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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-08

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. 63/10 08.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Tension arose between Talat and Eroglu regarding the Cyprus problem; Talat accuses Eroglu of lacking a vision for peace and therefore he cannot negotiate a settlement
  • [02] Talat stated that the presidential elections will determine the destiny of Turkey and added that if Eroglu is elected the negotiations will end
  • [03] Talat met with Russian journalists and academicians
  • [04] Tourists from Iran visit the occupied areas of Cyprus with direct flights
  • [05] Al Jazeera will broadcast live a workshop at illegal GAU
  • [06] Seminars on distance learning with the attendance of foreign officials to take part in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] EU Socialists voice support to the Direct Trade Regulation
  • [08] Seven donums of land in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be given to Trabzon Spor football club
  • [09] Israeli minister refers to Cyprus in his reply to Erdogans criticism
  • [10] Details on Erdogans meeting with Sarkozy. The French President is to visit Turkey in November
  • [11] Turkish Prime Minister to meet with Armenian President in Washington
  • [12] Turkeys Permanent Envoy to the EU elected as Chairman of Energy Charter Conference
  • [13] Turkish Parliament makes changes in the legislation on elections and allows propaganda in languages other than Turkish
  • [14] Retires officers, among them a former secretary-general of MGK, arrested in connection to the Sledgehammer case
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] Joost Lagendijk says the approval of the Direct Trade Regulation by the EP cannot be prevented
  • [16] From the Turkish Press of 07 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Tension arose between Talat and Eroglu regarding the Cyprus problem; Talat accuses Eroglu of lacking a vision for peace and therefore he cannot negotiate a settlement

    Illegal Bayrak television (07.04.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has repeated that the TRNC people will choose between the past and the world in Aprils Presidential elections. Mr Talat who stands as an independent candidate for re-election, toured some villages in the Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta] district yesterday.

    Speaking during the visits, he said that the Cyprus Turkish people proved to the world during the 2004 referendum that it is in support of a solution and made the Greek Cypriot side accept their legitimate rights.

    Referring to the National Unity Partys (UBP) candidate and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglus statement that he will continue the talks if he wins the election, Mr Talat said Eroglu cannot negotiate a settlement, he does not have such a vision. One who does not believe in peace, cannot find a solution.

    He also announced that the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has congratulated him over the phone on the progress achieved so far at the Cyprus negotiations and that she has invited him to Washington for a meeting.

    Later, President Talat attended a rally in the Akdogan [occupied Lyssi] village. In an address at the event, he said we started a journey with the Cyprus Turkish people and the objective is a settlement.

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (07.04.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that he is the candidate of all those who want to enjoy peace, freedom and sovereignty under Turkeys guarantee. I am the candidate of the Cyprus Turks who claim the national cause and do not want to become refugees again, Mr Eroglu said during a tour of the Girne [occupied Keryneia] district yesterday.

    Addressing his supporters at a rally in Lapta [occupied Lapithos], Mr Eroglu said that President Talat cannot defend the national cause. The one who fails to defend his national cause, and supports single sovereignty, single identity and lowers his citizens status to that of a community, cannot speak about the national cause, he said.

    Eroglu accused Talat of continuing the negotiations behind closed doors and of being indifferent to the former Turkish Republican Party (CTP) governments deeds, the countrys problems and unlawful acts. The Premier also accused the President of giving too many concessions to the Greek Cypriot side.

    A people who do not have sovereignty can only enjoy the rights of a minority. The TRNC people are sovereign, like the people in south Cyprus. My answer to those claiming that north Cyprus is under Turkeys occupation, is that it is actually the Republic of Cyprus which is under the occupation of the people living in south Cyprus, he said.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television (07.04.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talats youth centre in [occupied] Lefkosia and the National Unity Partys (UBP) Taskinkoy building have been the target of undemocratic acts. An explosion occurred at Talats youth centre in the Dereboyu Street around 2 am yesterday when unknown persons threw a plastic bottle filled with foil paper and possibly with some hydrochloric acid.

    There were no reports of damage or injuries.

    President Talat and the Talat Youth Platform have condemned the attack.

    Separately, the glasses of the UBPs Taskinkoy building were broken by unidentified persons last night.

    A UBP poster hanged on a citizens house in Girne [occupied Keryneia] was also the target of another attack.

    The police are continuing their investigation into the incidents.

    [02] Talat stated that the presidential elections will determine the destiny of Turkey and added that if Eroglu is elected the negotiations will end

    Turkish daily Aksam newspaper (08.04.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the forthcoming presidential elections, to be held on the 18th of April will not only determine the destiny of the occupation regime but the destiny of Turkey as well.

    Mr Talat made these statements in an interview with Aksam paper in which he also blamed the decrease of the support towards him to the intransigent behavior of the Greek Cypriots, to the lack of developments as regards the EU process and the failure of the policy of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). The paper writes that when asked what he is going to do if he is not elected, Mr Talat got a bit angry with the questions and replied that he did not think of it. Am I obliged to do anything?, he stated.

    Asked how he evaluates the last five years he is in power Mr Talat stated, inter alia, that the period was very successful as regards the Cyprus process and stated that he has been negotiating with the Greek Cypriot leader for one and a half years now and they received support from the world. He also stated that many positive developments took place like the decision of the European Court of Human Rights for the Compensation Committee.

    Mr Talat stated that if Eroglu is elected the negotiations will be ended and added that this development will affect Ankara as well. Mr Talat said that despite the fact that Mr Eroglu said that he will continue the negotiations, he will imposed his policy and this will not affect the negotiations in a positive way. He went on and added that if Eroglu fails to negotiate, Ankara will be held responsible. The elections taking place here is not only about the election of our president. They are also related to Turkeys destiny as well.

    They are related to Turkeys relation with the world and the European Union, stated Mr Talat and added that Turkey, which is a member of the UN Security Council, wants the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [03] Talat met with Russian journalists and academicians

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.04.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, met yesterday with Russian journalists and academicians from Moscow and Saint Petersburg, who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus for contacts and observations. According to a statement issued by Mr Talats office, ways for developing the relations between the Russians and the Turkish Cypriots were discussed during the meeting of the delegation with Mr Talat.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Tourists from Iran visit the occupied areas of Cyprus with direct flights

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.04.10) reports that many tourists from Iran visited the occupied areas of Cyprus during the Nauruz holidays thanks to the direct lights, which have been launched by the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines linking Iran and the occupied areas of Cyprus, following an initiative of the illegal Near East University and the contribution of the self-styled ministry of tourism, environment and culture. The paper writes that the Iranian tourists visited occupied Lefkosia, Famagusta and Keryneia for shopping. Shop owners expressed their satisfaction over the fact.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Al Jazeera will broadcast live a workshop at illegal GAU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.04.10) reports that the International Higher Education and Science Workshop (IHEW) is starting today at the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU). More than 200 rectors, scientists and high ranking state officials from 40 different countries will participate in the workshop, according to the paper, which notes that the chairman of Turkeys Council of Higher Education (YOK), Prof. Dr. Yusuf Ziya Ozcan, will also be among the participants in the workshop. According to a statement issued by the illegal university, the three-day workshop will be broadcast live by local television channels and Al Jazeera television.

    Self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu, his so-called minister of education, youth and sports, Kemal Durust and MPs from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican Peoples Party (CHP) are expected to attend the opening ceremony of the workshop.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Seminars on distance learning with the attendance of foreign officials to take part in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (08.04.10) reports that the so-called Higher Education Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK) is set to discuss about long-distance education (e-learning). As the paper writes, after an invitation of YODAK, the General Director of the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), Mr George Ubachs, and Dr. Keith Williams, professor at the UK Open University, will visit the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus today.

    According to an announcement issued by the president of YODAK, Mr Hasan Ali Bicak, the two officials will attend a meeting at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) in order to discuss about the quality components of distance learning. Specifically, Mr Ubachs will inform the participants about long-distance education in Europe and Dr Williams will explain the long-distance educations quality components in the framework of the European e-excellence project. The seminar will be attended by university officials and representatives of Turkeys Council of Higher Education (YOK).

    In addition, Mr Ubachs and Dr. William, during their stay, will attend a meeting at the premises of YODAK with the participation of various illegal universities located in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as YOKs executive committee member, Prof. Dr. Ali Ekrem Ozkul.

    (EA)

    [07] EU Socialists voice support to the Direct Trade Regulation

    Illegal Byarak television (07.04.10) broadcast the following:

    The Socialists in the European Parliament have expressed their support to the Direct Trade Regulation which was presented by the European Commission to the European Parliament and member countries for approval. The Socialists is the second largest political group within the European Parliament.

    The Head of the Socialists Group, Martin Schulz, said that the implementation of the Regulation will increase the competitiveness of the TRNC economy, narrow the prosperity gap between the two communities in Cyprus and make the solution of the Cyprus problem easier by integrating the TRNC economy into the EU.

    Mr Schulz also pledged the Socialists Groups support for the immediate approval of the Regulation by the European Parliament. We believe that the approval of the Regulation will facilitate the comprehensive negotiations being carried out by the two leaders in Cyprus, he added.

    [08] Seven donums of land in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be given to Trabzon Spor football club

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (08.04.10) reports that seven donums (Tr. Note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters) of land in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be given to Trabzon Spor football club from Turkey. The above-mentioned football club is expected to start cooperation with Avdimou (Duzkaya) football club, which is one of the favorites to win the championship in the 2nd division in the occupied areas of Cyprus. This team plays currently at Nihat Bagcier Stadium in the occupied Keryneia area. The paper writes that the Turkish Cypriot team will give to Trabzon Spor seven donums of land behind the dressing rooms of Nihat Bagcier Sadium for building a fully equipped camping ground for the teams of Trabzon Spor.

    The paper writes that the reason for the development of this project is the fact that Utku Boz, former president of Trabzon Spor, is the owner of Bumerang Company in the occupied areas of Cyprus and Kratos Hotel in occupied Agios Epiktitos village. The chairman of Duzkaya, Mehmet Hulusioglu, confirmed that they are exchanging views with officials of Trabzon on a project.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Israeli minister refers to Cyprus in his reply to Erdogans criticism

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (08.04.10) reports that the war of words between Israel and Turkey continues. In statements during his visit to France, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan described Israel as the biggest threat for peace in the Middle East and added: If a country uses disproportionate force in Palestine and Gaza, if it uses phosphoric bombs, we are not going to say well done.

    The paper writes that these statements made at a time when a new page is opened regarding the tension between Turkey and Israel.

    Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Lieberman, who had likened Mr Erdogan with Kaddafi and Chavez, leaders of Libya and Venezuela respectively, said yesterday that if Erdogan wants to make a name in the Islamic world and create a new status for himself, he should not do it over Israel.

    The Israeli Minister claimed that his country follows a reconciliatory policy on the issue of Palestine and on foreign affairs issues and added: However, there is no good will any more. This is valid for Turkey as well. The attacks of the Prime Minister did not start today. We all remember the negative stance he showed in the Davos Conference against President Perez and the film showing children in Gaza killed by Israeli soldiers.

    Noting that they did not want to create new conflicts or problems with Turkey, Mr Lieberman said: However, we have not heard any protests from Erdogan while thousands of people are killed with bombs in Pakistan or Iraq. Before giving lessons to us, Erdogan should first solve his problems with the Kurds.

    The paper writes that Mr Lieberman drew a parallel between the situation in Jerusalem, which caused many reactions all over the world because of the building of settlements, and Cyprus, which is divided between the Greeks and the Turks. Noting that they will not stop building new settlements in Jerusalem, the Israeli Minister said:

    No country in the world stops the constructions it builds in its own capital. We have come across similar allegations many times in history. One example is the situation in Cyprus which is divided between the Greeks and the Turks. No one can forbid to one independent state to build on its own territories.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Details on Erdogans meeting with Sarkozy. The French President is to visit Turkey in November

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.10) reported the following from Paris:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is currently paying a visit to France.

    Erdogan, who attended the closing ceremony of Season of Turkey activities in France on Tuesday, held meetings with French officials on Wednesday.

    Following his meetings with French Senate President Gerard Larcher, Erdogan was received by French President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace.

    Turkeys Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, State Minister Egemen Bagis and their French counterparts Bernard Kouchner and Pierre Lellouche also participated in the meeting.

    During the meeting, Erdogan invited Sarkozy to Turkey, and the French President accepted the invitation. Sarkozy said that he may pay a visit to Turkey after November, 2010.

    French presidential executives defined the meeting between Erdogan and Sarkozy as positive.

    During their meeting, Erdogan and Sarkozy discussed Turkeys European Union (EU) membership bid, bilateral relations, regional issues, and the upcoming G-20 summit.

    The two leaders reiterated their views about Turkeys EU full membership bid.

    Despite differences of opinion about this issue, the leaders also reaffirmed their will to boost bilateral relations. The two leaders also reiterated their views on Iran.

    According to French sources, Sarkozy extended full support to the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.

    Sarkozy said they also discussed the fight against terrorism, and that his country was extending full support to Turkeys fight against the terrorist organization.

    Another topic Sarkozy and Erdogan discussed was the Middle East peace process. Sarkozy underlined Turkeys importance for the region, referred to the role of mediator between Syria and Israel and said France and Turkey would contribute to help resume this process.

    Also, Sarkozy and Erdogan said the Season of Turkey activities that ended on Tuesday contributed to bilateral relations.

    Sarkozy and Erdogan reiterated their will to enhance economic cooperation.

    On April 2, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement which said Paris wanted to further improve its economic relations with Ankara.

    The ministry said Turkish and French executives would debate new cooperation on transportation, energy, and infrastructure projects during Erdogans official visit to France.

    In its statement, the ministry said Erdogans visit aimed to boost bilateral relations, and would be an opportunity to discuss issues like Afghanistan, Middle East and Iran.

    Subtitle: Season of Turkey in France

    Turkish culture was introduced in France with more than 600 activities in 120 cities throughout the Season of Turkey over a period of nine months.

    There were events in France on Turkish literature, music, cinema, theatre and visual arts during the Season of Turkey.

    Conferences and panel discussions took place in France to boost the trade volume between Turkey and France.

    Among the most significant activities, as part of the Season of Turkey activities, was the dance shows of the Anatolian Fire dance group.

    The Eiffel Tower, which has become a global icon of France, was lit up with the colors of the Turkish flag (red and white) from October 6 to October 11.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul and his French counterpart Sarkozy inaugurated The Ottoman Caftans exhibition at the Louvre Museum and the Istanbul for Centuries exhibition at the Grand Palais.

    Also, Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe presented the key of Paris to Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan and photographer Ara Guler.

    Furthermore, Hurriyet Daily News.com (07.04.10) reported from Paris that French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised Turkeys prime minister on Wednesday that he would visit his country soon after France takes the helm of the G-20 grouping at the start of next year, his office said.

    Sarkozy accepted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans invitation and will go there soon after the start of the French presidency of the G-20 in order to continue cooperation between the two countries, it said.

    France is due to begin its stint at the head of the Group of 20 leading global economies in 2011.

    Erdogan met Sarkozy for 45 minutes in the Elysee palace on Wednesday and left without making any statement to the press.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.10) reported from Paris the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with French Senate President Gerard Larcher in Paris on Wednesday. The meeting was closed to press.

    Later in the day, Erdogan will meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy as well as executives of leading French companies.

    He will also have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Francois Fillon. The two premiers will co-chair meetings between Turkish and French delegations.

    Erdogan will then meet French Parliament Speaker Bernard Accoyer.

    After addressing Turkish people, Erdogan will leave France for Turkey.

    [11] Turkish Prime Minister to meet with Armenian President in Washington

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (08.04.10) reports the following:

    A senior Turkish diplomat arrived in Yerevan yesterday to deliver a letter from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan as a process of rapprochement aimed to restore relations between the two estranged neighbors has come to a stalemate.

    Speaking to journalists during a visit to France, Erdogan said Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu visited Armenia as his special envoy. We have sent Mr. Sinirlioglu there. We have sent my letter with him, Erdogan said, without elaborating on the content of the letter. Sources told Todays Zaman that the letter contained a message that an agreement would better serve the interests of the two countries, especially when compared to the cost of a failure to make peace.

    Erdogan is expected to meet with Sarksyan on the sidelines of a nuclear summit in Washington next week. In Paris he was cautious, saying that whether the meeting will take place or not depends on the response to his letter. Erdogan will attend the summit on April 12-13, along with the leaders of 46 other countries. US President Barack Obama, a staunch supporter of Turkish-Armenian efforts to normalize their relations, will have bilateral talks with Sarksyan but no meeting is currently scheduled with Erdogan, the White House has announced. Turkish officials said meetings with Obama or other world leaders could be scheduled in the coming days if necessary.

    Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on normalizing their ties in October but the ratification of the documents in both national parliaments -- necessary for them to go into effect -- has been stalled as both sides accuse each other of modifying the protocols. Sinirlioglu discussed measures that could be taken to overcome the deadlock in Yerevan, according to Turkish sources. The private NTV television, meanwhile, reported that the Armenian parliament will soon begin discussing the protocols. The parliamentary debate on the protocols will increase the pressure on Turkey to do the same, NTV said.

    Sinirlioglus visit to Yerevan also follows tensions between Turkey and the United States over a congressional committee vote on March 4 to pass a resolution acknowledging Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire. Ankara is now waiting to see if Obama will use the word genocide in an annual message due to be released on April 24, which Armenians claim marks the beginning of the genocide campaign in Anatolia a century ago.

    Sinirlioglu was to tell the Armenian leadership that the diasporas efforts to win international recognition for genocide claims had damaged the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process, diplomatic sources speaking to Todays Zaman said. The senior diplomats visit underlines that Turkey is still committed to the reconciliation process, disregarding the obstacles.

    When reminded of the lack of progress in Armenias Nagorno-Karabakh dispute with Azerbaijan, the same sources said Sinirlioglu was not in Yerevan to discuss the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, but that this does not mean it will not come up in the talks. Turkey, a close ally of Azerbaijan, closed its border with Armenia in 1993 in protest of Armenias occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and the adjacent territory. The dispute is not formally linked with the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation process but Turkish leaders have repeatedly assured Azerbaijan that the border with Armenia will not be opened unless the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute is resolved.

    Subtitle: Response to the EU

    Meanwhile, Ankara criticized the European Union, which has linked Turkish-Armenian relations with Ankaras bid to join the 27-nation bloc. In a statement on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin said Turkey was committed to the normalization of its ties with Armenia as part of its vision for regional peace and stability. Turkey does not need to be reminded of this mission that it has [willingly] undertaken, he said.

    Good relations with neighbors are very important in the framework of any countrys entry to the European Union, EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule was quoted as saying by Armenian media on Tuesday during a visit to Yerevan.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news (07.04.10) reported the following from Paris:

    The Turkish Prime Minister said on Wednesday that Turkey would not step back regarding the protocols it signed with Armenia in Switzerland.

    Replying to questions of reporters following his gathering with CEOs of leading French companies in Paris, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan revealed the content of the letter he sent to Armenian President Serzh Sargsian by a special envoy today.

    This is what I can say about the main theme of the letter: Turkey believes in the principle of 'pacta sund servanda' and it is determined to act in accordance to that. Therefore, we will always show commitment to the signatures we have put down in Switzerland. Unless there are extraordinary circumstances, we will not step back, he said.

    Erdogan said both Turkey and Armenia should fulfill their responsibilities and be loyal to each other.

    Pointing to the importance of carrying out the process through a history commission, Erdogan said, Turkey is ready to do all the necessary things on such a matter, however, this cannot be done through the lobbies formed in the parliaments of various countries. On the contrary, it will make the process more complicated.

    Upon a question on whether he would meet with Sargsian in Washington D.C., Erdogan said, As you know, I sent my special envoy to Mr. Sargsian today. I have a letter for him. I will make an assessment once I get some results. I have a positive approach, but I will make my final decision after my envoy returns.

    [12] Turkeys Permanent Envoy to the EU elected as Chairman of Energy Charter Conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.04.10) reported the following from Brussels:

    A Turkish diplomat has been unanimously elected as the new chairman of the Energy Charter Conference.

    Turkey's Permanent Envoy to the European Union Selim Kuneralp will replace Takekazu Kawamura of Japan who has been acting as chairman of the conference since January 1, 2007.

    As an inter-governmental organization, the Energy Charter Conference is the governing and decision-making body for the Energy Charter process, and was established by the 1994 Energy Charter Treaty.

    There are 52 member-states and 24 observer countries to the Energy Charter Conference. Turkey became a member of the Energy Charter Conference on December 17, 1994.

    [13] Turkish Parliament makes changes in the legislation on elections and allows propaganda in languages other than Turkish

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.04.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    The draft law on elections allowing propaganda in languages other than Turkish was adopted in the parliament on Thursday. The law, which makes a series of changes in the legislation on elections, was proposed by Justice and Development (AK) Party Deputy Haluk Ipek.

    The law designated Turkish as the primary language for propaganda, however foreseeing no legal action against use of other languages.

    With the new law:

    The top 4 political parties which receive the highest number of votes, and political parties holding a group in the parliament, will be allowed to send one full and one alternate member to the Supreme Board of Elections.

    The candidates or officials of political parties separately or together will be able to attend panel discussions, debates, or give interviews on TV and radio stations from the beginning of elections until 24 hours before the voting begins.

    Political parties and independent candidates will also be able to make written and oral, and audio visual propaganda on daily newspapers and the internet through ads until the end of the allowed propaganda time.

    Sending propaganda emails, sms and voice messages to voters is prohibited.

    In the last ten days before the voting, broadcast of opinion polls or projections on election results, aiming to change the opinion of voters are prohibited.

    The broadcasts before this deadline are required to stick to principles of impartiality and accuracy. The broadcasters are required to declare the specifics of the opinion polls and surveys like, the number of participants, by whom it was carried out or funded.

    Wooden ballot boxes will be replaced by transparent boxes made of durable plastic.

    Votes will be counted out loud twice by the chairman of each ballot box council. In case of contradiction between the two counts votes will be counted for a third time.

    During the addition of results from ballot box councils at the District Election Councils, a copy of the results will be given to representatives of political parties.

    [14] Retires officers, among them a former secretary-general of MGK, arrested in connection to the Sledgehammer case

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (08.04.10) reports the following:

    Retired Gen. Sukru Sariisik, a former secretary-general of the National Security Council (MGK), and two other retired officers have been arrested along with retired Gen. Suha Tanyeri, who was released last week by a judge, as part of a probe into an alleged military plot to overthrow the government.

    Retired Gen. Sariiskik, retired Gen. Nuri Ali Karababa and retired Col. Mumtaz Can were detained on Monday in the context of the investigation into the Sledgehammer (Balyoz) coup plot, which allegedly sought to undermine the government to prepare the ground for a military takeover. They were referred to court on Tuesday after their interrogation by the police and then arrested. Retired Capt. Mehmet Ulutas, who was also referred to court, was not arrested. The three retired officers were sent to Metris Prison yesterday.

    The interrogation of fourteen retired officers who were detained during Monday's operations is under way at the Istanbul Police Department. A group of suspects was also brought to a courthouse yesterday and submitted to medical examination.

    The National Police Department detained the fourteen in raids on Monday conducted at various locations as part of the Sledgehammer probe. Mondays Sledgehammer probe operations were suspended in the evening, when two prosecutors overseeing the probe were taken off the case on the orders of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin. Engin also removed another prosecutor from the case on Tuesday.

    Retired Gen. Suha Tanyeri was also rearrested yesterday as part of the investigation after last weeks ruling by a judge to release him was later rescinded by a panel of judges at the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court. Retired Gen. Tanyeri is remembered for his participation in a controversial meeting of the Hudson Institute, a neoconservative pro-Bush administration US think tank, in 2007. In the meeting, participants had discussed the outcomes of possible scenarios in Turkey, including increased terrorist attacks killing 50 people in Istanbul and the assassination of the former head of the Constitutional Court, Tulay Tugcu, by a suicide bomber. Tanyeri was the director of the Turkish General Staffs Strategic Research and Study Center (SAREM) at the time.

    Tanyeri and eighteen other suspects were released last Thursday by Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court judge Oktay Kuban due to the nonexistence of serious doubt regarding the crime.

    A panel of judges at the Istanbul 12th High Criminal Court ordered the rearrest of these 19 suspects in addition to the arrest of Gen. Yurdaer Olcan and Gen. Abdullah Dalay, who were released by Kuban earlier this month without having been arrested.

    Nine suspects, including seven active duty military officers, were rearrested on Tuesday and two were rearrested on Monday. With Tanyeris arrest, thirteen of the nineteen have so far been rearrested.

    According to the Sledgehammer plot, made public by a newspaper in January, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) had a systematic plan to create chaos in society by bombing mosques and attacking popular museums with Molotov cocktails. The attacks desired result was to increase pressure on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government for failing to provide security to its citizens. The attacks were to eventually lead to a military coup. The plan was drawn up in 2003 and discussed at a seminar held at the General Staffs Selimiye barracks in March of that year.

    The Sledgehammer plan was included in the third indictment prepared in the investigation into Ergenekon, a clandestine network charged with plotting to overthrow the government. The prosecutors are now questioning the 24 generals who attended the seminar.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] Joost Lagendijk says the approval of the Direct Trade Regulation by the EP cannot be prevented

    Under the title Good news from Brussels on Cyprus, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (08.04.10) reports that in an article published yesterday in Turkish daily Radikal newspaper, Joost Lagendijk, co-chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee between Turkey and the European Union, commented on the forthcoming illegal elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and the Direct Trade Regulation with the Turkish Cypriots which is expected to be discussed at the European Parliament (EP). He expressed the following views:

    With the upcoming presidential elections in Cyprus on April 18, all attention from now on will probably focus on the repercussions of the results at the ballot box. What will happen when Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu, wins? He is known for his opposition to a federal solution that is championed by Mehmet Ali Talat, the incumbent president, the Greek Cypriots and, not unimportantly, by the Turkish government. Will Eroglu put an end, slowly but determinedly, to the ongoing negotiations between the two communities? And will Ankara try to stop him from doing so, realizing that a continuation of the status quo on the island presents an enormous road block on Turkeys path to the European Union?

    In the meantime, there is a very interesting development in Brussels that could directly impact this whole process. A few months ago, the Lisbon Treaty entered into force. It contains the new rules of the game inside the EU. One of the important changes compared to the previous norms, is that, from now on, all trade agreements will be decided together by the EU member states and the European Parliament, or EP. Until now EU countries could take this kind of decisions without the approval of the EP. Even more importantly, when the EU concluded trade agreements with third countries, all member states had to agree on it, meaning that each country had a veto. So what, you may wonder?

    How do these internal EU rules influence the situation on Cyprus?

    Do you remember the promise made by the EU in 2004 to end the isolation of northern Cyprus by allowing direct trade between the Turkish part of the island and the member states of the EU? It was meant as a reward for the Yes-vote to the Annan-plan by the Turkish Cypriots. Unfortunately, the EU was not able to deliver on that promise because the Greek Cypriots used their presence at the EU table to block the adoption of the trade agreement. The proposal is still there, it was never withdrawn but politically it was dead because of the Cypriot determination to use their veto.

    But that is no longer possible under the new rules of the Lisbon Treaty. Trade agreements have to receive the approval of the majority in the EP and of a so-called qualified majority (that means, roughly speaking, a two-third majority) among the EU member states. All pending trade agreements, including the free trade proposal with northern Cyprus, have automatically been transferred to this new decision mechanism.

    Soon, the EP will have to take its decision on the plan. In a parallel process, the EU member states will have to express their views in favour or against this.

    Subtitle: The Cypriot officials have lost their temper

    They accuse the new commissioner, Stephan Fule, of exerting pressure on this. He is clearly happy with this development but it is not something he initiated. It simply follows from the implementation of the new treaty. I am sure the Cypriot government and the Cypriot members of the EP will, again, do everything to stop this process. They realize that they cannot hide behind procedures any longer and that the time has come for the EP and the EU member states to make up their mind on the merits of the proposal.

    When it comes to a vote, Cyprus, even with the support of countries like France and Austria, cannot prevent the adoption of this agreement that would allow northern Cypriot companies to export directly, without interference from the Greek Cypriots, to the rest of Europe. When adopted, the Turkish government, that always made the link, could open its harbours and ports to Cypriot planes and vessels. If that happens, the EU-Turkey negotiations, that run the risk of getting stuck soon, will get a new boost.

    Lets see what happens on April 18. But lets keep our eyes on Brussels as well.

    [16] From the Turkish Press of 07 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 07 April 2010:

    a) Constitutional reform package amendments:

    Viewing the "one-way road" the Justice and Development Party, AKP, has embarked on with the constitutional amendment package in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli details the minefield the AKP will apparently be passing through in the process such as a Republican People's Party, CHP, appeal to the Constitutional Court for the annulment of the amendment package for some reason and a possible demand for the closure of the AKP.

    Assessing the conditions set by CHP leader Baykal to extend his support to the amendment package in an article in Vatan, Bilal Cetin says that the three problematic articles that Baykal wishes to separate from the package, namely the ones regarding the structures of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, HSYK, and the Constitutional Court and the closure of parties, are actually the fundamental arrangements that Prime Minister Erdogan wants to implement. Describing these three articles as the real essence of the package, Cetin argues that without these three articles the amendment package has no meaning as far as the AKP is concerned. It is impossible for Erdogan to view this proposal in a positive light, writes Cetin, adding that this is the reason why Baykal has appealed to the president and not to Erdogan to separate the articles from the package. The chances of the president accepting this proposal are very weak, according to Cetin who underlines that in the event the president responds positively he will be the target of the wrath of Erdogan as well as of the AKP.

    In an article entitled "CHP's prerequisite for support", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal discusses whether the main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, might have a hidden agenda in pledging to support the constitutional amendment package on the condition that President Gul puts only three of the proposed amendments to referendum. Questioning the motives behind this suggestion, Unal asserts that there are no guarantees that if the proposal is accepted, the CHP will not file an appeal with the Constitutional Court against the package while Turkey is preparing to hold a referendum on the amendments in question.

    b) Sledgehammer investigation:

    Holding the government responsible for creating a dispute within the judiciary under the pretext of instituting reforms in an article in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi goes on to criticize the Justice Ministry for failing to take any action against the Office of the Chief Prosecutor for leaking secret documents and information regarding the Ergenekon investigation. Maintaining that certain prosecutors have entered a race of who will arrest the highest ranking general, Eksi accuses the Justice Minister of protecting those who fail to fulfill their duties instead of safeguarding justice and equity.

    In an article entitled "A 'friend' from the General Staff", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven relates the particulars of a meeting with "an acquaintance or rather a friend (because he is a practicing Muslim) at the General Staff," who gave him "the regards of a very high-level officer," told him that his articles on Cyprus particularly are appreciated by the military, and asked Vakitto do what it can to enhance public awareness about Israel's "expansionist" designs on Turkey, Cyprus, and northern Iraq. Arseven asserts that Vakithas been warning of Israel's expansionist policies for years and that the Turkish General Staff should "put its own house in order" by purging the army of elements affiliated with the Ergenekon network before seeking Vakit's support against "Zionism."

    c) Turkish foreign relations:

    Viewing the current state of Turkish-US relations in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz assumes that Ankara must have received certain assurances from the US Administration that President Obama will not refer to the 1915 incidents as genocide in his 24 April address since ambassador Tan is being returned to Washington. Assessing Prime Minister Erdogan's decision to participate in the nuclear summit in the United States after all, Idiz argues that the decision not to attend the summit was wrong in the first place and Erdogan was forced to take a step back. Underlining that Erdogan will be subject to a tough diplomatic test during his Washington visit, Idiz wonders how he will manage to continue to be the advocate of Iran in the light of the recent developments. Referring to the possibility of an Obama-Erdogan-Sargsyan summit during Erdogan's Washington visit, Idiz maintains that Turkey will be asked not to link the endorsement of the protocols to the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.

    Turkey's vacillating foreign policy has been marketed as an independent foreign policy targeting zero problems with its neighbors, writes Cuneyt Ulsever in an article in Hurriyet, arguing that, however, this policy is incompatible with realpolitik. Enumerating the problematic US demands from Turkey such as the opening of the border with Armenia, support for sanctions against Iran, the use of the Incirlik Base during US troop withdrawal from Iraq, and the help of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, to fill in the vacuum if necessary, Ulsever argues that Turkey's dream of obtaining concessions from the United States has been replaced with the hope of preventing another US salvo on 24 April.

    We should underline the fact that there is considerable discord among the leaders in Ankara regarding Iran's nuclear intentions, writes Sedat Ergin in an article in Hurriyet. Quoting Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul on the issue, Ergin points out that there is a different tone and line in the Gul front regarding Iran's nuclear program. Now that the United States is about to muster the support of China with regards to the sanctions it wants to impose on Iran, all attention is turn to the vote Turkey will be casting on the issue at the UN Security Council, notes Ergin, wondering whether Erdogan's stand is in Turkey's national interests.

    Turkey's opposition to new sanctions against Iran has created a very serious problem between Turkey and its allies, writes Erdal Safak in an article in Sabah, adding: "This is the reason why relations with the United States became tense. This issue has also played a certain part in the stagnation experienced in the EU process." Welcoming Erdogan's approach of trying to resolve the issue through diplomacy and not through sanctions, Safak argues that by preventing the isolation of Iran, Turkey is actually doing the West a favor because according to the European Gas Security report prepared by the Strategic Analysis Center based in Paris, Qatar and Iran should be included as suppliers in the Nabucco Project. In conclusion, Safak writes: "Turkey, by keeping the Iran door open and by preventing the full isolation of this country, is, singlehandedly, laying the foundations of this infrastructure for the EU."

    d) Tension with Israel:

    In an article entitled "You will have to eat crow", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul slams Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman's remarks comparing Prime Minister Erdogan to the Libyan and Venezuelan leaders as a new example of fanaticism by an Israeli politician who called for "nuclear genocide" against the Palestinian people some time ago. He also argues that Lieberman's "unseemly" remarks reflect Israel's annoyance and concern at the way Turkey has for some time been building "transnational partnerships" with neighbors like Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, broadening its area of influence, and acting like a major regional and global player.

    In an article entitled "What did Lieberman mean?", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes Avigdor Lieberman for his latest remarks against Prime Minister Erdogan. He argues that led by "blundering" politicians like Lieberman, Israel is not only alienating Turkey but also becoming increasingly isolated from the international community. He cites US President Barack Obama's "inhospitable" treatment of Netanyahu during the latter's recent visit to the White House as an example of how world leaders have for some time been withdrawing their support for Israel. He also asks Lieberman what he meant by saying that Turkey cannot solve its Kurdish issue.

    In an article entitled "Is Israel Training Kurds?", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil poses the question whether "rumors" that Israeli military and intelligence units are "training Kurdish commandoes in guerilla warfare and anti-terror tactics" in northern Iraq might be partly responsible for Turkey's recent "cold" attitude toward Israel.

    e) Kurdish issue:

    Referring to the prosecution of those who arrived from Qandil in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar states that a perfect opportunity on the path to disarmament and on eliminating the dimension of violence from the Kurdish issue has been lost. Recalling that many former Democratic Society Party, DTP, officials have been detained or arrested within the framework of the operations conducted against the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan, KCK, Candar focuses on the remarks made by Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, Selahattin Demirtas that the BDP deputies will form a human shield in front of the tanks that are preparing to launch an operation on Cudi Mountain. If weapons begin to speak in the southeast and Turkey's political climate is further poisoned it will not be the AKP that favors constitutional amendments that will benefit from the developments, writes Candar, arguing that it will be those who are preoccupied with "coup plans" and who want to topple the AKP who will benefit from them. Commenting on the remarks made by Erdogan that the AKP will bargain with no one with regard to the constitutional amendments, Candar questions what is wrong with bargaining, arguing that bargaining is a requirement of politics. He adds: "When you commit yourself by saying that 'we will not bargain' you are actually making a 'declaration' that 'you will not engage in politics.'" Candar wonders whether we prefer an atmosphere in which those in Qandil will be disarmed and political prisoners will be released or whether we opt for an atmosphere of clashes, operations, and the imprisonment of more Kurdish politicians.

    EG/


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