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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-17

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.12/07 17.01.06

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] EU officials say that the contracts for financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots will be signed by companies and juristic persons.
  • [02] Newspaper criticizes minister for admitting that the area where Dikomo garbage dump is belongs to Greek Cypriots.
  • [03] European jurists say that direct flights to illegal Tymbou airport are not possible from the point of view of the international law.
  • [04] Statements by Ercakica on Ledra Street and the direct flights.
  • [05] Youth organizations launch a campaign against the influence of the Turkish army in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
  • [06] Soyer of the Ledra Street crossing point.
  • [07] Yonluer meets with the leader of the Russian Moslems.
  • [08] Gokeri denied information of converting part of the Apostolos Andreas Monastery into a hotel.
  • [09] A motion against Gul was submitted to the TBMM. A closed session debate on Iraq.
  • [10] A Finnish citizen was taken into custody by Turkey due to the fact she was an expert on Kurdish issues.
  • [11] Arinc thanked Sudans assistance to Turkeys efforts on the Cyprus issue.
  • [12] Turkey, Ukraine to boost defence, economic ties.
  • [13] Akinci: We do not want the control of the army (continue).

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] EU officials say that the contracts for financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots will be signed by companies and juristic persons

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.01.07) reports that Andrew Rasbash, head of the EU support office for the Turkish Cypriots, and Alain Bothorel, responsible of the EU support office, held yesterday a press conference in the occupied areas of Cyprus on the issue of the financial aid which the European Union will provide for the Turkish Cypriot community.

    During the press conference, which took place at the EU Coordination Centre of the self-styled Prime Ministry, at the presence of Erhan Ercin, responsible of the Centre, Mr Rasbash said that the contracts regarding the projects which will be carried out within the framework of the financial aid will be signed with companies, civilian organizations and juristic persons and not with the state. He noted that the state authorities will be the side which will benefit from the contract and not the side which will sign it.

    Mr Bothorel said that the draft of the contracts and the stages of the projects could be found in the webpage of the Office and added that tenders will be accepted in the coming weeks.

    Mr Ercin noted that the application of the Financial Aid Regulation started without any problems. He said that the government of the self-styled TRNC attaches great importance to the financial aid and that within the framework of this aid they will cooperate with some international organizations such as UNDP and the European Council.

    Ercin noted that the legal and administrative system of the TRNC must be developed and modernize and added that being harmonized with the acquis of the EU is also important in this modernization process so that the Turkish Cypriots are able to benefit.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily VOLKAN newspaper (17.01.07) refers to the issue under the title Rasbash humiliated the TRNC. The paper describes as humiliation the statement of Mr Rasbash that the state officials will not sign the contracts and that the Turkish Cypriots are not isolated because the EU gives them scholarships.

    (I/Ts)

    [02] Newspaper criticizes minister for admitting that the area where Dikomo garbage dump is belongs to Greek Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily CUMHURIYET newspaper (17.01.07) reports that Asim Vehbi, self-styled Minister of Environment of the breakaway regime has said that using the financial aid of the EU in the Dikomo garbage dump is difficult because the area is a Greek Cypriot property.

    The paper writes that Vehbi made these statements on a television program he participated yesterday. The paper criticizes Mr Vehbi and describes him as the first minister who declared the TRNC as Greek Cypriot property.

    (I/Ts)

    [03] European jurists say that direct flights to illegal Tymbou airport are not possible from the point of view of the international law

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.01.07) reports that according to EU jurists starting direct flights to the illegal Tymbou airport is not possible from the point of view of the international law.

    Responding to questions on the issue by the ABhaber, the above-mentioned jurists noted that a country should recognize the TRNC in order to be able to conduct direct flights to Tymbou.

    They noted that Cyprus is represented by the Republic of Cyprus in the international field and that the Republic of Cyprus must give its permission so that such flights are conducted.

    Furthermore, Turkish daily MILLIYET (17.01.07) refers to the issue and reports that according to EU lawyers, no country could start direct flights to the Turkish occupied part of Republic of Cyprus without securing permission from the Cyprus government.

    The lawyers said that According to the International Civil Aviation Organizations (ICAO) conventions (Chicago Agreement) Aviation agreements are signed by each state as regards the Flight Information Region and in Cyprus it is the Cyprus government that had signed agreements with the ICAO.

    Thus, without the permission of the Cyprus government direct flights to the occupied area, from the international law point of view is not possible. The paper claims that the lawyers said that since Turkey has recognized the occupied area then there is no problem for direct flights. To start direct flights third countries should recognize the occupied area, the lawyers suggested.

    (I/Ts-MHY)

    [04] Statements by Ercakica on Ledra Street and the direct flights

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.01.07) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, alleged during his weekly briefing yesterday that no opinion or plan has been submitted to the Turkish Cypriot side by the United Nations on the issue of the opening of Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point.

    He argued that the area is as safe as the other crossing points from the point of view of the Turkish Cypriots and described the concerns of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the security in the area and the violations of the border (as he called the cease fire line) as made-up excuses for not opening the crossing point.

    As a matter of fact, no long initiatives or planning are needed for the opining of Lokmaci Gate. The only thing needed to be done for the opining of Lokmaci Gate is the demolition of the wall of shame in the Greek Cypriot side, he claimed.

    Mr Ercakica commented also on the issue of the direct flights to illegal Tymbou airport and said that according to the last official information they acquired in December by the British Secretariat of State for Transport the issue of the direct flights is still being evaluated from the legal point of view and no decision is taken.

    Mr Ercakica noted that their efforts on the issue will continue even if they receive negative answer by the administrative authorities.

    (I/Ts)

    [05] Youth organizations launch a campaign against the influence of the Turkish army in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (17.01.07) reports that representatives of political parties and youth organizations organized yesterday a protest outside the building of the assembly demanding the abolishment of article 10 of the constitution.

    The young protesters, who expressed the opinion that article 10 must be abolished, the military arrangements must be turned over to the Turkish Cypriots and the whole island must be demilitarized, launched a campaign for gathering signatures in this direction.

    The Mediterranean Youth Centre, Baraka Cultural Centre, the Youth Committee of the Peace and Democracy Movement (BDH), the Youth Branches of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Cirkef Magazine, Isirgan Magazine, the Cypriot Youth Platform, the Union of the Cypriot Students at the Near East University and the Youth of the New Cyprus Party (YKP) signed the declaration which has been prepared upon initiative by the Youth Committee of the BDH.

    The protesters held placards writing Give the authority to the civilians now. Article 10 is our shame. If you go to Ankara, please do not come back. The protesters marched to Arasta area (Tr. Note: Ledra Street area in the occupied part of Nicosia) and demanded the demolition of the wall in the south part of the barricade and the necessary arrangements for the crossings to start in the area.

    (I/Ts)

    [06] Soyer of the Ledra Street crossing point

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENI DUZEN newspaper (17.01.07) publishes an article by Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled Prime Minister of the breakaway regime, who responding to the demand of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the removal of the symbols of the occupation for the opening of Ledra Street (Lokmaci) crossing point, reminded that according to article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus the Turkish flag is one of the official flags of the Republic of Cyprus.

    He argued that after this demand, the supporters of the status quo in the Turkish Cypriot community began to react and shout that our flags cannot be removed and that the government will make concessions.

    (I/Ts)

    [07] Yonluer meets with the leader of the Russian Moslems

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.01.07) reports that Ahmet Yonluer, head of the Religious Affairs Department, has met with the Mufti of Russia, Sheikh-ul Islam Talgat Safa Tacettin.

    According to a statement issue by the Religious Affairs Department, Yonluer, who gave a dinner in honour of the Russian Mufti, stressed the importance of this meeting during a period when the dialogue between the religions and especially with the Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church came onto the agenda.

    Yonluer noted that they discussed the relations between the Muslims and the Orthodox Christians and their relations with the Moslems in Russia.

    According to the statement, during the meeting, the Russian Mufti said that the 20 million Russian Moslems are by the side of the Turkish Cypriot Moslem People and added that he will exert efforts for the development of the relations between the Religious Affairs Department of the Turkish Cypriots and the Russian Moslems.

    Mr Tacettin visited the occupied areas of the island with his family.

    (I/Ts)

    [08] Gokeri denied information of converting part of the Apostolos Andreas Monastery into a hotel

    According to the illegal Bayrak television, the self-styled TRNC New York Representative Kemal Gokeri has said that the Turkish Cypriot Side has no intention of converting part of the Apostolos Andreas Monastery located at the tip of the Karpass peninsula into a hotel.

    Mr Gokeri has sent a letter to the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon denying claims made by the Republic of Cyprus New York Representative Andreas Mavroyannis that the Turkish Cypriot Side was planning to turn the Monastery into a hotel.

    In his letter, Mr Gokeri pointed to the need for the protection of historical and religious heritage sites on both sides of the island.

    He also argued that Greek Cypriot sides campaign of spreading false information aimed at damaging the image of the Turkish Cypriot side will only serve to deepen mistrust between the two sides.

    Noting that the self-styled Department of Antiquities and Museums will keep up its constructive attitude towards protecting and restoring sites of historical and religious importance, Mr Gokeri alleged that the TRNC authorities have been attaching great importance to the protection and maintenance of the Apostolos Andreas Monastery, one of the holiest Christian Orthodox shrines on the island.

    [09] A motion against Gul was submitted to the TBMM. A closed session debate on Iraq

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.01.07) reports that Turkeys Motherland Party (ANAP) has submitted an interpellation motion in the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) against the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul, accusing him of not fulfilling his duties and responsibilities and of leading Turkey to a point where its national integrity is threatened. The interpellation motion, which is signed by Omer Abusoglu, head of ANAPs parliamentary group, refers to the Cyprus problem as well and argues that the developments are shown in a manned which is far away from the reality and that efforts are exerted so that Turkey is led somewhere with blackmails, pressures and concessions.

    Meanwhile, Turkish NTV television (16.01.07) broadcast that on Thursday, 18 January, the Turkish Assembly will hold a preliminary debate on the issue of Iraq. On Tuesday, 23 January, the Iraq question will be discussed in a closed session.

    The Justice and Development Party [AKP] and the Republican People's Party [CHP] had asked for a general parliamentary debate on Iraq, including the fighting within Iraq, the demographic changes in Kirkuk, and the terrorist organization's activities in that country.

    The preliminary debates on the motions submitted by the AKP and the CHP will be held on Thursday, when Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will discuss the situation in the region on behalf of the government, and the various factions will also express their views.

    It is reported that the AKP and CHP requests for a general debate will be accepted on Thursday.

    The following Tuesday, the parliament will discuss the Iraq issue in a closed session, and the speeches made during this session will be kept secret for 10 years.

    Only certain officials will be able to attend the closed session. The minutes of the meeting will be sealed and kept secret for 10 years.

    [10] A Finnish citizen was taken into custody by Turkey due to the fact she was an expert on Kurdish issues

    According to Turkish daily AKSAM newspaper (17.01.07), Finland made a strong representation to Turkey regarding the arrest and deportation of a Finnish national who is an expert in Kurdish issues.

    The paper reports that Mrs Kristina Koivunen, who is a sociologist and an expert in Kurdish affairs, was arrested in Turkey, taken into custody and then deported.

    Finland in its protest note stressed that the arrest and deportation was contrary to the international law and that she should have been informed that her entry into Turkey was forbidden. The paper notes that the protest was very strong.

    (MHY)

    [11] Arinc thanked Sudans assistance to Turkeys efforts on the Cyprus issue

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.01.07) reported from Khartoum that the Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, addressing Sudanese MPs in the National Assembly, underlined that Turkey attached great importance to maintain unity and territorial integrity of Sudan.

    "Turkey keeps assisting Sudan in regard to difficult problems that the country has faced. We hope that Darfur issue will be solved on the basis of a national compromise. We support efforts aiming to reach a comprehensive peace agreement. Turkey is eager to contribute to this process," Arinc stressed.

    He also said that Turkish authorities appreciated Sudan's assistance to Turkey's efforts in regard to Cyprus issue, stating that there were deep-rooted relations between the two countries in the areas such as security, health, agriculture and education.

    [12] Turkey, Ukraine to boost defence, economic ties

    Under the above title, Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (17.01.07) reported that the Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych will start his two-day official visit to Turkey today, during which the two countries are set to sign two agreements to boost cooperation in the defence industry as well as security in the Black Sea region.

    Ukraine is expected to officially join Turkey's security initiative Black Sea Harmony during the visit, diplomatic sources told The New Anatolian on Tuesday. Ukraine will be the second country following Russia to enlist in Black Sea Harmony, which aims at addressing security shortcomings in the region through strengthening cooperation among coastal states.

    Russia joined the initiative late last year. Both NATO member Turkey and Russia have been reluctant so far about U.S. demands to expand NATO-led Mediterranean counter terrorism efforts into the Black Sea, underscoring growing wariness of the American strategic designs in the wider Black Sea region.

    The Turkish-led security initiative aims at closer cooperation between the parties in activities aimed at preventing illicit trafficking of humans, heroin from Afghanistan, and weapons from small arms to weapons of mass destruction. A second agreement expected to be signed during Yanukovych's visit will be on deepening cooperation among two countries in the field of the defence industry. Ukraine has recently expressed interest in participating in Turkey's space program and generating a national tank.

    Ukrainian Prime Minister Yanukovych told the press in Kiev before his visit to Ankara that improving trade and economic ties between the countries will be high on the agenda during the talks. "Trade and economic relations with Turkey have a great value. It's high time to boost their dynamics," he stressed.

    Yanukovych is also expected to discuss the Nabucco project, the construction of a natural gas pipeline from Central Asia to Europe via Turkey, which is expected to begin operations in 2011. Ukraine depends on imports, mostly from Russia, for about 80 percent of its energy needs, but disagreements with Russia's energy giant Gazprom over prices have recently caused cut off of the gas supplies to Ukraine.

    During his stay in Turkey, Prime Minister Yanukovych is scheduled to meet President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Yanukovych will also meet with Turkish businessmen both in Ankara and Istanbul.

    [13] Akinci: We do not want the control of the army (continue)

    ND: Under whose control is this Civilian Affair Organization?

    MA: It is totally under Turkey´s control, and its chairman is appointed by Turkey. What we talk about an independent state, is this? This is the picture. For example, there are two armies in the TRNC. One is the TRNC´s army, made up of 2-3 thousand soldiers Turkish Cypriot Security Forces. Second is the army the Turkish Peace Forces made up of 30-40 thousand troops. Both commanders of these in Ankara from the Office of the Turkish chief of the General Staff. A Turkish Cypriot cannot be the Commander of the TRNC army. The independence of the TRNC is a front, a make-up. They should put aside; The independent state expression.

    ND: Well, if the TRNC is not an independent country. What is it then?

    MA: Here is a place, where, in all major issues, Turkey´s millitary and civilian bureaucracy´s words have weight, they are influential.

    Recently there was a gun fight at a casino in the TRNC belonging to Yasar Oz, whose name was mention in the Susurluk affair as well, where two people died and one man was seriously wounded. Yasar Oz was one of the defendents in this case. After 5-6 days in custody, the Council of Ministers, all of a sudden took a decision and deported Yasar Oz. Yasar Oz went to Turkey and set free there. The question is, is this man guilty? If he is guilty why did you set him free. If he is not guilty, why did you deported him? On top of it, Oz got married to a Turkish Cypriot girl here.

    ND: Do you think that a power above of the TRNC officials was influential in this decision?

    MA: A power, which is at least, above the Council of Ministers, did this. They say that Yasar Oz was deported with the Council of Ministers decision this is the formality part of the case. No one believed that our Council of Ministers took this decision with its own free will.

    ND: Cyprus always has been an island of crime, it is said that Cyprus´s major income comes from black money. Is this true?

    MA: Unless the North Cyprus is included in the International Law, similar difficulties will be experienced. To be included in the international law means, for example, criminals who commit crime in another country cannot come in the TRNC and move freely. Today these criminals freely move around here. For example, there is a British here whose name is Garry Robb, he is in the Construction sector. There is an arrest warrant against him in Britain regarding narcotics, despite this he is freely moves around in the North Cyprus.

    ND: Dont the TRNC Justice and police do something on this issue?

    MA: Neither the TRNC justice nor the police do something. In fact TRNC citizenship has been given to this man (Tr. Note Garry Robb). The important point here is this; Since the third countries do not recognize the TRNC as a state, then you are unable to sign resolutions that envisage reciprocal extradition of offenders. In that case these people easily come here and do business in the North Cyprus. Or all of a sudden a Yasar Oz comes to the casino sector.

    ND: Lately, all of a sudden former Susurluk members and Turkish mafia surfaced here. Who is settling them in the North Cyprus? Who is giving them the authority to open casinos? Turkish or the TRNC administration? With whose permission these casinos are opened and operated?

    MA: The government is authorized in this case. When I was Minister of Tourism, in order to limit the number of casinos, I had introduced the condition that for a casino permission it was necessary to have a five star hotel with five-hundred bed capacity, but later on, opening of casinos were facilitated. In 2000, during my time, there were 19 casinos, today this number, in this small place- 3300 kilometer square land is 30. International reports mention that in these places money laundering is going on. Most of the owners of these casinos are Turkish nationals. In the north Cyprus there are more than 100 betting offices. You can bet in these offices on football, horse, dog etc. In addition to these there are 45-50 night clubs, where girls from the former Eastern Block Countries work here. These are places known to the state where prostitution take place.

    ND: If the TRNC becomes really an independent state will the power of the mafia get stronger or will it diminish?

    MA: In an independent structure included in the international law, it is not possible for the mafia to be powerful. However, if the independence, is outside of the international law, in an structure like pirate island, then there could be mafia, money laundering, narcotics smuggling etc. Today here there is human smuggling. People are smuggled from north to the south. These are not small things. Here we have gambling mafia, drugs mafia. The picture is not nice. In order to change this, we have to try to be included into the international law.

    ND: Well, could the Turkish Cypriots decide their own future themselves?

    MA: They cannot, even if they can, they cannot implement it. We have seen this in the Lokmaci incident. He has decided to remove the footbridge, but he was unable to implement it without Ankara´s approval.

    ND: Well, will the world accept the existence of a TRNC under the Turkish Army´s control?

    MA: The world is aware of the existence of this control and naturally it is not accepting it. First of all, we do not want it. We, the Turkish Cypriots want to be the boss of our home. This has to be very well understood in Turkey. The Turkish Cypriots want a healthy, and sound relations with Turkey, they do not want to be a minority of Turkey. We do not want a TRNC governed by Turkey´s military-civilian bureaucracy. The Turkish Cypriots do not want to be a minority under the Papadopoulos administration as well.

    ND: How did the Greek Cypriot side´s policy affect Turkish Armed Forces existence openly expressed by the army?

    MA: The Greek Cypriots are very happy now. It is the Greek Cypriot leader Papadopoulos who is the happiest man from this statement. Because the statement made by the office of the Chief of the General Staff, has contributed to Papadopoulos´ claim. Papadopoulos has started saying again: Didn´t I told you, Talat cannot take decisions. My interlocutor is Ankara and not Talat? Well shouldn´t the chief of Staff made this statement? No, this statement had a positive side as well, because this way the truth had surfaced. With this statement once more it become clear that the TRNC is not an independent state.

    ND: does the Greek Cypriots claim the TRNC is under occupation?

    MA: Not only the Greek Cypriots, but the whole world see it this way. The UN do not use the term `occupation army´. But it says foreign troops to withdraw.

    ND: Well, what the Turkish Cypriots say? Do you too, think that the TRNC is under occupation?

    MA: There are people who say occupation army, but they are minority. 65% of the Turkish Cypriots by saying yes to the Annan Plan, have expressed their desire of changing of the existing structure. Had the Greek Cypriot side approved this plan, the Turkish Army was not going to stay in Cyprus. The number of Turkish troops would be diminished to 650 and Greek troops to 950. The office of the Turkish Chief of the Staff had said yes to this plan at that time. Very few Turkish Cypriots will favour total troops withdrawal prior of a solution. The Turkish Cypriots want withdrawal of Turkish troops after reaching an agreement with the Greek Cypriots.

    ND: Could the TRNC sustain its existence if Turkey withdraws from Cyprus.

    MA: Of course, if there is a solution it can continue But without a solution Turkey will not withdraw from Cyprus. It cannot withdraw.

    ND: Exactly what kind of final solution do the Turkish Cypriots want? If really you become independent what would be your decision?

    MA: The TRNC, from the political point of meaning, is not after becoming an independent state. The Turkish Cypriots want what is possible. They want a federation with the Greek Cypriots, they want to unite under a federal state roof with the Greek Cypriots, with equal status as a federal wing. This was envisaged by the Annan Plan, which 65% of the Turkish Cypriots said yes and 75% of the Greek Cypriots said No.

    What we want an European state structure nearer to the Swiss or Belgian model. We did not say yes to the Annan Plan with only securing economic benefits. We have said yes for a new living model. If the Turkish Cypriots are left alone, they will wish, of course, to establish this new living model.

    (MHY)

    (Second part and end of the interview)

    /SK


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