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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-09-21

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.181/04 21.09.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Americans among the buyers of stolen Greek Cypriot immovable properties. The "draft-law" on the right of the foreigners to acquire property was published in the "Official Gazette"
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot real estate companies promote the sale of occupied Greek Cypriot properties in a fair in London
  • [03] Talat finally realised that declaring part of EU territory as independent state is tantamount to playing with fire
  • [04] The occupation regime's parliament did not approve the motion for early "elections". Angolemli accuses Talat of being under Erdogan's hegemony
  • [05] The Darts Union of the occupation regime is strengthening its efforts to become member of the World Darts Federation
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News argues that Mr Erdogan is not a genuine reformist

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Americans among the buyers of stolen Greek Cypriot immovable properties. The "draft-law" on the right of the foreigners to acquire property was published in the "Official Gazette"

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.09.04) reports that the "draft-law" regarding the right of the foreigners to acquire property in the occupied areas of Cyprus was published in the "Official Gazette" on 17 September 2004.

    The paper writes that views and suggestions on the "draft-law", which prevents the foreigners from owning property in the occupied areas of Cyprus but instead provide that they have the right of leasing property for 125, could be submitted in writing to the "presidency of the parliament".

    Meanwhile, with ten different decisions taken on 7 September, the so-called Council of Ministers of the occupation regime gave permission to British, American, Turkish and Italian citizens to acquire property in the occupied part of Cyprus.

    [02] Turkish Cypriot real estate companies promote the sale of occupied Greek Cypriot properties in a fair in London

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.09.04) reports that twenty four Turkish and Turkish Cypriot real estate companies have participated in a real estate fair under the title "The Property Investors' Show", which took place at London's Excel Fair Center between 17 and 19 September 2004.

    This is the third time that the so-called "Turkish Village" participates in the above-mentioned fair.

    The Turkish Cypriot businessman, Ali Ozmen Safa, chairman of the Property International Plc, said that the reason of the establishment of the "Turkish Village" was to oppose the so-called embargoes against the Turkish Cypriots and noted that its importance increased in this period when the "embargoes" continue, the occupied part of Cyprus has been turned into a construction site and the constructions are the motive power of the Turkish Cypriot economy.

    Mr Safa said: "Two years ago we were the only Turkish firm in the fair. Now there are twenty four Turkish Cypriot firms. The Turkish Cypriot firms constitute the 10% of the fair. This is an indication of our success. '".

    [03] Talat finally realised that declaring part of EU territory as independent state is tantamount to playing with fire

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.09.04), the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat said yesterday: "The European Union (EU) is opposed to the declaration of a 'Turkish Cypriot State' which was envisaged in United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's plan. Therefore, declaration of Turkish Cypriot State will mean playing with fire."

    The newspaper under the banner headline, "A peculiar demand from the Netherlands", reports that Holland, current EU chair, wants "North Cyprus" to participate in the summit of the EU and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), scheduled to be held in Istanbul in October, as a Turkish Cypriot Community and not as a Turkish Cypriot State.

    Mr Talat said that he discussed the issue with the Dutch Minister of European Affairs, Mr Atzo Nikolay, who told him: "Either write Turkish Cypriot community, or do not write anything. The name 'Turkish Cypriot State' implies the desire for recognition and the EU will be disturbed".

    Mr Talat also added: "The EU is opposed to the declaration of 'Turkish Cypriot State' since it means a request for recognition. They also are opposed to putting a plate on which it will be inscribed 'Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus' in front of the 'TRNC' delegation which will participate in the joint OIC-EU summit.

    Therefore, there have been some efforts to cancel the summit of the EU and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) scheduled to be held in Istanbul in October. At such a moment, declaration of Turkish Cypriot State will mean playing with fire. Such a declaration will hamper our efforts to get rid of isolations."

    [04] The occupation regime's parliament did not approve the motion for early "elections". Angolemli accuses Talat of being under Erdogan's hegemony

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (21.09.04) reports that the so-called parliament did not vote in favour of holding early so-called elections in occupied Cyprus. In addition, a related draft law which envisaged changes to be made to the existing "electoral and referenda law" was also rejected.

    As the paper writes, 25 "deputies" voted against and 20 "deputies" in favour of the two "bills". During the summer time and while the pseudoparliament was in recess, the " legal and political affairs committee" of the "parliament" had approved a "bill" calling for early so-called general elections on the 6th of November.

    Commenting on this development, Mr Huseyin Angolemli, the chairman of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) criticised the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) and the so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat and stated that after the 24th of April the RTP was very much trusted and a lot of things were expected from it but the party fell short of their expectations. He also accused Mr Talat of not consulting with the parties that support peace. "The Prime Minister listens only to the Turkish Republic's Prime Minister Erdogan. He went under his administration", stated Mr Angolemli.

    [05] The Darts Union of the occupation regime is strengthening its efforts to become member of the World Darts Federation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.09.04) reports that the Darts Union of Ankara's regime in occupied Cyprus is going to London in order to participate in the meeting of the World Darts Federation (WDF).

    According to the paper, the talks that the Darts Union of the occupied areas of Cyprus had with the Finnish chairman of the World Darts Federation, Mr Timo Korpela, had an outcome, and the Darts Union was invited to go to London on the 25th of September to participate in a meeting to be held there in order to discuss the possibilities of becoming a member of the WDF.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Columnist in Turkish Daily News argues that Mr Erdogan is not a genuine reformist

    Under the title "Erdogan vs. Erdogan", Turkish Daily News (21.09.04) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil:

    "This column has invariably argued that Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a reformist, but an overrated one. He has reformed some of Turkey's laws, not necessarily because he genuinely believed in reform but because he wanted to win a date from the European Union -- a date that would minimize the military's powers and earn him a second, perhaps third, term in power in a country where three in every four support the idea of membership in the EU. Inevitably, the time had to come that Mr. Erdogan's alter ego would speak on his behalf.

    After doing exactly what the EU has told him to do for nearly two years, Mr. Erdogan suddenly noticed that the EU had no right to meddle in Turkey's domestic affairs. Were the death penalty, the role of the military, women's rights, language and broadcasting in minority languages, the release of Leyla Zana et al, freedom of expression and torture not Turkey's domestic affairs?

    Now, Mr. Erdogan's own words: "...Turkey has done all it needed to do to meet the political criteria for starting European Union entry talks. ... Let nobody try to pressure Turkey by using the EU [as an excuse]. ... This is Turkey, and we make our own decisions. ... Nobody should try to impose conditions on us concerning the EU. ... The EU is not indispensable for us. ... It is not a must for Turkey." But why the unusually blunt language, and only two weeks before the European Commission releases its most critical report on Turkish membership?

    Mr. Erdogan, apparently under pressure from his party's Islamist flank, wants to outlaw adultery despite increasingly loud warnings from the EU that if he goes ahead with the plan Turkey will not be given a date to start membership talks. Mr. Erdogan is dangerously zigzagging between his broader goals and his own roots. GŁnter Verheugen, the EU's enlargement commissioner, had to remind Mr. Erdogan of the bitter truth that Turkey wants to join the EU, not vice versa.

    In addition to the problem of "ideology," there is a problem of "timing," too. The EU expects Turkey to legislate a wide range of Penal Code reforms before the Commission announces its report, but the reforms have been stalled because of the dispute over whether to ban adultery -- the Commission has called on Ankara to explain whether it plans to push the bill through Parliament before the crucial EU decision in a fortnight. But it appears unlikely that the legislation can be completed by Oct. 6, when the Commission releases its report.

    The Turkish Parliament resumed its annual recess on Saturday and is not scheduled to convene again until Oct. 1. To make matters worse, the assembly will have to vote on a new chairman and appoint internal bodies before reconsidering the bill, which would thus not come before the general assembly until the second half of October at the earliest. But why is Mr. Erdogan giving powerful ammunition to the anti-Turkish lobby in the EU and possibly shooting himself on both feet?

    Mr. Erdogan first and foremost hopes to reward the "greener" of his party members and grassroots supporters. He has failed to please them in matters like removing the headscarf ban -- a dispute seen by many as a symbol of the clash between political Islam and secularism and one of Mr. Erdogan's pre-election pledges. Larger groups of Islamists tend to protest Mr. Erdogan, once the much-praised "Imam of Istanbul" for them, because he failed to keep his "greener" promises.

    At a time like this Mr. Erdogan thought he had found a goldmine. For the first time he could deliver to his "greener" supporters without raising the generals' eyebrows, for the military has remained completely indifferent to the adultery dispute -- banning adultery is certainly not one of the army's red lines on secularism. Understandably, Mr. Erdogan wanted to score in the absence of suspicious looks from the barracks.

    There is something deeply wrong in the thinking of the "reformist" and of his men. They claim they are the "real secularists." But it is an open secret that they want to outlaw adultery because it is a sin under the Koran (like in other holy books). This is dangerous thinking. With a clear majority in Parliament, Mr. Erdogan's men may one day wake up with the idea of criminalizing alcohol or pork, for both are banned under the Koran.

    Also, Mr. Erdogan thinks that the EU understanding on criminalizing adultery would show that the bloc was taking Muslim values into account. This mindset is not healthy. Confident that a date was in sight, Mr. Erdogan wanted to test the water to see what Muslim values he could impose on the non-Muslim club during accession talks. The answer to his curiosity lies in Mr. Verheugen's clear-cut reply to his bravado -- that the EU was not a sine qua non for Turkey. A smart man, Mr. Erdogan should be able to get the message. But he has made everything more difficult for himself.

    When he bluntly played down the EU criticism on the adultery dispute and sent stronger messages to his "greener" grassroots, Mr. Erdogan tied himself to his promise to outlaw adultery. If, under EU pressure, he steps back, he will once again ridicule himself in the eyes of the Islamists, whom he cannot give up.

    The solution is simple. Mr. Erdogan must decide on his identity. He must either completely break up with his Islamist past and walk "centre wards," or give up his reformist, pro-EU rhetoric. He cannot continue to be both. Besides, Mr. Erdogan should be able to understand that he cannot change the rules and values of the club he hopes to join one day."


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