|Sunday, 22 July 2018|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-19
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. 70/10 17-19.04.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Eroglu wins the illegal elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
All of the votes in 629 ballot boxes were counted in presidential elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on Sunday.
Prime minister and candidate of National Unity Party (UBP) for president, Dervis Eroglu, became the president winning 50.38 of the votes.
According to unofficial results of elections, Eroglu became the third president of the TRNC.
The TRNC Higher Electoral Board statement said that the distribution of votes in the 629 ballot boxes is as follows:
Total Ballot Boxes: 629
Total Electors: 164.072
Counted Ballot Boxes: 629
Electors casting votes: 125.294
Voter turnout: 76.37 percent.
Candidate Total Vote Percent
Dr Dervis Eroglu 61.491 50.38
M. Kemal Tumkan 964 0.79
Arif Salih Kirdag 521 0.43
Mehmet Ali Talat 52.302 42.85
Zeki Besiktepeli 1.968 1.61
Ayhan Kaymak 168 0.14
Tahsin Ertugruloglu 4.648 3.81
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) reports that the results of the elections according to the districts are the following:
Occupied Lefkosia (voter turnout 76.01%): Dervis Eroglu 43.96% (16.836 votes), Mehmet Ali Talat 47.16% (18.061 votes), Tahsin Ertugruloglu 5.49 % (2.101 votes), Zeki Besiktepeli 2.24% (859 votes), Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 0.52% (200 votes), Arif Salih Kirdag 0.48% (184 votes) and Ayhan Kaymak 0.14% (54 votes).
Occupied Famagusta (voter turnout 77.41%): Dervis Eroglu 52.99% (17.110 votes), Mehmet Ali Talat 41.44% (13.379 votes), Tahsin Ertugruloglu 3.05 % (986 votes), Zeki Besiktepeli 0.98% (316 votes), Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 0.91% (295 votes), Arif Salih Kirdag 0.44% (141 votes) and Ayhan Kaymak 0.19% (61 votes).
Occupied Keryneia (voter turnout 74.60%): Dervis Eroglu 50.91% (11.659 votes), Mehmet Ali Talat 43.11% (9.872 votes), Tahsin Ertugruloglu 2.95 % (676 votes), Zeki Besiktepeli 1.89% (433 votes), Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 0.72% (164 votes), Arif Salih Kirdag 0.31% (72 votes) and Ayhan Kaymak 0.11% (26 votes).
Occupied Morfou (voter turnout 77.18%): Dervis Eroglu 52.54% (8.284 votes), Mehmet Ali Talat 42 % (6.622 votes), Tahsin Ertugruloglu 2.32 % (365 votes), Zeki Besiktepeli 1.6% (252 votes), Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 1.03% (162 votes), Arif Salih Kirdag 0.41% (65 votes) and Ayhan Kaymak 0.1% (16 votes).
Occupied Trikomo (voter turnout 77.01%): Dervis Eroglu 59.34% (7.602 votes), Mehmet Ali Talat 34.1% (4.368 votes), Tahsin Ertugruloglu 4.06 % (520 votes), Zeki Besiktepeli 0.84% (108 votes) Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 1.12% (143 votes), Arif Salih Kirdag 0.46% (59 votes) and Ayhan Kaymak 0.09% (11 votes).
 Eroglu to assess Cyprus situation with Ankaras government, establish his own negotiating team to conduct the talks and safeguard Turkeys interests in CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (18.04.10) broadcast that Dervis Eroglu, winner of yesterdays elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus, said, inter alia, the following last night addressing his supporters after his victory:
My dear brothers, the victim of the existing situation is the Turkish Cypriot people who is still being isolated and subjected to embargoes. Therefore, we and our people are in favor of concluding the Cyprus issue.
At this point, I would also like to state that (the world) is finding it difficult to understand that the state of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) is under an embargo. The KKTC and its people are neither striving to produce the atom bomb, nor are they trying to make other countries uncomfortable. Given this fact, I am finding it difficult to comprehend why the people of the KKTC are being subjected to an embargo. At this point, I would also like to declare that I expect understanding from the world countries, particularly the EU countries.
After being sworn in as the president, my first task will be to consult with motherland Turkey, hold a meeting, and conduct an assessment of the situation. I will then establish my own expert negotiating team and start work on this subject. After that, I will set up the national council, the people's councils that I promised to my people during the elections.
I am a person who calls Turkey our motherland and who considers Turkey's interests as well. As I did in my political life and during my term as prime minister, in my future life and duties, too, I will naturally consider motherland Turkey's interests and continue the negotiations. We will conduct a sincere dialogue and protect Turkey's rights as well.
There is talk of UN parameters. Naturally, certain parameters will be submitted to the negotiating table, as were the UN parameters. How will these parameters be fleshed out? It is important for me to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people and to seek an agreement that will not disadvantage the Turkish Cypriot people while fleshing out these parameters. Through the national council we plan to establish, we will try to determine our strategy and delineate our limits while we conduct the negotiations pertaining to these parameters.
Naturally, there are certain principles that were put forward under the auspices of the UN goodwill mission. No agreement is valid on any one topic until we have reached an agreement on all the issues. This principle was included in a statement issued by the two presidents a while ago. We will also pursue this principle, and assume that there is no agreement on any subject until an agreement is reached on all the subjects.
During the election campaign we continuously stated that the Turkish Cypriot people are an equal and sovereign people. These aspects will also be discussed at the negotiating table with our respondents. There are six topics, and given that no substantive agreement has been reached on these six topics discussed until now, we will continue all these issues at the negotiating table and seek the ways for conciliation.
I would sincerely like to declare that we will not be the ones to shun the negotiating table, and we will be the defenders of our people's rights at the negotiating table.
Dr. Dervis Eroglu did not submit his candidacy in order to obstruct the negotiations. When he submitted his candidacy, Dr. Dervis Eroglu was aiming to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people at the negotiating table, to represent these rights, and to announce them to the world. Whatever anyone says, we are in favor of an agreement, an agreement that will prevent the predicament of the 1960 republic. We want a lasting and sustainable agreement. There are simple principles to ensure this, and we will discuss these principles in detail at the negotiating table.
 Talat says Eroglus election indicates the start of a new periodAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.04.10) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:
President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said on Sunday that the results of the presidential election, which Dervis Eroglu won in the first round, indicated the start of a new period.
Talat said according to the unofficial results announced by the TRNC Higher Electoral Board, election was concluded the first round, and described the results as the will of people.
The results of the election point to the start of a new period. My dreams for a solution still continue. I think that solution of the Cyprus question is very vital. I will do my best for the solution process for the rest of my life.
Talat said he would make a detailed statement when formal results are announced.
 Erdogan alleges that he wants a solution to be reached in Cyprus until the end of the year and that the TRNC exists in Cyprus either it is accepted or notTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) reports that after the results of the elections of 18 April 2010 in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that whoever the esteemed president is, he should continue the process with the same determination. Mr Erdogan responded to questions of NTV television last night. Noting that Mr Eroglu should also continue the process, Mr Erdogan said: I do not believe that a different process will work. I think that we will continue the process in the same manner. He pointed out that Mr Eroglus views are not different than his own on this issue and reminded that Mr Eroglu has stated many times that we will continue our way with determination.
Asked regarding the messages he will give from now on to the EU and Greece on the issue of the disappointment of the people for not keeping their promises given in 2004, Mr Erdogan said:
There are serious problems on the point of consistency in the steps taken by the EU on this issue until now. They have not behaved sincerely, they have not behaved honestly. This has been happening since April 2004. Of course this is brought onto our agenda everywhere we go. When it is brought onto the agenda we say to them: You have not kept the promises you gave during the meetings we had in 2004. You have not been sincere at least on the point of the free movement of goods and services. We say this everywhere already. This will continue in the same manner in the process which will follow.
He noted that many of the leaders of the European countries have changed since 2004 and added that former German Chancellor Schroder, for example, has mentioned in his memoirs that Turkey and northern Cyprus have been unjustly treated. Erdogan said that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also described as mistake the accession of south Cyprus, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, to the EU.
He alleged: There are many things now which are not in harmony with the acquis, because there are problems, difficulties in many geographic points in Cyprus. There are serious difficulties regarding the movement. Either they accept it or not, there is a Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus there. There is a TRNC which, for example, has taken now the title of the Turkish Cypriot state in the Organization of Islamic Conference, according to the Annan Plan, and it is observer there. In spite of all these, you ignore it. This of course is not consistency.
Mr Erdogan reminded that the breakaway regime has opened trade offices in 17-18 countries in the world until now and described as very meaningful the fact that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited both the free and the occupied areas of the island during his recent visit to Cyprus. He noted that the principle of the solution of the problem within the UN framework is functioning and alleged: When we look at all these of course, the fact that the EU behaves so coldly to this process may have pushed our brothers in the TRNC into a kind of boredom rightfully or into a weakness of believing to them.
Asked to comment on the messages sent by Athens to the Greek Cypriots during the recent visit of Prime Minister Papandreou to Cyprus, Mr Erdogan said that he considers Mr Papandreou much more positive on this point. Noting that they will discuss these issues during his visit to Athens, he added: My wish is for us to end this job until the end of the year. This is the point we reach with all our friends in the meetings we have, because both sides are annoyed from this issue remaining much more on the table.
When asked on the issue of a four-party meeting regarding the Cyprus problem, Mr Erdogan said: Our proposal was for a four-party meeting, but afterwards many different proposals, different approaches came. Spain, for example, said that the EU term presidency should participate. There was a proposal, for example, for Britain to participate as third guarantor power. We said the following to them: Given that this is carried out on the UN basis, the UN Secretary-General should also participate. It should be much more influential at this point and we could come to a result the soonest. We discussed this among us.
 Gul and Davutoglu on Eroglus victory in the electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) reports that President Abdullah Gul sent a congratulating message to Mr Dervis Eroglu, winner of last nights elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus, expressing the belief that with Eroglus vast experience as state leader, the self-styled TRNC will become stronger, more prosperous and more united with the world. He alleged that the most sincere and common wish and aim of Turkey and the breakaway regime has always been the reaching of a just and lasting solution during the ongoing negotiations on the island. He said that Turkey will continue to support the wish of the Turkish Cypriot people in this direction, like it did in the past. He noted that as motherland and guarantor power we will continue with determination to fulfil our responsibilities in order for the just struggle of the Turkish Cypriot people to reach its target.
Gul added: I believe that you will continue the UN process for finding a comprehensive solution with the contractiveness and dynamism shown by the Turkish Cypriot side until today and exert any kind of effort so that this process to come to a conclusion. You will always find Turkeys determined support and close cooperation by your side in the protection of the tranquillity, security and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriot people and their legitimate rights as equal owner of the island.
In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) reports also that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, congratulated Dervis Eroglu for his victory in yesterdays presidential elections and stated that they appreciate the determination of Mr Eroglu to continue the negotiations from the point they were left.
 How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the results of the electionsUnder the title It ended in the first round, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) reports that Dervis Eroglu, candidate of the National Unity Party (UBP) in the illegal presidential elections, became yesterday the third president of the breakaway regime after securing 50.4% in the first round of the elections. The former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat received 42.8% of the votes. The other candidates received the following percentages: Tahsin Ertugruloglu 3.8%, Zeki Besiktepeli 1.6%, Mustafa Kemal Tumkan 0.8%, Arif Salih Kirdag 0.4% and Ayhan Kaman 0.13%.
Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title They sacrificed Talat and reports that the Talat period did not last as long as the period of Denktas. The paper notes that one term in the presidency was enough for Ankara to bring the Turkish Cypriot leftists into line and that Mr Eroglu, who said that Talat has declared war to Turkey, won the elections.
The paper reports that the turnout in the elections was 77.14% and that Talat received more votes than Eroglu only in occupied Lefkosia. According to the paper, the ballot boxes which determined the results were those opened last in occupied Famagusta.
Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title Eroglu won and writes that the elections, which were considered as the revenge for the referendum of the 24th of April, are completed.
The paper reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, independent candidate in the elections, said that the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriot people lost today. We have been through an antidemocratic election process where bribery, intimidation and political terror existed, he noted.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the same issue under the title Dr. Dervis Eroglu is president with the difference in Karpass. The paper points out that Eroglu received 63.123 votes and that the factor which determined the results was the percentage (60%), which Eroglu received in occupied Trikomo area. The paper notes that the turnout in occupied Karpass area was around 60% at 17.00 o clock, one hour before the closure of the ballot boxes, and within an hour it reached 77.01 % as if a magic wand touched the people of the area.
Haberdar publishes also the statements by Prime Minister Erdogan that the negotiating process should continue.
Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title Victory and points out that the Democratic Party (DP) played a key role in the elections and determined their result.
Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the issue under the title Eroglu narrowly and reports that after the results were known, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) stated that they will continue to struggle with the same determination for a solution in Cyprus. Reminding that Mr Eroglu stated that he will continue the negotiations, Mr Cakici said: We do not believe that Mr Eroglu will continue the negotiations and find a solution.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the victory of Mr Eroglu under the title The people won, Eroglu is president.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the issue under the title Dervis Eroglu is the third president of the TRNC. Our people gave yesterday the historic decision which the whole world waited eagerly, writes the paper.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title The people removed Talat from duty. The paper writes, inter alia, the following: The Turkish Cypriot people punished Mehmet Ali Talat, who accepted the dissolution of the TRNC, the status of a province for it and the single state and single sovereignty by giving concessions to the Greek Cypriot side according to his own mind. It defended the TRNC and its sovereignty, threw to the garbage the fake will of 24 April and the united Cyprus and expressed its will for a two state solution.
Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title Eroglu in the presidential palace.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (19.04.10) covers the issue under the title Eroglu is the new president and publishes statements by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat under the title Continuation of the efforts for a solution.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the results of the elections under the title Eroglu is president.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.04.10) refers to the issue under the title The people won, Eroglu is the third president. The paper accuses Kutlay Erk, Republican Turkish Partys (CTP) general secretary, of being responsible for the defeat of Mr Talat. The paper alleges that Mr Erk first handed over the municipality of occupied Lefkosia to Cemal Bulutoglulari, afterwards undermined the CTPs self-styled government, now rubbed Talat away and he is preparing to do the same with Ferdi Sabit Soyer very soon. After the CTP loses the municipalities, it will be closed down, alleges Kibrisli.
 How the Turkish press covers the results of the electionsFollowing are the titles in the main Turkish daily newspapers (19.04.10) on yesterdays so-called presidential election held in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus:
Under the title Eroglu is TRNCs hope, Hurriyet reports that the Turkish Cypriot people did not give a second chance to Mehmet Ali Talat who came to power five years ago with promises about solution and the EU.
Sabah, under the title Eroglu era in the TRNC, writes that the participation in the elections was higher than expected and reached 75%.
Aksam, using the same title (Eroglu era in the TRNC), reports that the TRNC elections were completed in the first round and writes that in his first speech Mr Eroglu stated that he will continue the Cyprus negotiations with honesty and close co-operation with Turkey.
Milliyet reports on the issue under the title TRNC electorates said Eroglu, and writes that Dervis Eroglu who was the favourite to win the elections received 50.38% while his main opponent, Mehmet Ali Talat, received 42.85%.
Radikal reports on the issue under the title The non solution caused Talats defeat as well, and writes that a year after the National Unity Party came to power, its leader was elected as the new president.
 Erdogan claims that Ankara wishes the continuation of the talks after the so-called presidential elections in occupied CyprusTurkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (18.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Cypriot leaders to continue reunification talks after Sundays presidential elections on the Turkish side of the divided island.
It cannot be the Turkish side that escapes from the negotiation table. If there is a party that keeps [away] from the table, it should be them [Greek Cypriots], Erdogan said in an interview late Saturday with private television channel Kanal 24.
Turkish Cypriots went to the polls Sunday to decide between incumbent President Mehmet Ali Talat and Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu. The latter is known for his hardliner stance over reunification plans with the Greek Cypriots.
My sincere wish is for the continuation of talks with the same commitment. We are seriously committed to the completion of these talks, Erdogan said.
The Turkish prime minister and Talat worked together in 2004 during the Annan Plan referendum, which ended with an overwhelming rejection by the Greek Cypriot side.
Mr. Talat brought the negotiations to a very important level. I hope we will be able to conclude them by the end of this year through negotiations, which will resume after the elections. We should preserve our commitment with the spirit of win-win, Erdogan said.
I am sure our brothers in [northern Cyprus] will use their democratic will for the continuation of this [peace] process, the prime minister added. They should not spoil the future of Cyprus for simple benefits.
 Cooperation protocol signed between the Moldova government and YDUTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (18.04.10) newspaper reports that a cooperation protocol has been signed between the Moldova government and the illegal Near East University (YDU). The protocol was signed by the Education Minister of Moldova Leonid Bujor and the founder rector of YDU Dr Suat Gunsel. The signing ceremony was held at the Moldova Komrat State University.
According to the paper, the protocol will contribute to the field of research between Moldavia and the breakaway regime. The protocol will take effect in all the state institutions of Moldova. Every year five students from Moldova having the best grades will be able to get scholarship at the Economics and Administrative Sciences Faculty of YDU.
 A new five star hotel is being built in occupied Agios Elias villageTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.04.10), in its front page under the banner headline The goal is big, reports that Safa Company Group which has started investing in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus since 2003, continues his projects both in the constructions and media sectors.
According to the paper, a new five star hotel under the name of Skyline Hotel and Casino is being built in the occupied village of Agios Elias in Karpasia area. It is planned to be opened in the summer of 2012. The 17-storey hotel will have 688 rooms with the capacity of 1400 beds.
 International conference with foreign delegates from 20 countries took place in the occupied areas of the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.04.10) reports that a three-day International Conference on Special Education (ICOSE-2010) kicked off in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus on Friday. Experts, academicians, researchers and educators from 20 different countries attended the conference, which was organised in occupied Keryneia by the Special Education Foundation of the breakaway regime.
During the conference, developments in the field of special education were discussed, as well as 25 research projects were presented and 12 special workshops were organised. As the paper notes, a science committee, consisting of experts from the UK, USA, Norway, Turkey and the occupation regime, had chose the 25 projects presented. ICOSE-2010 was concluded on Sunday.
 Hakan Fidan appointed head of Turkeys MITTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (19.04.10) reports the following:
Who the next undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) will be is no longer a question of speculation. Dr. Hakan Fidan has received the approval of President Abdullah Gul and was appointed as the MIT's deputy-undersecretary.
Following this, he is expected to succeed the current undersecretary, Emre Taner, who has been serving in his post for almost five years. Taner's tenure was extended for another six months on Nov. 27, 2009.
The MIT's new boss is 42 and was born in Ankara. He served in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) as a non-commissioned officer for 15 years between 1986 and 2001. During his tenure at the military, he also worked at NATO's Germany-based Allied Rapid Reaction Corps (ARRC). He later resigned from the army and worked as a political and economic consultant at the Australian Embassy in Ankara. Having received an undergraduate degree in management and political sciences at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), he earned a Master's and a doctoral degree at Bilkent University in Ankara.
His MA dissertation was titled Intelligence and Foreign Policy: A Comparison of British, American, and Turkish Intelligence Systems. Fidan was awarded a doctorate with the thesis The Role of Information Technologies in Verifying International Agreements in the Age of Information. He also undertook a set of academic studies at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) in Geneva and at London's Verification Technologies Research Centre. He has also taught at Hacettepe and Bilkent Universities.
Fidan was later appointed as the head of the Turkish Development and Cooperation Agency (TIKA) where he drew much public attention with successful operations. He contributed to the efficient implementation of Turkish foreign policy with TIKA activities abroad. During his term at the agency, Turkey has become a donor state at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Fidan gained respect from the non-civilian members of the National Security Council (MGK) during a meeting in which he presented TIKA's activities.
His last post before his new MIT career was at the Prime Ministry as a deputy-undersecretary. He made many little-publicized visits to various regions with the then-chief consultant to the prime minister on foreign policy Ahmet Davutoglu. He accompanied the head of the government on all his visits abroad and meetings with leaders of other countries.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press on 16, 17 and 18 April 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 16, 17 and 18 April 2010:
a) The so-called presidential elections and the Cyprus problem:
In an article entitled "Issues and non-issues," columnist Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News (16.04.10) says that election campaigns conducted by seven candidates vying in the so-called presidential election in occupied Cyprus has "turned into a referendum between those who want a federal settlement at any cost and those who are as well committed to the negotiations process, but against a settlement at the cost of Turkish Cypriot red lines, such as "partnership in sovereignty, non-diluted bi-zonality, political equality and Turkey's continued effective guarantee, disappearing."
In an article entitled "A solution, but how?" columnist Ferai Tinc in Hurriyet (16.04.10) predicts that talks between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader about a possible settlement of the Cyprus issue will continue irrespective of the outcome of the so called presidential election in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus, because both sides are aware that leaving the talks would lead to serious consequences. She also notes that the Turkish Cypriot community's hope that there will eventually be a settlement has weakened due to the stance taken by the EU which, she notes, has deepened the conviction that the EU has treated the Turkish Cypriot side unfairly.
In a part of his article entitled "In light of developments at home and abroad," columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek in Cumhuriyet (16.04.10) asserts that the US Embassy in Lefkosia supports Mehmet Ali Talat's election campaign in line with alleged instructions from Washington while the Turkish government stays clear of the election. He goes on to say: "Talat uses the United States and the EU for almost every purpose without rejecting their financial support. Considering that the Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton has called Talat and expressed her hope that he will win the election, it should not be surprising to hear that the United States not only pokes its nose, but also its financial hand in the election." He concludes by asserting that the election will lead to either submission or independence of Turkish Cypriots.
In an article entitled "What is next?", columnist Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News (17.04.10) says that the outcome of Sunday's so-called presidential election in occupied Cyprus will depend on undecided voters representing eight percent of the electorate although there is a widespread expectation that Dervis Eroglu will win the election in the first round. Drawing attention to possible political uncertainties which may arise if Eroglu wins, Kanli concludes by saying that the election will open a new era on the island.
In an article entitled "Election will decide Turkish Cypriots' fate," columnist Sami Kohen in Milliyet (17.04.10) says that Turkish Cypriot voters will make a choice between Mehmet Ali Talat and Dervis Eroglu who, he notes, have different visions about a possible settlement on the island. He comments: "If voters intend to give the signal that the talks should end or start from the very beginning rather than continuing, they must calculate how it will guide their own future in practice and how it will affect 'motherland Turkey.' Turkish Cypriot voters, therefore, face a very crucial responsibility."
In an article entitled "Talat is better positioned to work out a settlement in Cyprus," columnist Mehmet Ali Birand in Milliyet (17.04.10) says that Turkish Cypriots who want to see that the Cyprus question is resolved and the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" is integrated with the EU should prefer Talat. He comments: "If you do not want a solution and want to preserve the TRNC even if it remains as a small and poor state, then Eroglu should be your choice."
In an article entitled "A turning point?" columnist Mumtaz Soysal in Cumhuriyet (17.04.10) says that the so called presidential election in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus may be a meaningful turning point in Turkey's Cyprus cause if Eroglu who emphasizes the need to reach a settlement based on two sovereign states wins the election in the first round. He comments: "Talat's formula based on a single sovereign state and single citizenship has failed and time has come for advocating a formula that would allow two independent states to live side by side in peace based on the concept of good neighborliness. If the winner cannot be named in the first round, it could lead to sinister designs with unpredictable consequences in the second round."
In an article entitled "The Turkey-EU-Cyprus triangle," columnist Amanda Paul in Today's Zaman (18.04.10) predicts that Dervis Eroglu will win the so-called presidential elections in occupied Cyprus. She notes: "Barring a last-minute upset, hard-liner Eroglu is expected to win, which is highly unfortunate and puts at risk the peace talks that have been ongoing between Talat and Christofias for the last 18 months. For me, no matter how slim the chance, Talat still offers the best possibility of a future beyond the past. For his entire career, he has never wavered in his desire for Cyprus to be reunified. Even in the run-up to this election, he has shown courage and sincerity in his vision."
b) Constitutional amendments:
In an article entitled "We have embarked upon an adventure," columnist Mehmet Yilmaz in Hurriyet (16.04.10) says that people who were expecting that the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, and the opposition parties would reach a compromise about the former controversial bill on constitutional amendments are disappointed because Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has turned down Baykal's proposal to postpone controversial items in the bill until after the next general election. He says: "There is a strong possibility that the bill will be put to a referendum. So, we will have to lump apples together with pears. A decision made by the Venice Commission about referendums will be disregarded. We should not forget that the decision about putting amendments which are not related to each other to a referendum as important as the violation of the right to vote."
In an article entitled "Compromise," columnist Derya Sazak in Milliyet (16.04.10) says that the AKP will submit the controversial items in the bill to a referendum if they are not ratified by Parliament because it believes that the public will support its efforts to democratize the political system established after the military coup staged in 1980 while putting an end to the military's tutelage over politicians. He comments: "If no compromise can be reached in Parliament, the public should have the last word on the constitutional amendments. The door to a referendum must be kept open."
In an article entitled "AKP leadership will remain in Ankara until completion of deliberations on the Constitution," columnist Murat Yetkin in Radikal says (16.04.10) that the members of the Turkish Cabinet have postponed their trips until completion of parliamentary debates over the proposed constitutional amendments. He adds that the AKP leadership plans to submit the bill to a referendum in mid-July which is expected to be endorsed according to recent opinion polls.
In an article entitled "Can you bargain with the status quo?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi (16.04.10) interprets CHP leader Deniz Baykal's call for a compromise agreement on the constitutional reform package as meaning that as a long-standing representative of the political status quo, the CHP is trying to use compromise as a means of blocking constitutional changes intended to do away with the current "tutelage" regime. Advising the AKP to refrain from entering into negotiations with the CHP, Dagi claims that the status quo is neither strong enough to "bargain" over anything nor in a position to set preconditions for change. He also argues that the dynamics of social change are "unstoppable" and that "Turkey's sociological, economic, and political forces no longer fit into the straightjacket imposed on them."
A report in Cumhuriyet (18.04.10) warns that under a new bill, which has already passed the parliament's committee, the Diyanet [Religious Affairs Directorate] will turn into a leviathan and suppressor of free thinking. If the bill is approved in the parliament, the Diyanet will become the biggest institution in Turkey, its personnel, as public servants, will be immune against prosecution, and it will have the right to vet all hard copy and electronic publications and even issue orders for their confiscation, says the report by Miyase Ilknur, who then quotes constitutional law professor Suheyl Batum as saying that the bill is virtually establishing an institution similar to the Papal institution.
A Hurriyet report (18.04.10) on Erdogan's televised interview quotes him as saying that it is up to President Gul to decide whether to take the three articles [on reforming high courts and the party law] to a referendum, but the legislation on these articles cannot be postponed till after the elections. Erdogan criticizes the CHP for opposing these three articles, especially the article that makes it harder to ban political parties, and for threatening to take these articles to the Constitutional Court.
In an article entitled "Abdullah Gul is not a challenger", columnist Fehmi Koru in Yeni Safak (17.04.10) takes issue with the British Economist magazine over its claim that a major rift is likely to occur within the ruling AKP between supporters of President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan over a bid to include provisions in the constitutional amendment package designed to prevent Gul from being elected for a second term and enable Erdogan to replace him as president. Koru argues that the Economist's prediction is based on a wrong assumption of a potential rivalry between Gul and Erdogan, adding that Gul has already demonstrated through his past acts and decisions that he would be ready to sacrifice his own political interests rather than emerge as a challenger against Erdogan.
c) Turkeys foreign relations:
Pointing out that "Turkey is playing a high stakes game over Iran" in an article entitled "Turkey and US Out of Tune on Nuclear Issue," columnist Semih Idiz in Milliyet (16.04.10) says that Erdogan's stance on Iran's nuclear program has attracted "shrouded criticism" from the United States. He comments: "While Turkey may end up being isolated over Iran among its NATO allies and European partners, it is also clear that Prime Minister Erdogan's hounding of Israel over its refusal to sign the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) has started hitting the mark. There is after all a cold logic in what he is saying which is hard to dispute."
In an article entitled "'Star countries' draw new world map", columnist Ibrahim Karagul in Yeni Safak (16.04.10) comments on the "similarity" between Turkey and Brazil's approach toward Iran exemplified by the way both countries are looking into consolidating their economic ties with Iran and "appear to be defying the [Western] embargo against Iran" in doing so. He asserts that the United States' failure at the security summit in Washington to persuade China, Russia, Turkey, and Brazil to support sanctions against Iran and the developing relations between these countries and Iran are the result of a major shift of power on a global scale whereby the United States and Europe are losing their status as hegemonic powers with a monopoly on economic, political, and military force.
In an article entitled "Ankara faces difficulties regarding Iran," columnist Semih Idiz in Milliyet (17.04.10) says that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Brazil is probably intended to agree upon a common position about a possible resolution which may be submitted to the UN Security Council in order to impose new sanctions on Iran. Pointing out that Turkey cannot bank on Brazil's support because the two countries oppose possible sanctions due to different reasons, Idiz comments: "We are curious to see how Turkey will find a way out of this impasse. The government may have assured the public that it has confidence in its policies. But, it can be clearly seen that the situation is not so comfortable as far as Turkey is concerned. We hope that Mr. Davutoglu's upcoming visit to Teheran will yield successful results. But, I cannot say that I am very optimistic about it."
Analyzing the results of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's recent visit to the United States in an article entitled "The outcome of the Washington test," columnist Sami Kohen in Milliyet (16.04.10) says: "It seems that Turkish-American relations have overcome the last crisis triggered by the resolution on Armenian genocide and return to normal. But, differences between Turkey and the United States regarding regional issues, especially Iran continue and even deepen."
In an article entitled "Are Washington and the AKP about to part company?" columnist Ali Sirmen in Cumhuriyet (16.04.10) draws attention to opinions expressed by an unidentified analyst in Washington who says that there are serious concerns about the future of close cooperation between Erdogan and the US Government due to political developments in Turkey and the AKP's stance on Iran's nuclear program.
Commenting on German Nobelist Gunter Grass's call on Turks, during visit to Turkey, to come to terms with the Armenian issue, Emre Akoz says in a column in Sabah (18.04.10) that the "educated middle class" Turks do not want to face the Armenian issue. Let alone the 1915, this group is unable to even accept that in 1922 Izmir was burned by Turks. That is why the CNBC-e is censoring the third part of the "Pacific" film, where a mention is made of Turks' burning Izmir. Akoz says the television administration is taking the "primary school information" as its guide instead of consulting historians, for hiding behind the "lies of the official history" serves their interests.
In an article entitled "Fear of deep state," columnist Ayhan Bilgin in Vakit (18.04.10) accuses Armenian leaders of making the same demands as the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, ASALA, in spite of constructive efforts made by the Turkish government to normalize bilateral relations. Asserting that the majority of Armenian leaders who actually desire to normalize relations with Turkey are afraid of being accused as collaborators and Turkeys friends by the Armenian "deep state" because it would put their lives in jeopardy, Bilgin says: "Nobody should expect that the protocols will come into force and Turkish-Armenian relations will reach the point of 'zero problem' under the circumstances unless Turkey recognizes the alleged 'Armenian genocide,' agrees to pay a compensation, and accepts territorial claims."
In an article entitled "Who do you side with?" Milli Gazete (18.04.10) accuses some columnists in Turkey of serving the interests of countries which pay them by writing articles supporting the Western argument that Iran should not be allowed to develop nuclear weapons. He comments: "Those who are trying to defend the opinion that it would not be normal for Iran to have nuclear weapons although it is regarded as normal for many Western countries and Israel by using meaningless arguments can even ask people who oppose that view by citing plausible reasons who are they siding with. I put the same question to them: Who are you siding with?"