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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-12-30

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.250/05 30.12.05

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat to President Papadopoulos: Change your policy.
  • [02] Talat said that there is nothing new in the proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriots regarding Ledra Street crossing check-point.
  • [03] The breakaway regime gave 44 thousand work permits in one year.
  • [04] 2,000 New Turkish Lira in the budget for the Compensation Committee.
  • [05] President Papadopoulos sent a present to Talat on the occasion of the New Year.
  • [06] Statement issued after the meeting of the National Security Council.
  • [07] Turkish Court decides not to prosecute Pamuk.
  • [08] High Court releases Van University rector pending trial.
  • [09] 'Crypto- Armenians' seen as threat in Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] The US Jewish lobbys interest in the Turkish minority in Europe.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat to President Papadopoulos: Change your policy

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30.12.05) reports under the above title that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat called on President Papadopoulos to change his policy.

    Saying that the President should see the Turkish Cypriots not as minority but equal to the Greek Cypriots and to digest the idea of power sharing with the Turkish Cypriots Talat claimed that if the President digests this then the Cyprus problem will be settled immediately.

    Talat also called on the international community to change its stance towards the Turkish Cypriots in accordance with the Turkish Cypriots change of stance at present.

    (MHY)

    [02] Talat said that there is nothing new in the proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriots regarding Ledra Street crossing check-point

    Illegal Bayrak television (29.12.05) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Mehmet Ali Talat alleged that there is nothing new in the proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriot side for the opening of a new gate at Lokmaci, (Ledra Street) as it was the 1963 ceasefire line - and not the 1974 line - that was taken as a basis for the proposals.

    Mr Talat accused the Greek Cypriot side of pushing things uphill by demanding that the Turkish Cypriot side pull back its side of the border to the line where the dividing wall existed before being demolished.

    He claimed that the current deadlock on the opening of a new crossing point at Lokmaci in the centre of Lefkosia was the result of the Greek Cypriot sides stubborn position.

    Mr Talat referred to the Greek Cypriot Sides latest proposals on Lokmaci and said that there is nothing new in them.

    Asked to comment on the Greek Cypriot sides declaration that it would never accept the opening of a crossing point at Lokmaci unless the footbridge built by the Turkish Cypriot side was dismantled, he said that the two issues should not be mixed.

    On one side there is a wall which prevents crossings, and on the other, there is a bridge ready to provide a clear passage for the persons he said, adding that the two phenomenons are so different that they cannot be compared.

    By now there should not be a dividing wall on the Greek Cypriot side he said, accusing the Republic of Cyprus of bringing nothing new as part of its proposals and of trying to create obstacles in the way of opening a crossing point in central Lefkosia.

    With their proposals, the Greek Cypriots are once again raising military issues and trying to create fresh disputes concerning Lokmaci, thus, preventing all attempts aimed at achieving a solution he alleged.

    Mr Talat also said that the Greek Cypriot proposals in connection with the Lokmac1 issue amounted to a call on the Turkish Cypriot side to delineate the border line in a way that would see the withdrawal of Turkish Cypriot forces to the ceasefire line drawn in 1963.

    1This clearly shows that the proposals are just aimed at preventing the opening of a crossing point in Lefkosia he claimed.

    [03] The breakaway regime gave 44 thousand work permits in one year

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (30.12.05) reports that the breakaway regime in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus gave around 44 thousand work permits in one year.

    As the paper writes the occupation regime gave work permit to 44 thousand 267 hundred persons in one year as a result of the immigration law which was put into force on the 1st of July 2005, aiming to take under control the foreign workers in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    According to data given by the self-styled ministry of labour, between December 2004 and November 2005, 37 thousand 421 persons started to work because they were given for the first time, work permit.

    The paper writes that it seems more work permits were given in the year 2005, compared to the last five years, and this can be understood when someone sees the number of the work permits given for the last five years.

    In addition, the number of the places of employment has been increased by up to 67% in one year, since in the year 2005, 3.036 new places of employment were registered, compared to 1.818 which were registered in the year 2004.

    C/S

    [04] 2,000 New Turkish Lira in the budget for the Compensation Committee

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (30/12/05), under the title The appropriation for the Compensation Committee is 2000 New Turkish Lira, reported that the self-styled Assembly completed yesterday its debate on the budget for the fiscal year 2006. The budget for the new fiscal year envisages 1 billion 444 million 624 thousand New Turkish Liras (NTL).

    According to the paper, 650, 757,582 NTL were approved from the budget for the self-styled Ministry of Finance, from which the amount of 2,000 YTL would be allocated as fund for the Compensation Committee. It is reported that this amount was approved because of the new law on compensation and return of property to the Greek Cypriots, which was enacted recently. At the initial stage, only the sum of 2,000 NTL were approved.

    (DPs)

    [05] President Papadopoulos sent a present to Talat on the occasion of the New Year

    All the Turkish Cypriot newspapers (30.12.05) report that Mr Tassos Papadopoulos, the President of the Republic of Cyprus, has sent a present to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, on the occasion of the New Year.

    As the papers report, inside the package President Papadopoulos sent to Mr Talat, there were chocolates, olive oil and various sweets.

    Mr Talat had also sent a present to President Papadopoulos on the 23rd of December.

    C/S

    [06] Statement issued after the meeting of the National Security Council

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.12.05) reported the following from Ankara:

    The National Security Council (MGK) convened on Thursday under the chairmanship of President Ahmet Necdet Sezer. The issues such as Iraq, fight against terrorism and internal migration were high on agenda of the meeting.

    A statement which was released after the meeting said: "The results of the referendum held in Iraq on October 15th over the new constitution and of the general elections on December 15th were evaluated. The MGK highlighted the importance of participation of the Sunni people in the general elections. It also emphasized that continuation of the political process with contributions of all sections of the Iraqi people will be beneficial."

    The statement noted that critical issues such as Kirkuk should be resolved by providing a social compromise.

    "We reiterate that protection of Iraq's territorial integrity and political unity is of great importance. Turkey will continue supporting Iraq in its efforts to ensure peace and stability and to complete the rebuilding process," it said.

    The statement stressed: "Measures to be implemented in order to maintain the unitary structure of our state and preserve the characteristics determined by the Constitution were discussed. Also, measures to be taken to eliminate separatist and terrorist threats targeting our national goals were evaluated. The MGK underlined the importance of cooperation and coordination among all institutions of the state for a successful and influential fight against such threats."

    "The MGK also reviewed measures taken to resolve economic and social cultural problems stemming from internal migration," the statement added.

    [07] Turkish Court decides not to prosecute Pamuk

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.12.05) reported the following from Istanbul:

    The Sisli Court Prosecutor has decided not to prosecute novelist Orhan Pamuk due to lack of grounds for legal action after an investigation into the claim that he had openly insulted the Turkish military.

    Conservative lawyers had asked prosecutors to file criminal charges against Pamuk for telling a German newspaper at the beginning of 2005 that the military establishment threatened Turkish democracy.

    Lawyers Union Board member Kemal Kerincsiz said today that he will oppose to today's court decision after getting notified officially.

    [08] High Court releases Van University rector pending trial

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (29.12.05) reported the following from Van:

    The High Criminal Court in eastern city of Van decided on Thursday to release Yuzuncu Yil University Rector Prof. Dr. Yucel Askin from prison.

    Taking into consideration that most of evidence were collected and all witnesses were listened to, the court decided to release Prof. Dr.Askin from prison. Askin and the other suspects will be tried without detention.

    During the trial process, Prof. Dr. Askin will not be able to travel abroad.

    Prof. Dr. Askin is accused of forgery and corruption in the tender for the purchase of medical equipment from Spanish Expansion firm, back in 1998.

    [09] 'Crypto- Armenians' seen as threat in Turkey

    Istanbul MILLI GAZETE newspaper (28.12.05) publishes the following report under the title: "The Crypto-Armenians among us":

    The descendants of the "Crypto-Armenians" who hid their identities and appeared to be Muslims in order to escape from the forced migration applied during the deportations imposed in 1915 are now returning to their true identities.

    It has been stated that Armenians who changed their religion to be ostensible Muslims in order to escape from the forced migration due to the deportation imposed by the Ottoman State in 1915, or else who were given to various families for adoption, succeeded in hiding their existence under this "secret identity" for many years. It is being claimed that there are currently 30 to 40 thousand "Crypto-Armenians" living in Turkey as Turks or Kurds.

    According to Professor Salim Cohce, who is known for his researches regarding the Armenians, the Crypto-Armenians appear to be Muslims but still maintain their Gregorian traditions. Cohce, stating that some studies have been carried out on these people in recent periods, points out that, in the near future, they are going to be used in order to realize the dreams of the Armenians.

    Cohce says that they identified over 3,500 Crypto-Armenians in fieldwork conducted in Malatya.

    Speaking with Aksiyon magazine, Cohce states that yet another interesting determination had been made in Tunceli. He stresses that the population records of two thousand people were taken to Aydin although they themselves did not emigrate, and that two years later, these records were modified to read "Muslim" rather than "Christian" in the religion category, and they were then taken back to Tunceli. Cohce states that the number of converts to Islam following the deportation was about 100 thousand.

    There are 40 thousand hidden Armenians

    According to a study entitled "Armenians in Turkey Today" [provided in English] written in 2002 by Dr Tessa Hofmann, who serves as an "expert witness" in the hearings of Turks of Armenian origin who apply for political asylum in Germany, there are "40 thousand hidden Armenians" in Turkey. But it is being seen clearly, in the numbers of people changing their religions, that, apart from certain exceptions, the Armenians who ostensibly converted to Islam in the past are now engaged in returning to their actual identities. While 2,630 people in Turkey changed their religions during the years 1916-2004, 2,172 of these consisted of those returning to their previous religions. Over 60 percent of those returning to their original religion, or 1,340 people, consisted of Armenians. Those changing their religions were largely registered in various provinces such as Istanbul, Diyarbakir, Adiyaman, Batman, Sivas, Tunceli, Malatya, Elazig, Kayseri, Mersin, and Mardin.

    Professor Salim Cohce explains that activities involving hidden and converted Armenians in Malatya increased after 1995, and that in 2003, some 120 persons of Armenian origin with Muslim names submitted a petition for the re-opening of the church at Cavusoglu.

    Cohce stresses that covert efforts are being made, via citizens of Armenian origin, to regain deed records and former properties. Cohce also claims that, during investigations conducted in Malatya, they identified "converts" [Turkish muhtedi] who had assumed the position of MHP [Nationalist Action Party] Provincial Chairman.

    Could be used in "Urban Terrorism"

    Cohce, indicating that there are also, among the converts, those who truly became Muslims and live accordingly, says that "The 'Crypto-' or 'secret' Armenians are those who only appear to be Muslim in identity. Since they have not to date been seen as a threat, they have not been monitored by the state. Also, they have manipulated their population records. For this reason, it is very difficult to determine their actual numbers."

    Stressing his belief that the Crypto-Armenians are going to constitute a danger, Cohce points as examples to the efforts made by Armenian groups regarding them, particularly in recent years. Cohce claims that "Efforts are being made to remind them of their identities. Financial assistance is being provided. I think that, just like the emergence of the PKK after ASALA [Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia], these people will be used for "urban terrorism" within Turkey in the post-PKK period. Such a formation could be brought about by 2010. Likewise, I believe that, by reminding them consciously of their Armenian identity, these people are in the future going to come before Turkey with demands for land and compensation."

    Maintain close contact with PKK

    Cohce, drawing attention to the close contact between the Crypto-Armenians and the PKK, says the following: "A meeting was held in 1980 at the Gulbenkian Foundation, which financed ASALA. It was decided to use the PKK as a "pawn" organization in order for Turkey's authority in the region to be weakened, and for its population to be reduced. The PKK's initial ability to form an effective lobby in Europe and the United States, and to get support, came about with the help of these circles. And the existence of individuals of Armenian origin within the PKK, and even the killing of a number of them, corroborates this. Likewise, the existence of 'Turks' among the founders and current leaders of the PKK is thought-provoking."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] The US Jewish lobbys interest in the Turkish minority in Europe

    Under the above title, The New Anatolian newspaper (30.12.05) publishes the following article by Zeynep Gurcanli:

    One of the main discussions last year in Turkey was whether or not the United States had held it up as a model for its Greater Middle East Initiative (GME).

    Initially, at the launch of the initiative, U.S. officials described Turkey as a model country for the target countries, the Muslim countries of the Middle East and North African regions with totalitarian or non-democratic regimes. But due to the strict refusal of the Turkish military and the request of the Turkish government, the U.S. administration found a formula whereby it would not call Turkey a model or target country but instead named it a regional partner.

    Despite this official denial of Ankara that it was a model, some policies of the U.S. administration signaled that the attitude of American officials of seeing Turkey as a model country had not in fact changed.

    Phase one: How to manage the religious affairs of Muslims?

    Matthew Bryza, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Europe and Eurasia, made a surprise visit to Turkeys Religious Affairs Directorate head Ali Bardakoglu during his contacts in Ankara in late August.

    Bryza tried to understand the operations of the directorate to use it as a model to prevent the alienation of Muslims from society in European countries. He discussed how to train Muslim clergymen, or imams, to fight extremism. "We need a partner in the Muslim world," he said after his contacts, adding that the U.S. wants to cooperate with the directorate to spread "tolerant faith" and "scientific learning" in Islam.

    Turkey's centralized religious affairs structure provides secularist control over mosques and imams. Some uncontrolled mosques and imams in Europe are seen as sources of extremism by European governments.

    Underlining that traditions provide a natural shield against extremism and prevent the alienation of people within often-changing societies, Bryza said that Turks have a 150-year historic foundation for backing the reforms.

    Second phase: Jewish-Turkish cooperation against discrimination

    The second area that inspired American to cooperate with the Turks seemed to be the struggle against growing discrimination trends within European societies.

    The American Jewish Committee (AJC) took the lead in this operation. The AJC will organize a trip for the representatives of the Turkish community in Germany on January 12-21 of the coming year.

    The participants of the trip seemed to be picked from organizations which are fighting anti-Semitism in Europe. But there are also Turkish journalists living and working in Germany within the group. The aim of the visit is to create an atmosphere of cooperation between the Turkish and Jewish communities against all kind of discrimination, especially anti-Semitism, according to AJC officials.

    The meaning of this visit could be interpreted as the expansion of Israeli-U.S. efforts to include Turkey within the front fighting the totalitarian regimes of Middle East towards new geographic areas, like Europe.

    This interesting visit seems to be the first step towards opening a channel of cooperation between the strong Jewish lobby in Israel and the growing Turkish lobby in Germany.

    /SK


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