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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-16

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. 31/09 14-16.02.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot UNHCR representative in occupied Cyprus was arrested for human trafficking
  • [02] Erdogan stated that Turkeys diplomatic strength has been increased and the TRNC is an example of this
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted to an Israeli generals call on Erdogan to look in the mirror and remarks about the Armenian genocide and the Turkish occupation of Cyprus
  • [04] Diploma fraternization between Turkey TRNC
  • [05] Ahmet Uzun on CMC houses
  • [06] The issue of the twining of occupied Lefkosia and Copenhagen was taken up during a meeting between the mayor of occupied Lefkosia, and the Danish Ambassador to Lefkosia
  • [07] Havadis a new Turkish Cypriot newspaper published in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] Owner of casino in occupied Cyprus stated that he was ordered by Mehmet Agar to set up a gang
  • [09] Protecting Turkishness continues
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkish-Israeli military ties to continue despite serious strains

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Turkish Cypriot UNHCR representative in occupied Cyprus was arrested for human trafficking

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.02.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot police press office announced over the weekend that Kivanc Aktug, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), has been arrested on charges of human smuggling.

    Aktug (65), H.A. (46) and three Iraqi citizens who had illegally entered the KKTC with help from Aktug and H.A. were arrested in a joint operation by the KKTC and the UK's Sovereign Base Areas Police Service on the island, a statement from the KKTC Police Office said Saturday.

    The police say that Aktug and H.A. were providing entrance of Iraqi and Palestinian people to the KKTC from ports and airports after being bribed. Then, by violating a first-level forbidden military zone, police say, the two were taking those people to southern Cyprus without getting permission from authorities. This illegal activity continued from October 2008 to February 12, the statement said.

    Aktug's Human Relief Mission (HRM) was handling the cases of between 500 and 600 asylum seekers in the north for the UNHCR, Greek Cypriot media recently reported.

    Meanwhile, a statement from the KKTC presidency underlined that Aktug was appointed by the UN, but not by the KKTC. Turkish Cypriot authorities had cooperated with him upon the UN's request, it said.

    Aktug's arrest is new evidence that international organizations' cooperation with KKTC authorities is necessary and appropriate instead of those organizations independently launching activities in northern Cyprus, the statement said.

    [02] Erdogan stated that Turkeys diplomatic strength has been increased and the TRNC is an example of this

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (16.02.09) reports in its first page that the Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, stated that Turkeys diplomatic strength has not weakened, but it has been increased and added that the TRNC is an example of this. The Turkish Prime Minister made these statements speaking to Turkish journalists during his return on board the plane from a meeting at Sivas.

    Mr Erdogan stated, inter alia, that the step Turkey took as regards the TRNC gave results. Esteemed Mehmet Ali Talat has been received officially by the international community. He was received in Pakistan, in European Countries and in the Gulf Countries with the protocol applied for presidents of state. The TRNC has opened representation offices in 19 countries, Me Erdogan stated.

    (CS)

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted to an Israeli generals call on Erdogan to look in the mirror and remarks about the Armenian genocide and the Turkish occupation of Cyprus

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (14.02.09) reported the following:

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry delivered a diplomatic note to Israel concerning the harsh remarks of an Israeli general, broadcaster NTV reported Saturday. In a separate statement, the Turkish army said the remarks are in an extent that could harm the bilateral relations.

    The broadcaster NTV said the note was delivered to the Gabi Levy, Israeli Ambassador to Ankara, on Saturday.

    On Friday Israeli daily Haaretz reported Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, a veteran professional officer, called on Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to look in the mirror.

    The Israeli General took a step further and accused Turkey of committing massacre of the Armenians as well as the suppression of the Kurds. Mizrahi also mentioned the so-called Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus, according to the report.

    Erdogan has harshly criticized Israel's operations in Gaza which killed more than 1,300 people dead. The relations strained after Erdogan stormed out of a Gaza debate in Davos with Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    The Turkish army issued a statement on Saturday to slam Mizrahi over his words.

    These remarks, as the way they were published in the media reports, are considered to be misleading the facts, unfortunate, unacceptable and more importantly in an extent that could harm the national interests between two countries, the army said in a statement posted on its Web site.

    The military also called on the Israeli army, which is considered to be attaching great importance to its relations with the Turkish Armed forces, to clarify Mizrahi's statement.

    [04] Diploma fraternization between Turkey TRNC

    Under the title Diploma fraternization between Turkey and the TRNC, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (14.02.09) reports on a protocol signed between the so-called ministry of education and culture of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish Republics Ministry of National Education by which it was decided to recognize as equivalent the diplomas granted from the universities of the two countries without the need for separate procedures to be followed.

    With the said protocol, signed by the education ministers of the two countries, the taking of the necessary measures was foreseen for TRNC universities to be treated by other states as universities established according to the law of the Turkish Republic.

    According to the paper, the standards of the TRNC universities will be evaluated by an advisory committee establishes by Turkeys Council of Higher Education (YOK) and the TRNC Higher Education. Planning, Supervision, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK).

    [05] Ahmet Uzun on CMC houses

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (14.02.09) reports on statements made by Mr. Ahmet Uzun, self-styled Minister of Finance. Speaking during a press conference yesterday, Mr. Uzun said, inter alia, that they decided to distribute use certificate for indefinite period of time to those who live in the houses of CMC (Cyprus Mining Cooperation) in the occupied village of Lefka. According to Mr. Uzun, the certificate will be distributed to TRNC citizens only who will have the right to transfer their poverty to their relatives, their children and foreigners.

    (AK)

    [06] The issue of the twining of occupied Lefkosia and Copenhagen was taken up during a meeting between the mayor of occupied Lefkosia, and the Danish Ambassador to Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (14.02.09) reports that the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Cemal Bulutoglulari, met with the Danish Ambassador to Lefkosia, Bent Wigotski. In the meeting the issue of the twining of cities, between occupied Lefkosia and Copenhagen was taken up.

    Evaluating the meeting, Mr Bulutoglulari, stated that they want to become sister cities with Denmarks capital Copenhagen and they will make the necessary efforts and take the necessary initiatives towards this direction. He also stated that the Lefkosia municipality will continue its active efforts in the field of foreign relations.

    (CS)

    [07] Havadis a new Turkish Cypriot newspaper published in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    A new newspaper, under the name Havadis (Pieces of news) started to be published as of the 14th of February in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The editor-in-chief of the new paper is Basaran Duzgun, the former editor-in-chief of Kibris newspaper.

    In his first editorial Mr Duzgun writes, inter alia, that the paper will support a solution in Cyprus which will be in favor of the interests of the Turkish Cypriots and will help towards the solution of the Cyprus problem which makes the Turkish Cypriots suffer for so many years. As regards internal issues the paper writes that it will move towards the problems which have become the cankers of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (CS)

    [08] Owner of casino in occupied Cyprus stated that he was ordered by Mehmet Agar to set up a gang

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (16.02.09) reports the following:

    A mafia leader who is serving a jail sentence for his involvement in the 1996 Susurluk affair, which exposed links between the Turkish state, the criminal underworld and Turkish security forces, has said Abdullah Catli, another mafia boss who was killed in a car accident in 1996, was actually assassinated.

    Catli, a leader of the ultranationalist Grey Wolves group, was killed in the 1996 traffic accident near the northwestern township of Susurluk. The incident revealed that Catli actually worked for the state, carrying out intelligence units dirty work.

    Yasar Oz, currently serving jail time for his a gang membership conviction that arose from the Susurluk investigation, on Friday made a six-page statement, following the court appearance on Friday of Mehmet Agar, who was police chief at the time of the Susurluk incident.

    Oz said Catli was killed in that accident because of his convoluted relationships and that the accident was fictitious.

    Agar is standing trial over his role in the Susurluk affair. He faces a possible jail sentence over accusations of establishing a criminal gang during his term as police chief. He appeared before a court for the first time in the 13 years after the start of the Susurluk investigation on Feb. 9, after years of shielding by his political immunities granted to him by his parliamentary membership.

    Oz in his Friday statement claimed that Agar, in his post as police chief, had ordered him to set up a gang. He also threatened Agar that he might end his silence that has lasted for 13 years. In his statement, Oz said he was lucky to be alive despite his relationship with Agar, though he was in jail. He claimed that Catli and other figures like him such as Mahmut Yildirim and Taruk Umit were taken out because of their complex relationships.

    Oz's statement mentions another anecdote from 1996: Oz was in a room with Agar, who was on the phone with then-Prime Minister Tansu Ciller, when Agar said, The hero is standing next to me right now.

    Agar, in his testimony in the Susurluk case on February 9, said the police department used Oz for acquiring information on the Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) human trafficking activity. Oz's statement that he had been instructed by Agar to set up a gang might now put Agar in a difficult defense position. During the hearing on Feb. 9, Agar denied that he had facilitated issuing gun licenses and green passports -- which do not require a visa to Schengen countries -- to Oz and Catli. In his statement, Oz said he was given all these and a police license plate by Agar. Sources say that Ankara 11th Higher Criminal Court hearing the Susurluk trial might call Oz to testify.

    Oz was sentenced to four years on charges of membership in an organized crime gang and to 15 years for heroin smuggling. He was released after seven years and seven months in jail. He was arrested again on August 9, 2007, following a shooting that occurred in a Cyprus casino that belongs to him. Oz is not the first person to claim that Catli was not victim of an accident but an assassination. Former Special Operations Unit member Ayhan Cark1n made the same claim on a television program he joined a few months ago.

    Meanwhile, drug lord Sami Hostan, who was in prison over charges related to Ergenekon, a clandestine terrorist organization nested within the state hierarchy and accused of attempting to overthrow the government, was detained again late Friday night, shortly after his release from prison in the Ergenekon investigation by a court, which cited insufficient evidence for the release.

    Hostan was detained in a police operation codenamed Anaphor, which investigated organized crime and smugglers. Hostan was transferred to Izmir on Sunday to testify before the prosecutor on the Anaphor investigation.

    [09] Protecting Turkishness continues

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (16.02.09) reports the following from Ankara:

    The Justice Ministry has rejected 403 applications for investigations into remarks perceived as insulting "Turkishness" since May 8, 2008. It accepted 70 applications and 113 are still being considered, the justice minister said Friday.

    In response to Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, deputy Erkan Ekcays parliamentary question, Justice Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin said since May 8 last year when the ministry was given authority to approve or reject cases linked to Article 301 of the penal code, courts have suspended 301 trials, forwarding them to the ministry for reassessment. "That is why there are so many applications," he said, according to the Anatolia news agency.

    The infamous Article 301 bans any statement deemed insulting to state institutions and Turkishness.

    Turkeys Nobel Literature Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, writer Elif Safak, and journalists Ismet Berkant and Hrant Dink were among those who were prosecuted under Article 301. Dink was found guilty, given a suspended sentence and became the center of nationalist anger. He was assassinated in 2007 by a nationalist teenager.

    Charges against Berkant, Pamuk and Safak were dismissed. There have been complaints that high-profile cases are being dismissed while the rest are being prosecuted. Pamuks prosecution attracted significant criticism from the European Union, which Turkey is trying to join. Despite the repeated calls for Article 301s annulment, the government opted to amend the article, allowing the Justice Ministry the right to decide which Article 301 cases will be prosecuted.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkish-Israeli military ties to continue despite serious strains

    Under the above title Todays Zaman (16.02.09) publishes the following news analysis by Lale Sariibrahimoglu:

    Turkish-Israeli relations, in particular the countries' strong military and arms procurement ties, are not expected to receive a serious blow despite an Israeli military commander's harsh criticism of Turkey over many taboo topics -- including the alleged Armenian genocide, the Kurdish issue and the Turkish military presence in Cyprus -- a retired Turkish general has said.

    As long as Israel disowns the general's criticism of Turkey, the Turkish military is not expected to take unilateral action, such as the suspension of military ties, independent from the political authorities' stance. Israel is unique in the sense that it has been easily providing necessary military technology to Turkey, said the same retired general, who served on the Turkish delegation which prepared the documents that led to agreements between Turkey and Israel in 1996, formally establishing military and defense industry relations between the two nations.

    Under the military agreements, Turkey and Israel, sometimes with the participation of Jordan, hold biannual high-level military-to-military meetings. Those meetings, depending on the schedule of both countries as well as the bilateral and regional political climate, may sometimes take place just once a year.

    In reaction to the latest standoff which has, this time, brought the militaries of both countries to the center of a fierce, ongoing war of words, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) may cancel those meetings or may not allow Israel to take part in this year's Anatolian Eagle exercises, which are held at a training range in the central Anatolian city of Konya once or twice a year, usually once in June.

    We may expect such sanctions to be put into force by the Turkish military against Israel, but I do not expect a suspension of all military ties with Israel, predicted the retired Turkish general.

    The same source, speaking to Today's Zaman, recalled an earlier TSK statement that stressed the importance of relations with Israel to Turkey's national interests in the wake of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's dramatic walkout from a meeting in Davos, Switzerland, in late January during a debate with Israeli President Shimon Peres over Israel's Gaza assault, a three-week offensive in which over a thousand people were killed.

    At the center of the current crisis between the US's close allies in the Middle East, Turkey and Israel, are remarks made by Israeli Ground Forces Commander Maj. Gen. Avi Mizrahi, who was paraphrased in a Haaretz feature on Friday as saying during a lecture at the Tactical Command College last Tuesday that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who has been vicious in his criticism of Israel since Operation Cast Lead began, should first look in the mirror.

    He spoke about the Kurdish conflict in Turkey and Armenian allegations of genocide taking place under the Ottoman Turks during World War I. Mizrahi also pointed to the ongoing Turkish military presence, which he described as Turkish occupation, in Turkish-dominated northern Cyprus, Haaretz reported.

    The Israeli military, on Saturday, disassociated itself from the critical remarks Maj. Gen. Mizrahi made about Turkey, after Ankara described them as unacceptable and demanded urgent clarification.

    The Israeli army statement came soon after the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Gabby Levy on Saturday and handed him a note of protest, denouncing Mizrahi's remarks and saying they distort reality and are excessive, unfortunate and unacceptable.

    The note warned that such remarks can harm national interests in relations between the two countries.

    We expect the Israeli General Staff, which we believe places importance on relations with the Turkish Armed Forces, to clarify the issue, it added.

    Israel is thought to be Turkey's second-biggest partner after the US in terms of military procurement relations, but the former ranks first in supplying technologically poor Turkey with information on high technology.

    This is despite the fact that the Israeli government sometimes refuses to transfer certain critical technologies to Turkey in projects contracted to Israeli companies, a problem that has increasingly become an element of frustration in Ankara since 2003.

    The major projects that Turkey has contracted to Israel include around $1 billion for the ongoing modernization of US-made M60 A1 tanks in Turkey's inventory, the now completed F-4 (equipped with Popeye missiles) and F-5 fighter modernization projects and a supply of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) purchased from Israel.

    EG/


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