|Friday, 19 October 2018|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-23
Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 116/10 23.06.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Downer speaks to a group of Turkish journalists in AnkaraTurkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.06.10) reported the following from Ankara:
The U.N. secretary-generals special representative for Cyprus held talks in Ankara on Monday to discuss the impacts of the new leader of Turkish Cyprus and recent developments in negotiations on reunification. Whether a new leader will make it more easy or difficult, it is too early to say. But the circumstances are slightly different now from the circumstances before the election, Alexander Downer said Monday.
Downer held talks in Ankara to exchange views of the Cyprus negotiation process and to collect information to include in a forthcoming report that will be presented to the U.N. Security Council in November. The report will address progress since the last report was presented by former Secretary- General Kofi Annan in 2004. Since the new leader, Dervis Eroglu, took over after recent elections in Cyprus, Downer has assessed the often-claimed hard-liners impact on negotiations. Mr Eroglu might be tougher. But we did not have time in the negotiations since Mr Eroglu took over to have a real sense of how he will really approach the issues. Once we are getting to the details, we learn more about whether the change of leaders constitutes a change in the Turkish Cypriot sides position, Downer told a group of journalists in Ankara.
Reiterating that the negotiations process has different dynamics, Downer said: The other thing is that when you compare leaders, remember that they are not simultaneous leaders. So Mr Talat and Mr Eroglu cannot be directly compared because one follows the other. So circumstances are slightly different now from the circumstances before the election. There was a big focus on the election. Now it is finished. Downer noticed the Greek Cypriots were concerned that Mr Eroglu was more of a hard-liner than Mehmet Ali Talat, the former leader of Turkish Cyprus. But Turkish Cypriot leaders talk to the Turkish government a lot. The Turkish government provides financial support and all the military is Turkish. They have their views as well and their views havent changed, he said. The U.N. representative has signalled that the U.N. does not plan to be more active in the negotiation process yet. They have slightly different perspectives on the role of the U.N. Turkish Cypriots are much more in favour of the U.N. being more of an arbitrator than mediator. The Greek Cypriots take the view this should be a Cypriot led process. We are happy with the general idea that in the end Cypriots need to determine their own destiny, not having foreigners telling them how they will live for the rest of time. We help a lot behind the scenes in different ways and try to be as constructive as we can, he said.
The request of Turkish side to put the negotiation process under a deadline seems to be distant, according to Downers remarks. Greek Cypriots dont want a specific deadline. Turkish Cypriots say they need an agreement by the end of the year. The U.N. Security Councils view is that we hope for an agreement by the end of the year. As well, we need to keep the momentum of the process going. Its important that people dont believe this process can go on forever, Downer said.
 Eroglu alleges that the Turkish Cypriots are subject to inhuman embargoesTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (23.06.10) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu stated yesterday that he discussed the issue of the lifting of the so-called embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots during his latest visit to Ankara. Mr Eroglu made these statements during a meeting he held with the executive committee of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation.
Mr Eroglu stated that the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriots are an inhuman shame, and said that he hopes that in the near future, the embargoes will be lifted and nothing will be left to be said on the issue.
He went on and said that he is aware of the problems faced by the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation because of the embargoes and added that initiatives, which are taken for the embargoes lifting, are continuing.
Mr Eroglu also said that during his latest visit to Ankara he had meetings as regards the lifting of the embargoes and expressed the hope that the efforts exerted in cooperation with the government of the Republic of Turkey will give a result.
 Turkey imposes a partnership between illegal KTHY and Atlas Jet instead of Pegasus AirlinesUnder the title Delayed decision, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.06.10) reports that after the evaluation of the proposals made by Pegasus and Atlas Jet Airlines by the administrative council of the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY), the self-styled council of ministers of the breakaway regime met last night and took its final decision on the issue of finding a partner for the illegal KTHY. The self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk, stated that they found that the proposal made by Atlas Jet was more profitable and they decided in favour of this proposal. He said that they will sign an agreement for a five-year partnership between Atlas Jet and KTHY and the administration of the company will be in the hands of Atlas Jet. The partnership agreement between Atlas Jet and the KTHY will be signed today and Atlas Jet will acquire 50% of the shares.
Mr Kucuk noted that according to the agreement, approximately 450 out of the 650 employees of the KTHY will continue to work in the new company, while the rest will not be victimized. The ratio of the members in the administrative council of the company will be 3:2 in favour of Atlas Jet. The company will continue to have the name KTHY and after five years, the breakaway regime could take back the company, if it wishes to do so.
Mr Kucuk said that the KTHY have sold 100 thousand tickets in advance and that 73 thousand passengers should be brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus until July 28, 2010. Therefore, he added, the partnership agreement will be signed this morning and the tourists will be brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus so that the sector of tourism is not influenced.
Mr Kucuk said that the rights to fly will not be lost, that the flights to Britain and Turkey will continue and that Atlas Jet will pay the debts of KTHY. Mr Kucuk noted that in case the debts to Turkeys Civil Aviation Directorate are not paid the KTHY will not have the right to carry out flights, that Atlas Jet would not want this to happen and that the rights to fly will be lost if the debts are not paid in three months.
Reminding that the employees of the KTHY went on strike several times during the past six months and that his government was forced to forbid the strikes twice, Mr Kucuk accused the employees of being responsible for not giving a chance to the improvement of the structure of the company.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (23.06.10) refers to the issue under the title The game is over and reports that the wish of Ankara happened. The paper writes, inter alia, the following on its front page:
When an agreement on principles was reached with Pegasus, the [Turkish] Civil Aviation threatened by postponing all flights. Observers are stressing that the agreement with Atlas Jet was signed under pressure. Atlas Jet, which revolted against the agreement with Pegasus, called on the government yesterday to sell the KTHY by the method of public auction. When known circles in Ankara entered into action, the agreement on principles reached with Pegasus was thrown away and agreement with Atlas Jet was signed
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.06.10) refers to the issue under the title The government was surrendered to Atlas Jet and reports that in the end the wish of Binali Yildirim, Turkish Minister of Transport, happened. The TRNC government, which had agreed with Pegasus before, could not resist to the fact that the government of Turkey expressed a stance in favour of Atlas Jet, writes the paper.
The paper reports that Turkeys Civil Aviation Directorate did not give to the illegal KTHY the extra time it had asked for paying its debts, it did not recognize the agreement made between KTHY and Pegasus Airlines and decided to stop the flights of KTHY for a period of three months. Nine flights of KTHY did not take place yesterday.
Havadis writes also that Hava-Sen, the trade union of the employees of KTHY, went on strike yesterday at the illegal Tymvou airport. The members of the union marched also against the ministry of economy and the self-styled prime ministry. The protesters threw eggs and pet bottles to the self-styled minister of economy and prime minister, Sunat Atun and Irsen Kucuk respectively. The paper notes that the protesters clashed with the police.
Moreover, Havadis writes that the embassies of Britain and Germany to Lefkosia followed closely the developments all day long yesterday, sent their officials to the illegal Tymvou airport and took care of their citizens. The officials exerted efforts for their citizens not to be victimized and travel through Larnaka Airport, notes the paper.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.06.10) reports that one person was injured during the clashes of the protesters with the police and one person was arrested.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.06.10) refers to the issue under the title The KTHY has also gone and reports that the KTHY was sold. The paper describes this development as the most recent trick made against the Turkish Cypriots by their savior (as it ironically calls Turkey).
 Turkey is held responsible for the postponement of the flights of the KTHYUnder the title Turkey is responsible, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.06.10) reports that Kemal Kuyumcuoglu, assistant director of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines (KTHY) in London, has made a very hard statement regarding the decision of postponing the flights of KTHY. In statements to Kibris, Mr Kuyumcuoglu said that Turkey is responsible for this decision. This decision is Turkeys decision. We have to ask them about its reason, he noted.
All our flights from London have been stopped. Turkeys Civil Aviation Directorate took this decision and announced it to us. The questions asked to us should be asked to Turkey, because they are the ones who took this decision, he added.
Moreover, the paper writes that the postponement of the flights of the KTHY has victimized the tour operators in Britain and hundreds of tourists who were preparing to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus. The chairman of the Tour Operators Union, Akin Koc stated yesterday that the tour operators and their customers are shocked and panicked from this development. Mr Koc said that after this development the tour operators in Britain are considering of abandoning the trips to the occupied areas of Cyprus and added that it is difficult for them to direct their customers to Larnaka Airport because they paid the KTHY.
Furthermore, the businessmen in the sector of tourism in the occupied areas of Cyprus accused the government about the situation in the KTHY. The chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Tour Operators Union (KITSAB), Andac Gunay said that the occupied areas of Cyprus are experiencing a development which is never seen before and added that a period of uncertainty is expecting the travellers and the tour operators. The chairman of the Hoteliers Union, Mehmet Dolmaci said they are struggling to survive and they expect nothing else from the government. The general secretary of the Restaurant Owners Union (Res-Bir), Guler Koseoglu criticized the fact that a crisis management centre has not been created during such important period.
Finally, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Cakici said that the employees of the KTHY will search for their rights through the court. Mr Cakici filed an application to the audit committee of prime ministry demanding an examination for the situation of the KTHY and a credit taken by the so-called municipality of Lefkosia. He expressed the view that if the credit secured for mayor Cemal Bulutoglulari had been secured for the KTHY, the company would have become profitable within a year. Mr Cakici visited the protesters yesterday and expressed the support of his party.
 Angolemli warns that more institutions will be sold out by UBPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (23.06.10) reports on statements made by Huseyin Angolemli, candidate of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) in the by-elections of June 27 for the vacant parliamentary seat of Dervis Eroglu in occupied Famagusta. Speaking at a public gathering in occupied Pergamos, Mr Angolemli called on Turkish Cypriots to express their opposition to the National Unity Partys (UBP) policies through their vote, since a vote in favour of the UBP candidate is like accepting UBP policies, as he stated.
Attaching importance to the fact that this election is a good opportunity to be seized by the people in order to warn the government, Mr Angolemli, further, stated that the so-called government will follow the same policy as it followed in the case of the Turkish Cypriot airlines and sell out institutions which belong to the Turkish Cypriots, such as the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University and Cyprus Turkish Electricity Authority (Kib-Tek).
 A business council between Russia and the breakaway regime has been establishedAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.06.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
A group of businesspeople in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have established the "Turkish Cypriot-Russian Business Council" to develop economic activities between the TRNC and Russian Federation. Speaking at a press conference, the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot-Russian Business Council, Cetin Atalay said that their main goal was to provide water of life to our shrinking economy. As such, Russia is a crucial market for the TRNC, Atalay said. We have established the Council in order to bring together economic cooperation and promotional activities under one single roof. We can see that the Council will become one of the most important NGOs of the TRNC, Atalay stressed.
Russia is a giant region where no efforts were made regarding the TRNC. We have been working on the Russian market for the past two years and began to reap the fruits of our efforts. We will attend a conference in Russia soon, Atalay noted. We will focus on promotional activities in Russia. We have prepared a Russian web site for this purpose. We will continue promotional activities without relying on TRNC government funds, Atalay also said.
Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (22.06.10) broadcast the following:
New initiative to revive the TRNC economy. The Cyprus Turkish Russian Business Council has announced its objectives at a press conference. The founding president of the Council Cetin Atalay told a press conference that the council was set up with the aim of increasing economic cooperation and promotional activities between the TRNC and Russia. He pointed out that Britain, which holds a large percentage of the TRNC market, was among the countries affected from global economic crisis, adding that this had negative effects on the construction and tourism sectors in the Republic.
He said that a group of businesspersons are in the Russian Federation for promotional activities with the aim of giving a boost to TRNC economy. Atalay noted that the TRNC economy would be revived if a small portion of two-and-a-half million tourists visiting Antalya every year was brought to the Republic.
 Twelve Russian citizens have been deceived by a constructions company in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.06.10) reports that after the accusation by twelve Russian citizens that they have been deceived by Fatisa Construction company in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Ferdi Topuz, partner in the company, issued a statement yesterday noting that he has also been deceived by a person named Bilal Yildirim, to whom he had transferred the shares of the company. Topuz noted that he should receive 500-pound sterling from Yildirim, but he has been deceived and filed a lawsuit against him.
The paper writes that the twelve foreign citizens paid 800 thousand Euros for houses they bought at the occupied Kalogrea village in Keryneia area, but the villas will be sold in a public auction according to the decision taken by the court in the case between the partners of Fatisa Construction. The auction for the Topaz Bay Villas, which are built on an area of five donums (Tr. Note: A land measure of about 1000 square meters), will take place on 4 July.
 Yonluer is shutting down his party and is joining the National Unity PartyTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.06.10) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, the chairman of the Politics for the People Party (HIS) has stated that he will shut down his party and join the National Unity Party (UBP).
Mr Yonluer stated that they realized that there are two realities which cannot be changed in occupied Cyprus and this is the National Unity Party and the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). It is very difficult for any other party to survive out of these realities, he said and added that the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas also exists and it is a good party but the choice of HIS was UBP.
 Illegal GAU has established cooperation in the field of education with 109 universities from all the worldTurkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (23.06.10) reports that the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU) in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus has so far established cooperation in the field of education with 109 universities, from the all the world.
Illegal GAU, which is to open GAUs Asia Pacific Campus in Singapore after GAUs Canterbury Campus in the UK, has signed academic agreements of cooperation with institutions offering higher education and 109 universities from all around the world in countries such as Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Britain, China, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tatarstan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States.
 Gul and Bagis meet with the EU Commissioner for enlargement; Cyprus among the issues discussedAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.06.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that it was Turkey which would deal with the issue, noting the European Union (EU) should pursue and encourage Turkey. President Gul received EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele who came to Turkey to attend Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP) meeting. Gul underlined that enlargement was very important as a strategic matter for Europe. He said all segments of the society in Turkey agreed that EU membership was a strategic target. Gul said Turkey closely followed the problems of the EU and discussions within Europe, Turkey should reach EU standards in every area, he noted.
Fuele said EU was loyal to its commitments, adding that, we are progressing together on the same path. Reforms are engine of the accession process. Turkey is not an ordinary candidate but a candidate which has strategic importance. Tangible advantages of the EU membership should be shown to the citizens, he added. President Gul said necessary facilities should be shown to Turkish citizens on visa requirements.
Referring to Cyprus question, Gul said, an opportunity was missed in the past. This time, the opportunity should not be missed and wanted pressure to be put to Greek Cypriot party to be more constructive.
President Gul separately met President Haris Sladjic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Sladjic said efforts Turkey exerted for Bosnia-Herzegovina yielded results, adding Turkey's contributions in the future would be very important. Sladjic also invited Gul to his country.
Gul also met Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and took up regional matters. Parvanov proposed cooperation to get rid of the economic crisis. Parvanov expressed satisfaction over the efforts of the joint commission established between the two countries indicating that there was the necessary will to improve relations.
Parvanov also expressed his condolences over the recent acts of terrorism in Turkey and noted that, we are two ally countries. We should together stand firm against every kind of threat, mainly terrorism. Gul and Parvanov also discussed energy cooperation. Turkish President Gul also said he would pay a visit to Sofia in autumn.
Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.06.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
Turkey's chief negotiator for EU accession talks met with EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele in Istanbul on Tuesday. The half-an-hour meeting at the office of the General Secretariat for EU in Ortakoy district of Istanbul was closed to the press.
Officials who declined to be identified said recent developments regarding Turkey's EU bid, the Food Security Chapter which is expected to be opened by the end of this month, the recent terrorist attacks and the democratization initiative was discussed during the meeting. After the meeting Bagis and Fuele got together with columnists and journalists from Turkey and Europe over a working breakfast.
 Escalating tension in TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.06.10) reported the following from Istanbul:
A roadside bomb rocked a bus carrying military personnel and their families in Istanbul on Tuesday, killing four and wounding twelve. Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu said the remote-control fragment bomb was detonated near a military lodging complex in the district of Halkali in Istanbul's European side at about 7:30 am. Three of those killed were specialised sergeants and the fourth victim was the 17-year-old daughter of an officer. Governor Mutlu said two of the twelve wounded people were in critical condition while the rest of the wounded sustained no serious injuries. There was no immediate claim of responsibility and it was not clear how many passengers were on the bus or how many of them were military personnel.
The attack came as the PKK terrorists escalated violence in southeastern Turkey. Early on June 19, nine soldiers were killed and 14 others were wounded in a terrorist attack on a military outpost in Hakkari's Semdinli town, whereas two soldiers died and two others were wounded as they stepped on a land mine in pursuit of the terrorists who attacked the military outpost. Twelve terrorists were killed in the clash. Moreover, five PKK terrorists were killed in an ensuing clash with Turkish security forces on Monday after an attack on a military outpost in Silvan town of the southeastern province of Diyarbakir. Terrorists attacked on the military outpost with long-range rifles and hand grenades, killing one Turkish troop and wounding two others. A government-paid village guard and two civilians were also injured in the attack.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press on 22 June 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press on 22 June 2010:
a) PKK attack / Kurdish issue:
In his commentary in Milliyet, Melih Asik says that the "path to neutralize the PKK and overcome terrorism is through the path of diplomacy. Iraq should be persuaded to throw the PKK from his territories through diplomacy as well." "What is Ankara doing?" asks Asik and replies: "They are wasting time with empty words. We are not hearing that Iraq is cornered on the PKK issue. How can you expect Foreign Minister Davutoglu to put on Barzani the pressure after calling him 'brother'? Those in Ankara think about money first and foremost. They do not seem to have the courage and determination to put the terror issue on the table. The children of the people are paying the price of this complacency with their blood."
In his commentary entitled "The new actors of politics" in Milliyet, Can Dundar explains that this is the age of "unofficial actors" giving the example of the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) and the impact of this humanitarian aid organization regardless of whether it is described as a "straw organization." He adds that this humanitarian aid organization dictated its views on the mainstream media" and in this way "paved the path to an international crisis." Noting that in the same way, civilian actors can change the fate of Turkey, Dundar continues: "If one says like our prime minister says 'we are faced with a CHP-MHP-BDP-PKK-Imrali front, you will be losing from the beginning because President Gul may be forced to invite them (except PKK and Imrali) to Cankaya in two days time for consultations. This new age of many actors necessitates an embracing language, cool-headed stand, and constructive politics."
Writing in Star on the escalating PKK terrorism and Abdullah Ocalan's proposal to be an intermediary in his commentary entitled "Ocalan's proposal and the issue of mediator," Ergun Babahan says: "Will we continue to disregard Apo and shoulder young funerals, or assess a proposal for peace in our hands? Will Turkey become a country of peace, friendship, and prosperity or a country of hate where Turks and Kurds will not be able to live together? Everybody can make easy decisions, but history is written by those leaders who make the difficult decisions at times of crisis. It is obvious that we are fast approaching such a period of decision-making. Perhaps, sayings such as we will beat them and shed their blood are good for the soul but do not resolve the problem. The path and road to solution is evident. It is the decision-makers who are in a difficult situation."
In his commentary entitled "Good news for those who are in favour of war (!)" in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Mehmet Ali Birand explains that after the Kurdish initiative "the Turkish public for the first time saw that there could be a life without terror" and that "billions of dollars spent on gunpowder would be spent on enriching the country" adding, however, that "this course scared those who had an 'interest in war." Birand concludes: "What a pity that the administration that took steps to stop shedding blood and started the Kurdish initiative seems to be the only responsible. The reason is not being able to manage it well although it was determined and took brave steps. But it did not go all the way. It is blamed for being the sole group responsible for terror rising from the dead."
Writing in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Semih Idiz refers in his commentary entitled "An 'opening' goes seriously wrong" to "the unprecedented recent upsurge in outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorist activity which has left a trail of dead Turkish soldiers" adding that "understandably sending shockwaves across the nation and fuelling a rising anger that is dangerous in terms of inter-communal harmony between Turks and Kurds." Idiz continues by explaining that the "Kurdish opening" was never a "'Kurdish opening'" as such, but in fact a 'PKK opening' which, in the end, was totally mismanaged and inevitably went awry." "But again," writes Idiz and adds: "As was the case with the now failed 'Armenian opening, the government overstepped the bounds in its haste and ended up by tripping on its own incompetence at the very moment when the highest level of political finesse was required given the delicacy of the situation. There are some now within the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who are trying to find 'an outside hand' behind the latest resurgence of PKK violence. Prime Minister Erdogan has also fuelled this claim, saying that 'the PKK is acting as a subcontractor for someone else. This also displays a lack of finesse, since it is clearly a flimsy effort to deflect attention from the government towards the current nemesis of the nation, namely Israel. But this is a cheap shot in the face of a very serious question. Having painted Turkey into a corner in terms of its international relations in the name of a policy of 'strategic depth, the government is seen now to have more or less done the same domestically, in the name of an 'opening, which could have gone somewhere had there been the political competence that such cases call for."
Writing in Radikal, Cengiz Candar describes the "Security Summit" held at the Presidential Palace in the aftermath of the PKK attack on a military outpost as "The state summit gave birth to a mouse" criticizing the government for not having learned from past experiences when launching the Kurdish initiative. Explaining that "what was wrong was not the 'initiative' itself, but it being blocked partly thanks to the opposition as well," Candar adds that "the initiative has been blocked because of the 'official mistakes'... The 'wave of violence' and the recent disappointing incidents are not the results of the 'initiative', but of the way in which the initiative got lost."
Under the headline, "Troops trained to fight terrorism," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which provides highlights from the "road map" against terrorism determined at yesterday's summit meeting at the Presidential Mansion in response to the latest PKK attacks. The report interprets a statement in the declaration issued after the summit as meaning that a professional army will be set up to conduct counterterrorism efforts in the southeast.
Under the banner headline, "What sort of indifference is this?" Vakit runs a front-page report which blasts Chief of Staff General Ilker Basbug for taking part in a military seminar in Canakkale yesterday instead of attending the summit on terrorism at the Presidential Mansion.
In his commentary entitled "American Lieutenant Colonel" in Milliyet, Guneri Civaoglu reminisces about a conversation he had with an American officer during the first Gulf War. Explaining that he met the US officer in Saudi Arabia and that he was appalled by what he was told about the future of the region, Civaoglu adds: "The US officer points to the southeast Anatolia and northern Iraq on the map and says the following: 'The war will end. America will withdraw from Iraq and will leave behind the majority of its weapons. Among these weapons are heavy weaponry and rockets. The Kurds in the region will get lay their hands on these weapons and use it against Turkey. They will ask for land. Turkey will either give the land they want or fight. The US officer is explaining all this in good Turkish. I cannot believe my ears. What about NATO partnership and friendship between our countries, I ask him while thinking that this is still a US officer's fantasies.
However, I hear the same things from another US officer a couple of minutes later. I start thinking that this may be a 'message' because this meeting was set up by Yasar Yakis, our foreign minister and the Saudi Arabia ambassador at the time. The US Ambassador had contacted the US commander and I was invited for a personal briefing by these two officers. US President Bush at the time did not go into Baghdad and the northern Iraqi scenario was not implemented. But ... I wonder if the scenario I heard on 1991 is not being implemented in Turkey now in 2010. Where is the PKK getting all these rockets, long-barrelled rifles, and tonnes of explosives?"
Writing in Hurriyet, Mehmet Y. Yilmaz refers to PM Erdogan's comments that the PKK is being used as a subcontractor in his commentary entitled "Subcontracting cannot be a reason for failure." Even if not said outright, Yilmaz continues: "The responsible is the 'new enemy' Israel. This can be as it is not the first time that states use, give shelter, and provide for PKK-like terrorist organizations. Let us not forget the extent that Syria used the PKK at the time. In addition, it is common knowledge and 'state secret' that PEJAK, which is the Iranian branch of PKK, is being supported by Israel. That is, the Prime Minister can be right in claiming that the PKK is being used a subcontractor for common knowledge, but this does not change the fact that the government is unsuccessful in its fight against terrorism." Yilmaz suggest that the government should expose in the international arena that country which it believes is extending support to a terrorist organization. The government should make public the information it has, ask for accounts, and say that this support must be stopped. Unless these steps are taken there are only two reasons for claiming that the PKK is being used as a subcontractor: Either you are trying to cover up for your inadequacy in the fight against terrorism or the claim of subcontracting is nothing but a disprovable conspiracy theory."
In his commentary in Vatan, Rusen Cakir writes about the latest comments on the PKK organization being a subcontractor charging "If somebody tells you that the PKK is a subcontractor organization, you ask him whose subcontractor is the PKK? The answer to this question will be this or that country. In the aftermath of this reply, ask the same person 'So what now?' and he will say: 'What do you mean what now?'" What I want to say is the following: The fact that the PKK is a subcontractor for this or that may help us in understanding their means of logistics and intelligence partially, but definitely not in comprehending the social, psychological, and cultural elements that make up for the social support it gets and the number of young volunteers in its ranks."
Today, Taraf's Nese Duzel conducts her weekly interview entitled "Monday talks" with Cevat Ones, who worked for the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) for 41 years and who recently retired from the post of MIT deputy undersecretary. In this second part of the interview, Ones talks about his views on the PKK and Kurds explaining that the "Kurds do not want separation. Turkey is not faced with the danger of an independent Kurdish state and partition of the country. The Kurds are not interested in separation, neither is the PKK. The sector under the influence of the PKK also does not seek separation." In reply to another question on his comments of yesterday that "Ocalan is a phenomenon," Ones explain: "I said that Ocalan is a phenomenon because an alternative leader has not emerged and his impact on the Kurds and PKK continues. In addition, he continues to be the spiritual leader of the PKK's cadres in Qandil and Europe. For this reason, Ocalan retains its importance in a solution to the PKK issue." In reply to another question to the effect that the PKK seems like wanting to spread the clashes to all of Turkey, Ones say: "The structure of the PKK is still of an organization that targets security forces."
In an article entitled "Is the Kurdish overture over?", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay argues that the allegation that the Government's "Kurdish overture" is over in the wake of the PKK's latest attacks reflects an inability to distinguish the "Kurdish issue" from the "PKK problem." He asserts that a military solution to the "Kurdish issue" is not possible and that the Government should try to address the "PKK problem" through dialog while continuing to pass democratic reforms aimed at promoting Kurdish rights and freedoms.
In an article entitled "Terrorism cannot show us the way", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone asserts that declaring emergency rule in the southeast in response to the latest terrorist attacks, as Nationalist Action Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli is proposing, would only increase popular support for the PKK in the region because of the restriction on basic freedoms it would entail. He also argues that Abdullah Ocalan's continued authority over the PKK is allowing the terrorist group to maintain its organizational cohesion, adding that since no countries would allow a terrorist leader to conduct a "ruthless war on his own people" from prison, Turkey should take steps to "neutralize" Ocalan by cutting him off from the PKK.
In an article entitled "Who is fuelling terrorism?", Milli Gazete columnist Osman Toprak links the surge in PKK terrorism to Turkey's recent "emergence" as a country that rejects "US, Israeli, and British imperialism," signalled by its refusal to endorse the latest UN resolution against Iran.