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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-06-21

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.118/07 21.06.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkeys National Security Council met. Statement after the meeting also referred to Cyprus
  • [02] Belated denial by Turkish military on Hudson scenarios
  • [03] The authorization for the use of Incirlik by USA has been extended for an additional year
  • [04] German Embassy in Ankara hosted meeting with EU Ambassador
  • [05] Rehn backs Turkish membership in France
  • [06] Dutch ING Group bought OYAK Bank
  • [07] Ozdenir: The adoption of the Euro on both sides of Cyprus would promote re-unification
  • [08] The lawyer of Orams couple is optimistic that the results of the appeal will be in their favour
  • [09] Avci: The Turkish Cypriot struggle is a political one
  • [10] So-called national Taekwondo tean will participate in the 8th World Open Taekwondo Championship in Birmingham
  • [11] People movement in the occupied Cyprus during May
  • [12] Cooperation between the illegal universities with the aim to increase the number of students in occupied Cyprus
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [13] Open notification to Italys ambassador in Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkeys National Security Council met. Statement after the meeting also referred to Cyprus

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (20.06.07) reports the following:

    All measures required to fight against terrorism will continue to be taken under all circumstances," said a statement that was released after the National Security Council (MGK) meeting, it was reported on Wednesday.

    The statement said the measures that were taken and would be taken to eliminate separatist terrorism targeting unity and inseparable integrity of Republic of Turkey, and security of the nation were all assessed.

    The statement said: "The belief that this threat would be overcome decisively on the basis of democracy and supremacy of law was reaffirmed."

    It was stated that MGK members also discussed the recent developments about the Cyprus issue, underlining that ongoing unfair restrictions over Turkish Cypriots --who show will for solution --cannot be accepted. Members also took up the measures which can be taken to eliminate isolation of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in international area.

    "It was stressed that initiatives of Greek Cypriot administration --which continues to be an element of instability in the region through its activities in eastern Mediterranean-- regarding the issues that concern the whole island are not valid. Efforts to protect our country's rights and interests in eastern Mediterranean will continue. Turkey will pursue its positive stance (regarding Cyprus issue) to found a new partnership state on the basis of bi-zonality and political equality as well as to find a fair, permanent and comprehensive solution within the scope of the UN. Turkey is determined to provide every type of support to TRNC," noted the statement.

    On the same issue, according to Turkish daily HURRIYET newspaper (21.06.07) regarding Cyprus the MGK in parallel to the increased discrimination against those who migrate from Turkey to the TRNC, evaluated the developments regarding the more than 200 Greek Cypriot applications submitted to the Property Compensation Commission, after the decision of the European Court of Human Rights on the appeal of the Greek Cypriot Myra-Xenides Arestis.

    Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (21.06.07), inter alia, reports the following: The statement released by MGK after the meeting is also a warning for the Greek Cypriot administration, which launched an international licensing round for offshore exploration of oil and gas in February in spite of opposition from Turkey, which has warned the move could stoke tensions in the region.

    A full member in the European Union, Greek Cyprus is also blocking possible EU steps to effectively ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. The statement said the MGK meeting reviewed developments concerning Cyprus and underlined that it was unacceptable that unjust restrictions on the Turkish Cypriots remain despite their support for a solution of the deep-seated problem. The MGK chided the Greek Cypriot administration for acting as an element of instability and said its attempts to take steps on behalf of the entire island were invalid.

    In reference to the dispute over oil and gas exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, the statement said Turkeys efforts to protect its rights and interests in the region would continue and added that Ankara was firm in providing all kind of support for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), without elaborating.

    Turkey opposes agreements that the Greek Cypriot administration has signed with Lebanon and Egypt over maritime borders to facilitate oil and gas exploration. Some estimates suggest that the seas around Cyprus could contain unproven reserves of between 6 and 8 billion barrels of oil with an estimated value of $385 billion.

    Turkey has warned the two Arab countries not to proceed with the deals, saying that it also had rights and interests in the area. Ankara also insisted that the Turkish Cypriots should have a say in the islands oil and gas rights. Greek Cyprus has said that American, Chinese and Russian companies have shown interest in the international licensing round for offshore exploration.

    (MHY/ ML)

    [02] Belated denial by Turkish military on Hudson scenarios

    Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (21.06.07) under the above title, reports the following:

    The General Staff on Wednesday finally ended its silence on a recent meeting of the Washington based conservative think tank the Hudson Institute, where scenarios that could prove disastrous for Turkey were allegedly discussed at a brainstorming session, also attended by two officials from the Turkish military.

    Information leaked to the Turkish press on the alleged content of the meeting, which was initially not denied by the Hudson Institute, had raised great resentment in Turkey, reflected in angry statements issued by top politicians and commentators, as well as by the retired head of the Constitutional Court -- whose assassination formed one of the scenarios allegedly discussed at the think tank. The General Staff released a statement clarifying its opinion on the meeting, which observers said was a response to Parliament Speaker Bulent Ar1nç, who had criticized the participation of military officials in the meeting.

    The statement said recent media stories on the Hudson Institute meeting were circulated purposefully to besmirch Turkeys institution. It accused Milliyet dailys Washington correspondent Yasemin Congar, the journalist who disclosed the meetings details, of distorting the truth and having made a purposeful attempt to defame the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), without identifying her by name.

    The statement admitted that two generals had participated in the meeting, but denied they had participated in any discussion of scenarios on Turkey. They arrived briefly before lunchtime, it said. Later the participants recessed for lunch, and members of the two think tanks exchanged information on the working principles of their organizations, it said, asserting the generals innocence.

    According to the statement Turkeys military attaché to Washington had not received a written invitation for the meeting, despite an invitation text acquired by the media spelling out the name of the chairman of the Turkish General Staff think tank Strategic Research and Study Centres (SAREM) as one of the participants. The statement denied that one of the military officials had objected to a possible scenario on handing over terrorists caught in northern Iraq based on concerns that this would play into the hands of the ruling Justice and Development (AK Party) in the run-up to the elections.

    Subtitle: Congar stands by her news story

    Meanwhile Milliyets Congar, speaking to CNN Turk via a telephone on Tuesday night, reiterated that the sentence, If some Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leaders were captured [by US forces] and handed over to Turkey, this would play into the hands of the AK Party in the elections was expressed by a Turkish expert that participated in the meeting. She said three sources had confirmed that this was true. Commenting on the Hudson Institutes Eurasian Studies Director Zeyno Barans denial of the media reports on the contents of the meeting, Çongar said this was most surprising. She said Baran had not denied the news stories in e-mails the two had written to each other.

    Subtitle: Hudson talk waste of countrys time, AK Party official says

    Meanwhile, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) Deputy Chairman Saban Disli said recent scenarios on Turkey, including the assassination of the recently retired head of the Constitutional Court Tulay Tugcu and a powerful explosion in Istanbul killing 50, discussed as part of a brainstorming session in the US based Hudson institute, could have the purpose of forming psychological pressure on the Turkish electorate ahead of the general elections on July 22.

    During a visit to a solid waste storage facility in the northwestern province of Sakarya, Dili replied to questions from press members on the Hudson Institute meeting from June 13, the content of which was leaked to the press last week. Officials from the institute have denied most of the news stories.

    Disli stated that think tanks like the Hudson Institute always produced such scenarios, and emphasized his opinion that such issues should not be allowed to occupy space on the countrys agenda. He also accused such discussions of pushing real issues and services for society into the background.

    Subtitle: Journalist reaction

    Concerning the General Staffs statement, Ahmet Abakay, chairman of the Contemporary Journalists Association, said: The statement made by the General Staff in connection with the infamous meeting held at the Washington-based conservative think tank the Hudson Institute is controversial. We have every right to expect respect from the General Staff regarding freedom of the press and the peoples right to be informed. Yasemin Congar, to whom the statement refers, is our colleague and a member of our association. She is a sufficiently experienced journalist, and she has fulfilled her journalistic responsibility in this specific incident. If she had concealed this incident or ignored it, she would not have performed her duty. The incident reported by her is not denied, but verified both by the participants of the meeting and in the General Staffs statement, which only make assessments on a subjective basis. Interestingly, the statement shows that the General Staff has knowingly refrained from showing its reactions and from informing the public. The statement in question fully confirms our colleagues report. It is distressing to see the General Staff among the groups that do not pay respect to freedom of the press and the peoples right to be informed, but rather defame the reporters who report the incidents objectively.

    Subtitle: Full text of Turkish General Staffs statement on Hudson Institute

    A scenario allegedly put forward at a think tank in the US on the date June 13, 2007 has created wide discussion in our country which included attempts to associate the meetings scenario with the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), highlighting the presence of two TSK officials at the meeting.

    The Office of the Chief of General Staff, with the aim of obtaining a detailed view of all aspects of these discussions and revealing the real faces and intentions of the faces behind the current atmosphere, has waited without making a statement particularly in the beginning, but later concluded that the incident has caused enough discussion and decided to make a statement.

    1) The chairman of the General Staff Strategic Research and Study Centre (SAREM), founded on June 4, 2001, was in the US between the dates June 11 and June 16, 2007 within the framework of a long-arranged visit in order to exchange information on the structure and working methods of certain think tanks, just like his colleagues in many other countries do. The said think tank was also visited, along with four others that were a planned part of the visit. The news stories were written by a reporter who works as the US correspondent of an important newspaper and who was believed to have had sufficient experience in this field. The stories were a distortion of truths, and the wrong comments made by this person across TV stations are taken as a purposeful attempt [to defame the TSK]. The SAREM delegation visiting the US, because of visits planned to other think tanks, only had the time to participate in the meeting very briefly before lunch as spectators. During this course, no speeches of any scenarios mentioned in the news story were discussed in the meeting, and the SAREM members, who had visitors status, did not make any comments. Later, the participants recessed for lunch, and members of the two think tanks exchanged information on the working principles of their organizations after lunch.

    Under the planned visit to the US by the SAREM delegation, agreement had been reached on the itinerary with the said organization, just like with all the other think tanks; however, no invitation including the scenario had been received for the meeting that is the subject of the discussions.

    In addition, the presence of the son of the leader of a Kurdish group in the said meeting was a complete coincidence, with the SAREM delegation making no contact with this person whatsoever.

    2) The TSK attaché to Washington was only verbally invited to the meeting. No information or documentation was delivered to the office of the attaché about the scenario ahead of the meeting. The attaché participated in this meeting with the knowledge and permission of the Office of the Chief of General Staff. This participation falls under the regular duties of attachés, and the results of the meeting have been reported to the Office of the Chief of General Staff.

    3) During the workshop on Potential Responses to a Military Incursion into Iraq, which lasted two hours, our military attaché did not give any responses other than Turkeys stated views concerning Iraq. The news story about the terrorists that would be delivered to Turkey, is the result of pure imagination and it bears the purpose of covering a lie with another lie and defaming institutions by pointing at the wrong target. For this reason, this topic is considered to be requiring a clarification from the said journalist.

    4) The developments mentioned above have also been confirmed by various statements made by officials of the Hudson Institute. However, the wide discussions on not the real subject matter of the meeting but the said imaginary scenario create the impression that certain centers are deliberately elaborating on this issue. The purpose served by those statements and comments made based on a scenario that could not possibly be accepted by the Turkish Armed Forces is considered to be a topic that has to be profoundly contemplated.

    [03] The authorization for the use of Incirlik by USA has been extended for an additional year

    Turkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (20.06.07) reports the following:

    Twenty days after giving the United States a diplomatic note on grounds that US F-16 planes violated Turkish airspace, the authorization for the use of Incirlik has been extended for an additional year.

    The members of the Council of Ministers have reportedly signed the decree that extends the United States' authorization to benefit from the Incirlik Air Base for logistic purposes for an additional year. The authorization was granted 20 days after giving the United States a diplomatic note on grounds of the violation of Turkish airspace by US F-16 planes.

    Last week the Foreign Ministry had sent the government the Council of Minister's decision on extending for an additional year the authorization that will expire on 23 June and that has been granted the United States every year since 2003 for the use of the Incirlik Base for logistic purposes within the framework of the US operations in Iraq.

    Sources from the Prime Minister's Office noted that the decree was signed during a meeting held by the Council of Ministers the day before yesterday [ 18 June]. The authorization will enable "friendly and ally countries to use the ports, the airports, the facilities, and the bases that will be determined on the basis of the principles and methods that will be drawn up by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff in line with the purposes envisaged in the resolutions of the UN Security Council, with the purpose of logistic support, including the transportation of military equipment and personnel." The Council of Ministers' decision that enables the United States to use the Incirlik Base for an additional year for logistic purposes will come into effect after being published in the Official Gazette within this week.

    It was noteworthy that the Council of Ministers' decision that extends the authorization for the use of the Incirlik Base was reached only 20 days after the diplomatic note given to the United States for the violation of Turkish airspace.

    After the public announcement issued by the Office of the Chief of the General Staff to the effect that two of the US F-16 planes stationed in Iraq violated Turkish airspace on 24 May, the Foreign Ministry had given the United States a diplomatic note and had warned it against the repetition of the violation. The US Embassy had explained that the violation of the airspace had stemmed from pilot error and had apologized.

    [04] German Embassy in Ankara hosted meeting with EU Ambassador

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (20.06.07) reports the following:

    Eckart Cuntz, Ambassador of EU Term President Germany in Ankara said the opening of three chapters in EU accession negotiation talks with Turkey still remained an objective.

    The German Embassy in Ankara hosted a last meeting with the EU ambassadors as the EU term president. The guest of the lunch --hosted usually after the meetings held once every month-- was Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, Chairperson of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmen Association (TUSIAD).

    Cuntz and Yalcindag spoke to the press before the lunch. Yalcindag indicated they would discuss together Turkey's EU journey.

    When asked about the hesitations regarding the "Economic and Monetary policy" chapter and whether German term presidency would open this chapter, Cuntz recalled German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier's remarks -to the German daily Frankfurter Rundschau, and said, "the opening of three chapters in EU accession negotiation talks with Turkey still remains an objective. German FM Frank Walter Steinmeier stated that the negotiations are not just formal negotiations or technical ones. It will not be accepted to open only one chapter."

    Upon a question regarding the French position on the opening of "Economic and Monetary policy" chapter in negotiations with Turkey, Cuntz said he did not want to comment on the internal negotiations that were still going on within the enlargement group and noted that efforts were still going on. When asked about the Greek Cypriot position on the "financial control" chapter, Cuntz reminded that the Ministerial Accession Conference would be held on June 26th and said they were working very hard to achieve their goal regarding the opening of three chapters in negotiations with Turkey as the term president.

    [05] Rehn backs Turkish membership in France

    Under the above title Turkish daily TODAY´S ZAMAN newspaper (21.06.07) reports the following:

    The European Union must fulfil its promise to negotiate on Turkey's accession bid, the EU's enlargement chief said on Wednesday, rebuffing French President Nicolas Sarkozy's efforts to thwart its entry.

    Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn told a French audience in the eastern city of Strasbourg that the mainly Muslim state was a key partner for Europe and noted that the bloc had recognized its right to apply for entry as long ago as 1963.

    "If prospects of accession dim, it is Turkish democracy and the stability of the country -- and, as a knock-on effect, our own -- that will be affected," he told an event at the elite ENA College. "We should be fair, respecting our commitments that support reforms in Turkey and contribute to the transformation of this great country. We should be rigorous, ensuring that Turkey fulfils the criteria to the letter," he added.

    The EU and Ankara launched accession talks in October 2005, but progress has been painfully slow, dogged by disputes over Cyprus, freedom of expression and other issues. The EU is due to open talks on two new chapters with Ankara on Monday after France signalled reservations about a third --economic and monetary policy. A total of 35 chapters needed to be negotiated and agreed.

    Sarkozy has held back from an all-out attempt to halt the talks until after this week's EU summit aimed at launching a new reforming EU treaty in place of a constitution, stalled by voter rejections in France and the Netherlands. But he has said he would make proposals by the end of the year on blocking its bid, insisting that Turkey does not geographically belong to Europe.

    [06] Dutch ING Group bought OYAK Bank

    ANKARA ANATOLIA news agency (20.06.07) reports the following:

    ING Group's CEO Michel Tilmant stated on Wednesday that they assured to offer high-quality services to the members of the army just like they did to other customers, underscoring that they attached great importance to the military officials' keeping their accounts at the bank.

    Speaking at a press conference on Oyak Bank's sale to the Dutch ING Group, Tilmant stressed that they mainly directed their capital to developing economies and to locations where the middle class is rapidly improving and financial services are promising.

    "You can consider our presence in Turkey today as a part of this policy as well," Tilmant noted, stressing that Turkey had a great potential in financial services. Stressing that they made strenuous efforts to introduce their brand in Turkey, Tilmant said they became a sponsor to Formula 1 and signed an agreement with Renault within this framework. Tilmant indicated that the Grand Prix to take place in Turkey in August would also contribute to their company's promotion. Noting that Oyak Bank would change its name to ING in 12 months, Tilmant said the number of branches in Turkey would also be increased to 450. Upon a question on whether "ING is concerned about a military coup in Turkey", recalling a report released by ING previously which claimed that "the probability of a military coup in the country was 5 percent," Tilmant said there was an independent research group within ING and they had no intervention regarding such group's predictions on the market.

    "It would not be accurate to conclude that this research group reflects the opinion of the ING administration or ING supports such report," Tilmant affirmed. Replying to another question on whether ING's previous negative opinion on Turkey has changed, Tilmant said they would not have invested 2.6 billion USD in Turkey if they did not confide in Turkish economy.

    [07] Ozdenir: The adoption of the Euro on both sides of Cyprus would promote re-unification

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.06.07) broadcast the following:

    The Adoption of the Euro on both sides of Cyprus would promote reunification.

    The German Greens Party MEP Cem Ozdemir has stressed the view that it is a pity that the simultaneous adoption of Euro on both sides of Cyprus is not taking place.

    Commenting on the issue during a session at the European Parliament on the adoption of Euro in Cyprus and Malta in Strasbourg, the Greens MEP said that adopting the EUs common monetary unit in the whole of Cyprus would contribute to the reunification of the island.

    [08] The lawyer of Orams couple is optimistic that the results of the appeal will be in their favour

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.06.07), the British Court of Appeal has decided regarding the Orams case to consult the EU Court of Justice because the case concerns the EU. The lawyer of the British couple Orams, Mr Hasan Vahip said that they think that the case will end in the Court of Appeal in their favour. He said that all the developments until now are towards this end.

    (MHY)

    [09] Avci: The Turkish Cypriot struggle is a political one

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.06.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has stated that the long-term struggle waged by the Turkish Cypriot People has gained a more political nature following the changes in world politics.

    Mr Avci said that although the aim of the Turkish Cypriot struggle for existence and equality remains the same, new approaches will be sought towards achieving national interests.

    Foreign Minister Turgay Avci paid a visit to the former TRNC President Rauf Denktas today, who recently underwent an operation in Istanbul. Touching upon the Cyprus problem during the visit, Mr Avci said that Turkeys policy on the Cyprus issue has always been very clear and this will not change whatever changes take place within the political atmosphere of the country.

    He said this was made clear once again by the Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul during his latest visit to the TRNC.

    Stressing that foreign contacts are all aimed at allowing further expansion of the Turkish Cypriot People within the international community, Turgay Avci stated that the TRNC is maintaining its foreign policy in line with the shifting nature of world politics.

    [10] So-called national Taekwondo tean will participate in the 8th World Open Taekwondo Championship in Birmingham

    Turkish Cypriot daily YENIDUZEN newspaper (21.06.07) reports that the so-called national Taekwondo team will take part officially at the 8th World Open Taekwondo championship to be held in Birmingham, England between 30 June and 2 July. The team has started its preparations.

    (MHY)

    [11] People movement in the occupied Cyprus during May

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (21.06.07) in May this year 83,883 people entered in the occupied area and 81,298 people left the area. 73,908 visitors arrived in the occupied area by air and 9,975 by sea.

    (MHY)

    [12] Cooperation between the illegal universities with the aim to increase the number of students in occupied Cyprus

    Under the title Strategic cooperation between the TRNC universities, Turkish Cypriot daily VATAN newspaper (21.06.07) reports that the illegal East Mediterranean University (DAU) and the Near East University (YDU) have established cooperation aiming to increase the number of students who are attending the universities of the TRNC from 40.000 to 60.000 by 2012, to establish cooperation in research and international conferences and to start the Bologna process as an internal measure.

    Announcing yesterday the first steps of the strategic cooperation established between the two illegal universities, their rectors conveyed also the message that this cooperation will be carried out with other universities too.

    The DAU rector, Dr. Halil Guven, also stated that next Autumn the two illegal universities will sign a protocol for setting up a commission aiming to designate the dimension of the academic cooperation between DAU and YDU. He also noted that the breakaway regime can become a model on private universities.

    On his part, the YDU rector, Dr. Suat Gunsel stated that the flow of students coming from Turkey to attend the illegal universities cannot be prevented, no matter whether new universities will be established in Turkey, explaining that the number of universities in Turkey, including the new ones which are going to open, is nearly 100 and according to the population in the country, a minimum number of 250 universities is required.

    Responding to a question on the opening of universities in the free territories of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr. Gunsel noted that it is too difficult for these universities to reach the level of the universities in occupied Cyprus. It is very difficult to reach our level. The levels we reached cannot easily be reached by others, he stated.

    (M/L)


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [13] Open notification to Italys ambassador in Cyprus

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot columnist, Engin Irfan publishes the following open letter to the Italian ambassador to Nicosia in his column in Turkish Cypriot AFRIKA today (21.06.07):

    Senior,

    I am borne in 1947 in your city of Magusa (Famagusta). As soon as I opened my eyes I saw the magnificent walls built before you by your ancestors from Venice and Florence, the redoubts and the antiquities. This cultural heritage of yours, Famagusta, has been included into the list of the worlds cultural heritages the future of which is in danger. I am giving the names of some of your antiquities which are about to be demolished or sold with the lie that they are property of wakf (Tr. Note: Religious foundation).

    [01] Porta del Mare (Sea Gate). Those who come from the north pulled out the gate of this tower and threw it as firewood to be used in making lahmacun (Tr. Note: A pizza made with meat, tomatoes and pita). Even Leonardo Da Vinci is feeling the pain to his bones. (Tr. Note: Free translation)

    [02] Martinengo Tower. It is used as toilets and graveyard.

    [03] The redoubts and towers of Diacare, Del Mozzo, Santa Napa, Arsenale MOratto, San Luca, Andruzzi, Diamante and Ravalin are used for various activities such as bar, night club, brothel, toilet and warehouse.

    [04] The Inside of Othello Castle. It is about to be demolished.

    The above is information I can submit to you at the first opportunity. You should urgently visit this place together with your art history and archeology experts from Florence whom you should bring with you in order to save Magusa (Famagusta). Some of my drawings regarding your antiquities are in the supplement.

    With my respects.

    (I/Ts.)

    EG/


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