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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-02-20
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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. 35/09 20.02.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Talat said that the two sides views on the property issue are in distanceTurkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.02.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, addressing on Wednesday a conference organized by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce evaluated the negotiation process on the Cyprus settlement. Mr Talat said that the two sides agreed to a great degree on the issue of Governance and Power Sharing but he added that their views on the property issue are in distance from each other and he has worries on this.
 Soyer believes that there will be a referendum at the end of 2009Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (20.02.09) reports that the so-called prime minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer, commenting on the general strike observed by the twenty trade unions, claimed that the general strike declared by the trade unions with their unreasonable 24% increase demand did not enjoy communal support. He invited the trade unions to review their decisions. In a written statement, Soyer referred to the Cyprus problem and said that he believes that at the end of 2009 a referendum will be held. He noted that at the negotiations regarding the governance and power sharing chapter very serious progress was made, as a result of this, he is very hopeful regarding the 2009.
 Avci met with the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of EconomyTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.02.09) reports that the deputy prime minister and foreign minister Turgay Avci, who was in Istanbul for a one-day visit, met yesterday with the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State in Charge of Economy Nazim Ekren. The meeting was held during a lunch at the Prime Ministrys Working Office in Dolmabahce and lasted for one and half hours.
According to information given by the so-called press centre of the foreign ministry, Mr Avci and Mr Ekren discussed in detail many issues agreed earlier with the General Director of the Turkish Development Bank. Commenting on the meeting, Mr Avci said: We had a very fruitful meeting with Minister Erken. We had the opportunity to submit our solid projects for the development of the TRNC and the improvement of the economic situation. We also exchanged views on ways of joint projects with the motherland in order to decrease the effects of the global financial crisis to a minimum level and with loans at a low rate of interest to our youth and artisans from the Turkish Development Bank.
 Mr Erk hosted a dinner to Mr Zerihoun and Mr DownerTurkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (20.02.09), under the title Mini summit..., reports that the special adviser of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, Mr Kutlay Erk, hosted a dinner on Wednesday night in honour of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General Tayť-Brook Zerihoun and the Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General Alexander Downer. The paper describes the dinner as the dinner of the Cyprus problem and reports that while negotiations on the Cyprus problem are continuing, Erk, Zerihoun and Downer coming together a day before yesterday for a dinner, has added another domino to the moderate and conciliatory atmosphere created both in the south and in the north of the island.
 The Cyprus Turkish Football Association decided not to attend the tournament of NF-BoardTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.02.09), in its sports pages, reports that the so-called board of directors of the Cyprus Turkish Football Association (KTFF) in a meeting on Wednesday night decided not to participate in the tournament organized by the NF-Board due to the circumstances and the existing situation. The board of directors of the association also decided to accept the invitation of taking part in the tournament organized by the Kirgizstan Football Federation with its Mixed team.
 More on the decisions of the breakaway regime regarding the ferry boat with casinoUnder the title Everything in the last one month, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.02.09)reports that while the entire society reacts to the increase of the number of the casinos in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the self-styled council of ministers decided on 7 January 2009 to grant a permit to Cafer Gurcafer, owner of KADA Construction Company, to operate a casino with two years exemption from any taxes at the hotel which he is planning to build at the Agios Loucas neighbourhood in occupied Famagusta. Subsequently, Mr Gurcafer asked for an investment loan from Turkey to purchase a ferryboat with a casino on it, notes Kibris.
Pointing out that a second approval was given to Gurcafer after one month, the paper adds that on 11 February 2009 the self-styled council of ministers decided to exempt KADA Construction Company from any taxes, funds and fees, except for the VAT, for all the necessary equipment and inventory stock which it would bring from abroad to restore the building of the passenger lounge in the occupied port of Famagusta in order for it to be used by tourists, especially Israelis.
 The Turkish Foreign Ministry on the European Court of Justice decision that no visa is required for Turks travelling for business purposesAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Burak Ozugergin said on Thursday that related German court would make a preliminary ruling regarding application of two Turkish nationals on visa implementations within the scope of decision of the European Court of Justice.
Speaking to A.A correspondent, Ozugergin said Mehmet Soysal and Ibrahim Savatli, the two Turkish citizens, filed suit in Germany on visa applications. The Turkish lorry driver Soysal filed a case with a Berlin State court in 2007 asking for the cancellation of a visa requirement from Turks.
Ozugergin said the German court sent the file to European Court of Justice and asked the court to rule on the decision. MFA spokesman said European Court of Justice announced its decision on Thursday, noting that, operative provision of this decision is in favour of the Turkish plaintiff. In the next stage, the related German court will make a decision on the case within the scope of resolution of European Court of Justice.
Regarding the decision, European Court of Justice said, at the time of the entry into force of the Additional Protocol with regard to the Federal Republic of Germany, namely 1 January 1973, Turkish nationals such as the appellants in the main proceedings, engaged in the provision of services in Germany in the international transport of goods by road on behalf of a Turkish undertaking, had the right to enter German territory for those purposes without first having to obtain a visa.
The Court of Justice ruled, In the light of all the foregoing considerations, the answer to the questions referred is that Article 41(1) of the Additional Protocol is to be interpreted as meaning that it precludes the introduction, as from the entry into force of that protocol, of a requirement that Turkish nationals such as the appellants in the main proceedings must have a visa to enter the territory of a Member State in order to provide services there on behalf of an undertaking established in Turkey, since, on that date, such a visa was not required.
Egemen Bagis, Turkey's state minister and chief negotiator for European Union (EU) talks, described the decision of the court as an important step for establishment of mutual partnership between Turkey and the EU authorities.
 US think-tank stated that Obama presidency should establish close relations with TurkeyAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.02.09) reported the following from Washington D.C.:
Analysts at a Washington panel discussion Wednesday said the new US administration should establish close relations with Turkey, encourage democracy and the country's European orientations.
Building and improving democracy in Turkey serve for the US interests and the key to that is Europe. Ways must be devised to revive Turkey's EU process and to move it forward, Mark Parris, former US ambassador in Turkey, told the panel discussion at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.
Parris said he would advise US President Barack Obama to keep relations close with Turkey as a response to claims that Turkey had been moving away from the West. ... yet one should avoid making an extreme comment that Turkey is moving toward a different direction, Parris said.
Soner Cagaptay, an analyst with the Washington Institute, also advised the new administration to have close relations with Turkey, saying the two countries should continue their cooperation against the terrorist organization PKK.
Analyst Ian Lesser said Turkey would find it most difficult to attract the attention of the US administration. Obama administration might be seeking a low profile partnership which needs almost anything to work it out, Lesser said.
 More than 48.6 million voters are expected to vote in the March 29 local electionsAnkara Anatolia news agency (19.02.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Over 48.6 million voters are expected to cast ballots in Turkeys local elections, which are scheduled for March 29, countrys elections high board said on Thursday.
The number of registered voters has increased by 5.3 million since a referendum in March 2007 in Turkey, with 8.7 million of them in Istanbul, 3.2 million in Ankara, and 2.7 million in Izmir, the board said.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 The USA can step in CyprusTurkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (20.02.09) publishes a commentary by Ferai Tinc entitled The USA can intervene in Cyprus, discussing the latest developments in Cyprus after the visits in the region of the US Illinois Senator, Richard Durbin, the Illinois State Treasurer, Alexi Giannoulias and the reply letter sent by the US President Barack Obama to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, and wonders whether these developments are a sign of an American involvement in Cyprus.
Describing as an interesting development the fact that the US Illinois Senator Richard Durbin was arriving in the island at the same time when the reply letter of the new US President Obama to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat was arriving, Ferai Tinc notes:
Durbin, who was visiting and saying that they [himself and Alexi Giannoulias] are not official representatives of the US President, but official friends, took the pulse in Cyprus, Athens and yesterday, in Ankara. Obama Administrations first contact in Turkey starts with the Cyprus problem. The visit of the Senator is not that much high level as the one of the Secretary of State Clinton or the Vice-President Biden.
In fact, he himself asks this and says I will convey to Obama the impressions and messages of this tour.
For this reason he asks questions in every opportunity.
Will the solution of the Cyprus problem improve the economic situation of the Turkish Cypriots? What is the role of Turkey? What is the influence of the people of Turkish descent who live in Cyprus? How many will stay and how many will go after a solution? Is solution possible?
Reaching to the conclusion that the United States is preparing to step in the peace talks conducted in Cyprus, Ferai Tinc writes:
Durbins words are that the USA has no special suggestion. But if the two presidents wish so, we can support the Cyprus talks. We encourage the leaders to agree with our suggestion, clearly states, according to my view, this intention.
The columnist concludes by noting that, among others, the visit of Mr Durbins highlights the importance the Obama Administration attaches to the regions security.
Turkey not losing its European vision and the solution of the Cyprus problem are evaluated as a guarantee for regional stability. The EU NATO relations are in the agenda of this visit and are related to these. A great obstacle in the cooperation between NATO and the EU is Turkeys veto for Cyprus. A few days ago, the USA asked clearly from Turkey to lift its veto. This issue seems impossible without a solution in Cyprus first. By the end of this year, or in the beginning of the next, important changes can take place in Cyprus.
 From the Turkish Press of 19 February 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish Press of 19 February:
a) Erdogans walkout from Davos/Turkish-Israeli relations
In an article entitled "Is Caliphate Really a Zionist Project?", Vakit columnist Mustafa Ozcan comments on reports that the Egyptian people have started to pledge allegiance to Prime Minister Erdogan as caliph of the Muslim world in the wake of his walkout from a debate with Shimon Peres at Davos. Ozcan takes issue with "neo-nationalist" groups over their argument that nation states are the best response to imperialism. He claims that the West and the United States perceive a united Islamic world led by a caliph as the greatest threat to their interests.
In an article entitled "Why the Israeli General is in the Wrong", Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay lauds the Israeli Haaretz daily for "putting [Israeli Land Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi] in his place" by asserting in reference to Mizrahi's remarks targeting Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogan that it is not up to a military official to determine Israel's foreign policy. Alpay also responds to Mizrahi's accusations against Ankara regarding the 1915 events and the Kurdish and Cyprus issues. He claims that it is farfetched to draw a comparison between Israel/Palestine and Turkey/Cyprus because while Turkey intervened in Cyprus on the basis of guarantor agreements, Israel has violated "countless" UN Security Council resolutions in keeping Palestine under occupation.
In an article entitled "It Has Begun To Get Really Boring", Milli Gazete columnist Hasan Unal argues that while Prime Minister Erdogan's Davos walkout was an appropriate reaction to Israel, the AKP continues to subscribe to US and Israeli policies on the Middle East in a way that suggests that what happened at Davos was only a "sham fight" intended to boost public support for the AKP ahead of the local elections in March. He also asserts that there is no point in Erdogan continuing a row with Israeli officials as long as his government fails to defend Turkey's "vital interests" linked to the Armenian issue as well as to Cyprus and northern Iraq against the United States and Israel.
b) Turkey-Syria Relations
Erdal Safak analyzes the importance of Turkish-Syrian relations in an article in Sabah. Referring to US Senator John Kerry's current visit and US Congressman Howard Berman's upcoming visit to Syria, Safak maintains that these developments point at a new era as well as the formation of a new equation in the region. Safak argues that Turkey played a crucial role in preventing Syria's isolation in the world by continuing and developing its ties with that country despite US and EU objections. He adds that with this policy "Turkey succeeded in giving a breathing space to the Ba'th regime led by al-Asad" and in enabling Syria to keep one leg in the West. Pointing out that Syria would have completely relied on Iran had it been isolated for the past six years as the West planned, Safak contemplates on the possible repercussions of such an isolation.
c) Deployment to the Aden Gulf
In an article entitled "Why Barbarossa's Grandchildren Have Been Deployed to Somalia", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul argues that Turkey's dispatch of a frigate to Somalia in a mission that entails operations off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea as well as land operations in Somalia signifies the continuation of major post-Ottoman regional initiatives that Ankara has been able to undertake thanks to recent "shattering" global developments, shifts of power, and changes in the East-West balance.