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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-02-19
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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. 33/10 19.02.10
[A] NEWS ITEMSTalat returns to the occupied areas of Cyprus after having contacts in Italy
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat returns to the occupied areas of Cyprus after his contacts in ItalyIllegal Bayrak television (19.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
President Mehmet Ali Talat returned to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus yesterday after completing his contacts in Italy.
Speaking upon his return at the Ercan [illegal Tymvou] Airport, the President said that he had met with the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini and had informed him about the Cyprus Turks views regarding the Cyprus issue. President Talat pointed to the fact that the world no longer avoided meeting with the Turks of Cyprus, but instead wanted to meet and hear their views. This is very important, said Talat and added that it was his duty to carry this understanding even further. The most important lesson I have learned from my trip to Italy is this, he said.
President Talat also announced that he would be going to Spain next week. Spain is currently holding the EU term Presidency and therefore this visit carries great importance, said the Talat.
Responding to a question concerning the Cyprus negotiations which will resume next week, the President said that currently the agenda had not been clarified, but added that he wanted to conclude some important issues on governance and power sharing before moving on.
 Italian Foreign Ministry Spokesman notes that the meeting with Mehmet Ali Talat did not imply recognition of the breakaway regime in occupied CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (18.02.10) broadcast the following:
The Spokesman for the Italian Foreign Ministry Maurizio Massari has said that the meeting held between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was not held in an official capacity. Massari said that the meeting with the TRNC President did not imply recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. This was an unofficial meeting, he said, adding that the request for the meeting had come from President Mehmet Ali Talat which he referred to as the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community.
Explaining that the aim of the meeting was to learn more about the ongoing negotiations process in Cyprus conducted between President Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, the Italian Foreign Ministry spokesman said we aimed to contribute to the prevailing positive atmosphere in the Cyprus negotiations process.
 Is a three-party alliance formed against Eroglu?Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.02.10) reports that the secret meetings of Tahsin Ertugruloglu in Ankara, who is considered to lead a faction in the National Unity Party (UBP), are evaluated as an Ankara operation against Eroglu. The contacts of Turgay Avci at the same centres increased the suspicions towards this direction, writes the paper.
According to Afrika, Ankara has not yet chosen whom it is going to support for the presidential elections and adds that it is not known yet whether the army and the AKP government in Turkey will agree on a candidate. However, the intense traffic shows that Ankara is puzzled about these elections, writes the paper.
The paper goes on and writes that the results of Tahsin Ertugruloglus contacts in Ankara are expected in order for Talat to announce his candidacy for the elections and adds that the Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas, which announced that it is looking for a third candidate for the elections, will determine its stance according to these contacts. It is asserted that Ankara is pursuing a third candidate in order for Eroglus power to be reduced and that both DP and Turgay Avci see this warmly.
According to the paper, while Ankara arranged trips abroad for Talat for advertising him, Eroglu is seeking support in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 Eroglu continues his campaign reiterating the allegation that two states exist in CyprusUnder the title An agreement cannot be with three-five shining words, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.02.10) reports that the so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu, within the framework of his election campaign, visited yesterday the illegal Lefka European University (LAU) and the occupied Nikitas village. During his meetings, Mr Eroglu said that a solution should be found by taking into consideration the existence of two states in the island, where the two people will live side by side in peace.
Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (18.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Leader of the governing National Unity Party (UBP) and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has visited the Socialist Democracy Party (TDP) and the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Association within the framework of his visits aiming to search for support in the forthcoming presidential elections.
Speaking during his visit to the Socialist Democracy Party, the UBP Leader and Prime Minister Eroglu said the TDP has always been a friend party with the UBP and reminded that the two parties had jointly served as coalition partners in the past. Noting that every political party has its own peculiar political views, Mr Eroglu said these views are the policies which deal with happiness and prosperity of the TRNC people.
For his part, the Leader of the Socialist Democracy Party, Mehmet Cakici, said his party is still evaluating whether to nominate a candidate or to support another candidate who favours a comprehensive political agreement in Cyprus.
Mr Eroglu then visited the Cyprus Turkish Fighters Association. During the visit, the Premier pointed to the establishment of a real state in Cyprus and said that the Turks of Cyprus has sovereignty even if the world does not recognize it. Noting that the Turks of Cyprus has been working to keep its existence under the unjust embargoes, he reiterated that his party does not approve any agreement which will return the Turks of Cyprus back before 1974.
 Rauf Denktas claims that there are two equal and sovereign nations in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (18.02.10) broadcast the following:
Former President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Rauf Denktas, has attended a conference in the Turkish city of Adana. Addressing the conference, which was held under the title The latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue, Mr Denktas said that the Turkish side should adopt more effective attitude against the ongoing threats by the Greek Cypriot side which wants the withdrawal of Turkish troops and removal of guarantee agreements.
Pointing to the importance of these threats, Mr Denktas said it is necessary to closely follow the developments on the Cyprus problem and to give an effective reaction if necessary. He also called on media to be more sensitive on the issue. In his speech, the former President also praised Turkey for always being by the side of the TRNC.
Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.10) reported the following from Adana:
The former Turkish Cypriot president criticized on Thursday the current president's policy regarding a settlement in Cyprus.
Rauf Denktas, the former president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), argued that the policy current president, Mehmet Ali Talat, was pursuing would make the country surrender. Facts in Cyprus should be accepted, Denktas told reporters in Turkey's southern province of Adana. Denktas enumerated the facts as the existence of two equal and sovereign nations in the island, and an agreement to be made between two states. What Talat is supporting is a single state, single nation and single sovereignty and will make us surrender, Denktas said.
Denktas hoped that a candidate would run on April 18th presidential elections in TRNC and Turkish Cypriot nation would support that candidate who would preserve the Turkish Cypriot state and sovereignty and the guarantor status of Turkey. Thus, the Greek Cypriot administration will see that Turkish Cypriots will not yield and then they can support a compromise, Denktas said. Denktas said otherwise, what the Greek Cypriot administration wanted was to be the legitimate government of Cyprus. Former president Denktas also argued the plan was to take Turkey out of Cyprus, which was backed by Britain and the United States.
TRNC Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has run for presidency. Candidates are to run candidacy until March 12. The first round will take place on April 18. The second round will be held on April 25.
 YKP reiterates its support to the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus and the return of the closed city of Varosha to its legal ownersTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (19.02.10) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) has reiterated its support to the recent report of the European Parliament (EP) regarding Turkey and pointed out that the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops from the Island will give acceleration to the negotiating process, while the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners and its revival will significantly contribute to the socioeconomic relations. In a statement issued by Murat Kanatli, general secretary of the executive council of the YKP, the party called once again on all sides to solve the Cyprus problem as soon as possible within the framework of the international law.
Mr Kanatli expressed their satisfaction with the expressions used in the report on the issue of Cyprus and said they do not agree with those who present these expressions as proposal of the Greek and the Greek Cypriot side. He reminded that the former Turkish President, late Turgut Ozal brought onto the agenda the withdrawal of some Turkish troops from Cyprus in 1988 prior to a visit to Athens. These statements were made in order to pave the way of the negotiations between President Clerides and former Turkish Cypriot leader Denktas, noted Mr Kanatli, wondering why some circles are annoyed from the submission of such a proposal to the table once more so that the negotiations between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat are assisted.
 DISY leader Anastasiades meets with the ORP leader AvciIllegal Bayrak television (18.02.10) broadcast the following:
Representatives of the Greek Cypriot political party DISY has met with the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The two parties have agreed to support efforts aimed at finding a solution in Cyprus.
Speaking after the meeting, which took place at the ORP headquarters, the Leader of the ORP, Turgay Avci, said they have agreed to improve relations between two parties. Saying that DISY and ORP have agreed to support efforts aimed at reaching a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation within the context of political equality of the two peoples, Mr Avci said they will also decide on what kind of a will power they will put forward in efforts that has been carried out towards a solution.
Also speaking to the press, the DISY Leader Nicos Anastasiades said they have agreed to work together with ORP for the future of Cyprus. Explaining that they want to re-unite Cyprus at the end of the negotiations being carried out under the UN auspices, he said DISY and the ORP have agreed to provide full support to the two leaders in Cyprus.
 The breakaway regime to establish an inspection committee on the Green Line TradeIllegal Bayrak television (18.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
The Council of Ministers has agreed on the formation of an inspection and development committee on the Green Line Trade with the aim of increasing the type and quality of Cyprus Turkish products traded in South Cyprus under the EUs Green Line Regulation.
Announcing the decision, the Spokesman of the Council and Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun said that the Committee will operate under the Ministry of Economy and Energy.
The goal here is to strengthen the Green Line trade. The Cyprus Turkish business world has been experiencing difficulties in selling products to south Cyprus [government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus] due to the Greek Cypriot sides insistence on the CE (European Conformity) marking.
Yesterday, the Coordinator of the Prime Ministrys EU Coordination Office Erhan Ercin told a conference that a regulation on the CE marking was necessary for removing the obstacles on trade with the EU countries. Also speaking at the conference at the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce, the President of the Chamber Guney Cerkez informed that trading with South Cyprus had decreased when compared with the statistics of the past years.
 The European Pocket Billiard Federation included the so-called Billiard Federation of North Cyprus among its members; Plans to hold a European championship in occupied CyprusUnder the title North Cyprus became a founding member of the EPBF before Turkey and South Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (19.02.10) reports that during a meeting held last month, the Board of the European Pocket Billiard Federation (EPBF) took the decision to include the so-called Billiard Federation of North Cyprus (BFNC) among the founding members of EPBF.
The decision of EPBF was submitted in writing to BFNC a few days ago and according to its provisions, BFNC, which was a candidate for a three-year period fulfilling its obligations fully and for which no objection was raised against its becoming a founding member, is considered a founding member of EPBF as of January 2010. EPBF has uploaded its decision to its official website at HYPERLINK "http://www.epbf.com" www.epbf.com and North Cyprus is included in the list of EPBF founding members at the time when Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus are still candidate members, the paper notes.
Vatan, further, publishes statements made by the self-styled chairman of BFNC, Askin Burcu, who inter alia, stated that the billiard federation of the illegal regime is participating in European and International championships under the name North Cyprus and the TRNC flag for years now. Our new goal is to hold the first European championship in our country in the next three years, Askin Burcu concluded.
 Turkish FM informed U.S. officials about his visit to IranAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:
The Turkish foreign minister had a phone talk with his U.S. counterpart on Wednesday. Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed his impressions of his recent visit to Iran during his phone talk with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night. Also, Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will discuss this issue with U.S. President Barack Obama, Davutoglu told reporters. Davutoglu said diplomatic channels were open, and the only open channel was carried out through Turkey and there was an opportunity for a democratic move. The minister said Turkey and the United States were in contact, and there were concrete proposals.
Also, diplomatic sources said that it was possible to solve Iran's nuclear energy controversy through diplomatic channels in the light of Davutoglu's talks in Tehran. Ankara suggests both Iran and the United States to refrain from rhetoric escalating the tension, and also lays down concrete proposals for solution of the problem. Davutoglu is expected to speak to U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones on the phone in a short time within the scope of ongoing Ankara-Tehran-Washington D.C. process. Minister Davutoglu will receive U.S. Under Secretary of State for political affairs Bill Burns in Ankara on Thursday afternoon.
In the meantime, Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.02.10) reported the following:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns. Burak Ozugergin, spokesman for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the A.A. following the meeting that Davutoglu informed Burns on his recent visit to Iran. Davutoglu told Burns he got the impression that Iran was willing to maintain the negotiations. He asked the U.S. party to insist on finding a solution through diplomatic channels, he said. Ozugergin said that Turkey aimed at contributing to regional peace and stability by helping the parties to understand attitudes of each other as well as determining and recommending possible consensus points for the parties. Meanwhile, Davutoglu held a telephone conversation with Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Motaki once again after his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Burns. Davutoglu and Motaki exchanged views over developments.
 Turkish and Tanzanian Presidents met in AnkaraAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Thursday that Turkey attached importance to relations with Africa within the scope of strategic cooperation with Tanzania.
Speaking at a joint news conference with President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, Gul said: I believe that visit of the guest president will add momentum to bilateral relations. Gul said this visit, which takes place for the first time in presidency level, has a historical importance. Referring to Turkey's decision to open 15 new embassies after Africa Move, Gul said the first embassy was inaugurated in Tanzanian capital Darussalam seven months ago.
Gul said legal basis in relations were about to be established with the agreements signed between Turkey and Tanzania, The two countries will get much closer with THYs scheduled direct flights in June, he added. Gul said Tanzania was one of the unique African countries having relations with Turkey since the Ottoman period, indicating that relations continued sincerely. Gul underlined that economy, trade and investment were the matters Turkey attached a high importance in relations with Tanzania, There is an important investment potential in this country in areas of textile, agriculture, mining, tourism, construction and infrastructure, he added.
Gul said regional matters in Africa as well as bilateral relations were assessed during his meeting with Kikwete, and noted that Turkey, which is a member of the UN Security Council, was in close consultation with Tanzania about the issues related to Africa. Turkish president said Tanzania was one of the most stable and secure countries of Africa, indicating that democracy operated well in this country.
Prior to the news conference Turkey and Tanzania signed agreements of visa exemption, commercial cooperation and air transportation. Foreign ministries of the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding regarding establishment of a political consultation mechanism.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete said that Turkey was a developed country and it was the voice of Africa in international platforms such as G-20 and the United Nations Security Council since there was not a single African member of G-20.
President Kikwete, who is currently paying a state visit to Turkey, said at a joint news conference with President Abdullah Gul that they aimed at further improving the relations between Turkey and Africa besides the bilateral relations between Turkey and Tanzania. He highlighted importance of Turkey-Africa Summit held in Istanbul in 2008 and the Istanbul Declaration released at the end of the summit. We appreciated Turkey's decision to open an embassy in Tanzanian as part of its move to improve relations with African countries. We are going to open an embassy in Ankara soon, he said. President Kikwete indicated that four agreements, which were signed earlier in the day between Turkey and Tanzania, would further strengthen the bilateral relations.
Referring to economic and commercial relations, President Kikwete invited Turkish businessmen to invest in his country especially in the areas of agriculture, tourism, education, science and technology. President Kikwete added that the Turkish Airlines direct flights from Turkey to Tanzania scheduled to begin in June, would make a significant contribution to efforts to improve Turkey-Tanzania relations.
 Turkey and Bahrain sign memorandum of understandingUnder the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (19.02.10) reports the following:
The fifth Turkey-Bahrain Joint Economic Committee meeting in Manama ended with the parties signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Thursday. The MoU was signed by Finance Minister Mehmet Sismek and Bahraini Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Sismek underlined that the joint economic committee meetings, which first started in 2004, have benefited mutual trade between the two countries. The trade volume between Turkey and Bahrain was $72 million in 2004. This number increased to $138 million by the end of 2009 despite the adverse impact of a global credit crunch, Sismek said. The minister asserted that the government is committed to improving relations with Bahrain and reiterated the importance of an anticipated preferential trade system for Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) member countries. Sismek also invited the Bahraini entrepreneurs to invest in Turkey.
The Bahraini minister said they also expect the MoU to contribute to efforts to develop trade with Turkey. Making mention of the countrys success in having kept the crisis problems at bay to some extent, he said the Turkish economy is regarded as a role model in the region.
Later in the day Sismek also met with Bahraini Central Bank Governor Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj and Industry and Trade Minister Hassan Fakhro.
 Turkey ranks the top in ECHR violation decisionsAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.02.10) reported the following from Interlaken:
President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu said 40% of appeals to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in 2009 came from Turkey and Russia, urging them to stick to the European Convention of Human Rights in order to reduce this number.
Cavusoglu told a conference on the future of ECHR hosted by Switzerland that the number of appeals to the court hiked. The number of appeals nearly reached 120,000. When you attach the appeal petitions side by side it extends 4 kilometres, said Cavusoglu. He said 60% of the appeals came from four countries, namely Russia (28%), Turkey (11%), Ukraine and Romania.
Cavusoglu said ECHR had difficulty in answering all appeals and the decisions were delayed. Justice delayed is injustice, said Cavusoglu. Cavusoglu pointed out that the hike in the number of appeals were for the most part, was due to recurrence of the same violations. He emphasized that if the member countries fulfilled their responsibilities stemming from the convention, the workload of the court would be reduced.
Turkey ranked the top in ECHR's violation decisions, with 356 convictions followed by Russia against which 219 decisions were given by the court. ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa said the 9-fold increase in the number of appeals in the last decade brought the ECHR to the verge of collapse. Costa said in order to save the ECHR, unfounded claims should be prevented through public campaigns with the help of civil organizations and a new filtering system ought to be introduced in the long run. He added that appeals about recurring violations or similar cases should be resolved by courts in member countries in line with ECHR precedents exist.
The rest of the conference hosted by Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf will be closed to the press, and 47 Council of Europe members, who are represented in the conference, will discuss the fate of ECHR. Turkish State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz will deliver a speech Friday on Turkey's position.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 18 February 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 18 February 2010:
War Within Judiciary/HSYK Decision:
In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates an interview he conducted with Kadir Ozbek, the vice president of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK). Granting the interview in the aftermath of the arrest of Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner and the subsequent HSYK decision to divest Osman Sanal, Erzurum chief prosecutor invested with special authorities, and three other prosecutors, of their powers, Ozbek underlines that the HSYK decision is in line with the laws. Accusing Sanal of exceeding his powers, Ozbek maintains that Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin is trying to eliminate the HSYK.
Viewing the HSYK decision to divest the Erzurum prosecutors of their powers and to file a criminal complaint against them in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol claims that it reminds one of the HSYK stand adopted during the 28 February process. Describing the "partial" stand adopted by the HSYK concerning certain lawsuits as a "coup on the judiciary," Akyol agrees that the investigation into the Ismailaga community should proceed, adding that, however, this investigation should continue within the framework of the judicial mechanism. Akyol concludes: "However, with this decision the HSYK has blocked the investigation and has dealt a blow on the judiciary."
In his column in Milliyet, Melih Asik assesses the reaction of the government to the HSYK decision as well as the support extends to that decision by the Supreme Court of Appeals and the Council of State. Faulting the government for declaring that all these judicial organs are wrong, Asik laments the fact that a government that is against the views of all the high judicial courts will be making judicial reforms, arguing that such a government is incapable of reforms that will lead to an independent and impartial judiciary.
It was not Cihaner who was imprisoned but jurisprudence itself, writes Oktay Eksi in an article in Hurriyet, explaining that the goal of this judicial war is to transform the Ataturk Republic into a "Community Republic." Charging that this process of politically motivated investigations began with the accusations levelled against Prof Yucel Askin, Eksi believes that the goal of those slandering Askin was to convey the message that from now on being Ataturkist would be considered a crime. Warning that the same campaign is still continuing, the writer maintains that had Cihaner not initiated investigations into the Ismailaga and Gulen communities he would not have been imprisoned. Underlining that those who want to establish the Community Republic will not attain their goals, Eksi concludes that insistence on this path will activate the other judicial institutions of the country just as it did the HSYK yesterday and the perpetrators will pay for their deeds.
Questioning whether the Justice Ministry is a party to the "great explosion within the judiciary" in an article in Sabah, Okan Muderrisoglu maintains that the statement issued by Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin creates the impression that the Ministry is defending the actions taken against Cihaner. Noting that the HSYK possessed information on the content of the investigation prior to its ruling that Sanal exceeded his authorities, Muderrisoglu argues that divesting the prosecutors of their powers is meaningful from the viewpoint of the independence of the judiciary. The writer further notes that this trimming of powers is intertwined with the summons issued to General Saldiray Berk, commander of the Third Army, to testify in the Ergenekon probe.
The judicial dispute that began on the Erzincan-Erzurum line last October led to a judicial as well as a political tremor in Ankara yesterday, writes Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin in his article. The writer relates the response given by a high-ranking Justice and Development Party, AKP, administrator to the question of what will happen in the event another closure case is filed against the AKP given the current political climate: "In the event of a closure case we will immediately hold elections." In conclusion, Yetkin predicts that the political polarization and the accusations within the judiciary will greatly affect the political scene in the country.
The tremor in the judiciary began with the investigation launched in connection with three religious communities, in other words with a public prosecutor fulfilling his duties, claims Gungor Mengi in an article in Vatan. Not only were the religious organizations protected but the judiciary was also threatened through the arrest of Cihaner, argues Mengi, declaring that the system's defence reflex led to the HSYK decision to divest the Erzurum prosecutors of their special powers. Sharing the profound concerns for the future expressed by Osman Sirin, the honorary chairman of the Criminal Council of the Supreme Court of Appeals, Mengi wonders whether there will be any prosecutors left with the courage to fight against the threat of reactionary forces.
Explaining the structure of the HSYK and the fact that all its members have to be present for the Council to meet in an article in Vatan, Aydin Ayaydin argues that had the government not wanted the Council to meet it could have prevented it since Ahmet Kahraman, the undersecretary of the Justice Ministry, is one of its seven members. Noting that it was obvious from the very beginning that the HSYK would reach a decision against Sanal, Ayaydin argues that the government has no right to criticize the HSYK decision given the fact that Kahraman attended the Council meeting with the knowledge of the government.
Also drawing attention to the presence of Kahraman at the HSYK meeting in an article in the same daily, Mustafa Mutlu writes: "The honourable undersecretary attended the meeting. Moreover, he cast a positive vote determining the items on the Council's agenda. In other words, he gave the 'green light' to the discussion of the developments in Erzincan and Erzurum. Later, he left the meeting! In this manner, he was not party to the responsibility of the decision reached, but he enabled the HSYK to reach a decision." This decision was made with the "open support" of the AKP government despite the criticism levelled by the AKP whips against the HSYK, claims Mutlu, asking why, if the contrary is the case, Kahraman enabled the HSYK to meet and cast a positive vote regarding its agenda.
Welcoming the fact that the foundations of the Republic are being shaken in an article in Taraf, Ahmet Altan claims that the Republic was built of wrong foundations. Explaining that the Republic was shaped in line with Ataturk's "single man, single party" system, Altan argues that this system was safeguarded by the army and the judiciary, adding that this duo, which could not be criticized or touched, allowed itself to exceed the limits of the law. Describing the July 22 elections as the greatest blow dealt to the foundation of the Republic, Altan asserts that the recent coup plans that have been revealed have exposed the role of the army within this system. There are those within the army and the judiciary who are against the crimes that have been committed, Altan maintains, declaring that this is the reason for the current split within the judiciary. In conclusion, the writer predicts: "The 'foundations' of the Republic will be destroyed, and the foundations of a contemporary, modern, new democratic 'republic' will be laid."
Under the banner headline, "HSYK blow to justice", Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which accuses the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) of dealing a blow to judicial independence in stripping a number of prosecutors of their special powers after they interrogated Erzincan Chief Public Prosecutor Ilhan Cihaner over allegations linking a criminal investigation he launched against a religious group in the eastern province of Erzincan to a "coup memorandum" prepared by a naval officer.
In an article entitled "Second Semdinli incident", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu criticizes yesterday's developments involving the HSYK's "interference" with the criminal proceedings against Ilhan Cihaner as a "second Semdinli incident" [referring to an earlier decision by the same board to disbar the prosecutor who conducted the investigation into the bomb attack on a bookstore in Hakkari's Semdinli district in 2005, for which a military unit was held responsible]. He also calls attention to what he presents as Third Army Commander General Saldiray Berk's role in the process that led to yesterday's events, asserting that the Third Army has started to emerge as "centre of resistance" to the Government's democratization efforts.
Under the banner headline, "Night raid on judiciary", Vakit carries a front-page report which asserts that the HSYK is being accused of overstepping its authority in stripping the prosecutors conducting the investigation against Ilhan Cihaner of their powers. The report also claims that the HSYK's decision is said to be an effort to "save" Third Army Commander General Saldiray Berk by enabling him to avoid complying with a summons issued as part of the Ergenekon investigation.
In an article entitled "A judicial 28 February process", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven highlights a passage from a statement by Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya announcing that a number of recent legal investigations in Habur, Erzincan, and Erzurum have been placed under scrutiny. Arseven asserts that the statement amounts not only to a "covert ultimatum" warning that a new closure lawsuit against the ruling AKP is in the offing but also to an alert to the judicial community cautioning it against the political authority similar to the "briefings" held for the same purpose during the 28 February process. Arseven also calls on civil society groups to take to the streets to protest developments signifying that part of the judiciary has started "a new 28 February process" against the Government.
In an article entitled "HSYK Warning: We will make anyone who touches the military regret it", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya cites the HSYK's latest move as proof that there is a "judicial dictatorship" in Turkey rather than a "single-party dictatorship." He also argues that the HSYK decision is intended to block the investigation against General Saldiray Berk and discourage prosecutors from pressing charges against high-ranking military officials from now on.
Finally, in an article entitled "This time the law will win", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that the HSYK's latest decision constitutes a violation of Article 138 of the Constitution, which states that "no official bodies or persons may issue orders, directives, or suggestions to courts or justices interfering with their right to exercise their judicial powers." He also asserts that "the law will win this time because the last three year's developments have shown that there are real prosecutors and justices in this country. ... Does the HSYK have a bag large enough to conceal so much evidence?"