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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-09-18

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. 179/08 18.09.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Orams case caused quarrel in the occupied areas; Statements by the lawyer of Orams
  • [02] Soyer said that the assistance secured from various sources should be used by the Turkish Cypriots for reaching the EU standards in all fields
  • [03] Avci participated in a dinner given by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the ambassadors of the EU countries to Ankara
  • [04] Statements by Erdogan on Turkeys EU course and Cyprus
  • [05] Gen. Basbug explains Turkeys stance regarding the Cyprus problem
  • [06] A delegation of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, including the member of the European Parliament, Marios Matsakis, are holding contacts in Turkey
  • [07] The BKP noted that the population policy followed for years is responsible for the chaos existing in the occupied areas in all fields
  • [08] More illegal migrants arrived in the occupied areas in order to cross over to the free areas of the Republic
  • [09] Flights between Turkeys city of Diyarbakir and the occupied part of Cyprus as of 24 October 2008 will be launched
  • [10] The Direct Traveler tour operator is trying to secure a license from the British Civil Aviation Authority in order for direct flights to be conducted to occupied Cyprus
  • [11] The self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football federation has stated that it is open to all the alternative proposals by FIFA except from becoming a member of the Cyprus Football Association
  • [12] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry and eight other NGOs are starting a protest act under the name of civil disobedience
  • [13] German Court convicts three persons in connection with the Lighthouse fraud case
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Columnist assesses that Turkey has abandoned its defensive stance and begun to pursue a more active foreign policy

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Orams case caused quarrel in the occupied areas; Statements by the lawyer of Orams

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.08) broadcast the following:

    Lawyers battling out the Orams case have finished presenting their cases to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg.

    According to a written statement issued by Hasan Vahip on behalf of Vahip Law firm, lawyers representing the Orams couple made an effective and comprehensive presentation on the interpretation of international public policy.

    Mr Vahip underlined the importance of refraining from damaging the ongoing UN sponsored Cyprus negotiations process, which is also backed by the European Union, through individual legal cases.

    He also added that the European Commission representatives addressing the Court had expressed their happiness for the start of the comprehensive negotiations in Cyprus, which among other issues envisaged a settlement to the property dispute on the island.

    Mr Vahip noted that the European Court of Justices interpretation of European Union Law was expected to reinforce the British High Courts September 2006 verdict in favor of the Orams couple.

    The UK court had ruled that it had no jurisdiction to act on disputes originating in North Cyprus because EU law was suspended there.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.09.08), under the title The Orams case caused quarrel, reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) replied to the accusations by the main opposition National Unity Party (UBP) which claimed that the government of the breakaway regime and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat has not defended the Orams case sufficiently. The general secretary of the CTP, Omer Kalyoncu said that everything which should be done has been done in the Orams case and it is still being done.

    Mr Kalyoncu argued that the climate of lies and manipulations which the UBP is trying to create is harming the Turkish Cypriots. He said that no initiative was undertaken during the former UBP governments in the field of the international law and that is why decisions against the Turkish Cypriots have been taken on the property issue. He noted that this stance of the UBP in a period when the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are being conducted is not surprising and noted that it is obvious that the non-solution lobby will try every method during this period.

    The paper reports that the hearing of the case started yesterday at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg and the decision is expected to be announced within 2-3 months. Referring to the issue, the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer said that the mentality which rejected the proprietorship system created after 1974 will not be able to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.09.08) reports that in statements after the meeting of the council of ministers yesterday, Mr Soyer argued that the mentality which led south Cyprus into the EU unilaterally by not discussing the Cyprus problem for years, has no right to make the Turkish Cypriots experience the same tortures and loses any more.

    Mr Soyer said that the place for discussing the property issues is the negotiating table and argued that UBPs chairman Mr Ertugruloglu issued a statement yesterday in order to strengthen his position in the forthcoming congress of the party and harm the negotiating process. Mr Soyer said that the stance of Mr Ertugruloglu on the property issue is wrong and added that the property is not a matter of the Greek Cypriots only, but it is also a matter of the Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas of Cyprus. He accused Mr Ertugruloglu and the mentality he is representing of forgetting the Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas of the island and strongly criticized him for reiterating this stance in 2008.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Soyer said that the assistance secured from various sources should be used by the Turkish Cypriots for reaching the EU standards in all fields

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.09.08) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer gave a reception last night for the administrators of the schools which acquired the right for taking aid from the European Union within the framework of the program for the Turkish Cypriot community.

    In statements during the reception, Mr Soyer said that the assistance secured from various sources should be used by the Turkish Cypriots for reaching the EU standards in all fields and added this is necessary for the viability of the solution to be found to the Cyprus problem. He noted that except from their own sources, the Turkish Cypriots are taking aid from Turkey and the EU.

    Referring to the situation in Belgium, Mr Soyer said that for us Belgium is an example which should never be repeated and argued that the difficulty in the federation in Belgium is deriving from economic problems. The self-styled minister of education, Canan Oztoprak, some MPs, school directors and trade union officials participated in the reception, where the officials of the Finnish firm with which a three-year agreement was signed for providing technical support to the reform were introduced.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Avci participated in a dinner given by the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the ambassadors of the EU countries to Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.09.08) reports that Turgay Avci, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime, has accused the Greek Cypriot side of harming the process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Avci participated yesterday in a dinner given by the Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the ambassadors of the EU countries to Ankara. In a written statement, Mr Avci called on the Greek Cypriot side to refrain from bargaining with the Turkish side through the press and participate in the negotiations with good will.

    He accused the minister of Foreign Affairs, Markos Kyprianou of making statements which harm the positive climate and deal a blow to the procedure. Mr Avci alleged that Mr Kyprianous unreal statements towards motherland Turkey which ignore the independence and sovereignty of the TRNC exceeded the limits of political good manners.

    Their delirium does definitely not change the reality that the TRNC is an independent state, he claimed and added that the TRNC is a fully sovereign, free and democratic country with all its institutions and organizations established with the free will of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Replying to statements that the stance and the decisions of the Turkish Cypriots are determined with instructions from Ankara, Mr Avci alleged that the only interlocutor of the Christofias administration at the negotiating table is the Turkish Cypriot side and reiterated the positions of the Turkish side regarding a solution based on two peoples, two zones and two founding states with equal status.

    Mr Avci said that there is nothing odd in exchanging views between Turkey and the TRNC government when policies either on the Cyprus problem or on socio-economic issues are determined. Mr Avci claimed that Turkey has rights and responsibilities deriving from history and international agreements and because of these rights and responsibilities no solution could be reached without Turkeys effective and actual guarantees.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Sozcu newspaper (18.09.08) refers to the visit of Mr Avci to Ankara and reports that during the dinner he shared the same table with the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Babacan, with whom he exchanged views.

    The paper writes that Mr Avci held a short discussion with Mr Erdogan and exchanged views with him regarding the recent developments. The paper writes that in a significant part of his speech after the dinner the Turkish Prime Minister referred to Cyprus and criticized the stance of the countries of the guest ambassadors after the referendum, urging them to lift the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Statements by Erdogan on Turkeys EU course and Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.09.08) reports the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has criticized the European Union for proceeding too slowly in accession talks with candidate Turkey and urged the 27-nation bloc to treat Ankara fairly.

    Erdogan, speaking at a fast-breaking dinner, or iftar, for foreign envoys in Ankara on Tuesday evening, complained that the process of opening and closing talks on negotiating chapters had been prolonged unnecessarily, the Anatolia news agency reported. "Before our membership process started, opening and closing chapters was not an issue. Chapters were opened and closed. But now we are struggling for this," he told the ambassadors and heads of foreign missions.

    Turkey opened accession talks with the EU in 2005 but progress since then has been very slow. Erdogan complained that the EU made a habit of opening only two chapters out of a total of 35 at a time, thus slowing down the process.

    He said this was not a fair approach, adding that Turkey expects the EU to adopt the same approach it did with other candidates. Turkey is not asking for privileges, he noted. "We say: We want you to give us the same rights you granted to others [candidates] before us. If you see us as a burden -- that's a different story -- then say so. But you should know that Turkey is coming to relieve you of your burden, not to be a cause of burden. You should view Turkey like this," the prime minister was quoted by Anatolia as saying.

    The majority of Europeans are skeptical toward the accession of Turkey, a Muslim country of 70 million. In 2006, the EU suspended negotiations on eight chapters due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports and airports to traffic from EU member Greek Cyprus. France, which opposes Turkish membership, refuses to open talks on five chapters that it says are directly related to accession.

    Erdogan said the EU should not have initiated the accession process with Turkey in the first place if it had doubts over whether Turkish membership would be a burden or if it was planning to allow Ankara's membership bid to be thwarted due to obstacles raised by the Greek Cypriots. "Then, you should not have opened the door in the first place," he said, referring to the EU.

    In a regular meeting with Foreign Minister Ali Babacan in Brussels on Friday, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn urged Ankara to speed up the overhaul of its Constitution to break the stalemate in the reform process. Constitutional reform is seen as unlikely amid severe rifts between political parties in Parliament, but the government recently unveiled a reform package containing amendments to dozens of laws to meet EU standards.

    Erdogan complained that the EU had demoralized Turkey by making statements that undermine its desire for reform, although Ankara has reasserted its readiness and determinedness to continue with reform efforts. But Ankara is still committed to reforms as shown in its latest plan, the Third National Program, he added.

    [05] Gen. Basbug explains Turkeys stance regarding the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.09.08) broadcast the following:

    Staff General of the Turkish Armed Forces, General Ilker Basbug, has said that Turkeys views regarding the Cyprus issue are quite clear and that it is out of question for any changes to be made on this view.

    Speaking with television and news agency directors, on the second day of Communication Meetings that are taking place in Turkey, General Basbug evaluated the Cyprus issue and Turkeys EU prospects.

    Our position regarding the Cyprus issue is very clear. What we want from the European Union is to treat us exactly the same as it has other countries. But unfortunately the EU applies double standards. Of course we want full membership to the block but only if this does not harm our position regarding Cyprus, he said.

    [06] A delegation of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, including the member of the European Parliament, Marios Matsakis, are holding contacts in Turkey

    Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (17.09.08) reports that the member of the European Parliament, Mr. Marios Matsakis, the person who stole the Turkish flag in Cyprus, as the paper writes, is paying a visit to Ankara as member of the delegation of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The delegation arrived in Ankara yesterday and it will hold contacts in Turkey from 17-19 September. According to the paper, the delegation of ALDE including Mr. Matsakis will be accepted by the Turkish President, Mr. Abdullah Gul and the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They will also hold contacts at the Turkish Grand National Assembly and meet with several non-governmental organizations. The paper adds that the European officials will encourage Turkeys government to continue its reforms for its European process. Moreover, the European delegation will express its support to Turkey for the role it played for the peace and stability in Caucasus and the Middle East.

    (A.K)

    [07] The BKP noted that the population policy followed for years is responsible for the chaos existing in the occupied areas in all fields

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.09.08) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) in a statement noted that the population policy followed for years is responsible for the chaos existing in the occupied areas in all fields.

    In the statement issued yesterday by Abdullah Korkmazhan, member of BKPs executive committee, it is noted that as a result of the policy of excessive transfer of population for years with the aim of integrating Cyprus to Turkey by assimilating the Turkish Cypriots, an insolvable chaos has been created in all fields from health to education, from the social life to economy, from the demographic structure to traffic.

    Mr Korkmazhan reminded that the Nicosia Bar Association has announced that 60 % of the serious crimes in the occupied areas are committed from persons coming from abroad. He noted that the basis of all these problems is the policies of the Turkish governments to colonize the northern part of the island and assimilate the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mr Korkmazhan accused the Republican Turkish party and its coalition partner of succumbing to this and of distributing the citizenship of the regime under the name of registering the illegal workers with the Migration Law.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] More illegal migrants arrived in the occupied areas in order to cross over to the free areas of the Republic

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.09.08) reports that eleven illegal migrants were arrested yesterday in the occupied part of Nicosia. Five of the migrants are coming from Georgia, four Syria and two Egypt. It was established that they have entered the occupied areas of Cyprus through the occupied port of Famagusta. The police, together with the eleven illegal migrants, arrested also a person named H.B. (Male, 36 year-old) who was driving one of the vehicles in which the migrants were found. The police stated that the registration numbers and the driver of the other vehicle were not found.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.09.08) refers to the same issue and reports that the name of the arrested driver is Hayrettin Baris. The migrants were taken to a court in occupied Famagusta. The investigating officer of the case, Mehmet Kortac said that Hayrettin Baris lead the migrants to Nicosia to help them cross into the free areas of the Republic. Mr Kortac noted that eleven illegal migrants came to the occupied areas in a TIR truck on a ship from Turkey.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Flights between Turkeys city of Diyarbakir and the occupied part of Cyprus as of 24 October 2008 will be launched

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.09.08) reports that flights will be launched between Turkeys city of Diyarbakir and the occupied part of Cyprus as of 24 October 2008. The flights are organized by the Affan Turizm Company which is based in Diyarbakir and will be carried out twice a week.

    In statements to Anatolia news agency, Burhan Onder, director of Affan Turizm, said that those who wanted to travel from southeastern Anatolia to the occupied areas of Cyprus need ten hours and added that they decided to launch these flights in order to overcome this problem.

    Apart from some details we have agreed with the Turkish Cypriot Airlines (KTHY) and decided to carry out our first flight on 24 October, he said adding that the flights will be taking place every Friday and Sunday.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The Direct Traveler tour operator is trying to secure a license from the British Civil Aviation Authority in order for direct flights to be conducted to occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Cyprus Times newspaper (18.09.08) reports the following:

    Thousands of British holidaymakers could soon fly directly to North Cyprus from the UK. Negotiations are currently underway to change the rules regarding ports of entry to North Cyprus and leading independent North Cyprus specialist Direct Traveler is at the front of the queue to secure a license from the CAA (British Civil Aviation Authority).

    When it launched in 2003, Direct Traveler was the first tour operator to offer visitors traveling to the north of the island a direct route flying direct to Larnaca or Paphos in Greek southern Cyprus and then transferring across the border into North Cyprus.

    The new agreement, however, will mean holidaymakers can fly direct to Ercan without having to touchdown in Turkey or travel via a South Cyprus airport another first for the industry and potentially for Direct Traveler too.

    This is the opportunity we have been waiting for in order to add extra value and give more choice for our customers. If the current negotiations and our license application go smoothly, we would be the first, says Managing Director, Ramadan Ozdemir.

    The discussions between Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat have been welcomed by the North Cyprus tourist board and by travel agents and tour operators in the UK specialist tour operator to offer direct flights to Ercan tour customs concluded Direct Traveler Managing Director, Ramadan Ozdemir.

    [11] The self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football federation has stated that it is open to all the alternative proposals by FIFA except from becoming a member of the Cyprus Football Association

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.09.08) reports that the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football federation has stated that it is open to all the alternative proposals by FIFA except becoming a member of the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) before the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to questions of illegal TAK news agency, Mr Omer Adal, the chairman of the self-styled federation, said that the problem of the football in Cyprus has been connected with the political problem on the island and argued that in the proposals submitted to them by FIFA messages with political content are also included. He alleged that the proposals have the character of being prepared in the direction of the view of the Greek side.

    Therefore, he added, we could reach nowhere if the political concerns and the expectations of the sides are not taken into consideration. He said that as a result of the work they carried out before submitting their counter proposal to FIFA, they did not accept the proposal to become a member of the CFA.

    (I/Ts.)

    [12] The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry and eight other NGOs are starting a protest act under the name of civil disobedience

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.09.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry and eight other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) announced yesterday that as of today they are starting a protest act under the name of civil disobedience. The protesters said that they will not pay their electricity bills and their social insurance contributions and they will not issue road license for their vehicles. They also stated that they will not pay VAT and other taxes or make transactions for transferring title deeds.

    (I/Ts.)

    [13] German Court convicts three persons in connection with the Lighthouse fraud case

    Turkish NTV television (17.09.08) broadcast the following:

    A Frankfurt state court sentenced Turkish directors at the charity Deniz Feneri e.V. to jail for siphoning off 16 million euros ($22.8 million) of donations.

    Mehmet Gurhan, chairman of the charity until November 2006, was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in jail by the court today.

    Mehmet Taskan, chairman of the charity after Gurhan, and Firdevsi Ermis, its accountant, received shorter sentences, it said.

    All three defendants had pleaded guilty.

    The suspects in the case pleaded guilty to the fraud charges and apologized to those who donated to the charity.

    The so-called Deniz Feneri charity fraud case was the biggest charity corruption case in Germanys history, the court judge said Wednesday when he announced the ruling.

    A legal case was opened in Germany against the religious charity, Deniz Feneri, over claims of illegal financial transactions involving donated funds and fraud.

    The fraud scandal widened to media groups close to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and some Turkish bureaucrats.

    Of the suspects being tried in Germany, prosecutor Kerstin Loetz said the more guilty are at large in Turkey, and added Zekeriya Karaman, one of Deniz Feneri Turkey's founders and executive board chairman of Kanal 7 TV channel, is the main person responsible of all the crimes charged in the case.

    She also charged that the head of the Turkish media watchdog, RTUK, Zahid Akman was accountable for the crimes.

    Turkish prosecutors are examining allegations that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party may have received illegal payments from the charity.

    Turkey's constitution states that a political party must be banned if it's found to have received payments from foreign governments, charities or associations.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Columnist assesses that Turkey has abandoned its defensive stance and begun to pursue a more active foreign policy

    Under the title Turkeys foreign policy profile has been growing, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.09.08) publishes the following commentary by Lale Sariibrahimoglu:

    A senior European diplomat told me recently, "Turkey's foreign policy profile has been growing," in reference to Turkey's assumption of a bigger role as a facilitator in addressing regional conflicts.

    I avoid using the word "mediator," since this term refers to a role that dictates a plan to the conflicting parties.

    As far as I know, Turkey has not been assuming the role of a mediator but rather chooses to act as a facilitator, bringing parties closer together so that they themselves can find a common ground to resolve their disputes.

    Turkey has traditionally adopted a defensive stance, refraining from taking the initiative in foreign policy issues.

    Created on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire through a war for independence under Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's leadership in 1923, Turkey chose, perhaps rightly, to sweep its problems under the rug in its initial years, aiming to direct its efforts toward building a nation.

    Vast territories of the empire were lost, and it would have been dangerous to pursue policies for Turkish minorities throughout the former Ottoman lands.

    Thus, it is understandable that in the early years of the Turkish Republic the decision-makers chose to focus on building the nation itself. But in later years, Turkish decision makers have wrongly continued with this foreign policy of reacting to the events affecting the country instead of pursuing a more proactive stance in resolving disputes.

    If Turkey had developed the necessary self-confidence and taken a more proactive stance on foreign policy issues such as the Armenian claims of genocide under Ottoman rule in 1915 and on the Cyprus issue, I do not think the Turks would be consuming so much energy and financial resources on such problems.

    Similarly, the poorly defined policies of Turkish decision-makers have in fact been the cause of the country's Kurdish problem up to the present day.

    The sad thing is that the people, not the decision-makers, have suffered the most from these misguided policies.

    Nevertheless, Turkey has begun to pursue more proactive policies in recent years, with Cyprus being the first example.

    In this decades-old problem, Ankara's policy of taking the initiative encouraged the Turkish Cypriots to approve a UN plan by referendum in 2004. But the Greek Cypriot rejection of the plan led to a stalemate in the conflict-resolution process.

    Similarly, Turkey has taken the initiative to facilitate a rapprochement between long-time rivals Israel and Syria. Ankara has also been trying to balance its relations with the US, a close ally, and Russia, an important trade partner, over the recent conflict in the Caucasus.

    Turkey's ongoing strategy of creating a peaceful neighborhood by pursuing a policy of "Diplomacy follows trade" is also a positive stance that will benefit not only the Turks but also the peoples of those countries.

    The recent visit by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to neighboring Armenia has also demonstrated that Ankara is slowly overcoming its old fears and becoming more self-confident.

    At this point it is hard to asses the concrete results that will come from Turkey's increasingly proactive foreign policy. But, as one Western diplomat put it, Turkish steps in foreign policy go beyond rhetoric and can be felt "on the ground."

    The same diplomat recalled that Turkey is the only NATO member country with institutional links to Gulf and Arab organizations.

    The European Union has also welcomed a recent Turkish announcement that Ankara's foreign policy initiatives will also be connected to European neighborhood policy in an attempt to create regional synergy.

    "This will not only contribute to EU foreign policy aims, but will also bring Turkey closer to the union," another Western diplomat said.

    Improved relations between Turkey and Armenia, which may turn into trilateral talks for dispute resolution including Azerbaijan, have created a post-conflict mood, and people have started believing in the prospects for normalization in the Caucasus region.

    The EU has a policy of staying at peace with its neighbors and the fact that Turkey has been making peace with its neighbors is an extremely positive sign that Ankara is drawing closer to the 27-nation bloc, according to an EU diplomat.

    But the critical question arises of how Turkey continues its constructive foreign policy agenda with serious political turmoil inside the country. Also, the government has been timid in making serious democratic reforms in areas such as civilian-military relations and the Kurdish question.

    EG/


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