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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-09

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.06/07 09.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The bridge in Ledra Street area is being dismantled today; Statements by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hasan Ercakica; Reactions on the issue continue in the press.
  • [02] Talat to inform the assembly on the issue of the bridge; Akinci asks for the amendment of article 10; Reactions by other political parties and organizations.
  • [03] The meeting between Ahmet Yonluer and Archbishop Chrysostomos was cancelled.
  • [04] Azerbaijan enlists Turkish General to enhance its military.
  • [05] Installation of AIS by Turkey is reported as a slap against Cyprus.
  • [06] Turkey under threat, warns the intelligence chief.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [07] Northern Cyprus' independence: Only as far as the gate?
  • [08] Turkish daily: "Warnings of MIT show the critical path ahead".

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The bridge in Ledra Street area is being dismantled today; Statements by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Hasan Ercakica; Reactions on the issue continue in the press

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.01.07), under the title It is being dismantled at last, reports that a consensus has been reached between the sides on the issue of the lifting of the bridge which the breakaway regime has built in the area of the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) in the occupied part of Nicosia and caused a crisis between the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the Turkish occupation army.

    After the agreement which was reached yesterday between Ankara and Nicosia, notes KIBRIS, Mr Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, announced that the works for removing the bridge, which has allegedly been built in order to secure the crossings between the two sides in the area, will start today.

    The paper reports also that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement yesterday noting that it had conveyed to Mr Talat its political evaluation regarding the decision for removing the bridge in the Ledra Street area and that the final decision on this issue belongs to the authorities of the TRNC.

    Referring to the above-mentioned statement, Turkish MILLIYET newspaper (09.01.07), reports that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the following: We have received the opinion of the Army and we have conveyed our political evaluation. The decision is up to the TRNC.

    According to the paper, the Turkish government which until yesterday, kept silent on the difference of opinion between Mehmet Ali Talat and General Buyukan1t, announced yesterday its position in a written statement issued by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

    Despite the announcement of the Chief of the General Staff Office on the 6th of January 2007, unfortunately the news and the interpretations which followed Talats visit in Ankara on the 5th of January and the way these were published by some press representatives, continue. These, do not correspond to the truth on the issue of the gate opening at Ledra street in Lefkosia.

    Our government, following Mr Talats conveying to us his decision of pulling down of the Ledra street footbridge, has taken, bearing in mind the security dimension of the matter, the views of our military officials, and made its political evaluation and conveyed it to esteemed Talat. On this matter the final decision and the initiative is an issue which is up to the TRNC.

    According to MILLIYET, sources of AKP (Justice and Development Party) close to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the international pressure towards the Greek Cypriot side will increase after the unilateral step taken by the Turkish Cypriot side to pull down the footbridge.

    The paper further writes that there was an intensive traffic yesterday between Ankara and occupied Lefkosia. Talat and his officials performed coordinating works in contacts with Ankara, while the Turkish Cypriot leader gave guarantees to the military wing that he will not take any more steps beyond the pulling down of the footbridge. At the same time, the so-called Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the occupied part of Cyprus, announced yesterday that the pulling down of the footbridge is to start today.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (09.01.07) refers to the issue under the title First they beat (him) and afterwards they loved (him). The paper notes that yesterday they said that the Ledra Street area is under the control of the Turkish Armed Forces and today they are saying that the final decision belongs to the TRNC.

    The paper reports also that the so-called mayor of the occupied part of Nicosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari visited yesterday the Ledra Street area and stated that the removal of the bridge will last only fifteen minutes.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (09.01.07) covers the issue under the title They built it by themselves and they are demolishing it by themselves.

    The paper wonders which concession will follow and refers to a statement by Asim Akansoy, the director of Mr Talats office, to Reuters news agency in which Mr Akansoy said that there will be no military unit in the Ledra street area.

    VOLKAN reports also that Mustafa Balbay, representative of Turkish CUMHURIYET newspaper in Ankara, said on a program of ART television that during his meeting at the Turkish General Staff Mr Talat asked for the withdrawal of a number of Turkish soldiers from the island 2007, as a good will gesture.

    Furthermore, Basaran Duzgun, editor-in-chief of KIBRIS, refers to the issue of the bridge at the Ledra Street area and writes that the expression which is appropriate for the situation is the hat fell and the bald is seen.

    Mr Duzgun adds: What we are told is that a golden haired healthy TRNC exists. It has been revealed that this is only an image we use to deceive ourselves. It is an image which the President of the Republic tries to use from time to time. With the Lokmaci bridge everybody saw what the use of this image is.

    Mr Duzgun notes that he is not satisfied that the crisis ended and that he wanted it to continue until the Turkish Cypriots take back their sovereignty, until the assembly which is the sign of our sovereignty and will convene and make the necessary legal arrangements and until the security is under the responsibility of the army, but the political will is under the authority of the assembly is said.

    (I/Ts./M/L.)

    [02] Talat to inform the assembly on the issue of the bridge; Akinci asks for the amendment of article 10; Reactions by other political parties and organizations

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.01.07), under the title The assembly on the alert, reports that the self-styled Prime Minister Soyer stated yesterday at the assembly that the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, with whom he met yesterday, told him that he wanted Soyer to call the assembly for an extraordinary session.

    Mr Soyer said that the assembly will meet today and that Mr Talat will address the body. Mr Soyer was replying to the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH) Mustafa Akinci who during the discussion of the issue of the bridge accused Mr Talat of not telling the truth to the people on it.

    Mr Akinci said that the opening of the crossing point is important and necessary especially for the tradesmen. Mr Akinci noted that an effort was exerted to present the decision for the lifting of the bridge as a decision taken by Mr Talat. He reminded the visit of Mr Talat to Turkey and the statement of the Turkish General Staff on the issue and noted that he was offended by the above-mentioned statement.

    Mr Akinci said: I was offended because of two points. The first is the fact that the President was declared to be untrue in a style not very diplomatic. Mr Talat was put into a difficult situation before his own community and the world. My second distress is that a president has to tell his community the truth by all means. Mr Akinci pointed out that the situation has once more shown the realities of the country and noted that the conditions which made article 10 of the constitution necessary have changed. Now this article must be reinterpreted, he argued.

    Mr Akinci said that even when the bridge is lifted, the gate could not open as long as there are troops in the Ermou street area.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.01.07) reports that the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu said yesterday that they do not agree on the issue of the bridge in Ledra Street area and that they focus their criticism on the method which the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Talat followed.

    Mr Ertugruloglu made this statement after the meeting of a delegation of the UBP with Mr Talat. Asked whether or not his party will participate in a session of the assembly where Mr Talat will inform the body on the issue of the bridge in the Ledra Street area, Mr Ertugruloglu said that the organs of the party will decide on this and added that they received no official information on the issue. He noted that Mr Talat is still at the stage of thinking about this issue.

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.01.07), the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, the Platform This Country is Ours (BMBP), the Cyprus Turkish Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) and tradesmen protested yesterday in the area of the Ledra Street barricade against the fact that the will of the highest office of the country and therefore the will of the people is violated.

    Mr Hurrem Tulga, chairman of the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, said that the decision of Mr Talat may be right or wrong, but the will of the country is once more disputed here. This is unacceptable, he noted. A people can be humiliated only this much in the international arena, said Tulga and wondered: Who will take you into consideration from now on?.

    Mr Sener Elcil, general secretary of KTOS said, inter alia, the following: We want the political will of our people to be respected. We feel that those who are elected and not those who are appointed have the right to speak regarding the Turkish Cypriot people. We are here. Therefore, we want the elected Mr Mehmet Ali Talat to be here. We came to demolish the bridge. We came to overcome the obstacles. Mr Talat had to be here as well. .

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.01.07) reports that the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas made a statement to the press after the protest of the above-mentioned civilian organizations and said that the demolition of the bridge was inevitable after the shameful developments. He noted that Mr Talat should solve the issue by having dialogue in the country instead of taking it to Ankara.

    Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (09.01.07) reports that Mr Rauf Denktas, the former Turkish Cypriot leader, said on the issue of the Ledra Street (Lokmaci) barricade: At the Lokmaci barricade we must prove that we exist as a state. If we want an understanding we must speak knowing who we are and defending our state. We must insist on simultaneous acts and not to touch the bridge until this is accepted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The meeting between Ahmet Yonluer and Archbishop Chrysostomos was cancelled

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.01.07) reports that the meeting planned to take place yesterday between Archbishop Chrysostomos and Ahmet Yonluer, Head of the Religious Affairs of the Turkish Cypriots, was cancelled.

    Mr Yonluer argued yesterday that the meeting was cancelled because Archbishop Chrysostomos made statements which harm peace and the dialogue between the religions. I hope that Mr Chrysostomos, by revising once more his position, will determine a constructive stance so that a dialogue between religions may start, said Mr Yonluer.

    Mr Frixos Cleanthous, director of the Archbishops office, stated that Archbishop Chrysostomos is ready to meet with Mr Yonluer whenever the Turkish Cypriot religious leader thinks that the climate is appropriate.

    Mr Cleanthous said that he does not think the climate is not appropriate for a meeting.

    Referring to the issue, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (09.01.07) writes that the priest, who stated that he would ask from Yonluer the withdrawal of the Turkish army and the return of the churches in the TRNC, went beyond the limit and the meeting was cancelled!!!

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (09.01.07) reports that its reportage yesterday has been influential for the cancellation of the meeting, that Yonluer took it into consideration and decided the right thing by not meeting Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    Meanwhile, Mr Hasan Hasturer, columnist of Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.01.07) refers to the issue and says that the cancellation of the meeting is wrong and that if the statements made in the past had been the reason for cancellation of meetings, the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas would not have met with any Greek Cypriot leader. Mr Hasturer says that the decision for the cancellation of the meeting was not taken by Mr Yonluer.

    Finally, under the title It ended before it even started the dialogue between the religions, Sefa Karahasan, MILLIYETs (09.01.07) correspondent in occupied Lefkosia reports on the cancelled meeting between the Turkish Cypriot Religious Leader Ahmet Yonluer and the Archbishop Chrysostomos B, and writes that Mehmet Ali Talat and Ferdi Sabit Soyer had the same opinion as Turkey for cancelling the meeting between the religious leaders of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts./M/L.)

    [04] Azerbaijan enlists Turkish General to enhance its military

    Istanbul Cihan News Agency (Internet Version-08.01.07) reported that Azerbaijan is planning to appoint a Turkish general as its deputy defence minister as part of a project to elevate its military to NATO standards.

    According to the news reports that appeared in the Azerbaijani press, a Turkish general, appointed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), will assume the post in mid-2007.

    A news story published by Azeri daily Ayna wrote that Baku administration will delegate broad powers to the Turkish general and allow him to work with his team from Turkey. The partnership is planned to continue until 2011, during which time a few Turkish generals to be selected by the Turkish Armed Forces will consecutively occupy the post.

    The daily also wrote that Azeri and Turkish military officials had been discussing the issue for a while and that it would be taken up during the visit of General Ilker Basbug, commander-in-chief of the Turkish Land Forces, to Azerbaijan in January. Ayna assumes that the identity of the deputy defence minister will be revealed within few months following this meeting.

    Azerbaijan will model this system on a project implemented by Lithuania in 2002, when the country appointed a retired American colonel, Ionas Kronkaytis, as chief of staff upon recommendation from NATO and U.S. military authorities. Kronkaytis reformed the Lithuanian army in 2003 according to NATO standards, which resulted in the country joining the alliance.

    [05] Installation of AIS by Turkey is reported as a slap against Cyprus

    According to Turkish daily BUGUN newspaper (08.01.07) Turkey has started installing the Automatic Identification System (AIS) along its 8 thousand km shore line. The paper reports under banner headlines Security slap to the Greek Cypriots and claims that when the Cyprus government raised the security issue in the Mediterranean and wanted to be the centre for such operations within the EU, Turkey intervened and immediately took action in such a way that within one year it will install 27 monitoring stations along its more than 8 thousand km shores.

    The project will cost 3.5 billion Euros. With this project Turkey will be able to monitor activities of ships along its shores. It will be able to control movements of the illegal immigrants as well as all kinds of smuggling activities. It will also control fishing activities of the third country fishermen. It will also be effective in rescue and search operations.

    The test running of the project will take place this year. The paper also writes that the installation of the AIS is an EU obligation for Turkey.

    (MHY)

    [06] Turkey under threat, warns the intelligence chief

    Turkish daily TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (08.01.07), under the above title, reports the following:

    National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Emre Taner has issued some bold warnings about Turkey's future, arguing in a statement echoing the fears of many Turks that some nation-states in the Middle East might not last for long and that Turkey should be more pro-active to ensure its existence.

    This warning came on the 80th anniversary of MIT, Turkey's principal secret service. MIT is generally known to keep a low public profile, and MIT undersecretaries rarely make headlines with their statements. Taner apparently broke the tradition with his threat analysis, which was posted on MIT's Web site last Friday and made the headlines in several dailies over the weekend.

    In his assessment Taner argued: In this period that we are currently in, we will see the process by which many nations will lose the marathon of history. He went on to say: All values, structures, relations, systems and social order, be it socioeconomic or political, religious or moral, are being reshaped and redefined. This process is representative of the period in which new key players, secondary players and the rules of the international system are being redefined and even reborn.

    The undersecretary also hinted at what needs to be done in the face of this peril facing the nation-state. Turkey, he argued, does not have "the luxury of letting things flow at its own pace or of simply following laissez-faire tactics with regard to its policies." He criticized Turkey's traditional wait-and-see tactics. While it was foreseeable that the bipolar global system was not to last long in the second half of the 20th century, nations were unprepared for the post-1990 period," said Taner; in a way that hinted Turkey's own lack of preparedness. "The primary reason for this is the deeply conservative manner in which countries gripped by the status quo approach analyses of the system, he added. "For this reason, any predictions regarding the future were unsuccessful within the rigid puritanical approach.

    Taner's statements created a stir in the Turkish media. HURRIYET's chief columnist Oktay Eksi criticized the undersecretary for making his opinions public, whereas he should have passed them onto his superiors in the state hierarchy. SABAH columnist Erdal Safak took a more favourable tone and argued that Taner rightly warned Turkey of the clear and present dangers it is facing. "Keep Undersecretary Taner's statement in your mind," Safak suggested, "and put near it the map drawn by U.S. Col. Ralph Peters." The map in question is the one that was published in the U.S. Armed Forces Journal last year and which presented an "ideal Middle East," in which Turkey, along with many other countries, were divided along ethnic lines. Many Turks believe or at least suspect that Peters' map reflects the hidden but definitive strategy of the U.S. government.

    SABAH's Ankara bureau chief Asl1 Ayd1ntasbas approached the issue from a more relaxed point of view. "Some have understood the undersecretary's comments as a call to invade Iraq," Ayd1ntasbas noted: "But few have realized that he was mainly talking about his own institution." Taner was not suggesting a new foreign policy, according to her, but a reshaping of MIT, which he criticized for not being well prepared for the post-Cold War world. "Instead of acting like a Big Brother-type society watcher," the undersecretary was suggesting, according to Ayd1ntasbas, "MIT should become a modern intelligence service that would counter strategic threats with a more flexible staff."


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [07] Northern Cyprus' independence: only as far as the gate?

    Under the above title, Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (08.01.07) published the following commentary by Ferai Tinc:

    Looking back to the final months of 2006, what was the point we focused on the most when it came to the question of Cyprus? Why is it that we responded to Papadopoulos (the leader of the Southern Cypriot authority) by saying "Southern Cyprus should not be addressing Turkey, but rather members of the Northern Cypriot government? In order to meet on the subject of Finland's suggestions, Northern Cypriot representatives must absolutely be at the table." This was all because Papadopoulos continues not to accept his Northern Cypriot counterparts as those he should be addressing; he repeats over and again that Turkey is making the decisions on Cyprus, and that it is Ankara he wants to speak with.

    Papadopoulos is also insistent that in Turkey, it is the military which has more authority than politicians, and that as such, a portion of a country which is in the European Union is actually under military invasion. To this end, it is notable that in fact Papadopoulos has gained a new trump for his hand by virtue of the "Lokmaci Gate crisis" (Tr. Note: Ledra Street ceasefire line) which took place near the end of the Bayram holiday in Nicosia.

    Here is what happened: the President of Northern Cyprus, Mehmet Ali Talat, makes an announcement, and the Turkish military's General Staff denies it in public. The General Staff goes on to share with the people of the country the fact that it has all sorts of objections to the Northern Cypriot President's statement. And thus, a tableau of crisis starts to emerge between the leadership of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish military's General Staff.

    And I am sure here that Papadopoulos noted this all, saying to himself and those around him "You see, Northern Cyprus is only independent up until a certain point. Didn't I tell you?"

    The so-called "Lokmaci Gate" is in Nicosia, and stands as one of the first symbols of the island of Cyprus' division. It is a point at which the old, original barricades were erected, and at which the Nicosia shopping streets were divided.

    Both sides have walls, but the Turkish side brought down its walls. A footbridge was erected for civilians to use, and the leadership of Northern Cyprus decided to open up the Lokmaci Gate. The bringing together of the shopping streets would enliven merchant life here; this was a decision supported by the United Nations. Brussels too signalled that it was behind this move. But Papadopoulos stressed that a pre-condition would be to destroy the newly built footbridge intended for civilian traffic.

    As for the Northern Cypriot authority, they said: "If it's an issue, we'll bring down the footbridge."

    As far as we've been able to learn from the newspapers, the real objection by the Turkish General Staff to the opening up of the Lokmaci Gate has to do with the timing of the step. General Yasar Buyukanit told the MILLIYET's Fikret Bila: "There is nothing wrong with the actual opening up the gate. But these steps must take place simultaneously.

    What I have understood from these statements is this: there is no problem with the destruction of the overpass, but the Turkish General Staff does not want the Turkish side to soften in its stance until reciprocal steps are taken by the Southern Cypriot side.

    And so, this is the politics of objections.

    But political decisions must be made by the politicians themselves. Because in the end, it is the politicians who will have to explain these decisions to the people. And so it is also understandable that Talat, the President of Northern Cyprus, wants to stand behind his own decision.

    Also underneath the whole "Lokmaci Gate crisis" is the fact that the military fears that the AKP-led administration in Ankara will wind up making unnecessary concessions on the international arena on the subject of Cyprus. But just as carrying out anti-AKP politics over Northern Cyprus is not right, it is also not right to throw a shadow over the independence of the Northern Cypriot administration itself. Especially just at the moment when demonstrating to the world this government's independence is so critical.

    [08] Turkish daily: "Warnings of MIT show the critical path ahead"

    Turkish daily THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (08.01.07) published the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:

    A statement issued by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) chief Emre Taner on the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the founding of the intelligence agency shows at least some people are aware of the growing dangers looming in the horizon for Turkey and is prepared to take action.

    The intelligence boss says the world is changing rapidly and the global realities coupled with technological changes may soon swallow up many states ending their sovereign status. He says Turkey has to be economically strong, have a solid foreign policy and maintain a massive military deterrent to avoid being relegated in the international scene.

    He also underlines an extremely important issue when he says Turkey no longer has the luxury of reacting to events and adopting a "wait and see" policy and now has to be ahead of all the developments and if necessary take action to reshape the future to its liking.

    Turkey has the capacity and the means to influence regional developments. The fact that Turkey is situated in an extremely important region in the world adds to its importance as a key international player. But Turkey has been in a deep sleep preferring to take a more pacifist attitude regarding international issues. We react to developments instead of trying to shape them in advance. The MIT chief points out to the flaws of this system and warns from now on Turkey cannot afford the luxury of inaction and has to be one step ahead of everyone else if the name of the game is survival. He says Turkey cannot sit and wait for the ideal conditions to develop or that its wishes are realized by international developments which are beyond its control.

    This means the system which is only geared to reaction will now have to mold itself to steer the course of history. This means institutional changes not only in MIT but also in all the other vital state institutions. MIT says it is reorganizing according to this requirement. This is encouraging.

    Let us all other state institutions from the military to the foreign ministry follow course.

    We have looked into major financial reports and they all say Iran and Iraq are two critical areas that are creating international risks in 2007 to Turkey' neighbour and this puts us in a crucial position where we can turn everything into our advantage.

    We are entering a critical year in Iraq. Until now Turkey has been basing all its policies on the assumption that Iraq's unity and territorial integrity is preserved. But it is clear that things are not working out so that this can be guaranteed. There is always the real danger that Baghdad may collapse any time, that Iraq may plunge into a genuine civil war and the country may disintegrate into many fragments.

    Turkey has to take measures to make the best of these developments and turn them into advantages for our national interests. This means Turkey has to be able to have a say in what happens to Iraq in the future and where it stands as a major conflict looms between the Shiite world and the Sunni Arab masses. Turkey also has to have a say in how the Kurdish entity in Iraq is moulded. All these can only be achieved if the Turkish state takes the necessary measures to heed the warnings of its intelligence agency.

    /SK


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