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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-07-17

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.136/07 17.07.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Chief of the Turkish General Staff Buyukanit said that the strategic importance of Cyprus is gaining weight every passing day
  • [02] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had a telephone conversation with Mehmet Ali Talat
  • [03] KTOS and KTOEOS demand to dismiss the Republican Turkish Party from This Country is Ours platform was rejected by the Platform
  • [04] Figures about the imports and exports of the occupation regime
  • [05] The so-called Cyprus Marine Research Foundation will carry out scientific research in the East Mediterranean
  • [06] Tenor Jose Carreras plans to sing in occupied Cyprus after the cancellation of his concert two years ago
  • [07] The so-called under-18 handball team participated in the International Torrellano Cup in Torrellano, Spain
  • [08] A forest fire in the occupied Bellapais village
  • [09] Tension in Ankara Washington relations over claims that U.S. forces in Iraq were supplying weapons to the members of the PKK
  • [10] France blocks Turkeys participation in EuroGendFor
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] The Turkish Press on the elections and other issues

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Chief of the Turkish General Staff Buyukanit said that the strategic importance of Cyprus is gaining weight every passing day

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.07.07) reports that the Turkish Chief of the General Staff, General Yasar Buyukanit has said that the strategic importance of Cyprus is gaining weight every passing day.

    On the occasion of the 33rd anniversary of the Turkish invasion and occupation of part of Republic of Cyprus, the self styled TRNC envoy to Turkey Tamer Gazioglu, together with a delegation paid a visit to the Office of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff and met with General Buyukanit. During the meeting General Buyukanit said: From the point of view of the peaceful and safe future of our brethrens living in Cyprus and the security of Turkey, Cyprus is always very important. He went on and said that the strategic importance of the island is increasing every passing day. Referring to the demands for just and lasting peace, the Turkish General said that a lot of people are speaking about finding a just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem and noted that it was important that one has to think about what kind of a solution it should be which will be both just and lasting.

    One has to think carefully about the content of these concepts. The General went on and said that the Turkish Armed Forces are always on the Turkish Cypriots side.

    (MHY)

    [02] UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had a telephone conversation with Mehmet Ali Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.07.07) reports that the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said that he is encouraging the sides in Cyprus for starting a dialogue. He said that last Friday he had a very good telephone conversation with Mr. Talat. Moon said: I am trying to encourage the leaders of both sides to enter into the dialogue. This is what I continue to do. The UN Secretary-General said that behind the scene he was very active and he did not inform the public for his contacts about the Cyprus problem.

    (MHY)

    [03] KTOS and KTOEOS demand to dismiss the Republican Turkish Party from This Country is Ours platform was rejected by the Platform

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.07.07) reports that a demand by the KTOS and KTOEOS to dismiss the Republican Turkish Party United Forces (CTP-BG) from This Country is Ours platform was rejected by the Platform which met last night.

    The paper reports that representatives from 35 organizations attended yesterdays meeting of which three organizations cast a vote in favor of dismissing the CTP-BG from the platform, two organizations proposed to suspend the membership and one organization abstained.

    (MHY)

    [04] Figures about the imports and exports of the occupation regime

    Illegal BAYRAK television (16.07.07) broadcast the following:

    The foreign trade deficit of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has reached 666-million New Turkish Liras in the first five months of the year. Its been announced that the Republics total imports in the five past months has reached the amount of 730-million New Turkish Liras while its total exports in the same period was recorded as 63-million New Turkish Liras.

    According to the figures released by the Economy and Tourism Ministrys Department of Commerce, about 527-million US dollars worth of products and goods were imported in the first five months of the year. This reflects a 2% drop in the imports of the Republic compared with the imports of the same period last year.

    Of the total amount of goods worth about 527-million US dollars imported by the Republic, around 382-million US dollars has been exported from Turkey and the rest from third world countries.

    The Department of Commerce also said that about 46-million US dollars worth of products and goods were exported between January and May.

    And, this reflects a 15% drop in the exports of the country compared with the exports of the same period last year.

    Of the total amount of goods worth about 46-million US dollars imported in the first five months, 58% has been imported from Turkey and the rest from the third world countries. According to the figures, around 80-million dollars worth of goods has been imported from EU member countries and around 35-million dollars worth of goods from Far East countries. The rest was imported from other European countries and Middle East countries.

    The figures also show that around $5-million worth of products and goods were exports to EU countries, around $7-million to other European countries and around $5-million to Middle East countries.

    Fuel, vehicles, iron bars, ready-made clothes, furniture and auto spare parts constitute a major part of the imports while orange products, milk products and ready-made clothes constitute a major part of the exports.

    [05] The so-called Cyprus Marine Research Foundation will carry out scientific research in the East Mediterranean

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.07.07) reports that the so-called Cyprus Marine Research Foundation (KIDAV) will carry out scientific research in the East Mediterranean. The research will be carried out by the research ship Yunus belonging to the University of Istanbul.

    (MHY)

    [06] Tenor Jose Carreras plans to sing in occupied Cyprus after the cancellation of his concert two years ago

    Turkish Cypriot daily CYPRUS TIMES newspaper (17.07.07) reports the following:

    One of the 'Three Most Famous Tenors of the World' Jose Carreras will sing at the Salamis Antique Theatre 1st September 2007. Tickets will be available at Deniz Plazas in Lefkosia, Ammochostos and Keryneia from July 24th.

    This concert will be the largest ever organisation in the history of the TRNC. 2000 tickets, with five different prices will be available at Deniz Plaza Centres in Lefkosia, Ammochostos and Keryneia from the 24th of July 2007 said Halil Kalgay, Chairman of the Organisation Committee and The Music Association of North Cyprus, yesterday to Cyprus Times.

    Jose Carrerass scheduled concert at the 3rd International North Cyprus Festival in 2005 was postponed due to his illness. Thousands of admirers will be able to embrace this world star at the 5th International North Cyprus Festival on 1st September 2007.

    [07] The so-called under-18 handball team participated in the International Torrellano Cup in Torrellano, Spain

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (17.07.07) reports that the so-called under-18 handball team of the occupied area won its first game at the International Torrellano Cup in Torrellano, Spain. This was its single win as the other three matches were lost, reports the paper.

    (MHY)

    [08] A forest fire in the occupied Bellapais village

    All the local papers report today (17.07.07) about the forest fire that started yesterday morning in the occupied Bellapais village. The papers write that despite the fact that the fire was taken under control quickly, young pine trees and shrubs within ten donums area were destroyed. A helicopter from Mersin, Turkey, took part in putting off the fire.

    (MHY)

    [09] Tension in Ankara Washington relations over claims that U.S. forces in Iraq were supplying weapons to the members of the PKK

    TURKISH DAILY NEWS newspaper (16.07.07) reports the following:

    The U.S. Ambassador to Turkey Ross Wilson said over the weekend that they were investigating Ankara's claims that United States forces in Iraq were supplying weapons to the members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based in the Kandil Mountains of northern Iraq.

    Why shall we supply weapons to an organization that we designate as a terrorist group? Wilson was quoted as telling reporters. He emphasized the U.S. was not supporting the PKK. We are not working with the PKK and we are not supplying weapons to it.

    Recently, four PKK terrorists, who handed themselves over to Turkish authorities after escaping from a PKK camp in northern Iraq, claimed they had seen two U.S. armored vehicles deliver weapons to the PKK in their camp. But in first official remarks last week, Turkish Ambassador to Washington Nabi ^ensoy said U.S. weapons have been turning in the hands of the PKK members staging attacks in Turkey.

    He said that Turkey has been pressing the U.S. to ensure that weapons supplied to Kurdish forces within the Iraqi army are not funneled to the PKK. He did not suggest that the U.S. has been supplying the PKK directly. But he accused Kurdish members of the Iraqi government of allowing the group to operate in northern Iraq and to stage cross border attacks into Turkey.

    Wilson confirmed that he received a dossier from Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gl with regard to the U.S.-made weapons used by PKK terrorists. We're looking into this report, in the same way as we did other reports. We take them seriously and are working on them. The U.S. ambassador said he was upset by the claims, adding that the reason for PKK defectors making such claims could be to harm ties between Turkey and the U.S.

    In addition Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (17.07.07) reports the following on the same issue:

    Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari held a telephone conversation with his Turkish counterpart, raising concerns over the Turkish military buildup on the border. Zebari said tension between the two countries would diminish and instead mutual confidence would be built in the event that Turkey stopped massing its troops to the border.

    He also expressed readiness to meet with Turkish and U.S. officials in Baghdad as soon as possible within the framework of the trilateral mechanism to sort out the PKK problem.

    Turkish-US relations would break apart if rumors of US supply of arms to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Iraq are proven correct, Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said.

    Former PKK members fleeing camps in northern Iraq have recently said in their testimonies to security officials and prosecutors that members of the terrorist group in Iraq were being supplied with US weapons. Gul earlier said that Turkey has formally requested an explanation from Washington over the claims and officials said Ankara's concerns were not based solely on confessions of the former PKK members.

    Asked whether Ankara has evidence to support claims of the former PKK members, Gul said in an interview with private Kanal A television on Sunday night that there has been no confirmation of the charges. "We have not confirmed anything. But there is such an allegation and there are convincing confessions," Gul said, emphasizing that the charges were being investigated. "We have requested information [from the US]." He said if the US really supplies arms to the PKK, this would eventually be revealed. "If such a thing happens, our relations would break apart," he said. But he added that the allegations could well be part of a plot to undermine Turkish-US ties and said it did not seem logical for the US to supply weapons to the PKK in Iraq openly. "But since there is such an allegation, we have to investigate it," he said.

    The foreign minister said Ankara was aware that weapons supplied to the Iraqi army sometimes turned up in PKK hands amid the chaos in Iraq. "Of course the US military and several European countries give weapons to Iraq as there is a new army being built there. Some of these weapons could end up in PKK hands and indeed we found out that some of the PKK weapons seized were those that had been given to the Iraqi army in good faith."

    The US classifies the PKK as a terrorist organization and has pledged to take steps to counter the threat it poses to Turkey. But few tangible outcomes have emerged from its fight against the group. Impatient with US slowness, Ankara has warned it could carry out a cross-border operation to strike the PKK bases in northern Iraq.

    Gul declined to comment when he was asked whether there could be a cross-border operation in the next month, but added everything could change depending on the circumstances.

    [10] France blocks Turkeys participation in EuroGendFor

    Under the above title Turkish daily TODAYS ZAMAN newspaper (17.07.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Paris has been blocking Turkey's participation in the European Gendarmerie Force (EuroGendFor), an initiative comprising five European Union member states -- France, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain -- aimed at improving crisis management capability in sensitive areas. The French move comes in defiance of support for Turkey from the other four members.

    The veto, as confirmed by a senior EU diplomat speaking to Today's Zaman on Monday, will also influence Romania's application which, likewise, has applied to EuroGendFor for participation with "observer status."

    Turkey's and Romania's applications will be discussed at a senior level meeting of EuroGendFor to be held in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, on Thursday. All members bar France support Turkey's observer status within the force and, additionally, France doesn't seem to have any problem with Romania's application, reliable sources told Today's Zaman.

    Concerning the outcome of Thursday's meeting, there are two possibilities. The first is that the members can accept only Romania while rejecting Turkey --a possibility that is not considered probable as the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and, in particular, Italy, want to have Turkey in the force. The second possibility, which is widely considered likely, is that the members will decide to postpone the discussion on both Turkey and Romania's applications to their next meeting, which will be held in autumn.

    Italy, whose gendarmerie force the Carabinieri is currently in bilateral cooperation with Turkey's gendarmerie, is staunchly sponsoring Turkey's participation in the force. EuroGendFor was launched in January 2006, based upon a suggestion for the creation of a European military police by the then French defense minister.

    French blockage has been regarded as a blow to improvement of security cooperation between the EU candidate and NATO country and the EU, as EuroGendFor's express purpose is to rapidly conduct a complete spectrum of civil security actions, either on its own or in parallel with military assistance, by providing an effective multinational tool. The blockage is assumed to reflect the determination of French President Nicolas Sarkozy vis--vis his staunch opposition to Turkey's EU membership bid. Sarkozy has repeatedly claimed that Turkey has no place in Europe and should be offered something other than membership. France blocked the economy and monetary policy chapter of the accession process on June 26.

    Improvement of cooperation between NATO and the EU is another problematic area for Ankara as it urges the two international organizations to stick to existing cooperation mechanisms while, in fact, the two intend to design a new one.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] The Turkish Press on the elections and other issues

    The elections and issues of the political agenda are covered by the Turkish Press on 16.07.07 as follows:

    In an article entitled "The AKP's advantages and handicaps", YENI SAFAK columnist Cevdet Akcali recalls how Suleyman Demirel's Justice Party, AP, lost to the Ecevit-led Republican People's Party, CHP, in the general election in 1973 because of public concerns about the extent of the AP's political power caused by its forced resignation following the military's 12 March "memorandum" in 1971. Akcali asserts that the people are similarly worried today about the AKP's ability to manage the "crisis" expected to take place over the issue of presidency after the general election on 22 July as well as about its tendency to "inadvertently" create "new crises" in trying to overcome this problem.

    In an article entitled "What Next?", VAKIT columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the AKP's greatest advantage in the forthcoming election lies in the way the election has assumed the character of a referendum fought between those favoring military takeovers and those opposed to them, adding that the large turnout at the AKP's latest rally served as a confirmation of this situation. He also calls on the AKP to lose no time in passing a comprehensive constitutional amendment package following the election, adding that the votes to be cast in favor of the AKP in the forthcoming election will not signify permanent support for this party but a willingness to "give it one more chance."

    Under the headline, "Last Sunday before ballot box," ZAMAN runs a front-page report which says with only a week to go before the election, political parties are making a show of strength through rallies. According to the report, AKP, SP, and Nationalist Action Party, MHP, leaders addressed impressive crowds on Sunday while the CHP and the Democratic Party noticeably refrained from holding any rallies over the weekend.

    In an article entitled "Announcement to plotters: This is not Spain," ZAMAN Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanli warns of possible attempts by certain "gangs" within the state to influence the results of the general election on 22 July through what will look like terrorist bombings in the remaining week before the election. Dumanli claims that every effort to manipulate public opinion in this way would be certain to rebound because the Turkish people are quite familiar with the "deep will" of terrorism that will wait for "conditions to ripen" before "closing in on its prey stealthily."

    In an article entitled "Any further presidential crisis after the elections?" TODAYS ZAMAN columnist Ihsan Dagi argues that Prime Minister Erdogan's disclosure that the AKP will seek "consensus" over the issue of presidency could be seen as a bid to "ease and even appease the centers of 'bureaucratic opposition' in the new period ..." adding that "instead of 'taking over' the presidency, the AK Party is now interested in 'neutralizing' it to enhance the position of the prime minister's office and parliament."

    In an article entitled "Watch out for ethnic nationalism", BUGUN columnist Mehmet Metiner accuses the CHP and MHP of provoking an upsurge of ethnic nationalism in Turkey by pursuing an opposition policy based on hostility toward the Kurds.

    MILLIYET's Taha Akyol pens his predictions of the election results in a commentary, where he says that the AKP will come out as the first party, that it will come to power on its own, but that the number of AKP seats will go down. There will be more parties and independents in the Assembly, he foresees, and the Republican Peoples Party will get more votes but will have fewer seats for the same reason. "The MHP [Nationalist Action Party], will be the third party. I hope the Democratic Party will also enter parliament," he says, "and it would not be too far-fetched to say that the DTP [Democratic Society Party] will set up a parliamentary group in the Assembly." Akyol further predicts that the next president will be elected by the Assembly. Finally, he expresses the hope that the MHP-DTP ties in the Assembly will not incite tension between nationalist Turks and Kurds in the country.

    In a front-page report entitled "Turkey returns to energy chess game," TODAYS ZAMAN writer Lale Sariibrahimoglu highlights the views of Turkish Pipeline Company, BOTAS, official Cenk Pala regarding Turkey's latest "move in the energy chess game," the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Iran. According to Pala, the agreement with Tehran "will make both Russia and the US rethink their positions on gas policies in particular and on energy policy in general ..."

    On the gas deal with Iran issue in an article in HURRIYET, Ferai Tinc argues that it is too early to rejoice over the accord signed with Iran on 13 July. It is true that it will break Russia's natural gas monopoly over Turkey, she says, but a memorandum of understanding is a very preliminary step. She maintains that the big noise being made around the accord is designed to boost the number of AKP votes on 22 July.

    Columnist Semih Idiz in MILLIYET views how the issue of a possible Turkish incursion into Iraq is occupying the United States. In an article, the columnist points out that the US army and the north Iraqi peshmergas cooperate in the monitoring of Turkish troops along the border. It should come as no surprise, he says, that "the United States helps the peshmergas who help the PKK; in other words, that the United States indirectly helps the PKK." Idiz maintains that the United States would be better off if it monitored the PKK instead of the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, and if it shared its intelligence with the TSK for pin-pointed strikes. "If the United States did that," Idiz believes, "it would be both supporting an ally it supposedly heeds against the threat of terrorism which it declares as the common enemy, and it would be preventing a cross-border operation it does not want to see happen. Furthermore, it would avoid being accused of helping a terrorist organization directly or indirectly. Washington's inexplicable stand is naturally causing the creation of scenarios in Turkey about the United States which the Americans do not like. In a country where anti-Americanism is at its peak, surely the solution is to take concrete steps, not to resort to useless public relations efforts. For some reason, Washington insists on ignoring this. Of course, this solution is relevant only if the United States still finds its relations with Turkey to be important. If it does not, then we are obviously moving toward a very different position in our relations."

    Yasemin Congar views the US Congress dynamics in connection with the Armenian genocide bill in an article in MILLIYET. She maintains that the bill may be debated next week, in 2008, or never; but "what is important is for the Turkish Government that will be established after the 22 July elections to place the Armenian issue on its agenda." Congar hopes that contrary to practice until now, the government will create open conditions where Turkish history can be debated freely; take steps for normalizing ties with Armenia; display a political determination to have the Hrant Dink murder solved; and stop considering Turkey's non-Muslim population as second-class citizens.

    ES/


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