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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-01-29
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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. 19/09 29.01.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Cypriot leader after his meeting with President Christofias on 28 January 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat stated that the proposals the Turkish side submitted yesterday on the property issue during his meeting with President Christofias are within the framework of the international law and the parameters of the UN. Mr Talat argued that in spite of the fact that the property issue is complex and concerns all the citizens, it is not detailed and therefore the discussion of this issue will not take such a long time as the chapter on the Administration and Power Sharing.
Mr Talat said that the method of the solution of the property issue and the way in which the system for the compensations, exchange and return of properties will be functioning will be discussed during the meeting between the two leaders next week. Issues such as who has the priority are included in this, but these have to a great extent been determined by the established parameters of the UN, he added. Mr Talat said that yesterday they submitted the principles to which they will be committed when they will make their proposals. He noted that the extent of the closeness between the sides on this issue will be seen during the discussion at the meeting next week.
Asked whether the issue of the Turkish actor Atilla Olgac who confessed that he killed ten Greek Cypriots during the Turkish invasion of the island, came onto the agenda of the meeting yesterday, Mr Talat gave a negative answer and said that the issue is humanitarian, not political. He noted that the necessary work and investigations will definitely be carried out.
 Turkish Cypriot paper reports that ¬ 15 billion will be needed in ten years for the solution of the property issue in CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that while the discussions regarding the solution of the property issue started between the leaders of the two communities, the work regarding the budget which will be needed for the compensations that will be paid to those who will not be able to return to their properties has been intensified.
According to reliable sources, an annual budget of ¬ 1.5 billion will be prepared, while this sum will reach ¬ 15 billion in ten years. Rich countries, such as the USA, Britain, and Turkey are expected to be among the donors to this fund . It is alleged that especially Britain has given guarantees on this issue, reports the paper and reminds that Mr Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus, has recently visited London and met with David Milliband, Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.
Mr Downer asked for Britains support on all the issues, including the compensations, before the commencement of the discussion of the critical chapter regarding the properties in the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. The paper reports that a conference under the title The Day After II: Reconstructing a Reunited Cyprus will be organized today at the Ledra Palace Hotel in the buffer zone by PRIO Cyprus Centre.
 TDP: Putting Greek Cypriot properties up for sale in a period when the property issue is discussed, is tantamount to putting dynamite to the negotiating table; Other parties reacted also to the decision of the regimeTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the Social Democracy Party (TDP) reacted strongly to the issue of the sales of occupied Greek Cypriot properties by the breakaway regime. The general secretary of the TDP, Mrs Meltem Onurkan Samani issued a written statement yesterday and noted that Putting Greek Cypriot properties up for sale by the government in a period when the property issue is discussed, is tantamount to putting dynamite to the negotiating table.
Mrs Samani said that the government was forced to make a step backwards on this issue, after the reactions and accused the government of acting without taking the law into consideration. Will the Cyprus problem be solved with the mentalities which consider as their right to plunder the captured properties, she wondered.
Kibris reports also that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) has stated that the decision of the government of the breakaway regime to put Greek Cypriot properties up for sale is contrary to the law and the international law and added that with this decision a crime has been committed according to the international law. In a written statement issued yesterday, Abdullah Korkmazhan, member of the central executive committee of the BKP, said:
The sale of the properties which belong to Greek Cypriots in the northern part of Cyprus without the approval of the legal owners is forbidden, according to the international law. In case the owners of these properties the sale of which has been decided file lawsuits to international courts, it is inevitable that Mr Ferdi Sabit Soyer and his Council of ministers, who consider the properties of the Greek Cypriots as captured and think they have the right to give these properties away to foreigners, will be put on trial.
Finally, Kibris reports that Rasit Pertev, leader of the Peoples Party (HP) criticized the decision of the government to put state property up for sale before the elections.
 Conditional support to Talat by ErogluUnder the title Support on conditions, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (29.01.09) reports that Dervis Eroglu, chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP) has stated that the main duty of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat is to defend the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people within the framework of the constitution. In a statement issued yesterday Mr Eroglu said:
On every issue, including properties, the discussion of which started today, the first priority of the president is to protect the rights, the justice of the citizens of the State. As long as he acts in this manner, we will support Mr Talat.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) refers to the statements by Mr Eroglu and reports that he argued that the title deeds given by the breakaway regime cannot become an issue of debate.
 Talat raised the issue of the membership of the KTFF to the CFA during his meeting with President Christofias yesterday; Adal decided not to go Zurich on 2 FebruaryTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat stated that he raised the issue of the membership of the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation (KTFF) to the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) during his meeting with President Christofias yesterday. Mr Talat said that he submitted proposals to President Christofias and added that the latter asked for these proposals in writing.
Mr Talat noted that he would convey the proposals in writing during their meeting on 4 February. Mr Talat said: I will make a proposal to him on this issue. I will give it to him during the next meeting and I think he will evaluate it. However, I have drawn the framework in which it could be done. Meanwhile, the chairman of the KTFF, Omer Adal stated that the issue of football should be solved within the framework which the two leaders will determine. He reiterated that it is not possible for the Turkish Cypriots to sign the proposal submitted by FIFA and UEFA in its present form.
Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (29.01.09) refers to the issue and reports that Mr Adal decided not to go to Zurich on 2 February because he will await for the reply of President Christofias to the proposals of Mr Talat.
 Data on the per capita income in the occupied areas of CyprusUnder the title Here are data by the DPO, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (29.01.09) publishes data given by the so-called State Planning Organization on the per capita income in the occupied areas of Cyprus during the period 2002-2008. According to the paper, the annual per capita income in US dollars in the above-mentioned period was the following:
2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 $4.409 $5.949 $8.095 $10.567 $11.837 $14.765 $15.984 (estimated)
 Garry Robb was sent back to Britain through AntaliaUnder the title Those who were deceived remained homeless! Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that Garry Robb, TRNC citizen of British origin who was wanted in Britain in relation with a drug trafficking case, was sent back to London yesterday through the Turkish city of Antalya together with his mother, Mavis Robb.
The paper reminds that after running away from Britain and coming to the occupied areas of Cyprus, Robb was given the citizenship of the breakaway regime in a very short time, became a building contractor when the construction boom was experienced in the occupied areas and sold residences on paper to approximately 500 persons.
Marian Stokes, chairperson of the Homebuyers Pressure Group, which has been established by British citizens who were unjustly treated in this case, said that Robb has treated unjustly 500 foreigners. The chairman of the Building Contractors Union, Cafer Gurcafer stated that their problem is the completion of the houses of the foreigners who have been unjustly treated.
Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.01.09) refers to the issue under the title Garry Robb was handed over to the Interpol and reports that Robb was arrested after a demand by the British police.
Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the Republican Turkish Party has given the citizenship of the regime to Garry Robb and asks for the commencement of an investigation regarding the relations of the CTP with the mafia.
Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (29.01.09) asks who is next after the return Garry Robb to Britain. Is it Asil Nadir?, it wonders in its front page leader under banner title.
 The trade unions disagreed with the government and withdrew from the negotiations regarding the Financial Protocol for 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the trade unions withdrew yesterday from the negotiations with the government regarding the Financial Protocol for 2009. In this manner, the trade unions showed their reaction to the draft-law, which provides for no salary increments and for adjustments in the scales of the civil servants.
The general secretary of the Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil said that the government is implementing step by step the catastrophic integration package signed with Turkey during the period of the National Unity Party Communal Liberation Party (UBP-TKP) government.
 A delegation from the administration and social affairs committee of the self-styled assembly went to London to participate in an educational programTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.01.09) reports that a ten-member delegation from the administration and social affairs committee of the self-styled assembly of the occupation regime and persons who have duties in the assembly and the committee went to London yesterday in order to participate in an educational program under the title The Service Structure of the State.
The two-day education program which is organized for the Turkish Cypriot representatives on behalf of the International Public Administration will examine the structure and the organization of the British public service. In the framework of the program various visits will also take place. The delegation will return to the occupied areas on Sunday.
 President Obamas advisor to participate in the North Cyprus Competiveness Forum to be held in occupied KeryneiaTurkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (29.01.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade has prepared the North Cyprus Competitiveness Report with the approval of the World Economic Forum and the support of the State Planning Organization and the Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA). The report will be submitted at the North Cyprus Competiveness Forum that will be held at the Colony hotel in occupied Keryneia on Friday. Among the participants of the event will be Howard Rosen, former executive director of the Competitiveness Policy Council of the United States and one of the advisors during President Obamas transitional period, and Prof. Melih Bulu, General Coordinator of the International Competition Surveys Committee. The paper points out that the North Cyprus Competiveness Forum coincides with the Annual Summit of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
 Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister on the Jewish lobbyTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (29.01.09), under the title, The Jewish lobby is not the way it used to be, reports on statements of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, who is in Davos. Speaking to the NTV news channel, Mr Babacan summarized Turkeys relations with Israel and its stance on Gaza, which drew the reactions of various Jewish organisations.
Mr Babacan said: The Turkish-Israeli relations are strategic relations. Israels presence in the region without Turkeys support will not be so easy. Indeed, the influence of the Jewish lobby on the US congress and administration is unquestionable. However, in the recent years different opinions were formed between the Jewish organizations, regarding the 1915 events. The Jewish organizations do show the same support as they used to, as regards the allegations of the so-called Armenian genocide, as well. There is nothing from history that Turkey can be afraid of.
 Turkish MPs to visit the United StatesAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.01.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish lawmakers will pay a visit to the United States. Members of Turkish-U.S. Parliamentary Friendship Group will be in the United States from January 29 to February 6, and hold talks in Atlanta and Washington D.C.
The delegation headed by Suat Kiniklioglu, the deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party for foreign affairs, will participate in a conference at the Kennesaw State University in Atlanta on Alliance of Civilizations: Turkey at the Crossroads of Cultures on January 29-31.
The visit is important for it will be the first contact between the Turkish and U.S. authorities after the new administration took office in the United States.
The delegation is to meet U.S. congressmen and some other members of the U.S. administration in Washington D.C. from January 2 to 6.
Turkish lawmakers will also deliver speeches in think-tanks and meet representatives of Jewish organizations.
The delegation will also include Cuneyt Yuksel, the deputy chairman of the AK Party for political and legal affairs, and Mithat Melen, an MP from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
 EU Commission Representative to Ankara signifies the importance of the press freedomTurkish daily Milliyet newspaper (29.01.09), under its front-page title, EU Ambassador Marc Pierini: Freedom of the press is a basic requirement, publishes an interview of the head of the Delegation of the European Commission to Turkey, Mr Marc Pierini, by the papers journalist Semih Indiz. As the paper reports, the European Union follows closely Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans call not to buy certain newspapers.
Mr Pierini, who, the paper points out, did not refer to Mr Erdogan by name, inter alia, said that freedom of the press is a basic requirement of EUs political criteria. He stated that it is important for the media to make objective judgments and reach sources equally, adding that this situation might be displeasing for politicians, but as he said this is the situation.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister expects solution with Armenia in 2009Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.01.09) reported the following from Davos:
Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday that 2009 could be a milestone in Turkish-Armenian relations. Speaking to CNN Turk TV channel in Davos, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said that he expected the problems between Turkey and Armenia to be solved in 2009.
Actually, it would not surprise me if a solution was found this year. 2009 can be a milestone in Turkish-Armenian relations as long as both parties maintain their political will till the end, he said.
Upon a question on U.S. special envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell's probable visit to Turkey, Babacan said that he had a phone conversation with Mitchell the other night and currently they were trying to set a date.
He is on a fast tour. We are trying to determine the date on which he could stop by Turkey or on which we could be available. However, he expressed his desire to visit our country," Babacan said.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Commentary by Erdal Safak: Obamas listUnder the above title Istanbul Sabah Online in Turkish (28.01.09) publishes the following commentary:
German Prime Minister [Angela] Merkel, French President [Nicholas] Sarkozy, Israeli Prime Minister [Ehud] Olmert, Palestinian President [Mahmud] Abbas, Egyptian President [Hosni] Mubarak, Jordanian King Abdallah... These are the leaders that US President Barack Obama has telephoned since taking office.
Could the rank order that [Turkish] President [Abdullah] Gul or Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan will have on Obama's list provide an idea regarding the importance of the Turkish-US relationship in the new period?
British Prime Minister [Gordon] Brown, Australian Prime Minister [Kevin] Rudd, Canadian Prime Minister [Stephen] Harper, French President Sarkozy, Japanese Prime Minister [Taro] Aso, German Prime Minister Merkel, Mexican Head of State [Felipe] Calderon, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, South Korean Head of State Lee [Myung-Bak]...
This is the listing of the leaders that Obama called immediately after being elected, in conjunction with the G-20 summit that was held in Washington on 15 November.
Does the fact that Obama telephoned leaders that are not even included in the G-20, and passed over Erdogan, who did attend the summit, mean that Turkey has undergone a loss in status in the eyes of the new administration in the United States? (An important note: Obama did, within the context of his round of telephone calls to leaders who had sent him messages of congratulations following his election, telephone Gul.)
Egypt, Israel, the West Bank, Jordan, Saudi Arabia... These are the stops on the first trip by President Obama's Special Middle East Representative George Mitchell. Can the fact that Turkey, at least for the time being, is not included in the trip, be interpreted as meaning that the role of Ankara, which was included among the important diplomatic players in the Gaza war, and which exerted intense efforts for Middle East peace, is not appreciated by the United States?
In my view, the answer to all these three questions is no. A definite and very big no.
The Tales of an "Expert"
But there are those who are trying with all their might to turn no into yes, or at least to maybe. For instance, Omer Cagaptay, the Turkey Program Director of the Washington Institute [for Near East Policy], one of the important think tanks.
Do not fall into the error of dismissing him, or asking who is he, anyway?
First of all, think tanks have become a fifth estate in democracies, and particularly in the democracy of the United States.
Moreover, Cagaptay is one of a few Turkey experts who are consulted regarding Ankara's policies by American politicians who are ignorant of Turkey. (Others: Bulent Ali Riza, Omer Taspinar, Zeyno Baran...)
Cagaptay also directs the Turkey Area Studies Section of the US State Department's Foreign Service Institute.
And finally, the biggest newspapers of the United States are open to Cagaptay's writings on Turkey.
And it was just this Cagaptay whose poisonous commentary, which was published in the Wall Street Journal last week [http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123266156689407459.html], essentially denounced Turkey to President Obama - as well as to EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. In the article, to which reverberations in diplomatic circles continue to increase, it is claimed that Turkey is no longer the old Turkey (and has turned into an anti-Western, radical country), and that it has entered into a process of Finlandization (with one foot in the West and the other outside it.) Ankara's having strengthened its relations with countries and organizations like Iran, Syria, Sudan, and HAMAS [Islamic Resistance Movement], and its rapprochement with Russia, are adduced as the basis for these claims.
Will the distorted picture of Turkey sketched by Cagaptay influence Obama or his team? My answer is, again, a great big no.
It is known that Turkey's ties with the countries and organizations cited are in fact seen as beneficial by the United States and Europe, which themselves have isolated them. The West has been able to convey, via the intermediation of Turkey, its messages to those countries which it has shunned.
Additionally, Obama's decision to pursue a policy of speaking directly with Iran, and his putting out reports that relations could be established with HAMAS, not only refute these allegations, but also amount to approval of the policies that Turkey has been pursuing.
But unfortunately, these experts will have a free field for a while to come. Until when? Until the G-20 summit that will be held in London on 2 April. Obama as well will attend that summit. And naturally, Erdogan, too. In addition to the dialogue and the summit itself, there will in all probability also be a meeting between the two of them. And with the statement issued after that meeting, the various scenarios will be torn up, and the realities will speak. Just be patient.
 From the Turkish Press of 28 January 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 28 January:
Viewing the talks being held with the IMF in a column in Milliyet newspaper, Hursit Gunes argues that no matter what the government claims, there are problems in these negotiations. The budget performance is the source of the problem, writes Gunes, pointing out that the 2009 budget is not realistic and expenditures are expected to increase 16 fold. Drawing attention to the high increase expected in revenues, Gunes argues that given the steady decline in consumption this goal set in revenues is highly unrealistic. Referring to the expectation of reducing the budget deficit from 17.1 billion Turkish Liras to 13.4 billion, Gunes maintains that this is also highly unlikely in a period of economic stagnation. In conclusion, the writer describes the budget as an exercise in deception, underlining that this is the fundamental objection of the IMF.
Our economy will not become a garden of roses when an agreement is signed with the IMF, writes Gungor Uras in an article in Milliyet newspaper, adding: "However, portraying the image of a country that cannot reach an agreement at the negotiating table with the IMF will increase two or three fold the damage to be caused by the economic crisis. It has already begun to cause." Accusing the government of hesitating in its decision to hold talks with the IMF and of prolonging the negotiations once that decision was made, Uras asks why Turkey is dragging its feet while other countries have speedily concluded their negotiations and secured their loans. The writer argues that government representatives who are conducting the negotiations with the IMF are incompetent, adding that they are eroding the credibility of the country in the process. In conclusion, Uras writes: "I wish the government had not sat at the negotiating table with the IMF. It has, however, sat at that table. Now it is impossible to leave that table without an agreement. There is a high price to be paid for the delay in the relations with the IMF and for this incompetence. The economy and the people have begun to pay that price and will continue to pay it."
Assessing the impasse in the negotiations being conducted between the government and the IMF in his column in Hurriyet newspaper, Yalcin Dogan quotes Turkish officials who note that the critical issue is the "structural reforms." Describing the euphemism of "structural reforms" as the supervision of state expenditures, Dogan claims that it is impossible for the government to accept this condition on the eve of the elections. The AKP plan is to spend without any consideration to the economic situation in a bid to win the local elections, writes Dogan, arguing that the IMF is preventing the government from implementing its election plan and that, therefore, the impasse in the negotiations is being disguised under the euphemistic technical term of "structural reforms."
Viewing the reasons why the talks with the IMF have been suspended in an article in Taraf newspaper, Suleyman Yasar writes that according to the IMF "there are disagreements with regards to the medium-term financial reforms." Viewing the IMF demand to reduce personnel at a time when the world is experiencing a financial and economic crisis as unjust, Yasar argues that in its agreement with Iceland, the IMF allowed an 8.5 percent deficit in the budget and asked that public expenditures be increased. The IMF wants to reduce Turkey's public expenditures despite the fact that its budget deficit is smaller than that of Iceland, maintains Yasar, adding that the government plan was to employ an additional 70,000 in the public sector in 2009. Yasar concludes: "It is very difficult for the government to reduce personnel and to increase VAT in line with the demands of the IMF. As a matter of fact, it would be a big mistake to accept such a demand in this atmosphere of crisis. The IMF should take into consideration the crisis conditions in Turkey just as it has taken them into consideration in other countries."
Referring to Stratfor CEO George Friedman's forecasting that Turkey and the United States might go to war in his Vatan newspaper article, Yigit Bulut writes: "Let me state clearly what Friedman has expressed in a veiled manner. The United States is saying: Turkey will become the 'major factor' in its 'region' in the new world order, and if you do not cooperate, if you reject the role we have chosen for you, if necessary 'we will fight against you' to force you to accept that role!"
Arguing that Turkish-Israeli relations are continuing on their normal track despite the harsh criticisms leveled by Prime Minister Erdogan with regards to the Gaza crisis, Radikal newspapers columnist Murat Yetkin draws attention to the purchase of Heron aircraft and the Black Sea-Mediterranean-Red Sea oil pipeline project. It is clear that the government is in the process of fine tuning its reaction to the Gaza crisis, argues Yetkin, adding that the Armenian genocide bill to be discussed at the US Congress in April is not the only reason for this fine tuning. The writer maintains that the government's contacts with HAMAS has provided an extra trump card to Turkish diplomacy, adding that, however, if this card is not played properly, it might work to the detriment of Turkey portraying it as the spokesperson of HAMAS.
In an article entitled "Turkish-American war and the end of the 21st Century" Yeni Safak newspapers columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on US strategist George Friedman's prediction of a Turkish-American war in a book entitled Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century. He links Friedman's prediction to former CIA official Graham Fuller's remarks saying that Turkey and the United States are not allies any more and that Turkey has started to chart its own course for the first time in a hundred years. In explaining why it is "important" to take Friedman's apparent "nonsense" seriously, Karagul reaffirms "our belief that this country [Turkey] can grow stronger, make up for its current weaknesses, undertake effective peace initiatives in its region, build regional partnerships, and redefine its position in what is the most shattering period of transformation since World War I."
In an article entitled "The Turkish Military should be able to intervene in the governance of the country", Vakit newspaper´s columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak comments on Ergenekon suspect Associate Professor Umit Sayin's remark during his court defense that the Turkish military has a constitutional and legal right to step in to prevent the ruling AKP from changing Turkey's secular regime. Dilipak asks sarcastically whether the Union of Justices and Prosecutors, YARSAV, might file a complaint against the General Staff accusing it of failing to carry out its "constitutional duty to stage a coup." He also asserts that certain "well-known quarters" [the Establishment including "gangs"] are looking into setting Turkey against both the United States and Israel in a bid to discredit the AKP and hurt US and Israeli interests. He also claims that these circles "must believe the US, EU, and Israel would sit down at the negotiating table with them if the AKP was defeated" before he proceeds to assert that the United States is determined to disband these "undisciplined and defiant gangs, which were given walk-on roles in past scenarios."
Finally, in an article entitled "The mysteries surrounding Obama's election", Milli Gazete columnist Afet Ilgaz comments on Old Testament-based scenarios, linked to Obama's election as the United States' 44th president, of a cataclysm in 2012, a new September 11 in five years, "new Islamic terrorism," nuclear attacks by terrorist groups, etc.