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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-07-19

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 CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 134/10 17-19.07.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Basbug: The Turkish army will continue to be the strongest guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [02] Eroglu rejects the proposals by President Christofias
  • [03] Delegations from Pakistan, Kosovo, Azerbaijan and Iran at the celebrations of the Turkish invasion
  • [04] A TGNA delegation in the occupied areas
  • [05] Celebrations to mark the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus
  • [06] A proposal for privatization of ports in the occupied areas
  • [07] Lord Maginnis: Accept the division
  • [08] Self-styled prime minister Kucuk completes his contacts in Turkey
  • [09] Turkey and the breakaway regime sign protocol
  • [10] Cavusoglu promoting TRNC in the framework of the World Basketball Championship
  • [11] Three Roman statues found in ancient town of Salamis
  • [12] Kibris is the most popular newspaper in occupied Cyprus
  • [13] Number of Turkish Cypriots working in the free areas reduced
  • [14] Turkish diplomat appointed as NATO deputy secretary general
  • [15] Turkey and Nakhchivan sign natural gas deal
  • [16] Turkey presents its unmanned aerial vehicle ANKA
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [17] From the Turkish Press of 16 and 17 July 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Basbug: The Turkish army will continue to be the strongest guarantee for the Turkish Cypriots

    The chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Ilker Basbug sent a message to the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on the occasion of the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (19.07.10) reports that in his message general Basbug alleged that the Turkish Cypriots is the side which wants most the solution in the environment of peace and security which has been established after 20 July 1974 and continues for 36 years, but the Greek Cypriot side does not give a positive response to the efforts of the Turkish side for a solution.

    He noted that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to be the strongest security of the rights and responsibilities of the Turkish Cypriot people deriving from the TRNC constitution and the international agreements. Basbug added that he thinks it is beneficial to stress that we have the determination, ability and power to fulfil this duty in the best manner.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu rejects the proposals by President Christofias

    The Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu rejected the proposal made by President Christofias to associate the property issue with the chapters of the refugees and the Turkish settlers with the aim of intensifying the negotiations. Illegal Bayrak television (18.07.10) reports on its webpage that Eroglu said that the Greek Cypriot side has been trying to associate the property issue with some other chapters since the beginning of discussions on the issue. He added that the Turkish side has explained to the Greek Cypriot side that it has a wrong approach and every chapter should be negotiated separately.

    Responding to a question by illegal Bayrak on the new proposals put forward by President Christofias, Eroglu alleged that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to create impressions that it has made new proposals by making public its earlier approaches.

    Eroglu noted that the Greek Cypriot side is not expressing different views on the issue of the closed city of Varosha and the International Conference and it is putting forward some unacceptable approaches.

    Eroglu said: We support Turkeys proposal for an international conference. The Greek Cypriot sides approach is neither new nor realistic or practical. I want to remind everyone that negotiations can only be carried out at the negotiating table.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (18.07.10) reports on its webpage that Eroglu met yesterday with the Commander of the Turkish Navy, Admiral Murat Bilgel who is representing the Turkish occupation army at the invasion celebrations. Eroglu thanked the Turkish commander and the Turkish army for standing by the Turkish Cypriots. Referring to the Cyprus talks, he said the Turkish side is seeking an agreement which will safeguard the acquired rights and honourable existence of the Turks of Cyprus as well as motherland Turkeys interests in the region.

    Eroglu reiterated the Turkish allegation that the Turkish Cypriots continue to live under isolation in spite of the fact that the Greek Cypriots rejected many agreements put forward until today, and expressed the belief that the EU and the UN will realize the realities on the island.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Delegations from Pakistan, Kosovo, Azerbaijan and Iran at the celebrations of the Turkish invasion

    Delegations from Pakistan, Kosovo, Azerbaijan and Iran are illegally visiting the occupied part of Cyprus for the celebrations of the Turkish invasion of the island.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.10) reports that the speaker of the assembly, Hasan Bozer met yesterday with foreign delegations which are visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to attend the celebrations on the occasion of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus. In statements during the meetings, Bozer said 20 July is the biggest anniversary of the TRNC. Referring to the ongoing negotiating process to solve the Cyprus problem, Bozer expressed the wish that a solution is reached by the end of the year. However, he added that if a solution is not found, this will not be the end of the world.

    If a solution is not reached, the Turks of Cyprus will not continue forever [to live] in this manner. If it does not happen, they will continue living in their territory and we will live in our territory. And we will enter a process of demanding our rights, he said and noted that the support of the sister countries is important in this process.

    Furthermore, the member of the Pakistani Senate, Rehana Yahya Baloch said during the meeting with Bozer that they could develop their relations with the TRNC and evaluate business possibilities. Baloch noted they are ready to offer any kind of support to the TRNC internationally.

    Meanwhile, Mahir Yagcilar, so-called minister of environment and planning of Kosovo, stated that the TRNC is going through an important period and process and wished that a lasting agreement is reached in the Cyprus talks.

    Moreover, Ganire Pasayeva, who is heading the Womens Parliamentarian Delegation from Azerbaijan, stated that 20 July is the anniversary of the revival of the Turks of Cyprus and underlined that Azerbaijan is the representative of Turkey and the Turks of Cyprus in every environment and debate. She noted that Europeans will find Azerbaijan against them when they criticize Turkey and the TRNC.

    Pour Mohammadi, owner and rector of Tebriz University, the biggest university of Iran, expressed the hope relations between the universities of Iran and the TRNC pave the way for the establishment of lasting, friendly relations between the two countries.

    Kibris also reports that Mahir Yagcilar was received at the illegal Tymvou airport by the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture Kemal Durust who stated that they love Kosovo and they will strengthen their relations. He noted that they will meet again with Yagcilar within the next few days in order to discuss issues regarding the environment.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] A TGNA delegation in the occupied areas

    A delegation by the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), headed by Omer Faruk Oz, AKP deputy and chief of the executive board of the TGNA, is illegally visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus in order attend the celebrations for the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.10) reports that the delegation met yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, the speaker of the assembly, Hasan Bozer, the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas and the prime minister Irsen Kucuk.

    In statements during the meetings, Eroglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriots were saved from annihilation on 20 July 1974 and reiterated that they came to the island from Turkey many centuries ago.

    Oz alleged that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots continues and added that Turkey will always stand by the TRNC. We are two states and one nation, he said adding that he is happy with the fact that people from Turkey and the TRNC have integrated on the island.

    Irsen Kucuk stated that with the economic assistance and moral support of Turkey, measures have been taken to turn the TRNC into a better place and added that investments should be made in the TRNC.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Celebrations to mark the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (BRT) (online 18.07.10) reported on the celebrations in the occupied areas to mark the 36th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of Cyprus.

    It is reported:

    The celebrations on 20 July will officially start with a 21 gun-salute and an address to the nation by President Dervis Eroglu, which will be broadcast live on Bayrak Radio and Television. Wreath lying ceremonies at the Ataturk Monument in Lefkosia will be held at 6pm, at the Bogaz Martyrdom at 6:30 p.m. and at the Tomb of Doctor Fazil Kucuk at Anittepe at 7pm. Wreaths will be laid, a minute silence will be observed, flags will be hoisted to the national anthem and a special book will be signed during the ceremonies.

    The climax of celebrations in the capital will be the ceremony at the Dr. Fazil Kucuk Boulevard on 20 July. That ceremony will start at 9:30 in the morning. President Dervis Eroglu and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek will speak at the ceremony. An official military and civilian parade will follow.

    On Tuesday, a separate wreath laying ceremony will also be held at the Karaoglanoglu [occupied Agios Georgios Keryneias] Cikarma beach, where Turkish troops first landed in 1974. A ceremony will also be held Karaoglanoglu Martyrdom on the same day.

    As part of the events, the world famous Turkish Stars Aerobatics team will again be performing this year. Meanwhile, battleships and frigates from the Turkish Navy, which docked at Girne [occupied Keryneia] and Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta] ports, are open to the public today and tomorrow.

    Within the framework of 20 July Peace and Freedom Day celebrations, various cultural and sport activities will also be held throughout the Republic. A swimming marathon between Silifke and Girne will be held with the participation of Turkish and Turkish Cypriot swimmers. The marathon, which will start in Silifke tomorrow at 9am, will end in Girne on Tuesday at 11am. Ceremonies will also be held in Mersin and Silifke to mark the 20 July Peace and Freedom Day.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (19.07.10), Turkish Armed Forces will participate in the celebrations of the invasion with their Air Force aerobatic team. The Turkish Stars. Students of the Navy Academy will take part in the official ceremony, while the public will be able to visit in the occupied ports of Keryneia and Famagusta ships such as the frigate Giresun, the torpedo boat Poyraz, the submarine Dolunay, the auxiliary ships Sokullu Mehmet Pasa and Hasan Pasa and the corvette Bodrum.

    [06] A proposal for privatization of ports in the occupied areas

    Under the headline Go and give free of charge, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.07.10) in its leading front page reports that the problem of ports could be solved through privatization. The illegal airports and sea ports will be removed from the jurisdiction of the authorities and thus the Greek Cypriots will be deprived of the argument that the ports are connected to the state, the paper reports. Afterwards, Turkey will open its ports to the Greek Cypriots and the problem will be considered solved. Turkish officials note that these ports are not worth a damn and they recommend that they should be given free of charge.

    The paper refers to the following statement by Turkeys State Minister Cemil Cicek, You dont have appropriate ports. We told you to privatize Famagusta port, but for some reason it has not happened. We say privatize Gemikonagi port [occupied port of Karavostasi], but it has not been done. Give it free of charge, but just give it. We say privatize not nationalize.

    Citing information, Kibrisli reports that Ercan airport (occupied airport of Tymvou), as well as the ports of Famagusta, Keryneia and Gemikonagi will be upgraded. With privatization, Ankara aims to disprove Greek Cypriot sides argument that the TRNCs ports are a violation of international law. The paper reports that Turkey will subsequently open its ports to Cypriot vessels and in this way, the Greek Cypriot positions will be invalidated.

    (DPs)

    [07] Lord Maginnis: Accept the division

    In statements to the Turkish Cypriot daily Star newspaper (19.07.10), Lord Ken Maginnis said that sufficient chances have been given to the negotiations process. Lord Maginnis, a British politician and a well-known supporter of Turkish Cypriots stated that the only thing I can say to the people of the TRNC is that the process going on with south Cyprus is a waste of time and called on them to say no to the negotiations and pursue openly the only solution, division. He also said that with the 20 July intervention, a peaceful environment has been present for 36 years and its time Turkish Cypriots look forward.

    Lord Maginnis also added: We hear all the time Greek Cypriots saying that they want a solution, an agreement. However, their actions are different to their words. What they want and what they do is to deactivate the positions of the Turkish Cypriots and the Turks. And the first thing that should be known is that if there is peace in Cyprus, it was brought by the Turks in 1974.

    Lord Maggins accused the Government of Cyprus and the Greek Orthodox Church for being behind the campaign to cancel Jennifer Lopez concert. Regarding direct trade with the occupied areas he said that what Greek Cypriots do in the EU institutions is the biggest injustice to Turkish Cypriots and that he is ashamed of his own governments stance regarding Cyprus. Moreover, he described Britains latest statements as contradictory and should not have been made and said the world should see the reality of the past 47 years that Turkish Cypriots have no common identity, religion, language and no common aspirations with Greek Cypriots.

    (IS)

    [08] Self-styled prime minister Kucuk completes his contacts in Turkey

    Illegal Bayrak television (BRT) (online, 16.07.10) reported on the meeting of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul with the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk at the Huber Mansion in Istanbul.

    According to a statement after the meeting, Gul said he was telling the entire world how he praises the democratic example in Northern Cyprus adding that Turkey will always support the Turks of Cyprus. On his part, Kucuk said he was very pleased to receive such support.

    As reported by illegal BRT (17.07.10) on his return (18.07.10) and speaking to reporters at illegal Tymvou airport, Kucuk described his meetings with the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and the Prime Minister as very fruitful. He expressed the belief that the positive atmosphere of the meetings will benefit the governments work towards overcoming the economic difficulties in the Republic.

    Noting that he met with the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Cemil Cicek and the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara and then with President Abdullah Gul in Istanbul, Kucuk said: President Guls expression of full support to President Eroglu has given me great pleasure.

    Illegal BRT further reported: The Prime Minister announced that a water protocol will be signed on 20 July when Cemil Cicek visits the Republic and that foundations will be laid officially in September at Dragon Cay.

    It is also reported that Kucuk lashed out at some circles for criticizing statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their joint press conference in Ankara. Irsen Kucuk said Erdogan had spoken positively during the joint press conference in Ankara and only expressed his support to the TRNC government. Likewise, he added, Turkish officials expressed sympathy and support to the Turks of Cyprus, and to the government, but some circles are just trying to overshadow this fact.

    [09] Turkey and the breakaway regime sign protocol

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (17.07.10) reported on a meeting in Ankara between the Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek with the self-styled finance minister Ersin Tatar, during which a protocol was signed to enable the so-called ministry of finance to use e-budget software designed by Turkish Ministry of Finance.

    Speaking to reporters following the meeting with Tatar, Simsek, inter alia, said that the TRNC had made significant progress in establishing a solid budgetary discipline, adding that the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot finance ministries agreed to engage in technical cooperation on this issue. We have always extended any needed support to the TRNC in finance and other areas. Our support on budgetary issues is solid, Simsek said.

    On his part, Tatar said that the TRNC government is set on reigning a budget that run a huge deficit, adding that the government has tried to maintain a sustainable budgetary policy. He predicted that the TRNC could achieve a balanced budget by 2012, which he said would be a great success.

    [10] Cavusoglu promoting TRNC in the framework of the World Basketball Championship

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.07.10) reports that the minister of national education, youth and sports Nazim Cavusoglu is going to Istanbul today, heading a delegation, in order to participate in promotion activities for the TRNC, in the framework of the World Basketball Championship which is taking place in Turkey.

    Cavusoglu will also have a meeting with the Turkish State Minister, Responsible for Sports, Faruk Ozak. He returns to Cyprus tomorrow.

    (CS)

    [11] Three Roman statues found in ancient town of Salamis

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.07.10) reports that three Roman marble statues were found during the archaeological excavation and restoration works at the ancient town of Salamis in occupied Famagusta, by the East Mediterranean University (DAU) with the cooperation of the Ankara University.

    The statues are two metres and twenty centimetres high and two of them have no heads. It is said that one of the statue is Persephones husband Hades. The other one is believed to be a satyr, half man and half animal.

    The excavations began on 9 July 2010 under Prof. Dr. Coskun Ozgunel Chairman of the Research Centre of Archaeological and Cultural Property (AKVAM) of DAU and will continue until 21 July 2010.

    (DPs)

    [12] Kibris is the most popular newspaper in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.10) publishes a research conducted by KADEM Research Centre about the reading habits of people living occupied Cyprus. According to the research, 81% of people in occupied Cyprus read a newspaper every three days. Of these 92.1% read Kibris newspaper, 18.1% Havadis, 14.9% Yeni Duzen and 13.1% Afrika.

    The research was conducted between June 28 and July 13, 2010, with a sample of 1211 persons, over 15 years old.

    (CS)

    [13] Number of Turkish Cypriots working in the free areas reduced

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.07.10) reports that the number of Turkish Cypriots who work in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus has dropped, because the demand of immovable properties has declined and contractors must dismiss workers. According to statements by the chairman of DEV-IS Trade Union, Mehmet Seyis, the number of Turkish Cypriot workers from occupied Cyprus was 3400 and has fallen to 2143.

    (CS)

    [14] Turkish diplomat appointed as NATO deputy secretary general

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (16.07.10) reported from Brussels that a Turkish diplomat has been appointed the new deputy secretary general of NATO. A NATO spokesperson said on Friday that Huseyin Dirioz, a former foreign policy adviser to Turkey's president, has been designated as the new deputy secretary general of NATO for defence policy and planning.

    According to A.A:

    Dirioz will be the principal adviser to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on political-military policy and planning issues, including logistics, missile defence, terrorism, WMD issues, nuclear policy and defence aspects of cooperation with partners and international organizations. He will be responsible for the development and delivery of NATO's defence policy and of planning mechanisms to support national and collective defence and force planning. Dirioz will have an important role on the political motivation of the new strategic concept expected to be adopted in a NATO summit to take place in Portugal in November. Huseyin Dirioz will be responsible to the North Atlantic Council once he assumes this position.

    Dirioz earlier served as spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, and as ambassador to Jordan.

    [15] Turkey and Nakhchivan sign natural gas deal

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (19.07.10) reported that Turkey and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic have signed an agreement on the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

    The paper reports:

    A signing ceremony attended by Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz was held on Saturday in Nakhchivan. Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Yildiz said the agreement on the natural gas pipeline would boost ties between the Turkey and Nakhchivan. The projected pipeline will be constructed between Turkey and Nakhchivan. Yildiz said it will be between 180 and 200 kilometres long. The pipeline will transport Azerbaijani gas to Nakhchivan via Turkey, and its capacity will be determined according to needs of Nakhchivan, Yildiz said.

    The minister said that relations between Turkey and Nakhchivan have been improving. Turkish Airlines (THY) flies there three days a week. The number of flights will increase. Economic relations will be boosted, he said.

    The deal was signed by the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) General Manager Fazil Senel and State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) General Manager Rovnaq Abdullayev.

    [16] Turkey presents its unmanned aerial vehicle ANKA

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (16.07.10) reported from Ankara that the Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle ANKA was rolled in a ceremony held in capital Ankara on Friday. Numerous high-level Turkish officials including General Staff Chief Gen. Ilker Basbug, Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, Land Forces Commander Gen. Isik Kosaner, Naval Forces Commander Gen. Esref Ugur Yigit, Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Aksay and Undersecretary for Defence Industries Murad Bayar attended the ceremony at the headquarters of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI).

    Speaking at the ceremony, Defence Minister Gonul, inter alia, noted that the Turkish defence industrys primary goal was to meet the modern equipment requirements of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) by using the country's own industry. Gonul said the total cost of the modernization projects carried out in Turkey in the last 8 years exceeded 20 billion USD, adding that 90% of such projects had been assumed by Turkish industrialists. Gonul also said that he hoped the development studies on the Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle ANKA would be completed following a successful test flight programme and the vehicle would start flights as soon as possible.

    Moreover, Undersecretary Bayar said in his speech that ANKA was an operative level system which was designed and developed with a 107 million USD budget. Noting that ANKA aimed to be the best in its category, Bayar also said, following the completion of the test programme, the systems verified and optimized prototype would be completed and serial production would start in 2011. The first systems would be delivered in 2012, the undersecretary added.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [17] From the Turkish Press of 16 and 17 July 2010

    a) Erdogan meetings with political party leaders / Kurdish issue / Professional army

    Ferai Tinc in her column in Hurriyet (16.07.10) interprets Erdogan meetings with party leaders as an effort to secure their support for the creation of a special force, and laments that political leaders are again approaching Turkey's most important problem, the Kurdish problem, with a warped mentality. Tinc says it is hard to comprehend why politicians seek a new force when the Turkish Armed Forces are fully mobilized for the same job. Noting the negative effects of such a force, recalls that similar special forces established in the past simply discredited the armed forces and damaged the national unity.

    Oral Calislar in his column in Radikal (16.07.10), points out that the Kurdish problem requires political solution and adds that if it is diagnosed as a problem of terrorism rather than a social problem, one would inevitable opt for military measures. He says Erdogan of late has been acting indecisively and tilting towards those who seek a military solution to the problem and concludes as long as society and political parties maintain their subconscious aversion to all things Kurdish, it will not be easy to garner a common social will for the democratic solution of problem.

    Commenting on Kilicdaroglu's proposals during his meeting with Erdogan that the election threshold be reduced and the region be developed economically, Rusen Cakir says in Vatan (16.07.10) that such measures would benefit the country as a whole, but it will not solve the Kurdish and PKK issues. The solution rests in Turks coming to terms with Kurdish nationalism, which has now reached its maturity, he adds.

    Murat Yetkin says in Radikal (16.07.10) points out the importance of the timing of the Erdogan-Kilicdaroglu meeting, as it coincides with the intensification of Turkish-US-Iraq cooperation on security issues.

    Under the front-page headline, "Sav tutelage blocks CHP report," Yeni Safak (16.07.10) asserts that Republican People's Party (CHP) Secretary-General Onder Sav prevented CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu from submitting to Prime Minister Erdogan a report on the Kurdish, a fact, the paper adds, which demonstrates the extent of Sav's influence within the CHP.

    Columnist Yalcin Akdogan in Yeni Safak (16.07.10) says that the message resulting from the between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu is: 1. Terrorism is a common problem and they are both on the same side against it. 2. Political dialogue is one of the essentials of democracy. Akdogan describes the meeting as a "win-win" affair for both parties and as a development marking a shift in the CHP's position from a strident emphasis on secularism to an awareness of the importance of social policies.

    Commenting on Erdogan's statement on the special unit of professional soldiers to fight against the PKK in his article entitled "We can resolve it through dialogue rather than fighting," Zaman (17.07.10), columnist Sahin Alpay argues that the fight against the PKK cannot be won only by using military means. He emphasizes that the Kurdish question could be resolved by meeting all democratic demands of Kurds and allowing PKK militants to be engaged in lawful political activities following negotiations with the Peace and Democracy Party or PKK leaders, including Abdullah Ocalan.

    Cuneyt Arcayurek in Cumhuriyet (17.07.10) views the dialogue between the government and the opposition parties and notes a new understanding in domestic politics, which he assesses as a conciliatory stand and a search for a joint wisdom.

    Contrary to the claims of the government, the democratic overture has come to a standstill, writes Mustafa Erdogan in the Star (17.07.10), adding that unfortunately the government has yet to abandon its security related outlook to the Kurdish issue. Drawing attention to the president's approach to the issue that calls for "the state demonstrating that it is stronger than the PKK," Erdogan goes on to criticize the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) and the PKK for their unwillingness to contribute to a peaceful solution. Assessing the prime minister's exclusion of the BDP from his meetings with the opposition parties, Erdogan argues that this demonstrates his approach of trying to solve the Kurdish issue by isolating the Kurdish political movement. The practical result of this lack of foresight will, unfortunately, be more bloodshed (...) and the separation between the Kurds and the Turks will be exacerbated." If the state and the government are sincere about wanting to solve the Kurdish issue, they should realize that no strategy that excludes the BDP and the PKK can secure the peaceful solution of the Kurdish problem, argues the writer.

    Disagreeing with the idea of setting up special security units in his article in Vatan (17.07.10), Can Atakli argues that the prime minister has also taken a step backward on this issue as he has been doing regarding many other issues in the past. No doubt, Turker's memory and intelligence is sufficient not to confuse between 'border units' and a 'special army'." Focusing on media details regarding the characteristics of this special army, Atakli criticizes the prime minister for later declaring that the issue in question is not a special army but border units.

    b) Constitutional amendment package

    Warning the opposition not to deceive the voters and claim that the constitutional amendment package will bring no changes to our lives in an article in Star (17.07.10), Ahmet Kekec argues that this package will introduce very significant changes such as the right to conclude wage agreements, a constitutional right to stage strikes, a pluralistic structure to the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) as well as the Constitutional Court, and the ombudsmanship system. Addressing the opposition that has, for years, been advocating that those who have staged coups be brought to trial, Kekec underlines that with the abolition of the temporary constitutional Article 15, this wish might come true and the path might be opened to bringing to justice Kenan Evren and his colleagues.

    Columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak writing in Vakit (17.07.10) warns that some groups accused of being involved in coup plots hatched against the ruling party may hire a hit man to assassinate a leading figure within the AKP in retaliation for the arrest of some of their members. Dilipak also says that a military coup may be staged in Turkey as long as the Republican People's Party (CHP) exists. Asserting that the CHP which he accuses of acting as the politburo of the 'deep state' is the only political party which does not deserve to exist in Turkey.

    c) 10% threshold

    Viewing the insistence of the AKP in preserving the 10% election threshold in an article in Milliyet (17.07.10), Can Dundar says the aim is keep the "objectionable" parties away from the National Assembly and keep the AKP in power, recalling that the AKP came to power because of the 10% election threshold.

    d) Turkey's new role in talks with Iran

    Commenting on the Davutoglu-Clinton telephone conversation on Iranian nuclear issue last week, Sami Kohen says in his column in Milliyet (16.07.10) that Clinton has asked Davutoglu to support the initiative whereby the five permanent UNSC members plus Germany will hold talks with Iran on uranium enrichment. He says this does not exclude Turkey from the talks, she will still be involved as a facilitator.

    Commenting on the same issue in Hurriyet Daily News (16.07.10), Semih Idiz cites observers who hold that it is unlikely Turkey will find a place for itself at that table should the talks go ahead. They suggest that Turkeys involvement is not wanted most probably because of a concern that Ankara's interventions will again water down international efforts to up the pressure on Tehran. The issue has, however, turned into a matter of political and personal prestige for the Erdogan government, and in particular for Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who appears to many diplomats in Ankara to be losing his previous 'lustre' following Turkey's involvement in this issue, as well as the Mavi Marmara crisis with Israel that erupted later."

    e) Turkish-Israeli relations

    Commenting on the strained relations between Turkey and Israel, columnist Abdullah Bozkurt in his article in Today's Zaman (17.07.10), cautions that bilateral ties may further deteriorate if Israel refuses to meet Turkey's demands and adds: "It is clear that Israel needs Turkey more than Turkey needs Israel. But the right-wing Israeli government does not seem to have come to grips with this fact, and is acting more on domestic political considerations rather than on vital national interests. Let's hope and pray that reason will prevail over short-sightedness."

    In an article in Milli Gazete (07.07.10), columnist Mehmet Talu says that Israel is setting the stage for a war which will eventually break out between Israel and Muslim countries. Lamenting that there is no Muslim country capable of using force again Israel today, Talu adds that Muslims are patient and clever and know that there is only one path to be followed and that they should remain united. Israel should be afraid of them and stop shedding children's blood when Muslims realize that they are friends and brothers and decide to support each other and join their forces in the fields of rights, law, justice, science, technology, and security."

    f) Turkey's EU accession bid

    Viewing Turkey's EU accession bid in an article in Hurriyet Daily News (17.07.10), Soner Cagaptay, argues that "the reason Turkey will not join the EU any time soon is not because of European reservations toward a Muslim country but because of the Turkish government's reservations toward European values."

    g) Case of Col. Cicek

    In an article entitled "The dubious case of Col. Cicek", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar says that the indictment "needs thorough attention and pure, legal analysis" because it appears to be part of an attempt to clear a number of senior officers expecting to be promoted at the Supreme Military Council meeting in August of charges of involvement in an anti-government conspiracy. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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