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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-11-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 217/10 13-15.11.10 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSThe televised speech delivered by Dervis Eroglu on the occasion of the 27th anniversary from the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus, the messages of various Turkish officials on the day, Eroglus trip to New York, Eroglus demand for a timetable for the Cyprus talks, statements by various so-called officials at the 1st World Cyprus Turks Congress and the outcomes of the Congress, Eroglu and Kucuks meeting with a foreign parliamentarians delegation, reports that an Italian Senator will take the identity card and passport of the occupation regime, reports that Turkish Cypriot political parties will boycott the celebrations for the UDI, a cooperation agreement on tourism signed between Turkey and the illegal regime, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend.
 Eroglu: The declaration of the TRNC was the most correct decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot people in their historyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.11.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has said that the declaration of the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is the most correct decision taken by the Turkish Cypriots in their history.
The paper writes that the celebrations for the 27th anniversary from the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime started yesterday with a speech delivered by Eroglu through illegal Bayrak radio and television.
Eroglu alleged that the Turkish Cypriots are those who want the most the solution in Cyprus, because they are the ones who are unjustly treated due to the non-solution. Eroglu argued that they support a lasting and just solution, but no one could say that the Turkish Cypriots being left without a status forever is just and in harmony with the human rights.
I believe that the strengthening of the will for sovereignty and freedom with the declaration of the State is the most correct decision taken by the Turkish Cypriot people in their history, said Eroglu.
The Turkish Cypriot leader noted that with the support of Turkey the Turkish Cypriots reached a per capita income of 16 thousand dollars.
Eroglu alleged that 27 years ago the Turkish Cypriots experienced their happiest day and established their state. He noted that they declared to everyone that Cyprus could not return back to the pre-1974 period.
He alleged: On 15 November 1983 it was loudly and strongly declared to the whole world that the Turkish Cypriot people have the will to live freely, sovereignly and humanly. The name of this will is TRNC.
 Erdogan: The TRNC is the most meaningful product of the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots and element of peace and stability in its region Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.11.10) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a message to the self-styled minister Irsen Kucuk on the occasion of the 27th anniversary from the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.Erdogan said that Turkey will continue its support for the development and strengthening of the TRNC and for the security of the future of the Turkish Cypriots.
According to information obtained from Kucuks office, Erdogan said also the following: The TRNC, which is the most meaningful product of the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots for justice and equality, is an element of peace and stability in its region with its regime of pluralist democracy which is based on the principle of the rule of law and respect to the human rights.
 Turkeys Chief of General Staff says that Turkish army is the guarantee of Turkish Cypriots securityTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.11.10) reports that Turkeys Chief of General Staff, General Isik Kosaner has sent a message to the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu within the framework of the celebrations for the 27th anniversary of the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.
General Kosaner said that the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have the determination, capability and power to carry out in the best way their historical duty which is being the strongest guarantee of the security of the Turkish Cypriots for today and in the future.
Noting that the TAF support Eroglu and the determined stance he displayed at the negotiating table for finding a permanent solution to the Cyprus problem, General Kosaner said that they want the Turkish Cypriots to continue to live in peace and serenity.
 Eroglu to attend UN meeting in New YorkIllegal Bayrak television (13.11.10, online) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will be leaving for New York on Tuesday to attend the tripartite meeting which will be held between him, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon and President Demetris Christofias on the 18th of November. The so-called presidential undersecretary Mustafa Tokay, Eroglus Special Representative Kudret Ozersay and so-called presidential spokesperson Osman Ertug will be accompanying Eroglu during his visit to New York.
Eroglu will travel to Istanbul after completing his contacts in New York.
 Eroglu will ask from UN Secretary-General a timetable for Cyprus talksAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.11.10), during a meeting with foreign journalists currently in the occupied areas to attend the celebrations for the 27th anniversary of the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said: We think Cyprus talks, which have been continued for years, will continue for long years in case a time limit is not put. So, we will request from the UN Secretary-General to put a time limit to the talks. We do not know whether he will do this because Christofias opposes this.
Eroglu also said: I hope the tripartite meeting in New York on November 18 will speed up the talks, adding that UN Chief invited them to New York as progress was recorded very slowly to the talks, and noted that as the representative of TRNC, he has been searching for a lasting and a viable agreement in Cyprus.
 Eroglu: World Cyprus Turks Congress decisions to be utilised in the negotiation processTurkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (12.11.10, online) reports that the 1st World Cyprus Turks Congress took place in Keryneia. In an opening address, the Chairman of the Congress Vedat Celik said that the Congress was realized with the aim of launching lobbying activities to promote the Cyprus Turkish Peoples rightful national cause in the international arena.
Celik alleged that there are ongoing efforts to eliminate the Cyprus Turkish sovereignty rights via imposing isolations. He also pointed the need for further improving the bilateral ties between Turkey and the TRNC and expressed the view that the Greek Cypriot side wants a so-called federation.
Eroglu in his opening speech underlined the existence of international isolation. He said that a solution to the Cyprus problem will only be possible on the basis of two constituent states, and alleged that the Greek Cypriot stance complicates efforts towards a solution. He also said: They shall not expect us to surrender our sovereignty to Greek Cypriots; the Turks of Cyprus will not be victimized by the non-solution anymore
Moreover Eroglu in another speech at a dinner given for participants of the congress said that the final communiqué of the 1st World Cyprus Turks Congress will be a road map for the New York meeting to be held on the 18th of November. Eroglu noted that they have been continuing the negotiations process by taking the past and today into consideration and added that a solution can only be found to the Cyprus problem by acting in line with the reality of the existence of a state which has specific borders.
 The 1st World Turkish Cypriot Congress asks for the recognition of the breakaway regimeUnder the title Full support to Eroglu, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.11.10) reports that the 1st World Turkish Cypriot Congress has taken three decisions on the Cyprus problem. The congress made a call on the world for the recognition of the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. It also expressed support to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu before the meeting of 18 November in New York and decided to establish an association within the framework of the lobbying activities for better explaining the just cause of the Turkish Cypriots in the world.
According to statements made to illegal TAK news agency by Vedat Celik, coordinator of the congress, the decision expressed its confidence to Turkey and the Turkish Armed Forces and said that they will always oppose to an agreement which does not recognize the sovereignty and independence of the Turkish Cypriot people and does not accept the TRNC as equal political side.
He said that they decided to launch a political and legal struggle against the embargoes and called on all the states and organizations of the world to recognize the TRNC in order to really contribute to a just and viable solution in Cyprus.
He noted that the decision expressed also the view that the TRNC and the Turkish Cypriots should not join the EU before the accession of Turkey.
 Delegation from World Cyprus Turks Congress holds contacts in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (12.11.10, online) reports that a delegation from the 1st World Cyprus Turks Congress was received by the so-called parliamentary speaker Hasan Bozer, Dervis Eroglu, Rauf Denktas and so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk.
Bozer voiced the opinion that the work of the congress will positively contribute to the Cyprus Turkish Peoples national cause.
Eroglu said no matter where you are, people should always remember where their real homeland was and added that the conclusions that will emerge from this meeting will have importance on the governments administration and achievements as well as on the Cyprus negotiations process.
Denktas said the delegation was now getting a first hand look at the realities on the island for themselves and called on them to tell people in their countries that the Greek Cypriot Side has not changed at all.
Kucuk for his part expressed his pleasure for seeing so many people from different parts of the world coming to the island during the 27th anniversary of the TRNCs establishment and pointed out the importance of such lobbying activities.
 Kilic says they are working to upgrade the status of the TRNC at the OIC; Eroglu holds various meetingsTurkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak (14.11.10, online) reports that the Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the Organization for the Islamic Conference Professor Dr. Mahmut Erol Kilic was received by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday. Speaking during the visit, Kilic said that they were working towards changing the TRNC status at the O.I.C from observer to a permanent member. He also recommended that Arabic and Persian language can be used to explain the just cause of the Turkish Cypriots in certain lobbying groups, in order to get the message across.
Eroglu thanked Turkey and the O.I.C for always supporting the TRNC and added that he gave importance to the decisions taken in favour of the breakaway regime.
Moreover Eroglu, during a meeting with the deputy President of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Sadik Yakut, stressed that he is sincerely working towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem at the negotiating table but added that he was not thinking about finding a solution that would dissolve in three years, as has been the case with the 1960 agreement. Eroglu said we have been burned once and therefore we are taking very careful and tactful steps at the negotiations table.
Yakut for his part said that Turkey was always in favour of a federal solution to be found to the Cyprus problem and expressed the belief that the solution process in Cyprus will end in a positive manner.
Eroglu also called for the continuation of Turkeys active guarantees and the presence of Turkish Armed Forces. While receiving the Commander of the Turkish War Academy Full General Bilgin Balanli, who is representing the Turkish Armed Forces in celebrations for the unilateral declaration of independence, Eroglu stressed that the Turkish Cypriots are in favour of the continuation of Turkeys and the Turkish Armed Forces active and effective guarantees forever.
For his part, Balanli noted the Turkish Armed Forces has always been in support of the struggle waged by the Cyprus Turkish People. He also assured the Cyprus Turkish People that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue its presence until a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem.
 Italian Senator Paolo Amato to take the identity card and passport of the occupation regimeUnder the title Italian Senator Amato is coming to our country to take the TRNC identity card and passport, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.11.10) reports that the Italian senator Paolo Amato who has already taken the citizenship of the occupation regime, will take the occupation regimes identity card and passport today in a ceremony which is to take place in the occupied areas.
According to a statement issued by the ministry of foreign affairs, self-styled foreign minister, Huseyin Ozgurgun will give the identity card and passport of the TRNC to Paolo Amato, in a special ceremony which is to take place at Keryneia Mercure Hotel.
The paper adds that the Italian Senator will be one of the bravest quests who will participate in the celebrations for the unilateral declaration of independence. Amato will participate in the celebrations as a citizen of the TRNC, writes the paper.
 Turkish war ships docked in the occupied ports of Cyprus; Protests against Cemil CicekTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.11.10) reports that TCG Gemlik Frigate, TCG Saldiray Submarine and TCG Bozcaada Corvette of the Turkish naval forces have docked at the occupied ports of Cyprus. Yesterday and today the ships are open for visits by the public. The frigate docked at occupied Keryneia port, the submarine at occupied Keryneias tourist port and the corvette at occupied Famagusta port. The ships came within the framework of the celebrations for the unilateral declaration of independence of the regime.
The paper reports that the general secretary of the Presidency, Mustafa Isen will represent President Gul in the celebrations. The Turkish Grant National Assembly will be represented by its vice president, Sadik Yakut, the Turkish government by the State Minister responsible for Cyprus, Cemil Cicek and the Turkish Armed Forces by general Bilgin Balanli.
Moreover, the paper reports that Cicek is expected to sign a protocol under the title Semi-donation and Support Aid Projects. He is also expected to lay the foundations of an installation in the field of tourism in occupied Kazivera village under the name of Wonderland.
Turkish Cypriot trade unions are organizing a protest against Cicek. KTOS, KTAMS, BES, El-Sen, Cag-Sen, DAU-SEN, Hava-Sen and the Taxi Drivers Union are expected to participate in the protest against the Turkish Minister.
 Eroglu and Kucuk met with foreign parliamentarians who are illegally visiting the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (14.11.10) reports that self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk met yesterday afternoon with a delegation of foreign quests who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus for the 27th anniversary of the UDI of the occupation regime. Danish MP, Huseyin Arac, Belgian Senator, Fatma Pehlivan, German MP, Bilkay Oney, Bulgarian MP, Remzi Osman, Italian Senator, Paolo Amato, Prof. Dr. Anisa Barubaeva, dean at the Arabey University of Kirgizstan and Prof. Dr. Turguanbai Konurbaev, vice rector of the same university were participating in the delegation.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Danish MP, Huseyin Arac, has said that they want to be informed about the Cyprus problem, and support the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in their countries. Reminding of the Yes vote of the Turkish Cypriots in the Annan Plan referendum and the No vote of the Greek Cypriots, Arac alleged that the EU committed a mistake accepting Cyprus as its member.
Irsen Kucuk thanked the delegation for accepting the invitation to participate in the celebrations. Referring to the Cyprus problem, Kucuk alleged that the Cyprus problem is a half-century old problem adding that the Cyprus problem has not started in 1974 as the Greek Cypriots support by it was a problem appeared in 1955.
Irsen Kucuk argued that the EU should learn very well the realities and experiences in Cyprus. He alleged that it is wrong to believe that Turkey came to the island in 1974 and took the 30% of its land.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (14.11.10) reports that the above-mentioned delegation met also with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu.
Speaking during the meeting, Dervis Eroglu explained the realities in Cyprus and referred to the unfulfilled promises of the EU to the Turkish Cypriots. He then said that they did not lose all their hopes.
 Turkish Cypriot political parties to boycott the celebrations for the UDITurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.11.10) reported that several Turkish Cypriot political parties will not participate in the cocktail, reception and dinners to be organized on the occasion of the 27th anniversary from the illegal unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Right after the announcement of the Democratic Party (DP) last week, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) announced that they will not take part in the celebrations as well.
According to the paper, the parties decided to proceed to boycott due to the socio-economic problems experienced in the occupied areas. The socio-economic difficulties faced by the Turkish Cypriots are emphasized in the statements of the parties. All the parties said that they consider the money spent for this reason as unnecessary expenses.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.11.10) reported that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) demanded the cancellation of the reception and dinners for the November 15 UDI of the illegal regime due to the socio-economic problems faced in the occupied areas.
 Immovable Property Commission paid 50 million sterlingAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.11.10) the so-called Immovable Property Commission (IPC) has paid compensations to Greek Cypriots which reach around 50 million pound sterling between March 2006 and November 2010.
The paper reports that as of 10 November 2010, 748 applications have been filled at the IPC and 130 of them have been concluded through friendly settlements and four through formal hearing. Moreover, IPC has ruled for exchange and compensation in two cases, for return in one case and for return and compensation in five cases. In one case it has been decided for return after the Cyprus settlement, and in one case it has ruled for partial return.
 YDU hospital to open an office in the UKTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.11.10) reported on statements by Ahmet Savasan, director of the Near East Tourism and Travel Services (NETTS), who participated in the World Travel Market Fair (WTM) in London together with a delegation of the illegal Near East University (YDU).
Speaking at a press conference after the WTM, Savasan said that the TRNC will become a country of health tourism with the assistance of YDU hospital, adding that they will open an office in London in 15 days. Savasan noted that during the fair, they had the opportunity to explain the treatment potentials of the YDU hospital, especially, HYPERLINK "http://www.cyprusq.com" to the Turkish Cypriots residing in the UK and to promote YDUs hospital. As the paper reports, during the press conference, information was given about the health services and the health package programmes of the illegal YDUs hospital. It was also noted that the YDU hospital has undertaken the mission of a national hospital.
[B] TURKISH PRESSErdogans visit and contacts to Bangladesh, the celebrations to take place today in the occupied areas of Cyprus for the unilateral declaration of independence of the occupation regime, a report that Egemen Bagis is to be awarded tomorrow by the European Parliament with the price of Religious Freedom, the elections in Greece, reports that unemployed Greek citizens are looking for job opportunities in Turkey and other internal issues, are some of the main stories highlighted in the Turkish press today.
 Erdogan assessed G-20 Summit. He held a meeting with ObamaAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.11.10) reports from Istanbul that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said early on Monday that strong steps had been made to boost stability of financial systems with the coordination achieved among member countries during the G-20 Summit held in Seoul, South Korea.
Erdogan held a news conference at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport in his return from a tour covering Seoul, where he attended G-20 meeting and Bangladesh where he had several meetings.
Erdogan said he was accompanied by a crowded delegation including State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, State Minister Mehmet Aydin, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, several other parliamentarians as well as bureaucrats.
Erdogan said he had very fruitful meetings with the world leaders on the sidelines of G-20 Summit, adding his talks both in South Korea and Bangladesh aimed at boosting economic and commercial cooperation.
Speaking about the G-20 Summit held in Seoul, Erdogan said that the parties reviewed the progress made in countering global economic and financial crisis and that they agreed on maintaining the studies to fulfil a strong, sustainable and particularly a balanced global growth in the next period.
Erdogan said reform of international finance institutions, which was important for Turkey, was mainly discussed at the summit, noting that with the efforts of Turkey, development and issues related to the least developed countries were reviewed. As you know, The Least Developed Countries Summit will take place in Turkey in May. Around 6,000 people are expected to join the summit."
Erdogan also said that he had chance to hold talks with leaders of several countries including United States, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Indonesia, Germany, Britain, Argentina, Mexico, India, Singapore, as well as UN Secretary-General.
Moreover, Istanbul Hurriyet Online in Turkish (13.11.10) reported that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan spoke one on one with US President Barack Obama at the COEX Congress Center in the South Korean capital city Seoul, where the G-20 Summit is taking place, for half an hour.
Talking to journalists at the Intercontinental Hotel Erdogan was asked: "You spoke with Obama. Did you discuss the NATO Missile Shield System?" He replied: During our conversation the topic relating ballistic missile defence did crop up and we told him of our sensitivities on this matter. As far as I can tell we are both on the same page with respect to our sensitivities. Of course, the most important thing of all is for everything to be kept within NATO by virtue of us being a NATO country, and if any step is taken within this framework, and we will be able to take this step, right at the start of this agreement no country shall be named...
Other than this, where exactly will such a ballistic missile defence system be deployed? When such a thing is in Turkey it needs to cover the whole of Turkey, not such a specific area. And naturally, the matter of who is going to be in command, and then this of course has certain technical explanations, and we made certain demands regarding those technical explanations. To tell the truth, I saw that they looked favourably on these demands.
I am not going to take part in the Lisbon talks (where it is expected that NATO will make a decision regarding the missile shield). Our President of the Republic, plus our foreign and defence ministers will be there. They will take part in those talks. However, right now we have our initial approaches; we shall see from the NATO authorities what kind of step will be taken within the scope of these approaches. The final decision will be made accordingly. By that I mean right now no final decision has been made.
 Turkeys Energy Minister said that no agreement reached with South Korea on nuclear plant constructionAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.11.10) reported from Seoul that Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz said on Saturday that Turkey and South Korea could not reach an agreement for the construction of nuclear power plant.
Speaking to reporters, Yildiz said that they will have talks with Japanese Toshiba company next week regarding construction of nuclear power plant and that they could not reach agreement on some conditions. We could not overcome those problems. They proposed to make some adjustments to their offer. We told them we would evaluate the offer but nevertheless we will start to talk with other countries. I have assigned some of my colleagues to work on this matter," Yildiz said. He then said that they will invite Japanese Toshiba company soon to Turkey for talks.
Turkey and South Korea's state utility KEPCO which had voiced a joint intention earlier this year to build country's second nuclear power plant in Sinop, on northern coast of Turkey, has been carrying out negotiations for months. Under a separate agreement, Russia will build Turkey's first nuclear plant on the southern coast.
 Turkey and TRNC sign Action Plan on Cooperation in TourismTurkish News Agency Ankara Anatolia reports form Lefkosia (13.11.10) that Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus on Saturday signed the "Tourism Action Plan" envisaging cooperation in tourism.
The action plan was signed by Turkish Culture & Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay and the so-called environment, tourism and culture minister Kemal Durust. Speaking at the signing ceremony, Gunay said TRNC has a very big tourism potential with its historical assets, geography and natural vegetation.
Gunay said, inter alia, "TRNC will be promoted more in Turkey's advertising activities after this signing ceremony. TRNC will be included more in tourism fairs of Turkey both within and outside the country. Also, there will be technical cooperationI sincerely believe that this cooperation will constitute an important start to change the fate of TRNC. We are initiating cooperation in higher level. I believe that today is a landmark for TRNC's tourism."
Durust stated that they believe that tourism will bring economic development. Today, we have made a step to actually integrate with the Motherland on tourism. We also believe that the agreement will enable us to record a significant progress on social and cultural areas Climate conditions are suitable here for tourism. Our historical assets are rich. There are the traces of every civilization," he said.
 Highlights:Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 12-14 November, 2010.
a) Headscarf Issue
An article by Yusuf Kanli of Hurriyet Daily News (12.11.10) accuses the Justice and Development Party [AKP] Government of exploiting the headscarf issue to promote its political interests.
Milliyet (12.11.10) columnist Fikret Bila says in his article that First Lady Hayrunnisa Gul's remarks against the use of headscarf in primary schools were in line with the expectations of Republican People's Party [CHP] leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. Recalling that President Abdullah Gul also sided with his spouse on the issue, Bila laments that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was reluctant to reveal his actual views on the issue and preferred to postpone it to the post-election era. According to the columnist, the prime minister's stand on the issue "adds to the lack of confidence between the government and the opposition."
If the ban on the headdress is lifted in universities then no one can prevent the headdress in primary schools and in the public domain, writes Bekir Coskun in an article in Cumhuriyet (13.11.10), adding that Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks that the headdress issue should be solved based on individual freedoms tells us that after the elections his intention is to have the ban lifted both in primary schools and in the public domain.
In an article entitled "Headscarves at Primary Schools and Kilicdaroglu", Yeni Safak (12.11.12) columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes the main opposition CHP for the way he says it is trying to divert public attention away from the headscarf ban at universities by taking advantage of a recent statement by Prime Minister Erdogan that has been interpreted as meaning that he wants primary school girls to be allowed to cover their heads for religious purposes
In an article entitled "I am So Sorry", Bugun(12.11.10) columnist Ahmet Tasgetiren directs several ironical or rhetorical questions at President Gul and his wife criticizing them for objecting to primary school girls wearing Islamic headscarves such as what they feel about the way CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu "rewarded" Mrs Gul for what she said by declaring her more courageous than the AKP, whether they attempted to win the sympathy of those who voted against the constitutional amendment package in the recent referendum, whether they feel they have dissociated themselves from "their own world" and aligned themselves with pro-Establishment groups, etc.
In an article entitled "The General Framework Regarding Islamic Headscarves" Zaman (13.11.10) columnist Ali Bulac argues that the state is not authorized to "interfere" with parents' "fundamental right" to encourage their children to adopt a religious way of life by performing prayers, wearing headscarves, etc starting from an early age. He asserts that nobody should presume to label Muslims as "an ignorant herd that needs to be educated." He also claims that everybody should be allowed to practice their faith without restrictions as long as they do not attempt to interfere with other people's life style.
b) Religious Affairs Directorate
A report in Taraf (12.11.10) welcomes the appointment of Mehmet Gormez as Turkey's top cleric by saying that similar to the General Staff, the judiciary, and the CHP, the Religious Affairs Directorate could not remain indifferent to the "waves of change" in the country. Providing biographical information about Mehmet Gormez, the report lauds him as a bureaucrat who is known with his "reformist and modern views on religious issues." It also lauds Gormez's contribution to the religion programs on the Kurdish-language TV channel and the publishing of the Kurdish version of Koran.
Mehmet Tezkan in Milliyet (12.11.10), commenting on the speculation regarding the resignation of Prof Ali Bardakoglu, believes that Bardakoglu's negative response to Prime Minister Erdogan's request to consult with the Religious Affairs Directorate for the solution of the headscarf problem was the main factor behind his removal from office.
Describing Prof Mehmet Gormez as a scholar worthy of the presidency of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Mumtazer Turkone in an article in Zaman (14.11.10) argues that the Directorate can play a critical role in the solution of problems such as Alevism, the headdress, secularism, and even the Kurdish issue, adding: "This means that, while Turkey is rapidly changing, the Religious Affairs Directorate should also undergo a rooted change."
c) Kurdish Issue
According to a report by Ferit Aslan and Serdar Sunar in Radikal (13.11.10), Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) leader Selahattin Demirtas has announced his party's decision to present the defence of BDP suspects in Kurdish. Accusing the state of using the judiciary to eliminate Kurdish politicians, Demirtas is reported to have said that while the AKP is free to use the Kurdish language, the Kurdish people are not.
Underlining the necessity for Ankara to change its perspective on Kurds in an article in Radikal (13.11.10), Cengiz Candar writes that the recent visits to Turkey of Kurdish politicians Necirvan Barzani and Fuad Husayn were made upon the instructions of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani who asked them to convey to Ankara that he fully stand by the Kurds.
In an article in Sunday's Zaman (14.11.10), Ayse Karabat draws attention to a "third force" emerging in Diyarbakir, explaining that this force is "a movement that is definitely not in support of the classic, oppressive state mentality." Noting that this force is not always on good terms with the implementations of the government, Karabat states that neither is it in full agreement with the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP. Explaining that this third force is based on the petite bourgeoisie, professionals, and civil society, which together are becoming more effective every day, Karabat describes their sensitivity on the issue of the Kurdish language, their defence of the right to education in Kurdish, their demand for a state infrastructure for bilingual education as their common points, concluding that the government should listen to them if it wants to solve the Kurdish problem.
d) EU Progress Report/Press Freedom in Turkey
In his column entitled "Open Letter to Prime Minister Erdogan!" Milliyet's (13.11.10) Hasan Cemal asserts that he "agrees" with the EU report which levels "serious criticisms" over freedom of press in Turkey. The democracy and freedoms in Turkey have become debatable due to the increase in the number of imprisoned journalists and the lawsuits filed against them, he says. Hasan Cemal goes on to note that the criteria that define the limits of freedom might be easily listed on a paper but the problem starts when it comes to the interpretation of those criteria. He urges the prime minister to consider legal amendments in line with the warnings in the EU progress report and concludes that he thinks there is need for Erdogan to engage in some "soul-searching" regarding the freedoms in Turkey.
Commenting on the EU Progress Report that refers to the issue of the freedom of the press as a problematic area in Turkey, columnist Derya Sazak recalls that there are currently 4,000 suits filed against journalists in the country. In his article in Milliyet (14.11.10), the writer details the cases of oppression of the media in Turkey. All these examples demonstrate that Turkey is no longer in harmony with the Copenhagen criteria and blemish Turkey's record on democracy and freedoms, concludes the writer.
In a column in Hurriyet (14.11.10), Ferai Tinc disagrees with some of her colleagues who object to her criticism on lack of freedom of the press on the grounds that the pressure on the media was worse in the past. Today, all sectors of the society ranging from influential businessmen to bureaucracy are concerned about being in contradiction with the government and its mentality, Tinc claims. She also points to the fact that while the state holds talks with Abdullah Ocalan, Besikci is tried on Counterterrorism Law for expressing his views.
In an article entitled "A Problem That Causes Headache to the Government", Yeni Safak (13.11.10) columnist Fehmi Koru advises cabinet members to be prepared when they go on foreign visits for questions as to whether freedom of the press is under threat in Turkey and whether it is true that journalists are applying self-censorship out of fear they could face prison sentences if they cover certain criminal investigations.
e) Iraqi Government
In her article entitled "Why Did Turkey Lose in Iraq?" Milliyet (13.11.10) columnist Asli Aydintasbas asserts that the new Iraqi government was not established in accordance with the expectations of Ankara as a Shiite group backed by Iran seized the power despite Turkeys' efforts to support the Sunni politicians. However, she says, not only the policy adopted by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu but also the US project for a unified Iraq seems to have failed. Describing Iran as the "winner" of the political process in Iraq, she says that "foreign policy is not solely based on pragmatism." She concludes by noting that Turkey might have "underestimated" Iraq and failed to achieve the expected result, but it should be kept in mind that this was Ankara's first attempt to assume an influential role in a "critical Middle Eastern country."
In an article in Yeni Akit (14.11.10), Mustafa Ozcan profiles Jalal Talabani and his longstanding relationship with the United States. Describing Talabani as a political impostor and a political acrobat, Ozcan underlines that Talabani was elected a second time despite US objections, adding that "the United States that disrupted the balances in Iraq, was the victim of that balance it disrupted."
f) Turkish-US Relations/ NATO/ Lisbon Summit/ Missile Shield
A report in Hurriyet (13.11.10) details the meeting Prime Minister Erdogan and US President Obama held in Seoul, saying that Erdogan is reported to have informed Obama on Turkey's sensitivities regarding the NATO missile shield. Commenting on the meeting, Erdogan is reported to have said that there are no differences of views between the two countries on Turkey's sensitivities regarding the issue.
Faruk Logoglu in an article in Cumhuriyet (13.11.10) analyzes whether the NATO missile shield is good or bad for Turkey, noting that this issue is very important from the viewpoint of national security as well as from the viewpoint of Turkey's relations with the European-Atlantic community.
In an article entitled "The Turkey Climate in Washington", Zaman (13.11.10) columnist Abdulhamit Bilici discusses whether Turkish-US relations are going through a worse phase because of the ruling AKP's stance on Iran's nuclear program than they did during the crisis created by Ankara's refusal to let the United States open a northern front on Iraq, as Ian Lesser claims. Bilici bases his observations on a number of meetings in Washington he held with former US envoys to Turkey, think tank experts, and "Turks who have their finger on the pulse of Washington."
Questioning whether we are aware of the missile shield threat in an article in Yeni Akit (14.11.10), Kenan Alpay notes that Turkey is currently being tested on whether it is a loyal ally of the United States and NATO through the missile shield project, predicting that Turkey will be subject to a tight siege at the NATO summit in Lisbon. Warning that this project threatens to turn the entire country into an Incirlik Base, Alpay underlines that the responsibility of resisting US and NATO impositions does not lie with the AKP government alone, calling on the community to protest the project.
In an article in Bugun (14.11.10), Erhan Basyurt argues that the missile shield system aims at disrupting the 'mutual destructive horror balance' of nuclear weapons, adding that with the deployment of the system the United States will have superiority over all the other nuclear states. Viewing the possibility of a US attack on Iran prior to the US elections in 2012, Basyurt declares that the missile project might greatly damage the peaceful foreign policy Turkey is trying to implement in the region. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio