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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-12

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. 175/08 12.09.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] First substantive meeting of the leaders on governance and power sharing
  • [02] Talats statements to TRT2 right after the meeting with President Christofias
  • [03] Milliyet publishes the positions of the sides on governance and power sharing
  • [04] The so called police released the youth arrested writing graffiti against the occupation army, yet their names were put on the stop-list
  • [05] Members of twenty eight countries are participating in the General Assembly of UWE taking place in occupied Keryneia
  • [06] Omer Adal stated that FIFAs proposal to the Turkish Cypriots to become a member of KOP does not concern football only
  • [07] Russian Prime Minister´s advisor calls for economic union with Turkey, some post-Soviet states
  • [08] Turkey´s anti-terror summit against PKK ends: The fight against PKK is nearing an end
  • [09] Turkish political parties received YTL 760 million for 2003-2008 period
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 11 September 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] First substantive meeting of the leaders on governance and power sharing

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper online (11.09.08) reported the following:

    Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders ended their first substantive meeting aimed at reunifying the divided island, and are to meet again next week to continue negotiations.

    Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat discussed power-sharing and governance during what U.N. envoy Alexander Downer described as "productive and fruitful talks".

    The four-hour meeting at Lefkosia´s abandoned airport in the U.N.-patrolled buffer zone followed the ceremonial launch of official negotiations a week ago.

    We began negotiations on the substance of governance and power-sharing. The talks have been productive and... fruitful, Downer said, adding that the leaders would meet again on September 18.

    There are no particular timelines agreed, but the two leaders are doing what they can to push the process ahead at the appropriate speed. Theres a long way to go.

    Talat arrived for the meeting first, greeting waiting reporters in Turkish, Greek and English. Christofias, who arrived shortly afterward, was asked which language the two leaders would use to negotiate.

    Its a unique language of peace that will keep us together, he said before heading into the meeting.

    A U.N. official, who asked not to be identified, told the (Associated Press) with a smile only that "there wasnt any shouting", when asked to comment on the tenor of the negotiations.

    The two leaders are expected to meet at least once a week in a bid to find a settlement.

    The complex and challenging process of finding a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus problem has started in earnest, U.N. chief of mission Taye-Brook Zerihoun told (Agency France Press) on Wednesday.

    The road ahead will be pot-holed and sometimes perilous, but it does not look blocked. Pursuit of the greater good of the people of Cyprus is key to overcoming past rancor and division, and in ushering in a new era of cooperation, prosperity and peace based on respect for diversity and shared principles, he added.

    Thursday's talks will initially focus on power-sharing and administrative issues but a war of words has clouded the feel-good climate -- highlighting sharp differences on the issues of security, territory and Turkish settlers.

    The negotiations launched on September 3 mark the first major push for peace since the failure of a U.N. reunification plan in 2004, which was approved by Turkish Cypriots but overwhelmingly rejected by the Greek Cypriots.

    Christofias said last week that reaching an agreement would not be an easy job, while Talat has expressed hope for a solution as soon as possible.

    My vision was to finish the negotiations by the end of this year and I believe it is possible, he said in Brussels on Wednesday. The both sides agreed on June, 2009 as target date for a solution, he added.

    Talat also said he accepts a reduction of Turkeys military contingent but that his side will still need security guarantees from HYPERLINK "http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/index/Ankara/" \t "blank" Ankara as part of a deal.

    U.N. special envoy Alexander Downer has visited both Athens and HYPERLINK "http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/index/Ankara/" \t "blank" Ankara to ensure all parties are engaged in the process.

    Turkish executives have told Downer that Turkey attached great importance to finding a solution to the Cyprus question within the scope of established U.N. parameters, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Anatolian Agency.

    Preparatory talks which began in March have been accompanied by confidence- building measures, notably the opening of a crossing in Ledra Street linking south and north in the symbolic heart of Nicosia.

    Past peace efforts have repeatedly floundered on the same sticking points - power-sharing arrangements, property rights for displaced Cypriots, the nature of a future federation and the intervention rights for Turkey and Greece. The two countries remain the guarantor powers for the island, which gained independence from Britain in 1960.

    The local papers reported yesterdays meeting with the following titles:

    HALKIN SESI: Work started at the negotiations

    KIBRIS: Bargaining started

    YENIDUZEN: Four hours, the beginning

    BAKIS: It started in silence

    VOLKAN: Christofias: The issue of those who came from Turkey will be put on the negotiation table

    ORTAM: Constructive and fruitful

    VATAN: The comprehensive talks began

    STAR KIBRIS: Black-out at the negotiations

    AFRIKA: A black-out at the negotiations

    CYPRUS TIMES: 16th time lucky?

    KIBRISLI: The fears of the Greek Cypriots behind the door!

    GUNES and SOZCU papers do not report anything on the launch of the negotiations.

    [02] Talats statements to TRT2 right after the meeting with President Christofias

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (12.09.08) reports under banner headlines in its front page under the title: Talat: Some developments that Greek Cypriots fear, could come to the fore. and quotes Mr. Talats statement to Turkeys TRT2 television program Gunun Konusu - Topic of the Day and says that Mr. Talat implying Kosovo, Abkhazia and South Ossetia said: "Considering recent developments in the world, some developments, that Greek Cypriots fear, could come to the fore. That's why I think, their need or desire for a solution could be stimulated."

    Mr. Talat went on and said that he still maintains his optimism as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem adding that settlement of the Cyprus issue was a need, not only for the Turkish Cypriots but also for the Greek Cypriots.

    Mr. Talat explained the reasons why the direct negotiations started with governance and power sharing saying that if progress is scored on these issues it would be more meaningful to take up the other issues. He said that they will continue the negotiation on the governance and power sharing at the next meeting.

    Noting that political equality is very important for the Turkish Cypriots, Mr. Talat said that political equality made itself felt at the governance and power sharing. He went on and added that during the negotiations on the power sharing the sovereignty element will be discussed as well.

    What kind of a government it will be is not that much important as the power and authority to be vested on the federal governments. What is important is for the authority and power to be exercised by the Turkish Cypriot people. What we will do, is to define only the federal powers. Once we define the federal powers we will stop there because the rest will be the powers and authority of the founding states. Our thesis is based on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriot people and the Greek Cypriot people, Mr. Talat said and added it was also important that the Turkish Cypriot state and the Greek Cypriot state will have equal status.

    We are most sensitive to the political equality of the two peoplesPolitical equality will be between two peoples, but as regards the states it will be equality of status, Mr. Talat stressed.

    The paper reports that Mr. Talat said that during yesterdays meeting on some issues they have reached common points, but he refused to elaborate on them. Mr. Talat went on and said that negotiations were going on and it is not possible to carry out negotiations in the press. The Turkish Cypriot leader declared that issues taken up at the negotiations will not be discussed in the press.

    When asked to comment on President Christofias statement that the Greek Cypriot side reached to its concession limits and cannot make further concessions, Mr. Talat said that such statements are for domestic consumption and that it is not possible to reach an agreement without entering into give and take process. Without demonstrating flexibility and making concession it is not possible to reach an agreement. This is known to everybody. He will make concessions and we will make concessions. This is the right thing to do. It is out of the question not to make concessions, Mr. Talat declared and accused the press, especially the Greek Cypriot press, for speculative reports.

    Halkin Sesi reports that Mr. Talat said that they were after a comprehensive solution and that once the comprehensive agreement is reached only then it would be submitted to the referendum. Mr. Talat also said that in their negotiation thesis the Annan plan has an important place and it is their source of inspiration, but, he said: The plan was not on the negotiating table.

    Mr. Talat further said that the issues the sides cannot agree on will be filed and the next issue will be taken up and later on they will return and take up issues that they disagreed. Mr. Talat said that during yesterdays meeting they did not discuss the presidency issue.

    As for the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance Mr. Talat said that this is an international agreement and if all the sides party to this agreement consent then the agreement will be changed and he already said this to the Greek Cypriots. He added that the Greek Cypriot concern regarding the continuation of Turkeys guarantorship and the Treaties of Guarantee and Alliance is not a real concern. He said that Turkey did not interfere without any reason. In fact Ankara was late in interfering in the island, he stated.

    As for the property issue Mr. Talat said that since this issue concerns everybody it is the most difficult issue in the negotiations, and thus solution of this problem will be spread over a time period. He said that it will be a regrettable event if the property issue becomes the reason for not approving the agreement.

    Commenting on the UN Secretary-Generals Special advisor on Cyprus Mr. Alexander Downers attitude, Mr. Talat said that it was good.

    (MHY)

    [03] Milliyet publishes the positions of the sides on governance and power sharing

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (12.09.08) refers to the start of the comprehensive negotiations under the title The work has started and writes that the two leaders in Cyprus discussed yesterday further steps to be taken in the coming months on administrative issues and share of power on the island.

    Invoking information, the paper adds that during yesterdays meeting, the two leaders discussed the authorities of the federal organs. The paper publishes also the positions of the two sides regarding the issues of administration and power sharing, as follows:

    What the Turkish side wants?

    The Federal State should be administrated by a presidential council which the parliament will elect from one single list.

    The rotation of the president and the vice-president should last 12 months (a total of three years to the Turkish and three years to Greek presidents).

    The presidential council shall be composed of 7 persons, 4 Greeks and 3 Turks. On the decisions taken by single majority this should include positive vote from two members from each community.

    The representation of the Turkish Founding State to the House of Representatives should be 1/3.

    What the Greek side wants?

    The Federal State should be administrated with a presidential system. The President and the vice-president should be elected by the citizens of the Federal Republic.

    The Presidency should be a rotating one. The Greek President should remain at the presidency for 4 years and the Turkish President for 2 years.

    The Council of Ministers shall be composed of 9 persons, 6 Greeks and 3 Turks. Decisions for which no consensus can be reached, to be taken by simple majority on condition that one member from each federal unit takes part.

    The Turkish Federal Unit shall be represented in the House of Representatives by ¼.

    (AK)

    [04] The so called police released the youth arrested writing graffiti against the occupation army, yet their names were put on the stop-list

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.09.08) reports that the four Turkish Cypriot youth who were arrested and put under custody for writing graffiti against the Turkish occupation army, were set free on bail by a so-called court of the breakaway regime. However, the four young men were put on the stop-list for traveling abroad. The United Cyprus Party (BKP) criticized the decision taken against the four and branded it unacceptable.

    (MHY)

    [05] Members of twenty eight countries are participating in the General Assembly of UWE taking place in occupied Keryneia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.09.08) reports that the General Assembly of the Federation of University Women of Europe (UWE) is being held in occupied Keryneia. The theme is Womens Role in Creating Peace. The meeting is attended by ninety women from twenty foreign countries in addition to eighty women from Turkey.

    (MHY)

    [06] Omer Adal stated that FIFAs proposal to the Turkish Cypriots to become a member of KOP does not concern football only

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.09.08) reports that the so-called chairman of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation, Mr Omer Adal, in a statement said that the Greek Cypriot press reports that they have accepted the FIFA proposal that the Turkish Cypriots should become member of the Cyprus Football Association (KOP), is totally a Greek Cypriot press interpretation. He went on and said that this issue does not concern football only but it is an issue that could affect directly the political negotiations being carried out currently between the two leaders. He said that their final answer will be given in the light of the ongoing negotiations between the two leaders.

    (MHY)

    [07] Russian Prime Minister´s advisor calls for economic union with Turkey, some post-Soviet states

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (12.09.08) reports the following:

    Sergey A. Markov, an advisor to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, said Turkey should form an economic alliance with Russia and former Soviet countries.

    Attending an international security conference yesterday in Istanbul organized by a Turkish think tank, Markov told Todays Zaman that he is speaking to Turkish officials about the idea of starting such an economic union.

    Turkey should join an economic union with Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan and Georgia, too. Who is Mikhail Saakashvili? He is not there to stay. He will go like Hitler! said Markov, a consultant with the Security Council for the President of Russia and director of the Institute for Political Studies in Moscow.

    Markov said Russia has reservations because neither Turkey nor the European Union condemned Georgian President Saakashvili or declared him a war criminal following Georgias attack on autonomous South Ossetia in early August, which resulted in a crushing Russian assault there.

    He also warned that Turkey should not rely on the EU because it will not accept Turkey as a full member. He said Turkey could still have relations with the EU and continue to have its NATO role.

    We dont want to have a conflict with NATO, and we like the EU. They need our gas and we need their money, he said.

    He also warned that Turkey should not rely on the EU because it will not accept Turkey as a full member. He said Turkey could still have relations with the EU and continue to have its NATO role.

    Lets open our borders for trade. Only poor, angry and hungry people want to fight. And the EU would never want to deal with them, he added.

    On the other hand, he said, both the Russian and Turkish economies are compatible and their political cultures have similarities. He said Turkey and Russia would complement each other in many areas. We have energy for Turkeys needs. We have many construction opportunities for Turkish firms. We need labor, and Turkey can provide it, he commented.

    He also said that Turkeys Caucasus initiative has a chance of success if it includes Russia and excludes the United States. The United States is a dangerous power. The neocons in Washington are the main threat to international stability.

    He added that a comeback for the Cold War is an American desire, not a Russian one, as some claim. Russia now has billionaires, not communists. We dont want separation from the West.

    Markov was participating in a panel discussion yesterday afternoon titled Geopolitics of Energy at the Ar1 Movement s 10th International Security Conference.

    [08] Turkey´s anti-terror summit against PKK ends: The fight against PKK is nearing an end

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (12.09.08) reports that Turkish political and military leaders who came together to discuss security and the legal, economic, socio-cultural, psychological and international aspects of the war against terrorism yesterday concluded that the fight against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is nearing an end, according to a statement released in the evening by the Prime Ministry.

    "With the determination that was shown in the meeting, the support of our people for our security forces and sensitivity regarding this issue being predominant in all segments of society, the duration of this fight against the separatist terrorist organization, which is close to the breaking point, is growing shorter," the statement said.

    The anti-terror summit, held in the afternoon at the Prime Ministry, was chaired by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Other participants included State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, Land Forces Commander Gen. Is1k Kosaner, Gendarmerie General Commander Gen. Atila Isik, Deputy Chief of General Staff Gen. Hasan Igsiz, National Police Chief Oguz Kagan Koksal, National Intelligence Organization (MIT) Undersecretary Emre Taner and other relevant bureaucrats.

    [09] Turkish political parties received YTL 760 million for 2003-2008 period

    Turkish daily Today´s Zaman newspaper (12.09.08) reports that the Ministry of Finance has announced that the Treasury has given out nearly [New Turkish Lira NTL] 760 million to political parties as Treasury aid in the period between 2003 and 2008.

    The biggest share of funds has been taken by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), followed by six other parties.

    The figures, announced by Finance Minister Kemal Unak1tan upon a parliamentary question from Democratic Left Party (DSP) Istanbul deputy Hasan Mecit, reveal that seven political parties had the right to receive funds from the state in the relevant time period. These parties include the Motherland Party (ANAVATAN), the Social Democratic People's Party (SHP), the True Path Party (DYP), the Republican People's Party (CHP), the Nationalist Action Party (MHP), the AK Party and the Young Party (GP).

    While the AK Party received the largest share, with nearly YTL 330 million, it was followed by the main opposition CHP, with nearly YTL 180 million, and the MHP, with close to YTL 85 million.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 11 September 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 11 September:

    a) Lighthouse Scandal Case:

    In an article entitled "Those who want are guilty, but others who receive are innocent," Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok accuses Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of applying double standards to media establishments depending on their relations with the ruling party. Citing allegations made about the sale of Sabah and an application filed by the Calik group which has taken over Sabah in order to obtain a license for its bank as examples of nepotism, Ozkok comments: "This nepotism and Saddamization trend gradually captures the attention of the whole world. It reflects a mentality indicating that you could get nothing if you do not support them. Their anxiety and anger results from those murmurings of criticism intensifying both in Turkey and the rest of the world."

    A report entitled "The real perpetrators are here" in Hurriyet highlights comments made by Kemal Kilicdaroglu, deputy leader of the parliamentary delegation of the Republican People's Party (CHP), who attended a hearing held as part of the trial of a group of defendants accused of financial irregularities in the transactions of Lighthouse Association's branch in Germany. Kilicdaroglu claims that the defendants standing trial in Germany are only pawns, adding that the real masterminds of the scam are in Turkey. He also accuses the Turkish government of lending political support to the perpetrators by remaining silent.

    According to a report entitled "Allegations about funds channeled to AKP come under close scrutiny" in Hurriyet, the Office of the Chief Public Prosecutor of the Supreme Court of Appeals is examining allegations that the Lighthouse Association sent money from Germany to Turkey by couriers in order to fund the AKP's election campaigns. The report says that the Chief Prosecutor's office may decide to seek information and documents from German authorities depending on the outcome of the probe.

    In an article entitled "About the Lighthouse issue," Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila points out that the government has responded to allegations about connection between the Lighthouse Association and the AKP by launching a counterattack against Aydin Dogan, owner of the Dogan Group, and CHP leader Deniz Baykal although its accusations are irrelevant to the Lighthouse case. He says: "The Prime Minister, ministers, and AKP officials were expected to investigate those allegations of corruption linked to Turkey rather than trying to cover up the matter and to divert attention to other issues."

    A report entitled "Karaman is the key figure" in Milliyet summarizes the indictment issued by German public prosecutors against the managers of the Lighthouse Association and says that Zekeriya Karaman who owns Kanal 7 television station, Mehmet Gurhan who served as the Association's chairman until November 2006 and now stands trial, and Zahid Akman, Chairman of the Radio and Television High Council, are among the shareholders of various companies based in Turkey and abroad. The report also highlights alleged relations and flow of money between the Association and various companies in Turkey.

    In an article entitled "The Ruling Party in another tunnel of horror," Vatan columnist Gungor Mengi says that it should not be difficult to reveal organic ties between the Lighthouse associations in Turkey and Germany and the AKP, reminding that the AKP boldly granted some privileges to the Lighthouse Association in 2004 after the Council of State turned down the association's first application. He predicts that the AKP will face serious troubles if it is eventually proven that it has received funds from the Association's branch in Germany.

    A front-paged report in Vakit entitled "What a lie," accuses Aydin Dogan of distorting the truth in claiming that his newspapers reported on the corruption case against the charity Deniz Feneri [Lighthouse] in Germany on the basis of disclosures made by CHP leader Deniz Baykal on NTV. According to the report, Deniz Feneri was in the headlines of Milliyet the same day Baykal responded to an NTV correspondent's questions about the said case.

    b) Gul's visits to Azerbaijan and Armenia:

    In an article entitled "Are we mediating or putting ourselves in a difficult position?" Cumhuriyet columnist Mustafa Balbay says that the Turkish government does not miss any opportunity to mediate in an effort to resolve regional and international disputes. He cautions that Turkey could eventually harm its ties with Azerbaijan as a result of rapprochement with Armenia, adding that Ankara could also be forced to take sides in the dispute between the United States and Iran if tension further escalates.

    In an article entitled "Visit to Yerevan," Cumhuriyet columnist Ali Sirmen views the pros and cons of Gul's visit to Armenia and emphasizes that the Turkish government would make a serious mistake if it reopens border crossings with Armenia unless the latter changes its hostile attitude toward Turkey. Pointing out that the EU and the United States are putting pressure on Turkey in order to force it to reopen the border crossing, Sirmen comments: "If we reopen the border without any improvement in conditions which harm the essence of the relations between the two countries, it would cause the visit to yield negative rather than positive results. If we reopen the border without any precondition, we would unavoidably face new demands."

    In an article entitled "NATO allies Turkey and US may engage in a row over Black sea", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that while the Caucasus crisis has created "new opportunities for Ankara such as the start of dialogue with Armenia ... Turkey will have a serious headache if and when its close ally US re-starts being pushy on the Black Sea."

    In an article entitled "It will not be easy to conciliate Azerbaijan", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal reiterates his argument that the strategic goal of President Gul's recent visit to Armenia was to isolate Azerbaijan, "the rising star of the region," and discourage it from attempting a military operation to take back its territories under Armenian occupation. He also claims that the visit has enabled Armenia, international Armenian lobbies, and "the foreign forces that pressed Gul into going to Yerevan" to make a lot of headway toward getting Turkey to recognize the Armenian claims of genocide.

    c) Economy:

    In an article entitled "A growth performance which is difficult to explain," Hurriyet columnist Ercan Kumcu focuses on the sharp decline in Turkey's economic growth in the second quarter as compared with the first three months of the year, emphasizing that there is not sufficient data to identify the reasons behind that downward trend.

    In an article entitled "Contraction of growth," Milliyet columnist Hursit Gunes says that dwindling economic growth is ascribed to global trends, political disputes and uncertainties, and the government's tight monetary policy by different analysts. Noting that those factors are not sufficient to explain deceleration observed in economic growth, Gunes draws attention to a sharp decline in the government's spending and investments which were slashed 3.7 percent and 14 percent, respectively, in the second quarter.

    In an article entitled "Why has economic growth slid?" Taraf columnist Suleyman Yasar attributes the decline in Turkey's economic growth to the government's indifference to problems faced by farmers, political tension caused by the closure case instituted against the AKP, and the Central Bank's decision to raise interest rates.

    In an article entitled "Growth in the second quarter," Vatan columnist Asaf Savas Akat argues that the slowdown observed in the Turkish economy has resulted from wrongheaded monetary policies being pursued since 2003 and an inflationist model disregarding industry, export, and employment. He predicts the sharp decline in economic growth in the second quarter heralds low growth over the long term.

    Under the headline, "Closure case hobbles Turkish economy," Today's Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that "the growth rate of the Turkish economy suffered a great blow in the second quarter, coinciding with a closure case opened against the ruling ... AKP in March 2008 ..."

    EG/


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