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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-15

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. 197/10 15.10.10

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Limnitis crossing point; Reactions by political parties and Turkish Cypriot
  • [02] Statements by Eroglu after the meeting with Fule
  • [03] British Court of Appeals direct flights ruling disapproved
  • [04] Greek Cypriot demands return of his property and 115 million Euros as compensation
  • [05] Columnist says the population reached one million
  • [06] So-called finance minister: Continuation of investments in the TRNC raise hopes
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot football clubs react to allotment of land to Turkish clubs
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot Ombudsman at the General Assembly of the International Ombudsman Institute
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [09] Bagis: Four-partite meeting until a solution on Cyprus problem is found
  • [10] An appeal
  • [11] China to loan $30 billion for Turkey's high-speed train network
  • [12] Turkish Trade Minister visits Libya
  • [13] Delegation of 70 Turkish businesspeople to visit Egypt
  • [14] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The opening of the Limnitis crossing point and the reaction by political parties in the so-called parliament for not having been invited to the ceremony, dominate todays press. Moreover, the press also covers Fules meeting with Eroglu, a statement by the so-called presidency regarding the UK Appeals Court decision on direct flights, Andreas Lordos recourse to the Immovable Property Commission, reaction on the protocol between Besiktas football team and the so-called government, and other internal issues.

    [01] Limnitis crossing point; Reactions by political parties and Turkish Cypriot

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.10.10), Abdullah Korkmazhan, organising secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), in a written statement on the opening of Limnitis said that one more rift has been made on the wall of division and expressed the belief that the opening will benefit the people of the area, the peace process and the unification of Cyprus. He also called for the next step, which could be the opening of Famagusta port under EU supervision and the return of the closed city of Varosha to its legal owners.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (15.10.10) reports that Mehmet Cakici, general chairman of Social Democratic Party (TDP), said that the opening of Limnitis is a positive development but it cannot substitute a solution, and added: The main target must be a solution. He also described as a fiasco the fact that no one was invited to the ceremony form the north, apart from Eroglu.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.10.10) the leader of Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ferdi Sabit Soyer, speaking at the so-called parliament, also described as a fiasco, the fact that officials from political parties were not invited to the ceremony and said that the responsibility for this is not with the UN.

    Moreover, Fatma Ekenoglu, a so-called CTP MP from the Morfou area, said that as the areas MP she wanted to attend the ceremony. As she was not invited, she tried to go to the event but she was not allowed. Ekenoglu also stated that the Limnitis the quality of the road is unsatisfactory.

    Other papers cover the event as follows:

    Kibris: covers the event under the headline More approach.

    Havadis with headline One more gate for peace covers the opening and writes that steps to make easier the life of the two peoples are continuing.

    Halkin Sesi reports on the opening with the title Peace messages in Limnitis.

    Gate diplomacy is the front page of Gunes.

    Ortam with headline Bitter opening comments that the ceremony lacked enthusiasm and was shadowed by the invitation crisis.

    Shameful opening is the title of Yeni Duzen, which writes that the Limnitis barricade was opened in a spiritless ceremony with the participation of 20 guests.

    Daily Kibrisli writes UN neglected TRNC and comments that the opening turned into a scandal since TRNC officials were not invited.

    Political scandal is the head title of daily Bakis, which comments that the government caused a scandal by leaving the initiative for the invitations to the UN.

    Vatans headline: Eroglu: The Apliki gate and Pyla-Arsos road should open It writes that as a result of Talats compromise to Christofias, the Limnitis crossing point opened before the Pyla-Arsos road.

    Haberdar and Star Kibris also report on the opening. The later covers the event in the inside pages under the title: Kato Pyrgos Lefkosia distance reduced to 1.5 hour.

    [02] Statements by Eroglu after the meeting with Fule

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (15.10.10), in its front-page reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule at the presidential palace.

    Following the meeting, Eroglu said that a settlement on the island is possible by the end of the year. However, he said, parties should display political will at the negotiation table, in order to reach an agreement to reunite the island.

    Eroglu urged the EU to keep its promises regarding the embargo on Turkish Cypriots and direct trade, in order to motivate Greek Cypriots for a settlement. Noting that he had a sincere meeting with the EU Commissioner, Eroglu added that he conveyed his expectations to Fule on these matters.

    EU Commissioner Fule did not make any statements to the press.

    [03] British Court of Appeals direct flights ruling disapproved

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A. 14.10.10) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the TRNC said it disapproved the recent ruling, justifying the decision of a lower court which maintained a ban on direct flights from Britain to the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    A TRNC Presidents Office, statement on Thursday said, it was unfortunate for the British Court of Appeals to justify the lower courts decision. It said it welcomed the initiative of the Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY) and CTA Holidays to appeal the decision at a higher court, noting that the lawsuit was crucial for the removal of the isolation on TRNC.

    According to A.A, the KTHY carries around 100,000 passengers annually between TRNC and Britain.

    [04] Greek Cypriot demands return of his property and 115 million Euros as compensation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.10.10) reports that the well-known 83 year-old Greek Cypriot businessman Andreas Lordos, who has property in the occupied closed city of Varosha, visited the occupied areas of Cyrus on his wheelchair yesterday and filed an application to the Property Compensation Commission. Lordos demanded return of his entire immovable property and 115 million Euros as compensation for loss of use.

    The paper writes this is a record demand for the Commission and points out that in statements to Kibris, Lordos said he has five hotels, nine apartments, five shops and one house in the occupied closed city of Varosha. He said he had filed an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which referred him to the Commission in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The paper reports that Lordos lawyer is Turkish Cypriot Tarik Kadri and that the Commission has already paid 45 million Euros as compensation to Greek Cypriots. Kadri stated that his client believes that a compromise will be reached with the Commission.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Columnist says the population reached one million

    In her column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.10.10), Fatma Azgin says that the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus has reached one million. Azgin republishes her article in Yeni Duzen of 08 February 2007, in which she had expressed her doubts on the results of the population census held in 2006 in the occupied areas of Cyprus, noting that the population then was 50,000. She recalls that the then prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer called her early in the morning that day and reprimanded her. Noting that 3-5 months after that article the then Turkish Cypriot leader Talat had stated that the population reached 50,000, Azgin says that 3.5 years after, the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus is close to one million.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] So-called finance minister: Continuation of investments in the TRNC raise hopes

    According to Illegal Bayrak television (online 14.10.10), the so-called finance minister, Ersin Tatar, had a meeting with a delegation of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry (KTSO). Speaking at the meeting, Tatar said that the continuation of investments in the TRNC, despite high interest rates and structural defects, raises hopes for the future. As there is only light industry in the TRNC, Tatar said, it is important to be successful both in domestic and foreign markets. Tatar added that the government will hold contacts with Turkish officials regarding the difficulties faced at the Mersin Custom Gate.

    KTSO chairman, Ali Cirali, expressed full support to the government austerity measures which he yet described insufficient. He also expressed the need for support of domestic production in order to increase the capacity of industrial complexes, and employment.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot football clubs react to allotment of land to Turkish clubs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot football clubs in the occupied area of Keryneia, which face difficulties to find a playing field for training, reacted to the allotment of land in the occupied part of Cyprus to three Turkish football clubs (Besiktas, Galatasaray and Trabzonspor). The Turkish Cypriot clubs said that they have been exerting efforts for years, but with no result. Representatives of Dogan Turk Birligi and Turk Ocagi football clubs expressed their discontent with the situation. The chairman of Turk Ocagi, Huseyin Aktig said he does not think that it is correct to allot of state to Turkish football clubs adding that this could lead to the annihilation of the Turkish Cypriot clubs.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (15.10.10) writes that the government continues to ignore local football clubs, while it distributes land to Turkish clubs. According to the paper, some Turkish Cypriot clubs reacted to this move, while some others had a positive approach noting that the sport facilities will benefit the Turkish Cypriot youth.

    Cenk Mutluakali, editor-in-chief of Yeni Duzen (15.10.10), reports that the Turkish football clubs will settle on captured land, build their campus, train and gain money, but when the Turkish Cypriot clubs ask them to play a match with them, they deny saying that they cannot do it because they are members of FIFA. Wondering why the government does not give land to Turkish Cypriot clubs, Mutluyakali addresses the politicians saying: you politicians, who distribute the land you found from the Greek Cypriots to glittering names from Turkey as if it were your fathers property where will you seek power and votes in the elections?

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Turkish Cypriot Ombudsman at the General Assembly of the International Ombudsman Institute

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (15.10.10) reports that Feridun Onsav, Ombudsman of the occupation regime and Zeki Gursel, director of the department, represented the occupation regime at the General Assembly of the International Ombudsman Institute (IOI) which took place in Barcelona. According to the paper, 110 delegates from 58 institutional representations participated in the meeting.

    The representatives from the occupied areas participated both in the official and non-official meetings of the IOI and had the opportunity to have talks with ombudsmen of other countries.

    (AK)


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The main topics in todays Turkish press are NATOs missile defence system to be established in Turkey, reaction for the single reception on October 29 Republic Day at the Presidential Palace, a railway cooperation agreement between Turkey and China, the visit by the Turkish Trade Minister to Libya, the business delegation to Egypt.

    [09] Bagis: Four-partite meeting until a solution on Cyprus problem is found

    Under the title, Bagis: We will not give up the EU path, Turkish daily Zaman (online, 14.10.10) reports that Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, speaking at a luncheon hosted within the framework of the Istanbul Summit programme of the European Business Press (EBP) on Thursday, said that Turkey waited for 45 years to get a date for negotiations and never gave up. We are determined and we will walk on our path. Every country that began negotiations completed them. Turkey will not be an exemption, Bagis said.

    Noting that Turkey does not want special treatment, Bagis said Turkey wants the same approach accorded to other EU countries, as well as more cooperation against terrorism, liberalization of visas, and invitations to summits. Bagis also said that the EU should not hide behind Cyprus.

    Regarding a Cyprus settlement, Bagis said that, just like the procedure followed for the election of Pope, Turkeys Prime Minister Erdogan, Greek Prime Minister Papandreou, Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu and Cyprus President Christofias should be locked in a room and not allowed to leave before a solution is found.

    [10] An appeal

    An editorial by Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News (14.10.10), under the above title, views the existential threat for the Turkish Cypriots:

    A senior Turkish bureaucrat was joking with this writer the other day that to speed up integration and teach Turkish Cypriots the skill of governance, Turkey must perhaps consider allowing some 10 members of the Turkish Cypriot legislation to attend Turkish parliamentary sessions with observer status, while for some time appointments to all top bureaucratic positions should be filled by appointments from Turkey.

    The top bureaucrat was even suggesting that perhaps Ankara should start considering offering Greece double enosis (union of southern Cyprus with Greece and northern Cyprus with Turkey). It was of course a joke and most probably, the top bureaucrat was just testing the nerves of this writer. Indeed, I exploded at him, saying that excluding a handful of extreme-nationalist idiots, no Turkish Cypriot would want a merger with Turkey. It was a joke, but as is said, there is some truth in every joke.

    Irrespective of political inclinations, all Turkish Cypriots who do care about the preservation of the Turkish Cypriot identity, culture and indeed presence on Cyprus must push for a resolution of the Cyprus problem in view of the bitter fact that their community is fast becoming extinct on the eastern Mediterranean island.

    For those die-hard Turkish nationalist Turkish Cypriots --just a minority in the overall Turkish Cypriot population-- who dream of union with Turkey, there is of course no threat and indeed the push for full integration with Turkey might be promising. Yet, from Turkish Cypriot nationalists to socialists, for the vast majority of the dwindling Turkish Cypriot community living in northern Cyprus, the over-four-decade-long struggle for survival and inalienable rights in their homeland has taken a very drastic turn towards an annihilating defeat.

    The existential threat the Turkish Cypriots are facing is not only the isolation they have been subjected to by their Greek Cypriot compatriots enjoying the status and international recognition as the sole legitimate government of Cyprus in full contradiction with the 1959-60 founding agreements and the constitution of the 1960 republic, which require a power-sharing governance on the island between the two ethnically, linguistically and religion-wise different co-founding communities. An equally important existential threat Turkish Cypriots are facing is indeed coming from motherland Turkey. There is indeed a direct correlation between the two serious threats Turkish Cypriots have been subjected to. The more international isolation bites the Turkish Cypriot people, the more they move towards integration with Turkey and thus towards becoming a lentil in the big Turkish soup. If the current strong push for integration with Turkey continues, I am afraid in a few years time --as has been underlined in this column on many occasions since the 1991 signing of the agreement waiving the passport requirement in travels between northern Cyprus and Turkey-- northern Cyprus will be nothing more than very much like any one of those small coastal Turkish towns: Still Turkish, but not Cypriot Turkish.

    Subtitle: Good news

    On the day the seventh crossing point since 2003 was inaugurated at the Limnitis-Yesilirmak area, in the island's remote northwest, in hopes of boosting inter-communal social contact and psychologically preparing the two communities of the island for a compromise resolution, news spread that the Turkish Cypriot government has started to seriously consider annulling a 1991 accord with Turkey allowing citizens of the two countries to make trips to the other with identification cards rather than passports. As it is said in colloquial Turkish, Good morning after supper. Since 1991, immense harm has been inflicted on the Turkish Cypriot presence on the island because of that accord waiving the passport requirement in travel between Turkey and northern Cyprus.

    Not only has the Turkish Cypriot dialect become almost extinct thanks to cultural bombardment from mainland media, over time many Turkish Cypriots suffering under the inhumane international isolation imposed by Greek Cypriots migrated abroad and many mainland migrants replaced them on Cyprus. The end result, in the 285,000-strong registered northern Cypriot population, according to the head of the statistics department, is only around 120,000 Cyprus-origin Turks. That is, Turkish Cypriots have become a minority in northern Cyprus.

    Even though the Turkish Cypriot government is considering annulling the accord waiving the passport requirement because of the increase in violence, it will be a step in the right direction. Will that be enough? Unfortunately, not. If they are indeed interested in preserving the Turkish Cypriot presence on Cyprus, the Greek Cypriot government and the international community must think on the consequences of continued international isolation of northern CyprusThe threat is existential.

    [11] China to loan $30 billion for Turkey's high-speed train network

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (TZ 15.10.10) reports that Turkey and China have agreed to cooperate in the construction of 7,000 kilometres of rail lines across Turkey for a high-speed train network.

    Citing a high-ranking official from the Ministry of Transportation, TZ reports: Following the Railway Cooperation Agreement, signed early this week during the visit to Turkey by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, China will lend funds in the range of $28 billion to $30 billion to finance a number of high-speed train construction projects which aim to connect all corners of the country. The rail network will be suitable for high-speed trains reaching 450 kilometres per hour.

    Officials from the ministry are planning to complete the Ankara-Sivas, Ankara-Izmir and Ankara-Antalya lines within 10 years and the entire 7,000 kilometres by 2023, in time for the hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the Turkish Republic. The Ankara-Konya and Ankara-Istanbul high-speed train lines are currently progressing under the countrys own resources. The government is also planning to kick off a Karaman-Mersin-Adana line under its own resources.

    Moreover, the Chinese loan will fund the construction of the following high-speed rail lines: the Ankara-Istanbul Surat Railway Project, the Edirne-Istanbul line; the Ankara-Sivas line, the Yerkoy-Kayseri line; the Sivas-Malatya-Elazig-Diyarbakir line; the Sivas-Erzincan-Erzurum-Kars line; the Erzurum-Trabzon line, the Ankara-Izmir line, the Ankara-Antalya line; and finally the Konya-Antalya line.

    Once the projects are completed, the journey from Edirne --in the farthest north-western corner of Turkey --to Kars-- in the outermost north-eastern border-- will take 12 hours.

    [12] Turkish Trade Minister visits Libya

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A. 14.10.10) reported from Ankara that Turkeys state minister for foreign trade Zafer Caglayan travelled to Libya on Thursday on a one-day formal visit.

    According to A.A, Caglayan will meet Libyan Secretary of the General People's Committee for Economy, Trade and Investment Muhammad Ali al-Huwayz. He will also have talks with the executives of the Libyan Housing and Infrastructure Board (HIB), Libyan Investment and Development Company (LIDCO), Libyan Organization for Development of Administrative Centres (ODAC) and Libyan Court of Accounts. During his meetings, Caglayan will take up commercial and economic relations, problems of Turkish companies in Libya, Turkish-Libyan joint ventures, and ways to increase Turkish exports to Libya.

    Trade volume between Turkey and Libya climbed to 2.2 billion USD in 2009. The amount of projects Turkish contractors have undertaken in Libya since 2007 has exceeded 15 billion USD. Turkey is expected to boost not only its commercial relations with Libya, but also contracting services, its investments, technical consultancy, tourism, energy and industry. Turkish and Libyan governments support establishment of joint ventures. Moreover, foreign trade, investment and contracting working groups, of the two countries, are expected to have meetings soon.

    [13] Delegation of 70 Turkish businesspeople to visit Egypt

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN 14.10.10) reported that members of the Turkish-Egyptian Business Council, operating under the umbrella of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) will visit Egypt between October 22 and 26. A delegation of 70 businesspeople led by Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and DEIK Chairman Rifat Hisarciklioglu, will seek opportunities for cooperation in Alexandria and Cairo in the fields of construction, tourism, textiles, metals, chemicals, automobiles, food processing and education.

    In a press conference held Thursday, Turkish-Egyptian Business Council Chairwoman Zuhal Mansfield said the trade volume between Turkey and Egypt reached $3.6 billion in 2010. Since the free trade agreement between Turkey and Egypt went into effect in 2007, commercial relations have gained momentum, Mansfield said. She said that trade volume with Egypt in the next two years must reach $6 billion, adding that the free trade agreement on agriculture will be implemented. There is great potential in agriculture. It is possible to send Turkish agricultural products to Europe via Alexandria. We want to establish Ro-Ro transportation between the southern province of Mersin and Alexandria, Mansfield said. Turkish investments in Egypt are worth around $1.6 billion and that Turkish contractors can cooperate with their Egyptian counterparts in third countries. There is a win-win situation here in Egypt, she said.

    [14] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 14 October:

    a) Kurdish problem

    An article by Star columnist Sedat Laciner focuses on Ankara's strategy on the Kurdish problem by saying that the government seems determined to separate the Kurdish issue from terrorism regardless of the pro-Kurdish BDP's [Peace and Democracy Party] and the PKK's "exploitation" of its democratic steps and peace efforts. According to Laciner, the Office of the Prime Minister has decided not to make any concessions on the democratization process regardless of whether or not the terrorist organization agrees with the steps to be taken for that purpose. Noting that all the ethnic and religious groups will be granted equal rights, he quotes a "prominent government official" as saying that they will not stop implementing reforms because of the terrorist problem. The columnist adds that the government is also seeking "new formulas to step up investments and to reduce the rate of unemployment in the region." Noting that the government will maintain its diplomatic efforts to prevent the PKK from receiving international support, he asserts: "The neighbouring countries have become more active against the PKK in the past few months. They have done and will continue to do their best to support Turkey's armed struggle and to help the terrorists integrate with the system if they accept to lay down their arms."

    b) Turkish-US relations

    An article by Ardan Zenturk of Star comments on the messages John Podesta, head of the Centre for American Progress, conveyed in a meeting organized by the Turkish Businessmen and Industrialists Confederation [TUSKON] in Istanbul. According to the columnist, Podesta refrained from using the term "crisis" while commenting on the Turkish-US relations but admitted the presence of certain "misunderstandings" between the two countries. He says Podesta implied that as the crisis between Turkey and Israel negatively affects the US Congress, a new way should be opened to have the two countries overcome their problems. Noting that the US official seems to have arrived in Istanbul with a series of warning messages, Zenturk concludes: "The Israeli lobby might create problems in Turkish-US relations. However, a strong and cautious Turkey can overcome those problems without taking too much risk."

    c) Turkish-Israeli relations

    In an article in Milliyet, columnist Guneri Civaoglu asserts that contrary to Prime Minister Erdogan's argument that Israel will be isolated in the region if it fails to apologize to Turkey [over the flotilla attack], the Israeli Administration seems to be taking certain steps for an "alternative foreign policy." Referring to Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul's article saying that Israel is establishing closer ties with Greece, Romania, Bulgaria, and Hungary while Turkey strengthens its military relations with its neighbours in the South and the East, Civaoglu says that he finds the new picture in the region "annoying" although Karagul views these changing balances as an opportunity for Turkey to "open a new and broader game zone."

    d) Need for security reforms

    In a commentary in Zaman, Huseyin Yayman of Gazi University in Ankara argues that recent disclosures by retired military officers about how they engineered "bomb attacks on mosques" in Cyprus or established illegal intelligence agencies like the JITEM, have demonstrated the need for Turkey to replace its current national security policy document, subject its security apparatus and policies to extensive reform, and restructure the military, the National Intelligence Organization, and the police force.

    e) Stocks value increase

    In an article in Yeni Akit, columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak questions the factors behind the increase in the overall value of stocks from 60,000 to 70,000 in 2,5 months and asserts that this appears to be the result of a manipulation carried out by a "secret hand" ahead of the next general elections. He claims that real economic indicators do not justify the increase and warns that a sudden drop in stock prices could lead to destructive volatility, a "psychological collapse," and ultimately an economic recession. He also calls for the establishment of a financial "early warning system" against unexpected drops in stock prices.

    f) CHP: Party statutes; Claims of fund transfers

    Yeni Akit publishes a front-page report which slams Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Abdurrahman Yalcinkaya for not filing a closure lawsuit against the CHP in connection with claims that it transferred funds to a private television channel, received money from a German foundation, and is unlawfully postponing required changes to the party statutes.

    Yeni Akit Editor-in-Chief, Hasan Karakaya, asserts that the CHP might become ineligible to take part in the next general elections because it has not renewed its statutes as required by the Political Parties Law. He highlights a statement by CHP Ankara Deputy Yilmaz Ates urging the CHP administration to take seriously a formal warning the CHP has already received from the Supreme Court over this matter and advises the CHP to pay heed to its own judicial experts cautioning of the implications of the CHP administration's failure to change the party statutes duly.

    g) Missile shield project

    In a report in Milliyet entitled "US missile shield pressure on Turkey," Milliyet's Guven Ozalp says that Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defence for European and NATO Policy, Jim Townsend "clearly disclosed the US expectation" from Ankara in connection with Washington's missile shield project. Recalling the US official's remarks that Turkey is geographically available to host some parts of the system, Ozalp notes that the project targeting a neighbouring country constitutes a major concern for Ankara. He goes on to say that Turkey should not only make a decision as to whether it will accept to become an active part of this project but also clarify its position over NATO's role in the deployment of the system.

    h) New constitution

    Milli Gazete columnist, Abdullah Ozkan, criticizes the ruling AKP and the CHP for conducting a debate on a new constitution amid mutual recriminations and "insults" and using the issue of a new constitution as an electioneering ploy. He also asserts that the current political climate in Turkey is not suitable for preparing a new social charter based on democratic principles, adding that a new constitution drawn up based on the existing political paradigm would fail to represent the persuasions and expectations of different social sections and be no more libertarian than the current constitution prepared by the architects of the 12 September coup.

    i) F-35 project

    Zaman publishes a front-page report highlighting the "crisis" caused by the fact that Turkey is asked to earmark an additional amount of $4 billion in the $10 billion Joint Strike Fighter F-35 project because of an increase in production costs. According to the report, the future of the project will be determined by the ongoing negotiations between the General Staff and the Treasury Department.

    j) My husband was poisoned

    Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which quotes Semra Ozal, the wife of the late President Turgut Ozal, as saying that her husband's death was brought about by a poison put in a glass of lemonade that he was insistently asked to drink at a cocktail party at the Bulgarian Embassy in Ankara. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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