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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-12-16
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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. 240/10 16.12.10 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSThe continued discussion in the so-called parliament on the budget and statements by Kucuk regarding the population and the economic situation, Eroglu's comments on the progress of the negotiations, Ozgurgun's comments on the decision to extend UNFICYP's mandate, reaction by Trade Unions regarding the 13th salary, and other internal issues are covered in today's Turkish Cypriot press.
 Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meetIllegal Bayrak television (BRT ? 15.12.10), reports on the meeting of President Demetris Christofias with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to resume their discussions on reaching a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. The two leaders reviewed work carried out by their special representatives over the course of the week, confirming several convergences on the economy chapter.
Speaking after the meeting, Eroglu said that he and Christofias exchanged views on the work carried out by the Special Representatives and confirmed several convergences on the economy chapter. "We do of course appreciate the convergences but there are still issues awaiting agreement," Eroglu noted. He also announced that the tripartite meeting in Geneva would take place on 26 January.
According to illegal BRT, stating that a brief exchange of views on "Governance and Power-Sharing" had also taken place in the meeting, Eroglu said that the special representatives will continue to take up the issue when they meet on Friday. He said the representatives will be seeking convergences on issues of disagreement and the sine-qua-non of the two sides in the six chapters of negotiations, as part of the agreed procedure leading to the Geneva meeting.
 Ozgurgun evaluated the latest UN Security Council resolution on CyprusAccording to the Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (16.12.10), self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun evaluated yesterday the latest UN Security Council resolution on Cyprus.
Noting that "the UN resolution extending the mandate of the peacekeeping force had not called on the international arena to end the isolation of Turkish Cypriots", Ozgurgun said: "Therefore, it is deficient and this attitude contradicts the Security Council views that the ongoing Cyprus talks should be sped up."
Referring to a report from the UNSG, which said the peacekeeping force is working on the island with the cooperation of the Turkish Cypriot side in the North and that the Turkish Cypriot side has an equal say in resolutions on the future of the peace force within the scope of a possible agreement, Ozgurgun said: "Despite this report, the mandate of the peace force was extended only with the consent of the 'Republic of Cyprus, without the consensus of the Turkish Cypriot side," adding that this is unacceptable.
He said "the term 'Republic of Cyprus' used in the resolution to define the Greek Cypriot administration is an expression that ignores the facts on the island" and referred again to the UNSG's report, which said the opportunity for a settlement is about to be lost and therefore negotiations cannot continue forever. He concluded: "All these views were ignored in the resolution, which also shies away from encouraging the Greek Cypriot side to assume a more positive attitude toward the negotiations."
 Kucuk says the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus exceeds 600 thousandTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (16.12.10) reports that Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, stated that the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus exceeds 600 thousands.
Addressing the "assembly" yesterday during the ongoing debate on the "budget", Kucuk said: "In my view, our population is above 600 thousand. Let us hold a census and you will see."
The paper writes that this statement exacerbated the debate on the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus which never ceased.
Ferdi Sabit Soyer, leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said he was frightened by the fact that the "prime minister" stated that the population is 600 thousands. He added that this means that there are around 200 thousand illegal workers exist in the occupied part of the island. Soyer expressed the view that a population census should be held in 2011 in the occupied part of Cyprus under the supervision of the United Nations.
Referring to the same issue, Ejder Aslanbaba, independent self-styled MP in Trikomo area, said they discussion on population should be based on data. He noted that there are 120 thousand "voters" and expressed the view that the population is 300 thousand, taking into consideration 230 thousand persons who entered the occupied areas of Cyprus through the "known ways", and 70 thousand students and workers.
 Reaction on the 13th salary issue continuesTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.12.10) reports that Irsen Kucuk, speaking in the so-called parliament, said that although faced with economic pressures, his "government" will pay the 13th salary no matter what. He said, "No taxes will be imposed on the 30 thousand pensioners who receive less than 3,000 TL." Instead, taxation will increase on luxury items, betting enterprises and casinos.
Moreover, the so-called minister of finance, Ersin Tatar, stated that they are working in solving the issue and if necessary implement the same solution as last year, drawing an advance from 2011 budget. "Our purpose is to pay the 13th salary on time, but if there is a problem it will only cause a small delay. We are committed, and it is the workers' right."
On the other hand, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (16.12.10) reports that the general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Teacher's Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil, in his written statement described the government as incapable of even paying the 13th salary. He said that the UBP government does not represent them, as they have not dealt with key issues like the increase of population and taxation of capital. Instead, in order to implement orders from Turkey, they impose cuts on workers' salaries and force Turkish Cypriots to migration with the new "Immigration Law." "? The picture before us is not pleasant. Turkish bureaucrats who compare us to Turkey, are oriented to make us poorer and colonize the north of the island," argued Elcil.
According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (16.12.10), the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teacher's Union (KTOEOS), Adnan Eraslan, commenting on the statements of the so-called minister of Finance, said that if he is not able to pay he should resign. He supported that Tatar is trying to prepare society by bringing up such an issue, however, he argued, this subject is indisputable and Tatar must pay the 13th salary. "Otherwise he should leave his chair and go," said Eraslan.
 Turkish Cypriot trade unions to complain to the ILO in AnkaraAccording to the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (16.12.10), a delegation of Turkish Cypriot trade unions is travelling to Ankara to file a complaint with the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Ankara against the Turkey and the occupation regime.
The paper reports that the delegation will convey a letter signed by Cyprus Turkish Unions Federation (TURK-SEN) and 13 trade unions to ILO's officials in Ankara, protesting that "the economic packages Turkey imposes on north Cyprus is contrary to the collective agreements and their vested rights".
 Kibris columnist says a solution in Cyprus does not suit TurkeyWriting in his column in the Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (16.12.10), Serhat Incirli expresses the view that a solution in Cyprus now does not serve Turkey's interests, while it is indispensable for the Turkish Cypriots.
Under the title, "Turkish Cypriots did not deserve this", Incirli notes that absolutely no "government" until now could make the Turkish Cypriots happy and explains why, noting, inter alia, the following:
"?Because being a TRNC government meant nothing else but being able to administer well the instructions given by some civil servants appointed by Turkey and the money it [Turkey] would give. Now the civil servants administer the money as well!
In brief, because the government is not in the full sense responsible for administering this country, it cannot be 'a government in the full sense'. Therefore 'it does not exist'! How could something which does not exist make citizens happy?"
Referring to the statement made by the "ambassador" of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia who said that the Turkish Cypriots should see Turkey like the IMF, Incirli points out that in this case Turkey should be ready to face protests in Cyprus similar to the protests made all over the world against the IMF.
Incirli says that Turkey should clarify if it claims to have some rights on the island of Cyprus, if it will determine the "governments" and the leader in the occupied areas of the island through the transfer and control of population from Anatolia in a manner which is under debate by international law experts and politicians and if it will decide on issues such as the way the Cyprus negotiations should be held, how the taxes should be collected and what the pensions will be.
Incirli goes on to note: "My aim is not to accuse Turkey, but if Turkey is using the Cyprus problem to obtain or lose some advantages in its international relations, then it should clarify this?"
The columnist expresses the view that Turkey's accession to the EU is not possible in the near future and notes that Turkey is not yet "able" to solve issues especially such as the Kurdish question and the Cyprus problem.
He notes, inter alia, the following:
"?Expecting from Turkey the solution of the Cyprus problem in this situation, is tantamount to demanding from it to abandon the most serious trump card it possesses. If it is not going to solve it, it should not put it off by cutting the [financial] resources of the TRNC, which has no other means of support, and enforce [this decision]. Is it not saddening when a civil servant, sent here [Turkey] says that 'you elected your government, now you will pay the price'? The Turkish Cypriots are not enemies of Turkey. No one has the right to try to create hostility. However, Turkey has not the luxury of treating the Turkish Cypriots as if they do not exist or to say 'I do not care if they are annihilated'.
Of course, some people will claim the opposite, but a solution now does not suit Turkey's interests. However, it is very obvious that a solution for us is indispensable?
If someone is responsible for the non-solution, there is also a price for it. And it will be paid! It is an indispensable reality that along with the solution, credits will pour in this country. Neither our pensioners nor the people of our country who wait for their 13th salary deserved this insult."
 Illegal GAU organized an international conference on "Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus"Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (16.12.10) reports that an international conference entitled: "Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus: Cooperation and integration, from the past to the future in the context of economic and social relations", started yesterday at the illegal American University of Kyrenia ("GAU"). The conference is organized with the cooperation of the Department of International Relations and the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the "Faculty of Management and Economics" of the illegal University. The conference concludes today.
Participants in the conference include academics from the occupied areas, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kosovo. The former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, a former deputy prime minister of Turkey and former mayor of Ankara and several Turkish politicians and members of the academic staff of the illegal GAU also participated in the conference.
In his speech during the conference entitled "Turkey in terms of geopolitics and geostrategics: Cyprus and Eastern Mediterranean", the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, stated, inter alia, that the reason for not finding a solution to the Cyprus problem over the past 45 years is because there was not a correct diagnosis of the problem, adding that those who wanted a solution followed a direction which was based on lies.
Rauf Denktas also reiterated his very well known positions on the Cyprus problem and said that the solution to be found in Cyprus should be based on two separate states, and the continuation of Turkey's guarantees.
Murat Karayalcin, a prominent Turkish politician, former foreign minister (1994-1995) and a former mayor of Ankara, explained the strategic importance of the island for the Eastern Mediterranean. He said that Cyprus importance lies in the rich underground resources.
 Settlers group protests in favour of former CTA employeesTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam (16.12.10) reports that newly founded People's Justice Council (HAK) (Review 237, no. A8) protested yesterday outside the former central building of the Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) calling on "the government" not to victimize the former employees of CTA. They also called "the government" to abandon the current economic measures and introduce more realistic ones.
The banners of the protesters said that the situation involved every one, that people should face the situation united and that "we will not accept discrimination in our country."
The spokesperson of the group stated that the protest was held to express support to the former employees of CTA. He said the group will organize actions to oppose the wrong policies which abolish workers' rights under the pretext "economic measures."
[B] TURKISH PRESSThe Turkish press today highlights the meeting between the two leaders in Cyprus in the framework of the comprehensive talks, Davutoglu's meeting with the UN Secretary-General, statements by Egemen Bagis on Turkey's EU accession process and the Cyprus problem and the appointment of Turkey's Ambassador in New Delhi to the post of director of UN's Policy Planning and Mediation Support Unit. Moreover, the paper focus on the Balyoz trial to begin today, the unemployment rate in Turkey which reached 11.3% in July, and a statement by Turkey's Ministry of Finance that the budget deficit in Turkey decreased by 88.3% to 365 million Turkish lira year-on-year in November 2010. Other items in the press include a statement by AKP government that the new arms bill will not be debated during the legislative year and reports on a deal between Turkey and Russia for Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu.
 Ankara expresses its disappointment with the Conclusions of the General Affairs CouncilA Turkish Foreign Ministry press release (No. 278, 14.12.10), regarding the Conclusions of the General Affairs Council (GAC) said: "The accession negotiations, which started in 2005 continue on the basis of the decisions taken unanimously by EU member countries and towards the goal of full membership. The determination of our Government to advance the negotiation process and continue with the reforms, grows stronger with the support of our people.
In the Conclusions of the General Affairs Council (GAC) released today, the strong support for taking the enlargement process forward on the basis of the agreed principles and decisions is reaffirmed. This indicates the countries which will take part in the future of Europe, whose integration is yet to be completed. Turkey is naturally included in this process.
The Conclusions praise Turkey's commitment to the negotiation process and the progress achieved in the field of political reforms, particularly the Constitutional amendment package. In addition, it is registered once again that PKK is on the EU list of terrorist organizations.
Furthermore, while referring to Turkey's active foreign policy, the role which Turkey and the EU can play together in this field is emphasized. In this context Turkey, as a future member country, also expresses that further enhancing and intensifying the strategic dialogue and consultations with Turkey on the EU foreign and security policies would contribute to the implementation of the EU policies in the relevant regions.
The ongoing direct negotiations between the two leaders in Cyprus, the recently increased efforts by the UN Secretary-General for a successful outcome of this process, and Turkey's constructive and encouraging stance to that end are well known. Despite this fact, it is observed that the text contains expressions which are incompatible with international law due to the irrational attitude displayed by one member state again this year. In view of the fact that the place for the settlement of the Cyprus issue is not the EU Council Conclusions but the ongoing comprehensive negotiations conducted under the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General, it is our genuine expectation from our EU member friends to strongly support the process.
Our position on the Readmission Agreement is clear. In the context of the negotiations which we have continued with good faith, the conclusion and initialling of the Readmission Agreement should be carried out in parallel to the initiation of the visa dialogue process between Turkey and the EU Commission towards a visa free regime. Our expectation is well known by our EU partners. Turkey is determined to progress the deliberations regarding the Readmission Agreement in line with this understanding.
Turkey will continue and intensify its efforts towards its final goal, which is EU membership."
 Bagis: "It is cowardly and comical how some EU member countries hide behind the Cyprus problem"Turkish daily Zaman (15.12.10-online version) reported on statements by Egemen Bagis, Turkish Minister of State and Chief Negotiator on Turkey's EU bid, the Cyprus problem and other internal issues.
Addressing the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Bagis evaluated Turkey's EU membership process. Inter alia, he said that from time to time Turkey faces discouraging approaches on the party of Europe concerning its EU membership. He said that Turkey's only expectation from the EU is to adopt a fairer attitude towards Turkey's membership process.
Referring to the Cyprus problem, he said that it was cowardly and comical how some EU member countries hide behind the Cyprus problem.
Bagis also said that Turkey is seriously committed towards its EU accession process and aims to reach EU standards by the 1 January 2014.
 Cyprus discussed by Turkish FM and UN SG; UN chief to attend UN Conference in IstanbulAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 15.12.10) reported from the United Nations' headquarters that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Tuesday ahead of a Security Council session on Iraq. Turkey's Permanent Representative to the UN Ertugrul Apakan and UN Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn also participated in the meeting.
Diplomatic sources, close to the meeting, said Ban thanked Davutoglu for Turkey's constructive and resolute efforts at the Security Council during its two-year non-permanent membership. Sources cited Ban as telling the Turkish foreign minister that the UN chief would participate in the UN's Least Developed Countries Conference in Istanbul in May.
AA, inter alia, reported that Ban and Davutoglu discussed the Cyprus issue, Iraq, the Middle East peace process, Iran's nuclear programme, referendum in Sudan, and the ongoing UN investigation over Israel's deadly raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla last May.
 Turkish diplomat appointed director of UN's Policy Planning and Mediation Support UnitAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 15.12.10) reported that Turkey's Ambassador to New Delhi Levent Bilman has been appointed by the UN Secretary-General as the director of UN's Policy Planning and Mediation Support Unit, the Turkish Foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bilman served as Turkey's permanent representative to the United Nations, and is experienced in crisis management and prevention of conflicts, the statement said.
 "Hungary to promote Turkish EU accession during term presidency"Under the above title, Hurriyet Daily News (15.12.10) reported on statements by the Hungarian Consul-General Andras Gyenge that full European Union membership for Turkey is a very clear and sound objective of Hungary's European Union term presidency, which starts on January 1, 2011. "The Hungarian presidency will focus on keeping the process open for any European country that upholds our common European values and criteria," Gyenge said at a conference at Kadir Has University on Wednesday. "We abide by the principle of impartiality and regard Turkey as a European country that should be in the European Union." He, inter alia, focused on the importance of not simply promoting accession as an open process but also purposefully trying to reach the end target of membership. "We acknowledge Turkey's commitments (?) and believe that the Turkish government will support these efforts and facilitate the ongoing process," he said.
 Turkey plans its first warplaneAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.12.10) reported from Ankara on statements of the Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul who said that they decided to produce the country's first warplane.
Speaking after the four-hour Defence Industry meeting, under the leadership of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Gonul said: "We have been reviewing the offers to meet helicopter requirements of both the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and other public institutions. Since we did not consider the offers of the Sikorksy of the USA and Agusta Westland of Italy as sufficient, we decided to continue talks."
"On the other hand, we have given directives for a war plane project in Turkey for the first time. The plane will be a new generation jet and fly with F16 and F35 jets," he said.
Asked whether Turkey would cooperate with South Korea to manufacture the warplane, Gonul said: "We can cooperate with South Korea. For the time being, we decided to manufacture Turkey's own warplane."
 Turkey approves the project company of a nuclear power plantAnkara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 15.12.10) reported from Istanbul that Russia's deputy prime minister said on Wednesday that Turkey approved the project company of a nuclear power plant to be constructed in the southern province of Mersin.
Igor Ivanovich Sechin said Turkey approved on December 13 the project company, which will operate under Turkish state regulations. "We have agreed with Turkey that the sale tariff of the electricity to be generated in the nuclear power plant will be fairly high, but not as high as we have demanded," Sechin told a joint press conference with Turkey's Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz in Istanbul. Sechin said the power plant will be safe and secure, and the project company will be responsible for security and safety of the power plant, training of the personnel, and efficient use of the plant for 60 years.
According to AA, Russia will build four 1,200-megawatt units on Akkuyu site. Turkish state-owned electricity corporation has guaranteed to buy a fixed amount of the plant's output over the first 15 years starting from initial commercial operation at a reported price of 12.35 US cents per kWh, with the rest of the electricity to be sold on the open market by the project company.
On Samsun-Ceyhan crude oil pipeline project, Sechin said two Russian companies, namely Rostneft and Transneft, are to take part in the project as well as a Turkish and an Italian company. Sechin said the companies are negotiating share of participation among themselves, which seems to be around 25%.
Samsun-Ceyhan pipeline is a planned crude oil pipeline in Turkey from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean oil terminal in Ceyhan. The aim of this project is to provide an alternative route for Russia's and Kazakhstan's oil and to ease the traffic burden in the Istanbul and Canakkale straits.
Also, Sechin said Russia invites all Turkish investors to cooperate in the banking industry, and Russia would be pleased if Turkey shows an interest in purchasing shares of Russia's Vneshtorgbank.
Furthermore, AA reported that in May, Turkey and Russia signed a deal for construction of Turkey's first nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, a small town on the Mediterranean coast, and is expected to cost about $20 billion. Russian state-owned atomic power company ROSATOM is likely to start building the Akkuyu nuclear power plant in 2013 and the first reactor is planned to generate electricity in 2018.
Alexander Lokshin from ROSATOM, Russia's state-owned atomic power corporation, said at a press conference in Istanbul that Akkuyu site will be licensed by the end of 2011.
Lokshin said it was not an expensive price considering a fixed period of nearly 23 years from now. Lokshin ruled out any concerns about Russian technology when asked about a public apprehension in Turkey after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, saying that reactors to be used at Akkuyu were totally different from Chernobyl reactors. He said Russian company understands prejudices and public concerns and that such doubts were caused by public unawareness which could be eliminated by the help of awareness-raising campaigns. On a question about nuclear waste disposal, Lokshin said that nuclear waste would be returned to Russia to be buried.
Moreover, according to AA, Turkey is also in talks with Japan for the construction of another nuclear plant on the north coast of the country. Turkey started talks with Japan last month after a failure of negotiations with South Korea.
 Turkey and Croatia to boost bilateral trade volumeAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.12.10) reported form Istanbul that the Chairman of the Turkey-Croatia Joint Economic Council (JEC), Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, said the council aimed at boosting the trade volume between the two countries up to $1 billion by 2013.
Addressing the Turkish-Croatian Business council in Istanbul, Ergin said Turkey-Croatia JEC aimed to reflect the close and substantial cooperation between the two countries in the political realm to the commercial and economic ties. He said promotion of commercial and economic ties between the two countries required businessmen from the two countries to get together more often. "Our countries --which aim to become centres of attraction in their regions-- can cooperate towards this goal only through trade and investments to be undertaken by the businessmen from the two countries. We believe in concerted development in the region," said Ergin.
Ergin said the bilateral trade volume, which declined from $434 million in 2008 to $330 million in 2009, picked up again in the first 10 months of 2010. He said Turkey and Croatia aimed at boosting their bilateral trade volume up to $1 billion by 2013.
He pointed out that reciprocal investments were also important, adding that the number of Turkish investments and businessmen in Croatia were few when compared to other countries in the region. He said the number of Croatian companies operating in Turkey were only 13.
 "Turkey to buy oil from Nigeria, Ghana through barter scheme"Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (TZ ? 16.12.10) reports that Turkey will be purchasing oil from at least two African countries through a barter scheme arrangement, State Minster for foreign trade Zafer Caglayan announced following a four-day visit to three African countries.
Caglayan, who had talks in Nigeria, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea during his visit to Africa, proposed a barter scheme to his Nigerian and Ghanaian counterparts. Officials in these countries said they would look positively on a deal in which Turkey will purchase oil from both countries and pay for it by investing in tourism, energy, health and other infrastructure. The government has plans to realize similar schemes in other countries in Africa.
Caglayan's meeting with Ghanaian Vice President John Dramani Mahama marks the first official visit from Turkey at a ministerial level to this country in 10 years. Caglayan, speaking about his visit to Ghana along with a group of about 100 businessmen, said Mahama had praised Turkey due to its economic success at a time when most European countries are struggling amidst a crisis. Mahama, inter alia, said direct flights between the two countries would contribute significantly to relations, adding that joint projects by businessmen of the two countries would offer great opportunities. He added: "We don't want Ghana to be an oil-dependant country in the future. We are using petroleum as a resource to invest in and develop other sectors. We have very beautiful beaches. We can make use of this."
State Minister Caglayan said Turkey wants to contribute to the development of Ghana and support its commercial growth, noting that Turkish contractors are extremely interested in the construction sector.
As TZ reported, in a speech at the Ghana-Turkey Business Forum, Caglayan said Turkey and Ghana set their common trade volume goal at $1 billion. He also said the demand in Ghana for housing is about 1 million residential units, adding that Turkish businessmen want to enter this sector.
 HighlightsFollowing are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 15 December 2010:
a) Kurdish question
In an article entitled "An indecent alliance," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Yusuf Kanli sees confusion in the Gulen community and among pro-Kurdish groups after a recent meeting between the lawyers of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan and Huseyin Gulerce, a writer close to the Gulen community who reportedly discussed the possibility of forming an alliance. He concludes by saying that such an "indecent alliance" may be formed in Turkey ahead of the upcoming general election in mid-2011 in spite of 'irritations' within the Gulen community.
In an article in Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok says that Ocalan's lawyers will hold meetings with journalists in order to ensure that a solution to the Kurdish question is devised before the current cease-fire ends in June 2011.
Star columnist Aziz Ustel says that the Gulen community would not agree to form an alliance with the PKK because Fetullah Gulen is strongly opposed to violence and the idea of establishing an autonomous region in southeast Turkey. Describing Ocalan's proposal as an attempt to legitimize the PKK, Ustel says that Ocalan is still able to maintain his influential position because the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party cannot find a charismatic leader who could overshadow Ocalan.
In an article entitled "Apo [Abdullah Ocalan] is trying to find a way out," Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan emphasizes that solutions proposed by nationalist Turkish and Kurdish groups cannot put an end to ethnic strife in Turkey. He says: "We need to find another method. Turks have to recognize the existence, ethnic identity, language, and culture of Kurds while the latter must make efforts to rule the region through elections. Why is it so difficult to admit that Kurds exist as a community and that they have the right to teach their mother tongue to their children?"
b) Turkish-Israeli relations
A report in Hurriyet entitled "Hotline between Ankara and Tel Aviv" quotes a high-ranking Turkish diplomat as saying that various channels are being used to alleviate tension between Turkey and Israel. The same diplomat also pointed out that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has not publicly said that Israel would not offer an apology and pay compensation for its military assault on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla, despite a recent report to the contrary aired by the Israeli army radio.
In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, columnist Mehmet Ali Birand argues that Israeli leaders were unable to interpret correctly Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attitude toward Israel and the Middle East as a whole. He says: "Netanyahu and Liebermann think they can push Turkey around as they please. They are very mistaken." He concludes by saying: "From now on Turkish-Israeli relations will appear to be in worse shape until a new government is formed and the Gaza embargo is lifted. Netanyahu has saved the coalition but was unable to save relations with Turkey."
Cumhuriyet columnist Utku Cakirozer says that a draft document drawn up by Turkish and Israeli diplomats as a result of talks held in Geneva in a bid to normalize bilateral relations has been submitted to the prime ministers of both countries for approval. He says that the draft does not put the legal responsibility for the attack on Israel but it will include the word 'apology.'
c) EU Foreign Ministers' meeting
Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen says that ensuring the continuation of the ongoing accession talks between Turkey and the EU was the most important outcome of the EU Foreign Ministers meeting, although it did not indicate that the negotiations will gain momentum and eventually lead to Turkey's membership. Pointing out that both sides are making efforts to prevent the collapse of the talks for different reasons, Kohen says that the EU is keen to maintain close cooperation with Turkey because it needs Turkey's dynamic economy and influence in her region.
d) United States' alleged role in military's intervention in 1997
Star columnist Samil Tayyar cites passages from the translation of an alleged national security document drawn up in Washington which, he notes, was shown to him by Felicity Party leader Necmettin Erbakan on 13 December. According to Tayyar, the document indicates that the United States encouraged the Turkish military to force the coalition government formed by the now-defunct Welfare Party (RP) and the True Path Party because the RP was following a foreign policy that could damage US national interests. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION