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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-17

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.243/07 15-17.12.07

[A] NEWS ITEM

  • [01] Avci stated that President Papadopoulos stained the EU accord by signing on behalf of Cyprus
  • [02] Talat describes the Greek Cypriots as the hot potato in the hands of the EU
  • [03] Talat evaluated the latest developments on Cyprus problem
  • [04] Soyer is holding contacts in Brussels
  • [05] Avci accuses the former administrations having distributed everything in the occupied areas in 30 years
  • [06] Ankara is reportedly threatening the breakaway regime on the issue of granting the citizenship to Turkish settlers
  • [07] Emine Erk on the property issue
  • [08] Illegal DAU exchanged students with four universities in the USA this year
  • [09] EU Commission scholarships for Turkish Cypriots
  • [10] Protest at the Pergamos crossing point from the Turkish Cypriot who work in the government controlled areas who protest against the obstacles put at the barricades by the occupation regime
  • [11] Syrian refugees went ashore at occupied Famagusta with the impression that they have reached the free areas of Cyprus
  • [12] Volkan reports that Former German MEP of Turkish origin is owner of occupied Dome Hotel
  • [13] The Turkish General Staff on the air operation against PKK in Northern Iraq
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [14] Is the EU accession process completely blocked?

  • [A] NEWS ITEM

    [01] Avci stated that President Papadopoulos stained the EU accord by signing on behalf of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.12.07) broadcast the following:

    The deputy-Prime Minister -- Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has said that the Greek Cypriot Leader Tassos Papadopoulos has stained the Lisbon Agreement by signing it on behalf of the whole island. The agreement was signed by EU Leaders in the Portuguese capital Lisbon yesterday.

    In a written statement, Foreign Minister Avci said the signing of the Agreement has reiterated the fact that the European Union -- which accepted Greek Cypriot Side as a member -- is one of the architects of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Stressing that the agreement was stained with the signing of it by the Greek Cypriot Leader on behalf of the whole island, he said `this is a move distancing a solution in Cyprus further`. Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot Leadership has been using its EU membership as a tool against the Turkish Cypriot People and Turkey, he said the Union's failure to take any concrete steps towards lifting the isolation has encouraged the Greek Cypriot Side to harden its position.

    Referring to the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's speech at the signing ceremony, Mr Avci said the EU had made a historic mistake by failing to honor its promises.

    [02] Talat describes the Greek Cypriots as the hot potato in the hands of the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.12.07) reports that in statements to ABhaber website, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has described the Greek Cypriots as the hot potato in the hands of the EU. He alleged that the EU has accepted the Greek Cypriots and a divided island as its member, which has a political problem and a problem with borders, and thus it has even violated its own principles.

    Mr Talat claimed that the accession of Cyprus to the EU has created a problem for the solution of the Cyprus problem and argued that the most important reason for the Greek Cypriots keeping a distance from the solution is the fact that they represent the whole island and its institutions in the EU and the UN.

    Mr Talat alleged: The Greek Cypriot side is a hot potato in the hands of the EU members. Some EU members do not realize the situation. Some others do not want to get mixed up with the problem. Because of the solidarity among the EU member states, the union member states do not raise their voice regarding the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Talat evaluated the latest developments on Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (15.12.07) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia: The President words came on BRT 1s AKTUEL program last night where he evaluated the latest developments on the Cyprus Problem.

    Referring to the call made by in the resolution urging all parties to show flexibility and political will towards finding a solution and to implement the 8th July agreement, the President reiterated the Turkish Cypriot Sides readiness.

    We are ready to start tomorrow. It is the Greek Cypriot Side which is not ready, he said.

    Commenting on the course of developments over the past year, President Talat said that UNs first task should be to appoint a new Special Representative to Cyprus which will help prepare a report that will determine whether the timing is right or not to launch a new initiative.

    Underlining the importance of initiatives to be launched in 2008, Talat said that he had repeatedly warned both the Greek Cypriot Side and the international community that these were the last opportunities to be used towards finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem. Either we will solve the Cyprus Problem or create an opportunity for the permanent division of the island, he warned.

    Stating that there was hope towards settling the Cyprus problem if the Greek Cypriot Side supports a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution following the elections in South Cyprus, Talat said a stance adopted in the opposite direction would diminish any remaining hope towards a settlement.

    Drawing attention to the fact that various circles on the Greek Cypriot Side were far from the idea of accepting political equality with Turkish Cypriots, the President said that there was no need to sit at the negotiating table if they will continue their persistence on defending such an understanding.

    [04] Soyer is holding contacts in Brussels

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (17.12.07) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer will meet today in Brussels with the Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement of the EU, Olli Rehn. Mr Soyer departed last night for Brussels.

    Today he will attend a dinner and a lunch which will be given in his honour by the TRNC representative in the EU capital, Yalcin Vehit and the Turkish permanent representative to the EU, Volkan Bozkir. Mr Soyer will also meet with high ranking EU Commission officials.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Avci accuses the former administrations having distributed everything in the occupied areas in 30 years

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (17.12.07) reports that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), has stated that ORP will be the party of the future. Addressing a cocktail of his party in occupied Keryneia where ORP accepted new members, Mr Avci referred to recent opinion polls which showed that the percentage of ORP is around 8 %.

    He argued that his party is more powerful than 8 % and alleged that people trust the party because of its young and frank members. He said: We are distributing nothing. In any case the previous administrations in 30 years left nothing else to be distributed in the country. Our members trust us because of what we are and of our clear policy.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Ankara is reportedly threatening the breakaway regime on the issue of granting the citizenship to Turkish settlers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (17.12.07) reports that a citizenship bargaining is taking place between the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the administration of the TRNC. The paper continues its reference to the issue from yesterday when it had published information regarding 50 thousand new citizenships.

    Afrika reveals new information today, according to which Ankara told the administration of the breakaway regime the following: Either you make citizens immediately those who complete the ten years or we will cut the money.

    The paper writes: It has been made known that during the past few days, serious debates are taking place between TRNC officials and the government in Ankara. Ankara, which is exerting pressure so that those who have completed now the ten years to be made citizens, has threatened that in case this is not done it will cut its financial aid. While explaining that they will not be able to make citizens overnight a crowd of people as large as 50 thousand persons, the TRNC officials have experienced great difficulties. It was revealed that the difficulties with the VAT returns and the 13th salary are deriving from these debates. It is noted that in the end Ankara agreed to this for the time being and it began to spend money.

    [07] Emine Erk on the property issue

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (17.12.07) publishes statements by lawyer Emine Erk, chairperson of the Human Rights Foundation, who evaluated the developments on the property issue and said that the so-called property compensations commission has decided on 28 out of 300 Greek Cypriot applications.

    Mrs Erk said: 28 out of 300 applications have been completely concluded and in these decisions there are examples of every kind of decisions which the commission could take. While most of the applications have been concluded with compensations, three of them were resolved with a decision for returning the property and two with a decision for exchange of property.

    Alleging that the guardian system implemented by the Republic of Cyprus for the properties which the Turkish Cypriots have abandoned in the free areas of the island is not working, Mrs Erk argued that this system does not utilize the Turkish properties, on the one hand, and ignores the fact that they are vanished and are being confiscated without compensation, on the other.

    She alleged that when the Turkish Cypriots undertake initiative for their property they receive the answer that no property right can be recognized to you, you must wait for the solution. This is a violation of the property right, she claimed. Mrs Erk stated that the prestige for the commission established in the occupied areas is strengthened at the European Court of Human Rights with the Greek Cypriots being satisfied by its decisions.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Illegal DAU exchanged students with four universities in the USA this year

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.12.07) reports that Dr. Majid Hashemipour, deputy rector and responsible for international affairs of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU), has said that the number of the universities with which DAU exchanged students this year increased from one to four.

    Addressing a meeting where he briefed the students for their exchange programs, Dr. Majid Hashemipour said that these universities are San Diego State University, Long Beach State University, Central Connecticut State University and Louisiana State University. More than 30 students of DAU are continuing their education in the USA, he said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] EU Commission scholarships for Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (15.12.07) reports the following:

    The European Commission is offering 149 Turkish Cypriots a one-year scholarship to study in any of the 27 European Union member states for the 2008/09 academic year, the Commission said in a statement released last week. The scheme will enable Turkish Cypriots to study in any undergraduate or postgraduate program at any university.

    [10] Protest at the Pergamos crossing point from the Turkish Cypriot who work in the government controlled areas who protest against the obstacles put at the barricades by the occupation regime

    Under the title Protest at the Beyarmudu (occupied Pergamos) Gate, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.12.07) reports that the persons who work in the government controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus, demonstrated on Friday 15th of December in protest against the practice put into action at the Pergamos crossing point.

    The paper writes that the crossing point was closed because a police sergeant who got angry because of an incident that took place at the barricade, decided to close the crossing point. The same police sergeant decided to open the crossing point half an hour later. However, the workers decided do protest against the measures taken and the obstacles put continuously by the occupation regime at the crossing points and refused to cross to the free areas. The protest lasted between 6.30-10.00 in the morning. The workers ended the protest after the self-styled minister of interior Ozkan Murat went to the crossing point and promised to solve the problem.

    Afrika (15.12.07) reports on the same issue under the title Border tortures and writes that the workers who go to the south to work for a living lost their patient because of the identity tortures taking place at the crossing points.

    Yeni Duzen (15.12.07) reports on the issue under the title Workers anger and writes that the self-styled minister of interior apologized to the workers for the obstacles they face.

    (CS)

    [11] Syrian refugees went ashore at occupied Famagusta with the impression that they have reached the free areas of Cyprus

    Under the title The problem of refugees is growing, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.12.07) reports that the so-called police in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus has arrested 28 Syrian refugees who using a boat, went ashore close to Glapsides beach in occupied Famagusta, with the impression that they have reached South Cyprus. According to the paper, 45 people were in the boat.

    (ML)

    [12] Volkan reports that Former German MEP of Turkish origin is owner of occupied Dome Hotel

    Under the title To whom Dome Hotel was given? Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (15.12.07) reports the following in its column Baykus (Tr. Note: Owl):

    Plenty important news continues to come from our owls. According to information, Dome Hotel which is property of Evkaf was given without bidding to a company by the name BEGA (Cyprus) trading Company. According to investigation made by our owls, the former parliamentarian of the European Parliament, Ozan Ceyhun is among the big shareholders of the BEGA Company. According also to information given by our owls, there are very close relations between Ozan Ceyhun and CTP General Chairman, prime-minister Soyer.

    (ML)

    [13] The Turkish General Staff on the air operation against PKK in Northern Iraq

    The web site of the Ankara office of the Chief of the General staff ( http://www.tsk.mil.tr") published the following press release on 16/12/07:

    The positions of the PKK/Kongra-Gel [People's Congress of Kurdistan] terrorist organization in Zap, Avasin, and Hakurk region of northern Iraq and the Iraqi side of the Kandil Mountain were hit during a wide-scale air operation by the Turkish Air Forces war planes on 16 December 2007 as of 0100 [ 2300 GMT]. The planes, which participated at the air operation, returned safely to their base at 0415. After the planes left the operation region, the Ground Forces Command continued its artillery fire with long-range weapons against the designated targets.

    The operations, which were carried out within the framework of the authority given to the Turkish Armed Forces, will continue in determination according to the requirements of military necessity. As noted before, the operations target the PKK/KONGRA-GEL terrorist organization only and are not against the people of northern Iraq and those local groups that do not undertake hostile actions. As the Office of the Chief of Staff previously announced, the esteemed press members are requested not to enter the operation region for the safety of their lives. The public is respectfully informed.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.07) reports the following:

    The central Government of Iraq has reportedly given Turkey a note with the aim of recording the damage incurred during the Turkish operation on north Iraq today.

    According to diplomatic sources, the central Government of Iraq gave Turkey a note today. The diplomatic sources stress that it is not a protest note, that the Iraqi Government is claiming that the air strikes carried out against the PKK/KONGRA GEL [People's Congress of Kurdistan] targets in north Iraq last night caused some damage, and that the note was given with the aim of recording that damage.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [14] Is the EU accession process completely blocked?

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (15.12.07) publishes the following commentary by Ilter Turkmen:

    Turkey reacted strongly against France's insistence to exclude the words accession and membership from the paragraph related to Turkey within the concluding statement of the European Union summit. In order to block Turkey's way, Sarkozy had formerly asked for the establishment of a Committee of Wise Men to determine the geographical borders of the EU. He did not get his wish and had to be satisfied with the formation of a think tank, whose agenda excluded the EU borders and whose powers were limited to issues like energy, environment and the fight against terror. Sarkozy had also caused the suspension of the negotiations on five out of the 35 chapters that he associated with Turkey's full membership.

    Actually, this measure provided him with the opportunity to block Turkey's membership for as long as he wanted to. The exclusion of the word accession from the conclusion statement will achieve nothing other than underlining his opposition against Turkey's membership and provoking Turkey's indignation.

    It's also important to know that there are those with a milder approach toward Sarkozy's attitude. This is their point of view: It would be better to evaluate the French president's current actions from the angle of internal politics. The main objective of Sarkozy's domestic strategy is to attract the votes of the radical right, represented by the National Front. This angle would also serve to explain his harsh policies against immigrants and Turkey.

    When Turkey is in question, Sarkozy insists on excluding the word accession from the conclusion statement, however, he does nothing to prevent the opening of new chapters. It must be kept in mind that as soon as he came to power, he sent his diplomatic consultant, who enjoys more diplomatic power than the foreign affairs minister, to assure Ankara that the Senate would be prevented from approving the draft bill, which states that denying the Armenian genocide claims will be considered a crime. Could people who defend this more moderate approach be right? Only time will show.

    Anyway, Turkey's EU membership process has been heavily encumbered by the negotiations from the beginning. The French attitude is not the only reason for that. The refusal to include Southern Cyprus in the Customs Union has lead to the suspension of eight chapters, and this issue is not likely to be solved very soon. Turkey is trying to overcome this problem by establishing an extensive settlement process in Cyprus and wants the United Nations Secretary-General to bring back Greek Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of northern Cyprus to the negotiation table. However, the Secretary-General has no intention to initiate anything unless both sides prove their willingness to solve the problem.

    The Greek Cyprus elections to be held in February 2008 are not likely to create a big change in the current political scene. Latest developments seem to favour the co-existence of two independent states as a solution to the present dilemma to such an extent that Greek Cyprus is now worried that the probable independence of Kosovo will constitute a precedent for Cyprus. The bistate formula will no doubt be the ideal solution for northern Cyprus. However, Greek Cyprus has no reason for concern. We shall not mark any progress towards that solution until we change our present thinking pattern.

    Other factors

    This pessimistic picture includes other factors that effect the negotiation process indirectly, like article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code and the religious rights of the minorities. The EU Commission's 2007 Progress Report does not differ very much from the previous ones, where these items are concerned. It especially stresses the fact that the reform process has slowed down. The only positive observation deals with the July 22 general elections and the presidential elections.

    The Commission believes that the election results prove the existence of an active democracy in Turkey. It's a pity that we fail to exploit this significant success.

    Another major factor that has a negative effect on our relations with the EU consists of the endless remarks against the EU pronounced by public figures, which also influence the public opinion. How does it help us to constantly blame the EU for our problems, while we ignore our own mistakes? Does it relieve us of our responsibilities?

    EG/


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