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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-03-12

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. 48/10 12.03.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ertugruloglu announces his candidature for the illegal elections;The candidates became four; UBP wants coalition with DP
  • [02] The illegal Turkish settlers association supports Talat
  • [03] Talat stated after his meeting with Anastasiades that the means of settlement included in the ECHRs ruling are the same with the Turkish Cypriot sides proposals on the property issue
  • [04] The self styled minister of tourism met with the Chairman of the German SDP Party in Berlin
  • [05] A new prison to be built in the occupied areas with the assistance of the Turkish Ministry of Justice and the Turkish embassy to Lefkosia
  • [06] British Council delegation meets with the self-styled education minister in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] A protest took place in the illegal DAU University against a Turkish writer that faces charges in Turkey for insulting the religious values
  • [08] DPO corrects consumer price index for January 2009 & 2010
  • [09] Davutoglu keeps nagging from Ireland at the EU accusing it for not keeping its promises to the Turkish Cypriots
  • [10] The Swedish Parliament adopted a resolution on the Armenian genocide; Turkey recalled its ambassador to Sweden. Statements by Erdogan and Gul
  • [11] Davutoglu to participate in the unofficial Lapland Foreign Ministers meeting in Finland
  • [12] Medvedev to visit Turkey on May for energy talks
  • [13] Turkey and Algeria signed joint Economic Commission Protocol
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 11 March 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ertugruloglu announces his candidature for the illegal elections; The candidates became four; UBP wants coalition with DP

    Under the title He infringed his signature, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.10) reports that Tahsin Erugruloglu, so-called MP with the National Unity Party (UBP) announced yesterday that he will be an independent candidate in the forthcoming presidential elections. Mr Ertugruloglu made this statement after meeting with the chairman of the UBP and candidate for the elections, Mr Dervis Eroglu. The paper reports that Mr Ertugruloglu had signed the announcement which was supporting Mr Eroglus candidature.

    After the meeting, Mr Eroglu said that Mr Ertugruloglu asked from him a written commitment that in case Mr Eroglu wins the elections, he will assign him the duty of establishing a government. He noted that when he rejected this demand, Mr Ertugruloglu announced his candidature.

    On his part, Mr Ertugruloglu said that he will be an independent candidate and that he belongs to the UBP.

    However, Mr Eroglu reminded of the regulations of the party and noted that if a member of the UBP wants to become an independent candidate, he should interrupt his relations with the party for six months.

    Mr Eroglu alleged that Mr Ertrugruloglus candidature has no relation with Ankara and claimed that the Turkish government is not meddling with the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Mr Eroglu argued that Ertugruloglus candidature will unite the party further.

    Meanwhile, under the title Three thorns, one jasmine, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.03.10) reports that the curtains of the theater have been raised at last and the names of four candidates were known. The four candidates will submit their application today. The paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    Tahsin Ertuigruloglu is becoming candidate in order to take his revenge from Dervis Eroglu who did not promise him the post of the prime minister. Thus, the candidates who took permission from Ankara became three. The only candidate who will raise the voice of the Turkish Cypriots is the independent candidate of the Jasmine Movement, Zeki Besiktepeli.

    The paper says the fact that the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the United Cyprus Party (BKP) will support Mehmet Ali Talat caused surprise.

    Citing reliable sources, Afrika reports that the UBP proposed to the Democratic Party (DP) the establishment of a coalition between them. It is noted that the proposal was made because the party thinks that the coalition will be inevitable in case Mr Eroglu wins the elections. In this case, the number of the MPs of the UBP will decrease from 26 to 24, because the relations of Tahsin Ertugruloglu with the UBP will also be interrupted.

    However, referring to the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.03.10) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the DP, said that they will not give a positive reply to the establishment of a coalition between the UBP and the DP. Mr Denktas claimed that the UBP, which created chaos in the occupied areas of the island after it came to power, will now compulsorily start looking for an accomplice, but this accomplice will not be the DP.

    Meanwhile, under the title Plenty of candidates, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.03.10) reports that the candidates became four one day before the submission of their applications and adds that Mr Besiktepeli resigned from the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and became independent candidate supported by the Jasmine Movement. The paper describes this development as a bomb in the agenda of the elections.

    Star Kibris reports that the preferences of the parties in the elections seem obvious. According to the paper, Mr Talat will be supported by the CTP, the TDP and the BKP. For the time being, Mr Eroglu has secured the support of the UBP and the organizations of the fighters. It seems that Mr Ertugruloglu will secure the support of a group from within the UBP and two other political parties: the DP and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP).

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (12.03.10) points out that Mr Ertugruloglu announced his candidature after returning from Ankara where he had met with Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot weekly Yeni Cag newspaper (12.03.10) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) decided yesterday to boycott the illegal elections which will be held on 18 April. The stance of the party was announced yesterday at a press conference organized by Murat Kanatli, Alpay Durduran and Erdinc Selasiye, secretary and members of the executive committee of the party respectively. Mr Kanatli claimed that there is no difference between Talat and Eroglu and that these two candidates are not an alternative for the Turkish Cypriots. He noted that they are both postmen of Ankara and that they are competing who will convey in a better manner the views of Ankara at the negotiating table.

    The party pointed out to the visits of the Turkish Cypriot politicians to Ankara and noted that they are waiting for the sign of the civilians and the deep state in Turkey.

    In such an environment, the most correct attitude will be not going to the ballot box and rejecting the meddling of Turkey, instead of voting and legitimating it, said the party.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The illegal Turkish settlers association supports Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.03.10) reports that Enver Dincoglu, chairman of the Turkish Refugees Association of Mutual Aid and Solidarity, met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and stated that their association [Tr. Note: the association of the illegal Turkish settlers] will support Mr Talat in the elections. In statements during the visit, Mr Dincoglu alleged that during Mr Talats term of office, the existence of the state of TRNC on the island started to be accepted in the world. Mr Dincoglu argued that Talats staying for one more term in this duty is important for their national interests. He said they saw that Talats stance is not endangering the rights of the Turkish settlers.

    In his statements, Mr Talat said that they did not make the status of the Turkish settlers an issue of bargaining and added: All the TRNC citizens are equal. It is our duty to protect their rights as well.

    He noted that his relations with Turkey are excellent and that he will continue to follow a proactive policy together with Turkey. Addressing Mr Dincoglu, Mr Talat said:

    Let your people be at ease. There is no need to worry. All our efforts are to unify our citizens with the world.

    Mr Talat referred also to the recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and alleged that for the first time an organ of the TRNC is accepted as legal domestic remedy. He noted that they will continue to work for new gains.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Talat stated after his meeting with Anastasiades that the means of settlement included in the ECHRs ruling are the same with the Turkish Cypriot sides proposals on the property issue

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.03.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has met with the leader of the Greek Cypriot Democratic Rally Party Nicos Anastasiades at a working lunch.

    The Cyprus negotiation process was the main topic discussed during the meeting, which was described as useful by both the President and the DISY leader.

    President Talat and the DISY leader shook hands before entering the meeting at the Saray Hotel in Lefkosa.

    Speaking to reporters at the end of the meeting, President Talat said we had a very useful meeting during which we exchanged views on a wide range of issues. We also reiterated our commitment to the successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiation process.

    Responding to a question on the European Court of Human Rights ruling on the TRNC Immovable Property Commission, President Talat said that the ruling once again underlined the need to solve the property issue through negotiations.

    The President also pointed out that the means of settlement included in the ECHR ruling; compensation, exchange or restitution, were the same as the proposals put forward by the Turkish sides to settle the property dispute.

    For his part, the DISY Leader expressed his partys support to the ongoing process and underlined the importance of making use of the current opportunity.

    [04] The self styled minister of tourism met with the Chairman of the German SDP Party in Berlin

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The minister of tourism, environment and culture, Hamza Ersan Saner, who is in Berlin for the International Tourism Exchange Fair has met with the Chairman of the International Relations Department of the German Social Democrat Party, Achim Post.

    During the meeting which was described as very useful, Mr Saner briefed Mr Post on the latest developments concerning the Cyprus issue and the hardships being faced by the Cyprus Turkish People because of the international isolation imposed on them.

    The minister told BRT correspondent after his discussions with Mr Post that the meeting was the first to be paid by a TRNC Minister to the SDP headquarters.

    Meanwhile, the International Tourism Exchange Fair where the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is being promoted with an award winning stand- is continuing. The fair will remain open until the 14th of March.

    Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (12.03.10) reports that the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture Hamza Ersan Saner, who is in Berlin for the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Berlin 2010, visited Turkeys stand and met with Turkish Minister of Tourism and Culture, Ertugrul Gunay. Mr Saner and the Turkish Minister jointly visited the occupation regime's stand. Mr Gunay, who always has positive views regarding north Cyprus, said that it is a place worth visiting. Noting that the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus is an attractive destination in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish Minister wished them every success.

    Mr Saner, who met also with the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu, participated in an award ceremony honouring those who contribute positively to Turkeys tourism.

    [05] A new prison to be built in the occupied areas with the assistance of the Turkish Ministry of Justice and the Turkish embassy to Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.03.10) reports that a delegation of the Turkish Ministry of Justice is visiting the occupation regime in order to make investigation for the construction of a new prison in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The delegation, headed by the deputy undersecretary of the Turkish Ministry of Justice, Mustafa Kokcam, held a meeting yesterday with the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Ilkay Kamil.

    Speaking during the meeting, Mr Kamil stated that they aim to the construction of a prison which will have no problems. He also said that they will evaluate together with the Turkish delegation the work done and the area where the new prison will be built. He also said that the work for the prison came to the final stage with the assistance of the Turkish Republic to Lefkosia. Mr Kamil added that they will exchange views with the delegation of the Turkish Ministry of Justice on the issue of the implementation of the project and thanked the Turkish embassy to Lefkosia and the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Cemil Cicek, for their assistance on the issue.

    (CS)

    [06] British Council delegation meets with the self-styled education minister in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title, The joint projects were evaluated, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.10) reports that a delegation from the British Council paid a visit to the self-styled minister of national education, youth and sports, Mr Kemal Durust.

    According to an announcement made by the self-styled education ministry, the self-styled undersecretary of the ministry Ali Yonel, the British Council Regional Director for South-East Europe, Michael Bird, the British Council director in Cyprus, Richard Law, and the British Council Education, Arts and Society Manager, Dilek Bahcetogullari, were attended the meeting, which was chaired by the self-styled minister, Durust.

    During the meeting, the existing joint projects regarding the quality of vocational education and the increase in the number of students were evaluated. Speaking during the meeting, Mr Durust, inter alia, noted that, in the framework of their co-operation with the British Council, they could put their signature on new projects concerning the enhancement of education quality in vocational high schools.

    (EA)

    [07] A protest took place in the illegal DAU University against a Turkish writer that faces charges in Turkey for insulting the religious values

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.03.10) reports that a speech which was to be delivered by the Turkish writer Nedim Gursel in the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) yesterday, was canceled after a group of students protested against the writer.

    According to the paper, the protest took place by a group of students who call themselves We are Young Turkish Muslims.

    A lawsuit was opened in Turkey against Nedim Gursel, in 2008 for a book he wrote, under the title The daughter of Allah, on the ground that his book insulted the religious values. In case he is convicted, Nedim Gursel will face six years in jail.

    (CS)

    [08] DPO corrects consumer price index for January 2009 & 2010

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.03.10) reports that the so-called state planning organization (DPO) explained that the January consumer price index was calculated wrongly. It announced that the exchange rate for January 2009 is 11.68 and for January 2010 is 3.71.

    In a written statement, the so-called head of the statistics and research department at the DPO, Guner Mukellef, said that the index for January 2009 was 11.68 instead of 12.04 and for January 2009, it was 3.71 instead of 3.82.

    (DPs)

    [09] Davutoglu keeps nagging from Ireland at the EU accusing it for not keeping its promises to the Turkish Cypriots

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.03.10) reported the following from Dublin:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that Turkey was a part of Europe in every aspect.

    Speaking at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Ireland, Davutoglu said that future cooperation of Turkey and Ireland would have contributions to both the international community and the EU.

    Davutoglu also listed the contributions Turkey's EU membership could make in international policy, and said that Turkey was a part of Europe in every aspect. He said that Europe's history could not be written without Turkey's history.

    Also touching on the Cyprus issue, Davutoglu said that the EU did not fulfill its responsibilities although it promised. He added that while Turkish Cypriots were punished (although they voted in favor of Annan Plan), Greek Cypriot administration was accepted to the EU as member.

    [10] The Swedish Parliament adopted a resolution on the Armenian genocide; Turkey recalled its ambassador to Sweden. Statements by Erdogan and Gul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.03.10) reported the following from Stockholm:

    Swedish Parliament on Thursday approved a resolution on Armenian allegations regarding 1915 incidents.The resolution including recognition of Armenian allegations was approved with 131 votes against 130. Foreign Relations Commission of the Swedish Parliament discussed the resolution on March 2.

    Parliamentarians from the leftist Social Democrat Party, Left Party and Environment Party, who were in favor of the resolution, said the incidents that had occurred in the last years of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 were "genocide" defending that Turkey had to face its history and admit it.

    Some parliamentarians of the rightist parties opposed the resolution saying Swedish Parliament was not an international court.

    Mehmet Kaplan, Turkish parliamentarian of the Environment Party, said the resolution could obstruct the recent developments in Turkey and called on the parliamentarians to vote against the resolution.

    Asked if he would be recalled to Turkey, Zergun Koruturk, Turkish Ambassador in Stockholm, said he would be waiting for a directive from Ankara.

    The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs last Thursday approved the resolution on Armenian allegations regarding incidents of 1915.

    Turkey strongly rejects the genocide allegations and regards the events as civil strife in wartime which claimed lives of many Turks and Armenians.

    Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 to normalize relations between the two countries. The protocols envisage the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border that has been closed since 1993. Turkey and Armenia also agreed to take steps to operate a sub-commission on impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts would take part. However, on January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared a decision of constitutional conformity on the protocols. Turkey thought the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court's verdict regarding the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.03.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's scheduled visit to Sweden was cancelled following the approval of the resolution on Armenian allegations in Swedish Parliament.Prime Ministry Press Center issued a government statement and said Erdogan was to attend Turkey-Sweden summit on March 17, 2010.

    The Center also said Turkish Ambassador to Stockholm Zergun Koruturk was recalled to Ankara for consultations.

    The government statement said, 'Turkish government expresses regret and strongly condemns approval of a resolution in the Swedish Parliament which alleged that some peoples were committed to genocide during the last period of the Ottoman Empire. ''Turkish government rejects this decision lacking basis. It is obvious that the decision was made taking into consideration some political interests for the elections that would take place in Sweden in September 2010, ' the statement said.

    The statement noted, 'the resolution does not correspond to the close friendship of our two nations, ' Erdogan said in a statement on his website.

    'Indeed it is Turkey making a call to face with the history honestly. Those refraining from facing with history are actually afraid of discussing their claims reciprocally and revealing the facts working with scientific methods. Those who live with this fear exploit the foreign parliamentarians who are after small political interests, and exploited by them. Inclusion of the allegations regarding the last period of the Ottoman Empire to the agenda of the Swedish Parliament is a consequence of such exploitation, ' it said.

    The statement said the duty of the parliaments and politicians are not to make judgements on history but to construct the future by drawing lessons from the past, "those who think that historical facts and views of Turkey for its own past will change with the decisions that were made on the basis of political interests of foreign parliaments, are in a serious delusion."

    [11] Davutoglu to participate in the unofficial Lapland Foreign Ministers meeting in Finland

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.03.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will travel to Finland to participate in the unofficial Lapland Foreign Ministers Meeting to be held between March 12-14 under the auspices of his Finnish counterpart, Alexander Stubb.

    In addition to Davutoglu, ministers of foreign affairs of Estonia, France, Italy, Sweden and Spain, as well as High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy Catherine Ashton will attend the gathering, a written statement from the Turkish foreign ministry said on Thursday.

    'EU's international role vis a vis increasing influence of multipolarity at the global level; opportunities in EU's neighborhood; and the EU's changing dynamics after the Lisbon Treaty will be the general theme of the discussions at the Lapland Foreign Ministers Meeting,' the statement said.

    Davutoglu will also hold bilateral talks with his counterparts, the statement added.

    [12] Medvedev to visit Turkey on May for energy talks

    Todays Zaman newspaper (12.02.10) reports the following:

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit Turkey on May 11-13 for talks with Turkish officials focusing on energy cooperation and expanding bilateral ties, Russian officials have said.

    Turkish and Russian officials have been working hard to finish preparations for the Russian presidents visit. In addition to the vast energy cooperation between the two countries, Medvedev and Turkish officials are expected to discuss ways to increase the volume of trade to $100 billion and plans to lift visa requirements. The Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia is also likely to be on the agenda.

    Turkey is in a bid to normalize its relations with Armenia but wants to see progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute to be able to push for more progress. Azerbaijan, a regional and ethnic ally for Turkey and a key energy supplier for the West, is opposed to the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation unless the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute is resolved.

    [13] Turkey and Algeria signed joint Economic Commission Protocol

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.03.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish and Algerian parties signed the protocol of Turkey-Algeria Joint Economic Commission (JEC) in the ninth term meeting on Thursday.

    A statement by the State Ministry of Turkey said Turkish and Algerian officials discussed measures to boost bilateral trade, the areas of energy, mining, agriculture, industry, transportation, health and contracting in the meeting.

    Turkish delegation headed by State Minister Cevdet Yilmaz and Algerian delegation headed by Energy & Mining Minister Chakib Khelil held meetings and signed the protocol of JEC.

    The 9th meeting of Turkey-Algeria Joint Economic Commission is held in Algiers. Yilmaz is also set to meet with Industry & Promotion of Investments Minister Abdelhamid Temmar and Housing & Urban Development Minister Noureddine Moussa before returning to Turkey on March 12.

    Trade volume between the two countries increased to 5 billion USD in 2008 from 1.6 billion USD in 2003. It reduced to 3.8 billion USD in 2009 because of a decrease in Turkey's imports of natural gas and iron from Algeria. Meanwhile, Turkey's exports to Algeria rose 10 percent to 1.7 billion USD in 2009 despite the global financial crisis.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 11 March 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 11 March 2010:

    a) Kurdish Issue/General Amnesty

    Welcoming the remark made by Republican People's Party, CHP, Deputy Kemal Kilicdaroglu that the issue of a general amnesty can be considered in an article in Milliyet, Asli Aydintasbas argues that though the words "general amnesty" might not sound so good to our ears at the moment this issue will eventually be placed on the agenda. Everyone who has dwelt on the Kurdish issue and is aware of the realities on the streets in the East knows that there is no solution other than one founded on a broad-based social peace, argues Aydintasbas, adding that a structure such as the PKK will not simply evaporate without a method called "general amnesty," which in itself means the laying down of arms and conciliation. There is no example in history that a mutiny of this proportion has been suppressed through military methods, argues Aydintasbas, adding: "There will definitely be some kind of conciliation. Turkey will be discussing the issue of a 'general amnesty' either now or in ten years time, willingly or unwillingly.

    Focusing on the use of children by the PKK in its "civil disobedience" project in an article in Milliyet, Taha Akyol recalls the objection of the CHP to the amendment the government has proposed regarding the Anti-Terror Law on grounds that it might pave the way to the retrial of Ocalan. The prosecution of children in children's courts is a requirement of international law, underlines Akyol, adding that the CHP will extend its support to the amendment if the article concerning Ocalan is removed from the proposal. It seems as if this amendment will be endorsed and the legal dimension of the problem will be solved, writes Akyol, questioning: "However, what will happen to the political and social dimension? What will those who induce children to throw stone do? Will they encourage them throw more stones? Will they place more children on the streets thinking that 'noting can happen in children's courts?'" In conclusion, the writer asks: "It is the right of children to be tried in children's courts. There is no doubt about it. However, is throwing stones a children's right?"

    Recalling the "Kurdish overture" announced by the government last September and Interior Minister Besir Atalay's comments that the overture will begin with the laying down of arms and the liquidation of the PKK, Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz in his article questions how the PKK will lay down its arms if its members have nowhere to go after having laid down their weapons. Even those who are not in the least connected to this issue can guess that the PKK can be dissolved or weakened only through the declaration of a general amnesty, underlines Yilmaz. Referring to Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc's strong objection to Kilicdaroglu's remarks on the issue, Yilmaz states that this objection only shows that the government actually still does not know what with regards to the overture. Ridiculing the government for being under the impression that it will end terror by enacting a few laws and broadcasting a few Kurdish songs over TV channels, Yilmaz criticizes the government for not reaching conciliation with the opposition on the Kurdish issue.

    Those who have been criticizing Kilicdaroglu, including CHP leader Baykal, assume that he favors the declaration of a general amnesty before PKK members lay down their arms and this is an injustice against Kilicdaroglu, claims Rusen Cakir in an article in Vatan, recalling Baykal's statement in Nusaybin that the issue of a general amnesty might be placed on the agenda in the event the PKK lays down its arms. The uncertainty regarding what will happen after the PKK lays down its arms is one of the reasons why the Kurdish overture was blocked, claims Cakir, adding: "The first thing that comes to mind is, naturally, a general amnesty and maybe the exile of the leading cadres of the PKK to foreign countries. However, the ruling party, fearing reaction, did not place these issues on the agenda; nor did it encourage those who wish to place them on the agenda." Cakir concludes; "Yes, amnesty is a very sensitive and dangerous issue, but if there is a wish to resolve the Kurdish problem, this issue has to be discussed sooner or later."

    In an article entitled "Surprise me, CHP, please" Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru comments on what he describes as statements by Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal and CHP Parliamentary Group Deputy Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu suggesting that the CHP administration has started finally to see that Turkey will achieve true stability and turn into a welfare society only if it manages to consolidate its democracy and successfully addresses the Kurdish problem. He cites remarks by Baykal indicating that he has recognized the authenticity of a military document detailing a plot against the Government and Kilicdaroglu's call for a general amnesty as cases in point.

    b) Stand-by agreement with IMF

    Statements to the effect that negotiations will not be held with the IMF on a stand-by agreement were issued upon the insistence of the IMF, predicts Erdal Saglam in an article in Hurriyet, recalling that the reason why a stand-by agreement could not be concluded was that the government refused to implement the demands of the IMF. Having realized that the government is using the delaying tactic of a pending agreement with the IMF in running the economy, the IMF has insisted that a statement be issued that negotiations on a stand-by agreement are not being held. Turkey has been left without an economic anchor just at a time when IMF director Kahn announced that "we should be ready for a new crisis," maintains Saglam, adding that Minister Babacan, by saying that the issue might be reviewed after May, is trying to convey to the markets the message that "all hope is not lost about an agreement."

    Welcoming the government decision not to sign a stand-by agreement with the IMF in an article in Sabah, Erdal Safak maintains that "IMF tutelage does not suit the Turkey picture Prime Minister Erdogan painted yesterday." Recalling that Turkey's credit note has been increased by Moody's, Fitch, JCR and Standard & Poor's during the last 2 months, Safak underlines that according to the predictions of many international institutions, among them the IMF, the World Bank, and OECD, Turkey's growth rate for 2010 will be well above 3.5 percent. Noting that Turkey is within the G-20 group that gives direction to the global economic order, Safak argues that Turkey's economic and financial data do not justify an IMF support. Noting that world credit rating institutions view IMF supervision as a negative factor, Safak concludes that this alone can be a sufficient reason to support Turkey's choice of continuing on its path without the IMF.

    Drawing attention to the difficulty of accessing global funds in the absence of an agreement with the IMF, Vatan columnist Ali Agaoglu argues that this situation will be reflected in the interest rates of domestic loans. In his article, Agaoglu argues that the lack of an IMF agreement will hit the cost of domestic loans the most, maintaining that the work of the Central Bank will be a difficult one when the rising inflation is coupled with a lack of IMF anchor. Negative world developments will have a stronger effect on Turkey, predicts Agaoglu, underlining that volatility will increase. Expressing the fear that world fluctuations might have a tsunami effect on Turkey, Agaoglu, however, does not predict dramatic changes in foreign currency exchange rates.

    c) Cyprus Issue

    Referring to the recent ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, ECHR, on immovable property in an article in Radikal, Erdal Guven states that the Greek Cypriot policy of keeping the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey under a "legal claw" has gone bankrupt. According to the ECHR ruling the de facto situation in Cyprus does not prevent Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot administration from establishing an effective, just, and legal judicial mechanism, maintains Guven, adding that the ruling also indicates that property rights are not sacred or absolute, but are flexible and open to interpretations in line with the existing conditions. Recalling that one of the Greek Cypriot objections to the Annan Plan was that it diluted property rights, Guven argues that with the recent ruling the concept of "obtaining through courts what has not been obtained at the negotiating table" is losing its attractiveness.


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