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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-03-18

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. 53/11 18.03.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Statements by Eroglu from Tarsus; He called on Azerbaijan to launch direct flights to the occupied areas
  • [02] The breakaway regime confiscates 204 religious books destined for the Greek Cypriot schools in occupied Rizokarpasso
  • [03] Serdar Denktas: "The negotiations must end"
  • [04] Cakici says that a "primitive democracy" exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus; He opposes to the building of skyscrapers in Keryneia
  • [05] "MP"s to have contacts in Brussels
  • [06] "Soyer quits"
  • [07] The CTP is reportedly withdrawing its support to the Trade Unions' Platform
  • [08] International Underwater Photography and Film Festival
  • [09] Arasta shop owners: "If it was not for the Greek Cypriot and Russian clients, we would have gone bankrupt a long time ago"
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [10] Bagis reiterates that Turkey did not take seriously the EP Report
  • [11] The German Ambassador to Ankara says that Turkey has to solve the Cyprus problem to continue with its EU bid
  • [12] British Ambassador: We support Turkey's EU membership bid
  • [13] Turkey steps in to calm Bahrain spat
  • [14] Debate on the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu
  • [15] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Eroglu's statements in Tarsus, Serdar Denktas calling for two states, "customs officers of TRNC" confiscate books destined for the occupied Rizokarpaso Greek Cypriot school, Cakici comments about "primitive democracy" in the occupied areas, Soyer's announcement that he will not be a candidate for CTP's chair, an international festival and symposium in DAU and other internal issues are the main topics in today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Statements by Eroglu from Tarsus; He called on Azerbaijan to launch direct flights to the occupied areas

    According to illegal Bayrak (17.03.11), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in his statements to reporters during an event in the Turkish town of Tarsus has emphasized that the Turkish Cypriot side was not sitting at the negotiations table with the aim of pleasing the Greek Cypriot side but to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots and motherland Turkey.

    Eroglu repeated the fact that the Turkish Cypriots and the Turkish nation were inseparable.

    Referring in his speech to the Turkish Cypriot's loyalty to their homeland and motherland, Eroglu recalled the days of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus.

    Complaining that the Greek Cypriot side was being rewarded despite of its rejection of all solution plans, he added that the Turkish Cypriots have been the spearhead for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Eroglu also pointed out that the Cyprus issue was being used to create an obstacle in the way of Turkey's EU accession. "The Greek Cypriot side and Greece are the creators of the Cyprus problem but they are in the EU. Turkey's membership on the other hand is not certain even if the Cyprus problem is solved" he said.

    Following the event in front of the Ataturk monument, Eroglu then attended the inauguration ceremony of a park named after him.

    Speaking there, he said that he was honoured to see the attention shown to him by the people of Tarsus.

    Touching upon the Cyprus issue, he said that the solution of the Cyprus problem remained uncertain but noted that the Turkish Cypriots were living in security and peace under Turkey's effective guarantee.

    Within the framework of his others contacts in Tarsus, Eroglu also attended a ceremony at the city's train station where the arrival of the founder of modern Turkey Mustafa Kemal Ataturk to the town was re-enacted.

    Before his departure for the "TRNC" in the afternoon, he also attended the inauguration of a bridge named after the late Azeri President Haydar Aliyev.

    Moreover, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (18.03.11), Eroglu within the framework of his contacts in Tarsus held also contacts with Azeri officials.

    Addressing the Azeri delegation, Eroglu said that he would be pleased to see them visiting the "TRNC" and added that he might also pay a visit to Azerbaijan. He then made a call to Azerbaijan to launch direct flights to the occupied areas.

    (AK)

    [02] The breakaway regime confiscates 204 religious books destined for the Greek Cypriot schools in occupied Rizokarpasso

    Under the title "Now a book crisis will come up", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.03.11) reports that the breakaway regime confiscated 204 religious books destined for the Greek Cypriot primary and secondary schools in occupied Rizokarpasso village. According to a statement issued yesterday by the so-called Security Forces Command, the books were found on 17 March at occupied Pergamos village barricade in the car of George Elia, who works as a teacher in the above-mentioned schools.

    According to the statement, Michael Loizides, director responsible for religious affairs at the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Cyprus, and Papageorgios Ioannides, Metropolitan Bishop of occupied Trimithounta were passengers in the same car. The paper writes that the "customs officers" did not allow for the books to be carried into the occupied areas of Cyprus, because books are subject to customs duty. The three Greek Cypriots were allowed to go to occupied Rizokarpasso.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (18.03.11) refers to the issue under the title "Islamic fanaticism, ban to Jesus", and writes that those who say that there is freedom of religion in the occupied areas of Cyprus did not allow the entrance of Greek Cypriot religious books into the northern part of the island.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan (18.03.11) covers the issue under the banner front page title "Provocation by the priests once more" and alleges that after the incident at the occupied closed city of Varosha another "provocation" was organized by the Greek Cypriots, who intend to use these "provocations" against Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Serdar Denktas: "The negotiations must end"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis (18.03.11) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), has said that the policy followed in the Cyprus talks should change. In a statement issued yesterday, Denktas argued, inter alia, the following: "The negotiations must end. Any solution that will be reached by force will lead us to the mountains again with guns in our hands".

    Denktas alleged that the only solution is for the sides to accept that they could not share the same state, declare this openly and reach an agreement only on the issue of territory and property. He claimed that the sides should continue their way as "two states" in the other issues. "We have no other way out", he claimed.

    Referring to the rallies organized by the Turkish Cypriots on 28 January and 2 March 2011, Denktas said that the first was organized against the package of economic measures, and the second to protest the statements made against the Turkish Cypriots. He argued that some persons, who describe the participants in the rallies as "opponents of Turkey", made an effort to obtain political gains by causing conflict between the people.

    Denktas said that if the economic measures are not withdrawn by 25 March, the Trade Unions' Platform will launch various regional activities, which will continue until the resignation of the National Unity Party (UBP) "government".

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Cakici says that a "primitive democracy" exists in the occupied areas of Cyprus; He opposes to the building of skyscrapers in Keryneia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (18.03.11) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has said that a radical change is needed in the occupied areas of Cyprus, where the entire system should change.

    In statements yesterday during a meeting with representatives of the "Communal Dialogue and Change Initiative", Cakici expressed the view that the "constitution" and the "laws" of the breakaway regime should change and reforms should be made.

    Cakici said that a population census should be held, the uncontrolled flow of population should stop and "laws" should be prepared in the direction of the Turkish Cypriots administrating themselves.

    Noting that "elections" should be held after the system is reformed, Cakici pointed out that holding "elections' without making any changes will bring no result.

    Cakici said that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, is not a modern "country" and pointed out that democracy in the "country" is primitive.

    Speaking on behalf of the Initiative, Ergun Olgun, member of the Pendathaktylos Group, said that the aim of the Initiative, which has been established by four organizations, is to search for ways of providing solution to the problems that exist in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Olgun noted that they visited the TDP in order to invite it to the "Communal Dialogue and Change Forum", which they will organize on 22 and 23 March 2011 within this framework.

    Furthermore, Ortam (18.03.11) reports that Cakici met also with Sumer Aygin, "mayor" of occupied Keryneia yesterday. Both said that they oppose to the building of skyscrapers in Keryneia. Cakici noted that building skyscrapers in Keryneia would be tantamount to "assassinating" the city, which has a special historical, cultural and natural tissue.

    Aygin said that the limitation which existed regarding the height of the buildings in Keryneia has been abolished with changes in some "decrees" and that is why the "municipality" exerts efforts to prevent the destruction of the character of the city and expects support from various organizations. He noted that plans exist for building three skyscrapers in Keryneia, the one of which will be 111-meter high.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] "MP"s to have contacts in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.03.11) reported that the so-called assembly approved yesterday unanimously the participation of Ergun Serdaroglu, "MP" with UBP in occupied Keryneia and Teberruken Ulucay, "MP" with CTP in occupied Famagusta to a delegation which is to have contacts in Brussels on March 29- April 1 with the European Parliament's contact group for relations with the Turkish Cypriots.

    (AK)

    [06] "Soyer quits"

    Under the above front page title, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (18.03.11) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer who has been the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) for the past two terms, plans to step down during the next general assembly of the party.

    According to the newspaper, Soyer announced his decision in CTP's "parliamentary" meeting. He said that he will not be a candidate for CTP's chair, under this condition: to implement a presidential council system. Soyer proposed a system which will consist of a chairman and assistants like socialist workers parties in France and England and said that such a system will enable more people to lead the party.

    The paper also notes that the race for the leadership of CTP will start and two of the most prominent candidates are the so-called Keryneia MP Omer Kalyoncu and the so-called Lefkosia MP Ozkan Yorgancioglu,

    [07] The CTP is reportedly withdrawing its support to the Trade Unions' Platform

    Under the title "Towards a Platform with the CTP', Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (18.03.11) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) is annoyed by the efforts of some trade unions, members of the Trade Unions' Platform, to organize activities such as raiding into the "assembly" of the breakaway regime and displaying banners against Turkey in Brussels.

    According to the paper, the attitude of the CTP is not positive to statements made by some members of the Platform that "the Trade Unions' Platform should come to power". A source close to CTP told the paper that the party thinks that this view "is tantamount to a coup".

    The paper writes that the chairman of CTP, Ferdi Sabit Soyer do not clearly confirms that such a problem exists, but he somehow confirmed that disagreements are getting deeper among the members of the Platform by saying that they should respect the views of the members of the CTP and the other parties. He noted that his party will not follow different forms of action that will create conflict in the society.

    The Platform is expected to announce today new forms of action. If no agreement is reached on these forms of action, the CTP might withdraw its support to the Platform, the paper reports.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] International Underwater Photography and Film Festival

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (18.03.11) reports that the illegal East Mediterranean University's (DAU) Centre for Underwater Imaging and Research (SAGAM) organizes the 7th Eastern Mediterranean International Underwater Photography and Film Festival. Parallel to the festival, the 5th International Underwater Research Symposium also started with the participation of the President of the Russian Underwater Federation, Dr Alexander Okorokov, Cousteau's team and the vice president of the Divers Alert Network (DAN) Prof. Dr Constantino Palestra.

    In the 3 day symposium and festival, which started yesterday, participate 35 underwater experts from 15 countries, who will discuss topics like underwater archaeology, marine biology and diving medicine. The vice chairman of SAGAM Hakan Oniz speaking at the opening ceremony thanked DAN ? an official partner of the UN Environment Organization ? and said that their support is an important contribution to the recognition of "TRNC."

    During the festival, screenings of films representing underwater environments from the world will take place along with panels presenting the latest findings regarding underwater research and photography exhibitions. Also a jury will award the best films and photographs.

    [09] Arasta shop owners: "If it was not for the Greek Cypriot and Russian clients, we would have gone bankrupt a long time ago"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.03.11) reports on statements to the paper by shop owners in the Arasta shopping areas [Tr. note: area within the walls of occupied Lefkosia] who expressed their reaction against the statements made both by Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots officials after the opening of the crossing points for the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots to stop shopping from the "South" and the "North" respectively.

    The shop owners in the Arasta areas stated that their businesses are in a good level especially after the opening of the Lokmaci crossing point and expressed harsh criticism to those encouraging Greek Cypriots not to shop in the north and Turkish Cypriots in the south. "If it was not for the Greek Cypriot and Russian clients, we would have gone bankrupt a long time ago," said the shop owners.

    The shop owners also criticized the self-styled minister of finance for calling Turkish Cypriots not to shop from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus and stated that everybody has the right to shop where he likes and according to his budget, adding that they themselves shall first see their "country" and how they can reduce taxes and the prices of goods.

    (AK)


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Main issue in today's Turkish newspapers is the statements of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan upon his return from Russia on the main opposition CHP's proposal regarding military service by payment. In addition, the contacts of the Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Bagis in USA, statements by the German Ambassador to Ankara during a university conference, reaction by the main opposition CHP leader Kilicdaroglu on Erdogan's defence of nuclear energy in the wake of the disaster in Japan, and other internal issues were also covered by the press today.

    [10] Bagis reiterates that Turkey did not take seriously the EP Report

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (17.03.11) reports on statements by the Turkish State Minister and EU negotiator Egemen Bagis on his meeting with Ambassador Jo?o Vale de Almeida, the Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the United States, in Washington on Wednesday.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Bagis stated that Vale de Almeida is one of the closest colleagues of Jose Manuel Barroso, the President of the European Commission, as well as one of the people who are very aware of Turkey's EU process. As he said, during the meeting they had the chance to evaluate Turkey's process, adding that he expressed that the approaches to prevent opening of chapters under Turkey's EU membership talks are irrational. Bagis also conveyed the expectations the Turkish citizens have from Europe on fight against terrorism and the visa issue. He added that he found this meeting very useful, especially because it was held prior to the upcoming meeting of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with Barroso in Brussels on April 1.

    Responding to a question whether they discussed the European Parliament's (EP) report on Turkey, Bagis reiterating that Turkey did not take seriously the report, noting that as they observed, the EU's Washington Representative did not take seriously the report as well, because the Ambassador himself did not even open up the issue. Bagis further explained that there are two reports; the one is the Progress Report that is being prepared by the European Commission and the other one is that of the EP, noting that the way of preparation of these two reports is very different. He stated that in the Progress Report, the view of all the competent authorities in Turkey is being asked and the EU officials discuss it with them. On the other hand, the EP report is based on a draft plan being prepared by a Rapporteur and then a discussion is being held among the Members of the Parliament based on their proposals. Bagis said that for example, the Dutch MEPs of a racist party support the proposals of a Greek Cypriot group, receiving as an exchange support on their own proposal; turning this into a bargaining game, he said. As he, inter alia said, until now, none of the EP reports, including the recent one as well, were objective and balanced.

    Bagis noted that the only thing that must influence Turkey might be the statements regarding the press in the country. However, as he said, the statements on Cyprus are not unbearable. He added that these expressions do not come close to logic and no connection to the realities. "For this reason, let us not take this report very seriously," he, inter alia, noted.

    [11] The German Ambassador to Ankara says that Turkey has to solve the Cyprus problem to continue with its EU bid

    Turkish daily Cumhuriyet (17.03.11) reports on statements by the German Ambassador to Ankara, Eckart Cuntz, during a conference organised by the Social Sciences Institute of the Namik Kemal University (NKU) titled "The EU-Turkish relation from the view of Germany". Addressing the conference, Cuntz, inter alia, said that the negotiation with the EU is not an easy process and added that Turkey in its EU membership route has to, fist of all, solve the Cyprus problem.

    Cuntz further said that Turkey's integration process to the EU is very important, adding that Germany's importance is big as well. As he said, Germany follows Turkey's process since the first day, because of the ties between the two countries. Referring to the 13 chapters (from a total of 35 chapters) that Turkey has opened since then, Cuntz said that in the first half of 2011, a new chapter might be opened.

    [12] British Ambassador: We support Turkey's EU membership bid

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.11), during a visit to Governor Ilhan Atis of the southern province of Adana on Thursday, the British Ambassador in Ankara David Reddaway said that his country supports Turkey's EU membership bid.

    He said that relations between Turkey and Britain are boosting each day, adding that the two countries are cooperating in various areas from education to security.

    [13] Turkey steps in to calm Bahrain spat

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 17.03.11) with the above title reports that Turkey, which has emerged as an intermediary in the spat between Iran and Saudi Arabia after the latter's intervention in Bahrain, has submitted a set of proposals in an effort to soothe any tensions.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu proceeded with his telephone diplomacy and spoke last Wednesday with his counterparts from Iran, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, diplomatic sources told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review.

    Sources declined to comment on the content of the Turkish-led proposals but said that the Foreign Minister warned his counterparts not to scratch the delicate issues in the Middle East.

    The Foreign Minister cited the two major problems in the region: the attacks targeting Christians in Egypt and Iraq and the division between the Sunnis and Shiites in Yemen and Bahrain. He warned his counterparts about the dangers of a sectarian clash in Bahrain and gave full support on the continuation of political reform in Bahrain.

    "We are closely following the developments in Bahrain," a written statement released by the Foreign Ministry on Thursday said. The ministry described the escalating tension between the parties in the country ? which has occurred despite the ruling kingdom's calls for dialogue ? as an "unfortunate development."

    In its diplomatic contacts with the countries involved in the spat, Turkey warned Iran not to become involved in the issue in Bahrain and asked Saudi Arabia to soon return to the status quo as it emphasized its hope that the military presence of Saudi Arabia in Bahrain was a temporary measure, the Daily News has learned.

    Davutoglu will fly to Jeddah on Friday to participate in the Jeddah Economic Forum, diplomatic sources said.

    The ministry also called on the opponent groups to reciprocate with good intentions to the administration's initiative for reform and dialogue.

    [14] Debate on the nuclear power plant in Akkuyu

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 17.03.11), under the title "Opposition leader questions PM s nuclear expertise , reports that the main opposition leader, Kemal K1l1cdaroglu, head of the Republican People s Party (CHP), said Erdogan has  now become a nuclear [energy] expert, after becoming a prosecutor against Ergenekon suspects.

     Those who are experts on these issues should be listened to. The examples of the world should be followed, Dogan news agency (DHA), quoted K1l1cdaroglu as saying.  China has halted all work regarding nuclear plants. We also have to be more prudent. We have to take the necessary lessons from disasters."

    The CHP is not against nuclear power, the opposition leader added. "We have to make use of it. But the conditions should not be like those that are imposed by the Justice and Development Party," he said. "[Turkey is] building a power plant without a bidding process. Why? Which one is cheaper, which one is safer? Of what generation are these plants? Turkey has to know and discuss these." Instead, the government signed an accord with Russia, rushed it through Parliament and  imposed it on us, K1l1cdaroglu said.  The public must be satisfied. We have many concerns about this issue he noted.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.11) reports that the Turkish Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroglu, commenting on the explosions in a nuclear power plant in Japan, said on Thursday that Turkey would not be able to avoid the risk of a nuclear fallout even if it called off its decision to build a nuclear power plant as its neighbour Armenia had old nuclear plants very close to its border with Turkey.

    "Everything has certain risks. Nothing is risk-free. The important thing is to minimize such risks," he said, adding that choosing the most advanced technology and implementing it with minimum risk should be the primary steps.

    Moreover, columnist Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in HDN under the title "Ankara's incredible gesture to Moscow", wonders the reasons that Erdogan gave to Russia the project of building the nuclear plant in Akkuyu.

    Birand, inter alia, writes:

    "...

    Can you believe it?

    Turkey open-heartedly tells a country like Russia that has in the past experienced the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and that is internationally not trusted in neither its technology nor in its nuclear disciplines nor in its staff matters, 'No matter what happens, I do trust you and will continue with the project.'

    As the world is in an uproar and questions even a country like Japan that receives perfect grades, Ankara gives Russia such a boost.

    Erdogan gives much credit to Russia's nuclear industry. Certainly he will later ask for some extra guarantees and negotiate other matters. But this gesture means something else.

    I can't help but wonder, 'Are the Russians aware of their great responsibility they are about to take on?'

    Erdogan, if he wanted to, could have said, 'In view of latest developments we will re-evaluate this project.'

    He didn't.

    On the contrary, he supported the project. But let's not forget that Erdogan is a politician who attaches much value to his own public. And no close relationship prevails in this matter.

    From now on I will watch Moscow closely. I wonder if in exchange for such a gesture Moscow will pad Ankara's back.

    Will it, for example, give support in the natural gas prices that it strongly opposes now?

    Will it loosen its stiff attitude on the Cyprus issue?

    That's the way it goes.

    You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."

    [06] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 17 March 2011:

    Arab unrest

    Zaman columnist Ali Bulac argues that it will not be possible to achieve stability in the Arab world in transition as long as solutions are not forthcoming to chronic regional problems regarding or stemming from religion-state relations, minorities, autocratic government structures, unemployment, poverty, waste of resources, inequities in the distribution of wealth, ethnic issues, and "identity crises". He also argues that Turkey is beset by the same problems, adding that Turkey's success in serving as a "model" for the Middle East and the Arab world will be a function of its ability to introduce solutions to these problems.

    Ergenekon investigation

    Yeni Akit columnist Nusret Cicek blasts President Gul for expressing "concern" over the arrest of journalists Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik in the Ergenekon investigation, in this way "strengthening allegations" spread by "coup mongers" that the investigation is a government bid to gag certain dissident intellectuals and writers. He claims that questioning the purposes of a criminal investigation in this way without being privy to the nature of the evidence against the suspects will not only harm a judicial process but also undermine "social peace".

    Bugun columnist Gultekin Avci takes issue with Zaman columnist Etyen Mahcupyan over a recent article in which the latter used the term "post-Ergenekon" in referring to the activities of some journalists recently arrested in the Ergenekon investigation. Avci asserts that prosecutor Zekeriya Oz's questions to Hanefi Avci, an imprisoned suspect in the Ergenekon probe, about his book Simons in the Golden Horn suggest how book writing has become part of Ergenekon's "terrorist" activities, adding that the recent arrest of Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik only mean that the media leg of the Ergenekon network is still active, invalidating any references to a post-Ergenekon era.

    Kurdish question

    "Do the Kurds want a solution?", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu accuses "Kurdish politicians" of "holding the Kurdish issue to ransom" and setting the scene for further conflict in the southeast in urging the government to treat Abdullah Ocalan or the PKK as a "legal" counterpart and negotiate with them accordingly. Bayramoglu argues that the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), appears to be following a policy of brinkmanship based on the belief that the Turkish state would never have been forced to take any steps toward addressing the Kurdish issue had it not been for the PKK and that for this reason it should continue to pay off to keep the PKK in the picture. He also slams the BDP for pursuing such a policy at a time when the Turkish military "wants to end the conflict" and the government is taking "radical steps" toward a solution at the cost of endangering its own political prospects.

    "The other side of the coin", Zaman columnist Etyen Mahcupyan asserts that the PKK appears to be preparing for a process of "negotiation" with the Turkish government during which it will be using the threat of violence as a bargaining chip on the one hand and trying to put the Erdogan government on "shaky ground" on the other hand by supporting the Ergenekon network's efforts to set the scene for a military takeover.

    Ankara's policy on Iranian planes that enter Turkish airspace

    "Why did Turkey force that plane down?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul expresses concern over yesterday's incident in Diyarbakir where Turkey forced down and searched an Iranian cargo plane suspected of transporting nuclear material or carrying weapons to Hezbollah via Syria. He expresses concern over what he describes as a similarity between the United States and Israel's regional priorities and Turkey's reasons for forcing down Iranian planes or not allowing them to use the Turkish airspace at all. He recalls how Turkey forced down and searched "about 100 planes in 2006 alone" in what looked like "intelligence operations" that had to do with the Israeli attack on Lebanon the same year. He also warns that Turkey has imposed its latest airspace restrictions amid new tension caused by a growing power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf, adding that an Iranian-Saudi crisis involving Syria and Hizbollah as well or a US-Israeli military operation in the region seems to be in the offing.

    Turkish-Israeli relations

    Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal asserts that "deepening mistrust" between Turkey and Israel "in the wake of an Israeli raid on a Turkish ship last year" is having implications for arms trade between Turkey and the United States, adding that the Congress is "inclined" to refrain from authorizing US arms sales to Turkey. Calling attention to a "golden rule" that Ankara should keep in mind in relation to Israel, she claims that " when you deal with Israel, you deal with the US".

    Nuclear power plants

    A front-page report in Milli Gazete entitled "There is a nuclear bomb right next to Turkey" highlights a statement by Sinan Ogan, Chairman of the Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies, TURKSAM, saying that the Metsamor nuclear power plant in the Turkish-Armenian border region is like a "time bomb" that could go off even in a minor earthquake, causing a disaster worse than the one in Japan. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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