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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-09-30

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. 187/10 30.09.10 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Kucuk reiterates that population figures in the occupied areas of Cyprus are not known
  • [02] Columnist says population census on the existing unstable basis will not be convincing
  • [03] No Turkish Cypriot pupils at a school in the occupied part of Lefkosia
  • [04] Kanatli says no to becoming a province of Turkish
  • [05] International symposium on Cyprus to be held in Turkey
  • [06] English residents of Kulaksiz 5 resort to the ECHR
  • [07] Graveyard of unfinished constructions
  • [08] Serdar Denktas: Turkic world is enough for the TRNC
  • [09] DP censures UBP apathy on the issue of fake diplomas
  • [10] Data on passengers entering TRNC
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [11] Bagis said: If I were Cypriot, I would work for Turkey's membership
  • [12] Bagis calls on EU to launch direct trade with Turkish Cypriots
  • [13] Turkey signs agreements with Georgia and Iran
  • [14] Erdogan complains about delay in Nabucco project
  • [15] Turkish-American organizations annual meeting on 17-20 October
  • [16] Turkey and China conducted joint air manoeuvres
  • [17] First post-referendum harmonization package ready
  • [18] Turkish daily claims that 80% of the arms that PKK uses are made in Russia
  • [19] Gul disagrees with Erdogan over the timing of the new constitution
  • [20] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Todays Turkish Cypriot press reports on statements by Irsen Kucuk on population in the occupied areas of Cyprus, and population censuses held in the occupied areas, information that no Turkish Cypriot students are left in a historic school in the occupied Lefkosia, criticism by DP towards UBP for being apathetic towards the fake diplomas, and statements by Murat Kanatli that Eroglu does not desire a solution in Cyprus. Moreover, an international symposium regarding Cyprus to be held in Turkey, Serdar Denktas contacts in Baku, data on the passengers entering the occupied areas, and other internal issues are also covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Kucuk reiterates that population figures in the occupied areas of Cyprus are not known

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.09.10) reports that the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, Irsen Kucuk has reiterated that the population living in the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased but figures are not known, because new population census has not been conducted.

    In statements before the council of ministers yesterday, Kucuk recalled a recent statement that the population increased, pointing out that without statistics it is not possible to give definite number, but our work on this issue is continuing.

    Kucuk said that initial work on the new campus of the illegal American University of Keryneia (GAU) in occupied Karpass peninsula has been completed and implementation of the project will start within the forthcoming days.

    Referring to the protest by Britons living in the occupied areas of Cyprus on Monday 4 October, 2010 outside the Turkish embassy in the occupied part of Lefkosia, Kucuk said that it is an important issue and that two laws have been adopted recently, but the problem has not been completely solved. He noted that the problem of the villas and the independent houses is on the agenda of his government.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Columnist says population census on the existing unstable basis will not be convincing

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.09.10), columnist Ahmet Tolgay refers to the issue of the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus and reports that the population censuses held in the past were not convincing at all. Noting that the population cannot be determined and that no authority can give figures, Tolgay adds, inter alia:

    We make everybody laugh at us. Let aside everybody else, we also laugh at our own situation! And we are ashamed when we laugh! The population censuses held in the past are not convincing at all. And the population censuses to be held on this unstable basis will always be far from convincing

    The columnist points out to the importance of knowing a clear figure for the population in a country. He says that because the results of the censuses are not trustworthy, everybody tries to guess a number based on facts such as the sales of vehicles and the consumption of electricity, gas, water and bread. He expresses the view that it is not possible to take into consideration the sales of bread as a sound measure to determine the population.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] No Turkish Cypriot pupils at a school in the occupied part of Lefkosia

    Under the title Historic reality, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.09.10) reports that there are no Turkish Cypriot pupils any more at the Ataturk Primary School in the occupied part of Lefkosia, though 380 pupils will be attending this year.

    Noting that it is one of the oldest Turkish Cypriot schools, the paper refers to its historic importance, especially during the 1963 inter-communal conflicts, when it hosted Turkish Cypriot refugees during the night.

    Half a century later, with the concentration of workers from Turkey in the area, there are no longer Turkish Cypriots attending the school. The paper highlights the instability in the numbers of the pupils, and irregular attendances, as pupils have to follow their families who are obliged to leave the island for a certain period in order to renew their work permits, notes Kibris adding that the childrens education is also affected by the fact that many parents are illiterate and work for long hours.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Kanatli says no to becoming a province of Turkish

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (30.09.10) commenting on statements by the so-called minister of Agriculture and National Resources, Zorlu Tore that if the TRNC is not recognized, the Turkish Cypriots will be united with Turkey like Hatay did in the past, New Cyprus Party General Secretary, Murat Kanatli, said no to becoming a province of Turkey.Cypriots shall step up their common struggle.

    Kanatli said that Eroglu does not desire a solution in Cyprus, adding that if pressure is not exerted on Turkey, and if Turkey is not willing to show flexibility then a solution the Cyprus problem is not possible.

    Kanatli also called on Cypriots to immediately step up their common fight for an agreement regarding their own future, adding that if they do not do it now, tomorrow will be too late.

    AK

    [05] International symposium on Cyprus to be held in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (29.09.10, online) reports that the 2nd International Cyprus Symposium will be held in the Turkish city of Izmir between 21 and 23 October.

    Around a hundred presentations will be delivered at 25 different panels, including one on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, during the three-day symposium. Turkish Cypriot leader Dervi Erolu and the so-called speaker of the Assembly, Hasan Bozer will deliver opening speeches. The President of the Cyprus Turkish Cultural Association, Ahmet Göksan and organization committee representative, Associated Prof. Ulvi Keser, will also speak at the conference.

    [06] English residents of Kulaksiz 5 resort to the ECHR

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.09.10) reports that British residents of the Kulaksiz 5 complex received a letter, requesting them either to leave the houses or rent them for S£600 per month.

    The representative of the British residents Bob French said the houses were bought in 2004. Since 2008, when it was discovered that the land was mortgaged, residents are seeking justice in the TRNC but with no result. Therefore, they appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, for human rights violation.

    Akfinans Bank on the other hand, stated on many occasions that all the houses built on the mortgaged land belong entirely to the bank, which had bought the property legally in the auction organized by the land registry office of Kerynia.

    [07] Graveyard of unfinished constructions

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.09.10) reports that the occupied areas of Cyprus face a serious environmental problem as a result of unfinished buildings. As a result of the boom in construction after the Annan Plan and the subsequent slump in sales, many buildings and holiday complexes, were not completed causing visual pollution.

    According to a building contractor there are at least 25,000 unfinished buildings in the TRNC, which are further damaged by nature and cannot be repaired or used.

    [08] Serdar Denktas: Turkic world is enough for the TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (30.09.10, online) reports that Serdar Denkta, chairman of the Democrat Party is currently in the Azerbaijani capital Baku, where he was honoured for his contribution to the Turkic World, by the Yeni Kusak Azerbaijan Youth Association.

    Adressing the ceremony, Denktas pointed to the unjust isolation imposed on the TRNC and its non-recognition by the international community, adding that 300 million people in the Turkish world is enough for the "TRNC".

    During his stay in Baku, Serdar Denktas attended a promotion event for a book on Rauf Dentka written by the Azeri Deputy Ganire Pazayeva. Denkta will travel to Istanbul on Friday where he will attend the inauguration of the Turkish Youth Confederation s premises.

    [09] DP censures UBP apathy on the issue of fake diplomas

    Under the title The government is apathetic as regards the fake diplomas allegations, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (30.09.10) reports on a statement by the Democratic Party (DP), censuring the so-called National Unity Party (UBP) government for keeping silent on the defamation campaign carried out by the Turkish Chamber of Architects against the TRNC universities. Particularly, the statement argues that though one week has passed since the news reports on the issue, the prime minister, the minister of national education, youth and sports, as well as the chairman of Higher Education Control and Accreditation Establishment (YODAK) show no concern in this issue which is of vital importance.

    [10] Data on passengers entering TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (29.09.10, online) reports that the so-called ministry of Public Works and Communications announced a 3% increase in the annual number of airline passengers arriving in the TRNC for the month of August.

    A comparison of the first 8 months of last year and this year also shows a 13% increase in the number of passengers entering the country through illegal Ercan airport. According to the figures, 103,000 people entered the country through illegal Ercan Airport in August compared to last years figure of a 100,000. Figures also show that 13,000 people arrived in August 2010 through the illegal ports of Kerynia and Famagusta, 2000 less than July.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Main stories in todays Turkish press are statements by Egemen Bagis in Brussels on the Cyprus problem and statements by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that everyone should be free in Turkey regardless of religion and political orientation.

    [11] Bagis said: If I were Cypriot, I would work for Turkey's membership

    According to Turkish daily Todays Zaman (30.09.10) in an article entitled Erdogan lashes out at EU for keeping Turkey at door for decades, Turkish State Minister and Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, delivering a speech at the European Policy Centre on Wednesday in Brussels, blamed certain influential members of the EU for exploiting the Cyprus dispute in order to create obstacles in Turkeys EU accession.

    If I were [Greek] Cypriot, I would work for Turkey's membership, Bagis was quoted as saying by Anatolia, and suggested that as an EU member, Turkey would be in favour of the Greek Cypriots.

    [22] Bagis calls on EU to launch direct trade with Turkish Cypriots

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10), Turkish State Minister and Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis in Turkey's EU accession talks urged the European Parliament on Wednesday to approve a legislation that would allow direct trade between EU member states and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

    The moment EU vessels dock at the Turkish Cypriot ports, our ports in Turkey will open their doors to the vessels of all EU member states, Egemen Bagis told reporters. The EU calls on Turkey to open its harbours and airports to all traffic from the Republic of Cyprus in line with an additional protocol to the country's customs union agreement. Turkey says it will not remove limitations on the Cyprus vessels unless the EU ends a similar embargo on the TRNC, as the Union pledged after Turkish Cypriots agreed to a 2004 UN plan to reunify the island.

    Finally, Bagis said that the Direct Trade Regulation would also help resolve the Cyprus issue by closing the income gap between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots.

    [13] Turkey signs agreements with Georgia and Iran

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10), Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz and Georgian Energy Minister Alexander Khetaguri signed a cooperation agreement on electricity energy, on Wednesday in Istanbul.

    Yildiz told reporters that relations between Turkey and Georgia focus particularly on oil and natural gas, adding that relations will be strengthened with the new electricity energy cooperation. A previous deal on electricity exchange between the two countries would expire in 2010 and technical delegations were working on updating that deal, he added.

    Noting that Turkey had electricity exchange with its all neighbours, Yilsiz added that Turkey had deals with Georgia, Bulgaria, Iran, Georgia and Syria.

    For his part, Georgian minister said that cooperation between Turkey and Georgia in the field of energy is deepening, adding that the two countries are also working on a new project for two pipelines. Khetaguri congratulated Turkey for its successful efforts in its EU membership process.

    When projects between Turkey and Georgia are implemented, Turkey would be a bridge, said Khetaguri adding that Turkey has always been a strategic partner of Georgia. The two countries also agreed to work on preparations for new interconnection projects.

    Moreover, A.A. reports that during the 2nd Ministerial Meeting for Environment and Meteorology in Tehran, the Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu and Iranian Minister of Agriculture Jihad Minister Sadeq Khalilian signed a memorandum of understanding envisaging cooperation in the area of environment.

    Eroglu said that the aim is to improve cooperation ties with Iran in environmental water, forestry and meteorology. Minister Khalilian, for his part, said that Iran wants to benefit from Turkey's experience as regards environment and forestry.

    [14] Erdogan complains about delay in Nabucco project

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (29.09.10), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking on Wednesday at the Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum organized by the Atlantic Council, complained about the delay in the Nabucco project.

    The Nabucco project is designed to carry Caspian natural gas through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, ending in Austria. Intergovernmental agreements were signed in July 2009 and the Nabucco Consortium is working on securing an energy supply as well as financing.

    Talking about the supply, transit and consumption dimension of natural gas, Erdogan said the supply dimension of the project is still missing. Erdogan said: The EU is supporting the project, but we are waiting for implementation. He also criticized the EU for still not opening Turkeys accession talks on the accession chapter.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10) reports that during the same forum Erdogan said that support agreements on Nabucco project would be signed in October. Noting that talks also continued on the extension of the Arab Gas Pipeline, the final destination of which would be Europe, to Turkey, Erdogan said: We believe natural gas, together with petroleum, is an important resource that will contribute to Iraq's restructuring process and prosperity. Therefore, we think that the Iraqi government should begin to consider natural gas as an export product as soon as possible in order to meet Europe's growing demand.

    Erdogan also noted that Turkey's strong economy and geo-strategic position as an energy bridge would soon make it a major global actor in energy. Furthermore pointing to the important of Turkeys strategic position in EU vision, Erdogan regretted that those who make Turkey's EU membership a matter of discussion are not far-sighted enough.

    [15] Turkish-American organizations annual meeting on 17-20 October

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.09.10), the postponed annual meeting of the Turkish American Council (TAIK) of Turkey's Foreign Economic Relations Committee (DEIK) and the American-Turkish Council-American Friends of Turkey, will now be held in Washington, D.C. between October 17 and 20.

    TAIK's Chairman Haluk Dincer said in a press conference on Wednesday in Istanbul that the theme of the meeting is 2010: Attaining Common Goals. He said political and economic relations between the two countries as well as cooperation and joint investments would be discussed at the conference, which is expected to be attended by around 700 delegates.

    Deputy Premier Ali Babacan, Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan and other senior Turkish officials are expected to attend the conference. Turkey's Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have also been invited.

    [16] Turkey and China conducted joint air manoeuvres

    According to Turkish daily Todays Zaman (30.09.10, online), Turkish and Chinese militaries have recently conducted a joint aerial exercise in central Anatolia, the first such exercise involving the air forces of NATO member Turkey and China.

    The joint exercise was part of Turkeys Anatolian Eagle manoeuvres, which have so far been carried out jointly with US, other NATO countries and Israel. They took place sometime this month in the central Anatolian province of Konya, where Anatolian Eagle manoeuvres traditionally take place, Todays Zaman has learned. Turkish F-16s and Chinese SU-27s and Russian-made MIG-29s took part in the joint exercise, staging a mock dogfight in central Anatolian airspace. The exercise comes ahead of a planned visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Turkey next month, which officials say will boost relations to a new level. The two sides are expected to sign several agreements on economic and cultural cooperation during the Chinese prime ministers visit.

    Turkey has recently modified its security policy, removing neighbours from a list of countries considered as threats to national security.

    [17] First post-referendum harmonization package ready

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (30.09.10, online) reports that the Turkish government has decided to make modifications to 35 laws as part of initial efforts to bring current legislation into harmony with the 26-item constitutional amendment package approved on Sept. 12. Within the scope of the harmonization, the government will pass seven new laws and modify 28 current laws. One of the most critical amendments foresees changes in the composition of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK).

    The government has determined that the amendments call for changes to more than 200 laws and has decided to implement the changes that are most urgent as part of a first harmonization package.

    A second harmonization package will be prepared, taking into consideration earlier implementation challenges. Many of the new laws and changes will also foster harmonization with EU legislation.

    The parliaments schedule for the 2010-2011 legislative term was set during Justice and Development Party (AKP) Central Executive Boards (MYK) meeting on Monday. According to the governments plan, as soon as the Turkish Parliament convenes on Oct.1 for the next legislative term, the mandate given to the government for cross-border military operations, which expires on Oct. 17, will be extended for another year.

    Parliament will then make amendments to the HSYK law and the Court of Accounts Law. Following that, the parliament will start debating 17 EU harmonization laws. The government aims to pass 10 of the 17 EU harmonization laws before the EUs progress report is published in November.

    To facilitate the approval of comprehensive amendments to laws, such as the Law on Debts and the Turkish Commercial Law, the government also suggested making amendments to the bylaws of the Turkish Parliament. If changes are made to the bylaws, the parliament will be able to discuss the laws in portions instead of item by item. The only reason that amendments have not been made to bylaws is because of opposition from the Republican Peoples Party (CHP). AKP officials are planning on making a new offer to the CHP regarding changing some bylaws.

    [18] Turkish daily claims that 80% of the arms that PKK uses are made in Russia

    Under the title Turkey devises action plan to dry up PKKs foreign support, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (30.09.10) publishes the following article by Ercan Yavuz:

    Government and security authorities agreed on a two-pronged action plan in their fight against terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) activities at a security meeting held two weeks ago as part of which the channels through which the PKK has been supported financially will be closed and diplomatic efforts vis-à-vis countries from which the PKK procures weapons will be intensified.

    According to information on the action plan obtained exclusively by Todays Zaman, Turkey will request in particular that Russia expand its cooperative efforts against the PKK. Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, who went to St. Petersburg to attend the 12th Ministerial Session of the EUR-OPA Major Hazards Agreement yesterday, brought some proposals concerning the PKK with him to be discussed with Russian authorities on the sidelines of the meeting.

    The increased focus on PKK activities in Russia is a result of intelligence provided to Turkey by the US, Todays Zaman also learned from some officials who preferred to remain anonymous. During extensive talks with American experts, the US side told Turkish authorities that 80% of the arms the PKK uses are made in Russia.

    Turkish General Staff data confirm the US intelligence about the source of PKK weapons. According to the latest report the General Staff prepared on the issue and which Cicek took to Russia yesterday, the majority of weapons seized from PKK terrorists or from their bases were of Russian origin. The report suggests that 72% of the Kalashnikov rifles used by the group were from Russia, followed by China with 14%. Hungary and Bulgaria both contribute some 4% of the Kalashnikovs seized. Russia is by far the largest source of sniper rifles used by the PKK, too. Some 45% of 5,713 such rifles were of Russian origin. The UK and the US followed with 13.2% and 9.4%, respectively. However, Russia was found to contribute greatly to the groups supply of anti-tank mines and rocket launchers. Of such mines and launchers, 88% and 85% were of Russian origin, respectively, according to the report. What is more, the National Intelligence Organization (M0T) recently detected that Mustafa Karasu, a PKK leader, had talks with Russian arms dealers and negotiated the sale of Russian-made rockets. The military report also suggests that the PKK bought a large quantity of arms from Russian dealers in 2007. Turkish intelligence also holds strong suspicions that Iran and Armenia are possible paths the PKK uses to bring weapons into northern Iraq.

    Recently, Turkey has stepped up efforts to put an end to the problem of terrorism that has plagued the country for almost three decades. As part of those efforts, Interior Minister Beir Atalay had talks with northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in Arbil on Sunday. The meeting came just after M0T Undersecretary Hakan Fidan went to the US for talks on the PKK issue, too. Barzani told Atalay that he is ready to cooperate with Turkey in its fight against the PKK. Fidan is also expected to visit Arbil in a few weeks time.

    Turkey and Russia, two strategic partners, have had difficulties on the issue of cooperation against terrorism. While the alleged Russian support of the PKK was the subject of heated debate in Turkey, particularly just after now-jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan fled Syria in an attempt to avoid being captured by Turkish forces in 1999, Turkey has also been accused of aiding Chechen militants in Russia from time-to-time.

    [19] Gul disagrees with Erdogan over the timing of the new constitution

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News.com (29.09.10), Turkish President Abdullah Gul is in disagreement with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the timing of the new constitution, remaining in the same camp with the main opposition leader.

    Erdogan, meanwhile, asked his deputies at the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), Central Executive Board meeting on Tuesday to establish a commission for a new charter.

    Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu have openly expressed their intention of rewriting the Constitution but they have disagreed about the timing of any charter restructuring.

    While the CHP's Kilicdaroglu has said the process could be completed in months, Erdogan said the right time for drafting a new constitution was after next year's general elections.

    Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin recently joined the debate, saying Parliament was ready to work if they receive a message from the party leaders on the formation of a commission for charter reform.

    [20] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 29 September:

    (a) Kurdish issue/Extension of non-action period

    In an article in Milliyet, Serpil Yilmaz relates her conversations with Aydin Selcen, Turkey's consul general to Arbil, and Safin Dizayee, the education minister of the North Iraqi Regional Administration, and notes that both officials are hopeful about the return of some 5,000 PKK militants from Qandil as well as some 15,000 refugees who are currently in Makhmur Camp. Detailing the developing economic relations between Turkey and North Iraq as recounted by Selcen, Yilmaz draws attention to Turkish investments in the region and underlines the importance of the regional oil for Turkey.

    In an article in Star Ergun Babahan writes that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP), are on the verge of reaching an agreement on freedom to the headdress and a ban of the Kurdish language, adding: "They are afraid. Afraid that education in the Kurdish language will divide Turkey. Babahan argues that conciliation only on the headscarf issue while ignoring all other rights and freedoms would cause the government to lose its legitimacy.

    In an article in Star, Mustafa Karaalioglu assesses the recent activities and contacts for the solution of the Kurdish issue, predicting that a solution is closer than ever. Noting that Ankara has activated all its mechanisms that will enable the evacuation of Qandil and the distribution of the PKK members to Syria, Iraq, and Turkey, Karaalioglu explains that Syria has opened its doors to those who wish to come, Iraq will provide employment to those who wish to stay, and Turkey will accept those who have not been involved in acts of terror. Declaring that Barzani (head of the North Iraqui Regional Kurdish Administration) is aware of his role and responsibilities in this process, the writer explains that in the first stage Barzani will be taking measures to block logistic support to the PKK. Referring to the meetings Lloyd Austin, commanding general of the US forces in Iraq, held in Ankara, Karaalioglu writes: "The United States is, no doubt, the most significant leg of the tripartite mechanism and the guarantee of Iraq's stability. Austin also accepts the Turkish approach that the export of terror from the region is no longer sustainable."

    Samil Tayyar in Star views all the recent activities aimed at solving the Kurdish issue and asserts that "the search for a solution to the Kurdish problem is part of a more comprehensive project regarding the restructuring of the Middle East." Explaining that the United States wants to transfer a stable structure with a minimum level of regional problems when it withdraws in 2011, Tayyar assumes that the United States is ready to sacrifice the PKK in order to safeguard its priority which is Iraq, adding: "This is the reason why it is forcing the PKK to a solution. The reality behind the remarks made by the PKK and the BDP [Peace and Democracy Party] that 'we are closer than ever to peace' is the US pressure, the rest is insignificant."

    According to a report by Hazal Ates in Sabah, the PKK's leading cadres in Qandil held a meeting to discuss the withdrawal of the PKK forces from Turkish territory and the disarmament process in parallel to the democratic steps to be taken by the Turkish government. The assessment made in Qandil was that they have reached the end of the armed struggle, notes the report, adding that "the PKK is taking measures against the risk of elements outside their control disrupting the process."

    Yeni Safak carries a front-page report highlighting a "formula" for disbanding the PKK that entails the relocation of the PKK militants on Mount Kandil to a camp near the northern Iraqi town of Makhmour where they will be "rehabilitated" for some time before they return to social life.

    (b) Why was Hanefi Avci arrested?"

    Yeni Safak columnist, Ali Bayramoglu, criticizes the arrest of former Eskisehir police chief Hanefi Avci on charges of aiding the activities of a leftist criminal network as a development that appears to confirm Avci's allegation in his recently published book Simons Living in the Golden Horn that the Turkish police are controlled by the Fethullah Gulen community. He claims that Avci's arrest, in the wake of press reports saying that he had been under surveillance for a while over his relations with a certain woman, seems to be an attempt to discredit him in retaliation for his disclosures about the Gulen community.

    (c) "Stocks start the week strong again"

    Vakit columnist, Abdurrahman Dilipak, warns that the fact that the stock exchange index appears to be hitting new record highs every day should not be perceived as an indicator of an actual economic boost. He asserts that a sudden reversal of the current trend of the stocks could spell a major economic crisis. He also calls for a restructuring of the Turkish Central Bank that would entail the opening of branches of the Central Bank abroad.

    (d) "Constitution trampled on"

    Zaman carries a front-page report with the above headline which accuses the Supreme Court of causing an unprecedented judicial scandal and usurping the authority of a local court in upholding a ruling that gives it jurisdiction over a case in which former Chief Public Prosecutor of Erzincan Ilhan Cihaner is being tried as a terrorist suspect. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /AC


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