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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-02-24

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. 36/10 24.02.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Self-styled assembly to adopt a decision on the guarantees today; Reactions against the decision of the House of Representatives continue
  • [02] Eroglu: The perpetuation of the TRNC is among my main duties
  • [03] The TRNC citizenship was granted to another 14 persons
  • [04] The occupation regime aims to have 50 thousand students in the illegal universities during the academic year 2010-2011
  • [05] The 68.4% of the athletes in the occupied areas support the opening to the world of the Turkish Cypriot sports through the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten on the EPs report on Turkey as concerns Cyprus
  • [07] Turkey and Spain agree on a five-year multi-entry visa
  • [08] ECHR rules against Turkey in Aczimendi case
  • [09] Diyarbakir BDP chief Aydin arrested over PKK propaganda
  • [10] Turkeys RTUK allows several TV and radio channels to broadcast in different languages
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Turkish columnist says the guarantees are not necessary in Cyprus
  • [12] Does Turkey want it?
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 23 February 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Self-styled assembly to adopt a decision on the guarantees today; Reactions against the decision of the House of Representatives continue

    Illegal Bayrak television (23.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The TRNC Parliament will convene an extraordinary session tomorrow to prepare a resolution in response to a decision taken by the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives rejecting guarantorship rights.

    In a statement on the issue, Parliamentary Speaker Hasan Bozer said the Cyprus Turkish side will announce to the world that it will never give up the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance. The Speaker of the Republic's Assembly Hasan Bozer held a press conference today during which he announced that the Parliament will convene in an extraordinary session tomorrow to prepare a counter resolution to declare the Turkish sides position regarding the guarantorship rights.

    Stressing that the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance are within the Turkish Sides indispensable red lines, Mr Bozer said that all political parties are working on a common paper which will be discussed at tomorrows extraordinary session. The speaker complained that the Greek Cypriot side has been undertaking initiatives that could sabotage and lead to the collapse of the talks at a time when the negotiations are continuing and the Turkish side shows political will towards a solution. We, the Turkish side, had serious concerns over whether the Greek Cypriot side wants an ethical agreement or not. And now, we face a resolution which sabotages the talks and reflects the Greek Cypriot sides philosophy, he said.

    The speaker said that the Cyprus Turkish side is sincere about the talks and all political parties are supporting the negotiation process in order to bring the talks to a conclusion.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (23.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun has strongly criticized the Greek Cypriot House of Representatives resolution rejecting guarantorship rights in Cyprus. If Turkish troops withdraw from Cyprus now, fighting breaks out and many people die, Mr Ozgurgun told the NTV news channel. He said the fact that the Turkish Armed Forces brought peace to the island in 1974 should not be forgotten. Mr Ozgurgun said that the Greek Cypriots prepared the resolution with the aim of gaining concessions or under the psychological depression in Greece.On the Cyprus negotiation process, the Minister complained that the main aspects of the Cyprus problem have not been brought to the negotiation table.

    Mr Ozgurgun also criticized the European Parliaments resolution on Turkeys Progress Report, which calls on Ankara to withdraw its troops from the island.Reminding that the Turkish Armed Forces brought peace to the island in 1974, he warned that bloodshed --similar to what happened before that date-- could break out again if Turkish troops withdraw. He noted that Turkey has been making it clear that its troops will remain on the island just until a comprehensive solution is reached. They have been saying that they will both withdraw their troops and give way to an agreement once a comprehensive settlement is reached. But the Greek Cypriot side maintains its intransigent attitude, he said.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.02.10), writes in its first page that all the three guarantor countries of the Republic of Cyprus are criminals. According to the paper, Britain took advantage of the Cypriots, Greece accumulated army on the island and organized a fascist coup détat and as regards Turkey, it divided the island and made the northern part of Cyprus its own satellite. Despite all these we still want these guarantors, notes the paper.

    Afrika goes on writing that today the self-styled assembly of the occupation regime will prepare a resolution in response to the decision taken by the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus rejecting guarantorship rights. The paper wonders what the stance of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) will be towards this resolution and writes that it will be interesting to see how the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem will continue after both the assemblies of the two sides determine that the issue of the guarantees consist a red line for them.

    Afrika also notes that while the self-styled assembly will convene in order to take this decision, the two Cypriot leaders, Christofias and Talat, will hold a meeting in the framework of the negotiations.

    (CS)

    [02] Eroglu: The perpetuation of the TRNC is among my main duties

    Illegal Bayrak television (23.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has complained that the Greek Cypriot side maintains its intransigent attitude at the negotiation table.

    The Prime Minister was speaking during a dinner hosted by the Cyprus Turkish Farmers Union last night. In an address at the event, Mr Eroglu said that the perpetuation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is among his main duties.

    The soil in the South [government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus] is enough for the people in the South and the soil in the North [occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus] is enough for the people in the North, the Prime Minister said, adding that there is no need for lengthy discussions on this issue. Noting that all aspects of the Cyprus problem were taken up during the discussions continuing for years, Mr Eroglu said: What is needed at the negotiation table is good will but the Greek Cypriot Administration has no intention to reach a deal.

    Mr Eroglu again rejected the claims that the negotiations will be halted if he is elected as President of the TRNC, adding that the talks will continue.

    [03] The TRNC citizenship was granted to another 14 persons

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.02.10) reports that the occupation regime granted the TRNC citizenship to 14 persons and publishes documents of the meeting of the self-styled council of ministers to prove it.

    The paper writes that the decision taken by the self-styled council of ministers was published yesterday and on the 19th of February edition of the official gazette of the occupation regime. Yeni Duzen notes that the self-styled council of ministers took the decision prior to the elections restrictions regarding the forthcoming presidential elections which will be in force as from today.

    (CS)

    [04] The occupation regime aims to have 50 thousand students in the illegal universities during the academic year 2010-2011

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.02.10) reports that the self-styled minister of education Kemal Durust stated that their aim is to have 50 thousand students in the illegal universities during the academic year 2010-2011 and called on the press to help them in reaching this goal.

    Mr Durust stated that the number of the students for the current academic year is 43 thousand and said that the number is reduced compared to previous years. Mr Durust stated that this is due to various reasons, as the decision of the students from Turkey to study in Turkish universities or in universities of EU-member countries and the internal problems of the occupation regime.

    (CS)

    [05] The 68.4% of the athletes in the occupied areas support the opening to the world of the Turkish Cypriot sports through the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.02.10) reports that 68.4% of the athletes in the occupied areas of Cyprus support the opening to the world of the Turkish Cypriot sports through the Republic of Cyprus. These were the results of an opinion poll conducted by KADEM Research Company on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot Sportswriters Association (KTSYD) as regards the road map of sports in the occupation regime. The poll was presented yesterday at a press conference.

    According to the opinion poll, 64% of the persons participated in the poll support the opening of sports of the occupation regime through the Republic of Cyprus. The percentage of the athletes, who support this, is 68.4%.

    The opinion poll was conducted with face-to-face interviews taken from 864 persons in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    (CS)

    [06] Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten on the EPs report on Turkey as concerns Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.02.10) reported the following from Brussels:

    European Parliament's (EP) Rapporteur on Turkey expressed Tuesday the importance of the rapid implementation of a judicial reform process in Turkey.

    Speaking in a meeting of the Turkey-European Union (EU) Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in Brussels, EP's Turkey Rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten said that the recent developments in Turkey, such as the detention of a chief public prosecutor and the withdrawal of the powers of several prosecutors afterwards, did not constitute a positive image for the country. Noting that certain developments in the Turkish judiciary system did not reflect neutrality, Oomen-Ruijten said the Turkish parliament should provide a legal ground that would not allow discussion of the jurisdiction's decisions. A new constitution is needed to achieve this goal, Oomen-Ruijten said, stating that decisions taken by the judiciary bodies would be neutral and they would not be discussed, if laws were clear enough. EP's Rapporteur also said that Turkey could only turn into a state that is truly governed by the rule of law through a judicial reform.

    Commenting on the expressions concerning Cyprus included in EP's latest report on Turkey, Oomen-Ruijten said the parliament had similar demands from Turkey in recent years as well. She said, due to the new balances formed in the European Parliament after the last elections, no amendments could have been done in the Cyprus paragraph of the report as Turkey expected.

    On February 10, European lawmakers endorsed a resolution that called on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus, to resolve the issue of Turkish citizens settled in the island and to allow Greek Cypriot access to Maras [closed Varosha area] region. With a motion adopted in the general assembly afterwards, such call made to Turkey to seek its active support for the comprehensive peace talks in the island, was expanded in a way that would include all the relevant parties.

    [07] Turkey and Spain agree on a five-year multi-entry visa

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.02.10) reported the following from Cordoba:

    Turkey and Spain agreed on Tuesday on granting five-year multi-entry visa to Turkish businessmen, academicians and artists who want to travel to Spain.

    Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey and Spain agreed during their intergovernmental meetings on granting five-year multi-entry visa to Turkish businessmen, academicians and artists. Also, students can have the opportunity to benefit from this agreement within the framework of Erasmus program, Erdogan told reporters in Cordoba, Spain.

    Erdogan also said there were around 360-370 Spanish entrepreneurs in Turkey, and 70 Turkish entrepreneurs in Spain. The two countries could also make joint investments in third countries, Erdogan said. He also said the two countries could invest in energy, particularly wind and solar energy and nuclear energy, transportation and health. Turkish and Spanish executives will work on the text and then make it public, he said. Erdogan said the third summit of the Alliance of Civilizations would take place in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil on May 28-29.

    Commenting on Monday night's protest against him, Erdogan said the person who staged the protest was a refugee and the concerned Spanish authorities would later inform him about the result of the ongoing investigation. Erdogan said the incident should not be exaggerated, and he had not exaggerated it as much as the media did. A person, who threw a shoe at Erdogan while he was walking to his vehicle on Monday night, was immediately detained by security forces.

    [08] ECHR rules against Turkey in Aczimendi case

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (24.02.10) reports the following:

    The European Court of Human Rights ruled (ECHR) against Turkey on Monday in the case of Ahmet Arslan and Others vs. Turkey, which deals with the criminal conviction of members of a religious group called the Aczimendi Tarikati (a religious order) for their manner of dressing in public.

    Relying on Article 9 (freedom of thought, conscience and religion) of the European Convention on Human Rights, the applicants complained that they had been convicted under criminal law for manifesting their religion through their clothing.

    The court ruled that the 1997 conviction of 127 Turkish citizens for a breach both of the law on the wearing of headgear and of the rules on the wearing of certain garments, specifically religious garments, in public other than for religious ceremonies were found to be a violation of Article 9 of the convention.

    In October 1996, the group met in Ankara for a religious ceremony held at the Kocatepe Mosque. They toured the city streets while wearing the distinctive dress of their group, which comprised a turban, salvar (baggy trousers), a tunic and a stick. Following various incidents on the same day, they were arrested and placed in police custody.

    [09] Diyarbakir BDP chief Aydin arrested over PKK propaganda

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (24.02.10) reported the following:

    Mehmet Ali Aydin, the head of the BDPs Diyarbakir branch, has been arrested on charges of conducting propaganda for the terrorist PKK.

    Aydin travelled to the prosecutors office in response to a subpoena over statements he made in Diyarbakir on January 15. After the provincial head of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) provided his testimony, he was taken to the on-duty court. Aydin was arrested on charges of conducting propaganda for the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), membership in a terrorist organization and committing a crime on behalf of said organization.

    [10] Turkeys RTUK allows several TV and radio channels to broadcast in different languages

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's radio and television board allowed on Tuesday 14 TV and radio channels to broadcast in different languages and dialects. Turkey's Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) gathered in Ankara, and discussed applications of several radio and TV channels that wanted to broadcast in different languages and dialects under a concerned regulation. The board permitted Mardin's Cemre FM, Mersin's Radyo Ses, Sanliurfa's Radyo Net, Diyarbakir's Cagri FM, Gun Radyo, Nur FM, Gun TV, TV 21, Aktuel TV, Soz TV, Can TV, Can Radyo, Aktuel FM and Aksa FM to broadcast in different languages and dialects. The above-mentioned channels said they would broadcast in Kurdish, Zaza, Kirmanchi and Arabic.

    Turkey allowed broadcasts in different languages and dialects in 2006. The state-run Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) began broadcasting in different languages and dialects on its TRT-6 channel as of January 1, 2009.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Turkish columnist says the guarantees are not necessary in Cyprus

    Under the title The guarantees in Cyprus, Gulay Gokturk writes the following in her daily column in Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (21.02.10):

    It is not as easy as it is said for someone to have the feeling of justice. Many people believe that they have a strong feeling of justice and that they could behave in a fair manner in front of the events. However, many fail in the first difficult exam.

    What are these difficult exams?

    For example, can a mother, who has not infringed the rights of anyone in her entire life, behave like an impartial judge in a street fight where her own child participates?

    In the same manner, can an intellectual look at a case, which has come or has been turned into a national cause, by preserving his feeling of justice?

    It is known that the Cyprus Case is our first national cause. When reference to the Cyprus problem is made, we the Turks are usually extremely prone to supporting our own team without bringing to our mind the question who is right.

    These days we are living another example of this situation.

    The news is known: The Greek Cypriot Parliament adopted unanimously a statement which opposes to the system of guarantees in the Island and the intervention right. In the decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament, it is said: Guarantees and guarantors are unacceptable in the United Republic of Cyprus which is a member state of the EU.

    Very well, is this argument unjustified?

    Actually, the Greek Cypriots have been saying for a long time that peace and stability on the island is under the guarantee of the EU to which it is a member and furthermore that there is no need for the guarantees of Turkey, Britain or Greece. I have been writing for a long time now that if you do not put your national feelings in front of your brains, reason and feeling of justice, it will not be possible not to agree with this opinion.

    On the occasion of this current development, let me reiterate once more what I had written before:

    Since today efforts are being exerted for a new start in the island, there is no meaning for the continuation of a practice such as appointing special guarantors, something which derived from some special historical conditions of the past. If peace is made and a new state is established, it is absolutely unacceptable for the Turkish army to still remain there.

    Think the following: Do you put guarantors over every country in the European Union which hosts different ethnic communities so that they do not fight with each other? In spite of the ethnical massacres in Kosovo, Bosnia and other places of the world, we as Turkey support that the peoples living in these states should continue living together. However, when it comes to Cyprus, we change our tune and allege that living together would bring slaughter and massacre and that if the existence of Turkey does not hang over their head as the sword of Damocles and if the Turkish army is not there, they would take each other from the throat.

    The changing world situation and the EU membership factor is the most fundamental guarantee for the two communities in Cyprus to live together in peace within the drawn constitutional framework. No one could think, no one could imagine that the Greeks will attempt to slaughter the Turks in a country which is a member of the EU and the EU will stay and watch this.

    Moreover, the policy followed in the past by the state of Turkey shows that the concept of guarantees is a concept appropriate for misuse. The right of guarantees which the Treaties recognized for Turkey was aiming at guarantying the constitution of the existent Republic of Cyprus. Turkey, which in the beginning used the right of guarantee against the attempt of the Greek side to change by force the Cyprus Constitution, has de facto stopped being a guarantor or misused this right of guarantee, since it initiated the establishment of a new state in the place where it had entered as guarantor.

    While the situation is this and such a situation was experienced in front of the eyes of the whole world, how could Turkey stand up and say that it will still continue to be guarantor and maintain a military force on the island?

    Is it not very obvious that this insistence will guarantee that the efforts for a solution will remain without a result, even if all the other issues are solved?

    At this point, one thinks that may be this is what it is wanted. He remembers what great importance was attached to the continuation of the non-solution in Cyprus and the creation of tension with Greece in the plans for coup which have been disclosed recently and that they even relied on this. He understands why Cyprus is an unchangeable paragraph of the Security Councils Policy Documents. And he remembers what great efforts some hawks have exerted with the help of Denktas to leave the Cyprus problem unsolved during both the negotiations in the Hague and the Annan Plan debates.

    Before closing the issue, let us put forward some plain truths once more:

    Absolutely no government until now-except some exceptional periods- has been able to have the chance to produce independence policy on the Cyprus issue and absolutely no government has dared to withdraw troops or to open the discussion of the abolishment of the guarantees. If an important part of the people has not started asking the question who is right, if in other words it has not tried to be fair by not putting its national feelings in front its feeling for justice, it will not be able to do this from now on as well. Because it does not seem that a single government by its own will be able to change a national policy of 36 years.

    [12] Does Turkey want it?

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot Star Kibris newspaper (24.02.10) publishes an article by Mehmet Davulcu who comments on the issue of the guarantees in Cyprus. The article is as follows:

    To tell the truth, I am looking at the political atmosphere in which we are in and I am getting depressed. Turkey has been divided into two poles, which are mercilessly in conflict with each other. The Cyprus issue is one of the main topics of this conflict.

    The Greek Cypriot Parliament has taken a decision and stated that it will not accept the guarantees in the solution which will be found. Today our Republican Assembly is convening as well. The intention is to take a decision which will be providing that a solution which does not include the guarantees will not be accepted.

    The guarantees, which we want to continue and to be strengthened with a decision by the assembly, are the guarantees of Turkey. If Britain and Greece want, let them give up, we do not mind if their guarantees do not continue.

    However, when we look at the internal struggle in Turkey, we see that at least one of the sides is not very insistent on the issue of Turkeys guarantees on which we as Turkish Cypriots insist. Here it is an example of these: Look what Gulay Ozturk, columnist of Bugun newspaper, wrote in her column on 21 February:

    The news is known: The Greek Cypriot Parliament adopted unanimously a statement which opposes the system of guarantees on the Island and the intervention right. In the decision of the Greek Cypriot Parliament it is said that guarantees and guarantors are unacceptable in the United Republic of Cyprus which is a member state of the EU. Very well, is this argument unjustified? Actually, the Greek Cypriots have been saying for a long time that peace and stability on the island is under the guarantee of the EU to which it is a member and furthermore that there is no need for the guarantees of Turkey, Britain or Greece. I have been writing for a long time now that if you do not put your national feelings in front of your brains, reason and feeling of justice, it will not be possible not to agree with this opinion.

    The writer mentioned the fact that the Turkish Armed Forces are actually not in Cyprus in the position of a guarantor and that while they had the right to intervene and restore the constitutional order of the Republic of Cyprus, which was upset, after they came they allowed the establishment of a separate state in the area which is under their control.

    Bugun newspaper and its columnist Gulay Gokturk are close to the government in Turkey. When we take into consideration all these facts, I think that it would be beneficial to see what will be the use of the decision to be taken today by the Parliament.

    As Turkish Cypriot community we have taken many decisions in the past. What happened when we did that? The vast majority of these decisions were taken with majority. Those, who were against when that decision was taken, have been almost accused of being traitors of the country. Afterwards the decisions were forgotten. I think that what is attempted now is the same as beforeThose [who voted against the decision] will be face to face with a kind of accusation such as look, they do not want the guarantees of Turkey. While a columnist writer known to be close to the government in Turkey has the right to say I am against Turkeys guarantees in Cyprus, a political party in Cyprus will not be able to use this right. If it attempts to use it, it will be forced to pay a political price.

    As owner of these views I as well am not in favour of the continuation of the guarantees of Turkey, Greece and Britain as long as the world exists. However, I am also seeing the reality that the picture today does not require for the Turkish Cypriot community to give up these guarantees. Moreover, I do not think that the EU will provide us enough guarantees if an agreement is reached and the United Republic of Cyprus is established. I wonder, why those, who allege that a community in the EU cannot attack the rights of another community, cannot accept that a country which is candidate to become member of the EU will not attack --if this is out of the duties provided to it by the guarantees-- against the rights of a community which is living in a country member of the EU? When a response is found to this question, it will be seen that there is nothing about which one should be reluctant from the point of view of the Greek Cypriots as well. Leaving aside these debates, is it not necessary for us to find out whether or not Turkey, for which we say that it should continue to be our guarantor, really wants this?

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 23 February 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23 February 2010:

    a) Anticipated crises in Turkish foreign policy:

    In an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen maintains that there are signs that storms are expected in Turkey's foreign policy from three different directions. Noting that the Karabakh situation has blocked the Turkish-Armenian normalization process, Kohen argues that this has given the Armenian side an opportunity to highlight its genocide claims and to have it adopted at the US congressional committee. Such a development might lead to a crisis in Turkish-US relations, predicts Kohen, adding that it might even lead to a change in course in Turkey's foreign policy. The second foreign policy crisis will arise when sanctions against Iran are discussed at the UN Security Council, argues Kohen, adding that Turkey's foreign policy preferences and priorities will determine Ankara's stand at the Council. Cyprus is the third element that will cause a crisis in Turkish foreign policy, maintains Kohen, noting that the possible election of Dervis Eroglu in the so-called elections in occupied Cyprus will deadlock the negotiation process. Such a situation will give rise to further tension between Turkey and the EU causing Turkey to make deep-rooted changes in its foreign policy, concludes the writer.

    Mehmet Ali Birand, in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, views the stand of the Obama administration regarding the Turkish-Armenian protocols and the genocide bill. Noting that the bill might pass this time, Birand quotes sources in Washington who claim that the shortest and most effective way to changing this situation is for Turkey to separate the Armenian protocols from a solution in Karabakh.

    An unattributed commentary, analyzing the ongoing standoff between the West and Iran over nuclear power in Hurriyet Daily News, cautions Turkey to avoid being used by Iran as a delaying tool while exerting efforts to broker a compromise between the parties. The commentary goes on to speculate on the content of the "nuclear posture" review President Obama is expected to deliver to Congress in the next two weeks.

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Ilhan Tanir questions whether Obama will allow the looming Armenian Genocide Resolution to pass early March thus setting back Turkish-US relations as well as the Turkish-Armenian normalization process, noting that the Jewish Lobby will not be fighting against the bill this year.

    b) Escalating tension between the government and the military:

    In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila relates an interview he conducted with General Yasar Buyukanit, former chief of the General Staff, who maintains that the interpretations and criticisms levelled against what is generally known as the e-memorandum of 27 April 2007 he posted on the official site of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is not, contrary to the general belief, an intervention into the presidential elections. Recalling the reference he made to the issue of the presidential elections in his statement, Buyukanit quotes: "The presidential election process has recently turned into a secular-anti-secular process." Questioning how this can be viewed as an intervention in the presidential elections, Buyukanit argues that those who view that statement as memorandum either do not know what a military memorandum is or have not actually read the statement. Buyukanit continues: "27 April is not a memorandum. It is not an intervention in the presidential elections. It is the expression of the sensitivity of the TSK on the issue of secularism. It is nothing else."

    Viewing the recent political developments in the country in his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik argues that the clash between the judiciary and the government, the asymmetrical warfare waged against the TSK, the pressure applied on the media, and attempts to place universities under a central command, though they may seem like parts of an internal clash, are actually aimed at placing Turkey under foreign control. Underlining that "Turkey is being placed under the supervision of global forces," Asik describes the current situation in the country as follows: "What is being experienced is not chaos. It is the implementation of a program that places Turkey under the control of global imperial forces, in a way that it will never again be able to free itself from that domination."

    Viewing the detention of the former force commanders as the real "Operation Sledgehammer" on the Armed Forces in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that the impact of the detentions on the TSK must have been so strong that General Ilker Basbug, chief of the General Staff, had to abruptly call off his planned trip to Egypt. Predicting that Basbug cancelled his Egypt visit to discuss the latest developments with the top four force commanders, Kanli wonders whether these discussions will lead to his resignation or to the release of the documents recently implied by the chief of the General Staff.

    Viewing the recent detention of the former force commanders as a tremor that overshadows even the Ergenekon operations in an article in Vatan, Bilal Cetin describes the allegations as grave, adding that their speedy clarification is necessary from the viewpoint of the future of the country, its democracy, and the prestige of the TSK. Calling on General Basbug and the TSK to reveal the documents they possess, as the chief of the General Staff has threatened to do, Cetin argues that only in this manner can the confusion be sorted out and the hesitations prevented. Referring to the division within the country, the writer focuses on the views expressed by opposition leader Deniz Baykal who believes that Turkey has become a country that "fabricates crimes" and on the government wing that believes that "the judiciary will clarify everything," concluding that Turkey is undergoing a "confidence crisis."

    We are undergoing a speedy and rooted period of change, writer Oral Calislar in an article in Radikal, explaining that the detention and arrest of military officials is being received with amazement given the 50-year hegemony of the military over Turkish political life. The TSK, the judicial institutions, Istanbul's grand bourgeoisie, and certain forces within the media are having a hard time to digest the reality of an AKP government, maintains Calislar, explaining the recent failed attempts of the "state elite" to get rid of the AKP. Noting that international and domestic conditions were not conducive to such a move, Calislar underlines that the United States and the West have also failed to give the expected green light to a military intervention. The negative foreign and domestic conditions have not broken the spirit of the coupists, claims Calislar, concluding: "The information and documents being revealed are frightening. We hope that Turkey will show the maturity to gradually overcome the military tutelage and democracy will be established over real foundations."

    Viewing the detention of high-ranking military officials as an example that everyone is equal under the law, Radikal columnist Murat Yetkin in his article argues that the current atmosphere and the steps being taken will not only have judicial consequences but political ones as well. The possibility of early elections in 2010 is gaining strength, claims Yetkin, concluding: "When news of the detentions arrived, the first thing the chief of the General Staff did was to postpone his planned visit to Egypt. He then held a meeting with his General Staff officers. Today, we will probably see what comes out of that meeting."

    Having read the documents regarding Operation Sledgehammer, Taraf journalists were not surprised over the developments, writes Yasemin Congar in an article in Taraf, adding that the daily was sure that these documents reflected the "reality". Describing yesterday's developments as a "first in the society's struggle for democracy," Congar argues that "Turkey has taken its greatest step in breaking away from being a country where staging coups is not treated as a 'crime' and from being a semi-military regime in which not making coupists account for their deeds has become a habit." Praising the role of the society in having arrived at this stage, Congar writes: "If the Sledgehammer coup plans have come to light, if those who devised these plans are to be prosecuted, and if staging similar coups will become more difficult in the future, the greatest merit for this achievement goes to those within the army who have said 'enough is enough'."

    Finally, in an article entitled "Generals made to line up before prosecutors", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu hails yesterday's military detentions as a manifestation of an ongoing process of civilianization and demilitarization and asserts that this process is not taking place any more violently than it did in Spain, Greece, Portugal and Latin American countries.

    EG/


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