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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-01-25

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.18/07 25.01.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turk arrested by the so-called police while trying to circulate forged money.
  • [02] COREPER opens the economy and monetary chapter of Turkey.
  • [03] A delegation from Izmit Chamber of Commerce visits the occupied areas.
  • [04] TODAYS ZAMAN: New UN chief makes a good start on Cyprus.
  • [05] US welcomes the EU decision on direct trade.
  • [06] The German Embassy in Nicosia announced that the visit of German deputies to the occupied area was private.
  • [07] The match between the national football team of the occupied areas and Tanzania is cancelled.
  • [08] Diyarbakir Kurdish Association Spokesman was sentenced to 1,5 years for insulting Turkishness.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Columnist in REFERANS examines the reasons why Turkey should not take military action in Northern Iraq.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turk arrested by the so-called police while trying to circulate forged money

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.01.07) reports that a-25year-old mainland Turk from Adiyaman, South Eastern Turkey, who arrived in the occupied area, was arrested yesterday for trying to circulate forged money. The so-called police found in his possession forged Turkish liras and different foreign currencies. He was arrested and taken into custody.

    (MHY)

    [02] COREPER opens the economy and monetary chapter of Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.01.07) reports the following from Brussels:

    The Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) of the European Union gave Turkey green light for the start of negotiations on economic and monetary chapter.

    Turkey was asked for position paper regarding economic and monetary chapter which was one of the two chapters of COREPER meeting agenda.

    COREPER decided Turkey should meet six opening criteria for agriculture and rural development chapter, as European Commission envisages.

    Following presentation of Turkey's position paper on related chapter, EU common position paper has to be approved by member countries to start negotiations.

    If it is approved, the EU Presidency will invite Turkey to Inter-governmental Conference to open related chapters.

    After an EU decision that partially froze negotiations with Turkey last month on eight chapters related to Customs Union, Turkey was asked for position papers on statistics and enterprises and industrial policy chapters.

    Ankara is expected to submit its position paper regarding enterprises and industrial policy chapter in the coming days.

    [03] A delegation from Izmit Chamber of Commerce visits the occupied areas

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.01.07) broadcast the following:

    A delegation from the Izmit Chamber of Commerce has arrived in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as guest of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce.

    The delegation which will begin its official contacts tomorrow morning will be received by President Mehmet Ali Talat.

    In the afternoon, the delegation will also pay a courtesy visit to the Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hayri Kivrikolgu.

    The delegation will leave the Republic on Friday evening.

    [04] TODAYS ZAMAN: New UN chief makes a good start on Cyprus

    Under the above title, Turkey´s English language daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (25.01.07, online) reports the following:

    Ban Ki-Moon marked his first overseas visit as UN Secretary-General in Brussels on Wednesday with a good start, calling for Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders to implement an agreement between their countries.

    Asked about the issue of the divided island of Cyprus during a press conference with EU Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, Moon referred to an agreement made between the Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat aimed at moving towards talks on reunifying the island. It is important that the two leaders and the two countries should implement the July agreement, said the South Korean Ban, speaking English.

    Cyprus, which became a member of the EU in 2004, has been divided into the Turkish north and the Greek south since 1974. The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized as a country only by Turkey, a stumbling block to Ankaras EU aspirations.

    [05] US welcomes the EU decision on direct trade

    Illegal Bayrak television (24.01.07) broadcast the following:

    In a statement issued, the US State Department said it is pleased to see that the EU is working to fulfill its promises it made to the Turkish Cypriot People in 2004.

    It also added that the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot People will help diminish the separation between the two sides in Cyprus and will also promote the reunification of the island.

    [06] The German Embassy in Nicosia announced that the visit of German deputies to the occupied areas was private

    Turkish daily HURR0YET newspaper (25.01.07) publishes a report by its correspondent in the occupied Lefkosia, Omer Bilge. He reports that the Greek Cypriot Administration protested to Germany for the visit of the German deputies in TRNC by using the Ercan airport (occupied airport of Tymbou). The German Embassy in the Greek Cypriot sector had to issue an announcement: that the private visit of the deputies to the TRNC has no connection with our government.

    (DP)

    [07] The match between the national football team of the occupied areas and Tanzania is cancelled

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (25.01.07) reports under the title The dream in Tanzania ended and writes that the football match which was scheduled for tomorrow between the national team of the occupied areas and the national team of Tanzania has been cancelled.

    According to the paper, Tanzania is a FIFA member, while no satisfactory reason was given for the match´s cancellation.

    The paper also writes that the TRNC national team won yesterday´s football match with Zanzibar with 2-1 score.

    (ML)

    [08] Diyarbakir Kurdish Association Spokesman was sentenced to 1.5 years for insulting Turkishness

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.01.07) reports the following from Diyarbakir:

    Ibrahim Guclu, spokesman of the Diyarbakir Kurdish Association (Kurd-Der) -- which has been closed down -- was sentenced to one year and six months today for "publicly insulting Turkishness and the Turkish Republic."

    Guclu was present at the trial held at the 5th Criminal Court of Diyarbakir. He rejected the accusations, saying he did not insult the Turkish Republic. He then presented the judges with an eight-page written defense.

    The court sentenced him to one year and six months for "publicly insulting Turkishness and the Turkish Republic."

    A suit had been filed against Guclu for insulting the Turkish Republic in a press statement he had issued on 2 August 2005 in connection with an incident that had occurred in Van's Ozalp District in 1943, when 33 persons had been killed.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Columnist in REFERANS examines the reasons why Turkey should not take military action in Northern Iraq

    Istanbul REFERANS newspaper (19.01.07) publishes the following column by Cengiz Candar, under the title: Sending troops into Iraq without obtaining US consent":

    The Prime Minister has been involved in an exchange of polemical comments with the United States at the beginning of 2007 which will clearly be a critical year while the leader of the main opposition party called for launching a military operation into Iraq. Both sides have reached an agreement to discuss the situation in Iraq in a closed session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM) on Tuesday. They first escalated tension over Iraq among the public and will now discuss Iraq in a session which will not be open to the public at large. While leveling strong criticism against the United States, the Prime Minister said: "Somebody could remind them that they have come to Iraq from a country ten thousand kilometers away and ask what business they have in Iraq." But, somebody could put the following question to him: "Why did not you put that question while you were attempting to push the motion of 1 March through Parliament in a bid to enter Iraq together with those people who had come from a place ten thousand kilometers away? Why did not you put that question while trying to rush a decision through the TBMM after those people had asked you to provide reinforcements to be deployed in central Iraq because it was experiencing difficulties there?"

    The Prime Minister added: "The rights of a non-neighboring country in Iraq cannot be compared with ours as a neighboring country. We have a common border which is 350 kilometers long in addition to historical ties and our cousins live there. But, we are expected to remain indifferent to developments taking place in that country with which we showed solidarity throughout history. It is not possible." His remarks probably sounded logical.

    Grasping this opportunity provided by the Prime Minister, the leader of the opposition party pointed out that there were 32 summits higher than 3,000 meters along Turkey's common border with Iraq. He added: "The United States which is ten thousand kilometers far from the region has dispatched its troops. But, we will not be able to send our troops to an area 40 kilometers across the border. It is not acceptable at all." The opinion voiced by the leader of the main opposition party is actually based on the conclusion reached by the Prime Minister. If we ask whether or not Turkey can send its troops into Iraq under the circumstances, the question would be a swift "no" due to the laws of realpolitik. It cannot do that. US President George W. Bush has unveiled a new plan about Iraq which envisages an increase in the number of US troops in Iraq. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice embarked upon a tour to drum up support for Bush's new plan. She received a timid approval from Saudi Arabia. In a bid to receive that approval, she had to promise to revive the peace process between Israel and Palestine (Mahmoud Abbas). The Sunnite Arab community provides the "certificate of approval" to Bush's new initiative, albeit reluctantly. Meanwhile, Iraqi Kurds support the plan so enthusiastically that they have dispatched a Kurdish brigade to Baghdad in order to contribute to security in the capital city. Can you imagine that Turkey will send its troops into Iraq without first obtaining US approval? Only people who are out of their mind or determined to sever ties with the United States and the EU could attempt to do such a thing.

    In other words, Turkey could send its troops into Iraq at this phase if it is resolved to burn its bridges with the West. It could also take such a step if its ultimate objective is to side with Iran in order to play havoc with US policy vis-à-vis Iraq on condition that it agrees to bear its consequences.

    What if the fight against the PKK warrants such a move?

    Dispatching troops to Iraq by citing that reason would be a tacit admission of the fact that Turkey's mountains and cities could not be cleared of the PKK in the past 23 years. Would Ankara which would have admitted that it could not achieve that goal on Turkish territory be able to accomplish what it could not achieve on its soil for years in northern Iraq which is a hostile territory? Could that be a solution?

    Could not Turkish soldiers enter Iraq in order to protect Turkomans and to prevent the referendum which will enable the Kurdistan Regional Government to annex Kirkuk?

    First of all, such a step would put Turkomans' safety in jeopardy. There is no doubt that Turkomans have been subjected to unfair treatment on certain occasions. But, nobody other than some agents provocateurs who are deliberately trying to provoke Turkey can be so out of touch with reality and in a confused state of mind to claim that Turkomans are facing the risk of genocide.

    Turkey must have a Kirkuk project that it could put forward before resorting to a military intervention in a bid to block the referendum.

    What we can infer from the Prime Minister's comments is that Turkey supports the idea that communities in Kirkuk should share power. In fact, it is a prudent approach. Ankara's problem stems from the fact that it could not translate it into a detailed and reasonable project. More importantly, it has selected wrong tools. If you make mistakes in selecting your tools, you cannot achieve your goal even if it is a justifiable one. For example, you would not take a flight to Trabzon in order to fly from Ankara to Istanbul.

    There is a solution acceptable to all parties concerned: Kirkuk should and may be a separate federal unit which will not be controlled by the central government (Kurds are vehemently opposed to it) or form a part of the Kurdistan federal region. The provisional constitution adopted in March 2004 actually tacitly granted such a status to Kirkuk. Iraq may also switch back to the power-sharing model where Turkomans, Kurds, and Arabs each had a 30 percent share with the remaining 10 percent allocated to Christians, which was implemented from May 2003 through the end of 2005, and the referendum may be put off.

    All those steps could be taken only if:

    1. There is coordination with the United States which is capable of exerting influence over Kurds,

    2. We directly deal with and conduct serious negotiations with Kurds without threatening them with a military intervention if we want to convince them to accept a settlement.

    Instead, we refuse to deal with Kurds while continuously threatening them and we are engaged in an exchange of polemical comments with and challenge the United States. We are doing just the opposite of what we should be doing and thus place the safety of Turkomans in jeopardy.

    They cannot resolve the Kirkuk question by organizing a farcical meeting like the one in Ankara which was chaired by Onur Oymen and attended by some Turkomans and Arab nationalists together with the representatives of some Sunnite and Shiite Arab organizations which have links with terrorist organizations even if they discuss it in a closed session of the TBMM.

    /SK


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