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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-08-31

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.167/06 31.08.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The UN Security Council was briefed by Gambari on Cyprus.
  • [02] Ercakica welcomes UN Security Council statement on Cyprus.
  • [03] No end to the coalition crisis.
  • [04] Turkeys EU process will be positively affected by sending troops to the Lebanon.
  • [05] This Country is Ours Platform to demonstrate against foreign military bases.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] The Turkish Press continues to debate the change of leadership in the army and the presence of Talat and Rauf Denktas in the ceremony.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The UN Security Council was briefed by Gambari on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.08.06) broadcast the following:

    The United Nations Security Council has expressed its support to the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annans continued efforts aimed at bringing about a solution to the Cyprus problem, at a session held last night on the Cyprus issue.

    The Council also emphasized the need to implement the 8th of July Agreement reached between the President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos during the visit to the island by the UN Undersecretary 0brahim Gambari.

    During the meeting, Mr Gambari briefed the Security Council members on his July visit to the island as well as the latest developments on the Cyprus Issue.

    Speaking to the reporters after the meeting, the Ghanaian Ambassador- Nana Effaf-Apenteg, who is also the Security Council President for this month, expressed his contentment over the agreement reached between the two sides in July which foresees the start of talks both on the technical level and on issues of substance.

    He also called on the two sides on the island to fully implement the agreement without any delays.

    Pointing to the fact that the two parties in Cyprus have differing views, Mr Apenteg said that these differences could only be overcome through negotiations.

    He went on to say that there are still a lot of steps to be taken in order to reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. Underlining that it is up to the two sides in Cyprus to decide on the right timing to restart the negotiations process, Mr. Apenteg said the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan continues his efforts in order to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Also speaking at the end of the meeting, the Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja expressed his countrys full support for the reunification of the island and called for the implementation of the 8th of July decisions which he described as encouraging.

    He also stated that Finland, which holds the current EU Term-Presidency, supports the UN Secretary-Generals efforts on the Cyprus issue.

    [02] Ercakica welcomes UN Security Council statement on Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (30.08.06) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercak1ca has welcomed the UN Security council s statements in favor of a comprehensive solution.

    In a written statement issued today by the Presidential office, Mr Ercak1ca also welcomed the Ghanaian Ambassador s wish for the resumption of the Cyprus negotiations process.

    Explaining that the Turkish Cypriot Side was unhappy with the ongoing non-solution of the Cyprus Problem, Mr Ercak1ca reminded that the Turkish Cypriot Side was conveying at every opportunity the urgent need to launch negotiations aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.

    The Presidential spokesman also expressed the view that the emphasis made by the UN Security Council for the full implementation of the 8th of July Agreement will contribute to efforts aimed at achieving a comprehensive settlement on the island.

    [03] No end to the coalition crisis

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (31.08.06) reports that the self-styled coalition government has entered a complete dead-end, after the various negative statements made by the two parties of the coalition. The paper writes that Serdar Denktas, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP), made statements about the government crisis after remaining silent about the issue for a long time and said that the Republican Turkish Party (CHP) can walk back and forth but in the end it will come back to DP. On its part CTPs Chairman Ferdi Sabit Soyer, who, according to the paper, got angry because of these statements, called on Mr Denktas to keep waiting. The paper notes that despite the fact that the two partners in the coalition government came together many times, aiming to find a solution cold wind continues to blow. The public does not see concrete steps regarding the solution of the crisis but instead they are watching an exchange of words between the high officials of the two parties.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (31.08.06) reports on the crisis between the main parties of the coalition government and accuses YENI DUZEN newspaper, which is the mouthpiece of CTP, of writing lies about the developments regarding the crisis. CUMHURIYET writes, inter alia, that Serdar Denktas has never said that The CTP can walk back and forth but in the end it will come back to DP. We are saying it open. YENI DUZEN is writing lies, CUMHURIYET notes as regards this statement.

    (C/S)

    [04] Turkeys EU process will be positively affected by sending troops to the Lebanon

    Turkish CUMHURIYET newspaper (31.08.06) reports that according to some circles inside the EU, the fact that Turkey is playing a political role and it is sending substantial troops to the Lebanon will have a positive effect regarding Ankaras EU negotiation procedure.

    Invoking EU sources CUMHURIYET writes that the participation of Turkey in the UN peace force to the Lebanon will affect positively Ankaras negotiation process with the EU. According to these sources, in case Ankara participates with an important number of troops in the peace force, the opponents of Turkey inside the EU will be weakened.

    The sources support that Turkeys strategic importance inside the EU will increase and the countries which try to stop Turkeys negotiation procedure will be discouraged. According to these sources, by sending troops to the Lebanon Turkey can affect in a positive psychological manner the EU member states prior to the announcement of the countrys Progress Report next October.

    The paper writes that it was known that criticism about Ankaras reforms and the issue of the ports will be included in the countrys Progress Report next October. According to sources which are closed to the EU Commission, efforts will be exerted in order for a crisis not to occur between Turkey and the EU, because of the Cyprus problem. According to the same sources the Commissioner Responsible for the Enlargement of the EU, Olli Rehn, definitely does not wish for the negotiation process between Ankara and the EU to be stopped because of the Greek Cypriot ports issue and efforts are made for a moderate solution on the issue. Instead of stopping the entire negotiations, a solution such as not opening the relevant chapters can be brought on the table but what is to become of these chapters can create a big discussion in the EU.

    According to the same sources, the Cyprus problem will come onto the agenda during the next days and the Greek Cypriot Sector, is getting ready to sabotage Turkeys negotiation process and its hands are strong, as regards this issue. As stated by the same sources, the parameters on the Cyprus problem can change by the end of October and they alleged that in a possible crisis between Turkey and the EU, Turkeys government cool-headed behaviour will play a role on the solving of the crisis.

    (C/S)

    [05] This Country is Ours Platform to demonstrate against foreign military bases

    Turkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (31.08.06) under the title Military bases out of Cyprus, writes that the Platform This Country is Ours, in a march that will take on the 1st of September which is the world peace day, will call for all the armies and military bases to leave the island and for a united federal Cyprus.

    (C/S)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] The Turkish Press continues to debate the change of leadership in the army and the presence of Talat and Rauf Denktas in the ceremony

    Under the title: Change of style, or change of attitude? Turkey at a crossroads The New Anatolian newspaper (30.08.06) publishes the following commentary by Mete Belovacikli:

    The changing of the guard in the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which has been much speculated about for quite a while, wrapped up this week.

    Although the statements made at the handover ceremonies were dominated by debates over Turkey contributing troops to a peacekeeping force in Lebanon and the sensitivities about secularism and fundamentalism, the debates behind the scenes were about whether Turkey will change its general policies or not.

    This debate still rages on.

    For a few examples, let's look at yesterday's papers.

    For example, TERCUMAN targeted former Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok and said: "Ozkok chose to remain silent in the most critical days in Turkey. Farewell, silent general." The following lines were just below the headline: "You said you finished your posting without creating any clashes or crises. Rich Turks, who talk about the democratic rights of bandits, are proud of you."

    Another example is from YENI CAG: "The first and only chief of General Staff who let some people cover soldiers' head with sacks [referring to the July 2003 Sulaimaniyah incident]: We won't forget you."

    There were also headlines arguing just the opposite: for example, YENI SAFAK had one saying: "The common message: Democracy," while MILLIYET said: "His last message was about Iran: 'We could lose our strategic advantage'."

    The other papers' headlines were mostly the remarks of Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the new chief of General Staff. The dailies underlined that Buyukanit made a fierce start.

    Indeed, the remarks of Buyukanit, saying that since it was founded never has Turkey faced so many threats, plus, "Though they can't impose the Treaty of Sevres on us," are worth emphasizing. The rhetoric of this general and the one of his predecessor are 360 degrees from each other. Until Monday, we had a chief of General Staff who was even considering the impact on the stock market, but today's chief of General Staff is talking about the Sevres Treaty threat. Moreover, the difference in this rhetoric can also be seen in the debates in Ankara about the troops to be sent to Lebanon, as well as in the fronts that emerged in this debate. As the handover ceremonies indicated once again, Ankara is going to experience tougher debates in the coming days. Not only the issue of sending troops to Lebanon, but also next year's presidential election and Cyprus will reveal the various fronts in Ankara.

    Let's take a look at what happened in handover ceremonies and draw some conclusions about them.

    We should particularly look at what happened at the Land Forces Command because of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer's statement about Lebanon and the generals' statements about separatism and fundamentalism.

    First of all, the attitude of Gen Buyukanit while handing over his post to Gen. Ilker Basbug made the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party administrators uncomfortable. Otherwise, they wouldn't be asking constantly whether the military took a tough attitude against the prime minister or not.

    A chief of General Staff who takes a tough attitude against Erdogan seems to have troubled the politicians, who are used to a military which holds his tongue so as not to harm Turkish-EU relations.

    The statements of Gen. Buyukanit and Basbug in the ceremony complemented each other, as tough a long text was divided into two, half being read by Buyukanit and the other half by Basbug. According to our sources, the two generals came together in advance, prepared the texts together and decided which part to be read by whom. In this case, the following picture emerges: As Gen. Basbug will be the chief of General Staff for two years following Buyukanit's two-year term, a single person or an approach will be at the helm of the military for the next two years.

    Meanwhile, we should underline with emphasis that while the AK Party politicians were wondering whether the military will get tougher against them, the styles of both generals were tough in content and kind in style. They were loyal to democratic elegance. They didn't politicize the issues at hand and shared their warnings with the public in a very serious manner. Therefore, there was nothing inappropriate. The photos in newspapers were a reflection of that.

    The part following the end of the ceremony should be particularly emphasized. All the military officials present said that the issue of sending troops to Lebanon is a political one. They reminded what should happen: "Such decisions require political attitudes. The government will make rational choices, develop their tactics and strategies for all scenarios and assume responsibility."

    But the real debate wasn't about the military's attitude but Sezer's statements on the issue. The president was cold and distant towards Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during the ceremony. He laid bare his disagreements with the government in his speech.

    Meanwhile, President Sezer seemed to be upset with Ozkok as well. This is an attitude that hasn't been seen for a long time. Similar attitudes were seen in the 1960s and '70s. It seems like the conversation between Ozkok and Arinc during a visit, with Ozkok saying, "Give me your blessing," and Arinc responding: "You have it," angered the president. Adding to speculations that Ozkok will run for president next spring if Erdogan chooses not to, the president's attitude might be based on the assumption that Ozkok is planning to become president with AK Party support.

    Subtitle: Cyprus a top issue

    The handover ceremony at the General Staff headquarters had an interesting dimension. At 4:30 p.m., the president's name was announced. While everybody was expecting to see Sezer, two presidents entered the hall at the same time. Sezer was accompanied by Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat and his wife. The military also invited former TRNC President Rauf Denktas and his wife. Hence, the importance of TRNC for Turkey was stressed again. The statements made also touched on the issue and the view, "We won't withdraw from Cyprus without a fair and sustainable resolution," was emphasized.

    It's a known fact that the disagreement between the AK Party and state organs center around the issue of secularism. The sensitivities about the secular character of the republic add fuel to these debates. Saying, "The fight against fundamentalism is a task assigned to the military under the Constitution," addressing a Parliament speaker who recently said: "Secularism should be re-debated," is an open indication regarding the level the debate can go to. Therefore, the AK Party politicians wondering whether the military will change its attitude or its style against the government is understandable.

    Above all, the TSK obviously won't change its classic attitude regarding the fundamental characteristics of the republic. However, it's obvious that the attitudes displayed so far won't continue from now on. A senior official whom I talked with about the Kurdish issue said: "We should see this. The issue isn't one of individual democratic rights anymore. It became an issue of Turkey's existence. Therefore we should do the following: we should turn to people and say, 'We gave you the rights you sought. However, the Constitution is known. If you say anything or do anything exceeding the limits of democratic individual rights, we will do what's necessary." We can say that a similar attitude will become dominant in all debates in Ankara.

    /SK


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