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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-02-22
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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. 38/08 22.02.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMSTalat says that Kosovo must be an example
Under the title Kosovo followed the policy the world wanted, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.02.08) reports in its first page that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, stated that the Kosovo issue ended well because Kosovo showed patience and followed a road for the solution, which was not against the worlds will. Mr Talat made these statements yesterday in a meeting he held with various journalists with whom he evaluated the latest issues of the political agenda.
Mr Talat said that Kosovo is a good example of a country that followed the worlds will and added that regarding the Cyprus problem the world is in favor of Cyprus reunification. He said that the whole world recommends the reunification of the island, and added: We must support the policy that the world wants. In the past the Turkish side preferred to fight with the world and this was wrong. It is wrong to maintain a policy that the world does not want, he stated. He went on and said that they are in no position to recognize Kosovo. As he said there is no such an issue for the TRNC to recognize Kosovo and added that there is no benefit for them to take such an initiative. He said that if the TRNC was in a position to recognize Kosovo, it should have done this. It is not possible for a country, which is not recognized, to recognize another country, he said and added that there was a possibility that Kosovo could state that it did not ask from the TRNC to recognize Kosovos independence. We do not want to humiliate ourselves, he stated.
Referring to Talats meeting with the journalists, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspapers (22.02.08) editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali, writes today that the elections in south Cyprus and Kosovo were the main issues in Talats briefing with the journalists. Mr Mutluyakali writes that referring to the election, Mr Talat stated that the result of the election was positive and that if the two candidates do as they said, following the second round of the election, they will meet with him and they will all give an important message to the world. As he said, after the meeting they can all go to Lokmaci (Ledra Street) Check point and open the barricade, launching the crossing and then a new period can start for Cyprus. Referring to the red lines of the Turkish side, Mr Talat stated that these are the political equality of the two people, the status of the two founding states, the establishment of a new state which will include the treaties of guarantee and the new state to become member of the EU.
Moreover, under the title Talat: Kosovo must be a lesson, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (22.02.08) reports from occupied Lefkosia, on statements of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat at a breakfast meeting with a group of journalists at the presidential palace.
As the paper writes the main titles of his statements were:
Kosovo is a significant example: We thought that fighting with the world we could acknowledge ourselves to the world. Kosovo followed a harmonious process with the world. We should take a lesson from this. At this moment what all the countries support in Cyprus is the settlement policy, a United Cyprus. This is what we are doing.
How to recognise Kosovo?: We are not in an international position to recognise Kosovo. How are we to recognise it when we are an unrecognised country? If we say We recognise Kosovo, and Kosovo says, Who asked recognition from you?, what would happen? Do not say that this is impossible. It [Kosovo] could well say this if pressure is exerted on it.
We are ready for solution: We are ready for a settlement no matter who will be elected from the Greek Cypriot elections. At the end of March or at the beginning of April an initiative will be taken by the UN. If Papadopoulos (Greek Cypriot leader) had won the elections, we could not expect a lot from this initiative. But now there are two leaders who say that they want a solution. Here, Denktas (former President) left, in the Greek Cypriot side Papadopoulos [left]. If there is also no solution in such an environment, then the world can say that means that they have blood incompatibility. If there is blood incompatibility, it will be the last experiment. And after this the process gets mixed up. After that the TRNC will not be recognised, the road is not paved with a lot of asphalt. This is a very difficult process.
 Statements by Talat on the Cyprus problem: It can be solved by the end of the yearIllegal Bayrak television (21.02.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that results of the first round of Presidential elections in south Cyprus indicated change on the Greek Cypriot Side.
The President described Tassos Papadopouloss defeat in the elections as a surprise.
President Talats words came during a talk organized by the Gazimagusa (occupied Famagusta) Municipality.
Speaking in Gazimagusa last night, the President said the change observed on the Greek Cypriot Side had raised hopes on the Turkish Cypriot Side towards ending the current deadlock on the Cyprus issue.
Stating that had Tassos Papadopoulos been re-elected as Greek Cypriot leader, Talat said the UNs mandate on the island would not have been extended.
Pointing out that there has been no change in the Turkish Cypriot Sides Cyprus policy since 2004, the President said we proved our commitment to our policy during the 2004 referendum. There is no need to prove ourselves over and over again.
Expressing his belief that the Cyprus Problem can be solved by the end of this year, Talat said we are not setting any deadlines or preconditions. All we are saying is that we have enough time to settle the Cyprus issue before the year ends.
Outlining the main principles of the Turkish Cypriot Sides Cyprus policy, Talat said that any solution to be found to the Cyprus Problem should be based on the political equality of the two sides.
This is the subject of paramount importance, he added.
Responding to a question, the President said that the Taiwan model was not suitable or an option for the Turkish Cypriot Side.
Our policies are open and clear. The Taiwan model is not an acceptable approach. Taiwan does not possess political or commercial rights, said Talat.
 The Association of European Journalists awards TalatIllegal Bayrak television (21.02.08) broadcast the following:
The Friendship and Brotherhood Prize of the European Journalists Association was awarded to President Mehmet Ali Talat for his contributions to peace.
The award ceremony was held at the Hilton Hotel in Ankara last night. The European Journalists Associations annual award ceremony brought representatives of various media and arts institutions together. During the ceremony, the Association presented prices to journalists and artists serving in various fields of journalism.
President Mehmet Ali Talat was awarded an honorary Friendship and Brotherhood Prize for his contributions to peace. The prize was presented to the TRNC Ambassador in Ankara Tamer Gazioglu on behalf of President Mehmet Ali Talat.
 Avci met with MPs of the Australian Federal AssemblyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.02.08) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Turgay Avci, who is in Australia, held contacts with some MPs of the Australian Federal Assembly. During the meeting Mr Avci informed the MPs on the policy of the Turkish side on the Cyprus problem and they exchanged views on the issue. The paper writes that Mr Avci went to Australias capital Canberra and he was received at the airport by the Turkish ambassador in Canberra, Murat Ersavci.
 Turkish businessmen are having contacts in occupied CyprusIllegal Bayrak television (21.02.08) broadcast the following:
A delegation from the Samsun Chamber of Commerce and Industry is having contacts in the TRNC.
Members of the Chambers Board of Directors paid separate visits to President Mehmet Ali Talat, the Turkish Ambassador to Lefkosia Turkekul Kurettekin and Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer this afternoon.
Receiving the delegation this afternoon, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer underlined the importance of using resources efficiently in order to increase productivity.Stating that there were still many goals to be achieved and many obstacles to be overcome, the Prime Minister reminded that the TRNC had witnessed immense economic growth over the past five years.
He said that governments primary goal was to achieve a self sustainable economy in which the TRNC can stand on its own two feet.
For his part, the President of the Samsun Chamber of Commerce and Industry Adnan Sakoglu said that officials from the two Chambers will make an evaluation of the economies of the two countries.
As part of their contacts, the Members of the Chambers Board of Directors also visited the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry this morning.Speaking during the visit, Mr Sakoglu said that one of the main objectives of their visit is to discuss the prospects of converting TRNC agricultural products into industrial products.
For his part, the President of the Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar expressed the Chambers willingness to improve commercial and economic ties with Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Noting that work to open the TRNC economy to the world has intensified, he called for joint efforts by Turkish Cypriot and Turkish businessmen to promote the marketing of TRNC products.
 Two persons, who stole a car that belonged to a Greek Cypriot were arrested by the self-styled policeTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (22.02.08) reports in its first page that two persons, who stole a car that belonged to the Greek Cypriot Andreas Mitsides, were arrested by the so called police. The paper writes that the 17 years old A.H and the 19 years old Omer Suren, who stole the car from south Cyprus and passed to the occupied areas from the Ayios Dhometios check point, were arrested in Famagusta where they sold the car.
 Gul to chase African votes for Turkeys candidacy in the UN Security CouncilTurkish Daily News newspaper (21.02.08) reports the following from Ankara:
President Abdullah Gul will visit Tanzania and Congo next week to seek support for Ankara's bid for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2009-2010 term.
Gul will hold meetings in Tanzania February 26-28 and will travel to Congo February 28, said the Presidency's press office.
The main objective of this top-level visit is to secure the African countries' support for Turkey's U.N. bid. There are 51 African states among the 192 U.N. member states. Turkey has not been a member of the Security Council for almost half a century and uses every international platform to gather support for its candidacy. The last time Turkey had a seat on the Security Council was 1961.
In the first-ever visit to Tanzania by a Turkish president, Gul will meet President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, who is also the secretary general of the African Union. Tanzania is situated in eastern Africa and has borders with Kenya and Uganda to the north and Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to the south.
In January 2005, Tanzania became a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council serving a two-year term that ended Dec. 31, 2006.
Gul's visit follows UN condemnation
Gul will travel both to the Republic of the Congo and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the two of which are named after the Congo River that defines the border between them. The Republic of the Congo is the smaller of the two countries and lies to the west, while the Democratic Republic of the Congo is in the east.
Gul's visit to mineral-rich Congo comes after the U.N. Security Council renewed an arms embargo and asset freeze aimed at rebels last Friday, after U.N. peacekeepers reported clashes that threatened the ceasefire.
The Security Council said it was condemning the continuing illicit flow of weapons within and into the Democratic Republic of Congo and expressed serious concern over armed groups and militias in eastern Congo, especially in North and South Kivu and Ituri.
Congo hosts the largest U.N. peacekeeping mission, with more than 17,000 troops. But rebels, renegades and errant soldiers still terrorize civilians in the east of the country long after the end of the 1998-2003 war.
 The French ambassador in Ankara assures the continuation of Turkey´s EU accession talks under the French term presidencyAnkara Anatolia news agency (21.02.08) reports the following from Ankara:
The French Ambassador to Ankara Bernard Emie said Turkey's accession talks with the European Union would continue under his country's rotating presidency, adding that new policy chapters could be opened if technical requirements are met.
"You do not need to worry about the French presidency because we will conduct a very balanced and objective term," Emie told a meeting of the Association of Turkish-French Businessmen.
Emie said French policy toward Turkey's EU membership bid did not change but his country paid special emphasis to close relationship between Turkey and the EU.
The ambassador also said there would be a high-level visit from Turkey to France soon without elaborating.
 Turkey to conduct a land operation against PKK with the US cooperationAnkara Anatolia (A.A.) news agency (21.02.08) reported the following from Ankara:
President of the International Strategic Research Organization (USAK) Sedat Laciner said Thursday a land operation against terrorist PKK organization in north of Iraq will take place. It is impossible to think otherwise.
Speaking to the A.A, Laciner indicated that the Turkish Armed Forces will conduct a land operation into north of Iraq with cooperation from the United States. Contrary to what the Turkish public believe, the United States is not against the option of a land operation against PKK. The U.S. does not want a land operation without its participation, Laciner stressed.
There are currently discussions taking place between Turkish and U.S. officials on the land operation. The topic of land operation has been extensively discussed between Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Ergin Saygun and Vice-Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. James E. Cartwright, Laciner underlined.
The most critical point in north of Iraq is the support Barzani extends to terrorists. Barzani provides safe haven to terrorists in the region, Laciner also said.
 Cyprus on the agenda of discussion of the Turkish National Security CouncilTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (22.02.08) reports the following:
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will continue carrying out cross-border operations into northern Iraq as long as necessary, according to a declaration released yesterday at the end of the first National Security Council (MGK) meeting of 2008.
The final statement of the meeting, which convened yesterday at the presidential palace in Ankara presided over by President Abdullah Gul, stressed the determination of the armed forces to continue operations against the terrorist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) "to ensure the unity, solidarity, peace and confidence of the nation." To that end, the TSK will be continuing its over-the-border operation as long necessary, it said.
The MGK also discussed efforts to explain Turkey's sensitivities regarding the future of Iraq to the UN and the international community at large. Developments in Kosovo -- which recently declared its independence from Serbia -- were also taken up at yesterday's MGK gathering, the statement said.
It added that other developments affecting Turkeys national security were discussed, including the situation of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) and whether Kosovos independence could have an impact on the future of the divided island.
Turkey, which has had a battalion stationed in Kosovo since 1999, when a conflict between Serbia and Kosovo had to be resolved with NATO intervention, was among the first countries to recognize Kosovo as an independent state. Turkey assumed the leadership of the Southern Task Force Command for a period of one year between May 2007 and May 2008 and currently has about 800 personnel deployed in the region.
 Turkish military launches ground incursion into IraqTurkish NTV television (22.02.08) broadcast the following from Istanbul:
Turkish troops have launched around incursion across the border into Iraq in pursuit of PKK terrorists, the military said.
The ground operation started after Turkish warplanes and artillery bombed suspected terrorist targets on Thursday, the military said on its Web site. After the successful bombing, a cross-border ground incursion backed by the Air Force started at 19:00 (17:00 GMT) on Thursday, it said. Turkeys military has sent 10,000 troops into northern Iraq.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 From the Turkish Press of 21 February 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 21 February:
a) Kurdish Issue: According to a report by Senol Cakir in Milliyet, the dispatch of troops and ammunition to military units along the border in Sirnak and Silopi continued last night. The report adds that tanks were dispatched at dawn today and that Turkish fighter jets are conducting reconnaissance flights in regions of north Iraq where PKK camps are located.
A report by Gokcer Tahincioglu and Utku Cakirozer in Milliyet notes that the United States has proposed to Turkey to hold a meeting on the "extradition of terrorists." The meeting, which is expected to include a discussion on PKK members in north Iraq, will be held in Istanbul in March. At a meeting he held with Turkish Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin last week, US Attorney General Michael Mukasey proposed that judicial cooperation between the two countries be increased. The report adds that Sahin, who accepted the proposal, said that there are no difficulties between the countries on the extradition of criminals but that certain EU countries are refusing to meet Turkey's insistent demands on the issue "based on invalid reasons." According to the report, Sahin proposed that the meeting to be held be expanded to include representatives from EU member countries. A source in the Justice Ministry has confirmed that the extradition of PKK members in north Iraq as well as Europe and of DHKP-C members in Europe will be discussed at the Istanbul meeting.
A report in Milliyet notes that the Diyarbakir Public Prosecutor's Office has prepared a report aimed a lifting the immunity of Democratic Society Party, DTP, Istanbul deputy Sebahat Tuncel "for engaging in propaganda in favor of the PKK terrorist organization." The report was sent to the Justice Ministry to be passed on to the Turkish Grand National Assembly.
Criticizing Foreign Minister Babacan for his statement regarding the option of a ground operation into north Iraq in his column in Hurriyet, Rauf Tamer charges that the minister did not have the authority to issue such a statement. Noting that the timing, duration, and form of the operation is now in the hands of the Turkish Armed Forces, Tamer censures Babacan for babbling what could be bordering on a state secret. Arguing that Babacan's statement is at the same time a strategic mistake, the writer adds that it is also against the official policy of the state to relate to Barzani's statements and issue responses.
A report in Vatan says that Ahmet Turk, the leader of the DTP parliamentary faction, has asked the European Parliament to follow the Kurdish issue more closely. Addressing a meeting organized by the communist group of the European parliament in Strasbourg, Turk is reported to have said that the DTP is being pressurized to declare that the PKK is a terrorist organization and that it is being threatened with closure unless such a declaration is issued by the party.
Commenting on the signals being given by the Iraqi Kurds regarding a ground operation in an article in The New Anatolian, Ilnur Cevik calls on the government to forge some sort of dialogue with the north Iraqi Kurds in a bid to prevent the creation of a complicated situation and advises that the good offices of President Talabani be used in the process.
In an article entitled "Barzani is Uttering Threats Again", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal refers to northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Mas'ud Barzani's latest "threats" against Turkey as proof of the effectiveness of the Turkish military's ongoing aerial strikes against terrorist targets in the region and an indication of Barzani's expectation of a Turkish ground operation before long. Unal claims that the recent "increase in military personnel traffic between Turkey and the United States" might have fuelled Barzani's fears that he will be "forsaken completely" by Washington, adding that the possibility of an Obama victory in the US presidential election adds realism to such fears given that Obama's policy on Iraq will "make things difficult for those like Holbrooke who want to establish a puppet [Kurdish] state" in this country.
b) Economy: Referring to the increasing unemployment rates in an article in Milliyet, Gungor Uras accuses the administration of indifference toward the issue. Blaming the wrong economic policies of the government for the escalating unemployment, Uras argues that one cannot speak of the success of economic policies while unemployment is rampant. In conclusion, Uras writes: "Unfortunately, the government does not have the time to comprehend the importance of this problem. It has no preparations on alternative economic policies, because, for the government the university attendance of headdressed student is more important than the problem of unemployment."
Praising the independence of the Central Bank in an article entitled "Good that we Have a Central Bank" in Hurriyet, Erdal Saglam laments the fact that the government has yet to come up with an economic plan now that the IMF program being implemented for years is drawing to an end. Likening the government decisions to the implementation of an election economy, Saglam underlines the necessity of comprehensive measures at a time when we are faced with a global economic crisis. Criticizing the government's obsession with the headdress issue, the writer believes that this can only create further tension in the markets. The writer goes on to stress that the economic problems will not disappear into thin air just because the government has decided to ignore them, adding that only Central Bank Governor Durmus Yilmaz has the courage to tell the truth warning about the current account deficit and declaring that the Central Bank is ready to comply with measures aimed at safeguarding the financial discipline with or without the supervision of the IMF.
Criticizing the unrealistic high rates of interest in an article entitled "The interim economy with high interest rates" in Ortadogu, Ulvi Izzet explains that in developed countries the real interest rate ranges from three to five percent, adding that this rate reaches nine percent in Turkey. The writer argues that the Turkish economy, which has turned into an "interim economy," can no longer support these high rates. Claiming that Turkey was one of the countries that is most affected by the global economic fluctuations, Izzet draws attention to the fact that the capital market has lost 30 percent. He concludes by asking what those who claim that Turkey will not be affected by the global economic fluctuations intend to do in the future and by comparing the high interest rates to a rotten branch being held on to in order not to fall into a precipice.
In an article entitled "$7,7 Trillion Missing, Pandemonium, and 'America for Sale'", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul calls attention to "nightmare scenarios" of an unprecedently big global economic crisis starting next month and highlights Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan's remarks disclosing that "all hell will break loose" when European Banks disclose losses in March in the wake of the mortgage crisis in the United States. Karagul also underlines the need for Turkey to be prepared for this "giant wave" of recession emanating from overseas, adding that the possibility of a Turkish ground campaign into northern Iraq, Israel's preparations to attack Lebanon, and the possible consequences of US Vice-President Cheney's forthcoming visit to Turkey intensify the necessity for Turkey to brace itself for a major financial crisis.
c) Cyprus and Kosovo's Independence: Underlining the regional importance of Cyprus in a column in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal stresses that Cyprus is the greatest obstacle to Turkey's EU bid. Bemoaning the fact that the lack of a solution in the Cyprus problem is poisoning Turkey's relations with the EU, Cemal asks whether the recent surprise result in the Greek Cypriot elections will open a window of opportunity toward a solution. Recounting a phone conversation he held with Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, Cemal says he observed a "cautious optimism" in Talat who believes that "a more reasonable period can begin between the two communities." On the other hand, Talat is not optimistic about a speedy process that will incorporate the lifting of the embargoes imposed on north Cyprus and the opening of Turkish ports to Greek Cypriot vessels. Talat told Cemal: "The European Union should support a solution with determination. Turkey should definitely continue its solution-oriented stand. Otherwise it may lose its current 'moral high ground.'" According to Talat, it is both easy and difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Assessing Kosovo's declaration of independence in an article entitled "Kosovo-Cyprus" in Sabah, Soli Ozel interprets it as a harsh stand adopted by the Western alliance against Russia. Stating that Kosovo's independence constitutes a new situation from the viewpoint of international law, Ozel maintains that Europe's recognition of this state will lead to discussions on whether Kosovo will set precedence for similar situations in the world. Pointing out that Turkey should have recognized and did recognize Kosovo's independence, the writer assumes that the government must have considered the pros and cons of this recognition. Ozel notes that this decision, which seems reasonable from the viewpoint of north Cyprus, may lead to disconcerting consequences in the case of north Iraq. If the Western alliance is decided on not allowing Kosovo to set precedence, then the Cyprus issue should be evaluated within that light, Ozel adds. He concludes by advising Turkey to shake itself from the lethargy and sluggishness that has accompanied the government in EU related issues and to focus on the Cyprus solution.