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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-04-13

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.71/07 13.04.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Foreign Minister: Turkey will work for a honorable solution to the Cyprus problem. Statements by Abdullah Gul and Mehmet Ali Talat during their joint press conference in occupied Cyprus
  • [02] German ambassador to Turkey: Germany is determined to do everything for a solution in Cyprus
  • [03] Daniel Fried: The US government supports Talats efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem
  • [04] KTOEOS unionists force their way into the so-called Finance Ministry for precluding the 2007 Fiscal Year Protocol
  • [05] Illegal Syrian immigrants coming from Turkey arrested in the occupied Famagusta port
  • [06] Talat flies to Istanbul for attending a conference organized by TESEV on Cyprus
  • [07] Military says incursion into northern Iraq a must
  • [08] Turkish Grand National Assembly´s reaction to General Buyukanit´s messages

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Foreign Minister: Turkey will work for a honorable solution to the Cyprus problem. Statements by Abdullah Gul and Mehmet Ali Talat during their joint press conference in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports on the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Guls illegal visit to the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus and writes that speaking to journalists after meeting the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Gul stressed that they will continue to work together for an honorable, comprehensive and viable solution.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.04.07) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    European Union's (EU) steps concerning Direct Trade Regulation will make great contribution to the solution of Cyprus issue, said President of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Mehmet Ali Talat on Thursday.

    President Talat and Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Premier Abdullah Gul held a joint press conference following their meeting at the TRNC Presidency.

    President Talat said that Turkey and TRNC share the same line of thinking in the Cyprus issue. Talat noted that they discussed developments regarding Cyprus issue both in relation to EU and UN, and added that he is pleased to see two states share the same views regarding the steps that must be taken for ending the isolation of Turkish Cypriots.

    TRNC President said that he explained the steps TRNC takes towards ratification of the Direct Trade Regulation at the Council of Europe to Turkish Foreign Minister Gul. He noted that Greek Cypriot administration shows a strong resistance to the regulation, and added "we expect EU to keep its promises in this issue. We know that steps taken in this issue (direct trade regulation), will have a great contribution to the solution of the Cyprus issue. That is why we expect EU to adopt Direct Trade Regulation as soon as possible."

    Reminding that the 8th July process is continuing, Talat said this initiative is an effort to put a derailed process back on the tracks. He continued, "at the end of this initiative our aim is to start negotiations and find a solution to the Cyprus issue. We are exerting all our effort on this issue."

    On the other hand, Gul said that they had a comprehensive meeting on future of Cyprus, settlement of peace as well as defending the rights of TRNC.

    Noting that Turkey and TRNC will continue their constructive and positive efforts for a comprehensive solution, Gul said that they attach importance to UN process too.

    Noting that they also discussed the relations with the EU, Gul said that adoption of Direct Trade Regulation is the matter of EU rather than TRNC. "EU gave promises to Turkish Cypriots. Turkish Cypriots fulfilled their responsibilities honestly. Now, it is time for the EU to keep its promises. This is EU's matter to prove its reliability, dignity, credibility and promises. TRNC will not lose anything if this regulation is adopted or not," noted Gul.

    "This island (Cyprus) has a reality. There are two separate races, languages, religions and democracies. We think people can live together and cooperate within that scope. We think a constructive and comprehensive solution on the basis of Annan Plan can be found within that scope," said Gul.

    "We support the 8th July process," said Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul upon questions of reporters following his meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talat of TRNC in occupied Lefkosia on Thursday.

    The process of 8 July 2006 agreement envisages setting up some technical committees between the sides in Cyprus.

    Gul stressed that establishment of technical committees was proposed by Talat himself, adding that Turkish side does not have any problem with the process.

    Gul noted that Turkish side is a part of the process and has a constructive stance towards it, however the problem stems from the other party (Greek Cypriots).

    On the other hand, when asked whether Turkish Cypriot side is ready to open Lokmaci Gate (Ledra street), TRNC President Talat said, "we are ready. We are waiting for Greek Cypriot side."

    Moreover, Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (13.04.07) reports the following:

    When Gul was asked a question concerning recent tension between Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and Lt. Gen. Hayri K1vr1koglu, commander of the Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Command (KTBK), Talat stepped in saying that the issue was an issue for the Turkish Cypriots, and thus he should be the one to respond.

    Certain marginal groups are trying to create tension between the civilian government and the Turkish military, Talat said, emphasizing that nobody should give credit to such efforts. Soyer and Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Turgay Avc1 also participated in the meeting between Talat and Gul.

    Finally, Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper s columnist Fatih Cekirge (12.04.07) recounts a telephone conversation he conducted with Foreign Minister Gul on Turkeys Cyprus policy, where Gul stated that he is traveling to occupied Cyprus in order to issue the following message to the world: "Turkey is adopting a conciliatory stand on this issue. However, this stand should not lead to the mistake of viewing the KKTC as a concession. I am going there in order to tell the world 'we are in favor of conciliation to the end; but, failing a compromise solution, no one should see the KKTC as a temporary state'.

    [02] German ambassador to Turkey: Germany is determined to do everything for a solution in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports that the German ambassador to Turkey Eckart Cuntz speaking at the international conference organized by the Konard Adenauer Stiftung and the Ankara University on German Term Presidency and TurkeyEU Relations in Ankara referred to the Cyprus problem and said that Germany is determined to do everything for a solution in Cyprus.

    (MHY)

    [03] Daniel Fried: The US government supports Talats efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports that the U.S. Ambassador Daniel Fried, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs has declared that they do not recognize the occupied regime, however, they do support the efforts exerted by Talat for a solution. He also said that they do understand what Talat is doing for the reunification of the island and they welcome these efforts.

    The ambassador was addressing the Edward R. Murrow Journalist Program organized by the US State Department, in Washington.

    (MHY)

    [04] KTOEOS unionists force their way into the so-called Finance Ministry for precluding the 2007 Fiscal Year Protocol

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports that a group of Trade unionists from KTOEOS and the General Secretary of the KTOS Senel Elcil forced their way into the so-called Finance Ministry and tried to preclude the signing of the so-called 2007 Fiscal Year Protocol. The protocol fixes the salaries and the rights of the public servants and the retired ones. The paper reports that the protocol was programmed to be signed in the morning but because of this unprecedented interference it was delayed and signed in the afternoon under heavy security measures at the so-called Ministry.

    (MHY)

    [05] Illegal Syrian immigrants coming from Turkey arrested in the occupied Famagusta port

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports that 31 Syrian nationals were arrested in the occupied Famagusta port. The report says that the Syrian nationals all of them carrying Syrian passports were hidden in a trailer coming from Turkey.

    The Syrians arrived in the occupied area by a cargo ship. The so-called police had arrested the driver of the trailer and the owner of the trailer. The paper reports that the illegal immigrants pay 20 thousand US dollars to smugglers to come to the occupied area and from there to the free areas of Cyprus.

    (MHY)

    [06] Talat flies to Istanbul for attending a conference organized by TESEV on Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (13.04.07) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat is to leave the occupied area for Istanbul today to attend a conference organized by the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) on Cyprus.

    Talat will return to the occupied area late tonight.

    (MHY)

    [07] Military says incursion into northern Iraq a must

    Under the above title Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (12.4.07) reports the following:

    Turkish Chief of the General Staff Gen. Yaar Büyükan1t yesterday asked for government approval to launch a military operation into northern Iraq to fight outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists there, who he said are accelerating their terror attacks in Turkey.

    "An operation into Iraq is necessary," Gen. Büyükan1t said. "Would it be useful? Yes, it would. And we (the military) will succeed in that (operation) to a great extent. But a political decision needs to emerge [for this operation to take place]." From the military point of view, a military operation in northern Iraq must be made, Gen. Büyükan1t told a news conference yesterday, adding that a political decision from the government was first required to authorize such a step. There has been no request to Parliament from the military for a cross-border operation, he added.

    Speaking at his first press conference, which lasted almost one-and-a-half hours, since he took office almost eight months ago, Büyükan1t attempted to address the latest developments such as PKK terror, a leaked memorandum, or "and1ç," that classified Turkish press members as pro or anti-military, as well as diaries said to have belonged to former Navy Commander Adm. Özden Örnek that revealed two failed coup attempts organized by the top commanders of the military in 2004 against the ruling conservative Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

    As Büyükan1t was holding his press conference, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan was holding a meeting with his deputies to hear their views as to whether he should run for the presidency.

    Gen. Büyükan1t confirmed that a third lieutenant (3 Lt.) who had completed his military service had been arrested and then released on bail in connection with the leaked memo. He noted that the leak as well as the diaries, which Örnek himself had earlier denied the existence of, were attempts to wear down the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).

    The press conference, broadcast live, was attended by top-ranking commanders and accredited journalists, though Büyükan1t during the same press conference dismissed any discrimination by the military among the journalists.

    Gen. Büyükan1t defended the and1ç but said that accreditation did not mean punishment of some journalists.

    Sub title: Barzani is spoiled by US

    Büyükan1t stated that a large-scale military operation in south-eastern Anatolia against the PKK has been continuing. The offensives were launched to coincide with the spring, when melting snow facilitates infiltration into Turkey of the PKK terrorists from Iraq through mountain passes, he said. Turkey has been intensifying pressure on Iraq and the US to crack down on PKK terrorists launching raids from bases in northern Iraq. Büyükan1t also said that the TSK was expecting increased PKK terror activity.

    Büyükan1t, without explicitly naming it, accused the US of spoiling Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani, who heads Iraq s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, noting Barzani s provocative statements threatening to stir unrest in Turkey s Southeast if Ankara intervenes in the process of determining the status of Iraq s disputed city of Kirkuk. He also accused the Kurdish leader of extending logistical support to the PKK.

    The PKK has huge freedom of movement in Iraq, Büyükan1t said. It has spread its roots in Iraq.

    In comments on Büyükan1t s remarks, the US urged Turkey to refrain from launching cross-border raids against the PKK bases in Iraq, although it agreed the group needs to be dealt with.

    Certainly that s an option that everybody should work to avoid, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. He also urged Turkey and the Iraqi Kurdish leadership to pursue US-brokered negotiations aimed at curbing the PKK activities. Its in their interest to come up with lasting solutions for problems that might arise, he said. Were lending our good offices to that good effort.

    Ideally you do not have a resort to cross-border operations. I think that is not an appealing option, he said. But the US spokesman went on to say it was imperative to counter the PKK. Clearly the terrorist activities of the PKK are completely unacceptable, he said. They are a terrorist group and they need to be dealt with.

    Büyükan1t was also pessimistic that Iraq s territorial unity could be protected. It is difficult for the three main groups in Iraq to continue to live together, he said. I am not of the opinion that there would be a solution in short or even medium term.

    Sub title: Objection to Erdoan s presidency?

    Büyükan1t described a president that the TSK would like to see as someone who would abide by the Turkish Republic s unchangeable principles such as integrity and the secular character of the state, not in words but in essence.

    That is what we (the TSK) hope for, Büyükan1t said, apparently signalling an objection to Prime Minister Erdoan s possible bid for the presidency. But the final decision rests with Parliament, the general added.

    During most of the press conference Büyükan1t stressed the attachment of the TSK to the rule of law and added that because the president is also the commander in chief of Turkey, the issue concerned the military as well, and that this was why he touched upon the issue of the presidential election. However, Büyükan1t refrained from answering questions directly concerning the looming presidential election.

    Turkey s Parliament is due to elect a successor to current incumbent Ahmet Necdet Sezer next month. Turkey s secular elite, including the military, is worried that Erdoan will stand for the post.

    We hope the next president will be somebody genuinely bound by the basic values of the republic, including secularism, not somebody who just pays lip service to them, Büyükan1t said. But he declined to comment on possible candidates in the election.

    Erdoan s ruling AK Party is expected to name its candidate soon. As the party has a significant majority in Parliament, its candidate is virtually certain to become Turkey s next head of state.

    Financial markets are sensitive to political pronouncements from the military, which has ousted four governments in the past few decades, most recently in 1997, when it drove from office a prime minister it perceived as too Islamist.

    Sub Title: Coup diary

    Büyükan1t also touched on the diaries that are said to belong to former Navy Commander Adm. Örnek and said there had been no evidence within the General Staff s archives confirming the existence of the diaries. He talked to Örnek, too, who denied that the diaries belonged to him. If there have been documents (confirming the diary), then legal action could be taken, but there has been no document as such at the General Staff, he said, hinting that no legal action could be taken by the Office of the Chief of General Staff.

    Büyükan1t s statement comes soon after an interview given by former Chief of Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök to the Anatolia news agency on Wednesday, during which he neither denied nor confirmed the diaries existence, passing the decision to the courts.

    Özkök was chief of general staff when the alleged coup attempts took place. In the diary Örnek accused Özkök of acting passively against the government and said the planned steps could not be put into motion because of a lack of support from Özkök. Gen. Özkök was also described as close to the Islamists in Örnek s diaries.

    Sub Title: Ethnic nationalism and terror

    Gen. Büyükan1t also stated that Turkey has been facing terror, a racial act based on violence and ethnic nationalism. He described ethnic nationalism based on politics as the beginning of the road towards terror.

    Comments that nationalism has been rising in Turkey have inflicted major damage on Turkey s security, he added. Concerns that nationalism in Turkey has been rising is an admission of not knowing Atatürk, not understanding him, he said.

    [08] Turkish Grand National Assembly´s reaction to General Buyukanit´s messages

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN (13.04.07) reports the following:

    The back corridors of the Turkish Parliament appeared to react positively to the messages offered by Gen. Yaar Büyükan1t at his Ankara press conference on Thursday.

    Büyükan1t had reserved notable comments for the situation in northern Iraq as well as for the upcoming presidential election. AK Party Istanbul deputy Azmi Ate said Büyükan1t s statements were along the lines of our expectations, while AK Party deputy and parliamentary group leader Eyüp Fatsa said, No one thinks anything different about what the characteristics of the president should be.

    AK Party deputy and parliamentary group leader Fatsa said The request from Gen. Büyükan1t that there be a political decision in regards to a possible intervention in northern Iraq was discussed at the recent National Security Council (MGK) meeting. If there is a need, and a priority, the Parliament is here and will do what is necessary. As for what the characteristics of the next president should be, we don t think any differently than Büyükan1t on this subject. No one should have any doubts about our prime minister s commitment to the basic character of our republic.

    Cevdet Selvi, CHP deputy chairman: The press conference was to draw attention to those who are trying to hurt the Turkish Armed Forces. This is the first time that a possible operation into northern Iraq has been spoken about this openly and clearly. It was a great response to those who think Turkey has surrendered.

    Selami Uzun, AK Party deputy from Sivas: You cannot measure how secular or non-secular the person in front of you might be. We are a secular party. Our candidate fits the bill of what the chief of general staff has described.

    Ali R1za Alaboyun, AK Party deputy from Aksaray: You cannot interpret the statements made by Gen. Büyükan1t to mean he is opposed to the prime minister s candidacy. I did not get any negative impression in listening to his speech. There will be a candidate from Parliament who fits the characteristics he described. No one should have any doubts on this front.

    EG/


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