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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-08-19

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. 155/09 19.08.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The breakaway regime is reportedly preparing to give its citizenship to another 15 thousand persons
  • [02] Statements by Gulden Plumer Kucuk on the issue of the missing persons
  • [03] Ozdil Nami said: We are now in the take off process
  • [04] The headquarters of the Destination Management Group Cyprus was inaugurated in occupied areas
  • [05] An energy panel was organized in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] YAGA is allocating land in occupied Kazivera village
  • [07] The problems of the illegal universities were discussed yesterday during two separate meetings
  • [08] Reactions to Koran lessons continue
  • [09] Sami Dilek is the new General Secretary of KAMU-IS
  • [10] Turkish-Qatari Business Council meeting held in Istanbul. Erdogan and Al-Thani agreed on construction of Natural Gas Pipeline
  • [11] Davutoglu said that Turkey made great contributions to Afghanistan
  • [12] Babacan viewed the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP)
  • [13] National Security Council will convene tomorrow
  • [14] Turkish Speaker said non-Muslims cannot use old religious sites for prayers
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] From the Turkish Press of 18 August 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The breakaway regime is reportedly preparing to give its citizenship to another 15 thousand persons

    Under the title 15 thousand citizens! Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.08.09) reports that the self-styled Eroglu government will give the citizenship of the breakaway regime to 15 thousand persons within the next two months. Citing information from reliable sources, the paper notes that the new citizens will be selected among professions and persons whom the society needs and their main duty will be to decrease the influence of the struggle of the trade unions. Observers say that these new citizens will play a decisive role in the result of the elections next year.

    It is said that this decision taken by the government together with experts from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will further escalate the struggle of the trade unions and increase the social tension bringing it to the point of explosion, argues Kibrisli.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Statements by Gulden Plumer Kucuk on the issue of the missing persons

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.08.09) reports that Gulden Plumer Kucuk, Turkish Cypriot member of the Committee for the Missing Persons has said that the remains of 550 missing persons have been found during the excavations which are carried out for approximately five years. In statements to the illegal TAK news agency, Mrs Kucuk noted that the remains of 170 missing persons have been handed over to their families. She noted that the total number of the registered missing persons is 1970, 502 of whose are Turkish Cypriots and 1468 Greek Cypriots.

    Mrs Kucuk said that the remains of 44 Turkish Cypriot missing persons have been identified and handed over to their families, that the remains of 50 persons were identified during the first six months of this year and that their aim is to identify the remains of 80-90 missing persons until the end of 2009. She noted that four teams will be carrying out excavations, two in the occupied north and two in the southern part of the island. She said that the excavations in the occupied areas will be continued in the botanic garden in occupied Keryneia and in Afania village.

    Referring to the reaction of the Turkish Cypriots from Tohni village during a recent ceremony when they said that they would not permit the committee to carry out excavations until the remains of their relatives are handed over to them, Mrs Kucuk noted that they understand the pain of the relatives and added that they explained many times that the excavations and the identification of the remains takes time technically and scientifically.

    Mrs Kucuk noted, inter alia, the following: The missing persons are a humanitarian and a sensitive issue. The project for the missing persons is the only bi-communal project. Both sides have missing persons and great pain has been experienced. We should be very balanced when we examine this.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozdil Nami said: We are now in the take off process

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.08.09) broadcast the following:

    TRNC Presidents Special Representative for talks with the EU and the UN Ozdil Nami has referred the first phase of the Cyprus negotiation process as a `plane taking off`.

    Speaking on BRTs first channel this morning, Mr Nami said `now we are in take off process`, adding that the process might be speeded up and a referendum might be held in the first months of 2010 if the two leaders make new openings in the second round of the talks.

    The Greek Cypriot side has serious doubts. It is playing for time in order to prepare its people for a solution, but this brings some risks. This should not be forgotten, Mr Nami added.

    He also stated that Turkish side has the necessary will to a solution, noting that a comprehensive settlement will be reached in the New Year if the same will is shown by the Greek Cypriot side.

    [04] The headquarters of the Destination Management Group Cyprus was inaugurated in occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.08.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has underlined the need to improve the tourism infrastructure in order to make it possible for the Cyprus Turkish people to compete with other countries and achieve their objectives.

    The headquarters of the newly formed Destination Management Group Cyprus, which embraces 6 tourism marketing firms, was inaugurated last night.

    In an address at the ceremony, the President said that the Destination Management Group Cyprus would help to improve the tourism sector in the country. He stated the tourism infrastructure should be improved further to make it possible for the Cyprus Turkish people to compete and achieve their objectives in case of a solution in Cyprus. He warned that the failure to achieve this, would led to failure of the attempts to grow a sustainable economy.

    Also speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture Hamza Ersan Saner said that the establishment of the DMG Cyprus was an important step in developing congress tourism in the country.

    The Minister of Public Works and Communications Hasan Tacoy, for his part, underlined the need to set an objective for the countrys tourism sector and to take steps in that direction. `Increasing the destinations, flying to new points and bringing tourists to our country from these places can only be realised through cooperation` he noted.

    The Director of the Destination Management Group Cyprus Dimag Ça1ner said that the aim of the DMG Cyprus was to contribute to the efforts aimed at marketing the TRNC in different fields.

    [05] An energy panel was organized in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (18.08.09) broadcast the following:

    Energy issues were taken up today at a panel discussion organized by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry. Officials, NGOs and everyone interested in the issue attended todays discussions.

    Opportunities to boost `Energy Productivity` was discussed at a panel discussion today that took place at the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industrys Conference Hall in Lefkosia [occupied part of Lefkosia]. The panel was organized by the Ministry of Economy and Energy in cooperation with Turkey.

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, the Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun and Turkeys Productivity Centers General Secretary Kemal Unal delivered opening speeches at the panel.

    Speaking first the Minister for Economy and Energy Sunat Atun said that rational policies were not being taken on the issue of energy. He said they aimed to create a system that would allow long term and renewable energy in the industrial region and for uninterrupted and cheap electricity for public use.

    Noting that although there were no fossil fuels in the TRNC there was a high potential to economize, Mr. Sunat said there was a need for an energy productivity law in the country.

    The minister also gave news that the first steps were taken in developing a program that would allow the TRNC to benefit from the Blue Stream Gas project that transfers natural gas from Russia to Turkey.

    `Energy Resources and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus` were discussed during the morning session and in the afternoon, `energy productivity` was taken up.

    [06] YAGA is allocating land in occupied Kazivera village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.08.09) reports that the Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) has announced that it will allocate 69 donums [Tr. Note: A land measure of 1000 square meters] of land in occupied Kazivera village for 49 years in order to be used for tourism purposes. According to the announcement of YAGA, it will be accepting applications until 16 October 2009 for this land which is near the sea.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The problems of the illegal universities were discussed yesterday during two separate meetings

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.08.09) reports that two meetings were held yesterday on the problems which the illegal universities in the occupied areas are facing this year due to the decrease of the number of students from Turkey who want to study in these universities. The paper writes that the first meeting was held yesterday morning at the Turkish Cypriot leaders office with the participation of Mr Talat, the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu, the ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Sakir Fakili and the self-styled minister of national education, youth and sports Kemal Durust. No statement was made after this meeting.

    The second meeting was held at the self-styled ministry of education with the participation of Mr Durust, the rectors of the illegal universities and the chairman of the Higher Education Consulting and Accreditation Board (YODAK), Prof. Dr. Hasan Ali Bicak. In statements before the meeting Mr Durust said they would discuss ways of increasing the number of the students from Turkey and solving the problems of the universities. He noted that they will hold contacts with officials in Turkey, if this is needed, in order to finalize the solution they will produce during their meetings in the occupied areas. He expressed the belief that they will solve the problem within one week or ten days. He said it should not be forgotten that the universities are a sine qua non for the breakaway regime.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Reactions to Koran lessons continue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.08.09) reports that 28 organizations and political parties protested yesterday against the Koran lessons in occupied Yerolakkos village. In a statement issued by the organizations, it is said that they will continue to oppose to the circles who want to revive the Islamic law and that they will defend the democratic and scientific education.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Sami Dilek is the new General Secretary of KAMU-IS

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.08.09) reports that the Public Workers Trade Union (KAMU-IS) held its extraordinary meeting the day before yesterday. According to the paper, Mr. Sami Dilek was elected in the position of the General Secretary of the trade union without a candidate at the meeting. The position was empty due to the resignation of Ahmet Caluda, who has been elected as MP.

    (AK)

    [10] Turkish-Qatari Business Council meeting held in Istanbul. Erdogan and Al-Thani agreed on construction of Natural Gas Pipeline

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.08.09) reported the following:

    Union of Chambers' & Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) hosted Tuesday a working breakfast in honor of the Amir of Qatar who is currently paying a formal visit to Turkey.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Qatar's Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani attended the TOBB-DEIK Turkish-Qatari Business Council meeting in Istanbul.

    Speaking at the gathering, TOBB chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu said that he wanted to see more Qatari investments in Turkey. Pointing to Turkish contractors' remarkable contribution to numerous important projects in Qatar, Hisarciklioglu said Turkish investors were ready to participate in more projects in this country.

    "There are many opportunities that will strengthen the cooperation between Turkey and Qatar. Turkey is a land of opportunities in terms of investments," Hisarciklioglu said.

    Delivering a speech at the meeting, Turkish National Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu said that the Turkish government and business world called on Qatari officials and businessmen to carry out mutual extensive economic movements between the two countries.

    Cubukcu said that the trade volume between Turkey and Qatar, which was 25 million USD in 2002, rose up to 1.2 billion USD by the end of 2008. She said the projects carried out by Turkish entrepreneurs in Qatar last year amounted to 6.5 billion USD.

    "Both Turkish and Qatari businessmen know the opportunities, talents, needs and expectations of their countries the best. If there are obstacles on your way, we will display all the efforts to eliminate them as governments," Cubukcu said.

    Qatari Minister of State for International Cooperation & Conferences Khalid bin Muhammad al-Atiyah said in his part that the two countries had strong relations and the recent high-level visits paid by the officials of both countries strengthened such ties.

    On the same issue, A.A (18.08.09) reported the following:

    Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Qatar's Amir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani agreed on the construction of a natural gas pipeline between their countries on Tuesday.

    Erdogan and al-Thani discussed the energy issue and the commercial relations between Turkey and Qatar during their meeting at a hotel in the coastal town of Bodrum on Tuesday, officials said.

    During the gathering, al-Thani expressed his country's willingness to improve relations with Turkey, while Erdogan said Turkey desired to establish a long-term and lasting cooperation with Qatar regarding the energy issue.

    Erdogan told al-Thani that Turkey had a unique position in transit energy passage and it desired to include Qatar's energy resources in this network.

    Upon Erdogan's remarks expressing Turkey's desire to sign an agreement on such issue, Amir al-Thani said his stance towards the construction of a natural gas pipeline would be positive, officials said.

    [11] Davutoglu said that Turkey made great contributions to Afghanistan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.08.09) reported the following:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday Turkey made great contributions to Afghanistan's stability.

    Davutoglu hosted a reception in Ankara in honour of Ertugrul Apakan, Turkey's new permanent representative to the United Nations.

    Replying to questions at the reception, Davutoglu said that Istanbul would host a high-level meeting of members of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan Group next week. The US special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, and foreign ministers from several countries including Sweden, Canada and United Arab Emirates would attend the meeting, he said.

    Asked whether dispatch of Turkish soldiers to Afghanistan would be discussed in his meeting with Holbrooke, Davutoglu said: The United States does not have such a demand. Turkey is the one which made the most contribution to Afghanistan's stability, he said.

    Davutoglu said the relations between Turkey and the United States were advancing well and there was a full consultation between the two countries.

    [12] Babacan viewed the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP)

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.08.09) reported from Sanliurfa the following:

    Turkey's Economy Coordination Board convened Tuesday in the southeastern province of Sanliurfa under the chairmanship of Ali Babacan, state minister for economy.

    Speaking at the opening of the board meeting, Babacan said the government attached great importance to regional development programs to remove economic differences between parts of the country and to raise the living standards and the level of income.

    Babacan recalled that the government had launched an action plan last year to speed up efforts to complete Turkey's biggest regional development program, the Southeast Anatolian Project (GAP), saying that the government was planning to invest 10 billion USD in the program by 2012.

    The Turkish economy minister said the construction of an airport in Batman province was expected to be completed next year, adding that a tender had also been launched for the construction of an airport in Sirnak.

    Babacan said the government had also initiated an economic incentive plan for southeastern Turkey in order to encourage private investments in nine provinces.

    State Ministers Cevdet Yilmaz and Zafer Caglayan, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Industry & Trade Minister Nihat Ergun, Agriculture & Rural Affairs Minister Mehdi Eker, Labor & Social Security Minister Omer Dincer and Environment & Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu also attended Tuesday's board meeting.

    [13] National Security Council will convene tomorrow

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper online (19.08.09) under the title MGK to take up democratization package tomorrow reported the following:

    The government will discuss its recent Kurdish initiative during tomorrow's National Security Council (MGK) meeting. Sources say that although the Kurdish initiative is not listed on this MGK meeting's agenda, generals have long been closely monitoring the contacts of Interior Minister Beir Atalay, who has been meeting with representatives of civil society organizations and political parties to hear their suggestions on the matter.

    Sources in the capital say Atalay has also prepared a summary to brief the MGK on his activities, indicating that the democratization package will come up during the meeting.

    The MGK meeting will take place on Aug. 20 and will be chaired by President Abdullah Gül. The government's recently announced Kurdish initiative will be taken up during the meeting.

    The initiative, which will be based on expanding individual freedoms of Kurds, is currently in the making as a solid to-do list, but reforms such as restoring place names that were changed during the early republican era to their Kurdish originals and allowing the increased use of Kurdish in the public sphere will be included in the reform list. The generals are expected to express their views on the democratization package during the meeting.

    Atalay scheduled an interruption of his tour of political party and civil society leaders for a day today ahead of tomorrow's MGK meeting. He is expected to spend the day forming a report on views he has heard so far regarding the Kurdish initiative. Atalay is expected to emphasize that wide segments of society are pleased with the steps the government is taking toward a solution.

    The meeting will also take up reports on the democratic initiative prepared by the General Staff and the National Intelligence Organization (M0T). M0T's report on the terrorist Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) will be an important guideline for the government's solution package.

    With reports from the military and M0T, the government's road map will be a bit clearer after the meeting. The MGK meeting is seen as an important platform during which the opinions of the military and M0T on the Kurdish initiative will become clearer.

    The official agenda of the meeting, which will be held at the Çankaya palace, refers to domestic and international developments. Domestic developments, sources say, refers to the package. Many believe that the military is not currently displeased with the package, but they might express some concerns and make suggestions about the methods.

    Meanwhile, force commanders who were sent into retirement during this month's Supreme Military Council (YA^) meeting will be attending the MGK meeting for the last time. Adm. Metin Ataç, commander of the navy, and Gen. Aydoan Babaolu, commander of the air force, will be attending the MGK for the last time as force commanders.

    The next MGK meeting after this Thursday's is slated for October. The government is expected to lay out a concrete list of steps that will be part of the Kurdish package by that time. Meanwhile, the government, whose attempts to schedule meetings on the package with opposition parties -- the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) -- have been rejected, has not completely given up on talking to the opposition. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan is planning a meeting with CHP leader Deniz Baykal, various sources in the capital say.

    Chief of General Staff Gen. 0lker Babu, on April 15, stated that a renewal of Turkey's current amnesty laws regarding PKK terrorists might be necessary to alleviate the problem of terrorism and bring militants back home. He had also stated that the Republic of Turkey was founded by the people of Turkey, as opposed to the phrase the Turkish nation, used in the Constitution. Many believe that these indicate that the military is not opposed to the Kurdish initiative like the MHP and the CHP are.

    [14] Turkish Speaker said non-Muslims cannot use old religious sites for prayers

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper online (17.08.09), under the title Trabzon official takes wind out of tourists' rites, publishes the following report:

    Tourists from Russia and Greece are refused permission to light candles at a former monastery. The tourists are told religious ceremonies are banned at museums.

    Russian and Greek Orthodox Christian worshippers were shown that it is better to curse the darkness than light a candle over the weekend when Turkish officials interrupted their visit to the Sumela Monastery in northeastern Turkey.

    Nilgun Yilmazer, museums director in the Black Sea province of Trabzon, proved the fallacy of the Chinese proverb when she blew out a candle lit by Russian parliamentarian Ivan Savidis and told him, "According to Turkish law, you are not allowed to perform a religious ceremony here."

    The visiting group of about 500 people from Greece and Russia, including Thessaloniki Gov. Panayotis Psomyadis, reacted against the intrusion and then continued to sing hymns and pray at the site.

    The monastery stands at the foot of a steep cliff facing the Altindere valley in the region of Macka in Trabzon. It sits at an elevation of 1,200 meters, overlooking much of the Altindere National Park. The only way to reach the monastery is on foot.

    It was founded in A.D. 386 and functioned as one of the main monasteries of the Greek Orthodox world until 1923 when it was abandoned as much of the region's Greek Orthodox population migrated to Greece during the population transfers between Turkey and Greece. The monastery is officially a museum and is one of the main tourist destinations in the region.

    The group travelled to Trabzon on three private planes. After the prayers, the tourists left the monastery in groups.

    "We came here to pray," Psomyadis said. "There is no notice proclaiming that religious ceremonies are forbidden here. I'm from Trabzon. My ancestors and grandfathers grew up here. Besides that I'm Greek and also the Thessaloniki governor."

    Russian deputy Ivan Savidis said he could not understand why the Turkish officials had mistreated them, adding that the group wanted to return to Trabzon and visit the Sumela Monastery again in the future.

    He said they respected Turkish traditions and laws and had not lit candles or taken photos after they were told not to. They were banned from entering the town centre, he said, adding that he did not understand why such limitations were imposed.

    Officials also banned a band accompanying the group from performing at Sumela and had collected the priests' religious cloaks at the airport.

    Savidis called on the Turkish government to fire the governor of Trabzon and said he would also write a letter to the Russian parliament about the way they were treated. Savidis said he had supported the construction of a mosque in Moscow as a Russian parliamentarian and that the construction of mosques in Russia faced no bans.

    "I did not oppose constructing mosques in Russia," Savidis said. "You are Muslim and we are Christian. You have to have to respect me if you want me to respect to you."

    Savidis said he expected thanks from Turkish officials for bringing hundreds of tourists rather than "being insulted."

    Every country has its rules

    Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin, who is originally from the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, responded to Savidis' remarks and supported the officials' reactions to the group.

    "I saw the museum manager last night on television reminding them about our law and telling that they cannot hold a religious rite or ceremony there. We also have museums in Istanbul converted from historical religious places," he said. "It is forbidden to perform religious rites in these places even if the place belongs to Muslims. We cannot accept non-Muslim residents of Turkey or tourists misusing these places. Everybody has to obey the rules of the country they are visiting. It is not suitable for a civilized person to push the limits here."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] From the Turkish Press of 18 August 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 18 August 2009:

    Kurdish issue

    In a column in Istanbul Milliyet, Melih Asik criticizes Abdullah Ocalan's views for the solution of the Kurdish problem by arguing that he called for a state within the state. He notes: Ocalan only proposed a cease-fire in return for compliance with his demands. He said nothing about the PKK militants coming down from the mountains and the removal of the organization. Focusing on the ruling AKP, Asik wonders how the party will solve the Kurdish problem in the light of Ocalan's demands.

    Taha Akyol, in a column in Milliyet, argues that the proposals Abdullah Ocalan made for the solution of the Kurdish problem show that he calls for ethnic separation in the country. Claiming that the PKK leader psychologically believes that he is superior to Lenin and Jesus, Akyol urges the government to carefully realize the solution of the problem and warns that Ocalan might move to encourage terrorist activities in the near future. He calls for the continuation of the effort that is made to solve the problem and notes: The Kurds who act with reason are more than those who support extreme views. The overture is a conscientious requirement. We need it to create the conditions that will satisfy millions of our citizens and decrease ethnic extremism in the country.

    Second of an unspecified number of instalments of an interview with Ret Gen Hilmi Ozkok, former chief of the General Staff, by Fikret Bila on the Kurdish overture and the measures that are needed to solve the Kurdish problem. Ozkok responds to Bila's questions in the interview in Milliyet by saying that the overture has to be carefully planned and put into effect to prevent complications, the PKK must trust the tolerance of the state, the solution of the problem must not cause harm to any side, the US withdrawal from Iraq should not be seen as the end of that country's involvement in the solution of the problem, and the PKK deciding to lay down its arms will create a better situation for the solution of the problem.

    Namik Durukan reports on the assessment of political experts on the proposals Abdullah Ocalan made in connection with his roadmap to solve the Kurdish problem. In a report in Milliyet, he quotes Prof Dr Mithat Sancar as saying that the PKK leader has not said anything new, he created the impression that he stands at a point between federation and autonomous local administrations, Turkey reaching a broad-based and logical agreement on the basis of what has been disclosed is a remote possibility; Prof Dr Baskin Oral as saying that Ocalan maintains an inconsistent approach and calls for unlimited democracy for the solution of the problem; and DTP deputy from Sirnak Hasip Kaplan as saying that Ocalan called for the transfer of authority to local administrations and support for the establishment of defence forces to realize the decisions to be made by the local administrations.

    Bekir Coskun, in his column in Hurriyet, criticizes the government's overture for the solution of the Kurdish problem, claiming that it has worsened the division in Turkey on the situation of the Kurds. Coskun also criticizes the intellectuals who support the overture. He notes: They supported the government's overtures on Cyprus and the Armenian problem. Both ended in a fiasco. Stressing that nothing is known in connection with the substance of the overture on Kurds, he asks: Can such a secret, mysterious, and dark overture, which creates suspicion and fear, bring peace and security to Turkey?

    In a 120-word part of his column in Hurriyet, Mehmet Y Yilmaz regrets the failure of the government to disclosure the substance of his overture for the solution of the Kurdish problem and focuses on the opposition of the CHP and MHP to what has been disclosed on the matter thus far. He asks: What have the two parties proposed for the solution of the problem thus far? Stressing that the opposition parties must outline their views and try to persuade the government to comply with them, he concludes: That is the only way they can secure the support of the people to come to power.

    A report in Hurriyet outlines the statement the Turkish Human Rights Foundation has made for the solution of the Kurdish problem. It says, the statement urged the government to replace the names of Kurdish areas with their original names, allow Kurds to give Kurdish names to their children, remove the system of village guards, remove the administrative and physical obstacles against the implementation of the Return-to-Home Law, facilitate the removal of mines, change the Political Parties Law and the laws that apply to the election of deputies, and take measures to initiate the investigation of unsolved crimes in the country.

    According to a column by Erdal Safak in Istanbul Sabah, the proposals the DTP has disclosed for the solution of the Kurdish problem differ from the proposals it conveyed to Abdullah Ocalan on Imrali Island. He claims that the DTP informed Ocalan that Turkey should renounce the concept of nation state and agree to the politicization of the PKK and notes: We do not know how to what extent Ocalan has been influenced by the DTP proposals. However, he called for the establishment of a Kurdish parliament, education system, and religious affairs directorate. He opposed the establishment of a federation but what he proposed seems like a mixture of the models in northern Iraq, Basque region, and Belgium. Stressing that the full text of the plan Ocalan has drawn up will be disclosed tomorrow, Safak asserts: One thing is quite clear. Turkey can never agree to such a model.

    In a column in Istanbul Vatan, Can Atakli argues that the United States does not want the PKK to be completely removed because it wants to use it against Iran if necessary. Focusing on Turkey, he notes that the US approach makes Ankara uneasy, regardless of the fact that the Turkish Government wants to comply with the US plan in the region. Atakli claims that the AKP views the PKK from the point of view of Islamic unity and not as a problem related to national identity and argues: In view of that, it wishes to strengthen the importance attached to religion to be able to become the most influential political party in the area. That is why it tries to strengthen its relations with the feudal structure and tribes in northern Iraq. He notes that Abdullah Ocalan believes that the PKK will be removed in time, regardless of the US plan, and says: That is why he tries to prevent their exclusion from the solution of the Kurdish problem.

    In her column in Istanbul Taraf, Yasemin Congar argues that Abdullah Ocalan will disclose his roadmap in two exercise books either on 19 or 21 August and urges the government to see to it that the Kurdish people are informed on his views. She warns that the government, fearing the initiatives some of the politicians might make to provoke the Turkish nationalists, must not obstruct the messages Ocalan has conveyed on the solution of the Kurdish problem from reaching the Kurdish people. Urging Ankara to realize that Abdullah Ocalan has nothing to lose, she says: Ocalan wants the PKK to come down from the mountains and lay down its arms. However, some of the PKK leaders on the mountains believe that they stand to lose if the organization is disarmed. They are those who will greatly welcome the confiscation of Ocalan's documents. It must be realized that they are still strong enough to obstruct the peace process.

    Orhan Bursali in Istanbul Cumhuriyet describes Ocalan's proposals as a separatist program. He wonders to what extent the AKP overture complies with Ocalan's disclosures on the solution of the problem because the government has not outlined the substance of its plan thus far and warns that any initiative that might be made to support separatism in the country will have serious consequences. Drawing attention to the importance of informing the people on the problem, Bursali says: We want democracy. So, democracy must be used as a means to unite the people. AKP mentions ethnicity. That encourages separatism. It must be noted that a policy that cares for all the people can be a uniting factor.

    Under the headline, "Let bloodshed be replaced with investments," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that the Government's latest "democratic overture" has met with support from the business world. According to the report, the Association of Independent Industrialists and Businessmen, MUSIAD, has submitted a "solution report" to Interior Minister Besir Atalay calling for "economic integration" between the southeast and the rest of Turkey and the adoption of a bill allowing students to take elective courses in their mother tongue.

    In an article entitled "Decision Made: Time for a Peace Campaign", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul describes the Government's Kurdish initiative as a "peace project" intended to address a chronic problem that is holding Turkey's future hostage and a risky undertaking that is in line with Turkey's latest regional initiatives and reflects its awareness of the need for a "radical solution" to the problem at hand. He claims that this project entails a confrontation with a mentality that perceives not only Kurds but also a large part of society as a threat, adding that its implementation will require alterations to the founding philosophy of the Republic. He also asserts that a real solution will have to go beyond providing certain democratic rights toward eliminating the prejudices of the Republic, changing its threat perceptions, and carrying out a systemic transformation that would allow the state to make peace with everyone including not only Kurds but also Muslims.

    In an article entitled "Relatives, Enemies, Names", Vakit columnist Abdurrahim Karakoc slams the ruling AKP for inviting Christian and Jewish religious clerics to a recent dinner held as part of its latest so-called democratic overture and conducting this initiative in a way that creates the impression that it is ready to make concessions to any groups that demand the recognition of their rights forcefully enough.

    In an article entitled "Arranging for Article 66 to take care of everything", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak argues that the provision in Article 66 of the Constitution stating that "everybody bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship is a Turk" is contrary to the general principles of the Lausanne Treaty. He claims that the way for Turkey to address the Kurdish problem successfully would be to give "others" the same rights and freedoms as it wants for the Turks living in Bulgaria or Greece.

    In an article entitled "Would the price be paid by the Government or the opposition?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that the AKP can bring its latest "peace project" to fruition without the support of the Opposition since the meetings and talks conducted by Interior Minister Besir Atalay so far have indicated a large amount of public support for the project and the "solution wing" has managed to hold its ground despite harsh objections by the CHP and the MHP. He goes on to claim that under the circumstances, the "political risks" associated with the initiative should not be exaggerated, adding that there are "no risks or costs from the AKP's standpoint" and that it is the Opposition which should worry about the implications of its stance in favour of the continuation of "the war."

    Under the headline, "Felicity Party Offers Prescription for Solution," Milli Gazete carries a front-page report which says that Felicity Party, SP, leader Numan Kurtulmus gave Interior Minister Besir Atalay a 25-page dossier entitled "Voluntary Coexistence for Peace and Brotherhood" during their one-hour meeting at the SP's headquarters yesterday. The report quotes Kurtulmus as saying that the details of the dossier will be made public property in Diyarbakir on Tuesday.


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