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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 64/10 09.04.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Cicek reveals Ankaras intentions: The solution in Cyprus is not going to last for everIllegal Bayrak television (08.04.10) broadcast the following:
The Turkish Minister of State, responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Cemil Cicek, has said that Ankara was committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the Cyprus problem regardless of who won the Presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In an interview with the Reuters news agency, Mr Cicek complained that some EU countries were using the Cyprus problem to prevent Turkeys membership to the Block. It is time the Europeans also began behaving ethically, he added.
Mr Cicek also denounced the EU for isolating the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, describing it as being like an open prison and said that the Greek Cypriots were spoiling chances of a political settlement.
He repeated that Turkey would open its ports to the Greek Cypriot traffic if the EU simultaneously ends its isolation of the TRNC.
He went on to voice concern that the Greek Cypriot side could use the outcome of the vote to further delay a solution. This solution is not going to last forever, another five to ten years, because we are now fed up with the ploys of the Greek Cypriots, he said.
 Talat says that none Turkish settler will be sent back to Turkey in case of a solution, while Eroglu reiterates his vision over the establishment of a new partnership state in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (08.04.10) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the perception of the world and Europe towards the Turks of Cyprus has been changed and important gains have been achieved thanks to the policies pursued in cooperation with Turkey. As part of his election campaign, President Talat visited the Dipkarpaz [occupied Rizokarpaso] village yesterday where he chatted with local people.Stating that he hit the road with the slogan the past or the world, he said that the Greek Cypriot side became an EU member before the solution of the Cyprus problem because of the wrong policies pursued in 2002 and 2003.
Noting that important gains were achieved as result of the policies pursued in cooperation with Turkey, he said the European Court of Human Rights ruling concerning the Immovable Property Commission and the decision to bring the Direct Trade Regulation back to the agenda of the European Parliament were the results of these rationalist policies.
Pointing out that those living in the village are mainly Turkish originated citizens, Mr Talat said none of the Turkish originated citizens will be sent back to Turkey in case of a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (08.04.10) broadcast the following:
The leader of the governing National Unity Party (UBP), prime minister Dervis Eroglu has said that he will be defending the rights of the Cyprus Turkish people at the negotiating table. I am running for President in order to serve the TRNC state and to strengthen its foundations, Eroglu said while addressing a large crowd of his supporters during an election rally in the Degirmenlik [occupied Kythrea] village.
The premier said that he was guaranteeing everyone an honourable existence under the security of the TRNC, one with a strong economy. Responding to criticisms from president Talat that he lacks the necessary vision to become president, the UBP candidate pointed out that it was actually Talat who lacked a vision on solving the Cyprus problem.
Accusing Talat of being weak at the talks and of giving concessions to the Greek Cypriot side, Eroglu said that he will face the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias as a strong leader, one that will safeguard peoples interests and will not allow the watering down of the principle of bi-zonality or Turkeys active and effective guarantee. We want a new partnership based on political equality, he added.
 Statements by Talat to Istanbul 24TV: Policies are developed in cooperation with Turkey, no concessions and no acceptance of single sovereignty and single citizenship were made by the Turkish Cypriot sideIstanbul 24TV (07.04.10) broadcast a program entitled "Open Mind", moderated by Mustafa Karaalioglu. Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat; Sabah writer Mahmut Ovur; Havadis chief editor Basaran Duzgun; and Havadis writer Dervis Dogan participated in the program that was broadcast from occupied Cyprus and that viewed the so-called presidential elections that will be held on 18 April, 2010. Following is a summary of the statements made by Mehmet Ali Talat during the program:
Urged to comment on his election campaign, Talat refers to his latest election rallies in the region populated by those who had migrated from Turkey and, drawing attention to the reports to the effect that if peace is brought about, these persons will be sent back to Turkey, underlines that these reports do not reflect reality. We develop our policies in cooperation with Turkey and we have never turned the migrants from Turkey into a bargaining issue, asserts Talat and describes the rumours in this regard as manipulation.
Duzgun describes the presidential elections as a referendum on the Cyprus problem and complains that the candidates refuse to talk about their programs on the media organs. Karaalioglu explains to the viewers that Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu refuses to participate in television programs together with the other candidates. In response, Talat lists the programs in which Eroglu has rejected to participate and continues: If he does not want or if he is not able to discuss his policies with me, he either does not have any policies, or his policies are very awkward and meaningless, or they run counter to the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey... If he cannot talk to me about his policies, how will he defend our cause at the negotiation table? The president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is not merely a president. He is also the leader of a community in the UN-led peace talks.
In the second part of the program Duzgun asks Talat what kind of concessions were made by the Turkish side in the talks with the Greek Cypriot side. We have not made any concessions in these talks and we have drawn up our policies together with Turkey, answers Talat and, referring to the rumors to the effect that he has agreed to single sovereignty and single citizenship in the island, says: I have not accepted single sovereignty or single citizenship. This is a UN parameter and each leader who agrees to sit at the negotiation table has to primarily accept this parameter. He who does not accept this cannot sit at the table. Recalling that Rauf Denktas had also conducted talks on the basis of this parameter, Talat states that the Turkish Cypriot side announced that it has accepted this parameter in principle and that the details of the implementation of this principle will be taken up in the negotiations.
Urged to comment on what the TRNC has gained during his leadership, Talat stresses that Turkish Cypriots have gained a more respectable status in the international arena during the past five years. Furthermore world leaders have begun to invite, to talk to, and to praise the Turkish Cypriot leader, explains Talat and draws attention to the latest ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that has maintained that the Immovable Property Committee in north Cyprus is authorized to resolve property issues.
In the third part of the program, Talat asserts that the ECHR decision has revived the real estate market in the northern part of the island. Recalling the embargo imposed by the EU on the exports from northern Cyprus in 1994, Talat also notes that the European Parliament will take up direct trade with north Cyprus on 19 April due to the pro-peace policy pursued by the Turkish Cypriot side.
Once again referring to the reports on Turkish Cypriot citizens who migrated from Turkey, Talat emphasizes that despite the fact the Greek Cypriot side proposed to place a quota of 50,000 people for the citizenship of those who were not born in north Cyprus, they have never agreed to conduct bargains on this issue. We announced that all our citizens will also become citizens of the new state, says Talat and adds: We merely accepted to hold a census on the day that the solution will come into effect.
Drawing attention to the fact that the Turkish Cypriots have lost faith in the peace talks, Karaalioglu asks Talat whether he puts the blame for this on the EU. At this point Duzgun recalls that US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, has recently called Talat and has congratulated him for his peace efforts. It is certainly unusual for the US Secretary of State to call the TRNC president and to congratulate him, maintains Duzgun and says: Nonetheless one wonders why she called on the eve of the elections and whether this call is not eyewash. In answer Talat explains that Secretary Clinton called following the joint statement that he issued together with Christofias to the effect that serious progress has been made in the talks. Reporting that he has also been calling EU leaders in order to request support for the direct trade regulation that will be taken up by the European Parliament, Talat notes: What is important is not that they call us or that they congratulate us, but the existence of such contacts.
As for the disappointment felt by the Turkish Cypriots regarding the EU's decision not to remove the isolation imposed on north Cyprus, Talat admits that he is also very angry with the fact that the EU has not carried its promises to the Turkish Cypriots. However all the positive steps that the EU intended to take in north Cyprus have been blocked by the Greek Cypriots, says Talat and accuses Denktas and Eroglu for pursuing policies that have prepared the grounds for the membership of the Greek Cypriots in the EU. Despite their disappointment, the Turkish Cypriots have not given up their Europe perspective, stresses Talat. Russia, which had announced following the referendum in 2004 that the isolation imposed on northern Cyprus should be lifted, has also disappointed us by extending unprecedented support to the Greek Cypriot side, points out Talat and says: Despite our anger, however, we continue to be in contact with Russia because we have no other choice. Talat also talks about the Russian delegation that is currently visiting the north of the island.
Asked whether he intends to brief the public on the developments in the peace talks, Talat reports that the United Nations has requested from the sides to avoid briefing the press on this issue. Complying with this call, we have refrained from briefing the press, but the other side has constantly leaked information in order to manipulate us, notes Talat, adding: This way, they checked whether we would react to the leaked information. If we would fail to react, they would have been able to turn certain issues to accomplished facts in the future. Negotiations are not merely conducted at the table. I therefore say that the person who will sit at the table should be very familiar with the problems and should be able to hold serious debates. This is why I criticize Mr Dervis... It is true that Mr Denktas had also conducted negotiations for many years and it is true that if elected Mr Eroglu will continue to hold talks, but we are talking about a different vision. [If they are in charge of the talks] the world will continue to put the blame on the Turkish Cypriot side. If you do not have a solution vision, you cannot conduct negotiations. If you attempt to hold talks without a solution vision, you will certainly reach a deadlock and when you do, everyone will put the blame on you.
Refusing to comment on the poll results, Talat asserts that despite his successful policies Eroglu has received the support of the people due the people's disappointment with the developments following the 2004 referendum, with the fact that the EU and the United States have not taken any steps for the lifting of the isolations, with the steps taken by Papadopoulos, and with the fact that Christofias speaks nonsense from time to time. All this has created doubts about a solution, points out Talat and notes: Given that I am a leader who has been identified with the solution of the Cyprus issue, their disappointment moves the people away from me. This is something psychological. The honourable Eroglu is aware of this and therefore, despite our statements on the progress made in the talks, he insists on announcing that no progress has been made. Drawing attention to the difficulties created by Eroglu in the opening of the Nicosia crossing point, Talat says: Mr Dervis is a man of non-solution. If there are reports to the effect that problems are being created in the opening of the Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] crossing point, he has nothing to lose. Nonetheless these problems will adversely affect the negotiations that I am conducting.
Emphasizing that he is hopeful about the solution of the Cyprus issue, Talat recalls President Christofias's statement to the effect that if the problem is not resolved by the Greek Cypriot presidential elections in 2013, he will not submit his candidacy. Talat says: If he is sincere, the problem should be resolved by the middle of 2011. Otherwise it will be very difficult to make progress until 2013, because the Greek Cypriot side adopts more nationalist views during election processes... Christofias and I agreed to take up all the issues immediately after the elections and to try to resolve the differences. The Greek Cypriot side is waiting for the results of the elections in order to decide how to continue with the talks. If the honourable Eroglu wins, the talks will end. This is an undisputable fact. This is because Eroglu does not have a solution vision. The talks cannot continue without such a vision." Under such circumstances the blame for the failure of the talks will be put on the Turkish side, argues Talat and says: If I win the elections, the talks will continue in the same format.
Asked what the Turkish Cypriot side will win in case of the failure of the talks, Talat answers: If the talks result in failure and if the Greek Cypriots are responsible for the failure, the gains of the Turkish Cypriots will be ten times higher than their current gains. For example, they will get closer to the world and there will be further cooperation with the world countries. I expect the problem related to direct flights to be resolved. I was told by a high-level UN official that if a solution is not found and if the Greek Cypriots are responsible for this, the efforts to establish a bi-zonal federation will end and t other solution formulas will be sought. In answer to a question, Talat announces that Eroglu is briefed on the issues taken up during the talks in real time and rejects the reports to the effect that he makes concessions during the face-to-face meetings that he holds with the Cypriot president.
Also referring to domestic politics, Talat accuses Serdar Denktas of playing a double game and of speaking ill of Eroglu to him and speaking ill of him to Eroglu.
Urged to comment on what Turkey and the TRNC will lose if he is not elected, Talat repeats that he has drawn up his policies in cooperation with Turkey and stresses that Eroglu opposes these policies. Therefore if I lose and if the honourable Eroglu becomes president, these policies will collapse, underlines Talat and adds that under such circumstances north Cyprus will go back to the period prior to 2002, when a government that made efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem was established in Turkey. I merely aim to make progress with the joint policy that we have drawn up and this policy is based on the vision of seeking peace, says Talat and continues: If I lose, this vision will be lost and with the loss of this vision we will go back to our former position, we will be blamed as we had been blamed in the past, the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots will intensify, the ECHR's latest decision will be changed, direct trade will become a dream, Turkey's EU process will encounter difficulties, and problems will arise in Turkey's international ties.
In the last part of the program, Talat announces that after he wins the elections he will also try to resolve certain domestic problems that the government fails to resolve. Emphasizing that it is time to adopt the presidential system in north Cyprus, Talat says: I think that we have reached that maturity level. Also speaking about the pressure imposed by the nationalist sectors and the Eroglu government on those who support him, Talat argues that certain people who are employed by private companies have been fired for this reason. The government threatens these governments, explains Talat.
Asked to estimate the election results, Talat notes that the elections will be finalized in the first round and that he will receive the majority of the votes. There are two reasons for this, says Talat and adds: The first is that the honourable Eroglu has not announced any policies because he does not have any policies and the second is he refuses to hold debates with me and to explain his policies. And the people are aware of this."
 Nami says they should send a team to Brussels to work for the implementation of the Direct Trade RegulationTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (09.04.10) reports that Ozdil Nami, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader and responsible for the relations with the UN and the EU, has said that the Turkish side should send a team to Brussels to work for the implementation of EUs Direct Trade Regulation with the Turkish Cypriots. In statements to ART television, Mr Nami described as surprising development the fact that the Direct Trade Regulation has come on the agenda. He said:
The Regulation has been sent to the Parliament. We will see the result, but we will be working while doing it, we will not sit doing nothing. In spite of all our obligations here, we should send a team to Brussels, because the Greek Cypriots started working in the Parliament for getting rid of this regulation. We should carry out more active efforts than they do. I think that the efforts of south Cyprus to oppose to the issues which could be in our favor are natural... We could not leave the table because they exert such negative efforts
Referring to the illegal elections of 18 April in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Mr Nami said that the results will show whether the Turkish Cypriots will use the window of opportunity for the solution of the Cyprus problem or they will take another road which will negatively influence Turkey as well.
Referring to the issue of the cross voting, Mr Nami said they have taken up this issue in the 4 January 2010 package they prepared in consultation with Turkey. He noted that the Annan Plan provided for an indirect cross voting and now the proposal is for this right to be used by the people directly. He said they have not yet accepted the cross voting and added that they told the Greek Cypriot side that they could accept this issue with some adjustments, if the Greek Cypriot side comes closer to some positions of the Turkish side on other issues.
Mr Nami said that the single sovereignty and single citizenship is provided for in the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and added that Mr Talat made the Greek Cypriot side to accept for the first time that a Turkish constituent state will exist on the island with the solution.
Referring to the issue of the illegal Turkish settlers, Mr Nami said that their position on evaluating their citizens according to their origin is very clear and added that they explained this position both to the UN and the Greek Cypriot side. We will not make discriminations among the TRNC citizens, no one can demand from us such a thing, we said, he noted and added: Together with the solution everybody will become citizens of the new state. When these issues were discussed both sides gave the number of the persons to whom they granted citizenship and conveyed to each other the composition of these. In these numbers the Greek Cypriots saw that the number of our citizens was around 225 thousands. Therefore, no practice was implemented during all these years for changing the one to four proportion of population as they were concerned
 The chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce calls for the implementation of the Direct Trade RegulationTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.04.10) reports that the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Gunay Cerkez, stated that the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem must continue and added that the gap between the economies of the occupation regime and the Republic of Cyprus must be decreased in order for the solution to be sustainable. Mr Cerkez made these statements during a visit of a delegation of the Chamber to Izmirs Chamber of Commerce.
Referring to the issue of the direct trade of the EU with the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Cerkez stated that Egemen Bagis, Turkish Chief Negotiator with the EU, very often says that Turkey will open its ports and airports to the vessels of the Republic of Cyprus when the EU passes the Direct Trade Regulation. He added, however, that the opening of the Turkish ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot vessels will not have an equal value with the direct trade. He said that they share the same views with Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and that the opening of the ports must happen simultaneously. Then the embargoes will be lifted, he stated.
He further noted that the trade between the occupied and the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus decreased from seven million Euro to six million Euro in 2009. The economy of Cyprus could not be strengthened with these numbers. That is why the European Parliament should implement the Direct Trade Regulation the sooner, he alleged.
 The remains of 62 missing persons were found by the Committee on Missing Persons in the first three months of 2010Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (09.04.10) reports that according to the Committee on Missing Persons the remains of 62 missing persons were found during the first three months of 2010. The paper writes that since 2007 when the works of the Committee started, the remains of 649 persons were found. From them, the identity of 217 persons was determined, 166 of whom are Greek Cypriots and 51 are Turkish Cypriots.
 Tatar says a decrease is observed in the purchases of the Turkish Cypriots from the free areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.10) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance, has said that a decrease is observed in the purchases of the Turkish Cypriots from the free areas of Cyprus.
In statements yesterday in occupied Lefkosia during a meeting with officials of the customs of the breakaway regime, Mr Tatar said that one of aims of the policy of his government is to make life in the occupied areas cheaper and added that when this happens a more viable environment will be created and the investments will increase.
This should be the aim of all of us, he said and noted that the purchases of the Turkish Cypriots from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus have decreased. He added that taking as basis 75 products of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, the prices in the occupied areas are by 10% lower than in the free areas of the Republic.
 Ten thousand tourists from the Netherlands are expected in the occupied areas of Cyprus until NovemberTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.04.10) reports that Corendon company, one of the biggest tour operators in the Netherlands, has started brining tourists to the occupied areas of Cyprus. The paper writes that an airplane of the company brought yesterday the first seventy tourists from the above-mentioned country to the occupied areas of Cyprus through Antalya. The flights will continue once a week every Monday.
Ismail Abidin, director of Akmina Travel Club stated that they held contacts with Corendon tour operator during the past one year and exerted efforts to bring tourists to the occupied areas of Cyprus and break the so-called embargo. He said that in the end they succeeded and noted that their aim is to bring ten thousand tourists from the Netherlands until November 2010 with the flights of Corendon Airlines.
 The Finnish Ambassador to Cyprus and representatives from Swedish and Hungarian embassies attend exhibition in occupied LefkosiaIllegal Bayrak television (08.04.10) broadcast the following:
The Finnish photography artist Erkki Raskinen has opened his exhibition entitled Cyprus-Past at the Art Studio 110, inside the Demak Office Building in [occupied] capital Lefkosia. The exhibition was inaugurated by the Finnish Ambassador Riitta Resch where representatives from Swedish and Hungarian embassies were also present.
In her address at the opening, the Finnish Ambassador expressed the hope that Cyprus peace negotiations will reach success.
In another speech, the Cyprus Turkish painting artist Feridun Isiman, who is a friend of Raskinen and contributed to the opening of the exhibition, said that Raskinens photographs which were taken in Cyprus between 1970-1973 can also be watched in a documentary form.
Raskinen, who served at the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in the past, is the first Finnish artist to open an exhibition in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 Turkey and Greece to establish a high level Strategic Cooperation Council; Erdogan to visit Athens in MayAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Thursday that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would pay a visit to Greece in May.
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Greek Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas in Ankara, Davutoglu said that Erdogan's visit to Greece would take place in mid-May.
We wish Erdogan's visit to Greece would be historical from the perspective of Turkish-Greek relations, Davutoglu said.
Today we have taken a decision to establish a high level strategic cooperation council between Turkey and Greece. The first meeting of the council will take place during Erdogan's visit to Greece, Davutoglu said.
As part of the council, the ministers in charge of the European Union (EU), foreign, economy, energy, environment, interior and education ministers will get together. These ministers will hold consultations with each other until Erdogan's visit to Greece. An agreement on the high level strategic cooperation council between Turkey and Greece will be signed while Erdogan is in Greece, Davutoglu said.
We foresee a comprehensive cooperation with Greece in bilateral relations, relations with the EU, regional issues as well as global issues, Davutoglu said.In order to follow up on our cooperation, Turkish and Greek foreign ministers will meet each other at least twice each year, Davutoglu said.
We also wish to see our prime ministers meet each other at least once in a strategic cooperation meeting, Davutoglu noted. We want to place Turkey-Greece relations on a new paradigm, Davutoglu said.
Through meetings we will be in a position to follow up on decisions taken at the strategic council gatherings. We have taken a decision to constantly hold political consultations among our ministries. We will implement an exchange program for young diplomats so that they can get to know each other better at an early age, Davutoglu said.
Dimitris Droutsas, in his part, said that it was everyone's wish to pull Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Greece to an earlier date. Erdogan's visit to Greece will take place in May, Droutsas said.
Our goal is to correctly evaluate our works to date, to carry these works further and take them to higher levels, Droutsas said. We have made clear our wish to see the relations between the officials of the two countries get closer, Droutsas said. Erdogan's visit to Greece will make great contributions to this wish, Droutsas also said.
 Slovenia extends support to Turkeys EU membership and praises Ankara as a strategic allyAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Slovenian Foreign Minister Samuel Zbogar said on Thursday that his EU-member country strongly supports Turkey's bid to join the Union.
At a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, Zbogar said that this support was not given only by the Slovenian government, but also it was a view of the Slovenian people. He also said that there was a very good cooperation between Turkey and Slovenia.
Zbogar said he was proud to see Turkey as a strategic ally, adding that his country appreciated Turkey's active role in the international arena and impressed by steps taken by Turkey to resolve problems in the region.We are ready to move forward our cooperation, he said.
Davutoglu, on his part, described bilateral relations as perfect, saying the two countries had been working together in several issues regarding the Balkans.
 Details on Erdogans visit to the USAAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.04.10) reported the following from Washington:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will hold bilateral talks with U.S. President Barack Obama and Armenian President Serzh Sargsian during his visit to the United States.
Prime Minister Erdogan is expected to arrive in Washington D.C on April 11 to attend the nuclear security summit on April 12-13.
Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz will accompany the prime minister.
During his stay in the U.S. capital city, Prime Minister Erdogan will give a conference at the George Mason University on the Alliance of Civilizations as a Vision of Global Peace.
Besides U.S. President Obama and Armenian President Sargsian, Prime Minister Erdogan will also hold bilateral talks with leaders of several countries including Brazil, Kazakhstan, China, Ukraine and Russia on the sidelines of the summit.
Turkey-Armenia protocols and the resolution about Armenian allegations are expected to top the agenda of the meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Davutoglu is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Davutoglu will also hold a series of talks.
 An opinion poll shows the power of the ruling AKP to increaseTurkish daily Zaman newspaper (09.04.10) publishes an opinion poll regarding the political parties in Turkey and writes that the reforms package and the improvement in economy that is taking place in Turkey have increased the number of votes for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). The participants in the poll were asked which party they would vote for if elections were held in Turkey next Sunday.
The opinion poll was conducted by ANDY-AR Research Company between 28 March and 4 April 2010 with a sample of 4,637 persons and the distribution of votes is as follows:
Justice and Development Party (AKP): 38.6%
Republican Peoples Party (CHP): 19.4%
Nationalist Action Party (MHP): 16.9%
Turkey Change Movement (TDH): 8.1%
Peace and Democracy Party (BDP): 5.3%
 Turkish court sentences a former MP of the Democracy Part to three years in prisonAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.04.10) reported the following from Diyarbakir:
A Turkish court sentenced on Thursday a former MP of the banned Democracy Party (DEP) to three years in prison.
Diyarbakir Criminal Court sentenced former DEP parliamentarian Leyla Zana to three years of imprisonment on charges of making the propaganda of the terrorist organization in two separate demonstrations.
Leyla Zana did not participate in today's hearing.
Zana delivered a speech during a meeting of the Democratic Society Party (DTP) in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir on September 20-22, 2008. She also spoke in a sit-in-protest in Batikent neighborhood of Ankara on November 1-3, 2008.
Democracy Party, or DEP, was set up in 1991. Leyla Zana, Hatip Dicle, Orhan Dogan, Ahmet Turk and Sirri Sakik, who were members of the People's Labor Party (HEP), joined DEP after HEP was closed.
After MPs took parliament oath in Kurdish instead of Turkish in 1994, DEP MPs immunity was lifted and the MPs were sent to prison. The Constitutional Court closed the DEP on June 16, 1994.
Also, the Constitutional Court decided on December 11, 2009 to shut down Democratic Society Party, or DTP, on charges it has ties with the terrorist organization PKK, and banned 37 DTP members, including chairman Ahmet Turk and MP Aysel Tugluk, from politics for five years.
Founded in 2005, the DTP had 21 seats at the parliament. The party won 2009 local elections in nine provinces (Diyarbakir, Batman, Hakkari, Igdir, Siirt, Sirnak, Tunceli, Bingol and Van).
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 08 April 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 08 April 2010:
a) CHPs proposal on the reform of the Constitution:
In a commentary in Milliyet, Guneri Civaoglu refers to the proposal by Deniz Baykal, chairman of the Republican People's Party, CHP, to President Abdullah Gul to separate the constitutional amendment package into two parts -- one comprising the three changes pertaining to the judiciary and the closure of political parties, and one covering the remaining changes. According to Baykal's proposal, the government would submit the first part to a referendum and the CHP would support the second part in parliament. Pointing out that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, failed to respond to this proposal, Civaoglu terms the CHP suggestion as a positive contribution and a "democratic formula," and suggests that the CHP turn it into an official proposal.
Referring to the CHP proposal in a column the same newspaper, Asli Aydintasbas, remarks that the three amendments in question constitute the essential reason behind the introduction of the constitutional amendment package. Therefore, it is unlikely for the AKP to adopt such a proposal, Aydintasbas maintains. She says that this suggestion "puts the government into a difficult position politically, if not legally." Aydintasbas advises Baykal to support the amendment regarding party closures, speculating that in return the government may be forced to display a more conciliatory attitude with regard to the judicial reform.
In an article in Hurriyet, Mehmet Yilmaz lauds Baykal's proposal as the "most participatory and creative proposal" since the onset of the constitutional debate. Yilmaz expresses the view that if the government is really sincere with regard to the constitutional amendment, it should accept this proposal, adding that this is a great opportunity for democratization.
Writing in a column in Vatan, Rusen Cakir argues that Baykal's proposal first of all shows that the CHP has decided to reverse its previous stand and become a party to the process, leaving the Nationalist Action Party alone in the rejectionist camp. Cakir asserts, however, that "it is difficult to say that this change in attitude will be very effective or produce results." He says that it would not be credible to expect Gul to declare a position before a vote is held in parliament. Moreover, Cakir adds, "it would be out of the question for the ruling party to renounce those three articles in the name of fully incorporating the CHP into the process." As we all know well, Cakir states, the AKP conceived the entire package for these three articles, but if the CHP is willing to actually debate these articles at the parliamentary committee, many things can change.
Yasemin Congar of Taraf also comments on Baykal's constitutional amendment proposal, which she calls a "political manoeuvre," and reminds the readers that the three articles in question are "the most crucial and vital" ones in the package, "both for the AKP and in my view." In her article, Congar says that Baykal is afraid of a referendum and wants to avoid appearing to preserve the status quo, at the same time distancing himself from these articles that actually disrupt the status quo.
In an article entitled "If we are against the philosophy of September 12", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru questions the CHP leader Deniz Baykal's recent statement announcing that the CHP will support the latest constitutional amendment package if President Gul puts three of the proposed amendments in the package to referendum. Koru describes the three constitutional articles that the CHP does not want to change, bearing on the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, HSYK, and the closure of political parties, as "the straitjacket into which the architects of the 12 September 1980 coup forced Turkey," adding that the CHP's objection to these articles being amended means that this party does not see anything problematic with the current constitution's perception of the state as a "sacred" entity and the citizens as a potential "threat."
b) Operation Sledgehammer:
In a column in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal comments on the "very interesting developments" pertaining to Operation Sledgehammer, in which two prosecutors decided to detain 95 military personnel, 78 of them in active service, during the course of the past week. These two prosecutors were "unexpectedly" removed from office, Cemal writes, remarking that subsequently only retired officers were detained. According to Cemal, Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Aykut Cengiz Engin's statement that the consequences of detaining so many high-ranking officers in active duty should be carefully evaluated probably led to the dismissal of the two prosecutors and the change in policy. "What about the state of law?" asks Cemal, why are they above the law when retired officers and civilians are being arrested? In terms of justice and the law, this double standard and discrimination is a "disgrace," he charges. Cemal says that the number two suspect in the case, a prosecutor, is in jail, while the number one suspect, who is a general and the commander of the 3d Army, is at large.
Writing in an editorial in Taraf, Ahmet Altan also refers to the Engin's statement regarding the consequences of detaining so many high-ranking officers on active duty, charging that the chief prosecutor must have "halted the operation after having 'well' evaluated the consequences." Criticizing the prosecutor, Altan maintains that this is against the law and the advise to evaluate the consequences of detentions constitutes a double standard that is not applied to other sectors of the society. The prosecutor has actually violated the constitutional provision of equality, Altan further charges.
c) Turkish foreign relations:
In a column in Hurriyet, Sedat Ergin says that "the attitude pursued by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with regard to Iran's nuclear ambitions will act as a litmus test that will shape Turkey's relations with the Western world, especially with the United States, in the period ahead."
Also writing about Iran and Turkey's foreign policy in a commentary in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever argues that Ankara's stance regarding possible sanctions against Iran will serve as another example that the government's foreign policy discourse is nothing but an "academic illusion." Ulsever says that according to the government's discourse of "zero problems with our neighbors, a flexible foreign policy axis, and adopting a stand independent of the United States," Ankara should reject sanctions against Iran. He questions if the government will be able to adopt such an attitude against the United States, or if the issue of sanctions against Iran will be the final stop for our nation to collectively wake up from the "one minute" dream?
Referring to the latest reports that the Armenian parliament may be approving the protocols signed with Turkey and the dispatching of a senior Foreign Ministry official to Yerevan, Yusuf Kanli speculates in a commentary in Hurriyet Daily News.com: "Perhaps, the U.S. is after a move from Ankara regarding making a pledge to open the border with Armenia in the foreseeable future and a signal from Yerevan of its intention to withdraw from the occupied Azerbaijani territory -- the reason of the border closure by Turkey -- helping Turkey to act on the border issue."