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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-29

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. 78/10 29.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Occupation regime to open a representative office in Syria in 2010. Products produced in occupied Cyprus to label as Turkish and then exported to the Syrian market
  • [02] Statements by the self-styled Turkish ambassador to Lefkosia on the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot daily says the Greek Cypriot applications to the Immovable Property Commission are increasing
  • [04] A delegation from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to Serdar Denktas
  • [05] BKP evaluates the elections: Eroglu won, the Turkish Cypriots lost
  • [06] Eroglu says a strong economy will be an advantage for the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiations table
  • [07] The population in the occupied areas of Cyprus increased to 258.441 persons in October 2009
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot newspaper says self-styled health ministry officials exert pressure on doctors to issue health report for citizenship applicants
  • [09] The so-called fencing national team attends the 7th World Fencing Childrens Championship in Turkey
  • [10] Bagis discusses the Cyprus problem with the Croatian Foreign Minister
  • [11] Turkish, Croatian and Bosnian Foreign Ministers on the decisions taken during the Trilateral Meeting held in Ankara
  • [12] Statements by Turkish and Croatian Foreign Ministers on their bilateral relations
  • [13] Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary to visit Israel for a political consultations meeting
  • [14] Davutoglu invites Kurdish leader Barzani to Turkey
  • [15] Turkish Parliament concludes the first round of voting on the Constitutional amendment bill; CHP to appeal to Constitutional Court for annulment if the bill will be adopted
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [16] From the Turkish Press of 28 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Occupation regime to open a representative office in Syria in 2010. Products produced in occupied Cyprus to label as Turkish and then exported to the Syrian market

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Damasus:

    Economy and Energy minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Sunat Atun said on Wednesday that the TRNC planned to open a representation in Syria in 2010.

    The TRNC foreign ministry is currently working on opening a representation in Syria. I will hold a conversation with Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan so that Turkish Cypriot products get the label Turkey as their place of origin and get sent to Syria as such, he said.

    If Turkish Cypriot products have Turkey as their place of origin, we would not have to pay up to 40 percent of customs duties. We will come to Syria again with a large delegation of businesspeople and try to establish business ties, Atun noted.

    Thanks to Turkey's efforts, citizens of the TRNC and Syria can visit each other without having to obtain visas. Lifting visa requirement facilitated growth of commercial relations with Syria, Atun said.

    Atun and other Turkish Cypriot officials visited a furniture fair in Damascus in which six Turkish Cypriots are participating.

    Atun will proceed to Beirut, the Lebanon on Wednesday and give information to Lebanese businesspeople on investment opportunities in the TRNC.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (29.04.10) reports that Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy and energy of the breakaway regime, is holding contacts in Syria with the aim of developing the economic cooperation between the breakaway regime and the above-mentioned country. In statements yesterday Mr Atun said that when they examine the volume of trade between the breakaway regime and Syria they wonder why it is so small. He pointed out that the volume of trade of the regime with Syria is ten times smaller than its volume of trade with Lebanon. This shows that there is great potential from the point of view of the development of trade between the two countries, he noted.

    The paper writes that Mr Atun visited the International Furniture Fair of Damask where firms from the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus are participating. Mr Atun hosted a reception for the Turkish Cypriot and Syrian businessmen who are participating in the fair. The ambassador of Turkey to Damask, Omer Onhon received Mr Atun during his arrival at the fair. M. Labib Ekhwan, chairman of Humus area Chamber of Industry, Abdulkadir Sabra, chairman of the Syrian Chamber of Maritime Business and other businessmen participated in the reception. A presentation about the economy of the breakaway regime, the possibilities for investments in occupied Cyprus and the incentives which are provided for this was made at the reception.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Statements by the self-styled Turkish ambassador to Lefkosia on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.04.10) reports that Sakir Fakili, self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, has stated that the policy of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides for a solution in Cyprus based on two areas, two regions and two founding states, where the active and effective guarantees of Turkey will continue. In statements yesterday at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), Mr Fakili said that they want for the negotiations in Cyprus to continue within the framework of the good will offices of the UN Secretary-General and added that the free will of the Turkish Cypriot people is very important.

    Mr Fakili noted that the Cyprus issue should be seen as a wealth, not as a problem for the Republic of Turkey and pointed out that the Cyprus issue added many things to Turkey.

    Mr Fakili said the fact that Turkey is located in an area full of crises forces the Turkish Foreign Affairs to live with these crises and added that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is getting richer with the crises. He noted that the Cyprus matter should be separated from these.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Turkish Cypriot daily says the Greek Cypriot applications to the Immovable Property Commission are increasing

    Under the title They are rushing into the Immovable Property Commission, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (29.04.10) reports that the applications of Greek Cypriot refugees to the Immovable Property Commission set up by Turkey in the occupied areas of Cyprus are increasing. The paper writes that 27 applications were submitted to the Commission in April and that eleven of these applications were filed after the illegal presidential elections of 18 April. The paper reports that 503 applications were filed to the Commission since 2006.

    The paper writes that the number of the Greek Cypriot applications is increasing after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) accepted the Commission as local remedy. One hundred applications were filed in 2006, 197 in 2007, 76 in 2008, 70 in 2009 and 60 in 2010. The paper notes that 160 out of the 503 applications have come to a conclusion. Two applications were rejected and 55 were withdrawn.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] A delegation from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs paid a visit to Serdar Denktas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.04.10) reports that a delegation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, chaired by Pieter de Gooijer, paid a visit to the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Mr Serdar Denktas. According to an announcement issued by DP, the results of recent illegal presidential elections, the Cyprus problem and the negotiations were the main issues discussed during their one-hour meeting. DPs foreign relation secretary, Mr Benju Sonay and one of the former self-styled foreign ministers, Mr Atay Ahmet Rasit, attended the meeting as well.

    (EA)

    [05] BKP evaluates the elections: Eroglu won, the Turkish Cypriots lostTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.04.10) reports that Izzet Izcan, the chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stated that the results of the presidential elections showed for one more time that the Turkish Cypriot community became a minority in its own country and its will has been usurped. He also said that the Turkish Cypriot community should not stay a spectator to the developments.

    Mr Izcan made these statements speaking at a press conference where he evaluated the results of the elections and gave information about the stance his party will follow from now on. As he stated, the parties which supported Mehmet Ali Talat will continue their policy towards peace and solution.

    Mr Izcan went on and stated that Dervis Eroglu was supported by those who are against the solution, by the deep state in Turkey and by the Ergenekon organizations supporters. We congratulate Mr Eroglu for winning the elections. However, the Turkish Cypriot community was the one that lost, he said.

    (CS)

    [06] Eroglu says a strong economy will be an advantage for the Turkish Cypriot side at the negotiations table

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Dervis Eroglu said on Wednesday that it would be a great advantage to sit at the negotiations table as the president of a country which had a sound economy.

    Newly elected president Eroglu delivered a speech at his meeting with members of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.

    Eroglu said he would be in a very close dialogue with the government and especially a president-prime minister dialogue was of great importance for the country's stability.

    Eroglu also said he would have a close dialogue with all organizations, adding that he would exchange views with these organizations during the negotiation process.

    [07] The population in the occupied areas of Cyprus increased to 258.441 persons in October 2009

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (29.04.10), on its front page and under the title Youth unemployment shot up to 31.4%; the population increased by 8 thousand people in a year, reports on a survey carried out by the so-called state planning organization (DPO). The so-called head of the statistics and research department of DPO, Mr Guner Mukellef, in a press conference yesterday, announced the Results of Household Labour force 2009 survey.

    According to these results, unemployment which was 9.8% in 2008 increased to 12.4% in 2009. Unemployment among the young people increased from 24.7% in 2008 to 31.4% in 2009.

    Mr Mukellef said that while the civilian population in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus estimated in October 2008 to be 250.373 persons increased to 258.441 persons in October 2009. The increase amounted to 8.068 persons.

    (DPs)

    [08] Turkish Cypriot newspaper says self-styled health ministry officials exert pressure on doctors to issue health report for citizenship applicants

    Under the title Pressure for citizenship, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (29.04.10), reports on its front page that the congestion which is created at the self-styled ministry of the interior by people who sought to file an application for citizenship of the breakaway regime is due to the occupation governments policy to accelerate granting citizenship before restrictions take effect regarding the election period for the local elections on 27th June.

    According to the paper, some bureaucrats at the ministry of health are exerting pressure on doctors at the hospital to issue health reports to "citizenship" applicants. The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot trade union of doctors, Mr Erol Seherlioglu, made these complaints to Yeni Duzen newspaper. He also added that these citizenship applicants are threatening the hospital personnel.

    (DPs)

    [09] The so-called fencing national team attends the 7th World Fencing Childrens Championship in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.04.10) reports that the so-called fencing national team of the breakaway regime took part in the 7th World Fencing Childrens Championship in the Turkish province of Antalya between April 22-25. As the paper reports, one thousand athletes from 11 countries and from all the Turkish provinces attended the tournament.

    The chairman of the illegal Turkish Cypriot fencing federation, Mr Erhan Vechi, and its general secretary, Mr Muzaffer Doggun, together with the national team attended the tournament as guests of the chairman of the Turkish Fencing Federation, Mr Muminhan Bilgin. Making a statement, Mr Bilgin said that the Turkish Cypriot athletes who are participating in world championships take important steps in order to break the so-called embargoes and they make agreements for various projects.

    (EA)

    [10] Bagis discusses the Cyprus problem with the Croatian Foreign Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Ankara: Turkish State Minister & Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis met with Croatia's Foreign Affairs & European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic in Ankara on Wednesday.

    The two ministers discussed EU membership processes of Turkey and Croatia as well as the ongoing meetings between Turkey, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    They also took up the difficulties Turkey faced in Cyprus issue as well as Croatia's problems in Slovenia issue.

    The two ministers agreed that the EU needed candidate countries and enlargement.

    Bagis told the guest minister that 60 percent of Turkish people supported Turkey's EU membership, but only 40 percent believed that Turkey would join the EU.

    The two ministers also discussed Bosnia-Herzegovina issue and they both supported Bosnia's membership to NATO and the EU.

    They stressed that peace and stability were necessary in Bosnia-Herzegovina to settle peace and stability in Europe.

    [11] Turkish, Croatian and Bosnian Foreign Ministers on the decisions taken during the Trilateral Meeting held in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday that Turkey and Croatia were determined to continue provide international support to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with Bosnia-Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj and Croatia's Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic after a Trilateral meeting in Ankara, Davutoglu said that Turkey and Croatia will be on Bosnia's side at all international forums.

    We hosted a crucial meeting in Ankara today. It was a very helpful and long meeting, Davutoglu said.

    Last December, our three countries had expressed a will to establish a trilateral consultation mechanism and the first meeting had taken place in Zagreb in January, Davutoglu said.

    In Zagreb, we had taken decisions to support Bosnia and decisions for the trilateral cooperation. We held the second meeting of the trilateral mechanism on Wednesday. Within this trilateral mechanism, we made great efforts with Croatia so that Bosnia receives a membership perspective in NATO. I congratulate Bosnia-Herzegovina for receiving a membership perspective from NATO. I thank Croatia for extending strong support to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Davutoglu said.

    My Bosnian and Croatian counterparts and I will hold a meeting every three months and the next meeting will take place in Sarajevo, Davutoglu said.

    We have taken a decision today to hold a meeting among the heads of state and government of our respective countries, Davutoglu said.

    We will continue to contribute to the development of relations between the three peoples of Bosnia. As the three ministers, we call on Bosnians, Serbs and Croatians living in Bosnia-Herzegovina to live in peace, Davutoglu said.We have also taken a decision to formulate new projects to develop and re-construct Bosnia-Herzegovina, Davutoglu added.

    Bosnia's Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj said that he was very pleased to be in Turkey.

    Believe me, I feel very good to be here in Turkey, Alkalaj said.

    We thank Turkey for its support extended to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Alkalaj said.

    We are thankful to Turkey and Croatia for the extraordinary support extended to Bosnia's membership action plan in NATO, Alkalaj underlined.

    Bosnia's unity and stability is crucial for regional stability and security. What has to take place in Bosnia is to facilitate peace among the (three) peoples living there, Alkalaj said.

    Croatia's Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic said that today's meeting was not just any other meeting.

    We have decided on Wednesday to take important steps for peace and stability, Jandrokovic said.

    Our three countries share identical notions for regional peace and stability. Permanent peace in the region depends on peace in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jandrokovic said.

    Croatia will continue to support stability and territorial integrity of Bosnia-Herzegovina. We support the establishment of peace and security among the founding peoples in Bosnia. We also support the reforms in Bosnia. We will continue to extend support to Bosnia regarding the EU and NATO, Jandrokovic also said.

    [12] Statements by Turkish and Croatian Foreign Ministers on their bilateral relations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Wednesday that Turkey saw Croatia as a crucial country for stability in the Balkans and Europe.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with Croatia's Foreign Affairs and European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic, Minister Davutoglu said that Jandrokovic and he discussed bilateral relations and made a decision to meet each other at least once every year.

    Turkey looks at Croatia as an important center for stability in the Balkans and Europe. While we do not share borders with Croatia, we look at Croatia as a neighbor. Turkey's political relations with Croatia are excellent, Davutoglu said.

    We want to raise our trade volume with Crotia to one billion USD from the current 400 million USD. We will encourage Turkish businesspeople to make more investments in Croatia. The Turkish-Croatian Business Council will convene soon, Davutoglu said.

    We will continue to work with Croatia in all international organizations, beginning with NATO, Davutoglu said.

    Jandrokovic, in his part, said that there were no problems in Croatia's relations with Turkey and that relations were friendly.

    The two sides are willing to promote relations, Jandrokovic said.

    We are pleased to see the similar approach of Turkey and Croatia to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Jandrokovic said.

    During our talks in Ankara, we discussed cooperation in the energy field, Jandrokovic said.

    Touching on the developments in south-east Europe, Jandrokovic said that future meetings would focus on how countries could contribute to stability and peace in the region.

    Earlier in the day, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Croatia's Foreign Affairs & European Integration Minister Gordan Jandrokovic and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj met within the scope of the Turkey-Bosnia & Herzegovina-Croatia foreign ministers' trilateral consultation mechanism in Ankara.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul met with Croatia's Foreign Minister Gordan Jandrokovic and an accompanying delegation on Wednesday.

    The meeting was closed to press.

    Earlier in the day, Jandrokovic attended the meeting of Turkey-Bosnia & Herzegovina-Croatia foreign ministers' trilateral consultation mechanism in Ankara together with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Foreign Minister Sven Alkalaj.

    Later, he had a separate meeting with Davutoglu.

    [13] Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary to visit Israel for a political consultations meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Undersecretary of Turkish Foreign Ministry will travel to Israel to take part at a regular political consultation meeting, Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

    Feridun Sinirlioglu will attend the 14th meeting of the regular political consultation between Turkey and Israel to take place on May 2.

    Sinirlioglu will meet with Yossi Gal, Director-General of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the statement said.

    The consultations will focus on bilateral relations as well as regional and international issues, it said.

    [14] Davutoglu invites Kurdish leader Barzani to Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.04.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said he invited Massoud Barzani, Head of Regional Administration in North of Iraq in a letter he sent with Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioglu.

    Davutoglu told reporters at a press conference on Wednesday in Ankara, that Sinirlioglu conveyed his letter to Barzani Yesterday, inviting him to Turkey.Barzani who paid visits to Turkey in the past as the leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) has not visited Turkey for a long time. A future visit by Barzani to Turkey will be significant as this will be his first visit as the Head of the Regional Administration in North of Iraq which was formed after the U.S. invasion in 2003.

    Davutoglu said Turkey pursued a consistent foreign policy in Iraq, adding that it maintained close ties with all ethnic groups in Iraq, to give out a strong message to all groups for building the future of Iraq.

    We are determined to carry on these ties in close consultation. I had also invited Barzani to Turkey, during my visit to Arbil last year on October 30. It is not a new thing. He will pay a visit to Turkey in a convenient time. This significant for consultations. Because we want all groups to rapidly reconstruct Iraq, said Davutoglu.

    [15] Turkish Parliament concludes the first round of voting on the Constitutional amendment bill; CHP to appeal to Constitutional Court for annulment if the bill will be adopted

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.04.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish Parliament concluded the first round voting of the government-backed constitutional amendment package last night, after heated debates. All 27 articles of the package received somewhere between 331 and 340 votes in the first round, which lasted 9 days (134 hrs) with the debate and voting of the package article by article.

    The government-backed amendment package among other things aims to change the constitution of the Supreme Board of Judges (HSYK) and Prosecutors, and the Constitutional Court, and tie opening of closure cases against political parties to the permission of a parliamentary committee.

    Though all articles of the package received over 330 votes in the first round, enough votes so far to carry the package to referendum, the result of the round does not count and a second round is required according to the law.

    The bill will be voted article by article and as a whole in the second round. The articles and entirety of the bill needs to receive over 367 of the votes in order to be adopted. If it receives somewhere between 330 and 367 it will be put to referendum. If any of the articles receive less then 330 it will automatically rejected. If during the voting of the package as a whole it receives less then 330 it will be rejected.

    The second round of the voting will begin on May 2, Sunday and last until May 9. A total of 31 secret votes will be held in the second round.

    Leader of Turkey's main opposition, Republican People's Party (CHP), said on Wednesday that they would appeal to the Constitutional Court for annulment of the government backed constitutional amendment package, should it be adopted in parliament and approved by the President.

    Both the main opposition CHP and second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) declared they would not support the bill. CHP did not attend the voting while MHP attended and voted against the package.

    Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) also said it was against the amendment and boycotted the voting except the article on closure of political parties. Some BDP deputies attended the voting of the said article and caste ballots in favour.

    CHP is skeptical of the government bill, as it fears it would erode the independence of the judiciary. CHP also argues that with 26 articles put to vote as a package, raises the question of non-separability of preferences of voters, as they are expected to vote yes or no to the whole package. It criticizes the voting of the package as a whole arguing that all articles should be put to vote separately.

    Second opposition Nationalist Movement Party accuses the government of attempting to politicize the judiciary and subordinate the judiciary to the executive branch.

    The government which denies accusations argues that the bill aims at making Turkey more democratic in line with EU's expectations. The package envisages amendments to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), and closure of political parties.

    It will abolish the provisional Article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the National Security Council formed after a coup in 1980.

    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 union, and the civil servants and other public officials the right to collective bargaining.

    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.

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


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [16] From the Turkish Press of 28 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 28 April 2010:

    a) Constitutional amendment debate and CHPs decision to appeal to Constitutional Court:

    Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila writes that on the day the constitutional amendment package is published in the Official Gazette, the Republican People's Party, CHP, will file a suit at the Constitutional Court asking that the package be annulled. Pointing out in his article that the CHP has completed almost all its legal preparations on the issue, Bila explains the CHP claim that articles on the closure of political parties, the Constitutional Court, and the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors, HSYK, violate the principle of a state of law mentioned in Article 2 of the Constitution. Declaring that the CHP needs the signatures of 110 deputies in order to be able to file the suit, Bila wonders whether as a party that has 97 seats in parliament, it can obtain 110 signatures. Predicting that the CHP can obtain the votes of six Democratic Left Party, DSP, deputies and some independents, Bila foresees that the amendment package will go to the Constitutional Court before it is submitted to a referendum.

    Referring to CHP leader Deniz Baykal's claim that through the amendments the government wishes to seize the Constitutional Court in an article in Sabah, Nazli Ilicak writes: "It is true that the AKP [Justice and Development Party] wants to change the existing structure. However, the reason for this is not, as claimed by Baykal, a fear of the Supreme Court. We should seek the reason in the decisions of the Constitutional Court that exceed the Court's authority."

    The "neighborhood pressure" on the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, to support the AKP constitutional amendment package is increasing, according to Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir who describes Tarafas one of the primary focal points of that pressure. Relating the claim made by BDP Istanbul Deputy Ufuk Uras that the AKP has failed to respond to the BDP requests regarding the shortcomings of the package in his article, Cakir reports Uras as having said that the BDP might not participate in the second round of voting either. Referring to the BDP demand that the election threshold be reduced, Cakir argues that the AKP approach that this is not a matter involving the Constitution is not convincing in the least. Commenting on the use of the operations being conducted against Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan, KCK, as a reason to convince the BDP to support the amendment regarding the HSYK, Cakir writes: "It is as though these operations are being conducted outside the knowledge of the government, even as though they are being launched despite the government; as though such operations will not be conducted if the structure of the HSYK is changed."

    In an article entitled "Let us hope for the best", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that if the main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, manages to block the Government's constitutional amendment package and a possible referendum by filing appeals with the Constitutional Court, the scene might be set for "below-the-belt" attacks on the ruling AKP in the run-up to the next general election. He claims that certain elements within the Turkish "deep state" appear to be getting across the message to the United States that the Turkish military should be allowed to rectify its public image by replacing the AKP as the architect of the ongoing democratization process and that the Turkish army cannot contribute to the United States' strategic goals in Iraq as long as it remains under the pressure of an Islamic government at home. He also advises the United States against "changing horses in midstream" and warns that Washington could only compromise its own interests if it positions itself against the AKP.

    In an article entitled "Positive discrimination", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac criticizes the recently adopted amendment to Article 10 of the Constitution, which governs the principle of equality. He claims that the change entails "positive discrimination" for women, a concept that, along with the idea of "gender equality, is "imposed on societies like ours" by the West in a bid to destroy the social fabric. He also cites the "spread of homosexuality" as one of the consequences of gender equality in Western societies.

    In an article entitled "April's promises", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that the expected adoption of the proposed amendment to Article 15 of the Constitution, which prevents a number of retired generals from being placed on trial for their acts and decisions as architects of the 12 September coup, will mark "continuity" in the effort to "get rid of" a past where "political criminals disrupting democratic life could always get away and, as in the case of the April 27 e-memo ... enjoyed de facto impunity."

    b) Iyad Allawi's visit to Turkey:

    Viewing Iyad Allawi's visit to Turkey in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar maintains that the "behind the scenes" support of Turkey for Allawi in the recent elections has led to a "unity of positions" between Turkey and the United States on the issue of Iraq. The White House, although not delighted with Turkey's stand on many foreign policy issues, is not very vocal on those issues because of its need for Turkey on issues concerning Iraq and Afghanistan, writes Candar. Allawi's visit to Turkey at a time when he has begun to lose power despite having emerged as number one from the elections can be interpreted as a "search for support," maintains Candar, adding that the Kurds are the key to the formation of the Iraqi government. Pointing out that the complicated equation in Iraq transforms Turkey into an effective player, Candar argues that Turkey has to adopt a stable stand vis--vis Iraq whose instability is becoming chronic and that can become a "security problem."

    c) Bosnia's inclusion into the NATO:

    Viewing the discussions held at the NATO summit in Tallinn on Bosnia's membership perspective in an article in Sabah, Bulent Aras notes that while some of NATO's powerful members were opposed, countries close or neighboring to Bosnia were supportive. Describing the struggle between these two groups as the struggle between democratic legitimacy and power, Aras argues that Bosnia's inclusion into the NATO membership process should be viewed as the agreement of the international community and the regional countries on the protection of Bosnia's territorial integrity. Declaring that the NATO discussions ended with the success of the pro-Bosnia group led by Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Aras concludes by praising Turkey's new foreign policy.

    /AC


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