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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-12-18
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.244/06 16-17-18.12.06
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Erdogan - Blair meeting. Blairs proposal on direct flights to the occupied airport of TymbouAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.12.06), a behind-closed-doors meeting between the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his British counterpart Tony Blair ended late Friday.
Turkey's chief EU negotiator Ali Babacan and Blair's European policy advisor Kim Darroch also attended the meeting which lasted about one and a half hours.
Moreover, Ankara Anatolia (16.12.06) reported that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a joint press conference with the British Prime Minister Tony Blair at Ankara's Esenboga Airport on Saturday.
Mr Erdogan, during the press conference, explained his views on Cyprus, the European Union (EU) and the Middle East.
Noting that Britain advocated Turkey's EU negotiation process from the very beginning, Mr Erdogan said that it was Britain which in the best way comprehended from which party the intransigence stemmed from, and thanked to Britain as it continuously expressed this within the EU.
Mr Erdogan said that they discussed developments pertaining to Cyprus, and indicated that the process that started particularly in Davos with the U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan was meaningful.
Mr Erdogan said: "We followed with regret the efforts to prevent active initiatives to remove unjust blockade on Turkish Cypriots."
"Unfortunately, 40 year-old Turkish-EU relations were reduced to side issues like the opening of ports. The Council made a great injustice to Turkey with the decision it made on the implementation of the additional protocol. We will of course continue the reform process to upgrade the standards of our own people. The direct trade regulation should be approved and implemented without being linked to any condition and it has to be based on the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot side. We also had the opportunity to discuss the progress of the chapters that were not suspended. I also had the opportunity to talk about resumption of works under the auspice of the U.N.," Mr Erdogan said.
The British Prime Minister Tony Blair said on Saturday that Britain could start direct flights to the TRNC (illegal regime established by Turkey in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus) unless there is a legal obstacle.
Mr Blair said his government was investigating the issue, yet noted that he could not make a promise at this stage.
Speaking at a joint news conference with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Mr Blair said that Britain strongly supported Turkey's EU membership from the beginning, indicating that the continuation of the process was important despite the recent difficulties and partial suspension of 8 chapters.
Mr Blair said that Turkey should fulfil the obligations required by the Additional Protocol, yet noted that the EU should also fulfil its commitments. Mr Blair said that he meant removal of the blockade on TRNC, direct trade, and ending restrictions while saying the commitments of the EU.
Mr Blair pointed out to the importance of revitalizing the UN process for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Recalling that the EU suspended the negotiations on 8 chapters, the guest Prime Minister stated that the remaining 27 chapters were important. Mr Blair said that opening of some of the chapters during the EU-term Presidency of Finland were also important.
The British Prime Minister noted that they exert efforts for Turkey as Turkey is very important for Europe's future as well as the EU's importance for Turkey. He underlined that Turkey was a gradually growing country with its strong economy.
Pointing out to Turkey's strategic importance, Mr Blair said that Turkey's geographic position between the Middle East and Europe was important for the EU.
The British Prime Minister stressed that requirements of direct trade regulation and Additional Protocol should be fulfilled together, thus both Turkey and the EU will display membership commitments to each other.
When asked whether EU's freezing 8 chapters is unfair or not, Mr Blair said that Britain has always supported Turkey's EU membership but now it is necessary to focus on the future because the decision has already been made.
Noting that even 8 chapters are suspended there are still 27 chapters to negotiate, Mr Blair said that the EU gave the signals that opening these chapters is not only a technical issue, and negotiations on these chapters can be started rapidly. He noted that Turkey's recent initiatives created a positive atmosphere in the EU summit because people had understood that fulfilling responsibilities is important not only for Turkey but also for the EU.
Upon a question about starting direct flights between TRNC and Britain, Blair said that they are examining whether this issue is possible legally within the scope of international agreements.
Blair said that they would like to start direct flights but currently he cannot give a concrete commitment or promise.
Noting that the EU should open itself to Turkey like Turkey opened itself to the EU, Mr Blair said that these openings should be made at the same time thus a different atmosphere can be created.
When asked about Turkey's recent Cyprus proposals, Mr Blair said that Britain supported Annan Plan and the UN solutions in the past but a consensus was not reached.
Noting that this process should be re-activated with the new UN Secretary- General, Mr Blair said that if a solution is found to the Cyprus problem, everything can become easier. He added that the UN is the most correct address for this, and Britain has already supported Turkey's proposals.
Mr Blair said that Britain, in the past, supported EU membership of the Republic of Cyprus, adding that they also said unification would not be a pre-condition for the membership of the Republic of Cyprus. He added that today Republic of Cyprus should have a fair and reasonable approach.
 Reactions on Blairs statement on direct flight to the occupied airport of Tympou.Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.06) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, commenting on the statements of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Britain could start direct flights to TRNC (illegal regime established by Turkey in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus) in case there is not a legal obstacle, said: "Blair's talking about direct flights and his decisive stance as regards to removal of every kind of isolation, is of course very important."
Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.06) reported from Antalya that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, taking the floor in the meeting of Antalya Chamber of Trade and Industry, said: The British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that Britain could start direct flights to the TRNC in a legal way. All these indicate that our policies become accepted more and more in the world.
"As long as we carry out these policies, life of Greek Cypriot policies will expire because the EU wants to get rid of these problems too," Mr Talat noted.
"Our solidarity is very important in this period (solution process of Cyprus problem). We might have problems or conflict of interests in this period. Some intellectuals supporting the EU in Turkey are asking (why do not we open ports). None of these people are in bad faith. However, it is overlooked that isolation on Turkish Cypriots would be heavier, Turkish Cypriot economy would drift to Greek Cypriots, and in fact Turkey would isolate Turkish Cypriots if Turkey opens its ports and airports. The Greek Cypriots will also demand to open a consulate as a just cause if Turkey opens its ports and airports, and then recognition. So, we have to carry out very careful policies," Mr Talat added.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (18.12.06) reports that Mr Talat referring to the British Prime Minister Tony Blairs statement in Turkey about the direct flights to the occupied Tymbou Airport has said that in the past Mr Blair and other British officials who visited the occupied area made similar promises and statements as well. Mr Talat said that for direct flights they have applied to the British Civil Aviation Authorities and waiting for their reply. He went on and said that because of the EUs support office in the occupied area they were able to establish official relations with the EU.
In order not to harm the Turkish Cypriots Turkey even risks its EU accession course, Talat said. Talat went on and said that the EU does not have the capacity to solve the Cyprus problem and added that since Cyprus and Greece are EU members, the EU cannot be impartial. For this reason, we cannot accept the solution of the Cyprus problem within the EU, he said and added: The UN is the most authoritative able body to settle the Cyprus problem. Talat claimed that if the EU continues its present policy towards Cyprus then the division will become permanent.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.12.06) reports that the former Turkish Foreign Minister and now the Chairman of the Harmonization Commission of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) Yasar Yakis declared that the opening of the Turkish Ports to Cyprus does not mean recognition. He went on and said: We do not recognize Taiwan as a state but our ports are open before them. As far as I am concerned we have to put aside these arguments and speed up our efforts in order to reach the end. Speaking to reporters after attending a conference in Bolu near Istanbul, Yakis said that the Turkish ports were open to the Cyprus registered ships before 1987.
 European Commission delivers financial aid to Turkish CypriotsTurkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (16.12.06) reported the following:
The European Commission adopted on Friday a financial aid decision for a total of 38.1 million euros to encourage the economic development of the Turkish Cypriots, in a move to increase pressure on the Greek Cypriots to return to peace talks.
Delivering a speech following the key development, which coincided with the European Union leaders' Summit, European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn praised the development and said: "I also encourage the member states to take the next step and adopt our proposal from 2004 on direct trade between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot community." The adoption of a direct trade regulation will be discussed by the EU next month.
"I welcome today's decision that enables us to realize concrete projects bringing the Turkish Cypriot Community closer to Europe," Rehn added
The financial assistance will focus on three objectives: Developing physical infrastructure, promoting economic and social development and bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the European Union.
The development also came a day after the British Prime Minister Tony Blair suggested the EU leaders to make a strong call to quickly resume United Nations-led talks for a settlement on Cyprus, but this was immediately turned down by the Greek Cypriot administration. The British move came during the gathering of the EU leaders on Thursday in a year-end summit.
In February the EU member states adopted an aid regulation of 259 million euros. The overall objective of the financial assistance provided by the EU is to facilitate the peace and reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community with particular emphasis on the economic integration of the island, on improving contacts between the two communities and with the EU, and on preparation for the gradual adoption of the Union's legal order. Friday's decision is committing 38.1 million euros of this overall amount for concrete projects.
From the 38.1 million euros the following six projects will be supported: A solid waste sector program for the Turkish Cypriot community, a feasibility study for the rehabilitation of the Lefke mining area, upgrading the management of the energy sector, upgrading of urban and local infrastructure, supporting private sector development within the Turkish Cypriot community and information on the EU political and legal order.
The second part of the financial assistance will be adopted before the end of next year, after this year's favourable opinion from the Phare Management Committee on October 20.
For the implementation of the assistance, the Commission has put in place a program team composed of Commission officials and contract agents working both in Brussels and on the island. The team will be using a program support office in the TRNC (illegal regime establishes by Turkey in the occupied north part of the Republic of Cyprus) to facilitate contacts with the beneficiary community, with a view to ensuring cost-effective coordination, preparation and implementation of the assistance, whilst also providing a venue for meetings and seminars. The program support office has been operational since mid-September undertaking preparatory activities.
 The Society of the Martyrs families and Disabled War Veterans want to bring their matter before the ECHRIllegal Bayrak television (15.12.06) broadcast that the Turkish Cypriot Society of the Martyrs Families and Disabled War Veterans has asked for the support of the self-styled Foreign Ministry - in its attempt to take to the European Court of Human Rights - the fact that many Turkish Cypriots were massacred by Greek Cypriots in many villages across Cyprus before and during 1974.
The request for assistance on the issue was made by the societys president Ertan Ersan during a visit to the self-styled Minister of Foreign Affairs- Deputy Prime Minister Turgay Avci, on Friday morning.
Welcoming representatives from the society, Mr Avci stressed the important role Turkish Cypriot fighters some of whom had fallen during the defence of Turkish Cypriot enclaves, in promoting peace and freedom.
He promised full assistance and aid to make sure that the issue is successfully brought before the European Court of Human Rights, for it, to discuss the matter.
 Tahsin Ertugruloglu become the new UBP leaderIllegal BAYRAK television (17.12.06) reports that the National Unity Party held (UBP) its 16th party congress at the Ataturk Sports Complex in occupied Nicosia.
Mr Tahsin Ertugruloglu, who was the only candidate standing for leadership of the party has become the new UBP leader.
In addition, as Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (17.12.06), reports that a draft decision was voted unanimously at the conference, according to which the best solution for the Cyprus problem is confederation.
 Ankara has reportedly denied granting to the Turkish Cypriots 27 million new Turkish liras for the payment of the December salaries to the public servantsTurkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (16.12.06) reports that Ankara has denied granting to the Republican Turkish Party Freedom and Reform Party self-styled government the sum of 27 million new Turkish liras for the payment of the December salaries to the public servants.
The paper notes that the self-styled government laid its hand on the savings of the workers in the Provident Fund in order to be able to pay the salaries. Turkey cannot send the money because the 2007 budget has not yet been approved by the Turkish Grand National Assembly, according to VOLKAN.
 A new Turkish envoy appointed in the occupied areas of CyprusAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (18.06.12), Turkeys new envoy to the occupied area Ambassador Turkekul Kurttekin is to submit his so-called credentials to the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat today.
 A big tourism complex is to be built in the area of occupied Akanthou villageTurkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (16.12.06) reports that a step towards the construction of a big tourism complex with a five star hotel, an entertainment centre and a marina in the area of occupied Akanthou village has been made.
The paper writes that the self-styled council of ministers approved last week the leasing of an area of about 200 donums (Tr. Note: a donum is a land measure of 1000 square meters) in Akanthou to MAYA Tourism Company, which has been established in the occupied areas of Cyprus with the partnership of PERA and VESPA companies which are shareholders of Global Holding.
The self-styled ministers of foreign affairs, economy and tourism and finance, Turgay Avci, Enver Ozturk and Ahmet Uzun respectively met on Friday with the partners and shareholders of the company in order to discuss the conditions of the above-mentioned investment. The agreement is planned to be signed within a week.
In statements after the meeting, Mr Uzun said that the above-mentioned company wants to invest in the filed of tourism in the occupied areas and that they consider this to be a very important opportunity. He noted that they will secure to these investors the maximum facilities. He said that they will lease to this company an area of about 200 donums in the area of Akanthou for a long period of time and that the covered area of the complex will be 172 thousand square meters. Mr Uzun stated that the investment is estimated to be around 160 million dollars.
Mr Ozturk said that they are determined to take away the land from those who do not invest and give it to the real investors who can invest. He noted that this is the first step in this direction.
Mr Avci said that their target is to bring investments to the occupied areas and that as government they will support such investments.
 Turkey will not buy war-planes for Eurofighter because Cyprus veto its membership to the European Defence AgencyTurkish MILLIYET newspaper (18.12.06) writes that Turkey is sending to the EU a 10 billion dollars message. As the paper writes, the Turkish Minister of Defence, Vecdi Gonul, explained the reason of Eurofighters elimination in the purchase of 10 billion dollar war-planes by Turkey. As he stated it is the EU that produces the Eurofighter. There are some difficulties. Turkey was not able to become member of the European Defence Agency (EDA) because of the Greek Cypriots. This was a very important factor. The paper also writes that Ankara who rejected all the solutions presented by the Eurofighter, turned to the F-35 which are produced by the USA.
The paper goes on and writes that the attitude of the Republic of Cyprus towards Turkey on the EU has affected the preference of the Turkish Armed forces on the issue of the purchase of new war planes. The Turkish Minister of Defence, Vecdi Gonul, sent the message to the countries that constitute the EUROFIGHTER Consortium, Italy, Britain, Germany and Spain, that because they did not lift the Greek Cypriot veto on Turkeys membership to the European Defence Agency (EDA) they were eliminated on the issue of the purchase of the war planes.
 A National Committee was established to deal with the narcotics issue in the occupied areasAccording to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS and YENIDUZEN newspapers (18.12.06), a so-called National Committee was established to deal with the narcotics issue in the occupied areas. The so-called undersecretary for Prime Ministers Office Ontac Duzgun said that soon a department will be established under the Prime Ministers Office. The papers report that meanwhile certain measures were already taken in the fight against the narcotics. They are the following:
The number of trained dogs for finding narcotics was increased.
The number of police officers serving in the narcotics department increased.
Work has started to establish a centre for the treatment of addicts
Work has started to amend existing laws in the fight against the drug abuse etc.
 Erdogan said his party will not make public its presidential candidate before April 2007"According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (15.12.06), the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that his Justice and Development Party (AKP) would not make public its presidential candidate before April 2007.
Parliament is expected to elect the new president in May 2007 to succeed President Ahmet Necdet Sezer.
"AKP will not announce its presidential candidate before April 2007," he told a parliamentary session on a draft budget law.
Erdogan also ruled out possibility that President Sezer could join the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) ranks after his term ends. "I don't believe that he (Sezer) would think of such a possibility," Erdogan said.
Premier also rejected speculations on the presidential election and stated that the election would be held according the rules outlined in the Constitution. "Whoever becomes the president, this would be the parliament's call," he added.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Where is the TRNCs economy going?Under the above title Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (16.12.06) published the following commentary Gila BENMAYOR:
During the days when the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government made a leap into ports, we were on the island itself, along with Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarc1kl1oglu, as the guest of the Turkish Cypriot Trade Chamber. On our way to Nicosia, we asked the young taxi driver about his views on the leap into ports.
He let it go at shrugging his shoulders. He was indifferent to developments.
During the two days we stayed on the island, the indifference to policy -- particularly by young people -- confused our journalists group. It seemed as if most of young people, who voted yes to the Annan plan in the referendum, were offended.
We asked the same question to the businessmen in the Turkish Cypriot Trade Chamber. We received a positive reaction from them: We believe that this is a chess move. Such moves have been made by the Greeks in the past.
We came across an interesting situation in the TRNC.
While young people are suspicious about the future, older ones are more hopeful that things will improve on the island.
Figures provided by the Turkish Cypriot Trade Chamber Chairman Erdil Nami sound like an indicator of a hope like this. The TRNC economy has entered an annual growth trend of 10 to 11 percent growth.
Gross national product (GNP) jumped from $5,000 to $11,000 annually within just two years. If we mention that the same figure is $22,000 in Greek Cyprus, we can see that the difference is progressively been made up.
Bank deposits jumped from $1.6 billion to $3.3 billion. The picture clearly shows that Turkish Cypriots are gradually getting richer, and tending towards consumption.
However, at this point questions come to mind. What is behind this economic growth?
The general opinion is that the explosion in the construction sector caused it. After the referendum in particular, demand for residential buildings caused a construction boom. It is said that Turkish Cypriots got richer by selling their land. That's to say, the wealth does not come from production, export or tourism.
Anyway, the 30 percent hotel occupancy rate quoted by TRNC Economy and Tourism Minister Enver Ozturk indicates that tourism is not successful.
And import and export are poles apart. Import is above $1 billion, export is at about $60 million.
Two key factors in economic growth are being discussed behind closed doors.
Casinos and sex tourism, which are unfortunately becoming widespread.
Consequently, the TRNC's economic growth is not seen as a healthy one.
(Tr. Note: the TRNC is the illegal regime established by Turkeys Republic in the occupied north part of the Republic of Cyprus).