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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-06-03

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 PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.103/04 03.06.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reactions to the UN Secretary - General´s report published yesterday in HALKIN SESI.
  • [02] PKK prodded to undermine government.
  • [03] Turkey reiterates no change in Israel policy.
  • [04] Erdogan justifies decision to participate in G-8 summit.
  • [05] Turkish truck driver kidnapped in Iraq.
  • [06] Former Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz could come before the Council of State in Turkey accused for corruption.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reactions to the UN Secretary - General´s report published yesterday in HALKIN SESI

    Under the banner front-page title "The world read the Annan report from HALKIN SESI", Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (03.06.04) writes that all countries concerned with the Cyprus problem read yesterday in HALKIN SESI the report that the UN Secretary - General, Kofi Annan is expected to submit to the Security Council.

    The report published in HALKIN SESI, notes the paper, reached Turkey, Greece and the USA.

    According to the paper, Mehmet Ali Talat, so-called Prime Minister of the occupation regime, said that the report was positive and noted that stressing that there is no need now for exerting pressures on the Turkish Cypriots and keeping them isolated was very important.

    In statements in Istanbul Mr Talat said: "The report of the UN Secretary - General is positive. I believe that positive reactions will be taken to this positive report. The Secretary - General demands the lifting of the isolation on the Turkish Cypriot people. He says that the isolation and the pressures on the Turkish Cypriots have no meaning, no logic any more. In my opinion this is the most important point that the UN Secretary - General stressed. And he calls on the countries to support ending this isolation'".

    Commenting on the same issue, Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy Prime Minister, said that for the time being the Turkish Cypriots have no demand for recognition of the illegal regime. "However", he added, "we are not going to wait forever the Greek Cypriot side for a solution on the island". Mr Denktas noted that the 65 % of the Turkish Cypriots, who vote in favour of the Annan Plan at the 24 April referendum, did not vote for YES because they abandoned their "state". Mr Denktas described as "extremely wrong understanding" the expression used in the UN Secretary - General´s report that the results of the referendum show that the Turkish Cypriots abandoned the position of supporting their "state".

    [02] PKK prodded to undermine government

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (03.06.04) publishes the following article by Ilnur Cevik:

    "Some Turkish circles are encouraging the Kurdish separatist PKK organization to revive its terrorist campaign in southeastern Turkey and undermine the Justice and Development Party (JDP) government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iraqi Kurdish sources and foreign diplomats in the region reported.

    They say the recent increase in PKK terrorist activity in southeastern Turkey can be attributed to this campaign.

    Iraqi Kurdish sources who asked not to be named said they have high regard for the Erdogan government and see its performance as "excellent" and are prepared to cooperate with it in forging closer relations between Iraq and Turkey, as well as between Ankara and the Iraqi Kurdish leadership both in Arbil and in Sulaiymaniya. However, they say some circles are extremely concerned with the success of the Erdogan administration and are prepared to go to the extreme of cooperating with the PKK to undermine the government.

    According to information received by Iraqi Kurdish sources, PKK terrorist leader Abdullah Ocalan, who is serving a life sentence at the Imrali Island prison run by the military, has become concerned by the JDP's election gains in the recent local elections throughout the southeastern provinces, where the pro-Kurdish parties who sympathize with the PKK is strong.

    So Ocalan has sent a message to the PKK militants holed up in the mountains in northern Iraq "ordering" them to prepare to revive the "revolution" against Turkey. The sources said they had information from their own intelligence sources within the PKK in the mountains that Ocalan was being pushed by some Turkish circles "to create problems for the Erdogan government."

    Another leading Iraqi Kurdish source quoted Ocalan as allegedly telling his lawyers: "Go and tell our people there is a threat against Kemalism. Massoud [Kurdistan Democracy Party leader Massoud Barzani] is a Nakshibendi [an Islamic religious order] and the government in Turkey is run by people of the Nakshibendi order. They both want to damage Kemalism, and we must hit back to prevent this."

    The Iraqi Kurdish sources also said the PKK militants in Iraq wanted to approach the Americans but were turned down. The Americans said if they had any contacts with the PKK this would immediately be known to Ocalan, who would in turn tell his "Turkish contacts" about such meetings.

    Meanwhile, Iraqi security sources close to the Kurds also said they had monitored some Turks with an official background who had met PKK militants in the Kandil mountains.

    Some Western diplomats serving in the region confirmed the reports of the Iraqi-Kurdish sources. They said it seems Ocalan and some circles in Turkey who are opposed to the democratization and reformation process have joined forces to erect new obstacles by fanning violence in Turkey, thus preventing Turkey from getting a date for accession talks with the European Union. They said both Ocalan and these circles in Turkey who oppose the EU know that once Ankara gets a date for accession talks, they will be `finished´ "

    [03] Turkey reiterates no change in Israel policy

    Turkish Daily News (03.06.04) reports that Turkey's policy towards Israel has remained unchanged despite a recent spat of criticisms by Ankara on Tel Aviv's military drive in the Palestinian territories, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.

    "There is no change in Turkey's policy towards Israel. Relations between the two countries are continuing on their own dynamics," ministry Spokesman Namik Tan told a weekly press briefing.

    The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan leveled blunt criticism at Israel after its operation in a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, which left more than 40 Palestinians dead last month. He said Israeli acts were tantamount to state terror and renewed the same charges at an international meeting of journalists in Istanbul on Monday.

    Israeli Foreign Ministry expressed "deep regret" on Tuesday over Erdogan's remarks and said Israel had expected Turkey, a country which suffered from terrorism, to show more understanding.

    Tan denied reports in a Turkish newspaper that the Israeli Foreign Ministry had conveyed an ultimatum to the Turkish Ambassador in Israel to be passed to Ankara.

    Despite criticisms, Erdogan said the Turkish reaction was not aimed at Israeli people but at the Ariel Sharon government for its policies against Palestinians.

    Amid political tension, Turkey's Zorlu Holding and Israeli Dorad Energies signed last week an $800-million deal for construction of three power plants in Israel.

    Turkish media reports also said this week that Turkish military has proposed the purchase of several types of equipment and systems necessary for modernization of Turkish F-16 jet fighters from Israeli companies but a statement from the Ministry of Defense denied the reports on Wednesday.

    Israel, surrounded by hostile Arab states, sees Turkey a regional ally. Turkey cooperates with the Jewish state in economic and military fields, with Israeli companies leading several Turkish military modernization projects, but Ankara is also traditionally a sympathizer of Palestinians' aspirations for statehood.

    On Wednesday, a lawmaker from the conservative True Path Party (TPP) presented a formal question to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on whether Turkey would review its economic and commercial ties with Israel.

    "Does Turkey have any initiative against Israel in the United Nations and other countries against Israel, which attacks Palestinian people with heavy guns, killing tens of them every day?" lawmaker Ummet Kandogan said."

    [04] Erdogan justifies decision to participate in G-8 summit

    Turkish Daily News (03.06.04) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has justified the government's decision to accept an invitation to attend a meeting of G-8 countries in June that is expected to discuss the U.S.-proposed Greater Middle East Initiative.

    "You should sit at the table. Your words can only be taken into consideration as long as you are at the table. We will go there with such an understanding," said Erdogan, who was speaking on a Show TV program on Tuesday night.

    Erdogan explained that they had been invited to the summit as a democratic partner, not as one of the target countries.

    "I believe it is wrong to remain isolated from such things. ... How distant you remain from the table is how distant your opinions will be from that table," said Erdogan.

    Leaders of the G-8 countries, comprising the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and the Russian Federation, are to meet in early June in the U.S. state of Georgia. Topping the agenda is expected to be U.S. plans to encourage modernization in the Middle East as part of its Greater Middle East Initiative.

    U.S. plans have received a cool reception from many of the target countries in the Middle East, which said democratization must come from internal dynamics and not be imposed from the outside.

    Turkey apparently assumes a "pivotal role" in the U.S. initiative, representing a model case with its Muslim population and functioning democracy.

    The G-8 summit will be the first international platform for a substantial discussion of the U.S.-floated project. What is agreed at the summit is expected to set the agenda for a larger-scope discussion during NATO's summit on June 28-29 in Istanbul.

    Asked whether Turkey will play a mediator role between Israel and Palestine, Erdogan said: "Why shouldn't we? We would play such a role gladly. Turkey should already be making an effort for such a role in the Middle East. We in fact prepared for such a role until the unfortunate incidents of late. If these incidents had not occurred, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul would have gone to the Middle East and completed his tour of the region by now, and it would now be my turn to visit the region."

    [05] Turkish truck driver kidnapped in Iraq

    Turkish Mainland HURRIYET newspaper (03.06.04) reports that masked men armed with rocket-propelled grenade launchers kidnapped a Turkish and an Egyptian truck driver in Iraq and threatened to kill them if their countries did not condemn the U.S.-led occupation in Iraq.

    A videotape broadcast by Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiya televisions displayed the two men with masked men with arms standing behind. The Associated Press television also obtained a similar tape.

    The Turkish man was identified as Bulent Yanik, born in 1968, from the southern province of Hatay. Speaking to CNN Turk television, a member of his family said Yanik went to Kuwait to work eight months ago.

    The gunmen said the drivers were delivering supplies from Kuwait to Iraq and were seized because they were working for U.S. occupation forces.

    "Death will be the fate of these people if their governments don't condemn the occupation," said a masked man holding an assault rifle as two men crouched in front of him holding up their passports.

    [06] Former Turkish Prime Minister Yilmaz could come before the Council of State in Turkey accused for corruption

    Turkish Mainland TERCUMAN newspaper (03.06.04) reports that the Turkish Parliament's Investigation Committee has decided that former Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz and former State Minister Gunes Taner will have to come before the Council of State for corruption during the privatization of Turkbank.

    The committee´s report will be discussed in the General Assembly before a vote is taken. Only if a majority of Parliament, 276 deputies, vote in favour of the committee decision can the former ministers be brought before the Council of State.

    Yilmaz was accused of holding private meetings with buyer Korkmaz Yigit at his home during the privatization process of Turkbank and of ignoring intelligence reports of Yigit's links to the mafia and the security risk he posed. Yigit had won the privatization tender, but when phone records of him talking to mafia leader Alaattin Cakici appeared in the media, the contract was cancelled. Yilmaz and Taner had lost their seats in the government as a result of a vote of confidence at Parliament, becoming the first two of the serving ministers to lose their seats due to corruption.

    /SK


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