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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-04-24

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. 79/08 24.04.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat in Ankara with Erdogans plane. They will discuss the policy to be followed in the period ahead regarding the meetings with the Greek Cypriot side
  • [02] Reactions to the decision of the ECHR on the Tymvios case
  • [03] Ertugruloglu met with the chairman of the Community from Turkey in Berlin
  • [04] Ozan Ceyhum and Tahsin Ertugruloglu attacked the General Secretary of the YKP who criticized the visits through the illegal Tymvou airport
  • [05] Statement by the CTP on the anniversary of the referendum on the Annan Plan
  • [06] Serdar Denktas argued that the assembly in the occupied areas does not represent the will of the people, but the will of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
  • [07] Avci gave a dinner in honour of the participants in the workshop organized in the occupied areas of Cyprus by the Islamic Development Centre
  • [08] Kibrisli claims that the TRNC is recognized by the Skype internet site
  • [09] More Syrian migrants from Turkey have been brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [10] Slovenia supports Turkeys EU membership
  • [11] Turkish media company was sold to a group with Qatari partner
  • [12] Turkey to have first nuclear power station by 2015
  • [13] Turkish military confirm air operation against PKK in N. Iraq
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [14] From the Turkish Press of 23 April 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat in Ankara with Erdogans plane. They will discuss the policy to be followed in the period ahead regarding the meetings with the Greek Cypriot side

    Under the title Erdogan has sent his private plane to Talat and subtitle Cyprus summit in Ankara Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (24.04.08) publishes a report by Omer Bilge, the papers correspondent in occupied Cyprus, on Mehmet Ali Talats visit in Turkey today. The paper writes:

    The TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat is coming to Ankara today in order to exchange views with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Gul regarding the talks which have started with the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. Prime Minister Erdogan has sent his private plane to Talat. Initially, Talat will meet with Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan today in order to consider the policy to be followed in the period ahead regarding the meetings which have started with the Greek Cypriots in Cyprus. Later, he will address a conference entitled The search of solution in Cyprus at the Centre for Eurasian Strategic Studies (ASAM). Talat will meet with President Gul tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, the committees and working groups formed by Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias to deal with the basic principles of the Cyprus problem and the confidence building measures are continuing their meetings.

    The six working groups which are dealing with issues related to the basic principles of the Cyprus problem, such as Turkeys guarantorship, territory, properties and the status of the TRNC citizens of Turkish origin, along with the seven committees which are dealing with issues of everyday life, will be carrying out their work every weekday until the end of May.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (24.04.08) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The TRNC President Mehmet Ali Talat is meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara. The two leaders will continue their discussions at lunch. President Talat flew to the Turkish capital Thursday morning.

    On Friday, the President will meet with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Before his meeting with the Turkish President, Mr Talat will deliver a speech on the Cyprus issue at the Eurasian Centre for Strategic Research.

    (ML)

    [02] Reactions to the decision of the ECHR on the Tymvios case

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer evaluated yesterday the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the Greek Cypriot refugee Mike Tymvios case.

    Mr Soyer said that the decision is extremely important and alleged that it came to the surface that the guardianship system which is applied in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus for the Turkish Cypriot properties is contrary to the human rights.

    Claiming that it has been clearly seen that the guardianship system is an attitude toward the usurpation of the Turkish real estate in the south, Mr Soyer argued: This, as a new element, is showing that the guardian system is contrary to the international law. At a stage when the property issue has been discussed in the world only as an issue of the Greek Cypriot property in the north, it came to the surface that in parallel to this the Turkish real estate in the south is also a very important part of the property issue in Cyprus.

    Kibris reports also that advocate Emine Erk, chairperson of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, evaluated yesterday the decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the Greek Cypriot refugee Mike Tymvios case and argued that the decision might put to question the guardianship system for the Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas of Cyprus and the collapse of this system.

    In statements to Kibris, Mrs Erk said that it should not be concluded that the exchange agreement will be useful for nothing because of the existence of the guardianship system and added: This part wants to say to the south settle your internal law. It is important from our point of view.

    Asked whether this decision would constitute a precedent, Mrs Erk replied: This is not a decision related to the substance of the case. That is, we should not exaggerate it. Mrs Erk said that the decision of the Court has not yet reached the point of saying there is a local remedy, let all the cases go to the Commission. She drew attention to the fact that with other cases in the future the Commission could reach the point of becoming a local remedy.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ertugruloglu met with the chairman of the Community from Turkey in Berlin

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the chairman of the National Unity Party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu met yesterday in Germany with Kenan Kolat, chairman of the Community from Turkey in Berlin.

    In statements during the meeting, Mr Ertugruloglu said that the visits they are holding during their stay in Germany are extremely comprehensive, intensive and useful. He noted that during these visits they are giving the Greek Cypriots the message that you are not the only owners of Cyprus and added that within this framework the visits of the Turkish Cypriot officials to Germany will continue.

    In his statements, Mr Kolat expressed his satisfaction with the visits which both the government and the opposition of the TRNC carry out to Germany and explain the realities in Cyprus. He said that the new procedure which started on the island is positive, but the dangers in this procedure should not be ignored. Mr Kolat wished for the Turkish Cypriots to take their place in the EU by preserving their identity.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ozan Ceyhum and Tahsin Ertugruloglu attacked the General Secretary of the YKP who criticized the visits through the illegal Tymvou airport

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the German of Turkish origin former MP, Ozan Ceyhun, who has been given the honorary membership of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), accused the General Secretary of the New Cyprus Party (YKP), Murat Kanatli of being used as a pawn and of being an informer. The paper notes that Mr Ceyhun did not like an interview given by Mr Kanatli to the German Junge Welt newspaper.

    In that interview Mr Kanatli said that the visit of German MPs to Cyprus through the illegal Tymvou airport is an act which sabotages the aim of a united Cyprus and criticized this action.

    Mr Ceyhun argued that the YKP has fewer members than an association of people loving the rabbits in a small German city and called on the German people not to pay attention to the YKP.

    Furthermore, Mr Kanatli was criticized by the chairman of the National Unity Party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu as well, who is also in Germany.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Statement by the CTP on the anniversary of the referendum on the Annan Plan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) evaluated the fourth anniversary of the referendum on the Annan Plan and reiterated its determination to continue the struggle for a federal solution in Cyprus.

    The central administrative committee of the CTP issued a statement noting that the struggle is going on for a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution based on political equality.

    The CTP noted that the Annan Plan is welcome and thanked all those who contributed to the preparation, discussion and submission of the plan to referendum. It noted that for the first time the solution was so close in Cyprus and claimed that the non-solution continues because of the no vote of the Greek Cypriots.

    The CTP argues that because of the aggressive policy pursued by the Turkish side after the referendum, the Turkish Cypriots were saved from being the side that was unjustly treated at the European courts, the international community considers them as the side which wants a solution and they have established close relations with many countries.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Serdar Denktas argued that the assembly in the occupied areas does not represent the will of the people, but the will of the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (24.04.08) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP), has said that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat is in a wrong path on the Cyprus problem. In statements to illegal Bayrak television, Mr Denktas argued that Mr Talat acts alone without consulting with the opposition and this is tantamount to ignoring the views of the 60 % of the community.

    He alleged that there is nothing new in the new procedure regarding the Cyprus problem and that we are experiencing the old period.

    The Annan Plan has been abolished. The last line which was reached with the Annan Plan is no more the last line. We have returned to the beginning again. I am worried. I am worried because it is not clear what our goal is, said Mr Denktas.

    Mr Denktas alleged that nothing has changed in the Greek Cypriot side with the election of President Christofias. Mr Denktras noted that the Turkish Cypriots have an alternative and this alternative was set in 1983, with the declaration of the TRNC.

    Mr Denktas argued that the assembly does not represent the will of the people, but the will of the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He expressed the view that in the occupied areas of Cyprus methods which have been used by the AKP in Turkey are being used, that people are forced to have economic difficulties and then they are given the opportunity to be relieved through transfers of MPs which are continuing.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Avci gave a dinner in honour of the participants in the workshop organized in the occupied areas of Cyprus by the Islamic Development Centre

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci gave a dinner in honor of the participants in the workshop organized in the occupied areas of Cyprus by the Islamic Development Centre on the issue of Increasing Control on Exports and the Capacity of the Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). Mr Avci thanked the Islamic Conference Organization (OIC), the Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Trade Development Centre and the General Secretary of the OIC, Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu.

    Mr Avci argued that the fact that such activities take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus is important from the point of view of the lifting of the so-called isolations and making the voice of the Turkish Cypriots heard in the world.

    The deputy director and responsible of the Training Programs of the Islamic Trade Development Centre, El Hassan Hzaine said that they were very pleased in being able to help the Turkish Cypriots and added: We are with you, we support you and will carry out with you many activities.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Kibrisli claims that the TRNC is recognized by the Skype internet site

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (24.04.08) reports that the TRNC is recognized by the Skype internet site (www.skype.com). According to Kibrisli, in the list with the countries descriptions in the site the TRNC appears separately from the Greek Cypriot Sector, as the paper calls the Republic of Cyprus.

    The TRNC is shown under the letter T, as Turkey-Cyprus North. The paper writes that despite the fact that the Turkish flag appears next to Turkey-Cyprus North, this development is important because this is the first time that the TRNC takes a place in the site.

    (C/S)

    [09] More Syrian migrants from Turkey have been brought to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.04.08) reports that a boat which carried 12 Syrian illegal migrants from Turkey to the occupied areas of Cyprus, at occupied Akanthou village, broke down. The two persons who were steering the boat jumped into the sea. One of them, Saban Demir (26) from Turkey, was arrested by the police but the other is still missing.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Slovenia supports Turkey´s EU membership

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (23.04.08) (internet version) reported the following:

    Slovenian President Danilo Turk, who hold the EU's rotating presidency, on Wednesday advocated Turkey's bid to join the European Union, saying no country can be precluded from EU membership for cultural reasons.

    Turk told the European Parliament accession negotiations with Turkey must continue. He called on fellow EU countries to show pragmatism in admitting new countries - although he said any prospective member must first fulfill all technical criteria.

    No country can be precluded from membership only for reasons of political inconvenience or cultural prejudice, said Turk, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency until June 30.

    Turkey's membership should continue and EU should not deprive Turkey of the full membership target it had granted, otherwise the union's prestige would be overshadowed, he added.

    Turkey's EU campaign, which is expected to last many years, has already been damaged by political repercussions such as French and German misgivings and the Cyprus issue. France takes over from Slovenia as the EU president on July 1st.

    But Turk said the EU needs Turkey, and a failure to engage Ankara would damage the EU's credibility. The feeling of exclusion breeds resentment, and resentment breeds instability. We must think about further expansion in the light of the EUs ambition to be a leading global player.

    The EU had started negotiations with Turkey in 2005 but last year suspended negotiations on eight policy chapters due to Ankara's refusing to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels.

    [11] Turkish media company was sold to a group with Qatari partner

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (23.04.08) (internet version) reported the following:

    Some members of Turkey's media watchdog criticized on Wednesday the sale of Turkey's second biggest media group, ATV-Sabah, to the un-listed Calik Group, saying they were not informed about the Qatari partner. Calik said in a separate statement on Wednesday Al Wasaeel International Media is a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority and paid 125 million dollars for the acquisition of ATV-Sabah.

    Under the law, Calik Group was obliged to inform the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTUK) about the foreign partner of the buying consortium but they failed to do so, two members of RTUK said on Wednesday.

    If Ahmet Calik (the owner of Calik Group) sold 25 percent of the shares that he owned, then he should apply to inform about the change in stakeholders structure. After that, we have to analyze this and make a decision. According to the information filed to RTUK there was no Qatari company among the Turkuvaz's shareholders, RTUK member Mehmet Dadak told ANKA news agency.

    On Tuesday the shares of Turkey's second largest media company, Sabah and ATV, were transferred to the media company Turkuvaz Radio Television, a subsidiary of Calik Group, following the completion of $1.1 billion in cash payment. A Qatar-based media company, Al Wasaeel International Media Co., is announced to have purchased 25 percent of shares in Turkuvaz.

    Calik said in a separate statement on Wednesday Al Wasaeel International Media is a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority and paid 125 million dollars for the acquisition of ATV-Sabah. Al Wasaeel International Media Company is founded by Qatar Investment Authority to operate in the media sector, Calik added.

    Opposition parties have criticized the sale, saying the transaction is politically-motivated. CHP said it monitors the developments closely and will continue to do so.

    We cannot ignore the fact of supporting a media company with the financial support of two state-run banks... We are going to do everything we can. We will monitor the developments closely, said Hakki Suha Okay, deputy chairman of CHP.

    Calik took $750 million-loans from state-owned Vakifbank and Halkbank to finance the acquisition, the remainder will be financed equally by the shareholders of Turkuvaz, the group said in a statement.

    Serhat Albayrak, the brother of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's son-in law, is expected to take the helm of Calik's media companies.

    ATV-Sabah is a new entity comprising of assets seized by Turkey's Savings Deposits and Insurance Fund (TMSF) from unlisted conglomerate Ciner Group last year in April, saying irregularities had come to surface. It includes one of Turkey's best-selling newspapers, Sabah, and popular entertainment TV channel ATV.

    The board of the TMSF had set a minimum auction price of $1.1 billion; Calik was the only bidder.

    [12] Turkey to have first nuclear power station by 2015

    Turkish NTV television (22.04.08) broadcast the following from Ankara:

    The first power station is expected to be constructed in the Mersin region in the south of Turkey. Turkey should have its first nuclear power station by 2015, a Turkish official said Tuesday.

    According to Haci Duran Gokkaya, the director general of the Turkish Electricity Trading Company (TETAS), all the legal groundwork has been laid to authorize the construction of nuclear power stations in Turkey. The tender process for the first nuclear power station, which began on March 24, would be completed on September 24, he said. So far, there were four companies interested in the tender and this number could rise to as many as 15 before the end of September, Gokkaya said.

    A nuclear power plant costs between $10-$15 billion, he said. Energy production through nuclear means has become more attractive thanks to support by the state.

    [13] Turkish military confirm air operation against PKK in N. Iraq

    Under the above title Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (24.04.08) (internet version) reports the following:

    Turkish warplanes had targeted Wednesday a group of outlawed PKK separatists attempting to infiltrate Turkey from Khakurk region of northern Iraq, the General Staff said in a brief statement posted on its website on Thursday.

    It added the warplanes had "neutralized" the armed group, but gave no figures on the casualties.

    The bombardment began at about 13:00 GMT and lasted for about 45 minutes, a pro-AKP news agency had reported after the raid Wednesday, quoting PKK sources.

    Turkish warplanes have targeted terrorist positions in northern Iraq since mid-December. In February, the army conducted a week-long ground offensive against PKK hideouts in the region, where more than 2,000 militants take refuge.

    The Turkish government has a one-year parliamentary authorization, which expires in October, for cross-border raids against the PKK. The United States has backed Turkish military action against the rebels by providing real-time intelligence on PKK movements in Iraq.

    The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey and much of the international community, including the EU and the U.S.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [14] From the Turkish Press of 23 April 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23 April:

    a) Closure Case Against AKP: According to a report in Hurriyet, a correspondent has managed to take the photo of the first page of the AKP's [Justice and Development Party] draft defense against the closure case. The report argues that in its defense, the AKP described the prosecutor's indictment as "careless and disorderly."

    In his article in Milliyet Hasan Cemal outlines Foreign Minister Ali Babacan's messages on certain domestic and foreign issues on his way to Kuwait on 22 April. Commenting on the closure case filed against the AKP, Cemal quotes the foreign minister as saying: "The consequences of the closure may be worse than expected." According to Babacan, the columnist adds, the closure of the ruling party will "undermine the people's confidence in democracy and politics" because the party has come to power by securing 47 percent of the voters in the past elections. Recalling that the landslide victory achieved by the AKP in the past elections, he cautions that the closure of the AKP and the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party might lead to violence and economic turmoil in the country.

    An article by Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir says that the government has not yet established the strategy it will pursue against the lawsuit that has been filed to have the AKP close down. He claims that Prime Minister Erdogan might use "the growing media support" to prevent the closure of his party despite certain deputies' argument that the prime minister will avoid launching a large media campaign for this purpose. According to Cakir, the AKP may also consider submitting a "medium-size" constitutional amendment package in an effort to change the law allowing the closure of political parties easily. In the event of the rejection of this package, the AKP will accuse the opposition of obstructing the democratization in Turkey, he speculates.

    In an article in the Turkish Daily News, Cengiz Candar views the difference between the approach adopted by the United States and the EU toward the lawsuit filed against the AKP. According to Candar, the EU is a union of democracies that examines "track of democracy in Turkey" and determines "standards of democracy" in Turkey. Stressing that Washington's position is different, he says: "Compared to Brussels, the United States prudently approaches to the 'tendencies toward violation of democracy' in Turkey.

    A report in Yeni Safak entitled "Three-way road map against closure," outlines the ruling AKP's "draft road map against the closure case," as disclosed by Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. The report quotes Babacan as saying that they will draw up a defense that puts the emphasis on democracy, continued passing of reforms without let-up, and amending constitutional articles that govern the closure of parties.

    In a commentary entitled "Who are Kurds supposed to vote for?", Zaman writer Bejan Matur asks "whether [as a Kurdish citizen] one would not feel scorned, rejected, and left out in the cold" if both the AKP and the Democratic Society Party, DTP, which "represent almost the entire Kurdish electorate," were to be closed down. Matur claims that "the uneasiness and future agony" caused by the "threat" of closure facing the AKP and the DTP have started to affect the entire southeast and that the mood in the region is comparable only to the situation in the 1990s, when the prevailing atmosphere was one of "anger and fear" caused by "mysterious murders."

    In an article entitled "Early elections, really?", Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar asserts that the AKP "looks determined" to carry out a policy based on the perception that "the only way to thwart the perpetual threat to the democratic system is to challenge it as maximally as possible through democratic means." He also asserts that "a secret poll presented very recently to a media proprietor" suggests that the "closure crisis" has caused public support for the AKP to rise to 53,5 percent.

    b) Political Islam in Turkey: A column by Fikret Bila of Milliyet asserts that thanks to the education policy adopted in the first years of the modern republic, Turkey has become "the only democratic and secular country in the Islamic world." However, Bila says, those who opposed the secular nature of the republic and supported a religion-based administration have always waged a struggle through means of education since the foundation of the republic. Pointing out that the current situation shows that those circles made considerable progress to achieve their goal, he says that the struggle against the secular republic has been waged "patiently" and "silently." The rising number of anti-secular elements in the executive, legislative, and judicial organs is the outcome of this fundamentalist struggle, he notes.

    Hurriyet columnist Mehmet Yilmaz also draws attention to efforts to create a more conservative and Islamic-type lifestyle in Turkey. Drawing attention to an Islamic fashion show and the models pretending to pray on the catwalk, the columnist laments in his article that religion has become a show and its true meaning has been forgotten in Turkey. According to Yilmaz, the Turkish people will "gradually" get used to a conservative lifestyle and the Turkish women will be forced to cover their heads with Islamic headscarves as a result of the fundamentalist struggle in the country.

    A report in Cumhuriyet warns that secular Turkey is gradually being "reconstructed" on the basis of an "Islamic model" 88 years after the establishment of the modern republic. Recalling certain sportsmen's references to Islam, the administration's pressure on the students to comply with Islamic rules, and the exploitation of religion by the AKP Government with the help of certain media organs, the report says that Turkey is "moving toward moderate Islam step by step."

    c) Developments in the Turkish Media: A report in Hurriyet says that the shares of Turkey's second largest media company, Sabah and ATV were transferred to the media company Turkuvaz Radyo Televizyon, a subsidiary of un-listed Calik Group, following the completion of $1.1 billion in cash payment, Calik said on Tuesday.

    Pointing out that the Calik Group paid $1.1 billion to the Savings Deposit and Insurance Fund and officially took over the ownership of the companies, including Sabah and ATV as of 22 April, Sabah editor-in-chief Ergun Babahan asserts that there will be no change in their broadcasting policy under the management of the Calik Group. In his article, he pledges to remain loyal to the principles of the democratic and secular republic and notes that the Calik Holding Company is aware of the fact that by taking part in the media sector, it has assumed a "public responsibility."

    In his article in Milliyet, Melih Asik accuses the AKP of creating a new "media stronghold" for itself by helping the Calik Holding Company in the purchase of the Sabah-ATV Group through the credits provided through state-owned banks. Expressing concern over the increase in the number of the pro-AKP media organs, Asik says that according to researcher Muzaffer Ayhan Kara, TRT, Samanyolu TV, Kanal7, and Kanal A television networks and the Zaman, Bugun, Yeni Safak, and Vakit newspapers are the leading media organs that support the ruling party.

    d) Celebrations for 23 April:

    In an article entitled "Sovereignty rests with the elites. If you object, we will wreak havoc on Turkey", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru criticizes two articles by Milliyet writer Yaman Toruner and Posta columnist Mehmet Ali Birand, who argue respectively that regardless of the results of the general elections, Turkey will continue to be ruled, like all other countries, by an elite class consisting of bureaucrats, media bosses and employees, members of the judiciary, academics, artists, and military officials and that "neo-nationalists have directed their nuclear weapons at the AKP" and will "destroy Turkey" unless the AKP backs down on its policy on the Muslim headscarf. Koru asserts that there is no point in celebrating national sovereignty festivals in a country where mainstream columnists can voice such opinions.

    Under the headline, "April 23: Not a day for rejoicing," Vakit publishes a front-page report which asserts that there is no reason to associate 23 April National Sovereignty Day with joy [referring to a song which goes "Make merry, it is April 23"] seeing how "the National Assembly was closed down several times in coups staged every ten years [starting in 1960]," some 26 political parties have been shut down in 88 years, military memorandums were issued on the grounds that children sang hymns on this Children's Day."

    In an article entitled "Today is 23 April", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak underlines what he presents as the irony of the fact that Turkey is celebrating National Sovereignty Day at a time when "gangs are ubiquitous," a closure case has been filed against the governing party, and "national sovereignty faces never-ending threats and traps." He also continues to describe the religious atmosphere that he claims characterized the opening of the Turkish Grand National Assembly on 23 April, 1920.

    In an article entitled "Sovereignty rests unconditionally with foreigners", Milli Gazete columnist Suleyman Arif Emre argues that the saying that "sovereignty belongs unconditionally to the nation," which is "still" inscribed on the walls of the National Assembly hall, has been emptied of its meaning by changes to national laws passed in the name of adaptation to the EU and in contravention of Penal Code articles that classify the transfer of sovereignty as "high treason."

    In an article entitled "National sovereignty, bureaucracy, and democracy", Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan asserts that the closure case against the AKP makes nonsense of the concept of national sovereignty and asks ironically whether it is really necessary to go through the motions of maintaining a democratic regime in this country if the people are to be considered "mistaken" as long as they do not vote the CHP into power.

    EG/


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