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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-10-20

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.203/06 20.10.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
  • [02] Turgay Avci meets with Turkish governmental officials in Ankara.
  • [03] Rasit Pertevs contacts in Finland.
  • [04] The Cyprus problem among the issues discussed by Babacan and Bakoyanni.
  • [05] Statements by Dervis Eroglu.
  • [06] Independents Alliance comments on Finlands proposals.
  • [07] Papers report an increase in the applications submitted by Greek Cypriots to the Property Compensation Commission.
  • [08] Report prepared for the Friends of Europe calls the EU to give to the Turkish Cypriots the observer status at the EU Bodies.
  • [09] The Head of the EU Support Program Office Alain Bothorel, comments on the Financial Aid Regulation.
  • [10] Todays distribution of seats in the TGNA.
  • [11] Turkish Aerospace Industries to manufacture the first Turkish satellite.
  • [12] DTP provisional chairman to be punished for using the word guerilla.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [13] HURRIYET columnist: Will there be a train crash with Europe?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by the Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.10.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    "The Cyprus issue should not poison Turkey's negotiation process with the EU," said Namik Tan, spokesman for the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on Thursday.

    Speaking at the weekly press briefing, Tan said: The negotiation process has its own frame and parameters. It is quite wrong to associate this issue with Turkey's EU negotiation process. Turkey accepts only the Copenhagen political criteria in this process."

    Upon a question about the recent proposal of Finland which holds the rotating EU presidency, Tan told reporters: "According to our point of view, the Cyprus issue can be resolved under the auspices of the United Nations. Finland's proposal can be considered as a quite important step in efforts to find a way-out to the Cyprus issue. But neither Finland's proposal nor any other similar initiative can replace a comprehensive solution."

    Tan also highlighted the importance of a compromise to be reached by the two parties on the island.

    Referring to adoption of the bill about the so-called Armenian genocide by the French national assembly last week, Tan said: "It is comforting to know that the French government is against the bill. However, this does not solve the problem."

    "France has lost its privileged position in the sight of Turkish people. It is not possible to correct it by making administrative decisions. Turkey has already warned France about likely consequences of such a decision," he commented.

    When asked whether Turkey would recall its ambassador as a reaction, Tan said that such a move was completely out of the question. "We are in favour of acting rationally," he added.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (20.10.06) reports that Namik Tan, spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated yesterday that the Cyprus problem must not poison Turkeys EU accession course. In statements during his weekly briefing, when he was reminded of some opinions which say that the actual negotiations of Turkey will not be possible to begin without the solution of the Cyrus problem, Mr Tan said that they have not seen such approach in the EU. Tan said: We saw that they do not have the understanding of putting Cyprus as a condition for the procedure. Our expectation is in this direction. Cyprus must not poison Turkeys EU accession course. The negotiations procedure is separate. The framework and the parameters of the negotiations procedure are extremely different. It is very wrong to put these two procedures as condition for each other. Mr Tan noted that Finlands proposals or some arrangements worked out within this framework could be seen as very important steps, but these could never substitute the comprehensive solution.

    (ITs)

    [02] Turgay Avci meets with Turkish governmental officials in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.10.06) reports that the self-styled deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci, who is visiting Ankara, met yesterday with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullah Gul, the State Minister Responsible for Cyprus, Abdullatif Sener and the leader of the main opposition Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal. Responding to a question regarding accusations by the former self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Serdar Denktas that the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) will make concessions on the Cyprus problem, Mr Avci said: Nobody is more nationalist than the others. There is a Cyprus policy and this policy does not change according to the persons. The foreign policy of the TRNC does not change whether I am at the post of the Foreign Ministry or anybody else. Cyprus has not been and will not be sold out.

    On the same issue, under the banner headline The Minister of No now favours negotiations , Turkish daily M0LL0YET newspaper (20.10.06) reports that the self-styled Minister of Foreign Affairs Turgay Avci, who is currently in Ankara for meetings with Turkish officials and political party leaders, made the following evaluations regarding the Cyprus problem to M0LL0YET:

    A warning to the EU: Some 65% of the TRNC people said yes to the Annan plan. For two years now, the EU has not kept its promise to lift the isolation that it had given two days after the Annan plan referendums. This stance is the reason why positive sentiment towards the EU has diminished.

    We are ready for a game: I said No to the Annan plan. If there is a new plan or initiative I can not say No, I will not sit and negotiate. We must sit at the table, we must discuss, we must negotiate. If you dont come out for the soccer game, the referees decision is that you are the loser. Our goal is to go to the game and win by putting on a fight. We are ready to sit at the table.

    We wont sell out the national cause: The Turkish Republic has a Cyprus policy. A bizonal settlement based on the political equality of the two peoples. We are also in agreement with this policy. No TRNC government can sell out the national cause.

    We havent discussed it yet: The proposal, which is prepared by current EU president Finland, has not been presented to us in concrete terms. If they only want Varosha in exchange for the opening of Famagusta port for trade, we have not discussed it yet.

    Moreover, the paper reports that Mr Avci met with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul yesterday morning. Although permission was given to take photos of the meeting at the Ministry, no statements were made.

    (ITs / DPs)

    (Tr. Note: Turkish Republic of Northern Cyrus is the occupation regime the Turkish Republic has set up and maintains with 40,000 troops in northern Cyprus).

    [03] Rasit Pertevs contacts in Finland

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.10.06) reports that Rasit Pertev, advisor of the Turkish Cypriot leader, met yesterday in Helsinki with officials of the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. According to a statement issued by the presidency, Mr Pertev met with the Director for European Affairs and the Director for Central and Eastern Europe of the Ministry, Kare Halonen and Pekka Orpana. He also had lunch with Commissioner Olli Rehns special advisor, ambassador Jaakko Bloberg. The paper writes that illegal TAK news agency reported that Asim Akansoy, director of the office of the presidency, stated that Mr Pertev and President Papadopoulos advisor, Tasos Djionis held separate meetings in the Finnish capital.

    (ITs)

    [04] The Cyprus problem among the issues discussed by Babacan and Bakoyanni

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.10.06) reports the following from Athens:

    "If nobody wants an accident to happen in Turkey's EU process, the reality necessitates this accident not happen," said Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan who held a press conference at the Turkish Embassy in Athens on Thursday.

    Regarding his meetings in Athens, Babacan said: "I told about the economic and political reforms which Turkey fulfilled. I also conveyed that Turkey, as the 5th export market of EU, presents very important opportunities. I also said that the 9th reform package is almost completed. My meetings were very fruitful."

    "Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni confirmed Greece's support to Turkey's EU process.

    We agreed that the EU process affected Turkey-Greece relations positively in the political and economic areas. Bakoyianni told me that Greece is supporting Finland's initiative," he added.

    Upon questions, Babacan said regarding Greece's approach that there is no connection between commercial regulation and lifting of commercial embargo on the `Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus┤ (`TRNC┤) that there is no formal connection, but this does not mean that these issues are not related with each other.

    "Turkey's proposal which was made in January about opening ports and airports to Greek Cypriot vessels and planes is still on table. These issues include elements which will help each other and they are very clear," he said.

    "Turkey showed its attitude about the Cyprus issue clearly and in a determined manner. We intensively remind April 26th, 2004 to everybody during our meetings.

    It is the date of EU's decision about lifting isolations over `TRNC┤. Turkey clearly stated that it will not make any initiative unilaterally. They say that 'it is your responsibility' but our lawyers have different views. If Italy and Greece can put quota to our trucks, then we can make some limitations. Greek Cypriot products are already entering Turkey. The limitations are about vehicles.

    We have lifted visa for Greek Cypriots. We want to talk and find solutions. If necessary, we make our political decisions and open our ports and airports, but firstly isolation over `TRNC┤ must be lifted," said Babacan.

    Regarding the probability of a "train crash" in Turkey's EU process due to the Cyprus issue, Babacan said: "If people act in line with EU's fundamental principles and values, rights, laws and justice, such an issue should not be put as an obstacle before Turkey. Nobody's conscience is comfortable in the current situation. Generally, it is accepted that an injustice was made. Certainly the EU lost its character of objectivity after Greek Cypriot administration's membership. Thus, we want the UN (for solution). EU cannot act objectively while Greek Cypriot administration is its member, and we consider this natural."

    Babacan defined Finland's proposal as goodwill, and added that there is not a written text about the proposal.

    Babacan will depart from Athens tomorrow.

    [05] Statements by Dervis Eroglu

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.10.06) broadcast the following:

    The former leader of the main opposition National Unity Party, Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) deputy Dervis Eroglu has reiterated his partys support for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at a press conference at the Republics Assembly this morning, the prominent UBP leader stressed the National Unity Partys strong opposition to the city of Varosha being handed over to the Greek Cypriot side as part of the Finnish proposal.

    The press conference at the Republics Assembly was also attended by the UBP Leader Huseyin Ozgurgun and other UBP deputies who have been boycotting the Parliament in protest of what they see as undemocratic and unethical methods used in the formation of the new coalition.

    Mr Eroglu said the UBPs boycott of the parliament will continue, but warned that this must not be taken as if the party has given up its struggle to promote better living conditions to the Turkish Cypriot `people┤.

    He complained that all the problems being faced on the Cyprus issue was the result of the implementation of the Protocol 10 of the Cyprus Treaty of Accession which gave the right to the Greek Cypriot Side to talk on behalf of the whole island.

    Claiming that the policies of `President┤ Mehmet Ali Talat and his team were only helping the Greek Cypriot Side, the veteran UBP leader expressed his partys opposition to handing over Varosha as part of the Finnish proposal.

    He said the UBP is in support of a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem.

    [06] Independents Alliance comments on Finlands proposals

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.10.06) reports that the Independents Alliance, which is established by 15 organizations, has alleged that Finlands proposals ignore the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. Representing the Alliance, the chairman of the TRNC Human Rights Association, Yilmaz Isik argued during a press conference yesterday that the Turkish Cypriots have the right to establish a state, to be accepted as TRNC into the EU and have a more fair behaviour.

    (ITs)

    [07] Papers report an increase in the applications submitted by Greek Cypriots to the Property Compensation Commission

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFR0KA newspaper (20.10.06) reports on an illegal TAK news agency dispatch that the number of the Greek Cypriots who applied to the so-called Property Compensation Commission of the breakaway regime reached 64. Under the banner front page title The line gets longer for the properties in the north, the paper notes that nine cases were concluded. The return of the property to three Greek Cypriots was decided and compensation was paid to other six Greek Cypriots. The amount paid to them is being kept secret for the time being, writes AFRIKA, adding that no detail is given regarding the properties which have been returned. According to the paper, the decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on the Arestis case will be announced in November. With this decision the Court will determine whether or not the Commission will be accepted as local remedy. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot judges began their duties at the ECHR upon Turkeys suggestion. Metin Hakki will deal with cases regarding properties and Gonul Oren with cases regarding the missing persons.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SES0 newspaper (20.10.06) under the title Properties of three Greek Cypriots in the north will be returned to them , reports that the procedure regarding the return of these properties will be conducted by the self-styled ministry of interior. Noting that the ECHR will announce in November its decision on whether or not the Commission will be accepted as local remedy, the paper notes that experts who referred to the issue said that a negative decision regarding the Commission is not expected.

    (ITs)

    [08] Report prepared for the Friends of Europe calls the EU to give to the Turkish Cypriots the observer status at the EU Bodies

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI D▄ZEN newspaper (20.10.06) refers to a report published on the webpage of the Friends of Europe (www.friendsofeurope.com). The report, which has been prepared in cooperation with the London School of Economics and Chatam House, expresses the opinion that the EU must urgently search for legal ways to give the Turkish Cypriots the status of the observer both in the EU Council and in the Parliament. It also argues that Turkish must become one of the official languages of the EU.

    (ITs)

    [09] The Head of the EU Support Program Office Alain Bothorel, comments on the Financial Aid Regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFR0KA newspaper (20.10.06) reports that Alain Bothorel, head of the EU Support Program Office in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, said yesterday that the aim of the Financial Aid Regulation is the reunification of Cyprus, the lifting of the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots, the approach of the Turkish Cypriots to the EU and within this framework the development of the economy. Addressing the Famagusta Speeches organized by the so-called municipality of the occupied city, Mr Bothorel noted that the EU funds will be used for improving the infrastructure, supporting the development of the cities, the human recourses, transports, energy, water distribution, small and medium enterprises and scholarships for universities. Responding to questions, he said that the universities in the occupied areas will be included in the scholarships procedure on the basis of students and academicians and that they will be able to benefit from the universities in the EU. Mr Bothorel pointed out that the decisions on the issue of where the funds will be used will be taken in Brussels, but in case an investment is planned to be made in an occupied Greek Cypriot property, the European Commission will be consulting with the government of the Republic of Cyprus. When asked whether or not this is not interference in the sovereignty of the north, he replied: This depends on the situation. If it is Greek Cypriot land, we are obliged to ask.

    (ITs)

    [10] Todays distribution of seats in the TGNA

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.10.06) reports that the MP Ilyas Arslan of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) died of heart attack in Ankara early today.

    After Arslan's demise, the number of AKP parliamentarians dropped to 354 while the vacant seats rose to five.

    Below is the current distribution of seats at the parliament:

    AKP : 354

    CHP : 154

    ANAVATAN : 21

    DYP : 4

    SHP : 1

    HYP : 1

    GP : 1

    Independent : 9

    Vacant : 5

    (CHP stands for main opposition Republican People's Party, Anavatan for the Motherland Party, DYP for the True Path Party, SHP for the Social Democrat People's Party, HYP for the People's Rise Party, and GP for the Young Party)

    [11] Turkish Aerospace Industries to manufacture the first Turkish satellite

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.10.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    "Space is no longer a location to be watched and on which to write poems. Space has become an important spot for the national defense. It has become difficult for militaries to have a say on land without having control over space," said Vecdi Gonul, Turkish Minister of National Defense, on Thursday.

    Gonul attended the groundbreaking ceremony of Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) aircraft/satellite assembly and integration facility in Ankara today. "To this day, Turkey utilized satellites that were manufactured overseas. However, TAI will manufacture the first Turkish satellite, Gokturk. This is the first step towards the manufacture of our national satellites," told Gonul. As Ataturk said 60 years ago, the future will be in air and skies, said Gonul.

    [12] DTP provisional chairman to be punished for using the word guerilla

    Istanbul HURRIYET newspaper (19.10.06) reported the following:

    The Office of the Chief of the General Staff has lodged a criminal complaint against DTP [Democratic Society Party] Kars Provincial Chairman Mahmut Alinak for having lodged a complaint against them on the grounds that "soldiers and guerrillas are dying because state officials are not fulfilling their duties."

    On 5 September 2006, Mahmut Alinak had registered a criminal complaint against General Staff Chief General Yasar Buyukanit, Ground Forces Commander General Ilker Basbug, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the AKP [Justice and Development Party] parliamentarians for "causing loss of life by not fulfilling their duties." Alinak, in his petition, had included the statement made at the funeral of martyred Lieutenant Zeki Burak Okay by his family members, who had said "did we give him to you so that you could kill him?" and had claimed that "if the state officials named above had fulfilled their duties, so many of our young people, soldiers and guerrillas, would not have died."

    The Office of the Chief of the General Staff, in a petition to the Justice Ministry dated 28 September 2006, stated that Alinak's use of the word "guerrilla" was "an expression aimed at portraying the separatist terrorist organization as a legitimate force." The General Staff called for Alinak to be punished for "engaging in propaganda for the terrorist organization as per article 7/2 of the TMY [Law on Countering Terrorism].


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [13] HURRIYET columnist: Will there be a train crash with Europe?

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (20.10.06), under the above title, published the following commentary by Ferai Tinc:

    Will there be the train crash that Olli Rehn talked about in June in Luxembourg?

    At that moment everyone talked about it and tried to find an answer to this problem. A year ago, when the decision for the starting of the accession talks was taken, the correction of the difficult issues was left again at the last moment in spite of all the warnings.

    We reportedly said as press a lot of time ago our complaints regarding the Article 301 as well as two years ago when it was on the agenda. We said that this Article will be a serious obstacle to the freedom of press, thought and expression. They even had promised us that they would correct it. I was also a witness of a positive answer that was given by Erdogan himself when this issue was raised to him at a dinner organized because of the meeting of the administrative board of the International Press Institute.

    But unfortunately, in this country there is a habit of closing their ears to the demands of the people. Definitely, some things are being caused from outside.

    The diplomats from EU countries underscore two issues included in messages coming from Brussels: Article 301 of the Turkish penal code and Cyprus.

    As regards Article 301, its a bit late. It is not the only obstacle to freedom of expression and thought in Turkey. Doesnt also Article 288 on the fight against terrorism contain such restrictions?

    After referring to the procedure regarding the EU-Turkey report, Ms Ferai Tinc, refers to the Cyprus problem as follows:

    On the Cyprus issue, there are interesting developments. A new effort has begun following the submission of the Finnish proposal to both sides. This package of proposals, which provides for the launching of direct trade between the TRNC and the EU from Famagusta port and the opening of Varosha under the administration of the Greek Cypriots, has neither been rejected nor accepted by either side.

    According to a foreign diplomat I had talked with, this is what Finland wants: it wants to gain time, to create an opportunity for a new opening so that the Cyprus problem is not the reason for an EU-Turkey train crash.

    The U.S. has also got into action by supporting Finlands initiative. Turkey has rejected the proposal by saying that the opening of Varosha is part of a comprehensive solution. It is also reported that the U.S. State Department is trying for a piece by piece opening for Varosha, suggesting for 20% of Varosha to be given first under the administration of the UN.

    Finland is trying to piece together a formula examining one by one different suggestions made by Turkey and the Greek Cypriots.

    I dont believe that this effort will bring about any results. But if nothing else, it is understood that the train crash is not desirable.

    All right, what can it be? With the opening of ports to Cyprus, chapters direct for negotiations can be opened, while negotiations on others will continue.

    Turkey does not walk away from the EU but it does not come closer to it either.

    (DPs)


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