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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-06-26

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. 118/09 26.06.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat sees a serious possibility for a solution because the EU wishes for a solution
  • [02] Statements by Bagis at Europes Policy Centre. He expects simultaneous moves based on goodwill for Turkey to abide by its EU obligations
  • [03] Egemen Bagis: We came from Central Asia to Vienna but changed direction towards Brussels. Six million Turks already in Europe
  • [04] Swedish MPs held contacts in the occupied areas and were briefed on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] The so called Turkish Cypriot Football Federation to visit Kyrgyzstan. The exact time of the visit has not yet been determined
  • [06] EU commissioner for Human Rights to pay a visit to Turkey for talks
  • [07] A new party to be established in Turkey by September
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] From the Turkish Press of 25 June 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat sees a serious possibility for a solution because the EU wishes for a solution

    Under the title For the first time we are preparing a joint plan, Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (26.06.09) reports on statements made yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, on the course of the negotiation process for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem while addressing the residents of occupied Lefka. Talat visited occupied Lefka yesterday at the invitation of the Lefka Platform.

    Mehmet Ali Talat started his speech with reference to the meeting he held yesterday with the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso. Talat, who conveyed the message to Barroso that the sides should find a solution to the Cyprus problem without delay, time slips by quickly, urged: This is what we already are saying and we are doing our best for a solution.

    According to the paper, Mr. Talat said also that for the first time the proposals of the sides have come closer to each other and a joint document was prepared. For the first time, the sides are preparing a plan, a joint paper. In the past, the sides were presenting their views and the United Nations were preparing a draft proposal which it was setting on the table. Exactly as it happened in the Ghali Set of Ideas and in the Annan Plan, Mr. Talat noted.

    Talat further said that the Turkish Cypriot side is facing difficulties due to the isolation it experiences which is caused by the lack of a solution to the Cyprus problem and alleged that the Greek Cypriot side, which has all the opportunities, has lost its excitement for a solution. Alleging that responsible for this situation is the international community and the EU in particular, Mr. Talat added: In spite of their commitments, they act reluctantly on the issue of lifting the isolations.

    Expressing his belief that the Cyprus problem will be settled within a reasonable time, Mehmet Ali Talat said: If we had no faith we would not exert this effort. The EU which holds a significant place for our future and Turkeys future, wishes for a solution to the Cyprus problem. Because of this, there is a serious possibility.

    Referring to the issues discussed so far at the negotiations, Mr. Talat said that the sides have come closer to a great extent on several issues except the issue of governance, while a serious progress was achieved on the property issue as well.

    Finally, under the subtitle Foreign interventions affect the process negatively, the paper writes that Mr. Talat said that foreign interventions in the negotiations, and in particular the agreements the Republic of Cyprus has signed with Britain and Russia, have negatively influenced the process. Touching upon the European Court of Justices verdict on the Orams case, Mr. Talat said that this decision has set a bomb on the table of the negotiations.

    (ML)

    [02] Statements by Bagis at Europes Policy Centre. He expects simultaneous moves based on goodwill for Turkey to abide by its EU obligations

    Illegal Bayrak Television (25.06.09) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Minister of State Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis has responded to the Greek Cypriot Sides expectations by saying that Turkeys ports cannot be open to the Greek Cypriot vessels before the lifting of the isolations on the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Speaking in Brussels during a gathering at the Europes Policy Centre, Turkish Minister of State Chief Negotiator with the EU Egemen Bagis said the disagreement in Cyprus can not hinder Turkeys EU membership as it did not prevent the Greek Cypriot Sides membership to the block.

    On the lifting of the international isolations on the TRNC, Mr Bagis reminded that the Council of Europe has unanimously agreed to end the isolations in April 2004 but has failed to put its decision into practice. Turkey is expecting the EU to launch direct trade with the TRNC by putting its own decision into practice, he added.

    Noting that this kind of step by the EU will not mean to recognize the TRNC, Mr Bagis said a few countries recognize Taiwan despite it is having trade relations with many countries around the world.

    Stressing that Turkey will open its ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels when the EU fulfils its obligation and ends the isolations on the TRNC, the Turkish Minister said this also will not mean that Turkey is going to recognize the Greek Cypriot Side.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.06.09) reported the following from Brussels: Turkey's chief negotiator for European Union talks said Thursday the opening of the Halki Seminary was a domestic matter of human rights in the country.

    I think the opening of the seminary is an issue related to human rights. Greek Orthodox citizens of Turkey are equal with other citizens. They are tax payers and doing military service. If they need something, then we have to meet their needs, Egemen Bagis told meeting in the European Policy Center, a Brussels-based think-tank.

    Bagis also said the Greek government should also move to show a similar commitment in the Turkish minority issue in Greece.

    I believe the Greek government should act simultaneously to meet the needs of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace. Here, I am not referring to reciprocity, but rather to a simultaneous move based on mutual goodwill, Bagis said.

    [03] Egemen Bagis: We came from Central Asia to Vienna but changed direction towards Brussels. Six million Turks already in Europe

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.06.09) reported the following:

    Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said Thursday we came from Central Asia to Vienna but changed direction towards Brussels.

    Egemen Bagis delivered a speech at the Crans Montana Forum in Brussels.

    Asked about why some circles in the EU oppose Turkish membership, Bagis said that the first reason has to do with the economy. Certain EU members do not wish to see a nation of 70 million people whose population is young and dynamic in the EU. They oppose Turkey's membership as Turkey would have more members in the European Parliament and have more say on the EU budget. The second concern has to do with religion and culture. Humans, in general, are afraid of what they do not know. Unfortunately, the Westerners do not know the East as much as they should. The East's most western part, Turkey, happens to be the most eastern part of the West.

    Turkey has for centuries embraced individuals from different religious and cultural backgrounds. Those opposing Turkey's membership in the EU have unnecessary concerns, Bagis said.

    There are 20 million Muslims living in the EU, out of which 6 million are Turks. In the latest European Parliament elections, the German Green Party increased its votes and the co-chair of this party is a Turk. In the Netherlands, a Turkish woman was elected on a list of the Socialists. And, Bulgaria is represented by deputies, two of whom have Turkish origin, in the European Parliament. Accordingly, the Turks are already in the EU. We are not turning back. The Turks have turned their faces towards the West for over a thousand years. We came from Central Asia and travelled until Vienna. We have changed direction towards Brussels. We are coming and strong, Bagis stressed.

    Turkey's EU membership process is to the (positive) interest of the EU and Turkey. As such, we intend to continue with this process. There are certain circles against this process both in Turkey and the EU. Those opposing EU membership in Turkey want Turkey to be governed by thieves. And, those opposing Turkish membership in the EU do not want a young and dynamic Turkey in the union, Bagis also said.

    [04] Swedish MPs held contacts in the occupied areas and were briefed on the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak Television (25.06.09) broadcast the following:

    Swedish MPs had contacts in the TRNC today. Members of the Moderate Party were received by President Mehmet Ali Talat. The Swedish parliamentarians also met with representatives of political parties who have seats at the TRNC parliament.

    Sweden takes over the EU term presidency from the Czech Republic on the 1st of July. MPs from the Swedish Moderate Party the coalition partner of the Swedish government exchanged views on the latest developments on the Cyprus issue with TRNC officials.

    As part of its contacts, the delegation met with representatives of the National Unity Party, the Communal Democracy Party and the Democrat Party respectively.

    The group was then received by President Mehmet Ali Talat. The Swedish MPs also met with representatives of the Republican Turkish Party United Forces before ending their contacts in the republic. No statement was issued after the meetings.

    [05] The so called Turkish Cypriot Football Federation to visit Kyrgyzstan. The exact time of the visit has not yet been determined

    Under the title A visit will be paid to Kyrgyzstan, Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (26.06.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTFF) will visit Kyrgyzstan upon a written invitation addressed to it by Kyrgyzstans Football Association. The invitation was sent to KTFF in the framework of the good relations the two associations enjoy and with the aim of further deepening and improving their relations. According to the paper, it was made known that the exact time of the visit has not yet been determined.

    The paper further writes that the KTFF board, evaluated a cooperation request conveyed by the African Sport Academy. The so called KTFF has decided to send an invitation to the African Sport Academy for training camp and playing matches in occupied Cyprus and to discuss the whole issue with the Ministry of National Education and Sports.

    (ML)

    [06] EU commissioner for Human Rights to pay a visit to Turkey for talks

    Today s Zaman newspaper (26.06.09) reports the following:

    The Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, Thomas Hammarberg, will start a six-day visit to 0stanbul, 0zmir and Ankara on Sunday, his office announced Thursday.

    The aim of the visit is to gain first-hand information on the human rights situation of asylum-seekers and minorities and to discuss other major human rights issues with Turkish authorities, continuing and enhancing the constant dialogue with my office, Hammarberg was quoted as saying in a press release by his office.

    During the visit, Hammarberg intends to meet with high-level state authorities including President Abdullah Gul and Justice Minister Besir Atalay, as well as with members of the Turkish delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the chair of the parliament's human rights commission. In 0zmir, the Commissioner will meet with local authorities. Further meetings are scheduled with religious leaders, representatives of civil society, experts and international organizations. Visits to relevant institutions, including places of detention, will also be on the agenda.

    A report on the findings of the visit is expected to be published later in the year, the press release noted.

    According to an annual survey of the world's refugees published by the US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants earlier this month, Turkey is among the most unwelcoming places in the world for people seeking refugee outside of their homelands.

    In the survey, Turkey received an F in the subcategory of Detention/Access to Courts, which examines whether the government detains refugees or asylum seekers for reasons other than common crimes or lack of documents, whether detention was subject to independent monitoring and judicial review, whether refugees or asylum seekers were eligible to receive identity documents attesting to their right to be in the country and whether refugees had access to courts to enforce their rights.

    Receiving the grade of F in this subcategory means that more than 200 have been arbitrarily detained with no access to courts.

    [07] A new party to be established in Turkey by September

    Todays Zaman newspaper (26.06.09) reports the following:

    Istanbul deputy Ufuk Uras, who announced his resignation from the Freedom and Solidarity Party (ÖDP) last week, has said that he plans to form a party by September.

    Attending a reception at the French Embassy in Ankara, Uras, who was elected to Parliament as an independent in July 2007 and was the sole deputy of the ÖDP before his resignation, named the party he will found a democratic conscience movement. Stating that the party will embrace socialists, social democrats, Kurds and Alevis, he said they plan to establish the party by September. We will call opinion leaders from every circle to our party, leaders such as [author] Yasar Kemal and [widow of assassinated Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink] Rakel Dink. We plan to bring social opposition to the government by producing solutions together.

    Stating that the Turkish left does not propose solutions favoring democracy, equality, freedom, justice and labor, he said: We know the prescriptions of the right. But the left does not propose alternatives to them. The democratic conscience movement' will be a fresh new alternative for the Turkish left.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] From the Turkish Press of 25 June 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 25 June:

    Reaction to military prosecutors decision on the Taraf coup plan

    In Taraf, Ahmet Altan questions the credibility of the decision the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged military action plan against the AKP [Justice and Development Party] and Fethullah Gulen in Turkey. In a column, he describes the statement by the prosecutor's office as confusing, noting that the military prosecutors made an effort to make their decision imperceptible and incomprehensible. Altan argues that the way the plan stirred the country shows that the military forces should be subject to the laws in Turkey and claims: Problems cannot be solved if the military forces are not subject to the laws. Neither the Kurdish nor the headdress and the Cyprus problems can be solved. The country will suffer because of the chaotic situation. The document has opened the door to salvation. This time, the country must go through it.

    Commenting on the decision of the military prosecutor's office on the alleged military action plan, in Sabah, Emre Akoz argues that the plan could be a conspiracy against Chief of the General Staff Gen Ilker Basbug, the second since he took over the General Staff. He claims in a column that "A group in the military forces might want to harm General Basbug. They intend to either to break his will and force him to comply with their views or pull the chair out from under him." Akoz believes that Basbug has warded off the move against him for the time being. He notes, "Nevertheless, he has definitely not been able to convince us. But, that is another matter."

    Murat Yetkin in Radikal believes that the decision the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged plan ended the first stage of the controversy. He wonders in a column whether the civilian prosecutors will now be able to establish who was responsible for the document and why it was drawn up and notes: The second stage has begun. We will establish whether a result can be achieved. Will the judicial officials be able to quickly and relentlessly pursue the matter? That will be an important test. Yetkin notes that the General Director of Police Oguz Kaan Koksal and the Minister of Internal Affairs Besir Atalay are expected to make a statement on the latest developments.

    In a column in Vatan, Okay Gonensin argues that the decision the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged plan has not ended the controversy the document created in the country. He claims that the patching of the signature of an important colonel on the document indicates that those who drew up the plan are not far away from the General Staff and says that daily Taraf, which published the document, will probably maintain its investigation. Gonensin warns that the newspaper must carefully check sources and notes: However, it has fulfilled its duty by publishing the plan. It must be stressed that the culprits might blame the newspaper in an effort to save themselves. He argues that the matter should not be closed because of the decision the military prosecutor's office made and urges the officials to establish the identity of those who have drawn up the document. He warns that the uneasiness will significantly increase in the public opinion and the government will suffer if the responsible elements are not brought to light.

    Also in Vatan, Can Atakli describes the military prosecutor's statement on the alleged plan as a clear document. He notes in a column that the General Staff has not left any door open for the AKP and its supporters and says: The matter has become a political issue now. Prime Minister Erdogan will have to make the final decision. He will either have to agree that the General Staff's statement is right and withdraw the administration's legal complaint or instruct the officials to launch an investigation, saying that the military prosecutor's statement is wrong. Atakli argues that Erdogan will have to remove the commanders at the General Staff, including the colonel who is said to have signed the plan, if he instructs the civilian prosecutors to launch an investigation in the military forces and says: Prime Minister Erdogan will create the impression that Chief of the General Staff Gen Ilker Basbug lied if he says that he rejects the military prosecutor's statement.

    Writing in Milliyet, Fikret Bila focuses on the expectations of the military forces in the light of the statement the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged plan. In a column, he argues that the statement upset the circles which accused the military forces of preparing a coup and notes that the General Staff now expects the civilian prosecutors to establish the identities of those responsible for the plan and whether or not it targeted the military forces. Bila concludes: The civilian prosecutors will maintain their investigation. Meanwhile, the decision the military prosecutor's office made will lead to a debate on how the document was published. It was described as a plan to remove the AKP and Fethullah Gulen. That drew attention. The statement the military prosecutor's office made led to the question as to whether or not the plan was aimed at weakening the military forces.

    According to a report also in Milliyet, four prosecutors, who are investigating the Ergenekon case, held an unexpected meeting in Istanbul in connection with the statement the military prosecutor's office made on the alleged plan against the AKP and Fethullah Gulen. The prosecutors decided that all files, including footage, on the discovery of the plan should be conveyed to the Department of Forensic Medicine and that the searches by the police should be conducted under the supervision of prosecutors.

    A report in Milliyet cites the reaction of political party members to the military prosecutor's statement on the alleged plan. It notes that Bekir Bozdag, deputy chairman of the AKP parliamentary group, welcomed the statement by saying that a very important argument by those who plan to weaken the military forces has been obstructed. It quotes Suha Okay, deputy chairman of the CHP [Republican Turkish Party] parliamentary group, asking who are responsible for the document and how it appeared in the file on the Ergenekon case. The report says that MHP [Nationalist Action Party] deputy leader Mehmet Sandir described the document as a serious crime against the nation, which is aimed at creating instability in the military forces and undermining the people's trust in them. It quotes DTP [Democratic Society Party] deputy Bengi Yildiz as saying: We did not expect a decision that would judge the military forces. We believe that trustworthy prosecutors will fulfill their duties. The prosecutors in the Ergenekon case must quickly take up the matter.

    Under the headline, "Four-hour summit on signature," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that the prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon probe held a four-hour meeting yesterday to discuss the alleged military action plan recently disclosed by the Taraf daily after the office of the military prosecutor released a statement saying that there is no need to prosecute Navy Captain Dursun Cicek in the absence of evidence to establish that the document claimed to bear his signature was prepared by the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK. Cicek will become either a witness or a suspect depending on the results of a forensic investigation into the "photocopied document" in question, the report says.

    In an article entitled "Military law is no more true law than military music is true music" Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu criticizes the military prosecutor's decision not to proceed with the investigation into the anti-reactionary action plan revealed by Taraf as a move intended to cover up the case. He claims that while the investigation has been suspended in a legal sense, the political aspect of the matter will not be suppressed because the investigation has already marked a new stage in a process of democratic change that is forcing the TSK to "retreat" before the political authority.

    In an article entitled "Who is Basbug targeted by?", Yeni Safak columnist Yalcin Akdogan, argues that the accusations of failure to maintain internal discipline in the TSK leveled at Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug in connection with the document published by Taraf appear to be part of a discrediting campaign carried out by pro-status quo forces annoyed by the chief of staff's meetings with intellectuals to discuss "thorny" issues, his emphasis on democracy, his efforts to limit the TSK to its essential functions, and his bid to establish warm ties with people in eastern and southeastern Turkey during occasional visits to the region.

    Under the banner headline, "Knot to be untied by Prosecutor Oz," Vakit publishes a front-page report which criticizes the military prosecutor's decision not to proceed with the investigation into the "treacherous plan" revealed by Taraf by contrasting the ruling with "the results of technical examinations conducted by the gendarmerie, the police, and forensic experts" indicating that the signature on the plan belongs to Dursun Cicek.

    In an article entitled "What the office of the military prosecutor actually means to say", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya argues that the statement issued by the office of the military prosecutor regarding the alleged military document disclosed by Taraf gets across the following message: "The ball is out of my court. There is nothing I can do. The rest is the business of Ergenekon prosecutors. ... I make my decisions within the chain of command. ... I am by definition a military prosecutor. I cannot do anything. But I do not want to get in the way of those who might want to do something, either.

    Finally, under the headline, "Military prosecutor: No need for investigation; Jurists: This cannot be covered up," Zaman runs a front-page report which highlights the military prosecutor's "interesting" statement yesterday announcing that there is no evidence to establish that the signature on the anti-reactionary action plan belongs to Navy Captain Dursun Cicek.

    /YH


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