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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-09-01
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 164/09 01.09.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The occupation regime will open a consulate office in Werl, GermanyTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (01.09.09) in its inside pages and under the title The TRNC will open a consulate office in Werl reports that the occupation regime will open a consulate office and a tourist office in the town of Werl in Germany. According to the paper, the self-styled Minister of Tourism, Environment and Culture, Mr. Hamza Ersan Saner went to Germany for a series of contacts and for the inauguration ceremony of the consulate and tourist office.
According to a statement made by the self-styled Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture, in the framework of his contacts in Germany, minister Saner will inaugurate tomorrow the consulate office and tourism office of the TRNC. After the inauguration ceremony, the self-styled minister will meet with businessmen in the consulate office of the occupation regime in Werl with the aim to exchange views regarding the development of the tourism in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 The self-styled economy and energy minister said that the ferry service issue must be brought to the negotiation tableIllegal Bayrak television (31.08.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun has condemned the Greek Cypriot administration for its negative attitude towards launching of ferry services between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Syria and Lebanon.
The Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun has condemned the Greek Cypriot administration for its negative attitude towards launching of ferry services between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Syria and Lebanon.The Ministers words came during a visit paid to him by the Turkish Peace forces War Veterans Association today.
The Minister of Economy and Energy Sunat Atun noted that the Greek Cypriot administration has launched a political initiative to prevent the ferry services while negotiating with the TRNC towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. Criticizing this attitude of the Greek Cypriot Administration, he stressed the need for bringing this issue to the negotiation table.
Explaining that the peace operation Cyprus did not only bring peace to the island but also constituted the basis of the TRNC economy, he said they are working to develop the countrys economy. Noting that the TRNC is trying to continue its openings to the third world counties in order to develop its economy, he said however, the Greek Cypriot side is trying to prevent this.
Moreover, under the title Pistachio nut to Christofias from Esad, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.09.09) reports that in statements yesterday during a joint press conference with President Christofias, the Syrian President, Bessar Esad said that there are two separate states in Cyprus and not only one. The paper alleges that President Christofias, who stated that during his visit he would ask from Syria to stop providing help to the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus within the Islamic Conference Organization and put an end to the ferryboat trips between the occupied port of Famagusta and the Syrian port of Latakia, came face to face with a result which he was not expecting. The paper argues that the fact that President Christofias did not find what he was hoping during his visit to Syria, is expected to make the government crisis in the Republic of Cyprus bigger.
 The dispute regarding the history books in the occupied areas of Cyprus continuesTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (01.09.09) in its front page and under the title A polemic for the books reports that the dispute regarding the issue of the history books has gained a new dimension. The paper reports on the statements made by Mehmet Caglar, shadow education secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) who has stated that the UBP government has not completed the amendment works for the history books, and for that reason he said it will not be possible for the tenders to print the books to open. On the other hand, the self-styled minister of education, Mr. Kemal Durust has stated that all the amendment changes in the history books have been completed and that all the books including the history books will be ready with the beginning of the new school period.
 Three trade unions stopped their protest activitiesTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.09.09) reports that the trade union of the Turkish Cypriot Physicians (Tip-Is), the trade union of the employees at the customs (Guc-Sen) and the Nurses Union stopped their protest activities in order to carry out dialogue with the self-styled government. The joint decision of the three trade unions was announced yesterday by the chairman of Tip-Is, Erol Seherlioglu who told the illegal TAK news agency that they postponed their activities as of yesterday at 14.00 hours and called on the government once more to a dialogue for the prevention of the chaos created in the occupied areas of Cyprus with the recent strikes and for the creation of the environment of dialogue demanded by the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu.
Moreover, the paper reports that the trade unions, which organized activities and strikes in order to oppose to the arrangements made by the government with some decrees in the power of law, are continuing their evaluations on the stance they will follow.
The chairman of KTAMS trade union, Ahmet Kaptan told the illegal TAK news agency that representatives of the 27 trade unions will meet on Thursday at the headquarters of the Secondary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS) and that they are continuing their evaluations until then.
 Data on the number of students and teachers in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (01.09.09) writes that the new academic year 2009 2010 in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus starts on September 15th for the elementary school students and on September 16th for the secondary education students.
According to information obtained from the so called ministry of national education, youth and sport, approximately 39,000 students in total is expected to attend the classes of the elementary and secondary education which will be given by some 3,700 teachers. It is also expected that during the new academic year, 5,000 students will receive their education in private schools by approximately 800 teachers.
 Ejder Aslanbaba resigned from DPTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.09.09) writes that Ejder Aslanbaba, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas and self styled DP deputy in occupied Trikomo has resigned from his post as the DP general secretary.
In statements, Mr. Aslanbaba said that his resignation from the DP is the outcome of both the arbitrary decisions taken by the party and his exclusion from the meetings the DP is holding with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. According to the report, Ejder Aslanbaba will continue being a deputy in occupied Trikomo.
 Davutoglu and Hilary Clinton held a 35-minute telephone conversationBroad coverage is given by todays newspapers to the visit of the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, to Baghdad after the tension created between Iraq and Syria.
Specifically, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (01.09.09) reports that Mr Davutoglu, whose country plays the role of the mediator between the two countries, arrived yesterday in Baghdad and met with the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki and the Iraqi President Celal Talabani. Inter alia, Mr Davutoglu said to Mr Maliki that he would convey their positions to Syria and he proposed the establishment of a tripartite mechanism between Syria, Iraq and Turkey.
The paper goes on under the subtitle, 35 minutes with Clinton, and reports that Mr Davutoglu prior to his trip to Baghdad and while being in Slovenia, held a long telephone conversation with the US Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton. Davutoglus visits to Syria and Iraq, Cyprus negotiations, Middle East, Caucasus, Balkans and other regional countries were among their issues of discussion.
 Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu held a meeting with the Syrian President over the row with IraqAnkara Anatolia news agency (31.08.09) reports the following from Damascus:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad in Damascus on Monday.
Speaking after the meeting, Davutoglu expressed optimism over a prospect to ease tensions escalated between Iraq and Syria after attacks that targeted the ministries of finance and foreign affairs in Baghdad.
"Syria and Iraq are our neighbors and this is a problem inside the family. We are very optimistic that this problem will be solved. We will we do anything in our power to settle this problem and strengthen relations between brothers," Davutoglu told reporters.
Asked if Turkey made any suggestions over the settlement of the issue Davutoglu said "of course we have made a number of friendly and sincere suggestions which we do not prefer to share with the public for now."
The double attacks of August 19 killed at least 100 people, injuring many more. Iraq accused two Iraqis living in Syria of playing "direct roles in the execution of the terror attack." Baghdad and Syrian governments withdrew their ambassadors from each other's capitals. Davutoglu also met with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki earlier in the day in Baghdad.
 Turkey, Armenia agree to start consultation on protocols for normalization of tiesThe Ankara Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the following statement dated 31 August 2009:
"Press release of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, the Republic of Armenia and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.
Ankara, Yerevan, Berne 31 August 2009.
The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia have agreed to start their internal political consultations on the two protocols - the "Protocol on the establishment of diplomatic relations" and the "Protocol on the development of bilateral relations" - which have been initialed in the course of their efforts under Swiss mediation.
The two Protocols provide for a framework for the normalization of the bilateral relations within a reasonable timeframe. The political consultations will be completed within six weeks, following which the two Protocols will be signed and submitted to the respective Parliaments for the ratification on each side. Both sides will make their best efforts for the timely progression of the ratification in line with their constitutional and legal procedures.
The normalization of the bilateral relations will contribute to regional peace and stability. The Republic of Turkey and the Republic of Armenia are committed to pursuing their joint efforts with the assistance of Switzerland.
 Turkish PM to visit Libya shortlyTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (01.09.09) pages reports that Mrs Emine Erdogan will pay a two-day visit to Libya as a special guest of Ayse Kaddafi, daughter of Libyas leader Muammer Kaddafi.
Mrs Erdogan and the Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc will travel today to Tripoli to attend the celebrations of the 40th anniversary since the September 1st Revolution, which brought Kaddafi to power. As the paper writes, a friendship was created between the two ladies during last years Gaza aid meeting, which was held in Istanbul.
In addition, the paper writes that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a telephone conversation with the Libyan leader informed him that he will not be able to attend the celebrations and that he will soon visit Libya with a group of businessmen.
 Collin Powel to address a conference in IstanbulTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (01.09.09) reports that the former US Secretary of State, Mr Collin Powel, will visit Istanbul to attend and address a conference regarding the violence against mothers.
The United Mothers against Violence Conference, which will take pale on October 20, is being organised in the framework of the project Mothers against Violence (Terrorism) initiated by the Turkey Businesswomen Association (TIKAD).
During his speech, Mr Powell is expected to convey world peace messages. Among the speakers of the conference will also be the spouse of the late Egyptian President Anwar El-Sadat, Mrs Jehan Sadat.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Hurriyet assesses Turkeys role as a mediator between Syria and Iraq and argues that Turkeys EU candidacy increases its roleUnder the title Iraq-Syria crisis and Syrian PKK, Istanbul Hurriyet on line newspaper (31.08.09) publishes the following article by Ferai Tinc:
Foreign Minister Prof Ahmet Davutoglu is today flying to Iraq and Syria. Relations between both those countries have become strained to the point of breaking especially after the bomb attack in Baghdad against the Foreign Ministry and Finance Ministry in which 101 people were killed.
Iraq asserted that former Ba'athists and Al-Qa'ida were behind the explosion and asked Syria to hand over Muhammad Yunus and Sultan Farhan, alleged to be involved in the incident.
Relations became so strained that there was a reciprocal recalling of ambassadors.
Turkey is currently a neighbor on good terms with both countries. We can say it is effectively the only such neighbor.
There are of course reasons for this. The continuation of instability in Iraq means the perpetuation of problems that are impacting on Turkey such as energy and the PKK.
In order to be able to show it is being politically active in supporting the Kurdish overture in Turkey Iraq must be able make good on its promises regarding the PKK. In order to be able to supervise the PKK and prevent it from making alliances that might threaten the administrations in the north of the country and in Baghdad a specific level of stability needs to be maintained. That is why it is important for Turkey that Iraqi-Syrian relations are in order.
However, I have to admit that I am skeptical regarding Turkey taking on the role of mediator. Just how influential can Turkey be in resolving the problems between Syria and Iraq?
It cannot be as effective a mediator as it was between Syria and Israel because it was not Turkey's simply good relations with both countries that played an effective role in the mediation between Syria and Israel. Turkey's being an EU candidate and on good terms with the West increased Turkey's influence. And the matter was a problem of international focus. It possessed international support.
The principal element in the case of Iraq and Syria is the fact that Turkey is on "good" terms with both countries. Can this element, which really emphasized an "elder brother" role, be enough to moderate Iraq's claims that Syria "is harboring a terrorist organization and should extradite the Ba'athists." Furthermore, will it be enough to convince Syria to take some confidence building steps?
It may appear to be self-contradictory to talk about the importance of Iraq's stability for Turkey while simultaneously being skeptical about Turkey's role as mediator, but this is not the case because mediators who cannot be trusted to secure results may adversely affect the alliances in important matters such as the water meeting to be held on Wednesday between Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
One of the important matters expecting to be solved jointly by Syria, Iraq and Turkey is the condition of those Syrians within the PKK.
The democratic overture has not yet been filled in. The topic is going to be debated in all its aspects starting today. The matter of ejecting the PKK's mountain cadres from Iraq will also be discussed as part of this overture. The return home of those in the mountains is a matter that has remained unsolved for many years. However, there is another serious problem.
The PKK is not made up solely of Kurds who are Turkish nationals. There are also many Syrians within the ranks of the PKK. What is to become of them? Are they going to return to Turkey? Is Turkey making preparations for this?
I am curious as to the answer to these questions. When I asked Ocalan's lawyers they said: "Everybody on Mt Qandil is being educated. The Syrians there have learned Turkish and they all want to be citizens of Turkey."
I hope that the important matters needing to be resolved by two of Turkey's neighbors are not going to be remaining in the shadow of Turkey's role as mediator.
 From the Turkish Press of 31 August 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 31 August 2009:
a) Kurdish problem
It is imperative for Turkey to resolve the Kurdish problem if it wants to become influential in Iraq after the withdrawal of the United States, says Milliyet columnist Kadri Gursel in a commentary and adds: "The Justice and Development Party, (AKP), government wants to benefit from the window of opportunity that has been opened by the United States from the outside and that will eventually weaken the PKK... Turkey, the United States, the Iraqi Kurds, and even the Iraqi Arabs have common interests within this framework and international relations are based on common interests."
Asserting that the majority of the public wants the Kurdish problem to be resolved through democratic means, Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz, in an article, refers to the criticism levelled by the Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), against the Kurdish overture and notes that escalating the tension at this time may lead to temporary gains, but it will not lead to permanent accomplishments. Arguing that rather than turning the issue into a fight, the MHP should try to persuade the public, Yilmaz says: "Let us not forget that even though the Turkish people appear to like those who raise their voices, they actually want 'tranquillity.' We should primarily learn to hold rational debates in order to achieve positive results from these discussions."
The Kurdish problem will not be resolved by surrendering to bandits or by making concessions to the PKK, says Rahmi Turan in an article also in Hurriyet and argues that the prime minister's statement to the effect that they will resolve this problem regardless of the price encourages the PKK. Drawing attention to the suffering caused by terrorism, Turan says: "We want friendship, peace, and brotherhood, but do they want brotherhood? Their goals are clear: Cultural rights, education in the mother tongue, and an autonomous administration will not satisfy the racists who support the PKK. They aim to establish the 'great state of Kurdistan.' If you accept this the Kurdish problem will be resolved."
In an interview by Mine Senocakli in Vatan, Mehmet Kaya, former chairman of the Diyarbakir Chamber of Industry and Commerce, praises the speech delivered by Erdogan on 11 August and underlines that humanitarian steps are much more important than the legal amendments. Stressing that many Kurds see the PKK and Ocalan as their representatives, Kaya draws attention to the change in Erdogan's stand with regard to the Kurdish problem and emphasizes that the Ergenekon investigation has caused this change.
In a report also in Vatan, Bilal Cetin relates the views expressed by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc on the Kurdish overture at a fast-breaking dinner he hosted for a group of journalists. Arguing that if Erdogan talks to Baykal and Bahceli on the Kurdish overture, this will be beneficial for Turkey, Arinc asserts that if the AKP fails in the overture, it may lose the next elections.
In an interview by Emine Kaplan in Cumhuriyet, CHP Deputy Secretary General Algan Hacaloglu says that all the political parties should contribute to the solution of the Kurdish issue, but that the Erdogan government lacks the necessary experience and leadership regarding this issue. Calling on the government to properly define the problem, Hacaoglu points out that 70% of the people are in favor of the solution of the Kurdish problem and underlines that this opportunity should not be missed.
I believe that the noise and the quarrels do not stem from whether or not the Kurdish overture is a US project, but from whether this overture is in line with Turkish or US interests, says Cumhuriyet's Emre Kongar in an article, adding: "It is understood that 'the overture' will eventually require decisions on the basic provisions of the Constitution such as citizenship, social identity, cultural rights, and local administration." At this point the structure of the Constitutional Court and the election of its members appear on the agenda, says Kongar and argues that "justice, the high courts, the independence of the judiciary -- and especially the independence of the Constitutional Court -- appear as an obstacle before the AKP's "overture." Therefore, adds Kongar, the AKP has taken action for making legal arrangements under the guise of "making reforms."
Under the banner headline, "Victory day meeting," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which asserts that the 30 August Victory Day celebrations in Ankara yesterday saw the tensions between the Government and the main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, over the former's latest Kurdish "overture" subside, with Prime Minister Erdogan and CHP leader Deniz Baykal shaking hands and chatting with one another.
In an article entitled "Dirty propaganda", Yeni Safak columnist Tamer Korkmaz accuses critics of the Government's "Kurdish overture" of conducting a "dirty propaganda campaign" in maintaining that the said initiative is a US project. He argues that if Turkey has come "this close" to working out a solution to the Kurdish problem for the first time in 25 years, it is because it freed itself of the United States' "secret yoke" some three years ago. He asserts that those spreading such propaganda are turning a blind eye to how Turkey rejected the 1 March authorization bill that would have allowed the United States to open a northern front on Iraq, how it has come to "determine the course of developments in northern Iraq against Washington's will," and "how the United States has had to suspend the Broader Middle East Project and scrap its plans to establish a Kurdish state in northern Iraq" because of Ankara's policies. He also argues that the recent US think tank reports on the PKK and the Kurdish problem on which the said propaganda is based could well be part of a psychological campaign intended to help the United States save face.
In a commentary entitled "Democratic overture or the Kurdish problem?", Vakit writer Sefik Dursun argues that what holds the Turks and Kurds together in this country has always been their faith in Islam and that the way to ensure the continued well-being and unity of this country is to promote the cohesive power of Islam. He also draws attention to what he describes as a similarity between Muslim and Kurdish woes resulting from the Establishment's "secularist" and "neo-nationalist" policies.
Under the headline, "We will not let efforts to undermine the democratic overture deter us," Zaman carries a front-page report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's response to the terrorist assault in Hakkari yesterday that resulted in the killing of some four soldiers.
In an article entitled "Why Turkey needs politicians like the Kennedyies", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan deplores what he describes as the presence of politicians and commentators in Turkey whose mindset represents the opposite of compromise. He criticizes such politicians and commentators for the way they are obstructing efforts to solve the Kurdish problem by "scapegoating" the United States through arguments referring to the Government's latest Kurdish initiative as a US project. He also argues that "the United States is one of the last Western countries that could be criticized in connection with the Kurdish issue particularly from a statist perspective," adding that while it is true that the latest democratic overture is in line with US interests, it is false to represent projects that are both in Turkish and US interests as being only to Washington's benefit.
Under the headline, "Turkey embarks on critical week for Kurdish initiative," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that Interior Minister Besir Atalay is due to hold a news conference today "to inform the public about the progress achieved thus far on the reform initiative. ... All eyes will be on Diyarbakir a day later, where the pro-Kurdish DTP plans to hold a grand rally with 1 million Kurds."
In an article entitled "Where's the American conspiracy in all this?", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar argues that "Turkey's current verbal commitment to solve the Kurdish problem is a step in the right direction for Washington precisely because it shows that Ankara has at least some willingness and courage to focus on its own most crucial problem."
In an article entitled "Public opinion on the Kurdish question", Today's Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi comments on the findings of a survey conducted by the SETA Foundation and the Pollmark company indicating the presence of "public support" for the Government's Kurdish initiative as well as of a "public will to live together [as Turks and Kurds] in a democratic and plural country."
In an article entitled "The chronology of PKK massacres", Milli Gazete columnist Afet Ilgaz highlights the claim in [21st Century Turkey Institute Chairman] Professor Umit Ozdag's "latest book," The Chronology of PKK Ambushes and Massacres, that the first villages in the southeast where the terrorist PKK carried out massacres were those that resisted Armenian raids in 1915. She also asks whether the Democratic Society Party, DTP, tried to "mock" Turkey in choosing the Eruh district of Siirt Province, "where the PKK committed its first murders [in 1984]," as the venue for its recent "peace" festivities.
b) Withdrawal of US troops from Iraq
In an article in Hurriyet, Fatih Cekirge notes that it is necessary to entitle Davutoglu's visit as "Iraq's Future: Regional Balances." Baghdad and Damascus are important in terms of the role that will be assumed by Turkey after the withdrawal of the United States, says Cekirge and explains that even though Cairo is far away, it represents the Arab dimension of the issue. Davutoglu will draw the most important part of a big picture during this visit, underlines Cekirge.
According to a report by Yener Ekinci in Aksam, the Pentagon has send a letter to the 39th Wing Command in the Incirlik Air Base, saying that the troops that will withdraw from Iraq will gather in Incirlik and that the transfer of the troops will be carried out via this base.
c) Muslim population in western countries and Turkey
Referring to a presentation prepared by Catholic missionaries on the growth of the Muslim population in the West, Milliyet columnist Hursit Gunes in an article says: "Currently exactly 52 million Muslims live in Europe. According to the projections there will be 50 million Muslims in the United States after 30 years. In short, if nothing changes Turkey will easily be included in the West. Nonetheless, Turkey may come to the conclusion that the West is no longer Western and it may decide not to join the EU... The EU countries that have rejected Turkey for being Eastern or Muslim or for having an unqualified population are currently being conquered from the inside."
d) Turkeys relations with Armenia
Questioning whether Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan will attend the Armenian national soccer team's return game that will be played in Turkey in spite of the criticism leveled against him in his country, Semih Idiz in a commentary in Milliyet emphasizes that if the Armenian president comes to Turkey at the invitation of his Turkish counterpart, he will be declared a traitor by the nationalists in his country and if he refuses to come, Yerevan will lose its respectability in the international arena. The truth is that the Nabucco agreement and the documents signed during Putin's visit to Turkey have further deepened Armenia's isolation in the international arena, says Idiz and notes that it has been seen that strategic projects that include the United States, the EU, and Russia can be realized without Armenia. Despite this, says Idiz, we hope that Armenia will be included in these projects in the name of "good neighborhood" and therefore we hope that Sargsyan will reach a wise decision regarding the soccer game.