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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-04-26
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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. 76/11 22-26.04.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSThe rally organized by CTP and TDP on the occasion of the 7th anniversary from the referendum on the Annan Plan, statements by Eroglu on the Annan Plan, statements on the occasion of the 8th anniversary from the partial lifting of the restrictions on the freedom of movement in Cyprus, criticism by various Turkish Cypriot officials to a statement allegedly made by President Christofias during a visit to a camp of the National Guard before Easter, various visits of self-styled ministers of the breakaway regime abroad within the framework of their efforts to promote tourism, trade and education, and other internal issues are the main topics of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers during the period between 22 and 26 April 2011.
The papers refer also to the celebrations of the 23rd of April, Children's Day in Turkey, the withdrawal of the Greek team from games in Turkey because of the participation of a team from the occupied area of Cyprus with the flag of the breakaway regime, and the rejection by the "assembly" of the opposition's "motion of non-confidence" against the "government" of the breakaway regime.
 CTP and TDP organized a rally on the 7th anniversary of the referendum on the Annan PlanTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.04.11) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) organized a rally last night at Inonu Square in the occupied part of Lefkosia on the occasion of the 7th anniversary from the referendum on the Annan Plan. According to the paper, the aim of the rally was to "support the will exhibited during the referendum" and "show that the will for a solution in Cyprus continues". The paper writes that approximately 2.000 persons participated in the rally.
Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat was among the participants in the rally, who shouted slogans such as "Peace in Cyprus cannot be prevented" and "Unity, struggle, solidarity". Other Turkish or Greek Cypriot parties except CTP were not represented in the rally.
Addressing the rally, Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the TDP, said the Turkish Cypriot "people" never bowed in front of anyone for their freedom and added that they will insistently keep alive their wish for peace, solution, agreement and a federal Cyprus. He urged all sides, and especially the three guarantor powers, to contribute to the solution in Cyprus.
In his address, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the CTP, said they should not be defeated by the fatigue and disappointment created after the referendum and noted that they should continue their way. He criticized Dervis Eroglu because before the partial lifting of the restrictions on the freedom of movement in Cyprus he was saying that "if the barricades open, the Turks will lose everything". Soyer said they want a federal Cyprus. He argued that those who oppose to an agreement and peace in Cyprus will be crushed under the peaceful and dynamic power of the Turkish Cypriots, which will force the Greek Cypriots also to accept peace.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (26.04.11) refers to the rally on its front page under the title "In the name of a United Cyprus" and publishes full-page colored pictures from the rally. In other pages, the paper writes that "thousands of people" gathered at the square and "shouted to the whole world their belief in the solution, peace and democracy".
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (26.04.11) covers the issue under the front-page title "Fiasco at Inonu Square". The paper writes that flags of Turkey and the breakaway regime were carried at the rally and that CTP and TDP could not gather even 2.000 persons.
 Eroglu comments on the anniversary of the referendum on the Annan PlanUnder the title "Celebrating is thought provoking", Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.04.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has recalled that seven years passed from the referendum on the Annan Plan and added that everybody should consider well what this plan had brought.
In statements yesterday during a meeting with the Employers' Trade Union, Eroglu referred to the rally organized last night by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) and noted, inter alia, the following: "As a person who said 'no' to the Annan Plan then, I do not want to further comment on this issue. When I was saying 'no' then, I was the chairman of my party and myself. My party had its own views and interpretations. Those who said 'yes' had also their views and interpretations..."
Eroglu said he considers the result of the referendum as the will of the people and alleged that the fact that the Greek Cypriots said "no" even to such an agreement is important for the Turkish Cypriot "people" to see the realities.
Eroglu claimed that those who say that the Turkish Cypriots do not want reconciliation and that Turkey prevents the agreement in Cyprus should abandon these views and see that they are unfair to the Turkish Cypriots.
Eroglu said that the celebration this year is organized by two political parties. Claiming that such event was not organized every year, Eroglu said that everybody should think why this celebration is organized after seven years.
 KTTO sent a letter on the anniversary of the 24th April referendumAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 24.04.11), the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) has sent letters to all its foreign collocutors on the anniversary of the 24th of April 2004 referendum reminding the promises given to the Turkish Cypriots and the official decisions taken after the referendum. According to the information provided by the Chamber, the letter which includes expressions such as "we are still waiting for the fulfilment of the promises made to us 7 years ago" stressed that the ongoing "isolations" on the Turkish Cypriots are continuing despite the passing of 7 years since the 24 April 2004 referendum.
The letter, which includes statements made particularly by officials from the United Nations and the European Union as well as the international community on the results of the referendum, refers to "statements calling for the lifting of the international isolations of the Turkish Cypriots".
References to statements made by the Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, his Special Representative Alvaro de Soto, former EU Commissioner for Enlargement G?nter Verheugen and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair are included in the letter.
 Ertug: "A possible compromise will not be a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus"According to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.04.11), Osman Ertug, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, evaluating the recent statements made by the Cyprus Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou that the new bi-communal, bi-zonal federation to emerge in the event of a settlement would be born out of the unitary state of the Republic of Cyprus, said that any agreement that ignored the realities that there are two separate political entities, two democracies and two separate states in Cyprus could not be long-lasting or viable.
Ertug also said that such an approach clearly demonstrated the state of misconception the Greek Cypriot side has concerning the kind of settlement aimed in Cyprus.
Noting that it was crystal clear that a new partnership state to be created in Cyprus would not be a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus; he said that no one would be able to persuade the Turkish Cypriots to accept such a solution.
"The 1960 Cyprus partnership Republic, founded by both sides and which only managed to survive for three years because of the Greek Cypriots' goal to unite the island with Greece was not a unitary state but a functional federation", he alleged.
Ertug also recalled that the issue of how the new partnership would be founded or what is its starting point had not been discussed in detail in the ongoing negotiations.
 Eroglu to travel to TurkeyAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.04.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, accompanied by his "undersecretary" Hasan Gungor, will be travelling to Adana, Turkey, on Thursday, the 28th of April.
According to a press release by his office, Eroglu will be visiting Adana as guest of the Cukurova Branch of the Turkish-American Businessmen's Association and the Cukurova Young Businessmen's Association. He will be speaking at a conference titled "Cyprus: yesterday, today and tomorrow".
Eroglu will return to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on Friday.
 HAK sent a letter to the UNSG regarding the Cyprus talksAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 23.04.11), People's Justice Council has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressing its concern over the Cyprus negotiation process. The Council's term-president Ahmet Iscan said that they were very much disturbed by the ongoing debates about people who were granted the "TRNC citizenship".
In the letter, the Council called for "the equal treatment of all TRNC citizens at mutual check-points" and also urged the "Greek Cypriot administration to allow visits to places of Islamic worship located in south Cyprus".
Another letter will be sent to the Head of the EU Commission Representation in Cyprus Androulla Kaminara on Tuesday.
 TPAO to start research for oil north of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.04.11) reports that Yurdal Oztas, Assistant General Director and member of the administration board of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) said that TPAO started research in order to establish the hydrocarbon potential of offshore fields in the Mediterranean. He also added that these evaluations are part of the broader "Aegean ? Toros ? Mediterranean project."
Oztas, commenting on "the uneasiness of the Greek Cypriot side" alleged that it exaggerates about the events and said that TPAO exhibits a decisive behaviour regarding petrol research activities that will take place north of the island. "TPAO being a national establishment acts within the framework of the laws responsible for research activities. It is such a simple and clear fact and our behaviour is clear," alleged Oztas.
 Self-styled minister holds contacts with OIC officials in Saudi ArabiaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.04.11) reports that Kemal Durust, self-styled minister of education, youth and sports, is visiting Saudi Arabia for "official" contacts.
Durust went to Jeddah in order to meet with officials of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) aiming at intensifying the flow of students from the Islamic countries to the occupied area of Cyprus.
Durust will firstly meet with Dr Ahmet Muhammet Ali, chairman of the Islamic Development Bank. His target during his visit in Jeddah will be to secure that the Educational Fair of the Islamic Countries is organized in the occupied area of Cyprus during the next few months and therefore to increase the number of students from Islamic countries registered in the illegal universities of occupied Cyprus.
 A delegation of the breakaway regime carried out contacts in the United Arab EmiratesAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.04.11), self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun heading a delegation, went to the United Arab Emirates to take part in the 13th Trade Fair of the OIC member states and Private Sector meetings organized by the United Arab Emirates Economy Ministry.
According to a press release by the self-styled economy ministry, Atun and his delegation made up of bureaucrats and businessmen met with the President of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahmet Muhammed Al Midfa, the Secretary General of the Islamic Chamber of Industry and Commerce Dr Bassem Awadallah as well as other officials.
Atun met also with Ambassadors of various countries before the opening of the fair and attended a conference following the opening ceremony.
Atun also delivered a speech at the 14th Special Private Sector Meeting for the promotion of trade and joint venture investments amongst Islamic countries.
During its bi-lateral contacts, the delegation also informed representatives of other countries and institutions on the latest economic and political situation in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
 Self-styled minister of tourism holds contacts in AzerbaijanTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.04.11) reports that Unal Ustel, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture is visiting Azerbaijan to participate in the "Northern Cyprus tourism promotion conference" and the 10th International Tourism and Travel Fair of Azerbaijan.
The conference, which will take place in Baku is organized and financed by Ustel's "ministry" in cooperation with the Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Union and the Travel Agents' Union. The conference is organized within the framework of the Fair to be held between 28 and 30 April with the official support of Azerbaijan's Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
Ustel will deliver the opening speech of the conference during which information will be given on the incentives granted by Turkey's Aid Delegation with the aim of decreasing the influence of the so-called embargoes implemented on the Turkish Cypriots and of carrying more tourists to the occupied area of Cyprus. Turkish Cypriot and Azeri businessmen in the field of tourism will have the opportunity to hold face to face contacts during the conference, reports Gunes.
 The Second Civil Defence International Universities Search and Rescue Seminar-Exercise is held in the occupied part of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.04.11) reports that the Second Civil Defense International Universities Search and Rescue Seminar-Exercise has started in the occupied part of Cyprus with participation of search and rescue club members and academicians from 12 countries. The seminar, which started yesterday, is coordinated by the breakaway regime's "civil defence organization". The search and rescue exercise will be held on Friday 29 April.
Four "universities" from the occupied area of Cyprus, "Atartuk Teachers' Academy" and "Eastern Mediterranean College", as well as members of search and rescue clubs and academicians from 14 universities and institutes from Turkey, Britain, Nepal, Australia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Germany, Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Brazil, Indonesia, the Sultanate of Oman, and Kyrgyzstan are participating in the exercise and the seminar.
According to the paper, Coventry University from Britain, the Tribhuvan University from Nepal, the Queensland Technology University from Australia, the State University of Crimea from Ukraine (Mountaineering Club), the State Economy University from Azerbaijan, the Tourism Institute from Azerbaijan, Bogazici and Canakkale 18 March Universities from Turkey, the Leuphana University from Germany, the Earthquake Engineering and Seismography Institute from FYROM, the Taubate University from Brazil, the Indonesian Islamic University from Indonesia, the Mazuun University from the Sultanate of Oman, and the Manas University from Kyrgyzstan are represented in the seminar and the exercise.
 The "motion of non-confidence" tabled in the "assembly" was rejected unanimouslyTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan (22.04.11) reported on the tension being created in the so-called assembly after the "motion of non-confidence" tabled in the "assembly" by the three opposition parties in the occupied area, the Republican Turkish Party, the Democratic Party and the Social Democracy Party.
The paper writes that the "motion of non-confidence" was rejected unanimously, with 25 votes against, 15 votes in favor and 2 abstaining votes.
 Turkish political parties' election manifestos on the Cyprus problemAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.04.11), Turkish political parties have declared their election manifestos for the general elections to take place on the 12th of June. In the paragraphs of foreign policy, the parties largely focused on the Cyprus issue.
In its election manifesto, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said it remained determined to work to increase the prestige and effectiveness of the breakaway regime within the international arena. It also laid emphasis on the protection of security and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriots.
The Republican People's Party (CHP) expressed support to the Cyprus talks as long as they envisaged a mutually acceptable and just solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the political equality of the two sides. CHP also promised to take initiatives to remove "embargoes" imposed on the Turkish Cypriots.
The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) referred to the Cyprus problem as Turkey's national cause and said a political agreement in Cyprus should not dilute Turkey's active and effective guarantee. It stressed that a bi-zonal, bi-communal and a two-state solution is the only realistic way of settling the Cyprus problem.
 Protest in front of the "Turkish embassy" condemned the incidents in Turkey after the YSK's decisionUnder the front-page title "Black wreath in front of the Turkish embassy", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (26.04.11) reports on the protest organized by the representatives and members of YKP (New Cyprus Party), BKP (United Cyprus Party), KSP (Cyprus Socialist Party), the Baraka Association and Barikat newspaper in front of the "embassy" of Turkey in the occupied area in order to protest against the killing of a person called Ibrahim Orunc in Turkey, after the police opened fire during a protest organized in Turkey against the YSK's decision to cancel candidacies of 12 applicants who wished to compete for the general elections independently.
According to the paper, a group of around 50-60 people gathered in front of the "embassy" of Turkey in the occupied area in order to protest for the massacre which took place in Turkey and had as a result the death of Ibrahim Orunc. The protesters laid a black wreath in front of the building of the "embassy of Turkey".
In a written statement read by Fayka Pasa from YKP, on behalf of the group which organized the protest, the group condemned the incidents which took place in Turkey.
 "Big problem"Under the above headline, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.04.11) reports that the issue of illegal workers became the biggest problem in the occupied area and a permanent solution is yet to be found. The paper publishes the results of checks that the so-called ministry of labour contacted in 207 work places in the first four months of 2011. The on-spot checks revealed 234 illegal workers alongside 650 registered workers. The paper also notes that a total of 343,137 Turkish Liras in fines were given, but only 228,905 TL where collected.
Arslan Bicakli, chairman of TURK-SEN said that approximately 35-40 thousand illegal workers exist in the occupied area, and reminded that the former "minister of labour and social insurance" came up with the same numbers. Mehmet Ozkardas chairman of KAMU-SEN expressed his personal view that 60-70 thousand illegal workers exist and said that the illegal workforce does not only raise the crime rate, but causes unfair competition, loss of taxes and damages the social insurance fund. He also reminded that these illegal workers can apply for "citizenship" after staying from 5-10 years.
Kibris newspaper (25.04.11) also reports that due to the economic crisis in the occupied area and the lack of cash flow in the market, many employers face difficulties in paying the premiums for the social insurance fund. The director of the so-called social insurance department Ercin Tekakpinar highlighted that if structural reforms are not taken, they will have to start the new year with a budget deficit of 70 million TL, since every month they pay approximately 40 million TL to pensions but they only receive 35 million TL from the insured.
 Irsen Kucuk distributed plots of land in occupied Trachoni villageTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan (23.04.11), under the title "plots of land were distributed to 18 title holder youngsters in Trachoni", reported that in a special ceremony which was organized in occupied Trachoni village, the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk has distributed to youngsters title deeds for 18 rural plots of land.
In his statements during the ceremony, Kucuk said that a total of 38 youngsters applied to take a rural plot, however, they had the potential to give land only to 18 of them. He then said that they aimed to create opportunities so that they will be able to give land to other youngsters as well.
 Construction works of a mosque in a church land in occupied Thermia village have been suspendedUnder the front page title "They cancelled the construction of a mosque in a church land", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (26.04.11) reported in its column "Letter from Afrika", that the Vakif Foundation in the occupied area of Cyprus, the so-called embassy of Turkey and the "department of religious affairs" attempted to build a mosque and a parking place in a church land which is found in occupied Thermia village, where the historic church of the village is located. As the paper writes, the tender for the construction of the mosque was given to a company called Sakir Amca Ltd.
As the paper writes, the issue was brought up after a complaint submitted to the "Kyrenia district court" by a citizen who lives in the villages and has a house near the church of the village.
The paper writes that the construction works for the mosque were suspended with a "court order", adding that both the "department of religious affairs" as well as the "Turkish embassy" are opposed to the "court decision".
The paper writes that they are expecting for a response from the Vakif Foundation, the "department of religious affairs" and the "embassy" of Turkey in the "TRNC".
[B] TURKISH PRESSThe continued election campaigns of the two major political parties, their manifestos and their pre-election promises; the celebration of the National Sovereignty and Children's Day (23rd of April) that marks the 91st anniversary of the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly; prosecutors investigating the cypher allegations in the Higher Education Exam (YGS) and also new allegations about irregular booklet in the Academic Personnel and Postgraduate Education Entrance Exam (ALES); the decision of the Supreme Board of Election to lift the veto to candidacy of some candidates which caused a nationwide reaction and acts of violence, Erdogan's address to Turkish trade counsellors who represent Turkey all over the world saying: "We have grown by 3 times since 2002 [...] We will increase Turkey's national income per capita to 25,000 USD and its national income to 2 trillion USD in the next 12 years," State Minister & deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan saying that Turkey's debt to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) decreased to $5 billion from $24 billion; Turkey's Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaction to U.S. President Barack Obama who used the Armenian expression "Meds Yeghern" meaning "great tragedy" in Turkish while describing the incidents of 1915; a camp set up by the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Leon Panetta in Ankara for 5 days in order to discuss with Turkey the uprisings in Arab countries are highlighted in the Turkish press. Also a cooperation agreement signed by Demiroren Group with Swiss energy giant EGL to assess opportunities in energy, mainly shipping natural gas of Azerbaijan and the Middle East to Europe; May 1 to be marked as Labour and Solidarity Day in Taksim Square in Istanbul; the first leg of the 47th Presidency Bicycle Tour which started in Istanbul on Monday and the kick off of the First World Children's Games in Ankara on Sunday, are subjects also included in the paper's reports.
 Verheugen says EU must keep its promise on CyprusUnder the title "EU must keep its promise on Cyprus, ex-EU official says", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 25.04.11) reports that the state of European Union-Turkey negotiations is unsatisfactory, and the EU must act to find a solution to Cyprus and other issues causing barriers to negotiations, according to a former European official.
"The state of negotiations is very disappointing," G?nter Verheugen, former EU enlargement commissioner, told a group of journalists on Monday, after a meeting with the state Minister and Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis, in Istanbul.
Verheugen said it was crucial to keep the process alive and remove any obstacles. "As far as the Cyprus issue, which is one of the main obstacles, the EU has the obligation to implement what it promised in 2004 to the people living on the island," he said.
"It is not only a promise, this is decided and written on the status book," Verheugen said, the Cyprus issue had to be solved immediately for negotiations to speed up.
The former commissioner also praised Turkey's economic progress in the last decade. "Turkey is the fastest growing economy in Europe today, and I think this is important, especially regarding the argument that 'Turkey would be an economic burden [for the union] if it joined the EU,' so much more is made of this in the EU political debate." Verheugen said he believed the key to Turkey's economic success had been its political stability.
As for leaving Turkey outside of the European Commission's draft EU budget for 2014-2020, Verheugen said he believed the EU was not trying to give any negative political message to Turkey. "The budget [for Turkey if it becomes an EU member within this period] can be accommodated, if negotiations are concluded. It is not the most important point [regarding the negotiations]."
 Columnist argues that the "natural deadline" for the Cyprus talks will be the end of March 2012Columnist Yusuf Kanli, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.04.11), under the title "A sad anniversary", harshly criticized Cyprus President Christofias that he employed all possible tactics to avoid tangible progress in the Cyprus talks, noting that he is no different from former President Papadopoulos.
Referring to the Cyprus talks, Kanli, inter alia, argues the following:
"Though Greek Cypriots still have mental problems accepting the 'component' or 'constituent states' terminology and prefer to use a vague 'entity' term instead, irrespective they recognize or acknowledge or not, it is a fact even acknowledged by the international community that any settlement on the island must be negotiated between the two equal 'states' or 'entities'. Obviously, that negotiated settlement might be a federation, so far favoured for some unclear reasons by the international community, confederation or two independent states.
The current exercise is the direct talks process, which has been continuing for more than three years, and is aimed at reaching a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation on the basis of political equality of the two peoples of the island. There is frustration in the Turkish Cypriot side. There is frustration in Turkey. There is frustration in the international community. The talks are not progressing towards a resolution.
Now, there is talk, by the Secretary-General's Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer, that the 'natural deadline' for the current process will be end of March 2012. There are suggestions after March 2012, if no Cyprus deal is reached by then, probably an international conference will convene and a Cyprus settlement would be imposed on the two peoples of the island. There are claims, convening an international conference might not wait till March 2012, even though the Greek Cypriots have been adamantly opposed to such a development."
 An international finance event held in the occupied areaTurkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 23.04.11), under the title "Turkish Cyprus hosts an international finance event with Turkey's efforts", reports that a four-day international finance event kicked off on Thursday in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, thanks to the efforts of Abdullah Celik, general manager of Bank Asya, Turkey's leading participation bank, in cooperation with the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Development Bank of the breakaway regime.
The 34th annual meeting of the 120-member Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (ADFIAP) gathered to discuss until Saturday the theme "Responding to Global Issues and Trends: The Strategic Role, Resources and Relationships of National Development Finance Institutions". Seventy-seven leading executives from 22 countries from around the world -- including Japan, China, Germany, India, Malaysia, Switzerland and Turkey are attending the meeting.
Also, as the vice president and a board member of the ADFIAP, Celik spoke at the opening of the meeting on Thursday and underlined that this is the first time the "TRNC" [breakaway regime] is hosting such a significant finance event and that they are happy they could hold it there despite certain obstacles. He did not, however, specify who exactly tried to prevent the ADFIAP gathering. For him, that the meeting was convened in "TRNC" is a "huge success and a diplomatic victory." "I believe there is nothing Turkey cannot succeed in as long as it wants to. The outcome here has made us and all the Turkish people happy," he added.
 Poll shows that AKP will be the winner of June elections and that there is no freedom of press in TurkeyUnder the title "Poll shows huge public support for new constitution", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (26.04.11, online) reports that according to a newly released opinion poll conducted by the MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center, 69.4 percent of respondents believe Turkey needs a new constitution to replace the current one, which was drafted under martial law after the 1980 military coup.
Slightly more than 22 percent of respondents said Turkey do not need a new constitution. The paper reports that the existing Constitution is frequently criticized on the grounds that it fails to respond to today's needs for broader rights and freedoms for individuals. The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has pledged to prepare a new constitution after the June 12 elections.
Asked whether the first three unchangeable articles of the Constitution should be changed, 48.2 percent said "no." More than 38 percent said "yes," and the remaining respondents declined to comment. The paper recalls that in a draft constitution it announced in March, the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen s Association (T?S0AD) suggested that the unchangeable articles of the Turkish Constitution be amended. The first three articles of the Constitution define Turkey as a republic that is democratic, secular and a social state governed by the rule of law. The articles also define Turkish as the official language in Turkey and Ankara as its capital. The first three articles are irrevocable, and amendments to them cannot even be suggested. The AKP and many other political parties have opposed the idea of amending these articles.
The poll also questioned respondents about their opinion of deputies wearing headscarf in Parliament. In response to a question whether they support the idea of allowing headscarf-wearing women to be elected deputies, 78.5 percent said yes, while only 17.4 percent said no. The paper notes that Turkey has a bitter memory of a headscarf-wearing deputy. Merve Kavak?1 who was elected to Parliament on April 18, 1999, and represented the now-defunct Virtue Party (FP), but when she entered with her headscarf, she faced strong protests from other deputies and was sent out of Parliament.
Pollsters also questioned respondents about their voting preferences. Asked which political party they were planning to vote for in the June elections, 38.4 percent said they will vote for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). According to the poll, the Republican People's Party (CHP) will receive 20 percent of votes in June. The Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) will receive 10.1 percent of the votes, while the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) will get 5.4 percent. More than 23 percent said they are undecided. MetroPOLL said the support for the political parties will further increase through splitting of the undecided votes at the ballot box.
In addition, pollsters asked about press freedom in Turkey. Nearly 53 percent said journalists and writers cannot freely express their thoughts. Slightly more than 38 percent said journalists and writers are free to express their thoughts. According to the paper, the figures show the public perception of the arrest of some journalists as part of the ongoing investigation into Ergenekon ? "a clandestine criminal network accused of working to overthrow the government" -- earlier this year. In addition, a high criminal court in Istanbul ordered the seizure of all copies of a book titled 0mam1n Ordusu (The Imam s Army) for examination in March. More than 43 percent of respondents said the court decision aims to destroy freedom of expression. More than 31 percent said the decision will contribute to an ongoing criminal investigation.
The survey shows that respondents are opposed to the idea of allowing education in Kurdish. Asked whether they would support the idea of allowing education in Kurdish in areas where most of the residents are Kurds, only 30.4 percent said "yes," while 62.9 percent said "no." The paper notes that allowing citizens to speak and learn their native languages has been one of the most significant issues of debate in Turkey for the last 30 years. Many Kurdish intellectuals, especially BDP deputies, demand from the Government to allow the Kurdish language to be used in public education. The Government, however, gives a cold shoulder to such demands, arguing that allowing education in a language other than Turkish would damage the unitary structure of the republic. According to the survey, 50.1 percent of respondents do not believe that the secular order is under threat in Turkey. More than 41 percent, on the other hand, say such a threat really exists.
 "Turkish civil society calls for revival of Turkey's EU talks"Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.04.11), with the above title, reports that Turkey's European Union membership must remain a resolute objective while EU leaders and institutions must be serious and keep their promises on the accession process, according to hundreds of representatives from Turkish civil society.
"We invite the Turkish Government and political parties to put more efforts into Turkey's full membership [in the EU], R1fat Hisarc1kl1oglu, chairman of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB), said Friday in a joint statement prepared by hundreds of representatives of Turkish civil society organizations that are members of the Civil Society Initiative for Turkey' s EU Negotiation Process.
'We hope the coming elections mark a new beginning in this regard and invite the new [Parliament] to emerge from the elections to revive the reforms process,' Hisarc1kl1oglu said, adding that they had to strive for Turkey's membership to be considered in the EU's new budget for 2014-2020.
But the initiative's joint statement also urged EU leaders and institutions to fulfil their legal obligations regarding accession negotiations.
The Civil Society Initiative for Turkey' s EU Negotiation Process
has been undertaken by about 100 representatives of Turkish civil
society organizations, including TOBB, Turkey' s Exporters Assembly
(T0M), Turkish Tradesmen s and Artisans Confederation (TESK), the
Confederation of Turkish Labour Unions (T?rk-0), the Confederation
of Progressive Workers Unions (D0SK), the Independent Industrialists
and Businessmen s Association (M?S0AD), the Union of Bar Associations
Turkey and the EU 'definitively' need each other, according to the
chairman of Turkey Europe Foundation (TAV), Ziya Muezzinoglu. "Turkey
needs to learn by doing, by harmonizing its legislation to the EU and
implement it properly, and thus modernize its institutions," Muezzinoglu
told the Daily News on Friday. He said the EU, meanwhile, would succeed in
becoming a strong international actor only after Turkey joins the Union.
"The EU needs Turkey's geostrategic position, its young population and
its growing economy," he said.
Turkey's EU membership will not play an important role in political
debates on the eve of the coming general elections, according to the
chairman of the Economic Development Foundation (0KV), Haluk Kabaalioglu.
Neither country wants Iran to have nuclear weapons but both believe
it has the right to develop nuclear power "as long as it fulfils its
international responsibilities", U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone
told the Anatolia news agency.
"We widely agree on how to convince Iran to adopt its international
responsibilities. Our basic consensus is that diplomacy is the best
instrument to cope with the problem, even if it is not the only one,"
the envoy said.
Speaking to the news agency on the sidelines of an American Business Forum
in Turkey (ABFT) event, Ricciardone largely addressed economic issues,
saying investor interest in Turkey is on the rise in the United States
and across the world. "The challenge is transforming this interest into
real trade and investments," he told Anatolia.
Commenting on the mutual trade relations, Ricciardone noted the
establishment of the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and
Commercial Cooperation, an initiative by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan and the U.S. President Barack Obama. "The Turkish side
has determined the names [of the companies to participate in the effort]
and we hope to meet soon, maybe in June," he said.
The parties will work to lift obstacles hindering mutual trade
and investments, Ricciardone said, naming the basic problems facing
U.S. investments in Turkey as copyright disputes, a lack of transparency
and failures in implementing agreements.
According to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat),
Turkey's exports to the United States reached $3.768 billion in 2010
while imports hit $12.31 billion.
TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio
Turkey and the EU 'definitively' need each other, according to the chairman of Turkey Europe Foundation (TAV), Ziya Muezzinoglu. "Turkey needs to learn by doing, by harmonizing its legislation to the EU and implement it properly, and thus modernize its institutions," Muezzinoglu told the Daily News on Friday. He said the EU, meanwhile, would succeed in becoming a strong international actor only after Turkey joins the Union.
"The EU needs Turkey's geostrategic position, its young population and its growing economy," he said.
Turkey's EU membership will not play an important role in political debates on the eve of the coming general elections, according to the chairman of the Economic Development Foundation (0KV), Haluk Kabaalioglu.
Neither country wants Iran to have nuclear weapons but both believe it has the right to develop nuclear power "as long as it fulfils its international responsibilities", U.S. Ambassador Francis J. Ricciardone told the Anatolia news agency.
"We widely agree on how to convince Iran to adopt its international responsibilities. Our basic consensus is that diplomacy is the best instrument to cope with the problem, even if it is not the only one," the envoy said.
Speaking to the news agency on the sidelines of an American Business Forum in Turkey (ABFT) event, Ricciardone largely addressed economic issues, saying investor interest in Turkey is on the rise in the United States and across the world. "The challenge is transforming this interest into real trade and investments," he told Anatolia.
Commenting on the mutual trade relations, Ricciardone noted the establishment of the U.S.-Turkey Framework for Strategic Economic and Commercial Cooperation, an initiative by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the U.S. President Barack Obama. "The Turkish side has determined the names [of the companies to participate in the effort] and we hope to meet soon, maybe in June," he said.
The parties will work to lift obstacles hindering mutual trade and investments, Ricciardone said, naming the basic problems facing U.S. investments in Turkey as copyright disputes, a lack of transparency and failures in implementing agreements.
According to data by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), Turkey's exports to the United States reached $3.768 billion in 2010 while imports hit $12.31 billion. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio