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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-01-10
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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.5/05 08-10.01.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Gul: The EU does not intend to solve the Cyprus problemIstanbul NTV television (07/01/05) broadcast an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul by Murat Akgun in Ankara.
Referring to the Cyprus Problem, Mr Gul said it is a very important issue for Turkey, adding: "A lasting solution to the Cyprus problem is in the interests of Turkey, of the Turkish Cypriots, and even of the Greek Cypriots. Turkey will work on that. It will be a country that always takes initiatives in this regard."
Prompted by Akgun, the Turkish Foreign Minister said that the EU cannot solve the Cyprus problem, and added: "The EU made a great mistake in this regard. The EU did not make the solution of the Cyprus problem easier. With its mistake, it made it more difficult. I mean by making the Greek Cypriot sector a full member before a solution was reached to the problem. So the EU is not the platform to solve the problem. Everybody knows that and the EU knows that. Consequently, the EU does not intend to solve it. The place to solve this problem is the United Nations. Many EU members such as Britain and France are members of the UN Security Council. So the problem will be solved there. Nevertheless, for the problem to be solved there, the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots must reach an understanding. Once they reach that understanding, it will be easy to solve the problem at the United Nations."
Asked if there will be enough time until 3 October -- the starting date of membership talks with the EU -- to solve the Cyprus problem if efforts to solve it begin only after the elections in Britain in June, Gul said that there are no obligations to fulfil regarding Cyprus by 3 October. The solution of the problem is not a condition for the start of the membership negotiations, he stated.
Asked if Israeli businessmen will invest in occupied Cyprus, Gul replied that it is possible, economically. "We should not have excessive expectations," he said. The foreign minister emphasized that ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots is the major topic in talks with the Americans and the British. He admitted that there are certain differences in the situation before and after the referendum, but that they are not enough. "Commercial planes must land in north Cyprus", he added.
Finally, Foreign Minister Gul listed Turkey's most important issues in 2005 as Iraq, the EU, Cyprus, and the Middle East question. Akgun said "surely, the relations with the United States also are of special importance." Gul replied: "Undoubtedly. The prime minister affirmed that during the budget debates. It is also in our government program. We do not view the Turkish-US relations as relations dependent on the conditions of the day. We attach great importance to Turkish-US relations. Let me speak frankly, there may be developments that dissatisfy or upset the two sides at times, but Turkish-US relations are sound relations. They must be sound. Both countries need that and the world needs that. In today's world, we face unexpected developments. No longer do you have great wars or war preparations that last a few years. Unexpected developments that concern the whole world are happening. Therefore these relations are very important."
 Milliyet speaks of Jerusalem crisis during Gulīs visit to Israel. M-60 tank project froze by TurkeyIstanbul Milliyet newspaper (05/01/05) publishes the following report by Utku Cakirozer under the title: "Crisis City".
"A crisis erupted during Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul's Israel-Palestine trip, which has great importance attached to it. Israel wanted the Israeli flag to be flown from Gul's official car during the trip to Jerusalem. Gul instructed that the car be changed so as not to have the flag attached, and was late in arriving at his rendezvous with Israel's President Moshe Katsav.
Before his rendezvous with Katsav, which marked the official start to the Israel trip, Gul visited the Noble Sanctuary, a holy site for Muslims and the location of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock from where the Prophet Muhammad is known to have ascended. The flag crisis occurred between the Turkish and Israeli delegations before the visit began.
Israel wanted the Israeli flag to be flown alongside the Turkish one on Gul's official car to show that Israel was in charge of Jerusalem. The Turkish delegation objected saying, "Jerusalem's status is debatable and Israel is not in charge there." When the Israelis insisted on flying both flags saying that the official car had two flag points on it Gul decided to replace the luxury official car assigned to him with a vehicle from the Turkish Consulate General that carried only one flag point.
After the flag crisis the Israelis pointed out the route Gul was to take for security reasons when entering the area of the holy sites. Israel asked that Gul use the Ethiopians Gate, used by Jews, rather than the Lion's Gate, which is used by Muslims to enter the Noble Sanctuary.
The Turkish delegation objected to using the Ethiopians Gate, which Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon had visited sparking off the Intifada four years ago. The Turks said: "Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Mahir used that gate two years ago on his visit and was jostled. We will not use it." After the Turkish delegation insisted that their choice not be interfered with, Gul entered and left via the Lion's gate. Gul arrived 45 minutes late at the Noble Sanctuary because of the vehicle, flag and gate crises, and he went [late] out of objection to see Katsav. Gul did not cut short his visit to the holy sites, and went to the Presidency late after praying at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and looking around the Dome of the Rock. He also went in an official car bearing only the Turkish flag.
Gul was held up for one hour en route to the Turkish Consulate General in Jerusalem the other evening because of a suspicious minibus parked outside the front.
Notes: 'No' To Kippa, 'Yes' To Kefiye
While refusing to wear the Jewish Kippa skullcap given to him to wear while visiting the Holocaust Museum, he did not turn down the "Kefiye" given to him as a gift by the Arab records keeper at the Turkish War Cemetery he went to later.
Gul and his wife Hayrunnisa visited the Noble Sanctuary accompanied by the Mufti of Jerusalem Ikrime Sabri, and he prayed at the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Gul also prayed in the cave under the Muallak Rock from where the Prophet Muhammad had his ascent.
The Turkish and Israeli foreign ministers have met eight times in the past 22 months, but this was the first time they had met in Jerusalem.
Meanwhile Istanbul NTV television (07/01/05) broadcast that when the Israeli firm carrying out the project to upgrade Turkey's M-60 tanks failed to fulfil pledges for the prototype on time the Turkish Defence Industry Under Secretary's Office froze the project.
The Israeli IMI Company won the contract initiated to upgrade the M-60 tanks in the Turkish Armed Forces inventory. The firm has been working for three years to produce a prototype tank but up till now has failed to fulfil pledges made in the contract. According to the agreement a prototype tank was supposed to have been completed last year and tests begun. However, the prototype has failed to appear on time.
At this the Turkish Defence Industry Under Secretary's office first froze payments to the Israeli firm and then froze the project. A break has also been given to mass production at the facilities set up in Kayseri to make spare parts for the tanks that were to be upgraded.
The Defence Industry Executive Committee is to convene on 19 January and place three major defence contracts worth $2 billion on the table. They will decide on the purchase of 10 maritime patrol aircraft, 17 naval helicopters and 32 general-purpose helicopters for the Land Forces. Defence sources state that the decision to purchase the maritime patrol aircraft may be put off to a future date.
Meanwhile, a surprise country has emerged in the bidding for the attack helicopter project. The Defence Industry Under Secretary's Office has decided to invite the Republic of South Africa into the bidding.
 Genard Ozkok is visiting Great BritainAnkara Anatolia news agency (09/01/05) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Ozkok left for Britain on Sunday.
General Staff Headquarters Secretariat General stated that Gen. Ozkok will visit Britain as the official guest of Gen. Sir Michael Walker, British Chief of the General Staff, between January 9th and 12th. Gen. Ozkok will return to Turkey on January 12th.
 Turkish State Minister is visiting Austria for the 2009 UniversiadeAnkara Anatolia news agency (08/01/05) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin left for Austria on Saturday.
Prior to his departure, Sahin told reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport that Turkey has declared its candidacy to host the 2009 Winter Universiade.
Noting that the eastern city of Erzurum is appropriate for the 2009 Winter Universiade, Sahin said: ''I will attend the International University Sports Federation (FISU) Executive Committee meeting in Petersburg city of Austria.
We will make a presentation about Universiade which will be held in the western city of Izmir this year. We are candidate for the 2009 Winter Universiade as well. Our rival is China. We believe that a decision which will be in favour of us will be taken, because Erzurum is an appropriate city for the Winter Universiade,'' said Sahin.
 Turkey aspires to become one of the Worldīs most important exportersAnkara Anatolia news agency (09/01/05) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen on Sunday, speaking at a meeting of the Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD), said, ''In 1980s, exports were about 2.8 billion U.S. dollars and imports were nearly 6 billion U.S. dollars. Today, foreign trade figures of Turkey reached 160 billion U.S.
dollars. Turkey exported various goods worth 64 billion U.S. dollars in 2004. Exports of textile and ready-to-wear cloths rose up to 18 billion U.S. dollars.
"We will concentrate on Asia-Pacific countries and on northern and southern America in 2006. Meanwhile, our exports to African countries increased by 40 percent. We set our target of exports for 2005 as 75 billion U.S. dollars. I believe that Turkey will become one of the most important exporters of the world in the coming years".
 Ankara Anatolia reports that Turkey and Syria are working to settle the property issue in HatayAnkara Anatolia news agency (07/01/05) reported the following from Antakya: "Work has reportedly begun to eliminate the property problems experienced by both Turkish and Syrian citizens since 1939, when Hatay joined the motherland.
Hope has arisen for those unable to possess land owned by their forefathers due to the fact that when Hatay joined the motherland some families were split up with some staying in Turkey and others in Syria, and also due to failings in the land registry service.
In a statement he made to the Anatolia News Agency the Governor of Hatay Abdulkadir Sari said that the property problem experienced since 1939 has not been one-sided, and that there are both Turkish and Syrian citizens with property in both countries.
Stating that the land had been managed on a lease basis for many years Governor Sari said:
"This land is managed by the Ministry of Finance by being leased out to needy farmers. The rent income received has been blocked at the Central Bank for many years. We do not know what the total amount of this money including interest is. However, when the true owners of the land are identified the rent money plus interest will be distributed."
Noting that a similar arrangement was being worked on in Syria, Governor Sari said: "A commission is being set up in Ankara between both countries with the participation of various ministries in order to solve the problem. They have also asked us for our opinion. The commission will determine through family trees to whom the land belongs. In accordance with ministry wishes land in Hatay Province totalling 109.472 million hectares has been identified as belonging to Syrian citizens."
Governor Sari recalled that hundreds of people had applied to the pertinent authorities in both Turkey and Syria stating that they still had land in either Turkey or Syria, land which they had not renounced claim to. He said they were expressing their unease at this and demanding that a solution to the problem be found. Sari stressed that a solution would put him at ease as much as it would the other citizens. Sari said that apart from this land there was no question of selling land in Hatay to foreigners.
Sari pointed out that relations between Turkey and Syria had taken on a new impetus in recent years and that a lot of positive work was being done in the fields of trade, industry, culture and art. "The fact that something is being done about this 65-year old problem is a result of the friendship bridge that has been built," said Sari.
Pointing out that families in both Syria and Turkey had been given the means to celebrate religious festivals together in recent years Sari continued:
"These festive celebrations could be carried out with overnight stays for the past two years. The number of people applying to take part in the forthcoming Sacrifice Festival celebrations on the Syrian side has reached 20,800. This figure shows just how strong family ties are between both countries."
Noting that the positive consequences of Turkish-Syrian relations were being seen everywhere, Governor Sari said: "They never even used to sign the honor book during governor visits. Yet, everything has changed now. The Syrian government sent over an official delegation for the last Republic Day holiday, and we celebrated that day together."
 66 years old Hatay (Alexandretta) problem settledMainland Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (10/01/05) reports under the above title that according to Israeli press reports the Hatay (Alexandretta) issue between Turkey and Syria has been settled quietly during the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit to Syria.
The paper, quoting Israeli Haaretz daily, reports that during Erdogan's visit a free trade agreement was signed between Turkey and Syria in which there is a paragraph as an annex to the agreement that "both sides confirm recognition of each other's borders". With this, reports the paper, the antagonism between Syria and Turkey since 1938 has been settled quietly and Turkey's sovereignty on Hatay (Alexandretta) has been confirmed.
HURRIYET, further quoting Turkish Foreign Ministry sources, reports that circles in the Ministry confirmed that the free trade agreement includes such a paragraph. However, they have added, similar paragraphs are added to other agreements that were signed between the two countries recently.
 Erdogan seeks for Russia's support on the issue of the approval of the Annan report by the UN Security CouncilAnkara Anatolia news agency (07.01.05) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister's office has announced that Recep Tayyip Erdogan will go to Russia today to attend inauguration ceremonies and to hold talks with Russian officials. According to the statement, Mr Erdogan will attend a luncheon to be hosted in his honour by the Russian President, Vladimir Putin on Monday (January 10th), and hold official talks at the Kremlin on Tuesday (January 11th).
Mr Erdogan will introduce to President Putin Turkish businessmen who will accompany him during his visit to Russia and attend a luncheon hosted by the Municipality of the city of Antalya (Turkey) and Russian tour organizers on Tuesday.
On Wednesday (January 12th), Erdogan will meet Yevgeni Primakov, the President of the Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Russia. He will also address a meeting of the Turkish-Russian Business Council and sign some agreements and the Special Book of the Union.
Mr Erdogan will reportedly return to Turkey after attending a luncheon hosted in his honor by International Business Centers Inc. (TOBTIM) and after opening the Turkish Trade Center and Turkish ''Boyner'' company's outlet.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (10.01.05) reports that the Cyprus problem "will put its stamp" on Mr Erdogan's visit to Russia. The paper writes that Ankara will exert efforts to convince Moscow on the issue of the approval of the UN Secretary - General, Kofi Annan's report on Cyprus by the UN Security Council.
KIBRIS invokes "diplomatic sources in Turkey" and says that Ankara considers the approval of the Annan report as "a significant step" towards the lifting of the so-called isolations of the Turkish Cypriots.
According to the same sources, the Cyprus issue will be the most "heavy file" during Erdogan's visit to Russia. Mr Erdogan will ask the approval of the Annan report and its enforcement as soon as possible.
KIBRIS notes that after his visit to Russia, Mr Erdogan could go to the United States and meet with the UN Secretary - General. It is expected that during these visits, Mr Erdogan will ask the United Nations to undertake the initiative for a solution in Cyprus.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (10.01.05) writes that diplomatic sources noted that Mr Erdogan has in his hands enough arguments to convince the Russian President to support the Turkish views on Cyprus. The paper notes that the decision of Mr Putin will influence the destiny of Cyprus.
"With statements he made some time ago, Putin gave the feeling that they do not support the veto issue, but he preferred to light a yellow light to Turkey's wishes, instead of lighting a green light", argues KIBRISLI and adds: "The sources argue that Russia waited for the results of the 17 December Summit in order to finalize its stance on this issue, whereas now the situation is clear'Political observers say that the possibility of Russia, which is being prepared to sign with Turkey investments of tens of millions of dollars, supporting Turkey are around 80 %...".
 Turkey provided the occupied areas of Cyprus with assistance worth three billion dollars since the Turkish invasion of 1974Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (10.01.05) reports that Turkey's assistance to the occupied areas of Cyprus between 1974 and 2004 has reached 3 billion 71 million 289 thousand 980 U.S. dollars.
According to a report prepared by the Assistance Committee of the so-called embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Nicosia on the economic developments and infrastructure investments in occupied Cyprus, Turkey has kept alive the economy of the puppet regime "by meeting defence expenses, preparing production projects, making investments in electricity, providing encouragement and loans to investors and making huge investments in important areas such as education and health".
The report notes that in 2005 Turkey plans to provide assistance worth of 356 million 921 thousand 167 U.S. dollars to the occupied areas of Cyprus.
According to the report, the economy of the occupied areas of Cyprus had the best indications last year. National per capita income was 7.350 U.S. dollars, and gross national product increased to 1 billion 604 million U.S. dollars.
The exports of the Turkish Cypriots were 34 million dollars in 2001, 45 million dollars in 2002, 51 million dollars in 2003 and 60 million dollars in 2004.
 The Communal Liberation Party and the United Cyprus Party formed a political alliance for the forthcoming so-called elections of the pseudostateTurkish Cypriot daily ORTAM newspaper (10.01.05) reports that the Communal Liberation Party (CLP) of Mr Huseyin Angolemli, the United Cyprus Party (UCP) of Mr Izzet Izcan and some civil society organisations formed a political alliance for the forthcoming so-called elections of the occupation regime that will be held on 20 February 2005. As the paper writes the two parties agreed to form the political alliance under the name "CLP-UCP Left Powers' Alliance".
The two parties will participate in the "elections" in a common ballot under the name of the CLP. According to the protocol signed for the establishment of the alliance, the two parties are forming the "CLP-UCP Left Powers' Alliance", for opening the road for solution based on the Annan Plan and for peace in Cyprus.
Mr Angolemli and Mr Izcan will be co-chairmen of the alliance. The former will be "candidate" in occupied Famagusta and the latter in occupied Lefkosia. Commenting on the development, Mr Izcan stated that he is optimistic that the alliance will come out powerful from the so-called elections. On his part, Mr Angolemli said that the door of the political alliance is open to all the pro-solution parties and organizations.
 The construction explosion in occupied Cyprus causes serious ecological problemsTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (08.01.05) reports about the various ecological problems that the construction explosion created in the pseudostate and notes that the increase of the construction factor will leave occupied Cyprus without water.
As the paper writes the environmental organisations in occupied Cyprus warn that buildings are constructed on top of water reserves and that the way things are going no drinkable water will be left in the island in the near future.
The environmental organisations also note that the green areas have been eliminated in occupied Cyprus as a result of the increase in the percentage of the land of the construction and state that responsible for this development is the lack of 'political' measures.
Speaking to HALIKN SESI, Mr Bulent Arkin, the so-called director of the environment protection department of the pseudostate stated that the construction explosion is a disaster with huge environmental problems of unexpected levels and that those in charge do not indent to take measures.
Mr Oral Andiz, member of the organization for the Protection of the Environment stated that the construction explosion is very dangerous and noted that if it continues in this way no drinkable water will be left in occupied Kyrenia after five years. On his part Mr Dogan Sahir, chairman of the Platform for the Protection of the Environment, stated that the dangers created from the contraction explosion are "like a tsunami" that came to occupied Cyprus and stressed that no control is taking place as regards the construction of buildings.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Sabah argues that if the Annan report, prepared after the referenda, is approved, Turkey will not have to recognize the Republic of CyprusIstanbul Sabah newspaper (09/01/05) publishes the following commentary by Muharrem Sarikaya under the title: "The Cyprus summit with Putin":
"President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet in Moscow tomorrow [Monday, 10 January] after an interval of one month. The mediator for the meeting is the opening of the business center made jointly in Moscow by the TOBB [Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges] and the TIM [Turkish Exporters Assembly].
Prime Minister Erdogan's visit to Moscow can be seen as a "working visit" from this aspect. But when the preparations of the Kremlin are considered, a protocol will be realized, which would bring it outside of a "working visit" for Prime Minister Erdogan.
President Putin will give a "special" dinner in honor of Prime Minister Erdogan tomorrow evening. He will be "officially" received at the Kremlin on Tuesday. President Putin's meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan "at a dinner between families" is important from the aspect of showing the degree of interest of Moscow towards Ankara.
Subtitle: The Cyprus Summit
As for the subjects that will be discussed by the two leaders, the talks will be in the form of "reviewing" the subjects that were discussed during the visit President Putin made to Ankara on 5-6 December.
According to what was conveyed by the diplomats, Prime Minister Erdogan's main file is composed of Cyprus.
Prime Minister Erdogan wants the "Report" of the UN Secretary - General Kofi Annan, which is at the UN Security Council, to be ratified and put into effect as soon as possible. Secretary - General Annan prepared the report, which requests the lifting of the isolation applied to the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus], upon the Turkish side on Cyprus saying "yes" to the Plan with a crushing majority in the referendum, and presented it to the UN Security Council.
The statement that the report "would be vetoed" by Russia when it came to the UN Security Council subsequently led to the report being put on the shelf before it came to the decision stage.
The subject was also on the agenda during President Putin's visit in Ankara. President Ahmet Necdet Sezer and Prime Minister Erdogan requested support from President Putin and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul also discussed the subject with his Russian colleague Sergey Lavrov, who participated in the visit.
After the talks, Moscow, which has been close to the Greek Cypriots for a long time, was content to give the signal that it would show an objective approach to the Turkish Cypriot section as well and did not take a step related to lifting the threat of a veto. And Moscow wanted to see the result of the EU Summit on 17 December .
Subtitle: Ankara's negligence of Russia and China
President Putin and Prime Minister Erdogan will evaluate the Cyprus problem in this new climate, which has emerged.
Up until the present day, Ankara has followed a policy, which neglected Russia and China, the two important members of the UN Security Council, on the subject of the solution of the Cyprus problem. In the new period, Ankara's policy is to also include Russia and China as well as the United States, Britain and France in the process for a solution to the Cyprus problem. In this manner, as Minister Gul said the other day on the NTV television channel when answering the questions of Murat Akgun, the voting as soon as possible in the UN Security Council on the Annan Plan, which lifts the isolation of the TRNC, would open the course.
Although it is unknown what sort of an attitude President Putin would display, it would be difficult to expect Moscow to immediately take a step on this subject today. The reason is the fact that the bureaucratic decision mechanism of Moscow still operates slowly.
But it is also a known fact that the promise of President Putin, who has become the only person able to speak authoritatively on a subject, would accelerate the mechanism.
In case the isolation of the TRNC is lifted with a UN Security Council decision, then not much importance would remain for the procedure brought for the obligation of Ankara's making a Customs Union agreement with the Greek Cypriot section. There would not be an obligation, such as recognizing the Greek Cypriot section in the period that would pass until Turkey realizes full membership with the EU.
Subtitle: An LNG terminal at Ceyhan
As for the files, which President Putin is expected to bring to the negotiation table: Moscow's interest is in the energy investments in Turkey.
At the head of these are the storage of natural gas under the Salt Lake, the natural gas distribution competitive biddings and building a terminal at Ceyhan, which would become an energy terminal that would liquefy natural gas and would facilitate the transport of LNG with ships. And the Turkish side considers the LNG terminal as a "Second Blue Stream miracle."
In conclusion, it can be said that the Ankara-Moscow relations are developing in a warmer environment."