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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-04-02

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.64/07 31.03-02.04.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] German Ambassador to Turkey: Germany, EU comfortable on Cyprus issue
  • [02] Hasan Ercakica on the Turkish sides position on the 8 July process
  • [03] European Parliamentarians originally from Turkey spent a weekend in the areas of Cyprus under the occupation of 40,000 Turkish troops
  • [04] Replies by Abdullatif Sener to questions on Cyprus
  • [05] Turkey to complete political reforms by end of 2009
  • [06] The environment at Bellapais is sacrificed for an eight-storey hotel
  • [07] Turkey´s foreign debt reaches $206 billion at the end of 2006
  • [08] Gul to visit Germany 3-4 April
  • [09] Erdogan to visit Syria on 3 April
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [10] Columnist Birand writes that Rauf Denktas continues to maintain the same struggle to attach the Turkish Cyprus to Turkey
  • [11] The US and the Turkish Army on the Cyprus problem

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] German Ambassador to Turkey: Germany, EU comfortable on Cyprus issue

    THE NEW ANATOLIAN newspaper (31.03.07) reports the following:

    German Ambassador to Turkey Eckart Cuntz said on Friday that his country, the current European Union term president, and the EU feel comfortable regarding the Cyprus issue. Cuntz, at a press conference at the German Embassy in Ankara, stated that the EU has fulfilled its obligations on Turkey, adding that EU expects Turkey to fulfil its own obligation regarding implementation of the Ankara Protocol, meaning recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration.

    "It would have been better if we had admitted a united island to the EU (in 2004)," he said. "However, the opportunities were missed. The EU decided to launch negotiations with Turkey after Cyprus (the Greek Cypriot administration) became a member. Turkey signed the Ankara Protocol consciously."

    Cuntz said that EU Term Presidency Germany is working to make progress in launching direct trade with the Turkish Cypriots, stating they will do everything in their power to open negotiations with Turkey on three more chapters. Saying that Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will visit his country next Tuesday and Wednesday, Cuntz added that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will participate in the inauguration of the Hannover Fair on April 15. "Germany is the biggest trade partner of Turkey and the number of German companies investing in Turkey has exceeded 2,600," he added.

    Addressing how Turkey was not invited to ceremonies last week in Berlin to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, a situation that irked Ankara, Cuntz said that only representatives of the 27 member states were invited. "This should not be perceived as a negative sign for Turkey's membership process," he added.

    Predominantly Muslim Turkey began EU membership talks in October 2005, but EU leaders partially froze negotiations last December because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports to EU member the Greek Cypriot administration. Germany, EU president from January to the end of June, is critical of the prospect of Turkey joining the EU. "Accession is a one-way street," Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, adding Turkey must fulfil the EU criteria. Her governing Christian Democrat party opposes Turkish membership and wants to offer a "privileged partnership" instead. Meanwhile, Germany remains Turkey's most important economic and commercial partner within the EU. The volume of bilateral trade, worth 14 billion euros annually, has doubled in the past 10 years. Nearly 14 percent of Turkey's exports go to Germany, while 17 percent of Germany's total exports go to Turkey. There are nearly 1,100 German companies operating in Turkey today, and over 3 million German tourists visit Turkey each year. There are an estimated 2.5 million Turks living in Germany today, and 600,000 of them have already become German citizens.

    [02] Hasan Ercakica on the Turkish sides position on the 8 July process

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.04.07) reports that the evaluation study carried out by the Turkish Cypriot side as regards the 8 July process has been completed. The self-styled spokesman of the break away regime in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus Hasan Ercakica has declared that the document prepared by the Turkish side will be conveyed to the UN Secretariat.

    In a written statement Mr. Ercakica claimed that the Greek Cypriot side with a view to delaying the solution of the Cyprus problem and undermining the attempt to furthering the relations with the EU is trying to influence the 8 July process. He said that the evaluation work carried out by the Turkish side has to a great extend been completed. Ercakica went on and said that Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat held consultations with local, Turkish and foreign emissaries and at the end of these consultations a document has been drawn up which included the views of the Turkish Cypriot side as regards the progress in the 8 July process. Ercakica went on and said that it was decided to convey this document to the UN Secretariat.

    (MHY)

    [03] European Parliamentarians originally from Turkey spent a weekend in the areas of Cyprus under the occupation of 40,000 Turkish troops

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (31.03.07) reported the following from occupied Kyrenia: European parliamentarians of Turkish origin have called on the EU and current EU president Germany to keep the promises they made for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), put an end to the isolation of Turkish Cypriots, ratify the Direct Trade Regulation, open the Ercan (occupied Tymbou) Airport to the international direct flights, and acknowledge Turkish as one of the official languages of the EU.

    Twenty parliamentarians from several European countries including Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland and Austria, released a joint statement at the end of the "Northern Cyprus Summit of Parliamentarians of Turkish Origin in Europe" in Girne (occupied Kyrenia).

    In the statement, they stressed, "We request the EU to make the necessary legal arrangements in line with the decisions it made after the referenda in the island on April 26th, 2004."

    "Those who supported the Annan Plan were punished by being excluded from the EU while those who rejected the plan were awarded with the membership. Although people living in the Northern Cyprus have tried to do their utmost to find a solution to the Cyprus issue, they have been living through some difficulties because of unacceptable injustices," they added.

    [04] Replies by Abdullatif Sener to questions on Cyprus

    ISTANBUL SUNDAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (01.04.07) publishes an interview with Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener by Kerim Balci.

    Following are Mr Sener´s replies to questions on Cyprus:

    Question: This week it has been alleged, based on personal journal entries from former Turkish Sea Forces Commander [Adm.] Ozden Ornek, that two coups had been planned during the Cyprus referenda in 2004 and that these coups were both prevented. What is your view of this matter?

    Answer: I don't believe the truth of these sorts of news stories. Ideas like this will circulate. Things like this have happened in the past. But we see Turkey's accession process with the EU and we see that the culture of democracy has taken hold. And we know that institutions are based on democratic structures. In the end, we are in the 21st century. I think that everything is running according to the laws and within the framework of the Constitution. There might be some value to stories like these. But we need to read them and move on.

    Question: There are allegations that you have made too many concessions in foreign policy, that you have 'sold Cyprus,' things like this. What do you say about this?

    Answer: The world has changed. The voter sees this changing world. It used to be that politicians would try and influence the voting populace with irrational statements and stances. They counted on the populace not understanding the world. They assumed that citizens wouldn't be able to conceptualize the developments and realities of the world and then based on this assumption they would try to gather support for themselves by making statements that weren't based on any truths. But these days the world and Turkey have both changed. Citizens know what is true and what isn't. Citizens understand empty words. But unfortunately, there are still those who think that, with their old habits, they can guide the voter with all sorts of untrue, irrational statements. They may think this, but I think they are wrong. The AK Party is the face of Turkey open to the future. It is trying to construct the Turkey of tomorrow. You need to look at this in terms of principles. It used to be that the sharp criticisms of whatever enemy there was would get the most applause from society. But now everyone understands that this is of no use.

    Now, if these old ways of raising support were of any advantage to a country, they should have been of the greatest advantage to Saddam Hussein's Iraq. He stuck his tongue out at the whole world. Iraq was the target of untrue allegations. But Saddam Hussein was unable to speak level-headedly, in the language of the world, and explain that these allegations had no connection with Iraq, thus saving Iraq from disaster. And so this is the situation Iraq has arrived at, with hooligans who were unable to answer imputations that were untrue. What I want to explain here is this: You have to be realistic, you have to speak in a diplomatic language, you have to open up to the world and speak the language of the world in a way that will protect and oversee Turkey's interests. This is what we are doing on an international level. And Turkey today, in terms of every level of its foreign interests, is at a better point than it was yesterday. Including in terms of Cyprus.

    Turkey today is in the position of being a country that protects its interests and follows an active set of policies. When I look at Cyprus, I am amazed. The policy Turkey is following there is national policy. It is a policy that is spoken in an international language and which draws the interests of our fellow Turks living in northern Cyprus under protection. There are statements that Turkey can make on Cyprus on every platform in the world. Even the EU is now making signals that the embargoes and isolationary measures against northern Cyprus, which have been in place for years now, need to be seriously talked about. The president and prime minister of northern Cyprus are now carrying out official meetings with world leaders from the US and Europe. This did not exist before.

    So we look at northern Cyprus and we see that it has grown 11 percent in the past four years. Despite the embargo. There is no country in the world that could have normally survived such an embargo. If you put an embargo like that on the US, it would collapse. But despite this stiff embargo, the economy of northern Cyprus has grown 11 percent. The per capita annual income has risen from $4,000 to above $11,000. In terms of purchasing parity, the average per capita yearly income is $22,000. Every home has two cars. This is the point that economic and financial relations between Turkey and northern Cyprus have brought us to. And on that island you have Cypriot Turks, in security, with their economic, social, and cultural needs being fulfilled on a modern scale, marching in secure hope toward the future. And so we are continuing our policies. We have no plans at any time to change our program with regards to Cyprus, which we view as a national matter.

    [05] Turkey to complete political reforms by end of 2009

    TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (02.04.07) reports the following:

    Turkey, facing a partial suspension in its accession talks with the European Union over a customs union dispute with the bloc, is planning to finish the necessary political reforms by October 2009, diplomatic sources said.

    The commitment is part of a reform timetable which Turkey drew up after the EU suspended talks in December on eight of the 35 negotiating chapters, due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to traffic from Greek Cyprus. According to this roadmap, which is expected to be announced to the public in the coming weeks, Turkey will complete harmonization with the EU membership criteria by 2013. The political reforms that Turkey is required to carry out as part of its membership negotiations on two chapters, namely the judiciary and fundamental rights as well as justice, freedom and security, will be completed by October 2009, just before the release of an annual progress report on Turkey's reforms for membership.

    The EU decided to suspend accession talks on eight chapters related to the customs union deal Turkey has with the EU. The bloc says the deal requires Turkey to open its ports and airports to traffic from member Greek Cyprus, while Ankara insists it will not do so unless the bloc fulfils its promise to ease the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    The roadmap was prepared after Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül met senior officials at state institutions involved in the reform process in January, a meeting that confirmed Turkey's commitment to reform continues despite the December decision. Turkey is not expected to become a member of the EU before 2014.

    According to the reform roadmap Turkey will amend laws on regulations that stand in contradiction with the new law on courts of jurisdictional disputes, which hear disputes about which court has jurisdiction for trials, the administrative or the military courts by the end of this year. Similar steps will be taken in regard to the law on establishment of a mechanism of ombudsman, protection of family and the revised foundations law, again by the end of 2007.

    It is not clear whether the planned reforms will meet demands of the EU, which has pressured Turkey to take further steps in the field of religious rights for non-Muslim minorities, such as to re-open a Greek Orthodox seminary in Heybeli (Halki) Island near 0stanbul. Such steps are not part of the membership criteria outlined in the EU acquis and are widely seen to have the potential to improve political atmosphere between Ankara and Brussels.

    [06] The environment at Bellapais is sacrificed for an eight-storey hotel

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (02.04.07) and other newspapers report under the banner headlines Who will stop this massacre ? and publish a picture where bulldozers have levelled a large area covered with shrubs and bushes in the occupied Bellapais village for building an eight-storey hotel complex.

    The papers report that ten NGOs jointly published a protest calling on the occupation regime to take urgent measures to stop this massacre. The papers claim that the land belongs to the Vakif.

    (MHY)

    [07] Turkey´s foreign debt reaches $206 billion at the end of 2006

    ANKARA ANATOLIAN news agency (30.03.07) reports that:

    Turkey's foreign debt, as of end-2006, has grown 7 billion USD and reached 206.5 billion USD, announced the Turkish Treasury today.

    The Treasury said the private sector's share in Turkey's foreign debts has been 58.7 percent, while the public sector's share has been 33.7 percent.

    The Turkish Central Bank's total external debt has been 15,7 billion USD, which makes the 7.6 percent of the total debts.

    "Foreign debt has shown an increase of 7 billion USD during December 2005- December 2006 period due to exchange rate changes," Treasury said.

    [08] Gul to visit Germany 3-4 April

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (30.03.07) reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul will go to Germany on an official visit on April 3rd-4th, his office announced today. Gul will meet his German counterpart Frank Walter Steinmeier in Berlin on April 3rd.

    Proceeding to Cologne on April 4th, Gul will put into implementation there e-consulate project of the Turkish MFA. Gul will also meet representatives of Turkish associations during his stay in Germany.

    [09] Erdogan to visit Syria on 3 April

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (31.03.07) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will leave for Syria on April 3rd.

    Together with Syrian President Bashar al-Asad and Prime Minister Farouk al-Shara, Erdogan will attend the inauguration of the stadium in Aleppo. Erdogan will also watch a friendly game between Fenerbahce soccer club of Turkey and al-Ittihad soccer team of Syria.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [10] Columnist Birand writes that Rauf Denktas continues to maintain the same struggle to attach the Turkish Cyprus to Turkey

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (31.03.07) publishes an article by Mehmet Ali Birand, who writes, inter alia, that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas wants to make Turkish Cyprus a territory of Turkey:

    A distinct person: Rauf Denktas Have you read journalist Nur Batur's latest biography?

    I would advise to get it if you already have not read it.

    She wrote about the first president of Turkish Cyprus, Rauf Denktas's life. But read this book not to learn about a national hero's life but to familiarize yourself with Rauf Denktas as a person.

    Batur's work is exceptional. A story of heroism and a story of a person can only be brought together so well. Yeniden Yaasayd1m ( If I could live again ) is full of international policy lessons& It is a statement of ups and downs in the international relations It is full of examples of how Turkey views the situation in Cyprus And it is also the sad story of man who dedicated his whole life to a cause

    I did not use the term sad story in a derogatory way. On the contrary, I used it to depict a person who could not show the necessary interest in his family, who could not even kiss and hug his children, but has instead dedicated all his might to the cause.

    I have known Rauf Denktas since I started journalism in 1964. In the past 1-2 years, we have thought different regarding the Annan plan and maybe have upset each other. Even this did not lessen our affection for each other. He remained as a fatherly, tolerant, and committed to the cause. Rauf Denktas may be the leader of a small community but he is a colossal politician. He is a rare example with his vision, his stubbornness, and his commitment to his cause. He might seem to have withdrawn to his corner today but he maintains the same struggle. At the target of his struggle is to attach the Turkish Cyprus to Turkey, to make it a territory of Turkey.

    I would like to thank Nur Batur for she has gifted us such a work while Rauf Denktas is still amongst us. As I believe in the absurdity of writing eulogies about our people after we lose them, as I believe it is more proper to tell people their value to themselves while they are still alive, I think we should be congratulating Nur A final message to Rauf Denktas: We are glad you exist

    We are a society that denigrates its own values.

    [02] The US and the Turkish Army on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish daily M0LL0YET newspaper (02.04.07) under the title: On different frequency the Turkish Armed Forces with the United States& , publishes a column by Yasemin Congar according to which the support extended to the Annan Plan by Ankara and the TRNC people has changed the international view which considered the Turks being against the solution in Cyprus. The Justice and Development Party (AKP), because of its role played at the referendum scored points from the USA. The messages conveyed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) against the Annan Plan and in favour of remaining faithful to the Rauf Denktas line, draw reaction in Washington today, as it did in 2004. Coming into the agenda one more time by the publication at the NOKTA magazine that the Annan Plan would have almost become a cause of coup t etat, General Saygun at the American Turkish Council, criticizing the USA and the European Union on the Cyprus problem, stated that the Turkish army is determined to remain in the island.

    (M/L)

    EG/


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