|Wednesday, 18 October 2017|
Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-28
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. 119/10 26-27-28.06.10
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Eroglu is meeting the UN Secretary-General today; Statements by Ozerzay and Rauf DenktasIllegal Bayrak television (27.06.10) broadcast the following:
President Dervis Eroglu is on his way to New York to meet with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. The president who is accompanied by his special representative Kudret Ozersay and his spokesman Osman Ertug is expected to convey to the UN Secretary-General the Turkish sides desire to have the Cyprus negations process completed by the end of the year.
Making a statement before he left the island, president Eroglu drew attention to his aim of finalising the negotiations process by the end of this year and added that if there is a will towards finalising the negotiations process we can reach a solution by the end of the year.
President Eroglu is scheduled to meet with the UN Secretary-General tomorrow at the UN headquarters.
As part of his other contacts in New York, the president will be giving interviews to several media organisations and will be coming together with representatives of various societies. Eroglu will also be meeting with Turkeys Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan at dinner.
The president is expected to return to the Republic on Thursday, the 1st of July.
Meanwhile, president Dervis Eroglu and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias are set to resume negotiations aimed at reaching a solution to the Cyprus Problem on the 9th of July. The two leaders will continue discussions on the property chapter.
The Presidents special advisor had told the BRT that the two sides had entered substantive discussions into the property issue during their last meeting. It is our hope that we shall achieve progress by taking concrete steps through concrete proposals, he said. Ozersay said that it was their aim to prepare a convergence paper on the property chapter by solving a few remaining differences.
The two special representatives Kudret Ozersay and Yorgos Yakovu are scheduled to meet on the 7th of July ahead of the leaders next meeting.
On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) reports that former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, has wished success to Mr Eroglu during his meeting today with the UN Secretary-General in New York. In statements yesterday after voting in the local elections, Mr Denktas said: Eroglu won the elections by saying my state, my sovereignty, we are one of the two peoples, we have the right to determine our own destiny and the guarantees of Turkey must continue. Certainly, he will give the necessary information about this to Ban.
Asked to express his views and proposals to Mr Eroglu, Mr Denktas expressed the view that Mr Eroglu is not going to New York forgetting the promise he has given to his people.
 Eroglu stated that no one in Cyprus could talk about a problem called refugees after 35 yearsTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (27.06.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu stated that no one in Cyprus could talk about a problem called refugees after 35 years. Mr Eroglu made these statements during a lunch with the Union of Green houses Growers.
Mr Eroglu stated that the issue of the refugees return is put on the agenda at the negotiations by President Demetris Christofias and said that he replied to President Christofias that as far as he is concerned refugees do not exist in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and that everyone is TRNC Citizen. Mr Eroglu also said that references to refugees cannot be accepted after 35 years and added: We are all TRNC citizens anymore and we have to protect the constitution of this country. This land and this country is ours. We have established this country together, we will live here together, and we applauded the establishment of this country together. We are people who share the same blood, we are people who came from the same yeast, he stated.
 Talat opposes to the resolutions of the UN Security Council on CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (27.06.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has alleged that the Greek Cypriots have always been supporting the PKK and this support is still continuing. In statements to TVnet television, Mr Talat said that he could provide support to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu whenever the latter asks him to do so and argued that the Turkish side committed two mistakes in the Cyprus negotiations. He alleged that the first mistake was the resumption of the negotiations with the property issue and the second the adoption of the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Cyprus.
The resolutions of the UN Security Council were always in favour of the Greek Cypriots. Therefore, adopting these resolutions was a mistake, he claimed. Mr Talat alleged also that Mr Eroglu allows to President Christofias to play for time and added that Mr Eroglu should ask for the intensification of the negotiations. He claimed that the world supports the shamelessness of the Greek Cypriots and that one mistake committed by the Turkish side is equal to five mistakes committed by the Greek Cypriot side. Therefore we should not commit mistakes, we have to be very careful, he said.
Mr Talat described the demand regarding the opening of the occupied closed city of Varosha and the Turkish ports to Cypriot vessels as another dimension of the shamelessness of the Greek Cypriots.
 Turkish Cypriot living abroad object to the cross-voting, the joint ballot and one man-one vote proposalsUnder the title If the negotiations do not come to a result, the TRNC should be recognised, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (26.06.10) reports that the Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad (ATCA) expressed its objection to the cross-voting, the joint ballot and one man - one vote proposals which have been submitted aiming the overcoming of some deadlocks in the negotiations.
In a letter sent to Dervis Eroglu for his election to the Turkish Cypriot leadership, ATCA states that these proposals include the danger of abolishing the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people. The right of self-determination for separately the two communities has been recognised during the time of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960, ATCA alleges.
Calling on Mr. Eroglu not to abandon the current system of guarantees, ATCA, further, states that in the event that no conclusion is reached during the negotiations, the breakaway regime should be recognised.
 Resmiye Canaltay wins the by-elections securing eight votes more than AngolemliUnder the title Eight votes determined the result, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) reports that National Unity Partys (UBP) candidate, Mrs Resmiye Canaltay won the seat in the assembly during the by-elections in occupied Famagusta securing 11,937 votes (38.57%) against 11,929 votes (38.54%) secured by Huseyin Angolemli, candidate of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) supported by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). According to the Supreme Election Council, the other three candidates received the following percentages: Ata Tepe (Nationalist Justice Party MAP), 714 votes or 2.31%, Dursun Oguz (Freedom and Reform Party ORP) 5,394 votes or 17.43% and Nushet Ilktug (independent) 978 votes or 3.16%.
After these results, the seats of the UBP in the parliament increased to 25.
Under the title Fraud and stain in the parliamentarian by-elections, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (28.06.10) reports that the TDP stated that fraud has been made in the by-elections held in occupied Famagusta and raised an objection against the results. The paper writes that Huseyin Angolemli was in the lead with 3-4% from the beginning of the announcement of the results until the last ballot box. With the votes of the last ballot box UBPs candidate, Mrs Resmiye Canaltay got ahead by eight votes. The party raised an oral objection against the results last night and today it will submit its objection in writing. The chairman of the party, Mehmet Cakici said that during the elections, an official from the UBP called and told him that an operation started for the TDP to lose the elections. Mr Cakici pointed out to the fact that especially the last ballot boxes, in which Mr Angolemli was behind of Mrs Canaltay, were opened with great delay. Mr Cakici noted that there were 4-5 ballots in favor of Mrs Canaltay which should not have been valid in the last ballot box.
Moreover, referring to the distribution of the seats in the assembly, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (28.06.10) reports that the UBP has 25 seats, the CTP 15, the DP 4, the TDP 2, the ORP 2 and 2 are independent MPs.
 The results of the local elections; the mayors of the five big municipalities did not changeThe results of the so-called local elections held yesterday in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and the by-elections in occupied Famagusta are the main issue in the Turkish Cypriot press today (28.06.10).
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) reports that There were not many changes in the municipalities and writes that the mayors of the five big cities in the occupied areas of Cyprus did not change. The National Unity Party (UBP) won 12 out of the 28 municipalities, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) 8, the Democratic Party (DP) 5 and independent candidates 3. The UBP preserved its mayors in occupied Lefkosia, Trikomo and Morfou, while the CTP reelected its mayors in occupied Famagusta and Keryneia.
The paper writes that for the first time the voters of an entire village boycotted the elections. The 146 voters of occupied Flamoudi village did not go to vote showing as pretext that they do not receive the services they want from the Komi Kepir municipality.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (28.06.10) refers to the results of the local elections under the title The first serious warning to the UBP and reports that the municipalities of the UBP decreased from 14 to 12, while the CTP reelected all its eight mayors.
Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (28.06.10) reports that the 28 municipalities were distributed as following:
Louroudjina: Hasan Barbaros (CTP) 67.46%
Yerolakkos: Hulusi Manisoy (CTP) 47.95%
Kythrea: Osman Isisal (CTP) 48.40%
Geunyeli: Ahmet Benli (CTP) 49.81%
Keryneia: Sumer Aygin (CTP) 46.69%
Famagusta: Oktay Kayalp (CTP) 54.52%
Agios Sergios: Cemal Biren (CTP) 50.30%
Dikomo: Yuksel Celebi (CTP) 63.41%
Komi Kepir: Sezai Sezen (UBP) 29.08%
Trikomo : Halil Orun (UBP) 43.91%
Rizokarpaso: Mehmet Demirci (UBP) 55.01%
Lapithos: Fuat Namsoy (UBP) 85.01%
Karavas: Yucel Atakara (UBP) 50.54%
Ashia: Habil Tulucu (UBP) 63.09%
Lefkosia: Cemal Bulutoglulari (UBP) 56.75%
Morfou: Mahmut Ozcinar (UBP) 72.73%
Lefka: Mehmet Zafer (UBP) 54.10%
Lysi: Adem Ademgil (UBP) 55.81%
Chatoz: Mehmet Kerimoglu (UBP) 42.22%
Pergamos: Ilker Edip (UBP) 61.48%
Agios Amvrosios: Erdal Barut (DP) 53.04%
Galatia: Beyazit Adalier (DP) 48.55%
Gialousa: Ozay Oykun (DP) 41.50%
Akanthou: Hayri Orcan (DP) 53.03%
Vadili: Mehmet Adahan (DP) 46.58%
Sinta: Ali Oncu (Independent) 52.15%
Agios Epiktitos: Mehmet Hulusioglu (Independent) 39.40%
Lefkonoiko: Kivanc Buhara (Independent) - 38.44%
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) refers to the local elections and reports that the Maronites living in occupied Kormakitis village voted for the first time their own head of the village. The representative of the Maronites in the House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Antonis Hadjirousos, visited the village and observed the procedure. Ilyas Ioanni Papa was reelected as head of the village. Mr Hadjirousos is reported to have said to Star Kibris newspaper that the elections were held in a democratic climate and that there will be no winners and losers because everybody lives as brothers there.
 The British High Commissioner and the US Ambassador in Cyprus discuss the Direct Trade Regulation with the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of CommerceTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.06.10) reports that the British High Commissioner in Cyprus, John Christopher William Kidd and the U.S. Ambassador in Cyprus, Frank Urbancic Jr. have paid a visit to the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) and held separate meetings with its chairman Gunay Cerkez and members of the board.
The issue of the Direct Trade Regulation was the main topic on the agenda of discussions, while Mr. Cerkez seized the opportunity to raise the issue of the European Union not keeping its promises given to the Turkish Cypriots, a statement issued by the chamber notes.
 Kemal Durust is meeting Turkeys Minister of TourismTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) reports that Kemal Durust, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, is visiting Ankara today in order to meet with the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism, Ertugrul Gunay. According to a statement issued by his ministry, Mr Durust will hold contacts on issues related to tourism.
 Illegal KTHY reached an agreement with Atlas JetUnder the title The flights of KTHY will continue with Atlas Jet, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (28.06.10) reports that the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines have agreed on the issue of making a partnership with Atlas Jet Airlines. According to the agreement, the name of the company will be New KTHY and it is expected to start its flights in May 2011 the latest. The statement regarding the agreement was made yesterday by the self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk after a meeting between the government and officials of Atlas Jet and the KTHY.
Mr Kucuk said that the problems experienced with Atlas Jet were settled. He noted that the government is determined on the issue of the continuation of the name of the KTHY and that after the establishment of the new company its name will be New KTHY. The partnership agreement provides for 50%-50% sharing of the profits and 49%-51% division of the shares of the company in favor of Atlas Jet. The partnership will be valid for five years, he said, adding that until May 2011 the fleet of Atlas Jet will be flying with the addition of Cyprus Turkish expression to its name.
 The illegal excavations in occupied Salamina have been continuing for the last thirteen yearsTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (26.06.10) reports that the illegal excavations in occupied Salamina have been continuing for the last thirteen years, since they have resumed in 1997. The excavations resumed on the 8th of June 2010.
The excavations are conducted by the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University with the co-operation of the Ankara University and the Financial aid of the Embassy of Turkey to occupied Lefkosia. The team which will conduct the excavations consists of 12 archeologists and a 50 member-personnel. The works of this year will be concentrated in the port area, the 2nd biggest roman bath, the gymnasium and the theatre.
 Jennifer Lopez to perform in the occupied areas of Cyprus on July 24Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (27.06.10) reports that the world-famous Latin American artist, Jennifer Lopez will visit the occupied areas of Cyprus together with her husband, Marc Antony, and her two-year-old twins, Emme Maribel and Max David, on July 24. According to the paper, Lopez is visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus after an invitation of the Cratos Premium hotel, which is located in occupied Keryneia, in order to perform during a gala for the hotels opening ceremony on July 24. As the paper writes, the hotel will officially open its gates on July 20 (the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974).
As it is reported, on July 24, is Lopezs birthday as well and this will be the first time to celebrate her birthday on stage. For this reason, her husband, her twins and close friends are coming from the USA to attend the gala.
The paper writes that the hotel is constructed on an area of 200 thousand square metres and it costs around 220 million dollars. In addition, the hotel is among the biggest hotels in occupied Keryneia and is being considered as the greatest tourist investment in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
 The biggest weapons producers are in Ankara to win the bid for Turkeys air defense systemTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (online, 26.06.10) under the title US in major effort to sell Patriot missiles to Ankara, reports the following:
The worlds major weapons producers are in another race -- this time, to win the bid for a $7.8 billion high altitude air defense system Turkey plans to purchase.
Following Russian efforts to secure the tender, the United States has brought its missile defense heavyweights to Ankara to try and make the sale.
Patriot missile manufacturer Raytheon representative Joseph Garrett, Sikorsky executive Stephen Estill and ExxonMobils Drew Good bread are among the members of the delegation engaged in a series of lobbying meetings with the Defense Industry Under secretariat (SSM), the Defense Ministry and Parliament, doing their best to win the $7.8 billion tender.
Russia and the US are competing to win the bid for a $7.8 billion high altitude air defense system Turkey plans to purchase. Following Russian efforts to secure the tender, the US has brought its missile defense heavyweights to Ankara to try and make the sale
The American weapons giants are led by American-Turkish Council (ATC) Chairman Ambassador Richard Armitage at the meetings. They have already visited General Staff headquarters and the Air Forces Command. In their visit to Parliament, the delegation met with ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Cank1r1 deputy and Turkey-US Friendship Group President Suat K1n1kl1oglu.
The meetings addressed a number of relevant issues, including the latest state of Turkish-American relations, ongoing tension between Turkey and Israel and the Iranian issue. The American delegation stressed the closeness and deep-rooted nature of relations between Turkey and the United States, expressing the sentiment that recent events would not harm bilateral cooperation.
Ambassador Armitage said the meetings with Turkish authorities also involved intelligence sharing and regional issues and said that the Americans would do their best to be part of defense industry cooperation with Turkey.
During the meetings, the delegation focused on the long-range regional air and missile defense system that Turkey is looking to purchase but also discussed a helicopter tender that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is considering.
It did not escape attention that the American weapons giants came to Ankara at a time when Turkish-Israeli relations are on the rocks; observers also noted with interest that the visit coincided with the souring of military agreements between Turkey and Israel. Pundits say that the Americans are seizing the opportunity presented by this situation, moving quickly to redirect Turkeys defense industry spending toward alternative shores.
Russia is also working to bring Russian missile defense systems to Turkey. The Russians are trying to sell Turkey S-300-400 missiles instead of the American PATRIOT systems. The S-300 missiles have a range of 150 kilometers, reaching their target in eight to 10 seconds. The S-300 and S-400 are manufactured by Russias Rosoboron export and have many clear advantages over the Patriot missiles. The S-300 system can fire at six targets at a time; the S-400 can fire at 12, traveling at 2,800 meters per second to hit moving targets. Rosoboron export is warm to the idea of working on joint production of the missiles with Turkey.
But the fact that the same missiles are being sold to Greek Cyprus and Greece make it difficult for Turkey to elect to purchase the S-300s. Another important consideration is that much of the weaponry used by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is of Russian origin, raising security concerns for Turkey.
In addition to Russia, Turkey has also been closely following defense systems developments in China.
In 2008, the USs Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which is subordinate to the Pentagon, requested permission from the US Congress to sell long-range air defense and antiballistic missile systems to Turkey. Permission has not yet been secured, but it should be only a matter of formality should Turkey decided to go with the Patriot systems.
Turkey plans to install the systems it purchases in Ankara and Istanbul. The new generation of Patriot missile systems developed by Americas Lockheed Martin and Raytheon can load 16 missiles into a missile launcher at once and has high altitude striking power. The Patriot air defense radars can detect enemy missiles from 100 kilometers away and destroy their targets within 15 to 20 seconds of locking on. The Russian and Chinese defense systems, on the other hand, only have a range of 70 kilometers.
The American delegation is stressing, in its push for the sale, the fact that the Patriot Advanced Capability (PAC)-3 missile systems can provide excellent defense against any arms that neighboring Iran might possess. Should Turkey choose to go with the American systems, it is expected that it will purchase 13 Patriot firing units, 72 PAC-3 missile batteries and other accessories as part of the defense system.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 25-27 June 2010Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 25-27 June 2010:
AKP's Kurdish Policy, Readjusting Turkish-Iraqi Border
Ahmet Hakan writes in his column in Hurriyet (25.06.10) that the AKP government cannot solve the Kurdish problem because it lacks a comprehensive plan, readily reneges on its promises when faced with even slight resistance, has the tendency of relegating the issue to the army whenever this problem vexes it too much, approaches the Kurdish issue flippantly, it always suspects the hand of Alevis, Ergenekon, or foreign powers in the issue instead of serious introspection into its own mistakes, and above all it has lost credibility because it has shown no resolve in democratizing the country. Hakan also criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan for his tactless remarks when talking emotionally.
Commenting on AKP government's inclination to wash its hands of the Kurdish problem and entrust it to the army as did the previous governments, Hasan Cemal says in his column in Milliyet (25.06.10) that such a shift in policy would lead both Turks and Kurds into a cul-de-sac. For the proper handling of the Kurdish problem Cemal proposes the following steps: 1. cease-fire, 2. re-launch of a long-term democratic overture, 3. demonstration of a genuine political will that will not ignore Ocalan and the PKK.
Mehmet Metiner, in his column for Star (25.06.10), opposes the idea of opening overt talks with Ocalan and the PKK under the present conditions, saying that the PKK could contribute to a lasting peace if it withdraws its forces from Turkey, declares an unconditional truce, and strengthens the position of the BDP as the interlocutor of the Kurds. Only than the government could introduce all the needed measures for the success of the democratic overture.
Mehmet Ali Birand says in his column in Hurriyet (25.06.10) that some circles claim, without any proof, that the United States and Israel are fomenting PKK terrorism to teach a lesson to Turkey. Noting that such allegations were dismissed by the Turkish Army several times, Birand says in so doing the army wanted to tell these circles that they should avoid doing additional damage to Turkey's ties with the United States and Israel. Birand also points out that because of the shift of public attention on PKK attacks, the Turks missed noticing the important development of Israel easing blockade on Gaza. Noting that Israel has acceded to international community's message on Gaza, Birand says the same international community is now expecting Turkey to change its policy on Israel and Iran given that Erdogan has achieved his goal in Gaza.
Samil Tayyar declares in his column in Star (25.06.10) that Turkey has entered the election atmosphere and as such every development, including the upsurge in PKK attacks, is now related to elections. Tayyar argues that by resorting to violence the PKK wants to increase MHP's votes so as to bring about a CHP-MHP coalition, adding that under such a coalition a civil war will break out and UN troops will be deployed in the southeast to separate the Turks and Kurds creating in the process permanent lines of division in Turkey. Tayyar adds that against such a calculation by the PKK, some circles, especially those close to former president Demirel, might attempt to replace the AKP government by trying to forge a national unity government.
Commenting on recent debate that one way of preventing the PKK attacks would be to readjust the Turkish-Iraqi border by moving the Turkish border to the level ground inside Iraq, in particular State Minister Hayati Yazici's statement that the issue of border readjustment should be debated publicly, Cengiz Candar says in his column in Hurriyet (25.06.10) that the idea of border readjustment was also raised in the past by Bulent Ecevit and that the envisaged readjustment would mean the annexation of most of northern Iraq to Turkey. Candar, however, says that Turkey cannot solve the PKK problem by holding the borders, Barzani, or even Davutoglu responsible for recent incidents. Anyway, Candar, notes the government is already pursuing the right strategy of forging economic integration in the region. The economic integration of northern Iraq with Turkey is inevitable Candar says, adding that once that integration happens the Turkish-Iraqi border will lose its importance anyway.
Reacting to Yazici's proposal that Turks should start debating the idea of changing borders, CHP group deputy whip Akif Hamzacebi writes in Cumhuriyet (25.06.10) that this is an admission by the government that it has no clear policy of fighting the PKK. Hamzacebi says the issue of changing the borders could be considered but only in conjunction with other measures to fight terrorism. MHP group deputy whip Oktay Vural interprets Yazici's proposal as meaning that Turkey should withdraw into defensible borders, and for that reason opposes the border readjustment. Vural says Turkey needs a "security zone" inside Iraq not change of borders. After noting that the proposal by the minister is an indication that the AKP has abandoned the policy of resolving the Kurdish issue, BDP group deputy whip Bengi Yildiz says it will be easier to transport Turkey or the Kurds to somewhere else in the world than change the border, for there are Kurds on both sides of the border, the Kurdistan Federal State will probably oppose the idea of changing borders, and besides the border is not an issue between Iraq and Turkey but between Turks and Kurds. Responding to MHP's misrepresentation of his statement, Yazici says he in no way suggesting the ceding of Turkish territory, adding that the readjustment of the border through talks with Iraq would help the fight against terrorism.
In an article entitled "Who is dynamiting a possible solution?", Yeni Safak (25.06.10) columnist Yalcin Akdogan, writing under the pseudonym Yasin Dogan, argues that the PKK is insisting on using terrorism as a means of trying to achieve its purposes not because it has issues with the level of democracy in Turkey but because it has goals that cannot be achieved on the basis of democracy and the rule of law. He claims that the Government's efforts to solve the southeast issue have been sabotaged as seriously by the PKK and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, as by the main opposition Republican People's Party, CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP. He also disagrees with the representation of the closure of the Democratic Society Party, DTP, the launch of police operations against the PKK's urban network known as the KCK, and the apprehension of some of the PKK militants who returned to Turkey from northern Iraq recently as backward steps in the process started by the Government's "democratic overture."
In an article entitled "The State cannot abandon legitimacy", Yeni Safak columnist (25.06.10) Fehmi Koru criticizes MHP leader Devlet Bahceli for calling for the reintroduction of emergency rule in the southeast in response to the latest PKK attacks. Koru argues that the PKK thrived during 30 years of martial law and emergency rule in this country and that demanding the reinstatement of emergency rule is tantamount to providing the PKK with excuses to continue its terrorist activities. He also cites local "displeasure" in the southeast with the latest terrorist raids as proof of the way the "goodwill" associated with the Government's democratic initiatives has already started to win over the people in the region, causing the PKK to be increasingly isolated.
In a commentary in Hurriyet Daily News.com, (26.06.10) Mehmet Ali Kislali stresses the importance of "intelligence" in "fighting the outlawed PKK" and adds that the "consecutive PKK attacks recently" shows "the state's weakness in gathering information." Explaining that he scanned through the "Counterinsurgency Field Manual" prepared by Gen. David Petraeus in order to understand better the fight against terrorism, Kislali adds: "And I wondered why we have not used state facilities for more intelligence while fighting the PKK" and "if some part of these efforts were exerted against the PKK instead of used to paralyze the TSK, would this not be better?" Kislali concludes by wishing that "the efforts to collect data used to figure out suspicious activities in different ranks of the TSK, or some part or these efforts, would be redirected and instead used to reveal the PKK's activities, which are hurting this country badly."
Writing in Hurriyet Daily News.com (26.06.10) Goksel Bozkurt speculates that "the AKP feels obligation to step back in the Kurdish initiative in order to narrow the gap between itself and constituents in the West, and to push the break for a while. The AKP believes claiming the Kurdish initiative especially as funeral ceremonies of the soldiers killed by the PKK terrorists are held one after the other, might speed up the decline in votes. For this reason, the AKP will take it easy with the Kurdish initiative and let it cool for a while. But later, the AKP will make a leap forward in Western provinces. The ruling party will highlight successes of the last eight years during the propaganda period. For that, Erdogan has already asked parliamentary deputies to visit election districts and to work hard."
Writing in Milliyet, (26.06.10) Taha Akyol assesses in his column entitled "Autonomy to the Kurds" the efforts under way to set up a "democratic autonomy" by the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] municipalities as published by Taraf yesterday. Pointing out to the great sociological difference between the BDP efforts and the efforts launched by the Diyarbakir NGOs for the PKK to lay down its arms, Akyol concludes that terrorism should end completely before the natural processes can proceed without bloodshed."
In an article in Milliyet (27.06.10), Fikret Bila assesses the proposal made by the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), to silence the weapons and the view expressed by the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), that terror should not put an end to the democratization process. Although the laying down of arms is a result desired by all, terrorist organizations do not lay down their arms before they attain their goals, underlines Bila, adding: "For the time being, the PKK wants autonomy in the Southeast, a new definition to the concept of citizenship, and constitutional guarantees to the Kurdish identity, even if, for now, that identity is not defined as a founding one. It demands education in Kurdish and the declaration of a general amnesty that will include Ocalan and that will grant him political rights." What the PKK means by laying down its weapons is to establish "an undeclared state" in the Southeast and to turn its armed forces into a "security force," argues Bila, concluding that so long as the PKK maintains its logistic and international support and comfortable conditions in North Iraq, it is not realistic to believe that it will respond to any call to lay down its arms.
Viewing CHP leader Kilicdaroglu's positive approach to a dialogue with the AKP regarding the Kurdish issue in an article in Radikal, (27.06.10) Altan Oymen writes that the public welcomes such a dialogue. Noting that although the public is in favor of a stronger emphasis on the struggle against terror, it is also in favor of ending this lack of dialogue among the political parties on the issue, argues Oymen, adding that everyone is aware that the problem can be resolved only on the basis of an extensive political conciliation. Noting that it is possible for the BDP to join in the search for a solution, Oymen recalls that the reason why this was not realized until now is the "boycott" imposed by the other parties on the BDP and its predecessor. Calling on the politicians not to miss this opportunity for a dialogue regarding Turkey's most pressing issue, Calislar argues that the approaching elections should not constitute an obstacle to conciliation among the political parties on the Kurdish issue.
"Misreading" US Foreign Policy
In a commentary entitled "Ankara's Washington misreading" in Hurriyet Daily News.com, (26.06.10) Ilhan Tanir asks whether the AKP (Justice and Development Party), "sincerely believe that it could push Washington to take a position against Israel, dump it if necessary and support the Turkish position all the way" in the aftermath of the flotilla incident. Explaining that Turkey, "rightly, acted crossly and mobilized the international bodies to punish Israel" with the belief that "through building its own '9-11' rhetoric" it would be able to convince the Obama administration to take a stand against Israel," Tanir adds: "It can be safely argued then, that whoever is in the charge of reading Washington on the side of the AKP government, read Washington upside down, and picked up the mistaken insights." Noting that "Turkey now seems to be put in a dog house in Washington for a while" as the "US administration treats Turkey extremely carefully, and the statements that came from the various State Department officials in recent days, lack excitement, spirit and warmth," Tanir concludes: "Ankara, first, shall start spending more time to read Washington better. The US domestic politics, and the turbulent months ahead will even more complicate the power balance in Washington, most likely resulting a weaker President in few months time along with a stronger legislative branch and the opposition. Ankara cannot afford to misread Washington any longer."
Referring to the "democratic initiative" of the government, Cengiz Aktar writes in his commentary in Hurriyet Daily News.com (26.06.10) entitled "Turkey cannot settle the Kurdish question on its own anymore" that "the most dangerous processes are half-complete reform processes" and that "there is nothing worse than bringing efforts to a halt after challenging taboos and raising hopes." Explaining that "moreover, you end up giving your enemies and rivals a perfect argument to blame the democratic opening as the cause of the recent rise in violent action," Aktar adds: "The extensive and careless use of the word "terror" has made the Kurdish question totally obscure and non-understandable. The PKK is an organization that at times carries out acts of terror but in essence fights for a cause. And today, alienation and estrangement - and thus, the danger - have reached such a level that a cease-fire can only be reached through a mediator as big as the United States. Two of the golden rules of mediation initiatives are the due perception of stalemate by parties, where no winner can emerge, and the analysis on where the cost of solution would be less than that of the continued fight. Often sides are incapable of perceiving and properly evaluating these two rules and yet a mediator is needed."
Davutoglu's 'Vision' Questioned
"What Kind of a Success Is This?" asks Oktay Eksi in his column in Hurriyet (26.06.10) referring to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's comments to the effect that the "secret" of Turkey's successes lies in its "vision" and the fact that "it is not a mere spectator to the events, conducting diplomacy out there instead of on the table." Eksi continues by questioning Davutoglu's comments on successful foreign policies as follows: "Wasn't it Turkey that was slighted after it failed to be a mediator between Georgia and Russia? Wasn't it our successful foreign policy, which sought to have a meeting with US President Obama in Ottawa, but failed to do so? And, isn't the withdrawal of Brazil from the 'nuclear swap' deal with Iran a product of our foresighted foreign policy? What will we say to the fact that Hamas, which we support, preferred Egypt's mediation to us in its conflict with the Palestinian Liberation Organization?"
In an article entitled "Turkish foreign policy is liberal in character", Zaman (26.06.10) columnist Sahin Alpay objects to foreign characterizations of the ruling AKP's foreign policy variously as "radical Islamist," "mildly Islamist," "neo-Ottoman," "neo-caliphate," anti-Israeli, nationalist, etc. He argues that the Turkish foreign policy as it is designed and executed by Ahmet Davutoglu is based, albeit not always consistently, on liberal principles, as witness the Government's stance on EU membership, its adoption of the rules of the free market economy, and its emphasis on "zero problems with neighbors."