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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-23
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 78/08 23.04.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Afrika: The new chief of the orchestra is ApakanTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.04.08), under the title The new chief of the orchestra is Apakan, reports that it has been revealed that the Turkish committees and working groups which have been established in the process that started recently, are directed by Ertugrul Apakan, former ambassador and permanent undersecretary of the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey.
The paper writes that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, stated yesterday that they held contacts with a committee of experts headed by Mr Apakan. Mr Ercakica said that they worked at technical level with a committee of experts headed by Mr Apakan.
Kibris reports that according to information acquired by the illegal TAK news agency from Mr Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of Mr Talat, the technical committees and the working groups which met yesterday in the area of the old Nicosia International Airport, discussed how they would deal with the issues and exchanged views. Mr Ercakica said that they are satisfied with the result of the first day of the meeting of the technical committees and the working groups.
 Talat: It seems that the four-year stalemate is being overcomeTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, has said that the Turkish side will not abandon the negotiating table. In statements during one of his meetings yesterday, Mr Talat evaluated the four-year period that passed since the 2004 referendum and argued: Actually we have never abandoned the table and we will not abandon it. We are at the table since 2004. Others were the ones who abandoned the table. The Greek Cypriot side was the one that abandoned the table.
Addressing the Turkish Cypriots he asked them not to worry about the future and added: We will work hard and be flexible, but we will exert an effort for a solution by ensuring the rights, the security and the future of our people. He said that it seems that the four-year stalemate is being overcome and that the negotiations started. We hope that by the end of June, full-fledged negotiations will begin, he added.
 Mehmet Ali Talat will visit Ankara and meet with Erdogan and GulTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, will visit Ankara on Thursday after an invitation from the Eurasia Strategic Researches Centre (ASAM) in order to deliver a speech on the issue of searching a solution in Cyprus. Mr Talat will also meet with the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish President, Mr Abdullah Gul. Mr Talat will also meet with journalists, academicians, former diplomats and politicians.
 Cyprus problem among the issues discussed between Babacan Pascoe and Milliband in KuwaitAnkara Anatolia news agency (22.04.08) reports the following from Kuwait:
Foreign ministers of Turkey, Britain and Kuwait came together in Kuwait on Tuesday.
The trilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the expanded conference of the neighbouring countries of Iraq.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, British Secretary of Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband and Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Muhammad al-Sabah al-Salim al-Sabah did not make any remarks before the meeting. Babacan also had bilateral talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem and Lynn Pascoe, the United Nations (UN) Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs.
Pascoe and Babacan debated the Cyprus problem in their meeting, diplomatic sources said.
According to diplomatic sources, Pascoe said that the United Nations might be included in a settlement process more if the technical committee process operated in the island.
Babacan arrived in Kuwait on Monday for the foreign ministers' conference. Representatives from UN Security Council, European Commission, Organization of Islamic Conference and Arab League also attended the conference. In the conference, Babacan said that Turkey wished to see an Iraq which was free of problems and terrorism, and was ready to help Iraq.
The final communiqué, released at the end of the meeting, condemned acts of terror in Iraq, supported Iraqi government's increasing efforts in combating terrorism including all efforts to prevent the Iraqi territory from being used as a base for terrorism against neighboring countries.
The neighboring countries initiative was launched in 2003 under the auspices of Turkey. Upon Turkey's proposal, the process gained international feature in 2007. The first international conference was held in Egypt in May 2007.
 An MP resigned from the UBP; The new distribution of seats in the assemblyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that Huseyin Avkiran Alanli, self-styled MP with the National Unity Party (UBP) in occupied Trikomo, has resigned from his party. After the resignation of Alanli the number of the seats of the UBP in the assembly decreased to 13. In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Alanli accused the UBP of following a policy without a vision, without a plan and without a policy.
The chairman of the UBP, Tahsin Ertugruloglu stated to illegal TAK news agency in Berlin that the fact that Alanli resigned in a period when he is abroad is thought provoking. It is sad for Alanli that he has been defeated by the proposals made to him for the sake of overcoming his problems, said Mr Ertugruloglu.
The UBP has also issued a statement on the resignation of Mr Alanli and argued that Mr Alanli, instead of throwing mud at the UBP, should reveal the financial benefits, which the Freedom and Reform party (ORP) will secure to him.
Referring to the issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (23.04.08) publishes the number of the seats in the assembly after the resignation of Mr Alanli and compares the present situation with the one that came up after the elections in 2005. The Republican Turkish Party (CTP) elected 24 MPs in 2005 and now it has 25, the UBP won 18 seats and now this number is reduced to 13 and the Democratic party (DP) elected 7 MPs and now has 6 seats.
The Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) which has been turned into the Social Democrat Party (TDP) has one MP. Furthermore, the ORP has four MPs and there is one independent MP. If Mr Alanli joins the ORP, this party will reach five MPs and gain the right to form a parliamentary group, notes Yeni Duzen.
 Tahsin Ertugruloglu met yesterday in Germany with German and Turkish MPsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the delegation of the National Unity Party (UBP) headed by its president, Tahsin Ertugruloglu met yesterday in Germany with German and Turkish MPs of the Christian Democrat Union (CDU), the Social Democrat Party (SPD), the Greens Party and the Federal Party.
During the meetings which were held at the German Bundestag and the Berlin Province Parliament, Mr Ertugruloglu alleged that the TRNC is not an obstacle in the way for a solution in Cyprus. On the contrary, he claimed, it will be the guarantee of the agreement that will be reached. Mr Ertugruoglu reiterated his positions regarding solution which should be based on the existence of two sates in Cyprus. He expressed his satisfaction about the fact that Germany is closely interested in the Cyprus problem and it holds meetings with TRNC officials.
Mr Ertugruloglu said the fact that the German MPs had the opportunity to listen to the realities of Cyprus from Turkish Cypriot officials was important for the TRNC. He noted that such contacts should continue in the future and invited the German MPs to Cyprus in order to examine the situation on the spot. He asked for the help of the Turkish MPs on this issue.
Mr Ertugruloglu submitted the proposal to the Turkish MPs on the issue of giving the opportunity to Turks living in Germany to study in the illegal universities of the occupied areas. He said that representatives of all the illegal universities could hold a meeting in Germany and added that this issue could be discussed if the university officials consider it appropriate. Mr Ertugruloglu alleged that the new procedure for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will be the last chance.
 Turkish Cypriot legal circles evaluated the decision of the ECHR on Tymvios case as a great defeat for the Greek CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) approved yesterday the decision of the TRNC Immovable Property Commission which had agreed with a Greek Cypriot named Mike Tymvios on the issue of the exchange of his occupied property with a Turkish Cypriot property located in the free areas of the island.
The paper reports that Mr Tymvios will take 22 donums of land (a land measure of 1000 square meters) in Larnaka in return for his occupied property. Kibris reports that legal circles evaluated the decision of the ECHR as a great defeat for the Greek Cypriot administration and as acceptance of the Immovable Property Commission by the ECHR.
Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (23.04.08) covers the issue under the title Slap to the Greek Cypriots by the ECHR. The paper notes that legal circles said that with this decision the ECHR accepted the Commission as local remedy and it is important from the point of view of constituting a precedent for the other cases on this issue.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.04.08) reports that a Greek Cypriot named Demades has won in the lawsuit he had filed at the ECHR against Turkey which does not allow him since 1974 to use his vacation house in the occupied Keryneia area.
The paper, under the title Second decision about Keryneia from the ECHR, notes that Turkey will pay to Mr Demades a total compensation of 835 thousand Euros and reminds that in the past Ankara had paid compensation to Mrs Titina Loizidou for her occupied house in Keryneia.
On the issue, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (23.02.08) writes under the title Second Loizidou lawsuit in the ECHR:
The European Court of Human Rights announced its verdict on the lawsuit case against Turkey for the prevention of the use of their properties in the North of Ioannis Demades and Michael Tymvios, citizens of the Greek Cypriot sector, which was described as the second Loizidou case.
For the Demades case, the ECHR condemned Turkey to pay a total of 835,000 euro. Of this, 785,000 is for material damages, 45,000 for psychological damages and 5,000 for trial expenses.
The ECHR rejected the demand of Turkey to refer the case to the Immovable Property Commission established in the TRNC. For the Tymvios case, the ECHR determined the compensation by paying attention to a friendly settlement reached between the sides. Based on the friendly settlement, Tymvios will become the owner of 22 donums of immovable property in Larnaca which belongs to Turkish Cypriots and he will receive $1 million as a compensation for the property he left in the North.
 General Kivrikoglu: The TRNC is sovereign for 25 years and it is an existing realityTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (23.04.08) reports that in statements during a visit to a primary school yesterday on the occasion of Turkeys 23 April National Sovereignty and Children´s Day, General Kivrikoglu, commander of the Turkish occupation army in Cyprus, said:
The Great Leader Ataturk entrusted the nation to the youth and the young generations. The Turkish nation will go even higher with security in the hands of the young generations. The TRNC is sovereign for 25 years and it is an existing reality. This reality will continue to exist. I know that you will make this reality live and you will not allow for your sovereignty to be eroded easily. I fully believe that the future generations will carry the TRNC to much better positions.
 The Cyprus Peace Platform has sent a letter to Janez JansaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the Cyprus Peace Platform has sent a letter to Janez Jansa, term president of the EU Council asking for a solution to be reached as soon as possible in order for the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community in Cyprus to continue. The Platform noted that the problems will to a great extent be solved with the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession of the Federal United Cyprus in the EU.
 Ali Erel said that the Turkeys EU accession process and the solution of the Cyprus problem should be separated from each otherTurkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (23.04.08) reports that Ali Erel, chairman of the Cyprus EU Association, has said that the Turkeys EU accession process and the solution of the Cyprus problem should be separated from each other. In statements to the paper, Mr Erel noted that north Cyprus is not in the position of being able to wait for Turkeys EU accession process from the point of view of democracy, economy or the social relations.
Mr Erel said that in case Turkeys harmonization processed with the EU progress speedily, the Cyprus problem could be solved very soon and expressed the opinion that the biggest problem in front of the solution of the Cyprus problem is the crisis in Turkey.
 Telecom symposium to be held in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (23.04.08), under the title Telecom Symposium to take place in EMU on Friday, reports that a telecommunication symposium will be organized in the framework of the cooperation protocol between the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) and the Telecommunications Institute of the Turkish Republic. The symposium under the title 4th Symposium of the Progresses in the Telecommunication Sector and the Local Practices will take place on Friday (25.04.08) in the EMU. The opening of the symposium will be made by the self-styled minister of public works and communications Salih Usar and the Turkish Minister of Transport Binali Yildirim. Important associations, institutions active in the telecommunication sector will participate in the symposium. According to the paper, representatives from Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Associations, university representatives and high ranking officials and experts from the TRNC telecommunications department, the Turkish Republic Telecommunications Institute, Turkcell, Vodafone, Turk Telecom AS (TTAS), Huawei, Nokia and Motorola will participate in the symposium.
 Illegal universities are participating in Education Exhibition in PakistanTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (23.04.08), under the title TRNC universities in an Education Exhibition in Pakistan, reports that universities operating in the occupied areas of Cyprus will participate in the 18th Pakistan International Education Exhibition, which will take place on April 23-24, in the city of Lahor. The paper reports that delegations from the Near East University, the American University of Keryneia, the International Cyprus University, the Middle East Technical University TRNC campus, the Lefke European University and the Eastern Mediterranean University will participate in the exhibition. According to the paper, the delegation of the universities met with the TRNC representation in Islamabad. Hasibe Sahoglu, representative officer in Islamabad, offered dinner to the delegation, which was attended by representatives from Pakistani universities, the Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy in Islamabad and TRNC families living in Islamabad.
 The Office for the Financial Aid of the EU to the Turkish Cypriot Community was opened yesterday in the occupied part of NicosiaTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the Office for the Financial Aid of the EU to the Turkish Cypriot Community was opened yesterday with a ceremony in the occupied part of Nicosia. The coordinator of the EU Financial Aid Program, Mrs Alessandra Viezzer and some diplomats attended the ceremony.
Mrs Viezzer and the leader of the Civil Society Support Group, Mrs Juliette Remy Sartin addressed the ceremony. Mrs Viezzer said that the most important characteristic of the civilian organizations is the fact that they work for participative democracy. Mrs Sartin said that they will exert efforts to keep equal distance and help everybody.
 The Turkish Cypriot sports writers asked for the establishment of a special committee on sportsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.04.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Sport Writers Association (KTSYD) has issued a statement evaluating the situation of the Cyprus problem and pointed out that the problem regarding the sports in Cyprus should be solved first.
The paper notes that the KTSYD asked for the establishment of a special committee which will be discussing sports issues at the negotiations towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. It argues that an agreement between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots in the field of sports will create a very positive climate in the negotiations process.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Columnist in Kibris praises President Christofias for his gestures towards Turkish CypriotsColumnist Hasan Hasturer, writing in his column in the local daily Kibris (23.04.08) under the title: Christofias knows what he is doing, says: At present a new journey of hope started in Cyprus on the solution road.
For the first time in the history of Cyprus leftist leaders are sitting on the leadership seats of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot Communities.
In the north the TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat and in the south the President of the Republic of Cyprus or President Demetris Christofias.
Hasturer then explains why he calls President Christofias, President of the Republic of Cyprus and suggests and invites Greek Cypriot journalists to use for Mr Talat, irrespective of whether they recognize Mr Talat as president to call him TRNC President Talat.
Mr Hasturer goes on and writes: Despite the fact that Mr Talat´s background that favours peace, he was unable to gain the sympathy of the Greek Cypriot Community as a man of peace, and the Greek Cypriot propaganda has promoted him as 2nd Denktash. In fact at that time it was Mr Papadopoulos who was performing with his intransigent stance the role of 2nd Denktash.
However, it is a reality that, the statements made by Mr Talat and his close collaborators, when seen from outside, did not match the format of a politician that favoured peace. Not only the Greek Cypriot side, the peace and democracy forces in the Turkish side, had expressed, in no uncertain terms, their dislike and concern regarding those statements.
While Mr Talat was unable to use his chance and get acceptance from both communities, one has to admit that Mr Christofias made a very good start.
Mr Papadopoulos during his five years term did not give an exclusive interview to a single Turkish Cypriot journalist. On the other hand, Mr Christofias has demonstrated his first difference from Mr Papadopoulos by establishing contacts with the members of the Turkish Cypriot Communitys non-governmental organizations, after his election as president.
He never hesitated to give positive response to appointments demanded by these organizations.
He received DEV-IS delegation which is close to the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). He met with them and had a long discussion.
The DEV-IS delegation met with him as the President of the Republic of Cyprus and not as the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration.
He had two hours meeting with the Turkish Cypriot Peace Platform created by Turkish Cypriot organizations that favour peace and solution. The Cyprus Peace Platform had parted its way with the CTP and Mr Talat.
One of the representatives present at that meeting said the following: He welcomed us very warmly. There is no more Greek flag at the Presidential Palace. He did not meet us for the sake of meeting. We have laid the ground for long term and detailed relations. At the end of the meeting while we were leaving he said to us: This is your home as well. Whenever you come, my door is open. Let me say it sincerely. We never received such a welcome in our side.
Next in line waiting to meet Mr Christofias is a delegation from the Peace Association headed by Huseyin Celal.
Mr Christofias knows what he is doing. He is aware of the practical difficulties existing in carrying over his political power to North.
It is important that political existence be carried over through people. Mr Christofias will try to reach to the Turkish Cypriot community through non-governmental organizations with warm relations. He already started practicing it...
Does he have the chance to succeed? In the face of the CTP and Mr Talat, who burned the bridges with these organizations, it seems that Mr Christofias stands a chance.
Mr Hasturer concludes by urging Mr Talat and President Christofias to enter into sincere cooperation first for rapprochement and then for a lasting solution. Otherwise separate steps taken by them will not lead anywhere than be a mere show.
 Turkish-Latin American relationsUnder the above title Today´s Zaman newspaper (22.04.08) publishes the following commentary by Hasan Kanbolat:
In Turkey there is an affinity for Latin America, even though it remains a region with which the Turkish public is not very familiar. Maybe this is because Latin America is considered the stepson of the Western world.
The honorable history of Latin America, which defied the great powers of the West in the past, is appreciated by a certain political clique in Turkey. Likewise, the presence of people with an Ottoman past known as "El Turco" in the middle class of Latin America created a sense of appreciation and closeness with Turkey and the Turks.
Actually Turkey became concerned with the regions outside of Europe and the US only a decade ago. Within a plan devised 10 years ago, political and economic relations with Latin American and Caribbean countries have gradually been improving.
The Latin American and Caribbean region, with an area of 20 million square kilometers and a population of 550 million, includes 33 countries of varying size that produce a gross national product (GNP) over $2 trillion and a foreign trade volume of $700 billion. The region also boasts 15 percent of the land, 8 percent of the population and 4 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the world.
In an attempt to improve its relations with the region, Turkey drafted a policy that would place more focus on Latin America in September 1998. This policy was implemented in 2006, which was declared the Year of Latin America in Turkey. However, regrettably, this year was not observed sufficiently or properly. It had no impact other than some bureaucratic and political visits. There were no contributions from business and cultural associations, civil society organizations or the press.
Despite this negative picture, there have been some minor steps. For instance, bilateral talks have been launched over free trade agreements with Chile and Mexico, both of which have partnership agreements with the European Union. Furthermore, there are certain attempts to create joint business councils in the countries of the region. The Brazilian-Turkish Business Council was founded in January 2006 under the leadership of the Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK). To improve bilateral economic relations joint economic commission meetings were held with Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Peru and Chile. There are also plans to ensure that Turkish Airlines introduces direct flights to Argentina and Brazil.
The foreign trade of Turkey with the region is less than 1 percent of its total foreign trade volume. However, the foreign trade share of the same region in the entire foreign trade of the European Union, which is equally far from the region, is 6 percent. Its foreign trade volume increased from $827 million in 1999 to $3 billion in 2007. Turkey's exports to the region equal nearly $600 million annually, whereas imports from the region are close to $2 billion. If the trade made through third countries -- which does not reflect in bilateral trade figures -- is included it could be said the total foreign trade volume between Turkey and Latin America is roughly $3 billion. Turkey's exports to Mexico amount to $135 million, to Brazil $100 million, to Panama $40, to Argentina $35 million and to Venezuela $32 million. Turkey's imports from Mexico equal $185 million, from Brazil $640 million, from Panama $40 million, from Argentina $221 million and from Venezuela $62 million.
It appears that the bilateral relations between Turkey and the Latin and Caribbean countries will improve further.
 From the Turkish Press of 22 April 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 22 April:
a) AKP Closure Case: Describing the current process in the country as a "judicial coup" in an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal expresses his profound concern and fear regarding the future of the country. Asking if anyone really believes that the closure of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, will ameliorate the situation in the country, Cemal warns of impending economic and political crisis. The writer underlines that a political alternative to the AKP should be found within the framework of the democratic rules and not through processes of coups, adding that a free election process will be much healthier for the country.
Assessing the AKP closure case in an article in Sabah, Mehmet Barlas argues that in such a closure case not only the party facing closure but Turkey's state structure is on trial. The closure of democratically elected parties and the banning of politicians are tantamount to the suspension of the Copenhagen criteria, the writer maintains, adding that this would mean the suspension of Turkish-EU relations. Pointing out that putting these relations back on track would require the agreement of 27 EU member countries, Barlas quotes experts saying that this might be delayed till after 2015.
Questioning whether it is possible for the government to continue its normal functions while the closure case is still pending, Vatan's Bilal Cetin believes that this is impossible. Noting that the AKP judicial whips are busy preparing their defence, the writer says that the written defence will be submitted to the Constitutional Court within ten days. AKP officials are quoted as having said that there is no need to request additional time for preparing their defence and that the claims of the prosecutor have been invalidated in their document.
Nonetheless, AKP party officials believe that they are faced with a plot to implement a "judicial coup" and that the party will be closed down. The party officials have no doubt that Erdogan will be banned from politics, that the closure case will be concluded by January or February of 2009, and that the party will not be able to participate in the coming general elections. According to Cetin, the AKP whips are therefore considering of holding early general elections together with the local elections in June or July. Pointing out that this proposal has not yet been accepted by the high echelons of the AKP, Cetin says that the AKP administration is currently working on a formula to counter the coup plot through the amendment of 10-15 articles of the Constitution, including Article 68 and 69 pertaining to the closure of parties.
In an article in The New Anatolian, Ilnur Cevik laments the fact that the anniversary of the establishment of the parliament will unfortunately be marked "under very adverse conditions where our ruling party faces the genuine threat of closure by judicial action."
Detailing the messages conveyed by the Austrian foreign minister during her visit in the country in an article in the Turkish Daily News, Yusuf Kanli writes that the message that the EU countries cannot arbitrate between the troubled Turkish government facing a closure case and the Constitutional Court had the effect of a "cold shower on the AKP's hopes of building European pressure on the Constitutional Court as a way of saving itself from possible closure."
Under the headline, "They are aware of the danger," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which highlights remarks by EU Commissioner Olli Rehn announcing that the closure of the AKP would undermine the process of Turkey's accession to the EU. According to the report, the European Parliament has urged the Turkish Constitutional Court to render its ruling in the lawsuit against the AKP in accordance with the "Venice criteria."
In an article entitled "Coup processes", Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu warns that the closure lawsuit against the AKP poses the risk of "legitimizing" interventions in politics in this country to the extent that it is utilizing the legal tools of the democratic system as a "subtle" means of disbanding a governing party. He also asserts that the "long-term" character of the latest intervention is serving to give it a "normal" and "ordinary" quality by ensuring that the national economy and international balances remain unaffected by the lawsuit.
In an article entitled "Either a coup or full democracy", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi claims that Turkey has been undergoing a "coup process" since 14 March, 2008, when closure proceedings were launched against the AKP. He asserts that the idea and expectation of a coup are becoming "normal" and "commonplace" as people keep talking about it, adding that the public "internalization" of the ongoing "coup process" shows how democracy can be kept under "tutelage" in this country. He also argues that rather than allowing democracy to be emptied of meaning through "coup threats," Parliament should "call it a day" until "full democracy" is established in this country.
In a commentary entitled "EU Messages to Turkey are not a warning", Zaman writer Herkul Milas asserts that for the "neo-nationalist" establishment, statements by EU officials warning that the closure of the AKP would lower Turkey's chances of joining the EU are "good news" rather than anything to worry about and that the EU should consider announcing a plan to admit Turkey to membership right away in the event of the AKP's closure if it wants the situation in Turkey to normalize.
Under the headline, "AK Party mulls early election for constitutional reform," Today's Zaman publishes a front-page report which quotes "sources close to the AK Party" as saying that the Erdogan government could be planning to call an early election this year in order to pass a constitutional package that would prevent the AKP from being shut down.
b) Reports of Closure Case Against CHP: Milliyet newspaper reports that the Public Prosecutor's Office of the Supreme Court of Appeals has denied that a suit has been filed requesting the closure of the Republican People's Party, CHP. According to the report, the Prosecutor's Office has issued a statement saying that "reports to the effect that the CHP might be facing the risk of closure because of the financial aid it has extended to Kanalturk do not reflect the reality."
Under the headline, "CHP's missing trillion likely to result in bans," Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that the "missing trillion" case against the CHP "waiting to be heard by the Constitutional Court" could have many consequences including political bans and the closure of the CHP. According to the report, the CHP is being accused of using illegal means to transfer some YTL 3 million to a television network.
c) Islamization: In an article entitled "Thought provoking news in education and health case" in Milliyet, Fikret Bila details how classes on religion and morality, which are not included in the curriculum, are being forced upon students, how students in primary schools are being forced to wear headdresses, and how hospitals are refusing to provide health services to patients whom they think have been consuming alcohol. Bila writes that it is not so difficult to understand the concern felt by a majority of the population when faced with these implementations that violate the laws and adds: "Therefore, it is not sufficient for government and AKP officials to state that "we have no problem with secularism. They should prevent these actions."
Vatan newspaper reports that addressing a conference in Aydin's Kusadasi District, Fazil Emre, a member of the Mihr religious order, has praised the Ottoman period and has expressed a wish to return to the Ottoman rule in which every decision was based on the Koran. According to the report by San Sur, Latif Emre is the president of the Civilization Enlightenment Association.
In an article entitled "Tomorrow is 23 April", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak relates some of the historical "facts" about the opening of the first National Assembly on 23 April, 1920 that he claims are deliberately ignored by "secularist" circles and the Republican People's Party, CHP. He asserts that the inauguration of the National Assembly was announced in sermons delivered countrywide, that prayers marking the occasion were recited, that people went in droves to the Hadji Bayram Mosque in Ankara, and that a procession of MPs led by the bearers of a green banner reading "There is only one God and Mohammad is His Messenger" in Arabic came to the National Assembly building on the morning of 23 April.
In an article entitled "The colonialist ruling minority should apologize to the natives", Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi relates how the Australian parliament recently apologized to the aborigines for past injustices and asserts that the Turkish Establishment should follow suit by seeking "Muslim" people's forgiveness for the "human rights violations" carried out in the early years of the Republic.
d) Economy: Standard &Poor's has issued a report ranking the Turkish economy as the fifth most fragile economy among the eastern European countries. According to a report in Milliyet, the global credit crisis is likely to adversely affect the developing markets in Eastern Europe more than the other markets in the world.
In an article in Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan is critical of the attempts made to charter a transatlantic ship to take government officials and a delegation comprising of some 1,000 businessmen to Japan during the official visit of President Gul. Finding the price too steep, the plan for a ship is dropped and Turkish Airlines is contacted for chartering four airbuses. However, this plan also fails because the airline cannot spare four of its planes for the duration of the visit. In conclusion, the writer advises the authorities to contact the prime minister and request that he finance the visit from his slush funds since the goal of the visit is to attract Japanese investments into the country.
Under the headline, "It is not going well at all," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which quotes Felicity Party Deputy Chairman Ahmet Sunnetcioglu as saying that the exorbitant increase in the price of rice and other food products in Turkey has been caused by the AKP's implementation of the IMF policies adopted by former State Minister Kemal Dervis some six years ago.