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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-01-03

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 2/12 3.1.12

  • [01] Yorgancioglu criticized Eroglu's statements about changing the name of the occupation regime
  • [02] CTP delegation to hold contacts in Ankara
  • [03] KTAMS trade union ask to be briefed on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem by Eroglu, Christofias and Downer
  • [04] TMT and KTMD fused to form "Cyprus TMT Fighters' Association"
  • [05] Casinos contribute 600 million dollars to the economy of the breakaway regime annually
  • [06] Demonstrations for the operation in Uludere
  • [07] "Future of the Kurdish question in Turkey"
  • [08] Prosecutor launches probe against former chief of staff
  • [09] Columnist views Ergenekon's "PR campaign to obscure the truth"
  • [10] Columnist views importance of civilian intelligence taking over the control of military facilities
  • [11] Syria evacuates consulate general in Gaziantep

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    More reactions on Eroglu's latest statement that if no solution is found within 2012, the occupation regime will continue with its own constitution, rules and it might change its name, reports that CTP's delegation will carry out contacts in Ankara today, a protest organized yesterday in the occupied area of Cyprus to condemn the airstrike attack in Uludere, Turkey, reports that the "Turkish Resistance Organisation" (TMT) decided to merge with the "Turkish Cypriot Fighters' Association" ("KTMD"), and more information about the casinos operating in the occupied area of Cyprus, are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    The main issue in today's Turkish dailies is the meeting between Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Ozel, where Erdogan was briefed by Ozel on the recent military operation that killed 35 people in Uludere town, in Turkey. The other main topic is a historic exports record by Turkey climbing 134.6 billion USD in 2011, as well as other domestic issues.

    [01] Yorgancioglu criticized Eroglu's statements about changing the name of the occupation regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (03.01.12) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, the chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu who stated a few days ago, in an interview to Resat Akar in Kibris daily, that if a solution is not found by June 2012, they will have to continue their road as regards amending the "constitution", changing the internal regulations of the self-styled assembly and even change the name of the breakaway regime into "North Cyprus Turkish state", or into "Turkish Cypriot state".

    Yorgancioglu, who was speaking at a TV program broadcast by Ada TV, said that Eroglu's statements were "unlucky" and consist of a negative development. Yorgancioglu said that the most important duty for both the Turkish Cypriot and the Greek Cypriot leader is the Cyprus summit to be held on 22 January to have a positive outcome.

    He went on and added that for some time now the "presidency" and some circles are trying to promote the "Turkish Cypriot state" scenario and said that instead of doing this, they should prepare scenarios so that the Cyprus summit to be successful.

    In addition, commenting on the issue, Yeni Duzen's editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali, wonders in his daily column what will become different even if the name of the occupation regime changes into something else. "If it is changed, what will happen? At the end of the day, it is not about the name. It is about the world accepting you. And the territory of the state, its sovereignty, its administration to belong to this state according to international realities", he wrote.

    Mutluyakali goes on and writes that they established a "state" which is only recognized by Turkey which in return pays compensations to Greek Cypriots: "We established a state (?) and we are distributing the property as if it belonged to our fathers. Later, for the same houses and the same fields, we go to the Greek Cypriots and we say: 'Actually, this belongs to you. Come, apply to the (compensation) committee and we will end up this business with compensations'".

    However, Mutluyakali writes that he run into Eroglu yesterday and asking him on the subject, the Turkish Cypriot replied that it was a misunderstanding by Resat Akar, the journalist who took Eroglu's interview. "What did I say and what did Resat wrote?" Eroglu stated and added that such an issue is not on their agenda.

    [02] CTP delegation to hold contacts in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (03.01.12) reports that a delegation of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) headed by CTP's General Secretary Asim Akansoy, is going to Ankara for a one-day visit in order to hold contacts with Turkish politicians.

    The delegation, which is consists of Akansoy, Ozdil Nami, CTP's Secretary's for Foreign Affairs and Armagan Candar, member of CTP's central committee, will hold a meeting with Feridun Hadi Sinirlioglu, Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Affairs and other officials of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP).

    CTP's delegation will return in the occupied areas of Cyprus this evening.

    [03] KTAMS trade union asks to be briefed on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem by Eroglu, Christofias and Downer

    Under the title: "We ask for an appointment with Eroglu, Christofias and Downer", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (03.01.12) reports that Ahmet Kaptan, chairman of the so-called civil servants' trade union (KTAMS), in a written statement yesterday, said that they ask for an appointment with Eroglu, Christofias and Downer, in order to be briefed on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem.

    Saying that they worry about the negative conditions on the Cyprus problem, Ahmet Kaptan stated that it was not possible to be informed from the Turkish Cypriot leader, on the results being achieved or not achieved during the ongoing negotiation process. He further said that Eroglu's statements during the last days of 2011, is the reason which created an atmosphere of the non-solution in Cyprus.

    Recalling the fact that some trade union members of the Trade Union Platform had asked on November 1st from the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, for an appointment in order to be briefed, Kaptan said that still they received no answer.

    Kaptan went on saying that since they received no answer from Eroglu, they ask to have an appointment with President Demetris Christofias and the UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus, Alexander Downer in order to be informed directly on the latest developments on the Cyprus problem, and then, in their turn to inform the people and their members.

    (AK)

    [04] TMT and KTMD fused to form "Cyprus TMT Fighters' Association"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (03.01.12) reports that the "Turkish Resistance Organisation" (TMT) decided to merge with the "Turkish Cypriot Fighters' Association" ("KTMD").

    In a joint press release, the two chairmen of the associations Yilmaz Bora and Vural Turkmen announced that the union of the two associations has been put into effect according to the protocol signed on 29th of December. The name of the merge is "Cyprus TMT Fighters' Association"

    According to the press release, the aim of the union is to unite their forces, in order to be more effective in their "national case". Their aim is to continue their struggle for a lasting solution in the Cyprus problem based on the sovereignty, the existence of the Turkish occupation forces in the island, the guarantees and their "State".

    [05] Casinos contribute 600 million dollars to the economy of the breakaway regime annually

    Under the title "Artery for the tourism, the casinos", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (03.01.12) reports on statements by Ayhan Saricicek, coordinator of the "Union of the Casino Managers" in the occupied area of Cyprus, saying, inter alia, that the casino sector in the occupied area of Cyprus has a 600 million dollars contribution to the occupation regime's economy annually, and employs a total of 45 thousand people.

    Stating that totally 24 casinos are operating in the occupied area of Cyprus, the coordinator of the so-called Union of the Casino Managers, said that the casinos in the occupied area of Cyprus is an important motivation for tourists, not only from Turkey but also from the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, to visit the occupation regime.

    Stating that the casinos in the occupied area of Cyprus are legal, Saricicek said that the casinos pay the highest amount of taxes to the "country" compared with casinos worldwide.

    Saricicek also underlined that during the last one and a half year, there was an important decrease on the number of the Greek Cypriots visiting the casinos in the occupied areas. The most important reason for this, according to Saricicek, is the fact that efforts are exerted in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus for casinos to be legalized.

    Saricicek also stressed the need for the Turkish Cypriot to be permitted to visit casinos, adding the restriction which forbids the "Turkish Cypriot citizens" entering the casinos in their own "country", is not implemented in any other place in the world.

    (AK)

    [06] Demonstrations for the operation in Uludere

    Under the title "Assassin AKP", Turkish daily Afrika (03.01.12) reports, on its front page, that a demonstration was held yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia with the support of a group of Kurdish students, New Cyprus Party (YKP), United Cyprus Party (BKP), Baraka Culture Centre, Cyprus Youth Platform (KGP) and the union of "East Mediterranean University" to protest for the recent military operation that killed 35 people in Uludere town of the south-eastern province of Sirnak, in Turkey.

    The demonstrators carried placards reading "Assassin AKP will give an account for", "Stop the Kurd genocide" or "Assassin-Vampire Erdogan".

    The demonstrators were also prevented to go in front of the Turkish "embassy" in the occupied part of Lefkosia by the police of the breakaway regime.

    The secretary of New Cyprus Party's (YKP) executive council, Murat Kanatli, read an announcement on behalf of the demonstrators. He said, inter alia: "Is this the solution that Justice and Development Party (AKP) has found for the Kurdish problem? I wonder when the Turkish officials say 'the assimilation has ended'; do they want to say 'now it's the turn of genocide'? How many Kurds will the Turkish state kill, how many years will this dirty war be continued? Millions have started to ask these questions in Turkey, in Cyprus, in the world? [?]

    We stress that we don't accept the assimilation policies of the Turkish state that imposes on the Cypriots, on the Kurds and on other people of Anatolia and we'll continue to struggle against this. [?] We say enough to this policy."

    [07] "Future of the Kurdish question in Turkey"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (01.01.12, online) runs the following article by Sahin Alpay: "On the night of Dec. 28 air force bombing killed 35 civilians about to enter Turkey from the Iraqi border, together with their mules carrying cigarettes and diesel oil.

    Most of the dead were kids under the age of 18, and 29 of them belonged to a single extended family. It was soon established that the dead belonged mostly to a family who served as village guards fighting against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) insurgents on the side of security forces, and were engaged in smuggling not without the tacit knowledge of local authorities. There are different explanations for the tragedy.

    The government and the military made statements admitting that air strikes claimed the lives of civilians due to misleading intelligence that they were, as was previously the case on several occasions, PKK militants disguised as smugglers entering Turkey to target military posts. Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chairman of the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) declared that this was an "intended massacre by the state." There were reports in the media on the other hand that the PKK, by providing misleading intelligence through double agents, had achieved a double purpose. It did not only punish the village guard family, but also succeeded in fanning broad indignation among Turkey's Kurds who were recently showing signs of increasing disfavour with the PKK.

    It is necessary that the tragedy is investigated thoroughly to determine those responsible for the massacre. It is also necessary that the state authorities apologize for the tragedy and pay indemnities to the families of the dead. The lesson to be drawn once more is this: The PKK insurgency cannot be dealt by military means alone. Violence breeds violence. It is necessary that reforms to officially recognize the Kurdish identity are adopted without delay and that through negotiations an agreement is concluded with the PKK for a permanent end to violence.

    Leyla Zana, winner of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought and a BDP deputy, in an interview she gave to the Rudaw website (affiliated with the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iraq) just one day before the tragic event said that they (probably meaning the BDP) previously demanded autonomy within Turkey, but today no longer believed it was enough. She added that 'The Kurds should determine their future through a referendum. We will accept the results of the referendum which could be autonomy, federalism or independence.'

    I believe that Zana's proposal needs serious consideration. I agree, in principle, that if Turkey is ever going to resolve the Kurdish question and consolidate democracy, Kurdish citizens must be given a chance to determine their future. They should be able to freely choose between the options of having their ethnic-cultural rights secured, autonomy in the Kurdistan region, federal restructuring of the country or independence from Turkey. I find Zana's proposal reasonable, on the condition that the rights of Turks living in the Kurdish-majority region and Kurds living in the Turkish-majority region are guaranteed their basic rights whatever the decision by referendum is.

    I would, however, like to strongly remind Zana and the like-minded that in order for such a proposal to be taken seriously even by the Kurds, let alone the Turks, it is absolutely necessary that the PKK lays down its arms, engages in a peaceful democratic struggle, gives up its false contention of being the sole representative for the Kurds of Turkey, and stops trying to impose its will on them by threat or use of force. Unless Zana also advocates this, her proposal for a referendum does not make sense.

    Zana's statements on the other hand once more raise the question as to what the future looks like for Turkey's Kurdish question. As I see it, the majority of both Turks and Kurds are sick and tired of violence, be it perpetrated by the state or the PKK, and they agree that the Kurdish identity must be recognized and support negotiations with the PKK for an end to violence. The majority of Turkey's Kurds seem to unite behind three basic demands: that the constitution defines citizenship without any ethnic reference, that Kurdish families are allowed the choice of having their children educated in Kurdish alongside Turkish, and that broader self-government rights are recognized for the Kurdish-majority region. The majority of citizens of the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq favour amicable relations with Turkey. There exist, therefore, favourable conditions for Turkey to solve the Kurdish question and preserve its territorial integrity by restructuring itself as a country state or a citizens' state that separates state and ethnicity, if there is political will to do so. Failure to address the Kurdish demands and insistence on dealing with the PKK insurgency by military means alone raises the risk, however, of leading the country into eventual dismemberment."

    [08] Prosecutor launches probe against former chief of staff

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (02.01.12, online) reports that the Istanbul specially authorized prosecutor's office has launched an investigation on former chief of staff General Ilker Basbug within the ongoing "Internet Memorandum" case. On December 31, a court filed an official criminal complaint against Basbug. Also suspect in the "Internet Memorandum" case is General Nusret Tasdeler, former head of the Aegean forces, and later appointed as head of the army's educational command.

    [09] Columnist views Ergenekon's "PR campaign to obscure the truth"

    Emre Uslu in his article "Ahmet Sik's Book and Ergenekon's Media Campaign" in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (02.01.12, online) examines the connection between the media campaign against the Ergenekon trials and Ahmet Sik's book. He argues that many intellectuals truly believed this campaign and as expected, banning the publication of Sik's book created negative reactions and a false image of the prosecution, as if Sik was actually arrested because of his book.

    Uslu writes inter alia: "[?] The book is on the shelves, in fact it is one of the best sellers. The prosecution was not really about the book, and they have run a successful PR campaign to obscure the truth. Simply put, the Pro-Ergenekon camp used the book as a flag to spread their words and deceive their audiences in the West. This is another simple fact about which Western audiences should be aware regarding the pro-Ergenekon campaign.

    For those who do not follow Turkish politics closely, I will make some generalizations. One should to know that there is no grand vision in Turkish political culture, no major issue to be fought. Turks base their arguments in order to win an emplacement, not the whole battle. Once they win an emplacement, they present the situation as if they won the whole war.

    A similar strategy has been implemented throughout the Ergenekon trial. Sik's book was a war to win time, rather than present the whole Ergenekon trial as if it were in fact a plot against AKP opposition.

    Moreover, Turkish political fights are timely. Rather than fighting to win the war, Turks fight to win some time. This strategy is also used in international relations and domestic politics. The pro-Ergenekon network fights to win time. As Sik's case has shown us, they won time but not the case. But since they won the media campaign by portraying the author as someone who was arrested for his book, no one bothers to ask why nothing will happen to the publisher and the book."

    [10] Columnist views importance of civilian intelligence taking over the control of military facilities

    Murat Yetkin, editor-in-chief of Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (03.01.12) reports that members of Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) officially assumed control of a top-secret command centre on Jan. 1 in the latest example of the increasing civilian control over the military

    "Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) took over facilities of the Joint Staff Electronic Systems Command (GES) based 20 kilometres south of Ankara officially as of Jan. 1, but case officers, engineers and technicians started their workday as of 9 a.m. Jan. 2.

    This is not an ordinary bureaucratic shift; on the contrary, it is one of the strongest symbols of increasing civilian control over the Turkish military. The GES facilities, known as the "Bayrak" (Flag) Garrison, played an important role in the planning phase of the Sept. 12, 1980 coup d'etat by the Joint Staff; so important that Kenan Evren and fellow generals had code named the whole coup operation as the "Bayrak" operation.

    Established in the 1950's as a NATO communications facility by the U.S. in order to collect intelligence on Soviet activities and then transferred to Turkish army, the GES facilities have the most sophisticated electronic communication and thus eavesdropping devices in the Turkish system. Its capacities completely for military purposes, such as sustaining the communications with Turkish troops abroad from Afghanistan to Somalia and Kosovo or field intelligence for army commands in Turkey, will continue to stay under the Joint Staff. But the rest, all those cutting edge technology listening devices, which have been and could be used for civilian purposes, are under MIT as of yesterday; the consolidation work started almost a year ago.

    It is important for the MIT, which is going to mark its 85 anniversary on Friday Jan. 6, since up until 15 years ago it used to be mostly under military control; a three star army general used to rule it with many key posts being under military officials. Today, the MIT is working under its fourth civilian undersecretary (directly reporting to Prime Minister) and engulfing military intelligence in national capacity.

    Yet, those important developments take place amid a series of controversies about the Turkish secret service's performance for the last year, after the appointment to the leading post of Hakan Fidan, who opposition parties have regarded as a political appointee of PM Tayyip Erdogan.

    A few months ago, secret MIT talks with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) representatives in Europe (probably in Oslo, Norway) were leaked to the internet media. Nowadays, MIT is again the target of criticism because of providing misleading information to the military which ended up of killing of 35 small-scale smuggling villagers at Turkish-Iraqi border, mistaken as PKK militants.

    The whispers in the security community claim there is a competition from the police intelligence who don't want to be under MIT control, on the contrary seeking a separate FBI-style domestic intelligence structure which indirectly contributes to the discrediting leak stories. The sources say the competition is especially on sharing the intelligence on the PKK; the most sensitive issue for Turkey's security now.

    Nevertheless, civilian intelligence taking over the control of the military facilities has an important significance in Turkey's painful politics and military relationship and will be marked as such."

    [11] Syria evacuates consulate general in Gaziantep

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (02.01.12) reported from Gaziantep that Syria evacuated on Monday the consulate building in Turkey's south-eastern province of Gaziantep, while Consul General Mohammad Najdat Shahid refused to interview with Turkish reporters. Some of the furniture would be sent to Syrian Embassy in Ankara and some to Consulate General in Istanbul, sources said.

    Syria closed its consulate general in Gaziantep for five days at the beginning of December, but then it re-opened the consulate. It totally halted diplomatic procedures as of December 26, 2011. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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