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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-01-09

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.5/06 06-07-08-09.01.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish foreign Minister during a CNN interview.
  • [02] Abdullah Gul: The Europeans will not mortgage the EU´s future on 600,000 people.
  • [03] RADIKAL on Gul´s racist statements regarding the population of Cyprus.
  • [04] Cyprus was among the topics at the summit called by the Turkish military.
  • [05] Mehmet Ali Talat and Emine Erk announce that the Turkish Cypriots have filed their first lawsuit at the ECHR and that they are launching a counter attack on the issue of the properties.
  • [06] Mr Talat will meet Mr Blair and Mr Straw within a month.
  • [07]Honey and fish products were included in the Green Line regulation.
  • [08] Jack Straw to visit Ankara on January 25.
  • [09] Gulden Plumer Kucuk the new Turkish Cypriot representative at the missing persons´ committee.
  • [10] Feast of the Sacrifice begins on Tuesday.
  • [11] KIBRIS: History gushed out of Tremeseli´s House.
  • [12] Easy Jet will fly to and from Istanbul.
  • [13] Tourist agencies from Germany will visit the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [14] News reports that Avian Flu virus is spreading in Turkey.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [15] Press reports on the scenarios of how Turkey will exploit a possible US attack on Iran to legitimize its crimes in Cyprus.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Reference to Cyprus by the Turkish Foreign Minister during a CNN interview

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.06) reported from Ankara that the Turkish foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul was interviewed on private CNN-Turk television on Sunday.

    On Turkey´s EU course and Cyprus Mr Gul said:

    ''Our relations with the EU will continue in 2006 on three bases: reform process in political area, implementation of EU acquis and dialogue among societies. We may face some difficulties in regard to the Cyprus issue and the Customs Union additional protocol. Ups and downs always occur in relations, but we will maintain them''. ''The Greek Cypriot side which was not recognized by Turkey, is a member of the EU now. Turkey has three options: it can give up the Cyprus issue or its EU bid, or continue its struggle. We have been trying to practice the third option.''

    He added that it was quite difficult to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue with Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos.

    [02] Abdullah Gul: The Europeans will not mortgage the EU´s future on 600,000 people

    Istanbul YENI SAFAK newspaper (06.01.06) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, who was in Jerusalem to sign agreements related to the "Palestine Industrial Zone" that TOBB [Turkish Union of Chambers and Stock Exchanges] plans to open, expressed his views on various issues.

    On the possibility of Turkey´s accession talks being suspended because of Cyprus, Mr Gul is quoted to have said:

    Let someone else panic. Why should we worry about this? The Europeans will not mortgage the EU's future on 600,000 people. The future of our 70 million is the first thing we have to think about. The ideal solution in Cyprus is a bizonal livable Cyprus.

    [03] RADIKAL on Gul´s racist statements regarding the population of Cyprus

    Istanbul RADIKAL newspaper (06.01.06) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Abdullah Gul, made some important disclosures on some of the country's problems on his return from Israel.

    On Cyprus he said: In 2006 the government will, first, continue putting in place EU reforms and, second, will work for a feasible solution in Cyprus that both sides can accept. There is no question of cutting off negotiations [with the EU] because of Cyprus. Who can dismiss the future of Turkey's 70 million people with back of his hand? Conversely who can mortgage the future of the EU's 400 million people on a group of 600,000 (the population of Greek Cyprus)? We will stay our course even as we seek a resolution while protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [04] Cyprus was among the topics at the summit called by the Turkish military

    Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (06.01.06) reported that the military cautioned the government about reactionism at the summit that was convened at the Office of the Prime Minister yesterday at the request of the Office of the Chief of the General Staff. The soldiers criticized the recent change in regulations that makes it easier for graduates of vocational schools, including imam-hatip high schools, to enter universities and sent a message that "the change would create new problems." The meeting was attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of the General Staff Gen Hilmi Ozkok, and ministers who are members of the National Security Council [MGK]. During the meeting the soldiers pointed out that reactionary activities are continuing and that illegal Koranic courses continue to exist and underscored that the checks conducted by the Religious Affairs Directorate [DIB] and the Ministry of National Education have not produced the desired results. The soldiers demanded that the effectiveness of the DIB be improved.

    Charging that certain agencies or their directors have emboldened reactionary circles with their actions and statements, the soldiers noted that the recent controversial changes in the Bylaws of the Open Education High School have the potential to create new problems.

    The decisions of municipalities controlled by the Justice and Development Party and some provincial general assemblies to restrict establishments serving alcohol to certain areas were also discussed at the meeting. On this issue, which did not come up for discussion under a formal heading on the agenda, the soldiers insinuated: "Turkey's image is perceived in a negative light overseas. Is there a problem of miscommunication here?" Erdogan responded that the local governments took their decisions on the basis of legislation that has been in effect for many years and that his government will not allow any measures that may harm Turkey's image.

    Scenarios that may develop in the event of a US troop withdrawal from Iraq were also discussed at the meeting. The participants at the meeting commented on the possibility that such a move could trigger the dissolution of Iraq. US pressure on Iran was also discussed. The participants noted that the United States has focused on this issue emphatically in its contacts with Turkey and underscored that Turkey must maintain its balanced and impartial policy in this matter.

    Subtitle: Standing strong in Cyprus

    Erdogan said: "The EU is pressuring us through various channels to recognize the Greek Cypriot administration and to sign the Additional Protocol. However opening [Turkish] sea and air ports [to Greek Cypriot carriers] will be out of the question as long as the embargo against the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] is not lifted and no assurances are given with regard to our sensitivities." The soldiers' response was: "We must stand strong."

    During the meeting Ozkok pointed out that Air Force pilots are rapidly moving to the private sector and that measures need to be taken to stop this trend. Within this framework a request for special compensation for flying personnel was submitted to the government. The prime minister issued instructions for a review of this matter which was earlier raised by the Air Forces Command.

    Questions have been raised over why the meeting was held in the Office of the Prime Minister at the request of the Chief of the General Staff and only five days after the MGK meeting on 29 December. Sources have pointed out that the MGK meeting was held in a formal environment within the bounds of certain rules and that this restricted the "free discussion" portion of the meeting. One minister who attended the meeting said: "This meeting was organized so that everything could be discussed in a freer environment where participants could speak without waiting for their turn or having to comply with rules. Indeed the meeting proceeded in a very relaxed atmosphere of informal conversation. The soldiers and the civilians engaged in mutual dialog. It was a very friendly meeting."

    The military wing inquired why amendments to the Law on Combating Terrorism are taking so long. It added: "Terrorist incidents in the region are escalating with the approach of the spring season. This law must be enacted without delay so that we will be prepared."

    Erdogan responded that the bill is in the Office of the Prime Minister. He said: "We are waiting for the views of various agencies. There is some sensitivity regarding freedoms. The bill will soon be given its final form even as we take into account our commitments to the EU." Citing the recent tough measures taken in Britain Ozkok said: "The EU should test its own practices. They take their own measures but they oppose ours." Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek spoke in support of Ozkok.

    The military wing also brought up the controversy that has surfaced with regard to amendments to Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and sent the message: "Any steps related to freedom of thought must not help the politicization of the PKK." The soldiers also said that some developments in Semdinli have been misreported to the public.

    [05] Mehmet Ali Talat and Emine Erk announce that the Turkish Cypriots have filed their first lawsuit at the ECHR and that they are launching a counter attack on the issue of the properties

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.01.06) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has announced that the Turkish Cypriots have filed their first lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the issue of the properties and that they will also file lawsuits on the issues of the missing persons, the martyrs and the babies who were killed.

    Mr Talat replied to questions of journalists on the AKIS program of the illegal Bayrak television and said: We shall face the attacks made on legal ground and get to counter attack.

    Arguing that the Turkish Cypriots are very strong in the foreign policy, Mr Talat alleged the following: The Greek Cypriots intent to kill the Annan Plan. If they succeed this, however, let no one expect from us to begin from a point which is

    behind the Annan Plan at a new negotiations process. Then, we shall re-examine our position and bring everything onto the table.

    Mr Talat expressed the opinion that their pre-2004 policy has changed and claimed: If a solution was reached, all the elements of this policy would have been erased and thrown away, but because no solution was reached certain elements of that policy have been transferred into our new policy.

    Mr Talat said that the issues on which the Turkish Cypriots will not give concessions at the negotiating process are the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people, the bi-zonality, the security and the guarantees of Turkey. The solution, he added, could be found only on the basis of two equal states.

    Mr Talat noted that the form of the issue of the global exchange of properties and the compensations, which had been one of the elements of the pre-2004 policy of the Turkish Cypriots, has now changed because of the individual rights.

    Mr Talat argued that the international law changes very slowly and that is why on the Greek Cypriot refugee Myra Xenides - Aresti case the ECHR has not issued the same decision as on the Titina Loizidou case. He added: The conditions have changed. The conditions existing during the Loizidou case do not exist today. A political decision was taken on the Loizidou (case), because during those days the Turkish side was seen by the world as the side which did not want the solution and which sitting on the Greek Cypriot properties said that the Greek Cypriots have no rights and did not want the solution.

    He noted that the Turkish Cypriots are making steps in the direction of acquiring in the field of law as well the political superiority they internationally have. He alleged that the Greek Cypriot leadership will approach the solution in case it sees that it began to lose its superiority in the legal field, when the Aresti case and similar cases are transferred from the ECHR to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Mr Talat said that in cooperation with some lawyers they are trying on the one hand to face the legal attacks and on the other hand to choose pilot cases and get into counter attack. He noted that the first lawsuit has been filed at the ECHR by a Turkish Cypriot on the issue of the properties. He did not give any details on the issue. He was only content with saying that the case is related to the property of a Turkish Cypriot in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus. On this property an electrical power plant was built.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (07.01.06) reports that lawyer Emine Erk, chairman of the so-called Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation, has announced that on 30 December 2005 they filed a lawsuit at the ECHR on behalf of a Turkish Cypriot named Erdogan Durmus, from Mari village (Larnaca district), in the property of whose an electricity power plant was built.

    Mrs Erk alleged that the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not give the chance for local remedies, as the proprietorship rights are postponed for the period after the solution with the law regarding the Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas of the Republic. She noted that many applications have been made to the Foundation regarding Turkish Cypriot properties which are in the free areas of the Republic and added that they would evaluate them within the measures of their capabilities.

    I/Ts.

    [06] Mr Talat will meet Mr Blair and Mr Straw within a month

    According to Turkish Cypriot weekly LONDRA TOPLUM POSTASI newspaper (05.01.06), Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat will visit London at the end of January or in the middle of February. During his visit to London, he will hold talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the paper reported.

    British officials announced that Mr Talat would certainly be invited and added that this invitation was not extended before so as not to be accused of favouring the Turkish side during their EU term-presidency.

    According to diplomatic observers, Britain will send an official invitation to Mr Talat in the coming days.

    Officials at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, in a statement to the CNN Turk channel, said Cyprus would be the most important problem that Turkey would face in 2006.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.01.06) reported that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat announced that he would meet with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on the 25th of this month, during Mr Straws visit to Cyprus.

    Replying a question during a reception regarding this issue, Mr Talat said that the meeting was his request to Mr Straw and that it has been accepted.

    Meanwhile, Mr Straw will also travel to Turkey towards the end of January to discuss - among other topics the Cyprus issue, Iran, Turkeys EU accession process and bilateral relations between Ankara and London.

    (DPs)

    [07] Honey and fish products were included in the Green Line regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRS newspaper (09.01.06) reports that the dynamic efforts made on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (TCCC), towards the European Union have had good result and honey as well as fish products were included in the Green Line Regulation.

    The TCCC continues its efforts so that products such as citrus fruits and potatoes to be also included in the Green Line Regulation.

    In order for fresh fish to be sold in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus, the boats used for fishing them must be registered in the TCCC and no more than 24 hours must have passed from the time that the fish were caught. In addition, a certificate from the TCCC is needed for the fish to be sold to the free areas. The fish can be sold to shops and restaurants.

    As regards the honey, it can be sold in bulk or in packages. The producers must also have a certificate from the TCCC.

    (C/S)

    [08] Jack Straw to visit Ankara on January 25

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.01.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey will continue to host dignitaries in January, sources said on Friday.

    According to these sources, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will be in Ankara on January 9th, while Tajik President Emomali Rahmanov will visit Turkey on January 19th.

    After meeting Greek Cypriot representatives and Turkish Cypriot officials in Cyprus, British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Jack Straw is scheduled to visit Ankara on January 25th. Straw will meet Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and representatives of Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) during his stay in Turkey.

    On the other hand, FM Gul, who made his first abroad visit of this year to Israel and Palestine, is expected to go to Kazakhstan on January 10th to participate in the oath taking ceremony of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who has been re-elected to this post for seven years

    Gul will fly to Brazil on January 17th, and visit capital Brasilia, and Brazilian cities of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

    Considering the year 2006 as the year to open to the continent of America, Turkish Foreign Ministry aims to enhance its political, economic and trade relations with Latin American countries within the framework of the Latin America Action Plan, put into effect in 1998.

    Meanwhile, the same sources said that U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might visit Ankara, but noted that the definite date of this working trip was immediately unknown.

    [09] Gulden Plumer Kucuk the new Turkish Cypriot representative at the missing persons´ committee

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.06) broadcast the following:

    Gulden Plumer Kucuk has been appointed as the new Turkish Cypriot representative at the Cyprus Missing Persons Committee.

    Ms Kucuk replaces Rustem Tatar who retired from the job on the 1st of January at the end of a 22-year service.

    Ms Kucuk was already a member of the Turkish Cypriot team at the Committee.

    [10] Feast of the Sacrifice begins on Tuesday

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.06) broadcast that the four-day Feast of the Sacrifice, the Moslem religious festival is starting on Tuesday.

    The Turkish Cypriots will enjoy a nine-day holiday, as the four-day bayram is extended to nine days as tomorrow was declared a day-off.

    This means that all services will be kept closed until the 16th of January in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus.

    [11] KIBRIS: History gushed out of Tremeseli´s House

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (06.01.06) reports under the above title that antiquities and live ammunition were found in a house belonging to Mehmet Ali Ilkman (70) alias Tremeseli.

    The paper reports that the self-styled police had raided Mehmet Ali Ilkman´s house in the occupied Nicosia on 04.01.06 in the evening, and found hundreds of antiquities, live ammunition, one hunting shotgun and one air shotgun.

    The self-styled police had arrested Mehmet Ali Ilkman (70) and Zeki Sezener, a university student and placed them under custody.

    KIBRIS reports that police raided the house around 19.30 hours in the evening and remained there until midnight. During the search the self-styled police found around 500 pieces of antiquities, live ammunition and two shotguns.

    KIBRIS further reports that when police found out that Ilkman had sold four antique books and two carpets to Zeki Sezener, they raided Sezener´s house as well and found the sold items in his possession. Police had arrested Sezener as well.

    Among the antiques there are a number of amphorae, two hand written fiats issued by Ottoman Sultans, 201 church books most of them hand written belonging to the period 1699-1700, 3 carved wooden doors, 10 mint, carpets, dagger with sultan´s signature on it, belt used by priests, decorated crosses, decorated metal pieces, a statuette of Jesus, church items, two broken metal ring pieces, two copper trays and 78 live ammunition of different calibers.

    The paper reports that items found in Ilkman´s possession are valuable antique pieces.

    Both men were given three days of remand order.

    Moreover KIBRIS (08.01.06) reports that the self-styled court set free Mehmet Ali Ilkman on bail, who signed a personal guarantee for 50 thousand New Turkish Lira (NTL) and two people had signed as guarantors a paper for 25 thousand (NTL) that he will appear at the trial.

    On the other hand, Zeki Sezener who was unable to find two guarantors, was sent to jail until he finds guarantors or remain under arrest until the trial day.

    KIBRIS reports that self-styled police continue to assess the value of the antiques.

    [12] Easy Jet will fly to and from Istanbul

    Turkish Cypriot weekly LONDRA TOPLUM POSTASI newspaper (05.01.06) reported that UK-based airline Easy Jet owned by British-Cypriot Stelios Hadjioannou will start flights to and from Istanbul, in Turkey. At the first stage, the flights will be between German and Istanbul.

    [13] Tourist agencies from Germany will visit the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (08.01.06) reported that travel agents from Germany will visit the TRNC (occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus) on the 18th of January as guests of the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airways (KTHY).

    The Director of illegal KTHY, Mr Ahmet Derya, said the travel agents will remain in the occupied territories of the Republic of Cyprus until the 21st of January and will cooperate with local agents and hotel owners. Within this framework, a workshop would be organized on Thursday, January 19th at the Merit Crystal Cove hotel.

    [14] News reports that Avian Flu virus is spreading in Turkey

    Istanbul NTV television (08.01.06) broadcast the following:

    Following the case of avian flu that led to the deaths of three people in Van, reports of suspicious poultry deaths are coming from all over the country. The avian flu virus has been identified in dead chickens in three villages in Zonguldak and Yozgat. A number of districts are under quarantine...

    Yozgat Governor Gokhan Sozer has announced that the avian influenza virus has been identified in dead poultry in the village of Altilizayim Gecidi, in the district of Akdagmadeni. The avian flu virus has also been identified in the villages of Comranli and Akyamac, in the Caycuma district of Zonguldak. Both villages have been put under quarantine.

    After avian flu was encountered in two wild ducks found dead in Nallihan, the sale of live poultry has been prohibited in Ankara. Chickens in villages are to be held in closed areas as a precautionary measure.

    Following three separate tip-offs in the Golbasi district of Ankara, fowl which appeared to be diseased have been taken for study on suspicion of avian flu.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [15] Press reports on the scenarios of how Turkey will exploit a possible US attack on Iran to legitimize its crimes in Cyprus

    Istanbul MILLI GAZETE newspaper (05.01.06) publishes the following commentary by Hasan Unal under the title: "When and how they will strike at Iran":

    There is a strong possibility that the United States may launch an air strike on

    its own or together with Israel against Iran in 2006. Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad's calls for the eradication of Israel or its move to Europe are helping to prepare Western public opinion for a scenario of action against this country.

    There are suspicions that Iran's work on obtaining nuclear weapons is quite advanced. It is even alleged that Iran already owns nuclear weapons it has not yet tested. It is also possible that it might have obtained untested nuclear bombs. American and Israeli circles believe that this country has learned a lesson from the Israeli air attack on Iraq's nuclear facilities. Consequently Iran has built more than one facility that performs the same function and has spread them across different parts of the country instead of grouping them together in the same location. The purpose of this is to prevent them from being knocked out of operation by an air attack. Iran may have even built some facilities underground or in areas where there are military facilities. This way it can escape the inspections of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) because the IAEA can inspect only civilian areas. Although the United States is stuck in a quagmire in Iraq it feels it is obligated to launch an air attack against Iran because a nuclear Iran would have the capability to influence the political structure of the region radically.

    It would be difficult to split Iraq in the presence of a nuclear Iran. The Arab state in Iraq would be fully under the influence of Iran. It would not be so easy for countries like Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and even Saudi Arabia to maintain close relations with Washington. The prospects of pushing and shoving Syria would diminish. An Iran that already has net foreign currency reserves of $150 billion to $200 billion and that earns more than $90 billion a year from its oil exports would have a dramatic impact on the politics of the region if it also becomes a nuclear power.

    There is no doubt that Israel and therefore the United States are most upset with this situation. However the quagmire in which the United States is stuck in Iraq and its scandalous behavior in that country have made it virtually impossible for it to stir unrest within Iran. On the contrary it may be said that the events in Iraq have united Iran. American actions in Iraq have played a role in one way or another in Ahmadi-Nejad's election as president in Iran.

    As the United States and/or Israel prepare and plan to act against Iran, the question of whether Turkey will support Washington gains importance. It is true that in the medium term there may be reasons for Ankara to be perturbed by Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons. However, even if there are reasons, it is hard to say that it would be right to give them high priority. Nevertheless it is significant that the Turkish ambassador in Washington has expressed Turkey's anxiety over this issue. At a time when Foreign Minister Gul has declared that Turkey cannot be used against Iran directly or indirectly, does the articulation of this issue by senior bureaucrat mean that there is a secret agreement with the United States?

    We do not know these. What we know is that it would be very hard for the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government to stray from Washington's course. At a time when the country's high current account deficit is financed entirely by hot money and when most of this hot money comes or is brought from the United States, the AKP government may not be able to say "no" to Washington even if it wants to. Consequently Iran must be expected to contribute to scenarios that would provide relief to Turkey and to bolster the AKP indirectly.

    For example if Iran declared that it will recognize the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]--even though the AKP government has not requested this--it would win the support of the Turkish people and would make it impossible for the AKP government to side with the United States. Statements by Iranian officials to the effect that a Kurdish state in Iraq will not be allowed and cooperation with Turkey in that direction would similarly win the support of the Turkish people. The Tehran administration would make a mistake if it acts on the basis of the assurances it hears in the whispers of the AKP government and the assumption that Turkey will not side with the United States. It should think more comprehensively.

    /SK


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