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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-15

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. 50/11 15.03.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Vatan columnist reports that Eroglu said that the "single state, single sovereignty formula" has been withdrawn
  • [02] "Cemil Cicek's government"
  • [03] BKP, YKP and KSP met to establish a common stance
  • [04] Matsis and Afxentiou have been released
  • [05] The "YDU Hospital" signed important protocols in Berlin
  • [06] Cavusoglu on the new legislation approved by Turkey on universities
  • [07] Thirty thousand Turkish settlers from the Black Sea area live in the occupied part of Cyprus
  • [08] Suspect for Afrika shooting remains under custody
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [09] Turkish Cypriot delegation to meet UN officials in Washington
  • [10] Professor cites the wrong policies of Turkey regarding Cyprus
  • [11] Turkey and Russia to reinforce their flourishing ties
  • [12] Turkey and Qatar signed MoU
  • [13] Poll: 60% of Turks against EU accession
  • [14] Erdogan: "We must let the people of Libya shape their own future"
  • [15] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The release of the two European Parliament members, a Turkish Cypriot delegation travelling to Washington in order to meet UN officials, statements by the so-called minister of education regarding the latest protocol recognizing "TRNC universities" in Turkey, scenarios about a coalition government and Turkey appointing the new "TRNC foreign minister," a meeting between YKP, BKP and KSP political parties, discussion in the so-called parliament regarding the former "Cyprus Turkish Airlines," a protest by students of Eastern Mediterranean University for free education, and the trial of Asil Nadir in the UK are the main issues covered in today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Vatan columnist reports that Eroglu said that the "single state, single sovereignty formula" has been withdrawn

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (15.03.11) reports that the management and columnists of the paper had breakfast yesterday with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, who briefed them in detail on the process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. During the one and a half hour meeting Eroglu expressed his views on possible developments in the Cyprus negotiations and responded to questions.

    Columnist Yalcin Cemal comments on the meeting with Eroglu in his article under the title "Breakfast at the presidency". Noting that Eroglu responded to their questions on the negotiations bearing in mind the non-disclosure principle regarding the content of the talks, Cemal noted that Eroglu said absolutely no progress exists on the chapters which constitute the "heart of the problem". Pointing out that no agreement was reached on the chapters of "Governance and Power Sharing", "Property" and "Territory", Cemal adds, inter alia the following:

    "He said the 'single state, single sovereignty formula' has been withdrawn and it was substituted by the 'territorial integrity of the founding states'. And the 'single representation' was included in the international representation. This cannot be a sufficient formula and a way out for the Turkish Cypriot people. No other form of solution except sovereignty will save the Turks of Cyprus? The proposal in the property concerns the validity of the title deeds of the period before 1974. And this is a proposal which will blow bi-zonality and bi-communality up?In the discussion during the breakfast, I gained the impression that there will be no solution in the near future?"

    The columnist reports that the situation of the properties of EVKAF religious foundation was discussed during the breakfast and the journalists found out that the Turkish side carries out a research and a study on the issue of EVKAF property allegedly "treated as being Greek Cypriot" property during the British colonial rule. The columnist claims that this issue should be brought to the negotiating table with "serious arguments".

    Meanwhile, columnist Metin Colak refers to the same issue in his column in Vatan under the title "Meeting with the president". Colak notes that Eroglu referred to the UN Secretary-General's statement that the negotiations in Cyprus could not last forever. Colak reports, inter alia, the following:

    "Eroglu stressed that the statement by the Secretary-General was correct, but it includes a 'threat', because it underlines that 'solution should be reached as soon as possible'. He noted that the Cyprus problem is a problem so complex that cannot be solved soon, that this complex problem becomes more complex because the Greek Cypriot side insists upon proposals and policies which are different than they seem and that the negotiations are dragged into a hopeless deadlock. He said within this framework one of the most important difficulties is experienced on the issue of the population and this cannot be solved somehow. He underlined that some manoeuvres might happen over Varosha that could put the Turkish Cypriot side in a difficult position. The impression I gained is that the esteemed president is not hopeful of the negotiating process?"

    Noting that the slow tempo of the negotiations "increases the feeling of the non-solution", the columnist reports that the current status quo will continue for the near future, because the political situations internationally and in Turkey are not suitable for a fully independent "TRNC".

    Asked by Colak whether the "ice melted" between himself and Prime Minister Erdogan after their meeting during the groundbreaking ceremony of the project for carrying water from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Eroglu responded that there has been no such problem. He said misunderstandings could always happen, but there will be fewer misunderstandings in the future.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] "Cemil Cicek's government"

    Under the above front page headline, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (15.03.11) reports that according to newspaper's sources, the Turkish state minister responsible for Cyprus affairs Cemil Cicek, wants the appointment of Turgay Avci as "TRNC's foreign minister."

    The paper wonders whether nowadays Cicek decides who will become "minister in TRNC" and notes that a "foreign minister" not appointed by the so-called prime minister will follow Cicek's instructions.

    Moreover the paper writes that Avci in his previous term as "foreign minister" and while Talat was the Turkish Cypriot leader, he did not cooperate with Talat harmonically, but instead, without informing Talat and based on orders he received from Ankara was having contacts abroad. The paper argues that it is obvious that the same situation will be repeated and concludes: "Turkey very soon will succeed in having a puppet foreign minister like the kind it prefers."

    The paper also reports that Turgay Avci stated that there was an official proposal for coalition. "UBP's authorized councils will have the final decision. The prime minister wanted time for this subject. We are waiting for UBP's answer. However there are many persons who do not want this coalition," said Avci.

    [03] BKP, YKP and KSP met to establish a common stance

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (15.03.11) reports that the three political parties, the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the New Cyprus Party (YKP) and the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP) held yesterday a meeting in order to evaluate the latest developments in the "country" and determine a common stance about their next steps.

    According to the paper, the initiative for yesterday's meeting was taken by the United Cyprus party.

    In his statement before the meeting, Izzet Izcan, Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) reminded that the meeting was to take place with the participation of political parties which are not represented in the "assembly". He said that their aim is to establish a common stance regarding their next steps and added that it is not only the political parties that can participate in this common effort but also NGOs.

    Izzet Izcan pointed out that according to them the basic problem is the non-solution of the Cyprus problem adding that the national existence struggle which is given by the Turkish Cypriot community is not related only with the packages which are imposed to them or the issue "The UBP should go and another should come", but their aim is to establish a cooperation and a front-line for peace and solution.

    In his turn, Murat Kanatli member of YKP's executive committee said no matter which political party will be in power, they are determined to continue their struggle in the streets.

    Also, Mustafa Onurel, member of KSP's executive committee stated that the struggle experienced in the country during this period against the economic packages is in fact a political struggle and that this has been proven from statements made by the Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Onurel went on to say that it's not enough for some to support the need for the reconstruction of "Turkish-TRNC" relations on the level of give and take money, adding that there are some who support the need for the discussion of "Turkish-TRNC" relations in all dimensions, political, economic and diplomatic.

    Regarding the Cyprus problem, Onurel stated that Turkey is using the Cyprus problem for its strategic interests and added that everyone has realized this by statements made by several Turkish officials.

    [04] Matsis and Afxentiou have been released

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.03.11) reports that the former MEP Giannakis Matsis and the Greek Cypriot civilian Loizos Afxentiou have been released on bail set at 200 Turkish Lira (around 100 Euro) each by the so-called court of the breakaway regime with the "charge" that "they entered a military restricted area without a permit". As the paper reports, the "trial was held at the [occupied] Lefkosia District Court under the presidency of senior judge Fugen Ulutekin", where Matsis and Afxentiou were defended by advocate Oner Serifoglu. According to the paper, in case the two Greek Cypriots had not paid their fine immediately, they would have been sentenced to one-month imprisonment.

    It is also reported that the Greek Cypriot, the Turkish Cypriot and the Turkish media showed great interest for the "trial".

    The two Greek Cypriots were arrested on Saturday because they entered without a permit in the fenced-off city of Varosha, together with two Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from Poland, one MEP from Bulgaria, one MEP from Cyprus, the Representative of the Greek Orthodox Church in Brussels Bishop Porfyrios and a priest named Savvas.

    [05] The "YDU Hospital" signed important protocols in Berlin

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (15.03.11) reports that the hospital of the illegal Near East University (YDU) is continuing its promotion campaign in order to promote the "TRNC" abroad as a safe destination for health tourism.

    As the paper writes, a delegation composed by five persons from the illegal Near East University Hospital (YDU), represented the occupation regime at the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair which took place in Berlin.

    According to a statement made by the hospital of illegal YDU, a delegation from the "university" held contacts in Berlin with several tourist operators who are getting active with the field of health tourism as well as with several tourism professionals and signed important agreements for the years 2011-2012.

    The statement says that the "YDU" delegation has signed an agreement with German tourist operators which provisions for bringing 15.000 tourists from Germany in the occupied areas, to be accommodated in several hotels. Also the agreement foresees the organization of special tours in order for the tourists to be able to inspect and have a look at the hospital of the illegal YDU.

    The paper adds that the illegal YDU has also signed a protocol with one of the biggest tourist operators in Azerbaijan. The protocol gives the opportunity to people from Azerbaijan to visit with their families the occupied areas for holidays and to have a high level standard treatment at the hospital of the illegal YDU.

    (AK)

    [06] Cavusoglu on the new legislation approved by Turkey on universities

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.03.11) reports on statements by the so-called education minister Nazim Cavusoglu regarding a legislation approved by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul that foresees "the approval of an international agreement allowing the mutual recognition of universities established in accordance with the law of the TRNC".

    Speaking during a press conference, Cavusoglu said that the approval of this law that provides the possibility of mutual recognition of the universities operating in Turkey and the "TRNC" is a great proof that the Turkish Republic and the Council of Higher Education (YOK) are by the side of the "TRNC universities". As Cavusoglu added, with this development, just as the students of Turkish origin take their diplomas from the Turkish universities, in the same way, the diplomas given by the "TRNC universities" will be valid as well. "There will not be any need for approval by YOK," he noted.

    Cavusoglu further said that in this way, the "TRNC universities" will raise their education standards and qualities because they will feel the need to be more liable to YOK's standards and because they will be under YOK's supervision. In addition, the academic standards of the "TRNC universities" will be subjected to the annual evaluation of a joint committee which will consist by the "Higher Education Planning, evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council" (YODAK) of the breakaway regime and Turkey's YOK.

    [07] Thirty thousand Turkish settlers from the Black Sea area live in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.03.11) reports that Arif Ozbayrak, chairman of the "Cultural Association of the Turkish settlers from the Black Sea" area living in the occupied part of Cyprus, has said that 30 thousand persons from the above-mentioned area live in the Turkish occupied part of the island. The association held its traditional winter ball last Saturday at the illegal "Eastern Mediterranean University's" Beach Club with the participation of 550 persons. Folkloric songs and dances were included in the program of the event.

    In a short statement during the evening, Arif Ozbayrak said that the aim of the establishment of their association is to develop their cultural bonds and continue their traditions. He explained that they organize this kind of activities every year in order to bring together the 30 thousand people from the Black Sea area living in the occupied part of Cyprus and continue their traditions.

    Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) and Ejder Aslanbaba, "MP" with the National Unity Party (UBP) were among the participants in the event.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Suspect for Afrika shooting remains under custody

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (15.03.11) reports that the occupied Lefkosia district court ordered Emirali Bata, who is under suspicion he is the hitman and instigator of the attack at Afrika offices on 25th of February, to remain under police custody for further eight days, since his release could affect the ongoing investigations. The other suspect who was arrested, Feza Bilir, was released.

    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Main issue in today's Turkish newspapers are the statements by Turkish officials during the "Leaders of Change 2011 Summit" held in Istanbul, as well as the Turkish Premier Erdogan's three-day visit to Russia accompanied by seven ministers, a number of bureaucrats and businessmen. Moreover, the deliberations of the Turkish-Ukrainian Business Council meeting in Istanbul, a meeting between the Turkish EU Chief Negotiator Bagis and the European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice President Matthias Kollatz-Ahnen in Ankara, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the exploration and production of natural gas in Qatar signed between Turkey's state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Qatari Gas, and other internal issues are also covered by the press.

    [09] Turkish Cypriot delegation to meet UN officials in Washington

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.03.11), members of a Turkish Cypriot delegation involved with the Cyprus peace negotiations are set to travel to Washington to meet with UN officials over property issues.

    The Turkish Cypriot delegation and UN officials will discuss technical aspects of property issues such as swap, redress and return of real estates in a partnership Cypriot state.

    [10] Professor cites the wrong policies of Turkey regarding Cyprus

    Under the title "The 'problem of Turkey' in Cyprus", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (15.03.11) publishes the following analysis by Professor Levent K?ker, lecturer at Gazi University:

    "Cyprus saw another rally last week after the first one, held on Jan. 28, that created much heated public debate. Although some differences can be identified between the first and second rallies, particularly with respect to an anti-Turkey stance, which was clearly salient in the first one, this 'problem' persists.

    Here, the 'problem' is perceived as the discontent of the Cypriot people about an 'economic package' that originates from Turkey -- which we may call the 'immediate cause' of both rallies. Even some Cypriot columnists tend to argue that the primary purpose of the rallies is to demand that the level of welfare -- which they have been maintaining thanks to the resources sent from Turkey -- should be sustained. However, this is not the real 'problem'.

    The problem has something to do with the Turkish Cypriots' demand for self-government and is basically related to the fact that Turkey's presence in Cyprus has been built so as to prevent such demands from being fulfilled. In other words, it is the 'problem of Turkey in Cyprus' and this problem can be discerned only by understanding the historical errors made in Turkey s Cyprus policies. Before going any further, I must note that after the first rally held on Jan. 28, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutolu told reporters he had started to reflect on  what went wrong in Cyprus. There are lots of mistakes and not all of them have been made today, and it can even be argued that the current situation is the result of these past errors.

    One grave mistake was the division of Cyprus along the yet-to-be-agreed-upon borders contrary to the provisions of the Treaty of Guarantees after the military operation of July 20, 1974. As you may recall, the Greek military junta of 1967-1974 used its supporters in Cyprus to overthrow the constitutional order on the island and, in response, Turkey launched a military operation on the island invoking its rights under the treaties of 1959-1960.

    Turkey's intervention was justified by Article IV of the Treaty of Guarantees, which reads: 'In the event of a breach of the provisions of the present treaty, Greece, Turkey and the United Kingdom undertake to consult together with respect to the representations or measures necessary to ensure observance of those provisions. In so far as common or concerted action may not prove possible, each the three guaranteeing powers reserve the right to take action with the sole aim of re-establishing the state of affairs created by the present treaty.' The main interest to us here is the last sentence. Turkey took action alone, but the end result of this intervention was to create a new and "independent" state -- the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) -- recognized only by Turkey and established contrary to the provisions of the Treaty of Guarantees. Thus, although we were perfectly justified in taking action, we ended up in an unjust situation before the international law.

    The second error is connected to the first. The KKTC's declaration of independence came on Nov. 15, 1983, nine days after Turkey's general elections of Nov. 6, 1983, won by late Prime Minister Turgut ?zal. People who tended to make assertive statements, such as 'The homeland and the little land cherish an indivisible unity', opted to declare an independent state on the island even before seeing the Cyprus policy of the first civilian government to be established after military rule in the 'homeland', and this point is worth questioning.

    It is hard to imagine that the military rule in Turkey at the time had not approved of the establishment of the KKTC. But would the democratically elected ruling Motherland Party (ANAP) and its leader Ozal approve of it as well? In the end, the establishment of an independent KKTC has clearly urged Turkey to move away from the target of establishing a federation -- which would call for acting together with the international community, and particularly the United Nations -- and approach the idea of establishing a loose "confederation" between two independent 'nation-states'.

    The third mistake was Turkey's transfer of population from Turkey to the island just before the declaration of the KKTC's independence. International law in general and the Geneva Conventions of 1949 clearly prohibit any country that conveyed its military troops to any land from transferring its population to the said land. That the international community did not opt for imposing effective sanctions on Turkey in this context does not invalidate the fact that Turkey's systematic population transfer in the post-1974 period violated international law.

    At the time, Turkey concluded that the republic established in 1960 could no longer be maintained and wanted to reinforce the way leading to the establishment, first of the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, and then of the KKTC, by changing the population balance on the island. This 'population transfer' not only led to some unwanted socio-cultural consequences but also enabled some people and groups who had problems with the legal system in Turkey to migrate to the island, particularly after 1980. This was facilitated by the practice of allowing ordinary Turkish citizens to freely travel to the island using only their ID cards despite the fact that passports would be needed to do so just after the military intervention of 1974.

    We cannot change the past, of course. As an active power in the north of the island since 1974, Turkey might choose to build its population policy on luring more Turkish Cypriots, the majority of whom opted to become Turkish citizens in 1923 and were, for this reason, pushed into leaving their homeland, back to the island, and, in this way, Turkey may save itself from pursuing policies that are ironically similar to the violent methods of the National Organization of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA) and more 'peaceful' methods of Makarios III seeking to ensure that the Turkish Cypriots leave the island.

    The fourth error was to change the procedure used in the exporting of goods produced in northern Cyprus and to try to put the KKTC into line. This change, which came in the 1990s, evolved to be an obstacle in front of the exports of goods produced in northern Cyprus, causing the Turkish Cypriots to become more and more isolated and produce less and less, thereby becoming more dependent on Turkey. The role of embargoes in increasing the Turkish Cypriots' dependence on Turkey cannot be denied, but the abovementioned change had a much more direct impact on it. The KKTC is currently connected to the external world almost exclusively through Turkey, and this creates a huge imbalance to the disadvantage of the KKTC. Just look at the figures -- from either Turkey's or the KKTC's public institutions -- and you will see that Turkey's exports to the KKTC are 10 times higher than its imports from the KKTC. Thus, one of the placards the protesters carried during the recent anti-Turkey rallies suggested that Turkey was giving one, but taking back five.

    The fifth, and probably the gravest, error was to prevent the comprehensive settlement project known as the Annan plan from being voted on in a referendum before the EU accession of the Republic of Cyprus.

    While the brainchild of this obstacle in the 2003-2004 period was Rauf Denkta, the high military bureaucracy s approach, apart from the ruling Justice and Development Party s (AK Party) mentality that rejects the motto  Deadlock is the best solution , also played a decisive role in this. In the end, very little change has come about in favor of Turkish Cypriots who said 'yes' to the plan, and Turkey's presence on the island continues with no change.

    It is possible to list other or more recent errors and argue that the AK Party has increased the 'alienation' between Cyprus and Turkey by recently shifting toward a more nationalist stance and interfering in the domestic political processes in Cyprus. Thus, it is clear that there is now a visible 'Turkey problem' in Cyprus, effected by a number of factors during the historical process. This problem is confirmed by the presence of a group of people who tend to perceive Turkey's presence in Cyprus as a form of domination that can no longer be justified.

    Whether this group is big or marginal is not important. The important thing is that a vital component of the Cyprus issue has emerged as the 'problem of Turkey in Cyprus' and, this time, in the KKTC. The flags of the 'Republic of Cyprus' -- designed by a Turkish Cypriot -- waved during the first rally were seized by the police during the second rally, and those who called on the EU about this incident complain about the 'KKTC's police' that seized the flags of the Republic of Cyprus, a member of the EU. You may or may not be aware that the police officers in the KKTC are subordinated to a military commander who is assigned by Turkey. Isn't this another error?"

    [11] Turkey and Russia to reinforce their flourishing ties

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 14.03.11), under the title "Turkey to cultivate political and trade links through PM's Russia visit", reports that Turkey and Russia are preparing to take another giant step to reinforce their flourishing ties as Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pays a landmark trip to Moscow to co-chair the second meeting of the Turkish-Russian high-level strategic council

    Erdogan's landmark visit to Russia signals the two countries' willingness to shift toward cooperation instead of the competition that dominated the 1990s, according to observers.

    "Both Turkey and Russia have redefined each other and are geared toward cooperation by leaving aside redundant competition", Habibe Ozdal of the Ankara-based think tank USAK told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Monday.

    Erdogan, who will begin his two-day visit on Tuesday, is being accompanied by six ministers and close to 150 businesspeople.

    The Prime Minister will attend a dinner given by the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday before addressing the Turkish-Russian Business Forum. The next day, Erdogan will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Russian Diplomacy Academy and hold bilateral talks with Medvedev, diplomatic sources said.

    Later in the day he, together with Medvedev, will co-chair the second meeting of the Turkish-Russian high-level strategic council Ankara established as part of its "zero problems" policy with its neighbours. The first meeting took place in Ankara in May 2010.

    The Prime Minister is also expected to hold talks with the Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and then travel to Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, before returning home on Thursday.

    Among the six ministers accompanying Erdogan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z will be included.

     Turkish-Russian relations have reached a [high] level compared to the past when the two were competing in almost every field", Sinan Ogan, head of another Ankara-based think tank, T?RKSAM, told the Daily News.

    Political relations, however, are still not as warm as the countries' burgeoning economic and energy links. "It will take time to build confidence and eliminate lingering disagreements between the two countries over the Cyprus and Karabakh questions", said Ozdal.

    Turkey and Russia are also working to remove bilateral visa requirements. The Russian parliament recently passed a readmission agreement that would open the way for visa-free travel between the countries; the project will be put into force once the agreement is ratified by the Turkish Parliament.

    [12] Turkey and Qatar signed MoU

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.03.11), Turkey's Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek and Qatar's Minister of Business & Commerce Jasim bin Abd al-Aziz Al Thani signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Doha regarding Joint Economic Commission meetings.

    Under the MoU, state-owned Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) and Qatari Gas will carry out joint works on joint prospecting and production in Qatar.

    The MoU said the parties reviewed the measures that would be taken by Turkey and Qatar to boost and diversify relations and assessed the studies to establish an Exhibition Center in Qatar for Turkish Exporters' products.

    Under the MoU:

    -Turkey and Qatar will boost relations in free trade regions and economic zones.

    -Investors of both countries will be encouraged to carry out joint works in Turkey, Qatar and third countries.

    -Both countries will exert efforts to solve the problems which potential investors may meet.

    -Parties will boost cooperation to protect intellectual property rights.

    -Relations will be improved to further boost current cooperation volume on construction business services and relations between the private sectors of the two countries will be strengthened to initiate cooperation in third countries.

    -The parties will sign a Memorandum of Understanding on standardization.

    -A joint meeting will be held to assess the matters including the signing of an agreement regarding shipment of LNG from Qatar to Turkey, the establishment of LNG re-gasification facility in Turkey, and the establishment of a joint venture by TPAO and Qatar Gas to initiate exploration and production activities in Qatar.

    [13] Poll: 60% of Turks against EU accession

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (15.03.11) reports that the majority of Turks are against the country's accession into the European Union, according to a poll conducted by the Turkish-German Foundation for Education and Scientific Research (TAVAK).

    Some of the results were published by the German journal Focus, saying that 60% of the Turks are against EU entry and only 35% believe that Turkey will eventually enter the union, the Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.

    A total of 1.540 respondents participated in the survey, Anatolia said. According to the results, 30% of the respondents say that Turkey's entry is primarily being blocked by France, while 23.5% see Germany as the barrier.

    [14] Erdogan: "We must let the people of Libya shape their own future"

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.03.11), delivering the opening remarks of the "Leaders of Change Summit" taking place at the Istanbul Congress Center, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the leaders of the world were in a position to change the world together through compromise, tolerance based on sharing and solidarity.

    "We have witnessed in the past that interventions from the outside, and especially military methods, did not solve any problems and instead made the situation worse", Erdogan said.

    Accordingly, a possible NATO intervention in Libya or in any other country would be useless and could lead to very dangerous consequences, Erdogan stressed.

    Everybody must do whatever is possible so that violence in Libya ends. However, we must let the people of Libya shape their own future, Erdogan said.

    As Turkey, we are closely monitoring the situation in the region. We are not interfering in domestic issues of any other country but rather we are making advices based on our experiences, Erdogan said.

    [15] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 14 March 2011:

    Arab unrest ? Libya

    "From Turkic republics to the Middle East", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac asserts that in relation to the Arab world in transition, Turkey is repeating some of the "mistakes" it made in response to the Central Asian Turkish republics' declaration of their independence following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Cataloguing these "mistakes," he asserts that "we are trying to represent our relations with the West as a blessing" to Arab countries, that "what used to be our role as an 'elder brother' vis-?-vis Turkic republics has turned into a mission to serve as a model" for Arab countries, and that Turkey unrealistically expects to solve regional issues based on its Western-dictated concepts of democracy, human rights, and secularism.

    Paul Salem in an article entitled "Turkey should participate in Libyan no-fly zone" in Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review, advises Turkey to play a leading role in implementing a no fly zone over Libya despite its business interest in that country, adding that "this is a time to put principle and long-term strategic interests of stability and regional democratization above business and other narrow interests".

    "Regarding the back stage of the dictatorial regimes toppled in the Arab world" in Cumhuriyet, Huseyin Bas assesses the role of Europe and especially of the United States in the uprisings in the Arab world. Noting that the United States does not intend to lose its allies Bahrain and Yemen because of its military bases in those countries, Bas argues that despotic rulers are protected so long as they are useful and cast aside when their due dates come, as was the case in Egypt. In conclusion, the writer predicts that al-Qadhafi's days are numbered.

    With the exception of Sarkozy's call for war, Europe is in favour of a UN Security Council, UNSC, decision for a possible military intervention in Libya, writes Cem Sey in his article entitled "Intervention" in Taraf, adding that similar views can be heard in Washington and Russia as well. It seems that with the exception of Sarkozy no one wants to be the first to intervene in Libya, underlines the writer, noting that now the ball is in the Arab court. Referring to the call the Arab League made to the UNSC, Sey believes that if a resolution emerges then NATO can take action paralyzing al-Qadhafi's air forces. Noting that the EU cannot allow the civil war in Libya to continue for long, Sey continues: "Such a war will also affect Europe's stability and its economy. On the other hand, an intervention in Libya will be effective not only in that country but in all the Arab countries." Viewing Turkey's difficult position on the issue, the writer underlines that Ankara is on one hand trying to protest the interests of Turkish citizens and firms working in Libya and on the other is trying not to antagonize NATO and the EU, adding, however, that there is no doubt that the Ankara government will be in full harmony with the NATO stand on the issue and will stand by a decision to intervene in Libya if such a decision is made.

    Arrest of Journalists

    "I am free, you are free, he is free", Zaman columnist Fehmi Koru comments on the recent protest marches organized by a "negligible number" of journalists in response to the arrests of Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik in the Ergenekon investigation. He describes the members of the news media who are taking part in these protests as a homogeneous group. He also argues that the way to address press freedom issues in Turkey is to change the current media system so that journalists and media outlets could not serve as "facilitators" of military takeovers, a role that he claims part of the press has been playing ever since the coup on 27 May 1960.

    "Keeping the momentum - but how?", Today's Zaman, columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that the "wave of reactions from abroad" against the arrest of a number of journalists in the Ergenekon investigation "falls strangely short of [...] highlighting the profound problems" in the Turkish media caused by "unethical behaviour." He also explains what is wrong with Prime Minister Erdogan's "chosen path" and claims that his "recent toughness means he will need to refresh confidence among those who voted yes in the referendum."

    "Shall we take the New York Times seriously?", Today's Zaman, columnist Ihsan Dagi accuses The New York Times and The Washington Post of "biased reporting" in criticizing the detention and arrests of some journalists in "the Erdogan government's seemingly out-of-control conspiracy investigations."

    "What does journalism have to do with all this?", Milli Gazete, columnist Ekrem Kiziltas asserts that the European and US news media are trying to protect their vested interests in Turkey rather than endeavouring to promote freedom of the press in criticizing the arrest of some journalists on Ergenekon-related charges. He also calls on certain media tycoons in Turkey who "engage in journalism not in name of serving the people but for the sake of manipulating the masses" to stop "confusing freedom of the press with the freedom to do whatever you want."

    "Should people be free to destroy democracy?", Bugun, columnist Gultekin Avci responds to a recent Bugun article by Gulay Gokturk which criticized Gultekin for his defence of the latest arrests in the Ergenekon probe based on the current Counter-Terrorism Law. Avci asserts that while he believes the current Press Law should be amended in favour of the news media so as to make clear under what circumstances freedom of the press could be restricted, he will always be opposed to any efforts to represent "[media] conspiracies against the nation's will" as an exercise of freedom of the press.

    Milliyet columnist Asli Aydintasbas in her article relates an interview she conducted with Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of the Peace and Democracy Party, BDP, who argues that defending journalists and their right to the freedom of expression is not tantamount to siding with Ergenekon. Referring to the Ergenekon and Sledgehammer trials, Demirtas states that although these two investigations are perceived as a settling of accounts with the deep state in the Southeast, the period prior to 2003, which is the period that has caused the most suffering for the Kurdish people, is not being investigated.

    The arrests of journalists Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik were the last straws that broke the camel's back for the domestic and foreign circles that are interested in freedoms in Turkey, writes Semih Idiz in an article entitled "Turkey's damaged prestige" in Milliyet, adding that recent developments have shown that the "advanced democracy concept" of the AKP and that of the real democrats in Turkey and the world are very different. The harsh criticism levelled by Prime Minister Erdogan against the European Parliament report is an indication that the government will not be exerting efforts to rectify the situation, maintains Idiz, adding that on the issue of the freedom of the press Turkey is the focal point of the free world as a country with a "backward democracy."

    "The other Turkish model" in Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Soner Cagaptay sends a sarcastic memo to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt advising the organization on how to win in the elections by taking Turkey as a model. The model the writer proposes is based on the AKP government's successful crackdown on the media after being elected in 2002, ensuring nearly a decade of unbroken AKP rule in Turkey.

    Sledgehammer Trial

    "Whose head was the sledgehammer supposed to be slammed on?", Yeni Akit columnist Kenan Alpay argues that the ongoing Sledgehammer coup trial should be seen as a platform for raising a powerful objection to militarism, coup attempts, "official ideology terrorism," and "threats and disinformation campaigns" aimed at perpetuating "military tutelage." He claims that the architects behind the alleged coup plot called "operation sledgehammer" are trying to "bring new players to the fore" by organizing "so-called civilian protests" against the apprehension of a number of senior generals suspected of involvement in anti-government conspiracies or the arrest of journalists Nedim Sener and Soner Yalcin in the recent operations against OdaTV. He also warns that the forces behind these conspiracies are still lying in wait for an opportunity to carry out their plans and asserts that for this reason "we should not hesitate to slam a sledgehammer down on the head of this junta."

    PKK

    According to a report by Suleyman Kaya and Mehmet Aktaran in Hurriyet, the PKK is reported to be behind the armed attack launched against famous Kurdish singer Ibrahim Tatlises last night.

    Muhsin Kizilkaya, one of the Kurdish intellectuals threatened by Abdullah Ocalan, grants an interview to Star's Fadime Ozkan saying that the PKK was caught unprepared for the peace process. The reason why the PKK and its circles harbor such a grudge against the Justice and Development Party, AKP, is their perception that the party has taken the Kurds away from them, explains Kizilkaya. Commenting on Karayilan's recent statements, Kizilkaya argues that he has experience in war but not in peace and that, therefore, is not managing the peace process well. Noting that the disarmament of the PKK can be achieved by no one other than Ocalan, Kizilkaya advises to raise the level of negotiations being conducted with Ocalan in a bid to achieve results. On the issue of the Kurdish language, Kizilkaya says the following: "The Kurdish issue cannot be resolved without resolving the language issue. You can liquidate the PKK, Ocalan might die, the others might get old, but as long as the Kurdish language issue is unresolved the Kurdish issue will remain unresolved

    One cannot deny that the southeast has turned into a bomb that can explode any moment, observes Can Atakli in the first section of his article entitled "Something is being concealed from the people in the southeast" in Vatan, questioning the reasons behind the PKK decision to end its non-action period. The writer continues: "PKK spokesmen want the 'promises that have been made to be kept.' This is the strange part. What were the promises made, who made them, why are these promises not being kept, or why is there an impression that they will not be kept? Is the state holding special talks beyond those we are informed about and is it making certain promises? It is the right of the entire nation to be informed." Atakli goes on to detail the fears of AKP whips: "This is the scenario they fear: What will happen if the PKK, which has been staging protests with some 300-500 people until now, gathers some 300,000 people in the squares of Diyarbakir and continues these actions day and night? It is impossible for the state to remain silent in the face of such a development. However, what would the consequences be?"

    The recent statement issued by Ocalan can be interpreted to mean that the PKK decision of non-action is null and void, maintains Cevdet Askin in an article in Radikal, adding that with his statement Ocalan has sent Qandil the message that he is the one who makes the decisions. His remarks on Sivan Perwer have conveyed the message that the emergence of "potential" interlocutors other than the PKK will be prevented, argues Askin, concluding: "When Ocalan's description of the talks being held with state officials in Imrali as 'a historical opportunity' is taken into consideration, one can observe that he will not allow the PKK to pull the trigger in the event those contacts continue despite his 'threatening' remarks aimed at pressuring Ankara." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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