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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-14

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.242/07 14.12.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The State Minister of Turkey Kursad Tuzmen stated that Turkey is trying to increase the trade of occupied Cyprus
  • [02] United Cyprus Party: The TRNC citizenship is granted contrary to the international laws
  • [03] Yonluers HIS movement is becoming a political party
  • [04] Gul: Turkey is working to establish partnerships with Kazakhstan
  • [05] Semdinli trial starts from scratch in military court
  • [06] Minority rights report on Turkey notes unrecognized minorities discrimination

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The State Minister of Turkey Kursad Tuzmen stated that Turkey is trying to increase the trade of occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.12.07) reports in its first page that the State Minister of Turkey, Mr Kursad Tuzmen made statements to the Ankara Anatolia news agency evaluating the final report of the EU General Affairs and External relations Council.

    Referring to the economy of the occupation regime, Mr Tuzmen stated that Turkey is trying to increase the trade of the TRNC. As he said, the efforts of the Greek Cypriot administration, as he called the Republic of Cyprus, to prevent the ferry services between Famagusta and Latakia is another part of the unjust isolation. Mr Tuzmen stated that with the efforts they made, the Turkic world gathered in the TRNC, and added that they kept open the sea, air and other channels of communication of the TRNC, and generally they endeavoured to do whatever they could to increase the trade with the neighbouring countries. As he stated, they will direct Turkish businessmen who are activated in Syria and other countries to the TRNC.

    Reporting on the same issue Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (14.12.07) reports, under the title Economy praised by Tuzmen that the Turkish State Minister said that the TRNC economy, which is under an unjust isolation, stood on its feet and showed a great economic performance.

    The paper writes that Kursad Tuzmen has left occupied Cyprus after completing his contacts.

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.12.07) broadcast the following on the issue:

    The Turkish Minister of State Kursat Tuzmen has suggested that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus be declared a Free Trade Zone temporarily.

    Citing China as an example for this, Mr Tuzmen pointed out that there is an influx of foreign investors to places which exempt investors of any tax applications and said that the TRNC could be turned into an attraction centre with this method.

    Kursat Tuzmen has left the republic after completing his contacts.

    In an exclusive interview with BRT, the Turkish Minister of State Responsible for Foreign Trade Kursat Tuzmen said the TRNC could be turned into an attraction centre by declaring it as a Free Trade Zone.

    Citing China as an example of development, Mr Tuzmen said `we cannot do this in Turkey because of the countrys EU membership process but this can be done temporarily in the TRNC`.

    Stressing that the Republic can be turned into a Technopark, he expressed the belief that tourism and high technology will shape the future of the TRNC.

    Underling the need for the TRNC not to repeat the mistakes made in Turkey in the tourism sector, he said `instead of cheep lower bed prices, we should make the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus a main tourist destination`.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.12.07) reports that Mr Tuzmen participated yesterday in the ceremony of the signing of a cooperation protocol between Cyprus Free Zone & Marine Logistics Services Ltd (Port ISBI) and the illegal European University of Lefka (LAU), which launched their work for realizing an investment program by undertaking the Karavostasi Free Port and Area Project.

    In statements after the signing of the protocol, Mr Tuzmen said that ISBI constitutes an example of high technology businesses and expressed the belief that the firm will be successful in Cyprus as well. He reiterated that he supports the establishment of a free zone and noted that when he had come to Cyprus eleven years ago he suggested the creation of a free zone, but the trade unions opposed to this.

    Mr Tuzmen noted that the occupied part of Cyprus should become a place suitable for investments and that this could happen with sectors such as the ship construction, software, building constructions and universities.

    (CS/ITs)

    [02] United Cyprus Party: The TRNC citizenship is granted contrary to the international laws

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (14.12.07) reports that the member of the Central Executive Committee of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Mr Abdullah Korkmazhan, in a written statement said that the TRNC citizenship is granted contrary to the international laws and noted that this application must come to an end.

    Mr Korkmazhan stated that because of the influx of population, the Turkish Cypriots will become a minority and said that the existence of the Turkish Cypriots is in danger. He went and said that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) self-styled coalition government, follows the policy of the previous governments on this issue. He also said that the government is distributing citizenship to illegal workers under the new Immigration law.

    Mr Korkmazhan said that CTP is insisting on a wrong policy regarding the population and opened the road of the vanishing of its own people. He went on and stated that the transfer of population policy, is followed consciously by Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leadership and noted that they aim to create a new communal structure which has nothing to do with south Cyprus.

    (CS)

    [03] Yonluers HIS movement is becoming a political party

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (14.12.07) reports that the Politics for the People Movement (HIS) of the former Responsible for Religious Affairs in occupied Cyprus, Mr Ahmet Yonluer, is becoming a party. As the paper writes Mr Yonluer is submitting today at the self-styled interior ministry the application and the list of the founding members of the HIS party. The partys emblem will be a blue evil eye bead (worn to ward off the evil eye).

    (CS)

    [04] Gul: Turkey is working to establish partnerships with Kazakhstan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (13.12.07) reports the following:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul said Thursday as presidents, they will open the path for businessmen on which they will work and establish partnerships.

    "The people of Turkey and Kazakhstan will benefit from such an approach," he said during a joint press conference with his Kazakh counterpart Nursultan Nazarbayev in Akorda Presidential Palace in Kazakh capital of Astana.

    Both presidents gave messages of further promoting relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan.

    "Kazakhstan is in a stage of economic dynamism and giant leap. I am pleased to be in the modern capital of Kazakhstan, Astana," Gul told.

    "Kazakhstan is the shining star of Central Asia. Its international prestige will be crowned with the rotating presidency of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)," Gul said.

    "We have discussed in great length commercial and economic issues. My talks in Kazakhstan will provide new opportunities for Turkey and Kazakhstan," Gul also said.

    Meanwhile, Kazakh President Nazarbayev said the brotherly and friendly relations between Turkey and Kazakhstan have brought the two countries at a point that could be defined as "high partnership."

    "Aside from bilateral relations, we had a chance to discuss regional issues. Kazakhstan supports Turkey's bid to join the European Union (EU)," Nazarbayev said.

    "We plan to increase the trade volume between Turkey and Kazakhstan to five billion USD by 2010 from a current amount of 1.5 billion USD. We are thankful to Turkey for its support of Kazakhstan in the OSCE and Kazakhstan's upcoming presidency in 2010," Nazarbayev said.

    President Nazarbayev said new ports are being built in the Caspian Sea. "Once these ports are complete, we will carry Kazakh oil to Ceyhan, Turkey in tankers," Nazarbayev also said.

    On the same issue, Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (14.12.07) reports that during Gul's visit, officials of the two countries also signed a long-term economic cooperation program. The cooperation program was signed by State Minister Mustafa Said Yaz1cioglu, who is accompanying Gul on his visit, and Kazakhstan's economy minister, Bakhyt Sultanov. "Kazakhstan and Turkey are planning to increase commodity circulation volume to $10 billion," Nazarbayev said during his negotiations with Gul, the Kazinform National Information Agency reported.

    [05] Semdinli trial starts from scratch in military court

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (14.12.07) reports the following:

    The trial of two noncommissioned officers and a Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) member-turned-informant involved in the bombing of a bookstore on November 9, 2005, referred to as the Semdinli case, will start over after the Supreme Court of Appeals turned down appeals, ruling it outside the jurisdiction of a civilian court.

    The trial of the defendants, noncommissioned officers Ali Kaya and Ozcan Ildeniz and PKK informant Veysel Ates, will start from scratch after two years of hearings. The three were caught bombing the Umut bookstore, in the southeastern Semdinli district of Hakkari two years ago. The bookstore was owned by Seferi Yilmaz, an ex-PKK member. The suspects were not arrested in the initial investigation of the Semdinli Public Prosecutors Office. The prosecutor referred the case to the Van Public Prosecutors office, ruling it outside its jurisdiction.

    The Van prosecutor, Ferhat Sarikaya, ordered the arrests of the suspects, who were later indicted and tried in a Van court for staging acts targeting the unity of the state and the integrity of the country, murder, attempted murder and causing physical injury. Sarikaya also started a number of investigations into top army commanders, including Gen. Yasar Buyukanit, the then-land forces commander who has since been promoted to chief of General Staff, sending the files to the military prosecutors office. In the ensuing debate, Sarikaya was disbarred by the Supreme Board of Prosecutors and Judges (HSYK).

    At the end of the court process, the three suspects were sentenced to approximately 40 years in jail each for conspiring to commit a crime, murder, attempted murder and causing physical injury.

    The case was appealed by the defendants lawyers at the Supreme Court of Appeals, which overruled the decision on grounds of violation of jurisdiction and inadequate investigation.

    The Van court partially obeyed the ruling and decided to expand the investigation; however, it objected to sending the case to a military court, arguing it should be under the jurisdiction of a civil court. However, the Supreme Court of Appeals in late November of this year confirmed its final ruling on jurisdiction, ultimately referring the case to the Van Gendarmerie Security Command Military Court, where the entire legal process will start from scratch.

    [06] Minority rights report on Turkey notes unrecognized minorities discrimination

    Istanbul Bianet internet site (12.12.07) reports the following:

    The Minority Rights Group International has published a new report on the status of minority rights in Turkey. It has criticised the high electoral threshold and the ban of minority languages in political life.

    In a report entitled "A quest for equality: Minorities in Turkey", the Minority Rights Group International says that there is still a ban on minority languages in political life and public services and that school books reinforce stereotypes about minorities.

    In the press release announcing the publication of the report, the group further says: Millions of ethnic, linguistic and religious minorities remain unrecognized by the Turkish state, face discrimination and are now increasingly under threat as a result of a growing wave of violent nationalism, Minority Rights Group says in a new report.

    Subtitle: International standards not met

    The report says that whilst the accession process to become an EU member state has forced Turkey to make significant strides in minority rights, much more remains to be done. The report titled "A quest for equality - Minorities in Turkey" is the most up-to-date analysis available on the situation of all minorities in Turkey.

    "Turkey is a country where a centuries-old mix of languages, religions, cultures and traditions is practiced within its borders, but minority protection still falls far short of international standards," says Ishbel Matheson, MRG's Head of Policy and Communications.

    "Turkey's multi-cultural heritage is one of its biggest assets. But this positive aspect is not embraced at the highest level. Instead, mention of minorities and minority rights triggers nationalist reactions by certain sectors of society," she adds. Subtitle: Lausanne Treaty limited to some religiously defined minorities The only protection for minorities in Turkey has been set out in the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne but in practice its scope is limited only to Armenians, Jews and Rum (Greek orthodox) Christians.

    But Turkey is home to a vast number of minorities including ethnic Kurds, Caucasians, Laz and Roma. The country's other religious minorities include Alevis, Assyrians, Caferis and Reformist Christians.

    These groups are legally not recognized as minorities and simply referring to their minority status, let alone working for their rights, could lead to a jail sentence. Subtitle: Linguistic and religious rights limited

    According to the report, minorities excluded from the Treaty of Lausanne are very limited in their rights to use their languages in schools and in the media. Their religious rights are also curtailed.

    The report also says a 10 percent electoral threshold prevents minority pro-Kurdish parties from getting elected to parliament. These parties have repeatedly failed to surpass the national threshold despite having received the highest percentage of votes in some of the Kurdish populous southeastern provinces. Minorities have also been increasingly becoming victims of a rising trend of nationalism in the country. In January 2007, journalist and Armenian human rights activist Hrant Dink was shot dead in Istanbul. The suspect told police that Dink was Armenian and had "insulted Turkishness".

    The report says that the EU accession process and the proposed new constitution in 2008 give plenty of opportunity for Turkey to make legal changes to protect minorities.

    "We recommend speedy legal reforms - this is crucial, but to bring real change to Turkey's minorities there has to be radical transformation of the prevalent mentality towards minorities of both the state and society," Matheson says.

    Subtitle: Some events concerning minorities in Turkey

    1934: Mass attacks on Jews in Thrace, northern Turkey

    1949: Law changing non-Turkish village names into Turkish names passed 1955: Mass attacks on non-Muslims in Istanbul

    1982: New constitution which limited basic freedoms and rights was passed. Obligatory religious education (Sunni Islam).

    1991: Kurdish MP Leyla Zana spoke in Kurdish in parliament; she and three other MPs were imprisoned for 15 years.

    1992: 20,000 Turkish soldiers entered the security zone in Northern Iraq in operations against the PKK.

    1994: The Constitutional Court closed the pro-Kurdish Democracy Party (DEP). 2003: Laws passed which relaxed restrictions on freedom of expression and the use of Kurdish. However, mostly children are still not allowed to be given Kurdish names. The Constitutional Court closed the pro-Kurdish People's Democracy Party (HADEP).

    2004: The first private Kurdish language course was opened, and a state channel began its weekly half-hour broadcast in Kurdish.

    2005: It was decided to nationalise the Roma areas in Istanbul. The Roma were not fairly treated.

    27 April 2007: The Chief of General Staff said in a press statement, "Whoever cannot say 'How happy I am to be a Turk' is and will remain an enemy of the Turkish Republic."

    2007: Because mayor Abdullah Demirbas of the Sur municipality in Diyarbakir offered multilingual municipal services, he was taken from office by the State Council and the municipal council was dissolved.

    EG/


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