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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-30

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. 141/09 30.07.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish side reiterates its target to turn the illegal Immovable Property Commission into a domestic remedy
  • [02] Reactions to the rejection of the demand of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines for direct flights between the UK and the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [03] Statements by Ercakica during his weekly press briefing
  • [04] Statements by Ozdil Nami on the Cyprus problem and the opening of the Limnitis crossing point
  • [05] Eroglu reiterates the allegation that a lasting agreement in Cyprus should not ignore the realities on the island
  • [06] The FCO said no result which could cause negative consequences for the Turkish Cypriot economy and deal a blow to the solution process of the Cyprus problem is in Britains interests
  • [07] Tacoy said the Turkish ships which came to the occupied areas of Cyprus will not carry out researches for oil
  • [08] Legal battle over the pipes of the project for carrying water from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [09] Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot athletes will reportedly compete for the first time with separate flags in the European Billiard Championship for Youth in Germany
  • [10] Graduate rejected by Swedish archaeologist for working illegal site
  • [11] The Turkish Government aims to solve the Kurdish issue with an egalitarian approach through democratization
  • [12] Mystery fund saved AKP from crisis
  • [13] Erdogans new foreign policy advisor
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 29 July 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish side reiterates its target to turn the illegal Immovable Property Commission into a domestic remedy

    Under the front-page title The target is domestic remedy Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.07.09) reports that the approval by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) of the amicable agreement reached through the Immovable Property Commission between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot refugee Mrs Andromahi Alexandrou for the latters property in the occupied areas of the island has been evaluated positively.

    It is considered that this would bring a different dimension to the debates on the property issue from the point of view of the operation of the commission, which has been established after great debates, notes the paper adding that according to experts and diplomatic circles, the commission might become an effective local remedy in time and the Greek Cypriots who want to file a lawsuit at the ECHR might be referred to this commission.

    The paper refers to statements made by lawyer Emine Erk, chairwoman of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, who said that the main target is for the commission to constitute domestic remedy. She reminded the statements made by the Greek Cypriot side to the effect that no official procedure in the occupied areas of the island could be valid. Mrs Erk noted that an action which recognizes the human rights has been accepted and appreciated by the ECHR. Mrs Erk said: When the ECHR takes a decision, it examines whether an agreement is consistent with the human rights. In the end it was decided that this agreement is consistent.

    Noting that the ECHR encourages such actions and that this has nothing to do with the political recognition, Mrs Erk noted: Having more decisions like the recent decision is good for us.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.07.09) refers to the same issue and publishes statements made by Mrs Erk under the title Erk: The decision shows that we could produce solutions in our own law. The paper writes that Mrs Erk said that this was the second approval of a decision taken by the commission after the Mike Tymvios case and pointed out that this is very positive from the point of view of its operation.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.07.09) reports that responding to a question on the same issue, Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, said yesterday during his weekly press briefing that they received the assessment of the ECHR on this matter yesterday and that thanks to this decision an effective way will be opened in the efforts regarding the issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Reactions to the rejection of the demand of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines for direct flights between the UK and the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the front-page title The rejection decision launched a debate, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.07.09) reports that reactions have been caused due to the fact that the British High Court has rejected the application submitted by the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY) for carrying out direct flights between the United Kingdom and the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu argued that this is a sign of the continuation of the unilateral behaviors against the TRNC and described the decision as disappointing. In statements before entering into the meeting of the council of ministers yesterday, Mr Erolgu reminded that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat was the one who had the lawsuit submitted and added that one of the reasons for which the court rejected the application is the resolutions of the UN Security Council in 1983 and 1984 regarding the non-recognition of the breakaway regime. Mr Eroglu alleged that the world has not abandoned the decision regarding the embargo to the TRNC people and its state. Mr Eroglu claimed that the breakaway regime is a legal state and has all the elements needed for being a state. He noted that during the last 20 years more than 30 states have declared their independence and these states were recognized.

    Referring to the same issue, the self-styled minister of public works and transport, Hasan Tacoy said that the illegal KTHY are bound to his ministry, but the lawsuit was administered under the control of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. He noted that he was not informed on this issue and he did not even know their lawyers. We do not know our lawyers on this issue. I am obliged to make this complaint both to the responsible person of the KTHY and the head of the Civil Aviation Office, he added.

    Meanwhile, Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, described the decision as disappointing. Mr Ercakica said yesterday during his weekly press briefing that both the KTHY and the CTA Holidays Limited decided to file an appeal against this decision and added: We shall continue to support the struggle of our companies on this issue. Bringing up the example of Taiwan, Mr Ercakica said that direct flights are being carried out towards this destination, in spite of the fact that Taiwan is not recognized. Replying to a question, Mr Ercakica noted that they also share the disappointment of Mr Eroglu and the criticism he made on this issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Statements by Ercakica during his weekly press briefing

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.07.09) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said that the prolonged talks and the failure to achieve enough progress have led to weariness among the TRNC people and the Greek Cypriot People.

    The spokesperson said the proposals brought by the Turkish Side should be accepted in order to speed up the negotiation process.

    Speaking at his weekly press briefing, the spokesperson stated that discussions on the issues of aliens, immigration, asylum and citizenship would continue tomorrow when president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat and the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Demetris Christofias will meet again.

    Mr Ercakica said that a response is also expected from the Greek Cypriot side to the ideas put forward by the Turkish Side regarding the method to be followed in the second round of the talks. He added that the proposal was made in order to speed up the negotiation process which is continuing since September.

    The spokesperson said that a recent survey in South Cyprus revealed that the Greek Cypriot people were not too hopeful for a solution, adding that similar impression was obtained in opinion polls carried out in the TRNC.

    He said the Greek Cypriot Side was more concentrated on Turkeys EU membership process rather than the direct talks and on how to gain more advantages by using Ankaras membership process.

    He complained that the Greek Cypriot Administrations attitude was rendering the process ineffective and has a negative effect on the expectations of the two peoples.

    But, Mr Ercakica said that the progress achieved so far should not be ignored, reminding that 30 joint papers were prepared at the talks, various decisions were taken by technical committees established by the two sides and some steps have been taken towards the implementation of a series of confidence building measures.

    Responding to a question, the Presidential Spokesperson welcomed the European Court of Human Rights decision to endorse a friendly settlement reached between a Greek Cypriot and the Immovable Property Commission in the TRNC.

    He said the recognition of the Immovable Property Commission as a domestic remedy for Greek Cypriot property claims was very important.

    Asked to comment on geophysical research activities carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, he reminded that the Greek Cypriot Side was warned that its attempts to launch unilateral oil and gas exploration in the region would lead to such developments.

    Accusing the Greek Cypriot Administration of ignoring the warning also voiced by Turkey, he complained that the Administration is using the issue to create obstacles in the way of Ankaras EU membership process.

    He noted that the activities carried out by Turkey were in line with its rights, adding that such activities should be launched after an agreement among the countries in the region.

    [04] Statements by Ozdil Nami on the Cyprus problem and the opening of the Limnitis crossing point

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.07.09) reports that Ozdil Nami, representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and responsible for the relations with the UN and the EU, has argued that the Turkish Cypriot people have come very close to the solution and to take the place they deserve in the world.

    In statements yesterday to SIM Kanal television and SIM FM, Mr Nami said that the process regarding the opening of Limnitis crossing point will take a long time, because the current infrastructure and the roads are in a bad condition. He noted that the contract regarding the tender for the feasibility study for the Limnitis crossing point is being prepared by the UN, that this will be brought to the attention of the two sides and that the tender will be opened very shortly as a result of an agreement reached between himself and Mr George Iacovou, representative of President Christofias. Mr Nami said that the tender for the feasibility study will be bi-communal, that is, it will be open to firms from both sides to establish bi-communal partnerships and participate in the tender.

    Referring to the Cyprus talks, Mr Nami argued that the United Nations will play the role of arbitrator at the very last stage on issues on which agreement is not reached between the leaders and added that the leaders will put into action the arbitration only for the overcoming of the existing problems. He noted that it is not known whether the UN will produce solutions only in favor of the Turkish side or the Greek side on the issues on which agreement is not reached and that both sides have some concerns on the arbitration role. Therefore, he added, the Turkish side has the opinion that there will be no need for this arbitration and it is exerting efforts to convince the Greek side for this.

    Mr Nami said that the power will to a great extent be in the constituent states in the form of the administration which the Turkish side is foreseeing and added that effective participation and political equality should definitely exist in the joint federal government. He noted that to a great extent there is consensus on these powers between the sides.

    Mr Nami said that with the support of Turkey the Turkish Cypriots reached very close to the targets they set, but this does not depend only on the stance of the Turkish side. He alleged that the Greek Cypriot side should also have this wish and claimed that the international community has the duty of ensuring this wish.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Eroglu reiterates the allegation that a lasting agreement in Cyprus should not ignore the realities on the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.07.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has argued that in order for a lasting agreement to be reached at the ongoing Cyprus talks, the realities which existed before 1974 and the reality of the two states which exist today should not be ignored. Therefore, the state should be supported, said Mr Eroglu in statements yesterday during a meeting with a delegation from the Retired Fighters Association.

    Referring to the Koran courses, Mr Eroglu said that classes on religion exist in all the EU countries and added that last year 400 children were taken to Turkey by unknown hands or circles with some intentions, but this year the UBP prevented this.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The FCO said no result which could cause negative consequences for the Turkish Cypriot economy and deal a blow to the solution process of the Cyprus problem is in Britains interests

    Under the front-page title It cannot replace the comprehensive solution, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (30.07.09) reports that the British government responded to the 60 Turkish Cypriot organizations which conveyed to it an application in June regarding their concerns on the verdict of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) as regards the Orams case.

    In the written reply given by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) it is noted that no result which could cause negative consequences for the Turkish Cypriot economy and deal a blow to the solution process of the Cyprus problem is in Britains interests. It is also said that the private lawsuits cannot substitute the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The FCO points out that it would not be appropriate for us as British government to intervene in this case. The FCO reiterates Britains commitment to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution based on political equality as it is provided by the UN parameters. The letter bears the date of 20 July 2009 and it is signed by Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead on behalf of the Ministry for Europe, which is bound to the FCO, notes Star Kibris.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Tacoy said the Turkish ships which came to the occupied areas of Cyprus will not carry out researches for oil

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (30.07.09) reports that the self-styled minister of public works and transport, Hasan Tacoy said that the two ships, which were recently brought from Turkey to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, came for cleaning the occupied ports and the fishing shelters and not for carrying out researches for oil, as Afrika had reported.

    He noted: I wish they came for that reason and such a work to start, because I am one of those persons who believe that the actions taken by the South and is trying to materialize could be responded only on the basis of reciprocity and I believe that this should be done. However, there is no such thing. These are works only for cleaning our shelters and secure more contribution from these shelters to our economy.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Legal battle over the pipes of the project for carrying water from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the front-page title A crisis came up in the Peace water, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.07.09) reports that the project for carrying 75 million cubic meters of water annually from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus and transferring this water to the free areas of the Republic as well, has been taken to the court because of a quarrel between the partners.

    The paper notes that a war of copyright and patent broke out. Ibrahim Mirmahmutoglulari, chairman of the Dizayn Group, argued that they have the international patent for the pipeline system which transfers liquids under the sea and said: We have taken to court Alarko [company] because it excluded us and the State Water Affairs (DSI) because it prevented justice. We demand a compensation of $ 30 million dollars. If the local remedy is blocked, we shall go to the European Court of Human Rights. The paper reports that the occupied areas of Cyprus need annually 35 million cubic meters of water and face a shortage of 15 million cubic meters. With the project of carrying water with balloons, an additional amount of 1.5 million cubic meters of water is provided to the area.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot athletes will reportedly compete for the first time with separate flags in the European Billiard Championship for Youth in Germany

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (30.07.09), under the title They will compete for the first time with different flags, reports in its sport pages that Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot athletes will compete for the first time with separate flags in the European Billiard Championship for Youth which will take place in the town of Bad Wildungen, Germany between 1-8 of August. As the paper reports, the countries and the names of the athletes who will participate in the Championship appears in the official website of the European Pocket Billiard Federation which organizes the Championships. Moreover, the paper adds that the Turkish Cypriot athletes who will participate in the event are presented with the flag of the TRNC, whereas the Greek Cypriots athletes with the flag of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In his statements on the issue, the chairman of the Billiard Federation of the occupation regime, Mr. Askin Burcu stated that they feel proud because of the fact that for the first time they will compete with their own flag the athletes from South Cyprus. Mr. Askin Burcu thanked also Mr. Kemal Durust, self-styled Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, for his contribution to their participation in the tournament. The paper further writes that the group of the Turkish Cypriot athletes who will participate in the tournament will fly to Germany on July 31 of and return to the island on August 9.

    (AK)

    [10] Graduate rejected by Swedish archaeologist for working illegal site

    Under the above title, Cyprus Today midweek (29.07.09) reported the following:

    A TOP Swedish archaeologist rejected a work experience application from a TRNC graduate because she had worked at the Kaleburnu [occupied Galinoporni] site.

    Isik Atay, a graduate of Eastern Mediterranean Universitys Archaeology and Art History Department, applied for a student placement at the prestigious Medelhavs Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, but was rejected by curator Dr Kristian Goransson.

    Ms Atay had been keen to gain experience in the museums New Cypriot gallery, which houses finds made by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition between 1927 and 1931, and is funded by the Greek Cypriot Leventis Foundation.

    In an e-mail after rejecting her application, Dr Goransson wrote: The excavations at Kaleburnu are considered illegal by Unesco and we cannot in any way be associated with this project.

    In response, Ms Atays former professor, Uwe Muller, has sent letters of complaint to Ingemar Lindahl, the Swedish Ambassador to Cyprus, and several members of the European Parliament, but has yet to receive a reply. He said: I am not aware of any Unesco ruling on the Kings Hill salvage project.

    It is the Republic of Cyprus which is objecting and its point of view is a clear violation of the second protocol to The Hague Article Nine.

    Article Nine of the second protocol to The Hague states: A party in occupation of the whole or part of the territory of another party shall prohibit and prevent in relation to the occupied territory: any archaeological excavation, save where this is strictly required to safeguard, record or preserve cultural property.

    Archaeologists hope the Kings Hill Bronze Age site near Kaleburnu will reveal further secrets when a dig begins on Saturday.

    Eastern Mediterranean Universitys Professor Uwe Muller and a team of international students are set to begin a new phase of work at the ancient site despite Greek Cypriot claims that the excavation is illegal.

    In 2008, Prof Muller secured funding from Germanys Tubingen University to support a dig at Kings Hill, but academics withdrew support following a complaint from the Greek Cypriot authorities. Despite this, a scaled-down dig went ahead.

    Prof Muller said: Last year we had to concentrate on mapping the area due to a lack of funds. We also failed to win European Union funding for a museum project. I am totally frustrated with the EU and have given up on them as a source of funding.

    Prof Muller said the EU had rejected a funding bid as it did not fit the criteria. He said I received two letters on the same day. One, from the EU Cyprus taskforce head Andrew Rasbash, said wheat a wonderful idea the project was.

    And the other was a letter of rejection saying that other projects had scored higher.

    We had the support of six Euro MPs but in the end all they could offer us was one room in a schoolhouse, with the rest given over to a local handicrafts project. We needed a restoration lab and storeroom but were told that we did not fit the criteria.

    Prof Muller will begin further work at Kings Hill after securing funding from the TRNC authorities. He said: It takes time and is very bureaucratic but everyone here is trying to help us.

    The professor is bringing a specialist team from Germany to drill and analyze sediment in an attempt to find the areas ancient coastline, believed to be inland from its current location.

    The pioneering project has helped forge links with the Kaleburnu community, the professor added. They used to routinely rob these tombs but now they see their importance. We have shared our discoveries with the local people and they are proud of their cultural heritage.

    Our main aim is to set up a restoration lab with the Department of Antiquities and train local staff who could also earn money restoring private collections. He added the potential for tourism at the site was enormous, but added his team had been hamstrung by constantly fighting an international battle of legitimacy.

    Two English literature lecturers from Gazi Magusas Eastern Mediterranean University literally stumbled across the Kaleburnu site while hiking in the area during the summer of 2004.

    A subsequent dig of Kings Hill revealed a priceless bronze hoard of 26 objects, among them 16 storage vessels and three incense burners. They are said to date from the Cypriot Bronze Age, which ran from the 13th to the 12th century BC.

    In a report on the initial dig, archaeologists from Germanys Tubingen University wrote: Kings Hill looms steeply approximately 100m from the surrounding fertile plains with large terraces on its eastern and southern slopes.

    Traces of settlement are visible almost everywhere on its surface. On the top plateau, which is about 30m higher than the highest terraces, clear architectural structures are visible and lots of shards of large storage vessels.

    Its exposed topographical position, the unusually large storage capacity and above all the exquisite bronze hoard suggest it was an elite residence and/or a sanctuary. We may therefore assume that the settlement was an administrative centre. By contrast with the rest of the island, such centers are unknown on the Karpaz peninsula. In antiquity, the peninsula had an extremely advantageous geographical position close to one of the busiest shipping lanes in the Mediterranean.

    [11] The Turkish Government aims to solve the Kurdish issue with an egalitarian approach through democratization

    Turkish dailies Cumhurriyet, Hurriyet, Milliyet and Sabah newspapers (30.07.09) report about the press conference given by the Turkish Minister of Interior Besir Atalay yesterday in Ankara during which he said that the Turkish government believes that the issue would be solved with an egalitarian approach through democratization.

    He went on and said that in an attempt to solve the problem they have studied several other countries experience, however, he added a special model would be implemented which will be unique to Turkey.

    This problem could only be solved by enhancement of democratic rights and ensuring that all citizens feel themselves as equal and free individuals, Atalay declared.

    Atalay made clear in the beginning of the press conference that they did not yet decide on the measures. He said this was a process where measures would be shaped along the way through consensus of all state organs and all components of the society.

    He said that all segments of the society ranging from political parties to civil organizations, displayed a positive approach for overcoming the problem of terrorism through a social consensus, adding that his government wanted to take this opportunity.

    The papers also give prominence to the first reactions expressed by the Kurdish groups, and political parties regarding Atalays press conference.

    The leader of the Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) Ahmet Turk said: As the DTP we will shoulder our responsibilities. He said that the government has intensions to address the issue but it lacks the project. He went on and warned that it is possible that there would be provocations against this opening and urged the government to act quickly. He said that in this process the PKK leader, currently serving life imprisonment in Turkey, Abdullah Ocalan, should be included.

    The main opposition, the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) spokesman Mustafa Ozyurek said: Everybody was expecting from the esteemed Minister that he would make statements as far as the substance of the solution is concerned, however, he refrained to say anything on the substance. This statement is made in a hurry in order to be in the lead regarding press reports that the PKK leader Ocalan will announce his Kurdish Road Map on 15 August, Ozyurek noted.

    The deputy parliamentary group leader of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Mehmet ^and1r said that they have carefully noted the press conference and said: Anything that paves the ground for division in the society we do not consider to be right . This could divide the people into camps and lead to domestic conflicts. No institution and establishment should approve any initiative which will destroy the Turkic unity, Mehmet Sandir concluded.

    Kurdish people living in the Kurdish areas in Turkey expressed guarded optimism.

    (MHY)

    [12] Mystery fund saved AKP from crisis

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (29.07.09), under the above title, reports that an "enigmatic" $18 billion foreign currency has found its way into the Central Bank at the height of the economic crisis between October 2008 and May 2009, thus saving the AKP government from a worst economic crisis. The report is by Mustafa Sonmez. The report adds that the Central Bank's explanation that the money came from repatriated money under an amnesty plan is not satisfactory enough.

    [13] Erdogans new foreign policy advisor

    Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (29.07.09), under the title Meet Erdogan's new chief foreign policy advisor, reports that Turkeys Ambassador to Belgium Fuat Tanlay is being appointed as Prime Minister Erdogan's new chief foreign policy advisor.

    The report claims that Tanlay came under fire in Belgium over his remarks saying, in criticizing Belgian authorities for keeping the trial of some six members of the terrorist DHKP-C [Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front] on hold indefinitely, that he hoped Belgium would understand the meaning of terrorism by becoming its victim one day. The paper reports that this kind of reaction has become the reason of a debate. It is reported that the Belgium Foreign Ministry would ask from the Turkish Ambassador a clarification.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.07.09) reports the following:

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied allegations that Turkish Ambassador in Brussels Fuat Tanlay was recalled because of his statements about the illegal Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C).

    In a statement, the Ministry said that news reports including those allegations were totally baseless.

    "Ambassador Tanlay was appointed to the post in Brussels in 2005 and his tenure ended this year. He is about to become the chief advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for foreign affairs," the Ministry said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 29 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 29 July 2009:

    a) Kurdish Issue:

    Commenting on President Abdullah Gul's statement that the Kurdish problem in Turkey "will be automatically solved once the democratic standards are raised," Mehmet Y. Yilmaz argues in the first part of his column in Milliyet that though Gul's statement sounds sweet to the ear, there does not seem to be a real political will to raise the democratic standards on the part of a government that itself has no democratic convictions, cannot tolerate an in dependent judiciary, and fears its own anti-democratic grass roots. The columnist wonders if Prime Minister Erdogan is courageous enough to make a historic decision that might cost him elections.

    Also commenting on Gul's statement that Turkey will solve its problems "on its own" and on the official refutation of press reports that Gul has sent an indirect message to Ocalan, Cuneyt Ulsever says in his column in Hurriyet that such a statement and refutation are signs that neither Gul nor Erdogan are willing to recognize Ocalan or the PKK as their interlocutor. Ulsever points to the lack of any concrete proposals in Gul's statement and doubts that even raising the democratic standards would meet some of the Kurdish demands.

    Fikret Bila declares in his column in Milliyet that despite repeated calls from the DTP [Democratic Society Party] on the government to recognize Ocalan as its interlocutor, Ankara has not shifted its position and is doing everything to show that it is not taking Ocalan, the PKK, or the DTP as its interlocutor. While careful not to create the impression that it is talking to Ocalan or the DTP, the government, nevertheless, is working on an "overture" to Kurds and is planning to announce that overture without waiting for Ocalan's road map; for, any overture after Ocalan's road map would create the impression that the government has been talking to him and taking him as a counterpart. Bila quotes unnamed government ministers as saying that for the government its direct interlocutors are the ordinary citizens for whom all the reforms are being enacted. As regards the international aspect of the Kurdish problem, the Turkish government is taking Baghdad, Arbil, and Washington as its interlocutor. In short, the Turkish government is holding negotiations not with Kurds at home, but abroad with Iraq, the Iraqi Kurds, and United States, Bila adds.

    In a column for Hurriyet Daily News, Enis Berberoglu similarly declares: "It is accurate to say that Ankara seeks an addressee for the Kurdish initiative. However, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, leader Abdullah Ocalan is never going to be the one. Turkey's intension is to resolve the Kurdish issue and to leave the PKK without any ground. Therefore, the address chosen is Iraqi Kurdistan, or officially Northern Kurdistan, and not Imrali Island where Ocalan is imprisoned. The election results in northern Iraq served Turkey's interests. For the first time, an alternative name has appeared as a substitute to the Massoud Barzani-Jalal Talabani duo."

    Ismet Berkan, in his column for Radikal, also believes that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government will never take the PKK or the DTP as its interlocutor, for the AKP claims to be more representative of Kurds than either PKK or DTP. Noting that in general the AKP regards any compromise with any group or party as a sign of weakness, Berkan says on the Kurdish issue too the AKP will act on its own. And this is not a bad thing Berkan believes, for there is noting to discuss with the PKK except disarming it. As regards the human and cultural rights of Kurds, they cannot be subject of any debate anyway, for, they are the Kurds' natural rights. So, all that is needed is a strong political will granting these rights to Kurds.

    A report by Rifat Basaran in Radikal points out that while the AKP and DTP support Gul's statement that "good things are happening in the solution of the Kurdish problem," the CHP and MHP are apprehensive about Gul's attitude. The report quotes AKP deputy whip Bekir Bozdag as saying that the Kurdish problem cannot be solved only with the desire of Gul, rather the NGOs and opposition parties must also contribute to the process; for, no proposal for a solution could be advanced without public support. CHP deputy whip Mustafa Ozyurek says the government has so far failed to seek the opinion of the opposition on the issues and is "trying to announce a road map at the suggestion of the United States." MHP deputy whip Oktay Vural says Gul's prognosis about "good things" to come may actually be a harbinger of national discord and ethnic separatism. DTP deputy whip Selahattin Demirtas welcomes Gul's positive approach to the dialogue on the Kurdish issue. Diyarbakir Chamber of Industry and Trade chief Galip Ensarioglu says with such statements Gul is contributing to the peace process, adding that the Turks and Kurds must act quickly to reach an agreement while the Ergenekon elements are in jail.

    In a column for Taraf, Lale Sariibrahimoglu says that though the government is going to take a number of measures to somewhat reduce PKK's influence in the southeast, none of these measure will please the Kurds or Turks or open the way for a radical solution, because a radical solution would require the government to unveil a socio-economic program for the region that would help ordinary Kurds and then follow up those measures by granting cultural rights to Kurds whose nationalistic sentiments will naturally increase as the region develops economically. Under the present condition, the fighters of the PKK, which has a yearly income of $100 million, will not return to an economically insecure civilian life.

    During the tripartite meeting in Ankara yesterday between Turkey, Iraq and the United States a decision has been made to provide detailed intelligence information to Turkey on the residents of Mahmur camp, to improve the US command center in Arbil for a more effective struggle against the PKK, and to enhance the joint intelligence efforts on PKK, according to a Hurriyet report, which quotes Interior Minister Besir Atalay as saying that concrete security issues were discussed at the meeting as well as the issue of Turkey training Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi side has asked Turkey about its support for the Sunni groups engaged in armed struggle in Iraq. The Turkish side has replied that the meeting with these groups in Istanbul last spring was done with the knowledge of Iraqi government and the United States.

    Commenting on the Turkish-Kurdish-US ties in the context of Iraq, Burak Bekdil says in his column in Hurriyet Daily News: "As almost always, all roads lead to Washington in this complex Middle Eastern chessboard. It will be a fine little test if the Turks and Kurds on both sides of their border had good reason to hooray when Barack Obama took over from the most-disliked U.S. president. As for the Turks and Kurds on the same side of the border, things will be a little bit more difficult, but not too difficult. The choice is there. The Turks, Iraqi and Turkish Kurds and Americans will either speak the same language and build the Tower of Babylon in the 21st century or disperse into different tongues with the work for a great project unfinished."

    Under the headline, "The goal is to root out PKK," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which says that the third meeting of "the "three-way mechanism established with the cooperation of Turkey, Iraq, and the United States as part of the struggle against the PKK" was held at ministerial level in Ankara yesterday. The report quotes Turkish Interior Minister Mehmet Atalay as saying the meeting discussed all issues including the evacuation of the Mahmur camp in northern Iraq.

    In an article entitled "Well, then, I demand that Lazistan be established, too", Vakit columnist Nusret Cicek criticizes AKP Diyarbakir Deputy Ihsan Arslan for arguing that Ankara should treat PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan as a counterpart if it wants to address the "Kurdish issue" successfully. Cicek claims that Arslan's assertions reflect a shared misconception of Kurdish rights as being synonymous with what the PKK stands for. He also argues that for the Turkish state to recognize Kurdish demands for autonomy would be to invite similar demands from other ethnic groups in this country.

    In an article entitled "The Kurdish workshop", Zaman columnist Bejan Matur cites the "change of style" that marked the attitude of Democratic Society Party, DTP, deputies who attended the recent "Kurdish Workshop" held in Diyarbakir as an indication of how Kurdish political players in this country redefine their positions whenever the state signals that it will develop a new Kurdish policy.

    Also front-paged is a report entitled "Pro-Kurdish DTP should shoulder its responsibilities," which quotes "experts" as saying that "as expectations run high for the resolution of Turkey's long-standing Kurdish problem ... the DTP has "many responsibilities to take on" such as contributing to efforts to bring about a solution rather than trying to include Ocalan in a solution process.

    Finally, in an article entitled "'Kurdish process:' With or without Ocalan?", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar argues that "progress" can be made toward ending the debate over whether Ocalan should be treated as a counterpart in the Kurdish settlement process if Erdogan "allows" AKP deputies from the southeast to engage in "deep talks with DTP deputies."

    EG/


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