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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-19

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.14/07 19.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ercakica accused Greek Cypriot side of hampering the UN efforts.
  • [02] Gul defended AK Partys policy on the Cyprus issue. The opposition slams AK Partys foreign policy.
  • [03] Former Turkish President warned about north Iraq situation.
  • [04] An EU draft on Cyprus will be discussed next Monday.
  • [05] Ertugruloglu called the self-styled government to resign.
  • [06] Turkish envoy in the occupied areas met with DP and BDH leaders.
  • [07] The illegal GAU is ESNs new member.
  • [08] The national football team of the TRNC will participate in a tournament in Tanzania.
  • [09] Alarm for the grippe infection in the occupied part of Cyprus.
  • [10] Erdogan met with Burns.
  • [11] Turkey protests Lebanon maritime accord with Cyprus
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Turkish columnist: War cries won't help our interests in Iraq.
  • [13] Turkish columnist says cross border operation in N. Iraq 'Remote Possibility'.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ercakica accuses Greek Cypriot side of hampering the UN efforts

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.01.07) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has accused the Greek Cypriot side of trying to waste 2007 and of making ineffective the efforts of the UN for the commencement of talks towards reaching a comprehensive solution.

    Mr Ercakica commented yesterday on President Papadopoulos statement, who said that he would not meet with Mr Talat unless the ground for this is ready.

    Mr Ercakica argued that the Greek Cypriot side has openly shown its aim of using 2007 as preparation period and alleged that the stance of the Greek Cypriot side revealed once more the real situation in the Cyprus problem. He also accused the Greek Cypriot side of not hesitating to act against its commitments and official statements.

    (ITs)

    [02] Gul defended AK Partys policy on the Cyprus issue. The opposition slams AK Partys foreign policy

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.01.07) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdullah Gul replied yesterday at the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA) to the interpellation motion submitted against him by the opposition.

    The TGNA rejected the discussion of the motion. Addressing the body, Mr Gul said: The positions on the Cyprus issue have further been strengthened. During our four years government, the political existence of the Turkish Cypriots and their economic power were strengthened further.

    Mr Gul noted that the picture in the Cyprus problem is completely the opposite from what it is alleged by the opposition parties, which argued that concessions are made from the rights which the Turks have gained.

    Claiming that the policy which the previous Turkish governments followed did not take into consideration the interests of 73 million Turks and it was not able to prevent the Greek Cypriots from becoming a full member of the EU, Gul said: This is the situation to which these pro-status quo policies led Turkey and Cyprus. We abandoned this policy. We began to follow an active policy here as well. With the Annan Plan referendum we exposed to the world the Greek Cypriot game and what they were thinking. While the whole burden had been on the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, now it is transferred on them. After the referendum, two realities gained importance in the world. There are two separate races in Cyprus, two separate religions, two separate democracies, two separate languages. After these realities are accepted, the way to be followed is obvious. This cannot be done with heroisms, with being offended or with sitting at home. This requires patience, it requires diplomatic struggle, and it always requires you to explain your rightness without getting bored or being tired. This is what we are doing.

    Mr Gul reiterated that after the referendum the contacts of the Turkish Cypriots with the world increased and that they participated in the Islamic Conference under the title Turkish Cypriot State.

    Mr Gul also added that Mr Talat met with U.S., British, French, Russian, German and Dutch foreign ministers. He was formally welcomed by the Pakistani President.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (19.01.07), under the title Opposition slams AK Partys foreign policy, reported the following:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul had a tough time at Parliament on Thursday under opposition party grilling of the government's foreign policy.

    Parliament turned back an interpellation motion against Gul, with the majority votes of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, but the debate showed that the foreign policy issues of Iraq, Kirkuk, the European Union and Cyprus will be important topics of domestic politics this year, ahead of elections scheduled for November.

    Suleyman Saribas, deputy group leader of the centre-right Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), who led the interpellation motion against Foreign Minister Gul, accused the government of erasing Turkey's longstanding foreign policy "red lines." "Four years ago there was a Turkish Cypriot state on Cyprus. Today it is facing destruction. On the other hand a new [Kurdish] state is emerging in Iraq," Saribas said, further warning of the damage to Turkey's national interests. The ANAVATAN deputy also accused the government of not doing anything to protect the Turkmen character of the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

    Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy head Onur Oymen accused Gul of failing to carry out a strong foreign policy while yielding to pressure by the U.S. and the EU. Citing the continued activities of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq despite years of promises from the Bush administration, Oymen questioned the "strategic partnership" vision paper signed by Gul and his American counterpart last year. "What kind of a strategic partnership is this?" Oymen asked, after listing various differing positions by Ankara and Washington, from Cyprus to Kirkuk, the PKK and Hamas. He accused the government of not doing anything against "humiliating" actions against Turkey by the U.S. and the EU.

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul accused the opposition deputies of making "unfair criticism" of him and the government's foreign policy. "I see that you are ill prepared for this session," Gul said, downplaying the criticisms. "This is just rhetoric. I won't respond to you in the same way."

    Underlining that they have strengthened the position of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots by adopting an active policy towards a solution, Gul said nothing can be achieved by mere rhetoric. He also underlined that despite some difficulties in Turkey's EU process, the start of accession talks last year was a major achievement in Turkey's 40-year journey towards EU membership.

    Following the debate, Parliament voted down filing a interpellation motion against Gul, and later started a general debate on Iraq. Briefing Parliament on the latest developments, Gul said he has serious fears of an ethnic and sectarian war in Iraq, and is making strong diplomatic efforts to avoid that.

    Foreign Minister Gul, before the debate, met with Turkey's ambassadors in Middle Eastern countries who were called back to Ankara for a policy review.

    Participating in the meeting were Ertugrul Apakan, the Foreign Ministry's undersecretary; other high-level ministry bureaucrats; Turkey's ambassadors to Iran, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt; and the consul general to Palestine.

    (ITs / MHY)

    [03] Former Turkish President warned about north Iraq situation

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (19.01.07) reports that Turkeys former President Suleyman Demirel speaking in Istanbul at a Rotary Club gathering on Turkey and the Latest Political Developments in the Region said: Turkey should not use the excuse that the Kurdish State in north Iraq will harm the domestic affairs and resort to arms. Turkey should not prepare the ground for more blood shedding. You could use arms and be successful but you cannot make the world to accept it.

    (MHY)

    [04] An EU draft on Cyprus will be discussed next Monday

    Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (19.01.07) reported inter alia the following:

    A draft text prepared by EU Term President Germany on launching direct trade with Northern Cyprus falls short of the expectations of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.

    The text, prepared for the EU foreign ministers' meetings next Monday, describes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) as "areas of the Republic of Cyprus [meaning Greek Cyprus] in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control." It also underlined the need to resume work for direct trade with Turkish Cypriots, without making any stronger commitment. The draft text, obtained by news portal ABHaber.com, reads as follows:

    "With respect to the implementation of its April 2004 conclusions, the [European] Council notes the progress made in particular as regards the financial aid regulation the objective of which is to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus. Work aiming at the adoption of the commission proposal for a council regulation on special conditions for trade with the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control, must resume without delay"

    EU sources underlined that if the text is adopted by the foreign ministers, it will be a strong guideline for the EU working group to continue the detailed work.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (19.01.07) reports that sources close to the EU term presidency have said that the beginning of the work for direct trade with the TRNC will be asked in the draft decision which will be submitted to the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs who will be meeting next week. According to the Anatolia news agency, the draft decision is far from meeting the expectations of the TRNC and the direct trade expression is not included in it.

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.01.07) reports that according to ABHaber website, after the British, the Americans as well decided that they definitely could not start direct flights to the illegal Tymbou airport. It is noted that the permission of the Republic of Cyprus is necessary for the direct flights. The British government who conducted meetings on the issue with EU and international organizations has officially stated that, as it had come to surface, carrying out direct flights is not possible, reports the paper.

    [05] Ertugruloglu called the self-styled government to resign

    Turkish Cypriot daily GUNES newspaper (19.01.07), under the title A dangerous game is played, reports that Tahsin Ertugruloglu, chairman of the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP), has drew attention to the agreement announced by AKEL and the Republican Turkish Party, to the efforts which started against the Turkish Armed Forces and to the wrong way followed by those who sit at the posts of the state.

    He alleged that with behaviours like the protest of the youth organizations against article 10 of the constitution the position of the Turkish side is battered and efforts are exerted to change the agenda as if they are an instrument of the Greek Cypriot propaganda.

    The paper reports also that the youth organization of UBP issued a statement yesterday reiterating its commitment to the independent and sovereign state structure of the TRNC and that they consider the Turkish Armed Forces to be the only guarantor of this structure.

    The organization criticized those who try to change article 10. KIBRIS reports that Taner Etkin, coordinator of the National People Movement (UHH), has also criticized those who demand the amendment of article 10 and alleged that they have aims which coincide with the aims of the Greek Cypriots.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (19.01.07) broadcast that Mr Ertugruloglu has reiterated his call for the self-styled government to hand in its resignation and for early elections to be held.

    In a weekly press conference on Thursday, Mr Ertugruloglu criticized Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled government following the recent developments in the island.

    He accused Mr Talat and his self-styled government of trying to distract the publics attention by creating a false agenda over the issue of the Ledra street (Lokmaci) Barricade.

    (ITs)

    [06] Turkish envoy in the occupied areas met with DP and BDH leaders

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.01.07) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia Turkekul Kurttekin is continuing to pay courtesy visits to political parties with representation at the Republics Assembly.

    In line with his visits, Mr Kurttekin met separately today with the leader of the Democrat Party Serdar Denktas and the leader of the Peace and Democracy Movement Mustafa Akinci.

    Speaking during his visit to the Democrat Party, the Turkish Ambassador said that political parties were an inseparable component of democracies which had important responsibilities.

    He said that it was natural for Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to cooperate on a wide range of issues as Turkish Cypriots and Turks were part of the same nation.

    For his part the Democrat Party leader said that his party had been in close consultations with mainland Turkey since day one in an attempt to achieve progress on foreign policy issues.

    He also underlined the importance of maintaining the existing strong relations between the two countries.

    Also speaking shortly during his meeting with the Turkish Ambassador, the BDH leader Mustafa Akinci expressed the hope that Mr Kurttekkins term of duty in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be productive.

    For his part, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia said that helping develop the infrastructure and economy of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will be among his priorities during his tenure in Cyprus.

    (Tr. Note: the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the illegal regime established by Turkey in the occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus)

    [07] The illegal GAU is ESNs new member

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (19.01.07), the illegal Kyrenia American University (GAU) has become the new member of the Erasmus Students Network (ESN).

    The paper reports that the deputy national representative of the Erasmus Student Network, Moner Murtaja gave a conference the other day at the International Conference Hall of the illegal GAU during which he briefed and informed the people about the program.

    The ESN is formed in order to help foreign student to solve their problems when they go another country to continue their study.

    (MHY)

    [08] The national football team of the TRNC will participate in a tournament in Tanzania

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (19.01.07) reports that the national football team of the TRNC, which will visit Tanzania between 19 and 29 January, was expected to depart today in order to participate in a tournament upon an official invitation by Zanzibars Football Federation.

    The delegation will go to Tanzania through Istanbul and Qatar.

    The paper reports that the team will play three matches in Tanzania. The one will be with the team of a country which is a FIFA member.

    (ITs)

    [09] Alarm for the grippe infection in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot HALKIN SESI newspaper (19.01.07) reports under the title The grippe infection alarm and writes that within the last three days, approximately 2000 people have visited the hospitals in the occupied Lefkosia, Kyrenia and Famagusta suffering from a serious grippe infection.

    According to the so-called Emergency Service, 80% of those who have visited the hospitals were suffering from grippe infection, while a total of 50% of this number involved children.

    (ML)

    [10] Erdogan met with Burns

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.01.07) reported that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns, who is in Ankara on a working trip.

    After his visit to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Burns said they had a good discussion with Erdogan on the situation in Iraq, the Cyprus issue, the Middle East and the Turkish contribution in Afghanistan.

    "What I told the Prime Minister on behalf of my government is that the U.S. will continue to act to support Turkey. We do not recognize the PKK. We have acted to try to shut down the PKK offices all around the world and used our influence. We are looking for a solution to the problem of PKK attacks on Turkish soldiers and Turkish civilians. We side with Turkey, we support Turkey," Mr Burns said.

    Commenting on his talk with Erdogan on Cyprus issue, Burns said: "We had a good discussion on the question of Cyprus. We hope that with the arrival of a new Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), the international community led by UN can continue its efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. The United States will continue to be actively involved."

    [11] Turkey protests Lebanon maritime accord with Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays ZAMAN newspaper (19.01.07), under the above title, reported the following:

    Turkey on Thursday condemned the signing of a maritime agreement between Lebanon and Cyprus that would cover potential underwater energy resources, a government source told AFP.

    Turkey submitted a strong protest to Lebanon which signed an agreement with Cyprus for the delineation of undersea borders, the source said. Turkey considers that Lebanon should ask for Turkeys opinion before signing any agreement with Cyprus, which has a Turkish part, he said.

    On Wednesday, Lebanon and Cyprus signed an agreement for the delineation of an undersea border to facilitate future oil and gas exploration between the two countries.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Turkish columnist: War cries won't help our interests in Iraq

    Under the above title, Turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (19.01.07) published the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:

    The parliamentary debate on Iraq shows very clearly that Turkey has adopted a wait and see policy, hoping that the turn of events will give a clear advantage to fulfil its aims in Iraq

    Turkey has four main aims:

    The first is to prevent Iraq from disintegrating and that the country remains united around a strong Baghdad administration.

    The other is to prevent the creation of an independent Kurdish state in the north of the country.

    The third is to put an end to the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) presence in the northern Iraqi mountains.

    The fourth is to secure the rights of the Turkmens living in Kirkuk.

    This is all fine, but we may not able to achieve them simply because these goals aren't realistic.

    Turkey has to keep in mind the possible disintegration of Iraq and set its policies accordingly. We have to accept the fact that if we do not set realistic targets and goals we may end up facing a situation where our national interests are seriously jeopardized.

    We have to realize that the creation of any independent or autonomous Kurdish entity depends on the cooperation of Turkey. The Kurds need Turkey's active support to achieve all this. So Turkey has the potential to become the big brother of the region, provided it plays its cards right.

    Turkey can secure the rights of the Turkmens in Kirkuk and the rest of the Kurdish areas by convincing the Kurds that it is sincere in its support for the region.

    So instead of threatening the Kurds or creating the impression that it is interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq, it can serve its own vital interests by staying calm and showing the value of its friendship to the Kurds and the rest of the Iraqis.

    Turkey has to establish a viable foreign policy on Iraq, but unfortunately this does not exist.

    [13] Turkish columnist says cross border operation in N. Iraq 'Remote Possibility'

    Turkish NTV television (Online-17.01.07) broadcast the following:

    According to Cengiz Aktar, expert on international relations, Turkey does not have adequate information on Kirkuk and the Turkomans. Aktar said: "Turkey should pursue a more constructive policy with regard to northern Iraq."

    Dr Cengiz Aktar has noted that the Kirkuk problem has emerged in addition to the problem related to the PKK terrorist organization, which constitutes Turkey's main concern in Iraq, adding that these two issues that melded with each other are very concerning. Assessing the debates and the polemics on Kirkuk, Aktar said: "A cross border operation in Iraq is rhetoric. The greatest danger about this is that it may provoke anti-Western sentiments. If politics and the state had adopted the stand that is adopted by [Turkish] businessmen, Turkey would have become very influential in the region."

    The demographic structure of the Kurds and Turkomans living in northern Iraq, the impact of the political actions taken in Turkey on the Turkish businessmen in the region, the question of whether or not a cross border operation will be launched against Iraq, and the relations between the Turks and the Kurds and the debates on Kirkuk continue to occupy the agenda. Dr Cengiz Aktar, an expert on international relations from the Bahcesehir University, has assessed the debates and the polemics on Kirkuk for the NTVMSNBC.

    Subtitle: Kirkuk and the PKK have melded

    Aktar said: "All of a sudden the Kirkuk issue appeared before Turkey and in addition to the PKK, which is our main problem related to Iraq, this issue also appeared on the agenda. These two issues have melded and this is a very concerning situation because these are very different issues. One of them is related to Turkey and the Kurds, while the other is an issue that concerns only Iraq."

    Subtitle: Turkey's entrance to Iraq as a remote possibility

    "Turkey has not been able to determine a policy regarding the Iraq or regarding the Kurdistan autonomous region in the north of Iraq for many years," says Dr, Aktar, stressing that the Kirkuk issue may draw Turkey to different channels. Aktar said: "Today we are witnessing an approach that is being pumped over the existence of the Turkomans. This is an approach that may draw Turkey to different channels. Nonetheless regardless what the Republican People's Party or other hawks say, I do not believe that Turkey will be able to enter Iraq or to influence the referendum that will be held within this year in any way whatsoever. This is merely rhetoric. Nevertheless there is no doubt that there are and there will be results to this kind of rhetoric. And this is provoking the general anti-Western sentiments in the country: This is the greatest danger, because our entrance to Iraq is a very remote possibility."

    Subtitle: The Turkoman population figures do not reflect reality

    Stressing that the figures regarding the Turkomans' demographic structure in Iraq do not reflect reality, Aktar said: "Once again inconceivable figures are going around regarding the population. The Turkoman population constitutes 2% or 3% of the total Iraqi population. And this equals to 200,000 to 300,000 or at the most 400,000 people. Furthermore some of these Turkomans are in Turkey. There are Shiites among them -- in other words, Jafari Shiites."

    Subtitle: There are different views regarding the ties with Turkey

    Aktar said the following regarding the Turkomans in Kirkuk: "This group is not armed. In other words, unlike the Kurdish parties there, we are not talking about a group that has armed forces or peshmergas. Most of them are businessmen. When one talks about the ties with Turkey, they display and express very different approaches and very different views. In other words it is impossible to talk about a homogenous Turkoman group that has 100% relations with Turkey or that is very close to Turkey. Therefore this issue that is currently being pumped, that occupies our agenda today, and that is described by certain AKP [Justice and Development Party] deputies as 'the knife in our back' is actually a very artificial issue. In other words it is not a weighty enough to resolve Turkey's Iraqi policy."

    Subtitle: We do not have adequate information on the Turkomans and Kirkuk

    Stating that Turkey does not have adequate information on Kirkuk or the Turkomans, Aktar said the following: "Turkey does not even know where Kirkuk is located. There are certain intelligence groups there and Turkey's Iraqi policy in general and its policy regarding the formation that is described as Kurdistan in northern Iraq in particular cannot shape on the basis of Kirkuk or the Turkoman issue. This is impossible."

    Subtitle: Turkey is looking at the issue as the threat of Kurdistan

    As for the reason behind the statements on Kirkuk in Turkey, Aktar said: "The essence of this is that Turkey is still looking at this issue as the threat of a Kurdistan that will de facto or officially exist there. When you look at this issue in this manner, this turns into a negative policy that is produced with fear. Turkish businessmen, however, are doing business in northern Iraq. They receive infrastructure tenders, they look for oil, and they take out oil. There are flights between Arbil and Istanbul. In other words, we see here the realities of life. We see the approach of the economic world. And on the other hand, we see the political approach of the state and gradually of politics -- an approach that goes back to the 19th century. If Turkey embraces the Kurds in northern Iraq, sits with them at the table, talks to them, and protects them, it will come to a very different place. And this is how it will become more influential. Otherwise it cannot become influential by talking tall."

    Subtitle: Only a constructive policy will make Turkey influential

    Emphasizing that the political statements may adversely affect the businessmen in Iraq, Aktar said: "the businessmen are working, but politics will adversely affect the businessmen whether we like it or not. Nonetheless if the approach adopted by the businessmen had been adopted by the state and by the politicians, Turkey would have been in a very different place. Under such circumstances, it would really become influential. I am not talking about the mutual rhetorical statements of today. It is possible to become influential only through constructive policies."

    Subtitle: The EU's and the United States' reactions

    In answer to a question on how the EU and the United States will react if Turkey launches a cross border operation in northern Iraq, Aktar said the following: "I do not believe that it is possible to launch such an operation. I believe that this will remain at the rhetorical level. The reaction that will be displayed by the United States is obvious. In fact the Americans have already expressed their views in this regard. The EU has not issued any statements on this issue so far, but most probably it will not say: "Come on." However there is something that is more important than these two powers. I believe that Turkey and the common wisdom in Turkey will prevent this. In other words, Turkey no longer wants to be involved in such adventures. Such an operation will greatly harm Turkey. The greatest harm of this rhetoric, this tall talk tall, and the current argument on 'I will speak-I will not speak' is felt in the public's perception of the West. The public is gradually displaying stronger anti-Western sentiments. Other than this, we do not intend to enter Iraq."


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