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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-07-26

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. 139/10 24-26.07.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot political leaders comment on the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo
  • [02] Reactions to the ICJ ruling on Kosovo show Turkish sides wish for recognition of the TRNC
  • [03] Tatar alleges that there are no Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied part of Cyprus
  • [04] Eroglu briefed the Turkish political parties on the negotiation process
  • [05] Ozersay rejects again President Christofias proposals
  • [06] Turkeys Chambers and Borsas Union Chairman said that entrepreneurs must be encouraged
  • [07] Chairman of KTMMOB comments on the construction sector in the TRNC
  • [08] Illegal GAU to open a branch campus in Washington D.C.
  • [09] Turkish Ambassador to the US views ties with Turkey and Ankara Policy on Iran Nuclear Program
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press 23 - 25 July 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriot political leaders comment on the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.07.10) refers on its website on the statements made by Turkish Cypriot party leaders applauding the International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu stated that he could only make an accurate assessment of the issue after a thorough study. He added that he is at the negotiating table with the intent of reaching a solution. We are trying to find a permanent and viable solution to the Cyprus problem. I only hope that some circles will be motivated towards a solution by the International Court of Justices decision, he stated.

    The leader of the National Unity Party, Irsen Kucuk expressed his joy for the acceptance of Kosovos independence, pointing out that the only difference with the Cyprus problem is the Security Council decisions. It is too early to make comparisons between the two countries, he said, adding: while negotiations are continuing it would be wrong to bring the TRNC recognition on the agenda. Kucuk said the National Unity Party continues to support the Cyprus negotiation process.

    The main opposition Republican Turkish Party United Forces, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, noted the hardships experienced by the Kosovans after secession from Yugoslavia. Soyer pointed out that the major difference between the TRNC and Kosovo is that Kosovo was not condemned by the Security Council when it declared its independence.

    The leader of the Democrat Party, Serdar Denktas, said Kosovo indicates that the fight for independence is not impossible or out of reach.

    On the other hand, the leader of the Socialist Democratic Party, Mehmet Cakici, said for Cyprus to become Kosovo was out of question.

    Turgay Avci, the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party, said the first aim of the TRNC should be to reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (26.07.10) reports on a written statement by Alpay Durduran, member of the executive committee of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), evaluating the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) regarding Kosovo. Durduran stated that his party extended support to the negotiations not for the recognition of the TRNC but for the non-recognition of the TRNC. He added that YKP is also against the view that this will be the golden opportunity for recognition if a solution is not found by the end of the year. Because, the party does not look towards the alternatives, but towards the advantages of the Cypriots over the reunification of Cyprus.

    Durduran said that the appetite of some has been whetted, while others have lost their appetite, adding, inter alia, that it should be made known that already there are those who state that they will not accept a separate state in Cyprus and the UN is at the top.

    [02] Reactions to the ICJ ruling on Kosovo show Turkish sides wish for recognition of the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.07.10) reports that Inal Batu, former ambassador of Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus and ex spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the ruling of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the issue of Kosovo illustrated the use of double standards by the western countries because they took absolutely no step on the issue of the recognition of the TRNC. He said he was not optimistic on the issue of the recognition of the TRNC and added that great changes should take place internationally. Batu noted that the recognition of the TRNC might come on the agenda if this recognition came as a package perhaps with Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Referring to the statement made recently by the Turkish State Minister Cemil Cicek that everyone will go his own way if a solution is not reached in Cyprus by the end of the year, Batu said that this statement is not enough and that the infrastructure of recognition should be prepared. He noted that the plans for a worldwide campaign should be prepared behind closed doors and recalled that such plans had been prepared in the past, and that they can be taken off the shelf now. He expressed the view that countries such as Syria, Iraq, Georgia, Bangladesh, Pakistan and the Central Asian countries are important on this issue and recalled that in the past Bangladesh had recognized the TRNC for a while, but afterwards changed its mind due to threats.

    Batu said that it is absolutely necessary for the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to prepare a specific timetable for the recognition and at the same time use the elections in Turkey, because the Turkish people strongly support recognition of the TRNC and consider this as great diplomatic victory. The AKP could use it as an advantage in the elections, he argued.

    Meanwhile, commenting on the same issue in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (25.07.10) Turkish Cypriot columnist Sami Ozuslu reports that as soon as the ICJ announced that it recognizes the independence of Kosovo, the supporters of the division in the Turkish side rebelled. Under the title Let the supporters of division go to Kosovo! Ozuslu writes, inter alia, the following:

    () The President of the Republic Dervis Eroglu raised his voice. His party, the UBP, sent the message to the world as if saying we also want this. Both his party, the UBP, and Eroglu, who is sitting at the negotiating table for such a short period of time, which is considered too short, referred to the limits of their patience It is as if Christofias said I accept everything, Eroglu is ready to sign a federal solution! It is as if the UBP will not hang a Greek flag at the assembly and launch a campaign for no in a referendum for a possible solution plan! Has anyone heard or seen anyone of those who give Kosovo as example for Cyprus to have put even a single stone in the efforts for a lasting solution? ()

    Moreover, Tufan Erhurman, assistant professor at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean Universitys (DAU) Law Faculty, commented on the same issue noting that the ruling of the ICJ on Kosovo was an advisory opinion and added that the court made a very clear distinction between Cyprus and Kosovo. He recalled the UN Security Council resolutions on Cyprus and noted that the court felt the need to explain indirectly why the declaration of independence of the TRNC is illegal.

    Finally, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (23.07.10 in English) reports that ICJs decision prompts fears that the decision may encourage secessionist movements in disputed regions around the world. A report by Fulya Ozerkan under the title Verdict on Kosovo will not affect Turkey cites analysts views who support that it is wrong to compare the Kosovo with the situation in Southeast Turkey, but say the verdict could help gain recognition for the occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    The international verdict in support of Kosovo's declaration of independence may open the way for broader recognition of northern Cyprus, but analysts believe it is unlikely to encourage would-be secessionists in Turkey's Southeast, writes the paper citing statements by Muzaffer Vatansever, a researcher with the Turkish USAK think tank, who told Hurriyet that Kosovo was already an autonomous region in Yugoslavia, while the Kurds were always within the unitary state and they gained their rights not from a separate state, but from a unitary state.

    The analysts argued, however, that the situation in Cyprus may have close parallels with Kosovo. There are similarities with the Cyprus case that can be used by Turkey in the future, said Vatansever.

    Kosovo's proclamation of independence from Serbia opened the way for international recognition of northern Cyprus, said Gozde Kilic Yasin, a Balkans expert at the Turkish TURKSAM think tank.

    U.N. Security Council resolution No. 1244 said Kosovo was part of Serbia, but it was the leading members of the Security Council that recognized Kosovo's independence, especially the United States and France, Yasin said noting that the only obstacle before recognition of the TRNC is the U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    According to Yasin, if Turkey had made the same efforts for northern Cyprus as it did to support Kosovo's recognition in the international arena, the present situation on the island would have been quite different.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Tatar alleges that there are no Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.07.10) reports that the minister of finance Ersin Tatar and the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas attended on Saturday the opening ceremony of a branch of Turkish Ziraat Bankasi (Agricultural Bank) in occupied Agios Georgios, Keryneia area.

    In statements during the ceremony Tatar referred to Turkeys projects to bring water and electricity to the occupied areas of Cyprus and said that in parallel to these projects Ziraat Bankasi is opening new branches there.

    He added:

    The TRNC is ours now. I, as Minister of Finance, beg you: Close this issue of Greek Cypriot properties. These lands are ours. If a project comes, please let us give credit to it, because no one can take away from us this project, this plot of land, this land. There are no Greek Cypriot properties any more on these lands. The Immovable Property Commission has already said this. This has been recorded even by one of the most difficult courts in Europe, as long as we can afford to pay these compensations. Since we have the great Republic of Turkey behind us, these compensations will also be paid. Of course, they will be paid in reasonable amounts. We, as government, continue these efforts. Therefore, let us close now this issue of Greek Cypriot properties and pave the way for fair feasibility studies.

    Rauf Denktas who was also present at the ceremony, called on the banks not to make discriminations between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot title deeds when they examine application for loans. He said that all the title deeds are guaranteed by the government and urged the banks not to hesitate to give loans for projects which do not have Turkish title deeds.

    The Greek Cypriots can do absolutely nothing. The territory issue will be settled globally with exchange and compensation of properties, he claimed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Eroglu briefed the Turkish political parties on the negotiation process

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.07.10) refers on its website that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, briefed leaders and representatives of political parties in parliament on the course of the negotiation process and the ongoing discussions on the property issue.

    Eroglus special representative, Kudret Ozersay, the member of the negotiations team on property Serden Hoca and the Eroglus spokesperson, Osman Ertug, were also present at the meeting.

    The leader of the ruling National Unity Party Irsen Kucuk reiterated his partys support to Eroglu.

    For his part, the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, said he acknowledges the Turkish sides commitment and determination to the solution process, and reacts to Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofiass efforts to link the property with other issues.

    The Foreign Secretary of the Democrat Party Bengu Sonya said linking the property chapter with issues of territory and migrants is unacceptable. He also accused the Greek Cypriot leader of playing with time and expressed his partys wish for the conclusion of discussions on the property issue and to move on to other main issues.

    The leader of the Social Democratic Party Mehmet Cakici said it is difficult to reach a solution by the end of this year. Pointing out that disagreements are continuing between the two sides, Cakici said the chapter of governance and power sharing should be concluded before starting discussions on the property issue.

    Moreover, the leader of the Freedom and Reform Party Turgay Avci said it was a fruitful meeting and expressed his partys support for a solution by the end of this year. He added that the Greek Cypriot sides good will is also necessary to reach a solution on the island.

    [05] Ozersay rejects again President Christofias proposals

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (26.07.10) reports on Kudret Ozersays, Eroglus special representative, statements in BRT. According to the newspaper, commenting on the ongoing negotiations Ozersay said that each subject should be discussed separately. Once certain progress has been achieved, discussion moves on to the give and take phase. This give and take process is carried out at a different stage and covers all subjects.

    He said the Greek Cypriot side behaves as if it has made new proposals and tries to create the impression in the international public opinion using the press that it is the side which wants a solution. He called on the Greek Cypriot side to focus seriously only on the negotiation table and stop communication tricks, because for the Turkish Cypriot side negotiations take place on the negotiation table.

    Moreover, he added that far from being serious, the Greek Cypriot side tries through the press to promote as new, proposals which have been discussed previously and rejected as damaging to the negotiation procedure. According to Ozersay: This doesnt agree with good intentions. There is another objective.

    (IS)

    [06] Turkeys Chambers and Borsas Union Chairman said that entrepreneurs must be encouraged

    Illegal Bayrak television (25.07.10) refers on its website to the President of the Turkeys Chambers and Borsas Union, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, who held a joint press conference with both the president of the chamber of industry Ali Cirali and the president of the chamber of commerce Gunay Cerkez. Hisarciklioglu visited occupied Cyprus heading a delegation.

    During the press conference Hisarciklioglu said entrepreneurs must be encouraged if there is to be economic development in the TRNC, noting that he sees great potential in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    For his part Ali Cirali said that they discussed ways the TRNC economy can continue and be able to stand on its own two feet.

    Gunay Cerkez for his part said the investment model applied by Turkey for the TRNC is out of date and must be re-evaluated.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.07.10) reports that during its visit to the occupied areas of Cyprus, the delegation of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) met with the members of the Turkish Cypriot Camber of Industry (KTSO) as well as with members of the Turkish Cypriot Camber of Tourism (KTTO). The progress in the economic relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime as well as the economic development of the TRNC were the main issues of the discussion.

    Speaking prior to his meetings, the TOBB chairman, Rifat Hisarciklioglu, referred to the establishment of a business council with the TRNC in which Turkish and Turkish Cypriot entrepreneurs will meet and discuss the various business potentials. Hisarciklioglu added that their target is to increase trade and production of the island, as well as to find more methods to attract investments, and referred to a report prepared by TOBB and the DAIK TRNC Business Council. Moreover, he said that the TRNC economy, the problems faced by foreign investors and the ways to make the investments on the island more attractive, will be discussed during an one-day meeting in September.

    Responding a question regarding the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Hisarciklioglu stated that in order to weaken the isolation, both Turkey and the TRNC should continue economic pressures towards the EU, adding that the TOBB as well continues its efforts in Brussels. Referring to the ongoing negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Hisarciklioglu stated that he expects a good result to be reached by the end of the year.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (25.07.10) reported on data by the Turkish Treasury Undersecretariat regarding the investments made by Turkish companies abroad. Particularly, the Turkish companies has moved abroad a capital of 17 billion 310 million 823,4 thousand dollars through their investments to various countries such as European countries, Russia, USA, China, Afghanistan, Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana and Colombia.

    Inter alia, it is reported that investments were made in the occupied areas of Cyprus as well. According to the data, 354 Turkish firms exported a capital of 162,1 million liras to the TRNC.

    (EA)

    [07] Chairman of KTMMOB comments on the construction sector in the TRNC

    Speaking to the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (26.07.10) Ahmet Cagnan, chairman of the Association of Turkish Cypriot Civil Engineers and Architects Chambers (KTMMOB) described the situation in the construction sector. Noting the rise experienced within a four year period after the Annan Plan and the recession that followed, Cagnan drew attention to the necessity to fill the gaps in construction legislation.

    Cagnan said that within four years the permits granted corresponded to construction on 20 million square meters of land, an economic equivalent of 20 billion dollars. He said that the number of the building contractors from 70 skyrocketed to 800, as everyone wanted to benefit from this rise in the sector. He also supported that one of the main problems for the crisis in the sector is that easy profit investments were made by people who had no information and capital. According to Cagnan another problem of the sector is foreign dependency and stressed that 70% of the turnover of the sector, was spent in buying raw materials from abroad, thus leading to loss of money.

    Moreover, during the period following the Annan Plan, Cagnan said that due to demand, a building permit was not necessary, thus leading to many problematic constructions.

    (IS)

    [08] Illegal GAU to open a branch campus in Washington D.C.

    Turkish daily Kibris newspaper (26.07.10) reports that a new overseas branch campus of the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU) is underway to be established in Washington D.C, in the framework of the universitys strategic development programme titled 2010 and beyond emanation.

    According to statements by Serhat Akpinar, GAUs chairman of the board of directors, works for the establishment of a GAU-US campus Washington branch has begun, adding that both the Singapore branch campus and the US Washington D.C. branch campus will open simultaneously. During 2010-2011 academic year, students will be accepted for the masters and doctorate programmes, not only to the GAU Karmi campus (in occupied Keryneia), but in the UK and the USA branch campuses as well.

    As Akpinar noted, Dr. Avery has been appointed chairman of GAUs USA branch campus. He, inter alia, added that works has been completed for online masters and doctorate programmes at the US branch campus and further information will be given to the public in August.

    (EA)

    [09] Turkish Ambassador to the US views ties with Turkey and Ankara Policy on Iran Nuclear Program

    Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (24.07.10) reports from Washington DC that the Turkish Ambassador to United States Namik Tan evaluated Turkeys relations with USA and Israel as well as and Ankaras Policy on Iran Nuclear Programme. He was speaking at a conference on "Turkish- U.S. Relations in a Changing World" organized by the Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS).

    Regarding Turkey-US relations, Tan stated said that differences of opinion are only transient and they do not cast a shadow over the fundamentals of Turkish-U.S. alliance. He also said the term "model partnership", used by the US President Barack Obama to describe Turkish-American relations during his first overseas trip to Turkey in April 2009, emphasizes the importance of the close cooperation between Turkey and the United States based on common values and principles.

    "Turkey and the United States need each other (...) our alliance is firm and solid. Our objectives in the Middle East, the Balkans, Afghanistan, the Caucasus, and in many other regions and on various issues are overlapping, Tan stated.

    He also said that developing relations with Syria or Russia does not indicate a shift of axis on that part of Turkey.

    Tan also touched on the May 31 Israeli raid on Gaza aid convoy and said that friendship between Turkey and Israel has been jeopardized by the attack. Tan reiterated Turkey's expectations that Israel admits her wrong-doing and apologizes to the Turkish people for the killings. "At this moment, there is not much to do on the Turkish side. The ball is in the court of Israel, he stated.

    On Iran's nuclear programme, Tan said Turkey is against a nuclear Iran and do not want nuclear weapons around. "However, we do not believe in the effectiveness of sanctions, Tan said.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press 23 - 25 July 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 23 - 25 July 2010:

    a) Nuclear Swap Deal

    Derya Sazak writing in Milliyet (25.7.10) refers to a meeting among Turkish, Iranian, and Brazilian foreign ministers and says now that the crisis (following the nuclear swap deal signed with Iran) has "cooled off", Turkey is once again taking action for the swap of uranium. Sazak adds that the summit aims to prepare the grounds for a meeting between Said al-Jalili, secretary of the Iranian National Security Council and nuclear chief negotiator, and EU Foreign Affairs Chief Catherine Ashton; to establish contact between Iran and the Vienna Group; and, (if the 20% enrichment is guaranteed by the West), to ensure that Iran stops enriching amounts that exceed 20% and to announce that the nuclear capacity that has been enriched 3.5% will never be turned into nuclear weapons. If these goals are achieved, Iran will be able to store 1,200 kilograms of uranium in Turkey and will receive 20% enriched uranium from the countries that are members of the Vienna Group, concludes Sazak.

    b) Referendum / Article 35 of TSK Internal Service Law

    Referring to the calls issued by Republican People's Party (CHP), Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu for the amendment of Article 35 of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, Internal Service Law and relating Prime Minister Erdogan's response, Murat Yetkin in Radikal (25.7.10) cites Kilicdaroglu as saying that if the prime minister brings the amendment to the National Assembly, the CHP will extend support. These words announce the end of Article 35 that is used as basis for the army's intervention in politics, notes Yetkin.

    Cuneyt Arcayurek in an article in Cumhuriyet (25.7.10) refers on the development of the religious movements following the 12 September 1980 coup and calls on Erdogan to stop whining and thank the coups and 12 September for bringing him to this point. He adds that Erdogan is against the coups today because since 2002, when he came to power, he has been living with the fear that those who believe that they are charged with the duty of safeguarding and protecting the secular regime will topple him." Referring to the arrest warrants against 102 military commanders, Arcayurek adds: "Menderes used to think that he would be able to manage the army with reserve officers. Is the democracy of Erdogan about to realize Menderes' dream?"

    Criticizing the government for trying to impose a new Constitution instead of evaluating the reasons that led the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] to carry out military coups, Radikal (24.7.10) columnist Mehmet Ali Kislali argues that the ongoing debate over the Constitution is dragging the country into a chaotic atmosphere. The columnist asserts that the members of the parliament, particularly the government, should first admit their priority should be to prevent conditions that might lead to a military takeover. Recalling a recent EU warning that the democratic regimes in Greece, Portugal, and Spain might collapse if they fail to take the necessary measures in time, he urges the Turkish government to take a lesson from that warning and stop trying to establish a "civilian dictatorship", and seek "healthy compromises" to solve the terror problem caused by the PKK. He also advises the government to review its Kurdish "overture" and realize the actual purpose of the alleged coup plans in order not to demoralize the army.

    c) Turkey's Axis

    Turkey should participate neither in the West, nor in the Arab-Islam axis, writes Oztin Akguc in his article in Cumhuriyet (25.7.10), stressing that Turkey should have its own axis. Such a proposal may seem strategically unrealistic, but if Turkey really wants to develop and become a democratic and social state of law, it will not be able to achieve this goal by going after the EU, by obeying the United States, or by adopting the line the Arab-Islam countries, stresses Akguc and says: "We should leave aside the debates on the shift of axis and we should make efforts for developing our own axis."

    d) Censorship in Turkey

    Despite the fact that this year we mark the 120th anniversary of the removal of censorship in Turkey, the spirit of censorship still prevails, says Ferai Tinc in an article in Hurriyet (25.7.10). He explains that the articles in the Penal Law and the Counter-terrorism Law pose a threat to the freedom of the press Consequently journalists in Turkey face the risk of being imprisoned on grounds of their reports and commentaries he says and wonders why the AKP government has not tried to amend the 27 articles which limit freedom of press and expression Tinc adds: "Today there is no democratic country that so mercilessly bans access to the internet media. There are court warrants that ban access to approximately 5,000 websites... When shall we confront the laws that keep censorship alive?"

    Joost Lagendijk in Radikal (25.7.10) refers to the suit filed by Turkey against Google and the ban Turkey has imposed on access to certain of its services, and cites British parliamentarian Richard Howitt as saying that the fight between Turkey and Google harms Ankara's respectability and places Turkey in the same category with countries such as Iran and China. Howitt, according to the report, stressed that Europe and the international community expects Turkey to comply with international standards. Lagendijk stresses that the most effective pressure will be imposed from inside Turkey and calls for a coalition between President Gul and CHP leader Kilicdaroglu who oppose the restrictions.

    In an article entitled "Amendments to the Press Law are essential" Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak calls for changes to the Press Law that would define limits to the amount of damages that newspapers or journalists may be sentenced to pay, and allow human rights groups and judicial organizations to intervene in court cases against members of the news media. He argues that this is as important and urgent a matter as the efforts to amend the Counter-terrorism Law.

    e) Interview with Prof Dr Hakan Yavuz

    In an interview by Leyla Tavsanoglu in Cumhuriyet (25.7.10), political scientist Hakan Yavuz, who had been close to the Fetullah Gulen movement in the past, argues that the AKP and the Gulen Community have jointly fabricated Ergenekon for silencing the opposition. Also pointing out the nation-state is being eliminated in Turkey, Yavuz notes that the Gulen Community has been divided into two. A pro-Fetullah movement is emerging in spite of Fetullah Gulen, maintains Yavuz and says that the Mavi Marmara incident has been a turning point for the community and in terms of clarifying the true intentions of the ruling party.

    f) Energy, Water Strategy

    Turkey has the largest reserves of a highly radioactive chemical element called thorium that may be used in the production of energy, columnist Turker Alkan reports in Radikal (25.7.10) and says that since Turkey has the largest reserves, it cannot expect the United States or France to conduct large - scale studies on the use of thorium in the production of energy, but it should lead the studies. Also referring to the water problem in the Middle East and the UN report that 2040 will be a critical year for Turkey in terms of water, Alkan underlines that the water problem is more vital than the energy problem and questions whether Turkey has a water strategy?

    g) Sledgehammer case

    A report in Milliyet (24.7.10) announced the ruling by the 10th Criminal Court calling for the arrest of the 102 military personnel within the framework of the Sledgehammer case and notes that the arrest warrant includes high-ranking commanders, such as former Air Force Commander Ibrahim Firtina, Former Naval Force Commander Ozden Ornek, Former First Army Commander Cetin Dogan, Sixth Army Corp Commander Nejat Bek, and Deputy Commander of War Academies Yurdaer Olcan. The report also notes that 25 of the accused military personnel are on active duty.

    h) Kurdish Issue

    An article by Mustafa Akyol of Hurriyet Daily News (24.7.10) welcomes the TESEV [Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation] report calling for the removal of the references to "Turkishness" and "Turkish nation" in the Constitution. Recalling TESEV's argument that the constitution and other basic texts should only speak of "the Republic of Turkey," without attempting to define its people, Akyol says that a diverse "nation of Turkey" can incorporate the Kurds. The only problem is that the majority in society will not be willing to accept such a pluralist definition of the nation, he adds.

    i) Davutoglu-Mish'al Meeting

    In his column in Milliyet (24.7.10) Semih Idiz views the impact of the relationship between Turkey and HAMAS on Turkey's fight against terrorism. According to the columnist the meeting held between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and HAMAS leader Khalid Mish'al in Damascus on 19 July was carefully followed by the West as it regards HAMAS as a "terrorist organization rather than a legitimate administration. The meeting is not different than a possible meeting between French Foreign Minister Kouchner and PKK's Murat Karayilan in the eyes of the Western world, Idiz adds. Recalling that the AKP government defends its relationship with HAMAS by referring to the public support for that organization, Idiz opposes that argument and stresses that Turkey has to pursue "consistent policies" in order to be able to control the complicated balances in its region.

    j) US Relations With Muslim World

    Hurriyet Daily News (24.7.10) carries an article by Avni Dogru on President Obama's Middle East policy and Washington's relations with the Muslim world. Commenting on the US position on the escalating tension between Turkey and Israel and Iran's nuclear programme, Dogru says that "both the termination of the Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations and a possible military confrontation with Iran will lead to important repercussions in America's relationship with the Muslim world, ending any success prospects of Obama's policy to make peace with Islam, and jeopardize the U.S. interests in the whole of Middle East, but mainly in Afghanistan and Iraq."

    k) Kilicdaroglu Criticized on Cyprus/Foreign Policy

    Commenting on CHP leader Kilicdaroglu's hard-line statements in Cyprus Semih Idiz in Hurriyet Daily News (23.7.10), says: "I have personally suggested to people close to Kilicdaroglu that he should establish a fresh foreign policy team as soon as possible. This should be comprised of a host of retired ambassadors, who have served in key posts and positions until fairly recently and therefore have a better understanding of today's world than Mr. Baykal's foreign policy team. Kilicdaroglu, however, appears to be following the steps of the previous leadership by maintaining its hard-line nationalist position on various foreign policy issues, Idiz argues and adds This does not appear to be the party leader who is going to enhance Turkish-European relations at a difficult moment for both sides. Neither does it look as if he will be a leader who will be able to contribute much to Turkish-US ties, which have been shaken badly recently.."

    Also criticizing Kilicdaroglu for his remarks in Cyprus that the Turkish side should withdraw from the talks since the EU would never admit Turkey as member, Yusuf Kanli says in column in Hurriyet Daily News (23.7.10): " Kilicdaroglus remark not only contradicted with the pro-EU image he has been trying to forge since he came to CHP leadership, but also sharply contradicted his non-aggressive political style. If the change in Kilicdaroglu towards becoming hawkish on the Cyprus issue is a tactic to woo nationalist votes ahead of the upcoming referendum and next year's parliamentary elections, I may say the problem of Turkish social democrats to reluctantly vote for the CHP just because there is no better social democratic alternative unfortunately has not come to an end, and Kilicdaroglu has failed to become the much looked for new hope. Let's hope that it was just a gaffe and Kilicdaroglu soon makes a correction." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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