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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 08-12-19

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. 243/08 19.12.08

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] EU Court Advocate General recommends enforcement of Cyprus Court decision on Orams case
  • [02] Downer met with Babacan
  • [03] British officials met with UBP leader
  • [04] Chairman of KTOEOS commented on statements made by the outgoing Turkish envoy in the occupied areas
  • [05] Serdar Denktas foresees early elections
  • [06] Rasbash explained the importance of the Financial Aid Regulations for the Turkish Cypriots
  • [07] Turkish, Israeli Prime Ministers to meet in Ankara on 22 December
  • [08] Erdogan Chaired Defense Industry Committee meeting
  • [09] Turkish Finance Ministry announced Budget Deficit Figures for Jan-Nov period
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Columnist in Sabah makes a comparison between the TRNC budget and the budget of Turkey
  • [11] Columnist assesses that Washington will join the UN, Britain and Sweden to give an impetus to the bi-communal talks during the Swedish presidency of the EU and explains why Turkey wants a solution by June
  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 18 December 2008

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] EU Court Advocate General recommends enforcement of Cyprus Court decision on Orams case

    Under the title: Bad news in the Orams case Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.12.08) reports that the recommendations of the Advocate General Julianne Kokott to the EU Court of Justice regarding the Orams case is that all EU states are duty bound to enforce property decision of the Cyprus Courts even when relating to the occupied north. The paper reports also that Advocate General Julianne Kokotts recommendations are not binding on Court.

    The other Turkish Cypriot papers report on the case as follows:

    VATAN: New stage in the Orams case

    KIBRISLI: Orams case in a dangerous turn

    GUNES : Decision of destruction

    VOLKAN: Death sentence

    BAKIS : Now we have finished

    ORTAM : Court Decisions from south should be recognized

    KIBRIS STAR: Tremor in Orams

    YENI DUZEN : Orams is the agenda again

    HALKIN SESI : Court of Justice ruling is against us

    (MHY)

    [02] Downer met with Babacan

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.12.08) reports that the UN Secretary-Generals special Cyprus Advisor Alexander Downer had a meeting yesterday in Ankara with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan. During the meeting, reports the paper, Mr. Babacan said that if the solution negotiations in Cyprus are bound by a timetable it will be beneficial.

    Quoting unnamed diplomatic sources the paper reports that during the meeting there was an evaluation as regards the latest developments in the ongoing negotiation process. Within this framework Mr. Babacan conveyed the view that Turkeys support to the process will continue and that they support the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Mr. Babacan went on and said that it would be useful if the UN takes initiative regarding the issues on which no agreement is reached between the sides.

    The same diplomatic sources said that the meeting was useful.

    (MHY)

    [03] British officials met with UBP leader

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (19.12.08) reports that the Director of the European Political Affairs Desk at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Mr Hitchens, had a meeting in occupied Lefkosia with the new chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Mr Dervish Eroglou. During the meeting, where British High Commissioner to Cyprus Mr. Peter Millet was also present, Mr. Hitchens said that they want to know the views of the UBP as regards the future. Mr. Eroglu in his turn repeated his known views as regards a future solution of the Cyprus problem based on sovereign equality.

    (MHY)

    [04] Chairman of KTOEOS commented on statements made by the outgoing Turkish envoy in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (19.12.08) reports that speaking on behalf of the Turkish Peace Platform, the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary Schools Teachers trade union (KTOEOS) Adnan Eraslan, referring to a recent statement made by the outgoing Turkish envoy in the occupied area Türkekul Kurttekin, said that Mr. Kurttekin is an envoy and not a governor. He went on and declared that the Turkish Cypriots want to be the boss of their homes. Mr. Eraslan further said that the Turkish Cypriots know what they want and they are not hopeless. The Turkish Cypriots want neither to be slaves nor subjects, Mr. Eraslan stressed.

    (MHY)

    [05] Serdar Denktas foresees early elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (19.12.08) reports that the leader of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktas had declared that there will be elections in June 2009. He went on and added that they started to get ready for so-called early elections the moment they (DP MPs) submit their resignation from the so-called assembly.

    (MHY)

    [06] Rasbash explained the importance of the Financial Aid Regulations for the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.12.08) reports under banner headlines 71 million Euro for water and says that the Head of the Taskforce for the Turkish Cypriot Community Mr. Andrew Rasbash, in an exclusive statement to the paper has explained the importance of the Financial Aid Regulations for the Turkish Cypriots. He said that the use of Financial Aid under the roof of the united Cyprus will be beneficial to the Turkish Cypriot component state as well. He went on and said that the Financial Aid will be used to prepare the Turkish Cypriots for the EU. As for the water management, Mr. Rasbash said that to this end they have allocated 71 million Euro and that before making this investment one has to find out whether this is sustainable or not.

    (MHY)

    [07] Turkish, Israeli Prime Ministers to meet in Ankara on 22 December

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.12.08) reports the following:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to welcome his Israeli counterpart Ehud Olmert on Monday over a working dinner in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Erdogan and Olmert scheduled the meeting on a telephone conversation on Wednesday, sources said.

    The two premiers are expected to discuss bilateral relations and the Middle East peace process as well as other regional issues.

    [08] Erdogan Chaired Defense Industry Committee meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.12.08) reports the following:

    The Defense Industry Executive Committee meeting, chaired by the Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ended in Ankara on Thursday.

    The committee decided to work with Telespazio S.p.A company for the spy satellite project (GOKTURK) and with FNSS Defense Systems company for the Armoured Combat Military Engineering Machine project.

    [09] Turkish Finance Ministry announced Budget Deficit Figures for Jan-Nov period

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.12.08) reports the following:

    Turkey announced the budget deficit as 8.3 billion new Turkish liras (YTL) in the first 11 months of 2008. The Finance Ministry of Turkey has made public the budget performances between January and November and November of 2008.

    Accordingly, the budget deficit was 8.3 billion YTL in the first 11 months and 3.4 billion YTL in November. The budget deficit was 9.7 billion YTL in the first 11 months of 2007, with a decrease of 14.8 percent.

    The primary surplus was up 8.8 percent in the first 11 months of 2008 over the same period of 2007 and reached 40.5 billion YTL. This was over 2008 primary surplus target which was set as 38.3 billion YTL but was revised as 29.8 billion YTL. Budget expenditures were also up 9.6 percent in the same period of 2008, and announced as 202.3 billion YTL.

    The ministry announced the budget revenues in the first 11 months of 2008 as 193.7 billion YTL, with a rise of 10.9 percent over the same period of 2007. Thus, Turkey has achieved 94.7 percent of the year-end budget revenue target, set as 204.5 billion YTL.

    In November 2008, the budget deficit was 3.4 billion YTL and the primary surplus was 2.5 billion YTL. The budget expenditures were 21.3 billion YTL and revenues were 17.9 billion YTL. (One USD is equal to 1.54 YTL)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Columnist in Sabah makes a comparison between the TRNC budget and the budget of Turkey

    Under the title The budget of the mother, the budget of the child, columnist Erdal Safak in Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (18.12.08) publishes a commentary discussing the financial support of 150 trillion New Turkish Lira (YTL) extended by Turkey to the illegal regime established in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and make a comparison between the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot budgets for 2009.

    Referring to the good news announced by the self-styled prime minister, Ferdi Sabit Soyer in the General Assembly of the Parliament regarding Turkeys financial support to the illegal regime and the comparison between the two budgets, the columnist draws the attention to the following two facts: That 21.36 percent of all expenditures are allocated to personnel expenditures in the Turkish budget, while this number is 38 percent in the occupied areas budget, and that the current transfers are 33.04 percent in the case of Turkey in comparison with 39 percent in the case of the pseudo-state.

    The money allocated for the salaries of the public servants and workers and current transfers (transfer of resources to the Social Security fund and meeting the deficit of the public enterprises) is more than the money allocated to Turkey. Three out of four NTL envisaged in the budget, go to these two budget items and important part of it is financed by Turkey.

    Under the subtitle Living under the European standards, the columnist notes the high standard of living in the occupied areas and inter alia writes:

    The minimum wage in the TRNC is 1,065 YTL: Apart from the fact that Turkey is not near to this figure, let us be pleased with the fact that related to the EU countries, this number is on the level of Spain and Malta, better than in Slovenia and Portugal, 2-3 times better than in Lithuania, Slovakia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic, and 8 times better than in Bulgaria and Romania.

    The total number of households in the TRNC is 50 thousands. Yet, monthly, the state issues salary cheques to 70 thousand persons: This means that the state pays more than one salary to each family. Or from a population of 200,000 in North Cyprus, one out of three children is receiving salary from the state. If we do not include the children, we can say that one out of two persons is receiving salary from the state.

    The annual per capita income in the TRNC is 14,765 dollars. In the TRNC the average salary is 3,000 YTL: It is not that the income is distributed in an unfair manner. In the TRNC every family owns a residence and a car. How is this prosperity therefore guaranteed? Answer: With the law that leads to retirement after 30 years. Thousands of pensioners were receiving not only bonus, but pensions, as well as they find jobs in the private sector or they have the possibility to get a second salary from the same job. And not to forget that at the years end, 13th salary is given as a bonus to the public servants.

    The columnist goes on and reports on the financial assistance the illegal regime has received from Turkey during 2008. Inter alia he writes: This year 465 millions YLT have been transferred in the TRNC as a donation and 790,209,728 YLT as a foreign assistance. Erdal Safak concludes by assessing that the high standard of living on the island and the long-term and low-interest loans Turkey is extending to the Turkish Cypriots in line with a protocol signed in 2006 with the condition that the Turkish Cypriots fulfill their promise of reforms in four sectors: the public, social security, and local administration sectors and in their Public Economic Enterprises - a condition that has yet to be fulfilled and implies that the high standard of living in the occupied areas is sustained through Turkish funding.

    (ML)

    [11] Columnist assesses that Washington will join the UN, Britain and Sweden to give an impetus to the bi-communal talks during the Swedish presidency of the EU and explains why Turkey wants a solution by June 2009

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (19.12.08) publishes the following commentary under the title Solution in Cyprus could deter a crisis with EU:

    As we are approaching 2009, the views projecting this year as annus horri bilis for Turkish-European Union relations have made the headlines in newspapers. In two separate meetings held in Berlin right before bayram (feast of sacrifice), alarm bells were set on the future of Turkish-EU relations. In Turkish there is a saying.

    The sound of drums is sweetest from afar. Most probably the sound of the alarm bells have not reached Foreign Minister Ali Babacan who was preparing to hold an official visit to Mexico during bayram.

    Indeed, he made an official visit to Mexico during bayram to underline the importance his government is giving to this country.

    Probably, the Mexicans were a little bit puzzled because the message the visit carries contradicts the fact that the government has left the post of the Turkish ambassador vacant for the past six months; certainly not a sign of a country which pretends to attach importance to the bilateral relations. It seems that the minister preferred to go all the way across the Atlantic to win the hearts of Mexicans, instead of going at pains of issuing the ambassadorial degree which is long overdue.

    At any rate, while our sensitive minister was packing his bags for a long official visit to Mexico, a group of EU experts were busy trying to figure out what should be done so that Turkish-EU relations wont hit the wall next year, in two separate meetings, one organized by the support of the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, or TEPAV and the Open Society Institute, and the other by Sabanci University.

    As the majority of the participants appeared suspicious of the ruling Justice and Developments Party, or AKPs commitment to the EU vision and seemed to have lost hope of the revival of the reform process, the most interesting outcome I came out from these brain storming is that we should be pinning our hopes to Cyprus to keep the EU train on track.

    A solution to the Cyprus problem will open the way for EU whereas failure will further contribute to a major crisis that will erupt by autumn 2009, the deadline given to Turkey, to include Greek Cyprus in the implementation of the customs union agreement. The EU had decided to review the negotiation process by 2009 if Turkey does not open its ports and airports to Greek Cypriot shipping.

    This is precisely why the Turkish side is so eager to move faster on the talks in the island to reach a solution by June 2009. Obviously, the exact contrary suits the Greek Cypriots. They prefer to drag their feet so as to reach autumn 2009 without a solution with the expectation that under pressure from EU, the Turkish side will be more conciliatory. A rather mistaken expectation. Because unless the AKP picks up the reform process, the accession negotiations will come to a stand-still anyway. There wont be any reason for AKP to bow to pressure since the EU will be lacking the means to exert pressure.

    Subtitle: Washington to step into Cyprus talks

    At any rate, it is obvious it will be very difficult to reach a solution with the existence of these two opposing tendencies in the island. This is precisely why there is a general expectation that the United States will step in, shortly after the Obama team takes its place. It will not come to me as a surprise if Washington will join hands with the United Nations, Britain and Sweden which will take the rotating presidency of the EU on the second half of 2009 to give an impetus to the bicommunal talks.

    It is clearly to the advantage of the Turkish side to have the Swedes who are in favour of Turkish accession holding th EU presidency at a critical juncture. The Greek Cypriots will try to mobilize the French against this front which it will perceive as pro-Turk. While the French and the Austrians and the like might want to seize this opportunity to strike a permanent blow to Turkish-EU relations, it will not be so difficult for the U.S. administration under the leadership of Barack Obama to convince the French and its allies.

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 18 December 2008

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 18 December:

    a) Local Elections

    Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir believes that none of its opponents can prevent the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), from emerging as the number one party from the upcoming local elections. In his column, however, the writer enumerates the various hurdles the AKP has to surmount in order to be considered victorious. Any decline from the 41.6 percent votes the AKP received in the local elections five years ago will be considered a failure, Cakir maintains, adding that many will make the comparison with the July 2007elections which means that the hurdle will be 46.5 percent. The writer argues that irrespective of the percentage of votes to be obtained, an indication of the AKP victory will be whether it has won the elections in additional regions and, if so, which ones. Cakir points out that the goal is to seize Izmir, Mersin, and Trabzon from the Republican People's Party, CHP, Eskisehir and Ordu from the Democratic Left Party, DSP, and Diyarbakir and Batman from the Democratic Society Party, DTP. The AKP does not only have to win in new regions but it also has to preserve the old ones, Cakir stresses, arguing the "heart of the local elections will be beating mainly in the Southeast." Pointing out that the AKP election campaign in the southeast is based on "services" and "promises" as opposed to the "identity problem" put forth by the DTP, Cakir concludes: "The results the AKP will obtain in the Southeast will determine the near future of the ruling party and consequently that of the country."

    Under the headline, "Number of voters was less than what it was supposed to be. We have the correct figure now," Zaman runs a front-page report which highlights remarks by Omer Toprak, Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Statistics Institute, responding to the "unfounded" allegations of an artificial increase of six million in the number of voters ahead of the local elections in March.

    b)Turkeys relations with the EU and the US

    Journalist Ezgi Akin in Taraf details a report prepared by the Center for American Progress which describes Turkey as the "ally that has been neglected" and puts forward a series of proposals to amend Turkish-US relations that have deteriorated because of the Iraq war. Noting that Turkey's view of the United States is more negative than that of China, Russia, or Pakistan, the report shows the Iraq war as the reason for it. The amendment of this image is critical, the report notes, advising the Obama Administration to develop a new alliance concept with Turkey regarding the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Europe. Drawing attention to the slowdown in Turkey's EU process, the report notes the need for Obama to convince Europe of the importance of Turkey's membership. The report further advises Obama to visit Turkey and meet with President Gul and Prime Minister Erdogan, to increase its support for Turkey's struggle against the PKK, to closely follow the conciliation efforts being exerted by the Turkish and Armenian leaders, to support efforts toward strengthening Turkey's position as a transit country in the transport of Central Asian oil and natural gas to the West, and to take diplomatic and military initiatives to include Turkey in the process of US troop withdrawal from Iraq.

    In an article in Sabah, Soli Ozel draws attention to Turkey's EU accession process which he describes as being in a coma. Referring to the unwillingness of the AKP government to fulfill the requirements of the accession process, Ozel writes: "The recent report issued by the International Crisis Group, ICG, shows, in no uncertain terms, that Turkey has changed its mind on the issue." The law on tenders recently endorsed by President Gul that will open the way to many irregularities is another indication that the government has lost its will regarding the EU path, Ozel maintains, adding that the ICG report has found Turkey wanting on the Kurdish issue, the Cyprus solution, minority rights, Alevi demands, and the freedom of expression. The importance of Turkey's European goal is also stressed in the report prepared by the Center for American Process on the future of Turkish-US relations, states the writer, adding: "The report stresses that these relations should definitely be improved and that they are one of the significant pillars of the US national security strategy." Ozel concludes by pointing out that Turkey, which has decided to remain within the Western system from a strategic viewpoint, cannot achieve that goal without establishing a democratic order.

    In an article entitled "A US base in the Black Sea", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul asserts that recent attacks on NATO and US convoys carrying military aid to Afghanistan from Karachi Port are forcing the United States to look into using the Black Sea-Caucasus-Central Asia route to send military support to Afghanistan, confirming a scenario about Pakistan and Afghanistan discussed in December last year. Pondering the implications of these developments, Karagul warns that the establishment of a NATO base in the Black Sea region could pose a threat to Turkish-Russian relations and possibly pave the way for a new Crimean War.

    In an article entitled "Shoe", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal catalogues what he describes as the reasons for the intense unpopularity of the United States among the people of Iraq revealed by the recent shoe incident in Baghdad. He underlines such "factors" as "the fact that virtually all arguments used to justify the occupation of Iraq have been exposed as lies" and that "US soldiers behaved like bandits following the occupation, despising Iraqis simply because they are Muslim, torturing them, and shooting at every moving human being or object in the name of fighting terrorism." He also urges new US President Barack Obama to "draw a lesson" from the Iraqi people's treatment of Muntasar al-Zaidi as a "hero" and his shoes as a "sacred weapon" before he proceeds to advise "the US diplomats in Ankara who wonder why anti-Americanism is so widespread in Turkey" to give some serious thought to the question of why an Iraqi threw his shoes at George W. Bush.

    EG/


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