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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-08-03
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 143/09 01-03.08.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus cooperates for its promotion with a group which played an important role in the independence of KosovoTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (03.08.09) refers to information published in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper according to which one international team, which consists of former diplomats who have played a key role for the independence of Kosovo, has been working as advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat for three years now. The president of this group, which is named Independent Diplomat, is Carne Ross, well-known diplomat who opposed to the war in Iraq, disagreed with the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and resigned. Mr Ross established the group in 2005 and started working with Mr Talat in 2006.
Former diplomats, lawyers and experts in foreign relations participate in the group, which instead of making propaganda for the TRNC, are working for the ties of the breakaway regime with international organizations and institutions such as the UN and the EU. The members of the group approach international personalities who do not want to meet with officials of the breakaway regime because it is not recognized and undertake preliminary initiatives in the name of Talat. The clients of the Independent Diplomat are non-recognized states like the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, reports the paper noting that the group is bound to a non-profit foundation which operates with donations. The biggest success of the group was the independence of Kosovo.
Among its recent clients are also Western Sahara, which is under the control of Morocco and Somaliland, and which has declared its independence in the northern part of Somalia.
 The representative of the illegal regime alleges that the appointment of a U.S. special representative for Cyprus is prevented by the Republic of CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (31.07.09) broadcast that the appointment of a US special representative for the ongoing negotiations process in Cyprus has been prevented by the Republic of Cyprus, according to a statement made by the self-styled TRNC representative to the US Hilmi Akil.
In a statement he released to the Washington Times and other news sources, the self-styled TRNC representative to Washington Hilmi Akil said that the occupation regime in Cyprus had made a call to the international community to add pressure in order to intensify efforts on the negotiations process.
We are not happy with the way the negotiations process is going. The negotiations must be held more often. We want the timeframe to be clarified and the international community and the United States of America to be more active on the issue, he added.
Akil reminded that the occupation regime had requested for a US special representative to be appointed but added that the Republic of Cyprus had prevented this appointment.
Referring to the issue of Turkish occupation forces in Cyprus, the illegal regimes representative Mr. Akil alleged that the Turkish army are on the island because the army of the Republic of Cyprus poses a threat to the Turkish Republic in Northern Cyprus. Mr. Akil stressed, however, that once an agreement is reached in Cyprus the Turkish army will leave the island, broadcast Bayrak.
 Denktas challenges Talat to announce the agreed issues on the negotiation processIllegal Bayrak television (31.07.09) broadcast the following:
1st President Rauf Denktas has evaluated the ongoing Cyprus negotiations process that is taking place between President Mehmet Ali Talat and Demetris Christofias. Denktas said no one has the right to end the existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Veteran leader Rauf Denktas made comments relating to the ongoing Cyprus negations process during a visit paid to him today. He said that President Mehmet Ali Talat should announce which issues have been agreed on during the negotiations process. Explaining that the 26 year old state had been established at the cost of lives and bloodshed, Mr. Denktas said no one has the capacity to give up on this.
Noting that he found the Presidential Special Representative for Negotiations Ozdil Nami statement that there are no red lines very strange, the veteran leader said people who have no red lines give the impression that they are willing to accept everything at the negotiating table.
Reminding that a single state, single sovereignty and single peoples formula had been put forward at every negotiations process since 1980, Mr. Denktas said everyone knows that the only way a federation can be established is through the sovereignty of the two separate peoples.
Criticizing the statement made by the US Ambassador claiming that the Turks of Cyprus are not Turks, Rauf Dentkas said this statement made by a diplomat who closely follows the developments in Cyprus had deeply saddened the people.
We are Turks to the core. We have not given up for 500 years and we will not give up for another 500 years, said 1st President Rauf Denktas and called on the Greek Cypriots to give up on their hopes of assimilating the Turks of Cyprus.
 General Basbug attended the reception given by the self-styled military attaché to AnkaraIllegal Bayrak television (01.08.09) broadcast the following:
In line with the celebration of the 1st of August communal Resistance Day a reception was given at the headquarters of the Officers Club in Ankara. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ankara Embassys Military attaché to Ankara Ercan Barsakcioglu hosted the reception.
Turkeys Chief of General Staff, General Ilker Basbug, commanding officers of the army, civil society organizations some foreign ambassadors military attaches were just some of the people who attended the event. General Ilker Basbug and his wife had the honour of cutting the Security Forces 33rd anniversary cake. Speaking during the event Turkeys Chief of General Staff General Basbug reminded that the biggest factor behind the success of the 20th of July Turkish Peace Operation in Cyprus is due to the works carried out in harmony and respect between then Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and the General Staffs General Semih Sancar. He said the reason why a frigate had been sunk off the shores of the Baf [Pafos] area, was due to the electronic tricks played at the time.
Also speaking during the event the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Ankara Embassys Military attaché to Ankara Ercan Barsakcioglu said that the Cyprus Turkish Security Forces who took over the flag from the TMT would continue to raise the flag up high, and added that together with the Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces they would continue to protect the nation.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (02.08.09) reports that General Basbug stated that he was the person who gave with a wireless the command for the departure of the vessels for the operation of the 20 July invasion to Cyprus. Mr Basbug made these statements during the reception for the celebrations of the 1st of August communal Resistance Day which was given at the headquarters of the Officers Club in Ankara. Mr Basbug, who described as a big success the Turkish invasion, he also said that this success was the result of the work which was carried out in harmony and respect between the Prime Minister at the time, Bulent Ecevit and the General Staffs Chief Semih Sancar.
 Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors invited 40 journalists from Russia to visit the occupied areas; In cooperation with the Turkish embassy they are searching for new markets in the Middle East and the Gulf statesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (03.08.09) reports that Soner Yetkili, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors Union, said that the demand for houses in the occupied areas decreased and added that they started searching for new markets outside the European Union. According to a written statement issued by the Union, Mr Yetkili noted that they invited 40 journalists from Russia to visit the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus between 25 and 29 August. He said that thus they will promote northern Cyprus and the products of the Turkish Cypriot building contractors and added that they also undertook initiatives towards the Middle East market.
Pointing out that after contacts they held with the illegal embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, they decided to turn to the Gulf countries as well, Mr Yetkili said that soon they will send a delegation to the Gulf countries. He noted that they are working together with the embassy of Turkey to Lefkosia on the issue of making easier the bureaucratic procedures for the persons from Turkey who want to buy houses in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Mr Yetkili noted that those who are active in the constructions business without being a licensed contractor commit a crime and added that they will put an end to this and protect the lawful contractors. He noted that they held some very useful and fruitful contacts with the illegal embassy of Turkey to Lefkosia and as a result of these contacts a step for the creation of a fund for guarantying the mortgages has been taken.
 Firms in Turkey started to produce halloumi cheeseTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (03.08.09) reports that the major cheese producers in Turkey have started to produce halloumi cheese, which is one of the typical products of Cyprus. The halloumi is advertised in the Turkish TV stations and the paper notes that for the first time the halloumi is advertised in a serious manner in the Turkish market.
In statements to Havadis, Candan Avunduk, chairman of the Union of Milk and Dairy Products Producers, said that the market for halloumi has expanded when the firms from Turkey started to produce it. Mr Avunduk noted that they have no complaint and added that this will be useful for the sales of the local producers.
The occupied areas of Cyprus exported halloumi cheese in 2008 to the following countries: Kuwait 1.242.410 kg ($ 9.169.276.18), Turkey 667.612 kg ($ 4.050.758.58), United Arab Emirates 139.500 kg ($ 951.800.01), Saudi Arabia 135.000 kg ($ 915.920.00), Egypt 25.000 kg ($ 108.934.08), Jordan 15.000 kg ($ 109.500.00), Bahrain 12.500 kg ($ 68.750.00) and Qatar 12.000 kg ($ 60.000.00).
 Allegations about Saint Barnabas GospelUnder the title Is the Barnabas Gospel cursed? Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (03.08.09) reports that interesting allegations have been put forward regarding the armed robbery (the desecration of Saint Barnabas grave and the stealing of his Gospel) carried out in 1996 at the occupied Saint Barnabas monastery in Cyprus and the assassination of journalist Kutlu Adali who was reportedly murdered because of his articles on this issue. The magazine named On [Ten] Magazine, which started its publication on 02 August 2009, refers to the issue in its article under the title One Gospel three assassinations, describes the Gospel of Saint Barnabas as cursed and writes that everybody who messed with the Gospel of Barnabas was either murdered or he became victim of an attempt for murder.
The magazine related this Gospel with the assassinations of Cardinal Mario Pompedda, who attempted to buy this holy book for the Vatican and Victoria Rabin, granddaughter of the late Israeli President, Izak Rabin. According to the
magazine, in his book under the title Apokrifal Aydogan Vatandas, a journalist of Zaman newspaper, explains all about the Gospel of Barnabas in the Aramaic language which was found in a cave in Hakkari area in Turkey in the year 1981 and the relation of this holy book with the Ergenekon case. The paper writes, inter alia, the following: The story begins when the copies got into the hands of Prof. Dr. Hamza Hocagil, expert in Aramaic language. Hocagil realizes that the copies belong to Barnabas Gospel and hiding them for two years in the headquarters of the gendarmerie he finds out later that it passed into the hands of the Special War Department. According to the allegation, the Gospel of Barnabas refers to Mohammed and sets forth that the four gospels accepted by the Vatican have been changed.
 The self-styled minister of national education youth and sports is in AnkaraIllegal Bayrak television (02.08.09) broadcast the following:
The Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports Kemal Durust and an accompanying delegation is in Ankara for a series of contacts.
Durust will be meeting with the Turkish Minister for National Education Nimet Cubukcu, Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek and the Turkish Minister responsible for Sports, Minister of State Faruk Nafiz Ozak.
All of his contacts are being held relating to the fields of education and sports.
 Divorces are increasing in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (03.08.09) reports that according to statistical data for the last four years, the number of divorces is increasing in the occupied areas of Cyprus. While in 2005 the number of the cases for divorce was 721, in 2006 it increased to 742, in 2007 it reached 772 while in 2008 809 couples applied for divorce. According to the data, the most divorces are observed in the group of those who have been married for 6-10 years. Those who have been married for more than 16 years come in the second place.
 Turkey's new permanent representative to UN to take office in AugustAnkara Anatolia news agency (01.08.09) reported the following:
Turkey's new permanent representative to the United Nations will take office in August.
Ertugrul Apakan, who is currently serving as undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will replace Baki Ilkin in mid-August.
Ilkin has been serving as Turkey's permanent representative to the United Nations since 2004.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 31 July, 1 and 2 August 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 31 July, 1 and 2 August 2009:
a) Kurdish Issue
Viewing the "Kurdish overture" announced by Interior Minister Besir Atalay in his column in Milliyet (31.07.09), Melih Asik says that the minister gave no details on the overture except that it would be "democratic." The one and only measure announced in the name of this "Kurdish overture" was "democratization," writes Asik, adding: "If this is the case, then was there anyone preventing the government from implementing a democratization process up to now? Should this question not be asked? If this is the solution, then why did you not democratize the country and the region until now?" Arguing that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, had to take a step prior to the announcement Abdullah Ocalan will be making on 15 August in a bid not to seem as though the government has engaged in a dialogue with the PKK leader, Asik asserts that Atalay performed this task by holding a much publicized news conference and making an announcement with no content.
Lauding Atalay's approach to the Kurdish issue in an article in Hurriyet (31.07.09), Oktay Eksi maintains that the approach adopted by the government to the solution of the "Kurdish" problem, namely that of "expanding the individual rights of citizens" is the right one. "If the AKP government does not abandon this approach, it will muster the support of the public and it might solve this long-lasting problem," writes Eksi, concluding: "If, however, it attempts to make concessions to those who claim 'we are different, and therefore we want certain rights,' then we shall be back at square one."
In a report in Sabah (31.07.09), Ceyda Karaaslan enumerates the red lines of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, in the solution of the Kurdish problem. The report cites the red lines as follows: The government should refrain from giving the impression that negotiations are being conducted with the terrorist organization; members of the PKK who were involved in crimes as well as the leading cadres of the PKK should not be included in a general amnesty; measures that will damage the unitary structure of the state and the unitary character of education should be avoided.
Wondering whether the first leg of the Kurdish overture will be the eradication of terror or the provision of democratic rights for Kurds in the first section of his article in Cumhuriyet (31.07.09), Cuneyt Arcayurek claims that Atalay, in his announcement, has failed to clarify this point. Questioning how Kurdish terror can be resolved through democratic measures, Arcayurek argues that the "unchanging conditions" of the DTP cannot be reconciled with the "realistic conditions." Viewing the DTP conditions of considering Ocalan a respondent and putting a stop to the military operations directed against the PKK as impossible, Arcayurek describes Atalay's announcement as devoid of content and as a proposition for negotiating with the Kurdish terrorists.
Describing Atalay's statement as "an announcement that announces nothing" in an article in Cumhuriyet (31.07.09), Ali Sirmen writes that one can still talk about an "opportunity" on the Kurdish issue. The weakening of the PKK position in north Iraq will affect its stand within Turkish borders, claims Sirmen, arguing that an overture to be made in such an atmosphere might be effective. Stressing that the terrorist organization should not be taken as a respondent, Sirmen stresses the necessity of a comprehensive overture that will aim at a countrywide conciliation, underlining that the PKK and the Kurdish issue should be separated and that democratic measures should be implemented independent of the PKK.
Assessing the recent Kurdish overtures in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (31.07.09), Semih Idiz declares that the present government has gone further than any previous government in trying to resolve the Kurdish issue, adding that the recent remarks by Aysel Tugluk, a DTP deputy from Diyarbakir, also reflect a new kind of thinking among Kurds. The writer goes on to remind the reader that there are, however, some bitter pills that will have to be swallowed on both sides if calm is to be secured. In conclusion, Idiz hopes that "wisdom will ultimately prevail and that the bloodshed will finally end."
In an article entitled "Essentials of the [Kurdish] initiative", Vakit (31.07.09) columnist Merve Kavakci argues that the Turkish state should "recognize the crimes committed against civilians [in the fight against the PKK] and offer an apology" if the Government's initiative to solve the Kurdish problem is to get off to a successful start, adding that doing so should not be too difficult at a time when the secret deeds of the JITEM [alleged gendarmerie intelligence organization] in the southeast are increasingly being brought to light.
Under the headline, "We should create a compassionate state," Milli Gazete (31.07.09) publishes a front-page report which provides highlights from an interview with Deputy Chairman of the Felicity Party, SP, Omer Vehbi Hatipoglu in which Hatipoglu explains the SP's position on the Government's "Kurdish initiative" as well as the SP's proposals for a solution to the Kurdish question. The report quotes Hatipoglu as saying that a lasting settlement should emphasize Islam as a common denominator for the Turks and Kurds.
Commenting on the Turkish Government's overture on the solution of the Kurdish problem, Fikret Bila argues in a column in Istanbul Milliyet (01.08.09) that the administration agreeing to all the Kurdish demands will be impossible. Outlining what he terms as the PKK-DTP [Democratic Society Party] demands, he stresses that the administration cannot be expected to declare a general amnesty, recognize an autonomous status for southeastern Turkey, provide a constitutional guarantee for different identities and cultures, agree to have Kurdish as an official language, and release Abdullah Ocalan and recalls the stand of the MHP [Nationalist Action Party] and CHP [Republican People's Party], saying that they will object to constitutional changes that will redefine the basic principles of the republic. He notes: They assess the developments as an indication of concessions to the PKK. Defending the view that the government has two alternatives to choose from, Bila says: It will either disclose a package that will satisfy the PKK-DTP demands or take steps that will not satisfy what the Kurds want. However, the government securing strong support for the first alternative is impossible. Meanwhile, the AKP [Justice and Development Party] will find it difficult to shoulder the political cost of such an alternative. Regarding the second alternative, it can easily be said that it will not satisfy the PKK and DTP.
In Sabah (01.08.09) Nur Batur reports on an exclusive interview with Mas'ud Barzani on his relations with Turkey and views on the PKK, Turkey's overture on the solution of the Kurdish problem, the establishment of peace, and the democratic struggle the Kurds wage for their rights. Batur says in her report that Barzani defended the view that he is not responsible for the chill that emerged in northern Iraq's relations with Turkey after their status was legalized in 2003 and notes that he held the Turkish Government responsible for the tension. Regarding the Kurdish problem, she quotes him as saying that the PKK in northern Iraq is not the main problem because the organization existed in Turkey before the militants crossed the border. Batur says that Barzani described the approach Turkey has adopted to solve the problem as a positive step and noted: Everyone has realized that the problem cannot be solved through fighting and violence. But, I do not know the direction Turkey will take. Nor do I know the decisions it will make. However, we are prepared to help Turkey in every way. Regarding a quesstion on the effort that is needed to persuade the PKK members to lay down their arms, Batur quotes Barazani urging the Kurds to wage a democratic struggle for their rights and abandon the use or arms.
In an article entitled "Turkey is preparing for peace," Zaman (01.08.09) columnist Sahin Alpay asserts that Turkey is readying for a peaceful settlement to the "Kurdish issue." He claims that those who want this problem solved have started for the first time to predominate over those who are opposed to a solution because "militarists on both sides have realized that a military solution to the Kurdish issue is not possible," Ankara sees that its current identity policies are not sustainable, the Iraqi Kurds are aware of their need for Turkey, and all related parties including the United States and the EU perceive the vital importance of stability in the region for the future of their economies.
In an article entitled "The Kurdish initiative," Today's Zaman (01.08.09) columnist Beril Dedeoglu states what is "new" about the Government's efforts to solve the Kurdish problem. She underlines three points, namely the use of the word "initiative" to refer to this effort, the fact that "everyone seems to have finally understood that the Kurdish problem (or Kurds' problem) is intertwined with Turkey's overall democratization process," and the "international context," which means that "the US is now aware that unresolved ethnic and/or religious problems can potentially stimulate new and dangerous instabilities."
Interior Minister Besir Atalay has chaired a third workshop on the Kurdish overture at the Police Academy with the participation of journalists and writers, says Hurriyet (02.08.09) in a report, which adds that the two-session workshop discussed such subjects as what measures to take during the overture process, what to include in the democratization package, what should be the role of the parliament and the political parties in the process, how should the public be briefed about the developments, and what foreign factors, risks, and stonewalling could be expected in the process. The report notes that mostly columnists close to the government, like Sabah columnist Ibrahim Kalin, who is chief diplomacy adviser to Prime Minister Erdogan, attended the workshop, adding that Bahcesehir University Rector Deniz Ulke Aribogan (who writes for Aksam), Radikal columnists Cengiz Candar and Oral Calislar, Mumtazer Turkone (Zaman columnist and husband of AKP Deputy Ozlem Turkone), Yeni Safak columnists Fehmi Koru and Ali Bayramoglu, Star director Mustafa Karaalioglu, Star columnist Nasuhi Gungor, Milliyet columnist Hasan Cemal, Haber Turk columnist Muharrem Sarikaya, Sabah columnist Okan Muderrisoglu, Taraf columnist Mithat Sancar, and Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir were among those attending the workshop.
Commenting on the workshop in a column for Vatan (02.08.09), Rusen Cakir says that the participants mainly discussed the issue of what benefit the non-Kurds will derive from the solution of the Kurdish problem. Cakir adds despondently that the meeting did not turn out to be a real workshop examining the country's problems, because the MIT [National Intelligence Organization] undersecretary, Prime Ministry undersecretary, and the chief of the Security Directorate did not attend the meeting, and the Police Academy officials who chaired the meeting only acted as moderators without generating debate, whereas Atalay only took notes but said almost nothing. Another shortcoming was the absence of any Kurdish columnist, says Cakir noting that columnists attending the meeting were already supporters of a solution, whereas the columnists averse to the Kurdish overture were either not invited or did not attend the workshop on various pretexts. Still, the meeting was "productive" in the sense that the participants tried to seek a "reasonable" solution and refrained from suggestions that would impede the process, Cakir says, adding that the future workshops could benefit from this meeting.
Declaring that similar initiatives in the past failed, Oral Calislar says in his column in Radikal (02.08.09) that what is new and promising about the new Kurdish overture is that there is a simmering popular sentiment that the Kurdish issue should be resolved and also the American intention to leave behind as little problem as possible while withdrawing from Iraq. The idea that something has to be done to the Kurdish problem, which has the potential of causing chaos in the region at any time, is gaining urgency. In short, domestic, regional, and global balances are conducive for the peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem.
Hasan Cemal, in his column for Milliyet (02.08.09), says during the workshop he put forward the idea that the PKK and the state should first observe a cease-fire to open the way for a dialogue between all concerned sides behind closed doors. Next measures should be taken to acknowledge Kurdish identity to enable the PKK to lay down its arms. In the meantime, care should be shown not to succumb to provocations from circles hostile to a democratic solution. Cemal says the eventual settlement of the Kurdish problem will be a long process, but to civilianize the Kurdish problem the senior bureaucrats must put an end to their fear of Kurds. If no measures are taken in this direction, violence might return, adding that he regards the workshop as a sign that positive changes are taking place inside the state.
In his column for Sabah (02.08.09), Erdal Safak says Atalay had hardly unveiled his plan for a workshop when the Kurdish circles started making extremist demands which if implemented would lead to Kurdish independence. Safak warns the Kurds that they cannot emulate Spain's ETA, for the model applied in Spain is incapable of preventing terrorism. The Kurds have to either follow the practice of Irish IRA or be crushed like Tamil Tigers were crushed in Sri Lanka, warns Safak, adding that the precondition for any overture in Turkey should be divestment of the PKK of its arms.
Cuneyt Arcayurk says in his column for Cumhuriyet (02.08.09) that Atalay's vague statements on the Kurdish overture elicited little positive reaction and much concern, adding that the type of journalists chosen for the workshop has created the suspicion that not Turkey but AKP is developing a model of its own for the solution of the Kurdish problem. Arcayurek declares that the CHP [Republican People's Party] and MHP [Nationalist Action Party], columnists supporting Turkey's territorial integrity, and the army will never accept such an overture. The columnist says any constitutional change to advance democracy should be made for those who "have wholeheartedly adopted Turkish identity" and not for the Kurdish ethnic group specifically. Commenting on DTP [Democratic Society Party] leader Ahmet Turk's statement that the Kurdish "genie" is out and cannot be rebottled, Arcayurek warns that there are also Turkish "genies" who can obliterate people like Ahmet Turk, "let them [Kurds] not force these [Turkish genies] come out of the bottle!"
Oktay Eksi, in his column for Hurriyet (02.08.09), claims those who participated in the workshop are people who follow the policy of surrender, warning that DTP's "Solution Project" announced in September 2008 clearly seeks division of Turkey. If Turks accept DTP demands, such as local administration and use of Kurdish in local administrations, they will be left bereft of everything.
b) Government-Military Tension
The Supreme Military Council, YAS, will meet on 1 August under the shadow of the "document" revealed by the daily Taraf and the law enabling the prosecution of military personnel in civilian courts, points out Radikal (31.07.09) columnist Murat Yetkin in an article. Describing the Ergenekon case as the platform over which the military and the government are settling their accounts, Yetkin maintains that the military is under an enormous psychological pressure, adding that never in the past had YAS met while so many of the active personnel of the TSK were either detained, arrested, or questioned within the framework of the civilian courts.
In an article entitled "Did you find it convincing?", in Vakit (31.07.09) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak questions the credibility of Ali Suat Ertosun's assertions at a news conference yesterday in response to accusations that he met with a suspect in the Ergenekon investigation as a member of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, HSYK. He claims that Ertosun's contentions sounded like a summary of the arguments put forward by defense attorneys for Ergenekon suspects. He also argues that the HSYK's composition should be revised so as to allow universities and bar associations to be represented on this board, adding that the HSYK should not be permitted to function like a "juristocracy council."
A column by Gungor Mengi in Istanbul Vatan (01.08.09) argues that the government maintains its struggle against the independence of the judicial organs in the country and claims that the AKP seems determined to use every means at its disposal to avoid complying with the EU recommendations on the matter. Mengi says: The government cannot put pressure on the judicial organs to force them to yield. That is impossible. However, it believes that it can use the tension to persuade the EU that the independence of the judicial organs creates discord between the institutions in the country. Wondering whether the government will be able to influence the EU, Mengi asserts: We hope that the EU will respond in the right way. We hope that it will try to make the government officials realize they themselves might need an independent judiciary in the future.
Mustafa Mutlu, in a column in Vatan (01.08.09), criticizes Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic's decision to transfer one of the 26 rapporteurs of the court to the Council of State. Describing Kilic's move as an operation against the secular members of the court, he says: Rapporteur Ali Riza Aydin refused to comply and asked to be retired. That might be considered as a normal process. But, Aydin is the secretary general of YARSAV [High Council of Judges and Public Prosecutors], which is targeted by the pro-government media organs. Arguing that the political administration distances itself from YARSAV, Mutlu notes that Hasim Kilic asked the rapporteurs who support the use of headdress to prepare reports on the AKP closure case and the lawsuit that was filed against the changes to be made in the constitution to allow the use of the headdress in the universities and says: The recent operation has made the people wonder whether he plans to remove or replace the rapporteurs who support secularism and comply with the Ataturkist way of thought. Stressing that he expects Hasim Kilic to make a statement to explain his decision, he notes: I hope he will say that the decision he made has nothing to do with Aydin's links with YARSAV.