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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-12-10

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. 237/08 10.12.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is holding contacts with EU officials
  • [02] Cyprus Peace Platform to have contacts in Brussels. Afrika argues that the CTP has tried to prevent this from happening
  • [03] Cakici said the mentality of taking orders from the governments in Turkey and obeying Ankara should change
  • [04] Talats insistence to have the upper hand and the construction of a new mosque in occupied Lefkosia further complicate the appointment of TRNCs ambassadors
  • [05] Kenan Akin, who is wanted by Interpol, is preparing to return to politics in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [06] Adal said the breakaway regime will abandon the NFB because of the negotiations with FIFA and the participation of the Kurds under the name of Kurdistan
  • [07] Barley and vetch were stolen from the house of Maronite woman in the occupied Karpasia village
  • [08] EU urges Turkey to proceed with reforms, to normalize ties with the Republic of Cyprus
  • [09] Norwegian company to explore for oil and gas in the Mediterranean for Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 09 December 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The Turkish Cypriot leader is holding contacts with EU officials

    Under the title If there is no equality, there is no solution, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.12.08) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, who is visiting Brussels in order to express the position and the demands of the Turkish Cypriot people, demanded equal treatment from the EU officials for the Turkish Cypriots.

    The paper reports that Mr Talat held a meeting yesterday with the chairman of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barosso and the Commissioner responsible for the Enlargement, Olli Rehn. The meeting took place at the building of the EU Council and lasted 45 minutes. The Turkish Cypriot leader briefed the EU officials on the recent developments in the Cyprus problem.

    In statements to Turkish media after the meeting, Mr Talat said he asked from both officials equal treatment by the EU for the Turkish Cypriot people. He argued that equal treatment would significantly contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem. Responding to a question, Mr Talat stated, inter alia, the following:

    We set forward that the negotiations are not proceeding with the pace we hoped. We told the EU officials that therefore they should encourage the Greek Cypriot side, because they are member of the EU and their members should be responsible for the solution in the first degree. They also think that we are proceeding slowly, but they tried to assure us that they encourage both sides.

    He repeated the allegation that the Turkish Cypriots need the solution more than the Greek Cypriots and that the will of the Greek Cypriot side for a solution is not at the same level as the will of the Turkish Cypriot side because the former is encouraged by the unequal treatment of the international community towards the latter. The EU officials made no statements after the meeting.

    Mr Talat reminded that the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem are held within the framework of the UN and added: We do not want any mediation or political interference by the EU. We have not made such a demand, because the Greek Cypriot side and Greece are EU members and we know that the EU could not be impartial.

    Mr Talat said that both EU officials conveyed to him that the EU is ready to offer technical assistance because the united Cyprus will be a member of the Union. Responding to a question he noted: When we said that the absence of a timetable creates a problem, Mr Barosso said in the fastest manner and the soonest.

    Mr Talat is meeting today with Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy. He is expected to give a press conference at 11.30 hours. He will continue his contacts tomorrow.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (10.12.08) refers to Mr Talats statements under the banner front-page title We do not want political interference by the EU.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Cyprus Peace Platform to have contacts in Brussels. Afrika argues that the CTP has tried to prevent this from happening

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.12.08) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus Peace Platform prepares to hold various contacts in Brussels under the slogan Turkish Cypriot voice gets heard in Brussels.

    The Platforms delegation is consisting of officials from the New Cyprus Party, United Cyprus Party, Communal Democracy Party, Cyprus Turkish Teachers Union, Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers Union, Cyprus Turkish Doctors Union and the trade union operating at the Eastern Mediterranean University- DAÜ-B0R-SEN.

    Tomorrow the Cyprus Peace Platform members will be received by the Head of the Turkish Cypriot Community Task Force Unit Andrew Rasbash; EP Vice-President and a member of the EP Socialist Group and the Deputy Head of the High Level Contact Group for Turkish Cypriots Mechtild Rothe; and Sean ONeachtain- MEP from the Nationalist Group and a member of the High Level Contact Group.

    The delegations Brussels agenda also includes meetings with the Head of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Graham Watson and Andrew Duff- a member of the alliance.

    The Cyprus Peace Platform representatives will also be meeting with Françoise Grossetete- Head of the High Level Contact Group for Turkish Cypriots, who is a member of the Group of the European Peoples Party (Christian Democrats).

    Platform members will complete their contacts in Belgian capital by Friday.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.12.08) refers to the visit of the Cyprus Peace Platform to Brussels under the title Listen for the first time Europe and reports that the EU has finally opened its doors to the opposite voices in our community.

    The paper writes, inter alia, the following: The Cyprus Peace Platform, which is known for its opposition to the official positions on the Cyprus problem, has been invited to Brussels. In spite of all the obstacles by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) which acts with instructions from Ankara, the voice of the Turkish Cypriots is being carried to Brussels.

    The paper refers also to Mr Talats visit to Brussels in the same period of the visit of the Platform and wonders whether this is a coincidence. Is Talats visit to Brussels aimed at suppressing the opposite voices?, wonders Afrika.

    [03] Cakici said the mentality of taking orders from the governments in Turkey and obeying Ankara should change

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (10.12.08) publishes an interview with Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), who said that the mentality of taking orders from the governments in Turkey and obeying Ankara should change in the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Responding to a question on why the coalition governments are not successful, Mr Cakici said, inter alia, the following:

    I believe that the problem is in the mentality. Is there a democracy problem in this country? Yes there is, because the people who are in politics in this country have considered themselves as yes-men. They have considered themselves not as leaders but as individuals and persons who take orders from the governments of Turkey and have to obey them. I think that this mentality should change. It is the duty of the politicians to bring about a mentality which does not take orders from the governments of Turkey and absolutely no party was able to show this will. .

    When he was reminded that the TKP, the predecessor of the TDP, has been in the government with the National Unity Party (UBP) and asked what they have done then, Mr Cakici reminded the demand of the then TKP leader, Mustafa Akinci to bind the police to the civilian authority and the fact that Mr Akinci accused the commander of the Turkish occupation army of going beyond the limits. Anyway, the TKP was then thrown out of the government by the UBP, because it showed this stance, he said and expressed the hope that he will go further than Akinci.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talats insistence to have the upper hand and the construction of a new mosque in occupied Lefkosia further complicate the appointment of TRNCs ambassadors

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (10.12.08) under its front-page title, The daughter land in reverse gear, reports that the diplomatic relations between the motherland Turkey and its daughter land TRNC has dropped to a charge d affaires level. The reason is that the TRNC for three and a half months now and Turkey for two and a half months now could not appoint an ambassador to Ankara and (occupied) Lefkosia, respectively.

    According to the paper, the crisis began when the Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat demanded that the ambassadors and the foreign representatives be appointed within his own discretion. This was opposed by the TRNCs foreign minister Turgay Avci. As the paper reports, after the TRNC ambassador to Ankara, Mr Tamer Gazioglu, completed his term on August 31, counsellor Namik Korhan was appointed as the new ambassador. However, Talat prevents the appointment to take place for pressing the government to amend the law. Under these developments, for three and a half months now the level of representation of the TRNC Embassy in Ankara fell to the interim charge d affaires.

    The paper continues in its inside pages and under the subtitle, London and Rome are problematic as well, reports that Mr Talat blocks the appointment of the representatives in London, Rome and Izmir. According to the paper, for a long time now Mr Talat refuses to fix an appointment to the representatives to London, Mr Kemal Koprulu, and to Izmir, Mr Mustafa Evran, to hand them their authorisation documents.

    In addition, the Turkish Ambassador to occupied Lefkosia, Mr Turkekul Kurttekin, who at the end of the year will retire due to the age limit, has been transferred to the headquarters since October 31. About the return of Kurttekin to Ankara a lot of speculations came to light. One being that Mr Kurttekin was opposing the construction of a new mosque in (occupied) Lefkosia and the self-styled Foreign Minister Turgay Avci demanded his early return to Ankara. Another allegation was that Turkey would appoint a provincial governor (vali) to occupied Lefkosia in order to give the message to the Greek Cypriot side that if there is not a solution Turkey would annex the island. However, the Turkish foreign ministry denied all the allegations.

    Now it is expected that an Ambassador will be appointed to occupied Lefkosia, where for two and a half months a charge d affaires is in office. However, in the corridors of the Turkish Foreign Ministry there is not discussion of any preparation regarding a government decision, concludes Hurriyet.

    (EA)

    [05] Kenan Akin, who is wanted by Interpol, is preparing to return to politics in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.12.08) reports that the former self-styled minister of agriculture and forests, Kenan Akin [who is wanted by Interpol for the murder of Solomos Solomou in Deryneia in 1996] has stated that he is considering to return to politics.

    In statements to Ada TV television, 57-year-old Akin said he loves politics and he is considering to return to politics in order for the people to benefit from his experience.

    He criticized the policy of the government in the field of agriculture and added that if he were in the place of the minister of agriculture, Onder Sennaroglu, he would have resigned a long time ago. He predicted that a coalition government between the National Unity Party (UBP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) could be established and argued that people see hope in these two right-wing parties.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Adal said the breakaway regime will abandon the NFB because of the negotiations with FIFA and the participation of the Kurds under the name of Kurdistan

    Under the title The NF Board page has been closed, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.12.08) reports that Omer Adal, chairman of the self-styled Turkish Cypriot Football Federation, has said that the issue of their abandoning the New Football Board (NFB), [as the paper explains NFBs name in English] which is established by non-FIFA-member football clubs, is on their agenda.

    Mr Adal said they are invited to the meeting and the general assembly of the NFB which will take place on 13 December, but they will not go. The reason for this, he noted, is the stage of their negotiations with FIFA and the fact that the name of the Kurdish State, which participates in the NFB, has been changed to Kurdistan.

    He argued that there is no state under the name of Kurdistan and added that it is not possible for them to be in the same environment with a group, which applies terror in Turkey. He noted that they will resign from NFB in case this group participates in the Viva World Cup under the name of Kurdistan.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Barley and vetch were stolen from the house of Maronite woman in the occupied Karpasia village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.12.08) reports that six bags of barley and two bags of vetch have been stolen from the house of Yannoulla Antoniou in the occupied Karpasia village. According to the police, the incident occurred on 7 December, The police continue the investigation on the issue.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] EU urges Turkey to proceed with reforms, to normalize ties with the Republic of Cyprus

    Istanbul Hurriyet daily news.com (09.12.08) reported the following:The European Union called on candidate nation Turkey to normalize relations with the Greek Cypriots as a matter of urgency and to do more reforms especially on the legislation regarding the political parties.

    EU foreign ministers, meeting in Brussels Monday, voiced regret that Turkey had still not fulfilled its obligations regarding the Greek Cypriots Cyprus, as contained in the so-called Ankara protocol.

    Progress is now awaited as a matter of urgency, the ministers said in a joint text.

    The EU has been calling Turkey to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels, while Ankara says Brussels should ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. In 2004, Turkish community in Cyprus approved a U.N. peace plan, however the Greeks entered the EU despite their rejection.

    Yet the Cyprus issue became another excuse for the EU to drag its feet on the membership negotiations with Turkey. The EU has suspended negotiation in eight chapters.

    The E.U. ministers also noted with regret that Turkey was making very limited progress on political reform.

    The (EU) Council is disappointed to note that over the year just passed Turkey has made only limited progress, particularly as regards political reforms," ministers said. They hoped that Turkey will now redouble its efforts to implement the measures so long awaited.

    Ministers said Turkey should do more to reform its judiciary, fight corruption and torture, guarantee freedom of expression and religion, and protect minority rights.

    The Turkish government has stalled reforms needed in the EU process as the union lost its public support. Majority of the Turkish nation is against the EU membership, believing the EU is not sincere in its relations with Turkey.

    Two more chapters are expected to be opened before France hands the presidency to Czech Republic at the end of December, bringing the total chapters opened to 10 out of the 35, with only one successfully closed.

    [09] Norwegian company to explore for oil and gas in the Mediterranean for Turkey

    Istanbul Hurriyet daily news.com (09.12.08) reported the following:

    Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) reached an agreement with Norwegian Wavefield Inseis Company for seismic data collecting in Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea.

    TPAO held a tender on collecting 3D seismic data in Black Sea and 2D seismic data in both Mediterranean and Black Sea to explore oil and natural gas potentials.

    TPAO reached an agreement with Norwegian Wavefield Inseis Company which will collect seismic data in an area of 7,982 kilometers in Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea, and process the data at a vessel and/or a center. The studies of the Norwegian company will continue for a year.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 09 December 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 09 December 2008:

    a) Feast of Sacrifice

    In a column in Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (09.12.08), Oral Calislar criticizes the manner in which animals are being sacrificed during the Feast of Sacrifice. There is nothing we can say about people wanting to sacrifice animals in accordance with their faith, Calislar writes, adding, however, that he objects to the way this is executed. Calislar criticizes the fact that people are still engaging in this ritual in full public view, especially in front of children, in places that are not designated for it. He terms these bloody scenes frightening and primitive, and call for a more organized and civilized way of fulfilling this religious requirement.

    Under the banner headline "Those who shared benevolence made people smile throughout the world"," Zaman newspaper (09.12.08) carries a front-page report which says that Muslim charities distributed the meat of cattle and sheep slaughtered during the Festival of Sacrifice to needy people in Turkey and various Muslim countries.

    b) Riots in Greece

    Referring to the recent riots in Greece in protest against the killing of a youth by policemen, Derya Sazak of Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (09.12.08) views the state of "police brutality" in Turkey. In an article, Sazak highlights the use of "excessive force," human rights violations, and torture in Turkey, recalling the example where bandits dressed as policemen raided a restaurant in Istanbul and dragged a woman on the floor pulling her by the hair, while the patrons simply observed because they feared the police. Sazak argues that "despite all the reforms in the EU accession process and the 'adaptation' laws on the democratization and transparency of the security sector and the prevention of human rights violations, we have not succeeded in preventing police brutality and torture."

    In an editorial in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (09.12.08), Oktay Eksi also takes the opportunity of the riots in Greece to level criticism against Istanbul Security Director Celalettin Cerrah, in particular, and the Turkish police, in general. Recalling that Cerrah said the patrons of an Istanbul restaurant should have asked those who posed as policemen to show their identity, Eksi accuses Cerrah of not being aware of "police reality," and says that he has still not received an answer to his following question: How many policemen have been punished so far for not first revealing their identity in the course of duty?" Eksi challenges the entire police organization and even the Interior Ministry to answer the question. He charges that in the case of the Turkish police, we are not talking about a few "rotten apples" within the organization, but of a few healthy ones that are being annihilated. Eksi expresses the belief that "neither the law nor democracy can survive in a country whose police are not good."

    Also in Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (09.12.08) referring to the riots in Greece, in his column, Mehmet Yilmaz states that the Greek interior minister and his deputy tendered their resignations over the killing of a 16-year-old demonstrator by a police bullet, and the prime minister apologized to the family in question. Lamenting the fact that this is not the way matters are conducted in Turkey, Yilmaz argues that this is the reason why Greece is a member of the EU and Turkey is not. There are two different worlds on either side of the Aegean, Yilmaz argues, and describes the "civilized concept of public administration," as exemplified in Greece as follows: "A concept that feels responsible vis-a-vis the citizens, that does not hesitate to assume responsibility for the mistakes committed by public employees under its command, and that fulfills the requirements of that responsibility."

    c) Local Elections

    Referring to the sharp increase in the number of voters announced by the High Election Council, (YSK), this year -- 48,270,000 compared to 42,630,000 last year -- Hakki Devrim cites Tarhan Erdem's warning that "a grave mistake is being committed." According to Erdem, as quoted by Devrim in an article in Turkish daily Radikal newspaper (09.12.08), the discrepancy in the number of voters could be due to a number of reasons, but "the important thing is to draw up the lists in compliance with the laws, principles, and election safety traditions. The new lists are wrong and invalid because they were compiled in line with information obtained by factors outside the YSK." In other words, Devrim concludes, Erdem is saying that the provision added to Article 33 of Law 298 nine months ago is erroneous and should be amended. Devrim goes on to criticize the government for remaining silent to this irregularity.

    Writing in Turkish daily Vatan newspaper (09.12.08) in a column, Gungor Mengi also criticizes the government for remaining indifferent to the objections raised in connection with the discrepancy in the electoral lists. A difference of 6 million is significant, Mengi says, adding that this fact casts a shadow over the upcoming local elections in March. According to Mengi, the main opposition party is claiming that the two institutions that play a role in drawing up the lists -- namely the Statistics Institute and the Interior Ministry -- are full of government appointees, and the Justice and Development Party may gain an advantage in places where the competition is tight between the government and the opposition. Mengi demands answers from the relevant institutions, or alternatively, a recount.

    d) Economy

    In an article entitled "Overcoming crises with minimum damage", Turkish daily Yeni Safak newspapers columnist Meliksah Utku argues that a global approach not influenced by any ideology should be taken to economic problems which may be encountered in the future. He comments: "First of all, the international decision-making mechanism should no longer be controlled by G8 and several countries which can veto decisions and we must establish a global mechanism based on democracy which we idealize at local level. If such a democratic culture cannot be established in the world, it would only be a fantasy to hope that the new systems to substitute the IMF and the World Bank which have proven to be insufficient will produce a strong effect."

    Under the banner headline "He is trying to fuel the crisis," Vakit newspaper carries a front-page report which accuses newspapers owned by Aydin Dogan, a Turkish media mogul, of publishing stories overstating the effects of the global financial crisis in spite of the fact that Turkey is one of the countries which will emerge from the crisis with minimum damage.

    In an article entitled "Business community is eyeing the IMF", Turkish daily Zaman newspapers columnist Huseyin Sumer says that ongoing negotiations between the Turkish government and the IMF have reached the final phase. He notes: "To eliminate the possibility of being presented with a fait accompli, the IMF delegation wants to make sure that the agreement is finalized before the budget bill is tabled in Parliament and signed before the end of the year."

    Under the title: "We create new opportunities for Turkish businessmen by visiting various countries" Turkish daily Zaman newspaper (09.12.08) publishes an interview with Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. Responding to a question about the purpose of exchange of visits between Turkey and some countries which were rarely visited by Turkish statesmen in the past, Mr Babacan said the visits create opportunities for Turkish businessmen.

    In an article entitled "Predicting political future through economy," Turkish daily Zaman newspapers columnist Mumtazer Turkone says that the IMF urges the Turkish government to raise VAT and to cut spending on social welfare which, he notes, contradicts with the formula devised by US President-elect Barack Obama for reviving the US economy. Pointing out that Turkey should pursue the same policy as the United States, Turkone goes on to say: "Obama's comment that the situation will change for the worse has boosted confidence in the way the US government handles the economic situation based on transparency and honesty. Turkey also needs a very effective management of the national economy during the crisis."

    EG/


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