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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-06

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. 44/09 06.03.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Talat after the 21st meeting with President Christofias
  • [02] Eroglu assesses the talks; He refers to secret meetings in Switzerland
  • [03] Rauf Denktas points to the contradictory policy of Turkey supporting two states solution and considering the ongoing talks favorable
  • [04] Turkey will grant $ 500 million to the breakaway regime
  • [05] Babacan and Tzipi Livni met in the sidelines of the NATO meeting
  • [06] Turkey, Israel in secret talks to end the crisis between two countries
  • [07] Ankara would not back Rasmussen for top NATO post. Babacan sets Turkeys standards for the new NATO chief
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Clinton said planning to attend popular talk show to improve US image in Turkey
  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 5 March 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Talat after the 21st meeting with President Christofias

    Illegal Bayrak television (05.03.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has announced that the second chapter of full-fledged negotiations- the issue of property- has been closed.

    We have agreed, in principle, on the establishment of a property board and we will exchange views on how to speed up the establishment of the mechanism he said.

    Further discussions on the property issue have been referred to the leaders special representatives Ozdil Nami and Yorgos Yakovou.

    Evaluating todays round on his return to the Presidential Palace, the President said the two sides held discussions on the Turkish Cypriot proposals regarding the establishment of a Property Board.

    The proposals were presented during last weeks meeting.

    The President said he doesnt expect to see huge gaps between the two sides when it comes to reaching an agreement over the Property Board.

    Talat explained that the Property Board will act as a mechanism to settle property disputes through the agreed criteria of compensation, restitution and exchange, also noting that the states will not have a decisive position on the decision-making process.

    However Talat added that there were some differing views between the two sides on to whom the authority in taking the final decision should be given.

    The Greek Cypriot side wants the former owner of the property to make the final decision while we prefer the property board and other related commissions he said.

    Meanwhile, a new chapter at the negotiations is to be opened next week, on the 11th March, when the two leaders will start to discuss EU matters.

    On this issue, Mr Talat said the organization of EU discussions and issues to top the first meetings agenda will be determined by special representatives.

    Stating that Nami and Iacovou will also come together on the 12th March, Talat said this meeting will be based on discussions regarding the implementation of outcomes reached over confidence-building measures and the work of technical committees.

    Speaking at the end of todays meeting, the UN Special Representative to Cyprus Taye Brook Zerihoun said a broad and substantive discussion was made on the property issue, while responding to a question whether the two sides made any progress in narrowing the gap between their positions.

    It has also been announced that the UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer will arrive in Cyprus on the 10th March to attend next weeks meeting.

    The Turkish Cypriot press (06.03.09) refers to the meeting held yesterday between President Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat within the framework of the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. The papers publish also the statements made by Mr Talat after the meeting. They used the following titles:

    Kibris: Pause to the property issue, Subtitle: Talat: An agreement in principle has been ensured on the establishment of a Property Committee Mechanism

    Afrika: They said they agreed on the property

    Halkin Sesi: The leaders closed the property issue

    Star Kibris: The property too in the basket of disagreements

    Yeni Duzen: Agreement in principle on the property

    Havadis: There is no reconciliation on the property, the representatives in action

    Vatan: An interval is made for the property

    Ortam: No agreement on the property

    [02] Eroglu assesses the talks; He refers to secret meetings in Switzerland

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (06.03.09) reports that Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), has stated that he is concerned because they might once more come face to face with an agreement plan similar to the Annan Plan. In statements to Ada TV television, Mr Eroglu said that the fact that the two leaders are holding tÍte -a- tÍte discussions at the negotiations is raising some questions and alleged that the leaders might write whatever they want in the minutes of these meetings. Ankara might also be worried, he claimed. Mr Eroglu alleged that he knows that some meetings have been held in Switzerland and the Turkish Cypriot leader has sent two persons there. He argued that a surprise-agreement might come up as a result of the tÍte -a- tÍte discussions of the leaders and the meetings in Switzerland.

    Mr Eroglu claimed that after the elections his party will definitely be in power and added that they do not oppose to the negotiations regarding the Cyprus problem. He noted that the negotiations stopped in the past when elections were held either by the Greek Cypriots or by the Turkish Cypriots. He said that they have no objection to the fact that the negotiations continue today, in spite of the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus. He noted that they are not opposed to Mr Talat carrying out the negotiations in the name of the TRNC. He added, however, that they expect him to inform them about the negotiations and to carry out the negotiations in the direction of the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot people. Mr Eroglu said that the negotiations will continue after he becomes prime minister, but they will send their minister of foreign affairs to the negotiations together with the president.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Rauf Denktas points to the contradictory policy of Turkey supporting two states solution and considering the ongoing talks favorable

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (06.03.09) reports that Rauf Denktas, former Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that the elections of 19 April will influence the developments regarding the Cyprus problem and the period ahead. In an interview with Havadis, Mr Denktas argued that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat will either change his way of thinking or resign, if he is left face to face with a self-styled government which is not in harmony with him. I left because I did not change my way of thinking, he added.

    Mr Denktas pointed to the fact that the government of Turkey is, on the one hand, making statements supporting the two states solution and, on the other, it considers the ongoing talks to be favorable. Mr Denktas noted that he expects a clear policy in order for this dilemma to be eliminated.

    He said that even if the conditions are appropriate for him, he will not be a candidate in the presidential elections in 2010, because a chance should be given to the young people. Referring to the information published in the Turkish press that his telephone line has been tapped, Mr Denktas said that two years before the end of his term he called a technician to fix an electricity problem and they found the bugging devices. He added: This had the capacity to listen within 100 miles. And this meant that the monitoring could be from Anatolia as well. Then I was relieved. Asked why he was relieved, he responded: This meant that Turkey was listening and not the Greek Cypriots. Let them listen then, there was no problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkey will grant $ 500 million to the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (06.03.09) reports that an agreement for a credit of $ 500 million has been signed between the Treasury of Turkey and the self-styled ministry of finance of the breakaway regime. The agreement was signed on 4 March 2009 in Ankara by Memduh Aslan Akcay, general director for foreign economic relations of the Turkish Treasury, and Namik Korhan, self-styled ambassador of the breakaway regime to Ankara. The newspaper notes that it is the first time Turkey is granting to the breakaway regime such a big amount of credit. The credit will be used especially for the support of the financial and real sector of the economy in the occupied areas of Cyprus and the restructuring to the public sector, according to the paper. The agreement will enter into effect after its approval by the council of ministers of the breakaway regime and the Turkish government and after the legal procedure is completed.

    Referring to the issue, Ahmet Uzun, self-styled minister of finance said this agreement with Turkey is very important and the possibilities provided by the credit will create very important openings. The dimension of the credit agreement, which is a result of the protocol signed in July 2006, is something taking place for the first time in our country, noted Mr Uzun and added that the breakaway regime has never before been given a credit of $500 million.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Babacan and Tzipi Livni met in the sidelines of the NATO meeting

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.03.09) reported the following from Brussels: Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan met on Thursday his Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni on the sidelines of the informal meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

    Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Burak Ozugergin said Babacan and Livni discussed regional matters as well as bilateral relations.

    Ozugergin said the two foreign ministers exchanged views on the situation in the region and what could be done towards peace.

    The two foreign ministers reaffirmed strategic nature of relations and agreed to maintain consultations and talks.

    [06] Turkey, Israel in secret talks to end the crisis between two countries

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (05/03/09) reported the following:

    Israel and Turkey have been involved in quiet but intensive talks to end the "crisis" between the two countries, Haaretz daily reported on Thursday.

    Officials from both countries have exchanged messages regarding the need to restore relations to an even keel and hope to do so in the coming days, a senior Jerusalem source told the daily.

    Ankaras harsh criticism against Israels military operations and the angry exchange of words between Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli President Shimon Peres have strained ties between the two traditional and historic regional allies.

    In the latest incident, Ground Forces Commander Avi Mizrahi said in February that Erdogan should first look in the mirror, and accused Turkey of committing a massacre of Armenians, as well as suppression of the Kurds.

    The senior government official told Haaretz that the positive messages have intensified after Israel wrote to the Turkish prime minister's office and the Turkish military telling that Mizrahi had been reprimanded for criticizing Erdogan during a lecture.

    The exchanged messages followed a letter sent by Turkish President Abdullah Gul to his Israeli counterpart Peres a few weeks ago, in which he expressed the desire to visit Israel in the coming months.

    Gul, who postponed a planned regional visit in January that included Israel because of an ear complaint, is expected to be in the Jewish state during the second half of the year.

    [07] Ankara would not back Rasmussen for top NATO post. Babacan sets Turkeys standards for the new NATO chief

    Todays Zaman newspaper (06/03/09) reported the following:

    Foreign Minister Ali Babacan suggested Turkey would not back Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen to become the new secretary-general of NATO, saying the chief NATO official should be someone that has the trust of all member countries.

    Rasmussen's name has been floated as a possible candidate to replace incumbent Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, whose term at the helm of NATO expires by the end of July. Rasmussen has never confirmed his candidacy, but rumors that he could be the next NATO chief have already rattled Ankara.

    Rasmussen drew ire in Turkey when he defended, in the name of freedom of expression, the 2005 publication of a series of controversial cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad as a terrorist, disregarding the indignation spreading across the Muslim world. Turkey and other Muslim countries were enraged, saying the cartoons disrespected Islam and its believers.

    Rasmussen's interpretation of freedom of expression created tensions with Turkey in another contentious area as well. Again in 2005, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan canceled a joint press conference with Rasmussen at the last minute after Danish authorities rejected Turkish requests to bar a Roj TV reporter from the conference hall. Roj TV is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), classified as terrorists by the European Union, the US and Turkey.

    It is of utmost importance that the NATO secretary-general is a person who embraces the spirit of the alliance who is capable of maintaining good relations with all countries and has the confidence of all member countries, Babacan told reporters in Brussels, when asked to comment on reports that Turkey was unhappy over the prospects of Rasmussen taking over the top NATO post.

    When asked if not supporting terrorism should also be a condition of assuming the post -- a reference to the Roj TV dispute with Rasmussen -- Babacan said: This does not even need to be mentioned. "


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Clinton said planning to attend popular talk show to improve US image in Turkey

    Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (05.03.09) reported the following from Ankara: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the next guest on one of Turkeys most popular talk shows, hosted by four women. The move is seen as an eloquent way of practicing public diplomacy to woo the Turkish public away from its current anti-American stance, rather than trying to reach the public by going through all the diplomatic formalities.

    The best way to improve ties between the U.S. and Turkey is to directly appeal to the people through a popular talk show rather than going through all the hassle of diplomatic channels, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to have decided.

    This Saturday, Clinton will appear on a TV show and will face the four women hosts who are known for their proclivity to shock and their daring to ask controversial questions.

    Hillary Clinton, in her visit to Turkey this week, is going to be a guest on private news channel NTV's talk show "Haydi Gel Bizimle Ol," (Come on, be with us). Pinar Kur, a prominent author, Mujde Ar, an actress, Cigdem Anat, a journalist and Aysun Kayaci, a model, run the program, which has a freer format than a news program and covers a wide range of contemporary issues with guests. Clinton, who is already familiar with Turkey, will try to improve the U.S. image in Turkey, presenting a great example of an old American tradition in diplomacy: "public diplomacy," some experts said.

    This show has an atmosphere where four women come together and discuss issues without any social pressure and without being afraid of patriarchal culture, as feminists call it. Preferring a TV show like that is an emphasis on equality between women and men in Turkey, said Kadri Gursel, columnist for daily Milliyet. They are going to talk woman-to-woman and she is going to address millions of people, Huseyin Bagci, an international relations professor from Middle East Technical University, or METU. Turkish public opinion has been staunchly opposed to recent U.S. policies.

    However the Clinton family, especially Bill Clinton's term in the White House is fondly remembered and their visit to Turkey after the major earthquake in 1999 left a good impression. Remember the baby Erkan, both husband and wife, the Clintons will help ameliorate the image of the U.S in Turkey, Bagci said. Bill Clinton in his visit to Turkey held a baby called Erkan in Kocaeli, where the Marmara earthquake hit and the baby instantly became famous when he squeezed Bill Clinton's nose.

    Gursel said she believed Clinton's choice was a message to the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, about the situation for women in Turkey. This is an implicit message about woman's emancipation, about the need for women to stand on their own feet and participate in decision making processes, he said.

    Through the show, Clinton is going to address a greater number of people, Ilter Turkmen, a former foreign minister and columnist for the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review, said, adding that this was a unique type of public diplomacy. Ilter Turan, an academic on international relations at Bilgi University, highlighted the loose format of the show.

    Instead of a news interview, there is a conversational atmosphere. Only one person asks questions in an interview, but here everyone can intervene in the conversation. Clinton becomes natural and a part of the conversation, he said. Clinton's appearance on a TV show would suggest a new strategy regarding public diplomacy, according to Sabanci University's international relations professor, Sabri Sayari.

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 5 March 09

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 5 March:

    a) Hillary Clinton's visit to Turkey

    Milliyet columnist Semih Idiz views the developments in the Middle East on the eve of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Turkey. In an article, Idiz maintains that, in addition to HAMAS, Israel will also be gradually isolated in the world because of the "extreme rightist" Netanyahu who is expected to establish the next government. According to Idiz, Netanyahu will also be in a confrontational position with Washington with regard to the solution of the Middle East problem. A consensus emerged during the Gaza donors conference held in Egypt with regard to HAMAS's isolation, as manifested in this organization's exclusion from the conference, Idiz asserts. He states that "no matter how the AKP [Justice and Development Party] government tries to legitimize HAMAS, this organization will not find a place on the big table unless it renounces terrorism, acknowledges Israel's existence, and recognizes Mahmud Abbas's authority." The basic role, even duty, for Turkey in this regard, Idiz declares, is "to get HAMAS to toe the line." Ankara can enhance its "profile" in the Middle East only to the extent it succeeds in doing this, Idiz argues. He adds that Ankara should urge HAMAS not to give Israel an excuse to attack it again.

    Also commenting on Clinton's upcoming visit to Ankara in a column in Taraf, Cem Sey first points out that the new US Administration views Turkey as part of Europe, rather than the Middle East. Referring to Dan Fried's remarks on the "opportunity to build a sincere and close strategic partnership with Turkey," Sey says that the United States may seek Ankara's support with regard to the use of the Incirlik base during the troop withdrawal from Iraq and the solution of the border problem between Afghanistan and Pakistan. According to Sey, there are two other issues -- energy safety and the Armenian genocide allegations -- over which the new US Administration has not yet crystallized its stance that may come up in bilateral talks.

    In an article entitled "Hillary's Turkey Visit and Genocide Claims", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that the "Turkish leadership is expected to intensely lobby Hillary Clinton [during her upcoming visit to Turkey] to ensure that President Obama will refrain from ushering the term genocide during his April 24 speech."

    In an article entitled "Hillary Clinton is Coming" on page 10, Milli Gazete columnist Zeki Ceyhan asserts that US State Secretary Hillary Clinton's messages in Israel ahead of her visit to Turkey have shown that the change of presidency in the United States has not entailed even minor modifications to Washington's policy on Israel. He also claims there is no point in holding any negotiations with the United States over the latter's plans to withdraw from Iraq as long the pullout plan arranges for some 50,000 troops to continue to stay in Iraq.

    b) rdogan being presented as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire

    Milliyet carries a column by Rahmi Turan, in which the writer levels criticism against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on several issues. Rahmi Turan satirically rejoices at the fact that we have added a 37th sultan to the 36 Ottoman sultans we have had in the past. Turan is referring to the placard depicting Erdogan as the last of the Ottoman sultans during an election campaign. According to Turan, this shows that Erdogan's supporters yearn to "change the republican regime and revert to the order of the sultanate and the caliphate."

    A column by Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News.com also takes issue with the placard posted during an AKP election campaign in Istanbul. Kanli asserts: "Unfortunately, the placard raised by Erdogan's supporters in Istanbul was nothing more than acknowledging what has been already accomplished and continuing on for many years. What's so far missing is people not yet started glorifying him with "Long live my Sultan" chants. Perhaps that's also in the pipeline. Once the neo-Ottomanist and neo-Islamist AKP of Erdogan gets over 50 percent in the upcoming mayoral elections, Turkey may start witnessing the last stage of this transformation. In democracies, however, emperors may sometimes face bitter consequences."

    In an article entitled "Elections and Provocations", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru warns that recent incidents where an alleged "sheikh" sat close to former Speaker of Parliament and AKP Manisa Deputy Bulent Arinc at an official ceremony in Manisa and the use of a poster at a ceremony in Istanbul that referred to Prime Minister Erdogan as "the last Ottoman sultan" could be acts of "provocation" similar to those that set the scene for the 28 February process.

    In an article entitled "We Have Run out of Reactionism. How About Some Ottomanism?", Zaman columnist Mumtazer Turkone slams certain mainstream commentators for what he describes as their efforts to warn of an "Ottoman threat" to the regime in Turkey based on references to Prime Minister Erdogan as the "last Ottoman Sultan" and "yearnings for the Ottoman period frequently expressed in the wake of [Erdogan's] Davos [walkout]." Turkone asserts that the perceived threat posed by what is claimed to be the AKP's Ottoman vision appears to have replaced the presumed threat of religious reactionism as a means of justifying interventions in politics.


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