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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-10-15
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 199/12 13-15.10.12
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Bagis is illegally visiting the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.10.12) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkey's EU Minster and Chief Negotiator, arrived last night to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Right after his arrival, Bagis attended a dinner hosted to his honor by the self-styled prime minister, Irsen Kucuk. Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Turgay Avci, chairmen of the Democracy and Trust (DGP) and Freedom and Reform (ODP) parties respectively were also present at the dinner.
Today Bagis is expected to give a lecture at illegal European University of Lefka (LAU) titled "Fatin Rustu Zorlu, EU and Cyprus". This morning he will be meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, the self-styled prime minister Kucuk, the so-called speaker of the "assembly", Hasan Bozer and "foreign minister" Huseyin Ozgurgun. Tonight he is expected to depart from the occupied area of the island.
Commenting on the participation of Avci and Ertugruloglu in the dinner, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (15.10.12) noted that this was an "interesting" development and reports that this happened due to their friendly relations with Bagis. Noting that the return of both of them to the National Unity Party is discussed recently, the paper writes that a reliable source said the return of Avci and Ertugruloglu to the UBP is "something which all of us wish". "We hope that this will happen after the congress", the source added.
 Groundbreaking ceremonies for transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.10.12) reports that the groundbreaking ceremonies for transferring water with undersea pipelines from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus were simultaneously held on Saturday in Anamur, Turkey, and occupied Vasilia village, in the area of Keryneia.
Addressing the ceremony in Anamur, the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay said that they prepared a project for transferring water and electricity together from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus. Atalay noted that soon a "protocol" will be signed between the two "countries" and the groundbreaking ceremony will be held [on the issue of electricity as well].
Addressing the same ceremony, Irsen Kucuk, self-styled prime minister of the regime, said that the "project of the century", as he described it, will cost one billion and 117 million Turkish liras (TL).
Self-styled ambassador to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Halil Ibrahim Akca, so-called ministers of finance, economy, labor and tourism, Ersin Tatar, Sunat Atun, Serife Unverdi and Unal Ustel, as well as Turkey's Minister of Forests and Water Affairs, Veysel Eroglu participated in the ceremony in Anamur.
In his statements, Atalay alleged that the project "is one of the projects which show in the best manner, that north Cyprus and the island of Cyprus cannot exist, cannot live without Turkey". He argued that with this project "important messages" are given to the Greek Cypriot side, which, he claimed, is reminded of the fact that its nearest neighbor is Turkey and should see the benefits of a peaceful solution, "instead of planning a future by eliminating the existence of the Turkish Cypriots".
"The transfer of electricity from Turkey to the island will be secured", he said noting that this was something announced for the first time. He added: "The decision was taken, the projects are ready to a great extend. I have talked with the energy ministers of both countries. The protocols will be signed the soonest between the countries and, God willing; soon we will hold the groundbreaking ceremony for this as well?"
Irsen Kucuk said that they have launched preparations for transferring 200 megawatt of electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus.
The Turkish Minister of Forests and Water Affairs, Veysel Eroglu said that he will visit the occupied area of Cyprus after 10-15 days and launch an action plan on the water systems and the issues of forestry, olives, citrus fruits, almonds and carobs.
According to Kibris, self-styled minister of agriculture, Ali Amcaoglu, self-styled minister of education, youth and sports Mutlu Atasayan and Gulin Kucuk, "prime minster" Kucuk's spouse, attended the ceremony held in occupied Keryneia area.
Meanwhile, Kibris reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu has described as "milestone" the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus. In statements during another ceremony in which he participated, Eroglu thanked Prime Minister Erdogan and everybody who contributed to this project.
 El-Sen: The electricity and water projects aim at annihilating the Turkish CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.10.12) reports that the Trade Union of the Employees in the Turkish Cypriot Electricity "Authority" (El-Sen) has asked for the conditions of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus to be clarified. Caglayan Cesurer, El-Sen's chairman, issued a statement yesterday noting that establishing a line for transferring electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus will be tantamount to the closure of the Turkish Cypriot electricity "authority".
Describing the water and electricity projects as "effort to annihilate the Turkish Cypriot people", Cesurer argued that Irsen Kucuk's self-styled government and Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government "are dealing the final blow" to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots.
He noted that many things are still unknown as regards the water, which will be transferred from Turkey, and wondered who will be controlling and supervising this water, how its purchase and sale will be carried out and what will the cost be.
Referring to the issue of electricity, Cesurer noted that AKSA Energy Production Joint Stock Company is the only producer of electricity in the occupied area of Cyprus and this company has been suffering losses from the very first day of its establishment. He noted that transferring 200 megawatt of electricity from Turkey to the occupied area of the island will have no positive result and that the Turkish Cypriots will completely lose the sources and possibilities they have for producing energy.
 Eroglu stated that he considers occupied Famagusta area as his "country's land"According to illegal Bayrak television (13.10.12), the so-called Maras union and solidarity association together with the "TRNC Greenhouse Union" hosted a solidarity dinner last night.
The Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, "prime minister" Irsen Kucuk, the so-called Turkish ambassador to occupied Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca, political party leaders and representatives attended the dinner.
Making a statement during the solidarity dinner, Eroglu alleged that the first displaced immigrants were relocated to the Famagusta area and therefore he always accepted these lands as his "country".
Reminding that they had fought in order to strengthen the "states foundations", he said: "the greatest gain for us has been our statehood. We have come to where we are today due to unity and solidarity" said Eroglu, adding that he was very proud to be living under the roof of a "state". "If we did not have the support of motherland Turkey we would never be able to live free and safely under the roof of the TRNC", Eroglu and added that it was everyone's duty to protect the "nation" and carry it forward to a better future.
The so-called "prime minister" Irsen Kucuk also addressed the dinner and noted that it was a trait of the Turkish nation to unite and therefore will continue to do so in the future as well.
Referring to the water that will be brought to the "TRNC" from Turkey, Kucuk said that some of this water will be used for agriculture and will therefore solve some of the problems that are being experienced in the sector.
The so-called Turkish ambassador to occupied Lefkosia, Halil Ibrahim Akca also said a few words during the dinner and praised the "TRNC" as it had proved it could be successful to the Turkic world and was continuing on its own path.
 Eroglu tries to hide the Turkish intransigence behind statements made by candidates in the 2013 Presidential Elections in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.10.12) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the statements made by Nikos Anastasiades, Democratic Rally Party (DISY) chairman and "most pretentious", as he called him, presidential candidate in the 2013 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Cyprus, give no hope for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Addressing the opening ceremony of the new academic year at the illegal American University of Keryneia ("GAU"), Eroglu said that they are closely following the statements made by Nikos Anastasiades, who according to the public opinion polls, will become the next Greek Cypriot leader, and claimed that these statements give no hope for the future.
Eroglu claimed that by these statements it is understood that the leader of DISY wants to "carry the negotiations to another ground from the point of view of their format and content", in case he is elected. He argued that they would approach Nikos Anastasiades with "open mind", when the latter is elected, and give their decision according to the policy he will be following.
He reiterated his allegation that everything has been discussed in the Cyprus problem during the past 44 years and that the only thing that is left is exhibiting the political will necessary for the solution.
Meanwhile, the day before yesterday, Eroglu met with the organizations of Turkish Cypriot travel agents (KITSAB), taxi drivers, hoteliers and the owners of cars for rent, and listened to their problems. In statements during the meeting, KITSAB's chairman, Orhan Tolun alleged that the police of the Republic of Cyprus fine the Turkish Cypriot commercial vehicles in the government-controlled area of Cyprus "by creating excuses" and, from time to time, the police take the tourists, who are in these vehicles as clients, to the police station to testify. He also claimed that some "Greek Cypriot fanatics" gather at the barricades, attack their vehicles and insult them. He said that if these incidents continued, the four organizations will hold a protest.
In his statements, Eroglu said he would convey the issue to UN officials and argued that such behaviors will harm the relations between the "two peoples". "If the incidents continue, we could come to the position of saying 'they do these things, why don't we do them too'", he added. He argued that they could not allow the police of the Republic of Cyprus to enter into the "TRNC territory", as he described the occupied area of the Republic, and reiterated the allegation that they are a separate "state" and they should behave as such.
 Talat sees no development in the Cyprus problem until 2015 because of ErogluTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.10.12) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has expressed the view that no change will happen in case Nikos Anastasiades, Democratic Rally Party (DISY) chairman, wins the 2013 Presidential Elections in the Republic of Cyprus, but nevertheless there could potentially be some serious differences. "And this depends on a leadership in the north, which has the will and acts for dragging the process", he argued in statements yesterday to Kibris TV.
Talat alleged that President Christofias showed hesitation on all issues having the fear that "his wound" of being "friend of the Turks, communist and atheist" could have bled any moment. He added: "This could not be said for Anastasiades, because he is perceived to be conservative and a nationalist. Therefore, he could behave more courageously. However, in front of Anastasiades there will be Eroglu again. Therefore, I expect nothing to happen until year 2015".
 So-called minister Tatar reacted against the draft law submitted in the Republic of Cyprus' House of Representatives for the punishment of the buying and selling property in the occupied area of Cyprus; More reactions by Turkish Cypriot lawyersTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes (15.10.12) reports on statements by the so-called minister of finance, Ersin Tatar who described as a "circumciser fear" the draft law for the "punishment of buying and selling property in the TRNC", prepared by the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he describe the Republic of Cyprus.
Issuing a written statement, Tatar alleged that this kind of regulations is a racist approach and is completely contrary to the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). Tatar stated also the following: "They go bankrupt and the applications at the Immovable Compensation Committee are getting increase. This is a circumciser fear which aims to prevent this (the applications) and to terrorize the Turkish Cypriots".
He went on and alleged that the main goal of the "Greek Cypriot administration" which is unfairly in the EU term presidency, as he said, is with this kind of reports in the press, to prevent those who make applications to the Immovable Property Commission since as he said they feel panic because of the fact that the applications were increased.
Pointing to the fact that the Nobel Peace Price has been given to the EU for this year, Tatar said: "It is like a joke for the Greek Cypriot leader which is a racist Turkish enemy, to be consider as an EU minister".
Tatar accused also the Republic of Cyprus of being a "terrorist administration which occupied the Republic of Cyprus" and said: "They refer to EU values and they however beguile their own values".
Also, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (14.10.12) reporting on the same issue writes that the draft law which was submitted to the "House of Representatives" of the Greek Cypriots, by the Greek Cypriot MP Sotiris Samson and the MP with DISI, Kyriakos Haciyannis, envisaging "7 years of imprisonment to those who buy and sell property in the north", has caused the strong reaction of lawyers in the occupied area of Cyprus.
According to the paper, the chairman of the "Association of Property Owners of Equivalent value" and former "general director" of the Vakif Foundation, have proposed to open immediately the fenced off city of Varoshia (Maras), in response to this stance by the Greek Cypriots.
Taner Dervis said: "A great part of Maras belongs to Vakif Foundation and in a short period of time the opening of Maras will bring to us great advantages from the economic point of view".
Also, commenting on the draft law, experienced lawyers in occupied Cyprus such as Ali Riza Gorgun, Oguzhan Hasipoglu and the chairman of the "Body of lawyers Union", Unver Bedevi said that the aim of the Greek Cypriots is to abolish the "Immovable Property Commission".
 Investments from Iran and Britain have reportedly come to the occupied area of Cyprus; A new hotel to be constructed in occupied Morfou and Lefka areasTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.10.12) reports that Unal Ustel, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture of the breakaway regime, has said that a 100% increase in the number of tourists from Turkey visiting the occupied area of Cyprus was observed in 2012 in comparison with the 2011. Addressing a meeting with Turkish travel agents at the Marmara Hotel in Istanbul, Ustel said they achieved the above-mentioned increase with their promotion activities, their incentives and by declaring "a year of northern Cyprus" in Turkey.
Ustel noted that in parallel to investors from Turkey, investors from Iran and Britain have also come to the occupied area of Cyprus and added that except for occupied Keryneia and Famagusta areas, they have started to direct the investors towards occupied Morfou and Lefka areas as well.
He said: "British investors are coming recently. We are directing the new investments towards the area of Morfou and Lefka as well, and not only to the area of Keryneia and Famagusta. In the forthcoming days, a British investor is starting the construction of a new hotel with a thousand bed capacity and a golf field in the area of Lefka and Morfou".
Ustel said that the number of the European tourists, who visit the occupied area of Cyprus, has also increased and that they have tourists from 13 European countries.
 Ertug on the hydrocarbon resources in CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (12.10.12), Osman Ertug the so-called special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, has announced that the Turkish Cypriot side's proposal for the common use of the hydrocarbon resources off the shores of Cyprus by the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, was received warmly by the United Nations.
Ertug took part in a program broadcast on Bayrak Haber channel and evaluated issues that are on the agenda in the "TRNC".
Explaining that the "president", as he called the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, had recently put forward a proposal to the United Nations and "south Cyprus" regarding hydrocarbon beds off the shores of Cyprus, Ertug said that although the proposal was warmly welcomed by the United Nations, it was rejected by "south Cyprus"
Noting that it was proposed that the hydrocarbon would be distributed via Turkey, Ertug said that this was the wisest and the best economical way to distribute the hydrocarbon. "The EU began through coal and steel, why can't a united Cyprus be established through hydrocarbon" emphasized Ertug.
 Workers at occupied Lefkosia municipality to go on an indefinite strike; danger for typhoid illness because of the garbage in the streetsUnder the title: "Danger for typhoid", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (15.10.12) reports that the workers at the occupied Lefkosia municipality will go on again today on an indefinite strike due to the fact that they did not paid their salaries.
As the paper writes, the streets in occupied Lefkosia are full of rubbishes and this caused a nasty smell.
In statements on the issue, the so-called mayor of occupied Lefkosia Cemal Bulutoglulari has said that the workers were paid their salaries whereas the chairman of the "municipality worker's trade union", Savas Bozat said that Bulutoglulari tell lies and that they did not took their salaries. He further said that the salary issue is not the only problem they confront and he added they also confront problems with the issue of Social Insurance and secondly with the Providence Fund. He continued and said that the fact that the workers work and not paid is a constitutional crime and warned that if they do not take their salaries by the end of the day they will go on with an indefinite strike.
Meanwhile, according to statements made by doctor Sibel Sibel, people's health is in danger because of the rubbish in the streets. He warned that they may come face to face with several illnesses for example the typhoid, as he said. He continued and called on the "state" and the "administration" of the so-called municipality to cooperate in order to find a solution to the problem and protect the worker's rights and the people's health as well.
 Bagis: "Turkey to open soon new chapter with the EU"Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.12) reports that Turkey's European Union Minister Egemen Bag?s said yesterday in an interview with the private channel Kanalturk that Turkey plans to open new EU membership accession chapters during the term presidency of Ireland starting in January 2013.
Responding to questions at Kanalturk, he said: "We are voicing our demands on the opening of new negotiation chapters. We held meetings with Irish officials on this issue. We hosted the Irish EU minister in Turkey, and we will make a visit soon. We brought these issues up during our meeting with British officials who work closely with Ireland. We will visit England at the beginning of November."
Replying to a question on "Greek Cypriot administration's" rotating EU presidency that will end in January 2013, Bagis said that Turkey was conveying its demands on opening of chapters to Ireland which will take over the rotating presidency.
Bagis said that the EU was the most comprehensive peace project of history and Turkey's EU membership would globalize this project.
Despite all the efforts exerted by Turkey in its EU accession bid, the steps taken by the EU have been limited, Bag?s said.
Bagis also responded to questions concerning the European Commission's tough progress report on Turkey, which was released October 10. In the report, the EU's executive body expressed serious concerns about Turkey's progress in meeting the political criteria for full membership of the bloc, paying significant attention to the freedoms of expression, assembly and association, lengthy prosecution and detention periods and the failure to find a political solution to the Kurdish issue.
"The commission, which is so eager to make criticism, is not generous in its appreciation," Bagis said, adding that he thought the report was prepared through bargaining. Without mentioning names, Bagis said, some circles within Turkey had also played a role in this bargaining.
The European Parliament is also set to release a report on Turkey later this year. Bagis said he hoped the coming report would be "more serious" than the commission's report, but added that he had significant doubts on the matter. "I especially want to underline that I will not take it [the report by the European Parliament] seriously at all. Because personal bargaining has already begun in the drafting," he said, without elaborating.
 Arinc stated that the EU does not accept Turkey in its circles because they are MuslimsUnder the front page title: "They do not accept us to the EU because we are Muslims", Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (15.10.12) reports on statements by Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister, Bulent Arinc who has stated that racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia were today's chronic diseases.
Delivering a speech at a session on Islamophobia and racism in the Istanbul World Forum on Saturday, Arinc stated that 50 years were passed on Turkey's EU adventure and added: "Why they do not want us to become members, why they accepted Malta with a 400 thousand population and south Cyprus with such a population. Why they do not accept us, we can consider that there are 50 reasons but the most important one is because we are Muslims (...)", Arinc said.
 "EU bashing and the AKP"Under the above title, columnist Amanda Paul published the following commentary in Today's Zaman newspaper (14.10.12, online), on statements made by the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator, Egemen Bagis, regarding the Progress Report prepared by the European Commission on Turkey's accession negotiations:
"Last Wednesday, the European Commission came out with its annual progress report on Turkey.
To put it mildly, Ankara did not enjoy reading it. Of the 15 reports Turkey has received over the years, this was possibly one of the toughest. The reaction from Ankara seems to indicate that they were expecting something different -- a nicer report, a report that focused more on the positives in the relationship and brushed under the carpet, or at least detracted from, the negatives.
Indeed, the only effect the report seems to have had so far is to produce a series of negatives statements from Ankara, including a particularly scathing reaction from Turkey's Minister for EU Affairs and chief negotiator Egemen Bagis. While Bagis's statements are known for their frequently colorful nature, I was rather shocked by his press statement. A lot of the language he used was wholly unconstructive and uncalled for. The Republic of Cyprus comes under fire, with Bagis stating that the EU presidency of the Republic of Cyprus (or, as he so provocatively refers to it, the 'so-called presidency' of a 'so-called state') had a negative impact on the content of this year's progress report. In fact, this is not only a provocative but an inaccurate statement because the Cypriot presidency had literally nothing to do with the preparation of the report as this is not part of the presidency's mandate. Moreover, Bagis's conclusion that the progress report 'reflects the efforts of the EU, which is in financial, economic and political crises, to delay Turkey's EU membership with various excuses' is also rather far-fetched.
I say far-fetched because, having read the report as well as has having closely followed the developments in Turkey over the past 12 months, I believe, as do many of my colleagues, both Turkish and non-Turkish, that this year's report overall represents a relatively fair picture of what is happening in the county and the efforts that Turkey's leadership has made towards EU-demanded reforms over the past year. It is true that it is quite hard-hitting, but it has to be, because there are problems that need to be addressed if Turkey is to successfully continue down the road of democratization. Some of the areas in which difficulties remain have been consistently referred to over the past few years. For example, the government remains far from satisfying the judicial reforms laid out in the Copenhagen criteria. Another important topic is the development of a new constitution. Ankara seems to be turning a deaf ear to many of the recommendations of the Venice Commission, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seemingly dead-set on turning Turkey into a semi-presidential system even though this goes against the Venice Commission's advice.
These reports should not be seen as a school report; rather, they should be viewed as a roadmap or tool designed to help Turkey continue down the road to reforms and democratization. Unfortunately, it seems that Ankara is not able to accept constructive criticism.
With all due respect to Minister Bagis, we are all wide awake. While nobody is denying that this government has taken a lot of courageous and admiral steps in bringing about positive change in Turkey, the elective Kurdish languages courses in schools being a good example, at the same time, it is necessary to consolidate and build on the progress of reforms and not allow them to regress.
Of course, at the same time, it is also clear that with the opposition of a number of member states to the idea of Turkey's accession; the obstacle of Cyprus, combined with the economic malaise that is currently gripping Europe; and rising anti-Islamic sentiment, the atmosphere is far from conducive to improving ties between the two partners.
From his side, European Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule has stressed that Turkey remains a country of 'vital and increasing importance' for the EU. It is precisely for this fact that Turkey is becoming increasingly difficult to handle. As a consequence of the negative climate surrounding the accession talks, the soft-power leverage the EU once had over Turkey has disappeared. The stick-and-carrot strategy of the EU no longer works, not least because the EU removed the carrot. Therefore, it is not that surprising that there are few voices in Turkey these days calling on the country not to abandon its path to the EU. A recent statement by President Abdullah Gul at his party's congress that Turkey should return to its EU goal is one of the few examples.
Can this mood change? A good start would be for the carrot to return to the relationship. There seem to be two possible opportunities. The first would be if France were to unblock the chapters it presently holds hostage for political reasons. This could be done during the upcoming Irish presidency of the EU. The second would be if progress were to be made towards visa liberalization. However, if the carrot remains absent, the dynamics will not change. One could then conclude that the Nobel award-winning EU and its progress reports will continue to have little to no affect on Turkey".
 Davutoglu snubs Syria's decision to ban Turkish airplanes from Syrian airspace; Erdogan calls the UN Security Council to take action over the Syria crisisAccording to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.12), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu downplayed Syria's decision to ban Turkish airplanes from its airspace, saying "Their statement has no importance at all."
In response to a question about recent statements from Russian leaders about material found aboard a Syrian plane forced to land by Turkish authorities, Davutoglu said the examination of the shipment is carried out very carefully. Expressing his intention not to create a public quarrel with Russian officials, the Minister said it was clear who the sender and receiver of the shipment were, adding "There is no need to discuss this."
Meanwhile, after meeting on Saturday with the German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Istanbul, Davutoglu said again that Turkey would not tolerate any further border incidents. "We will strike back without hesitation if we believe Turkey's national security is in danger," Davutoglu said. Westerwelle reiterated Germany's support, also calling on Turkey to "show moderation."
Also, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for reform of the U.N. Security Council to help resolve the crisis, after Russia and China have repeatedly used their veto powers to block resolutions condemning Syria.
"It's time to change the structure of international institutions, starting with the U.N. Security Council," Erdogan told reporters, calling for "wider, fairer and more effective representation."
"There's an attitude that encourages and gives the green light to Assad to kill dozens or hundreds of people every day," Erdogan said.
 BDP held its party convention; Demirtas submitted a proposal for "democratic autonomy" in TurkeyTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (15.10.12) reports that the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) revealed details of its proposal for "democratic autonomy" in Turkey, at the party's extraordinary convention over the weekend.
"Turkey, which is a populous and large country, should be administered with 15 or 20 autonomous regions that have their own parliaments", BDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas said at the convention. "If this formula is not accepted, then we can discuss autonomy for the Kurdistan region. The demand for outlining a status and the demand for education in one's mother tongue are both indispensible for the Kurdish people. If these demands are not met, any other option will be unacceptable for Kurdish people," he said, addressing a crowd of several thousands, most of whom were wearing traditional Kurdish costumes with yellow, red and green colors.
The BDP held its second extraordinary convention in Ankara on the theme of "We are walking toward freedom through resistance." The main reason for the extraordinary congress was to renew the BDP's party assembly, necessary because almost half of the 80-member BDP party assembly is currently detained in the ongoing Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe. The KCK is the alleged urban wing of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Unprecedentedly, a large poster of the convicted leader of the PKK, Abdullah Ocalan, was hung on a wall in the congress hall by the BDP. In its previous congresses, some BDP members carried Ocalan posters individually, but this represented the first time that the BDP has ever hung a poster of Ocalan with its party logo on it.
Ocalan is currently serving a life sentence on Imral? Island prison, but both BDP co-chairs, Demirtas and Gultan K?sanak, emphasized the importance of Ocalan in finding a solution to the Kurdish issue.
"Mr. Ocalan is the key to a solution. Mr. Ocalan is the ultimate reality of the Kurdish question. Mr. Ocalan is the pioneer of the Kurdish people and the leader of the PKK. He represents a chance both for Kurdish and Turkish people," K?sanak said.
"The government should discuss the issues of equality and justice as part of Kurdish question with the BDP", Demirtas said. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION