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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-08-09

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.150/13 08/08/2013

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu describes as "debt" to their ancestors the continuation of the division in Cyprus
  • [02] AKP is reportedly exerting pressures for a CTP-UBP "coalition government"
  • [03] German journalist refers to "Gulen's new deep state" in Turkey
  • [04] Erdogan says critics' rejection of Ergenekon ruling constitutes crime
  • [05] Gul said he is sad over Basbug conviction on the Ergenekon Case
  • [06] Turkish Commentary cites Buyukanit on Ergenekon verdict
  • [07] Erdogan held a telephone conversation with Obama over Syria and Egypt

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    [01] Eroglu describes as "debt" to their ancestors the continuation of the division in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.08.13) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, was a "heritage" to them by their ancestors. "Protecting this heritage is a debt to the martyrs, to the ancestors", he claimed addressing yesterday a ceremony held at occupied Kokkina village on the occasion of the bombardment by Turkey of the area of Tyllyria back in 1964.

    Eroglu said that the important thing is the freedom, prosperity and security of the Turkish Cypriot "people", and reiterated the view that the Cyprus problem is a national cause for them and no one could deny this. "For the will and the interests of our people, we could never abandon our freedom, our sovereignty our security, our territories, and Motherland Turkey's active and effective guarantees", he added and claimed: "The TRNC is a heritage to us by our ancestors. Protecting this heritage is a debt to the martyrs, to the ancestors".

    Eroglu went on and alleged that "the state is the most valuable and important entity that could be left for the future".

    Eroglu recalled that the area of Kokkina was "the most important port" through which the terrorist Turkish Resistance Organization (TMT) had been carrying weapons from Turkey to the island in the 1960's. He alleged that the incidents at Kokkina area have shown to the whole world that the Turkish Cypriots would not allow the unification of Cyprus with Greece. He also claimed that thanks to these incidents, the Turkish Cypriots saw that Turkey would never abandon them and that she could even dare to enter into war if necessary. He alleged that because of bombardment at Tyllyria, the Greek Cypriots should have understood that Turkey would not succumb to their dreams for the island's unification with Greece and the world was not surprised by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

    Referring to the situation today, Eroglu alleged that "those who attacked us 49 years ago", as he described the Greek Cypriots, have no intention of reaching "an agreement based on the existing realities". Eroglu claimed that news in the press regarding the discussions at the National Council and views expressed by President Anastasiades during his election campaign prevent him from being hopeful on the issue of finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] AKP is reportedly exerting pressures for a CTP-UBP "coalition government"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.08.13) reports that the ruling in Turkey Justice and Development Party (AKP), is exerting pressures for the establishment of a "coalition government" between the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) and the National Unity Party (UBP).

    Under the title "CTP is caught between two fires", the paper writes that after the oath taking of the "MPs" on Monday, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu is expected to assign the chairman of the CTP, Ozkan Yorgancioglu with the duty of establishing a "government". However, the CTP has not decided yet who its "coalition partner" will be, argues Afrika noting that three views exist in the CTP: the first group insists on a "coalition" with the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG), the second group points out to Dervis Eroglu's dominance over the DP-UG and argues that they should cooperate with the UBP and the third group suggests that CTP should remain outside the "government" at this stage.

    According to Afrika, UBP's chairman, Irsen Kucuk has the authority to carry out the discussions for the establishment of a "coalition government", after remaining at his post until October upon "suggestions by the AKP". "Kucuk is still exerting efforts to create an UBP over which Eroglu could not dominate", notes Afrika, pointing out, however, that Kucuk is not enjoying the support of the party behind him.

    The paper argues that only if at least nine out of the fourteen "MPs" of UBP joined the DP-UG, Kucuk would be put aside and a CTP-UBP "coalition government" would be prevented.

    Meanwhile, writing in his column in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.08.13), Dervis Dogan reports that Kucuk should have resigned right after the result of the "elections". Dogan says that Kucuk has not resigned and forced the organs of the party to decide that he should remain at his post until October, "because this is his last chance". "It is one last gesture by the AKP to Irsen Kucuk", he notes adding that "a coalition with the UBP will be or have been proposed to the CTP a long time ago with Ankara's suggestions". Dogan says that in such possible CTP-UBP "coalition", Kucuk would have the option of appointing "ministers" and he might have a point to remain at the post of UBP's chairman.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] German journalist refers to "Gulen's new deep state" in Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (09.08.13) reports that the German journalist, Dr Nick Brauns, writer of "Die Junge Welt" newspaper and known for his researches on the issue of Fethullah Gulen in Germany, has commented on the decisions as regards the Ergenekon case noting, that "the old 'deep state' in Turkey is substituted by the 'new deep state' of Gulen's community".

    The paper writes that Brauns, who is also known for his researches on Turkey's Kurdish problem and the Middle East, said that the Ergenekon process is no different than Kafka's "The Trial" novel. He noted that the policy followed during the Ergenekon case "overshadowed" the military coup of the 12th of September 1980.

    He expressed the view that Fethullah Gulen is behind the Ergenekon case and added that massive arrests began after Gulen brought his own people to important posts in places such as the police and the judiciary in 2010. "The old 'deep state' is substituted by Gulen's 'new deep state'", he noted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Erdogan says critics' rejection of Ergenekon ruling constitutes crime

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman newspaper (09.08.13) reports that in his first comments on a recent Turkish court ruling that sentenced 19 individuals, mostly retired army top brass, to life sentences for attempting to stage a coup, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said critics' statements rejecting the ruling "constitute a crime".

    "The statements by the main opposition party and other critics are ugly. There cannot be a logic which says judiciary is good when it takes decisions I like and bad when it takes decisions I do not like. In particular, the statements by the leader of the main opposition [Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People's Party (CHP)] constitute a crime in my opinion. Statements like 'I do not recognize the judges and prosecutors of this court cannot be accepted legal. This is completely interference in the judiciary," Erdogan said on Thursday while responding to questions by reporters after performing Eid prayer at Istanbul's Suleymaniye Mosque.

    An Istanbul court announced the verdicts of the landmark Ergenekon trial on Monday. The court acquitted a total of 21 of the 275 defendants while sentencing 19, including former Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug to life on charges of attempting to overthrow the government. The trial had been ongoing since 2008, when a weapons arsenal was discovered in a district of Istanbul.

    Kilicdaroglu earlier described the Ergenekon verdict as illegitimate, saying the trial from the very beginning lacks a solid legal ground and politically motivated. Main opposition leader, who has been one of the fierce critics of the coup trial, deemed the trial as politically motivated and a government move to silence opposition.

    Erdogan underlined that the Istanbul court's ruling is open to appeal. "I hope justice is served," he said.

    [05] Gul said he is sad over Basbug conviction on the Ergenekon Case

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (09.08.13) reports that Turkey's President Abdullah Gul has expressed sadness over the conviction of a former top commander in a coup plot court case, while also underlining that the judicial process regarding the case had not been completed yet, thus the conviction was not a final judgment about the former commander.

    Remarks by Gul delivered on Aug. 8, were the first public comment from him concerning the landmark ruling released on Aug. 5 in the Ergenekon coup plot case. The court ruled for conviction of more than 250 people on charges of attempting to topple the government, while jailing retired Gen. Ilker Basbug, a former Chief of the General Staff, and former military chief for life.

    Speaking to reporters after performing morning prayers on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr at the Emirgan Mosque in Istanbul, Gul was reminded of the fact that the ruling in the Ergenekon case was released and that his "colleague" Basbug had been sentenced to life-time imprisonment and was asked about his "assessment."

    "Of course, the judicial process is not over," Gul was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency in response, as he underlined that the related judicial process was a "long" one.

    "There is the phase regarding the Supreme Court of Appeals, that's to say the appeal phase, in order for these charges and penalties to become finalized. Additionally, since Turkey recognizes the international law as well, there is the European Court of Human Rights. Without a doubt, I feel sadness about Mr. Chief of General Staff with whom we worked together," Gul went on to say.

    "But as I said, these are not final [judgments]. The means of law are always open. We hope that in the upcoming period, both at the Supreme Court of Appeals stage, and at the other stages ? if there are ? all faults will be corrected and decisions which will satisfy the conscience of the public opinion will be released," the president said.

    [06] Turkish Commentary cites Buyukanit on Ergenekon verdict

    Turkish daily Milliyet (08.08.13) publishes a commentary by Fikret Bila, under the title "Buyukanit: Cannot Find Place in Public Conscience", who cites former Staff Chief's statement's on the Basbug's sentence:

    " [?] Former General Staff Chief Yasar Buyukanit said that he knows Ilker Basbug well, and that they had served together for years.

    "I asked Buyukanit: "How do you assess the sentence imposed on General Basbug? What did you feel when you heard it?" He responded as follows:

    "We are all comrades in arms. I worked together with General Basbug for years. I am unable to get myself to accept even the accusations, let alone the sentence. To call a General Staff Chief a terrorist is a very harsh accusation. It has no place in the public conscience. Indeed, when the accusation was first heard, it found no place in people's consciences. General Basbug is a very well trained and valuable commander. We served together for years, and he worked under my command. Certainly I know him very well. It is impossible for me to get myself to accept these accusations."

    The reactions that have been shown and the debates that have taken place regarding Basbug's life sentence had also been experienced when he was first charged as a member of a terrorist group.

    Prime Minister [Recep] Tayyip Erdogan as well had said that "to go and call Ilker Basbug a member of a terrorist organization in the accustomed sense is a very serious error," and had added: "I consider the approach as if he were a member of an organization to be very ugly, and unfair." Prime Minister Erdogan had said, on a live broadcast, that "the Turkish Armed Forces are indeed an organization, but not a terrorist organization."

    Moreover, when Basbug was charged with the crime of "leading a terrorist organization," a great many people reacted by saying: "How can a General Staff Chief be accused in the same way as [imprisoned Kurdistan People's Congress, KGK, formerly PKK, leader Abdullah] Ocalan?"

    On the day that Basbug was charged with this accusation, he limited himself to saying: "The 26th General Staff Chief of the Republic of Turkey is accused of establishing and leading a terrorist organization; I leave the judgment on this to the great Turkish nation."

    Every officer in the Ground Forces has the desire to rise to the position of General Staff Chief. Generally these hopes of theirs increase further after they become generals.

    From among those who have similar ranks and seniority, this path becomes closed off due to lack of headroom. Sometimes unexpected developments open the way to those whose paths to become commanders had been closed, and take them all the way to the General Staff Chief position. And naturally, the decisions of the serving General Staff Chief play an important role in terms of which generals become army and force commanders.

    In fact, sometimes General Staff Chiefs promote generals whom they consider to be very talented, and whom they want to be commanders, after extending them a year. This promotion, which comes a year late, opens that general's path all the way to the General Staff Chairmanship. Ilker Basbug was one of these generals. When he was a lieutenant general, he was not promoted that year, even though he had completed his time in grade, and was promoted to full general a year later so that his path would not be blocked. General Staff Chiefs, just as they indicate the generals they favor, also make it clear which ones they do not favor.

    In Ilker Basbug's extended promotion journey to the General Staff Chief position, decisions by Hilmi Ozkok and Yasar Buyukanit, who preceded him as General Staff Chief, were very important. The Ankara days of these three commanders took place in years during which military-civilian relations in Turkey were marked by problems. Both Yasar Buyukanit and Ilker Basbug were generals with whom Hilmi Ozkok worked closely. Both served in the General Staff Headquarters under Ozkok. The Ankara days of the three commanders extend back to the year 2000.

    During the years 2000-2001, HIlmi Ozkok was the Ground Forces Commander, Yasar Buyukanit was the Deputy General Staff Chief, and Ilker Basbug, with the rank of Lieutenant General, was the MGK [National Security Council] Deputy General Secretary. A year later, Ozkok and Buyukanit were in the same positions, but Basbug became the Chief Deputy to the MGK General Secretary.

    During 2002-2003, Hilmi Ozkok was the General Staff Chief, Yasar Buyukanit was the Deputy General Staff Chief, and Ilker Basbug was the Ground Forces Commander.

    During 2003-2004, Hilmi Ozkok continued in his position as General Staff Chief, while Buyukanit went to command the First Army in order to become Ground Forces Commander and handed over the position of Deputy General Staff Chief to Basbug.

    The three commanders continued in these duties through the years 2004-2005, and then in 2005-2006, Hilmi Ozkok went into his final year as General Staff Chief, while Buyukanit was appointed Ground Forces Commander and handed over command of the First Army to Basbug.

    In 2006, Yasar Buyukanit took over the position of General Staff Chief from Hilmi Ozkok, and handed over the Ground Forces Commander position to Ilker Basbug.

    When Buyukanit retired in 2008, Ilker Basbug took over the General Staff Chief position.

    One of the common characteristics of these three commanders was the fact that they commanded the Turkish Armed Forces during a period in which military-civilian relations were boiling internally, and that they witnessed developments of historic importance."

    [07] Erdogan held a telephone conversation with Obama over Syria and Egypt

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.08.13) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a phone conversation with the President of United States Barack Obama late Wednesday, sources in Erdogan's office said.

    As the written statement on the official website of the Turkish Prime Ministry said, Erdogan and Obama exchanged views on the latest developments in Egypt and Syria and in the wider region.

    "Expressing their concerns over the activities of marginal groups in Syria, Turkish Premier Erdogan and US President Obama stressed the need to support the Syrian opposition embracing all segments of the Syrian society and acting jointly against Assad regime forces," wrote the statement.

    Both the two leaders pointed out their concerns over the escalation of violence in Egypt since the military coup on July 3, urging for international support towards a democratic and participatory solution.

    They agreed on harder, closer and more comprehensive cooperation between Turkey and the US to protect the mutual interests of the two countries.

    The White House also issued a written statement regarding Obama's phone talk with Erdogan, at Turkish Prime Minister's request, where the President and Prime Minister discussed "the danger of foreign extremists in Syria and agreed on the importance of supporting a unified and inclusive Syrian opposition"

    As for Egypt, the President and Prime Minister also shared commitment to supporting a democratic and inclusive way forward. The two leaders agreed to have their teams continue to coordinate closely to promote the shared interests, said the statement.

    Obama also gave his best wishes to Erdogan and the Turkish people on the beginning of their Eid al-Fitr holiday.

    TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

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

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