Wednesday, April 19, 2006

From the Columns

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

(Sabah) Fatih Altayli

A response from Denmark: Sabah daily's Altayli uses his column to forward a response to his readers from Danish Ambassador to Ankara Christian Hoppe, on criticism aimed at his country's permission to give outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-linked Kurdish Roj TV to continue their broadcasts. According to Altayli, Hoppe says: "The accusations about Roj TV continue to be scrutinized by the Danish court system, an investigation which is also using many of the documents sent by Turkish bureaus to Denmark. Just as the same situation would be if it were in Turkey, the final decision on the matter will not come from the government, but from the Danish justice system. And, just as in Turkey, in Denmark, the government is not allowed to meddle in the workings of the justice system. In the end, your newspaper's implication that 'the answer coming out of Denmark is negative' is completely wrong. I hope that in the future, your writing on this matter will reflect the truth." In response to this, Hoppe's response, Altayli has his own response: "This answer from Hoppe is funny. We have seen many times how our European friends have tried to intervene and put pressure on Ankara on topics which have been transmitted to the justice system in our own country. When it comes to the independence of the justice system in Turkey, they don't take it seriously. But when it's about Denmark, it's suddenly very serious. No one knows better than Justice Minister Cemil Çiçek what Turkey had to go through before the matter of Roj TV was brought before the Danish courts. Of course, there is a new development. At least the Danish side seems to understand a bit better our sensitivity on this subject." (Vatan)

They have forgotten all about the EU: More rumblings that Ankara seems to have slowed down on the European Union accession process came yesterday in the form of a column from Vatan daily's Okay Gonensin. "The subject at hand is the European Union. And Ankara has forgotten this subject," starts off Gonensin. He goes on to note that the "latest proof of this" is the "1 billion euros extended to Turkey for 'fiscal cooperation efforts' for last year which returned to EU coffers after not having even been touched." Gonensin goes on to warn that even though no official announcements have been made about this yet, in coming days, EU officials will announce that this money has been returned and other project support funds have been frozen, all while "underlining Ankara's lack of activity." So what, asks Gonensin, is Ankara doing? He notes: "Economic problems are continuing, the youth are still out of work, because the world is watching and observing that Turkey has stopped on the road to Europe." Gonensin even ties the recent violent events in the Southeast of Turkey to the slowdown on the EU road: "The EU project includes hope for change on many societal problems, including the Kurdish problem. And the fact that Ankara has forgotten the EU project can now even be seen at the very ends of the country." He touches on the wider meaning of the EU project, saying: "The EU project carried the label of a better future for the entire country. It still does carry this meaning for most of the country. But Ankara doesn't see this, and does not use this 'hope project' in the face of societal problems." Gonensin closes, observing it is better not to even entertain the idea that Ankara might be "deliberately" forgetting the EU project. For, he says, if this is the case, then "we must prepare ourselves to face even heavier problems from here on in." (Hürriyet) Mehmet Yilmaz

Advice for those who want to move ahead: Read 'Rethinking the Kurdish Problem': Yilmaz's column in yesterday's Hürriyet daily: "There are two important subjects that will influence Turkey over the next 20-25 years. The first is completing the EU accession process, and the second is solving the "Kurdish problem." And right now, looking at the way the ruling and opposition party leaders are arguing over these matters in the Turkish Parliament, I am awash in pessimism. If you want, try to remember the various polemic tirades that both Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Deniz Baykal have entered into in previous days: have any of them brought about solutions? Don't even bother trying to recall what these two men have said ... you will find nothing worthwhile. The conversations and arguments on these matters continue among the people of this country, and it is all the same old information, memorized figures and forms. I think we need to start reading and thinking much more about this problem. Mustafa Akyol's new book titled 'Rethinking the Kurdish Problem-What Went Wrong? Where to From Here?' presents a great collection of information about the historical basis of the Kurdish problem. I advise it to anyone who wants to know more about the matter, but doesn't know where to start."

Source ( Sabah)