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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-05-07

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. 85/08 07.05.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Controversy over the shareholders of the British CAS Firm which was awarded the tender for the Gecitkale [occupied Lefkonoiko] airport
  • [02] Ercakica confirmed the reports on Talats meeting with the Jewish businessman David Luis
  • [03] Babacan says that Turkey expects EU support for a Cyprus settlement. Two more chapters will open.
  • [04] Ercakica accuses the Greek Cypriot side of trying to carry certain issues to the press and information organs and debate them there rather than bringing them to the negotiation table for discussion
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce was represented in the 24th General Assembly and the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum
  • [06] Avci on the Turkish colonizers brought in by Turkey in the occupied properties of European citizens
  • [07] The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Immigrants Assistance and Support Association, said that the Greek Cypriot side has raised the issue of the TRNC citizens (colonizers) with a view to undermining the peace negotiations
  • [08] Turkish General Staff to hold international symposium on Middle East
  • [09] Babacan will attend meetings in France and Slovenia
  • [10] Turkey puts up new media assets for sale
  • [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 06 May 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Controversy over the shareholders of the British CAS Firm which was awarded the tender for the Gecitkale [occupied Lefkonoiko] airport

    Under the title Scandal in the Gecitkale tender, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.05.08) reports in its first page that it was announced that the British CAS Firm which was awarded the tender for the Gecitkale airport has no relation with Asil Nadir. The paper writes that this statement, which was made by the firms director, Mr James Beveridge, created shock among the Turkish Cypriot community and notes that it is interesting to find out what led the Firm to make this announcement.

    The paper also writes that another interesting issue is the future of the applications for the vacancies at the airport.

    Asked about the presence of Asil Nadir at the signing ceremony for the awarding of the tender on the 7th of March and on his role there, Mr Beveridge stated that this created a wrong impression and that there was a delay towards the correction of this wrong impression. The paper notes that an investment of 60 million Euros will be made in the airport.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (07.05.08) reports on the same issue and writes that the CAS Firms director, Mr James Beveridge, speaking at a press conference in occupied Lefkosia yesterday stated that Asil Nadir is not a shareholder of the company. At the press conference, which took place at the office of the lawyer Mentez Aziz, participated also one of CASs founders, Mr Mustafa Ebgu.

    Apart from Asil Nadirs relation with the Firm, information was given on the aims of the firms.

    The firm is mine, the official documents show that it belongs to me. CAS is an English Firm. It was established by four shareholders, stated Mr Beveridge. He also reminded that he was the person who signed in the name of the firm the protocol between CAS and the TRNC. Asked whether Asil Nadir was assigned any duties in the project, Mr Beveridge said: No. We spoke with Mr Nadir but he is not one of the firms shareholders.

    He also stated that the financing of the shareholders was safeguarded by the Banco Espirito Santo bank, which is activated in infra-structure financing in Portugal and is a bank that is not well known in Cyprus. However, it is one of the three largest banks which are activated in the infra-structure sector. He also said that the firm is small, however, it has very rich shareholders and that 60 million Euro will be invested by the firm on the project.

    Mr Beveridge also stated that the Lefkonoiko airport will be used for forwarding fresh produce and for the maintenance of aircraft. He said that the fresh produce will be brought to Cyprus from the Far East and Afrika to north Cyprus with large aircraft and from there in small packages to Russia and other countries. He said that himself worked in the fresh vegetable-fruit market for a long time and knows this sector very well and north Cyprus is a very good place for this sector. He also stated that this will create opportunities for income and working posts for the country.

    Reminded about the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots, Mr Beveridge replied that he is aware of these and added that this kind of problems are in the process of being overcome. On this issue, Mr Mustafa Ebgu, one of the founders of CAS stated that their operation is not affected by the embargoes imposed on the TRNC, because there are no restrictions on the cargo planes.

    Mr Beveridge also added that the works at the airport have not started yet and that around 300-500 persons are expected to be employed at the airport when the works will be completed.

    (CS)

    [02] Ercakica confirmed the reports on Talats meeting with the Jewish businessman David Luis

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (07.05.08) reports in its front page that after demanding explanation for three days from the self-styled officials in occupied Cyprus about Jewish businessman David Luis, who arrived in the occupied Keryneia port with his luxurious boat recently and had meetings with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime Minister Ferdi Soyer, the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Hasan Ercakica confirmed that Mr Talat held a meeting last October with David Luis.

    The paper writes that David Luis is building a marina at Yeni Erenkoy [occupied Aigialousa village] and notes that Talat is not interested in who and how Mr Luis took over this coast line. Mr Ercakica stated that the issue of the past of the investments at Aigialousa, on behalf of whom the investment was started and how it was assigned, is not an issue that interests the presidency.

    Reporting on the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.05.08) writes that Mr Ercakica stated that Mr Talat met with Mr Luis for lunch in October 2007, but they have not met again since this date. He stated that the reports about Mr Talats meeting recently with Mr Luis are false.

    (CS)

    [03] Babacan says that Turkey expects EU support for a Cyprus settlement. Two more chapters will open.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.08) reports the following:

    Turkish foreign minister said his country's European Union accession process was more important than daily political concerns, urging the Union to open discussion on new chapters or policy areas in membership talks without any delay.

    "Our government has been taking necessary steps to comply with the Union acquis and we have a strong determination to pass required reforms," Ali Babacan told a press conference after a meeting with the EU Troika in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Babacan described Tuesday's meeting as "fruitful and efficient," saying that the Troika was informed in depth about Turkey's EU reforms, citing new law on foundations and an amendment of the Article 301 of the Turkish penal code. "I would also like to convey Turkey's expectation that the Union should not let our negotiations be affected by certain politically-motivated discussions and underline that it is important that the EU display necessary determination in this respect," Babacan said. "Our EU membership process has an importance beyond daily political concerns."

    Babacan said Turkey welcomed EU Term President Slovenia's "constructive attitude" toward moving Turkey's negotiations ahead, adding that Turkey expected the EU to start talks on chapters which were already ready to open before Slovenia's presidency ended.

    The Turkish foreign minister said Turkey expected the Union to extend support to UN-sponsored efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue. "I would also like to say that the EU and member states should encourage Greek Cypriots to reach a settlement. It is not reasonable or fruitful to expect one-sided concessions from Turkey alone," Babacan said.

    Moreover, A.A. (06.05.08) reports that the European Union is expected to start talks on two more chapters in accession negotiations with Turkey, diplomatic sources said.

    The chapters on intellectual property law and company law are expected to open at an EU accession conference scheduled for June 17, sources said after a Turkey-EU Troika meeting on Tuesday.

    Sources also cited French Secretary for EU Affairs Jean Pierre Jouyet as telling Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan during the meeting that the French term presidency would continue to open other policy areas in Turkish membership talks.

    Moreover, under the title To EU from Turkey: Encourage the Greek Cypriot side for the solution, Turkish Cypriots daily Kibris newspaper (07.05.08) reports in its first page that following the Turkey-EU Troika Foreign Ministers Meeting, Turkeys Foreign Minister and Turkeys EU negotiator, Ali Babacan revealed that they aim towards an early and comprehensive solution for the Cyprus problem and called on the EU to encourage the Greek Cypriot side for this aim.

    Our aim in Cyprus is to reach an early and comprehensive solution on the ground of the UN. We will continue to support the efforts to this direction from now on as we have done until today, Mr Babacan stated and added that they expect the EU to encourage the Greek Cypriot side for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. He also stated that it is not wise to expect one-sided concessions from Turkey using the EU ground.

    The paper also writes that the Cyprus problem was taken up during the EU Troika Foreign Ministers Meeting and it was expressed that a new hope is born in Cyprus with the developments of the last period. Babacan stated that Turkey supports the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, and that it is behind the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. He also stated that an end must be given to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and that the Greek Cypriots must remove all the various problems and difficulties on this issue.

    Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (07.05.08) reports also on the Turkey-EU Troika Foreign Ministers meeting. The EU term president, Slovenia's Foreign Minister Dimitrij Rupel, the incoming president France's Minister for European Affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet and EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn met with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Ankara on May 6. At the meeting the Cyprus problem was discussed and inter alia the following were stressed: Babacan criticised the EU for not giving full support to the Cyprus issue. Babacan asked from the EU for the removal of the isolations towards the TRNC. Babacan said that just like it is not clever to expect one-sided concessions from Turkey it is also not useful. The Slovenian Minister Rupel supported Mr Babacan by saying: I do not accept these isolations. Rehn though asked from Turkey to carry out its responsibilities deriving from the Customs Union.

    (CS/EA)

    [04] Ercakica accuses the Greek Cypriot side of trying to carry certain issues to the press and information organs and debate them there rather than bringing them to the negotiation table for discussion.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (07.05.08) reports that the so-called Presidential spokesman of the breakaway regime Hasan Ercakica, during a press conference yesterday briefed the press on the latest developments in the negotiation process which is going on at the level of working groups and technical committees.

    Ercakica noted that the Greek Cypriot administration, with a view to creating a new negotiation ground, tries to carry certain issues to the press and information organs and debate them there rather than bringing them to the negotiation table for discussion.

    With this method, went on Ercakica the Greek Cypriot Administration is trying to establish its negotiation position, and related to this it wants to fix its general negotiation basis. It is out of the question for us to adopt this Ercakica added. They are trying to negotiate the status of a certain section of the TRNC population through press and information organs. Our esteemed President Mehmet Ali Talat, in the name of the Turkish Cypriot side, took part in this argument up to a level that he was forced to, and he had said what was necessary.

    In the ongoing process we will try both to inform the public and in the meantime not to harm the process. We will continue to take part in the public debates that the Greek Cypriot side persistently wants to continue, in a balanced way, abiding by the principles that the negotiation process should be kept going in a sound and serious manner.

    Rejecting the statement made by Cyprus Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou that the Turkish side is trying to undermine the negotiation process, Ercakica said: If the Turkish sides disclosing of its position is branded as undermining the negotiation process, and if this is their position, when there is no issue in question then this means that they have blown up everything at the outset.

    He said that he prefers not to reply to such accusations and return them in kind.

    (MHY)

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce was represented in the 24th General Assembly and the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.05.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) which is member of the Islamic Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) was represented in the 24th General Assembly and the 4th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIFE). According to a statement made by the KTTO, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber participated in the 25th of April in the ICCI General Assembly which took place in Jeddah city of Saudi Arabia with the Chambers member of the administrative committee, Salih Celiker.

    In addition KTTO participated in the World Islamic Economic Forum which took place in Kuwait, between 20th April-1st of May, with KTTOs members, Taner Yolcu, Ahmet Kofali and Telat Ozerden.

    At the ICCI General Assembly Mr Celiker had talks with ICCI chairman Seikh Saleh, the General Secretary Attiya Nawazish and representatives of Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Guinea, Pakistan, Kuwait, Oman and Marrakesh. Mr Celiker in a speech he delivered at the General assembly expressed his satisfaction that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry was accepted as observer by the ICCI. As he stated, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry was not granted a visa in order to participate in the assembly and that the visa issue must be simplified for cases like this.

    He also thanked ICCIs chairman Seikh Saleh, for the interest he shows in the TRNC and thanked him for his positive messages and asked for the ICCI members to establish economic and business relations with the TRNC.

    (CS)

    [06] Avci on the Turkish colonizers brought in by Turkey in the occupied properties of European citizens

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.05.08) broadcast the following:

    Deputy-Prime Minister Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has said that the legal status of the TRNC citizens is not an issue open for bargaining at talks between the two sides in Cyprus.

    In a written statement, the Foreign Minister criticized the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias for using `unacceptable and ugly words` about the TRNC citizens.

    He said it is impossible for the TRNC to treat unequally to its citizens.

    `Its a shame for a leader of a country, which claims to be a member of the European Union, still to be busy with the origins of the people`, he said.

    Calling on the Greek Cypriot Leader to try to understand the EU principles, he said `the status of our citizens, who settled in our country at great expenses, is not open for bargaining`.

    The Foreign Minister also called on Mr Christofias to realize his historic responsibilities and to support the new process launched to bring about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.

    [07] The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Immigrants Assistance and Support Association, said that the Greek Cypriot side has raised the issue of the TRNC citizens (colonizers) with a view to undermining the peace negotiations

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.05.08) reports that the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Immigrants Assistance and Support Association, Mr Enver Dinciolglu said that the Greek Cypriot side with a view to undermining the peace negotiations, has raised the issue of the TRNC citizens coming from Turkey and asked from the Turkish Cypriot self-styled officials not to make concessions before these provocations. Dincioglu, in his written statement, said that the Greek Cypriots by branding the immigrants as colonizers and saying that they will leave are trying to block the negotiations.

    (DPs)

    [08] Turkish General Staff to hold international symposium on Middle East

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.08) reports the following:

    Turkish General Staff will hold an international symposium on the Middle East next month.

    Organized by the Strategic Researches and Studies Center, the two-day symposium on future and security problems of the Middle East will begin on June 5th.

    Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit is expected make the opening speech of the symposium.

    Participants of the symposium will discuss several issues on the Middle East, such as "political, social and cultural impacts of globalization on the Middle East; international reflections of U.S. foreign policy on the region; factors shaping EU policy on the Middle East; and Russian and Chinese policies on the Middle East."

    Palestinian-Israeli problem, crisis in Lebanon, Iraq, terrorism in the Middle East, impacts of security problems on Turkey and Turkey's role in Middle East security as a regional power will also be debated at the symposium.

    [09] Babacan will attend meetings in France and Slovenia

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.08) reports the following:

    Turkish Foreign Minister & Chief Negotiator for the EU talks Ali Babacan will pay visits to Strasbourg and Ljubljana to attend several meetings and hold talks.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that Babacan and an accompanying delegation would depart from Turkey on Tuesday to attend a formal session of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers on Wednesday.

    The Strasbourg meeting will last one day where Slovakia will hand over presidency to Sweden for a period of six months.

    The Council of Europe's contribution to Europe's security and stability will be extensively discussed in Strasbourg.

    The Council of Europe, founded with the target of preserving and strengthening the principles of human rights, supremacy of law, and pluralist democracy, is currently active almost in every area apart from defense matters. Committee of Ministers, comprised of the foreign ministers of the member countries, is the fundamental decision making organ of the Council and convenes one a year.

    Babacan will also pay a visit to Ljubljana, Slovenia to attend the 11th Westdeutscher Rundfunk (WDR) European Forum on May 8th-9th.

    WDR is one of the leading broadcasting institutions of Germany.

    Babacan is expected to return to Turkey on May 8th after delivering a speech at the 11th European Forum and holding several talks.

    [10] Turkey puts up new media assets for sale

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.05.08) reports the following:

    Turkey's Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF) has offered a tv channel and a radio station for sale.

    TMSF announced sale of Kral TV and Kral FM in the Official Gazette on Tuesday. TMSF has set an estimated price of 85 million USD for Kral TV and Kral FM. The auction for the sale of seized media assets will be held on June 18th.


    [B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 06 May 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 6 May:

    a) Closure case against the AKP: In an article entitled "Names mentioned behind closed doors," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila says that the leadership of the Justice and Development Party, AKP, plans to establish a new political party and to hold an early election and local elections concurrently if the Constitutional Court decides to ban the party. He notes that Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin or Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek will temporarily assume the leadership of the new political party depending on Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's choice.

    In an article entitled "AKP's future," Milliyet columnist Derya Sazak writes about a recent dinner hosted by Can Paker, President of Turkish Foundation for Economic and Social Studies, and attended by Erdogan and a group of columnists close to the Prime Minister. Sazak notes that Erdogan reportedly said that he did not believe that the AKP would be banned, adding, however, that it would be to the advantage of the political movement that he is leading if the AKP is closed down. Erdogan, he notes, stressed that they would found a new political party in that case and he could run as an independent candidate in the election unless there is a legal obstacle. Sazak points out that Babacan could lead the new political party because he will probably be by endorsed by both Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul.

    An article entitled "A deep rift," Ortadogu columnist Yildiray Cicek points out that Erdogan has not visited President Gul for regular weekly meetings for more than a month and interprets it as a sign that there are serious disagreements between Erdogan and Gul. Noting that Erdogan's allies within the AKP believe that Gul's ambition to become President was one of the factors that led to the closure case against the party, Cicek says: "The AKP which has only served its own interests in the past six years has reached the end of the road. Friendship among its leaders has ended notwithstanding whether or not the party will be eventually banned."

    In an article entitled "What the Prime Minister should do", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak argues that Prime Minister Erdogan's current "difficult situation" created by the closure case against his party is a result of his failure to change the Constitution and launch a timely crackdown on "gangs." He asserts that while Erdogan could possibly start new initiatives to counter the lawsuit, "each passing minute is working against the AKP," adding that while Erdogan might believe that the Constitutional Court will not shut down the AKP, there are many indications that the court will rule against the AKP because the lawsuit is a political one.

    b) Turkish-EU Relations: In an editorial entitled "They have overstepped the line," Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi strongly criticizes Joost Lagendijk, Co-chairman of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission, for saying that Turkey could face a new obstacle in its bid to join the EU if the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, is closed down and for attacking the Republican People's Party, CHP, by making impolite comments. He says: "How can we explain to those people that breaking the law should entail a price to be paid if the law rules and independent courts make sure that this price is paid. This is precisely what the AKP is facing now."

    In an article entitled "Joost," Milliyet columnist Melih Asik criticizes Lagendijk and Olli Rehn, EU Commissioner for Enlargement, for remaining silent about excessive use of force by the Turkish police during a Labor Day Rally on 1 May and the recent detention of some intellectuals and politicians. He says: "Joost and Olli are now trying to save the AKP rather than democracy in Turkey because it is in their best interests."

    A report entitled "Critical Meeting With EU" in Milliyet says that the closure case against the AKP, clashes between protestors and the police during a Labor Day rally held in Istanbul on 1 May, concerns about delays in Turkey's reform process, Cyprus, Iran, and Iraq will be the main topics on the agenda of a Turkish-EU troika meeting to be held in Ankara today.

    In an article entitled "EU's concerns about 'Security and Gas,'" Sabah columnist Muharrem Sarikaya quotes an unidentified expert as saying that the EU has shifted its attention to security and natural gas in its relations with Turkey. Noting that the EU proposes a formula to regain Turkey's support for the European Security and Defense Policy, ESDP, following Turkey's decision to withdraw its brigade last year, Sarikaya says: "According to this formula, Ankara will not veto the Greek Cypriot Administration's admission to NATO and the EU will reciprocate by including Turkey in the decision-making mechanism of the ESDP. In other words, Turkey will cast another anchor in the EU at an interim station as it did with the Customs Union. Ankara, however, is averse to that idea because of its bitter experiences in the past."

    In an article entitled "Mr Rehn, does all this not interest you at all?" Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal criticizes the EU for refraining from expressing any displeasure at the "irregularities" in the sale of the ATV-Sabah group, the AKP's "strict control of all newspapers and television stations" in Turkey, and the police "beating of workers" on May Day. He asks EU official Olli Rehn whether it is possible to organize a public sale similar to the Sabah-ATV auction in Finland, "whether the television channels in your country speak in one voice," and "whether, if they do not, you have ever wondered why they do in Turkey."

    c) Islamization: Under the headline, "Do not mess with the Turkish schools, I sent my relatives to those schools," Zaman publishes a front-page report which quotes a former Turkish Naval Forces commander "who does not want his identity to be disclosed because he does not want his name to be involved in the current political disputes", as saying that everybody should lend support to the Turkish schools abroad and that not even a shred of evidence has yet been found to prove these schools to be anti-secular.

    In an article entitled "If Erdogan still supported the National View", Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi asserts that a closure case would not have been filed against the AKP if Prime Minister Erdogan were still a follower of the National View tradition led by Necmettin Erbakan. He attributes the Establishment's "annoyance" with the AKP to this party's disconnection with the National View community before he goes on to explain how the AKP is distinguished from the National View by noting that it supports full membership in the EU, encourages foreign capital investments in the name of fighting unemployment and promoting development, and emphasizes democratization, human rights, and the rule of law.

    In an article entitled "What to do with this same blind prejudice!", Today's Zaman columnist Ekrem Dumanli comments on what he describes as the increasing foreign media and academic interest in Fethullah Gulen and expresses regret at the way "the prejudiced approach of intellectuals in our country continues in full swing despite the world's effort to understand Gulen and his movement."

    EG/


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