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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-09-16

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. 177/10 16.09.10

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu says the issue of an international conference on the Cyprus problem is not on their agenda now
  • [02] Talat sees slight flexibility in the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side on the property issue
  • [03] Assault at the representation office of the occupation regime in Germany
  • [04] Detentions for the icons found in occupied Kerynia
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [05] Turkey hosts Summit of Turkish-Speaking Countries
  • [06] Agreement on establishment of cooperation council signed by Turkey and Azerbaijan
  • [07] Davutoglu and Clinton hold a phone conversation
  • [08] Transatlantic survey shows Turks choosing to cooperate with MidEast
  • [09] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on his return from Brussels regarding his contacts with European officials, statements by former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat on the Greek Cypriot proposals regarding the property issue, an attack to the TRNC honorary consulate in Germany, and other internal issues are the main topics in the todays Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglu says the issue of an international conference on the Cyprus problem is not on their agenda now

    Under the title Adopting of the regulation is not enough, the embargoes should also be lifted, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.09.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has said that the discussion planned for 20 September regarding the Direct Trade Regulation with the Turkish Cypriots might be postponed. This is because some Members of the European Parliament (MEP) who support the Turkish views will not be able to participate in the meeting of the committee.

    In statements yesterday at the illegal Tymvou airport on return from Brussels, Eroglu noted that following the normal procedure, the regulation will be sent to the European Parliament (EP) after being discussed at the committee. He said that the Greek Cypriots are exerting pressure for the regulation to be subject to Protocol 10 which requires unanimity, but the Turkish Cypriots asked from the persons they met in Brussels for the European Parliament (EP) not to discard its powers. Eroglu said that the persons to whom they expressed this wish gave them hope.

    Briefing the press on his contacts in Brussels, Eroglu alleged that in order to restore the Turkish Cypriots trust in the EU, the Union should fulfil the promises given after the referendum in 2004, implement the Direct Trade Regulation and lift the isolation on the Turkish Cypriots. Eroglu said that during his contacts he stressed that they want the implementation of the above-mentioned regulation and the lifting of the isolations in order for the decision taken in 1994 by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) preventing the trade from the occupied areas of Cyprus to be corrected.

    Responding to a question, Eroglu said that the issue of an international conference on the Cyprus problem is not on the agenda at the moment. He noted that in any case the sides understand differently the international conference and added that the Turkish side is thinking of an international conference with the participation of the three guarantor powers and the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders. If we do not sit at the table on an equal basis, there will be no result, he claimed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat sees slight flexibility in the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side on the property issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (16.09.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that there is slight flexibility in the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side on the property issue. In an interview to CIHAN news agency, Talat commented on the proposals of the two sides as they were published in the press and said:

    The most important element which drew my attention is that there is slight flexibility in the proposals of the Greek Cypriot side. The Greek Cypriots have come to the point of showing some flexibility in points where they were inflexible regarding the property issue. This is a good sign.

    Talat expressed the view that if no progress is achieved by the end of the year, the possibility of involvement by the international community exists. If there is no progress, the involvement of the international community in various dimensions is inevitable, he said.

    Commenting on the visit of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu to Brussels, Talat noted that this was a positive development and added that Brussels should not be abandoned, because the Greek Cypriots are trying to prevent the Turkish Cypriots in every way they can.

    Talat described as bluff and fallacy the threat by the Greek Cypriots that they will block Turkeys EU accession process if the Direct Trade Regulation is adopted.

    Talat said that Eroglu is responsible for the problem the Turkish Cypriots are facing today as a result of the decision taken in 1994 by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) regarding trade from the occupied port of Famagusta, because the then Eroglu government used the seal of the TRNC in the custom clearances in the occupied port of Famagusta. This, he claimed, forced the Greek Cypriots to act and close the port.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Assault at the representation office of the occupation regime in Germany

    All Turkish Cypriot newspapers today report on the assault against the TRNC honorary consulate in Werl, Germany.

    Under the title An assault on TRNC Honorary Consulate in Germany, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (16.09.10) reports that the assault was carried out by two masked persons on motorcycles, who spoke German with foreign accent. The two persons entered the consulate building and demanded that the TRNC flag be removed from the building.

    Dr. Kandemir Ozdemir, the representative of the occupation regime in Werl (Werl Honorary Consul), also said that the two persons attacked and beat with clubs the consulate staff member Hakan Kececi.

    Noting that Langenfeld honorary consulate was also attacked on Saturday when the signs outside the building were broken, Ozdemir said that it seems that the attacks are part of a plan.

    On the same issue, self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun, on his return from Brussels said that this is the first time that such an incident occurred, adding that the German police and the Secret Services continue their investigations.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (16.09.10) writes on the same issue in its front page report under the title The Greek Cypriots attacked.

    [04] Detentions for the icons found in occupied Kerynia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.09.10) reports that the so-called police of the occupation regime arrested two persons, Polat Tarazi and Alpay Yilmaz Tifli, in connection with the six icons found in a car in the area of occupied Kyrenia the day before yesterday. According to the paper, the police have also arrested and questioned Hurol Beyzade, former owner of Saray and Mare Monte Hotels, as a large number of antiquities were found in his house in occupied Lapithos village.

    The three suspects appeared before the Kerynia District Court and they will remain in custody for two days.

    (AK)


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Reports that the unemployment rate in Turkey dropped to 10.5%, the 10th Turkish Speaking Countries Summit in Istanbul, the meeting between Prime Minister Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to New York to attend the United Nations 65th General Assembly, and other internal issues are some of the main topics highlighted in the Turkish press today.

    [05] Turkey hosts Summit of Turkish-Speaking Countries

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.09.10, online) reports the 10th Summit of Turkish-Speaking Countries kicked off in Istanbul yesterday with a foreign ministerial level meeting. Today, Turkish President Abdullah Gul will host a dinner in honour of the presidents of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan, who will participate and close the summit with a final declaration. They will also announce the establishment of the Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States.

    The first summit was held in 1992 on the initiative of the then-Turkish President Turgut Ozal. The establishment of the cooperation council announced during the ninth summit of the forum, which was held in Nakhchivan last October.

    The 10th summit will discuss agreements/protocols with respect to the functioning of the cooperation council and will appoint the secretary-general of the secretariat. Ambassador Halil Akinci of Turkey is expected to be appointed today as the first secretary-general of the secretariat, which will have its headquarters in Istanbul.

    The draft final declaration, expected to be adopted by the heads of state today, contains concrete steps towards solidarity and cooperation among participants. These steps include establishing a foundation for the protection of Turkic culture and heritage in Baku, establishing a Turkic business council, opening of a museum of Turkic history in Astana, declaring October 3 as the Day of Turkic-Speaking Countries, and allocating funds for research and development through cooperation between the universities of member countries.

    [06] Agreement on establishment of cooperation council signed by Turkey and Azerbaijan

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (A.A, 15.09.10) reports from Istanbul that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev signed an agreement on the establishment of Turkey-Azerbaijan High-Level Strategic Cooperation Council.

    Erdogan and Aliyev signed the agreement during a ceremony at Ciragan Palace in Istanbul within the scope of the 10th Summit of Turkic-Speaking Countries.

    Moreover A.A. reports that asked to comment on relations between Turkey and Azerbaijan, Turkish Foreign Minister, Davutoglu referred to the importance of the agreement and noted that, "Turkey has been developing High Level Strategic Cooperation mechanism with neighbouring countries. This will also be made with Azerbaijan."

    Davutoglu also said "Azerbaijan is important for us. Now, we want to establish one nation, two states government structure. Turkey's integration with Azerbaijan will broaden gradually" and noted that a common cabinet would convene with Azerbaijan soon.

    [07] Davutoglu and Clinton hold a phone conversation

    Turkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia (A.A, 15.09.10) reports from Ankara that Turkey's foreign minister and U.S. secretary of state discussed the Middle East peace process during a telephone conversation on Tuesday. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and briefed him on the recent developments regarding the Middle East peace process.

    Clinton and Davutoglu also discussed the upcoming elections in Afghanistan and congratulated each other on the success of the Turkish and U.S. basketball teams in the FIBA 2010 World Championship final.

    Diplomatic sources said the telephone conversation was a continuation of the communication on Sunday between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which Obama said that result of the referendum would further strengthen Turkish democracy.

    [08] Transatlantic survey shows Turks choosing to cooperate with MidEast

    Under the above title the Turkish daily Todays Zaman (16.09.10, online) reports that the 2010 Transatlantic Trends public opinion survey was released yesterday by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). According to the survey the percentage of Turks who said Turkey should act in closest cooperation with countries in the Middle East on international matters has doubled to 20% from 2009 figures. Furthermore, the majority of Turks are not concerned about Iran acquiring nuclear weapons, in sharp contrast with the European Union and the United States respondents, who were concerned.

    Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, the Ankara director of the GMF, told Todays Zaman that Turkey is not very popular in the eyes of the United States or the European Union, nor are the United States and the European Union popular in the eyes of the Turkish public.

    The annual survey, conducted during June in 11 European Union countries, Turkey and the United States, also indicates that the majority in every EU country surveyed thinks that Turkey does not share enough common values to be part of the West.

    Only 30% of Turks felt they shared common values with the West, and only 33% of the 11 EU respondents think that Turkey shares enough common values to be part of the West while 38% of the American respondents think the same way.

    While 40% of the American respondents support economic sanctions against Iran, in the EU this percentage is 28% and 24% in Turkey. A military action against Iran is not favourable for any of those states, as only 9% of Americans, 6% of Europeans and 3% of Turks favoured it.

    [09] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 15 September 2010:

    a) Referendum results / Post-referendum strength of BDP

    Noting in an article in Milliyet that an insignificant part of the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) grassroots voted in favour of the constitutional amendment package in the referendum, Taha Akyol questions whether this result is an indication that there is a division within the party grassroots and whether the MHP will be losing votes in the next elections. Elaborating on the reasons why the MHP grassroots were in favour of the constitutional amendments, Akyol goes on to explain the dilemma within the MHP grassroots regarding the image of the army: "Respect for the army that is fighting against terror and that sacrificing martyrs, but red light to the army that is interfering in the national will and meddling with the hair of young girls!" Predicting that this dilemma within the MHP will be further exacerbated, Akyol advises the MHP to pursue moderate policies if it does not want to face this problem in future discussions concerning a new constitution.

    Viewing the results of the referendum in an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila writes: "One of the significant results that emerged from the referendum is that the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] to a great extent abided by the party's boycott decision. One could observe that the boycott was especially effective in Hakkari, Sirnak, Van, Batman, and Diyarbakir. These results show that the BDP is in control of the voters in the region. We can say that the statement issued by Ocalan in support of the boycott a short while ago was a determining factor in the extensive implementation of that boycott." Noting that the BDP votes had an impact of the yes front as well as the no front, Bila argues that "therefore, the BDP votes should be assessed not only in relation to the votes it controls but also in relation to its indirect effect." It is not difficult to predict that the Imrali-PKK-BDP front will insist on autonomy in the post-referendum period, writes Bila, wondering what will happen after the 20 September cease-fire deadline since it is impossible for the government to respond positively to this autonomy demand until that date.

    Assessing the referendum results in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Burak Bekdil speculates that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will receive 40-45% of the votes in the next elections and draws the conclusion: "The referendum results, combined with the outcomes of the 2007 general and 2009 municipal elections, tell us that Turkey is ideologically divided into three zones that are more or less also geographically separated from each other: the southeast and most of the east representing the pro-Kurdish boycotters, central Anatolia and Black Sea, home to the 'yes' camp and the Aegean and Mediterranean coastline featuring a firm 'no'."

    in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Soner Cagaptay writes that the results of the referendum "show that officially secular Turkey is torn not just between the East and the West, but that it is also divided internally," and he wonders whether the AKP can unite the country despite the divisions between secularists and Islamists and between Kurdish nationalists and supporters of a unified Turkey.

    Reiterating the view that the BDP is the second winner of the referendum in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever writes: "The BDP has kept its promise and the 'boycott' votes of over 51% in certain provinces in the East and the Southeast have shown us all the existence of a profound reality in Turkey and the fact that the BDP is the representative of that reality within the TBMM [Turkish Grand National Assembly]. The BDP within the TBMM is at the same time the extension of the PKK!" Whether we like it or not, we cannot deny that the majority of the population in provinces where the boycott votes exceeded 51% are, in the very least, sympathizers of the PKK, argues Ulsever, and arrives at two conclusions from the referendum results: The BDP-PKK has an extensive grassroots support and it was wrong of the AKP to take into consideration the sensitivities of the nationalist sector while launching its Kurdish overture. In conclusion, Ulsever calls on the government to well assess this aspect of the referendum results and to begin direct negotiations with the BDP and indirect ones with the PKK.

    In an article in Radikal, assessing the referendum results from the MHP viewpoint, Oral Calislar argues that the MHP votes have declined drastically even in provinces that were considered the forts of nationalism. It is very meaningful that the MHP referendum campaign that was built on the slogan of "the overture is a disaster" has not helped the situation, writes Calislar, explaining that the differences between the nationalism of coastal cities and that of Central and Eastern Anatolia have become more pronounced in this referendum. Calislar elaborates: "The expanding middle classes in Central Anatolia and the Black Sea do not embrace the harsh nationalism of the MHP. They demand a more conciliatory and a less confrontational nationalism." Assessing the "boycott" and "yes" choices of the Kurdish populated regions, Calislar observes the signals of a softening in Kurdish nationalism as well and concludes: "Viewing this picture, the AKP and the Erdogan government can take more effective steps regarding the solution of the Kurdish problem in the period ahead."

    Under the headline, "Bahceli leans on Kilicdaroglu, falls," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which links the "massive defeat" that the MHP sustained in the referendum on the constitutional amendment package to MHP leader Devlet Bahceli's use of a "neo-nationalist rhetoric" inspired by the Republican People's Party (CHP) during his campaign against the reform package "regardless" of core MHP supporters' endorsement of the package. The MHP's public approval rating has dwindled to 8.9% according to a KONDA survey conducted before the referendum, the report says.

    In an article entitled "What will become of this country?", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that voters opposed to the constitutional amendment package in the recent referendum are mostly from Aegean and Mediterranean towns noted for a high consumption of alcohol, a secularist life style, and higher-than-average educational and living standards. He also analyzes the results of the referendum based on the provincial distribution of yes and no votes. He claims that support for the CHP seems to be entirely restricted to Aegean and Mediterranean towns and provinces in Thrace with a few exceptions in other regions and that the AKP appears to be the only political party enjoying what approximates to nationwide support.

    In an article entitled "A new constitution and the distribution of income", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac asserts that the results of the 12 September referendum have created the basis of a consensus on a new constitution, adding that an extensive public debate on what the new constitution should entail is essential because "we should not make the mistake of entrusting our fate as a society to political leaders and a few social scientists." He goes on to argue that it is "neither exaggerated nor pessimistic" to say that Turkey has become rather polarized because of the referendum and that this polarization is tending to take the form of social factionalism along ethnic, political, and class lines.

    Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bulent Kenes, in an article entitled "The end of 'facade democracy' in Turkey", hails the referendum results as the herald of the end of a mock democracy that "allows the military, the high judiciary, the bureaucracy and elitist capitalists to wield power, with complete disregard for the nation's will ..."

    In an article entitled "What the no votes mean", Milli Gazete columnist Ekrem Kiziltas poses the question how 42% of the people can be persuaded to vote against a reform package that entails the "partial" removal of "restrictions on their sovereignty rights." He warns of the "frightening" possibility that those who led the campaign against the constitutional amendments will carry out a more organized and successful effort in the future to talk more than half of the electorate into voting down other critical legislation and asserts that the Government needs to find "new ways" of explaining to voters what such reforms entail and why they need to be supported.

    b) Presidential system

    Melih Asik in his article in Milliyet writes that now that the referendum is over, the issue of a presidential system has again been placed on the country's agenda, arguing that a US-type presidential system in Turkey can only lead to a "constitutional sultanate". The reason why the presidential system functions well in the United States is because there is a strong judiciary, writes Asik, adding that, however, those who wish to bring a presidential system to Turkey do not mention a strong judiciary which is the main pillar of that system.

    In his article in Milliyet, Mehmet Tezkan, commenting on discussions regarding a presidential system, argues that there is actually a de facto presidential system in Turkey. If the prime minister of a country determines who the president and the parliamentary speaker will be, if he appoints ministers, if he decides who will become a deputy from his party, if the mayors, members of the municipal councils and the provincial councils are subject to his approval, if he appoints ambassadors, governors, security directors, and if he exerts influence on businessmen, then he is the president and not the prime minister, argues Tezkan, underlining that this is the current situation in Turkey. The writer concludes that Erdogan is more powerful than President Obama and President Sarkozy because he does not have to give an account of his actions to parliament.

    Tufan Turenc writes in his article in Hurriyet that now that Erdogan has amended the Constitution and has placed the judiciary under his control, the next goal is to win the 2011 elections and to introduce the presidential system in a bid to become the president in 2017. He adds that the referendum campaign was not impartial and that the campaigns of the parties were not conducted on an equal footing.

    In an article entitled "Toward a presidential system", Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin comments on a Radikal article by Murat Yetkin asserting that Prime Minister Erdogan is highly likely to use the results of Sunday's referendum as a means of attempting a switch to the US-type presidential system. Bumin warns the AKP about what he describes as the mistake of assuming that its energies are better spent replacing the current system with the US presidential model than drawing up a new constitution. Underlining the need to be "realistic", he argues that the "objective" prerequisites of such an administrative switch are lacking.

    c) General elections

    According to Milliyet, the AKP deputy leader Huseyin Celik has announced that general elections will be held in the summer of 2011. Dismissing speculations of early general elections in a statement after the AKP Central Executive Council meeting, Celik is reported to have said that the time has come for Turkey to get used to the concept of holding general elections on time.

    d) Kurdish issue

    Yalcin Dogan in his article in Hurriyet writes that the PKK has chosen Hakkari as the pilot province to implement its political decisions, speculating on what will happen after 20 September, the day the cease-fire expires. Predicting that it will be difficult for the government to meet the radical Kurdish demands by that date, Yalcin points out that the PKK might resume its acts of terror in order to exert its influence. The next step announced is to boycott the schools, notes Yalcin, adding: "According to the PKK plan, another decision might follow this one, the declaration of a democratic autonomy in Hakkari on 23 September, the audacity of not recognizing the Turkish Republic. The audacity of declaring that I can take care of my own business, I can administer myself, no one can interfere. This is tantamount to an attack. It is unthinkable for the state to remain indifferent to such an attack. The state will definitely not allow such a development."

    Vatan carries a report by Aksam's Ozlem Akarsu Celik who details the responses given by Abdullah Ocalan to various questions via his lawyers. Ocalan is reported to have said that if the government takes certain steps, he will play a role in the solution of the Kurdish problem. Noting that either himself, the BDP, or the PKK can be an interlocutor in the solution of the problem, Ocalan accuses the government of concealing from the public his 156-page road map to solution of the Kurdish issue. Confirming that negotiations were held with him, Ocalan also explains the concept of democratic autonomy.

    According to a report by Ferit Aslan and Bayram Bulut in Radikal, BDP leader Demirtas is reported to have said: "We are not saying that the state should lay down their arms; we are saying that it should not launch operations." Speaking prior to the BDP Central Executive Council meeting in Diyarbakir, Demirtas recalls that 20 PKK members have been killed since the organization's cease-fire declaration and asks whether such a cease-fire is possible. Accusing the media and the government of ignoring the suffering of the families of the PKK members who are killed, Demirtas underlines that Ocalan and the PKK are the interlocutors to the Kurdish issue and urges the government to begin negotiations prior to 20 September.

    e) Future of CHP

    In an article in Taraf, describing the CHP as the party of the small bourgeoisie that overrates itself, Ahmet Altan is confident that this party will never come to power. Noting that this sector never generates solutions to the country's problems, Altan argues that its members base their importance on their "western" views. Noting that the CHP ideology is based on belittling the people, Altan continues: "This party that was established by soldiers and civil servants who were exposed to the West in a society of villagers has always considered itself to be above the people and has always tried to educate the people with an extremely 'colonialist' approach. No wonder Ataturk was referred to as the 'the headmaster'. Ataturk was the headmaster, the soldiers and the civil servants the teachers, and the people the ignorant student who deserved to be scolded. Life has changed but the spirit of the CHP has not." Arguing that the CHP shares nothing with the West with the exception of its attire and its habits on food and drink, Altan underlines that the CHP is far away from the Western values of democracy, freedom, and equality and does nothing to safeguard the interests of any oppressed race, class, or sector. In conclusion, Altan predicts that the CHP will be defeated in every election to be held.

    f) ECHR ruling on Hrant Dink

    Viewing the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the Hrant Dink case in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar writes: "The ECHR decision was adopted unanimously with the agreement of the Turkish judge within the court. This decision endorsed and exposed the judicial injustice which the 12 September referendum aimed against." Welcoming the government decision not appeal the ECHR ruling, Candar says that the government has thus tacitly declared that the ruling is just. The referendum results and the ECHR decision are two gifts for Dink who would have celebrated his 57th birthday today had he been alive, concludes Candar.

    Mehmet Altan in an article in Star points out that one of the factors incorporated in the ECHR ruling is that officials responsible for Dink's assassination were not brought to trial, adding: "When the real killers of Hrant are pursued the footsteps lead to the depths of the state; therefore the court case is not advancing... Leave aside protecting its citizen, we are faced with the mentality of a state that is practically encouraging this assassination." The writer goes on to point out that the ECHR rulings show that in 66 cases the Turkish state was directly involved in murders and violated the human right to live, while the total number of similar cases involving 46 countries amounted to 80. Detailing the other cases involving Turkey at the ECHR, Altan writes: "These figures clearly demonstrate the picture of the regime in Turkey and the reasons of why and how Hrant was killed." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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