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

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 177/09 18.09.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The 42nd meeting between Christofias-Talat; Statements by Talat after the meeting
  • [02] Reactions to the proposals on the issue of executive power
  • [03] Talat commented on the reactions regarding the proposals on the issue of executive and the issue of guarantees
  • [04] Talat will meet with Orams lawyers in London
  • [05] Ozgurgun flies to London
  • [06] Gunes newspaper: The Spanish hotel giant RIU finds the TRNC appropriate
  • [07] Emiroglulari alleges that a military institution and foreigners are dealing with the implementation of the so called e-government project in the occupied areas
  • [08] Report prepared at Davutoglus request on Koran courses in occupied Cyprus
  • [09] Officials of countries neighbouring Turkey met in Istanbul
  • [10] A diplomatic traffic in Turkey
  • [11] Turkish Finance Ministers contacts in Beijing
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 September 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The 42nd meeting between Christofias-Talat; Statements by Talat after the meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.09) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, and the Greek Cypriot leader, Mr Dimitris Christofias, have decided to intensify their talks to speed up the negotiation process launched in September last year. The leaders will meet at least twice a week as from the second week of October to accelerate the process.

    The decision was taken during the meeting between the two leaders who continued discussions on the issue of executive under the topic of governance and power sharing.

    Mr Talat told reporters after the meeting that an evaluation was made on the method of the process and that a brief exchange of view was made on the proposals brought by the two sides.

    Mr Talat said that the meeting scheduled to take place between him and Mr Christofias on the 2nd of October has been postponed to the 7th of October, especially because of Christofias foreign visits. The leaders will meet again the next day. The talks will continue on the 14th and 15th of October.

    Mr Talat said he and Mr Christofias have reached an agreement in principle to meet at least twice a week. He added that their senior aides would also continue talks during which they would evaluate the proposals of the two sides and try to bridge the gap between their positions.

    In a short statement at the end of the meeting, the United Nations Secretary-Generals Special Representative for Cyprus, Mr Taye Brook Zerihoun, said that the leaders had a productive meeting.

    [02] Reactions to the proposals on the issue of executive power

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.09.09), under the title Not only support but also reaction to Talat, reports that the reactions and the support to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, regarding the negotiations continue. The left-wing United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the nationalist National Existence Council criticized Talat whereas DEV-IS Trade Union which is close to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) expressed its full support to Talat.

    According to the paper, the National Existence Council stated that the proposal made by Talat regarding the election of the members of the presidency through a common list constitutes an insult to democracy and human rights. Speaking on behalf of the Council, Kamil Ozkaloglu accused the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat that he uses the most sacred values of the Turkish Cypriots as out of circulation banknotes.

    Moreover, Mr. Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party said that Talats proposals on Governance and Power Sharing are more constructive and reasonable than in the past, but not enough.

    In a written statement, Mr. Izcan said also that they attach great importance for the sides to reach to a compromise on all issues, governance, executive and power sharing so that the two communities will participate equally and without problems in the Cyprus federal state.

    On the other hand, Mr. Mehmet Seyis, chairman of DEV-Is Trade Union stated that the new proposal which was submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat on Executive power is a positive opening for a leader who wants peace in Cyprus.

    Moreover, the proposals of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat regarding the Executive power were among the matters of discussion during yesterdays meeting of the self-styled assembly. Turkish Cypriot daily, Star Kibris newspaper, under the title Tension on issues which were out of the agenda reports that MPs and leaders of political parties put forward their positions regarding the negotiation process in Cyprus. The paper adds that from time to time tension was created.

    Speaking during the assembly session, the self-styled MP of the National Unity Party (UBP), Zorlu Tore stated that the Cyprus problem came up not because of the disputes on the issue of governance and power sharing but due to the fact that Greek Cypriots support the Megali Idea.

    On his part, Mr. Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) stated that they had prepared alternative proposals as regards the issue of governance and power sharing, adding that they did not say either this is accepted or we adopt nothing. However, he said, they want the continuation of two separate democracies.

    Moreover, the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici stated that the TDP has made conciliatory proposals which they submitted to Mr Talat and added that these proposals are to be submitted also on Saturday morning to the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration, as he called President Demitris Christofias.

    Moreover, Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.09) broadcast that one more reaction to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats proposal on the federal executive has come from the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Association. The Associations President Vural Turkmen called the proposal unacceptable.

    Mr Turkmen, in a written statement, said that the proposal allows the election of the President and the Vice-President of the federal partnership state by Greek Cypriot votes from a single list of candidates, and thus leads to the Greek Cypriot dominance over Cyprus Turks.

    This means the acceptance of Cyprus Turks as a minority of Greek Cypriots in the so-called united Cyprus, he stated.

    Turkmen said the people of the breakaway regime, who have their own sovereign state, will never pave the way for compliance and heedlessness.

    He went on to say that the breakaway regime, no matter whether its recognized or not, will continue to exist.

    Neither foreign pressures nor local figurants can destroy the TRNC and break off ties with Turkey. They cannot impose proposals which force Cyprus Turks to be a minority under Greek Cypriot sovereignty, Turkmen said.

    (AK)

    [03] Talat commented on the reactions regarding the proposals on the issue of executive and the issue of guarantees

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.09) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has referred to the reactions against the Turkish Cypriot sides proposals on the issue of executive as surprising. The proposals were brought to the table last week when the two leaders launched the second round of the negotiation process.

    Commenting on criticisms against the proposals, Mr Talat said that similar proposals had been brought to the table in the past.

    Speaking at a program on illegal Bayrak television on Wednesday night, Mr Talat explained that the proposals did not violate political equality and said: Some circles are afraid of their own shadows. All claims are baseless, completely fake.

    Pointing out that Turks and Greek Cypriots would work together in a partnership state to be formed, Mr Talat said: All political parties should learn this.

    Mr Talat also said that the Greek Cypriot side was expected to give its response to the proposal at the meeting between him and the Greek Cypriot leader.

    Noting that consultations were being made with Ankara at all levels, Mr Talat said: We are not asking for their approval for each proposal. But they are informed and we know what they accept reasonable.

    On the issue of guarantees, Mr Talat said that the issue would be discussed at talks to be attended by the two sides in Cyprus and the three guarantor powers, Turkey, Greece and Britain, noting that an agreement could only be reached as a result of work to be carried out by the five.

    [04] Talat will meet with Orams lawyers in London

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.09) broadcast that ahead of Mr Talats visit to the US, he will leave the occupation regime for London on Friday morning. Within the framework of his visit to the UKs capital, Mr Talat will come together with lawyers of the Orams Case.

    According to the self-styled presidential press office, Mr Talat will meet with lawyers of the Orams couple on Saturday. On Saturday, Mr Talat will also depart from London for New York via Washington.

    [05] Ozgurgun flies to London

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.09) broadcast that the self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has flown to London for a series of contacts. During his stay in London, Mr Ozgurgun will meet with British parliamentarians and representatives of civil society organizations formed by Turks living in the UK. Mr Ozgurgun is expected to return to the occupation regime on the 27th of September.

    [06] Gunes newspaper: The Spanish hotel giant RIU finds the TRNC appropriate

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (18.09.09) reports that the well-known Spanish hotel chain RIU will enter the market of Turkey as of next summer. The above-mentioned Spanish group agreed with Kaya Holding to undertake the operation of the five-star Kaya Belek and Kaya Select Hotels as of summer 2010. These hotels will be renamed into RIU Kaya Belek and RIU Kaya Select.

    The paper notes that in the medium term the RIU hotel chain is planning to open hotels in the occupied areas of Cyprus as well and thus to become the first Spanish hotel chain which will invest in the occupied areas.

    The owner of RIU, Luis Riu said that the Kaya Hotels met easily the RIU standards and described these hotels as important gain for his companies.

    Kaya Holding was established in 1974 and owns seven hotels with 7.500 beds. The group is also active in the fields of constructions, water technologies and the energy sector.

    (I/Ts)

    [07] Emiroglulari alleges that a military institution and foreigners are dealing with the implementation of the so called e-government project in the occupied areas

    Under the title e-government e-filing of people, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.09.09) reports on statements made yesterday in the so called assembly by the self - styled deputy of the Social Democrat Party (TDP) in occupied Famagusta, Mustafa Emiroglulari, on the e-government project which the illegal regime is trying to implement.

    Mr. Emiroglulari alleged that not firms established in the occupied areas are dealing with the implementation of the e-government project, but individuals coming from other countries and a military institution.

    The e-government work is given to people coming from other countries and not to local companies. A military institution is in the work, too, Mr. Emiroglulari stated and added: A network is being established through which access to classified data will be possible.

    (ML)

    [08] Report prepared at Davutoglus request on Koran courses in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper online (18.09.09) writes that a report issued by a leading community organization in Northern Cyprus revealed the raids conducted against summer Koran schools by Turkish Cypriot Schoolteachers' Union (KTOS) last month were carried out with the full knowledge of the police authorities.

    Yet, the report claims, the police had done nothing to prevent the raids and both the government and Education Ministry remained silent over the incident.

    Acting on the request made by Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the Democratic Rights and Beliefs Platform (DH0P), a loosely structured entity representing 20 community organizations in occupied Cyprus, prepared a detailed report investigating the incident and what really happened during the course of the raid. The report notes that the police had done nothing to stop the raid even though it had prior information of the attack.

    Ustun Bol, the head of Ankara branch for the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUMDER), told Today's Zaman that any violation and disruption of the right to learn and teach religious values goes against fundamental human rights. He said any infringement of this right does not serve well the goal of integrating Northern Cyprus with the modern world.

    Officials at the embassy of the illegal regime in Ankara did not return Today's Zaman calls.

    The report argues that the teachers' union targeted values of faith with the intention of creating a division in the community. It also complains that the union acted with impunity and that the authorities have not taken any legal action against the perpetrators.

    According to the timeline detailed in the report, KTÖS first attacked the Koran courses in the occupied village of Gypsou, where Turkish immigrants are settled, on Aug. 3. Acting on the community's information, Suicmez petitioned the police department the next day, saying the authorities needed to take precautionary measures to prevent the possibility of further attacks. He asked them to take appropriate measures against members of the union.

    Yet a short time later, the union members raided two more villages, occupied Kythrea and occupied Yerolakkos. During class hours, perpetrators forced their way into the classrooms and removed both students and teachers from the property. Copies of the Koran and other religious textbooks were damaged and thrown out to the ground. While all this was happening, the police failed to act to prevent the rampage, the report claimed.

    The report accuses the government of the National Unity Party (UBP) and Education Ministry of keeping silent over the incidents. It also lambastes illegal BRTK television for allegedly trying to portray the Koran school as illegal even though they were operating properly under an Education Ministry license.

    The report stresses that religious education is protected under the constitution of Northern Cyprus and cited among fundamental rights and freedoms. The report concludes that the people demand a religious education for their own children. It is an optional course and is not obligatory for anybody. Everybody is free to enrol their children in these classes if they wish to do so, it states.

    The union is demanding that Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu stop these lessons and is vowing to continue their struggle against what they call reactionarism and religious fanaticism. If it is any indication, however, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutolu's close attention to the matter was interpreted as disapproval of the authorities' attitude. It may very well invite the wrath of Ankara upon the Turkish Cypriot government if the situation remains unsolved.

    [09] Officials of countries neighbouring Turkey met in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.09.09) reported, inter alia, the following:

    Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that cooperation between Iraq and Syria in countering terrorism and security was for the best interests of the two countries, Turkey, the region and Arab world. We have held a very constructive meeting to overcome tension between the two countries (Iraq and Syria), Davutoglu told a press conference in Istanbul.

    Davutoglu said that Turkey was determined to maintain this process and further improve relations between Iraq and Syria, and would continue to work on confidence-building measures, security and diplomacy.

    The Turkish minister said the three countries would also discuss specific steps to be taken from now on, and Turkey was thinking of a new meeting under the margin of the United Nations (UN).

    Davutoglu said Turkey was not expecting any threat from neighbouring countries.

    Arab League's Secretary General Amr Moussa said that there was need for time to solve some problems caused by the general chaos in the Middle East. But I guess that we are walking on the right and strong path, Moussa told a press conference in Istanbul. Moussa said that he was defining the situation as a summer cloud and hoped to overcome it soon.

    The secretary general also said that a comprehensive Turkish-Arab forum would be organized soon on political, economic and cultural issues, and it was important for not only the region but also the entire world. Moussa said Thursday's meeting could be helpful in ensuring harmony between Iraq and Syria and reducing tension between the media of the two countries. Regional problems should be solved rapidly and fairly to ensure security of all countries in the geography, Moussa also said.

    Moreover, A.A. news agency (18.09.09) reported the following:

    Iraq wanted Turkey's help regarding the water issue during the closed session of the first ministerial meeting of Turkey-Iraq High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council in Istanbul on Thursday.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry officials said that Iraqi ministers frequently expressed their water need during the meeting, while Turkish officials said Turkey would continue to help Iraq about this issue.

    However, Turkish officials said, water problem could not be solved only by supplying it, but Turkey could extend every type of technical support to Iraq to provide water management and rational use of water.

    Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz also briefed Iraqi officials about the water amount in dams in Turkey. Yildiz added that the support of Iraq to Nabucco Project had great contributions.

    The second meeting of Turkey-Iraq High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council will take place in October in Baghdad.

    Turkish Agriculture Minister Mehdi Eker met Thursday with his Iraqi counterpart Akram al-Hakim as part of a ministerial meeting of the Turkey-Iraq Strategic Cooperation Council in Istanbul. Eker and al-Hakim discussed issues such as water resources, irrigation and stockbreeding as the Iraqi minister conveyed his country's willingness to cooperate on the water problem as well as animal diseases and counter measures against drought.

    The two ministers also decided during their meeting to sign agreements on agricultural technology, crop protection and animal health. The agreements are expected to be signed at a later date in Baghdad.

    [10] A diplomatic traffic in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.09.09) reported from Istanbul that the Qatari prime minister arrived in Turkey on Thursday. Qatar's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jasim bin Jabir al-Thani will meet Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a fast-breaking dinner at Istanbul's Topkapi Palace on Friday.

    (A) A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Istanbul that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan received Gerard Larcher, president of the French Senate, in Istanbul on Thursday. The meeting was closed to press.

    Larcher, who arrived in Turkey on Tuesday, held meetings with Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    (A) A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Istanbul that Filipino President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who is on a working visit to Turkey met Thursday with Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) SG Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

    A press release issued by the OIC said Arroyo and Ihsanoglu discussed the peace talks between Filipino government and Moro Muslims with the mediation of OIC. The two also discussed the Phillipines' bid to become observer to OIC.

    (A) A news agency reported also that Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan returned to Turkey on Thursday after concluding talks in Romania. Caglayan met with Romania's Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, Trade & Business Circle Minister Constantin Nita, Romanian Tourism Minister Elena Udrea, and Transportation Minister Radu Berceanu. Caglayan also attended Turkey-Romania Trade and Economic Cooperation seminar.

    (A) A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Baku that Turkish State Minister and Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek arrived in Baku, Azerbaijan on Thursday. He will attend the meeting of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) Ministers of Emergency Situations tomorrow. Ministers from Albania, Bulgaria, Russia, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Greece, Georgia and Moldova will participate in the meeting.

    (A) A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Lisbon that Turkey's top general arrived in Lisbon, Portugal on Thursday to attend NATO Military Committee meeting. Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug's formal schedule will start on Friday.

    Top generals of 28 NATO member countries will attend the meeting that will take place between September 18 and 20. NATO missions in Afghanistan and in many other countries as well as new strategic views for NATO will be discussed at the meeting.

    (A) A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Ankara that Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and State Minister for Economy Ali Babacan left for Britain on an official visit.

    Babacan will attend a ceremony at the St Antony College of the Oxford University to mark the start of a new phase of cooperation between the Turkish government and South East European Studies at Oxford (SEESOX) programme. Turkish-Greek relations will be high on agenda of the SEESOX.

    Later, Babacan will proceed to London to deliver a speech on "the Global Economic Crisis and Turkish Economy" at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

    Babacan is set to attend the "Emerging Markets Summit" to be hosted by the Economist magazine on September 18. He will deliver a speech on "Turkish Economy and Global Crisis" during the summit.

    [11] Turkish Finance Ministers contacts in Beijing

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.09.09) reported from Beijing the following:

    Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek visited Chinese Eximbank in Beijing on Thursday. Simsek is currently in Beijing as the formal guest of Chinese Finance Minister Xie Xuren.

    During his visit to Chinese Eximbank, Simsek brought onto agenda the loan which would be received by Turkish Halkbank from Eximbank. Officials decided to discuss the issue during IMF-World Bank meetings which will take place in Istanbul.

    Halkbank officials said that the amount of the loan was not clear yet.

    On the same issue, A.A news agency (17.09.09) reported from Beijing the following:

    Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, who is currently paying an official visit to China, has called on Chinese investment companies and funds to partake in major projects to be implemented in Turkey.

    The Turkish delegation, which accompanies Simsek during his visit, has offered Chinese investors to participate in the build-operate-transfer projects to be carried out in Turkey such as the Canakkale Strait passage, North Marmara and Ankara-Izmir highway construction, Bursa-Osmaneli speed train project and construction of speed train stations and yacht marinas.

    Holding talks with representatives of China's leading investment companies and funds, Simsek said that Turkey was the right choice for Chinese investors.

    As part of Simsek's talks in China, major Chinese companies such as automotive giant Dong Feng Motor (DFM), solar energy producer Yingli Solar Energy Ltd and leading telecommunications company Huawei Telecommunications expressed their desire to take part in investments in Turkey.

    More Chinese investors will come to Turkey in the upcoming years. There are many areas of cooperation. We would like to establish a close cooperation especially in energy and infrastructure sectors, Simsek told reporters after his meetings with Chinese businesspeople.

    Moreover, Husnu Ozyegin, the head of Turkish-Chinese Business Council, said that Turkey should carry out joint production projects with China.

    European people are exhausted at the moment. Turkey is normally expecting a growth rate of 4-4.5 percent but with China this figure may rise up to 6-6.5 percent. We need to determine a specific country strategy for China, Ozyegin said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 September 2009

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

    a) Kurdish opening

    In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates a conversation he held with Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek on what one should expect from the Kurdish solution package expected to be announced after Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to the United States. According to Cicek, one should not expect the government to pull out rabbits from a hat, but one should view the issue as a process and not as a package that will create immediate solutions. Showing Kurdish language broadcasts and the non-prosecution of those who engaged in political propaganda in the Kurdish language as some of the examples of this process, Cicek says that 90 percent of those who will be coming down from Qandil can benefit from Article 221 of the Turkish Penal Code thus avoiding prosecution. Commenting on reports that the government will not seek parliamentary permission to conduct cross-border operations, that the letters q, w, and x will be added to the alphabet, and that Makhmour Camp will be evacuated, Cicek says that the source of these reports is not the government and that no decision has been taken on these issues.

    Underlining that the government has the political will and the determination to solve the Kurdish problem in an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal adds that there is harmony between the soldiers and the civilians on the issue. Viewing Foreign Minister Davutoglu's diplomatic traffic along the Baghdad-Damascus-Tehran triangle, the contacts held by Democratic Society Party, DTP, officials with Barzani and Talabani in north Iraq, and Syrian President al-Asad's announcement that amnesty can be declared for some 1,500 PKK militants of Syrian origin as part of the efforts being exerted to bring the PKK members downs from the mountains, Cemal maintains that the government might consider the possibility of halting the operations in the event the PKK decides to withdraw from Turkish territory. Drawing attention to the fragility of this peace process, Cemal calls on DTP officials to refrain from making statements that might disrupt the process.

    Welcoming Interior Minister Besir Atalay's suggestion that the letters q, w, and x be introduced into the Turkish alphabet in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that this move "might indeed be a mini mental revolution and a move to get rid of some of the oddities of this country, tough it might produce some linguistic problems in the short run." The writer then goes on to view the other elements that might be included in the government "road map" regarding the Kurdish overture.

    In an article entitled "Should the law be suspended for the sake of the overture?", Yeni Safak columnist Yalcin Akdogan, who writes under the pseudonym Yasin Dogan, takes issue with the Democratic Society Party, DTP, over its characterization of the detention of some 10 DTP officials in Diyarbakir on charges of conducting illegal activities as a development that will undermine the efforts to establish "peace" in the southeast. Akdogan asserts that the Government cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the DTP maintaining links with the terrorist PKK in the name of avoiding compromising the latest democratic overture. He also advises the DTP to look into consolidating its political legitimacy instead of acting like a political extension of the PKK.

    In an article entitled "The Kurdish overture is Turkey 's regional peace project", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul describes the Government's latest "Kurdish overture" as a move that will prevent the Kurdish problem from being used as a "card" against Turkey, Syria, Iran, and Iraq. He claims the Kurdish overture is a "regional peace project" in the sense that it proposes a solution to a problem that concerns the entire region.

    In an article entitled " Turkey, Syria, and the PKK, Today's Zaman columnist Ibrahim Kalin interprets Syrian President Asad's remarks announcing at a recent news conference held for Turkish journalists in Damascus that "we would grant an amnesty for our PKK if they were to lay down their arms" as a message to Turkey to the following effect: "Some sort of an amnesty for the PKK will have to be put in place for the process of democratization to move forward."

    In an article entitled "Secularist separatist", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan is taking a major risk in announcing despite an increasing public backlash against the Government's Kurdish "overture" that his administration will not back down from the initiative regardless what it might cost. He also reiterates his argument that the AKP's as yet undisclosed Kurdish package cannot include a proposal to make Kurdish a medium of education because there are no nation states in the world where education is conducted in more than one language.

    b) Armenian Overture

    The antidemocratic nature of both Armenia and Azerbaijan show us that there is no way other than national solutions based on territory and ethnic cleansing, argues Cengiz Aktar in an article in Vatan, adding: "This is the impasse Turkey, which has placed its border problem with Armenia within this framework, is facing. The territory of Karabakh is not one that can be resolved through democratic and contemporary means. The atmosphere of a dialogue and mutual concessions which Turkey has begun to consider within the framework of the Kurdish overture is definitely not on the agenda for Karabakh, nor does it seem that it will be included in the near future." The sufficiently ambiguous language of the Turkish-Armenian protocols indicate that the border can be opened if Armenia withdraws from five regions that are contiguous to Karabakh, writes Aktar, adding that for the time being it would be an exercise in futility to expect more than that for opening the borders. Criticizing the stand adopted by the Republican People's Party, CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, which aims to sabotage the government's Armenian overture, Aktar calls on all sectors of the society to support this overture.

    While the Turkish-Armenian protocols mention a timetable regarding the opening of the borders, they make no reference to the genocide allegations, the persons who will participate in the history commission, and the Armenian withdrawal from Karabakh, writes Cuneyt Arcayurek in an article in Cumhuriyet. Questioning the validity of the oral guarantees given by Erdogan to CHP leader Baykal that the protocols will not be submitted to parliament for approval so long as Armenia does not withdraw from Karabakh, Arcayurek asks: "Can one believe in the oral assurances given by this government that it will not open its doors to the Armenians by claiming that international conditions have changed?" The opposition parties are well aware that the government has made concession to Armenia because of US and EU impositions, claims Arcayurek, describing the fundamental principle governing the AKP foreign policy as follows: "This government has, for years, been pursuing a foreign policy that presents and defends the wishes and imposition of foreigners (the United States, the EU) as though they are Turkey's interests. One can no longer hide the fact that the protocols are the fruits of this policy."

    c) Purchase of Patriot Missile Systems

    Commenting on the plan to purchase Patriot missile systems in his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik writes: "Is there a foreign threat that necessitates the purchase of these missiles? No one says 'there is.' Everyone knows that the purchase of these weapons meets the economic needs of the United States and not the strategic needs of Turkey." A Turkey ridden with unemployment and poverty is spending all its resources to feed the US weapons industry just like the rich but foolish Arab countries, maintains Asik, adding that the monies obtained from privatization projects in the last seven years have all been spent on purchasing weapons.

    Describing Turkey as the "indisputable leader of the 250-million strong Turkic World and the 1.5-billion strong Islamic World," Radikal columnist Hasan Cemal Guzel in an article argues that the "strong and disciplined army" is behind this success. Disagreeing with recent discussions around the purchase of the Patriots that compare the budgets of the Education and Defense Ministries, Guzel continues: "Actually, it is necessary for a country such as Turkey to possess 'nuclear weapons.'" Viewing the lack of nuclear weapons as a serious deficiency while Israel and Pakistan have such weapons and while Iran is discussing the issue, Guzel stresses the necessity of obtaining the most powerful, modern, and effective weapons for national security. The writer continues: "it is most important and necessary for the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, to purchase the most modern missiles in the world. Purchasing the missiles from the United States is the right choice. It is a known fact that the United States has the most advanced technology in the weapons industry. Moreover, we are together with the United States within the NATO community and, despite certain disputes, the United States is our strategic ally. Meanwhile, it will also be possible to obtain certain other political advantages in exchange for purchasing the missiles."

    In an article entitled "Did you say 'Missiles'?", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru argues that recent press reports alleging that Turkey is planning to buy $7,2 billion worth of Patriot anti-missile systems in line with a US effort to establish a defense shield against Iran and that Iran is preparing to build a protective wall along its border with Turkey appear intended to foment distrust between Ankara and Tehran. He asserts that Turkey does not face any threats from Iran and that it has had no major issues with this country ever since the signing of the Kasri Shirin Treaty in 1639. He also advises the Erdogan government not to take any steps that could undermine the results of its "multi-dimensional" foreign policy.

    In an article entitled "Threat scenarios and real threats", Vakit columnist Ahmet Varol accuses the Obama administration of using a presumed "Iran threat" as a means of maintaining former US administrations' policies and strategies toward the Islamic world. He asserts that the United States is acting like a local thug that is collecting protection money from the people of a neighborhood on the pretext of defending them against thieves in disclosing a plan to sell $7,8 billion worth of anti-missile systems to Turkey as a precaution against Iran's long-range missiles.

    In an article entitled "Operation cobra", Zaman columnist Fikret Ertan comments on a major military exercise called "Juniper Cobra" to be jointly conducted by the United States and Israel in mid October. He asserts that both Iran, which is the intended target of the exercise, and Turkey, which is considering buying Patriot anti-missile systems from the United States, should follow the exercise carefully and draw the necessary conclusions from it.

    In an article entitled "Defense cannot be left to the military alone", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay expresses concern that Turkey's planned purchase of some $7,2 billion worth of anti-missile systems from the United States might damage its relations particularly with Russia and Iran. He claims that Turkey should try to meet its security needs by solving certain domestic problems through democratization. He also argues that a $7,2 billion contract for the sale of anti-missile systems should lead to an extensive debate on national defense policies in which not only the news media and Parliament but all social sections should participate because "defense is too important an issue to be left to the military alone."

    finally, in an article entitled "Does Turkey need patriot missiles?", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal asserts that the question of whether Turkey needs to buy Patriot missiles from the United States could be properly answered only if there were a "mechanism" enabling "civilian democratic oversight" of the Turkish Armed Forces.


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