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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-05-03

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 <>



  • [01] Gagauzia's "independent autonomous republic's governor" to meet with Eroglu and Bozer today
  • [02] An economy summit to be held in occupied Cyprus
  • [03] Self-styled minister to participate in the 2nd International Water Forum in Istanbul
  • [04] "The TRNC at the Dubai International Tourism Fair"
  • [05] Salih Celiker called businessmen from Islamist countries to invest in the "TRNC"
  • [06] Turkish Cypriot students in Ankara participate in 1st of May celebrations and protested against Turkey's role on Cyprus
  • [07] "Grey Wolves" march in occupied Keryneia
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot drivers of commercial vehicles allege that they are prevented from crossing over to the government-controlled area

  • [09] "Turkey 'satisfied' with the killing of Osama bin Laden"
  • [10] Turkish President's contacts in Austria
  • [11] Turkish and Danish Foreign Ministers to meet; Cyprus among the issues of discussion
  • [12] Ahmadinejad to attend UN-sponsored summit in Turkey
  • [13] Erdogan comments on the latest developments on the Turkish agenda
  • [14] "Turkish citizens mistrust foreigners, opinion poll says"
  • [15] A Freedom of Expression Monument was unveiled in Istanbul


    The visit of the "president" of the "autonomous republic of Gagauzia" to the occupied area of Cyprus, the participation of a self-styled minister to the 2nd International Water Forum in Istanbul, the participation of the regime in a tourism fair in Dubai and a commercial fair in the United Arab Emirates, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. Moreover, all the newspapers, most of them on their front page, refer to the death of Osama bin Laden.

    [01] Gagauzia's "independent autonomous republic's governor" to meet with Eroglu and Bozer today

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (03.05.11) reports that as it was announced, the "president" [governor] of "Ozerk Gagauzia Republic" (the southern Moldovan autonomous region of Gagauzia) Mikhail Formuzal who is in the occupied area of Cyprus upon an invitation he received by the rector of the illegal "YDU", is to meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the "speaker" of the "assembly" Hasan Bozer today.

    Meanwhile, the paper writes that Formuzal paid yesterday a visit at the Hospital of the illegal "YDU" where he underwent medical examinations.


    [02] An economy summit to be held in occupied Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak (03.05.11), an economy summit will be held at the so-called presidential palace tomorrow. The current situation of the economy of the occupation regime and the future expectations will be discussed in detail during the meeting. According to information provided by the Turkish Cypriot leader's "undersecretary" Hasan Gungor, the meeting will start with an opening speech by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. Representatives of 19 Turkish Cypriot chambers and trade unions will participate in the meeting.

    Sector representatives will express their views on the economic difficulties being experienced in the occupied area of Cyprus. Participants will also discuss ways of enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector, which is attached to the "financial cooperation protocol" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime in November 2009.

    The final session of the meeting will focus on overall discussions regarding the current economic situation of the occupied area and future expectations. Outcomes of the meeting will be compiled into a report which will then be distributed to all "government" and "public" offices.

    [03] Self-styled minister to participate in the 2nd International Water Forum in Istanbul

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.05.11) reports that Ali Cetin Amcaoglu, self-styled minister of agriculture and natural recourses of the breakaway regime, departed for Istanbul yesterday to participate in a round table meeting on the issue of "Regional Cooperation for the Water" within the framework of the 2nd International Water Forum, which is organized in Istanbul between 3 and 5 May.

    Amcaoglu, who was invited to the Forum by Veysel Eroglu, Turkish Minister of Environment and Forests, will return to the occupied area of Cyprus on Thursday. According to the paper, during his three-day stay in Istanbul, Amcaoglu is expected to hold various contacts.


    [04] "The TRNC at the Dubai International Tourism Fair"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (03.05.11) reports that the "TRNC" is represented at the Dubai International Tourism Fair.

    According to a statement issued by the "ministry of environment and culture", the "TRNC" is represented at the Dubai International Tourism Fair, the 4th biggest tourism fair in the world which is taking place in Dubai between 2-5 of May, with its own stand of 25 square meters.

    According to the paper, the opening ceremony of the fair was held yesterday. The occupation regime is represented at the fair by the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture, by representatives of the "Turkish Cypriot Hoteliers' Union" (KITOB), the representative of the "Cyprus Turkish Travel Agents Union" (KITSAB) and representatives of private travel agencies.

    As the paper reports, the Turkish Ambassador in Abu Dhabi Sefik Vural Altay and the Consul General in Dubai Umit Yalcin visited the "TRNC" stand.


    [05] Salih Celiker called businessmen from Islamist countries to invest in the "TRNC"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (03.05.11) reports that Salih Celiker, member of the "executive board" of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade, participated together with a delegation of the "ministry of economy and energy" at the 13th Trade Fair which was organized on April 24-26 at the Sharjah province of the United Arab Emirates. The fair was organized by the Organization of Islamist Conference (OIC), the Islam Chamber of Trade and Commerce and the Ministry of Economy of the United Arab Emirates. Celiker participated also at the 14th private sector meeting which took place there.

    As the paper writes, Celiker held several contacts with representatives and chairpersons of the Chambers of Trade and Industry of several Islamist countries. Celiker further met with several Islamist businessmen and urged them to cooperate and make investments in the occupied areas.

    Also, as the paper writes, the "minister of economy and energy" who was heading the delegation, met and exchanged views with the General Secretary of the Islamist Development Bank of OIC, on the issue of the cooperation and the development of investments of the "TRNC" with Islamist countries.


    [06] Turkish Cypriot students in Ankara participate in 1st of May celebrations and protested against Turkey's role on Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (03.05.11) reports that Turkish Cypriot students attending universities in Ankara participated in the celebrations for the 1st of May. The students and their organization "Activist Thinking Society" met with other Trade Unions, NGOs, associations and other people at the Ankara Station and then peacefully marched to the Sihhiye square. The slogans used by the "Activist Thinking Society included: ""Independent Cyprus," "All people are brothers" and "Ankara pull your hands off Cyprus."

    [07] "Grey Wolves" march in occupied Keryneia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.05.11) reports that the "Hearths of the Ideal" (Grey Wolves) are organizing a march today in occupied Keryneia under the title "3 May, Turkism Day". The participants in the activity will march towards Ataturk's monument holding flags of Turkey, Azerbaijan and the breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus.

    A statement issued by the "Hearths of the Ideal" in occupied Keryneia notes that 3 of May is a day of great importance for Turkism and that this day "gave forth" Alpaslan Turkes, the last "leader of the Turkish world".

    Kibris writes that the 3 of May is celebrated every year since the 1950's as "Day of Turkism" or "Feast of Nationalism".


    [08] Turkish Cypriot drivers of commercial vehicles allege that they are prevented from crossing over to the government-controlled area

    Under the title "Threats to Turkish drivers", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan (03.05.11) reports that Fuat Topaloglu, chairman of the union of Public Vehicles' Operators (KAR-IS), has alleged that the police of the Republic of Cyprus prevent certain Turkish Cypriot commercial vehicles from crossing over to the Government-controlled area of Cyprus.

    Topaloglu issued a written statement condemning this stance and calling on the "authorities" of the breakaway regime to implement the principle of reciprocity until the crossing of the commercial vehicles to the Government controlled areas of the Republic is secured. Topaloglu said that if the "government" of the regime does not prevent the crossing of Greek Cypriot commercial vehicles to the occupied part of the island, KAR-IS will do it.

    Volkan alleges that the Government and the police of the Republic of Cyprus have threatened to kill a Turkish Cypriot driver named Salih Debreli who tried to cross over to the Government-controlled area of Cyprus with his commercial vehicle.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (03.05.11) reports that Salih Debreli carried tourists on his bus from a hotel in the occupied area of Cyprus to Larnaka Airport. Debreli stated that the security officials and the police at the airport told him not to go again. According to Debreli, the officials and the police told him the following: "This place belongs neither to Denktas nor to Eroglu. It is Christofias' airport. Do not take passengers from here again and do not bring any more passengers".



    Turkey's satisfaction with the killing of Osama bin Laden, the contacts of Gul in Austria, a two-day working visit of the Danish Foreign Minister to Turkey, reports that the Iranian President will join a UN-sponsored Summit in Turkey, statements by the Turkish Prime Minister on the latest developments in the region, and other domestic issues are the main subjects covered by the Turkish press today.

    [09] "Turkey 'satisfied' with the killing of Osama bin Laden"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.11) reported that the killing of al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was welcomed with satisfaction by Turkish officials, one of whom expressed hopes for the forming of a similar global effort against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

    "I welcomed [bin Laden's] death with great satisfaction," President Abdullah Gul told journalists at the Ankara airport ahead of a state visit to Austria on Monday. "The way in which he was eliminated should serve as an example to everyone," Gul said, adding that this killing, announced by U.S. President Barack Obama late Sunday in Washington, proved that terrorists and leaders of terror organizations will be eliminated sooner or later.

    The Turkish President described al-Qaeda as the world's most dangerous and sophisticated terror organization, while Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul noted that the group had mounted fatal attacks inside Turkey as well. "I wish the entire world would make an alliance against the PKK the way it did against bin Laden," Gonul added, speaking to reporters Tuesday.

    In a written statement, the Foreign Ministry described the killing of bin Laden "as a very important step in the fight against terrorism." Reiterating Turkey's commitment to the global fight against terror, the statement called on all countries to embrace a similar line for the effort to succeed. "Al-Qaeda and bin Laden have engaged in an unacceptable effort of trying to legitimize their terrorist activities by exploiting the religion of Islam," the statement said, calling on all countries to cease trying to associate Islam with terrorism.

    The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) led by Turkey's Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu sounded a similar note in its statement on the killing of bin Laden, saying: "Terrorism is against the teachings of Islam and is considered as one of the most serious crime for which Islam has set most severe sanctions. The OIC has stated on many occasions the necessity of bringing those who are responsible for terrorist acts to justice."

    Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc also urged the world not to see Muslims as potential terrorists. "Portraying Muslims as terrorists is one the most negative attitudes we witness in today's world," he said in the north-western city of Bursa. "Turkey is also a country struggling against terrorism, which it describes as a crime against humanity that cannot be associated with a particular religion, faith or ethnicity," Arinc said. He emphasized the importance of "creating a common platform for the fight against terrorism that would be supported by all countries" and "avoiding efforts to link terrorism with Islam."

    Also responding to the killing of bin Laden, Parliament Speaker Mehmet Ali Sahin said: "Those who live by the sword die by the sword. Every reasonable [person] should accept that nothing can be achieved through terror."

    According to the paper, the Turkish police have regularly targeted suspected supporters of the Islamic extremist network since two sets of twin suicide bombings hit Istanbul five days apart in November 2003. A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was held responsible for the attacks, in which explosive-laden trucks targeted two synagogues, the British Consulate and a British bank, killing a total of 63 people, including the British Consul. Seven men were jailed for life in 2007 over the bombings, among them a Syrian national who masterminded and financed the attacks.

    "Though al-Qaeda has no strong base in Turkey, our security forces have been launching operations against its few sympathizers and sometimes detaining and even arresting them," Arinc said.

    As it was reported, a recent operation in April resulted in the detention of nearly 20 members of al-Qaeda's Turkey unit.

    In addition, according to Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.05.11), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu pledged support to fight against international terrorism and said that Turkey would also fight those who tried to create a link between Islam and terrorism.

    When asked to comment on Bin Laden's death, Davutoglu said Al-Qaeda and Bin Laden were responsible for the connection between Islam and terrorism, which he described as "maybe the worst effect of their devastating terrorist acts in the world". "We can never justify any act that causes deaths of innocent civilians. We have always condemned organizations that committed such acts," Davutoglu said.

    Davutoglu said Turkey would always stand firm against those who try to put Islam and terrorism side by side, adding that "Turkey has always taken a leading part in the fight against international terrorism. We have always been against any kind of terrorist acts inside and outside Turkey." "We have suffered a lot from terrorist acts in 2003," Davutoglu said, adding that "Turkey will always be standing up for the great riches of the Islamic civilization and continue to fight those who try to create a link between these riches and terrorism."

    [10] Turkish President's contacts in Austria

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.05.11) reported that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul said that the EU's reluctance to start visa talks with Turkey discredits EU, not Turkey. "EU starts talks even with Russia and Ukraine [to remove visa restrictions] but not with Turkey. It discredits EU, not Turkey," Gul told a press conference with his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fisher in Vienna. Gul embarked on a visit to Austria earlier in the day as the first Turkish President to visit Vienna in 13 years.

    Gul said that Turkish products could move freely inside EU, however, Turkish people cannot, describing it as a "stark contrast". "We have opened all our doors to European countries. There is no other non-EU country that is in the Customs Union," Gul said. "We are facing weird problems. For instance, there is a trade fair in Vienna and we are showcasing our products here. Our products can come here, but producers cannot because of visa troubles," he said.

    Gul also said that the EU was considering visa-free travel to nationals of countries in the Balkans, however, the bloc was reluctant to start visa talks with Turkey, which signed Customs Union agreement 16 years ago. Gul said he expected EU countries and officials to think about it and make a fair decision.

    On integration of Turkish people living in Austria, Gul said that he discussed the issue in detail with his Austrian counterpart. There are nearly 200,000 Turkish people in Austria and half of them are Austrian nationals, Gul recalled and said: "There are some problems about the integration. There is no need to hide them. But we must work together to overcome these problems."

    Furthermore, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (02.05.11) reported that Gul, speaking during a dinner with his Austrian counterpart, said that Turkey's European Union membership is a "strategic necessity" for the 27-nation bloc at a time when the international balance of power is shifting toward the East and Asia. He said that Turkey's membership in the EU will be a historic and giant step if the bloc wants to become a political establishment with a say in affairs on a global scale. The President also called on Austria to show more solidarity and cooperation in this regard, adding that the EU with Turkey as a member will be more powerful.

    State Minister Faruk Celik, Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis and Turkey's Ambassador to Austria Kadri Ecvet Tezcan also participated in the event.

    President Gul also said that nearly 220.000 ethnic Turks in Austria, who have recorded significant success in fields ranging from politics, arts and science to sports and business, make up a strong link between the two countries. Gul underlined that Turkey recommends Turks in Austria to positively contribute to every field of life in Austria by respecting the country's laws and added that Turkey wants the new generations to speak both Turkish and German with native proficiency.

    Gul concluded that he hopes his visit will contribute to the strengthening of mutual understanding and cooperation between Turkey and Austria.

    On his part, the Austrian President said that he welcomed improved relations between Turkey and Austria in the political and economic fields following his visit to Turkey in 2008. Fischer said that Austria had become the largest foreign investor in Turkey, with approximately $1.8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2010, adding that Austria will attend the Izmir International Fair in Turkey as a partner country this year. Noting that Austrian companies are active in Turkey, particularly in the areas of energy, Fischer recalled the Nabucco gas pipeline project and said it was important for the entire region.

    Fischer also said that Austria had opened its 10th honorary Consulate in Turkey's south-eastern province of Gaziantep due to its rapid economic development, and added that Austria had the highest number of honorary Consulates in Turkey. The Austrian President said that nearly 200.000 Turks were living in Austria, and 500.000 Austrian tourists visit Turkey every year.

    Pointing out Turkey's membership in the UN Security Council last year, Fischer said that Turkey not only recorded significant economic growth but also widened its foreign policy activities in recent years.

    [11] Turkish and Danish Foreign Ministers to meet; Cyprus among the issues of discussion

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.2011) reported that the Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen will pay a two-day working visit to Turkey, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

    Espersen will first hold talks Tuesday in Istanbul with prominent Turkish and Danish businessmen and will also join a roundtable meeting organized by the Turkish Industry and Business Association (TUSIAD) under the title "Turkey and Denmark: Partners for Growth and Sustainability". The Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek will also be present at the roundtable.

    Espersen will arrive on Tuesday in Ankara, where he will meet with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The Ministry said that they will discuss bilateral relations, Turkey's EU accession process, the Cyprus problem and regional issues. The NATO allies will also exchange views on the developments in Libya and Syria.

    Espersen will also meet State Minister Ali Babacan on Wednesday before leaving Turkey.

    [12] Ahmadinejad to attend UN-sponsored summit in Turkey

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.2011) reported that the Iranian President Ahmadinejad will join the United Nation-sponsored Least Developed Countries Summit, Iranian officials told Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Monday.

    Turkey will host the fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries on May 9-13 in Istanbul, which aims to contribute towards poorer nations, improve prosperity and infrastructure. The Iranian leader's trip to Turkey coincides with growing pressure from the United States to halt the activities of the Iranian banks in Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres will not participate to the gathering as the summit coincides with an Israeli national holiday. Relations between Turkey and Israel began to strain after an Israeli attack to Gaza killing about 1.400 Palestinians in 2009. Relations between the two countries tensed seriously over an Israeli raid on Gaza bound Turkish aid ship killing eight Turks and one Turkish-American in 2010. Following Israel's attack, Ankara demanded an apology and compensation before relations could be normalized.

    "As we organize this meeting together with the U.N., I sent letters to all heads of state and government of U.N. member countries and invited them to the meeting. I have invited the Israeli President within this scope," President Abdullah Gul said in April underlining that the invitation had been extended by the U.N., not the Turkish government.

    French President Nicolas Sarkozy is also invited along with the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, whose attendance was unconfirmed. President Gul and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon would make the opening remarks for the conference. Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Azerbaijan Prime Minister Artur Rasizadea are among the confirmed participants.

    [13] Erdogan comments on the latest developments on the Turkish agenda

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (02.05.11) reported on statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who attended a TV program and responded to the questions on issues on Turkey's agenda. According to the paper, Erdogan has once again urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to implement the reforms his administration has pledged in response to growing anti-government protests, saying that Syria should avoid actions that could lead to the division of the country.

    Speaking in a televised interview late on Sunday evening on private Show TV, Erdogan lamented Assad's failure to bring to life reforms the Syrian President never objected to. "He says, 'I will do it'. But I am having a hard time understanding if he is being prevented from doing it or if he is hesitating," Erdogan said. Noting that the unrest in Syria seems unlikely to subside, Erdogan said that Turkey is staying in touch with the Syrian authorities to push them to carry out the reforms. "We do not want Syria to be divided. Syria should not allow any development that could lead to the division of the country," he said.

    Erdogan described the protests as a "fight for freedom" and reiterated that Assad should present a clear stance regarding the reforms. "We do not want to see another Hama massacre," Erdogan said, referring to a deadly 1982 crackdown in the town of Hama to quell a revolt by the Sunni Muslim community against the regime. "It will be very difficult for Syria to deal with the consequences if such a tragedy repeats itself."

    Erdogan said that Turkey will not close its doors to Syrian refugees and added that the Turkish authorities are already working on measures so as to be prepared if more refugees arrive from Syria.

    Erdogan also commented on a debate over his Government's latest plan to build a second strait in Istanbul, "Kanal Istanbul". Russia has said Turkey should respect the terms of the 1936 Montreaux Convention, which regulates sea traffic through the Turkish Straits by guaranteeing the free passage of civilian vessels in peacetime and restricting the passage of non-Turkish military vessels. "No one can cast a shadow on our sovereignty. 'Kanal Istanbul' is the result of a new arrangement we will carry out in Istanbul as a sovereign country," Erdogan said.

    [14] "Turkish citizens mistrust foreigners, opinion poll says"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (online, 02.05.11) reported that the Turkish citizens maintain unfriendly attitudes toward the wider world, according to a recent survey conducted by the Political, Economic and Social Research Foundation (SETA). The opinion poll revealed that many people in Turkey have negative views of Arabs, Armenians, Jews, Greeks, Russians, and Americans, but views over Europeans seem to be split, while a certain majority expressed positive views of Azerbaijanis whose native language is intelligible to Turks.

    According to the research, some 36.6% of participants have a favourable view of Europeans, while 35% expressed unfavourable sentiments. Some 40% of the younger generation also expressed more favourable views regarding Europeans, whereas those who were over 61 years of age tended to have a more negative opinion. On Americans, 64.8% of those surveyed indicated unfavourable views, with only 13.8% expressing favourable views.

    Some 33.2% of those surveyed said they had positive attitude toward Arabs, up against some 39% who said they had a negative perception of them. Men also seemed to be slightly more unfavourable toward Arabs than women, with some 42% of males, as opposed to 36% of females, expressing negative sentiments regarding Arabs.

    Participants in the survey said if they had to make a choice between Europeans, Americans and Arabs, they would choose Arabs. When asked whether Arabs were better than Americans and Europeans, 25.3% of those surveyed said they "absolutely agree", while 19.9% said they "generally agree".

    The research was coordinated by Professor Talip Kucukcan and covered some 3.040 participants in 12 provinces in Turkey.

    Views of Iranians were also in the negative, according to the survey, which found 31% held favourable views of Iranians as opposed to 39.5% who had unfavourable views. The research showed participants with higher levels of education and better jobs tended to entertain more unfavourable perceptions about Turkey's eastern neighbours. Negative views of Iranians were also higher among women, 44% of whom expressed unfavourable views, in contrast to men, only 35% of whom were unfavourable.

    The participants' outlook on Armenians, Jews and Greeks was especially unfavourable, with some 73.9% saying they held negative views about Armenians, 71.5% saying they had negative views toward Jews, and 67% saying they had unfavourable views toward Greeks. The survey showed an unfavourable stance toward Armenians and Jews was relatively more widespread among those participants with lower levels of education and socioeconomic status. Unfavourable views of Jews were also slightly higher among younger men.

    Results of the poll showed 51.7% of participants held unfavourable views toward Russians, while 20.7% expressed favourable views. Positive attitudes toward Russians were higher among better-educated men, with only 13.2% of women stating positive views about Russians, up against some 28.4% of men who said they had a positive opinion.

    Some 37% of those surveyed also said they had a favourable perception of the Chinese, while 30 % expressed an unfavourable view.

    The participants were also asked with which countries Turkey should cooperate in order to uphold its long-term interests. The Turkic Republics of Central Asia and Azerbaijan were top of the list with 31%, followed by Islamic countries with 26%, the European Union with 23.1%, and the United States with 11.8%. Russia and China were at the bottom of the list with 8.1%.

    Previous research conducted by PEW Research Centre also showed there was considerable fluctuation among Turkish citizens' views on foreigners. According to the Global Attitudes survey, 52% of Turkish citizens had expressed favourable views of the United States in 2000. That rate dipped in 2007 and climbed back up to 17% in 2010 with the election of Barack Obama as the United States President. There was also substantial fluctuation in Turkish citizens' outlook on Jews, with some 32% of Turkish citizens expressing an unfavourable stance toward Jews in 2004, while as high as 73% expressed unfavourable views about Jews in 2007.

    According to a Eurobarometre research, 43% of Turkish citizens had a positive stance on the prospects of Turkey joining the European Union as a full member in 2006. That rate climbed to 48% in 2009 but fell to 38% in 2010. The same research also showed 20% of Turkish citizens felt some affinity toward other Muslim countries.

    [15] A Freedom of Expression Monument was unveiled in Istanbul

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (02.05.11) reported that while the world is celebrating "World Press Freedom Day", a Freedom of Expression Monument was unveiled on Monday in Istanbul in Turkey, a country that currently detains 68 journalists behind bars.

    Two days before the eve of World Press Freedom Day, a Freedom of Expression Monument was unveiled at Macka Democracy Park in Istanbul's Nisantasi district to demand press freedom for journalists sent to jail "because of touching on the taboos of the Government or a certain part of society."

    The idea of building a Freedom of Expression Monument is to advocate press freedom in Turkish journalism and make a transformation in the Government's attitude, and belongs to the columnist Oktay Eksi, who received a lot of support from the Freedom for Journalists Platform (GOP) and Sisli Municipality. The head of the executive board of daily Hurriyet, Vuslat Dogan Sabanci also showed her support by making an appearance during the press meeting.

    "There is no press freedom in Turkey and this is a result of the Government's policy. It is the political power that determines the boundaries of press freedom," said Ercan Ipekci the chairman of Turkey's Journalists Union (TGS).

    The Mayor of Sisli Municipality Mustafa Sarigul said this meeting should be first accepted as a presentation of the Freedom of Expression Monument as they will have the opening ceremony with journalists on a later date. "Today this platform is not free. Whenever the journalist Nedim Sener is to be released, we will reshape here. Hyde Park in England is a significant example for freedom of expression. Why not have the same in Turkey?" asked Sarigul. "But, I also wonder whether the people speaking here will be able to return to their homes freely. People have the right of making criticism the way they wish. Only our flag and our land cannot be articulated. Except from that, people have the freedom of speech," Sarigul said.

    Because of the journalist arrested unfairly, a defence mechanism has been formed to advocate our freedom, said Oktay Eksi, saying that journalists have engaged into such an intense occupational collaboration for the first time. "We wanted a structure in which we can defend our freedoms. Some 93 organizations created this Freedom for Journalists Platform. The construction of such a monument shows that we stand by everybody freely. As May 3 is known as the World Press Freedom Day, we will hold a congress tomorrow. Our colleagues should not be people visited in jail," said Eksi.

    The chairman of the Association of Turkish Journalists in Europe (ATGB) Guray Oz said that the number of investigations opened against journalists is high and the judicial is not free in Turkey. "A judicial atmosphere in which the journalists can perform their jobs comfortably should be created. We should let people express their thoughts in this monument. This way we can understand what we will come across in the future," he said.

    Concerning the number of journalists taken to jail, the number is misleading said Ipekci witnessing his friends trial in Bakirkoy 2nd Regional Court where there are more than 2.500 cases on its own. "The Ministry of Justice should fix the numbers. According to our predictions, there are more than 4.000 investigations on journalists and cases more than 1.000. Besides, 68 journalists blamed with publishing the propaganda of a terror organization are behind bars. Such a human right's violation belongs to the people ruling this country," he said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION


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