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

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 <>



  • [01] Eroglu: asking for return of Varosha is intransigence and arrogance
  • [02] Talat: no solution could be reached with Eroglu
  • [03] Contacts for establishing "coalition government" start; The parties discuss their "sensitivities"
  • [04] BKP: Ankara's economic package will be implemented regardless of who will establish the "government"
  • [05] Harmanci says they cleaned 250 tons of waste from the sea at Gastria
  • [06] Solidarity panel for Greek ERT was organized in occupied Cyprus
  • [07] Gul calls on Turkey to focus on EU accession in his message for Eid al-Fitr celebration
  • [08] Turkish columnists continue to comment on Ergenekon verdict
  • [09] Prosecutor seeks prison sentences for website contributors


    [01] Eroglu: asking for return of Varosha is intransigence and arrogance

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.08.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that asking for the return of the occupied fenced city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners is tantamount to intransigence and arrogance. In his message on the occasion of the Islamic feast of Ramadan, Eroglu noted that a "new activity" is expected on the Cyprus issue in October and claimed that if the Greek Cypriots did not break their word, the negotiations should continue from the point they had been left. Noting that trying to start from the scratch would be tantamount to postponing the solution and playing with time, he said that the UN should not allow this to happen.

    "In our view, saying to the Turkish side 'give Varosha and we will start, we want this, we want that', is intransigence and arrogance", alleged Eroglu, claiming that the Turkish Cypriots were fed up with what he called as "tricks of the Greek Cypriot side" and with the UN's and the EU's ignoring these "tricks".

    Arguing that the Turkish Cypriot "people" do not want to live under isolations and embargoes, Eroglu claimed: "Including the recent elections, our people have always showed that they will never abandon their self-administration, their sovereign rights, their land, their freedom and Motherland Turkey's active and effective guarantees".

    Referring to the results of the early "parliamentary elections" held on 28 July, Eroglu argued that a new "parliament" has been established with the "will of the people" that was reflected in the ballot box and that the message given by the "people" is consensus as no party could establish a "government" alone. He said that as almost all parties have promised before the "elections", they would proceed to "constitutional amendments" and change the "laws" as regards holding "elections" and referendum as well as the political parties' "law". He noted that a broad consensus should be established for this.


    [02] Talat: no solution could be reached with Eroglu

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.08.13) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has said that no solution to the Cyprus problem could be reached with Dervis Eroglu at leadership of the Turkish Cypriot Community. In statements to Kanal Sim yesterday, Talat defended his view by saying that Eroglu does not believe in the solution and does not even refer to federation.

    Talat said he did not think that the negotiations, which will resume in October, would bring a result if they were not held at the level of the leaders. Talat noted that the "parliament" could not appoint a negotiator. "The negotiator is the president who is elected with the votes of the people", he argued.

    Talat reiterated his view in favor of the establishment of a "coalition government" between the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the National Unity Party (UBP). He argued that the UBP and the Democratic Party (DP) are no different and added that if CTP sees DP as its only alternative and does not approach the UBP in the same manner as the DP, the DP "will rip your lung off".

    Talat described as "interesting" the results of the "election" and said that the UBP and the DP "are completely the same now". He went on and reiterated the view that the DP "has entered under Eroglu's guardianship".

    Replying to a question, Talat said that no "suggestion" came to him from Ankara on the issue of the establishment of a CTP-UBP "coalition government".

    When he was reminded of the scenarios for unification of the right-wing parties, Talat said he hoped that UBP and DP were merged, because then, their votes will decrease.


    [03] Contacts for establishing "coalition government" start; The parties discuss their "sensitivities"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.08.13) reports that Ozkan Yorgancioglu, leader of the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) held separate "unofficial" meetings yesterday with Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) and Irsen Kucuk, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) with the aim of discussing the establishment of a "coalition government".

    Speaking after his meeting with Denktas, Yorgancioglu said that they carried out a "general evaluation" and added that the CTP will hold meetings with the other parties represented in the "assembly" as well. He argued that no bargain was made and that only their "sensitivities" were discussed.

    Denktas described the meeting as "unofficial and preparatory" and noted that their "general approaches" were discussed. He said that the "official" discussions will start after a party is assigned with the duty of establishing a "government".

    In statements after his meeting with Kucuk, Yorgancioglu said that the "official" discussions will start after 12 August, when the newly "elected MPs" will take their oath.

    On his part, in a written statement issued yesterday, Kucuk said that the UBP will not refrain from undertaking any duty and responsibility that will lead the "TRNC" to progress in all fields and its "people" to prosperity and happiness. He noted that they will evaluate any kind of "coalition government" with good will in the light of their principles and the interests of the "country".


    [04] BKP: Ankara's economic package will be implemented regardless of who will establish the "government"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (08.08.13) reports that Abdullah Korkmazhan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) has said that whoever establishes the new "coalition government" of the breakaway regime, the economic package which will be implemented will be the same.

    In a written statement issued yesterday, Korkmazhan evaluated the discussions for establishing a "coalition government" after the "parliamentary elections". He noted that all parties which are represented in the "assembly" are essentially the same and have given assurances that they will implement the economic package imposed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP). He argued that all four parties are following a passive stance in front of "AKP's colonialist policies". He noted that unfortunately the winner of the "elections" was AKP, the separatist regime and their collaborators, whereas the losers were the Turkish Cypriots.


    [05] Harmanci says they cleaned 250 tons of waste from the sea at Gastria

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.08.13) reports that Mehmet Harmanci, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture, has said that they have paid 1.300.000 Turkish liras (TL) as equipment expenses for cleaning the oil which had been spilled into the sea of occupied Gastria area in the peninsula of Karpasia.

    In a statement yesterday, he noted also that they paid another 200.000 dollars for cargo and 800.000 dollars for the workers. He said that they forced AKSA Company to pay all this money and added that the 169.800-TL fine imposed on the company has been received. He noted that the disaster radically influenced the image which they have been trying to build since 1974 arguing that the area was virgin and clean. Harmanci added that the "government" asked from the "attorney general" to file a "lawsuit" against the firm, demanding ten million Euros for non-pecuniary damages.

    Harmanci said that they have cleaned 250 tons of contaminated waste from the sea until today and that this waste is kept by AKSA in a separate tank. He noted that they are trying to send this waste to a cement firm in Turkey, but they are facing some problems because of the Turkish laws.

    According to Harmanci, pollution has been spread to an area of 13 kilometers which are influenced to a different extent. He said that the cleaning of rocks and the detailed cleaning will start this week. He recalled that from the very first day they have closed the only beach which could be used in the area and added that his "ministry" is closely following the issue.


    [06] Solidarity panel for Greek ERT was organized in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper reports that various trade unions organized a panel under the name "Solidarity Panel for the workers in ERT".

    The panel was organized by the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS), the Media Laborers' Trade Union (BASIN-SEN), and the Radical Left Committee (ERAS Lefkosia). ERT employee Anastasia Zigou and the chairman of BASIN-SEN Kemal Darbaz were among the persons that addressed the panel.

    [07] Gul calls on Turkey to focus on EU accession in his message for Eid al-Fitr celebration

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (08.08.13) reports that Turkish President Abdullah Gul has given a message of unity, presenting the long-neglected European Union full membership goal as one of the main targets requiring nationwide solidarity, in his message for Eid al-Fitr celebration [Editor's Note: Feast of Breaking the Fast, an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting].

    According to the paper, Gul used a message marking the start of Eid al-Fitr today as an opportunity to popularize the EU issue on the national agenda.

    "Very important projects are being implemented in our country, which has risen to the rating of investable in the entire world. The acquisitions Turkey possesses and the values it embraces also show its rising power," Gul said.

    "That's why we need to know the value of our country. We all closely know how tensions, polarizations and repetition of old mistakes have brought grief and only grief in the past; have harmed our country's image; and have wasted our energy. We have all seen together how lawless and violent incidents disrupted the serenity of the entire country. No doubt, it should also not be forgotten that the expression of democratic reactions and societal demands and objections, on legitimate grounds, without harming serenity and without resorting to violence are indispensable elements of our democracy," Gul said.

    "Now it is a must for everybody to focus on our hopeful tomorrows by seeing all of these [facts]. We need to focus on big targets that will carry Turkey above the contemporary civilization level, such as European Union membership, and we need to be in further solidarity," the Turkish President, stated.

    [08] Turkish columnists continue to comment on Ergenekon verdict

    Various Turkish columnists continue to publish their view on the Ergenekon verdict.

    Under the title "The Post-Ergenekon Mood", Mustafa Akyol in Turkish daily Star (07.08.13) criticizes Ergenekon convictions, saying that it deepened social polarization:

    "The first statement needed to be made after the sentencing was made by Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc: 'We are not the kind of people who will rejoice and applaud the arrest or condemnation of anyone. We hope everybody will leave that behind soon and have a speedy recovery. Yes, one should not rejoice over the condemnation of anyone, or applaud, or get into the attitude of "Great! That serves them right.'

    First of all, the people who were sentenced have families. [?] Moreover, the vast majority of the said convicts have never had blood on their hands, have never committed any 'ordinary crimes.' They are people who have taken the wrong way for a cause which they deemed politically right. (That is only if they are really guilty.) [?]

    Yes, I said 'if they are really guilty.' That is because, as I have stated in this column time and again, I believe that the 'wheat' and the 'chaff' have been mixed way too much in the trials of both Balyoz and Ergenekon.

    [?] The situation of Ilker Basbug is one of the most striking examples to that. How are we going to believe that a military, who served as the head of the Chief of Staff for two years, who worked in harmony with the government, and even received the recognition of the government for that, and who then retired, is a 'coup organizer?' [?]

    There is no doubt that part of the society is very happy about this outcome thinking 'justice has been served.' The other part of the society, however, is upset and angry believing that justice was victimized to vengeance. I wish that was not the case. I wish even the most fanatic coup organizer could say about the process that we went through 'The guys put us on trial, but in God's name that was a fair trial.'

    Unfortunately, that is not the post-Ergenekon mood. That situation further aggravated the already deepened social polarization. Look around you. Virtually all the political wings of the country are spewing doubt, rage, and hatred. We urgently need moderation, peace, self-criticism, and forgiveness. [?]"

    Under the title "Who Was Put on Trial in Ergenekon?", Eyup Can in Turkish daily Radikal (06.08.13) questions whether mentality or criminal acts were put on trial in Ergenekon:

    "This country has greatly suffered due to the gangs that had coiled themselves up in the state and military tutelage that had been hanging over democracy, but was it appropriate to carry out the trial in this manner?

    I do not much like saying 'if only', but a very striking 'if only' article which reflected the mindset of many of us made headlines in Radikal yesterday [5 August].

    Orhan Kemal Cengiz who has followed the Ergenekon trial from the very beginning both with the meticulousness of a jurist and as a democratic and conscientious intellectual talked about the 'if onlys of Ergenekon'. I counted, Orhan Kemal said 'if only' 13 times. I am certain that had he wanted, he would have said 113 times. It does not make a difference, however. What is important is: Why do we have to say 'if only' so many times in such a historic case in terms of [our] democracy?

    'If only, in addition to condemning the coup initiatives that were put on trial with the Ergenekon case, we could have united around the demand that calls for fully abiding with all the rights of the for granting the rights of the suspects.'

    Were we able to unite around this demand? On the contrary, we have split into two in the coarsest manner.

    'If only we could have simultaneously seen the seriousness of coup and assassination plans that are being put on trial with this case and nonsenses such as 'the examination into the affiliations of those who have received scholarship from the Association for Supporting Modern Life with terrorist organizations.'

    Were we able to see? 'If only we could have recognized that both the military's effort to undermine the elected government is a very serious crime and the court's refusal to listen to the witnesses brought by the suspects is a very serious human rights violation.'

    Were we able to recognize this? 'If only we could have applauded these trials' role in ending military tutelage and condemned the very heavy sentences that have been passed against certain suspects only on grounds that their names were mentioned in duty order forms. If only we could have been able to see both those who tried to downgrade the trial by only portraying through its faults and those who diluted the trial by labeling everyone as 'pro-Ergenekon'.'

    Were we able to do this? Unfortunately we have failed. [?]

    Those who have followed the trial with great seriousness from the very beginning have started to voice doubts. Those who believe in democracy are not against settling accounts, before the law, with dangerous illegal [last word in English] organizations that had once coiled up within the state. In this regard the Ergenekon trial is a very important opportunity for Turkish democracy. This opportunity is being missed, however, as this process turns into an ideological settling of accounts and as it gradually appears that revenge is being taken from the past by means of the law. The fact that those who are being put on trial are journalists or general is not the issue. Are we putting a mentality or criminal actions on trial? [?]"

    Finally, under the title "Turkey has succeeded in legal squaring of accounts", Yalcin Akdogan writes in Star (06.08.13) that Ergenekon verdict condemned all coups in Turkey and normalized relations with the military:

    "The Ergenekon case is the name of the biggest legal battle in the history of the republic. Trying to massacre the national will, overthrow the civilian administration, and change the regime and the order of the country tops the list of the greatest acts of unlawfulness. With this decision, all military coups have been condemned at once -- coups that not just toppled political governments, but also altogether suspended the existing order, principally the constitution and the laws, shelved all rights and freedoms, and put its signature to great cruelties and torture.

    Symbolically, this case is the trial of a mindset distilled from 27 May, 12 March, 12 September, 28 February, and 27 April. With this case, all the supporters of juntas and coups, all the revolutionaries, and unlawful entrepreneurs have been called to account.

    These punishments will be a meaningful message for the future; they will constitute a major deterrent. [?] This nation is totally fed up with coups and different sorts of interventions. Turkey paid a big price in each period of intervention, experienced very heavy traumas. Many lives have been extinguished, many cruelties have been experienced, and many families have been broken. Thus, one way of saying 'there will be no passage to coups, no toleration, no permission' is this sort of hearing. In this respect, the Ergenekon case is a turning point for the future of Turkish democracy.

    It is not only that with the Ergenekon case a mindset is held to account; at the same time this perception that is rooted within the state is eliminated through judicial means. The tutelage, partisanship, and secrecy produced by this mindset, which uses the power of state for its own benefit and thinks nothing of the national will, are taken out of circulation, with the judiciary calling them to account. [?] This kind of lawsuit can only make a positive contribution to the normalization of military-civilian relationships.

    [?] We are not in a position to comment on every person standing trial, every alleged crime, and every punishment given. A detailed ruling will clarify this kind of information and the judicial process will evolve to the Supreme Court. However, we know this much: having a legal dispute about such claims, which are unacceptable in any democratic country, and punishing claims of coup attempts is a historic event, and Turkey has succeeded in this."

    [09] Prosecutor seeks prison sentences for website contributors

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (07.08.13) reports that a prosecutor's office in Istanbul on Tuesday sought prison sentences for the owner and contributing writers of a website for insulting religious values.

    The 18-page indictment of the owner and writers of website Eksi Sozluk (Sour Times), a controversial forum for commentary on various issues and incidents in Turkey that is often criticized over postings seen as personal insults and attacks on religious values, has been submitted to the court. The prosecutor asked for prison sentences from six months to a year for 40 people, including the website's founder, Sedat Kapanoglu.

    An investigation into Kapanoglu was launched in 2010 after civilian Ali Emre Bukagili filed a complaint. Police, starting with the aliases found on Eksi Sozluk, discovered the identities of those who are accused of insulting religious values and the Prophet Muhammad on the website.

    The indictment referred to articles in the European Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights regarding freedom of expression and thought. It also cited the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgment in Otto-Preminger-Institut v. Austria, which says that certain duties and responsibilities are undertaken by those who exercise their rights and that it may be necessary to sanction "improper" attacks on religious values. The indictment also cited Article 216/3 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK), which states that opinions on God, the Prophet, holy books and sects can be freely expressed as long as they do not offend the religious feelings of others.



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