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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-05-12
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 87/10 12.05.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Eroglu meets with Erdogan in Ankara; No statements were made after the meeting; The Turkish Cypriot press describes the visit as surprisingAnkara Anatolia news agency (11.05.10) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with President Dervis Eroglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in Ankara on Tuesday. The meeting was closed to press. It lasted about two and a half hours.At his arrival in Ankara, Eroglu had told reporters that his meeting with Erdogan would assess the situation regarding Cyprus problem ahead of Erdogan's upcoming visit to Athens. Erdogan will pay a two-day visit to Greece on May 14 and 15. Turkish Cypriot President Eroglu recalled that Cyprus reunification talks would resume on May 26 with his first meeting as president with Greek Cypriot Demetris Christofias.
Furthermore, under the title Jet speed visit to Ankara, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.05.10) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. The paper writes that Mr Eroglu departed for Ankara yesterday afternoon after an invitation by Mr Erdogan.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.05.10) reports that no statement was made after the surprising meeting, which lasted for approximately two hours and forty minutes. The paper reports that the press expects with interest to find out whether or not a statement will be made today regarding the meeting. In parallel with the negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem, the press is making various comments on whether or not the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government made any suggestions on the issue of the establishment of a new self-styled government in the occupied areas of Cyprus, writes Vatan.
Moreover, referring to the same visit, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (12.05.10) reports that a surprising development which caused many questions happened yesterday and writes that Prime Minister Erdogan sent his jet named Ata to the illegal Tymvou airport in order to take Mr Eroglu to Ankara. The paper writes that the visit was not included in Eroglus program and reminds of a statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader who had earlier announced that he would visit Ankara on 13 May.
 Scenarios for the establishment of a coalition government and cooperation between the political parties in the municipal electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the competent bodies of the National Unity Party (UBP) gave yesterday the authority to the partys chairman, Irsen Kucuk, to form a coalition government. In statements after his meetings with the UBPs administrative board, parliamentary group and party council, Mr Kucuk noted that in parallel to the establishment of a new coalition government, the issue of the municipal elections to be held in June in the occupied areas of Cyprus was discussed during the above three meetings and added that they could cooperate with the Democratic Party (DP) during these elections under some conditions in case an agreement is reached.
Yesterday, Mr Kucuk held also meetings with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the Democratic Party (DP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP).
In statements after the meeting with the ORP, Mr Kucuk said he expects to submit to the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu a governmental model until the end of the week.
After his meeting with Mr Kucuk, the chairman of the DP, Serdar Denktas stated that they would evaluate the details of the establishment of a coalition government in the bodies of their party and pointed out that the UBP has the opportunity to establish a government with the other three parties which are represented in the parliament. Responding to a question on the issue of the municipal elections, Mr Denktas said there is no crisis between the UBP and the DP and added that their relations on this issue might be severed or strengthened. He noted that they might make a statement on this issue tonight or tomorrow night.
Mr Kucuk said that the efforts for establishing a government are continuing in parallel to the efforts regarding the municipal elections. He noted that the information published yesterday in the press that the relations between the UBP and the DP severed on this issue were not true.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the relations between the UBP and the DP have been tensed and the UBP is expected to establish a coalition government with the ORP. The paper notes that after his meeting yesterday with Mr Irsen Kucuk, the chairman of the ORP, Turgay Avci, said they are ready for any kind of cooperation with the UBP, including a coalition government.
The paper writes that the leader of the CTP, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, said they want to continue to be the main opposition party.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the relations between the UBP and the DP have been tensed on the issue of the municipal elections and adds that the UBP winked at the ORP during their meeting for establishing a coalition government.
Citing information from reliable sources, the paper writes that during the meetings which Mr Kucuk had in Ankara before taking the duty to form a government, he held intensive contacts regarding his preference on the issue of the establishment of a government. The paper reports that it is considered that Mr Kucuk would prefer to establish a government with the ORP because such a coalition government would be more at peace with Ankara during a difficult process from the economic point of view. Moreover, it is noted that Mr Avci, who visited Ankara for personal reasons last weekend, held some political contacts as well in the Turkish capital. It is said that Mr Kucuk favours a coalition government with the ORP and a new meeting between the two parties will be held today in parallel to the meeting between the UBP and DP on the municipal elections.
Meanwhile, Haberdar reports also that the social democrat wing of the DP has launched meetings with the CTP for cooperation in the municipal elections. It is said that the CTP will leave to the DP the seat in the parliament which is vacant due to Dervis Eroglus election in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community and that the two parties will act together in some municipalities.
 Talat to visit Ankara for contacts with Erdogan on CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will visit Ankara next week in order to hold contacts with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Cyprus. The invitation to Mr Talat was addressed by Prime Minister Erdogan and according to the newspaper, the aim of the meeting is the determination of the new strategies which the Turkish side will follow on the issue.
 A symposium on the decisions of the ECHR regarding property violations was organized in IstanbulTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the Chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (KTIHV), lawyer Emine Colak, participated in a symposium organized in Istanbul under the title, European Court of Human Rights decisions which derive from property violations: Problems and ways of solution. The symposium was jointly organized by Turkeys Ministry of Justice and Okan University. Speakers from Turkey, Britain, Poland and the occupied areas of Cyprus participated in the symposium. Ms Colaks presentation was on Turkeys responsibility for violations deriving from property which is in Cyprus and ways of solution.
 Cyprus Today newspaper publishes the stories of two British couples who lost their money and health after buying property in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot Cyprus Today midweek newspaper (12.05.10) publishes the stories of two British couples who lost their money and health as a result of the problems they faced after buying property in occupied Cyprus.
The first story is as follows:
Title: My wifes sunshine dream dies with her
A woman, who came to North Cyprus dreaming of retirement in the sun with her husband, has died in Britain --after suffering a series of property nightmares in what was to have been their adopted country.
Elaine Chittock, who succumbed to lung cancer on Saturday, aged 69, fell victim to two rogue developers --and TRNC laws which fail to protect buyers.
Mrs Chittock and her husband Bob, 63, bought first from British fugitive Gary Robbs failed Aga Construction Company, before purchasing a villa at Victorian Homes Karsiyaka site --whose developer Recep Reg Heybetli disappeared, leaving them in the lurch.
The couple began paying instalments on a two-bedroom Aga villa at Amaranta Valley, near Arapkoy [occupied Klepini village], while on holiday from their Devon home in 2004. They parted with around £18,000 towards the agreed purchase price of £53,000 before stopping further payments the following year, when the work on the massive development ran into trouble.
Girne [occupied Keryneia] District Court ordered Robb --who is now in custody in the UK awaiting sentencing on serious drugs charges after being deported from the TRC last year-- to pay them £32,000 to include their returned purchase money, interest and compensation, but they never received a penny.
We subsequently agreed to settle for just our original £18,000 and Robb agreed to pay that, but of course the money has never been forthcoming, said Mr Chittock, who is now battling leukaemia.
Because the Amaranta Valley property was never likely to be finished we bought a two-bedroom villa in Karsiyaka [occupied Vasilia village] from Victorian Homes and paid £57,000 of the £70,000 purchase price before things went wrong there as well.
There was a dispute between the developer and landowner and although we were told we could move in, we had no mains electricity or water for 18 months.
The developer then demanded the balance of the purchase price, which I refused to pay unless electricity and water were connected and promised boundary walls were built.
When the generator was taken back and a water pump from their tank was removed, Mr Chittock alerted the police, who ordered their return.
Close friend Marian Stokes, of the Home Buyers Pressure Group (HBPG), who had helped them through the earlier legal battles with Gary Robb, gained permission for a temporary electricity supply on compassionate grounds.
The landowner, however, then placed an injunction on the property, preventing Kib-Tek from carrying out the work.
To add insult to injury, a Turkish Cypriot who claimed he could help disappeared with £1,500 of their money.
Elaine was diagnosed with lung cancer while we were living in Karsiyaka and shortly afterwards I was found to have leukaemia, said Mr Chittock. You have to live without proper electricity and water supplies to really know how hard it is. With both of us suffering from acute illnesses, it became impossible.
Facing their second bitter property disappointment the couple then moved in with friends until, due to their failing health, they returned to the UK two years ago to stay in Milton Keynes with Mrs Chittocks son.
We are owed thousands of pounds due to property problems in North Cyprus and I am sure the stress and living conditions we encountered there contributed to our illnesses and to Elaines death, said Mr Chittock.
My wife first came to Cyprus with the RAF in the early 1960s and loved the place ever since. It breaks my heart that her dream turned into a series of property nightmares.
Mrs Chittocks funeral is due to take place at Milton Keynes Crematorium on Friday, May 21.
Mrs Stokes said: They were decent and trusting people who were taken advantage of and cruelly denied.
The second story is as follows:
Title: After six year of misery were never coming back
A British couple have slammed the TRNC legal system after finally receiving compensation following a six-year legal battle with the builder of their dream retirement home.
Don and Sheila Vango were awarded £175,000, plus interest, from Ismail Beydola in January 2009 after work on the Catalkoy [occupied Agios Epiktitos village] villa his company had built was condemned by experts.
But, following an appeal by Mr Beydola to the TRNC High Court, the weary couple, who say they have spent £20,000 on home improvements and legal fees alone, have accepted an out-of-court settlement of £115,000.
Mr Vango, a 59-year-old computer engineer, told Cyprus Today: The problem is the High Court makes rulings strictly according to the law, even if the law is an ass. Because Mr Beydola had not transferred the title deeds to us, the property was technically still his, even though we had paid for it. Our lawyer said the High Court judges were likely to overturn the original judgment and we would have to go for a retrial.
Given the fact that I suffered a heart attack in August last year brought on by all the stress, Sheila returned to North Cyprus on her own and decided to seek a settlement, having lost all faith in TRNC justice.
In papers lodged as part of the appeal, Mr Beydola, who owns Karakums Polar Restaurant, claimed the Vangos owed him backdated rent.
He also alleged central heating and landscaping of the propertys one-donum garden, paid for by the couple, should not be taken into account when valuing the property.
But Mr Vango said the settlement figure did not come close to the villas present-day cost and their investment in it. He added: We feel badly let down by the TRNC legal system and still think the original ruling providing £175,000 compensation should have been implemented immediately.
As it is, we have had six years of misery and my health has been badly affected for just a few financial crumbs.
Mr Vango added: Property deeds do not transfer on payment of the full asking price, which leaves all the power with the builder of landowner, so no matter how right we are in principle, the law cannot protect us.
The couple are grateful to people for their support during the long-running fight, including Gunes Mentes and Gizem Telgrafcioglu from their legal team and the HomeBuyers Pressure Groups Marian Stokes.
Given an antiquated legal system, however, they stood little chance of winning the war, added Mrs Vango.
They say they now plan to enjoy their retirement at home in Swindon, Wiltshire, and have no plans to return to the TRNC.
Mr Beydola said: I borrowed money to pay Mr and Mrs Vango and my [former Vango] house is on the market to be sold. The house was built property and I do not agree it had defects. I challenge anyone to find any cracks or any other problems with it.
He declined to say how much he was seeking for the property.
 Self-styled finance minister holds contacts in TurkeyIllegal Bayrak television (11.05.10) broadcast the following:
The Minister of Finance Ersin Tatar is in Ankara to meet with the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan. Speaking to the BRT ahead of his Ankara visit, the Finance Minister pointed out that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus] was cheaper in prices compared to South Cyprus. He said that he will be exchanging views with the Turkish Minister of State on how to improve the customs protocol between the TRNC and Turkey.
Talking on the BRTs evening news program, Minister Tatar said that problems associated with customs practices between the two countries, particularly the problem experienced at Mersin port will be discussed during his meeting with Mr Caglayan. My real mission is to further lower prices in the Turkish market on the European border, he added.
In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish State Minister Zafer Caglayan received Tuesday the Finance Minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Ersin Tatar in Ankara. Minister Caglayan said that he was very pleased to welcome Tatar to Turkey.
Turkish Cypriot Minister Tatar said that the TRNC's imports declined recently.However, we are now noticing an upward trend in imports. 80 percent of all TRNC imports come from Turkey. The total value of our imports are 1.5 billion USD, Tatar stressed. We experience certain problems due to embargoes implemented on us. The embargoes cause an increase in costs and we are working to reduce such costs, Tatar also said.
Caglayan's meeting with Tatar was later closed to the press corps.
 Eroglu notes that ITUs campus will create employment opportunities in occupied Karpass areaIllegal Bayrak television (11.05.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
President Dervis Eroglu has received officials from the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) TRNC Campus which is planning to lay its foundation in the near future. Welcoming the delegation, President Eroglu pointed to the importance of the establishment of high quality university campuses like the ITU in the TRNC [breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus].
Noting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is taking serious steps in the way to become a country of universities, the President said such investments are embellishing the country. He also pointed out that the university would create employment opportunities in the Karpaz [occupied Karpassia] region.
On his part, the Rector of the Istanbul Technical University TRNC Campus Mehmet Karaca said their visit to the President aims to congratulate him for his new post. He also expressed the hope that Mr Eroglu will continue to give his support to them as he did during his term in office as Prime Minister.
 FIFTA Championship to take place in occupied Cyprus in 2011Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (12.05.10) reports that the European Male, Female and Youth Championship of the International Federation of Football Tennis Association (FIFTA) will take place in occupied Cyprus in 2011.
The decision was taken during the Ordinary General Congress and the second Panel of the International Federation of FIFTA which took place in the occupied areas of the island between May 7-9.
According to the paper, forty-six persons from fourteen countries participated in the Congress. These persons came from the following countries: Turkey, Croatia, Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, FYROM, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Slovakia, Brazil, Russia and Catalonia.
 Erdogan is set to visit AthensTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (12.05.10) reports the following:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans two-day visit to Athens which will begin on Friday will also mark a new era in the relations of Turkey and Greece, according to Turkish diplomats.
Erdogan will travel to Athens with 10 Cabinet ministers and the two countries will have their first meeting of the newly introduced High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council. During the visit there, several cooperation agreements in many fields will be signed. In order to prepare the final wording of the agreements many Turkish high-level bureaucrats will have meetings with their Greek counterparts on Thursday.
Erdogan will be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Zafer Caglayan, the chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, Minister of Interior Besir Atalay, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, National Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, Culture Minister Ertugrul Gunay and Minister of Environment Veysel Eroglu. There will be also a Turkish-Greek Business Council meeting during the two-day visit and both prime ministers will address the gathering.
Turkish diplomatic sources said yesterday that the visit with such a large and high-level delegation will mark a new beginning in the relations.
Erdogan will have talks with his Greek counterpart, George Papandreou, as well as President Karolos Papoulias, the speaker of the Parliament Philippos Petsalnikos and the opposition leader Andonis Samaras. Erdogan will not have enough time to visit Western Thrace to meet the Turkish minority there, but he will meet with the representatives of them in Athens.
Although the Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul will not accompany Erdogan, it is expected that the cut downs from the military expenditures reciprocity will be on the agenda of the meetings.
Erdogans visit comes as Greece is striving to cope with impacts of a severe financial crisis. Territorial disputes with Turkey in the Aegean are no doubt a catalyst for an arms race between Greece and Turkey, and heavy military spending has to a large extent put the Greek economy in dire straits. The two countries are expected to discuss ways to embrace the goal of easing mutual distrust and the arms race. As a result of the fierce competition with Turkey, Greece is now the biggest arms buyer in the EU.
During Erdogans visit, the two delegations are also expected to address the situation of the Turkish minority in Greece, Turkeys EU process, Cyprus and Aegean problems.
 Russia offers Turkey to set up a joint bank to boost tradeAnkara Anatolia news agency (11.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:
Russia offered Turkey to set up a joint bank to boost trade between the two countries, Turkeys foreign trade minister said on Tuesday.
Following his meeting with Russian Deputy Premier Igor Sechin, Zafer Caglayan told reporters that he was quite positive about Russia's offer. Turkish and Russian companies are able to use Turkish lira and Russian rubble in their commercial activities. In this context, it is a very positive offer, Caglayan said. I believe a joint Turkish-Russian bank would be very advantageous to boost our trade, he said. Caglayan also said that Turkey asked Russia to set a new quota for Turkey's white meat exports. We want a special quota for Turkey, he said, adding that quota limits would be clear in a few days.
On removal of visa requirements between the two countries, Caglayan described the move as a milestone and said that it was a historic decision. Caglayan also said that cooperation between Turkey and Russia would continue in every sector from energy to transportation.
On his part, Sechin said that his country was willing to improve commercial ties with Turkey. He said Turkish and Russian official were trying to reach an agreement on entry of Turkish export goods to Russia, recalling that Sochi port would be shut down permanently. Sochi will never be used as a port of loading. That's why, we are trying to reach a decision with our Turkish counterparts, he said. If Turkey accepts, we are ready to enhance infrastructure, especially roads and railways. This is important because agricultural products and white meat shipments from Turkey must be processed and reach Russian consumers in a very short time, he said.
Caglayan said Turkish ships would be allowed to use Sochi port until September, and added that Russia would prepare some other ports and logistics centres for Turkish vessels. However, Caglayan said Turkey and Russia could not reach a consensus on the location of new logistic centres.
 Turkey to Increase number of embassies in Africa to 30Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.05.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
A Turkish deputy prime minister said on Tuesday that Turkey would increase number of its embassies in Africa to 30 from 12. Turkey's State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan said Turkey would have been represented by diplomatic ambassadors in 95 percent of Africa once it opened the embassies. Turkey is a strategic partner of the African Union, and it has just become a member of the African Development Bank, Babacan said during a post-crisis global financial sector conference in Istanbul.
Babacan said the world had just started to recover from the crisis, and growth signals were coming from the entire world. The Turkish minister highlighted Turkey's geopolitical location as a European Asian, Mediterranean, Black Sea, Caspian, Middle Eastern, Balkan and Caucasian country that had close ties with Africa.
Babacan said Turkey was a member of NATO, Council of Europe (COE), Organization for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD), and a country that had launched the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP).We will host a SEECP heads of state and government summit in June, Babacan also said.
 Cevdet Selvi to act as CHP leader until partys congress on May 22 and 23Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:
The main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) appointed on Tuesday Cevdet Selvi, one of its deputy chairmen, as its acting leader till next week's regular convention.
The CHP party assembly gathered in an extraordinary meeting in Ankara after Deniz Baykal resigned on Monday as the party chairman. In the meeting, the party assembly decided that Cevdet Selvi would act as the chairman of the party till the regular convention on May 22-23.
Baykal resigned of his post on Monday after a video tape allegedly featuring him having an affair with a female deputy of CHP was released on a video-sharing website last week.
Selvi has been the deputy chairman of CHP since 1998. He also served as the acting party chairman for a month as Deniz Baykal resigned from the post after general elections in 1999. Selvi is a member of parliament from CHP.
 Two days after resignation, Baykals possible comeback tops agendaUnder the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (12.05.10) reports the following:
Though it has been only two days since Deniz Baykal stepped down as head of the Republican People's Party (CHP), Turkey has found itself debating whether he will return to his position, with the existing delegate structure leaving almost no chance for any other candidate to be elected to the party's top post.
The outgoing leader's farewell speech included strong hints that he will seek any opportunity to be re-elected as the party's head. He said he was ready to undertake any duty his party charges him with. However, most observers believe Baykal has little chance of doing so if his resignation is part of a plan to restructure the CHP.
A video clip posted online last week that allegedly shows Baykal intimately involved with CHP Ankara deputy Nesrin Baytok spurred the long-time CHP leader to resign from his position. The scandalous video sparked unease within the main opposition party, with Baykal's close supporters reportedly pressuring him to quit. Baykal heeded those calls and announced on Monday that he had decided to step down from his position. Both Baykal and Baytok are married.
Only hours after Baykal's resignation, many CHP provincial branches started grassroots signature campaigns to show their support for their outgoing leader. The party's delegations hope to re-elect Baykal as the party's leader at the upcoming congress. Baykal is reportedly unwilling to run as a candidate at the congress.
The CHP delegate structure leaves almost no chance for any other candidate to be elected as the new party leader. Almost all of the party delegates are Baykal sympathizers, and Baykals rivals have failed in the past several congresses to dethrone him. The CHP grass root is, on the other hand, known to be uneasy with the delegate structure. Similarly, the Turkish left has been engaged in a search for a new spirit for left-wing politics in the country, away from the statistic policy the CHP advocated under Baykals reign.
The main opposition party is set to hold its national congress on May 22. CHP officials said on Monday that Baykal is not considering attending the congress.
According to internal party rumours, CHP delegates would elect Baykal as the partys leader in absentia if the outgoing leader refuses to attend the congress. Baykal, in response, would then decide to return to his past position at the strong demand of his party.
Some CHP members, however, believe Baykal will not return to his position. Under a second rumoured scenario, he would have one of his close supporters elected as the new party leader at the upcoming congress. This new CHP leader would probably be Hakki Suha Okay, one of the partys parliamentary group deputy chairmen. Okay will leave his seat to Baykal in 2011 before the parliamentary elections, scheduled for July of next year, under to this scenario.
The CHP is currently being led by the partys Deputy Chairman Cevdet Selvi.
A third scenario, however, posits that Baykal will not step in as the partys leader unless full light is shed on the video clip scandal. This scenario outlines a plan for the CHP to elect a new leader with Baykal remaining as the partys leader behind the scenes.
Baykal not only put his party in ambiguity ahead of the upcoming congress but also sparked political tension with his resignation, which he blamed on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party). He said he was the victim of a political plot by the government and suggested that the ruling party must have had knowledge of the video clip.
In response, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the chairman of the AK Party, called a press conference to lash out at Baykal for his attempt to implicate the AK Party in the video scandal, calling the outgoing leaders remarks as cheap and ugly as the video itself. The capture, publication and promotion of such footage have nothing to do with our partys principles and moral values. This is not something we can tolerate, either, he remarked, and criticized the CHP for abusing his partys goodwill. He said Baykals efforts to blame the AK Party for the scandal surprised him.
Once my friends informed me about the incident, I ordered the transportation minister to do what was necessary to block the circulation of the video on the Internet. We could not have remained silent in the face of such footage, which may damage societys moral values, the prime minister stated.
Erdogan also said the outgoing CHP leaders statement was a result of the trauma he has suffered and called on Baykal to cease his attempts to implicate the AK Party in the scandal. Our public will have the final say on the incident. I am calling on everyone to act with common sense, he added.
Subtitle: Kilicdaroglu in dilemma
All eyes are now on CHP parliamentary group deputy chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu to see whether he will announce his candidacy for party leadership before the CHP national congress. According Kilicdaroglus close circle, he does not think it would be appropriate to campaign to be the new CHP leader so soon after Baykals resignation. However, a certain media group in Turkey has been promoting Kilicdaroglu as the new CHP head for quite some time.
Kilicdaroglu ran for Istanbul mayor in the March 2009 local polls, but lost to the AK Partys incumbent Kadir Topbas. Many claimed at the time that Kilicdaroglus aspiration to become Istanbul mayor was a plan by Baykal to postpone his plans to challenge him at the CHP national congress. In the meantime, there are claims that CHP Istanbul provincial chairman Gursel Tekin also hopes to be elected as the new party head. He reportedly asked Kilicdaroglu about his final decision on running and said, I will stand as a candidate if you refuse to do so.
Others have also indicated their willingness to take the helm of the CHP. Among these are Samsun deputy Haluk Koc, Istanbul deputy Ali Topuz, Tekirdag deputy Faik Oztrak and writer-musician-film director Zulfu Livaneli.
Koc said he would work to fulfill the responsibility of the party chairman in the best possible manner. Umut Oran, a businessman who stood as a nominee for the CHP leadership in the partys general assembly in 2008, said Baykal should close all doors that may lead him back to party leadership and suggested that he should be nominated as the CHPs honorary leader.
Baykals resignation is not a first for the CHP. In the 1999 elections, the CHP was for the first time knocked out of Parliament. Baykal resigned after the election results were announced but was voted in as CHP chairperson once again on Sept. 30, 2000, at the partys 11th extraordinary party congress.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 11 May 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press on 11 May 2010:
a) Baykal's resignation over sex scandal:
In an article entitled "The political blackmail season opens with a bang," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Semih Idiz says that Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal who announced his resignation yesterday after the disclosure of a tape allegedly showing him with CHP deputy Nesrin Baytok in bed is the last victim of blackmailing which, Idiz notes, is used by some groups in Turkey for eliminating their opponents. Pointing out that Baykal's resignation does not mean that he is out of politics, Idiz adds: "He has made a come-back before and may do so again. Especially if he garners sympathy votes after this costly scandal in terms of this political career."
In an article entitled "...and enters Baykal," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli highlights different speculation about who might be behind the conspiracy. He also notes that Baykal opened a new chapter in Turkish politics by announcing his resignation which, he says, was not predicted by the masterminds of the conspiracy.
In an article entitled "CHP holds the 'victimization ace' now," Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz predicts that Baykal will make the final decision about the CHP's new leader in the party's upcoming national convention. He comments: "If Baykal makes his choice for the sake of not betraying his old friends, the vacuum to be created by the CHP in Turkish politics would most benefit to the ruling party. But, a good alternative to be presented to voters who have been expecting a 'new face' for years may help the CHP come to power."
In an article entitled "A sad day for Turkey," Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin says that Baykal has been the target of what he describes as the "most cowardly and contemptible conspiracy" witnessed in the history of Turkish politics which, he notes, will have serious repercussions. Ergin also points out that the government should identify and punish people behind the plot in order to demonstrate that it was not behind it. Accusing the government of turning a blind eye to illegal wiretapping which, he notes, has become widespread in Turkey, Ergin comments: "Turkey is now a typical third world country where its citizens do not have privacy and freedom of communication, conspirators can freely hatch plots, and loose cannons can hit anybody."
A report entitled "Gulen's message was sincere" in Hurriyet quotes Baykal as saying that his accusation that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was behind the plot hatched against him was not hypothetical or aimed at diverting the public's attention. Baykal said: "My remarks about the government were not unsubstantiated. Would I make a statement that would put my party in a difficult position if I did not have convincing evidence? I will remain silent for a while and watch developments. I urge Turkish people to realize the facts highlighted in my statements and the gravity of the situation. I will decide whether or not I should make another statement depending on developments in the coming days." Baykal also says that Fethullah Gulen, leader of the Gulen Community who lives in the United States, called him and assured him that he had not played any role in the plot devised against him. He added: "It was a very frank conversation. I believe him and I think that I should believe him."
A report entitled "Canada to be asked to give judicial assistance" in Hurriyet quotes sources from the Office of Chief Public Prosecutor of Ankara as saying that Baykal may be asked to make a detailed statement about the sex tape as part of an investigation aimed at identifying people who have posted the tape on a web site called "Metacafe" which reportedly belongs to Tucows Inc. based in Toronto, Canada. According to the report, Turkey will seek assistance from Canadian authorities within the framework of judicial cooperation between the two countries.
A report entitled "Party organization urges him to return" in Milliyet says that the provincial branches of the CHP are making efforts to convince Baykal to withdraw his resignation while delegates who will attend the party's national convention scheduled for 22 and 23 May intend to nominate Baykal as the only candidate for the party's leadership. Meanwhile, sources close to the CHP are quoted as saying that Baykal may be re-elected as CHP leader in an extraordinary convention to hold after the election of his hand-picked candidate in the forthcoming convention.
Analyzing remarks made by Baykal at yesterday's news conference in an article entitled "Will Baykal return?" Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol concludes that Baykal plans to make a comeback despite his resignation. Predicting that Baykal will respond to an appeal to be made by the delegates attending the CHP's convention and assume the party's leadership again in the name of "safeguarding democracy and the rule of law" and maintaining his campaign against "the civil dictatorship." He concludes by saying, "I think that Baykal will return two weeks from now but it would not be so easy to negate the effects of this incident on the public. I do not believe that the government has hatched this conspiracy. But, it should be its duty to reveal the conspirators."
In an article entitled "Baykal: 'Gulen and Sarigul have nothing to do with this," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila quotes Baykal as saying him that the conspiracy was devised with the government's approval in the past 15 days, ruling out the alleged involvement of Sisli Mayor and Turkey's Transformation Movement leader Mustafa Sarigul. Pointing out that Baykal has neither accepted allegations nor put an end to his political career, Bila comments: "On the contrary, he stepped down after denying allegations and accusing the government. He said that it was not an act of submission or escape. It would not be realistic for the leading figures in the party to come forward and to announce their candidacy. The CHP and convention delegates will insist that Baykal should be re-elected."
Cautioning that Baykal may face new plots devised by people who intend to redesign the CHP if he decides to withdraw his resignation in an article entitled "He should not return," Sabah columnist Erdal Safak argues that Baykal should not return for the sake of ensuring that his resignation marks the beginning of a new awakening in Turkey while paving the way for actions that would prevent illegal wiretapping destroying people's private lives.
In an article entitled "How will Baykal's resignation affect the CHP?" Sabah columnist Mahmut Ovur predicts that the old guard within the CHP will try to convince Baykal to change his mind although initial statements made by some CHP officials indicated that he would not return. He comments: "Will he return despite those statements? He will watch developments until the national convention. He will reach a conclusion after watching whether some people within the party will come forward in order to take advantage of the situation and to what extend people support him. If a large number of people within the CHP begging him to change his mind in tears, it could lead to his return."
In an article entitled "Is there life after Baykal?" Radikal columnist Ismet Berkan says that the CHP seems to be in total disarray after Baykal's resignation, adding that there is no viable alternative to him within the party. Pointing out that Baykal is pursuing a short-term political strategy aimed at forcing the ruling party to take a defensive position by accusing it of hatching a conspiracy against him, Berkan says: "Baykal will now try to turn this dispute a campaign that would enable him and his party to command stronger support."
In an article entitled "Was his resignation a trick?" Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi says that Baykal's remarks indicated that he has devised a perfect plan to emerge from the scandal with minimum damage. He says: "People who correctly read the formula that he has devised should have noticed that he is making a political investment that will yield a high gain in the short term." He criticizes Baykal for using his resignation for prompting his party's branches to urge him to return instead of saying whether or not the alleged sex tape was genuine or fake. Mengi concludes by emphasizing that Baykal should not stand in the way of a new leader and a team made up of young politicians who could assume the CHP's leadership.
In an article entitled "Baykal and beyond," Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan says that Baykal was the victim of a plot aimed to force him to step down because he could not successfully confront the AKP and hinder its constitutional amendments. He comments: "In my view, 'the secret rulers' in the country have reached an impasse and are desperately trying to find a way out. They can even sacrifice their staunchest allies like Baykal."
In an article entitled "Crocodile tears (?)," Cumhuriyet columnist Cuneyt Arcayurek draws attention to allegations that AKP had a hand in the sex scandal because causing the CHP's leader to resign ahead of its national convention and upcoming referendum on constitutional amendments would serve its interests. Pointing out that the ruling party should launch an investigation into the scandal in order to reveal facts, he also advises Baykal against withdrawing his resignation in order to be re-elected in the national convention because it would deliver a heavier blow to his reputation.
In an article entitled "Baykal's mistake: Defending something wrong in a wrong manner", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes Deniz Baykal for holding the Government responsible for what he called a political "conspiracy" in announcing his resignation yesterday. He claims that if Baykal really believes that the Government can engineer such a conspiracy and that the conspirators used technology skilfully to represent something that did not happen as though it were a fact, then he needs to explain exactly why he resigned instead of holding his ground.
In an article entitled "Baykal should resign as a deputy, too", Vakit columnist Ali Ihsan Karahasanoglu responds to Baykal's description of his compromising video as an "immoral conspiracy" by asking, "Exactly what does immorality mean? Does it mean having an affair with a married woman or capturing this relationship on video, or both?" He takes issue with Baykal over his characterization of the disclosure of the video as a violation of privacy, asserting that privacy is not about hiding a married man's illicit affair with a married woman. He also calls on Baykal to resign as a CHP deputy, asserting that otherwise he will cause the "disgraceful" video to cast a shadow over his party and politics in general.
In an article entitled "A sea of mud", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak speculates that if the people who made Deniz Baykal's compromising video public property are trying to cause political chaos in Turkey, then they might be expected to release other videos containing embarrassing footage of certain Justice and Development Party (AKP) Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputies, as well as some army generals and justices, adding that Turkey should be ready for a new "Profumo scandal."
In an article entitled "Baykal's resignation and a political operation", Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli cites the fact that the timing of the "conspiracy" against Deniz Baykal - two weeks ahead of the CHP congress - suggests that what is in question might be an "operation" aimed at upsetting interparty balances in the CHP. He claims that the "conspiracy" might have been engineered by "quarters" that have for a long time been "cultivating" the idea that Baykal cannot generate "effective" policies.
In an article entitled "Who eliminated Baykal and why?", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi cites "those trying to redesign the CHP and politics in Turkey" as the architects of the "conspiracy" against Baykal. He claims that the people who are trying to "restructure" the CHP obviously believe that Baykal is "past his expiry date." He also claims that the target of the "conspiracy" is Baykal himself rather than the CHP's "single-handed struggle" to protect the republican regime, as Baykal claimed at his news conference, and asserts that what happened to Baykal happened because he "failed to sufficiently fulfil the conspirators' expectations."
b) Russian President's visit to Turkey:
In an article entitled "A new partnership with Russia," Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen predicts that Russian President Dimitry Medvedev's two-day official visit to Turkey which is scheduled to begin today will be a "fruitful business trip" which will also turn bilateral ties between the two countries in a "real strategic partnership." Kohen emphasizes that Turkish-Russian relations will reach a turning point if the two sides agree to set up a high-level cooperation council proposed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during Medvedev's visit. Pointing out that there are disagreements between the countries about some issues such as Cyprus and the Caucasus, Kohen notes: "But, these differences should not prevent the two countries from deepening their relations and establishing a 'strengthened partnership."
In an article "Quake at home, excitement abroad", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul describes Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Turkey this evening as a "historic" event that will lead to major developments on a regional and global scale. He claims that the visit is among the manifestations of a "global shift of power" apart from being an initiative to boost economic, political, and military ties between Moscow and Ankara. He also asserts that to be able to understand how the future of the world will be shaped, it is useful to examine the economic policies of Turkey, Russia, China, and Brazil, their positions in international relations, and their ties with neighbouring counties. "A new world is in the making where old foes are becoming partners and allies are becoming estranged from one another."
In a commentary entitled "An example of our return to a spirit of friendship", President Abdullah Gul refers to "my dear friend Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's" visit to Turkey as an event that will "represent an advanced stage of the transformation seen in Turkish-Russian relations in recent years."
c) Turkish Naval fleet:
A report entitled Turkish Navy sets sail to Mediterranean in Sabah says that a Turkish Naval Mission Group consisting of four frigates and a logistics ship, the first of its kind in Turkeys history, yesterday set sail for a two-month mission in the Mediterranean Sea and Adriatic Sea.