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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-24

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.17/07 24.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] German Deputies continue their contacts in the occupied part of Cyprus
  • [02] Comments on the decision taken by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the trade with the Turkish Cypriots; Pertev will discuss the issue in Brussels
  • [03] Arinc meets with Turkish Cypriot delegation
  • [04] Talat to brief the parliament on the Cyprus problem
  • [05] Paediatric Congresses to be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Serdar Denktas opposes to the removal of article 10, while the Cyprus EU Association supports it
  • [07] More flags to be put on occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains
  • [08] Iraq discussed during a Turkish Parliament closed session. Leakages to the press that Turkish invasion is imminent
  • [09] Erdogan discussed regional issues with Saudi Foreign Minister
  • [10] Gul to visit Paris, Brussels and Davos
  • [11] Former Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem died
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [12] Columnist in THE NEW ANATOLIAN assesses the tension between Ankara and the Kurds
  • [13] Columnist in YENI SAFAK examines the reasons why recent murders were committed by youth from Trabzon

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] German Deputies continue their contacts in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.01.07) reports that the German Deputies who are visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus met yesterday with Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled Prime Minster of the breakaway regime. In statements during the meeting, Jurgen Walter, MP with the Social Democrat Party from Hessen, said that the Turkish Cypriots who had voted yes to the Annan Plan have some expectations from the EU and added that these expectations must be fulfilled. He noted that Germany has responsibilities for Cyprus which is divided into two, because itself had been divided in the past.

    Mr Soyer said that some persons compare the Turkish Cypriots with Korea and continue to apply embargoes and isolations. We, however, have no atomic bomb, he added.

    Mr Soyer drew attention to the fact that the decision taken by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the issue of the direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots stresses that the isolations must be lifted and described the decision as important.

    Soyer argued: A negotiations process must be launched as soon as possible at the United Nations on the basis of the Annan Plan. The solution must come. Our target is this.

    The German delegation, which is in the occupied areas upon invitation by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), consisted of Jurgen Walter and Lothar Klemm (Deputies), was accompanied by former Member of the European Parliament Ozan Ceyhun.

    They visited also the area of Ledra Street (Lokmaci) in the occupied part of Nicosia, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and occupied Famagusta. Mr Walter said at Ledra Street that the Social Democrat Party played a significant role in the reunification of Germany and giving as example the initiatives for the opening of Ledra Street crossing point argued that their comrades in northern Cyprus undertake similar initiatives.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Comments on the decision taken by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the trade with the Turkish Cypriots; Pertev will discuss the issue in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.01.07) reports that the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that after the decision taken the day before yesterday by the General Affairs Council of the EU, as term presidency they will start working on the issue of the direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots. In statements after the meeting of the Council, he noted that a good decision was taken and that after this decision they will hold contacts with the sides concerned so that the direct trade regulation is accepted.

    Furthermore, KIBRIS reports that Izzet Izcan, General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has described the decision taken the day before yesterday by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the issue of the direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots as a positive step forward. In a written statement issued yesterday he noted that the developments, which contribute to the removal of the economic imbalance between the two sides in Cyprus, will contribute positively to the efforts for a solution on the island.

    The paper also reports that Turgay Avci, self-styled Minister of Foreign Affairs of the breakaway regime, has expressed his disappointment for the expression areas which are not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus which is included in the decision taken the day before yesterday by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the issue of the direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots.

    In statements in Saudi Arabia, he reiterated the allegation that the only holder of sovereignty in the occupied northern part of Cyprus is the Turkish Cypriot people. He argued that the government of the Republic of Cyprus has absolutely no authority in the occupied part of the island.

    Mr Avci alleged that with its unacceptable proposals the Greek Cypriot side is trying to turn the issue of the direct trade regulation into a give and take procedure.

    According to a written statement issued by his ministry, Mr Avci met yesterday with the chairman of the Islamic Bank of Development, Dr Ahmed Mohamed. The statement described the meeting as constructive.

    Meanwhile, KIBRIS reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has said that the decision taken the day before yesterday by the General Affairs Council of the EU on the issue of the trade with the Turkish Cypriots under special conditions is a political decision and the rules known as Direct Trade Regulation must be legalized at the organs of the EU.

    During his weekly briefing yesterday, Mr Ercakica noted that Rasit Pertev, advisor of Mr Talat, will visit Brussels today where he will be holding contacts until this weekend on the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Ercakica protested for the expression areas which are not under the effective control of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus which is included in the decision and added that northern Cyprus is and will not be under the control of the Greek Cypriot administration which is described as the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.

    He said that the efforts of the Greek Cypriot side to relate the direct trade with the occupied closed city of Varosha will again not be accepted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Arinc meets with Turkish Cypriot delegation

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.01.07) reports that Bulent Arinc, Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), met yesterday with a Turkish Cypriot parliamentary delegation under Fatma Ekenoglu, speaker of the parliament of the breakaway regime.

    Mr Arinc stated that they support the steps to be made for a lasting and just peace under the auspices of the UN.

    The paper reports that the National Unity Party (UBP) is not participating in the Turkish Cypriot delegation. In a statement issued by the UBP it is noted that they did not participate in the delegation because of the democracy problem which exists in the TRNC.

    The chairman of the party, Tahsin Ertugruloglu has sent a letter to Mr Arinc and explained the reasons for their non-participation in the delegation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talat to brief the parliament on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.01.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat will brief the general assembly of the parliament of the breakaway regime on the Cyprus problem during four sessions which will be held on 5, 19, 20 and 21 February. On 5 February Talat will speak and during the other sessions the MPs will take the floor.

    The National Unity Party (UBP) has announced that they will decide on Thursday on whether or not to participate in the sessions. The Democratic Party (DP) has stated that if decisions will be taken during the sessions they could participate, but if only a briefing will take place they will not participate.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Paediatric Congresses to be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (24.01.07) reports that the 51st National Paediatric Congress and the 7th Paediatric Congress of the Turkic World will take place in the occupied areas of Cyprus between 7 and 11 November.

    Esref Vaiz, self-styled minister of health, has said that such meetings are a serious alternative and added that his ministry will make the necessary contribution to the organization. Vaiz noted that from such big and important organization they will secure experience from the medical point of view and contribution to the health tourism.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Serdar Denktas opposes to the removal of article 10, while the Cyprus EU Association supports it

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (24.01.07) reports that a delegation by the youth organizations which have undertaken an initiative on the issue of the removal of article 10 of the constitution visited yesterday the leader of the Democratic Party (DP), Serdar Denktas.

    Mr Denktas said they oppose to the demilitarization policy and that it is not possible for them to see positively the views supporting the removal of article 10. Denktas wondered who will protect these borders if the Turkish Armed Forces withdraw and who could guarantee that no attack will take place.

    AFRIKA reports also that the Cyprus EU Association issued yesterday a statement expressing its support to the demand for the removal of article 10 of the constitution. The association described such a development a step towards putting the relations between Turkey and northern Cyprus onto a more right basis and leading the relation between those elected and those appointed to correct democratic values.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] More flags to be put on occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains

    Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (24.01.07) reports that the so-called Association for the Flag on the Peak has started an initiative for putting the flags of Turkey and the breakaway regime onto the highest peak of occupied Pentadaktylos Mountains.

    In statements yesterday at a press conference at the headquarters of the Foreign Press Union, the founder of the association Merve Ersan said that the flags will be 36 meters high, that is, they will be as high as a 12-storey building. The flags will be of 96 square meters in area and they will be illuminated.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Iraq discussed during a Turkish Parliament closed session. Leakages to the press that Turkish invasion is imminent

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    The Turkish parliament has convened to debate a proposal on the latest developments in Iraq.

    The parliamentary assembly convened under the chairmanship of Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc in a closed session.

    According to sources, PM Tayyip Erdogan will explain the views of the government while the views of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) group will be represented by deputy Koksal Toptan.

    The chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) Deniz Baykal will speak on behalf of his party group and the chairman of Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Erkan Mumcu will represent his party group.

    As the owner of the proposal, deputy Huseyin Tanriverdi from AKP and deputy Sukru Elekdag from CHP will be the other speakers at the parliamentary assembly.

    On the same issue, English language daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (24.01.07) reports the following under the title: Parliament holds secret debate on Iraq, Kurds to respond in kind:

    Parliament had a closed-door session yesterday to discuss security threats originating from Iraq amid growing political tension with Turkey's southern neighbour, whose government charged Turkish officials with stirring division in its north.

    Responding to the Turkish Parliament's move, the local Kurdish assembly in northern Iraq decided to hold an extraordinary session today (Wednesday) to discuss Turkey, news reports said. The assembly has been asked to convene in the morning to discuss policies pursued by Turkey, private CNN Türk television reported.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was scheduled to speak on behalf of the government. The Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Deniz Baykal was to address the assembly on behalf of his party. The closed session in Turkish Parliament came after the government voiced growing concern over the continuing presence of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq and prospects for a Kurdish control over the oil-rich city of Kirkuk after a referendum slated for 2007. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned Iraqi Kurds against a "fait accompli" in Kirkuk and said Turkey would not remain a bystander to what happens in the city.

    In a rare move, Turkey's intelligence authority, the National Intelligence Agency (M0T), also made a public statement earlier this month and called for a pro-active strategy to counter growing "challenges against the nation state," remarks widely seen as a sign of shift in Turkey's Iraq policy.

    Well-placed intelligence sources have told Todays Zaman that a Turkish cross-border operation, coordinated with the United States, against the PKK camps in northern Iraq was likely to take place in late February or early March.

    On Monday, the Iraqi government accused Turkish politicians of stirring division in northern Iraq and said it might bring some form of economic pressure to bear on Ankara. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting that discussed interference by neighbouring countries, government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Turkish politicians statements suggesting a military intervention aim to incite prejudice and deepen divisions between the various sides in Iraq.

    Ankara is concerned that the Kirkuk referendum would bring Kirkuk under Kurdish rule, since hundreds of thousands of Kurds have flocked to the city in the recent years in what Turkey sees as a systematic campaign to change the demographic structure of the city to guarantee a favourable outcome in the upcoming referendum. A Kurdish rule over Kirkuk, which sits atop 6 percent of the worlds known oil reserves, would boost prospects for Kurds to establish an independent state next to Turkeys southern borders, something that would further complicate the security situation in south-eastern Anatolia.

    Subtitle: The 209th closed session in Parliament

    Yesterdays closed session on Iraq is the 209th since the Turkish Parliaments establishment in 1920. Most of the closed sessions in the past were dominated by foreign policy issues and yesterdays was no exception.

    Parliament has held five closed sessions during the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) term. Most of these sessions focus on possible military cooperation with Iraq, while deputies also discussed on Cyprus and the Blue Stream natural gas pipeline project with Russia in closed debates.

    Under the law, records of a closed session are not made public for ten years. The official records of some 44 closed sessions in Parliament are still confidential.

    Closed sessions are held in a strict confidentiality. Deaf-mute public servants, technically called kavas (tipstaff), are put in charge in the sessions. The minutes of the sessions are recorded by stenographs. However, they are not allowed to be present at the General Assembly all the time. Each stenograph is allowed to record only a two and half minute long portion of the discussions. The portions are consolidated by the minutes director. The consolidated records are sealed and stored in a vault where they are kept confidential for ten years. Likewise, the participants in the sessions are not allowed to talk or write about the discussions for ten years.

    The stenographs working in closed sessions are required to take an oath whereby they assure they will not leak any information on the official records before stepping in the Assembly. With the exception of National Intelligence Agency (M0T) personnel, they constitute the only group of public servants subjected to a thorough security investigation before recruitment.

    No statements regarding the debates in the closed session will be issued afterwards as these will be kept as state secret.

    [09] Erdogan discussed regional issues with Saudi Foreign Minister

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.07) reports the following from Istanbul:

    Foreign Minister Saud al-Faysal of Saudi Arabia departed from Turkey on Tuesday.

    Al-Faysal met Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul and they discussed regional issues, especially the Middle East problem, during the meeting.

    [10] Gul to visit Paris, Brussels and Davos

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.01.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will visit France to extend Turkey's support to reconstruction of Lebanon.

    Gul is expected to fly to Paris tomorrow evening in order to participate in the Third International Donors Conference to be held in French capital of Paris on January 25th.

    Within the framework of a conference held in Stockholm, Sweden on August 31st, 2006, Turkey pledged to construct 70 prefabricated schools and two prefabricated health centers in Lebanon.

    Gul will then proceed to Belgian capital of Brussels to represent Turkey in the NATO foreign ministers meeting. The ministers of 26 NATO member states will discuss Afghanistan and Kosovo in their meeting on January 26th.

    This meeting will be followed by a summit of NATO member states and the ministers of the countries contributing to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.

    Foreign Minister Gul will later go to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) due on January 26th-27th. State Minister Ali Babacan is also scheduled to participate in the summit.

    Gul is expected to join a session on "Turkey's political future", and have bilateral talks with other participants.

    [11] Former Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem died

    Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (24.01.07, online) reports that the Former Foreign Minister Ismail Cem died in hospital in Istanbul, where he was receiving treatment. He was being treated since 26 December for lung cancer.

    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [12] Columnist in THE NEW ANATOLIAN assesses the tension between Ankara and the Kurds

    Under the title Tension in Kirkuk, tension in Ankara, THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (24.01.07) publishes the following commentary by Ilnur Cevik:

    Kirkuk is a hot potato these days not only in the Turkish capital but also in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish regional government of Iraq.

    The Turkish Parliament discussed the future of Kirkuk as well as the general situation in Iraq in a secret session on Tuesday.

    Parliament also discussed the issue last Thursday in a general debate that showed how some people in Turkey do not know the realities of Iraq as well as displaying the chauvinist nationalist sentiments that have gripped our society these days.

    The opposition clearly showed it knows nothing about the realities of Iraq or the Kurdish north and is being misled by a disinformation campaign based on exaggerations on Kirkuk.

    In Erbil, meanwhile, the Kurds have held a series of meetings on Turkey's attitude on Kirkuk and the rising tensions with Ankara. The Kurdish regional parliament, which is now on recess, will meet in an extraordinary session today to discuss what they call "Turkish interference in the internal affairs of Iraq."

    Turkey feels it has a duty to defend the rights of the Turkoman minority in Iraq. It is unfortunate that the Turkomans have been marginalized in Iraq because of internal divisions.

    In Erbil and Kirkuk they are a huge minority who can demand rights and privileges. If the Turkomans played their cards right they could command a leading role not only in the Kurdish political process but also in Baghdad. But unfortunately they are bitterly divided because of the mistaken policies of past Turkish governments and thus they are suffering from divisions and discord. They have been seriously weakened and thus have been sidelined in the Iraqi political process, which is extremely unhealthy. You simply cannot write them off and disregard their rights even if conditions have marginalized their position in Iraq.

    The Turkomans are a reality and their rights have to be respected not only as a minority but as partners in the Kurdish political process as well as in Baghdad. If this is done then the solution to the Kirkuk issue can be facilitated.

    The Turkomans do not have a strong voice in Iraq. It is unfortunate that some Turkomans are trying to win Turkey's backing by exaggerating their plight. They are making some false claims of Kurdish intransigence which is only creating deeper tensions between them and the Kurds.

    Last week a Turkoman political party leader appeared on Turkish TV and claimed the Kurds had banned the use of the Turkoman language in Erbil. This is absolutely false and yet many people in Turkey believed this claim, which only deepened Turkish anger against the Kurds The Turkomans have to realize that such exaggerated claims are only hurting their cause and their real hardships and sufferings are being shadowed by these claims.

    Let everyone talk about the realities and the truth. Kirkuk is a province where Kurds are a majority. Turkomans of the province are also a sizeable minority who should be the partners of the Kurds. Any solution that does not appease the Turkomans and the Kurds is no solution

    Instead of sowing new tensions on Kirkuk we should seek ways to defuse the explosive atmosphere between Turkey and the region. This cannot be done when Ankara and Erbil are trading accusations and counter-accusations.

    [13] Columnist in YENI SAFAK examines the reasons why recent murders were committed by youth from Trabzon

    Istanbul YENI SAFAK newspaper (23.01.07) publishes the following column by Ibrahim Karagul, under the title: Let us take charge of Trabzon:

    Trabzon: The passionate and honest people of the Black Sea, who love their country and each other, are becoming the victims of something. Just as Diyarbakir has evolved into the center of Turkey's biggest crisis in southern Anatolia, Trabzon in the north is sliding toward becoming the center of a new anger and crisis that is said to be motivated by patriotism. Trabzon is being drawn into what Diyarbakir is in terms of ethnic nationalism.

    For what cause are 17-year-old youths induced to risk their lives? For what goal do they shed blood? How can they intervene in this country's most complicated problems and commit acts that may determine the country's destiny? Do these young people make these decisions in the Internet cafes of their neighborhoods?

    Conversely, what circles or centers are capable of plunging Turkey into unexpected crises using youth they collect from different neighborhoods behind the guise of "defending the homeland"? Conversely, what links do these circles have with what centers and what motivates them other than their "strange sense of defending the homeland"? Who runs them and for whose objectives do they work indirectly?

    Trabzon is an ethnically mixed area. It is an extension of the Caucasus, which is home to innumerable ethnic groups and where scores of languages are spoken on a tiny piece of land. The concentration of [these activities in Trabzon] cannot be explained only with an excuse of the form "Turkey is under threat." Given that the youth in the streets do not harbor any anger individually, we need to take a look at the circles in Trabzon that are fueling this culture. We must also find out what domestic and foreign centers feed these circles in Trabzon. The question "Why Trabzon?" must be asked carefully. Why Trabzon and not other places in Anatolia?

    The people of Trabzon must first ask these question to themselves. They must be perturbed more than anyone else with the way their city is mentioned, with the rise of ethnic revenge squads, and the spread of its people as trigger men across Turkey. That is why they must be the first to ask this question. I have the right to ask this question because I am from Trabzon. We hear that local young people are unable to socialize or to find work, that they are hot-blooded, or that everyone owns a gun. These have nothing to do with Turkey's chronic problems. Nor do the recent developments have anything to do with these explanations.

    Trabzon has become a region where trigger men are recruited. It has turned into a place where people's sensitivities are exploited and the anger of young people is used for dangerous objectives. What other assassinations will be staged next? Will the trigger men again hail from Trabzon? Everyone across Turkey must mobilize to ensure that circles that substitute themselves for the state and the guardians of this country take their hands off the street: first the state, then the residents of Trabzon, then the people of the Black Sea region, and then all of Turkey. We must carefully investigate with whom those who substitute themselves for the state work and who feeds them. The people of the Black Sea region must be saved from this shameful situation before the problem becomes even more chronic; they must be mollified and urged to take charge of their children. The said circles that have taken root in Trabzon must be pursued and disbanded and their links to others must be exposed.

    This country has enough problems. As soon as it lifts its head to look forward, someone hits it on the head and tells it to look down. As soon as it begins to take an interest in its surroundings and to pay attention at the threats it faces, someone disturbs everything and turns its attention to its internal security. Are these all coincidences? Let us suppose that those circles are committing these murders supposedly to save the homeland. Can they not see the consequences? Can they not see how much damage they are causing to Turkey? Are they going to kill everyone they think is a threat to Turkey? What problem do they think they can solve this way? Today they killed an Armenian. Tomorrow they may kill a Kurdish leader, and the next day someone from another ethnic community. What happens then? Would they not cause the greatest harm to this country then?

    The people of the Black Sea region and Trabzon must be especially alert. They must refuse to become another center of ethnic division in Turkey. They must take their precautions not only for the sake of Turkey's internal security and social peace but also by taking carefully into account threats from the outside. This murder has distracted the attention of the public from Iraq at a time when the prime minister declared that "Iraq has become more important than even the EU."

    The Black Sea is being turned into an American lake. Like the eastern Mediterranean, the eastern Black Sea is becoming a strategically important region on a global scale. The oil resources of the Caucasus will intensify the confusion in these regions. We must watch out for the instabilities that may surface along the belt extending from northern Iraq to the eastern Black Sea. The people of Trabzon must refuse to become one of the two centers of this crisis belt.

    Take a look at the geography at whose center we are located. Every type of strife along ethnic, religious, and sectarian lines is being promoted. People who have lived together for centuries now slaughter each other. These are not coincidences. Each of these is a project. Are they not aware that they are serving the Turkey leg of these same projects? Believe me, none of us will be able to live in security or have a future if these dissolution scenarios succeed in Turkey also.


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