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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-15
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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. 09/09 15.01.2009
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 More on Talats statements on Akis programTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.01.09) publishes statements made the other night by Mehmet Ali Talat on the Echo (Akis) television program broadcast live by illegal Bayrak television on the Cyprus problem and the negotiation process.
Mr. Talat said, inter alia, that the newly-formed government which will come to power after the forthcoming early elections should support the vision of the solution. Otherwise he said, a serious chaos will be created and unacceptable political developments will occur.
On the Cyprus problem, Mr. Talat stressed the need for reaching a political settlement in Cyprus within 2009 and warned that the non-solution will become permanent if the solution process is dragged further. He also reiterated the Turkish Cypriot demand for reaching a solution before the elections for the European Parliament in June. However, the current speed of the negotiations will not be enough to realize this goal he said, adding that setting up a time-table for negotiations will make this possible.
Answering a question on reports regarding the Greek Cypriot sides armament policy to the effect that it is preparing to buy new weapons from Russia, Talat stated that such developments create a negative effect on the negotiations process and the Turkish Cypriot motivation for a settlement.
Also, touching upon the issue of early elections scheduled to take place on the 19th of April, Mr. Talat pointed to the importance of not turning the elections into a referendum and called on political parties to use common sense.
 Statements by Matthew Bryza after his meeting with Mehmet Ali TalatAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.01.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:
A senior U.S. diplomat said on Wednesday that the United States was ready to help build confidence between the two parties in Cyprus.
Matthew J. Bryza, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said that his country was ready to help communication and contribute to confidence between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot sides.
The United States was not a party or a mediator in negotiations aiming to find a comprehensive settlement to Cyprus problem, Bryza told reporters after meeting President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) in the TRNC Presidential Office.
Bryza said that the two leaders in Cyprus had a sincere approach and were willing for a settlement.
The U.S. diplomat said that a solution did not seem likely immediately but he was optimistic because the leaders had seized a momentum.
Bryza also said that every one's goal was to reach a fair and lasting settlement based on a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation in Cyprus. The U.S. diplomat will depart from Cyprus on Thursday.
On Bryzas meetings, Ankara Anatolia news agency (14.01.09) reported that the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, also had a meeting with Ozdil Nami, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.
 Ozger Ozgur son becomes a member of CTPTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.01.09) reports that Birikim Ozgur, the son of Ozger Ozgur - a person who became a symbol for his work in the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) - has become a member of the party.
 Statements by Soyer on the Cyprus problem and the scheduled early electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.01.09) reports that the self-styled Prime-Minister, Ferdi Sabi Soyer, in statements yesterday on a radio program evaluated the latest developments in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, while he also referred to the Cyprus problem.
On the Cyprus problem, Mr. Soyer expressed the belief that there will be important developments until the end of the year.
On the issue of the early elections, Mr. Soyer said that the aim of his party is to become the first party and increase the number of deputies. He then called on the Turkish Cypriots to evaluate well the elections and he sent the message that his party will continue exerting efforts for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and for the accession of the Turkish Cypriots to the EU.
 Data on the citizenships granted by the occupation regime during the last decadeContinuing to report on the citizenship issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (15.01.09) makes a comparison by publishing data on the citizenships distributed after a decision taken by the council of ministers with the approval of the ministry, by both the National Unity Party Democratic Party (UBP DP) during the 1998-2003 period and by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) during the 2004-2008 period.
The figures published by the paper are as follows:
UBP DP, 1998 2003
CTP, 2004 2008
 More on TCFA membership to KOPTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (15.01.09) reports that the spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot Platform, Huseyin Alaysa, stated yesterday that the Platform criticized the meetings which were held between the Turkish Cypriot Football Association (TCFA) and the Cyprus Football Association (KOP) for the membership of the Turkish Cypriot Football Association to KOP.
Huseyin Alaysa stated that Turkish Cypriot Platform does not approve of the membership of the Turkish Cypriot Football Association to KOP since this development will be considered as a betrayal to the existence of the TRNC.
On the same issue, Kibris reports on statements made by Omer Adal, chairman of TCFA, according to which UEFA and FIFA were aware in advance of the conditions they submitted regarding their membership to KOP. Mr Adal added that their proposals have been watered down and this is unacceptable, as he said.
According to Mr. Adal, it was decided that the role of the four-member committee which would be established by KOP, TCFA, UEFA and FIFA would be to exercise control, adding that if it is observed from this point of view, all the decisions would again be taken by KOP. This was not our proposal, Adal said.
On the developments, Turkish Cypriot daily Africa newspaper (15.01.09) in its front page and under the title Kick at Talat, reports that the Turkish Cypriot Teachers Union (KTOS) will make a protest today at 12:00 with the slogan Kick at Talat. The members of the Union will hold a protest march to the presidential palace in order to protest against the negative attitude exhibited by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, on the issue of the membership of the TCFA to KOP.
Afrika further reports on Omer Adals statements and writes that Mr. Adal said that what they wanted is for the committee to be established to have the authority to take decisions and not to have a supervisory role solely.
Star Kibris (15.01.09) reports on the issue in its sports pages and covers the statements of Mr Omer Adal under the title We shall not enter into a polemic with the state. The paper writes that Mr. Adal repeated that they will not sign any agreement that the state does not approve.
Commenting on Talats statements, Mr. Adal said that these statements are considered a political will decision and it is not possible to take steps contrary to the political will.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist in Milliyet evaluates Egemen Bagis appointment and assesses 2009 to be a critical point on Turkey EU relationsColumnist Semih Idiz in an article in Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (15.01.09) refers to the EU-Turkey relations and specifically about the appointment of Mr. Egemen Bagis as the chief EU negotiator. He says that EU circles received positively the appointment. Mr. Idiz writes that with this appointment Turkey wants to convey the message that it did not lose yet the EU enthusiasm. However, he adds, he believes that the underlying reason for this appointment is that 2009 will be for the Turkey EU relations a critical turning point.
He says: Following this appointment we expect that the government will take further steps, and we believe that the aim is that the government wants to diminish as much as it could the blind excuses in EU hands. According to the time-table drown up by the EU it is inevitable for Turkey to be in loggerheads with EU regarding Cyprus. The negotiations in the Cyprus problem not going well are increasing the possibility of this clash.
In this case if the government takes from the EU hands all blind excuses except Cyprus, then it will be able at the end of the year to challenge the EU as follows: If the relations reach to a breaking point because of the Cyprus problem which has no relation with the accession negotiations, then you have to break it and bear the consequences. In that case you should not forget that you will have in your lap an unresolved Cyprus problem.
Of course this is our personal guess. There are some who believe that in order for the things not to reach to this breaking point Ankara will open its sea ports to Cyprus-registered ships. If this is true why then wait for so long in order to open the ports?
That is, the same could be done today and the clouds on the negotiations could be removed today. Such a step, of course, naturally could take the Greek Cypriot side in the negotiations off guard and strip it from the blind excuse.
The Greek Cypriots count on the fact that Ankara will not take such a step and for this reason they advance slowly in the Cyprus negotiations. In conclusion, the Greek Cypriots expect a Cyprus crisis and they bet on it.
He concludes by saying that he personally knows Mr. Bagis who is very firm on the EU and well-known by the EU circles.
 From the Turkish Press of 14 January 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 14 January 2009:
a) Ergenekon Investigation
With the exception of those who extend their full support to the Ergenekon investigation and those who are unconditionally opposed to it, a crushing majority of the public is confused on the issue, writes Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir in his article. Questioning whether we are faced with a terrorist organization that wants to drag the country into chaos and stage a coup or whether we are faced with an attempt to wipe out the opponents of the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), government, Cakir acknowledges the "safeguarding democracy against coupists" aspect of the Ergenekon investigation, while at the same time he is opposed to the violation of the rights and freedoms of the suspects. Stressing the disturbing relations between those who are conducting the investigation and the media, Cakir concludes: "In order to understand Ergenekon and to adopt a stand on the issue, we should view with suspicion what we are told by both poles, we should ask many questions, and we should not expect the answers to come either from the prosecutors or the defense lawyers. In short, our work is very, very hard."
In an article in Taraf, Lale Sariibrahimoglu questions whether there is outside support for the Ergenekon investigation and whether conciliation has been reached with the United States on the issue.
b) Israeli attacks in Gaza
Under the headline, "Turkey gives Israel $3,8 billion," Milli Gazete publishes a front-page report which criticizes the United States, the EU, Muslim countries, and the Turkish government for "failing to adopt any concrete sanctions" against Israel in response to the offensive against Gaza. The report also highlights a "shocking claim" by Erhan Goksel, who is a political analyst, that the ruling AKP paid some $3,8 billion to an Israeli company as part of an agreement signed after the filing of a closure lawsuit against the AKP.
In a commentary entitled "Israel's psychological operation teams swing into action", Milli Gazete writer Huseyin Altinalan accuses UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon of promoting the purposes of an Israeli "psychological operation" undertaken simultaneously with the ongoing "massacres" in Gaza in issuing statements "intended to get the international community to believe that the conflict in Gaza started owing to Hamas rockets and that the carnage is continuing only because Hamas has not stopped its rocket attacks." Altinalan also slams certain news agencies in Turkey for "making no mention of the fact that the June 2008 ceasefire made it incumbent on Israel to lift its siege of Gaza in ten days" and that "Israel attacked Gaza some 132 times during the ceasefire."
In an article entitled "In what relation does Turkey stands to Hamas?", Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici argues that Hamas leader Khalid Mishal's visit to Ankara at the ruling AKP's invitation some time ago increased Turkey's regional influence and played a significant role in enabling Ankara to become a key player in the current Gaza crisis and act as a mediator in the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas despite the fact that the visit "failed to produce the expected results" and caused the AKP to be accused of openly pursuing an Islamist policy. He goes on to assert that Ankara's "contact with Hamas and Iran" is seen by regional and international players as an opportunity to facilitate a solution to Mideast disputes.
In an article entitled "Those who take refuge in the shadow of Israel's weapons", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul argues that the recent missile attacks against Israel from South Lebanon and "allegations" that Israeli troops came under fire from the Golan Heights are part of an Israeli bid to "spread the war" in Gaza and force the United States to get involved in the conflict. He goes on to accuse certain Arab regimes including Egypt and Saudi Arabia of trying to have the "Hamas threat" removed by Israel and of cooperating with Israel against Iran. He also claims that Egypt does not want a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas and that the ongoing ceasefire negotiations are aimed at ending Hamas' control of Gaza, with Cairo telling Hamas to "either agree to a ceasefire of the sort we want or get wiped out."
c) Turkish-US relations
Analyzing the changing Turkish-US relations in an article in Vatan, Mustafa Mutlu argues that the parliamentary note rejecting the US request to use Turkish territory to dispatch its troops to Iraq changed US expectations from Turkey leading to a change in policy and the implementation of the Greater Middle East Project.
d) Turkish-EU ties
Maintaining that the Gaza tragedy and the gas crisis "have confirmed that from the strategic point of view the EU will be dwarfed without Turkey," Sabah columnist Erdal Safak, in an article, argues that when the efforts exerted by the official EU team and by French President Sarkozy to attain a cease-fire in Gaza failed to yield results, the services of Turkey were required. As for the gas crisis, Turkey is a major player in the Nabucco Project seen as an alternative to Russian natural gas routes, stresses Safak, declaring that when Prime Minister Erdogan goes to Brussels on 18 January as the guest of EU Commission President Barroso he will be received in a totally different atmosphere.
The Nabucco Natural Gas Pipeline Project has become one of the primary items on the European agenda despite the world economic crisis because of the problems encountered in the gas supply, writes Serpil Yilmaz in an article in Milliyet. Reinhard Mitschek, the managing director of the Nabucco Project who is currently in Turkey, at a briefing he held in Istanbul yesterday, announced that a Nabucco summit will be held in Budapest on 27 January. Comparing the project to other similar projects such as the Russian South Stream one, Mitschek explained that Nabucco is "the most competitive and cheapest" of the gas pipeline projects currently being discussed. Praising Turkey's geographical position for this project, Mitschek maintained that the project's flexibility is another characteristic that separates Nabucco from other similar projects, in that it is open to new partners and to new commercial production and purchasing models. Viewing Nabucco as a project that will counter Russian and Iranian dominance over gas source and routes, Yilmaz writes that the construction of the pipeline will begin in 2010 and that it will be partly operational in 2013.