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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-21

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. 37/08 21.02.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Go on, sell them
  • [02] Avci announces plans to open a TRNC Representation Office in Australia
  • [03] The Gecitkale [occupied Leykonoiko] airport to Asil Nadir
  • [04] Babacan and Lavrov hold joint press Conference Cyprus on the agenda of discussion
  • [05] Turkey's trade volume with Russia reached $28.2 billion
  • [06] Autonomous Republic in Russia is holding contacts in Turkey
  • [07] Minority rights law on property passes in the Turkish Grand National Assembly
  • [08] EU welcomes Turkey adoption of foundations law
  • [09] EU Attorney Generals to be invited to a terrorism summit in Istanbul
  • [10] Pseudo Orthodox Patriarch created by the Turkish State was arrested in connection with Ergenekon
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 20 February 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Go on, sell them

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.02.08) reports in its first page that there is a new law as regards the Greek Cypriot property in the north. The TRNC Legal and Political Affairs Committee of the self-styled assembly is discussing a new draft law, which will allow the sale of the Greek Cypriot properties in occupied Cyprus.

    According to the draft law the property concerned could be sold by its Greek Cypriot owner to the persons who possessed it on condition that there is no title deed for it and it is possessed for more than three years, writes the paper.

    Afrika writes that the draft law which provides the opportunity to sell Greek Cypriot properties in the north, is expected to be approached with interest by the Greek Cypriot property owners. It was not understood why the condition of possession for more than three years, was put forward, writes the paper.

    After the Immovable Property Commission, which envisaged exchange, compensation and return, the new law aims to produce another remedy for the property issue, reports Afrika.

    (CS)

    [02] Avci announces plans to open a TRNC Representation Office in Australia

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.2.08) broadcast the following:

    Deputy Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has announced that an initiative will be launched to open a TRNC representation office in Australia - where nearly 60 thousand Turkish Cypriots are living now.

    The Foreign Minister is in Australia for ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the migration of Turkish Cypriots to the country.

    At a meeting with representatives of Turkish Cypriot organizations based in Melbourne - Australia, Foreign Minister Avci said that a special desk will be set up as soon as possible to assist those who come to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus for holidays.

    Pointing out that plans were being made to establish commercial relations between businessmen from both countries, the Foreign Minister said several businessmen were going to visit the TRNC next month to launch new business initiatives.

    Mr Avci also announced that preparations will be launched to open a TRNC representation office in Australia.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.02.08) writes that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Mr Turgay Avci, visited yesterday the Turkish Consul in Sydney, Benan Sekeroglu who stated, inter alia, that Mr Avcis visit to Australia sends an important message to the Greek Cypriots. As he stated, Avci sent the following message to the Greek Cypriots: You cannot imprison us in a corner. You cannot dictate us what to do and where to go. We are an independent state and we are in the necessary place at the necessary time. It is a message that the Republic of Turkey is on our side, he stated.

    He also said that Cyprus is a national cause for Turkey and added that Turkey will support the TRNC in any place of the world.

    The paper writes that the Turkish Consul in Sydney participated in the activities organized during Mr Avcis visit to Sydney.

    [03] The Gecitkale occupied [Leykonoiko] airport to Asil Nadir

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (21.02.08) reports in its first page that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, intervened in the issue of the awarding of the Gecitkale [occupied Leykonoiko] airport and asked for the bid to be given to firms which are close to him. Therefore, it appeared that the claims of Mr Erdogan being against the awarding of the bid for the airport to Asil Nadir were baseless.

    The council of ministers approved the decision taken by the Tenders Commission on the 1st of February 2008 to lease for fifteen years to the Cyprus Aviation Services (CAS) Company Limited, which belongs to the Turkish Cypriot businessman, Asil Nadir, of the Gecitkale [occupied Leykonoiko] airport.

    According to this decision, the operation right of the airport was leased for one million, five hundred seventy nine thousand, nine hundred EURO (1.579.900) to the CAS Firm.

    According to the leasing agreement, an additional payment of one thousand fifty seven nine hundreds ninety (157.990) EURO will be paid every year. The paper also writes that every year this fee will be increased by 3%.

    (CS)

    [04] Babacan and Lavrov hold joint press Conference Cyprus on the agenda of discussion

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.2.08) reported the following from Moscow: Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday Turkey attaches great importance to cooperation with Russia in energy matters.

    Babacan and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a press conference following their tête-à-tête meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

    We attach high importance to cooperation with the Russians on energy. Turkey and Russia are two important countries that can help transfer oil and natural gas to different markets. It is important for us to complement our efforts in energy with the Russians, Babacan noted.

    We consider the Russian Federation as a strategic neighbor whose friendship and cooperation we value highly, Babacan indicated.

    Meanwhile, Lavrov remarked that ´relations between Turkey and Russia are at good level.

    We have reaffirmed our desire to develop bilateral relations and raise our relations to the level of partnership, Lavrov underlined.

    There exists good cooperation between Russian and Turkish security experts. We have good cooperation in the fight against terrorism, illicit drugs and human trafficking, Lavrov stressed.

    Reminded of recent comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin that the West is applying double standards in the case of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and its possible recognition, Lavrov emphasized that Russia's attitude on Cyprus has not changed. It is our wish to find a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the decisions of the United Nations Security Council. We support the U.N. Secretary-General's mission in Cyprus.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Wednesday Turkey's evaluation of the independence of Kosovo differs from that of Russia and Turkey has respect for the decision of Russia on Kosovo.

    Babacan and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a joint press conference following their tête-à-tête meeting in Moscow on Wednesday.

    We pay high attention to the existence of an understanding of permanent peace in the Balkans which in recent years went through turmoil and suffered great pains, Babacan said in response to a question from a journalist.

    We have always supported sides in Kosovo in reaching a consensus. We have extended support to the process led by the U.N.'s special envoy in Kosovo Martti Ahtisaari. We have supported the efforts of the Russian Federation, the EU and the United States on Kosovo. We respect the decision of the Russian Federation on Kosovo. Turkey differed from the Russian Federation on its evaluations from the perspective of laws and politics on Kosovo. Accordingly, the decision made by Turkey on Kosovo differed from the one that Russia made, Babacan stressed.

    Serbia will play an important role for the future of the Balkans. We do want to promote our relations with Serbia, Babacan underlined.

    Turkey and the Russian Federation want stability and peace in the Balkans. Based on our common wishes, we are ready to work with Russia, Babacan underscored.

    Meanwhile, Lavrov, in response to a question on the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization, said Russia is working to make the BSEC effective.

    The Blackseafor continues its activities against international smuggling, international terrorism, and nuclear and chemical threats. The Black Sea Harmony suggested by Turkey has similar characteristics. Turkey, Russia and Ukraine already joined the Black Sea Harmony and Romania is making preparations to join this body, Lavrov stressed.

    Following the joint press conference, Babacan proceeded to the Russian news agency RIA Novosti for a press briefing to Russian journalists.

    [05] Turkey's trade volume with Russia reached $28.2 billion

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.2.08) reported the following from Adana:

    There has been a remarkable boost in relations between Turkey and Russia in the recent period, Turgut Gur, chairman of Turkish-Russian Business Council of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK), said on Wednesday.

    A meeting on promotion of Russia took place in the southern province of Adana on Wednesday.

    Russian exports amounted to 305 billion U.S. dollars in 2007 and it is the second largest oil producer of the world behind Saudi Arabia, Gur told participants of the meeting.

    There has been a great transformation in Russian economy and Turkish businessmen should take part in it, Gur said.

    Trade volume between Turkey and Russia reached 28.2 billion U.S. dollars, he stated.

    Russia is an indispensable partner for Turkey, Gur said.

    Gur also said they would organize activities under "Turkish Culture Year" in Russia supported by Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry as well as Istanbul Culture and Art Foundation in 2008.

    [06] Autonomous Republic in Russia is holding contacts in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.02.08) reported the following from Kayseri:

    President Arsen Kanokov of Kabardino-Balkar Autonomous Republic in Russia asked Turkish businessmen to invest in his country.

    Kanokov, who visited chambers of industry and commerce in the central province of Kayseri, said his country's economy grew in line with Russian economy over the past few years but Kabardino-Balkaria economy needs new production technologies to further improve country economy.

    We want Turkish businessmen to invest in Kabardino-Balkaria. We promise cheap energy, cheap labor, tax benefits and VAT refunds for exports. Companies that invest in our country can easily reach Russian market, Kanokov said.

    We give state guarantee for foreign investments. We are Muslim too. You will not feel yourselves as outsiders, Kanokov added.

    With an area of 12,500 square kilometers and nearly 1 million population, the Kabardino-Balkar Republic (Kabardino-Balkaria) is located on the northern slopes of the Caucasus. The republic extends 100 km from north to south and 175 km from west to east. Kabardino-Balkaria borders on Georgia in the south, Stavropol Territory in the north, the Karachay-Cherkess Republic in the west, and the Republic of North Ossetia in the east and southeast.

    [07] Minority rights law on property passes in the Turkish Grand National Assembly

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (21.02.08) reports the following:

    The last article of a bill returning property confiscated from non-Muslim minority foundations was adopted in Parliament on Wednesday amid opposition from nationalists, with neither minorities nor opponents of the bill left satisfied.

    Eight articles of the bill were passed after fierce and heated debate in Parliament last Thursday, despite strong opposition to some. Yesterday's vote in Parliament was on the bill's last controversial article, Article 68, which returns confiscated fixed property to non-Muslim foundations. The Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Republican People's Party (CHP) claim that the bill, which introduces a number of improvements to minority rights, is a danger to Turkey's national security.

    The improvements include allowing non-Muslim foundations to work together with organizations in foreign countries, establish branches and representation offices abroad, set up umbrella organizations and become members of organizations established abroad.

    In 2007 President Ahmet Necdet Sezer vetoed the bill with the justification that ´it could serve to strengthen minority foundations.´ Opponents of the article, particularly the MHP, say allowing foundations too much freedom in their dealings with foreign countries would run contrary to the principle of reciprocity, as not all Turkish foundations in foreign countries have the same rights. Non-Muslims say they are offended by the bill, saying the nationalists arguments turn them into hostages in their own country.

    Faruk Bal, deputy leader of the MHP parliamentary group, argued in a speech that the bill had to be withdrawn, saying passing the Foundations Law would revive the Treaty of Sèvres signed after World War I between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies, which partitioned Ottoman lands. The Treaty of Sèvres was annulled as a result of the Turkish War of Independence and was superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne. ´The souls of the martyrs of the War of Independence are watching us,´ said Bal.

    Democratic Left Party (DSP) Eskiehir deputy Tayfun Icli also expressed frustration after the article of the bill was adopted: [You] gentlemen who are greatly irritated by hearing the name of Ataturk (the nation s founder and a key figure in the War of Independence), this is a law that puts dynamite under the Republic of Turkey. I suggest we all look into our conscience.

    The law is regarded by the European Union as essential to Turkeys hope of meeting the blocs standards for minority rights. The bill is yet to be ratified by President Abdullah Gul, who is thought likely to approve it.

    [08] EU welcomes Turkey adoption of foundations law

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.02.08) reported the following from Brussels:

    European Commissioner for enlargement Olli Rehn welcomed Wednesday Turkeys adoption of Foundation Law.

    Turkish parliament earlier on Wednesday passed the Foundations Law. The new law allows foreigners to establish new foundations in Turkey on the principle of legal and actual reciprocity. Foundations will also be able to establish economic enterprises and companies on the condition of notifying Turkey's foundations authority.

    Foundations will be able to acquire assets and use them at their will.

    Releasing a statement, Olli Rehn said the European Union has underlined importance of this law for securing the fundamental rights and freedoms of all Turkish citizens.

    The implementation of the Foundations Law should be in line with the European Convention on Human Rights and decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, Olli Rehn also said.

    [09] EU Attorney Generals to be invited to a terrorism summit in Istanbul

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (21.02.08) under the title, Terrorism summit with the USA, reports that at a round table meeting to be held at the end of March in Istanbul, Turkey and the US will discuss the extradition of those who are guilty of terrorism. The Attorney Generals of the EU countries, with which a problem exist on the issue of extradition, will also be invited to the meeting. The Turkish Justice Minister, Mr Mehmet Ali Sahin, stated that a joint working commission will be established with the US for the extradition for the persons who are guilty for terrorism. Mr Sahin said: I would like also to invite, if it is possible, the Attorney Generals of the EU countries, with which we faced problems regarding the extradition of persons who are guilty of terrorism.

    (EA)

    [10] Pseudo Orthodox Patriarch created by the Turkish State was arrested in connection with Ergenekon

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (21.02.08) reports the following:

    Pasa Umit Erenerol, the self-declared head of the so-called Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate based in Istanbul was detained yesterday in relation to his ties to the Ergenekon gang, a shadowy criminal organization, some of whose members were arrested in a recent police operation.

    Many treasury bonds and a few handguns were found in a police search made of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate. Erenerol has been detained at the patriarchate in the Karakoy district on orders from prosecutor Zekeriya Oz, who handles the Ergenekon investigation.

    The Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate has been said to serve as the headquarters for the Ergenekon organization.

    The self-declared patriarchate has neither a congregation nor a spiritual base and has turned out to be a creation of the Turkish state together with some members of the Greek Orthodox community in Turkey in the 1920s when parts of Anatolia were invaded by the Greeks.

    The media and public relations officer of the Turkish Orthodox Patriarchate, Sevgi Erenerol -- the sister of Umit Erenerol -- remains in custody after being arrested earlier for her relations to the Ergenekon organization.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 20 February 2008

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 20 February 2008:

    a) Kurdish Problem: According to a report in Milliyet, close to 100 military vehicles and many commandos were dispatched to the military units deployed along the Iraqi border in Sirnak's Cizre District in the early hours of the morning. The report entitled "The Military Signal a Ground Operation" adds that the military dispatch of tanks, military ambulances, jammers, vehicles loaded with ammunition and armored personnel carriers to the region has been continuing for the last three days.

    A report in Ortadogu details the e-mail messages PKK commanders in north Iraq have been sending to KONGA-GEL Chairman Zubeyir Aydar. According to the e-mails, the camps in Kandil Mountain have been evacuated and Murat Karayilan and Feyman Huseyin have taken refuge in settlements close to Kandil. The e-mails further mention a division between the two leaders.

    A PKK member who has surrendered to the security forces after spending nine months in the organization's various camps in north Iraq has said that he joined the PKK after being talked into it by an official named Sahin Demir in the DTP offices in Semdinli. According to a report by Ozgur Cebe in Vatan, new and old recruits to the organization are treated differently and old recruits have access to better underground shelters during an air raid.

    According to a report in Hurriyet, 6,000 protesters participated in a rally in Batman to protest the beating of Democratic Society Party, DTP, Batman deputy Bengi Yildiz and Batman Mayor Huseyin Kalkan during an illegal demonstration held in the city last Sunday. Diyarbakir Mayor Osman Baydemir addressed the rally attended by DTP deputies Fatma Kurtulan, Osman Ozcelik, Ayla Akat Ata, and Yildiz, the report adds. Speaking in Kurdish, Baydemir said that the people want democracy and peace.

    Speculating on the agenda of the National Security Council that is expected to meet on 21 February, Radikal's Murat Yetkin argues that, contrary to the general belief, a comprehensive package for the solution of the Kurdish issue will not be taken up during tomorrow's discussions. T o prove his point Yetkin quotes a high ranking official in his column, who says that many social and economic steps that are currently being implemented in the southeast could have been announced as part of the package, whereas the government does not see the benefit of this and has chosen not to adopt such as stand.

    In an article entitled "Occupying Northern Iraq and New Scenarios", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul expresses concern about the implications of US Vice-President Dick Cheney's forthcoming visit to Turkey. He claims that Cheney, who is "the architect of the US global war, a spokesman for the US deep state, and the man responsible for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and the deaths of one million people," will be coming to Turkey on the eve of a Turkish ground campaign into northern Iraq at precisely the time when "the ultimate war for Mosul" is expected to start.

    b) Kosovo's Independence: According to a report in Ortadogu, Serbia has submitted a note to Turkey regarding its recognition of Kosovo's independence. The note was submitted by the Serbian Embassy in Ankara to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, the report adds.

    Pointing out the general consensus among political leaders regarding the recognition of independent Kosovo, Erdal Safak in Sabah expresses his disappointment with the statements issued by the politicians for not stressing the legal "sui generis" aspect of this independence. In his column, Erdal argues that this was necessary because of the regional geographic realities. Referring to the similarities drawn between Kosovo and the Kurdish region in north Iraq by world jurists, Safak concludes by underlining the danger of Kosovo's recognition without referring to its "sui generis" aspect.

    Referring to the unwillingness of the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus to recognize Kosovo as an independent state in a column in Cumhuriyet, Orhan Birgit believes that Ankara should have taken the initiative in explaining to the north Cyprus administration the benefits of joining the ranks of the countries that have recognized Kosovo. The writer argues that then these two small countries, which share the same destiny and which have struggled for their independence, "would have taken their place in the international political display window and would have generated a significant discussion."

    In an article entitled "Why Kosovo has been recognized but ´TRNC´ has not", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici calls attention to some of the "similarities between Kosovo and the TRNC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus]," asserting that both Kosovars and Turkish Cypriots have been subject to oppressive practices that amounted to "ethnic cleansing" at the hands of the majority groups, namely the Serbs and the Greek Cypriots, and that just like the Albanians and the Serbs, the Turkish and Greek Cypriots are not related by religion, language, history, or marriage. Bilici also asserts that rather than harboring "unrealistic dreams" of independence for the Turkish Cypriots, "we should discuss why the TRNC has failed to achieve what Kosovo has."

    Under the headline, "Turkey in Same Boat with Unlikely Allies Over Kosovo," Today's Zaman runs a front-page "news analysis" which asserts that "Turkey's decision to support an independent Kosovo has placed it in the same group with unlikely allies, such as Armenia, and pit it against its traditional partner, Azerbaijan."

    In an article entitled "It is Not Easy To Achieve Independence" Milli Gazete columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan asserts that the presence of similarities between Kosovo and the TRNC does not mean that the latter will be recognized as an independent state, too, particularly because Turkey has failed till now to show any determination in that regard. He also claims that comparisons between Kosovo and Cyprus and northern Iraq serve merely to detract from the "excitement" created by Kosovo's declaration of independence.

    /PL


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