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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-03-30

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. 63/12 30.3.12

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu called on again the UN Secretary General to organize a multilateral Cyprus conference
  • [02] Interview by Dervis Eroglu on the Cyprus problem to Turkish daily Milliyet's columnist
  • [03] Havadis: "Hopes have not been exhausted in the Cyprus talks"; Kibris: "The statements are not encouraging"
  • [04] Yorgancioglu: Eroglu's stance shows he is not negotiating for finding a solution
  • [05] "Besparmak Group" evaluates its meeting with Downer
  • [06] Bagis alleged that Fule's statements a slap for those who do not want to see Turkey improve
  • [07] After the water transfer, Turkey will transfer electricity in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [08] "A game of chess"
  • [09] Kibrisli writes that Al Qaeda was planning to put a bomb in the British Bases in Dhekelia
  • [10] A nationalist organization blackmails a Turkish Cypriot businessman
  • [11] The occupation regime at the UITT Kiev Tourism Fair
  • [12] "EU's Ashton skips Syria meet in Turkey over Cyprus"; Cyprus blocks the Turkish path
  • [13] Turkish EU Minister Leaves for United States to hold talks
  • [14] "Turkish generals on trial have a lot to say"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu called on again the UN Secretary General to organize a multilateral Cyprus conference

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.03.12) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, stated that the Turkish Cypriot side perceived yesterday's meeting as the final meeting of the two leaders, until the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon decides on the future of the Cyprus talks in April.

    Speaking upon his return to the occupied area of Cyprus after the meeting he held with President Demetris Christofias, on the framework of the Cyprus negotiations, Eroglu stated the following: "Ban and Downer will evaluate the course of the Cyprus talks with a meeting on the 19th of April in New York. Ban will then decide whether to call a multilateral conference or not. We as the Cyprus Turkish Side expect Ban to call a conference which will also involve the participation of guarantor powers in Cyprus. We'll re-evaluate the process after Ban announces his decision", he said.

    Eroglu also added that he expects Downer's report, which will soon be submitted to Ban, "to be an objective report".

    "Proposals that we put forward throughout the whole process prove our willingness for a settlement. In my latest letter to Ban, I reiterated our readiness to maintain efforts towards reaching an agreement. I also told Ban that we can negotiate many core issues of the Cyprus problem during a possible multilateral conference" Eroglu alleged.

    [02] Interview by Dervis Eroglu on the Cyprus problem to Turkish daily Milliyet's columnist

    Under the title: "Did they finished, will they continue?", Turkish daily Milliyet (30.03.12 online version) publishes a commentary by Sami Kohen who reports to an exclusive interview given to him by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu about the latest stage of the ongoing negotiation talks.

    Writing in his commentary, Kohen underlines the critical stage of the ongoing negotiation talks in Cyprus and supports that the decision of the UN's Secretary General, after Downer's briefing will determine not only whether the talks "had been completed, or are to be continued" but also it will determine the fate of the Cyprus problem.

    Wondering about what the stance of the Turkish Cypriot side is during this critical stage, how the Turkish side evaluates the situation, what it expects from the UN's Secretary General and how it looks to the future, Kohen publishes the following interview by Eroglu:

    "THE NEGOTIATIONS CAN NOT CONTINUE IN THIS WAY

    After yesterday's "last meeting", Eroglu has announced that it has demanded from the UN Secretary General for the changing of the method and the direction of the process and also it has conveyed officially a proposal for a "quintet summit" to take place between the three guarantor states including Turkey. The TRNC leader stated that during the four years of the ongoing negotiations talks the "matters they had agreed are much more than the matters they agreed" and he characterized the proposal for the "quintet summit" as the "last chance". Eroglu who has changed the expression being used before that, the "Solution is the non-solution", says now that "the better solution is not the non-solution" and also states that they will work until the end for reaching to a solution.

    S.K: According to you what will follow after the last meeting? Is there any possibility for the process to continue as it is? Or is it actually the end?

    We are waiting for the UN Secretary-General to decide towards this issue. From this point of view April will be a critical period... Of course, there are several possibilities. However, Ban Ki-moon knows that the negotiations cannot continue in the same way. A calling for the talks to continue in this way will be useless.

    S.K: Sometime, there was a declaration by the Turkish Government as well as you that it is necessary for a result to come up from the negotiations until July 1st, otherwise you cannot wait until the end. If the negotiation talks continue, is it possible for an agreement to be reached until that date?

    No it is impossible. No result is possible to come up from the negotiations, if they continue in this way.

    S.K: If there is a suspension?

    A suspension (of the talks) will be useless. Greek Cypriots have a period of 5-6 months to make up this job. Besides, in the forthcoming February there will be presidential elections in the Greek Cypriot side.

    S.K: If something like this will happen, will the Turkish side opposed?

    In that case, our terms for sitting again to the table will change... I am sure that the UN Secretary-General will understand that no agreement is possible to be found (with the current way of the talks).

    GREEK CYPRIOTS PLAY FOR TIME

    S.K: OK, what are your options? Some time a "quintet summit" was mentioned. (Turkey, Greece, the UK, the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders...)

    Yes we want for an extended meeting to take place with the participation of the three guarantor states. I have made an official proposal for this. I have conveyed this to the Secretary-General...

    S.K: If a quintet summit is to take place, what will change? Will the chances for the solution increased?

    Such a meeting, since it will take place under the supervision of the guarantor states, and with their contribution, the situation will be different. Our efforts for reconciliation will be better understood. Also, it will be considered as the last chance.

    S.K: How Ban Ki-moon and the UN circles confront this proposal?

    I do not know their official stance at the moment. We will see.

    S.K: But still, the Greek Cypriot side does not want this, right?

    No, it doesn't. Greek Cypriots play for time. The status-quo is in favour of them. Their priority at the moment is to sit at the EU term presidency.

    S.K: As Turkish Cypriot side, are you hopeful and do you have the will for a solution that will aim to reunify the island?

    Our people are willing for a solution. It has always indicated this. However, recently our hopes have been reduced. But still, I will exert efforts for the solution until the end.

    S.K: Some time ago you said that "the better solution is the non-solution". What is you are saying now?

    Yes, I said this. During that period, the conditions were as such. We are at the moment exerting efforts for a solution. And the non-solution is not the better solution. However, unfortunately because of the stance of the Greek Cypriot side, the non-solution continues. We are using our last chance for a solution.

    S.K: If there is no agreement, are you thinking to leave (table)?

    If we do not agree, we shall leave.

    S.K: If the negotiations are to be interrupted what are you going to do for the continuation of the existence of the TRNC as a separate state?

    In that case we won't have the blame. We will evaluate our alternatives.

    S.K: Let's return back to the negotiation talks which begun during 2008 when Mehmet Ali Talat was at the presidency. Afterwards, you took over the duty in 2010. This means that the negotiations are in a process for four years. It hasn't achieved any progress at all?

    The negotiations are pro-longed. We are all fed up with this. Of course we achieved to agree in some points during this period. There are convergences and agreements on several chapters we had discussed such as the chapter of economy, the EU and partnership and the chapter of power distribution. We have agreed also towards some principles and parameters related for example to the property issue, but still it was not possible to reach to an agreement on the details. We are also working on the chapters like the territory and the quarantorship...In brief, the issues we have not achieved convergences are much more that those we had agreed.

    S.K: In brief, you say that it will be useless for the talks to continue in the same way. All right, how it may be otherwise?

    We will wait for the UN Secretary- General; let's see what he will say, what he will decide".

    Sami Kohen concludes his commentary writing that no hopes were left to the sides for a solution to be found during the prolonged four-year Cyprus negotiations talks. He then underlines that the Turkish Cypriots are clearly stating that they do not want to be the side that will withdraw from the talks, while on the other hand, as Kohen supports, the Greek Cypriot side is looking for formulas in order for the negotiation process not to be interrupted and in order not to lose its prestige... Kohen supports then that if others will come like for example, the USA and EU countries, it will not be very right for Cyprus.

    According to Kohen, the Cyprus negotiation talks are reaching the end, but still, nobody has the luxury to withdraw from the table...

    (AK)

    [03] Havadis: "Hopes have not been exhausted in the Cyprus talks"; Kibris: "The statements are not encouraging"

    Under the title: "Hopes have not been exhausted", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.03.12) argues that with a letter sent by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to the UN Secretary-General, the issue of the cross-voting ceased to be a problem causing a deadlock in the Cyprus negotiations. According to journalist Mete Tumerkan, Eroglu has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General saying that he would show "additional flexibility" on the cross-voting on the condition that assurances are given that a multilateral conference will be held in April or May for the discussion of all the issues.

    Tumerkan reports that the sides continue their efforts for producing a document of common understanding on the property issue, which still constitutes a problem. According to Tumerkan, the United Nations (UN) has submitted "non papers" at the negotiating table on the issues of property, and governance and power sharing. The Turkish side has reportedly accepted the paper on the governance and power sharing as basis for discussions and said that it is ready to "produce a common understanding" on the document regarding the property issue.

    The paper writes that "confidence building measures" and the issue of the occupied closed city of Varosha are included in UN's document on the "property". The issue of "Varosha" is reportedly related with the refugees and the territory in the above-mentioned document. According to Tumerkan, UN documents are only "food for thought".

    Tumerkan alleges that UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer is angry with President Christofias' stance, and confessed to his close circle that "because of Christofias' stance I feel like I have crashed into the wall".

    Citing sources from the Presidential Palace of the Republic of Cyprus, Tumerkan writes that President Christofias will under no condition accept an international conference at this period, because this would be a political suicide as in this case no chances will remain for him or another candidate of left-wing AKEL party to win the forthcoming presidential elections.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (30.03.12) refers to the Cyprus talks under the title: "The end of a period" and reports that the Cyprus negotiations, which have been held by the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders for a long period of time, ended yesterday. The paper writes that in spite of the fact that the failure of the process has not been officially declared, the statements made after the last meeting were not encouraging.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Yorgancioglu: Eroglu's stance shows he is not negotiating for finding a solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (30.03.12) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), stated yesterday that abandoning the negotiating table would be an extremely dangerous initiative which would mortgage Turkish Cypriot "people's" future and increase their so-called isolation from the world. He said that this initiative is such a fatal mistake that could multiply many problems, including the property, which will collapse on them in a suffocating manner.

    Yorgancioglu noted that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu continues stating that "the negotiations are meaningless" and that now he added to this statement that "no meeting will be held with the Greek Cypriot leader until the report of the UN Secretary-General is published". Yorgancioglu argued that Eroglu should abandon this stance and the statements that will bring the Turkish Cypriots face to face with the world.

    Yorgancioglu said the fact that Eroglu correlates the UN Secretary-General's report to his meeting with President Christofias, is another concrete indication which shows that the Turkish Cypriot leader was actually sitting at the negotiating table not for finding a solution but for showing off only. He added:

    "While it is clear that the UN Secretary-General Ban said that the sides should produce the solutions, that the UN's role is not to arbitrate, and that the deadlock on the core issues should be solved in order for him to be able to invite a conference, Eroglu's stance that he would not meet until after the [UN Secretary-General's] report, is nothing else than an effort to make sure of the collapse of the negotiations?"

    Yorgancioglu described as meaningless Eroglu's statement that "we could continue negotiations at a four-party or a five-party conference", because the UN Secretary-General has clearly stated that substantial progress should be achieved in order for him to invite an international conference. He said Eroglu exerted absolutely no constructive effort for achieving such progress.

    Yorgancioglu said also that Eroglu's approach is "strange and contradictory" because on the one hand he says that the negotiations are meaningless and on the other that "without negotiations it is not possible to understand whether we agree". He noted that "these incomprehensible statements" are made by Eroglu in order to hide his intention of not agreeing and are "extremely dangerous and admonitory".

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] "Besparmak Group" evaluates its meeting with Downer

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (30.03.12) reports that the "Besparmak [Pendathaktylos] Group" has evaluated the meeting it held the day before yesterday with Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor on Cyprus. In a written statement issued yesterday, the Group expressed the view that all methods for reconciliation have been tried in Cyprus and everything has been discussed. It argued that the UN Secretary-General must now "courageously say the realities and the needs" and that by saying the "realities", the non-solution in Cyprus could be turned into opportunity after 50 years.

    The Group expressed also the view that further pressure on the Turkish Cypriot side would cause the wearing out of the agreed solution parameters and spoil the necessary balances for a federal partnership. Arguing that the negotiations will end on 1 July because there is absolutely no sign that progress could be achieved, the Group said that "this situation will give the opportunity to the UN and the international players to reassess not only the presence of the UN but also the suitability of the federal solution model in Cyprus which has been discussed for 35 years".

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Bagis alleged that Fule's statements a slap for those who do not want to see Turkey improve

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (29.03.12) reports that the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis stated that the speech of the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule was like a slap for those who do not want to see Turkey improve.

    Fule discussed developments in Turkey ahead of the vote on the draft report on Turkey, written by the European Parliament's Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten and stated that reform process continues in Turkey, although sometimes at a slower pace. He blasted members of the European Parliament who stated that the 27-member club must freeze accession negotiations with Turkey due to the candidate country's poor human rights record.

    "He taught the European Parliament a lesson," Bagis said. He added that those who do not see Turkey carrying out reforms must pay attention to Fule's remarks. Bagis also alleged that Turkey does not disappoint its "friends who support Turkey's EU bid" with the steps it takes to foster an advanced democracy.

    [07] After the water transfer, Turkey will transfer electricity in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish daily Gunes newspaper (30.03.12) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, stated that together with the works conducted for the transfer of water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus, the necessary works are also conducted for the transfer of electricity.

    Kucuk made these statements speaking during a meeting he had with the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television (29.03.12) broadcast that Kucuk commented on the water transfer project and stated: "The project continues with no problems and without delay thanks to motherland Turkey".

    He went on and added that the project which envisages the 5 million cubic meters of water to be transported from Turkey to the breakaway regime via a pipeline by 2014, continues.

    As part of the project, the ground-breaking ceremony of the Gecitkoy (occupied Panagra village) dam will be held today with the participation of state and government officials from Turkey. Among them, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister who is also in Charge of Cyprus Affairs Besir Atalay.

    According to a statement by the self-styled ministry of agriculture and natural resources, the dam which will have the capacity of storing 26.5 million cubic meters of water will be used for the distribution of 75 million cubic meters of water annually which will be transferred from the Alakopru Dam in Turkey.

    Also commenting on the issue, Turkish Minister of Forestry and Water Works Veysel Eroglu said works are continuing day and night to finish the project until the 7th of March 2014.

    [08] "A game of chess"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (30.03.12) publishes the following commentary by Yusuf Kanli:

    "No, I am not writing about the game of chess in the spectacular poem 'Wasteland' by Thomas Stearns Elliot. At issue is the game of chess continuing between the two sides on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, with the U.N. playing the role of facilitator, and unwilling to play the role of the referee.

    In the latest episode of the game, the Turkish Cypriot side walked the extra mile it has been under pressure to do for the past many weeks. President Dervis Eroglu wrote to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon organized an international conference to discuss the pending aspects of the Cyprus problem and said the Turkish Cypriot side would accept as 'basis for talks' two non-papers presented by U.N. experts to the sides. One of those so-called 'food for thought' papers was on the governance issues and the other was related to property matters.

    Eroglu confirmed in remarks to the media Thursday, after the last meeting of the Cypriot leaders before the Secretary-General's Special Advisor Alexander Downer writes his report to the Secretary-General on the progress in the talks, that he had written the letter to Ban. He also implied that reports that he wrote to the Secretary-General that he would accept the Greek Cypriot side's demand for cross-voting, with no strings attached, should Ban call for a multilateral conference, are true.

    Yesterday, after the two leaders met, the teams of the two sides and the U.N. experts continued deliberations to provide a 'common report' on the property aspect of the problem. When this article was written yesterday there was still optimism in northern Cyprus that perhaps with some backstage politics by the Americans, the British and the Secretary-General, the Greek Cypriot side might agree to go the extra mile as well and accept, for example, the 'property vs. number of refugees returning to pre-1974 homes' idea, or at least come somewhere near what Perez de Cuellar had suggested back in 1986 regarding overall territory-sharing between the two founding states of the future federation.

    Yet, as the teams were meeting, Greek Cypriot presidential sources told this writer that under no conditions would Demetris Christofias accept the convening of an international conference. "Such a development would mean committing political suicide and killing his own prospects for re-election, as well as those of any other candidate of his AKEL party," a very high-level source said. That of course underscores the bitter reality of the unpreparedness and unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to compromise for a solution on the island, which will require political will and courage.

    As the Turkish Cypriot side has accepted as the "basis for talks" both of the two non-papers or 'food for thought' presented by the U.N. experts, provided the Secretary-General calls for an international conference, and the Greek Cypriot side in the last two meetings categorically declared 'Oxi' ("no") to a multilateral conference, the ball is obviously now in the court of Downer and Ban. Will they be able to say what has marred the prospect of a settlement and point bluntly at the chubby Christofias, or will they play around with words, and try to find a formula that will place the Cyprus issue in a deep freeze, only to be rehashed in the spring of 2013, as Greek Cyprus has been demanding?"

    [09] Kibrisli writes that Al Qaeda was planning to put a bomb in the British Bases in Dhekelia

    Under the title: "Al Qaeda operation", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (30.03.12) reports that according to information obtained, Al Qaeda was planning to put a bomb in the British Base in Dhekelia.

    Citing information, the paper writes that very strict measures were taken after the incident and adds that two women, who are bomb specialists were brought to Cyprus urgently from Britain to take care of the issue.

    The paper also writes that after this incident, the controls at the Strovilia Barricade became very strict.

    [10] A nationalist organization blackmails a Turkish Cypriot businessman

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (30.03.12) reports that Turkish Cypriot businessman Mustafa Yeniada, owner of a company named Immap Ltd, has said that he received threats and a letter, which blackmails him asking for 100 thousand pounds sterling. The threats were made by an organization named "Turkish Revenge Brigade (TIT) Tugra Group".

    The letter was sent on 13 March and received by the businessman yesterday. The letter says that if some persons betray the Turkish nation, the group has "no other way than punish them".

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] The occupation regime at the UITT Kiev Tourism Fair

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (30.03.12) reports that the occupation regime was represented to the Ukraine International Travel & Tourism Fair (UITT) which took place in Kiev.

    According to information acquired by the so-called ministry of tourism, the so-called minister of tourism Unal Ustel, together with representatives from the tourism sector in the occupied area, represented the regime to the fair in Kiev which opened the day before yesterday and will close today.

    As the paper writes, the occupation regime is participating to the Fair with its own stand which attracted the interest of a lot of visitors and especially the Russians as the paper reports.

    The paper adds that it is the 18th time that the UITT Fair is taking place in Ukraine.

    Representatives from 55 different countries, 710 firms and a total of 20 thousand visitors attended the Fair last year, writes the paper.

    (AK)

    [12] "EU's Ashton skips Syria meet in Turkey over Cyprus"; Cyprus blocks the Turkish path

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (30.03.12) reports that EU's foreign policy chief Ashton signals that she will skip Turkey's Syria meeting for Cyprus as diplomatic efforts continue to change her mind.

    "Ashton is unlikely to be in Istanbul due to Ankara's decision," an EU diplomat told the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday. "Instead, her deputy, Pierre Vimont, will represent the European External Action Service."

    Contacted by the Daily News, Ashton's office said they were not in a position to confirm that she would be in Istanbul on April 1. According to diplomatic sources, Ashton tried hard to convince Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to secure the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in the meeting alongside other EU countries, but she could not obtain a positive response in their last phone conversation March 27. The diplomat said talks between Ankara and Brussels that aimed to change the other's mind were continuing, but there was little room for each side to back down from their positions.

    A Turkish diplomat confirmed that the Republic of Cyprus had not been invited to the meeting and said there was no obligation for Turkey to invite all EU countries. The EU countries discussed the matter at a meeting last week in Brussels where some members suggested downgrading the representation of all member countries at the meeting in a show of solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus. However, this plan was not endorsed by the majority due to the significance of the Syria meeting. The United Kingdom, France and Denmark, the current European Council President, will send their Ministers to Istanbul, the Daily News has learned. In the meantime, Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson Gregory Delavekouras said yesterday that Greece had decided to participate in the meeting at a reduced diplomatic level as a reaction to the Republic of Cyprus' non-inclusion.

    [13] Turkish EU Minister Leaves for United States to hold talks

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.03.12) reports that Turkey's EU Affairs Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis travelled to the United States on Thursday.

    Bagis will hold a number of talks in the United States.

    [14] "Turkish generals on trial have a lot to say"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (29.03.12) publishes the following commentary by Murat Yetkin:

    "When retired General Ilker Basbug, the former head of the Turkish military, walked out of the hearing room at the Istanbul Criminal Court last Tuesday, it was obvious that the trials on coup allegations, which have been going on since 2008, have entered a new phase.

    Before walking out in anger, Basbug had told the judges that he would refuse to answer any questions based on such a "frivolous" indictment as that which accuses him of heading a terrorist organization in a plot to overthrow the government. That was too much for the general, who was running the Turkish army, fighting terrorists, up until his retirement in 2010, and has now been under arrest since January 2012. Walking out of the court was also illegal; in order not to escalate the tension further, the judge called for a break, after which Basbug took his place before him but declined to defend himself against the accusations.

    He is accused of giving orders to officers under his command to establish fake internet sites in order to discredit the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government, as psychological preparation for a bigger move. Basbug used to be the Land Forces Commander when the military -- then led by Yasar Buyukanit -- issued a statement (since known as the "e-memorandum") against the probability of then Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's being elected President by Parliament on April 27, 2007.

    But Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not like former Prime Ministers of Turkey, who were weakened by coalition governments, and Turkey is not the same country it was before the European Union democratization reforms. The next day Erdogan issued a strong statement to the effect of "mind your own business," declared early elections, issued a referendum on a public vote to elect the President, and summoned Buyukanit to his office in Istanbul, not Ankara. Following that meeting, the probe into the coup allegations was kicked off.

    Gen. Ergin Saygun, who was the deputy chief at the time of the e-memorandum, has also appeared before another Istanbul court, to testify in another coup probe called "Balyoz," the "Sledgehammer."

    "In the police interrogation," he told the judges, "they asked me where was I when a synagogue and a bank were bombed in 2003. At first I thought it was a joke. But now I understand that if I had said I was in Istanbul as a joke, perhaps I would have been accused of bombing those places." The Istanbul bombings had been carried out by al-Qaeda, which claimed responsibility for them, and some al-Qaeda members have since been arrested and found guilty by the courts.

    The Sledgehammer case is about a March 2003 military simulation exercise at the First Army Headquarters in Istanbul, under the command of then-Gen. Cetin Dogan, which prosecutors claim actually involved discussing a scenario to overthrow the government. Recently a document was submitted to the court claiming that the alleged evidence may have been created after the fact, because the fonts used in the documents in question were produced by Microsoft in 2006, triggering yet another debate regarding the indictment.

    Saygun asked the court to call the Land Forces Commander of the time, Ret. Gen. Aytac Yalman, as a witness. And Basbug made a reproachful remark in the court, asking: "Where are our former commanders?," possibly meaning Buyukanit and his predecessor Hilmi Ozkok. "If something like this had happened to them, I would support their case."

    It is inevitable that trend for Turkish generals on trial to be likely to have a lot to say will find its echo in public life." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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