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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-10

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. 128/09 10.07.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The 36th meeting between Christofias-Talat was held yesterday. Statements by Talat after the meeting
  • [02] Talat: Almost no progress was made on the property issue
  • [03] Egemen Bagis discusses the Turkish EU accession process in Croatia.
  • [04] A religious symposium is planned to held in occupied Keryneia
  • [05] Four-minaret mosque at the terminal area
  • [06] The foundation stone was laid for the 3rd Education Block of the North Cyprus Campus of the illegal Middle East Technical University
  • [07] Ertan Ersan: The Turkish army should stay on the island
  • [08] The illegal Near East University to attend the NATO Technology meeting in Sweden
  • [09] Reactions after the approval of the bill for military courts. CHP to apply to constitutional court
  • [10] YOK appears positive on the reopening of Halki Seminary School
  • [11] Closure case against AKP abated
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 09 July 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The 36th meeting between Christofias-Talat was held yesterday. Statements by Talat after the meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.07.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Turkish Cypriot president expressed his hope on Thursday to conclude talks on security and guarantees soon.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said he hoped to conclude discussions with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias on security and guarantees in their following meeting.

    Our envoys will meet before our next meeting, and discuss the details of our meetings, Talat told reporters after his meeting with Christofias at the buffer zone.Talat and Christofias met at the buffer zone in Cyprus to find a comprehensive settlement to Cyprus problem.

    The Turkish Cypriot president said the two parties made their first presentations on the topic, and would respond to each other's views in their following meeting. Talat said that he also discussed opening of Yesilirmak [Limnitis] border crossing with Christofias. President Talat said the United Nations and the European Union would have an important role in constructing highway to that region, and they would review the issue for one more time.

    Cyprus talks, which were interrupted when Greek Cypriots rejected a United Nations (UN) plan (Annan plan for solution of the Cyprus issue) in the twin referendums held on April 24, 2004, resumed in September 11, 2008 following the victory of Demetris Christofias, AKEL chairman, in the presidential election held in Greek Cypriot part of the island.

    Talat and Christofias completed to assess territory issue in their last meeting, and also set the negotiation timetable for the period until October. Accordingly; they will meet on July 17, July 23, July 30, August 6, September 3, September 10, September 17 and October 2.

    So far, the two leaders completed preliminary revision of management and share of power, property, relations with the EU, economy and territory issues during their negotiations which had started on September 11, 2008.

    [02] Talat: Almost no progress was made on the property issue

    Under the title Referendum first, elections later, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.07.09) reports on statements made yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat during a speech he delivered at the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) headquarters on the recent developments in the negotiating process upon an invitation addressed to him by the newly elected leadership of the party.

    Mr. Talat reiterated the Turkish allegation that the goal of the Turkish Cypriot side is for an agreement to be reached by the end of 2009 and a referendum to be held before the so called presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in 2010. Noting that the election campaign might have an influence on the process, Mehmet Ali Talat added: Here, it is not important what someone will say or to which voters he will be addressing. What is important is not exploiting the words to be said and not creating difficulties for the process.

    The paper continues to report on Mr. Talats statements under the subtitle Almost no progress was made on the property issue, and writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader argued that two of the most critical issues of the negotiations are the Security and Guarantorship, and the Territory. He added that almost no progress was achieved on the property issue. Arguing that the progress which was made on the issue regards the establishment of committees and the setting of criteria, Mr. Talat added that it is not known what these criteria will be.

    Mehmet Ali Talat also noted that under the chapter of the governance some disagreements exist on how the Turkish Cypriot leadership will be elected and argued that the interest of the international community is necessary in order for the process to proceed speedily.

    [03] Egemen Bagis discusses the Turkish EU accession process in Croatia.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.07.09) reports on the contacts Turkeys EU Chief Negotiator, Egemen Bagis is holding in Croatia and writes that in this framework he held a meeting with his Croatian counterpart, Vladimir Drobnjak. The two officials expressed a common view on the so called obstacles posed by the Republic of Cyprus and Slovenia in the EU negotiation process of Turkey and Croatia respectively and have no relation with the EU acquis communantaire, the paper writes.

    They both complained that the EU has not a mechanism to prevent the member states from using their bilateral problems and national interests in order to pose obstacles to the accession process of the candidate countries.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.07.09) reported the following from Dubrovnik:

    The Turkish State Minister and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis met Thursday with the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency, and discussed Turkey's EU process.

    At the meeting of the two, Bildt pledged support to open new chapters for negotiations in talks with Turkey, sources said. Bildt said Sweden would exert efforts to open environment chapter first. He also reaffirmed his country's support to Turkey's EU bid and said the Swedish government would make an effort to open two other chapters on energy as well as education and culture, sources added.

    Bagis, who is in Croatian city of Dubrovnik to attend an international conference, also met with Croatia's new Prime Minister Jandranka Kosor and conveyed to her Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's congratulations on her new post.

    [04] A religious symposium is planned to held in occupied Keryneia

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (10.07.09) correspondent in occupied Lefkosia Omer Bilge under the title TRNC is planning a civilization summit, reports that the head of the Religious Affairs Department Yusuf Suicmez announced that they plan to organize a symposium with the topic The role of religions at the civilization peace, inspiring by the Alliance of Civilization in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was co-chairman.

    The symposium is planned to be held in occupied Keryneia between 11-13 of November. Among the guests will be names like Dalai Lama, Pope Benedict XVI, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus and Chief Rabbi in Turkey Isak Haleva. The paper reports that the issue is of great interest how this initiative of the occupied regime would be turned out.

    (DPs)

    [05] Four-minaret mosque at the terminal area

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.07.09) reports that the issue of the construction of a four-minaret mosque at the area of the Lefkosia Bus Station Terminal came onto the agenda during the yesterday meeting of the self-styled Lefkosia municipality assembly. The paper, writes that an official from Turkey also participated in the meeting and adds that the decision as regards the mosque was taken with the majority of the votes of the members of the municipality assembly who belong to the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party (DP).

    According to Yeni Duzen, in spite of the objections raised as regards the mosque on the ground that there is already a two-minaret mosque at the area of the terminal and that there is no urgent need for a mosque, the Turkish military official, who was brought to the meeting by the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari, expressed the following view: The money will be paid by the Turkish embassy. Why do you have objections over this?

    (CS)

    [06] The foundation stone was laid for the 3rd Education Block of the North Cyprus Campus of the illegal Middle East Technical University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.07.09) reports that the foundation stone was laid for the 3rd Education Block of the North Cyprus Campus of the illegal Middle East Technical University. The education block which will be built on an area of 6 thousand 700 square meters and have a 1600-student capacity will be completed in three months. The cost of the project is 1 million 793 Turkish Lira.

    Many officials of the occupation regime and the self-styled ambassador of Turkey to occupied Lefkosia, Sakir Fakili participated in the ceremony. Mr Fakili stated, inter alia, that with the high standard and its experience, the Middle East Technical University is a part of the advanced and fundamental education institutions of Turkey.

    (CS)

    [07] Ertan Ersan: The Turkish army should stay on the island

    Under the title The Turkish army should stay on the island, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.07.09) reports that a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Association of Families of Martyrs and War Veterans, headed by the chairman of the association, Ertan Ersan, is currently in Turkey for holding contacts on the occasion of the 35th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus on July 20. The delegation met with the Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff, General Hasan Igsiz.

    In his statements, Ertan Ersan referred to their loyalty to Turkey and to the Turkish Armed Forces and said that they cannot live together with the Greek Cypriots. He then reiterated the Turkish view that the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey should stay on the island as a guarantor power.

    Mr. Ersan underlined also the Turkish view that a solution based on two states is important so that the TRNC exists forever.

    In his statements, the Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff, General Hasan Igsiz said that the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey are inseparable since they are like the nail and flesh, adding that the Turkish Armed Forces and Turkey are always by the side of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (AK)

    [08] The illegal Near East University to attend the NATO Technology meeting in Sweden

    Under the title YDU to attend the NATO Technology meeting in Sweden, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (10.07.09) reports that Prof. Dr. Adnan Khashman, founder and president of the Intelligent System Research Group (ISRG) of the illegal Near East University (YDU) in occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, will attend the NATO Research and Technology Organization meeting which is to take place in Sweden in October 2009.

    During the meeting, Mr. Khashman will present his research on sensitive systems which can be used for identifying military targets. According to the paper, Mr. Khashmans work is one of the 20 projects that have been chosen to be presented in NATOs meeting. Adnan Khashman has also represented the illegal YDU at a NATO meeting held in 2001.

    (EA)

    [09] Reactions after the approval of the bill for military courts. CHP to apply to constitutional court

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (10.07.09) reports the following from Ankara:

    The president approves a new law to bring certain military crimes under the jurisdiction of civilian courts and the AKP signals that steps will be taken to ease the militarys concerns. Opposition parties, however, vow to fight the legislation. The presidents approval was wrong. It is technically flawed and unconstitutional, says a CHP deputy.

    The presidents approval of a controversial new law that could pave the way for civilian courts to try military personnel has met with strong opposition from other political parties.

    Main opposition Republican Peoples Party, or CHP, spokesman Mustafa Ozyurek slammed the president, saying Gul had missed the chance to be Turkey's president and instead he chose to be the AKPs president.

    The CHP Deputy Chairman Onur Oymen also strongly criticized President Abdullah Guls decision. The presidents approval was the wrong decision. We will apply to the top court as soon as possible to annul the law, which is technically flawed and unconstitutional, he said.

    Meanwhile, The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, backed the CHPs decision to challenge the legislation in court, but said it would not join the CHP in its efforts. [Gul] justified the criticism that he is not objective and neutral by approving the law, said Cihan Pacaci of MHP.

    President Abdullah Gul had asked the government to make additional amendments to the bill to ease the concerns of the General Staff, which objected to the legislation, saying that politics will enter military barracks.

    The law is in line with requirements for Turkeys bid to join the European Union and Gul believed the law to be "compatible with the existing law on military courts," the presidents office said in a statement Wednesday. However, it will be beneficial to undertake legal arrangements without delay to dispel concerns on legal guarantees and discipline of military service that might arise during its implementation, the statement said.

    Tension rose in the country after legislation restricting the powers of the military courts, a long-standing EU demand, was passed in a last-minute, late-night session in Parliament during the last week of June, and mainly with votes cast by the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP.

    The new regulation requires civilian courts to try members of the armed forces who are accused of crimes including threats to national security, constitutional violations, organizing armed groups and attempting to topple the government in times of peace.

    Gul made a similar approval earlier on the controversial headscarf legislation when he passed the law but urged the government to smooth over some of the existing concerns.

    The daily Milliyet newspaper reported Thursday that Gul first called for the governments assurance it would make the necessary amendments to appease the military before approving the law. Speaking to private NTV, Ismail Kucukkaya of daily Aksam said there were two motives behind Guls approval of the law: Gul did what he had to do in a legal sense within the framework of EU accession but asked for further arrangements in a political sense.

    The General Staff had concerns over some aspects of the law and conveyed its objections to the presidency's legal department. The military brass believed the law was unconstitutional and would fringe on the inviolability of military affairs, leading to rows between military and civilian prosecutors.

    Opposition to fight presidents decision

    The CHP is now readying to apply to the Constitutional Court to annul the law. The party will convene Monday to ask for the signatures of CHP deputies to take the issue to the top court. The CHP argues that the law contradicts Article 145 of the Constitution, which sets out the rules covering the functioning of the military judiciary. MHP parliamentary group leader Mehmet Sandir said it was revealed that the president also had some concerns about the law as it was not right and inappropriate to pass a law on such a significant issue in a last-minute parliamentary session. It would be better for Gul to send the legislation back to Parliament, he said.

    The ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, said they would take the necessary steps in line with Guls advice.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters Thursday that if it was required, the government would bring the law back onto Parliaments agenda at the beginning of the new legislative year.

    This arrangement was made in order to remove some hesitations and to draw the limits of civilian and military judiciary in an exact way, he said. A number of jurists and politicians said such an arrangement has been required in Turkey for a long time.

    Noting that Gul approved the law, Arinc said: This means that the President did not consider the law to be against the Constitution. Gul also said the arrangement befitted the supremacy of law, international agreements and EU standards. Parliament went into recess July 1 and will reconvene Aug. 4 to elect a new speaker. The new legislative year will then begin after September, he said. Government spokesman Cemil Cicek said the AKP first planned to clarify the definition of "military crime" and secondly to make arrangements in line with Guls decision. For honorary member of the Military Court of Appeals, Ali Fahir Kayacan, planning a coup is not a matter of prosecution by the military judiciary. It falls under the authorization of the civilian judiciary.

    [10] YOK appears positive on the reopening of Halki Seminary School

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The head of Turkey's Higher Education Council (YOK) said on Thursday that the Heybeliada Seminary in Istanbul could be reopened.

    YOK chairperson Yusuf Ziya Ozcan replied to questions of reporters after the morning session of a council meeting in capital Ankara.

    Upon a question on the reopening of Heybeliada Seminary, Ozcan said, According to our opinion, the seminary can be reopened. Our stance is positive.Commenting on whether YOK was currently carrying out any studies for the opening of the seminary, Ozcan said, Our council has not received any information. When we receive it, we will decide on the issue.

    Ozcan said that YOK could only be involved in the process if the seminary would be reopened as a higher education institution. We have not received such a proposal yet, he said.

    [11] Closure case against AKP abated

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The highest legal body of Turkey decided to abate the closure case, which was filed against the ruling Justice & Development (AK) Party seven years ago on the ground of failing to respond to court warnings.

    Earlier this year, the Constitutional Court annulled a legal article which enabled the Chief Prosecutor's Office to file lawsuits to deprive political parties of state funding. Under the article, the Office was able to open court cases aimed at depriving political parties of treasury financing if they did not respond to court warnings.The court delegation debated the case under the new arrangement, and decided to abate it.

    The case was filed at the Constitutional Court by Sabih Kanadoglu, then chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals, on October 23, 2002. In the indictment, Kanadoglu requested the court to ban the AK Party since it failed to correct some irregularities despite warnings of the Constitutional Court in the period of time given to it. Kanadoglu also requested the highest legal body to prevent AK Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan from using his authorities as a precaution. The court also abated the closure cases against the Turkish Communist Party and the Turkish Socialist Workers' Party on the same reason.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 09 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 09 July 2009:

    On the approval of Military Trial Law

    Mehmet Y. Yilmaz refers to the approval given by President Gul to a controversial legislation that paves the way for civilian courts to try military personnel in his commentary in Hurriyet. Explaining that according to reports in dailies, the president's legal advisors took into consideration the EU regulations and the ECHR decisions before advising him to approve the legislation, Yilmaz adds: "It seems that we will also be European. Anyway, the Prime Minister and the ministers are frequently giving Europe as an example. The Prime Minister is also complaining about Sarkozy saying that 'we will enter Europe, but Sarkozy is posing obstacles.' The 'European Union' though is such a magic word that sometimes it suits them, sometimes one can behave as though it does not exist.

    It is as though 'European Union' is a children's fable, which starts with 'Once upon a time.' It sometimes exists, sometimes not. The EU and ECHR decisions are nonexistent when children are tried on charges of abetting a terrorist organization for hurling stones! The EU is also nonexistent when building dams and bridges in complete disregard of nature and heritage! It is also nonexistent when the inmates and prisoners are not granted the right of healthy living! It is also nonexistent when the time comes for torturers to stand trial! These days, the EU is existent only to 'corner the military!'" Yilmaz concludes: "How can you trust such a government for being sincere on the issue of EU?"

    In his commentary with the title "Gul approved after government's assurance" in Milliyet, Fikret Bila explains that Gul's statements to the effect that "it will be beneficial to undertake legal arrangements without delay to dispel concerns on legal guarantees and discipline in military service that might arise during the implementation of this law" shows that he received assurances from the government on undertaking adjustments to satisfy the General Staff 's concerns over some aspects of the law."

    Writing in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal notes that in his commentary entitled "On the mother of all issues in Turkey, the 'military issue.'" Explaining that the more he writes about the military, the more he is persuaded that this is the "mother of all issues" in Turkey, Cemal notes that the reason for the importance he attaches to the military issue is that for 85 years, the "military did not want to transfer sovereignty to the 'civilian' in Turkey." He concludes by shedding a light of hope when he writes that "there are signs for asking accounts within the framework of the Ergenekon trial" and the statements former Chief of Staff Hilmi Ozkok gave to the Ergenekon prosecutors "show that the door of accountability have opened. The only way the regime will find its place, democracy and legitimacy pursue a contemporary course, and military intervention in politics no longer be considered 'legitimate' and become a crime against democracy is by asking accounts.

    After an overview of the developments leading to President Gul's approval of the law, which allows civilian courts to try members of the armed forces accused of crimes during peace time, Murat Yetkin writes in his commentary in Radikal that most probably a stressful period awaits the military and political circles. "What will happen now? The Republican People's Party had already said that it will take the law to the Constitutional Court. This, then, will not be considered a surprise development. When will the Constitutional Court make a decision on this appeal? Nothing can be said on this issue." Yetkin concludes his commentary by noting that "the relations between the military and political circles will first undergo a stress test before leaping into another dimension."

    EG/


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