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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-13

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. 195/10 13.10.10

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu meets EP President Jerzy Buzek
  • [02] Ozgurgun: Morfou is indispensable for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [03] The Turkish Cypriot press on the British Court of Appeals verdict
  • [04] Sonya: A naive opening
  • [05] Soyer says it is not possible to talk about democracy in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Kucuk agrees that population in the occupied areas has increased
  • [07] Co-operation agreement between KTOS and LIZDA
  • [08] Ministers in U-turn over Karpaz campus
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [09] Turkish and French Foreign Ministers meet; Davutoglu defines the Cyprus problem as a political obstacle in Turkeys EU process
  • [10] EU Energy Commissioners contacts in Turkey
  • [11] Turkey aims to open competition chapter in December
  • [12] American-Turkish Council annual conference
  • [13] Turkey not to attend OECD conference in Israel
  • [14] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The top stories in todays press are Buzeks contacts in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the British Court of Appeals ban on direct flights to the occupied areas, the statements of the so-called foreign minister concerning Christofias statements on Morfou and statements by DP general secretary on Morfou. Moreover, the agreement signed between KTOS trade union and a Latvian trade union, criticism from Soyer and Mamali to the government for not giving permission to British buyers in the occupied areas to protest, and other internal issues are also some highlighted in todays Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglu meets EP President Jerzy Buzek

    According to illegal Bayrak television (BRT online, 12.10.10) during a press conference following the meeting of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu with the President of the European Parliament (EP), Jerzy Buzek, yesterday, Eroglu said the Turkish Cypriot sides proposals on property were viewed in detail as well as the final points regarding the opening of the Limnitis crossing point next Thursday. He said the Direct Trade Regulation was also on top of the agenda and conveyed the Turkish Cypriot sides expectations.

    Eroglu noted that the unjust international embargoes on the Turkish Cypriots were also discussed during the meeting, calling on the EU to take the necessary steps to lift the embargoes. Eroglu also reiterated the Turkish Cypriot sides sincere determination to a settlement.

    For his part, Buzek said he was glad to see that Eroglu agreed that the basis of negotiations is the UN Security Council Resolutions on the Cyprus issue and added that the aim of his visit to Cyprus was to encourage an early agreement, which he said, is to the benefit of the whole of Cyprus as well as of the EU. He also called on the two sides to be open to different views during the talks.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (13.10.10) reports that the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek was received by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), and had meetings with leaders of Turkish Cypriot political parties.

    According to the paper, Ferdi Sabit Soyer stated that he conveyed to Buzek the views of his concerning the need for a federal solution in Cyprus. Soyer said that during the meeting views were exchanged on issues concerning the Direct Trade Regulation and the representation of Turkish Cypriot to the European Parliament. Soyer added that they both expressed the wish for a solution in Cyprus based on the UN parameters, adding that the mutual political unity in Europe should to be implemented in Cyprus as well.

    (AK)

    [02] Ozgurgun: Morfou is indispensable for the Turkish Cypriots

    Criticizing the statements made by President Christofias that there will be no Cyprus settlement without the return of occupied Morfou to its legal owners, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (13.10.10) reports on a written statement by the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun which said: Christofias, who knows very well that Morfou is indispensable for the Turkish Cypriots, is trying to create friction.

    Noting that with such statements Christofias does not convey the correct messages to the Greek Cypriots, Ozgurgun said that Christofias should be preparing his people for a settlement and a joint future with the Turkish Cypriot side. However, he added, with his provocative statements he complicates the conditions for a solution, because the Greek Cypriots develop fruitless expectations.

    [03] The Turkish Cypriot press on the British Court of Appeals verdict

    The Turkish Cypriot press covers today extensively the issue concerning the verdict by London Court of Appeal to ban direct flights from the UK to the illegal Tymvou Airport (Ercan). The court also ruled the collapsed Cyprus Turkish Airlines, and its UK subsidiary, CTA Holidays, to pay the legal costs. The papers report on statements made by Fikret Cavusoglu, chairman of the administration board of the Cyprus Turkish Airlines who criticized the decision and said that the verdict is a political decision. Cavusoglu further said that the decision means the continuation of existing embargoes.

    Following are the front-page headlines of the papers:

    KIBRIS: They have not been flying anyway! The paper writes that the final decision concerning the case of the direct flights was announced and adds that Turkish Cypriot and CTA Holidays lost the case.

    HALKIN SESI: Bad news for the TRNC from the UK

    VATAN: A rejection once more from the British Court

    YENI DUZEN: Has the road for direct flights closed?

    GUNES, VOLKAN, AFRIKA: The British Court of Appeals rejected KTYH appeal.

    STAR KIBRIS: Send the bill to the TRNC

    HABERDAR: KTHY returned from the appeal

    BAKIS: The government has killed (CTA) the English has buried them.

    CYPRUS TODAY: Airsick

    (AK)

    [04] Sonya: A naive opening

    Under the above headline Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (13.10.10) reports statements on Bengu Sonya, General Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP), on the opening packet for Varosha that these ideas come from the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration, Demetris Christofias, especially after the meeting he had with Cakici as well as the meeting Anastasiades Soyer.

    Sonya argued that the Greek Cypriot side would never enter an agreement which would ensure economic benefits for the Turkish side, and those who think that they will have economic gains from the opening of the closed city of Varosha or that the whole of Cyprus will benefit, are mistaken. He said turning over Varosha before a comprehensive solution, as part of an interim or partial agreement, will never be accepted and added: it is clear that this idea came from Christofias, this is already a formula for an interim agreement.

    [05] Soyer says it is not possible to talk about democracy in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.10.10) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), criticized the breakaway regime for not allowing a group of Britons, who had bought houses in the occupied areas of Cyprus and were deceived by a Turkish Cypriot businessman, to demonstrate outside the embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Soyer said the fact that the National Unity Party (UBP) government did not allow the foreigners to demonstrate is unacceptable and an obvious discrimination. Soyer noted that if the decision whether people will use or not their right to demonstrate and the freedom to express their problems is taken according to their place of birth, language, religion and nationality, then it is not possible to talk about democracy in a place.

    Moreover, lawyer Baris Mamali, chairman of the Movement for the Superiority of Ideas and Law, said that not allowing the Britons to demonstrate was illegal and a violation of international agreements on human rights, which should be implemented even if they are in contradiction with the constitution.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Kucuk agrees that population in the occupied areas has increased

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.10.10), Irsen Kucuk, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) and self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, agrees with those who say that the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus has increased, and added that the regime stopped granting citizenships.

    In an interview with Kibris, Kucuk noted that the citizenship was granted to only seven persons since they became government. He pointed out that they employed extra 300 teachers during the past two years and that problems with medicines emerged in hospitals because of the continuous increase of the population. Very serious problems exist in the country and radical measures are needed, said Kucuk adding that they are considering to put an end to entries [of people from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus] using the identity card and implement the use of passports. He noted that he asked the ministry of interior to inform him about the number of the registered workers and those who have the right to acquire citizenship.

    Kucuk said: The entrances and the exits in the country should seriously be controlled. Firstly, we stopped granting the citizenship in order to have some discipline. This issue has been neglected for years. Once, the issue of white card had come onto the agenda. This was a correct step. If necessary, more serious measures must be taken.

    Kucuk said that another evidence of excessive population is that after 17.00 o clock the emergency department in hospitals overflows with workers. If we do not know our population, we cannot make our investments, he said.

    Referring to the issue of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines, Kucuk recalled previous statements that the new company would start operating in March 2011 and said that in this situation it is not possible for us to continue paying the salaries, but we will find a solution. He noted that last month there was money to pay the personnel, but could not be done because the bank confiscated the money for security reasons.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Co-operation agreement between KTOS and LIZDA

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (13.10.10), Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) signed a co-operation agreement with the Latvian Education and Scientific Workers' Trade Union (LIZDA).

    The agreement envisages an exchange programme of active union members, assessment of educational systems, and exchange of publications and experiences regarding the revision of history books and of history classes in schools.

    The general secretary of KTOS, Sener Elcil, and the Chairman of LIZDA, Ingrida Mikisko will oversee the agreement.

    [08] Ministers in U-turn over Karpaz campus

    In a front-page report, Turkish Cypriot midweek Cyprus Today newspaper (13.10.10) says: The government has gone back on its decision to allow Girne American University (GAU) to build a new campus in a special protection area on the Karpaz peninsula. GAU is now being offered less than a tenth of the land it had previously been promised. It comes days after Interior and Local Administrations Minister Ilkay Kamil told Cyprus Today the government would do everything in its power to allow the scheme to go ahead.

    Cyprus Today broke news that the 191-donum campus was located in a special protection area, where development is not allowed, back in August. Last week, Mr Kamil said the government would grant all the necessary permissions. But on Monday, ministry undersecretary Hasan Islamoglu admitted that anew 18.5-donum site had been offered to GAU, out of the special protection area. It follows talks with European Union bosses about the Karpaz, which is the subject of an EU environmental project, Natura 2000.

    Mr Islamoglu said: The [new] plot is on public land [and] it is away from the special environmental protection area. After approval from the university, the decision will be published in the Official Gazette, probably in two or three days.

    There had been controversy over the GAU Karpaz campus bid, with the potential overturning of the ban on development setting a precedent for further construction. Mr Islamoglu and told Cyprus Today that the government wanted to develop former Greek Cypriot land in order to prevent its return. There were also claims that the decision of the Council of Ministers to agree to the recommendation of Agriculture and Natural Resources Minister Zorlu Tore instead of the Tourism, Environment and Culture Minister, Kemal Durust, broke TRNC laws.

    Project manager for the EU Support Office Alessandra Viezzer told Cyprus Today the Commission had raised the matter recently with the Turkish Cypriot government on more than one occasion. Each time, it was verbally confirmed by the Turkish Cypriot leadership that the construction plans had been changed and a new location would be identified, said Mrs Viezzer, adding that they were expecting written confirmation from the government.

    The European Commissions Representation in Cyprus had warned the TRNC government not to go-ahead with the campus plan. It has already provided 5.2 million euros of funding for the preparation of management plans for the six potential Natura 2000 areas in North Cyprus, including the Karpaz Special Protection zone, and six other areas including Alagadi, Akdeniz and the Southern Karpaz.

    The Biologists Association said the site change was a positive development. General Secretary of the association Niyazi Turkseven said that the union wanted the country to develop, but stressed this development should be sustainable.

    It is wrong to open a protected area for development. However, we are happy with the governments decision and want to see the project go-ahead according to existing rules and regulations. First of all, an environmental impact report should be sought. It should respect the environment, said Mr Turkseven.

    The universitys main thrust behind the project is to provide input to the economic, social and cultural development of the people living in the region. The campus will be composed of departments such as marine studies, aviation, tourism and archaeology.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The main story in todays Turkish press is the visit to Ankara of the French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner, as well as statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a joint press conference and his reference to the Cyprus problem. The motion adopted by parliament to extend for another year the mandate for Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to launch cross-border military operations into the north of Iraq, statements by Erdogan on the resignations from the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) and other domestic issues are highlighted in todays press.

    [09] Turkish and French Foreign Ministers meet; Davutoglu defines the Cyprus problem as a political obstacle in Turkeys EU process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A. 12.10.10) reported on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with the French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Bernard Kouchner in Ankara on Tuesday.

    Speaking during a joint press conference, Ahmet Davutoglu referred to Cyprus and said that despite their (Turkeys) efforts for peace, Turkey and the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) were still being punished. It is impossible to understand it, said Davutoglu. We have suggested to hold a peace conference --like the one in 2004-- within the next few months and covering all parties, but we have not received a response, Davutoglu noted.

    Davutoglu expressed the hope that talks will yield positive results, and the problem will be solved, and the path of Turkey-EU relations will be opened.

    As A.A. reported, regarding Turkeys EU membership process, Davutoglu said that Turkey can record a great progress in the process if political obstacles --which are not related with EU negotiations-- are not put before Turkey. He added that he meant the Cyprus issue. Davutoglu said that Turkeys decision for EU membership is a strategic target for the whole country. He noted that Turkeys efforts to fulfil reforms are known, adding that the recent constitutional reform is an indication.

    According to A.A, Davutoglu asked his French counterpart for more support of Turkeys European Union membership. We have extended a request for stronger French support in the opening of more chapters in our membership negotiations, as well as in easing visa procedures. We want the same visa procedures for the Balkan countries, nothing less, nothing more," Davutoglu said. He added that Turkey and France shared similar interests and positions in many issues, especially in energy, adding that the two ministers also discussed issues such as Irans nuclear programme, the Balkans, Afghanistan, and relations with Central Asian countries.

    The Turkish minister said French President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to pay a visit to Turkey within 2 to 3 months, after France assumes the rotating presidency of the Group of Twenty (G-20).

    Kouchner, on his part, said the two countries were engaged in what France regarded as a necessary cooperation in the fight against terrorism, adding that Turkey's intelligence chief had recently paid a visit to France.

    The French minister said France is ready to help Turkey open three more chapters, competition, social policy and employment, and public procurement. Turkey has passed through a process of a constitutional referendum and you have general elections ahead. EU will become a reality for Turkey if you make necessary reforms. The ball is in your court, he said.

    Kouchner was also received by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. No statements were made after the meeting.

    [10] EU Energy Commissioners contacts in Turkey

    Ankara HYPERLINK "https://www.opensource.gov/wiki/display/nmp/Anatolia" \t "blank" Anatolia news agency (11.10.10) reports from Ankara that the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had a meeting in Ankara with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettingger.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Yildiz said he conveyed Turkeys expectation to open the energy chapter and to lay a solid legal framework to launch what he described as a comprehensive and strategic cooperation with the EU in energy issues. In order to create a common energy market, we need to remove this obstacle. We believe that both Turkey and the EU member countries are aware of this necessity, Yildiz said.

    Oettingger, for his part, said that the opening of the energy chapter would serve the interests of both Turkey and the Union, adding that all EU members need to give their consent.

    In addition, A.A. reports that the Turkish State Minister and chief EU negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, hosted a dinner in honour of Guenther Oettinger. Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Mevlut Cavusoglu and head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey Marc Pierini attended the dinner. Representatives of Turkish and European energy companies also took part in the dinner and exchanged views with Guenther Oettinger.

    [11] Turkey aims to open competition chapter in December

    Hurriyet Daily News (HDN 12.10.10), citing diplomatic sources, reported from Ankara that Turkey is ramping up efforts to make the reforms needed to open the chapter in its EU negotiations dealing with competition policy, during Belgium, rotating presidency. We aim to open the chapter on competition policy in December the latest, a diplomatic source told the HDN on Monday.

    One of the required changes, the passing of a law on state aid and subsidies, was due to be adopted by Parliament on Tuesday. If the requisite benchmarks are met by the end of October, the EU decision-making mechanism could be enabled in order to agree on the conditions and give the go-ahead to open the chapter on competition, Pol De Witte, the Belgian ambassador to Ankara, told the Daily News in a recent interview. If all the homework is done on the Turkish side by the end of October, the EU side can do its work in November and the chapter could be opened in December, he said. Ambassador De Witte underscored that the move would be a very important sign of Turkish willingness to continue the negotiation process for EU accession. Its very important for public opinion in Turkey and in the EU, he said.

    HDN also reported that the competition policy chapter has long remained one of the major barriers in Turkeys negotiations with the EU. The Turkish government has completed preparations for the establishment of a State Aid Monitoring and Supervisory Council along with a State Aid General Directorate and aims to finalize the necessary legislation soon.

    [12] American-Turkish Council annual conference

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN 12.10.10) reports from Ankara that the American-Turkish Council, (ATC), is scheduled to hold its annual conference on ties between the two nations, in Washington early next week.

    HDN, inter alia, reported that the conference, originally planned for April 12 and 13, was cancelled in the wake of a March move by the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee to endorse an Armenian genocide resolution. But after no vote was held on the House floor on the resolution for nearly two months, the ATC, the largest U.S.-Turkish business group, rescheduled the conference for October 18 and 19.

    U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates will attend the conference as a keynote speaker, the ATC announced in a statement Tuesday. Ali Babacan, deputy prime minister and state minister for the economy, is expected to be the opening keynote speaker. Other speakers include government and business leaders such as Turkeys state minister for foreign trade, Zafer Caglayan; U.S. National Security Advisor retired Gen. James Jones; President and Chairman of the U.S. Export-Import Bank Fred Hochberg; Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman; Turkey's undersecretary for defence industries, Murad Bayar.

    Members of the ATC, include top U.S. and Turkish companies doing business in both countries aims, aims to bolster U.S.-Turkish political and economic relations with its 29th annual conference. Some of the ATC's major members include top U.S. defence companies.

    [13] Turkey not to attend OECD conference in Israel

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN 12.10.10) reports from Ankara that Turkey will not participate in a biannual tourism conference in Israel on 20-22 October, implementing the first boycott of Israel on a multilateral level since the raid on a Turkish aid ship in May.

    Informing reporters of the decision Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, said: Regrettable statements have been made. We want tourism to take place, not politics.

    Despite the May 31 flotilla incident, an Israeli Foreign Ministry diplomat attended a meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) last week in Ankara. Initially, Turkey intended to send the ministrys deputy undersecretary, Ozgur Ozaslan, to the tourism conference, but Ankara changed its decision after evaluating the situation.

    The paper adds that Spain and Britain will not attend the OECD conference. Israeli press claimed Palestinians were pressuring European countries to shun the conference on sustainable tourism, which normally takes place in Paris, on the grounds that the event will take place in east Jerusalem, considered the capital of the future Palestinian state. Diplomatic sources, however, told the Daily News that the conference would take place in west Jerusalem.

    [14] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 12 October:

    a) Erdogan visit to Syria

    In an article in Taraf, Kurtulus Tayiz views the increasing number of visits between Turkish and Syrian officials in the last few months and points out the PKK issue is the primary topic on the agenda of these visits. Noting that the PKK presence in Syria dwindled following Ocalan's departure, Tayiz explains that the aid extended by Syrian Kurds to the PKK has also diminished. Drawing attention to the number of Syrian Kurds within the PKK ranks, the writer underlines that the return of these PKK members to Syria has been an issue that the Turkish-Syrian agenda for some time now. Recalling Syrian President al-Asad's promise to declare an amnesty to these returning PKK members, Tayiz, argues that that Ankara' expectation from Syria must be its influence over Qandil in persuading the PKK leaders to abandon their weapons. Tayiz concludes: "The extent of the diplomatic traffic with Syria in recent months shows that we have reached the end of the PKK issue."

    b) Headdress issue

    In an article in Star, Ergun Babahan views the stand adopted by Republican People's Party, (CHP), leader Kilicdaroglu on the headdress issue, pointing out that he has succeeded in explaining to CHP voters that this issue is about education and freedom of belief. Praising Kilicdaroglu for not referring the High Education Council, (YOK), directive on headscarves to the judicial organs, Babahan underlines that until now the path to the rights and freedoms demanded by the society was being blocked as a result of the cooperation between the CHP and the high judiciary. "Kilicdaroglu was, in a way, the leading force in transporting the concept of this communal struggle from the judicial to the political arena," notes Babahan, drawing attention to the effect of the referendum results in this transformation.

    According to a report by Cansu Camlibel in Hurriyet, President Abdullah Gul is getting ready for a new headdress overture. This year President Abdullah Gul is going to host only one reception together with his wife to mark the Republic Day on October 29, and General Isik Kosaner, the chief of the General Staff, has been notified about the reception "to avoid unpleasant surprises," adds the report, recalling that for the last three years Gul had hosted separate receptions for army officials and politicians to avoid a confrontation between top army brass and his wife who wears an Islamic style headdress.

    c) Opportunities after change in CHP leadership

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that the change in leadership has provided the CHP with a golden opportunity to transform itself into a real social democratic party. "The visits of Kilicdaroglu to Brussels EU headquarters, as well as Germany and the first-ever Abant political camp last week provided a glimpse of hope that a new CHP might be in the making," points out Kanli, concluding: "Irrespective of whether it comes to power or not anytime soon, a strong and social democratic CHP will be the engine of change to a far-better governed Turkey."

    d) Turkish-US relations

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Semih Idiz reviews Turkish-US ties and argues that there are three elemental issues that have to be resolved somehow if the ties between Ankara and Washington are to be normalized again, namely Turkish-Israeli relations, the question of Iran, and Turkish-Armenian ties. Predicting that bilateral ties will probably get worse before they get better, Idiz notes that Ankara's overtures to Russia and China are causing some consternation in Washington.

    e) Iraq factor in Turkish-Iranian ties

    In an article in Radikal, Deniz Zeyrek views the difficulties in forming a government in Iran which some attribute to the United States and other to Iran and notes that there are even some groups that blame Turkey Zeyrek adds: Turkey is equidistant from all the groups in Iraq, but Ankara's wish, just as that of Washington, is a government under the leadership of Allawi. Another country that favours Allawi is Saudi Arabia which views Iran as an essential rival in the region." In conclusion, the writer wonders whether the bridges that could not be burned between Turkey and Iran despite the pressure of the West, could be burned because of the competition over Iraq.

    f) HSYK members resignation

    Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report criticizing the resignation of members of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors, (HSYK). The report asserts that the resignations are merely a manoeuvre by which these justices hope to retain their seats.

    g) Turkish-Chinese exercises

    In an article Yeni Safak, columnist Ibrahim Karagul consider the Turkish-Chinese military exercises as part of an "interesting power struggle" between China and the West in which Beijing is attempting to return to the Western seas with the help of Muslim countries in a manoeuvre inspired by Muslim Chinese Emperor Zheng He's seven naval expeditions in the 15th century.

    In an article Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes the resignations from the HSYK as a move confirming allegations that the HSYK is pursuing a "political" agenda in publicly questioning or censuring the Government's policies. He also accuses the HSYK of doing great damage to the concept of judicial neutrality and misinterpreting the "separation of powers" as a "conflict of powers" in maintaining a row with the political authority in the name of safeguarding its independence.

    In an article in Zaman entitled "Democratic resignations from the HSYK", Zaman, columnist Bulent Korucu praises yesterday's resignations from the HSYK ironically as the first instance of members of a "political" body in Turkey responding appropriately to their "defeat" in a political event [referring to the referendum results] and showing "democratic maturity" by quitting their positions. He proceeds to slam the HSYK for "undertaking the role of an opposition party," engaging in rows with Prime Minister Erdogan and AKP officials, carrying out "propaganda" in favour of a no vote in the referendum, etc. He also asserts that of the resignations appears to be intended to influence decisions on the new appointments to the HSYK.

    h) Military service

    Bilal Cetin views speculations on the changes in the military service and writes the general belief in the political circles is that the General Staff will propose reduction of military service to 12 months given Turkey's geographic position and the current threat posed by separatist terrorism. Pointing out that the General Staff is not in favour of paying in lieu of military service, Cetin says the possibilities considered at the moment are: There will not be a universal type of military service; duration will be reduced from the current 15 month to probably 12 months; the possibility of implementing payment in lieu of military service is very low, but it can be considered for those who are over 35 years old. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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