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					                                TURKISH PRESS
                               AND OTHER MEDIA


No. 106/09                                                           10.06.09
A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Turkish journalist who visited Brussels quotes EU and Turkish officials to have
said that Turkey will avoid to abide by its EU obligations towards Cyprus with a
last-minute gesture on the Theological School of Halki
2. Statements by Hasan Ercakica; He sees important progress having been
achieved in talks so far
3. Turkey’s Parliament Speaker to visit occupied Cyprus tomorrow. The
occupation forces commander among his encounters
4. Foreigners usurpers of occupied Greek Cypriot properties and Turkish Cypriots
protested against the decision of the ECJ regarding the Orams case
5. Statements by Erdogan addressing his party’s parliamentary group; Gul on
Euro-elections
6. Olli Rehn spoke to Turkish journalists in Brussels; He calls on Turkey to focus
on reforms and Cyprus
7. Sweden’s PM: “It would be interesting to open the energy chapter to
negotiations with Turkey”
8. Turkey donated 10 Million USD as humanitarian aid to Pakistan
9. “Erdogan to be awarded Prix de la Fondation”
10. 54 DTP mayors to be tried in high criminal court in Diyarbakir
11. “German centre issues warning to Turkey-bound travellers”



B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
1. From the Turkish Press of 09 June 2009
                                              2


A. NEWS ITEMS
1. Turkish journalist who visited Brussels quotes EU and Turkish officials to have
said that Turkey will avoid to abide by its EU obligations towards Cyprus with a
last-minute gesture on the Theological School of Halki
Under the banner headline “Theological School in return for Cyprus”, columnist Erdal
Safak writes in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.06.09) that according to EU officials,
if Turkey opens the Theological School of Halki, the opening of the ports to the Greek
Cypriot vessels will be postponed. Moreover, according to Turkish officials in Brussels,
the opening of the Theological School of Halki can annihilate the negative impressions
existing on other issues, writes the paper, and adds statements made by a high level EU
official who asked for his name not to be revealed:
“You know that in this December EU summit, the decision on freezing eight chapters will
be examined. Until that time, if a solution in Cyprus is not reached and if Turkey does
not open its ports to the Greek Cypriots, but Turkey strengthens the EU Commission
with some steps that will be taken, this can seriously influence the overcoming of this
problem. …”


The paper further publishes the following statements made by Turkey‟s permanent
representative to the EU Commission, Ambassador Volkan Bozkir during a luncheon for
Turkish journalists in Brussels before they met Olli Rehn:
“Do not be afraid. The non-application by Turkey of the provisions of the Additional
Protocol, meaning the non-opening of the ports to the Greek Cypriots, will not stop the
negotiations. But under one condition: If Turkey makes a step in other areas, if Turkey
makes an opening. For example, if Turkey decides the opening of the Theological
School of Halki and it is on alert for the right time to announce it and if it announces it in
such a critical moment, everything that was learned by heart until then is spoiled. For
example during the days when the freezing of the eight chapters will come on the
agenda. Or during the meetings when the issue of opening the ports to the Greek
Cypriots will be heated up …
                                             3


And such a move, that is the decision to open the Theological School of Halki, can
annihilate all the negative impressions existing on other issues…”
(ML)


2. Statements by Hasan Ercakica; He sees important progress having been
achieved in talks so far
Illegal Bayrak television (09.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
“Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has said that the Greek Cypriot Administration
should prepare itself to be more flexible on reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.
The Spokesman also said that important progress has been achieved in the talks so far
but that there were still obstacles remaining.


Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, the Presidential Spokesman
reminded that the two leaders will start discussing the chapter on territory when they
meet this coming Thursday. He said that the meeting will start with a short discussion on
economic matters but that the main focus of the talks will be on territory.


The Presidential spokesman also said that important progress had been reached in the
talks so far but that obstacles remained. Ercakica explained that most of these problems
were the result of the Greek Cypriot side‟s priority given to Turkey‟s progress report
rather than the process. „The Greek Cypriot Administration is trying to exert pressure on
Ankara to grant it diplomatic recognition to the so-called Republic of Cyprus and to open
its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic. The Greek Cypriot side‟s efforts are concentrated in that
direction‟, he said, adding that this was slowing down the pace of the talks.


Reiterating that Turkish Cypriot side‟s desire to reach an immediate and just solution to
the Cyprus Problem, the Presidential Spokesman said that the Turkish Cypriot side was
exerting great efforts to ensure that the process moved forward.


Commenting on a recent statement by the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias‟
words in which he said that the Greek Cypriot Side will not make any concessions on the
                                             4


Cyprus issue, Mr Ercakica said these kinds of statements and approaches did not help
the process move forward.


Underlining the need for both sides to make concessions if a settlement is to be
reached, Ercakica warned that the process will end in failure unless the Greek Cypriot
side prepares itself to be more flexible.”


3. Turkey’s Parliament Speaker to visit occupied Cyprus tomorrow. The
occupation forces commander among his encounters
Illegal Bayrak television (09.06.09) broadcast the following:
“The Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Koksal Toptan will arrive in the
TRNC on Thursday as guest of the Speaker of the Republic‟s Assembly Hasan Bozer.


During his stay in the Republic, Mr Toptan will be received by President Mehmet Ali
Talat and hold discussions with the Speaker of the Republic‟s Assembly Hasan Bozer.
The Parliamentary Speaker will also visit the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces
in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu. He will also attend the Graduation
Ceremony at the Girne [occupied Keryneia] American University. On Saturday, he will
come together with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu before leaving the Republic.”


4. Foreigners usurpers of occupied Greek Cypriot properties and Turkish Cypriots
protested against the decision of the ECJ regarding the Orams case
Illegal Bayrak television (09.06.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:
“A protest action has been held in the capital Lefkosia to denounce the European Court
of Justice‟s (ECJ) decision regarding the Orams Case. The action was organized by the
North Cyprus Action Platform (NCAP).


During the protest, copies of a petition signed by 10-thousand civil society
representatives and individuals were given to the British High Commission, the United
Nations and the European Union.
                                            5


The petition draws attention to the fact that property is one of the core issues concerning
the Cyprus problem and that it should be resolved through negotiations in full view of the
agreed principle of bi-zonality.


Protestors, wearing black clothes and carrying flags, gathered in front of the British High
Commission around 09.30 in the morning. They carried banners that read „Enough is
Enough‟, „We Want Justice‟ and „Turkish Cypriots are here‟.


The founding President of the TRNC Rauf Denktash, leaders of some political parties,
deputies and foreigners living in the Republic gave their backing to the action. In an
address at the protest, former President Denktash called the European Court of
Justice‟s decision on the Orams case unjust and underlined the need to adopt a strong
stance against the ruling of the Court.


Later, a petition was handed over to officials from the British High Commission. The
protestors, then, walked to the Ledra Palace crossing point where they presented
another copy of the petition to UN officials. The last stop of the protestors was the EU
Support Office in the centre of the capital. Another copy of the letter was presented to
EU officials at the office.


In the speeches delivered during the presentation of the petitions, representatives of the
civil society organizations referred the EJC‟s decision as unjust, adding that they would
continue their actions.


In its ruling last April, the European Court of Justice said that judgments of the Greek
Cypriot courts must be recognized and enforced by the other member states even if it
concerns land situated in North Cyprus. Property is one of the core issues concerning
the Cyprus issue and the Turkish Cypriot Side has been underlining the fact that it can
only be solved as part of a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.”
                                             6


In addition, all the Turkish Cypriot newspapers report today about the protest march held
yesterday in occupied Lefkosia against the decision of the European Court of Justice
(ECJ) regarding the Orams Case. The protest was organized by the Platform for
Condemnation of the ECJ‟s decision. The papers report in their first page about the
protest as follows:
KIBRIS: “The Platform for Condemnation of the ECJ‟s decision submitted a
memorandum to British and EU officials: The unfair decision will not be accepted”

STAR KIBRIS: “Protest against the ECJ‟s decision: A „Justice‟ reminder to the Court of
Justice”

VOLKAN: “We are sovereign in our own land”

AFRIKA: “They kissed the hand of the daddy”. The paper refers to the people who
kissed the hand of the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas who also participated
in the protest against the ECJ‟s decision.

VATAN: “A petition to Britain, the United Nations and the European Union”

HALKIN SESI: “The ECJ was condemned with protests”

GUNES: “A protest against the British!”

BAKIS: “No to ECJ!”

ORTAM: “The platform held demonstrations condemning the ECJ‟s decision”

CYPRUS TODAY midweek: “Black wreath protest to the UK”


In his daily “Point of view” column in Afrika newspaper, Sener Levent reports about the
protest and writes, inter alia, the following: “A man looked at the participants in the
protest and also at the flags they were carrying. The participants chanted slogans like:
“There are two states in Cyprus”.
                                           7


In their hands there was a TRNC flag. There was also a Turkish flag. The man
approached one of the participants in the protest and asked him: “It can be understood
from the flags you are carrying that there are two states in Cyprus… Are these not the
state of the Republic of Turkey and the TRNC state?


The participants looked daggers at the man. It was as if he said a bad thing. Realizing
what was going on, the man turned away and left.”


On its part, Star Kibris publishes a commentary by Baris Mamali who in his daily column
“Minority” writes under the title “The protest took place in the wrong place”, that the
EJC‟s decision created a serious discomfort among the Turkish Cypriot community,
since the reality as regards the property issue came to the surface. Baris Mamali goes
on and writes the following: “The practice followed by the old governments on the
property issue was wrong and against the international law and therefore it now created
this environment. If importance was attached to the law in the place of political
apprehension and opinions, today no one would have worried for possessing Greek
Cypriot property and a decision like the Orams case decision would not have come out.”
(CS)


5. Statements by Erdogan addressing his party’s parliamentary group; Gul on
Euro-elections
Under the title, “PM Erdogan calls on EU to stick to promises on Turkey”, Turkish daily
Today‟s Zaman newspaper (10.06.09) reports the following:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned the European Union politicians who
oppose Turkey's full membership in the bloc, calling on them to keep the promises of the
union.


Sharing his assessment of the new distribution of seats in the European Parliament (EP)
at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday, Erdogan said the new distribution
of seats would not allow changes to the fundamental policies and targets of the EU.
                                           8


Noting that 27 countries had voted in the EP elections, Erdogan said the elections
resulted in a Christian Democrat victory throughout Europe. Stating that voter turnout
was just 43 percent, Erdogan pointed out that this was the lowest in the history of
European elections. He said a number of political parties and leaders put their
opposition to Turkey's EU accession at the centre of their election campaigns, adding:
„We are witnessing a picture after the elections that everyone interprets as negative in
terms of Turkey's membership‟.


However, the EU would never let the new EP steer the bloc away from its fundamental
principles, he noted.


„We are continuing the EU process not with words, but with actions. This is how Turkey
sees it. The membership criteria are there. Complying with promises, the principles and
rules that have been established is the basis of the spirit of unity. Those who display
behaviours that do not comply with this spirit, loyalty and pact, would, before anything
else, take an approach contrary to the founding principles of the EU‟, the prime minister
said.


He also said Turkey's membership could not be an issue that could be overlooked by
discussions about boundaries, noting that those who oppose Turkey's membership act
as obstacles to the EU reaching a global vision. „Those who are concerned with saving
themselves today will have to answer before history tomorrow‟, he said.


Erdogan also evaluated the outcome of the Lebanese polls, noting that the people of
Lebanon had voiced their democratic preferences at the ballot. „As a country of peace,
may they never go through what they went through in the past again. May they walk to
the future in peace and calm‟, he said.
                                             9


Subtitle: Clearing mines along Syrian border
Prime Minister Erdogan also commented on the controversial bill adopted earlier this
month that regulates how land mines along the Turkish-Syrian border will cleared. The
bill was passed after a long debate, as it allows foreign companies to demine the
country's border with Syria. The opposition has decided to apply to the Constitutional
Court for a reversal.


Erdogan said Turkey must clear minefields along its borders by 2014 under the Ottawa
Treaty. „If a mine explodes after the sweep, who will pay for this? Only, NAMSA [a
NATO company] would. Our industrialists are also entering this. There are others from
the Gulf countries who are interested. We would be happy, of course, if companies from
our country were doing this. Syria has cleared its mines; why aren't we clearing ours?‟
he noted.


Subtitle: „Not a single Deniz Feneri cent went to our party‟
Erdogan also responded to accusations that his Justice and Development Party (AK
Party) had received funds illegally channelled to religious-minded companies in Turkey
by the German-based Turkish charity Deniz Feneri, three of whose administrators were
convicted of fraud earlier this year. „Not a cent has gone to our party's coffers from the
Deniz Feneri case‟, he said.


Erdogan also responded to criticism that the government has turned the ongoing trial of
suspected members of Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with plotting to
overthrow the government, into a witch-hunt, saying: „This is a judicial process. We, as
the executive, only fulfil the demands of the judiciary. We carry out these demands with
all our security forces‟.


He said if Italy could rid itself of shady formations inside the state mechanism, Turkey
should also do so.
                                             10


Erdogan also responded to criticism that his party is working to undermine secularism. „I
cannot allow my political party to be labelled as anti-secular‟, he said.”


Meanwhile, famous Turkish architect Mimar Sinan was commemorated yesterday with
an event at the Cankaya presidential palace. Turkish daily Today‟s Zaman (10.06.09)
under the title, “Turkish president downplays anti-Turkish statements in the EU”, reports
the following:
“In an indication of an attempt to overcome problems between Turkey and France in
recent months, Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Tuesday downplayed the impact of
anti-Turkish statements voiced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Turkish
candidacy to the European Union.


President Gul, who was harsh in criticizing Europe before, seems to have toned down
his rhetoric and signalled a willingness to undertake initiatives for a possible
rapprochement between the two countries.


Politicians come and go, he said, stressing the importance of political goals set by the
countries. Speaking at a reception held at Cankaya presidential palace, Gul said, „The
important thing is to continue preparing the country for full EU membership‟.


Gul further noted that Turkey and France will launch a series of cultural events and
programs to celebrate “Turkey Season in France” and introduce Turkish culture to
French people. The season will start on July 1 and continue until March of next year.
Turkey recently announced the expansion of activities to include over 40 cities with 400
programs.


President Gul said yesterday that he will travel to France to launch the opening of the
season along with French President Sarkozy. Both the Turkish and French governments
pitched in to finance the activities, which will run for nine months. Private donors also
provided partial funding for the projects.
                                            11


Touching on the European Parliament elections, in which the right-wing conservative
parties claimed victory --a sign that is seen as a rising anti-Turkish sentiment across
Europe--, Gul said: „The important thing is to abide by the rules and legal precedents set
in the course of relations between Turkey and the EU‟.


„People who voiced opposition to Turkey today might change their position later‟, he
said, dismissing anti-Turkish statements voiced by politicians. „What matters‟, he said, „is
the opinion of the Turkish and European public‟. Both Sarkozy and German Chancellor
Angela Merkel recommend that Turkey be offered a privileged partnership instead of full
EU membership, which Ankara strongly rejects.”


6. Olli Rehn spoke to Turkish journalists in Brussels; He calls on Turkey to focus
on reforms and Cyprus
Under the title: “Rehn calls on Turkey for rapid change in Political Parties Law” Today‟s
Zaman (10.06.09) publishes the following report:
“A top European Union official repeated on Tuesday an earlier call on Turkey by the 27-
nation bloc to make necessary amendments on its Political Parties Law in compliance
with the criteria set for the closure of political parties by the Council of Europe's Venice
Commission.


European Commission's Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn clearly stated that the
EU expects Ankara to carry out related constitutional reforms concerning party closures
by the end of 2009.


Rehn, speaking in Brussels with a group of journalists from Turkey, was asked what he
expected Turkey to do by the end of 2009. 'We want some concrete steps to be taken in
the field of fundamental freedoms', Rehn responded, noting that he expected such steps
to pave the way for the strengthening of the freedom of press, freedom of expression
and religious freedom. Rehn also stressed that the current phase of religious freedom in
Turkey was brought up as an issue during his visit to the Vatican three weeks ago.
                                           12


„The amendments on the Foundations Law are significant, but are not sufficient. Having
the Labour Law adopted by the Parliament at once has importance. Additionally,
constitutional reforms concerning political party closures and in line with the Venice
Criteria should be carried out by the end of the year. We have discussed these issues
with government officials in an open and constructive way‟, Rehn said.


„I am not complaining, but I am explaining our expectations. But you should ask this
question to your own government‟, he replied when asked about the Turkish
government's reaction to the EU's complaint of the slow pace of reforms. „However, we
state that we want to see concrete developments that will increase the level of living
standards of Turkish citizens. As [Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan said a few
years ago, the Copenhagen Criteria may be the Ankara Criteria, Istanbul Criteria‟.


Rehn cited two main issues on which Turkey should focus for the sake of the future of its
ongoing accession negotiations with the EU: reforms and Cyprus.


Ruling out assumptions that Turkey has had lost its reformist spirit, which was viable
during the period of time between 2002 and 2005, Rehn noted that 10 out of 35
negotiation chapters have been opened since 2005: „Having this materialized, despite
the crisis that has been experienced in Turkey and despite the tensions between Turkey
and the EU, is a good result‟.


„Now what matters is to have both sides continue negotiations and, for Turkey's part, to
leave the local elections behind and restart the reform process, which will attain
fundamental freedoms', Rehn said, while citing issues of freedom of expression and
religious freedom as 'the most important issues‟.


„Progress has been maintained in [Article] 301 vis-à-vis freedom of expression; however,
our concerns in regard to freedoms in the media still exist. We will give an important
place to this in the next progress report. Certain developments in the last few months
have been worrying to us within this framework‟.”
                                            13


7. Sweden’s PM: “It would be interesting to open the energy chapter to
negotiations with Turkey”
Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.06.09) reported the following from Brussels:
“Sweden, the country which will assume the EU term presidency in July, will work
towards opening the energy chapter to negotiations with EU candidate Turkey.


Speaking to reporters in Brussels, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt said that
„Europe talks about energy to a large extent and this issue relates to Turkey very much.
It would be interesting to open the energy chapter to negotiations with Turkey‟. „It would
be wise for everyone to open the energy chapter to negotiations with Turkey‟, Reinfeldt
said. „Due to differing viewpoints in the EU, it is not possible to say whether Sweden
could be successful in promoting negotiations with Turkey‟, Reinfeldt also said.”


8. Turkey donated 10 Million USD as humanitarian aid to Pakistan
Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.06.09) reported the following from Islamabad:
“Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, who is currently paying a visit to
Pakistan, met with the country's prime minister on Tuesday.


During the meeting, Davutoglu presented a 10 million-USD humanitarian aid cheque to
Pakistani Premier Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, representing Turkey's support to Pakistan.
As part of his visit, Davutoglu held talks with the head of Pakistani Land Forces Ashfaq
Parvez Kayani and Parliament Speaker Fehmida Mirza as well. After holding a series of
talks in Lahore on Wednesday, Davutoglu is expected to be received by Pakistani
President Asif Ali Zerdari in Islamabad in the evening.”


9. “Erdogan to be awarded Prix de la Fondation”
Under the above title, Turkish daily Today‟s Zaman newspaper (10.06.09) reports the
following:
“Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be the guest of honour at the 20 th Crans
Montana Forum, which will be held in Brussels later this month.
                                            14


Erdogan will be presented with the Prix de la Fondation 2009 by Princess Astrid of
Belgium and Jacques Barrot, the vice president of the European Commission, during the
forum, which will be held between June 24 and 27, the organization has announced on
its Web page.


The event is widely considered as a prestigious one since it is a summit where the top
decision-makers in the political, business, financial and banking worlds meet.


„Since 1989, the Crans Montana Forum has been dedicated to the political and
economic reconstruction of the post-Cold War Europe and then the preparation of the
European enlargement to the East. The Crans Montana Forum has also been very
active in opening new paths of cooperation between the European Union, the
Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East‟, says the organization on its Web page.


Erdogan‟s office, meanwhile, officially announced that the prime minister will pay a visit
to Athens on June 20-21 at the invitation of his Greek counterpart, Mr Costas
Karamanlis, in order to attend the inauguration ceremony of the new Acropolis Museum
in Athens.”


10. 54 DTP mayors to be tried in high criminal court in Diyarbakir
Turkish daily Today‟s Zaman newspaper (10.06.09) reports the following:
“Fifty-four mayors from the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) who released a
joint statement in 2007 arguing that jailed outlawed Kurdistan Workers‟ Party (PKK)
leader Abdullah Ocalan was being poisoned in prison will be tried before a high criminal
court, the Anatolia news agency reported yesterday.


The mayors face charges of „praising a criminal and crime‟. The 2nd Court of Peace in
Diyarbakir had earlier ruled the case was out of its jurisdiction and sent the dossier to
the 5th Criminal Court, which has special authority.
                                           15


In its reasoned opinion, the Diyarbakir court ruled that Diyarbakir Mayor Osman
Baydemir, who made the statement on behalf of 54 DTP mayors, referred to the PKK as
the „Kurdish opposition‟. The prosecution claims that the defendants act in line with the
goals of the PKK and spread its propaganda. A jail term of up to three years has been
demanded for the 54 mayors.


In March 2007, the DTP brought forward allegations that Ocalan, who is serving a life
sentence on the Island of Imrali in the Sea of Marmara, was being slowly poisoned; the
allegations were denied by Turkish authorities.”


11. “German centre issues warning to Turkey-bound travellers”
Under the above title, Turkish daily Today‟s Zaman newspaper (10.06.09) reports the
following:
“The Dusseldorf-based Centre for Travel Medicine (CRM) has warned German travellers
about the spread of a potentially fatal tick-borne disease in Turkey, German media have
reported.


On Monday, a 53-year-old man who had been receiving treatment for Crimean Congo
Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in the eastern province of Sivas died. A.G., who lived in a
village in the neighbouring province of Tokat, was brought to Sivas‟ Cumhuriyet
University Faculty of Medicine on Friday under the suspicion that he had contracted the
CCHF virus. A 57-year-old man, K.O., had died of the CCHF virus at the same hospital
on Sunday. With the deaths of A.G. and K.O., the number of people who have died of
CCHF in Sivas has risen to seven.


According to the CRM, 680 people contracted CCHF in Turkey last year and 55 died of
the disease, the German Press Agency (DPA) reported late on Monday. The CRM also
noted that the only effective protection against the disease was to avoid contact with
ticks.
                                            16


„An FSME [tick-borne encephalitis] vaccination is useless‟, Tomas Jelinek, the CRM's
scientific director, was quoted as saying by the DPA in an apparent reference to FSME-
IMMUN, which is a vaccine against tick-borne encephalitis.”



B. COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
1. From the Turkish Press of 09 June 2009
Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the
Turkish press on 09 June 2009:
a) Obama's Cairo Speech
In an article entitled "President Obama's greeting", Yeni Safak columnist Davut Dursun
hails US President Obama's Cairo speech as an altogether different presidential speech
that reflects a new outlook and heralds a new era. Dursun comments on the "symbolic"
significance of various aspects of the speech such as Obama's use of the Muslim
greeting "Salam Alaikum" at the beginning of the address, his choice of Cairo University
as a venue for the speech, and his references to three holy books, the Koran, the Bible,
and the Torah in the speech. He contrasts Obama's quotations from the Koran with
"George Bush's talk about a Crusade in starting the Iraq campaign," adding that the
references to the three holy books held out the promise of tolerance for different life
styles and friendship between people of different faiths.


In an article entitled "Obama's limits", Vakit columnist Mustafa Ozcan argues that
Obama's Ankara and Cairo speeches amount to a declaration of "ceasefire" with the
Islamic world forced by the difficulties facing the US military in Afghanistan and Iraq as
well as by the crisis affecting the US economy. Ozcan underlines the "seeming" quality
of this ceasefire, asserting that US military operations are continuing secretly in
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq. He takes issue with Obama over his message that
"Islam is part of America," arguing that "the right formulation is 'America is part of
Islam.'" He also asserts that the Islamic world has been divided into three groups in
terms of its perceptions of Obama's Cairo speech, namely, "believers," "denialists," and
"sceptics."
                                              17


In an article entitled "Carrot policy", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that
Barack Obama is using the "carrot policy" toward Muslims as opposed to his
predecessor, who applied the "stick policy," adding that both policies are intended in the
end to protect US interests and that if the United States wants to "make peace" with
Muslims, it is only because it has realized that it cannot otherwise defend its interests in
the Middle East. He also asserts that the United States is looking into creating a
common ground with Muslim groups in Turkey that are becoming increasingly powerful
economically and boast a serious political and sociological base, adding that "our people
[Muslims] will be given a place within the new deep state" as part of this effort.


In an article entitled "Thus spoke Obama", Milli Gazete columnist Afsin Selim criticizes
the way in which Obama's use of the Muslim greeting "Salam Alaikum" in his Cairo
speech has been hailed as a herald of peace between the United States and the Islamic
world. He claims that the use of this greeting normally sends a message of "you can
trust me" before he goes on to ask "Can we trust Obama? ... The office he occupies still
smells of blood."


b) EP Elections
In the first portion of his column in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand evaluates the
EP [European Parliament] general elections. Pointing out that mainly right-wing parties
won and Social Democrats, who support Turkey's full membership to the EU, lost,
Birand asserts that Europeans do not want the EU to expand further. He concludes: "But
nevertheless the 'Turkish front' is still strong enough to protect and watch over Turkey in
the parliament. Our lives will get a little more difficult but friends of Turkey will support as
necessary."


In Radikal Murat Yetkin devotes his article to the EP election results. Drawing attention
to the low voting rate of 43 percent, Yetkin reasons that European voters do not attach
importance to the EP, which is not very powerful in comparison with the EU
Commission. Therefore, he adds, small but well-organized parties influence the election
results and the EP gradually turns into a platform that reflects the views of the periphery
                                              18


and not the centre. Yetkin concludes that the election results are bad news for Turkey's
EU membership process as well as for the non-EU population, like Turks, living in
Europe.


National problems shape voters' choice in EP elections, writes Hasan Cemal an article
in Milliyet, adding that the low voting rate of 43 percent indicates that "nobody cares
about the EP, anyway." Cemal notes that the results show that xenophobic, anti-
Islamist, extremist or ultra-right parties have gained strength in many EU countries,
particularly in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Cemal concludes that
regardless of whether or not it will become an EU member, Turkey should continue its
reformist path.


Calling the EP election results "the victory of Fortress Europe" in an article in
Cumhuriyet, Nilgun Cerrahoglu maintains that today's Europe is reminiscent of the
medieval Europe; that is, today's Europe is "isolated and in denial," it "resists change,"
and "excludes the other." Cerrahoglu asserts that in contrast to President Obama, who
extended an "olive branch" to the Muslim world in his Cairo speech, Europeans chose to
be represented by politicians who cannot tolerate anybody who is "different" from the
"white man."


                                 ------------------------------


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