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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 07-12-28

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.249/07 28.12.07

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ozan Ceyhun refers to the issue of the Greek Cypriot - owned Dome Hotel in occupied Keryneia. Reactions continue on this matter
  • [02] Soyer says that the CTP is not against granting the citizenship in Northern Cyprus in a systematic and democratic manner, as in the European countries
  • [03] Avci accuses the Greek Cypriot side of arming and not being sincere regarding the 8th July agreement
  • [04] BKP points out that the so-called isolation is a product of the separatist policy of the Turkish side
  • [05] Murat distributes more land in occupied Morfou area
  • [06] Statements by Talats special envoy on Kosovo and occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [07] Turkeys new minimum wage will increase by 9.2% for 2008
  • [08] Turkey's Secretary General for EU Affairs evaluates Turkeys EU accession process
  • [09] Turkeys National Security Council to hold year's last meeting on 28 December
  • [10] Prosecutor in Turkey seeks jail sentence for Diyarbakir mayor on charges for using the Kurdish language
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 27 December 2007

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ozan Ceyhun refers to the issue of the Greek Cypriot - owned Dome Hotel in occupied Keryneia. Reactions continue on this matter

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (28.12.07) publishes exclusive statements by the former German member of the European Parliament of Turkish origin, Ozan Ceyhun on the issue of the occupied Dome Hotel. Mr Ceyhun argued that when he saw what is written about him in Volkan, Afrika and Kibrisli newspapers, which should not be read from the point of view of the EU Press Ethics Standards, he was surprised to see how successful telling lies could be.

    Mr Ceyhun alleged that if the aim of those who published the above-mentioned information was only to attack the government or himself, he would not have taken them seriously. However, with this stance they are also dealing a blow to the TRNC and this is regretful, he added.

    Mr Ceyhun said, inter alia, the following:

    I have put forward the idea of let us secure investments by German investors in Northern Cyprus. But the German investors do not come only by saying let them come. With a group of social democrat names such as Jurgen Waler and Lothar Klemm who really believed that Northern Cyprus was unjustly treated, we held contacts with TRNC officials and asked about the possibilities of investments. The German MPs established the Begas [company] because they have decided to make investment in Northern Cyprus, even symbolically, either with or without Dome. I became a partner in this group because my German friends put this as a condition. Normally, we could have established the firm, which is necessary to be established to be able to invest in Northern Cyprus according to the TRNC laws, using any name. This would not be a sincere stance for me. Therefore, I said since this is an initiative which the MPs brought up because of at least as much economic as political reasons, then I will be standing in front with honour and I undertook it. And I said to a friend of mine whom I knew and loved a lot before I knew the CTP-BG: Will you support this job? He became a founding member with me, because he also believed in this mission. I immediately took an office for Begas (Cyprus). My target is to become a client to Northern Cypriot working places. Our aim was and continues to be for our guests to be accommodated in the local hotels. There is no room for profit for the next five years in any field where we as Begas (Cyprus) have started doing business. .

    Mr Ceyhun referred to a statement issued by Bayram Karaman, chairman of TES, the trade union of the workers in the Dome Hotel. He said that he met with Mr Karaman a month ago and explained to him who is behind the Begas (Cyprus). He told him that they plan to turn the hotel into an elite hotel where quality German tourists will be holidaying.

    We conveyed to him in a clear manner that the hotel will neither be purchased nor leased, Ceyhun added. Asked what will happen now in view of the new developments, he said that their aim is for the hotel to be brought to international standards and to become the initiators for brining to the occupied by the Turkish troops Cyprus tourists from Germany.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (28.12.07) continues to refer to the issue of the Dome Hotel and publishes statements by the former director of Evkaf religious foundation, Taner Dervis who said that the preparation for transferring Dome Hotel with the method of partnership, reminds of the procedures carried out during the colonial administration. He argued that secret bargaining is carried out, contrary to the laws and asked the attorney general to do his duty.

    Kibrisli reports also that in a column published yesterday in Bakis newspaper, lawyer Omer Adal argued that the ruling in Turkey AK Party administration wanted the sale of the Dome Hotel a long time ago. He alleged that the AK Party has been encouraging the administration of Evkaf to do this.

    He wrote: Before the 2005 general elections we visited Ankara with Ahmet Yonluer who was in the Administrative Council of the Evkaf. There, I was introduced to the head of a powerful firm which had submitted a proposal for Mare Monte Hotel, which was opened for tenders, and had carried out investments in Cyprus. Coming face to face with a fait accompli, I found in front of me the Minister of Finance Unakitan. During our conversation Unakitan encouraged me to give the Dome Hotel to the businessman I mentioned above, demolish it and build a new hotel in its place. I departed from there saying that this issue goes beyond me and even beyond the Evkaf Administration and that a political decision is needed. .

    The paper wonders who are at the backstage and calls on Omer Adal to speak out.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (28.12.07) reports that a delegation of the National Unity Party (UBP) placed yesterday a black wreath in front of the building of Evkaf religious foundation in order to protest against the fact that the haphazard behaviours have become continuous and the property of the foundation is given away.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (28.12.07) reports that the chairman of Turk-Sen trade union, Arslan Bicakli referred yesterday to the situation in the Dome Hotel and stated that leading a hotel, which is the symbol of a country, into a difficult situation with maladministration and wanting to privatize it is unacceptable. He argued that the hotel belongs to the community and no one has the right to transfer even the 50 % of it.

    [02] Soyer says that the CTP is not against granting the citizenship in Northern Cyprus in a systematic and democratic manner, as in the European countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.12.07) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer has stated that holding elections in 2008 in the occupied areas is not possible. In a written statement issued by the prime ministers office, Mr Soyer pointed out that elections were held five times during the past three years and noted that these influenced the economy of the country.

    He argued that some persons want elections aiming at dragging the economy into further impasse because of their ambition and the struggle for obtaining posts.

    He noted that things which could not be done within 30 years were done in the three years during which the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) is in power. He noted that there was a significant increase in the exports and added that in 2007 the exports reached 81 million US dollars.

    Mr Soyer described as groundless and completely fictitious the allegations published in the press that Turkey had set forward the condition of 50 thousand Turkish settlers to be granted the citizenship of the breakaway regime before it gave the money for the 13th salary. Referring to the issue of the citizenship, he noted that it is wrong to say the CTP is against the granting of citizenship and added that granting the citizenship in Northern Cyprus in a systematic and democratic manner, as in the European countries, is a condition.

    Mr Soyer said that during his recent visit to Brussels he found out that the Republic of Cyprus has invited some members of the European Parliament to spend the New Year on the Island and added that in case the economy of the breakaway regime was good he could also invite some members of the European or the French Parliament to spend the New Year in the occupied part of Cyprus.

    Referring to the Dome Hotel, Mr Soyer argued that the allegations that the hotel will be sold or leased are groundless and lies and added that they are searching for ways to secure a better investment for the hotel which is under the administration of the Evkaf religious foundation. He said that they are looking for a 50-50 partnership for the hotel.

    Mr Soyer expressed his sorrow for the fact that the name of the former German member of the European Parliament of Turkish origin, Ozan Ceyhun has been involved in this issue. He argued: Ozan Ceyhun is a person who paid heavy costs for his political views. The statements that he would do such a thing for his own interest and that he is in consultation with us are a great lack of respect for Ozan Ceyhun.

    Mr Soyer said also that he heard with surprise the statement that German MPs were bribed by the state. He added: You may be jealous of the CTP but you cannot sling mud at it. The allegations that were made and the statements have exceeded the limit of respect.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.12.07) refers to Mr Soyers statements regarding the issue of granting the citizenship and notes that He blinked his eye to those standing at the line for acquiring the citizenship.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Avci accuses the Greek Cypriot side of arming and not being sincere regarding the 8th July agreement

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.12.07) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister said that the noticeable increase in pace of the Greek Cypriot sides armament campaign was an indication of its insincere attitude towards a political settlement on the island. The Foreign Minister was commenting on the latest purchase of TOR-M1 Air Defense Missile systems and Slovakian made 155 mm ZUZANA artillery guns by the Greek Cypriot Administration.

    In a written statement issued today, the Foreign Minister complained that the Greek Cypriot leader was in an effort to continue deceiving the international community by falsely expressing his readiness to launch the 8th July process while at the other hand was raising tensions and rendering the division on the island permanent by strengthening the Greek Cypriot National Guard.

    He also accused the Greek Cypriot Administration of trying to deceive the international community by hiding the truth about the purchase of new weapons systems which possess the same striking capabilities of S-300 missiles whose planned deployment on the island in 1997 had created a regional crisis.

    The Foreign Minister said that recent reports in the Greek Cypriot press concerning new armament activities clearly demonstrated that the Greek Cypriot Side was not sincere in its efforts to work towards a political settlement on the island.

    The signing of new military agreements and purchase of new weapons system by the Greek Cypriot side at a time when efforts to find a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution on the basis of political equality are underway has unveiled the Greek Cypriot Administrations true intentions towards a settlement, the statement said.

    Stating that the Greek Cypriot side totally disregarded all the realities and solution efforts on the island, Avci said that the Greek Cypriot sides stance was damaging efforts to find a comprehensive and lasting solution under UN parameters and to creating an atmosphere of trust on the island.

    He said that the last thing the Eastern Mediterranean needed were new military pacts that would create instability in the region.

    The Foreign Minister called on the Greek Cypriot Administration to abandon its irresponsible and adventuress armament campaign and to support the Turkish Cypriot sides and International Communitys efforts to find a just and lasting comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem based on the political equality of the two sides.

    [04] BKP points out that the so-called isolation is a product of the separatist policy of the Turkish side

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.12.07) reports that Abdullah Korkmazhan, member of the administrative council of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), has stated that the fact that the Turkish Cypriot community lives under isolations and embargoes, is a product of the separatist efforts of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side.

    In a written statement issued yesterday by the BKP, Mr Korkmazhan notes that the Turkish Cypriots expressed their will for an overall solution, but this will is ignored. He said that the isolation will end with an overall solution and pointed out that insisting on the efforts for separatism will strengthen isolation.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Murat distributes more land in occupied Morfou area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.12.07) reports that the documents for acquiring the proprietorship right over rural plots of land in the occupied areas of Morfou were distributed yesterday by the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Ozkan Murat to 110 young persons. Mr Murat noted that they are exerting efforts towards the development of Morfou and added: The youth of Morfou will remain in Morfou. Noting that until now they have given documents for proprietorship to 649 young persons all over the occupied area of the island, he stated that shortly they will launch and complete the tender for 670 applications they received for acquiring residence in the occupied Famagusta area.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Statements by Talats special envoy on Kosovo and occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (27.12.07) reports on statements made to Fulya Ozerkan by Ozdil Nami, the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Mehmet Ali Talats special envoy during an exclusive telephone interview.

    Writes the paper inter alia:

    The ongoing negotiations over the status of Kosovo that have thus far proven futile as the province is proceeding toward independence may pave the way for Turkey's friends in the European Union to come up with alternative initiatives to end the isolation of northern Cyprus, said the Turkish Cypriot president's special envoy late Tuesday.

    Everyone sees 2008 as the last window of opportunity for a solution to the Cyprus problem and especially Turkey's friends in the EU are pressuring the Greek Cypriots not to accept the status quo and to back initiatives for a settlement, and warning other alternatives could be on the agenda otherwise, Ozdil Nami told the Turkish Daily News during an exclusive telephone interview. Nami was appointed by Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat last month to chair negotiations with the EU and United Nations for a settlement to the Cyprus dispute.

    Nami, elaborating on the alternatives, compared the Cyprus problem with the deadlocked talks over the future of Kosovo.

    Balances are changing in Europe. What do we see in the case of Kosovo or Bosnia? When diplomatic efforts are exhausted other alternatives are put on the table. We clearly see this in Kosovo where diplomacy proved futile and other formulas are floating around. This will certainly have an impact on Cyprus, he said.

    As the EU nations failed to resolve the deadlock over Kosovo during negotiations this month, ethnic Albanians in this province pledged to proclaim independence from Serbia early next year. The United States and several EU states have indicated they will recognize it.

    And the paper goes on:

    Following the failure of the Annan plan the EU proposed direct trade regulations to reward the Turkish Cypriots for their yes vote but the package was repeatedly dropped from the bloc's agenda when the term presidencies faced severe objections from the Greek Cypriots. Nami said he was convinced in Brussels last week that the European Commission will not step back from its commitments to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    But this does not mean that there will be progress during the term presidency of Slovenia that starts in January. Slovenian officials, however, vow to try their best but we'll wait and see whether the package will finally be adopted or some other formulas that serve the same purpose will come out, he added.

    We tell the Europeans that the Greek Cypriots feel very relaxed after securing membership in the EU and that they cannot motivate the Greek Cypriots unless the sanctions imposed on northern Cyprus are lifted. I personally observed that our thesis is acknowledged by EU circles and believe that the EU will make strides to ease the isolation of northern Cyprus, while the negotiations for a final solution continue under U.N. auspices in 2008.

    Although the EU refrains from taking unilateral steps to aid the Turkish Cypriots, good news coming from the European capitals breathes new life into efforts for a collective solution to the decades-old problem. Last week, the Turkish Cypriot government opened an office in Rome to boost ties with Italy and promote the breakaway state in an EU-member country.

    This is a very important development and we see that member countries are taking some steps, though the EU cannot act in the way that it wishes to do as an institution. Thus, the EU delivers the message that it will not remain a mere bystander to the Greek Cypriot blockade. This momentum in Western capitals could push the EU to do the same, said Nami.

    [07] Turkeys new minimum wage will increase by 9.2% for 2008

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Minimum wage was increased 4 percent for the first six months of 2008, and 5 percent for the second half of 2008. Thus, minimum wage will be 608 YTL gross (net 435 YTL) in the first half of 2008, and 638 YTL gross (net 457 YTL) as of July 2008. (1 USD = 1.1800 YTL).

    Turkish Labor and Social Security Minister Faruk Celik announced the new minimum wage figures for 2008, on Thursday.

    Accordingly, minimum wage was increased 4 percent to 608.4 YTL gross (net 435.9 YTL) for workers over age 16 for the first half of 2008. On the other hand, minimum wage was increased 5 percent to 638.7 YTL gross (net 457.6 YTL) for workers over age 16 for the second half of 2008.

    Rise in minimum wage will be 9.2 percent in average for the year 2008.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.12.07) reports that the Committee for Determining the Minimum Wage decided yesterday with majority that the new monthly minimum wage in the occupied areas of Cyprus will be 1060 new Turkish liras as of 1 January 2008. The existing minimum wage was 950 liras.

    [08] Turkey's Secretary General for EU Affairs evaluates Turkeys EU accession process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkey's Secretary General for EU Affairs Oguz Demiralp said on Thursday there is no change in Turkey's EU accession process in regard to the legal aspect.

    Demiralp made a presentation to the Parliamentary EU Adjustment Commission on "Recent Developments in EU-Turkey Relations".

    There have been some political problems in the country's EU accession process, he stated. Opening of eight chapters was delayed and there have been some difficulties on opening of five chapters due to attitude of France, Demiralp told the commission.

    "Six chapters have been opened to negotiations and one chapter was closed so far," Demiralp said.

    "Works on some laws should be speeded up. If the law on trade unions is passed in 2008, the chapter on social policy will probably be opened," he said.

    Replying to a question on the last EU summit, Demiralp said Turkey has been going through a difficult period but it did what was necessary on the matter.

    [09] Turkeys National Security Council to hold year's last meeting on 28 December

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.07) reports the following from Ankara:

    Turkish National Security Council (MGK) will convene under the chairmanship of President Abdullah Gul on Friday.

    MGK's bimonthly meeting will take place at Cankaya Presidential Palace.

    Fight against terrorism as well as domestic and foreign developments will be discussed in the meeting.

    [10] Prosecutor in Turkey seeks jail sentence for Diyarbakir mayor on charges for using the Kurdish language

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.07) reports the following from Diyarbakir:

    Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in south-eastern province of Diyarbakir asked Thursday three and a half years of jail sentence for Osman Baydemir, mayor of the city, on charges of malfeasance in office and violation of the law regarding Turkish alphabet.

    Prosecutors, after completing their investigation, prepared their indictment. Baydemir is accused because of invitation letters he wrote in Turkish and Kurdish on the occasion of the inauguration of a cultural festival in Diyarbakir.

    Baydemir will be tried at a criminal court of first instance.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 27 December 2007

    Following are highlights from Turkish press reports and the commentaries on the Turkish U.S. relations:

    In an article entitled "Barzani's Miscalculations," Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz says that there is an interrelation between Barzani's angry comments about Turkey and his misjudgment that he could fill the strategic vacuum in Turkish-American relations after the rejection of a government motion on Iraq in 2003. Emphasizing that Barzani did not revise his policy by taking account of developments which took place in the intervening period, Idiz says: "In the final analysis, both Turkey and the United States are major and powerful countries and their national interests are their number one priority. If the United States actually helps Ankara in its fight against the PKK, it should provide that support for the sake of its own interests not for those of Ankara. In brief, people who tango with major states should also see its possible risks."

    A report entitled "Wilson Inquired About United States Image" in Hurriyet says that Ross Wilson, US Ambassador to Turkey, hosted a lunch attended by some members of the US House of Representatives and a group of MPs from the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, yesterday. According to the report, AKP deputy Vahit Erdem told Wilson that the United States' image in Turkey has improved due to the intelligence which it has provided for Turkish military operations whereas Tugrul Turkes from the MHP argued that it was only a "cosmetic intervention."

    In an article entitled "Thaw in Relations with the United States" Vatan columnist Bilal Mese says that there has been a thaw in the relations between Turkey and the United States after a strain which had been continuing for several years as a result of cooperation between the two countries against the PKK. He comments: "The United States lifted the embargo on cross-border incursions into northern Iraq which it had imposed four years ago and it was the most important factor which improved the situation. Furthermore, the United States provides crucial intelligence about facilities being used by the PKK which the United States has described as a common enemy. The agreement hammered out in the meeting between Bush and Erdogan in November is yielding results beyond initial expectations which will probably transform their alliance into a strategic partnership again. It can even be said that those developments have satisfied the public and anti-American sentiments are now declining.

    Under the headline, "Terrorist Group Established by the US," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which quotes Felicity Party, (SP), leader Recai Kutan as saying that the United States lies at the root of the southeast issue and that the "supposed" peace corps who came to Turkey over 1962-1972 laid the groundwork for PKK terrorism.

    In an article entitled "A Political Solution or Giving the PKK What It Wants", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal blasts calls for an "amnesty" for PKK members as an attempt to nullify the latest "military successes" achieved against the terrorist organization and enable it to get what it wants without having to resort to violence. He claims that similar efforts to persuade PKK militants to "come down from the mountains" have failed in the past, adding that it is obvious from the way the United States supports the Government's work on a "return home bill" that there is something "fishy" about this undertaking.


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