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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-12-07

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.237/06 07.12.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] A delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation is holding contacts in Brussels.
  • [02] Turkey signs a cooperation protocol with the illegal regime.
  • [03] Press conference by Ali Babacan after meeting with the Estonian Foreign Minister.
  • [04] Ali Babacan assesses the Cyprus Problem from Slovakia.
  • [05] The EU Commissioner on Trade assesses Turkeys EU membership process.
  • [06] A new meeting between Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Petrev held yesterday.
  • [07] Italy supports the reduction of the number of the EU Chapters to be suspended for Turkey.
  • [08] Statements by the German Ambassador to Ankara.
  • [09] The breakaway regime gets a monthly net profit of 200 billion Turkish liras from the night clubs.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in THE NEW ANATOLIAN assesses Erdogans statements why the EU will be the looser if Turkey does not join the union.
  • [11] Ports are Just an Excuse. What is the Real Reason?

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] A delegation from the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation is holding contacts in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.12.06) reports that the issue of opening a Turkish language primary school in Limassol has been taken up in the corridors of Brussels. The issue was raised by members of the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Foundation (KTIHV) who are currently lobbying in Brussels.

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (06.12.06) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Turkish Human Rights Foundation has emphasized that the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people is inhumane.

    A delegation from the Foundation is currently in Brussels to ask support for the efforts aimed at ending the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    A delegation from the Foundation has been having contacts with representatives of non-governmental organization and EU institutions as well as foreign reporters in Brussels.

    During their contacts, the Foundation points to the fact that the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people is inhumane.

    A book titled `Excluded EU citizens; Turkish Cypriots` which was prepared by the Foundation is attracting great interest from representatives of the NGOs members of the Foundation met.

    [02] Turkey signs a cooperation protocol with the illegal regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.12.06) reports that a so-called protocol will be signed today between the Office of the EU General Secretariat of the Turkish Prime Ministers Office and the so-called EU Coordination Center of the TRNC Prime Ministers Office. The so-called protocol will provide for sharing of Turkeys EU experience as regards the harmonization work being carried out by Turkey.

    (MHY)

    [03] Press conference by Ali Babacan after meeting with the Estonian Foreign Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.12.06) reports the following from Tallin (capital of Estonia): "Decision of the EU Commission to partially suspend talks with Turkey under eight chapter headings is excessive. Only three of them are related to Customs Union," said Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet on Wednesday.

    Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan and Estonian Foreign Minister Paet held a joint news conference following their meeting in Tallin.

    Replying to a question, Paet said Estonia advocated Turkey's EU membership bid, and indicated that, "commission's decision to link provisional closing of other negotiating chapters to Cyprus is not right. This will have a negative impact on relations with Turkey."

    Indicating that EU's enlargement should include Turkey, Paet underlined that, "this will add a cultural richness to us."

    In his turn, Babacan emphasized that Estonia supported Turkey's bid to membership to the EU, and indicated that Turkey and NATO member Estonia were allies.

    Responding to a question about Cyprus, Babacan said Cyprus question should not hinder Turkish-EU relations. He said although Turkish Cypriot side accepted the U.N. plan, it was again the Turkish Cypriot side that is punished.

    Babacan underlined that the EU did not fulfill its commitment to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot side, adding that unilateral step would not be taken on resolution of the Cyprus question. He said Turkey could accept opening of ports in parallel to removal of the (blockade).

    European Union Commission earlier recommended partial suspension of entry talks with Turkey over the Ankara's insistence on not opening its airports and harbors to traffic from the Greek Cypriot administration until settlement of Cyprus issue.

    The Commission said that talks on eight of the 35 policy areas or "chapters" relating to such matters as the free movement of goods, financial services, agriculture, fisheries, transport policy, customs union policy and external relations issues, should be suspended.

    EU executive body also said that other chapters could be opened but the provisional closing of these chapters would hinge upon Turkey's fulfillment to open its airports and harbors to the Republic of Cyprus.

    Asked about the so-called Armenian genocide, Babacan said it was the duty of the historians to investigate the matter, indicating that Turkey was ready for any research that would be carried out.

    "Turkey has asked Armenian administration to establish a joint commission to investigate the so-called Armenian genocide allegations. Researchers that will be assigned by the U.N. and the EU could also take part in this research," he noted.

    [04] Ali Babacan assesses the Cyprus Problem from Slovakia

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.12.06) reports the following from Bratislava:

    "There may be developments at any hour till the EU leaders' summit (European Council) due on December 14th-15th," said Turkish State Minister and chief negotiator for EU talks Ali Babacan.

    Speaking to Slovak journalists in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, one of his stops as a part of his tour of EU countries, Babacan indicated: "Therefore, it is wrong to predict about the outcome of this summit."

    There are different views about this matter, and the European Commission is not so positive, noted Babacan when commenting on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's suggestion that Turkey should be given 18-months of deadline to fulfil requirements of the Customs Union.

    "Which one is the real matter, solving Cyprus problem or showing it as a pretext and slowing down Turkey's negotiation process?" asked Babacan when referring to Cyprus question.

    Babacan stressed that Turkey will assume its formal attitude after the EU heads of state and government summit.

    Noting that Turkish people's support to EU membership bid has not diminished, Babacan said that Turkish people are backing the reforms but they are showing emotional reactions due to some problems that emerged on the path to EU membership, particularly those related with Cyprus problem.

    Babacan emphasized that Turkey is ready to hold talks regarding Cyprus in case the EU fulfils its commitment to end the isolation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), reiterating that the Cyprus question should be solved under the roof of the UN.

    [05] The EU Commissioner on Trade assesses Turkeys EU membership process

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.12.06) reports that the EU British Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson, has declared that it is unacceptable to make Turkeys EU accession process hostage to the Cyprus problem. He urged everybody to act responsibly. He claimed that Turkeys EU membership has strategic importance to the EU.

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (06.12.06) broadcast the following:

    The EU Commissioner on Trade Peter Mandelson has said it is unacceptable to take Turkeys EU membership process as a hostage because of the Cyprus issue.

    He said that all sides concerned not just Turkey should adopt a constructive approach for a solution to be brought to the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking at a press conference, the Commissioner said it is unacceptable to take Turkeys membership process as a hostage to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Calling on all the parties concerned to act with responsibility, the Commissioner called on the EU member states not to give extreme reactions to the problems being faced in Turkeys negotiations process.

    He also emphasized that Turkey continues to have strategic importance for the European Union.

    [06] A new meeting between Tasos Tzionis and Rasit Petrev held yesterday

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (07.12.06) reports that the so-called presidential undersecretary Rasit Pertev who met with Mr Tasos Tzionis yesterday made a statement saying that work is going on as regards the establishing of the working groups and technical committees. He added that nothing has been finalized yet.

    (MHY)

    [07] Italy supports the reduction of the number of the EU Chapters to be suspended for Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.12.06) reports the following:

    Italy will extend every kind of support to Turkey to reduce the number of chapter headings that were proposed by the EU Commission to be suspended, sources said on Wednesday.

    Italian Embassy in Ankara issued a statement indicating that Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Famiano Crucianelli had various meetings in Istanbul and Ankara on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    The statement said Crucianelli was received by Turkish Foreign Minister & Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul and met the MFA Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan.

    The guest deputy minister reaffirmed the full support Italy extends to Turkey's EU membership, the statement stated.

    "Italy will exert every kind of efforts to reduce the number of chapter headings recommended to be suspended, and to make the negotiation process re-gain momentum soon without paving the ways for misunderstandings," it noted.

    "In parallel to the Commission's proposal, Italy does not consider appropriate imposing a 'review clause'," the statement added.

    Emphasizing that a historic period started in Turkey-EU relations, the statement said Turkey has significance for Italy.

    Cultural exchange program for the years 2006 and 2009, an important bilateral agreement between Turkey and Italy in cultural area, was signed during Crucianelli's meetings.

    [08] Statements by the German Ambassador to Ankara

    The German Ambassador to Ankara Mr Eckart Cuntz commented yesterday on the proposal of the German Chancellor Angela Merkel as regards Turkeys negotiation progress.

    In statements to Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (07.12.06), Mr Cuntz said that Mrs Merkel did not suggest the suspension of the negotiations for 18-24 months. Our government supports Turkeys EU membership, he stated. Mr Cuntz went on and said that Germany supports the European Commissions decision for the suspension of eight chapters. Mrs Merkel was understood wrongly. She has never made the suggestion for the suspension of the negotiations for 18-24 months, he said.

    Asked about the attitude that Mrs Merkel will follow on the 14-15 December EU Summit, Mr Cuntz stated that Germany supports Turkeys EU membership. We know that the negotiations are open-ended. The continuation of this procedure is for the interest of all of us. Turkey has entered a very good road. Its economic dynamism has entirely surprised me. However, we expect Turkey to fulfil its obligation deriving from the Additional Protocol. Because the Finish plan was not successful, the issue was left for the Summit of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs which will take place this week. If the issue is not solved there it will be discussed at the Summit of the heads of the state and the government. We think that the European Commissions recommendations have created a good basis for a decision, because 27 chapters out of the 35 will continue, he stated.

    In addition journalist Asli Aydintasbas writes in Turkish daily SABAH newspaper (07.12.06) that she met yesterday with the German Ambassador to Ankara Mr Eckart Cuntz who as she stated, had chosen his words very carefully and he tried both to clear Germanys new position and to send positive messages to the Turkish public opinion.

    Mrs Aydintasbas asked Mr Cuntz how the German Chancellor Mrs Angela Merkel changed her opinion as regards the issue of the 18-months suspension and if the USA called Germany on this issue. As she writes it is not possible not to understand Washingtons smell, from Mr Cuntzs answer: There is a very loud discussion both in Germany and Europe. I do not know if Mr Bush called or not Mrs Merkel. The USA is not an EU member-country. However USA is Germanys and Turkeys close friend. Germany, as well as USA consider important Turkeys regional role, he stated.

    Mrs Aydintasbas asked Mr Cuntz if some countries are hiding behind Cyprus and whether or not the punishment that is given to Turkey on the issue of the ports is lopsided and heavy, Mr Cuntz stated that his country is not hiding behind Cyprus. The real issue is Turkey itself and if it wants to continue or not in the EU path. We will support the decision taken by the European Commission. We must not stop trying for the positive developments of the European Commission. The support of the Turkish public opinion to the EU is diminish. My message to the Turkish people is to continue the road we follow and to take step towards the EU. Mr Cuntz also stated that the Cyprus problem should enter again into the solution process at the UN Platform and said that the aid package towards the Turkish Cypriots is on its way.

    (C/S)

    [09] The breakaway regime gets a monthly net profit of 200 billion Turkish liras from the night clubs

    Under the front page title Monthly net profit of 200 billions, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (07.12.06) reports that according to a research conducted by Mine Yucel director of Prologue Advisors Company, the breakaway regime gets a net profit of 200 thousand new Turkish liras from every night club in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper notes that when the realities regarding the night clubs were announced, the manner of how the breakaway regime economically develops was revealed.

    According to the paper, Mine Yucel gave impressive examples of how the women in the night clubs are forced to work, how they are used like slaves by their bosses and how the state helps the womens trade.

    The women who are brought into the country with a temporary permit which the night club secures from the Migration Department are put into quarantine for two days, afterwards they are taken to the Police Directorate and their passports and return tickets are taken away from them there, notes the paper, which also publishes statements by the self-styled undersecretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Ali Alnar, who alleged that the passports and the return tickets of the women are seized for their own good.

    The paper notes that the women who work in the night clubs cannot go even to the supermarket alone and without having a bodyguard and that they are violently treated by their bosses.

    Mine Yucel said: The women cannot get out in any way. She comes and remains there like a slave for six months. These places have guards. They even have big dogs. These are places which have not contact with the outside world.

    (I/Ts.)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in THE NEW ANATOLIAN assesses Erdogans statements why the EU will be the looser if Turkey does not join the union

    Under the title: "With the EU: Preparing for the day after", Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (06.12.06) publishes the following article by Cengiz Candar:

    The EU summits in Copenhagen (December 2002) and in Brussels (December 2004) were dominated by issues related to Turkey. They were transformed into Turkey summits. The current Finnish Presidency, apparently, is aware of the danger for the upcoming December 14-15 meeting and therefore declared that the Turkey issue will be finalized on December 11 by the EU foreign minister in order to prevent the Council agenda being a stage for inter-European differences to surface on Turkey. The EU has many other preoccupations. Yet, it seems, the Turkey issue is, insidiously, moving to dominate the agenda of the summit.

    Last week in Helsinki, I asked Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja whether there is any chance that the issue would be transferred to the highest authority, the Council meeting. Tuomioja, perhaps not to give a signal of incompetence or impotence, was insistent that December 11 is going to be the final date for making a decision on Turkey's accession process. Highly doubtful. Every passing day proves that Turkey is larger than the EU foreign ministers. It has even a larger magnitude than the heads of states and governments of the EU. The whole saga involves the U.S. strategic outlook extending over to the Near East and the Muslim world that Turkey stands at the center of in terms of ideology and geopolitics and also it is watched very closely by the Muslim world and European Muslims, who are a source of European security worries. It resonates more than predicted in the Middle East, combined with the anti-Western sentiment which is already present and strong.

    That is the main reason for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's unbending stand as he declared yesterday that with any rupture, more than Turkey, the EU will be the loser. The tough reaction is understandable but not 100 percent true. Turkey would be the loser on a very similar scale. Turkey would definitely be disoriented and such a rupture with the EU would jeopardize Turkey's current government's survival, at least in the mid-term, if not in the short-term. It would discourage foreign investment to a considerable extent, and also create conditions to strain the domestic politics of Turkey, including a security vacuum in its immediate neighborhood.

    Turkey's projecting a high-profile image in the Middle East may lose its potential potency, as long as it cannot act as a bond between the EU and the region. A Turkey drifting away from Europe would feel obliged to involve itself in regional cooperation focusing on the situation in Iraq, mainly with anti-Kurdish attitudes. Erdogan's abrupt visit to Iran over the weekend and his intention to soon visit Syria can be seen within such a framework and also in such a frame of mind.

    These are timid preparations in the realm of foreign policy for the "day after." That is, the day after the summit resolutions that look to be alienating Turkey from Europe. Thus, one can read the bravado of Erdogan challenging the EU.

    With the seemingly committed stand of the "Franco-German axis" of the EU, pretending to be the backbone of Europe and insisting on giving Turkey an 18-month break that would amount a virtual halt in the accession negotiations process which has the support of Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark, even Portugal and to a limited extent of Italy with the Greek Cypriots and Greece hiding behind satisfied, the damage to Turkish-EU relations is imminent.

    Turkey began to prepare for damage control for the day after. The present situation leaves no other way other than damage control, which will be extremely difficult to do.

    At this moment, we can only take comfort in the Turkish saying "Until the last breath, hope remains."

    I anticipate we could still be hopeful, but not for December 11, rather for December 14-15. We still have a long time to preserve our hopes for a better exit of our gravely sick relations with the EU.

    [11] Ports are Just an Excuse. What is the Real Reason?

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Istanbul MILLIYET newspaper (05.12.06) publishes the following commentary by Sami Kohen:

    "Some maintain that more than eight negotiation chapters should be suspended, like ten for example. Some say that Turkey should definitely be given a time limit to open its ports to the Greek Cypriots, say 18 months. According to still others, the best thing to do is to take a "break" in the negotiation process, like a year or even two years, for instance. These are the new ideas and suggestions put forward in the wake of the EU Commission's recommendation last month. The Commission's recommendation that talks be suspended under eight chapters has disappointed those from whom the new proposals have come, i.e. the Greek Cypriots, the Greeks, the French, the Germans, and the Austrians, as much as it has disturbed Turkey. They want Turkey, which has declared that it will not open its ports to the Greek Cypriots, to be punished more severely. One need not be surprised at the way the Papadopoulos administration, which has economic and political interests at stake, is making full use of the ports issue to get the EU to put pressure on Turkey. Yet what is really surprising is the fact that certain EU member-states and particularly France and Germany, which are regarded as the "elders" of the union, are accommodating the Greek Cypriots, knowing full well they are alienating Turkey in so doing.

    Subtitle: So it is a matter of principle

    When they meet this evening President Jacques Chirac and Chancellor Merkel will determine the joint policy they will be pursuing at the EU Council [meeting] next week [as published]. Apparently they will be suggesting that Turkey be given 1,5 years to open its ports. Is this issue so vital for the EU that major players like Germany and France are considering adopting measures against Turkey, a friend and ally, that amount to an ultimatum? The argument we hear from both commission officials and EU diplomats is this: "Turkey pledged to open its ports by signing the Adaptation Protocol. It has to carry out this pledge by the end of 2006. However, Ankara has declared that it will not honor this promise. The EU is very sensitive about its principles and rules. Therefore, it has to take an attitude against Turkey."

    Such is the "legal" argument that the EU is using to defend Papadopoulos' ports cause. However is it really because France, Germany, and their supporters really believe in the ports cause and owe a debt of loyalty to Papadopoulos that they want a greater punishment for Turkey than being considered?

    Subtitle: They are using one another

    One would have to be nave to believe this. Clearly the ports business is just an excuse. Papadopoulos can take advantage of the current situation deftly to get these countries into the picture. In return, countries like France and Germany which are essentially opposed to Turkey joining the EU are insidiously using Papadopoulos as a tool.

    If this port business had not existed at all, the same countries would have used other excuses to disrupt or block the accession process. Cyprus has provided them with an opportunity on a silver plate. Actually, the Germans and French are not all that interested in the Cyprus issue. They have a different agenda. For some, Turkey is not in Europe while for others Turkey is not European. Its geography, history, religion, and culture are different. Besides, it has a very large -population. It poses a major immigration threat, etc. These are the real reasons why Merkel, Sarkozy, and the like are insisting that Turkey be given a different, special status and that the format of the negotiations be changed now. Ports are only an excuse.

    /SK


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