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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. 91/08 15.05.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The centurys robber sought after in the TRNCUnder the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.05.08) reports in its first page that the 47-year old Sean Lupton, who is the suspect of the 53-million sterling robbery which took place in Kent in February 2006, is reportedly in the TRNC.
The paper writes that it became clear that Sean Lupton went to occupied Cyprus by airplane and adds that the English Kent Police and the TRNC police are jointly investigating in order for the suspect to be spotted.
Because there is no agreement between the TRNC and the UK on the issue of extraditing criminals, Kent police which collaborates with the Turkish Cypriot Human Rights Organization Embargoed, which is located in the UK, is having contacts in the TRNC in order to clarify the robbery. British officials met with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, the self-styled foreign minister, Turgay Avci and the police director, Gunay Ozan, concludes KIBRIS.
 Avci accuses Greek Cypriot officials of using racist accusations towards the Turkish origin TRNC citizensTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (15.05.08) under the title, Our fellow citizens will not become a subject of bargaining, reports on statements by Turgay Avci, the self-styled vice-president and foreign minister. Mr Avci in his statements stressed that the Turkish origin TRNC citizens will not become a subject of negotiation for the solution. These people are on the island for years now, gaining their right to settle and work, they gave birth to their children on this land and they consider this place their country, he explained.
Mr Avci, referring to statements by the Greek Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou, the AKEL spokesman Andros Kiprianou and the former judge at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) Loukis Loukaides, stated that they are continuing their far from the humane dimension and racist accusations towards the Turkish origin TRNC citizens who came to the TRNC many years ago, who are living according to the law and who have won their citizenship right. It must not be forgotten that the solution is not only for those living in the South. The human rights of the people living in North should be also taken into consideration, Mr Avci stated.
 Nami: Mutual motivation for a solution can be achieved with the removal of isolationsTurkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (15.05.08) reports that Talats advisor, Ozdil Nami, stated that the aim of a solution until 2008 is a realistic goal. Mr Nami was speaking at the Strategic Agenda Panel which was organized by the Eastern Mediterranean Universitys Strategic Investigations Centre, yesterday. Mr Nami stated that the work of the Working Groups and technical committees are progressing positively.
Asked if the Turkish Cypriot side has a plan B in case no solution is reached in 2008, Mr Nami said the following: It is not true that we will pursue a Plan B. If it is to be solution in 2008, or until the end of 2009, there will be. We do not have the approach of closing all the lines (of communication) and cutting off all relations. We want to solve the problem at the negotiation table, he stated.
On Nami statements illegal Bayrak television (14.05.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talats special representative for EU and UN Relations-Ozdil Nami has stressed that mutual motivation for a solution to the Cyprus problem can only be achieved with the removal of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.
Mr Nami delivered a speech at the third leg of the series of Strategic Agenda Panels which are being organized by the Eastern Mediterranean Universitys Strategic Investigations Centre.
Pointing to the change in administration in South Cyprus in his speech, Ozdil Nami reminded that the two leaders of the island had reached the 21st March Agreement with the aim of holding talks and establishing common objectives.
He added that the two leaders will give a start to negotiations in line with the reports to be prepared by technical committees and working groups.
Stressing that it is necessary to move forward on the Cyprus issue, the Presidential aide underlined the need for the UN to follow the new process closely and ensure that the two leaders start the negotiations process by the end of June.
Reminding of President Talats objective to reach a solution in Cyprus by the end of this year, Nami said this can be realized in the existence of mutual good will.
 Turkish journalist who met the two Cypriot leaders states that Talat is hopeful, Christofias is politicalUnder the title Talat is hopeful, Christofias is political, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.05.08) publishes in its first page the statements of the journalist-academician Mehmet Altan who spoke to the paper about his impressions after meeting the two Cypriot leaders in Cyprus. Mr Altan stated, inter alia that The Cyprus problem can be solved through the policy of solution and peace, not through the politics over peace and solution.
He went on and stated that he found Talat to be more hopeful, while Christofias was more political. Because while Talat was emphasizing on hope, Christofias preferred to emphasize that for them the priority are the technicalities. However, I think that a common ground can be found on this, he stated.
 Cyprus among the issues discussed between Babacan and MilibandAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.05.08) reported the following form Ankara:
Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said on Wednesday that the visit of Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom was crowning of relations between Turkey and Britain.
Speaking at a joint news conference with British Secretary of Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband, Babacan said, 'This visit will obviously direct and cast light on improvement of relations in the next term.'
Referring to Miliband's presence in Ankara, Babacan said this was an opportunity to discuss bilateral relations as well as regional matters and Turkey-EU relations.
'We have assessed economic, political and cultural relations as well as cooperation to deal with terrorism,' Babacan said, and noted that both parties emphasized necessity for a comprehensive cooperation in fight against terrorism.
Babacan said Britain was one of the countries expending staunchest support to Turkey's EU process.
'Environment and climate change, energy security, millennium development targets, Middle East, Iraq, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, developments in Lebanon, and Pakistan were the other topics discussed in at the meeting,' Babacan said.
The Turkish Foreign Minister said he explained to Miliband Turkey's views and expectations on the Cyprus issue: 'We have stated that the new situation in the Greek Cypriot part of the island after the elections was an opportunity and a progress should be ensured rapidly before this window of opportunity was closed,' he added.
Guest minister Miliband said the visit of Queen Elizabeth II was symbolical and would contribute to improvement of relations.
Miliband also said the visit was important to promote the old and new values of Turkey, and referred to cooperation between Turkey and Britain on economy, culture, tourism, education and politics.
The British minister said the parties agreed to establish special dialogue on some matters, noting that fight against terrorism would be one of them.
Miliband said the second area would be on climate change. 'This has become a gradually growing matter for both countries and cooperation is needed in this respect,' he added.
Miliband expressed willingness of Britain not only to be a party that supports the steps made by Turkey, but also to be an ally of Turkey within the EU. He said Britain supports steps of the Turkish government in full membership process.
Asked to comment on a union for Mediterranean, Miliband said the project was important for the EU, however, he underlined that this was not an alternative to enlargement process of the EU.
 Katsellis hotel was left to KaramanUnder the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (15.05.08) reports in its first page that the Dome Hotel in occupied Keryneia, which was the subject of various speculations, was assigned to Dayanisma (Solidarity) Tourism LTD for 10 years. Bayram Karaman, the chairman of the Tourism Workers Trade Union and MP of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) became the new boss of the Dome Hotel. Mr Karaman, writes the paper, stated that the distribution of the shares of the hotel will not change and only the workers of the hotel may become shareholders of the firm. In the new enterprise the Tourism Workers Trade Union participate with 51% and the Dayanisma (Solidarity) Tourism LTD with 49%. The majority of the workers of the hotel reacted to this development and protested yesterday in front of the hotel.
 The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Tourism and Travel Agents Union, stated that tourism in occupied Cyprus has not reached the desired pointTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.05.08) writes that Ozbek Dedekorkut, the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Tourism and Travel Agents Union, stated that tourism in occupied Cyprus has not reached the desired point and that there are many problems on the issues of promotion and advertising. He went on and stated that the Turkish Cypriot Airlines did not help the countrys economy and tourism with their actions. He added that statements that tourism is going on well are made for political expediencies and added that only time will show if tourism will develop well.
 Eighty two yachts which are participating in the 19th Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally will arrive at occupied KeryneiaTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (15.05.08) reports that the 82 yachts which are participating in the 19th Eastern Mediterranean Yacht Rally will arrive at occupied Keryneia. The Rally has started on the 20th of April from Istanbul, went to Alanya district of Atalya and then they will go to occupied Keryneia port where they will stay for two days. The yachts will visit 25 ports of five countries. The rally will be completed on the 18th of June at Herzliya city of Israel.
 A football match may be held in August between Anorthosis the Turkish Cypriot Koneli Football teamTurkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (15.05.08) reports in its sport pages that the chairman of the Cyprus Football Association, Costas Koutsokoumnis, held contacts with FIFA officials and the issue of a football match in August between champion Anorthosis, and the Turkish Cypriot Koneli Football team, which is the champion of the first league in occupied Cyprus was discussed. The paper writes that FIFA officials see positively such a development. The paper criticises the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation for not being present in the meeting.
 International Orchestra Course may be held in occupied Cyprus in 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.05.08) reports that that Turgay Hilmi, honorary cultural attaché of the breakaway regime in Germany, participated in the International Orchestra Course which took place in Weimar, Germany. Mr Hilmi, who educates the Orchestra for 17 years now, stated that after a meeting he held with the organizers of the Course, the next event in 2009 will take place in the TRNC.
 Usar is to attend 31st IRU World Congress in IstanbulIllegal Bayrak television (14.05.08) broadcast the following:
The Minister for Public Works and Communications Salih Usar has flown to Istanbul to attend the 31st International Road Transport Union (IRU) World Congress.
During his stay in the city, Mr. Usar will also attend a ministerial conference to be organized within the framework of the 31st International Road Transport Union World Congress.
The Minister will deliver a speech at the conference, titled `Revival of the Silk Road`.
 Definition of Turkish state secrets clarified in new billTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (15.05.08) reports that a bill that clarifies the definition of state secrets yesterday was unanimously approved in the Parliamentary Justice Commission.
Ahmet Iyimaya, a deputy on Parliament's Justice Commission, said another step will have been taken in achieving the definition of a transparent state when the bill becomes law. Speaking to Today's Zaman, Iyimaya said what constitutes a state secret is made clear in the bill; hence one of the greatest barriers to achieving a transparent state will be eliminated.
While preparing the Right to Information Law a decade ago, Iyimaya said Parliament aimed at expanding the scope of freedoms. "The clarification of state secrets is of crucial importance for the development of individuals as well as freedoms," he said.
Isa Gok, a deputy from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), stated that laws are of crucial importance in terms of Turkey's democratization efforts and that the confusion concerning the definition of a state secret was a headache for all the jurists in Parliament. He complained that sometimes the relevant documents are not provided to courts on the grounds that they include state secrets. "The lawyers are not given the necessary documents on the grounds that they include state secrets. The fact that the state secret concept makes access to information difficult does not mean that there should not be any state secrets. Certainly, there will be state secrets; however, the scope of a state secret should be made clear. Regardless of their party affiliation, it is the jurists who have suffered the most from the state secrets concept because we were not able to access the information we were looking for," said Gok.
Speaking to Today's Zaman, Professor Hakan Pekcanitez, who contributed to the drafting of the bill, said many cases that have been waiting in the courts for years will be concluded after the bill becomes law.
 Military links found in Malatya missionary murdersTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (15.05.08) reports the following:
Three members of the military were allegedly involved in the brutal murder of three Christian missionaries in the city of Malatya last year.
A letter sent by an individual identified as Ali Arslan to the Malatya 3rd High Criminal Court -- the court hearing the trial -- claimed that Emre Gunaydin, one of the key suspects in the murders and currently under arrest while awaiting trial, was incited by Malatya Provincial Gendarmerie Brigade commander Sr. Col. Mehmet Ulger. The letter claimed that Ulger had communicated with Gunaydin through Ruhi Abat, an instructor at the Malatya University's theology department, and Halil Isler, a gendarmerie station commander at Inonu University. Later, Sgt. Mehmet Colak took on the responsibility of establishing contact between Ulger and Gunaydin.
The court last year requested permission for a probe from the 2nd Army Corps Command due to serious allegations being directed at members of the military. However, no permission has as of yet been given by the military.
Meanwhile, court documents prove that the two other alleged murderers, Salih Gurler and Hamit Ceker, also in custody and awaiting trial, had talked to a person on their mobile phones who resided at a house complex provided by the 2nd Army Corps Command to military staff members.
Former 3rd Lt. Metin Dogan claimed in another letter sent to the court that he was offered YTL 300,000 by Air Forces Gen. Hikmet Celik to commit the murders.
Turkish nationals Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and German national Tilman Geske were tied to their chairs, stabbed and tortured at the Zirve Publishing House before their throats were slit on April 18, 2007.
The publishing house they worked for printed Bibles and Christian literature. Suspects Gurler, Cem Ozdemir, Ceker and Abuzer Yildirim were captured as they attempted to flee the crime scene. Gunaydin, the chief suspect, was captured at the scene after being badly injured by a fall while trying to escape.
The killings drew international condemnation and added to Western concerns as to whether Turkey can protect its religious minorities.
[B] Commentaries, Editorials and Analysis
 Columnist Metin Munir writes that the economy of the occupation regime has begun to shrinkTurkish daily MILLIYET newspaper (12.05.08), under the title, Towards an economic crisis in the TRNC, publishes a column by columnist Metin Munir who writes that the economy in the occupied part of Cyprus, which had a very high rate of growth until 2006, has begun to shrink rapidly. The reason behind the growth and downturn of the economy is the same: the construction sector.
After referring to the sudden rush of Europeans and especially British, after the referendums of 2004, to buy a house in the occupied part of Cyprus and the boom experienced with three billion dollars being injected into the economy, Mr Munir criticizes the self-styled government for its handling of the construction sector.
He goes on: But the government, unable to understand the situation, thought that the money were pouring down from the sky and halted development with mistaken decisions. The reason was that the government which was responsible for the construction sector lacked foresight. Almost, all constructions which began without any supervision damaged at unbelievably fast rates the environment of the occupied part of Cyprus which was the last unspoiled place in the Mediterranean. Sloppy and ugly constructions covered the coves, the hills, the fields, the olive groves and the valleys. They built in the forests and even on archaeological sites. The TRNC became a big garbage dump. As a matter of fact, water and electricity were scarce.
The anger that was stirred up among the people and the environmentalists was the reason that the government introduced hard restrictions on the construction sector. The slackening of the European economy, the lessening of chances for a Cyprus settlement and problems regarding the property issue, cut like a knife into foreign demand. The TRNC economy started to shrink with the construction sector.
Referring to the problems faced by foreign buyers, Mr Munir writes: The most important problem that has been created regards official permission for the purchase of immovable property by foreigners. In order for foreigners to be able to obtain a title deed, they are obliged to apply to the council of ministers for permission after buying the property. After they pay for the property, they have to wait for months and even years for such permission.
Most foreigners are waiting for permission for more than two years. The ministry of interior says that the army will decide after conducting an inspection when and if it will grant such permission. The military officials say: This view is wrong; we only inspect the places that are near military areas.
 From the Turkish Press of 14 May 2008Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 14 May:
a) Purchase by Pro-AKP Group of Kanalturk
An editorial by Yusuf Kanli of the Turkish Daily News asserts that Tuncay Ozkan 'preferred money to his right to criticize' and sold out the Kanalturk channel to the Koza group - a group which has been supportive of the ruling AKP and which is believed to have if not formal, some sort of 'heartfelt' connections with the Fethullah Gulen brotherhood.
In his column in Radikal, Haluk Sahin views the sale of Kanalturk to a pro-Islamist group as 'a serious loss for the neo-nationalist sector that has already been seriously hit by Ergenekon detentions.' He views the purchase of the TV station by an Islamic group as part of the Islamic sectors' struggle for 'ideological hegemony' and adds that the Islamic sector realized after the 28 February process that it will be unable to become influential unless it manages to seize the institutions that 'produce ideology.' That is why, Sahin says, the Islamists have been trying to 'increase their control' over 'schools, universities, mosques, and particularly the media' for the past 10-15 years. He concludes by stressing that the purchase of Sabah by the Calik Group with the funds obtained from the public banks and Qatar and the purchase of Kanalturk by the Ipek-Koza Group are the recent steps taken by the Islamists for that purpose.
In his article, Hurriyet's Ahmet Hakan views why both the seller and the purchaser of Kanalturk are happy with this transaction. He says that the seller is happy because he managed to turn a TV channel, which was established with the support of the 'secular opposition,' into million dollars. According to Hakan, the purchaser is also happy because he had the opportunity to 'gain prestige in the eyes of the prime minister' by managing to 'silence' a TV channel that airs anti-government broadcasts. He criticizes the government for being intolerant even toward an 'ineffective' opposition group. He concludes by ironically asking whether 'the government has become the 'focal point' of intolerance rather than of anti-secular activities.'
In an article entitled 'They would sell Ataturk's mausoleum, too', Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven asserts that in selling the Kanalturk television network to 'a group that is close to both Fethullah Gulen and the AKP,' Tuncay Ozkan has 'sold out' the 'stupid' crowds that rallied in Ankara's Tandogan Square before the 22 July elections to shout slogans of 'Turkey is secular and will remain so.' He claims that the sale of Kanalturk has proven Vakit right in warning pro-secular citizens not to let Ozkan 'egg them on' and maintaining that 'fake' proponents of secularism like Ozkan would sell even Ataturk's Mausoleum if they could.
b) Closure Case against AKP
A report in the Turkish Daily News outlines the messages the opposition leaders conveyed during the party group meetings on 13 May. According to the report, Nationalist Action Party, (MHP), leader Devlet Bahceli claimed that Prime Minister Erdogan wants his party to be closed down in an effort to "bury" the party's political and economic failures.
Writing in the same newspaper, Mehmet Ali Birand warns against the unfavourable developments that might take place after the announcement of the ruling over the closure case against the AKP. In his article, Birand says: 'Turkey is sliding toward an enormous internal settlement of scores. We are about to start a fight about who will run this country and how. Prime Minister Erdogan will be in the best position to shape the events that are to follow the Constitutional Court's decision.'
In his article in Radikal, Ismet Berkan views the differences between the closure cases filed against the AKP and the Welfare Party and the Virtue Party. Stressing that the 'major difference' is the 47 percent public support the ruling AKP secured in the past elections, Berkan asserts that this significant support shows that "almost half of the voters disagree" with the prosecutor, who claimed in his indictment that the AKP has become the focal point of anti-secular activities in the country. Recalling that the Republican People's Party, CHP, also accused the AKP of being an anti-secular political organization during its election campaign, he notes that had the people found the party's claims convincing, the CHP votes would have been more than 20-21 percent.
An article by Rusen Cakir of Vatan views the scenarios regarding the closure case against the AKP, saying that many circles claim that the ruling party considers using its popularity in south-eastern Turkey as a 'trump card' for bargaining. Cakir also points to a scenario on the establishment of an alliance between the Kurds and Kemalists, noting that he finds this scenario 'unrealistic.' He speculates that the ruling party plans to backpedal on certain issues, such as the removal of headscarf ban and the Ergenekon Operation, but it is concerned that such initiatives might weaken the public support for the government. Cakir adds that the reelection of Erdogan and his colleagues as independent deputies in the event of a political ban and Abdullah Gul taking over the party leadership after the possible closure of the party are the other scenarios being discussed in Ankara nowadays.
In an article entitled 'Would the trial process be prolonged?', Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that the members of the Constitutional Court should preserve the good name of the court by preventing political interference with the closure lawsuit against the AKP, not allowing the ongoing trial process to be extended needlessly, and taking national interests into account in rendering their ruling.
c) Queen Elizabeths II visit to Turkey
A report in Hurriyet says that Queen Elizabeth II has begun her first visit to Turkey in 37 years, praising the host country's role as a bridge between the West and the Islamic world. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip arrived in Ankara on 13 May for a four-day state visit. The Queen and her husband attended a banquet hosted by Turkish President Abdullah Gul in the Cankaya Presidential Mansion.
Murat Yetkin in his article in Radikal invokes that British sources viewing Queen Elizabeth's travel to Turkey as an "unusually political visit" in view of the Queen's symbolic role in the British system. Stressing that the Queen generally avoids commenting on political issues during her visits abroad, Yetkin describes her political messages as an indication of the importance Britain attaches to Turkey as "a gate between the East and the West." Recalling that British Foreign Secretary Miliband accompanies the Queen in Turkey, the columnist says that he is likely to "focus on the closure case against the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP," during the visit. He also says that as a country that strongly supports Turkey's EU bid, Britain was the first EU member that reacted to the filing of a lawsuit to have the AKP closed down.
Under the headline, 'We killed the sultan. Long live the Queen,' Vakit publishes a front-page report which expresses regret at the way 'we are praising British Queen Elizabeth to the skies while bragging about how we got rid of sultans some 88 years ago and switched to the republican regime.' The report also slams the 'media cartel' for 'going into raptures over the Queen' and 'turning a blind eye to her scornful attitude toward Turkey.' Published along with the report is a cartoon in two parts which shows a man representing the pro-establishment mainstream news media saying, 'Damn the sultan' before he shows his love for Queen Elizabeth by bowing down before her as the latter smiles holding a cross in her right hand.
In an article entitled 'Duatepe, the Queen, and a book', Milli Gazete columnist Afet Ilgaz expresses suspicion over the purposes of Queen Elizabeth's visit to Turkey at a time when she says a 'very meaningful' visit by a group of Supreme Court justices to the Duatepe region in Polatli [which was captured temporarily by enemy forces in the Turkish War of Independence before it was reclaimed in 1921] has raised concern that 'the enemy is advancing on Ankara again.' Ilgaz recalls how British 'spy' T. E. Lawrence disguised himself as an observant Muslim in playing his 'cursed' role in the collapse of the Ottoman Empire before she proceeds to criticize the Queen for 'announcing' a plan to listen to a Koran recital in Bursa during her stay in Turkey.