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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-11-24
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 225/08 22-24.11.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Babacan stresses that Erdogan government has made no concessions in Cyprus and it will not do any in the future. He briefed the Turkish parliament on Turkeys policy on various issuesAnkara Anatolia news agency (21.11.08) reports the following:
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that the recent economic crisis may delay the EU's enlargement activities and that he sees this as a risk.
Babacan was responding to questions and criticisms about the 2009 budget of his ministry before the Planning and Budget Commission of the TBMM (Turkish Grand National Assembly).
Commenting on Turkey's EU membership process, Babacan recalled that accession talks started in October 2005 and that the screening (of some chapters of the EU acquis) was conducted for one year.
The foreign minister noted that thus far eight chapters have been opened and that two more chapters will be opened in December if there are no unexpected adverse developments. He added that a decision taken at the end of 2006 froze eight chapters until the resolution of the Cyprus problem.
Babacan recalled that five other chapters have not been opened because one EU member has insisted that these chapters not be negotiated at this time with the argument that these chapters would lead Turkey to full membership.
He said: "In addition, chapters on issues such as education, culture, and energy have not been opened because of the political postures of some member states."
Babacan said that work is continuing on chapters for which opening criteria have been provided, that two chapters were opened for negotiation last June, and that he expects additional chapters to open for negotiation during the term presidencies of the Czech Republic and Sweden next year.
The minister said that, although the screening of approximately ten chapters was completed in October 2006, his office has not yet received the screening reports. He continued: "This is a situation that none of the other candidate states have encountered in their EU membership process. We are waiting to see if there will be criteria for the opening of chapters. We hear that there are disagreements among the member states and, in particular, there is a problem at the level of the EU Council on this issue."
Noting that the recent economic crisis may distract the attention of the EU from the enlargement process and that it may slow or put off relevant work, Babacan said that he sees this as a risk.
Recalling that a "Draft National Program" has been prepared, Babacan said that the Office of the Prime Minister is about to complete its work on this issue. He added that the draft will be published in the Official Gazette as a Council of Ministers decree after it is signed by the prime minister and all the ministers.
The minister said that the draft was delivered to the leaders of all the political parties but that he has not received any opinions from any opposition parties except one.
Babacan said that the program was drafted based on the Accession Partnership Document that was published in the official gazette of the EU. He continued: "We looked at that document, but we did not draft a national program that matches this document 100 percent. When you put the Accession Partnership and the National Program documents next to each other, you will see that they do not fully match. We did not think it was appropriate to take at this stage some of the steps the EU expects or demands from us. Our strategy in the accession talks is to move swiftly on the steps that can be of immediate benefit to us. However, there are also steps that we find appropriate to postpone for various reasons--on some issues steps that we can say we will take three, five, ten, 12 years after we join as a member. We have been discussing these within the framework of the negotiations."
CHP [Republican People's Party] Deputy from Istanbul Sukru Elekdag warned that "Barzani and Talabani will never allow their PKK card to go away" and that "they will play this card against Turkey." Elekdag added that it wrong "to go begging after Barzani" in order to ensure border security.
Stating that [Turkey] must instill in Barzani the fear that "he may be harmed if he harms Turkey," Elekdag said that Turkey needs to develop policies of deterrence against northern Iraq.
Pointing out that Turkey has influence over the economy of northern Iraq, Elekdag said that priority must be given to economic measures and that steps to apply military pressure may be undertaken if no progress is made with economic measures.
Foreign Minister and Chief EU Negotiator Ali Babacan said that today everyone acknowledges the success of military operations in the war against the terrorist organization PKK. He said: "The entire world has praised the string of military operations that were conducted with the precision of a brain surgery without hurting a single civilian."
The TBMM Planning and Budget Commission approved the 2009 budgets of the Foreign Ministry and the EU Secretariat General.
Answering questions and critical remarks by deputies about the budget of his ministry, Babacan commented on Turkey's policies on issues ranging from the EU and Cyprus to Iraq and Armenia.
Expressing disagreement with criticisms from opposition deputies to the effect that concessions are being made on Cyprus, Babacan said: "When we look at what has been done since the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government took office, I cannot think of a single example that we can call a 'concession.'"
The minister said that today many countries understand much better the justness of the position of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in this matter. He added that today the positions taken by Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus are much more valued and respected.
Babacan continued: "How long might the [Cyprus] talks last? Where might they go? Might they lead to an agreement? It is too early to say anything on this issue at this time, but we see that both [Cypriot] leaders have acted with the desire to find a solution in the talks thus far." Babacan added that Cyprus is a national cause, that [the government] has not made any concessions on it until now and that it will not make any in the future.
Noting that Iraq is Turkey's neighbor and that [the government] wants to develop relations with that country in every sphere, Babacan said: "We see the Iraqi people as our brothers regardless of their ethnic background, religion, or sect and we formulate our policies accordingly. Economic sanctions were mentioned. We thought much about this, but in our policies related to Iraq we are determined not to take any steps that would harm the daily life of the people there or that would cause them hardships. There were many exhortations to this effect--such as changing the procedures at border crossings or cutting the electricity supply. Indeed, there were even newspaper headlines suggesting that 'aircraft fly over their houses to break some windows.' We do not have any disputes with the Iraqi people. We want the Iraqi people to be happier and more prosperous. If our problem is with certain personalities in the Iraqi government, then we have to deal with them and to press them. That is where we must seek solutions. The steps we have taken with respect to the terrorist organization PKK, our diplomatic initiatives, the dialog processes we have initiated with numerous countries--these were steps that were aimed at the terrorist organization and the sources that provide financial and political support to it. Today, everyone concedes the success of the military operations in this war. The entire world has praised the string of military operations that were conducted with the precision of a brain surgery without hurting a single civilian. Military instruments are important in the war against terrorism, but they are not sufficient on their own. We have pursued policies aimed at isolating the terrorist organization. Thanks to our initiatives, not a single country issued a single negative statement with regard to our military operations."
Babacan acknowledged that there are continuing problems with the local administration in northern Iraq. He said: "No doubt, we are extremely perturbed by their statements of empathy with the terrorist organization, their tacit support, and their facilitation of their activities." He noted however that, over time, changes has begun to be observed in the behavior of the leaders of the local administration in northern Iraq.
Babacan added that, as a result of these changes, the Turkish special representative in Iraq began to have direct contact with the local administration in northern Iraq.
Underscoring that Turkey is working intensively on the Kirkuk issue, Babacan said: "An injudicious local election would bring disaster to Kirkuk with the current demographic structure of that city. Problems that may surface in Kirkuk may spread to all of Iraq and this may have extremely adverse consequences."
Commenting on relations with Armenia, Babacan said that initiatives related to that country must be viewed within the context of Turkey's policies with regard to the Caucasus region in general.
Explaining that work related to the proposal on a Caucasus Alliance is continuing, Babacan said that regional problems will be discussed in a platform comprised of Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.
Noting that there is continuing diplomatic traffic with Armenia, Babacan said that he understands the concerns that have been expressed with regard to this process and that his ministry will keep these in mind.
Babacan disclosed that Armenia wants a certain level of secrecy in the ongoing negotiations with regard to any steps that may be taken and any associated details. He continued: "We believe that it is important to establish lasting stability and peace in the Caucasus without making any concessions from our national interests or our point of view."
The foreign minister added: "The normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and between Turkey and Armenia are truly and extremely important for the stability of our region. This is the goal we have set. This is not an easy goal. There are problems that have a history of many years. Nonetheless, there is a strong resolve in these three countries."
 Statements by Talat after meeting Erdogan in AnkaraIllegal Bayrak television (21.11.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has criticized the Greek Cypriot Administration for signing a memorandum with Russia.
The President warned that the signing of memorandums with countries which do not know the current situation at the table would not help the negotiation process. `Signing a bilateral agreement with a country on principles on which we reached agreement at a time while all issues are on the table, will not contribute positively to the negotiation process` he said.
The Presidents words came in response to journalists questions concerning the issue after his discussions with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara yesterday.
During the meeting between the two leaders, President Talat briefed Mr. Erdogan about the ongoing negotiation with the Greek Cypriot Side while the Turkish Premier voiced his support to the President for his efforts towards bringing about a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
Reiterating Ankaras support to the process, Mr. Erdogan also voiced the Turkish governments sensitivity on the maintenance of the parameters on the Cyprus issue.
Its been learned that economic relations between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Turkey were also discussed by the two leaders.President Talat also met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.
Later, the President attended a round-table meeting organized by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. The meeting, titled Cyprus Negotiations: Where We Stand was attended by academicians and representatives of media and non-governmental organizations.
 Statements by Talat after returning from AnkaraIllegal Bayrak television (23.11.08) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat has warned Russia to refrain from taking initiatives that would harm the negotiations process in Cyprus.
The Presidents words came on his return to the republic from Ankara last night. Speaking to reporters, Mr. Talat referred to the memorandum signed between Russia and the Greek Cypriot Administration saying it has encouraged the non-solution on the island.
The President stressed that the realities have been reversed with the signing of the memorandum despite the Greek Cypriot Administrations assurances that it will not change direction from the line agreed before.
Noting that the agreement reached between Russia which is a member of the UN Security Council and South Cyprus is including two important issues, Mr. Talat said one of these issues is the fact that it foresees the transformation of the unitary Cyprus Republic into a federal state.
The second important issue is that Russia is also rejecting the timetable and arbitration which is being rejected by Greek Cypriot Administration, he added.
Also referring to his contacts in Ankara, the President said he exchanged views with Turkish officials on the negotiations process in Cyprus as well as the global financial crisis.
 Reply to a question on Cyprus by Olli RehnFollowing is the reply to a question on Cyprus by the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Mr Olli Rehn, from an interview in Todays Zaman (18.11.08):
Question: If there is no solution to the Cyprus issue by the end of the year, will you again punish Turkey for not opening its ports?
Answer: I think we should not think of it as a matter of crime and punishment but rather in terms of a window of opportunity. And there is now indeed a window of opportunity, a real chance to make a breakthrough on a comprehensive settlement over the reunification of Cyprus under the auspices of the UN. The European Commission and the EU are fully supportive of this and we are always ready to assist this process. But we also expect that, apart from our service, Turkey and other countries will also politically support this process to its conclusion.
 Businessmen from Qatar said they might be interested in investing in the real estate and tourism sectors in occupied Cyprus. Avci is on a visit to QatarUnder the title Landing in Qatar by the ministry of foreign affairs, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (24.11.08) reports that the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Turgay Avci is continuing his contacts in Qatar. Mr Avci is meeting with businessmen whom he invited to the occupied areas of Cyprus in order to examine the business potentials on the island.
At the airport Mr Avci, who aims at developing the cooperation with Qatar and joint projects in the fields of tourism and trade, was received by the ambassador of Turkey to Doha, Mithat Rende. The Turkish Cypriot delegation under Mr Avci met with the chairman of Qatars Businessmens Union, Seyh Faysal bin Qassim Al Thani, the chairman of the Chamber of Industry Mohammad bin Ahmad Towar Al Kuwari and officials from both the above-mentioned organizations. Mr Avci stated that the occupied areas of Cyprus export to Middle East countries such as Kuwait and Syria products such as potatoes, halloumi, citrus fruits and olive oil and expressed his hope for joint businesses between Qatar and the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Soyk Al Thani said that they hope to develop their relations with the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus and added that there are possibilities for investment on the island and they could visit the occupied part of Cyprus when the time is appropriate. He noted that they provide every opportunity to the Turkish Cypriot businessmen who wish to invest in Qatar.
On his part, Mr Kuwari said that the businessmen from Qatar might be interested in the real estate and tourism sectors in north Cyprus.
On Mr Avcis contacts, Illegal Bayrak television (23.11.08) broadcast the following:
The Foreign Minister Turgay Avci has started his contacts in Qatar.
Mr. Avci accompanied by the acting President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce Ramazan Gundogdu, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry Salih Tunar and the President of the Cyprus Tukish Businessmens Council Rasim Yakin visited the Qatar Businessmen Council and Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
He also came together with a group of Qatari and Turkish businessmen at lunch. Speaking there, Mr. Avci said that the aim of the visit is to improve relations between the two countries in the field of commerce education, tourism and other business sectors.
He also invited the Qatari businessmen to the TRNC and stressed the fact that their visit would be important in terms of seeking the investment opportunities in North Cyprus.
Also speaking, the President of the Qatar Businessmen Council Bin Qassim Al Thani expressed the hope for improving the relations with Turkish Cypriots and added that they will soon visit the island to seek the investment opportunities in the TRNC.
 TRNC Trade and Tourism office was opened in QatarAnkara Anatolia news agency (24.11.08) reports the following:
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has opened its 13th mission abroad in Qatari capital city of Doha.
The mission will serve under the name of "TRNC Trade and Tourism Office". TRNC Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Turgay Avci, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, Turkey's Ambassador to Qatar Mithat Rende, Azerbaijan's Ambassador to Qatar Eldar Salimev were in attendance at the opening of the office.
Avci said that they were also planning to open similar missions in Kuwait and Oman.
The mission aims at boosting commercial, tourism, social, cultural and sports relations between the TRNC and Qatar.
The TRNC has missions in New York and Washington D.C. in the United States, Britain, Italy, Brussels, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, and in Ankara, Istanbul, Izmir and Mersin provinces in Turkey.
 The population of occupied Keryneia area doubled in the period 1996-2006Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.11.08) reports that the self-styled mayor of occupied Keryneia, Sumer Aygin has said that the two most important problems of the occupied city are the yacht harbor, which they cannot touch, and the Beycan Caves, which are in a very bad condition. In statements to a team of journalists from Kibris newspaper, Mr Aygin argued that the Evkaf religious foundation is responsible for both problems and accused the foundation of lack of vision and of preventing the projects for the development of the city.
Mr Aygun said that the population of occupied Keryneia was 12.917 before the census in 1996 and increased to 24.122 in the population census of 2006, but after binding Bellapais and Kazafani to their municipality, the number of their population reached 27.640. Mr Aygin complained about the aid his municipality is receiving from the state.
 Kutlay Erks family files a case at the ECHR against the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.11.08) reports that Ahmet Erdengiz, Turkish deputy member of the Committee on the Missing Persons, has said that every family has the right to know who murdered their relative and how this happened, but before starting such a work one should investigate what kind of results this will create. In an interview with Kibris, Mr Erdengiz noted that facing the future is a sensitive issue.
With reference to the remains of the missing persons unearthed, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (23.11.08) reports the following under the front page title Christofias will account for it to the ECHR:
A law suit to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against the Republic of Cyprus was submitted by the four children of Mustafa Arif, one of the missing persons of 1963 and whose the remains were unearthed after excavations performed by the Missing Persons Committee in Strovolos region in South Cyprus.
The children of Mustafa Arif Semral Emin, Asim Erk, Huseyin Erk and Kutlay Erk- who are the claimants, have submitted the law suit to the ECHR on November 21st, claiming that the Republic of Cyprus has violated Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights and asking for an investigation and compensation.
The same story is reported in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.11.08) under the front page title A law suit case was filed in the ECHR for Kutlay Erks father.
 Turkish Cypriot London-based company will bring tourists to the occupied and free areas of the Republic of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.11.08) reports that IndiGoJet Travel, which has been established in London by the Turkish Cypriot advocate Hasan Vahib, will be preparing packages to develop the tourism in Cyprus and encompass the free areas of the Republic as well. The company was opened on 13 November in Edgeware Road in West End Area in the presence of the self-styled minister of tourism Erdogan Sanlidag.
 Auditors from Turkey audit the tax department of the breakaway regimeTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (24.11.08) reports that the fact that the tax department of the breakaway regime is audited by and takes instructions from auditors who came from Turkey caused some questions. The paper reminds that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) has come to power saying that the Turkish Cypriots will be masters of their own house. Ortam reminds that the central bank of the regime is also directed by bureaucrats from Turkey.
 The breakaway regime is accused of importing barley seed from Italy without inviting for tendersTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (24.11.08) reports that the self-styled government of the breakaway regime has imported barley seed from Italy without inviting for tenders and that the agricultural products foundation forced the producers to buy this seed after signing a paper saying that the foundation has no responsibility about the product. Under the title Disgrace in agriculture, the paper publishes statements by the leader of the Peoples Party, Rasit Pertev who said that brining seed from Italy is a great gamble, but forcing the farmers to pay the price for the wager is a complete disgrace.
 The budget of the self-styled ministry of public works and transportation approvedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.11.08) reports that the Economy, Budget and Plan Committee approved with majority the 2009 budget for the self-styled ministry of public works and transportation. The budget is 133 million, 561 thousand 515 New Turkish Lira.
 The self-styled minister of environment, Mustafa Gokmen continues his contacts in TurkeyTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (22.11.08) reports that the self-styled Minister of Environment, Mr. Mustafa Gokmen continue his contacts in Istanbul.
According to a statement issued by the so-called ministry, the self-styled Minister of Environment, Mr. Mustafa Gokmen accompanied by the director of the so-called Meteorology Department, Mr. Fehmi Oktay, visited Istanbul Bogazici University in order to have contacts on the issue of widening the cooperation protocol signed in the past between the so-called ministry of Environment and the Istanbul Bogazici University. The issue of the establishment of an Earthquake Research Center in the occupied areas was also among the issues discussed.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr. Gokmen said that he visited the museum of the Earthquake Research Center of Bogazici University and that he was informed about the earthquake research technologies.