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

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.104/06 01.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Lavrov and Gul met in Ankara.
  • [02] Namik Tan shares Ercakica´s position on Annan´s letter to Talat.
  • [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies the news that the additional Protocol will be sent to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) for approval.
  • [04] The High Level Contact Group is to visit the occupied area.
  • [05] Ferdi Sabit Soyer assessed the latest developments at the end of his contacts in Ankara.
  • [06] EU Commission official Mr Francois Begeot: Screening on Transport to start on 26 June.
  • [07] Statement by the Cyprus Turkish Municipalities Union.
  • [08] In five months 162 illegal immigrants arrived in the occupied areas.
  • [09] Ali Erel to recourse to the European court of Human Rights.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses how Turkey will use the purchase of new generation warplanes in its economic diplomacy strategy.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Lavrov and Gul met in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    The Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of Russia, who is currently in Turkey on an official visit, met Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Wednesday.

    The Cyprus issue, Iran's nuclear activities and several other issues were high on the agenda of the meeting.

    Lavrov stressed that the Cyprus issue should be resolved under the roof of the United Nations. He said that they were waiting for United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan's report about the Cyprus issue.

    Stressing that Russia supported constructive initiatives within the framework of the United Nations, Lavrov said that a delegation of the Russian Chamber of Industry and Commerce paid a visit to the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus´ (`TRNC´), and he proposed that a `TRNC´ delegation should visit Russia.

    Referring to Iran's nuclear activities, Lavrov highlighted the importance of Turkey's supporting the package to be accepted at a meeting of five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and Germany in Vienna tomorrow.

    He stressed that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic ways without use of force.

    Lavrov also stressed that Russia attached importance to Iraq's territorial integrity.

    Gul and Lavrov noted that Israel and Palestine should be encouraged to resume peace talks and take steps under the Road Map.

    On the same issue Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (01.06.06) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was unable to secure Russias support for his Action Plan regarding Cyprus. The paper writes that during the Gul-Lavrov meeting in Ankara yesterday Mr Gul has asked Russias support for his plan and his Russian counterpart Mr. Lavrov answered: A solution should be found which will take into account the views of the both sides. Lavrov said that the problem should be solved within the framework of the UN.

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime set up by the Turkish Republic in the territories of Cyprus the Turkish army ethnically cleansed in 1974).

    [02] Namik Tan shares Ercakica´s position on Annan´s letter to Talat

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.05.06) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman - Nam1k Tan - has said that Turkey shares the position expressed by the `TRNC Presidential´ spokesman Hasan Erçak1ca yesterday concerning the letter-of-reply sent to `President´ Talat by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

    Speaking at a weekly press briefing, Mr Tan drew the attention to the fact that the UN Secretary-General reaffirmed his position in support of the proposed bicommunal technical committees, and at the same time, his view that the establishment of these committees couldnt take the place of a comprehensive negotiations process, or his mission of good offices, for an overall solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman told a press briefing this morning in Ankara that the Secretary-Generals letter of reply is an indication - and reaffirmation - of the fact that the ball is now in the Greek Cypriot court, and that it is the Greek Cypriot side which is being awaited by the international community and the United Nations to make its position known about the Annan Plan.

    Mr Nam1k Tan said that Kofi Annan s letter also reaffirms the fact that the Annan Plan will provide a framework in any case to a future settlement of the Cyprus problem .

    [03] Turkish Foreign Ministry denies the news that the additional Protocol will be sent to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) for approval

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (internet version 31.05.06) reported that Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ambassador Namik Tan in a statement today denied the news published in the Greek Cypriot press that the Additional Protocol will be sent to the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) for approval. He said that this news Has no relation whatsoever with the realities on the field.

    Tan added: News to this end is not true. It does not have the slightest relation with the realities. I could say that from time to time such news could be seen in the Greek Cypriot administrations press as well as in the Greek press in Greece. These are issues that have no relation with the realities on the field whatsoever.

    [04] The High Level Contact Group is to visit the occupied area

    Turkish Cypriot KIBRIS newspaper (01.06.06) reports that the High Level Contact Group for the Turkish Cypriots from the European Parliament is to visit today the occupied area. The 8-member delegation will stay five days in Cyprus and will hold contacts. The Member of the delegation Cem Ozdemir in a statement to AB Haber Agency said that their aim is to demonstrate to pro- solution people in Cyprus that they are not alone.

    Ozdemir added that finding a solution in Cyprus is directly related on one to one basis to the Turkish-EU issue. Therefore, finding a solution in Cyprus is of vital importance for those who aim at Turkeys EU membership.

    [05] Ferdi Sabit Soyer assessed the latest developments at the end of his contacts in Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.05.06) broadcast that the self-styled Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that any solution to the Cyprus problem can only come about within a political framework, as the problem itself is a political one.

    Speaking in Ankara, the `Prime Minister´ said that diplomatic initiatives and contacts will contribute to strengthening occupied Cyprus position at international level and provide leverage to the efforts aimed at finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking on the Turkish television TRT, Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer made an assessment of the latest developments on the Cyprus issue.

    Commenting on the outcome of the general elections in the free areas of Cyprus Mr Soyer reminded that both AKEL, which had rejected the Annan Plan, and DISI, a staunch supporter of the plan, had seen a drop in their votes.

    He added that DIKO, which represents the rejectionist front on the Greek Cypriot side had seen an increase in its votes.

    Stressing that there is no change in the Turkish Cypriot policy on the Cyprus issue, he said the Turkish Cypriot side is determined to continue pursuing this policy in solidarity with Turkey.

    He said there is no need to change the current policy which runs in accordance with the Turkish Cypriot peoples political will and standing international political legal norms.

    Accusing Mr Papadopoulos of wanting to remove the Annan Plan from the negotiating table once and for all, Mr Soyer called on the European Union to see this fact.

    He said it is high time the intransigent position of the Greek Cypriot side and its deviation from the UN framework for a solution to the Cyprus problem, is questioned by the international community.

    Speaking on his arrival from Ankara, he said his high level talks with the Turkish government leaders on the Cyprus issue had been very fruitful, and that it was clear the work to promote a solution to the Cyprus problem would be in the interest of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    He said Turkish leaders have reaffirmed their support for the efforts led by `President´ Mehmet Ali Talat aimed at promoting further, the Turkish sides strenuous efforts for a lasting peace in Cyprus.

    Meanwhile in a separate interview with the illegal BRT, he stated that occupied Cyprus economy has been growing since 2004 and added that more development could be expected in various sectors of the economy prompting an increase in the national income.

    Mr Soyer pointed to the rise in both imports and exports and said this was proof of the Turkish Cypriot Peoples sustained economic development.

    [06] EU Commission official Mr Francois Begeot: Screening on Transport to start on 26 June

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (31.05.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    As negotiations continue between Turkey and the European Union (EU), screening process is envisaged to begin on Transport Policy by the end of June.

    Francois Begeot, Policy Officer - DG Energy and Transport, European Commission, currently in Ankara for talks, told reporters that screening process of the chapter on transport policy would start on June 26th.

    Begeot said detailed screening is expected to be carried out in September following this introductory screening on June 26th.

    Asked whether Customs Union Addition Protocol would be discussed in screening process of transport policy, Begeot said Cyprus or other political issues would not be tackled during the screening.

    Begeot held talks in Ankara within the framework of Turkey's inclusion into Transeurope network of transportation.

    The EU carries out works with Turkey under "Transport and Infrastructure Needs Assessment" (TINA).

    [07] Statement by the Cyprus Turkish Municipalities Union

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.05.06) broadcast the following:

    The Council of Europes Congress of Local and Regional Administrations has called on the Greek Cypriot side to vacate two seats at the congress, one permanent and the other reserve, to make room for Turkish Cypriot representation.

    The Congress said, in its decision yesterday, that two Turkish Cypriot representatives would continue to be invited to attend future deliberations.

    A statement issued by the Cyprus Turkish Municipalities Union, said that a report on Democracy in Local Administrations in Cyprus was discussed at the 13th gathering of the European Congress with the Turkish Cypriot representatives explaining in detail the functioning democracy in North Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, the former President of the Council of Europes Congress for Local and Regional Affairs Giovanni Di Stasi called on the municipalities and political parties in both sides in Cyprus to cooperate with the aim of initiating mutual projects for confidence building.

    The Congress for Local and Regional Affairs - in 2004 - had decided to vacate one permanent seat occupied by the Greek Cypriot side to make room for Turkish Cypriot representation at the committee.

    [08] In five months 162 illegal immigrants arrived in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot YENIDUZEN newspaper (01.06.06) reports that in the first five months of this year 162 illegal immigrants were arrested and taken into custody in the occupied area. It says that at present 71 illegal immigrants, the majority of them Syrian nationals, are in jail in the occupied area.

    [09] Ali Erel to recourse to the European court of Human Rights

    Illegal Bayrak television (31.05.06) reports the following:

    Ali Erel and Mustafa Damdelen two members of the group of 78 Turkish Cypriots who earlier took legal action with the Greek Cypriot Administration (Republic of Cyprus) demanding their electoral rights stemming from the 1960 agreements - have sent a letter to the President of the Greek Cypriot High Court (Supreme Court of Cyprus) requesting that the Court starts hearing their case.

    Mr Erel and Mr Damdelen warned that they will take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights unless the Court stops its delay tactic over the issue.

    The two men had made a recourse to the `Greek Cypriot High Court´, after their initial request was overturned by the `Greek Cypriot Minister´ of Interior Andreas Christou.

    In their joint letter to the President of the `Greek Cypriot High Court´, Mr Erel and Mr Damdelen reminded that the `Greek Cypriot Minister´ of Interior Andreas Christou had rejected back in April this year - their written request to be allowed to use their electoral rights stemming from the 1960 agreements.

    Noting that they then - decided to file a case at the `Greek Cypriot High Court´ in Turkish, the two men complained that they havent received any response from the Court yet.

    Reminding that translation difficulties were given as an excuse to the delay, Mr Erel and Mr Damdelan said the excuse itself is unacceptable as Turkish is supposed to be one of the official languages of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The two men said they will take the issue to the European Court of Human Rights unless the `Greek Cypriot High Court´ ends its delay tactic, as this will spell the end of what is known as the domestic remedy for such cases before they are taken to the E.C.H.R.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in Turkish Daily News assesses how Turkey will use the purchase of new generation warplanes in its economic diplomacy strategy

    Under the title: Fighters´ fight! Turkish Daily News newspaper (31.05.06) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil:

    The technical and 'classified' aspects of the increasingly nervous (and multi-billion-dollar) Trans-Atlantic competition for the sale of new generation warplanes to Turkey could possibly fill 100 Equilibriums.

    Ignoring the technicalities not so easy for the outsider to comprehend and observing the requirement to preserve the classified as classified, this is where Turkey, the U.S.-led Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) consortium that builds the F-35 and the rival European Eurofighter group, which produces the Typhoon, stand:

    1. At stake is a deal that could go well beyond $10 billion, naturally a sufficient appetizer for companies whose primary business is not charity. Officially, Turkey is bound to buy 120 new warplanes; realistically, the number may be anywhere between 150 and 200 in the next 20 years. As always, there will be the lucrative parts, maintenance, support and upgrade dimensions of the picture which, when summed up, may be as big as the original contract. One spillover benefit for the winner could be the Turkey boost for future markets.

    2. For different reasons, both rivals have the political advantage, though, perhaps, at different magnitudes difficult to judge today: the JSF has the American influence and the Eurofighter has the EU influence. Therefore, Turkey's final decision will not only be financial/technical/technological but also political. If or how Turkey and the EU will avoid a head-on collision later this year due to Cyprus is critical for both sides of the Atlantic. Similarly, how things progress on the Washington-Ankara axis, especially considering the double elections in Turkey and a difficult crossroads over Iran, both next year, will enter the fighter equation.

    3. Turkey's operational fighter fleet is rapidly shrinking. The F-16s will be upgraded, that's fine. But it is a big question mark as to whether it's worth spending half a billion dollars to upgrade an aging fleet of F-4s -- before they are phased out in eight to 10 years. Supposing that Turkey behaves rationally and drops the F-4 upgrade option, and judging by the present-day attrition rate for the air force fleet, one can conclude that Turkey's warplane strength will be limited to 150-200 by 2015 when, optimistically, the Crescent and Star will come closer to the EU and, with or without membership, will be defending Europe's eastern borders. That number will be half of what Turkey will actually need for reliable air superiority vis-à-vis present and future threats. So something has to be done.

    4. The rivalry is probably set on the wrong scene: the F-35 and the Typhoon are entirely different war toys. The Typhoon is an aircraft of today; the F-35 is an aircraft of tomorrow. The Typhoon is a solid fighter designed mainly for air-to-air missions, and the F-35 is a perfect striker designed mainly for air-to-ground missions. The Typhoon is already defending the skies of Italy; the F-35 is going through test flights, not ready for delivery before 2012-2015, according to various estimates. Therefore, an easy comparison sketch of both aircraft would be misleading. They are not supplementary but rather complementary machines.

    5. Fine then, the easy conclusion would be why not buy both, like Britain and Italy? And the easy answer would be, Turkey is not as rich as Britain and Italy, especially when maintaining two different fleets of aircraft is a painfully costly option. But there is a counter-argument, too. Does Turkey really need to spend $10-15 billion for the satisfaction of having built a national tank that will probably be a national tank with the exception that most of its critical parts will be supplied by a foreign manufacturer(s)? Or, is it a wise thing for Turkey to spend billions of dollars on naval platforms and systems when the only imminent naval threat is Greece, a member of a club that is Turkey's final strategic destination? So, judging from an alternative perspective, Turkey can afford full air superiority by going for both a multi-role fighter and a perfect striker.

    6. Turkey is a committed partner of the JSF venture. It has invested $175 million for the development phase of the world's largest fighter program and is now judging whether it will be worth it to join its production phase. At the same time, Turkey is courting the Eurofighter, with no commitments yet. Ankara has said that it will "either buy the F-35 only, or the Typhoon only, or a combination of both. Realistically, the second option does not look practical: Turkey will remain committed to the JSF unless something really odd happens there. What is less clear is whether it will also buy the Typhoon. That's where the two fighters fight.

    7. After an initial reluctance to award contracts to Turkey's defense industry, citing international competitiveness, the JSF group, possibly unnerved by a rival proposal, has offered a $4 billion industrial cooperation package, an impressive move in a country in which procurement officials are dogmatically advocating local defense work. To match that, the Eurofighter team has proposed a $5 billion industrial cooperation package plus many other impressive commercial, technological, technical and industrial benefits. The European proposal will probably remain valid if Turkey goes for the third option: buy both. It is not clear if the American offer, too, will be effective under the third option.

    8. Empirical evidence suggests that Turkey could gain immense political power in Europe if it were to take the Typhoon more seriously. On the other hand, it is sad to note that Turkey must craft commercial efforts to win hearts and minds in Europe -- will it have bought or won membership if it eventually joins the EU? Fine, these are facts of life. Having admitted the facts of life, Turkey cannot afford to ignore the huge lobbying power of the 120,000-strong Eurofighter group in the EU, a group that is fully aware of next generation, energy-led geostrategy in this part of the world.

    9. All the same, there is a minor problem whatever warplane choice Turkey goes for: Soon the Turkish Air Force may be deprived of its pilots. With over 1,500 military pilots deserting the service over the past couple of decades due to low salaries and a with current 7-10 percent departure rate, the air force may have too few pilots to fly the warplanes regardless of whether Ankara spends billions of dollars on the F-35, the Typhoon or both.

    Finally, a few recommendations to all parties involved. The Americans should be able to understand that: 1. They are no longer the sole source in any weapons system, although they may have better technology in most equipment; 2. Their defense manufacturers may be the casualties of their own administration for its idea of introducing moderate Islam as ideal governance in Turkey -- the warplane contract may be a good example of how things may backfire, not to mention attack helicopters and many others; 3. They should not object to Turkey having both the F-35 and the Typhoon as they did not object to Britain and Italy, both of which are NATO allies and major defense partners; 4. They should be more consistent in their price commitments -- will an F-35 cost $45 million, $82 million or $125 million?

    The Europeans should be able to understand that: 1. They cannot succeed in Turkey through the Midas touch of political connections only, like the Israelis once did with the Midas touch of military connections; 2. They cannot forever rely on the EU card; 3. They should honor their word that they don't see Turkey as a market but as a partner; 4. They would lose Turkey forever if they double-played by ignoring Turkey's present-day threat concept, which includes parts of Europe.

    And the government/military/procurement mechanism that styles itself as the Defense Industry Executive Committee should be able to understand that: 1. It cannot pit the two contenders against each other forever and that at one point it should craft a position; 2. It should better prioritize its requirements for better defenses (probably so as to gain full air superiority, which is essential, and drop unnecessary programs, given budgetary constraints); 3. It should minimize, well, to put it mildly, the externalities in its final decision and instead find an optimum blend of technological, strategic, political and commercial inputs. By the way, it would not be a bad idea if the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) did not try to make commercial/political gains from what has to be a purely national decision.

    /SK


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