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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-03-19

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. 54/13 16-19/3/13

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers Eurogroup's decision on Cyprus
  • [02] How the Turkish press covers Eurogroup's decision on Cyprus
  • [03] Efforts by Tatar to exploit the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of Cyprus
  • [04] Davutoglu and Kerry discuss Iraq and Cyprus over a telephone conversation
  • [05] Eroglu reiterated that Varosha is part of the whole solution
  • [06] Talat: Eroglu has committed a mistake by interrupting the Cyprus talks because of the Cypriot EU term presidency
  • [07] Ozyigit: the negotiations process should resume
  • [08] The breakaway regime reportedly turning to Muslim states for recognition
  • [09] Oktay Vural said: "Cyprus problem is Turkey's problem"
  • [10] Logoglu: "The government in power neglected the Cyprus problem"
  • [11] Ozgurgun: "if there is no solution we will find our place in the international platform"
  • [12] Self-styled minister of Economy Atun participated in Jeddah Economic Forum and said they created opportunity for recognition through investments
  • [13] Self-styled MPs Tacoy, Nami and Ulucay held contacts in Strasbourg
  • [14] The so-called municipality union due to Strasburg
  • [15] CTP's Youth Organization became a full member of Young European Socialists (YES)
  • [16] Reactions by environmental organizations in the occupied area of Cyprus for a music festival in occupied Karpassia
  • [17] Increase of tourists in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [18] Ocalan reportedly to call on PKK for a long-term cease-fire during Nevruz celebrations on March 21
  • [19] Former Turkish Chief of Staff and three MPs face aggravated life sentence in Ergenekon case
  • [20] Turkish journalist parts way with Milliyet following a controversy over leaks on Imparli meeting

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers Eurogroup's decision on Cyprus

    Most of the Turkish Cypriot daily newspapers on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday (17-19.03.13) cover on their front pages the decision taken by the Europgroup on Friday regarding the haircut of the deposits in the Cypriot banks and the developments that followed.

    The papers use the following titles:

    Kibris: "Everybody is ruined" and "the Greek Cypriot government expropriates 10% of the money of the local and foreign depositors in the banks succumbing to unprecedented conditions in order for being able to take loan from the EU" (17.03.13)

    "Fear for 'raid'" and "Decision for expropriation of 10% of the deposits in the banks" (18.03.13).

    "Rage at the peak" and "The Greek Cypriots, who gathered in front of the parliament protesting against both Anastasiades and the EU, tried to prevent the passing of the law that foresees the cutting of the deposits" (19.03.13).

    Afrika: "The government expropriated the deposits in the banks" and "Upon pressure by the IMF, the government in the south got hands on the citizen's pocket" (17.03.13).

    "Panic" and "After the expropriation of the deposits in the south, the eyes of the entire world have suddenly turned to Cyprus. An angry farmer from Limassol entering into a bank with a bulldozer has become the top story in the world's media. Even before completing one month on power, Anastasiades is under attack in the Greek Cypriot community and is accused of treason" (18.03.13).

    "The deposits' crisis in the south whetted the appetite of the north" (The paper refers to so-called finance minister Tatar's statement that the reliability of the banking sector in the occupied area has increased and money could be transferred there according to the "laws") (19.03.13).

    Yeni Duzen: "Shock with the deposits in the south!" (17.03.13).

    "The south is boiling" (18.03.13).

    "Bitter solution" (19.03.13).

    Haberdar: "'Those who are courageous will come'" (the paper publishes statements by former so-called finance minister Salih Cosar, who argued that the "courageous" Greek Cypriots might transfer their money to the banks in the occupied area of Cyprus in front of new cuts) (18.03.13).

    Halkin Sesi: "Tensed waiting" (the paper writes that the voting in the parliament was annulled yesterday) (19.03.13).

    Vatan: "He raided into a bank with a bulldozer" (17.03.13).

    Volkan: "The victims have beaten up the minister" and "Thousands of Turks, who had opened accounts in Greek Cypriot banks, gave away hundreds of thousands of euros to the usurper Greek Cypriot administration" (18.03.13).

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] How the Turkish press covers Eurogroup's decision on Cyprus

    The majority of Turkish daily newspapers through the three day holidays (17-19.03.13) cover on their front pages and with inside pages commentaries and reports, the decision taken by the Europgroup on Friday regarding the haircut of the deposits in the Cypriot banks and the developments that followed.

    Following are some of the titles:

    Sabah: "The fear of Lehman in Europe"

    Hurriyet: "Greek Cypriot domino". The paper writes that the tension which was created in the "Greek Cypriot administration", as the paper describes the Republic of Cyprus, after the announcement of the decision of Eurogroup, has created a crisis in the EU as well, since there are fears that the decision received for "south Cyprus" will have a reflection to other European countries as well.

    Cumhuriyet: "Panic after the bank deposit tax", "Warnings for social tension".

    Milliyet: "Europe has sent the ball to the south". Writing in the paper, the paper's correspondent in the occupied area of Cyprus, Sefa Karahasan describes the situation as it was formed after the Eurogroup's decision and writes that the decision caused irritation to the Greek Cypriot side. He adds that the "assembly" has been postponed for today and underlines that while the EU points out the need for a solution, Russian became angry with the EU.

    Zaman (online): "The crisis of the south Cyprus, in the EU"

    Aksam (online): "Greek Cypriots still grabble between each other for the crisis, 39 years after Ayse return from Vacations (Translator's note: in reference to the code word that triggered the Turkish invasion of 1974).

    (AK)

    [03] Efforts by Tatar to exploit the economic crisis in the government-controlled area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.13) reports that Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the banking system in the occupied area of Cyprus is reliable and they do not need money the source of which is undefined.

    In a written statement issued yesterday by his office, Tatar assessed the decision of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to expropriate 10% of the deposits in the banks in the government-controlled area of the island and it was possible for some Greek Cypriots or Britons to transfer their money to the banks in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Tatar added that they received some telephone calls on this issue, but they said that they want to keep their banking system clean and will not accept for any kind of money to enter into their banks. "We will not let some dangers such as money laundering to enter here", he argued.

    Tatar alleged, inter alia, the following: "?In statements made at international platforms on various occasions, it is said that money laundering is held in south Cyprus [Translator's note: as he describes the government-controlled area of the island] and some secret and ugly affairs are happening. The entire Europe knows this, but south Cyprus is an EU member state. It is a full member. Therefore, it has once more been revealed how big the injustice they commit against the TRNC is..."

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.03.13) reports that in statements to Ada television Ersin Tatar said that he had given instructions for preventing the flow of black money from the government-controlled to the occupied area of the island through the barricades. He argued after the decision for the haircut of the deposits, the economy of the Republic of Cyprus "has officially collapsed".

    Tatar said that their doors will be opened to legal money from the government-controlled area. He alleged that President Anastasiades might be forced to resign, that the business circles in the government-controlled area of the island are in shock and that former president Christofias had committed big mistakes on this issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Davutoglu and Kerry discuss Iraq and Cyprus over a telephone conversation

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.03.13) reports that the Turkish and American foreign ministers discussed the developments in Iraq and the Cyprus problem over the phone on March 16, nearly 36 hours after their second telephone conversation in two consecutive days.

    "As their first conversation took longer than planned, the unaddressed issues of Iraq and Cyprus were left to their later talk, and that took place on March 16," diplomatic sources told the Hurriyet Daily News.

    The Kerry-Davutolu talk was focused on the developments in Iraq as tension between Iraqi Kurds and the Shiite government has escalated recently.

    The two men have also evaluated the results of the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus and whether a new peace process could be launched.

    [05] Eroglu reiterated that Varosha is part of the whole solution

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (16.03.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, participating at the live programme "Daily" broadcast by the Turkish private news channel CNN Turk, said that he expects to re-launch the Cyprus talks with the Greek Cypriot side on May, adding that September is getting too late. He also said that he explained to UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer that they will gain time if they sit on the negotiation table on May.

    According to a press release issued by Eroglu's office, Eroglu said that he wishes Anastasiades not to use as an excuse the financial problems and stay away for a long time from the negotiation table. He also said that while his team continues the negotiations on the economic issues with Troika, he can deal with the negotiations.

    Commenting on the latest statement by Cyprus Foreign Minister Kassoulides that Turkey should return to the Greek Cypriots the fenced-off town of Varosha in exchange for the opening of new chapters at Turkey's EU accession talks, Eroglu said that it is impossible to accept such a thing, adding that Varosha is part of the whole solution.

    [06] Talat: Eroglu has committed a mistake by interrupting the Cyprus talks because of the Cypriot EU term presidency

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.03.13) reports that Mehmet Ali Talat, former Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that the Cyprus negotiations will resume somehow and added that interrupting the negotiations when the Republic of Cyprus had assumed the EU term presidency was a mistake. In statement to a television program, Talat argued that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu was one of those who secured the accession of the Greek Cypriot side, as he described the Republic of Cyprus, into the EU. Talat wondered the following: "Did Mr Eroglu not know that the Greek Cypriot side, which he put into the EU, would assume the term presidency and he interrupted the negotiations as a protest as soon as the term presidency started?"

    Replying to Eroglu's accusation that with his statements he harms the Turkish Cypriots, Talat argued that the real harm is caused by Eroglu's "measureless wrong statements, which derive from not understanding the world".

    Talat said that when he meets with UN Secretary-General's special adviser, Alexander Downer or with diplomats he does not criticize Eroglu and that he always says what the Greek Cypriot side should do and what is necessary for Turkey's EU accession process and the Turkish Cypriots being kept close to the EU. "However, I only say that he [Eroglu] is not as enthusiastic as I am on the issue of the solution", he added.

    Replying to a question on Eroglu's statement that "not agreeing is also an agreement", Talat said that this is tantamount to the statement that "the non-solution is a solution" and it is a statement which shows that he "is not able to read out the world" and spoils the image of the Turkish Cypriots in the world.

    Talat argued that the occupied part of Cyprus will not become a Taiwan in case an agreement is not reached, that they have no similarity with Taiwan and that their job should be finding solution.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Ozyigit: The negotiations process should resume

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.03.13) reports that Cemal Ozyigit, general secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), has made a call for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process, noting that every day that passes without a solution harms the Cypriots.

    In a statement issued by the TDP, Ozyigit alleged that no one should be deceived and start making "other dreams" by President Anastasiades allegedly "becoming a hawk" in his election program and his statement that he could not ignore the fact that 75% of the people said "no" [Translator's note: to the Annan Plan in 2004]. Ozyigit said that all the Greek Cypriot leaders "become hawks" when they are candidates, but when they are elected they continue the negotiations from the point they had been left.

    Ozyigit said that the hydrocarbon reserves in parcel 12 of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone could play the role of catalyzer in the solution process. He argued that attention should be paid to President Anastasiades stance as regards NATO, noting that we should not enter under NATO's umbrella when we find a solution.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The breakaway regime reportedly turning to Muslim states for recognition

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (15.03.13) reports that Osman Ertug spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, told Reuters in an interview that the Turkish Cypriot side is considering asking "fellow Islamic states" for formal recognition.

    According to his statements, their first choice would be to negotiate reunification, but he said that negotiations could not take forever.

    "If a deal proved impossible, the Turkish Cypriot side would have to respond", he said.

    "That could mean going beyond the unilateral declaration of independence with which Turkish Cyprus announced it was seceding in 1983", he said. Asked: "How do you go further?", "By getting recognition," he said.

    Asked where such recognition might come from, would not name individual countries but said: "From our Islamic brothers. We haven't aggressively sought recognition. But if things are not moving forward it is something we may have to do."

    The election of a new President of the Republic of Cyprus last month offered a new opportunity for progress, according to Ertug.

    "I would say the next few months are crucial. It is not just the gas. We have a new Greek Cypriot leader who says he is keen on talking. There seems to be willingness to talk when we call...," he said. "Things can go either way. The gas can be a tool for cooperation or confrontation. But so far, I have to say it has made things worse."

    The next step in the peace process, he said, should be for newly elected Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades to meet Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu informally at a social gathering in the next few months. That should lead, he said, to more talks.

    [09] Oktay Vural said: "Cyprus problem is Turkey's problem"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (18.03.13) publishes an interview of the vice president of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) Oktay Vural with paper's journalist Mete Tumerkan.

    Vural stressed that the Cyprus case is Turkey's issue, adding that it is Turkey's problem and not problem of the Turkish Cypriots who live in Cyprus. He also said that from his point of view Cyprus is part of Turkey.

    Vural said that they have a different perspective on the Cyprus problem from the ruling government of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), adding that Cyprus is a national issue for them.

    Claiming that there are two people, two states and two parts in Cyprus, Vural said that they should look to find a solution based on these "realities".

    [10] Logoglu: "The government in power neglected the Cyprus problem"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (19.03.13) reports on statements by Faruk Logoglu, deputy chairman of the Republican People's Party (CTP) in Turkey, who in statements during a press conference he organized in the Turkish National Assembly, evaluated the latest developments on Syria, Cyprus and in the foreign policy in general.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Logoglu described the Cyprus problem as a problem which was also a national cause for all the political parties.

    Stating that the new President which was elected after the "presidential elections" in "south Cyprus", as he described the Republic of Cyprus, gives the impression that he has a more close approach to the solution and that is more conservative, Logoglu said: "If he would undertake steps according to his mild worlds, if he contributes to the solution, we do not have any objections. However, we had seen again in the past conservative leaders in south Cyprus, but, they never achieved to have a political agreement with the Turkish Cypriots. As CHP, we back the solution, as long as this solution will be based on the political equality of the sides and the existence of two separate states in the island".

    Logoglu went on and said that the government in power today has neglected the Cyprus problem. He continued and accused the AKP government for its policy on the Cyprus problem and the issue of oil and natural gas exploration activities of the Republic of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    (AK)

    [11] Ozgurgun: "if there is no solution we will find our place in the international platform"

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.03.13) broadcast that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun said that if the non-solution of the Cyprus problem continues then the breakaway regime and the Turkish Cypriots "will continue their workings towards obtaining their rightful place in the international platform" and added that "as always these steps will be taken with the full support of motherland Turkey".

    Ozgurgun made these statements during a speech he gave in a conference taken place in Izmir, Turkey, titled "Cyprus from the past to the present".

    During the conference Ozgurgun alleged that their expectation the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nikos Anastasiades "to open the way towards a solution within the framework of the UN parameters and for the solution process to gain a new momentum, was nothing but irony".

    He also alleged that the Republic of Cyprus "which is drowning in economic problems", as he said, must realize the advantages of a peaceful solution on the island and added that if a peaceful solution is prevailing on the island then the natural gas resources that surround Cyprus can be shared and both sides can benefit from this.

    "The Greek Cypriot side must accept this fact", he said.

    [12] Self-styled minister of Economy Atun participated in Jeddah Economic Forum and said they created opportunity for recognition through investments

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.03.13) reports that the self-styled minister for Economy and Energy Sunat Atun who took part in the Jeddah Economic Forum is continuing with his contacts in Saudi Arabia.

    The theme of the 3 day Jeddah Economic Forum 2013, which lasted between 16-19 of March, was "housing the growing population".

    According to a statement released by the self-styled ministry of economy the Chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Gunay Cerkez and chamber officials have held contacts with officials from countries taking part in the forum.

    Evaluating the forum, Atun said that they held a variety of important contacts and announced that they were on the verge of making agreements with world businesses.

    Atun said that visits carried out within the past three years had not only been beneficial in promoting the breakaway regime but had created an opportunity for corporate recognition through investments.

    In addition, Turkish daily Gunes newspaper (18.03.13) reports that in the framework of the meeting, Atun had a meeting with Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

    Atun stated during the meeting that the volume of trade with member countries of OIC has increased in the last four years, with the efforts and support of Ihsanoglu and added that the main aim is to develop these relations.

    On his part, Ihsanoglu said that relations between the breakaway regime and the OIC, has developed recently. He also said that important progresses have come out in the breakaway regime trade as a result of these works and added that there are big opportunities underlying these progresses.

    In addition Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (19.03.13) reports that Atun also met with the deputy prime minister Ali Babacan.

    During the meeting Babacan stated that Turkey will always be next to the breakaway regime. He also said that he is very pleased with the relations that the Turkish Cypriots established with the Islamic countries with which they share the same religion.

    [13] Self-styled MPs Tacoy, Nami and Ulucay held contacts in Strasbourg

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.03.13) reports that a delegation of the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime held a series of contacts in Strasbourg.

    The delegation consisting of National Unity Party "MP" Hasan Tacoy, Republican Turkish Party "MPs" Ozdil Nami and Teberruken Ulucay held a series of contacts on Turkey's latest progress report which also cites Cyprus.

    Turkey's Progress Report which was prepared by Christian Democrat MEP and Rapporteur for the European Parliament on Turkey Ria Oomen-Ruijten will be voted at the European Parliament on the 21st of March.

    Speaking to the Bayrak Haber, Tacoy said that the report includes issues such as the withdrawal of Turkish troops, and transfer of the closed city of Varosha to the UN in return for the opening of the Famagusta Port to direct trade under EU control.

    Tacoy said they opposed these expressions in the report and proposed for changes to be made.

    Tacoy also said the issue of the Turkish Cypriots' representation at the European Parliament was once again brought to the agenda.

    [14] The so-called municipality union due to Strasburg

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (19.03.13) the chairman of the so-called municipalities' union, "mayor" of occupied Morfou, Mahmut Ozcinar and the "mayor" of occupied Lefka "municipality", Mehmet Zafer went to Strasburg in order to participate to the spring session of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe which is to take place between March 19-22.

    Ozcinar and Zafer, in the framework of the session, will also carry out contacts with representatives of several countries, writes the paper.

    (AK)

    [15] CTP's Youth Organization became a full member of Young European Socialists

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (18.03.13) the Youth Organization of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has became a full member of the Young European Socialist (YES), which is formally called ECOSY (European Community Organisation of Socialist Youth).

    According to the paper, during the congress of (YES) which took place from 7 to 10 March 2013 in Sweden, CTP' Youth Organization participated to the congress with two candidate members who were given the status of the full member.

    As the paper underlines, CTP's Youth Organization applied for full membership (YES) on February of the previous year.

    Issuing a joint declaration with EDEK's Youth Organization, the two organizations sent messages of friendship and peace to all member organizations.

    Also, in statements on the issue, the chairman of CTP's Youth Organization, Urun Solyali said: "With the full membership to YES, CTP's Youth Organization achieved for the youth Turkish Cypriots to have equal rights in Europe (...)".

    Moreover, CTP's Youth Organization secretary for foreign relations, Aybike Yektaoglu said that the fact that they became full members of (YES), is a result of their fruitful efforts and characterized this as an important step for the Turkish Cypriot youngsters. He went on and said that their new goal is to participate to the Youth Federation of Socialist International. "We have a lot of work to do until 2014. We are preparing for the application", Yektaoglu added.

    (AK)

    [16] Reactions by environmental organizations in the occupied area of Cyprus for a music festival in occupied Karpassia

    Under the title: "Who has right?", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (19.03.13) reports that while the works and preparations for the organization of the biggest music festival which is planned to take place at the Golden Beach in occupied Karpassia continues, the reactions by several environmentalist in the occupied area of Cyprus are intensified.

    The music festival is scheduled to take place between September 26-29, 2013, with more than 80.000 persons being invited, writes the paper.

    According to the paper, the so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture announced that they did not yet given a permit for the festival to take place. On the other hand, the internet website called silkroute-festival.com has launched selling tickets for the festival with the cheapest ticket to cost 85 sterling pounds and the most expensive ticket to cost up to 999 sterling pounds including the flight, entrance to the festival, transferring to the "airport" and accommodation.

    At the same time, as the paper points out, the Silk Route Entertainments LTD Company, underlines in its website page, that the so-called ministry of tourism, environment and culture has given the permit for the festival to take place.

    Also, "environment organizations" in the occupied area of Cyprus underline in a separate statement, that the organization of the festival, will be a great mistake adding that this festival will get a blow in tourism instead of contributing to the tourism sector.

    In statements on the issue, the "honorary attach?" of the occupation regime in Germany, Turgay Hilmi, has stated that he would do the necessary in order to prevent this festival to take place and warns that in case the festival takes place, this will be the reason for a great environmental destruction.

    (AK)

    [17] Increase of tourists in the occupied area of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (17.03.13) publishes a statistic report showing that 261,681 persons - apart from those who have Turkish citizenship or "citizenship" of the breakaway regime - visited the occupied area of Cyprus in 2012.

    According to the paper, during the year 2012, 74.173 visitors came from Britain, 24.754 from Germany, 22.014 from Iran, 18.686 from Netherlands, 13.108 from Russia, 7.893 from Poland, 7.077 from Belgium, 6.460 from Austria, 5.533 from Italy, 5.499 from Azerbaijan, 5.397 from Bulgaria, 5.147 from Slovenia, 4.124 Ukraine, 3.986 from Turkmenistan, and 3.952 from Iraq.

    Havadis publishes an interview of the Director of DMG companies group Dimag Caginer to the paper. Caginer explained that airlines SunExpress will carry tourists from Germany with scheduled flights to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus from 22 March. This company is a joint Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines and will have two scheduled flights from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt per week. Caginer said that their aim is to increase these scheduled flights.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (18.03.13) reports that so-called minister of tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel said that between 15 April and 15 November will not have any place in the hotels at the occupied area, they would need more hotel rooms. He added that this year the tourists from Netherlands, who will visit the occupied area, will be around to 30 thousands. This means that they will exceed the 20 thousands tourists from Netherlands that visited the government-controlled area of Cyprus in 2012.

    Ustel explained due to an effective advertisement in UK, there will be an increase of 30% for British tourists in 2013.

    [18] Ocalan reportedly to call on PKK for a long-term cease-fire during Nevruz celebrations on March 21

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.03.13) reports that Abdullah Ocalan, the jailed leader of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has said he will make a "historic call" on March 21, Nevruz, which aims to "completely democratize Turkey" while urging the Turkish Parliament to work toward ensuring there is permanent peace in the country.

    "The current resolution process is proceeding on a positive course. Our aim is the democratization of all of Turkey. Our efforts are for this aim. Within a framework which would serve that aim, I'm carrying on my work in order to make a call for the March 21 Nevruz celebration," Ocalan said in a message read out by Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirta yesterday following a third parliamentarian visit to 0mral1 island as part of the peace process.

    "The declaration that I will prepare will be a historic call. This call will include satisfactory information about all military and political legs of the resolution. I also want to resolve the issue of arms rapidly and without the loss of even one life," Ocalan said.

    Ocalan's message came a day after Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin announced that the government could consider allowing Parliament to become involved in the peace process in the interests of securing PKK militants' withdrawal from Turkish territories.

    "If this withdrawal takes place, if these terrorists drop their arms and leave these territories and if there is a need for a legal act to make it [possible], then we could bring it to Parliament," Ergin said in a televised interview on March 17.

    The PKK leader is expected to make a call for a long-term cease-fire to the PKK during Nevruz celebrations on March 21, but many observers have suggested managing the withdrawal of thousands of armed PKK militants from Turkey to northern Iraq ? a move that would eventually mean the end of the armed struggle ? will be more important and difficult than declaring a cease-fire. Ocalan and the PKK's leaders in northern Iraq had previously voiced their concerns about the withdrawal and demanded the establishment of a parliamentary commission to observe this process.

    A delegation of BDP lawmakers, consisting of BDP deputy parliamentary group chair Pervin Buldan and BDP 0stanbul deputy S1rr1 Sureyya Onder, along with Demirtas, traveled to 0mral1. Demirtas did not respond to journalists' questions after reading out the PKK leader's message in the afternoon at Istanbul's Atakoy Marina.

    [19] Former Turkish Chief of Staff and three MPs face aggravated life sentence in Ergenekon case

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.03.13) reports that prosecutors have demanded aggravated life imprisonment for a number of suspects including the former Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. 0lker Basbug, and Republican People's Party lawmakers Mustafa Balbay, Mehmet Haberal and Sinan Aygun, as part of their final opinion in the alleged Ergenekon coup plot case.

    The prosecutors also asked for aggravated life sentences for General Nusret Tasdeler, former Generals Hasan Igs1z, Hursit Tolon and Sener Eruygur, as well as journalist Tuncay Ozkan, on accusations of attempting to overthrow the government by force, in a case that has left a mark on Turkey over the last four years.

    In the 2,271-page opinion, read in court by Prosecutor Mehmet Ali Pekguzel, the prosecutors said there was enough evidence to prove the existence of the Ergenekon terrorist organization and called on the court to punish the suspects accordingly. The prosecutors also asked for seven-and-a-half to 15 years in prison for 96 of the suspects.

    The case was opened after 27 hand grenades were found in a shanty house in Istanbul in 2007.

    [20] Turkish journalist parts way with Milliyet following a controversy over leaks on Imparli meeting

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (18.03.13) reports that veteran journalist Hasan Cemal has parted ways with the Milliyet daily, for which he had been working since 1998, following a controversy over Milliyet's publishing of the secret minutes of a meeting between the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader and Kurdish deputies last month.

    Cemal decided to quit his job at the daily when an article he sent to the daily to be published on Tuesday was rejected by Miliyet Editor-in-chief Derya Sazak.

    Both Sazak and Cemal defended Milliyet's publishing of the secret minutes, drawing harsh criticism from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    The meeting with PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan took place as part of ongoing peace talks between the government and the PKK, which aim to resolve Turkey's long-standing Kurdish problem and disarm the terrorist organization. In a speech in Bal1kesir province on March 2, Erdogan harshly criticized Cemal for his stance on the leak, saying, "This kind of journalism should go to hell."

    Ak1n said Erdogan's remarks prompted Milliyet's owner, Erdogan Demiroren, to ask Sazak to part ways with Cemal and Can Dundar, another Milliyet columnist with the same stance on the leak incident.

    The crisis was seemingly resolved as Cemal was given a two-week-long break as a punishment while Dundar continued to write his articles.

    Yet, the article sent by Cemal to the daily at the end of this period was rejected by Sazak, who asked the columnist to write another article. Cemal reportedly told Sazak that he will not send another article as long as his latest article is not published. Ak1n claimed that Cemal's latest article was on the relationship between the media and government and included criticism of this relationship.

    Cemal stated in his unpublished column, which appeared on various websites, that the relationship between the press and the government has always been problematic in this country because the political establishment and networks generally sought to keep the media under control within the boundaries of the "red lines" arbitrarily drawn by themselves.

    Political bodies exerted pressure on the press through political, legal and economic instruments to make it happen, Cemal stressed. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    /EI


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