04] Statements by Eroglu on board a Turkish military vessel

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Martyred Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue Exercise delivers a strong message to the Greek Cypriot side that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has the right of say over Cyprus waters, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has stressed.

    While watching todays segment of the exercise on the military ship, Prime Minister Eroglu said the exercise carries very important messages. One other significant message the Exercise delivers is that the existence of the Turkish Cypriot 'people' is secured by the Turkish Armed Forces, he said.

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu stated that the Turkish Cypriot 'people' is in total security with the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The whole world needs to accept the fact that there are two separate states and peoples in Cyprus, and this fact must be the ground for a possible political agreement, Eroglu stated. Adding that Turkish Cypriots are equal arbiters with Greek Cypriots on this island, Prime Minister Eroglu finalized his words by making emphasis on Turkeys guarantorship in Cyprus.

    Following the completion of the second segment of the exercise today, a press briefing was also held by Vice-Admiral Erdal Bucak, who is involved in the management of the Exercise. The Vice-Admiral said the cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC has been strengthened further with the conduction of this exercise. We have once again declared to the international community that Turkey and the TRNC can jointly carry out successful search and rescue activities within their areas of responsibility, he added.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (17.06.09) broadcast the following:

    The Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli Search and Rescue exercise is continuing. Today, the exercises were carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. The exercises, which started yesterday, are being carried out in the international waters in the Eastern Mediterranean sea and in TRNCs territorial waters with the participation of civil and military personnel from Turkish and Turkish Cypriot research and rescue organizations.

    Todays segment of the exercise is taking place in Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta]. Military officials from Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, Albania, Syria, Oman and Qatar are watching the exercises as observers.

    Before the start of yesterdays segment, the Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces Major General Abdullah Recep told a press conference at the Bogaz Headquarters that the aim of the exercises is to test the ability and opportunities of the TRNCs search and rescue units in launching search and rescue operations.

    He stated that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has the authority to carry out search and rescue operations over its airspace and territorial waters and that Turkey has the authority to carry out such operations in international airspace and waters in the north of the island. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is ready to carry out search and rescue operations under all circumstances, day and night, in its territory and international waters in cooperation with Motherland Turkey, he said.

    [05] Talat: Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari could have a role in reaching a solution in Cyprus. Statements during a joint press conference with the Finnish Foreign Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.09) reported the following from Helsinki and occupied Lefkosia:

    The Turkish Cypriot president met the Finnish foreign minister on Wednesday. President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) had a meeting with Finland's Foreign Minister Alexander Stubb in Helsinki. Talat is actually visiting the Finnish capital upon an invitation by Stubb.

    Turkish Cypriots are having difficulties in conveying their views to the EU and therefore, such occasions are important for us, Talat told reporters after the meeting. Talat said that he shared similar views with Stubb about finding a comprehensive settlement and making a united Cyprus a full member of the European Union (EU) in the possible shortest time. This is our final target, and I hope we will reach a final result in the ongoing (Cyprus) negotiations, he said.

    Talat said Finland was one of the leading countries that backed Turkey's EU membership bid, and in that context, Finland was also supporting the settlement of Cyprus problem. The Turkish Cypriot president said Finland had two roles and underlined importance of a Finland, which wanted settlement of Cyprus problem and backed Turkey's EU membership.

    Also, Finland may be helpful in settlement of Cyprus problem, thanks to its objectivity in international matters, Talat said. Talat said that Finland was one of the countries within the EU that were taking initiative to solve Cyprus problem and underlined importance of informing such a country well and accurately.

    The Turkish Cypriot president also said that former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari could have a role in reaching a solution in Cyprus, as he was a leader who had undertaken significant mission in the past.

    Also speaking to reporters after the meeting, Stubb said that Finland extended strong support to ongoing Cyprus negotiations, and settlement of Cyprus problem till the end of 2009. Stubb said that his country was one of the strongest supporters of a united Cyprus, and wanted a united Cyprus to be a member of the EU. The Finnish foreign minister said his country wanted a settlement within this year, and backed a referendum before the presidential elections in TRNC.

    [06] The Martyr Families and Disabled War Veterans Society are offended from the pictures of Greek Cypriots missing persons

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    A delegation from the Martyr Families and Disabled War Veterans Society paid a visit to the Director of Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation, Ozer Kanli, today.

    Speaking during the visit the President of the society, Ertan Ersan, said that Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation (BRTK) was the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people. Mr Ertan Ersan said that the society closely followed the BRTs entire broadcast and added that it was the voice of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Noting that since the opening of the Lokmaci [Ledra Street] border crossing, the Greek Cypriot side has been displaying pictures of its missing persons, Mr Ersan said these pictures are offending the Turkish Cypriot people, motherland Turkey and the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus. I have met with the President of the South Cyprus Missing Persons committee and have asked for the immediate removal of these pictures, if they dont remove them then we will put pictures of the massacres the Greek Cypriots committed against the Turkish Cypriots, said Mr Ersan.

    Referring to Martyrs gravesites in South Cyprus, Mr Ersan noted that the conditions of the site were heartbreaking and added that we will never allow these gravesites to be demolished.

    Mr Ozer Kanli, for his part, thanked the society for its visit and said that it was the BRTs duty to allow the society to have its voice heard through the BRT radio and television channels. Kanli said it was well known what the Bayrak Radio and Television Corporation stood for, how it was established and what it meant to the Turkish Cypriot people.

    No one wants to see any more martyrs or disabled war veterans and the only way this can be secured is for the continuation of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus, and the continuation of Turkeys active and effective guarantees in Cyprus, said the BRT director. He concluded by saying that the BRT will continue to stand by the Turkish Cypriot people during its struggle for existence.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (17.06.09), under the title We will hang the pictures that show the barbarism of the Greek Cypriots, reports that the so-called minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun, met the day before with a committee from the association of Families of Martyrs and War Veterans headed by the chairman of the association Ertan Ersan. Mr Ozgurgun, during the meeting, said: As Turkish Cypriot people, we have been in an intense struggle in order to maintain our existence on this island for years now. Your association is known as the indicator of this intense struggle. Mr Ozgurgun was informed by the committee for problems facing its members.

    Alleging that the condition of the cemeteries in the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus is heartbreaking, Mr Ersan said that many families live in sadness because of the ruined graves. He also added that they want to inform those who want to repair the ruined graves or to bring to the occupied areas the graves of their relatives. However, they stated that they will never stand against any state policy. Noting that the hanging of the pictures of around 400 Greek Cypriot missing people at the Ledras Street crossing point from the free areas humiliates the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Ersan said: They have some humiliating pictures of us, of the Turkish Cypriot soldiers and of the soldiers from Turkey. We do not accept this. Either they will remove the pictures or we will also hang pictures of the genocide that was committed against us on panels in front of the Ledra Street crossing point.

    (DPs)

    [07] Mini referendum at Limnitis

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.06.09) reports that the self-styled muhtar of Limnitis, Goksal Kabaran, launched an initiative in order to take the views of the persons who live in the village on the opening of the Limnitis crossing point.

    The paper writes that Goksal Kabaran started a signature signing campaign for the opening of the crossing point and added that all the 200 voters of the village sign in favour of the opening of the Limnitis crossing point. As the paper writes, this development will affect positively the village.

    (CS)

    [08] Turkish exporters establish the Foreign Trade Consultancy Centre

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.06.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish Exporters Assembly (TIM) has founded a counselling division, the Foreign Trade Consultancy Centre, to operate under its roof with the aim of providing information for exporters and guiding them in the conduct of foreign trade, especially on legal matters pertaining to business in various countries.

    TIM Chairman Mehmet Buyukeksi said the new centre will offer an extra hand to Turkish exporters in their trade, which he defined as carrying special importance, while the Turkish companies are striving to escape from a serious economic crisis.

    Both our assembly and all of its individual members share a great responsibility to pull our country and companies out stronger from this global mess. The centre is only a humble step in fulfilling a small part of this big duty. We, as TIM, are decisive in achieving our targets, he noted in his speech during a press conference yesterday in Istanbul to announce the creation of the centre.

    One of the first problems the centre will deal with is the outstanding receivables of the Turkish companies. Many Turkish companies are almost crippled nowadays for failing to collect amounts owing from importers in various countries for goods sold. Since these countries have different legal systems and legal counsellors demand high fees for consultancy, exporters were virtually helpless to seek remedies; many of them had even given up, Buyukeksi noted, adding that the centre will extend a hand to such troubled companies and with low fees.

    The centre will be open to the application of any company engaged in foreign trade. The centre will cooperate with the Aral and Aksan law offices, both of which have considerable experience in international law and foreign trade disputes.

    [09] Turkeys FM concludes his contacts in Germany and proceeds to the USA

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.06.09) reported the following from Berlin:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who had arrived in Berlin upon an invitation by the German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has completed his talks on Wednesday and is on his way to the United States.

    Prior to his departure from Germany, Davutoglu met Turkish journalists at the Turkish Embassy in Berlin. Stating that this was his first official trip to Germany, Davutoglu said his visit to Germany was important from various angles. We discussed with Steinmeier on Tuesday issues such as bilateral relations, Turkey-EU relations, regional and international developments, Davutoglu said.

    Relations between Turkey and Germany are different from relations between any other two countries. There are not only inter-governmental and inter-institutional relations between Turkey and Germany, but also serious inter-societal relations as well, Davutoglu pointed out. There are close to three million Turkish citizens living in Germany. The status of Turks in Germany is an important foreign policy issue for Turkey, Davutoglu said.

    We held extensive talks with Steinmeier on the Turks' adaptation to the German society and preservation of their relations with Turkey. Within this framework, we discussed the recent developments on the visa issue, eradicating problems that Turks face in the educational field and work conditions, Davutoglu noted. We discussed Germany's support (of Turkey) in the fight against terror. We went over the importance of the cooperation between Turkey and Germany against terrorism, Davutoglu said.

    Stressing that Turkey's attitude on the EU is clear and definite, Davutoglu said that Turkey's ultimate goal is full membership. Aside from this, recent viewpoints and debates do not carry any meaning for Turkey. Our determination on full membership will continue, Davutoglu said. Steinmeier and I evaluated regional and international developments. Turkey and Germany have a serious alliance that has been institutionalized within the frame of NATO, Davutoglu said.

    Foreign Minister Davutoglu also met with 13 Turkish consul generals serving in Germany as part of his program in Berlin. Davutoglu left Berlin on Wednesday and is on his way to the U.S. where he will chair a meeting of the UN Security Council on Iraq on Thursday. Turkey currently holds the Term Presidency of the UN Security Council.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] US journalist Stephen Kinzer foresees Turkeys future influence to resemble that of a certain empire a few hundred years ago

    Under the title Turkey set to play key role with US, says Turkey expert, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.06.09) publishes the following analysis:

    Get ready for a role reversal in the relations that the EU and the US have been enjoying with Turkey for the past decade or so, says Stephen Kinzer, a renowned American journalist.

    Turkey's new identity fits with Obama's view of the world, Kinzer told an audience of businessmen and journalists at a luncheon in Istanbul Tuesday hosted by the Turkish-American Business Association (TABA). Turkey's democratic culture, its geo-strategic position as well as its realigned foreign policy, which has drawn it into dialogue with parties as diverse as the Israelis, the Iranians and even, Kinzer argued, the Taliban, has resulted in the US doing all it can to woo the country of 70-plus million people, whose cultural values some perceive to be the most closely aligned with the US of countries in the region.

    The warming of relations between Turkey and the US and cooling of relations with the EU, Kinzer said, stands in stark contrast to the situation a decade earlier. In 1999, Turkey began accession negotiations with the EU, setting off a long-running love affair with the 15-nation bloc. A year later, George W. Bush came to power as the US president, beginning eight years of tense, and sometimes hostile, relations with the US. He likens Turkey's improving relations with the US to turning back to an old girlfriend.

    The days of the US bombing countries it doesn't like are over, Kinzer declared. And with the ascent of the Obama administration and the accompanying reorientation of US foreign policy, a renewed effort at dialogue and engaging countries that were at one time seen as hostile has been put at the centre of the administration's foreign policy. Turkey's engaging of just about all of its neighbours, no matter how problematic they may be, is an important strategic advantage for the US.

    He was not the first to point to Turkey's foreign policy of engaging even the most problematic of countries in the region, which has likely been made all the more steadfast by new Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, arguing that this has made Turkey a natural partner for the US in reaching out to the troubled Middle East and Central Asian region.

    Turkey has a lot going for it with respect to this elevated role with the US. In addition to its democratic political culture, Turkey, Kinzer feels, also enjoys just the right balance of demographics, soft power and military and political strength to make it a natural partner for the US, instead of a rival, in advancing US interests. Some countries are seen as rivals to the US --like China and Russia- and the US tries to block them. Turkey doesn't have this problem, which gives it the opportunity to expand its influence.

    The country's geographical position, Kinzer felt, was another factor that gave tremendous strategic advantage to the country, especially in terms of expanding its power. China doesn't have many places to expand, he noted in contrast. Turkey, on the other hand, has almost endless opportunities: the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia and even Europe. Kinzer foresees Turkey's future influence to resemble that of a certain empire a few hundred years ago, adding that when Turkey wants to expand influence, it is not seen as a threat.

    It is not just the country's external relations that stand to benefit from this improving relationship with the US. Internal relations also stand much to gain, Kinzer feels. In order to be a force of peace and stability in the region deserving of emulation, Turkey needs to be stable internally, and therefore the US will likely provide many carrots to help Turkey resolve its internal conflicts in the east and southeast of the country. Creating an economically viable northern Iraq also stands to benefit Turkey as well as the US and makes Turkey the most obvious partner. He pointed to the recent beginning of delivery of northern Iraqi oil to Ceyhan, on Turkey's Mediterranean coast as evidence of the growing clout that Turkey will have in helping what he described as the northern Iraq statelet improve. In addition to financial benefits that flow from this relationship, he said the partnership will serve for all sides to 'keep [their] friends close but [their] enemies closer.

    America is now looking for partners that share a community of values. All the stones are now aligned for Turkey to make up the US's strongest partner in the region: The US triangle of power in the Middle East will no longer be the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The latter, according to Kinzer, will be replaced by Turkey and Iran. Both countries, he says, although they suffer from democratic deficiencies, are a lot more similar to US democratic values than Saudi Arabia.

    What about the repeated polls that put Turks as being amongst the world's most anti-American? Responding to this question, Kinzer told Today's Zaman: I don't think Turks are anti-American. Believing that this was a shallow form of anti-Americanism, he recalled a parallel example from the past where Turks expressed a similar amount of anti-Americanism after the First Gulf War when George Bush Senior was president --this dissipated when President Clinton was elected and visited the country. Clinton's visit made people love the US.

    Kinzer served as the bureau chief for The New York Times in Istanbul for four years from 1996 to 2000 and has authored many critically acclaimed books on Turkey and its regions including Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds. He told Today's Zaman that he will publish a book on US-Middle Eastern relations, with a section on Turkey's role in the region soon.

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 June 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 17 June 2009:

    Taraf report on alleged military action plan:

    Yusuf Kanli reviews in a column in Hurriyet Daily News.com, the course of events following the Taraf report which revealed an alleged plan by the military to get rid of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the influential Islamist Fethullah Gulen movement. Pointing out that the public is divided on whether the document is genuine or fake, Kanli asserts: "Irrespective of which thesis is correct, it must be obvious to everyone that a very serious situation exists." He adds that it is in the best interest of the country to get to the bottom of this issue and take the necessary steps accordingly, urging the authorities not to wait long as it is a very delicate matter.

    "The attempt for a coup is obvious," writes Cuneyt Ulsever in an article in Hurriyet, and adds that what is presently unclear is whether the coup attempt is military or civilian. Ulsever points out that the three possibilities are that the General Staff gave instructions to draw up a plan; some circles within the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) but without the knowledge of the General Staff, drew up such a plan; or the document is false and some civilian circles, probably the police, drew up the plan aiming at weakening the TSK. The belief that there is a disagreement between the TSK and the police and between the TSK and the judiciary is gradually growing stronger in the public. "It seems that this document will cause a lot of headache to the TSK or the Security General Directorate," maintains Ulsever and adds that, when the said report will be revealed as either genuine or forged, either the chief of the General Staff or the Interior Ministry, which is in charge of the police, will be held accountable.

    Sabah's Umur Talu also pens an article on the alleged coup plan. Talu argues that both "the prime minister and the chief of the General Staff are possibly 'mistaken' and therefore are misleading the public." Holding executive office with administrative responsibilities, not Erdogan, nor Basbug can take the issue to court as if it were a mere libel suit, Talu says, adding: "The chief of the General Staff should seek an explanation within his units and among the individuals under his command and report to the prime minister. The prime minister should seek an explanation from the chief of the General Staff, who is under his authority, and provide an explanation to the Turkish Grand National Assembly and the public." Any plot, regardless of its source, is binding on both leaders, Talu concludes, urging the leaders to act in line with the republic, democracy, and state of law.

    Under the headline, "Erdogan, Basbug hold 80 minute tête-à-tête summit on document," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that yesterday's meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug, held to discuss the military "memorandum" disclosed by the Taraf daily, has defused the tension caused by the revelation of the "traitorous" document in question.

    In an article entitled "Turkey's military colour fades, Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu interprets some of Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks in his speech at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday as meaning that General Basbug convinced him "to a certain extent" during their meeting earlier yesterday that the document disclosed by Taraf was not prepared by the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, and that it is part of an attempt to set the (TSK) and the Government against one another. Bayramoglu goes on to cite previous examples of what he describes as irrefutable military memorandums and coup attempts indicating that there are elements in the TSK that do not share Basbug's ideas and that represent the TSK's real "institutional identity."

    Under the headline, "Government files complaint," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that the ruling AKP has filed a "manifesto-like" complaint with the office of the public prosecutor in Ankara against "the anti-reactionary plan intended to eject the AKP from power." Published along with the report is a cartoon showing a military officer tripping over the rope of a lasso that he is swinging over his head and that stands for "opposition to the national will." It implies that the [alleged] military plan against the AKP has miscarried.

    In an article entitled "Who pulled the wool over general Basbug's eyes?, Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya cites a group within the TSK that is "unaware of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the demise of the Soviet Union, and the death of Tito" as the architect of the military "action plan" revealed by Taraf. He claims that the plan might have been prepared against General Basbug's will or without his knowledge. He also lauds Prime Minister Erdogan for the "statesmanlike" attitude he displayed in his speech yesterday where he "neither turned a blind eye to the trap against his party nor engaged in a confrontation with the General Staff."

    In an article entitled "Why the Prime Minister did not change the text of his speech, Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts that General Basbug appears to have failed to convince Prime Minister Erdogan during their meeting yesterday that the military document disclosed by Taraf is false because otherwise Erdogan would have revised his "previously prepared" speech yesterday so as to tone down his initial reaction to Taraf's revelation. He also asserts that what Basbug told Erdogan did not stop the AKP from going to court over the action plan attributed to the TSK.

    In an article entitled "AKP at a crossroads, Zaman columnist Bejan Matur argues that "the General Staff's [action] plan" disclosed by Taraf has served to bring the AKP to a crossroads where it has to take sides in "the struggle between the ideological state and the democratic state." Matur also criticizes the "hesitant" tone of Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks announcing that they will go to court "if necessary" before she proceeds to argue that "the AKP's problem is the lack of courage it has displayed since it had a closure lawsuit filed against it [in March, 2008]. A political party that rethinks every step that it takes a thousand times in order to avoid a new closure lawsuit cannot manage the process [started by the revelation of the military action plan]."

    In an article entitled "Circus, Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar criticizes General Basbug and Prime Minister Erdogan for what he describes as their "totally unacceptable" reticence about what they discussed at their meeting yesterday. He also predicts that if the document disclosed by Taraf is proven false, "tougher political confrontation" at home can be expected.

    ES/


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