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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-05-31

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. 99/10 29-31.05.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu evaluates the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations
  • [02] Turkey reacts after an Israeli attack on a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza
  • [03] The Turkish Cypriot Embargoed Group is pushing for direct trade between occupied Cyprus and the EU
  • [04] Talats guards and policemen were taken away from him; Turkish Cypriot columnist says the army took this decision
  • [05] Zeki Besiktepeli was arrested by the self-styled police for objecting to the procedure followed for the Turkish Cypriots who visit the free areas of Cyprus
  • [06] The illegal GAU will open a campus in Singapore this year
  • [07] Antiquities were found in the possession of two men
  • [08] European officials reiterate that Turkeys accession to the EU will be difficult without a solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [09] Turkeys High Election Board sets timetable for referendum on constitutional amendments
  • [10] A new party to be formed in Turkey
  • [11] Erdogan cancels his visit to Argentina
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 28, 29 and 30 May 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu evaluates the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.05.10) broadcast the following:

    President Dervis Eroglu has said that both the international communitys and Turkeys patience on the Cyprus Problem was running out. He said this was why the United Nation has set the goal of reaching a negotiated settlement to the long-standing dispute by the end of this year.

    Evaluating yesterday the Cyprus negotiations process, which resumed this week following a two-month interruption, the President said that both sides will announce that a settlement has been reached after agreement is achieved on all six chapters. Reminding that the Cyprus Problem is extremely important for both the TRNC [the breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus] and Turkey, Eroglu said that contrary to the Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish side has also adopted a constructive and positive stance at the talks. That is why we are calling out to the EU. We have committed no crime so the isolations imposed on us need to be removed. This will also force the Greek Cypriot side to change its intransigent attitude. The Greek Cypriots are members of both the UN and EU and are stronger economically. They are therefore sitting at the negotiating table with the aim of breaking off the talks, he said.

    Touching upon the UN Secretary-Generals message to the two leaders where reference was made to the UN Security Council Resolutions, President Eroglu said that the UN had noticed and corrected its mistake.

    Furthermore, illegal Bayrak television (30.05.10) broadcast the following:

    The 3rd Esentepe [occupied Ayios Amvrosios] Zerdali Festival was inaugurated by President Dervis Eroglu last night. Making the opening speech president Dervis Eroglu said the negotiation process on the Cyprus issue were continuing and added that he was working to show the world that the Turks of Cyprus were a separate sovereign people.

    After inaugurating the festival, the President said it was these kinds of activities that proved that the Turks of Cyprus were a nation. Festivals also show that the Turks of Cyprus are a nation that administers themselves a sovereign people. This sovereign people established its own statehood and are trying to show the world that they exist. Its these kinds of activities that allow them to have their voices heard, said the Eroglu.

    On his part, the Mayor of Esentepe Erdal Barut noted that the festival, which had gained international elements, was developing each year.

    After the opening speeches, locals, and a large majority of foreigners who reside in the area were treated to tradition folk dance performances.

    [02] Turkey reacts after an Israeli attack on a convoy of ships carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish ministers and high-level officials convened at Prime Ministry building in Ankara early on Monday after Israel attacked on a convoy of aid ships of a Turkish relief organization carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza.

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Prime Ministry Undersecretary Efkan Ala, General Staff Operations Commander Gen. Mehmet Eroz, Naval Forces vice Commander Adm. Nusret Guner and bureaucrats are participating in the meeting. The officials are discussing the terrorist attack on the Naval Reinforcement Command in Iskenderun town of the southern province of Hatay as well as the Israeli attack on aid flotilla.

    Early on Monday, six Turkish troops were killed and seven others were wounded when terrorists attacked with rockets on the Naval Reinforcement Command in Iskenderun. Again early in the day, Israeli navy's forces attacked on a convoy of aid ships of IHH --a Turkish humanitarian relief organization-- carrying humanitarian aid for Gaza, killing at least two people and injuring 30 others. Turkish Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Israeli attack.

    The flotilla, which includes three cargo ships and three passenger ships, was trying to draw attention to Israel's three-year blockade of the Gaza Strip. The boats were carrying items such as electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

    Moreover, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs published the following statement on its webpage today (31.05.10) under the title No: 115, 31 May 2010, Press Release Regarding the Use of Force by the Israeli Defence Forces Against the Humanitarian Aid Fleet to Gaza:

    We protest in the strongest terms the use of force by the Israeli Defence Forces against the civilians from many countries who want to transport humanitarian assistance to the people in Gaza, and among whom there are women and children, which, according to the initial information available, resulted in the death of two persons and injury of more than 30 people.

    Israel has once again clearly demonstrated that it does not value human lives and peaceful initiatives through targeting innocent civilians. We strongly condemn these inhuman acts of Israel. This grave incident, which took place in high seas in gross violation of international law, might cause irreversible consequences in our relations.

    Besides the initiatives being conducted by our Embassy in Tel Aviv, this unacceptable incident is being strongly protested and explanation is demanded from Israels Ambassador in Ankara, who has been invited to our Ministry.

    Whatsoever the motives might be, such actions against civilians who are involved only in peaceful activities cannot be accepted. Israel will have to bear the consequences of these actions which constitute a violation of international law.

    May God bestow His mercy upon those who lost their lives. We wish to express our condolences to the bereaved families of the deceased, and swift recovery to the wounded.

    [03] The Turkish Cypriot Embargoed Group is pushing for direct trade between occupied Cyprus and the EU

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Observer newspaper (28.05.10-03.06.10) reports the following:

    Embargoed is working closely with other Turkish Cypriot civil society organisations to help bring about direct trade between North Cyprus and the European Union (EU). The groups members are calling on all British MEPs to support the Direct Trade Regulation (DTR) that will be debated during a European conference in June, while a joint declaration has also been prepared with other groups demanding Trade not Aid from the EU. The campaign for direct trade coincides with a legal bid at the British Court of Appeal for direct flights between the UK and North Cyprus.

    A working group has been formed with Embargoed!, the Cyprus Turkish Chambers of Commerce in North Cyprus (KTTO) and in the UK (CTCC) to share intelligence and drive the direct trade campaign forward. It follows the close working relationship between Embargoed and KTTOs Brussels office, which is already reaping dividends.

    Socialist, Liberal and Green MEPs across Europe have all expressed sympathy and support for the DTR, while very few have spoken against it.

    Italian Liberal MEP Niccolo Rinaldi will write a report on the issue if the EU chooses to pursue it. The issue will be discussed on Thursday 10 June at the EU Parliaments --the leaders of the Parliaments various political groups. The Greek Cypriot authorities have launched their own bid to prevent the DTR going through, threatening the EU with legal action if it is passed without their consent.

    Embargoeds Secretary Emel Djevdet said: The Lisbon Treaty provides Turkish Cypriots with a Get out of jail free card. We only need a majority of EU member states to support the Direct Trade Regulation, which has been on the table since 2004. Up till now, all efforts have been vetoed by Greek Cypriots. She continued, its vital we maintain pressure on our politicians every British Turkish Cypriot should contact their MEP and ask them to support the DTR.

    If we can create a big push, and the legal challenge on flights is also successful, 2010 could be a very special year. Turkish Cypriots will no longer be Europes excluded citizens, as North Cyprus finally enjoys direct trade with the EU.

    Groups or individuals wanting to get involved in the Trade Not Aid campaign should contact Embargoed! By email, HYPERLINK "mailto:mail@embargoed.org" mail@embargoed.org or visit the website HYPERLINK "http://www.embargoed.org" www.embargoed.org, for more details.

    [04] Talats guards and policemen were taken away from him; Turkish Cypriot columnist says the army took this decision

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.05.10) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats guards and policemen were taken away from him after a decision taken at a meeting of the self-styled council of ministers on May 26, 2010.

    The paper writes that the Democratic Party (DP) evaluated the decision as disrespect to the state. DP chairman, Serdar Denktas, described the decision as unacceptable.

    Meanwhile, writing in his column in Yeni Duzen (31.05.10), Turkish Cypriot columnist Cenk Myutluyakali says that the army is the only authority responsible for the security in the occupied areas of Cyprus and adds that if the issue is the security in the country, it is not much possible for the political authorities to decide. He notes: To tell the truth, I do not believe that the Council of Ministers will take a decision and the Security Forces will implement it only. Some persons tell me that this is the revenge for Lokmaci [Ledra Street barricade]. I do not believe very much that a huge military institution would deal with such small calculations. Then, what is it? I am looking for the answer to this sincerely. However, I repeat that without the approval of the army, neither the Council of Ministers nor the President has such a power in the country in which we live

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Zeki Besiktepeli was arrested by the self-styled police for objecting to the procedure followed for the Turkish Cypriots who visit the free areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (31.05.10) reports that Zeki Besiktepeli, an academician and candidate of the Jasmine Movement in the recent elections, was arrested yesterday at Ayios Dhometios barricade by the self-styled police. Mr Besiktepeli objected to the procedure followed for the Turkish Cypriots who visit the free areas of the Republic and went into an argument with the police. He was arrested and led to jail.

    According to the paper, a policeman who comes from Turkey told Mr Besiktepeli the following: If you do not like it here, go to the other side and live there. Replying to this, Mr Besiktepeli said: The whole of this island is my country. It is you who have to leave.

    Charges were filed against Mr Besiktepeli and he was set free.

    (CS)

    [06] The illegal GAU will open a campus in Singapore this year

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Observer newspaper (28.05.10-03.06.10) reports the following:

    Girne [occupied Keryneia] American University (GAU) hosed 500 high school principals and guidance counsellors from all over Turkey at a 3 day Direction of Higher Education in the 21st Century seminar between 24 and 27 May. The seminar was a good opportunity to promotion the universitys position in higher education, international development and its objectives.

    Subtitle: Yildirim Oner

    The opening statement of the seminar, which was held at GAU Cyprus Karmi Campus International Congress Centre Spectrum Hall, was by the Rector of GAU Prof. Dr Yildirim Oner. Oner said GAU was a great opportunity for the students in terms of education, cultural activities, infrastructure, education staff and the opportunities given by the university. Underlining that there were no problems with transport, accommodation and nutrition, Oner said the students received international standard education at GAUs modern campus, dormitories and cooperation with educational institutions abroad. GAU has an integrated university radio and TV channel, Oner invited the high school principals and guidance counsellors to give information on GAU to the students in their high education choices.

    Subtitle: Serhat Akpinar

    Chairman of the Board of Directors of GAU Serhat Akpinar has said that GAU had become a brand with its education mentality, vision, student services, administration, modern campuses and its name that represented 3 continents and he said they were one step closer to their aims. Promising that they would develop more in every field over the next 10 years, Serhat Akpinar said the GAU Canterbury Campus, which was opened last year, was the First Turkish University in Europe and education would begin at the Asia Pacific Campus Singapore this year. Addition that GAU hosted the International Higher Education and Science Workshop (IHEW), which hosted more than 100 sectors and scientists from 3 continents, Serhat Akpinar said GAU was enlarging its vision day by day with academic cooperation with universities worldwide.

    [07] Antiquities were found in the possession of two men

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (29.05.10) reports that two persons were arrested in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus for possessing antiquities the total value of which is 151 thousand TL (100 thousands Euro).

    According to the paper, the antiquities are twelve icons and a statue of Artemis belonging to Hellenistic era.

    [08] European officials reiterate that Turkeys accession to the EU will be difficult without a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Hurriyet Daily News (28.05.10) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkey must focus on democracy, the rule of law and individual and collective human rights if it wants to enter the EU, says MEP Ria Oomen Ruijten, who adds that Cyprus is not the main issue on Turkeys EU membership agenda. She also says she is positive on Turkeys constitutional reform and that she expects Kilicdaroglu to help facilitate the changes.

    Turkey should solve the Cyprus issue, but the divided island should not preoccupy the countrys bid for accession to the European Union, according to Turkeys rapporteur at the European Parliament, or EP. Democracy, the rule of law, individual and collective human rights are at the heart of the EU and should be the main issues on the table in EU-Turkey relations, Dutch MEP and rapporteur Ria Oomen Ruijten told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review during a visit to Turkey for this weeks EU-Turkey joint parliamentary meeting. Nonetheless, she said the negative effect coming from the division of Cyprus was undeniable and that Turkey had to take the first step to solve the issue, which would then be followed by the EU.

    Sophie Int Veld, another Dutch MEP and member of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, however, told the Daily News that Turkey and the EU shared joint responsibility and that both must make a move on the issue.

    Nonetheless, Turkeys accession to the union would be difficult without a solution to the Cyprus issue, according to Veld, who said there were still many chapters on which Turkey must work that are equally important for the negotiation talks.

    On June 10, the European Parliament will debate a commission proposal on direct trade with northern Cyprus. According to the European Voice website, the government of Cyprus has been blocking discussion on the proposal since 2004, but will likely be unable to continue such action due to the 2009 Lisbon Treaty, which no longer requires all members to unanimously approve trade issues. If such a proposal is adopted by the EP, it could unblock Turkeys bid for EU membership.

    Regarding Turkeys EU membership, Veld said the EU would be the big loser if accession negotiations fail. She said Turkeys EU membership would improve both parties, adding that Turkey would make the union stronger and richer in terms of diversity and dynamism.

    By pointing out Turkeys great efforts in its economic reforms, Veld said the EU must benefit from Turks culture of entrepreneurship. In Turkey, there are people who have entrepreneurship in their genes. Noting that there were a number of criteria for Turkey to fulfil and that some of the reforms might be painful, expensive or sensitive for society, Veld said the EU also had to fulfil its part in this respect. I am very disappointed at the ambiguity on the side of the EU, she said, adding that it was also very important that the EU gave very clear signals that it wants Turkey to eventually join.

    Touching on Turkish constitutional reform, Ruijten said she was positive about the reforms, adding that the Turkish judicial system would resemble that of EU member countries if it is approved by referendum in September. Veld further said Turkeys ten percent threshold to enter Parliament should also be reduced, a view already voiced by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the new leader of the Republic Peoples Party, or CHP. Both MEPs said they hoped Kilicdaroglu would help the reform package succeed.

    Ruijten and Veld also held a discussion with journalists organized by the Women Entrepreneurs' Association of Turkey, or KAG0DER, on the role of women in Turkey s social, economic and political life. They both said Turkey should make more efforts to increase public awareness of women s role in society, while also focusing on the implementation of laws that protect womens rights. Discussing the economic crisis, Ruijten said the safety net package in the EU was not enough and that much more should be done. A well-functioning political union will be the only solution to the economic crisis, she said.

    [09] Turkeys High Election Board sets timetable for referendum on constitutional amendments

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Higher Board of Election (YSK) set on Saturday the timetable for the referendum on constitutional amendment. Accordingly; the beginning date of the timetable will be May 31, 2010, and the referendum will take place on September 12, 2010.

    Meanwhile, Constitutional Court will start discussing main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) appeal for cancellation of the government-backed constitutional amendment package, on June 3. The court will initially make a procedural assessment of the file on Thursday. It will later set a date to start discussing the case on the merits.

    The package which brings amendments to the structure of the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), won more than 330 votes in the parliament on May 7 (except one article), enough for Government to carry it to referendum. The package, except for the rejected article 8th on the closure of political parties and a related provisional article, was adopted by 336 votes in favour and 72 against. The law is set to be put to referendum on September 12 on the reforms and relevant amendments.

    CHP which is sceptical of the law as it fears it would erode the independence of the judiciary opposed the amendments from the beginning. Shortly after the adoption of the package, CHP filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court on Friday for the cancellation of the amendment package.

    The petition was signed by 97 CHP deputies, 7 independent deputies, 6 deputies from the Democratic Left Party (DSP) and 1 deputy from the Democrat Party (DP). 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 criticises the voting of the package as a whole arguing that all articles should be put to vote separately. Second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) accuses the government of attempting to politicize the judiciary and subordinate the judiciary to the executive branch. However, the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party denies accusations and argues that the law aims at making Turkey more democratic in line with EU's expectations.

    [10] A new party to be formed in Turkey

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (31.05.10) reports the following:

    A group of Kurdish intellectuals and politicians plans to establish a political party, stating that the current parties set up by Kurds do not respond to their needs.

    Pro-Kurdish Rights and Freedoms Party (HAK-PAR) Secretary-General Sertac Bucak, who has also founded the International Kurdish Human Rights Centre, has initiated a new movement, called Legerine Kurden Demokrat (Pursuit of Kurdish Democrats).

    Speaking at a press conference in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir, the movements centre, with the politicians and intellectuals participating in the movement, Bucak, the spokesperson of the movement, said the current parties do not address the public and continued: Our movement is the voice of the silent majority. In order for the public to win their struggle, we have started a movement. This could take a new political form in the future.

    Bucak said the Kurdish people need a new organization that is based on the rights of the public collectively and that aims to come to power by putting forward a political, economic and social program. He also explained that they aim to form an organization which rejects using violence as a means of political expression and that they will maintain their political battle on clear and legal grounds. A democratic struggle will enable us to bring together the thoughts and ideas that address the Kurdish peoples needs and to pull together the institutions and values that have become diminished. A national and democratic line to cover all segments is needed.

    Bucak also highlighted that they care about Turkeys democratization and its membership in the European Union, noting that they will support every step that aims to spread democracy and freedom. Serious efforts are required to remove the economic inequalities between the regions. If steps toward economic development are taken in conjunction with political steps, solutions can be presented to the problems that Kurdish people face. Economic reforms alone cannot bring about solutions.

    [11] Erdogan cancels his visit to Argentina

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.10) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is on a tour to Latin America, skipped one of the stops, Argentina, after autonomous Buenos Aires city cancelled a permission to inaugurate the bust of Ataturk following efforts by Armenians, Turkish foreign ministry said on Sunday.

    Erdogan was scheduled to pay a two-day visit to Argentina on May 30 and 31. A bust of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of Turkey, would be inaugurated at Jorge Newbury Park during Erdogan's visit. However, the permission granted earlier by the Environment Ministry of the autonomous Buenos Aires federal district has been cancelled after efforts by Armenians who are hostile to Turkey, the ministry said in a statement.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with his Argentine counterpart and asked Argentine government to fulfill its commitment to inaugurate the bust. Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner phoned Erdogan and said Turkey was right to react, however she added that she could not overrule autonomous Buenos Aires administration due to constitution of Argentina.

    Erdogan, nevertheless, decided to cancel his trip to Argentina, saying such an attitude was unacceptable. Argentine authorities are expected to take necessary steps to remove the shadow cast on relations between Turkey and Argentina after the wrong decision made by autonomous Buenos Aires administration, the ministry said. Mr Prime Minister headed for Chile from Brazil, it added.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.10) reports the following from Santiago:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said: We had to do what suit to Turkey's honour and we believe we did it, while commenting on cancellation of his visit to Argentina.

    Addressing the businessmen who joined his tour of South America, Erdogan said, visit to Argentina was planned before. Related ministries of the two countries agreed to build a bust of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey, in Buenos Aires. There were serious efforts by Armenian lobby in Buenos Aires in the past 2-3 days and it was stated that there was around 200,000 Armenian population. The Armenians put an intensive pressure. There is an autonomous administration there. The incident does not depend on the central administration. He said: Argentine president called me and said they could not change the situation there. We told her that it was impossible for us to pay a visit to Argentina. They have offered us alternatives. We made assessments and removed Argentina from the program.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 28, 29 and 30 May 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press on 28, 29 and 30 May 2010:

    a) Nuclear Swap Deal:

    Accusing Washington of deceiving Turkey and Brazil in the aftermath of the revelation of the Obama letter to Prime Minister Erdogan and Brazilian President Silva da Lula in an article in Referans (30.05.10), Cengiz Candar stresses that the Teheran agreement is in line with all the points underlined in the 20 April Obama letter. Noting that the letter incident has exposed "serious cracks" within the US Administration, Candar goes on to detail the references made to Brazil and Turkey in the UN National Security Strategy, concluding that if President Obama is at the White House, there is no need to write disaster scenarios with regards to the future of Turkish-US relations.

    Commenting on the Turkish-Brazilian-Iranian nuclear swap deal in his column in Milliyet (29.05.10), Melih Asik explains the reason why the United States is displeased with this agreement, arguing that the United States and Israel are insistent in pressuring Iran with the threat of a war in a bid to overthrow the regime. Noting that these "international gangsters" will always find a reason for provocation whatever Iran does, Asik welcomes Ankara's policy of rapprochement and cooperation with its neighbours.

    Describing the Turkish-Brazilian cooperation regarding the nuclear swap deal as a happy global betrothal despite the opposition of the United States in an article in Referans (29.05.10), Cengiz Candar underlines the economic strengths, geopolitical positions, and diplomatic capabilities of the two countries as well as the influences they exert enabling them to conclude such a deal. Questioning whether there is a price to be paid for disrupting US plans on Iran, Candar says that based on the May 2010 US National Security Strategy there does not seem to be one.

    Questioning why Turkey is not being congratulated for the nuclear swap deal it has initiated in an article in Sabah (29.05.10), Meliha Okur underlines that Turkey did the right thing by signing this agreement, adding that, however, it was a mistake to announce in the aftermath of the signing of the accord that there was no need to bring the Iranian nuclear issue to the UN Security Council or to impose sanctions on Iran. With this declaration Turkey became Iran's guarantor and embarked on a journey in the opposite direction of world politics, concludes the writer.

    Underlining that Turkish-US relations are once again being put to test in an article in Sabah (29.05.10), Okan Muderrisoglu, nevertheless, welcomes the nuclear swap deal. Noting that the possible repercussions of the "disappointment" felt by the US Administration and the Jewish lobby should be taken into consideration because this emotional reaction might affect the way Turkey in general and the government in particular might be viewed both abroad and in the country, Muderrisoglu raises the possibility that the United States might review its strategic cooperation with Turkey in the event Ankara is opposed to bringing the file on sanctions against Iran to the UN Security Council. Given such a situation and the approaching elections, new alliances can be forged in Turkey, notes Muderrisoglu, adding: "At this point, the primary duty of Hakan Fidan, the new MIT [National Intelligence Organization] under secretary, and his team is to keep Turkey vigilant against 'psychological operations' that might be directed from within and from outside the country and to ensure that countermeasures are taken."

    The letter sent by President Obama to Prime Minister Erdogan and Brazilian President Lula da Silva on 20 April that has been leaked to the press has made a serious dent in the US opposition to the Turkish-Brazilian-Iran nuclear swap deal, writes Murat Yetkin in an article in Radikal (29.05.10). Detailing the content of the letter, Yetkin agrees with a Turkish diplomat who explains that the problem derives from the fact that "there is more than one Washington in Washington, and more than one Teheran in Teheran." The writer then goes on to examine the role of the Israeli Lobby in the diverse stands adopted in Washington.

    b) Developments in CHP:

    Results of a SONAR survey show that the Republican People's Party (CHP) votes have exceeded the Justice and Development Party (AKP) votes, writes Guneri Civaoglu in his article in Milliyet (30.05.10). Noting that the goal of CHP leader Kilicdaroglu is to obtain some 40 percent of the votes in the coming elections, Civaoglu believes that this might be possible, recalling that Ecevit's CHP had received 42 percent of the votes in 1977. Pointing out that the spirit of the time has changed, Civaoglu writes: "The recent global economic crisis has dethroned 'barbaric liberalism. The concepts of a 'social state' and of the leadership of a 'man of the people' are on the rise."

    Welcoming the remarks made by Kilicdaroglu regarding the 27 May coup, the 28 February process, and the e-memorandum in his article in Hurriyet (30.05.10), Ahmet Hakan calls on the CHP leader to show the same courage in acknowledging the importance of the Ergenekon process, lifting the headdress ban for university students, and implementing the Kurdish reports prepared by his party in the past.

    Viewing the election of the new members of the CHP Central Administrative Council (MYK) and the re-election of Onder Sav as the CHP secretary general in his article in Vatan (30.05.10), Gungor Mengi argues that the much needed rooted change has not been made within the party. Describing Sav as one of the major reasons for the difficulties experienced within the party, Mengi refers to the friction between Sav and Gursel Tekin, who was not elected to the MYK, pointing out that if every individual Sav does not approve of is eliminated, Kilicdaroglu should realize that he will be left with mediocre people in the party administration and should take his precautions accordingly.

    According to Vatan columnist Mustafa Mutlu (30.05.10), Kilicdaroglu was the loser in the war waged between Onder Sav and Gursel Tekin. Recalling that he had warned Kilicdaroglu about assuming the party leadership with the support of Sav in his article, Mutlu declares that Sav was the "secret party leader" during the Baykal period and an administrator who favours the status quo. Showing their different approaches to the Kurdish issue and secularism as the source of the friction between the two administrators, Mutlu predicts that this war will continue, expressing the fear that it has the potential to erode Kilicdaroglu. The writer concludes by expressing the hope that Kilicdaroglu will show Sav, who has for the time being emerged victorious from this war, who the real leader of the party is.

    According to a report in Radikal (30.05.10), a SONAR survey shows that the CHP has become the number one party in Turkey with 32.48 percent of the votes followed by the AKP, which has received 31.09 percent of the votes. The survey also reveals that 72.5 percent of the participants believe that unemployment is the most important problem in the country, adds the report.

    In an article entitled "We must become aware of this asset," Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru (30.05.10) says that some Alevis feel uncomfortable about comments made by the members of other sects about the Alevi community probably because of their preconception that they are being subjected to discrimination. Pointing out that deep-seated prejudices against Alevis have largely disappeared, Koru cites the election of Kilicdaroglu, an Alevi, as the new leader of the CHP as an example. He concludes by saying: "Alevism is an asset of our country like any ethnic or religious group."

    In an article entitled "Designing politics," Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil (30.05.10) argues that efforts to design Turkish politics by limiting the power of the ruling party has started with the change of leadership in the CHP. He adds: "Two more steps may be on the 'mending list. The first is to move the Nationalist Movement Party into a position for a possible post-election coalition with the CHP and to initiate another closure case against the AKP by the chief prosecutor at the Constitutional Court following a ruling that the AKP's constitutional amendment package is against the Constitution itself. We will see how this putative design will evolve."

    Analyzing Kilicdaroglu's approach to the Kurdish issue in an article in Radikal (29.05.10), Oral Calislar states that his economic viewpoint of the problem has, naturally, been strongly criticized by circles that are sensitive toward the issue of Kurdish identity. Recalling the reaction shown by Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to Kilicdaroglu's approach saying that "the Kurdish problem exists" and that it would be a disaster and an insult to assume that Kurds will renounce their language and identity in exchange for money, Calislar says that Kilicdaroglu is unwilling to abandon the stand he displayed at the CHP Congress. Pointing out that only a very short while ago Kilicdaroglu had called on Onur Oymen to resign from the party following his remarks defending the Dersim massacre and that he had also called for a general amnesty for the solution of the Kurdish issue, Calislar writes that Kilicdaroglu has now adopted the discourse of the leader of a state party. Presenting the Kurdish issue as a simple economic problem is an injustice not only to the Kurds but to the entire community, underlines Calislar, accusing Kilicdaroglu of resorting to clichés with regards to the Kurdish problem. Declaring that Kilicdaroglu will, sooner or later, realize that one cannot conduct a progressive and a pro-people policy by ignoring the Kurdish issue, Calislar argues that this problem is one of the few critical issues that will shape and direct the future of the second largest party in the country. Stressing that the Kurdish question cannot be solved so long as the Kurds' identity demands are not accepted, Calislar writes: "If Kilicdaroglu wants to remain a leader, he should realize that there is need for courage and for a wide horizon. The Kurdish question necessitates courage and a horizon."

    Relating an interview he conducted with CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu in an article in Milliyet (29.05.10), Fikret Bila reports the party leader as having said that he does not approve of the 27 April communiqué issued by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and sees it as interference in politics. Referring to the 28 February process, Kilicdaroglu is reported to have said: "A unanimous decision was adopted at the National Security Council and Mr Necmettin Erbakan, the prime minister at the time, signed those decisions. In other words, the civilian authority signed those decisions. From that point of view, I do not view the 28 February process as a coup as in the case of the other ones, the reason being that the government signed and did not put up a resistance. However, Mr Erbakan and the government should have put up a resistance." Summing up the interview, Bila concludes that Kilicdaroglu "will adopt a stand against military interference in politics under every condition."

    The responses given by Prime Minister Erdogan to Kilicdaroglu's questions give one the impression that the winds that have started blowing with the election of Kilicdaroglu have begun to create turmoil within the higher echelons of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) writes Can Atakli in an article in Vatan (29.05.10). The AKP is concerned because this is the first time it is facing an opposition, argues Atakli, adding that the political balances in the country have been shaken and that the government has, for the first time, felt that it might be losing in the ballot box. Noting that Kilicdaroglu also proved to be useful for the General Staff, Atakli points out that the government and the pro-government media, which are busy trying to discredit Kilicdaroglu, have cast aside their intense criticism of the Armed Forces.

    In an article entitled "If Kilicdaroglu is sincere in what he says about 27 May", Zaman (28.05.10) columnist Huseyin Gulerce calls attention to a perceived paradox between Kemal Kilicadroglu's criticism of the 27 May coup as an event which "embarrasses" its architects today and his remarks announcing that they are "worried not by the possibility of military tutelage but by the prospects of civilian dictatorship." Gulerce asserts that allegations of an impending civilian dictatorship under the ruling AKP are part of an attempt to derail the Ergenekon investigation, adding that if Kilicdaroglu is sincere in his censure of the 27 May coup, he should announce that the CHP has given up defending Ergenekon and "today's putschists."

    EG/


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