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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-18

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 <>



  • [01] The weekly press briefing by Hasan Ercakica
  • [02] Turkeys Ambassador in Madrid said that President Christofias is playing with time
  • [03] Cyprus among the successes of the AKP government in Erdoganīs campaign for the local elections
  • [04] New map of Cyprus in the site of the Turkish Presidency
  • [05] Senator Durbin met with the so-called mayor of occupied Famagusta
  • [06] Nationalist organizations in the occupied areas of Cyprus expressed their support to Turkey and the Turkish occupation army
  • [07] Strikes in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] A Turkish state-run bank opens branch in Greece
  • [09] Lab tests reveal Israel used phosphorus bombs in Gaza

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 17 February 2009


    [01] The weekly press briefing by Hasan Ercakica

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.02.09), under the title It must be Burgenstock style, reports that the so-called presidential spokesman Hasan Ercakica, in his weekly press conference, briefed on the developments of the negotiations for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem and answered to the journalists questions.

    Mr Ercakica said that what will happen with the Cyprus problem must be determined during the last months of 2009 or the first months of 2010, noting that during the last months of 2009 Turkey will be evaluated on its EU course and during the early months of 2010 there will be the so-called presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, so these appear to be a natural timetable for the Cyprus problem. Noting that the Greek Cypriot side is not the side that will agree on the issue of setting a timetable or a road map, Mr Ercakica said that although the two sides have not agreed on such an issue, a natural road map could be adopted by the international circles and be counted as an indication of the increased international interest.

    Responding to questions as to whether or not a settlement will be possible by this autumn, Mr Ercakica said that there was no such agreement between the two leaders. The reason that pressed us to make such a prediction is the natural time table as well as the international communitys steadily increasing attention, he added. He said that the Turkish Cypriot Side expected the give-and-take process to begin by the summer and for a Burgenstock style final phase to take place in the fall because that is when the natural time table will come to an end. The EU decision regarding Turkeys membership in December as well as the presidential elections in North Cyprus in 2010, is what we are referring to as natural timetable, he concluded.

    The paper under the subtitle Frequent visits goes on:

    Noting that while the negotiations aiming to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem are being held, frequent visits have started since the past weeks, Mr Ercakica said that they are satisfied with the growing interest in the solution of the Cyprus problem and that they are determined to benefit from this interest in order to reach to a solution. Mr Ercakica said: While the Cyprus problem is being discussed during the visits to our island, our authorities and particularly our President acquire the appropriate environment to convey the views and positions of the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Noting that the growing international interest in the solution of the Cyprus problem brings along different kinds of discussions and evaluations as well, Mr Ercakica said that this interest itself is in line with an early and comprehensive settlement aim of the Turkish side, and this is satisfactory for them.

    Commenting on the visit of the Member of the European Commission Responsible for Enlargement Mr Olli Rehn, Mr Ercakica said: During the visit, it has not only attracted our attention but was also welcomed on our part that the views and positions expressed were balanced and the expressions used were putting forward that the agreement of the two sides is essential.

    Asked to comment more on the US Senators visit to the island, Mr Ercakica described the US envoys visit as a warming up exercise and added that they did not feel uneasy because there was a person of Greek origin in the US Senators delegation. Finally, he said that they were pleased with the new US Administrations interest towards the Cyprus problem.

    Also commenting on the recent developments regarding human trafficking, Mr Ercakica said that the decisions of the technical committee approved by the two leaders in terms of combating crime should immediately be implemented, by adding: Such decisions envisaging exchange of intelligence so as to prevent organized crime that are mostly related with human trafficking in our island should immediately be implemented.

    Mr Ercakica said that the recent developments regarding the battle with illegal immigration and human trafficking have brought out that international cooperation in preventing such incidents and other organized crimes is very important. He also added: Last week, as a result of an operation that has been carried out with such cooperation, significant achievement has been recorded which we believe will set a preventive example in terms of battling human trafficking that is going through North Cyprus.


    [02] Turkeys Ambassador in Madrid said that President Christofias is playing with time

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.02.09) reports that the Turkish Ambassador in Madrid, Mr Ender Arat, during a speech at the think-tank European Dialogue, briefed on the Cyprus problem. Mr Arat said that the EU made a mistake to accept the Greek Cypriot sector, which cannot find a solution to its domestic and external problems, as a member succumbing to threats. He also added that President Mr Christofias is not sincere, he is avoiding the UN parameters, discipline and that methodology by deviating from the basic principles regarding the solution and that by playing with time, he is trying to turn the international public opinion against Turkey and by using the negotiation process with the EU he is trying to put pressure on Turkey. Mr Arat went on: Unfortunately, those countries in the EU that do not want Turkey to be an EU member are hiding behind Cyprus. Finally, Mr Arat said that if they want to learn the realities of the Turkish Cypriots, then the European Dialogue think-tank could invite the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and listen to him.


    [03] Cyprus among the successes of the AKP government in Erdoganīs campaign for the local elections

    Turkish Cypriot Sozcu newspaper (18.02.09) reports that, in the framework of his campaign for the March 29 local elections, the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayip Erdogan, addressed a gathering of the ruling Justice and Development Party in Nevshehir.

    Stressing that in spite of the snow, tens of thousands attended the meeting, the paper reports that in his speech Mr Erdogan said that negotiations with the International Monetary Fund are going well and added: We shall not put our signature under any text which will not serve the interests of Turkey.

    On Mr Erdoganīs reference to Cyprus the paper writes: Elaborating on developments in foreign policy, and replying to those who exert criticism that we sold out Cyprus especially after approval of the Annan Plan, Mr Erdogan said: Stop being ungrateful. During the period of our administration North Cyprus found its personality and identity.

    [04] New map of Cyprus in the site of the Turkish Presidency

    Under the title The TRNC was uploaded on the internet site of the Presidency, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (18.02.09) reports on the new map of Cyprus uploaded on the official internet site of the Turkish Presidency, which shows Cyprus divided and writes that yesterday, a new map of Cyprus which includes the names of the Greek Cypriot Administration and the TRNC was uploaded on the site.

    The map which was presenting Cyprus as one whole was corrected, writes the paper and adds that the Presidency, after the reactions that were caused due to the map which was presenting Cyprus as one whole, has issued a statement according to which no change can be made to the map which was copied from Google Maps. Yet, yesterday, the names Greek Cypriot Administration and TRNC were appended on the map, after a border line was drawn between the two countries, the paper writes and continues:

    The appearance of the island of Cyprus as one whole under the name Cyprus which was uploaded on the internet site of the Presidency on the section entitled Where is our President, and was published in Milliyet last month as a headline under the title The single Cyprus of the Presidency, has caused reactions.

    As Milliyet writes, after the publication of the story, the Turkish Presidency issued a statement according to which the Google maps that have been published on the Presidencys internet site cannot gain any official character; on the contrary they receive criticisms from a section of the press. At the same time, the visitor of the Presidencys site can see, by clicking on the internal information included in the site, that the country which he/she is visiting is the TRNC and emphasis shall particularly be given to this fact.

    The issue is reported by the paper by making use of the previous and present map uploaded on the Turkish Presidencys official internet site. On the previous map, Cyprus appears unified, while on the present map, Cyprus appears divided with the name Greek Cypriot Administration inscribed on the southern part of the island and the name TRNC for the northern part.


    [05] Senator Durbin met with the so-called mayor of occupied Famagusta

    Turkish Cypriot daily STAR KIBRIS newspaper (18.02.09) reports that the US Illinois Senator Richard Durbin and Illinois State Finance Minister Alexi Giannoulias visited yesterday the municipality of the occupied Famagusta and met with the so-called mayor Oktay Kayalp. The meeting lasted 45 minutes and they exchanged views on Famagusta, economic issues and the Cyprus problem. Mr Kayalp also offered Mr Durbin and Mr Giannoulias handmade of Lefkara lace as gift.


    [06] Nationalist organizations in the occupied areas of Cyprus expressed their support to Turkey and the Turkish occupation army

    Under the title Demonstration for devotion to the Motherland, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (18.02.09) reports that some organizations held a meeting yesterday in front of the embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Cyprus in order to express their reaction to the protest act against Turkey organized last week by the United Cyprus Party (BKP), the Cyprus Socialist Party (KSP), the New Cyprus Party (YKP) and the Baraka Cultural Centre which accused Turkey of laying hands on the hiring of members of the police. More than 30 organizations and the combatant associations expressed their devotion and gratitude to Turkey yesterday. The local organization of the National Unity Party (UBP) in Nicosia and the Youth Organization of the Freedom and Reform Party expressed their support to the meeting yesterday. The participants in the activity threw flowers in the yard of the embassy and shouted slogans in favour of Turkey and the Turkish army.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (18.02.09) refers to the same issue under the title Turkey, you are everything for us and reports that the participants in the meeting gave a strong answer to the collaborators of the Greek Cypriots who accused Turkey and the Turkish army of being occupier.


    [07] Strikes in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.02.09) reports that the one-day general warning strike which 21 trade unions would have carried out today is postponed for tomorrow. According to Arslan Bicakli, chairman of Turk-Sen trade union, today the trade unions will carry out a three-hour warning strike. The trade unions are protesting against the draft-law regarding the scales of salaries and the other allowances of the public servants which provides for no salary increments. The aim of the strike will also be to express their reaction to the fact that the minimum wage has not yet been determined. Mr Bicakli said that the aim of the strike is to prevent the efforts for taking away the rights gained by the employees through struggles lasting for many years and to allow the young people who will be employed from now on to be second class persons.

    Commenting on the issue, the self-styled prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer argued that the postponement of the strike for tomorrow aimed at causing difficulties to the assembly which is scheduled to approve the draft-law regarding the elections tomorrow. Soyer will submit the issue regarding the elections to the assembly today. Mr Soyer said that the assembly could not discuss the issue of the salaries at the moment and described the decision of the trade unions for strike as surprising. Mr Soyer noted that the allegations that the 13th salary will be eliminated and the allowances will be cut off are not true.

    Meanwhile, the paper reports also that the prison guards in the occupied areas went on a two-hour warning strike yesterday claiming that the protocol signed between KTAMS and Kamu-Sen trade unions and the ministry of interior was not implemented and that their problems have not been solved.


    [08] A Turkish state-run bank opens branch in Greece

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.02.09) reported the following from Athens:

    Turkey's state-run Ziraat Bankasi opened on Tuesday its first branch in Athens, becoming the first Turkish commercial bank to ever have an office in Greece.

    Attending the opening ceremony of the branch, Turkish State Minister Nazim Ekren said a series of structural reforms that Turkey had made over the last couple of years had strengthened Turkish banking system in neighbouring and regional countries.

    The two branches to be opened in this friendly and neighbouring country will begin its operations with a capital of near 18 million Euros. Ziraat Bankasi branches in Greece will extend major support for Turkish as well as Greek businessmen in their mutual trade and investments, Ekren said.

    The Turkish bank is also set to open another branch in Greek city of Komotini.

    [09] Lab tests reveal Israel used phosphorus bombs in Gaza

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.02.09) reports the following:

    Laboratory tests conducted on a piece of soil brought from Gaza to Turkey by a human rights association revealed that Israel used phosphorus bombs against Gaza during its three-week war starting in late 2008, the Vakit daily reported yesterday.

    Istanbuls Yildiz Technical University, which conducted the laboratory tests on the soil brought from Gaza by the Association of Human Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed Peoples (MAZLUM-DER) found particles of phosphorus bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions. More than 1,300 people, including children and women, were killed, and thousands of others were injured during the 22-day Israeli attacks on Gaza, which drew worldwide protests and international condemnation.

    Following the laboratory results, MAZLUM-DER filed a criminal complaint against Israel at the Istanbuls Prosecutor's Office yesterday. The use of phosphorus bombs against civilians was banned (by signatory countries) in the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons Protocol III. Phosphorus bombs, which include toxic materials, cause burns on the body and damage the liver, kidneys and heart.


    [10] From the Turkish Press of 17 February 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 17 February:

    a) The occupation of Cyprus as bargaining chip with France and Greece

    In an article entitled "Scratch My Back and I Will Scratch Yours", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal asserts that Turkey should make the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus the subject of any bargaining with France over the latter's demand for Ankara's support for the French bid to return to the military wing of NATO. He claims that this would show to Western countries the price they have to pay for obtaining Turkey's support for any project. He also claims that Turkey should not have allowed Greece to return to NATO without pressuring Athens into approving a two-state solution in Cyprus and signing an agreement entailing an end to the "expansionist" Greek policy in the Aegean region.

    b) Turkish-Israeli Relations

    A report by Ozgur Eksi of Hurriyet says that Israeli pilots' training schedule in Turkey has been disclosed. According to the schedule, Eksi notes, Israel will participate in the military exercise called "Anatolian Eagle" in October. He also notes that the pilots' training schedule was set long before the outbreak of tension between the Turkish and Israeli officials.

    A column by Mustafa Balbay of Cumhuriyet criticizes Erdogan's Middle East policy, saying that "the tension between Israel and Palestine has turned into a tension between Israel and Turkey" because of the inappropriate policies pursued by the prime minister since the start of the Gaza operation. Drawing attention to the escalating tension following Israeli Land Forces Commander Mizrahi's harsh remarks against Turkey, Balbay asserts that the Jewish lobby decided to reconsider its position on the Armenian lobby's efforts to have the US Congress adopt a resolution on the Armenian claims. He goes on to say that Erdogan should have refrained from policies that led the Israeli president to speak to the Turkish prime minister in an "unacceptable" way. Arguing that Erdogan's Davos walkout was just a move to increase his popularity in the country, he laments that "Turkey has started to become a part of the problems rather than the solution efforts in the Middle East because of the AKP policies."

    In an article entitled "First Shot Between Armies", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul cites Israeli Land Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi's recent sharp criticisms of Prime Minister Erdogan and his accusations against Turkey in connection with the Cyprus, Kurdish, and Armenian issues as evidence of the true extent of a rift between Turkey and Israel dating back earlier than the Davos crisis. He claims that Turkish and Israeli regional interests do not and will not correspond any longer. He also argues that Turkey no longer wants to function as a country that controls and neutralizes Arab anger against Israel because it has started to see the region through its own eyes for the first time since the demise of the Ottoman Empire.

    c) Turkish-Russian Relations

    A commentary by Sami Kohen of Milliyet comments on the relations between Turkey and Russia in light of President Gul's recent visit to Moscow. Kohen asserts that the 12-page joint declaration signed during the visit confirms Putin's remarks that Turkey is one of the priorities of the Russian foreign policy. He welcomes the use of the term "strong partnership" in the joint declaration saying that this is "more realistic" than the frequently used term "strategic partnership." He says that by making reference to the strong partnership between the two countries, the leaders meant the establishment of a "close cooperation" between Ankara and Moscow on various issues ranging from politics to security and from trade to energy. Stressing that Turkey started to adopt an "autonomous position" on issues concerning Russia, Kohen says that that approach should not be taken as Turkey's perception of Russia as an alternative to the United States and Europe.

    d) General Staff Launches Internal Probe

    According to a report in Hurriyet, the General Staff has launched a "top secret Ergenekon investigation" within the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK. The report says that the Army is investigating political affiliations of certain officers who might have leaked confidential military information.

    Hurriyet Daily News also carries a column by Mehmet Ali Birand on the internal probe launched by the General Staff. Birand says that the TSK aims to prevent the efforts to discredit the Army through coup allegations

    e) Ergenekon Investigation

    A report by Bahar Kilicgedik of Taraf says that Turkey sent a group of intelligence officials to Azerbaijan as part of its efforts to uncover the Ergenekon organization's links abroad. Recalling that former intelligence official Mehmet Eymur said that Ret Gen Veli Kucuk, a key suspect in the Ergenekon case, was involved in the establishment of certain organizations in Iraq and Azerbaijan, the report notes that the Foreign Ministry and the National Intelligence Organization were uneasy about Kucuk and his associates' alleged activities. Veli Kucuk is said to have been involved in the coup attempt against former Azerbaijani President Haydar Aliyev.


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