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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-01-09
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.6/08 09.01.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Ercakica during his weekly press conferenceIllegal Bayrak television (08.01.08) broadcast the following:
The Presidential spokesperson Hasan Ercakica has said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue to work towards finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem, based on the political equality of the two peoples and the existence of two founding states which would be of equal status.
The spokesperson said that all aspects of the Cyprus issue were discussed during last weeks visit to Ankara of President Mehmet Ali Talat.
He said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Ankara are in full agreement over the future policies to be pursued over the Cyprus issue.
Speaking to reporters this morning, the Presidential spokesperson reminded that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey were in full agreement over the Cyprus issue, and that President Talats latest visit to Ankara refreshed the Turkish Cypriot peoples confidence in Turkey.
He stressed that the Turkish side will continue to work towards establishing a new partnership state based on the political equality of the two sides and the existence of two founding states, which would be of equal status.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side was disappointed with the Turkish Cypriot sides expressed readiness to work for a new partnership in Cyprus, Mr Ercakica complained that the Greek Cypriot Administration has been working on ways of maintaining the current status quo by making up excuses.
Touching upon Turkish President Abdullah Guls visit to the United States, he said that the visit was an important opportunity to reiterate the Turkish Sides desire towards finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus Problem.
On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.08) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:
Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica said Tuesday that Turkish President Abdullah Gul will inform the United States and United Nations about the TRNC's vision and stance during his meetings in the U.S. this week.
Speaking at a weekly press briefing in Lefkosa, Ercakica told that the attempt of Greek Cypriot Orthodox Church to bring up the issue of churches in the TRNC to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is an attempt to make the church a political power.
"Taking such issues to the ECHR would only make the matters more complex and create hostility among the peoples. The way to resolve issues is the comprehensive solution at negotiating table," Ercakica indicated.
 Talat briefs the Turkish Cypriot party leaders on his contacts in AnkaraTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.01.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat, started his meetings with the main opposition party, the National Unity Party (UBP) leadership headed by the UBP Chairman Tahsin Ertugruloglu.
In a statement to the pressmen after the meeting, Mr. Ertugruloglu said that Mr.Talat has briefed them in detail about his recent contacts in Ankara. He went on and added that during the meeting they have exchanged views as regards holding early elections and referendum. As regards Talats mediation efforts regarding disagreement for holding early elections and referendum between the government and the opposition, Mr. Ertugruloglu said that he does not think that Mr. Talat will be successful.
Talat also met yesterday with the Democratic Party (DP) leader, Serdar Denktas. In a statement to the press after the meeting, the Chairman of the DP Serdar Denktas, thanked Mr. Talat for his detailed briefing regarding his visit to Ankara and said: After this briefing we have once more saw that there will not be a solution in 2008, there could be an initiative but this will not end with a solution. He called on the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) to stop making empty promises to the people. He said that the CTPs claim that the year 2008 will be a year for solution is just an excuse to avoid an early election. When asked to comment on the UBPs decision to return to the so-called parliament Denktas branded it a U turn.
 The Cyprus problem on the agenda of the Gul-Rice breakfast meeting in Washington D.C.The main issue in todays Turkish newspapers is the breakfast meeting of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Washington D.C. Following are the reports by the Turkish newspapers on what was discussed:
Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (09.01.08) under the front-page title The agenda of the hotel included Iraq and Cyprus, reports on the first meeting that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul had in Washington with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in his hotel. The main issues of their meeting were the cross-border operation in Northern Iraq against the PKK terrorist organization -- and the intelligence that the US provided to Turkey -- and Cyprus. They also discussed the developments in Pakistan after the killing of Benazir Bhutto, as well as issues regarding the Caucasus and the wider area.
The paper continues its report on page 15 where it is outlined that almost the same issues were discussed also between President Gul with the US Vice President Dick Cheney at the White House.
At the meeting of Mr Gul and Mrs Rice, present were also the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, the Turkish Ambassador to Washington Nabi Sensoy, the US Ambassador to Ankara Ross Wilson, the Turkish Foreign Ministry Under-Secretary Ertugrul Apakan, the Deputy Permanent Undersecretary for Relations with the Middle East Feridun Sinirlioglu and the Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey on Foreign Policy Ahmet Davutoglu.
Moreover, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (09.01.08) under the front-page banner title At the Gul-Rice meeting emphasis was given to the Cyprus problem; The promises given to the TRNC on the table, reports on the first meeting of President Abdullah Gul in Washington with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The paper reports that at the Gul-Rice meeting were discussed the promises given regarding the lifting of the isolations directed to the TRNC.
Under the subtitle The USA must take action again, the paper reports that the three main issues discussed between Mr Gul and Mrs Rice were Iraq, Cyprus and the Armenian genocide issue. The Turkish delegation expressed to Mrs Rice the view that after the Greek Cypriot elections next month, it is expected that the US will bring new initiatives to the agenda towards a solution. The paper continues that at the meeting the commitments of Washington, regarding the lifting of the isolations directed to the TRNC were raised.
In addition, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (09.01.08) under the front-page title PKK was discussed also at the breakfast, reports on the breakfast meeting of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and the meeting with the US President George Bush, which followed. The paper writes that at the meetings were discussed the PKK terror organization, Iraqs future and the Kirkuk issue, energy security, Middle East and Afghanistan-Pakistan issues, the cooperation after the Annapolis meeting, Iran, the draft regarding the Armenian allegation, the Balkans, Kosovo, the Azerbaijani-Armenia dispute and Cyprus. At the meeting Turkeys and USAs common targets were expressed.
On the same issue, Turkish daily Bugun newspaper (09.01.08) reports on the visit of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to the USA and the breakfast meeting that he held with the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice at his hotel in Washington. The paper reports that at the meeting the Turkish-US relations were evaluated and the cooperation in the fight against the PKK, the international developments and the situation in Cyprus were discussed.
 Statements by Presidents Gul and Bush during a joint press conference; Turkey is strategic partner of USAAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.01.08) reports from Washington D.C. that the U.S. President George W. Bush said on Tuesday that cooperation of Turkey and the United States would continue against "common enemy PKK" and qualified Turkey as "strategic partner" of the United States.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Bush made a joint statement after their meeting.
Bush said relations between Turkey and the United States were very important, indicating that, "we are working harder to make the relations stronger."
"Cooperation between Turkey and the United States continues against our common enemy PKK. PKK is the common enemy of Turkey, Iraq, the United States and everybody who wants to live in peace. We will continue to combat PKK," Bush added.
U.S. President Bush also said, "I strongly believe that Europe will benefit when Turkey is a member of the European Union," adding that "Turkey sets a fantastic example for nations around the world to see where it's possible to have a democracy that co-exists with a great religion like Islam."
Bush said Turkey was a bridge between Europe and the Muslim world, and underscored that Turkey has a "constructive" role.
Bush also said assistance to securing energy resources was also discussed during his meeting with Gul.
Commenting on his scheduled visit to the Middle East, Bush said he discussed Middle East matters with Gul, emphasizing that he supported a two-state solution where Israel and Palestine would be side by side.
Bush qualified his meeting with Gul as "a constructive meeting".
 Turkish President Gul briefs Turkish reporters on his meeting with the US President BushAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.01.08) reports the following from Washington D.C.:
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Tuesday that during his meeting with U.S. President George Bush they have reaffirmed that joint works against terrorist PKK organization would continue till the end.
Gul held a news conference for Turkish journalists in Willard Intercontinental Hotel after his meeting with U.S. President Bush in the White House.
Underscoring that stability and security in Iraq closely interested Turkey, Gul said, "as I have told him (U.S. President Bush) if a fire is in question there, this fire would first warm-up and disturb the neighbors. Thus, security, stability and tranquility there interests us more."
Gul said the goal of the visit was to boost relations between two ally countries, and qualified today's talks as "extremely fruitful".
Gul said Turkish-U.S. relations have been tested for 50 years, and indicated that, "we give high importance to our alliance and improvement of relations in the future."
Gul said Turkey and the United States were working together on many matters extending from Afghanistan to Central Asia, from the Caucasus to the Middle East, from Iraq to Balkans and from fight against terrorism to shipment of energy safely. "There are common goals, visions and very close cooperation between Turkey and the United States," Gul emphasized.
Gul said there were "common values" lying in the core of the relations, and noted, "as we share common values, belief in democracy, respect to human rights, boosting free market economy, our relations have a solid basis."
Gul stated that bilateral relations were discussed at the meeting, indicating that, "we have reaffirmed our relations continued strongly and importance of our strategic cooperation. Decisiveness to combat terrorism was reiterated reciprocally. We have reaffirmed that this cooperation and common works specifically against terrorist PKK organization would go on till the end."
"Turkey's vision regarding Iraq is preservation of Iraq's unity and integrity and restoration of stability and security in Iraq. Security and stability in Iraq interests Turkey the most. Turkey will continue to work together for normalization and stability of Iraq."
Recalling that President Bush would tour Middle East countries, Gul said he had the opportunity to tell his experiences and views about the Mideast problem.
"We had an extensive talk about the security of Middle East, mainly the peace plan. I told what Turkey did, our contributions and what we will do in the future about the peace plan and other issues," he said.
Afghanistan was another topic of the meeting, Gul said and he underscored cooperation between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
"Negative developments in Afghanistan affect Pakistan," Gul said. "Mr. Bush asked me to inform him about my recent visits," he noted.
Gul also stated that they discussed Turkey's bid to join the European Union.
"We have always seen U.S. support regarding our EU membership and we appreciate that. It is important for us that this support will continue during negotiation process. They told us that they would pull their weight about this matter," he remarked.
He also said Turkey's role in energy security, developments in Kosovo and the Balkans were other topics of their meeting.
Indicating that Turkish democracy was closely monitored in the world, Gul said, "Mr. Bush expressed his appreciation and confidence in Turkish democracy and he told us that Turkey's reform process was welcomed by everyone."
The two parties voiced also their wish to further improve economic relations between Turkey and the United States, Gul told reporters.
"I left the meeting satisfied," Gul said. "The most important goal of my visit was to consolidate and reaffirm our alliance relations and to improve relations, as well as to boost cooperation regarding regional and global issues."
 Foreigners bought 684 donums of land in occupied Cyprus in 2007According to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (09.01.08), in 2007, 684 donums of land were sold to foreigners in the Turkish occupied part of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper, quoting the 2007 Action Report of the so-called Ministry of Interior, also reports that in 2007, 1627 applications were made to buy immovable property in the occupied areas by foreigners. Out of these, 1555 have received permission to buy property.
The paper goes on and reports that since 1974, 5908 foreign nationals bought 4142 donums of land of which 2795 were houses, semi-detached homes and villas, 1277 apartments,1237 fields, 523 plots of land for building homes, 19 shops and showrooms, 5 depots, 48 bungalows, 3 casinos and one hotel. The highest number of applications to buy property by foreigners was in the year 2004, the year Annan Plan was surfaced. In 2004, there were 2827 applications by foreigners to buy property in the occupied area.
 Cakici accuses both sides of getting ready for non-solution scenarios on the Cyprus problem during 2008Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (09.01.08) reports that the leader of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici in a statement to the press said the non-solution scenarios will be repeated in the year 2008, and that both the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot sides are getting ready in line with this strategy.
Mr Cakici went on and said that neither the CTP nor the DP and or the UBP have their priority to prepare a democratic constitution. He accused these parties of acting in accordance with their partys interest.
 EU term president Slovenia aims to advance Turkey talksUnder the above title turkish daily The New Anatolian newspaper (08.01.08) reports that the new European Union president Slovenia will seek to push ahead on membership negotiations with Turkey during its six-month term but cannot guarantee progress, its prime minister declared on Monday.
"We will try and enter negotiations on some new chapters but of course we need total support from other member states. We will work on that but we cannot guarantee the outcome," Prime Minister Janez Jansa told a news conference.
The EU began accession talks with Turkey in October 2005 and has so far opened five of the 35 chapters of reform work that must be completed to conclude the accession process.
The EU said last year it hoped to open talks on two or three others in the first half of 2008. But diplomats see resistance from France, whose President Nicolas Sarkozy opposes Turkish membership, concludes The New Anatolian report.
 ROJ TV founder captured in TurkeyTurkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (09.01.08) reports the following under the above title:
One of the founders of ROJ TV -- a station of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) -- was captured in the Manavgat district of Antalya on Monday evening.
Abdülkadir Dilsiz, also an allegedly high-ranking PKK commander, was found hiding in a house in the Ulualan quarter. Dilsiz, who has long been sought by the police, was captured with a laptop computer, a desktop computer, CDs and various computer programs suspected to have been used in ciphered inter-organizational communications. The computers have been sent to Ankara for analysis.
Dilsiz reportedly used many fake ID cards and frequently traveled to Iraq. Dilsiz, who is reputed to be an expert in Internet and broadcasting technology is said to have developed new software that makes it possible for all PKK members to communicate with each other despite many of them speaking different dialects of Kurdish and some being unable to speak any Kurdish at all. Following questioning the suspect was arrested.
 Turkish speaker receives Brazilian Parliamentary DelegationAnkara Anatolia news agency (08.01.08) reports the following from Ankara:
Turkish Acting President and Parliament Speaker Koksal Toptan received Vieira da Cunha, the chairman of Foreign Affairs and National Defense Committee at the Lower House of the Brazilian Parliament, and an accompanying delegation on Tuesday.
The Brazilian delegation is in Turkey upon an invitation from Turkish Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
Toptan's meeting with Cunha and the Brazilian delegation was closed to the press.
Meanwhile, Cunha and the accompanying delegation met the chairman of the Turkish Parliament EU Harmonization Committee Yasar Yakis and chairman of the Turkish Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Murat Mercan earlier on Tuesday.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 8 January 2008Following are summaries of reports and commentaries from the Turkish press of 08.01.08 on issues of the current political agenda:
a) President Gul's Visit to the US:
In a report in Milliyet, Sedat Ergin outlines the "important" messages President Gul conveyed during his meeting with a group of journalists on his way to the United States. Commenting on the relations between Turkey and the United States, the situation in Iraq, and the fight against the PKK, President Gul says that a "positive" era has started between Ankara and Washington. He also says that Turkey's contribution to Iraq will be "unlimited" if the PKK is removed from that country. Describing the United States as "the most important ally" of Turkey, the president notes that the two countries have managed to overcome the problems and create a new "climate of confidence."
In his article, Milliyet's Sedat Ergin makes an analysis of the motives behind President Gul's upcoming meeting with President Bush in Washington. Stressing that most of the Turkish leaders attached importance to their meetings with US presidents and regarded those meetings as a way to strengthen their image at home and abroad, Ergin argues that by establishing a "high-level dialogue" with President Bush, Gul plans to increase the international support for his presidency. At the same time, he notes, Gul sees this dialogue as an opportunity to assume an active role in foreign policy issues. Making an analysis of the visit from Washington's perspective, Ergin argues that by inviting Gul to the White House, President Bush "reaffirms his support for the democratic process in Turkey" and his willingness to "closely cooperate" with the Turkish president.
In his commentary entitled "What can be expected from Gul-Bush summit?" Milliyet's Sami Kohen views why President Gul's visit to the United States should be seen as an important development. Recalling that it will be the first official visit by a Turkish president to Washington since 1996, he says that the White House sending an invitation only two months after the meeting Prime Minister Erdogan held with President Bush makes this visit significant. He goes on to note that he attaches importance to the timing of the visit as well as that it will take place just before President Bush's tour of the Middle East. Recalling that Turkey and the United States managed to solve their conflicts and entered a new cooperation process after Prime Minister Erdogan's visit on 5 November 2007, Kohen says that Gul's visit is expected to contribute the improvement of the relations between the two countries. Noting that the US support for Turkey's fight against the PKK will be one of the main issues to be taken up by the two leaders, he asserts: "the United States is expected to maintain the support it has been providing since 5 November."
An article by Umit Enginsoy of the Turkish Daily News questions the timing of President Gul's US visit, by saying: "The Turkish president's visit does not include special U.S. favors, for example a speech at Congress, a state dinner or spending a night at the presidential retreat at Camp David or Bush's ranch in Texas." Enginsoy adds: "Moreover, the Bush-Gul talks take place at a time when the U.S. administration's mind is largely elsewhere. Hours after the Gul meeting, Bush is scheduled to leave Washington for a major one-week trip to the Middle East..."
In his article in Vatan, Rusen Cakir asserts that even the criticisms leveled at President Gul for his decision to visit the United States cannot overshadow the "symbolic meaning" of this visit, which can be seen as "the evidence of the Bush administration's misinterpretation of Turkey and the Turkish politics." Recalling that Washington held then Prime Minister Gul responsible for the rejection of the 1 March authorization bill and launched a "smear campaign" against him and his chief foreign policy advisor Prof Davutoglu at the time, Cakir views Dick Cheney's decision to host Gul at the White House as an admission of this misinterpretation.
An editorial by Ilnur Cevik of The New Anatolian views Turkey and the United States as "natural allies" and says: "President Gul's visit seems to be a 'thank you' call on President Bush for the massive help he has extended to Turkey despite some misgivings especially among the pro-Kurdish lobby in Washington."
Under the headline, "First phone call from Air Force one," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which quotes President Abdullah Gul as saying that President Bush called him from Air Force One two minutes after the presidential election last year to invite him to Washington. The report outlines Gul's "important disclosures" to a group of journalists en route to Washington.
In an article entitled "First day of the visit", Yeni Safak columnist Taha Kivanc takes issue with certain commentators in the Turkish press over their characterization of Gul's visit to Washington as "'fast food diplomacy' in the expectation that it will prove a short one." He accuses the Hurriyet daily of running reports deliberately aimed at downplaying the importance of the visit and misrepresenting the US perception of it.
Under the headline, "We will give Iraq ten times as much support if it ejects the PKK," Zaman publishes a front-page report which highlights some of President Gul's "striking disclosures" to journalists about Turkish-US relations, the fight on terrorism, and the developments in Iraq aboard the flight that took him to Washington yesterday.
In an article entitled "America is rediscovering Turkey", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi discusses the reasons behind what he describes as the favorable change in the United States' stance toward Turkey signified by Gul's visit to Washington. He argues that the Bush administration has started to perceive the PKK as a threat to security and stability in northern Iraq, adding that Washington is aware that it cannot maintain its current Middle East policies without Turkey's support. He also outlines the developments that have enabled "the Americans ... to realize that the boss in Ankara will be Erdogan and his government for the next five years."
According to a report entitled "Bush to seek support against Iran", President Bush's tour of the Middle East to take place this week will be aimed at "convincing his allies that Iran continues to pose a threat to the region" and "removing the problems created by the latest US intelligence report on Iran's nuclear program."
b) Turkeys dependence on Russia and Iran for natural gas:
Focusing on Iran's decision to cut off its natural gas supply to Turkey, an editorial by Yusuf Kanli of the Turkish Daily News criticizes the Justice and Development Party [AKP] government for ignoring those who warned it against signing agreements that would make Turkey dependant on Russia and Iran for natural gas. He asks: "Did not we know when we signed the natural gas agreement with Iran that our Persian neighbor did not have sufficient surplus gas to export to Turkey but would indeed import Turkmen gas for its own use and export its gas to us? By the way, why is the price of gas we are importing from Iran a 'top secret' of the Turkish Energy Ministry?"
In an article entitled "Iran should act like a respected partner of Turkey", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu expresses the hope that the "repeated Iranian policy" of cutting off gas supply to Turkey "every winter" will "finally prompt Turkish decision makers to rethink signing new gas and electricity deals with this country."