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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-14

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. 67/10 14.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat says he is ready to discuss with Eroglu the concessions which he has allegedly made at the negotiating table
  • [02] Eroglu says Talat will cry again at the night of 18 April as he cried during the declaration of the TRNC
  • [03] Eroglu assured the Brits living in the occupied areas that the title deeds of the TRNC will be honoured in a future settlement in Cyprus
  • [04] Talat stated that the foreign policy of Turkey was rescued from the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Talat is giving a cocktail reception for 300 Brits eligible to vote on April 18; The seven candidates will participate in a debate in illegal Bayrak
  • [06] Ercakica says the approval of an agreement which does not include the guarantees is not possible
  • [07] Twenty-eight self-styled mayors to be elected during the illegal local elections of June 27, 2010
  • [08] Ertugruloglu accuses the policies of other candidates
  • [09] The YKP continues its boycott campaign
  • [10] Details on Erdogan-Obamas meeting in Washington; Erdogans statements on the Armenian genocide
  • [11] Erdogan meets Medvedev in Washington
  • [12] Davutoglu holds talks on Iran and Armenia with Clinton and Nalbandian at the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington
  • [13] EPs Socialist group sets in favour of Turkeys EU course and slams armys involvement into politics
  • [14] Turkish Parliament approves an amendment on Constitution
  • [15] Israel denies tension in its bilateral relations with Turkey
  • [16] Kurdish mayor sentenced to ten months in prison because of a photograph
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 13 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat says he is ready to discuss with Eroglu the concessions which he has allegedly made at the negotiating table

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday that he is ready to discuss the concessions he has allegedly made at the negotiating table during a face-to-face debate on television with Dervis Eroglu, self-styled prime minister and candidate for the illegal presidential elections of 18 April 2010 in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Addressing a rally in occupied Keryneia, Mr Talat invited Mr Eroglu to participate in a debate with him on television so that people to see the difference between them. He noted that Mr Eroglu has not accepted this invitation.

    Mr Talat said that his aim is to win the elections from the first round in order to give a strong message to the world that they have not abandoned the target of the solution, peace, friendship and brotherhood.

    Mr Talat said Mr Eroglus vision is not solving the Cyprus problem and leading the Turkish Cypriots to the world and added: We will not surrender to the alliance of Denktas and Eroglu who dispensed with the fight between them in order to re-establish the system based on their own interests.

    Addressing the citizens, Mr Talat said: You have changed the fate, the image of the Turkish Cypriots in the world. You have paved the way of the Republic of Turkey in the process towards the European Union. You have declared that the Turkish Cypriots want to become citizens of the world.

    Meanwhile, Kibris reports also that in statements during a visit to the industrial area of occupied Lefkosia, Mr Talat said that the solution of the Cyprus problem will influence positively the economic life of the people. He noted that the difficulties which the industrialists and the business people are facing could be solved only with the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu says Talat will cry again at the night of 18 April as he cried during the declaration of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.10) reports that Dervis Eroglu, self-styled prime minister and candidate for the illegal presidential elections of 18 April 2010 in the occupied areas of Cyprus, has stated that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will cry again at the night of 18 April 2010 as he cried during the declaration of the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Addressing a rally of his supporters in occupied Morfou last night, Mr Eroglu claimed, inter alia, the following: Talat, who said that he had cried during the declaration of the TRNC, will cry once more at the night of the 18th of April.

    Mr Eroglu expressed the view that the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem have not ended at the time and in the manner they should have ended. He added that the repetition of the negotiations, the content of which Mr Talat has not revealed to the public, would constitute a danger for the TRNC.

    Noting that Mr Talat could not speak about the national cause, Mr Eroglu said: A person who does not defend his own cause, who speaks of a single citizenship and the existence of a single people and who lower his citizens to the level of a community, cannot refer to the national cause.

    Mr Eroglu accused Mr Talat of being afraid to defend their self-determination right in front of President Christofias at the negotiations. Mr Eroglu reiterated that he supports the sovereignty of the TRNC people and added that he will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots at the negotiating table having in mind this principle. Mr Eroglu said that he will sit at the negotiating table in order to get back all the things which Mr Talat gave away and to declare to President Christofias and the world that the Turkish Cypriots are a sovereign people.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Eroglu assured the Brits living in the occupied areas that the title deeds of the TRNC will be honoured in a future settlement in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Today midweek newspaper (14.04.10) reports the following under the title Eroglu: This is your country too:

    Leading presidential candidate Dervis Eroglu, has told expats that they should not have any anxieties or worries if he wins Sundays election.

    Dr Eroglu told about 400 foreign expats that he would protect their rights if he sat down at the negotiating table with Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias.

    The rights of British, Turkish and other nationalities will be safeguarded along with those of Turkish Cypriots during our negotiations, he told the 50-minute meeting, on Monday, at the Pia Bella Hotel in Girne [occupied Keryneia].

    This was in response to a question tabled by Cyprus Today columnist Stephen Day, also vice-chairman of the British Residents Society, which helped organise the meeting.

    He also said that all TRNC title deeds would be honoured in any future settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    It was billed as a question-and-answer session with the prime minister. There were, however, few immediate answers. Dr Eroglu speaking through a translator said specific questions and complaints should be submitted to him in writing for a proper response.

    A list of questions prepared by the BRS [British Residents Society] also went unanswered.

    Dr Eroglu did make a speech, recalling how his father had died in a German prison camp in Crete during World War Two while serving with the Commonwealth forces.

    We Turkish Cypriots welcome you to the TRNC, he added. We should all live in peace and security here. This is also your country. When you move to another country there are inevitably some problems. So long as we are informed of these we will try to help. My office has a well-established unit to deal with the problems of foreigners and Im always prepared to answer your questions.

    Despite the Orams case, we are and will remain the guarantors of your title deeds and we hope you will be satisfied with your life here. Dont let such things as the Orams case disturb you.

    After the speech, the first person to try to ask a question was Bob French, a 67 year-old retired engineer who discovered along with nine other British expats on the same site that his Karsiyaka [occupied Vasilia] bungalow was built on land that had been mortgaged without his knowledge or consent.

    All 10 owners now stand to have their properties auctioned to help pay off defaulted loans taken out in 2005 by Abdurrahman Guney of Kulaksiz Construction, with landowner Yuksel Yilmaz acting as his guarantor for lender Akfinans Bank.

    After beginning to outline the problem by reading from a statement he had brought with him, Mr French was told by BRS chairman Morton Coles to be brief due to limited time.

    We feel our human rights have been violated as we stand to lose our homes through no fault of our own. Please help us in our plight, he concluded.

    One of Dr Eroglus aides, Metin Beyoglu, then took the microphone and said in English that he would deal with the issue if Mr French provided a written submission which was immediately handed over.

    The audience then clustered more closely around Dr Eroglu in an effort to hear what was being said due to microphone problems and frequent exchanges in Turkish between Dr Eroglu, Mr Beyoglu and the translator, who eventually said in English: It is difficult to answer all your questions now but we will look into them after we receive written submissions.

    Despite the request to provide questions in writing for later reply, several others were called out from the audience. On the difficulty experienced by foreigners seeking to become TRNC citizens, Dr Eroglu responded: If we get applications from people who have the right to it, my party will look into granting citizenship.

    One questioner asked how the government intended to solve problems resulting from the expulsion of Gary Robb to face British justice and the collapse of his Aga Construction company, which has left hundreds of expats out of pocket. Nothing has been done so far to help us, said the questioner. We have been left in limbo.

    Dr Eroglu said: This happened before we came to power. The problem is that everything is in Gary Robbs name and we need his signature before we can return the properties to their buyers.

    Before Dr Eroglu and his entourage left to return to the election trail, Mr Coles announced that a meeting would take place between the BRS and Dr Eroglu.

    We will make sure your concerns are addressed at that time, he said.

    [04] Talat stated that the foreign policy of Turkey was rescued from the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (14.04.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat stated that the foreign policy of Turkey was rescued from the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat made these statements during an interview with journalists of Hurriyet who are visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus for the 18th of April 2010 presidential elections. During his interview, Mr Talat referred to the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and to the elections, stating that Ankara did not meddle in the elections in order to support his candidacy.

    Replying to a question whether concessions were made as regards the Cyprus problem, Mr Talat stated that these are accusations against him by Dervis Eroglu and noted that Mr Eroglu is trying to create an atmosphere of victory, saying that he will win the elections. Since 2004 we have produced no decision against the TRNC or against Turkey in the international arena. The foreign policy of Turkey was rescued from the Cyprus problem. We made no concessions, he stated.

    Mr Talat went on and added that even if an agreement is reached no concessions would be made because there would be two founding states, which will exercise their powers sovereignty and will be internationally recognized. He added that these founding states will be represented abroad and will be included in the diplomatic list. He also said that the Turkish Cypriots will come to a better position than the one they have in the TRNC. There is no solution but there is progress. We did everything we could. And this we have announced. We will continue, he stated and added that there are benefits for them in this process which should not be underestimated. Could the decision of the European Court of Humans rights have been taken with the old policy?, he asked the journalists.

    Referring to the negotiations, Mr Talat said that if Eroglu is elected President Christofias will leave the negotiations in three days. According to Mr Talat, Mr Eroglu never stated that he will continue the negotiations from the point that Talat left them.

    Replying to another question, Mr Talat stated that the presidential elections are important not only for the Cyprus future, but for Turkeys international relations and Turkeys EU accession course as well. He also stated that there will not be a second round in the elections and he will be the winner. This job will ended in the first round, he stated.

    (CS)

    [05] Talat is giving a cocktail reception for 300 Brits eligible to vote on April 18; The seven candidates will participate in a debate in illegal Bayrak

    Turkish Cypriot Cyprus Today midweek newspaper (14.04.10) reports the following under the title, and drinks are on Mr Talat:

    Mehmet Ali Talat is giving a cocktail reception tomorrow for nearly 300 expats eligible to vote in Sundays presidential elections.

    Independent candidate Mr Talat, who is standing for re-election, will give general information about the current state of the peace talks and will be answering questions at the invitation-only event in Girnes [occupied Keryneia] Dome Hotel from 1p.m.

    Meanwhile, all seven presidential candidates will be taking part in a live show on BRT on Friday from 10p.m.

    This falls short of the debate with Dervis Eroglu called for by Mr Talat. The programme, Secim (Election) 2010, will be hosted by Cem Emre and each speaker has got two chances to make a statement.

    [06] Ercakica says the approval of an agreement which does not include the guarantees is not possible

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.04.10) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has argued that the approval of an agreement which does not include the guarantees of the Turkish Cypriot people is definitely not possible.

    In a written statement issued yesterday regarding the recent visit of the Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, to Cyprus, Mr Ercakica said that the position expressed by the Turkish side on this issue in the negotiations is known and added: According to this, the approval of an agreement, which does not include the existence of the guarantees of the Turkish Cypriot people, is definitely not possible.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Twenty-eight self-styled mayors to be elected during the illegal local elections of June 27, 2010

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.04.10) reports about the illegal local elections that will take place in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on June 27, 2010. According to an announcement made by the so-called Supreme Election Board (YSK), during the illegal local elections of June, 28 mayors, 268 town councillors, 237 mukhtars (head of the villages) and 948 village councillors will be elected. The municipalities in the occupied administrative provinces of Cyprus are as follows: five in Lefkosia, ten in Famagusta, six in Keryneia, two in Morfou and five in Tirkomo.

    As the paper notes, in comparison with the latest illegal local elections in June 2006, the number of the town councillors in the 15 out of the 28 municipality areas raised by 34 members and reached 268.

    (EA)

    [08] Ertugruloglu accuses the policies of other candidates

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (14.04.10) runs on its front page an interview with Tahsin Ertugruloglu, a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. In the interview, Mr Ertugruloglu repeatedly attacked the policies that so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu, Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the Denktas family have been pursuing.

    Regarding his candidacy, Mr Ertugruloglu said: I did not run for Talat to win the elections like some so-called nationalists are accusing me without discussing my vision on the Cyprus problem. In reality, they should look at which candidate harms more the TRNC people. Is it Eroglu who is the reason for the collapse of the public sector due to his policies of the last twenty years, or Talat whose vision is not in any way in line with the TRNC?

    Ertugruloglu also accused Eroglu of not knowing the Cyprus problem very well and that he cannot formulate an argument longer than five or ten stereotyped sentences. He also added that Eroglu is a "zero" in foreign policy

    Referring to Serdar Denktas decision to support Eroglu in the elections, Ertugruloglu said that, in the beginning Serdar Denktas was saying that he would not give his vote to Eroglu, but he later decided that his party - Democratic Party (DP) - will support Eroglu because of personal and family interests. Ertugruloglu also said that he expects to gain votes from DPs support base.

    (DPs)

    [09] The YKP continues its boycott campaign

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.04.10) reports that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) continues its campaign of boycotting the illegal elections which will be held in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on the 18th of April 2010.

    Within the framework of this campaign, the party distributed a leaflet in occupied Lefkosia, Keryneia, Famagusta and Morfou areas calling on the people to boycott the elections.

    Moreover, The YKP organized a concert in occupied Lefkosia under the name look the postman is coming. Slogans such as we revolt against occupation, the YKP is the only choice and end the occupation were shouted during the concert.

    In statements during the activity, Murat Kanatli, secretary of the administrative council of the party, explained why they decided to boycott the elections. We have quickly come to the end of the race of who the new postman will be, said Mr Kanatli pointing out that all candidates say that they are the most pretentious and at the same time compete with each other to get Ankara like them. He noted that they call these elections, elections for the postman, because the duty which the candidates are demanding is carrying the orders, the packages and the proposals of Ankara to occupied Lefkosia. We are saying look the postman is coming and brings the orders of Ankara, noted Mr Kanatli and added: We reject such elections, we are making a call for a boycott in order to organize this reaction.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Details on Erdogan-Obamas meeting in Washington; Erdogans statements on the Armenian genocide

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.10) reported the following from Washington:

    Tuesday's meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama took place in a sincere atmosphere and focused on many issues including Armenia and Iran, diplomats said.

    Sources said that Erdogan gave information to Obama on Turkey's efforts for peace in the Caucasus and Middle East.

    During the meeting, Erdogan and Obama agreed on the necessity for the continuation of talks between Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu and his U.S. counterpart, Hillary Clinton on the Caucasus.

    Prime Minister Erdogan conveyed his thoughts on Iran's nuclear program to President Obama.

    Obama informed Erdogan that the U.S. appreciated Turkey's diplomacy and efforts for peace in the region and requested Turkey's constructive contributions to continue.

    The Erdogan-Obama meeting was scheduled to take place in 15 minutes but lasted 45 minutes.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.04.10) reports the following from Washington:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the necessary messages were given regarding the speech to be delivered by U.S. President Barack Obama on April 24 during his talks in Washington D.C.

    Attending the opening of an exhibition in the U.S. capital, Erdogan replied to questions of reporters on his talks in the USA.

    Upon a question on his expectations from Obama's speech on April 24, Erdogan said, I delivered a statement on this issue before. Personally, I do not expect such a thing. I believe the necessary messages have been mutually taken.

    Noting that he had a 1.5-hour meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsian the other day, Erdogan said the ongoing process between Turkey and Armenia was on the agenda of his talks with Obama as well.

    Commenting on Sargsian's recent remarks in which he stated that Turkey could not use a pre-conditioned language while talking to Armenia, Erdogan said: In addition to the expression 'without pre-conditions', the texts signed by Turkey and Armenia in Zurich also consisted of a very important statement, which was establishment of regional peace.

    Replying to a question on whether the border pass between Turkey and Armenia would be re-opened, Erdogan said the border gate between the two countries had been closed due to Armenia's invasion of Azerbaijani territory in 1993, adding that Turkey's border with Armenia could be opened if a settlement was reached and peace was provided in that region.

    Turkey does not have the intention of forcing the opposite party to accept the records of its memory. But in the same manner, other countries cannot force Turkey to do such a thing either, the Turkish Prime Minister said.

    Regarding the developments concerning Iran, Erdogan said Turkey desired to solve the issue through a diplomatic and democratic way.

    Assessing the Nuclear Security Summit as well, Erdogan said measures to be taken against nuclear terrorism and sanctions to be imposed on such matter were on the agenda of the gathering.

    Upon completing his talks, Erdogan departed from the U.S. capital for Turkey.

    [11] Erdogan meets Medvedev in Washington

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.04.10) reports the following from Washington:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the United States on Tuesday.

    The meeting between Erdogan and Medvedev was held on the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C.

    Earlier in the day, Erdogan also had a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama.

    [12] Davutoglu holds talks on Iran and Armenia with Clinton and Nalbandian at the sidelines of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (13.04.10) reported the following from Washington:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Armenian counterpart Eduard Nalbandian held a bilateral meeting in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday.

    Burak Ozugergin, the spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told the AA that the two ministers had a meeting during lunch on Tuesday within the framework of the Nuclear Security Summit.

    Ozugergin said that Davutoglu's meeting with Nalbandian was a follow-up to the meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Armenian President Serzh Sargsian that took place on Monday.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.04.10) reports the following from Washington:

    Iran and Armenia were on top of the agenda of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's talks in Washington, D.C. during Nuclear Security Summit.

    Davutoglu reaffirmed Turkey's commitment to normalisation process with Armenia and relayed the message that Turkey disapproved sanctions on Iran.

    Davutoglu relayed the message to Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that, Turkey is committed to the process and works on creative ideas to advance the process.

    Clinton gave information to Davutoglu about the developments regarding Minsk process and the two discussed normalisation of Turkey-Armenia relations and reform works in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Davutoglu told Clinton that Azerbaijan should also be invited to the summit and expressed Turkey's target that Armenia issue should be prevented from casting shadow over Turkey's relations with the United States every year.

    Diplomatic sources said Davutoglu and Clinton would meet again on Wednesday.

    Davutoglu and Nalbandian sat side by side during the lunch hosted by U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Upon a joke that, you will solve the problem here, Davutoglu, with a loud voice that could be heard from the other tables, said, we will solve if the third parties do not cast shadow.

    [13] EPs Socialist group sets in favour of Turkeys EU course and slams armys involvement into politics

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.10) reported the following from Brussels:

    Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats (S&D), second-largest group of the European Parliament, said on Tuesday that the army can not protect the secular state and democracy in Turkey, adding that any involvement of the Turkish army in political life is unacceptable and counterproductive.

    Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Deniz Baykal addressed the Socialists at the European Parliament at a closed-doors meeting and answered questions.

    Following the meeting, S&D Group leader Martin Schulz recalled in a statement that Turkey remains officially a candidate for accession to the EU and he said the negotiation process must continue.

    That said, the Turkish authorities must speed up the reform process in order to fully respond to all the Copenhagen criteria, Schulz said. As a candidate country, Turkey must absolutely respect the two fundamental principles of secularism and democracy and we fully expect Mr. Baykal and his party CHP to play a European role in pushing the Turkish authorities in this direction, Schulz said. The army can not protect the secular state and democracy. Any involvement of the Turkish army in political life is unacceptable and counterproductive. This message must be clearly understood by everyone in Turkey, he said.

    Appearing at a news conference after the meeting, Deniz Baykal said he informed the Socialist Group members about CHP's priorities and views on EU. As the government and the opposition, we all have responsibilities to achieve Turkey's EU membership, Baykal said. We are now going through a difficult time regarding Turkey-EU relations. But there are things we can do during this time. My visit comes as part of it, he added.

    [14] Turkish Parliament approves an amendment on Constitution

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.10) reported, inter alia, the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Parliamentary Committee on Constitution approved on Tuesday a constitutional amendment bill prepared by the government.

    Under the by-law, the bill shall be sent to the parliament floor 48 hours after the end of the official working hours of the day it is approved.

    The committee started debating the bill on April 8, under the chairmanship of Justice and Development (AK) Party Istanbul deputy Burhan Kuzu.

    Subtitle: Constitutional amendment bill

    Turkish government's constitutional amendment bill includes 26 articles. The bill envisages amendments to 23 articles of the Constitution, and abolition of the provisional Article 15 of the Constitution.

    It also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker, chief of general staff, and senior commanders by the High Tribunal on charges of crimes they commit regarding their positions.

    According to the bill, the Constitutional Court will consist of 17 permanent members. It actually has 11 permanent and four associate members. Turkish parliament will elect three members in a secret vote, whereas the president will elect ten members from candidates of several state institutions and choose four other himself.

    The Constitutional Court will not be comprised of three chambers, which was an amendment foreseen in the previous bill prepared by the AK Party last week. The bill also limits the term in office of Constitutional Court members. It says members will be elected for 12 years, and no one can be elected to membership twice. Also, citizens can make individual applications to the Constitutional Court.

    The bill will also abolish the ban on right to general strike; paves the way for a citizen to become a member of more than one trade union, and the civil servants and other public officials the right to collective bargaining.

    According to the bill, the Court of Accounts will make the financial audit of political parties.

    A lawsuit to close a political party can only be filed with the votes of two-thirds of a committee to be set up by five members from each political parties represented at the parliament. The lawsuit can be filed under a request of the chief prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals.

    The Constitutional Court will not decide whether or not to close down a political party, but it can only decide whether to partially or to totally deprive a party of state assistance according to the importance of the act in question. Under the bill, closure of a political party would not cause anyone lose his/her deputyship. The bill also paves the way for trial of decisions of the Supreme Military Council.Military courts will only be charged to deal with military crimes committed by military personnel. General courts will deal with crimes against state security and constitutional order, and civilians cannot be tried by military courts except war time.

    According to the bill, the structure of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) will change.

    The permanent members of the board will climb to 21 from 7, and the number of its associate members will rise to 10 from 5. They will be elected for four years, and can be re-elected after their terms in office end.

    The head of the board will continue to be the justice minister. Also, the undersecretary of the justice ministry will take part in the board.

    The bill also envisions abolishing the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the Council of National Security formed after the military intervention on September 12, 1980.

    Also, the bill adds three provisional articles to the Constitution, one of which makes the amendments to the structure of Constitutional Court also valid in ongoing cases.

    The actual associate members of the Constitutional Court will become permanent members.

    If the bill is to be put to referendum, it will be voted as a whole.

    [15] Israel denies tension in its bilateral relations with Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Israeli Ambassador in Ankara Gaby Levy said on Tuesday there has never been enmity between Turkey and Israel.

    Speaking at a meeting of the Lions Club in Ankara, Levy said that there will never be enmity between Turkey and Israel.

    Israel and Turkey share deep historical relations. When we talk about Turkish-Israeli relations, we actually talk about a relationship of more than 500 years beginning during the Ottoman era and continuing during the Republic of Turkey, Levy said.

    There has never been any other country other than Turkey that treated the Jews well during the 20th century, Levy underlined.

    Touching on Turkey and Israel's ties in the defence sector, Ambassador Levy said that the two countries have strong military and defence related ties.

    We have strong relations not only in technology transfer and military, but also in the fight against terrorism, Levy said.

    Economic and commercial relations between Turkey and Israel are developing rapidly. Turkey has become a favourite destination of Israeli tourists in the past few years, Levy said.

    The Israeli government has accepted Turkey's strong position and role in the region. Turkey has played a key role in Israeli-Syrian relations, Levy also said.

    [16] Kurdish mayor sentenced to ten months in prison because of a photograph

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.04.10) reported the following from Diyarbakir:

    A Turkish court sentenced Selim Sadak, mayor of the southeastern province of Siirt, to 10 months in prison on Tuesday on charges of making propaganda of terrorist organization.

    Sadak did not attend the hearing that took place in Diyarbakir Criminal Court.Sakir Demir, lawyer of Sadak, said a case was opened against Sadak because of a photograph appeared in 2010 agenda of the municipality. There is a photograph in the agenda which was taken during Nevruz celebrations in 2009. Sadak was given imprisonment sentence because of that photograph, he said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 13 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 13 April 2010:

    a) Nuclear Security Summit in Washington:

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand suggests that the Washington summit should be called the "Iran Summit," pointing out that not only the Western countries, but the Muslim ones are also concerned about Iran's intentions. Referring to President Obama's intention "during the Washington summit to take a mutual front against Iran or at least establish a mutual discourse," Birand argues that Turkey does not want Iran to become a nuclear power although the general perception from the outside is that Prime Minister Erdogan and President Gul supports Iran.

    Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen in an article writes that the stand Erdogan will be adopting at the Nuclear Summit and during his meeting with President Obama will indicate the direction which the Turkish foreign policy will be taking. Predicting that the Erdogan-Obama meeting to be held today will be positive, Kohen adds that, however, the Iran issue constitutes a problem in bilateral relations.

    The nuclear security summit in Washington has three important goals, namely determining a roadmap for the elimination of nuclear weapons, controlling, protecting and destroying the existing weapons in a transparent manner, and preventing terrorist formations from possessing nuclear weapons, writes Deniz Zeyrek in an article in Radikal. When Erdogan's stand on Iran is assessed from the viewpoint of these goals, Turkey might become the focal point of the discussions on the issue, concludes the writer.

    In an article entitled "Erdogan will drive Israel nuts", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul describes Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks in Washington "strongly" calling for international scrutiny of Israel's nuclear arsenal as "a herald of a new Turkish-Israeli crisis." He claims that Turkey is increasingly becoming "Israel's greatest fear" because of what is reported to be its joint bid with Egypt to make Israel's nuclear weapons subject to the examination of the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    In an article entitled "The Nuclear Summit and Iran's future", Vakit columnist Osman Atalay calls attention to the "double-standard attitude" that characterized the US and Russian leaders' recent pronouncements in Prague ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington about the importance of restricting nuclear technologies. Atalay finds it very "painful for the Islamic world" that the United States and Russia, the world's leading nuclear players, have the power to order sanctions against Iran. He also voices his expectation that the Islamic world will draw the right lessons from the West's efforts at the nuclear summit in the US capital to "undermine the Muslim Iranian state's power," adding that the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the worldwide Islamic community should not allow Iran to be partitioned like Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Lebanon.

    b) Turkish-Greek relations:

    An editorial in Hurriyet Daily News focuses on the unnecessarily high arms expenditures of Turkey and Greece, suggesting that a weapons-free Aegean is not an unattainable dream. Referring to the numerous confidence-building measures between the two countries, the editorial declares that Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Athens next month might constitute an opportunity in making real progress in delineating the boundaries in the Aegean and achieving the dream of a weapons-free Aegean.

    Proposing in an article in Vatan that Turkey invest ten percent of its $70 billion Central Bank reserves in high-interest Greek bonds, Asaf Savas Akat explains the reasons why this is a good proposal. Noting that such a support in a neighboring country will be in the interest of Turkey, Akat writes: "Supporting a neighbor in distress is in harmony with the appraisal and claim that Turkey 'is the greatest country in the region.' It will also provide assurances to regional countries ranging from Armenia to Syria. It will contribute to breaking the resistance of the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. It will also secure significant advantages in our relations with the EU." In conclusion, Akat calls on Turkey to make the most of this historic opportunity.

    Drawing attention to the recent visit to Ankara of Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas and the confidence-building measures taken between the two countries in an article in Taraf, Temel Iskit underlines that these developments and the preparations being made for Prime Minister Erdogan's forthcoming visit to Athens indicate the will to launch a new stage in bilateral relations. From now on bilateral relations will not be based on the perception of threat, writes Iskit, underlining the importance of the confidence-building measures agreed upon between the armed forces of the two countries.

    EG/


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