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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 12-12-27

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No.: 249/12 Date: 22-27.12.12

  • [01] Bagis mocks Cyprus and EU: The bankruptcy of a state holding EU's term presidency is thought provoking for EU's foundation philosophy
  • [02] Bagis continues his sarcastic statements; he called for a simultaneous opening of the "ports" in Cyprus
  • [03] Yildiz: The second well in occupied Cyprus will open in 2013
  • [04] Eroglu: "You cannot create a single nation from two people"
  • [05] An Azerbaijani delegation is illegally in the occupied area of Cyprus; they met with the so-called minister of labour
  • [06] The occupation regime is included in the top ten list for 'Travel Hotlist for 2013' of the Rough Guides LTD
  • [07] Fuat Namsoy the new secretary-general of UBP
  • [08] The situation in occupied Lefkosia "municipality" is described as a powder keg; Poll shows Mustafa Akinci is the most preferable for "mayor"
  • [09] "France may approve unblocking chapters for Turkey's EU bid"
  • [10] "Turkey without EU has no global attraction"
  • [11] Turkey's MGK convened; the Syria crisis, the "counter-terrorism" issue and the developments in the Middle East were discussed
  • [12] Turkish daily reported that Turkey is to buy 117 missiles for F-16 from the US
  • [13] Asil Nadir's spouse speaks on her husband's case
  • [14] Speculations increased in Turkey over Erdogan's wiretapping; Kilicdaroglu: wiretapping Erdogan is a 'grave situation'

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Bagis mocks Cyprus and EU: The bankruptcy of a state holding EU's term presidency is thought provoking for EU's foundation philosophy

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.12.12) reports that Egemen Bagis, Turkish Minister responsible for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator, has reiterated the allegation that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, was ready to provide financial aid to the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he described the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In statements during a visit to the Turkish city of Mugla, Bagis argued: "South Cyprus' Greek Administration has unfortunately come to a point of declaring bankruptcy while it was holding the term presidency of the EU. It made the EU live one of the disgraces it has not experienced during the EU history. The fact that a state which holds the term presidency of the EU came to the situation of declaring bankruptcy is really thought provoking for EU's foundation philosophy. However, the situation into which the Greek Cypriot administration has come does absolutely not make us happy. Beating a person who fell down is not in our culture. May God save them"!

    Bagis alleged that the breakaway regime, with its economy which is developing every day, was ready to provide support to the Greek Cypriots. Bagis claimed that the breakaway regime prolonged "a hand of friendship" to the Greek Cypriots, who could secure a loan from the regime, in the same way they secure electricity and water when they need.

    Bagis alleged that Turkey might help the Greek Cypriots, if they asked it to do so through the self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime, Irsen Kucuk. He went on and claimed: "Turkey is a strong state. In any case, the Greek Administration of South Cyprus has seen how big the cost of preventing Turkey's accession to the EU was for them for so many years. If the Annan Plan had been accepted in 2004, perhaps today the island of Cyprus would have been one of the most prosperous countries of the world under the administration of a United States of Cyprus".

    Bagis claimed that that the economic crisis was a result of what he described as Greek Cypriots' irrational obstinacy. He said he hoped that after the presidential elections, which will be held in February in the Republic of Cyprus, a government which could act "reasonably" and on a common ground based on the political equality of the entire island will be established.

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (27.02.12) refers to the above statements under the title "Turkey's EU minister mocks Greek Cyprus' financial crisis".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Bagis continues his sarcastic statements; he called for a simultaneous opening of the "ports" in Cyprus

    According to illegal Bayrak television (26.12.12), Turkey's EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis evaluating in a televised address Turkey's EU accession process, has inter alia, said that it would be a very big advantage for the Greek Cypriot side to accept Turkey's offer on the simultaneous opening of ports.

    Bagis stated that 14 of the chapters that Turkey is negotiating with the EU as part of its accession process remain closed due to the Cyprus problem.

    He said that the Greek Cypriot side by accepting the opening of the "TRNC ports" to international use and thus gaining access to Turkey's ports, would be a big advantage for "south Cyprus", as he called the Republic of Cyprus.

    "If the new Greek Cypriot leader adopts a moderate stance and accepts our offer on the opening of ports, obstacles standing in the way of opening the 14 chapters will be eliminated", Bagis said.

    Noting that the chapter on energy remains closed due to the Greek Cypriot side's preventive initiatives, the Turkish Minister said that Europe should warn "south Cyprus" to withdraw from such a wrong stance at a time Europe is experiencing an economic crisis.

    "Turkey is the address for Europe to get rid of economic execution", Bagis noted.

    [03] Yildiz: The second well in occupied Cyprus will open in 2013

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.12.12) reports that Taner Yildiz, Turkey's Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, has said that in 2013, they would open the second well, within the framework of their land drilling for natural gas and oil in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Yildiz made this statement yesterday replying to questions of journalists during a breakfast at the social premises of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO).

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Eroglu: "You cannot create a single nation from two people"

    According to illegal Bayrak television (24.12.12) the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu gave a conference entitled "The Past, the Present and the Future of the Cyprus problem", at the Turk Maarif College, in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    Speaking during the conference, Eroglu said that the international community must give up on their dream of combining the "two peoples" in Cyprus.

    Arguing that for many years they had tried to solve the Cyprus problem, he alleged that the Greek Cypriot side's so-called intransigent attitude had always prevented this from being realized.

    Claiming that both the European Union and the UN Security Council were to blame for the non-solution in Cyprus, Eroglu argued the EU was continuing to persist with its mistakes by preserving the implementation of the unjust "embargoes" against the Turkish Cypriots.

    Reiterating that the Turkish Cypriot side wanted to find a solution that would take the "realities" on the island into consideration, he alleged: "There are two states in Cyprus, one in the north and one in the south and therefore there are two peoples. You cannot create a single nation from two people".

    [05] An Azerbaijani delegation is illegally in the occupied area of Cyprus; they met with the so-called minister of labour

    According to illegal Bayrak television (26.12.12), a delegation from Azerbaijan's Social Services and Children Protection Society is holding illegal contacts in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The General Director of the Azerbaijan's Social Services and Children Protection Society Melahat Haciyeva and her accompanying delegation paid a visit to the "minister of labour and social security", Serife Unverdi.

    Speaking during the meeting, Haciyeva said they are in the occupied area of Cyprus to visit the social service and rehabilitation centres in the "country".

    Haciyeva also alleged that the breakaway regime has been accepted as a member of the International Social Services Institution which operates within the United States of Europe after their recommendations.

    Welcoming the Azerbaijani delegation, Unverdi stated that Azerbaijan has made great efforts for the promotion of the "TRNC" in the international community.

    Expressing the wish for the improvement of the existing cooperation between the "TRNC" and Azerbaijan, Unverdi said: "We are one nation and three states. We are all Turks. We are three states the Republic of Turkey, Azerbaijan and the TRNC and we can move forward together".

    [06] The occupation regime is included in the top ten list for 'Travel Hotlist for 2013' of the Rough Guides LTD

    According to illegal Bayrak television (24.12.12), the Rough Guides LTD, which prepares tourism guides for 200 countries, has placed "north Cyprus" in its top ten 'Travel Hotlist for 2013'. Rough Guides writers and editors revealed their top picks for the 2013 year in travel, and "north Cyprus" is among that list.

    According to a statement made by the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture, occupied Keryneia region is referred to as a jewel and the "Girne Harbor", "Girne Castle", St Hilarion Castle and Bellapais are widely praised on the Rough Guides website.

    Meanwhile, the so-called minister Unal Ustel for his part made a statement regarding the issue and said that his "ministry" aims to promote the "TRNC" to the whole world through the "north Cyprus" trademark.

    He said that the "ministry's" advertising efforts and promotional activities in northern Europe and London were starting to pay off.

    (Translator's note: see info about Rough Guides LTD in the following address: http://www.roughguides.com/website/reference/default.aspx),

    [07] Fuat Namsoy the new secretary-general of UBP

    According to illegal Bayrak television (26.12.12), the acting secretary-general of the ruling National Unity Party Fuat Namsoy has been elected as the new UBP secretary general.

    Namsoy who was the only candidate, was elected as the new party secretary general with a majority of votes.

    The party assembly of the National Unity Party convened yesterday afternoon to elect the new Secretary General.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, the UBP "deputy" Ahmet Kasif said that Namsoy was elected as the new secretary-general; however, his election is not suitable, as he said.

    Also speaking, the UBP secretary-general Fuat Namsoy said that the party assembly was convened in line with the request by the Party's General Executive Board and he was elected as the new Secretary General.

    "With today's meeting we responded to the claims by the opposition who are claiming that the UBP has been divided into two. During my term in office, we will work towards moving the UBP forward by overcoming troubles within the party", Namsoy said.

    [08] The situation in occupied Lefkosia "municipality" is described as a powder keg; Poll shows Mustafa Akinci is the most preferable for "mayor"

    Under the title: "Powder keg", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (27.12.12) reports that the employees of the "municipality" in the occupied part of Lefkosia, who have not received a salary for three months, put symbolically for sale yesterday the vehicle used by the "mayor", Cemal Bulutoglulari. After the deadline, which the employees had given to the "government" for solving their problems, ended last night, the employees organized activities which show that they have come to the "critical point", writes Kibris.

    The employees abandoned two tracks of the "municipality" in the occupied Lefkosia-Famagusta highway. According to the paper, because of this, an accident happened during which a car with registration numbers of the Republic of Cyprus suffered big damages.

    Moreover, a protest started yesterday in front of the "municipality" during which a fire broke out. The "police" interfered and put the fire out. The administration of the trade union of the "municipal" employees (BES) warned that they would take shocking actions in case the "government" makes no step for paying their salaries. Some employees said they could burn the "municipality", while some other said they could go even further.

    According to Kibris, the self-styled council of ministers convened yesterday for five hours presided by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu and discussed the "internal and external problems of the country". No decision was taken about the situation in occupied Lefkosia "municipality" during the meeting, after which no statement was issued.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (27.12.12) publishes the results of a public opinion poll, according to which 71.7% of the "voters" in occupied Lefkosia want early "municipal elections" to be held. Asked about their preferences for the post of the "mayor", 16.8% said the new "mayor" should be Mustafa Akinci, who had held the "post" for the period 1976-1990. The current "mayor" Cemal Bulutoglulari came second in the preferences of the "voters" with 8.9%, followed by former "mayor" Semi Bora with 4.4%, and Hasan Sertoglu with 4.1%, both members of the National Unity Party (UBP). Alev Sensoy of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) came fifth in the preferences of the "voters" with 3.9%, while 49.6% inclined to answer.

    Moreover, asked which party they would vote for in case of "municipal elections", 47.2% said they were undecided, 22.2% supported the UBP, 18.7% the CTP, 5.1% the Democratic Party (DP) and 5% the Social Democracy Party (TDP).

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] "France may approve unblocking chapters for Turkey's EU bid"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (25.12.12) reported that "the EU heavyweight France, currently blocking five chapters in the EU acquis communautaire for Turkey, has given positive signals in its recent messages to the EU community that it will lift its block on some chapters in an effort to revitalize stagnant Turkey-EU ties.

    No chapter has been opened for Turkey in two-and-a-half years, exemplifying the listlessness of Turkey-EU relations. In recent talks with Irish officials, France has indicated that preparations could be started to open two chapters that it is blocking.

    Turkish officials were informed of these developments by Irish officials during a visit to Dublin. EU Affairs Minister Egemen Bagis was in Dublin last week for talks as Ireland prepares to take over the EU's rotating presidency" on January 1 from the current presidency, "Greek Cyprus", as the Republic of Cyprus, is called. Turkey froze what were already stagnant relations with the EU in the second half of 2012, when the "Greek Cypriot administration", assumed the presidency. And the paper reports:

    "Irish officials spoke on their recent talks with French representatives, but added that France's recent messages are not a full guarantee that they will remove their blocks.

    According to the information provided by Turkish officials, the two chapters France might open during the Irish presidency would be Chapter 17, titled 'Economic and Monetary Policy', and Chapter 22, 'Regional Policy and Coordination of Structural Instruments'.

    Turkish officials told Today's Zaman that the conditions required to open Chapter 17 have already been fulfilled by Turkey and that Chapter 22 could also be opened if there is the political will to do so during the Irish presidency. There are no requirements to meet to open Chapter 22.

    Turkish officials have also expressed hope on improving ties once the Irish presidency begins. "At least one chapter will be opened. We will see which members, France or Greek Cyprus, will lift their blocks," an official told Today's Zaman.

    During their recent visit to Dublin, the delegation from the Ministry of EU Affairs stressed the current inactivity in bilateral relations with the EU. Irish officials have claimed that Ireland is very well positioned to work with Turkey and to put some significant weight behind furthering Turkey-EU relations by seeing that at least one chapter is opened.

    Currently, France and "Greek Cyprus" are blocking the opening of some chapters in the acquis. The completion of some other chapters has also been blocked by the EU Council due to disputes over Cyprus.

    The chapters that Ankara gives greatest importance are Chapter 15, dealing with energy, and Chapter 26, related to education and culture, which were blocked by the "Greek Cypriot administration". "Greek Cyprus" is also blocking four other chapters.

    The European Commission and the European Parliament, two of the EU's institutions, have already emphasized in their reports on Turkey that the energy chapter has to be opened. (?)"

    [10] "Turkey without EU has no global attraction"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (26.12.12) published the following report on Turkey's EU negotiation bid: "In the five previous EU presidencies, there have been no new negotiation chapters opened in Turkey's accession talks with the bloc, which began on October 3, 2005.

    The process has been stalled mainly due to obstacles put up by Greek Cyprus and France under Nicolas Sarkozy as well as others hostile to Turkey. Turkey's EU membership process, which has spurred democratization and other reforms in the country, has been paralyzed.

    However, there are expectations of a possible revival when the Republic of Ireland takes over the EU Presidency next term, breathing fresh life into the negotiations suspended by Ankara under the presidency of Greek Cyprus. However, many warn that Turkey, in its resentment of the EU that has led to pulling back on the progress of reforms, runs the risk of losing its attractiveness in the eyes of the international community.

    The anticipation of a revival in the process of Turkey's accession to EU membership finds further confidence in the election of Francois Hollande as president in France. Many think it is highly likely that talks on five chapters that were suspended under Sarkozy might resume.

    The EU, which is currently battling the deepest financial crisis in its history that has zapped its energy to 'deal with Turkey,' is increasingly more aware of the fact that it needs the country, mostly owing to the Arab Spring uprisings of the Middle East. Even Angela Merkel, who has previously done little to hide the fact that she feels no different than Sarkozy regarding Turkish membership, wants to see a revival in negotiations.

    However, serious doubts have risen in Brussels regarding Turkey's commitment to the process. Many EU officials admit that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government adopted reforms that could be deemed revolutionary for Turkish politics, particularly in its first term in government, but say the AK Party's performance has turned into 'utter disappointment' since the June 12, 2011, general elections.

    They express concern over a halt to reforms in the Turkish government, and indeed Turkey has failed to move forward in many issues key to the success of membership negotiations in recent years. EU officials also feel that the country's plans to adopt a new and more democratic constitution, strongly supported by Brussels and the Venice Commission, have been stymied by the AK Party's insistence on transitioning the country's political structure to a presidential system.

    Bureaucrats that spoke with Today's Zaman in Brussels say they worry that the reform process is likely to come to a full stop in a Turkey that has given up on the EU process.

    The same bureaucrats acknowledge that the negative attitudes of some EU member states to the inclusion of Turkey have decreased the country's motivation to meet new standards of the bloc. Yet, they also note that Turkish politicians have consistently pushed the line that reforms in line with EU membership were being carried out for Turkey's own sake, not only for purposes of accession. "Turkey should continue EU reforms for its own sake," one bureaucrat suggested.

    European Parliament (EP) President Martin Schulz, who is also one of the most influential politicians in Europe, told Today's Zaman that in his opinion, politicians who are dismissive of Turkey's EU target are both naive and narrow minded, and they fail to appreciate the contributions of the past EU-inspired reforms to the recent transformation seen in Turkey.

    Stefan Fule, the EU commissioner for enlargement, is more diplomatic when he told Today's Zaman that the EU is "the most fundamental anchor" for Turkey that is needed for the country's economic and political modernization.

    A senior EU official, who asked not to be named, warned that a Turkey, without an EU goal might revert to its old authoritarian habits. 'It is not very nice to say this, but Turkey's internal dynamics are still not strong enough to commence and maintain reforms by itself'. The same official also notes that it is not sufficient to pass EU-complaint reforms only nominally; the laws that are passed should also be 'in the spirit of the EU'.

    The same official, referring to the AK Party's insistence on a presidential system and the ruling party's recent appointment of an ombudsman who was previously one of the judges who ruled to convict journalist Hrant Dink under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which criminalizes an act defined as 'insulting Turkishness,' told Today's Zaman: 'The new make-up of the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors [HSYK], the ombudsman's office and the establishment of [a body in charge of overseeing human rights standards], these were all steps that were decided on following the constitutional referendum in 2010 and they are all crucial. But when you look at how these are being implemented in practice, the question arises of how European the decisions about these steps really are.'

    This senior official also noted that the EU, for Turkey, can serve as a target that will remain as the "least common denominator" which all segments can agree on, and also an assurance for the protection of different lifestyles. They also noted that Turkey runs the risk of moving toward authoritarianism without the EU reforms.

    Yet another senior EU official said Turkey would never have been able to improve in terms of its troubled army-civilian relations, allow Kurdish television broadcasts or education or abolish the death penalty if it wasn't for its EU goals.

    Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, another influential EP politician and the deputy leader of the Liberal Group (ALDE), was extremely firm in his opinion that the EU process has contributed tremendously to Turkey's transformation. Lambsdorff says that without the negotiation process, today no one would be referring to Turkey as a 'model' for the Arab Spring nations. Saying that a Turkey that moves away from its EU goal is bound to lose its global attractiveness, Lambsdorff said: 'No reforms without the EU, no matter how big the talk might be!'".

    [11] Turkey's MGK convened; the Syria crisis, the counter-terrorism issue and the developments in the Middle East were discussed

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.12.2012) reported from Ankara that Turkey's National Security Council (MGK), country's top security body, discussed on Wednesday counter-terrorism efforts as well as latest developments in Syria and Iraq.

    In a statement after a monthly meeting in the Turkish capital, Ankara, the council said it had re-affirmed that PKK terrorism still posed a threat against national unity and security, adding that the council also assessed current and future counter-terrorism measures.

    The council also expressed concern over the on-going crisis in Syria, underlining that efforts by Turkey and the international community should continue to find a peaceful settlement to the problem.

    The council emphasized the humanitarian dimension of the Syria crisis, saying that it had discussed Turkey's efforts to meet needs of nearly 150,000 Syrians who had taken shelter in camps in Turkey.

    The council also discussed relations between Turkey and Egypt, underlining that Egypt's development in stability and democracy was of great importance for the region.

    The council also discussed the latest developments in Iraq, expressing concern over rising tensions between opposition forces in the country.

    [12] Turkish daily reported that Turkey is to buy 117 missiles for F-16 from the US

    According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.12.12), daily Vatan reports that Turkey has agreed to purchase 117 Sidewinder missiles worth $140 million from the United States to be installed on F-16 aircrafts.

    Turkey takes a second critical arms step after obtaining the Patriot missile systems from NATO, by purchasing the 117 AIM-9X Sidewinder missiles from the U.S. The U.S Department of Defense has presented the deal to the U.S. Congress, pending approval, Turkey will obtain the short-range, heat seeking weapon developed by Raytheon.

    These launch-and-leave air combat missiles to be installed on F-16s use passive infrared (IR) energy for acquisition and tracking, which can be employed in areas within and beyond visual range, and are deployable in both offensive and defensive counter-air operations.

    Known as "deadly missiles" due to their capability to destroy locked-on targets, the "X" is the latest generation AIM-9 missile that has been used with F-5A and F-104G aircrafts since 1960.

    [13] Asil Nadir's spouse speaks on her husband's case

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (26.12.12) reported on statements by Nur Nadir, the 29-year-old wife of the Turkish Cypriot fugitive, Asil Nadir who was sentenced to 10 years in London over fraud claims.

    In an exclusive interview to Ankara Anatolia news agency yesterday, Nur Nadir, has, inter alia, said that the case of Asil Nadir was unfair and the struggle for justice is enduring.

    She emphasized her confidence in her husband's innocence and she argued that 10 years of imprisonment as penalty was "too heavy" and the case process was unfair.

    "The judges of the case didn't have the required financial education and some of them declared that they were in depression. This is not fair to continue the case with these judges. The case is not over yet, we have just started, and this is not the end", Nur Nadir said adding that she had not influenced her husband about his decision to return to the United Kingdom from the "TRNC" in 2010. He had decided by his own to stand trial in London, because he wanted to reveal the truths since he came back to the "TRNC" in 1993.

    Nur Nadir denied allegations from the media, which had reported that her husband preferred to return when the Conservative Party was in power because he had close ties with the party. Asil Nadir explained to his wife that he returned to London to resolve "the problem" in his life, so as to clear his name. "After he was imprisoned in Belmarsh Prison, he said he had no regrets. Asil returned as he believed in God and his innocence. He did not rely on anything else"

    Nur Nadir also mentioned about the similarity between her life and Rania, the Queen of Jordan. "We are both from Palestine, were born in Kuwait and left our homeland after the war. She met her king in Jordan as I met with mine in Cyprus", she said.

    Giving the example of Nelson Mandela at the end of the case led to debates in the press, Nur noted: "I made a comparison to show that a human may have suffered a problem without being guilty. This is what Asil's case is;" she alleged.

    Asil Nadir was sentenced to 10 years for embezzling 29 million sterling pounds, at the end of the lawsuit process in August 2012 in London. The 79-year-old businessman has been imprisoned for four months in Belmarsh Prison.

    He was also sentenced to pay 5 million sterling pounds of compensation last month.

    [14] Speculations increased in Turkey over Erdogan's wiretapping; Kilicdaroglu: wiretapping Erdogan is a 'grave situation'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.12.12) reports that speculations have been mounting over perpetrators of the eavesdropping of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, after he made public on December 21 that wiretapping devices were found in his home-office.

    Erdogan then suggested it was actors within the deep state behind the wiretapping, but fell short of further elaborating on who the deep-state members were exactly. Days later on December 25 Erdogan offered to close the "bugs' issue," but noted one more bug had been found at his residence.

    Deep state refers to a term extensively used in Turkey to describe clandestine collaboration between high-level state security forces and criminal organizations.

    Some critics pointed to the Fethullah Gulen movement for eavesdropping on the Premier, recalling conflict between the Government and the Gulen movement that surfaced when National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Hakan Fidan was called to testify as part of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) probe.

    The Gulen movement is an influential moderate-Islamist movement led by Fethullah Gulen, who now resides in the United States. The movement has been accused by critics of manipulating Turkey's judicial and security apparatus. The Gulen movement has generally lent support to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) since its foundation in 2001.

    However, an apparent conflict between the ruling party and the movement surfaced earlier this year when a specially-authorized prosecutor in Istanbul called MIT head Fidan to testify about secret talks with the PKK on February 7.

    A special law was hastily adopted to prevent Fidan from testifying. In June, Erdogan accused the specially-authorized courts of "going too far." "He was instructed by me. If you want to take someone [to prosecute], then take me," Erdogan had said.

    In July, specially-authorized courts were abolished despite objection from newspapers close to the Gulen movement. (?)

    Two separate bugging devices were found at Erdogan's office in his house. These devices are currently being examined by the MIT, according to reports.

    Suspicions that Erdogan was being wiretapped were voiced by the opposition when Erdogan's security chief and all of his bodyguards were changed in September. After Erdogan's office at Parliament was renovated from top to bottom in October, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy chair Gursel Tekin issued a Parliamentary question to Erdogan on December 3. "The renovation of the Prime Minister's office coincides with the replacement of his bodyguards. This move raises suspicion whether the Prime Minister was eavesdropped on," Tekin said.

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) secretary-general Ismet Buyukataman, for his part, asked yesterday if the MIT knew who secretly listened to Erdogan. "Does the MIT know who eavesdropped on Erdogan? Have they taken the necessary precautions? Is the Republic of Turkey so helpless that it is unable to find who put those bugs in the prime minister's office?" Buyukataman said in a statement.

    Some commentators close to the Gulen movement, meanwhile, indicated that illegal groups within the military were responsible for the wiretapping.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (26.12.12) the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal K?l?cdaroglu has described the wiretapping of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a "grave situation," commenting on the listening devices discovered in Erdogan's office.

    "The fact that the Prime Minister has been bugged is a very grave situation and the perpetrators must be found and brought before a court," K?l?cdaroglu said in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday while speaking to a group of reporters. "Illegal wiretapping is a crime that everyone should object to," he remarked. (?)

    EI/ http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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