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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-08-06

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.147/13 06/08/2013

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Ergenekon verdict: Long sentences for 54 suspects, life for ex-army chief Basbug
  • [02] My conscience is clear, says Turkey's former army chief sentenced to life in prison
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot daily refers to Ergenekon's connection to occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Turkish editorial says with the Ergenekon Erdogan accomplished his mission to deter the military from intervening into politics
  • [05] Eroglu alleges that the Greek side is tactically keeping the subject of Varosha on the agenda as a cover for its "negative attitude"
  • [06] Erk reiterates the Turkish views on occupied Varosha and Cyprus's hydrocarbon resources
  • [07] Denktas wants the opening of occupied Varosha under Turkish administration; He says DP-UG and UBP might be merged
  • [08] Izcan: the return of occupied Varosha to its legal owners will give acceleration to the solution process
  • [09] UBP decides to hold a congress in October and to remove its chairmen in Nicosia and Famagusta from their post
  • [10] Akca says the regime's economic growth was lower than expected
  • [11] Doctors accuse regime's "government" of not taking the necessary measures after the environmental disaster in Gastria
  • [12] Erdogan talks to Putin on Syria
  • [13] Inal Batu, so called Turkish ambassador during the declaration of the breakaway regime died
  • [14] Turkish General Staff says Supreme Military Council meeting results "unrelated to any particular incident"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Ergenekon verdict: Long sentences for 54 suspects, life for ex-army chief Basbug

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (06.08.13) reports that a court on Monday sentenced a former chief of general staff to life without parole and handed down harsh sentences to nearly 300 defendants, including many former military force commanders accused of plotting to topple the government.

    The court sentenced former military chief Gen. Ilker Basbug, journalist Tuncay Ozkan, retired Col. Dursun Cicek, lawyer Kemal Kerincsiz, Workers' Party (IP) leader Dogu Perincek, retired Col. Fuat Selvi, Hasan Ataman Yildirim, retired generals Hursit Tolon, Nusret Tasdeler, Hasan Igsiz and Sener Eruygur to aggravated life imprisonment. Retired Brig. Gen. Veli Kucuk, Capt. Muzaffer Tekin and Council of State shooter Alparslan Arslan got consecutive life sentences in the trial.

    The court acquitted a total of 21 of the 275 defendants. The trial had been ongoing since 2008, after the discovery of a weapons arsenal in a Istanbul district. The court separated the cases of two suspects at large, former Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputy Turan Comez and former Istanbul Mayor Bedrettin Dalan.

    Force commanders were given lengthy or life sentences on charges of attempting to overthrow the government, but there were also civilians, such as journalists Tuncay Ozkan and Mustafa Balbay, who were given lengthy prison terms. Ozkan was given 22 years and six months in jail while Balbay, who is also a Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy, was given 34 years and eight months. Sixteen of those convicted were released on the grounds that they have served their sentences already considering the time they spent under arrest during the course of the trial.

    Another deputy, CHP Zonguldak deputy Mehmet Haberal was given 12 and a half years on coup-attempt-related charges but was released. Ankara Chamber of Commerce (ATO) President Sinan Aygun, was sentenced to 13 years and six months. Journalist Yalcin Kucuk, who was accused of being one of the chief members in the administration of the organization, was given 22 years and six months. Dogu Perincek, head of the Workers' Party (IP), was given life without parole.

    Another key defendant, Veli Kucuk, was given two consecutive life sentences. Kucuk is a retired general and is believed to be the founder of the illegal intelligence unit JITEM.

    Former legal counsel of the General Staff, retired Gen. Hifzi Cubuklu was sentenced to nine years in prison. Well-known mafia leader Sedat Peker was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his involvement in Ergenekon. Lt. Gen. Ismail Hakki Pekin was given a seven-year-and-six-months imprisonment. Former Police Chief Adil Serdar Sacan got 14 years and six months. Ferda Paks?t got two years and six months. The court sentenced Vice Adm. Mehmet Otuzbiroglu to 20 years and six months in prison.

    Osman Yildirim, who was among the suspects of the 2007 Council of State attack, got eight years and nine months. Retired Col. Arif Dogan, who also admitted to his role in establishing JITEM -- a clandestine and illicit unit within the gendarmerie -- was given 47 years. Ali Yasak, a well-known gangster linked to the figures in the Susurluk incident, got six years and three months.

    Some of the other sentences announced on Monday were as follows, although over what charges the sentences were given was not immediately available for each individual. Mafia boss Semih Tufan G?laltay was given 12 years; IP Secretary-General Ferit Ilsever 15 years; writer Ergun Poyraz 29 years and nine months; former Higher Education Board (Y?K) President Kemal G?r?z got 13 years and 11 months; IP leader Dogu Perin?ek 117 years; IP press secretary Hikmet ?i?ek 21 years and nine months; retired Maj. Fikret Emek 41 years and four months; retired Lt. Col. Mustafa D?nmez 49 years and two months; Bedirhan Sinal, a suspect of a hand grenade attack on the Cumhuriyet daily office, was sentenced to 18 years and eight months in prison; Emcet Olcayto, a lawyer for the Workers' Party, was given 13 years and two months; retired NCO Oktay Yildirim got 33 years and 10 months and former National Security Council (MGK) Secretary-General Tuncer Kilin? was sentenced to 13 years.

    Security forces set up barricades around the courthouse in the Silivri jail complex, west of Istanbul, to tighten security after the defendants' supporters vowed to hold a demonstration against the five-year trial that has exposed deep divisions in Turkish society.

    Prosecutors say an alleged network of secular arch-nationalists, codenamed Ergenekon, pursued extra-judicial killings and bombings in order to trigger a military coup, an example of the anti-democratic forces that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his Islamist-rooted AK Party has fought to stamp out.

    Critics, including the main opposition party, have said the charges are trumped up, aimed at stifling opposition and taming the secularist establishment that has long dominated Turkey. It says the judiciary has been subject to political influence in hearing the case.

    Ahead of the verdict, state authorities banned protests at the court, and police on Saturday raided the offices of a secularist association, political party and television channel, detaining 20 people for calling for demonstrations.

    Police sealed off the main road to the courthouse with fencing topped with razor wire and concrete blocks and around 100 people chanted anti-government slogans.

    "The day will come when the AKP will pay the price," some chanted on the approach road to Silivri, where hundreds of riot police were on duty, backed by water cannon vehicles.

    The threat of a coup is not far-fetched: The secularist military staged three coups in Turkey between 1960 and 1980 and pushed the first Islamist-led government out of office in 1997.

    But Prime Minister Erdogan has gradually chipped away at the army's influence since his AK Party first came to power in 2002, including in the courts with the Ergenekon case and the separate "Sledgehammer" plot.

    Last September, the court in Silivri sentenced more than 300 military officers to jail on charges of plotting to overthrow Erdogan a decade ago in "Sledgehammer."

    The government's control over NATO's second largest army was clearly illustrated on Saturday when Ankara appointed new military commanders in an overhaul of its top ranks, forcing the retirement of a senior general regarded as a government critic.

    [02] My conscience is clear, says Turkey's former army chief sentenced to life in prison

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.08.13) reports that former Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug released a short statement following the Ergenekon verdict sentencing him to life in prison, stating that his conscience was clear and that the "final say is the people's say."

    "For those who have been tried under these circumstances, the final say is the people's say. And the people are never wrong and are never deceived," Basbug said.

    "Those who have always stood beside the righteous people, beside justice, have a clear conscience. I am one of those people," the former army chief added.

    Suspects' daughters Tuncay Ozkan and Dursun ?i?ek staged a protest outside the courthouse minutes after the verdict was announced. ?zkan attempted to walk out of the courtroom following the announcement, but was prevented from doing so. Arif Dogan, who was sentenced to 47 years, yelled, "Hang me!" after the judge read the verdict, according to daily Hurriyet.

    The verdict prompted responses from suspects and outsiders alike as Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Sinan Ayg?n, who was sentenced to 13 years and six months, said he respected the decision, adding that CHP head Kemal Kili?daroglu "did not expect so many life sentences."

    Kili?daroglu was surprised for high number of life imprisonments, Ayg?n told reporters after the meeting.

    Ayg?n referred to the next stage to the high court, and said he would continue working for a new charter.

    Nationalist Movement party (MHP) deputy Oktay Vural told members of the press that one should take a look at the verdict before making statements, however, he added that the ongoing process had been used by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as "a marketing tool and a way of oppressing the opposition," according to Anadolu Agency.

    "Imposing punishment for crimes against the government only is becoming obsolete," Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) deputy Adil Zozani told the H?rriyet Daily News.

    "These people committed crime not only against the government. They were also involved in some crimes that can be considered as crimes against humanity. These crimes are included in additional case files," he said.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot daily refers to Ergenekon's connection to occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (06.08.13) reports that many persons who were sentenced to prison at the Ergenekon case in Turkey are connected to the occupied area of Cyprus. Especially some of them had been granted the "citizenship" of the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, and participated in "national activities" on the island or supported and organized such activities.

    According to the paper these persons are the following:

    Muzaffer Tekin: He was twice convicted to aggravated life sentence and 117 years in prison accused of organizing a coup. He had supported late Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas before "presidential elections" by signing a statement under the title "We are behind our national cause and Rauf Denktas". He had visited the island several times within the framework of a campaign in favor of Denktas. His relation with Cyprus goes back to the period of terrorist TMT organization. He is a "citizen" of the breakaway regime.

    Sinan Aygun: He was convicted to 13 years and six months in prison. He had been granted the "citizenship" of the breakaway regime before 2004 by the National Unity Party (UBP) ? Democratic Party (DP) "government". He had stated that he had been granted the "citizenship" within half an hour. The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) "government" annulled his "citizenship". The then UBP chairman, Dervis Eroglu had stated that he would return Aygun's "citizenship" in case he came to "power".

    Mustafa Ozbek: He is the former chairman of Turkish Metal Trade Union. He was convicted to lifelong sentence in prison. He possesses immovable property in the occupied area of Cyprus. This property is said to be around nine million Turkish liras (about four million pound sterling). He was known for his closeness to Rauf Denktas. He had been visiting the island very often. He had established a television station here named Avrasya TV (ART), which supported the rightwing parties and stopped broadcasting after Ozbek's arrest. He was close friend of former "MP" (with the UBP), Ahmet Caluda.

    Dogu Perincek: He was the chairman of the Labor Party (IP) in Turkey. He was convicted to aggravated life sentence in prison. He was related with Rauf Denktas and participated in some "national meetings" together with the late Turkish Cypriot leader. Rauf Denktas has been the president of Talat Pasha Committee's Advisory Council, which had been organized by IP. Addressing a meeting in a period during which Perincek was in prison within the framework of Ergenekon case, Denktas said "I am sending my regards to our actual chairman, Dogu Perincek".

    Erol Manisali: He was sentenced to nine years and eight months in prison. He is known as an academician having nationalistic views and being against globalization and the European Union. He was a close friend of Rauf Denktas and wrote a book under the title "The other face of Denktas". He is also the author of many books on Cyprus.

    Mehmet Eroz: Retired lieutenant general Mehmet Eroz was sentenced to lifelong in prison. He had served in the occupied area of Cyprus as commander of the so-called security forces between 9 August 2006 and 19 August 2008.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkish editorial says with the Ergenekon Erdogan accomplished his mission to deter the military from intervening into politics

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (06.08.13) publishes the following article by Murat Yetkin under the title: "Mission accomplished with collateral damage".

    "There was little room for a surprise anyway; the Istanbul Specially Authorized 13th Criminal Court ruled on August 5 for life imprisonment of 17 people, including Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's former Chief of General Staff, retired general Ilker Basbug, on charges of attempting to overthrow the government through an illegal organization called "Ergenekon." [?]

    Among them internationally renowned surgeon Mehmat Haberal (12 years) for participating in the conspiracy against the Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AK Parti) government.

    Haberal was released since he already served a part of his sentence in the trials which had started in 2008. Haberal had been elected as a member of parliament on the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) list when he was in prison; so he can take his oath and begin his political career. [?] Another CHP deputy, Sinan Aygun, the former head of the Chamber of Commerce of Ankara, who is currently free, was sentenced to 13 years by the court.

    The ruling of the court added more to controversy during the trials because of long and extended detention periods and restrictions on the defense rights of the accusers.

    On the other hand it reflects the determination of Erdogan and his government against any intentions to undermine a democratically elected administration which had cost three military coups in Turkey in the Cold War times between 1960 and 1980, plus a psychological operation in 1997 causing the government of the tine to resign.

    In a way, Erdogan accomplished his mission to deter the military from intervening into politics and anyone who would see a place for military in Turkish political system. It started with a government statement on April 28, 2007 against a military statement a day before, telling military to mind their own business, for the first time in Turkish politics, then declaring early elections to endorse his power, opening up the Ergenekon probe the same year and strengthening the Criminal Code regarding attempts against the political system. The violations of rights of defenders in Ergenekon case, could be regarded as collateral damage for this firm deterrence operation and government added an article to the 2010 referendum which put a Constitutional Court stage in front of Turkish citizens' application to European Court of Human Rights, like a preemptive move against the possibility of most of the cases yesterday would end up in Strasbourg.

    The Ergenekon trials indeed changed at least a part of Turkish society's views on the abnormality of military involvement in politics; there was the collateral damage which it seems Erdogan was ready to pay the price for which he might have thought it would be worth.

    The ruling of the Court is likely to be a turning point in Turkish political life."

    [05] Eroglu alleges that the Greek side is tactically keeping the subject of Varosha on the agenda as a cover for its "negative attitude"

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (05.08.13) publishes an article by Sefa Karahasan under the title "Eroglu: Anastasiades is hampering Cyprus talks", about statements of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on Cyprus negotiations, Varosha and "election results" in occupied Cyprus.

    The article is as follows:

    "I discussed with Dervis Eroglu, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus [KKTC], the outcome of the elections held on 28 July and the progress of the Cyprus talks. Eroglu thinks the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades is playing for time in the Cyprus talks that are due to start in October. The fact that the Greek Cypriots are acting as if they are leaving the talks to the "initiative" of the National Council validates Eroglu. Anastasiades is constantly pointing to the National Council in relation to the discussions. The leader of the KKTC explains why this is not the right approach with his comment: "The honorable Anastasiades is trying to hamper the talks. He is trying to evade responsibility by pulling the National Council more into the talks. Anastasiades displays a general sense of being uncompromising?"

    The same picture emerges in Varosha being brought to the agenda. As well as Anastasiades, Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulidis is constantly bringing Varosha to the agenda. Kasoulides even wants a "return of Varosha before October." The Greek Cypriots know that Varosha is an integral part of the solution. Despite this, he is insisting on keeping the subject on the agenda and trying to link it with Turkey's EU membership. There is an offer on the table "to start the main topics of discussion once talks are opened on Varosha." Eroglu has a clear answer to the Greek Cypriots, who have embarked on an effort to carry out the process "not with the Turkish Cypriots but with Ankara": "The Greek side is tactically keeping the subject of Varosha on the agenda as a cover for its negative attitude. It is acting as though it wants to solve Varosha through Turkey. Varosha is an integral part of the solution and if the issue is going to be resolved, the collocutor is the Turkish Cypriot side?"

    President Eroglu will go to New York in September. Anastasiades will also be there. Eroglu wishes to have a three-way meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Anastasiades. He thinks this would add momentum to the discussions that will start in October. Therefore, in this kind of environment a "harmonious government" model away from "domestic infighting" needs to be created. If the government to be set up takes "steps with consensus agreements" on the subject of Cyprus as well as on constitutional arrangements, then the hand of the Turkish Cypriot side will equally be strengthened in the negotiations. Eroglu sends a very important message to the parties on this point: "The parties may develop a course of action for an agreement in line with parliamentary decisions or UN parameters. Decisions made in parliament may change?"

    The elections have also caused some major shock waves. The National Unity Party [UBP] had emerged from the 2009 elections with 45 percent of the votes, but its parliamentary leader, chairman, general secretary, district head, and parliamentary group leader were not even elected as "deputies." This is the first time in history that a party has suffered such a heavy blow. UBP Chairman Irsen Kucuk claimed that "Eroglu has caused the election loss." Eroglu "violently denied" Kucuk's remarks and said: "The chairman did not see the party was losing blood." The president also "appreciated" that in "July, the hottest month" for the island, participation in the election rose to 70 percent. We are due to witness lively days in Cyprus after October. We will all be watching."

    [06] Erk reiterates the Turkish views on occupied Varosha and Cyprus's hydrocarbon resources

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Kutlay Erk, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has alleged that the statements made by Foreign Minister Kasoulides to Politis newspaper on the issue of the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners are "an open sign" of the so-called Greek Cypriot efforts to postpone the resumption of the negotiation process for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Erk expressed his sorrow because, in spite of Turkish Cypriot side's view that Varosha is a part of the negotiations for finding a comprehensive solution, the Greek Cypriot side "exerts efforts to create an artificial agenda" addressed to both local and international public opinion on the issue of Varosha. Erk alleged that the Greek Cypriot side brought Varosha onto the agenda in order to "camouflage its lack of will for a solution by creating an infertile debate on this issue prior to the negotiations" planned to commence in October.

    Referring to Cyprus's hydrocarbon resources, Erk claimed that minister Kasoulides's statements "once more revealed" that the Greek Cypriot side aims at promoting its "unilateral policies" to change the balances "at the cost of threatening peace and tranquility in the area". "Within this framework, we consider as useful to underline that Greek Cypriot side's game of brining the Republic of Turkey face to face with other states is dangerous", he alleged.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Denktas wants the opening of occupied Varosha under Turkish administration; He says DP-UG and UBP might be merged

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG), has alleged that the issue of the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners should be out of the question. In statements during a television program yesterday, Denktas referred to the negotiations for solving the Cyprus problem and the issue of the establishment of a "government" in the occupied area of the island.

    "An issue such as the return of Varosha should be out of the question, but it should be opened to its old owners under Turkish administration", he alleged. Noting that the regime should pass a "Guardianship Law", Denktas said that in 2004 the Greek Cypriot side rejected the Annan Plan, which, inter alia, included the return of Varosha.

    Denktas said that he has no hope or expectation that a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution will be achieved and argued that a solution and an agreement that will be achieved as a result of pressures would bring chaos to both communities.

    Denktas alleged that the problem in Cyprus derives from the power sharing and that this situation exists since 1964. He argued that two alternatives should be preconditions for starting the negotiations. The one is the customs union of the occupied area of Cyprus with the EU, without putting political recognition as precondition. The other is free trade and customs union with Turkey, if the EU rejects the above proposal.

    Referring to the establishment of a "government" in the occupied area of the island, Denktas reiterated his proposal for establishing a four-party "coalition government" in order for making "constitutional" amendments until the "local administration elections" which will be held in June 2014, or if they could not achieve this target, to continue until the "presidential elections", which are planned for April 2015.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (06.08.13) reports that, in the same statements, Denktas said that DP-UG and the National Unity Party (UBP) might be merged. Denktas noted that he would not oppose to such a development, if the members of the parties want it to happen. He said that many persons in both parties want this to happen and added that this started right after the last "presidential elections".

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Izcan: the return of occupied Varosha to its legal owners will give acceleration to the solution process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Izzet Izcan, leader of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has said that the occupied fenced city of Varosha should be returned to its legal Greek Cypriot owners the soonest and the port of Famagusta should be opened for direct trade.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Izcan noted that "those who hide behind the comprehensive solution rhetoric" and reject the return of Varosha and the opening of the Famagusta port serve to the status quo.

    He said: "The important thing is the return of Varosha to its legal owners and the opening of Famagusta port in parallel to the process for a comprehensive solution. This will both contribute in the international relations and give acceleration to the solution process".

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] UBP decides to hold a congress in October and to remove its chairmen in Nicosia and Famagusta from their post

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.08.13) reports that National Unity Party's (UBP) administrative council convened last night and decided that the party should hold an extraordinary congress in October and removed from their duties the chairmen of UBP's organizations in Nicosia, Faiz Sucuoglu and in Famagusta, Sunat Atun, as well as its regional administrative committees.

    Commenting on the removal from his post, Atun told Kibris that the chairman of the party, Irsen Kucuk forced such a decision in order to be able to have elected the person he wants to the post of the president of UBP. Atun said that the party needs a chairman in order to hold discussions for participating in a "coalition government" and added that an UBP without a president would not be able to become a "coalition partner" or carry out the duty of the "main opposition". Atun argued that he received the most "votes" from the UBP supporters and recalled that Kucuk was not able to be "elected".

    In his statements, Sucuoglu said that he had found out about this decision from a telephone call and added that he did not know what the aim was. He noted that the congress which will be held in October is being turned into a regular congress and added that the reason of this is that the organizations of the party should change and be renewed. He argued that some circles are trying to drag UBP into chaos again.

    Under the title "Earthquake in the UBP", Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (06.08.13), reports that Sucuoglu said that Kucuk plays with the party as if it was a toy and added that "no one has the right to make UBP so small".

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Akca says the regime's economic growth was lower than expected

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Halil Ibrahim Akca, Turkey's so-called ambassador to the occupied part of Nicosia, has published "The Report for TRNC's Economic Situation in 2012" prepared by his "embassy's" Aid Delegation. According to Ankara Anatolia news agency, in his statement in the beginning of the report, Akca noted that the most important problem, in the implementation of the breakaway regime's program for the period 2010-12, was that the community did not "make the program its own" as he said, in order to show that the community did not offer enough support to the program.

    He complained that the economic program has been distorted and alleged that "distortions that reverse the aim of the program have been made in order to protect the status quo and prevent transformation, by ignoring the real problems".

    Akca complained of the "influential propaganda" which is held against the economic program, and noted that an "important part of the community" did not believe that economic transformation was possible. He argued that due to this "propaganda" the people were hesitating and the economic activities were not revived as much as they expected. He noted that the three-year growth rate was lower than expected and reached 10.4%, but the economy entered into the right course with the development of the sectors of tourism, higher education and agriculture and the annual growth rate was 3.4%, which higher than the EU's average growth rate.

    Akca argued that if the reforms, which are included in the new program (for the period 2013-15), are successful the regime's economy will grow and come to the same level as the economy in the government-controlled area of Cyprus and added that it could even come to a better situation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Doctors accuse regime's "government" of not taking the necessary measures after the environmental disaster in Gastria

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Turkish Cypriot Doctors' Union (KTTB) has accused the "government" of the breakaway regime of not being transparent on the issue of the environmental disaster that happened in occupied Gastria area and of not taking the necessary measures.

    In statements during a press conference yesterday, the Union argued that the sea area from the north of the Gulf of Famagusta until Larnaka is at risk and reiterated the warning that women who are pregnant and children younger than 7 years old should avoid entering into the sea of that area.

    However, self-styled minister of health, Buri Goksin told Kibris that the analysis of the water samples taken from the area continued and added that they could not prevent people from entering into the sea before having the results.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] Erdogan talks to Putin on Syria

    Turkish daily Zaman (06.08.13) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin via telephone to exchange views on the protracted crisis in Syria and the political turmoil engulfing Egypt.

    The two leaders reportedly spoke for nearly one hour.

    According to sources in Ankara, Erdogan and Putin exchanged views on regional affairs, the political crisis in Egypt and the intractable Syrian conflict.

    "Ankara and Moscow are at odds with each other over how to handle the prolonged Syrian crisis. Despite discord on many regional issues, the two countries have improved bilateral diplomatic and economic ties over the past decade and are in constant contact to avert any potential crisis in ties", writes the paper.

    [13] Inal Batu, so called Turkish ambassador during the declaration of the breakaway regime died

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.08.13) reports that Inal Batu, who was so-called ambassador of Turkey to occupied Nicosia at the time of the declaration of the breakaway regime in 1983, died in a hospital in Istanbul on Monday.

    Born in Istanbul in 1936, Batu graduated from Ankara University's Faculty of Political Sciences. Over his career he was appointed as Turkey's ambassador to various places including Prague, the United Nations, Islamabad and Rome.

    Later, he served as deputy secretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and representative for Hatay province as a member of the Republican People's Party (CHP). Batu was also the member of the Turkish group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

    According to Kibris, Batu offered great services to the breakaway regime.

    [14] Turkish General Staff says Supreme Military Council meeting results "unrelated to any particular incident"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (06.08.13) reports that the Turkish General Staff released a written statement on Monday regarding the latest Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting, denying media reports that associate the new YAS decisions with some particular incidents.

    YAS meets twice a year, in August and December, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister, whose presence was symbolic until 2010, when the civilian government began to exert its legal powers over YAS decisions concerning the promotion and retirement of generals.

    In its statement, the General Staff stated the media reports trying to connect the YAS meetings with some earlier incidents do not reflect the truth, adding: "Despite unjust criticism coming from some individuals and circles targeting it, the Turkish Armed Forces [TSK] continue to fight to maintain peace and to ensure the functioning of democratic rules in our country. Furthermore, the association of the YAS results with some incidents in no way reflects the truth. Every duty of the TSK is lofty and honorable."

    The results of the three-day YAS meeting were made public after the decisions were presented to President Abdullah Gul on Saturday. According to the decisions, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar was appointed as the new Land Forces commander while Gendarmerie Commander Gen. Bekir Kalyoncu was forced to retire. Akar is expected to replace Ozel in 2015.

    Speculation appeared in the Turkish media following the publication of the YAS results detailing the retirement of Gen. Kalyoncu. According to media reports, Kalyoncu was forced to retire because the government did not support him after he made critical remarks about Turkey's settlement process with the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched by the government in October of last year, and his anti-government stance during a security summit in 2006.

    Other speculation in the media involved the retirement of Air Forces Commander Lt. Gen. Nezih Damci, who was allegedly forced to retire ahead of the YAS meeting, due to his connection with a deadly airstrike that killed 34 civilians in 2011, known as the Uludere massacre.

    The TSK released a written statement last week regarding the retirement of Gen. Damci in which it stated that the general had decided to retire of his own accord and that his request had been accepted. The TSK had also denied the link between Damci's retirement and his alleged involvement in the Uludere massacre.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

    CS


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