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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-08-18

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. 154/09 18.08.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Experts from the AKP are said to believe that cheaper workforce and a population of at least one million is needed for a self-sufficient economy in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [02] Panic for a bomb in front of the so-called embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Lefkosia
  • [03] Gul thanked Al-Thani for allowing to open a representative office of the occupation regime in Qatar
  • [04] The new Turkish commanders visited Talat and Eroglu
  • [05] Kucuk said that they will launch work at Tohni
  • [06] Disappointment for the universities
  • [07] Data on the tourism of the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] Details of road map leak to media
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 17 August 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Experts from the AKP are said to believe that cheaper workforce and a population of at least one million is needed for a self-sufficient economy in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title What is the target of the AKP? Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (18.08.09) reports that debates have started on the target of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government which imposes the same economic package to all the TRNC governments having the approach of cover your own current expenditure. The paper accuses the Erdogan government of dragging the economy of the breakaway regime into crisis with the so-called economic measures it imposed, by closing the taps and accusing the Turkish Cypriots of receiving high salaries and living in luxury. The paper reports, inter alia, the following:

    First the crisis swept away the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) government and now it is leading the National Unity Party (UBP) into an impasse from which it cannot come out. ...

    It is said that the AKP government, which is consciously dragging the country into an economic and political crisis, is attempting to materialize a new exchange of population and migratory policy. The experts of the AKP, who support that cheaper workforce and a population of at least one million is needed for a self-sufficient economy, believe that they will be able to achieve this target with the so-called economic measures which have been imposed.

    Political observers are noting that this policy, which ignores the national cause, will force the Turkish Cypriots to migrate and the places which will be vacated will be filled up with cheap workforce which will be brought from Turkey.

    It is certain that the struggle between the Eroglu government, which is forced to operate under the pressure of the Erdogan government, and the trade unions which escalated the struggle against these anti-populist actions, will cause very big social explosions.

    The question which should be answered is the following: Is the Erdogan government preparing the people for a referendum with these economic measures or for the period after the referendum? Or are all these a massive manipulation move in order to threaten the Greek Cypriot sector by using the Turkish people as subject of the experiment?

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Panic for a bomb in front of the so-called embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.08.09) reports that panic was caused yesterday that a bomb was put in front of the so-called Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia. The reason for the panic was a plastic bag left by a person at the entrance of the building. It was established that the bag contained clothes.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Gul thanked Al-Thani for allowing to open a representative office of the breakaway regime in Qatar

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.08.09) reported the following:

    Turkey and Qatar have agreed to establish a joint committee to seek opportunities on energy cooperation, sources said on Monday. Turkish and Qatar's high-level officials got together at a meeting co-chaired by Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Qatar's Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

    Gul told the meeting that energy was the primary area of cooperation between the two countries and offered to set up a committee that would ascertain opportunities on energy cooperation, sources said.

    Al-Thani accepted Gul's proposal and said Qatar was ready to work together with Turkey. Energy ministers of the two countries had a separate meeting for details after this decision, sources added. The meeting of Turkey's and Qatar's officials also discussed ways to increase trade volume and work on investment opportunities.

    Gul informed al-Thani about Turkey's energy hub Ceyhan and said Qatar could have an oil storage facility in Ceyhan. Al-Thani was positive about Gul's offer, sources said.

    Gul also thanked al-Thani for his permission for a Turkish Cypriot representative office in Qatar.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Qatar's Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani held a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey on Monday.

    "Qatar's Amir al-Thani and I discussed cooperation in the area of energy in detail," Gul said. The two parties decided to establish a working group to be chaired by energy ministers of the two countries, he said.

    Gul said Turkish and Qatari parties discussed bilateral relations, regional matters and economic relations in meetings. "Trade volume between the two countries is nearly 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. Qatar's investments in Turkey and Turkey's in Qatar have exceeded 8 billion U.S. dollars," he said.

    "We told al-Thani in the meeting that Turkey appreciates Qatar due to its effective role in solution of several problems in the region," Gul said.

    Al-Thani said that there were deep-rooted ties between Turkey and Qatar. Qatar was eager to have a gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey, al-Thani said.

    [04] The new Turkish commanders visited Talat and Eroglu

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.08.09) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus makes people feel safe.

    Major General Berkay Turgut, Brigadier General Izzet Cetingoz and Lieutenant Colonel Sedat Ozuer who have started their duties in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus visited President Mehmet Ali Talat and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu this morning.

    In a short statement during the visit to Prime Minister Eroglu, the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu said they were fulfilling an honourable mission.

    For his part, the Premier said that the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces makes the TRNC people feel safe. We dont want it to be disrupted. Your existence makes the TRNC people happy, they feel gratitude for you, he said.

    Mr Eroglu noted that all circles even those with different views did not want to give up from Turkeys guarantee. He said that the developments occurred before and after 1974 proved the importance of the existence of the Turkish Armed Forces.

    Major General Berkay Turgut will serve as the Commander of the 28th Mechanized Division, Brigadier General Izzet Cetingoz as commander of the 14th Armored Brigade and Staff Colonel Sedat Ozuer as the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus for two years.

    [05] Kucuk said that they will launch work at Tohni

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.08.09) broadcast the following:

    Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish member of the Committee, told BRT that work at a second gravesite in South Cyprus where Taskent [Tohni] martyrs were buried, would start through the end of the year in line with the program drawn up for 2009.

    Calling on the Taskent villagers not to worry about the excavations to be carried out at the site, she said they were not expecting to face any difficulties in carrying out their work.

    She explained that the Committee identified and returned the remains of 50 missing persons to their families in the first half of 2009, adding that it would identify and handover the remains of 80 to 90 missing persons in the second half of the year.

    She said that the remains of some 550 missing persons have been unearthed and that some 170 of those handed over to their families until now. Kucukk also added that 44 of those returned to their families were Turks and the rest were Greek Cypriots.

    She noted that the Committee is planning to continue the project it launched in 2004 in the coming 3 to 4 years.

    [06] Disappointment for the universities

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.08.09) reports that in spite of the fact that 16.450 places were given by the illegal universities to students from Turkey who would like to study this year in the occupied areas, only 4.273 persons from Turkey applied for these places. The quota of each illegal university and the number of the students from Turkey who preferred to study there are as follows:
    University                     Quota Preference
    Near East (YDU)                4.521   1.557
    Eastern Mediterranean (DAU)    4.042   1.174
    Keryneia American (GAU)        3.585     680
    International Cyprus (UKU)     2.287     513
    Lefka European (LAU)           2.015     346
    

    The paper writes that the number of students who preferred the illegal universities this year decreased from 8.143 last year to 4.273.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.08.09) refers to the same issue and reports that the economic loss from the decrease in the number of the students has caused great concern. In statements to the paper, officials from the illegal universities related the decrease in the number of students to the economic crisis. Another view is that the increase in the number of the universities in Turkey has also influenced the illegal universities.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Data on the tourism of the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.08.09) reports that a decrease of 7.000 passengers is observed in the number of the persons who traveled to the occupied areas of Cyprus with the four aviation companies which fly to the occupied part of the island in the first six months of 2009 in comparison with the same period of 2008. The total number of tourists decreased from 429.229 in the year 2008 to 422.131 in 2009.

    However, the paper notes that an increase of around 10% was observed in the number of tourists from Britain who visited the occupied areas of Cyprus in the first six months of 2009 in comparison with the same period in 2008. According to statistical data acquired by the paper from the self-styled ministry of tourism, the number of tourists from Britain increased from 23.443 to 26.609 in the above-mentioned period.

    The same data show that 35% of the total number of the visitors of the occupied areas came from Britain in the same period of 2008 and that this percentage increased to 39% in the first six months of 2009. The paper notes that an increase of 13% is also observed in the tourists from Italy. 242 Italian tourists visited the occupied areas in the first six months of 2008, while in the same period of 2009, this number increased to 724. The majority of the tourists who visit the occupied areas come from Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Details of road map leak to media

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper online (17.08.09) reported the following:

    Ahead of unveiling his plan to end the Kurdish conflict, Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, gave some hints about his road map to his lawyers. Ocalan has called for greater democracy for the Kurdish people in Turkey and has called on the Turkish state to recognize the rights of Kurds to become a democratic nation.

    Details of the road map to be announced by the imprisoned leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, have been leaked to the media.

    PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan reportedly spoke through his lawyers, saying that the solution plan should include the recognition of the Turkish state by Kurds in Turkey and the state should accept the right of Kurds to become a democratic nation.

    PKKs jailed leader Ocalan was expected to reveal his road map for the resolution of the Kurdish issue via his lawyers on Aug. 15, the date when the PKK carried out its first armed attack in the southeastern region of Eruh. However, it was later announced that the road map failed to materialize because Ocalan was unable to finalize his preparations.

    Ahead of unveiling his plan to end the Kurdish conflict, Ocalan gave some hints about his road map to his lawyers. Ocalan has called for greater democracy for the Kurdish people in Turkey. Ocalan called on the Turkish state to recognize the rights of Kurds to become a democratic nation.

    A new process has started, it is as important as the creation of the republic (in 1923) by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Turkish Republic, Ocalan told his lawyers in his latest meeting with them at the Imrali Islam prison in northwest Turkey, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported.

    Democratic Kurdish nation

    Everything has to change from beginning to end. We will end this issue that started in the 1920s. The Turkish republic is now going to become more democratic. In my plan, all Turks and Kurds will be together and will be able to display their own language and cultures, Ocalan said.

    His lawyers regularly meet him at the prison where he has been serving a life prison term since 1999 for treason.

    He also came up with a model that anticipated a self-defense mechanism in a bid to end the conflict in the southeastern region. Kurds will also have the right to create an entity similar to a democratic nation and to be organized in different fields of life such as sport, education and religion. This entity will similarly have the right to establish its own parliament and municipality if it can, according to Ocalan. He also dismissed the federal-state system in northern Iraq, finding it noncompliant with his model.

    "In the past I believed that everything would be solved if we created a state... Now I reject a federation like the one in Iraq," he was quoted as saying by Firat news agency.

    He said his solution plan included the recognition of the Turkish state by Kurds in Turkey and the state should similarly accept the right of Kurds to become a democratic nation. A compromise will thus be achieved.

    DTP should understand the process well

    He said the Democratic Society Party, or DTP, should understand the newly initiated process well. The Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, and the

    Republican Peoples Party, or CHP, should not remain obstacles before the peace plan. Otherwise, they prepare for their end in a political sense, Ocalan said. He also said the sincerity of the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, concerning its Kurdish move would likewise be revealed and more clear in two months.

    According to Ocalan, the United States and some other political powers will adopt a new political fashion in the Middle East and dont want the existence of the PKK in this process. But the United States understands that it cant realize its new policy with weapons, he said. It wanted the PKK to lay down arms but it also had to compromise with the PKK.

    Atalay continues his tour

    Meanwhile, Besir Atalay, coordinator of the Justice and Development Party, or AKPs, recently announced Kurdish plan, met Felicity Party, or SP, Chairman Numan Kurtulmus on Monday as part of his tour of Turkish political parties and non-governmental organizations regarding the government's democratic move, which aims to find a solution to the Kurdish issue.

    Speaking after the meeting, Atalay said his recent meetings were tangible steps to make progress regarding the move. We are taking the opinions of our political parties and NGOs, Atalay said. Indeed, we are getting richer too. Our work is thriving and getting more dimensions with these opinions. That's what we aim for.

    For his part, Kurtulmus said he gave Atalay a report that reflects the opinions of his party about the matter. Kurtulmus also offered his proposals to stop terrorism in Turkey, suggesting that the Turkish military should end operations in southeastern Turkey and the terrorist organization PKK should lay down arms.

    Meanwhile, a group of relatives of soldiers killed battling Kurdish militants in the Southeast placed a black wreath in front of the AKP building to criticize the AKPs Kurdish move.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 17 August 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 17 August 2009:

    Kurdish issue

    A report by Namik Durukan in Milliyet details the clues Abdullah Ocalan gave to his lawyers during their recent meeting regarding the road map he will be declaring soon. According to the highlights of this road map posted on Firat News Agency, Ocalan says he is against a federation, adding: "The Kurds will recognize and accept the state. The state will accept the rights of Kurds to be a democratic nation."

    In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates an interview he conducted with former Chief of Staff Hilmi Ozkok on the Kurdish issue initiated by the government and the Kurdish identity. Warning against wrong solutions, Ozkok believes that the solution should entail unifying and not separating factors. Arguing against any kind of negotiations with the PKK, Ozkok says: "It is wrong for either the terrorist organization or its leader Ocalan to officially participate in this process. I believe that their official participation will block the process."

    Viewing Ambassador Umit Pamir's proposal to hold a referendum to determine whether Kurds want secession or coexistence in an article in Milliyet, Kadri Gursel says that this is the wrong approach. Conceding that the open discussion of the Kurdish issue will be beneficial, Gursel maintains that if the path to a solution happens to be blocked, the issue of a referendum should then be placed on the agenda as an alternative to opening that path based on unity. Holding a referendum "as soon as possible" as suggested by Pamir might lead to wrong replies that many will later regret, Kadir maintains, stresses that time should be given for the pain to subside and for enmity to be replaced by a sense of mutual interests.

    Pamir's proposal to hold a referendum is tantamount to granting the Kurds the right to self-determination, writes Riza Turmen in an article in Milliyet, adding that international law does not recognize the right to secede from a state. The right to self-determination exists for peoples who have been under colonial rule, argues Turkmen, adding: "Moreover, Kurds did exercise their right to self-determination through their representatives in the Turkish Grand National Assembly during the establishment of the Turkish Republic and opted to remain within the borders of the Turkish Republic as the founding factors of the state." Referring to the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, FCNM, signed by 22 member States of the Council of Europe, Turmen details the rights mentioned in the Convention, stressing that they are individual and not collective rights.

    The current process in the Kurdish issue is different from previous processes in that it has considered Ocalan to be a respondent, claims Nuran Mert in an article in Hurriyet, adding: "There is no return... One cannot treat a person who is expected to officially declare a "road map" as a "person who is serving a prison term for terrorist crimes... I hope that the government is aware of the seriousness of the business it has undertaken." Expressing the belief that Ocalan will not be creating a lot of difficulties, Mert adds that, however, no one should expect him to express his views for a last time and then to retire to his corner to write his memoirs. Predicting a long political negotiation process, Mert points out that, at the moment, one leg of this process, namely the opposition, is missing. The ruling party rejected the idea of political conciliation by electing Gul to the office of the Presidency, maintains Mert, adding that "a president that would have assumed the role of an 'arbitrator' would have made a great contribution in the Kurdish solution process."

    According to a report by Ceyda Karaaslan in Sabah, Interior Minister Atalay, who is coordinating the government's "democratization overture," has met with associations representing the families of martyrs. While Atalay is reported to have said that the sensitivities of the martyrs' families are the sensitivities of the government as well, some representatives at the meeting are reported to have said that "they do not support the process" and that "there is no Kurdish issue in Turkey, there is a PKK issue. All Kurds in the country are first class citizens."

    Accusing those who favor the overture of deceiving the people in an article in Vatan, Necati Dogru underlines that the PKK and Ocalan are responsible for the devastating effects of terror. Addressing the pro-overture journalists, Dogru maintains that their job is to be curious about, inquire, and announce to the public the content of the package being prepared and not to be a tool in the propaganda of lies that state "Turks have oppressed Kurds, 40,000 have been killed, villages have been evacuated, let us make peace, let us solve this problem whatever its cost." Dogru continues: It is the duty of journalists to ask the ruling party why it did not attempt to solve this issue during the seven years it have been in power if it really wanted to end the bloodshed independent of the United States as it now claims. The "pro-overture democrats" are trying to deceive everyone including Ocalan, maintains Dogru, adding that only PKK's Murat Karayilan has not been deceived as revealed in a recent interview he granted to the French daily Le Monde saying that "the Turkish State should, first of all, apologize." Dogru concludes: "Karayilan is more honest than those supporting the overture. At least he is not hiding the 'content.'"

    Viewing the overture as a long-term project that will ultimately detach the Southeast and its people from Turkey and include it within an independent Kurdish state to be established in north Iraq, Cumhuriyet columnist Mumtaz Soysal responds to the question of who might be in favor of and willing to strive for such a goal: "The United States to safeguard its interests in the region, Israel, certain Western circles that support them, and members of the century-old Kurdish nationalism." Wondering what percentage of Kurds who are Turkish citizens are in favor of establishing an independent state, Soysal writes that there might be those who question the point of coexisting with those who want to break away, adding that, however, "the weak point of such a choice is that a Turkey that has easily renounced its territorial and national integrity will lose its respectability and weight in the world." Since we cannot prevent the finalization of the Kurdish state established in north Iraq, we can at least show tolerance and put forth various demands on the status of the Turkoman population in exchange for economic support, writes Soysal in his article. As for the southeast, Soysal urges that definite red lines be established with regards to demands that clash with the principle of a nation-state.

    Expressing the doubts felt regarding the government's "democratic overture" as a project contracted to the Justice and Development Party, AKP, by the U.S. administration to secure the safe withdrawal of its troops from Iraq in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that irrespective of whether the government is sincere in its wish to end this problem, the job of the AKP government will not be an easy one and success is not guaranteed at all. Kanli concludes: "The government must embrace the entire nation and turn into a "national reconciliation" program if it is wants to be a success. Engaging the CHP as well as the nationalist groups is a must."

    In an article entitled "The overture is at a point of no return" Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay says that the democratic overture which the government has embarked upon is a sign that Turkey is becoming a more powerful country without any fear of a possible dismemberment. He says: "The democratic overture which will include but not be limited to the resolution of the Kurdish question is possible and even inevitable because of Turkey's international vision and mission."

    In an article entitled "Turkish separatists," Zaman columnist Ali Bulac ascribes Kurdish uprisings witnessed in the past century to a policy aimed at assimilating them and preventing them from practicing their faith and preserving their traditions. Pointing out that the PKK's military campaign is the first uprising with purely ethnic motives, Bulac says: "Kurds persistently emphasize their 'ethnic identity.' It is, however, high time to place our races behind other priorities." Bulac concludes by saying that living together in peace is the only option for Turks and Kurds who, he says, should prudently use moral, political, and legal possibilities offered by Islam.

    Analyzing the approach taken by the leaders of the Republican People's Party and the Nationalist Action Party to the government's overture to Kurds in his article entitled "The Kurdish initiative and Turkish opposition," Today's Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi says: "In fact, the current search for a solution to the Kurdish question is an admission of the failure of the Kemalist/nationalist model (imagining and coercively constructing a homogenous nation) that is still upheld by the CHP and the MHP. The CHP's socialism has long been dead. If they somehow continue claiming to be socialists, they can only be called a 'national socialist' party."

    EG/


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