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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-09-29

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. 186/10 29.09.10 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: Turkish proposals on the property issue appreciated in New York
  • [02] Tore defends his statement regarding a solution
  • [03] Bulutoglulari meets with Italian Ambassador
  • [04] There is nobody from UBP in the new party
  • [05] Illegal GAU to file a lawsuit against the Turkish Chamber of Architects
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot film presented in Australia
  • [07] Van Damme and Tyson to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [08] Erdogan: Cyprus EU accession did not comply with the acquis communautaire
  • [09] Belgian PM said Belgiums target is to open a new chapter for Turkey
  • [10] Chinese Prime Minister will pay state visit to Turkey on October 8
  • [11] A CHP deputy resigned
  • [12] BDP leader sentenced to 10 months for supporting PKK
  • [13] Former Turkish police chief of Eskisehir and author, Hanefi Avci, arrested
  • [14] Turkish government tries to expand press freedoms
  • [15] Parliament speaker: no time for constitutional amendments
  • [16] US Turkey military meetings regarding PKK
  • [17] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Todays Turkish Cypriot press highlights statements by Dervis Eroglu upon his return from New York, further statements by Zorlu Tore regarding unification of the occupied areas with Turkey, a meeting of so-called mayor of Nicosia with the Italian Ambassador to Cyprus, and the establishment of a new political party by Tahsin Ertugruloglu. Moreover, the issue of the fake diplomas awarded by the illegal universities, a documentary screened in Australia regarding the Turkish Cypriots, allegations that famous actor Van Damme and boxer Tyson will visit occupied Cyprus in early October, and other internal issues are also covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Eroglu: Turkish proposals on the property issue appreciated in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.09.10) reports that The Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu returned yesterday to the occupied areas of Cyprus from New York where he had various contacts. In statements at the illegal Tymvou airport, Eroglu alleged that the proposals of the Turkish side on the property issue were appreciated in New York and were evaluated as a package prepared with the intention of reconciliation.

    Eroglu said that he had very important contacts in New York. He said he met with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Finland and Spain and the Emir of Qatar, (whom he invited to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus), and exchanged views on the developments in the Cyprus problem and the proposals of the Turkish side on the property issue.

    Noting that the UN Secretary-Generals stance towards the Turkish proposals on the property issue was positive, Eroglu said: He made us feel that the negotiations could not last forever and that he expects a result by the end of the year, thinking that the elections which will be held next year in south Cyprus will delay the negotiations.

    Eroglu recalled that he had the opportunity to meet with the General Secretary of the Conference of the Islamic Organization (OIC) Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu, and representatives of Islamic countries. He noted that he also met with the Turkish President Gul, Foreign Minister Davutoglu and Turkeys permanent representative at the UN, Ertugrul Apakan. He added that during his stay in New York he also met and exchanged views with Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-Generals Special Envoy to Cyprus, and expressed extreme satisfaction with this meeting.

    Moreover, Eroglu alleged that the negative climate against him before the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus has changed now and expressed satisfaction because he said we are accepted as the side which wants reconciliation at the negotiating table and seeks for an agreement.

    Replying to a question, Eroglu said that the UN Secretary-General said that he has not yet begun to prepare the report on Cyprus which will be released in November.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Tore defends his statement regarding a solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris reports that the so-called minister of Agriculture and National Resources, Zorlu Tore, speaking in a TV programme said that he does not regret his statement and that he declared to the world a possible choice for TRNC if there is no agreement and the isolation continues.

    Tore said he supervises the Agriculture Ministry and also follows the national line, adding that it is this line which pushed him to such a statement. Both Cyprus and Alexandretta remained outside Turkey after the foundation of the Republic of Turkey. There have been efforts in the past to establish a common Republic with the Greek Cypriots. There are similar efforts now, but a partnership cannot not be established, nor an agreement reached in Cyprus, said Tore.

    He also stated that he is a Turk and belongs to the Turkish nation and he expresses what is required for the good of the Turkish nation in general. I am saying that the survival of the TRNC is essential, but if it is not possible, or an agreement is not reached and the imperialist world continues to devastate us, I am saying that there is also the Alexandretta model he argued.

    On the other hand, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, answering a question on his return from NY, (Gunes, 29.09.10) said that Tore expressed his own views and that there is no such policy in the Natioanl Unity Party (UBP).

    [03] Bulutoglulari meets with Italian Ambassador

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (29.09.10) reports that the Italian Ambassador in Cyprus, Alfredo Bastianelli visited the mayor of occupied part of Lefkosia yesterday. Municipalitys projects as well as the Cyprus problem were discussed during the meeting.

    Bastianelli said that Nicosia is an important city for them because of its Venetian walls and proposed that the walls be restored as part of a project using UNESCO and EU funds.

    Bulutoglulari said that, as the Lefkosia Turkish Municipality, they would take all necessary actions for the restoration and invited the ambassador to the foundation laying ceremony of the Municipal Market.

    [04] There is nobody from UBP in the new party

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (29.09.10) reports that the independent MP Tahsin Ertugruloglu is preparing to establish a new political party in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    In his statements during the programme Günayd1n on Ada TV, Tahsin Erturgruloglu stated that with his associates (without disclosing names) he is preparing a new political party. He noted that nobody from the UBP party, or from the current political scene will participate. Moreover, Erturguloglu dismissed allegations that Ejder Aslanbaba is one of the persons to participate in the new party.

    Evaluating developments Tahsin Ertugruloglu stated that the existing system in the occupied areas has collapsed. He added that the best system to be implemented is the presidential system and stated that if such a system is adopted, he will be candidate for the presidency.

    AK

    [05] Illegal GAU to file a lawsuit against the Turkish Chamber of Architects

    Under the front-page title, Are the fake diplomas also the work of a gang?, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (29.09.10) wonders whether in addition to all the other kinds of mafia that exist in the occupied areas, such as drugs, casinos, prostitution, illegal immigration and black money mafias, now diploma mafias exist.

    The paper reports on a written statement by the rector of the illegal American University of Kyrenia (GAU), Prof. Yildirim Oner, who said that the issue with the fake diplomas could have been organised by a gang and added that they are ready to help find the perpetrators. He noted that GAU will file a lawsuit against the Chamber of Architects of Turkey (CAT) and that they have sent the condemnation text to the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB), in which CAT is a member.

    Inter alia, Oner said that the Turkish Embassy in occupied Cyprus, the so-called ministry of education, youth and sports, and the so-called immigration department are investigating the issue.

    [06] Turkish Cypriot film presented in Australia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (29.09.10) reports that the film Homeland-The Turkish Cypriots was presented in Australia. The 67 minute documentary film was commissioned by the Association of Turkish Cypriots Abroad (ATCA) and completed within two years by a group of volunteers in the TRNC and Australia. The film, which according to ATCA will also be screened in TRNC, presents memories prior to 1974 events and interviews with Turkish Cypriots.

    The director of the film, Serkan Huseyin, said that the film is an opportunity for the voices of Turkish Cypriots living in the TRNC and Australia to be heard, concerning the events prior to 1974. He also said that the characters talked about what Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have in common, how relations between the two communities deteriorated and their current views on the Cyprus problem.

    [07] Van Damme and Tyson to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Under the title Van Damme and Tyson are coming to the TRNC, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.09.10) reports in its sport pages that the famous actor Jean Claude Van Damme and the legendary name in boxing Mike Tyson are preparing to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to watch the Xtreme Fighting Championship which will take place at Port Cratos Hotel on October 9.

    Speaking on the issue, Cratos Premium Hotel board of directors chairman, Murat Bozoglu, stated that famous stars from Hollywood like Jean Claude Van Damme, Mike Tyson and Klitschko Brothers will come to the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to watch the championship.

    AK


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    A report in Hurriyet that the EU has extended support to Kemal Kilicdaroglus proposal for a new constitution before the general elections, the intensive diplomatic efforts by Turkish Interior Minister, Besir Atalay, with Iraqi administration to resolve the Kurdish issue and put an end to PKK, Besir Atalays meeting with the US Commander Gen. Loyd Austin in Turkey to discuss possible measures against PKK and a report that Hanefi Avci, author in Turkey has been taken into custody accused of assisting and harbouring terrorists, are some of the main stories highlighted in the Turkish press today.

    [08] Erdogan: Cyprus EU accession did not comply with the acquis communautaire

    According to Turkish daily Sabah (29.09.10-online version), during the gala dinner of the Global Economic Symposium in Istanbul on Tuesday, Turkey's prime minister Erdogan said that no other country besides Turkey has waited at the door of the European Union (EU) for half a century.

    Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he asked his European friends why this was so, but he received no answer.

    "Which of the EU acquis has Turkey failed to fulfil? Have all the EU member states fulfilled the requirements of EU acquis Turkey has? Erdogan wondered and added if countries are not in solidarity, they cannot ensure a world where peace prevails.

    Erdogan also said that Turkey's EU membership is important and expressed his expectation for support to Turkey's membership bid. He added that both Turkey and the EU would gain from Turkey's membership.

    Referring to the accession of south Cyprus as he called the Republic of Cyprus, Prime Minister Erdogan said that it does not comply with the acquis communautaire and added that those who agreed for south Cyprus accession stated afterwards that they had committed a mistake. He added that, from the point of view of the different chapters, it was not possible for south Cyprus to become a member of the EU in accordance with the acquis communautaire. He said that the EU disclaimed itself and took a political decision. Underlining that the Green Line still exists in Cyprus, he said that the EU acquis communautaire denies accession to a country with a Green Line.

    Regarding the case of Turkey, Prime Minister Erdogan accused the EU being hesitant in supporting Turkeys EU membership.

    AK

    [09] Belgian PM said Belgiums target is to open a new chapter for Turkey

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10), Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme, speaking at the gala dinner of Global Economy Symposium in Istanbul on Tuesday, said that EU accession talks with Turkey should advance with goodwill. He also recalled that Belgium holds EU presidency until the end of this year.

    Noting that enlargement is an important element for the future of the EU, Leterme said that negotiations should be pursued effectively with all candidate countries. Leterme said that during its EU presidency term, Belgiums target is to open a new chapter with Turkey before 2010 ended. He added that Belgium appreciated Turkey's EU acquis and its work so far. He also said that Turkey provided stability in its region.

    [10] Chinese Prime Minister will pay state visit to Turkey on October 8

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10), Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of the People's Republic of China will pay a state visit to Turkey next week as the official guest of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Chinese Ambassador in Ankara Gong Xiaosheng said at a press conference on Tuesday that Prime Minister Wen is expected to arrive in Turkey on October 8. He said that Turkish and Chinese prime ministers will sign several agreements in the areas of energy, transportation, telecommunication, trade and culture during the visit.

    The Chinese Ambassador added that several activities will be held both in Ankara and Istanbul under the title of "Live China in Turkey" to promote Chinese culture.

    [11] A CHP deputy resigned

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (29.09.10) reports that Ilhan Kesici, resigned on Tuesday from the main opposition Republican People s Party (CHP) because he does not think he can contribute to Kemal K1l1cdaroglu s administration. Kesici had previously been active with the centre-right True Path Party (DYP) and Motherland Party (ANAP).

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.09.10), following Kesicis resignation, the number of seats held by CHP in the Turkish Parliament fell to 101 and the number of independent deputies rose to 7.

    Speaking at a press conference, Kesici said his resignation has nothing to do with intentions to lead another political party.

    The new distribution of seats in the Turkish Parliament is as follows:

    Justice and Development (AK) Party: 336

    Republican People's Party (CHP): 101

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 70

    Peace and Democracy Party (BDP): 20

    Independent: 7

    Democratic Left Party (DSP): 6

    Democrat Party (DP): 1

    Turkey Party (TP): 1

    Vacant: 8

    Total: 550

    [12] BDP leader sentenced to 10 months for supporting PKK

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.09.10), a court in south-eastern province of Diyarbakir sentenced Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) chairman Selahattin Demirtas to 10 months in prison on Tuesday for carrying out propaganda of terrorist organization PKK. Demirtas did not attend the hearing.

    Selahattin Demirtas, a parliamentarian from Diyarbakir, was elected chairman of BDP on February 1, 2010. On December 11, 2009, Constitutional Court closed Democratic Society Party (DTP) and banned a number of its representatives from politics. BDP replaced the banned Democratic Society Party.

    [13] Former Turkish police chief of Eskisehir and author, Hanefi Avci, arrested

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily New (HDN 28.09.10) reported from Istanbul that Hanefi Avci, the former police chief of Eskisehir and author of a controversial best-seller, was taken into custody for alleged links to an outlawed group. Avci was detained on Tuesday morning in Ankara following a search of his house, his office and residence in the Central Anatolian province of Eskisehir. The former police chief was transferred to the Besiktas Courthouse in Istanbul under strict security measures and was reportedly being questioned by Public Prosecutor Kadir Altinisik. Reports say Avci refused to answer questions.

    Prosecutors in Ankara had called on Avci to answer allegations that he had been using a telephone line which belongs to a member of an illegal organization called The Revolutionary Headquarters.

    Members of The Revolutionary Headquarters were arrested last week in a series of operations carried out in various Turkish cities. The telephone line in question allegedly belonged to Revolutionary Headquarters member Necdet Kilic, who was detained after police reportedly found his fingerprints in the house of Orhan Yilmazkaya, the groups alleged leader. Yilmazkaya was killed last year in a shootout with Istanbul police that also claimed the lives of a police officer and a civilian.

    Questioned about the claims that Avci used his phone line, Kilic said: They have tapped into the phone line that belongs to me by making it seem to belong to someone else. This phone-tapping is illegal. Asked, Do you know Hanefi Avci? Kilic replied: I know him; he is my torturer. I was detained on the claim of being a member of the THKP-C [Turkish Peoples Salvation Party-Front] and then he tortured me.

    Prior to his detainment, Avci sent a written statement to some members of the media, saying he might be taken by force but would refuse to testify of his own accord. I will bow to no one and no office that follows the plan and programme of the [Gulen] community and I will not answer any questions by the judiciary, which I do not believe acts according to the laws of this state, Avci said in his statement, in which he also denied any ties with The Revolutionary Headquarters.

    HDN recalls that in his book Devotee Residents of Halic: Yesterday State, Today Religious Congregation. Avci book alleges that the religious Fethullah Gulen community has covertly taken over control of the state and that they illegally tapped telephones including his own. Avci was relieved from active duty on his own request.

    [14] Turkish government tries to expand press freedoms

    Under the title Government working on expanding press freedoms, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (29.09.10, online), reports that with the difficulties faced by journalists at the hands of the judiciary escalating into a heated debate in Turkey, the government has started work on expanding press freedoms.

    As part of that agenda, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Ar1nc, who has authority over state-owned media institutions such as Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) and the Anatolia news agency, supervised the preparation of a package that contains proposals to solve problems in that field, which was recently presented to Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin.

    Press Advertising Agency General Director, Mehmet Atalay, also prepared a set of proposals to improve press freedoms in Turkey and presented a separate package to Parliament Speaker Parliament Mehmet Ali ^ahin as well as to Ar1nç. Atalay said the articles in the way of freedom of the press should no longer hang around journalists like the Sword of Damocles, adding that they expect the matter to be raised in Parliament as soon as possible.

    The number of investigations launched against journalists in Turkey is currently over 5,000. A large number of reporters and columnists particularly from pro-democracy and liberal newspapers are spending most of their time at courthouses because they have to attend the hearings of lawsuits filed against them. Among the articles planned to be amended in the Turkish Penal code is article 301, which states that those who clearly insult Turkishness shall be jailed for up to three years.

    Another article in the same paper entitled President speaks out against sentences of journalists, reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul, talking to a group of journalists on the plane taking him back to Turkey from the US.

    Gul said: If the number of journalists in prison increases while we claim [abroad] that the number is actually on the decline, Turkeys image would be damaged. The counter-propaganda would exhaust Turkey. I would favour a legal amendment on the freedom of the press.

    [15] Parliament speaker: no time for constitutional amendments

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.09.10), Turkey's parliament speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin, during his meeting on Tuesday with FYROM counterpart Trajko Veljanoski, said that there is no time for additional constitutional amendments right now, because of the upcoming parliamentary elections in June 2011.

    [16] US Turkey military meetings regarding PKK

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.09.10), Turkish Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner met on Tuesday with Gen. Lloyd Austin, Commander of U.S. Forces in Iraq, with whom he discussed military and regional issues.

    Moreover, Turkish Interior Minister Besir Atalay had a private meeting with Gen which was followed by a meeting of the Turkish and U.S. delegations.

    Speaking to reporters after his meeting, Atalay said he conveyed to Gen. Lloyd Austin Turkey's expectations for measures against terrorist groups in the north of Iraq, adding that one neighbouring country cannot harbour a terrorist organization against another neighbour, which is also a provision in Iraq's constitution.

    Atalay said they had discussed several issues including security concerns in Iraq, fight against terrorism and U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. Atalay said Turkey, the U.S. and Iraq had recently agreed on an action plan against the PKK presence in Iraq's north, adding that the plan included diplomatic and military dimensions with a single goal to eradicate terrorism once and for all. Atalay said the meeting did not take up a U.S. request to transit some of its troops over Turkey in their exit from Iraq.

    [17] Highlights

    a) Kurdish Issue/Atalay's Contacts in North Iraq/Education in Kurdish

    According Milliyet talking to journalists after having met with Abdullah Ocalan in Imrali Aysel Tugluk said that Ocalan insists on a peaceful and democratic solution of the Kurdish problem. Tugluk is further reported to have said that Ocalan's efforts to extend the non-action period and to turn it into a lasting peace will continue, but that the will of the state and the government with regards to a solution is an important and determining factor.

    Namik Durukan in Milliyet reports that an agreement in principle on the activities of the PKK in the region was reached between Interior Minister Besir Atalay and Mas'ud Barzani, the head of the North Iraqi Regional Kurdish Administration, during Atalays recent visit to the region.

    Writing in Milliyet, Asli Aydintasbas argues that the second post-referendum Kurdish overture is more realistic because it is based on the contacts held along the North Iraq-Imrali-Ankara triangle. Aydintasbas relates a conversation with Ahmet Turk (whom she describes as the "wise man" of the Kurdish political movement) who is reported to have told her: "If you want the weapons to be silenced, you cannot ignore the real actors such as Ocalan and the PKK. Claiming the opposite would be naïve." Turk, who believes that the process can advance better if the PKK withdraws to Iraq, is concerned that the new overture does not have a concrete road map and that the government will not be flexible during an election year. According to Aydintasbas, Turk wants Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kilicdaroglu to be included in the dialogue process and is willing to hold a meeting with him to that end. Turk says that: "One should clearly state that contemporary and democratic demands might also include the demands on different identities, pointing out that this will open the path to peace. The Kurds do not want separation or a federation; they want a say in their own region, they want to be part of the decision-making process, he adds.

    In an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar underlines that the right to education in one's mother tongue is an inalienable human right and considers absurd that such a right will lead to the division of the country. Dismissing the proposal of opening Kurdish language courses instead of granting the right to education in the Kurdish, the writer declares that these courses are for those who do not know Kurdish. Candar argues that the issue is not about an "official language," which can remain to be Turkish while citizens are granted equal rights regarding their mother tongue. Candar argues that since Turkey has become a country in which such issues are freely discussed it is no longer necessary to resort to arms to obtain "identity rights".

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand writes that the support of the CHP is vital in the solution of the Kurdish issue, adding that Kilicdaroglu has two options, either to continue to oppose every Justice and Development Partym (AKP) proposal or to negotiate and try to find a mutual ground. Birand believes that the second option would suit Kilicdaroglu well and would glorify the CHP.

    In an article in Yeni Safak, columnist Kursat Bumin criticizes Prime Minister Erdogon for ruling out the teaching of Kurdish as an elective course at schools on the grounds that bilingual or multilingual education would pose a threat to domestic peace as well as destroying Turkey's common language, i.e. Turkish. Bumin asserts that the pedagogical benefits of multi-lingual education have been demonstrated by academic studies on the subject, adding that promoting mother tongue education is recognized in Europe as a requirement of advanced democracies rather than as a threat to internal peace.

    b) Kilicdaroglu-Erdogan Meeting/Kilicdaroglu Initiative on Drafting new Constitution

    In an article in Hurriyet, Fatih Cekirge views the short meeting held between Prime Minister Erdogan and CHP leader Kilicdaroglu. Though a consensus was not reached on the headscarf issue, this can be the beginning of a dialogue between the government and the opposition, he argues. The writer is hopeful that the agreement between the two leaders to begin work on a new constitution will enable the country to redefine itself, adding that this change signals a new CHP that will open up to Anatolia and a new social democratic party that will work for the solution of the people's problems.

    Writing in Star, Eser Karakas says that the Kurdish problem is an economic issue divided into two as regards proposals for the solution of the problem: The first proposal involves private sector investments aimed at increasing employment in the region and the second involves regional investments by using state funds. Arguing that the first proposal is illogical since the private sector will refrain from investing in a region where it does not envision profits, Karakas underlines that no one should expect the private sector to invest in a region where there is no security. As for the proposal for investments using state funds, Karakas details the large funds extended to the various southeastern provinces, adding that the result is still not promising. The writer concludes: "It seems as if the issues of identity, democracy, and a state of law still come to the foreground in the solution of the problem."

    In an article in Taraf, Ahmet Altan refers to Erdogan's remarks doubting Kilicdaroglu's sincerity regarding a new constitution. He compares Erdogan to an angry child and points out that questioning the "sincerity" of others ultimately gives rise to questions about one's own sincerity. Then everyone will have the right to wonder: Does Erdogan really want to amend the Constitution, to develop the country, and to bring more freedoms, or does he want to use the constitutional amendments as an election trump card and to delay the change as he did during the previous elections? Pointing out that Turkey is not changing because Erdogan is the leader, but that Erdogan is a leader because he has realized that Turkey wants to change and is acting accordingly, Altan underlines that Turkey will not determine the speed of its change according to Erdogan's election calculations or his personal desires, declaring that Erdogan has to adapt to Turkey's pace.

    In an article in Zaman entitled "Kilicdaroglu's Constitution Initiative", columnist Mumtazer Turkone lauds CHP leader Kilicdaroglu's proposal that Parliament draws up a new constitution before the next elections as a "very wise" move signaling that the CHP has switched to a "constructive" and "moderate" style of opposition. He claims that the CHP leader's initiative can potentially enable his party to make great strides politically as well as setting the scene for a two-party system in Turkey where the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) would increasingly become marginalized and drop below the election threshold of 10% because of its opposition to a new constitution.

    c) Presidential System

    Star columnist Ibrahim Kiras recalls that prior to Erdogan, Turgut Ozal was also in favour of a presidential system in the country and argues that the interest shown in Turkey to the presidential system stems from the fact that democracy in the country is "limited". This means that the cadres that come to power as the representatives of the national will cannot fully exercise the authorities granted to them by the people, and that they have to share those authorities with people who have been appointed without being granted those authorities. One should view the interest shown by politicians in the presidential system within this framework, underlines Kiras, adding however, that realization of the constitutional reforms might eliminate the interest in and desire for a presidential system. Kiras continues: "Especially, the arrangements made in the structures of the Constitutional Court and the HSYK [High Council of Judges and Prosecutors] - even if they are insufficient - are significant steps diminishing the control and pressure of the appointed over the elected."

    d) Future of Felicity Party/Fate of Kurtulmus

    Rusen Cakir, in an article in Vatan, predicts that Kurtulmus is on the verge of splitting from the SP and establishing a new party adding that he will announce the new party before the SP congress. Cakir argues that this party does not have much of a chance, noting that Kurtulmus failed to demonstrate leadership qualities in the recent developments within the SP. In conclusion, Cakir writes: "If Kurtulmus and his colleagues want to go beyond establishing a 'new SP without the tutelage of Erbakan,' they should declare what kind of a Turkey they aspire to rather than what kind of a party."

    In an article in Vakit entitled "Going or Staying: Numan Kurtulmus at a Crossroads", Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya comments on claims that two old guard members of the Felicity Party (SP), Oguzhan Asilturk and Sevket Kazan, had dinner with CHP Secretary-General Onder Sav and Former Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Sabih Kanadoglu in Ankara recently as part of an effort to prevent Numan Kurtulmus from continuing as SP leader. Karakaya asserts that if Kazan and Asilturk are cooperating with pro-establishment figures like Sav and Kanadoglu against Kurtulmus, "this is where there is nothing left to say." He also asserts that Kurtulmus is set to part ways with Necmettin Erbakan and the SP's old guard and establish a new party in response to the recent court decision to turn over the SP's management to a group of trustees in line with an appeal against the results of the SP's recent congress filed by Erbakan's supporters.

    e) Principle of Secularism

    Writing in Comhuriyet, Hikmet Centikaya questions whether Turkey is going through the pains of a process of change or whether it has entered a dead end. The climate of 'conservatism' created in Turkey can be felt in all the Anatolian cities and districts. It is common knowledge that the foundations of the secular democratic system in Turkey are being eroded for the last 60 years. Civilian forces, democratic forces are the guarantee of secularism in Turkey", argues Centikaya. Noting that those who staged the 12 September coup claimed to be secular and pro-Ataturk, Cetinkaya recalls that they were the ones who rendered classes on religion compulsory in schools, adding: "Classes on religion have been compulsory for the last 30 years. The voice of our Alevi citizens cannot be heard. Is this what a secular democratic state should be?" The writer goes on to advise the CHP to "determine the policy it will pursue in the southeast, to seek ways to put an end to the AKP sovereignty in the region, to initiate moves toward drafting a civilian democratic constitution, and to be in advance of the AKP on the issue of democratization." The principles of secularism will be safeguarded, maintains Cetinkaya, adding that what is in danger in Turkey at the moment is democracy, predicting that the presidential system will bring monarchy to the country.

    f) Ergenekon suspect admits existence of Hizbul-contra

    Taraf carries a 510-word report by Sadik Gulec who relates a statement made by Colonel Arif Dogan to the daily admitting the existence of an organization called Hizbul-Contra which the state used against the PKK.

    g) Turkish-Armenian Relations

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Burcu Gultekin Punsmann, senior foreign policy analyst at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, TEPAV, details the bimonthly contacts held between the Turkish and Armenian border authorities, adding that these "contacts between Turkish and Armenian border authorities are regulated by an agreement signed on July 15, 1937, in Moscow on the settlement procedures of border incidents and conflicts." Viewing the joint Turkish-Armenian management of the Arpacay/Akhourian dam, the writer believes that this management can provide a good basis for the settlement of other joint technical commissions.

    h) "Lawsuits against journalists damage our image"

    Zaman carries a front-page report which quotes President Gul as saying that he finds it "very dangerous" for journalists covering criminal investigations like the Ergenekon case to work "under the threat of imprisonment."

    i) White Turks

    In an article in Zaman entitled "I cannot live without fears", columnist Ihsan Dagi comments on pro-establishment "White Turks' fears" about a perceived "threat" to their lifestyles presented by the consequences of the ruling AKP's successive political victories. He claims that what "White Turks" really dread is the prospect of having to "coexist" with people representing different ethnic and cultural identities whom they have so far treated as "non-existent" and being forced to come to terms with the realities of the free market economy, democratization, and globalization. He also characterizes "White Turks" as the "children of an authoritarian nation state and republic that annihilates all differences." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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