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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-04-27

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. 77/11 27.04.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu wants two equal and sovereign founding "states" in Cyprus
  • [02] Serdar Denktas met with a HAK delegation
  • [03] Rauf Denktas says no agreement without guarantees
  • [04] Atun on the "isolations" allegedly imposed on the Turkish Cypriots
  • [05] A museum of "national struggle" opened in the occupied castle of St. Hilarion
  • [06] More on the illegal construction of a mosque in occupied Thermia village
  • [07] A survey on skyscrapers and mosques constructions
  • [08] Ersin Tatar: "There are around 10 thousand unemployed persons"
  • [09] A new package from economists was submitted to the "government"
  • [10] Baraka was prevented from protesting in front of the "Turkish embassy"
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [11] Verheugen on Turkey's EU process; Reference to Cyprus
  • [12] Turkey's intense diplomacy on the uprising tension in Syria
  • [13] The Turkish and Kyrgyz Prime Ministers met
  • [14] The Presidents of Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina met
  • [15] "Demolition begins on Monument to Humanity in eastern Turkey"
  • [16] More than 52 million voters to cast their vote in the upcoming June 12 general elections

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Statements by Eroglu on the 1st anniversary of his position as a Turkish Cypriot leader, statements by Serdar Denktas and Rauf Denktas on the ongoing Cyprus talks, contacts of the self-styled minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun in Abu Dhabi, the inauguration ceremony of the "national struggle" museum in the occupied St. Hilarion Castle, the construction of a mosque in a church land in occupied Thermia village, data on unemployment in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, a new package from economists to surpass the financial crisis and other internal issues are the main topics of the Turkish Cypriot newspapers today.

    [01] Eroglu wants two equal and sovereign founding "states" in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (27.04.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has said that at the negotiating table, the Turkish Cypriot side supports the model of two equal and sovereign founding "states" within their "constitutional borders".

    In his address yesterday on the occasion of the one year from his "election" to the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community, Eroglu noted that the main philosophy he adopts at the negotiations is the establishment of "a permanent and viable new partnership in Cyprus with political equality and two equal founding states under the active and effective guarantees of Turkey and taking into consideration the existing realities on the island".

    Eroglu reiterated the allegation that "two separate peoples and two separate states" exist in Cyprus and added that with the support of Turkey, the Turkish Cypriots established their own "state".

    He also alleged: "The only way of finding a lasting solution in Cyprus passes through taking into consideration what happened during the 48-year long period that passed and these realities that came up. In this context, we support the model of two equal and sovereign founding states within their constitutional borders. We want the powers which the founding states did not transfer to the partnership to remain in them. On the other hand, we put forward a model which includes the concept of territorial integrity and the police of the founding states will secure the law, order and public safety so as the founding states to be able to provide their own security in the future and protect their countries if necessary?"

    Eroglu argued that that he is not sitting at the negotiating table only for the sake of negotiations, but he has the aim of finding a lasting and viable new partnership where the rights of the Turkish Cypriot "people" will be protected.

    Eroglu claimed that efforts had been exerted for creating a wrong image about him when he came on duty and added that this image has changed. As proof for this, he said, are the reports submitted by the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council in November and February.

    Eroglu said he knows that the Turkish Cypriots begin to lose hope that a solution will be reached and added that a concrete and comprehensive agreement should come up and therefore a timetable is needed.

    Eroglu claimed that it is inevitable for the possible new partnership to include some elements which will be contrary to the EU laws and added that these derogations should be very careful to secure the viability of the new partnership and the benefits of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Referring to the property issue, Eroglu said that it is the first time that it has been discussed in such detail. He said that both sides had laid down proposals something which is useful; however, he alleged that the Greek Cypriot approach did not allow any progress and that it neglects the UN principle of bi-zonality.

    Eroglu added that although progress has been noted before the Geneva meeting of 26th of January in the chapters of Economy and EU, the general understanding was that we have not achieved enough convergence, thus slowing down significantly the negotiation process. He also alleged that they went to Geneva, and laid down their proposals, however the opportunity was lost and now the Greek Cypriot side is under a prevailing election atmosphere.

    Eroglu reiterated that they will not accept any distinctions between the "TRNC citizens" nor they will accept certain numbers, thus depriving some "TRNC citizens" from the citizenship of the new common state.

    He also said that during his term he always does his best in order to promote healthy relations with "motherland" Turkey and supported that the preservation and development of the "flesh and nail" relationship with the "motherland" is to the best interest of the "state and the people."

    Furthermore, Eroglu, on the occasion of completing one year as the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, gave a reception yesterday evening to press representatives. "I naturally attach importance to regional peace and general interests of humanity, but I give priority to our national interests," Eroglu told reporters

    Eroglu alleged that the Greek Cypriots still imagine returning to days before 1974 and said that he would continue to defend the Turkish Cypriots' rights with determination and patience. "The Greek Cypriots still think that the Republic of Cyprus will be maintained, and imagine that they can spread their sovereignty that exists in the south of the island to the entire island. We can reach nowhere with this understanding," Eroglu claimed.

    He also claimed that if the Greek Cypriots were ready to reach an agreement on the existing realities on the island, the two parties could launch intensive initiatives with a timeframe and reach a solution. "However, we should go on exerting efforts with patience and determination in order to make the Greek Cypriot administration and the world acknowledge our rights, and if we are right--we are certainly hundred percent right-- we will be successful sooner or later," Eroglu also claimed.

    Eroglu referred also to the economic difficulties experienced in the occupied part of Cyprus and said that these affect the social peace and therefore their strength in the negotiations. For this reason, their first issue should be to overcome the economic difficulties and to protect their relationship with Turkey from provocateurs, since this is strategic and vital.

    [02] Serdar Denktas met with a HAK delegation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (27.04.11) reported that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) received yesterday a delegation of the "People's Justice Council" (HAK) headed by its chairman Ahmet Iscan. The meeting took place at DP's headquarters.

    In his statements during the meeting, Serdar Denktas referred to the Cyprus negotiation process and said that he does not believe that a result will come up from the process, adding that this process is a "waste of time".

    Denktas stressed also the need for the Turkish Cypriots to protect their "state" and their "country". He then said that it is the Turkish Cypriots who will solve their own problems stressing that it is not right to transfer their problems to others.

    Speaking during the meeting, Iscan claimed that the "council" is an NGO, being established with the goal to bring solution to the problems experienced.

    Referring to the negotiation process for the solution of the Cyprus problem, Iscan said that the negotiations continue for 43 years now adding that the non-solution of the problem has created despair to the people. Iscan further said that the Turkish Cypriot "people" wish for a solution that will protect their rights and their interests.

    (AK)

    [03] Rauf Denktas says no agreement without guarantees

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (27.04.11) reports that the new administration board of the Foreign Press Association has paid a visit to former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas. The chairman of the Association Fevzi Tanpinar announced that the newly established board decided to offer an honorary membership to Rauf Denktas.

    Denktas congratulated the new board and said that upon the Association befall "important tasks like assisting in the recognition of TRNC and writing the truths." Referring to the Cyprus problem Denktas alleged that the Greek Cypriots want to prolong the negotiations and that it is everyone's duty to inform the world that the Greek Cypriots, who will undertake the EU presidency in 2012, do not and will not be able to represent Cyprus. He also claimed that the two things standing in the way of Greek Cypriots are the existence of the "TRNC" and the Treaty of Guarantees. Denktas went on saying that an agreement cannot exist without guarantees.

    [04] Atun on the "isolations" allegedly imposed on the Turkish Cypriots

    According to illegal Bayrak (online, 26.04.11), the so-called minister of economy and energy Sunat Atun is continuing his contacts in Abu Dhabi within the framework of the 13th Trade Fair of the member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and the 14th Private Sector meetings organized by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ministry of Economy.

    Speaking at a conference organized within the framework of the 14th Private Sector meetings on Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Atun said that "the international isolations imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people no longer have a valid basis", alleging that the "TRNC" continued to be subjected to "international isolations". Recalling that the Turkish Cypriot "people" had voted in favour of the UN-sponsored Annan Plan in 2004, Atun said that the Greek Cypriot side had openly shown it had no intention of settling the Cyprus problem by rejecting the plan.

    As part of his other contacts in the United Arab Emirates, Atun met with the President of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Ahmet Muhammed Al Midfa, the General Secretary of the Islamic Chamber of Industry and Commerce Dr Bassem Awadallah as well as representatives of other OIC countries.

    Atun is being accompanied by the so-called prime minister's undersecretary Omer Koseoglu, the "director of YAGA" Dervis Besimler and the "director of the economy and energy ministry" Onursal Bozkurt. The delegation also includes representatives from the "Cyprus Turkish Chambers of Commerce and Industry".

    [05] A museum of "national struggle" opened in the occupied castle of St. Hilarion

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.04.11), a museum of "national struggle" documenting the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots prepared by the "Turkish Cypriot fighter association" in occupied St. Hilarion Castle was inaugurated yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    Self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, Turkey's "ambassador" in the occupied part of Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca, the commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus Lieutenant General Adem Huduti and the commander of "security forces" Major General Mehmet Daysal were also present at the ceremony.

    [06] More on the illegal construction of a mosque in occupied Thermia village

    Under the front-page title, "Without permission, without visa, and secretly", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (27.04.11) gives an extensive coverage to the issue regarding the construction of a mosque in a church land in occupied Thermia village (See details at Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review 22-26/04/11, No 76/11) and writes that the construction works for the mosque which is near the historic church of the village started on April 22 without any permission or any architecture plans to be submitted first.

    According to the paper, the gravestones that lay in the churchyard were pushed aside.

    Speaking on the issue, Ahmet Omer Cagnan, chairman of the Union of Chambers of Cyprus Turkish Engineers and Architects (KTMMOB) stated that no permission was given to anyone in any place for building a mosque. He also said that neither the "municipality of Keryneia", nor the "town planning department" or their union gave permission for the construction of the mosque and said that these are typical projects coming from Turkey and are unacceptable.

    (AK)

    [07] A survey on skyscrapers and mosques constructions

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (27.04.11) continues to publish the survey conducted by the Red Border company. According to the survey, the majority of the inhabitants in the occupied part of Lefkosia support the construction of a skyscraper in the occupied part of Lefkosia than the construction of a mosque.

    53.9% responded positively to the question if they support the construction of a skyscraper in the occupied part of Lefkosia and the 44% responded negatively. Regarding the construction of a mosque in the occupied part of Lefkosia, 48.7% of the respondents were against and only the 26.2% supported it.

    [08] Ersin Tatar: "There are around 10 thousand unemployed persons"

    Under the title "The unemployment is around 10.000", Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (27.04.11) reported on statements by the so-called minister of finance Ersin Tatar who has said that until today, there are around 10 thousand unemployed persons in the occupied area of Cyprus. Tatar pointed out that by increasing the production which is the basic problem in the "TRNC", they will achieve the increase of employment.

    Tatar made the above statements during a visit he paid at the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (KTZEO).

    He also referred to the measures being taken so far for the increase of tourism and said that there is an increase of around 20% on the number of tourists who will visit the occupied area of Cyprus this year, reiterating that their goal is 1 million tourists for this year.

    Speaking also during the meeting, Hurrem Tulga, chairman of the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen stressed the need not to be demoralized due to their problems since the solution is in their hands.

    (AK)

    [09] A new package from economists was submitted to the "government"

    "New package from economists", is the front-page title of Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (27.04.11) which reports that three Turkish Cypriot economists, that is Unal Akifler, Nejdet Ergun and Okan Safakli have prepared and submitted to the so-called government a new economic package which is consider as an alternative for the economic package which was signed with the Government of Turkey and created a lot of discussions and protests in the "country".

    As the paper writes, the above-mentioned economists submitted the package to the "government" saying that this is "completely from Cypriots". The three economists stated that the package was prepared under the titles "Finance discipline", "Austerity", and "Privatization".

    Speaking on the issue, economist Akifler stated that all sectors of the economy in the occupied area of Cyprus went bankrupt and thus stressed the need for chancing the financial policy.

    (AK)

    [10] Baraka was prevented from protesting in front of the "Turkish embassy"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (27.04.11) reports that Baraka Culture Centre organized yesterday a protest to mark the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Cagil Ener, a member of Baraka, reading a press release, said that they have concerns over the Turkish Government's plan to build a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Mersin, that will pose a death threat for all the Mediterranean area including Cyprus.

    Nazen Sansal, speaking on behalf of Baraka, said that they planned to protest in front of the "Turkish embassy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia, but due to "police's" security measures, they could not. Baraka condemned these security measures and described them as "anti-democratic and oppressive".


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The Turkish President Abdullah Gul holds a tripartite meeting in Serbia, between Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia, the Turkish Premier having a phone conversation with the Syrian President saying Turkey does not wish for an enforcing and totalitarian structure in Syria and discussion in the National Security Council (MGK) for a plan B if the situation in Syria escalates, the beginning of the demolition of the Monument to Humanity in Kars and other internal issues are the main subjects of today's Turkish press.

    [11] Verheugen on Turkey's EU process; Reference to Cyprus

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.11) reported on statements of the former European Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen who said that Turkey's eastward shifts in foreign policy are raising questions in European Union (EU) circles, but such doubts are not justified and represent a minority opinion in the bloc.

    Speaking to the paper, after meeting in Istanbul with Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator and State Minister Egemen Bagis, Verheugen said: "[The Turkish change of axis] creates question marks in EU circles, and that is well known. But I think it is not justified and it is not the majority view in the European Union."

    Ankara's relations with Iran and Israel are of particular concern in sceptical EU circles, Verheugen said, but used the example of Turkish President Abdullah Gul's successful negotiation in February for the release of two German journalists arrested in Iran to demonstrate the positive aspects of Turkey's approach. Turkey's ties with Tehran proved "to be very useful, showing there is a country that is at least on speaking terms with Iran," he said, adding that he does not think there is any reason to be concerned about the relations between the two countries. "Iran is a neighbour of Turkey, you cannot change the neighbours," he said, adding that "nobody would believe seriously that there is the slightest risk Turkey would copy the political and religious system of Iran. It would be simply ridiculous."

    The former official also expressed his hopes that Turkey's strained relations with Israel would soon be remedied, saying that the revitalization of the "traditional good relations" between the two countries is of great importance for regional stability. "I think that Turkey clearly has to analyze the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, in the Islamic world, when we can see to which end this process will lead," Verheugen said, adding that the recent turmoil in the region has made Turkey an even more important player than in the past. "Turkey has become a key country for the stability of the region," he said. "This is, in my view, a very strong and an additional argument for the EU to accelerate its negotiations with Turkey and to send clear and positive signals that Turkey is a welcome [to become] member state."

    Good Turkey-EU relations are crucial not only for Turkey, but for the other countries in the region as well, according to Verheugen. "The way the EU is dealing with a country with a majority-Muslim population will of course be closely watched by all the other [neighbouring countries]," he said, adding that the EU's moves toward Turkey will affect how European policies and values are received in the region.

    Verheugen further said that "it is crucial to remove any obstacles blocking Turkey's accession negotiations with the European Union, especially with so few unblocked negotiation chapters remaining to be opened." "We cannot allow the process to run out. That would be a very dangerous thing," he noted, adding that addressing the Cyprus issue was crucial for the process to be revitalized.

    "The only thing I can say from my own experience is that the EU still has something to deliver [to solve the Cyprus issue]. Then I would think it would at least be easier to address the remaining [negotiation-related issues]," said Verheugen, who was serving as Enlargement Commissioner when Cyprus joined the EU. "The Union is not in a position to ask Turkey to deliver; it has to deliver [itself] because it promised in 2004 that the Turkish Cypriots would not be the victims of the very probable decision of the Greek Cypriots to refuse the Kofi Annan plan," Verheugen alleged.

    "[Barriers to Turkey's accession negotiations] are 100 percent a political issue, not a technical one," Verheugen said. "As far as technicalities are concerned, Turkey could become a member very soon," he concluded.

    [12] Turkey's intense diplomacy on the uprising tension in Syria

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.11) reported on the telephone conversation of the Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad where it was stated that the killings in Syria must stop and reforms must be implemented. Turkey is "deeply concerned by the loss of many lives," Erdogan said to al-Assad.

    Before speaking with al-Assad, Erdogan also talked to US President Obama. "President Obama and Prime Minister Erdogan expressed their deep concern about the Syrian Government's unacceptable use of violence against its own people," a statement released by the White House read. "The leaders agreed that the Syrian Government must end the use of violence now and promptly enact meaningful reforms that respect the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people."

    Obama also expressed hopes that Israel and Turkey could improve their recently strained relations in a bid to bring some stability to the restive Middle East, the paper reports, adding that the two leaders also exchanged views on the ongoing NATO operation in Libya.

    Meanwhile, Ankara carried the tension in Syria to the top of its agenda by discussing the matter in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

    In addition, Omer Onhon, Turkey's Ambassador to Syria, will brief the country's National Security Council (MGK) on Thursday over the uprising tension in Turkey's neighbour. Onhon is also expected to brief Ankara on his meeting in Damascus on Sunday with the newly appointed Syrian Prime Minister Adel Safar.

    Furthermore, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.11) Erdogan said that most likely, they will send a delegation to Syria on Thursday to meet with President Bashar al-Assad. Speaking at a joint press conference with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambaev, Erdogan said that Turkey was bothered by the ongoing process in Syria. "During my conversation with al-Assad, I have conveyed our concern to him. We do not desire an anti-democratic approach in Syria," Erdogan said.

    [13] The Turkish and Kyrgyz Prime Ministers met

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.11) reported on the meeting of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambaev in Ankara on Tuesday.

    Speaking at a joint press conference after the meeting, Erdogan said that the Turkish and Kyrgyz citizens would be able to visit each other's country without visas, adding that Turkey and Kyrgyzstan signed three agreements. "Turkish citizens would be able to visit Kyrgyzstan with their passports without a need for visas and vice versa," Erdogan said, noting that the trucks of their countries would be able to visit each other more easily from now on.

    Furthermore, Erdogan said that the Turkic Republics should have a visa agreement similar to the EU's Schengen and the citizens of these Republics should be able to travel visa free. He said that the Turkic Republics needed to reach an agreement to eradicate visas successfully.

    "We have signed an agreement for the establishment of a high level strategic cooperation council between Turkey and Kyrgyzstan," Erdogan also said.

    On his part, the Kyrgyz Prime Minister said that Turkey had always helped his country whenever they faced problems, adding that Turkey had always supported Kyrgyzstan with donations and humanitarian assistance. "It was Turkey that evacuated Kyrgyz citizens from Libya," Atambaev said.

    Atambaev said Erdogan behaved generously, and donated 61 million USD to his country today. He also said that Kyrgyzstan received 71 million USD of donation from Turkey since the beginning of 2011.

    The Kyrgyz Prime Minister said that the two countries had taken historic steps as they signed high-level strategic cooperation and tax exemption agreements, and the second step was to solve the work permit problem.

    He also said that Turkey had changed a lot in eight years, and it had become a country that was granting loans instead of taking ones.

    [14] The Presidents of Turkey, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina met

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.04.11) reported from Karadjordjevo on the Tripartite Balkan Summit held among Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

    Speaking during a joint press conference with the Serbian President Boris Tadic and Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidency Chairman Nebojsa Radmanovic, the Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that they aim to boost cooperation and solidarity. "We want to help find solution to problems as well as show respect to each other's sovereignty and territorial integrity without interfering in domestic affairs," said Gul. Stressing that they attached importance to stability and prosperity, Gul said that the region needed rooted reforms. He expressed his belief that all regional countries would unite under the European Union, if those reforms were implemented.

    Noting that important developments had been recorded in relations of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia with the EU recently, Gul said that today's Balkans are the centre of Europe, adding that Serbia is a key country in this aspect. Gul said that Turkey had a great experience in the EU membership issue, adding that Turkey could share its experiences with Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, recalling that Turkey's membership negotiations with the EU began in 2005. "A country should fulfill political, economic and legal reforms to be a member of the EU," said Gul, adding that Turkey implemented rooted reforms.

    On his part, Serbian President Tadic said that Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and his country took a decision at today's Tripartite Balkan Summit by which no country would interfere in the domestic issues of the other. He said that the summit was constructive and positive. "When we look at our common history, the necessity to deal with pre-conceived notions arises. We look at history from different perspectives. Our goal is to generate a common perspective and find common points," Tadic said.

    "We discussed at the summit regional cooperation and integration with Europe as well as political, economic and cultural cooperation," Tadic also said. Touching on his country's relations with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Tadic said that Serbia would not support any referendum that would lead to the breakup of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

    Also speaking at the joint press conference, Bosnia-Herzegovina's Presidency Chairman Radmanovic said that they favoured peace, stability and good neighbourliness and they came to the summit to show this. "We have to think about the future of our countries. We do not want the Balkans of the 21st century to be like the ones in the 19th and 20th centuries. We want to see the Balkans as an oasis of peace in the 21st century. Our common goal is the European path," Radmanovic said.

    Meanwhile, Gul had also separate meetings with Jelyko Komsic and Bakir Izzetbegovic, the Croatian and Bosnian members of the Tripartite Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina in the Serbian city of Karadjordjevo on Tuesday. Gul's meetings with the two leaders took place behind closed doors.

    [15] "Demolition begins on Monument to Humanity in eastern Turkey"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.11) reported that workers began the demolition of Kars' "Monument to Humanity" on Tuesday, by removing the 19-ton head of one of the figures following some technical difficulties.

    There will be no reversal of the contentious demolition, Ozlem Ozturk, a press consultant for Kars Municipality, told the Hurriyet Daily News and Economic Review, adding that the work should be completed within 10 days. "The beginning of the demolition as well as the completion are stipulated in the contract, so the work should be done according to the contract," said Ozturk.

    The Municipality is not destroying the "Monument to Humanity", but "humanity" itself, said Naif Alibeyoglu, the former Republican People's Party (CHP) mayor who originally approved the construction of the peace monument in 2004.

    Yucel Yagci, the owner of Turkish construction firm Avsin Insaat, which won a tender March 7 for the 272,000-Turkish Lira job to tear down the statue, said the remaining portions would be cut into 18 pieces and removed.

    During a visit to Kars in January, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the monument "freakish" and said it threatened to overshadow historical sites in the area. After Erdogan called for the sculpture's demolition, the municipal assembly in Kars passed a motion to tear down the monument, saying it had been illegally erected within a protected area.

    The sculptor of the monument Mehmet Aksoy said in January 2010 that Alibeyoglu had wanted a monument of peace as opposed to other monuments with messages of war and hatred. "War is a crime against humanity and people cannot progress forward with wars." Aksoy has also warned that a demolition of the monument would resemble the Taliban's destruction of ancient Buddhist statues in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in 2001 and would be an embarrassment for EU-candidate Turkey. "These two figures in the sculpture are actually a single human torn in half. They are in a position of confrontation against each other, made into enemies. The two figures become a single person again with the outreached hand," he said.

    Meanwhile, a group of people from the Republic Coalition Platform protested the demolition in front of the Culture Ministry building in Ankara, Anatolia news agency reported Tuesday. A press statement released by the group said it was remaining true to the principles of modern Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, in trying to promote art. Recalling that long-time Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek once said in reference to a sculpture that "I spit at this kind of art," the group said that such a behaviour was being displayed again with the description of the "Monument to Humanity" as "freakish."

    [16] More than 52 million voters to cast their vote in the upcoming June 12 general elections

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (26.04.11) reported that there are more than 52 million voters registered for the upcoming general elections on June 12, according to the head of Turkey's Supreme Election Board (YSK).

    "There are 50.189.930 voters domestically and 2.568,977 internationally," said YSK head Ali Em at a press conference held Tuesday. There are 15 political parties entering the race with 7.492 deputy candidates and 203 independent candidates, Em said. "We will setup 199.412 ballot boxes for the elections, with 300 citizens voting at each box. Voters can find out the location of their designated ballot boxes on the YSK website," he said.

    Em said that voter identification cards have been printed and distribution begin on Sunday. He said the cards that do not reach their owners before the elections will be given to the ballot box commission chief and handed out to voters on the election day. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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