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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-22

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. 135/09 22.07.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Afrika newspaper cites the Turkish sides strategy until December invoking diplomatic sources
  • [02] DP seeks solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year
  • [03] Talat will inform the self-styled Council of Ministers on the course of the negotiations
  • [04] Nami revealed the stance of the Turkish side as regards the issue of the settlers in the new state: They will all become citizens
  • [05] Halil Ibrahim Akca was appointed as Economy and Planning permanent undersecretary of the TRNC by the Turkish government
  • [06] Cemil Cicek rounded up his talks in the occupied areas
  • [07] Talat hosted a reception to high ranking Turkish officials who expressed their support to the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus
  • [08] Onur Oymen described as a deficiency the fact that there is no representative of the new government at the negotiations
  • [09] Ozgurgun met with the OIC General Secretarys assistant on economic matters
  • [10] Teachers unions call for action against the introduction of Koran lessons to schools in the occupied areas
  • [11] Davutoglu to visit Serbia and Montenegro to discuss ties and regional issues
  • [12] The Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin discussed with Turkish officials the Nabucco project
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 21 July 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Afrika newspaper cites the Turkish sides strategy until December invoking diplomatic sources

    Under the title The new strategy of the Turkish side was determined in Ankara. Against the open the ports pressure, the referendum card until the end of the year, Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Afrika (21.07.09) publishes the following article:

    The Turkish side is putting forward the idea of holding a referendum at the end of the year in order for the EU, the UN and the USA to exert time-table pressure on the Greek Cypriot side. The common red lines of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side were confirmed once more during the official visit of Mehmet Ali Talat to Ankara on 13-14 of July.

    According to information we got from diplomatic sources, Mr Talat returned to Cyprus having in his file folders a more detailed strategy plan compared to the past. During this visit, while determining the common stance at the second round on the chapters which were discussed with the Greek Cypriot side and no agreement was reached, it was decided what will be done outside.

    In this way the real purpose of the visit was to create a program so that the international community will exert more pressure on the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of the time-table. On this issue Ankara will proclaim, and will seek support from the international community, that it is demanding strongly that an agreement should be safeguarded until the end of the year and a referendum should be conducted.

    Subtitle: Time-table pressure on the Greek Cypriot side

    Recently, officials of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs were pleased regarding the statements made by UN and EU circles regarding the time table which are close to the Turkish views. The same officials believe that with this strategy Turkey will be at ease in the coming five months and it will exert pressure on the Greek Cypriot side.

    As a necessity of this common stance Talats contacts in Ankara were held in a more noiseless manner compared to the past. Apart from Abdullah Gull, no other statements were made at the talks Talat held with the Prime Minister Erdogan, the Foreign Minister Davutoglu and Minister Responsible for EU Affairs, Egemen Bagis.

    Ankaras official stance was disclosed by Abdullah Gul as follows: The agreement will be based on bizonallity with equal sharing of power and will include a new partnership which will be submitted to referendum.

    Ankara, after listening to Talat, believes that Demetris Christofias is pursuing the cart uphill that is to drag on the issue and wants to gain time. For this reason, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey thinks that the time has come for the UN, the EU and the USA to put pressure to the leader who rejects every time-table.

    It was learned that among other things Erdogan told Talat that the whole world has realized that it is the Greek Cypriot side that does not want a solution. Now it will understand it even more.

    According to the plan agreed, Talat will voice continuously the demand for a referendum by the end of the year and he will also keep this agenda during his meetings with Christofias and the UN.

    Subtitle: This job will come to an end by the end of the year

    In accordance with the time table plan Turkish officials started to voice this demand after Talats contacts in Ankara.

    The first sign of this new offensive was given by the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, Cemil Cicek. He demonstrated a strong reaction to the response given by the government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou to Gul that referendum is not possible in December unless the Turkish side changes its stance.

    Cemil Cicek stated: If a permanent solution is not reached until the end of 2009 Turkey and the TRNC will not be responsible. It is good that the world knows this. Let us do our job. If there is no result then the world will see who is the responsible as the case was in April 2004.

    Following this statement the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs made a statement towards the same direction. The Foreign Ministry spokesman, Burak Ozugergin stated: If the two sides approach the issue with good will until the end of the year, we think that this job will end. We will work on this, otherwise, that is, if there is no result, then it will be more apparent which side is exerting efforts and which side is dragging its feet. If you look into this picture, it is obvious that the side which is exerting efforts is the Turkish side.

    Subtitle: The three-stage plan of the Turkish side

    According to the official statements made following Talats visit to Ankara and information we have gathered through diplomatic sources and political backstage the main lines of the road map to be followed by the Turkish side in the five months process ahead of us were as follows:

    Stance as regards the negotiations: In the second round the Turkish side will be insistent especially on seven issues.

    Stance outside of the negotiations table: Both Turkey and Talat will continuously emphasize the month of December. The EU, the UN and the US officials will thus make calls to increase the time table pressure towards the Greek Cypriot side.

    In the case of failure diplomatic efforts will never stop in order for the international community to believe that Turkey did everything possible.

    Subtitle: The guarantees are not the job of the Cypriots

    The Turkish side will continue to stress on the guarantees which are the thickest red line. There is no intention of showing the slightest flexibility over this issue. Stress will be on the international character of the 1960 Guarantees and Alliance Treaties, and will support the continuation of the current guarantee system. Turkey is not that much pleased that this issue is being handled by the two leaders. The Turkish side wants continuation of Turkeys effective and actual intervention right. The Turkish diplomacy considers the various formulas for the guarantees as watering down and rejects them. Statements as the ones the President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gul made after UK as mind your own business, the guarantees are not your business, must be taken into consideration.

    Apart from the guarantees the other red lines which were determined during Talats visit to Ankara, are as follows:

    The agreement to be reached will definitely be EU primary law The President of the Republic of Turkey Abdullah Gul, with statements he made such as: If a comprehensive solution is reached Turkey wishes for this solution to take the place of the tenth protocol and with new protocols to become primary law of the EU he confirmed the importance given to this issue.

    The constituent states to elect their own president The Turkish side does not want a common election list on this issue. However, on this issue Talat is not cool to two round election system with a formula which will be applied to both separate and as one body election.

    Bi-regionality shall not be watered down On this issue the Turkish side will demand clear limitations. For the physical border of the two regions to be distinct, they want to limit the number of the Greek Cypriots inside the Turkish controlled statelet.

    Equal sharing of power. The Turkish side will not insist on the arithmetical equality in some issues, however, in many issues it will demand political equality.

    The establishment of a new partnership is among the indispensable conditions of the Turkish side. If you look at Talats statements it is understood that a middle road can be found on this issue. It is understood that the Turkish side will be satisfied with an ambiguous expression which will safeguard the perception of the Turkish side for a new partnership and of the Greek Cypriot side for the continuation of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Property compensation The Turkish side is for the recognition of individual property rights but it prefers the method of compensation and proposes many restrictions.

    Subtitle: The referendum offensive and relations with the EU

    There are important signs that Turkey will use the referendum offensive until the end of the year in its relations with the EU.

    Certain political sources draw attention to the fact that Turkey was given until the EU Summit to open its ports to Cyprus and say that holding a new referendum card is displayed against the possibility of suspension of the accession negotiations.

    In December the EU Commission will prepare a report regarding Turkeys refusal to open its ports to the Greek Cypriots. The heads of state and government of the EU member countries who are expected to make an evaluation of the Commissions report will decide whether to impose sanctions on Turkey or not.

    Ankara, following clear signs received from Brussels that there will be no postponement regarding the evaluation, started to follow a policy which will influence the report to be prepared by the EU Commission.

    And Ankara as a first step... conveyed its request that at the end of the year a referendum should be held in the island. ..

    (CS)

    [02] DP seeks solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (22.07.09) reports on a written statement by the Democrat Party (DP) Foreign Relations Secretary, Mr Bengu Sonya, regarding the ongoing negotiation process, taking place in Cyprus. Mr Sonya stated that the negotiations, which are being conducted for years between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, must end somewhere. He said that it is the greatest shame of the 21st century for the Turkish Cypriots, who live in uncertainty, to be isolated from the world. As he said, from these negotiations, which must be concluded by the end of the year, either an agreement or a result must be brought about regarding the disagreement of the two sides.

    He added that in order for a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem, the pressures must be intensified on the EU member-state of Cyprus and not on the TRNC and Turkey. And the Greek Cypriot leaders, who always speak about the human rights, should finally understand that the concept of the human rights includes the Turkish Cypriots as well, Mr Sonya stated, adding that the Greek Cypriot Administration uses Turkeys EU accession negotiations as a trump card.

    He went on and said, inter alia, that the Cyprus Turkishness owes its existence on the island today to the Guarantee Agreement and that the Greek Cypriot Administration holds the third place among the biggest customer-countries of light weapons. He added that an interesting contradiction is observed when such an administration tries to bring into the agenda the guarantee agreements.

    It will be beneficial to remind to those who propose the guarantorship of the EU or NATO rather than the one of Turkeys, the completion of the 14th year since the massacre of Srebrenica, some days ago, Mr Sonya concluded

    (EA)

    [03] Talat will inform the self-styled Council of Ministers on the course of the negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.07.09) writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat will attend the meeting of the self-styled Council of Ministers which will convene this morning. Mr Talat will inform the council on the course of the negotiations and will make evaluation on various issues.

    (CS)

    [04] Nami revealed the stance of the Turkish side as regards the issue of the settlers in the new state: They will all become citizens

    Under the title They will all become citizens, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.07.09) reports that Ozdil Nami, special adviser of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on EU and UN issues, clarified the status of the Turkish origin citizens in the new state to be established. Mr Nami made these statements yesterday speaking on the daily Kibrista Bugun (Today in Cyprus) program of Serhat Incirli, on KIBRIS TV.

    Mr Nami stated that they are ready to speed up the negotiations as from September and he revealed the stance of the Turkish side at the negotiations, as regards the issue of the settlers as follows: Our citizens are our citizens. With the establishment of the new state they will all stay here and will be citizens of the new state, he said.

    As regards the issue of political equality, Mr Nami stated that the two sides came to an agreement and stated that as regards the Executive Power, the Turkish Cypriot side supports a model which resembles to the Swiss model and the Annan Plan. On its part, the Greek Cypriot side supports the current system which is in operation, that is, a strong Presidential System. He also stated that the Greek Cypriot side wants the elections of both the President and the Vice President to be made by the people. Mr Nami also stated that the Greek Cypriots support the rotating presidency and added that the Republic of Cyprus will continue to be member of the EU and the UN. As regards the international agreements of the occupation regime, they will be accepted by the new state.

    Mr Nami said that even less land concessions, compared to the Annan Plan are being discussed in the negotiations. He reminded that investments were made in the areas that were to be returned in 2004. In 2004 we have given it to you, you should have taken it then, he said.

    He went on and added that the Turkish side will not abandon Turkeys effective and actual guarantees and added that the differences between the two sides as regards the issue of guarantees and security are like the day and the night.

    Finally Mr Nami stated that he is optimistic about the negotiations.

    (CS)

    [05] Halil Ibrahim Akca was appointed as Economy and Planning permanent undersecretary of the TRNC by the Turkish government

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (22.07.09) reports that Halil Ibrahim Akca, who served as Deputy Undersecretary of the State Planning Organization in Turkey, was appointed as Economy and Planning permanent undersecretary of the TRNC. He will be accountable to the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, Cemil Cicek. According to Yeni Duzen, who cites information from Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper, Mr Cicek stated to Hurriyet that such an appointment takes place for the first time in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (22.07.09) reports on the same issue under the title Permanent Undersecretary! and writes that despite the fact that Mr Cicek stated that Halil Ibrahim Akca will have the status of a permanent undersecretary, political observers stated that this post is actually a position of a governor of a province. The paper also writes that Mr Akca was the head of a technical delegation to Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic Technical Committee from 2002 which coordinated Turkeys aid to the occupied areas. Together with his new duties, Mr Akca will continue his duties in the Committee.

    Kibrisli also writes that various Trade Unions in the occupied areas reacted to the appointment of Mr Akca and are planning actions against this development.

    (CS)

    [06] Cemil Cicek rounded up his talks in the occupied areas

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.07.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said Tuesday that the problems of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) were a priority for the Turkish government. We have always stood by and will continue to stand by the Turkish Cypriots, Cicek stressed.

    Cemil Cicek attended the celebrations in the TRNC on Monday marking the 35th anniversary of the July 20 Peace and Freedom Day.

    Cicek and the Prime Minister of the TRNC, Dervis Eroglu, held a joint press conference at the Ercan International Airport on Tuesday prior to Cicek's departure from the island.

    We had a chance to talk about economic issues with Cicek. We are very pleased with the outcome of our talks, Eroglu said.

    The messages given by Cicek on Monday renewed confidence in the Turkish Cypriot people and the government, Eroglu also said.

    I return to Turkey today after experiencing the joy and excitement of July 20 celebrations in the TRNC. I am thankful for the hospitality displayed in the TRNC during my stay here, Cicek said.

    We have always been and will continue to be with the Turkish Cypriots. I hope that tomorrow would be a better day for the TRNC when compared to today, Cicek also said. Cemil Cicek later left the TRNC.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (21.07.09) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Minister of State - also in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Cemil Cicek who represented the Turkish government at the 20 July Peace and Freedom Day celebrations left the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus this morning.

    Speaking before his departure to Ankara, Mr. Cicek said that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey. Mr Cicek said he was leaving the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with pride and happiness and stressed that like previous Turkish governments, the Cyprus Problem would remain a priority for Ankara.

    Stressing that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey, he said Ankara has always been by the side of the Turks of Cyprus and would continue to do so.

    `I hope the future of Cyprus will be brighter than today. It should be. We are determined on this` he said.

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu gave a warm see off to Mr Cicek at Ercan Airport.The Premier said that the statements Mr. Cicek made during his stay in the Republic had given confidence to the TRNC people. Mr. Eroglu also expressed the hope to see the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at this years Republic Day Celebrations in the TRNC which are to be held on the 15th of November.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Presidencys Secretary General Mustafa Isen and the Turkish Parliamentary delegation who attended the 20 July celebrations have also left the Republic.

    [07] Talat hosted a reception to high ranking Turkish officials who expressed their support to the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.07.09) broadcast the following:

    The 20 July Peace and Freedom Day has been celebrated enthusiastically throughout the Republic. President Mehmet Ali Talat hosted a reception in Girne [occupied Keryneia] last night to mark the 35th anniversary of the Turkish Peace Operation in Cyprus which brought peace to the whole island.

    Speaking to BRT newsroom during the reception, high ranking Turkish officials expressed their support to the ongoing peace process in Cyprus and stressed the need to bring a just and comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of two states and a bi-zonal order.

    The reception hosted by President Talat was attended by high ranking officials from Turkey, foreign parliamentarians and state and government officials.

    The reception was broadcast live by BRT last night and first to speak the corporation was the Turkish Minister of State also responsible for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis who said that ruling and opposition parties in Turkey were united on the Cyprus issue which he said, was a national cause for all. `Turkey, which never left the Turks of Cyprus alone, will never do so in the future` he stressed.

    Mr Bagis stated that the European Union was in support of an early solution in Cyprus but he underlined the need to find a lasting and comprehensive settlement that would be acceptable for both sides.

    For his part, the Turkish Minister of State deputy-Prime Minister Cemil Cicek reminded that Turkey and the Turks of Cyprus carried out the Peace Operation at a time when there were attempts to annihilate the Turks in Cyprus.

    Responding to a question, he said `today, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has representation offices in 16 different places`, adding that the TRNC President and government officials were holding contacts in foreign countries.

    Another guest of BRT was Turkish Presidencys General secretary Mustafa Isen who said that the Peace Operation brought security and peace to Cyprus.

    Turkeys Justice and Development Party (AKP) deputy Orhan Erdem, for his part, expressed the hope that bitter experiences of the past would not be repeated again. He said that a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem should be based on the existence of two states, nations and cultures.

    The Republican Peoples Party (CHP) deputy Tansel Baris referred to the continuing peace process in Cyprus and said that a settlement would make it possible for the TRNC people to live in peace without having concerns for their future.

    General Ergin Saygun from the Turkish Armed Forces, was also a guest of BRT news and said that the 20 July Turkish Peace Operation brought security to the Turks of Cyprus.

    Complaining that the Turkish Peace Operation in Cyprus are wrongly being called as an `occupation`, the General explained that the reality was reflected in the documents of the Council of Europe and the documents of Makarios in South Cyprus.

    The TRNC Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun told BRT news that the Greek Cypriot Side did not want to bring solution to the Cyprus problem, adding that an agreement only on paper would not be a lasting one.

    He noted that the TRNC people were enjoying happiness and peace thanks to the Turkish Peace Operation in spite of some economic problems being faced in the Republic.

    As part of the events marking the 35th anniversary of the Turkish Peace Operation in Cyprus, a concert was also given by the Military Band of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus in front of the Ataturk Monument in Girne last night.The concert was watched by a large crowd of citizens and foreigners in the city.

    [08] Onur Oymen described as a deficiency the fact that there is no representative of the new government at the negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.07.09) reports that the deputy general secretary of the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) in Turkey, Onur Oymen, stated that the Greek Cypriot side is responsible for the non-solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Oymen, who was speaking at a press conference, stated, inter alia, that the Grand National Assembly of Turkey is not informed about the negotiations as regards the Cyprus problem and noting that the Cyprus problem is national problem for Turkey, said that the Assemblys briefing on the issue should not be avoided. He also described as a deficiency the fact that there is no representative of the new government in the occupied areas at the negotiations and criticized the Turkish government of not reacting against the statements of President Demetris Christofias who called on the EU and the international community to exert pressure on Turkey.

    (CS)

    [09] Ozgurgun met with the OIC General Secretarys assistant on economic matters

    Illegal Bayrak television (21.07.09) broadcast the following:

    Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has repeated the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus desire to become a full member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

    Mr Ozgurgun met with the OIC General Secretarys Assistant on Economic Matters Hamed Abajiye Opeloyeru who is in the Republic for Peace and Freedom Day celebrations.

    Speaking during the visit, Foreign Minister Ozgurgun said that efforts to improve ties with the Organization of the Islamic Conference and member countries would continue.Mr Ozgurgun also repeated the TRNCs desire to become a full member of the OIC and to participate in sports events organized in Islamic countries.For his part, OIC General Secretarys Assistant on Economic Matters Hamed Abajiye Opeloyeru expressed his pleasure at meeting with the TRNC Foreign Ministers. He said that he would be informing the OIC General Secretary Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu on the demands of the TRNC.

    [10] Teachers unions call for action against the introduction of Koran lessons to schools in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (22.07.09) reports that the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil has made a call for a meeting to all the progressive organizations and political parties to evaluate the decision to launch Koran classes in school and to hold discussions on an action program. The meeting is to take place today, early in the afternoon, at KTOS offices.

    Sener Elcil has described the introduction of the Koran classes as an official subject in schools as a systematic insistence towards changing the cultural heritage and the social structure of the Turkish Cypriots and alleged that the National Unity Party (UBP) opens the door to the social annihilation of the Turkish Cypriots in the case of cooperation and called on UBP to oppose to impositions coming from the government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey.

    On the same issue, Halkin Sesi writes that in a written statement issued by the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Union (KTOEOS), the Chairman of the union, Adnan Eraslan called for the cancellation of the Koran lessons stressing that the introduction of these classes is a step backwards for the Turkish Cypriots. At the same time he accused UBP that while in every platform UBP takes the pride in our Kemalism, it launched, under the care of the state, Koran classes which are in opposition to Ataturkism.

    (ML)

    [11] Davutoglu to visit Serbia and Montenegro to discuss ties and regional issues

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will pay visits to Serbia and Montenegro, a statement said on Tuesday.

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement and said Davutoglu would visit Serbia between July 22 and 24 and Montenegro on July 24 and 26.The statement said Turkey's relations with Serbia and Montenegro as well as regional and international matters would be discussed during Davutoglu's visit.

    [12] The Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin discussed with Turkish officials the Nabucco project

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.07.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin said they supported all energy projects including the Nabucco pipeline project adding that however certain projects needed to prove they were feasible.

    Sechin who is visiting Turkey prior to Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming trip, met Tuesday with Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz in Ankara.Sechin who spoke to reporters after the meeting commented on the Nabucco project, the 3,300-kilometer pipeline that will carry Caspian and Central Asian natural gas to Austria in Europe, to reduce EU dependence on Russian gas.Sechin whose visit came shortly after the signing of the intergovernmental agreement on Nabucco in Ankara, said it was not their policy to impede others' projects noting that they gave priority to projects of Gazprom, Russia's National Gas Company.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister said in order for projects to be feasible it was necessary that they depend on defined resources, be technologically well equipped. He said both buyers and suppliers needed to well calculate costs and prices in projects like these.

    Sechin said the trade volume between the two countries was around USD 40 billion. He said Russian Customs Undersecretary was accompanying him to hold talks with Turkish authorities to further facilitate travel of goods between the two countries.

    Yildiz who also addressed reporters said their meeting laid the groundwork for the upcoming meeting between Premiers of Russia and Turkey. He said they discussed many projects including the "South Stream" and "Blue Stream II" projects. Later, Sechin was received by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 21 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 21 July 2009:

    a) Kurdish Question: A report entitled "Turkey will devise a solution based on its own will" in Hurriyet highlights comments made by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said in response to questions about the road map which PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan is expected to announce on 15 August that there should not be a departure from methods being used by the government for finding a solution to the Kurdish question. Davutoglu also noted that the Obama Administration has not devised a new project aimed to achieve peace in the Middle East despite a positive climate which appeared after Obama's election.

    In an article entitled "Can it be resolved easily?" Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi interprets Davutoglu's remarks as a tacit admission that negotiations are being conducted behind closed doors amid signs that the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, does not intend to exclude Ocalan from the process. Pointing out that the government will probably seek a solution to which Ocalan will consent but not bear his "fingerprints," Eksi says: "I think that what Davutoglu actually meant by saying that Turkey will devise a solution based on its own will may be a solution which is devised by using such a formula and endorsed by Ocalan and the Democratic Society Party."

    In an article entitled "Negotiation between Ankara and Imrali," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Mehmet Ali Birand writes about the Turkish government's possible reactions to a road map which is expected to be unveiled by PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan. Pointing out that the worst-case scenario would be the Turkish government's refusal to consider any peaceful proposal, Birand says: "This attitude would result in the spread of PKK terror, more bloodshed and even greater unrest. I do not think that the AKP administration will give credit to this scenario. If I am mistaken and backs are turned to all efforts, then the AKP will have committed the greatest evil ever."

    A report entitled "Tripartite mechanism pushes PKK to the wall" in Milliyet highlights speculation that the United States, Turkey, and Iraq are expected to sign an agreement aimed at putting an end to the PKK's activities in northern Iraq as a result of negotiations between the three countries. Noting that Davutoglu's shuttle diplomacy has started yielding satisfactory results, the report says that Turkish and Iraqi foreign ministers are expected to sign a comprehensive agreement to cooperate along the common border while the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq turned down a proposal to conduct a joint military operation against the PKK.

    In an article entitled "Ocalan's 'Road map' placed before Davutoglu, too", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven asserts that PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's announcement of a plan to disclose a "road map" on the "Kurdish issue" on 15 August is an Ergenekon "provocation" intended to obstruct the ruling AKP's recent initiative to solve the Kurdish question and to force the Government into unveiling its own road map before 15 August. He claims that Ocalan is the last person who should speak if he actually wants the Kurdish problem addressed. He also comments on a recent news conference held by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at which Davutoglu had to deal with "insistent" questions about Ocalan's remarks by journalists "supportive" of Ergenekon. In explaining how Ocalan's move has "compounded matters" for the Government, he highlights a statement by Davutoglu which could be "misrepresented" as a "hint" that the AKP is looking into launching direct dialog with Ocalan.

    In an article entitled "Who should conduct the effort to solve the Kurdish issue?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi warns that any dialog or bargaining between the Government and the PKK in trying to solve the "Kurdish issue" could undermine this effort and "increase the political cost [for the ruling AKP] to an unbearable level." He also argues that if the Government plays a leading role in the process toward a solution, certain forces that do not want the AKP to reap political benefits from this initiative will be certain to sabotage the effort to solve the said issue, adding that for this reason it is more appropriate to name President Gul as the person in charge of conducting the solution initiative.

    In a commentary entitled "What Abdullah Ocalan would propose as a peace plan", Emre Uslu makes "an educated guess" about what "Ocalan's expected peace proposal" involves. He predicts that Ocalan will reiterate some of his earlier proposals and asks skeptically what has changed in the past few years to make Ocalan bring a new plan to the attention of the Turkish public and state.

    In an article entitled "The problem stems from Barzani", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal links the "softened" and "even polite" tone of northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani's messages to Turkey in the past two years as well as Kurdish calls for Turkish backing for the "puppet state" established in northern Iraq to "fears" that Sunni and Shiite Arabs will reunite Iraq once the United States has withdrawn completely from this country. Unal also asks why Turkey should support Barzani's efforts to divide Iraq at the cost of alienating Iraqi Arabs, Arab countries, and Iran.

    b) Ergenekon Case: In an article entitled "Important days," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli analyzes recent developments in the Ergenekon case, including the issuance of the third indictment. He says: "This over-politicized Ergenekon process, which in addition to some alleged criminals and underground figures, has helped place behind bars some hard-core critics of the AKP government and contribute greatly to converting this country into a fear empire, is indeed a very important one which we believe will be eventually cleansed of political contamination and help this country consolidate its secular and democratic republic."

    In an article entitled "I am very confused by Ergenekon," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Cuneyt Ulsever cautions that the legitimacy of the Ergenekon case is being harmed due to various reasons, including the leakage of information to the media and the use of wiretappings which may not be accepted as evidence. Also pointing out that two witnesses who had earlier stated that a colonel masterminded some roadside executions in the southeastern part of Turkey later withdrew their statements claiming that the police advised them to give false testimonies in exchange for some promises, Ulsever says: "At this point, those accused in the case will easily question the credibility of the secret witnesses if their trial is not going well. They will claim that the statements made by these secret witnesses were made up in return for some sort of reward."

    In an article entitled "Second Ergenekon," Milliyet columnist Derya Sazak says that the Ergenekon case has clearly shown Turkish generals that they can no longer stage coups or interrupt the democratic process by resorting to assassinations and causing chaos. Emphasizing that replacing the public prosecutors conducting the investigation may hinder the process, Sazak concludes by saying that the real masterminds behind the coup plans devised between 2003 and 2007 should be brought to trial rather than prolonging the process by issuing new indictments.

    In an article entitled "Massacring justice," Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi ascribes skepticism about the Ergenekon case to the widespread conviction that the ruling party is using every opportunity for establishing a dictatorial regime based on theocratic principles. He says: "More and more people share the opinion that the AKP uses the Ergenekon probe like a vacuum cleaner in order to eliminate its opponents."

    In an article entitled "Hanefi Avci from Susurluk to date", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu criticizes "a deep code of silence" in this country which "prevents us from learning the truth" about the incidents in Thrace in 1915 and 1937, the Property Tax [imposed on minorities] in 1942, the so-called 6-7 September riots in Istanbul in 1955 [which led to the extensive emigration of citizens of Greek origin from this country], the Maras and Corum "massacres" in 1978 and 1980, etc. He goes on to laud a number of prosecutors conducting recent criminal investigations like the Ergenekon and Susurluk probes for "breaching" this "code" to uncover the facts about recent coup attempts, political assassinations, and "psychological warfare operations targeting society."

    In an article entitled "What did these death squads do in Turkey?", in Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on reports saying that "Barack Obama's CIA Chief" Leon Panetta has tracked down a network within "the US deep state" responsible for a series of illegal US operations worldwide and that former US Vice President Dick Cheney might be required by Attorney General Eric Holder to make a statement to Congress as the person in charge of the actions of this group. Karagul accuses this "assassination bureau," which, he claims, is modeled on similar "death squads" operated by Israel, of killing popular regional leaders like Benazir Bhutto and Rafik Al-Hariri in the name of fighting terrorism and treating everybody not in tune with its own perspective of the world as terrorists. He links the UAV attacks in Pakistan to this "global Ergenekon" and asserts that there is no reason to believe that Obama and Panetta have stopped the activities of this group completely. He also censures certain Turkish commentators who are outspoken in their criticism of Ergenekon for expressing disbelief in reports on the activities of the CIA unit in question and remaining indifferent to the media debate in the United States over the operations carried out by this unit.

    Under the banner headline, "Farce in Silivri," Vakit carries a front-page report highlighting some of yesterday's developments involving the arraignment of some 56 suspects in "the second Ergenekon trial," which started in Silivri, Istanbul. The report accuses some suspects of trying to "dilute" the trial by giving "irrelevant responses" to the presiding judge's questions during the identity authentication procedure.

    In an article entitled "How putschists look", Vakit columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu asserts that in trying to have the prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon probe reassigned, certain members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, HSYK, encouraged yesterday's attempts by the arraigned Ergenekon suspects to "dilute" the trial.

    Finally, in an article entitled "Conditions for success of deep state trial", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu cites the "attempts to replace the judges and prosecutors dealing with the deep state trial, dubbed Ergenekon" as the latest "snag in preventing a smooth investigation into this clandestine organization ..."

    EG/


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