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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-23

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. 74/10 23.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

Turkish Cypriot daily points out that Eroglu will take over his duties on the same day that the Turkish sovereignty is celebrated
  • [02] Eroglu says the fact that the single sovereignty has been accepted does not mean that the issue will not be discussed
  • [03] Eroglu refers to an understanding of setting up a new partnership based on two sovereign peoples in Cyprus
  • [04] Rauf Denktas says he will not be appointed as negotiator by Eroglu
  • [05] Bagis: Our Cyprus policy is not a policy which will change with the change of persons
  • [06] YKP says high voter abstention in illegal elections is a protest against the regime
  • [07] Self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia joins UBP
  • [08] Armenia to freeze ratification of the protocols; Turkey committed to protocols with Armenia, Erdogan says
  • [09] Turkish and New Zealander Prime Ministers sign joint declaration to improve bilateral relations
  • [10] Turkey repays over $4 billion in foreign debt since the beginning of 2010
  • [11] Prime Ministry denies claims about Turkey's offering financial aid to Greece. Erdogan to visit Athens on May 14 and 15

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press on 22 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    Turkish Cypriot daily points out that Eroglu will take over his duties on the same day that the Turkish sovereignty is celebrated

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.10) reports that the oath-taking and hand-over ceremony of the so-called presidency in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus will take place today in the so-called parliament. During the ceremony, the newly-elected Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Dervis Eroglu, will take over his duties from the former leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat.

    According to the paper, the fact that the hand-over ceremony is taking place today on April 23, carries great importance because today, the April 23 National Day of Sovereignty is being celebrated throughout Turkey and the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, and at the same time, Mr Dervis Eroglu is insistently in favour of the sovereignty of the breakaway regime.

    The Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu, will arrive at the illegal Tymvou airport at 15:00 and attend the oath-taking ceremony in the illegal parliament at 16:00 representing the Turkish Republic.

    As the paper reports, the Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to hold separate meetings with both Dervis Eroglu and Mehmet Ali Talat. Mr Eroglu will meet with Mr Davutoglu at 18:15 hours. The two are expected to have a tête-à-tête meeting. A statement to the press will be made at 19:15 hours.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Foreign minister will hold a meeting with Mehmet Ali Talat at 16:30, right after the oath-taking ceremony of Mr Eroglu. Mr Davutoglu will depart from the occupied areas of Cyprus tonight at 20:00.

    (EA)

    [02] Eroglu says the fact that the single sovereignty has been accepted does not mean that the issue will not be discussed

    Under the title My first preference is a solution and my second a recognized TRNC, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.04.10) publishes an interview by the new Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu with Erdal Guven, columnist of Turkish Radikal newspaper. According to the paper, the interview is published in Radikal at the same time.

    Noting that the shadow of Eroglus profile as president will influence the course of the Cyprus talks and Turkeys EU accession process, Mr Guven says that the most important question which should be answered in the forthcoming period is whether Eroglu will become Denktas or Talat. Explaining what he means by that, Mr Guven noted that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has not changed his policy on the Cyprus problem and he was pushed aside by Turkey because he was not in harmony with the change of the Turkish policy on Cyprus. According to Mr Guven, Talat achieved to be in harmony with Ankara with his pro-solution policy.

    Referring to his meeting with Mr Eroglu, Mr Guven reports that it seems that the new Turkish Cypriot leaders first aim is to demolish his image of being identified with the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.

    When Mr Guven asked Mr Eroglu what kind of Cyprus do you want to leave behind you after five years in order to consider yourself successful, Mr Eroglu replied: One of the following two targets should be materialized when I look back: Either an agreement will be reached, an agreement in which the Turkish Cypriot people will live honourably here and which offers continuity. But it should not be an agreement which will break down after three years like the Republic of Cyprus. The agreement should become primary law of the EU. Of course, Turkeys active and effective guarantees are a condition. Or if we do not achieve this [agreement], the target of a recognized TRNC should be materialized. Of course, not as it is today. But a TRNC recognized and unified with the world.

    Replying to questions regarding the chapters and the parameters of the negotiations, Mr Eroglu said:

    I am not considering of changing the chapters of the negotiations. The chapters are on the table. However, as I know, there is absolutely no agreement on any chapter except the judiciary under the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing. In any case, the sides do not consider that an agreement exists on any issue until everything is agreed. In fact, Talat and Christofias could not even issue a joint statement. There is no rule which says that the UN parameters cannot be discussed. They are not the word of God! Moreover, the important thing is how the content of these parameters will be completed. What kind of bi-communality this will be, what kind of bi-zonality, what kind of political equality? We should discuss and complete the content of all these.

    Mr Guven notes that it is known that Mr Eroglu has always wanted a confederation established by two sovereign states and points out that the new Turkish Cypriot leader told him the following on this issue: The fact that the single sovereignty has been accepted does not mean that we will not discuss it. Besides, Talat has accepted the single sovereignty on the condition this to be discussed in the future. Furthermore, Turkey was not informed about this. Talat did this in order to be able to keep Christofias at the table.

    Mr Guven points out to the fact that Mr Eroglu has not yet formed his negotiating team and notes that the most important is that he will discuss the issue with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr Eroglu said: I could say that we will be in harmony with esteemed Davutoglu. I do not want to oppose to Turkey.

    Referring to the statements for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem until the end of this year, Mr Eroglu alleged: The Greek Cypriot side will not end this issue until the end of the year. The point we have reached until today is obvious.

    Referring to the territory issue, Mr Eroglu said:

    This is a very sensitive issue. It could be very easy to agree right after 1974. When the years passed it became difficult. The Greek Cypriots went to the south. People from Turkey came here... You understand that it is difficult to deprive these people from their lands after 35 years. Therefore we should discuss this issue well at the negotiating table.

    Mr Guven says that Mr Eroglu realizes that it is difficult for him to govern and be the leader in northern Cyprus in spite of the wish of Turkey. Mr Guven writes that Mr Eroglu said that they have a common policy with Turkey on the issue of the opening of the Turkish ports to the Cypriot vessels. If the isolation is lifted, the ports will be opened, he noted and added: No step backwards could be made on this issue. If it is made, Turkey will recognize the Republic of Cyprus and there is no such a thing in Turkeys policy. Proposals such as exchanging Varosha with this aim are out of the question.

    Referring to the issue of former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, Mr Eroglu said that he will not appoint Mr Denktas as his advisor.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Eroglu refers to an understanding of setting up a new partnership based on two sovereign peoples in Cyprus

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (23.04.10) reported the following from the occupied part of Lefkosia:

    Dervis Eroglu, the winner of presidential election in Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), said on Friday that they would not ignore the negotiations which had been pursued so far in Cyprus talks.

    Eroglu won the presidential election on April 18. He will take oath and take over the seat from Mehmet Ali Talat today.

    Speaking to A.A, Eroglu said that they would continue talks with Greek Cypriot administration by discussing one of the six topics left by Talat. Eroglu said that Cyprus talks were interrupted, adding that he would pursue the talks.

    Noting that it was not up to him only where to resume Cyprus talks, Eroglu said that the approach of Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias was also important. Eroglu added that the issue of single sovereignty and single identity was debated very much, and it was necessary to clarify this issue.

    Stressing that there were two equal and sovereign peoples in Cyprus, Eroglu said that there should be an understanding of setting up a new partnership based on two sovereign peoples.

    Eroglu said that he was in favour of meetings between delegations rather than tête-à-tête meetings during Cyprus talks.

    Eroglu said that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would arrive in TRNC today, and they would discuss Cyprus talks, and try to set a common strategy.

    Eroglu also said that Talat's accepting single sovereignty and single identity was a mistake.

    He noted that the most difficult topic in Cyprus talks would be property and territory issue. Eroglu added that he did not think the issue of guarantees would be solved easily on the negotiation table. He said that he wanted the guarantees to continue.

    Eroglu said that he would begin his term in office on Monday.

    [04] Rauf Denktas says he will not be appointed as negotiator by Eroglu

    Under the title Mr. No has spoken for the first time, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (23.04.10) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas has said that the allegations that he will be appointed by the new Turkish Cypriot leader as negotiator in the Cyprus talks are not true. In statements to Star Kibris, Mr Denktas noted: They have put forward the allegation that Eroglu will make me negotiator. There is no such a thing and it will not happen in the future. He said that the reason for this is his belief that the Greek Cypriots will not agree with the Turkish Cypriots and alleged that this will be waste of time. He noted that he has been stigmatized as intransigent and Mr No even by the government of Turkey and added: Therefore I will not participate in the council and in any official meeting, but through my articles and the replies I will give when I am asked, I will try to show to my people my views and the dangers I see. However, it is out of the question for me to accept any official dutyI do not want to make anyone say that the shadow of intransigent Denktas fell over the negotiations.

    Mr Denktas said he was worried because of the messages given to the world by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat who was accepting the existence of two communities within a single people and did not want a separate state and a separate sovereignty. He expressed his satisfaction for the fact that the side which supports the state, the sovereignty and the continuation of the guarantees of Turkey has won in the illegal elections of 18 April 2010. Mr Denktas added: At least now the Turks of Cyprus showed to the world that they defend and will defend their state. The rest will depend on the contacts which esteemed president will have with his experts and Turkey, but these promises have been given. I wish they are kept and I wish Turkey to support these.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Bagis: Our Cyprus policy is not a policy which will change with the change of persons

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.10) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkeys Chief Negotiator with the EU, has said that the new Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is an experienced politician who devoted half of his life to politics. In statements to Kibris correspondent in London, Mr Bagis expressed the belief that Mr Eroglu will continue the solution process in Cyprus.

    He alleged that some circles and especially the Greek Cypriot side should not show as pretext the election of Eroglu and try to negatively influence the negotiating process. He claimed: Esteemed Eroglu will exert every effort that he can for a just and lasting solution in Cyprus, just like esteemed Talat did. The Republic of Turkey is ready to offer him any kind of support on this issue as well.

    Criticizing the view which exists in the public opinion that the result of the illegal elections will influence negatively the negotiations, Mr Bagis said:

    Our Cyprus policy is not a policy which will change with the change of persons. This is a state policy of the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC. We have never been and we will never be the side which runs away from the solution and from the reconciliation. As our esteemed prime minister says, we have always been and we will always be one step forward. Eroglu too will exert the effort exerted by esteemed Talat until now in Cyprus for achieving a lasting and just solution. And perhaps it will fall to esteemed Eroglus share to solve this historic matter.

    Mr Bagis wished for the result of the illegal elections to bring good luck to the Greek Cypriots as well and added that Turkey supports Eroglus decision to continue the negotiations. Mr Bagis said: The interlocutor of the Greek Cypriots is esteemed Eroglu. I have no doubt about the determination of Eroglu on the issue of the protection of the interests of the TRNC. He speaks very well the language which both Christofias and the Greek Cypriot national assembly will understand. If I were a Cypriot, I would try harder even than Turkeys Chief Negotiator himself for Turkey to accede as soon as possible into the EU.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] YKP says high voter abstention in illegal elections is a protest against the regime

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Yenicag newspaper (23.04.10), in its front page under the banner headline Congratulations to the new postman!, reports on the New Cyprus Party (YKP) executive committee's assessment on the so-called presidential election results.

    The members of YKPs executive committee Murat Kanatli, Alpay Durduran and Erdinc Selasiye held yesterday a press conference to outline their assessment on the election results.

    Mr Kanatli, inter alia, said that the number of voters in 2010, which were 164.072, has increased by 216% compared to the number of voters in 1976 when this number was 75.824. Noting that Turkey meddles in the election process in different ways, Mr Kanatli said that several circles have repeatedly made complaints regarding the behaviour of media organizations and added: Besides that, we have our concerns and we will continue our struggle to improve this.

    Mr Kanatli added that despite all the pressure and manipulation, voter turnout in the election was only 76% which he described a failure for the regime. He said this was a remarkable reaction against the regime considering that a significant percentage of voters did not cast a ballot as conscientious objectors. He noted that the reaction of the people becomes more obvious when we take into consideration the fact that the turnout in the elections one year ago was 81%. Finally, he said that if you take into account the structure of the electorate then it is easily understood that this reaction was more prevalent among Turkish Cypriots.

    (DPs)

    [07] Self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia joins UBP

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.10) reports that the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Mr Cemal Bulutoglulari, decided to resign from the Democratic Party (DP) and join the National Unity Party (UBP). According to a statement made by the so-called municipality, Mr Bulutoglulari rejoined UBP, from where he had resigned because they did not support his candidature in the municipality elections of 2006.

    Thanking everyone who supported him and helped him in his political life, including Mr Dervis Eroglu, Mr Bulutoglulari stated that he will try to be more confident and determined. He added that from now on, he is ready to undertake any kind of duty his party will give to him.

    (EA)

    [08] Armenia to freeze ratification of the protocols; Turkey committed to protocols with Armenia, Erdogan says

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.04.10) reports the following:

    Armenia's ruling coalition on Thursday said it had decided to freeze the process of parliamentary ratification of accords with Turkey aimed at normalizing ties between the historic foes. The Turkish side's refusal to fulfill the requirement to ratify the accord without preconditions in a reasonable time has made the continuation of the ratification process in the national parliament pointless, the coalition said in a statement.

    We consider it necessary to suspend this process until Turkey is ready to continue the process without preconditions, the statement said. The move, which came only two days before US President Barack Obama is to issue his annual April 24 statement to commemorate the Armenians that perished in Ottoman Anatolia in the beginning of the last century, is seen as a maneuver to force Obama to use the word genocide this year.

    Obama says he is personally convinced that the killings constituted genocide -- a claim Turkey firmly denies -- but has never used the g-word since he became president, saying he does not want to harm Turkish-Armenian normalization efforts. The ruling partys statement is unlikely to have any practical effect on the process since two protocols signed by the two countries foreign ministers in October are already waiting in both national parliaments for ratification at an unspecified date.

    In Ankara, Turkish officials were cautious. How to run the normalization process is an affair we will decide upon, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters in Ankara. Erdogan has said repeatedly that the Turkish-Armenian normalization process was unlikely to succeed without an Armenian withdrawal from Azerbaijani territory that has been occupied by Armenian forces since the early 1990s and the war over Nagorno-Karabakh.

    The political majority in the national assembly considers statements from the Turkish side in recent days as unacceptable, specifically those by Prime Minister Erdogan, who has again made the ratification of the Armenia-Turkish protocols by the Turkish parliament directly dependent on a resolution over Nagorno-Karabakh, the statement from the Armenian ruling coalition said.

    Recalling that he recently sent a message to Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan, Erdogan said in his letter he underlined the importance attached by the Turkish government to the principle of pacta sunt servanda [a principle of international law which means in Latin that agreements must be kept] and its commitment to the continuation of the process.

    He also reiterated that the Turkish government was also determined for the maintenance of a comprehensive regional peace.

    When asked whether he expected the statement to have an impact on Obamas April 24 message, Erdogan said he doesnt believe any statement has the power to have an impact on any leader, particularly the president of the United States.

    Ankara has approached the news coming from Yerevan cautiously and calmly, with governmental officials speaking on condition of anonymity indicating that they consider the move a tactical one on the eve of April 24.

    While Foreign Ministry officials said Turkey had not received any official information about the suspension of the protocols ratification, the ministry spokesperson made a brief statement on the issue.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who was in Tallinn attending a NATO ministerial meeting, called Erdogan upon learning about the statement, spokesman Burak Ozugergin, who accompanied the minister, told the Anatolia news agency.

    We are making an analysis of how this move should be read, what meaning it has and its content. We are assessing what steps could be taken, Ozugergin added.

    Sarksyan, who faces resistance from opponents at home and the huge Armenian diaspora abroad, was due to make a statement on national television later on Thursday.

    According to Guner Ozkan of the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization (USAK), the timing of the Armenian statement timing is rather meaningful.

    Via freezing the process, they want show the world and Obama that Turkey is guilty of the slowing down in the process. Their message is sent to Obama on the eve of April 24 and says that he should not trust Turkey concerning its determination and sincerity vis-à-vis the normalization process, Ozkan, an expert on the Caucasus region, told Todays Zaman, while noting that the statement must have also been satisfying for the diaspora, who considers the normalization process as the biggest hurdle in front of official US recognition of alleged genocide.

    Yet, Ozkan underlined he didnt expect this statement to be a determining factor on the content of Obamas April 24 message, as he believed that the US president would refrain from using the g-word.

    In Washington, meanwhile, the Armenian diaspora intensified its activities ahead of April 24, as an annual congressional commemoration for the alleged genocide was held on Wednesday with the participation of US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

    We are tired of the story being told [about why Congress should not adopt an Armenian genocide resolution], but we are not tired of fighting for the truth, Pelosi was quoted as saying by English-language news portal The Armenian Reporter, as she addressed some 200 people, mostly Armenian-Americans.

    Pelosi added that she and other supporters of affirmation would not rest until the federal government clearly recognizes the Armenian genocide, but she made no commitments about bringing the House resolution to vote, a move that is opposed by the Obama administration, the news portal said.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish premier has said his country remained committed to achieve goals set by two protocols with Armenia to normalize relations.

    As we have earlier stated numerous times, we are loyal to the protocols, their essence and spirit as well as their implementation, Recep Tayyip Erdogan told a joint press conference with New Zealander counterpart John Key after a their meeting in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Erdogan was responding to a question over Armenian coalition government's statement on Thursday that it suspended the ratification process of the protocols.

    Turkey and Armenia have signed last the protocols to normalize relations, reopen their border and restore diplomatic ties which broke down in 1994 following the Armenian occupation of Karabakh region in Azerbaijan.

    Obviously, it is at their own discretion over how they would manage the ratification process. I am in no position to tell them what to say, Erdogan said, adding that he had taken note of the Yerevan government's decision.

    [09] Turkish and New Zealander Prime Ministers sign joint declaration to improve bilateral relations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key signed on Thursday a joint declaration to reaffirm commitment to improve cooperation between the two countries.

    The two prime ministers signed the declaration during Key's visit to Turkish capital Ankara.

    The 17-article declaration underscores the key role of the Joint Economic Committee for strengthening economic ties, and it also reaffirms the importance attached to maintain relations dating back to 1915 when the two nations encountered during the Battle of Canakkale.

    The declaration says Turkish and New Zealander officials will seek ways to establish stronger ties between business circles of the two countries and find investment opportunities.

    It also says John Key told Erdogan that New Zealand would continue to make travel easier for Turkish citizens, especially for students, artists and businessmen.

    The declaration says the two leaders expressed commitment to United Nations, and also made commitments to achieve progress in major global issues such as fight against climate change, international disarmament and preventing the proliferation of nuclear and conventional weapons.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country had welcomed a decision in February by the New Zealand's government to declare PKK/KONGRA-GEL as a terrorist organization.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with his New Zealander counterpart John Key in Ankara, Erdogan said he was pleased to have Key in the Turkish capital, adding that New Zealand had a special place in the heart of the Turkish nation.

    Erdogan said he would accompany Key in the commemoration ceremonies for the 95th anniversary of the Canakkale Battles in the First World War.

    The Turkish premier said he reviewed with Key bilateral relations between the two countries as well as regional and international issues.

    Erdogan said the 8th meeting of the Turkey-New Zealand joint economic committee was expected to be held in the second half of the year, adding that a business forum would also be held on the sidelines of the committee meeting between businesspeople from the two countries.

    The two prime ministers earlier signed two agreements on the prevention double taxation and a work-and-travel program between Turkey and New Zealand.

    [10] Turkey repays over $4 billion in foreign debt since the beginning of 2010

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.04.10) reported from Ankara that Turkey paid back 595.29 million USD in foreign debt between April 1 and 21, 2010.

    According to data of the Turkish Central Bank, Turkey repaid 775.5 million USD in foreign debt in January, 2.09 billion USD in February and 1.007 billion USD in March 2010.

    Turkish Treasury paid back 4.468 billion USD of debt since the beginning of 2010.

    Turkey paid back 11.7 billion USD in foreign debt in 2009.

    [11] Prime Ministry denies claims about Turkey's offering financial aid to Greece. Erdogan to visit Athens on May 14 and 15

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.04.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Ministry denied claims that Turkey offered financial assistance to Greece.

    Releasing a statement on Friday, the ministry stated that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Greek counterpart George Papandreou made a phone conversation, and discussed the details of Erdogan's planned visit to Athens and also exchanged views about the relations between Turkey and Greece.

    Financial assistance offer and related issues were definitely not discussed in the conversation, the Prime Ministry stressed.

    Several Turkish newspapers quoted news stories from Greek newspapers claiming that Erdogan offered financial assistance to Greece during his phone conversation with Papandreou on April 16. Earlier today, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that Prime Minister Erdogan would pay a formal visit to Greek capital of Athens on May 14 and 15.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press on 22 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 22 April 2010:

    Constitutional amendment bill and the presidential system debate:

    In an article entitled "Alarm bells are ringing," Hurriyet Daily News.com columnist Yusuf Kanli warns of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, efforts to convert the Turkish republic into an "AKPocracy," by taking control of country's key institutions. Noting that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggested replacing the present system with a presidential system, Kanli maintains that this was Erdogan's aim from the start and that the current constitutional amendment package "is the second step of preparing the nation" for presidential system. Kanli concludes that, before making a decision on moving to a presidential system, "Turkey should weigh the pros and cons of this issue while taking into consideration its imperial past, the tendency in our people to worship the powerful and, of course, the failure of the Republic to move on to a really enhanced and advanced democracy over the past 60 years since the country moved to a multiparty democracy."

    Also commenting on the presidential system suggested by Erdogan, Milliyet's Kadri Gursel says that Erdogan wants the presidential system "for himself." In an article, Gursel recalls that the present system, which is the outcome of the 2007 referendum and in which the president is elected by the people while his powers are limited, inevitably leads to "difficulties" in power sharing between the prime minister and the president. Gursel maintains that in Turkey, where the election system and political parties' regime are not democratized and where the democracy culture is weak, the presidential system will make the winner a "king." Gursel concludes that the best thing for Turkey is to strengthen its parliamentary system in a democratic manner.

    In a column, Vatan's Rusen Cakir points out that Erdogan takes into account AKP's present situation when drawing up constitutional amendments or when suggesting the replacement of the present system with the presidential system. Noting that the Turkish political history is full of examples of governments which the anti-democratic steps that they took to gain more power hit them like a boomerang, Cakir urges the AKP to lower the 10 percent election threshold. He concludes that the AKP should take into account the fact that it may not be in power one day and therefore should make the amendments regarding the political system with the aim of attaining "pluralist" and not "majoritarian" democracy.

    In an article entitled "Will the CHP-MHP-BDP alliance be able to defend the status quo?", Yeni Safak columnist Yalcin Akdogan, criticizes the Republican People's Party, CHP, the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, and the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, for opposing the latest constitutional amendment package. Akdogan asserts that these three parties' opposition to constitutional change cannot be defended or explained on "democratic sensibility" grounds. He also claims that the BDP is "serving the status quo it has always criticized" in not supporting the package.

    In an article entitled "Why Tayyip Erdogan wants the presidential system", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru discusses the meaning of Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal for Turkey's switch to the US-type presidential system. He argues that Erdogan would not want Turkey to adopt the presidential system if he were not the leader of a political party that has had to deal with judicial obstacles to its agenda ever since it came to power some nine years ago or if Western standards of democracy were applied in Turkey.

    In an article entitled "Erdogan's counterattack: Presidential system", Vakit columnist Sibel Eraslan asserts that Prime Minister Erdogan's proposal that Turkey switch to the presidential system is probably only a "political tactic" intended to prevent the judiciary from continuing to try to obstruct the Government's constitutional reform package. She claims that the presidential system does not work as successfully everywhere as it does in the United States and that where it has brought democracy to North America, it has not entailed anything other than dictatorships in South America. She also warns "cheerleaders" who are applauding Erdogan's suggestion, asserting that while "our dreams are full of Tayyip Erdogan and the AKP today, there might be a presidential regime under another party tomorrow."

    EG/


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