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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-12-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 233/09 09.12.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 EU General Affairs council expresses regret over Turkeys refusal to apply the Additional Protocol with the Republic of Cyprus and reaffirms its decision not to open eight EU Chapters in the negotiations with TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.12.09) reported the following from Brussels:
EU Foreign Ministers expressed regret on Tuesday over Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels, as stipulated by the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement, despite repeated calls.
Foreign Ministers of EU Countries who gathered for the General Affairs council meeting in Brussels to asses the conclusions on EU enlargement to be submitted the EU summit, calling on the EU Commission to monitor whether Turkey adheres to the agreement and decided to reassess the situation next year.The final document adopted by the Foreign Ministers said the Commissions 2006 decision not to open 8 chapters in accession negotiations and putting on hold the conclusion of the remaining chapters in process, remained in effect.
The Foreign Ministers assessed that Turkey made no progress towards normalization of relations with the Greek Cypriot Administration, and said: On this basis, the Council will continue to closely follow and review progress made, in accordance with its conclusions of 11 December 2006. Progress is now expected without further delay.
Greek Cypriot Administration which pushed for new sanctions during the meeting failed to attain its goals.
The Greek Cypriot Administration is expected not to raise opposition to the opening of the environment chapter on December 21.
EU Foreign Ministers who gathered for the General Affairs Council meeting welcomed Turkish Government's democratic initiative, including measures addressing the Kurdish Issue, voicing its expectancy for concrete measures ensuring full rights and freedom for all.
The Council welcomed Turkey's continued commitment to the negotiation process, noting that positive steps have been registered in the areas of the judiciary, civil-military relations and cultural rights.
The EU Foreign Ministers invited Turkey to step up the pace of reforms and called for improvements in a number of areas, including: Freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of religion in law and in practice for all religious communities, respect for property rights, trade union rights, rights of persons belonging to minorities, civilian oversight of the military and women's and children's rights, anti-discrimination and gender equality.
The EU recognized Turkey as an important regional player, particularly for the security in the Middle East and the Southern Caucasus in the final document, and said it played a key role in energy supply and the promotion of dialogue between civilizations.
It also welcomed the significant diplomatic efforts towards normalization of relations with Armenia, signing of the protocols in October 2009 to this end.The Council welcomed the signing of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Nabucco gas pipeline in July 2009 underlining that timely completion of the Southern corridor remained one of EU's highest energy security priorities.The EU Foreign Ministers also called on Turkey to actively support the ongoing negotiations aimed at a fair, comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus problem within the UN framework noting that Turkey's commitment and contribution was crucial for a comprehensive settlement.
 Turkish Foreign Ministry on results of EU General Affairs Council meetingAnkara Anatolia news agency (09.12.09) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday that EU General Affairs Council eulogized Turkey's active foreign policy and talked about the developments Turkey recorded in reform process.
The ministry issued a statement and said Turkey's negotiation process, which started on October 3, 2005 in line with the decision of the EU summit on December 17, 2004, continued within the framework of the EU decisions taken unanimously, on the basis of Negotiation Framework Document and Turkey's full membership bid.
The statement said results of the EU General Affairs Council meeting, by referring to the results of December 2006 and 2008 summits and Negotiation Framework Document, showed that Turkey was a country taking place in EU's enlargement strategy and that Turkey reaffirmed its goal to adhere to the EU.
The statement said, despite the intensive and good-will efforts of EU rotating president Sweden and other Council members comprehending importance of Turkey's EU full membership, and as expectations are underway that ongoing talks between the two Cypriot leaders on the island would be concluded successfully, we see that parochial mentality of a member country reflected on results of the Council meeting also in a way contradicting international law.
It is unfortunate that Turkey's support to the ongoing negotiations on the island was not openly appreciated at the result of the Council meeting, and members remained silent on the chapters that were suspended by some members with unjust reasons, the statement said.
The statement also underlined that, it is unfair to make demands from Turkey on Additional Protocol as European Council's decision dated April 26, 2004, pertaining to removal of blockade on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has not been implemented fully, and the promises made in this respect have not been applied fully.
Turkey's final goal is full membership and will continue on its path in line with this goal," the statement said.
 Egemen Bagis comments on EU Foreign Ministers decision over Turkeys refusals to open its ports to vessels registered in the Republic of CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.12.09) reported the following from Washington:
Turkey's chief negotiator for European Union membership talks has called the Greek Cypriot administration to extend sincere efforts to reach an agreement with the Turkish Cypriots for the reunification of the eastern Mediterranean island.We expect that the Greek Cypriot administration quit dabbling with vessel trafficking schedules and concentrate on taking honest steps with its counterpart towards a solution, Egemen Bagis told the Anadolu Agency in Washington, referring to a resolution earlier on Tuesday by EU foreign ministers who expressed regret over Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels.EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels for the General Affairs council meeting said Turkey had made no progress towards normalization of relations with the Greek Cypriot Administration, deciding to reassess the situation next year.
On this basis, the Council will continue to closely follow and review progress made. Progress is now expected without further delay, the EU foreign ministers said.
The Cyprus problem cannot be solved by simply letting [Greek Cypriot] vessels into Turkish ports. Time is running out fast. It is up to the Greek Cypriot administration to choose between settlement and deadlock, Bagis said.
Bagis said the council's resolution in general re-affirmed Turkey's accession bid and made sure that the country's accession process continued without any interruption. We welcome efforts by almost all EU members and their common sense to pass the resolution as it is, which is in Turkey's favor. I would especially like to thank the Swedish term presidency in this context, Bagis said.
 How the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot press covered the decision of the EU General Affairs Council meetingTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the EU Foreign Ministers, who gathered for the General Affairs Council meeting in Brussels to assess the conclusions on EU enlargement to be submitted to the EU summit, decided to reconsider next year whether or not Turkey fulfilled its obligation towards Cyprus, regarding the opening of its ports. According to the paper, deep regret was expressed over Turkeys refusal to open its ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels, as stipulated by the Additional Protocol, despite repeated calls.
The final document adopted by the Foreign Ministers referred to the (Commissions) 2006 decision not to open eight chapters in Turkeys accession negotiations and putting on hold the conclusion of the remaining chapters in process, until the issue of the ports is solved, it reminded that no step was made towards the normalization of the relations with the Greek Cypriot side [Republic of Cyprus], calling on the EU Commission to monitor whether Turkey adheres to the agreement and decided to reassess the situation next year.
The paper notes that the Greek Cypriot side, which pushed for new sanctions during the meeting, failed to attain its goals and adds that, in the framework of an agreement with the EU rotating presidency, the Greek Cypriots are expected not to raise opposition to the opening of the environment chapter on December 21.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (09.12.09) reports on the issue under the title, Greek Cypriots wanted sanctions; Germany protected Turkey, and writes that the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side on putting sanctions towards Turkey during tomorrows EU leaders Summit was broken by Germany.
Under the subtitle, Greek Cypriots may veto, the paper reports that the Greek Cypriot side will add a declaration to the final EU report, explaining its own views. According to the paper, the UK will publish an opposing declaration as well. There is the possibility for the Greek Cypriots, who could not get what they hoped for from the EU Summit, to veto the negotiation chapters that will be opened from now on, the paper concludes.
The Turkish Cypriot daily press (09.12.09) covered the issue under the following titles:
Havadis: They have not touched on Turkey, the ports remained for next year
Vatan: Bargain for the ports for one more year
Kibrisli: Middle line from the EU
Yeni Duzen: The Turkish Foreign Ministry passed the exam [column by Mrs Tumay Tugyan]
 Talat said the Turkish troops will withdraw from Cyprus when an agreement is reached and reiterated that he has a secret Plan B in case the negotiations do not reach to a solutionTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish troops will withdraw from Cyprus when an agreement is reached. Speaking at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Mr Talat noted that in case a solution is reached, the Island will be demilitarized. The paper writes that 400 persons attended the speech of Mr Talat and very intensive security measures were taken.
Under the title A symbolic number of troops will remain, the paper writes that Mr Talat said that the number of troops which will remain on the island will be as high as required by the treaty of guarantee. He expressed the view that both leaders have the duty to convince their own communities for the solution and alleged that the Turkish Cypriots support the result that will lead to an overall peace. He further said that the non-solution poisons the relations between the two communities and added that we have to clean this poison up in order for progress to be made. Mr Talat argued that it is unthinkable for the solution to take the island to the period before 1974 and expressed the view that the sides should be flexible on the issue of reaching to a solution.
Referring to the so-called presidential elections planned for April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Talat said that these elections could not be postponed because this would be contrary to their constitution.
Mr Talat reiterated the allegation that the Greek Cypriot side is at ease and it does not support the solution very much. We need and want it more, he claimed and added that the non-solution could lead to the continuation of the division forever.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.12.09) refers to an interview by Mr Talat with Reuters in London, where the Turkish Cypriot leader noted that in case the negotiations do not have a successful result, a tragedy might be caused. He reiterated that he has a secret Plan B in this case. Mr Talat said also that President Christofias wants a solution and asked for more support by the international community.
On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (08.12.09) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has reiterated the Turkish sides commitment to a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement on the basis of political equality.
He said that the time in the talks lost only served to render the division of the island permanent.
The President was speaking at a conference at the London School of Economics titled Cyprus: the negotiations process. President Talat who completed his contacts in the British capital is returning to the Republic this evening.
The President said that the Turkish Armed Forces would withdraw from the island in the event of a solution, however he added that symbolic contingents from both Turkey and Greece could remain on the island, as envisaged in the 2004 Annan Plan.Providing information on the latest stage reached at the Cyprus talks, Talat underlined the importance of making use of the current opportunity.
He said that reaching a solution to the Cyprus Problem was possible with a little good will and concessions from both sides. The President also expressed his belief that good progress will be achieved at meetings he will be holding with the Greek Cypriot leader at their respective homes.
Repeating the Turkish sides desire to see the UN take on a more active role in the process, the President emphasized the Turkish sides commitment to a solution on the basis of UN parameters.
Pointing out that Turkey fully supported the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus, President Talat called on the Greek Cypriot leader to adopt a more flexible stance on some of the more important issues, particularly on the issue of security and guarantees.
Listing the Turkish sides expectations from the EU, Talat said they wanted the EU to encourage the Greek Cypriots towards a solution and to remind them the responsibility of accepting a disputed country as a member was on their shoulders.
 Erdogan delivered a speech at John Hopkins University. His arguments around the Annan PlanTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivered a speech at John Hopkins University after his meeting with the US President Barack Obama. After the speech, Mr Erdogan replied to questions on foreign policy issues.
Asked about the Cyprus problem, the Turkish Premier alleged:
There is not a just situation now in Cyprus. We have taken a step at the UN within the framework of the Annan Plan. The Greek Cypriot side voted no in the referendum. Northern Cyprus was punished. Is this justice? South Cyprus is a member of the EU now. All its efforts in the EU are to prevent the accession of Turkey.
Mr Erdogan claimed that it is difficult to reach to a result on the Cyprus problem, because the Greek Cypriot side is not sincere. He expressed the hope for a result to be achieved until March 2010 because elections will be held in April in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 Ercakica notes that the Turkish side wants the continuation of the existing system of guarantees in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has criticized those who say that statements to create a false optimism are made on the Cyprus problem. In statements during his weekly briefing to the press yesterday, Mr Ercakica called on everybody not to use the Cyprus problem in the internal politics. On the one hand we have no need to create a false optimism and on the other we know that negative results will come up by exerting such effort and by deceiving the Turkish Cypriot people or the world, he noted.
Mr Ercakica described as very important and meaningful the fact that the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown has stated for Mr Talat that he is a a leader who knows well how important the solution in Cyprus will be for all Cypriots, the whole region and Europe.
Referring to the meeting between the Prime Minister Erdogan and the US President Obama, Mr Ercakica argued that the fact that Mr Erdogan asked for support from the US President for the solution of the Cyprus problem, that is, the fact that Turkey stopped being a state on which pressure is exerted for the solution and became a country which asks for support for the solution, is an indication of how influential is the policy of the Turkish side regarding the Cyprus problem.
Under the title One step forward and one step backwards, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (09.12.09) refers to the statements of Mr Ercakica and reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat has once more changed a statement he had made before. Ortam refers to the statement made by Mr Talat to the Turkish Yeni Safak newspaper, to which the Turkish Cypriot leader said that he dreamed of an independent Cyprus where Turkey will also not be present. Mr Ercakica said that this was a result of misunderstanding and noted that the Turkish side wants the continuation of the existing system of guarantees.
 Eroglu called on the inhabitants of occupied Morfou to invest in the area and noted that the recognition of the regime might happen in timeTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu has called on the inhabitants in the occupied area of Morfou to invest in the area and support Morfou. Mr Eroglu made these statements yesterday during the opening ceremony of a monument of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which has been renovated and its surrounding area has been rearranged.
Mr Eroglu said they will continue with determination their policy in cooperation with Turkey and added that the generations change, but the states live long. Mr Eroglu noted that the recognition [of the breakaway regime] might happen in time and alleged that everybody will realize that the Greek Cypriots use delaying tactics at the negotiations and then the world will come to its senses. We are not going to sit doing nothing until then, he added.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu confirmed the information published yesterday in the Turkish Cypriot press that he has sent a letter the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan expressing his concerns regarding the ongoing negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements yesterday before entering into the meeting of the self-styled council of ministers, Mr Eroglu said he does not feel the need to announce the content of the correspondence between two prime ministers.
 Ozgurgun said in January they will start distributing rural plots of land to those who have the right to take such plotsTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that in statements after the meeting of the council of ministers, the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun said yesterday that they approved two draft-laws and sent them to the assembly, adding that in January they will reach to the stage of distributing rural plots of land to those who have the right to take such plots and that 15 days are needed for the technical work on the issue of the decrees to be completed.
 Ozgurgun reiterated that the Turkish side opposes to an EU system of guarantees, where Turkey will not be includedTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun issued a written statement yesterday and argued that the only guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots is their Motherland Turkey. Responding to statements made by the President and the Minister of Defense of Greece regarding the issue of guarantees in Cyprus, Mr Ozgurgun noted that the Turkish side opposes to an EU system of guarantees, where Turkey will not be included.
 The CTP has become observer of the European Socialist PartyTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has become observer of the European Socialist Party (PES) as a result of long lasting efforts, in spite of the intensive backstage initiatives carried out by the Greek Cypriot EDEK Socialist Party to prevent this from happening.
 Eroglu and Serdar Denktas have reportedly met secretly and discussed a possible coalition government between their partiesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minster Eroglu and the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas met secretly on 1 December for one hour and ten minutes and discussed a possible coalition government between their parties. The paper argues that the Turkish State Minister, Cemil Cicek has told Mr Eroglu that Ankara sees positively such a coalition.
 The word EOKA was written with blue paint on a car of a Turkish Cypriot in the free areas of Cyprus. Afrika argues that the perpetrators are the same who wrote Cyprus is Turkish with red letters in the free areasTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that a Turkish Cypriot, who works in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and went yesterday to an exam at the premises of the International Cyprus Fair in Engomi area for becoming a chartered accountant, after finishing his exam, saw that the word EOKA was written on his car with blue paint. The Turkish Cypriot, who did not want his name to be revealed, informed the self-styled police at the Agios Dometios barricade about the incident.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.12.09) refers to the same issue and publishes two pictures side by side. The one is the picture of the car of the above-mentioned Turkish Cypriot and the other the slogan Cyprus is Turkish written some days ago in the Turkish language with red paint on some walls in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Look at these pictures well, the same persons wrote them, reports the paper which compares the writings.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.12.09) refers to the issue under the title Disgusting attack by Greek Cypriot fanatics.
 Ali Gulle said the Turkish Cypriot pensioners will benefit from the increase of 5% to be made to the pensions of those insured by the Social Insurance Fund of the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that Ali Gulle, chairman of the Pensioners Office of the Federation of Revolutionary Workers Trade Unions (Dev-Is) has stated that the Turkish Cypriot pensioners will benefit from the increase of 5% that will be made as of January 2010 to the pensions of those insured by the Social Insurance Fund of the Republic of Cyprus. In statements yesterday, Mr Gulle said that after the information published in the press that the Turkish Cypriots will not benefit from this increase, he discussed the issue with PEO trade union and found out that the information published in the press was not correct.
 The discussions for the budget of the breakaway regime for 2010 will start at the assembly on 12 DecemberTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the discussions for the budget of the breakaway regime for 2010 will start at the assembly on 12 December and last until the 21st of the month. The paper notes that the total amount of the budget is two billion 645 million 273 thousand and 43 Turkish liras. The economy, finance, budget and planning committee of the self-styled assembly approved the budget during the period 12-25 November.
 Research showed that 63.331 persons worked in 14 fields of the private sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus in 2008Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that according to a research carried out by the so-called State Planning Organization in 2008, 63.331 persons work in 14 fields of the private sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the research, 2.329 persons have not graduated from any school, 20.445 are graduates of primary school, 8.140 are graduates of high school, 20.831 have a lyceum or vocational high school diploma and 11.589 are holders of university degree or postgraduate masters degree.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 08 December 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 08 December 2009:
a) Issues discussed during Erdogan-Obama meeting:
In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Cem Birsay views the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan and the new Afghanistan policy that was revealed by President Obama on 1 December. "The United States's new Afghanistan approach has not gone beyond the classical military security aspect," asserts Birsay and draws attention to the difficult decision that Turkey will have to make about sending troops to Afghanistan.
The Obama administration can only think about finding more soldiers for Afghanistan, because the situation in Afghanistan is extremely critical, says Mehmet Ali Birand in a commentary in the same newspaper, adding that Erdogan, on the other hand, wants to talk about the PKK and the Cyprus problem and to call for sensitivity regarding Iran.
Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin, in an article, talks about his initial impressions about the Erdogan-Obama meeting in Washington on the basis of the tone of the press conference held by the two leaders. It is possible to say that Erdogan will once again return to Turkey with the wind of having received Obama's strong support, says Ergin.
In addition to Afghanistan, Turkey has placed on the table the PKK issue, the Armenian protocol, and the Cyprus problem during the Erdogan-Obama meeting, notes Enis Berberoglu in an article in the same newspaper and draws attention to the differences of opinion between the two countries regarding the Iranian issue.
Relating Erdogan's comments during the press conference held following the tete-a-tete meeting between the two leaders, Derya Sazak in an article in Milliyet asserts that, with the exception of the last part of Bush's term, the ties between Turkey and the United States have never been so free of problems. It is clear that the two ties between the two countries have entered a new era with Obama, asserts Sazak.
I believe that certain decisions that are highly sensitive from the operational standpoint have been reached during the meeting at the White House, maintains Akif Beki in a commentary in Radikal and notes that most probably a plan that is based on disarming the PKK cadres and bringing them down from the mountains was given its final shape during the meeting. Referring to the statement issued by Erdogan to the effect that "the meeting [with Obama] will constitute a new beginning in the war on terrorism," Beki points out the summit between the two leaders constitutes the first day of the "model partnership" that Obama had mentioned during his visit to Turkey.
Despite the fact that Turkey's importance for the United States has increased, this does not mean that the two countries should adopt the same views with regard to all the issues, asserts Radikal's Ceyda Karan in an article and underlines that the United States will not punish Turkey for adopting a different stance on Iran and the troop dispatch to Afghanistan.
Together with the entire world, Turkey should also extend support to the United States's war on terrorist radical Islam, but Turkey is currently dealing with the PKK, says Emre Kongar in a commentary in Cumhuriyet and explains that the United States is also side to Turkey's war on the PKK. Criticizing Washington, which is waging a war on terrorism thousands of kilometers away from the United States, for not allowing Turkey to attack terrorist centers in northern Iraq, Kongar notes that the United States also expects Turkey to act in line with US interests in the Middle East. In addition to holding negotiations on Iraq and troop dispatch to Afghanistan, are our political cadres able to hold talks with the United States on issues such as Iran, Israel, Armenia, and Cyprus under equal conditions, asks Kongar.
In an article entitled "A new watershed", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru discusses the possible meaning of Prime Minister Erdogan's reference to the results of his meeting with the US president as a "watershed" in Turkish-US relations. He claims that Erdogan's remark might mean that he proposed formulas at his meeting with Obama that could help Washington overcome the challenges posed by the situation in Afghanistan, the Arab-Israeli dispute, and Iran's nuclear program. He also asserts that Erdogan and Obama might have reached an agreement to remove the threat to Turkey's security posed by the terrorist groups in northern Iraq.
In an article entitled "Hope Obama is not Bush's grandson", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven asserts that "concerns" over the situation in Afghanistan appears set to continue in the wake of the Obama-Erdogan meeting because of the way Washington perceives the "anti-imperialist networks in Afghanistan and Pakistan" simply as a terrorist threat. He also argues that the most important result of the White House meeting has been the issuance of "clearer messages" about the need for the PKK to be disbanded.
In an article entitled "Obama's Afghanistan plan", Zaman columnist Fikret Ertan describes the United States' new plan on Afghanistan recently disclosed by President Obama as a project that includes and tries to reconcile several different factors as well as attempting to fulfill a series of challenges. He comments on reactions to Obama's disclosure of a "vague" timetable for the withdrawal of the US troops in Afghanistan and asserts that the United States appears likely to maintain its military presence longer than what the timetable suggests.
In an article entitled "Watch out against the anti-democratic lobby in Washington", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi warns that certain "anti-democratic opportunists in Turkey" are involved in an intense lobbying activity in Washington aimed at "persuading the Americans that a Turkey without democracy would be an easier prey both for them and the United States." He also asserts that faced already with major challenges in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan and elsewhere in the region, the United States would find nothing more detrimental to its interests than Turkey's loss of its democratic stability.
b) The closure case against DTP - Kurdish problem:
We live in a regime that believes that it can eliminate an idea by banning parties and, looking at the general elections, the parliament, and the functioning of the state, we describe this regime as a democracy -- a democracy that moves backward and forward between coup threats and single-man hegemony, says Yalcin Dogan in an article in Hurriyet. Drawing attention to the DTP's statement to the effect that if the party is banned, all the DTP deputies will resign from the National Assembly, Dogan explains that under such circumstances it will be necessary to hold by-elections in those provinces within three months. I do not even want to think about what we will happen following the DTP's resignation, says Dogan and recalls that the ruling party in Turkey is the "child of the Virtue Party, the grandchild of the Welfare Party, and the great grandchild of the National Salvation Party" -- all of which had been banned by the Constitutional Court. Criticizing the Justice and Development Party, AKP, of not making any constitutional amendments for preventing the banning of parties, Dogan expresses hope that the high court will refrain from banning the DTP.
The closure of the DTP will incite Kurdish nationalism that appears on the PKK's agenda, points out Milliyet's Taha Akyol in an article and emphasizes that despite the fact that the DTP's closure will be legally appropriate, it will lead to results that will incite ethnic nationalism. Legal and political facts are clashing with each other, argues Akyol and stresses that the DTP is undermining the democratic overture just for the sake of elevating Ocalan and describes this as a very dangerous game. Asserting that these provocations may lead to confrontations among the people, Akyol adds, however, that despite all this, Turkey should continue with the overture.
If you hold talks with terrorists, every time the talks reach a deadlock the terrorists will try to overcome the deadlock by pulling the trigger, says Melih Asik in an article in the same newspaper and criticizes the government for negotiating with the terrorists, rather than holding debates on the overture in the National Assembly, explaining the overture to the people, and announcing a timetable for the overture. The government has given the other side the impression that it can get whatever it wants and once the other side has understood that this is not true, it has pulled the trigger, asserts Asik and emphasizes that Turkey's young men are paying the price for the lack of a national policy on the Kurdish issue.
The point reached by the overture shows that the government is alone and that Ocalan, the PKK, and the DTP have crossed to the side that opposes the overture, says Fikret Bila in a commentary in Milliyet and explains that the DTP is not strong enough to influence Qandil or Imrali and that it cannot take any steps that are not approved by Ocalan. The DTP's priority is Ocalan and Ocalan's priority is his conditions and his status, argues Bila and claims that the DTP will not say yes to any solution proposal that is not based on Ocalan's freedom. If the ongoing developments continue, the government may face difficulties in taking the steps that it wants to take in spite of US and EU support, asserts Bila.
Having lost the support of the United States and the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq and having understood that it will lose its grass roots as a result of the democratic overture, the PKK is waging a survival struggle, maintains Guneri Civaoglu in an article in the same newspaper and calls on Turkey to avoid being tricked by the PKK and to act with common sense. The people in Turkey -- the Turks and the Kurds -- should make joint efforts for the democratic solution of the Kurdish problem and the government should rapidly implement its "democratic overture," stresses Civaoglu and praises Interior Minister Atalay for issuing a message to the effect that the state is determined to implement the road map in this regard.
According to an unattributed report in Sabah, an official from the political affairs desk of the US Embassy in Turkey has visited DTP Deputy Sebahat Tuncel with the aim of discussing the DTP representation that will be opened in Washington. Behind the scenes, however, it was reportedly noted that the American visitor aimed to prepare an information sheet on the DTP's views and to submit it to President Obama prior to the Erdogan's visit.
Putting the blame for the recent violence on Abdullah Ocalan who constantly complains about his new prison cell, Nazli Ilicak in an article in Sabah argues that the PKK leader merely aims at torpedoing the peace efforts. What surprises me more, says Ilicak, that masses that are not able to see that they will benefit only if the clashes end stage actions following a single word uttered by Ocalan. Are these individuals so helpless that they are not able to see what serves their interests, asks Ilicak and, referring to the closure suit against the DTP, notes that the Constitutional Court will certainly take the recent incidents into consideration and that it will place sanctions against the DTP. Ilicak also questions whether the high court will find a provisional formula by taking into account Turkey's need for peace.
Viewing the closure suit against the DTP, Oral Calislar in an article in Radikal, notes that the DTP is the most effective spokesperson of the Kurds' identity demands, adding: "If you silence the legal movement, Qandil and the streets will truly become your interlocutors."
Commenting on the seven soldiers who were killed in the clashes with the PKK in Tokat, Ahmet Altan in an article in Taraf stresses that Turkey will either achieve peace, or it will experience mass massacres as a result of the ongoing incitements. Chaos in Turkey will lead to chaos in the entire region and the balances in the entire Middle East will turn upside down, emphasizes Altan, adding: "This massacre will be the last massacre in Turkey... It is impossible to joke with social provocations. You may start it but you cannot end it."
c) Turkeys membership in the EU:
Arguing that new EU President Herman van Rompuy opposes Turkey's EU membership, Oktay Akbal, in a commentary in Cumhuriyet, stresses that it is obvious that the EU will never accept Turkey. Noting that no one knows how long the EU will survive, Akbal also draws attention to the fact that 40% of the Europeans support the minaret ban imposed in Switzerland and says: "Europe is trying to get rid of the Muslims whose population is growing every passing day." Our foreign minister is deceiving us by saying that we will become EU members in 2023, says Akbal and adds: "If we do not pursue a principled foreign policy, we will not have a place in the EU. To this end it is primarily necessary to rise to the level required by modern civilization and a true democracy."