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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-09-11

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. 172/09 11.09.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] President Christofias meets the Turkish Cypriot leader for the second round of negotiations. Statements by Talat after the end of the meeting
  • [02] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the 41st meeting between Christofias-Talat
  • [03] St. Catherine church in occupied Lefkosia will offer service as Haydarpasa mosque
  • [04] Eroglu due in Turkey
  • [05] Data on the number of registered cars in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Turkey begins negotiations with the EU to join the Energy Community Treaty
  • [07] Ankara to host a Foreign Ministers meeting of the Barcelona Process at the initiative of Carl Bildt
  • [08] Abhazia hopes swift recognition from Turkey
  • [09] Clashes between Armenian and Azeri military forces in Nagorno-Karabakh cause concern over peace talks. Turkey expresses concern
  • [10] Prime Minister Erdogan announces AKPs 3rd party congress on October 3rd
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Report after screening school books shows that young Turks are taught that Turkey is an army nation, wars and violence are inevitable and that good citizens are the militarized citizens
  • [12] Columnist in Radikal refutes claims that Kurds in Turkey will surpass the Turkish population by 2050

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] President Christofias meets the Turkish Cypriot leader for the second round of negotiations. Statements by Talat after the end of the meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (10.09.09) broadcast the following: The second round of the Cyprus negotiation process has been launched. The new round was initiated by the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias who met this morning.

    Reading out a short statement at the end of the meeting, the UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alexander Downer said that todays discussions started with a tête-à-tête meeting between the two leaders during which they exchanged views on last weeks incident at the Yesilirmak gate [Limnitis crossing point] and the election of the executive.

    He said that the leaders then moved onto the plenary session where they worked on ways of bridging the proposals of the two sides on the election of the President and the vice-President of the new state to be formed.

    Responding to a question, Mr Downer said that the United Nations was helping the two sides in their efforts to achieve a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation on the basis of the UN resolutions. He noted that the UN was pleased with the progress achieved so far at the talks.

    The Envoy said that the leaders will continue their discussions on the issue of Executive next week and will try to bridge the gap between their positions.

    Next weeks meeting will be the last to be held within the month and the leaders are to meet again on the 2nd of October. The first round was completed on the 6th of August.

    The second round was scheduled to start last week, but an incident regarding the crossing of Greek Cypriot pilgrims at the Yesilirmak gate [Limnitis crossing point] was used as an excuse by the Greek Cypriot side to postpone the re-launch of talks.

    The Executive is the only subject under the first chapter that the two sides failed to reach convergence in the first round. The Greek Cypriot side wants the President and the vice-President to be elected directly by the electorate of the envisaged Republic in a single list, with a majority vote. The Turkish Cypriot side, however, offers a different system of presidency, similar to that in Switzerland.

    On Mehmet Ali Talats return to occupied Lefkosia after the meeting with President Christofias, illegal Bayrak television (10.09.09) broadcast the following: President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that a new understanding is dominating the negotiations and the sides will continue the process by exchanging discussions rather than papers.

    Speaking to reporters on his return to the presidential palace, Mr Talat said that the two sides have brought their new proposals on Executive to the negotiations table at todays meeting and they will continue to take up the same issue next week. He also noted that he and Mr Christofias have decided not to talk about the incident at the Yesilirmak gate [Limnitis crossing point] which caused the postponement of last weeks meeting.

    Responding to a question on the issue of Missing Persons, Mr Talat said that the issue has never been discussed at the negotiations table stressing that it should not be politicized. Pointing out that the incident at Yesilirmak [Limnitis] had demonstrated how easily such an issue could be politicized, Mr Talat said they will not be provoked by circles which oppose the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    [02] How the Turkish Cypriot press covered the 41st meeting between Christofias-Talat

    A broad coverage is given by all the Turkish Cypriot newspaper today (11.09.09) to yesterdays meeting between the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and President Demetris Christofias in the framework of the second round of the intercommunal negotiations. Following are the front-page titles of the papers:

    VATAN: Unsmiling! The paper reports that while the second round of the negotiation talks has started, the expression of Christofias in his face yesterday upon his entrance and exit from the negotiations became a matter of discussion in several TV channels which made the comment that he was unsmiling.

    STAR KIBRIS: The second round started well. Talat: The two sides made proposals on the issue of the Executive power. There is consensus of opinion that progress will be achieved with the discussion of the issues. Christofias: With the hope that we will not live similar things again, we decided to leave the Limnitis issue behind and look ahead. Downer: In the first meeting of the second round of the negotiation talks aimed at reaching to a solution of the Cyprus problem, the sides submitted their new supporting proposals.

    YENI DUZEN: Hopeful Beginning. Subtitle: They met again at the table. The paper writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader, Demetris Christofias held their 41st meeting with the aim of reaching to a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem. The paper adds that the leaders spoke positively and writes that during the meeting, Talat and Christofias discussed the Executive issue and made new proposals.

    KIBRISLI: And the second round has started.

    HAVADIS: The negotiations started well. The paper writes that Talat and Christofias started yesterday the second round of the negotiations. The UN Secretary -Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer stated that the leaders submitted their new supporting proposals.

    BAKIS: Talat: We are exerting efforts to reach to a consensus of opinion.

    HALKIN SESI: They submitted their positions on the Executive power. The paper writes that the first meeting of the second round of the negotiation talks took place yesterday. Christofias and Talat discussed the Executive power issue and submitted their proposals. Moreover, they decided to close the issue of the tension regarding the Limnitis crossing point. On the other hand, Turkish and Greek Cypriot artists displayed their work at a special exhibition inside the premises where the direct talks between the two leaders were held, to lend support to the peace-process.

    ORTAM: Talat and Christofias discussed the chapter Governance and Power Sharing.

    AFRIKA: The problems with the mass graves to Talat. Subtitle: Not only they murdered them for political reasons but also they do not want to politicize them. The paper reports that after yesterdays meeting with Christofias, Talat received questions from reporters regarding the massacre and the mass graves. Talat stated that this issue should not be politicized and added that those who brought into the agenda this use are those who do not want the solution. Mr. Talat stated also that it was not a meeting for the missing persons and that This can be put into the agenda only at tête-à-tête meetings.

    (AK)

    [03] St. Catherine church in occupied Lefkosia will offer service as Haydarpasa mosque

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.09.09), under the title Haydarpasa mosque will open for worship, reports that the St Catherine church of the 14th century, which is located at Haydarpasa Street within the walls of the occupied Lefkosia, used to offer service as Haydarpasa mosque, but for a long time now it has been used as an art gallery. The paper reports that this historic building is one of the most frequent places that tourists have been showing interest in after the opening of the crossing-points. The Church is under the administration of the Evkaf religious foundation. The administrative board of Evkaf has decided to open this historic building for worship during the bayram feast after the request of the so-called religious affairs directorate.

    (DPs)

    [04] Eroglu due in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.09.09) reports that prime minister Dervis Eroglu will leave today for the Turkish city of Nigde. According to the statement made by the prime ministry, Eroglu will go to Nigde today at 16.00 where he will hold contacts and inaugurate a park which will carry his name. The self-styled prime minister is expected to return to the occupied areas on Sunday.

    (AK)

    [05] Data on the number of registered cars in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (11.09.09) reports that the number of the private registered cars in the occupied areas of Cyprus has reached to 159.945. The number of the cars with permission for public transportation is 1225 of which 793 are buses while the rest are minibuses.

    (AK)

    [06] Turkey begins negotiations with the EU to join the Energy Community Treaty

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.09.09) reported the following from Brussels:

    Turkey and European Union have started negotiations on Thursday for Turkey's accession to the Energy Community, European Commission said. A Turkish delegation led by Yusuf Yazar, Deputy Undersecretary for Energy, met with a European Commission negotiating team headed by Fabrizio Barbaso, Deputy Director General for Energy, in Vienna.

    It was the first negotiation session in view of Turkey's accession to the Energy Community Treaty. The first meeting discussed reforms made by Turkish government on energy, especially in electricity market, sources said.

    EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs said, Turkey is carrying out fundamental reforms in order to address its huge energy challenge. Turkey is well prepared and has an important role to play in the Energy Community. I hope that the negotiations will proceed swiftly and could be concluded in the coming months.European Commission said relations between Turkey and EU on energy have reached a milestone after intergovernmental signing of Nabucco deal in July and launch of negotiations on Turkey's accession to the Energy Community.

    The parties to the Energy Community are the European Community, as well as Balkan countries Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia [FYROM], Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo.

    The community aims at adjustment of participant countries to EU acquis and their accession to European energy network. Observer countries Turkey, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Norway contribute to EU's energy supply security.

    [07] Ankara to host a Foreign Ministers meeting of the Barcelona Process at the initiative of Carl Bildt

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (11.09.09) reports the following:

    Istanbul has been picked as the venue for a foreign ministerial-level meeting of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean, which was launched in Paris in July 2008 following intense efforts by France's Nicolas Sarkozy.

    If no additional problems aside from the structural ambiguities still preventing the initiative from fully functioning occur in the meantime, Istanbul will host a two-day ministerial level meeting of the partnership, which includes all 27 member states of the European Union along with 16 partners across the southern Mediterranean and the Middle East, November 24-25.

    Ankara hesitated to participate in the Sarkozy-backed initiative because of his fierce opposition to Turkey's membership in the EU. Sarkozy has said the country belongs in Europe neither culturally nor geographically. The government delayed a decision on whether to join the initiative and even whether to attend its launch in Paris until the last minute, agreeing to take part only after Sarkozy gave assurances that Turkey's membership prospects would not be affected by the Mediterranean project.

    The idea for holding the meeting in Istanbul was the brainchild of Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the EU for six months as of July, diplomatic sources involved in the issue told Today's Zaman.

    Instead of holding this meeting in a western Mediterranean country or in any EU-member country, holding it in Istanbul, in EU-candidate Turkey is in itself a strong message in favour of the EU with this choice's highly symbolic characteristics, the same sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said.

    Although launched by Sarkozy with a rather assertive discourse at a colourful ceremony attended by more than 40 heads of state and government in Paris, the partnership initiative hasn't yet overcome all the ambiguities surrounding its structure and mechanisms.

    It has, however, managed to establish a rotating co-presidency with one EU president and one president representing the Mediterranean partners and a secretariat based in Barcelona that is responsible for identifying and promoting projects of regional, sub-regional and trans-national value across different sectors. The co-president from the south, currently Egypt, has been elected for two years, while the EU's rotating-term presidents have been holding the co-presidency for six months along with their presidency term.

    The Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean is also a platform which brings together Arab states and Israel. This past year, due to the Gaza crisis, Union for the Mediterranean meetings scheduled between January and April were postponed.

    Israel launched a military offensive code-named Operation Cast Lead in late December 2008 and January 2009, which led to more than 1,400 deaths in Gaza, including hundreds of civilians. Eventually work was resumed, first by senior officials and then by ministers.

    As for the planned meeting in Istanbul, reliable sources involved in the issue told Today's Zaman that Arab states have been extremely annoyed by Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's probable participation in the meeting, due to their resentment of a recently announced plan to approve construction of West Bank settlement homes before Israel considers a freeze sought by Washington. The international community considers all Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian territory to be illegal and a major hurdle to Middle East peace efforts.

    Almost three months remain before the planned meeting, and several formulas for easing Arab states' uneasiness are being sought, the same sources said.

    A structural ambiguity concerning the partnership is its mechanism of secretary-general ship. While there is still no consensus over the number of would-be secretary-generals, Ankara is keen to have one of the secretary-general seats. Turkey has already gained strong support from Arab states for the seat, yet EU member Greek Cyprus, the government of which is not recognized by Turkey, stands as a potential obstacle to such a development.

    [08] Abhazia hopes swift recognition from Turkey

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (10.09.09) reported the following:

    The first-ever visit by a high-ranking Turkish diplomat to the self-proclaimed Abkhazia Republic has boosted the breakaway republic's hopes of being recognized by Turkey.

    We certainly hope that Turkey will recognize Abkhazia. There are some positive signals but they have to be materialized. We are waiting for a more active approach, Abkhazian Foreign Minister Sergei Shamba told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review in a phone interview.

    Turkish Deputy Undersecretary Ambassador Unal Cevikoz visited Abkhazia on Thursday on the sidelines of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglus official talks with Tbilisi. Georgian officials were informed in advance about Cevikoz meetings in Abkhazia, reaffirming that Turkeys policy of protecting the territorial integrity and political unity of Georgia has not changed.

    Abkhazia announced its independence in 1999. But what changed the landscape was Russias recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia last year after the war with Georgia. Nicaragua and Venezuela followed Russia, increasing the hopes of this tiny breakaway state.

    Turkish foreign policys dilemma on the Georgia-Abkhazia conflict rose to the surface once more after a Turkish vessel called Buket was seized in international waters by Georgian coast guards with accusation of smuggling oil to Abkhazia. The captain, Mehmet Ozturk, was sentenced to 24 years in prison, but was released on Monday as a result of Davutoglus talks in Tbilisi.

    The main topic was about the captured ship and our bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Shamba said in the wake of his talks with Ambassador Cevikoz.

    Seeking alliance with Turkey

    With hope of a Turkish alliance, Shamba said: We want Turkey to make its position clear that the capture of a Turkish ship in international waters is not admissible. It is in the interest of regional stability to prevent any escalation from taking place. The talks were constructive, he said, declining to give further details.

    Shamba complained about the lack of direct transportation links with Turkey and urged that Abkhazian diaspora are deeply in need of it. Turkey, however, still supports the economic sanctions imposed against Abkhazia by the Commonwealth of Independent States.

    Wed like to develop economic and humanitarian contact with Turkey. We request opening of communications and passenger transport. It is a big interest because we are neighbors and we have a big Abkhazian diaspora in Turkey, he said.

    Around 500,000 Turkish citizens consider themselves to be of Abkhazian origin. Ambassador Cevikozs visit gave hope to those who have been lobbying for recognition of the Abkhazia Republic.

    Asked if he was assured that Turkey shifted its policy and might soon recognize Abkhazia, Shamba replied: It is difficult to say now, but well closely follow the situation and wed like to maintain contacts with Turkish representatives.

    In response to Shambas remarks, Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin underscored that there is no policy change in the Caucasus in an interview with the Daily News.

    Help us to blockade the sea

    Apart from the recognition, the Abkhazian foreign minister also expects Turkey to mediate to stop the sea-blockade imposed on them.

    Asked what measures they are considering to break the Georgian blockade, he hinted that armed actions are on the agenda, saying: We are now counter-playing different forms of actions ... The actions will be appropriate if needed. Symmetrical actions with the Georgian side we will see. We hope that this incident is the last one.

    In the hope to intensify political contacts, Shamba expects to have talks in Ankara as well, saying: We have constant contacts at different levels. If it is needed we can visit. It is possible in the near future, but its not yet fixed on the agenda.

    Without hinting at a visit from Abkhazia to Ankara for talks, Ozugergin noted: It is natural to pay attention to this case due to Turkeys (geographical and political) position and Abkhazian origin population. Our main aim is to contribute to a permanent peaceful solution for the problem.

    [09] Clashes between Armenian and Azeri military forces in Nagorno-Karabakh cause concern over peace talks. Turkey expresses concern

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (11.09.09) reports that five Armenian soldiers were killed in a clash with Azeri forces near the breakaway Azerbaijan region of Nagorno-Karabakh on Thursday, Azeri media reported. Turkey, which is holding talks with Armenia to normalize bilateral relations, expressed concern over the incident.

    Azerbaijan's ANS Press news agency said the fight took place in the Agdam district, next to Nagorno-Karabakh, which threw off Azeri rule in the early 1990s. ANS initially reported four deaths but later said five were killed. A spokesman for the Defence Ministry of the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh dismissed the report as Azeri propaganda. The defence ministries of Azerbaijan and Armenia could not immediately be reached for comment.

    In this period of time when we have been trying to maintain an environment of peace, stability and general welfare in the Caucasus, such incidents worry us, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Burak Ozugergin was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency, hours after the report was released.

    Ozugergin was speaking from Amman as he accompanies Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during an official visit. The spokesperson noted that they have been trying to get more information regarding the news reports.

    Agdam, where the attack reportedly took place, is one of seven Azeri districts surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh and is held by Armenian forces. Clashes are common between forces manning the frontline. The last fatal exchange was in January, when Azerbaijan, which supplies oil and gas to the West, said it had killed three Armenian soldiers.

    Christian ethnic Armenians, backed by Armenia, fought a war in the 1990s to end mainly Muslim Azerbaijan's control over the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region. An estimated 30,000 people were killed and a peace accord has still not been reached.

    Mediators from the United States, France and Russia say they are close to a breakthrough in negotiations between Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan and his Azeri counterpart, Ilham Aliyev.

    But tensions in the region are rising as Armenia and close Azeri ally Turkey make progress towards opening their joint border and establishing diplomatic relations, angering Azerbaijan. Turkey closed the frontier in 1993 in solidarity with Azerbaijan, which now fears losing leverage over Armenia in the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh if the border is reopened.

    Turkey and Armenia said last month they had agreed to establish diplomatic ties and open the border. Their presidents are due to sign the accords in mid-October, before submitting them to the Turkish and Armenian parliaments for approval.

    Under the deal, the border should reopen within two months of ratification, possibly by the new year.

    [10] Prime Minister Erdogan announces AKPs 3rd party congress on October 3rd

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (11.09.09) reports that after a reshuffle in the Cabinet and changes in its parliamentary group coming on the heels of the election of a new parliament speaker, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) is gearing up for a shakedown in party management at its upcoming party congress.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the leader of the party, will introduce new changes to management and offer revisions to bylaws governing membership and the operation of the party at the third party congress, scheduled to be held on October 3.

    Political observers will keep an eye on changes to be made in the Central Decision and Administration Board (MKYK), the party's highest decision-making body, and will try to decipher where the party is going. Many expect Erdogan will shape the MKYK in a bid to get the party ready for general elections to be held in 2011.

    The AK Party's Central Executive Board (MYK), to be chosen from among the 50 members of the MKYK, will take the party to the elections amid mounting pressure on the government regarding economic recovery, the reform drive in Turkey's European Union membership process and a recently introduced democratization package aiming to solve the decades-long Kurdish problem. Erdogan is not expected to be challenged in the congress and the election of his candidates is taken for granted.

    Changes within party management will likely have an impact on the composition of parliamentary commissions, as some of the high-profile deputies in the party could be offered positions on commissions if they are not elected to posts within party management. It is rumoured that Erdogan wants a young and dynamic management team as well as increased representation of women in the upper echelons of the party.

    State Minister Hayati Yazici will chair the commission responsible for changes in party bylaws. The details and scope of changes to be introduced in the bylaws have not been made public yet.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Report after screening school books shows that young Turks are taught that Turkey is an army nation, wars and violence are inevitable and that good citizens are the militarized citizens

    Under the title Militarism in School Books in Turkey¹, the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV, "http://www.tesev.org.tr") on 09.09.09 released the following report on militarism in school books in Turkey:

    When we look at the findings of a difficult and detailed screening of 193 school books taught in the 2007-2008 school year by the History Foundation employees and volunteers in terms of militarism, there are three chapters that come out: The army- nation myth and the essentialist military identity concept; wars/violence becoming ordinary, affirmed and exalted; and the concept of militarized citizenship. In this article, National Security books taught in 10th grade and other school books used from elementary to high school are assessed together under these three chapters.

    Subtitle: The army-nation myth and the essentialist military identity concept

    The new elementary and high school books are full of suggestions that Turks who are claimed to have a 16 thousand year old history2 have been an army-nation. This subject has been emphasized in teachers' guide books, and it has been asked to emphasize the army-nation tradition several times in the same book. An example from the 6th Grade Social Sciences Teachers' Guide Book:

    It should be emphasized that the Turkish Armed Forces is the guarantor of the Turkish Republic's existence and future; that it comes from the Turkish nation, that it is the best example of the integration of the army nation and that its duty is to protect the country against internal and external threats.3 Emphasize the importance of military service based on today's events. Ask about the benefits of having a structured and disciplined military in victories and the defense of the country. (.....) Explain that the Turkish nation has been characterized as an army nation to this day because of successful struggles against difficulties and defeats of enemies who attacked the country.4

    The army-nation myth that can be found in these examples is one of the founding myths of Turkish nationalism after the 1930's. As an important result of this myth, the military service became culturized, constructed as an extension of culture; instead of defense, military or a government formation in general.5 According to the myth that is based on the concepts of an essentialist military identity and an anachronistic history6, belligerence is a fixed feature of the Turkish race and is a proud quality of the Turkish culture: Every Turk is Born a Soldier!

    Subtitle: Making wars/violence ordinary, affirmed and exalted

    The theme of the inevitability of wars in school books comes up as both a directly expressed opinion and an assumption that draws the main framework of books (specifically the History and National Security Studies books). For instance, the inevitability of wars and violence is explained as such in a story in the National Security Studies book:

    As long as human beings are alive, the struggle between them will continue. The single constant and dominant means of this social struggle called a war is the advanced human called soldier. The fact that the name of the occupation derives from the word soldier shows that the occupation is integrated with a human being.7 Removing the idea of homeland - that is one of the biggest driving forces and power source of patriotism from the hearts is similar to taking away weapons that are the most effective tools to defend rights. If this nation, separates from patriotism, will see it's homeland under the occupation of other nations full of patriotism in no time.8

    In this and other examples, social struggle is inevitably identified with war; weapons are shown as the most effective tools to defend rights; peaceful solutions to issues between people/societies and non-violent defense of rights (just like in the human rights struggles) are portrayed as impossible.

    Another element that feeds the inevitability of war concept is the geopolitical position expression:

    Turkey has attracted the interest of many countries and governments due to its geopolitical advantages. These features increase internal and external threats against Turkey. Some countries are trying to weaken the Turkish Republic from within. Turkey will always face internal and external threats today and in the future.9

    In other words, Turkey's geostrategic position makes wars inevitable, and requires a strong army as a fundamental need. More importantly, as Pinar Bilgin emphasized, this expression puts geostrategic assessments in the center of politics, the army that is equipped to make this assessment is given privilege in national and international politics.10

    Limiting politics as geostrategy comes up most obviously in National Security Studies classes.

    Political assessments within this framework are not only limited to foreign politics but also Turkey's internal affairs as well.

    Today the world has entered a process of political, social and security related changes in the context of globalism. At this point, there are several plots against Turkey through creating language and cultural erosions. For instance, certain so-called intellectual groups' efforts to include foreign words in our language, creating styles to speak disregarding grammatical rules, and the effort to influence the youth, meaning you - the future of Turkey by using these phrases in film, radio and television shows are a few of these efforts.11 Considering that these suggestions are made under the umbrella of geopolitical science and that a lot of other topics discussed in the National Security class are not discussed elsewhere, the message given to the students becomes clearer: Politics = (scientific) military strategic analysis. This message, strengthened by the fact that National Security Studies classes are taught by soldier- teachers and contains two sub messages: Soldiers know and dictate politics and the correct politics can be developed through a military perspective. Correct politics is national politics and this is a security issue. This securitized understanding of politics constantly brings along the need for a strong government and a strong army against the internal and external threats perception.

    Subtitle: Militarized Citizenship

    According to the National Security class book, a good citizen is a citizen attached to his homeland; patriotism is one of the biggest virtues and holy duties and is measured by willingly sacrificing one's life for the homeland:

    It is said that there are people who believe removing the concept of homeland would be a service to mankind. We would gladly give the leadership to those who wish to realize such a strange intention. We gave a precious soul for each rock that we sit on. Every bit of the homeland is a souvenir from a hero who sacrificed himself for that piece of land. That's why giving our homeland the same value as China or Siberia is impossible for us. Our homeland is the bread of our swords. We know it as always ours, only for us. We always love it more than ourselves and would give up our lives for it.12

    An important point made in these excerpts is the definition of homeland by blood and death. Students are expected, from a very early age, to associate blood and soil watered with blood with homeland.

    In all school books, as the independence of the government and nation is emphasized repeatedly, on an individual basis for citizens attachment is presented as an important value. A section called Basic Values and Responsibilities Citizens Should Have which has been added recently to the National Security Studies books summarizes the perspective that is shown in every school book.13

    Basic Values Citizens Should HaveLoyalty(to)Responsible (towards)Respect* the nation* other people* self-respect* the homeland* society* people* the government * government* the nation* laws* the government* moral values* laws

    One of the most interesting points in this table is that government is on the list of values one should be loyal to, be responsible towards and that should be respected. By dedicating four pages to loyalty, one page to responsibilities and two pages for respect matters in the section following the table, it is emphasized that loyalty is a big part of basic values of citizenship.

    A good citizen and a good person adopts loyalty as a value and behaves according to this value. The important thing here is who, what and which principles to be loyal to. A good citizen, a good person is loyal to many principles, institutions and existences. However, loyalty especially to the nation, country, government and laws are very important. These are the preconditions of living together and existing in peace and happiness.14

    An essentialist identity concept and a belief that nation, homeland and government should come before the individual are stressed repeatedly in these unique loyalties:

    An individual in a society that has the features of a nation is deeply loyal to the nation he belongs to; its principles and common interests. The main principle of a nation is culture. Culture is the way of thinking, problem solving techniques and rules and the order of living together. Through culture, we communicate, work, know how to produce, organize our family, religious and moral lives; know how to fight against nature and even our enemies. (....) Loyalty to values of the nation guarantees the future of the individuals.15

    This concept of citizenship that portrays nation as the utter and highest level that a society can reach, that doesn't allow the individual to have an entity independent from the government; where all rights are defined by the government; that advocates that our culture teaches us how to fight against our enemies is very concerning.

    In the next chapters of the book, the government - citizen relationship reappears in the internal threats discussion. Regarding the PKK terror organization, saying that by forcing young children to attend protests, they implement violence and disobedience to the government in their young minds16; gives the message that what's normal is obeying the government. Without a doubt, defining the relations between citizens and the government over obedience causes problems both in terms of international human rights and within the framework of democracy.

    Subtitle: Conclusion

    An important extension of the army - nation myth that dominates school books is removing the separation of soldier - civil, to give meaning to citizenship through military values and processes. Human Rights in School Books - II screening17 gives very important clues about militarizing education and citizenship concepts. Compared to the screening done five years ago, it is seen that the army- nation emphasis in the new books are stronger and more common. For instance, the National Security Studies book has stayed mostly the same, yet army-nation perception has been strengthened by the added stories.18 And the newly added Basic Values and Responsibilities of Citizens section portrays a militarized citizenship ideal.

    In order for education to become civilianized, the army -nation myth in school books, militarized citizenship perception and all articles in which war/violence becomes ordinary, affirmed and exalted should be questioned. This questioning will remain very limited without discussing not only the content but the existence of the National Security Studies class, which doesn't exist anywhere else in the world, as far as we know. An education system that is taught by soldier-teachers and forces students to learn about the military is only a militarized education system where the soldier - civil distinction has been removed. Civilianization should include not only changing the problematic areas but also adding new areas and approaches to the education process. One thing missing in school books is examples of peaceful processes and non-violent struggling techniques. Teaching World and Turkish history as if they consist solely of wars, leaves an important part of relations between people and history in the dark and portrays wars as natural. Adding positive, and educational (both in terms of peace and human rights) examples of tolerance such as living with differences, solidarity, peace efforts, processes where issues are solved without the use of violence, the benefits of human rights law can make significant differences in how students' views on life and themselves. They may get curious about these processes and may want to be involved in them.

    The immediate question that we face is this: Does the good citizen mentality in Turkey in the 21st century lie in the youth that says I'll give my life, I'll shed blood, or that can develop a new citizenship and education perspective? 1 This study is done within the framework of the Human Rights in School Books II study conducted jointly by the History Foundation and Turkish Human Rights Foundation. For the full version of the study, see 'I'll Give Up My Life, Shed Blood': Militarism in School Books inside Human Rights in School Books II: Screening Results, der. Gurel Tuzun, Istanbul, History Foundation Publishing, 2009 page 143-165.

    2 Commission, National Security Studies. 69.

    3 E. Genc, vd., Elementary Social Studies 6 Teachers' Guide Book, page 102.

    4 age. P. 107

    5 See Ayse Gun Altinay and Tanil Bora, Military, Militarism and Nationalism inside Nationalism: Political Thought in Modern Turkey Vol. 4 page 140-154; Ayse Gul Altinay, The Myth of the Military-Nation: Militarism, Gender and Education in Turkey.

    6 A Subtitle in the 6th Grade Social Studies class is a stunning example of the anachronic history concept: From the Cavalry of the Savannah to Modern Turkish Army see Elementary Social Sciences 6 School book, E. Genc, vd., Ankara: MEB, 2006, 114.

    7 National Security studies, p. 69.

    8 Age. P.73.

    9 N. Yavuz, Elementary Turkish Republic Revolution History and Ataturkism 8, page 170.

    10 Pinar Bilgin, Only Strong States Can Survive in Turkey's Geography: The Uses of 'geopolitical truths' in Turkey Political Geography, 2007, issue 26, page 740-756.

    11 National Security Studies, page 137.

    12 age., page 73.

    13 age., page 115.

    14 age., page 115-116.

    15 age., page 116.

    16 age., page 139.

    17 Gurel Tuzun (ed.), Human Rights in School Books II: Screening Results, Istanbul: The History Foundation Publishing, 2009.

    18 National Security Studies, page 68-73.

    [12] Columnist in Radikal refutes claims that Kurds in Turkey will surpass the Turkish population by 2050

    Under the title Numbers of Kurds in Turkey and the Facts, Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (06.09.09) publishes the following commentary by Hasan Celal Guzel:

    During this Sunday's little chat I am going to try to put across what I know about Turkey's Kurdish population count, a topic that has been debated a lot and that is the subject of much speculation. Before we set off let me underscore one point: I am completely opposed to any Turkish-Kurdish distinction. I think that every citizen living in Turkey is equal. Sub-identities can be expressed however they like but the Kurds are an inseparable part of the Turkish nation and they are our own flesh and blood. When talking about them it makes me uncomfortable to make an us and them distinction. Besides, we all know how separatist-racist Kurds make this distinction and how they are supported by certain outside powers.

    The efforts on the part of the Kurds are driven entirely by separatist goals to show a large Kurdish population in Turkey is being turned into an auction. Those people quoting figures that are enough to make Meshedi Cafer [a fictional humorous character invented in the 1920s] turn in his grave are upping their claims from 15 percent to 20 percent, 25 percent and even a full third of the population. However, none of these exaggerated claims making political and ideological assumptions can be seen to have any scientific or even rational basis.

    According to estimates (!) by Mehrdad Izady in a weekly periodical, come 2050 the Kurdish population in Turkey will have surpassed the Turkish population. The Iranian Kurd Izady, whom you might assume was of Meshedi Cafer's bloodline (!), claimed at a conference held in the Kurdish Institute in New York in November 1991 that the number of Kurds in Turkey would reach 34 million by 2020 and 49 million by 2050. When Prof Justin McCarthy asked what imperial data there was for making this claim, Izady said the claim was based not on statistical data but on figures quoted by Presidential Spokesman Kaya Toperi during the Gulf War and travelers who had roamed about on horseback making estimates in the last century, and on political claims.

    The Time Magazine wrote in its 18 March 1991 edition that there were 8 million Kurds in Turkey. However, just two weeks later on 1 April 1991 it must have found this figure to be too low because it practically doubled this figure in an instant saying there were 14.5 million Kurds in Turkey (Mustafa Akyol).

    In March that same year Chairman of the Paris Kurdish Institute Kendal Nezan announced, There are 25 million Kurds in Turkey. In an announcement he made in Der Spiegel in March 1991 Talabani said, In Turkey where some 9 million Kurds are living... Meanwhile, in December that same year Kemal Burkay claimed in a press statement that there were some 15 million Kurds in Turkey. Similarly, again on that same TV show but on 24 December 1994 pro-Kurd parliamentary deputy Muzaffer Demir asserted there were 15 million while Mahmut Alinak boasted 20 million. All these figures show how the pro-Kurds were all contradicting one another with respect to figures for the same period and how they were quoting figures for Turkey's Kurdish population with no scientific basis.

    What is the true figure?

    The most realistic and scientific figures for Turkey's Kurdish population are the 1965 census figures published by the then State Statistics Institute (now the TUIK). According to those figures, Turkey's population back then was 31,391,421 of whom 2,219,502 claimed their mother tongue was Kurdish. This makes up 7 percent of the population. This was the last census in which a distribution was made according to language.

    Those maintaining today that there has been an increase in the proportion of Kurds assert that the Kurds are more prodigious than the other ethnic groups and that their numbers are growing faster than the average for Turkey. The only data we have concerning how prodigious they are is a study made again by the State Statistics Institute. According to this, the birth rate nationwide in 2.23 percent but 3.65 percent in the southeast. In contrast to this, those Kurds who migrated to the cities are observed to have a birth rate closer to the national average as a result of becoming urbanized similar to other ethnic groups. On the other hand, the high infant mortality rate and the low average life expectancy have a negative impact on population increase. In addition, Turks and Arabs make up a significant proportion of the population in these areas. The Chairman of the Population Studies Institute at Hacettepe University Prof Aykut Toros and his team have made projections based on the general census count and concluded that the proportion of people living in Turkey whose mother tongue was Kurdish in 1992 was 6.2 percent.

    Ali Tayyar Onder has made an academic evaluation of the studies carried out to date concerning Turkey's ethnic makeup. He has calculated that as of 2006 of the 74 million people living in Turkey 5 million are Kurds (6.76 percent) while 800,000 are Zaza (1.08 percent). This means that the combined Kurd and Zaza population, even though the Zaza are not Kurds, make up 7.84 percent of the total population.

    Prof Mehmet Sahingoz of Gazi University prepared figures for a study by P A Andrews in the United States called Ethnological Data From Languages of the World concluding that the Kurdish population was 8.36 percent. The highest proportion seen in an academic study to date is Andrews' report Ethnic Distribution in Turkey made in 1991 showing 13.79 percent. Furthermore, in the EU Barometer Survey carried out in September 2005 a full 93 percent said their native language was Turkish while the remaining population, including the Kurds, never exceeded 7 percent.

    In calculating the Kurdish population the votes won by the pro-Kurd political parties may be considered an indicator. Even though it is known that the entire Kurdish population did not vote for these parties the results of the elections show that the Kurdish population is not in line with the exaggerated figures cited by the Kurdish nationalists. Indeed, during the elections of December 1995 HADEP [People's Democracy Party] was only able to get 4.17 percent of the vote despite threats and leverage by the PKK, and the addition of non-Kurdish-nationalist left-wing votes. Again in the general elections of 3 November 2002 DEHAP pooled only 6.2 percent of the vote keeping it under the 10 percent national threshold. During the general election of July 2007 DEHAP was only able to find 5.36 percent of the national vote while the DTP took only 5.04 percent in the local elections of 2009.

    As a result of analyzing all this, even assuming a 50 percent increase in the Kurdish population since the census of 1965, we can say that the proportion of Kurds in Turkey as of 2006 stood at between 7 and 11 percent, that it could be no more than 11 percent, that the number of Kurds varies between 5 and 8 million and can only be 8 million at the most. Can we ever call such a society a mosaic?

    EG/


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