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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-05-12

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.88/05 12.05.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkey will not attend an EU meeting to be held in Cyprus
  • [02] Gul criticizes the Turkish Cypriots who got passport of the Republic of Cyprus; Turkish Cypriot papers argue that his statements "support the status quo"
  • [03] Serdar Denktas says the Turkish Cypriots will appeal to the ECHR on the issue of the properties. He compares the Greek Cypriot refugees to the Turks and foreigners who usurp the properties of the victims of the Turkish invasion.
  • [04] U.S. Congress delegation to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [05] The announcement of the government of Cyprus to open a Turkish school in Limassol caused joy to the Turkish Cypriots
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [06] Turkey was warned one year ago that it would pay the price for the usurpation of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties.
  • [07] Columnist of MILLIYET, Baykal and Denktas assess the Moscow meeting between President Papadopoulos and Premier Erdogan

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkey will not attend an EU meeting to be held in Cyprus

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (10.05.05) publishes the following report under the title "Crisis about Cyprus at the Customs Summit":

    "Turkey has reacted to the fact that the EU customs directors' meeting will be held in the Greek Cypriot Administration. Ankara has decided not to send a representative to the meeting. The fact that the Greek Cypriot Administration will host the EU customs directors' meeting that will be held with the participation of EU member and candidate countries has caused a crisis. Turkey has decided not to send a representative to the meeting.

    Subtitle: 'We Do Not Recognize'

    Despite the fact that Turkey sends a representative to the EU meetings every year, it has decided not to attend the meeting that will be held in Paphos on 12-13 May due to the fact that it does not officially recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration. The Customs Undersecretariat reported via the Foreign Ministry that it will not be able to attend the meeting due to the problems experienced in Cyprus.

    The customs directors of Bulgaria and Romania, which signed the EU Accession Agreement on 25 April, were also invited to the EU customs directors meeting, during which issues related to customs services will be taken up and problems experienced at the customs will be laid on the table.

    Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot News Agency described the meeting as the Turkey-EU customs directors meeting. The Greek Cypriot press announced that the meeting that will be hosted by the Greek Cypriot Administration will be held between the EU countries and Turkey.

    Subtitle: 'Quite Normal'

    Explaining that the meeting is held in a different country every year, EU officials noted that "Cyprus applied for hosting the meeting this year and that the EU gave a positive answer to this request". Recalling that Cyprus is an EU member, EU officials underlined that it is "quite normal" to hold the meeting in Cyprus. The meeting aims to overcome the problems related to customs services and to ensure that there is harmony between the countries in this regard. Drawing attention to the high level of the meeting's technical dimension, the officials said: "Turkey is not sending a representative to this meeting for reasons that are known to all of us. It will therefore be very wrong to reflect this as a diplomatic or political crisis. At least this is not the way we perceive this issue. We do not believe that there is such an atmosphere in Ankara".

    [02] Gul criticizes the Turkish Cypriots who got passport of the Republic of Cyprus; Turkish Cypriot papers argue that his statements "support the status quo"

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (12.05.05) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Abdullah Gul has criticized the Turkish Cypriots who get hold of passports of the Republic of Cyprus. During a meeting he had yesterday with the European Commissioner for Enlargement, Olli Rehn, Mr Gul replied to a question regarding the cases filed against foreigners and Turkish Cypriots who usurp Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied by Turkey part of Cyprus.

    The Turkish Minister related the issue with the Turkish Cypriots getting passports of the Republic of Cyprus in order to benefit from EU accession and said that "the TRNC citizens should not become Greek Cypriot citizens". "You see the dimensions this citizenship has reached", he noted.

    Mr Gul said:

    "The TRNC citizens must not become citizens of the other side. You all see to what dimensions this citizenship has reached. This is why we are exerting efforts for finding a lasting solution in Cyprus. If we do not exert efforts for a lasting solution and if we consider this issue as being solved, our citizens will go and take Greek Cypriot passport in order to travel to Europe without visa. You cannot protect it by force. Therefore we have to struggle for a lasting solution. ."

    Mr Gul expressed the opinion that the Turkish Cypriots must "support their national values" and added: "Not everything is money. This has been neglected a lot until today. We hope that it will not be neglected from now on. Otherwise, for some facilities even the children of persons you do not expect get a green passport. .".

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (12.05.05) publishes Mr Gul's statements under the banner front-page title "A statement that hurts by Gul".

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRISLI newspaper (12.05.05) uses the title "Lesson 'supporting the status quo' from Gul on the passports". The paper's editor-in-chief Dogan Harman points out that Mr Gul "is making heroisms" and stresses that his statements were wrong. Mr Harman wonders whether or not there is a new policy behind Mr Gul's statements.

    Mr Harman notes, inter alia, the following:

    ".However, in fact Turkey is angry at us because it knows that it will have more headaches from these property cases. In the end Turkey will be considered responsible for a great part of the territory here, because title-deeds for these territories have been given to our citizens with origin from Turkey, without anything in return. In the end of the day Turkey will have to pay the price for this! And Mr Gul will then see that the fact that these citizens have not taken Greek Cypriot passport will not rescue them".

    [03] Serdar Denktas says the Turkish Cypriots will appeal to the ECHR on the issue of the properties. He compares the Greek Cypriot refugees to the Turks and foreigners who usurp the properties of the victims of the Turkish invasion.

    Under the banner front-page title "it is time for appealing to the ECHR"! Turkish Cypriot KIBRISLI newspaper (12.05.05) reports that commenting on the arrest warrants against foreigners and Turkish Cypriots who usurp Greek Cypriot properties occupied by Turkey, Serdar Denktas, so-called deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs of the occupation regime, has said that the Government of the Republic of Cyprus will have to arrest Greek Cypriot refugees who live in Turkish Cypriot houses in the free areas of the Republic.

    "If the Greek Cypriot courts make a discrimination on this issue we shall appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)", he said in statements to KIBRISLI and added that in case the Larnaca District Court decides that it has the authority to try Huseyin Caginer, the Turkish Cypriot who turned a Greek Cypriot house in occupied Famagusta into a restaurant, then the Turkish Cypriot side will go to the Court of Appeals and if it does not get the result it wants it will go to the ECHR.

    "That is, we are beginning an international legal struggle. We have very powerful lawyers, the names of whose I do not wish right now to reveal. We shall definitely succeed", he noted.

    Meanwhile, KIBRISLI writes that in statements to illegal BAYRAK television, Mr Denktas alleged that sometimes the Government of the Republic of Cyprus forgets that it is a member of the EU and claimed that "it will be forced one day to issue arrest warrants for Greek Cypriots who live in Turkish Cypriot houses".

    [04] U.S. Congress delegation to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (internet version, 12/05/05) reports that a delegation from the U.S. Congress will pay a courtesy visit to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, to congratulate him for his "election" victory.

    MILLIYET's Washington correspondent Yasemin Congar reports that the U.S. Congress delegation will pay a courtesy visit at the end of this month and will congratulate Talat for his "election" victory and for pro-solution stance.

    The Co-chairman of the Turkish Friendship Group at the House of Representatives, Robert Wexler, has said that a similar visit to the visit realized earlier by the US businessmen to the occupied area, is being planned within the Congress body, on 30 May, which coincides with the Martyrs Memorial Day holiday.

    Subtitle: They are hesitant of Greek Cypriot lobby

    Wexler made this statement at the sub-committee for Europe and Increasing Threats of the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives, during a debate on Turkey. Ms Congar adds that Mr Wexler avoided answering questions to him by journalists and he only said: "I will only go to Ankara".

    However, adds Ms Congar: "Circles close to Wexler have said that the delegation, which will be made up of people from the Turkish Friendship Group of the House of Representatives, has planned to visit the TRNC. However, they are hesitant to announce it officially because of the Greek Cypriot lobby's attempt to prevent it".

    [05] The announcement of the government of Cyprus to open a Turkish school in Limassol caused joy to the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (12/05/05) reports that the announcement of the government of the Republic of Cyprus to open a Turkish school in Limassol caused contentment to the Turkish Cypriots, who live in Limassol.

    The Turkish Cypriot families in Limassol proposed a particular building to be transformed to a school, which now is used as a coffee-shop with the name "Bingo" and used to be the former Turkish Cypriot school "Sedat Simavi". They also suggested that the curriculum be the same as the one that is taught in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the teachers to be Turkish Cypriots.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [06] Turkey was warned one year ago that it would pay the price for the usurpation of the occupied Greek Cypriot properties.

    Metin Munir, columnist in Turkish mainland Vatan newspaper on 25 August 2004 published the following commentary, under the title: "Turkey will pay the price for the constructions in the TRNC":

    "If you come to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus these days you will not come across an island, you will see a resort. In the heat of August workers, the majority of whom were transported from Turkey, are incessantly building holiday homes, especially in the area of Kyrenia.

    I believe that no country of the Mediterranean basin has experienced such feverish construction in such a short period. The houses, most of which are sold before the project starts, are bought almost entirely by foreigners who wish to own a holiday or retirement dwelling.

    Compared to one year ago the purchases of immovable properties increased by five times in 2002 reaching 290 thousand square meters. This number was doubled in 2003 reaching 613 thousand square meters. The British are 80% of the buyers and the rest German, Israelis and Turkish Republic citizens.

    The construction sector set a record in the growth rate of the TRNC economy. According to information from a Cypriot banker friend of mine in the last 12 months two billion dollars were transferred in the accounts of property development companies in the TRNC from abroad.

    My friend said: "To our bank alone for a year now 500,000 pounds sterling come every week". If we consider that the total exports of the TRNC do not exceed 30 million pounds sterling then we understand better the size of these sums.

    From the political point of view this construction may render impossible the solution, which already is difficult. Because the buildings are erected almost entirely in land left behind by Greek Cypriots who fled to the South in 1974.

    By accepting the decisions of various international courts and the Annan plan the Turkish side accepted that the properties of the Greek Cypriots in the TRNC do not belong to the Turks.

    Sooner or later the Greek Cypriots will demand through international courts the equivalent of their properties and they will get it. The day the invoice comes it will be put before Turkey which watches the building activities unmoved but in fact indirectly encourages them.

    Turkey cannot escape the responsibility because all the property sales to foreigners are one by one sold with the approval of the TRNC Council of Ministers. Since Turkey supports and holds the TRNC on its feet the international law holds Turkey responsible for the legal and executive actions there.

    How many times the properties of the Greek Cypriots change hand and who is the last owner are not at all important. The right of the holder of the title deed of an immovable property cannot be eliminated if that property changes hand through illegal means."

    Mr Metin Munir covers the issue of the sale to foreigners of the stolen Greek Cypriot properties in his column in Vatan on 26/08/04 as well.

    Mr Metin Munir, inter alia, writes the following:

    "A large portion of the 37% of the island on which the TRNC is founded are properties of the Greek Cypriots.

    With the encouragement of Turkey these properties were distributed to Turkish Cypriots and Turks who came from Turkey after the 1974 operation.

    This distribution was illegal. According to the international law the right of the Greek Cypriots, who abandoned their homes after the 1974 operation, over their properties is still valid.

    Nothing changes the legal status of the Greek Cypriot properties before the international law in spite of the fact that they deserved the tragedy of 1974, the Turkish Cypriots abandoned properties in the South and the Turkish Cypriots accepted the Annan plan while the Greeks rejected it".

    The columnist goes on stressing that from information he possesses the so-called Council of Ministers of Mr Mehmet Ali Talat proceeds without delay and obstacles approving the sale of Greek Cypriot properties to foreigners but for the properties belonging to Turkish Cypriots the approach is different so that Turkish Cypriot properties are not sold to foreigners.

    Mr Munir repeats that the real owners and proprietors of the Greek Cypriot houses and land are the holders of the original title deeds, that the title deeds given by the occupation regime are illegal and concludes:

    "Turkey, which recognizes the European Courts and wishes to start accession negotiations with the EU next year, cannot be cleared of any political or legal responsibility.

    While the Turkish Cypriots are selling the properties getting rich, Turkey is buying a very big headache. Responsible for the Greek Cypriot properties is not the TRNC - nobody recognizes it - but Turkey.

    For this reason it will be to the benefit of Ankara to re-examine the building rush in the island."

    [07] Columnist of MILLIYET, Baykal and Denktas assess the Moscow meeting between President Papadopoulos and Premier Erdogan

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (11.05.05) publishes the following commentary by Fikret Bila under the title "The significance of the Erdogan-Papadopoulos meeting":

    "Prime Minister Erdogan said before the Northern Cyprus presidential elections that 'After 17 April, Papadopoulos will meet with Mehmet Ali Talat.' But before 'TRNC President' Mehmet Ali Talat, Prime Minister Erdogan met with Papadopoulos. Erdogan, who during his Moscow visit held a three-way meeting with United Nations Secretary - General [Kofi] Annan and Greek Cypriot Administration leader Papadopoulos, announced that he had gotten positive signals from the Greek Cypriot leader in terms of resuming negotiations.

    Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with Papadopoulos had a different significance than his meetings with other leaders...

    Since Turkey does not recognize Southern Cyprus, it has to date not seen the Greek Cypriot leaders and administrations as people to be dealt with. While Turkish prime ministers have accepted the prime ministers of Greece as counterparts, the leaders of the 'TRNC' have been the counterparts of the Greek Cypriot administration.

    It was only possible for the prime minister of Turkey to meet with the Greek Cypriot leader in four-party or five-party meetings organized via the UN.

    And Prime Minister Erdogan had also continued this approach of Turkey and the 'TRNC', as well as these same criteria for acceptance as counterparts.

    But in Moscow, this approach, or tradition, was departed from.

    For Papadopoulos, who had said after entering the EU that 'From now on, our collocutor is Turkey', to meet with Prime Minister Erdogan without 'TRNC President' Talat being present, thus amounts to a first step in this context.

    Subtitle: Baykal: "He is getting us used to it"

    Prime Minister Erdogan's meeting with Papadopoulos has also drawn a reaction from Republican People's Party (RPP) leader [Deniz] Baykal. Baykal, in our conversation yesterday, said that Erdogan's acceptance of Papadopoulos was a gesture to get people used to the idea of recognizing Southern Cyprus. The RPP leader made the following assessment:

    'Prime Minister Erdogan's opposite number is the Prime Minister of Greece, [Costas] Karamanlis. And Papadopoulos' counterpart is 'TRNC' President Mehmet Ali Talat. Papadopoulos had said that his opposite number was not the 'TRNC', but Turkey. Because he does not recognize the 'TRNC', and considers it void. And Turkey does not recognize Southern Cyprus. Now, Prime Minister Erdogan, by having this meeting in Moscow, has shown Papadopoulos as being in the right. He has given his claim validity. He has departed from the approach and the level of equivalency that Turkey, the Foreign Ministry, and the 'TRNC' have maintained steadfastly. The Prime Minister of Turkey takes Papadopoulos as a collocutor and meets with him, and says that there was a positive atmosphere. And Papadopoulos looks down on the Republic of Turkey to the extent of saying that 'There was no such atmosphere; Erdogan has exaggerated.' This is unacceptable. This behaviour by the Prime Minister is an exercise to get us used to the idea of recognizing Southern Cyprus.'

    Subtitle: 'They used to wait at the door'

    Former 'TRNC President' Rauf Denktas also said that he disapproved of the Erdogan-Papadopoulos meeting, saying "Papadopoulos will from now on resist by saying 'My counterpart is not Talat, but Erdogan.'"

    Denktas, stating that he had for a long time paid great attention to the question of the level of his collocutors, provided the following information regarding past practices:

    'In the past, the Greek Cypriot leaders used to chase after the Turkish Prime Minister in order to meet with him. They would try to act as if they had just encountered him as a coincidence, and would try to shake his hand. For this purpose, they used to wait at the elevator doors at international conferences. Even if they shook hands in passing as if it were an accidental encounter, they used this as propaganda in the Greek Cypriot sector, and portrayed it as if the Turkish Prime Minister had accepted them as counterparts and spoken with them. They used to look for [former Turkish Prime Ministers Suleyman] Demirel and [Bulent] Ecevit, and tried to run into them 'by chance'. Both the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the 'TRNC' always paid attention to this. They never sat together with Greek Cypriot leaders unless the leader of the 'TRNC' and the Greek Prime Minister were there. And this was the right thing to do."


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