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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-11
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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. 28/09 11.02.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat congratulated Egemen Bagis for his appointment as minister for EU Affairs and invited him to the occupied areasTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, held a telephone conversation yesterday with the Turkish Minister of State, Egemen Bagis who is currently having contacts in Brussels. Mr Talat called Mr Bagis in order to congratulate him for his appointment as minister for EU Affairs. Mr Talat said to Mr Bagis that with his appointment to this post Turkeys EU process will gain a new acceleration. Views as regards the Cyprus problem were exchanged during the telephone conversation. Noting that the TRNCs foreign policy and the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem are carried out in harmony with Turkey, Mr Talat invited Mr Bagis to visit the occupied areas of Cyprus.
On his part Mr Bagis stated that the Cyprus problem is a national policy and a national cause for Turkey and added that Turkey considers important the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. He said that Turkey wants more than anyone else the reaching of a just and permanent solution in the island. Mr Bagis thanked Talat for his invitation and said that he will be delighted to visit the daughter land.
 Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan stated that the year 2009 will be an important year for CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports that Ali Babacan, the Turkish Foreign Minister, stated that the year 2009 will be an important year for Cyprus and added that Turkey supports the negotiations currently under way between the two leaders in Cyprus for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Babacan made these statements during a joint press conference with Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn. Mr Babacan is visiting Luxembourg upon an invitation of his Luxembourgian counterpart.
The Turkish Foreign Minister stated that Turkey fully trusts the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and added that the solution in Cyprus is not a dream. He said that in order for the Cyprus talks to have a positive outcome, the international community must offer a strong support to the two sides in Cyprus.
The paper also writes that speaking during the press conference Mr Babacan criticized some countries, without giving the name of the countries, which are preventing Turkeys full EU membership negotiations.
 Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan: We did not sell out CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, stated that Cyprus has not been sold. Since we came to power Cyprus is sold they are shouting. Cyprus has not been sold. It is standing in its place. In addition the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is standing there with honor, with pride, with esteem, he said.
Mr Erdogan, who made these statements speaking at a meeting of his party at Kirsehir, also said that the steps taken during the last six years changed the face of Turkey. When we came to power we said that we will change the course. We said no solution is not a solution. We took Cyprus into the negotiation table. We changed the balances in Cyprus. We carried out a proactive policy. We were not the side that escaped from the negotiation table. We made the Greek Cypriot sector to be the side that left the negotiation table. We became to power and the TRNC became the country which was given red carpet receptions, he stated.
 Statements by Ercakica: Turkish Cypriot representation by Greek Cypriots at EP is out of the questionsIllegal Bayrak television (10.02.09) broadcast the following:
Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica said that Turkeys unconditional support to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was extremely important for the Turkish Cypriot Sides influence at the Cyprus Peace talks.
Ercakica also said that it was out of the question for Turkish Cypriots to be represented at the European Parliament by Greek Cypriot representatives.
Speaking at his routine weekly press briefing this afternoon, the Presidential Spokesman evaluated the Presidents latest contacts as well as other issues related to the Cyprus Problem.
The Presidential Spokesman told reporters that the latest stage reached in the Cyprus negotiations process had been the focus of the meeting held last week between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Turkish Foreign Minister Babacan.
He said that the most important part of the foreign ministers contacts was the face-to-face meeting with President Mehmet Ali Talat.
Pointing out that there was total harmony and cooperation between Turkey and the TRNC regarding the Cyprus Problem, Ercakica said that the serious preparations carried out by the two countries was proof of their sincerity at the talks.
Explaining that the President had received the British Minister in Charge of European Affairs Caroline Flint today, the spokesman said that the ongoing negotiations process was top on the agenda of the meeting.
Ercakica also announced that President Mehmet Ali Talat will be receiving the EU Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn who will be visiting the island this week, on Friday morning.
We expect the meeting to focus on the Cyprus Problem and our relations with the European Union he added.
Touching upon Ozdil Nami s contacts in Brussels, Ercakica said that the Presidential aide had met with the permanent representatives of the current and succeeding EU term presidents, the Czech Republic and Sweden, as well as Germany.
Ercakica also said that Nami had met with Commission President Jose Manuel Barosso and Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and was expected to meet with EU permanent representatives of Britain, Italy and France during his stay.
Responding to a question concerning the debate regarding membership to the Greek Cypriot Football Federation, Ercakica said that it was important to reflect the principle of political equality, which the Turkish Cypriot Side strived to achieve at the talks, to all walks of life.
Political equality is what symbolizes Turkish Cypriot existence on this island. This is extremely important when it comes to any institutional relations to be established with Greek Cypriots. This principle will continue. This is an issue on which the President is highly sensitive, he stressed.
Asked to comment about a call made by Greek Cypriot political parties for Turkish Cypriot candidates to run in the European Parliament elections, the Presidential Spokesman said that this was totally unacceptable.
Several Greek Cypriot parties may deliberately choose Turkish Cypriot candidates in an attempt to deceive the EU in believing that Turkish Cypriots are represented within the EP, he said.
I hope they won t do this because it would lead to tensions
The Presidential spokesman also called on the Greek Cypriot Administration to refrain from such actions, especially as the negotiations process was continuing.
He said that the Greek Cypriot leadership needs to accept the principle that Turkish Cypriots can only be represented within the EP or any other international platform by Turkish Cypriots elected by Turkish Cypriots .
 Caroline Flint stated that the solution will be beneficial for allIllegal Bayrak Television (10.02.09) broadcast the following:
Britain, as one of the guarantor powers in Cyprus, fully supports the UN-sponsored negotiations which aim to establish a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation under the principle of political equality.
This support was once again voiced by the British Minister for European Affairs Caroline Flint who has held official contacts on both sides of the island.
Evaluating the latest on the Cyprus issue at a press conference held in the buffer zone today, Ms Flint said she was in Cyprus to emphasize the relationship between Cyprus and the UK and to demonstrate the UKs continuous support to the solution process.
Stating that she had useful meetings with both President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias, Ms Flint said, although the negotiations process had inevitably not been easy, she has observed a real progress made in the process.
Caroline Flint stressed that there is a real opportunity to solve the Cyprus problem, noting that both leaders are dedicated towards reaching a settlement.
Referring to conversations she had with the UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer, she praised Mr Downer as someone who can make an extreme contribution to the solution process.
While there are no deadlines, this opportunity is not infinite. Its really important that the talks are maintained in momentum and are not allowed to drag on, Flint emphasized.
Explaining Britains commitment towards supporting the UN efforts to achieve a political settlement on the island, she said the Cyprus problem needs to be solved by Cypriots, for Cypriots.
Speaking about the ways of contributing to the solution process in Cyprus as a guarantor power, Ms Flint said providing support to bi-communal activities ranging from environmental issues to humanitarian issues is one way to do so.
Touching upon the mine clearance operations carried out by the Mine Action Centre where Britain also made a donation, the British Minister emphasized that such practical actions are being taken to reduce fear on the island and underlined the importance of keeping the project funded.
The Minister for European Affairs went on to say that the solution of the Cyprus problem not only will provide peace and stability in the region, but will also mean that the EU can have a relationship that can grow in resolving some of the difficulties presented on its agenda.
Meanwhile, Flint also attended a reception given for a bi-communal group of environmentalists who have been working within the framework of the bi-communal Cyprus Environmental Stakeholder Forum (CESF) which aims to build environmental bridges within Cyprus and abroad and is also supported by the British communities living on the island.
Working groups and sub-committees were formed by Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriots environmental experts to work for a common beneficial future on environment. The CESF has links to international organizations as well to receive further assistance.
Speaking to reporters on the event, Ms Flint said such activities show how they can support bi-communal activities in Cyprus".
 The murderer of Solomou, Kenan Akin, to be a candidate of Turgay Avcis PartyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports that Kenan Akin, who in the past served as a minister of the Democratic Party (DP) as agriculture minister is making his appearance again in the political scene of the occupation regime. According to the paper, Kenan Akin will be a candidate in Famagusta of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) of Turgay Avci, for the forthcoming so-called elections. He will be the number five on the list.
(Tr. Note: Kenan Akin, is the murderer of the Greek Cypriot youth Solomos Solomou who climbed on the mast of the Turkish flag during the Derynia incidents in 1996. Kenan Akin is on Interpols red list of wanted persons).
 The new self-styled representative of the occupation regime to London said that the establishment of new contacts with the British Parliament and the British Foreign Office will be among his prioritiesTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports that the self-styled representative of the occupation regime to London, Kemal Koprulu, held a press conference at the representation building yesterday. Noting that he has started his duties on the 20th of January, Mr Koprulu stated that the London representation office is the most important of the TRNCs foreign representative offices. Mr Koprulu stated that his aim is to improve the relations between the Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK with the TRNC and added that projects of cooperation have already started in the fields of culture, sports and art. He also said that he will, by all means, offer his services to the Turkish Cypriots who live in the UK. This will be our main duty, he stated and added that he will devote efforts on politics as well. I believe that important gains are achieved when you exert efforts in political issues. Therefore the establishment of new contacts with the British Parliament and the British Foreign Office will be among our priority aims, he said.
Mr Koprulu also stated that he visited the previous week the Turkish Embassy to London and the Turkish Ambassador, Yigit Alpogan, with whom he had a very fruitful meeting. Referring to his schedule in the coming days he said that he will visit press and broadcasting establishments, civil society organizations and Turkish schools.
 Two work boats were manufactured in occupied Famagusta and exported to NetherlandsTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.02.09) reports that for the first time two work boats were manufactured by the Shipyard Famagusta Company Ltd. in occupied Famagusta and exported to the Netherlands for the price of 1.5 million euro. The boats were loaded on a big ship and sent yesterday afternoon to the Netherlands. The Dutch investor Andre Shelling, who bought the boats, was yesterday at the occupied port of Famagusta during the loading. The Director of the Shipyard Famagusta Ltd. Mr Ramazan Gundogdu said that the crane used for winching the boats was brought from south Cyprus. He also added that the international inspection for the boats was carried out by the French Loyd shipping company.
 Fifty three football players from 13 foreign countries are part of the roster of the football teams of the 1st league in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.02.09) reports in its sports page that there are 53 football players from 13 foreign countries who are part of the roster of the football teams of the 1st league in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the data given by the Turkish Cypriot Football Federation, the football players come from the following countries.
Country Number of Football players Cameroon 17 Turkey 8 Nigeria 5 Congo 3 Bulgaria 3 Brazil 3 North Afrika 3 Sierra Leone 3 Senegal 2 Ghana 2 Moldavia 2 Benin 1 Mali 1 TOTAL 53
 Turkey's Foreign Minister to attend the conference on rebuilding Gaza in Caironkara Anatolia news agency (10.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
"Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan will attend an international conference on Gaza in Cairo, Egypt on March 2.
Turkish Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit invited Babacan to participate in the conference on support to Palestinian economy for rebuilding of Gaza.
The ministry said that the conference would be an important turning point for the rebuilding of Gaza Strip; and Babacan would attend the conference".
 Agar: All activities were carried out with knowledge of the stateTodays Zaman newspaper (11.02.09) reports the following:
"Former Chief of National Police and Interior Minister Mehmet Aar, who appeared before a judge for the first time on Monday on charges of establishing a crime gang, after having been shielded by parliamentary immunity for 12 years, denied all charges directed against him, claiming only to have motivated the police department.
Standing trial before the Ankara 11th High Criminal Court, Aar is accused of establishing a criminal organization in the 90s while serving as the country s top security official.
In his defense testimony yesterday, Aar defended various individuals charged with unsolved murders and drug trafficking, saying all their activities had been carried out with the knowledge of the state.
Aar defended himself in court, saying he did not personally know Abdullah Çatl1, an internationally wanted mafia boss who died in the 1996 Susurluk accident along with a former police chief. A southeastern deputy was also in the same car. The Susurluk affair was the first time shady links between the Turkish state, the criminal underworld and the security forces were exposed publicly to a large extent, although the investigation into the incident was never completed.
Aar was accompanied to court yesterday by Korkut Eken, a lieutenant colonel who was convicted earlier in the Susurluk case. About 40 lawyers representing the families of victims of unsolved murders committed during Aar s term as national police chief were also present at Tuesday s trial.
Aar claimed yesterday that the investigation was illegitimate, saying the prosecution s claims had been refuted by a report compiled by inspectors from the Interior Ministry.
He said he had never acted outside the law while serving the nation. I have never acted outside the concept of law and security. I have been educated in this way. I have served my state and nation with the consciousness that the Republic of Turkey is not a tribal structure, but a state of law. However, I had no executive authority in my post as chief of police, regarding which I face accusations. I had no judicial authority, either, with the exception of intelligence operations. The only thing we did was motivate the security forces, Aar said. He said he was appointed chief of national police because of his exemplary performance. As a person who has devoted his life to fighting crime and criminals, it is impossible for me to accept an accusation that I established a gang to commit a crime. I strongly deny this accusation, Aar stated.
He also testified that, 0brahim ^ahin, a former deputy chief of police who was arrested last week as part of the operation into Ergenekon -- a terrorist organization with members in security forces, the military and other state and private agencies, charged with plotting to overthrow the government -- was a good kind of guy. Tahin is accused of having established death squads among members of the police force to carry out assassinations of high-profile minority community leaders in various Turkish cities.
He also defended Eken, saying: He has served in both the military and the National Intelligence Organization [M0T]. I have made him my private consultant. He used to coordinate communication between the police and the military in the Southeast. He assumed great responsibilities in fighting the terrorist Kurdistan Workers Party [PKK].
In his testimony, he also said he had convinced Sedat Bucak, the southeastern deputy who was injured in the Susurluk accident, to arm his people in predominantly Kurdish-populated areas against the PKK. I convinced him. I had a difficult time, but we convinced him. Thanks to Bucak, the PKK was unable to establish dominance in that region, Aar said.
Aar had, for the last 12 years, successfully managed to evade investigation due to his parliamentary immunity.
In a rare public confession, he had said he had served the state in 1,000 covert operations. These are thought to involve some of the countless unsolved murders of individuals accused of affiliation with the PKK or other armed groups in Turkey.
Protestors gathered outside the court yesterday. There were also protests in other cities.
A group of demonstrators from the Socialist Platform of the Oppressed (ESP) carried out a protest on Monday against Aar at Galatasaray Square in 0stanbul. Explain 1,000 covert operations and 3,000 unsolved murders, read a banner carried by protestors. Ersin Sedefolu, who delivered a speech on behalf of the group, accused Aar of killing and torturing countless people during the period when he served.
A similar protest was held Monday in the Turkish capital by pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) deputy from Id1r Pervin Buldan. Buldan said Aar was responsible for many unsolved murders in the country.
The trial was adjourned, with the next hearing scheduled for May 13. Aar will be exempt from attending the hearings"
 Turkey borrowed more than 46 billion US dollars from IMF from 2000 to 2008Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.02.09) reported the following from Ankara: "Turkey borrowed over 46 billion USD from International Monetary Fund (IMF) between 2000 and 2008, according to figures of Turkish Treasury.
Turkey got 46.3 billion USD from IMF and repaid 45.1 billion USD under the 17th, 18th and 19th stand-by arrangements between 2000 and 2008.
However, 38.8 billion USD of this amount was repaid as principal capital and 6.3 billion USD was repaid as interest, thus, interest debt was not paid back completely".
Turkey's debt stock to IMF was 24 billion USD at the end of 2003. This amount dropped to 21.5 billion USD in 2004, 14.6 billion USD in 2005, 10.7 billion USD in 2006 and 7.2 billion USD in 2007.
Turkey's debt stock to IMF is currently 8.5 billion USD because interest payments are continuing.
Meanwhile, indirect talks on a new stand-by deal between Turkey and IMF are underway.
 Turkey's current accounts balanced down 42.5 percent in December 2008Ankara Anatolia news agency (10.02.09) reported the following from Ankara: "Turkey's current accounts balance was down in December 2008, the Central Bank of Turkey said on Tuesday.
The Central Bank of Turkey made public balance of payments figures for December 2008, and said Turkey's current accounts balance was down 42.5 percent.
The bank announced the current accounts balance as 3.3 billion USD in December 2008 over December 2007, and said it was up 8.4 percent in 2008 and reached 41.4 billion USD.
The current accounts balance was 5.2 billion USD in December 2007.
Turkey's foreign trade deficit dropped 45.4 percent to 2.6 billion USD in December 2008 over December 2007.
The bank announced Turkey's foreign trade balance as 52.8 billion USD with 13.3 percent increase in 2008 over 2007"
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 10 February 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 10 February:
a) Local Elections: In an editorial entitled "If it is not Bribery, What is it?" Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi criticizes the Turkish government and Tunceli Governor Mustafa Yaman for giving white goods, furniture, and other types of goods to poor families in Tunceli province in spite of the Higher Election Council's decision that it is against the law and therefore constitutes an offense. He says: "If the government is really acting in good faith, it should postpone distribution of aid ten or fifteen days after the local elections rather than giving them one and a half months in advance. In that case, both poor citizens would be content and nobody would describe it as 'election bribery.'"
In an article entitled "Lust for Power," Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol argues that the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, effectively infringes the spirit of law and ethics of democracy by instructing governors to distribute household goods ahead of the local elections. He comments: "The AKP has taken very encouraging steps in the fields of economy, democratization, and foreign policy. But, the 'second-term-of power' syndrome which was witnessed in the history of our democracy has also begun to influence the AKP amid signs of unrestrained ambition and more mistakes."
In an article entitled "God, Are We Normalizing?", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru asserts that the ongoing domestic political developments in the run-up to the elections in March suggest that the elections will be dominated by local issues, adding that if the current political climate continues until 29 March, "we could consider the March elections a very important sign that Turkey is on the path toward normalization." Koru also reiterates his approval of Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal's announcement of support for Koran courses and urges the CHP once more to "cross the Rubicon" on religious freedoms.
In an article entitled "An Easy Election", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone argues that the forthcoming local elections in March will see "a mature, wise and reasonable electorate and a well-established democracy" carry the AKP to an easy victory. He claims that the political "threat" to the AKP posed by the possible effects of the global economic crunch on Turkey has been eliminated thanks to the Erdogan government's "foresighted crisis management," which has entailed "timely measures" against the crisis as well as "prevention of panic."
b) Situation in the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Erdogans walkout from Davos.
A report entitled "Only Neo-Ottomans Could Save the Middle East" in Hurriyet highlights comments made by Gazans interviewed by a Hurriyet reporter. The report says that there is great admiration for Turkey and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the region especially after his row with Israeli President Shimon Peres in a panel discussion in Davos, Switzerland.
In an article entitled "Who has won the War in Gaza?" Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok draws attention to recent opinion polls conducted in the Gaza Strip which showed that popular support for the HAMAS has declined. Emphasizing that the outcome of the polls indicated that Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip do not take a stand fully consistent with the Turkish government's approach, Ozkok says: "Let us give a frank response to this question: Who reflects the real sentiments of Palestinian people? Hosni Mubarak who remains calm and takes an impartial stance or Erdogan who pounded the table with his fist in Davos?"
In an article entitled "A Shift of Axis from the West to the East" Zaman columnist Ihsan Dagi comments on the "shallow controversy" as to whether the ruling AKP's sharp reaction to the Israeli strikes against Gaza means that Turkey is turning away from the West to the East. Dagi claims that the argument that Turkey has moved away from the West to increasingly side with Iran, Syria, and Hamas under the AKP rests on the assumption that the Government is pursuing an "ideological" foreign policy with a crypto-Islamist agenda. He claims that rather than being ideological, the AKP's foreign policy reflects a "liberal" and "pragmatic" realization that Turkey is surrounded by "partners" with which it could cooperate, adding that there is nothing ideological about an approach that emphasizes Turkey's "soft power" rather than its military capabilities.
In an article entitled "Turning Victory in Arab Streets Into Victory in Diplomacy" Emre Uslu and Onder Aytac discuss the question of how Turkey can "pursue its active Middle Eastern diplomacy if both Israel and Arab ruling elites disapprove of what the Turkish prime minister [did at Davos]."
In an article entitled "Multipolarity Becomes the Norm" Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal comments on developments in the wake of the recent Davos incident that have "destroyed our hopes" that Erdogan's walkout from his debate with Peres signaled that Turkey would no longer subscribe to Israeli policies. Unal also refers to Russia's announcement of a plan to establish a new security organization as a development signifying that multipolarity is becoming institutionalized in Eurasia. He claims that while Russia's move could promote Turkey's interests by obstructing US and Israeli plans concerning the Middle East, Turkey lacks a government that can take advantage of the potential benefits of Russia's new initiative.
c) On Frances return to the military wing of NATO
In an article entitled "Ankara Looks to Washington for NATO Contention," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Barcin Yinanc says that both France and Turkey expect the United States to mediate in their disagreement over France's return to NATO's military wing. She comments: "The issue will first of all prove to be a test case for the ability of the new US administration to mediate. We will see to what degree the Obama administration would be willing to spend efforts to make a case for the Turks. Because let's face it; if Washington is not sympathetic to the Turkish case, it will be highly difficult for Turkey to stand up and openly obstruct French re-entry."