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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 13-12-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 242/13 21-23.12.13
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
 Kibris cites European Ambassador as saying that the reunification of Cyprus will be achieved because of the economic crisisTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.12.13) reported that the Ambassador of an important EU-member state to Nicosia has said that an agreement providing for the reunification of Cyprus will be achieved because of the economic satiation which exists in both the occupied and the government-controlled area of Cyprus. In statements to Kibris, the Ambassador, who wished to remain anonymous, argued that "the economic crisis which emerged in both the north and the south part of the island because of different reasons, points out to the fact that the reunification of the island is absolutely necessary".
The Ambassador said that "a divided Cyprus could not be sustainable" and that no one should think of a failure of the negotiating process. He noted that "there is a need to reach a solution and at the same time there is a will to do so". The Ambassador is also quoted as saying that "the international community has more important issues to deal with in the world than Cyprus".
According to the paper, the Ambassador noted also that "embargoes" are implemented on the "wrong people" with decisions taken by the UN Security Council, that embargoes should be implemented on the country which brought the island into this situation and that it was not possible to implement embargo on Turkey because of the countries' interests.
 Nami: We now have the potential to finalize the statement within the coming daysUnder the title "Greek Cypriots realize it's time to start benefiting from peace", Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.13) publishes the inter alia, following interview, of the self-styled minister of foreign affairs Ozdil Nami on the Cyprus issue.
"Greek Cyprus [editor's note: Republic of Cyprus] has the realization that 'it may be a better idea to tackle the real problem and reunite Cyprus and start benefiting from what peace can offer', Nami recently told the Hurriyet Daily News.
Where do we stand on the efforts for a settlement?
We are engaged in a process that will result in the formation of a joint statement, to be read by both leaders at their first meeting which will signal the start of the new round of negotiations that will be a continuation of past efforts with the goal of establishing a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation in Cyprus with political equality of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.
What are the remaining hurdles that have prevented a finalization of it?
It is the final phase. The Greek Cypriot leader put forward some concepts as vital issues for him. These included the issues of single sovereignty, single citizenship and a single international identity. The Turkish Cypriot side counteracted by saying that though it is true these concepts are important, concepts like political equality, internal citizenship and residual powers are also very important. At the stage we are at, we have managed to overcome difficulties we faced and created a common language on these issues. Having said that, both sides are trying to inject a few sentences that will reassure their voters that the deal has not jeopardized their well-known positions. I think it is natural that both leaders are attempting to do this; it is also natural that some suggestions while being accepted some may not be. In particular, the Turkish Cypriot side attaches a lot of importance that after our federation is established, the bitter experiences of the past when Turkish Cypriots were kicked out of the republic they co-founded will not be repeated. From our point of view, we would like this to be addressed in a clear fashion.
Greek Cypriots have their own needs for clarification; they are afraid that any wording that may indicate a potential for two independent states be formed with a settlement is dangerous so they are acting very cautiously to avoid any sentencing to that direction; so the final touches are being done right now.
As someone who has been witness to so many failed past initiatives, how would you describe the current chances for settlement?
We now have the potential to finalize the statement within the coming days; we don't need months of negotiations; we are nearly there. It is going to be a historic document that addresses many of the controversial issues that have been in dispute between the two sides. This in itself is both good news but it also carries a lot of responsibility and if we are unable to finalize it despite the fact that a lot of work has been done and a lot of convergence has been achieved, this will be a signal in particular to the United Nations that we are unable to solve our own problem. At that point, how will the international community react? We don't know. I think both sides would act responsibly and take the matter in their own hands instead of delegating it to third parties and bring it to a successful conclusion. I feel this spirit existing on both sides of the island and that's what I am counting on.
What would make it different from past initiatives?
We had similar opportunities in the past. In the history of states, sometimes people do not grab the opportunity there and that's what happened to Cypriots before. This time around, there is another golden opportunity presenting itself to us. It's totally up to the Cypriots to grasp it or not; so we would have nobody to blame but ourselves if we don't make good use of it. It is an important opportunity not to be missed.
Turkish public usually believes that Greek Cypriots don't genuinely want a solution that will be acceptable to both sides since they are better off and they are EU member.
They are not well off; they have lost almost half of their bank deposits, their pension funds have evaporated. Without a comprehensive settlement, it will take them 20 years to fully recover. Youth unemployment is reaching 40%; it is a dire situation. Although they attained EU membership, their aspiration to use that membership to the detriment of Turkish Cypriots has turned to be futile expectation. At least on these two counts, there is a realization that rather than chasing these empty dreams, it may be a better idea to tackle the real problem and reunite Cyprus and start benefiting from what peace can offer.
On the other hand, we have the natural resources being discovered around Cyprus. The best way; the way with the least cost and risk would be to sell it through Turkey and the only way to achieve that will be through finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Energy can be one of the game-changers if handled properly; it can be an incentive for a solution.
In comparison to the last decade, circumstances have changed, you say. How about the terms of the agreement? Usually, it is said that everybody knows what the solution looks like, but it is a matter of taking the decision. Is the new initiative bringing about surprises?
There will be no surprises. There already exists a very important U.N. body of work; there are guiding principles defined by Security Council resolutions, and room to manoeuvre is well-defined. Negotiations will not resume from scratch but it will be built on what has already been achieved by the past leaders. What it will look like is already well-known.
Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiadis is known to be pro-solution. Has he acted in line with that view about him so far?
One would hope they would act in a more courageous way and by now we would be talking about finalizing a settlement, not finalizing a joint statement. But both sides have political realities; on the Greek Cypriot side there are big agenda points regarding the economic crisis; the loss of confidence in Anastasiadis is a reality, so there is this level of caution. It is important not to lose the balance and not to go overbroad because that would trigger deep suspicions on the Turkish Cypriot side. It already started; we had much higher expectations from him which were not fulfilled, if he fails to show the necessary leadership to finalize the joint statement that he initially requested, then that would send a signal that Cypriots have tried but failed to reach a settlement. At that point, the U.N. would have to take a look at what is going on exactly.
The economic crisis could increase nationalist feelings and might poison the negotiation spirit.
From what I can gather talking to the business community on the Greek Cypriot side, they are seeing great potential for economic development with a settlement. Especially looking at Turkey like the rising star of the region, they see big economic benefit. During economic hardship, nationalist sentiments also come to the fore, but if I am to judge, the expectation of economic benefit from a settlement is higher now and at least the business community is looking forward.
There is a coalition in Turkish Cyprus [editor's note: the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] and the president is coming from a different party? Has it been difficult to forge a common position?
We are using it to our benefit and telling Greek Cypriots that although we have a president coming from a right-wing party and a government dominated by a socialist party, all these political forces are united in supporting the peace talks and achieving a rapid solution. We are giving the message that on the Turkish side, with its government, main opposition, president and Turkey, we are all in. (?)"
 Davutoglu briefed several EU Ambassadors on 5 topics including the Cyprus talksUnder the title "Turkish FM Davutoglu reviews year with EU ambassadors", Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 20.12.13), reports that Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu spoke with the ambassadors of several European Union countries at a lunch hosted by the Embassy of Lithuania, which currently holds the EU presidency, in Ankara on Friday.
During a speech to the Ambassadors, Davutoglu touched upon five main topics: Turkey's EU accession process, Turkey-EU visa dialogue, the Cyprus dispute, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Turkey-EU strategic dialogue.
On the Cyprus issue, Davutoglu briefed the EU Ambassadors on Turkey's efforts and those of the Turkish Cypriots, claiming that the Greek Cypriot side had not had the necessary will to resolve the dispute in the island until recently. However, Davutoglu claimed that the Turkish side's constructive attitude regarding the joint statement has not been met with an equal response from the Greek Cypriots.
Moreover, TZ (online, 22.12.13) reported that Davutoglu also had a phone call with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday, according to the Foreign Ministry statement. In addition to the Geneva ll conference, Davutoglu and Ban discussed the Cyprus problem, on which there is currently active shuttle diplomacy involving the UN and the US aimed at breaking a deadlock regarding the divided island.
The Foreign Ministry statement noted also that Davutoglu, during a phone call to US Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday, talked with Kerry about the latest developments in Cyprus, among other topics.
 CTP "MP": Turkish Cypriots should separately "elect" representatives for the European Parliament; They will hold contacts in Strasbourg next JanuaryTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.12.13) reports that Armagan Candan, self-styled MP with the Republican Turkish Party - United Forces (CTP-BG), has said that the discussion on holding separate "elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus should open in order to create political pressure regarding the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the European Parliament (EP). In statements to Kibris, Candan noted that the Turkish Cypriots have three alternatives before them as regards their representation at the EP: the continuation of the status quo, the observer status with two seats at the EP which is the "official demand" of the Turkish Cypriot side, or holding separate "elections" in the occupied area of Cyprus and sending those "elected" to the EP with the aim of exerting political pressure.
Candan alleged that the most appropriate formula is for the Turkish Cypriots to be represented at the EP as observers until a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached and added that in case this does not happen until 25 May 2014, when the European elections will be held, the Turkish Cypriots should discuss the issue of "simultaneous EP elections" in the occupied area of the island. He said that in November he had held contacts at the EP together with Ersan Saner and Hasan Tacoy, "MPs" with the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Democratic Party ? National Forces (DP-UG) respectively. During these contacts, he added, the idea of holding separate elections was supported by the Members of the EP who feel sympathy towards the Turkish Cypriots.
He alleged: "I do not think that it would be possible for the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the elections which will be organized within the Republic of Cyprus. As it had been seen at the referendum for the Annan Plan, the Turkish Cypriots have the capacity of being able to organize their own elections and elect their own representatives..."
Candan said that they will visit Strasbourg between 13 and 16 January in order to hold contacts and they will continue to follow this issue. He noted that in case they do not get a reply to their demand for being represented with an observer status, they could launch a debate on how an EP election could be organized in the occupied area of Cyprus.
 Talat: views in favour of establishing a confederation in Cyprus still exist in Turkish foreign policyTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (23.12.13) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has said that views in favour of establishing a confederation in Cyprus still exist in the Turkish foreign policy. In an interview with Havadis, Talat was asked the following question: "The description of the solution in Cyprus by some officials from Turkey reminds of confederation. For example it is the statement made by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Does Turkey support a federation in Cyprus or what it wishes is a con-federal structure?"
Talat replied that the need and the necessity for a solution influenced the Turkish foreign policy and over time it secured its support to the solution. Talat alleged that there was a slide from a policy which preferred confederation to federation, which is a more realistic policy. He added: "However, of course, this policy, this foreign policy has not been able to totally erase these old views. Therefore, it is possible to see its traces when they talk, when they make statements. Especially those officials who do not know very well the sensitivities of the Cyprus problem use these expressions. This is correct. And of course, they address the internal public opinion?"
Talat said that in the 2000's Turkey supported the Annan Plan, but individually there were some persons who were praying for the Greek Cypriots to reject the plan.
Talat expressed the view that in case the Cyprus problem is not solved, it is very difficult for the Turkish Cypriots to have a "state" internationally recognized, contrary to what some people may think. "Therefore we should be the side which will press for a solution", he argued.
Asked to comment on the current situation in the Cyprus problem, Talat said he sees a deadlock and expressed the view that the method of issuing a joint declaration "is wrong". He alleged: "I think that the joint declaration should not have been an issue. It should have ended immediately? When the method is wrong, you cannot have a right result".
 Provisions of the new "citizenship law"Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.12.13) reported that the self-styled minister of interior Teberruken Ulucay stated that a final touch is made as regards the new "citizenship law" which will be presented at the "assembly" in the second half of January 2014.
Ulucay said that the amendments of the "law" will safeguard that anomalies be determined
According to the new "law" a person that lives and works in the breakaway regime for five years will be given a white identity and if he continues to stay for 10 years under the same conditions, he will be granted the "TRNC citizenship".
 Atalay: Prejudice against religion reduced in the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (23.12.13) reports that the "head of religious affairs department" Talip Atalay stated that prejudice against religion begin reducing in the occupied area of Cyprus.
Atalay stated that in the past even Quran courses were illegal because of prejudice but now there are 400 students at the theology department operating in the occupied area of Cyprus. He also said that every summer students are sent to Religious Culture and Ethics Knowledge camping.
Finally, he said that nowadays the population in the occupied area of Cyprus is 80 thousands and there are about 300 mosques.
 Izmir Industrialists and Businessmen Association is looking for investment opportunities in the occupied area of the Republic of CyprusAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 20.12.13), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, during a meeting with a delegation from the Izmir Industrialists and Businessmen's Association on Friday morning, said that the stronger Turkey is in economy and the industrial sector, the more comfortable Turkish Cypriots are, adding: "We also feel that our hand is further strengthened at the negotiation table".
Speaking on behalf of the Association, Chairman Hasan Kucurkkurt said that "they had come to the TRNC [editor's note: breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] to see the investment opportunities that may take place between the two countries and get in contact with industrialists on the island".
Furthermore, Izmir Industrialists and Businessmen's Association had also a meeting with self-styled deputy prime minister and minister for economy, tourism, culture and sports Serdar Denktas.
Speaking during the meeting, Denktas argued that although there was renewed hope on the Cyprus problem, due to the Greek Cypriot side's stance this hope had been deflated. He added: "Regardless of whether or not there is a solution in Cyprus we must develop cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC so when the time comes we can branch out to South Cyprus [editor's note: as he refers to the government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus]. We must take steps now and make partnerships. We are currently working towards expanding the green line regulations and with this more opportunities will arise for all".
 Sabah and ATV are sold to a company involved in the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of CyprusAccording to World Bulletin news website (20.12.13), Turkey's Sabah newspaper and ATV channel have been sold to a construction firm named Kalyon Insaat.
Sabah newspaper and ATV had previously been owned by the Calik Group, who purchased it from the Ciner Group in 2008 for $1.1 billion.
The Calik Group had reportedly been long looking for a buyer, with multi-millionaire Rupert Murdoch's News Corp also showing interest. However, after a meeting, the two were not able to agree to a deal.
It is noted that Kalyon Insaat was established by Hasan Kalyoncu in the south-eastern Turkish city Gaziantep in 1974. They have worked in Qatar, Russia, Libya, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, on projects including universities, hospitals, houses, schools, roads, bridges and tunnels. It is currently being managed by Orhan Cemal Kalyoncu.
Referring to the issue, Turkish Cypriot columnist Ali Osman writes in daily Afrika newspaper (23.12.13) that one of the projects on which Kalyon Insaat is working is the project of transferring water from Turkey to the occupied area of Cyprus with underwater pipelines. The company is reportedly responsible for the part of the project in the sea.
 Self-styled council of ministers declared terrorist four Greek Cypriot organizationsTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.12.13) reports that the self-styled council of ministers four Greek Cypriot organizations as terrorist organizations. These are EFEN, Hrysi Aygi (Golden Down), ELAM and KEA.
The "council of ministers" labeled in total ten organizations as terrorist. The other six are: PKK, Hizbullah, DHKP-C, IBDA-C, El Kaide and the Black Brigade organization.
 Turkey, US avoid major crisis, but ties still on tightropeTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.13) reports that Turkish and U.S. diplomats narrowly avoided a major crisis over Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's implication that Washington's Ambassador could be expelled over provocative actions, but bilateral ties are still on a tightrope as government officials and pro-government media seem unlikely to cease a campaign against "external forces" behind an on-going graft probe.
Washington has seriously warned Ankara that a repetition of such a smear campaign against the U.S. and its diplomats could affect bilateral relations, the Hurriyet Daily News has learned.
Ties between the two allies were in dire straits since spring over a number of disagreements on major foreign policy issues, with Syria at the top of the list.
Only five days after the huge graft probe began, some pro-government media hit almost the same headline on Dec. 21 and claimed that Envoy Francis Ricciardone told a group of EU Ambassadors that "You will watch the fall of an empire" on the very first day of the police's corruption operation.
Although the embassy denied categorically the reports, Erdogan strongly targeted the Ambassador at a rally in Samsun. "In recent days, interestingly, some ambassadors have been engaging in provocative actions. I am calling out to them from Samsun: Do your own business," he said. "We do not have to keep you in our country."
After Erdogan's harsh remarks, Ricciardone issued a written statement to once again deny the reports and urged that "nobody should put Turkey-U.S. relations in danger with unfounded claims."
Washington expressed its deep disturbance with both media reports and Erdogan's accusations against its envoy and demanded that a rectification be made given the impression given by the statements.
The Foreign Ministry subsequently released a statement, noting the Ministry's satisfaction with the U.S. ambassador's explanation. "We find the U.S. ambassador's statement sufficient. There is no plan to summon him to the ministry on the issue," read the statement.
In addition to the ministry's statement, AKP spokesperson Huseyin Celik said, "We have to trust in the statement [of the U.S. ambassador]."
Both statements were regarded as "satisfactory" by Washington as well but it underlined once again that the U.S. has nothing to do with Turkish internal affairs and that it does want to be "drawn into a family fight."
Yesterday, Erdogan referred to international plans against his government but did not give any country's name.
For many in Ankara, the government's decision to step back in this case is a result of its evaluation that confronting Washington in this period would not be wise for the government.
 Kilicdaroglu may step down for SarigulAccording to news portal website World Bulletin (online, 20.12.13), the head of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, has said that he may consider stepping aside for Istanbul mayor nominee Mustafa Sarigul.
Speaking to the Huffington Post, Kilicdaroglu said: "I am not doing politics as an attachment to a particular seat. I am in politics for the good of the country, for the development and further democratization of the country. I am not in love with my seat."
Gulen's followers are expected to support Mustafa Sarigul's campaign for Istanbul in the local elections.
Kilicdaroglu, who has constantly called on Erdogan to step down, had met with representatives of the Gulen movement in a recent visit to the US. However, Kilicdaroglu denied conspiring with them against the AK Party, saying "We are with all the groups that are under pressure from the government."
He added, "All we want is to expand the scope of freedom for all these groups, including the one you mentioned [the Gulen movement]." Kilicdaroglu also said that CHP would support prep schools if elected.
"The local elections that will take place in March of next year will really be a defining moment in Turkey's future, a very critical point in our political history," Kilicdaroglu told the Huffington Post.
 Police banned journalists from entering police stations; Turkish airlines stops the distribution of Zaman, Today's Zaman and Bugun on its planesTurkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 22.12.13), under the title "Journalists banned from entering police stations across Turkey", reported that journalists will no longer be allowed to enter police departments, a statement released from the Turkish police has said. "Members of the press will not be allowed into the Police Departments all over Turkey as of Dec. 22, 2013," a statement read.
The move came amid a reshuffle in the police organization that saw more than 100 police chiefs being removed from their posts, which followed a far-reaching graft investigation. Two sons of ministers have been arrested as part of the probe.
Turkey Journalists Federation (TGF) criticized the decision.
"At a time when the country's agenda is busy with very serious allegations such as 'corruption' and 'thievery,' the decree is highly meaningful," a statement said. "Journalists work for the good of the public's right to receive information. This decree does not only prevent the public's right to get information, but it also means censoring.
"The journalists have not faced such a decision even during the era of Sept. 12 [1980, military coup]
Meanwhile, HDN (online, 23.12.13) reports that Turkey's flagship carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) has put an embargo on dailies affiliated with the Fethullah Gulen Movement, which has been at odds with the government over an on-going corruption investigation, local news agencies reported.
The airline, 74% of which is owned by the state, had already stopped delivering the English-language daily Today's Zaman in airport terminals and on planes before slashing the distribution of its Turkish sibling, daily Zaman, by two-thirds, Cihan News Agency reported.
Dogan News Agency quoted the Turkish Airlines Press Office as saying Zaman, Today's Zaman and another publication with links to the Gulen movement, Bugun, will remain in the free daily selection presented at terminal buildings, but the company will not hand out the newspapers inside the planes as of today.
Zaman, Today's Zaman and Bugun have vocally criticized the government over the corruption scandal, warning authorities to avoid interference in the legal process.
 Commentaries on the anti-graft probe in TurkeyCommentaries in Turkish dailies report that the anti-graft operation may be a power struggle between Erdogan and Fethullan Gulen, or a crisis of a majoritarian democracy. This scandal will definitely influence the upcoming local elections in Turkey.
Columnist Fehmi Koru, in Turkish daily Star (21.12.13), wrote that the victory of Erdogan in the local elections of 1994 was due to a scandal in the municipality of Istanbul controlled then by the SHP (Social Democratic Populist Party). Since then, Erdogan and AKP has sought transparency and accountability and which has paid attention to honesty to gain "moral superiority" from the moment it started its political life, Koru wrote. Because of this scandal, AKP has to face difficulties, because opposition is preparing to use this new opportunity to the full extent for advantage in the upcoming local elections.
Cuneyt Ozdemir, writing in Turkish daily Radikal (22.12.13), under the title "Might the US Ambassador also be a Gulenist?" wondered the following: "Did a young businessman really give bribes to three ministers?
Did the police act contemptuously? Did they order out [while conducting house searches]? Did the US Ambassador threaten the prime minister? Was Zaman correct in printing that headline? Are the Gezi protestors working shoulder to shoulder with the Gulen Community? Unfortunately, none of this answers the first, simple question we asked!"
Ozdemir believe that "the government's tactic to create the perception of an enemy that is even greater than the Community instead of actually answering the sound questions about corruption is a creative and seasoned political tactic. He ironically concludes: "At least let me say this: If instead of answering the allegations of corruption you are going to hide behind another conspiracy theory, you are going to have a hard time even if you declare Barack Obama, let alone his ambassador, to be a Gulenist!"
Asli Aydintasbas, writing in Turkish daily Milliyet (23.12.13), under the title "This is not about the rule of law but a war", said that "Regardless of who you support in the current political war, there is not the slightest hope that this country will, in the short term, emerge as a state of democracy and law".
According to Aydintasbas, "Tayyip Erdogan is probably going to win the fight against the Gulen community by using the state's power of sanctions. The service movement [Gulen community] is facing another 28 February [military memorandum of 1997]. Like a bulldozer, Erdogan will first crush the figures that are close to the community in the state mechanism, then the community's financial structure, and then anybody else who did not take sides with him in this current fight?
However, the following regime will not be a democracy but a 'Tayyip Erdogan Regime'."
Columnist Murat Yetkin, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 23.12.13), under the title "Erdogan vows to clamp down on Gulen", believed that Erdogan is upset with the US not only because of Ricciardone's alleged words on the on-going corruption probe. He is upset because of many reasons, including Israel, Egypt and Syria policies any way but nowadays because of two more reasons: One of them is a revived dialogue between the US administration with Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) in order to get also their view on what is happening in the country. Ricciardone had invited CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu for lunch last week, as a "follow up" to Kilicdaroglu's visit to Washington DC two weeks ago.
Another reason for Erdogan's anger is believed to be Fethullah Gulen, the moderate Islamist scholar and leader of one of the most powerful faith based communities in Turkey who lives in a farm house in Pennsylvania, for nearly twenty years now."
Omer Taspinar, columnist in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 22.12.13), under the title "The Islamic roots of the conflict in Turkey", wrote that "The conflict between the Gulen movement and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has now taken on a very public dimension. For many in Turkey and in the West, this conflict is nothing but a power struggle. Yet, focusing solely on politics and the quest for power would be reductionist. The current conflict has deep historical, ideological and even doctrinal roots. (?)
Moreover, columnist Rusen Cakir, writing in Turkish daily Vatan (23.12.13), under the title "Prayers Out, Curses In", believes that Gulen community has the upper hand in war against AKP, Erdogan. Cakir writes: "In this warlike atmosphere, in which it no longer really matters who started it and who countered whose move with what other move and why, another reason why Gulen and his Community are very self-assured is probably the way Erdogan and the AKP are acting with the minimum of self-confidence. It will not be possible for them to gain self-confidence as long as the four accused ministers stay in office, even more so as long as one them continues to purge those who are accusing him. The government, or to be more precise the prime minister, is doing exactly the same as in previous incidents that belaboured them (such as Gezi): instead of standing up for such concepts as democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms and rule of law, they have taken the exact opposite route. People are being fired. Extra prosecutors are being appointed. Directives are being amended. Journalists are being denied access to police precincts. We shall see soon enough that these kinds of wrong practices will not work, and that they will in fact make life even harder for the government. Most important of all, it is highly likely that the perception that it is covering up corruption is going to cause serious harm to the ruling party during the local elections." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION