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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-12-02
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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. 231/08 02.12.08
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Members of the British Friends of Cyprus Committee is holding contacts in the occupied areasIllegal Bayrak television (02.12.08) broadcast the following:
A delegation of the British Friends of Cyprus Committee at the British Parliament is having contacts in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.The British delegation is in the republic to make evaluations on the peace process in Cyprus.
Within the framework of its contacts, the delegation visited the United Cyprus Party (BKP) today. Welcoming the delegation, the Leader of the BKP Izzet Izcan expressed his dissatisfaction over the latest point reached at the negotiations between the two leaders.
Underlining the importance of putting of the confidence building measures into force, Mr Izcan said leaders should take these measures into consideration. He also called on the two leaders to speed up the process.
During the visit, the delegation pointed out that the full-fledged negotiations have been launched with the request of the two leaderships in Cyprus and stated that everything would be solved if there is a good will.
 Soyer gave an interview to Der Spiegel magazine; He called on the Europeans to lift the isolations of the Turkish CypriotsTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.12.08) reports that in statements to German Der Spiegel magazine, the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer called on the Europeans to lift the so-called isolation of the TRNC. He said that their aim was to reach to a solution within the next year and added:
As Northern Cypriots we call on all Europeans to exert efforts in the direction of the lifting of the isolations.
He noted also the following: Our target was to hold the elections for the European Parliament in June 2009 together in a united Cyprus. However, everything is proceeding very slowly. I am concerned that we will not be able to achieve this target.
He alleged that the Greeks do not want to give equal rights to the Turks.
 Campaign in Britain by YAGAUnder the title Campaign in Britain by YAGA, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (02.12.08) reports that the so-called Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) is organizing a conference in London between 2 and 5 December in order to promote investments in the occupied areas of Cyprus. More than 70 foreign investors and media organs are expected to participate in the conference. The director of YAGA, Mrs Ayse Donmezer and the undersecretary at the prime ministers office, Ontac Duzgun organized a press conference yesterday on the issue.
Mrs Donmezer said that they will give general information in London about Cyprus and that their aim is to carry the TRNC to a good position from the point of view of tourism. She noted that they will give information on the economic situation in the occupied areas, the per capita income, the inflation rate, the investments incentive system, the corporate tax rate etc.
Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (02.12.08) refers to the issue and reports that Mrs Donmezer said the occupied area of Cyprus is in the first place in Europe taking into consideration the five-year average growth rate for 2002-2007, which is 9.65%. She also said that the breakaway regime has the lowest corporate tax rate and added that she will explain all these at the conference in London. The paper notes that the numbers tell the truth and do not justify those who create pessimism to the community and damage the psychology of the people.
 Turkish Cypriot real estate companies are reportedly worried for an announcement regarding the sale of 50 donums of land to Greek Cypriot and Israeli companiesUnder the title What is going on, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (02.12.08) wonders whether land in the occupied areas of Cyprus is sold to Greek Cypriots and Israelis through public auctions. The paper reports that the announcements for public auctions by the TRNC Land and Surveys Department caused shock to some real estate agents in the occupied areas.
The fact that the announcements for public auction regarding pieces of land which cannot be divided into lots, have been communicated to some real estate companies which are active in South Cyprus and Israel, created shock to real estate and construction companies in the TRNC, writes Vatan.
The announcement by the Land and Surveys Department was related to a stretch of land of 50 donums in occupied Pervolia Trikomou and Trikomo area. Details for the sale of this land were given with the announcement on 20 November 2008 to the Greek Cypriot Lordos Company and the Israeli Reshef Company, writes Vatan.
 Turkish Cypriot businessmen asked for help from Turkey to overcome the economic crisisUnder the title 350 million dollars are wanted, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (02.12.08) reports that a group of Turkish Cypriot businessmen met yesterday with the ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, Turkekul Kurttekin, after they were not able to make the Turkish State Minister Cemil Cicek realize the situation they are in.
Officials from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce informed Mr Kurttekin about their problems noting that $350 million are urgently needed in order for the Turkish Cypriots to overcome the economic crisis and added that the price they will pay will be very high in case this money is not secured. The officials argued that this money is necessary for the rearrangement of the debts of the private sector and for financing the businesses. They said that they demand $350 million as credit which they will pay back. The Turkish Cypriot businessmen proposed that the money could be distributed through the banks and an independent institution, to be carrying out the audit work.
Mr Kurttekin said that he will convey these demands to Ankara, but time is needed before they are met.
 Adal departed for Zurich in order to hold a meeting with FIFA officialsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.12.08) reports that the chairman of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation, Omer Adal departed yesterday for Zurich in order to hold a meeting with FIFA officials. In Istanbul the Turkish Cypriot delegation headed by Mr Adal met with Senez Erzik, [member of UEFAs administrative council]. Mr Adal said that they have determined their strategy and Mr Erzik considers this strategy to be positive. He argued that there is no other way out than the proposals they have submitted. Today the Turkish Cypriot delegation will hold a preliminary meeting with FIFA official, Mr Jerome Champiagne.
 European Commissioner was briefed on the Nicosia Master PlanTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (02.12.08) reports that Jan Figel, European Commissioner responsible for Education, Training, Culture and Multilingualism was informed yesterday by representatives of Nicosias Greek and Turkish municipalities on the Nicosia Master Plan. In statements before the meeting, Mr. Figel noted that he met with the working committee for culture established within the framework of the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. He said that the work of this committee is better than the work of the other committees and added that the work on the cultural heritage builds confidence.
 European Parliament starts debate on Turkey reportTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (02.12.08) reports the following:
The European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs is scheduled to hold its first debate today on a draft report concerning Turkey that is full of serious warnings for Ankara, which the draft says has lost its ambition for political reforms.
The draft report, which is expected to be amended several times before approval by the European Parliament, was penned by Dutch Christian Democrat parliamentarian Ria Oomen-Ruijten.
Oomen-Ruijten was in Ankara last week as part of a European Parliament delegation led by Hannes Swoboda, the vice president of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament. The delegation had talks with President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ali Babacan.
The draft criticizes the government for not putting forward a consistent and comprehensive program of political reforms, despite its strong mandate. Voicing concern about seeing for the third consecutive year, a continuous slowdown of the reform process, the draft calls on the Turkish government to prove its political will to continue the reform process to which it committed itself in 2005.
Even though it has been almost four years since the EU agreed that Turkey had sufficiently fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria related to democracy and the rule of law and was able to open negotiations for full membership, talks have stalled because of a perceived slowdown in the pace of the Turkish government's political reforms.
Turkey opened accession talks with the EU three years ago, on October 3, 2005, but progress has been slow since then. So far, talks have been opened on eight out of 35 negotiating chapters. Talks have been closed only on one of them.
While in Ankara, Oomen-Ruijten said she observed that the Turkish leadership was obsessed with opening chapters. Political reforms are even more important than opening chapters. When political reforms -- constitutional reform and cultural, individual and collective rights -- are in place, then the opening of chapters is easy, the rapporteur said then.
The draft also stresses that political reforms are at the heart of the reform process and notes that no comprehensive program of political reforms has been adopted by the government.
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.
Referring to its conclusions in December 2006 when it suspended negotiations with Turkey, the draft "recalls that the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments by December 2009 will further seriously affect the process of negotiations."
 Developments regarding the forthcoming local elections in TurkeyTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (02.12.08) reports the following:
Yesterday was the last day for public workers and party officials to resign from their posts in order to become candidates for the upcoming elections, but unlike previous elections, very few bureaucrats stepped down from their positions to become eligible for candidacy.
Only a small number of party officials -- mostly from the governing Justice and Development Party (AK Party) -- have announced their resignation.
General Director for Youth and Sports Mehmet Atalay was among the few bureaucrats who resigned from their posts to become eligible for candidacy. Atalay is expected to be the AK Party's mayoral candidate for the Black Sea province of Trabzon.
Meanwhile, the AK Party is expected to announce its mayoral nominees this week for the country's 16 metropolitan municipalities in the upcoming local elections to be held on March 29, 2009, and opposition parties have already started announcing their candidates.
The opposition parties are also looking forward to hearing the names of the AK Party candidates. While the AK Party's goal for the elections is to do even better than in the 2004 elections -- in which it won 12 of 16 metropolitan municipalities -- and capture the mayoral posts in all metropolitan municipalities, the Republican People's Party (CHP) aims to win six metropolitan municipalities and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) hopes to win two.
Stating that he will quit his post as the leader of the AK Party if his party comes second in the local elections, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made the competition more intense. The opposition parties find it meaningful that the prime minister has not said anything about exceeding the party's success in the previous general elections, held on July 22, 2007, by receiving over 47 percent of the vote in the upcoming elections. They claim that the AK Party will fail to even reach the same success as in the last local elections, in which it received 41 percent of the vote.
The AK Party will nominate some new names in the 12 metropolitan municipalities it won in the previous elections. While sticking with Istanbul Mayor Kadir Topbas, the party is expected to have difficulty in Ankara. After the CHP announced that it will nominate Murat Karayalcin in the elections, current Ankara Mayor Melih Gokcek turned the competition into a Karayalcin-Gokcek match. Yet, Erdogan is aware that if all opposition parties come together to back Karayalcin, the AK Party will lose the election in Ankara. Thus, experts have recommended finding another candidate.
The second impasse the AK Party faces is in the western province of Izmir. The AK Party plans to win Izmir's mayoral post by making an offer to former Izmir Mayor Burhan Ozfatura. Determined to win the mayoral post in the eastern province of Diyarbakir, which now belongs to the Democratic Society Party (DTP), the AK Party is expected to nominate a candidate who is an expert on both human rights and municipal posts.
The AK Party also aims to take control of other municipalities which are currently held by the DTP.
The party is also preparing to change its mayors in Bursa, Kocaeli, Gaziantep and Konya. In these provinces, the AK Party aims to retake the local elections by offering new names to the electorate.
In the provinces of Erzurum, Kayseri, Sakarya, Antalya, Samsun and Adana, the party was expected to re-nominate its incumbent mayors; however, Adana Gov. Aytac Durak announced his resignation yesterday from the AK Party.
Concerning his resignation, Durak said, Saying We will consider your candidacy after we ask the opinions of 300 party members' to someone who continues to do his job with public support and who has become well known for his municipality services is an insult to that person and to the Adana public.
Meanwhile, the main opposition CHP is planning to win six metropolitan municipalities and increase its share of the vote above 22 percent. It also aims to take back control of the Antalya, Gaziantep and Kocaeli metropolitan mayoral posts, which were won by the AK Party in the 2004 local elections. The CHP seems confident in its bid to win the mayoral post in Kocaeli with former Mayor Sefa Sirmen and in Gaziantep with former State Minister Mustafa Yilmaz. CHP leader Deniz Baykal's main goal is to take the mayoral post in Ankara with Karayalcin.
While the MHP won four provincial centers and 70 districts in the 2004 local elections, the party aims to take two metropolitan municipalities in the upcoming elections. The party hopes to win Mersin, where it was the leading party in the previous general elections, but lost the mayoral post in previous local elections to the CHP. It is also working to win Erzurum back.
The MHP is readying for a big surprise in the capital, where it has decided to nominate Beypazari District Mayor Mansur Yavas for the mayoral post. The party thinks those who are fed up with current mayor Gokcek -- a former MHP member -- and who do not want to vote for a leftist candidate will vote for Yavas.
On the issue of local elections, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (02.12.08) under the title, The last station at AKP, reports that Mr Aytac Burak, Mayor of Adana and President of Turkeys Municipalities Union, has resigned from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).
The mayors announcement came through a television programme and a letter to the leader of the AK and Turkeys Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In his letter Mr. Burak expressed his appreciation to the party that trusted him; however he wishes to resign from it for various reasons.
Furthermore, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (02.12.08) under the title Competition of candidates reports that the Republican People's Party (CHP) administration has nominated its candidate mayors for some provinces, specifically for 22 towns in Istanbul and 12 towns in Ankara. Ercan Karakas, Cem Kozlu, Gursel Tekin, Mehmet Sevigen are the strongest candidates in Istanbul, Hakan Tartan and Mehmet Ali Susam in Izmir.
The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) will most probably nominate Mehmet Ozhaseki as mayor in Kayseri again and Menderes Turel as mayor in Antalya. Also, it seems that the party will continue with the mayors of Bursa, Konya, Gaziantep and Kocaeli. The candidates for the mayors of Ankara and Istanbul will be announced later.
 An opinion poll conducted by MetroPOLL Strategic Research Center revealed that Turkish Society is not satisfied with Erdogans policyTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (02.12.08) reports the following:
The results of a recent opinion poll, which revealed that a considerable segment of Turkish society is not pleased with the current non-reformist stance of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, have been supported by several intellectuals who agree that the charismatic leader should return to his previous pro-freedom, democratic and reformist line.
The Ankara-based MetroPOLL Strategic and Social Research Center recently announced the results of a survey conducted to gauge the reactions to the new direction of Turkish politics. According to the survey, there is discernible unrest within society about the recent shift in the political line of Erdoan, who had been highly respected in the past for bold reforms that have helped Turkey take courageous steps to becoming a more democratic country, but is currently being severely criticized by some for turning into a leader who reflects the status quo.
More than 45 percent of those polled said they miss the old Erdogan, as they are not pleased with his current short-tempered style. Out of all respondents, only 16.8 percent said they like the current incarnation of the prime minister. Around 14 percent replied that they like both versions of Erdogan, while 18 percent said they dont like either.
Many Turkish intellectuals indicated that the survey comes as a warning for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party), dropping strong hints that the public wants to see an Erdogan who fights against the status quo, not one who has become a supporter of it.
The Turkish nation is aware of the fact that Erdogan has deviated from his democratic and reformist line and has become a statist leader. There is growing concern that the man who they voted for with great expectations may fall short of realizing his pledges.
Erdogan has recently come under fire for turning into an autocratic and erratic politician´ after his AK Party narrowly escaped closure by the Constitutional Court in July. It is widely thought that he has agreed to comply with the status quo so that his party is able to remain open. Some observers have slammed him for coming like Obama, but turning into some sort of Bush.
The survey revealed that voter confidence in the AK Party has, for months, kept falling for a number of reasons. While voter support for the ruling party was around 50 percent in September according to a previous MetroPOLL survey, it dropped to 35 percent in October. It has continued to decrease, with the most recent survey showing that only 32.6 percent of the electorate would vote for the AK Party. This figure is much lower than the one in the July 22, 2007, elections, in which the ruling party won around 47 percent of the vote.
 South Korea and Turkey to initiate Free Trade AgreementAnkara Anatolia news agency (01.12.08) reported the following from Ankara:
Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo of South Korea said on Monday that his country had never forgotten the sacrifice of Turkish soldiers during the Korean War.Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the guest prime minister held a joint press conference after their meeting in Ankara.
Expressing pleasure over the development Turkish economy recorded, Han said that during the meeting they discussed the cooperation opportunities between the two countries.
Noting that they also discussed Korean companies' increasing their investments in Turkey, Han said that they decided to develop projects on cooperation in construction, transportation and defense industry sectors.Han said that they also decided to initiate Free Trade Agreement between the two countries soon.
Turkish President Abdullah Gul received Prime Minister Han Seung-Soo of South Korea in Ankara on Monday. The meeting, which took place at Cankaya Presidential Palace, was closed to press.
 Turkeys Supreme Military Council to hold its winter period meetingTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (02.12.08) reports that Turkeys Supreme Military Council (YAS) will convene today for the winter period. This is the first time that General Ilker Basbug will attend the meeting as the Chief of Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces. The meeting will be chaired by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and will take place at the headquarters of the General Staff.
According to the paper, in todays meeting comprehensive information regarding the fight against terrorism is expected to be given to the Turkish PM.