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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-08-27

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. 161/09 27.08.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The newly appointed Turkish Admiral warned that they will not allow the Republic of Cyprus to drill oil in the Mediterranean Sea
  • [02] KTOS is preparing to file charges against Turkey at the ECHR on the issue of the Koran lessons
  • [03] The disputes on the economy continue in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [04] Turkey is financing a project in Pyla village
  • [05] Self-styled minister stresses the importance of Turkey for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [06] Turkish journalists see the occupied areas of Cyprus as a small province of Turkey and argue that the island should be conquered spiritually
  • [07] The increased population of the Turkish settlers is seen as the source of the problems of electricity and water in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] The 2nd Congress of the TDP will be held on 18 October
  • [09] UBP started initiatives for giving permission to the reoperation of the stone quarries on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains
  • [10] An international conference on computing will be organized in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [11] Rasmussen in an interview in Sabah calls on the sides in the island to use the window of opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
  • [12] Ankara critical of Rasmussen on NATO-EU ties comments
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 26 August 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The newly appointed Turkish Admiral warned that they will not allow the Republic of Cyprus to drill oil in the Mediterranean Sea

    Turkish daily Hürriyet Daily News newspaper online (26.08.09) reported the following:

    Turkeys new air and navy forces commanders have taken their new posts at consecutive handover ceremonies held late Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Due to the retirement of outgoing Gen. Aydoan Babaolu, Gen. Hasan Aksay was appointed as his successor during the Supreme Military Council, or MGK, meeting in early August. Babaolu late Tuesday handed over his post to Aksay at a ceremony where top civilian and military brass was present.

    In his speech, Gen. Aksay said the Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, would continue their aerial operations against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, hideouts and said the military was committed to fighting the PKK until the last terrorist is eliminated.

    On Wednesday, Navy Forces Commander Adm. Eref Uur Yiit took his new post as his predecessor Admiral Metin Ataç stepped down. President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan, Chief of General Staff Gen. 0lker Babu and other forces commanders were present.

    Adm. Yiit, in his speech, said the Navy Forces would continue to protect Turkey s rights in its territorial waters and economic zones, making it clear that it won t allow Greek Cyprus to drill for oil in the Mediterranean Sea.

    [02] KTOS is preparing to file charges against Turkey at the ECHR on the issue of the Koran lessons

    Under the title The debates regarding the religion in Northern Cyprus on the agenda of the ECHR, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the issue of the compulsory Koran lessons given by imams at the primary schools in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be carried to the agenda of institutions such as the European Commission, the European Parliament and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil noted that Turkey is the main responsible for turning the Koran lessons into compulsory and added that soon they will file charges against Turkey at the ECHR on this issue.

    Noting that they could not accept the assimilation policies followed by Turkey against the Turkish Cypriots any more, Mr Elcil said: We could not remain silent to these [policies] any more. We will carry the developments here to the agenda of the EU member-countries, to the EU Commission, to the European Parliament. We will carry the assimilation policies followed by Turkey here to the agenda of the Education International, the World Trade Unions Federation and organizations which represent 36 million teachers in the world.

    Mr Elcil reminded that the lessons regarding the religion are not compulsory even in Turkey itself and explained that the reason for this is the fact that some circles had complained to the EHCR when these lessons were compulsory.

    Mr Elcil accused the self-styled government of being a puppet for Turkeys assimilation policies in the occupied areas of Cyprus and added that the police have not taken the necessary measures during the activity which was organized the day before yesterday in front of the headquarters of KTOS.

    Mr Elcil said that after some incidents in the past and the recent developments he receives some calls from unknown persons, who threaten him.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The disputes on the economy continue in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title The chaos is getting bigger, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the deadline which the 26 trade unions have given to the self-styled government to withdraw the controversial decrees in the power of law ended yesterday and no step backwards was made by any side. The self-styled council of ministers announced yesterday that they are determined on this issue and they will not make a step backwards.

    The self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu criticized the 26 trade unions and noted that his government will not change its mind with threats. He said he does not see any good will on behalf of the trade unions and reiterated that taking economic measures is necessary. Mr Eroglu criticized the protest organized yesterday in front of the Turkish embassy to the occupied part of Lefkosia by the trade unions of the teachers.

    Furthermore, the spokesman of the council of ministers and self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun stated that these decrees should be turned into law within 90 days and added that at this stage they could be evaluated and amended at the parliamentary committees and the general assembly of the parliament.

    Meanwhile, the 26 trade unions decided to go on strike tomorrow and organize other protests showing as pretext that the government is trying to pass the decrees in the power o law from the assembly instead of discussing the issue with them. They announced that the protest will be held tomorrow at 10.00 a.m. in front of the prime ministers office.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.09) refers to the same issue and reports that the number of the trade unions is 27 and that the chairman of Dev-Is trade union, Mehmet Seyis accused the government of ignoring the proposals submitted by the trade unions towards solving the economic problems in the occupied areas of Cyprus and covering the deficits in the budget of the breakaway regime. He noted that Mr Eroglus real intention is not taking economic measures or covering the deficits in the budget, but organizing a plan against the trade unions and equalizing the salaries in the occupied areas of the island to the ones in Turkey, with instructions he takes from the AKP government.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) criticized the language used by Mr Eroglu against the trade unions and called on Mr Eroglu to hold a historic meeting with all parts of the society for taking common decisions.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.09) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman o the Democratic Party (DP) has stated that the religion could not become a matter of discussion in politics and added that the religious education should be an elective subject in schools. In statements during one of his meetings yesterday, Mr Denktas said that if the Alevites who live in the occupied areas have also such a need, their need should be met as well. Referring to the economic situation in the occupied areas, Mr Denktas said it is very bad and noted that the fact that 1600 persons applied for 71 empty positions is an indication of the extent of the problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkey is financing a project in Pyla village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the so-called Financial Aid Delegation of the Republic of Turkey is financing a project for the development of the Turkish neighbourhoods of the mixed Pyla village. According to the paper, around 166 thousand euro will be spent within the framework of the project, which will be completed in three stages. The first two stages started yesterday. The paper notes that three kilometres of road will be asphalted in the area where Turks are living and the parking place and the wedding room of the Turkish Sports Club of the village will be repaired and maintained. Moreover, a basketball and a volleyball playing field as well as a playground for children will be built.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Self-styled minister stresses the importance of Turkey for the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the self-styled minister of finance, Ersin Tatar has referred to the criticism against Turkey in the occupied areas of Cyprus and stated that the Turkish Cypriots can be nothing without Turkey.

    In statements the night before yesterday during the opening ceremony of the headquarters of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, Mr Tatar said that except the 200 million Turkish liras given by Turkey, the state has not contributed very much to the construction of this building. He noted that the Turkish Cypriots know that nothing can happen without Turkey. He said that the aid of Turkey to the breakaway regime is very big and therefore control is needed. He noted that nobody should shout because Turkey does this. More than 850 million Turkish liras are given to us as aid from Anatolia. Who else does this, he added and thanked Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Turkish journalists see the occupied areas of Cyprus as a small province of Turkey and argue that the island should be conquered spiritually

    Under the title Spiritual conquest, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (27.08.09) reports that some journalists from the Turkish city of Konya who visited recently the occupied areas of Cyprus insulted the Turkish Cypriots when they returned home and wrote their impressions about the island. According to the paper, these journalists argued that the sensitivity of the Turkish Cypriots about the religion is weak and alleged that a spiritual conquest should be carried out in Cyprus.

    The owner of Konyas Merhaba newspaper, Mustafa Aslan expressed the opinion that the distance between Cyprus and Turkey is getting bigger every day and added that the Turkish army is seen almost as occupier in the island. When things are seen from Turkey, [Cyprus] is viewed as if it is a hump on our back. Cyprus is almost the backyard of Ergenekon, noted Mr Aslan and alleged that Cyprus which was conquered with the peace operation in 1974, should be conquered once more from the spiritual point of view.

    Moreover, the editor-in-chief of Memleket newspaper, M. Ali Koseoglu said that he witnessed a different Turkish language, a different cultural structure and different religious sensitivities in the occupied areas of Cyprus. He added: The Turkish Cypriots and the people from Turkey who settled here in 1974 cannot understand each other. 125 mosques exist in the Greek Cypriot sector. 182 mosques are operating in the Turkish sector. Permission is not given for Koran lessons.

    Moreover, the editor-in-chief o Hakimiyet newspaper, Ahmet Aka noted that eight thousand Turkish Cypriots are employed in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. God willing, these crossings will stop one day and people will not hope for help from the Greek Cypriot sector.

    Finally, the editor-in-chief of Merhaba newspaper, Cetin Oranli noted: Cyprus is a small province of Turkey. The fuels are very cheap. Six universities exist. The casinos are exhausting the power and the strength of Cyprus. They destroy the society.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The increased population of the Turkish settlers is seen as the source of the problems of electricity and water in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title It is a matter of population, not a breakdown, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.08.09) refers to the cut-offs of electricity which often happen in the occupied areas of Cyprus and reports, inter alia, the following: It has been revealed that the problem with the water and the cut-offs of electricity in our country derive from the population. The current capacity of the electricity and the water resources are not enough to meet the demands of the population which is piled up in the island.

    The paper writes that every day people call and express their complaints about their problems regarding the water and electricity. Experts are openly putting forth the fact that both issues derive from the population which is piled up in the north, notes Afrika adding that both the former Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the current National Unity Party (UBP) self-styled governments implement the same practice and tell the people that technical works are going to be carried out and save electricity by cutting it off in some areas.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The 2nd Congress of the TDP will be held on 18 October

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the Social Democracy Party (TDP), which was established two years ago with the unification of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) and the Communal Liberation Party (TKP), will organize its 2nd Regular Congress on 18 October.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] UBP started initiatives for giving permission to the reoperation of the stone quarries on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) in the area of occupied Trikomo, Musa Ozmusaoglu has stated that initiatives for giving permission to the reoperation of the stone quarries on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains came onto the agenda of the self-styled UBP government. He said that such a development will be a disaster for the region. Mr Ozmusaoglu, stated, inter alia, that the permission was cancelled by the previous government of the Republican Turkish Party, but now the issue came on the agenda again. He went on and said that the stone quarry, which is located between the occupied villages of Agios Iakovos and Agyrta, will negatively affect the persons who live in the area.

    (CS)

    [10] An international conference on computing will be organized in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (27.08.09) reports that the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), the State University of New York and the Azerbaijani Lofti Zadeh Association are organizing the Fifth International Conference on Soft Computing, Computing with Words and Perceptions in System Analysis, Decision and Control (ICSCCW 2009), which will be held in the illegal DAU in occupied Famagusta between 2-4 September 2009. Scientists from Germany, Azerbaijan, the United States, Switzerland, Canada, Russia and Turkey will address the conference.

    (ML)

    [11] Rasmussen in an interview in Sabah calls on the sides in the island to use the window of opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (27.08.09) publishes the second part of an interview with the NATO General Secretary, Anders Fogh Rasmussen before his visit to Turkey today. Responding to questions of journalist Nur Batur, Mr. Rasmussen referred to the problems which exist between Turkey and Greece and to the Cyprus problem. The paper publishes Mr. Rasmussens statements under the title Let the conflict between Turkey and Greece in NATO end.

    Following are excerpts of the interview given by Rasmussen to the paper:

    Question: The problems which exist between Turkey and Greece cause a crisis in NATO from time to time. How it affects NATO during the last period?

    Answer: The effects of this conflict harm the relations between NATO-EU. Look, the EU undertook the duty of the police in Afghanistan. At the same time, we are carrying out a military operation (ISAF). The soldiers from ISAF wait from the EU police to protect them, do they not? However, this does not happen.

    Question: Has the crisis not appeared after the accession of the Greek Cypriots to the EU? Is it not the EU which is in fact responsible for the crisis within NATO? Was the acceptance of the Greek Cypriots to the EU not a mistake, without solving the Cyprus problem?

    Answer: I do not think so. Look, the whole process started during 1999 at the EU Summit. During this Summit, the leaders agreed on a package. This package included very important elements. On the one hand, the membership negotiations with Cyprus started. On the other hand, the status of candidate-country was given to Turkey. I explained you the problem we are facing in Afghanistan. This problem puts our staff who is there under risk. I do not think that politicians, who are responsible, want to prevent this kind of a security agreement...

    IT IS TIME FOR A SOLUTION IN CYPRUS

    Question: Then, you say that the Cyprus problem should be solved the soonest?

    Answer: Yes, (laughing).

    Question: Everybody says for many years now that the Cyprus problem should be solved, but how?

    Answer: I will ask from Turkey and Greece to show a reasonable approach towards solving their problems in the field, even before a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is found. Because, if it is not solved, eventually, our staff there will be under risk.

    Question: According to you, will the membership of Cyprus to NATO as a whole solve the problem? The membership of not only the Greek Cypriot Administration but the membership of both the North and the South?

    Answer: All of us have the hope that Cyprus will be unified soon under conditions accepted by both the North and the South. I personally felt sorry when the voters in the South Cyprus rejected the Annan Plan during 2004. However, this is democracy... I hope that the political leaders in the North and the South will find an appropriate solution...

    VELVET SEPARATION IN CYPRUS

    Question: The Annan Plan was considered as a chance for the solution of the Cyprus problem, but it did not happen. There are persons who say that there will be a velvet divorce in Cyprus if is not possible for a solution to be found again. What are you saying?

    Answer: It is early to make a final evaluation. However, on the other hand the forthcoming moths are opening a window of opportunity for us. All sides in the island should use this opportunity.

    (AK)

    [12] Ankara critical of Rasmussen on NATO-EU ties comments

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper online (27.08.09) reports the following:

    Ankara has denied NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen's suggestion that differences between Turkey and Greece have been hindering further defence cooperation between NATO and the European Union. The remarks by Rasmussen, who assumed office on Aug. 1, came ahead of his arrival in Turkey on Thursday for a two-day visit as part of a tour of NATO countries, including Greece.

    We have come to the point where it is causing us problems in our missions. In Afghanistan, NATO cannot conclude an agreement to support EU police. Off the Horn of Africa, both NATO and the EU have missions in the same area against piracy, but we have no agreement on who will do what or how to support each other. That is just two examples of how these problems have spread far beyond Turkey and Greece, Rasmussen was quoted as saying, while speaking on a video blog on NATO's Web site on Tuesday.

    Yet, while delivering rather harsh criticism, Rasmussen avoided mentioning the Cyprus issue, which is the main source of uneasiness for Turkey vis-à-vis NATO-EU defence cooperation.

    Both NATO and the EU are organizations which are of key importance to Turkey. Cooperation between the two organizations in line with our common interests is first of all a requirement for Turkey's national interests, a senior Turkish official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman. As a reflection of this understanding, our country played a significant role in the drafting of the agreement which established the framework of the strategic relationship between the two organizations in 2003, the same official underlined, referring to the framework for cooperation adopted in March 2003.

    This framework for cooperation, the so-called Berlin Plus agreement, provides the basis for NATO-EU cooperation in crisis management by allowing the EU to have access to NATO's collective assets and capabilities for EU-led operations, including command arrangements and assistance in operational planning. In effect, they allow the alliance to support EU-led operations in which NATO as a whole is not engaged.

    Compliance with the said framework for cooperation is a requirement stemming from the decisions made by NATO at the time, thus acting in line with this framework is a fundamental responsibility for NATO, as well as for its secretary-general, Mr. Rasmussen, the official said, reflecting Ankara's stance, strongly advocating the two international organizations stick to existing cooperation mechanisms instead of designing a new one.

    Ankara, meanwhile, also expects Brussels to persuade EU-member Greek Cyprus to drop its veto over Ankara's bid to become an associate member of the European Defence Agency (EDA), the body set up to nurture EU-wide defence industry policy. Ankara also wants to be consulted more on European security policy, arguing that it is already a major participant in EU-led military operations.

    Turkey asserts that the Berlin Plus agreement reached during the EU Copenhagen Summit in December 2002, which allows the EU to draw on NATO assets and operational planning capabilities in its own operations, provides a sufficient framework for bilateral cooperation between the two bodies.

    Greek Cypriot efforts are based on the assumption that this existing agreement should be expanded to include the members of the bloc that joined in May 2004. According to Ankara, Greek Cyprus wants to increase the visibility of the illegitimate recognition by the international community as it being the official representative of the entire island.

    The Turkish official also stressed that EU officials personally appreciated Turkey's contributions to join NATO-EU operations, while citing as an example Turkey's support of EU observers during the recent Afghan elections, as well as Turkey's support in the Balkans region, which was described by EU officials as perfect.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 26 August 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 26 August 2009:

    Kurdish issue

    Hurriyet Daily News carries an article by Rusen Cakir on the opposition's strong reaction to the government's move to solve the Kurdish problem. Cakir warns: "... if the initiators of this solution process fail to manage this crisis, they may face a nightmare situation and be forced to retreat from the initiative. It is not clear what kind of a formula they will find, but it is a must for them to convince CHP and MHP in the process."

    An article by Yusuf Kanli of the Hurriyet Daily News comments on the statement the General Staff issued on 25 August. Stressing that the message of the military was clear, Kanli says: "Contrary to the propaganda of the government and its allegiant media that the military gave its blessing to the Kurdish or democracy opening, the military has declared that whatever the government was trying to do must conform to the first three articles of the Constitution (that cannot be amended and amendment of them could not even be suggested), particularly the third article, that stresses that 'The Turkish state, with its territory and nation, is an indivisible entity. Its language is Turkish.'"

    A Taraf report entitled "Mind Your Own Business, General" also outlines the statement issued by the Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug to clarify the Turkish Armed Forces' views on the government's Kurdish overture. According to the report, the military reiterated that it will never allow the initiatives that might harm Turkey's nation-state and unitary structure and concluded its statement by stressing that "a strong army means a strong Turkey."

    Also commenting on the General Staff statement, Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila asserts that the military responded to the criticisms voiced by the Republican People's Party, CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, after the recent National Security Council meeting. Recalling that the opposition parties censured the military for supporting the government's Kurdish overture without being informed about its details, Bila says: "Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug reiterated his message that there is no change in the position of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, with regard to the nation-state, its unitary structure, and its single official language." The columnist adds that Gen Basbug did not only clarify the TSK's views regarding the process but also recalled that both the government and the opposition should refrain from steps that might weaken the Turkish army.

    Writing in the same newspaper, Hasan Cemal accuses CHP leader Deniz Baykal and MHP leader Devlet Bahceli of supporting "racist" policies in the name of objecting to the government's Kurdish overture. In his article, Cemal warns that the two opposition leaders have started to play a "dangerous game" by provoking a conflict between the Turkish and the Kurdish citizens. Accusing them of adopting an "irresponsible" approach that increases the polarization in the country, Cemal describes Baykal and Bahceli as the "real" supporters of "separatist" policies.

    A report by Ozkan Tanmirak of Aksam outlines the second part of a public opinion poll conducted by the A&G Research Company on the government's "Kurdish overture." According to the poll, some 89.7 percent of the respondents said that they are against the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish region in south-eastern Turkey and more than 50 percent rejected the idea that the Kurdish overture will divide the country. The poll showed that some 72.3 percent of the voters said "no" to the pardoning of the PKK members in the mountains. It also revealed that most of the people expect more investments and job opportunities in the Southeast.

    In an article entitled "It is too early yet to rejoice or get upset", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru slams the Republican People's Party (CHP), and the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), for "rejoicing" at their success in "requiring" Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug to issue a statement defining the Turkish military's position vis-à-vis the ruling AKP's latest "democratic overture." He claims that Basbug's statement is not an act of intervention that could affect the fate of the Kurdish initiative since the responsibility for a "political" project like the latest Kurdish plan belongs solely to the civilian authority and "the Government will continue to take steps in what it believes to be the right direction." He also asserts that "the only practical result of the CHP and the MHP's forcing the General Staff to release its latest statement has been to show once again that these two parties lack the civilian courage to stand on their own feet."

    In an article entitled "You caused the PKK to take to the mountains. Now you are trying to bring it down through a Kurdish initiative", Vakit columnist Nusret Cicek criticizes the Government's Kurdish "overture" as a manifestation of how "foreign supporters" of PKK terrorism are forcing Ankara to recognize the Democratic Society Party, DTP, as the PKK's political representative in the wake of developments that are requiring the PKK to stop operating in northern Iraq. He warns that Prime Minister Erdogan's treatment of the DTP as a counterpart, while providing a temporary local relief, is set to place Turkey in serious trouble in the near future by creating the right conditions for the rise of Kurdish nationalism. He also asks the Government how it could persuade the Turkish people to ever believe in justice again if it grants a general amnesty for the PKK including its leader Abdullah Ocalan.

    In an article entitled "Let the overture stop, let killings continue", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici asserts that General Basbug's statement yesterday regarding the Government's Kurdish initiative is nothing but a reminder about where the military draws the line on the "Kurdish issue" that the chief of staff was forced into giving in response to pressure he faces from certain "so-called civilian politicians" to speak out. Bilici claims that the military does not differ from the Government on this issue because otherwise the National Security Council, MGK, would not have given the go-ahead to the AKP's plan at its recent meeting. He also contrasts Turkey's response to the "Kurdish issue" with Britain and Northern Ireland's handling of their "similar" problems, asserting that where Turkey is taking steps to solve the southeast issue after suffering the loss of over 40,000 people owing to this problem, it took the loss of only 3,637 people for Britain and Northern Ireland to realize that mutual violence cannot lead anywhere.


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