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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-06-16

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.114/06 16.06.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Oguz Demiralp: No train wreck because of Cyprus.
  • [02] Gul reveals that an admiral participated in the Turkish delegation during the Cyprus talks in Burgenstock.
  • [03] ZAMAN newspaper: "Five Scenarios for Overcoming Cyprus Crisis".
  • [04] The first hearing at the so-called Compensation Committee for the Greek Cypriots starts today.
  • [05] Erdogan stated that the current parliament will elect President.
  • [06] The Director of ECBE claims that the EU recognizes the illegal universities in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [07] Turkish opposition parties on the AKP government´s stance in EU talks.
  • [08] Boucher: US- Turkish cooperation strong in Asia, Afghanistan.
  • [09] Gul to visit Kazakhstan. Kazakh oil on his agenda.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkish diplomatic 'attack' on Kazakh oil.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Oguz Demiralp: No train wreck because of Cyprus

    Istanbul NTV television (15.06.06) broadcast an interview of the Secretary General of EU Affairs at the Turkish Foreign Ministry Oguz Demiralp by NTV's Ankara representative Murat Akgun.

    Commending on Turkeys accession process, Mr Demiralp said: "There is no rail line between Turkey and Cyprus. For that reason there cannot be any train wrecks. Our conscience is clear. We have time ahead of us. I hope that we will have an opportunity to advance the process even as the EU takes a reasonable posture."

    He also added that he does not think that it is likely that the negotiations [with the EU] will be suspended at the end of this year.

    Mr Demiralp said that although the current climate is relatively unfavourable Turkey will stay its course in the EU accession process steadfastly.

    Demiralp noted that the EU has used a very tough political tone in portraying the issue of opening up Turkey's ports [to Cypriot ships] as a trade dispute. He added: "They must re-evaluate this internally and overcome their contradictions."

    Charging that the Greek Cypriots have acted in a "spoiled manner," Mr Demiralp said that the EU must review its mechanism of decision by consensus.

    Noting that Turkey is determined not to open its air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot aircraft and ships, he said: "Our position is quite consistent. We cannot be partners in measures that may lead to the further isolation of the TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus).

    Mr Demiralp also said that he is not favourably disposed to the idea of making recourse to the European Court of Justice, because Turkey is not a member of the EU. He noted that the negotiations may be suspended only if democracy is suspended [in Turkey] and that for this reason he does not think it is likely that such a development may occur at the end of the year because of Cyprus.

    [02] Gul reveals that an admiral participated in the Turkish delegation during the Cyprus talks in Burgenstock

    Columnist Murat Yetkin publishes in Turkish daily RADIKAL newspaper (15.06.06) statements by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul under the title Gul: We are satisfied with the support of the army regarding the EU.

    Referring to the relations of the Turkish government with the army and the debates on the issue this period Mr Gul said:

    The support of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) on the issues of the EU target and the reforms was and still is very important. Contrary to what some people think, it would be difficult for the reforms to be conducted without the support of the TAF. The fact that the military has strategic visions has a share in this. They understand the future of the world, the future of Turkey and where the interest of Turkey is.

    Let me give you an example. The change of Turkeys policy in Cyprus has been possible with the contribution of the Turkish Armed Forces. Then we had given definite instructions both to our diplomats and our other colleagues: Before making any step let us have a contact with the General Staff and let us determine together which step will be made.

    Because, there may be different views between the institutions. This is natural. Instead of forming our views separately and try to unify them afterwards, we thought that it would be better if we tried to create a common line from the beginning. And really this is what happened.

    Look, one of the most important meetings on the Cyprus issue was the meeting in the beginning of 2003 in Burgenstock. It has been decisive from the point of view of the developments that followed. Few people know this, but we had an admiral assigned by our General Staff in our delegation at this meeting. In every stage, every suggestion was made in contact with the General Staff thanks to this admiral.

    There are some people who want to relate the support we take from the TAF only to the chief of the General Staff General Hilmi Ozkok. This is not true. We know that we have the support we get as an institution. To tell you the truth, we would like to have the support we get from the Armed Forces in the EU process from some civilians and civilian institutions as well. We would expect some civilian authorities and institutions to support more the EU procedure.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] ZAMAN newspaper: "Five Scenarios for Overcoming Cyprus Crisis"

    Turkish ZAMAN newspaper (14.06.06) runs a front-page report entitled "Five Scenarios for Overcoming Cyprus Crisis," which asserts that the fact that Turkey and the European Union have not shifted their positions on the Cyprus problem has created expectations of a Cyprus crisis" in autumn.

    An expanded version of this report outlines "five scenarios" for avoiding a possible crisis, thus:

    The EU Progress Report for 2006 is postponed until 2007. Britain is taking the soundings in Brussels in this framework. However a big part of the member countries do not see positively this proposal. In addition, France is going to presidential elections in the year 2007and wants to slow down the accession procedure. Therefore the postponement of the EU Progress Report does not seem possible.

    The European Union ends the isolation of North Cyprus and Ankara opens its maritime ports to the Greek Cypriots. However this solution, which according to the paper is the most logical one, stumbles against the Veto of the Greek Cypriots, despite the decision taken by the EU Council on this issue. The paper notes that the EU supports that there is no connection between the opening of the ports and the lifting of the isolation. Ursula Plassnik the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Austria which acts as the president of the EU for this period stated some days ago replying to a relevant question: We gave a political promise. However Turkey has taken a legal responsibility.

    Ankara supports that the decision on the application of the Additional Protocol which provides for the opening of the Turkish ports to Cyprus should be taken at the EU-Turkey Joint Committee and at the Council. In case an agreement cannot be reached here the issue could be taken at the Court of Justice of the European Communities. That is, to be taken to arbitration. Even if Turkey is not very sure about the decision of the court, the time which it wins with the hope that a solution could be reached to the Cyprus problem can comfort Ankara. However, Brussels do not see positively this formula.

    Rather than suspending talks entirely, the sides agree that the actual talks will not start on matters that relate to the Customs Union. According to EU diplomatic sources, at least half of the 35 chapters can be related to the Customs Union. Ankara sees positively this formula but EU sources support that the result would be different on this issue.

    The UN solution process resumes as regards the Cyprus problem. The President of the Republic of Cyprus, who got strengthened after the parliamentary elections, does not see positively a new initiative for solution.

    [04] The first hearing at the so-called Compensation Committee for the Greek Cypriots starts today

    Under the title The first hearing is today at 09:00, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (16.06.06) reports that today, at 09:00, starts at the so-called Compensation Committee for the Greek Cypriots the first hearing regarding the application submitted by the Greek Cypriot doctor Ilias Papachristou, who seeks compensation from the authorities of the illegal regime for his property in occupied Akanthou.

    According to the paper, the Committee informed the parties involved for the dates hearing on 31 May 2006. The parties involved are: the Greek Cypriot applicant Ilias Papachristou, the Turkish Cypriot resident in Mr Papachristous house, Musa Tarsulu, and the so-called Attorney-General´s Office as the defendant. A copy of the Committees informative note is also published by the paper.

    In addition, the paper reports that 45 more summons by the Committee have been delivered to residents of occupied Akanthou. The new summons are in addition to the previous 40 which have been recently issued by the Committee to residents of occupied Akanthou.

    The paper notes that the new summons have been issued although the decision of the so-called Constitutional Court regarding the recourse by the Turkish Cypriot National United Party (UBP), is still pending.

    (M/L)

    [05] Erdogan stated that the current parliament will elect President

    Istanbul NTV television (15.06.06) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the current parliament has the necessary representational capability for the presidential elections, and his party will submit a candidate with leadership characteristics for this office.

    Replying to reporters' questions concerning the presidential elections aboard the plane returning home from Macedonia (FYROM), Erdogan said that those who previously objected to the election of the president by popular vote are now advocating the opposite and this is an attempt to veer away from the goal. He stressed that a person with leadership qualities who will prepare the grounds for peace, unity, solidarity, and friendship in the country should become the president. The prime minister also indicated that he will not accord priority to seeking a compromise with the other parties in the election of the president.

    Asked if he will become the president, Erdogan said: Anyone can become president. We still have another 11 months. This should not be on Turkey's agenda now.

    Moreover on the same issue, Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (13.06.06) published the following commentary by Cengiz Ozdemir under the title The poll results on the Prime Ministers Desk:

    These days Turkey's near future is discussed at every opportunity. The presidential election is on the top of the agenda.

    Prime Minister Erdogan wishes to become Turkey's 11th president. If he is elected [Foreign Minister] Abdullah Gul would become prime minister. If he is not or cannot get elected, then [Minister of National Defense] Vecdi Gonul, [Minister of Justice Cemil Cicek], or Abdullah Gul may be nominated as candidates.

    I will explain why I forecast these names in another article. Because of the timing requirements of the power game that is being played we cannot find too many clues at this early stage.

    The new chief of the General Staff will take office on 30 August. In truth this appointment is one of the causes of recent tensions. It is now evident that [Commander of the Land Forces] General Yasar Buyukkanit will be the new name in that office.

    The early election issue will be resolved immediately after that appointment. The Justice and Development Party (JDP) is aware of the decline in its votes, but it is somewhat reluctant to call early elections when it can continue to hold the mandate it received from the voters on 3 November 2002.

    Both options have enthusiastic supporters within the party. Prime Minister Erdogan has toned down his rhetoric that early elections would be "treason to the homeland." Indeed, when necessary, he says that the JDP is the party best prepared [for early elections].

    There is still a small amount of time left to call early elections. What is evident today is that Turkey will not be able to hold these elections on schedule.

    As soon as a decision is made to hold early elections a law will be enacted to hold general elections every four years.

    Prime Minister Erdogan pays attention to public opinion polls conducted by Pollmark, Denge, and ANAR. These days the JDP administration is busy discussing Pollmark's "Political Agenda Survey," which was conducted in May.

    The May figures suggest the JDP is in a better position than is thought. However despite a rise in May, voter support for the ruling party is generally on a declining trend.

    In contrast the True Path Party and the Nationalist Action Party are on the rise. Furthermore the JDP may be seriously affected if the Democratic Society Party runs in the election through independent candidates. In the meantime the rise seen in voter support for the Motherland Party, which has been on the move since Erkan Mumcu became its general chairman, does not seem to be sufficient to overcome the electoral threshold, at least for now.

    The poll results also show that 80 percent of the respondents would like the president elected directly by the people. In contrast 16 percent are satisfied with the current election system.

    [06] The Director of ECBE claims that the EU recognizes the illegal universities in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (16.06.06) published exclusive statements of the Executive Director of the European Council for Business Education (ECBE), Mr R.Bryan Holden, who is currently visiting the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in order to inspect the academic programmes of the illegal Girne American University (GAU).

    Mr Holden told the paper that it is not correct that the EU does not recognize the universities in TRNC (breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus). Noting that his institution is interested in the education and not in politics, Mr Holden added that it is not correct to mix education with politics. The important thing is not the country where you are educated but the quality of the education. The education is a right. GAU is recognizes by us.

    Mr Holden also reminded that the ECBE organized its annual conference in the TRNC and many high representatives of member universities of the ECBE participated.

    (Tr. Note: The universities in the occupied areas operate under the laws of the Turkish Republic and by a decree signed by the Turkish President without the consent of the authorities of the Republic of Cyprus imposing its decision by 40,000 Turkish troops).

    (D/Ps)

    [07] Turkish opposition parties on the AKP government´s stance in EU talks

    Under the title: Opposition lambastes government over Cyprus failure, The New Anatolian newspaper (15.06.06) reports the following:

    Opposition parties lambasted the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party yesterday claiming that it's failed to resist the European Union's impositions on the Cyprus issue and has undermined Turkey's national interests.

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) leader Zeki Sezer said Monday's EU-Turkey Intergovernmental Conference, at which the Greek Cypriots pushed for harsher conditions to begin accession talks with Turkey, was no surprise but a natural consequence of the AK Party's concessions over the last two years on the Cyprus issue. He added said that Monday's mini-crisis showed how the AK Party government had put Turkey in a vise.

    Sezer argued that it was clear two years ago when the AK Party approved the EU's controversial decisions on Turkey and Cyprus and then signed the Ankara protocol that relations would inevitably come to such a fragile period.

    Criticizing the government for not listening to the warnings of the opposition at that time, Sezer said, "The AK Party's current harsh attitude to the EU makes no sense at all. It only serves to hide its false policies and manipulation."

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahceli was much more critical of the AK Party, claiming that the government is "telling the public lies" in saying that "a compromise on Cyprus was achieved in Luxembourg."

    "Nothing has changed in the EU's Cyprus conditions," Bahceli stressed, adding that the AK Party government has accepted all the EU's impositions which undermine Turkish interests just to give the impression that the EU process is on track. "In fact Turkey's EU process has become like a soap opera, full of lies and hypocrisy," Bahceli charged. He added that it's impossible to go forward in EU-Turkish relations given the harsh preconditions proposed by the Europeans.

    [08] Boucher: US- Turkish cooperation strong in Asia, Afghanistan

    Under the above title The New Anatolian newspaper (15.06.06) reports the following:

    A top U.S. diplomat yesterday praised strong Turkish-U.S. cooperation and coordination in Afghanistan and Central Asia and expressed his country's determination to continue such cooperation.

    Richard Boucher, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, made the remarks following his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul in Ankara. The two discussed the latest developments in Central Asia and ways to further develop cooperation in the region.

    Underlining that the U.S. and Turkey have common interests in the region, Boucher stressed the importance of mutual support in activities in Asia and praised Turkey's contributions in Afghanistan.

    Energy issues also reportedly dominated the meeting's agenda, which was also attended by U.S. ambassadors to Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. "We consider the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline as a strategically important development that will bring new opportunities to the Central Asian region," said Boucher after the meeting.

    [09] Gul to visit Kazakhstan. Kazakh oil on his agenda

    The New Anatolian newspaper (15.06.06) reports the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that there are no plans for Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul to visit Tehran in the coming days, but said such a visit could be possible if a need for it arises in the future.

    Gul is scheduled to visit Kazakhstan today, where discussions on cooperation in energy projects will be the main topic of discussion. Gul will visit Baku later this week and participate in an Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) foreign ministers' meeting. Several media reports suggested on Wednesday that Gul would visit Tehran either before or after his visit to Baku.

    But Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Namik Tan said yesterday at the weekly press conference that the foreign minister doesn't have a visit to Iran planned for the coming days. In response to questions, he further stressed that Turkey is in favor of finding a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Iranian issue and will continue to towards that aim.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkish diplomatic 'attack' on Kazakh oil

    Under the above title The New Anatolian newspaper (15.06.06) publishes the following by Zeynep Gurcanli:

    Turkish leaders will host the official opening ceremony for the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, scheduled for next month.

    But Azeri oil alone is not enough for Turkey to assume the role of "energy bridge" between East and West, so Turkish leaders have begun a "diplomatic attack" on Kazakhstan to include them in the Baku-Ceyhan oil route.

    The first move came from Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, who called his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev earlier this month. According to Turkish sources, Sezer opened the dialogue by underlining the need to improve economic and commercial cooperation between the two countries. Then he brought up the energy issue and invited the Kazakh president to the opening ceremony of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. He also expressed Ankara's desire to work with Kazakhstan in this process.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will visit Kazakhstan this week to discuss the details of the Turkish president's appeal for cooperation in the energy sector. Topics of discussion between Gul and Kazakh officials are expected to include the transportation of oil from Kazakhstan's port of Aktau to the Azeri port of Dibendi, where it could link up with the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline for export to Turkey's Mediterranean coast, and the construction of a joint Turkish-Kazakh refinery along Turkey's Black Sea coast.

    The first Caspian oil shipment from the new BTC pipeline was loaded onto tankers headed for Western markets at the end of last month. The shipment from Ceyhan marks a crucial step in completing a project designed to create alternative oil routes to ease the West's dependence on Middle East crude. The recently completed 1,760-kilometer BTC pipeline allows the West access to oil from the Caspian Sea fields, estimated to hold the world's third-largest reserves, while bypassing Russia and Iran. The project cost some $4 billion. Ceyhan is the end of the pipeline running from neighboring Iraq, and Turkey has built a new terminal and storage tanks to ship Azeri oil. At Ceyhan, the new oil terminal is expected to begin pumping 1 million barrels of crude per day when fully operational. The Caspian's reserves are shared by Iran, Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan.

    The Baku-Ceyhan project, conceived in the mid-1990s and launched in 2002, was supposed to link newly independent oil-producing former Soviet nations to the West to reduce the influence of Russia and Iran.

    Subtitle: American intervention

    Turkish officials are not alone in their diplomatic efforts to convince the Kazakhs to include Kazakhstan's oil resources in the Baku-Ceyhan process.

    U.S. President George W. Bush intervened in the process personally. In letters written last month to both the Azeri and Kazakh presidents, Bush underlined that Kazakhstan should export its oil reserves through the Baku-Ceyhan oil pipeline. According to U.S. officials, President Bush expressed his desire to see Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan agree on terms to ship oil produced in Kazakhstan via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

    Paul E. Simons, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary for energy, said that the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline "would not only enhance global energy security, but also go far towards strengthening the sovereignty and economic viability of the nations in the region" during a statement before the Committee on Government Reform in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. "By maintaining diversified sources of supply, as exemplified by the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, nations can help make their economies more resilient to disruptions in energy supply," he said. "The key factor in global energy security is diversification."

    The response of Kazakh officials to this joint U.S.-Turkish pressure seemed to be positive. Kazakhstan's Deputy Minister of Natural Resources Ilya Zakimov declared earlier this month that his country was nearing an agreement with Azerbaijan on the use of the pipeline. "Both governments are close to the final stage of the project. The agreement will be signed in the near future," he said.

    But despite this positive atmosphere, the problem has not yet been fully resolved. The amount of Kazakh oil to be exported through Baku-Ceyhan is still a mystery. There is still the danger of a Kazakh decision to link its oil reserves to energy-hungry China.

    Both the visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Gul and the summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) that brought together the Kazakh, Russian and Chinese presidents in Shanghai on Wednesday will be crucial for the future of regional, or even worldwide energy policies.

    /SK


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