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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-27

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

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

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 225/09 27.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat reiterated from occupied Vatili village that there are still hopes for the solution until April
  • [02] Talat informs CTP-BG leader on the ongoing negotiation process
  • [03] The new board of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce expresses its support to the ongoing negotiation process
  • [04] The illegal Girne American University signed an agreement with Kazakh National Technical University
  • [05] A delegation from the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara paid a visit to the illegal LAU
  • [06] The Turkish Cypriot Billiard National Team will represent the occupation regime in World Team Championship in Germany with the TRNC flag
  • [07] The Korean GameSilk company will open a subsidiary company in the occupied areas
  • [08] Explosive material was found outside of the Embassy of Turkey in occupied Lefkosia
  • [09] The British Prime Minister evaluates the Cyprus problem in an exclusive interview given to the Turkish mainland Sabah newspaper
  • [10] Swedish Foreign Minister defends Turkey in the European Parliament
  • [11] European Parliaments resolution calls on Turkey to contribute actively to the swift devising of a settlement to Cyprus
  • [12] Turkey-EU Foreign Ministers Troika meeting was held in Istanbul
  • [13] The aftermath of Erdogans visit to Libya; Eight agreements have been signed
  • [14] Turkish Prime Minister files lawsuit against former AKP top official

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat reiterated from occupied Vatili village that there are still hopes for the solution until April

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (27.11.09) publishes statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat during a visit he paid last night to the occupied Vatili village where he informed the people about the latest developments in the ongoing negotiation process.

    Mr Talat stated, inter alia, that the solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition for the Turkish Cypriots not to become refugees. Mr Talat stated also that because of the non-solution in Cyprus, no investments are carried out adding that the basic reason for the emigration of Turkish Cypriots is the uncertainty created by the non-solution.

    Mr Talat went on and said that the negotiations for the solution are approaching the end, stressing that what is definite is that This problem will be solved. It is not certain when and under which conditions but in fact there is no other choice than the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Stressing the importance of the solution for Turkey, which is a global power, Mr Talat added that Turkeys feet in all its steps stuck in Cyprus. He also stated that the solution is unavoidable for the Turkish Cypriots as well since both the EU and the world want to find a solution.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader stated also that together with Turkey they decided to follow a proactive policy as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat stated that they set forth their will for the solution and added that the problem comes to the agenda of Turkey at every platform.

    Mr Talat informed also the villagers about the issues in the negotiations on which an agreement was reached and on the issues on which no agreement was achieved and stressed the importance of the forthcoming elections of April and Turkeys EU course evaluation by the EU Summit in December. He then stated that still there are hopes for the solution until April. He said that they wanted a solution until the elections and that a solution is not possible by the end of 2009 due to the ease of the Greek Cypriots.

    In statements at the beginning of the meeting, the mayor of occupied Vatili, Sahin Sapsizoglu stated that they wanted to hear the views of the president as regards the issue of terminating the emigration of the people from the region. Mr Sapsizogly stated also that they received the support of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat as regards the establishment of a university in Mesaoria.

    (AK)

    [02] Talat informs CTP-BG leader on the ongoing negotiation process

    Illegal Bayrak television (26.11.09) broadcast the following:

    TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat continued to brief political parties with seats in the Parliament on the Cyprus negotiations process, with a meeting with the main opposition Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG).

    Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting at the Presidential Palace, CTP Leader Ferdi Sabit Soyer stressed that the Greek Cypriot side has been under pressure from the international community towards a settlement and thus, there was a possibility that it could reverse its policy of non-solution. CTP Leader Soyer stressed the need for political parties, who were responsible for the Greek Cypriot sides unilateral EU membership before the Cyprus problem was resolved, to provide support to the ongoing solution process. This way, they can free themselves of their responsibility in front of Turkey and the TRNC, Mr Soyer said.

    As for Mondays mass demonstration by trade unions, the CTP Leader reminded that during the demonstration staged when he was the Prime Minister, he interfered with the police to prevent the arrest of protestors demonstrating outside the Parliament building. Calling for the need to avoid tension, Mr Soyer said people should be careful with attempts aimed at setting public circles at odds.

    [03] The new board of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce expresses its support to the ongoing negotiation process

    Illegal Bayrak television (26.11.09) broadcasting the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerces (KTTO) new board of directors headed by Gunay Cerkez paid a courtesy visit to President Mehmet Ali Talat today. The latest stage reached in the ongoing negotiations process as well as the countrys economic situation was discussed during the meeting. While the Chamber President Gunay Cerkez expressed support to the negotiations process, President Mehmet Ali Talat expressed his desire to continue consultations with the Chamber.

    Speaking during todays visit to the President, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Gunay Cerkez said that his organization was the only international recognized TRNC institution. Cerkez also expressed the chambers readiness to support the President in his efforts to reach a solution in Cyprus. The settlement to be reached will be vital for the Cyprus Turkish people and the business sector. We are prepared to support you in any way possible, he said.

    For his part, President Mehmet Ali Talat highlighted the fact that the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce has and will continue to play an important role in Cyprus Turkish society and economy. He said the Chamber had also played a key role in the implementation of the Green Line Regulation. Stating that the regulation was in force despite all obstacles created by the Greek Cypriot Administration, Talat said that this was due to the Chambers successful efforts.

    [04] The illegal Girne American University signed an agreement with Kazakh National Technical University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.11.09) reports that the illegal Girne American University (GAU), added an agreement on oil and gas management and energy policies to the agreement it makes with global universities in order to increase its quality level in the higher education in the academic year 2009-2010. After the academic cooperation agreement that GAU signed the previous days with Azad University of Iran, GAU expanded the previous agreement with the Kazakh National Technical University (NTU) in Kazakhstan, which was signed five years ago and it was giving the opportunity for a double diploma in undergraduate programmes in the field of Oil and Gas Management by renewing the agreement of academic and scientific cooperation including also the programmes of graduate and doctoral degrees.

    The vice president of the administrative committee of GAU, Mr Asim Vehbi, and the Dean of GAU, Prof. Dr Yildirim Oner have visited Kazakhstan as honour guests of the Dean of NTU, Mr Adilov Zhexenbek, and signed the agreement. According to the announcement issued by GAU, the agreement includes also the campus of GAU Canterbury and GAU Singapore.

    (DPs)

    [05] A delegation from the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara paid a visit to the illegal LAU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.11.09) writes that Nabil Alsarraj, counsellor of the Palestinian Embassy in Ankara and Moohammed Shakoora, responsible for political issues, NGOs and the Cyprus problem in the Embassy of Palestine in Ankara, paid a visit to the illegal European University of Lefka (LAU).

    According to information from by the illegal University, the Palestinian delegation held contacts with Prof. Dr. Turgay Ergun, rector of the European University of Lefka, and several other professors.

    Moohamed Shakoora who graduated from the European University of Lefka in 2000 participated in a meeting of the rectorship of the university and met with Palestinian students and teachers with whom he found the opportunity to evaluate the ties between the illegal university and Palestine and discuss the further improvement of their relations.

    The rector of the university, Turgay Ergun thanked the Palestinian delegation for the visit it paid to the university.

    (AK)

    [06] The Turkish Cypriot Billiard National Team will represent the occupation regime in World Team Championship in Germany with the TRNC flag

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (27.11.09) in its sports pages writes that the Turkish Cypriot Billiard National Team will participate in the World Team Championship which will take place in the town of Hannover, Germany on 31 May 2010. According to the paper, the Championship will be organized by the World Pool-Billiard Association (WPA) and the occupation regime will be represented in the Championship with the flag of the TRNC, writes the paper.

    (AK)

    [07] The Korean GameSilk company will open a subsidiary company in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (27.11.09) reports that Joymax, one of the biggest firms of the Korean GameSilk Company, signed an official agreement with its distributor in Turkey. The Director of GameSilk, Mr Sadun Kaya, in statements to US NBC and German ZDF regarding the market of world toys, said that they will very soon establish a new company based in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. According to this, Gamesilk has started the works for establishing a subsidiary company in Cyprus within three months the latest.

    (DPs)

    [08] Explosive material was found outside of the Embassy of Turkey in occupied Lefkosia

    Under the title, Explosive material at the Embassy, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.11.09) reports that a woman under the name Fatma K. was arrested yesterday by the so-called police after it was realized that she left a packet with explosive materials in front of the building of the Turkish Embassy in occupied Lefkosia. The paper writes that as soon as she was noticed by the security group of the building, she was arrested. The paper reports that the self-styled police are investigating the case and possibility whether it was a sabotage incident, an isolated incident or a more serious attempt. Moreover, the paper adds that the above-mentioned woman in her statement to the police stated that she brought the package in order to illuminate the surrounding area.

    (AK)

    [09] The British Prime Minister evaluates the Cyprus problem in an exclusive interview given to the Turkish mainland Sabah newspaper

    Under the front-page title, We fervently support you, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (27.11.2009) publishes an exclusive interview given by the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Sabahs chief editor, Erdal Safak.

    In his interview, Prime Minister Brown gave important messages and assurances on Turkey's membership to the EU, writes the paper, and referred among others to the election of Herman Von Rompuy as the President of the European Union, Britains stance on Turkeys EU membership, the reforms Ankara undertakes to join the EU, Cyprus, Ankaras Kurdish opening and Turkeys role in the Middle East.

    Asked to comment on statements made by Herman Von Rompuy in a speech he addressed at the Belgian Parliament five years ago that Turkey is not a part of Europe and will never be and whether Turkeys supporters, like Britain, asked to receive assurances from Mr Rompuy after his election in the post of the President of the EU, Mr Brown sided in favour of Turkeys membership to the EU, saying that Turkeys membership bears a great strategic importance both for the EU and Britain. On Mr Rompuys stance on Turkey, Gordon Brown said that the new EU President has clearly promised that the European Union will support the direct position for Turkeys acceptance to the EU and noted that the role of Mr Rompuy is not to impose his personal views, but to reflect the consensus of opinion within the EU. Noting that before his election to the EU presidency, Mr Rompuy had a clear stance that he will abide by the EU decisions, Mr Brown further reminded that in these decisions, there is Britains open and enthusiastic support to Turkeys accession negotiations.

    On Cyprus, Mr Brown was asked:

    Question: At the end of the 2006 summit, eight negotiation chapters were suspended due to the non-implementation of the Additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement to the Greek Cypriot sector. Moreover, a decision was taken for the non-closure of the chapters under negotiation. Will the application of this decision come to an end during next months summit? Could the chapters which are suspended come down from the shelf?

    Answer: It was only a few months ago that the annual progress report of the EU Commission on Turkey was published in October and presented the real progress achieved by Turkey, such as the judicial reform, the reference to the Kurdish problem for which you exerted great efforts and the increase of the energy security for the EU. In these fields, we can congratulate Turkey for the real progress shown. Besides, in the report it was emphasized that reforms in even greater speed can be made in fields like the freedom of expression, the freedom of the press, religious freedoms and gender equality. Turkeys progress report published in October has created to us a wish to exert efforts on Turkeys membership negotiations.

    Question: Do you follow the negotiations which are taking place in Cyprus? Are you hopeful that they will conclude with peace and unity?

    Answer: I have spoken in detail with President Christofias and I have invited the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Talat to visit me in London. I wish for these two sides to come together and become close. Because, I believe that this is the best time for a solution which will provide social benefits and economic security for both sides. We support the efforts of the UN for the solution of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality and I hope that the negotiations which are made can go beyond the point they have reached up to this moment. Besides, the most of it has been settled, but we too as Britain can contribute with our methods. As you know, we have submitted some proposals on what we could do.

    Asked to evaluate the steps taken by Ankara for the solution of the problems such as the Armenian and the Kurdish, Mr Brown said that Turkey deserves to be congratulated for the courageous steps taken to address these problems.

    As regards Turkeys role in the Middle East, the British Prime Minister reminded that he held a meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the Gaza problem and said that Turkey can play a significant role in the Middle East.

    (ML)

    [10] Swedish Foreign Minister defends Turkey in the European Parliament

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (27.11.09) reported the following:

    In strongly worded remarks, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has rebutted rhetoric used by certain European Union member countries to oppose Turkeys eventual accession into the now-27 nation bloc, stating that the EUs future enlargement should be considered a strategic issue, not a matter of public opinion.

    The remarks by Bildt, whose country will be at the helm of the EU until January, came on Wednesday during a debate on the EU enlargement strategy at the European Parliament. When some members of the European Parliament suggested that they were speaking on behalf of European public opinion, which is against Turkeys EU membership, Bildt recalled that the EU did not carry out its earlier enlargements by seeking the approval of public opinion. The EUs decisions in favour of enlargement, he said, were a result of ambitious political leadership which had a vision for the future. He called the enlargement process one of the EUs most powerful foreign policy tools.

    We are all aware that there are those in our respective public opinions that would prefer to just shut the door to all of them [candidates seeking EU membership], hoping that the issue would go away, and opt for a far more closed idea of Europe. I belong to those who are convinced that this would be a mistake of historic proportions --the consequences of which would haunt our Europe for a very long time to come, he said.

    A recently announced survey, conducted between June 2008 and November 2009 in five EU countries, revealed that a majority of Europeans --even in countries which officially support Turkish membership such as Britain-- would vote no if there was a referendum on Turkeys accession today. A referendum is not a formal condition for accession, but public feelings affect lawmakers to a certain extent when they ratify membership of a new country in the EU.

    Additionally, politicians in France vowed to hold a public vote on Turkish accession when the country fulfils the objective criteria for entry.

    Their door to our union might sometimes be a very distant one. Some of them will have to travel a long and difficult road of reforms. But were that door to be shut, the other doors would immediately be opened up to other forces, and we might well see these parts of Europe moving off in directions that over time will have negative consequences for us all, Bildt warned.

    Bildt, meanwhile, praised the Turkish government for its democratization initiative, which includes steps to solve the Kurdish problem, adding that the success of the initiative would bring Turkey much closer to European standards in areas of fundamental importance.

    EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, addressing the same session, also called on the European Parliament to support further expansion of the EU. On Turkey, he said Ankara has a long way to go before it can become a member of the EU. Despite the reforms that have been carried out, we cannot ignore the Cyprus issue and the Ankara Protocol, he said, referring to EU calls on Ankara to open its ports and airports to traffic from EU member Greek Cyprus.

    [11] European Parliaments resolution calls on Turkey to contribute actively to the swift devising of a settlement to Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.11.09) reported the following from Strasbourg:

    European Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution on the European Commission's 2009 enlargement strategy for the Western Balkan countries, Iceland and Turkey, drafted by Gabriele Albertini, chairman of the committee on foreign affairs. The resolution was debated in plenary on Wednesday afternoon and it was put to a plenary vote on Thursday.

    An expression in the resolution calling on only the Turkish government to contribute actively to the swift devising of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question was amended. Instead, it urged all parties to contribute to settlement within the framework of UN decisions.

    MEPs welcomed the increasingly open public debate in Turkey about previous taboos while the resolution highlights the importance of a swiftly implementing judicial reform to improve the functioning of the Turkish state and society. The resolution notes that Turkey has made some progress towards meeting the Copenhagen political criteria but urges the Turkish government and all parliamentary parties to establish consensus on key reforms. The resolution says MEPs regret the "limited progress made in the area of freedom of religion" and freedom of expression, following the fine imposed on a media group. It also welcomes government's efforts to resolve the Kurdish issue and says the European Parliament encourages the Turkish government to take concrete measures to address the situation of citizens of Kurdish origin.

    MEPs welcomed Turkey's signing of the Nabucco gas pipeline agreement and called for the opening of the energy chapter blocked by the Greek Cypriot administration in the accession negotiations. Diplomatic efforts made to normalize relations with Armenia were underlined. The Turkish Parliament, as well as the Parliament of Armenia, should ratify the relevant protocols, said the resolution.

    Calling on the Turkish government to coordinate its foreign policy with the EU, in particular regarding Iran; the resolution asserts, however, that the NATO-EU strategic cooperation continues to be blocked by Turkey's objections, which it claimed to have negative consequences for the protection of the EU personnel deployed, and urges Turkey to set aside those objections as soon as possible.

    Furthermore, under the title, EP: Punishment causes fears, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (27.11.2009) reports on the adoption by the European Parliament of the Enlargement report and writes that the resolution is warning Turkey on the fields of the religious freedoms and the freedom of the press, while it also makes a reference to the violations in the area of freedom of expression and freedom of the press, following the fine imposed on a media group.

    The report, furthermore, welcomes and supports Turkeys initiative on the Kurdish opening and the steps taken for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia and calls also on Turkey to stop putting obstacles in the NATO-EU relations.

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (27.11.2009) reports on the issue under the front-page title, Refusal to the expression membership in the EP and writes that the European Parliament has rejected with 338 votes in favour and 253 against a resolution to underline Turkey's target of full membership to the EU. The rejection of the resolution revealed that many MPs thought Turkey should focus on the target of "privileged partnership".

    Under the title, Polarization concern in Brussels, Cumhuriyet reports that a group of journalists from Turkey held a discussion with EU officials in Brussels and Strasbourg on Turkeys EU membership process, Cyprus and reforms during a program organized by the European Journalism Centre and the EU Commission.

    On the Cyprus issue, the officials with whom we met had a consensus of opinion on the fact that Turkey is the side that needs to take steps. An EU official who replied to questions in Brussels, by stating that the Cyprus problem is poisoning the whole process, drew attention to the urgency of this issue. The Rapporteur on Turkey, Mrs. Ruijten, who was among those who voted against the inclusion of the phrase perspective of membership in yesterdays discussion of the draft resolution in the EP, stressed that Cyprus (Greek Cypriot sector) is an EU member and Turkey has a legal commitment with signing the Additional Protocol, the paper writes.

    (ML)

    [12] Turkey-EU Foreign Ministers Troika meeting was held in Istanbul

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.11.09) reported the following:

    The European Union (EU) praised Thursday Turkey's efforts to grant its citizens of Kurdish origin more rights and to end the decades-old terror problem, linking it with the candidate country's aspirations to join the union. The reform process in Turkey and the accession process are closely linked to each other, EU term president Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said during annual Turkey-EU Troika meeting in Istanbul. Bildt also praised the Turkish government's pro-active foreign policy, especially in its region. We appreciate the active Turkish role in foreign policy, said Bildt.

    The highest forum for political dialogue between the EU and Turkey convened Thursday with the participation of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, EU representative to Ankara Marc Pierini, and the EU's next term president, Spanish minister Diego Lopez Garrido.

    Bildt has renewed the EU's call for Turkey to open its ports and airspace to Greek Cyprus, but Davutoglu said the issue would be addressed after a solution to the division of the island is reached.

    Challenged by reporters over Turkey's growing ties with Iran, Davutoglu said that all countries should be in a position to carry out peaceful nuclear programs and that he wished to see Iran better integrated with the world, something he believes Turkey's recent efforts will achieve.

    Bildt supported Davutoglu's statements, saying that we do need to engage with Iran, and that all countries have the right to peaceful nuclear activities.

    Speaking on negative signals from the EU regarding Turkey's EU accession process, Davutoglu said that the EU needs to break down the Berlin wall that exists in the minds of people, not just politically, but socially and culturally We will hopefully see the chapter on the environment open in December, said Bagis.

    Diego Lopez Garrido, Secretary of State for the EU, expressed hopes for progress on Turkey's EU accession while challenging Turkey to do more. It is clear that Spain is a country that believes in the accession process, said Garrido, but it depends on the political will. We have the political will...It depends mainly on the Turkish side. Asked how many negotiation chapters Garrido hopes will open under Spain's EU presidency, he refused to give a definite answer, saying, We can't give a number now, because it's not a question of mathematics."

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.11.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    A meeting between Turkey and European Union (EU) Troika was held on Thursday in Istanbul with the participation of Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis.

    Speaking at a press conference after the meeting Bagis said Turkey had reminded the Troika that political obstacles which unfairly appeared on the way to Turkey's full EU membership, negatively affected the Turkish public opinion. Bagis said Turkey had once again expressed during Thursday's meeting its commitment to achieve reforms and complete the negotiations process successfully.

    Also speaking at the press conference Davutoglu said a new future for Europe would be built upon joint visions and grounds instead of crises and differences to make the Union a truly global attraction point.

    Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said the EU closely monitored Turkey reforms process and it attached special importance to the democratic initiative, which he said would further strengthen Turkey-EU relations.

    [13] The aftermath of Erdogans visit to Libya; Eight agreements have been signed

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (26.11.09) reported the following:

    The visit that Prime Minister Erdogan conducted to Libya together with four ministers and 200 businessmen has borne fruit. Eight agreements have been signed between the two countries.

    Prime Minister Erdogan's three-day visit to Libya has opened a new page in the economic and diplomatic relations between the two countries. Eight giant agreements have been signed. Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi, recalling the manner in which Prime Minister Erdogan --to whom he refers to as my archaic brother-- acted in Davos, said: I congratulate my leader brother Erdogan for his courage regarding the Palestinian issue primarily and the integration and cooperation in the Arab region. The agreements that have been signed will be implemented as of this moment. After holding a tete-a-tete meeting for more than one hour at the Prime Minister's Office, Prime Minister Erdogan and Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmudi appeared before the cameras. The host Al-Mahmudi noted that the trade [volume] between the two countries will be doubled. Al-Mahmudi said: The cooperation between the two countries has reached a brand new phase. The amount of the investment agreements between Turkey and Libya has reached $10 billion, while the trade volume has reached $2 billion. We hope that these figures will double.

    Subtitle: Partnership in Investments

    Noting that the political will that he has seen pleases him, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said: We held talks on how to raise the trade volume which had stood at $1.4 billion in 2008 to $2 billion by the end of this year and to $10 billion in five years. Reporting that eight agreements have been signed during the meetings, Erdogan added: In the process ahead our ministers who will implement these agreements will come together and they will enrich the process.

    The eight agreements signed between Turkey and Libya:

    -- The problem with the letter of guarantee was resolved.

    -- The Arab-Turkish Bank will raise its capital to $1 billion.

    -- A memorandum of understandings was signed regarding the joint investments in Africa.

    -- Investment in the field of agriculture will be strengthened.

    -- Memorandum on investment in agricultural cooperation.

    -- Protocol on cooperation in the field of transportation.

    -- Agreement for the encouragement and protection of investments.

    [14] Turkish Prime Minister files lawsuit against former AKP top official

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.11.09) reported the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's lawyers have filed a lawsuit against a former top official of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), for defamation. The suit demanding 20,000 Turkish Liras in compensation was filed against Abdullatif Sener, who resigned from the AKP in July 2008 to form his own political party, for comments he made on a television program on November 17 in regard to the wiretapping scandal that has gripped the country.

    According to the complaint filed by Erdogan's lawyers, Sener made a number of comments on a private television channel accusing the prime minister of wiretapping people. The complaint claims that Sener said the prime minister listens to [wiretaps] everybody and that they listen to those who listen to others and that law governing the Telecommunications Directorate permits the wiretapping and that the directorate was set up as the prime minister's private directorate. Sener also said he believes the prime minister is eavesdropping on him as well.

    Erdogan's lawyers said these remarks implied the prime minister had violated laws and illegally wiretapped others, including Sener. The lawyers said the comments amounted to repeated accusations that Erdogan had committed a crime. The lawyers said Sener would be unable to prove any of his accusations and that his remarks were deliberate.

    Sener was one of the founding members of the AKP in 2001. Around one year after resigning from the AKP, he founded the Turkey Party.

    EG/


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