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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 127/09 09.07.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 An Italian company to compete for the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus. Berlusconi will reportedly lobby on the issue in TurkeyTodays Zaman newspaper (09.07.09) reports the following:
Two firms, one Turkish and one Italian, are competing for the project of building a system to transfer water from Turkey to the divided island of Cyprus, due to commence at the end of the month.
According to Today's Zaman sources, Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi will be in Turkey soon to lobby on behalf of Italian Eni S.p.A for the water carrying scheme, now over a decade old and dubbed the Cyprus Peace Water Project. Turkish company Alarko Holding is getting prepared to enter a bid for the project which is planned to start on July 20, the anniversary of Turkey's Cyprus Peace Operation.
The $350 million scheme anticipates an underwater and land pipeline of about 105 kilometers running from the Turkish province of Mersin to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). Approximately 25 kilometers of the pipeline will be on land while 80 kilometers will be under the Mediterranean. The water will come from the Dragos Stream in Mersin and will reach Gecitkale in the KKTC. Anticipated to pump about 75 million cubic meters of water a year, the project is to be completed in 2012.
Subtitle: Ministry eyes local contractors
While Italian Eni S.p.A, which has successfully completed the construction of the Blue Stream Project carrying Russian gas to Turkey, has been enthusiastic to build the water project, the Turkish Ministry of the Environment and Forestry would like to see Turkish firms bidding for it. The ministry has successfully completed a 22 kilometer-long underwater pipeline project in the past to carry water from Istanbul to the Princes' Islands. Ministry sources say that they believe such a project could be carried out by a Turkish firm, such as Alarko, which had done feasibility studies related to the project in the past.
However, after the feasibility studies had revealed a 1,400 meter-deep hole in the Mediterranean Sea, doubts were raised whether the pipeline would be able to stand up to the pressure there because its planned route was over the hole. As a result, a new plan emerged which envisages a suspended pipeline at a depth of 250 meters. Eni S.p.A's officials say they can build a suspended pipeline.
Subtitle: Alarko leading the pack
A solution to the water shortage problem in Cyprus was first offered by former Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit who wanted to realize the project with Alarko Holding's late President Uzeyir Garih. However, considering the high cost of the project, in addition to the technological difficulties, Ecevit chose the method of carrying water in specially designed balloons. However, this proved to be impractical as the containers kept bursting on their way to the KKTC.
Then, former State Waterworks Authority (DSI) Director General Veysel Eroglu had a look at Garih's project and decided that it was doable. Winning the tender, Alarko Holding then started new feasibility studies.
The deal led to a lawsuit as Alarko Holding sued the Dizayn Group, which was involved in designing and producing the pipelines for the project, because Alarko officials stated that they did not understand the role of the Dizayn Group in the project. However, Dizayn Group Chairman Ibrahim Mirmahmutogullari said they had invested $200 million in the project so far.
Turkish officials had announced in 2007 that the project's general coordinator would be Alarko Alsim while several other firms, such as, Dolsar Engineering, Swedish Sweco, Dutch Van Oord Acz and the Dizayn Group would be involved in the land and underwater parts of the project. The Dizayn Group even announced that they had built a uniquely designed one-piece, 500-meter and 1,600 millimeter in diameter pipeline which is able to withstand high pressure for the project. According to the projections, the project, which is managed by Alarko who carried out the feasibility studies, will be able to start on July 20 when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan goes to the KKTC.
Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) named the project the Cyprus Peace Water Project because the water is going to meet some of the needs of Greek Cyprus which periodically faces great water shortages.
 Italian Minister Alfredo Mantica met with Talat. He expressed his countrys desire for a solution to the Cyprus problemIllegal Bayrak television (08.07.09) broadcast the following:
The Deputy Minister of Italys Foreign Ministry, in charge of Cyprus Affairs, Alfredo Mantica was received by the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat today.Alfredo Mantica arrived in Cyprus to gain information about the latest on the course of Cyprus peace negotiations.
Speaking to the press at the end of his meeting with President Talat, Mr. Mantica expressed Italys desire towards achieving a positive outcome from Cyprus negotiations.As a member state of the European Union, we do want to see a successful result at negotiations he stressed.
Italian Minister pointed out that Italy attaches great importance to his meeting with President Talat.
He finalized his speech by saying that, as an ally country, Italy is ready to provide all its support for the settlement of the Cyprus problem.
 Statements by Hasan Ercakica on the opening of the Turkish ports and airports to the Cypriot aircrafts and vesselsUnder the title Ercakica: We are pleased by Turkeys stance regarding the ports, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.09) reports on statements made yesterday by Hasan Ercakica, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Memet Ali Talat.
Speaking to reporters during his weekly press briefing, Mr. Ercakica referred to the recent statements made by Turkish officials on the opening of the Turkish ports to the Cypriot vessels and said: Our side is welcoming with satisfaction the statements made by Turkish officials regarding the need for lifting the isolation over North Cyprus, if there is a wish for the opening of the ports and airports to aircraft and vessels under the Greek Cypriot flag. Mr. Ercakica also recalled the statements made by the US Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon, that the issue of the opening of the ports will be solved by reaching a final solution to the Cyprus problem, the paper writes.
Hasan Ercakica further said that the efforts exerted for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem are continuing and pointed out that the contacts on the evaluation of Turkeys EU process, which is expected to take place in December, continue too.
Commenting on information received by diplomatic sources and published in the press that the Greek Cypriot side and Greece insist on Turkey opening its ports and airports to the aircraft and vessels under the flag of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Ercakica said:
The fact that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to arrange its relations with Turkey, as if the Cyprus problem does not exist, is not a realistic expectation, while the efforts for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem continue. In parallel to the fact that it is not realistic, it shakes the confidence in the negotiation process by intensifying the concerns that the Greek Cypriot side looks for a solution of the problem in other platforms than in the table of the negotiations.
Referring to President Demetris Christofias statements on the Armenian genocide during his visit in Armenia, Hasan Ercakica called on President Christofias to focus his attention on the negotiating process in order for a solution to be reached and added that statements such as these can damage the confidence in the negotiating process.
Touching upon the issue of occupied Varosha, Hasan Ercakica also alleged that the demand sent by the Greek Cypriot side for the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal owners shakes the confidence in the negotiations and makes the job of the two leaders more difficult.
Responding to a question, Mr. Ercakica said that the agreement to be reached at the end of the negotiations will be submitted to separate referendums to the two peoples and added that not holding the referendums is not possible.
 Ozgurgun argued that the Cyprus problem is not deriving from the presence of the Turkish troops on the islandIllegal Bayrak television (08.07.09) broadcast the following:
Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has said that the Cyprus Problem, contrary to Greek Cypriot claims, did not derive from the presence of the Turkish forces on the island but from the fact that the Greek Cypriots have been occupying the title of the Cyprus Republic for the last 46 years.
In a written statement issued today, the foreign Minister said that statements made by the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Demetris Christofias during his recent visit to Armenia accusing Turkey, was absolutely unacceptable.He said that the Cyprus Problem had emerged as a result of Greek Cypriot efforts to wipe out all Turkish existence from Cyprus and to gain the control of the whole island.
Explaining that the Cyprus Problem was not the result of Turkeys presence, as claimed by Christofias, the TRNC foreign Minister said that true aggressor was the Greek Cypriot Administration which had kicked the Turks of Cyprus out of the 1960 partnership through force of arms.
He also said that TRNC people will not consent to the departure of a single Turkish soldier until the Greek Cypriot Administration abandons its hostile policies towards the Turks of Cyprus.
The Greek Cypriot Administration which uses the title of the so-called Cyprus Republic and its EU membership to crush the Turks of Cyprus under unjust embargoes lacks the ability or understanding to talk about modernity the foreign Minister said.
He added that Turkeys effective guarantee over Cyprus was vital for the existence of the people of the TRNC and that it would never be abandoned.Pointing out that the continuation of the Cyprus Problem had not posed an obstacle for the Greek Cypriot Administration in joining the EU; Ozgurgun complained that pre-conditions set before Turkeys membership was double standards.Ozgurgun also said the opening of Turkish ports to the Greek Cypriot traffic was an issue linked to the Cyprus Problem and should be evaluated within this framework.
 The TDP supports the continuation of the Turkish guarantees in Cyprus until the future of the relations between Turkey and the EU becomes clearTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.07.09) reports that the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici stated that they support the continuation of the Turkish guarantees in Cyprus until the future of the relations between Turkey and the EU becomes clear. Mr Cakici made these statements during a meeting with the writer Baris Burcu who submitted to him his master thesis on the Cyprus problem.
Referring to the solution of the Cyprus problem, Mr Cakici stated that the form of the solution will be a bi-zonal, bi-communal, federation, based on political equality and added that the state which will be created will have a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and it will be the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus. He went on and added that elements of the institutions of the TRNC will exist in the structure of the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and the TRNC will be abolished. He also said that the ground on which the new agreement will be reached will not be the virgin birth.
Mr Cakici argued that Turkey, just like the other guarantor countries does not want the new state to submit an application to the UN again in order for the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance not to be abolished. He stated that until the future of the relations between Turkey and the EU becomes clear, they as TDP support the continuation of the Turkish guarantees in Cyprus. He noted that the Treaties of Guarantees and Alliance will not be necessary after the accession of Turkey to the EU.
 YKP supports the demand regarding the return of Varosha to its legal ownersTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.07.09) reports that Murat Kanatli, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), issued a statement yesterday expressing the support of the YKP to the demand for the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners, as this demand has been submitted by President Christofias in a letter to the UN Secretary-General.
Mr Kanatli argued that this demand is a demand of the Turkish Cypriots as well, not only the Greek Cypriots. He noted that the YKP has launched a campaign on this issue and it supports the campaigns launched on the same matter.
 Either Gul or Erdogan to attend the celebrations on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus on July 20Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (09.07.09) reports on statements made by the self styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu according to which either the Turkish President Abdullah Gul, or the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan will visit the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to attend the celebrations on the anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus on July 20.
In statements made yesterday before the meeting of the self styled council of ministers, Mr. Eroglu said that they completed the work regarding the new economic protocol with Turkey and added that this issue will be finalized within the next few days either in Turkey or in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
 The ECHR to examine Turkish Cypriot applications regarding property in the government controlled areas of the Republic of CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (08.07.09) broadcast the following:
A group of 27 Cypriot Turks are seeking for their rights of property at the European Court of Human Rights. For the first time, the ECHR has started hearing a mass case brought by Cypriot Turks against the Greek Cypriot Administration.
The ECHR has asked for the Greek Cypriot Administrations defense. The mass case consists of 10 different plea applications brought to the ECHR agenda between 2004 and 2008 by 27 Cypriot Turks. Mass case owners accuse the Greek Cypriot Administration of preventing them from using or returning to their immoveable properties left in South Cyprus. Immoveable properties cited in the case are located in south Lefkosia, Pathos, Limassol and Yagmuralan [Vroisha village].
Litigants say the Greek Cypriot Administrations prevention is against the rights of property and privacy as cited in the European Convention on Human Rights.They also note that their right to claim their rights at the Greek Cypriot courts has been restricted and they have faced discrimination. Among the Cypriot Turk litigants are some British and American citizens.
Meanwhile, a court hearing by the ECHR will also take place in November, regarding 8 cases brought by Greek Cypriots on property.
These cases have been chosen by the ECHR to make a verdict on whether the Immoveable Property Commission established in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is line with the European Convention on Human Rights or not.
ECHR, with its 17 judges, will hear the case on the 18th of November in Strasbourg.
 Tatar says the breakaway regime attaches great importance to the lobby activities carried out in Britain by the British citizens who live in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.07.09) reports that the self-styled minister of finance, Ersin Tatar has said that the British citizens who live in the occupied areas of Cyprus are a great value from the point of view of the political and economic future of the Turkish Cypriots.
Mr Tatar met last night at the Grape Vine restaurant in occupied Keryneia with the British citizens, who live in the occupied areas of the island, and listened to their problems. The British citizens conveyed to Mr Tatar their views on the Orams case, the so-called TRNC, the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, their wish to become citizens of this regime and the situation of the foreigners who buy property in the occupied areas of the island.
In his statements Mr Tatar said: I came to this meeting in order to sincerely help you in your problems in the name of the government and to remind you at the same time that you are in your own country. I attach great importance to the existence of the British community on the island and in northern Cyprus. Your existence here is a great value for us from political and economic view.
Mr Tatar noted that the breakaway regime is ready to help the British citizens in the solution of their problems and complains.
Mr Talat said that in the Orams case he expects the British Government and the British Court to take into consideration the Cyprus problem and especially the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and expressed the belief that the decision of the Court will be in this direction.
Mr Tatar noted he anticipates that in this procedure the British community living in the occupied areas will continue its lobby activities regarding the TRNC both in the occupied areas of Cyprus and in Britain. He added that the self-styled government of the breakaway regime attaches great importance to the lobby activities carried out by the above-mentioned community. He said they will be exchanging views with the members of the British community living in the occupied areas of Cyprus during this procedure.
Meanwhile, Afrika reports also that Mr Tatar called on the foreigners living in the occupied areas of Cyprus to participate more in the social activities which take place there. Mr Tatar made this statement during the opening ceremony of a new gallery at the occupied Neo Chorio Kythreas village. Mr Tatar started his address at the opening ceremony in the English language because of the fact that many British citizens attended the event.
 A new hotel has opened its gates in occupied LapithosTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.07.09) reports on the opening of the Ayia Anastasia Hotel and Restaurant Cyprus, a new hotel constructed in occupied Lapithos, the opening ceremony of which was held last night. Speaking during the ceremony, the owner of the business, Mr Ozden Demirdag, said that they are feeling proud of building such a hotel in occupied Cyprus.
Mr Demirdag also said that the hotel has 24 rooms and has the capacity of 80 beds. In addition, the hotel offers facilities like a swimming pool, a terrace restaurant and a closed restaurant. According to Mr Demirdag, their primary aim is, together with the tours that will be organized, to offer hospitality to tourists from Turkey and Syria.
 Two new cases of H1N1 confirmed in the occupied areasIllegal Bayrak television (08.07.09) broadcast the following:
Two new cases of Swine Flu have been confirmed in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The two new cases confirmed bring the total number of swine flu cases in the TRNC to 12.
According to a press statement by the TRNC Health Ministry two of the blood samples taken from 5 people suspected of having the H1N1 virus had tested positive. Meanwhile, 5 patients receiving treatment for the virus at the Dr. Burhan Nalbantoglu State Hospital were discharged from hospital earlier this week.A hospital official announced earlier that the other patients receiving treatment in an isolated ward in the hospital were doing well and were steadily recovering.In South Cyprus, the number of cases has risen to a staggering 135.
 Turkey Gulf cooperation Councils joint declaration reported that the Cyprus problem should be solved within the UN parametersAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.07.09) reported the following from Istanbul:
In a joint declaration issued at the end of the First Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Turkey-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) High Level Dialogue, the participants on Wednesday expressed concerns regarding the loss of civilian lives and property in the incidents taking place in Urumchi.
The declaration said that the sides agreed to promote cooperation in transportation, infrastructure, investments, food security, tourism and other fields by implementing the Turkey-Gulf Cooperation Council Cooperation Framework Agreement.The two sides agreed to facilitate consultations among public institutions on matters such as oil, natural gas and renewable energy, the declaration said.The declaration stressed that the two sides will give high importance to the construction of a railway between Turkey and the GCC region and that this issue will be handled in future meetings as well.
The declaration said that the sides will develop mutual cooperation in the fields of economy, energy and defense industry.
All sides agreed to condemn any form of terrorism and made commitment to fight against terrorism, the declaration said.
In regard to Iran's nuclear problem, the declaration said that nations do have the right to possess nuclear energy for peaceful purposes and that this issue should be resolved by peaceful means.
The declaration noted that the two sides support Turkey's EU membership, a membership that would develop inter-cultural dialogue and have positive impact on the whole region.
The declaration pointed out that the situation in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region was discussed and the sides expressed concern over the deaths of civilians and loss of property in Urumchi.
All precautions should be taken in Urumchi to protect civilian lives, the declaration said.
The issue of piracy in seas was also mentioned in the declaration. All countries expressed appreciation over Turkey's leading role in the Combined Task Force (CTF 151).
The declaration stated that the issue of Cyprus should be resolved within United Nations boundaries.
The UN Security Council, Madrid Principles, road map and Arabic Peace Initiative should be viewed as guide in the Israeli-Palestinian problem, the declaration said.
The sides expressed in the declaration that they agreed on a Palestine built as a sovereign and independent state and whose capital would be Eastern Jerusalem.
 Gul approved the bill for the limitation of the power of military courtsTodays Zaman newspaper (09.07.09) reports the following:
President Abdullah Gul approved a bill that includes a change to Article 5918 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), paving the way for military personnel to be tried in civilian courts and preventing the prosecution of civilians in military courts.
A statement from the Presidencys Press Office noted that Gul had approved the bill and sent it to the Prime Ministry so that it can be published in the Official Gazette.
President Gul on Wednesday signed the two-article reform to limit the power of military courts, which includes opening the way for military personnel planning coups to be tried in civilian courts and preventing civilians with crimes associated with military affairs to be tried in military courts, a statement on the presidents Web site said.
The statement also noted that the adjustment is in line with the jurisdiction of military courts regarding the trial of civilian and military personnel and added that the government has to make further legal changes to ease problems because the adjustment may raise possible concerns regarding military service. The president noted that these legal amendments have to be carried out urgently.
Parliament last month passed a bill that grants authority to civilian courts to try military personnel involved in coup planning during peacetime and preventing military courts from trying civilians.
The main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP) promised to take the bill to the Constitutional Court if President Gul approves it. Following Wednesday nights approval, CHP Deputy Chairman Onur Oymen said they will turn to the Constitutional Court in a matter of days.
The government sent the president a 47-page report to bolster the importance of approving the bill by providing previous Constitutional Court and European Court of Human Rights rulings. The government report underlined that the scope of authority of military tribunals is far too wide in Turkey. Rather than being independent and impartial in their decisions, military courts seem to be an administrative institution that is dependent on other bodies for its rulings, the report stated.
The report pointed to criticism directed at military tribunals by the EU and the European court to support its thesis. The EU stated in its 2008 Turkey progress report that Turkish military tribunals are among the country's problems that need an urgent solution, noting that Turkey had pledged to settle its problems with military courts.
The widely supported bill aimed to meet EU standards and improve Turkey's democracy. Considerably intense pressure on President Gul to veto the bill for its alleged unconstitutionality came from some media groups, the CHP and the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜS0AD).
 Gul to attend non-aligned summit in Sharm el-SheikhToday s Zaman newspaper (09.07.09) reports the following:
In keeping with Ankara's multidimensional foreign policy, Turkey will be represented at the highest level at an upcoming summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to be held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
President Abdullah Gul will attend the summit, scheduled for July 15-16 and including representatives of 118 member countries and 17 observer members, to represent Turkey, which has guest status at the summit. The fact that many members of NAM lent support to Turkey's temporary membership in the UN Security Council during the elections held at the UN General Assembly last October strongly motivated Gul's decision to attend the summit.
Gul will have a number of bilateral meetings with leaders from Africa and South America on the sidelines of the summit, which will also be attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Meetings between Gul and the leaders of Indonesia, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Tanzania have already been scheduled. The global economic crisis, the dispute between Afghanistan and Pakistan, tension between India and Pakistan and the Israeli-Palestinian issue are highlights of the summit's agenda.
NAM was established in 1955 through leading efforts by Egypt, India and then-Yugoslavia as an apparent reaction to the bipolar international system that developed in the aftermath of World War II. The only European member of the movement is Belarus, while 53 members are from Africa, 38 hail from Asia and 26 are from Latin America and the Caribbean.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in HurriyetDailyNews.com assesses the possibility of the reopening of Halki Seminary SchoolHurriyet Daily News.com (09.07.09) publishes the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli under the title Halki Seminary:
It can be perfectly argued by nationalist opponents of the reopening of the Greek Orthodox Halki (Heybeliada) Seminary on the island of Heybeliada that, since headed by the right to elect their own religious leader or mufti, Greece has been denying the religious rights of the Muslim and ethnic Turkish minority living in that country in violation of the Lausanne Treaty, there can be no obligation for Turkey to reopen the seminary within the framework of the rights provided to the Greek Orthodox minority of Istanbul.
But, can there be the practice of tit for tat, or reciprocity in human rights? Has Greece "obtained" the right to forcefully evict the Muslim and Turkish minority living in western Thrace to Turkey because an idiotic nationalistic and radical mob staged shameful events on September 6-7, 1955 and forced most of the Greek Orthodox residents of Istanbul flee to Greece? Or, can Turkey "obtain" the right to withdraw the Turkish nationality of its Greek Orthodox population traveling to Greece or outside the country and staying for more than just few months because until recently Greece was applying the same inhumane treatment to its Muslim and ethnic Turkish population traveling to Turkey?
The violation of human rights of a minority by one country cannot be the pretext of the violation of the human rights of another minority in a neighboring country. There can be no such reciprocity even if the rights of the two minorities might have been regulated in a corresponding manner with the same, in our case Lausanne, international treaty. After all, under the principle of constitutional citizenship, all citizens of a country must have equal rights. Furthermore, under international minority norms, rather than being considered a "potential threat" and having their rights restricted on the understanding obsessed by certain phobias, the minorities of this country must be accorded with some "additional" rights to preserve and promote their ethnic, religious, cultural, or whatever differences.One of the key phobias in some segments of this country, regarding the dwindling Greek Orthodox minority, is the "ecumenical status" of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate. With the claim that the patriarchate is a "national institution," Turkey has been categorically objecting to the patriarchate being considered or even referred to with the ecumenical title that dates back to pre-republic times. What is the loss for Turkey if the country acknowledges the fact that all around the world the patriarchate is considered as ecumenical, that it is universal? On the contrary, Turkey should be proud that as a national institution of our country, the patriarchate enjoys such recognition. Still, a phobia that the patriarchate could turn into a second Vatican is crippling the ability of many Turks from seeing where the interests of the country indeed lie.
Second Vatican phobia
The Halki Seminary quandary is a by-product of that obsession, of course, in addition to the phobia that should the Greek Orthodox be allowed an educational institution independent from the Education Ministry or the Higher Education Council, or YÖK, the country may have to battle similar demands from Islamist groups. There is, of course a difference between the two religions. In one there is no clergy. Besides, more than enough people every year graduate from theological high schools, or the Imam Hatips, and theology departments of universities. However, in the Greek Orthodoxy, there is a clergy class and only those graduating from a theology school can be ordained into the church as a clergy-man. The first difficulty of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate in Turkey is the dwindling Greek Orthodox population. The second problem is that Halki has been closed since 1971 and the patriarchate is having difficulty in finding sufficient new additions to its staff. Even a new patriarch could only be elected after being made a Turkish citizen by the Council of Ministers, because under our laws, only a Turkish national can be elected as patriarch to our "national institution" - the patriarchate.While the country is once again debating the reopening of the Halki Seminary as a "Heybeliada Minority Vocational High School," that is as a vocational secondary school affiliated to the Education Ministry, Turkey should manage to rid itself from artificial phobias, act with reason and take some practical steps in comforting our Greek Orthodox minority with an awareness of the problems it faces because of their dwindling numbers. After all, there can be no reciprocity in human rights.
 From the Turkish Press of 08 July 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 08 July 2009:
a) On the Bill enabling trial of Military Personnel in Civilian courts
Viewing the report prepared by the Justice Ministry to be submitted to President Gul defending the draft bill enabling the trial of military personnel in civilian courts, Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila in an article argues that the reasons shown in the report do not correspond to the amendment made regarding military personnel in the bill and deal with the trial of civilians in civilian courts to which the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, and the opposition parties have no objections. The government is trying to justify the amendment regarding the trial of military personnel in civilian courts through reasons that correspond to the trial of civilians in civilian courts, asserts Bila, accusing the government of trying to deliberately confuse the two issues. Calling on the government to be more transparent and clear on the reasons for the amendment, Bila maintains that the amendment violates Article 145 of the Constitution.
Assessing the amendment as one of the requirements of a state of law and of harmonization with the EU in an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal argues that the problem with this legal arrangement, which he defines as justified, lies in the mistrust of the army in the civilian administration. According to Cemal, this "unhealthy psychology" on the part of the military has adversely affected the political life and the stability of the country. Accusing the military of turning itself into a "privileged" and "superior" class within the society, Cemal claims that these high walls built by the military have damaged the soldiers' links to reality and have detached them from the rest of the society.
Commenting on the tension between the military and the government regarding the authority of the military courts in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever claims that although both parties are placing their arguments on legal grounds the essence of the issue is one of mistrust, explaining: "The TSK does not want to surrender to the civilian courts. Pro-government circles believe that the military courts cannot adopt fair and impartial decisions. The common denominator of the parties involved is mutual mistrust!" Pointing out that the arguments of those opposed to the military judiciary are based on the EU and the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, Ulsever, however, quotes former ECHR judge Riza Turmen as having said that the ECHR allows the trial of military personnel by military courts, adding: "Half of the country does not believe that military courts can reach independent and unbiased decisions, while the other half believes that civilian courts are incapable of reaching independent and unbiased decisions."
b) Turkeys EU bid
In an article in Hurriyet, Tufan Turenc assesses Turkey's EU accession process and the government stance of the issue. Urging the government to show determination and not desperation and exasperation, Turenc argues that statements that show desperation cannot advance the EU process. Erdogan should have understood long ago the double standards applied by the EU, claims Turenc, adding that Turkey, while fulfilling all the EU requirements, should be adamant in demanding that it be treated in the same manner as the other candidate members and should not make any concessions on the issue. Criticizing the statement the prime minister made to the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, Turenc maintains that it is now too late to get on the EU train.
Praising the hard work of Egemen Bagis in the EU accession process in the first 600-word section of his column in Hurriyet, Eyup Can gives the good news to those who fear coups, shari'a rule, monopolies, or liberalization that the answer to their fears is EU membership. Agreeing with Bagis that the EU is the only issue that unites the entire country, which is gradually becoming polarized, Can underlines the importance of advancing the EU reforms. The writer praises the AKP government for the EU reforms its has undertaken, but criticizes Bagis for not adhering to the spirit of the EU while implementing these reforms as in the case of the bill enabling the trial of military personnel by civil courts.
c) Kurdish Issue
According to a report by Namik Durukan in Milliyet there is confusion over the President Gul-Democratic Society Party, DTP, meeting to be held at the Cankaya Mansion. Fatma Kurtulan, the head of the DTP parliamentary faction, is reported to have said that the meeting will take place this afternoon while Cankaya sources have announced that no such meeting has been scheduled.
In an article in Radikal, Oral Calislar views the recent developments in the Kurdish issue and relates a visit he had from Abdullah Ocalan's lawyers within the framework of a series of visits they are paying to individuals from different sectors in a bid to hear their views prior to Ocalan's preparation of the road map for the solution of the Kurdish problem.
A report in Yeni Ozgur Politika details various activities that the DTP intends to organize in upcoming days. According to the report, the DTP aim is to encourage dialogue in resolving the Kurdish issue.
In an article entitled "What are we missing?", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil explains why "the euphoria that was created by the statements of the president and the prime minister regarding how close we are to the solution of the Kurdish problem is slowly dissipating."
d) Turkish Reaction to Xinjiang Incidents
Viewing the incidents in Xinjiang and the government reaction to the developments in his column in Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz describes the Foreign Ministry statement on the issue as one issued not to antagonize the Chinese government, questioning why Turkey exerted intense efforts to be part of the UN Security Council if it did not intend to stand by the Uyghur people who are being massacred.
Recounting the oppression of Uyghur Turks in East Turkestan in an article in Sabah, Nazli Ilicak argues that the massacre and the arbitrary detention of Uyghur Turks in Urumqi will reinforce their determination and resistance and calls on the government to stand by them as they stood by the Palestinians in Gaza.
Describing the Turkish state as "powerless and weak" in the face of the Urumqi incidents in an article in Taraf, Rasim Ozan Kutahyali argues that a state that systematically implements a policy of denial and assimilation regarding its Kurdish citizens cannot raise its voice against the oppression of the Uyghur community in China. A state that is not in peace with its diverse communities cannot protest the rights of Turkic communities abroad, claims Kutahyali urging all state institutions and especially the TSK to make peace with the Kurdish and religious communities in the country.
In an article with the title "Taking so much care to maintain balances is wrong", Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak criticizes the Turkish Foreign Ministry for limiting its reaction to the killing of "hundreds of our brothers" in Urumqi to a statement asking that "those responsible for the incidents" be found and for "refraining from even remonstrating with Beijing" over the "genocidal" measures adopted against Uyghur protestors "for the sake of the billions of dollars that will supposedly come to Turkey from China in the coming years." Albayrak goes on to warn the Turkish government about what presents as the pitfalls of maintaining a policy of realpolitik vis-à-vis China.
In an article with the title "Message to Turkey from Urumqi and that horrible picture", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul provides a historical "reminder" about the "struggle for freedom" waged by the people of Eastern Turkistan and "the price they have paid" in doing so. He also calls attention once more to the fact that the incidents in Urumqi started only ten days after Turkish President Abdullah Gul visited this city and highlights a passage from an article by Hurriyet writer Ugur Erkan, who asserts that the events that led to the Chinese crackdown have been provoked by Western human rights activists who were annoyed by the investment agreements signed between China and some eight Turkish corporations during Gul's visit.
Under the banner headline, "Carnage spreads," Vakit publishes a front-page report which slams China for carrying out a campaign of "genocide" in Eastern Turkistan. According to the report, Chinese military units deployed to Urumqi have massacred hundreds of civilians. The report also asserts that Chinese security forces are arming Chinese people in Urumqi against Uyghurs.
In an article with the title "Eastern Turkistan: A resistance that has been continuing for 100 Years", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya asserts that "what began as a protest demonstration in Urumqi and turned into a riot after Chinese police started to fire on protestors is not the result of spontaneous anger but a present-day reflection of a century-long Chinese oppression and revolt against it." He argues that the Uyghur "revolt" is essentially a response to the Chinese insistence on calling Eastern Turkistan "Xinjiang," which means "newly won territory." He also claims that reports that Chinese security forces are trying to set up a militia in Urumqi suggest that a major campaign of genocide is in the offing.