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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-10-26

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. 202/09 24-26.10.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu: We are sovereign of our borders; Yildirim said the weekly flights at the illegal Tymvou airport increased to 201
  • [02] Inal Batu says the international situation is appropriate for the recognition of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Tacoy says Israeli and US firms started sending proposals for cooperation after the informatics workshop in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [04] Israeli firm is preparing to build ten-storey housing estates along the coast of occupied Bogazi in Trikomo area
  • [05] Todays Zaman quotes Foreign Ministry official that Turkey is preparing to take critical steps to solve the Cyprus problem
  • [06] Binali Yildirim held contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Three agreements have been signed between Turkey and the occupation regime
  • [07] Talat reiterated from occupied Yerolakkos the need for the UN to play a more active role at the negotiations
  • [08] The negotiation process in Cyprus was thoroughly evaluated at the Foreign Ministry of Turkey
  • [09] Turkey to hold joint Economic Commission meetings with Cuba and Argentina
  • [10] The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister stated that the tension between Turkey and Israel is temporary
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Hurriyet columnist evaluates the recent meeting of Turkish Ambassadors on the Cyprus issue
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 23, 24 and 25 October 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu: We are sovereign of our borders; Yildirim said the weekly flights at the illegal Tymvou airport increased to 201

    Under the title We are sovereign of our borders, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (26.10.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has said that as state they are protecting their air, sea and gates and are happy with doing everything necessary for being a state. In statements during the opening ceremony of the building of the Civilian Aviation Departments Centre for Administration of Air Traffic (SMART) at the illegal Tymvou airport, Mr Eroglu said that they have made four agreements with Turkey for the development of the roads, the undersea cable from Trikomo to Alexandretta and the vision for becoming an island of informatics. He noted that they are continuing the cooperation with Turkey in order for the breakaway regime to take its share especially from the technological developments. Mr Eroglu said their lands and coasts are protected and the airspace from the Middle East until the Caucasus has become controllable today and added that this is a great development for the breakaway regime. It is a message especially given to those who do not want to adopt the reality of the TRNC state. It is a reply, he argued.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that the TRNC reality is being accepted by the world, but it is not officially recognized and added: Even if we say today that the recognition by the motherland is enough, we think that the view of the world will change tomorrow as long as the Greek Cypriot intransigence continues and the reality of the TRNC will be more accepted.

    Meanwhile, in statements during the same ceremony, the Turkish Minister of Transport, Binali Yildirim reminded that the founding stone of the building was laid in 2007. He said that in 2002 only two aviation companies travelled to the occupied part of Cyprus carrying out charted flights from five points, while today four companies are flying from eleven points. Mr Yildirim noted that the number of the weekly flights increased from 41 in 2002 to 201 today. He said this is a sign of development.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Inal Batu says the international situation is appropriate for the recognition of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.10.09) reports that Mr Inal Batu, experienced Turkish diplomat and former ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, has said that the international situation is appropriate for the recognition of the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. In statements to Kibris, Mr Batu argued that there is absolutely no hope that the ongoing negotiations aimed at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem will have a successful result. Batu expressed the view that efforts towards the recognition of the breakaway regime should be exerted from now on and added: If Turkey is going to make an opening towards Cyprus, it should make an opening for the recognition of the TRNC.

    Reminding that Turkey claims that it is pursuing a very active policy in the area, Mr Batu said: We have almost become a single state with Syria and Iraq, we are establishing strategic partnerships. There are the Turkic Republics. I believe that the crisis with Azerbaijan will be overcome. In this situation I think that all the efforts should be directed towards the recognition of the TRNC. I cannot see any other way out.

    Mr Batu argued that the Turkish government and the officials in the occupied areas of Cyprus are not demanding the recognition of the regime. Asked what opening Turkey could make on Cyprus, Mr Batu wished for this opening to be an opening towards the recognition of the breakaway regime, because the international situation is appropriate for this. He noted that there are projects for recognition in the form of a package for unrecognized states such as Ossetia, Abkhazia and Kosovo. The TRNC should be included in this, he noted and added that if Turkey is a great state, it should do this.

    Asked whether Turkey could open its airports to the Greek Cypriots, Mr Batu replied, inter alia, the following: No Turkish government can pass this from the assembly. If the Armenians do not withdraw from the territory of Azerbaijan, the Armenian Protocol as well cannot pass. If we turn to the past, [we see that] they were not able to pass the 1 March Bill too. Even if they bring this Additional Protocol to the assembly, they will not pass it. If they are opened, it will mean that the Greek Administration of South Cyprus is recognized as the Republic of Cyprus. If they are not opened, nothing will happen. In any case nothing is happening. The philosophy of the EU is the following: Not to completely break relations and not to give the perspective of full accession. ....

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Tacoy says Israeli and US firms started sending proposals for cooperation after the informatics workshop in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title Proposal from the USA and Israel, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (26.10.09) reports that the self-styled minister of public works and transport, Hasan Tacoy has stated that the results of the Informatics Island Workshop showed that some laws of the breakaway regime should be amended in order to achieve the short term goals set by the regime. He noted that the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, should be in the position of creating its own model in the world for a free area and free trade to be formed. He said that some Israeli and US firms, which heard that the informatics workshop was being carried out started sending proposals for cooperation with them.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Israeli firm is preparing to build ten-storey housing estates along the coast of occupied Bogazi in Trikomo area

    Under the title Israeli wall is being put, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (26.10.09) reports that the coast in the east of occupied Bogazi village in Trikomo is facing the danger of being turned into concrete. Together with occupied Vokolida, this area is one of the two touristic areas which are being developed in the occupied part of Cyprus. The paper writes that an Israeli firm is preparing to build ten-storey blocs in an area of one kilometre along the coast. According to the laws of the breakaway regime roads should be made in an area in order for constructions to be built. The firm, which will build the constructions in the above-mentioned area is exerting efforts to open a road from another site that belongs to an Israeli firm named Keppel Properties Ltd, in order to overcome the obstacle of the law. The paper notes that the last beach in Bogazi is being destroyed and the constitutional rights of the citizens are violated.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Todays Zaman quotes Foreign Ministry official that Turkey is preparing to take critical steps to solve the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (26.10.09) under the title: Changes to take place in Cyprus reports the following:

    After attracting attention to itself with the consecutive initiatives launched by the government, Turkey is now preparing to take critical steps to solve the Cyprus problem.

    The statement that changes will take place in Cyprus came from an official from the Foreign Affairs Ministry who is closely acquainted with developments on the issue. Without providing any specific details, this credible source said the steps to be taken will undermine the status quo that has been blocking the way to peace.

    During his most recent visit to the island, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu hinted at the changes that would take place in Cyprus and underlined that the status quo would not continue forever. Turkey wants the negotiations that have been going on for more than a year between the island's two leaders to yield results. Pointing to the need to reach a resolution by the end of the year Turkey announced to the world that it has no tolerance for losses of time that delay peace.

    Academics, politicians and bureaucrats who closely follow developments related to the Cyprus issue are all very hopeful and excited. Pointing to Turkey's determination to solve old problems, Associate Professor Mehmet Hasguler said: A Turkey that has the will to solve problems with Armenia will take steps to solve the problem with the Greek Cypriots as well. If it can take the risk of facing a hot potato like the Armenian problem, I have no doubt it will [take these steps]. The issue of opening ports will also come to the agenda.

    Davutoglu, who spent the weekend attending meetings on the Cyprus issue, underlined that reaching a lasting and fair peace on the island as soon as possible was in the interest of the international community. The steps that Turkey will take became clearer during the widely participated-in assessment meeting headed by Davutoglu, who emphasized that the transformation of the eastern Mediterranean into a peaceful, stable and cooperative sphere was dependent on finding a solution.

    The steps that will be taken will add momentum to ongoing negotiations in Cyprus so as to yield results. With its new moves, Turkey aims to find a comprehensive solution within the next few months. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been placing emphasis on finding a solution by the new Year, delivered important and clear messages during the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean general assembly. Noting that the international community's attitude toward the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) did not comply with international law, Erdogan said: So many places have been accepted as a state in this world and so many countries have been accepted as a member of the EU. Is northern Cyprus the center of heroin or human trafficking?

    Erdogan has indicated that the Greek Cypriot side can no longer run away from a solution, the parameters of which have been determined. Could one of the parameters be the opening of ports? Comparing the opening of the ports to the Annan plan, Hasguler said that just as saying yes to the Annan plan benefited Turkey, saying yes to the opening of ports will reinforce Turkey's upper hand in endeavors. I contend that when Turkey's position is reinforced, the roles will change and then it will be the Cypriots who don't want the ports opened. It won't take too long, perhaps just six months for Turkey to present its political and economic gains. The KKTC is becoming the island's water-rich side with the water pipeline.

    Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, who participated in the Informatics Island Workshop, announced that an informatics infrastructure unforeseen in the south side of the island would be built in the KKTC. Noting that isolation would diminish with investments in informatics, KKTC President Mehmet Ali Talat said that in the event of a united state, they would not refrain from competing with the Greek side.

    The impression that talks between Talat and Demetris Christofias are not going to yield any results is becoming increasingly stronger. It is known that there are people who are in favor of freezing the Cyprus problem. Turkey, which is preparing to make changes on the island, wants to complete the Cyprus peace initiative successfully as well.

    [06] Binali Yildirim held contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Three agreements have been signed between Turkey and the occupation regime

    Illegal Bayrak television (23.10.09) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Minister of Transportation Binali Yildirim who is in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for contacts, has been received by President Mehmet Ali Talat. Meanwhile, the Turkish Minister said that any advancement in technology and communication in Turkey will be implemented simultaneously in the TRNC.

    The Turkish Minister of Transportation Binali Yildirim who is in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is continuing with his contacts. Earlier this morning, the Turkish Minister was received by President Mehmet Ali Talat. No statement was issued after the meeting.

    Following his meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talat, the Minister attended the `Information Island Workshop`, organized by the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. In the afternoon, the visiting Turkish Minister paid separate visits to the commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu respectively. Later, he inaugurated the BRT transmission centre.

    As part of his contacts, the Turkish Minister will be inspecting the Girne [occupied Keryneia] bypass road as well as the new road being constructed along the Northern coastline before attending a dinner tonight hosted in his honor by Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu.

    Speaking upon his arrival at Ercan [occupied Tymvou] Airport yesterday, the Turkish Minister of Transportation pointed to the fact the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was more advanced in civil aviation and air traffic control services than the Greek Cypriot Administration [Republic of Cyprus].

    He said that despite the Greek Cypriot Sides attempts to black out developments in the TRNC, the EU as well as other international organizations were well aware of the situation on the island.

    The Turkish Minister said that any advancement in technology and communication in Turkey will be implemented simultaneously in the TRNC.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.10.09) reported the following from occupied Keryneia:

    Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) signed three agreements on Friday. Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, TRNC's Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, Turkish Ambassador in Lefkosa Sakir Fakili and several ministers attended the signing ceremony.

    Turksat and Bayrak Radio Television of TRNC signed an up-link agreement. Turk Telekom and TRNC Public Works & Transportation Ministry signed fiber optic line agreement, and Turkish Transportation Ministry and TRNC Public Works and Transportation Ministry signed an agreement to improve ports.

    [07] Talat reiterated from occupied Yerolakkos the need for the UN to play a more active role at the negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.10.09) broadcast the following:

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat has once again stressed the need for more active participation of the United Nations and some other leading international figures in the Cyprus negotiations process.

    President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Mehmet Ali Talat has once again stressed the need for more active participation of the United Nations and some other leading international figures in the Cyprus negotiations process.

    In response to those accusing him of calling for foreign intervention, the President said I am not demanding intervention, all Im asking for is some help.

    Speaking at a public gathering in the Alaykoy [occupied Yerolakkos] village, Mr Talat said that Property is the hardest issue to negotiate and admitted that the two sides have so far failed to overcome the deadlock on the issue. Yet he said that the two sides joint decision to determine the criteria for the Property issue first, instead of mainly focusing on the deadlock, is a step forward.

    The Greek Cypriot Side wants the former property owners before 1974 to have a right of say on the immoveable property, but for us, this is unacceptable. We want to establish the criteria first, before we decide on what to do. We are bearing in mind the Annan Plan and the UN Security Councils resolutions of 1992 the President noted.

    Mr Talat went on to say that both Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and himself want the UN to fill in the gaps in the solution process.

    Touching upon the Greek Cypriot propaganda against Turkey, the President said, if Turkey opens its ports to the use of the Greek Cypriot Administration, then there will be no point for the Greek Cypriot side to sit at the negotiations table.

    [08] The negotiation process in Cyprus was thoroughly evaluated at the Foreign Ministry of Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.10.09) broadcast the following:

    The ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus has been thoroughly evaluated at series of meetings at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

    The course of the talks and ways to speed up the process in a way that will make it possible to reach an agreement in the coming months were discussed at a meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Earlier a statement from the Foreign Ministry said that Turkey believed that bringing an urgent, lasting and just solution to the problem was a necessity to turn the Eastern Mediterranean into a region of peace, stability and cooperation.

    It added that Turkey fully supported the ongoing negotiation process and the positive manner of the Cyprus Turkish Side.

    [09] Turkey to hold joint Economic Commission meetings with Cuba and Argentina

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.10.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    State Minister Cemil Cicek will chair the Turkish delegation at Turkey-Cuba and Turkey-Argentina Joint Economic Commission meetings. The meetings will take place between October 26 and 27 in Havana and in Buenos Aires.

    Foreign Trade Undersecretary's Office released a statement and said Turkey-Cuba Joint Economic Commission meeting would take place under the co-chairmanship of Cicek and Cuba's Foreign Trade and Foreign Investments Minister Rodrigo Malmierca Diaz in Havana.

    The statement said Cicek would meet various ministers and officials during his stay in Cuba. The parties will assess commercial and economic relations, legal basis between the two countries, Eximbank loans, investments, energy, health, tourism, ship construction, science and technology as well as cooperation opportunities in areas of education and culture.

    Turkey and Cuba will sign JEC protocol on October 30 in Havana. The statement said Turkish Culture Department, established within the body of Havana University, would be opened during the visit.

    Turkey-Cuba trade volume was announced as 20.5 million USD as of end of 2008.

    Turkey-Argentina JEC meeting will take place in Buenos Aires. Joint measures that can be taken in the crisis period the world was going through, improvement of bilateral trade, investments, free zones, energy, contractor services, air and sea transportation, scientific and technological cooperation, and agriculture will be discussed during the JEC meeting.

    Cicek will meet various Argentinean ministers during his stay in Buenos Aires.Trade volume between Turkey and Argentina was reported as 900 million USD as of end of 2008.

    [10] The Israeli Deputy Prime Minister stated that the tension between Turkey and Israel is temporary

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.10.09) reported the following from the United Nations:

    Israeli vice Prime Minister, Silvan Shalom, said Friday the recent developments between Turkey and Israel were temporary. Speaking to Turkish reporters on his country's recent relations with Turkey, Shalom said that Israel wanted to go back to times of good relations with Turkey.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul is a very good friend of mine. Turkey and Israel should go back to the times of good will and good relations. The two countries have many common points and interests, Shalom stressed.

    The status quo between Turkey and Israel is temporary and I want to believe that we will overcome the present situation, Shalom said.

    Asked about what caused the recent tension between Turkey and Israel, Shalom indicated that he did not know what triggered the tension. The tension was not caused by the Israeli side, Shalom said.

    I believe that the two countries will find ways to overcome the difficulties, Shalom also said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Hurriyet columnist evaluates the recent meeting of Turkish Ambassadors on the Cyprus issue

    Under the title Time to change the image for Cyprus: 04.00 Turkish daily Hurriyet (26.10.09), reports the following by columnist Fatih Cekirge,:

    Its the turn of Cyprus. The visa is removed at the Syrian borders, where we were laying mines, placing barbed wire and concentrated soldiers for 25 years. The opening process with Armenia is starting.

    Now, it is the turn of a third issue. That is Cyprus.

    All the conversations that I have had with the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during the last year were directed to the solution of three problems which were hanging over Turkey for 80 years now as the sword of the Inquisition.

    Here it is, the previous day the button for the solution of the third issue was pressed.

    A short time ago in a conversation that I had with Davutoglu in our flight from Cairo to Lefkosia (occupied part of Lefkosia), I received these developing signals.

    The previous day all our ambassadors whose duties in different places in the world are related with the Cyprus problem gathered in Ankara.

    Subtitle: You may say it is a mistake

    The aim of the meeting was to talk freely, to sort out the mistakes, to submit a new view.

    This meeting is really the starting signal. It is a thing that has not been done enough until today...

    Many distinguished ambassadors gathered in Ankara... Now Davutoglu and Adviser Feridun Sinirlioglu used the ambassadors as a brainstorm committee. They are giving experience... This meeting is a preparation in order to submit to the world an alternative that will change a view...

    As it has happened with the protocol with Armenia.

    Until now Turkey was presented as untrustworthy in these three issues, but now it tries to change this image. Of course, this will not be easy. The frozen problems of 80 years are heating up like the ice in the North Pole and are melting down making crackling noises. This is a regional heating strategy towards the frozen crisis. For this reason, we feel these impacts.

    Subtitle: A dossier of good will

    Minister Davutoglu is doing a lengthy brain storming with the ambassadors. This brainstorming meeting continues until 04.00 in the morning. All the diplomats put their views.

    This is an important development... However, from this brainstorming meeting the biggest expectations should not have emerged immediately. For example, the opening of the ports.

    These brainstorming meetings, the preparations to change the image, are further expanding Turkeys dossier of goodwill for peace.

    (DPs)

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 23, 24 and 25 October 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23, 24 and 25 October 2009:

    a) Foreign policy issues

    In his column in Milliyet (23.10.09) columnist Sami Kohen challenges the view that Turkey is changing its direction, saying: "It is true that Turkey's foreign policy is no longer automatically linked to the West. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to say that Turkey wants to break away from the West or that it is moving toward an 'Eastern axis' (actually there is no such axis today)." Kohen asserts: "There is no concrete evidence that Turkey is changing its basic preferences or priorities in its foreign policy. Nor can it be said that the sympathies or ideological tendencies of the Justice and Development Party [AKP] government are derailing Turkish foreign policy. The fact that the Turkish authorities are trying to reinforce ties with the EU and the United States simultaneously with Turkey's new regional initiatives is an indication of that. It would be very wrong for Turkey to consider its developing ties with the regional countries as an alternative to its ties with its friends and allies. There is no reason for such a change of axis. A readjustment of course is enough, without moving away from the basic target."

    In a commentary in Hurriyet Daily News.com (23.10.09), Semih Idiz challenges the prevalent view especially among Israeli commentators that Turkey is changing course to become an Islamic-oriented country. If that is the case, he asks, then how can you explain his rapprochement with Armenia? What Erdogan is doing, Idiz argues, is "developing ties that were neglected in the Middle East." The columnist affirms: "One might venture to suggest that it is in fact Israel that is changing -- and moving towards a more right-wing, uncompromising and religiously motivated direction -- and not Turkey."

    "Armenia is a pretext, the real problem is energy," argues Ferai Tinc in his article in Hurriyet (23.10.09). She maintains that lately Turkey has been very unclear with Azerbaijan in connection with energy issues. "Besides the pressure being exerted by Moscow to retain its control over the delivery of Azerbaijan's energy sources to world markets, Turkey's failure to posit a definite stand on Nabucco is having a negative impact on Azerbaijan," she says. "It is necessary to assuage Aliyev's fears, to please him, and to put an end to the crisis. The relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan are really very special. They are important not only for the two countries, but for the independent and free future of the Caucasus," Tinc concludes.

    Mahfi Egilmez, in his column in Radikal (25.10.09), views US policy of trying to establish its hegemony on the world through various alliances. It is as part of this plan that Turkey is being given a role in the Middle East and Central Asia, says Egilmez, adding that the following stages of this plan have been, or still are being put into effect systematically: 1. Increase sympathy for Turkey in the Middle East, 2. Improve Turkey's ties with the West, 3. Enlist Turkey among the major global actors, 4. Launch Armenian and Kurdish overtures. To achieve the first point of winning Mideast Moslems' sympathy, Turkey's Islamic and oriental nature is being promoted and its relations with Israel is being cooled down a bit. The other stages involve the integration of Turkey into the EU and G-20. It was to achieve the last phase that the IMF and World Bank gatherings were held in Istanbul. With all that effort, a dynamic risk-taking Turkey has emerged that looks like Islamic and oriental but at the same time attached to Western values. Egilmez says this role imposed on Turkey could open new vistas before Turkey but could also engender serious risks. Egilmez proposes Turkey to draw up a fallback plan in case of failure of this project.

    Erdal Safak, who is accompanying Prime Minister Erdogan on his visit to Pakistan and Iran, comments on regional conflicts in his column in Sabah (25.10.09). Safak claims the "Blood Borders" map drawn up by US officer Ralph Peters lies behind all the bloody conflicts in the region, including the recent attack on Iranian border region in which some implicate American involvement. Safak says Peters' map envisages the creation of a new state from Baluchestan provinces of Iran and Pakistan so as to bring the Central Asian oil and gas to the Indian Ocean through the unified state of Baluchistan.

    According to a report entitled "Ankara will press for peace on the Island" in Yeni Safak (23.10.09), a high-level meeting chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on 23-24 October produced a decision to maintain Turkey's efforts to pave the way for a settlement in Turkey and to emphasize that Turkey will open up its ports to Cypriot ships only if the faits accomplis created by the Turkish army in occupied Cyprus are legitimized.

    In an article entitled "Israel and developments changing deep-rooted convictions," in Vakit (25.10.09) columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak says that Israel is facing accusations of committing war crimes in the United Nations while an American scientist is accused of spying for Israel. He says: "These were surprising developments and you will see that others will follow. In fact, both events have a symbolic meaning. In a sense, Israel is given the message that it should revise its policies because the world is changing. It remains to be seen how Israel will read this warning and respond. This is a new and unusual situation. Zionists will not only postpone their dreams but also be forced to withdraw from the political stage. Israel's presence in the region does not serve the interests of the West and the United States. On the contrary, it entails a higher cost and more risks."

    In an article entitled "They are the soldiers of America not of God," in Vakit (25.10.09) columnist Lutfu Oflaz asserts that the Soldiers of God in Iran has been established and its members were trained by the United States, adding that a recent bomb attack carried out by the organization was aimed to cause ethnic strife between Sunnis and Shiites. He cautions that a similar attack may be carried out in the future in a bid to strain relations between Turkey and Iran.

    b) On officer Dursun Cicek's coup document

    The Forensic Department has confirmed that the signature under the document, commonly known as the "plan to eliminate the AKP and Gulen," indeed belongs to Marine Staff Captain Dursun Cicek, according to a report in Hurriyet (25.10.09). The Forensic Department has already sent its findings to the Office of Istanbul Public Prosecutor on 19 October. It was the prosecutor's office that on 30 September had asked for the opinion of the Forensic Department.

    Cumhuriyet (25.10.09) reports that in a brief statement issued last night, the Office of the General Staff criticized some media outlets for reporting the new developments surrounding the document. It said this is a "worrisome" development in a law-based state, adding that no institution will oppose the investigation of any case in accordance with the laws.

    A report in Taraf (24.10.09) says that Dursun Cicek's putsch plan, which the Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug once described as a worthless "piece of paper" in the absence of its inked original, is now in the possession of Ergenekon prosecutors. The original of the document, with an attached tip-off note, has already been sent to the Ergenekon prosecutors a month ago by an officer serving at the General Staff Headquarters, Taraf says, adding that this document is the original of the 4-page "Action Plan for the Struggle Against Reactionism" that Taraf revealed for the first time on 12 June. The paper says the unnamed officer in question managed to obtain the document and prevented its destruction. In his attached note, the unnamed officer says that all documents and electronic records in the department where Dursun Cicek works have now been destroyed. Taraf adds on its part that this department, in which the ten most reliable headquarters officers worked, has been dissolved and its place taken by another unit directly attached to the Special Secretariat of the Office of the General Staff. According to the same Taraf report, Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin told journalists yesterday that "the investigation is secret. I have no information if such a document has reached us."

    Commenting on the finding of the Forensic Department, Prime Minister Erdogan says it is up to the judicial organs to make an assessment of the report from the Forensic Department, adding that the truth should be allowed to surface, for no one has the right to tarnish the image of the Turkish Republic and the AKP will not intercede on this subject. "We cannot besmirch our state with such things. Neither would the Turkish Armed Forces want to throw a shadow and a stain on the state. For that reason, the normal judicial process is continuing inside the judiciary," Erdogan says according to a report in Milliyet, (25.10.09).

    After obtaining the original of the "Action plan for intervention against democracy," signed in wet ink, and Forensic Department's report confirming that "the signature is the product of Dursun Cicek's own hand," the office of the prosecutor looking into the Ergenekon case has launched a "junta investigation," says a report in Star (25.10.09), adding that the unnamed informer officer also provided the names of the other officers on Dursun Cicek's team. The paper notes that Cicek, who was released after only 24-hour detention during the first investigation, is now facing a new investigation that also extends to his subordinates and superiors.

    Oral Calislar declares in his column in Radikal (25.10.09) that the drafting of anti-government plan in one of the departments of the General Staff is a "scandalous" affair that has put the Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug under an enormous responsibility given that he in the past vehemently refuted the existence of such a plan by dubbing the document as "a piece of paper" and threatening to take journalists publishing the document to court. Given that Basbug is now publicly proven wrong, the question that comes to mind is whether he was fooled by his officers or deliberately lied. Whichever it might be "a difficult situation has arisen for the commander," for even if he had no idea about the plan it still looks like a dereliction of duty. This incident has brought Turkey to the verge of a very critical point as regards the military intervention in politics; an intervention that has been harming both the army and the democracy, says Calislar.

    In his column for Taraf (25.10.09) on the verification of Dursun Cicek's signature, Ahmet Altan also notes that Gen Basbug is either lying or has no control over his officers. This is a serious situation that requires an investigation; an investigation is required to eradicate the practice of lying by army officers if for nothing else. But judging from yesterday's General Staff statement criticizing the press for reporting on the documents, it seems the generals have no intention of ending this practice, says Altan and calls on the generals to instead act honorably and say publicly who ordered the preparation of this plan. Altan says the generals have now been caught red-handed and have to pay for their crime.

    Under the banner headline "TSK [Turkish Armed Forces] will not accept such stain on its reputation," Yeni Safak (25.10.09) carries a front-page report which highlights comments made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan about press reports that Chief Public Prosecutor of Istanbul has received the original of a memorandum allegedly drawn up by Colonel Dursun Cicek who reportedly proposed a strategy to wage a campaign against the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, and the Gulen community. It quotes Erdogan as saying that it is up to the Chief Public Prosecutor to decide whether or not the document constitutes admissible evidence.

    A front-paged report in Vakit (25.10.09) under the title "You must offer an apology general!" highlights comments made by spokesman for various associations who expressed the opinion that the General Staff should launch an investigation into Colonel Cicek's alleged memo.

    Commenting on the controversial memo in his article entitled "The original copy has been discovered; what will happen now?" in Zaman (25.10.09) columnist Mustafa Unal says that General Ilker Basbug is in a very difficult situation after the discovery of the original copy of the memo. He says: "He should first provide a clarification for his remarks which described it as a 'piece of paper.' He should correct it one way or the other. Why did he deny it so categorically in the first place? Who did mislead him and why? It is up to him to bring them those people to account. But, it is clear that he owes an explanation to the public."

    EG/


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