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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-15

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. 176/08 13-15.09.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Murat and Adem referred to the number of the illegal workers in the occupied areas
  • [02] Babacan discussed the Cyprus problem with his Egyptian counterpart
  • [03] Soyer responded to questions in Istanbul on the negotiation process in Cyprus
  • [04] Statements by Soyer and Oztoprak on the number of foreign students studying at the illegal universities in occupied Cyprus
  • [05] Forty thousand students and 3.800 teachers are returning to school in the occupied areas; The Greek language is offered as elective course
  • [06] Former so-called Chief of Justice: Flights to the TRNC are legal
  • [07] Adal is meeting with Talat today before submitting their counter proposals to FIFA
  • [08] Data on the imports and exports of the occupation regime for the first seven months of 2008
  • [09] TURKSOY countries participate in the Opera Days festival taking place in occupied Cyprus
  • [10] They have robbed Saint Mamas as well
  • [11] A new hotel was built at the area where the Severis Flour Factory was located in occupied Nicosia
  • [12] US Adm. Mullen is visiting Turkey to discuss military cooperation
  • [13] Turkey and Egypt to intensify cooperation and consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues
  • [14] Turkish, Israeli and Indian officials met for offshore pipeline Med Stream project

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Murat and Adem referred to the number of the illegal workers in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (15.09.08) reports that Ozkan Murat, self-styled minister of interior of the breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus, has referred to the debates on the White Identity Card given by the regime and said that with the new practice they wish to have a system that protects the rights of the foreigners who work in the occupied areas. In statements to Ada TV television, Mr Murat noted also that with this practice they will be having more control on those who enter and exit from the occupied areas. He argued that the White Identity Card is not a new practice and reminded that Blue Identity Cards are given to the Maronites living in the occupied areas.

    Mr Murat said: When we came to power, 4-5 thousand persons had work permits. Now this number is exceeding 40 thousands. The entries and the exits have been brought under control. We have relieved the workers with the amnesty given from time to time. We have granted to the workers their rights. As of February, we are giving White Identity Cards to those who have work permits and lived on the island for ten years with permanent residence permit. We have secured that the foreigners who live on the island since 1974 benefit from these rights and not only those who live on the island with work permit.

    Mr Murat added that the citizenship of the breakaway regime will be given to foreigners according to the rules from now on and noted: No one will be able to become citizen in one night, like in the past. The holders of White Identity Card can apply for citizenship. He said that there are two ways for someone to acquire the citizenship. The one is through marriage to a TRNC citizen or being born in the occupied areas of the island. The other way is through a decision by the council of ministers or by the ministry of interior. Such a decision can be taken for those living on the island continuously for fifteen years.

    Meanwhile, in an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.09.08), Sonay Adem, self-styled minister of labor and social insurance, said that when they came to power they faced a situation where 50.000 illegal workers existed. He noted that they registered 50.000 workers and added that with the laws they prepared and after some workers abandoned the occupied areas, the number of the registered workers decreased to 32.000. Asked about the number of the illegal workers today in the occupied areas, Mr Adem said that according to the data of his ministry, after two thousand illegal workers benefited from the law and returned to their country, there are 5-6 thousand illegal workers today in the occupied areas.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Babacan discussed the Cyprus problem with his Egyptian counterpart

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.09.08) reports that Ali Babacan, Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs has said that the comprehensive negotiations in Cyprus have started and that the efforts for the successful conclusion of these talks are continuing. In statements yesterday in Ankara after a meeting with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Ebul Geyt, Mr Babacan said that they fully support the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat on this issue.

    After their meeting, the two ministers held a joint press conference. Asked whether they discussed the Cyprus problem during their meeting, Mr Babacan replied that they did and added that he briefed Mr Geyt on the negotiations which started in Cyprus. The Egyptian Minister said that they are following the developments in Cyprus closely and added that they want a solution which satisfies both sides to be reached soon.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Soyer responded to questions in Istanbul on the negotiation process in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.09.08) reported the following:

    Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer has said that the Turkish Cypriot side is targeting to complete the negotiations process which aims to bring about a solution to the Cyprus problem by the end of the year or at least mid 2009.

    Mr. Soyer was responding to journalists questions following a press conference he held in Istanbul.

    Answering a question on the next meeting between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias on the 18th of September, the Premier said Turkish Cypriot Side and Turkey has established a joint humane and democratic thesis for the solution of the problem.

    This thesis is based on the establishment of a partnership administration which will have a single international identity and on the political equality of the Cyprus Turkish Founding State and the Greek Cypriot Founding State, Mr. Soyer added.

    Responding to another question reminding the Greek Cypriot sides demands on the withdrawal of Turkish troops based on the island, he said in case of a solution that would be reached at the end of the negotiations, a number of troops which will be agreed by the two sides will continue to stay on the island and the rest may be withdrawn on a schedule.

    The Prime Minister who completed his contacts in Istanbul has returned to the Republic.

    [04] Statements by Soyer and Oztoprak on the number of foreign students studying at the illegal universities in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (15.09.08) reports the following:

    Leading political and academic officials from Northern Cyprus have decried the obscurity faced by Northern Cypriot Universities due to the unfair isolation of the island, arguing that the educational system was far superior to their southern neighbor's. As the applications for Northern Cypriot universities' additional quotas will start this week, Istanbul hosted a press conference organized to popularize the education of the island's universities in Turkey and abroad. Leading officials as well as the rectors of the country's universities were in attendance.

    Emphasizing that with its six universities, Northern Cyprus is the an education island, Northern Cyprus' Prime Minister of Ferdi Sabit Soyer, said last year 43,600 students from 60 different nationalities and 1400 faculty members were lodged on the island.

    Highlighting that students make up one fourth of the total population on the island, the minister of education, Canan Oztoprak, said that fulfilling these students' educational and social needs is the governments' first priority. With a $500 million share of the $ 3.5 billion GNP in 2007, a share even higher than tourism's, Oztoprak said they have been able to launch new ways for students to overcome the bureaucracy. Firstly, they have extended the length of resident permits to four years and increased the dorm capacity to 15,000. Secondly, by insuring all students, as the government has started to give the students the same opportunities as citizens. Turkish Cypriot Universities are the island's windows opening to the world, she said.

    Greek Cyprus should leave bigotry aside and start to launch programs with us for student and faculty member exchanges, said Soyer, adding that the south had much to learn from them. He accused Greek Cypriots of making false campaigns by declaring Northern Cypriot Universities illegal, he added that they were proud of the 80-90 percent increase in registrations and that nothing was going to keep them from advancing and growing even more.

    [05] Forty thousand students and 3.800 teachers are returning to school in the occupied areas; The Greek language is offered as elective course

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.09.08) reports that the primary schools in the occupied areas of Cyprus are opening today and the secondary schools tomorrow for the school year 2008-2009. The paper notes that around 40.000 students and 3.800 teachers are preparing to start their lessons in the 156 schools in the occupied areas. Hundred and twelve schools are bound to the Primary Education Department, 32 schools to the General Secondary Education Department and 12 to the Vocational and Technical Education Department. The paper writes that this year the Greek language will be offered as elective course in the sixth class of these schools.

    Pointing out to the importance they attach to the language education, the self-styled minister of education, Canan Oztoprak said that this year they made an innovation and included in their programs the Greek language, the language of their neighbors.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Former so-called Chief of Justice: Flights to the TRNC are legal

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Star newspaper (12-18.09.08) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Former Chief Justice of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Taner Erginel, made exclusive statements to the Cyprus Star, over the issue of direct flights to Northern Cyprus and the continuing isolation of the country.

    Erginel have his views on the direct flights issue, and said that the Chicago Convention, which regulates international commercial aviation, did not make it unlawful for direct flights to be made to the TRNC.

    Erginel also said that there would be an important English High Court hearing in February 2009, following the decision of the English Ministry of Transport not to allow direct flights from Northern Cyprus.

    The Former Chief Justice said that he believed the case would be won and that direct flights between the UK and the TRNC would start soon.

    Subtitle: Chicago Convention and the TRNC

    Taner Erginel said that the issue of direct flights to the TRNC was a life and death struggle for the Turkish Cypriot people, because it would foster mass economic development in the country.

    Asked as to whether there was a legal obstacle to direct flights, Erginel said: there was indeed no legal obstacle. The Chicago convention is the only international agreement which regulates commercial air traffic.

    According to the basic Articles and the foreword of the Convention, the State must have complete and exclusive sovereignty over the air space of its territory.

    Erginel said, therefore, that the Greek Cypriots could not have a say over Ercan Airport, because they did not have any jurisdiction over the Airport or over the air space of Northern Cyprus.

    Subtitle: Regulation over air space

    Erginel said that the Greek Cypriots claim that they are a contracting state in the Convention, and therefore have a say over the whole of the airspace of Cyprus.

    However, when one examines the provisions of the Convention, it can be seen that no regulation over the territory of the air space is provided.

    Moreover, the Convention does not stipulate that only recognized states may benefit from the Convention, but rather that every state has complete and exclusive sovereignty over its territory and airspace which means that whoever exercises sovereignty over a territory, could also exercise sovereignty to the airspace above it he said.

    Subtitle: UK High Court hearing

    Erginel told Cyprus Star the latest developments with regards to the direct flights isolation to Ercan International Airport.

    The Former Chief Justice said: the latest situation on the direct flight issue is that application had been made by Cyprus Turkish Airlines to commence direct flights from Northern Cyprus to the UK, and the refused of the British Government.

    Whilst referring to the court hearing, Erginel remarked that the hearing at the English High Court will be heard in February, where an application has been brought by the Airline against the British Transport Minister.

    I anticipate that we will definitely with this case, as there are no legal grounds and no reasons as to why the British Government has not allowed for this to happen.

    Furthermore, UK officials and the EU had openly said Ercan would be open to international air traffic, because they knew there were no real legal obstacles. Once we win this case in February, I am sure other countries will follow suit he said.

    [07] Adal is meeting with Talat today before submitting their counter proposals to FIFA

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.09.08) reports that Omer Adal, chairman of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation, has stated that they have completed the work regarding the counter proposal they prepared for FIFA and added that today they will meet with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat in order to discuss the draft-proposals for the last time.

    Later in the afternoon they will send their proposals to FIFA through e-mail, he noted. Mr Adal said that they have met with politicians and prepared the proposals taking into consideration the political realities on the island. He noted that they will discuss the proposals with FIFA on 23 September.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Data on the imports and exports of the occupation regime for the first seven months of 2008

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.09.08) publishes data as regards the imports and exports of the occupation regime for the first seven months of the year 2008.

    According to information given by the self-styled Trade Department of the Ministry of Economy and Tourism of the occupation regime, the imports in occupied Cyprus for the first seven months of the year 2008, have been increased by 18% compared to the same period of last year. In addition the export in the same period has been increased by 3%.

    As regards the data for July, the imports have been decreased by 4% and the exports have been increased by 6%.

    (CS)

    [09] TURKSOY countries participate in the Opera Days festival taking place in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (14.09.08) broadcast the following:

    The 11th TURKSOY Opera Days begins tonight. The event which will take place at Girne (occupied Keryneia) Amphitheatre is being held on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the first Turkish opera production of Leyla and Mecnun.

    The first leg of the event was held between 11th and 14th of September in Mersin.

    Meanwhile, the representatives of 11 countries who arrived in the TRNC for the Opera Days were received by the Minister of National Education and Culture Canan Oztoprak.

    23 artists from TURKSOY member countries will be performing at the event which was organized jointly by the International TURKSOY Organization, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Turkish Ministry of Education and Culture.

    [10] They have robbed Saint Mamas as well

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (13.09.08) reports that it was revealed that two persons named Erdogan Abik and Osman Koc, who are accused of robbing a van together with its content, have also stolen two icons from the Saint Mamas church in occupied Morfou. The two suspects were taken to Nicosia District Court on Friday. The police officer who is investigating the case said that the suspects admitted that they have stolen the icons and violated the forbidden zone. The court ordered the suspects to be under custody for five days.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] A new hotel was built at the area where the Severis Flour Factory was located in occupied Nicosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (13.09.08) reports that press briefing was held about a new hotel, under the name Grand Nicosia, which is planned to be completed in December 2008. The self-styled minister of economy and tourism, Erdogan Sanlidag, one of the partners of the hotel Erman Sari and the hotels director, Mert Bolukbasi were among the persons who participated in the press conference.

    The new hotel, which is expected to cost 21 million dollars, will have 134 rooms and a 268 bed capacity. It will have four suites, sixteen corner rooms and one king suite, six meeting salons, a casino, swimming pool, fitness center, five restaurants and four bars.

    According to the paper the new hotel has been built on the plot where the Severis Flour Factory was.

    (CS)

    [12] US Adm. Mullen is visiting Turkey to discuss military cooperation

    Turkish Daily News newspaper (15.09.08) reports the following:

    The top U.S. military official arrived in Turkey yesterday on a two-day visit to discuss continued military cooperation as part of his regular consultations, confirmed a U.S. official yesterday.

    Adm. Michael Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, was welcomed by the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, and Turkish military officials at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport yesterday during his second visit to Turkey. He was scheduled to meet with the prime minister, president and chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug.

    Mullen met first with Erdogan yesterday afternoon in Istanbul. He will also be the first foreign visitor to Basbug, who became the head of the armed forces August 30.

    Besides military cooperation, including the fight against terrorism, Mullen was expected to discuss the recent Caucasus conflict under the framework of NATO, said the U.S. official, who declined to be named.

    The use of the Turkish straits by U.S. warships to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia after the crisis in the region raised suspicions in Russia. The United States repeatedly denied claims Washington was seeking changes to the Montreux Convention, which has set the regime for the passage of military ships through the straits for almost a century.

    The U.S. does not seek to change anything with Montreux, said the official. Our ships have not stayed longer than 21 days NATO ships that conduct military exercises all left [the Black Sea].

    The convention limits Black Sea naval deployments to 21 days. A recent NATO statement revealed that the Standing NATO Maritime Group One, or SNMG 1, successfully completed its scheduled visit and left the Black Sea last Wednesday, in accordance with the Montreux Convention.

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said last week there was no demand from NATO allies to extend the ships' stay in the Black Sea.

    [13] Turkey and Egypt to intensify cooperation and consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.09.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkey and Egypt have agreed to intensify cooperation and consultations on bilateral, regional and international issues.

    A joint declaration was released following the meeting of Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit in Ankara on Saturday.

    The meeting between Babacan and Aboul Gheit was the first meeting within the scope of the Turkey-Egypt Framework Document for Strategic Partnership signed in Istanbul in November 2007 and the two countries reaffirmed their will to improve relations, the joint declaration said.

    Turkey and Egypt would exert efforts to resolve problems in economic and commercial relations that have speeded up recently, it said, adding that parties reaffirmed their support for the Annapolis process that aims at a peaceful solution to dispute between Israel and Palestine.

    The declaration also said that Turkey appreciated Egyptian efforts over Israel-Palestine issue and Egypt appreciated Turkey's mediation in indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria.

    The two parties have highlighted the importance of political unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. Turkish and Egyptian officials also discussed several other issues, such as Iran's nuclear program and recent developments in the Balkans and Caucasus, it added.

    Meanwhile, Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit departed from Ankara late Saturday after being received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, officials said.

    [14] Turkish, Israeli and Indian officials met for offshore pipeline Med Stream project

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A.) news agency (13.09.08) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish, Israeli and Indian officials met in Ankara this week over the Med Stream, a multi-purpose offshore pipeline project to connect Turkey and Israel via the Mediterranean Sea.

    Turkey and Israel have reaffirmed their full support earlier for an energy corridor which will join the two countries via the construction of Sub Sea multiple pipelines transporting oil, natural gas, water, as well as electricity and establishment of fiber optic cable line in accordance with feasibility studies. The pipeline could reduce the time it takes to transport crude to eastern and southern Asia.

    India is highly interested in the project to import oil via Turkey and Israel, said Hezi Kugler, Director General of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure. Feasibility studies are planned to begin by the end of this year and would be completed in the summer of 2009, Israeli official told the A.A. It is estimated to cost around 8 million euros.

    Israel supplies 90 percent of its oil need from the Black Sea and carries crude to Israeli ports by ships.

    Kugler said that the construction of the pipeline would start at the end of 2009, the earliest, or in 2010. He said it would take at least more than a year to finish the construction works.

    India is interested in the project as the pipeline would be short and economical for transportation, Kugler said. He added that India would get the better of time and cost as soon as the project is implemented.

    Normally, crude is shipped to Far East in 50 days but when the Med Stream is completed it would take 19 days to transport crude from the Red Sea. It would also reduce vessel traffic at Turkish straits.

    Turkey, Israel and India are expected to present their letters of intention to each other after completing their studies on the project, Kugler said. Mutual covenants are also expected be completed within a month, he said.

    Kugler said that several other Asian countries, including China, could also be interested in the Med Stream project once the feasibility report is finished.

    Meanwhile, Israeli officials are still insistent on buying water from Turkey. An earlier project to carry water from Turkey's Mediterranean coast to Israel through containers was a high-cost project, Israeli officials said.

    However, they said purification of sea water was costly as well. All pipelines in the world pump natural gas and oil but water transportation through pipelines has not been tried before, they said.

    That's why such an attempt requires deliberate technical work and infrastructure, officials said.

    EG/


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